A Jewel Whodunnit...
Chapter Eight: Maidstone

"Ok, Sadie, you're the native."
Sylva spread her map over the covers of her bed, a frown on her face as she tried to pinpoint what she was looking for. "Where abouts on this thing is Kent, and where's Maidstone? I thought we were going back the London way...but now I'm confused. Where are we exactly?"
"Syl, let me guess, did you fail Geography at school?" Sadie asked, clambering over her own bed to join her friend. Sylva shook her head.
"Nope. I dropped it instead. Took history, because Anna was good at it and she could help me pass." She replied. "I've never understood maps properly. I figured cos you come from this country, you might know where we are. Didn't you used to live in Kent or something?"
"Yes...a long time ago." A shadow touched Sadie's face. In all honesty she was more than a little apprehensive to be back in Kent, for she knew that this was the centre of Neal's territory. She only hoped that the group's security would keep away any of his little schemes. "And not in Maidstone, believe me. Where I lived is probably not even worth mentioning on a map." She got down on her knees, examining the grid carefully, then placing a pink painted nail on one spot. "Here, this is Kent. And there's Maidstone. That's where we are. London is there, see?"
"Oooh, so we aren't so far from there after all." Sylva's face cleared. "Okay, thanks. I like to know where we actually are, you know?"
"Mm, I'd rather not remember that we're in Kent." Sadie sighed, returning to her bed and dropping down on the covers. ""This is where he lives, Syl. Neal, I mean. This is where I lived with him for a year."
"Ohh...I didn't realise." Concern flashed into Sylva's pretty blue eyes. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, gonna have to be." Sadie nodded. "Bout time I put it behind me, anyhow. Don't you think? This is a test of how far I've come." A wan smile touched her lips. "Having said that, this morning's publicity shoot was all very well but I kept scanning the crowd for people I knew...couldn't relax at all. I can't wait to leave here, to be honest. Maidstone is a long way away from where I used to live and yet I'm still paranoid."
"I thought you were edgy." Sylva acknowledged. "I did wonder about it, to be honest. But I guess it makes sense."
"Well, he wanted me back pretty bad when I was in England before. So bad he even came up to Birmingham to intimidate and hurt me." Sadie sighed. "I can't help being afraid he might try over."
"Not with our security men between you and him." Sylva said firmly. "Honey, you're a star now. Okay, you're a star with certain disgusting personal habits..." She indicated Sadie's cigarettes, "But a star nonetheless...and a fully sworn in member of the sisterhood of Jewel. No jerk-off ex boyfriend is gonna get his grubby little mitts on you and that's for sure."
"I hope you're right." Sadie looked pensive. "I can't believe I was ever even in love with him. He wasn't even that good looking!"
"Was he a dog?" Sylva looked interested, resting her chin in her hands as she pushed the map out of the way. "C'mon, gimme the dirt...I bet he was awful."
"He had...rather a big nose." Despite herself, Sadie found a smile creeping across her lips. "And his hair did this reeally annoying thing over his ear, like this..." She indicated. "Oh yeah, and the amount he drank sometimes - sheesh, coulda done it for his country! You had to pretty much feed him listerine before you could kiss him without dying of alcohol poisoning!"
Sylva giggled.
"So what did you see in him again?" She demanded. Sadie laughed.
"You know, I really don't know." She admitted. "Power, praps? He had a lot of clout."
"Ah, yes. Power...fatal attraction." Sylva dimpled. "But c'mon, Sadie...you're a babe! You don't need an ugly big nosed alcohol obsessed maniac on your arm! That is so totally not showbiz!"
Sadie giggled.
"I've never ever laughed about this before." She confessed. "But when you put it like that, I can see a funny side for the first time. My brother in law is always saying 'if you don't laugh, all you can do is cry'...and I guess it's true. I've cried so much over Neal and what he's put me through, maybe it's time I tried to laugh about it too."
