Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect

Nineteen


Three days later Willa stepped off her United flight from Kennedy Airport into a rainy Orlando winter night, carrying two large shopping bags and a rolling suitcase. She had come down south from a snowy New York thinking she might get some sun while she was in Florida, but her luck really wasn't working her way. It was drizzling and cold and miserable outside and she shivered in the air-conditioned interior of the airport even though she wore a heavy snow jacket. The weather reflected her mood. She wasn't at all excited about being in Orlando, but she knew that it was for a good cause and she was going to try to make the best of things.

That was until she saw who was there to pick her up at the gate. Standing just past the check-in counter Willa saw the only other person in the world, besides Lance, that she didn't want to see at the moment. "Wes?" she said slowing approaching the bodyguard that had grabbed her in the hotel in New York. She looked around for a moment. "Where's Lance?"

"His flight from San Diego gets here in about an hour. I flew back about three hours ago," Wes said and cautiously reached for her rolling suitcase, which she gave up after he gave her a smile. He carried a huge bag of his own, but didn't at all seem put out by dragging hers along. "Don't worry, I'm buying dinner."

She leaned away from him and kept her eyes wide not sure how he was going to act to her. "So you aren't going to kill me?"

Wes smiled from under his baseball hat. "As long as you don't smack Lance again you and I are going to be friends." He stopped and ended up laughing. "Actually if you do smack him again we might be even better friends."

Willa looked around for a moment. She had never been to Orlando before, except for one swimsuit shoot that had lasted just over four hours. When she'd been in the airport last she hadn't even been able to turn her head to look around. She'd been whisked away like some precious cargo or something to the hotel for the shoot. It was a nice airport and she was glad that she was going to do a little touristy stuff while she was there. She always hated the fact that she got to travel as a model, but never really got to do all the activities that a place had to offer. Usually she flew in and flew out of a place as soon as she was done on the set.

"So you did some shopping?" Wes asked as he began to slowly walk away from her. He looked at the bags. "Get anything for me?"

"No." Letting a smile form on her face, she followed him from the gate into the main walkway area. The airport was fairly crowded, since it was just about commute time and she noticed people staring at her a little…or maybe they were staring at him. Either way she was feeling a little self conscious. She'd been followed a few times in New York in the last few days and hoped that no one would be following her that day. "I brought some things for the girls that Lance and I are going to be with tomorrow. Speedo let me pick out some clothes and one of the other companies I did some ads for sent along some make-up and perfume for the kids."

Wes smiled. "You and Lance must think alike. He's bringing FuMan gear from Chris and is going to give them tickets and stuff from the guys."

"Lance and I do nothing alike." The anger she felt when she thought of him was present in her voice.

"You even sound the same when you talk about each other."

Willa stared at him. She hadn't expected Wes to be at all the therapist type, but he seemed to be on a mission so she asked, "How's that?"

"You guys are both frustrated," Wes said. "And I don't mean that in a sexual way either." He looked at her for a moment, "Although maybe that's part of it."

They made their way down to a food court type area and then took a right into a hallway.

"Where are we going?" she asked pointing to the food places that they'd just passed. "Aren't we going to eat?"

"The VIP lounge has a restaurant. I'd rather eat in a normal place than fast food, since I'm paying. We've been on the road too long and that stuff can kill you." He smiled widely and she noticed the door at the end of the hallway.

"Oh," she said.

"I'm not going to attack you Willa," Wes said and took a few steps then pushed through a door to where a receptionist-type person sat.

They were seated in minutes at a table near the windows in the restaurant. Willa slid out of her jacket and made herself comfortable as Wes stared at the menu.

Willa watched him for a long time then couldn't help but to ask. "You said that he and I were frustrated…why do you think that?"

Wes laughed a little. "Besides the obvious reasons that you both have too many revenge plans?"

Willa blushed and said, "He's horrible to me!"

Wes glared at her. "Hey. I'm not taking sides here. Do you want to hear my opinion or not?"

The waitress came and they ordered drinks. Wes got a soda and Willa got an iced tea.

"Go ahead," she said when the waitress left.

Wes smiled, "Now are you going to be nice to me if I give you information?"

"Please," she said, "I'd love to hear what someone else thinks of him and me because for the life of me I don't understand any of it."

"Well…" Wes sat back and looked at her. "I sit and watch people a lot while we're on the road and I have this feeling about the two of you."

"And what might that be?"

"That you're perfect for each other."

Willa did not like the look on his face at all. He was serious, too serious. He didn't move a muscle in his jaw, or twitch and eyebrow, or even blink for that matter the whole time she stared at him.

"Perfect for what?" she asked.

Leaning forward, Wes rested his arms on the table and glared at her. "Love must really be blinding."

"Love?" she thought she might hyperventilate when she heard that. "Love? There may be a lot of things that I'm confused about, but there is no love between Lance and I."

"Would you like some examples?" Wes asked.

Willa stared out the window for a long time. She didn't want this. She never wanted any of this. She almost suspected that this was just another trick of Lance's. It would be just like him to have someone else step in to get at her.

When the waitress returned with their drinks, they ordered quickly. Wes got a steak and potato and Willa got a salad and a sandwich.

"You really are stubborn, you know?" Wes said when the waitress disappeared for the second time.

She hated this. It was like getting a lecture from her mother or something, which she hated, but having a complete stranger tell her all of this was even more humiliating and annoying. "Well so is he!"

"I never said that he wasn't."

Willa watched him for a long time. "Just spill out whatever you want to say because I know I'm not going to get through my dinner without hearing it so we might as well get it over with."

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"No, but you might as well," she said.

"Oh-Kay," Wes said with a sigh.

Putting up a finger he showed her the number one. "First, Lance hasn't dated in a long time. He really avoids it when he can. The man would walk across the street to avoid having to date someone."

"And?"

"It means that he likes you."

Willa rolled her eyes. "It means that he's got me trapped and I can't get out of it without making one of us look bad and if he looks bad then that video looks bad and then I look bad."

Wes laughed and showed her the number two with his fingers. "If Lance hated you he wouldn't have been so upset about the whole kissing thing."

"What?"

"He was embarrassed by what the guys said because he doesn't want to look bad in front of you."

"You've got to be kidding me."

"I'm serious." Wes drummed his hands on the table for a moment. He looked at her in the eyes for a moment, looked away, then looked back. "That was the same reason he was so pissed about the whole shower thing too."

"Give me a break," Willa said rolling her eyes again, "Did he tell you all this?"

"Look," Wes said, "I've known the kid since he was sixteen. I think I know him well enough to know when the guy has a crush on someone."

"A crush?" she said sitting back in her chair. "He has a funny way of showing his feelings."

Wes watched her for a moment. "You are the only woman I know who would actually smack the guy." He stopped to laugh. "The kid needs it. I've been telling him that for years. He needs some normal girl to come into his life and smack him around a little."

"Hey, I didn't mean to smack him--"

"Sure you didn't," Wes said drawing his hand back. He laughed. "And that wasn't a windup I saw?"

"I really didn't mean to, but at the time Lance deserved it. He still deserves it. Hell, Lance deserves anything that I throw at him."

"I deserve what?

Willa didn't have to turn around to know that Lance was behind her. She saw the look in Wes's eyes. He was finding this all way too amusing.


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