"It's like a circus out there."
Nancy turned away from the window with a grimace, dropping down into
a chair. "Anyone would think it were the middle ages and they were waiting
for a public execution. Everyone wants a piece of us at the moment."
"I've taken the phone off the hook." Copper glanced up from her book
with a sigh. "I know we're here on a publicity blitz, but this wasn't
what any of us anticipated."
"The worst part is being holed up in the hotel like we are." Sylva
decided from where she was lounging on the rug. "It stinks. We can't even
go out because those morons think it's a game to lay in wait. The only
people who've been through the mob safely are the police."
"Can't imagine them stopping Mom, if she wanted to." Nancy observed.
"I think she's in her room, though. I wonder if news has filtered through
back home? Aunt Phyl will go mad."
"Well, I spoke to Topaz late last night." Sylva admitted. "Called her
up to moan, basically, about the fact everything's going screwballed on
this tour. I didn't exactly mention what we were involved in, but I don't
reckon it'll be long before the whole of America does know. That's the problem
with being such big business...and of course, Rory Llewelyn will be loving
A soft voice came from the doorway of the lounge and the trio turned
to face their fourth. Sadie was pale faced, with bags under her eyes and
it was clear she had been crying. She was still in her nightclothes, dressing
gown clutched protectively to her chest, and all in all she appeared very
folorn. "This...is all my fault. I should never have agreed to be a Jewel.
I should have known I'd only screw it up."
"Oh, Sadie..." Copper set her book aside, coming to hug her bandmate.
"I'm sorry too, if you thought I got you into trouble last night. I never
"No...no. Jetta was...was right. And you could have said worse." Sadie
sighed. She rubbed her temples. "I feel awful. Is...is it very bad out
"We couldn't get out if we tried." Nancy responded. "Press and fans
and nosey idiots who have nothing better to do with their lives."
Sadie bit her lip.
"I'm sorry." She said again.
"Sadie..." Sylva hesitated, then, "You went pretty mad at us last night."
"The...police scared me." Sadie looked ashamed. "I should never have
reacted that way, but I felt like I was going back to what had happened
when I was younger...I hated prison so much, Syl. I don't...I don't want
to go back." She sat down, burying her head in her hands. "All I can think
about is that at the moment. Everything else is kinda...someplace else."
"The police are convinced you did it." Nancy observed. Sadie's head
came up at this, as if to retort, then she sighed. She shrugged.
"I know." She admitted. "Why should they think otherwise? Evidence
is all in front of them. I was there. I had the motive...I was seen. What
else will they think?"
"Did you do it?" Nancy was nothing if not direct, and for a moment
Sadie just stared at her.
"Sadie, you don't have to tell us anything if you don't want to." Copper
intervened, but Sadie shook her head.
"I'm not a murderer, Nancy." She said flatly. "I would have thought
that of all people you girls would believe in me."
"We're on your side." Nancy said slowly. "But Sadie, we're as much
in the dark about all of this as the police are. First we have this huge
bombshell dropped on us about your past and now...well, we're still reeling."
"I think what Nance means, Sadie, is that you kept a lot of stuff from
us and, well, we..." Sylva trailed off, pursing her lips.
"We don't know what to believe any more." Nancy finished succinctly.
"None of us want to think you're a murderer, Sadie. It doesn't fit with
the girl we know at all. But then, neither does the other stuff."
"Guys, let her alone." Copper begged. "This isn't our business...it's
between her and the police."
"No, Nancy's right." Sadie sighed again. "I lied to you once, there's
no reason why you should believe me now." She groaned. "I think I've a migraine
"I'll get you an aspirin." Copper got to her feet and Sadie flashed
her a grateful smile, though it did not reach her blue eyes.
"I think it would be a very good idea if you told us exactly what did
happen the night Neal died." Nancy suggested softly. "We need to know where
we stand, Sadie. None of us are going to go out there and spill your secrets,
but we need to know."
"I can't talk about it." Sadie shook her head. "You don't understand...I
can't explain." She bit her lip. "I can't give the police an alibi, either.
I'm done for."
"Why can't you talk about it?" Sylva asked. "Did you see something?"
"Syl, don't." Sadie shook her head. "I'm not saying anything, so drop
"Well, okay." Sylva shrugged. "It's just that, well, we're trying to
figure things out in our own mind. We...we're beginning to wonder how
well we know you."
"Meaning what?" Sadie demanded.
"Nothing exactly." Sylva responded. "But all this stuff coming out
like this...no wonder you didn't want to come back to England."
