Luna’s condo. New York.
After being apart for so many weeks, Luna and Vin had greeted each other with a friendly hug and two chaste kisses on their cheeks. Then both had taken a seat in the salon, across from each other with two cups of coffee and a pack of cigarettes.
They had already covered the topics that complete strangers would have talked about on an elevator ride, such as the forecast, the traffic jam in NY and even global warming. With that out of the way, they had fallen into an awkward silence while staring at everything around them except at each other, both of them fearing and yet wishing that the other was the one breaking the news about Luna’s green card and what that meant, but also lost in their own thoughts.
Luna had been thinking non-stop, going over every single piece of information she had about Dave. Until now, she hadn’t realized how dangerous of a man Dave could be, until she recalled her conversation with Chichi. It had been quite an eye opener and Luna felt more than just concerned about not only Vin’s safety, but also about Lorraine’s.
It had been a very bad idea to get the girl involved in the shoot and an even worse idea to entrust her with such a crazy plan. What had she been thinking? Luna didn’t know for sure, but now she regretted it with everything in her. It had not only been stupid and selfish, but also dangerous, and the fact that the last time that Lorraine had contacted Luna had been three days ago only caused Luna’s concern for the girl to grow deeper, grabbing a hold of her guts.
Her green card, the possibility of Vin wanting to go ahead with their divorce and her schemes to destroy Sheila, were suddenly pushed aside, replaced with the suspicion of Lorraine actually being in danger. What the fuck were you thinking, Luna? She scolded herself, you gotta get Lorraine out of that shoot and you gotta do it fast before that fucker has the chance to hurt her at all, Luna concluded as she put out her cigarette, lighting another one.
Following Violet’s advice, Luna did her best to focus on one goal at a time. The most important thing at that very moment was to try and save her marriage, but how, exactly?
She herself had been the one telling Vin that they were right back at the beginning and that they should wait and see where things would go from there. It meant that they both should be completely honest with each other from now on, if they wanted to have a chance, that was. But it also meant no more secrets.
Coño, Luna cursed silently, glancing at Vin out of the corner of her eyes. She’d had to tell him everything she had found out about Dave’s past. Not only regarding Dave’s implication in Joe’s attack, but also about being involved in drug trafficking. But how was she going to tell Vin without revealing that she had been talking with Chichi?
Vin wasn’t stupid; he would figure it out sooner rather than later. Luna had no doubt that Vin would ask how she had found out about that, and he wouldn’t like it one damn bit. Not to mention that revealing that she had hired a private detective would likely cause Vin would get mad as hell.
Luna rubbed her forehead, stealing a quick glance at him. I gotta tell him; he’ll understand.
Meanwhile, Vin fidgeted with his lighter, playing with it between his fingers, as though the lighter was a spinning wheel. From time to time, he stole a furtive look at his wife, silently studying her gestures and doing his best to read behind them.
Luna had lost weight, again, but there weren’t signs of the return of her eating disorders. Wrinkles that hadn’t been there the last time framed her green eyes and the ring under them said that she hadn’t slept well in weeks, which didn’t surprise him at all. Vin knew that Luna had had problems sleeping since forever. He figured that all the tension and the stress was starting to take a toll on her health and it concerned him how she had seemed to give preference to anything except herself. Luna’s heart problems hadn’t vanished and Vin didn’t even dare to think what would happen if he didn’t find a way to reach his wife.
Unable to sleep in the course of the flight from Prague to New York, Vin had done some serious thinking on his own. It was true that he had grown up, maturing, a lot, but it wasn’t less true that he was still half way to become the husband Luna deserved. He wasn’t perfect, that was something Vin had no doubt, but he realized that he didn’t need to be perfect either. All Luna wanted was a husband who respected her and showed her that she cared, that she mattered. It was that simple or that complicated.
Saving their marriage wouldn’t be a path of roses, Vin knew, and it would require some time. But Vin was ready, he finally found himself well-balanced enough to make sacrifices if they meant that Luna would be with him.
Hiding her growing uneasiness behind a mask of concern, Luna cleared her throat. “So, how’s the shoot going?” She shifted restlessly, cursing herself inwardly. What a chickenshit you are, woman! Why couldn’t she bring up the topic of their divorce?
Vin’s forehead crumpled the slightest bit; he couldn’t help but felt disappointed. He had really thought that they had been done with the light conversation deal. It seems that you were wrong, Vincent.
