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Mystery > Ji Mei & Sarah

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message 1: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (last edited Feb 08, 2014 07:13PM) (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Name: Jeanine Veronica Zhang
Age: 27
Occupation: Owner of several prestigious art galleries; (view spoiler)

Personality: Jeanine is confident, collected and flirtatious. She is alluring and charming and while she always looks picture perfect, there is an underlying edge of something wild underneath her poised appearance. She is decadent in her style and taste and she loves expensive and luxurious things.
History: Jeanine is the daughter of a well-off middle class family. She has a bachelor's degree with a double major in Art History and History (specialization in Chinese history). She is the owner of several art galleries although one has to stop and wonder where she landed the funds to purchase such prestigious establishments....

message 2: by Ji Mei (last edited Feb 08, 2014 12:51PM) (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Name: Austin Richards
Age: 28
Occupation: Police detective

Personality: A little on the stiff and serious side, Austin is inquisitive and just. He is kind and trusting in nature, though he doesn't show it often. He can be gruff and sarcastic, but he always means well. Sort of a minimalist, his mind is always occupied with his work and nothing else.
History: Austin grew up with a single mother, who later died after he spent a year in college. He went to school and graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He joined the police department soon after and has been newly appointed to the position of police detective.
Other: To add a personal touch, Austin is fond of reading science fiction, listening to classical rock, and watching black and white movies.

message 3: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Pulling out a small notepad, Austin Richards looked down at it to make sure he was at the right place. Who knew there were so many small art galleries until you had to visit almost all of them? Going over the gallery owner's name, he pushed the door open and slipped into the cooler interior of the building.

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) The receptionist glanced up when someone entered the almost empty building and seeing a suited man, she gave him a professional smile and said, "Good afternoon, sir. Can I help you with something?"

message 5: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Giving a nod in greeting, he tucked the notepad into the inside pocket of his jacket. "Yes, I'm looking for a Miss Jeanine Zhang?" His tongue fumbled slightly over the foreign last name, but he kept his calm.

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "She... is currently occupied right now," the receptionist replied. "Can I tell her who is calling on her?" Jeanine didn't like to be disturbed unless it was absolutely necessary, but then again, she'd given her receptionist flak for not telling her who called when they did. She wasn't exactly the easiest employer, but her art galleries always did well, so Melanie didn't see her boss's high maintenance as a reason to quit.

message 7: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "Detective Richards from Chicago Police Department," he replied, pulling out his badge as was customary. He didn't bother to look at the receptionist's face, sure he would see the same surprise he saw at all the other galleries.

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Dee... Detective Richards," Melanie repeated with wide eyes as she stood up from her chair, flattening her skirt out with her hands. "Just one moment please, sir," she managed to say before she gave him a tight smile and scuttled off in the direction of her boss's office.

In roughly five minutes, Jeanine Zhang appeared, her appearance flawless as it always was, completely unruffled and in control although she had no idea why a detective was here to speak to her. As her heels clicked lightly on the polished floor, the corner of her mouth curled up ever so slightly as she held out her delicate hand to shake the detective's. "Good afternoon, Detective Richards," she greeted him confidently. "I'm Jeanine," she told him, introducing herself.

Jeanine's outfit:

message 9: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Shaking her hand firmly, Austin gave her a nod. "Good afternoon to you too, Miss Zhang." This time he said her name more naturally and after letting go of her hand, he pulled out the notepad and pen. "I'm sorry to interrupt any business, but I was hoping if I could ask you a few questions."

message 10: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Certainly, detective," Jeanine replied smoothly, shaking his hand and giving him a nod of her pretty head. "Would you care to follow me to my office?" she asked, turning her body slightly before walking back in the direction from which she'd come, expecting him to follow. She swung her hips in just the right amount, not too provocative nor too chaste, as she made her way back to her chic office. Opening the door for him, Jeanine waited for the detective to step inside. "Can I get you something to drink?" she asked. "Coffee? Water?"

message 11: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Following after her, Austin took the liberty of seating himself. "Coffee would be nice, thanks," he answered, looking around at the decor. It was fitting for a gallery owner, he thought, seeing how it had the sleek, yet artistic lines that imitated many paintings he saw in a glance. "Have you heard of the recent art burglary?"

