Part One: Lovesick

Chapter Four: A Valentine Surprise

"It's just been one of those weeks."
Copper stepped down off the stage, following the rest of the band into the back of the big studio with a sigh. "I swear, if anything else could happen then it would have. I don't know what it is of late, but I really wasn't looking forward to this morning's interview. I felt...creepy."
"Creepy? Why?" Sylva cast her companion a surprised look. It was three days on, Valentines Day, and the girls had played their new single to a rousing reception on the popular morning show hosted by Nancy's long term boyfriend Dean Stacey. The performance had gone without a hitch, and so there was some reason for Sylva's confusion. "I don't get it, Copper. What's so weird about playing Dean's show? We do it all the time."
"Well, let's think about this." Copper sighed. "Monday, I get a weird letter for some guy. Tuesday I get chocolates, rammed into our mailbox beneath a bunch of other stuff. Wednesday, someone sends me a "just emailed to say I love you" card over the net while I'm talking to Ros. Today is Valentines - I half dreaded that whoever this guy is, he was going to do something live on television."
"Ooh, that would've been icky." Sylva grimaced. "But it didn't happen, you know. So you have a fan with a serious crush on you - stars get this all the time. You should be touched by it."
"But I'm engaged." Copper grimaced. "I haven't even told Aaron. We're meeting for lunch later, and I'm not quite sure how to broach the subject with him. It all began out of the blue."
"Copper, fans don't see us as real people." Topaz said sensibly. "We're public property to them. That you might be madly in love with Aaron doesn't occur to them. In their minds, you're there for the adoring - and people will adore you. It's flattering in it;s own way, that whoever this guy is, he's bestowing his attention on you."
"I don't find it flattering." Copper admitted. "I might, had it not been for that letter, but I wish he'd give up. I..."
She pushed open the door of the dressing room, stopping dead as she registered the huge bouquet of yellow roses that lay on the unit. "Oh God, now what? What the..."
"Happy Valentines Day." A voice came from behind them, and Copper swung around, her apprehension turning into sheepish embarassment as she registered her fiance.
"Aaron!" She exclaimed. "Oh, did you leave the roses here?"
"Were you expecting someone else?" Aaron eyed his girlfriend in some confusion. "Copper, are you all right? I mean, I know they're not red roses, but I didn't figure..."
"They're beautiful." Copper hugged him tightly, kissing him on the cheek. "Oh, I'm sorry. I just thought that...well, it's hard to explain it, really, but..."
"Copper has a secret admirer." Sylva said succinctly, moving to examine the bouquet. "Hey, these really are awesome, have him well trained."
"A secret admirer, huh?" Aaron sent his fiancee an amused look. "Since when?"
"Since Monday." Copper cast Sylva a glare. "I mean, that's when I first heard from him. And he isn't so secret. I mean I have his name and his picture - he wrote me a...a fan letter and sent me a necklace. Since then I've had something every day - chocolates, emails...I was half afraid when I came in here that he'd struck again. Coming into my dressing room is a bit too close for comfort, so I'm glad these were from you."
"Well, I promise." Aaron laughed. "Though I didn't realise you were in such hot demand. Maybe I should've forked out the extra bucks and bought you orchids instead, if I have competition?"
"You don't have competition!" Copper shook her head. "I mean, Syl thinks he's a cute guy but I wish he wouldn't send me things. I was half afraid of what he might do on air, in all honesty...I'm just glad it didn't come to that."
"It's cool, Copper. I'm used to dating one of Rock and Roll's most beautiful musicians." Aaron kissed her gently. "I'm not jealous and I'm not worried. Whoever he is has good taste, but he's at your door too late. Once he realises it, he'll move his affections on elsewhere. You'll see."
"You're really okay with this?" Copper looked relieved. "I was worried you'd be mad and go hunt him down or something. I mean, well, he wrote some"
"I think vomit-inducing is the adjective you're looking for." Nancy put in at that juncture, as Copper paused, searching for an adequate explanation. "He wrote her a sicky loveletter, Aaron, that had her blushing out of her seat. Trust me, this isn't the kind of guy who'd stand as serious romantic competition in any circumstances. He's clearly a loser with nothing better to do than write love letters to stars."
She cast Copper a grin.
"No offence meant."
