Arc Three: When Life Goes On...
Shadow Of The Girl

Chapter Five: Sirena's Aunt

The girl got out of her car, pausing at the sound of her voice and rolling her eyes when she saw who was speaking. She banged the car door shut with bad grace.
"Why can't you leave me alone?" she demanded. "Don't you have a life of your own to live in?"
"This is where I work." Luca sent her an amused grin. "Rebel Records...remember? You're the one who shouldn't be here."
"That's as may be, but I'm not here to speak to you. I'm looking for Chimera." Sirena folded her arms. "I phoned Zoe, Zoe said the woman was doing your new video since she couldn't herself - I want to speak to her."
"Yeah, she's here." Luca looked startled, but he nodded his head. "I think she's taking five with Marissa, though. They've not seen each other much since Mari left Connecticut and besides, Suzanne did just kinda drop in on us this morning. She's probably still lagged from the flight."
Emily frowned, confused.
"Will you quit your gassing and take me to see her then?" She demanded. "And preferably without telling your moronic boss that I'm here, huh? I don't need a run in with Mr Chauvenist of the Year thank you!"
"Rory's out." Luca shrugged. "We were just discussing concepts with Suzanne, that's all. What did you want to see her about?"
"None of your business." Sirena retorted. "And why in hell do you call her Suzanne?"
"She always told us to." Luca grinned. "Are you coming?"
"I'm coming, quit it." Sirena snapped. "Why in hell is she doing your video anyhow? I know Zoe's off sick and all but Mom said she was booked out. What gives? I'm a bigger star than you folk!"
"Not in Suzanne's eyes." Luca shook his head. "She's dropped in on vacation, but when Mari told her what had happened she offered to stand in and do our video with us. She's pretty big in the business so it's a boost for us and Rory was all for it, even though I kinda feel that he doesn't like her very much."
"Why should she care?"
"Marissa's her daughter." Luca shrugged. "Makes sense to me."
He pushed open the side door of the building, leading the way inside. Sirena followed him in silence, inwardly reeling from his words. Phyllis hadn't told her that Suzanne had children! It got worse and worse! One of Diablo was actually her cousin?
"Half cousin." She muttered under her breath. "On my Gran's side. She's not a Gabor, she's just...well, there."
"Did you say something?" Luca looked confused. Sirena shook her head.
"I've nothing to say to you." She snapped. "Where in hell are we going?"
"Out back. That's where everyone is." Luca replied. "We're discussing concepts. So long as Stef keeps doing well at the hospital, we should be able to begin work this weekend."
"I heard about that." Sirena smirked. "Your crazy sister. Runs in the damn family, you know. She probably had it coming to her."
"Look, I don't know why you hate me - or Steffi - or any of us so much as you do, apart from the fact we're signed to Rory." Luca paused at a big set of double doors, meeting her gaze with a sombre one of his own. "But I'm helping you out here, so you could at least try and be civil. I could get into a lot of trouble for just letting you in here like this, you know. Rory hates you and hates your Ma even more."
"I don't care what Rory thinks and I don't care what you think." Sirena bristled. "More, why I'm here is not any of your business and I didn't ask for your help. I do know my way around here, you know. You coulda just told me where she was."
She pushed past him, shoving open the door and stepping out into the grounds of the company which she had worked for for almost a year. Not much had changed since the last time she had been there, and she pursed her lips, thinking of the changes that had taken place since she had left Rebel Records.
"Sirena?" A voice from the grass startled her and she turned, recognising the confused look of Diablo's singer, Madeleine Dacourt.
"What are you doing here?" Marissa looked equally startled.
"I didn't come to see you." Sirena spoke quietly. She shifted her gaze, registering for the first time the stranger sat with them. She was pretty, and still young looking, with sparkling, mischievous blue eyes and jet black hair. In an instant Sirena realised that Marissa's hair was dyed, and that there was a strong resemblance between the two. The stranger stood.
"I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting your friend, Luca." She said softly, casting a smile at the rather sheepish looking frontman. "Sirena, did you say?"
"You're Chimera?" Now face to face with her aunt, Sirena faltered. She had meant to find Chimera, to demand that she drop everything and help with her video, claiming family as much as anything, but somehow she felt cowed by the woman's presence. It wasn't that Chimera was intimidating, but there was an active intelligence burning in those playful blue eyes that told the singer this wasn't someone who was easily messed about. From her mother's words she had known Chimera was younger than Phyllis, but she seemed much younger somehow, and nothing at all like she had expected. But then, she reasoned, she hadn't known what to expect. All she had wanted was to settle her video problem, now she was holding a family reunion.
"Yes." The woman spoke now. "Can I help you?"
"I wanted to talk to you." Sirena faltered, then, "Alone."
"It's cool, Mom...better see what she wants." Marissa, ever the pacifier sent her mother a grin, getting to her feet. "Even without Stef here we've plenty we should be doing - calling in at Maddy's aunt's to see about costumes, to begin with. We'll catch you later for dinner as planned, huh?"
"Of course." Chimera nodded, casting the girl a smile. "And if you see Stefana, send her my love."
"Will do." Marissa grinned. Then she grabbed a nonplussed Clay and Madeleine by the arm, pulling them away across the grass.
"What the hell?" Clay demanded once they were out of earshot. "This is our turf, our music video and your bloody mother - what gives?"
"Don't mess with Sirena." Madeleine rolled her eyes. "Probably. Luca, you coming?"
"I'm with you." Luca nodded, joining them. "Where are we going?"
"To see Aunt Regine." Madeleine told him. "For some reason it's become very urgent." She cast Marissa a meaningful look.
"I can't explain it." Marissa admitted. "It's just, there was something...I don't want to cause trouble on Rebel Records property and Rory isn't here, but if he knew we'd been spending time with Sirena, well, he'd be mad. Besides, this is Mom's career and I don't know, there was something odd in Sirena's expression somehow. Like this was more than a business request."
"Good thing Stef wasn't here. She'd go nuts." Clay remarked. Marissa shrugged.
"Well, I don't mind. We can't talk much more about our video till Stef is here, anyway." She responded. "Now come on. Regine won't want to wait for us forever."

