August 20, 2019, 11:28:55 PM

Author Topic:  [mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]  (Read 96 times)

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Perdita Bloom [ British Ministry ]
1242 Posts  •  22  •  Hereosexual  •  played by Sioban
[mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]
« on: July 23, 2019, 12:36:26 PM »
"Did you say Richmond Wilde?"

Perdita asked the question before she thought about it and the three men in the room turned around to face her. Had she been more delicate, she might have wilted beneath their withering gaze. She didn't didn't know those men but they all looked the same; tall, dressed in Ministry robes, serious, boring. Perdita had never been involved in a robbery before but this was sort of by default. It fell on her department to investigate and by osmosis, she was here in London.

"Sorry," she replied eventually as a wave of uncharacteristic uneasiness washed over her. "It's just that I know a little bit about the artist and I --" they didn't let her finish. Instead, the officials turned their backs collectively and walked off, speaking in hushed tones and leaving Perdita standing there like a lemon. She frowned as her big blue eyes watched them leave, a familiar bubbling of irritation swirling in her gut. Perdita had never liked the "poor little rich girl" label she'd been forced to wear all of her life. She could do this. She'd be good at this. She was able to help. It would be nice if people actually took her seriously,

Richmond Wilde was a highly sought after landscape painter. Despite hailing from France, his scenes of the English countryside were exquisite. The Blooms owned a few pieces, one of which was hanging in their dining room of the townhouse in Belgravia. Perdita had read the notes and she was holding them now, in a heavy blue folder under her arm. While she wasn't exactly an expert, she knew Wilde's work - more than those men who had just ignored her. She'd spent hours deciphering it and looking for clues, like the little hidden rabbit that was peeking out from behind a tree trunk. She knew the colours he used, the material of his paintbrush, the length of the paint strokes.

What made things strange was the fact that this was the third Richmond Wilde painting to be stolen in a fortnight. One had been snatched from Bilbao, another from Paris and now this one from Mayfair. It was obvious - to her at least - that they were part of a series. They were called "Forest Glen" and depicted areas that were assumed to be Cornwall. Perdita had always been a bit baffled because, while there were woods, Cornwall was usually associated with beaches and harbours and the sea. The only wildlife there were tourists. Either way, they were still beautiful.

The heels of her boots echoed on the hardwood floors as she meandered absently through the now-closed gallery. She assumed she was here in an official capacity, presumably to take notes or make coffee or blend into the background.

Perdita had been in this gallery once before, as a child. It was gorgeous. It was bright and airy and full of the sorts of things she'd longed to collect. Unusual sculptures, Renaissance art, little oddities that she'd always wanted to horde. Some kids collected trading cards or soaps but little Perdy had wanted her own gallery to showcase her finds. She had yet to meet the owner or curator of the gallery and again, she supposed she wouldn't. Suddenly, she had a frightening thought; what if the painting was supposed to be sold? The gallery would have to recoup the losses, maybe deal with some legal issues but more importantly, how the Hell did the burglars get in?

It was early morning and the bright December sun was streaming through the windows. London had been awake for hours and she could already see the crowds fighting their way into shops for Christmas gifts that the recipients wouldn't even like. Personally, Perdita would rather have no gift than a thoughtless gift but no one had told her Aunt Henrietta. What was she supposed to do with a second hand fleece blanket?

With a sigh, Perdita stopped at the glaring blank space on the wall where the painting once hung. She tilted her head as she bent forward to peer at it, as though she'd suddenly become Sherlock Holmes and she was about to blow this mystery wide open.



@Brennan Reinhardt
 

Brennan Reinhardt [ Artist ]
27 Posts  •  21  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Mel
Re: [mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2019, 01:18:01 AM »
“I’ve bloody well told you—” he started before sighing heavily, two fingers pressing against his temple as he willed himself to calm down. He knew that a short temper would not help solve the investigation and would certainly not bring his precious painting back. Technically, it was the property of the Reinhardt Group, a giftone could say that came as a token of goodwill after the family had managed to offer help during a financial crisis. It had been part of his grandfather’s office wall for some time before joining the gallery storage, awaiting a proper introduction to the British public in the form of an exhibition.