"None taken." Copper dropped down on the unit beside the roses, lifting the bouquet into her lap and reading over the card. "Aaron, these really are beautiful. I'm sorry they didn't get quite the reception you hoped for, but I'm gonna take them back with me and put them in water."
"You do that." Aaron grinned. "Cynthia and I have to finish off here, but we're still meeting for lunch, yes?"
"Yes." Copper agreed. "Without a doubt."
"Then I'll come by the Starlight at about twelve, okay? I know you're probably in studio this afternoon and I have an appointment with the tangled mess of wires that calls itself Aunt Phyl's computer anyway."
"Twelve sounds great." Copper nodded. "I'll see you then."
"Sure." Aaron squeezed her hand. "And don't worry about this admirer business, okay? It doesn't bother me in the least."
"I'm glad." Copper grinned. "Thanks for understanding, Aaron. I'll see you later."
"You know, Nance, you have a pretty cool brother." Sadie remarked, as the five Jewel girls gathered together their belongings, heading out to the waiting limousine that would take them to their estate. "Some guys would've thrown a fit over something like this."
"I think there'd have been a time where Aaron would have, too." Nancy pursed her lips. "In school...well, he's never been possessive or domineering or any of those things, but I remember he did get into fisticuffs with a guy who made a really blatant pass at a chick he was dating. I mean a major pass - he groped her in the movie theatre and Aaron was livid about it. He beat the crap out of the jerk, too."
She eyed Copper thoughtfully. "Though if this guy had groped you, I think he'd be equally livid."
"Well, nobody is groping anyone." Copper said firmly. "I'm glad he understands and isn't going to get crazy over this. I guess we've been dating so long that he knows that there's absolutely no risk of him being replaced. In a month we're going to be husband and wife anyway. And I don't really care what the showbiz predictions are for celebrity marriages - mine is going to last."
"Cool Trash reckons you're ninety-five percent likely to make it as a couple, and they hate us." Topaz reflected. "Even the media can see how strong you two are. This is just a guy with a slightly sad crush, that's all. He'll get over it, like Aaron said - and move his affection on somewhere else."
"I hope he does it soon." Copper pursed her lips, climbing into the back of the limo and pushing the door open further for her companions. "I'm not a femme fatale type - never have been - and it makes me uncomfortable to have some guy I don't even know showering me with gifts and letters and whatever else."
"When he emailed you, Copper, was it your fan address or your home email?" Sadie asked. Copper frowned.
"The fan one, of course." She replied. "If he was emailing my home address, Sadie, I would be seriously worried. Nobody knows that except Mama, Ros, Luis and my friends."
"And let's face it, Copper -at least you have someone to buy you stuff for Valentine's Day." Topaz grinned.
"Well, let's hope that only Aaron has bothered to do so." Copper said dryly. "Are you not picking Hollie up from the creche?"
"No, not since we're in the studio later. I'm going to grab a bite to eat then go to Misfit Music and spend some time with her there before we have to work again." Topaz shook her head. "I tell you this, though, when she's old enough to go to school life will be a lot easier. I'll feel less guilty about sending her off to the tender mercies of some unsuspecting Elementary school teacher than dropping her at daycare. When she turns three I intend on enrolling her in kindergarten anyway."
"At least the kid is sociable and makes friends easily." Nancy pointed out. "She could sit in the corner and scream all day."
She looked sheepish.
"Like me."
"I can see that." Sylva grinned. "I bet you were a charmer to look after as a kid."
"I hated the creche." Nancy nodded. "In the end, the woman in charge told Mom to take her delinquent somewhere else. Remember, of course, that Mom was chief exec at Misfit Music when I was a I must've been pretty bad, for the woman to dare. I used to spend some mornings in the office with Mom after that, if Dad was working...or Dad would take me on photoshoots if Mom had important meetings. It was kinda fun, in a way. I felt real grown up."
"You really did grow up at Misfit Music, didn't you?" Copper remarked. Nancy nodded.
"It's one hundred percent in my blood." She agreed. "I guess that's why coming there after school was such a logical progression."
As the limousine drew into the crescent shaped forecourt of the Starlight Estate, none of the girls noticed that they were being carefully observed from behind one of the many big spiky bushes that surrounded the drive. As they got out, thanking the driver and heading up the front steps of the house, the figure felt his heart pound with a mixture of excitement and anger.
