Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
Her cell phone chirped it's happy little ring an hour later. Willa picked it up and sat down on the bed in her hotel room for a moment. She bounced on the bed for a moment testing out the firmness of the mattress knowing that after her long day of flights and meetings she was going to need a good night' sleep. It wasn't as good as the one that she'd had in the Bahamas a few weeks before, but then again, nothing could top having their own suite in a tropical paradise. She'd stayed down there a few extra days to fully enjoy her stay.
She checked the number on the tiny screen of the phone. It was a Los Angeles number, which meant it was either the NSYNC guys or someone from the agency. Her agent was on vacation for a few days, which was something. Usually they were attached at the hip. It was actually the first time in a while that she'd been on a job without someone looking after her. Normally she had a friend, her agent or some security person with her. "Hello?"
"How you doin'?" a male voice asked.
She smiled trying to guess if it was Chris or Joey. She figured Joey would be the spokesperson since he'd been the one to find her in the lobby. "Hi Joey."
"Ah man. How'd you know it was me?"
Willa laughed at the thought of him trying hard to flirt with her over the phone. He'd probably have some cute little smile on his face, like he'd had thrown in her direction for most of the meetings they'd been in that day. For the most part Willa hated men looking at her like that, but with Joey it didn't seem to matter. He'd been like a brother to her from the moment they'd met in the lobby and she couldn't take his flirting attempts too seriously no matter how hard she tried.
Willa lay back on the bed and looked up at the ceiling with a smile. It had been a while since she'd openly flirted with a guy. She'd almost forgotten how nice it could be. At most events she was with her agent or someone who didn't let her get too out of control. Not only would it look bad, but with her pictures all over the place most of the time she worried about her safety. She would have brought someone with her on her trip to the video shoot, but her agent had assured her that because the NSYNC guys had so much security around them that she'd be safe enough in their presence. "I'm psychic. I knew you'd be on the line when I picked up."
"Sure you did." His sarcastic tone was a nice change of pace. When she'd gotten back to the room she'd had a conversation with her agent, which, by her standards was a far more boring conversation than Joey's little phone flirting session.
"It's called Caller ID? Heard of it?" She sat up and leaned the phone against her shoulder while she attempted to pull her hair up into some sort of ponytail. She hated the long brown mass that fell past her shoulders, but there wasn't much she could do about it until her agent agreed with a hairstylist about changing the style. She was the sporty-sexy type model that had to have that low maintenance haircut, but Willa wanted to break out of the mold a little and do something with it.
She listened to him laugh and wondered for a moment if she'd been traveling too much lately. She had a ton of friends at home, but she never saw them with all the traveling and such. Her friends from high school were now all over the country, at their respective colleges and she missed them and the kinds of laughs that they would send to her in moments like that.
"Wanna come out with us tonight?" He sounded casual about the whole situation, but Willa knew that the event would be an ordeal. There would be security and no doubt she'd get her picture in the paper. It seemed more trouble than it was worth and she wasn't about to explain her actions to her agents when the pictures surfaced later.
Willa hesitated before answering, trying to make her decision. She didn't have coin with her, but it would have come in handy in a situation like that. She wanted to join them badly, but as she looked in the mirror across the room from her she noticed how tired she was. She knew she should get to sleep that night early considering that she had to be in front of a camera the next day. She'd heard more than a few photographers yell at her for the sometime-visible bags under her eyes and she knew that she didn't want to add anything to whatever ammunition Lance would be throwing her way that next day. He'd already picked on her enough at that party without knowing a thing about her.
"I think I'm going to pass Joey, but thanks for asking me," she said and got up and paced the room for a moment before going to find clothes to sleep in. She remembered putting them into her bag when she'd packed up, but didn't see them on the first look.
He turned and spoke to whatever people were in the room with him.
Willa could hear the pleading tones of the people in the room with him as they all tried to peer pressure her into going out with them that night.
"Are you sure?" Joey asked.
"Yes, Joe," she said, "I'm already in my pajamas."
She looked down at her skirt and shirt and laughed. Yeah right. The only time she slept in that outfit was when she was out partying the night before. She cringed knowing what the comment about her sleeping attire would do for the conversation. She knew better than to go that route, but she'd done the damage, now she just had to get Joey to get off the phone with her so she would be able to get to sleep.
She let out a groan, "Come on Joey, get your head out of the gutter. I wear sweats and a hooded sweatshirt to sleep in." It was partially the truth. She usually froze at night and had gotten in the habit of wearing long pants and a long sleeved shirt to bed.
"Sure you do," he replied sarcastically, "You have too good of a body to be hiding your stuff girl."
"I told you I'm not going out with you Joey," she said.
"Don't beg," she said, "Use that on your fans."
"I don't have to beg with them," he said with a laugh.
"Like you have someone with you every night."
"Just Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays," he said.
He laughed at his comment. "Well I'm going to bed alone tonight so who would I be showing off for?"
Joey's voice lowered at least two octaves. He spoke to her in an almost Barry-White sort of voice, "You don't have to go to bed alone."
"Check your hormones," Willa said. She laughed knowing that if she went off on him she would never hear the last of it. It was one thing for her to trade remarks with Lance, but she didn't want to do that with all the guys or what Lance had said would come true. She would be acting the part of the bitch.
