The only advantage that Marcela had over Luna was the fact that she knew Vin Diesel better than he knew himself. Marcela knew which buttons she had to push and which ones she had to leave alone. Marcela also knew about Vin’s insecurities because she had been the one feeding some of them over the past years. It had been a necessity to keep Vin on a short leash.
Marcela also knew that Vin was a control freak; he loved to have the upper hand and couldn’t stand to be manipulated, even though most times he was so busy looking at his belly button that he didn’t realize he was being manipulated by women all the time, like most men.
So when Marcela Hopkins took a seat in front of Vin, fiercely determined to convince him to do what the Studio wanted him to do, Vin hadn’t stood a chance.
By the time that Vin was able to find out that he had been shamelessly used by everybody around him, ‘SETH’ would be a success, even if it was a mediocre movie, and he wouldn’t give a damn anymore, or would blame the business, just like he had many times before over the past. Said and done.
Anticipating his reaction, Marcela had refuted one by one every single argument that Vin had thought to avoid selling his soul to the devil once more, walking all over every single principle and moral that he had still left and that he had been fighting tooth and nail to keep and respect, since he had found Luna.
Marcela had flawlessly presented her arguments, showing Vin the advantages of fulfilling the bizarre request from the Studio as soon as possible and without hesitation or doubts, carefully avoiding mention of Richard or Sheila in the process. Marcela wasn’t stupid; she would say only what she knew Vin wanted to hear.
Luna wouldn’t be alone; she would be with Mike and Steve to take care of her and even Renee and Roman. There was something called a cell phone and Vin could phone Luna to check on her. He didn’t have to stay all night, just show up, posing for pictures and talking about ‘SETH’.
Marcela would make sure there were no events to attend on weekends. No trips to other cities, at least for now.
It would be best to get the promotion of the movie out of the way now, before Luna gave birth. It would be one less thing that Vin would have to worry about later. He would be able to be with Luna right when she would need him the most.
At that point in their conversation, Vin had started to hesitate, so Marcela had changed tactics.
There was a hell of a lot of movies being released at once. Neither Vin Diesel nor ‘SETH’ could afford the luxury of passing unnoticed, especially after the dubious quality of editing that the Studio had made of the movie.
When Luna would give birth to their baby, Vin was going to want to take care of both, mommy and the newborn, since the baby would be in the hospital within an incubator.
As a direct consequence and because he was above all a concerned father, Vin would be out of sight for several weeks. So there would be a lot of chances to run the risk of people forgetting about ‘SETH’ and Vin Diesel, something they couldn’t allow to happen in any way.
There were a lot of young actors, without scruples, pushing really hard to get a place in Hollywood, ready to get the fat cows of the business out of their way, if that was what they needed to reach success.
Fans weren’t that loyal, not even Vin Diesel’s most fervent, unconditional fans. Vin needed people talking about him so that he could shoot ‘Hannibal’.
Yeah, of course, Richard Hopkins and his Studio would support Vin’s ultimate dream, allowing Vin to direct ‘Hannibal’, not getting in the middle. Vin would have free will to do as he pleased, no interruptions of any kind. Oh, and the budget wouldn’t represent a liability anymore.
Marcela had purposefully mentioned the magic words ‘free will’ and had noticed the way that Vin’s eyes had sparkled like they hadn’t in weeks. It was then when Marcela had realized that Vin only needed a little push. So she got ready to make Vin finally give in.
The sham with the romance was common practice; he himself had done it before, pretending to be dating chicks as soon as the gossip that he was gay had made its way to the media.
Even some of his favorite actors had done it at some point over their successful careers. There was no shame in that and it wouldn’t cause any damage to his public image because Marcela would make sure to leak the gossip to the right people, controlling every single word that would end up printed.
People would believe it because Vin Diesel had been infamous for changing chicks faster than t-shirts. Sheila was his taste all the way. People would think it had been just a slip and everybody knew that all couples went through some troubles. It would make their marriage more real, since true love had risen victorious. After all, Vin was a man and people knew most men thought with the wrong heads. The spirit had been willing but the flesh had been weak. He hadn’t been able to resist the temptation and that had been the reason why Luna had left the shooting in Alabama in the first place.
