It Must've Been Love

Chapter Fifteen: A Christmas Party
"Some party."
Marissa cast Copper a friendly smile. "I'm glad you asked us to come, Copper...we're not really in the celebrity big league yet."
"No such thing." Copper responded genially, as she served out glasses of christmas punch to various guests. "There are just those who work very hard, those who get lucky, and those who don't get the breaks. That's all." She grinned. "Anyhow, we like you guys."
"I'm glad about that." Marissa dimpled. "Your house is so beautiful, you know."
"We're lucky." Copper agreed. "It's even more special to me though, because my mother used to live here, when she lived in LA. That was a long time ago, of course, before she married Papa, but I have her old room and it's nice know it has memories, even if they're not my own."
"That's so sweet." Marissa was touched. "My Mom worked in LA too, actually, for quite some time. But then, Mom's a restless soul. She flits about all over the country when she can."
"You take after her, then?" Copper teased, pouring a drink and handing it to a nearby guest with a smile. Marissa laughed.
"Totally." She agreed. "In that sense, anyway. I didn't get her artistic skills, mind you. My sister has them."
"You've a sister?"
"A twin...Farah. She's in Japan, though. I miss her." Marissa sounded a little wistful. "Still, hopefully she'll be back in America for the new year. I also have a brother in Connecticut who graduates this summer, so it's not like I'm devoid of family."
"That's always good to know." Copper smiled. "Punch?"
"No...I mustn't." Marissa shook her head. "Bad for the diabetes...I have to be strict."
"I didn't know you were diabetic." Copper looked startled. Marissa shrugged.
"Good." She said frankly. "Because that shows just how normal we are." She winked. "Don't you think?"
"Can't argue with that." Copper laughed.
"What in hell are you doing here? I've been looking for you all over!" At that moment, almost like an angry whirlwind, Stefana appeared at the punch table, grabbing Marissa's arm. "Don't tell me you're gonna be a bad girl and drink something you shouldn't?"
"I was being sociable, Copper and I were chatting." Marissa said levelly, sending the drummer an apologetic glance. Copper, being the understanding soul she was merely smiled, then turned to serve the next guest, soon engaged in merry chatter with them.
"Well, don't." Stefana snapped. "I need to talk to you. You know the rumours that are buzzing round this room? Everyone's saying that there's some kind of romance brewing between Luca and Topaz...and I'm damned if I'm gonna let that story get out! Like Luca would associate with trash like her...where do they get this stuff from, anyhow?"
"I hadn't heard it myself." Marissa remarked. "But perhaps you should ask Luca. Last I heard he was sweet on Sirena, and he doesnt usually change his fancy that quickly."
"Maybe Sirena's just a cover to get me distracted." Stefana muttered, and Marissa frowned, grabbing her friend by the shoulders.
"Look at me." She commanded, in tones uncharacteristically forceful. Rolling her eyes, Stefana did as she was bidden and as soon as she met the guitarist's gaze Marissa's frown deepened.
"You're stoned." She murmured. "No wonder you're running round this place acting like God knows what. You probably hallucinated this rumour of yours, knowing you! Now come on, we're gonna sit somewhere and you damn well better either sober up or calm down, because I don't want a scene. There are press here!"
"I know there are damn press here, don't tell me what to do!" Stefana shook herself free of her friend's grasp, disappearing into the crowd. With a sigh of frustration, Marissa headed after her.
When she found Stefana, however, there was something in the guitarist's expression and posture that frightened her all the more. Stefana was leant up against the wall, her face pale and her eyes big with disbelief. Concerned, Marissa hurried to join her.
"What's up? You feel sick or something?" She whispered, keeping her voice down as much as possible. Stefana shook her head, almost dazedly.
"I just..." She stopped, wetting her lips and then frowning, shaking her head as if not comprehending. Immediately Marissa jumped to the terrified conclusion that something her friend had taken that evening had induced this odd, almost trancelike state and she grasped the other girl anxiously by the hand.
"Hell, Steffi, what have you been taking?" She demanded.
This seemed to stir Stefana from her daze somewhat, and she snorted, almost derisively.
"Nothing. Why must you always think I'm stoned?" She demanded.
"Because you invariably are." Marissa was unmoved. "Tell me. You're acting weird as hell...if you took too much of something, you need to tell me now!"
"I'm fine. I can handle my drugs." Stefana told her flatly. "It's not that. It's something else."
"Well, what?" Marissa carefully led her friend to a quieter part of the hall, unaware that they were seperated from the rest of the party only by a curtain and that every word they uttered could be heard on the other side by the crowd around the punch bowl. "Come on, Steffi. Spill."
"It's Luca." At length Stefana seemed to find her courage to speak. "I heard him and Clay talking. Mari...he isn't flirting with Topaz!"
"So? Isn't that a good thing?" Marissa looked bemused. Stefana shook her head.
"No! No of course it damn well isn't!" She exclaimed. "He didn't flirt with her...he slept with her!"


