Chapter Eleven: Copper Gets A Fan
"What do you s'pose Taylor wanted Nancy for?"
It was later that afternoon, and, once Sadie had returned to work, the three remaining Jewels had hit Birmingham city centre. After an exhaustive hour trying on clothes in various shops, it was Sylva who voiced the question. "Seemed kinda odd, don't you think? To just turn up like that and drag her off?"
"It's probably not our business." Copper replied with a shrug. She frowned. "Syl, are you sure this is me? I really don't know..."
"Copper, for someone as pretty as you are, you damn well like to hide it." Sylva scolded, coming to adjust the dress slightly, then standing back to examine it. "Topaz, tell her. Doesn't she look gorgeous?"
"Syl's right." Topaz agreed, eying the drummer critically. "Aaron wouldn't last an hour with you wearing that. You have an amazing figure, Copper."
Copper blushed, eying her reflection once more, then shrugging.
"Well, if you say so." She said finally. "I guess you think I should buy it, huh?"
"It's up to you." Topaz said. "But it does look great, Copper."
"And it's on sale! Twenty percent off!" Sylva added. "How much is a pound worth again?"
"About one and a half American dollars, Jetta said." Copper remembered. "Okay, you win. I'll be daring. It's not like I'll be popping back here any time soon, anyhow, is it?"
"Exactly." Sylva beamed, then, "So, where do you think Taylor took her?"
"Syl, if you were any more nosey they'd be calling you pinocchio." Topaz rolled her eyes.
"Pinocchio was a liar, not a gossip." Sylva was unphased. "Anyhow, I'm curious. Don't you think it odd?"
"Probably a family thing, though." Copper replied, slipping back into the changing room and pulling the curtain across. "Nancy's family aren't given to discussing things with perfect strangers."
"We're not strangers. We're Jewel." Sylva pouted.
"But we're strangers to Taylor, I see where Copper's coming from." Topaz nodded. "Not total strangers, admittedly, but not his nearest and dearest." She shrugged. "If Nancy wants us to know she'll tell us when she gets back to the hotel later."
"Well, when I'm changed I vote we hit another shop." Copper suggested.
"We could go to some record store and see if our single is about...see if anyone recognises us." Sylva suggested impishly, as the redhead reemerged in her jeans and poloneck top.
"We could." Topaz laughed. "If nothing else, we could go see what kinda music the Brits prefer...might tell us something."
"Okay, I'm game." Copper nodded. "Lemme just buy this, then we'll go."
As the girls headed down the highstreet, more than one person did a doubletake, and Sylva nudged Topaz with a grin as she caught one guy's gaze.
"This city is teeming with cute guys." She murmured. "Cute, young guys, too. What gives?"
"There's a college here...guess that's why." Topaz shrugged. "Cameron told me so - he has a friend who went to Birmingham University, that he went to school with."
"Oooh." Sylva looked thoughtful, then, "Well, that can only be a good thing."
She pushed open the door of the record store, leading the way inside and examining the displays. Sure enough, their disk was on display, and, much to the keyboardist's evident delight, someone was in the queue to buy one.
"We're selling." She hissed. "Hey, shall we creep up on him?"
"Scare the life out of him, you mean...and make him change his mind?" Copper grinned. "Syl, we're not in LA you know...people don't know us here. They'll just judge you as some eccentric weirdo."
"Pretty normal, then, for Syl." Topaz laughed. Sylva pouted.
"Fine." She said. "Then I'll go look at the rock CDs. See if I recognise anyone."
"The Teenangels' new song isn't out yet, else I'd buy it." Copper said. "Doesn't hurt to help friends, after all."
"Nope." Topaz grinned. "You know, Cameron bought a copy of our song, even though I told him I'd send him one...he said he wanted to do something to help us out. And I think we need it, to be honest. I had no idea the British market was so hard to break down."
"Me either." Sylva admitted. "But hey, we'll get there. How can we fail? We're Jewel!"
She gestured wildly, almost knocking over a display in the process and Topaz giggled.
"Well you're gonna make an impression one way or another!" She decided. "Be careful, huh? We don't need that kind of publicity."
"Yeah, yeah." Sylva grinned. "It's cool. Hey!" As something caught her eye. "It's the interview we did, look, we're on the cover! How cool is that? Okay, so it's not a huge picture, but it's still something, right?"
"So we are." Copper observed with a smile. "Not a bad picture, either."
"Well, you always look good...remember you were voted one of rock's hottest chicks only a few months ago." Sylva teased. Copper blushed.
"That poll was nonsense." She protested.
"Aaron doesn't think so." Topaz winked. "I'm gonna go look at DVDs...anyone coming?"
"I'll come." Sylva nodded.
"I'll meet you in a sec. I wanna take a look at the music." Copper said.
"Okay." Topaz grinned. "C'mon, Syl...let's see what the Brits watch! There's some sitcom Cameron mentioned...might be fun to try."