Brennan was not keen on landscape pieces. The drudgery of the English countryside depicted on canvas did not move him with the same intensity that a facial portrait or scenery of the city life did. It was not until he took a course on landscape painting that he suddenly realized the skill with which Richmond Wilde worked. The color schemes, the usage of strokes, and even the positioning of critical elements were all worthy of close examination. Once Brennan had gained a proper appreciation for the man’s work, his grandfather had offered him the piece for the London gallery. Nevertheless, it was given on the condition that it be presented in conjunction with works of equal or greater mastery.

As such, the young wizard had painstakingly managed to gather a small, but extraordinary, collection on images depicting nature. His purpose was to highlight the ethereal beauty of the land that had been untouched by humankind. Oh how his grandfather would have praised him, he considered miserably, pacing around the gallery lobby with his hands in his pockets and deep in thought. At this rate, he would never return to his grandfather's good graces. No matter how one looked at it, the painting was irreplaceable. A man in Ministry robes approached him to ask for more details on the robbery. The way they spoke to him was starting to upset him.

“The security here is one of the best in all of Europe, the staff has been cleared, I haven’t any idea how anyone could have slipped in and out with no one the wiser,” he emphasized, struggling to keep his tone even and his cool collected. “I’m starting to think that you lot’s decided it was me, I was with a…lady friend all afternoon, I assure you, I’ve got an alibi,” he explained, frowning as he considered how offensive their insinuation of his guilt was.

Excusing himself from the company, lest he did or said something rash, Brennan found peace within the close examination of the portraits in the gallery. Though he often presented himself with unnecessary bravado, Brennan had always been rather shy about his work, particularly when it came to curating a collection for the general public. Would he have the ability to move them with the paintings he chose or would they simply feel as if they are looking at paint on a canvas in a room of similar items? Would the positioning of the work speak to the people’s understanding of the world, or would it be a forgettable experience? These were questions he often considered when he chose the best paintings for the gallery, and such thoughts often left him restless.

Looking towards the other side of the room, the pain of the missing painting causing him a little discomfort, he noticed a woman he had not seen earlier. Since the gallery had been immediately closed upon discovering the painting missing and the authorities had been properly contacted thereafter, he knew that she must have been someone of the Ministry. He took a moment to observe her, his hands behind his back as he approached her, wondering what exactly she intended to find out by staring at the empty wall.

“It’s part of a series,” he offered, leaning forward, possibly a little too close for comfort over her shoulder. “It was a gift from the artists himself, has been in the family for a while,” he continued, sighing as he considered the loss of such a precious object. “Grandfather wanted to sell it,” he continued as he moved to stand beside her, also staring at the wall in deep thought. “I wasn’t moved by any of the offers, how could anyone want to part with something they’ve grown a considerable appreciation for?” he offered, even as is eyes scanned the empty wall, he had stared at the work long enough to recreate the image in his head.

“Anyway,” he smiled, turning towards her and extending his hand in greeting, “I’m Brennan Reinhardt, the—rather unfortunate curator whose someone managed to lose a part of history,” he added, his tone a little self-deprecating. “I certainly hope you’ll be much more efficient than those three,” he nodded in the direction of the men investigating his desk and belongings, “They’re pretty much convinced I’m responsible, how bloody insulting,” he said, visibly angered.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 01:35:01 AM by Mel »

Perdita Bloom [ British Ministry ]
1242 Posts  •  22  •  Hereosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2019, 08:37:07 PM »
Perdita didn't turn around as she was addressed. In fact, she momentarily didn't acknowledge the unfamiliar deep voice. Her eyes flickered over the empty space and she was filled with a sense of foreboding. Though not affected by the robbery, it was difficult not to become saddened by the loss.

