A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Ten: Amber Steps In

"Another early morning, another busy interview, another exit from a radio studio hindered by swarming fans." Nancy sighed, stretching out in the back of the limousine. "My back is aching and my head is spinning...I swear I'm not sleeping properly because we're working too hard."
"I would have thought that working hard would help you sleep." Copper looked confused. "Besides, they were so nice there this morning, don't you think? And that guy was such a sweetie getting us coffee."
"He probably fancies you. Most people seem to." Sylva said with a grin as Copper blushed.
"I can't think why." She murmured. "For a start you'd have thought the rock on my finger would be a good deterrant. And even if it isn't, well, my heart is with Aaron and that's that. Boring perhaps but how it is." She shrugged. "Publicity is good but at the end of the day happiness in life is more important, don't you think?"
"Blech." Sylva laughed.
"Hey, I thought you were the romantic." Nancy raised an eyebrow. "Besides, I'm glad Copper and Aaron have the good taste to like each other." She grinned. "I always plotted that if Aaron married a girl I didn't like I'd volunteer to play piano at the wedding and play the funeral march instead of the wedding one...but it's not gonna happen, because I like the idea of Copper being my sister-in-law."
"Thank god for that." Copper joked. "That wouldn't be a good start and when we do get married I want it to be romantic."
"You're marrying into a family of psychopaths." Sylva observed. "Nancy being the proof."
"Aw, c'mon, Syl." Copper chided. "Nancy ain't that bad. And I know she was joking."
"Was I?" Nancy looked amused. "Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't." she winked. "You'll never know."
"Well, I'll play piano at your wedding and then you're safe." Sylva offered, dimpling. "I know one march from the other, believe me!"
"Hey, Sadie, you're quiet." Nancy cast a glance at the fourth girl in the back of the limousine. Their bandmate was lost to the world, gazing out of the car window with  a preoccupied frown on her pretty face. She started at the sound of her name, meeting Nancy's quizzical gaze with an uncomfortable one of her own.
"Huh? Did you want me?"
"I just said you're very quiet. That's all." Nancy responded. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah. Tired, that's all." Sadie sighed. "I'm sorry if I'm not much fun. I don't like being in this part of England. Too close to danger."
"What, old big nose?" Sylva demanded. A glimmer of a smile touched Sadie's lips.
"Yes." She agreed. "Since we left the hotel in Maidstone and came this way I've been edgy, I can't help it. The place we're stopping tonight is ten minutes from the area where I used to live."
"We'll protect you." Sylva promised. "I'm sure all four of us can take him if we have to!"
"Syl, we are not having a free for all with Sadie's ex ." Copper said firmly. "And Sadie, if you stick with us it'll be all right."
"That's what Topaz said." Sadie looked pensive.
"You spoke to Topaz? When?" Nancy looked startled.
"This morning. I called her at about four UK time." Sadie glanced at her hands. "Id had a bad dream and I guess I just needed to talk to her. I hope you guys aren't put out that I didn't come to one of you, but..."
"It's okay. Topaz probably understands best where loser boyfriends are concerned." Copper assured her.
"Did she have any message for us?" Sylva asked.
"Yeah. Said she misses you all -specially you, Syl - and good luck with the tour. Then Hollie woke up and began crying and she had to go." Sadie responded. "And then we had to get up at five so I decided to just read and put him out of my mind. Not easy, though." She glanced out of the window. "Where are we headed exactly?"
"We're meeting with representatives from this show we're doing here tomorrow night." Nancy replied. "Mom explained it all last night. You know, we play our new song, a bunch of other people play theirs...it;s a radio roadshow of some sort, that's all I managed to gather. It's going out live on various radio stations around the UK and Mom didn't want to pass up the PR opportunity." She rolled her eyes. "You know Mom."
"I'm glad we are doing it." Copper observed. "The tickets to the actual event are going to charity - cancer research, actually - and they're gonna sell a CD of it for the same purpose. Since I know first hand what cancer is like, and since I lost Papa to it too, I'm really glad we're doing something to help out."
"Well, at least it's a worthwhile cause." Nancy smiled. "At least we'll be dropping dead with exhaustion for a good reason tomorrow."
"Right." Copper laughed. "But seriously, it rocks to play something like this."
"And tomorrow afternoon we're doing the tour of the local hospitals." Sylva remembered. "The kid's cancer wards and stuff." She shivered. "I'm kinda dreading that. I love kids, but seeing them suffering...that's gonna be so hard."
"I don't know." Copper looked thoughtful. "When I was ill I didn't deal with the treatment or the disease very well at all...but there were kids in the place who'd been going to hospital for chemo and operations since they were small and I dunno, I found it very inspiring. I mean these were kids who had dealt with being ill forever, pretty much, and some of them were really bad. Some didn't make it...but no matter what they could always find a positive. I don't think it'll be as depressing as you think, Syl. I don't think any of them will let it be."
"Makes you realise how lucky you are." Sadie said softly. "To be here, with your health and stuff."
"Well, we're gonna do what we can to help." Nancy remarked. "And it looks like we're here...hey, girls, recognise that van?"
