Chapter Eleven: Logan

"You're up early."
Sylva lounged in the doorway of her bedroom, tying her dressing gown around her waist and stifling a yawn. "What gives, Copper? We're on break and you're traipsing around the house at half nine? You feeling all right?"
"You seem to be awake too." Copper grinned. "But us brides-to-be have a lot to organise, you know. I've gotta go to the florist some time today, and make sure that the flowers are right - and then Aaron asked me if I could pick up his best man at the airport, since he's working all day and can't get there. I'm curious to meet Logan, so I said I'd do it. I have to call by Aaron's first to grab the receipt the florist faxed him, and then I'm off to LAX."
"Sounds like a fun morning." Sylva rolled her eyes. "If you don't mind, though, I think I'm going back to bed. Noone else is up yet, and your elephant footsteps will soon be someplace else than here, so I might get some shut-eye."
"Charming." Copper swiped her friend playfully. "I'll see you later, okay?"
"Sure." Sylva yawned again. "Bye, Copper. Have fun with the flowers."
Copper watched her friend pad back into her bedroom, closing the door. She smiled.
"Syl's the laziest of all of us." She remarked to herself, amused. "Now, did I remember to pick up Aaron's apartment keys from my dresser? They should be...Ah, they're here, in my pocket with the car keys. If I head over now I should be able to pick the receipt up no bother. He told me he'd leave it on the table, where I could find it easily, and he'll have left for work by now, so I won't be waking him at an unseemly hour. I should get going - Logan's flight gets into LAX in a couple of hours and I don't want to strand the guy at the airport. I wonder if Aaron texted him to tell him who was picking him up? Ah well, no matter."
She slid the apartment keys back into her pocket, heading down the main stairs to the front door. He had given her the copy of his key some months earlier, since, as Cynthia's chief mechanic, he had always had access to the Starlight Mansion, and she had loved him for trusting her with it.
"But then, soon, we'll have keys to the same home." She told herself, a warm feeling flooding her heart as she climbed into her car, putting the vehicle in gear and pulling out of the driveway. "Seems so strange, but it's really going to happen."
She reached down to turn on the radio, flicking the dial to a popular local rock station as she did so. It was a sunny day, and she was in high spirits.
"The girls were right about the dress." She decided, as she turned off the main highway into the residential area where Aaron lived. "It was horrible, but Gaynor's making me a gorgeous replacement, and in truth I'm starting to like this one even more. The fabric is so gorgeous - and Shana is such a doll to let Gaynor have it gratis. It must be expensive stuff."
She parked her car, turning off the engine and, humming an upbeat tune, she headed into the apartment building, casting the landlord a warm smile as she did so.
"Hi, Mr Randall! I'm here to pick something up from Aaron's apartment, that okay?"
"Not a problem with me, Miss Santiago." The middle aged man winked at her.  "Go on up."
Copper grinned at him, slipping into the lift and pressing the button for Aaron's floor. It was not long before she reached her destination and she slid the key easily into the lock, pushing open the front door and stepping inside.
"He said the table." She mused, moving into the kitchen to look for the receipt. "I wonder if he remembered...we've had so much to do lately, that..."
"What are you doing here?"
A voice startled her, and she swung around, her shock growing as she registered the speaker. Anger sparked in her brown eyes.
"I could ask you the same thing." She snapped. She held up the key. "I have a key. Do you?"
"No." Stefana shook her head. "Aaron said I could stay here." Defiance flared up in her tired green eyes.
"Since when?" Copper stared, and despite herself, Stefana managed a smirk.
"He didn't tell you, did he?" She realised. "Well, that's fun. If you must know, Copper, I've quit Diablo. Taking a time out, considering my next move. Aaron offered me a place to stay, and I took it." She narrowed her eyes. "You do trust him, don't you? I mean, you're not threatened by me stopping here?"
This needled Copper's fiery temper, and she scowled.
