It Must've Been Love

Chapter Nine: A Lover's Tiff

Meanwhile, across the city and oblivious to all that was going on in Jack's apartment, Topaz had headed into the centre to the Red Rock Restaurant in order to meet Cameron for lunch. As she parked her car, making her way inside, she began to hum an upbeat song under her breath.
She liked having him in California.
Many times she had told herself that her relationship was stupid and could only lead to heartbreak, for they led such different lives across the Atlantic, but time and time again her heart had won the battle over her senses, and she had learned to simply cherish the moments they did have together without questioning where the future would take them.
He was already there when she arrived and, checking her watch she realised he was early. Sauntering across the restaurant to greet him with her usual warm kiss and friendly hello, his expression made her pause. She frowned.
"Is something up?" She asked softly, slipping into the seat opposite. Cameron started at the sound of her voice, then met her gaze with a troubled one of his own.
"Maybe." He said slowly. "Rora...tell me honest, huh? 'Ow many people know about us, 'ere in Cali?"
"What do you mean?" Topaz looked startled.
"Please, Rora. Jus' tell me."
"Well, the other Jewels, Cynthia and Zoe...Aaron, Dean...Jetta, of course." Topaz replied. "Why? What about it?"
"This mornin' I 'ad a visit from a reporter." Cameron said darkly. "'E knew who I was, where I was stayin', an' that I was involved with you."
"What did you say to him?" Topaz looked alarmed.
"Nothin', dammit! I told 'im to get the 'ell out of my face an' shut the door on 'im!" Cameron replied. "But I want to know if you 'ave any idea who coulda leaked us to the press."
"Oh..." Topaz sighed, running her fingers through her hair. "Cameron, tabloids are tabloids. They're weasels, the lot of them. They have ways of finding things out that defy the law, I swear. Maybe they spoke to someone who works at a hotel we stopped at one time for dinner, or maybe they found a taxi driver who drove us home from a date. Who knows how they get their information?"
"You don't think someone could' know...said something by accident?"
"My friends aren't gossips, Cameron." Topaz said quietly. "And they all understand the importance of a private life, too. None of them would have said anything to those kinds of people...they know how much I love you, anyhow. But I know from past experience that the press can be a spiteful bunch. When they exposed my relationship with Cliff..." At this point she paused, blushing. "Well, it doesn't matter. They're a nasty lot anyhow."
"Cliff?" Cameron looked surprised. "Who's Cliff when 'e's at 'ome?"
"Mm, it's not important, Cameron. It was before your time. Some guy I knew in Canada, that's all." Topaz dismissed it with a wave of her hand. "He was a jerk and he got himself locked up into the bargain...I'm well shot of him now."
Cameron frowned.
"I didn't know you'd been scandalised in the tabloids already." He admitted. "What is the deal with these people, huh? They spy a tiny little story an' make a huge bleedin' deal out of it! It's not their damn business if we're seeing each other."
"Too true it's not." Topaz said darkly. "Oh, I wish I knew who had it in for me. First someone sends anonymous copies of Cliff's charge sheet to the press when I first join the band, and now they want the dirt on my new relationship. What is this, Topaz's love annals?"
"What exactly was the deal with this Cliff guy? What did 'e do to get locked up?"
"Why does it matter? I told you, it was a long time past." Topaz responded quietly. "I wasn't really in love with him, was...well...just one of those things. You know what I mean."
"Do I?" Cameron looked more than a little bewildered. "Let me get this straight a moment. You 'ad a casual relationship with a guy in you didn't even love...Rora, that ain't like you!"
"Mm." Topaz looked troubled, then, "Well, he was a mistake. He...he dealt cocaine, Cam, if you must know. I didn't know the deal till the police raided his place and stuff, but the press had a field day when I signed my contract with Misfit Music. They're like that. They don't have a shed of humanity in their twisted little bodies."
"Cocaine?" Cameron's eyes almost fell out of his head. "Hell, Rora, what in the name of God were you involved in before I met you!"
