"Well, what do you reckon? Is this the dress for the party
Sylva held the glamorous blue gown up against her, eying her reflection
approvingly in the mirror as it shimmered under the lights. "It's so totally
hot...I can't believe I didn't see this before!"
"You have so many dresses." Nancy rolled her eyes, sitting down on a
stool with a resigned sigh. "You really need another one?"
"I don't have this shade of blue." Sylva objected. "And it's for the
It was the following Monday and, following a gruelling practice session,
Jewel had gatecrashed some of Beverly Hills' most expensive designer stores
in search of outfits for their Christmas concert and the party they were
to host the day before. Jewel's success had finally begun to reap real rewards,
and each of the girls were beginning to put aside a significant bank balance.
However, Sylva's earnings were often splashed out at the end of every month
in the glitziest stores she could find, and she was quite oblivious to
the amount of money she managed to spend. In fact, had it not been for
her mother offering to take half of her money each month to set up a savings
account, she would most likely have spent everything within a week of getting
it. Though she would be twenty one next birthday, there were some ways in
which she had still not grown up, and she loved to shop as much as ever.
"Mm, I think it'd suit you." Copper decided. "It matches your eyes."
"And your figure." Topaz remarked. "Hey, who're you inviting to this
thing as your beau, anyhow? Or aren't you having a date as such?"
"We'll see when we've met up with Cameron's friends for coffee in an
hour or so's time." Sylva winked. "Seriously, though, I haven't thought
much about it." She glanced at the price tag. "Mm...$200. Wonder if I have
that much credit..."
"One way to find out." Topaz grinned. "You buying?"
"Yeah. It's Christmas." Sylva shrugged. "Nance, Copper, you buying anything
"Nope, not me." Copper shook her head. "I still have presents to buy
for Mama and Luis and Rosita back home, not to mention Aaron and you guys.
I can't believe I'm so disorganised this year."
"I've done most all my shopping." Nancy observed. "I'm not sure I can
be bothered with buying something new just for a party at home, though. If
you ask me most people will be too drunk to appreciate it anyhow."
"Is Dean coming?" Topaz asked. Dean Stacey, a local television presenter
and hearthrob had been Nancy's boyfriend for almost a year. Nancy coloured.
"Yes..." She said slowly, then, "It's our anniversary on Christmas Eve,
you know. Our first full year together. I never imagined it'd last like this."
"That's cool." Copper remarked. "I'd forgotten...but it was last Christmas
you guys got it together finally, wasn't it?"
"Mmhmm." Nancy nodded her head. "The tabloids have had a field day over
it all, too, now they've clued into it. Sometimes I wonder if we can ever
have a proper private relationship. It's tough when all the press ever want
to know is what's he like in bed."
"Which I bet you can't answer." Sylva said slyly. Nancy flushed scarlet.
"That's not your business!" She exclaimed. "I've never asked you what
you do with the flunkies you date till all hours, have I? Unlike some people,
I don't go out with guys just to add another success to my reputation as
an airheaded flirt!"
"Chill, Nancy. Syl's just being Syl." Topaz grinned.
"Well, I wish she wouldn't sometimes." Nancy frowned. "I'm twenty, I'm
old enough to make my own choices. Hell, even Mom and Dad don't pester
me about those kinds of things. All Mom's said is 'don't land me with grandchildren
yet' and that's that. So."
"Jetta's so laid back about that kinda thing." Copper nodded. "She's
never been bothered about me and Aaron dating, so long as it doesn't interfere
with me being in Jewel or Aaron's work, and it never does."
"Well, Dean and I have trouble sometimes, with busy schedules." Nancy
admitted. "Sometimes it seems just a whole lot of hassle."
"But you love him, huh?" Sylva's blue eyes were bright with interest.
"Man, I seriously don't get that. I woulda put money on you lasting a month
at most, you know."
"Well, Dean is special to me." Nancy seemed uncomfortable. "He's sweet
and he understands when I need to go slow with stuff. And yeah, Syl, I
love him, if you must know. One day you'll fall in love and you'll understand."
"Ooh, miaow." Sylva retorted. Nancy sighed.
"I was being serious." She replied wearily.
"Come on, guys. Syl has to buy her dress and it's still early." Copper
linked arms in each of the other girls'. "We've time to look in other shops
and I want to get some new sandals anyhow, before we go catch up with Cameron
"Is Aaron dropping by too?" Topaz wondered. Copper shook his head.
"He's working." She said wistfully. "This is the downside of his proper
job at Misfit Music now...he's working a whole lot more. But still, it's
worth it, right? He's doing what he wants to do."
