Disclaimer: Nothing here is mine. Except the plot.
Note to the reader: While I was working at my job, I decided to do a "what if" fic. What if Pam and Jim and never decided to take their job offers at The Office? Hmmmm, where would they be? How would they meet?
This is a Jam fic, of course. It isn't exactly funny. More of a romantic mystery than anything. I hope you like it.
Pictures in a Book
By diddly day
Chapter One: The Interview
They hadn't said anything for a while now.
The room was silent. He stared down at the young woman who sat across from him. They had talked briefly for a few moments. While he asked her this, and she answered that, he tried to understand just what was going on inside of her mind at that moment. But it was difficult. Her expressions seem to change like the wind.
"I have a few more questions for you," he said as he put the tip of his pen over the thin piece of paper that lay smoothly on the table.
Her eyes didn't seem to want to meet his.
Wetting his lips, he ran his palm down his tie.
"How did you know Mr. Graham?"
"Um," her voice was very soft. "He was one of my clients."
His eyes darted from his paper to her. Client? This woman didn't look like a lawyer. Gazing at her now, in her knee length skirt, and her crisp buttoned blouse, she looked more like a librarian. Most of her dark, wavy hair was clipped back behind her head. And her pink lips were pressed together apprehensively. The only other women he interviewed who used that term were usually. . .
No, that was stupid. Her soft, Mary Sue appearance was quite disarming. Nothing like a lady of the evening as he had seen before.
Unless, that was what she was going for. Of course, he knew men who were into that sort of thing. Sexy. Sultry. Why not sweet?
"And what do you do for a living?" he asked. Her eyelids fluttered at his question. It appeared, to her, that she had no idea why she was even here.
"I- I'm an illustrator."
She didn't seem to like the cold room they were in. Her eyes were moving around her, slowly taking everything in. She was pinching her left thumb and index finger with her right thumb finger. A ring on her left finger caught his attention. It glittered in the cold light. Everything about her at that second was tottery. Even her shoulders seemed to droop.
She was nervous, yes. But she wasn't lying.
"You do illustrations?" He dropped his pen. This action didn't calm her as he hoped it would. She merely stared at the pen and nodded stiffly.
"Yeah," she muttered. Her voice was so light, he was sure he was going to have to strain his ears to hear her. However, the room was silent aside from a faint humming sound. And her voice echoed in the big room. Bouncing off the walls and chiming like water glasses. "He hired me to paint pictures for a book he had written."
That was true. Graham had been a writer.
"How long did you know him?" Now his voice was professional. She didn't answer at first. He noticed how her fingers pressed one by one on the table as if she were counting discretely. The light tap stopped at four.
"About four months," she answered.
"Did you meet with him often?"
She shrugged her shoulders gently and raised her eyebrows as if trying to remember. Opening her mouth, he didn't utter a word. Her pink lips made a "o" shape, and she looked up at the ceiling, and finally rested her stare at him.
"Two, maybe three times a week. . .at most."
Ah. She was going to his house three times a week. That was enough.
"How did your husband feel about that?" he questioned as he picked up his pen.
"He's not my husband." Her tone was a tad bit stronger as she said those words. Immediately though, her expression softened, and a small amount of color rose to her checks. Lowering her eyes to her hands, she bit her lip.. "He's – he's my fiancé," she added in her regular, faint voice.
"How did your fiancé feel about your weekly visits?" the man tried again.
"I don't think he really cared," she replied flatly.
"He didn't care? How long have you two been engaged?"
Silence. Then. . .
He could already tell that he had brought up a sensitive subject. But, after all, it was really her fiancé that he wanted to know about. However, he decided he'd ask the big question and be done with it. Cut to the chase. Rip off the band-aid in one swift motion.
It was a mandatory question, anyway.
"Where were you the night Mr. Graham was killed?"
Her face changed again. Her lips parted slightly as her nostrils twitched. The heavy lids of her eyes widened and he was sure that the small blush from before had vanished. The weight of her gaze pierced him. It was the first time the two had looked at each other properly. And he was very aware of that. She really did have very pretty eyes. . .
"Um. . ." She shook her head tightly. "I was on the phone with my mother."
Okay, they could check the phone records. But what about. . .
"And where was your fiancé?" he said it tenderly. Trying his best not the imply that the man she loved was a suspect.
"He. . .He went out with the boys. For drinks, I think. Why?" A twinge of fear was masked in her words.
"Does he go out with the boys a lot?"
The girl was already beginning to shake her head when she stopped halfway through. Pausing, she shyly gazed at the cop. Then, dropping her eyes, she whispered: "Yes."
"Once a week? Or. . ."
"Every night," she finished. Her face was red again. "Why?"
He answered her with the sound of his pen scratching across the form.
