Chapter Three: Jewel
"Well, judgin' by the local press, Jewel's private lives are currently
more interestin' than their musical ones."
Sheila Pelligrini eyed the quintette of musicians, a thoughtful look on her face. Better known to all and sundry as "Jetta", the former Misfit was now chief executive at the formidable Misfit Music, owned and co-run by the predatorial Phyllis Gabor. "Granted, Copper is gettin' married soon, but all the 'ype over the last single 'as been tempered with all this speculation about the big day."
"We're not putting out any new singles till after Copper and Aaron come back from their honeymoon, Mom." Nancy protested. "And it's good if Copper's getting the publicity, right? It keeps people interested."
"Depends on whether or not you want the place to be inundated with nosey press." Jetta perched on the edge of the desk, lifting a local tabloid paper from the top and handing it across to her daughter. "'Ere. These the kind of people you want at the Starlight?"
"Oh God, that's just lovely." Nancy wrinkled up her nose, passing the paper to her future sister in law for her inspection. "So now the press are taking odds on whether or not Copper's first night of marriage is gonna be the first time she and Aaron sleep together?" She grimaced. "To be honest, thinking about anyone and Aaron is enough to make me barf."
"They'll never know the answer." Copper shrugged, folding the paper in two and handing it back. "I'm used to the press, Jetta. They'll pry, whether I want them to or not."
"You're much more relaxed than I'd be if this was me." Sadie Monahue, Jewel's English guitarist remarked. "I'd hate all this intrusion and fuss on top of arranging things, but you're so calm."
"I know." Copper admitted. "It won't last. I'm just...excited at the moment, that's all. I've felt this way ever since we set a date. I can't help it - nothing can upset me at the moment."
"Ooh, then now would be a good time to borrow your black strappy sandals, then?" Sylvina Martescu, the group's synth player asked hopefully. "Please, Copper? They'd look so awesome with that new red dress of mine."
"I suppose you can, so long as you don't wreck them." Copper nodded her head. "I still haven't forgotten the fate of the last sandals I loaned you."
Sylvina, or Sylva as she was known blushed.
"I didn't mean to break the strap." She defended herself. "It just kinda got caught in the pedals of the car, and, well, you know what happened next."
"Spare me your fashion twaddle." Jetta held up a hand, rolling her eyes. "I realise we're givin' you girls leave to prepare for this weddin', but I want assurance that you ain't forgotten why you're all livin' 'ere in Los Angeles in the first place, okay? When Copper returns from 'er 'oneymoon, there will be plenty to do to record the new album - it's about time we 'ad something new to release."
"I'm writing, I'm writing!" Nancy exclaimed. "So don't worry about it, Mom. This breather just gives me a week or two extra time to focus on it whenever I'm free to do so, that's all. Copper's handling most of the arranging so far."
"Yep. So far we've done the guestlist, and organised the house, pretty much." Copper grinned. "Next on the list is my dress, I think."
"I am lookin' forward to seein' my little girl in a bridesmaid's dress." Humour sparkled in Jetta's clever grey eyes, and Nancy grimaced.
"I'm not." She said emphatically. "But I can hardly avoid it. Can't be a bridesmaid in jeans."
"You're the one person I know who'd try it if she could." Sylva pointed out. Nancy nodded.
"Too true, but I'm saving that one for your wedding." She returned neatly. "That is, if you ever find a guy who can stick your company long enough."
"Ha ha, you're so funny." Sylva sent her bandmate a grimace. "Besides, who says you'd be my bridesmaid?"
"Touche." Nancy admitted.
"Well, I'm glad to be a bridesmaid, Copper." Aurora Stapleton, the final member of the group observed, amused. "I'm looking forward to it, though aren't bridesmaids supposed to be all, you know, chaste and stuff?"
"Well, if that's the case, they got the wrong end of the stick with you lot." Jetta laughed. "Oh, clear off, the lot of you. I 'ave other things to do than fuss over me eldest sprog's weddin', you know. Some of us do 'ave to work for the next few weeks, so bear in mind what I said about the album, okay?"
"Sometimes I wonder how much she observes our lives out of music." Copper remarked as the group obediently left the office, shutting the door behind them. "She always seems to know everything...it's spooky."
"Well, she's using her common sense, I suppose." Aurora, or "Topaz" pointed out. "I mean, take me for example. I have a fifteen month old infant to run round after, so I don't see me playing the virtue card any time soon." She dimpled. "Not that I ever claimed to be an angel, but Copper, I'm not sure I'm the best choice of bridesmaid you ever made."
