Just A Dream...
A Gabor Legacy
Chapter Eleven: Harvey Takes A Hand
"Seen this mornin's paper?"
Jetta sauntered into her colleague's office, dropping the said paper onto the desk. "Apparently they've caught a suspect in the Blade murder case...you know what that means?"
"More publicity for my damn daughter and her record company." Phyllis groaned, glancing at the offending paper, then sweeping it off the desk and into the bin. "I know, I heard on the radio this morning. I suppose if they really have caught the guy who did it, it means our girls are safe from harm, but still."
"There's somethin' else, too." Jetta frowned, coming to sit down. "Somethin' that's all over the tabloids, Pizzazz. They're sayin' Sirena's pregnant."
"What?" Phyllis looked startled. Then she snorted. "Nah. Tabloid nonsense, that's all. Probably Riot's idea of how to create additional publicity."
"I dunno." Jetta frowned. "There's a rumour buzzin' that Emily's quit Rebel Records after some row with Riot, an' she's disappeared. Noone knows where in 'ell she's gone, least of all Riot. Maybe there's more truth in it than there seemed."
"Disappeared?" Phyllis demanded. "What do you mean, disappeared?"
"What I said. There ain't no trace of 'er anywhere in Los Angeles, according to the press." Jetta responded. "An' she don't know anyone anywhere else in the country, does she? Anyone who she could hide out with?"
"Not as far as I know." Phyllis replied. She shrugged. "Well, doesn't bother me if she's vanished. Maybe I finally got her out of my hair."
"One of the papers suggested that she's dead." Jetta responded. "They're sayin' she's topped 'erself after the row and the scandal...but they ain't got no proof of it. They're jus' speculatin', and Rebel Records ain't sayin' a word about anything."
"Dead?" Despite her best attempts at retaining her composure, Phyllis' face drained of colour. Jetta eyed her keenly, nodding.
"Yeah. But like I said, no proof. I spoke to the girls this mornin' about it, an' they reckon it's all another publicity stunt."
"Probably." Phyllis seemed to relax at this. "Isn't there any limit to the depths that girl will go to?"
"Apparently not." Jetta spread her hands. "Anyhow, that's the deal. Today's press in a nutshell."
"It's not good." Phyllis frowned. "Nowt about Jewel releasing their new album soon. We gotta do something about that, Jetta. Arrange some additional publicity for them, will you? Extra interviews and such. Oh! And is there any truth in the rumour that Nancy's involved with that Dean Stacey guy? Nothing like a bit of celebrity romance to catch people's attention."
"I don't know if it's true or not." Jetta admitted. "All the press have gotten hold of is that they had lunch together, but it's hardly news, since it's well known that Jewel and Dean are mates. Nancy 'erself 'asn't said anything to me, an' nor 'ave any of the others." She frowned. "In any case, I ain't 'appy putting my daughter's personal affairs on the front page of no dumb tabloid jus' to sell records. Call me soft if you like, but Nancy's my responsibility and I ain't interferin'."
"Okay, okay." Phyllis sighed. "In that case, we gotta see if we can undermine Emily's publicity some other way. Get someone on the case, will you? Have 'em find out the real truth behind all of this scandal that's buzzing around and expose her as a fraud. That should get people back on our side."
"You sure you want me to?" Jetta asked.
"I told you to, now do it!" Phyllis snapped irritably. "Just get it sorted out, okay? The sooner my brat of a daughter's publicity ends, the sooner Jewel can reclaim their rightful top spot, and that's beneficial to you as well as me, so don't question me!"
"Okay, keep your 'air on!" Jetta retorted. "I'll see what I can do."
She swung open the door of the office, heading back down the corridor towards her own, and almost running into Harvey as she did so.
"Mr Gabor!" She exclaimed. "What brings you 'ere?"
"Hello, Jetta." Harvey cast the executive a smile. "Tell me, is my daughter here? I have a matter of urgent business to discuss with her."
"Sure. She's in 'er office, 'avin' a paddy about the press, as usual." Jetta rolled her eyes. "I don't think you'd be interruptin' 'er if you went in now...she 'asn't settled to any work yet."
