Cedars-Sinai Hospital (Cardiac Care Unit)
“I’ve always known most of these fuckers don’t have the slightest respect for anything or anyone, but stalking you… knowing you’re pregnant…” Renee trailed off, shaking her head in disbelief. “That’s plain evil.”
Luna gritted her teeth, feeling her stomach clenching in disgust. “Marcela,” she muttered under her breath.
Renee’s brows arched at once. “What?!” She gasped, her eyes widening completely.
“It was Marcela, Renee.” Luna hissed. She had been scared; in fact she had been terrified. But now, Luna was angry.
Renee blinked, shocked to her core. “Come on, Luna, Marcela and you have become adversaries, playing this power game, but that shit at Rodeo Drive…it’s just not her style.” She kept her voice low, not wanting anyone to hear them even though both women were alone.
Luna snorted. “I know she’s the one behind it even if I don’t have any evidence. I just know it.” She muttered, feeling sick just thinking about Marcela going so far in her efforts to get rid of her, literally.
“I knew Marcela even before she became Vin’s agent. I had been working with her for a couple of years, being her PA and I tell you, Luna. There are limits she wouldn’t cross, ever.” Renee refused to believe that Marcela would have been able to put Luna’s life or the baby’s life in danger. “It’s not the way she likes to play with people.”
“You telling me that Marcela has principles or a code of ethics? Since when?” Luna sneered, rolling her eyes. “For fuck’s sake, Renee. She’s an evil woman with an evil mind.”
Renee shook her head in denial. “I’m not saying Marcela is a sweet lamb but her methods are blackmailing, public humiliation, stuff like that, and not sending paparazzi after you, much less knowing about your cardiac problems.”
“That’s exactly why she did it!” Luna snapped, feeling a sudden anger rising fast. “Marcela wants me dead!” She hissed through clenched teeth.
The monitor registered the sudden change in Luna’s heart rate and Renee took Luna’s hand in hers, squeezing softly. “Okay, okay, just calm down.” Renee sighed concerned.
Luna breathed deeply, doing her best to relax, following some new breathing techniques that Vin’s personal trainer had taught her to keep herself under control. After a couple of minutes, her heart finally returned to an almost normal rhythm.
“Did you tell Vin?” Renee asked, still not so sure about Luna’s suspicions regarding Marcela’s out of character actions. It would mean that Marcela had gone insane.
“Not yet…” Luna sighed hard.
“Then, don’t do it, Luna,” Renee whispered.
Luna blinked. “What? Why the hell not?” She couldn’t give credit to what she was hearing.
Renee took a deep breath, letting it out with a heavy sigh.
“Listen, Luna, accusing someone without being able to prove it, especially someone as respected as Marcela Hopkins would come back to bite your ass, honey.” Renee’s deep concern caught Luna off guard.
“You kidding?” She replied. “I’m not gonna let that old witch get her way in this that easily.” Luna hissed. “Vin has to know it.”
Renee shook her head ‘no’. “Luna, think about this for a minute, okay?” She paused and met Luna’s gaze. “To walk around, pointing a stiff finger against Marcela without a single piece of evidence to back up your words is something Hollywood won’t forget easily. I hate to tell you this but Vin’s name might end up being written down on some blacklist. It would be almost as if he’d committed suicide. His career would be done in weeks.”
The deadly serious tone of Renee’s voice sent shivers up Luna’s spine. She hadn’t thought about that possibility.
“What should I do then, Renee? Forget and forgive?” Luna asked breathlessly. All of a sudden she felt sick and swallowed her nausea back down her throat.
“Luna, you married Vin Diesel and he’s a celebrity.”
“But I’m not, Renee.” Luna felt tears prickling her eyes and cursed herself silently. Damn, her hormones were driving her crazy.
“Yes, Luna, you are, even if you don’t like it or don’t want to be one. And, as a celebrity, you won’t be safe from being the target of the cameras, especially since Vin Diesel, one of the wildest, hottest and sexiest men on earth knocked you up.”
Renee paused, wiping away Luna’s silent tears that had started rolling down her cheeks without being aware.
“Most celebrities call the photographers and cameramen themselves when they need to be ‘caught’ so people don’t forget about them. It’s almost as a non-written agreement. They use each other for their mutual benefits because just like the old saying says. Let them talk about you, even if it’s bullshit, but above everything don’t let people forget you.” Renee explained, feeling like shit because she knew that was not a life Luna wanted to live.
“But that’s complete craziness, Renee.” Luna gasped, squeezing Renee’s hand. In response Renee sighed heavily, squeezing Luna’s hand back, showing her support.
It was then when Luna remembered Vin’s words. Back then they had been talking about how their lives would change as soon as everybody knew they were together.
