On the way Vin tried to phone Luna several times, but without success. He phoned Renee and asked her if she had talked with Luna over the day.
Renee said that Luna called her around four, telling her that she was going to spend the afternoon writing on the script of the soap opera, she felt inspired, and that later she was going to go to his place.
Renee noticed the strange tone of voice in him and asked if everything was ok. Vin cursed silently and did his best to pretend that everything was fine, replying ‘yes’ and hanging up the phone before Renee could find that he was lying.
The ride to Luna’s place was pure torture for Vin though; it seemed to him as if every traffic light had a secret conspiracy against him. He found them almost all red, and on top of it, the traffic was unusually heavy at that time of the evening.
Vin cursed loudly as he punched the steering wheel, fighting the urge to jump out of the car and rip the head off the poor guy whose car was broken in the middle of the street, blocking one of the lanes, causing the traffic delay.
After what had seemed like a damn eternity for him, Vin finally reached the parking lot in front of her building and breathed, a little more relaxed, as soon as he saw his Mercedes parked there.
Vin jumped out of his SUV and went directly to his car. Pressing his palm on the hood, he noticed that it was cold, so the car had been parked at least an hour ago if not more.
Taking a deep breath, Vin looked at the building and crossed the street, heading directly to the stairs. He didn’t bother with the elevator and climbed the four floors in record time, walking with long strides directly to the door of Luna’s apartment.
Vin pressed the bell and waited. A couple of seconds later he grew impatient, pressed his thumb on the bell, and left it there. When again Luna didn’t open the door, he cursed her silently.
Where the fuck are you, Damnit?!
Vin didn’t even know if he was pissed off or worried anymore. But what he did know was that he was more than just nervous at this point and the idea of kicking the door open crossed his mind, but he dismissed it as soon as popped.
Vin didn’t need the rest of the neighbours calling the cops because Vin Diesel was breaking into someone’s apartment, not to mention the headlines. Vin frowned deeply, struggling with himself when all of sudden he remembered that Luna told him once that one of her neighbours had a copy of her keys.
Vin considered the thought and recalled that he had seen the elderly couple on a few occasions and that they had a good relationship with Luna. He remembered that the man was blind and that he lived with his wife.
Not wanting to waste any more time, Vin went next door and rang the bell all the while cursing and fighting with himself to keep calm and hoping not to attract too much attention.
At this point his mind was racing with all kinds of suppositions. What if she wasn’t at home? What if she wasn’t alone? What if she was at home and … Vin didn’t want to think about any option that involved Luna suffering or hurting.
He was having a hard time trying to keep his imagination restrained, not getting ahead of himself. But the fact that Luna had disconnected both telephones only caused his mind to race with all kinds of thoughts and none of them good. Vin couldn’t believe how fast he was losing control.
Inside her apartment, Luna faintly heard the bell and tried to stand, but she felt too tired even to open her eyes. All of sudden she remembered that she had told Vin that she was going to go to his place and tried to stand again, but her muscles weren’t cooperating and her body hurt like she had been beaten to death.
So Luna braced herself with her arms and curled into a ball as she felt a new painful spasm of her stomach. She screamed in pain but no sound came out of her mouth; she tasted blood. She felt her throat and esophagus burning and suddenly her heart was beating so slowly that she almost couldn’t feel it.
Luna shuddered in panic thinking that she was going to suffer a cardiac arrest and shut her eyes tightly. She was going to die alone and someone would find her later when it was too late to help her.
A couple of minutes later an old woman opened the door with the security chain still in place. As soon as she recognized Vin, she removed the chain and opened the door completely.
Vin explained the situation to her as fast as he could and without revealing too many details.
The man sat on the couch and, frowning, he stood, grabbing his walking stick, concern all over his face and told Vin that Luna had arrived a few hours earlier, around 4pm. He said he was sure about the hour because they were coming back from their daily walk. The woman added, as she went to look for Luna’s keys, that Luna was carrying several bags from the supermarket and that she looked unusually sad and nervous.
Vin frowned deeply as he glanced at his chrono. It was now almost 9:30pm.
Vin grabbed the keys and turned around, heading back to Luna’s door. He fumbled with the keys for a few seconds and after a moment, he finally opened the door.
The woman followed him to Luna’s apartment, offering their help. Vin said ‘thank you’ and returned the key to her, adding that it wouldn’t be necessary. The less people knowing about their business, the better. After that, he pushed the door open and closed it at his back.
The apartment was almost in shadows, so Vin switched on the lights and swallowed hard. Her purse was on the couch and the keys to the Mercedes were on the small table close to her cell phone.
