"Oh Annie, you look beautiful."
Sylva glanced at her sister's reflection in the makeshift mirror, then across at Anna herself, a smile on her face. "You're gonna make John forget his vows, I swear you are...you look stunning."
"I hope so. You've spent long enough doing my makeup and my hair." Anna touched her curls self-consciously. "Do I really look all right? I'm so nervous I could scream...what if I've forgotten something?"
"You've forgotten nothing." Impulsively Sylva hugged her sister tightly. "Listen. Everything couldn't be better. You kissed and made up with John, and you're both gonna have the best day in the world. Lots of people are out there waiting for you and it's a darn cold church, so let's not keep them waiting too long, huh? Even Sammi looks presentable."
"Mom and Dad?" Anna looked apprehensive.
"I've made sure they're not gonna be sitting together." Sylva promised. "Dad said he'd be through in a minute, when we were done. He's excited to be giving you away. I almost think he forgot this part of having daughters."
"He's a lot more mellow, recently." Anna reflected.
"I've noticed." She agreed. "It must be the blood pressure pills - but I'm glad. And Mom...well, Mom's already got the tissues out, so she's gonna be weepy. Prepare for that."
She touched the dress.
"Did Gaynor make this?"
"She did." Anna blushed. "I told her she had to - I saw the pictures of Copper's in the press and I was blown away by how good she's getting. And well, it's good luck. Something new, after all."
She turned her gaze to her reflection, touching her earrings.
"John bought me these when we got engaged." She remembered. "Sapphires. To match my eyes. They're my something blue. But...I'm not sure about the old or the borrowed. Does it matter, do you think?"
"I don't know." Sylva admitted. She hesitated, then, "But I know how to solve it. Here. Hang on a second."
She put her hands to her throat, fumbling with the clasp on her necklace. Then, with a grin, she held it out to her sister.
"You gave me this for our sixteenth birthday." She said softly. "So that makes it old...and borrowed. And it if brings you luck, Annie, I want you to wear it."
"Are you sure?" Anna's eyes softened. Sylva nodded.
"Yes." She agreed. She laughed. "I remember how much I badgered you about wanting that chain when we were in high school. It's about time you got something out of it, and I brought it with me to New York because, well...it's a twin thing. And this was a twin occasion."
"If you're sure."
Carefully Anna took the delicate silver necklace, fastening it around her throat. She hugged her sister tightly.
"Thanks, Syl." She murmured. "Now I've all the luck I need."
"And a damn fine groom, too." Sylva returned the hug, tears in her eyes. "I guess if there's anything identical left in us, Ann, that means there's hope for me too, huh?"
"Oh, you'll get your guy." Anna smiled, her own eyes damp. "You deserve to. And now look at us. Guess it isn't just Mom who's gonna be weepy today."
"That's why we used waterproof mascara." Sylva said wryly. "Just in case."
"Are we ready to go?" Elliot poked his head around the door of the vestry at that moment, casting his daughters a grin, then, "Annie, you look amazing."
"She does." Sylva agreed. She dimpled. "We have good genes."
"You sure do." Elliot laughed. He pushed open the door further, holding out his arm to Anna, who hesitantly took it.
"Shall we get this show on the road, then?" He asked. Anna and Sylva exchanged looks, then Anna nodded.
"Yes." She agreed. "Let's not keep them waiting any longer!"
By dint of her role as Maid of Honour, Sylva found that she and Logan
were seperated for the reception dinner and, though he raised his hand
in a wave to acknowledge her, there was no chance for conversation before
the meal began. Much to her chagrin, she had observed her mischievous cousin
slipping into the seat next to him, and as soon as the dinner and toasts
had given way to dancing and drinks, she had slipped away from the bridal
party, grabbing him by the hand and pulling him across to a quieter corner
of the hall.
"And hello to you." Logan looked amused.
"You were talking to Sammi. I had to rescue you." Sylva shrugged, pausing to adjust her sandal strap. "Besides, you said you weren't going to pursue her."
"I wasn't, and nor was she." Logan said with a grin. "We were just talking - and not about you. Honestly, I don't think she's the bitch you seem to - but I was just being friendly, since we were sat near each other. That's all."
He glanced at his companion.
"You look nice, by the way."
"Nice?" Sylva raised an eyebrow. "Is that all I get? Just nice?"
"Well, I don't believe in overdoing it." Logan looked amused. "But all right. You look stunning, fabulous, amazing, spectacular...every guy's dream...that enough for you?"
