“Hey, you alright?” Kit asked.
Sam’s face was twisted and scrunched up as he contemplated the dead body they had found. “I have that same underwear,” he repeated.
Kit rolled her eyes. “And yesterday the chick in the stall next to me was wearing the same shoes I was. It’s not worth flipping out about.”
A corpse, body gone cold and white. The blood that had sprayed onto the wall and pooled beneath the body and congealed into the elastic waistband of those boxer-brief’s that matched the very same ones he felt gripping his hips. Shouldn’t that be significant somehow? “But—”
“Look,” she said with a bit more attitude, “where do you buy your underwear?”
This time Kit grimaced. “First off,” she said, “I must reiterate that you can really do better when it comes to how you take care of your—”
“And secondly, hasn’t it occurred to you that someone else might have picked up one of the millions of identical packs of underwear that Wal-Mart sells?”
Still flustered and uneasy, Sam finally looked away from the corpse and said, “A dead body is different than some random person in the next stall. He picked out that underwear and then he died in it. You never think about what your corpse is going to be wearing when you pick out your underwear. I mean, this could have been me. If I died in a pair of gray boxer-briefs, what would that say about me?” He knelt down to look into the face of the dead man. “This guy is—oh shit!” Sam had been so distracted by the underwear, that he had not yet taken a look at the victim’s face until that moment. “You know who this is, don’t you?” he asked.
Kit crossed the room to see the man’s face, studied it a moment, and shook her head. “Should I?”
Sam’s mouth was dry. “This is Rupert Polbrock,” he said, pronouncing the name with deliberate care as he felt old wounds threaten to tear themselves open. Kit still showed no sign of recognition. “He’s a . . . a real estate developer,” Sam continued. There were so many other words he could have thought to use, but like a good cop, he tried to stick to the facts.. “He buys out cheap properties and ‘renovates’ them. Gentrification, that sort of thing.”
“So our dead guy’s rich,” Kit said, though she still didn’t seem very impressed.
“And he’s wearing my underwear.”