It Must've Been Love

Chapter Seven: A Professional Saboteur

"Well? You have something to tell me?"
The man in the dark raincoat and hat eyed his companion with wary interest across the table of the coffee shop, ever keeping tabs on the people passing by. The last thing he wanted was for them to be noticed and his scoop to be stolen from under his nose. Being a tabloid writer was getting harder and harder these days, he mused, with the high powered lawyers and junior upstarts that called themselves the competition. When he had received the phonecall it had seemed almost too good to be true.
He ran his gaze over his companion once more, taking in her dark waves of hair and her emerald eyes. They held a calculating, guarded look and her lips were pursed in evident irritation. Beautiful, yes, but there would be no messing with her, he could see that. When Diablo had first been introduced to the press, many tabloid writers had acclaimed Stefana as that 'little piece of hell' that gave the band it's wicked edge.
She cast him a smile, but it was tinged with a ruthlessness he both admired and disliked. He was never sure how to take stars spilling the gossip on other stars, unsure about how much trouble it might lead him into, but here was a girl who had no use for emotional struggles or thwarted love trystes. If anyone would tell him it straight, in cold, clinical detail, it would be Stefana.
At length, she spoke.
"It's not private here." She mused idly. "You better be careful that noone else should hear us. After wanted an exclusive scoop, right?"
"That's why I'm here." The journalist said roughly. He reached into his pocket, producing a battered tape recorder and setting it on the table. "So spill. What's this all about?"
"I don't know if I like being taped." Stefana's eyes glinted.
"It's just to protect my back. I don't reveal my sources." The reporter assured her.
"The money?"
With a sigh the man thrust his hand into his pocket once more, pulling out a roll of notes and counting off a few, handing them to her. She took them, counting them carefully, then daintily slipping them into her bag. She cast him a smile.
"Good...we'll do business again." She murmured. "Now listen, and listen good. Since she joined the band, Topaz has been damn difficult about telling the press anything about her personal life, right? Since you fools got all excited and jumped on some ghost of a story about her and some drug dealer. Would it please your readers to know that she has a guy in her life...and not only that, he's an English guy, too. A londoner...a student. His name is Cameron Milligan and he's in America for the christmas break."
"Mm...go on." Despite himself the reporter was tantalised. Jewel were big business, and there was nothing better than a good romance story, especially if a scandal should follow it.
"Well, I understood that Topaz had something of a...reputation with men." Stefana said innocently. "But it begs the question, what does this loverboy of hers know about it, hm? I've done my research. I can tell you where he's staying, and anything you need to know. Perhaps it's time that someone told him a few home truths about his chosen beauty, huh?"
The reporter's eyes glinted at the thought of scandal. He had no love for any of Jewel, their high power backers made it troublesome to get a good story into the press and Topaz especially he disliked, for the humiliating capitulation of his expose report regarding her relationship with one time drug dealer Cliff Bailey. The fact that the girl he was spending time with at that very moment had more scandalous secrets to hide than the subject of her attack had totally eluded him, all he saw was the profit in paper sales.
"Perhaps you're right." He agreed slowly. "Time the poor guy got a view of the cheap slut that girl really is." He grinned. "By the end of this Christmas break, we'll have broken the pair of them up. That'll sell some papers, and put the nail in for the last time she foiled our press coverage of her!"
He stood, tipping his hat mockingly.
"Anything else you have to tell me, come see me and we'll talk again." He murmured. Then he was gone, and Stefana stretched, allowing herself a low, amused chuckle as she lit up a cigarette.
"Anything goes." She murmured. "Watch out, Topaz. I'm on your case..."

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"You're up early." Across town at Aaron's apartment, oblivious to the press interest about to fall on his head, Cameron was getting ready to meet Topaz for lunch in the city. Casting Gary, who had spoken, a wry grin, he ran his comb through his hair, tossing it onto the table and grabbing an apple from the fruit bowl.
"I 'ave a date." he said with a shrug. "You remember what that's like?"
"Oh, shut your mouth." Gary laughed. "There are plenty of pretty girls in California, anyhow. Hey, which reminds me. Your Aurora is pretty good mates with her bandmates, isn't she?"
"Yes...why?" Cameron dropped down into a chair, taking a bite from his apple.
"Did she happen to mention whether or not Sylva's involved? I didn't really like to ask her myself yesterday, you know, seemed inappropriate somehow, but..."
Cameron almost choked on his mouthful. Swallowing hurriedly, he laughed.
"You, worried about bein' inappropriate? The class clown?"
"Can it, will you? I'm serious!" Gary retorted. Cameron grinned.
"From all I know of Syl, she ain't much into the 'eavy datin' thing." He said, relenting. "Far as I know, she's single. Why, you fancy takin' 'er out?"
"Mm, it had crossed my mind." Gary admitted. "Hey, she's a babe...couldn't hurt to ask, right?"
"Well, sure." Cameron looked amused. "Ask 'er if you can be 'er date for the Christmas Party or somethin'...I dunno. From what Rora's said she's pretty easy to get to know an' not shy."
He finished his apple, tossing the core across the room and into the bin.
"Jammy git." Gary told him amiably. Cameron shrugged.
"Years of practice, mate." He said, laughing. "'Ere, was that the door?"
"Mm. Probably your hot date." Gary remarked. "You better get it."
"No, I'm meeting Rora in town. Can't be 'er." Cameron frowned, nevertheless getting to his feet and heading into the hallway to open the door.
Once he did so, he began to wish he had not bothered. Two strange man stood in the hallway, one armed with a camera and the other with a notebook and dictaphone. Perceptive enough to realise they were press men, his frown deepened.
"What do you want?" He demanded.
"Are you Cameron Milligan, by any chance?" The taller of the two men asked in interest, pen poised. "I wondered if you'd like to..."
"It ain't no business of yours what my name is...who the hell are you an' what do you want?" Cameron interrupted, putting his hands on his hips.
"Just here in the name of public interest, Mr Milligan." The photographer offered a sleazy smile. "You must've realised that having a hot, steamy love affair with the beautiful Topaz has it's price...surely?"
"Can't we tempt you to comment just a little on your affair? How you met? What your future plans are?" His companion added.
"I don't know who gave you this address or me name, but you sure as 'ell ain't welcome, and I 'ave no comment to make." Cameron snapped, going to slam the door, but the reporter was too quick for him, putting his hand out to stop it from closing.
"Jewel's love lives are the public's business." He said genially, though there was an edge to his tone. "We'll make it worth your while, you know..."
"Oh, get lost!" Cameron exclaimed, shoving the man's arm away and shutting the door, then leaning up against it to gather his wits. From outside the door he could hear the reporter's voice, still making promises of money for his words and inwardly he cursed. Didn't these people ever get the message they weren't wanted? Weren't they aware that he loved Topaz more than money could compensate?
"'Ow in 'ell did they find out who I was an' where I was staying!" He asked himself. "It's damn impossible! Noone knows me in this city or would care enough to find out except..."
A frown crossed his face at the thought.
"Except Rora." He realised with some consternation. "Or one of Jewel. Mm, maybe I need to talk to her about this. But this is crazy! She wouldn't blab to the press about us, she knows how special things are! She wouldn't want to jeopardise things by spillin' to some local rag! Dammit, she values the private time we 'ave together as much as I do! We don't damn get enough as it is!"
But even as he told himself this, the question still lingered in his mind.
Had Topaz let the cat out of the bag?
And if she had not, then who had?

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!)