Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
Lance had waited for her by looking over the paperwork that had been sent from Florida to him on the road. He sat up from his half lounging position on the couch and moved the phone to his other ear. He stacked up the papers in his lap into a pile and slid them onto the counter next to the sink. The cramped bus living room held not only Lance's office, but was doubling as the NSYNC production office for the morning while they made their way West.
Ibrahim, the Tour Manager, Tim, the Production Manager, and Melinda, the Special Projects Producer were sitting across the small room at the tiny kitchen table all working on that day's schedule. They would later be meeting with the security and the rest of the crew to go over the next few concerts, but for the moment they were all on separate laptops typing away busily.
As soon as the group had left New York a few nights before they'd gone back to continue the tour. They'd played a show in the Mid-West then had driven all night to reach Las Vegas and were now winding their way across to Los Angeles and then would go to San Diego. Those three days in New York had been fun, but for Lance the trip left him with a pile of paper work that not only concerned his NSYNC dealings but also dealt with FreeLance things. He was now trying to catch up with the paperwork while the others slept the morning away. He was still in the clothes that he'd worn to bed the night before, but he'd already had three cups of coffee and had made more phone calls in the hour before breakfast than he would for the rest of the day.
He heard her sigh heavily as if this was all a big inconvenience to her.
"Ok, you have five minutes to try to explain to my why you think I'd do you a favor."
She sounded pissed off and he prayed that he could get through the conversation without blowing up at her. At the moment she was making his life a living hell. He'd gotten up that morning to face four different magazines that had their picture in it, which also had quotes from her in them. They weren't at all flattering, from what he'd read. He didn't know if they'd really come from her or not, but just seeing the pictures made him angry. They looked like a cute enough couple, but he'd seen the real look in her eyes in the pictures and she'd been as miserable as he'd been that night. The only good moment of the entire night had been when she'd kissed him right before he'd gone up to accept their first award. It was that memory that he tried to keep in his mind when he thought about talking with her.
"Hello?" she said.
Lance sighed. She was going to make this difficult on him. He'd already tried to apologize for the mess he'd made of their VMA date, not that he really thought that the disaster was his fault, but she was going to squeeze him like a lemon. He could imagine himself having to get on hands and knees and begging her to do this with him.
He wouldn't have even been calling her, but Melinda had insisted that the two of them get involved when the letter had come to them. "It's for charity."
Willa laughed. "What? The charity of Lance Bass?"
At the sound of her laugh Lance tried to count to ten. His anger began to rise.
Melinda was standing there watching him on the phone mouthing the words, stay calm. Lance waved her away from him.
Lance couldn't help it. There were certain things that he could handle from her, but this wasn't the time to be joking around. It was important that they do this together, even if they did hate each other. "I'm serious Willa," he said, "It's for Make a Wish."
"Well if it's something on the professional level, why are you the one calling me?"
"Because I knew that you're pissed at me, but this is important. I can call and have Melinda call Elena…" He breathed in and out and watched as Melinda gave him a thumbs up sign.
There was a long silence.
"Melinda is standing right here if you really want to talk to her," Lance said.
Melinda tried to wave him off, saying that she didn't want to talk.
"No," Willa said with a sigh, "What do you need me to do?"
Lance smiled at Melinda and motioned for her to leave him alone. She was in charge of setting the whole trip back home to Orlando up and she had asked him to call Willa to ask her about it. "It's supposed to happen in about four days. Melinda did an initial call to Elena and penciled it in, but you have the final say. A girl wrote to the two us through the group's fanclub to ask if we could spend the day with her before she goes into the hospital to have surgery."
"What does she want to do with us?" Willa asked, "It’s not like we're--"
"The Magic Kingdom," Lance said, "She just wants to spend the day with us. She saw the two of us on TRL and her sister and her want to spend the day with us."
"So it would be for the whole day?" Willa asked.
"The Make A Wish people wanted us to be with her from about ten in the morning until after dinner time…so about seven o'clock? There is going to be a photo session with her family and the two of us. We'll have security with us the whole day and they are going to have a camera following us around for part of the day."
There was a pause. He wasn't sure if that meant that she was going to say yes or no, but he let the silence hang between them. He didn't want to ruin this now. He might not be excited about seeing her, but he'd read the little girl's letter and knew that this would mean a lot to the little kid and he didn't want to disappoint her.
"Sounds fine with me," she said, "I'd better get on the phone to Elena and get myself a flight and a hotel room."
"Don't worry about it," he said, "I'll book you a flight this afternoon and I'll get you a place to stay. My treat."
Lance sat up when she agreed. He saw Melinda already celebrating. He groaned. He could see this being blown way out of proportion and knew that their trip to the Magic Kingdom would definitely end up in the tabloids. He could see the headlines now. "NSYNC's Lance Bass and Family take a magical trip to Mickey's Mouse House." He would be of course be getting engaged to Willa and the two girls with them would be their love children that were born out of wedlock.
"I wouldn't expect anything less," Willa let out another sigh. "Call me back with the details."
"Willa," Lance lowered his voice and turned to look out the window so that Melinda and the others wouldn't hear him. "If we're going to do this…" He cleared his throat and prepared himself for the backlash that he might receive from what he was about to say. "…We can't fight in front of this girl."
Lance shut his eyes for a moment then stared out the window at a few cars passing by. He didn't know where exactly they were, but he wanted to be to where ever it was soon.
"Fine, a truce for whatever time we're with her."
"Good," he said.
"How old is she?" Willa asked.
"Tracy is ten and her sister Jessica is thirteen."
"Thank you," she said.
As he expected, she hung up without a goodbye.
Lance clicked off the phone and looked up. Melinda had left him alone, but as soon as the conversation was over she was already there waiting for his answer. "Is she coming?" Melinda asked.
Lance nodded and leaned back. "Yeah," he said.
"You don't sound very excited. Isn't she your girlfriend?"
Lance wanted to laugh aloud at that comment. He hadn't really explained the situation between Willa and him. She'd seen the whole mess with them at the VMA's but she'd thought that their fight had been because of the whole shower incident. No one really knew the history of their fighting and he wanted to keep it that way. He figured that everyone already knew too much about his personal life than they needed to. Whatever was going on between him and Willa would stay between him and Willa.
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