“…you have to understand that I’m a celebrity and those fuckers are going to always be stalking us, taking pictures and writing shit about us. They won’t care if we are upset or mad. They won’t give a shit if we feel down or if we just want to be left alone. They are going to always be there…”
And that was not all, Renee and Luna both knew how any paparazzi could take pictures of any celebrity while they were inside their houses, and if they didn’t trespass the limits of their properties to take the pictures, no judge was going to say shit about the matter.
“So the innocent end up paying for the sin of the sinners.” Luna whispered.
“Unfortunately.” Renee sighed.
Luna blinked fresh tears. “So what do I have to do, Renee? Do I have to keep the secret?”
Renee nodded ‘yes’. “You have no other choice, Luna,” she answered. “Unless you have evidence that Marcela was the one pulling such crazy shit against you, you have to keep the secret and pretend we never talked about this.”
“Luna was terrified, man.” Vin sighed, sipping from his cup of coffee. “She said she kept thinking they were going to bump her belly or that she was going to end up tripping and falling.”
Val tapped Vin’s back. “Don’t think about that again, Vin. Luna and the baby are okay now. That’s the only thing that matters.”
“I should have been there with her.” Vin frowned, his face showing a deep concern mixed with guilt. “Mike told me those fuckers were acting like crazy, pushing and bumping them. They even crushed Steve against the SUV.”
Vin rubbed his forehead, not even daring to think what would have happened if instead of Steve’s huge body it had been Luna’s body that got crushed.
“You were shooting, Vin. You know you wouldn’t have been able to do shit.” Val sighed. “That’s why you have Mike and Steve, so they protect Luna when you’re not around.”
Vin knew that Val was right but that didn’t make him feel any better. It was he who had to be able to protect his family. It was his duty and not Mike’s or Steve’s.
He couldn’t be with Luna 24/7, Vin damn well knew that, mostly because she would end up saying he was smothering her with his constant presence. Still, Vin had already given precise instructions to Mike and Steve that if any photographer dared to pull shit like they had at Rodeo Drive, then they were allowed to beat the fucker or fuckers without worrying about the consequences.
Vin didn’t give a damn if he had to pay a fortune in compensation for wounding a paparazzo. For once he didn’t give a damn about the headlines, his public image or the gossip in the business.
All in all, there was something odd and Vin couldn’t stop thinking about why the hell those fuckers had acted in such an evil way, stalking Luna, knowing she was pregnant.
He had told Marcela about Luna’s delicate heart and high pregnancy risk, knowing that she would leak the news to the media so they would take it easy on Luna.
Vin knew that Marcela and Luna didn’t get along well; he himself had felt the invisible tension when both women were close to each other, and sure as hell, they wouldn’t go shopping together or would spend time chatting.
For a brief second, the suspicion that Marcela was the one scheming behind his back caused Vin’s vision to wash red with fury. But he dismissed the idea almost as soon as it arrived.
Marcela’s style was different; she had learnt from the very best, her own ex-husband, how to play power games. There were limits that not even Marcela or Richard would dare to cross.
Vin’s eyes narrowed as he closed his hands into fists, crumpling his paper cup of coffee, spilling the black liquid all over the table and over his own hands. He hissed in pain but set his jaw hard, feeling the scalding coffee burning his skin.
Val frowned, watching the mess Vin had made while being lost in thought. Lord help the fucker or fuckers that put Luna’s life and their baby’s life in danger. Val thought, watching Vin’s eyes sparkling with blind rage. He had no doubt that Vin would kill whoever tried to hurt his family.
Two innocent words that had turned Luna’s life upside down in less than 48 hours without even the right to protest.
It was that or spend the next three months of her pregnancy until the baby reached the 28th week of gestation within the cardiac care unit at Cedars-Sinai.
Luna hadn’t thought twice about it; she was not staying at the hospital, no matter how beautiful her room looked or how wonderful the staff was.
Dr. William had openly shown her disagreement, warning Luna about the risks of being at home instead of admitted to the hospital where her heart could be watched 24/7.
For some unthinkable reason that Luna couldn’t even explain to herself, she had stubbornly refused to hear any further argument, reason or explanation. Luna felt that she had to be at home and nothing had been able to make her change her mind.
Vin had sided with the cardiologist, not liking it one damn bit that Luna insisted on standing her ground, even threatening Vin with a divorce if he kept pushing.
After hours of going back and forth over the matter, Luna had gotten her way, firmly promising that she would follow every single one of Dr. William’s pieces of advice, even giving her word and adding that she wouldn’t fight with Vin at all.
Still, Vin hadn’t liked it. He damn well knew how stubborn a woman Luna could be and he had had no doubt that it would be a hell of a ride. Besides, Vin had also known that arguing further with Luna would only increase the risk of his wife suffering a cardiac arrest, putting at risk her life and the baby’s life. Not an option for him. So, reluctantly, Vin had finally agreed but made himself a promise that he would keep come hell or high water.
