Wednesday: December 11, 2024
7:05 AM; CLINSTONE, THE MASON HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“So, what’d you need?” Jacob asked, pouring himself a cup of coffee.
“I need you to sign something,” Bo said quietly, his blue eyes focused on the floor.
“What kind of something?” Jacob questioned. For the first time, Bo held out the two pieces of paper in his hand. Jacob put the coffee pot back in its place and grabbed the papers. “Really?”
“It’s just the birth certificates. It doesn’t mean you’re bringing them home or that you’ll be taking care of them. It just means they have biological parents, Jake,” Bo said. He lifted his gaze to the sergeant’s face. “Please? For me?”
Jacob sighed, setting the certificates on the counter. “You have a pen?” Bo pulled one out of his pocket, handing it over to Jacob without looking at him. “Noah and Eve. Did I tell you that?”
“Yes. You found me rooting through your drawers in search of a list, and you were kind enough to just tell me the names,” Bo said, his voice quiet.
“Ah… I had sorta forgotten about that. Everything’s kind of blur.” Bo nodded. “I imagine I was a total dick to you about it.”
Bo shrugged. “You weren’t nearly as bad as you could have been. Besides, I already said I forgave you for anything and everything that’s happened since Alice was in the hospital. That hasn’t changed.”
“Maybe. Doesn’t make it right,” Jacob said. He sighed, handing the pen back to Bo. “Alice is in the bedroom. She’s not… she’s not exactly in a good mood. She’s…”
“That’s one word for it.” Jacob cleared his throat. “Just go easy on her. I can’t promise she’ll sign it.”
“Thank you,” Bo said. Jacob nodded. The blonde grabbed the birth certificates and headed back toward the bedroom Jacob shared with his wife. Bo knocked on the open door before leaning into the room. “Alice?”
“What?” Alice asked. Her voice was lower and rougher than usual. She sat up on the bed, propped up against the headboard.
Almost cautiously, Bo stepped into the room. “Can you sign something for me?” Wordlessly, she held out a hand. He crossed the room and handed the birth certificates over to her. She shook her head, reaching over to grab a book and a pen from the nightstand. Setting the papers on the book, she signed her name on both. Clearing her throat, she handed them back to Bo. “Thank you.”
“Mmhmm.” Bo turned around to leave the room. As he reached the doorway, Alice asked, “Bo?”
“How are they?”
“Eve needed a heart transplant. Noah’s been as healthy as a premie can be,” Bo said. “They’re fighters, Alice,” he said quietly.
“What happens after they get out of the hospital?” she asked.
“Jensen and I will take care of them in case you and Jake change your mind,” Bo said. “We won’t adopt them, not unless you two know for certain you don’t want to raise them, but we’ll take care of them,” he explained.
Alice nodded slightly, clearing her throat. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Alice.”
7:41 AM; CLINSTONE SPECIALITY HOSPITAL, NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT
“Thank you for getting the birth certificates signed, Mister Austen,” Doctor Murray said softly. Bo nodded. “How’re the parents?”
“They’re adjusting,” Bo said simply. “Momma even asked about you,” he whispered, gently resting his index finger on Eve’s palm.
“She really asked about them?” Doctor Murray questioned.
Bo nodded. “She asked how they were doing and what would happen to them after they get out of here. It means she cares enough to recognize the maternal instinct to worry about them. It’s a big step for her.”
She nodded. “What about the father?”
“I think he’s going to have a really hard time accepting them. He blames himself for Alice ending up in the hospital and needing so much time to recover. It’ll take him a while to realize that it’s not his fault, but once he realizes it, I think he’ll accept them, too,” he explained. “We just have to give everybody time to heal.”
12:32 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, FAMILY ROOM
Bo stared down at his phone for a moment before sliding his thumb across the screen and pressing it to his ear. “Hi, Tom,” he greeted. Jensen cast a worried look in Bo’s direction, wrapping an arm around his shoulders.
“Hey, kiddo,” Thomas said softly. “I was just calling to… to see if everything has been handled?”
“It has been,” Bo confirmed.
“Who was he?”
“Jamal didn’t tell me,” Bo lied. “He handled it, though. He wanted to keep me out of it.”
“Good. You don’t need to be involved in that kind of darkness, Bo,” Thomas said.
“I know,” Bo said quietly. Truly, he wished he had gotten that advice before he convinced Jamal to let him see the stalker, before he convinced Jamal to let him kill his own brother.
“I’m glad the bastard’s off the streets, Bo. Gives you one less crazy to deal with,” Thomas said.
“Yeah,” Bo agreed. “Thanks for calling to check up on me, Tom. It’s appreciated.” Jensen pressed a kiss to Bo’s temples.
“You’re family, kid. It’s what I’m supposed to do,” Thomas said. “I’m always here if you need to talk about anything. You know that, don’t you?”
“And I’ll do my best not to pass judgement. Sometimes I say something out of concern that hurts you, but it comes from a good, loving place,” Thomas said.
Bo smiled faintly. “I know, Tom. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, kid.”
“So, umm, how was your kids’ birthday?”
“Good. They both came home for cake and a little party.”
“Ah, they’re our oldest. Thirty-one years old,” Thomas said softly.
“That’s amazing, Tom.”
Bo pulled his legs up onto the couch, wrapping his free arm around Jensen. “I need you to know how much I appreciate you coming out here just to… to be around while Jensen and the girls were in L.A.. It meant a lot to me, Tom.”
“Again, you’re family, Bo. But you’re welcome.”
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