Saturday: June 14, 2025
2:14 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, UPSTAIRS
Jacob sat down on the couch, scrubbing both hands down his face. “Thanks for putting up with me, brother. Means the world to me.”
“It’s no problem, Jake,” Bo said. He set a folded blanket on the end of the couch, quickly followed by a pillow. “I’m sorry you have to sleep on the couch. We’re planning on renovating up here for more rooms, so we haven’t gotten a bed up here yet.”
Jacob slashed a hand through the air. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve gotten used to it during my time of Allie being disgusted with my existence.”
“You’re drunk, Jake. She doesn’t… She’s not disgusted with your existence. She loves you,” Bo said.
“Got a funny fucking way of showing it.”
“You both went through an incredibly hard time, Jake,” Bo said. He grabbed the blanket, draping it over the back of the couch. “It’s a hard time you’re both still working through. You’re just dealing with it in different ways. Let’s lay down,” he said softly, a hand on Jacob’s shoulder.
With a grunt, Jacob dropped to his back on the couch. “It’s not my fault this happened,” he said.
“I never said it was,” Bo said, unfolding the blanket and draping it over the sergeant.
“No, I know. But I always said it was, but it wasn’t. She could’ve gotten rid of them. She never had to tell me about them. I never would’ve known,” Jacob said.
“That would’ve killed her, Jake. That kind of guilt? It would’ve eaten her alive,” Bo said.
“Like you’d know.”
“You’re right. I wouldn’t. I’ve never been pregnant,” Bo agreed. He pulled the blanket up to Jacob’s shoulders, clearing his throat. “But I know what guilt is, and I know it’s not exactly thrilling to try to survive through. But either way, this isn’t her fault, and it isn’t your fault.”
“Then whose fault is it?” Jacob asked.
“No one’s, Jake. It… it’s just the way the world turns. Fate or God or… something else entirely, depending on what you believe in.”
“What do you believe?” the sergeant questioned.
“Life, science. Things happen because they happen and that’s the extent of it,” Bo said.
“Mm…” Jacob reached up and squeezed Bo’s hand. “I love you, Blondie.”
“I love you, too, Jake,” Bo said softly. “I’ll see you later on today, okay? Sleep as late as you want.”
“Mmhmm,” Jacob mumbled. Bo laid the sergeant’s hand on his chest before he headed downstairs, flipping off the light on the way. He headed back to the bedroom he shared with Jensen. The younger man sat on the bed, his back propped up against the headboard, his tablet laid out on his lap.
“What’re you up to?” Bo asked.
“Wedding stuff. Wanna do cake tastings tomorrow? Have it done and over with before we go back to L.A.?” Jensen asked.
“That’d be preferable. Jake should be in much better shape tomorrow,” Bo said as he shut the door. “Confection Connection, yes?” he questioned, unbuttoning his shirt as he crossed the room.
“Yes. They have good reviews all around,” Jensen said. “Do you have any ideas for the cake?”
“Are we definitely doing purple?”
“I think so.”
Bo nodded, pulling his phone from his back pocket. He unlocked his screen and tossed the phone onto the bed. “The one I’ve liked the most is in my camera roll.”
Jensen grabbed the phone and opened up the camera roll. “This purple one?” He chuckled. “Nevermind. Don’t answer that.” Bo rolled his eyes, a smile tugging at one corner of his mouth. “Yeah, I like this one. The marble thing on the bottom layer is cool.”
“I thought you’d like that.” Bo shrugged off his shirt, tossing it into the hamper. “Are we doing calla lilies? We definitely need to order flowers soon.”
“For our… thingys?”
Bo laughed softly. “They’re called boutonnieres, Jens.”
“Yeah, sure. Those.”
Jensen nodded. “Yeah, I like calla lilies for that,” he said. “Do you have any other ideas for the other flowers? Centerpieces and reception and ceremony and… all of that?”
“Tell you what. I am going to take a shower. You go ahead and find out what flowers are in season in February, and we’ll go from there when I get back,” Bo said.
“Mmhmm. Jake’s okay?”
“Yeah. Drunk… but okay,” Bo said quietly. He pressed a hand to the mattress, leaning over to kiss Jensen. “I have a new, much better idea,” he murmured.
“You join me in the shower instead.”
Jensen smiled. “You’re right. That is much better,” he agreed. He kissed Bo, a hand on the blonde’s cheek. With his free hand, he turned off his tablet. He set the tablet aside, sitting up on his knees as he draped his arms over Bo’s shoulders. “I love you,” he whispered, leaning his forehead against Bo’s.
The blonde smiled. “I love you, too,” he murmured. He quickly pecked Jensen’s lips before stepping away from him. “Come on.”
Jensen climbed off the bed, pulling his shirt over his head. He glanced back briefly, tossing his shirt into the hamper across the room. “Question.”
“Am I getting laid?” Jensen asked as he followed Bo into the bathroom.
Bo laughed quietly, reaching past Jensen to close the door. “Maybe.”
“Maybe?” Jensen repeated, the disbelief clear in his voice.
“Mmhmm. Depends on how quickly you can take off your jeans.”
Jensen’s eyes narrowed. “Challenge obviously accepted.”
Bo chuckled, turning to take off his watch. “You know you’re adorable, don’t you?” he questioned, setting his watch on the counter.
“I’m pretty aware, yeah.”
Bo turned back toward his fiancé, his gaze quickly raking over his naked figure. “Look who’s a winner.” Jensen chuckled softly, charmingly, crossing the room to stand in front of Bo. Gently, he caged the blonde in against the counter. “I’ve been a winner for a long damn time, Eli. The day we met, the day we slept together, the day you got sober, the day you asked me out, the day you told me you loved me, the day we got Kayla, the day we got Amber, the day we proposed to each other.” He pulled his bottom lip between his teeth for a moment. “And the day we get married will be another day that I’m the winner.” He brushed a thumb over Bo’s cheek. “Every single day that I get to wake up beside you is another day that I’m a winner.”
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