A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Eleven: Revelations

Georgia turned from her perch on the garden wall, a smile crossing her face as she met the gaze of her boyfriend. Adjusting her hat so it did not fall from her head, she slipped off the wall, coming over to greet him.
"Georgia, I want to talk with you." Neal's tones were quiet and seemingly amiable, but there was a strange glint in his eyes and Georgia's smile faded into an apprehensive frown as she registered it.
"What's wrong?" She murmured. "Neal...is something up?"
"Something is." Neal put his arm around her shoulders, leading her over to one side, away from any eavesdroppers who might be hanging around looking for a piece of spite to spread around. "Georgia, I've heard a whisper that certain unwelcome people were spotted not so far from here last evening...if you catch my drift."
"Certain unwelcome...?" Georgia stared at him. "What do you mean? I don't understand!"
"A certain ginger haired young lady." Neal's voice became a little more impatient, and his grip on her tightened. "Listen to me, Georgia. Amber isn't one of us now. She's one of them."
"I know that. I don't like Amber!" Georgia protested. Neal brought his hand down across the side of her face, causing her to wince and tears to spring into her blue eyes.
"That's a lie." He told her darkly. "Because I've been reliably informed that it was you she came to see. Are you telling me that I've been lied to?"
"No...no." Georgia bit back her tears, shaking her head. "She did come to see me. I'm sorry, Neal...I didn't ask her to come and I...I should have told you myself that she did. She thr...threatened me, I was afraid."
"Threatened you?" Neal raised an eyebrow. "What might you have done to make her do that?"
"I..." Georgia hesitated, and Neal brought another firm hand down across her face, leaving a red imprint where his hand had been.
"Tell me." He instructed. "Now."
"I sent Sadie a note." Georgia twisted her hands together. "I d...demanded money from her, so...so I could pay you the rest of what I owed you this morning like I did. I figured that she deserved it and since you said that she was irrelevant..." She trailed off, eying her boyfriend in some trepidation.
Neal seemed to be thinking it over.
"You were blackmailing Sadie?" He said at length. Georgia nodded.
"And how would Amber get to know about this?"
"Sadie snitched." Georgia pulled a face.
"But how is it Sadie knew it was you?" Neal demanded. "You don't try games with people unless you can cover your back, don't you know that yet?"
Now Georgia's tears came, and she reached up to wipe them away.
"I'm sorry." She whispered. "I wanted to pay you back and make the b...bitch pay for walking out on us like she did. I wanted to upset her...I didn't think you'd mind. I...did it for you."
"The bitch deserves all she gets." Neal said quietly. "But don't let them trace things back to you, my girl, or you'll find yourself on your own." He smiled, a strange smile. "You know how I feel about people bringing trouble into our neighbourhood."
"Yes...I'm sorry." Georgia nodded, lowering her gaze. "I didn't mean any harm. And she wouldn't have known it was me, only one of her stuck up rich friends ran straight into me and recognised me, because Sadie and I look kinda alike."
"Well, make sure it doesn't happen again." Neal said firmly. "You understand me?"
"Yes Neal." Georgia's tone was little more than a whisper. Neal nodded curtly.
"Good." Was all he said, however, and then he was gone, leaving the teenager to get a grip on her composure. She had been worried when Amber had descended upon her the night before, because of all the women who had ever frequented the gang, only Amber had enough spunk to not only turn Neal's advances down, but also laugh in his face without much repercussion. Georgia half wondered if Neal was afraid of the ginger haired girl. Not that she could ask, but Amber took no nonsense from anyone, and, as she had discovered last night, did not forget old friendships easily.
"She said that if I send any more blackmail notes to Sadie then I'll be for it, because she'll make sure the police get to know about it." She mused, sitting on a step and lighting a cigarette. "So then I'll think of something else. Neal said that the bitch deserves it, so that means he doesn't mind...so long as I don't get myself caught, that's the main thing. And I won't.  I've learnt that lesson. I'm not gonna break any laws this time."
"Oh great." Georgia rolled her eyes, turning to meet Grey's questioning look with a bored one of her own. "What do you want? I'm thinking!"
"What happened to your cheek? It's bruising up real bad!" Grey exclaimed. Georgia shrugged.
"Nothing. I was stupid, I deserved it." She said quietly.
"Did Neal do that to you?" Grey demanded. Georgia groaned.
"Oh, butt out of what isn't your business and get a life of your own, will you?"
