It Must've Been Love

Chapter Two: Diablo's Place

"Well, we're spending Christmas in Los anyone else excited?"
Marissa Young, keyboardist and songwriter for Jewel's recent rival band Diablo turned away from the window, her blue eyes sparkling. "I know it's kinda weird too, being away from home and family and all, but's an adventure."
"It's a bore." Her companion, Stefana Ranieri told her bluntly, idly lighting a cigarette and tossing her lighter onto the table as she inhaled. "Christmas ain't anything but an excuse for people who have families to get all hyped up and pretend they give a damn, that's all. So long as Diablo play some good music and make some good money this break, that's all I care about."
"Stef, you don't mean that." Marissa chided her friend, looking amused. She and Stefana had grown up together from their mid teens, and despite their vast differences in character, they were really very close. Stefana was possessed of a wicked temperament, made worse by years of spoiling by her father then abrupt neglect by her mother on his death. Always an attention seeker, Stefana had turned to other things to comfort her resentful feelings. Since dropping out of highschool she had used amphetamines and sleeping pills, though only Marissa knew it, and was barely in control of her own life.
Marissa, on the other hand, was sweet-natured, gentle and amiable. Born diabetic, she had learnt to conquer her illness over the years and few would ever know that there was anything wrong. She was fond of Stefana, and the two were close as sisters, but sometimes Marissa's loyalty got in the way of her common sense, and she had never betrayed Stefana's dangerous habit to the other members of the band, not even to the frontman, Stefana's own brother Luca. As to the other two group members, Stefana had never had any time for singer Madeleine Dacourt, and distrusted the quiet shrewdness and cynicism of British born drummer Clayton Blake, always afraid he might put together the threads and expose her secret vice for what it was.
"I do mean it." She said now, flicking ash carelessly from the burning cigarette as she did so. "And if that damn Jewel lot hadn't come back to LA for Christmas break, we'd have taken over California by Christmas, I swear."
"Jewel have been in this business a long time, Steffi." Marissa responded sensibly, coming to sit down and wafting the smoke away. "In any case they're friends, not foes. Even if they are signed to a different music company. I like them."
"I don't. I wish something would wipe them all off the earth." Stefana muttered. "I was real hopeful when I heard about that avalanche..."
"Steffi, shut up." A fresh voice came from the doorway, and both girls glanced up to see Luca watching them. "Jewel are our rivals, they're not objects you can destroy along the way to the top. Anyhow, we've not done bad. Our first single made number twenty two, the last one went in last week at number eighteen. We're creeping up."
"Mm, but it ain't Jewel's top ten guaranteed slot." Stefana retorted. "Don't tell me that if you had a choice between Diablo being top banana and sharing the charts with Jewel, you wouldn't want them out of the frame too."
"I don't think they're even relevant to what we're doing." Luca shrugged, dropping down onto the sofa and stretching out on his back, resting his hands behind his head. "I'm just stoked to be here recording and releasing singles like we've worked so hard to do. That's all that matters to me."
"Hah." Stefana snorted. "We all know what matters to you. Getting inside Sirena's pants." Sirena was the daughter of former Misfit Phyllis Gabor, and a singer in her own right signed to the same label as Jewel. It was no secret in music circles that Luca had something of a fancy for the firebrand musician and Stefana, always jealously possessive of her brother's actions had taken a violent hate at the whole affair.
Luca rolled his eyes.
"How nicely put." He observed with a wry smile. "Anyhow, Stef, Sirena and I haven't gotten off to the best start. This girl slams her door in my face and flat ignores me otherwise."
"Mm, well she'd better. Sly witch." Stefana responded darkly.
"Maybe if you chilled out a little and just got to know the competition, you might like them more." Luca suggested.
"I like Copper." Marissa admitted. "The other Jewels seem okay too..and you know I'm a huge Sirena fan."
Stefana merely rolled her eyes heavenwards, inhaling on her cigarette.
"Where are Maddy and Clay?" Marissa asked.