She was carrying flowers.
He cursed.
So her good-for-nothing fiance had got in first this time, had he? He thought that roses were enough?
"Nothing is enough. Not for her." He muttered. "I'd like to slit his throat. How dare he think he can win her over with just silly roses? I'll show her how it should be done. Don't worry, Copper. I won't let him take you away. I'll rescue you...I promise."

"Anyone for lemonade?"
Sadie headed into the kitchen, grabbing the jug from the fridge and pouring herself a glass. "Speak now or forever hold your peace!"
Count me in." Nancy agreed. "It's not so hot today, but geez, someone should tell whoever operates the weather round here that this is February and not July. Working under hot lights in this weather takes it out of you!"
"Working takes it out of me, period." Sylva rolled her eyes. "Not that I don't love doing it, but sometimes it'd be nice to have a lie in."
She grinned at Sadie. "Lemonade for me too please, Sade. Gonna need it if we're singing in studio later on."
"We will be. The heat is on in more senses than one." Nancy remarked. "Mom dropped some hint last night about Diablo stepping up their publicity campaign and us needing to make sure we match them blow for blow. I don;t know, you guys. I get very tired of competing with Diablo. We were here first - it should be up to them to compete with us."
"Yeah, well, Stefana seems to subscribe to that view." Topaz grimaced. "She's always in Cool Trash spouting some crap or other about how good Diablo are and how hard they worked to get there and all that stuff."
"Well, if she's a little piece of hell, I'd like to send her back to join her mothership." Nancy took the glass that Sadie held out, taking a sip. "Thanks, Sadie."
"We shouldn't let Stefana get to us." Copper reflected.
"No, we shouldn't, but it's hard not to when she's so damn irritating." Sylva pulled a face. "Come on, Copper, don't tell me you like the girl now? She's practically drooling herself silly over your fiance, if you hadn't forgotten."
"I hadn't forgotten." Copper shook her head. "But I trust Aaron as much as he does me. Stefana can drool all she likes, Syl - she's only going to make an idiot of herself in the long run."
"She doesn't need any help to do that." Nancy laughed. "Besides, what would my brother see in her, anyhow? I don't pretend to be an expert on love and all of that junk, but I don't think some skinny ghost of a guitarist with a stinky attitude is quite Aaron's taste."
"Was that the door?" Sadie set the jug back in the fridge, pausing. "I'm sure I heard a knock - maybe it's the post?"
"I'll go." Sylva slipped off her bar stool, heading out into the hall and unlocking the front door, letting out a surprised exclamation as she did so.
A delivery man stood on the doorstep, a huge bouquet of flowers in his hands.
"Delivery for a Miss Santiago?" He said.
"Copper!" Sylva got a grip on herself. "Copper, it's for you!"
"For me?" Copper emerged into the hall, stopping dead.
"Oh my...he can't have!"
"Look, can someone sign for this damn thing? I do have other deliveries to make, you know!" The delivery man cast the two girls a derisive scowl. "Come on, I don't care if my form is signed by King Kong. I have two more neighbourhoods to do before I can clock off!"
"Sorry." Sylva grabbed the form, scrawling her name across it and taking the bouquet from him, closing the door. Solemnly she held it out to her friend.
"I guess this isn't from Aaron." She said quietly. Copper took it gingerly.
"I guess not." She agreed. "Maybe I spoke too soon about him leaving me alone today...what in hell possessed him?"
"What's all the fuss?" Nancy lounged in the doorway, her eyes widening. "Oh christ! Copper, your admirer strikes again?"
"Definitely." Copper bit her lip, coming into the kitchen and dumping the flowers down on the table. "Someone making a point."
"Does it have a card?" Topaz asked. Sylva rummaged among the stems, producing a bent card, which she proceeded to read out.
"To Copper. Just a small token of my love this valentines." She read. "Small token? Hell, what does this guy do when he goes wholesale?"
"I don't want to know." Copper shivered. "I dunno, you guys, I'm starting to get really creeped out by this. First that letter, and now all of this fuss...I feel like I have a stalker!"
"It's just a few gifts, Copper. Don't freak out." Topaz said gently. "It was bound to happen to one of us eventually, with Jewel so manic in Los Angeles. It's not really odd that it's you - you're the one the magazines always tout as being Jewel's rock babe. It's not like Aaron is bothered by it, either, so there's no reason why you should be."