The media and the public would think the fact that Luna had gotten pregnant had been why Vin had left Sheila. Their affair was over and Vin had been at his wife’s side since then, working on their marriage, proving to everybody that he was a family man at heart even if he was still a little wild.
If Luna had forgiven him; his fans would do it as well, and they would also side with Luna, causing Vin Diesel’s wife to be even more appreciated and loved. Not to mention that his fans would applaud the actor’s decision to return to his wife’s side.
Vin had started to run out of reasons not to give into what, deep down, he suspected would be a huge mistake, an unforgivable mistake actually. So, Marcela had pulled the last card up her sleeve, subtly attacking one of Vin’s weaker spots; the fact that he took high pride in repeating no end that Luna and he trusted each other blindly.
Of course, Marcela knew differently but that didn’t stop her from using Vin’s imaginary perfect world against him, questioning aloud the things that she had no doubt Vin had been taking for granted. Such as how solid their marriage was or how unbreakable and strong their connection and bond was.
Consequently, Luna would understand because she loved him with everything in her. It would be a precious occasion to show Vin how deep her feelings ran and how unquestionable they were. Luna would support her husband, showing him not only that she was above all gossip, but that she trust him without trace of doubt or hesitation. Mrs. Vincent had too much class and style and she was too much of a woman to allow such a trifling matter to affect her or their marriage in any way.
After a meeting that had lasted almost two hours, Vin lowered his head and returned to ‘Black Star’ feeling like shit for not being able to grab a hold of his fucking like once and for all. Vin had felt more like a puppet than ever and couldn’t even say shit. That was the way it had been in the past and things didn’t look like they were going to change any time soon.
The only way to change that would be if he was able to shoot ‘Hannibal’, gaining the respect of everybody within the business.
It had been one of the few occasions which Vin had regretted becoming a celebrity and silently wished that he was just an unknown guy with a boring 9 to 5 job in some lost town.
Oblivious to the schemes that were taking place at his back and confidant in his agent’s advice, Vin walked all by himself into a trap without knowing. He didn’t have a clue that his overconfidence in Marcela would mean his downfall.
If Vin would have known in advance the high price he was going to end up paying, he would have turned a deaf ear to every single word Marcela had said over that meeting in his office.
‘Black Star’ (Vin’s and Luna’s house)
Vin was pacing back and forth inside the tent, working up the nerve to tell Luna about his meeting with Marcela. Now that he was back at ‘Black Star’ with his wife, his mind had started to cloud with doubts and second thoughts and all of a sudden, Vin wasn’t so sure about it anymore.
They had been having dinner with Allison and both Vin and Luna had done their best not to start a fight in front of Luna’s agent. Of course, it had been easy since the conversation had been mostly about ‘Hannibal’ and Luna’s book. But that hadn’t been the only reason.
Watching Luna relaxed and laughing after weeks of only watching her pissed off and yelling caused Vin to display all his charm, sharing funny anecdotes and telling jokes, even playfully teasing his wife, making her blush on a couple of occasions.
Luna noticed how hard Vin had tried to make Allison feel comfortable and welcomed Vin’s goofy side, finding herself drawn back to him, realizing how much she had missed her husband over the last weeks.
After dinner, Vin had excused himself, leaving Luna and Allison alone so they could keep talking and had taken refuge in the only place within ‘Black Star’ where he felt some peace of mind lately, his precious tent.
And there he was in his sacred shelter, surrounded by all kinds of knick-knacks related to ‘Hannibal’, wracking his brain so he could find the right words to update Luna.
It pissed him off a little that this tent had turned into a hiding place when it should have been a work place and not where he hid from Luna. He should come here to work and not to put order in his chaotic, messy mind.
Shit! Vin came to a sudden stop, muttering obscenities as he rubbed his forehead. That was exactly what he had been doing. He had been hiding from his own wife, using the excuse to work on ‘Hannibal’ when in fact he had kept thinking about Luna non-stop.
Certainly, to put physical distance, it had somehow helped him to fight the urge to drag Luna to their bedroom, fucking her six ways from Sunday.
