Snap Shots Series: In Focus
When Lance reached the door almost out of breath, after practically running away from the reporter after the interview. Heíd shook hands with the reporter and had done all the things that were expected of him, but heíd rushed out of the room as soon as he possibly could have. Now, trying to catch his breath, he cracked the door open and tried to look for Willa. He wanted to sneak in and surprise her, but all he found was Spanky sitting on the couch staring at the television.
A moment later, instead of being greeted by Willaís smiling face, he was met by a harsh voice, one that he almost didnít recognize as hers. It made him wince even before he was totally in the room. He took a breath, hand still on the doorknob, and tried to figure out what was going on. He could hear the stress in her voice as it boomed through the room, but couldnít see her and for a moment he wasnít sure if she was talking to someone in the room or someone on the phone.
"I donít give a flying fuck who released the information Elena! No, I never said I thought it was you...Why would you think that?...No, I KNOW exactly who released it....Yes that would be just like Brennan to do that. Heís just a spotlight whore that he canít stand that Iíve gotten popular without him being at my side...That doesnít matter. I just... Yeah... No... You need to get a rebuttal or something out to the press now!"
He could only hear her half of the conversation, but some of it made sense. She was stressed over something that he was sure Elena had called her to tell her about, probably some new rumor that was out and running around in the press. Stuff like that was like wildfire. Lance had played the gossip game TELEPHONE when he was little and the media scene seemed to be just a bigger version of the game. Someone would make a comment, then the next person would repeat it and add something to it, and soon the one little comment turned into a controversy that fans took as the gospel instead of gossip. Heíd had it happen to him in the past and he knew heíd face it in the future. There was no way to keep yourself out of the game when you were as famous as Lance and the others were.
"I never said that... no there was something that happened at New Years... It was Lance, Me, Amy and Brennan...no..." There was a long pause. "He never did that!...No, of course Iím not! Iíd tell you first if I was...or at least youíd be the second to know if something like that happened...I donít believe this shit! Where do they come up with this crap?"
"Whatís going on?"
Lance jumped at the sound of the voice behind him. He turned to find Wes standing behind him looking in the doorway.
"She isnít in there beating the crap out of Spanky?" Wes asked putting a hand on his shoulder to get him to move out of the way so that he could see into the room.
"No," Lance said with a laugh. "Iíll figure it out. Iím sure it's nothing huge."
"Itís probably some model thing. You know...whereís my latte and all that?"
Lance turned his head back just as she appeared from the bedroom that Lance had taken for the trip. She was pacing, holding the phone in one hand against her ear, while rubbing the back of her neck with her other hand. She looked gorgeous in her outfit, it was just jeans and a sweater, like his own outfit, but he hadnít seen her in a few days and he suspected that sheíd look good in just about anything at that point.
"No, I want you to release a statement that explains the situation. None of what was released is true."
The sour and almost pained look on her face and the way she was pacing nervously, showed that there was a lot on her mind. Lance began to worry when she flopped down in a chair then a moment later was up and pacing again. Heíd never seen her this angry before. Sheíd gotten angry with him a million times in the past over little things and heíd thought that her attitude was bad then, but this was worse than anything heíd ever seen. Her hands were shaking and it was as if she let herself sit still that sheíd go crazy. Whatever it was, it was big and it wasnít going to be able to be taken care of quickly.
"Yes, Iím staying calm..." Lance heard her hit something. He hoped that it wasnít something breakable or that she didnít hurt herself doing it. "Yes Elena THIS IS CALM!"
Spankyís spontaneous laughing filled the otherwise silent room.
"No, heís not here yet...I donít know...Heís probably still in some interviews. No, I donít know if he knows. I doubt it or he would have mentioned it to me. Heís been in those interviews all morning and Iím sure if this had gone public earlier they would have been asking him about it and he would have asked me about it."
Lance pushed the door all the way open with his elbow and let himself quietly into the room while he tried to figure out what was going on. He didnít want to interrupt her call, but he wanted to know what was going on.