"Honey, I have never had any reason to be jealous of you." She said coldly. "Aaron has always been mine, before you were even on the scene. You know it, I know it and he knows it. I don't care if you've left your band, or whatever it was you went crying to him about. If you think you're going to break up my wedding by trying to insinuate that my fiance is dallying with you, then you've another think coming. Aaron would sooner jump from the Golden Gate Bridge than he would look twice at you."
"If you're so cool with Aaron's loyalty, Miss Santiago, why are you getting so riled up?" Stefana bristled at the insult, but, mindful of the previous night's events, she managed to keep a cap on her temper. In truth she was sober, for she had not taken anything with her from the Diablo house bar the small amount in her glovebox, and in any case she had not wanted to risk Aaron seeing her. She had been heading out to her car to get her pills when Copper had entered the apartment, and it had been the last thing she had either expected or needed in her fragile emotional state.
"Because you annoy me." Copper said frankly. "As you do everyone else in Los Angeles. It's not surprising, is it, that your band have kicked you out?"
"Noone kicked me out!" Stefana exclaimed. "I left of my own accord!"
"Well, bully for you." Copper shrugged, moving over to the kitchen unit and scooping up the receipt. "And this is what I came for, so I'll leave you alone."
She fixed Stefana with a dark look.
"Just try and mess with my marriage." She warned, no trace of her usual sweet temper in her voice. "And you'll have me - and more than just me - to answer to, you understand me? Nothing is going to spoil Aaron and my wedding, so get that into your head!"
With that parting shot she was gone, door banging behind her, and Stefana muttered the worst epithets she could find. She grabbed a glass from the kitchen unit, pouring herself water from the tap and sitting down at the table, resting her head in her hands.
"I hate that bitch." She muttered. "So damn stuck on herself. What Aaron sees in her I don't know!"
Copper, for her part, was both angry and shaken by the encounter. Dropping into the front seat of her car, she pulled her phone from the glovebox, dialling her fiance's number. He picked up on the third ring, and in tones that were more calm than she felt, Copper demanded to know what was going on.
Aaron cursed.
"Dammit, I should have warned you Stef would be there." He said at length. "I know you girls have this rivalry going on, Copper, with music and all. But she came to my place last night, in a state...she'd fallen out with the others and didn't have anywhere else to go. I don't know all the details of it, but I couldn't turn a friend away. I figured you'd understand."
"I probably would have done, if you had told me she'd be there. She gave me the fright of my life." Copper told him, her anger cooling some in light of her fiance's explanation. "I trust you, Aaron, and I know that there's nothing funny behind it. I just didn't expect to see her."
"My bad, Copper. I'm sorry." Aaron said sheepishly. "Did you grab the receipt okay?"
"Yep, it was on the unit, not the table, but hey, I'm learning malespeak." Copper said dryly. "I'm gonna head there now. I'm running later than I thought I'd be, though - what time was Logan's flight again?"
"Twenty to eleven." Aaron told her.
"Twenty to?" Copper's eyes widened. "I thought you said twenty past - I'm never gonna make it to LAX and to the florist!"
"Can you put the flower people off till later?" Aaron asked. "I'd get him myself but I'm kinda stuck in the middle of wires and circuits and I can't get away."
"No, I can't." Copper said slowly. "They get so busy after lunch. Look, I'll call the Starlight, huh? Nancy or someone will have to fetch him - I'm sure they'll help out."
"Okay." Aaron sounded relieved. "Thanks, Copper. And thank whoever goes, huh? I don't wanna strand the poor guy at the airport!"
"No problem. I'll speak to you later." Copper assured him. "And Aaron? I love you."
"Love you too." Aaron told her gently. "Bye, Copper. Good luck at the florist."
Copper terminated the call, pursing her lips as she considered her fiance's words about Stefana. She loved his open, gregarious, trusting nature, but sometimes she despaired of how dense he could be.
"I bet Stefana's trying some ploy and this leaving Diablo business is all an act." She muttered. "Still, it won't work. Aaron loves me, not her, and that's how it's always been. She might as well give up now."
She dialled the number of the Starlight Mansion, waiting impatiently for it to be picked up. Sylva's voice answered on the seventh ring, and Copper grinned at the indignation in her friend's voice.