"Teenangels!" Sylva exclaimed. "Ooh, good. I want to ask Rose what brand that nail polish she was wearing on Top of the Pops was, because it looked so fab and I want to buy some before we go home!"
"Great." Sadie closed her eyes briefly. "I thought this was a Jewel meeting?"
"I think it's a general one for everyone playing tomorrow." Copper replied as the car pulled to a stop. She frowned. "Sadie, what's wrong? Why don't you want to talk to the Teenangels? They're nice enough girls."
"Violet's my cousin-in-law." Nancy agreed. "And she and Taylor make a cute couple."
"Oh it's nothing." Sadie sighed, pushing open the car door. "Okay, let's go get this over with."
Inside the building was already buzzing with people. Few of the crowd were familiar to the four Jewel girls, but from the middle of the crowd came an exclamation and in a matter of moments an excited redhead burst upon them, greeting them with a big smile.
"Opel said she thought you were playing here!" she exclaimed.
"Hi, Rose." Copper grinned. "We saw your van outside, so we guessed you'd all be about."
"Yep." Rose nodded. "We got here early. Steevi had a fit about parking or something." She rolled her eyes. "Like that's more important than beauty sleep."
"Speaking of beauty, I want to ask you something." Sylva linked arms in the other girl's, leading her away from the group and leaving the remaining trio to continue into the crowd, greeting stars they recognised here and there. As they did so, Sadie spotted a familiar figure by the far wall, and a slight pang of guilt hit her. Making an excuse to her companions, she slipped through the crowd to where the girl was standing, tapping her on the shoulder.
The tall ginger haired girl turned round, eying Sadie in quizzical surprise.
"So you want to talk to me now?" She asked quietly. Sadie looked uncomfortable.
"I wanted to apologise." She murmured. "I shouldn't have run out like I did on Top of the Pops. It wasn't on."
"Well, I can't disagree with that." Amber agreed levelly. "Why did you?"
"I didn't expect to see you so soon." Sadie admitted. "And I was afraid...I didn't realise how well Jewel and the Teenangels were acquainted. Amber, what have you told them about me?"
"About you? Nothing. Why would I have? Didn't know you were a Jewel till you blew me off in London." Amber said flippantly.
Sadie looked relieved.
"Good. Please, don't tell them anything. They know about...about Neal, but nothing else. Please, Amber. This is the first big chance I've had at making a go of things and leaving the past behind me. Please don't wreck it for me."
"Now why would I do that?" Amber raised an eyebrow. "Sadie, I don't screw over friends, whatever they do to me."
"Are you mad at me?" Sadie looked anxious. Amber sighed.
"Guess not." She said slowly. "Guess I understand. Ain't easy sometimes turning your back on bad stuff. I know Steevi wasn't too convinced by me dating David again, once he found out the deal, but it's one of those things you have to face sometimes." She smiled. "I don't want to screw anything up for you. Didn't I always tell you you were too good for Neal?"
"Yes. And as ever, you were right." Sadie admitted.
"I trust you're clean now?"
"Shh, please, keep it down!" Sadie looked frantically around her, but noone had heard. "Yes, I am. Four years now."
Amber let out a low whistle.
"Not bad, kid." She said affectionately. "I'm proud of you." She paused. "So, how did you come to be a Jewel?"
"Accident." Sadie replied. "Topaz and I were friends after their last tour and we chatted online all the time...then things went bad with Neal and I decided I had to get away - I took all my money and got a plane ticket out to America. Then Topaz decided she needed time out and, well, she suggested I take her place."
"What's it like, then, being back in England?"
"Funny." Sadie replied. "I was loving it, Amber, but then..." She sighed. "I think Georgie's causing trouble for me...and I very much suspect Neal sent her. I'd forgotten till now that Shock warned me Georgie was getting dragged in with Neal's people. Either way, I got a letter demanding money the other night."
Amber stared, then her eyes narrowed.
"And you think Georgie was behind it?"
"Yeah, I do." Sadie agreed.
"Hmm." Amber looked thoughtful. "Okay. Leave it with me, Sadie. I'll see to it you don't get any more notes."
"How?" Sadie looked startled.
"Let's just say your kid sister owes me some for not getting locked up. I paid a fine for her and kept her out of jail when she got caught a while back for petty theft." Amber replied. "Don't worry. I'll work it out for you."
Sadie stared at her. Then she hugged her friend impulsively, taking the other girl by surprise.
"Thank you." She murmured. "And thank you for not blowing my secret. I'd die if they knew..."
"If you want my opinion, kid, sometimes you gotta be up front." Amber replied quietly. "If Jewel are the girls I think they are, well, they won't care any more than I do where you've been or what you've done. It's past now. I won't interfere..." As Sadie opened her mouth to protest. "But think it over. Better they hear it from your mouth than a stranger's, huh? And this is dangerous country."
Sadie frowned.
"I know." She admitted. "But I can't, Amber. I don't want them to think of me badly, especially since I feel like I lied to them and got signed up under false pretences. I'm frightened they'll kick me out for it and then what will I do?" She shook her head. "No, best they never know." She shrugged. "Besides, we'll be out of Kent soon. It'll be okay."

Chapter One: Nerves
Chapter Two: Bonny England
Chapter Three: A Bitter Shock
Chapter Four:  England's Jewel
Chapter Five: Top Of The Pops
Chapter Six: Sylva's Lie
Chapter Seven: Alyssa
Chapter Eight: Maidstone
Chapter Nine: Copper's Discovery
Chapter Ten: Amber Steps In
Chapter Eleven: Revelations

Chapter Twelve: Jetta Interferes
Chapter Thirteen: A Shock For Jewel

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!