“It sucks, but so does the script,” Vin shrugged his broad shoulders, lighting up a cigarette; it gave him the excuse to keep both of his hands busy. “At least I like Toorop, which is a good sign in itself,” his lips tugged up in a small grin as he blew upward the smoke. “How about your new book?”
Luna snorted. “It sucks big time,” she smiled a self-deprecating smile. “In fact, I hate it, but Santiago has been pushing me to keep writing, so I’ve been doing it out of duty more than…”
“…because you feel inspired or motivated,” Vin finished his wife’s trail of thoughts.
Luna blinked, a bit startled. “Yes…” she smiled wryly, narrowing her eyes a bit.
An eternity had passed since the last time either of them had been able to complete the other’s sentence. Luna had given up their connection for lost. She had been wrong, apparently.
“I know the feeling,” Vin mimicked Luna’s smile; he had noticed too. “I really like Toorop, don’t get me wrong, but…”
“…playing him is not being half as fun as you thought it would be, eh?” Luna found herself saying without even thinking.
“Yeah,” Vin grinned. “You stole my thoughts,” his grin grew even wider.
Luna frowned thoughtful. “I know,” she whispered shyly. “It’s kind of weird, isn’t it?”
Vin chuckled. “Not really, we always shared half a brain.”
“Yeah, the fucked half,” Luna rolled her eyes but a small smirk tugged up the corner of her mouth.
“True,” Vin conceded, laughing lightly. “But as fucked as it is, that shared brain is part of what we are.”
“Yeah,” Luna sighed softly; she knew that.
Once more they both fell into silence and as the minutes went by, the silence stretched to a point that could be cut with a knife. Thick and distressing it felt as though it was suffocating them both until Luna couldn’t stand it anymore.
“This is ridiculous, Vin, why are we beating about the bush?”
Vin put out his cigarette, considering Luna’s question. The first answer that popped within his head was that they were two cowards, which was true, but it wasn’t that simple.
They both were scared of talking about their divorce, of talking about throwing in the towel. Not to mention that silently both of them knew that they would feel ridiculous deciding about such a things like who would keep Roman, establishing the visiting rights to the dog, or worse, sharing his custody. You keep him from January to June and I’ll keep him from July to December. The mere thought sounded not only hilarious but also heartbreaking.
Distributing their possessions would have felt weird too. You get this and I get that, fighting over a painting or a couch, reducing their marriage to an endless battle about keeping material things, forgetting about the fact that they loved each other, even if their marriage had felt as though it was a constant power game in which one of them had always tried to impose their will. It would be so unfair to end their marriage that way. They both deserved another chance, maybe the very last one, and both Vin and Luna knew that too.
Vin thought about what to answer. If they wanted to save their marriage then they should be completely honest with the other. He also knew that there were many matters they had to talk about, such as Lorraine, Dave and Luna’s crazy plan seeking revenge, but it wouldn’t make sense if they weren’t going to stick together.
Finally, Vin made up his mind, better to work things out first; they could always solve everything else if they managed to save their marriage.
“Well, I don’t know about you, Luna, but I’m scared,” Vin cleared his throat, shifting in his seat; he had never been too good at expressing his feelings. “I’m terrified of fucking things up again, of losing you forever. I don’t want to give in, but…” he trailed off, recalling Lorraine’s advice. She had said to let Luna be the one having the last word, not forcing her to do what he wanted her to do, but allowing her to make her own decisions. “I’ll do whatever you want me to do.”
Luna thought about Vin’s words.
Until now and regarding their marriage, Vin had reluctantly done what she had wanted him to do, mostly because Luna hadn’t given Vin any other choice. This however would be the very first time that Vin was willingly allowing Luna to take the lead in their marriage, deciding for both of them what would be the best course of action. Luna wasn’t sure she liked to hold such a power over him.
At the end a marriage was a matter of two people making decisions, right? It was a matter of being able to stand in the other’s shoes, wasn’t it? It wasn’t a matter of imposing one or the other will, but a matter of communication. They had to learn to listen to the other, really listening, paying attention to what the other needed, wanted or wished, but above all it was a matter of respect and trust.
Meeting her husband’s expectant gaze, Luna swallowed nervously. “I’m not sure I want to file the divorce, Vin.”
The deep relief Vin felt at hearing her wife saying those words couldn’t be hidden and he let out the air he was now realizing he had been holding with a heavy sigh. “Thank, God…” he whispered almost breathlessly.
Luna gave Vin a funny look, realizing that she was making the right decision; he hadn’t wanted to give up their marriage either. “I know I said that I wanted you out of my life forever, but many things have changed since then, Vin, and, even though most of them have been bad things…I really think we should consider giving our marriage a chance,” Luna’s smiled turned shy all of a sudden.