"Dammit, Georgie, you shouldn't let him do that!"
"Do you want to take him on?" Georgia demanded. "Don't be stupid! In any case, I brought it on myself. It's not his fault. I was dumb and I deserved it."
"If he lays another finger on you I'll smash his bloody head in." Grey growled. "Dammit, Georgie, you're worth more than some guy knocking you about. You're worth more than Sadie, don't you realise all you're doing is the same as she did?"
"Shut your face!" Georgia slapped him hard across his cheek. "And shut your mouth about Neal too, before I tell him what you said! I love Neal, all right? And I know he loves me too. I did a silly thing, and I deserved to be punished...but we'll work it out. I know not to do it again."
"Are you gonna tell me what this mistake was?"
"If you want to know, ask Neal." Georgia shot back. "I've nothing more to say to cheap scum like you, now get out of my face! I only have time for real men!"
With that she flounced away, and Grey muttered a curse under his breath.
"Damn her." He clenched his fist in his frustration. "Why in hell doesn't she see that she shouldn't be beaten about by this jerk? Dammit, if he wasn't so damn big and ugly I'd lay him out...hell, if he touches her again I damn well might, too! Someone has to make that girl realise she's better than what she's settling for at the moment, before she winds up in the same crap her sister did. Sadie was a lily livered wimp but Georgie has some spark and could make something of herself. She could at least get better damn taste in men." He growled. "Stupid Neal Ridley."
"I wouldn't say that too loudly around these parts if I were you, honey." A purring voice in his ear alerted him to the fact he had company, and he turned to see Donna watching him. "Neal's rather well thought of round here."
"He shouldn't raise his hand to a woman." Grey muttered.
"Oh forget about it, Grey. Georgie will never look at you in a trillion years." Donna snorted. "Pity for her, because she's no way good enough for Neal. Let's face it, the only vague chance you'd ever get with her would be if he were to drop off the face of the earth and she was reeeeeally feeling low. You got me? You ain't half the man he is." She winked. "If you know what I mean."
"What is wrong with all the birds round here?" Grey rolled his eyes. "And hey, you know that Neal told Georgie that you're nothing compared with her...so perhaps you're not in his league either, huh?"
His tones were rich with sarcasm, and Donna's eyes narrowed.
"Bitch doesn't know what she's talking about." She murmured. "Neal has better taste than that."
"Well, maybe it's time you asked him." Grey asked pointedly. Donna rolled her eyes.
"Dammit, not like I don't have enough errands to face." she muttered. "That creep Spyder was here last night, I don't know if you saw him. Drunk to the skies he was. Wanted money for something or other from Neal and was threatening all kinds of stuff if he didn't get it. You know how the jerk is when he's drunk too much. Anyhow, I told him I'd talk to Neal about it, to shut him up, like. I wasn't gonna do it, I'm no fool - Neal would go ape at me. But Spyder was back this morning..." She rolled up her sleeves, revealing fresh bruising around her wrists. "He's persistant...and strong. I had to fight him off. So looks like I'm adressing the issue with Neal next time I get a chance." She curled her lip. "And since Georgie will be sucking up to him, judging by what I heard you guys talking about, I won't get a look in for the next couple of days." She shrugged. "Oh well. C'est la vie. Gives me time to prepare my case." She frowned. "I ain't looking forward to it. I'm beginning to think I should never have opened my mouth."
"Probably shouldn't." Grey grimaced. "I'm seriously starting to wonder if it's worth it sticking around, Donna. Nothing going here any more. Praps Sadie and Amber and Shock had the right idea, getting out when they did."
"Don't let Neal hear you, he'll have you for dinner." Donna pulled a face. Grey shrugged.
"Maybe I'll have him instead." He said quietly. "Guess we'll just have to wait and see."


Sylva pushed open the door of the hotel suite, her expression both indignant and angry and a magazine in her hand. "Sadie, where are you!"
"What's up?" Sadie poked her head out of the bathroom, where she had been carefully blowdrying her hair. "Syl, what's the matter! You look ready to eat someone!" "She usually looks like that." Nancy put in from her seat in the lounge, not even bothering to look up from her book. Such outbursts were common from the impetuous Sylvina, and she saw no reason for alarm. Copper emerged from her bedroom, casting the keyboardist a quizzical look.
"What's all the fuss?" She asked. "Syl, what are you shrieking about now?"
