Chapter 78 (Part I)
Holiday Inn Hotel. Paris
Lorraine swallowed forcefully. “I-I’m not playing any kind of game, Vin.” She smiled innocently.
Vin didn’t buy her performance for a minute; too much experience with lying chicks.
“You sure?” He cocked his head to one side. In response Lorraine nodded ‘yes’ eagerly, doing her best to hide her sudden uneasiness. “Okay,” Vin sighed and then reached forward, pulling out the heart-shaped handcuffs from the small bag, throwing them onto the bed. “Then, care to explain to me why the fuck Dave bought that shit for me thinking about you?” His voice sounded casual as he gestured with his head to the handcuffs, reflecting the lights in the room, “‘Cause I’ve known that sick fuck since we were kids, and I do know for sure that he wouldn’t hit on a chick if she wouldn’t have shown some sort of interest in him first.”
Lorraine’s eyes widened completely and she went still. “I-I don’t know from where…from where he got the idea of…I-I never…” She trailed off, swallowing nervously.
“You mean you never flirted with him, never gave him the impression you were interested in fucking him.” Vin’s gaze hardened a bit but his tone of voice sounded even.
Lorraine froze, as though a deer caught in the headlights and then looked down at her lap.
“Look at me.” Vin tightened his jaw when he saw Lorraine knotting her hands in her lap. “I said look at me!”
Lorraine’s jumped a little when Vin raised his voice and snapped her head up, meeting his eyes. He was angry, his face was a blank mask, but his eyes were fierce, hard and cold. Lorraine shuddered in fear.
Vin watched the play of emotions across Lorraine’s face and kicked himself. He didn’t want to scare her but, all of a sudden, a growing suspicion sat in the pit of his stomach. It was a bizarre suspicion, Vin conceded, but something told him that whatever shit Lorraine had been up to was somehow linked with Luna.
Taking a deep breath, Vin did his best to calm himself. No point in scaring the hell out of the girl or he wouldn’t get the answers to the questions that were popping at once within his head.
“Are you gonna tell me what I want to know?” Vin managed to soften his gaze, relaxing his stance a bit causing Lorraine to immediately relax too.
“There’s nothing to know, Vin, I swear to you.” Lorraine’s voice shook as she once more swallowed past the sudden lump in her throat.
Vin went silent, staring at Lorraine, only now realizing that, like Luna, Lorraine was a terrible liar. A great actress, that was true, but a terrible liar all the same. After a long moment in which the silence stretched, Vin finally cleared his throat, getting to his feet.
“Fine.” He picked up the handcuffs and put them inside the bag. “As soon as we’re back, you’ll pack your shit and you’ll return to LA with Mike.” The finality in his voice caused Lorraine to gasp aloud. “You’re fired.”
“No!” Lorraine exclaimed, straightening in her seat. “I can’t go back, Vin.”
In response Vin narrowed his eyes. She wasn’t worried because he was firing her but because he was sending her back to LA? “Why not?”
Lorraine averted her gaze, shaking her head. She couldn’t tell Vin about Luna’s plan, could she?
“Why not, Lorraine?” Vin insisted as, closely, he watched Lorraine. It looked as if she was fighting an internal battle with herself. Which was exactly what she was doing.
If she didn’t tell Vin everything, he would send her back to LA, of that Lorraine had no doubt, and if she did tell him about Luna’s plan, she would be betraying Luna’s confidence. Either way, Lorraine realized that she wouldn’t be able to carry out the mission Luna had entrusted her with; to pretend in front of Dave that she was interested in Vin to a point that her actions led Dave to think that she might be able to become a serious threat. Lorraine’s performance should be flawless, so that way Dave revealed his true being, targeting Lorraine.
Of course, Luna was counting on the fact that Vin would protect Lorraine at any cost which would only cause Dave to get angrier, making a mistake.
Vin kept watching Lorraine, silently studying her, as he recalled his conversation with Luna saying that she would deal with Dave when the time came. Then Vin recalled how, the following day and while in his meeting with Marcela, his agent had said that she and Luna had worked a deal, burying the hatchet, so to speak, and that they would both join efforts to make sure that Dave wouldn’t destroy Vin’s career with his schemes.
Then, Vin remembered how back then, he had wondered how Luna was planning to destroy Dave’s life, exactly, and how he hadn’t had any doubt about Luna achieving such a goal, by any means, not caring about the consequences.
By any means, Vin echoed silently. And realization dawned.
Thoughtfully, Vin narrowed his eyes as his guts twisted. She wouldn’t dare, would she? Luna wasn’t that twisted, was she? And how had she managed to convince this girl to help her to achieve her goal, anyway? What had Luna offered to Lorraine in return for offering herself as bait?
Vin’s vision washed red; he couldn’t believe it. There was no way Luna had gone so far as to use this girl in her schemes. Luna knew what kind of sick fuck Dave was. Sending Lorraine here was like sending a gazelle to the lion’s den. It was craziness.
Making a sublime effort to keep his sudden anger at bay, Vin gritted his teeth, swallowing forcefully and spoke in a low tone of voice.
“Wanna know why I think you don’t want me sending you back to LA?” Vin’s voice pulled Lorraine out of her own thoughts and she, once more, looked at him.
Lorraine swallowed nervously but didn’t avert her gaze from his, nor move a single muscle in her frame. Vin’s eyes were pinning her as though they were two strong hands that held her immobile right where she was sitting.
