Part One: Lovesick

Chapter Six: Interception

Phoebe turned from the window, eying her companion with a friendly, slightly distant smile. It was early the next morning, and Rebel Records was comparatively quiet. Rory Llewelyn and his partner, Sophie had not yet arrived, and Phoebe had commandeered the main office for her rendezvous, knowing that it was as secure and private a place as any within the music company to hold an illicit meeting.
"You are sooner than I anticipated you." She observed approvingly. "You must have been out very early, Stefana. I admire your dedication."
"Sooner it's done, sooner we can do something with it."
Stefana reached into her bag, pulling out a crumpled envelope and tossing it down onto the desk. Phoebe moved to pick it up, examining the post mark and then turning it over. She glanced up.
"You opened it?" She asked. Stefana shrugged.
"What use is it to us sealed?" She demanded. "Sure, I opened it. It's enough to make anyone bring up their breakfast, too. This guy needs serious help, I'm telling you."
"Indeed?" Phoebe's expression became thoughtful. She pulled out the folded sheet, opening it and skimming over the contents. She chuckled.
"Oh, this is priceless." She murmured. "And exactly what I hoped you might bring me. Not only does he sell his soul to this girl, he's also given her an address and begged her to write back to him. He should not be hard to locate, if this is indeed his address."
"He isn't exactly sane, you know." Stefana dropped down into an empty seat, pulling her cigarettes from her pocket and lighting one. Smoking in Rory's office was expressly forbidden, and she was enjoying taking advantage of his absence. "What do you think, that we can trot over there and get him to work for us? He's mad in love with this girl  -and trust me, that proves he needs help! He's not going to exactly just roll over and help us make a fool out of her."
"" Phoebe shook her head, sitting herself down behind the desk. "That was not what occured to me."
"Then what?" Stefana demanded. "We have his name, his address, and we know he's crazy about Copper. What do you suggest we do about it? And when do I get paid for bringing you this info, huh? You told me yesterday that anything I produced from Copper's mailbox would pay out. Well, pay up, will you? I do have costs to pay, you know!"
"Ah, I wondered when you'd get to that." Phoebe's features creased into an amused smile, and she reached into a drawer, pulling out a sheaf of notes. Carefully she counted them, then pushed them across the desk. "Here. As I promised. I want you to see how I keep my word, Stefana. You have done well this morning, after all."
Stefana grabbed the bundle of notes, counting them herself and pocketing them, an approving smile touching her own lips.
"Working with you is easier than working for Rory." She admitted. "You practically have to threaten him with blackmail before he pays. And living a celebrity lifestyle ain't easy on the money he pays out, either!"
Phoebe eyed her companion keenly, taking in the pale complexion and shadowy eyes. Delight mingled with derision sparkled in her blue eyes as she read between the lines of Stefana's words.
"So the shrew is wrapped up in the drug scene, is she?" She mused. "This could definitely be useful information, just in case anything goes awry! And no wonder she'll do anything for cash - she must be ladled with debts up to her ears! Yes, this is a very useful alliance indeed!"
"So what's your brilliant plan, then?" Stefana exhaled a cloud of smoke, eying her companion quizzically. "How are we going to use all of this to spite that bitch?"
"Simple." Phoebe smiled. "Write to him."
"Write to him?" Stefana echoed. Phoebe nodded.
"Yes. He is waiting for a response. It would be a shame to disappoint him."
"Ohhh." Stefana's tired eyes lit up with comprehension. "I get what you're after now! I write back to him pretending to be Copper - correct?"
"Yes." Phoebe nodded.
"But how will I get him to reply? I can't keep raiding the Starlight mailbox at ungodly hours. I have work and they have a psycho computer system running their house security. I don't really want to get caught!"
"No need." Phoebe dismissed this with a wave of her hand. "When I am in Los Angeles, I have all my mail diverted to a P.O Box here. You will tell him to write to that. If you word your letter correctly, then he will obey." Her eyes twinkled. "For example, if he were to think that it was Copper's only way of escaping the attentions of an overprotective fiance...?"
Stefana chuckled.
"You know, you are one ruthless bitch." She said appreciatively. "Everything Rory said about you is true, isn't it? You are the queen of con-artists!"
Phoebe winked.
"I know how to get by in this world." She said evasively. "And the truth is not always the easiest or quickest way to get to what I want. But you must understand that too, Stefana. I understand you're ruthless enough yourself."
"Of course." Stefana shrugged. "I've worked damn hard to be a success in this business, and I'm sick of a fabricated act like Jewel queening it all over the billboard chart. Diablo are miles better than Jewel ever were, we just didn't get it all on a silver platter. I'm evening up the odds. That's all."
She smiled, taking a drag on her cigarette.
"The others like to play it fair. Fair takes too long."
She pursed her lips.
"What exactly should I write to him? Just thank him for his letter and stuff? Or what?"
"I don't know." Phoebe looked thoughtful. "For now, yes. I must think further about how to proceed once we have an answer from him. But encourage him, Stefana. Make sure you give him some hope that Copper might be interested in him. He should not need much persuading."
"Not a problem." Stefana assured her. "Give me the PO Box address and his letter and I'll see what I can do."