"If it helps." Sylva shrugged. "Sometimes you jus' gotta, you know?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Sadie agreed. "You know, it was a bizarre thing that brought me into Jewel, but I wouldn't change it. It's a lot of work, a lot of pressure and a lot of travelling and publicity, but I really am enjoying it. And being back in England? Nothing to it!"
"Damn right!" Sylva grinned. "See, I knew you'd be fine once you'd settled back here."
At that moment there was a knock on the door and Sylva got to her feet, unhooking the chain and pulling it open.
"We didn't order room service you know." She said teasingly, meeting Copper's gaze with an amused one of her own. Copper rolled her eyes, laughing.
"Fine, no mail for you then." She retorted. "Hey, Sadie...got a letter or two for you here."
"Post?" Sadie looked startled. Copper nodded.
"Mm, fanmail Jetta handed to me just now." She agreed. "The security guards collected it up because obviously they're not allowed to let fans up near our rooms and all that. So there you go."
"None for me?" Sylva pouted. Copper shrugged, setting Sadie's letters down on the table.
"You? Why would there be any for you?" She asked.
"Copper!" Sylva launched her pillow at her bandmate, who ducked.
"Okay, okay!" She protested as the missile thudded on the wall behind her. "Here." She tossed a handful of envelopes in her friend's direction. "Honestly! The ego of stars these days!"
Then she was gone, and Sylva carefully scooped the letters up from the floor, sitting down on the end of her bed to read them. Sadie had already begun on hers, and the first one brought a smile to her face.
"Well, here's a type of letter I've not had in a long time." She said wryly. "Dear Garnet. I think Jewel rock, especially you. One day I want to be a rock star just like you are...pink is my favourite colour! If you could send me your autograph I'd be soo grateful! Yours, Julianne." She turned the sheet over. "She gives her address, in Portsmouth. Wow...I have a fan!"
"Well, of course you do." Sylva looked amused. "Who're the others from?"
"Mm." Sadie slit the second envelope with her nail, pulling the sheet out. "Aww...that's kinda sweet. It's from my big brother, Mark. I haven't seen him in a long time - he wishes me good luck and much happiness in my new line of work, and he also told me that he and his girlfriend are gonna be getting married soon, and he'd love me to be there."
"Will you go?" Sylva looked interested. Sadie shrugged.
"If I'm not working and can get the time away, then maybe." She agreed. "Let's see, who is this one from?"
She opened the envelope carefully, pulling the sheet of paper out and unfolding it.
In an instant her expression changed and, glancing at her, Sylva saw the colour drain from her friend's features.
"Sadie?" She asked, concerned. "Are you okay?"
"I..." Sadie swallowed hard, not trusting herself to continue. Almost automatically her gaze flitted over the typed page once more, as if not comprehending what she had seen.
'Sadie...I know everything there is to know about you. If you don't want the truth of what kind of girl you really are in the national press you better be willing to pay up. I want five hundred quid from you by this time tomorrow. Put it in an envelope and leave it at the hotel front desk. Don't tell anyone...else it'll be the worse for you. Remember, I know everything.'
The last four words were heavily underlined and in bold, and with a shaking hand Sadie slipped the sheet back into the envelope.
"Oh God." She whispered. "It's starting..."
"What's starting?" Sylva was nonplussed. "Is it bad news? Hell, Sadie, you're white as a sheet!"
"It...it's nothing." Sadie seemed to realise that her roommate was staring at her, and she forced a smile, folding the letter in two and pushing it down into her pocket. "I...I'm going for a walk. I have to see to...to something."
"Can I come with you? You look like you might pass out." Sylva's expression was concerned, but Sadie shook her head.
"No...no. I'll probably light up, anyhow...you know you hate my smoke." She said absently. "I won't be long."
Before her friend could stop her she was gone, the door banging shut behind her. Sylva's brow furrowed into a frown.
"What brought that on?" She wondered. "Hell, what was in that letter?"

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!