Sunday: June 8, 2025
1:00 AM; CLINSTONE, THE BONEKEEPER’S SHED
The woman lifted the layer of cardboard to peek down at the spine, the bone that lay on the batting in a beautifully curved line. The beatles were doing their job of eating away muscle and flesh, but it wasn’t yet picked clean enough to be pristine or fresh. She couldn’t hang it in her display case until they were through, and she wouldn’t kill again until she could stand in her display room and admire the wondrous view.
1:14 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo crawled into bed, barely managing to pull the covers over himself before Jensen wrapped an arm around his chest. “Where’d you go, Eli?” he asked, his voice rough with sleep.
“Cecilia came over to talk,” Bo said quietly.
“Why? Are you okay?”
One corner of the blonde’s mouth lifted. “I’m good, Jens. I just needed someone to talk to.”
“ ‘Bout me?”
“Okay,” Jensen murmured. He pressed a kiss to Bo’s shoulder, pulling the blonde back against him. “Wedding stuff?” he asked after several seconds of silence.
“Yes and no. I just needed someone to talk to. When it’s late like this, she’s kind of my go-to. You know that,” Bo said softly.
“I know,” Jensen whispered. “Did you… work everything out?”
Another moment of silence. “I made you nervous, didn’t I? When I said you’d leave us. I made you have doubts.”
“Something like that,” Bo admitted.
“God, Eli, I’m sorry. I swear on my life that that wasn’t my intention,” Jensen said.
“I know.” Bo rolled onto his other side to face Jensen. He combed his fingers through the younger man’s dark hair. “It’s not your fault, Jens. I’m just insecure about… everything,” he whispered.
“You’re not going to leave, Eli. You love us too much. I know that,” Jensen said. “And I’m not going anywhere, either. I love you.” He laid a hand on Bo’s cheek, his brow furrowed. “Our family is everything to me. You are everything to me. I’m sorry that I even considered the thought of you leaving. I know you too damn well to think that would actually happen.”
“It’s okay,” Bo assured in a whisper. “Celia says it’s normal to have doubts. It’s just easier for us to project those doubts onto another person and make it their fault instead. That’s kind of how the human brain works.” One corner of Bo’s mouth lifted as he brushed a thumb over Jensen’s cheek. “We’re kind of a shitty species, Jensen.”
Jensen chuckled softly, nodding his agreement. He kissed Bo, gently pushing him onto his back. “I would like to formally apologize for being a jackass.” He sat up, slinging a leg over Bo’s hips. He leaned down, his forearms resting on the mattress near either side of Bo’s head. “No matter what your day job is, you are always going to come home to me, and I am always going to be here waiting for you.”
“I know,” Bo whispered, wrapping his arms around Jensen’s neck. “C–can I ask you a question?” Jensen nodded. “Do you ever feel that you’re… too young for me? That you belong with someone more like you? Someone… less… like me?” he asked.
“No,” Jensen breathed. He shook his head. “No, never. The only time that I remember I’m younger than you is when someone else brings it up. Besides the fact that I’m dumber than you, I know damn well you’re perfect for me.”
“You’re never going to get bored with me?” Bo questioned.
“No.” Again, the younger man shook his head. “Since the day we met, I’ve only experienced pure boredom on… three and a half occasions,” he said. Bo’s brow furrowed as he racked his brain for the occasions Jensen could possibly be referring to. “The three and a half days I spent in Seattle with that detective instead of you? I have never been more bored with another human being in my life than I was with that man. But you, babe? No fucking way. I’ll never be bored with you.”
Bo leaned up, pressing a quick kiss to Jensen’s lip. “You’ll never… outgrow me?” he asked.
“You’ll always love me?”
“Always,” Jensen whispered gently, his fingertips brushing Bo’s hair away from his face.
Bo stared up at the younger man, blue eyes swirling with an intense lack of confidence that Jensen hadn’t seen in a long time. “Promise?” he asked, his voice broken.
“Promise,” Jensen whispered. “I’m not going anywhere, Eli. Until the day I die, until… until the end of time as we know it, I will love you.”
