"I don't believe this!"
Nancy set down her pen, glancing up in some irritation from her seat beneath the trees at the back of the Starlight estate, where she had gone in the hope of some shade and peace and quiet. However, she told herself ruefully, as she watched Sylva stalking across the grass, clearly in high dudgeon, there was never much chance of peace and quiet when her bandmates were home.
"What are you bleating about?" She demanded now. "Syl, I'm working, can't you bug someone else?"
"Noone else is here." Sylva pouted. "I just got back from shopping with Topaz and she's stopped by Misfit Music to talk to Jetta and Phyllis about something. Copper's off out with Aaron and Cynthia's working. You're the only one here."
"Sadie's probably here." Nancy offered.
"She's working too, and besides, I don't know her enough to whinge to her yet." Sylva retorted, dropping down onto the grass. Nancy raised an eyebrow.
"So now I'm your bosom friend, am I?"
"No, but you'll do." Sylva rolled her eyes, dropping the paper on the grass. "Look. The spy struck again...God only knows what he thought when he saw this."
"Sylva's secret love." Nancy scooped up the paper, skimming over the article. "Jack?"
"Yeah." Sylva grimaced. "Because things were awkward as hell between us yesterday. It has to be more than coincidence now, without a doubt, and we can count out Latisha, because she wasnt there when he was. It sucks, Nancy. I'm already confused about the whole Jack business."
"I thought you were the femme fatale of rock and roll." Nancy said acidly, folding up the paper and setting it to one side. "Don't tell me that the queen flirt finally got outdone at her own game?"
"Shut up." Sylva groaned. "You don't know the half of it. Yeah, I like Jack, I like him a lot, but I'm also mad as heck at him for saying some of the things he said when we rowed, before Vi's wedding."
"I never got to hear about this. All I knew was that you'd had some kinda spat with him and that was that." Nancy reminded her. "Despite what Copper said at the beach, Syl, you don't tell me everything and I'd be damned if you knew every detail of my life."
"Well, in the shortest possible terms, Nance, he was engaged to marry that Melanie chick, right?"
"Yeah. The one I met at your birthday party with the attitude." Nancy nodded. "So?"
"So, I was ok with this, because everything seemed fine. Then Courtenay said something to me about something Melanie did and I resolved to keep an eye on things. Well, I saw her hit the kid and I'm sorry, that wasn't on. Court was naughty but noone should discipline her but Jack and I don't think he's ever hit her in her life."
"Nice." Nancy pursed her lips. "So?"
"So I had to do something." Sylva responded. "I told him the truth - and it got kinda far, I mean, everything came out, how I liked him and all and he said that he'd read plenty about me being a flirt and a tease and that I was making it up about Melanie to try and get her out of the way. He also said that I wasn't the girl he'd thought I was and that I had some serious growing up to do...that was the basis of it. I mean, sheesh, Mom already told me I wasn't old enough for a guy like Jack and heck, I'd let him carry on with Melanie but when Courtenay gets hurt in the process I'm not gonna just sit by and let it happen."
"Courtenay said Jack wasn't getting married. Guess he found out the truth." Nancy remarked.
"Mm, but now it's all over the press thanks to our spy and when he sees it's in here he'll be certain I spoke to someone and gave them the scoop." Sylva rubbed her temples. "So even if I wasn't hopping mad at him, he's gonna be hopping mad at me. And I'm sorry, I'm quite entitled to be mad, because I was right and he was wrong and he owes me an apology, but that doesn't mean I want him to hate me."
"Well, all I can say is you're love life is too complicated for me." Nancy said with a shrug. "Cool it though, Syl. Tabloid scandals happen. They come and go. It'll be forgotten in a week if you don't make a fuss over it. You know that."
"Yeah, I guess so." Sylva sighed. "I don't expect you to get it, Nancy, but I'm fond of that kid and I've missed playing with her. This is just gonna make things messier. I think maybe he realises he was wrong to yell at me, but now any chances of him apologising and us making up friends are gonna be blown away by the press. Life as a star can really stink sometimes."
"If you ask me, he ain't worth your time." Nancy responded bluntly. "And as for the kid, no offence, Syl, but you are not ready to play Mom."
"I know that." Sylva admitted. "But I like being her play big sister. I never had a kid sister or brother, Annie was always the same age as me and Joseph was stillborn. I would have liked it."
"Well, when Topaz has her baby, you'll have one, almost." Nancy grinned. "So don't fret."
"I suppose." Sylva looked thoughtful. "Hey, by the way, there was a message on the answer phone too. We've all gotta be home tonight. Phyllis decided that we're having a dinner party for Bryony and Casey tonight."
"First I've heard of it." Nancy snorted.
"Well, me too, but that's Phyllis." Sylva responded. She got to her feet. "Can't you put the notes away for a bit? I don't wanna go in on my own right now and anyhow, if we can't solve this Jewel thing we won't need the music. Losing Topaz is gonna be a real pain, in lots of ways."
