"The place is busy tonight."
PART TWO: A TEST OF FAITH
Chapter Three: Siren
Jetta pushed open the door of Le Klub Kool, taking in the atmosphere
with a thoughtful look on her face. "Are we crashing this joint to play
or just to hang out and have a blast? Because I ain't in the mood to
work, an' besides, Justin is droppin' by 'ere tonight at some point. I
like to 'ave some time off when we're not scheduled by slavedriver
"This is for fun." Pizzazz flexed her fingers, glancing at her shiny
red nails. "Though if you can't spend two minutes away from loser
loverboy, you got real problems. Are you telling me his company is more
interesting than playing with the Misfits live and impromptu? You need
to get your priorities sorted out."
"My priorities are where they should be, don't worry." Jetta rolled her
eyes. She turned, casting a glance out into the parking lot. "Stormer,
are you an' Roxy comin'? Or are we on our own tonight?"
"We're here." Stormer emerged from the darkness, followed a short time
later by their final bandmate. "Roxy was...er...admiring a motorcycle
that was parked up against the building."
"Admiring it? Or working out how to swipe it?" Pizzazz raised an
"I don't steal things I don't need." Roxy snorted. "There's no point in
getting caught. I just borrowed one of it's screws, that's all. I'm
missing one and the handlebars are wobbling. The driver won't miss it."
"Well, for once you said something I agree with." Jetta smirked. "I've
been saying you've a screw loose for years."
"Shut your face, big nose." Roxy retorted. "You wouldn't know the front
end of a bike from it's back, so give it a rest. At least I can do
something which doesn't involve whining, blowing hot air down a big
black pipe and smarming all over my brother for a living."
"Is it even safe that way?" Stormer eyed her doubtfully. Roxy nodded.
"Yeah." She said flippantly. "But if I'm repairing this bike, I'm
repairing it and I'm going to do it properly."
Jetta rolled her eyes.
"I thought you'd fixed it once." She muttered. "What did you do, break
"Oh, this is a different bike." Roxy grinned. "Mine is great. This
one's Aja's - she asked me to take a look at it and I said I would."
"Gah, my garage is turning into a bike workshop!" Pizzazz threw up her
hands in frustration. "Roxy, you better not get grease all over my new
car, because if you do your bikes will be down the junk yard for scrap!"
"Chill." Roxy shrugged, slipping the screw into her pocket. "I'm
careful. I know what I'm doing, and besides, Aja's bike is almost done.
I told you. I was just missing that screw."
"Well, I hope the driver doesn't mind." Stormer pursed her lips. "Come
on, let's change the subject. I've seen some of the guys who drive
bikes like those...and I don't think I want to stick around if he does
"Wimp." Roxy nudged her teasingly. "That sounds like a cue for a drink.
"Pizzazz. Who else has cash to throw away?" Jetta observed dryly.
"Besides, this is a "The Misfits are Back In Town" club crawl. We 'ave
to follow our leader's example. An' none of us are drivin'. There ain't
gonna be no accidents this time."
"Right." Pizzazz nodded her head. "Though they better start playing
some decent music soon." She grimaced. "The Holograms were bad enough
when Jem was caterwauling with them. Since she upped and went into
hiding they've been even worse than ever. Someone should put them out
of their misery."
"They're not so bad." Stormer said chidingly. "Besides, they've had a
lot of problems to deal with. You know that it's not just Jem who's
disappeared into...well...wherever. Jerrica's been ill, and..."
"Noone cares if Jerrica Benton is alive, dead, ill, well, sane, insane
or appearin' in panto." Jetta interrupted. "It was barely news when she
that Rio left Los Angeles, it's even less news that she's come back,
we really don't want to spoil a good evenin' thinking about her."
"Jetta's right." Pizzazz agreed. "Noone cares about Jem or Jerrica
Benton or Starlight Music any more anyhow. It's all about the Misfits
these days. Everyone knows that."
"There speaks an objective and reasoned woman of the people."
