Chapter Two: Jetta's Mind
Dr Joshua Pope stood back from the bed, a look of surprise and pleasure
on his face as he surveyed his patient. "This is an unexpected pleasure,
"How is she?" Justin clutched his wife's hand tightly, as if afraid she
might still be taken away from him. "Dr Pope, what's the situation?"
"I believe she's somewhat stronger." Dr Pope cast a smile at the anxious
husband and daughter. "I must admit I didn't expect her to regain consciousness
at all, but I'm pleased to see it. Miss Pelligrini, if you'd like to go
contact your brother?"
"Oh, of course." Nancy nodded, getting to her feet and leaving the room.
Justin eyed the doctor quizzically.
"Well? What does that mean?"
"It means that her chances are improving." The doctor replied. "I can't
tell you how things will turn out, I'm a doctor, not a psychic. However,
if she continues like this, I'm much more hopeful about her making a good
recovery. Mrs Pelligrini,"
He turned his attention once more to the invalid. "Your daughter is of
the belief that you can understand what we're saying quite clearly...can
you give me some indication if this is the case?"
Jetta parted her lips, but no sound came out, and a look of helpless
frustration entered her grey eyes. Justin squeezed her hand gently.
"It's all right." He soothed. "Take your time."
Jetta's expression became obstinate and impatient, and, despite himself,
"Oh, she knows all right." He said. "I get that look a lot at home. She's
with it all right, Doc."
"I'll take your word for it." Dr Pope smiled. "Well, this is quite a
turn up. Mrs Pelligrini, if you continue doing as well as this, we'll review
your condition tomorrow and maybe see how you manage off the ventilator,
Jetta shifted her gaze from her husband to the doctor, and something
in the look told the medic that his patient understood. He smiled again.
"They weren't kidding when they told me you were a fighter." He observed
lightly, as Nancy re-entered. "Well, I'll come see you later, see how you
are then. You're probably a little disorientated at the moment and you
need your rest."
Once he was gone, Nancy retook her seat at the bedside.
"What did he reckon?"
"Well, it's better than it was." Justin replied. "So long as she continues
this way, anyhow."
"Good." Nancy's brown eyes sparkled. "I said it wasn't time to give up
"You were right." Justin admitted. "You got a good daughter here, Jetta...she
believed in you fighting back even when I was beginning to lose hope."
Jetta met Nancy's gaze, and a tiny smile touched her lips. There was
a strange, almost urgent look in her eyes, however, and Nancy remembered
what had passed between them before the doctor and her father had entered.
"Dad, I think that Mom knows who set fire to Misfit Music." She said.
"I asked her before you came in, I'm almost sure she does know."
"Jetta? Do you know?" Justin looked startled. Jetta frowned, then, almost
imperceptably, forced her tired, heavy head into a determined nod.
"Then we have to be careful." He said softly. "Jetta, honey, I know you
want to tell us, but at the moment, you can't, and that's okay. Till she
can, Nancy, you're not to mention this to anyone."
"Noone? Not even Aaron?"
"Well, okay, Aaron." Justin amended. "But noone else. We dont know who
might be listening, and the perpetrator is still very much at large."
There was a noise from the bed and Nancy turned, seeing the fear in her
mother's gaze. She bit her lip.
"Dad, we shouldn't talk like this, not when Mom can hear and understand
everything." She said softly. "Mom, don't worry. We won't let you get hurt.
Noone need know yet that you remember anything of the fire, that's why I
didn't say anything when Dr Pope was around."
"Nancy's right." Justin agreed. "Noone is going to put you at risk, Jetta,
that's a promise. I know you remember and you're scared because you're
vulnerable at the moment, but you needn't be."