"You're telling me." Nancy nodded, but she relented, putting her manuscript in her folder and obediently following her companion inside. "Hey, this is surreal, though."
"You just asked me, of your own free will, to hang out with you."
"I know." Sylva pursed her lips. "I guess you were right. Better the devil you know." She grinned. "Besides, I reckon we're used to each other's peculiarities now, huh?"
"Yeah, I guess." Nancy conceded. "To be honest, Syl, Casey drives me mad and she reminds me a lot of you when we first met, but I like to think you've mellowed a little with time. If I had to choose between the two of you, I'd pick you."
"Well, I think we're gonna have to choose between Bryony and Casey themselves pretty soon." Sylva replied. "I only hope we can choose the right one. Jewel might depend on it."
It was eight o clock in the evening by the time the guests arrived
and, having been notified by Sylva of the change of plans, Copper and Topaz
were both back home and ready to greet them. Food had not been a problem,
for Nancy had made some calls and everything had been gotten ready in the
nick of time.
Topaz had invited Sadie to come join them but she had declined, saying she wanted to work on her sketches and that she was still a little tired, so it was simply the four of them who welcomed the two hopefuls into their home, each inwardly wondering when the spy would put a foot wrong and if they'd manage to pick the right one.
"We're sorry to descend on you at short notice." Bryony apologised as she took her seat. "Miss Gabor told us that she'd notify you, but..."
"It's okay. Working for Phyllis means you always have to be open to changes." Topaz assured her with a smile. "Besides, you're most welcome. We don't often entertain at the Starlight, except on big occasions, so it's nice to have a private meal here without cameras and reporters peeking in."
"Well, so long as neither of you are allergic to anything, or vegetarians, we're ok to feed you." Nancy remarked. "When we have the Teenangels here we always have to fuss around making sure we've something for Jade because she's a vegetarian and a health food nut, so it wouldn't be beyond us, but we didn't have enough time to do it tonight."
"I'm not allergic or a vegetarian." Casey dimpled. "I had a boyfriend once who was a vegan, though, so I totally know what you mean."
"Well, Jade is sweet as anything and we don't mind catering for her, but you get to know people's habits when you see them on a regular basis." Copper remarked. "Bryony? No problems for you?"
"No, I'll eat anything, as my brother would gladly tell you." Bryony nodded her head with a dry smile. "The teenangels are the Teenangel Outsiders, right? Didn't one of them get married here? I remember something..."
"Yes, Violet." Copper agreed. "Her husband is Nancy's cousin, so it seemed appropriate."
"They'll be starting to move into the American scene a lot more." Sylva observed. "Like we are the British one. It's fun. We tend to see each other when we travel, but I know when they really campaign for America they'll get a lot of support. Their music is catchy." She grinned. "My cousin Sammi plays guitar for them."
Nancy smothered a smile, remembering Sylva's frequent rants and moans about "cousin Sammi", but mindful of the fact there was a spy in their midst, she said nothing.
The first course passed without incident, and, as Copper was clearing up the plates to make way for dessert, the topic of conversation moved to administration at Misfit Music.
"Talking to Miss Gabor at Starlight Music makes me wonder what she must've been like as a Misfit." Bryony observed. "I can imagine she was pretty intimidating back then."
"Aunt Phyl has always been a strong character." Nancy nodded. "But it works for her in her line of business."
"Uh..yeah." Nancy blushed. "Well, Mom and she have been friends a long time, and I grew up in close proximity to the Gabor Estate, so I saw a lot of her. Mom coined the nickname as a joke to annoy her and well, it stuck. She's always been Aunt Phyllis to Aaron and I."
"Sweet." Casey dimpled. "So she has a sweet side then?"
"Yes." Nancy nodded. "But everyone does, if you look for it hard enough."
"Now that sounds like something Copper would say." Topaz laughed, as the redhead herself returned from the kitchen with dessert. "But it's true, you know. Most people I've met have a good side and a bad."
"Interesting." Bryony looked thoughtful. "I'll try that philosophy on my brother when I go back to San Diego."
She took a sip of her drink. "Los Angeles is nice, I suppose, but it's odd being away from home. I know it's not really far, but..."
"Well, I'm from DC and Copper's from Detroit." Sylva pointed out.
"Not to mention that I come from Mississauga, in Ontario." Topaz dimpled. "Though my Dad's family was from Aurora - hence my name - and Mom's from Gatineau in Quebec, so I've a mix of all over Canada in my blood. But travelling is part of this business."
"Too true." Nancy nodded. "I love going to England. It feels like home to me, because of Mom's roots and everything."
"I'd love to have exotic heritage." Casey looked wistful. "I'm just a mongrel American, though. Mom's from Minnesota, Dad's from San Francisco."