A wry voice interrupted the discussion and the quartette turned to see
Justin standing watching them, an amused look on his face.
"Do you have to creep up on us like that?" Pizzazz snapped. "It's bad
enough you exist, without you lurking in dark corners waiting to make
jump. And what do you mean, objective and reasoned? I'm a Misfit! Of
I'm right - who cares about being objective?"
"I stand corrected." He said good-humouredly. "I'm glad to see you back
to full health, by the way. The papers kept reporting horror stories
about how they'd had to remove your voice box or something...it's good
that you're just as vocal as ever, Pizzazz."
Pizzazz eyed him warily, then shrugged.
"Whatever." She said flippantly. "I have better things to do than spend
the evening in the company of the photographer."
She pursed her lips. "Though now the Misfits are back in action, we'll
need you at the end of the week to take some new glossies for a brand
new single. Maybe before. Stormer's working on the script as we speak,
and we want to get it out and about as soon as possible. Think you can
handle that? Because if not I'm sure I can find someone else."
"As ever, your confidence in my work honours me." Justin pretended to
tip his hat, causing the singer to scowl. "I'll be glad to do the job,
Miss Gabor. You have my number - just give me a call and we'll arrange
"Eric will do that." Pizzazz shrugged again. She cast Jetta a glance,
"I suppose you will want to stay with Mr Smug here." She said
resignedly. "Roxy, Stormer, let's leave them to it. If Jetta's gonna
make an ape of herself, I'd rather not be here to see it. I might bring
up my dinner."
With that parting comment she swept off across the club and, after
exchanging looks, Roxy and Stormer trailed after her, leaving Jetta and
her boyfriend alone on the dance floor. She reached the bar with very
bad grace, dropping down onto a free stool and demanding the attention
of the bartender with impatience.
"We're in for a night of the sulks. I can sense it." Roxy muttered,
sending Stormer a graphic grimace. "Bad enough Justin thinks Jetta's
worthy bedroom decor. He could have had better timing than to show up
right then and there. If he ain't careful she'll cut off his working
for the company completely."
"She won't. She might hate him but Pizzazz knows she has to have the
best and Justin is the best." Stormer shrugged. She grinned. "Are you
worrying about your brother's career, Roxy?"
"Not at all." Roxy shook her head. "I'm worried about my hearing after
I've had to listen to the whining from both sides, instead of just
hers." She returned the grin. "Still, it's good to have a night out
like this without worrying about that stupid new song she seems to want
us to have down before it's written. I know we've been off the charts
for a while, but we're Misfits, not miracle workers."
"I've almost finished the basic script, though I'd like you to peek at
the bassline for me, because I think it's screwed in places."
"For sure. But not tonight." Roxy turned her attention to the list of
drinks on the chalkboard behind the bar. "I ain't got my glasses with
Stormer. What's the most expensive shot on the list?"
Pizzazz, for her part, was indeed in a dark mood. She paid for her
drink in sullen silence, tossing a fifty dollar bill in Stormer's
direction to cover their drinks, then turning her attention away from
her bandmates, scouring the room.
"Jetta thinks she's so precious, going off with that stupid camera-geek
brother of Roxy's." She muttered. "So fine then, it's okay for her to
hang onto that idiot's arm, is it, and make a fool of herself in
I invite a doctor to a concert and suddenly she's all making jokes
it? Like it matters that he turned me down! I can get a guy if I want
Hell, if I was to lower my standards to her level, it would be even
She took a sip of her drink, her brows knitting together as she spotted
Jetta and Justin across the floor. They were sitting to the side,
talking, Justin's arm around Jetta's waist. She was laughing at
something he'd said, and, as she watched, the couple kissed. Pizzazz
muttered a curse, downing the rest of her drink in one go and turning
back to the bar, demanding another one from the barman, who quickly
obliged her. As she did so, she realised that Roxy and Stormer had
slunk off into the crowd, and she clenched her
fists in frustration, bringing them down hard on the bar top with a
"This is supposed to be a Misfit night out!" She muttered, taking her
second drink and downing that too. "Ooh, when I get my hands on them!
