Chapter Nine: Wedding Plans
It was almost fate.
With a sigh, the tall, redheaded man took another glance at the delicate invitation in his hand. Copper and Aaron's wedding.
"But should I go?" He murmured, taking a sip of his drink. "Would it be the biggest mistake of my life to go to LA now, when I still feel so damn screwed over by 'er? Aaron's my mate, but the last thing I want to do is wreck the wedding for them. And I still have to settle my bloody residency - everything's coming on me at once!"
"You look preoccupied." A friendly voice startled him out of his thoughts and he turned, greeting his best friend with a sheepish smile. Taylor Conway was almost seven years his senior, but the two had been close friends for many years now, and it was not uncommon to run into each other at the local pub, even though Taylor was now happily married.
"Worrying about graduation?" Taylor asked now, taking a seat on the bar stool next to his redhaired friend and ordering a pint of lager. His companion shook his head.
"No. Other things."
He reached back into his pocket, pushing the invite across the bar. "I presume you got one of these too?"
"Of course. Aaron's my cousin." Taylor scooped up the invite, glancing at it, then handing it back. "Vi and I are already trying to work out the best flight to take out there. Why?"
"I'm not sure if I should go." His friend admitted.
"Cameron, look." Taylor's clever eyes became thoughtful. "It doesn't matter how long you've been apart, and how much she's screwed you over, you still have issues with this Topaz girl. You know that, and I know that. I don't know the ins and outs of what's gone on in America - I only know your side of it, and I find it hard to believe, to be quite honest, because Vi says Topaz isn't that type. But either way, you need to put a cap on it once and for all. You're looking at turning down one of the best damn residency offers you've had so far because of that chick - you can't run your life according to her forever."
"I didn't want the risk of seein' 'er." Cameron admitted, running his hands through his thick hair. "I applied to be a resident at San Diego initially so that I would be in California, and not far from 'er. That was my plan. And part of me would love that challenge - the money is good, and the opportunity second to none. There's all kinds of things I'd see in Cali that I jus' wouldn't see in an English 'ospital. But then again, knowin' that she's only a few miles away, with that jerk who knocked 'er up even closer..." He shook his head. "I don't know if I could 'andle it."
"It's time you got over her." Taylor cast the barman a smile, picking up his drink and taking a long sip. "Ta, mate."
"Don't you think I've damn well tried?" Cameron demanded. "Bloody 'ell, Taylor, I've dated three different girls since Rora an' I broke up. All of them were funny, intelligent, pretty...an' none of them did a thing for me. It's been almost two years now since the last time we spoke properly, an' I still can't get the girl out of me 'ead. Dammit, I can't even think of her as the bitch who betrayed me! I'm just...well...mucked up!"
"Then shouldn't you take this opportunity to go out there and put an end to all of this once and for all?" Taylor asked him. "I mean, if you can't spring for the plane ticket, I'll help you out. But it's bugging me how you're making decisions based on a bird who, to all intents and purposes doesn't seem to be giving you a second thought. Maybe it sounds horrible, but perhaps if you saw the girl with this baby an' the bloke who did it...that would put things straight in your head." He shrugged. "Besides, San Diego are gonna want an answer from you, an' you ought to at least go see the hospital. And if all of that wasn't enough of an incentive, your mate Aaron is getting hitched."
"I suppose when you put it that way, it does make sense." Cameron admitted. "As for the plane ticket, Taylor, I can afford it, just about. I just wasn't sure I wanted to spend any more money going out there just to get me 'eart busted again. I've already wasted too much time, money an' sanity on Rora, and I don't understand why in 'ell I can't just forget 'er and move on."
"Probably because you never broke up, as such. It was all done via email and stuff, and not face to face." Taylor advised him. "Like I said, you need closure."
"Yeah, that's most likely it." Cameron sipped his drink. "That and the fact I don't react good to bein' played for a fool twice over. I dunno, Taylor. The whole thing's a mess." He shrugged helplessly. "Maybe I'm just not cut out for a showbiz chick."
"But you'll come to Aaron's wedding?"
"I suppose so." Cameron nodded. "As you said, Aaron is me mate, an' I do kinda take some credit for 'im and Copper gettin' engaged, as it were. I suppose I shouldn't let Rora bother me - after all, it's two years ago. When I see 'er, it'll probably mean nothin' at all - as you said, I need to put a final boot in on this an' then look to sortin' out my life, including where I'm going to be a resident come Autumn."
"Don't leave that choice too late." Taylor warned him. "You don't want to be left with nowhere."
"I know." Cameron pursed his lips. "I'll work it out, don't worry." He indicated his friend's glass. "In the meantime, want another? Guess I owe you a drink for your good advice."
"I'm not arguing." Taylor grinned. "Free drinks are always good with me!"
"Stand still, Copper. I don't want to stick a pin in you."
Copper cast the designer a sheepish grin, obediently standing as still as she could whilst Gaynor carefully pinned the fabric into place. Finally, the Chinese-American sat back on her heels, satisfied.
"There, that's the bones of it, anyway." She said decidedly. "You're so pretty, Copper - it's going to look fabulous. I swear you're going to make one of the prettiest brides I ever saw."
"Every bride is pretty so long as she's happy and in love." Copper murmured, a faint blush touching her cheeks as she examined her reflection in the mirror. Though the garment was only loosely pinned and still far from finished, Gaynor's delicate touch had already begun to make it a stunning dress, and it had comforted Copper to know how much effort her friend had already gone to. "That's what Mama told me, anyway. Gaynor, you've been so sweet about this whole dress thing - I don't know how I will ever repay you for it."
