Montgomery (Alabama) Shooting set of ‘SETH’
Lorraine was searching for Sandra. She had been told that they wouldn’t be shooting any more that day and decided it would be fun if they both went shopping in the town, maybe have some fun, playing bowling or something. Some sound tech told her that he had seen Niko’s assistant heading to Renee’s trailer.
When Lorraine got closer, she saw Sheila entering Vin’s trailer and, narrowing her eyes, she came to a dead stop, thinking.
Lorraine knew that it wasn’t her business, but she couldn’t help it. She liked Luna and Vin together and she didn’t want them being separated by Sheila’s dark schemes. Nevertheless, Lorraine had no clue what to do about it.
It was then that she saw Valentino talking on his cell phone, pacing back and forth in front of his trailer. Without wasting more time, Lorraine hurried her steps and headed directly towards him.
She was struggling with herself, thinking about what to tell Vin’s best friend to make the Latino do something, anything, to interfere in Sheila’s plans linked with Vin. Lorraine knew that she had no right to get in the middle but she also knew that Sheila had even fewer rights to get in the middle of Vin’s and Luna’s marriage.
If Vin hadn’t have been married, Lorraine wouldn’t have dared, but he was not a single man and she was too decent to let Sheila get away with her dirty plot.
As soon as Lorraine got closer, she realized that Val was talking with Mike and felt a little ashamed for hearing part of the private conversation.
“Yeah, you already know how this shit works, Mike. Tomorrow at this time, everybody will know she’s in New York.” Val sighed hard, listening to whatever Mike said and then continued. “That’s right, you stay with her. Last thing we need is for Luna surrounded by those fuckers, smothering her.” Val shook his head. “I don’t fucking care, Mike, you stick to her side…yeah…okay…that’s great…bye, man.”
Val turned around and found himself face to face with Lorraine. She swallowed hard and took a step forward. Valentino Morales was really imposing in person; he was huge.
“Um…hi, Val.” Lorraine whispered, forcing her voice out. In response, Val narrowed his eyes, tightening his jaw, remembering the conversation Renee and he had overheard at the cantina. “May I talk with you for a second?” She shyly asked.
“About what.” Val replied crossing his massive arms over his chest.
Lorraine felt her knees going weak and swallowed dryly. Now that she was in front of Val, she was having second thoughts about what to tell the big Latino.
Vin’s and Luna’s trailer.
Vin lit his cigarette, puffing deeply and gestured with his head for Steve to leave him and Sheila alone. In response, Steve knit a brow but, reluctantly, he once more obliged. Steve knew that he wasn’t there to question his boss’ decisions.
Sheila glanced at Steve from the corner of her dark brown eyes, grinning. She had no doubt that Vin’s bodyguard couldn’t stand her but he was just an employee after all. As soon as Steve was out of the trailer, Sheila took a seat.
“How are you, Vin?” She asked, crossing her long, slender legs, making sure to flash the movie star with as much tanned flesh as possible.
Vin glanced down at Sheila’s legs and then met her gaze. “What do you want, Sheila?”
His tone of voice sounded unexpectedly cold which caused the young actress to freeze in place, not entirely sure about her next move. She was caught off guard by the sudden change in Vin’s demeanor.
“Well, I was thinking since we’re not shooting today, we could use the occasion to rehearse our scenes.” Sheila cautiously replied.
Vin chuckled, puffing from his cigarette. “Not in the mood for rehearsing.” He tilted his head slightly.
“Then we can talk if you feel like it.” Sheila got comfortable, jutting out her breasts a little. “I’m a great listener.” She smiled seductively.
“Are you?” Vin arched a brow, leaning against the counter. Sheila nodded ‘yes’.
“I may not have a lot of experience but I know how you’re feeling right now.”
“Is that so? And how do I feel, Sheila?” The subtle edge of irony in Vin’s voice caused Sheila to tense visibly. She wasn’t used to Vin acting in such way with her.
“Well…I’d say you’re feeling lonely and need someone to comfort you and to show you some support. Someone who can understand what you’re going through at this very moment.”
Vin narrowed his eyes but didn’t reply anything. He was curious about where Sheila was headed. Sheila took Vin’s silence as a hint to keep talking and, dropping the tone of her voice, she continued.
“I’ve been alone all my life, Vin, even when I was surrounded by people.” Sheila frowned, slightly lost in thoughts. “This business is like a delicious, sweet candy, wrapped in wonderfully colored cellophane, but inside it’s rotten and corrupted…only someone living this kind of life can really understand how we feel.”
Vin blinked, silently agreeing with Sheila. It was a simple comparison but very accurate. Maybe he had misunderstood Sheila Harley.
