Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
"What are you listening to?"
The question startled her as she sat on the couch in the dark. It had been a long day and she knew she was going to have to face him sooner or later so she had picked some soft music to listen to. It was already past midnight, but she wasn't tired yet. She had too much on her mind.
"It's Sara by Hall and Oats."
"Ok, what's wrong?" he asked, "You never listen to this unless you're worried about something."
She took a breath. "Brennan, sit down. We need to talk."
He nodded and came around and sat next to her, flipping on the funky lamp at the far end of the couch. She lived in a loft and the overhead lights were horrible so at night they used the lamps to see by instead of the fluorescent lights overhead. They didn't technically live together, but they'd spent more than a few nights sitting together on the couch talking when they weren't working.
"Something happened today and I want to explain it to you before you hear it from someone else," she said and gave him a serious look.
"Ok, what happened?" he asked, "You went to MTV today. I would have caught it, but I was in a meeting. I think Calvin Klein is going to sign me to his new ad campaign."
"Congratulations. I know that's a big account to have."
He leaned and kissed her cheek. She held herself still so that it wouldn't like she was trying to get away from him. She normally enjoyed her boyfriend's kisses, but now she felt sort of strange about taking them when he didn't know what had happened that afternoon.
"I'm sorry I didn't see the broadcast."
"It's ok," she said, "Actually I'm glad that you didn't see it."
"What happened?" he asked and undid his tie. He'd been out of town for the last two weeks off and on and they hadn't had a good conversation in a while. She wondered if he'd react harshly to this. They'd been exclusively seeing each other since just after she'd returned from LA after filming the video with NSYNC and she didn't want to ruin that, but she had a feeling that it was going to be blown to pieces when she revealed what had happened that day.
While she'd been at the studio taping her spot for TRL he'd been up-town with his agent trying to get some more work. He'd been fairly successful in the last few months and was trying to keep himself on that roll.
"Well you know how I told you that I had trouble with the guys from NSYNC on my video shoot?"
"Yeah," he said. She'd told him all about how she and Lance hadn't gotten along.
"Well Lance showed up today and the TRL shoot and told everyone that we were dating," she said and took a breath to wait for his reaction.
Brennan let out a breath and stared at her. "You aren't dating are you? I know I've been gone for a while, but I didn't think you'd find someone that soon."
"No, no, I'm not dating him, but it's going to show up in the press for sure considering that he made the announcement while we were on air and about a million people saw the show."
"Oh," Brennan said.
"I know that this is going to screw up everything, but I went to talk to him afterwards and he won't release something to the press about it."
"Why not?" Brennan asked. "You told him about us didn't you?"
"Of course I told him about us, but he wouldn't do it. He said that all of this will go away with time and that if either one of us was to release something to the press we'd both look like liars."
"And why would that be?"
"Because I didn't say anything this afternoon on air that made it seem like we weren't dating."
Willa got up and paced the room. She wanted him to understand what had happened that afternoon, but she was certain unless he saw the tape for himself, whatever she said wouldn't do the trick. "I don't know why I didn't. I was standing there with fifty people watching me. There was a camera in my face. It's night like I could punch him. So I froze. I couldn't help it. If I'd said anything it would have looked bad and if I'd done anything people would have called me the bitchy model for the rest of my career."
Brennan got up and came over to her. "You have to get him to say something to the press. If we're seen together it could blow up in our faces. I'm trying to get in with Calvin and you're trying to get those new jobs with ESPIRT. This could be horrible for the two of us."
"I can't. I tried to tell him that he had to do this, but he refuses. He won't listen to me."
"Then couldn't your agent talk to his publicist or something?"
Willa flapped her arms and stomped across the room to the kitchen. She pulled a beer out of the refrigerator and popped it open and took a long swig form him it before looking back over to Brennan.
"I hate this soap opera stuff!"
"Then deal with it Willa."
"How can I? No matter what we're all going to look horrible if we go against what he said on television."
"So have a big public break up scene."
