Jetta's Chronicle

Chapter Eight

"You know, one thing about America that never fails to amaze me is 'ow different every place is from each other."

As they walked through the bustling, busy city streets, Jetta glanced around her, a thoughtful look on her face. "You know? I've
lived in Los Angeles for what, three years, near enough now? An' I'm well used to Californian city life. But whenever we're
away, it's always cool to see 'ow much variety there is across the country. Las Vegas ain't like California at all."

"Well, America is such a big country, I suppose it was inevitable." Justin observed. "My geography teacher at school used to
say that, whatever you wanted to see in the world - mountains, volcanoes, snow, sun, was all right here in the United
States." He grinned. "My job has taken me through most of it, too."

"Well, speakin' as a foreigner, I 'ave to say that England is a different world yet again." Jetta responded. "I'm comin' to the
conclusion that there ain't two places alike on this earth." A smile touched her face. "I'd kinda like to visit as many of 'em as I
can, before I pop me clogs an' get nailed up in me box."

"Well, here's another one to add to your list." Justin grinned. "Truthfully, Jetta, I'd love to see England as much as you want to
see the world. I've watched television programmes on Europe, but I've never had an excuse to go...I've often envied you that,
that you've been a part of two such different worlds."

"My world in England wasn't worth envying, Justin." Jetta said quietly. "Mind you, goin' back to England is cool, so long as it ain't a family visit."

"I was serious, you know, about us maybe taking a trip out there some time." Justin reminded her. Jetta laughed.

"You wouldn't last ten seconds alone in the world I grew up in." She told him dryly. "But sure, if you're so keen. I guess it couldn't 'urt...just once."

"I am keen." Justin nodded. He grabbed Jetta's arm, stopping her and indicating the view behind them of the city in all it's spectacular glory. In the clear, cloud-free darkness the city was lit up brighter than a christmas tree in neon signs, and in it's own way it was a breathtaking sight.

"What do you reckon?" he remarked. "Pretty, huh?"

"It really is another world." Jetta murmured, and glancing at her Justin could tell the image had captured her imagination.
 "So...I dunno. Unique...but beautiful."

Gently he kissed her.

"So are you." He told her softly. "Both unique and beautiful."

Jetta's cheeks pinkened slightly at this, not knowing quite how to respond. She did not pull away from his reassuring grip,
however, and for a moment they just stood there, watching the lights.

"Tonight is a night for lovers." Justin decided. "Don't you reckon?"

"In my book, who needs an excuse?" Jetta grinned.

"You're terrible." Justin scolded. "I was trying to be romantic!"

Jetta looked unrepentant.

"You should know me well enough by now to know I dont bite on that." She said firmly. "It is magical 'ere though, mind you. In
a weird, surreal kinda way. I know I ain't never gonna forget it."

Justin paused, gauging his companion's mood and weighing up his options. In the glow of the bright neon lights she looked ever
the more striking, her grey eyes for once softened by the sight before her, and the wind gently played with wisps of her dark
hair. In an instant, he made up his mind. Yes, it was a gamble, he told himself, but that's why he had come to Las Vegas - to
gamble. And he couldn't keep losing his nerve. He'd shied away from it in the restaurant, allowed the subject to move onto
other things, but he knew that he wouldn't forgive himself if they left Las Vegas the next day without him having at least posed
the question. He hesitated for a moment, pursing his lips. He knew how much he loved her, but how much did she love him?
More than she'd ever loved before, that he was sure of, but how would she react? Would she push him away?

"Only one way to find out." He murmured to himself, steeling his nerves, then, out loud he said

"We could make it even more special tonight, you know."

"Oh?" Jetta turned curious grey eyes on him. "What you got in mind?"

"You see that building over there?" Justin pointed. Jetta nodded.

"Yeah...what about it?"

"That's the wedding chapel." He grinned at her. "Fancy an adventure?"

"Get married?" Shock entered Jetta's grey eyes. "Are you mad?"

"No...I'm in love." Justin responded with a smile. "And I'm totally serious, Jetta. Don't you think that it would be the most
perfect ending to a perfect week, to come away from here man and wife? You'd not have any of the wedding ceremony hassles
that you'd have if we did it in California with everyone there...and you said yourself that our relationship is growing stronger all
the time."