"This magazine." Sylva flung the offending article down on the table, her voice shaking with anger. "Sadie, have you seen the article in here this morning?"
Sadie looked puzzled.
"Article? Magazine? I only just got out of the shower!"
"I think we should sue them till they go out of business." Sylva dropped down into an empty armchair. "How dare they write such an article about us anyhow?"
"Syl, we're lost. Not an uncommon event when you go on the rampage." With a sigh Nancy set her book aside, meeting the keyboardist's gaze. "What's so terrible about this article?"
"You remember that story when Topaz first joined Jewel and how they hounded her about her exes back in Toronto?" Sylva asked. Nancy and Copper exchanged looks.
"Sure." Copper agreed. "But all of that was quickly disproved as media hype anyway. What about it?"
"Take a look. I'm too disgusted to read it again." Sylva indicated the magazine with her feet. "It's Sadie it concerns mostly, anyhow."
"Me?" Sadie blanched. "They wrote an article...a bad article...about me?"
"Let's see." Copper bent to pick up the magazine, flicking through it. "The media are funny people, they'll write whatever they want to get a story. The least fuss made, the sooner it's forgotten. Haven't we all learnt that yet?"
"Read the damn thing and see if you agree." Sylva returned grimly.
"No." Sadie grabbed the magazine out of Copper's hand. "If it's about me I want to read it."
"Chill out, Sadie. It's probably no biggie." Nancy said with a shrug. "Copper's right. The press do report crazy stuff. I seem to remember one of the things they accused poor Topaz of was drug abuse...crazy as it seems."
"Drug abuse?" Sadie repeated. Then she frowned.
"Fine. I'm going in my room to read this." She decided. "I don't want disturbing. Okay?"
"Sure, whatever you say." Sylva nodded.
"Was it really horrendous, Syl?" Copper asked once Sadie was gone. Sylva nodded.
"Yeah. It was." She said shortly.
"Poor Sadie. She's so new to all of this." Copper sighed.
"Topaz got through it though." Nancy pointed out. "And in the end it made the four of us closer."
"I guess." Sylva nodded. She frowned. "I miss Topaz. I wish she was with us."
"She couldn't leave Hollie so young." Copper said sensibly. "Nor did she want to and that's understandable. Sadie's a good singer and a good guitarist and she fits into the setup great, you know that."
"I know. I didn't mean we shouldn't have Sadie." Sylva responded. "I just wish there were five of us, that's all. Hollie's an angel baby, but Topaz is my best friend and I miss her so bad."
"I'm glad Sadie joined the party." Nancy owned. "I know she hasn't got the training I had as a kid, but it's nice to have someone else in the group who can compose a little, you know? It takes the pressure off me and believe it or not I like the idea of co-writing some songs. It's a lot of fun."
"Do you think she's okay?" Copper sent a glance towards the door of Sadie's room.
"She has to handle the press in her own way." Nancy said wisely. "It sucks, of course, if they've written a bad article about her, but I s'pose it's a learning curve. We've all been there...it's her turn."
"I hope so." Copper nodded. "Guess this is where we could use Topaz. She understands Sadie best of all of us."
"Sometimes I feel like we don't know her all that well." Sylva sighed. "Sometimes she reacts so strange. D'ya think it's because she's English?"
"I resent that. I'm half English." Nancy raised an eyebrow. "And Mom wouldn't thank you, either."
"I meant because we're from different places we have different ways of handling things, silly." Sylva retorted.
"Shh!" Copper put up her hand. "I thought...does anyone else hear Sadie crying?"
There was silence as the three girls listened. Then, slowly, Nancy nodded.
"I think I hear it too." She agreed. Sylva bit her lip.
"That stupid magazine, I'll wring their necks." She muttered. "I promised Topaz before we came out here that I'd look after Sadie if she felt overawed by everything on tour...if they upset her..."
"Why should Sadie need you to look after her? She's older than you." Nancy objected, getting to her feet.
"I don't know. Seemed odd to me, but Topaz asked me to so I agreed." Sylva shrugged. "Guess it's lack of experience in the public eye. Come on, let's go see if she's all right."
"Good." Copper looked relieved. "I didn't like the idea of leaving her to cry, whatever she said."
Nancy was the first one to reach the door and tentatively she knocked.
"Sadie?" She called gently. "It's Nancy...are you okay in there?"
