While Jerrica was crying on Kimber's shoulder, Riot headed back to Stinger's Sound to take care of business. He had to deal with firing the Misfits as he had agreed to do. It was a shame, he thought, they were very talented. However, their behavior problems made them less profitable and because of that Riot felt they were a liability.
Riot walked towards his office up on the top floor, stopping at his secretary's desk.
"Where are the Misfits today?" he asked.
"They are down in the recording studio right now, Riot. Would you like me to have them come up?"
"Yes call them in the studio and have them come upstairs immediately."
"Right away." Riot walked into his office and slammed the door behind him. Minx was sitting on top of his desk while Rapture was sitting on the chaise lounge on one side of his desk.
"So Riot darling, are we a part of Starlight Music now?" Minx purred.
"Yes we are. This is a perfect deal for us. Now instead of working my butt off in an office we can get back to recording music, cutting albums, and performing."
"Plus you get closer to Jem. Isn't that right Riot?" Rapture asked.
"That was one of my ulterior motives." Riot sat down at his desk, put his feet up and smiled.
"And what about your little lawyer friend?" Minx asked.
"She's served her purpose. It's Jem who I really want, and now being at Starlight Music I can get even closer to her and make her mine. I would have had her if you hadn't showed up on that island!" Riot glowered at Minx. She shrugged and laughed.
"Blame Rio he's the one who was so anxious to find her."
"Whatever. You can make it up to me by keeping him away from Jem." At that moment the secretary came on the intercom.
"Riot the Misfits are here to see you."
"Send them in." Mix and Rapture got up and stood behind Riot as the Misfits came in.
"What is the big idea Riot interrupting our recording session?" Pizzazz screeched as she stormed into the office and flung herself in the chair in front of his desk.
"Yeah what's the big idea yank? You set a deadline for this new album but how are we supposed to get it done when you keep pulling us out of the studio?" Jetta added, sitting on the arm of Pizzazz's chair.
"Get on with it so we can get back to the studio!" Roxy yelled. Stormer came in quietly and sat down on the chaise lounge.
"Fine I'll get right to the point. The Misfits are being fired from Stingers Sound for breach of contract."
"What? You can't do that!" Pizzazz screamed.
"I can and I have. Take a look." Riot tossed her a copy of the contract and the pile of bills and fines that the Misfits had accumulated. "As you can see your bills and fines are in excess of what is allowed in your contract. I want this to be a profitable music company and with you as the featured artist it will never be."
"And without us your company is nothing!" Roxy sneered.
"On the contrary I have just made a very lucrative business deal that will ensure the survival of this company. It is about to be merged."
"Merged? You can't do that this is my father's company!" Pizzazz yelled.
"Au contraire my dear Pizzazz. Your father sold the company to Eric Raymond and then he turned around and gave half to me."
"Well Raymond can buy it back from you!" Riot chuckled.
"I don't think so. He doesn't have the funds. In fact he is so deep in debt that I offered to buy the other half from him and he accepted the offer just this morning." Riot tossed a copy of the deal he'd made with Eric Raymond. Pizzazz screamed her characteristic scream.
"My Daddy can buy you out anytime anyplace Riot!"
"He has no interest in doing that. I've already spoken to him."
"I can't believe it!" Pizzazz jumped up and shook her fists in the air.
"You bloody yank how can you do this to us?" Jetta screeched.
"Very easily. Now if you don't want me to sue you for the money you owe on those outstanding bills and fines you will vacate Stingers Sound immediately!" Pizzazz screamed again. Stormer, who had been sitting quietly, got up and went over to Pizzazz and put her arm around her.
"Come on Pizzazz, let's go. We'll figure something out." She said.
"Oh don't touch me!" Pizzazz threw her arm off and stalked out of the office with Jetta and Roxy following. Stormer waited for a minute then started to follow.
"Wait Stormer!" Riot called.
"What do you want now? You did your damage so now what else?" Stormer glared at him.
"There is one member of the Misfits that I am interested in keeping. And that member is you. You have the talent and the discipline required to make it in this business unlike the rest of the crew. I'm prepared to offer you a deal if you stay on through the merger."
"What kind of a deal?"
"A solo deal including an album, a United States tour, and possibly one in Europe provided the United States tour is profitable. Take a look at the contract." Riot handed Stormer a contract outlining his deal including how much money she would make. "Of course there is the same behavior clause as there was on the Misfits contract and if it's broken then your forfeit everything." Stormer stared at the contract. Just as she was about to say something, Roxy came barging back into the office.
"Stormer, what are you doing? Come on let's go! We've got to stick together!" Roxy grabbed her arm and started to pull and the contract fell out of her hand and onto the floor.
"I… I…You're right Roxy I'm coming." Stormer left the office first and Roxy slammed the door behind them.
"I almost had her." Riot mused. "No matter I don't need her. Jem will soon be mine."
"Boy that was something else! I was laughing harder on the inside than when I gave Pizzazz that fake love spell to try and get you Riot!" Rapture laughed.
"Riot now what about your lawyer friend? You didn't answer my question. I think she fancies herself in love with you." Minx asked.
"What of it? She was a small time law clerk when I found her. I backed her financially so she could pass the bar exam, put her on retainer..."
"And how come she dyed her hair pink? Did you seduce her into thinking she could replace Jem?"Rapture folded her arms across her chest.
"That was her idea. I never made any promises like that to her."
"So how long are you going to string her along Riot?" Minx asked.
"Until I get what I really want."
Meanwhile, Jerrica drove up in front of Rio's apartment building. She sighed as she turned the engine off. This was the only way. Plus Rio truly loved her. With Riot she knew she was in love with him, but wasn't sure if he loved her or just wanted to possess her. She got out and rang the buzzer.