Vin already knew that he had been the one saying ‘no more fooling around’, but the reality was that his self-imposed celibacy was driving him crazy. Not even the fact that Luna was bitching had lessened his desire for her. It had the opposite reaction.
Even though Luna had started saying that she looked like a huge ugly whale, Vin saw her as more beautiful than ever. The fact that she was almost always wearing just his t-shirts and panties only made his want increase to unlimited levels, to a point where Vin jerked himself off more than a horny teenager.
Vin spun around and found Steve watching him, his huge frame standing at the entrance.
“Yeah.” Vin answered, frowning a little. Steve seemed uneasy.
“Can I talk with you for a minute?” He asked, wiping the palms of his hands on his jeans. Vin knew that Steve only did that if he was nervous. “I mean, if you’re busy I can wait”
Vin cut him off. “No, no, it’s okay, man. Tell me.” He moved to the desk and took a seat in his chair, gesturing for his bodyguard to do the same.
Steve hesitated for a brief moment but obliged, letting out a heavy sigh. He frowned a little, as if he was searching for the right words and Vin bit his lower lip. Steve looked slightly troubled. Whatever was bothering him must be serious.
“I…I was wondering…what would you say if I asked Allison out?”
Vin arched his brows at once. “Me?”
Steve nodded ‘yes’. “Yeah, I mean since she’s Luna’s agent and stuff…” he trailed off, swallowing a little.
Vin shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t have anything to say, man. In fact I think it would be cool if you do that. I mean Allison is a great woman.” He smiled to himself.
Vin liked that Steve was concerned about making a move on Allison, considering that she and Luna were as thick as thieves. Steve was a very decent man.
“What does Luna say?”
Steve frowned concerned. “I didn’t tell her anything yet. I wanted to be sure you were okay with it first.”
“Yeah, man, I’m okay.” Vin grinned, tapping Steve’s shoulder. “Do you have anything planned?”
Steve nodded. “Yeah, I was thinking a movie and dinner would be fun,” he allowed himself to grin. “I heard her saying that it had been ages since the last time she had gone to watch a movie.”
Vin sighed softly. “Well, it’s not easy to be the single mother of a four year old kid, that’s for sure. Don’t think many men are that interested in getting the whole package.”
Steve grew serious. “What do you know about autism?”
“Not much, Steve. But I know Tyrone is a great kid.”
“Maybe I should do a little research on my own.” Steve sighed. “I wouldn’t like to fuck things up with Allison before I even have a chance to know her better.”
Vin chuckled. “That would be good. I know Luna would cut your balls off if you hurt Allison in any way.”
Steve grinned. “Yeah, I know, man. Luna is like a momma bear.”
Both men laughed at that.
“You really like Allison, huh?” Vin narrowed his eyes, watching how Steve tensed a little.
“I know we just met in person but I feel like we were made for each other, Vin.” Steve answered truthfully. “Am I going crazy? I mean, I’ve never felt this way before around a woman.”
Vin shook his head. “No, man, you’re not going crazy,” he answered seriously. “Just maybe you found the one.”
“Maybe.” Steve grinned, thinking about Allison, sitting on the back porch, laughing with Luna.
He had been watching her from inside the house for at least an hour and couldn’t bring himself to move, not even when Mike showed up, teasing him.
“Thank you, Vin.” Steve stood and headed towards the house. He wanted to talk with Luna before he went back to his place. Mike would be the one staying that night.
“It’s nothing, man.” Vin replied, smiling widely.
He had never seen Steve so interested in any chick. Of course, Vin knew that Steve had some girls that he dated from time to time, but so far that was all. It wasn’t easy for him to keep a relationship when he was constantly traveling with Vin or Luna. Most women didn’t like the fact that Steve had to be available 24/7 for his boss.
Vin shook his head a little and stood as well, he would give Steve time to talk with Luna and then he would go have a serious conversation with his wife.
Chapter 60 (Part II)
Luna was absently petting Roman, a smile gracing her lips. Steve had just left a few minutes ago after talking to her about Allison. Luna liked the idea of Steve asking Allison out. She better than anyone else knew that Allison could use some fun.
