Chapter Two: Lovesick
"Well, this is fun."
Topaz stretched out on her hotel room bed with a heavy sigh, resting her chin in her hands. "Sunday morning and we have to get all dressed up and pretty to go meet the local tabloids. I was hoping I'd have today free to see Cameron - Nancy, your mother is a slave driver."
"You don't have to tell me." Nancy, who had been borrowing her bandmate's hairdryer shrugged, rolling her eyes. "I lived with her for eighteen years, remember?"
"Have you spoken to Cameron, then?" Sylva lounged in the doorway. "By the way the car is here."
"I left a message on his answerphone, but he hasn't called me back yet." Topaz replied. "I just told him we were in London, and that I hoped we could meet up. No pressure...I mean, I don't know how he feels about me these days, do I? I know we chat online a hell of a lot, but things can change, and an online chatroom isn't the place where you want to break up with someone, is it?" She sighed. "That is, if we were ever properly going out."
"Oh, come off it." Sylva snorted, hauling her friend to her feet. "You're beautiful and witty and he couldn't take his eyes off you when you met. It was love at first sight, Aurora Stapleton, and you know it! Not to mention the fact you spent the three weeks we were stuck in London going out with him and chatting to him on the phone and all of that stuff."
"And the amount she cried on the plane home." Nancy put in dryly, following them out of the room as they rejoined Copper in the living room of the hotel suite. "Don't forget that."
"Just because I cried and missed him doesn't mean it's reciprocated." Topaz said slowly. "And come on, Nance...if you and Dean were split up like Cameron and I are, you'd cry too. Wouldn't you?"
"Dunno." Nancy paused, considering. "I don't suppose I've thought about it much, to be honest."
"Don't you miss him right now, though?" Sylva demanded. "Seeing how gooey and lovey dovey you two have become I was half expecting you to burst into tears on the plane."
"Just because I like Dean doesn't mean I'm gonna make an idiot of myself in public." Nancy said scathingly. "As for missing him, yeah, I do, but it's my job and he knows that...likewise if he has to go on location, same applies. I trust him and he trusts me, and for the most part we're both in the same country."
"Whereas Cameron and I are not." Topaz frowned. "Does anyone think I'm being silly, wasting my heart on this guy?"
"It's not a waste if you really love him, Topaz." Copper told her with a smile. "And he's a decent guy, too. You could do a lot worse, you know."
"I guess so." Topaz nodded. "I just wish I knew what he felt about me, that's all. Syl's right that we dated a lot last time I was in England and it was a lot of fun...I know that when I left here I missed him pretty bad, and we've chatted online so much...but then again, maybe he just sees us as friends. It feels like we're penfriends online a lot of the time. I just hope he doesn't have another girl."
"Nah. Mom would know if he did." Nancy shook her head. "She and Aunt Laura write and phone all the time and Mom's not stupid, she knows how keen you are on him. Look at what she said at the airport! She'd've said something."
"Not necessarily." Topaz objected, as they reached the lobby.
"No, she would." Copper responded. "In case some trashy tabloid paper found out about you and him and got to it first. Jetta's a professional and she'd want you to be prepped."
"Well, we'll see if he calls me back." Topaz shrugged. "Not much I can do about it either way. I don't have time to go drop round his place accidentally-on-purpose, not with this schedule."
"If Jewel are gonna be big in the UK we have to make sacrifices. That's what Mom'd say." Nancy shrugged, getting into the back of the big black limousine. "Anyway, Topaz, he'll call you."
"For once, I agree with Nancy." Sylva nodded. "The guy is nuts over you."
"I hope you're both right." Topaz sighed.
The press conference was already buzzing by the time the girls got there and Jetta, professional and clinical as always was busily making sure everything was as it should be. With more than twenty years as a music executive behind her and with her own years as a rock sensation she did not look her full age, and though many reporters commented on the likeness between her and her daughter, more than one of them were blown away upon learning the relationship between the two, and Nancy's age.
"But it drums up publicity. The Misfits were a big name act 'ere an' Nancy 'as Misfit an' British blood." Jetta mused as she greeted her protegees. "Can't 'urt."
"How long are we gonna be here for, Jetta?" Copper wondered. Jetta shrugged.
"Long as it takes. I know it's a Sunday an' you like 'avin' your Sundays off, but you slept all afternoon yesterday an' Pizzazz gave me a busy itinerary to follow, so we 'ave to do everythin' we can when it comes up."
"Well, I think it's a good idea...though not on a Sunday p'raps." Sylva grinned. "Sooner we meet the local press, the better!"
"Jus' be careful 'ow you answer questions. Don't be ambiguous." Jetta warned them as they took their seats. "The British tabloid press will slaughter you on one misplaced comment...they're twice as nasty as the rags back in LA, so be warned. If they can take you to pieces to sell a story, then they will."
"Warning noted. Thanks, Jetta." Topaz cast her manager a smile, pushing her problems with Cameron from her head for the time being. Jetta acknowledged the smile with one of her own, then she stood, getting the attention of the rowdy reporters with little difficulty, and introducing the band to them.
"Jewel 'ave 'ad big success in the States but they're very fresh to England." She concluded. "'Owever, their video 'as been widely circulated on the European music channels, an' their single will be on sale two weeks tomorrow." She indicated the girls. "Feel free to ask any questions."
A reporter put up his hand.
"Goldie...isn't it?" He asked, his eagle gaze falling on Nancy. Nancy nodded.
"Do you feel under any pressure on this tour seeing as your own mother had so much success here?"
Well used to the question, Nancy offered him a benign smile.
