8:22 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“Whatcha typing so furiously at over there?” Cecilia questioned, her hands wrapped around a coffee mug.
Bo lifted his eyes to her face before looking back down at his phone. “I’m emailing Alice. I’m trying to find a way to keep her and Jake in contact without them actually talking. I know a lot about their relationship and who they were before they got together. I think I have a couple suggestions that could work.” He read through the email before tapping send and setting his phone down on the counter. “I just hate seeing him like this.”
She nodded. “Of course. When was the last time you saw him that drunk?” she asked.
He chuckled lightly, although the sound held no genuine humor. “Personally, I’ve never seen him drunk, drunk. Even when Jensen and I took him out for a bachelor’s party, he didn’t get drunk. He and Jensen did a couple shots, we played pool and darts, but… he didn’t get drunk. We came back here, played video games until nearly four, and then he passed out on the couch.”
One corner of her mouth lifted. “It’s good you care so much for him, Bo.”
“He needs someone to look after him, Celia. I love him, but he’s like an innocent child sometimes. You just… have to protect that while he still has it. He’s no cynical. He sees good in nearly everyone. He needs to hold onto that. It’s good to have someone like that in your life.” He smiled. “That’s why I have to keep you around, too.”
Cecilia laughed softly. “It’s definitely good to have, yeah. You’re lucky you held onto Jensen before he ended up fully corrupted. He’s kind of like…”
“A giant puppy?”
“Oh, my God, yes. He’s like a puppy.”
Bo chuckled. “I know. One of the many reasons I’m in love with him,” he said.
“Understandable.” Cecilia raised an eyebrow. “How’s the baby idea coming along?”
“It’ll be a while longer, I think. We’re thinking of renovating the upstairs to add more rooms in case we have to take care of Eve and Noah for a while longer. And with the wedding planning and a case, we don’t have time to search for a surrogate that isn’t going to scam us out of our child.”
“What do you mean?”
“Legally, we might be required to adopt the babies, even though they’re, you know, ours. Legally, if we miss a step or screw up the paperwork in even the slightest of ways, the surrogate could keep our kids. It’s… it’s not something I’m ready to deal with right now. I can’t have a baby, not get our baby, and get married within the span of a few months. I’m not ready to ruin my life with Jensen like that,” Bo said.
“Jesus. There should be laws for that, Bo,” Cecilia said.
“I know, but there aren’t. It’s not considered normal, so…” He offered a shrug. “It’s whatever. We’ll wait. I mean, I’m not exactly getting any younger, but Jensen’s young and ready to run around with a bunch of little kids all the time. Even when I’m off being a bastard in L.A., he’ll be there for the girls, and… that’ll keep him happy for now.”
She frowned. “But you want twins, Bo. That’s important to you both. You shouldn’t have to put that on hold just because of crazy ass legal things.”
“It’s something that can wait, that’s all. Once the wedding’s over and our names our changed, I’ll make sure we get the twins. It’ll just take a while to find the right person.”
“I’ll do it.”
Bo laughed, swiping his coffee mug from the counter. “You’re sweet, Celia, but you don’t have to offer that,” he said, taking a sip of his coffee as he shook his head ever so slightly.
“It’s not because I have to. It’s because I want to,” Cecilia said.
“I…” He trailed off, shaking his head. “I couldn’t ask that of you, Celia. You’re a lawyer. You have things to do and late nights and… I just couldn’t.”
“Hey, I’m not saying you have to choose me. Just, you know… if you don’t want to worry about some terrible human being refusing to give you the rights to your children, I’m always going to be here as an option.”
Bo smiled softly. “Thank you, Celia,” he whispered.
Cecilia nodded. “My pleasure. Just keep me updated, okay?” she asked.
“I will. Thank you.”
One corner of her mouth lifted. “My pleasure,” she repeated. “So, wedding. How’s everything looking?”
