Chapter Ten: Stag Night

"You seem in a better mood tonight."
Taylor remarked as he and Cameron headed into the Blue Moon Club, casting Aaron a grin and a wave as they headed to join the party. "Accepting that post in San Diego really seems to have cheered you up - or is it all an act for Aaron's big event?"
"No act." Cameron shook his head. "I feel better about things in general. San Diego was awesome - exactly what I wanted an' they seemed real friendly. I couldn't not take it up, when I saw what kind of facilities they 'ave there and met some of the other doctors." He grinned. "And I also spoke to Rora yesterday. Things are always gonna be odd between us, Taylor, but I think I found a bit of that closure crap you keep bleatin' on about. We talked an' made peace, basically. I feel 'appier, 'avin' got that behind me."
"Well, there you go then." Taylor looked amused. "Violet's taught me something about the female brain after all. She was always saying that you guys needed closure - guess she was right."
"In the time I've known your wife, mate, she's scarcely been wrong." Cameron said ruefully. "Now if only she'd predict me a nice 'appy quiet residency an' maybe a bird at the end of it..."
"You might pull tonight. I hear a rumour that the stripper's quite something." Taylor's eyes danced, and Cameron punched him playfully.
"I 'ate to think where you get your insider information!" He exclaimed. Taylor shrugged unrepentantly.
"Logan." He said simply. "Went for a beer with the guy last night - he's a decent enough bloke, and I asked him about the final plans for tonight. Said he had to keep with tradition and get a stripper - he apparently had a lot of fun arranging that particular event."
"I'm sure he did." Cameron laughed appreciatively. "I ain't met Logan properly yet, but 'e sounds like a laugh."
"Cam, Taylor!" Aaron greeted them with a grin at the bar. "Come ready to drink yourselves to death? Logan has it in mind to see how many clubs we can trawl in LA before we all pass out..."
"I could use a good night out with the lads." Cameron nodded. "Besides, I 'ave a residency to celebrate, too. No 'arm in drinkin' in future success, right?"
"I'll drink to that!" Aaron laughed.
"Hey there." Logan dropped down on a bar stool beside the groom-to-be, casting the newcomers a grin. "Hi, Taylor - you managed to get up after last night, huh?"
"I wasn't that drunk." Taylor's masculine ego protested at this, and Logan laughed.
"We'll make up for that tonight." He promised. He cast Cameron a smile.
"You're Cameron, huh?"
"That's me." Cameron agreed. "My reputation goes before me, huh?"
"Well, I did hear of a prank with a dumpster gone wrong." Logan's eyes twinkled and Cameron laughed.
"Yeah, that was a bit of a mess up." He agreed good-naturedly.
"There's a good reason why my bachelor party isn't the night before the wedding!" Aaron cast the young medical student a meaningful glare. "When I knew you were coming, I made sure I had plenty of time to get back from wherever you decided to send me!"
"No fair." Cameron protested. "It weren't my fault they emptied the damn thing an' Taylor wound up at the dump." He laughed. "And boy did 'e stink!"
"Thanks." Taylor grimaced. "Some best mate you're turning out to be." He glanced around him. "Who's yet to arrive?"
"Some friends from work." Aaron responded. "And Clyde from High School - remember Clyde, Logan?"
"Couldn't forget the guy." Logan snorted. "He still playing the ladies like he used to?"
"Dunno." Aaron admitted. "Since I've been dating Copper, I've not been trawling for girls with him. We just hang out and drink occasionally."
"Well, Cameron's looking to pull. Maybe this Clyde guy can give him some pointers." Taylor grinned. Cameron grimaced in his friend's direction.
"That wasn't what I said." He retorted. "I just said things were better settled with Rora than they were before, an' maybe after I've been in San Diego a while I might even start datin' again. That's all."
"Rora?" Logan looked confused.
"Topaz." Aaron explained. "There's a whole past there that you really don't want to ask about." He rolled his eyes. "Trust me. Besides, this is a guys night out, okay? In two weeks from now - less, even - I'm tying myself down to the most beautiful woman on the planet for evermore. I want to have some fun in my last days as a bachelor. No more girl talk! Okay?"
"You asked for it!" Logan's eyes twinkled. "You want fun? You got it!"

