Three: When Life Goes On...
A STARLIGHT WEDDING
Chapter Eleven: A Missing Groom
It was almost time.
Stefana slipped out of the shadows, crossing the road quickly to the
hotel, and pushing open the double doors, disappearing inside before anyone
could recognise her. It was the day of the wedding, and she had arisen
early, determined to check on Jesta and ensure that everything was indeed
going to plan.
Jesta was already waiting for her in the hotel lounge, lazily smoking
a cigarette. She raised an eyebrow as the guitarist entered, offering a
"You're late." She observed quietly. "We said half past, it's twenty
"I'm a star, I can come when I like." Stefana snapped, dropping down
into the seat opposite and lighting her own cigarette. "Well? Talk. I
don't have all day. Some of us have work to do today, even if some big
nonsense wedding is going on at the Starlight Mansion."
"Well, first of all...the whisper is that Copper and Aaron are back
together." Jesta said slowly, eying the reaction of her companion like a
hawk, and taking great satisfaction from the glimmer of angry hurt that flickered
and vanished in the other girl's green eyes. "I don't know more than that,
but my...um...friend, Flame, seems to think they had some kinda long
chat. Don't ask me where she got it from." She curled her lip in a distasteful
smirk. "Though I have my suspicions it's entirely involved with the reason
I've got her doing my bidding, as it were."
"Are you gonna tell me what that reason is?"
"Why should I?" Jesta exhaled a careless cloud of smoke, tapping ash
in the ashtray on the table before her. "Less people who know, less people
who can spoil my fun."
"Watch your mouth. Remember what I'm doing for you." Stefana glowered.
"Yeah, maybe, but I'm allowed my own amusement." She responded. "Besides,
don't worry. You'll know soon enough. When I'm bored with her begging
me to relinquish my evidence, I'll give it up." Her eyes twinkled. "To
some sleazy news rag!"
"Mm." Stefana's eyes narrowed. "And the other thing? The wedding?"
"Oh, that's taken care of." Jesta grinned, extinguishing her cigarette
and relaxing back in her chair. "Taylor's Stag Night was last night, and
he's taken...shall we say...a little trip. By the time he gets back...well,
always supposing he will get back. He doesn't know America any better
than I do." She shrugged.
"What if he phones home?"
"Oh, simple." Jesta reached into her pocket, setting down something
on the table. "I kinda acquired this."
"Flame again?" Stefana picked up the mobile phone. Jesta nodded.
"She's been useful." She mused. "Ive kinda enjoyed getting one over
on the bitch, too. She's so damn desperate to keep this secret of hers she'll
do anything I ask!"
She indicated the phone.
"Taylor's, in case you were wondering. I'm going to stick it in Jewel's
mailbox in a while. I took it for insurance - Flame is at the Starlight
herself and she's supposed to intercept any calls made to the house, but
I thought, you know, can't be too careful." She smiled. "Noone will know
who put it in the mailbox. Anonymous donation, and all that. But it'll impede
him contacting his precious Violet."
She spat out the name, and Stefana eyed her companion carefully.
"What gives with these Teenangels? What did they do to you?"
"Teenangel Outsiders are to Britain what Jewel are to America." Jesta
pulled a face. "Need I say more?"
"Well, what do I care, in the end." Stefana shrugged. "So long as it's
a mess and everything goes wrong, I'm happy." She smiled slightly.
"And if it does, come see me. I don't forget my promises, and you'll
have your reward. Just you wait and see."