Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
[ Six months later… ]
A baby blue flash of clothing known as Justin Timberlake ran down the hallway screaming their band-mate's name. It was late in the afternoon, close to dinnertime for any normal person, but for the guys the day was only half over. After a morning full of boring interviews and a lunchtime commitment, the youngest member of the band was taking advantage of the empty hotel hallway but using it as a running track. Although Chris was known as the hyperactive one of the group it seemed as if that day Justin had taken the title. Justin had been fidgety all morning, with the excitement of the new video and now that he'd been let loose of the social obligations had made it a point to try to tire himself out after some strong encouragement from the others.
"Did you check the bar?" JC asked with a sarcastic tone as he leaned against the wall and waited for the others. JC had the hood of his sweatshirt pulled up over a baseball hat and sunglasses hiding the fact that he was dozing in and out of consciousness while he waited.
"I think he was downstairs to eat," Lance said with a lazy tone looking up from where he'd knelt to tie the shoelaces of his running shoes.
They were supposed to be leaving for a meeting with the director of the next video when somehow Joey had gone missing. The guys always seemed to joke about needing a drink while doing interviews, but Joey would be the one to actually go and get one. Lance figured that the more believable excuse would be that the guy had met some girl and was probably trying to get the girl's phone number. It had happened before, at least five times in the past week, which normally hadn't been a problem, but that day they were on a fairly tight schedule and Joey should haven known better than to disappear.
"Does anyone have a radio?" Justin yelled speaking about the security system that their bodyguards used to keep track of them and each other. It seemed like a strict system, but when one of the five group members would go off by themselves the traffic on the security airwaves tripled not only in volume but also in the urgency of the messages.
"Stop screaming!" Chris yelled at the top of his lungs as he joined the others in the hallway. He wore nylon running pants and a huge sweatshirt and even had taken out his contacts. He was the symbol of comfort in his Adidas sports sandals, but the look on his face was stressed. He had his hand over the microphone part of his cell phone and was giving Justin the evil eye. "I'm trying to talk to Dani and all she can here is your Afro-Ass!" He turned back to his conversation and spoke into the phone with a completely calm tone. "Sorry about that honey."
Lance watched his band mate talking to his girlfriend with a half smile on his face. Dani had been away from the group for almost a month, a record amount of time for Chris to be away from his long-time girlfriend. Lance remembered that feeling. He'd experienced it over and over again with Danielle when they'd been dating when she was filming her television show and he was on the road. Lance's relationship with Danielle had ended, but Chris and Dani seemed to keep going, no matter what came up. This came partially from the fact that Lance thought of Chris as such a phone hog and never let more than a few hours go by without talking to Dani, even if it was only for a few minutes. Frankly, the guy would talk anyone's ear off, but Dani didn't seem to mind.
When the metallic ding of the elevator sounded Lance looked over and saw Joey exiting with a girl on his arm. He seemed to strut down the hallway as if the tall girl on his arm was some kind of prize that he'd won.
"And where the fuck have you been?" JC asked pushing his hood off his head. If the fans could have heard that…they'd have a heart attack. He smiled and slid the sunglasses up off of his face, resting them on his forehead, then formed his face into a frown to stare at Joey with. He wasn't really mad at Joey. Actually JC was usually the late one, always siting that he needed to get a new alarm clock, which made the comment a bit funny.
Lance glanced up at the duo taking JC's playful wrath then went back to tying his other shoe up. A scene like this happened about every two weeks. Nothing new to report. Joey was a hormonal flirt and JC was playing "Daddy" again, even though JC had been late for the last three days of meetings because he'd overslept.
"I found Willa here in the lobby," he said looking over at the girl on his arm.
Willa's posture was one that screamed confidence. Head held high she watched the group of guys in the hallway as if they were equals, not the superstars that most girls her age would swoon over. Willa smiled sweetly as Joey made the introductions. "That's Justin down the hall, JC is the one who just chewed us out, Chris is on the phone with his woman no doubt." Joey made a silly face, which made Willa laugh. "And that one over there learning to tie his own shoes is Lance."
