"Well, hello there."
Sadie opened her eyes, gazing up into the soft blue ones of her friend. They held concern, not reproach, and, somewhat comforted, the English girl offered a slight smile.
"Hi." she whispered.
"I think you and I should have a talk, don't you?" Topaz settled herself more comfortably on the bed, taking her friend's hand and gently putting her free hand to Sadie's brow. "You're still warm, though not as warm as you were earlier on. Do you remember any of what happened?"
"I remember a long journey." Sadie struggled to sit up. "God, my chest's clogged full of crap...my inhaler?"
"Here." Topaz scooped it off the unit, handing it to the other girl. "The doctor said he thought it wasn't any the worse for wear after the storm."
"Storm?" Sadie carefully inhaled the fine spray, setting it down on the bedcover and coughing to clear her chest. "Ooh, better. Much better." She flopped back on her pillows. "I feel really heavy and tired...what exactly happened?"
"Well, most of it you're going to have to tell me." Topaz responded. "But when you got here you were soaked to the bone and you have a chill. We dried you up and put you to bed up here where it's nice and warm, and you slept most of the time. When the doctor was here your temperature was quite high and you weren't very coherent, but he gave you something and it seems to have done the trick." She smiled. "Don't worry about medical costs. They'll be dealt with. He also left something for you to take - probably highly disgusting tasting syrup for the fever and the chill, but that's what you get if you insist on walking in a Californian rainstorm."
"I vaguely remember the rain." Sadie admitted. "I was so worried though, that you'd turn me away. That somehow it'd be different here - that you wouldn't want to see me."
"Why wouldn't I? You're my friend." Topaz scolded. "You need to stop with that self-doubting nonsense. I told you before, I'm a straight talking Canadian. I say it how it is."
"I believe you." Sadie managed another faint smile. "Can..am I safe here?"
"Well, you're not legal." Topaz responded. "This is partly what I need to talk to you about. You don't have any kind of visa material in your bag, Sadie...you do realise that means you can be deported outta here if the press or authorities get wind of you being here?"
"I know." Sadie admitted. "I just...well, there wasn;t time, and..." She bit her lip, and Topaz's gaze softened.
"What did he do to you?" She asked gently.
"He tried to kill me." Sadie's voice shook. "And I don't mean that he came onto me and hit me or something just a little too hard. I mean he tried - he really tried - to end my life. He told me as much. If Jessica hadn't seen him drag me out of the club and hadn't gotten security onto it..." she shivered. "I wouldn't be here at all. I was so so scared, Topaz! He'd tracked me down. I didn't...didn't know where else to go."
"Well, you're more than welcome here." Topaz hugged her tightly, knowing that the English girl wasn't far from tears. "Really, Sadie. And don't worry about the visa. I...I'll think of something. For the time being, the others and I, we're all agreed that noone who doesn't live here should know you're here, so then noone can deport you. In the meantime, let me think. I'll work some way out for you to stay. I'm not letting them take you and send you back when someone's on the prowl and wants your blood."
Tears touched Sadie's blue eyes.
"Thank you." She whispered. Topaz smiled.
"Don't fret." She murmured. "Things will be all right, you'll see. You're not really ill, nothing that a few days rest and some medicine won't shake off. And you made it across the Atlantic. You're safe. He can't touch you here."
"I know." Sadie swallowed. "That was the only thing keeping me going. I got to LA, Topaz, and I felt so alone and homesick, I wanted to curl up and cry. I guess somewhere inside of me I still do. I hate that he's chased me out of my home, away from my family, especially when Alyssa has a baby due in November, and..."
"Well, you can help me prepare for my baby, instead." Topaz interrupted gently. "Does Alyssa know where you are?"
"No, I...I must email her." Sadie remembered. "I..."
"It's all right. Give me her email and I'll do it." Topaz promised. "The doctor said you weren't to get up until your fever had gone and you're still a little warm."