“Want something to drink?” Vin asked as he turned around, pulling two beers from the fridge.
“That sounds cool.” Sheila smiled.
“Here you go.” Vin answered, handing Sheila one of the beers.
“Thank you, Vin.” Sheila sipped from the bottle, then grinned. “Do you mind if I make myself a little more comfortable.” She asked, faking innocence.
“Make yourself at home.” Vin replied without thinking and sat in front of her.
Sheila took off her shoes and pulled her legs up, sitting on her heels. Her tight, short dress slid up a little more making Vin stop sipping just to stare at her legs.
“So, when is Luna coming back?” Sheila asked, pretending to sound concerned for Vin and his wife’s delicate situation. Vin’s gaze met Sheila’s.
“She’s not coming back.” He answered flatly and took a long sip from his beer.
Sheila did her best to not start bouncing up and down, whooping at the news. She couldn’t believe her luck.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Vin.” Sheila sighed softly, showing a sadness she was far from feeling.
“It’s okay.” Vin leaned backwards on the couch, closing his eyes. “We’ll work things out; we always have in the past.” He added absently as a heavy sigh escaped his lips. Vin wasn’t so sure but he was not going to share that piece of information with Sheila.
“I hope it has nothing to do with our friendship.” Sheila whispered, standing and sitting at Vin’s side. “I’d hate to be the cause of your divorce.” She placed a hand on Vin’s thigh, squeezing softly.
Vin snapped his eyes open. “Who says we’re going to get a divorce?” He replied, going on guard. “Luna is not coming back here, but that doesn’t mean shit. We’re in love with each other and we’re not going to divorce any time soon.”
Sheila blinked, swallowing the bitter taste that Vin’s words caused. She was now realizing that the rumors around the shooting set couldn’t be trusted. Thinking fast, Sheila searched for the right words to cause a reaction in Vin.
“Don’t get me wrong, Vin, I’m sure she loves you, but she has a weird way to show you her feelings.” She said carefully, her face showing concern as her hand continued stroking his thigh up and down.
Vin tensed visibly at her words and Sheila hurried up, elaborating.
“I mean…she should be here with you, showing you her support and not in New York.” Her voice sounded even, as if she was stating an obvious fact. “Just when you need her most, she leaves you, giving preference to her career instead of yours. I think that’s a little selfish behavior on her part, Vin.”
Vin opened his mouth to retort that that shit wasn’t true but Sheila’s next words distracted him from his line of thought.
“Believe me, Vin, I know exactly how that feels. I’ve been given the same treatment many times. Most men can’t stand my success and they always tried to manipulate me, making me feel guilty because I’m famous and they aren’t.” She paused for a second and leaned forward a bit, pressing her breast against Vin’s arm and continued speaking, a breath away from Vin’s lips. “People that don’t belong to our world don’t really understand our needs, Vin. We live surrounded by people that demand support and respect from us, but are unable to give us the same in return when we need it the most.” She whispered, batting her long eyelashes slowly. “We’re two of a kind, Vin.”
Vin held Sheila’s gaze, thinking about her words. In his book, she had hit it right on the mark and, for a brief second, Vin felt closer to the young actress than even before. Without thinking he bent his head, just an inch. He could feel her breath, caressing his lips and swallowed, silently wishing Sheila was Luna.
Sheila closed her eyes and parted her lips, licking them, anticipating the so yearned for first kiss. She was completely sure that Vin would kiss her in seconds when all of sudden a repetitive knock on the door, followed by that very same door flying open, revealing a very pissed off Valentino, caused Vin to snap back to reality.
New York. Vin’s parents house.
Luna stared down at her wedding ring as a heavy sigh passed her lips. She had been thinking about Delora’s words for a long time, trying to make sense of her current situation.
Once again, her life seemed out of control and for some unthinkable reason Luna didn’t have the feeling that things were going to get better any time soon. Quite the opposite. The short-lived satisfaction that throwing Vin’s flowers into the garbage had given her was gone now, leaving in its wake the same painful emptiness.
She had no way to know for sure what Vin’s reaction had been after he had received the picture. However, Luna hoped that Vin was smart enough to get the message. A bouquet of flowers along with an apology was not going to fix the gap opened in their marriage by his insensitive behavior.
Luna closed her eyes, hissing softly. After so many tears shed, her eyes were sore and stung a little. Crying for hours had left her drained but she felt unable to sleep. Her mind just didn’t let her to enjoy any peace of mind.
Sleeping pills weren’t a valid option. With her luck, Luna suspected she’d end up being addicted to them and it wasn’t as if in the past they had had the desired effect. She wasn’t taking that road; it was not worthwhile at all. Vin wasn’t worth an addiction.