Bo sniffled, nodding slightly. “Now you just sound like that Meat Loaf song, and he only says it because he wants to get laid.”
Jensen cracked a smile as he saw a spark of humor flash in Bo’s eyes. “I won’t deny that I want sex. That’s because I have a lot of energy, remember?”
“Mmhmm.” Bo’s arms tightened around Jensen’s neck.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Bo whispered.
“Good,” Jensen murmured. Laying a hand on Bo’s cheek, he kissed him. “What can I do to… to make this better for you?” he asked, kissing a soft trail down the side of Bo’s neck. “I love you. Tell me how to prove it to you.”
Bo threaded his fingers through Jensen’s hair as the younger man’s teeth nipped at his shoulder. “Y–you could start by taking your pants off.”
Jensen smiled against Bo’s skin. “Mm… that I can do.” He lifted his head, kissing the blonde softly. “I love you, Eli,” he said, brushing a thumb over the curve of Bo’s cheek. Bo closed his eyes, Jensen’s ring cold against his cheek. The wedding band Jensen wore, which served as an engagement ring, was a reminder of just how much the younger man loved him. “And don’t you ever forget it. I love you.”
Bo opened his eyes to meet Jensen’s green-eyed gaze. “I love you, Jens,” he breathed.
“Keep it that way,” Jensen murmured. Bo nodded.
4:39 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Jensen lay on his stomach beside Bo, one arm draped heavily over Bo’s chest, his head resting on the blonde’s shoulder. Bo lay on his back, gently combing his fingers through Jensen’s hair. While Jensen was sound asleep and snoring softly, Bo still couldn’t sleep. Jensen had spent a fair share of the last three hours proving to Bo just how much he loved him, something that had worn him out to the point that Bo was certain an earthquake wouldn’t wake him.
Bo, on the other hand, wasn’t tired. He felt like he’d had the workout of a lifetime, yes, but he wasn’t tired. Instead, he stared at the ceiling, listening to Jensen’s soft snores, feeling the younger man’s hair between his fingers.
Bo turned his head slightly, grabbing his phone from the nightstand. He unlocked the screen and opened his text thread with Jamal. He sent the older man a single sentence.
Bo: I don’t think I can do it.
Jamal’s response came less than thirty seconds later.
Jamal: Did something happen? Are you all right?
Bo: I’m fine. I’m scared, Jamal. What if I change into someone I don’t want to be?
Jamal: You mean what if you change into ME.
Jamal: You won’t. I won’t let you.
Bo: How can you be so sure?
Jamal: I’m the way I am for a lot of reasons, Bo. I started this life when I was very young. I had a shitty childhood, a joined a life of darkness when I was sixteen, and I buried my wife when I was thirty-four. A lot of bad shit happened in between those events, and a lot of terrible things happened after them, as well. I am who I am because I had no other choice if I wanted to survive. YOU aren’t taking over for me in order to survive. YOU are taking over for me to keep me alive even after I’m gone.
Jamal: I won’t let you turn into me. That’s a promise I’ve already made to you. However, if you truly don’t want to do it, that’s fine. I’ll do my best to find someone half as worthy of it as you are. But it might be wise to discuss it in person when we see each other at the end of the month. You can’t have a good discussion about a life decision over text, and one can only assume you’re lying in bed beside an already asleep Jensen, making you unavailable to speak.
Jamal: Either call me later today or save the discussion until you come back home. I won’t let you make an exact decision over text, okay?
Jamal: Get some sleep, kid. It’s early, and we both know you don’t sleep like you should, especially with Masons Six and Seven living under your roof. I’ll talk to you later, all right?
Bo: Thank you. I love you.
Jamal: I love you, too, kiddo. I’ll talk to you soon.
Bo locked his screen, holding his phone against his chest for a moment before setting it back on the nightstand. He laid his hand between Jensen’s bare shoulders, closing his eyes. He knew he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep anytime soon, but feeling Jensen’s heart beating against his own chest was something he could take comfort in until sleep finally whisked him away.
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