Of course, Luna had told Steve to take it easy since Allison wasn’t the kind of woman who would date any man for the hell of it. At the end, she had a son to think about and Tyrone was the most important thing within Allison’s life.
Steve had been as sincere and honest as possible, revealing to Luna his doubts and concern, yet he couldn’t hide his excitement when Luna said she was okay and that she loved the idea of Allison having fun with a man like him. She had also shared with Steve every single piece of information she knew about autism, adding useful bits about Allison’s taste regarding movies, music and food.
Steve had hugged Luna, thanking her endlessly and practically bounced out of the bedroom, heading directly to his place. He would make sure that Allison had a great time with him though he still had to decide which day he would ask her out. He had to check with Mike’s plans so one of them stayed at ‘Black Star’.
Roman lifted his head, growling slightly and Luna blinked, watching Vin standing at the doorframe. He was wearing a pair of boxers and tank shirt. Luna’s heart skipped a beat; he looked damn hot.
Vin stood there for a whole minute, staring at Luna in silence and thinking what would be the best approach. Damn! All of a sudden he was nervous as hell. Vin couldn’t believe his knees were shaking and that his heart was racing a minute a mile.
“Hi, beautiful.” Vin whispered, entering and closing the door at his back.
Luna blinked and then narrowed her eyes. “Hi,” she replied wryly.
Vin never closed the door unless they were having fun together and lately he had avoided wearing boxers around her.
Luna didn’t want to keep her expectations too high, since Vin had condemned them both to a permanent sexual abstinence. Still, she silently hoped he had changed his mind, especially after the way he had been openly leering at her over the dinner when he thought no one was looking.
Even though Allison had noticed and had told Luna, adding that she better not act like a cold bitch if she wanted to get some, Luna had wondered why tonight.
Then she thought that maybe ‘SETH’ didn’t suck after all. Secretly she seriously doubted though. Luna knew Vin and she was sure that he wouldn’t have wasted time to tell her. But, there was always the hope that the fuckers at the Studio would have been able to fix the mess. In any case, Vin looked in the mood and Luna didn’t want to jeopardize the chance of enjoying some intimacy with her husband.
Vin closed the distance between them, smiling seductively which caused Luna to feel herself getting wet. Damn, he had a smile worth a million dollars, no doubt.
“You think there’s room for one more there?” Vin asked warily.
Luna frowned. There was something wrong but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
“Do you need to ask permission to get into your own bed?” She asked, narrowing her eyes.
Vin sighed, gesturing with his head to Roman. The dog had adopted a defensive position, expectantly watching his master’s every single move from his spot at Luna’s side.
“Don’t feel like running the risk of having my balls ripped off, baby.”
Luna chuckled, not being able to stop herself from offering a smartass reply. “Like you give them any use lately.” She rolled her eyes, stroking Roman’s back, soothing him.
Vin arched a brow. “That’s not fair, Luna.”
“Fuck fairness.” Luna replied, feeling hot and mad at once. Hot, because Vin looked damn sexy and mad because she knew he was up to something and she couldn’t figure out what. “Roman won’t bite you though; he still loves you.” She whispered, gently patting Roman’s head. “Am I right, big boy?” Luna tilted her head, laughing quietly when Roman brushed his head against her thigh.
Vin smiled, watching the two interacting as if they were old buddies.
“Do you still love me too?” He asked shyly. In response Luna nodded, without looking at him.
“I will always love you, Vin, no matter how pissed off I am at you,” she whispered, finally meeting his gaze.
They stared at each other eyes for a long moment, as if trying silently to read their thoughts. Until now, it had been an easy task to find what the other was thinking without actually asking aloud. Not anymore.
Finally, Vin broke the silence. “Are you happy, Luna?”
His question caught her off guard. She was expecting something more in the line of ‘are you okay?’ since, lately, that was the question Vin kept asking her again and again.
Luna let out a heavy sigh. “I know I should be happy, but I’m not. I’m not happy, Vin.”
