Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
[Two hours later…The Magic Kingdom]
"Here we are," the woman who'd met up with them at the front gate said as they got to the special roped off area where they'd be starting their morning off.
Lance looked around. "Are Tracy and her family here yet?"
"They're still having breakfast with the characters. They should be done just about the time you get done with the interviews."
Willa looked around. She'd know that there would be reporters there, but she hadn't expected something so formal. There was a stage set up with a tiny table, some chairs, and a microphone. She wondered what the day was going to be like. She'd never done anything like this before. The closest charity event she'd done was to model in a World Aids Day Fundraiser the year before.
"First up will be a quick question and answer session with the press. Then there will be a photo-call with just the two of you. When Tracy and her family get here there will be a second photo-call then the MTV people are here to get a quick interview with you. Also the Entertainment Tonight people want an interview. Both of those interviews were set up by Melinda."
"Then we get to go into the park?" Lance asked.
"Yes. You will be let loose in the park. You have VIP passes so you all won't have to wait in line for anything. It's not supposed to be that crowded today, but we have some of our staff that will go with you and your security team and make sure that you all have a good time."
The woman in the Disney World polo shirt with the security headphones was trying to explain their schedule to them, but Willa wasn't interested in it. They'd talked about expecting more than a few reporters to be interested in the story of them taking Tracy to the park, but it seemed as if every Willa could think of was waiting to talk to them at their small press conference. Even MTV had a reporter there to cover the event.
Willa stared at the reporters waiting for them. She didn't want to talk to the press. She'd had enough phone calls come through for interviews that she didn't want to even think about talking anymore about her and Lance's so called relationship. She wanted to just enjoy her time in Orlando and the strange and actually sweet mood that Lance was in.
"Willa are you ok?"
Lance's voice finally filtered through her daze. Willa blinked and sucked in a breath of air. "Uh, yeah." She held her head for a moment. "I forgot the bags for the girls."
"We can get someone to go to the house and get them and have them waiting for the girls when we go to dinner tonight." Lance pulled out his phone and dialed a number and ten minutes later the plans were made. Willa didn't know exactly who wuold be bringing the bags for her, but the plans had been set which eased her mind a little.
"Now, are you ok?"
She nodded stiffly and took another deep breath.
Lance leaned close to her. He placed his lips near her ear after kissing her cheek. "Just breathe in and breathe out," he said softly, "It sounds complicated, but really it's just us hanging out."
She nodded and felt comforted when he slid his hand into hers. He gave her hand a squeeze then let go.
"If you're ready we'll get you two settled at the table then the questions will begin, if that's ok."
"Sure," Lance said and nudged Willa.
"Yeah, that sounds good," Willa said then looked around. "You wouldn't happen to have any water or anything would you?"
"There is a cooler up on the stage, feel free to take whatever drinks are in there."
"Thank you," Willa said.
"You ready?" Lance asked.
Willa looked around once more and with a shaky hand she went and fixed her hair again.
Lance looked at Loni and Wes for a moment then took Willa's hand and pulled her aside. He pulled her behind a little curtained off area and pulled her into a hug.
"Please tell me you are going to be ok."
Willa hugged Lance tightly for a moment. "It's not really all those people out there that are worrying me. Well they are, but they aren't."
"Then what's wrong?"
"I just hate lying to people," she said. "I'm not good at it."
"You've done well so far."
"I've been vague so far. That doesn't count."
"Sure it does," he said pulling back. He cupped her face in his hands and held her gaze for a moment before leaning and kissing her. "Don't lie to them. Tell them that you and I are seeing each other and that it's still in the beginning stages and we don't know where it will lead."
Willa stared at him. "OK, who are you and what did you do with the asshole that usually is in your place?"
"Just play along Willa," Lance said with a smile, "It won't hurt do just pretend for a day that we actually like each other."
The prediction that Wes had made in the airport was coming true in front of her eyes. Every time Lance opened his mouth that day he'd led her to believe that Wes was right. Lance might just be in love with her.
"Fine," she said.
"Now, if you get stuck just look at me and I'll take over. I know you haven't done very many press things so I'll try to take most of the questions, but they'll want to talk to you too."
"You ready now?" he asked.
Somehow she did feel a little more at ease. At least, if nothing else, Lance was on her side. Normally that would have upset her, but with his expertise in handling the media she knew that she wasn't going to die when she got up on that stage.
A few moments later, as Lance helped Willa into her seat he finally took a look at the crowd. It was going to be a bit strange to take the lead with this interview, but he knew he'd be able to handle it. Most of the questions would be either about why he'd agreed to do the Make A Wish visit and the other half would be about he and Willa.
Lance took his seat next to Willa and scooted closer to her, resting a hand on her leg under the table where no one could see it. He thought for a moment that she might smack him or something, but he found her giving him a nervous smile and placing her hand on his before they turned to the media and said in unison, "Hello everyone."
"Let's get started," the host, the Disney woman from before said from her spot just to the right of them.
A moment later, after a mad squirm from the media personnel to get a hand up in the air a reporter was chosen.
The older man stood up and read off of a notebook. "Yes, my name is Trevor Mattson from the Orlando Sentinal. I wanted to know what drew you both to help Tracy get her wish."
"Well," Lance said. "I think that it is the kind of thing that is easy to do to make someone's day. I mean I give a few hours of my day to a girl who wants to meet me and she has those memories for a lifetime. It was a bit of work to get back to Orlando from the tour, but it seemed like nothing at all when you consider what Tracy has gone through in her life just to keep living."
"Next question," the Disney woman said and picked another reporter.
"Yes, my name is Sara Evens with People Magazine. Our readers have been very interested in the two of you lately. After all the publicity that has gone around about Justin Timberlake's relationship to Britney Spears, I wondered if this relationship you two have going isn't just for publicity."
Lance started to speak, but Willa cut him off.
"I don't know who you think you are, but if you doubt that Lance and I are together for more than just to get our names into the papers then you're crazy. Do you know how much work it takes to keep a relationship going? It's hard work, almost a second job to keep track of his schedule and my schedule--" Willa squeezed Lance's hand.
It was the sign that made Lance cut her off before her temper got out of hand.
"Look, I think what Willa wants to get across is that we're in a relationship because we love each other…" He noticed Willa's eyes go wide with that comment, but he didn't stop. "…we came here today together because Tracy asked the two of us to come together. We didn't plan this as a media stunt. We're glad that we get to be here and maybe bring some more media attention to the Make A Wish Foundation, but we're not here for us today. Tracy made a wish and we knew that we should do everything we could to grant that wish."
"Everyone I think we should stick to the topic at hand. We are here because of the Make A Wish Foundation and that should be the main focus. So unless your question has to do with that please save the questions for another time," the Disney woman said.
Lance could see that all they wanted to do was ask about him and Willa. He pushed his chair back and helped Willa up. "We're out of here."
Lance pulled her off the stage, luckily she came willingly.
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