Wednesday: June 4, 2025
2:09 AM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, LIVING ROOM
Jacob cracked open one sapphire eye as he felt a tug on his hand. He lifted his blurry gaze to Alice’s face. “Allie?” he questioned roughly. He grabbed his glasses from the end table, sliding them over the bridge of his nose as he sat up. “You okay, baby?”
“You didn’t come to bed,” she whispered.
Jacob cleared his throat, scratching at his jaw. “Must’ve fallen asleep while I was catching up on paperwork,” he said.
She nodded. “Come hold me?”
“Yeah, baby, of course,” Jacob whispered. He squeezed Alice’s hand, pushing himself to his feet. She allowed Jacob to lead her back to the bedroom they shared. They didn’t sleep in bed together often any more. Since Alice got out of the hospital, it typically happened accidentally.
Jacob sat down on the edge of the bed, immediately sliding back to sit on his side. Alice climbed onto the bed, folding her legs Indian style. She dropped her hands into her lap, staring up at Jacob. “What’s on your mind, baby? You can… you can talk to me,” he said softly, reaching up to touch her cheek.
She shied away from his touch, closing her eyes. Jacob laid a hand on her cheek. She drew in a breath, leaning into his palm. “You have to work today.”
“And the kids… don’t have school,” Alice said slowly. She cleared her throat, opening her eyes. “I can’t take care of them, Jay. They’d be in danger if I had to watch them,” she said.
“Shh, it’s okay, Allie. I’ll drop them off at Bo and Jensen’s tomorrow morning. Katie and Kayla are gonna work together to watch over the younger three,” Jacob said. “And your mom’s gonna be there to help, so they’ll be okay.” Alice nodded. “And you aren’t a danger to them, Al.”
“I could be. I would be if I had to watch them alone,” she said quietly. “What if… what if I just forgot about them, Jay? I don’t leave the house. I rarely leave the damn bedroom.”
Jacob sat in silence for a moment. It was the most Alice had said to him since December. He knew he had to handle his wife and the entire situation with great care. “You wouldn’t forget about them, baby. You’re just… you’re having a hard time. Rightfully so,” he said. “None of this is your fault, Allie. We just hit a little… little bump in the road. That’s all.”
“But you came out of it.”
“I had to, baby. I had to be strong enough for us. T–to keep us together and to do what I could to be there for you. It’s my job to make sure I’m always strong enough for you to lean on me,” Jacob whispered. He stiffened as Alice threw her arms around his neck. Slowly, he relaxed, wrapping his arms around her back. “I love you, Allie. I’m here to help you get better.”
Alice nodded against his chest, threading the fingers of one hand through his hair. “I know this is hell on you,” she whispered. “And I’m so sorry for that.”
“No, no. Don’t be. What happened to you is my fault, not yours,” Jacob said.
Alice pulled away from him, her brow furrowed. “Your fault?”
“You kept the twins because of me. You were scared I’d hate you if you terminated the pregnancy. I knew you didn’t want kids, and I let you do something you didn’t wanna do,” Jacob said.
Alice held his face between her hands. “Oh, Jay. You silly, silly man,” she whispered. “None of this is your fault. Everything that happened happened because I’m old and because my uterus isn’t meant to hold children any more. I had a baby cut out of me, Jake. I’m not made for it any more. That is what happened. That’s why I went into early labor, and that’s why there were so many complications. I’m old, and there was a lot of scar tissue to deal with. It wasn’t because of you.”
Jacob stared down at his lap. “Really?”
She forced him to look back at her. “Really. God, if you had told me you were blaming yourself for this, I would’ve forced myself to sit down and have a conversation with you so much sooner. You don’t deserve to be living in this kind of hell, Jay.”
The tension seeped out of Jacob’s body, his shoulders falling with relief. “I love you,” he breathed.
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “You know, huh? Just like old times?” he asked. Alice nodded. He leaned up, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “Come on. You need to sleep, I need to sleep… and I really wanna hold you.”
“Okay, Jay,” Alice whispered.
2:15 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo sat down on his side of the bed. With a groan, Jensen dropped to his back beside him. The blonde chuckled, squeezing Jensen’s thigh. “Well, they’re fed, they’ve had their diapers changed, and they’re asleep. If we’re lucky, we can squeeze in an hour or two of sleep before they both wake up again.”
“Mmhmm.” Jensen, now stretched out across the foot of the bed, threw his arm out to the side, his hand coming to a rest on his pillow. “Come here.”
“Really? This is how you want to sleep?” Bo asked.
“Too tired to move.”
“Hmm.” Bo lay back on the bed, rolling onto his side. He laid a hand on Jensen’s chest, smiling softly as the taller man wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “Kayla accidentally called me ‘Dad’ when I tucked her in.”
“How do you know it was an accident?”
“Because she apologized as soon as she said it,” Bo said quietly.
Jensen frowned. “She’ll come around eventually, won’t she?”
“I hope so. But, if not, I’ll live with being Bo to her forever,” the blonde said. “It’s harder for her than it is for Amber. Amber had a father before. Kayla never did. All she’s ever experienced with men is abuse or abandonment,” he explained.
Jensen nodded. “Yeah… I know.” He cleared his throat. “Do we get to have flower girls at our wedding?”
“Love, we can have whatever the hell you want to have.”
Jensen rolled his eyes, hugging Bo to his side. “I want Amber and Kayla to be flower girls together. I refuse to choose just one of them,” he said.
“I like that idea,” Bo said softly. He curled his fingers around the fabric of Jensen’s shirt. “If Jake were my best man, who would be yours?” he asked.
Jensen snorted. “Hell if I know. David or Travis, I guess.”
“How are you close to Travis? He occasionally comes to crime scenes to take pictures.”
“When you were here alone during the, umm, Copycat issue, Travis was the one doing most of the forensic stuff on the case I was working in L.A.,” Jensen explained.
Jensen squeezed Bo’s shoulder. “We can talk about this stuff later, Eli. I’ll come hang out with you in the lab or the morgue so we can talk. Okay?”
Jensen turned his head enough to press a kiss to Bo’s forehead. “I love you, Eli.”
Bo smiled softly, closing his eyes. “I love you, too, Jens.”
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