Princess In Waiting

Chapter Seven: Anatole

"Well, one thing I have to say about Morvania...the food is awesome."
Sylva set down her fork, sitting back in her seat with a contented smile on her face. "They need to open a Morvanian restaurant in downtown Los Angeles...what do you guys think?"
"I think most people would feel sick just watching how much you put away." Nancy rolled her eyes. "I swear that it's a miracle you haven't put on eat enough for seven!"
"Well, my metabolism rocks." Sylva shrugged, grinning. "And it was just sooo good. Phyllis, did you and Mom and Aunt Roxy eat here when you were in Morvania? I wondered how you knew it."
"Yeah, we came here once or twice." Phyllis nodded her head. "Listen, kids, there's another reason why I took you girls out to dinner tonight, and it has nothing to do with decent food, okay? The competition is in two days time, and the other bands ain't half bad. This is a big deal opportunity for Jewel to gain some ground with another potential fanbase, and I want to be sure you're all focused. Since I never seem to be able to lay claws on you at the theatre..." She cast Sylva a pointed look at this juncture, "I want to be sure you're all taking this seriously. It might not be Hollywood glitz and glamour and dammit, I'd rather be anywhere on the earth than here in Morvania, but that's the roll of the dice, and you girls are professionals. Don't let me down, huh?"
"We won't. We have the song more or less down." Nancy assured her. "Besides, Aunt Phyl, how can it be bad for Jewel to be here? Potentially, as you said, it's another audience - another potential fanbase. Whatever happened between you and Queen Adreana was a long time ago now, and she obviously doesn't bear any grudge about it. We're gonna do our best to win this contest, but we want to enjoy our visit too. We've not been here before, and it's not often we can say that about a place these days."
"Look, kid, you'll do as you're told." Phyllis told her sharply. "I'm your boss, and I tell you what you can and can't do, okay? Morvania isn't quite the safe haven you seem to think that it is, you know."
"What makes you say that?" Copper looked startled. "They all seem very nice and friendly. Everyone is more than willing to talk to us and make us feel welcome."
"Yes, and I'm sure there's a good reason for that, too." Phyllis pursed her lips. "When the Queen was at the theatre yesterday, she had that stiff-faced Captain of the Guard with her - Corvin, or whatever his name. I distinctly heard him telling his people to keep close tabs on everyone - in particular, us. He doesn't trust me any more than I trust him, and I would not be surprised at all if all these friendly overtures to you were in search of information about why we're here."
"But we're only here for the contest. What's to hide?" Sylva demanded.
"In this business? What happened in England would be a good start." Phyllis retorted scathingly, casting Sadie a look which made her blush. "The last thing we need is for the Morvanian press to get it into their thick heads that we're importing troublemakers into the country."
"That's not fair!" Nancy protested. "Sadie's reformed!"
"I know that. You know that. Morvania doesn't." Phyllis said darkly. "It doesn't matter what the real truth of it is, a country as politically rocky as Morvania, things like that could matter."
"Is Morvania politically unstable?" Copper looked startled. Phyllis nodded.
"It always was." She agreed. "Oh, it's at peace now," as Nancy cast her a confused look, "But I understood from my people before we came that there had been some rumblings here of a plot against the throne. Now, I got involved in one of those once, back when I was young and naive enough not to know what I was getting wound up in. I'm not having you girls becoming intertwined in anything like it, you understand me? We don't know who in this country is friend and who is foe."
"Why didn't you tell us this before?" Nancy asked.
"I hoped I wouldn't have to." Phyllis admitted. She lowered her voice. "Listen. Three weeks before we came out to Morvania, there was a minor rising in one of the country's northern cities. It wasn't a big deal, and I'd be surprised if the Queen even got to know about it. I only know about it because I know who to ask and who to pay to find out these things. Adreana might be a popular Queen, but she's a damn idiot. She thinks everything can be solved simply by smiling and forgiving and getting on with life. Last time there was a real revolt against her throne, we were involved. I don't want them to involve American musicians in their schemes again. Okay?"
