Vin entered the kitchen, following his mom and made himself comfortable at the table. Delora looked at him smiling and poured two cups of coffee for them, putting the cups on the table.
“Thanks, Ma.” Vin said, kissing her cheek and she smiled broadly, making herself comfortable at his side. “What about the show? Did you enjoy it?” He asked her as he grabbed his cup, blowing the steamy black liquid. Delora grinned as she put the sugar in her coffee.
“Yeah, you are a great actor,” she teased him, stirring the sugar with a small spoon. Vin glanced at her from the corner of his eye, grinning. “I always knew you had it in you, honey.” She added as her grin widened. Vin rolled his eyes at her words, chuckling. Delora laughed softly but then she went serious. “Next time, tell Marcela that I don’t like to be shown on TV.” Vin tensed and looked at her.
“Ma, come on. Those kinds of things are the ones that make me appear like a real person and not an out of reach celebrity.” Vin said, frowning deeply. “Marcela says that women found me ‘cute’.” He added, using the exact word Marcela had used.
That move of Marcela’s was one of the great ones; she needed to remind people that Vin Diesel had a mother too and that they had a real strong connection, which was true enough. Delora rolled her eyes and sighed, tapping her son’s hand.
“It’s ok, Mark.” She said. Vin heaved a hard sigh, he didn’t like it one bit but those things were part of his personal crusade, cleaning up his public image in order to be able to shoot “Hannibal”. “But you are already ‘cute’ enough for your mommy.” Delora teased him, grinning as she leaned, kissing his head soundly. A heartbeat and both burst out laughing hard.
Suddenly Vin’s cell phone rang, signaling that a new message had arrived. They crossed glances in silent dialogue and Delora nodded ‘yes’.
Vin pulled out his cell phone from his pocket and looked at the little screen. His heart skipped a beat when he saw the number that sent the message, flashing at him. Vin took a deep breath and pressing the button, he heard Luna’s recorded voice and an unconscious grin graced his lips.
Delora narrowed her eyes in suspicion as soon as Vin’s lips spread in a huge grin while listening to whoever left the message.
“Hi, Vin. This is Luna. I’m calling you because I received your roses and…and I wanted to tell you that you didn’t have to do it, but ….damn!” Vin heard her nervous laughter and grinned even more, chuckling. “They are beautiful, Diesel!! Thank you very much,…” He couldn’t help but laugh hearing Luna’s voice and then after a long pause her voice dropped to an almost inaudible whisper, so Vin pressed the phone to his ear even more. “I…I m-miss…you” Luna’s voice finally said and Vin’s heart jumped inside of his chest.
Vin glanced at his mom from the corner of his eye and pressing a button, he heard the message one more time, grinning like a loony.
Delora knit a brow and sipped from her cup of coffee, pretending she didn’t notice, but silently recalling Vin’s words at the show and the current expression on his face, laughing silently.
Luna, she told herself, chuckling at her own thoughts.
After he was done, Vin closed his cell phone and left it on the table.
Delora cleared her throat and plunged ahead. “What are you going to do?” She asked him, her voice gentle, yet tinted with concern.
“About?” Vin replied innocently even though his mom was able to read him like an open book. Delora chuckled at that.
“Luna.” She replied, grinning. Vin shut his eyes and heaved a hard sigh.
“You’re not beating the bush, huh, Ma?” He mocked as he opened his eyes, grabbing her hand, lifting it to his lips, kissing it. Delora smiled broadly and tilted her head to one side.
“Never.” Delora said gently. “Now, tell me, how’s Luna?” She asked as she squeezed his hand, waiting for him to answer.
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen her in two months.” He said as he released his mom’s hand, picking up the cup, sipping. Delora knit a brow in surprise.
“I thought you were both working together on her script, making those changes you told me about for ‘Seth’,” she said, puzzled. Vin heaved a hard sigh and locked eyes with his mom.
“We managed to do them without being in contact.”
