Pizzazz pushed open the door of the office, padding slowly down the
corridor to the ladies rest room. Her head was buzzing and aching from
the night before, and she knew that, whatever her claims, three glasses
of a potent drink after so long banned from alcohol while her lung
healed had taken it's toll on her
body, and that she was not completely back at full fitness yet. She
glanced at her reflection in the mirror, setting her purse down on the
counter and beginning to fix her appearance.
"Too much alcohol, too much being screwed about by idiots." She
muttered, carefully redoing her eyeshadow, then pausing to examine the
effect. "In a
million years I would never have come here last night if I had been one
percent sober...and God only knows what I thought I was up to. But
I don't even care! Damn the lot of them! I'm Phyllis Gabor, and I can
what I want! I said I could get any guy and I damn well proved it last
A slight smile touched her lips.
"He didn't know what hit him." She mused, running her tongue over her
teeth absently as she fished in her purse for her lipstick. "But he
didn't exactly complain when it came to it, either. Hell, he'll be
feeling the effects of last night for a long time to come, and that's
for sure! I ain't lost anything from being invalided, which is good to
know. I really wondered when that stupid
Dr Garcia turned me down. But nope...I still got it."
She let out a low chuckle.
"Daddy would throw a fit." She murmured, a wicked glint entering her
green eyes. "Daddy, who wants his daughter to be a good little
businesswoman in a suit, and spend less time in clubs late at night,
more hours at the office. Well, I spent the night
office, Daddy...what do you make of that?"
She ran her brush through her long wavy hair, hunting in her bag for a
spare band, then pulling her thick mane back from her face. Satisfied
with the result,
she tossed her belongings back into her purse, grinning at her
"I don't look like I had two hours sleep." She decided. "I look like a
complete knockout, and that's as it should be. Roxy and Stormer might
have had their fun last night and Jetta might have trotted off with
Justin, but I don't care.
I was having some fun of my own."
Amusement touched her expression. "And who knew it could be so much fun
to seduce an employee? If I'd have known what a buzz it would be I'd
done it years ago. Eric's no Nick Mann but I proved my point, and hey,
I'll get my kicks out of him yet. Perhaps it'll be fun. He's not the
of guy who's likely to get bogged down in all that stupid romance
that Jetta seems to have fallen for, and he's got too much sense to
me stress because he knows his job rides on me being happy. Yeah, maybe
will play this one for all it's worth."
She flexed her fingers.
"After all, it's very
hard to refuse Phyllis Gabor."
She left the rest room, heading downstairs slowly. The lift was still
powered down, for overnight it remained switched off, and she paused at
the coffee machine on the third floor, grabbing herself a drink.
"I suppose I should head home." She mused. "I don't have to be here for
at least another four hours and there's no reason that the others
know what I did last night. They took off on me, so why should I tell
anything? But they'll wonder why I'm here so early. Better I get a car
and they think I spent all night in some club or whatever. Give it some
of mystery. Make them jealous."
She sauntered out into the parking lot, taking a sip of hot coffee as
she did so. The car which had dropped her off the night before was
nowhere to be seen, but it was a fine morning, and with a shrug she set
off on the path out of the city.
"My head needs the fresh air." She acknowledged, taking another sip of
her drink. "If I woulda changed anything about last night, it would be
what I drank. I swear it's not usually that strong."
She stopped at the end of the street, turning to gaze back at her music
company. Eric was still inside, she knew that, and half of her wondered
he even knew she'd gone.
"But he won't expect me to have stuck around. That's not what I do."
She decided at length. "And he won't tell anyone, in case I get mad at
giggled. "It's fun to have that kind of power over someone. It's almost
pity he's such a stick in the mud workaholic. Running Misfit Music
a hell of a lot more fun if he wasn't. Still, I suppose he did net that
deal. At least I think that's what he said last night..." She rubbed
temples. "I forget. Well, whatever. I know I signed that contract
anyhow, so if it's not a done deal yet, it will be very soon. I suppose
deserved some kind of reward for his hard work. It's more than Riot or
of the others have done."
A frown touched her lips at this.
"I woulda thought Jetta and the rest would have at least given a damn
about the company while I was out of action, but all I find is that
Eric's been holding the fort and Riot's been whining like the baby he
is. I bet they've spent the whole time socialising and messing about
and not doing a damn thing. Stormer hasn't even finished the new song,
which is a first for her. I swear they're getting more and more
unreliable! Sometimes I wonder what the hell they think the Misfits are
gonna be if they're not committed!"
"You're out early."
A voice startled her, and she glanced up, meeting Stormer's quizzical
gaze with a defiant one of her own. Aware that she had been
remonstrating out loud,
she wondered how much Stormer had overheard, and for a moment neither
Finally Pizzazz drained her coffee cup, crushing the styrofoam vessel
absently in her hands.
"I'm allowed to be out and about. I don't have a curfew and you're not
my mother." She said, in tones verging on the petulant. "So are you,
but you don't find me staring at you."
"We wondered if you were all right, when you didn't come home last
night." Stormer ignored the unwelcoming note in her friend's voice. "We
got back around
half two and you weren't there. Last time you didn't come home you
up in hospital. I was heading into the city to see if I could find out
you'd got to."
"Well, you shouldn't be so interested in what I'm up to, should you?"
Pizzazz snapped. "You didn't care overly whether you left me or not
last night, so why care now? I'm a grown woman, and I don't need a
minder. I made my own kicks and I had a good time without you. Okay?"
"Did you go to a club or something?"
"It's none of your damn business." Pizzazz retorted. "I haven't asked
you what you did when you disappeared, have I?"