"Well not offense…" JC looked at the girl. "…we have to leave now which means you need to disappear." JC made a shooing motion with his hand towards Willa as if she was a pest.
"I see what you mean," Willa took a chance and made a sympathetic face towards Joey. "He is really anal."
Lance looked up at the girl for an instant to see what type of person would tell off JC to his face. Most girls were shy or giggly around all of them. It was a nice change of pace to have that kind of reaction to them.
"Excuse me?" JC stuttered out.
"You heard me," she said brashly. She made a face.
Something clicked in Lance's head. He knew that voice from somewhere but couldn't quite remember.
"JC shut it, ok. Willa is working on the video with us. She's staying in the hotel so I told her that she could catch a ride with us over to meet up with Wayne." Joey made a face as if JC was ruining some master flirting plan that he was using on the girl.
[ Nine p.m. that evening ]
"Willa," Lance groaned out in disgust. As he crawled into the limo he saw her sitting in the limo already. She had her legs crossed and looked as sweet as any other girl. Too bad Lance knew the real her. She was a little bitch and it had come out not only a few months before but had been reinforced in the hallway then again in the meeting room when they'd been discussing scenes. Lance hadn't fully been paying attention, but he'd caught the part when Willa had been talking about her outfits for the video shoot.
"At least you know my name now," she snapped.
"I know it before," he sputtered out and pulled himself into the farthest seat away from her.
"Sure." She studied her nails for a moment then looked out the window.
They sat silently until the others made their way inside. Lance leaned his head against the window and prayed that traffic would be light so he wouldn't have to spend too much time with her.
Joey and the others began their usual entertaining bits of comedy, the same stupid jokes Lance had heard every time someone new came into their midst, leaving Lance alone to sit and look out the window. He laughed at the jokes when appropriate and stayed somewhat in the conversation, but mostly he tried to ignore the strange vibes that were coming from Willa's direction. He felt as if he was being stared at. The hairs on the back of his neck were even standing on end.
"So Lance…I guess you're psyched about teaming up with Willa in the love scenes."
"Huh?" He stared across at the group, all of whom were staring back at him.
"See I told you he wasn't listening before," Justin supplied.
"Shut it Timberlake!" Lance pouted a bit then threw up his middle finger up at his band mate. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You? Willa? Love Scenes? Video? Ring any bells Scoop?" Justin made one of those "duh!" faces. It was patronizing in the worst way.
Willa didn't say a word, but Lance noticed the small smile that creased her lips. If she wasn't acting like such a little bitch, Lance thought, she'd be pretty. Instead of staring at her Lance looked out the window.
"I told you that they were going to have to retire that nickname."
"Whatever." Lance snapped.
When they arrived back at the hotel everyone piled out of the car and as they waited for the elevators everyone began making their plans for the evening. The guys had a self-imposed curfew that evening of one a.m. which meant that they would have just enough time to go out and party for a few hours before having to be back "home" in the hotel.
"We were going to go to the Brook," Joey said sliding up next to where Willa was waiting with them. "Want to go hang out in my old hometown?"
Willa smiled, "Maybe."
"Awe, come on Willa, when else are you going to get to date five guys at once?" Justin had been throwing himself hopelessly at her for most of the afternoon. The competition between Joey and him was almost embarrassing.
"Make that four," Lance said folding his arms over his chest.
"You aren't coming out tonight?" JC asked.
"I've got shit to do J," Lance said, "Phone calls…you know…business and stuff."
They all seemed to take the excuse at face value then went back to bugging Willa.
When she got off the elevator two floors below theirs Willa smiled and waved. "Give me a call when you're leaving and I'll see if I want to go with you."
"Ok," Joey said.
"Bye guys," she said then paused and looked at Lance, "Goodbye Lance…or did your mother not teach you manners enough to say goodbye?"
Before Lance could jump out and grab her around the neck and strangle her for the remark the door closed leaving the five guys and their security team on the way to their rooms.
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