Just A Dream...

Chapter Three: Nancy...and Blade

"So this is the hotel we're staying in, huh?"
Sirena gazed up at the building thoughtfully, her expression one of grudging approval. "Well, I guess it'll do. This is where Jewel are staying, right?"
"Right." Rory Llewelyn, chief executive of Rebel Records nodded his head. "Though there really seems to be little point in you staying in the same place as them. Your schedules aren't going to clash and you'd do better outclassing them in PR than harassing them here. We have a lot of important work to do to get your third single out in America before they have a chance to record and release theirs, don't forget. Not to mention promoting it here, too."
"Stop trying to spoil my fun." Sirena warned him. "Blade, are you coming, or are you staying in the car? What's wrong, scared of Canada?"
"Perhaps I've just had a little too much of spending time with you." Blade retorted, getting out of the limousine lazily.
"You shut up. You're the rookie, and I'm the pro." Sirena was cutting. "You're supporting me, so don't forget it."
She turned to Rory. "Well, I'm gonna go find my hotel room, whatever you guys are doing and then I'm going to swim. Who knows, I might find out where my little friends' rooms are."
With that she was gone, leaving Rory and Blade to exchange looks.
"She always like that?" Blade demanded.
"No." Rory sighed. "Usually it's worse, only she's tired from the flight."
"Great." Blade rolled his eyes. "Worst thing is a chick with an ego."
"You don't need to tell me, but she's big business." Rory replied. "Sadly she knows it."
He indicated the door.
"Maybe we should see to finding out own rooms." He observed. "I've no plans for either of you till tomorrow, so settle in. Your first concert date is tomorrow night, and tomorrow morning we're booked to do a photo shoot...enjoy your free time because you won't get much of it from now."
"Suits me." Blade raised a ghost of a smile. "Later."
Once he had checked into his room, Blade headed down to the hotel gardens, lighting up a cigarette as he did so and sauntering thoughtfully across the grass. He had no wish to spend more time than was necessary in the company of either Rory or Sirena, but he appreciated the significance of having been brought along on the tour. He was confident in his own talent, albeit somewhat lessened by the loss of Raesha, which still haunted him. He had resolved not to dwell on her any more. She wouldn't have wanted it from him, and it troubled him to think how much he'd changed since her death - he did not like to think on how she would have reproached him.
"Better focus on my career and be a success." He decided, inhaling on the cigarette and flicking ash onto the ground. "And whatever that takes, has to be worth the effort."
He paused, considering what he had learnt already.
Rory he had little liking for. In his view the executive was ruthless, moneyminded and arrogant...three characteristics that cut rather too close to his own personality for him to develop a real friendship with his new employer.
Sirena, on the other hand, was a different matter. She both repulsed and attracted his attention, and he made up his mind inwardly to raise himself to the challenge. After all, she was a big star, and any kind of cooperation from a big star was helpful to his career, however he managed to get it.
It was as his thoughts began to run in this direction he became aware of the fact that he was not alone. A girl was seated on the grass, oblivious to the fact she'd attracted any attention, sheets of manuscript sprawled around her as she concentrated on what she was doing. He frowned. Where had he seen her before?  She was strikingly attractive, and any pretty girl appealed to his arrogant nature, but there was also something familiar about her features.
Who was she?
Carefully he approached her, dropping down onto the grass beside her and making her jump.
"All alone?" he asked.
She scowled at him, gathering up her manuscript sheets and hugging them protectively to her chest.
"Who are you and what do you want?" She demanded. "I'm working."
"You're a musician." Blade observed, not taking any notice of her defensive posture or unwelcoming address. A challenge was never something he turned down.
"Wow, aren't you the clever one." She snapped, seemingly not impressed.
