A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Three: A Bitter Shock

"It's six o' clock in the morning."
Sylva groaned, examining her reflection in the mirror for shadows under her eyes as she did so. "Why on earth do we have to be up at six o' clock in the damn morning the day after we fly into this country? Jetta, what are you trying to do to us? Burn us out?"
"Well, it would be nice if you'd shut up moanin'." Jetta told her unsympathetically, casting her an amused smile. "You forget, Sylva, I flew in with you yesterday an' all. I've 'ad as much sleep as you 'ave, possibly less. You 'ave to learn to deal with it - ain't you got  to grips with it yet?"
"I'm jetlagged with a vengeance." Sylva sighed. "It never hits me till the day after we land, as it is. My brain won't put two coherent thoughts together and you expect me to do an interview?"
"Nothing new there, then." Nancy said with a grin, as she tuned up her guitar. "Listen, Syl, it's not that different from being up at four to play Dean's show back in LA. We just have to grin and bear it, then we crawl back to the hotel and sleep."
"Nope, you don't." Jetta said calmly, causing all four girls to turn and stare at her.
"We don't?" Sylva demanded. "God, you mean you've something else for us to do?"
"I always 'ave, love. Ain't you learnt that yet?" Jetta laughed. "Once you're done 'ere you're doin' an interview with Smash 'Its magazine an' then some bigshot television producer is takin' us out to lunch at twelve, because 'e wants Jewel on 'is show before we leave London an' the schedule is tight...I think 'e's butterin' us up, but that's fine by me if it means a free lunch."
"Oh heaven." Copper looked stricken. "We're working solid till lunch time? What about after?"
"You got two hours break after lunch, then you got a photo shoot at three thirty in Kensington, an' after that an interview on local radio at seven this evening." Jetta told them calmly. "Then you're free to eat or sleep or whatever you like."
"Sheesh!" Sylva stared. "We'll be dead by then!"
"Well, if you ain't tough enough to stand the pace, you're in the wrong job, love." Jetta laughed. "Listen. Jewel ain't 'ad a number one single in the UK yet, but you're damn well on course for gettin' one. Your last two or three singles 'ave done pretty good 'ere - last one was number eight, an' your last album 'as been in the album chart top twenty for a couple of months. You've got good foundations. Thing is, if you don't publicise, you don't get. An' PR, if you 'adn't noticed, is part of my job." Her eyes twinkled. "Of course, if you don't like it, you can go ask Pizzazz..."
"Ok, ok, we get the point." Nancy sighed. "Mom, sometimes I swear you're evil, I really do."
Jetta shrugged.
"Showbiz, love." She told her daughter flippantly.
"Sadie, you're kinda quiet. Are you feeling okay?" Copper turned her attention to the final member of the group, who had been sitting quietly in the corner throughout the exchange, her mind clearly elsewhere. She started as Copper spoke to her, meeting her friend's gaze with a sheepish smile.
"I'm kinda nervous." She admitted. "I know I've done some TV appearances in America, but this is home turf, it's different. People..." She faltered, sighing. "Well, people who know me might be watching."
"So what's wrong with that? Show 'em what you can do!" Sylva told her. Sadie shrugged.
"Maybe." She murmured. "I'm more afraid I suppose of letting the side down."
"You ain't got anythin' to worry about, kid." Jetta eyed her keenly. "I've been there, I've 'ad the same problem as you, in comin' 'ome to a country that I left as nothin', an' tryin' to make somethin' of it. But it works out. You'll find the audience relates to you, because you're one of them, when it comes to the crunch." She grinned. "So don't freak, all right?"
"Aw, Mom goes soft." Nancy giggled, and Jetta sent her an irritated glare.
"You might 'ave left 'ome, young lady, but I can still deal with you." She warned. Nancy rolled her eyes.
"Can't take a joke." She observed. Jetta shook her head in defeat.
"Oh, get yourselves to makeup." She instructed finally. "An' don't mess up this interview! A lot of record sales might be countin' on it!"