"God, I don't know." Jetta frowned. "Justin, this is all sudden and..."

"Jetta, I know better than I ever have that you are the only woman I want to be with." Suddenly Justin's tone had lost it's teasing
note, and he cupped her chin in his hand, meeting her bewildered grey eyes with his soft brown ones. "I don't want to lose
you...not ever."

"You're a bloody fool." Jetta said bluntly. "Wantin' to spend your life with me."

"Why is it so crazy?" Justin asked.

"You think I'm gonna make you 'appy? You think I'm good wife material?" Jetta demanded. "For a start, you want kids an' I
don' really think we're a match made in 'eaven?"

"All I know is that I love you." Justin said softly. "And to be honest, it's not just me being mad and impulsive. I've wanted to ask
you for a while, but I've been too afraid to say it...just tonight seemed to be perfect."

"You really love me that much?" Despite herself, Jetta's heart was touched by his simple affection for her. Justin nodded.

"Yes." He agreed solemnly. Jetta bit her lip.

"I wish I had 'alf the conviction you do." She murmured, turning away from him to glance back at the view. She frowned. "Why
tonight, Justin? What made you ask me now?"

"Things seemed to be going my way." Justin told her softly. "The casino win, a nice dinner...and then a walk under the stars..."

"I knew there was a reason behind this little walk of yours." Jetta's brow knitted together. "An ulterior motive. This was it,
wasn't it? You wanted to show me the weddin' chapel an' try your luck?"

"Yes, I suppose I did." Justin admitted. "I wanted to ask you in the restaurant, but I chickened out. But I'd resolved that I
wasn't going back to LA without at least having asked you. If you're not ready for it, Jetta, I won't love you any the less and it
won't change anything, I promise. I just love you and I don't want to let you go. That's the honest truth. We've had our ups and downs, but I've never felt as close to you as I have this week, away from all the pressure back home."

"Those pressures would still be there, you know. When we go 'ome." Jetta sighed. "This isn't real, Justin. It's just a break. Los Angeles is real...that's where we're both rooted down."

"I know." Justin acknowledged. "But there are some things I think we'd be stronger facing together. I decided some time ago that I wanted to stick with you, Jetta, despite everything we've gone through of late. I know I'd wait for you as long as it took...but whilst we're here...I needed to ask."

Jetta glanced up at him, her expression unreadable. There was a long silence, which threatened to grow oppressive, then a
smile touched her lips.

"You bottled it in the restaurant?" She asked. Justin nodded sheepishly.


"So that was what all that prattle about weddings and Las Vegas was about?"

"Er...yeah...I guess so."

"How many times 'ave you been plottin' to ask me an' bottled it?"

"Um, a few." Justin admitted. "I mean, it's been in my mind, but I didn't think of actually voicing it until we were here."

"An' that's why Las Vegas?"

"No, that was coincidence. Just as I said - my friend offered me a favour and I took it." Justin glanced at his hands. "But since we were here, it's been nagging at me. I figured you wouldn't want a big deal fuss. It's partly impulsive, Jetta. I mean,
tonight and the lights, it actually felt right, not as scary as it's been before. But on the other hand it's not impulse. It's something
I've wanted to discuss with you for a while."


Jetta frowned, clearly turning this over in her mind. Justin watched anxiously as a range of emotions crossed her features. She paused, then awkwardly squeezed his hand.

"Nobody ever asked me to marry them before." She murmured. "I always thought that, if a bloke did, I'd laugh in his face. But...I'm not laughin'. I'm thinkin' things through. What it would mean...for both of us. I don't really know what married couples do, except nag and argue an' yell at the kids."

"We don't have to follow anyone else's pattern, you know." Justin offered her a smile. "We're not other couples. We're us. We'd make up our own rules. I'm not asking you to become Mrs Domestic. I'm just asking you to be a part of my life for as long as we're around. That's all. How we did it...well...that would be up to us, wouldn't it? We'd be the same people tomorrow as we are tonight. We'd just have an extra bond...something special and concrete."

Jetta looked startled.

"No kids?" She ventured. "No me cookin' an' cleanin' while you're out at 'avin' to give up the Misfits?"

