"Excuse me, but when is the flight from London Heathrow due to arrive?"
Topaz cast the man behind the information desk a smile, tucking a lock
of gold hair behind her ear. Inwardly her nerves were racing and her stomach
jumping at the thought of seeing Cameron again, but she kept her cool,
waiting patiently as the man checked through the list of incoming flights.
"It's running ten minutes late, miss." He told her with a smile. "Should
be here in five - you expecting someone off it?"
"Yes. An important friend." Topaz nodded. "Thanks. Five minutes? Okay."
She moved away from the desk, glancing up once more at the big arrivals
board, and biting her lip.
"I hope this is going to work out." She muttered. "I wish I hadn't
chosen this morning to feel like crap, too. I suppose it's partly nerves
as much as anything else, but I hope he doesn't notice I'm pale. He's
a medical student, so he just might."
She made her way slowly to the waiting area, sitting down on an empty
seat and trying her best to make herself comfortable till the flight was
called. A shriek caught her attention, as an excited teenager spotted her
from across the arrivals bay and she cast them a smile, her mind elsewhere.
"Topaz, can I have your autograph?" the teenager seemed to have summoned
all her courage to approach the singer, and Topaz was a little taken aback
by the adoration in the girl's grey-green eyes. She nodded her head, this
time offering a warm, genuine smile.
"Of course." She agreed. "Are you here waiting for family?"
"My Dad's flying back from Venezuela. He's doing scientific research
out there - we haven't seen him for six months." The girl admitted. "I
miss him a whole lot, but he'll be here in less than twenty minutes now!"
"That's awesome." Topaz gently took the proffered leaflet and pen,
looping her name across it, then pausing. "What's your name, by the way?"
"BethAnn." The girl dimpled. "Ooh, my friends are gonna be so mad that
I met a Jewel and they weren't even there!"
"There." Carefully Topaz penned a brief message, then, "I'm glad to
know we've fans here in L.A!"
"We all love Jewel." BethAnn agreed, taking the leaflet and pen back
reverently and pocketing it. "But you're my favourite. You sing amazingly.
I went to the concert you did with the Misfits and the Holograms and it
was just the best thing ever! Mom took me, because it was my birthday
and I wanted to go - you sing even better live!"
"Thanks for the compliment!" Topaz blushed at this. "I'm glad you enjoyed
the show. Playing with the Misfits, Holograms and Stingers was an unforgettable
experience - we all loved doing it."
"My Mom is a big Misfit and Hologram fan." BethAnn laughed. "So she
was happy to come along too! She likes that slow song you guys do too -
"Yeah, that's one of my favourites, too." Topaz nodded.
At that moment, a third voice interrupted the conversation and, startled,
Topaz glanced up, seeing Cameron himself waving from across the arrivals
lounge, his suitcase in the other hand.
"I'm really sorry, BethAnn, but I have to go." She cast an apologetic
smile at the teenager. "That's my friend, he's here for the wedding we're
hosting at home, and there's so much to do."
"Oh, it's fine, really, I understand." BethAnn assured her quickly.
"Thanks for signing my leaflet and being so nice and everything. People
at school say famous people don't talk to normal people but it's not true.
You're really nice, I'm gonna make sure everyone knows it!"
With that the girl was gone across the lounge, back towards her mother,
and Topaz got to her feet, smoothing her skirt and heading across to greet
her boyfriend, butterflies in her stomach. Cameron cast her a smile.
"Hi, you." He murmured, putting his free arm around her and hugging
her tightly. "I've missed you like you wouldn't believe."
"It's mutual, believe me." Topaz told him softly. "Everything's building
up for the wedding...I'm glad you're here."
"You look kinda pale, are you all right?" Cameron looked concerned.
"Yeah. Vi's hen night was last night, that's all." Topaz smiled, though
there was a hint of nervousness in her eyes. He didn't notice, however,
"Ah, okay, I see." He said, winking knowingly. "Well, me blinkin' exams
are all out of the way and I'm back in Los Angeles at long last - what time
is it here? My brain clock is all out."
"Nearly eleven." Topaz glanced up at the big airport clock.
"Is it too early for lunch? I'm not jetlagged yet."
Topaz swallowed hard, feeling sick inside.
"It is, rather." She admitted. "But we can drive out to the beach if
you like, and you can catch some California sun and sand?"
"Sounds good to me, so long as you're comin' along." Cameron grinned,
kissing her on the cheek. "Let's go, huh? Lead the way!"
Topaz slipped her hand in his, heading across the big airport to the
double doors and out into the parking lot, where her own vehicle was parked.
She unlocked it, slipping into the driver's seat and reaching over to
release the catch on the opposite side.
"How was your flight?" She asked. Cameron shrugged, dumping his case
on the back seat, and getting in beside her, pulling the door shut.
"Borin'." He admitted. "I'm not the biggest fan of transatlantic flyin',
and they never play the best movies in the world. Still, I'm 'ere now
an' it wasn't like it was bumpy or rough. Pretty okay, all in all."
"You get used to flying places all the time, trust me." Topaz told
him. She paused, then, "Cameron?"
"With Violet's wedding and everything - do you ever stop to think about
"Yeah, sometimes." Cameron looked startled. "Why do you ask?"
