Chapter Five: A Motive

"You look beat."
Marissa Young dropped down onto the end of her friend's bed, casting Stefana a questioning look. "Are you feeling ill or something? You've been remarkably, well, nice to people today. Even Maddy...what's up?"
"Nothing." Stefana rolled onto her stomach, a thoughtful look on her face. Marissa was her closest confidant, but there were a lot of things in the guitarist's rock and roll lifestyle that the keyboardist wasn't party to.
"Not some new drug I hope?" Marissa looked worried. Stefana rolled her eyes.
"Why is it you think every mood change I have is down to some pill?" She demanded. "Can't I just be in a good mood?"
"Mm, I suppose so, I'm sorry." Marissa was contrite. "Any reason for this sudden good mood?"
"It's not your business really." Stefana said with a shrug. "I was just thinking, that's all."
"You never talk to me any more." Marissa looked hurt. "Not since we came to LA and got involved in the music scene. You go off on your own, and I never know what you're doing."
"You're not my mother."
"No, but I worry about you. You're my friend."
"Gah." Stefana rolled her eyes again, reaching for her purse and rummaging for her cigarettes and lighter. At length she found one, lighting it and exhaling slowly. "Okay, if you're that fussed...I promise it's nothing to do with any new kind of drug, okay? You know the stuff I take, so quit moaning. You know I can handle it and I'm not in any danger. It's just a buzz and that's that. Got it?"
"Yes, so you like to tell me." Marissa sighed. "You were up early this morning."
"You my minder now?"
"No, but the last voluntary early morning you had was...actually, I can't remember one." Marissa frowned. "Please, Steffi. Tell me what you're up to."
"It's nothing sinister." Stefana smiled. "I went to see the Dean Stacey Show, that's all. You know Dirk, our publicist? He kinda had an extra ticket and asked me along, so I went."
"You had a date?"
"Mm, well, it was a one off. I kinda wanted to see the show." Stefana flicked ash onto the unit.
"Hang on, weren't Jewel playing today?" Marissa looked suspicious.
"Mari, I watched. I didn't do anything."
"I didn't say you did."
"Well, your tone suggested it." Stefana told her offhandedly. "I didn't go to watch Jewel. I went to see some other local band I like. Ghost? I think that's them. Their new song is kinda cool. Jewel were just a coincidence."
"What?" Stefana adopted a hurt look. "You and Luca and the others are always saying we should be friendly with Jewel, well, so I went in all innocence to watch a show which happened to have them in. So?"
"Okay, I'm sorry." Marissa sighed. "What was the show like?"
"Not bad." Stefana was noncomittal. "There was some singer I didn't know, from Canada or somewhere...then there was Ghost, and Jewel started the show. I mean, it could've been better, but for a free show, not bad."
"Well, Dirk evidently likes you." Marissa smiled. "You gonna see him again?"
"Hell no." Stefana rolled her eyes. "Didn't you hear me? I said it was a one off. I'm a star, Mari. I don't date publicists." Her lip curled. "I'm not like that girl you think so much of...Copper, fawning all over the road manager."
"Steffi, I thought we weren't bitching out Jewel tonight."
"Well, I wasn't. I was bitching out Copper." Stefana shrugged. "So?"
"You're hopeless." Marissa shook her head in defeat. She glanced at her watch. "Oh, I better go do my insulin. Luca said we're going out to dinner tonight...some press do or other, so I don't want to be worrying about my diabetes. See you later, huh? And dress in something glitzy, that was the order I got."
"Honey, I always look good when Diablo hit the town." Stefana said silkily. "I'll see you at the door, then."
Once Marissa was gone, Stefana curled up on her bed, hugging her pillow tightly as she contemplated what she had overheard that morning. Contrary to what she had told Marissa, she had snuck backstage when she had managed to give her date the slip before the show had started, and had overheard a large part of Dean's conversation with Ben. She had never liked Cynthia, and had stored the information up, intending to investigate more when she had the opportunity.
The cause of her good mood, however, was something quite different. After the show, she had declined Dirk's offer of a ride home very graciously, heading out onto the set once she was sure Jewel were already on their way to their next engagement. Cynthia, she soon discovered, had left with the Public Eye presenter, and Aaron had been left to finish up...alone.
Wild horses would not have dragged it from her, and she would have scorned it in herself had she realised it, but Stefana's interest in Aaron was decidedly more than just a subject for potential sabotage. She had long since sworn to break Aaron and Copper up, intending to lure Aaron over to Diablo's team if she possibly could, but the truth was, she was jealous of Copper's closeness to him. Aaron had not treated her like other guys had often treated her, and though she often mocked his friendly nature and amiable gentility, she had felt somewhat touched when he had remembered her name after only a brief meeting. From then, it had festered inside of her, and, without her realising it, was becoming something of a fixation. She had gone to the show not only to try and sabotage Jewel, but in the hope that Aaron might be there, and that they might speak. In the end they had, she had purred up to him and offered her help and he had responded in his usual, friendly manner. He had been kind and open and warm, and it had aroused something in her that she had never known was there - she had reciprocated. Not only had she helped him with the last of Jewel's equipment, but she had also assisted in clearing the set of debris, being rewarded for her endeavours by a friendly milkshake at the studio canteen.
In Aaron's eyes, it was no more than a friendship, for he was secure in his relationship with Copper, but for Stefana's subconscious, it was something more.
And it had made her more determined to break the couple up.
"So how do I do that?" She mused, taking a pensive drag on her cigarette. "They're so not right for each other. Copper trots off around the world and what help is she with stage equipment? Too damn high and mighty now to bother. And Aaron's way too good to be working for a crummy act like Jewel, anyhow. So what if Jetta's his Mom and Nancy's his sister? He's a grown man, he should know something better when he sees it. Perhaps...perhaps if it wasn't for Copper, he would know it. So I'm back to that again. How to split them up."
She pursed her lips, considering carefully.
"This week, a hideous public breakup would be fun, considering there's that reporter on the case." She remembered. "And I did intend to cause as much trouble as possible for this stupid film. It'd be a start in that direction too. Ooh, I'm gonna be busy! I've Cynthia's little secret to investigate, Copper and Aaron to tackle and I still owe that bitch piece of trash Topaz a piece of my mind for dragging Luca down with whatever method of seduction she thought necessary! Three targets, one week...can I do it? I need to find out more about Jewel's schedule for the week. Oh, but that shouldn't be too hard. I can talk to Aaron, and kill two birds with one stone, perhaps!" She laughed. "Boy, am I gonna have some fun this week!"

Chapter One: The Idea
Chapter Two: Benjamin
Chapter Three: Chez Diablo
Chapter Four: Cynthia and Ben
Chapter Five: A Motive
Chapter Six: One On One
Chapter Seven: A Cryptic Note
Chapter Eight: The Intruder
Chapter Nine: Cynthia Explains
Chapter Ten: Stefana's Plot


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!)

Sirena's music is based mainly on the music of Republica's album 'Republica' and Garbage's albums 'Garbage' and 'Version 2.0'.