Disclaimer: I don't know who currently owns the rights to Jem. If the contact me I will fawn and my homage appropriately. I make no money off this fiction, and am paid only in reviews (better than money anyway). This fic is unbetaed. It is also the first Jem fiction I've written and has lain dormant along with several others for the last several years now. I apologize in advance for any errors. If you enjoy it review and I'll post the others. Stars indicate a change in scenes. Italics indicate characters thoughts.

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Teris Xenite

Jerrica looked dejectedly at the phone as it rang for what seemed like the millionth time that day. It was past 8 o'clock and she was as usual the last one at the office. Today had officially been a day from hell. First Pizzazz had sold a complete lie that would be tomorrow's cover of Cool Trash, then the equipment had failed while they were shooting their newest video and finally she had a huge fight with Rio.

Not that that was at all uncommon these days. We just can't seem to get our love together can we Rio? So much had changed in the last couple of years. She had gone from being your average young woman to being a Corporate Executive and secretly masquerading as an international superstar. Rio had been there as he always was, but she could tell from the look in his eyes that something was going to give fast if she didn't do something.

She looked at the picture of her father on her desk and absent mindedly picked it up. Oh Daddy what do I do? I want to keep the company going and take care of the girls, but I don't know how much longer I can continue this deception without losing the most precious thing in the world to me. Looking as she often did at the other picture on her desk she cried inwardly. Oh Rio no matter what happens I have to tell you. If I don't I'll lose you and I don't know if I could survive that.

She quickly typed a press release stating that Jem was taking a hiatus due to a yet to be identified illness. Then she picked up the phone and made the hardest call that she had ever had to make. The phone rang once, then twice, and finally when her nerves had reached the breaking point she heard him pick up the phone.

"Hello."

"Rio it's me. Can you meet me at Miller's Beach? There's something that I need to tell you."

"Sure thing Jerrica. I'll meet you there in a few minutes."

They hung up the phone and as Jerrica gathered her things and got into her car she remembered the history that Miller's Beach held for them. They had spent the first day of spring break lying underneath the warm sun and playing happily in the water. Finally as they lay there together and looked up at the clouds he said the words that changed their lives forever. "I love you Jerrica."

Jerrica looked over into his honest eyes and that was the beginning. Those four little words made her heart sing like nothing else ever had. In that moment they realized that this was not some high school puppy love. This was real. He leaned down and kissed her. Not an awkward all I'm interested in is making out kiss or even a I'll still love you tomorrow and dump you after the prom kind of kiss. This was a two souls bonding, hearts becoming one, I'll love you till the end of time kiss.

She didn't know how she knew these things but she did and she knew that she wanted to do far more than kiss. She deepened the kiss and began running her hands up and down his chest. As her hands started to roam lower and her effect on him was becoming more and more obvious he grabbed her hands.

"Jerrica , stop."

"Why? Don't you want me?"

"You'll never know how much, but we can't do this. I can't stand the thought of making love to you knowing that you might regret it in the morning. I love you too much for that. You were raised believing that giving yourself totally to someone before you're married is wrong, and no matter how you feel now come the light of day you'd feel differently . And I just couldn't deal with that. I love you too much to ever do anything that could make me lose you."

Jerrica looked at him speechless for several moments. So this is what true love is. Still unable to speak she kissed him once more trying to express through her touch and her kiss what she didn't even know if she would be able to express through words. How much she loved him.

After they ended their kiss he pulled closer to him so that he could hold her in his arms as they watched the sunset. That night with her head pillowed on his chest and his arms around her she drifted off to sleep feeling that for the first time in her life she was truly home.



Rio jumped into his car remembering the very same scene as Jerrica was. He smiled as he felt the ring box in his pocket. What ever it is that you've got to tell me can't change how I feel about you no matter what it is. Tonight I have a little surprise of my own.

When Rio got there he found Jerrica standing on the beach staring at the surf and the stars. Rio walked up behind her and put his hands over her eyes in what used to be one of their favorite games in high school. "Guess who?"

"Could it possibly be the love and light of my life?"

He turned her around so that she was facing him and placed a tender kiss on her waiting lips. "Very good answer. Now angel, what is it that you want to tell me?"

"Rio I've been keeping something from you and I know it's time to tell you the truth, but I'm scared that once I do you'll never forgive me."

He looked deep into the eyes of the woman that he loved and saw the fear there. Fear of his reaction? Fear of what he might do? No it was some thing else entirely. She was afraid of losing him, of losing his love.

"Jerrica there is nothing that you could ever do that would make me stop loving you."

