Bonekeeper – Chapter Eighteen

NOT EDITED

Chapter Eighteen

9:32 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, MORGUE

“Stop checking your watch, Jake. You’re making yourself sick with worry,” Bo said.

“I know,” Jacob said quietly, shoving his hands into the pockets of his dress pants.

“I know this isn’t my place to inject, but I’m sure your wife will be fine, Sergeant,” Rick said softly. “It’s… Alice, right?” Jacob nodded. “I’ve seen her on TV, you know. Several times as a cop, couple times as a lawyer. She’s a strong woman, Sergeant. This is another thing she’ll work through.”

Jacob smiled faintly. “Thanks, Officer Downs.”

Rick nodded, clearing his throat. “So, what’s the plan?” he asked.

“Well, I think the wise decision is to talk to Serena Bishop’s husband again. We need the names of Serena’s friends, the ones she might have gone out with before she disappeared. We’ll need to interrogate all of them, see what they know. We’ll have to talk to the bartenders that were working that night, so on and so forth,” Bo said.

“And… it might be wise to talk to Mrs. Bishop’s children, as well. They could know the friends better than the husband would,” Jensen suggested.

“Maybe. She and her kids were pretty damn close,” Rick confirmed. He nodded toward one of the body drawers. “What about victim number two? Erika Hayes?”

“Her mother’s the only living member she has left in her family,” Bo said. “However, she has no known phone number, and the officers that went to her last known address found a man there instead. Uh… Rodney something, I think, and he’s lived in the house for almost five years. I’ll do my best to track her down today, though,” he said.

“I’ll talk to Dale again, see if he’s figured out their names yet,” Rick offered.

“Sounds good, Downs. Call him up, bring him back here. He’s been at a hotel just outside of town all weekend,” Jacob said. “I’ll catch up to you in a few, all right?”

“Sure thing, Sarge.” Rick offered a respectful nod before turning and walking out of the morgue.

“Jensen and I will talk to the kids, but if we can’t get anywhere with them, I’ll have Rick talk to them, too,” Jacob said.

“Solid plan,” Bo agreed with a nod. “I’ll be in the lab most of the day. I’ll try and find Erika’s mother so we can bring her in for questioning,” he said.

“Mmhmm.” Jacob glanced down at his watch before his sapphire blue eyes flickered back to Bo’s face. “Reconvene around lunch time?” he asked.

One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “Of course, Jake,” he said softly. “You guys go do your cop stuff, and we’ll meet in the lobby in, say… two hours?”

“Yeah, thereabouts,” Jacob agreed. He smacked the back of his hand against Jensen’s shoulder. “Let’s roll, Taylor.”

Jensen chuckled before leaning down to kiss Bo. “See you in a few, Eli.”

Bo smiled. “See you in a few,” he confirmed. The blonde watched both men walk out of the morgue before sighing quietly. He looked down briefly, twisting his ring around his finger before uncomfortably shoving his hands into the pockets of his dark jeans. He wasn’t sure where to start in the adventure of attempting to find Erika Hayes’s mother. She hadn’t lived in her Cliffburn house for at least five years. He figured his best option was tracing whatever car was linked to her driver’s license and trying to find the car.

Bo crossed the room, pulling open the door for the lab. He shut off the lights in the morgue and stepped into the lab. Gwen and Misty had been in the lab over the weekend for a homicide, and it showed in the organizational state of the lab. The girls had done a much better job of keeping the place clean, but when they got called in for a case late at night, they left the place a mess—not that Bo blamed them.

He sighed quietly. He wanted to work on finding Erika’s mother, but he knew he couldn’t succeed in that until after the room was clean again. He pulled his hands from his pockets, rolling up the sleeves of his flannel shirt. “Clean first, case second,” he said to himself.

11:50 AM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER

Bo sat on one side of the booth, his laptop in front of him, a small salad off to his right side, a can of pop behind the laptop. Beside him, Jensen sat, an arm draped over the back of the booth. On the opposite side, Jacob and Rick sat.

“Dale was able to recall the first name Natalie and the last name Woods. Not the same friend, but they both relate to Serena’s friends,” Rick said.

