"Mr. Neil Caffrey, what brings you here?" The man called Brown quickly adjusted his expression. He was excited and happy and seemed to want to stall for time.
But to my surprise, the peacock beside me was a really famous person. And I had heard of his name long ago. Four years ago, when I was in a mental health center, I read in the newspaper that the famous swindler, Neil Caffrey, was arrested.
Neil Caffrey enjoyed being on the cusp of victory and said happily: “I just heard that you seem to have started to research art again recently. Everyone has the same interests.”
Just then, I glanced around and found a strange-looking female clerk standing at the cash register. Her slightly leaning forward body revealed her uneasy mood, similar to several men and women standing outside the store who were all wearing suits and leather shoes. They moved their bodies to pay attention to the situation here, restless.
"Oh, don't say that. How can my taste compare with you? If it was you..." Brown exaggeratedly waved his hand in shame, then pretended to suddenly think of something and changed the topic, “Do you think we're disturbing the customers’ peace and quiet here? If you have something to say, you might as well say it somewhere else.”
Neil Caffrey was silent for a few seconds and didn’t respond, then he said without expression: "Brown, the FBI suspects that you have something to do with a recent art theft. I hope you can come back with us and help investigate."
I raised my eyebrows and looked at the restless men and women in suits who were originally standing outside the store that strode in. It seemed that I guessed right. They were FBI agents.
"You're just paranoid, Mr. Caffrey." To their surprise, Brown did not struggle the slightest and had no desire to escape. He only raised his hands and calmly spoke.
Oh, no wonder he looked so calm. I looked at the female clerk behind the cash register. After the group of people who looked like FBI agents entered the store, she quietly walked out of the store from a spot out of their vision without attracting attention.
The new generation of forgers and technical art masters have a wonderful artistic foundation…I recalled the description that I had seen before about Neil Caffrey. I turned my head to look at the man beside me who was well-dressed, I couldn’t help holding my forehead. When all is said and done, why did I want to study his deception style seriously…
Such a high-profile and boastful deception, but so careless. I've already thought about how Peacock can narcissistically cheat others' trust and disguise his identity when he really spreads his tail. His excessive self-concern and self-confidence make it easy for him to let go of important clues due to carelessness when he is helping the FBI conduct a crime investigation.
The commotion, caused by the FBI arresting Brown, was just like the noise from a food market. During the commotion, I stood up and went to the cash register where the woman was just now. I completed the checkout procedures by myself for the books that I had originally wanted to read here.
Then I saw the name of the cashier in the register book. It was also the name of the woman who secretly slipped away, Nora Brown. She had the same last name as the arrested Mr. Brown.
The FBI agent escorting Brown left quickly, so I turned to look at the unhurried and reluctant-to-follow Neil Caffrey, who was preparing to leave. “You’re not paying for your coffee, sir?”
It was also fun to let Neil Caffrey, who hated to pay with his own money and had been getting everything he wanted with his clever words, pay for coffee here. It was a reward for providing information to the FBI, it was comedic material that would make me happy for a week.
My words made Neil Caffrey walk over with an unhappy face. He fished out some change and went up to me and looked into the cashier’s desk. Then he asked, “Where's the clerk?”
"Maybe the commotion just now scared her away?" I blinked at him. "I don't know why she looked so hurried, that…Miss Nora Brown?"
Originally, Neil Caffrey’s expression was only impatient. When he heard the name that I mentioned at the end of my sentence, Neil Caffrey's eyes widened and he turned to look at me. "Who are you?! How do you know this name?" He stepped back, on guard.
"I'm just a book bar customer who was disturbed by your loud and big movements.” I laughed innocently, “When I came to borrow books, I saw that the clerk was not here, and I went through the checkout procedures by myself. You can see her name on the register directory.”
Neil Caffrey froze, then promptly went to the register directory to check the validity of what I said. Then he frowned and took out his cell phone to make a phone call. "All our guesses were wrong! Nora Brown wasn’t separated from him. She was in the book bar five minutes ago.”
When Neil Caffrey was urgently talking to the man on the phone, I turned and walked out of the book bar. When I passed Neil, I deliberately whispered in his ear and laughed softly, “Never regard yourself as the smartest person in the room. Beware of suffering a major setback due to carelessness…”
Although Neil Caffrey's deception style is not suitable for my personality, his swindling techniques and language arts were very important knowledge for me to disguise as a normal person in the crowd or to escape by concealing my identity one day after I really commit a crime.
If I could draw his attention, it is estimated that it can be used as a hidden investment to connect with him when I run into him in the future. As long as I can learn a skill or two from him, I also gain benefits.
Neil Caffrey watched me leave anxiously, trying to stop me with his shouting several times. I just turned around to him with a smile and turned back quickly without hesitation, departing. After all, I didn’t know who the cat was that could catch such a naughty mouse, and even trained a cunning fox into a beagle. This was not what the ordinary FBI could do.