"Nothing!" Topaz looked stricken. "I'm a singer, I sang in a I told you the first time we met. That was it. Sure, I dated some guys who were past their best, but I was never involved in anything illegal!"
"It jus' went from one guy called Cliff to some guys." Cameron's brows knitted.
"Oh God, Cameron, don't get all jealous and possessive." Topaz rubbed her temples. "Listen...that was in Canada. I was nineteen when I left there, I'd had more than one boyfriend. Of course I had. Did you have girlfriends before you met me, back in England?"
"Well, yes..."
"Do I look even remotely bothered about it?"
"No, but..."
"Well, then."
"But none of my ex-girlfriends dealt cocaine."
"So? Nobody's perfect." Topaz's blue eyes began to fill with helpless tears and she forced them back. "Dammit, Cameron, don't make me cry! We only have three weeks together, don't spoil it! I don't love any of them, I love you, all right? I've loved you since we first met in London and there's been noone else since then."
Cameron sighed.
"I guess I know that. I'm sorry...I 'ad no right to question you." He said softly. "It ain't your fault if your exes 'ad bad 'abits."
"No, it isn't." Topaz responded, slightly mollified at these words. "So, what did the reporter ask you, anyway?"
"He offered me money to tell my story of our relationship." Cameron said, his distaste clear. "Barkin' up the wrong tree with me."
"I'm glad to hear it." Topaz shivered. "I'd hate to be splashed all over the tabloid press again. Once is bad enough."
Cameron frowned, then,
"Are you ashamed of me, then?" He asked quietly. Topaz looked stunned.
"Ashamed? God Cameron, no! I love you! I just...I just want..." She trailed off, biting her lip.
"What do you want?" Cameron pressed her. Topaz sighed.
"I want to be left alone." She said wistfully. "I'm not good at falling in love and I make bad choices sometimes...I don't need the press following them."
"Am I a bad choice, then?"
"Oh, Hell no! Cameron, what's gotten into you this morning? This isn't like you!"
"Well, things I'm beginnin' to find out about you don't sound like the you I know either, Rora." Cameron said darkly. "I jus' want to know who you really are, that's all, and why you're so frightened of people knowin' about us."
"You don't want us in the tabloids either." Topaz shot back. Cameron shrugged.
"No, I don't." He agreed evenly. "But I also want to know you don't want it...not because you're afraid of some image you girls 'ave 'ere about celebrity status an' all that, an' playin' the field Sylva -style, but because you want us to 'ave some precious moments without interruptions!"
"This is stupid. How many times can I tell you I love you?" Topaz sounded frustrated. "Look, you know what? I'm going home. We both need to cool off. Maybe when you've had a chance to think about things, you'll realise how silly you sound. If you get this paranoid over one reporter, heaven help you if you meet a whole army of them."
With that she was gone, and, regretting his words almost immediately Cameron got to his feet, heading after her in the hope of catching her, but she was already gone into the crowd.
In their upset and angry debate, neither had noticed a darkly dressed figure at the table behind them, her long curly hair swathed in a dark red shawl and her sharp green eyes cloaked by dark glasses. Had they turned around, or registered her presence, it would not have taken long for either to realise she was eagerly paying close attention to what was going on, but both were too intent on their own problems to pay attention to an oddly dressed stranger. As they left the restaurant, she made her way nonchalantly up to the table, crouching and removing something small and insignificant from the underside of the pine. A slow smile crossed her face.
"Straight into the trap." She murmured. "That sleaze at the press will pay a good price for this kind of evidence, and I could do with the money. That creep Rory won't pay out unless he's seeing direct action results, and I don't want to keep people waiting on cash...don't know what they might do then."
Involuntarily she shivered, then got a hold on herself, refusing to admit that sometimes the shadowy drug world she flitted in and out of scared her more than she would like. Sliding the contraption into her pocket, she headed out of the restaurant with a nonchalant whistle, tossing some coins down to pay for her drink as she went.
"This should stir up some fun." She mused. "Merry Christmas indeed!"

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!)