"I'm a musician myself." Blade told her. "My name's Carl Arca...Blade to my friends."
"Blade?" The girl looked startled. "Oh! You're signed to Rory Llewelyn's label!"
"Yes. You know him?"
"Never met him." The girl shrugged. "But I know he's an egotistical jerk and I'm glad we're not signed to him."
"So you do have a recording contract." Blade looked thoughtful. "Tell me, are you perhaps one of Jewel? I know your face."
"Yes." The girl acknowledged. "The press call me Goldie."
"And what do your friends call you?"
"Why do you want to know?"
"Well, since we're in the same business, I thought we could be friends." Blade told her smoothly.
"You're signed to the enemy." Nancy looked suspicious.
"I'm not childish enough to care about silly rivalries, and I'm sure you're not either." Blade replied easily. "I'm a big admirer of your band. Do you write Jewel's music?"
"Yes." Nancy was taken off guard by this remark. "I do. Why?"
"Impressive." Blade grinned at her. "Very impressive. You have a lot of talent."
"Oh!" Nancy blushed, discomfitted by the ease of his manner and the deceptive sincerity of his remarks. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Blade assured her. He eyed her keenly. Yes, she was pretty enough to be seen with him, and an alliance with one of the infamous Jewel might well be more advantageous than pursuing the difficult and independant Sirena. After all, Jewel had a big following too, and he could use both the press and the girl's music ability to his advantage.
"My sister used to write a lot of music." He said slowly, ignoring the pangs of memory as he recalled Raesha. "She died in an accident a year ago...I've never met anyone who could write like her, but your music...maybe you can."
Totally off her guard now, Nancy smiled slightly.
"I love writing." She admitted.
"Will you tell me your name now?"
"It's Nancy." Nancy admitted. "Nancy Pelligrini."
"Pelligrini, huh?" Blade looked interested. "Any relation to Roxy Pelligrini of Misfit fame?"
"She's my aunt." Nancy nodded. "My mother was a Misfit too - Jetta."
"No wonder you write so well then, with all that music in your blood." Blade replied with a wink. "Nancy's a pretty name, by the way. It suits you."
Nancy blushed again, looking self-conscious. Despite her words to Copper and Sylva about romance, she had one weakness, and that was her love of music. By harpooning this, Blade had found his way into her defences with amazing ease.
For his part, he had quickly ascertained from her behaviour that she was both unused to male attention, and therefore susceptible to it, just as long as he could find the best way of turning the screws. Music, he decided, seemed to be the key.
"Guess it wouldn't hurt Rory either if I mucked about with one of Jewel and convinced her to write me a song, instead of them. That'd delay their new release, keep Sirena quiet and help me advance my own name up the charts. Yeah, this is a stroke of luck."
"Oh! I gotta go." Nancy tried her best to recover her composure, glancing at her watch. "Phyllis wants us for a briefing for tomorrow's interview and we got a show tomorrow night, too."
"Sure." Blade nodded. "Can I walk you back to the hotel?"
"Why do you want to?" Nancy looked confused.
"Well, I thought maybe we were friends now." Blade smiled. "Aren't we?"
"I guess so." Nancy nodded slowly. "Kind of. I mean..."
"If you have some free time in the next couple of days, I'd like to chat again." Blade continued before Nancy could reassemble her defenses. "It's not often I find someone with as real a love of music as myself. I've spent the day flying with Sirena and to be honest she's not the best of company. She doesn't understand good music...not like you or I."
"Well...I guess it'd be okay if we did." Nancy agreed hesitantly. "I mean, just to chat, right?"
"Of course. Why else?" Blade pretended to look surprised.
Nancy looked uncomfortable.
"I hope you don't think I'm the kind of guy who jumps on pretty girls." Blade assumed a hurt look, and for some reason Nancy found herself feeling sorry for him.
"No, of course not." She said. "I'm sorry...I'm not very good with people."
Where that confession had come from she did not know, but somehow it had seemed necessary.
"I think you're too hard on yourself." Blade told her, inwardly laughing at her gullibility and naivety. "Come on. I'll walk you back."

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.