"Amber said I should be honest with you. She was right...if I had been,
maybe you'd trust me now." Sadie bit back tears. "Oh, but you don't know
how awful it feels, Syl, when you get to Los Angeles and you're standing
staring up at the Starlight Mansion...this whole world that I don't understand
or belong to. I wanted...I wanted you to like me, and I wanted you to want
me to stay. And...and noone would have given me a chance if they'd known what
I was. A common thief...and a drug addict to boot. I just...wanted to fit
in." She swallowed hard. "You don't know how hard it is when you're a mile
out of your league and you're scared to put a foot wrong for fear of losing
everything you've managed to grasp hold of. You all grew up with secure family
backgrounds and in good neighbourhoods. You could have been anything you
wanted to be. Me...I feel like I'll never match up to you guys, no matter
how hard I try or how many lies I tell about my past. I've done too much
wrong to take it back and start afresh."
"I don't think you lied to us." Copper said softly, returning at that
moment with aspirin and a glass of water, and handing them to the English
girl. "You didn't tell us things which perhaps you should have done, but
it wasn't a lie, exactly."
"You shouldn't think that about us and you." Sylva said decidedly.
"It's nonsense...like reverse snobbery, if you like. Noone is perfect.
Yeah some are richer than others but we wanted you in the band because
we liked you and we would have liked you whatever. It's kinda how we are."
Sadie took the tablet with a sip of water, then set her glass down on
the table. She spread her hands, her tone bitter.
"And now you can't trust my word and who can blame you? I wouldn't
trust me either!"
"Why did you go to see Neal?" Nancy asked quietly. "Can you tell us that?"
"I wanted to put him straight, tell him he didn't have a hold over
me any more." Sadie replied. She snorted. "Funny, huh? Not the brightest
idea I ever had. But that article...I was so angry, I was mad enough to
wring his bloody neck at the time, so I kinda..." She trailed off, paling
as she realised what she'd said. She shook her head.
"I didn't mean...well...I meant metaphorically." She said hurriedly.
"Well, don't use that particular metaphor when the police are here."
Sylva suggested. "They'll totally think you're confessing."
"Do...do you believe me?" Sadie asked hesitantly. "Do you think I...well...killed
"None of us know what happened." Nancy admitted. "It's not that we
think you did do it, Sadie, only that we're confused that if you didn't
do it, or aren't involved, why won't you talk to us? You could have gotten
rid of the police last night if you'd told them...why not do so?"
Sadie shook her head again.
"No." She murmured. "In any case, it probably isn't relevant to Neal's
death anyhow." She sighed. "I can't pretend I'm not glad that he's dead.
I am. I've wished he'd drop dead and leave me alone for so long, but I...Oh
this is hopeless." She groaned, burying her head in her hands. "I'm starting
to talk myself into believing I did it."
"What did Mom say to you last night? She looked pretty grim when she
left here." Nancy remembered.
"She was...angry." Sadie admitted. "And I know she has every right
to be. I've let everyone down. It hardly matters if people think Im guilty
or not, the police will nail me for it. Dammit I wish I'd never gone out
that night! I wish I'd stayed in and gone to bed like the rest of you but
I couldn't sleep and I thought..." She sighed. "Oh, what does it matter what
I thought? It's immaterial now."
She fished in her dressing gown pocket for her cigarettes and lighter,
lighting one and exhaling a pensive cloud of smoke. For once, even Sylva
did not complain, so engrossed were they all in the discussion at hand.
"The police will be back." Copper said at length. "I don't think we
can doubt that. They'll probably have a warrant to search your room and
maybe even to search you, Sadie."
"They can do what they like." Sadie murmured. "They're not going to
find anything incriminating here."
"Your arms are bruised like hell." Copper reminded her.
"I know, but there are lots of ways arms can get bruised." Sadie shrugged.
"They won't be able to pin anything on me for that." She smiled slightly.
"I've been searched before, and had my room raided by police. I know the
"This isn't theft though, Sadie. This is murder." Nancy looked grave.
"They're not going to take any chances. If it weren't for Mom they'd happily
have taken you into custody last night, you know that."
"Yes, I do." Sadie nodded. "And I'm glad that she was here. I think
I'd have lost it completely if I'd spent a night in a cell again. It was
bad enough when I was sent down the last couple of times." She sighed. "Juvenile
detention was one thing, I could more or less handle that, though I hated
it with a vengeance. Prison though..." She shuddered, closing her eyes briefly
and taking another drag on her cigarette. Her hand shook, and her companions
knew she was remembering times worse than any of them knew.
"So what happens next?" Sylva wondered. Copper shrugged, looking troubled.
