Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect

Twenty-Six


"I can't let you do this." Wes's urgency about the situation was giving Lance a headache. He was just trying to protect him, but Lance was tired of feeling like a shut-in. He was twenty-one years old and far past the point in his life where he should be listening to people like Wes telling him what to do. His mother could tell him to dig a hole to China and he'd do it, but Wes wasn't supposed to be acting as his parent anymore. Maybe when he was sixteen that's how things had worked, but now all of that was over. Lance was making decisions now.

"I have to," Lance replied urgently slipping away from his grasp to head to the gate. He saw that Wes had his phone and went over and grabbed it from him then began walking again.

He dialed the number quickly and waited until someone picked up.

"Spanky?" he asked in a rushed voice.

"Yeah?"

"It's Lance." He looked around for a moment. Wes and Loni were both watching him, but he didn't care. He figured they were trying to hatch a plan to keep him in Orlando and away from getting on his flight to JFK. He needed to get this call made and he needed to get to New York. "I need you to do me a favor."

"Other than going to pick up your woman from the airport?" the guy asked with a laugh.

Lance didn't find humor in his comment. "Yeah, I want you to stay with her in the airport until I get there."

"Get HERE?"

"Its a long story, but I have to tell Willa something important and I need to make sure that you keep her in the airport until I get there."

"You aren't going to propose to her or something are you?" Spanky asked.

"No, nothing like that. It's bad news actually," Lance said, "The girl we visited down here in Orlando died this morning."

"Oh no," Spanky said letting out his breath fully.

"Look just don't tell her ok. I need to tell her myself and I want to do it as soon as I get to New York."

"Fine," Spanky said, "I'll keep her in the VIP lounge."

"Thanks a lot Spanky. I should be there by three," Lance said and hung up the phone.

"I'm not letting you fly to New York by yourself Lance. That's like suicide. If someone finds out about you being on that flight there could be a crowd waiting for you and then you'll--"

"Whatever," Lance said. "Spanky is going to get me when I get to New York. I'll be coming back to San Diego on the first flight I can get out of New York in the morning."

"You're gonna die for this one you know," Wes said. Loni nodded from behind him.

"Just tell them that I had stuff to do," Lance said. "I'll call everyone when I get to New York."

"Lance, I'm warning you."

"Look Wes, I know that you are concerned and believe me I hear you, but if I don't do this and Willa hears about Tracy I know it's going to be bad. If I'm ever going to get through to her that I--" He cut off and stared at Wes. "Nevermind. I just have to be there for her."

Wes sighed. "Fine, you call me every hour on the hour and I want to hear from you as soon as you get to New York. I'm gonna call Spanky and tell him to meet you at the gate. I'm not letting you roam around the airport alone. I don't care if no one knows you're going to be there. It's dangerous."

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

[ Three Hours LaterJFK Airport]

"Hello there Miss Marviani," a deep voice said.

Willa looked up to see a thug-looking man coming towards her.

This has got to be Spanky. Of course he's the biggest black guy in the room who looks more like he's going to mug someone than protect them. She hated that she sounded a bit prejudice about the guy, but it did seem strange that all the secuity guys she'd seen at the VMA's had looked more like street thugs than professionals.

"Spanky?" she asked.

"Yes ma'am," he said with a laugh.

Willa smiled and stuck out her hand. "Nice to meet you."

"Same here," he said and shook her hand.

"I wasn't sure if you were going to be here."

"Well I'm here and I have some bad news," Spanky said.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Well," he said and took her bag. "Lance is on his way to New York and he wants you to stay in the airport until he comes to get you."

"He's coming to New York?" she asked. Her heart rate accelerated. She'd wished and prayed that he would come after her. She'd known that her "I love you" would get to him.

"Yeah," Spanky said. "He should be here by three o'clock. We're supposed to wait for him."

Willa nodded and followed where Spanky led. She wasn't sure if this was all legit, but she knew she should stick around and see if he was really going to come for her.

When they got to the VIP lounge they found a table and Spanky took a seat next to her. They ordered lunch and Willa got out her phone and dialed Amy's number.

"Hey you," she said a moment later.

"Where are you chica?" Amy asked excitedly.

"Well I'm in the airport in New York," she said.

"Are you leaving or coming back?"

"I'm coming back from being in Orlando. I told you I was going down there."

"I just thought you might be going to work again."

"Nope," Willa said with a smile. "I'm waiting her for Lance."

"For Lance?" she asked. "I thought those guys were supposed to be on the West Coast."

"Well they were, but Lance was with me in Orlando and then all of a sudden I get this message that says that he's going to meet me in the airport here around three o'clock and that I need to wait for him."

"Well where are you?"

"The VIP lounge near the United gates."

"I'm going to come out and hang out with you girl. You shouldn't have to wait for his dumb-ass alone." Amy paused for a moment. "Do you know why he's making you wait?"

"No," Willa said, "He just sent a message that says I have to wait for him here. I would guess that it's important or he wouldn't make me wait."

Amy didn't speak again right away. Willa could hear her walking around and figured she was looking for her keys or purse or something. "Oh no."

"What?" Willa asked.

"You actually like this guy again, don't you?"

Willa smiled. "We had a great time yesterday. And we met the sweetest little girl. She's the best little kid I've ever met. I think she was playing match maker yesterday and well it sort of worked."

"Willa no," Amy said with a groan. "This is going to end badly. You said yourself that he's an asshole."

"Well that was before," she said.

"Before what?" Amy asked. "Before he grabbed you in the hotel? Before he announced on National Television that you were dating or before he dragged you to Orlando because he needed you to be there?"

"I went to Orlando because I wanted to do the charity thing."

"Honey, this guy's ruined your life. I talked to Elena yesterday when I was in the office. How could you turned down that shoot with Todd to go to Orlando to see HIM?"

"I turned down the shoot because I had already accepted the invitation to the Make A Wish people."

"INVITATION? Invitation my ASS!" Amy said angrily. "If you hadn't gone down to Orlando everyone would have said that you were a heartless person. And that's Lance's fault! He's totally taken control of not only your social life, but your work life to. I thought I'd never see that happen."

"Look," Willa said with a sigh. "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I know that I've said a lot of things in the past about him, but I've changed my mind. You'll have to meet him to make your own judgements."

"Well I'm going to meet the jerk today. I'll be out to the airport in about an hour."

"Fine," Willa said and clicked off her phone.

Spanky was watching her with a frown on his face.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Nothing," he said and looked away. "Just love to hear that someone isn't blowing sunshine up Lance's ass."

"That's one thing I've never done," she said with a smile.

"He needs that sometimes," Spanky said.

"You and Wes both keep saying that."

"It's the truth. If this guy is coming up to New York to meet you there is definitely something behind that."


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