Vin took a seat in front of his computer, lighting up a cigarette. His head was screaming with a painful headache and at anytime his brain was going to explode. He had been talking with Marcela on the phone for almost an hour and he didn’t know what to think about everything she had been saying.
After a long moment, he took a deep puff and leaving the cigarette in the ashtray at his side, he keyed the damn words on the keyboard. Two seconds later, the results of his searching was flashing at him on the screen.
Vin picked up his cigarette and took a deep puff. Blowing the smoke with a heavy sigh through his nose, he started to read silently.
“Bulimia, also called bulimia nervosa, is a psychological eating disorder. There is currently no definite known cause of bulimia. Researchers believe it begins with dissatisfaction of the person’s body and extreme concern with body size and shape. Usually individuals suffering from bulimia have low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and a fear of becoming fat. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging); such as vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Also those episodes are associated with emotional distress and a sense of loss of control accompanied by compensatory behavioral patterns aimed at preventing weight gain.”
“What the fuck is ‘binge-eating?” Vin asked himself loudly as he scrolled down the page and continued reading.
He was starting to get pissed off with Luna even though Vin knew he was the only one responsible for that shit.
“A binge is an episode where an individual eats a much larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation. Foods labeled as “comfort foods” such as sweets high in calories, ice cream, cake and pastry. Binge eating is not a response to intense hunger. It is usually a response to depression, stress, or self esteem issues. However, the sense of a loss of control is also followed by a short-lived calmness. The calmness is often followed by self-loathing. The cycle of overeating and purging usually becomes an obsession and is repeated often. An individual may binge anywhere from twice a day to several times daily.”
Vin’s eyes were wide as he cursed himself silently. “For fuck’s sake!” he whispered, putting out his already consumed cigarette and lighting another one, taking a deep puff.
“Among the eating disorders, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are far more common in young females, while binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder overall, and is more common in adults, with a 2:1 female-to-male ratio.”
Shit, shit, shit, Vin chanted trying to figure out how Luna had to be feeling right now if she was actually doing that to herself.
She had always been worried about her weight, but at the same time, she seemed more than just satisfied with her body. At least, Vin was sure about it, but now…
“However, it is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from Bulimia. This occurs because bingeing and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from Bulimia often deny their condition. People with bulimia nervosa are also dissatisfied with their body shape, weight, or both. Nevertheless, many reports suggest that people with bulimia often have a history of anorexia nervosa. Some reports have suggested this association in as many as 60% of cases. While people with uncomplicated binge-eating disorder tend to be obese, people with bulimia nervosa more typically are of normal weight. People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight.”
Vin decided that he had had enough of that technical shit and looked for the symptoms and signs to find if Luna had actually that eating disorder.
After a moment, he found what he was looking for and read the main red flags: calluses, scarring, and abrasions on the knuckles secondary to repeated self-induced vomiting.
Vin recalled Marcela’s conversation and how she had told him that Luna’s right finger and middle finger showed a slight abrasion similar to a scratch at the level of the knuckles.
Vin made a mental note, swallowing hard. Next time he laid eyes on Luna, he was going to check her hands.
Vin shook his head, clearing his thoughts. He was already feeling sick, but continued reading the other symptoms.
“Some symptoms: a) vigorous exercise; b) abusing laxatives or diuretics; c) vomiting blood; d) using the bathroom frequently after meals; e) depression or mood swings; f) irregular periods; g) check others at the bottom of the page.”
Vin swallowed hard, he was going to be the one throwing up after reading that report and it was just one of the hundred that were available on the Internet. There was attached to those reports a large gallery of pictures as well showing girls before and after they suffered bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Vin shut his eyes tightly and slammed his fist on the table.
A least there was one good piece of news; bulimia could be overcome.
Closing the web page, Vin rubbed his forehead as he shut his eyes, trying to recall if he had seen Luna doing any of those things or showing any of those symptoms while around him.
The mood swings were there, but then again they had always been and the vigorous exercise, he wasn’t sure if that was a bad thing. After all he was training sometimes like a damn SEAL. Concerning the rest, the report said that those episodes were always made in absolute privacy, so Vin figured that if Luna was vomiting she was doing it at her own place.
He had never cared or had given relevance to those things before while dating chicks. If they were eating properly or if they were vomiting was something that Vin never paid attention to. As long as the chicks were hot and not too complicated to deal with, he was more than happy. However it wasn’t that models ate too much, all of them were like little birds concerning their appetites.
Frowning deeply, Vin thought about the irregular periods and he couldn’t remember if he had seen stained tampons in the bathroom basket or not. Damn, he was a shit concerning those kinds of things too. He had never given a damn about periods before as long as they came at the right time of the month.
Fuck, Vincent, he scolded silently, rubbing his chin. You don’t know shit, damnit!
Silently, Vin thought about the last two weeks with Luna and her behavior concerning food when all of sudden a flashback came to his mind.