Copper watched them head across the shop, then turned back to the display of disks. Finding one by an English artist she liked that she didn't yet have, she headed up to the counter to buy it. As she did so, she overheard a conversation and casting a surrepticious glance over her shoulder she saw that it was between a young man and a young woman around her own age.
"Come off it." The girl was saying. "You don't think all that stuff is genuine? I mean, come on! These groups live on positive publicity. You're telling me that if you met one in the street they'd be just like you and me? I think not."
"How do you know?" The guy demanded. "Listen, Trish...you don't know until you do meet one what they're like. Not all bands are gonna be surrounded by hype and bodyguards 24/7."
"Mm, but this lot are just another Hollywood fad group." The girl shrugged.
Curious, and quelling her conscience, Copper turned to see if she could discover who the pair were talking about. Her eyes opened wide with surprise as she registered that the young man held a copy of their single, 'Whisper' in his hand.
"How dare she judge us when she hasn't met us." She murmured to herself with a frown, turning on her heel and heading up to the counter to buy her disk. "Some people are so rude."
"That'll be £12.99 please, miss." The man behind the till said, sending her a smile.
"£12.99? Okay." Copper pulled her purse out, opening it and rummaging through it for the right money. As she did so, a spray of coins went everywhere and with an exclamation she bent to pick them up.
"Here, let me help you." A familiar voice said, and in some surprise Copper raised brown eyes to meet the gaze of the young man who had just been defending Jewel's cause. She shot him a smile, noticing with some embarassment the look of incredulity growing in his eyes.
"Thanks." she said gratefully. "I'm such a klutz...I totally don't get English money."
"You're Copper." The man seemed to find his voice. Copper dimpled.
"Guilty." She acknowledged, taking the handful of change he held out to her and placing it on the counter. "I'm surprised you recognised me though. We're not so well known in the UK as yet."
"I saw you on Top of the Pops." The young man gathered his wits. "And I found your webpage after that. You girls are pretty huge in the States."
"It's been a lot of work, but yeah, we've done okay." Copper blushed slightly, a little unsure of how to handle the situation.
"Would you sign my disk?" The man seemed equally shy, but Copper, sweet as ever hastened to reassure him.
"If you'd like me to, I'd be honoured." She agreed with a grin. "Topaz and Sylva are here with me too...I'm sure they'd sign it as well, if you'd like."
"That'd be great, thanks." The man returned the grin. "My name's Ryan, by the way. Does everyone call you Copper?"
"Yep, pretty much." Copper agreed, as she let the man pay for his disk. Then, once her own was paid for she took the pen he offered her, signing the inlay a little self-consciously.
"There." She said with a smile. "If you come with me I'll find the others. It's just a pity Nan...Goldie's out of town today."
"Three is better than nothing." Ryan told her with a grin, then, "You know, you're so pretty in real life."
Totally stunned by this remark, Copper was glad that at that moment she was accosted by Sylva and Topaz, the latter with a handful of DVDs. Swiftly she explained, and with grins Topaz and Sylva willingly signed the disk.
"It's nice to know Jewel have at least one fan in England." Topaz said with a wink, as she handed the pen and disk back. Ryan smiled.
"I know you girls are gonna be huge." He said. "Thanks again, it was sweet of you."
"No problem." Copper told him warmly. "Thanks for buying our single!"
Ryan smiled again, then headed back across the shop to relocate his dumbstruck friend. As he reached her, Copper could clearly make out him telling her that she had been wrong after all, and a slight smile touched her face.
"He was sweet." She observed. "I didn't expect us to be recognised like that, though."
"Well, can't hurt." Sylva observed off-handedly. "And he was damn cute, too! Do you think he has a girlfriend?"
"Sylva, dating a fan is not the way to go." Topaz laughed. "Okay? So don't get ideas."
"Okay, okay." Sylva sighed. "I know, anyway. Plus he was staring at Copper the whole time, so I don't think his ball's in my court, if you get me."
"He wasn't." Copper blushed. Topaz grinned.
"He was." She responded. "I think you have a fan for life, Copper."
Copper frowned. Then she shrugged.
"Well, I guess a fan is a fan where Jewel is concerned." She decided, grinning. "Come on, let's get soda...my treat."
Chapter One: Jewel In England
Chapter Two: Lovesick
Chapter Three: A New Sensation
Chapter Four: Cameron
Chapter Five: Sadie Gets A Warning
Chapter Six: A Little Love Advice
Chapter Seven: Topaz Makes A Friend
Chapter Eight: At The Halfway House
Chapter Nine: A Shock For Sadie
Chapter Ten: A Family Encounter
Chapter Eleven: Copper Gets A Fan
Chapter Twelve: A Burns Family Secret
Chapter Thirteen: Thicker Than Water
Chapter Fourteen: A Phonecall