Vin fought the urge to jump to his feet, whooping in excitement, bouncing up and down; it would be out of place, instead he nodded eagerly, showing his agreement. He wasn’t sure what had gotten into Luna to change her mind though, or if something had happened while they had been apart that had caused that, all of a sudden, his wife seemed to be as eager as he himself was to save their marriage. Honestly, Vin didn’t care and didn’t feel like wasting time thinking about the what and the why, at least at that very moment. There would be time for that too.
“Listen, I’ve done some thinking and maybe we should get professional help, Luna…Maybe we should go to a marriage guidance counselor or to one of these couple therapy sessions, you know?” Vin leaned forward in his seat, suddenly unable to stay still; he was indeed excited at the idea of having that so much needed chance. “I think that someone that doesn’t belong to our circle of friends or a member of our family would be able to give us an objective point of view regarding our marriage, or some sort of guideline or norm of behavior so we can make our marriage work.”
Pausing briefly, Vin put order within his thoughts and then continued, “I think that most of our problems are the consequence of mis-communication,” he paused anew, clearing his throat and then continued. “We don’t seem to have any problem talking with each other, but somehow we don’t manage to communicate with each other…if that makes sense…” His eyes flickered to Luna’s as Vin’s excitement turned to expectation; he really wanted to save his marriage and he would do anything to achieve such a goal, even going as far as allowing a complete stranger to mediate between them. “What do you say, Luna?”
Luna smiled and fought back tears of happiness; she really didn’t want to miss the chance of working things out with this man who was her husband but didn’t sound like the good ‘ol Vin fucking Diesel.
“I think that would be great, Vin,” she finally answered, smiling through unnoticed tears that had fallen down her cheeks.
“Cool,” Vin smiled briefly. “But, please, baby, don’t cry, okay?” he moved, crouching in front of Luna, wiping her tears with his thumbs and, cupping her face, he went on. “We’ll manage to do it, somehow…I know that if we stick together, we will make it.”
Luna nodded, smiling. “I want to, Vin, I really want to.”
“Good, ‘cause that’s what I want too,” Vin leaned forward, kissing her forehead. Then he tilted his head back, meeting her teary eyes. “It will take time, I know that, and we’ll have to wait until I’m done with the shoot, but as soon as this movie is over, I’ll be back here and we’ll start to work seriously on saving our marriage. Is that okay with you?”
Luna swallowed hard and, bending her head forward, she pressed her forehead against his. “Yes…” she whispered, closing her eyes and causing a wave of fresh tears to roll down, wetting Vin’s fingers.
“I love you…” he whispered, closing his eyes too.
“Not as much as I do,” Luna breathed out, nuzzling his nose.
In the hallway, Steve watched Vin and Luna as they kissed, slow and passionately, and his lips spread in a huge smile. It was clear that the couple would do fine. No need for him to be around, at least for a few hours. So Steve headed back to his bedroom, thinking that it was time for him to do some serious talking with Allison as well. No more beating about the bush, man. Today he would confess his feelings for Allison and, with a bit of luck, Allison would be ready to start a new life with him at his side.
Hopkins Agency (Marcela office) LA
“Marcela,” Susan, Marcela’s secretary peered inside her boss’ office. “Violet Simons is here.”
Marcela snapped her head up, blinking not only disconcertedly but also shocked beyond belief. She hadn’t expected for this meeting to have taken place anytime soon, much less face to face.
Following Luna’s plan, Marcela had found the perfect girl to pose as Carla and she had sent a picture to Luna, knowing that Vin’s wife would make sure Violet saw it, so the woman could give her approval.
That was what Violet had done, even though it had broken her heart to see that girl posing as Carla. However, the pain she felt didn’t overpower her desire for making justice. Sheila was a killer, a psycho, and deserved nothing better than what was coming her way.
“Please, let her in, Susan,” Marcela got to her feet, smoothing her tailored blouse. “Cancel all my meetings for the day and don’t pass me any calls.”
Susan nodded and, smiling politely, she showed Violet the way to Marcela’s office.
“Mrs. Simons,” Marcela closed the distance with Violet, “nice to meet you in person,” she offered a warm smile, offering her hand to the woman.
“My pleasure,” Violet shook Marcela’s hand, “but please, call me Violet,” she returned the warm smile as Marcela gestured for her to take a seat on a comfortable couch.
Violet obliged and Marcela mimicked the woman.