Harvey smiled wryly.
"I can imagine not." He agreed. "Thank you. I won't keep you any longer."
Jetta watched the old man head down the corridor towards Phyllis' office, then shrugged, heading into her own room and shutting the door. She had enough to do without wondering why her colleague's father had chosen to pay her an impromptu visit.
Harvey did not bother to knock on the door, merely swinging it open and startling his daughter, who was on the phone. At the sight of her father she smiled, finishing the call and tossing the phone carelessly into the paper tray.
"Hello, Daddy." She said. "I didn't expect to see you...you should've called, I'd have made a reservation for lunch or something."
"I think it's best we discuss what I have to discuss with you in the privacy of this office." Harvey said quietly, sitting down opposite the desk. Phyllis frowned.
"Is something wrong?"
"You could say that." Harvey agreed slowly. "Phyllis, you know that you mean the world to me, and that I'm proud of your achievements, don't you?"
"So you've made a lot of good of yourself these days, and I had thought that we had an understanding between us based on trust."
"Daddy, what are you getting at?" Phyllis looked confused. In the paper tray, the mobile phone began to ring, but she ignored it's call, merely switching it off. "I don't understand."
"Well, perhaps I can explain for you." Harvey said gravely. "A little while ago, Phyllis, I made the acquaintance of a young lady by the name of Emily...tell me, is that name familiar to you?"
"Emily?" Phyllis' face drained of all colour. "Oh no..."
"I'm disappointed in you." He admitted. "I thought that you had more courage than that."
"Courage?" Phyllis stared at her father. "Daddy, courage had nothing to do with it!"
"So you did abandon her."
"I did no such thing!" Phyllis exclaimed. "I gave her to the Starlight Foundation to raise, that's a total different thing! I didn't just dump her on the sidewalk and leave her to die! I gave her to people who knew what to do with babies!"
"And you never told me?"
"Why in hell should I have?" Phyllis demanded. "I was twenty six, Daddy, well old enough to make my own decisions. What business was it of yours, anyway? She's my kid. Not yours!"
"I won't take that tone from you, Phyllis." He warned. "You might be grown up now, but you're still my daughter and I still expect a certain amount of respect from you. It shocks me that you could be so selfish...however you dress it up, you abandoned that girl to whatever fate awaited her...how could you? And how could you not tell me, when you knew only too well how much I wanted to be a grandfather!"
"You'd have made me keep her!" Phyllis responded. "And there was no way I was gonna raise any brat. Least of all one whose father was..." She faltered.
"Eric Raymond. Yes, I know that, too." Harvey agreed. "And you're damn right I would have made you keep her! You lost your own mother, Phyllis...didn't it occur to you that your daughter needed you as much as you needed Liza?"
"I never needed Mom!" Phyllis reacted to this. "She left me and I shut her out of my life! She was nothing to me!"
"But you're not nothing to Emily, you know."
"What?" Taken off guard, Phyllis could only stare. "What do you mean?"
"Phyllis, your daughter is in trouble, in more ways than one." Harvey said frankly. "I don't know how much of the news you care to read, but the fact is, she's in a tricky situation. She's out of a recording contract...the reason? She's in the same situation that you were twenty one years ago - but she had the courage to tell someone and to ask for help."
"The other Misfits knew." Phyllis objected. "And what do you mean, the same situation?"
"I mean she's pregnant." Harvey said simply.
"Well, she probably deserves it. It's what happens if you're careless with who you sleep with." Phyllis said bitterly. "Like mother, like daughter...so? What do you want me to do about it?"
"I never thought you could be so heartless." Harvey reproached her. "Do you have no feeling for her at all?"
This was the last straw for Phyllis, whose self-control was already unsettled, and tears touched her emerald green eyes.
"Stop it." She begged. "You don't understand what it was like for me...stop it."
"Then tell me." Harvey responded. "What was it like, Phyllis? What made you give her up?"