"Fine, fine, fine," Joey said, "Check ya laters then. You'll wish you came out with us tomorrow when we tell you all about how much fun we had."
"I'm sure I'll regret it Joey," Willa said with a smile digging further into the bag she grabbed her sweatpants and T-shirt and triumphantly smiled at herself in the mirror. One stop to get her nightclothes on and she'd sleep away the rest of the night. IF she got them on in the next few minutes she'd get at least seven hours of sleep before her five am wake-up call. She envied the guys. While she had to get to the shoot early to get her hair and make-up done, the guys were going to get there an hour ahead of time to do some superficial touch-ups to their looks for the video.
"Bye then," Joey said.
Willa took a deep breath and prayed that the others were going to be as easy going, as Joey seemed to be. They all seemed ok, except for Lance. Other than their first meeting, she didn't know why he had such a problem with her. She'd done nothing to act like the princess bitchy model type. He was going to be a challenge.
She laughed and tucked her phone into her purse. She'd had a habit of loosing it and didn't
Without a challenge, life would be boring.
She knew in the back of her mind that she could have men fall at her feet--it had happened on more than a few occasions in the past year--but with Lance she had a lot of resistance. It was a nice change of pace and she didn't want to ruin the surprise ending by leaving instead of putting up a fight.
With a smile on her face, Willa slid out of her outfit and into her sweats and T-shirt. She slid some socks on her feet and turned down the covers on the bed. Settling herself in for the night she flipped on the television and thought she'd use it as background noise to go to sleep to.
Lance rolled over in bed for the fifth time in the last five minutes. He'd climbed into bed that night earlier than usual in sweats and a T-shirt. The air conditioning had been on and the room had been cold. He normally wasn't such a wuss about the weather, but after flying cross-country and with the climate changes and all he didn't want to get sick.
His over-planning for the cold he found himself practically sweating as the room heated up a little now that the air conditioning was off. He'd gotten up and had changed into shorts and a tank top.
When he'd gotten back into bed he'd been cold so he'd had to play with his covers for a while before getting warmer. Then it seemed; when all his climate troubles were under control, he'd gotten thirsty so he'd gotten up to get a drink.
Then it was his pillows. He'd punched them into shape three different times, but nothing was working. He just couldn't get comfortable.
He looked at the clock. It read one a.m.
"Damn," he sighed out loud into the dark empty room. The guys would be back soon which meant even if he did get to sleep in the next half-hour he'd get woken up again by Justin since they were rooming together.
He loved the guy, but he could tell from his behavior earlier that it was going to be one of Justin's loud nights. When the kid had one of those it was as if he made more noise by trying to be quiet.
Lance pushed himself out of bed again, hopefully for the last time that night and found his sweats again where he'd thrown them onto his suitcase. As he slid the shorts off and the pants back on he made a plan to take a walk. He'd tried, a few weeks ago when he couldn't sleep, to exercise a little then go back to sleep. Last time he'd snuck into the hotel's gym and had run almost five miles before he'd gotten tired. The trick had worked though and he'd found himself actually sleeping in the next morning.
He figured he'd go out and talk a walk or something or maybe go down to the lobby and hang out for a while before trying to get back to sleep again. He usually didn't have trouble getting to sleep, but lately his schedule had been so hectic that he'd been taking too many naps and hadn't been getting enough sleep at night when he should.
Leaving his room he grabbed up a baseball hat off the counter near the door and shoved it onto his head, bringing the rim to rest just above his eyebrows. He waved to Loni at the end of the hall. "I'll be back. I'm going to go down to see if I can get something to eat or something."
"Why don't you just call room service?" Loni asked.
"I can't sleep. I need to take a walk."
"Be careful." Loni jogged over and handed him a walkie-talkie and said, "Call me up if you need me."
"Will do," Lance said staring at the walkie-talkie in his hand as if it were a baby monitor. He didn't usually hate to have the big eye of the security team looking over his shoulder, but that night he didn't like the idea of them having contact with him. Lately he couldn't take a pee without talking to someone first.
"I know, I know," Loni said, "It's a pain in the ass, but I'll remind you of this when some girl is trying to pull your shirt off you."
With a sigh Lance started off down the hallway. He wondered if everyone who was famous got treated that way. It made him think of Willa. She'd arrived in town with no security with her. Normally he would have been jealous of the arrangement, but now he found himself envying her.
The elevator ride didn't take long and Lance entered the empty lobby. The quiet atmosphere was something that he found alarming. He'd always had so much commotion around him that not having it around for a moment made him feel a little paranoid. He thought about calling Loni for a second to see if he wanted to hang out with him, but pushed the thought out of his mind when he saw that the little gift shop was open.
Figuring that he'd look for a magazine to read or something he walked into the gift shop. He searched through tiny California license plates, finding first his name, then his mom's name and his dad's name. He searched and even saw his sister's name and reminded himself to come back and get the plates for them in the morning.
He moved onto the magazine rack and sure enough found a picture of Willa on the cover of Women's Health.
Opening the publication to the article that featured her pictures for a new line of swimsuits he stared at her picture. She looked like an angel. Too bad that all had been placed there with airbrushing. He knew the real her and she was nothing but trouble.
"Find anything nice to read?"
Lance stiffened at the sound of her voice and didn't need to turn around to know that Willa was the person now looking over his shoulder.
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