8:27 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, INTERROGATION ROOM ONE, CORRIDOR
“We made him cry,” Jacob said, leaning back against the wall.
“I imagine he was close friends with Serena,” Bo said simply. He cleared his throat. “Just give him a moment to hold himself together, and we’ll go from there.
“Why would they be so close? He’s a bartender that lives nearly an hour away from her,” Rick said.
“Hey, your guess is just as good as mine,” Bo said.
“There should be fewer of us in there,” Jensen suggested. “It could make talking to him easier. It could make him feel more… comfortable.”
“Possibly. We should limit it to just two of you,” Bo said. “Rick should go in for sure. Mrs. Bishop is strongly his case.”
“And then you should go in,” Jacob said.
Bo snorted. “Still not a detective, you know,” he said.
“You ask most of the questions anyway. Jensen and I can watch from the observation room,” Jacob said.
Bo looked at Jensen. “Does that work for you?” he questioned.
Jensen nodded. “Works with me, Bo. Give the guy a moment, and we’ll be in the observation room.” He smiled faintly, tapping a fist against Bo’s shoulder. “Good luck. We’ll be watching.”
Rick watched the two detectives head down the hall before leaning down to elbow Bo in the side. “In we go?”
“Mmhmm.” Bo reached out and pulled open the interrogation room door. Rick followed him into the room. Bo crossed the room and sat down across from Jack. “Mister Horn? You may feel free to take your time, okay?” Jack Horn nodded his response, turning away from Bo as he wiped his eyes.
Rick lowered himself into the chair beside Bo, clearing his throat. “Mister Horn, how did you know Mrs. Bishop?”
“She was a close friend,” Jack said quietly, sniffling. “Serena was… like family to me. She was kind of like… like a mom, or, you know, a cool aunt. She treated me like family, too. She, umm, co-signed on the lease for my apartment.”
“How long have you known her?” Bo asked.
“Since I was a kid,” Jack whispered. “She used to live in Ames.”
“She’s only been in Ellepath for a couple years,” Rick said.
Jack nodded. “In Ames, we lived in the same apartment complex. Right across the hall, you know? My parents kicked me out when I was sixteen.”
“That’s when she co-signed the lease?” Bo asked.
“Yuh-huh. She’d have groceries delivered to my apartment every week so I could save up what little money I was making at my job. Sh–she took care of me when my own parents wouldn’t,” Jack said.
Bo nodded. “You were incredibly close, then?”
“Very. God, she loved me the way a parent should, and I love her, too. She is all I had,” Jack said. He dropped his head into his hands. “Sorry,” he whispered.
“No need to be, Mister Horn. Take your time,” Bo said softly.
Jack sniffled, his head still in his hands. “What do you need to know?”
“Were you working at Cocoa on Saturday?” Bo asked.
“What time did you leave?”
“A little after nine. Serena left with me,” Jack explained.
“Where’d you take her?” Bo asked.
“She lives in a house.”
Jack shook his head. “She still has an apartment in Ames.”
“That didn’t show up on her records,” Bo said quietly, turning to look at Rick. The officer only shrugged his response. “That was the last you saw her?”
“Yeah,” Jack whispered. “I dropped her off at the front of the building, and then I left. I had to get back to my place.”
Bo nodded slightly, clicking the end of his pen. “Mister Horn? I’m going to need an address for Mrs. Bishop’s apartment.”
10:02 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DETECTIVE SERGEANT’S DESK
Jacob dropped into his desk chair, clearing his throat. “Apartment. Why does she have an apartment?” he asked.
Bo shrugged. “I’m not sure,” he admitted. He sat down on the arm of one of the chairs, lifting his gaze to Jensen’s face. The younger man smiled softly, sitting down on the seat of the chair. “But Mister Horn mentioned she actually comes to Ames more often than her friends mentioned. It’s possible she stayed in the apartment if she had been drinking. It would have kept her from drunk driving,” he said.
“I guess,” Jacob said quietly.
Rick cleared his throat, sitting down in the second chair in front of Jacob’s desk. “I can call my partner in Ellepath. He can head down to Ames and check out the apartment,” he said.
“Could you?” Jacob asked, his sapphire blue eyes shifting to Rick’s face.
“God, of course,” Rick said, leaning up to pull his phone from his pocket. He unlocked his screen and brought up his contact list. “I gotta warn you, though. He’s… a bit of a dork,” he said, tapping a name and switching it to speakerphone.
“Jake’s our dork. We’re used to it,” Bo assured. Rick chuckled.
After five rings: “Hey, partner. How’s the Gopher State treating you?”
Rick chuckled. “Just fine, Jeff. Thanks. So, I’ve got you on speaker, but I’m calling in a favor.”
“God, you can’t do anything without me. You’re helpless, Rick,” Jeff Biggs said. Rick rolled his eyes. “What’s the favor?”
“We’ve found out that Serena had an apartment in Ames. It’s possible she was taken from there,” Rick explained. “How willing are you to drive your lazy ass down to Ames to look in the apartment for us?”
Jeff laughed. “Sure, sure. Umm… let me finish this cup of coffee before I make another. Then I’ll talk to Chief and head on down. Want me to give you a call when I’m there?” he asked.
“Could you video chat with us when you’re there?” Bo asked. “So we could see the apartment?”
“I could,” Jeff answered. “That Austen?”
Rick smiled. “It is.”
“Ah, lucky you, Rick. Yeah, yeah. I’ll give you a call once I’m there. I’ve actually got a bit of paperwork to finish up from a burglary this morning, so it won’t be till at least eleven. But I’ll keep you filled in, all right?” Jeff asked.
“Sounds like a plan, Jeff. Thank you,” Rick said softly.
“Mmhmm. That’s what I’m here for. Talk to you in a bit, Rick.”
“All right, Jeff. Enjoy your paperwork.”
Jeff snorted. “Oh, you know how much I love paperwork. Dick.”
Rick rolled his eyes. “Talk to you in a few.”
Rick ended the call, looking up at the CPD members before him. “And now no one has to leave to go see that apartment,” he said.
“Awesome,” Jacob said softly. He pushed himself to his feet. “Your friend there made me want a coffee refill. Little Delights. Want me to bring you back anything?”
“I’m good, thank you,” Rick assured.
“My usual?” Bo asked.
One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “Sure thing. Jensen?”
“I’ll come with.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s temple and stood up. “Be back in a few.”
“Okay.” Bo slid into the chair, quickly folding his legs Indian style. He dropped his hands into his lap, cocking his head to the side. “I didn’t know Jeff still worked at the station.”
“He took some time off after the Wings case. Everything from… from the Headless Killer case caught up to him and he kinda lost himself for a while. But he’s back now, and that’s the part that matters.”
“Well, good. Having a person like Jeff is good for you,” Bo said. “You know that.”
Rick smiled faintly. “I know.” He reached out, smacking the back of his hand against Bo’s knee. “And Jake and Jensen? Having people like them is damn good for you, Austen.”
A smile spread across Bo’s face. “I know.”
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