"I...was afraid." Phyllis admitted hesitantly. "I didn't know what to do. I knew I couldn't keep her...it would have been no good for her or for me. She disliked me from the moment I first held her, and I wanted rid of what she was making me feel inside. Everytime I went near her she cried...I couldn't take feeling like I was a failure any more! I did the only thing I knew how to do...I gave her to the Foundation. I've given them money over the years, I've paid for her to be brought up. I didn't know what else to do!"
"Oh, Phyllis." Harvey sighed. "You should have come to me as soon as you knew."
"I was afraid you'd cut me off."
"Why would I do that? Phyllis, I love you more than anything I have!"
"Because Eric was the father...and I knew how much you hated him." Phyllis replied haltingly. "I don't know why I did it, Daddy...I was feeling messed up and it happened. I never imagined it'd result in a baby, I swear I didn't."
"I suppose part of this is my fault." Harvey sounded resigned. "If I'd been a more attentive father to you when you were growing up, you'd never have gotten so distant from me as you did, and maybe this wouldn't have happened. Maybe you'd have felt you could come to me...and maybe poor Emily wouldn't be paying the price now."
"Poor Emily? Hah." Phyllis snorted. "That's a joke. She's been threatening to expose me since the day she signed her contract, pretty much. She's not poor Emily."
"I think if you'd seen her these last couple of days, you'd think again." Harvey said gently. "Finding out that she's expecting has knocked the wind out of her sails. She's lost everything in such a short space of time...the baby's father, her record deal, everything. She's almost afraid to go outside in case she gets accosted by reporters, and she's refused to help the San Diego police department identify Blade's killer, because she doesn't want to be in the public eye at the moment. She's little more than a child herself...are you really willing to step back and let her struggle on alone?"
"She doesn't want me in her life. She's made that clear." Phyllis folded her arms.
"She thinks you don't want her." Harvey replied.
"She thinks that you would have been glad if she'd been shot instead of Blade."
"What?" Phyllis looked stricken. "But..."
"Oh, I don't want to think about Emily." Phyllis groaned, burying her head in her hands. "It took me a long time to put it behind me, Daddy...now it's all dragged up again and I hate it!"
"Sometimes you have to face up to your responsibilities. Sooner or later it jumps up and hits you in the face." Harvey told her. "Listen to me, Phyllis. Rory Llewelyn terminated Emily's contract because she refused to do as he told her, and get rid of the baby. Are you going to sit back and let him treat your daughter that way?"
"He did what?" Anger flashed into Phyllis' green eyes. "Why, the creep, how dare he? Is that even legal?"
"I very much doubt it." Harvey replied. "I'm trying to convince Emily to take legal action against him, but she says she doesnt want the public hassle. However, if you were to take her side..."
"What do you want me to do?" she asked, resignedly.
"I want you to come and talk to her." Harvey replied. "Only you know what it's like to go through what she's going through, Phyllis...I can't possibly begin to know what it's like. She needs a mother...she needs you."
"I ain't no mother."
"Yes, you are. You're her mother. Phyllis, don't you realise that Emily is so angry at you because she feels rejected by you? All she wants is to know that you care what happens to her...and I think you do care, don't you?"
"You know I do." Phyllis snapped. "It's damned maternal instinct and I can't get rid of it, but of course I do."
"Then will you come to San Diego and talk to her?"
"I don't think I got much choice." Phyllis sighed. "All right, already. I'll come. But don't expect miracles. There's no love lost between Emily and me...you'll see."
PART SIX: A GABOR LEGACY
Prologue: Twenty One Years Ago
Chapter One: Sirena And Blade
Chapter Two: Nancy's Heart
Chapter Three: Coup D'Etat
Chapter Four: The Reaction
Chapter Five: Nancy Finds Out
Chapter Six: Dilemma
Chapter Seven: Facing Phyllis
Chapter Eight: Scandal!
Chapter Nine: An Unexpected Shock
Chapter Ten: A Revelation
Chapter Eleven: Harvey Takes A Hand
Chapter Twelve: Sirena vs Pizzazz
Chapter Thirteen: Settling Rory
Chapter Fourteen: At Misfit Music
Epilogue: A New Beginning
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.