Just A Dream...

Chapter Ten: A Broken Heart

"Hi girls, what's cooking?"
Dean Stacey,  popular Californian television presenter poked his head around the door of the room the new look Jewel had settled themselves in in order to get better acquainted with each other. "I got an urgent summons from your Ms Gabor to come here and do some kinda interview...what's the deal? It's not often I'm called to Canada like this!"
He glanced around him. "Where's Nancy?"
"She quit." Copper said quietly.
"That's what this is about." Sylva added. "Phyllis was hot on replacing her as soon as could be for the sake of the tour...this is Topaz, by the way. She's our new recruit." She dimpled at the older girl. "We're all pals already."
"Oh, I see." Dean looked surprised. "She just upped and quit? What's that about?"
"A guy. Blade." Sylva rolled her eyes. "He's a major league creep."
"So I've heard." Dean frowned. "Stories in Cali are he's something of a womaniser."
"Poor Nance." Copper looked troubled. "She's really lost over him, Dean."
"More fool her." Sylva snorted. "How can you feel sorry for her when she walked out on us like she did?"
"Love's a strange thing." Topaz observed thoughtfully. "Makes you do dumb stuff. I know from experience...I loathe my stepfather, but my mother worships the ground he walks on and won't hear a word against him."
"We haven't even spoken since the row. She spends all her time with Blade." Copper sighed. "I miss having her around...I hate thinking she's still mad at us."
"I have to admit I'm a wee bit uncomfortable being drafted in under these circumstances." Topaz owned.
"Well, don't be." Sylva told her. "We want you here, don't we Copper? Nancy or no Nancy."
"Yeah, we really do." Copper nodded her head. "I'm sorry, Topaz, I didn't mean to make you think you were forced on us. We suggested to Phyllis you join Jewel. Just...Nancy and I are - were - good friends and I'm having a job adjusting, That's all."
"Understood." Topaz smiled.
"When do you want this interview done, Dean?" Sylva turned back to the young presenter.
"Sometime this afternoon, or tomorrow morning at a push. I'm going to broadcast the interview in my morning show Monday." Dean replied. "We're going to tape it, apparently - Ms Gabor is used to getting things exactly how she wants them, so I'm open to changing plans at the last minute. I'm waiting on final orders."
"Cool." Sylva grinned. "Hey, guess we'd better go see what we can do about deciding what to wear...Topaz, what clothes you got? Cos you gotta look good for your tv debut!"
"I got a bunch I took with me when I left home, but I dunno if there;s anything suitable for an interview." Topaz looked doubtful.
"Then we'll go shopping!" Sylva exclaimed. "Oh, it'll be a blast! No better way to initiate you into Jewel life than a shopping spree!"
"Whose credit card are you going to max out now, Syl?" Copper laughed. Sylva shrugged.
"It's for a TV show, so the company should foot the bill." She said carelessly. "Come on, Copper. This is a big deal!"
"Okay, I'm coming." Copper nodded. "Topaz, I'm afraid this happens a lot."
"It's okay. When I've the money I'm something of a shopping freak too." Topaz admitted.
"Agh, not two of them!" Copper exclaimed. "I'm surrounded by people who wanna bankrupt me, Dean!"
Dean watched the three girls go, then he settled himself on the vacated couch to think things through. He had done a number of morning interviews with the girls since the beginning of their short career, and had grown fond of them all, but he and Nancy had gotten along particularly well. Nancy was not one to easily form friendships, but, finding that Dean put no pressure on her to be something she was not, she had accepted him as 'safe', and they had had several friendly chats backstage on the television set. That she would quit the group so impulsively had stunned him beyond belief.
"Music is everything to her." He mused. "Why would she do this? I can't believe she'd just leave on a moment's romantic whim. It isn't like her!"
At that moment, the door of the salon opened, and Dean glanced up to see the subject of his thoughts. She looked startled to see him, and hesitated, not sure what to do.
He sent her a smile.
"Hi, stranger. What's up?" He asked her.
The friendliness of his tone was too much for Nancy. She bit her lip, but her emotions were already one step ahead of her, and her brown eyes filled with tears that, no matter what she tried, she could not prevent from falling.
Dean's expression changed to one of concern.
"Hell, Nancy, what is it?" He demanded.
Nancy shook her head.
"It...doesn't matter." She said, swallowing hard. "I'm fine."
"Bull." Dean said bluntly. "Come on. Sit down and tell me."
Nancy hesitated once more, but finally she nodded, obediently sitting down beside her friend.
"Well?" Dean asked gently. "What's got you in tears? I've never seen you cry before."
"B...Blade." Nancy admitted, her tone wavery.
"Blade?" Dean frowned. "What's he done to you?"
"Nothing. I...I wouldn't let him." Nancy replied shakily. "But he wanted to...and we...we had a row...and...and he said things..."
She buried her head in his shoulder. "What have I done, Dean? I thought he loved me! And now...now I don't know what to think or what to do!"
"Tell me exactly what happened." Dean said gently. "Then maybe I can help you sort things out in your own mind."
"It started...last night." Nancy said slowly. "Blade asked me to w...write for him and I wanted to - I liked him and he was so sweet to me! He invited me to their concert and I...I went. I sat backstage and it was...well...kinda fun. But after the show...he was talking to all the girl fans and flirting with them. He told me it was just PR, and I guess I believed him. But...well, I didn't sleep much last night. It bothered me. So this...this morning I went to speak to him one on one about it. I...I thought he'd listen and understand that it made me uncomfortable. I thought he cared about me!"