“And why is that?” Delora asked and sipped from her steamy coffee. Vin was lost in thought about how he had been treating Luna and acting around her.
“Because she asked me to give her time and space,” he whispered, looking down at his cup. Delora narrowed her eyes.
“Why did she ask you that?” Vin frowned, staring at the black liquid, biting his lower lip. “I thought she was your best friend.” She added, her mind racing at the same time. Vin snapped his head up and held his mom’s gaze.
“She is my best friend, Ma,” Vin replied fiercely. Delora blinked at the tone in his voice and Vin cursed himself silently. “I mean….I…damn.” He murmured under his breath as he looked away.
It was more difficult that he had thought at the beginning. Delora squeezed his hand, sighing. He had always been able to talk with his mother about anything, but talking with her about his sex life was more than just embarrassing.
“Ma… Luna and I…we’ve been …you know? ….together…” he whispered as he looked up at his mom.
Delora’s brow went up as she nodded in understanding and Vin frowned, flushing as he let out the air he had been holding, making Delora smiled a little.
“Then in Santo Domingo things got out of hand and …damn, Ma, she’s too complicated. I mean, Luna is…she got more ups and down than a roller coaster and honestly I don’t know what to do with her anymore.” Vin admitted, holding Delora’s gaze.
“Do you love her?” she asked, staring at her son’s eyes, trying to figure out how he was feeling right now.
“Yes,” Vin nodded. Delora narrowed her eyes.
“Are you in love with her?” she asked, dropping her tone of voice. Vin frowned deeply.
Was he in love with Luna?
“Honestly, I don’t know, Ma.” He said as he heaved a hard sigh. “I don’t know if I can fall in love again. It’s too painful and apart from that she doesn’t even know if she is in love with me…I mean with the real me. I don’t want to hurt her, but I don’t want to be hurt either, so…” his voice was deep and hoarse.
Delora leaned against him, pressing her forehead to his. Vin closed his eyes and let out a huge sigh.
“Listen, Mark. Luna is a woman, sweetheart,” Delora said and tilted her head back a bit. Vin opened his eyes, looking at his mom with a puzzled expression. “She is as complicated as any other. The problem here is that you are not used to dealing with women, honey.” She said as she lifted a hand, stroking his cheek.
Vin rolled his eyes. Lately everybody seemed to be singing the same song.
Delora chuckled at him, but continued talking. “You have to be yourself with her, honey. You don’t need to play a role 24/7. You are an actor, but you are also a man who deserves to be happy and have a family.” She said, her voice gentle. “God knows that I’m not telling you what you have to do with your life, sweetheart, but why don’t you let Luna know you, Mark?”
“And then what? If we don’t get along, what?” Vin replied, frowning deeply. “I can’t go through all that shit again, Ma. Tess almost killed me.” He swallowed hard, feeling an invisible knot closing his throat.
At the mention of that name, Delora remembered how Vin had been talking about a girl called Tess and how excited he was because he was going to introduce the girl to her. She even went with him, helping her son to choose a ring, expecting to finally meet Tess. But, then in less than 24 hours, he was crying his eyes out while packing all his things to move to LA, saying that Tess wasn’t worth it anymore and that he was over love and women in the same sentence forever.
Delora sighed hard, shaking her head, dissolving those past memories. She never had seen him like that before.
“Mark, come on, honey. Back then you were what? Twenty-three?” Vin nodded ‘yes’. “You were just a kid and that Tess fooled you and even though I didn’t have the opportunity to know her. Thank, God. I have the presentiment that Luna is not like her.” Delora said softly as she sat straight again, sipping from her coffee. Vin frowned even deeper.
“I know she’s not like her, but still…” he trailed off and sipped from his cup.
They both went silent, lost in their own thoughts for a long moment, until Delora made up her mind. It was time to make her son face the reality of where he was standing concerning Luna.