"Yeah." Nancy nodded. "I think it's neat in a way, that we both of us
grew up to work in the spheres we wanted to. He likes all the gadgetry and
computer stuff, and I love music...we've both done good."
"Having Jetta working at the place helps though." Sylva pointed out,
as they approached the cash desk.
"Mm, but if Aunt Phyl didn't think we were good enough, we wouldn't be
here." Nancy replied with a shrug. "End of story."
"Don't worry, Nance. We all know how good you are." Topaz winked at her.
"Hey, Syl...we'll meet you outside, huh? It's crowded in here."
"Sure." Sylva nodded. "See you in a few!"
"Thank goodness, it was getting so claustrophobic in there." Nancy pulled
a face. "I think I'm allergic to classy clothes stores. I just want to
put on jeans and a sweater and run screaming down the high street."
"You don't see yourself as a glamourpuss then?" She teased. Nancy shook
"Hell, no!" She exclaimed. "I hate spending hours in makeup before we
go on air, to tell you the truth. I just want to go out and play...so what
if my hair isn't in some vogue chic style or I'm not wearing this month's
"You are a unique celeb, Nancy." Topaz laughed. "But we like you that
"I hope we don't get waylaid by autograph hunters today." Nancy observed,
glancing around the streets. "We get that more and more these days, have
"We're popular. I mean, we can genuinely say we're stars now. It carries
it's price." Copper shrugged. "All in all it's worth it."
"Oh, yeah, it is." Nancy nodded. "I mean...well," She paused, slightly
embarassed, then, "I have so much now that I didn't have before."
"You mean Dean?" Topaz asked softly. Nancy smiled.
"Mm...and you guys, too." She agreed. "I feel like I've shown the world
a thing or two, also. I mean, I might've been class freak, but how many of
my stupid grade can say they're reaping in the money I am doing something
they love with some of the best people in the world, huh? And sucks to
all of them who thought they were too good to date the freak, unless they
got dared to ask...because I've wound up with a man twice the guy any of
them ever were. So yes, life is good, thanks to Jewel."
"That's sweet." Copper grinned. "And true, too, I'd like to think." She
glanced around her. "Syl's taking an age...I hope they didn't query her credit
"Nah, it'll be a cute checkout guy or something." Nancy laughed. "You
know Syl and men."
"Mm, she has a point." Topaz grinned, then, "Hey! Isn't that Jack over
"Jack? You mean Syl's project Jack?" Nancy looked startled. Topaz
"Yes." She agreed, then, "Oh-oh. That's a worrying development."
"Where are you looking? I don't see him." Copper frowned. "What's a worrying
"He's by the fountain." Topaz nodded her head in the direction she was
looking, being careful not to attract undue attention. "Talking to a tall,
"Ooh. Syl won't like that." Nancy remarked. "Isn't Courtenay with him?"
"Nope, no sign." Topaz shook her head. "I wonder what he's doing in Beverly
"Working, I s'pect." Copper shrugged. "Didn't Syl say he did odd-jobs
"Mm, well, looks like this is pleasure and not business." Topaz grimaced.
"Get a load of the body language."
"They might be friends." Copper mused. Then, she bit her lip. "Ooh okay,
not friends. Not kissing like that...however dear they are."
"Didn't he tell Syl he wasn't looking for a girl?" Nancy demanded.
"Mmm, but it could've been because he already has a girl on the go."
Copper looked uneasy.
"Who already has a girl?"
At that moment Sylva's voice interrupted the conversation, making all
three girls jump.
"Syl, there's something you should know." Topaz said slowly.
"Mmhmm?" Sylva looked curious. "Hey, what's up? Why you looking at me
"We just saw Jack." Nancy said quietly.
"Jack's here?" Sylva exclaimed.
"Mmm...and he's not alone." Copper agreed. "Syl...you don't really like
this guy, do you?"
"Why?" Sylva looked confused. "What's all this about?"
"We just saw him say a fond farewell to a tall, slim blonde." Topaz admitted.
"And it wasn't a friends kind of kiss goodbye, Syl. Whatever he said to
you, he appears to have found himself a lady friend."
Sylva was silent for a moment, then a strange smile crossed her face
and she shrugged.
"Plenty more fish in the sea." She said airily, turning on her heel.
"Well? Are we shopping?"
"Sure." Copper exchanged looks with Topaz, and the latter shrugged. "You're
not bothered by this?"
"Why should I be?" Sylva demanded. "He's just a guy. Now come on, or
we'll be here till Christmas!"
And with that, she was gone.