For one thing, it's too opulent for the neighborhood, Scarpetta told her. It was a foolish decision to buy the house and Lucy has turned on the house and calls the three-story eleven-thousand-square-foot mansion her nine-million-dollar townhouse because it is built on a third of an acre. There isn't enough grass to feed a rabbit, just stonework and a small disappearing-edge pool, a fountain and a few palms and plants. Didn't her aunt Kay nag her about moving here? No privacy or security, and accessible to boaters, Scarpetta said when Lucy was too busy and preoccupied to give a part-time domain the appropriate attention, when she was obsessed with making Henri happy. You'll be sorry, Scarpetta said. Lucy moved here not even three months ago and she's as sorry as she's ever been in her life.
Lucy presses one remote control to open her gate and another one to open her garage.
"Why bother?" Rudy is talking about her gate. "The damn driveway's ten feet long."
"Tell me about it," Lucy says angrily. "I hate this goddamn place."
"Before you know it, someone's on your ass and inside your garage," Rudy says.
"Then I have to kill them." "This isn't a joke."
I'm not joking," Lucy says as the garage door slowly shuts behind them.
Lucy parks the Modena next to the black Ferrari, a twelve-cylinder Scaglietti that will never realize its power in a world that regulates speed. She won't look at the black Ferrari as she and Rudy climb out of the Modena. She looks away from the damaged hood, from the crude sketch of the huge eye with eyelashes that is etched into the beautiful glossy paint.
"Not that it's a pleasant subject," Rudy says, walking between the two Ferraris, toward the door that leads inside the mansion. "But is it possible she did it?" He indicates the scratched hood of the black Scaglietti, but Lucy won't look. "I'm still not sure she didn't, that she didn't stage the whole thing."
"She didn't do it," Lucy says, refusing to look at the damaged hood. "I had to wait on a list for more than a year to get that car."
"It can be fixed," Rudy says, and he digs his hands into his pockets as Lucy lets them in and deactivates an alarm system that has every detection device imaginable, including cameras inside the house and out. But the cameras don't record. Lucy decided she didn't want to record her private activities inside her house and on her property, and Rudy can understand up to a point. He wouldn't want hidden cameras recording him all over his house either, but these days there wouldn't be much to record in his life. He lives alone. When Lucy decided she didn't want her cameras to record what went on in and around her house, she wasn't living alone.
"Maybe we should change your cameras over to ones that record," Rudy says.
"I'm getting rid of this place," Lucy replies.
magnificent dining and living area, and out at the panoramic view of the inlet and the ocean. The ceiling is twenty feet high and has been hand painted with a Michelangelo-like fresco that is centered by a crystal chandelier. The glass dining room table looks carved out of ice and is the most incredible thing he has ever seen. He doesn't try to figure out what she paid for the table and the buttery soft leather furniture and the African wildlife art, the huge canvases of elephants, zebras, giraffes, and cheetahs. Rudy couldn't begin to afford a single light fixture in Lucy's part-time Florida house, not a single silk rug, probably not even some of the plants.
"I know," she says as he looks around. "I fly helicopters and can't even work the movie theater in this place. I hate this place."
"Don't ask for sympathy."
"Hey." She arrests the conversation with a tone he recognizes. She has had enough bickering.
He opens one of the freezers, in search of coffee, and says, "What you got to eat in this place?"
Chili. Homemade. Frozen, but we can zap it."
"Sounds like a plan. Want to go to the gym later? Like maybe five thirty or so?" Got to," she replies.
It is just now that they notice the back door leading out to the pool, the same door he, whoever he is, used to enter and leave her house not even a week ago. The door is locked but something is stuck to the outside glass, and Lucy is already walking quickly that way before he realizes what has happened, and she jerks open the door and stares at a sheet of unlined white paper hanging by a single strip of tape.
"What is it?" Rudy asks, shutting the freezer and looking at her. "What the hell is it?"
"Another eye," Lucy says. "A drawing of another eye, the same eye. In pencil. And you thought Henri did it. She's not even within a thousand miles of here, and you thought she did it. Well, now you know." Lucy unlocks the door and opens it. "He wants me to know he's watching," she says angrily, and she steps outside to get a better look at the drawing of the eye.
"Don't touch!" Rudy yells at her.
"What do you think, I'm stupid?" she yells back at him.
"Excuse me," says a young man who is suited up in purple scrubs, face J_-/shield and mask, and hair and shoe covers, and double pairs of latex gloves. He looks like a parody of an astronaut as he moves closer to Scarpetta. "What do you want us to do with her dentures?" he asks.
Scarpetta starts to explain that she doesn't work here, but words vanish before they leave her brain and she finds herself staring at the obese dead woman as two people, also suited up as if expecting a plague, tuck her inside a body pouch on a gurney sturdy enough to bear her enormous weight.
"She has dentures," the young man in purple scrubs says, this time to Fielding. "We put them in a carton and then forgot to put them inside the bag before we sewed her up."
"You don't want them inside the bag." Scarpetta decides to handle this amazing problem herself. "They need to go back inside her mouth. The funeral home, the family, will want them inside her mouth. She would probably appreciate being buried with her teeth."
"So we don't need to open her up and get the bag," says the man in purple. "Whew, that's good."
"Forget the bag," Scarpetta tells him. "You never want to put dentures in the bag," she says of the sturdy transparent plastic bag that is sewed up inside the obese dead woman's empty chest cavity, the bag that contains her sectioned organs, which were not returned to their original anatomical positions, because it isn't the forensic pathologist's job to put people back together again, nor is it possible, but it would be rather much like returning a stew to the condition of a cow. "Where are her dentures?" Scarpetta asks.
"Right over there." The young man in purple scrubs points to a countertop on the nthcr side of the autopsy suite. "With her paperwork."
Fielding wants nothing to do with this lobotomized problem and completely ignores the man in purple, who looks too young to be a rotating medical student and likely is another soldier from Fort Lee. He might have a high school education and is spending time at the OCME because his military duty requires that he learn to handle the war dead. Scarpetta is inclined to say, but doesn't, that even soldiers blown up by grenades would like their dentures to go home with them, preferably inside their mouths, if they still have mouths.
"Come on," she says to the Fort Lee soldier in purple. "Let's go take a look."
She accompanies him across the tile floor, passing another gurney that was rolled out moments earlier, this one bearing a gunshot victim, a young black man with strong arms that are covered with tattoos and folded stiffly across his chest. He has goose bumps, a postmortem reaction of his erector pili muscles to rigor mortis that makes him look cold or frightened or both. The Fort Lee soldier picks up the plastic carton from the countertop and starts to hand it to Scarpetta, then notices that she isn't wearing gloves.