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"Someone's in a good mood this morning."
Topaz lifted her baby daughter out of her highchair, casting Copper a playful grin as her bandmate sauntered into the kitchen, whistling under her breath as she hunted for breakfast. Copper grinned.
"No mail from you know who." She responded. "I half dreaded the mail coming in this morning, but aside from a credit card statement, I didn't get anything. And I've never been so happy to hear from American Express, let me tell you!"
Topaz chuckled.
"Unless they've begun a crush on you too, of course!" She teased, raising Hollie more comfortably onto her hip and wiping her mouth clean of banana. "There, now you're clean, trouble. I tell you something, Copper - I never knew anyone as bad as Hol for messy eating."
"She's one. Give her a chance." Copper came to join them, ruffling Hollie's short reddy-gold waves playfully. "You just enjoy your food, kid, don't you?"
Hollie put her fingers in her mouth, raising aquamarine eyes to the drummer, then offering a smile.
"Trouble is, when she looks like that, I can't even scold her." Topaz said ruefully. "Half of breakfast ended up on the floor, since Hollie's learnt to flip her food...but she's so damn cute with it it's hard to tell her off."
Copper laughed.
"Like mother, like daughter." She teased. "No matter what you do, Topaz, we always find it hard to stay mad at you!"
"Hey, I'm well behaved these days." Topaz objected. "A responsible single Mom, that's me."
She glanced up at the kitchen clock. "Is anyone else up?"
"Not that I've seen, though Nancy's car isn't here, so I expect she's gone to the studio or something." Copper shook her head, selecting a muffin and sitting down at the kitchen table. "Syl and Sadie are both lost to the world still. Taking advantage of the fact that Music Bizz rescheduled their interview for tomorrow, I'm guessing. It's nice to have a day off, even if it's at short notice, and Aaron is working. I thought I'd drive down to the sea front and spend it at the beach. You and Hollie want to tag along?"
"I do, but I'm not sure about taking Hol to the beach." Topaz eyed her daughter with a troubled gaze. "I mean, it's nothing against her, and I know she'd love to play with the sand and the sea and shells, but you never know who's lurking with a camera, and you know how I feel about Hollie being in the local press."
"Well, equally you can't keep the kid a prisoner." Copper said sensibly. "It won't hurt her for once if she gets a little unwanted attention, so long as you don't make a big deal of it in front of her. She's too young to understand about the press, anyway. I think it'd be a shame to deprive her of normal toddler fun because you're in the public eye."
"Consider me scolded!" Topaz laughed. "All right, you've convinced me. Give me twenty minutes to get my stuff and Hollie's junk and I'll meet you out the front, okay?"
"Sure. I'll leave a note for Sadie and Syl, when they emerge." Copper agreed. "Syl was murmuring something about shopping for new shoes this afternoon anyway, so I don't think they'll mind if we take off. You know Sadie is her shoe-shopping buddy."
"Only because they wear the same size and Syl figures she can school what Sadie buys as well as herself." Topaz giggled. "Okay. See you in a few, huh? Come on, monster. Auntie Copper's taking us to the beach so you can get yourself covered in sand. That sound good to you?"
Hollie gurgled and reached out a small fist for her mother's ponytail, pulling out the hairtie and examining it closely. Topaz rolled her eyes, and Copper laughed.
"But she is precious." She pointed out. "Even when she's being bad!"