“Neither am I.” Vin rubbed his nape and carefully climbed in the bed, leaning backwards, against the headboard. “Things are getting out of hand, Luna and…honestly…I don’t know what to do or how to do it anymore, baby.” His voice sounded barely above a hoarse whisper as he looked down at his lap.
Deciding to give Vin a little peace of mind, Luna smiled. “You worry too much,” she took his hand in hers, interlacing their fingers. “We should be enjoying our pregnancy and not fighting each other,” she paused for a second, resting her head against his shoulder, “I’m fucking tired of fighting.” Luna whispered, closing her eyes as she got a little more comfortable.
Vin smiled sadly. “I know and I’m sorry,” he whispered, kissing her temple and gently pulled Luna to him. “I’m such an asshole sometimes.”
“Sometimes?” Luna knit a brow, her eyes still closed.
“Okay, I’m asshole, all the time.” Vin grinned, squeezing Luna’s hand.
“That’s more like it,” she breathed, relaxing.
They both went silent, just enjoying being together in the same place without fighting or yelling or cursing. It felt good; in fact it felt wonderful, and all of sudden neither Vin nor Luna wanted to speak, scared of breaking the peace that surrounded them after weeks of constant tantrums and screams.
Vin knew that he had to tell her about ‘SETH’ and about Marcela’s conversation. But he also knew that as soon as Luna knew it; the magic would vanish in a second flat. So he decided to wait and see how much longer Luna would stay relaxed. He could always tell her tomorrow.
At the same time, Luna had been thinking about her newfound suspicions concerning Sheila, but wasn’t sure how Vin would react. Actually, she didn’t like the uncertainty of not being able to anticipate his reaction. It caused Luna to feel a little uneasy.
She had been talking with Allison and had felt mad at herself for walking around underestimating her enemies. It was something that Allison had insisted no end on; Luna couldn’t allow these kinds of things to happen because there was too much at stake.
Honestly, Luna had never taken Sheila seriously as an adversary; she had taken for granted that the young actress would stop messing around just because Luna had told her to do that.
Now everything seemed to make sense and Luna knew without a trace of doubt what Sheila wanted and what she would do to get it.
Vin’s gaze slid down. “Can you feel the baby inside already?” He asked, pulling up Luna’s shirt and caressing her rounded belly.
Luna frowned a little. This was the first time Vin asked that. “Yeah…” she breathed, “especially at night.”
Vin felt his chest tightening and silently cursed himself; he should have known better than to insist on sleeping in another room.
“‘Baby Diesel’ loves to mess with mommy just when she’s about to fall asleep.” Luna whispered, grinning at her own words.
It was a private joke since they didn’t know the sex of the baby yet. Vin used to say ‘kid’ but Luna used to say ‘Baby Diesel’ just to annoy Vin.
“Really?” Vin’s brows arched at once, ignoring Luna’s nickname for their baby.
Luna nodded ‘yes’. “Mm-mm.”
Without giving it a second thought, Vin straightened slowly, causing Luna to open her eyes. He moved, rearranging the pillows so that Luna leaned backwards and slid down until his head was at a level with Luna’s belly.
His movement caused Roman to climb out of the bed, leaving room for his master. Roman was a very smart dog and could feel when Luna was okay around Vin.
Then, Vin cleared his throat.
“Hey, kid, you better be good in there or we’re gonna have some words once we meet each other.” Vin whispered, dead serious but a huge grin was gracing his lips.
Luna smiled sadly, blinking her teary gaze. A couple of weeks ago that very same joke would have made Luna giggle but not now. Right now, Vin’s words only caused Luna to feel even more disillusioned and unhappy. All the desire she was feeling vanished in seconds.
Swallowing a sudden knot in her throat, Luna forced her voice out. “Have you realized that this is the first time you talked to our baby, Vin?” She whispered in a strangled voice.
Vin tensed every single muscle in his body and went still. He only now realized that fact and it broke his heart. How could he be so uncaring and selfish? He had been so busy, worrying about Luna’s health and well being that he had completely forgotten about the importance of interacting with their baby, even if he or she was still within Luna’s womb.
“Listen, baby, I’m so…” Vin started but Luna cut him off.