"Well, if I'd wanted repaying then I'd have sent you to file a proper commission with Shana and Regine." Gaynor's eyes twinkled. "This is fun for me and a gift for a friend, that's all - and I don't want anything in return. Besides, Syl told me you're fairly into all that wedding tradition stuff, and this will fit the bill nicely. Something new - a brand new wedding gown, specially made just for you."
"True." Copper smiled. "This fabric is so beautiful, you know - and exactly the right colour, too. Where did you find it?"
"I asked Shana if we had any decent wedding dress fabric left, and she pulled a roll of this out of the store room." Gaynor replied. "When I told her it was for a special gift, she told me I was welcome to use as much of it as I liked. She's good like that, and I think she guessed what I was going to do with it, though she didn't press me and I kept my word about keeping the secret."
"Aaron's not gonna know what hit him when you walk down the aisle." She decided. "How are you doing your hair, or don't you know yet?"
"I'm not totally sure, but Aaron asked me if I'd keep my curls for him." Copper told her. "So curly, that's for sure."
"Makes sense, since you have them naturally." Gaynor frowned. Copper shrugged.
"I used to like wearing my hair straight all the time." She admitted. "It was a surprise to Aaron when he saw me curly for the first time, and he told me then and there that he liked it better that way. I don't let my fiance dictate my hair in the normal run of things - that's usually whoever's doing it for a photoshoot, actually - but I promised him that for the big day I'd keep it all curly."
"I see." Gaynor's dark eyes became thoughtful. "We haven't really talked much about the veil for this thing, have we? I presume you're going to want one."
"Of course. I want to be a traditional bride, with everything and then some." Copper grinned, looking sheepish. "A girl's wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of her life, remember? I want all the trimmings, because I don't intend on doing it a second time. When I say 'I do' to Aaron, Gaynor, I mean it for life, not just till something better comes along."
"As it should be." Gaynor laughed. "Anna said much the same to me about her fiance John, too, when I was teasing her about maybe finding a better model now they're settled up in New York. I'm gonna get quite good at making wedding dresses, if all of this continues."
She scooped up her sketchpad. "I'll rescue you from the pins in a second, I promise, but looking at you wearing that I just had an idea about the veil, and I wanted to sketch it out, see what you thought. I know the exact fabric that would look perfect with that dress, and you know, we could add flowers...you decided about what kind of flowers you want for your wedding?"
"I haven't gotten as far as flowers yet." Copper admitted.
"Well, I'm leaning towards yellow roses for this." Gaynor indicated her sketch. "If you think it'd work."
"Yellow roses?" Copper looked startled, then, "I never thought of yellow roses."
"Well, we'll see how the veil comes over, but if that works out all right, then maybe we'll see what you think if we add a flower or two." Gaynor grinned. "This is your dress, Copper, so you don't have to agree with all - or any - of my ideas."
She began to remove the pinned pattern pieces carefully. "I'll get to stitching some of these tonight, now I know they're cut to the right size and everything else. I'll probably need you again to fit it properly, but you know that, right?"
"Yeah, I know." Copper dimpled. "I enjoy it, actually. It makes me feel like a bride, with all this fuss over me and my big day."
"How are the invites going?" Gaynor asked.
"We've had a few replies already." Copper told her. "Mostly family, and local. I hope it's going to be a nice day - it would be horrible if it rained."
"California isn't a big place for rain, so I've noticed." Gaynor laughed. "I daresay you'll be fine."
"Well, we'll see." Copper responded. She frowned. "After what happened to the last dress, it wouldn't surprise me if everything started going wrong from here on in. I still haven't managed to get a hold of the caterers or the cake people, now I come to think of it."
"Calm down." Gaynor scolded. "What happened to your first dress was horrible, but we're gonna make sure that it doesn't ruin your day, so whoever did it will have wasted their time and energy. This dress," she patted the fabric, "will stay here with me, safe and sound, so nothing can happen to it. You've time yet to get in touch with the caterers and everyone else, so don't fret, all right? It's all going to be fine."
"I guess so." Copper looked sheepish. "I suppose I'm being silly. But I did say I was going to be a traditional bride - and it is traditional for the bride to fret and worry over everything beforehand, isn't that right?"
"Okay, you win." Gaynor grinned, setting the parts of the dress down carefully on her workbench. "Hey, did you finalise everything with this house of yours, by the way? Syl mentioned it."
"Sort of." Copper nodded. "We've signed the agreement and everything, but it isn't officially ours yet, not as such. The place is being cleared out and everything, but with any luck we'll get it sorted out before the wedding. We won't live there till after, of course - and yes, I'm going to make him carry me over the threshold, before you ask - but hopefully it will be furnished. That's the plan, anyhow."
"Sounds fun to me." Gaynor observed. "Though you'll find it strange living away from the Starlight at first. You wouldn't believe how weird it's been for me since I moved out here and had an apartment to myself, rather than sharing student accomodation in DC. Aside from the fact I didn't know Cali that well, it was, well, real quiet to begin with."
"I'd hate us to leave Cali." Copper admitted. "Even though I grew up in Michigan, I feel like this is my home now. But I know - it is going to be quiet. At the Starlight Mansion you have Nancy and Syl screaming over anything and everything, Hollie squealing to be fed, and God only knows what else. It'll take some getting used to, but it might be nice to have a little peace and quiet, too."
"Till you have kids of your own." Gaynor looked amused. "To scream, yell and beg to be fed."
"Chance would be a fine thing." Copper looked wistful. "I hope we do have kids, Gaynor."
"I'm sure you will." Gaynor assured her. "And don't fret about things, okay? The wedding will be a day to remember, don't you worry about that!"
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!