The tall brunette turned her head a little to offer him a smile over her shoulder. She didn't need to see how close he was, she could feel exactly where he stood. "I know," she added gently, her tone light in a conscious effort not to burst his already bruised bubble. The poor man had already suffered a rough couple of hours. "I own the fourth one." Perdita dropped it in casually. For someone who constantly complained that her family's wealth stopped her from living a "normal" life, she had an uncanny knack of reminding people that she had it.

Taking a step back, Perdita shifted the folder to offer a hand to his and gave it a brief, business-like shake. "I'm Perdita Bloom," she introduced herself in her clear-cut crystal accent, her voice carrying through the quiet gallery. At his comment, she offered him a sympathetic smile. Poor love. "That's their go-to tactic," she told Brennan, her eyes watching them pilfer his belongings with a vague sense of irritation. "They're lazy," Perdy continued as the men were seemingly trying to find a false bottom in one of the drawers. Unable to help herself, she let out a snort of laughter which she hastily turned into a hacking cough to disguise her amusement.

He seemed nice, if not a little bit strung out. "Insurance fraud," she tacked on brightly. "The most common cause of this sort of thing. You're aware." Of course he was, he ran a gallery. It was a similar sort of situation with those wealthy homes in America up in the mountains during wildfire season; if they were struggling for money, they dropped a match, blamed the winds and cashed in. "Sorry if that sounded rude," she added but without having the decency to blush.

Looking up at him, she realised that he was very young to be running this sort of gig. He'd previously mentioned this grandfather wanting to sell it. I bet you wish he had, she thought darkly. "Ah, you're very kind," Perdita added gently about his hope for her being more successful than  her colleagues. "But a toddler would have more luck." Again, she hadn't meant to dent his faith in the law keepers but it was the Ministry. They had more holes in their diplomacy than bicycles in Beijing. "And I'm really just here to take notes." With a smile, she held up the folder she was resting against her hip.

He looked so distressed, like a freshly kicked puppy and she frowned in concern. She sorely wanted to tell him that it was all going to be fine, that his painting would be returned and that he could reopen in the morning. Gently, she cleared her throat. "Have they briefed you?" She asked, opening her file. "Cursebreakers from Gringotts will be arriving in about an hour," she checked her watch to make sure of the timing. "They're here to see if your wards have been tampered with. They're fairly good," she added, sounding buoyed up. "They should be able to see if there was a particular spell used to disable them. Then they'll be able to track it and see if it was used in the other robberies --"

...had they told him there had been other robberies?

Feeling like she was digging herself a hole, Perdita chewed on her lower lip. "Can I make you a cup of tea?" She ventured gently as she peered at him, slightly worried in case he wasn't up to speed. Besides, a cup of tea could solve most things. A break up? Cup of tea. Financial ruin? Tea with sugar. Finding out that he might be part of a large underground art theft conspiracy? Add a biscuit to that tea.
 

Brennan Reinhardt [ Artist ]
27 Posts  •  21  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Mel
Re: [mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2019, 02:53:39 AM »
“Ah—” Brennan stated, chuckling at her response, but also wondering if she had indicated her familiarity with the portrait to emphasize that she indeed had money and was not just somebody’s assistant. “Well, in that case, you are very familiar with sort of money loss I’m speaking of here,” he added. You’re one of us, Brennan wanted to add but did not want her to feel insulted by his assumptions about her wealth or from where it might have originated. Nevertheless, there was a sort of commiseration that he immediately felt with her after her statement, a feeling that she might be a little more well versed in the world of arts and expensive things and due to this would understand why he simply could not file a report and be on his way.