message 12: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine nodded at his request and placed the small plastic container of coffee into her Tassimo machine, pressing the "brew" button before turning around to face the detective. "I have heard some rumors, yes," she replied. "Word does travel fast in our world--especially when it comes to missing artwork, what a travesty," she murmured, clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, "but I have no idea what has been taken," she admitted. "Would you like sugar or milk or cream?" she asked then, pausing in their discussion when the machine beeped.

message 13: by Ji Mei (last edited Feb 08, 2014 03:29PM) (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "A painting was taken from the Art Institute of Chicago." Frowning slightly, Austin felt for sure that the rumors should only have been recent and wouldn't have spread that quickly. But who was he to know? Some women's gossip spread like wildfire. Clearing his expression, he then answered, "Milk, please."

message 14: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "A painting?" Jeanine repeated, "by whom?" she asked. She added the milk to his coffee and placed the delicate china in front of the detective, walking over to her seat then behind her large retro desk, gracefully sinking into the chair as she crossed one leg over the other underneath the surface.

message 15: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "Edward Hopper. I believe the painting was called Nighthawks," he told her, picking up and taking a sip. Since he'd been busy all day, the coffee was welcomed, its taste reinvigorating his mind.

message 16: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (last edited Feb 08, 2014 03:35PM) (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine arched an eyebrow at the detective's response and she gave him a smile. "I'm impressed, detective," she told him. "I thought for sure that your reply would be something along the lines of you having no clue 'who' stole it." She raised one of her hands to her mouse and maneuvering it over to the right place, she clicked on her web browser to then type in "Nighthawks" to peruse the painting. "And how can I help today, detective?" she asked, turning back to look at him, noting to herself that he had very nice eyes.

message 17: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Giving a small shrug, Austin silently admitted that he liked to visit the museum often and had looked at the painting many a time. Plus, after he heard it was stolen, he had done some personal research. "I was wondering if you have heard of anyone selling this painting, be it a copy or the real thing. I'm thinking that the art thief might want to make a profit off of it," he explained, leaning back in his chair and looking at her with his head tilted, eyebrow raised.

message 18: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (last edited Feb 08, 2014 04:30PM) (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "You may not be aware of this, detective, but paintings that are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago, unfortunately, are not available for private purchase," Jeanine told him as she perused the painting on her screen. It certainly was a classic and she would have loved to have it on display in one of her galleries. "If it was to be sold, it would be done so on the black market," she explained.

message 19: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Unfortunately, he silently repeated the word to himself thoughtfully. Perhaps there were other people who had their eyes set on the paintings. "Yes, of course," he said quickly, not wanting to come across as gullible. "But have you met any of your customers who expressed too much interest in the painting?"

message 20: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Well, what's not to be interested about in that painting, detective?" Jeanine replied with a slight upward curl of her lips. "It's an icon of twentieth century American art. I remember studying it at university. If I remember correctly, my professor said something along the lines of 'the image--with its carefully constructed composition and lack of narrative--has a timeless, universal quality that transcends its particular locale.'" She shook her head then apologetically. "Forgive me, detective, you are speaking to an absolute nerd when it comes to art. I find it hard to contain my excitement at times." Meeting his pale blue gaze then, Jeanine added, "I'd have to think about it to see if any customers come to mind. I'm afraid I have nothing off of the top of my head."

message 21: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments A smile touched the corners of his lips as he listened to her go into detail over the painting's qualities. He himself had touched upon the subject back in high school, though it was foggy at best. At her last comment, Austin nodded. "Yes, thank you." Setting down his cup, Austin rose to his feet. "I believe I've taken enough of your time. When you can, please contact me or send me a list of your customers, if that is all right with you."

message 22: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Forgive me, detective, but I'm not entirely sure that I should be handing over a list of my customers," Jeanine said to him apologetically. "Isn't that an invasion of their privacy?" she wondered, not entirely sure of what the protocol was. "If not, then I have no problem handing it over, of course," she assured him. "I just don't want to lose any customers for no reason, you understand," she said to him with a small smile.

message 23: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "If it's your company policy to respect your customers' privacy, then I'll oblige and come back with a warrant," Austin replied smoothly. It was a hit or miss with these galleries, it seemed. Some they complied immediately while others gave the same explanation. More work for him, he supposed.

message 24: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "I'd appreciate it if you came back with a warranty, detective," Jeanine replied, not missing a beat as she arched a delicate brow at him, still sitting even though he had stood up. "That way I have a reason to give to my clients that doesn't make me look like the bad cop." She gave him a smile here, one that said "nothing personal." Plus she wanted to see just how on top of his game this detective was. The information would prove useful later on.

