Samer Kalaf speed-walked through driving rain to his flat, anxious after the health of his roommate, who had failed to show up for his afternoon's residency. As Jesse's local contact, the hospital naturally called Samer to check on the man's whereabouts.

Nearly at a run, Kalaf entered the chic apartment and shuffled to the couch. Jesse lay as he had when Samer left that morning, face buried beneath notes and throw pillows. "Jesse," Kalaf whispered, startled at the sudden disruption in the silence. He shook his friend by the shoulder with no response. Slowly, he turned his eyes down the length of the couch and groaned at the scalpel lodged in Jesse's ribs. Christ no, Samer exhaled in despair.

Shaking, he sat back on the coffee table. Why Jesse, of all people?

Petchesky and the others had left Deadspin's offices before Samer, heading north toward Central Park. He, meanwhile, had caught a voicemail and stood in wonder at the nurse's message. Jesse had never missed a shift, Samer recalled. He further considered his roommate's recent defensiveness and secrecy. Not to mention the guy's V8 diet, a novel development in the aspirant doctor's already chaotic life. V8? Samer thought. It seemed to align with the McCarthy Report's "Valiant-8" collaborator. Had Jesse been working with McCarthy? he quizzed, growing surer of the answer the more he entertained the idea.

Kalaf remained there, and time slipped away. From nowhere the memory of the interview with Callie swept over him, and he worked back through it slowly. As soon as Eifling had entered the office, Callie had turned cooperative. Too immediate an about-face, too cooperative, she seemed to Samer. Further, Callie had gone out of her way—numerous times—to disavow any direct link to Matt McCarthy's murder. She at times spoke past Ley and Barry, answering questions asked only by herself. "I swear, I didn't know they would kill him," she parroted. Had she protested too much? Samer asked himself.

It was the scalpel that finally convinced him. In a lucid moment, Kalaf peered back at his roommate's corpse and spied something twinkle in the apartment's dim light. Disbelieving, Samer lifted a long red hair from the body and stared. Callie, he thought, the name like hot acid in his mind. She didn't kill McCarthy, true, but that was only a half-truth; and now she's leading those guys to Central Park …

Feral instincts jolted Samer into thoughtless action. He jumped from the table and sprinted through the door. Blind rage drove him down the hall, down the stairs, and into the street. I have to catch them, pounded in his ears, they're dead if I don't.


Back in the apartment, all was still, save for a single strand of red hair, which floated down to alight on Jesse's unfeeling nape.