Detective Carpenter leaned over the dead body draped half-in, half-out of the kidney shaped pool.
He kept his hands in his pockets and stood still, letting forensics work their way around the scene without him trudging through it.
Green nudged him with his elbow. “Murder, right?” Green’s sniveling voice grated, but Carpenter’s lips remained in a thin line.
He squinted, noting the female’s pale skin everywhere except for dark purple bruising on her back where her kidney would be.
“I mean, she’s naked in a pool,” Green said. “She could have been skinny dipping. But that bruise! It’s as purple as grape jam.”
Carpenter squatted. He pulled out his pen and used it to lift the wet locks of black hair from her face. The thick hair coiled like a snake on her shoulder.
Her eyes were closed. A traditional pearl earring studded the one ear visible to him. Her lips appeared to be crusted with sugar. A jolt spasmed through his gut.
“Do you think she had sexual congress before she died?” Green said. “I mean, she’s a babe.”
Carpenter stood up and smashed his fist into Green’s face. “I don’t care what the agreement was. You’re never riding with me again.”
The forensics team yelled as Green stumbled around the scene. Carpenter stalked to his car and punched in Celia’s number. It went straight to voicemail, and Carpenter tasted sugar when he licked his lips.