"Oh, that's all traditional sillyness." Copper swiped her friend playfully. "I want my sister and my best friends as my bridesmaids, and so that's what I'm doing. Rosita and Nancy will be my chief maids - my real sister and my sister-in-law to be...and then you, Cynthia, Sadie and Syl will be my other maids." She looked wistful. "I just wish your kid was a little older, Topaz. She'd make a precious flower girl, but she's a touch young."
"Trust me, Copper, Hollie is not going near flowers. She has a bad habit of trying to eat things." Topaz said fervently. "I'm not sure if she'll even be at the ceremony at this stage. It might be kind of long for her, and she is only small. I'd hate her to scream through the whole thing."
"I wouldn't mind. I love Hollie." Copper assured her. "She's precious, especially since she's starting to speak now."
"She said my name the other day." Sylva agreed. "Properly, I mean."
"You mean she's quit calling you "Tata Syllie?" Nancy smirked. "I think she hit the nail on the head with that one."
"Well, she called me Tata Sylvie this time." Sylva said with a shrug. "She just couldn't say the 'v' right before, that's all."
"M and v seem difficult for small kids." Topaz agreed. "She's only just beginning to say Mama and stuff clearly." She pursed her lips. "I suppose I should go relieve Cynthia of her babysitting duties - but the thing is, she doesn't seem to mind watching the kid."
"Cynthia may be a hologram but she has a heart and she's a softie through and through." Sadie told her. "She adores Hollie, and Hollie adores the tricks Cyn's projectors can do. She can keep the kid amused for hours by projecting pictures and stuff for her...if you ask me, Cynthia is kitted out to be the ideal babysitter. She doesn't get tired or wound up as easily as we do, and she always has time for another story."
"That's something I'll miss about the Starlight." Copper observed. "Cynthia's quirkiness."
"Well, you can't take her with you." Sylva told her firmly. "She belongs at the Starlight Mansion, so you'll just have to manage without her."
"I know." Copper smiled. "But I dare say I'll see plenty of her either way."
She unlocked the car, slipping into the driver's seat.
"You do realise that you'll have to elect another chauffeur once I move out." She teased, as she put the key in the ignition. "I won't be making the same trip to the office as the rest of you."
"So long as it's not Syl, I don't mind who does it." Nancy put in from the back seat. "I don't want to end up roadkill before I reach twenty five."
"Hey!" Sylva exclaimed, indignation on her face. "I do not wreck my cars! One got smashed and that wasn't even my fault - and the others I sold or gave to charity auctions or something! Just because I like to change my car once a year, Nancy, it does not make me a bad driver!"
"Yeah, yeah." Nancy shrugged. "Whatever you say."
"Bet that's something you won't miss, Copper." Sadie put in, amused. "Nancy and Syl's spats."
"I dunno. It'll be weird." Copper admitted, putting the car in gear and pulling out of the parking lot. "To begin with there was only me to referee their squalls, and I won't have anyone to throw a cushion at any more."
"I'm sure Aaron wouldn't object." Topaz laughed. "It's gonna be all change, isn't it? Getting married is a big grown up step."
"Yeah, it really is." Copper agreed. "And it's only been recently I've felt ready to take it, even though Aaron and I have been engaged a while now. But if you think about it, Topaz, it isn't any bigger a commitment than you took when you had Hollie."
"I suppose not." Topaz looked pensive. "We're all growing up, bit by bit."
"It sucks, if you ask me." Sylva gazed out of the window, her brows knitting in a frown. "I mean I don't begrudge you getting hitched, Copper, and I think Hollie is a doll. But we used to hang out and have the wildest time when we were still all kids...we don't do that so much now."
"No, I suppose not." Topaz admitted. "But everyone has to grow up eventually, Syl. And Jewel do still have a blast. I admit that I can't always come clubbing or shopping like I used to, because Hollie has to come first out of work hours, not to mention within them, sometimes. But on the plus side, we do have Sadie now."
"And I wouldn't be anyplace else." Sadie added with a smile. "I never dreamed that I'd be a rock guitarist with a Californian band...still seems pretty fantastic, and I've been a Jewel for what...going on for two years, actually. Wow, I didn't realise I'd been here that long."
"You must have been. I was five months with Hollie when you came to LA, and she's fifteen months now." Topaz told her. "Time does fly though - Jewel are always so busy."
"Yeah, but I wouldn't change it." Sadie responded. "I had such a bad time in England, with psycho ex boyfriends and drug problems and trips to the slammer...I've been a new Sadie Monahue since I signed my contract here in LA, and I like her much better than the old one. I've a steady boyfriend, great friends and a good income...so long may it continue!"
