A Model's Tale

Chapter Six: Saffron's Story

"Where do you think you're going?"
Aja folded her arms, blocking the doorway of the Hologram's dressing room and fixing Saffron with a stony stare.
"I want to speak to Kimber, if I may." Saffron spoke levelly.
"I don't think that she wants to speak to you." Aja said quietly. "Not at the moment. I'm surprised at you, you know, and disappointed. I thought I was a good judge of character...guess I was wrong."
"Aja, there is nothing between me and Shawn, whatever Pizzazz said." Saffron responded helplessly. "I wish you'd believe me. I'm not like that...really! Just let me talk to her...I'm sure we can sort this out!"
Aja eyed Saffron thoughtfully, then she nodded.
"Well, okay. I don't want to think bad of you, Saffron, because I like you, and I know Shana does too." she said finally. "But whatever you have to say had better be good..."
"Don't worry. I'm sure it will be, just as soon as I know what Ms Gabor said to Kimber." Saffron's eyes narrowed.
"I can tell you that." Quickly Aja summarised the comments that Pizzazz had made, and Saffron clenched her fists.
"Witch!" She exclaimed. "Total lies! I never degraded myself like that in high school! Sure, I dated, doesn't everyone? But I never ever went for another girl's guy! Not ever!"
Aja looked taken aback at the model's rage.
"Well, I guess you and Kimber do need to chat." She said. "Go on...just go easy on her. She's prone to overreacting, I'm afraid...it's part of who she is."
"I'll try." Saffron responded. Carefully she turned the handle, opening the door and slipping into the dressing room. Kimber glanced up from where she had been curled up in a chair in the corner, angry hurt crossing her face as she recognised the other girl.
"What do you want?" She demanded.
"Just to talk, and set the record straight." Saffron replied quietly, shutting the door behind her. "There is nothing between Shawn and I, Kimber. I have great respect for him, he's a good musician and in some ways maybe we're the same, in that we've battled through things to get to where we are, but I'm not in love with him, and I'm not seeing him behind your back. What Pizzazz said about me is a lie."
"Says who?"
"Says me." Saffron perched on the bench. "And if you've worked in the same business as Pizzazz has for the last couple of years you must know enough about her to know she's economic with the truth when it suits her."
"True." Kimber hesitated. "But the French girl said..."
"What has Lilianne to do with anything?" Saffron demanded. "I don't speak to her unless I really have no choice, Kimber. We're not on the same wavelength and in any case her English is not so good."
"She said...um....she said you'd gone with some guy to your car and...and asked him to...to fix you." Kimber faltered.
Saffron stared.
"She said what?"
"That's what she said."
"But..." Saffron looked bewildered. Then suddenly inspiration crossed her face.
"Oh! Wait a minute! Kimber, I asked Shawn to come help me change the tire on my car, because I couldn't do it on my own, it got jammed."
"But Lilianne said her...not it."
"Kimber, you don't speak French, huh?"
"No." Kimber looked confused. "Why?"
"Lilianne's English is bad, I already told you that. The French for car is la voiture, it's feminine...Lili always gives genders to words that don't have genders in English. I bet that's what she meant."
"Oh God...Saffron I'm so sorry." Kimber's eyes opened wide with horror. "And Shawn...what will Shawn think of me?"
"Shawn loves you, and he's a pretty special guy, you know." Saffron replied. "He'll forgive you."
"You think so? I...I hit him pretty hard." Kimber bit her lip. "You promise me you weren't trying it on with him? You swear?"
"I swear." Saffron nodded. "Look, maybe if I explain to you a bit more about me, then you'll believe me. You see, Kimber, I don't have room for a guy in my life."
"What do you mean?" Kimber asked. Saffron came and sat down beside the redhead.
"My hands are full already." she said simply.
"Kimber?" At that moment a fresh voice came from the doorway and the two girls glanced up, Kimber smiling when she saw who it was.
"Hi, Stormer. Saffron's just trying to stop me making more of a fool of myself...come in."
"You okay? I know what Pizzazz did...I'm sorry about her. Guess she's pretty bored." Stormer came to sit down. "Am I intruding?"
"No, you're welcome, Stormer." Saffron grinned at her. "Kimber and I were having a heart to heart, that's all...I was explaining to her why I'm not interested in her man." She reached into her purse, pulling out a snapshot and placing it on the unit. "There."
"Oh...they are so cute!" Stormer exclaimed.
"Are they yours?" Kimber asked.
"Yes. My twins. Cerise on the left and Katya on the right. It was taken last summer when we were out in Texas with my sister...they love it out there." Saffron agreed. She sighed. "I miss them so much, you know...they're out there at the moment with Anne Marie since I've got crazy hours here and she has a huge ranch with a big family and lots to do...it's hardly fair to leave them to roam the house all day with some stranger. I do hate going home at night, though. I don't like being without them."
"I had no idea you had kids." Kimber looked impressed. "How old are they?"
"Six in a month or two. They're a handful, but I love them."
"How do you tell them apart?" Stormer wondered.
"Mom's instinct, I guess." Saffron laughed. "I've never gotten them confused. And anyway they don't often dress alike. This was just for photos...Anne Marie wanted to be cutesy."
"How come you're worried about leaving them at home? Don't they have a Daddy?" Kimber asked.
"No." Saffron frowned. "That's the bit I wanted to explain to you. I mean, sure, they did have a father, once. But he's long gone now."
"He left you?" Stormer's blue eyes became sympathetic. Saffron nodded.
"Yes, he did." She agreed. "Left me with two small babies, no job and no money. In some ways it was my own fault...I was too young to marry, in hindsight. Too naive. I let myself be coaxed." She sighed. "Some of my family still don't speak to me because of Ryan. They still haven't forgiven me for dropping out of college and marrying that jerk."
"Ryan?" Stormer stared at her. "Your ex-husband is called Ryan?"
"Yes. Ryan Wells. Waste of space that he is."
"Oh God...oh my God..." Stormer's face drained of colour and her hand flew to her mouth. "Saffron...you can't be serious...when did you marry this guy?"
"About seven years ago...maybe six." Saffron replied. "We divorced properly a year later. Why?"
"Oh God..." Stormer whispered. "I came so close..."
"Stormer?" Kimber looked worried. "What's wrong?"
"Before the Misfits, I dated a guy called Ryan Wells." Stormer's tones were unsteady. "I thought I loved him and I thought he loved me...he asked me to marry him and I said yes. But I found out he was two timing me and broke it off with him...then the Misfits happened and I guess it helped me get over him and move on. I wanted to toughen up, and...and I think in some ways I have...but I came so close to making an awful mistake."
"I never knew you were engaged!" Kimber exclaimed.
Saffron put a hand on Stormer's arm.
"You were lucky. Count yourself lucky." She said gravely. "I spent two years on welfare trying to get through - it was pure luck that I got into this profession and every day I thank God for it so I can support my girls. But I'm off men, now and always." She indicated the photograph. "They're all I need these days."
"I'm sorry I accused you, Saffron." Kimber looked sheepish. "I guess...I guess I need to learn to stop jumping to conclusions, huh?"
"You're forgiven. I didn't mean to come across as a flirt." Saffron grinned. "So you don't hate me any more?"
"No...I don't." Kimber agreed. "But I do need to talk to Shawn, and right now if I can find him."
"I'm sure he'll hear you out." Saffron assured her. "I'd appreciate it if you girls didn't talk to anyone about Cerise and Kat. The more I can keep them out of the press the better."
"We understand." Stormer nodded. "We won't say anything, will we, Kimber?"
"Of course not. It's the least I can do for yelling at you." Kimber responded. "And now I'm going to see if I can fix whatever tatters remain of my relationship...catch you guys later!"

"Kimber!" Shawn cast his girlfriend a surprised grin as she came across the set towards him. "Can we...are you mad at me, love, or can we talk?"
"I came to talk...and to apologise." Kimber looked sheepish. "I...shouldn't have jumped to conclusions. Saffron and I had a long talk and, well, I know that I was wrong to accuse you...I'm sorry. I guess it's just that you mean so much to me - I don't want to lose you."
"I don't want to lose you either." Shawn admitted. "You know that, Kimber. I've never been in love with a girl like I am with you, and that's the honest truth. I admit I 'aven't always been a knight in shinin' armour, but I'm not the man I used to be."
"I want to know." Kimber put her arms around his neck. "Really, Shawn, I do. I keep hearing about this wild past of yours and I want to know exactly what you did that was so terrible you don't want to talk about it to me. I love you, you know that...if we're gonna get married someday I need to know you...the real you."
"I...I guess you do." Shawn nodded, sighing. "It's my own fault if you 'ave doubts about me, Kimber, if I won't tell you the whole truth. Truth is, well, I've been afraid of what you'd think of me."
"I know you had a fling with Pizzazz...I think I know how far it went, as well." Kimber said softly. "It hurt me, when I first found out but Shawn, I thought about it and I want you to know that it doesn't matter, it really doesnt. I love you and you love me and Pizzazz is in the past, right?"
"Very much so. Kimber, it was so meaningless and impulsive an encounter it's 'ardly worth a mention." Shawn responded. "It's only because she's the kind of girl she is, an' you an' she have such a rivalry that it's flared up like this. Pizzazz never even came close to meaning to me what you do."
"I know that." Kimber nodded her head. "I guess I shouldnt let myself get worked up by her. I know she's only jealous that I won you in the end."
"Kimber, there's something else I need to talk to you about." Shawn's tone was hesitant, and his expression troubled. "While the skeletons are comin' out of the closet...there's something else I gotta say."
"Oh? What's that?" Kimber raised deep blue eyes to his, her expression questioning.
"Kimber!" Jem's voice cut across the conversation and the redhead turned to face her sister. "There you are!"
"Jem, we're kinda busy...can't it wait?" Kimber asked. Jem shook her head.
"No...Kimber, Danse and the other dancers have arrived and so has Lin-Z Pearce - she wants an exclusive chat with the Holograms and the other bands backstage and I told her I'd round the rest of you girls up...we're all ready and waiting."
"Guess duty calls." Kimber shot Shawn an apologetic look. Shawn sent her a sad smile.
"It's okay, love. We'll talk later." He said quietly.
"Sure we will." Kimber kissed him. "Hold that thought, yeah? I'll be back before you know it."
Shawn watched her go, his heart heavy. Getting up the nerve to tell her the truth had not been easy, and now he had to do it all over again. He frowned. How would she react? He had no way of knowing...he could only hope that she wouldn't be too angry.
But then, he mused, how did you tell your fiancee to be that you were already married?

Chapter One: Meredith
Chapter Two: On Set
Chapter Three: The Misfits
Chapter Four: Old Rivals
Chapter Five: Kimber
Chapter Six: Saffron's Story
Chapter Seven: Enter The Dancers
Chapter Eight: Blast From The Past
Chapter Nine: Kimber and Eboni
Chapter Ten: Visit From The Backers
Chapter Eleven: Chimera's Secret
Chapter Twelve: Danse Takes A Hand
Chapter Thirteen: Decisions
Chapter Fourteen: Saffron's Advice
Chapter Fifteen: Closure


(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. Eboni, Saffron, Chimera, Sakura and all other characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)