He was the ultimate in velour robe types, and might just as well have been wearing one now, as he swept toward her through the drawing room, unknotting the trench coat’s belt as he came. He pawed its Crimean lapels open, revealing the only International Klein Blue suit she’d ever seen. He somehow managed always to give her the impression, seeing him again, that he’d grown visibly larger, though somehow without gaining any particular weight. Simply bigger. Perhaps, she thought worriedly, as if he grew somehow closer.
As he did indeed, now, breakfasting Cabineteers cringing visibly as he passed them, less in fear of his vast trailing coat and its dangerously swinging belt than out of some visceral awareness that he simply didn’t see them.
“Hollis,” he said. “You look magnificent.” She rose, to be air-kissed. Up close, he always seemed too full of blood, by several extra quarts at least. Rosy as a pig. Warmer than a normal person. Scented with some ancient European barber-splash.
“Hardly,” she said. “Look at you. Look at your suit.”
“Mr. Fish,” he said, shrugging out of the trench coat with a rattle of grenade-loops, lanyard-anchors, she didn’t know. His shirt was pale gold, the knit silk tie an almost matching shade.
“He’s very good,” she said.
“He’s dead,” said Bigend, smiling, settling himself in the armchair opposite her own.
“Dead?” She took her seat.
“I found his cutter,” he said. “In Savile Row.”
“That’s Klein blue, isn’t it?”
“It looks…radioactive. In a suit.”
“It unsettles people,” he said.
“I hope you didn’t wear it for me, then.”
“Not at all.” He smiled. “I wore it because I enjoy it.”
She signaled to the Italian girl.
- From the inimitable William Gibson.