"Why should I be?" She asked sweetly. "Mom and the Misfits were a huge sensation twenty years ago, but they have nothing to do with why Jewel have done so well in the USA. We're all people who love music first and foremost and who have been signed because Misfit Music felt we had potential as a group. I don't think that Mom's own fame really comes into it, and I'm sure Sylva and Copper will tell you the same."
"What's the secret of your American success?" Another reporter asked.
"Teamwork and hard work." Copper smiled. "We're like family to each other these days...we live together and we hang out together...seriously, these three are my best friends in the world. That's why we work well together on stage...we know each other inside out."
"Your single is called Whisper, yet you haven't released this track in the States yet. Isn't it putting a lot of onus on a song that hasn't even been proven as a hit yet?" A woman at the back asked acidly.
"I think we'd be a very bad group indeed if we tried to sell a single in the UK based on it's success elsewhere." Topaz said calmly. "We want the song to stand up on it's own. Either way, it's a good song written by a very talented songwriter. It doesn't need to have had American success for us to have faith in it."
"How did you girls first come together?"
"We were all auditioned in one way or another and signed." Sylva dimpled. "None of us knew each other particularly before the band, even though Mom and Jetta are old friends, but we gelled pretty good all round."
"Are there any burning rivalries in the group?" A man in a dark suit questioned. Topaz laughed.
"Burning rivalries?" She demanded.
"We have our differences of opinion." Nancy grinned wryly. "But no, there are no burning rivalries."
"Do you write your own music?"
"N..Goldie writes everything Jewel performs." Copper cast her friend a smile, and Nancy blushed slightly. "With the exception of our cover version of Takin' It All which we released in the United States a couple of months back, she's written every one of our hits and two albums to boot, one of which is double platinum now in America."
"Goldie, how special is it to come to England and play, with it being a part of your heritage?" A man with a moustache put in.
"More special than you'd ever believe." She said softly. "I love England and I'm real glad we've come to play here."
"Okay, that's enough questions." Jetta had her eye on the time. "My girls had a long flight yesterday and they've a busy few days ahead. Thank you all for coming along."
"What was that man on about? Burning rivalries?" Sylva giggled as the group were ushered back to their waiting car. "Nancy and I squabble, but I'd hardly call it a burning rivalry!"
"You used to hate each other more than you do now." Copper pointed out, slipping into the back of the vehicle. "I know neither of you will admit to it, but I think you're friends these days."
"Friends? Hah." Nancy pulled a face. "But there are worse people to live with, I s'pose."
"Like Sirena." Sylva grimaced.
"Leave Emily out of it." Nancy ordered. Topaz laughed.
"Chill, the pair of you." She instructed playfully, pushing Sylva inside the car and getting in after her, dropping her phone from her pocket as she did so. "Remember, the press are always watching..."
Nancy rolled her eyes skyward, but she got into the car and pulled the door shut behind her.
"Okay, I'm done." She said finally, then, "Hey, Topaz! Your phone is flashing."
"Flashing?" Topaz looked startled, scooping the phone up from the floor of the car.
"Guess you got a call." Sylva observed. Topaz nodded.
"I put it on flash/vibrate while we were in there." She admitted, pressing the call receive button. "Hello?"
"Cameron!" Topaz's expression underwent a transformation, and in the back of the car her friends exchanged knowing grins.
"I thought you'd got your phone off, I've been tryin' to get through to you for the last 'alf an hour."
"Oh! I had...work." Topaz was vague. She grimaced. "Yeah, I know, on a Sunday. It sucks, huh?"
"Yeah." Cameron sounded amused. "Listen, 'ow long are you in London for?"
"Um, till Wednesday, then on Friday, then I don't think I'm in the capital again till we fly to Paris and that's three weeks from now." Topaz responded.
"Wednesday? I'm guessing you're busy as sin, though."
"You got it." Topaz sighed. "Jewel are blitzing the UK, we don't have a moment to ourselves. Well, apart from this evening..."
"I wish I could, Rora, but I can't tonight." Cameron sounded pensive. "I promised my brother I'd take 'im to the football...Spurs are playin' at 'ome an' I gave 'im my word we'd go."
"Oh..." Topaz frowned. Then, "All right...I guess a promise is a promise."
"Right." Cameron agreed. "Are you free any other time when you're in England?"
"Yes, but we're in...erm...Birmingham or somewhere. Is that near here?"
"It's about two hours by train or motorway." Cameron told her. "What day is it, though?"
"Hang on." Topaz covered the mouthpiece, glancing round at her companions. "Guys, what day is it we're free all day?"
"Wednesday week, I think." Copper said. Topaz grinned.
"Thanks." She said, relaying the message into the phone. "Copper says Wednesday week...any plans?"
"Well, technically i 'ave a bio lecture, but I'll cut it this once." Cameron said. "If you can get to London..."
"I'll get there." Topaz assured him. "I'll work it out when I get back to the hotel, grab a train or something, it can't be that hard. So we're on then, for Wednesday week? Great. Okay, I'll call you or text you when I get to Birmingham and know what I'm doing, okay? Bye, Cameron." She hesitated a moment, then her cheeks touched slightly pink.
"I...I love you too." She murmured. Then, slowly, she switched off the phone, slipping it back into her pocket.
"Wooh!" Sylva exclaimed. "I told you he still cared!"
"I didn't expect him to say it...but I feel so good now that he did." Topaz admitted, her face still flushed. "And I'm going to London on Wednesday week, whatever happens. I'll find a train if I have to...Jetta's not arranging anything to clash with this!"
"I think Mom will want the day off too." Nancy observed. Copper grinned.
"Way to go, Topaz." She said with a wink. "Now that's how to get our tour off to a fun start!"
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