“I admit I wasn’t expecting for you to come to LA at all,” Marcela poured them both a cup of tea. “I understood that you wanted to remain in the shadows.”
Violet chuckled. “Those were my intentions, but I realized that if we want to do this the right way, then we’re going to need some help,” she paused, sipping from her tea.
At Violet’s cryptic words, Marcela narrowed her eyes. “What kind of help, exactly?”
Violet’s lips spread in a small evil smile. “What do you know about Rose, Sheila’s mother?”
Marcela frowned. “To be honest, not much,” she admitted. “Why?”
Violet cleared her throat. “There was a time when Rose and I were as thick as thieves. Needless to say that we didn’t keep secrets from each other because we were more than just close friends; we were like sisters. Of course, Rose never had a strong personality, so as the years went by and Sheila grew older, she learnt to manipulate her mother, mistreating her and disrespecting her no end, even in public.” Once more she paused, elegantly sipping from her cup of tea, then continued. “I’m afraid that Rose threw in the towel trying to control her daughter many years ago, but I’d say that with the right amount of persuasion, she would be grateful for having the chance to get back some of that control.”
Marcela’s eyes narrowed even more. “Do you think she would help us to declare Sheila insane, checking her own daughter into a mental asylum?”
Violet’s evil smile turned sad all of a sudden. “As evil as Sheila is, Rose is her mother and she loves her with everything in her. That’s a fact. Nevertheless, a mother would do anything to protect her kids from everything and everyone, including themselves, and that is also a fact.”
Marcela nodded in agreement. “So how do you want to do this, exactly?” she wanted to know, eagerly ready to be done with Sheila once and for all.
Violet’s eyebrows drew down, thoughtful. “First, I need to have a mom to mom chat with Rose, and then I’m thinking I’ll let you be the one handing all this situation, Marcela,” Violet met Marcela’s eyes. “I know I wouldn’t be able to do it myself. It still hurts too much, you know?”
Once more Marcela nodded in agreement; she knew how it felt to lose everything, but she also knew that this was her chance to redeem herself from her sins.
“Since Vin threw Sheila out of his house and his life, that little slut has been partying non stop,” Vin’s agent explained, “but she also managed to sign that contract with the beauty brand and is about to sign an agreement with a TV network to become part of the cast of a new soap opera.”
Violet chuckled. “Too bad she won’t be able to take part in any of that.”
“Yeah, what a shame,” Marcela’s sarcasm caused Violet to grin. “What does Luna think about this? Did you tell her about what your plans were?”
Violet smiled widely. “Yeah, but I don’t want Luna getting more involved, her plate is full already and God knows that woman could use a little peace of mind.”
Yet once more Marcela nodded in agreement. “I know Vin left the shoot, that French director called me five times already,” Marcela rolled her eyes. ‘Babylon AD’ wouldn’t make history and everybody already knew that the movie would suck, just like ‘Seth’ would, but Vin was working and that was very good news in itself. “I really hope he uses the occasion to work things out with Luna,” she sighed concerned.
“As far as I know, that is what he’s doing at this very moment, exactly,” Violet grinned, winking and Marcela laughed quietly.
Luna’s condo. New York.
“Will you be able to forgive me at all?” As she spoke, Luna lifted her face from Vin’s naked chest, meeting his gaze with red, puffy eyes.
She had told Vin everything and by the time she was done talking Luna had been crying her eyes out. Ashamed of her behaviour but also relieved because she hadn’t kept any secrets to herself, Luna wished with everything in her that Vin was able to forgive her, understanding the reasons why she had done such a things.
Vin’s forehead crumpled.
Finding that Luna had hired a private detective to dust off dirty old secrets that had been buried long ago had been unexpected but understandable. Finding about his wife’s twisted schemes to destroy Sheila had caused him to shudder, but after everything that little slut had done, well, it was what she deserved and Sheila had had it coming her way. But knowing that Luna had found about Chichi had been quite a shock.
Vin didn’t feel ashamed of his past, what had been done had been done, and he couldn’t change that. However, it definitely wasn’t the way Vin would have liked for his wife to know.
“I know that you did it with your best intentions and that I understand, but you could have asked me, you know?” Vin whispered, stroking her back. “Still, I’ve done enough shit to keep asking for forgiveness until the end of times, so I don’t think I’m anyone to judge you.”
Luna nodded, blinking silent tears and laid her head back down, listening to Vin’s steady heartbeats. He would forgive her, in time, the same way she would do with him.
“I guess I should go talk with Joe though,” Vin added as an afterthought. He had known about Joe’s attack all along, but had cowardly decided to play dumb. “He deserves it and it’s about time I make amends with him.”