I don't want to face the FBI too soon, be investigated, and be treated as a potential criminal for being psychologically unstable.
A week passed quickly, and not surprisingly I received an official notice that I got into the semi-finals. I also learned about the final outcome of the original and the reproduction from newspapers. The New York Times reported on the follow-up of the Ramsey Gallery theft case, the FBI finally solved that Brown with a criminal record and his daughter committed the crime.
I packed my luggage, picked up my leather suitcase, and got on the plane which the show reimbursed me for the airfare. The audition for America’s Next Top Model was in New York, but the official shooting was actually conducted in Los Angeles.
At the Los Angeles International Airport meeting point, the large bus seemed to be filled with only male models. Hormonal young men were shouting in front of the camera about where the girls were. It seemed that only when we arrived at the official fashion show site could we see the female models.
All the people on the bus began to introduce each other. The extroverted boys fired up the atmosphere. I sat in the back of the bus and watched the atmosphere polarize. The extroverted boys gathered in the front seats with cameras, while introverts sat in the back seats with smiles and watched them make a scene.
Everyone's personality and appearance were very unique. I looked at everyone and determined their personalities in my heart. A male model next to me said, "Hi, I'm Ashton. You're Brian, right?… I remember you, Stanford psychology student!"
I'm not surprised that he avoided the first half of my story. I remember this model Ashton, one of those models waiting in the sidelines back then, listened to my whole story in the room.
"Hello, Ashton." I grinned and held out my hand to shake his, "I remember you. You were there back then.”
Ashton has short black docile curls, it could be seen that he was a mixed person, being part black and part Caucasian. It’s just that his skin was like a white person’s, his silhouette was like a black person’s. His blue eyes gave people a kind of exotic mien and unique temperament. He looked confident and outgoing.
It’s just that his weakness is that he is too feminine, which is very fatal when shooting still photos with female models. He is a homosexual, which can be clearly seen in his behavior and actions.
"Wow, you got into Stanford? That’s amazing." Another boy sitting in front also turned to talk. "Unlike me, I’m no good at studying! Hi, I’m Marvin.” He held out his hand to Ashton and me.
Marvin has layered black hair and looks like he is of mixed blood. His Hispanic genes were dominant. He seemed to be a mixed person with Latino blood, but he was fair-skinned. Marvin's cheekbones are very high and the silhouette is very deep. The appearance gives people a sense of high fashion. With a little sculpting, one could imagine that he would be a photographer's liked type.
Marvin didn't like to talk at first, but after getting familiar with him, you will feel comfortable chatting with him. He must have many siblings. You can imagine that if he lives in a big house, he will be the leader of the men's and children's gang. During the conversation, he always mentioned the excitement of seeing a female model soon. The introverted hormonal animal, in abbreviation, is outwardly cold but passionate inside. He should be able to show strong lethality when he needs to take photos.
However, he also has a weakness, even if his facial features will be very outstanding in still photos, but when facing a fashion show, his temperament will be weakened, unable to give people a breathtaking feeling. Without fame, it may be hard for him to get a fashion show job from a designer.
Many people will think that models give very rigid impressions, thinking they’re only living racks that display clothes. But in reality, it’s just a misconception because most famous models are quiet during work.
The energy used at work is focused on modeling and how to present the product, this is the ability to pay attention to detail. For male models, I can practically predict that only the introverted boys sitting at the back are most likely to get to the end of the show.
Because most girls innately pay attention to details, but most boys are energetic. If they can't focus on their work and can't calm down while shooting, this will be the most disadvantageous factor for them.
Before I could pull the brownish-blond haired boy into our conversation, the bus had already arrived. The boy was sitting in the far corner and kept wanting to chime in to join the conversation, but he could only smile awkwardly.
This was an antique grand theater in downtown Los Angeles. I just hurriedly exchanged names with the brownish-blond haired boy and got off the bus.
The boy's name is Chris. His standard Germanic appearance, long and narrow cheeks, and upturned eyes made him look very cold and roguish when he wasn’t smiling. In the second selection, he also told a story of his own, but compared with my story which was so dramatic that it was like a reprint of Les Misérables, his story only caused the audience to sigh.
He was a child of a single-parent family. His mother obviously had an unexpected pregnancy and gave birth to him, and she was not a competent mother. She did her duty to raise him and abandoned him on his eighteenth birthday. She went far away and disappeared without a trace. Since then, Chris had several experiences roaming about the streets.
One could imagine his former rouge friends scattering from the scene when he was in real trouble. The awkwardness of his interactions with people presented his delicate and taut character in front of me. If he got into conflict with people at the villa, it could influence his photo shoots.
As I finished a profile analysis of a new competitor, we followed the crowd into the theater backstage. Rows of dressing tables and clothes hanging in rows indicated that today's task would be a fashion show. I look at the masks placed on each dressing table, the fashion show might even be masquerade themed.