"Okay." Sadie settled back against the pillows once more. "Is my bag here?"
"Yeah. Most of the stuff has dried out, so Nancy brought it up before they went out to their dinner do." Topaz nodded.
"Can you pass me the notebook? It's in there."
Sure." Topaz did as she was bidden, and Sadie flipped open the pages to the relevant one. Then she tore a corner out of an empty page in the back, scribbling the email down on it and handing it to the older girl.
"Thanks again." she blushed. "I'd give you the book, but it's...kinda personal."
"We thought it might be a diary. None of us have looked, don't worry." Topaz assured her.
"Did you say the others were out? Why didn't you go?"
"Someone had to stay and play nurse." Topaz grinned at her friend's expression. "Oh, don't fuss. It's all right. I didn't need to be there, and they did. It's all to do with who's going to take my place in the band when I have the baby, and..."
"You're leaving Jewel?" Sadie stared.
"Well, in name." Topaz nodded. "I think so. I'm not leaving Starlight Mansion or Los Angeles, though. I'm considering a solo career." She dimpled. "A whole new challenge. I'll miss the group, but with a tiny baby...I don't want to make things like touring difficult for them."
"Good point." Sadie owned. "Well, I....I hope it works out." She coughed. "Oh, my damn chest! I hate asthma! Everytime I cough it jars through my head and makes it throb like mad."
Despite herself, Topaz grinned.
"Well, like I said, most people don't walk through California rainstorms." She responded lightly.
"I hadn't a choice. I've something like thirty cents left." Sadie sighed. "I was originally going to fly to LAX direct, you know, from Birmingham? Seemed logical enough to me. I didn't tell anyone what I was going to do, exactly, because I knew someone would try and stop me, but I didn;t think it would be this difficult." She frowned. "But all the flights to LAX were booked out, so I had to fly to New York and by the time I got there I was beat...so I found a motel for the night, you know, somewhere to sleep off the jet lag and stuff. But then I found out that I didn't have enough money left to get a flight from New York to LA...and the people there told me to try the Greyhound bus, so I did." She pursed her lips. "It isn't easy to sleep on a coach, you know."
"No, I've been on tourbuses and I know what you mean." Topaz responded. "I have to hand it to you, though, I don't think I could've made the trek across all of America alone like that."
"I didn't think there was anything else to do. I only had you to go to." Sadie admitted. "I didn't want to stay in Birmingham - especially not if being with Alyssa would put her, Andrew and the kids at risk. I didn't know where else I could go - I know it was a gamble, but well, it was better than staying around as a sitting target in my flat, waiting for him to come finish me off." She smiled faintly. "And in the end, I was right to come, wasn't I? I mean, you don't mind me being here?"
"Of course not. As I said many a time before, you're always welcome here." Topaz told her. "Okay, so your mode of arrival was rather dramatic - speaking of which, how are you now? You were sick when you got here."
"Was I? I don't remember." Sadie admitted. "I don't feel sick now, just tired and achey."
"Are you hungry?"
"Not really." Sadie responded. "I...wouldn't mind a drink though, if it's not any trouble."
"No problem." Topaz winked at her. "Can your head stand coffee or would you rather have milk or something?"
"Milk sounds good." Sadie told her. "Thanks, Topaz."
"You're welcome." Topaz replied. "You just sit tight there and take it easy. I'll be back before you know it."
Across town, the dinner party had just come to an end and Jewel, with
Cynthia in tow had clambered into their waiting car, waving farewell to the
new recruits and telling them that they were more than welcome to pay a visit
to the Starlight Mansion the next day. The idea had been Phyllis', and none
of the girls had been able to think of a reason to put off the idea, short
of giving away Sadie's presence or appearing stuck up, so they had grinned
and agreed to it as genially as they could.
The three wannabes, once they had said goodbye to their companions, each headed off their seperate ways, full of thoughts and ideas about the night's events. Climbing into the backseats of taxis, each one carefully turned over everything that they had learnt that night.