“Perdita,” he repeated with a smile, “What a lovely name,” he added for good measure. It was a lovely name in that he had never heard it before and such rare, exotic things accompanied by such a pretty face only meant that it was indeed lovely. His eyes traced her face once again before they followed a path along the gallery walls to what she was looking at, the Ministry men rummaging through his belongings as if they had any good reason to do so. “Good thing I took my nudie mags out of there ages ago,” he teased, before realizing that it probably was not charming as much as it was perhaps a little repulsive. Bringing a hand to rub against his neck, he chuckled nervously, “I kid. I’ve never...I would never—” he started before settling for clearing his throat and not digging his grave any deeper. He was still a man after all, even if he had learned after many a good scolding from his mother to keep his personal belongings outside of the gallery and home. “Anyway, yes, they do seem rather lazy,” he sighed heavily, “I reckon’ they’ll want to go through the

“I suppose that’d be my course of action if I needed the money but seems a little silly to steal portraits to do it, particularly when it was supposed to be the star of my exhibition,” he added in a matter-of-fact tone, not particularly insulted by her statement but a little defensive at the thought that he of all people would sabotage himself in that way over a bit of money. Then again, how could the beautiful young woman ever know the sorts of pressure that he faced daily to outperform his younger cousin and now heir to the family businesses? If he were a better man, maybe he would have rebelled against his grandfather and the gallery setting everything on fire as a last hoorah before disappearing somewhere and disassociating himself from the family altogether. The family had enough money to cut their losses several times over, even if the loss of history would be a little painful for some of them. His grandfather, he figured, would only be annoyed for as long as it took to sign the check to restore the place before returning to his plethora of problems.

Nevertheless, Brennan was neither that reckless not intent on revenge when the money agreed with him so well. “No offense taken,” he reassured the young woman, it was refreshing for someone to be so honest with him even if they were not doing it on purpose. “Toddlers are rather genius I hear, the only thing that stands in their way of murder is their short height and lack of muscle power, I’d say you’ll do just fine,” Brennan teased, it felt like he had read that somewhere and even though it sounded rather unlikely now that he considered it, it felt like a reassuring thing to say. “Well as you take notes, do make sure to report to your boss that these lazy idiots ought to be stripped from their Ministry credentials and would be better suited for something that didn’t require a brain,” he said a little more bitterly than intended. No matter how much he wanted to pretend, the thought that there were no leads so far was starting to make him even more nervous.

At least Perdita was doing a reasonably good job of keeping him calm, the information she gave him much more comforting that the suspicious glances and tight-lipped responses he had gotten from the Ministry officials. He understood that they wanted to do their jobs, but it seemed inappropriate to do it at the expense of making him feel like a culprit. Weren’t investigators supposed to have a way with people to make them confess to their crimes or something? Even if Brennan did know anything, he wasn’t very willing to tell them anything with that sort of attitude.

“Other robberies!?” he exclaimed, the frown etched on his face and the way his voice rose in pitch, making it evident that he had no idea what she spoke of. He laughed in disbelief, somehow relieved but at the same time annoyed that such information was not disclosed to him. “Yes, tea would be lovely,” he said before turning to her again. “So you mean to tell me that this has happened before?! Why hasn’t it been announced in the papers? How can anyone be safe and secure if the bloody Ministry keeps us from the information we need?” he exclaimed, but taking a deep breath, he forced himself to calm down. “I apologize I’m just completely—” he sighed again, “Tea is fantastic and all but could you tell me about these robberies?”

Perdita Bloom [ British Ministry ]
1242 Posts  •  22  •  Hereosexual  •  played by Sioban
Re: [mayfair] viva la vida. [tag; brennan]
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 07:56:51 PM »
Perdita didn't respond but she did offer him a small, sympathetic smile. She absolutely did realise the monetary loss this would cause him. Absently, she wondered if his family were like hers; the Blooms didn't trust banks. Invest, invest, invest! her grandfather used to bark at her. Properties were a safe bet and art was supposed to be, too. "Sorry," she added gently, resisting the urge to pat his arm sympathetically in the process.