"Rio it's me. Can I come up? I need to talk to you."
"Jerrica! What a surprise! Of course I'll buzz you in." The buzzer rang and Jerrica opened the door and went upstairs. Rio opened the door and pulled her into his arms and kissed her head. "Are you all right Jerrica? You look pale. Are you sick?"
"I'll be okay Rio. Can we sit down? I have a couple things to tell you."
"Okay sure." He held her hands as they sat down. "What is it that's so important you had to come here? I thought I was coming over to the mansion for dinner."
"Well first I wanted to tell you about the business deal I made today with Riot."
"Riot? What sort of deal did you make with that pompous, arrogant…"
"Rio please! It was a good deal. Stingers Sound is merging with Starlight Music. He'll have part interest but the rest belongs to me. The Misfits will be out of a job because he's firing them. He wants to go back to touring with the Stingers. He's essentially bored with running a company."
"He's got some ulterior motive. He's doing this to get to Jem!"
"Why do you care so much about Jem?" Jerrica cried. "I thought you loved me?"
"I do love you Jerrica!"
"I thought this deal would be good. It would bring in more money for the Starlight Foundation and plus there would be someone to take over when I go on maternity leave!" Rio's mouth hung open.
"Maternity leave? What are you saying Jerrica?"
"This isn't how I wanted to tell you Rio. Rio, you're going to be a father." Jerrica grabbed onto his hands and looked at him hopefully. Rio stood up and walked towards the window. He then turned around and looked at Jerrica with tears in his eyes.
"A baby? Ours?" Jerrica nodded slowly. He ran over to the sofa and scooped her up in his arms and kissed her passionately. "Oh Jerrica! I love you so much! So that's why you've been sick lately?"
"Yes Rio." She clung to him and buried her face in his neck. Inside she was thankful. Her baby would have a father and her and the baby would be loved and cared for.
"I can't wait to tell the world I'm going to be a father!"
"You won't have to wait long. Riot's arranging a press conference to announce the merger. We can announce it then." Rio kissed her again and then set her down on the sofa.
"Wait right here." He ran into the bedroom and came out with a small, black velvet box.
"Rio, you don't have to do this." Jerrica started.
"It's not because of the baby that I'm doing this. Jerrica Benton, I've been in love with you for a long time. I've been waiting for the right moment but every time I think it's right something happens. Well I'm tired of waiting. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" Rio opened the box and inside was a ring of small round diamonds around one larger diamond with more small diamonds in a woven pattern on a band of white gold.
"Yes Rio I will marry you. I love you." Rio slipped the ring on her finger and pulled her into his arms. And at that moment, Riot came into her mind and how she wished that it had been him she was marrying.
At that moment, Riot had just walked into his apartment. Magenta was already there waiting in a chair dressed in a pink bathrobe. She smiled when he walked through the door. He was her golden God, her savior. She had been going nowhere when Riot had found her. She was just a law clerk working her way so she could pass her bar exam. Her parents had paid for her to go through law school, but after their untimely death in a car accident there was no more. They had left a mountain of debts that she thought that she would never pay off. Riot had come into the office of her employer looking for a good corporate lawyer. She remembered the first time she saw him that the sun had come in through the windows making him glitter like gold. And there she was standing and staring with her glasses falling off her nose and her red hair falling out of her messy bun. If that wasn't enough she had dropped the files she was carrying. Riot had knelt down to help her pick them up.
"What is your name?" He had asked.
"Marisa. I'm Marisa Sumner, the assistant." She had pushed her glasses back up on her nose.
"A beautiful name for a beautiful woman. Is your boss Mr. Randall in? I am in need of a corporate lawyer for a few deals I am doing and I'm willing to pay top dollar."
"I'm sorry sir but he just stepped out."
"That is too bad. Maybe you can help me?"
"Well Mr. Randall wouldn't appreciate me butting in and taking his client."
"You work in his office I am sure you know something." Riot had smiled at her. She blushed.
"Well I did study corporate law in law school but I'm not a lawyer. I couldn't afford the bar exam."
"That is too bad. What would you say if in exchange for helping me for free, I help you with that bar exam and anything else you might need to get on your feet. What do you say?" It had been too good to be true and she had taken it. Riot had paid off the debts, paid for her bar exam, an apartment, clothes, and a car. But being a rock and roll star's lawyer, she needed some panache. So she had dyed her hair, ditched the glasses for contacts, and changed her name to Magenta.
Through it all, Riot had been there encouraging her, helping her, and making her feel beautiful. She was in love with him and thought he was too.
"Magenta! What are you doing in that robe?" It was a robe had bought with Jem in mind.
"I've been waiting for you Riot and I thought I would get comfortable. How are you? Did the meeting with the Misfits go all right?"
"It went as I expected with a lot of yelling and screaming. But it's over and done with." He sat down hard in the chair opposite Magenta.
"I could give you a neck and shoulder massage if you'd like."
"No that's okay Magenta I'm rather tired and I would like to just have a glass of wine and go to bed if you don't mind."
"Oh. Okay." Magenta replied with disappointment. "I guess I'll get changed and go home."
"If you don't mind. I'd love to spend time with you my dear, but I'm just not fit for company. We'll do this another time." He patted her hand.
"Of course Riot." Magenta smiled and kissed him. He didn't kiss her back though. She was so infatuated with him that she didn't notice. She changed back into her pink suit, picked up her briefcase and blew Riot another kiss as she was heading for the door.
"Tomorrow I'll arrange the conference."
"You know I'll be there when you say Riot. Good night!" She closed the door behind her and thought in her head, "Maybe he'll announce that he loves me at the conference! I can't wait!"
Inside the apartment, with the fake fireplace burning low, all Riot could think about was Jem.