"Elena called with some bad news," Spanky said looking over.
"I can tell," Lance said, heavy sarcasm coated his response.
"From what I can tell that Brennan guy and that Amy girl are giving her hell," Spanky said, "Someone released something to the press that involves the four of you. Did you all get into a fight on New Years?"
Before Lance could answer Spankyís question Willaís voice filled the air again. "Damn it Elena!"
Lance looked over to where she had her back to him. "How long as she been on the phone like this?"
Spanky sighed. "Since we got here. Iím surprised she hasnít lost her voice yet. Sheís been yelling like that for almost fifteen minutes."
Willa turned, he guessed at the sound of the other voices in the room, and stared at Lance for a moment. Everything in the room wound down into slow motion. He watched her blink three times before she really seemed to recognize him. He could see the tiredness and the slight fear and sadness in her eyes and it formed a lump in his throat and send his stomach spinning. Willa was normally a tough girl, but she looked to be at her wits end with this one. Whatever had happened, it was serious.
As soon as they made eye contact, he saw tears well up in her eyes. He wished that he could make it go away. She didnít deserve this and he felt a little like it was his fault that she was going through this. If he hadnít made that comment on TRL a few months ago she wouldnít have to have gone through any of this mess. Heíd been selfish to do it and he was starting to feel even worse than he had a few weeks ago about the mess of his life and her life were becoming.
She walked towards him and as soon as she was close enough to him she took the phone from her ear and wrapped her arms around him, pressing her face against his shoulder. "I hate this Lance," she mumbled, "I hate it. Just when I think things are getting under control the whole world blows up under my feet."
Lance hugged her as her body shook from her tears. He reached his arms around her, pulling her tightly against him and holding her there trying to show his support for her. He took a breath and for an instant things felt ok, but then he heard her sniff and once again was reminded of her pain. "Willa, whatís going on?"
After holding herself in his arms for a few moments, Willa leaned back from him a little to put the phone back to her ear. She sniffed hard and wiped her face a little, "Elena? Yeah, he just got here..." She turned to Lance, "Elena says hi."
"Hi Elena," Lance said loudly.
"Yeah, Iíll tell him. Iím going to tell him about it right now. Can you please release something?...No, Iím not going to ignore this...I know that I should ignore it, but I canít...No...I donít want to hear anymore about this...Iíll call you in a little while."
When sheíd hung up her phone she threw it angrily onto the couch where Spanky was. Spanky moved out of the way, even though her throw wasnít at all near him. "Hey!"
"Sorry," she said then curled back into Lanceís embrace. "This is horrible."
"Willa, tell me whatís going on," he prompted as he held her close.
Willa took a deep breath and reached and wiped her eyes more. "Elena said that someone released some crazy information to the press about us. There was a report about an incident that happened at New Years."
"Amy and Brennan?" He asked.
"I think thatís who did it." She sighed, "Iím guessing thatís who did it. I canít think of anyone else who would have even known what went on during our little conversation that night."
Lance tried to stay calm, but he was losing his patience. First the break-in and now this. It just seemed like they didnít want her to get comfortable. Even though she didnít know that heíd heard about the break-in, she looked horrible. The worry had gotten to her. Normally she had a twinkle in her eyes when he saw her, but today she looked tired, dead tired. "Whatíd they release?"
"Not only did they tell everyone that we had been faking our relationship for a few months, they said that Iím pregnant with Brennanís kid and that at the New Years Party he was trying to talk to me and you decked him because you were jealous."
"What the hell?" Lance said, "I never touched that son of a bitch."
Slipping her hand into his, Willa walked over, pulling Lance behind her, and plopped down onto the couch, "Elena said that the word on the street is that Brennan is going to go to court over it all."
"But you arenít even pregnant..." He looked at her closely, "Are you?"
"No. Of course not." Willa leaned against Lance, "Why canít they just leave me alone?"