In his obsession to keep Luna and the baby safe and away from any kind of risk or danger, Vin had cancelled their trips to NY and Bora Bora as soon as Luna had been discharged from the hospital the following morning. She couldn’t fly; it was too risky.
Vin’s parents had said ‘no problem’ and had gotten everything ready so that the whole family could fly to LA. Vin’s unexpected reaction had left them stunned and shocked beyond belief. It would mean that a hell of a lot of people would be around Luna at once, too much stress, and so Vin had said that they wouldn’t die if they celebrated Christmas Eve alone at ‘Black Star’.
Delora had argued with Vin for hours but her son had been inflexible. Luna’s heart health was very delicate and such a large amount of emotions might cause trouble. Period.
Not even Val and Renee had been with them, since the couple had gone to visit Renee’s mom in San Francisco.
Luna had been more than just a little disappointed, but said nothing. At the end, it was a little sacrifice. There would be many more Christmases to enjoy with their family and the next year it would be even better, since there would be a new member.
Vin had hated watching Luna so upset but he was not running any risk at all, no matter how bad he felt at keeping Luna practically isolated from the rest of the world. He had been sure that he was doing the right thing.
Vin and Luna had celebrated Christmas Eve alone in their home. It had been different but they had enjoyed it as much as if they had gone to any of the many parties that they had been invited to attend.
They had decorated the tree and had been watching old movies together, sitting in front of the fireplace. Vin had ordered an exquisite meal with Luna’s favourite food and they had been dancing to slow songs. Then they had exchanged presents.
Vin had bought Luna an exclusive edition of her favourite book and Luna had given Vin a black and white picture of herself, posing naked, showing her bump. She had laughed wickedly when Vin had asked her when she had done it.
Luna had replied that she had it taken after one of her checkups at the hospital. She had phoned Allison and her agent had taken care of everything, setting up an appointment with a photographer that Allison had a close friendship with. After the photo session, the man had given Luna all the negatives with the rest of the pictures that he had taken. It was a whole collection, showing Luna in different poses, some of them brushing the limits between erotica and porno.
Vin had gotten hard in seconds, looking at the thumbnails, not feeling in the least bit mad. Quite the opposite, Vin had loved them, all of them and couldn’t believe how beautiful Luna looked.
They had started making love, slow and gentle, just like Dr. Williams and Luna’s gynecologist had advised. Everything had been wonderful until Luna had let out a yelp when she had gotten a cramp in her leg.
It had been just a damn cramp in one of her legs but Vin had been so scared, thinking that he had hurt her, that he had lost the mood in seconds, calling the night to a halt. Then he had been having nightmares. Visions of Luna screaming, calling him while her body was covered in blood mercilessly tortured him. Vin had waken up, startled, a thin veil of cold sweat covering his body and shaking like a terrified little kid.
Vin had been sure that he had no other choice and, in following his new goal, he had taken a new drastic decision. No more sex until the baby was born. Not even the fact that both doctors had assured Vin that everything was fine and that the risk of Luna having a cardiac arrest was almost non-exist had changed his decision. Vin just hadn’t wanted to hear anything about the matter.
Luna had tried in vain to make Vin see sense. It had been useless, he had already made up his mind and that had been the end of the matter.
To make things worse, Vin had awoken one night, hearing Luna panting in her sleep. It was then that he realized that he had been crushing her body underneath him. Right then and there Vin came to a new decision, still being sure that he was doing it for the sake of Luna’s and the baby’s health. Vin started sleeping in the guest room.
Luna had wanted to die; she felt she was losing Vin even if he insisted that he loved her more than before and that it was the best for her and the baby. No matter the things she came up with to trick her husband to sleep with her, Vin always came up with the perfect excuse.
At the same time, Vin’s nightmare started to repeat every night, turning into a recurring dream that tormented him no end, causing him to stay all night up, constantly checking that Luna was okay.
They had talked about his nightmares and Luna had tried to play down the matter, saying that it was a bad dream and it had nothing to do with reality.
Luna felt okay; Dr. Williams said Luna’s heart was fine, even the gynecologist said that Luna and the baby were perfectly healthy considering her high risk pregnancy. But Vin didn’t believe any of them. He was obsessed with her safety and that was that.
In a matter of days, things had gone from bad to worse. Luna had felt not only lonelier than even before but rejected and abandoned by her own husband when she needed him the most. Meanwhile, Vin’s new found obsession caused him to develop tunnel vision, distancing himself from his wife’s side without even being conscious of it.
The immediate consequence had been that Luna had brought in New Years Eve crying herself to sleep and Vin drinking his ass off in the guest room, drowning his frustration because Luna didn’t seem to understand his motivations to keep himself at a distance.