"You and Alex are sweet, if the world's most unlikely couple." Nancy looked amused, for Alex Bray was a Federal Agent, and Sadie had always sworn to have a deep dislike of law enforcement, thanks to her own chequered past back in her homeland. They had met when Misfit Music had been set ablaze, and Alex and his partner Raymond Nicholson had investigated the scene, bringing the culprits to justice.
"I still find it ironic." Sadie admitted. "But I suppose I made the mistake of generalising cops and detectives and all of that as one type of person. Alex is lovely, and he has never cared about what I did before. I really love him."
"Well, Copper, maybe there's your next marriage." Nancy laughed.
"Did I miss something?" Sadie looked startled.
"Copper wants us all married and settled, because she's getting married herself." Nancy explained. "She has bride to be syndrome, at least that's what we're calling it, and she wants to make sure we're all happy and sorted for life. I told her in no uncertain terms that it wasn't gonna be me next tying the knot, and you're the only other one of us in a steady relationship."
"Six months is no amount of time to decide if you want to marry a bloke." Sadie said firmly. "Particularly when you've had the messy relationships I've had in the past. I love Alex, and I mean to stick with him, but marriage is not a viable topic at the moment."
"You're all hopeless, the lot of you." Copper rolled her eyes. "Who's gonna catch my bouquet, if none of you are willing to take that step?"
"It's just a tradition, Copper." Sylva said. "It doesn't actually mean you'll be the next bride."
"Well, I caught Vi's, and I am the next bride." Copper reminded her. "So I don't know about that, Syl. None of you knew at Vi's wedding that I'd accepted Aaron's proposal - at least, not until afterwards. I believe fate had a hand in that."
"Well, believe all that mumbo jumbo if you like." Nancy shrugged. "I think it more likely you went for the bouquet knowing that you would be marrying my idiot brother eventually, and you just got lucky and caught it."
"It made a sweet end to the day, either way." Topaz pointed out. "And it is exciting that one of us is tying the knot now."
"I wonder what the press will report about it next." Nancy pursed her lips. "Might have known that the tabloids would go to town on this, since Copper is their sex symbol."
"I am no such thing!" Copper's eyes widened in indignation.
"Well, they always vote you among the sexiest LA rockstars, Copper. Nancy has a point." Sadie remembered. "Even though you've only taken lead vocal on a Jewel song once, they all know who you are and what you do. They do seem fond of you."
"I like that there's no one central star in Jewel." Topaz reflected. "And besides, Copper, you are the looker of the band. Noone has ever disputed that."
"I'm disputing it right now." Copper's cheeks flushed red. "Press are odd, that's all. And like I said before, they can pry into my wedding all they like. They won't get any kind of answers out of me on subjects like the one they were printing today. Some things are sacred to Aaron and my relationship, and that's that."
"I think that's sweet." Sadie remarked. "I wouldn't want that kind of stuff published about me and Alex, either, if I'm honest." She grimaced. "Bad enough they know we're going out, but I can live with that."
"Cameron never liked the press and their intrusion on our lives." Topaz remembered, her expression becoming wistful as she remembered Hollie's father, Cameron Milligan. He was a medical student, in his final year at London University, and she had not spoken to him since she had made the painful decision to raise her baby alone. Cameron had unwittingly made it clear that he wasn't ready to be a father, and when Topaz had realised she was pregnant, she had decided it better to shield him from the truth, taking full responsibility for the little girl herself. It had not proven easy, and she had made mistakes, but Hollie was still the most important thing in her life, and though sometimes she wished things hadn't worked out the way they had, she knew she did not regret having had the little girl to begin with. After all, as she had told her friends, Hollie was the first piece of real family she'd had since she'd left home.
"Alex seems to take it into his stride." Sadie mused. "The press can be asking him about some horrific murder upstate, and then someone will dive in with a question about Jewel and me and he'll just say, "that has no bearing on this particular case, thank you." He's so smooth."
"He's a clever guy." Nancy reflected. "You'd have to be, in that job. And as for Cameron, Topaz...well, that was two or more years ago. You were both younger then - you don't know how he might react to it now."
"It doesn't matter, since I won't be seeing him again." Topaz said matter-of-factly. "I chose Hollie and I'm sticking with that choice. That's all I'm going to say on the subject of Cameron."
"You brought him up." Sylva reminded her. "But okay." She grinned at her friend. "We neither of us have luck in love these days, do we?"