“Because you are not done with whatever shit Luna told you to do.” Vin glared at Lorraine, silently gauging the girl’s reaction at mentioning Luna.
Just like he had expected, Lorraine tensed, giving Vin the same look Chris and Adiana used to give when they were caught red handed, doing something they shouldn’t be doing. It was just for a second before Lorraine managed to pull herself together but enough for Vin to have his suspicions confirmed.
“I-I don’t know what are you t-talking about, Vin.” Lorraine stuttered, feeling her heart working its way up her throat. “I-I’m here to help Oliver, that’s all.”
Vin snorted aloud. “To help Oliver, my ass.” His gaze hardened as Vin closed the distance between them, standing in front of Lorraine “What are you supposed to do, huh? To seduce me? To seduce Dave? What, exactly?”
His voice sounded thick, as though he was about to explode with unrestrained anger, which he was, but the problem was that Vin wasn’t sure to whom he should direct his anger, exactly. To Lorraine for helping Luna, to Luna for coming up with such crazy shit or to himself for being so blind that he hadn’t seen this coming.
Lorraine’s eyes widened as she shrunk back on the couch. “Vin…please, you’re scaring me…” Her voice trembled and her eyes filled with tears.
Vin felt his heart skipping a beat at the sight of Lorraine’s tears rolling down her cheeks, but he needed to know what was going on for sure, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to protect Lorraine from Dave.
“Tell me what I want to know.” Vin pressed her, swearing upon everything that was Holy that he would compensate her later, but now, he wanted, no, needed answers.
“Vin…please…” Lorraine sobbed, cleaning her tears.
Vin reached out and, making sure he wouldn’t hurt her, he grabbed Lorraine by her arms, forcing her to stand in front of him. She let out a yelp, part in fear, part in surprise. “Tell me,” he hissed a breath away of her face.
Hot tears prickled down Lorraine’s cheeks as she locked eyes with Vin, shuddering. She was scared, still she refused to answer his question. “I can’t…” she breathed out shakily.
Vin growled under his breath and, making up his mind, he pulled Lorraine to him. If Vin Diesel couldn’t get her to speak, Riddick would do it.
“You don’t know who you’re fucking with, girl.”
His voice sounded casual, yet devoid of any emotion and Lorraine gasped. “You…you said to trust you, that…that you wouldn’t h-hurt me.” Now she wasn’t scared but terrified.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk…” Playing Riddick for all he was worth, Vin lifted one of his hands, cleaning Lorraine’s tears. “That was before I found that you’re a little liar, Lorraine, now you need to be punished.”
All of a sudden, Vin hadn’t sounded like himself and Lorraine cringed inwardly, shuddering as a wave fresh of tears rolled down unrestrained.
“Wanna play with the big boys, huh, Lorraine?” Vin buried his hand in her hair, fisting it and then pulled Lorraine even closer to him, their faces were so close that now they both were sharing their breaths. “Hmmmmm…Maybe those handcuffs will be useful after all.”
Lorraine shut her eyes, whimpering. “Vin…please, don’t hurt me…” she begged, so scared that she wasn’t even realizing that Vin was playing a role.
Vin wanted to kill himself at that very second though, but he knew he was about to find what he needed to know. Damn! He better think about a way to make it up to her after this shit.
“Tell me everything I want to know and I won’t have to hurt you, Lorraine,” he whispered, kissing her cheek lightly.
“O-okay…I’ll tell you…” Lorraine hiccuped between sobs and nodded ‘yes’ eagerly. In seconds, Vin released her, stepping backwards only now realizing that his performance had been so flawless that Lorraine had peed her pants.
Damn! You’re a real sick fuck, Vincent, Vin scolded himself silently, shaking his head.
Lorraine looked down at herself, wincing and then up at Vin. Her cheeks were pink red; she couldn’t get any more embarrassed. However, when Lorraine saw Vin’s expression, she felt like crying but for a whole different reason. His own eyes were sparkling with unshed tears and he didn’t look angry anymore but ashamed.
Without saying anything, Vin turned around, padding to the closet. He pulled out one of his clean t-shirts and one of the small bags that contained what he had bought at the exclusive boutique.
“Here.” Vin handed them to Lorraine, meeting her teary eyes. “Take a shower, then we’ll talk.” He got out thickly past the huge lump in his throat.
With that, he padded to the bed and took a seat, lighting a cigarette.
Lorraine did as told and entered the bathroom, closing and locking the door at her back. She peered inside the bag and her eyes filled with fresh tears that rolled down unrestrained. There were a pair of light pink, cherry printed, silk cotton panties with their matching bra. Both pieces of lingerie were adorned with a small scarlet satin bow.
When Vin heard the shower running, he leaned forward and, resting his forearms on his thighs, he pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes to stop the angry tears from being shed.
WARNING!! References to M/M relationship.
NJ’s note: You’re going to read about matters that you may find offensive. Skip this section of the chapter if you feel that you will not be able to go through the reading. I WILL NOT be responsible if you keep reading in spite of my warning and you end up feeling disturbed, mad, dissapointed, upset or whatever. Remember that this is fiction and NOT real life. (If you still feel like telling me something, please do it in the proper forum (The Bitchslap Room)
‘The Carousel’. NY.
“You’ve been fabulous, Chichi!”
One of his many devoted admirers praised him as Chichi made his way back to his changing room, swinging his hips seductively.
