A Jewel Whodunnit...

Chapter Ten: The Truth

"I have nothing to say to you." Georgia shook her head, turning to retreat back into the room from which she had come, but Sadie was not to be put off so easily, and in a few quick strides she was at her sister's side, grabbing her by the arm.
"No, Georgie, that won't do." She murmured. "I'm not going anywhere till we've had a little chat...it's very important that we do."
"Let me go!" Georgia exclaimed, but Sadie shook her head.
"You're my sister." She said softly. "I'm not going to turn on my heel and walk away. Not this time. I want to help you....if you'll let me."
"Why would I want your help?" Georgia spat. "This whole mess is your fault, you know! It's your fault!"
"I know." Sadie looked pensive. "I'm sorry, Georgie. I let you down."
"What?" Taken aback, Georgia could only stare at her sister in shock, and Sadie seized her advantage, leading the girl back into the sitting room. Nonplussed, Copper and Grey followed them, Grey closing the door behind him.
"You hurt her and there'll be trouble." He warned.
"You're sweet on my sister, huh, Grey?" Sadie cast him an interested look. "I wouldn't have guessed."
"She's my friend. I look out for my friends." Grey responded coldly. "She ain't had a good week."
"And it isn't over yet." Sadie looked grave. "I've been interrogated and manhandled and crossexamined over this whole murder business, but I didn't do it and the police are gonna have to let me go now my DNA doesn't match the DNA found at the scene. I'm not going to go down for this...Georgie, is that what you wanted to happen? Is that why you haven't said anything?"
"I didn't want anything to do with any of it." Georgia said sullenly. "Leave me alone, Sadie. I don't care if you go to jail or you don't. It's not my problem. It's yours. I don't care what you do or where you go."
"Really?" Sadie asked softly. "I know you came to our hotel in Maidstone, Georgie, because Copper saw you - didn't you, Copper?"
"Yes." Copper nodded her head. "I wondered what you could be doing lurking around the place. Seemed an odd coincidence."
Georgia just glared at the drummer.
"Stupid yank rich kid. You don't know anything." She muttered.
"Even more of a coincidence when you think that I had a blackmail note just that morning." Sadie continued. "I didn't tell Copper at the time, but after the article came out - which I presume is also your handiwork - I told them all everything. I knew it was you those times, George, but I didn't think of the whole story."
"I don't know what you mean."
Copper cast a glance at the teenager and despite herself she felt a pang of sympathy. Sadie's sister made a pathetic sight, with her pale complexion and shadowy eyes. She had clearly spent much of the week crying, and Copper found it somewhat strange that the girl's entire upper body was covered up with a thick polo neck sweater that seemed a size or two too large for her. Her arms were folded across her chest in a defensive posture and she was clearly on edge. Copper thought she saw sparks of fear in the girl's blue eyes, and she knew Sadie's deductions had been correct. Georgia might know more than she was telling, but there was no way this was an out and out murder.
"She's a child." The drummer mused. "Mixed up in the wrong crowd. I hope Sadie can help her...somehow."
"What happened?" Sadie murmured gently. "Please, George, I want to help you."
"Don't call me George! I'm not a baby now! I'm not your stupid little sister who you can tell what to do any more! I'm eighteen and I don't need your help!"
"Eighteen year olds don't go to juvenile detention centres. They go to prison." Sadie said matter of factly. "And the sentence for murder is life, you know."
Georgia looked stricken at this, and Grey immediately jumped to his friend's defence.
"Shut your face, Sadie! You ain't gonna pin this mess on Georgie!"
"I'm not trying to pin anything on anyone." Sadie shrugged. "I know what happened that night, Grey. I know that Georgia and Neal had a fight and I know that she killed him. There's no point in pretending otherwise."
"You're sick in the head." Grey's eyes narrowed. "Georgie didn't have anything to do with Neal's death any more than I did! She..."
"Shut up!" Georgia interrupted him, her eyes fresh with tears. "Shut up, you don't know what you're saying. You...you don't know..." She swallowed hard, burying her head in her hands. "I don't need this."
"Georgie..." Grey went to put a hand on her arm, but she shook him off, shaking her head.
