Chapter Eight: Hen Party
"You know, I really feel ready to get married now."
Copper gazed at her reflection pensively, pulling her curls up into a high ponytail, then letting them fall back around her shoulders. "Having Mama and Luis here last night was wonderful - I didn't realise how much I miss them. Now my family are here, well, I feel ready to go."
"Well, you've a few days yet, honey." Sylva looked amused, running her brush through her hair and slipping silver slides in the front to hold it back from her face. "I think it was a good idea, having your actual bridal shower last night when your Mother was here, but there's plenty more to do than just giving you a bunch of silly presents and making you blush in front of everyone. Tonight we're gonna party - Nancy, I hope you and Ros have this thing all worked out."
"We've got everything ready." Nancy said calmly from her corner. "Haven't we Ros?"
"We sure have." Rosita's eyes sparkled. "This is going to be a party to remember!"
"I hope in a good way." Copper pretended to look nervous, and her sister laughed, coming to hug her.
"What else would it be?" She demanded. "Nothing but the best for our bride to be!"
"I think that was the doorbell." Topaz glanced up at the clock, setting down her lipstick. "It's probably Cameron - do I look all right?"
"I thought that you and Cameron were just good friends these days." Sadie raised an eyebrow. Topaz blushed.
"I know. Habit." She admitted, scooping up the small infant who had been quietly playing at her feet. "Okay, trouble, let's go. Enough of the party atmosphere for you for one night!"
"Topaz? Cameron's here!" Cynthia called up the stairs, and Topaz pushed open the door to the big bedroom - Nancy's - that the girls had been getting ready in, heading down to meet him.
He cast her a grin.
"You still sure about this?" He asked her. Topaz nodded.
"Yeah, I'm sure." She agreed. "Hollie has to spend time with you sooner or later, Cam, and I'd rather it was sooner. Besides, Copper is one of my best friends and though I've been pretty good about cutting out social events when Hollie needs me, this is one I don't want to miss. This is the perfect solution to all of that."
Gently she held the small girl out, and, with a moment of hesitation, he took her, lifting her up more securely into his arms.
"Hi, 'Ollie." He murmured. "You gonna be good for me tonight?"
Hollie batted him on the head with her fist, giggling.
"That probably means no." Topaz told him, amused. "She's fed and changed, so she should be reasonable for a while. I...do hope you know how to change diapers?"
"On very small babies, yes." Cameron pursed his lips. "I've not spent much time around ones this size - only when I was working in the paediatrics last year when we were on rotation. I'll do my best, Rora - that's all I can say."
"Well, at least that's something." Topaz grinned. "She has puzzles in the main lounge, and her doll is in my room, on my bed - I won't ask if you know where that is. She usually goes off to sleep around eight or eight thirty, but I don't mind her stopping up till nine if she's really not sleepy - she took a nap earlier, so she's full of beans now. My cellphone number is by the hall phone, so if anything happens, you know where to reach me. I think that covers everything?"
"She's not allergic to anything?"
"Nope, but as I said, she's eaten." Topaz replied. "She seems to have done with the growth spurt, so I doubt she'll want any more tonight. There's juice in the fridge if she's thirsty - she likes the apple and blackcurrant best...or milk, of course. Sometimes she likes that better in the evening. We might be back late, so we've got the room at the end of the first landing ready for you if you wanna crash."
"Okay, that works for me." Cameron eyed her thoughtfully, then, "You look real pretty tonight, Rora."
"Thanks." She said, embarrassed. "I wanted to make an effort - after all, it is for Copper."
"Well, have a good time tonight, huh?" Cameron told her. "We'll be fine, so don't worry about us."
"I'll do my best." Topaz promised. "And that," as the doorbell rang, "Must be transport. Nancy? Ros! Everyone, we've company!"
She moved to open the door as the remaining Jewels, plus Rosita and Cynthia emerged, coming down to join them in the hall.
"Since the car's here, we ought to make a move." Nancy glanced at her watch. "I figured it'd be easier to send a car to the Teenangel place, and I've another going to pick up Gaynor, Zoe and Flame. The rest of us, well, I'm driving, since I won't be drinking, so we'll take my car. Well, most of us. Ros, you did get onto the car company, didn't you?"