"Okay." Copper nodded. "We'll keep it in mind, Phyllis."
"What lengths do you think these people might go to to find out why we're here?" Sadie asked slowly. "And by "these people", are we talking bad guys or good guys?"
"I don't know the answer to either one of those questions." Phyllis admitted. "But I do know that the girl behind the desk at the Hotel Victor is not all she claims to be. I saw her having a conversation with a very suspiciously dark clad figure the other evening, she gave him something. I hate that place as it is - nothing but trouble! So be careful, okay? We're here for a music contest, not political intrigue."
"She gave him something?" Nancy's eyes opened wide. "A photo, perhaps?"
"Could have been...why?" Phyllis narrowed her gaze. "What do you know, kid?"
"Nancy, I'm gonna surgically sew your lips together." Sylva rolled her eyes. "It's nothing, Phyllis. Just Jesta causing trouble, that's all."
"I still don't think it was Jesta." Sadie shook her head. "And in light of what Phyllis has just said, Syl, we should tell her."
"Tell me what?" Phyllis looked suspicious. "If you're causing me trouble again, Sadie..."
"No, it's nothing to do with Sadie." Copper hurried to reassure her. "But when we came back to the hotel tonight, someone had been in Sadie and Syl's room, and it was all kinda messed up. We thought it was Jesta...but all that we could find that was missing was a photo Syl had in her date-book - one of her, Mary and Anna. We weren't gonna tell you, because we thought it was just inter-musician rivalry. But maybe we were wrong."
"Hrm." Phyllis' expression became thoughtful. "Seems damn strange to me that a musical rival would swipe a photograph and not something like manuscript. Neither of you saw who might have done it?"
"No, but if that Nerysa girl at the desk had something...maybe it was her."
"Probably it was." Phyllis nodded. "I'll have words with her tomorrow." her green eyes glinted. "And we'll see what the truth really is."
She waved to the waiter for the bill. "In the meantime, I'll pay here and we'll head back there. Stick together, okay? If something really is going down at the Hotel Victor, then we don't want to become any more a part of it than we already are."


"I wish you guys hadn't told Phyllis about the room being done over."
Sylva settled herself down in the hotel recreation lounge, idly flicking through the channels on the television. "I don't think that it's anything to do with whatever political scandals Phyllis thinks are going on, and besides, we're just going to wind up tied to the hotel."
"Well, if it's safer, then I don't mind." Sadie shrugged her shoulders. "I'm keeping out of trouble, Syl - it's fairly clear to me that Phyllis is still sore over what happened in England, and what I kept from her when I signed my contract. I'm not going to do anything to make her think I'm a troublemaker and a liability to have on her books. Remember, one more faux pas and I'm hitting the road back to England."
"I know." Sylva acknowledged with a sigh. "But still, no point in getting her worried. I mean, so what if Nerysa did search our room? There isn't anything suspicious there. We're here on innocent grounds, and for all we know, Nerysa is working for Corvin and that's the guy Phyllis saw her talking to. No reason to suspect anything's up."
"Phyllis knows Corvin." Sadie objected.
"Yes, but she said he was all dressed in dark clothing. He was probably disguised too." Sylva shrugged. "I really think everyone is making a big deal out of this, to be honest."
"Well, your call." Sadie smiled. "I'm going to take five minutes out the back for a fag, okay? I've barely had one all day, with everything going on."
"Fine by me." Sylva nodded. "I'll sit and watch television like a good girl." She feigned a yawn. "If I don't die of boredom first. What the hell use is cable television if it's all in Morvanian!"
"I'm sure the Morvanian people don't object." Sadie winked, reaching in her pocket for her cigarettes and her lighter. "Quit moaning, Syl. Day after tomorrow, we have the contest, and then we'll be heading back to LA. Back to Topaz, to American cable and February heatwaves. All right?"
"I suppose so." Sylva acknowledged. "Just this vacation is turning out to be no fun at all."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Sylvina."