"No." Stormer admitted. "Pizzazz, I am sorry we did that. It didn't
occur to me till you'd already gone that maybe you'd be put out. Roxy
saw someone she thought she knew and we went after them - but it wasn't
them - and then..."
"Save your excuses." Pizzazz held up her hands. "Because quite
honestly, I don't care."
"Were you heading back to the Gabor place?" Stormer asked.
"I was. Why, are you going to walk me home?"
"If you don't mind. I would only have gone on to the music company, and
I've realised that my manuscript is at home." Stormer responded. "Roxy
to look at the bass part for me, anyhow. With any luck it'll be
by tonight and we can start recording it tomorrow."
"Well, it had better be." Reluctantly Pizzazz fell into step with her
younger bandmate. "We've been too long without a new song."
"Yes, I know." Stormer decided that it would not be the best time to
remind the singer exactly why. "But I...I think you will like this one.
It's very upbeat and dynamic and I think it has a lot of our earlier
flair in it. You know, it's a rock-out number like some of our first
songs were. Something to remind people exactly what we're about."
"Sounds promising." Pizzazz admitted grudgingly. "I want to see the
lyrics when we get back. Might as well learn them."
"Sure. I'll dig them out when I give Roxy the scripts." Stormer nodded.
"She was asleep when I came out - I couldn't sleep for worrying where
got to - but it shouldn't take long to find them and you can have the
"What about Jetta?" Pizzazz eyed her sharply. Stormer shrugged.
"She didn't come home either." She said simply. "I saw her leave the
club with Justin around half one...so she's probably sleeping over at
"She'd damn well better not be late for studio." Pizzazz muttered
darkly. "We might not have an actual song yet but that doesn't mean we
can't talk about it, and how we want to do it."
"I'm sure she won't be. She's not usually late." Stormer said tactfully.
Pizzazz didn't answer, and for a few minutes they walked in silence. As
they did so, Stormer stole a glance at her companion, reading the
displeasure in the singer's expression, and noting the way she was
still crushing the coffee cup between her hands.
"She's still in a bad mood." She realised with a sigh. "Great. I hoped
she'd sleep that off - though I suppose if she hasn't been home yet she
Her brows creased as she took in the logo on the cup.
"Weird." She mused. "That's the brand of coffee we have at Misfit
Music. She can't have been to work this early, surely?"
"What are you staring at? You look like you tasted something funny."
Pizzazz demanded at that point, making Stormer jump. The songwriter
shook her head.
"Nothing. I just had a thought for the song." She lied. "So you want us
in studio itself today? Do you want me to bring what I have of the
along to work with me, then? Maybe we can go over them."
"Yeah. Do that." Pizzazz nodded. She frowned. "Whether you care or
don't, the company has just sealed an important sponsorship deal, which
means we'll have a bunch of new equipment and cash for promotions. It's
the best time to be putting a new song on record. Besides, I want us
doing photos at the end of the week, and then we should go to somewhere
new and exotic to do the
video. This money's gonna come in hella useful."
"That;s a relief." Stormer murmured. Pizzazz frowned.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Well, Jetta was afraid that Eric would use your illness to wreak havoc
with the company." Stormer explained. "But I guess he has been working
it's favour after all."
"He sealed the deal." Pizzazz said shortly. "Like I told Jetta, the guy
has too many brains to mess over a Gabor. We're dangerous people to
"So you've been to Misfits Music this morning, then?"
"What makes you think that?" Pizzazz looked startled.
"Well, you mentioned this deal..."
"I signed the paperwork yesterday." Pizzazz shook her head.
"Oh." Stormer frowned. "Sorry. I guess that would make more sense. It
is really early."
"It's quarter past six." Pizzazz checked her watch, stifling a yawn.
"First thing I'm doing when I get in is take a shower then take a nap.
It's all very
well spending the night on the town but dammit, I hate the morning
"Do you want us to put studio back from ten till eleven, then?" Stormer
suggested softly. "Maybe if we did that I could get Roxy to go over
bassline and I might even have it finished before then. I won't sleep
it's light, not now I have my brain focused in on music, so I don't
"Then we'll do that." Pizzazz nodded approvingly. "At least one of you
is bothered that we have a song to put out."
"I always care about the music, Pizzazz. You should know that by now."
"Well, just get it done." She said irritably, as they reached the front
drive of the immense Gabor Estate. "And get rid of this, will you? I'm
With that she tossed the mangled coffee cup at her companion, stalking
across the gravel towards the front door.
Stormer paused, turning the cup over in her hand to better examine the
"I thought that's what I saw." She murmured. "But where else in town
serves that brand of coffee in stamped cups? It's not a local
brand...Pizzazz has it imported into LA from the East Coast and it's
She pursed her lips.
"But if she didn't get it in town, that means she was at Misfits Music
this morning. And that means she lied to me. Why? She's often at
Misfits Music. She works there. She owns it, even. It's not odd for her
to go there, although this is early in the morning. But then she has
been having phases of overzealous business interest. Maybe she did sign
that contract this morning, and wanted to cover up the fact she'd been
working when the rest of us were having a night on the town."
She shrugged, heading up the front steps and into the house, tossing
the crushed cup into the bin and making her way upstairs to her room to
dig out her manuscript. "Whatever the ins and outs of it, she's home
safely now and I better get to work on this song, if we're going to be
tackling it in studio today. Hopefully she'll like it and it'll put her
in a better mood once we're back doing something musical."
She settled herself on the end of her bed, selecting the relevant
sheets of manuscript and poring over them, losing herself in her work.
Soon her encounter
with Pizzazz was all but forgotten as she wrestled with the final few
of the melody.
"After all, this is what the Misfits are about." She told herself, as
she pencilled in harmonies. "And I won't be sorry to get back to it,
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