"Well, if you must fall for Morvanian princes and single Dads, Syl, then I can see why your success rate isn't so great." Topaz teased. "Besides, you've dated a lot of guys as one off visits to premiers and all of that...it's not like you don't have a social life."
"I know, but I think I'm outgrowing the high school one in and one out policy." Sylva looked pensive. "I just haven't met the right guy yet. Or maybe I have, but for some reason, I didn't notice."
"That wouldn't surprise me." Nancy rolled her eyes. Sylva poked out her tongue at her bandmate.
"Shut up, you. Just because Dean's blind enough to keep dating you, it doesn't give you the right to mock other people's love traumas, okay?" She told her bandmate firmly.
"Well, at least you and Jack are friends these days." Sadie pointed out. "And you get to see his little girl. So things aren't all negative - all of that mess is behind you at least."
"Yes, I'm glad of that." Sylva nodded. "And Nat's in Morvania, so I don't have to see him and stuff...which is actually a good thing too. I dunno. They say the best place to meet a guy is at a wedding, so Copper, you'd better be inviting some hunks, okay?"
"Aaron is inviting a few old friends, but off hand I couldn't tell you." Copper giggled, pulling the car into the front drive of the Starlight Mansion and switching off the engine. She pushed open the door, stepping out onto the pale cement and reaching into her pocket for the house key. "I suppose you'll want this back, too, when I leave."
"Well, you might break in, otherwise." Sylva laughed. "So I guess we will."
"Which old friends is Aaron inviting, Copper?" Nancy looked apprehensive.
"I dunno. Some from school and stuff, I think." Copper shrugged. "A few are coming from outta state, that's all I really know. Oh! Mackenzie is coming, but that's fine with me. I mean, we're well past all of that, Aaron and I. I'm not worried by her."
"No, I wouldn't be either." Topaz shook her head. "And she's not a bad person. She was just misled where Aaron was concerned. That's all."
"This is a story I haven't heard." Sadie reflected. "I'll bug one of you for it later."
"So is it just Mackenzie coming from outta state?" Nancy pressed.
"Why all the fuss, Nancy? They're Aaron's friends, he can invite who he wants." Sylva looked confused.
"I know that. I just was curious." Nancy snapped back. "Copper?"
"Some guy called Logan is coming from Milwaukee. I think Aaron wants him to be best man, or something." Copper considered. "I don't remember many other names."
"Logan Matthews? Oh great. Figures." Nancy grimaced. "Jerk."
"I was under the impression he was Aaron's best friend." Copper looked confused. "At least when they were at school. Care to clue me in?"
"Nothing to clue in about." Nancy said flatly. "Just I never liked the guy, that's all. And yeah, he and Aaron were friends at school. Then he went to University in Milwaukee to study something - who knows or cares what - and we got shot of him for good. It was even better when it turned out he was gonna stay out there."
"If you won't tell us why you dislike the guy, Nance, then don't badmouth him, okay?" Topaz chided. "Besides, as Syl said, it is your brother's wedding and he can invite Logan if he wants to. Whatever it is, don't let it ruin the wedding, huh?"
"Oh, I have more self control than that." Nancy said darkly. "I just hoped that Aaron wouldn't invite any of his old school friends to his wedding, that's all. Some of them were the biggest morons on the planet."
"They probably think the same way about you." Sylva shrugged, pushing open the front door and sauntering into the main hall. "Cynthia? You home?"
"When am I not, Sylva?" A figure materialised at the top of the stairs, making them all jump. "Hollie is taking a nap, though I expect her to wake and be hungry at any time."
"I wish you wouldn't appear like that. It freaks me out." Sylva scolded. "How are you doing it, anyway? I thought you needed your watch."
"It's right here." The apparition picked up the watch off the unit at the top of the stairs. "I was rebooting it, since my signals were becoming slightly sparky. It's fine, just a little tired from projecting amusing images for small babies."
"See, even Synergy gets tired when she babysits Hollie." Sadie looked amused.
"That makes me feel better." Topaz laughed. "Okay, I'll head up and see if she feels like eating. Thanks for watching her this morning, Cyn. I appreciate it."
"You are most welcome." Cynthia's violet eyes sparkled. "And now I am off duty, I will head down to the basement and reboot my system. It's been a long morning, after all."
"Has she been bad?" Topaz looked anxious. Cynthia shook her head.
"No, not at all." She replied. "But infants are far harder to keep track of when they are always on the move."
"You don't need to say that again." Topaz agreed fervently. "Sometimes I seriously consider putting her on a leash!"
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
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE NOTE
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!