"Oh, you're a creep." Sylva giggled, swiping him playfully on the arm. "But seriously...do I look all right? I mean, better than nice? I know it's Anna's big day and I want her to be the star...but, well, I don't want to let the side down."
"Syl, you look beautiful." Logan told her with a smile. "And I mean that."
"So why not say it to begin with?"
"I have to fly home with you and I don't want the plane delayed because your head got wedged in the doorway."
"Aren't I, though?" Logan eyed her for a moment. Then he laughed. "Okay. So we both made it through the wedding and the dinner in one piece. Can I get you a drink?"
"You sure can." Sylva nodded her head. "Vodka and coke, please"
"I'm a Cali babe, Logan." Sylva giggled. "I have ice with everything."
Logan grinned back at her, heading up to the bar to place their orders, and Sylva settled herself in a corner seat to wait, idly watching the dancing and tapping her feet in time to the music.
"Well, that was very mature."
A voice startled her and she glanced up, meeting Sammi's angry gaze. She rolled her eyes.
"So was sitting next to my guy and chatting him up all meal." She said levelly. "Or do you think I didn't notice that?"
"Coincidence." Sammi bristled. "That's where the name labels were. I'm not as low as you."
"Meaning whatever you like." Sammi shrugged. "Not dancing? Or did Romeo leave you in the lurch?"
"No, he's getting me a drink." Sylva said sweetly. "I'd ask him to get you one too, but we both know that wouldn't be a good idea, don't we?"
"If this wasn't Anna's day, I'd slap you again." Sammi told her coldly. "Strikes me you need a lot more slaps before your ego gets down to normal proportions."
"Nothing wrong with my ego, cousin." Sylva said quietly. "It's you that's having issues starting over in a new country where my group are already the best thing going."
"Maybe that'll change." Sammi snapped. "Besides, if you didn't cheat your way up the charts with that machine, you wouldn't be anything special."
"That machine has nothing to do with our music." Sylva was stung. "And if you talk about her like that again I'll be slapping you. Synergy's not a thing, Synergy's a friend."
"Oh, I'm so sorry." Sammi's eyes narrowed. "I'd forgotten you'd lost the ability to make real friends."
"And that's why I'll never tell you anything about her." Sylva said matter-of-factly. "Because you have no idea what you're talking about."
"And my date is waiting for me over there, so if you don't mind..."
She got to her feet, stalking across the floor to where Logan was waiting, two drinks clutched in his hands. As she joined him, he raised an eyebrow.
"Nice family chat, was it?" He asked lightly. Sylva rolled her eyes expressively.
"Never you mind." She said, taking her drink. "Forget about her."
"I wasn't really thinking about her." Logan spread his hands. He took a sip of his drink, glancing around the room.
"So if this is very Anna," he began slowly, "What's very you?"
"Well..." Logan gestured. "You guys are pretty opposite to each other. So where would you have your wedding reception? Or would you elope to somewhere exotic and that'd be the end of it?"
"You know, I hadn't really thought about it." Sylva looked thoughtful. "I mean, marriage isn't exactly on the cards right now."
She looked sheepish.
"I need to find a boyfriend first, rather than bullying one of my friends to play the part."
"Well, yeah, that's a given." Logan's eyes danced. "But for argument's sake, say you did."
"Why so curious?"
"I'm trying to figure out just how different you girls are." Logan spread his hands. "First a gothic church, then a hotel reception. Both nice and all, but not things I'd pick for you in a million years. Am I right?"
"I guess so." Sylva rested her chin in her hands, thinking it over. "I like...well, I guess it'd be really cool to be married on the beach. Sun, sea, sand...that might be nice. At sunset...and a seaside reception."
"Wouldn't you get your dress all sandy?" Logan raised an eyebrow.
"I could get hitched in a bikini." Sylva offered a teasing smile. "There's a stunning one in the window of this Beverly Hills store that would be just the thing."
"Married in a bikini?" Logan grinned. "Neat. Can I come?"
"Logan!" Sylva poked her tongue out at him. Logan shrugged.
"What? Sand, sea, surf and a chance to ogle the bride in her bikini? Sounds like a party to me."
"You are impossible." Sylva giggled. She took a sip of her drink. "Mm. Well. At least they serve decent drinks."
"There are a lot of people here." Logan remarked. Sylva nodded.
"Yeah. Most of them I'll never learn the names of, and three of them confused me with Anna when I got here." She said with a grimace.