Back on the grass at Rebel Records, silence had fallen. Sirena had taken a seat, rather awkwardly, but, under the questioning gaze in those blue eyes was finding it hard to put her thoughts into words.
"You're a big star in these parts." It was Chimera who spoke first. "And I know Marissa is a fan of your music... but I really don't know what I can do for you."
"I..." Sirena bit her lip, then, "I wanted you to help me with my music video."
"More music videos?" Chimera looked startled. "I came to California for a vacation. I'm only helping out Marissa's band because she's my daughter...I'm not really meant to be working here at all. Did you call my office in Connecticut?"
"Mom did. They said you were booked out." Sirena responded. "But I wanted to come speak to you anyway. I didn't know Marissa was your daughter."
"I have two daughters and a son." Chimera nodded. "Not that it's important. Tell me, why did your mother call my office? I'm not sure I understand."
"My name Emily Gabor." Sirena admitted. "Phyllis Gabor is my mother."
Chimera stared at her, then shook her head.
"Not possible." She murmured. "I worked with Pizzazz...I would have known. I would have..."
"I wasn't known about. Mom didn't want me when I was a kid." There was no keeping the bitterness out of her voice at this, and Chimera frowned.
"But now?"
"Well, now things are different. I have a son of my own and I'm a single Mom...and Mom and I have made up bonds and stuff. I work for her record company now. But I didn't know she had a sister. And when I found out that she did, well, I decided I wanted to use that to my advantage, only..."
"I'm confused." Sirena admitted. "I didn't know you had a daughter."
"Well, I didn't know I had a niece." Chimera admitted at length. "And actually, I have two daughters. Marissa is the younger of twins. But I do see why you came in search of my help. You have to understand, though, that your mother and I - we have no love for each other. She can't forgive the fact that it was me - in her eyes - that broke up her parents' marriage, and I have no wish to try and make her. We never met until I was twenty and she was twenty four or there abouts - she never knew about me until then, and I was careful to keep it from her as long as I possibly could. After all, Harvey Gabor was -and probably still is - a powerful man."
"He might be." Sirena shrugged. "To me he's just my grandfather. He's the only proper family I have, other than Michael."
"My son."
"Why did you really come here, Emily?" Chimera's tones were soft. "To make a music video, or to find a family?"
Sirena stared.
"My video..."
"I see." Chimera nodded. "Well, I wish I could help but I can't. Marissa's group will take up all the time I can give, and I'm supposed to be here on vacation. I had an operation not so long ago - I had my appendix out - and I'm really not supposed to be working at all at the moment. I'm in no fit state to rush around after two lots of music companies."
Sirena sighed.
"I guess that's logical." She murmured. She paused, then, "You know, Mom told me why she hated you...but it's not your fault you were born that way."
"I'm glad someone agrees with me." Chimera smiled. She indicated the grass next to her. "Will you sit by me? I'm curious about this daughter my sister apparently magicked out of thin air. When I look at you - I can see my mother in your eyes, and I know you're not lying to me. But still..."
"Like I said, I was an accident. Like you, I guess." Sirena shrugged, feeling strangely comforted by the stranger's smile. "My Mom and my Dad had a crazy affair they both regretted almost at once, and Dad was out of the country by the time Mom knew, else she'd probably have had him shot. From all accounts she was livid. She had me, but gave me to the foundation as a baby. I didn't find out who I really was till Rory Llewelyn dangled my identity under my nose and tried to use me to get back at her. Then, when Mike was on the way, well, things changed."
"Babies do change things." Chimera pursed her lips. "I never intended to marry or to have children, you know. Yet I'm devoted to my twins as I could possibly be, and I miss Farah when she's in Japan, even though I know she's with my best friend and is perfectly safe there. I can't imagine Pizzazz mellowing though, over a grandson, if she didn't mellow over a daughter."
"I think she did." Sirena shrugged. "I don't know. Like I said, we get on pretty good now."
"And your father?"