"I donít know Fred," he said rubbing her back, "Donít worry though, weíll take care of this." He looked at Spanky with a worried look. Spanky had warned him about her losing it and that she needed him, but this was more than heíd expected from her. She was shaky and crying. This wasnít his Willa.
Spanky pushed himself up from the couch and came over to where they were standing. "Iíll leave you two alone for lunch, just give me a call when you have to leave, ok?"
"Yeah," Lance said over Willaís shoulder. Sheíd clamped onto him and he wasnít sure that she was going to let go anytime soon. "Ok."
Willa looked over at Spanky, "Have a good lunch."
"Calm down Willa," Spanky said, "For my sake as well as your own. I donít like to see you this worried."
"Iíll try," she said.
With Spanky gone, Lance pulled back from Willa. He looked her in the eyes, then moved her hair from her face. "Are you ok? I mean other than being pissed off, are you ok?"
She nodded, "Iím just glad that youíre here."
"Well Iím glad that youíre here too," he said. He looked around for a minute. "I hate to do this to you, but I need to grab lunch. Let me order room service then we can talk."
She nodded. When Lance got off the couch to go get the phone Willa followed him. "Iím gonna go lay down. If Justin comes in here I donít want to have to explain my--"
"Donít worry about it," he said. He leaned and kissed her. She turned the kiss into a deep one, wrapping her arms around him tightly, "Iíll be in there in a minute."
She nodded and disappeared into the bedroom, closing the door slightly.
Lance had just picked up the phone when Justin came into the room.
"Hey, whereís your girl?" He asked.
Lance moved his mouth away from the phone, "Sheís laying down."
"She ok?" Justin asked.
"Yeah, itís just been a long day for her," Lance said. He pointed at the phone, "You want anything?"
"Get me a burger, fries and a coke."
"Ok," Lance said, "Only if you answer the door."
"Sounds good to me."
A moment later Lance had lunch ordered. He ordered burgers for himself and for Justin and threw in a sandwich for Willa. He wasnít sure if she would eat it, but he thought sheíd probably pick at it if he got it for her.
Justin was sitting on the couch in front of the television with his shoes off watching some basketball game. "Iím going to go and sit with Willa."
"Iíll call you when the food gets here."
"Is Brit coming over?"
"Not until tonight. Her flight up from home doesnít get in until four or so. Robbles and her are going to be here before we go and do the Letterman show."
"Ok," he said.
Lance made his way into the bedroom and found Willa with her shoes off lying on her side curled up with a pillow. She looked calmer, but he could tell that things werenít over for her. This was just the beginning of a long battle for her. He knew that he was just as involved in the situation, but he was a veteran at dealing with the press. He just hoped that he could keep her from getting too upset about it.
He kicked off his shoes and crawled across the bed to where she was laying. Without a word to her he curled up behind her resting so that her back was against his chest and his arms were holding her.
"I ordered you a sandwich," he said softly.
"Thank you," she replied.
"Are you ok?" he asked kissing her exposed neck.
"Uh huh," she said sleepily, "I just hate that they won't leave me alone."
Lance's mind went into overdrive. He needed to ask her about the break-in. He needed her to know that he understood why she was so upset. "What are you talking about? Leaving you alone? This is the first thing they've done...right?"
"Well," she said softly.
"Willa tell me," he said. He squeezed her against him. "Tell me."
"Spanky called you and told you about the break-in...didn't he?" she said.
Lance sighed, "Yeah. That's why I wanted you to stay in the hotel with me this week and why Spanky spent the night at your place."
"I wanted to tell you," she said. He could feel her start to shake a little, "I just wasn't sure--"
"It's ok," he held her close, "I'm not mad. I just wish that you would tell me about this stuff."
"I didn't mean to--"
"Look it doesn't matter now," Lance said sitting up. "Just next time tell me about stuff like that."
"Ok," she said.
"Good, now cuddle up. I've missed you and I only haveÖ" he looked at his watch, "Öforty more minutes until I have to leave."
She gave him a smile and momentarily he thought she might be ok.
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