"I thought you knew the guests." Logan glanced at her. "This is your sister's wedding."
"Yeah, but I don't know any of John's family, or most of their college friends." Sylva sighed. "Not that I think I've missed out on much."
"What do you mean?"
"Not much eye candy for this single girl." Sylva shrugged philosophically. "In fact, I think my sister got the best option going. Present company excepted, of course."
"I'll drink to that." He said, amused. "Hey...isn't that a Jewel song?"
"Oh God, it is." Sylva's cheeks pinkened. "I don't know whether to be happy or embarrassed to hear it."
"What's to be embarassed about?" Logan grinned. "Anna should've hired a live band. You girls, for example. Don't you think?"
"Anna's budget ran out." Sylva spread her hands.
"What? You'd have charged your own sister?"
"No, of course not, but she didn't ask us." Sylva responded. "I think she figured that I'd want to enjoy the party - which I do." She shrugged. "And honestly, much as I love Topaz and the others, this is my sister's wedding. I didn't want to be thinking of anything other than my Maid of Honour duties when I came out here, and Jewel is life-consuming when we're working a gig."
"Well, since this is your music - do you want to dance?"
"Not a hope." Sylva shook her head. "I'm going to stand here, looking classy, and finish my drink. We can dance when noone can point the finger at me. It's Annie's night, not mine, and I'm not going to give Sammi any excuse to say I'm trying to get all the attention. So we'll wait. Okay?"
"Yes boss." Logan saluted. "Whatever you say."
He leant up against the wall, scanning the dance floor.
"Well, you know more people here than me." He said at length. "Who's the dude dancing with your Mom?"
"My Uncle Craig." Sylva dimpled. "Sammi's Dad. He was an ace drummer back in the eighties."
"Is it all music with your family, then?"
"Sort of." Sylva spread her hands. "I guess it is in the blood. I mean, Mom was a Misfit, Sam's Dad played with various groups in Europe and met Aunt Aja when he was visiting over here. And Aunt Aja was a Hologram - but you know that. You've read the papers."
"Sure." Logan nodded. "No wonder you, Anna and Sammi are all wrapped up in music. It's almost genetically coded into you."
"Tell me about it." Sylva shrugged. "But that's fine. I wouldn't want to do anything else."
She finished the last of her drink, setting the glass down on the counter. "Well? I'm done and so's the song, so we can dance now...if you want to."
"I wouldn't be a very good date if I didn't dance with you at least once." Logan drained his own glass, taking her by the hand. "But don't expect too much from me. I wrecked my knee, remember - I've never danced quite right since."
"Please tell me you can dance." Sylva eyed him apprehensively.
"Yes, after a fashion, so long as you don't expect me to do anything dramatic like pick you up."
"If you did, I'd probably puke my meal all down you." Sylva said bluntly. "So that's fine by me."
"That's what I like about you." Logan looked amused. "You have such a way with words."
"Well, it's not like I'm trying to pull you." Sylva retorted. "And besides, it's true. I...hey!" As Logan dragged her into the centre of the floor. "Logan! I almost lost my sandal then!"
"Guess I'm pulling you, then." Logan chuckled. "Aw, come on, Syl. Lighten up. It's a party."
As the party carried on into the night, guests started to drift away and, as the clock in the hotel's hallway began to chime eleven, a limousine, decked in white ribbons drew up on the front forecourt. With a flurry of excitement, the bridal couple were shepherded out into the moonlit air, John slipping a hand in Anna's as they surveyed the waiting vehicle.
"I only wish we were really riding off into the sunset." Anna murmured, squeezing her husband's hand tightly. "As opposed to a hotel across the city for the night. But it's beautiful anyhow."
"And captured for eternity." Craig Phillips held up his camera, and Mary tapped her own with a grin. "Give us a smile, kids. This is for posterity."
"Sure thing, Uncle Craig." Anna dimpled. "I don't think I can stop smiling, to be honest!"
"I feel so old." Mary observed absently. "My daughter's married and heading off to the honeymoon suite of a glitzy New York hotel. I definitely need to check up on my retirement fund."
"Mom, don't be silly." Anna blushed, and John laughed.
"I'll look after her, Mary, I promise." He said warmly. "And we'll see you before we fly out on Saturday - you're not going back to LA before that?"
"No, not till Monday." Mary agreed.
"Sylvie, do you have the key for our place?" Anna cast an anxious look at her sister, who nodded, reaching clumsily into her purse for the silver key and almost sending the entire contents flying as she did so.