"I did." Rosita nodded, struggling to fasten her sandals. "Dammit...oh! Finally!"
"Car company?" Copper looked confused. "I don't..."
"Well, you soon will." Nancy cast Rosita a conspiratorial grin, then linked her arm in Copper's, leading her to the door. Copper took a step outside, then stopped dead.
A white stretch limousine stood on the arc-shaped driveway, a smartly uniformed chauffeur at the door, awaiting his instructions.
"We wanted your last fling to be memorable." Rosita told her with a grin. "And classy, too. I know stars like you travel in limousines all the time, but this one's a little bit special."
"The last time I went in one of these was when Papa took us to see the movie studios, when I was seven." Copper whispered. "I loved it so much - it was so beautiful."
"Well, tonight it's all yours." Nancy said firmly. "The bride-to-be has to travel in style."
She cast the driver a smile.
"She's all yours."
"The driver returned the smile, tipping his cap to the stunned Copper, then swinging open the back door of the vehicle.
"Ros is coming with you, since I have to drive the rest of the rabble." Nancy continued. "She's there to look after you on the trip and make sure you're comfortable, okay?"
"Okay? This is fabulous!" Copper laughed. "All right, Ros, I'm getting in. Wow...the seats in here are plush!"
"Well, what do you expect?" her sister scolded. "Only the best for your wedding party!"
Once the limousine and it's precious cargo had drawn out of the driveway, Nancy turned to her companions.
"And you lot have to put up with my banger of a car." She said with a grin. "Come on. They're going the long way around, so we'll be there before Copper is. Topaz, say your goodbyes to Hollie. We need to get moving."
"Sure. Bye, Hol, be good for Daddy?" Topaz kissed her daughter gently on the cheek. "I'll come say goodnight when we get in, I promise. Look after your Dad for me, okay?"
"I'm sure she will." Cameron looked amused. "Bye, Rora. 'Ave a good night!"
"We'll sure try." Topaz promised. Then she was gone across the tarmac to join the other Jewels in Nancy's waiting car.
"So where are we going?" Sylva demanded. "Budge up, Sadie, there's no room!"
"My car isn't that small." Nancy objected. "And as for where we're going? The beach."
"The beach?" Sadie stared. "Copper's hen party is at the beach?"
"Yes." Nancy agreed calmly. "Ros and I have had it all worked out for a while now. It took some arranging, but we've a whole stretch of beach to ourselves. There's to be music...lights...a bar...and of course, sand, sea and moonlight. What better place for a party? After all, this is California. Why not a beach party?"
"I think the idea rocks!" Sylva exclaimed. "Logan told me they used to have parties on the beach in senior year when he was at high school here. He made me so jealous talking about it - now we're gonna have one too!"
"Well, Copper is." Nancy corrected. "But yes, we are. I'm only glad it's a clear night - I would've committed murder if there had been storms today."
"No storms forecast." Cynthia assured her. "The weather should remain perfectly clement until after Copper's big day is safely past."
"You think Ros will tell Copper where they're headed?" Topaz wondered. Nancy shook her head.
"No. She might be scatty but she's kept her mouth shut about this so far. She won't talk." She replied. "The limo was her idea, incidentally - she remembered Copper saying how much she loved that car that took them studio visiting when they were kids, and she thought it would be a nice touch for tonight. I don't know quite what's happening with transport after the wedding, but at least she'll get her white stretch somewhere."
"I think it's sweet." Sylva looked impressed. "I haveta hand it to you, Nancy. You and Ros sure seem to have cooked up a decent evening for Copper."
"Well, of course." Nancy said simply. "She's gonna be my sister in law - I have to keep her happy or live with the consequences!"
"The beach is like another world after dark."
Copper took a sip of her drink, gazing around her with dreamy brown eyes. "This is wonderful, Nance - you couldn't have picked anywhere better for my party to be. I was dreading it would be something really crazy, but this is just...nice."
"Well, Ros and I talked about it for some time, looking at this or that club or whatever, but we go to those places all the time." Nancy responded. "When Vi came out here, well, it was something different for her to go to Le Klub Kool or wherever it was for her shindig. After all, all of LA was pretty novel to her. But you live here, and I wanted it to be something you hadn't done before. Then it hit me - we've never been to the beach like this after dark."