Opening her eyes, Luna concentrated on her immediate future and the meeting with the publishing house.
Allison had phoned Luna, telling her that she had taken care of everything, setting up the appointment in two days, according to Luna’s wishes. She knew that Luna wanted to go back to ‘Black Star’ as soon as possible and she had already sent a copy of Luna’s contract to Thomas, Luna’s lawyer. He had agreed with Allison; the contract was more than generous and Thomas would fly to New York to be present at the signing of the documents.
Following that line of thought, Luna smiled a little, thinking about being published. No matter how many times Allison repeated it to her; Luna still couldn’t believe her luck. She knew that to be published wasn’t that easy and for a brief second she doubted her own talent, wondering if Vin was behind it.
Luna’s smile faltered for a second until she remembered that the only ones that knew about the details of the project were Allison, Thomas and herself.
Fulfilling her part of the deal with Vin about not keeping secrets, Luna had told her husband about her erotic tales, and she even allowed Vin to get a look at some of the chapters. But that had been all. She hadn’t shared any significant detail with him and Vin had respected her decision, not pushing to get any more Intel than what Luna wanted to share.
As a direct consequence of letting Vin to peek at her notes, Luna had enjoyed the benefits of having a hornier than usual Vin at her hands reach. Of course that had taken place before the shooting of ‘SETH’ started, a little more than six weeks ago.
That last memory caused fresh tears to fight for release. They hadn’t made love since then, and Luna had been so stressed and upset that she hadn’t really felt in the mood.
Cleaning her tears roughly, Luna refused to keep crying over Vin, at least until she was done with her meeting. She didn’t want to look a mess in front of those guys from the publishing house. This was her career she was talking about and Luna wanted to make a good impression on them.
Using all her will, Luna pushed every single sad memory to the back of her mind and focused all her energies on getting ready for that step in her career.
That was important, that meant everything. It was an essential part of her life that Luna had left aside after getting married and she was determined to get it back.
Her heart sped a little and Luna frowned, concerned. That was another thing she was going to take care of as soon as she was back in LA, her health. Her stress had started to cause more than one disorder, such as insomnia, loss of her appetite and sex drive, morning sickness and even her period had failed last month.
So Luna made a mental note to visit Dr. Jacobs to have a complete set of tests to check that everything was fine, and she also needed to find a good cardiologist. She didn’t want to think about that just yet, but it was about damn time to know if everything was okay with her heart.
Keeping all her thoughts concentrated on her career, Luna recalled her conversation with Irving about the publishing house. Vin’s dad had showed real interest in the legal details of her contract and they had been talking after dinner for a while.
Luna had mention that the name of the publishing house was ‘Escudero’s’ and that, according to Allison’s information, the owners were two brothers, Santiago and Rafael Escudero.
Irving had thought what a happy coincidence that was, since there was an Escudero family that had been seriously involved, showing their support and joining efforts to make a reality of the President of the Dominican Republic project of having a movie industry in the country. It had been one of the members of that upper class Dominican family that had collected part of the funds among other upper class Dominican families to get the project going. The rest of the budget had been given by Once Race and the government itself.
Then the conversation had turned to Irving’s plans for those students and the subjects that he was going to impart in his classes, and he hadn’t voiced his thoughts aloud.
Luna grinned, thinking about how Vin’s dad hadn’t been able to hide his excitement about the entire project and the benefits of giving such a chance to all those young directors with a lot of ideas, illusions and talent but without the money to make a reality of their dreams.
Silently, Luna wished that Irving and Delora were her biological parents instead of that cold, distant couple that had turned their backs on her when she needed them most. It had hurt, a lot, but Luna hadn’t expected any other thing from them. After all, they never had showed interest in her.
So Luna made another important decision. She wouldn’t shed a single tear for her ‘family’ anymore. If they couldn’t accept her the way she was and the life she had chosen, then they weren’t worth her time.
Getting comfortable, she closed her eyes and thought about her plans for the following day. A girls-only day with Allison. Luna couldn’t wait to see her best friend and agent again. They were going to have a lot of fun, doing what every single rich, angry wife was supposed to do. To squander her husband’s money.
Montgomery (Alabama) Vin’s and Luna’s trailer
“Rehearsing? Rehearsing, my ass!” Val slammed the door of the trailer closed with such force that the entire place trembled. “You gotta be fucking kidding me.”
“Chill out, man.” Vin replied calmly as he pulled another beer from the fridge.
“Fuck you! I don’t want to fucking chill out!” Val barked out. “What the fuck is wrong with you, eh?”