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

"They don't fit right."
Sylva sat back on her seat with a sigh, reaching down to loosen the sandals. "Sadie, we've been to almost every single shoe shop in town and I still can't find a decent pair of sandals to wear to Copper's wedding. I thought these would be perfect - and they would, if they weren't agony to walk in. I don't think Copper wants a bridesmaid with a pronounced limp."
"Not to mention an accompanying grimace." Sadie giggled as she remembered the face her friend had pulled as she had attempted to walk the length of the shop in the aforementioned sandals. "Maybe you're just not meant to have new sandals. It isn't like you don't have plenty of pairs that will go with the bridesmaid's dress, after all. Do you really need a new pair?"
"I wanted to have special ones for the wedding." Sylva admitted. It was the next day, and she and Sadie had headed into the city in search of the perfect sandals once more. Sadie had already found her shoes for the wedding, and so she had agreed to come help the fussy Sylva to pick hers out. However, they had been at it for a good three hours already, and she was beginning to flag.
"Well, I suggest you put your other shoes back on and we go grab coffee someplace." She suggested. "Then we can start afresh after that, if you like. But it's a warm day and this Jewel is parched and hot."
"Okay." Sylva conceded. "Coffee does sound good."
She put the sandals back in their box, slipping her other shoes back on and handing the box back to the clerk with an apologetic smile. "I just hope we can find something, that's all. I know there will be a lot of photos in the presses over this, even if Zoe's only going to release snippets of her film to people after the event. I don't want anyone saying that I'm wearing last month's shoes."
"Not that you're ever concerned about your image." Sadie looked amused. "And not that the press will be focused on little, unimportant things like the bride and groom."
"Oh, you know what I mean." Sylva scolded. "I just want it right, that's all. I..."
She stopped dead, staring at a window display across the main street. "Can we put that coffee on ice? I think I just saw the most perfect shoes ever."
Sadie rolled her eyes, allowing herself to be dragged into the other shop. She was fond of Sylva, and had settled as a Jewel better than she had ever imagined she would, but her friend's exhaustive taste for shopping could sometimes prove a little much.
"Just this one, then." She instructed. "Because I might die of dehydration otherwise."
"Don't be melodramatic. It doesn't suit you." Sylva scolded. "Here, what do you think? Reckon they have my size?"
"Can I help you, miss?" A clerk approached them, and Sylva showed them the sandal, sending the young man hurrying into the back room to hunt for the correct size. A few minutes later he emerged with a box in his hand and soon Sylva was trying them on, eying them thoughtfully as she stood up.
"Well?" She asked Sadie. "You like them?"
"I think they'd look great with the dress." Sadie admitted. "How do they feel?"
"Not too bad, actually." Sylva walked up and down the shop, then, "Yeah, I think we have a winner. How much did the price tag say, Sade?"
"You're meant to look at that before you try them on." Sadie scolded, obediently checking the price. "Wooh. One hundred forty bucks."
"Neat. I'll take them." Sylva dimpled at the clerk, sitting down to take them off, then producing her credit card. "You do take plastic?"
"Certainly, miss." The young man smiled, taking the box and the card to the cash register to put through the sale. Sadie shook her head in disbelief.
"The amount you spend on new shoes and clothes..." She observed. "I never knew anyone who could go on such expensive shopping sprees in my life, Syl!"
"Well, I work damn hard for my money." Sylva signed the receipt with a flourish, handing it back to the clerk with a smile. "So why shouldn't I spend the paycheque on things that make me happy, huh?"
"I suppose so." Sadie acknowledged.
"And don't tell me you've never been tempted to wave plastic at a store assistant when Gucci shoes go on sale." Sylva indicated her friend's feet. Sadie blushed.
"Okay, but I don't do it often." She defended herself. "That was a twenty fourth birthday treat, and you know it. The January sales and my birthday coincide nicely - I felt I deserved to splash out."
"They're gorgeous shoes, though." Sylva winked. Sadie laughed.
"You should know. You borrow them enough." She returned playfully.
"What do you reckon Jewel will be like when Copper's married and living someplace else?" Sylva wondered, as they stepped out into the Los Angeles sunshine. Sadie looked thoughtful.
"Different." She decided at length, pulling a cigarette from her purse and lighting it contemplatively. "But I reckon we'll still be great friends, and we'll still make great music. I'm thrilled for her, Syl."
"Me too." Sylva admitted. "She's bounced back after the whole dress fiasco - which I still think was that bitch Stefana Ranieri, by the way - and she seems excited as ever about the whole deal."
She grinned. "Aaron had his bachelor party last night. I wonder how well the guys survived it. If it was anything like Taylor's, Aaron could be in any state in the country by now."
"Topaz told me about that." Sadie laughed, flicking ash carelessly from her cigarette as she did so. "You think they did send him off into the sunset?"
"Dunno." Sylva admitted. "But you know what guys are like when you get a bunch of them together." She rolled her eyes.
"Slandering us now, Syl?" A friendly voice scolded her from a shop doorway and the two girls turned, Sylva grinning as she recognised Logan.
"I'm surprised you're even up and about - wasn't it Aaron's bachelor do last night?" She asked. 
Logan nodded.
"I'm very hungover, and out hunting fresh air to clear my fuzzled brain." He admitted with a wry grin. "Aaron is still sleeping it off at his place."