"No, we haven't, but we should more often." Copper decided. "It couldn't be more perfect. Here, with all my friends, celebrating my last fling before I marry the most wonderful guy on the planet. I just hope it isn't too perfect."
"Too perfect?" Nancy frowned. "How do you mean?"
"I'm worried about Stefana." Copper admitted. "Worried about her trying something to ruin my big day. She hates me so much, after all, and she's stooped pretty low in the past. Do you think she will?"
"If she dares, I'll rip her head off." Nancy said vehemently. "She'd better damn well keep her distance."
"Well, I hope she does too." Copper set her drink down on the sand. "But I can't help wondering. She did show up strangely at Aaron's apartment the other week, and after all, there was the wedding dress..."
"We don't know for sure it was her who did that." Nancy reminded her. Copper shrugged.
"True, but I can think of noone else who'd have the motive." She replied. "I want this to go so well, Nance. A wedding day is the happiest day of a girl's life, and I can't help being, well, just a touch afraid..."
"Don't be." Nancy said firmly. "If we have to tie Stefana up and lock her away for the ceremony, so be it. Noone is going to let anything ruin your big day, okay? That's a promise."
"I hope you're right." Copper sighed, turning to watch Sylva and Topaz at the water's edge. "You know, it seems forever since I left Detroit and came to LA. Does it to you? I feel like I've been here forever now."
"I'm just glad my bonehead brother has good sense in who he's marrying." Nancy said dryly. "I'm slightly bummed that I won't get to play the funeral march at the wedding, but other than that, I'm cool with it."
"You didn't really mean that, though." Copper scolded. "I mean you wouldn't have played the funeral march if he'd married someone else."
"Wouldn't I?" Nancy raised an eyebrow. "Be glad you're a bride I approve of, Copper! Otherwise I'd be the sister-in-law from hell!"
"Okay, I'll be thankful." She agreed. She leant back on her elbows, gazing up at the stars.
"It's so clear tonight - can see everything up there." She murmured. "Nance, do you believe in Heaven?"
"Heaven?" Nancy looked taken aback. "What's in that drink, Copper? When did Heaven come into it?"
"I'm serious." Copper chided. "Do you?"
"Don't know." Nancy shrugged. "I never really thought about it. Why?"
"When I was a little girl, my father used to tell me that the stars in the sky were angels, watching over us." Copper said softly. "Before he died, he told me that whenever I could see the stars, he'd be up there in Heaven with those angels, smiling down on me. I know it seems kinda silly, Nancy, but I like to believe it's true. That he is up there, watching me, and that he approves of everything I've done. After all, well, Los Angeles means 'the angels'."
Nancy fell silent for a moment, unsure quite how to respond to her friend's heartfelt faith. She sighed.
"That's kinda pretty." She acknowledged at length. "I don't know if it's true, Copper, but I guess your Dad could be watching over you. I mean, you were close and all. I don't see why not."
Copper cast her friend a glance.
"I'm sorry to get all airy fairy on you." She said sheepishly. "But just, on nights like tonight, I wonder. You know?"
"I guess there's no harm in that." Nancy smiled. "I'm not sure I have as much faith as you do in that kind of thing, Copper, but then again I haven't lost anyone who meant that much to me. Maybe it would be different if I had."
"Maybe." Copper nodded.
For a moment the two girls sat in pensive silence, then Copper seemed to shake herself out of her reverie. She got to her feet, pulling Nancy up with her.
"Come on, let's go paddle in the sea like we're four years old." She begged. "These are my last few days as a carefree single girl - I want to enjoy it all I can!"
"Okay, you're on." Nancy agreed, relieved at the change of topic. "Let's go!"
PART THREE: TILL DEATH US DO PART
Chapter One: A Father Should Be
Chapter Two: Stefana and Aaron
Chapter Three: Sylva Intervenes
Chapter Four: Stefana's Battle
Chapter Five: Common Ground
Chapter Six: A Special Meeting
Chapter Seven: La Familia Santiago
Chapter Eight: Hen Party
Chapter Nine: Rory's Scheme
Chapter Ten: Stefana's Dilemma
Chapter Eleven: A Friend Indeed
Chapter Twelve: Sadie Gets Involved
Chapter Thirteen: The Night Before
Chapter Fourteen: Closure
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!