"Just leave me alone..all of you." She muttered. "I don't feel so good, I don't need the hassle..."
"I told you, I'm not going anyplace." Sadie shook her head.
"I don't need your help!"
"I think you do." Sadie responded.
"Georgia, Neal was a nasty man. I saw the bruises on Sadie's arms and legs when she first came to America and I know she saw even worse." Copper said gently. "We really do want to help you. Neither of us blame you for what happened, and we don't think you're a murderer. We know it was self defence."
"I didn't mean it, you know." Georgia whispered.
"Georgia?" Grey's eyes opened wide with disbelief as he stared at his friend.
"It was...I thought he was going to kill me." Georgia ignored his incredulation, meeting her sister's gaze with a helpless one of her own. "I couldn't think...I just..."
"Shh." Instinctively Sadie sat down at her sister's side, putting an arm around the younger girl and, despite herself, Georgia did not resist. "Will you tell me what happened?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Hell, Georgie, why didn't you tell me about this?" Grey demanded.
"I didn't want you to hate me! I was scared, I didn't know what to do!" Georgia defended herself. "I...I loved him, dammit, and he tried to kill me!"
"What happened?" Copper asked softly. "We can't help you unless you tell us."
"How can you help me?"
"It won't take the police long to realise that they have the wrong Monahue girl." Sadie said slowly. "I'm serious. They want someone to nail this murder on and they will find you. If you're going to escape a long prison sentence for murder your only option is to confess and claim self defence. Plead guilty in a court of law and let the jury sympathise with your case."
"Do you think I'm mad?" Georgia exclaimed. "I'd go to jail!"
"Not if the court knew what kind of a man Neal really was." Sadie shook her head. "I'm game to testify in court, Georgie, to everything I should have told the police years ago. I could have prevented you getting mixed up with him and for that I'm sorry. I want to do something to redress the balance. I don't believe for one moment you killed him on purpose. But you have to tell me the truth. I can get you help. I can make sure you have good legal backing, I can testify, I can even get Amber to testify as well, if need be. I can help you...but you have to trust me. Really. You have to tell me everything. It's the only way you'll get out of going to jail for this."
"What makes you think I want to trust you? We've never been friends."
"I know." Sadie nodded. "But maybe blood is thicker than water." She sighed. "Please, George. Tell me the truth."
Georgia was silent for a moment, then she groaned.
"It won't leave me alone anyway." She murmured. "I relive it every night when I dream. He was mad about the article, Sadie. I needed the money for smack and all that, but he was worried I'd bring reporters and police down on our heads here because of it. He was real wound up. We had a row...I was crying and I said things I shouldn't have said, about...about him sleeping with Donna and all that. He grabbed me and wouldn't let me go - he said I had a big mouth and I was a liability...he had to shut me up." She closed her eyes as the tears began to fall down her cheeks, and instinctively Sadie squeezed her sister's hand. "I was kinda scared, he'd never been so full on angry with me before. And he told me that girls who answered him back too much didn't stop around there very long. I didn't know what he meant, but he looked...so angry. I'd never seen him so mad. He told me to shut up crying in case someone heard me, but I couldn't stop. I was too upset. So he put his hands round my throat to stop me. Only it wasn't like...like he usually did."
"Like he usually did?" Copper stared.
"Neal used to choke girls to shut them up if he'd had enough." Sadie nodded. "He'd put his hands round the girl's throat till she shut up talking and then he'd let her go. Sometimes the girl'd pass out, but he didn't usually do it hard enough to hurt, just to impose his will and stuff. He did it to me a couple of times."
"Nice guy." Copper shivered. Sadie nodded grimly.
"Go on, Georgie." She said quietly. "What happened next?"