"Yep, it's safe and sound." She agreed, holding it up triumphantly. She shot her mother a look, then giggled. "Don't worry about me. This is your honeymoon - if I got locked out I could just go crash Mom's room at the hotel!"
"That's what she thinks." Mary raised an eyebrow at her eldest daughter. "Sylvina, you sound tipsy...and I don't let my room to drunken rock stars."
"I'm not that drunk, Mom." Sylva protested. "And besides, it's a party!"
"Goodbye, sweetie, and congratulations again." Elliot came to kiss his daughter on the cheek, then he shook his son in law's hand. "And you, John. Welcome to our family - such as it is."
"Thank you, Elliot." John's eyes twinkled. "No place I'd rather be."
"Well, we better get going, before the hotel thinks we've cancelled or something." Anna pulled her wrap more tightly around her. "Thank you, everyone, for coming and making our day so special!"
"Oh crap, I'm going to cry again." Sylva swallowed hard, as the happy couple got into the car and it slowly pulled away to much cheering and waving. "Logan, let's go inside. It's getting cold out here and I don't really want an audience."
"Come on, you sentimental sissy." Logan linked arms with her affectionately, leading her a touch unsteadily back into the warmth of the hotel bar. "Everyone else will be back in here in a minute, though. You think the party's over?"
"No...it's only eleven." Sylva shook her head, swallowing hard. "Okay. Okay, I'm all right now. Just a little too much alcohol and high riding emotion. It's not every day your sister gets hitched."
"I was gonna offer to get you another drink...should I not?" Logan eyed her questioningly. Sylva shrugged her shoulders.
"It's not like I'm planning on doing anything special tomorrow." She said simply. "I have an errand to run for Anna, but it won't matter if I do it in the afternoon. And it's a party...why not. I'm not that drunk. Go for it."
"Well, if you're sure." Logan shrugged, leading the way up to the bar.
"You do think they'll be happy, Logan, don't you?" Sylva eyed him doubtfully, as he ordered their drinks. He frowned, shrugging.
"Damned if I know." He admitted. "But I'd say they've as good a chance as any. They seem right together, if that's what you mean. But hell, what do I know. I was with Jenna three years and then she split with me - so I'm not the best judge."
"Me either." Sylva sighed, taking the drink and sipping it contemplatively. "You know, in High School it was so easy to get a date. Guys were always after me, and I didn't want much from them. You know? No big deal commitments or anything. Just a good time."
"In High School, isn't that what most of us wanted?" Logan asked. Sylva pursed her lips.
"Dunno." She admitted. "But I thought I was in love with all of them. Then I fell for Jack and God, nothing's been easy since then. I can't find a guy, Logan...why is that, do you think? I mean, is it just me? Or...I dunno. Am I just too busy to look?"
"I think you're drunk." Logan glanced at her, taking a sip of his own drink. Sylva shrugged.
"So what? Maybe I am a bit." She owned. "But don't you think it's weird? I mean Ann and I are identical. I can't be hideous when she's so pretty."
"You're not hideous, you idiot." Logan rolled his eyes. "I already told you you're beautiful tonight."
"I don't know." Sylva sighed. "Maybe it's an inside thing. I mean, maybe you have to be beautiful inside as well or something."
"You don't think you are?"
Logan went to set his glass down on the bar, colliding with the nearby stool and almost losing his footing as he did so. He burst out laughing.
"Geez. Guess you ain't the only one who's knocked one too many back tonight. Sorry about that."
"You're a clumsy oaf." Sylva grimaced at him. "But at least you're a good friend. I'm glad you came with me to New York. It's been fun."
"It's been interesting." Logan agreed.
"So do you think that I'm beautiful inside?" Sylva asked plaintively. "Or is it just like Sammi says - I'm ego-tripping all the time and that's why no guy wants to date me?"
"Syl, I'm sure there are a lot of guys who'd want to date you." Logan finally managed to get his glass down onto the bar. "There we go!"
"Really?" Sylva looked doubtful. "So why aren't they, then?"
"Maybe you're looking in the wrong places." Logan shrugged. "Hell, I don't know. I'm not a relationship counsellor."
"Well, you're a guy. You know how guys think." Sylva sighed. "I just wondered if I was doing anything wrong."
"I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer that." Logan offered her a slightly drunken smile. Sylva frowned, then she shrugged.
"Well, then let's find out." She said simply, setting her glass down on a nearby table. Then, very decidedly, she kissed him.