Chapter Five: Threat for Cynthia

"It's so nice to have a quiet weekend." Copper dived cleanly in off the side of the pool, swimming across to one of the inflateable lilos and pulling herself onto it with a contented smile. "We work so hard, it's so cool to chill out and relax."
"I think maybe we appreciate it more when we've our privacy back." Nancy glanced up from her deckchair, offering a smile.
"True." Copper agreed. "By the way, has Dean said anything about the show's airing to you? I know he and Ben are friends."
"Not a thing." Nancy shook her head. "But then I didn't expect him to. We try not to mix business and pleasure."
"Fair enough." Copper dimpled. "Aaron and I are the same, though as I'm sure you know, it doesn't always work like that."
"No...I know." Nancy smiled.
"You think you and Dean are gonna last?"
"I wish I knew." Nancy pursed her lips, considering. "I'm not a natural relationship girl, and sometimes the whole commitment side of it scares me, to be honest. But then again, Dean is a sweetheart and I am in love with him." She looked rueful. "I dread him ever bringing up the words 'cohabitation' or 'marriage' mind you, even in jest. I'm not sure I'm ready to take the relationship any further than it is at the moment."
"Well, that's okay, isn't it?" Copper asked. "I mean, you and Dean are cute together and you're both happy. That's all that matters." She grinned. "Nance, you're only twenty. You have forever for that kind of thinking."
"Mm, I know." Nancy dimpled. "And I've no desire to change anything right at the moment. I'm my mother's daughter - if I ever did get married, it'd have to be a bolt out of the blue, I think." She laughed. "He'd probably have to abduct me and force me to say my vows at gunpoint!"
Copper giggled.
"Well, it'd be an interesting relationship." She decided. She paused, then, "What do you reckon to Topaz's thing with Cameron? Did she wreck everything over Christmas or is there a chance there still?"
"Mm, you're asking the wrong girl." Nancy admitted. "I can't read people's emotions quite as well as all that, and Topaz keeps everything so light and nonchalant, it's hard to be sure. I know she loves him, but hey, we'll see, huh? I did speak to my cousin Taylor the other week online and you know what good friends he and Cameron are. I gather from that that Cameron still has it fairly badly for Topaz, so fingers crossed, huh?"
"Yes." Copper nodded. "I s'pose it depends entirely on whether or not that love can rebuild some trust." She shrugged. "Still, I suppose she's not alone. Syl is single."
"Syl is the world's biggest flirt." Nancy snorted. "She makes a living out of being single just at the right moment to hit on a guy."
"I dunno." Copper shrugged. "Though I must admit she's not overly preoccupied with love these days."
"Guess she wasn't so hot on that Jack guy as we thought she might've been." Nancy shrugged. "Face it, Copper. Syl's shallow."
"You know she isn't." Copper scolded. Nancy grinned.
"She can be." She responded. "But hey, you know I don't hate her quite as potently as I did when we first met."
"You've both mellowed and come to respect the other's stand on life." Copper nodded. "Which I'm glad about. You know, despite the craziness of the circumstances, asking Topaz to join Jewel was one of the best things we ever did. I feel like we're a much more balanced act as a fourpiece, don't you?"
"Well, she helps deflect Syl's shopping addiction off the rest of us, because she's similarly keen." Nancy laughed. "I do see what you mean, though. Between the two of you, you keep Syl and I in check!"
"Precisely." Copper grinned. "But hey, you know we love you both." She stretched out, resting her chin in her hands. "And if I'd never had come to Los Angeles, I'd have never hooked up with your brother, so that was one of my better decisions, I think!"
"Thanks." Nancy grimaced at her. Copper giggled.
"Aw, I love you too, Nance. You know you're my best friend." She said. "What can I say, I'm irrevocably drawn to the Pelligrini line!"
"Ironic, considering your Mom and mine never got along." Nancy observed. Copper nodded.
"Yeah, but Mama and Jetta both know about Aaron and me and neither one of them care. I'm glad about it. After all, feuds shouldn't span generations and in any case, I don't think blood between them is as bad as it was in the eighties." She grinned. "You know, I did ask Mama one time what it was that had made them foes, and she said Jetta had been involved in a vandalism raid on my Grandpapa's orchid nursery."
"Mom?" Nancy looked startled. Then she laughed.
"She probably was. The Misfits were the bad girls of rock." She acknowledged.
"Yes, I know." Copper nodded. "I haven't asked Jetta, mind you." She grinned. "Some things are better buried in the past, after all."
"What's the gassing going on out here?" Sylva pushed open the patio door, dressed in her brand new silver bikini, making her way to a free sun lounger and dropping down onto it. "Whew, busy morning! Topaz and I must've bought out half the mall, I swear!"
"Syl, is that another new bikini?" Nancy raised an eyebrow. Sylva nodded.
"Well, I must be doing something for your style taste, because you noticed." She quipped. "Yes. It was on sale - and it's a designer original. How could I resist?"
"Evidently you couldn't." Nancy responded dryly. Sylva shrugged.
"Well, isn't one of the perks of showbusiness having the cash on hand to make sure you always look good?" She demanded. "And face it, I totally do. I'm gonna wear this next time we do a beach photoshoot, I swear...after all, it fits my name brilliantly. That is, unless I find something better in the meantime."
"Where's Topaz?" Copper asked curiously.
"Making iced tea. Want some?" Topaz poked her head around the patio door. Copper nodded.