"I...I couldn't breathe properly." Georgia swallowed again. "I was so frightened, Sadie, I didn't know what I was doing. I was getting dizzy and lightheaded and...and I just grabbed whatever came to hand and...well...I hit him. He fell back...I thought I'd just laid him out. I was frightened, I wanted to get out of there cos I knew when he came round he'd be even madder and he'd get me for sure. But...as I went to leave, I...I realised he wasn't...wasn't b..breathing." She gulped. "I bent down and checked his pulse but he w...was dead. He had blood all down his face where I'd hit him and I panicked. I didn't even realise I was bleeding too, that I had scratches all over my arms from trying to get away...I just had to get out of there. I was still so dizzy and scared and in shock...I just fled. I went back to m...my squat and I threw up...guess I must've passed out because next thing I knew the whole place was crazy and Donna was screaming murder. I guess it seemed like some bad dream, but when I got down there I...I realised it was for real and I just...I just burst into tears, I couldn't help it. I was so scared and I...I loved him so much. I didn't want to kill him! Then Grey came to find me and..and I couldn't tell him, but I was afraid of the others, what they'd do, so I asked him to lie for me and say I'd gone home. He let me hide out here at his place. I...I never told him what really happened to Neal. He hasn't got anything to do with this."
She paused, then carefully she took off her jumper and Copper let out a gasp of surprise, for the teenager's arms were mottled with purplish yellow bruises. Even more sinister, a ring of angry marks around her throat indicated the truth in the girl's testimony. Inwardly Sadie found herself cursing the absent Neal for causing her sister such harm. Now it was clear why she had chosen to wear the heavy jumper - it hid her blemishes from view.
"See what he did to me?" Georgia said quietly. "I'm bruised like that pretty much all over. It's been a week but they still ain't gone - I'm living in this jumper because I'm scared someone will see and work out what happened."
Grey muttered a curse, then,
"I wish you'd damn told me." He muttered. "I'd have damn well made sure you weren't anyplace near here when the cops came."
"You wouldn't have turned me in?" Georgia sent him a look of surprise.
"Dammit, of course I wouldn't." Grey shook his head. "Neal was a jerk and he bloody asked for it. You only did what you had to do to survive, and that's not murder."
"Grey's right." Sadie looked thoughtful. "But the police aren't going to take it into consideration on a 'not guilty' plea. If you try and deny it you'll go down for murder, Georgie. They might have settled on the wrong Monahue but they have the evidence all right."
Georgia swore softly under her breath.
"If I left here tonight, maybe they wouldn't find me." She suggested. "Unless...well, unless you and your rich American friend are going to blow my story, Sadie."
"I would never do that." Sadie shook her head. "I won't say a word to the police unless you say it's okay. I just want to help you, Georgie. Really. Please, trust me."
Georgia was silent for a moment, then, slowly, she shook her head.
"I can't." She whispered. "I don't want to go to jail."
There was a long pause, then Sadie sighed, getting to her feet.
"Then I guess that's your choice." She said finally. "Come on Copper, we've done all we can do here. It's up to Georgie now."
"I'll look after her, Sadie." Grey spoke quietly. "She'll be all right."
"Maybe." Sadie sounded doubtful, then, "Listen, Georgie. If you change your mind, this is where we are. You can come and see me at the hotel - I won't turn you away." She took out a scrap of paper from her pocket, scrawling the address of the hotel and the suite number down, then handing it to her sister, who took it hesitantly. "And far as I'm concerned, this chat never happened. The police aren't going to hear about it from me or from Copper."
Georgia glanced at the address, then folded it, slipping it into her own pocket. She managed a slight smile.
"Thanks for that at least." She said quietly. "But I...I'll be okay. I'm not a kid, I can manage. And I'm not alone. Grey will help me."
"Good luck, then." Sadie told her. "We best get back before I'm missed."
And with that she turned on her heel, leading the way out of the derelict building.
"What now?" Copper asked.
"What can we do?" Sadie shrugged helplessly. "I won't betray her. I gave her my word. I just can't help thinking she's making a mistake."
Copper hugged her companion.
"You tried, and considering all that kid's put you through, you should be proud of yourself for wanting to help her." She murmured. "Let's go back to the hotel, get a hot drink and relax.
 It's in Georgia's hands now."

Chapter One: An Uncertain Reputation
Chapter Two: Reaction
Chapter Three: Questions
Chapter Four:  Back Home
Chapter Five: Complications
Chapter Six: The Net Closes
Chapter Seven: Jetta Demands
Chapter Eight: Startling News
Chapter Nine: An Unlikely Suspect
Chapter Ten: The Truth
Chapter Eleven: Amber

Chapter Twelve: Final Verdict
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!