"I dunno." Topaz admitted. "It's just, well, exchanging vows is such
a big deal commitment. It made me think a little about things."
"We live so far apart really, don't we?" Cameron sighed. "It's hard
to have a proper relationship that way. I'm sorry, Rora."
"It's fine." Topaz dismissed it with a wave of her hand, flicking the
indicator and pulling the car out of the carpark. "We both have busy lives
and well, it makes it special to see you, you know?" She smiled. "Besides,
if we lived in each other's pockets, maybe we'd hate each other."
"Maybe." Cameron pursed his lips. "But I can't imagine it. Can you?"
"No." Topaz acknowledged. "Do you think Taylor's nervous? I know Vi
"Well, 'e wouldn't be 'uman if 'e weren't, and I've been teasin' 'im
as 'ard as I can go." Cameron laughed. "Oh, 'e'll be okay on the day, Rora.
'E loves Violet and that's what matters. They'll be fine."
"I think they will too." Topaz nodded. "You're stopping with him at
the Teenangel place, right?"
"Yep. Aaron seems...a little..out of it at the moment, I didn't want
to impose on him and it seemed logical to stop with the groom, bein' best
man an' all that." Cameron agreed. "What's up with 'im, Rora? Somethin'
"Nothing since he got turned down by Copper. It's still the same thing
- he hasn't gotten over it yet." Topaz responded. "Poor guy. Copper's
hurting too, mind you. It's a messy situation and I want to fix it, but
I really don't see how I can."
"Well, when you interfere in stuff, it's more likely to make it messy."
Cameron observed philosophically. "Maybe I'll give 'im a call, mind you,
get 'im out of 'is flat an' back with the livin'. Hey, this car 'ave 'air
conditionin'? I'm swelterin' here!"
"Sorry." Topaz reached over to turn a dial. "I forgot you weren't used
to Californian weather. It's not so hot today really."
"Well, it is for me." Cameron grinned. He cast her a sidelong glance,
then, "Say, are you really okay, Rora? You're actin' kinda preoccupied."
"Huh?" Topaz looked startled, then she blushed.
"I'm sorry." She said sheepishly. "I'm not feeling wonderful today,
if you must know."
"It must've been a 'ell of a night last night then." Cameron looked
amused. Topaz nodded.
"I didn't get a lot of sleep." She owned. "I'll be all right, don't
"All right, if you say so." Cameron smiled. "Of course, if you feel
you need examinin' by a trainee doctor..." He raised an eyebrow suggestively,
and despite herself, Topaz laughed.
"I'm sure there will be time for that." She agreed, almost without
thinking. "And here we are, at the beach. Time to get your shoes off,
Cameron - we're going paddling!"
"Okay, that's enough for that shot."
Zoe held up her hands, casting a grin at the stage hands who immediately
flurried onto the set to change it. "Mr Llewelyn, how much more do you
want done today? I mean, I've no plans for tonight, but we're running over
to six o'clock as it is, and I think Diablo are starting to get tired."
"We need the video ready as soon as humanly possible." Rory glanced
across at her. "Since you were so unable to work the other day, we rather
have a tight schedule."
"My apologies." Zoe blushed slightly. "Everything got a bit out of
hand and my own schedule was messed about. It's fine now, though, and I
don't mind staying, if Diablo don't mind."
"We've been here since half seven this morning!" Stefana rolled her
eyes, tossing herself down on the edge of the dais and lighting a cigarette.
"Can't we at least take five?"
"Sure, we've the set to sort out too." Zoe nodded at her. "If you guys
wanna head out for five or ten minutes, we'll have the next shot set up
here ready for when you get back. We'll work as quick as we can, Stefana,
I promise -I'm sorry to keep you over."
"Well, if it gets us a hit, who cares?" Clay, Diablo's British born
drummer shrugged, twirling his sticks. "It's cool with us, Zoe. We'll stop
here till midnight if it takes that long to get it right."
"No we damn well won't." Stefana glowered at him. "I'm going outside
and I'm not coming back in till this set is ready." She glared at Zoe.
"If you'd bother to keep your engagements, we wouldn't be here now!"
With that she flounced off, banging the door behind her.
Marissa slipped down off the edge of the dais.
"It's okay, Zoe, she's just spouting off." She assured the video artist.
Zoe looked rueful, shaking her head.
"No, it's my fault." She responded. "I let things get on top of me
and I let you folk down, so I deserve a bit of flack from Stefana. I don't
think we've a whole lot more to do, anyway. It's coming together nicely
and then I'll take the tape away and splice it up as soon as I can. It's
not like I have anything much penned in my diary between now and Violet's
"I've heard about that. It's a big deal occasion, isn't it?" Marissa
looked thoughtful. Zoe nodded.
"Got a hot date?"
"Well, my cousin is taking me, but I'm told he's hot." Zoe looked rueful.
"I haven't really noticed. I'm afraid I was working too much to get anyone
"Ah well." Marissa laughed. "You'll have a blast anyway, no doubt."
"I hope so." Zoe nodded. She gestured towards the door. "You don't
have to stick around, by the way. I have to chivvy the set engineers, and
I'm sure you have enough to do."