"Hey, George."
The girl on the wall turned, her long tails of hair swinging as she cast the speaker a glare.
"Don't call me George 'less you want your mouth smashed in. It's Georgia to you." She snapped, flicking ash from her cigarette. "What you want, anyhow? Didn't Neal tell you not to come bugging us round here any more?"
"I got a deal to cut with him." The unshaven youth leered at her in some amusement, lounging up against the wall. "You gonna tell him I wanna see him, or you gonna let me do it myself?"
"Do what you like. I ain't getting Neal mad at me for bringing you in." Georgia snapped at him. "You know what he said. Since you screwed him over the last time, you'd be damn stupid to show your face here again."
"Well, sweetheart, I got a deal even he can't refuse me." The youth told her with a wink. "So run along to your playroom, huh? I want to talk business." He cast his eye over her, making her shiver inwardly with disgust. "Time for fun comes later, if you're bored."
"Oh, get real." Tossing her cigarette at him, she got off the wall, folding her arms across her chest as if to stop him staring at her so blatantly. "And I'm eighteen, so there! I'm not a baby, I know what's what!"
"Well, get out of my way, then." The youth did not seem to like his advances snubbed, and he reached out a hand, pulling her to one side and shoving her against the wall. "I can find some other airheaded flirt. You'll regret it though, when your boss finds out what kind of stuff I have to show!"
Georgia stared. The youth snorted disdainfully.
"No, pansies. Of course drugs!" He snapped. "I told you...you had your chance. Now scram! Beat it. I want words with the head honcho, not a scrawny bitch like you!"
"Go to hell." Georgia returned his scorn with an equally unpleasant gesture of her own, but she took the hint, disappearing down one of the sideroads and out of sight. He could still hear her cursing him under her breath as she went, and despite himself, he laughed.
"Stupid girl." He muttered. "She'll never last it out here."
"What do you want, Spyder?"
A fresh voice interrupted his thoughts and he turned, meeting the gaze of the man himself. Inwardly he steeled his courage. Neal Ridley was a big man and a dangerous one at that. He controlled too many of the roughest areas around Kent and beyond these days and was not usually someone to be crossed. If you crossed him once, Spyder knew, you were lucky to escape with a good hiding. To come back after you'd been sent away in such circumstances was always a risk. But then, Spyder knew that Neal rarely resisted a good drug deal.
"I got some stuff for you." He said now. Neal raised an eyebrow.
"Stuff?" He echoed. "Better be good...I ain't gonna play games with you again, you got that?"
"Sure." Spyder swallowed hard, doing his best to maintain his nonchalant front. He could do with a fix himself, he mused absently. Best to wait till later, though. For now, he had to talk himself back into the boss's good books...and that could take some time.
At the back of the house, oblivious to the depth of the wheeler dealing out front, Georgia had slammed her slim frame down on the step, lighting another cigarette and cursing the intruder with every name under the sun.
"Why didn't he just listen to what Neal told him?" She ranted. "Stupid jerk. Everytime he comes down here he tries to talk me into bed with him! Doesn't he get it? I'm not for hire!"
"Maybe you should be, honey." A voice from the grass put in silkily. "Oh, I don't say sell yourself out there where any pig can see you, but you know...perhaps you should be willing to help Neal sweeten the deal? After all, you benefit if he does, isn't that right?"
"Shut your face, Simone!" Georgia glared at her. "Just because you do! For your information, Neal likes me. He told me that he doesn't want to share me with anyone. So there!"
"So sweet, yet so naive." Simone chuckled. "What's love, Georgie? So long as you get the best deal you can, who's caring? Neal doesn't care about you any more than he does anyone else. If you ask me he's still hooked up on Sadie..."
"Don't you ever mention that name again!" This sparked Georgia's temper and she flew at the older girl, cigarette forgotten. Simone, though startled was strong enough to fight back, and she pushed the teenager down on the grass with a snort of contempt.
"Gonna have to learn to fight a little better, miss daughter of a corporal." She said smoothly. "You won't last much longer otherwise. Neal won't play nanny to you forever, he wants a real woman."
"What, like you?" Georgia spat out. Simone smirked.
"If you like." She said, shrugging. "I'm not gonna say no."
"What you girls fighting over now?" A man in his mid twenties sauntered into the back yard, pinching a cigarette from Simone's bag and lighting it with a match. "Not Neal again, I hope?"
"I don't expect a man to understand what women talk about, Grey." Simone told him with a smile. "I was educating Georgie here on how best to promote her assets."
"If y'ask me, Georgie, there ain't nothing wrong with your assets." Grey smirked. Georgia scowled.
"Like you'd know." She snapped, wrapping her arms protectively around her. "You're not in my league. Neal said..."
"Neal's got other things on his mind." Grey interrupted her. "Sorry to disappoint you, kid, but that's how it is."
"What in hell does that mean?" Georgia demanded. Grey pulled out a tattered newspaper, tossing it onto the ground.
"See for yourself." He said, exhaling a lazy cloud of smoke. "Prodigal girl's come home."
"What?" Georgia snatched up the paper, staring in horror at the article. "But..."
"Sadie's in England, hon." Grey shrugged. "Better face facts. Neal won't give you the time of day once he has her back under his covers!"

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!