A/N: Bonus update! Today’s is Castor’s birthday, so enjoy chapter four!
12:00 PM; LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT, WEST BUREAU, PARKING LOT
Bo slid into the passenger seat of his car, thanking Jensen as the younger man closed the door. Bo clicked his seat belt into place, his face hand holding his phone to his ear.
“Hey, Bo,” Gwen Tanner, the forensic analyst in Clinstone, greeted after the fourth ring. “And just what can I do for you, Chief?”
“Don’t call me that.” Gwen only chuckled. “I’ve done my best to stay in the loop on your homicide.”
“Oh, yeah. Can’t say I’m too surprised. So… what do you want to know about it?”
“Do you have the victim’s name yet?”
“Angie Hall,” Bo echoed. “How old was she? In the picture Jake sent me, she appeared to be rather young.”
“She is. According to her parents, she’s nineteen. She got into the bar with a damn good fake idea,” Gwen said.
“I know. Seventeen stab wounds. Just, you know, one hand pinning her to the wall and the other hand ramming a damn knife into the poor girl’s gut seventeen times over,” Gwen said.
“Her non-knife-wielding hand was probably over her mouth.”
“Yeah, I figured that too.” Gwen cleared her throat. “I don’t actively go out of my way to ask the detectives what they found out like you do, Bo. I like the science, but I don’t like knowing all the extra disturbing shit Jake and them have to hold in their head. I’m sorry.”
“No, that’s all right. I just felt like I needed a bit of the forensics scoop to tide me over for a bit. You know, throwing an old dog a bone and the like,” Bo said.
Gwen laughed. “Right, of course.”
“What do you make of the sets of fingerprints?”
“I imagine the same damn thing you’re probably thinking. Two people didn’t kill that girl. One person did the killing, someone else came along and robbed her, chose not to call in the homicide.”
Bo nodded. “Yes, that’s about where I was on it, as well.”
“Figured. It’s what makes the most sense to me.”
“Right. Two people killing her doesn’t make sense, not with only one set of prints on the knife. Standing in the background while your partner in crime has all the ‘fun’ just isn’t, well… fun,” Bo said quietly.
“Yeah, that’s kinda how I saw it. It’d only be fun for both freaks if one of them was pulling a Puppet Master on us and controlling the one with the knife. But I can’t make that make sense to me, not with how random and quick the stabs were. You can’t control someone well enough to make them stab the same person seventeen times, not on the first victim. You need time to grow their trust on that kind of thing.”
“Yes,” Bo said, answering Gwen’s unasked, “Right?”
Gwen cleared her throat. “Saw you on TV, you know. They’re still playing clips of the ceremony.”
“You betcha. Seems the news doesn’t know what to do with Pitman leaving and you taking over. Blows their minds.”
Bo snorted. “Well, if we’re being entirely candid here, it blows my mind, as well.”
“God, I can only imagine. Excited to be there, though, right?”
“Nervous,” Bo said after a moment. “I think I have to wait for that to die down a little before any sort of excitement over it can come my way.”
Bo sighed. “So… because you love working with me so much, you’ll keep me updated on the forensic part of this case?”
“You’re lucky you’re only annoying half the time, Austen,” Gwen said.
“Is that a yes?”
“You betcha. I’ll email you all the pictures I took at the scene.”
“Thank you, Gwen. Honestly.”
“Sure thing, Bo. You enjoy your day, all right?”
“I’ll do my best. You do the same, Gwen. Thank you, again.”
“Bye-bye,” Bo echoed. He pulled his phone back and ended the call.
“So?” Jensen asked.
“Not much. Which… is bad for the victim, but I suppose it’s good for me.”
“Because then you get to help with the case once we get back?”
Jensen nodded. “I”ll give Jass a call tonight, see what the detective half of the investigation has to say.”
“Thank you, love.”
“My pleasure, Eli.”
6:01 PM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
Bo lifted his son, Castor, onto the kitchen counter, handing his phone over to the boy. “Find something you’d like to eat, baby.”
Castor smiled at his father before happily scrolling through Pinterest without complaint. Castor, the only one of Bo and Jensen’s four children who couldn’t stand the taste of meat, had been converted over to a vegetarian lifestyle. Bo didn’t mind making two separate dishes for each meal. As long as his children were happy, so was he.
“Dis one, Daddy.”
Bo leaned to the side, eyes scanning the title of the pin. “Roasted potatoes and veggie salad,” he said quietly. He looked up at his son. “What do you want with it?”
“Well, you’re a big help.”
Castor grinned. “I know.”
Bo rolled his eyes. “How about I grill up one of the vegetarian patties and you can half a burger with it?”
A smile tugged at one corner of the blonde’s mouth. “I figured you’d like that idea.” He tilted his head back as he heard Jensen walk into the kitchen. “How do you feel about grilling out? Hamburgers?”
“Sure, babe. Works for me.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s temple, reaching out to squeeze Castor’s knee. “Talked to Ryan.”
Jensen leaned back against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. “Says that Will was the one bartending.”
“Jupiter. That man has no luck for New Year’s parties.”
“I know. Anyway, he recognized the girl, said she came in alone. He carded her, was pretty sure it was bull–” Jensen cut himself off, eyes shifting to Castor briefly. “He thought the ID was a fake, but it was a real good one. He didn’t think it was possible to make them that close to the real deal.”
