A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Eight: Questions

"So run this by me again."
Sylva eyed her companion with some confusion over the top of her strawberry milkshake, idly stirring it as she pondered the issue. "Your mother was having a row with some weirdo in her dressing room, and because of this you think he's your father?"
"It was more than a row, it was personal." Zoe toyed with her napkin, her expression unreadable. "She accused him of being involved in the fire somehow, and he told her that it didn't matter if he was or he wasn't, he had too much dirt on her for her to risk suggesting as much to the police. I heard them mention me, as well...what else am I meant to think? You don't get strange guys turning up every day and making your Mom act like a weirdo, you know?"
"I know." Sylva frowned. "But Zoe, you're kinda jumping the gun. I mean, Connie hasn't said as much to you, has she?"
"No...but if he is the guy, then she won't tell me. She doesn't want me upset by it." Zoe responded.
"But you are upset!"
"She doesn't know I heard. I've not spoken to her about it." Zoe admitted. "It sucks, Syl. Everything's a mess. Misfit Music is in chaos, Mom's acting possessed, Fiona's away touring with some group someplace in Europe and to top it all off the guy who looks like being my Dad might be responsible for Jetta being so ill!"
"Zo, even if it is true, it's not a reflection on who you are." Sylva told her. Zoe groaned.
"Maybe, but it still feels bad." She sighed. "I made a decision, though. I'm going to go to the local records office, and hunt up my birth certificate. I was born in Los Angeles, it shouldn't be too hard to find it."
"What about Connie, does she have a copy?"
"If she does - and I suspect she must - it's put away somewhere and since I don't live with her I can hardly barge in and ransack the place." Zoe responded. "I'd feel bad doing it, prying into her private life and all that. So...has to be the record office."
"I can't believe you've never seen it." Sylva admitted.
"Well, I was afraid to look before." Zoe confessed. "Because of the whole father deal. I never asked for it. Just now...well, this guy, I found out his name is Warren Brooker. I want to know if that's the name on my birth certificate. If it is, well, my fears are proven. If it isn't..."
"You can feel better about yourself." Sylva finished.
"Right, but either way I'll have some kind of closure." Zoe nodded. "I just hope it won't take forever to find."
"Well, with Jewel at sixes and sevens, I'm not doing anything. Want some help?" Sylva offered. Zoe looked grateful.
"Thanks...I'd appreciate it." She replied, nodding her head. Sylva dimpled.
"No bother." She responded. "To be honest, home's not a good place to be right at the moment. Noone can begrudge Nancy being miserable, and she is at least trying not to be too mopey, I'll give her that, but it's still bad. Copper's worried about Aaron, too - not letting himself get emotional about it, or something. So...bundle of laughs at the Starlight. It'd be good to get some headspace."
"Suits us both then." Zoe smiled. "Free this afternoon?"
"Sure. Free whenever." Sylva laughed. "I've been to see the police and told them what I know - isn't much - about the fire, so I'm clear on that point. I'm all yours. In fact, if you want an extra pair of hands and eyes, I'll give Topaz a call, see if she wants to come play along. She's seen the feds too, you see, so she's bound to be free, so long as she can find someone for Hollie." She winked. "Not usually hard, since the kid is such a doll."
"Great." Zoe's eyes lit up. "Sure, call her. The more people involved, the quicker I'll know...and I think I really do need to know the truth. Whatever it may be!"


"So what are we left with?"
Raymond spread the sheets of paper across the desk, poring over them. "We've spoken to most all the employees who were there that day, who conveniently saw nothing untoward at all. Dammit, if she wasn't such a rich bitch I'd still stick her for insurance fraud, whatever she claims."
"Ms Gabor hasn't put in a claim for insurance." Alex looked up from the long printout he had been reading. "I spoke to the company this morning. She's done absolutely nothing since the place went up."
"Really?" Raymond looked startled. Alex nodded.
"Really." He replied. "I guess we can totally rule out that now."
"So we're back to picking out what's left." Raymond grimaced, clearly not pleased at being proven wrong. "Hey..."
"We're missing someone." Raymond flicked through some files, pausing on one. "Here. This girl. We've not interviewed her." He tossed it in his partner's direction.
"Sadie Monahue." Alex read the label, flicking it open and browsing through the many sheets of paper. "Seems much as the others. Work permit, residence permit...she's not American born, but her paperwork is in order so there's nothing to question there. Did we not call her in for interview with the others?"
"Yes...we did. Twice." Raymond checked the sheet. "Both times she said she'd come, and as yet hasn't."
"Funny." Alex's brow creased in confusion. "Her stuff's in order, why not get it over with?"
"Maybe she has something to hide." Raymond raised an eyebrow.
"Maybe." Alex frowned. "Well, look. How about I go over to the Starlight Mansion and take her by surprise, ask her a few leading questions. You get onto Scotland Yard and see if there's anything we need to know about Sadie Monahue. All right?"
"Sounds good to me." Raymond agreed. "She better have a pretty good reason for not showing up as arranged!"
"Well, we'll soon know." Alex reasoned. "Okay, I'm gone. Catch you later!"


Chapter One: Stormer Tries
Chapter Two: Phyllis Returns
Chapter Three: Justin's Vigil
Chapter Four: A Call Of Conscience
Chapter Five: Investigations
Chapter Six: A Fright For Zoe
Chapter Seven: Dean Takes A Hand
Chapter Eight: Questions
Chapter Nine: A Dead End
Chapter Ten: Flame
Chapter Eleven: A Ray Of Light