Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect

Twenty-Four


"That Disney lady is going to come in here and yell at me I'm sure, but I didn't want to stay up there. It just takes away from--" Lance rambled as they made their way to the roped off area behind the tiny stage.

"Did you really mean that?" Willa asked when they were off the stage. Her breathing was rapid as if she'd just been running. She still couldn't believe what he'd said up there on stage.

"Mean what?" he asked, "The part about the media stunt?"

Willa took a deep breath and made eye contact with Lance. For a moment she thought he might be acting difficult on purpose, but she could tell from the look in his eyes that he was getting a big of a rush as she had gotten from leaving the stage without finishing the press interaction. "No, the other part."

"What other part?" he asked.

"The part about us being--" She stared at him for a moment. It seemed like he had no clue about what she was talking about. "Oh never mind."

Lance shifted in his seat. "What did Wes say to you last night?"

"What does that have to do with anything?" she asked, "Why do you keep bringing that up?"

Lance leaned towards her and took her hand and held it. "Because I want to know why you are acting so strangely."

"Me acting strangely?" She drew her hand away from his hands. "What about you? All of a sudden you're full of compliments and you're kissing me whenever you seem to feel like it. What's that all about?"

"I'm trying to get through the day."

She got up and paced. "I never should have let things go this far. It seems like every time you open your mouth you're digging a hole for the two of us."

"What did you want me to say?" he asked, "That you and I are only together for the reasons the woman said? I don't think either of us are here today for those reasons that the woman out there was throwing out at--"

Willa started to talk when he paused to take in a breath of air. "What I understand is that you just totally lied to everyone out there when you said--"

"I didn't lie."

Her mouth came closed automatically and her eyes went wide when she saw the look on his face. He knew exactly what she'd been asking about a few moments before.

"You didn't lie about what?" she asked. Her heart was beating out of her chest now and she was feeling a little faint. He might just do the unthinkable. He might confirm what Wes had said the night before.

"I didn't lie about why we were here today."

"Oh," Willa said with a sigh. Her heart broke in half when she knew that he was clueless and that he didn't even remember what he'd said about her to the press. They weren't really in love and he had none of the feelings that Wes had told her about.

"At least I don't think I lied. It's helpful that both of us are stars, but I thought that you and I were here to make this little girl's dream come true, not to get our names in the paper."

Willa was going to say something to him, but she saw the Disney woman approaching. She held her breath and looked at Lance hoping they'd be able to explain their way out of the situation they'd just placed themselves in.

The woman gave them both a hard look then plastered a smile on her face. "Mr. Bass, Miss Marviani, I'd like you to meet Tracy Underwood, her sister Jessica, and her parents Phil and Stephanie."

"Nice to meet you," Lance said and shook everyone's hand.

Willa watched as little Tracy smiled up at Lance, holding his hand as Willa shook everyone's hands also. Tracy seemed a bit frail, but didn't really look very sick at all. Lance had never explained what surgery that she would be having, but Willa wasn't sure if she wanted to know anyway.

"Well we have a quick photo session to do with you all. We just need everyone to pose on the couch and the photographers will come through and take some pictures."

Lance nodded and looked at Tracy. "You want to sit with me and Willa for a while before we go and play?"

Tracy nodded shy.

Willa turned to Jessica. "So I guess this means we get to hang out today."

"I'm so excited. I mean it's crazy and all that my sister is sick, but I think it's great--" Jessica started to say then she let her voice go quiet.

"Look, it's ok to be happy about this," Willa said and leaned towards her. "I mean that's what this is all about. Lance and I just want you all to have fun today."

Jessica nodded and hugged Willa. "Can we get copies of the pictures?"

"Of course," Willa said. "Didn't you bring a camera with you today?"

"We weren't sure if we were aloud to so my mom said we shouldn't."

Willa looked around for a moment. "Hey Lance?" she asked. He was settling himself on the couch with Tracy next to him as her parents found places on the back of the couch.

"What hon?" he asked with a smile.

Willa smiled back, not sure if it was playing or for real. "DO you have any money with you?"

Everyone around them burst into laughter, especially Loni and Wes, and Lance looked at her. "Why?"

"Jessica and I want to go get some disposible cameras."

Lance pushed himself up a little and pulled out some money. "Don't spend it all in one place."

Willa leaned over and kissed him as he looked up at her. It was going to catch him off guard, but she knew that it would seem appropriate for her to kiss him in that situation if things were real.

Lance grabbed her hand back while she was looking down at him. He smiled at her, a smile that she'd never seen from him before, then he leaned to kiss her again.

"We'll be right back," Willa said whipping her head up. She looked at Jessica, who didn't seemed to be shocked at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lance watched her leave then heard Tracy giggling at his side. "You kissed her!"

Lance nodded. She kept giggling. "What's so funny?" he asked.

"You have lipstick on you!" She pointed and he wiped his face.

"Is it gone?" he asked.

She nodded then leaned out and wiped his face some more.

"Ok?" he asked. She nodded. "So what are we going to do today? What rides do you want to go on?"

"All of them," she said, "And I want to get those ear hats and I want to go and sing at the fake recording studios."

"I don't know about that," he said. He knew that he couldn't be recording things without permission. He could have his voice on tape speaking, but he couldn't sing. It was a sad thing to say, but it was the rules. He coughed for effect and made up an excuse which would be easier to explain than the rules. "I have a little bit of a cold so maybe I shouldn't sing."

"But you kissed Willa!" Tracy said, "You're gonna get her sick."

"I don't think she'll mind."

"Ewe! Gross!" Tracy said "I'm telling her you want to get her sick."

Lance laughed and looked at Tracy's mother who seemed to be shocked by the whole conversation. "Maybe we should talk about something else?"

Tracy nodded. "So where are the other guys?"

"Well they're all in California. Justin is going to record a song with Brian McKnight today, Joey is working on some stuff for a movie that he's going to be in. JC had to go into the studio with Wild Orchid and Chris is working on stuff for FuManskeeto," Lance said then remembered the things that he'd brought for her. "He sent you some t-shirts, but I think you'll get them later, maybe at lunch."

"Cool."

A few moments later Willa returned with a few cameras in her hand. She handed a camera to Lance and handed him the money back.

"You didn't need it?" he asked.

"She signed an autograph and took a picture with the guy at the counter and we got them for free!" Jessica said. "We need to hang out with you more often."

"Jessica!" her mother said with a shocked voice.

Willa laughed. "Those are just some of the perks that you get when you hang out with him," she said.

Lance's eyes widened at the tone of her voice.

"Yeah," Willa said, "When we went to the VMA's I got to meet a lot of famous people."

"Really?" Tracy asked, "Like who?"

"Well there was Janet Jackson, and Britney Spears was there and there was Christina Aguilara and just about anybody you could think of."

"Wow!" Tracy said.

"Yeah, it's actually really a great party when you hang out with this guy," Willa said, "Like today. We're going to have a blast."

Lance was glad to see that sparkle in her eyes as she spoke about hanging out with him and was even more shocked when Willa took her seat next to Lance and leaned over and kissed him just before the reporters were let into the area. When she saw all the cameras she moved over and let Tracy sit between them with Jessica on the other side.


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