A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Ten: A Shock For Zoe

"This is a drag."
Cynthia leant up against the window of Misfit Music, glancing idly down at the dark streets below. "Whoever it was I feel did their business here and won't be back as soon as this."
"Aunt Phyl isn't to be argued with." Aaron responded, logging off the computer he had been using to check his email. "Anyhow, I can understand the way she feels. It's not like there's a head of security in operation at the moment, and there's a lot of expensive stuff here. It's only sensible to have someone on premises."
"Yes, I agree." Cynthia looked a little mournful. "I just wish someone would show up. I'm bored of simply being sentry, I want some fun with whoever they are."
Aaron laughed.
"I might've known." He said ruefully. "If you wanna know, Cynthia, I'm looking to have a quiet evening in. I don't like being here any more than you do, to tell the truth - Copper and I had plans for tonight and though obviously she understands the situation, I still feel kinda bad about it."
"Copper is a very understanding girl." Cynthia remarked. Aaron nodded.
"I know. I did good." He said with a grin. "I can't believe we're really talking about proper dates now, you know? Actually beginning to settle on when. It's like it;s been building up forever, but now it's beginning properly it's twice as exciting."
"It will be my first wedding." Cynthia said reflectively. A shadow crossed her clever face. "I hope however that once you are married you will not forget about me."
"I don't think we could if we wanted to." Aaron assured her. "Listen, Cyn, we're not going to abandon you like Jerrica and company did, whatever their reasons for doing so. You're definitely one of the gang and that's that. Friends for life."
"I'm glad to hear it." Cynthia admitted. "I must confess I do fear being once more abandoned." She sighed. "You will all get older and wiser and have your families...Jewel will grow up and part eventually and then I shall be once more put away and forgotten. I don't relish the idea."
"Cynthia, I promise to you now that noone is gonna let you be forgotten." Aaron promised. "Sure, Copper and I and the others will get older, hopefully have families of our own, but that doesn't mean that we'll leave you to rust, so don't fret about it, all right? You mean too much to us all for that."
"I hope you are correct." Cynthia said quietly. "But I shall put faith in believing you, and hope."
She frowned. "Did you hear something?"
"No." Aaron shook his head. "What kind of something?"
"Sounded like a noise from downstairs." Cynthia mused, crossing the office and swinging open the door. "Stay here, in case there is danger...you can be hurt and I don't want that. I will go and investigate."
"Mm, all right." Aaron agreed slowly. "But be careful yourself, okay? You're not infallible and your projector can be shattered."
"They can also be fixed. Flesh and blood is more difficult to mend." Cynthia pointed out. "In any case, I shall take care."
With that she was gone, and Aaron settled himself to wait for her return.
Downstairs in the lobby of the music company, Cynthia pushed open the main door, peering around it to see if she could see anything amiss. The dark was no obstacle for her, for she was able to see right through it, and her sharp vision soon made out a shape. Her eyes narrowed, and she crept across to the light switch, banging it on and startling the intruder where she stood.
"Stefana Ranieri, I should have known it would be you." Cynthia rolled her eyes as she recognised her companion. Stefana, recovering from her shock almost immediately scowled.
"What do you want, computer?" she demanded. "Jealous of people who have lives and homes to go to?"
"What are you doing here?" Cynthia folded her arms. "This is not your property. You are trespassing."
"I'm waiting for someone." For once her conscience more or less clear, Stefana met Cynthia's gaze easily. She had not planned on carrying out any further sabotage until the furore at the music company had died down, and it had been utter coincidence that Jake had asked her to meet him there. "He let me in, he has a key. He works here, so you can't do anything about it. Besides..." She sneered. "I don't take orders from oversized laptops."
"Meeting who? An invisible friend?" It was clear Cynthia was sceptical, though she ignored the insults as being beneath her. "I see noone."
"He's just checking all the doors upstairs. He told me to wait here." Stefana snapped back. "Not that it's your business, but his name is Jake Barren and he has security clearance for the building, so he's entitled to come by here, even if Psycho Circuitboards is on the rampage. Get off my case, will you?"
"He might have security clearance." Cynthia said slowly, automatically running the name through her memory banks and discovering that in this at least Stefana was telling the truth. "But you do not. I advise that you get off the premises, and fast. Ms Gabor asked Aaron and I to oversee this place tonight, since there were intruders last night, and I'm sure you wouldn't want your presence misconstrued."
"How dare you!" Stefana seethed, but before she could take the dispute any further, Jake himself arrived, casting her a grin.
"I'm all done, sorry to keep you." He said genially. He cast Cynthia a confused look. "What's the deal?"
"I was enquiring as to Stefana's reasons for being here." Cynthia said sweetly. "At present the company is on maximum security and Ms Gabor asked specifically that we make sure noone without a Misfits Music security pass comes on premises. That is all."
"Oh, I see." Jake frowned. "Well, I didn't realise, so it's probably my fault. We're going now, anyhow."
Cynthia watched them leave, a frown on her own face.
"Convenient she should be meeting him here." she decided. "Even more odd that Stefana of the big ego should choose to meet with and be seen with a man whose role at this company is nothing more than menial. There is something not right with this pairing, but I cannot place what." She sighed. "It seems tonight she was telling the truth, however. There is nothing I can do about that."
She made her way slowly back upstairs, deep in thought. She knew Stefana's ways too well not to know that something was up, but she was determined not to raise the alarm until she had firm proof.
"Still, I shall scan every data file I can locate." She mused. "If she has something up her sleeve it will not be long before I know what it is!"