“Luna!” He called as he went directly to the kitchen, stepping into the mess Luna left. Jesus Fucking Christ, Vin gasped, as his eyes widened.
Several boxes of cakes, cookies and half-eaten chocolate bars were spread all over the floor, as well as candy wrappers. There were also almost empty containers of ice cream filling the basket and some of them on the floor.
All of sudden Vin remembered the report he had been reading about ‘a binge – eating episode’ and what followed it. Fuck! He then turned around and rushed to the bathroom.
“Luna?!” Vin called her, pressing his ear to the door. “Open the door, baby!” He tried to open it, but it was locked. “Let me in.” Vin said, his heart pounding inside his chest, his brain racing with the information he had read a few hours before.
At the other side of the door, Luna tensed every muscle in her body as a new wave of tears was shed. He couldn’t see her in this state. She was a mess. Vin was going to hate her for this. She was disgusting. He couldn’t see her like this.
Not like this.
“Go…away, Vin.” She whispered breathlessly and swallowed hard, whimpering in pain. Vin grunted annoyed.
“Open the fucking door, Luna!” his deep voice sounded hoarse and almost thick, but held his disappoint.
Oh, my God! Don’t let him see me like this, please, not like this, she said to herself, panic overwhelming her with every second that passed. She had to get rid of him.
“Please…Vin…leave me alone, please….”
Vin’s soft hair rose all at once when he heard her weak voice. He could faintly smell her vomit and cursed her silently.
The fuck I’m leaving you alone, he retorted silently.
Vin growled deeply and without a second thought he moved back a couple of steps and kicked the door with all his will, causing its hinges to jump from their places and the door flew open almost hitting her body.
Luna yelped, wincing as she tried to get to her feet, but she felt dizzy. Vin stumbled slightly, almost losing his balance; as his eyes widened at the vision in front of him.
Luna was lying on the floor, shaking uncontrollably and naked. Her body and hair were covered with sweat and her lips were stained with blood.
“Oh, my God! Luna!!” Vin hissed in pain as he knelt at her side, feeling his heart beating fast and adrenaline running through his veins.
Their gazes met and he saw in her eyes her pain and fear, mixed with her desperation and shame flashing at him like the sun.
Vin swallowed dry and found his own voice. “Shit, baby… why?” he whispered as he stroke her hair.
Luna blinked furiously, scared as she tried to move. “Please, Vin….don’t be mad at me…please, I promise you…I …I swear … I won’t do it again.” She whispered in panic as she felt Vin holding her and lifting her effortlessly from the floor. Her body was as cold as ice.
Luna struggled to release herself, but Vin tightened his hold as he carried her to the bedroom, laying her on the bed. Luna tried to climb out of it but she felt exhausted.
The room spun around her and she shut her eyes tightly, forcing the air into her lungs, whimpering. It was too late now. Vin had already seen her in her actual state.
He’s going to leave me…
Luna collapsed onto her back, crying like there was no tomorrow, pleading Vin to forgive her and that she was going to do everything he wanted, adding that he couldn’t call anybody else. She was disgusting, she was a mess. Nobody could see him with her in that state.
If anyone had asked him how he managed to do all the things he did at that moment, he wouldn’t be able to answer. Vin turned all business in seconds.
First, he pulled out his cell phone, calling 911 ignoring Luna’s pleas as he pressed two fingers against her neck, feeling her weak pulse, explaining the symptoms to the paramedics. Then he went to her closet and grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of panties. Luna fought him with the little strength that she had, it was almost none, pleading with him.
Finally he wrapped Luna’s cold body with a blanket, following the paramedics’ instructions, keeping her body warm and laid at her side. Pulling Luna to him, Vin held her while she continued crying her eyes out, begging him to forgive her.
With that done, Vin dialed Renee’s number while waiting for the ambulance to come. He told Renee what he knew about Luna’s state and asked her to go to the hospital as soon as possible with Valentino and wait for them to arrive.
As soon as Renee heard him and Luna’s pleas faintly, she tensed all at once and her eyes filled with tears just thinking about her best friend suffering and in pain.
Luna continued apologizing for her actions, an endless chant, all the while sobbing and cursing herself. With every minute that passed, her voice was getting more and more hoarse until it was just an almost inaudible whisper.
Vin cursed himself silently once more and shut his eyes tightly. He was feeling his heart breaking with her words. Before Vin realized it he was fighting tears of pain and anger back, soothing her, telling her that she was going to be ok and that he was going to take care of everything.