“That would be good,” Luna agreed. “I guess I should do the same with Lorraine, eh?”
“Yeah,” Vin smiled sadly, looking up at the ceiling. They both had to deal with many things, asking forgiveness to many people and doing their best to redeem themselves in the process. It wouldn’t be easy and they both knew that too, but at least now they were together, which would make all the difference. “Did that Haltom guy find something useful to get Dave?”
Once more, Luna lifted her face, looking at Vin. “Nothing beyond unfounded suspicions and circumstantial evidence.”
“Then, I’m thinking I can change that,” Vin smirked.
At her husband’s words, Luna knit a brow. “How?”
Vin’s smirk turned a wicked smile. “I know the two guys that attacked Joe and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave fucked them over as well. It would be relatively easy to find what those two are doing now. Besides, there’s this chick, Giselle. I bet she didn’t take it too well that Dave dumped her as if she was some dirty dishcloth.”
Luna blinked, disconcerted. “What are you talking about?”
Vin’s forehead crumpled; he hated to bring up the subject of the infamous video recorded at ‘Privilege’ or to remember the weeks he spent drunk and high, fucking everything with a pussy that had pulse, but he had no other choice. No more secrets, Vincent.
“The petite blond that is in that damn video was Dave’s girlfriend, Giselle. I don’t know for sure but I have strong suspicions that she was the one helping Dave to set the cameras and stuff at ‘Privilege’,” Vin explained, his voice firm but a light quiver betrayed him.
He felt ashamed of his behaviour and would probably feel that way forever, but it was better if he told everything to Luna.
“For a few weeks, Giselle moved in along with Dave to my place. Dave always treated her as though she was just a worthless whore, even though she told me once that they had known each other for years but that they had been together for a few months.”
Luna narrowed her eyes. “Do you think she would betray him?”
Vin snorted. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, Luna, and Giselle may be a mediocre porn actress, but she’s not dumb, at least I don’t think she’s the typical brainless bimbo,” he explained as he kept drawing invisible circles across Luna’s bare back. “I bet that she collected enough evidence since she met Dave to bury that fucker in shit up to his ears, but that she’s been playing dumbass for her own good.”
Luna grinned maliciously. “Maybe James Haltom should pay a visit to this Giselle chick.”
Vin chuckled. “He definitively should.”
Luna went silent, recalling everything Vin had said. She had no doubt that as soon as Dave would give for lost his ‘relationship’ with Vin, the bodyguard would retaliate without missing a beat, doing his best to strike back a mortal blow.
“What if Dave makes that fucking video public, Vin? Who knows what would be the consequences for your career?” Her deep concern got Vin and he leaned forward, kissing his wife’s lips softly.
“Then we should start thinking about a way to anticipate Dave’s steps, Luna, coming up with some brilliant way to make sure that, when he does send the video to every shitty tabloid and TV network that is interested on it, that we’ll be ready so it doesn’t damage us or the people we love.”
Once more, Luna went silent, deeply lost on thoughts, coming up and ruling out ideas and back up plans when it struck her. It was bizarre and it would depend on a large extent to the fact that they would need to convince Joe to help them first.
“Would you be able to ensure 100% that it’s you on that video and not someone else?” Luna spoke absentmindedly, still deeply thinking about the best way to carry out this new plan of them.
Vin narrowed his eyes. “Luna, baby, it’s me on that video and you know it.”
“Yeah, but,” Luna blinked once and locked eyes with her husband. “What if it wasn’t you but someone else who looked a lot like you?”
Vin’s eyebrows shot up. “You’re kidding?”
Slowly, Luna shook her head ‘no’ as her expression grew serious. “If we join efforts with the right people, Dave won’t stand a chance against us, Vin.” Her eyes sparkled with a devilish gleam and, involuntarily, Vin shuddered. Damn! Luna was brilliant all right, but also a wicked bitch.
“Remind me to never cross you, baby,” Vin was unable to hold back a smirk.
Luna laughed quietly. “Damn right,” she replied in a husky voice, crawling up and straddling Vin’s hips. Then she braced her arms at both sides of Vin’s broad shoulders and lowered her face until she was sharing his breath. “At what time do you have to be at your parent’s place?”
Vin’s lips spread in a goofy grin as he glanced at the clock on the bedside table. “In two hours. You coming with me?” As he spoke, his arms moved up, cupping Luna’s butt and squeezing it softly.
“Do you want me to?” Shamelessly, Luna rubbed herself against Vin’s hardening cock.