is stupid! I spend a few lousy weeks as an invalid and they take off on
me! Roxy's going mad on this bike thing with that Hologram..." At this
she cast a poisonous glare towards the unfortunate guitarist, who,
oblivious, was still busy performing - "And Jetta's playing truant with
Camera Lens. And as for Stormer - bah, she's always been a wimp. She'll
off shopping with that stupid Kimber again. What's wrong with the
She gestured for another drink, sipping it bad-temperedly. Well, if
that was how they wanted it, that was just fine.
"I don't need them to have a good time." She muttered. "I'll cut out of
here and leave them to it - that'll bug them, when they realise I ain't
stuck around to play nanny to their games. I'll go back to the music
company, I'll get on the phone to the airport and I'll charter one of
Daddy's jets out to Reno. That'll teach them to mess me about! They'll
be fuming when they
realised they missed that trip!"
She finished her drink, getting up and stalking purposefully towards
the exit, summoning the driver with an imperious click of her fingers.
He came at once, having borne the brunt of Pizzazz's temper in the
past, and she clambered into the back seat, instructing him to take her
to Misfit Music.
"Will you need me again after that, Miss?" The driver asked, obediently
taking the turning for the music company. Pizzazz shrugged.
"I can always call another car." She said absently. "It might take me
a while to get through to Daddy's pilot, anyhow."
The driver looked confused, but he did not dare question her further,
and he drew into the forecourt of the music company in silence. Pizzazz
took little notice of his preoccupation. The alcohol was already
around her system, for though she had not drunk many, they had been
enough to unsettle her head and make her rash. She pushed open the door
the car, heading into the big black fronted building with purposeful,
slightly unsteady steps, and stumbling over the doorstop as she tried
make her way through the darkness. Uttering expletives, she fumbled for
lights, banging them on and flooding the lobby with light. The security
who should have been on duty was nowhere to be seen, and Pizzazz
more curses, yelling his name at the top of her voice. There was no
and, confused, Pizzazz made her way slowly towards the stairwell,
open the door rather clumsily and stomping up the stairs.
As she reached the top floor, she became aware that there was a light
on beneath one of the office doors, and she pursed her lips, anger
flooding through her system.
"If that goddamn guard is in my office again..." She muttered, stalking
along the corridor and flinging the door open.
"Hell, Pizzazz, you made me jump!"
Eric's hand flew to his chest, the phone receiver slipping out of his
grasp as he struggled to regain his composure. "What are you doing
You and the girls were going out tonight - didn't you tell me that all
functions were off and you wanted a night on the town?"
"I did. I came back because I need my filofax. I need the number of
Daddy's private airline." Pizzazz spoke slowly and carefully, and Eric
"Are you drunk?" He demanded. Pizzazz shook her head.
"It takes more than three glasses to make me drunk." She said darkly.
"I'm just bored with Los Angeles. I felt like going somewhere new.
why do I have to explain to you why I'm in my music company? You
to me. Why are you here? What are you doing working this late? Do you
have no life to go to?"
"I was working on closing up the sponsorship deal." Eric said
hurriedly, pushing his open folder closed and folding his arms across
it. "I heard that Moss's company had had another offer from...from
Starlight Music to close a deal there, and so I wanted to get our push
through before anything could materialise there. I thought that would
be what you'd tell me to do, and
you had left by the time I realised what was going on. I used my
initiative - I figured it was for the best that way."
"So did we get the gig?" Pizzazz sat herself down on the desk, eying
him thoughtfully. "The sponsorship? Is it ours or did the bitch Benton
sisters swipe it away like they try and swipe everything away from this
"Starlight Music will not be getting any sponsorship from them, I
promise." Eric said calmly. He pushed a document across the desk.
