Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect

Nine:


Lance got tense as the car slowed as they neared the Viacom building. He always did when he was arriving somewhere that he knew he'd have to face a huge crowd. Today he was going to have to have to face the crowd alone, which added somewhat to his stress level. He'd only recently started to do press things on his own, because of FreeLance and still wasn't used to being the only one in front of the camera.

"You ok?" Wes asked from the seat across from him in the FORD Expedition. The noise from outside was becoming deafening now.

Lance nodded and took a few deep breaths. "Let's just get into the building. I'm gonna shake a few hands, but I'm not going to stop."

"Sounds like a plan," Wes said with a smile and a moment later the bodyguard unfolded his huge frame from the car and led the way into the building so that Lance could do the interview portion of TRL.

Lance followed Wes into the building and upstairs to the studio where TRL would be taped. The sound of the screaming fans made his ears ring and for once in his life he wished he had his in-ear monitors with him. They usually were a little uncomfortable to wear, but right now he could have used something to block out the noise from the crowd. They were making a surprise visit so they didn't stop in the green room. They waited in the hallway until Lance heard his name being said.

"And now here's a special mystery guest. Lance Bass." Carson's announcement sent the people going nuts. Lance took a breath and walked through the curtain that led to the taping area, grabbing a microphone from someone as he passed.

He touched the hands of the few girls in his reach as he made his way over to where Carson and Willa were already standing. He could tell that Carson was surprised to see him. A good surprised. Willa however narrowed her eyes at him for a moment then plastered a fake smile on her face.

"Hello, hello, hello," he said and waved to the camera.

"So what brings you by?" Carson asked with a sarcastic tone. He wiggled his eyebrows at the camera and reached to shake hands with Lance which turned into one of those half hug things that Lance hated, but knew that was in style for people to do.

The crowd screamed.

"Well I thought that Willa might be a little lonely up here talking about our video so I flew up from Orlando to help out a little," Lance said. He threw an arm around her knowing that she couldn't brush him off. She was on camera and that would be the ultimate sin. If she made him look bad on camera it would be replayed on MTV NEWS later that night for sure.

Willa of course smiled widely, but kept her elbow sticking out so he couldn't quite hug her to him. He could feel her digging her elbow into his ribs and had to let go a little so that he could breathe correctly.

"So is there a love connection going on?" Carson asked, "I mean I watched the video this morning and I could see some chemistry going on."

Lance shrugged and looked at Willa. It would be the perfect revenge if he did say that they were together. There would be nothing she could do about it. She'd have to go along with it or leave him looking like an asshole, something he knew that she wouldn't due, even if it was merely that business associates didn't do that to each other.

"Let's watch the video and see what I mean."

The video began to play and everyone in the audience began to clap and scream.

While they were off camera Willa leaned over and spoke angrily into Lance's ear. "What in God's name made you come here? My booking agent said you weren't going to be here."

Lance smiled. "I thought you'd be lonely."

"Yeah right. You did this because you knew it would piss me off!"

The camera came back onto them and Carson began more of his little interview. "So are you two seeing each other?" he asked.

"Should we tell him?" Lance asked. He could see the evil glares that Willa was giving him, but he chose to ignore them.

"Tell him what?" Willa asked.

"Don't be shy honey. It's no secret that we're seeing each other."

Willa gave him an angry look, but this wasn't the place to be having a fight. Willa plastered a smile on her face and hugged Lance to her, reaching around and grabbing his side with her one hand and twisting. "Well the video does say a lot."

Carson turned to the camera. "You heard it here first…I know NSYNC fans all over the world are crying right now, but I'm sure a lot of them are happy for the two of you."

"Thanks Carson," Lance said.

He watched Willa's reaction and knew he was going to get it later. Willa did her part for the cause. She just smiled and waved as they went to a commercial.

While the camera wasn't on them Willa took her heel and stood on Lance's toe. "I'm going to get you back for this Lance."

"I'm sure you will," he said with a laugh and disconnected himself from Willa and went over and signed some autographs.

Lance saw her watching him as he signed autographs for the fans. She looked pissed until Carson began talking to her. Lance couldn't hear what they were saying through the screams of the small audience, but he hoped that whatever it was he could figured out how to talk to her like that since she seemed calmer.

Lance came back over and hugged her. She hugged him back, but made it clear to him that she wasn't pleased by again grabbing his side and twisting. Lance reached around and grabbed her hand and let her go only letting her far enough away so that he could still hold onto her hand.

Willa curled her hand so that her fingernail was pressed into his palm. He gave her an angry look and leaned over and spoke into her ear. "Don't ruin this Willa. It's good publicity, not only for me, but for you too."

"Whatever," she said.

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

When the taping was over Willa and Lance exited the studio together. She dropped his hand as soon as they were out of the public eye and tried not to wipe off the germs on her jeans. She felt horrible about what he'd done, but there really hadn't been anything she could have done. They'd been on camera and even she knew that if she snubbed him on television that it would be over for her career.

"Do you need a ride some place?" Lance asked, "I'm here until tomorrow night if you want to hang out."

"Hang out?" she asked. She was completely shocked that he was asking her this. Did he not understand what had just gone on? "No. I don't want to hang out with you! You just probably ruined my career with that little announcement. I really hope that we're never seen in the same place again."

"Come on Willa," he said. "Think about this for a minute."

"Think about what?" she asked.

"Think about dating me," he said, "It's not really that bad of an idea. I mean, I get to be known in the model world as your man and you get the publicity of being linked to me. I swear it'll be good for your career."

"I'm not going to fake a relationship to get publicity." Willa was a lot of things, but she wasn't going to allow herself to lie to people just to get ahead in the business.

"Look, just think about it," he said. He smiled. "Really it's not that bad. You'll get invited to every party in town and you'll get your picture in people magazine. I'm sure that there are already magazine covers being planned just from my announcement."

"I'll think about it," she said.

"Look, I'm staying in the Ritz tonight. Call me there. Ask for Larry Brownstone," Lance said as Wes came around the corner to escort him out of the building. He leaned and hugged Willa. "Even if I don't hear from you we need to make sure that something gets into the press about us not being together."

"Fine," she said but realized that he'd put her into a hard position. If they were together things would go well. She'd have some of his fans angry with her for dating him, but mostly she'd get horrible press if she decided to break things off with him because, knowing the rumor mill, she'd get the bitch stereotype placed on her.

Willa watched him leave and for a moment she almost thought that she'd miss him. She wasn't at all familiar with the MTV crew and she didn't really want to be alone there so as soon as he disappeared into the elevator she went to find her driver to take her back to the apartment.


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