"Creep who needs to drop dead." Sirena grimaced. "His name is Eric - do you know him?"
"Eric Raymond?" Chimera's eyebrows shot up, and she began to laugh. "Oh my dear yes, I do. That information has made my week...I never thought she'd stoop so low! Sometimes I wondered what the deal was with them, but I never knew they had an affair out of it!"
"Was there something between them? Ever?" Despite herself, Sirena was curious.
"It's hard to say." Chimera admitted. "Potential, perhaps. Chemistry, certainly. Love? Not in this lifetime. Your mother wasn't into the love thing, and your father's only interest was accumulating money. Your mother's, most probably. I know she has plenty."
"Sounds right." Sirena grimaced. "You know, Mom didn't want me to come see you."
"I don't doubt that." Chimera responded. "As you know, we're not friends."
"Does that apply to me too?" Sirena asked hesitantly. "It's not like me to ask stuff like that but, well, I don't have much of a family, not really."
"It doesn't apply to you." Chimera assured her. "Unlike your mother, you can see reason. Mom should never have had the affair with Dad and he hurt her pretty badly so what goes around comes around in the end. I've never been proud of that - and your mother's refusal to realise that it wasn't my fault or my choice has kept the rift between us long enough. We've never been sisters, only business associates." She smiled. "But I have no objection to having a niece."
"Then I'm glad to have an aunt, too." Despite herself, Sirena smiled. "'s okay about the video. I kinda think I came here as much to, well, find out about you as I did to ask about that."
"It's okay." Chimera grinned. "I guessed that once you told me your name."
Sirena stood.
"I should probably be going, before it registers what a total fool I've probably made out of myself." She observed. Chimera laughed.
"Not at all." She assured her. "I've been both intrigued and glad of meeting you. And if it wasn't for my health, I would help with your video. I like you. You may look a little like your mother, but you have your grandfather's good sense."
Sirena smiled. Then she turned, making her way back across the grounds, deep in thought.
"Mom could have told me about her. She's not psychotic, she's actually kinda cool." she mused. "I don't get this with Mom. It's all control this, keep that away from her. First she denies my existance, then she omits the fact I have an that I have cousins...what in hell else is she keeping from me? And whilst I'm on this track too, didn't she not bother to even tell my father I existed? Sheesh! No wonder the guy freaked on me."
She pushed open the door of the building, slowly heading back out to her waiting car. "Mind you, Grandpa never mentioned Chimera to me either. Still, if he only met her at Grandma's funeral, I can understand that. Grandpa wouldn't have kept it from me, it probably just slipped his mind. After all, let's face it, he might be with it for his age but he isn't getting any younger. Mom, however...she should have told me. No matter how estranged they were. She should have. I have a right to have a family too, after all - and she was so nice to me, even though I am Pizzazz's daughter. Was that what Mom was afraid of? That I'd like Chimera and take her side?"
She groaned, dropping into the front seat of her car and starting up the engine. "I need to go for a long drive, clear my head. At the moment I don't know what to think. One minute Mom's fussing about making sure my career is going good, next I'm being pushed around writers, I haven;t a video artist and now I don't even know how much family I have, because she's been keeping stuff from me!"
She put her foot down on the accelerator, speeding out of the parking lot and onto the freeway. "This is crazy. Something totally has to give. I'm going to tell Mom that I want to know exactly what's what with our family and I'm going to choose who I speak to, not have her do it for me. Besides, I'm a grown woman now, and I grew up fine without her interference.
 I can make choices for myself!"

Prologue: February 1997  
Chapter One: Sirena's Show

Chapter Two: A Plot
Chapter Three: In California
Chapter Four: About Chimera
Chapter Five: Sirena's Aunt
Chapter Six: A Special Quest
Chapter Seven: The Plot Hatches
Chapter Eight: Eric Strikes
Chapter Nine: Webchat
Chapter Ten: Complications
Chapter Eleven: Handling Emily
Chapter Twelve: A Discovery
Chapter Thirteen: A Birthday Surprise

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!