“I’m going to tell you something about Luna and don’t get me wrong.” Delora said seriously as she took Vin’s hand in hers. “If you aren’t sure about your feelings concerning her, it’ll be better that you let her go, Mark.” She paused and squeezed his hand gently. “I’ve been talking with Luna and I’m sure that she’s completely in love with you and something tells me that she would be able to do whatever you ask her to do,” she said and Vin found himself unable to keep his heart from beating faster. “Maybe you’re not aware of that fact, but if you don’t act carefully, you might end up hurting her much more than you think, and I’m not talking about physical damage.”
Delora paused, staring at Vin’s eyes, her gaze showing clearly what she wasn’t saying with words.
Vin cursed himself silently when he realized that his mom knew that he had hit Luna and all of sudden he felt like dirty shit in front of his own mother and ashamed like never before in all his life. Delora noticed and took a deep breath, fighting the sudden urge to beat her son for hitting a woman.
“Ma….I…” Delora cut him off.
“I’m not done, Mark,” she whispered coldly. Vin tensed every muscle in his body, shivering at the tone of her voice.
He might be a grown man and a celebrity, but that tone of voice always caused the same effect on him since he was a little kid, even though his mom never laid a hand on him, Paul or Samantha, neither did Irving.
Delora frowned deeply and continued talking after she put order in her thoughts. “A tough woman like Luna has a heart as fragile as fine glass and even if sometimes she acts like a bitch, you have to remember that it’s just a way to protect herself from being hurt from guys like you.”
Vin’s eyes widened, listening to his mom’s words. Suddenly, it seemed to him that she was talking about herself more than about Luna, making his blood boil inside his veins when he thought about his biological father.
Vin narrowed his eyes and cursed him silently when realized that the piece of shit had probably acted with his mom just as he had acted with Luna. And all of sudden, Vin made a promise to himself. That fucker better not show his damned face ever or he was going to introduce him to his ‘kriptonics’.
Delora cleared her throat and continued talking, pulling Vin out of his own thoughts.
“But, if you are sure about your feelings concerning Luna, then tell her, Mark, because Luna is the kind of woman who would be able to make you the happiest man around the world, but only if you let her be herself, and in the process,” Delora paused, chuckling, “she might be able to stick some common sense in your shaved head.” She mocked, grinning. Vin knit a brow slowly and held his mom’s gaze, thinking about what she had said.
Marcela had been married to one of the owners of the Studio, Richard Hopkins, and even though she had nothing to do with the casting of “Seth”, her opinion concerning the main actress would be taken more than just a little seriously. According to her reputation and considering her gut instinct, the Studio asked her for her advice and help.
Marcela accepted that responsibility saying that if she ran into someone interesting, she would contact them, making sure that the girl had a copy of the script. As a direct consequence and knowing in advance that rumors spread faster than a bad cold, Marcela found herself from one day to another with her desk filled with files of models, actress, singers and a whole bunch of wannabes.
She phoned Luna and asked her who she had in mind while she was writing the script to play the role of the young white girl who was a member of the Jury and Luna answered that she was thinking about Rhiana Griffith. Marcela grinned broadly, she had been thinking about her too.
Marcela knew that Rhiana and Vin were good friends and that the Studio and her ex-husband fucked up when they refused to cast her in the role of ‘Kyra’ in “TCOR”. She definitely was a good actress and she wasn’t too famous, so it would add credibility to the character.
Marcela made herself comfortable on her chair as she lit up her cigarillo. She had on her desk at least fifty files with the descriptions for girls who wanted to have a role in Vin Diesel’s next movie.
The casting for “Seth” would take place in the following weeks and the casting agency was already waiting for those girls who Marcela considered interesting.
Taking a long puff, Marcela let out the smoke through her nose as she picked up a file and opened it, reading silently. A knock sounded on her door.
“It’s open,” Marcela answered without looking up, still reading.
In two seconds the door opened and Suzanne, Marcela’s secretary, entered, closing the door at her back.
“Marcela, Miss Sheila Harley is here with her mom.” Suzanne said as she gave her a new file.