“Why, thank you, sunshine!” Chichi laughed wickedly, blowing the man a kiss.
Well, he was right though. Tonight, Chichi had offered quite a show; it was only fair that his audience paid him compliments.
Chichi’s smile stilled a bit on his lips when he saw Fred, standing in front of the changing room, talking with a black guy. Chichi swore his face looked familiar.
A sudden uneasiness sat in the pit of his stomach as Chichi got closer to both men. Still, he put himself together while his mind worked a mile a minute, doing his best to place the guy.
“Did you enjoy the show, sunshine?” Chichi stopped at Fred’s side, discreetly glancing sideways at the stranger.
“You know I did, beautiful.” Fred smiled warmly, putting Chichi at ease with a silent look. Whoever the guy was he was not there to hurt him, otherwise Chichi was sure that Fred would have ‘escorted’ the guy out of the club.
“Who are you, sunshine?” Chichi’s eyes flickered to the stranger.
Fred glanced at Steve and then cleared his throat. “Steve is an old friend of mine.”
Chichi’s eyes narrowed a bit. That would explain why the guy looked familiar to him. Maybe he had seen him around?
“Nice to meet you, Steve.” Chichi extended his hand, smiling widely when Steve lifted it to his lips, kissing it lightly.
“Same here…” Steve squeezed Chichi’s hand briefly before releasing it and plunging. “Miss Sunshine.”
At hearing those two last words, Chichi went on guard and his eyes narrowed completely.
It had been a lot of years since the last time Chichi had heard someone, anyone calling him ‘Miss Sunshine’. Only Fred knew about that ‘nickname’ though, and only because one night, Chichi had gotten drunk, pouring his heart out to Fred. The only other people that knew about his ‘pet name’ were the man who came up with it and his closest circle of friends.
The bulb in his head lit up and Chichi recoiled as soon as recognition dawned and he recalled why Steve’s face had looked familiar.
Steve Jackson; one of the bouncers at ‘Tunnel’.
Even though back then Chichi and Steve had coincided in time working at the club for just a couple of weeks before Chichi quit, the drag queen distinctively remembered Steve for being around Vin. And later, while having a look at some tabloid, Chichi had been catching glimpses of him in pictures, always discretely standing behind Vin’s wife.
Fred noticed the way Chichi shuddered uncontrollably and the hint of rising panic in his voice.
“It’s okay, baby. Steve and I have been friends for a while” Fred hastened to say as he reached out, gently holding Chichi by his arm. For a second the bouncer wasn’t sure if Chichi would faint or if he would bolt, running like hell down the hallway. Steve noticed too. “He just came with her.”
“She’d like to talk with you.” Steve added, smiling reassuringly. “That’s all.”
In response, Chichi blinked, startled as he gasped soundlessly. She. Chichi didn’t need to be told who ‘she’ was, exactly. In fact, he had been silently hoping for having a chance to talk with her. But now that she was here…
Regaining control over the emotional wreck that his body and mind had become in a matter of seconds, Chichi cleared his throat a little.
“Is she…is she here for real?” He still sounded a bit shaky as he looked back and forth between Steve and Fred, watching how they nodded ‘yes’, gesturing with their heads to the changing room.
Taking a deep breath, Chichi stretched his back and entered his changing room, closing the door. Immediately, he went still, staring at the woman sitting on the couch. Luna Vincent. Vin Diesel’s wife.
Luna lifted her face, meeting the drag queen’s eyes and felt her heart skipping a beat.
Just like James, Luna realized that dressed in drag, Chichi looked like a woman, a really beautiful woman. In fact, even under such an amount of makeup, Luna could discern his male features and she had no doubt that Chichi was also a very very handsome man.
“No wonder he fell for you…” Luna whispered absently as she gave Chichi a quick once over. “You’re fucking gorgeous…”
Chichi blinked, taken aback but Luna’s compliment; he wasn’t expecting it, certainly not coming from her. The fact that she sounded sincere was what caught Chichi off guard.
“T-Thank you.” He smiled wryly, feeling his cheeks heating up. “I gotta say that your pictures don’t do you justice. You’re more beautiful in person.”
Luna surprised them both by laughing. “Wow, that’s a compliment and half, much more considering that I’m photoshopped constantly.”
“There are things that not even photoshop can distort, like natural beauty.” Chichi grinned, closing the distance between them and stretched out his hand all in one smooth move. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Vincent.”
“Luna.” Luna corrected Chichi as she stood, shaking his hand, her smile never faltering. “It’s a pleasure, Chichi.”
Chichi smiled too, for some odd reason, he felt drawn to Luna in one second flat, causing that all his doubts and fears vanished at one stroke, but his chest tightened in pain too.
Maybe it was the fact that she looked tired, almost exhausted, and yet she held herself with a dignity most women showed off but didn’t possess; maybe because the blinding sadness that sparkled in her gaze, even though she was smiling warmly; or maybe it was just the fact that both of them had been, and in Luna’s case still was, an important part of Vin’s life. Whatever it was Chichi found himself liking Luna, a lot.
Releasing Luna’s hand, he took a seat in front of the dressing table. “Do you mind if I…” He trailed off, filling in the blank with a quick move of his hand, gesturing to tell Luna that he would remove his makeup.
“Oh,” Luna smiled wryly, only now realizing that he probably would like some privacy. “I’ll wait for you outside.” She turned to leave.
