A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out

"Where's Stef?"
Luca cast a confused look around the living room of the Diablo house, anxiety touching his gaze as he realised his sister was absent. "Mari, have you seen Stef this morning?"
"Yes..." Marissa bit her lip, then, "She's doing the right thing."
"The...right thing?" Luca stared. "What on earth do you mean?"
"She's helping the investigation by telling Agent Bray what she knows about Jake Barren." Marissa responded gravely. "Luca, while we have a moment or two alone...can I talk to you?"
"Sure." Luca looked surprised, sitting down on the sofa beside the younger girl. "What's up?"
Slowly Marissa outlined Stefana's confession. Luca stared at her, then cursed.
"I knew that guy was gonna get her into trouble!" He exclaimed.
"Listen, Luca, you're not to mention it unless she does to you." Marissa responded. "Yesterday, during questioning, she was taken ill, and I think it's the stress of it all preying on her nerves. Agent Bray was very good to her, she told me everything last night. He told her to think things through then come see him if she still wanted to confess in the morning. She decided that she did."
"But...what will happen to her?" Luca looked anxious.
"I believe that she won't be charged with anything at all." Marissa replied. "Because of the help she can be to them about Jake. She can place him at the scene the night the wires were cut, and that backs up the other evidence, so I think that she's plea bargaining a little." She sighed. "She was lucky, Luca. Agent Bray is a nice man...he understood better than anyone could tell him how messed up Steffi's emotions are at the moment."
"Why would she do it though? Mari, you must have some clue."
"I think she did it because she's in love with Aaron...and because she still hasn't forgiven Topaz for her indiscretion with you some christmasses ago."
"Oh for heaven's sake." Luca groaned. "Not that again? It's history! I've been seeing Emily more or less seriously for months now!"
"That only makes things worse." Marissa admitted. "Luca, Stef's had a narrow squeak this time, but I'm worried about her nonetheless. I didn't expect her to give in and confess so easily, but she told me she was just so tired, she wanted it off her chest and out of the way. It wasn't...like her. She didn't want to fight. I...I think we both need to keep an eye on her, make sure she is all right. I think this has shocked her worse than she realises."
"Probably." Luca sighed. "After all, she's used to being reckless and silly but she's not used to being caught and I know the idea of going to jail scares her. Mari, this Aaron thing - is it serious?"
"I wasn't sure before." Marissa said slowly. "But ever since Aaron and Copper began to discuss serious dates she's been more unpredictable than ever. I think it's serious, Luca. I don't think it's a simple crush, I think it's becoming an obsession. You know Steffi, she hates to lose out in anything. That's another reason I want to keep tabs on her. I don't want her getting it into her head to try and ruin the wedding. I don't think it's far off now, and I'm almost certain Aaron will invite her, because he has no idea of any of this going on in her head. He thinks they're just good friends."
Luca groaned.
"Brilliant." He muttered. "All right. Damn her competitive streak! I'll keep an eye on her, and you do too. Maybe between us we can drum into her that sometimes it pays to take life slowly."
He got to his feet. "I'm off over to Emily's, I promised I'd take Mike to the park this morning. She wants to go see her mother, and she didn't want the kid tagging along - things are kinda fraught within the Gabor household as it is - so I said I'd take him."
"You like that kid, don't you?" Marissa looked amused. Luca nodded.
"I guess I do." He agreed. "But it worries me that he calls me Daddy. That makes me feel guilty. One day he's going to need to know the truth."
"I don't see why you should mind, though." Marissa murmured. "A father is someone who loves you and helps you to grow up as much as it is a man who gave you your DNA. Look at Clay! I don't believe he's exchanged two words with his real dad, but he calls his stepfather 'Dad' and that's the end of it. You don't have to be Blade to be the kind of father Michael needs, you know."
"I'm touched you think so." Luca smiled. "I love Emily to death, Mari, I really do, and Mike's a great kid. I really want this to work out." He grabbed his jacket from off the back of the chair, slipping it on. "And I hope Stef can come round to accepting that, too. Strikes me that my kid sister has a few issues to address."
With that he was gone, and Marissa sat back in her chair, considering his words.
"More than you know, Luca." She murmured. "I only wish I knew how to help Steffi properly. Otherwise I'm very afraid it may all end in tears."