"Rio, I'm Jem." She closed her eyes not wanting to see the anger that she knew would be there. Finally after a few seconds had passed she couldn't stand it any longer. She slowly opened her eyes prepared for him to be angry, upset, hurt anything but what she saw.

He had a thoughtful look on his face and then a smile began to form. "The Jemstar earrings have something to do with all this don't they?"

"Yes they do. Before my father died he designed a revolutionary new computer called Synergy modeled after my mother. The earrings are my way of communicating with her."

"Now this all makes since. Jerrica you have no idea how happy you just made me. I was afraid that I was falling in love with another woman when in truth I was only falling in love with you all over again."

"You're not angry that I kept it from you."

"Jerrica, I love and trust you enough to believe that if you kept something like this from me you must have had a good reason."

"I tired to tell you at first but things kept interrupting us before I could and eventually the deception had went on for so long that I was scared that you'd never forgive me that I kept if from you."

Rio brushed a lock of hair out of her face and hugged her tight. "Rio, I."

"Shh." He said putting a finger over her lips. "There'll be time for us to sort this all out later. Now I want to ask you about something that's been on my mind for a long time." He pulled out the ring box from his pocket and got down on one knee. "Jerrica, will you make me the happiest man on earth and marry me."

Jerrica dropped to her knees along with him and pulled him close to her as her tears of joy damped his shirt. Rio held her close and pondered what to do. He thought that she'd be happy, or maybe even say no, but her certainly hadn't expected this. Finally after a moments silence he whispered into her ear. "Am I supposed to take that as a yes or a no sweetheart?"

"Yes, dear God yes." And once again on this lonely stretch of sand two souls met. Forever joined and never to be parted.

Rio looked down at the sleeping woman in his arms. He had loved watching her sleep for as long as her could remember. Then he could see the beauty that was her soul, the gentle, loving part of her that the outside world forced her to hide so often. Holding her in his arms he had everything he had ever wanted. Memories filled his mind and he traveled back to another time when they had fallen asleep on this beach.

A few months after he had declared his love to her they had their first big fight. He could still feel the sting of the harsh words that they'd spoken.

*************************************

"Rio, stop acting like a child. We're just friends. Why are you always so jealous?"

"Because that guy wants way more than your friendship, angel."

"You think every guy that looks at me wants more than friendship, Rio."

"That's only because they do."

"Don't be ridiculous, he's just a friend. Besides I'm not exactly his type."

"Really, and why not?"

"Because I have more things planed for my life than being some guys trophy and he knows that. He also knows that we're together, and that I love you very much."

"Jerrica, you and I being together won't stop him."

"Why wouldn't it?"

"You really don't see how guys look at you do you?" he said bearing a dumbfounded expression. "You are the most beautiful girl in this entire school and I can't think of a guy in this school that doesn't want you."

"Rio, you're exaggerating, but even if that were true you ought to trust me!" She slammed her locker and walked away from him leaving him a miserable and broken man.

Tears formed in his eyes as he thought to himself. Jerrica, why can't you see that I trust you with all my heart. It's him I'm worried about. Bobby had quite a reputation around school, but Jerrica as usual was always willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. I just hope it doesn't turn out that you're wrong, Angel. For both of our sakes.

*****************************************

Jerrica stormed down the mostly abandoned halls of the school angry at the whole world. I can't believe that he doesn't trust me. Jerrica was so upset and so hurt over the fight that she didn't see the very man in question coming down the hall. She ran into him and almost sent both of them tumbling to the floor. Bobby reached out an arm to steady her and noticed the tear that threatened to overflow.

"Jerrica, what's wrong?" he asked his voice dripping with false concern. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders as they continued down the hall. "Did you and Rio have a fight?" If Jerrica hadn't have been so upset she might have noticed the hopeful note in his voice.

"Yes, he's just being so jealous and he doesn't trust me."

"Don't worry about it. I'm sure he'll come to his senses soon." They traveled in silence for a few minutes, when they'd almost reached Jerrica's house he leaned in closer and asked her. "There's a dance at the skating rink tonight. Would you like to go?"

"I don't really think I should. I mean it would only make Rio more angry."

"That's amazing. I never thought that I'd see Jerrica Benton taking orders from a petty, dictatorial male."

"I'm not taking orders from anyone."

"Well then go with me tonight. I know you want to, and besides it'll make you feel better."

"You really think so."

"I really do."

They reached her house and before he left she said uncertainly "Well I guess it couldn't hurt?"