Vin blinked. “With me?” He arched his brows. “There’s nothing wrong with me. You’re the one getting the wrong ideas around here, Val.” Vin opened his beer and sipped from it. “I was doing nothing, we were just talking.” He added, taking a seat.
Val closed his hands in fists; he was having a hard time not going at Vin. Val didn’t feel like giving Vin a black eye while shooting a movie. There were already enough rumors and gossip around without adding a new one.
“Not even 12 hours have passed since Luna left and you’re already messing with that skinny slut!” Val snapped, tightening his jaw.
“I’m not messing around with shit, Val, and you better watch the tone of your voice.” Vin snapped back, pointing a stiff finger in Val’s direction.
Val took a deep breath and calmed down a little. Vin was right, there was no need for people to hear them.
“Why are you doing this, Vin? Luna loves you, man and instead of thinking about a way to get your wife back, you’re wasting your time with that Sheila chick.” Val sighed hard. “Luna doesn’t deserve such dirty behavior on your part. You swore to be faithful and loyal to her!”
“And who the fuck are you to talk about dirty behavior and loyalties, Valentino?” Vin got to his feet, facing his best friend. He couldn’t believe the nerve of Val, coming here and talking about those things after how he and Renee had acted with Luna and himself. “It was you and your wife that were the ones that turned your backs on Luna without thinking twice and now you have the balls to come here, reproaching me for this shit? Fuck off, man!”
Val’s face paled, thinking about what he and Renee had done to Luna. “We’re not proud of that shit and we are both really sorry.”
“Damn right you both are sorry, man.” Vin muttered, disgusted, leaving the bottle of beer on the counter. “I’ve seen my wife crying her eyes out on this very same fucking couch because her damned so called ‘sister’ didn’t want to have anything to do with her after she found out that Luna had aborted.” He added coldly, holding Val’s gaze. “Don’t you dare come here, telling me what I should be doing because you and Renee are as responsible as I am myself for Luna running away from my side.”
“Renee was hurting too much, Vin, you know how much we want to have a family.” Val whispered, his voice strangled.
“Luna was hurting too.” Vin retorted coldly. “It tore us apart to make such a decision and we went through hell over the next weeks, wondering if we made the right decision. But did either of you think about that? No, of course you didn’t! You just judged us, taking for granted that we did it for the hell of it. Well, fuck you, Val! We wanted a family too, but it wasn’t the right time.” Vin turned around and shut his eyes, fighting back tears of anger and frustration.
Vin was realizing now the fact that he was going to lose Luna for real if he didn’t start to pull his shit together damn fast. He would have kissed Sheila if Val hadn’t have stormed in the trailer.
Val closed his eyes, sighing hard. Vin was right and he had to concede but Val also knew that Vin was playing a dangerous game that could turn against him any minute, destroying his already more than fragile marriage.
“Vin…that Sheila chick means trouble, man, and you know it.” Val whispered, letting out a heavy sigh. “She wants the whole cake, I feel it, bro, that girl is bad news.”
Vin turned his head, meeting Val’s gaze. “I’m not as dumb as everybody seems to think, Val. I’m not stupid and I know what Sheila wants.” He calmly replied.
Val blinked. “Then what are you doing, man?”
“I’m just playing my part in this game, Val.” Vin sighed.
“This is no game, Vin. You’re gonna lose Luna if you don’t wake the hell up!” Val replied, frustration plain in his voice. He couldn’t understand Vin’s actions.
“I will not lose my wife, okay?” Vin growled, tightening his jaw.
“You will if you don’t stop this shit right now!” Val muttered through clenched teeth.
“Give me some fucking credit, Val. I’m not gonna cheat on Luna with the first slut that happens to cross paths with me, man.” Vin retorted, turning around completely. “But I won’t go after her, begging for mercy.”
Val shook his head in disbelief. “What are you talking about, man? Luna is not any woman, Vin. ¡Coño! She’s your fucking wife!”
“Fuck! I already know that!” Vin snapped back. “But every time things get rough, Luna runs away. Every fucking time things don’t go her way, my wife puts distance between us and I’m starting to get sick and tired of that shit.” He pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out a heavy sigh.
“People that don’t belong to our world don’t really understand our needs, Vin. We live surrounded by people that demand support and respect from us, but are unable to give us the same in return when we need it the most.”
Sheila’s words echoed faintly within his brain and Vin cursed silently. He knew that Sheila had tried to manipulate him but still he had to give her credit. She had hit it right on the mark. He needed his wife and she wasn’t there.
“What are you gonna do, Vin?” Val narrowed his eyes. Vin sighed hard.
“I’ll finish this part of the shooting as was planned, and then I’ll work things out with Luna.” He replied and grabbed his beer, gulping it in a long drag.