"I thought of that. It won't work. Either way one of us is going to come out looking bad and I have a feeling that he's going to come out on top. You know the kind of stereotypes I put up with on a daily basis. I know that if I say a word about this that I'm going to end up looking like a bitch. I've worked too hard to not be a bitch and I don't want that ruined by this."
"So what are you going to do about it?" he asked.
"I don't think we should be seen together in public for a while."
"What?" he said. He angrily stomped towards her. "You're going to throw away the last month because this little snobby pop star said something on television."
"Look Brennan. It's late and I'm tired and I really think that we should talk about this tomorrow."
"You were the one who brought it up."
"I brought it up because I wanted you to know what was going on. I didn't want you to hear it from someone else."
"Well it would have been better hearing it from someone else. At least then I could have said. My girlfriend wouldn't do something like that. But I can see that you are going to go along with this all, so maybe you're right. Maybe we shouldn't be seen together." He walked over and grabbed his keys and his coat. …"Give me a call if your pop star gets bored of you."
He slammed the door on the way out and Willa walked over and dropped into her seat on the couch again. "Thank you Lance Bass!" she screamed angrily and punched the pillow next to her.
Calming herself Willa did the only thing she could think of doing. She dialed up the Ritz. She wanted to make sure that Lance knew how much he'd just messed up her life.
Lance's eyes only strayed from the television for a moment when the phone rang. He picked it up and put it to his ear hoping that maybe it would be the travel agent getting him an earlier flight out of New York. He'd planned to stay until the next day, but with Willa already giving him his answer there was no reason for him to be in New York now.
"I want you to know that you have totally screwed up my life you bastard!"
Trying not to let out a huge Lance covered his mouth for a moment and muted the television. Wes gave him a look then grabbed the remote from him and motioned for Lance to leave the room if he was going to talk on the phone.
Lance took his bodyguards advice and took the portable phone into the bedroom of the hotel suite.
"Well hello Willa," he said with a smile knowing that his plan to mess with her had ended with the results he wanted. She might have snubbed him in the hotel lobby, but he still had control of their situation. "How are you this evening?"
"Shut it you prick!" she yelled.
"Willa, this isn't very ladylike of you." He spoke with a completely calm voice and tried not to laugh.
It was working fairly well until he heard her begin to cry.
"You ruined the best relationship I've had in years you insensitive asshole. My boyfriend just walked out on me thanks to you."
He paused at the sound of the pain in her voice. Half of him was sympathetic to her pain, but the other half of him, the part of him that was thriving on his power-trip only fed off her pain. He wasn't at all a cruel person, but he felt even more powerful to know that his planned had succeeded. It was only time until she came crawling to him.
"I don't know what to say," he said sounding a little more sensitive.
"Sure you don't. I'm sure that you don't want to celebrate too hard in front of me. I'm sure you'll save that until I get off the phone with you."
"Hey now," he said finding that her calling him insensitive was harder to take than he'd thought it would be. It was true and the truth always hurts.
"Hurts doesn't it Lance?" she said with grit in her voice. "How does it feel to know that you're an asshole?"
When she slammed down the phone on him Lance couldn't help but to laugh. He knew that he'd done something fairly mean, but he liked the reaction he'd gotten. He'd made her blow her cool, something that he'd been trying to do all along and now that he had the knowledge of how to get to her he was definitely going to save up that bit of information for later. He was still on top and she wasn’t going to beat him at the game she'd started months ago.
When he returned to the living room Wes laughed at him.
"How's the little woman?" he asked.
"Just fine," Lance said with a smile and sat down.
"Do you know what you're doing?" he asked.
"Not really," Lance said lifting his eyebrows. "But I'm winning so far."
"You don't know this girl Lance. I hope she doesn't go to the press with this because I'd hate to hear what Johnny would have to say about this."
"You worry about protecting me from the fans. Let me deal with Johnny and the others."
"If you say so man."
Lance nodded and settled back in to his seat. He could have gone out partying that night but had decided to take some time out to relax. He'd had a busy schedule in the last few weeks and he had a feeling he was going to need his rest if he was going to deal with Willa and the situation he'd set up that afternoon.
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