"I dunno. I'm with Copper." Sadie eyed the bouquet, biting her lip. "It seems slightly coincidental that this guy has a mega bunch of flowers delivered on Valentines Day, right after Aaron bought Copper roses. Does anyone else see this?"
"Flowers aren't exactly abnormal on Valentines Day." Sylva pointed out. Sadie shrugged.
"I know that." She said patiently. "Alex bought me lilies last night when we were out, since he had to fly out to Utah to close up this case this morning. I'm aware that flowers and valentines kinda go hand in hand. But..."
She shook her head.
"I don't know. There's just something funny at work here."
"Please, Sadie, don't. I'm already creeped out enough." Copper begged. "I want him to go away and leave me alone!"
"Maybe you should make some kind of public statement, then." Topaz suggested.
"That would only encourage him. To make a public statement she'd have to acknowledge the guy." Nancy pointed out. "I reckon if you let it lie and don't give him any encouragement he'll let you alone, Copper. Noone's going to keep this up unreciprocated for long."
"Well, I hope so." Copper cast another look at the flowers, then, "I'm going upstairs to change. Someone else do something with those?"
Before anyone could answer, she was gone, door swinging shut behind her.
"You really think there's something funny in this, Sadie?" Topaz turned pale blue eyes on the British girl, who pursed her lips.
"When we came in this morning I had the sensation of being watched." She said slowly. "Noone else felt it?"
"Nope." Sylva shook her head. "Watched? You mean someone was actually on the premises?"
"I don't know. I didn't see anyone." Sadie shrugged. "I figured it was just my paranoia at the time. Maybe it wasn't."
She frowned.
"But before we leave for work, I'm going to have a good sweep of the bushes and make sure that, if someone was here, they're not here now. Copper's already freaked out enough."
"I'll come with you." Nancy said grimly. "Let's go now, get it out of the way while Copper's upstairs. Then she needn't know, and if it is just your paranoia, well, you're not going to be scaring her even more."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Sadie agreed. "All right. You take the left side of the house, and I'll take the right. It shouldn't take us long to scour the front driveway."
"Be careful." Topaz warned. "If someone is out there, then don't challenge them. Call the security folk."
"We'll be careful." Sadie promised. "Come on, Nance. Let's see what we can find."
Twenty minutes later, the two girls returned, each wearing an identical grave expression.
"Well? Did you find anyone?" Sylva demanded. Nancy shook her head.
"Not a soul." She replied. "The forecourt was empty."
"That's a relief." Topaz murmured. "I'm trying to raise a one year old here and I don't like the idea of nutters prowling the bushes looking for momentos."
"We didn't say noone was ever there." Sadie said quietly. Slowly she held out her hand, opening it to reveal a button. "I found this behind one of the bushes. Right next to some dusty footprints. Someone was here. They just cleared out."
"You're sure?" Sylva took the button, turning it over. Sadie nodded.
"I vote we keep an eye on Copper's mail." She said softly. "I don't know who this guy is or what he wants. He might just be a harmless obsessive, but as Topaz said, we've an infant in the house, among other things. It's worth being safe."
"Now you're creeping me out!" Sylva shivered. "Do we tell Copper any of this?"
"Better not. There's nothing she can do - the guy hasn't done anything to her." Nancy shook her head. "So long as he just watches from a distance, there's not much anyone can do about it. This is a free country, after all."
"Then we'll just wait and see how it works out." Topaz pursed her lips. "I dunno. Suddenly this whole secret admirer thing doesn't seem to be much of a joke any more!"


Prologue: Downtown Los Angeles
Chapter One: A Special Task
Chapter Two: A Bitter Heart
Chapter Three: A Fan Letter
Chapter Four: A Valentine Surprise
Chapter Five: Cynthia's Advice
Chapter Six: Interception
Chapter Seven: Test Of A Friendship
Chapter Eight: Rendezvous
Chapter Nine: Cat Burglar
Chapter Ten: Phoebe's Plan
Chapter Eleven: Copper!

Copper, Nancy, Sylva, Anna, Blade, Raesha, Sirena, Topaz, Aaron, Sophie, Justin, Elliot, Rosita, 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!