"Cameron!" Topaz grabbed her boyfriend by the arm, a look of hunted desperation in her aqua blue eyes. "It's kinda important...I need to tell you something."
"Something?" Cameron looked at her, startled. "What do you mean? I thought we'd settled everything on the phone. I apologised, you apologised, an' we made up...what's left to say?"
"It's something I was going to tell you last night, before we got cut off." Topaz said slowly. "Really, is important."
"Well, let me get you an' me a drink an' we'll go outside an' chat, all right?" Cameron cast her a smile. Topaz looked relieved.
"Okay." She agreed. "That sounds good to me."
"Well, so what's the story?" Sylva descended on her friend as she waited impatiently for her boyfriend to return from the drinks table with two glasses of punch. "How did he take it?"
"He doesn't know yet. I'm building up to it." Topaz bit her lip, twisting her hands together nervously. "I got up the nerve to tell him that we needed to talk...he's getting drinks and we're going out on the patio where it's private."
"I'll let you be then." Sylva said, squeezing her friend's hand encouragingly. "Good luck, huh?"
"Mm. I'll need it." Topaz responded darkly. "If he'll even listen enough to forgive me once he knows..."
"Oh come on, you were drunk and he'd broke up with you. It was crazy and dumb but it wasn't on purpose." Sylva said flippantly. "He loves you!"
"Well, I hope you're right." Topaz swallowed hard. "Here he comes."
"I'm outta here." Sylva responded, disappearing back into the milling crowd.
"Cameron..." Topaz began, then stopped, eying her boyfriend's expression apprehensively as he quietly handed her a glass of punch.
"You wanted to talk?" He said softly. Topaz nodded, slowly leading him outside.
"It's...about us." She began slowly. "And about our fight, the other evening...there's something you should know."
"Who was he?" Cameron's tone had become uncharacteristically flat, and Topaz started, a horrified light entering her eyes.
"What do you mean, who was he?" She demanded. "Who told you anything, and what did they tell you?"
"There's a rumour buzzing about the place." Cameron said coldly. "That you got rather drunk that night and wound up with some no good guy...Rora, tell me honest once an' for all, is it true?"
"Who told you?" Topaz repeated, his tone cutting through her till she felt ready to cry. He had never been quite like this with her before.
"Noone actually told me anything." Cameron replied. "Someone was laying bets on who it was over the punch table. Knowin' for a fact that it sure as 'ell weren't me...Rora, tell me, dammit. Is that the important thing you 'ad to talk to me about? Is that it? You got legless an' laid by some other guy? Is that it?"
Now the tears came, and Topaz buried her head in her hands, nodding hopelessly.
"I'm so sorry." She whispered. "When you broke up with me...I didn't know what to do, and...and I was already kinda tipsy. I guess I just kept...kept drinking and...I didn't know what I was doing. It...just happened, I swear. I didn't even remember it at first...I didn't mean to do it. We...we were b...broken up and I thought you d...didn't love me any more."
Cameron cursed, and Topaz dropped her gaze, unwilling to see the hurt and anger in his expression.
"Who was he?" He demanded, and for the first time the singer realised her companion had a temper to match his red hair. "Dammit, Rora, tell me!"
"Was it Luca Ranieri? That's what they're saying! Was it? Was 'e more exciting for you? A rock singer is better than a med student, huh?"
"It wasn't like that! I was drunk out of my mind!" Topaz protested helplessly. "It just happened, Cameron!"
"Listen." Cameron lowered his tone, fixing her with a steely gaze. "Couples fight. Sometimes they say things they don't mean. What they don't expect is for someone who they thought was in love with them to suddenly down a few drinks too many an' jump into bed with the next guy who asks 'er, okay? Fine, sure, we broke up - did you think we'd stay that way? It was just a least, to me it was. How can you move on that quickly?"
"I...I didn't! I was hurt...upset...I wanted you." Topaz's voice wavered. "I swear, Cameron, it wasn't just like one guy out next one in...nothing like that. I really th...thought you d...didn't love me any more and I g...guess I d...didn't care what I did."
"Well, get this straight in your 'ead, Aurora Stapleton." Cameron's voice shook with anger barely suppressed. "There is no worse way you could've 'urt me than this. I came all the way to this damn country to spend the break with you, an' this is 'ow you repay me. If you value me...and love...that cheap, well, you ain't the girl I thought you were."
