Wednesday: December 25, 2024
6:05 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“Merry Christmas, brother.”
Bo smiled faintly. “Merry Christmas to you, too, Jake.” He pinned his phone between his shoulder and his ear as he poured himself a cup of coffee. “What do you have planned for the day?” he questioned.
“Well, we’re opening presents in a few, thanks to Charlotte’s rudest awakening this morning,” Jacob said. Bo chuckled. “And Cecilia’s coming over for supper tonight. Her parents couldn’t make it to the U.S. this year, so… I don’t want her to be alone.”
“Thank you, Jake.” Bo grabbed his phone, holding it to his ear as he grabbed his coffee mug with his free hand.
“Ah, my pleasure. The more the merrier.”
“How’s Alice?” Bo asked as he headed toward the family room.
“Uh, she’s… Well, she’s… better,” Jacob said. He laughed a quiet little laugh. “She’s just not the Alice I know, that’s all.”
“I’m sorry, Jake,” Bo said softly, setting his coffee mug on the coffee table as he sat down between Jensen and Hati on the couch. Amber and Kayla had already opened presents and, as a result, they were both playing a dance game on the television. Bo smiled faintly, leaning into Jensen’s side. The taller man wrapped an arm around Bo’s shoulders, turning his head just enough to press a kiss to the blonde’s temple.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault,” Jacob said quietly. “The doctor put her on some sort of anti-depressant. The good news is that she’s not angry any more. The bad news is that she has no energy and she just stays in bed all day. Not… that I blame her. That’s all I want to do, too,” he explained.
Bo frowned. “I wish there was something I could do, Jake.”
“Hey, as long as you answer the phone when I call, you’re doing more than enough. You’re the only person I don’t have to lie to about it all,” Jacob said. He chuckled. “I’m not a good liar, Bo.”
Bo snorted. “Believe me, I know.” He cleared his throat. “But I’ll always answer the phone when you call. My job here isn’t to ignore you. We’re… we’re brothers.” Jensen squeezed his shoulder. “The real kind, you know?” Bo asked quietly.
“I know, Blondie,” Jacob said softly. He sighed. “Well, I’m supposed to be making breakfast. I’ll let you go. Enjoy your family, okay?”
“I will. You do your best to do the same, Jake.”
“Will do. Love you, Bo.”
“Love you, too, Jake. I’ll see you next month, all right?”
“Right. Sounds like a plan, Austen. I’ll see you soon,” Jacob said. After Jacob ended the call, Bo set his phone on the coffee table.
“Not good, huh?” Jensen asked.
“Alice still isn’t… well, Alice,” Bo said.
“Must be hell on Jake.”
“It is. I know she’ll get better, because she’s Alice and she’s a fighter, but…” Bo lifted his shoulders. “Jake was broken in that hospital when Alice was still in between surgeries. I’m worried about him.”
“He has you to talk to, Eli. He’ll be okay,” Jensen promised.
11:15 PM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo lay on his back on the bed, his cell phone pressed to his ear. “How was supper?” he asked.
“Good,” Cecilia said. “I actually managed to talk Alice into coming out into the kitchen for something to eat.”
“How’d you do that?”
“We became pretty damn close before they got married, Bo,” Cecilia said. “Honestly, I think she just needs a girl on her side every now and then. She feels like Jake’s only on her side because they’re married, and it’s not enough motivation for her.” She cleared her throat. “I’ll just come over to talk to her more often. She could benefit from that. They could benefit from that,” she said.
“Thank you,” Bo said.
“No problem. They’re my friends, too, Bo.”
“I know.” Bo smiled faintly.”You help Alice and Jake, and then we are finding you a good man.”
Cecilia laughed. “I’m totally fine being independent, Bo.”
“You can be independent and be in a relationship. Not that you have to be in one. It’d just be nice to go on double dates with you and your boyfriend, that’s all,” Bo said.
“Yeah, I know. Maybe when I’m done with this case at work, I’ll think about it. Until then, I’m happy living an apartment with a bird. Works for me.”
Bo chuckled. “As long as you’re happy, Celia.”
“I am,” she promised. Bo looked up as Jensen walked into the room, running a towel through his damp hair. “How was today for you?” Cecilia asked.
“Jamal and my parents came over for a late lunch,” Bo said.
“It’s called lupper. It’s between lunch and supper,” Jensen insisted.
Bo rolled his eyes, smiling softly. “Kathy and Dallas were supposed to come over, but Angela has strep, so…”
“Aww, poor kid.”
“Yeah, I know. She’ll be on antibiotics soon, though, so it’s all good,” Bo said. Jensen climbed onto the bed, kissing Bo softly before lying down on his stomach, immediately draping an arm across Bo’s chest.
“That’s good.” Cecilia cleared her throat. “How are you, Bo?” she asked.
“Better,” Bo said simply, reaching over with his free hand to comb his fingers through Jensen’s slightly damp hair. “I no longer feel… I don’t know, dead inside, so I suppose that’s a plus.”
“Are you ever going to tell Jake the truth? That… Jamal wasn’t the one that ‘handled’ the situation?” she questioned.
“Eventually. I’m just not going to do it while he’s recovering from Alice and the twins. He has too much going on to deal with my shit,” Bo said.
“What about Tom?”
“Maybe. Not over the phone, that’s for damn sure,” he said quietly. “And I have to find out if he knows about Bernard or not. If he does, I’m keeping my mouth shut.”
“Fair enough,” Cecilia said softly. Jensen cleared his throat, wrapping his fist around Bo’s shirt.
Bo smiled faintly. “Well, Celia, I’m going to let you go. Baby’s apparently really tired,” he said. Jensen grunted.
She laughed. “All right, Bo. Tell him goodnight for me.”
“I will. Night, Celia.”
Bo ended the call and set his phone on the nightstand. “Cecilia says goodnight.”
“Mm.” Jensen lifted his head and kissed Bo’s cheek. “I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you, too, Jens.” Bo kissed the man’s temple before reaching over to turn off the lamp. Jensen cleared his throat, moving his head to rest on Bo’s shoulder. The blonde smiled softly, resting a hand between Jensen’s bare shoulders. “Jens?”
“For?” Jensen questioned.
“Everything,” Bo said simply.
Jensen smiled. “My pleasure, Eli.”
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