Within an hour, the two girls had reached the beach, spreading a big towel out on the golden sand and erecting a parasol to keep the glare of the sun off them. It was another scorching February day, and everyone who was not at work seemed to be taking advantage of the fine weather to spend some time at the seaside. Even despite this, however, the two Jewels found they were able to set up their pitch in a secluded part of the beach, and Topaz was soon immersed in teaching Hollie the best way to build a sandcastle.
Copper spread out on the towel, watching them.
"You know, watching you with Hollie makes me really really hope that Aaron and I have kids of our own." She said after a while. "I know she's hard work, and I know sometimes you're at your wit's end with her, but she's so cute. It makes me broody."
"There's no hurry, surely?" Topaz glanced up, dabbing a blob of sand onto her daughter's nose and making the infant giggle. "I was only twenty two when Hol came - you're not twenty four till June, and a lot of women these days don't start a family till they're in their late twenties or early thirties. It's not like you have to get pregnant the moment you get hitched, you know."
"I know, but I'm impatient. Besides, it won't happen that way." Copper grimaced. "Once Aaron and I are settled in our own place and everything is cool, we're going to consult a specialist together and see what our options are. It's not going to happen the way Hollie happened for you, so we might as well be clued in about the choices before we have to make them."
"Well, you know if you want any babysitting practice, I've a great candidate for you here." Topaz grinned. "Okay, Hol, now we turn the pail this way around....and tap it with the shovel. See? Like this...Oh, Hol, you're getting sand all over me! You're supposed to hit that, not my sandals!"
"Maybe she is a bit young to learn." Copper giggled, sprawling on her stomach and reaching over to lift the bucket. "There, Hol. See? You've a little castle."
Hollie pursed her lips, eying it thoughtfully. Then she grabbed her beloved ragdoll, perching her on the top.
"Doll." She said importantly. Topaz laughed.
"Well, we have a damsel in distress." She said playfully. "And we certainly have a monster she needs to be rescued from, don't we, squirt?" She tickled the baby.
"I'm gonna take a wander down to the sea, I think." Copper decided. "I'll see you in a few, okay?"
"Sure. Don't get lost on the way!" Topaz glanced up, nodding her head. Copper grinned, getting to her feet.
"Try not to." she bantered back, sliding her flipflops onto her feet and heading across the soft sand to the water's edge. Lost in thought, she did not notice the man with his camera, perched behind one of the large seaweed covered rocks that littered the terrain. As she dipped her toes in the sea, he raised his camera, hitting the zoom and then beginning to take pictures.
She was even more beautiful up close.
"I wish you were close enough to touch." He whispered, setting down his camera. "But now you have my address, at least. You can write to me...we can be friends, then you'll understand why that Pelligrini jerk is so wrong for you. I just have to be patient. I know you're too sweet to break my heart...I know that everything is just going to be fine. Just wait, Copper. You and I - we have so much to do together. Trust me."


Prologue: Downtown Los Angeles
Chapter One: A Special Task
Chapter Two: A Bitter Heart
Chapter Three: A Fan Letter
Chapter Four: A Valentine Surprise
Chapter Five: Cynthia's Advice
Chapter Six: Interception
Chapter Seven: Test Of A Friendship
Chapter Eight: Rendezvous
Chapter Nine: Cat Burglar
Chapter Ten: Phoebe's Plan
Chapter Eleven: Copper!

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!