It was a pity for Jewel that they did not see where each of the three cabs were headed, for one car veered into an all too familiar parking lot, and it's occupant, making sure she had not been seen, had climbed out, hurrying into the building before anyone could question her presence there.
A voice from the darkened lobby startled her and she swung around, her heart in her throat, to meet his gaze.
"Well what?" She demanded. "I'm here, as I promised I would be. What do you want from me?"
"Just a talk." The man smiled, linking his arm in hers and taking her over to a secluded part of the lobby. There was noone else here, not even security staff, for the man had dismissed them, and they were entirely alone. The girl swallowed hard. Somehow, in the darkness, the big black glass building was even more sinister and intimidating. "You had dinner with Jewel tonight, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did. So what?"
"So there's some truth in this rumour, then, about Topaz leaving the band." The man seemed to be mulling this over. "I am correct? It is Topaz?"
"Yes, because of the baby. I thought everyone knew that!"
"Are you really going to pursue this? Do you really want to a part of the circus of a stage show Phyllis Gabor and company produce?"
"I want to be a star." The girl wrested her arm free of her companion's, glaring at him. "And they're nice girls."
"They're nice girls." The man mimicked her, then snorted. "Hah."
"Well, you aren't exactly helping me out, are you?" The girl retorted. "Jetta's children and Phyllis' daughter are all in the music industry, but you haven't a moment to spare for your cousin and her music, do you? My mother is your cousin, your own damn flesh and blood and yet you really couldn't give a damn!"
"I'll remind you, young lady, who it was who discovered Sirena and made her a star. It wasn't Phyllis Gabor." The man retorted darkly. "Besides, your musical forays weren't worth my time. What do you expect me to do? Blatant nepotism?"
"It would be nice to get some recognition." The girl sulked.
"It would be nice, my dear, if I had had any idea that you were even involved in this little talent hunt project Misfit Music is running." Her companion responded. "As it is, now that your mother's told me what's going on, I think that I'm going to use it to my advantage."
"Oh yeah? How are you going to do that?"
"By using you, my girl. How else?"
"And what makes you think I want anything to do with any of your scheming?" The girl demanded. "I don't care if we are family. I don't want to work for you."
"Well, then I'll have an anonymous letter drafted and sent to Cool Trash magazine, not to mention Misfit Music's head office, and tell them exactly what your relationship with me is." The man responded smoothly. "If that's what you'd rather I did."
"Who says they'll care?"
"I do, my dear. Phyllis Gabor hates me and everything I stand for, and the feeling is mutual. My blood would never be allowed a chance to become a Jewel." He sneered. "So if you really want to try your luck and get in with this group, you're going to have to play by my rules."
The girl scowled, but saw she was beaten.
"What do you want me to do?" She asked, resigned.
"I want some dirt, that's all." Her companion shrugged. "Information. Secrets. Something I can use to smear the all-too-good reputations of those girls."
"But nothing. You'll do it." The man put a finger to her lips, silencing her. "You know you will. I want some interesting information, you understand me?"
The girl sighed, then,
"You do know, I hope, that I hate you with a passion and a vengeance for this." She told him bitterly.
"I don't care." The man seemed unpeturbed. "All I care about is being successful, and if you can help me, then that's fine."
"I...I'll do it." The girl rubbed her temples. "But only for a while, okay? Only while the talent sweep is still under way. If I get in the group..."
"If you get in the group, my dear cousin, then we'll talk again." The man's eyes glinted. "Did anyone see you come here?"
"No, of course not."
"Good. Then in future we'll talk only by phone, email and fax. No direct contact, in case someone should get wind of it." The man stood. "It's a pleasure doing business with you, my dear. I hope to see some results."
With that he was gone, and she clenched her fists, muttering expletives under her breath.
"I hate you for this, Cousin Rory!" she muttered. "I really really hate you!"
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!