"Well, English isn't exactly exotic." Nancy shrugged. She indicated Copper. "Her mother was born in Mexico and her father's family came from Spain. That's far more exotic if you ask me."
"Mom considers herself American, though. She was a baby when her family emigrated to California." Copper responded with a smile. "And yes, Papa's family were from Valencia, but I've only been there that once, when we were touring in Europe and we played two or three shows in Spain. He was born here in the States."
"Do you speak Spanish, then?" Bryony looked interested. Copper nodded.
"Yes. I'm bilingual." She agreed. "I'm American but it's a big part of my heritage too, it's at least half of where I came from." She dimpled. "I'm teaching Aaron, because when we're married and if...well, if we have children, I intend them to learn to speak it too, from birth, like Mama and Papa instilled into the three of us."
"Aaron flunked Spanish twice." Nancy remembered. "Till he got me to do his homework for him. He dropped it in the end."
"I think there's some Welsh somewhere way back in my family." Bryony considered. "I seem to remember Mom saying something about it. Couldn't tell you a word of Welsh, though." She blushed. "I'm not entirely sure where abouts it is on a map of the UK, either. That's pretty terrible, huh?"
"Yeah, but we'll forgive you." Sylva dimpled. "I have trouble picking out any state which doesn't have a coastline and I'm native to the US...so that's even worse!"
"Okay." She agreed. "Guess we're even." She stretched. "Hey, do you guys mind if I go freshen up? I think my lipstick is probably gone and I could use a touch up."
"Sure. The main bathroom is at the top of the stairs and on the right - there's a nice big mirror there." Copper told her with a nod. Bryony grinned.
"Thanks. I won't be a sec." She assured them.
She got to her feet, heading out of the room and to the bottom of the main stairs, taking them two at a time, for she knew time was of the essence. At the top she paused, looking for the bathroom that Copper had mentioned.
"Okay, so that's there." She murmured. "In case I need to make a quick escape. So who's room is this next door to it, then?"
Casting a glance over her shoulder, she put a hand on the door, pushing it carefully open and slipping inside. Glancing at the bookshelf, she saw that some of the books were in Spanish, and she looked thoughtful.
"Copper's." She mused. Then she frowned. "Oh, I hate this. They're so nice and I don't want to hurt them. I want to hurt Rory, but what can I do? Mom thinks the world of him and won't hear a word against him - some weird kinda charisma thing, I dunno, and well, he has me over a barrel and he knows it. God only knows what will happen if they find out...but can they? Will they? They mustn't."
A shiver went down her spine as she skimmed over Copper's neat and tidy desktop, looking for something she could use. A letter with an official looking header caught her eye from a rack at the back and she reached to pull it out, glancing at it and swallowing hard. It was a letter from a local hospital, about the change in an appointment and from the contents of the letter Bryony knew what it was referring to. Remembering Copper's hesitation downstairs when talking about her hopes for her children, she bit her lip.
"If it got out that she was infertile then it'd be one heck of a scandal." She mused softly. "But it would hurt her so much and God only knows if Aaron knows. I don't want to break them up."
She frowned, hesitating, then pocketing the letter.
"Well, I'll tell Rory that he can only have this on the condition that it's the last time." She muttered. "I'm not going to keep playing spy for him, he can do his own dirty work from now on."
She slipped out of the room and into the bathroom, deftly touching up her makeup and then returning to join the dinner party.
Unbeknownst to her, a figure stood at the top of the stairs, her expression troubled and confused. Sadie had heard footsteps and had opened her door in time to see Bryony slip in and out of Copper's bedroom.
"Maybe Copper asked her to get something." She mused, pausing and settling herself down on the top step as she considered. "And maybe I'd be really interfering if I said anything...but somehow it feels wrong. I know Topaz was angry about some story in the paper and that they think there's someone spying - and there's that computer of Cynthia's which mustn't be found if that girl is the one snooping around the place. Still, if I['m wrong, I don't want to cause trouble. What should I do?"
As she thought about it, she had an idea, and, padding softly down the stairs, she slipped across the house to the basement, where she knew Cynthia had taken refuge from the invading wannabes to work on lighting.
"I'll talk to her." She mused. "Cynthia's smart, she'll know what to do!"
Chapter One: Conference
Chapter Two: An Unexpected Houseguest
Chapter Three: The Wannabes
Chapter Four: Sadie Confides
Sadie's Diary: September 6th, 2013
Chapter Five: A Spy
Chapter Six: Inspiration
Sadie's Diary: September 7th, 2013
Chapter Seven: Cynthia Lends A Hand
Sadie's Diary: September 8th, 2013
Chapter Eight: Into The Lion's Den
Sadie's Diary: September 9th, 2013
Chapter Nine: Latisha Admits
Chapter Ten: Dinner At The Starlight
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out
Chapter Twelve: The Newest Jewel
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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!