message 25: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments He smiled back ever so slightly. "Understandable. Look forward to when I'll come around again. May I ask when is the best time to come by?"

message 26: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "I'm normally here between 9-5, detective," Jeanine replied politely. "If not, and you show up, Melanie will call me and I will drop what I am doing to assist you immediately," she promised with just a hint of a flirtatious tone. Standing up then, she held out her hand to him and said, "It was a pleasure speaking to you, detective, and I do hope you find the criminal. That painting is a national treasure."

message 27: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Taking her hand, he gave it a small shake. "The pleasure is mine, Miss Zhang. And thank you. It is a shame that painting can no longer be shared with the whole public. I'll make sure it will be found soon," Austin said, a determined glint coming to his pale blue eyes.

message 28: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "I have faith in you, detective," Jeanine told him with a smile. "May I have your business card in case I come across something before you have had a chance to process the request for the warrant?" she asked before he turned to leave.

message 29: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Reaching into his inside pocket, he held out the card to her. "Here you go. I'm available at all hours really, so you can call me either at the office or at my personal number," he told her.

message 30: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine accepted the card with one of her manicured hands and glancing down at the rectangular plastic, she read his name: DETECTIVE AUSTIN RICHARDS. "I'll try my best not to disturb you at home, detective," she replied. "I wouldn't want to upset your wife." She glanced up at him then from under the fringe of her black lashes, the unstressed question mark hanging in the air.

message 31: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Austin laughed and shook his head. "No. No wife. As I said, I'm available at all hours," he repeated, adding more emphasis. Sometimes the other officers would even tease him for his lack of a social life, but for now, he was content with focusing on his job.

message 32: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine smiled coquettishly at his reply, wondering if he realized that his emphasis on the world "all" could have been interpreted as a come on. She didn't think that it was worthwhile to point it out now--she didn't want to give away too much of herself just yet--but she could see herself doing it later on. Meeting his pale blue eyes with her own warm chocolate ones, Jeanine replied, "Then don't complain when I ring you at 4:13am in the morning, detective."

message 33: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "I would assume the only reason you'd call me at 4:13am would because of an emergency, so I'll most likely have no complaints." He gave a small shrug and tucked his hands in his pockets.

message 34: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) The curve of Jeanine's mouth tilted up even more at his cluelessness and she simply gave him a nod and replied, "You would be right about that, detective. I would have no other reason to call." Walking around her desk then, she made her way to her office door and opening it for him, she said, "Allow me to walk you to the front; it's the least I can do after being of so little use today," she told him apologetically.

message 35: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments At first he moved to open the door himself, but seeing as she was there, he stepped through the doorway. "No need. I didn't expect to find an epiphany the second day of investigation," Austin said over his shoulder and turned to face her.

message 36: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Nevertheless, detective, I insist," Jeanine replied, stepping in front of him when he paused to take him towards the front.

Melanie, who had been glancing towards the back where her boss and the cop were talking, quickly turned back to her paperwork on her desk when they walked by in an attempt to hide her unsuccessful eavesdropping, her face turning slightly red when Jeanine arched an eyebrow at her.

Turning back to Austin when they were at the front of the art gallery, she gave him a professional smile, and said, "Until next time, detective."

message 37: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Barely sparing a glance to the receptionist, Austin's mind was already thinking over the next gallery he had to visit. Two more, then he'd have to spend the rest of the day at the office arranging warrants and filing reports. An unglamorous day. Well, mostly. Smiling back at the gallery owner, he replied, "Have a good afternoon, Miss Zhang."

message 38: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "You too, detective," Jeanine replied. "Don't forget to eat," she said to him innocently as he stepped out. Once he was gone, she watched him get inside his car and then turning to walk back to her office, she didn't stop to chitchat with Melanie about what had happened even though she knew her receptionist was dying to know. Of course Jeanine had known all about the painting going missing. She had been the one to steal it after all. Now she just needed to make sure that none of the potential evidence would get back to her, knowing that the cop's extra paperwork of requesting the warrant would give her the time she needed.

message 39: by Ji Mei (last edited Feb 08, 2014 08:26PM) (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Slipping into the driver's seat, Austin briefly ran a hand over his eyes tiredly. But then he steeled himself as he thought of the sooner he finished this part of investigation, the sooner they'll find leads. He cast one last glance at the gallery sign, then drove off.