"Hi, Dean."
Zoe swung open the front door of her apartment, her expression becoming one of surprise as she took in her friend's features. "What brings you here at this time of night?"
"Am I disturbing you?" Dean looked anxious. Zoe shook her head.
"No, I'm alone." She responded. "I'm just surprised to see you, that's all. I know you were helping Mom out with her show again tonight...I thought you'd have been too tired to make social calls, especially if you're filming tomorrow morning."
"I am, but I'm learning to live with little sleep." Dean said ruefully, following her into the lounge and taking a seat. "No, I came to see you for another reason, Zo. It's actually to do with your mother."
"With Mom?" Zoe looked curious. Dean nodded.
"I thought at first it was perhaps a one off." He agreed. "But I've been watching all week and it's very strange. See, Zoe, there's this new technician on set, name of Warren something or other. He's older than your Mom, but it's clear that she knows him from somewhere, and that he recognises her, also."
"An old friend in the business, perhaps?" Zoe asked. Dean shook his head.
"That would have been my feeling too." He responded. "But she seems scared to death of him. I overheard one exchange between them tonight, as well, which is why I decided to come here and talk to you about it. You're closer to Connie than me, after all, and she might talk to you. I didn't mean to listen in, but their voices carried and I overheard. He said something like she shouldn't forget what he knows about her, and...um...oh yes, that he'd be interested to discuss such matters with her, I quote 'talented young Zoe', and she flew into a rage at him, telling him that if he went near you she'd have him lose his job and everything. He just laughed."
Zoe bit her lip, considering.
"That doesn't sound so good." She murmured. "And why bring me into it? What's this guy's deal, anyway?"
"Beats me. He creeps the hell out of me." Dean admitted. "I've not tackled Connie about it exactly, I mean, it's not the sort of thing I can just go up to her and ask about, you know? But I did ask her if she was all right this afternoon, after their chat, and she bit my head off. She apologised later, but I think she's on edge. I don't know what the history of this is, but it sounds like this Warren guy is milking it for all he's worth."
Zoe paled, as an idea came to her.
"Oh God..." She murmured.
"Zoe?" Dean looked anxious. "What's up?"
"I just had a thought." Zoe's tone was numb. "What if...what if this guy who's creeping my Mom out is...is my father? What if that's why she doesn't want him near me!"
"Your father? Zoe, do you think that's likely? The guy's a creep." Dean said sensibly.
"Mom won't tell me about Dad. She avoids the issue." Zoe replied softly. "I don't know why, but she changes the subject or won't talk to me about him. What other reason could there be? He must have been a zero. Oh God, Dean, what if this guy is my father!"
"I'm sure that's not it, Zo."
"Are you, though? I mean, can you be? Has Mom ever said anything to you or your Dad about who my Dad could be?"
Dean frowned, shaking his head.
"No." He admitted. "Mom might've known, but she's not here to ask...I don't remember Connie ever even talking about him, to be honest."
"She never has." Zoe said flatly. "And you know what? After my chat with Mom the other day that got me nowhere, I phoned cousin Vivien and asked her if she knew anything that might help me...she said that Mom had never told her for sure the identity of my father."
Dean was silent for a moment, then,
"Listen, Zoe, I don't know what the deal is with this guy who's harassing your Mom, and in truth I wish I hadn't bothered you with it, I didn't mean to upset you." He said finally. "I only thought you should be aware of it, I thought maybe you'd know something of it and be able to help. I mean, Connie left the studio tonight almost as soon as the show had done airing, and I swear she'd been crying in her dressing room - it's not like her. But that doesn't mean that this thug is your Dad. Besides, even if he was, you're no part of him. You're your mother's daughter...you look like her and like your cousin, Vivien. You've nothing to fret about."
"I always wondered, though, who he was." Zoe's voice wavered slightly, and Dean came to hug her. "I wondered if he'd hurt her, if he was abusive or something, and that's why she wouldn't tell me about him. But then again, Dean, now it's a real possibility, I don't want it to be that way. I don't want to find out my father is some lowlife who hurt my Mom and made her cry. She means the world to me...I'd hate to be any part of something that upset her."
"Your Mom loves you to death, you silly." Dean told her gently. "She always has, and you know it. If your Dad is bad news, well, Connie's never equated you with him. And we don't know he is. You might be wrong, it could be something else."
"I guess I need to talk to her again." Zoe sighed. "Try and find out for real this time. Thing is, Dean, can I really stand to know the truth?"


Prologue: 1989
Chapter One: The "Anniversary"
Chapter Two: Jewel's Sound
Chapter Three: At Sirena's Place
Chapter Four: Jewel's Video
Chapter Five: Fanmail
Chapter Six: A Stranger
Chapter Seven: Stefana's Date
Chapter Eight: The Results
Chapter Nine: A Moment's Weakness
Chapter Ten: A Shock For Zoe
Chapter Eleven: A Surprise For Jetta

Chapter Twelve: Fire!

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!