"I said I didn't want to be disturbed." Sadie's voice came back almost at once, slightly shaky and indistinct.
"Well, we don't like to think you're crying on your own in there." Sylva put in her bit, grabbing the handle and swinging open the door.
Sadie was sprawled on her stomach on the bed, the magazine on the floor and she recoiled as they entered.
"I said leave me alone! I can handle my own problems and my own situations!" She exclaimed.
"Maybe you can." Copper said softly. "But you gotta realise now Sadie that you're not just out on your own here. You're a Jewel...we're a team and what affects you affects us too...whether actually, emotionally or in the media. We're your friends and we're worried about you."
This sent Sadie into more spasms of tears, and she buried her head in her pillow.
"You won't be." She murmured, her voice muffled. "Not if you'd seen..."
"I've seen the article." Sylva said stolidly. "And I'm mad as hell that they wrote it, to be honest. Some welcome home to England for you, huh?"
"I feel like I've been totally violated." Sadie responded softly. "Humiliated and exposed for public reading pleasure. That's not why I joined this band! Everything was going so well and now it's r...r...ruined! Should've known I c...c...couldn't have something good happen to me and l...last, shouldn't I? I should know my l...luck by now."
"Don't be silly. It's just an article." Copper came to the bedside, pulling Sadie gently into a sitting position and hugging her tightly. "Listen. The press do things like this. They do. They think it's fun, some of the worst of them, to take a human being and scandalise them. They don't care about the truth."
"Oh..." Sadie bit her lip. "Oh, I know that. I do. T...Topaz w...warned me before we left America that it happened."
"Then don't cry, huh? It's no big deal." Nancy sat down on the end of the bed.
Sadie took a shuddery gulp of air.
"You don't understand." She said shakily. "You don't know the half of it, any of you...I was too afraid, and now..." She swallowed hard, closing her eyes as more tears threatened.
"Now you won't want me to be a Jewel any more." She whispered.
"Because of one article?" Sylva snorted. "Come off it, Sadie!"
"What do you mean, you were too afraid?" Copper asked gently. "Afraid of what? Neal?"
Sadie did not answer, and Copper shot Sylva a questioning glance.
"Syl, is Neal in the article?"
"No names are mentioned." Sylva said slowly. "Except Sadie's."
"I've barely thought about him since I went to the States." Sadie murmured. "I bet...I bet this is his way of getting back at me. He s...sent someone to the press with the story, most likely...I hate him so much for this! I hate him and I wish he were dead! I wish he were dead!"
"You don't know he did anything." Nancy said sensibly. "Look, Sadie, why are you getting so wound up? It's words on paper. It doesn't mean anything."
Sadie bit her lip.
"Because it's true." She whispered.
Sylva's eyes opened wide and her jaw dropped. Fixing Sadie with an incredulous stare she slowly retrieved the magazine from the floor, flicking it open.
"What? All of it?" She demanded. Sadie nodded morosely.
"M...more or less." She admitted brokenly. "See? Now you'll hate me and want me out of your group. And how can I blame you? I hate me too. I hate me for being gullible and stupid and I should never have kept it from you. Now you're all dragged down with me and...and it's not f...fair. Jewel have a good reputation and I...I've ruined it forever."
"Neither Nancy or I know what's in the article." Copper said softly. "But if you want to tell us, in your words, then we're listening."
"Syl, quit gawking and sit." Nancy instructed. "Whatever this great hidden truth is, it isn't helping that you're looking at Sadie like she's morphed into Frankenjewel, now is it?"
Sylva blushed.
"I'm sorry, Sadie." She said sheepishly. "I didn't mean...I just...wow. I never thought for one moment it could be true."
"Shows how well you know me then." Sadie said bitterly. "Doesn't it? You all think of me as good little Sadie Monahue, abused by her ex-boyfriend, fled to America to escape his clutches...well, that at least is true. But there's more...oh god, a hell of a lot more. I'm not good little Sadie Monahue. Good girls don't have police records, do they? They don't wind up in front of the judge for petty theft and end up spending months in prison or juvenile detention, do they? And they don't..." She faltered, then, "And they don't wind up being stuck in a rehabilitation clinic whilst everyone tries to figure out what in heck is wrong with me and why in hell I got mixed up in the stuff I did."
"You went to jail?" Now it was Nancy's turn to gawp.
"You poor thing." Copper hugged her friend again. "It must've been awful."