A fresh voice interrupted the conversation, and both girls turned, Sylva letting out an exclamation as she recognised the young man from the theatre.
"Nat! What are you doing here!"
"Keeping my word." Nat winked at her. "I said I would drop by the Hotel Victor to see you, and here I am."
"Fab. I was just about dying of boredom." Sylva dimpled. Nat laughed.
"Well, I can solve that." He said. He held out his hand. "I believe you promised me your company for a night time tour of Laviana?"
"Sylva, remember what Phyllis said." Sadie's brow creased in a frown. "We're supposed to be staying here."
"Oh, chill out, will you?" Sylva rolled her eyes. "Nat, don't mind her, she's a worry wart at the best of times. I'd love to hang out with you. Sadie, you don't need to tell Phyllis where I'm going - she'll never know and what she doesn't know won't hurt her. I'll be back before she knows I'm gone."
"I will take good care of your friend, I assure you." Nat cast Sadie a smile. "I apologise for coming so late in the evening, but I have been working all day, and I have not had a chance before this. I wasn't sure if you would even still be up."
"You kidding me? Ten at night is no time for bed!" Sylva laughed. "And I'm a grown woman, Sadie, I don't need a nanny. I'm twenty two in April...I can make my own decisions."
She linked arms in Nat's, casting her friend a wink. "I'll see you later."
Sadie watched them go, a troubled expression on her face. Putting her cigarette to her lips, she slipped out of the back door of the hotel to light it, exhaling thoughtfully.
"I hope you do know what you're doing." She murmured. "After all, what do we really know about this Nat guy?"


"You were right. Laviana really is beautiful at night."
Sylva settled herself more comfortably on the edge of Nat's coat, gazing up at the stars. "I didn't know that there was anywhere like this in the middle of a busy city like this."
"Laviana is a whole mix of urban and rural spots." Nat nodded. "I love it very much...I hoped you would love it too."
Sylva grinned.
"When you live the kind of life we do, it's sometimes hard to find a moment to stop and enjoy the scenery." She admitted. "We're always travelling here, there and everywhere...and if we're not doing that, we're making appearances, doing interviews, having photographs taken or laying down records. It's chaos."
"I understand." Nat nodded his head. "It must be hard to have such a demanding schedule."
"Tell me about it." Sylva rolled her eyes. "I've flown more miles than a migrating bird these last few months. We were in England in January, promoting our latest song and album, then we went home, and now here we are, in Morvania. Who knows where we'll be next month?"
"You must see a lot of the world, though." Nat observed. Sylva nodded her head.
"That's one of the perks." She agreed. "I love Europe, and Canada's pretty cool, too. We've not gotten to Australia yet, though I'd like to go - my cousin also plays in a band, and she's played Down Under. One of their members is from there, even. It just seems like an even longer flight to make!"
"I have never been outside of Europe." Nat admitted. "I have visited Greece, France, Germany, and once the United Kingdom, but only very briefly. I would love to travel further and see new things."
He frowned.
"Sylvina, your friend did not seem to like you going with me. Have I caused you a problem?"
"No...I told you before about my boss playing babysitter." Sylva rolled her eyes expressively. "She doesn't seem to get that I'm nearly twenty two. Besides, just because she came here twenty years ago and got involved in some political upheaval, it doesn't mean that things are going to be the same for us this time. That was a long time ago, after all."
"Some say that Queen Adreana's throne is at risk." Nat observed quietly. "She is a popular Queen, but many say that she does not understand the finer dangers of being a political ruler as well as a sovereign. They whisper that Corvin, her Captain of the Guard runs the country more than she does, and it causes unrest. People want a monarch who can lead, not just a figurehead. Adreana's heart is pure, but her governing ability is perhaps not all it should be."
"Really?" Sylva looked startled. "She seemed to have everything under control when we met her."
"As I said, the people love her dearly." Nat nodded his head. "But sometimes there are whispers and rumours of unrest. Perhaps there is a change to come." He shrugged. "Who can say?"
"Would you want that?" Sylva asked. Nat smiled wryly.