"So what happened?"
"He told me I shouldn't try and control him." Nancy swallowed hard once more. "Which I guess was fair enough. Then...then he asked me why I'd come in on him in his night wear...which hadn't even occured to me. He kinda pulled me down beside him on the bed and kissed me, but it wasn't like it was before. It was different. Then he told me that if I cared about him I'd...I'd..."
"I know what you mean." Dean said softly. "He wanted it but you didn't, right?"
"Right." Nancy took a shaky breath. "And then he was so angry at me...angry and scornful. He called me a child and a tease and all sorts of things. So I ran out...and...and..." The tears overcame her fully at this point and Dean hugged her tightly, stroking her hair gently.
"He's a creep. Trust me. You're not the first woman he's screwed over and I doubt you'll be the last." He murmured. "Forget him. You're way too good for the likes of him, anyway."
"I wish I felt that way." Nancy hiccupped. "I...I guess I really am in love with him."
"No...you have a little crush, that's all, and it'll pass. He convinced you you were more in love than you really are, I'm sure of that." Dean said gently. "You'll get through this, Nancy. You will. Really. Trust me."
"I do." Nancy raised her brown eyes to his. "Thank you, Dean...for being a friend to me. I...I guess I needed a friend right then."
"I'm always your friend." Dean winked at her.
Nancy frowned.
"At least I still have one friend." She said sadly.
"You have more than that."
"No...I don't. I don't deserve Copper or Syl to ever speak to me again." Nancy bit her lip. "What in hell have I done, Dean?"
"You made a mistake. We all do that." Dean told her. "Listen. Copper was saying just ten minutes ago that she missed you like anything. Why not talk to them and ask them to take you back? I'm sure they would."
"They don't need me now...I've been replaced."
"I don't think anyone will replace you." Dean shook her head. "It's clear they both like the new girl very much, Nance, but Copper at least said how much she missed your company."
"Copper's sweet." Nancy uttered a heavy sigh. "I dunno. Missing me is one thing...forgiving me may be another."
"I doubt it." Dean replied. "If you ask me, Jewel would do twice as well having four members than three. And it'd show Blade that you're no wimp after all, wouldn't it? That you were employing your musical talent where it belonged."
"I suppose so." Nancy acknowledged. "But even if they forgave me, what of Aunt Phyl? Or Mom? What about them?"
"Well, either of us would be glad of an explanation."
A voice came from behind them and both swung around to see Phyllis, her arms folded and her expression grim. "You have a lot of explaining to do, young lady. An awful lot of explaining."
"I'm sorry." Nancy looked close to tears again. "Really, Aunt Phyl, I am. I don't know what came over me! He just..."
Phyllis came and sat down on the couch, sending Dean a look that meant 'beat it'. Dean took the hint, sending Nancy a reassuring smile, then leaving the room.
"Men are cretins." Phyllis observed once he was gone. "You'll do good to remember that, Nancy. Stick with music."
"I...should have." Nancy nodded. "Aunt Phyl...are you very mad?"
"Yes." Phyllis nodded her head. "I am. You have an obligation to the company, you know, and your Mom ain't much better pleased than me about it."
Nancy glanced down.
"I guess I deserve that." She responded meekly.
"You're lucky I'm in a good mood." Phyllis said quietly. "I heard most all of what you said to Dean...you're lucky I did, in actual fact. I never told you this, because I'm damn ashamed of it, but I was in love like that once...and it almost took my career to pieces."
"You were?" Nancy looked startled. Phyllis nodded.
"Why do you suppose I hate Rory Llewelyn so much as I do?" She demanded sheepishly.
"Rory?" Nancy's expression registered shock. "For real?"
"Yes, though if you ever breathe a word I'll kill you." Phyllis nodded. "All over and done with a long time ago, but he played me for a brief while like Blade's played you." She paused. "And...I guess that's why I'm gonna go against my own judgement and forgive you." She looked rueful. "Don't ask me to say it again. Forgiving ain't my style."
Nancy hugged her companion impulsively.
"Thank you." She said sincerely. "It means a lot."
"Get off me!" Phyllis exclaimed, but there was a twinkle in her eye as she said it. She paused. "Listen. I can't speak for Jewel. I'm gonna leave that to them. Topaz is part of the group now and she's damn good, too...I have no regrets there. If they want you back, then fine, I won't stop you or them. But if they don't I ain't gonna interfere. It's in their hands. Got me?"
"I understand." Nancy said softly. "I guess that's fair."
"I'll postpone the interview with Dean till you know where you stand and I know what the group I'm promoting is." Phyllis told her. "Your mother was all for ripping up your contract on the spot, that's how mad she was...but I told her no. I wanna see what happens."
"Mom never wanted me to sign in the first place." Nancy remembered. "She said...she said I was too young and too immature. Guess she was right after all."
"No way." Phyllis shook her head. "You are not gonna make me concede to your mother that she was right! You're gonna go upstairs, clean up an' wait for the girls to get back. You're no wimp, now prove it!"
"Okay." Nancy dried her eyes. "I'm going. I only hope they're in as good a mood as you...I'm gonna need all the luck I can get."

Prologue: The Reason For It
Chapter One: Jewel On Tour
Chapter Two: Trapped in Toronto
Chapter Three: Nancy...and Blade
Chapter Four: The Singer
Chapter Five: Rows
Chapter Six: Defection
Chapter Seven: Topaz
Chapter Eight: Sirena Reveals
Chapter Nine: Confrontations
Chapter Ten: A Broken Heart
Chapter Eleven: Jewel Forever

Copper, Nancy, Sylvie, Anna, Blade, 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.