"What in hell is it? Some of us are trying to sleep round here!"
"Syl, you dressed? It's Copper."
"Dressed? If nightgown and slippers is dressed, then yes, I'm dressed." Sylva retorted. "What gives, Copper? Where's the fire?"
"Anyone else up?"
"Nancy and Sadie disappeared off to the music company to work on a song Nancy'd dreamt up. Topaz is asleep, and so is Hollie...Cyn's at work. Why?"
"Can you get dressed quick?"
"What do you want me to do?" Sylva sounded suspicious, and Copper briefly outlined the problem.
"I don't even know what the guy looks like!" Sylva protested.
"Me either, Syl, but I'd appreciate it if you could go anyway." Copper begged. "I have to go deal with the flower people before the post-lunch rush, and to be honest, I'm in no frame of mind to be meeting new folk. Guess who I ran into at Aaron's place this morning?"
"Er, Aaron?"
"No. Stefana."
"What? At his apartment?" Sylva's voice became incredulous. Copper sighed.
"Yeah. She'd stopped the night. Told him some sob story about a fight with Luca and he bought into it. I think you were right, Syl. I think it was her who wrecked my dress, and I think this is another plot to interfere with the wedding. You know she's got a thing for Aaron, it'd be just like her."
"I bet that's exactly what happened, too." Sylva sounded disgusted. "It's a good thing Aaron's not the sleazeball type! Okay, Copper, I'll get dressed and head to the airport. Any clue as to what I'm looking for?"
"Not one." Copper told her ruefully. "Aaron did say he was fair haired, but you know guys and descriptions. That was pretty much all he could tell me."
"Well, I'll do my best." Sylva sounded resigned. "What time is the flight?"
"Twenty to eleven. Thanks, Syl. I owe you one."
"You sure do." Sylva laughed. "Okay, Copper. Later."
She hung up the phone, glancing at the clock on the wall.
"Just time for a quick shower, then it's Syl to the rescue." She told herself resignedly. "I might have known it'd be one of those days."
She retrieved her towel from it's hook, heading into the bathroom and letting the shower run till the water was hot.
"Stefana's asking for trouble if she keeps playing games with us, though. Noone's gonna stick it for long." She mused. "If I were Copper, I'd tell Aaron exactly what a bitch his so called friend really is!"
She pursed her lips, considering.
"And how in hell will I find this best man guy? Sheesh, he's blond, wow. What a giveaway that's gonna be. Like I've never seen a blond guy before!" 
She shrugged.
"Oh well. I'll do my best. If I have to ask every guy at the airport if he's did Copper say the last name was? Oh yeah, Logan Matthews. Well, if that's what I have to do, I guess I'll do it. It is for Copper and Aaron, after all."
She rolled her eyes.
"Why do I get this feeling we're in for another rollercoaster wedding at the Starlight?"

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

The airport was busy when Sylva arrived, and, after struggling to find a parking spot, she sauntered into the arrivals lounge, glancing with an expert eye over the monitors. A seasoned traveller as a child, Sylva's years in the spotlight had only accentuated the ease with which she handled the crazy chaos of the busy terminals, and she soon found the flight she was looking for.
"Down but not quite unloaded. That's good, I'm in time." She told herself. "I just hope I'll be able to find him. I suppose I could just stand and shout 'Logan!' at the top of my voice, but that wouldn't be very classy, and I do have a public image to uphold. Oh dammit," as she heard someone whisper her name. "I've been rumbled. I knew I should have worn my shades..."
"Sylva! Sylva, can I have your autograph!" A twelve year old girl was suddenly bouncing in front of her, eagerly waving a notebook. Before the young musician knew it, she was surrounded by people, as word caught on that there was a celebrity in their midst, and, as she signed autograph after autograph, her gaze flitted anxiously to the gate.
"I hope I don't miss him." She muttered, as she made out a message to someone called Tansie. "It would help if I knew who I was looking for."