"Cameron, please..."
"No." Cameron held up his hand. "I'm done with this. Goodnight, Aurora. I'm goin' 'ome." With that he turned on his heel, heading across the floor away from her.
Topaz let out an anguished whimper, then, not caring who saw her, she turned and fled from the room, up the stairs to her bedroom, barricading the door and throwing herself down on her bed, crying uncontrollably.
"Cameron, where are you going?" Sylva, having been watching from afar soon realised all had not gone smoothly, and she hurried to bar the redhead's way. "You're not leaving? It's only half past ten!"
"I got sick of this party, an' the company hostin' offence." Cameron said quietly. "I'm goin' back to pack an' then I'm goin' out to England first flight I can get. And no, before you ask, I ain't comin' back. There's nothing to come back for."
"But Cameron, Topaz loves you!"
"Well, judgin' by 'ow she shares 'er love about, she'll find someone else soon enough." Cameron said darkly. "Which reminds me..."
Pushing past Sylva, he stormed across the room to where Luca and Madeleine were discussing the party, and, before anyone had realised what he was going to do, he grabbed the other man by the collar of his shirt, shoving him back against the wall.
"Hey, get off me!" Luca looked both startled and angry, wrenching himself free. "Man, what got your goat?"
"Let me introduce myself." Cameron's tone was dangerously low. "I'm Cameron Milligan. Perhaps R...Topaz bothered to mention me, hm? This..." He drew back his fist, landing a glancing blow across Luca's cheek. "Is for taking advantage of a drunken woman, and this..." He thumped Luca once more, hitting him more squarely on the nose this time, "Is for me."
"Cameron, chill out!" At that moment Aaron appeared from the melee, grabbing his friend and pulling him away from the shaken Diablo frontman. If truth were told, Luca was more than capable of defending himself, but the suddenness of the onslaught had taken him by surprise and Cameron's rage was complete. "What's gotten into you? You drunk, man?"
"No...I ain't drunk." Cameron shook himself free. "I'm goin' 'ome. I'm done 'ere now."
"What in hell was that about?" Madeleine sent Luca a bemused look once the redhead was gone. Luca touched his nose gingerly.
"Aaron, you coulda told me Topaz's boyfriend was big and prone to psychotic fits." he muttered.
"Topaz? What has she to do with any of this?" Aaron looked startled.
"Oh, it doesn't matter." Luca sighed, "Let it go, huh?"
"He said you took advantage..." Madeleine frowned. "Luca, is there something you ought to tell me?"
"I told you, let it go!" Luca exclaimed. "It was a mistake, it should never have happened and I don't really want the tabloid press breathing down my neck about it! Nor, I'm sure, does Topaz!"
"You slept with her?" Madeleine's expression was one of utter shock. Aaron frowned.
"Not good." He said quietly. "Cameron's not a hot tempered kinda guy as a rule and he wouldn't've gone for you for anything less. I can't believe Topaz would do that...I thought she was devoted to him."
"She is." Luca nodded. "And I'm not really into her in that way, either. Listen, Aaron. It was a party, we'd both had too much. She'd had a row with some guy...evidently Mr Psycho there...and I'd had another knockback from Sirena. It happened. We were drunk and we weren't thinking straight. Both of us know it was a mistake. What I'd like to know is how word got round." He frowned. "Where's Topaz? I know I sure as hell ain't told people a damn thing."
"She fled the room in tears a short while ago." Sylva joined the group, her eyes bright with curiosity. "Man, I didn't know Cameron was so fiery...wish I had a guy who'd go to those lengths because he loved me..."
"Syl, this ain't the time." Aaron told her curtly. "If Topaz is upset, shouldn't you go talk to her?"
"I tried. She won't let me in. The door is locked or barricaded...all I can hear is her crying. She won't talk to me."
"Do you think she'll do something stupid?" Madeleine sounded anxious. Sylva looked startled.
"Topaz? No way...she's upset, but she's not crazy!"
"Well, just in case she's more drunk or upset than we think, I want you to go up there and make her let you in, whatever." Aaron said quietly. "I'll handle things down here, all right? Whatever the situation and whatever she's done, she needs a friend right now."