"I want what is best for Morvania, as do all Morvanians." He said at length. "But I did not ask you out here to talk politics, so I apologise. Tell me something about your life in America instead. I am curious about this Los Angeles."
"LA is a blast." Sylva dimpled. "I love DC, cos that's where I grew up, but LA is my spiritual home, I swear. I was born there, actually, cos Mom and Dad moved to DC when I was just a I suppose it is in my blood. It rocks, though. Lots of shops, lots of things to do and Jewel are so popular there. The people in California consider us their special property, and it's fab, even if it can be intrusive on your privacy. We've made a lot of friends in the music industry and in the media along the way - Nancy's even dating one of the television presenters whose show we play all the time."
"And what about you?" Nat asked softly. Sylva looked startled.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Is there a special guy back home in Los Angeles for you?"
"Oh." Sylva frowned. "No, I guess not."
"You guess not?"
"Well, it's difficult for me at the moment." Sylva admitted. "I kinda liked a guy, but you know, it didn't work out. I'm a free agent, more or less."
"Ah, I see." Nat looked thoughtful for a moment. "I suppose it is not easy to keep a relationship when you live a busy lifestyle."
"You got it in one." Sylva nodded. "Though I'm fairly sure that this particular guy and I were jinxed from the moment we met." She shrugged. "Such is life. What about you? Any sweet Morvanian girl in the shadows?"
"No." Nat shook his head. "Which is a constant source of tribulation for my mother. She thinks that I should have been married with two kids by now!"
"How old are you?" Sylva looked startled. Nat grinned.
"Twenty three." He owned. "In my book, too young to be tying myself down to any bride. I have too much I want to do first...and besides, I have not found the right woman. How can you marry someone who isn't right?"
"Yep, I'm with that." Sylva agreed. She frowned. "My sister has a boyfriend in DC who is apparently Mr Right, which can be a bit galling, but when I stop and look at it all, I realise that I'm happy most days with how things are. Of course, I want to meet someone and settle down one day...but not yet. I like being the femme fatale of rock and roll. I guess I realised that most of all with all the people around me getting all grown up and mature. Copper is engaged...and my friend back home had a baby over Christmas. I'm not ready for either one of those steps yet."
"There's no hurry." Nat shrugges philosophically. He winked at her. "Mind you, I didn't expect to be visited by such a pretty American girl this Winter. Perhaps my luck is improving?"
"Flirt." Sylva swiped at him playfully.
"Well, I have had a good time tonight." Nat grinned. "Haven't you?"
"Yes, actually. A really good time." Sylva nodded her head. "It's a shame I'm not going to be here for longer, else we could do this again."
"I will make sure I see you before the contest, to wish you luck." Nat decided. "It must be some pressure to play here, when your mother came here so many years before."
"My mother?" Sylva looked startled. "I didn't realise I'd told you about her." She shrugged. "And no, not really. Mom is one heck of a musician - she wrote all the Misfits' songs, and she's still considered one of the top songwriters in America, even now. But I'm Sylva - I'm not Mom and I'm not trying to be. I'm just, well, who I am."
"A good philosophy." Nat grinned. "And it becomes I should get you back to your hotel, before your friend begins to worry."
"I guess you should." Sylva looked reluctant, glancing at her watch. "Wow, it's half three! In that case, yes we should head back. If Phyllis finds out I snuck out I'll be in deep trouble, and Sadie might be too. I don't care if I get yelled at, but Sadie can't afford to get into trouble on this tour. Come on, let's scoot!"

Prologue: Morvania, 1987
Chapter One: Los Angeles, 2014
Chapter Two: At The Airport
Chapter Three: Laviana
Chapter Four: The Competition
Chapter Five: The Queen
Chapter Six: Ransacked!
Chapter Seven: Anatole
Chapter Eight: Nerysa
Chapter Nine: A Frightening Realisation
Chapter Ten: Betrayal
Chapter Eleven: The Truth
Chapter Twelve: Heartfelt
Chapter Thirteen: Home

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!