"I'm glad you're getting Misfit Music back on it's feet."
Emily Gabor stood in the doorway of her mother's hotel room, folding her arms across her chest as she lounged against the doorpost. "I was seriously starting to worry about you, Mom...wasn't like you to give up fighting."
"Yeah, yeah, no need to rub it in." Phyllis rolled her eyes. "Come in, Em, will you? And shut the door. You needn't worry about Misfit Music. It'll be fine. I called in the redecorators this morning, the place is being fixed up as we speak. Give us a few weeks and we'll be back up and running. Okay?"
"Good." Sirena smiled. "Because I still have half a new album to lay down." She hesitated, then, "Mom, something was kinda bugging me, I wanted your opinion."
"Bugging you? What about?" Phyllis raised an eyebrow.
"The whole fire business." Sirena responded. "This guy...he used to work for my father, didn't he?"
"Yeah he did." Phyllis pulled a face. "So?"
"Don't you think it's possible that he could be doing so again?"
"Well, anything's possible." Phyllis sighed. "But you want my honest opinion, Em? Your father is a lily livered coward who don't deserve to breathe the same air as the rest of us. He don't have the guts to order someone to be killed...and that's what the bomb at my door amounted to, even if the fire can't be conclusively proven as a deliberate act of attempted murder. Tisn't Eric's style...so no. I don't think it is him." She shrugged. "Trouble is, can't think who it could be. Riot wouldn't be so stupid, Jerrica wouldn't have the guts...though both of them would have reason and probably money to pay Zipper with. I spose he could be doing it off his own bat, but I still have my doubts." She sighed. "Well, in truth I don't care, so long as he's damn caught."
"Guess I'm with that, too." Sirena acknowledged. "He has some nerve."
"He always did have." Phyllis replied darkly. "Change the subject, will you?"
"All right." Sirena came to sit down on the bed. "Maybe you can help me with this dilemma I have over Mike."
"Mike?" Phyllis raised an eyebrow. "What in hell do you think I know about kids, Emily? If I understood them I woulda raised you, for a start!"
"I know, but it's not that exactly." Sirena frowned. "Mom, he thinks Luca is his father."
"So what's wrong with that? Ain't like his real Dad is gonna come back to claim him." Phyllis shrugged.
"I know that." Sirena retorted. "But Mom, one day Mike's gonna ask questions. He looks like Blade, not like Luca. He'll want the truth and he'll think I lied to him."
"Have you told Mike that Luca is his Dad?"
"Of course not!"
"Then you're not lying." Phyllis responded. "Look here, kid. Use your brain. When Mike asks the question, be ready with an answer...but don't fuss about it! It ain't a big deal!"
"I guess it's partly that I don't know how serious I am about Luca or how long we're gonna be together." Sirena admitted. Phyllis pulled a face.
"Bleuch. Don't give me the love angst, please! I've had a bad enough week as it is!" She exclaimed.
"I wasn't!" Sirena defended herself. "I just wanted your opinion. I mean, Grandpa has said time and time again how alike we are, you and me. And you've lived with Alan for years, so you must have some feelings for him. I thought you might be able to give me some advice about, well, making it last."
"Making it last?" Phyllis echoed, staring at her daughter incredulously. Then she laughed. "Oh man. For real? You're asking my advice on making a relationship last?"
"Well, you have one." Sirena retorted. "And you're my Mom, so it's a good starting point, don't you agree?"
"A relationship?" Phyllis opened her mouth to refute this, then paused. She sighed. "Gee, I guess I do, don't I?"
She grimaced. "Brilliant. Everyone keeps telling me that's what it is, they all seem to think Alan and I are joined at the hip and truly madly deeply and all that and I keep telling them that they got it all wrong...but I s'pose at the end of the day, it is a relationship. Kinda. Man, I didn't see myself falling into that one."
"Well, that's all very touching and all that, but it's not much help to me with Luca."
"Well, if you really want my advice, don't let him tie you down." Phyllis replied at length. "Make sure he knows and you know that you can go at any time." She snorted derisively. "Seems to have been the best method in keeping me faithful to Alan. Crafty jerk that he is!"
Sirena laughed.
"I don't know how he sticks it." She teased. "I'm pretty sure I couldn't live with you for that long."
"The feeling is mutual." Phyllis glared at her. "I may be your mother, but it doesn't mean I want you around all the time."
Sirena snorted.
"I love you to, Mom." She said with a shrug, unphased. "Hey, you got plans? Luca's got Mike for the morning, so how about I treat you to a coffee someplace?"
"What do you want?" Phyllis eyed her daughter suspiciously.
"Nothing." Sirena responded. "I'm just keeping an eye on you, making sure you're okay." She blushed slightly. "Guess I was worried about all this going on, too. Will you humour me?"
"Oh, why not." Phyllis shrugged. "Go on. But don't think I'm making a habit of playing the nice docile looked after Mommy."
"I don't think you'd even fit into that role." Sirena told her dryly. "Just do as you're told for once, will you? I'll drive."


Chapter One: A Confession
Chapter Two: Jetta's Mind
Chapter Three: Alex and Sadie
Chapter Four: Jetta Speaks
Chapter Five: A Problem For Sadie
Chapter Six: Answer To A Riddle
Chapter Seven: Zoe Acts
Chapter Eight: A Shock For Stefana
Chapter Nine: Some Truths
Chapter Ten: Zoe Takes A Chance
Chapter Eleven: Truth Will Out

Chapter Twelve: A Close Shave
Chapter Thirteen: Zoe's Father


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!