"Oh, so you didn't lose him, then?" Sylva asked. Logan shook his head.
"Nope, I'm a better best man than that." He assured her. "He's safe at home, sleeping like a baby."
He eyed Sadie curiously. "This must be another of the infamous Jewel girls, right?"
"Yep." Sylva dimpled. "Sadie, this is Logan Matthews, Aaron's friend from Milwaukee, who's being his best man. Logan, Sadie Monahue. She's our bass guitarist - usually."
"Any kind of guitarist." Sadie grinned. "Pleased to meet you, Logan."
"Likewise." Logan responded. "I was heading for coffee - you girls wanna join me?"
"Sounds good to me." Sadie rolled her eyes. "Someone's been shopping for shoes."
"So I see." Logan laughed. "That for the wedding or the reception, Syl?"
"The wedding. I haven't got as far as the reception yet." Sylva's blue eyes sparkled. "But you'll have to wait and see what I have in mind for that particular party, Logan."
"I hope you know what you're doing, asking Syl to be your date." Sadie looked amused, putting out her cigarette. "She likes to be the life and soul of the party, you know."
"That's fine by me." Logan responded with a grin. "I'm not exactly a wallflower myself."
They entered the coffee house, ordering drinks and settling to find a table where they could talk away from the stares of inquisitive Jewel fans.
"That's the thing I hate at the moment. Everyone wants to know what's going on at the Starlight." Sylva glanced over her shoulder at a booth of teenagers which had been looking their way. "Since Jewel aren't recording, you'd think they'd give us some space, but no-o-o."
"Guess I should get used to that, if I'm going to hang out with celebrities." Logan looked amused. "But I seriously am thinking of making the move back here. So much so, in fact, that I even brushed up my resume yesterday morning and went through the local papers looking for decent jobs. My head is too zonked to deal with the whole idea coherently today, but maybe tomorrow I'll get to sending it out places. Aaron's said I can take over his apartment lease if I can get work in Cali, and the more I think about it, the less I want to leave the state long term. It's been awesome, coming back here."
"You can say that, even after getting blitzed in every club in town last night?" Sadie demanded. Logan grinned.
"Isn't the first time." He assured her with a wink. "Although my opportunities to do so in Los Angeles were severely limited by strict military parentage."
"Your family are still in LA, then?" Sylva looked surprised. Logan shook his head.
"No, not these days." He responded. "They moved to Cleveland two years ago now - my mother got a job up there. Something to do with military something or other, but I don't know what. She's not in active service these days, but she's still very military minded, bless her heart."
"You close to your folks?" Sadie asked. Logan nodded.
"Yeah." He agreed. "I think they're prouder of my brother, because he's a marine...but they tolerate me, because I'm their brat." He winked. "We get on all right."
"My father's a military man, too. I just wondered." Sadie looked pensive. "Dad hasn't time for much other than that these days."
"So what did you guys get up to last night?" Sylva wondered. Logan laughed.
"Even if I could remember the most of it, the details of a guy's bachelor party are sacrosanct." He scolded. "I can't tell you."
"That means there was a stripper." An amused smile played around Sadie's lips, and Sylva laughed.
"Probably." She agreed. "But hey, that's kinda tradition, right?"
She pursed her lips.
"Wonder if Ros and Nancy might get Copper a stripper for her party? Hm. If Nancy's involved I definitely doubt it."
"I met Cameron last night." Logan reflected. "He's a pretty cool guy. You know, by the way, that he's moving out to San Diego in the fall? Something about getting a residency there? I don't remember all that good, too much drink, but I'm pretty sure that's what he said."
"Topaz mentioned something along those lines." Sadie and Sylva exchanged looks, then, "I hope he's happy out there."
"Moving countries is a big deal." Sadie agreed. "I hope he settles in quickly in San Diego. I know when I first moved across the sea I was very homesick. This is a whole different world to get used to."
"Well, if I'm moving back to LA, Aaron and I will no doubt harrass him to hang with us." Logan observed. "So he'll be fine. Besides, never hurts to have a doctor on your team." He grinned. "I learnt that when I was playing ball!"
"Cameron's really clever." Sylva remembered. "So he'll be a fab doctor. I'm kinda glad it's San Diego, though. I like Cameron a lot, but he and Topaz really shouldn't be in the same city."
"See, I just don't get that." Logan shook his head. "Cameron's a decent guy, and Topaz is a levelheaded chick. I don't understand what's such a big deal between them they can barely speak to each other without it being a drama of the first degree."
"Well, that's because you're a guy." Sylva told him dismissively.
"Thanks." Logan toasted her wryly with his coffee, taking a sip, and Sadie laughed.
"What Syl means is that it's more complicated than either of us are going to explain." She responded. "It wouldn't be fair on Topaz or Cameron, and you'd probably be best off not getting involved in the whole thing."
"I have no intention of becoming involved. I was just curious." Logan shrugged. "But sure. If that's how it is, I won't ask any more." He grinned. "Instead I'll focus my attentions on getting work here in Los's about time, after all, that I came home!"

Chapter One: Madeleine

Chapter Two: Remeniscences
Chapter Three: A Shock For Topaz
Chapter Four: Marissa
Chapter Five: Dilemmas
Chapter Six: Ranieri vs Ranieri
Chapter Seven: Home Truths
Chapter Eight: The Bridesmaids
Chapter Nine: An Olive Branch
Chapter Ten: Stag Night
Chapter Eleven: Demons...and Angels

Chapter Twelve: A Broken Secret

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!