Matt realised he was coming over as a complete arse. “I’m sorry. You just got me on a bad day. My… er… partner had just left me and I was feeling sorry for myself.”
“Your neighbour said. She was very keen to inform us of anything that might be pertinent to the investigation when they found your dead body,” PC West informed him.
Matt’s eyes widened, then he realised the policeman was taking the mick. “Nosy old bat,” he said, grinning a little.
“God yes. It took us twenty minutes just to get away from her. She told us where you kept your spare key by the way.” PC West’s lips twitched as he watched the horrified expression pass over Matt’s face.
“How the hell did she know where I keep my key?”
“Women like that know everything, including what colour boxers you’ve got on.”
Matt thought frantically. Even he didn’t remember what colour boxers he was wearing. “That’s scary.” He couldn’t repress a shudder.
The policeman nodded. “Tell me about it. Of course, they’re useful in my job. There’s one in every road, twitching the curtains every time you make a move.”
“I bet you know them all. Have tea with them all the time. Butter them up so they spill all the gossip,” Matt accused.
“You know it!”
The two men laughed together, Matt noticing how the policeman’s eyes sparkled when he wasn’t being ‘official’.
“Are you using the treadmill?”
Matt looked up to see a short man glaring at them. He didn’t know what his beef was but Matt didn’t want any trouble. “I’ve finished but PC West..?”
The newcomer did a double take at Matt’s use of status and backed away a couple of steps, his expression changing to something less aggressive. The policeman rolled his eyes.
“You go ahead,” he said, “I think I need a shower now.”
The man nodded, muscling between them to get at the machine.
“Jesus,” Matt said, “You’d think you’d stolen his precious.”