Bonekeeper – Chapter Ten

NOT EDITED

Chapter Ten

12:45 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, INTERROGATION ROOM ONE

“I’m sorry for your loss, Mister Bishop,” Jacob said softly, lowering himself into the chair across the table from Dale Bishop.

“Thank you,” Dale said quietly, crossing his arms over the table. Although he wasn’t crying, Jacob could still hear and see the man’s grief. He could see it in the way his face was stretched taut, his expression grim. He could hear it in the roughness of his voice, could see it in the slouched posture of the business man. “What… what can I do to help find who did this to my wife?” he questioned, his gaze shifting over to Rick’s face.

“We just have to ask a few questions, Dale. Okay?” Rick asked. Dale nodded. “When you left for your business trip, what were your wife’s plans?”

“She was going to… drop the kids off with my parents,” Dale said. “And that’s where they are, right?”

“Yes,” Rick assured.

“Okay,” Dale whispered. He cleared his throat. “On, umm, Saturday, I think, she was going to clean the house while the kids were gone so they couldn’t make a big mess of it again. And that night, she was planning on going out drinking with some of her old friends for some sort of birthday party, I think.”

“Do you know where they were going drinking?” Jacob asked from beside Rick.

“I’m not sure. A friend’s house to start off the night, maybe. They probably went through Webster… maybe Fort Dodge or Ames. They rarely just hit up one place,” Dale explained. He sniffled, raking a hand through his hair.

“Do you have any of the names of her friends?” Bo asked from where he stood in the back of the room. He leaned back against the wall, one leg lifted, his foot pressed to the wall so he could rest his notebook on his thigh as he took notes. Jensen stood tall beside him, arms crossed over his chest.

“Not off the top of my head, no,” Dale said quietly, shaking his head. “I can… I can see if some of them are in her text messages to me, but I don’t think they were. She always went out with the same group of friends for birthdays and anniversaries. Otherwise, she was always at home with the kids.” He cleared his throat. “I don’t know their names. I never got to know them. I knew one or two of them in college, but that’s only because Serena introduced me to them a couple times when we started dating. I haven’t seen them since, and… again, that was only one or two of them back then,” he said.

“Did your wife have any enemies? Bad blood between her and another person?” Jacob asked.

“She spent her time being an amazing wife and an even better mother. She left the house to get groceries and drive kids to soccer games and football practice.” Dale shook his head. “No, she didn’t have any enemies,” he added quietly.

Rick tapped a hand against the table. “Let’s take a quick break. You guys… go grab coffee or something,” he said. “Please.”

Jacob nodded, clearing his throat as he pushed himself to his feet. “Come on, you two.” Jensen and Bo followed the sergeant out of the interrogation room. Jacob shut the door before looking back at Bo. “Why?”

“Mister Bishop is Rick’s friend. They’re neighbors, more or less. The man needs to grieve, and he can’t do that with us in there,” Bo said. “It’s okay. We’ll come back in fifteen, twenty minutes and go on from there.”

“All right.” Jacob nodded, scratching at his jaw. “Well, let’s go get another cup of coffee.”

2:49 PM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE DESKS

Bo stopped beside Jensen’s desk, setting a folder in front of the taller man. “Autopsy report on the second vic. Your copy, Jake’s copy, Rick’s copy, and the typed copy for the actual case file. Make sure they all end up with their respective owners?”

“Sure thing, babe. You heading out?” Jensen asked.

“Yeah, I need to be in Chesterwick before Gabriel’s office closes for the day,” Bo said. “Supper’s totally on you tonight. Order pizza or takeout if you don’t feel like cooking. I’ll be home between nine and ten, okay?”

“Mmhmm.”

Bo leaned down and kissed Jensen. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Jensen said softly. He reached out and squeezed Bo’s hand. “Drive safe, Eli. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Will do, Jens.”

6:10 PM; CHESTERWICK, GARCÍA & BURNHAM PSYCHIATRY OFFICES

“So that’s it? Every time Alice Mason is in here for an appointment, it’ll be billed to me?” Bo asked.

“Yes, sir, that’s it,” the receptionist said.

“Great. Thank you,” Bo said softly.

“You’re very welcome, Mister Austen. And thank you.” Bo tapped his fingers against the desk before heading out of the offices, his hands shoved into his pockets.

“Austen!” a voice shouted as Bo made it back to his car.

Bo turned around, keys in his hand. He smiled. “Gabriel,” he greeted.

Gabriel jogged across the parking lot, stopping in front of Bo. “Whatcha doing here? Coming back for another shot at that brain of yours?”

Bo chuckled. “No, not today. I just came in to set up payments for a friend’s sessions,” he said. He reached out, smacking a hand against Gabriel’s shoulder. “How’s Vivian?”

Gabriel smiled softly. “She’s good,” he whispered. “Happy wife, healthy little boy, and a very happy life,” he said.

“That’s good, Gabe.”

“What about you? What’s changed since the last time I saw you?” Gabriel cleared his throat. “You certainly weren’t in a good place when we last spoke.”

“I’m better now. Engaged, and we’ve adopted two little girls together. I don’t think my life gets much better than that,” Bo said.

Gabriel’s smile broadened. “Christ, that’s amazing, Bo. Congrats.”

“Thank you.”

Gabriel nodded. “Hey, I’m gonna let you go. I gotta get home to Viv. But you have my number, so text me. We should go out for coffee, catch up on everything.”

“I’d like that.”

“Great. I’ll talk to you later, Bo.”

Bo nodded, unlocking his car. After Gabriel walked away, Bo pulled open the driver’s side door and slid into his seat, shutting the door behind him. He sighed softly. He had first met Gabriel when he was fourteen years old. Bo had been working a stalker case turned homicide in Los Angeles, and after finding out that the killer lived with voices telling her what to do, Bo had stood up for her to get her the help she needed.

Sure, he had gotten suspended from work for an entire month, but the killer, Vivian, had spent the time she needed under psychiatric care. Bo and Gabriel had been her only two visitors year round until her release from the hospital. She had been slowly integrated back into society, and she and Gabriel had gotten married nearly a year afterward.

Bo smiled faintly, turning the key in the ignition. Vivian had been the first person Bo had ever met that was a freak like him. She had been abnormal because of the voices in her head, and he had been abnormal because of the way his brain operated. Still, they had accepted each other for who they were, and Bo would never forget that.


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