Chapter One: Twilight In California
Chapter Two: Diablo's Place
Chapter Three: A Shopping Encounter
Chapter Four: Some New Acquaintances
Chapter Five: A Girl In Love
Chapter Six: Topaz's Advice
Chapter Seven: A Professional Saboteur
Chapter Eight: Melanie
Chapter Nine: A Lover's Tiff
Chapter Ten: Sylva's Decision
Chapter Eleven: One Night At Le Klub Kool
Chapter Twelve: The Morning After

Chapter Thirteen: Stefana Again
Chapter Fourteen: Luca Confesses

Chapter Fifteen: A Christmas Party
Chapter Sixteen: Repercussions

Chapter Seventeen: Christmas Eve on TV

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita Madeleine, Marissa, Luca, Stefana, Clay, Luis and any other characters in this fiction which do not appear in the animated Jem series are copyrighted to me (E.A Woolley) as of January 2002 <unless otherwise specified> and are not to be reproduced without permission ANYWHERE. Jetta, Pizzazz, Stormer, Roxy, Raya and all other original Jem characters are the copyright of Hasbro Inc, Sunbow, Christy Marx and the other writers of the Jem series. The future world of Pizzazz, Raya, Jetta, Roxy, Stormer, Clash, Synergy, the fate of Jem and her memorial are all copyrighted to me. The future world of Kimber and Shana is copyrighted jointly to myself and Gemma Dawn.
The concept of 'Jewel' is entirely my own, and any apparent link with any fictional or actual person or persons of this name is entirely coincidental. Equally the characters in this fiction are not based on any real life individual.
The concept behind the future world of Danse, Aja and Craig, the idea behind Jerrica's futureworld and the split of the Holograms is copyrighted to Gemma Dawn, whose Teenangel Outsiders fiction is directly twinned with Just a Dream. The character Sammi and any of the other Teenangel Outsider characters mentioned in this fiction are entirely copyright to Gemma Dawn and appear here only with her permission.
Pay her page a visit!
The concept of RayzaBlade is copyrighted to my sister Elena...^_^ (Yeah, blame her!)