Still reading, Marcela chuckled at her secretary’s words and finally she lifted her head, flicking the ashes of her cigarillo in the ashtray.
“Her mom?” Marcela mocked as she grinned. Suzanne mimicked her grin as she nodded ‘yes’.
“She’s actually her agent.”
Rolling her eyes, Marcela closed the file she was reading and opened the one her secretary gave her. Taking a deep puff, Marcela started to read aloud.
“Miss Sheila Harley. Nineteen years old. Born in LA. Model since she was two years old. Black hair, brown eyes. TV actress.” She narrowed her eyes, blowing the smoke and looked up at Suzanne. Her instinct was screaming at her. “This chick means trouble.” Marcela said firmly and gave the file back to her secretary. “Get rid of her, honey. I already have enough trouble with Vin.” In response, she nodded and turned on her heels, leaving the office and walking to the reception.
“Miss Harley?” Suzanne called as she continued walking to the girl’s side as she sat with her mom. “Mrs. Hopkins is not interested.” She added as she extended her hand, giving the file to her mom.
Sheila stood and snatching the file from her mom’s hand she spoke.
“And why is that?!” She retorted, raising her tone of voice. “I’m not good enough for Mrs. Hopkins?” Sheila asked, fixing Marcela’s secretary with a hurt gaze. “You should know that I’m a great actress and I’ve been starring in my own series for three years, always leading the index audience of the channel.” Suzanne knit a brow, listening to the girl. “I know Marcela Hopkins is Vin Diesel’s agent and the best agent around the city, but I also know that she is Richard Hopkins’ ex-wife and that she has something to say concerning the casting of Diesel’s next movie.” She muttered in disgust. In response, Marcela’s secretary shrugged her shoulders.
“Sorry, miss. Hopkins’ Agency is not interested in TV actresses.” Suzanne replied and with that, she turned around and headed back to her own office, closing the door at her back.
Sheila looked at her mom, narrowing her eyes. “Come on, mother. I’m going to have a role on that movie, no matter what I’ve got to do. I’ll find another way to have access to that script.” Sheila said as her mother stood, grabbing her purse. “Maybe it’s time to have a little conversation with Mr. Hopkins in person.” She added and with that both of them headed toward the elevators.
Vin took a seat on the back terrace and pulling out a cigarette, he lit it up. Taking a deep puff and exhaling the smoke through his nose with a heavy sigh, Vin leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, rubbing his forehead. He couldn’t push his mom’s words out of his mind.
Vin never expected to see his mom with her guard down, showing her deepest wounds and he shut his eyes tightly, cursing himself silently. He didn’t like it a bit, seeing his mom like that.
“I’m a human being with feelings and emotions. And your selfish behavior is killing me.” Without warning Luna’s words spread faintly inside his brain and Vin shook his head. “You’re like poison to me,” her voice said and Vin’s eyes snapped open as his jaw tightened.
“Not anymore, Luna.” Vin murmured under his breath. Not anymore, baby, he repeated silently as he continued smoking, thinking about Luna and his feelings concerning her.
Irving pulled a small bottle of water from the fridge and opened it. He was going to take a sip when Delora entered the kitchen, smiling as soon as she saw him.
“Where’s Mark, honey?” she asked as she went to her husband’s side and encircled his waist.
Irving grinned as he turned his head, kissing her lips softly and then he looked through the window. His eyes wandered until he spotted him.
Vin was sat at the back stairs that led to the garden, his gaze fixed in a spot only he could see.
“He’s out there, smoking.” Irving answered. Delora heaved a hard sigh as she looked at her son. “Should I?” He asked, locking eyes with her. Delora nodded ‘yes’ and released her husband, kissing him. Irving took a deep breath and turned around, pulling two Coronas from the fridge. “Luna?” Irving asked as he knit a brow, opening the bottles.
