Surgeon – Chapter Eight

A/N: Happy birthday, Bo! If Bo were a real person, he’d be 34 years old today.


Chapter Eight

Monday: January 6, 2020


Bo had not slept well over the course of the weekend. There was so little he could do in Clinstone. He hadn’t worked strictly forensics in… years. Since he was interning in Los Angeles. He had spent so many years going with a detective to interviews and interrogations that he had truly almost forgotten what it was like to simply be locked up in the lab, looking at photographs and filing them away, labeling bags of evidence and filing them away, writing up a crime scene report and… filing it away.

He had spent the weekend working out dozens of different angles for their killer, for the motive. Now he just had to work up the courage to show it to one of the detectives. Or maybe the chief. She knew his old boss, and although he didn’t think they were exactly friends, she was likely the most prepared for how much of an investigation he was used to being involved in, for how much extra work he was willing to do for the same amount of pay.

The clearing of a throat pulled Bo’s attention to the short brunette standing in the doorway. He tucked his unclicked pen into the pages of his notebook and folded it shut. The way she stared at him made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, but he tried not to make it obvious that it bothered him any. Instead, like the quiet mouse he was trying to conform back to, he rose to his feet and held out his hand. “Bo Austen.”

She closed the distance between them to shake his hand, but that look was still there in her brown eyes. “Gwen Tanner, medical examiner.” She dropped his hand and wiped her own on her jeans. Bo’s brow furrowed. Again, he tried to cover it up as quickly as he could. “Did Misty come by and clean?” she asked.

Bo bit back a snort. He had assumed they must’ve both liked the tornado war zone aesthetic of the lab’s shelves and drawers, that there was no way one would ever assume the other had tidied up the place. “No, that was me.”

“Oh.” She said it slowly, as though she didn’t know what else she could possible say to him.

Bo’s teeth sunk into the inside of his bottom lip, catching on the oh so familiar scar given to him by five-year-old Bo falling off his bike. Hard.

“Why?” Gwen asked.

Bo blinked, eyes shifting back to the woman’s face. “Why… did I clean?”


“I… I work better in an organized environment.”


He didn’t understand the one-worded answers or what he must’ve done to upset her. He’d only known the woman for two minutes. What the hell could he have possibly done? Still, he wanted to blend in, to fade back into the background of the police department. He just wanted to finish this case and get out, go somewhere further from California next time. “I’m sorry?” Bo offered.

Her gaze snapped to his face. “For what?”


Her eyes narrowed briefly. “Don’t patronize me.”

“I wasn’t—”

“You wanna show me the shit you moved around, dude? Or am I expected to find everything in my workplace that you fucked with on my own?”

“N-no, I-I can show you.” Bo barely managed to rake a nervous hand through his hair before he caught sight of Jacob Mason standing in the doorway.

“Hey… Gwen?” Jacob asked.

Rather than turning around, her gaze shifted to the ceiling. “Yeah?”

“How about you go upstairs and take a break, huh? Chill out for a few?”

“I’m fine, Jake,” Gwen said through her teeth, eyes still on the ceiling.

“He’s not an idiot. Or some kind of intern. Or some sort of burden here in the department. He cleaned the room. That’s it. You don’t gotta be a dick about it,” Jacob said as he walked further into the room.

I don’t need your help! Bo wanted to scream. He had learned at far too young of an age that asking the big guy for help was never the solution. It only ever made things even worse once the big guy turned his back again.

Gwen turned to face Jacob, jabbing a finger into his chest. “Get the fuck out of my lab.”

Jacob pushed her hand away. “I’m not intimated by this, Gwen. I’m just asking you to chill out. We’ve known each other long enough that you can trust me on this, right?” His voice came out much quieter than before as he added, “He’s just a lab geek, Gwen. Just a lab geek.”

Gwen glared at him in silence for what felt like an eternity before she shoved past him, pushing his shoulder with her own. The lab door slammed shut behind her.

After a moment, Jacob cleared his throat. “Sorry about that.”

“You didn’t do anything.”

Jacob lifted his shoulders. “Still.” A pause. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” Bo forced a laugh. “I can handle a bit of push and shove from a colleague. It’s nothing I haven’t dealt with before.”

“I’m sure it’s not. But that doesn’t mean every place you go from here on out should be hostile.” Jacob nodded toward the door. “It’s not you, you know? Gwen’s just… working through some stuff. She picks a fight with just about everyone right now. Today it was you, tomorrow it’ll be me. I wouldn’t take it to heart.” He lifted a hand and pushed it into his hair. Bo took a small step back, a nervous little tic he usually had complete control over. “I already know the answer, but… you wanna grab breakfast with me and Lemon?”

Breakfast would be a good time to go over the profile he had worked on over the weekend, but he knew he wasn’t ready for that. Convincing himself to talk to one detective about it was bad enough. Showing his work to two of the detectives was even worse. So he shook his head. “I’m all right. I appreciate the offer, Detective.”

“Okay. Well, uh, if you change your mind?” Jacob jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “We’ll be upstairs for another five minutes or so. You know where my desk is, yeah?”

“I do. But I’m okay. Thank you.”

“Okay.” Jacob looked as though he wanted to say more, but instead, he turned and walked out of the room, closing the door with a soft click behind him.

Bo tilted his head back and closed his eyes, drawing in a long, deep breath. Jupiter, what he wouldn’t give to be back in California, back before Dallas ever met Kathy, back before the detective changed departments to be with her, back before… all of it. What he wouldn’t give to go back to life before he knew his best friend was one of the most prolific serial killers in the United States. What he wouldn’t give to go back to life before he knew he had lived under the same roof as that serial killer, that he’d ridden to crime scenes with that serial killer, that he had shared breakfasts and coffees and beers with that serial killer.

Jesus, what he wouldn’t give.

Enjoying the story? Consider dropping a comment or a like down below!!

Love what I do and want to help support me? You can ‘buy me a coffee’ on Ko-fi!


4 thoughts on “Surgeon – Chapter Eight

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: