Chapter Eleven: As It Should Be
"What the hell is this all about, Eric?"
Riot stormed into Stingers Sound's main office, an angry frown on his face as he tossed a newspaper down on the desk. "This rag says your selling your...Pizzazz?"
"Hello, Riot." Pizzazz sent him a benign smile, settling herself more comfortably in the chair. "Is there a problem?"
"I came to see Eric...get out of this office."
"I'm afraid that's quite impossible." Pizzazz told him sweetly. "You see, Mr Raymond and I have a business arrangement, Riot."
"What do you mean?" Riot's gaze narrowed.
"Well, let me see. Eric's gotten the finances of this place into a bit of a knot." Pizzazz rested her chin on her hands. "In truth, the company is losing more money than the records suggest...Daddy's men have been researching this for me. And it transpires that an amount of this money has been vanishing right into his pocket. Naturally he wants to avoid any kind of legal complication such as a public arrest...so I offered to get him out of his little dilemma. I've bought out his shares in Stingers Sound, and rectified his debts...in return he's staying on here as chief executive, only under my jurisdiction."
"Damn that creep." Riot's expression could not get much more angry. "Damn him! I always knew he was a lousy businessman!" He glared at Pizzazz. "But I have a share of this company too, Pizzazz. Half of it, in fact. And you can't control me as easily as you control Eric...where is he, anyway?"
"He's attending to some business for me." Pizzazz told him airily. "At my father's office, signing over his share to Gabor Enterprises. Daddy's putting things into my care, once it's all signed."
"That still doesn't mean you control me or my group." Riot told her coldly. "I'm not taking orders from an upstart like you."
"Oh really?" Pizzazz affected a surprised look. "I wasn't aware that the Stingers were planning on going their separate ways."
"I'm sorry?" Riot stared.
"You're excused." Pizzazz smirked at him. "Oh yes...didn't I tell you? I've been looking over the files here and, well, I'm sure you understand that I want to rectify the legal situation of any files that are still rather...shall we say, unsettled?"
"Just come to the point." Riot snapped.
"All right." Pizzazz got to her feet, leaning her hands on the desk and fixing Riot with a stony glare.
"Minx has no work or residence permit to stay in the United States." She said in low tones. "If you don't agree to sell your half of the company to me, I'll have her deported back to Germany and you thrown in jail for operating illegally."
"What?" Riot's expression registered shock. "No permit? But...what have you done with it!"
"There never was one, Riot." Pizzazz said simply. "My father's contacts abroad settled Jetta's permit, but without my support Eric has no clout where these things are concerned. He admitted to me earlier that he'd 'never gotten around to it'. Minx is under an illegal contract, and the Stingers are finished...unless you sell."
Riot just stared at his foe in silence for a moment, then, "And what about if I did? What then?"
"Then I would of course, as executive of Misfit Music, make sure that Minx's contractual blip was settled as soon as possible. It's just a phone call away - I checked with my father's people last night that it would be possible. The Stingers would continue in their current successful vein to record and perform under jurisdiction of this company, and noone would be any the wiser for it. After all, noone knows as yet, except you, me and the rest of the Misfits."
Riot muttered something unrepeatable under his breath. Then he sighed, closing his eyes and rubbing his temples as he considered the situation, sinking down into a chair.
"What else can I do?" He asked at length. "We worked damn hard to get to America, Pizzazz...I'm not throwing that hard work away now. It could be a year or more for Minx to get her permit if we went back to Germany...and it would mean that Rapture and I would have to go through the rigmarole of renewing our paperwork too...no, it's not an option."
"So you'll sell?" Pizzazz's heart leapt.
"I don't have a choice." Riot said quietly. "You win, Pizzazz...I'll sell. But on one condition...I want it written into the sale agreement that you will do everything in your power to maintain the Stingers' careers under the mantle of this company. You understand me?"
"Perfectly." Pizzazz said sweetly. "I'll pass that on to my father's people. And don't worry, you'll get a good price for it." She smiled infuriatingly. "You see, there was good reason for me to be in DC after all, wasn't there?"
"How long have you been plotting this, you little witch?"
"You better learn to treat me with some respect, considering that I will soon be your boss." Pizzazz told him in dangerously low tones. "And that's not your concern. Your concern is making sure the Stingers' new album is done on schedule." She smiled. "Do you know why I went to all this trouble?"
"No, but I have a feeling you're going to tell me." Riot sounded weary.
"You've messed up my mind and humiliated me in front of my bandmates once too many times." Pizzazz replied. "When Stormer gave you that slap in the face it woke me up, made me realise I should've been the one doing the slapping, not her. An' when it takes a mouse like Stormer to give you a wakeup call, you know things have gone wrong someplace. I ain't going to forgive you one iota for all you've done to me...you've made me a laughing stock and treated me as your puppet...well, no more! You and your floozies are going to answer to me now...and you better make sure you do as you're told, else there'll be trouble. You hear me?"
Riot scowled. Then,
"You know, you and your father are bad as each other." He responded darkly. "All obsessed with business."
"No...not at all." Pizzazz shook her head. "But this is something personal to me...and I'm gonna make it work, whatever you think about it. Misfit Music is gonna be a success - one hell of a success! And the Misfits are gonna be it's star attraction, so get used to it."
Riot made no reply, turning on his heel and walking clean out of the office, slamming the door behind him and leaving Pizzazz to laugh. For the first time in months she felt like herself - like things were finally coming around full circle and her moment in the spotlight was being returned to her. The Misfits' new album would be a huge success with the backing of their own company restored, and she had no doubt that they'd soon be playing sellout tours of their own.
But more than that, the relationship between her and her father was repaired. Finally they understood each other, and more, respected each other's career preferences enough to work together and make the Gabor family an even more formidable team.
Finally, after much heartache and doubt, everything was as it should be.
Chapter One: The Magazine
Chapter Two: A Phone Call
Chapter Three: Washington DC
Chapter Four: Harvey Gabor
Chapter Five: Answering To Eric
Chapter Six: Breaking Down
Chapter Seven: Riot
Chapter Eight: A Change Of Luck
Chapter Nine: Harvey's Proposal
Chapter Ten: A Cunning Plan
Chapter Eleven: As It Should Be
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not appear in Jem episodes are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)