“Who else?” Delora replied, smiling. Irving chuckled at her words and headed directly to the terrace. She followed him with her gaze and then turned her head, looking back at Vin. “I hope you’re man enough for her, Mark.” She whispered, concern in her voice and turned around, heading back to her bedroom.
Irving went directly to Vin and took a seat at his side, elbowing him. Vin blinked and looked at his dad, smiling. Without a word, he handed him one of the Coronas and made himself comfortable on the stairs.
“Man to man chat?” Vin teased as he took it, grinning. Irving chuckled at that and sipped from his beer.
“Only if you feel like it, Mark.” He replied, shrugging his shoulders. Vin shook his head and looked at the garden. They both went silent for a long moment until Vin spoke.
“May I ask you something, Irving?” Irving knit a brow when Vin called him by his name instead of ‘dad’ and nodded ‘yes’.
“Anything, kid.” He replied and took a long drag of the bottle. Vin chuckled at his reply and then cleared his throat.
“The first time you saw my mom, what did you think of her?” He asked, turning his head to look at the man who had been his father since the day he was born.
Irving frowned slightly, thinking about that day and unconsciously his lips spread in a huge wicked grin.
“Honestly?” Irving asked as he looked at his son. Vin narrowed his eyes and nodded ‘yes’. “I’ll tell you but you have to promise me that you won’t tell your mom, ever.” He added, his voice serious.
“I do promise.” Vin replied, as serious as a heart attack.
Irving narrowed his eyes suspiciously, thinking if he should tell him the truth and after a moment he plunged ahead.
“I thought she was a real bitch.” Irving stated. Vin’s eyes widened, blinking in shock and Irving nodded ‘yes’, grinning. “Come to think of it, she is still a bitch, but only some days.” He mocked, grinning wickedly.
“You can be sure of that, dad.” Vin retorted, mimicking his dad’s grin. “I’m almost forty years old and a fucking celebrity and she’s still able to put the fear of Delora Vincent in me, damnit!”
A heartbeat and both men laughed hard. Then they went silent for a long moment until Vin spoke again.
“How do you make a woman fall for you, dad?” Vin asked, sipping from his bottle of beer. Irving chuckled.
“Are you kidding?” He asked, his brow arched. “You, Vin Diesel, are asking your old man how to treat a woman?” Irving teased him, grinning. Vin rolled his eyes, groaning.
“Come on, dad. I’m not joking.” He said, his voice serious. Irving went serious too and took a deep breath.
“Look, Mark. All you have to do is be yourself and show them your respect. It’s all women want from us. Our respect and real love. The rest is just a walk by the river.” Irving said, winking.
“A walk by the river, huh?” Vin knit a brow, chuckling.
“Or a roller coaster.” Irving added, tapping Vin’s shoulder. “But I’ll tell you in advance that the last ones are the best.” He added and laughed softly.
“Mom is a roller coaster.” Vin stated, grinning.
“Oh, Mark, you have no idea, kid,” Irving replied, grinning. “You have no idea,” he repeated and both men laughed again.
Vin made himself comfortable on his bed and pulling out his cell phone, he heard Luna’s message once more unable to wipe the huge grin from his face. Recalling his mom’s words about Luna and his conversation with his dad, Vin thought about what to do with her. After a long moment, he finally dialed Luna’s home number and took a deep breath. Three tones and Luna’s recorded message sounded.
Sighing hard, Vin waited for the tone and cleared his throat.
“Hi, Luna. How are you doing, baby?” he said, licking his lower lip. “I know we had a deal, but I miss you and…” Vin paused and took a deep breath, clearing his throat, “I would like to see you.” He sighed. “I’ll be in LA tomorrow, around noon. Please, baby, call me back. I’ll be waiting.” A heartbeat and then he plunged. “I love you, Luna.” He said and hung the phone, sighing hard.
Luna stared at the ceiling of her bedroom while hearing Vin’s voice leaving his message. She then glanced at her chrono, biting her lower lip and heaved a hard sigh.