"I guess we wait and see." She replied. "I wish Topaz was with us. I'm
really beginning to miss her down to earth reaction to everything right
"Me too." Sadie admitted. "I almost called her but I...I don't think
I can face it. She's been such a good friend to me, I..." She bit her lip,
as tears threatened. "I feel like I let her down more than any of you."
"Topaz will understand about the article. She's not the type to bother
about that." Sylva told her with a shrug. "Besides, I spoke to her last
night, kinda, and I mentioned that there had been a scandal about you in the
press. I didn't give her any details or tell her about this latest thing,
but she told me to tell you to keep your chin up and be proud of yourself
regardless of what they say."
"I guess I'll try." Sadie smiled slightly. "Thanks, Syl."
"I reckon we have to do what I told Jetta last night and, well, stick
together as Jewels." Sylva continued. "I mean, whatever the truth is, the
police will find it out. And...well, you told us that you're not a murderer.
So...well, unless they prove otherwise, that's good enough for me." She
dimpled. "We have to stick together, and then it'll all be fine."
"Syl's right." Copper looked relieved. "I guess we take you on your
word, Sadie. After all, innocent until proven guilty...isn't that right?"
"Yes." Sadie nodded. She glanced at Nancy anxiously. "Nance? Are you
"We're a team." Nancy said slowly. "Like Copper said, innocent till
proven guilty. I don't know what the truth is and I'm not going to dwell
on it - fact is that there isn't any solid proof linking you to this, and
the cops know it, cos if there was you'd have been whipped off to jail last
night whatever Mom said. I reckon we just try and handle this as sanely as
we can and wait for the police to make the next move. Could be they'll find
a more promising trail and that'll be that. After all, Neal mustve upset a
whole bunch of other people besides you in his time on this planet."
"He had a lot of girls he'd knock about, even when I was with him."
"What about that guy who was with your sister...didn't you say he hated
Neal?" Copper asked.
"Grey?" Sadie looked startled. "Well, yes, he did hate Neal...but I
don't know...I can't think of a motive why he'd just suddenly turn on him
like that." She frowned.
"You also mentioned Amber." Nancy realised. "Is she tied up in this
"She and her boyfriend used to run with the gang." Sadie nodded. "But
it was a long time ago and Amber was never into the worst of it like me.
Shock neither. They both got out of things and I can't see either of them
taking matters into their own hands. Neal was scared of Amber...and she
thought of him as a lower form of life. I can't see it at all."
"Okay, so back to this Grey?" Sylva suggested.
"Mmm...Grey reminds me in some ways of Shock." Sadie looked thoughtful.
"I mean, when I knew him, he and I didn't really get along. He thought
Neal was a moron though, and to be honest I don't think he thought a lot
better of me. Would take him some, mind you, to actually launch an attack
on this guy."
"But if there was a motive, would he?"
"I don't know." Sadie admitted. "I guess if he felt there was a good
reason to do it...maybe. He didn't like how Neal knocked some of the girls
around, that I do remember, because he used to have a go at me about it
when I'd be crying after a fight with Neal. He'd tell me I was soft and
stupid, letting this guy rule my life and beat me up. Neal heard him one
time and gave him a black eye...I'd forgotten that till now. But that was
all a long time ago."
"Could he have done it?"
"Anyone could have done it." Sadie shrugged. "What do you want me to
say? I didn't see Grey attack Neal. I didn't see Amber or Shock attack
him either. There are a lot of people in this county - remember Neal did
drug deals, too. What's to stop it being one of those people who got tired
waiting for their money, or wanted a bigger cut in on the deal? I don't
know. I don't live round there any more...I didn't see anyone attack Neal."
There was a slightly strange note to her voice, almost defensive as she
recounted this, and Nancy pursed her lips, considering. Perhaps Sadie spoke
the truth, but the songwriter had not failed to pick up on the careful use
"She didn't see anyone attack Neal, but she didn't say she didn't see
Neal herself." She mused. "And she said she wasn't a murderer...but she didn't
mention who she got into a fight with, or why. I wish I could think of a
reason why she wouldn't tell us what did happen that night. Maybe Syl's theory
about self defence has something in it. I know if I was Sadie and it was
me I'd be scared as she is of going down for murder. But...would I tell anyone?
I...I guess not. Not in Sadie's position, after the press scandal and everything
else." She bit her lip. "Well, I guess we'll just see what comes of this,
and what the police say next. I don't want to believe Sadie's involved in
this, but I'm beginning to wonder how she could not be!"
One: An Uncertain Reputation
Four: Back Home
Six: The Net Closes
Seven: Jetta Demands
Eight: Startling News
Nine: An Unlikely Suspect
Ten: The Truth
Chapter Eleven: Amber
Twelve: Final Verdict
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!