"Here. This is Moss's contract. In light of things I persuaded him that
it was for the best we get it through now. I told him how eager you
were to sign. All it needs is your signature and then it's official.
One million dollars into Misfit Music's coffers. Just like that."
"Just like that." Pizzazz repeated slowly, scooping up the piece of
paper and skimming it over. "Daddy could give us that kind of money
just as quick, you know."
"But I thought you wanted this deal." Eric looked startled. Pizzazz
nodded, dropping the contract down and signing it in a big, looping
"I do." She agreed. "I don't want to ask Daddy for everything, you
know. How would I ever prove to him that I can be a businesswoman too,
if I'm always getting his help to fix my company up?"
She pushed the sheet of paper back. "Here. It's done. Tomorrow you can
give a copy to...whatever his name was. It's official now."
"Moss." Eric took the contract, placing it carefully inside his folder.
"I will do it first thing."
"You were going to call your father's airline?"
"I was." Pizzazz nodded. "But I'm fed up of Daddy's stupid things.
Daddy's. Always Daddy's. Never mine."
She swept a careless hand across the desk, tipping documents and
paperweights into a messy heap on the floor. Carefully she made herself
more comfortable on the smooth oak surface. "He always tries to tell me
what to do anyhow. I don't think he believes I can run this place. He
seems to think he needs to play nanny."
"Harvey's a shrewd businessman." Eric said quietly. "He's a man who
wants to know where his money is and how it's being used. I like that
in a man."
"Well, so long as Misfit Music is the best, I don't care where the
money comes from, or where it goes." Pizzazz murmured. "But I'm sick
and tired of noone believing that I can do anything here. I'm not a
good enough singer, I'm not a good enough owner, I'm not a good enough
anything, it seems. I spend my life competing with Jem, then I spend it
competing with those Bentons at Starlight Music and I'm sick of it!
Riot keeps giving me lip about some tour and the others think I'm still
an invalid because I had a silly accident two months ago! I'm sick and
tired of idiots, Eric!"
Eric eyed his companion doubtfully.
"Are you sure you're not drunk?" He asked at length. Pizzazz snorted.
"Do I look drunk to you?" She demanded. "Don't be silly."
She reached over to pull open the desk drawer, grabbing her filofax and
dropping it down onto the surface.
"So what next for my company, huh, Eric?" She asked playfully. "You've
won it a million bucks and free instruments - what next? A star-studded
for the Misfits, perhaps? Some big publicity splash?"
"If that's what you think is best." Eric agreed. "I have been thinking
about some kind of plan to put Misfit Music over Starlight once and for
"Oh, you have?" Pizzazz raised an eyebrow. "Well, at least I have one
employee who gives a damn about making this place a success! You don't
I'm a fool, do you, Eric? You don't think I'm some stupid airhead rock
singer who can't manage a business on her own?"
"Of course I don't." Eric replied hurriedly. "But you see, this plan..."
"Forget the plan." Pizzazz dismissed it with a careless gesture. "We
can talk about the plan tomorrow...in office time, when everyone else
is at work. I have a security guard to fire, but otherwise I'm all
yours after that."
She cast him a strange smile, then, "I don't want to talk about work
tonight. Do you?"
"I'm not sure I follow." Eric began. Pizzazz laughed.
"Don't you?" She asked, her tone teasing. She leant forward to pull on
his hair, and he was aware of the smell of alcohol on her breath.
"Well, maybe it's time I taught you a little more about how a Misfit
you think that would be a good idea?"
"Shh." Pizzazz put her finger to his lips. "Enough talking. Talking is
for work time...not for now."
She paused, eying him thoughtfully. Then she smiled.
"I'm gonna teach you something that you're never going to forget." She
And then, very purposefully, she kissed him.
A Test Of Faith
Chapter One: Back In The Spotlight
Chapter Two: Eric's Deal
Chapter Three: Siren
Chapter Four: The Morning After
Chapter Five: Schemes
Chapter Six: Roxy Acts
Chapter Seven: Cracks