At that moment, a stream of people began to emerge from baggage claim and, excusing herself delicately from the group of people, Sylva made her way across the lounge, scanning the faces of each person for someone who, at least vaguely, fitted Logan's description. The first guy she saw she quickly dismissed, for he was obviously with friends, and Copper had made it clear that Logan was flying from Milwaukee alone. The next fair haired guy she saw was greeted passionately by a brunette at the gate, and the one after that had a small three year old boy hoisted up on his shoulders. Looking at him, Sylva found herself thinking of Jack Miller, and his little girl, Courtenay.
As the stream of people began to taper off, Sylva began to worry that she had the wrong flight. Then, at the end of the group, she spotted a man of about the right age, with sandy hair and a blue case. Hoping against hope that she had found her man, she slipped forward to meet him, tapping him on the shoulder and meeting his confused look with a hesitant smile.
"Are you Logan Matthews, by any chance?" She hazarded.
The man's expression became more confused, and he nodded.
"That's me." He agreed. "But..."
"I'm Sylvina Martescu. Sylva." Relief flooded Sylva's expression. "I'm your ride - Aaron was working and Copper got tied up at the florist, so I'm afraid you're stuck with me. Aaron didn't want you to be abandoned at the airport, and I said I'd help out."
"Oh!" Comprehension entered Logan's hazel eyes, and he grinned. "Sylvina, huh? Say, you're one of those Jewel chicks that Aaron's girl plays with, right?"
"Yes, that's right." Sylva agreed.
"Hardly recognised you." Logan looked sheepish. "Thanks for coming to meet me, though. I haven't a clue where Aaron's apartment is - it's in a part of the city I don't know at all, to be honest - and I did wonder if I'd find a taxi okay."
"Well, my taxi awaits." Sylva dimpled.
"You're going to the wedding, then?"
"Oh, for sure." Sylva nodded. "Aaron is a good friend of mine and Copper is like a sister, almost. I wouldn't miss it for the world." She grinned. "In fact, I'm one of Copper's maids."
"I've not met this Copper girl." Logan admitted, as they crossed the parking lot towards Sylva's waiting vehicle. "Hey, nice wheels!"
"Thank you. I like it too." Sylva unlocked the car with some pride, sliding into the driver's seat as Logan followed suit the other side. "And yes, Copper said she hadn't met you. She and Aaron are so right together, though. It's pretty much an eventuality waiting to happen, this wedding. We're just thrilled that it finally will!"
"I'm both thrilled and petrified to be his best man." Logan grinned sheepishly. "Mind you, the guy better watch his back. I have all the high school dirt on him, and I do have a speech to write..."
"Oh, sounds juicy." Sylva's eyes twinkled. "You knew him through High School, then? I wondered how you'd met."
"Grew up with the guy. Went to junior high and high school with him." Logan nodded. "Then I went to college in Milwaukee - b-ball scholarship."
"I didn't realise you played ball."
"Not anymore." Logan looked rueful. "I wrecked my knee in freshman year. I mean, I can walk on it and all that, and I don't limp, but it destroyed any chance of going pro. Ligament damage. I had to find something else to focus on, and it wound up being computers."
He wound down the window. "I forgot how hot Cali gets, even in March!"
"Oh, sorry." Sylva looked sheepish, flicking on the air conditioning. "And that sucks about your leg. Were you good?"
"Well, people used to say so." Logan nodded. "But hey, academic now." He shrugged. "It's cool, it doesn't bother me. I admit that I didn't expect to settle in Milwaukee, though. I always thought I'd come back to California after I'd done school."
"Well, why didn't you?" Sylva wondered. "Cali's like no place on earth!"
"The job came up and I took it." Logan replied. "Would like to move home though, sooner or later." He grinned. "Truth to tell, I've missed the old city."
"You're stopping at Aaron's, right?" Sylva asked. Logan nodded his head.
"Yeah, that's the plan." He agreed. Sylva pursed her lips.
"You do know, I hope, that he has a psychopath staying there too at the moment?"
"Psychopath?" Logan looked interested. "I don't think he mentioned that..."
"Yeah. Girl called Stefana." Sylva grimaced. "She's a bitch, and she hates us as much as we hate her. Watch out for her, Logan - she doesn't have ethics or morals or anything like that, and she messes people up bigtime, if you let your guard down."