“Is that all you’re going to eat?” Vin asked Luna as he knit a brow. Luna looked down at her plate full of lettuce, carrots and tomatoes and then back up at him.
“Yeah. Why?” She asked nonchalantly, digging with her fork, picking a piece of tomato. Vin sighed hard, narrowing his eyes.
“Come on, Luna. Don’t you think you’re going too far with that shit about your weight?” He asked, his voice tinted with concern. Luna rolled her eyes and pushed her plate a little.
“You were the one who told me that I should lose weight, Vin,” She reply, pulling out a cigarette. “You and Marcela,” she added and lit it up, taking a deep puff. Vin frowned deeply
“I told you I wouldn’t be the one complaining about you losing a couple of pounds.” Vin retorted and grabbed his beer, sipping. “But this is ridiculous.” Luna narrowed her eyes.
“Whatever. The thing is I’m doing what you wanted.” Vin chuckled at his words.
“What I wanted?” he asked, arching his brow. Luna nodded ‘yes’ as she stood, turning, showing him her bottom.
“Come on, Diesel. Don’t tell me that you don’t love now more than before my killer ass, huh?” She teased, clenching her butt muscles. Vin shook his head as he rolled his eyes, pulling her to him.
“I do love your killer ass, woman. But If I wanted a model, I would have her, Luna.” He said as he turned her around, stroking her thighs up and down. Luna frowned slightly as she swallowed hard. “I don’t need a stunning chick when I have a beautiful woman.” Vin whispered, smirking and pressed his lips on her belly, brushing her skin.
Luna shivered slightly and pushed her thoughts out of her mind, focusing her attention on Vin’s mouth, nibbling her skin gently.
“Why should I eat hamburgers when I have a fillet steak right here?” He mocked as his hands moved from her waist to her bottom, squeezing it.
In response, Luna laughed with his joke, but he didn’t notice that she was fighting tears of anger and pain back as she silently cursed herself.
End flash back
Fuck! Vin heaved a hard sigh as he stood, heading to his bedroom. He definitely hadn’t made a good choice of words. Damnit! He scolded silently as he entered his bedroom, grabbing a t-shirt. Vin then thought about last night and went motionless.
Vin rolled on the bed, searching for Luna and found her side cold. He blinked away his sleep, groaning and frowned slightly. Looking around, he realized that there was no sign of her. He rubbed his eyes, yawning and lifted his head, trying to hear her. Maybe she was in the bathroom. Not hearing any sound, Vin glanced at the clock on the table. It was almost 3:00am.
Shaking his head, Vin made up his mind and climbed out of bed. He put on a pair of boxers and opened the door of his bedroom, padding to the terrace. Surely she was lying on a hammock, smoking while looking at a spot she only could see, lost in her little world. Vin chuckled at his own thoughts as he continued walking.
When he finally reached the terrace there wasn’t a sign of Luna next to the swimming pool or around the garden. Vin scratched his head and turned around.
“Luna!” he called her. When she didn’t answer, Vin frowned deeply and raised his voice. “Luna, where are you, baby?” he called again, but he suspected where she was.
“Here,” Luna’s voice called back. She was in his training room.
When Vin reached the gym, he blinked a couple of times. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Luna was running on the treadmill, sweating and panting. She had it set at the highest level of difficulty and looked at him, smiling.
Vin stared at her in silence as he gave her the once over, arching a brow when he noticed the set of ankle weights wrapped around her ankles.
“Luna, baby, you know what time it is?” he asked, yawning as he went directly to her side. Luna shook her head ‘no’ and looked away. Vin narrowed his eyes and stood in front of her, checking the level she had set. “Why are you training at that level?” Vin asked as he knit a brow. Luna laughed breathlessly as she pressed the button to stop the machine.
“I couldn’t sleep,” she said, breathing heavily as she stepped off the treadmill and picked up a bottle of water. She purposely avoided answering his question. “And I didn’t want to wake you up, honey.” She added, panting hard and gulped half of the bottle in one long draught.
Her breath was ragged and Vin took her wrist, checking the pulse, frowning deeply when he noticed that it was racing faster than he thought.
“Well, next time you can’t sleep, you call me, ok?” Vin said seriously as Luna left the bottle on the floor, chuckling. “It’s the third time this week, Luna.” He added, narrowing his eyes.
Luna took a deep breath, forcing the air through her lungs and pulled him to her encircling his neck.
“What? You don’t like to see me panting and sweating, Diesel?” She purred seductively as she rubbed herself against him. Vin chuckled at her words and encircled her waist.
“No if I’m not the one who is making you sweat underneath me.” He replied, grabbing her bottom, squeezing gently. Luna jumped slightly as she moaned softly, sucking his neck.
Her breath was still ragged, but her pulse was starting to return to something almost normal.
“Are you going to make me sweat tonight, big guy?” Luna teased, nuzzling his bare chest. Vin grinned as he pressed her to him.