“Mmhmm. What about you two?” Bo asked.

“The boys didn’t really know anything other than the fact they thought one of the friends was hot,” Jensen said.

“Right. But the daughter knew Natalie, Sage, Lara West, and Rose,” Jacob said.

“Are those all the friends, then?” Bo asked.

“Sounded that way,” Jensen said.

“And I called my wife to see if she recognized them. Natalie’s surname is Cole. They work together at the hospital,” Rick said.

Bo smiled faintly. “Good. Gets us somewhere.” He grabbed his cell phone, unlocking the screen as he drew his feet up onto the booth, his knees held to his chest as he wrapped his arms around them. He brought up one of the many applications from his home screen and lifted his blue eyes to Rick’s face. “Do they all live in Ellepath?”

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t recognize any of them,” Rick said.

“But in Iowa?”

“Yeah, I would assume so.”

Bo nodded, typing in ‘Sage Woods’. He narrowed the search to Iowa, glancing over at his laptop. He looked back down at his phone. No results. He tried it with Rose Woods instead. “No Sage Woods in Iowa, but I have three matches for Rose Woods,” he said.

“Are you ever still amazed at how quickly he can do that?” Rick asked.

Jacob chuckled softly. “Every damn day.”

“There you go,” Bo said, sliding his phone over to Jacob.

“Is this… them?” Jacob asked.

“Mmhmm.”

“When?”

“Saturday night at a bar in Ames,” Bo said. He shook his head, pulling his laptop closer to himself. “Instagram, I tell you.”

“Well… that’s a place to start,” Jacob said quietly.

Rick nodded. “We’ll call them up when we get back to the station,” he said.

“Sounds good,” Jensen agreed. He grabbed Bo’s phone, locking the screen again. “What about you, Eli?” he asked.

“I had to clean the lab before I could get any work done. So… I’m working on it,” Bo said. “But I’ll also have an answer for you in, like, four seconds.” Jensen rolled his eyes, smiling faintly as he pressed a kiss to Bo’s temple. “There. She lives in Little Falls. It’s about a four-hour drive. No registered phone number. So, you’ll have to send an officer to go talk to her,” he said.

“Well, Jensen and I can head up there after we’re done here or first thing tomorrow morning,” Jacob said.

“We’re checking out a venue at four-thirty,” Bo said.

Jacob nodded. “We’ll go tomorrow, then. Sound good?” he asked.

“Works with me,” Jensen said softly.

“And then you and I can sit with all of Serena’s friends tomorrow and question them. We’ll get them all called today, they’ll be here tonight or tomorrow morning. Up to you,” Rick said.

“Might as well have them be at the station tomorrow morning. We can run through the first one at, say… eight-thirty?” Bo asked.

Rick nodded. “Sounds good, lab geek.”

One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted as he reached over to shut his laptop. He lifted it from the table, setting it down beside himself on the bench seat. “Enough talk about homicide, yeah? Stuff your faces.”

Jacob snorted, swiping a fry through the ketchup on his plate. “So you’re searching for venues?”

“Mmhmm. Because Jensen finally wrote his half of the damn guest list,” Bo said.

The sergeant chuckled. “Indoors, right?”

“See, if it was in L.A., I could have an outdoor wedding, but a certain someone is scared of planes,” Bo said.

“I have every right to be scared of planes,” Jacob said.

“They’re the safest way to travel,” Rick said. Bo held a hand out in Rick’s direction, staring at Jacob.

“Besides, I can fly on a plane, jackass. I just don’t like to,” Jacob said.

Jensen smiled, rolling his eyes. “It’s cool, Jake. An outdoor wedding in L.A. would be hot, anyway.”

“There is that,” Bo agreed. “But we’re checking out of the indoor place in Cliffburn after work. I don’t think it’s my style, but we’re still checking. I think we might end up in Chesterwick. The pictures of that place are incredible,” he said.

Jacob nodded. “One of my friends got married in Chesterwick. Beautiful place,” he said. “If you guys need help, you’ll ask, right?”

One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted. “Of course, Jake.”


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