"Interesting company he keeps these days." Logan laughed. "Does his fiancee know about this girl?"
"Oh, Copper's cool. She trusts Aaron." Sylva dimpled. "I'm just warning you for your own safety."
"Well, I'll bear it in mind." Logan eyed his companion keenly. "What about you? Where do you stay?"
"Me?" Sylva looked startled, then, "I live with Copper - at least, till she moves out."
"Far from Aaron's?"
"Not really." Sylva glanced at him from beneath her lashes, then, "Why d'you wanna know? Hoping you might get invited in for coffee whilst you're in town?"
"Well, I wouldn't say no." Logan grinned at her. "If you had no objection."
Sylva pursed her lips, then,
"I'll think about it." She said at length. "And this is Aaron's street, so we're almost there. You have a key?"
"Nope, you?"
"Not at all." Sylva shook her head. "So you'd better hope Miss Psycho's around and in the mood to let you in." She eyed him thoughtfully. "Though if you're not all that tired from the flight, I should probably take you home and give you that coffee, rather than leave you alone with her. Don't want anything happening to you between now and the big day."
"No objections here." Logan laughed. "It's been a while since I was last in LA - I'm not a bit tired. Just excited to be back. And it'd be cool to meet Copper and some of her friends."
"Well, unless Nancy and Sadie got back from the studio, and Topaz woke up, you won't have anyone but little old me for company." Sylva said. Then, noticing his expression, she frowned. "What? That prospect chill you or something?"
"No." Logan shook his head. "Not that at all, I promise. Just you said Nancy - Aaron's sister Nancy?"
"Yeah. Why?"
"I didn't realise she was involved in this band setup of yours." Logan admitted. "I know the girl doesn't view me high on her list of favourite people, and I don't want to cause a problem. Maybe I'd stand a better chance with your Miss Psycho after all."
"What did Nancy do to you to make you scared of her?" Sylva demanded, curiosity burning in her blue eyes. "Don't tell me that miss 'My life is music' has a deep dark secret past in there somewhere?"
"Well, if she does, it's her business and I don't know about it." Logan shrugged. "There was just some bad blood between us in school, that's all. Nancy was...well, a quiet kid. You know her, so you probably know as well as anyone that people aren't really her thing. Some of the girls on the cheering squad played a prank on her and I was kinda involved. Not willingly, I hasten to add," as Sylva's eyes widened, "But they settled on me as the 'other half' in their little matchmaking scheme. I had a girlfriend at the time, and Nancy was clearly not amused by the whole business. I think she half thought it was my fault it all happened, in truth. She never took it well, when the popular girls started bitching on her and stuff, and she pretty much seemed to hate all of Aaron's friends with venom. The killer was, though, that kids would laugh and joke at her in the corridor about it for ages after. Since then, she sent me the blackest looks imagineable whenever we met, and I'm sure when I moved to Milwaukee she cracked open the champagne. She's an odd kid...I don't think she ever forgot."
"I see." Sylva looked thoughtful. "I wondered why she was less than enthusiastic about you coming to LA. But hell, Logan, I was a cheerleader. I was one of the popular crowd at school, and Nancy ripped on me to begin with, as I did on her. But I suppose now we've shaken down and we're almost what you'd call friends, most of the time. We've gotten used to each other, and she's mellowed. She's not half so defensive or sarky as she used to be - I think you'd be safer with her than Stefana. Trust me."
"Well, if you say so." Logan grinned. "I'm all yours."


Prologue: Steffi's Vice
Chapter One: The Bride To Be

Chapter Two: A Little Piece Of Hell
Chapter Three: Jewel
Chapter Four: Shopping Trip
Chapter Five: Copper's Dress
Chapter Six: A Devil Strikes
Chapter Seven: Gaynor To The Rescue
Chapter Eight: A Shock For Marissa
Chapter Nine: Wedding Plans
Chapter Ten: A Blow For Steffi
Chapter Eleven: Logan

Chapter Twelve: The Final Straw

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!