Saturday: December 21, 2024
8:15 AM; LOS ANGELES, THE AUSTEN HOUSEHOLD, FOYER
“Gramma!” Amber exclaimed, throwing her arms around Renee.
“Hi, sweetheart,” Renee said softly, laying a hand between Amber’s shoulders.
Bo walked into the house and pressed a kiss to Renee’s cheek. “Happy birthday, Mom.”
Renee smiled. “Thank you, baby.” She squeezed his shoulder. “Your dad’s in his study.”
“Thanks, Mom.” Bo patted her on the shoulder before walking out of the foyer. Jensen closed the front door as Kayla hugged Renee.
“There’s a new pool table in the basement if you two want to keep yourselves entertained until lunch,” Renee suggested.
“Thank you,” Kayla and Amber said in near unison. Kayla grabbed Amber’s hand and headed for the basement.
“Happy birthday, Renee,” Jensen said softly.
“Thank you.” Lightly, she crossed her arms over her chest. “How has he been? We haven’t spoken much since before Thanksgiving.”
“He’s good,” Jensen whispered. “I mean… he has down days, but that’s usual. He was just working a case that hit home the last time you talked to him.”
“But he’s better?” Renee asked.
“Yes, much better. Promise,” Jensen said.
“Good.” She nodded toward the kitchen. “Wanna help with lunch?”
He smiled faintly. “Yeah, sure. Come on.”
Back in Denzel’s study, Bo sat patiently in front of his father’s desk, waiting. Denzel set his pencil down, pulling of his reading glasses. He folded them, tucking them into the pocket of his t-shirt. “Hey, kiddo.”
“How’re you doing, Bo?” Denzel questioned.
“Pretty good,” Bo said honestly. “How’re you?”
Denzel smiled. “Pretty good,” he echoed. “How’re you and Jensen?”
“We’re great, Dad,” Bo said, his voice soft. “He’s amazing. Annoying, sure, but amazing.”
“Ah, all the best ones are annoying,” Denzel said. Bo chuckled. “I’m glad you found him, Bo.”
“Me, too.” Bo tilted his head to the side. “Dad?”
“What was it like raising a boy?”
“Well, honestly, you weren’t exactly the typical boy,” Denzel said. “I mean, Bo, you left home and moved clear across the country when you were twelve.”
“Yeah… there is that. I was kind of an asshole.”
“You were a kid with an abusive past and attachment issues. That’s not your fault,” Denzel said. “But these last several years? You’ve been everything a ‘typical’ son could ever be. You call often, we talk about family things, you visit on holidays and birthdays, we check up on each other all the time, and you have a family of your own, Bo. Raising a boy is teaching him the things a kid should know. You teach him how to ride a bike and how to catch. You teach him to balance work and play. You teach him to study hard and you help him achieve his goals. It doesn’t matter who he is or what he does. You just have to let him know you have his back.”
Bo leaned back in the chair, crossing his arms over his chest. “I can’t believe I shunned you guys for so long. I would’ve been so much better if I had stuck around,” he said.
“You turned out just fine, kiddo. You have a steady relationship, you have two girls, you have friends, you have a steady job, and you own two homes. A lot of people that have a normal upbringing don’t have half of that, Bo,” Denzel said. He tilted his head to the side. “Are… are you guys going to have a little boy?”
“You can’t tell Mom. Not yet. Not until everything’s set in place,” Bo said. “But we’re considering surrogacy. We’re thinking twin boys, one related to Jensen, one related to me.”
“Oh, my God, Bo,” Denzel whispered. He couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. “Bo, that’s amazing.”
“But it’s not a sure thing yet. We’d have to find a surrogate, and we can’t do it until at least February or March,” Bo said.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t be excited.”
“Oh, Dad, I am so damn excited. Taking care of Jake’s little boy made me want one of my own.”
Denzel nodded. “You have to keep me updated on this, Bo. I won’t tell your mom until you two have something solid planned, but I want to know everything about it until then.”
Bo smiled softly. “I’ll do what I can, Dad.”
“This is going to be good for you, Bo.”
“I know,” Bo whispered.
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