“…so sorry, yeah, I know.” She straightened completely and, climbing out of bed, Luna headed towards the bathroom. “Good night, Vin,” she whispered, closing the door at her back.
In seconds, Vin got ready to follow her but Roman moved faster, blocking the entrance to the bathroom. The dog had adopted a defensive stance once more and was now staring at his master’s eyes, waiting. What the…?
Vin thought about ignoring Roman but then thought better. A glance at his dark eyes told Vin that his dog was not going to let him come close to Luna and that he better leave, before things got worse. Vin hesitated but something in Roman’s gaze told him to not to push his luck; Vin wasn’t as sure as Luna was that his own pet wouldn’t attack him.
Vin couldn’t believe that he had spent months picking up after Roman when he was a puppy, even nursing him with a feeding bottle and now, there he was, standing defiantly, on guard, watching him as if Vin was a stranger, an intruder in his own house.
It struck him all of a sudden that maybe that was exactly what was happening. He had turned into a complete stranger to Luna and Roman.
Clamping his jaw hard, Vin padded to the door of their bedroom, cursing under his breath. Funny, he was able to read his dog without too much effort but was unable to read his wife’s mind.
The sound of the shower running barely covered Luna’s muffled sobs and a heavy sigh passed Vin’s lips. He felt like a real shit and couldn’t even bring himself to move. It was like he was paralyzed, hearing Luna crying and muttering obscenities in her mother tongue, something she did a lot lately, Vin noticed. He wasn’t even sure if he should tell Luna about the plans that the Studio had to promote ‘SETH’ anymore.
Right now, Vin had no doubt that Luna would go through the biggest tantrum ever. The mere possibility of Luna having a heart attack caused Vin’s heart to skip a beat, just to start racing wildly and his vision blurred slightly. All of a sudden he felt sick and thought he would puke.
Vin pressed his temples, feeling what would be one motherfucker of a headache in minutes. That was something he had gotten from Luna, her migraines. It had started almost at the same time as his nightmares and Vin was sure that was the price for the lack of rest.
Letting out a colorful string of obscenities, Vin pinched the bridge of his nose, still frozen in the middle of the bedroom. When the hell was he going to be able to talk to Luna? How would he tell her about the faked romance? What if he kept the secret for at least a couple of days?
Shit, Vin, no more secrets, goddamnit! He cursed, feeling his head about to explode from the inside out. He couldn’t run the risk of losing Luna or the baby, or worse both of them. But he also knew that he couldn’t keep more secrets from his wife.
I can’t think about that now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow, not even had the thought formed within his mind but Vin cringed inwardly. Now he sounded like Scarlet O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’.
Vin would have laughed at the absurdity of the comparison but his life had indeed turned into a soap opera in a matter of weeks and ‘Black Star’ had become a battle field. “We should have named the house ‘Tara’,” he muttered, padding with long strides to the main guest room.
Renee’s and Valentino’s place. (At the same time)
“So you’re telling me that you didn’t watch ‘SETH’?” Renee followed Val inside the bathroom.
“Vin didn’t let me and that’s not all,” Val pulled off his shirt, throwing it aside and reached for his jeans. “I asked him and he looked…kind of uneasy,” he shoved his jeans down and stepped out of them.
“Uneasy?” Renee arched her brows, leaning against the counter. Val nodded ‘yes’ as he turned around, adjusting the temperature of the shower. Renee narrowed her eyes. “Uneasy, as in ‘Val, ‘SETH’ sucks and we’re screwed’, or uneasy as in ‘Val, your performance sucked and you’re screwed’?”
Val frowned and looked back at Renee. “I’ve been thinking about that myself but I’m not sure anymore, princesa,” he sighed softly, meeting Renee’s eyes.
Honestly, Val didn’t think his performance sucked, but then again, he was no critic or had half the experience standing in front of a camera as Vin had. Maybe Vin thought he had made a mistake offering Val the role of ‘Miguel’, even though Luna had written it for him and him alone.
If it was that then Valentino had no doubt that he would feel uneasy if he was in Vin’s shoes. Telling your best friend that he better start thinking about changing careers would be no fun at all.