Aaron's voice came from behind them, and both his father and his sister
turned, reading the anxious tension in his expression as he hurried to the
bed. Copper stood in the doorway, unsure as to whether or not she should
proceed. She had offered to drive her fiance to the hospital, for she had
been with him at his apartment when Nancy's call had come through, and his
hands had been shaking too much for him to pick up his car keys. Aaron had
controlled his grief and emotion well, but now the strain was beginning to
lift, the cracks in his composure had begun to show, and he had been glad
of his fiancee's gentle company and support. As he had told her gratefully
on the drive there, he was glad that he was marrying someone who understood
him so intuitively without asking too many questions.
As he reached the bedside, Jetta forced her free hand towards his in
an attempt to reassure him that she was all right. She had recognised the
note of anxiety and fear in her son's call, and, despite how weak and fuzzy
she felt, her maternal instinct still held good. Aaron took the hand gently,
swallowing hard. Then,
"Thank god." He whispered. "I'd almost given up hoping."
"She knows who we are, Aaron." Justin told him gently. "It's better than
we dared hope for. The doctor thinks that she might well make a full recovery
if she doesn't have any major setbacks. He even mentioned trying her off
the ventilator tomorrow."
Aaron did not reply, but the relief was clear from the look in his grey
"It's okay, Copper, you can come in." Nancy said quietly. "Did you drive
"Yes." Copper obediently came to join the family, a little hesitantly.
"I wasn't sure if I should intrude."
"Copper, within a few months we will be your family." Justin told
her gently. "You're always welcome."
"I don't know what I'd have done without her." Aaron admitted. "Mom,
don't scare me like that again, please!"
The look he got in return was enough to tell him that his mother might
be fragile, but there was nothing wrong with her brain. He looked sheepish.
"Okay, I know you didn't plan it." He amended. "But you scared us."
"Everyone sends their best wishes, Jetta." Copper said softly. "They'll
be glad to hear you're getting better."
"Dad, can Copper be told? She is practically family now, you said so
yourself." Nancy looked to her father for guidance. Justin glanced at Jetta,
who nodded slightly again.
"Told? Told what?" Copper looked startled.
"What's going on?" Aaron added.
"Close the door, Aaron." Justin said gravely. Once his son had done as
he was bidden, Justin indicated for him to rejoin the group.
"We've not mentioned this to anyone else, not even the doctor, but Jetta
knows - or greatly suspects - who was responsible for the fire at Misfit
Music." He said softly. "She's indicated as much to both myself and Nancy,
but at the moment she's not able to articulate her suspicions in words.
Considering how vulnerable she is at the moment, Nancy and I both agree
that noone should be told until she's stronger, and can tell us who she
saw at Misfit Music that day."
"Aunt Phyllis did mention one time that Jetta had spoken to someone...she
said it was mentioned in a phonecall before the fire broke out." Aaron
remembered. Copper frowned.
"I don't think anyone expected Jetta to remember anything of the fire."
She said quietly.
"She does, though." Nancy murmured. "I'm serious, Copper. Mom can't speak
yet, but that doesn't mean she can't tell us stuff...she knows."
"Mom?" Aaron met his mother's gaze, concern in his expression. "Do you?"
The look in her grey eyes gave him his answer. He frowned.
"Then I agree, we say nothing." He decided. "If the feds ask us, well,
we'll say Mom isn't well enough to be able to talk to us - or them - at
present. We don't know who might be behind this, and we don't want to give
them cause to try again. Aunt Phyl believes she was the intended target
of the fire, but there's no sense in taking unneccessary risks with Mom
"I agree." Copper said softly. She shivered. "It's creepy, though."
"I vote we don't talk about this any more here." Nancy said, one eye
to her mother's expression the whole time. "But we're all agreed? For Mom's
sake, we say nothing to anyone? Even to the other Jewels until we have something
to work with. I don't believe any of them or Dean, Zoe, Cynthia, Aunt Phyl
or even Emily know anything about the fire, but the more people who know,
the more risk there is of someone less trustworthy overhearing something
"Agreed." Aaron said solemnly. Justin nodded.
"Then it's settled." He said. "And Jetta, you can focus on getting yourself
better. Then we can begin to see what in this mess we can help to fix."