“No!” Chichi reached out, grabbing her wrist, stopping Luna dead in her tracks. “Please, stay…I don’t mind, really…” He squeezed Luna’s wrist softy and smiled reassuringly.
“Okay.” Luna smiled too and took a seat. She was starting to like this Chichi guy.
“Would you like something to drink?” Chichi turned around, making sure to keep eye contact with Luna through their reflections in the huge mirror. More than anything he didn’t want to act impolitely. “Coffee or tea?” As he spoke, Chichi removed the wig, carefully placing it aside, never losing eye contact with Luna.
Luna shook her head. “No, thanks.”
Chichi went still for a second, nodding in understanding. Of course, she didn’t want to drink anything with him. What had he be thinking? At the end she hadn’t come all the way there to socialize and with a drag queen no less!
“But I wouldn’t mind something a bit stronger. Like tequila or some shit like that.” Luna grinned, silently reading him.
Chichi blinked, shocked, not only at Luna’s perception but also at her ‘unladylike’ language. It reminded Chichi of Vin wanting to find a woman who was real, genuine and wasn’t afraid to talk her mind, even if it meant to be labeled as vulgar for those that thought of themselves as better than the rest.
Luna’s grin grew a bit wider. “I’m a bitch, but not a prissy one, no matter what tabloids say, you know?” She smirked.
In response, Chichi laughed at that, removing the clip-on earrings. “That would make two of us, then, sunshine.” He winked at Luna through their reflections.
Luna snickered, making herself comfortable on the couch. Yep, she really liked Chichi, a lot actually.
Chapter 78 (Part II)
Holiday Inn Hotel. Paris
Lorraine sipped from the glass that Vin had handed her a few minutes before, sniffling a little. It was tequila, but she didn’t care, actually something strong was what she needed after telling Vin everything about Luna’s plan.
He hadn’t interrupted her nor had said anything, not even when she was done talking. The only thing Vin had done was smoke non-stop and to sip directly from the bottle of tequila from time to time. Then he had handed her a box of kleenex and had poured her a glass of the burning liquid.
Glancing up, Lorraine looked at Vin; he was sitting on the bed, his back against the headboard and his legs stretched out, crossed at his ankles. He looked lost in thought yet relaxed, save for the uncontrolled twitch of his jaw muscles.
“Why did you do it?” Vin finally broke the relatively comfortable silence they had both fallen into and met Lorraine’s gaze. He could only think about two reasons why he’d do something like that. Revenge or love.
Lorraine blinked, a bit startled, and then frowned. Should she tell Vin that she was a lesbian or that she suspected that she was? Her eyebrows drew down. At this point it didn’t really matter anymore because she had failed Luna. She had betrayed Luna the same way Vin did.
“I love her,” Lorraine whispered under her breath.
Vin froze before sipping from the bottle. “What?”
Lorraine cleared her throat, feeling her cheeks heating up and raised her tone of voice. “I love her, that’s why I did it because I love Luna,” she said shyly, yet defiantly, as if daring Vin to make a joke.
Vin didn’t; he just arched his brows up, looking at her.
“And before you ask me, yes, I’m a lesbian or at least, I think I am.” Lorraine frowned again, averting her gaze. Well, if she had gotten all wet and stuff looking at the girls at the boutique, then that was an undeniable sign, right?
Now Lorraine’s odd behavior at the boutique made sense to Vin. He had thought that it was funny how she looked embarrassed surrounded by chicks wearing provocative pieces of lingerie. Now, he understood that it wasn’t embarrassment and more like fascination even though she had also looked lost, as though she wasn’t sure what to do with that. Her eyes had been sparkling similar to Oliver’s eyes, but without the leering part. Although he was now noticing that not even once had Lorraine’s gaze taken on the fact he was shirtless or how his jeans were unbuttoned, showing his briefs.
“Does Luna know?” Vin asked, dipping his head a little to catch Lorraine’s evasive gaze. “I mean, does she know that you love her?”
Lorraine nodded, recalling the afternoon she had gone to Virgin and how Val almost succeded in not allowing her to talk with Luna. And then how Luna had talked to her as though Lorraine was a worthless piece of shit until she had confessed to Luna that she didn’t like boys and that she loved her.
Vin’s brows drew down together. So Luna had known Lorraine loved her and used that same feeling as a weapon to manipulate the girl so she did what Luna wanted her to do.
Letting out a heavy sigh, Vin rubbed his forehead. Luna had done to Lorraine what he himself had done to Luna. Still, Luna had crossed a line Vin never thought his wife would be able to cross.
“Who else knows about this crazy plan Luna came up with?” Vin straightened on the bed.
Lorraine sighed softly. “As far as I know just Luna and me.”
Vin narrowed his eyes. “Not even Joe?”
Lorraine shook her head ‘no’. “Joe would kill me if he found out about it.”
Vin snorted inwardly. It wouldn’t be her who Joe would kill.
“Then you keep it that way.” Vin sipped from the bottle of tequila and then placed it onto the bedside table.
Lorraine looked up at him. “You won’t send me to LA?” she asked wryly.
Vin shook his head and Lorraine’s eyes sparkled with a mix of happiness and relief.
“Now that I know what’s going on, I’ll be able to keep an eye on you but you’ll do as I say and this time, you will keep your promise.” Vin pointed a stiff finger in her direction and Lorraine’s lips spread in a small smile as she nodded ‘yes’. “No more messing around with Dave. No more flirting and you’ll stop pretending to be interested in him, got it?” He got serious and Lorraine’s smile stilled.
“Forget about Luna, girl!” Vin snapped causing Lorraine to recoil in a heartbeat.
Heaving a hard sigh, Vin pinched the bridge of his nose, cursing himself silently. “Listen, Lorraine,” he locked eyes with her, “Luna doesn’t have a fucking clue who she’s messing around with, you hear me? So you will not play this game anymore and that’s final, got it?”
Reluctantly, Lorraine nodded ‘yes’. “Fine, but how are we going to…” She trailed off when Vin’s gaze hardened once more.
Vin narrowed his eyes, somehow he knew that if he didn’t play this game, the shit was going to end up hitting the fan and Lorraine would end up being hurt. He was the one who knew Dave better and knew what Dave was capable of doing if fucked with.
“You’re still a virgin, right?” Vin got to his feet, heading directly to the desk, placed next to the closet.
“Yes.” Lorraine followed his every move and saw Vin picking up the letter opener. Her eyes widened and she got to her feet in a second flat. “Vin?” She shuddered uncontrollably. “What…what are you doing?” Lorraine’s voice sounded tinted with panic and Vin turned around.
“I’m gonna deflower you, or at least I’m gonna make Dave believe that you’re not a virgin anymore.” Vin answered and with that, he threw the bedspread aside, revealing the white silky sheets. “That way you wouldn’t be half as interesting to him. Now bring me a towel, girl.”
Lorraine hesitated for a moment until he saw Vin placing the edge of the letter opener against the side of his hand, cutting the skin. It was then when she dashed to the bathroom, bringing the towel.
Gasping aloud, Lorraine saw how Vin knelt onto the bed, letting some drops of his blood fall onto the sheets. Then he spread them a little until he got the result he was looking for.
Lorraine’s eyes widened completely. “That’s a huge stain, Vin,” she whispered, staring at the sheets. For some reason she was feeling sick just looking at the blood even though it wasn’t hers.
In response, Vin chuckled but there wasn’t humor in his voice when he answered. “That’s exactly how the sheets would look.” If I fuck you being a virgin the way Dave is expecting for me to do, Vin added to himself, he wouldn’t say that to Lorraine though.
Lorraine’s eyes widened completely as she swallowed her sudden nausea back down her throat. “You weren’t kidding when you said that Dave was dangerous, right?” her voice shook as she shuddered fiercely.
Vin snorted. “No, I wasn’t kidding.” And Luna should have told you, Vin gritted his teeth. He was going to have a long conversation with his wife as soon as he was back in Prague.
‘The Carousel.’ NY.
Steve and Fred sat at the bar, talking quietly as they watched Luna and Chichi looking at old pictures Chichi had kept in a photo album. The club was empty, all the patrons gone almost an hour ago. It was late, yet none of them were in a hurry to go anywhere. Fred had placed a bottle of tequila on their table, two shot glasses and an ashtray. By now, half a bottle was gone, sipped between fits of crazy giggles and loud laughter.
“Is she that cool?” Fred sipped from his mug filled with black coffee, gesturing in Luna’s direction.
“As cool as someone who’s going through the living hell she’s going can be,” was Steve’s answer.
Fred nodded in understanding. If what tabloids had published was true, then he was sure that Luna was a step away from losing it completely. Fred knew he would, if he would have gone through half the shit those fuckers had said.
“I take it it’s not a question of money, then?” Fred asked quietly, refilling his mug of coffee.
He figured that Steve was getting paid pretty well, surely much more than what Steve had being paid as security guard or what he himself was being paid as a bouncer. Still, Fred also knew that Steve wasn’t that ambitious of a man.
Steve shook his head. “It stopped being a question of money the night she almost died,” he sighed hard, sipping from his bottle of water.
Fred thought about what Steve had told him about Dave, fitting the intel with the little pieces he had put together after Chichi got drunk, pouring his heart out to him.
“You packing?” He turned his face to look at Steve.
Steve shook his head. “I’m still on parole. They took away my gun licence. ‘Sides Luna doesn’t like guns.”
“How is it that being on parole you can move from one state to another freely?” Fred frowned a bit.
Steve’s lips curled up in a small smirk. “Someone pulled some strings, made a couple of phone calls.” He shrugged his shoulders a bit. “You know how that shit works.”
“Friends even in hell, huh?” Fred chuckled and Steve nodded. “Still, I think you should start packing, just in case.” He paused, sipping from his coffee and then continued. “Licence won’t be a problem, I know someone who knows someone. Money won’t be a problem either, I’ve got a couple of guys that owe me a favor.”
Steve went silent, thinking about Fred’s selfless offer; he was seriously considering it.
He knew Luna hated guns with everything in her. She couldn’t even understand how people were allowed to go walking around with guns for the hell of it. On one occasion Vin had mentioned that it would be wise to keep a gun at ‘Black Star’ and Luna had gone ballistic just at the mere idea.
“I don’t think is a good idea, Fred,” Steve turned on his stool, looking at Luna, “but thanks for the offer, I’ll keep it in mind.”
Fred waved Steve off. “What are friends for.” He tapped Steve’s shoulder and they both chuckled hearing Luna laughing out loud.
“Oh my God!” Luna giggled madly, staring at one picture showing Vin and Val with their pants down, their butts naked, exposed to the camera.
Chichi laughed softly. “They were pretty smashed, you know?” He found himself justifying Vin’s and Val’s behavior
“Yeah, I bet.” Luna grinned, staring at the picture. She didn’t need an explanation for these pictures; they had been drinking and partying, besides, back then they were teenagers. “Damn! I had no idea…” Luna trailed off, sipping from her shot of tequila.
“No idea they were that wild?” Chichi frowned, a bit concerned. Maybe it hadn’t been a good idea to show Luna these old pics.
“What? No,” Luna shook her head, chuckling. “No idea Val had such a gorgeous butt.” She giggled wickedly.
At Luna’s reply, Chichi grinned. It was true though.
Chichi had never shown these pictures to anyone. Some of them not even to Joe, but he had wanted Luna to have the chance to see Vin in a whole new light, showing a side of him that just a bunch of lucky people had had the chance to enjoy before Vin became the famous movie star he was now. Chichi considered that it was only fair that his own wife could find out about that side, so she could understand Vin better.
Glancing sideways, Chichi sighed softly; Luna’s lips were spread in a huge smile as she kept looking at the pictures, giggling and chuckling. Her eyes sparkled as though they were stars and she looked relaxed and at ease.
Chichi had already reached the conclusion that Luna was unique, one of a kind, since she hadn’t looked offended or shocked watching some of the pictures. Quite the opposite, she had shown such an open mind that Chichi himself had been the one feeling shocked. Luna’s lack of prejudice was evident and it was clear that she hadn’t come to judge anyone, not even her husband.
Maybe it was because Luna was a Spaniard. Europeans were infamous for their open mind regarding sex. There were countries where prostitution was legal and hookers paid their taxes to the government like any other citizen.
“No wonder he married you. You’re everything he always dreamt about.” It was out before Chichi could stop himself.
“Yeah and then he woke up.” Luna smiled sadly.
“Sorry,” Chichi rested his hand on Luna’s. “I didn’t mean…it’s none of my business.”
“It’s okay.” Luna squeezed Chichi’s hand in return. “Would you tell me how everything started? How you two became…”
“Friends with benefits?” Chichi supplied, grinning shyly.
Chichi stared at Luna for a long moment, silently studying the woman’s expression. She didn’t look mad or upset, not even disappointed at finding that her husband had had some sort of ‘relationship’ with another man. Actually, Luna looked genuinely interested and also a bit curious.
Refilling their shot glasses, Chichi leaned backwards on his chair, making himself comfortable and smiled.
“People were drawn to him like moths to a flame. His overwhelming charm…all that positive energy he oozed made everyone fall for him in seconds. But that was not all,” Chichi smiled fondly, “He acted like the big brother, always protecting those that he considered needing to be watched closely because they were somehow at a disadvantage, like me…” Chichi’s eyebrows drew down, crumpling his forehead a bit. “One night, I was exiting the club, in drag, and there was this bunch of retards, calling me names and stuff…They were being pretty mean, saying that scum like me should be killed or locked in some hidden place…”
Luna’s fingers gripped the shot glass so tightly that her knuckles turned white. She hated bastards like those with everything in her.
“I was terrified and he noticed and insisted on walking me home, just to be sure that I’d be okay. I wasn’t sure those retards wouldn’t come after me…so, I accepted, of course, and when we got to my place I offered him a drink. He said that it would be better on another occasion and that he was pretty beat and that he had an audition the following day.” Chichi paused, sipping from his shot of tequila. “From that night on, he started walking me home, sometimes alone, other times with whatever chick he would…” Chichi trailed off, realizing that Luna didn’t need those sort of details. Clearing his throat a bit, he continued.
“One night as we walked back to my place, I noticed that he looked kind of upset and a bit angry. He usually talked a lot and made jokes, but that night he was really quiet, crestfallen, so I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he had gone to an audition and that they had turned him down, again.” Chichi sipped from his tequila and let out a heavy sigh.
Back then everyone knew that Vin had been working as a bouncer because that way he could have the mornings free to go to those auditions in the hope that someone, anyone finally saw his talent, giving him a chance.
“He had so many hopes put on that audition and had been working so hard on that role that when they rejected him, he just…well, he got demoralized and started saying that he was just a huge failure, and that he didn’t have any talent and that kept trying to become an actor was a waste of time and energy because it was clear that he wasn’t any good at it, otherwise he would have been given a chance already…”
Chichi paused, feeling Luna’s hand squeezing his and he smiled sadly, meeting her teary gaze. Just a look at her eyes full of frozen tears and Chichi knew that Luna had seen Vin feeling that way, probably even more down.
Chichi figured that having the chance to taste the sweet flavour of success would have made Vin feel like a bigger failure, more demoralized. And it was true.
Luna had seen her husband at his worst, desperately wanting to shoot a movie that no one aside from just a bunch of people still thought he could do. Luna had been a silent witness to how slowly but leisurely people had stopped believing in Vin Diesel’s talent, labeling him as just another mass of brainless muscles that was getting old.
“It broke my heart to see him so hopeless, so down, and I wanted to do something to make him feel better, to cheer him up a bit. It wasn’t that I felt I owed him because he had been great with me, walking me home and stuff but because I somehow knew that if I left him alone, he might end up getting himself in trouble… So I insisted on him staying at my place, that way I would be able to get him to talk all that shit out without having to worry about him getting a beating somewhere.” Chichi heaved a hard sigh.
It wouldn’t be the first time that some unhappy patron had waited for the perfect chance to pay back the bouncer that had thrown him out of the club after causing trouble. That was the main reason why most of the bouncers always hung out together.
“I found a bottle of something, don’t even remember what it was, but we both got pretty drunk. I was still dressed in drag, ‘cause I hadn’t wanted to leave him alone, not even for a couple of minutes. It hadn’t been that I thought he would mess up my place but because I still wasn’t sure that he wouldn’t do something stupid, feeling all depressed and shit.”
Luna knit a brow and Chichi smiled wryly, averting his gaze.
Now, thinking about it, it seemed a bit dumb thought, since Vin always had a huge ego, not to mention that his lack of self-esteem had been impossible to miss, but back then, he didn’t look all that strong, but lost and scared, at least to Chichi.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I wanted him, badly. He was damn hot and so fucking sexy that I just couldn’t keep my hands to myself and even though I knew that all that he wanted was someone to get off with…I…well…one thing led to another and…”
Chichi trailed off as he met Luna’s eyes. He didn’t feel like revealing the details but silently begged her to understand his motivations, that he hadn’t used the occasion to take advantage of Vin; that all that Chichi had wanted was to offer Vin support and a shoulder to lean on because no one better than Chichi could understand how it felt to be rejected over and over. But, that at the same time, he had also wanted to be with him. It was complicated and Chichi wasn’t sure how to explain Luna.
He didn’t need to because, of course, Luna understood. How could she not? Luna had done the very same thing that first night that she found Vin alone in his office, after that damn party that went to hell pretty damn fast. She had wanted to offer him her support but she hadn’t been able to resist the temptation of being with him, even though she had known that all that Vin had wanted had been a fuck. Both of them had gotten what they wanted though and Luna figured that with Chichi something similar had happened.
“And you became more than just friends,” Luna whispered. There wasn’t hatred or anger in her voice, not even sadness. She was thinking aloud.
Chichi nodded slowly. “It wasn’t love or anything like that, sunshine,” he lifted Luna’s hand, pressing it against his chest. “It was…damn! I’m not even sure what the hell it was, but he told me once that while being with me, he could be himself, if that makes sense.”
Luna chuckled sadly. Of course it did make sense.
“We never went out and about together, you know? We weren’t dating or anything like that. It was just us at my place; our little secret world in which we both could do and say whatever we felt like it without thinking about the consequences. It was some sort of parallel universe within those four walls and what happened there stayed there. It wasn’t that he felt ashamed but that he wanted that part of his life to be his, he didn’t want to share it with someone else.”
Once more Luna nodded in understanding.
“Sometimes we talked for hours; he kept saying that someday he would become a famous actor and that people across the world would know about Vin Diesel.”
Luna rolled her eyes and Chichi chuckled, recalling how Vin had been a bit monothematic.
“To his face, most people agreed with him, as though he was some nutcase, but behind his back, they thought he was just a pathetic loser. But I knew he would end up making a reality of his crazy dream because I have seen him performing, rehearsing different roles for his auditions.”
Chichi sipped from his shot glass and refilled it, gulping half of it.
“Sometimes I even helped him, reading the lines of other characters so he could play his part, but people kept turning him down over and over.” He let out a heavy sigh and then went on. “You’re too light to play a black fella or too dark to play Caucasian, they told him. Or you’re too old, too young, too big, too small, whatever, you know? But the fact was that he was seriously considering giving up on his ultimate dream until I asked him why he didn’t write something he could play.”
Luna’s lips spread in a small grin. “’Multifacial’ and later, ‘Strays’.”
Chichi nodded. “’Multifacial’ started as some sort of therapy, just so he could write about how he felt. A harmless way to give free reign to all the anger and the frustration he felt every time another door was slammed closed in his face.”
A thought occurred to Luna. “From where did he get the money to shoot ‘Multifacial’?”
Chichi blinked, a bit startled. “You don’t miss anything, huh, sunshine?”
Luna laughed quietly. “I’m not a brainless bimbo, remember?”
Chichi laughed too. No, Luna Vincent wasn’t stupid, that was for sure.
“I knew this photographer; he was looking for models, female and male, to pose for fetish pictures, some of them frontal nude pictures, others just impersonating kinky sex fantasies. It was good money and the discretion was guaranteed.” Chichi sighed softly, never releasing Luna’s hand. “It wasn’t pornography but art and the pictures were beautiful. He already had a body to die for, so when I introduced him to this guy, he wanted to start taking pictures of him right away. Vin agreed with one condition; he didn’t want his face to be seen.”
Luna nodded, remembering some of the pictures that James Haltom had found that were supposed to be Vin’s, even though his face wasn’t showing in the most explicit ones.
“You could have made a lot of money talking about him once he became famous and shit.” Luna sipped from her tequila.
“Yeah, I guess, but it would have been a shitty way to pay him back, besides, he always treated me with respect, took care of me, made sure I never felt less. We were friends and that was all that mattered to me. He was more decent than most people I knew back then. He didn’t deserve such a betrayal on my part.”
Luna smiled warmly, squeezing Chichi’s hand and he returned the smile. They both knew that they had seen a side of Vin that he didn’t show very often.
“Chichi?” Luna grew serious, locking eyes with him. “What happened to Joe?”
Chichi’s smile vanished in one second flat. “Luna…” he heaved a hard sigh, feeling his throat closing fast with a huge lump.
“I need to know, Chichi. I really need to know.”
Chichi looked down at his lap, feeling his eyes welling with tears. It hurt so much.
“Please, Chichi,” Luna reached out, cupping Chichi’s face and lifting it gently so she could meet his eyes. They were sparkling with tears and Luna felt like dying, but she needed to know.
After a long moment, Chichi nodded, and Luna wiped his cheeks, leaning forward and kissing his lips softly. That did it and Chichi whimpered quietly, choking back a sob.
“From that very first night, I always got the feeling I was being watched, as though someone was tracking my every move, studying me silently from the shadows,” his voice shook a bit and Chichi shuddered uncontrollably. “I knew Dave couldn’t stand me, actually he hated my guts with everything in him, but he always did a good job pretending, especially in front of Vin and even in front of Valentino. He even went as far as making jokes, teasing me. It looked innocent but I knew better.”
Chichi cleared his throat and dried a few stray tears that had fallen almost unnoticed.
“That night, Vin had said that he wanted for me to go with him to the party, that he didn’t care what the others might think about us being together. I told him that he had gone crazy and that people wouldn’t like it, but being the stubborn guy he was, he replied to hell with people. Fuck them, he said, shrugging his broad shoulders.”
A fresh wave of tears rolled down Chichi’s cheeks and Luna reached out, holding his other hand in his, squeezing gently, as though offering support so Chichi got enough strength to keep talking. He did and squeezing Luna’s hands in return, he went on, telling Luna everything about that night.
By the time Chichi was done talking, Luna’s face was stricken with tears and she felt so angry that she thought she could kill Dave with her bare hands if he would have shown up right there and then.
“While Joe was still in the hospital, Dave came to see him; he even brought him some flowers. We both sat outside, smoking a cigarette and he told me that it had been a misfortune what had happened to Joe, but that somehow he had brought it on himself, for messing with the wrong people.” Chichi shuddered, recalling Dave’s cold tone of voice. “Then he said that I should start thinking seriously about leaving Vin alone because whatever we had wasn’t going to last much longer and that if I kept insisting on being with Vin I might end up being the next one laying on a bed at the hospital. I got the message crystal clear.”
Luna felt her heart skipping a beat and she swallowed forcefully over the lump in her throat. “Did you tell Vin?” She got out thickly. Luna needed to find out if Vin had known about it and yet had kept being Dave’s friend.
Chichi shook his head ‘no’. “What was I going to tell him? That Dave had threatened me?” He chuckled bitterly. “Vin and I were close friends, but he and Dave were as thick as thieves. I thought that maybe Vin would believe me, but then wondered if telling him would be worse. Dave was a dangerous bastard, who knew what he would have done to Vin in retaliation. I didn’t want anything bad happening to him either; I wouldn’t have been able to get over that, not after seeing what his buddies had done to Joe. So I quit my job at the club and spent all my time with Joe.”
Luna nodded in understanding but kept silent. So it hadn’t been just a matter of being fuck partners or friends with benefits, at least not on Chichi’s part.
“That was the last time you saw Vin?” She asked softly.
Once more, Chichi shook his head ‘no’, cleaning the few stray tears that had kept rolling down his cheeks. “That night, after Dave left, Vin came to see Joe, just like he had been doing every day and I asked him to please stop coming because people would end up gossiping and that if he was still planning to become a famous Hollywood star, all that shit might end up damaging his public image in the future.” He sniffed softly. “He said I was crazy if I thought he would pretend that we hadn’t been friends just because people might say shit in the future, that he wasn’t ashamed of what we had shared…I just snorted aloud and spat at him that all I have been for him was a hole to stick his cock into while being drunk or high; that we had shared nothing aside from clandestine sex and perverse fantasies.”
Luna sighed softly, wondering how Vin had felt back then after Chichi told him that bullshit. “What did he say?”
Chichi chuckled sadly. “He just growled under his breath and got to his feet, storming out of Joe’s room. I never saw him again.” He leaned backwards, sniffing softly. “Then I knew that he had met this chick Tess and that they were going to marry…” he snorted, rolling his eyes. “I knew right away that they wouldn’t last because Dave would always be there, standing in the shadows, lying in wait for the perfect chance to get rid of whoever might end up becoming a real threat, getting between her and Vin.”
“I’m sure you meant to him more than just a hole to stick his cock or a clandestine, perverse pastime.” Luna put as much reassurance as she could into her words because she really meant what she said.
Chichi shrugged his shoulders a bit and smiled shyly. “Maybe, but I wasn’t going to tell that to him. I always knew he wouldn’t stick with me because he always loved pussy and that was something I couldn’t give him.”
Luna grinned, but said nothing. It was true. Vin liked anal sex, but he’d rather fuck her pussy six ways from Sunday while using a butt plug on her ass than practising the real deal.
“I’m glad he found you, Luna, because I have no doubt that you love him with everything in you or you wouldn’t have come here tonight.” Chichi leaned forward and hugged Luna tightly. He wasn’t sure where the sudden urge to do that came from. “Don’t let anything get between you two; otherwise you both would be lost.”
Luna felt hot tears prickling down her cheeks and hugged Chichi back. “Thank you, Chichi,” she whispered breathlessly. “Thank you for letting me know, for helping me to understand.”
Chichi let out a soft whimper, holding Luna tightly against him. “You take care, you hear me?” He pulled back a bit, so he could look at her eyes. “Promise me that you’ll be careful.”
Luna nodded, blinking fresh tears. “I’ll do so. I promise you.”
“Good.” Chichi nodded, smiling through his tears.