“Venue’s booked, photographer and band are booked. We’re picking out a cake and our flowers today. We know we’re doing purple. Jensen’s going to order whatever kind of ass grabbing cake topper he wants.” Cecilia snorted. “I have a… favor to ask.”
“Would you be willing to sing two songs with our band?”
“I don’t think your band would approve of that.”
“They would. I’ve already asked,” Bo said.
Cecilia chuckled. “Okay, what songs?”
“Put Your Records On and whatever we decide on for our first dance song,” he said.
“Is Jensen all right with that?”
“He actually suggested it.”
“Aww, he likes me,” she said.
The blonde smiled. “He does. He just doesn’t like to admit it all the time. Giant puppy’s still just a little jealous,” he said.
“You’re jealous,” Jensen muttered as he walked into the kitchen.
Bo rolled his eyes, straightening his posture as Jensen smacked a hand against his rear. “Anyway, what do you say?”
“I’d be honored, Bo,” Cecilia said softly.
“Great. Thank you.”
She nodded. “When are you two heading out?”
“Well, based on Jensen’s current state, it’ll be a while yet,” Bo said.
Jensen scoffed as he poured himself a cup of coffee. “I plan on taking a shower.”
“And shaving, I hope.”
“Yes, Mister Austen.”
Bo chuckled. “We need to be out of here by nine-thirty. Jake will probably sleep until around noon, and his kids tend to wake up between ten and eleven, depending on their mood. I dealt with Eve and Noah before you got here, and they should be good for another two to three hours. That also depends on their mood. Amber and Kayla will be coming with us, though. I don’t want them to feel left out.”
She smiled. “Sounds good to me. I’ll take good care of them while you’re gone. Even Jake.”
“I know. It’s appreciated. I felt wrong about calling Alice’s mother. I just don’t see that settling well with Jake, and I’m kind of supposed to be entirely on his side here,” Bo said.
Cecilia nodded. “I get that. I don’t mind being here. Nice to step away from the apartment whenever I can. Good to be around people other than lawyers,” she said.
“I would imagine as much,” he agreed.
“We’ll bring back lunch so you don’t have to worry about making lunch. Just, you know, cereal or waffles for breakfast whenever the little gremlins rise,” Jensen said, raking a hand through his hair. “Any idea what you’d like, Cecilia?”
She waved a hand. “You guys get whatever the kids will eat. I’m not picky,” she said.
Jensen chuckled. “Sounds good.” He laid a hand on Bo’s shoulder, leaning down to kiss his temple. “I’m gonna go Pinterest for a bit. Make sure I’m in the shower before nine?”
“Will do, Jens,” Bo said softly.
Cecilia watched the younger man leave before she smiled at Bo. “You two are perfect for each other. You know that, don’t you?”
“Well, he’s perfect to me. I still don’t understand why he’d want to be with me, but it’s not something I take for granted,” Bo said.
“He loves you. That’s why he wants to be with you.”
One corner of his mouth lifted. “I know, Celia. Thank you.” He took a sip of his coffee before leaning down to cross his arm over the counter. “So, who are you bringing to my wedding?”
She laughed, shaking her head. “I’m not seeing anyone, nor am I planning to,” she said. She waved a hand. “It’s not something I want to do again. A gay husband and a couple boyfriends that don’t work out for either sexist, offensive, or hateful reasons. I’m not doing it any more.”
“I get that. If you change your mind, though? I have a guy that’d be perfect for you.”
“I find myself doubting that.”
“I do. Stable job, good person, great personality,” Bo said.
Cecilia looked down for a moment. “Is he cute?”
“I don’t know. Jensen’s the only person I look at that way.” He chuckled. “I’m complicated. Apologies.”
“I knew you were complicated long before now, sweetheart.” She shrugged, stirring her coffee. “Maybe, okay? Just not right now.”
“That works for me, Celia. But if you don’t… you’re really happy just being you?”
“I’ve always got you on my side, don’t I?”
“Then I’m happy.”
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