Bo nodded.”So he served her anyway.”
“Right. It was New Years. It was busy. The last thing he wanted to do was cause a ruckus among a bunch of drunks ringing in the new year.”
“Can’t say I blame him. Did he happen to see her leave with anyone?”
“Yep. A woman.”
“Yeah. WIll said he did his best to keep an eye on the girl all night. She got tipsy pretty fast, but she and the other gal stayed until last call. He offered to call her a car at the end of the night, but she said her new friend would be taking her home. Her new friend, Allie,” Jensen said.
“Given that CPD only found one body, one can assume it’s not very likely that’s her real name,” Bo said quietly.
“Yeah, that’s how I felt about it too. Allie’s also real damn close to Angie, not to mention that she was killed in an alleyway. I’m thinking Angie probably introduced herself to the killer, and they pulled the name out because it rhymed.”
Bo nodded. “It seems like a likely possibility, yes.” He cleared his throat. “Did Ryan and Caleb question Angie’s parents, then?”
“Yep. Swear up and down that their daughter isn’t a ‘no good dyke’.” Jensen grimaced. “God, feels disgusting to even quote that.”
“What’s that?” Castor asked, finally lifting his head from Bo’s phone.
“For us, it’s a bad word. It was used as an insult to certain types of women for a long time. Those women can use it if they want to, but you and me can’t. So… no repeating it, okay?”
“Okay, Daddy.” Castor looked back down at Bo’s phone. “Daddy, out.”
Bo reached over and pressed the back arrow before taking Castor back to the homepage of the app. “There you go, buddy.”
“No problem.” Bo turned back to Jensen. “What else?”
“They’re doing their best to track down a lot of the people that were at the bar that night, but they need a warrant to go through the receipts and get names that way,” Jensen said. “Otherwise, no witnesses have come forward, and Will is still working with the sketch artist to figure out who the woman could be.”
“Still?” Bo asked.
Jensen nodded. “They’ve been taking breaks. He’s having a pretty hard time getting past the fact that she was killed right outside the bar while he was still there. It’s getting to his head.”
“Jake’s trying not to push him on it right now. He wants a sketch done before the weekend, though. So I guess we’ll see what happens,” Jensen said. “Jake says David and Cecilia were at the bar for that party. David’s mentioned that a woman came up to him and grabbed his arm, tried to flirt with him. I guess she was offended that he already had a girlfriend?”
“They should set David up with a sketch artist too.”
“Yeah, Jake thought about that, but they talked it over and didn’t think it made much sense. Why flirt with David if you were going to lure a chick out of the bar?”
Castor lifted his head briefly, glancing between his fathers before going back to the pictures on Bo’s phone.
“She might’ve went into that bar with the intention of grabbing a man, but when David fell through, Angie approached her, and she figured any victim was good enough, male, female, or otherwise,” Bo suggested.
“I guess. Could make sense.” Jensen lifted his shoulders. “Think it’s her first one?”
“I would… say yes, but that would be assuming until I’ve seen the pictures.” Jensen snorted. Bo, fully aware that his husband wasn’t laughing at him, smiled faintly. “Gwen’s compiling them into a folder for me before she emails them. I’ll be able to look through them tomorrow morning.”
Bo nodded once. Struck with a thought, he clapped his hands together and tipped his fingers in Jensen’s direction. “Tomorrow, could you try to sweet talk someone in Georgia to send the pictures and reports over from the vigilante crime scenes? If you can’t swing it, I’ll send Mekhi out on a mission for them.”
“Sure, baby. First goal of the morning,” Jensen said.
“Lifesaver,” Bo said simply. He leaned up and kissed the younger man, one hand wrapped around the front of his shirt. “I’ll cut up potatoes and veggies for Cas’s dish of choice. Would you like to grab the hamburger and start making patties?”
“Can do, babe.” Jensen pushed himself away from the counter, a smile on his face. “After supper, you and I can destroy some zombies?”
Bo snorted. “Sure, Jens. We’ll… defeat the zombie hoard.”
Jensen grinned. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Bo pulled open the refrigerator and grabbed the hamburger, holding it out to Jensen. “I’ll find out how many patties the girls want. Be back in a sec.”
“And I shall be here.” Bo rolled his eyes, unable to fight back a smile as he walked past Jensen. Jensen smacked a hand against Bo’s ass before setting the hamburger on the counter and washing his hands.
Bo let out a short breath as he headed upstairs. Maybe taking over for Jamal would be easier than he once thought. He was already learning to adapt to the changes. He was already working on fitting into the position of chief a little better. He had handled the meeting with Michael rather well. He was pretty sure he had, anyway.
Maybe… this would all eventually be as easy as the forensics part of his life, the part he fit into with great ease, without struggle. Maybe this would all become normal to him.
Husband, father, son. Forensic analyst, chief of police, ally to more crime families than he was willing to count.Right, normal, he thought, his hand resting on the doorknob to Amber and Kayla’s bedroom. He had seen Jamal work the ins and outs of the mob more times than he could count. He knew how it worked, knew which families listened the most, which were the most dangerous. Maybe normality was still a possibility in this new era of his life. Maybe.
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