Driving up to the gallery, Austin briefly glanced down at the warrant lying on the front seat. Here again, he thought, shifting the car into parking and getting out. So far, his search has given little results, though at the office they were still going over lists from the other galleries. Immediately after going inside, he walked up to the receptionist. "Good day. Is Miss Zhang available right now?"

message 40: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Having the detective visit the art gallery for the first time had been a shock; seeing him for the second time in a week was even more of one for Melanie. Gulping, she nodded with wide eyes and replied, "Let me just go and get her." She rose to her feet and tried her best to hurry although her heels were sliding on the polished floor with gracelessness that said she didn't run often in them.

Jeanine appeared moments later, trailing gracefully behind Melanie, a smile on her face when she saw Austin. "Detective," she greeted, holding out her delicate hand. "Pleasure to see you again. Do you come bearing good or bad news?" she asked in a friendly tone, ignoring Melanie's gaping.

Jeanine's outfit:

message 41: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "Depends. To me, it is good news. I have my warrant," he replied, giving her hand a shake. After letting her hand go, he pulled from his pocket and held out the document to her. "If you don't mind, but show me to your computer."

message 42: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Not at all, detective, right this way," Jeanine replied, turning then to lead him back to her office. When they entered, she walked over to her Tassimo machine to make him a coffee. Once that started brewing, she walked over to her computer and unlocked it. "Do you want to have a seat?" she asked him, motioning to her chair. "I'll just pull up my inventory for you," she told him, remaining standing towards the side to make room for him to pass by and take the seat.

message 43: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments "Thank you," he said as he took up on her offer. Brushing past her, he pulled out his notepad, ready to take down any notes. Glancing up at her briefly, he asked politely, "How have you been, Miss Zhang?"

message 44: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "I've been quite well, detective, thank you for asking," Jeanine replied, a small upward curl on her lips appearing as she kept her eyes on the screen, searching for the correct Excel file. As he brushed past her, she noted his cheap cologne, but couldn't help thinking that it suited him. "And how have you been?" she asked. "Did you remember to eat that other day?" she smiled, straightening up then to walk over to get his coffee, remembering to add milk.

message 45: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Leaning forward slightly when the window opened up on the screen, Austin smiled slightly. He didn't know why he felt sheepish since it certainly didn't matter to her, a stranger, if he ate his meals or not. But he still couldn't help but feel a little reminded of his mother scolding him when he went without breakfast. "Ah, I think so. I think I had Chinese takeout for dinner."

message 46: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) "Always a good choice," Jeanine replied with a playful smile that was still professional. She didn't want to break her façade too quickly, knowing it would no doubt make him suspicious--if he thought like that, that was. She placed the coffee down in front of him and then bending back over beside him, she reached for her mouse again. "How far back should I go, detective?" she asked. "I assume you don't need the entire client list since I've been open for over two years. You might be here till kingdom come," she teased gently with the barest hint of an amused smile.

message 47: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments He was surprised she remembered his preferences for how he liked his coffee served, but didn't show it. Instead, he thought over her question and told her, "I'll start with the past six months." Pausing, as an idea came to mind, he turned to face her. Realizing he might have an inappropriate view, he again faced the monitor. "Is there any chance I can print off your list?"

message 48: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine nodded at his reply, smiling inwardly at the way he quickly glanced away when his gaze landed on her chest. "Sure, detective. You're the one with the warrant after all." She scrolled to the six month point and selecting those pages, she clicked "print" and straightened again to walk over to her printer to collect the paper shooting out.

message 49: by Ji Mei (new)

Ji Mei  (jimei) | 1753 comments Unconsciously, Austin relaxed as she stepped away and went over the names. Not many of them made big purchases, but there were a few he recognized from the other galleries' lists. "Have you had any new customers recently?"

message 50: by ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh (last edited Feb 08, 2014 11:06PM) (new)

๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ (inked_chinadoll) Jeanine pursed her lips slightly in thought and then nodded, "Yes, I have as a matter of fact." She brought the printed papers over to him and placing them down in front of him, the latest on the top. She reached over him, saying, "Sorry, detective," as she grabbed a highlighter and then bending over the desk at a respectable distance, Jeanine glanced at the list and began to circle names. "These are relatively new--no older than a few weeks," she added, seemingly oblivious to his reaction of her close proximity.

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