Her smile changed to be brighter at his compliment. Had it been anyone else, they might have blushed but Perdita forced it back down. "Thank you," she added demurely with a bob of her head. "It's Shakespearean." It was a compulsion she was forced to add whenever anyone mentioned her name. It meant "lost" in Latin, which she'd always found a bit odd. She'd always been pretty sure of herself. "At least my namesake made it to the end of the play," Perdita added with a wan smile. Poor fictional Perdita almost didn't.

Laughter bubbled up from her gut as she chuckled but had the decency to giggle behind the back of her hand. "Of course not," Perdy agreed with Brennan as she cleared her throat and shook out her dark locks. "You'd put them in the drawer with a false bottom, obviously," she joked. He was obviously nervous and her heart went out to him. He was being treated like a criminal, not a victim.

She laughed again, this time not behind her hand at his mention of toddlers. "Ah," she said softly. "You've not met my little cousin, Annabelle." Here, Perdita winced visibly. The little hellion was out of control. Her aunt and uncle weren't the girl's parents; they should really be her jailers. Perdita didn't think Annabelle's lack of muscle strength would be a problem because the little girl was filled with pure rage. Her screams sounded like a Mandrake in distress.

Perdita's quill was out as Brennan complained and she did as such. "Would you like me to draft a howler?" She asked, innocently, her eyes wide as just the hint of a smile curved her lips. Her quill was the only noise that broke the silence as it scratched across her notebook. Mr. Reinhardt is disappointed in the Ministry's actions. Lazy. Suggested a goat could do their job better, she wrote, embellishing the truth before she looked up sharply.

"Keep your voice down!" Perdita hissed with wide eyes at his squeak of surprise. Panicked, she looked at the officials who were still chatting. "Hold that thought," she told Brennan quickly as she jogged across the floor, returning a few moments later and pressed a hot cup of tea into his hands; it had very little milk and a lot of sugar. "Because they can't prove they're connected," she answered in hushed tones, shepherding him into the closest chair like she would an elderly lady.

"And they're not going to admit that the security they recommended has been breached." The Ministry, like all the other ones, had guidelines. Ward ideas, troll security team recommendations and everything in between, a list of approved tradesmen, of sorts. It was standard practice and a lot of museums and galleries used the same sorts of technologies, which was obviously their apparent downfall. "You didn't use the same cursebreakers as anyone else, did you?" She asked, looking for a possible link. With a sigh, she nodded. "Well," she smiled again, "they haven't really had the best press interaction over the last couple of years. It's unsurprising that they wanted to sweep it all under the rug until they solved it so they can release the information and get a big fanfare. Drink your tea," she urged him.

"Don't apologise," Perdita said as she waved it aside, sitting on the arm of Brennan's chair casually. "The one in Paris was hit first," she explained as she scratched her nose. "In a similar situation to yours, I feel. Their painting was their star exhibition, too. Snatched on opening night, moments before the curtain was raised. You can imagine the shock and embarrassment to unveil an empty frame." A very small part of her wanted to giggle.

"Bilbao was a bit different." Perdita looked around the bright gallery. "Theirs was taken after opening night. After people had seen it. It almost makes me feel like whomever did this is either making a point or making a scene." She opened her notebook again. "It makes me wonder if they're playing a game, you know?" She looked at him with a frown. "Paris was done seemingly like "boo sucks to you", thing. A statement. Bilbao was sort of like a "now you see it, now you don't"." With the quote, Perdita wiggled her fingers like a magician would. "Two different ways to humiliate world famous galleries with world famous security systems."

"But you," Perdita ploughed on, a crease forming on her smooth forehead as she tried to work out the connection. "If they'd hit a bigger gallery, sure," she shrugged. "Motive figured out but no. It almost makes me think that Wilde is stealing them back. But, you know, he's dead," Perdita stated bluntly. "Biscuit?" She asked, holding open her palm on which a custard cream sat.
 

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