Still looking at Renee, Val thought about Richard’s plans to promote the movie. That alone meant that the movie sucked big time and the Studio was ready to do what it took to get the money it had invested back over the first weekend after the premiere.
His gaze hardened when Valentino recalled how Vin had asked him to leave him alone with Marcela as soon as she showed up. It hadn’t been the first time, but the look in Vin’s eyes once the meeting with Marcela was over…
Val shivered unconsciously, setting his jaw hard. He didn’t like the fact Vin hadn’t told him shit about that meeting, not even what they had agreed to do regarding Richard’s twisted plan. His eyes narrowed, when Val thought about Vin and Sheila together inside the elevator.
Renee noticed how Valentino had visibly tensed. She closed the distance between them and stroked his shoulder.
“Val, what’s going on?” Renee’s concerned voice pulled Valentino out of his thoughts and hesitation clouded his mind for a second.
Should he tell Renee that he had seen Vin and Sheila embraced in each other arms? After all, even he wasn’t sure what to think anymore. Vin had looked sincere when he had said it was nothing and Valentino wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. But, there was always a ‘but’ linked with Vin’s actions; there was always a hidden motivation behind every single one of his decisions.
Val thought about Alabama and how he had ‘caught’ Vin red-handed. Back then, Vin had said that Sheila meant nothing to him, yet Val hadn’t believed him, at least not completely. Since then, and even before, their friendship had changed even if deep down Val didn’t want to admit it. Vin had started to keep secrets from everybody and Val felt disappointed. Hell, they were comrades, partners, brothers.
“Val?” Renee cupped his face to catch his attention. “Val, baby, talk to me.”
Val blinked fast and locked eyes with his wife, seriously considering keeping his mouth shut. But he was not Vin; Val wasn’t like him. He didn’t like secrets.
“I’m gonna tell you something about Vin but you gotta promise me you won’t go ballistic.” Val whispered, his eyes flickering to Renee’s. “And that you will not tell Luna, at least for now.”
Renee’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. Watching Val’s deadly serious gaze, her instincts were already on guard. That red light blinking madly. Val wouldn’t ask her such a thing if it was a trifling matter.
She considered replying ‘fuck that, Valentino Morales’, but found herself nodding ‘yes’. Something in Val’s gaze told her to trust her husband blindly. “I promise, Val.” Renee whispered, stroking his face.
Val let out a heavy sigh and told Renee everything he knew about the fucked up idea that Richard had to promote the movie, about Vin and Sheila in the elevator and about how, after that, Marcela and Vin had been in a meeting that had lasted two hours.
Renee’s mind went into overdrive, going over everything that Val had said. She had no doubt that if there was anyone able to convince Vin, it was Marcela Hopkins. It hadn’t been the first time though.
Luna didn’t know half of the things Vin had done in the past to reach success, not even she herself knew all of them because Val had kept the secret and Renee knew he would never betray Vin’s trust.
“If Vin does that shit, it would mean the end of their marriage, Val. Luna won’t forgive him.” Renee’s voice shook a little. “Not after what she told me this afternoon.”
Val frowned deeply. “What did she tell you?”
Renee gritted her teeth, fighting hard against the sudden urge to tear something, anything into pieces. Just thinking about Luna’s words was making Renee sick. Unlike Luna’s previous suspicions regarding Marcela being the one behind that mess at Rodeo Drive with the photographers, Renee had believed that Sheila might be the one.
Renee had seen how Sheila treated her own mother, as if the woman was a piece of worthless shit. If the young actress acted in such disrespectful way with her own blood, Renee had no doubt that Sheila was able to hurt Luna, not even thinking about the horrible consequences.
“She thinks that Sheila was the one sending those fucking paparazzi to stalk her, Val.” Renee’s voice sounded full of concern. “Luna has no evidence and that’s the reason why she didn’t tell Vin, yet.”
Val clamped his jaw hard. It had never occurred to him that Sheila was the one pulling that shit. It made sense though. “What do you think?”
Renee sighed hard. “I have a very bad feeling, Valentino,” she answered, encircling his waist. Val hugged her tightly, kissing the top of her head.
“Me too, princesa, me too.”