"Maddy is at Rebel Records, settling up the last of those vocal harmonies that the machine screwed up yesterday." Luca responded. "Clay's upstairs, I think he's writing music or something. He told me not to disturb him anyhow."
"Ooh." Marissa frowned, then, "He didn't ask me to help him."
"Maybe he's feeling super-inspired." Luca suggested. Stefana grinned impishly, sending her friend a thoughtful look from beneath long dark lashes.
"Or maybe Mari has a little crush." She suggested, her tone deceptively innocent.
Marissa's cheeks flushed red at this.
"I do not!" She exclaimed. "I just enjoy writing in tandem, that's all. We have such different musical perspectives and it gives Diablo a fuller sound."
"Mmhmm." Stefana exhaled a cloud of smoke. "Whatever."
"Well? I said whatever." Stefana shrugged, sending her friend a benign smile.
Luca laughed.
"Hey, that reminds me." He said, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the sofa thoughtfully. "Rory wanted to see us all in his office tomorrow morning to arrange some gig or other. I think a band dropped out of the Christmas Party show Jewel and Sirena are playing and we've been invited to play. Rory said he tried to get us on before, but it was all arranged six months ago, before we were really on the scene. Now we've hits behind us, people want to hear us play...he wants to fill us in on protocol and the first window he has is tomorrow morning."
He cast Stefana a grin. "He specially wanted me to make sure you show up. Says he wants a word with you...don't tell me you're gonna get another scolding, Steffi."
"I can handle it, I'm a big girl." Stefana shrugged carelessly, knowing that such a request stemmed from Rory's desire to employ once more her talents of unscrupulous sabotage. "Rory knows only too well that Diablo can't spare me, so he can't kick me off his books. Not if he wants to make a profit from us."
"Mm. Stef's right." Marissa agreed, her face returned to it's normal colour by now. "By the way, what was the letter this morning about, Luca? It was addressed to all of us, but I've not gotten a look at it."
"Mm..." Luca frowned, casting his sister a surrepticious glance and then shaking his head imperceptably. "Nothing much. Just...advertising."
Marissa looked startled, but realised that whatever it was, he didn't want Stefana to know about it, and changed the subject. As it happened, though, Stefana seemed bored with the conversation and headed into the kitchen to find coffee, unaware that her brother was hiding something from her.
Once she was gone, Marissa eyed her bandmate questioningly.
"An invite to Jewel's christmas party on the 23rd, at Starlight Mansion." Luca responded quietly. "I didn't tell Stef yet, I'm thinking not to tell her at all till the night of the party. It'd look bad if we didn't go, and I don't want squalls from her the whole time leading up to it."
"Ooh. Good point." Marissa looked troubled, then, "She really hates them, Luca. I don't know why, exactly...but I have a suspicion it has something to do with the fact Copper is dating Aaron Pelligrini."
"Aaron? What has he to do with anything?" Luca looked startled.
"Stef won't admit it, but I think she kinda likes him." Marissa admitted, toying with her hands and glancing anxiously at the kitchen door, watching for her friend's return. "I don't say she's gone all soppy and fallen in love with him, that's so not Stef, as you well know, but I think she finds him attractive. Also, he's good at what he does and she seems determined that Diablo should have the best of everything. I think she'd quite like to lure him away from Jewel into our camp."
"Well, she mustn't. We don't need that kinda trouble." Luca said firmly.
"Don't mention it to her." Marissa begged. "She'd kill me for even talking to you like this. But I think that explains some of it."
"In which case, it might be an interesting Christmas." Luca mused with a sigh. "In that case, roll on New Year!"

Chapter One: Twilight In California
Chapter Two: Diablo's Place
Chapter Three: A Shopping Encounter
Chapter Four: Some New Acquaintances
Chapter Five: A Girl In Love
Chapter Six: Topaz's Advice
Chapter Seven: A Professional Saboteur
Chapter Eight: Melanie
Chapter Nine: A Lover's Tiff
Chapter Ten: Sylva's Decision
Chapter Eleven: One Night At Le Klub Kool
Chapter Twelve: The Morning After

Chapter Thirteen: Stefana Again
Chapter Fourteen: Luca Confesses

Chapter Fifteen: A Christmas Party
Chapter Sixteen: Repercussions

Chapter Seventeen: Christmas Eve on TV

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)