"I wouldn't ask anything of you that you didn't want yourself." Justin said simply. Jetta pursed her lips.

"Oh, what the 'ell." She said softly. "Let's go mad an' do it. It might be fun to spring a surprise on 'em all...and I'm damned if I wanna spend the rest of my life bein' a member of the no-good Burns family. Not to mention that it'll show Pizzazz once and for all that I'm me own boss an' make me own choices. If we're married, she can't stop me seeing you, can she?"

Justin's eyes lit up.

"That was a yes?" he asked. "A definite yes?"

"I guess it was." Jetta grinned. "So long as I get a ring out of it."

"A ring? By all means." Justin winked. "Come on. The stores are open till late. We got time to choose rings and do it right here
and right now...if you've any doubts, speak now!"

"I don't go back on my decisions once they're made, an' I ain't afraid of anythin', least of all you." Jetta assured him. "Let's go."

"I wonder where the best place is around here to get a wedding ring." Justin mused.

"Well, I'm choosin' it." Jetta told him. She smirked. "An' it's gonna be expensive. No tacky rubbish. I want class."

"I wouldn't expect you to choose anything less." Justin kissed her on the forehead. "Hey, I think I see a jewellery store over
across the way, you see where I'm looking?"

"Yes, I see." Jetta nodded her head. "You know, it seems kinda bizarre to 'ave a jewellers in the middle of an area like this."

"Not when you remember the chapel." Justin pointed out, leading the way towards the store.

"Are you goin' to 'ave a ring, too?"

"Sure." Justin nodded his head. "You think I don't want a memento of this, Jetta?" He laughed. "Maybe we can get it

"Justin, we fly out of Las Vegas tomorrow." Jetta interrupted him. "It's late now. We ain't got all bleedin' night. If we're going to
do this then we're going to do it...we ain't 'anging around for no engraver."

"You're eager all of a sudden!" Justin stared at her. Jetta blushed.

"Guess you've got to me." She confessed. "It's kinda a buzz, thinkin' about it." She grinned. "Playin' 'em all for fools back 'ome,
you know? Comin' 'ome Sheila Pelligrini instead of Sheila Burns! Pizzazz will freak when she finds out...totally freak! She'll 'ave
to change all me paperwork to begin with! And Roxy...God, your sister's goin' to be gettin' a shock!"

Justin looked amused.

"Roxy's tough, she can handle it." He observed.

"Does she know you were gonna ask me?"

"Nope. Noone bar Mom knew." Justin looked a little embarrassed at this. "I...uh...wanted to know how Dad proposed to her."

"Is that why she seemed so keen to sing me your song the other week?"

"I don't know. My Mom's a strange being." Justin said ruefully. "But I'd like to think she had our best interests at heart. I often regret telling her I felt that way, actually...ever since I did, she's been poking her nose in like no tomorrow. She thinks she's guiding me, or something."

"Didn't your folks get divorced? Gianina's been married twice." Jetta reminded him, pushing open the door of the jeweller's and
pulling him over towards a display. "Ooh..."

"Just because Mom and Dad split up doesn't mean I don't get her advice." Justin laughed. He glanced at the ring display, then
raised an eyebrow. "Are you just looking for the most expensive ring in the store, Jetta?"

"Yep." Jetta agreed cheerfully. "Hey, we won a bomb, we can afford it. Besides..." She eyed him slyly. "Ain't I worth the most
expensive ring?"

"Of course you are." Justin told her. "But I want you to pick something you like, not something that just has a huge price tag on

"Okay, okay." Jetta grumbled. "An' shouldn't you be lookin' too, Mr Smarty? You said you wanted a memento!" She arched
an eyebrow. "That is, if you need one, and 'avin' me ain't enough..."

"Oh, quit it with the teasing." Justin laughed. "I'm greedy. I want you and a ring. Satisfied?"

"I suppose so." Jetta relented. "And by the way, I like that one. There." She smiled. "Classy, chic an' very expensive. Sounds
right to me."

Justin looked amused.

"You're impossible." he told her affectionately. "But then again, I suppose this is supposed to be the big occasion...okay. If
that's what you want, that's what we'll get."

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen