The first couple of days after Vin had rejoined the shooting, Luna had been watching Sheila closely, making sure that the young actress had taken her words seriously.
So far it appeared that Sheila had moved on, keeping busy with one of the sound technicians. She wasn’t even talking to Vin at all, except to play the few scenes that Niko decided they had to shoot together.
Certainly the fact that Vin had made it crystal clear that he didn’t want anything to do with Sheila and the coldness he showed her every time they were close had played in Luna’s favor. Still, she didn’t trust Sheila to give up at all. Luna suspected that a spoiled brat that was used to getting everything she wanted wasn’t going to let go so easily.
However, Joe had promised to keep Luna updated on whatever gossip may appear linked in any way with Sheila. It seemed that Joe’s secret dream had been to become a private detective or a secret agent. That was the reason why he had started to train like a man possessed when he was younger. Later, Joe found it wasn’t so easy to become a special agent and decided to use his training to become a stunt double.
One thing lead to another and Joe had started linking projects. He was good, actually Joe was one of the best, and the Studio contacted him to be Vin’s stunt double in TFATF.
Joe didn’t think twice, even though he had had to shave his head. To sacrifice his beautiful hair had been worthwhile if only to work with one of his favorite actors. Since then, Joe had become Vin Diesel’s stunt double, even fooling some paparazzi back in the day, so that way, Vin could have some privacy with the chicks he had dated.
All in all, Joe’s itch to become a detective was still as alive as when he was a kid and he didn’t have any trouble helping Luna at all. Quite the opposite, Joe had almost had an orgasm when Luna asked him to keep a close eye on Sheila. He couldn’t wait to fuck with the little slut who had humiliated him.
Christmas was around the corner and the Studio wanted ‘SETH’ done before the end of the year arrived. As a direct consequence, the shooting crew had been working at a frenzied rhythm for the last two weeks, including Vin Diesel who had been shooting scene after scene almost without breaks in between, forcing his body and mind to a point of exhaustion. Vin didn’t care. He wanted this movie done once and for all so that he could concentrate all his energy in taking care of his wife.
So, knowing that Luna would go through a tantrum, watching what the Studio had done with her script, Vin decided it would be better if she used these two weeks to buy the Christmas presents for their family. Luna agreed, sure that she could trust Joe to keep an eye on Sheila; besides, the idea of shopping for Christmas really appealed to her.
Luna and Vin were going to spend Christmas Eve in NY and New Year’s Eve in Bora Bora. It would be a second honeymoon. Everything had been already planned in advance and every single detail had been taken care of beforehand.
Renee and Valentino would be flying with them and the two couples would stay in a two bedroom villa within a wonderful resort and spa. The villa had its own private pool and a direct access to a private section of the beach.
The local authorities had assured Vin that there was no risk of having unwanted witnesses to their stay, since the only way to reach the beach was through the villa or the sea, and they would set up guards, patrolling the area so that there were no paparazzi taking pictures from any boat, ship or yacht.
Only after Vin was assured that no one would violate his privacy, did he and Val set their plan in motion. They had a very special and romantic surprise for their wives; a Tahitian double wedding ceremony.
Rodeo Drive. LA
Luna had wanted to personally buy her family’s presents; she felt that she needed to do it in person, instead of sending someone else. Luna should have known better than thinking that her enemies were going to let such a chance to strike back at her pass up.
“Why the hell are they still following us around?” Luna gestured at the door of the boutique where four paparazzi were waiting for her to go out. “I already posed twice. ¡Coño!” she muttered in disgust.
Steve frowned and then looked at her. “Just ignore them, okay? They’ll grow tired and will leave you alone any minute.” He calmly replied, even though he knew it was weird.
Usually paparazzi were satisfied with a couple of pictures, especially after the ‘target’ had posed willingly, smiling and relaxed. This was not normal behavior. Not even when going out and about with Vin himself, had the photographers been this persistent.
“You sure?” Luna’s voice sounded tinted with concern; she was starting to get nervous. They had been following her since she left ‘Black Star’ more than two hours ago.
Not even when she was dating Vin and people were crazy, wanting to take picture of her, had she been followed like this. There were photographers all around, even at the entrance of ‘Black Star’, and they had seen helicopters flying over the house on at least two different occasions.
“Yeah,” Steve replied seriously even though he had a feeling that these guys weren’t going to give up any time soon. Maybe he should phone Mike to join them. Things may get out of hand pretty fast. “Be back in a sec.” Steve said and moved to the entrance to talk with them.
As soon as the door of the boutique opened, the photographers started to take pictures, hoping that Luna was coming behind Steve.
“Okay, guys, that’s enough.” Steve’s voice sounded deadly serious. “She’s already posed for all of you, please, just leave her alone.”
“Come on, man, we’re only doing our job.” One of them replied.
“Well, you’ve been doing it for more than two hours non-stop.” Steve replied. “Give her a break, okay?”
“We’re in the middle of the street and we can take as many pictures as we feel like, man. So fuck you!” Another paparazzo retorted.
Steve tightened his jaw but said nothing. He had spotted a car, parked on the other side of the street with a guy recording everything with a camera. Steve knew what they wanted but he wasn’t going to give it to them though. Instead, he turned around and entered the boutique, already pulling out his cell phone to call Mike. All of a sudden Steve had a bad feeling.
Luna had been watching him all the time, feeling her heart starting to beat faster. Those guys weren’t going to give up any time soon. In fact they seemed pretty comfortable, stalking her.
It was then that realization dawned. That was exactly what they were doing, stalking her, making her get nervous. Luna cursed silently, feeling her heart pounding within her chest.
There was no way that those guys were that interested in taking her picture, they had already taken lots. What they wanted was another thing and Luna went pale, breaking out in cold sweat. She had no doubt, Marcela had sent them.
“Ma’am, are you okay?” The shop assistant asked Luna, concern in his voice as soon as he noticed the way that she was shaking.
Luna blinked and looked at the boy, not sure what to say. She wasn’t okay but should she say that aloud? Luna had learnt the hard way to keep her mouth shut as soon as she found that most of the time her words were twisted, even the most innocent ones.
Luna couldn’t even say aloud in a restaurant that the meal was cold or burned because the next day someone was writing that she was a prissy bitch that had been mean to a poor waitress.
The boy’s words caught Steve’s attention who had been talking with Mike, giving him their exact location.
“You okay, baby?” Steve went to Luna’s side, taking one of her hands in his.
In response, Luna met Steve’s gaze, swallowing sudden nausea. She couldn’t believe that Marcela had gone this far, putting her life and the baby’s life at risk in following her goal.
“Steve…” Luna breathed, hot tears prickling down her cheeks. Steve winced and pulled her to him, hugging her gently.
“It’s okay, Luna. Don’t worry, baby.” He whispered, stroking her back. “Mike will be here in a minute.”
Steve cursed himself silently. Vin was going to be mad as hell.
The shop assistant looked back and forth between the door and his customer and, snapping his fingers, he called one of the girls, telling her to bring a bottle of water. The girl hurried her steps and came back within seconds, handing the bottle to Steve.
“Here,” she said politely.
Steve thanked her and steered Luna to one of the couches, sitting her, and opening the bottle of water, he gave it to her.
“Luna, calm down, okay?” Steve crouched in front of her. “I won’t let any of them touch you,” he added firmly. “You’ll be okay, just breathe deeply, baby.”
Luna swallowed forcefully and nodded ‘yes’, doing her best to oblige. She knew that Steve and Mike wouldn’t let anyone hurt her, not only because they were paid to protect her but because they were like family.
“Do you want me to call the police?” The boy offered, watching how Vin Diesel’s wife was trembling like a leaf, her face pale. He had noticed her little bump, showing through the fabric of her dress and he swore she looked scared.
“No!” Luna gasped. That would be worse; she could already read the headlines. “I’m okay,” she whispered, sipping from the small bottle.
A few minutes later, Mike made his way through the crowd standing in front of the boutique. There were not only the paparazzi but also a few curious people that, watching the photographers waiting outside the exclusive shop, figured that there was somebody famous inside.
“Here’s the cavalry.” Steve attempted to cheer Luna and she smiled a little, mostly to put them at ease. Vin’s bodyguards looked really worried, looking at her.
“I’m okay, guys,” she whispered, getting to her feet. “Let’s go home.”
Mike narrowed his eyes but nodded. He had been the one spending more time with Luna and he knew that she was anything but okay. Then he turned his attention to Steve.
“Okay, man. I push the fuckers and you get her in the car.”
Steve nodded and Mike grabbed Luna’s bags, heading to the entrance. He pushed the door open hard and stood there like a huge statue. As soon as the photographers moved forward, Mike pushed them back, hard, making room for Luna and Steve as they practically flew out of the shop.
The people crowded there started to take pictures of Vin Diesel’s wife with their cell phones, even though Steve and Mike doubted that they knew for real who she was at all. Unlike the paparazzi, who did know and, trying to take a close up of Luna’s face and her belly, one of them pushed another hard and his sudden movement caused a chain reaction.
The man bumped Mike and Vin’s bodyguard spun around, blindly knocking the camera out of his hands with his elbow. The paparazzo lost his balance, pushing one of the curious that were there to his left side and forward, bumping into Steve.
Fortunately, Steve had already got Luna into the SUV before he was crushed against the vehicle. Five seconds earlier and his huge body would have crashed Luna between himself and the SUV.
Both bodyguards pushed the paparazzi backwards and got in the SUV at once. Steve at the wheel and Mike in the backseat with Luna.
“You okay, sweetheart?” Mike asked as he turned his face to look at Luna. She had her eyes closed tightly and she was panting, a hand pressed against her chest. “Fuck!” he cursed, “Steve? Go to the Cedars.” Mike pulled out his cell phone to call Renee as Steve obliged, letting out a stream of obscenities.
Chapter 57 (Part II)
Hopkins Studios. Shooting set of ‘SETH’. LA
“Vin!!” Renee stormed onto the set, causing everybody to look at her, including Vin who was in the middle of a scene, and Marcela who was watching him playing, sitting in a corner.
Vin knew that Renee wouldn’t dare to cut him off if it wasn’t important. Just a look at Renee’s face and Vin knew that something was wrong with Luna. Not even thinking, he rushed to Renee and everybody watched her, whispering something, tears running down her face.
“FUCK!” Vin shouted and stormed off the set, Renee in tow.
Marcela’s brows arched at once as she got to her feet in seconds. She followed them and watched Vin jumping inside the SUV with Val and Renee. The vehicle left behind the sound of screeching wheels, the horn alerting the people that were around to move out of the way.
Marcela cursed silently and returned inside, finding everybody talking in murmurs, their faces showing a mix of concern and surprise. Everybody, with the exception of Sheila who was grinning maliciously.
Narrowing her eyes, Marcela headed towards where the young actress was sitting, pretending to be reading her lines.
“What have you done, Sheila?” Marcela whispered, her guts screaming at her.
“Me? I’ve done nothing,” she replied innocently. “I’ve been here all morning, reading my lines.” Sheila’s evil grin grew wider.
Marcela fought back the urge to grab Sheila by her shoulders, shaking the answer out of her. She didn’t want to attract attention to them since they were still inside the set, surrounded by at least fifty people.
Taking a deep breath, Marcela lowered the tone of her voice even more. “Don’t make me ask you again, girl,” she whispered coldly, causing Sheila’s grin to vanish. “Tell me what the fuck you did because my instinct tells me that you are behind whatever’s going on.”
Sheila straightened slightly. “Well, I just paid that fat cow back for threatening me,” she answered nonchalantly.
“How?” Marcela narrowed her eyes. She didn’t like the sound of that.
“I sent a couple of paparazzi to stalk her.” Sheila grinned evilly. “I think she lost her cool a little when they kept following her around,” she shrugged her shoulders.
“Are you fucking crazy?” Marcela retorted through clenched teeth. “Luna’s pregnant,” she hissed. “She might lose the baby,” her voice sounded concerned.
This was not the way that Marcela liked to fight her battles. It was one thing to go around, scheming and plotting to destroy an adversary, often using humiliation and blackmail in attaining that goal. It was a whole different thing to put the life of an enemy in serious danger. There was a line Marcela wouldn’t have crossed, ever.
“I know,” Sheila answered calmly. “That’s why I did it.” Her coldness sent shivers up Marcela’s spine. She was only now realizing that this girl was a sociopath.
Marcela tightened her jaw so hard that her neck muscles yelped in pain. “You stupid, dumb slut,” she cursed under her breath. “You better pray for Luna and the baby to be okay or I swear to you, you will live to regret this. I give you my word.”
Right then and there, Sheila knew Marcela Hopkins was someone you didn’t want to have as an enemy.
“She will be okay, Marcela.” Sheila answered calmly. “They just pushed her around a little. Her bodyguards got the bitch inside the car before she got hurt.”
Marcela shook her head in disgust. “Luna has heart problems, you stupid girl. Any strong emotion may cause her a heart attack,” she explained, all the time keeping her voice low enough so that only Sheila could hear her. “Shit like the one you pulled today could kill her.”
Sheila snorted. “And that’s bad because…”
Marcela’s guts clenched in disgust. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This girl was completely insane and Marcela cursed herself silently for not being able to realize it before now. She was going to have to keep a close eye on Sheila or things would get out of hand pretty soon.
“Listen to me, Sheila. We have a deal.” Marcela did her best to not lose her cool. “I’m the one doing the thinking here, you only have to use the body Mother Nature gifted you with to seduce Vin. Period.”
“Fine.” Sheila replied, her eyes sparkling with a malicious gleam. “I was just doing my bit.”
“I don’t need it, Sheila!” Marcela snapped angrily, rubbing her forehead. “Do you want to get Vin?” She locked eyes with the girl. “I’ll help you but you’re going to promise me right here right now that you will not do anything at all behind my back. Do you hear me?”
Sheila knew that she needed Marcela to get what she wanted and she also knew that if she messed with Vin’s agent, that Marcela would make sure to keep Vin out of her reach. She didn’t have the connections to move within Vin’s circle of close friends.
Swallowing her bruised ego once more, Sheila gritted her teeth and reluctantly nodded ‘yes’. She was not going to fuck up her only chance to get Vin Diesel, but she wouldn’t wait forever either.
Sheila was not a patient person and she considered that she had already waited enough time. For now, she would dance in the rhythm Marcela was playing, but only because she needed time to set her own plan in motion.
Oblivious to the rest of the people that were around the set, neither Sheila nor Marcela realized that Lorraine had been watching them talking. She had no clue what both women said, but she noticed that the tension was so thick it could be cut.
Narrowing her eyes, Lorraine wondered why Vin’s agent was talking with Sheila instead of hurrying to find what was going on and why Vin had stormed off the set, cursing and worried as hell.
Chapter 57 (Part III)
Cedars-Sinai Hospital (Cardiac Care Unit)
Vin was pacing back and forth like an animal caged, a furious animal caged. His hands clenching and unclenching uncontrollably. He was still wearing ‘Seth’s’ clothing, receiving weird looks from some nurses. Vin looked like a beggar someone had taken pity on and had brought him to the hospital for a complete checkup.
His ragged shirt and pants were dirty with countless stains of what looked like blood, dust, grease and dirt, all mixed up. Unshaved head and face along with make-up to make him look desperate and battered boots completed his outfit to play ‘Seth’.
Ironically, nobody had recognized him which was a very good thing because Vin was two seconds away from exploding with unrestrained rage. He was not only pissed off as hell and furious, Vin was also terrified.
Visions of another similar time, waiting for news about Luna’s health, were mercilessly torturing him. Back then he had felt exactly the same way he was feeling now. Guilty, mad and scared.
Renee had filled out the files, completing the information that Mike and Steve hadn’t been able to offer. Vin’s bodyguards had done their best to arrive as fast as possible, driving like hell to take Luna to Cedars in record time. After that, they had moved out of the way, leaving Vin with Val, but they were still around.
Vin had been waiting for half an hour already but it seemed like forever without having news about Luna. The only thing Vin knew for sure was that Dr. Williams had been phoned as soon as Luna had been admitted to the ICU within the cardiac care unit. He wasn’t even sure if the cardiologist had arrived at all.
His untidy outfit had stopped people from coming any place close to him and the look on his face had caused the few nurses that knew about his wife being admitted to not dare to speak with him at all. Not even to tell him that Dr. Williams had arrived ten minutes after she had been phoned and that she was with Luna.
Finally, and after what Vin swore had been an eternity, the door of the ICU swung open and Dr. Williams showed up, carrying a folder in her hands. Before she had time to spot him, Vin spun around and headed towards her.
“How’s Luna?” He asked, almost breathless.
Trisha Williams took a step backwards, swallowing a yelp in shock when she saw a beggar towering over her. The cardiologist blinked and arched her brows at once when she recognized him.
“Jesus, Vin!” She hissed, pressing a hand against her chest. “Damnit, you scared the hell out of me.” She gave him a fast once over. “What happened to you?”
“Tell me how my wife is!” He demanded, ignoring her question.
Dr. Williams frowned slightly. She couldn’t really blame him for acting in such an impolite way. Vin was worried and she understood in seconds. It wasn’t the time for explanations.
“Come with me, let’s talk inside,” she whispered, gently grabbing Vin’s forearm. He stood his ground.
“No, first tell me how Luna is,” Vin retorted, his jaw set hard. Dr. Williams sighed heavily.
“And the baby?” Vin asked, holding his breath. In response Dr. Williams smiled slightly.
“Both are okay, Vin. Luna is lightly sedated, her heart rate is normal and the baby’s health is not at risk,” she answered shortly but calmly and Vin narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “I swear to you, Vin. Luna is out of imminent danger. Now, please, come with me inside, I want to talk with you before I let you see your wife.” Dr. Williams tugged a little and Vin went willingly, letting out the air he had been holding with a painful sigh.
“What happened, exactly?” His voice sounded barely above a whisper as Vin swallowed dryly, taking a seat.
“I guess your bodyguards already told you about what caused Luna’s panic attack.” Dr. Williams opened the folder, looking at Vin.
In response, he nodded, growling under his breath. Mike and Steve had told him about the paparazzi stalking Luna for hours and how things got out of hand in seconds.
“Well, Luna got so nervous that she almost caused herself a cardiac arrest.” Vin gasped, his eyes widening as he tensed every single muscle in his frame. “It’s okay, Vin, calm down. Like I told you before, Luna and the baby are okay now. Her heart has returned to its ‘normal’ rate and her blood pressure is low which is better than if she has it high.” She explained, doing her best to calm Vin. He looked about to faint. “I phoned her gynecologist as soon as I knew that Luna was here and she checked on her. So far the baby is okay, but we both think Luna might end up having a miscarriage if she doesn’t rest until the end of her pregnancy, or at least, until she’s seven moths. We both think it would be better if we induce labor as soon as the baby reaches the 28th week of gestation.”
Vin shut his eyes, cursing himself silently as he fought back tears of anger and frustration.
“But the baby would be too small, right?” Vin opened his eyes, blinking his blurry vision. “I mean, I’ve watched it on TV. They…they are so fragile and…vulnerable that they have to be inside an…”
“…incubator, I know. But the baby will be mature enough to keep developing out of Luna’s womb.” Dr. William supplied. “Listen Vin, I won’t tell you it’s not risky because that’s not true. We all know that Luna has had a very high risk pregnancy from day one and we’ve been playing Russian roulette for months already, and if she doesn’t rest, and I mean resting for real, the consequences will be terrible.”
She paused, sighing hard at the sight of tears rolling down Vin’s cheeks. Trisha knew how much Vin and Luna wanted and needed that baby.
“Vin, don’t get me wrong, but the lifestyle both of you have is putting in real danger not only Luna’s life but the baby’s life as well. All the tension and the stress that Luna is putting herself through trying to keep a normal life will only lead her to lose the baby sooner rather than later or to end up having a heart attack, or worse both.”
Vin sat watching Luna sleeping and thinking about Dr. William’s words. He felt useless and powerless and Vin didn’t like it one damn bit. He was used to being in control and this situation was starting to get out of hand damn fast. Losing Luna or the baby wasn’t an option at all.
His gaze slid down Luna’s belly to her little bump, his child, their child.
Sometimes and especially at the very beginning of Luna’s pregnancy, it had been easy to forget that Luna was pregnant because she wasn’t showing. He had even caught himself about to light a cigarette while being in the same room as Luna or crashing into her in bed while sleeping without even being aware of it.
Then, from one day to the next, Luna’s belly had grown and that little bump had showed up from nowhere. It had been right then when Vin had realized that there was a life within. A fragile life that he had to protect against the world. He was not going to let something, anything hurt them, not even themselves.