"I can't picture you a thief." Slowly Nancy got a grip on herself, eying Sadie carefully. "Why'd you do it, anyway?"
"The first time it was...oh, I dunno, guess you'd say it was a dare gone wrong." Sadie responded sadly. "I never meant to be caught...I was only a kid, really. Fifteen or sixteen, no older. The judge was an old guy who had a particular hate for teen offenders - and the legal aid I had was not much cop. The end result was that I spent a harrowing couple of months in juvenile detention, for a crime that most kids I knew got off with a warning for."
"Most kids you knew?" Sylva demanded. Sadie laughed hollowly.
"I come from a rough area. Most all the kids I grew up with did something or other against the grain." She said darkly. "Vandalism, theiving, you name it. I grew up in the worst part of Birmingham, really. There were five of us, there wasn't enough money for any better. It was the sacrifice for us not living in military accomodation - Mum didn't want us growing up in a wire enclosure community." She shrugged. "So we didn't. Then when we moved to Kent, after she died, there was even less money to keep us...so we ended up in the worst hell-hole of an estate that you can imagine living in. But still, there are worse places..."
She shivered. "I hated juvenile hall. Hated it."
"So why did you get yourself sent back?" Copper asked gently.
Sadie grimaced.
"I came out with an attitude. Hell, if you ask my sister I had one before, but a worse one. Kinda felt like I was against the whole system. I did my time, and all that, I knew how to handle it. Anyhow, I got in with some...not so nice people. I guess you'd call it a gang...there were all kinds of stuff going down with 'em. That's how I met Neal...guess he pretty much ran the show, everyone was scared of him. Me? I fell in love with him." She sighed. "Dumb, huh? Violent, chauvenistic...I don't get it either. But it was the worst thing that coulda happened to me. Neil was into dealing drugs...draw and smack mostly...and I got sucked into the chain." She shrugged. "Within a year I was living with the guy. The deal was that so long as I was living with him and doing as he told me to do, he'd make sure I got what I needed."
"So you used drugs too?" Copper asked. Sadie nodded.
"Yeah." She agreed, lowering her gaze. "I...I know, it must sound so terrible to you guys, all these things I've done and I didn't tell you till my contract was signed and all. If you want me to leave the band I...I will, I just..."
"Don't be daft." Nancy interrupted her. "You were a dumb kid. So what? It happens. Now get over it and move on."
"What Nancy is trying to say, Sadie, in her own delicate way, is that we don't intend on judging you on the past." Copper said slowly. "So long as those things are all well behind you, then it's hardly important."
"I'm clean. I've been clean four years or more." Sadie nodded. "I give you my word on that, Copper. And I'm not a thief, I swear I'm not. Yeah, I did dumb things and got caught, but most of the time it was Neal making me, or I needed to do it to...to pay for the drugs." She blushed uncomfortably. "My last conviction was for possession...and it sorted me out. The judge was a nice guy, he basically told me in court that I needed help, not punishment if I was ever going to get out of the loop. He gave me the option of rehab as part of my sentence. I didn't want help really, not then, but my sister was in floods of tears and begged me to do it...so I did. Better than going to jail anyhow." She sighed. "Guess I realised that it was the only way I was possibly going to get anywhere. If I had just gone to jail, well, when I got out, nothing would have changed and I'd probably have been back there again in a matter of months." She smiled weakly. "Once I put my mind to something, I tend to be stubborn as hell. I wouldn't let myself go back - and I haven't. Only now..." She bit her lip. "I'm so sorry. I never meant for this...I just wanted a fresh chance to make my family proud, that's all."
"Alyssa is very proud of you." Copper murmured. "And your nieces think the world of you. I'd say that you succeeded."
"Does Topaz know about this?"
"No." Sadie shook her head. "I think she suspects something's up, but I never told her any of it. Why?"
"She asked me to look out for you when we came to England, make sure things didn't intimidate you." Sylva responded. "I just wondered."
"What is Jetta gonna say?" Sadie looked fearful. "And Phyllis...will they kick me out? What will they do to me?"
"Mom will want to know the truth." Nancy said slowly. "Other than that, I don't know what their reaction will be. I'm sorry, Sadie. I wish I could be more helpful."
At that moment the phone began to ring, and exchanging looks with her bandmates, Sylva reached for the receiver. She frowned.
"It's Jetta." She said quietly. "Sadie...she wants to talk to you."

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!