A huge grin spread across his face. "Great I'll pick you up at eight."

Later that night Kimber watched as Jerrica threw dress after dress to the floor in rejection. She was amazed to see her normally calm, sedate sister acting this way. "You and Rio must have a really hot date tonight."

"Your right Kimber, I do have a hot date tonight, but it's not with Rio."

"What do you mean its not with Rio?"

"Just what I said, it's not with Rio. We had a huge fight today after school and since I no longer have a date to the dance Bobby asked me to go."

"And you accepted? Jerrica are you out of your mind? Haven't you heard what everybody says about him?"

"You shouldn't believe everything that you hear Kimber. Bobby is my friend and that's all we are and he knows that."

Jerrica had finally picked out the right outfit, by this time and had done her hair and makeup. As she was walking out the door Kimber caught her arm and said, "Jerrica I know you're angry with Rio and I that you think you know Bobby, but please be careful. "

"Kimber if I thought that I needed to be I wouldn't be going out with him."

***********************************************************

Jerrica walked out of the door leaving Kimber staring after her. Deep in her heart she knew what she had to do. If she was wrong Jerrica might never speak to her again, but if she was right and didn't do anything she knew that she could never forgive herself.

Kimber ran next door after Jerrica left and hurriedly knocked on the door. Rio's dad answered it. "Hi Mr. Pacheo, is Rio home? I really need to talk to him."

"Sure Kimber, he's out in the garage working on his van."

"Thanks Mr. Pacheo."

Kimber found Rio in grease up to his elbows working with the various parts of an engine spread around him. Rio looked up and rolled his eyes as he heard her walk in. "What do you want Kimber?"

"I need to talk too you about Jerrica."

"Does she know that you're here?"

"No, but I."

"Do you really think that she's going to appreciate you sticking your nose in her business?"

"Probably not, but I'm too worried about her to care." Rio warred with the emotions raging inside of him. Finally his love and concern for Jerrica won out over his wounded pride and hurt feelings.

"Why are you worried about her Kimber?"

"I don't know what you two are fighting over, but whatever it is she went out on a date with Bobby."

"What?" Rio's head whirled with what he'd just been told. This was just what he had been afraid of. Bobby was famous for pushing the envelope and getting what he wanted, and Jerrica was so innocent that she wouldn't even see it coming. "Do you know where they went?"

"Jerrica said something about a dance."

Yeah I'll just bet that's where he took her. Rio washed the grease off of his hands absentmindedly, grabbed his helmet and hopped on his bike. "Don't worry Kimber, I'll find her." Dear God, please don't let me be to late. He thought as he raced to lover's leap.

*****************************************************************

"Bobby what are we doing here? You said that we were going to a dance."

"Relax Jerrica, we're going to dance." He leaned forward catching her in a kiss only to be shocked as she pulled away.

"What do you think you're doing?"

"Only what you've been asking for ever since I first saw you." He grabbed her roughly and kissed her again. She struggled futilely against his superior size and strength. Finally she managed to pull away from him again.

"Bobby stop! No! " When he ignored her and reached for her again she slapped him with all the force that she could muster. She cringed and closed her eyes when she saw him preparing to return the favor in kind.

Rio's first sight of them was him reaching back to hit her. With that one thing Bobby condemned himself. While Jerrica cowered waiting for what she knew was coming he opened the door and jerked Bobby out of the car. A few seconds later Bobby was sprawled on the ground and Rio was helping Jerrica out of the car.

He gently led her to his bike and without sparring Bobby a second glance they headed for home. Not too far down the road he felt the warm wetness of her tears on his back. He pulled off of the road, turned his bike off, and held her in his arms until her tears quieted. "Are you all right? Did he hurt you?"

"No he didn't hurt me. I'm just a little shaken and.a little scared."

"Shh baby, it's all right. Its over now, you're safe."

"Oh Rio, how could I have been so stupid? You were right and I didn't listen."

"Jerrica you weren't stupid. You just see the best in people even when its not there."

"But I was so cruel to you, can you ever forgive me? "

"Jerrica there's no way for me not to forgive you. I love you to much not to."

He slid his fingers under her chin and tilted her face up and lowered his lips to her's for a kiss. Then he held her for a long time letting the fear and anger slip away from him. He let the feel of her in his arms renew his sprit and cleanse his soul; at the same time she let the feel of his arms around her take away her pain and fear.

A long time later they broke their healing embrace, and headed off towards home content with themselves and each other.

***********************************************************

There you have it.Review please. Or e-mail me off-site at terisxenite@hotmail.com