Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
It was ten o'clock when Willa arrived at the Ritz. She paid the cabdriver and walked slowly to the door hoping that she could get in and out of there without a disaster. She'd already been in two fights over the phone over this mess, the first one with her agent and the second one with Elena and didn't want to get in another one. Her agency representative had yelled at her for dropping a bomb like that and Elena had called and told her that she was crazy for dating Lance after all the complaining that had gone on in the last few weeks.
Neither of them had believed her when she'd explained what had happened. Elena told her that she knew that Willa was in love with Lance. She'd seen the video and told her that there was no denying that kind of chemistry.
As she stepped through the front doors she took a breath and held it. She still didn't know what she was doing there, but she knew they needed to talk about what had happened that afternoon, even if it was just to tell him to never speak to her again. She'd rather not talk to him again at all, but she knew it was inevitable.
She let out her breath and looked around for a moment. She'd never been in the Ritz and didn't know exactly where the front desk was. It took her a minute but she soon found it across the room and began to make her way over.
"Oh my God!" a young girl said suddenly appearing in front of her. "You're Willa Marviani! I saw you on TRL today!"
Willa smiled and ran a hand through her hair and stared at the young girl then looked around. The girl seemed kind of young to be there by herself. She hoped that there weren't more of her kind around, but she'd seen the reports of how crazy NSYNC's fans were and had a feeling that there were probably more somewhere around there. "Yeah, that's me."
"Wow, are you here to see Lance?" the girl rambled off. "I saw him go upstairs a while ago. My dad and I are here because he has a business meeting so I got stuck in the hotel today and I caught the TRL show. At first I was really sad about him not being single anymore, but wow. Here you are. I told him that I thought it was great that you two are dating."
"Ah," Willa said with a laugh watching how the girl's eyes were about to pop out of her head. She tried to be polite to the girl, but the thoughts of how she was going to torture Lance for this mess ran through her head. "You saw Lance?"
"Yeah, he went out to dinner a while ago, but he got back around nine o'clock."
Willa couldn't believe her. She was a miniature stalker.
"Can I get your autograph?" the girl asked. "You and Lance are so cute together. I loved the video."
"Ah, sure," Willa said and took the pen and paper that the girl offered. She signed her name quickly.
"I saw your Speedo ads. I swim at my high school and all of us have your new navy suits for our team."
"Really?" Willa asked. She hadn't had much contact with her fans other than the leering sort of men at parties who liked to hit on her. It was nice to see a friendly face for once.
"Yeah, we all think you're the coolest."
"Well thanks," Willa said.
"Having fun?" a voice said from behind her.
She watched the girl's reaction to the voice and knew it was Lance behind her.
"Ah yeah," Willa said looking up.
"I see you found Veronica," Lance said.
Willa looked at the girl. "You two know each other?"
"Veronica and I played video games this afternoon," Lance said with a smile.
"Yeah. Lance said that he was waiting for someone to come to visit and couldn't leave so I told him that there were video games in the gym so we played a few games," the girl said.
"Veronica, I have a surprise for you," Lance said.
"Did you get the--"
Lance held up his hand then pulled a card out of his jacket pocket. "Just have your dad call this number and there will be meet and greet passes and tickets for you for the Hershey show."
"Thank you so much," Veronica said.
"No trouble," Lance said then looked at Willa. "Willa and I have to talk right now, but I'll come and say goodbye tomorrow before I leave town."
"Ok," Veronica said and skipped away from them like a happy five-year-old.
When she was gone Willa turned to Lance. "What was that all about?"
Lance smiled. "The poor girl is stuck here with her dad for the week and since she can't go anywhere I hung out with her for the day."
"Wow," Willa said.
"So are you here to talk business?"
"Yes," she said.
"Good." He leaned and hugged her. "So I figure that we should be seen as often as possible."
Willa held up her hand. "I can't date you Lance."
"What?" Lance asked. He tensed up and stared at her. He clenched his teeth and looked around for a moment. "Then what the hell are you doing here?"
Was she trying to make a fool of him? He'd thought that he'd made sure she wouldn't be able to do that. He expected her to have no other option than to date him considering how he thought that her career wouldn't be able to stand her not dating him or denying what he'd said on the show earlier.
"You told me that either way I should come and talk to you," she said. "We can't do this."
"Can't do what?" he asked.
"Lie to everyone. I don't know about you, but I actually have morals."
Lance watched her stick her hands on her hips and let a smile form over his face. She was in the industry and thought that people had morals. How sweet was that? He knew he had to convince her to do this. It was going to be good for her career, but it also was going to get him in the news a little bit more. The whole Justin and Britney news had gotten the NSYNC name into the headlines and he knew that a relationship with Willa would do the same thing.
"It wouldn't be lying."
"How?" she asked.
"Because technically we would be seeing each other." It was the smart ass answer, but it was the truth.
"It's not the same," she stated.
"How?" He really couldn't see anything bad that would come from this whole thing and wondered why she was resisting things so easily.
"Because right now I don't know if I can even stand to be in the same room with you." She took a breath and held it for a moment. "Like today. It's clear, first off, that no one would believe that we're seeing each other."
"Veronica believed it," Lance said nodding his head in the direction that Veronica had disappeared.
"I have a feeling that Veronica would believe anything you said," Willa said.
Lance watched her fold her arms across her chest and wanted to laugh at her. She just wasn't getting it. "Willa. The target group of my fans are all Veronica's age. It's perfect."
"No it's not," she said. "There's too much tension between us."
"Sexual tension maybe," Lance said with a smile.
"Look Lance. This isn't a game. We're talking about my career here."
"And mine too," he said.
"You can always make music, but one of these days my face isn't going to be the In look and I'm going to have to find something else to do. I'd prefer not to end up on one of those Behind the Music episodes as a groupie. At least you'll still have your contacts in the music world, but I don't think I will."
"Then date me," he said, "You'll get all my contacts."
"It's not all that easy."
"Because I'm already seeing someone. I can't wait to get a call on my answering machine from my boyfriend!"
"What?" Lance stepped back a few feet. He'd meant to mess with her a little, but he had never meant to break up her relationship. He wanted to be nasty to her, but not destroy her. "But in LA, you came to my hotel room. You spent the night."
"That was almost a month ago Lance. I don't know about you, but I have been living a life since I did that video."
"Well SOR-RY," he said with a sarcastic tone.
"You keep telling me what I'm going to get out of dating you," she said. "So far I've not gotten much, other than probably a ruined relationship. What are you going to get? Control over me? Control over the situation? I really don't think it's worth it."
"Fine then," Lance said and turned on his heel and left her in the lobby without another word.
"Lance, wait a minute," Willa said.
"What do you want now?" he asked.
"We have to put out some sort of statement to the press," she said, "This isn't going to go away."
"Well what do you suppose we say?" he said, "That I'm a liar and that you agreed to it on air but now are saying that we aren't together? Either way one of us comes out looking bad. Just leave it alone. If we screw with it now it'll just get worse."
He watched Willa sigh and hoped that this was all getting to her. If she just said that she was dating him things would be fine, but he could see that it wasn't going to be that easy. He wasn't giving up yet. He was going to come out on top of this whole deal.
"So what do we do if this video gets nominated for some awards?" she asked.
"Then we deal with it."
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