"Sure, why not." She agreed. She dimpled. "I love California for one reason, I have to admit. Being outside in the sun in late February...that's not something you generally do much in Detroit."
"DC either, to be honest." Sylva admitted. "I'll have some, Topaz. Thanks."
"Sure." Nancy nodded. "Sounds good." She reached across to dabble her hand in the pool water. "I'm so not focused on music today, anyhow. And I've lived in Cali my whole life, but sometimes there are days when all you want to do is go out and take advantage of the sun."
"Who are you and what did you do with Nancy?" Sylva demanded, sitting herself down on the pool edge and dangling her legs idly in the water.
"I think what she's trying to say is that when you work as hard as we do it's nice to get a moment to do nothing." Topaz put in at that moment, bringing a tray of iced teas out with her and setting it down on the poolside. "And she's right, it is. I mean, Jewel's work has doubled if nothing else since we cracked the number one spot on a regular basis, and it's craziest in Los Angeles. It's like we're flying the flag for California, even though Nancy is the only one of us who's Californian born and bred."
"And not entirely typically, either, considering Mom's heritage." Nancy agreed, getting lazily to her feet and claiming a glass. "Doesn't seem to matter, mind you. We're based here, so we're a Californian rock act."
"I'm always amazed how startled people are when they meet us and they say to me, hey, you're Canadian!" Topaz grinned, taking her own drink and sitting down in a deckchair, slipping on her sunglasses. "I would've thought we've done enough interviews now for them to know that I'm from Ontario."
"I like the cute story of how you got your name." Copper admitted, paddling her lilo to the side to get herself a glass. "I didn't know there was a place called Aurora."
"Yes." Topaz nodded. "Rumour goes that that's where I was conceived." She dimpled. "However, that's only Mom's story. I think it more likely that it's because that's where Dad's family were from, and she was still so devoted to him when I was born she wanted to name me something for him. Remember he died not long before I was born - I think I was part of the grieving process."
"Could've been worse. They could have been from Winnipeg or something." Sylva giggled. "Winnie Stapleton, how's that sound?"
"Shut up." Topaz poked out a tongue, splashing her friend liberally with pool water. "I happen to like my name."
"You all seem very bright today."
A fifth voice from the doorway startled the quartette, and the girls turned, seeing Cynthia watching them with a strange look on her face. "What's the occasion?"
"No occasion, just some free time." Copper told her. She frowned. "Cyn, is something wrong?"
"Yes, something is very wrong." Cynthia agreed slowly. "I just spoke to Ben on the telephone. There was a break in at the studio last night, and his office was one of the places ransacked."
"Ouch." Sylva grimaced. "That sucks. Did he lose anything?"
"Yes, indeed he did." Cynthia's expression became grave. "The video containing the offcuts from the Public Eye - the out-takes and so forth."
"Why would someone take a video tape?" Topaz looked confused. "What do you s'pose they want, embarassing expose footage of us or something?"
"Oh God, I see where Cynnie is heading." Nancy's own expression became troubled. "Cyn, it's the tape with you on, isn't it?"
Cynthia nodded wordlessly.
"That means someone knows about you!" Copper realised. "They must've, to have taken the tape! Unless it was coincidence and they took it hoping to hurt us..."
"No, I believe it was meant for me." Cynthia sighed. "My initial instinct was that it was Stefana, but Ben was with her last night, he told me so. She apparently asked him out and he saw no harm in it." She shrugged. "He knows nothing of our feud."
"It doesn't mean that she wasn't involved." Sylva said darkly.
"No, indeed it does not." Cynthia agreed. "But it would be hard to prove. The villains did a professional job - despite the mess there is no trace of evidence to tie anyone with the crime, least of all Stefana."
"So what do we do? How can we get the tape back?" Topaz wondered. Cynthia's expression became more troubled. Silently she held out her hand, and the sheet of paper that had been folded angrily in her fist fell to the floor. Sylva scooped it up.
"Dear Miss Benton," She read. "We have the video. If you want it back, come to the old warehouse on fifty third street tonight at eight thirty. Come alone, and be prepared to pay."
"Well, how original." Nancy rolled her eyes. "A threatening note. How nice."
"I'd ignore it. It's probably a bluff." Sylva refolded the paper.
"I cannot take that risk." Cynthia sighed. "You know I cannot. I must go, and I must go alone."
"What if it's a trap?"
"Well, it may be, but then, I am not as susceptible to harm as you girls are." Cynthia retrieved the note, glancing at it, and frowning. "I have my projector to protect me and I can disappear should I need to. It is probably not of great risk, if it's only money they want."
"But Cyn, you don't have any money!" Copper exclaimed.
"No, but I can project it." Cynthia smiled weakly. "All I can hope is that they underestimate what I can do and fall for it. I have to get that video back...otherwise it could be the end of my freedom, once and for all!"

Chapter One: Machinations
Chapter Two: Minx's Contact
Chapter Three: A Spy At Work
Chapter Four: A Bizarre Alliance
Chapter Five: Threat For Cynthia
Chapter Six: A Trap Is Set
Chapter Seven: An Unusual Morning
Chapter Eight: Investigation
Chapter Nine: Cynthia Breaks Down
Chapter Ten: Topaz's Plan
 Chapter Eleven: Crisis Point
Chapter Twelve: Nancy Remembers
Chapter Thirteen: The End

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, 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!)