Now was the part he hated. His least favorite question. But he had seen this scenario too many times to count. Nice, warm girl meets insensitive jackass. They fall in love, but then the jackass starts to take advantage of her. Uses her. Then forgets her. And while she sits home alone, he goes out with the guys every night and drinks himself merry.
But then the girl meets a charming, sophisticated, mature older man. He makes her feel pretty, and youthful and alive. And before she knows it, she's going over to his house two or three times a week for a long, hot evening of passion.
Until the jackass finds out, and kills the handsome lover.
He'd seen it before. And presumably, he was seeing it again.
Nonetheless, he had to ask it. This was his job. Whether he liked it or not.
"What was your relationship with Mr. Graham?" Now he was the one who sounded faint.
He couldn't help himself from looking away from her. Even so, her stare was feeding into him. The feel of it was almost unbearable.
"He asked me to paint pictures for his book. . ." She sounded uncertain. As if she didn't quite understand what he was asking her.
He'd have to make it plainer if he was to get a straight answer or reaction.
"Was your relationship with Graham sexual?"
His question didn't seem to register at first. She blinked a few times and kept moving about in her normal way as she opened her mouth to answer him.
"It – what?"
She was very pale, and her hair didn't seem to want to stay in its clip anymore, not after her head had jerked forward and her fingers pressed themselves deep into the table to the point where they turned white.
"Where you – Where you having an affair with Graham?" he added a bit more tactfully. A small fluster came over him, and his palms turned very sweaty. His pen slipped between his fingers.
She seemed too shocked to say anything at first. Finally, her mouth moved and sound followed.
"No." Words failed her again. But then: "No, no, no! I've never. . .I mean I have not -"
"Ma'am," he interjected, "I know. I've seen it plenty of times. More times than you would think. I know how lonely a girl can get. Especially when she's in a relationship but she feels single. And when a new, smart man gives her attention, she becomes very – "
"I didn't cheat on my fiancé," she said in a strong voice. "I would never. . .not on Roy."
Then almost at once, she seemed to understand the meaning of these useless string of questions. She placed her hands on the table and stared him down. Everything about her at that moment had changed.
"Roy didn't do it."
She was smart. Very smart.
"I never said he– " he began.
"No," she interrupted. "He didn't have a reason. Not one."
He didn't want to argue with her. However, this was his job. It was his job to ask questions. It was his job to suspect. It was his job to make accusations and try to embarrass or fluster anyone. And why? Because he needed. . .wanted. . .answers. It was the only thing that could help him sleep at night. As much as he hated to ask these questions, to see that pain, shame, or terror in anyone's eyes, he had to do it.
It was his job.
"Listen, Miss Beesely, I'm just trying to look at this from all angles. Do you understand?"
She looked as though she were about to argue with him again, but she stayed silent, and only nodded. Like a phantom, she had transformed right in front of him again. She was back to her worried appearance that she had before. The tense, fiery, desperate look had vanished from her eyes, and only distress shined back at him.
Looking down once more, she shivered. This room really was too damn cold.
When Beesely looked up again, she peered at him and rubbed her hands together.
"What else is there?" she whispered. He peered at her too.
"That's what I'm trying to find out," he hushed back.
Sighing, she leeched back into her hard chair, clearly exhausted to say anymore. As if on cue, the door to the large roomed opened, and a short, stocky man with a goatee stood in the doorway. Beesely seemed too tired to even look up.
"Halpert," the man said. "In the back for a sec."
Throwing back one more glance at Miss Beesely, Officer Halpert stood from his chair and muttered a quick "Thank you" that she did not reply.
I I I
"So. . .You think she did it?" asked Brenttan with a small smirk. Halpert stared off into space for a moment, and then through the window mirror at Beesely who was still sitting at the gray table in the interrogation room.
"Why not?" Brenttan was now looking at her too. When he didn't say anything Brenttan laughed. "Look, I know she's cute, and sweet and shy, but she could've been screwing Graham behind her fiancé's back. She could've done the damn deed for all we know. We can't rule her about just because she looks like Becky-Home-Eccy.
"It's not that," he cut in. "I believe her. She wasn't lying. If her hus. . .err. . .fiancé did it, she would have no idea as to why or how."
"Oh, come on, Jim! You can't look through that glass, and tell me there isn't the slightest chance that a girl in her situation wouldn't run into the arms of a man who gave her attention? And that she didn't kill him?"
Beesely was glaring at nothing. Her soft skin was flushed now. . . as she had no one to ask her personal and frustrating questions. Shaking slightly, she tucked her hands in her lap and closed her eyes. All the while keeping her breathing steady. However, her eyes were closed and her mouth was trembling.
This time, Jim didn't try to respond. Because there was always a chance.
To Be Continued. . .
Note to the reviewer: Well, what did you think? I'll only continue if I get good reviews. I've got other fics that I need to finish, and I don't want to waste my time if no one likes it. So, if you liked, review! If you didn't , get out!