Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect
The vehicle slowed to a stop and the ten occupants in the back of the limousine stared out the window.
"Wow!" Justin said looking out on the far side of the car.
Willa sat for a moment staring at the group of people across the street. It seemed to be the same kind of crowd that showed up at TRL the day she was there, except tonight everyone was dressed up. They were screaming loudly and as the door opened she prayed that she would be able to get through the night ok.
Everyone began piling out dressed to the nines. The women all had on fashionable dresses and skirts provided by some of the biggest names in fashion. The men wore a mix of casual and dressy clothes that left them looking like models, but kept them feeling comfortable.
As Willa slid across the seat towards the exit of the car a hand was offered to her. She looked up and saw Lance smiling at her nervously. "You ready?" he asked as she stepped out.
She nodded and smoothed the short skirt down in the back as she got to her feet. The screams of the crowd got louder and camera flashes began to snap as the MTV cameras appeared before them and began filming. She groaned at the attention.
She loved being who she was, but she'd never dealt with the kind of attention that was focused on her at the moment. She still didn't understand how she'd gotten talked into agreeing to go with him to the MTV Music Video Awards, but somehow there they were and the world was definitely watching them.
Lance slid an arm around her and stood for a moment so that people could take pictures. They were on the far side of the car from most of the fans, but that didn't stop them from snapping away. He then reached for her hand and helped her up the set of steps that lead to a platform where everyone was supposed to stop and wave to the crowd.
There was a flash of activity around her as people ran back and forth and the MTV representative greeted them and tried to explain, over the sounds of the crowd, what the agenda for the evening would be. They first would pose for pictures then the reporters would ask questions then everyone would go inside and find their seats.
A moment later, as the group lead the way, Willa stepped up the step and everyone waved to the fans across the street and the guys clowned around for the cameras for a moment before they stepped down the far side of the platform. Willa had no experience with this sort of thing and watched the other girls in the group and followed their example. They stood with their men, but didn't try to get any of the attention. It was a humbling experience to say the least.
They were guided onto the red carpet that was in a U shape going down the block and coming back so that all the reporters could get their pictures before the groups of people got to go into the building for the ceremony.
Lance had a hold of her hand and didn't really speak to her as they walked. She found it strange since the others all seemed to be enjoying themselves. When they stopped to talk to some reporters the guys left their sides and huddled around the reporter and camera. Willa clutched her purse and adjusted the weight on her feet from one foot to the other hoping that they wouldn't be on their feet for too long. Her shoes were fashionable, but not functional and she needed to sit down.
Lance soon returned and slid an arm around her waist as they proceeded down the carpet. She was enjoying the attention that she got standing by his side and feeling the warmth of his arm around her was more comforting that uncomfortable. Besides, he smelled nice and looked nice and she knew that she was causing over a million girls to be jealous, which she usually didn't pay attention to, but that night it made her feel special.
Lance's arm slid a little on her back and she found that his hand had found itself to a place it shouldn't have been. "Get your hand off my ass," she said and stepped on his toe.
"Willa! Lance!" A group of reporters called as flashes went off.
"Damn Willa. This isn't supposed to be torture…just smile and look at the cameras," he said through his smile. He moved his foot away from where she was digging into his toe. "Remind me to wear steel toe boots next time."
"Lance! Willa!" Another reporter called out to them. "Justin! JC! Bobbee! Dani! Chris! Joey!" The yells got louder and louder the longer they stood there.
"Lance if you don't get your hand off my ass right now I'm going to throw a fit in front of all these reporters and smack you," Willa warned him leaning close so that the bystanders of the situation would think she was telling him something private.
Lance moved his hand and leaned and kissed her cheek then leaned and whispered, "Don't you dare throw a fit Willa." He looked over at Chris and Dani who were staring at him. They must have noticed the tension between the two of them, not that it wasn't hard to see.
"Why not Lance? They've said everything else about me. Why shouldn't they talk about what a bitch I am? That's what you wanted."
Lance stared at her for a moment. "That's not what I wanted at all."
They moved down the red carpet and found where the MTV News people had their cameras set up. They'd been informed on the way over that they would do the red carpet thing then have a short interview with MTV News. The representative that had greeted them at the car steered them to a waiting area while Blink 182 finished their little interview.
When Dave Holmes ushered them up onto the platform the five members of NSYNC detached themselves from their dates, leaving Willa in a group with the other girlfriends.
"Willa, come on up here," Dave yelled.
Willa looked at the other girls and made her way up to the group. Dave was about to start the interview then asked, "Why don't you step over and stand with Lance?"
Willa shrugged and moved so that she was between Justin and Lance.
Lance stood next to Willa, but kept his arm from around her. He knew that the reporters had gotten what they wanted from the earlier shots and he didn't want to push his luck with her. After the whole hand thing a moment before he knew that he had to be on good behavior or everything would blow up in his face.
Crossing his arms over his chest he let his hand brush her arm from it's hidden spot under his armpit. He leaned over. "This should be over in a few minutes," he said.
"Really it's not a problem." She smiled.
As they came back from commercial Dave began the interview. "So this is a new year for all of you. Are we going to see some surprises this year from your performance?"
"You'll definitely be surprised," JC said with a cocky smile.
"It's not anything you've seen before," Justin added.
Dave smiled then moved onto the next question. "The new video is up for three awards tonight. Willa, this being your first video, are you nervous about bringing home an award?"
"I'm not nervous at all," she said with a smile. "I mean I just did some acting. It's the director Wayne and these guys' job to be nervous. I'm just along for the ride."
"And what a ride it's been…" Dave said, "So I take it that you and Lance are together again seeing that you showed up tonight."
Lance swallowed hard and prayed that Willa wouldn't mess up what they'd agreed on saying earlier in the day. They'd spoken over the phone four times in the last week trying to figure out how to present themselves to the press. They hadn't been seen together in almost four months and it was going to cause issues with a lot of people to see them in public again.
Willa glanced at Lance for a moment then said, "Yes. We've had a rough few months…" She looked at him and smiled. "It's been sort of that Ben Affleck-Gwenth Paltrow-on again-off again sort of thing, but yeah we're back together now."
Lance held his breath as she spoke. She was flawless in her little speech and she even seemed relaxed. She was playing off the camera and Dave perfectly.
"Ah…troubled love," Dave said with a laugh and said, "Well good luck this evening guys. I hope that everything goes well for the evening and I'm sure we'll be seeing you all around the TRL set in a few months seeing that your new single just came out and I'm sure you'll be bringing by a new video."
"Definitely," Joey said.
"We're shooting the new video next month so you should be seeing it in about eight or ten weeks," Justin said.
As they pulled away to commercial everyone shook hands with Dave then stepped down again and reentered the long red carpet. They were half way through the line and would be finding their seats soon.
Lance saw Willa shiver as the wind picked up. "You cold?" he asked.
"no," she said stubbornly.
"Jesus Christ Willa you don't have to be that stubborn. I may be an asshole in your eyes, but I'm not going to let you freeze to death out here on the street."
"I didn't think it would be this windy. I look great but I'm like a Popsicle."
Lance slid out of his leather jacket and slid it over her shoulders. "Just don't steal it. My cell phone is in there."
"I won't," she said and stuck her arms through the sleeves then took his hand again.
"See I told you this would work out," he said and leaned and kissed her on the lips. "We get along just fine."
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