Bonekeeper – Chapter Twenty-Four

NOT EDITED

Chapter Twenty-Four

Wednesday: June 11, 2025
5:00 AM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, FOYER

Jacob stepped outside, shutting the door behind him. Alice’s hand held tightly in his own, he walked down the drive, toward Adashe’s car. Jacob pulled open the passenger side door, gesturing for Alice to get inside. She did so without a single sound. Jacob laid a wrist on top of the door, leaning down to look at his wife. “I love you.”

Alice smiled faintly. “I love you, too,” she whispered.

“Good,” Jacob murmured. “Just like your last appointment, okay? Talk through some stuff, but don’t worry about pushing yourself. This is recovery at your speed. No one else’s,” he said quietly.

“I know. Thank you, Jay.”

He nodded. His fingertips barely touching her jaw, he leaned into the car and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I love you. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Okay,” she whispered.

Jacob lifted his sapphire blue eyes to Adashe’s face. “Take care of her.”

Adashe smiled. “Always do, son.”

6:55 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BATHROOM

Jensen stood at the sink, an unbuttoned shirt pulled up his arms. He tilted his head back as he started shaving from beneath his chin and down his neck. He caught sight of Bo in the mirror, smiling faintly as the short man wrapped his arms around him. “Hey, baby,” Jensen greeted softly.

“Hi.”

“Tired?”

“Mmhmm.” Bo cleared his throat, laying his cheek on Jensen’s back, closing his eyes. “Every time I tried to put Eve back in her crib, she’d start crying again. I was awake most of the night. Dozed off in the rocking chair a couple of times,” he added.

“Aww, shit, babe. I’m sorry. You could’ve asked me to come back and hold her instead.”

“I know. But you were asleep. And adorable, might I add. I didn’t want to wake you up,” Bo said. “A couple cups of coffee and I’ll be as good as new,” he said. He turned his head, pressing a kiss to Jensen’s shoulder. “I think I’ll take a shower. Amber and Kayla are still asleep, and the twins are taken care of. So you shouldn’t have to worry about them for at least a little while.”

“All righty. Want me to make anything for breakfast?”

“Mm… pancakes?”

“Sure thing. You go ahead and start your shower. I’ll start pancakes as soon as I’m done shaving.”

Bo’s arms tightened around the younger man. “Thank you.”

One corner of Jensen’s mouth lifted. “My pleasure, Eli.”

8:05 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, MORGUE

“Pardon?” Bo asked, lifting his gaze to Jacob’s face.

“What’re you doing?” Jacob asked again.

“Oh. Signing paperwork so that Mrs. Bishop’s body can be transported back to Ellepath for her funeral. Since I’ve done my autopsy and taken my pictures and measurements, there’s no reason that she can’t be laid to rest.”

Jacob nodded. “When’re they coming to pick her up?” he asked, jumping up to sit on the counter.

“A little before noon,” Bo said. “So we’ll have to go to lunch a little late, but that’s obviously just fine.” A pause. “Alice has another appointment today, yes?” he asked.

“Yuh-huh. In ten minutes,” Jacob said.

“How’re you feeling?”

Jacob let out a heavy breath. “Nervous as hell, but that’s something I’m used to, I think. I just want her to get better.”

“We all do, Jake. Just keep being her support system and be patient,” Bo said. He smiled. “So, in short, just keep doing what you’ve been doing.”

Jacob chuckled softly. “Yeah, I know. Thank you.”

“No problem.” Bo signed his name for what felt like the hundredth time before setting the clipboard down on the counter. He cleared his throat. “Jack Horn will be here soon. Rick offered to just speak to him over the phone, but Mister Horn wanted to do it in person. I think he’s afraid that a phone interview would make him seem guilty.”

“Could be.” Jacob cleared his throat. “How’re the twins?”

Bo smiled softly. “Good. They still suck at sleeping.”

“Which one kept you up all night?” Jacob asked.

“Eve. She’s like Elijah. She likes to be held,” Bo said.

“Sorry about that. Lijah was a pain in the ass. I love him, but weening him off of being held all the damn time was a pain,” Jacob said.

Bo lifted his shoulders. “You shouldn’t have to be sorry about it. I don’t mind holding either of them, really. Makes me feel… important,” he said. “And, you know, it’s something that is giving me a lot of practice for when Jensen and I have twins of our own.”

“How are you ever going to do that if I don’t kick my ass into gear?” Jacob asked.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll make it work. I promised Jensen I’d make it work no matter what happens with your twins,” Bo said. “I’d buy a new house for him if it meant we could have our own kids. I don’t care how I make it happen, but I’ll make room. We’ll add onto the house if we have to. It doesn’t matter. But, however it happens, I don’t break promises,” he said.

“I know you don’t.” Jacob shook his head. “He’s damn lucky to have you, Bo.”

Bo slashed a dismissive hand through the air. “I am lucky to have him. I’d be a drunken mess if it weren’t for him. The fact that he even felt brave enough to attempt to date the mess that I was? The mess that I still am a lot of time? I’m the lucky one.”

One corner of Jacob’s mouth lifted. “He thinks the same about you, you know.”

“Oh, I know. It’s one of the many reasons he’s adorable.” Bo glanced down at his watch, pushing himself to his feet. “Come on. Mister Horn should be here by now,” he said, grabbing his coffee cup and one of his red notebooks.

Jacob jumped off the counter, shoving his hands into the pockets of his dress pants. “Do you think talking to this guy is going to help us?” he asked.

“As far as we know, he could be the last person that saw Mrs. Bishop alive. If he is the man she left the bar with, he’s definitely going to be more help to us than most of the friends were,” Bo said as he walked out of the morgue, Jacob walking alongside him.

“Yeah, I guess. What kind of things do you want to find out? You and Officer Downs have worked pretty heavily on the Bishop part of this case, so I only know bits and pieces,” Jacob said.

“Well, we know that Serena Bishop’s car is actually still in Miss Cole’s driveway in Ames. That’s how we know she didn’t leave the bar by herself. Also, she was seen getting into a car,” Bo said. “If this produces nothing, we’ll get a warrant and get the security footage from the bar. Otherwise, we’re hoping Mister Horn was who she got into the car with. If he’s the last person to see her alive, we need to know where he took her,” he explained.

“What if he killed her?” Jacob asked.

“Then we arrest the shithead, I suppose. Or, you arrest him.” Bo snorted. “I’m not legally allowed to do that.”

“Yeah, because that stopped you from stealing my fucking handcuffs and cuffing the Surgeon’s son,” Jacob said.

Bo chuckled. “That was different.”

“How so?”

“I was planning on never coming back to CPD. I didn’t care about the consequences that action could have. I knew Jamal would hire me once I begged him to, anyway. He needed me, end of story,” Bo said. “And, also, I wasn’t going to let him shoot…” He cleared his throat. “I was going to let him shoot Natalie,” he said quietly. Not that it would’ve mattered, anyway, he thought. Your brother murdered her anyway. Remember?

“Sorry, Bo,” Jacob said softly, more than aware that Natalie Lambert was a sensitive topic for the blonde.

Bo shook his head. “Don’t be. I try not to think about it very often,” he said. “One of the only reasons I’m standing on my two feet, really. Pretending it never happened in the first place.” He cleared his throat. “Let’s just see if Mister Horn’s here.”


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