Chapter Six : A Little Love Advice
"So, where did you go last night?"
Sylva cast Topaz an interested glance, settling herself on the end of her chosen bed and sprawling out on the cover. "You and Cameron, I mean. You didn't get back to the hotel till gone midnight, so wherever it was must've been good."
"We went for a meal." Topaz said with a smile. "Then we went to a bar near where he lives for drinks, and then back to his place. He gave me a lift back to the hotel at quarter past midnight."
"Back to his place, huh?" Sylva whistled. Topaz tossed a cushion lazily in her friend's direction, sitting down on her own bed.
"No, we didn't." She said with a grin. "It was just nice to relax with him, that's all. Yes we kissed, yes we cuddled, no we didn't do anything more. Okay? In any case a couple of his roommates were home."
"Oh? What're they like? Any of them cute?" Sylva looked interested. "Or available?"
"Sorry, Syl, I didn't ask." Topaz laughed. "But they seemed nice enough."
"You still seeing him on Wednesday, then?" Sylva rested her chin in her hands, eying her friend curiously. Topaz nodded.
"Yes. We're meeting at the station and then we're gonna spend the day in London." She agreed. "I decided I'm going to get a taxi to New Street Station, just to make sure I catch the train and don't miss it, but coming back I'll brave the rail. It's cheaper and things are so expensive in England - my credit card is dangerously near max as it is and I didn't bring any others with me."
"Heh, story of my life." Sylva winked. "Mm, I hope Manchester has some good shops. Birmingham, too..."
"Well, you'll have to drag Nancy and Copper shopping on Wednesday." Topaz told her. "Because I'm hitting the capital...again."
"It's okay for some." Sylva grinned.
"Hey, you haven't mentioned that Jack guy for a while." Topaz realised. "He out of vogue now?"
"No-o." Sylva looked thoughtful. Jack Miller was a single father who lived in the Los Angeles area, and Sylva had developed a fondness for both him and his three year old daughter Courtenay from their first encounter. "But he said he was too busy for girls right now."
"You asked him already? I didn't know that." Topaz looked surprised. Sylva shook her head.
"No. We were just talking and he said as much." She responded. "So I'm working on 'friends' right now."
"Is he worth the effort? Doesn't seem like you." Topaz observed. "Sure you're not going to get bored with him before you break him down?"
"Dunno." Sylva admitted. "I'm kinda liking the idea of a challenge right now, though." She smiled impishly. "It'd be something new, anyhow. Only don't mention it to Mom, that I'm thinking this way. When I told her about him she almost freaked...she doesn't think I'm old enough to be dating single fathers."
"Mm, I know what she means." Topaz teased.
"Oh shut up." Sylva tossed the pillow back. "Mom doesn't know, anyway. Look at her and Dad! I'll see for myself if Jack's worth pursuing."
"I know you will." Topaz said wryly. "I hope there's enough of him left at the end too, when you're done with him!"
Along the hall, Nancy was helping her mother move stuff into the executive's
hotel room, whilst Copper was busy unpacking in the room the two girls were
to share. As the young songwriter set the case down on the floor by the door,
Jetta cast her a quizzical look.
"What gives?" She demanded.
"What do you mean?" Nancy looked startled.
"You bringin' me stuff in like this." Jetta folded her arms. "What's up?"
"I was helping, that's all!" Nancy exclaimed.
"Mm...why don't I believe you?" Jetta raised an eyebrow. Nancy sighed.
"All right." She conceded. "I kinda wanted to talk to you as well. You know, Mom to kid kinda talk."
"Oh-oh." Jetta grimaced. "Not one of them talks. Tell me you know the facts of life by now, Nancy, please!"
"Of course I do." Despite herself Nancy grinned. "No, this is kinda something different."
"Well, okay." Jetta shrugged, sitting down on her bed and indicating for her daughter to follow suit. "What's up?"
"Well..." Nancy paused awkwardly, then, "It's sort of about Dean."
"Ooh dear." Jetta raised an eyebrow. "That kind of chat. Go on."
"Well, see...this is the first long tour Jewel've done since we began going out properly, Dean and me, and, well, I guess I'm feeling a bit odd about it." Nancy admitted. "It's kinda hard to explain it, but I'm almost homesick...just because I miss him. Do you think that's weird?"
"No weirder than normal." Jetta observed. "The biggest shock for me was when you an' Dean became an item...nothin' could surprise me now."
"Mom, I'm being serious." Nancy reproached. Jetta smiled.
"So am I." She admitted. "But okay. Go on."
"Well, I called him last night, when we got back to the hotel after dinner and we chatted for about an hour." Nancy responded. "And I thought that'd help...but it kinda made me miss him more. I'm confused, I s'pose. I've never been in this situation before and I'm worried it's going to affect my performance if I don't get my head straight." She sighed. "All of Topaz's moonlighting with Cameron hasn't helped, I guess. When I left LA I was fine...I know it's stupid, but I can't help it."
Jetta eyed her daughter thoughtfully. Emotional heart-to-hearts had never been a major part of their relationship, though they were very close, and she considered carefully what to say. Nancy had not grown up with the same social knowhow as Aaron, and had not found it easy to interact with her peers, especially those of the opposite sex, many of whom had bullied her in school. It had surprised her, therefore, when the young guitarist had fallen in love with Dean Stacey, one of the most popular television presenters on California's networks.
"But I suppose it 'ad to come sooner or later." She mused to herself now. "The kid's twenty, after all."
"Mom?" Nancy looked anxious.
"I s'pose I shouldn't be surprised." Jetta admitted after a moment or two more's thought. "This is the first time for you, after all. But listen, kid. You're a musician, it's an 'ard lifestyle an' you 'ave to be professional. You're 'ere on tour...push 'im out of your 'ead till you 'ave time to yourself. Jewel is what matters on this visit - 'e'll be there for you when you get back if 'e's worth anythin'."
"I guess I know that." Nancy sighed. "And I do know you're right, Mom. It's just weird. I can't talk to the others about it really, not even Copper, because she's used to being parted from Aaron and they all just say oh, it's natural, it's your first big romance...but I don't care if that's why. I want to know how to stop it preying on my mind so much. I love England and I love being here, I want to enjoy it." She frowned. "Did you miss Dad, when you went on tour without him?"
Jetta frowned, then,
"You better not dare breathe a word of this to your Aunt Phyllis." She said darkly. "But yeah. Course I did. Once we were goin' out proper, like. But I got on with me job, too. Work is work an' personal life is personal life. The two don't mix, so don't mix 'em and things work out fine."
"Ever since I can remember, kid, you've wanted music as your career." Jetta said quietly. "You said to us more than once that music was your life an' because of that I wasn't sure about lettin' you do it right from the end of school, but your Dad an' Pizzazz persuaded me otherwise. Now you're jus' catchin' up on all the stuff the girls in 'igh school always drove you mad about. You're twenty, well, I was never in love with any guy till your father brainwashed me, the git...an' then I were twenty-five, so you ain't done bad. Jus' because you've been so totally focused on music for so long, now you're flippin' the other way. You ain't found the balance yet."
"Do you think I will find it?" Nancy asked. Jetta nodded.
"Sure, ducks." She said with a wink. "You're my daughter...you'll be fine."
Nancy paused for a moment, then she hugged her mother rather awkwardly.
"Thanks." She murmured. "I feel a bit better now I know I'm not just going mad. And...well, if you managed it, so can I manage it. I'm going to focus on my music and on Jewel's success till we board that flight home to LA...and worry about Dean when we get there."
"Good girl." Jetta smiled. "Now, get out, will ya? I 'ave things to do too you know!"
"I'm going, I'm going!" Nancy exclaimed with a laugh. "You know, sometimes it's a real drag having my mother as my agent."
"Who else would give ya such good personal advice?" Jetta demanded. "Now shoo. I don't wanna see you girls till later!"
And with a grin, Nancy went.
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