“Damn right, woman!” Vin replied, as she smacked her bottom. Luna laughed softly as she released him.
“Wanna wash my back?” she asked as she pulled off the ankle weights.
“You can count on it, baby.” He answered and Luna smiled, heading to the door. “I’ll turn out the lights and be there in a second.” Vin added as he followed her with his gaze, noticing that her cotton shorts seemed to be fitting looser than usual.
“Ok, I’ll be waiting for you all wet and ready.” Luna teased; winking at him and with that, she disappeared down the hallway.
When she was out of sight, Vin turned his head, checking how much time she had been running. Narrowing his eyes a deep growl escaped his lips when he switched on the treadmill and the counter flashed forty-eight minutes.
Vin licked his lips, thinking about Luna’s recent obsession with her weight and after a moment, he shook his head and headed to the bathroom. At the end all women were worried about their weight at some point. No big deal.
End Flash back
Fuck, fuck, FUCK! Vin had no other choice but admit to himself that Luna had been fooling him for two weeks, playing him and using sex to distract him from the real situation. Damnit, Luna! Vin scolded himself silently. Now he had a serious problem on his hands and he had no clue about how he was going to solve it.
For one, he couldn’t go directly to Luna, asking her openly. She would say that it was all his idea in the first place and that she was only doing what he wanted her to do. But he wasn’t going to stay with his arms crossed over his chest, letting Luna do whatever the fuck she wanted to do, even if it was concerning her own health.
Luna tried to get on her feet but suddenly she felt too weak even just thinking about it. She had kneeled in front of the toilet for the last twenty minutes throwing up and her legs felt numb. So she put her hands on the edge and bent her head, resting her forehead on her bicep, closing her eyes.
Her throat was burning and her stomach was spasming painfully. She tried to take a deep breath, but winced, whimpering when her back screamed in pain.
Luna blinked fresh tears as she slowly lifted one shaky hand and rubbed her temple, applying the little pressure she could, considering her current physical state. She could feel her heartbeat pulsing with such force than she thought that her brain was going to explode at any time.
The bathroom smelled of her vomit, she wrinkled her nose, and almost blindly Luna flushed the toilet, wincing and whimpering when she extended her arm. Swallowing one more time she felt a sting in her throat, tasting blood and a wave of fresh tears rolled down unrestrained along her cheeks.
She felt like she was the most disgusting thing in the world and was so nauseous that she couldn’t stand it. How the hell had she found herself again in the current situation she didn’t know, but for sure she was stuck in a shithole where all her thoughts were dancing around her disgusting body.
She felt fat and flabby, her skin was pale and she stank of sweat and vomit. Luna felt dirty and guilty about her behavior and cursed herself silently. Vin couldn’t know about this.
Finally, Luna pushed herself back just enough to close the cover of the toilet and let herself fall back onto the floor, curling in a ball as she continued crying silently. If Vin discovered her dirty secret, he surely was going to get rid of her in less than 24 hours.
Luna shut her eyes tightly and thought about her relationship with Vin. She couldn’t lose him, not now, not after all the things they had made together; not after all the wonderful moments they had shared at his place and even here in her little apartment. She had to be strong for both of them; she needed to find help, but where? Who?
After a long moment, her sobs slowed a little and she put a hand on the floor, trying to raise her torso. Luna cursed herself silently as a new painful spasm clenched her stomach. Forcing the air through her lungs, she took a ragged breath and, groaning, she sat. The room spun around her and Luna blinked furiously in a lame attempt to clear her blurry vision. A pang of pain stabbed her throat and Luna gritted her teeth, hissing as she lay again on the floor.
She couldn’t think clearly as she lifted a hand and pressed it against her burning forehead. A beeping was resounding inside her brain and Luna pressed her hands on her ears, trying to block the buzzing noise. She felt dizzy and cold, so Luna laid there crying silently unable to make her muscles move to stand.
Vin glanced at his chrono and realized that it was almost 8pm. He had been so absorbed in his own thoughts about Luna that he had lost track of time.
Vin sighed hard and picked up his cell phone, dialing Luna’s number. Almost immediately a recorded voice told him that it was out of service. Vin cursed silently and dialed the number at her place. Just a couple of seconds and another recorded voice told him that it had been disconnected.
Damn! Where the hell are you, woman?
Mike was on his way to the salon when he saw Vin grabbing the keys of the SUV, muttering obscenities under his breath.
Mike knit a brow. “You ok, Vin?” he asked, frowning slightly when he saw the expression on his face.
Vin didn’t want to tell anybody about his suspicions concerning Luna’s health, at least until he had talked with her.
“Yeah. I’m going to Luna’s.” Vin answered, going outside. “Call me if she comes here while I’m on my way.” He added as he got in the car, slamming the door closed.
Mike frowned deeply and nodded ‘yes’ as he saw Vin driving to the iron gates of the property. It had been a long time since Mike had seen him so pissed off and worried at the same time.