Vin had his eyes closed as a knock on his door pulled him out of his thoughts. He shook his head and stood, heading towards the door, finding Valentino in front of his face when he opened.
As soon as Val laid eyes on Vin, he knew that something was very wrong.
“Hey, bro! What’s the matter?” Valentino asked him, concerned, as he pushed Vin back to enter the office, closing the door behind him.
Vin shook his head and returned to his chair. “I drove her back to her hotel.”
Valentino frowned deeply, staring at Vin.
They had been close friends since they were both kids and today was one of those few occasions on which Valentino suspected that Vin was so lost that he didn’t know what to do next.
“Why?” Valentino asked puzzled. Vin lifted his head and locked eyes with his friend.
“Why what?” Vin retorted, and his voice sounded louder than he expected. Valentino blinked at the tone of Vin’s voice as he took a seat in front of him at the other side of his desk.
“Why did you drive Luna to her hotel? I mean she’s not going anywhere until Sunday, is she? So why are you in such a hurry to get rid of her?” Valentino asked, puzzled.
He knew full well that Vin had let a chick sleep with him for more than just a couple of nights and it had happened on more than one occasion. His voice sounded calm and gentle. Valentino knew better than to push Vin when he seemed out of place.
Vin chuckled at that as he stiffened in his chair. “What the fuck is with you, Val?” Vin asked him, raising his voice.
In response Valentino narrowed his eyes and lifted a hand, gesturing for Vin to keep his voice low. Vin took a deep breath and tried his best to keep calm.
“I don’t want her around me anymore. That’s the reason why.” Vin said coldly, shaking his head slightly. He was unable to get rid of visions of Luna’s green eyes.
Valentino watched him in complete silence for a long moment. He knew Vin almost as well as he knew himself, and he never had seen Vin in this state before.
Valentino was sure that Vin liked Luna more than just a little bit. So Val cleared his throat and braced himself for what he was about to say because he knew that Vin wasn’t going to like it one damn bit.
“Listen, man. I don’t know what happened at your place, but you’re always whining about the chicks you meet.” Valentino cut himself off as soon as Vin fixed him with a cold gaze. “It’s true, brother. You say that almost all of them are looking for your money or your fame. And that they are always more interested in a fuck with Vin Diesel and not with your. Suddenly, a sexy as hell woman shows up in your life and she doesn’t give a shit about all those things. And you go and send her back to her hotel when you could spend a whole week with her?” Valentino frowned deeply as he shook his head in disbelief.
“You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, brother.” Vin replied, as he stood up quickly, almost knocking over his chair. “You were the one who told me that she meant trouble. You have seen Luna. She’s…”
Valentino didn’t let him finish. “She’s a beautiful woman, intelligent and smart.” He retorted, as he stood as well. “When was the last time you met someone like her? When was the last time that you acted like this?” Val raised his own voice.
Vin growled as he started to pace back and forth across his office. Val turned around and looked at him.
“Pick up the phone and call her, Vin.” He added. Vin stopped dead in his tracks and locked eyes with him.
“I’m not gonna see her again, Valentino. I’m not gonna call her and I’m not gonna talk about her with you or anyone else, got it?” Vin said seriously as he continued pacing, closing his hands into fists so tight that his knuckles turned white.
“Fuck, Vin!” Val exclaimed as he went to his side. “You’ve been working non stop for the last few months. Take a break, man. Call Luna. Tell her you want to have lunch with her. I’m sure she’s waiting for your call.”
Valentino was trying to make Vin understand that he could enjoy life a little before the next project.
“Jesus Fucking Christ, Val!” Vin shouted, annoyed. “I can’t see her again, man. Why are you pushing me?!” He asked him, screwing up his face.
“And why can’t you see her?” Valentino narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
He was starting to realize what was happening here and he fought the urge to laugh even though he was starting to be mad at Vin.
Vin rolled his eyes as he raised his arms exasperated, muttering obscenities under his breath.
“Answer me, man!” Valentino pressed him.
Vin let out a deep growl and stared at his eyes. “Cause, I’m not sure if I would let her go back to Spain.” He muttered through clenched teeth. “Are you happy?” He added in a sarcastic tone of voice as he collapsed on his chair. He then heaved a hard sigh and shut his eyes, rubbing his forehead.
Valentino’s eyes almost popped out of his face. ¡Dios Santo! He exclaimed silently, concern written all over his face. He then started to pace around the room, mimicking Vin’s previous moves.
They both went silent for a long moment until Valentino spoke again.
“Do you believe in Fate?” He asked him suddenly. Vin’s eyes snapped open as he looked at Val, puzzled.
“And what the hell has Fate got to do with this?” Vin asked, arching his brows at unison. Valentino grinned as he took a seat in front of him again.
“Listen to me and pay attention, bro.” Val said, taking a deep breath. In response Vin narrowed his eyes but kept silent. “You saw her in London, ok? And later on the plane, right?” Val explained to him. Vin just nodded ‘yes’. “Good. Now we go and find her at the club one week later, ok? You know where I’m going?” Valentino asked him, grinning playfully. Vin narrowed his eyes even more and shook his head ‘no’.
“Where are you heading, man?” He asked puzzled.
Vin’s head had started to hurt like a bitch, so he closed his eyes and rubbed his temples, sighing through his nostrils.
“Fate, Vin. It’s Fate, brother. You can try and avoid your own fate but that’s not the way things work, you know?” Valentino stated as his grin widened. “Fate wants you both together and no matter what you say or do, you’re gonna see her again. I tell you, brother. Luna is the woman.” Val added as he laughed.
At Valentino words, Vin felt his anger rising fast.
“Bullshit!” He shouted. “Fuck fate!” He added as he stood again. Vin started to raise his voice again not caring if someone could hear him. “We met; we liked each other; we fucked; we enjoyed each other and that’s all. Period!” Vin finished, breathing through his nose.
Valentino rolled his eyes chuckling and shook his head. He was going to say something but Vin cut him off.
“Don’t!” He warned him, narrowing his eyes. Valentino moved around the table and faced Vin.
“You know I’m right, Vin. I’ve known you for so many years that I can’t remember exactly when we met.” Val muttered almost nose to nose with him. “I was there and I saw the way you were looking at her. And you can be sure of one thing, man. I have never seen you looking at a woman the way I saw you looking at Luna, ever. Not even once.” He said serious, holding Vin’s gaze. “You can play dumb with everyone, except with me, Vincent. I’m not only your bodyguard; I’m also your best friend. And you can’t fool me.”
Vin arched a brow at the tone of his voice.
“You’re scared to death, brother. Luna is not like the others. She doesn’t give a shit about Vin Diesel. And I’d bet that she doesn’t even call you ‘Vin’.” Valentino stated as a small grin tugged the corner of his lips. “Tell me I’m wrong, man.”
Vin heaved a hard sigh, chuckling sadly. He couldn’t stay mad at Valentino, no matter the things he said. Vin loved Valentino too much and he was really his blood brother.
“Asshole.” Vin said grinning. Valentino knit a brow, puzzled for a second. Vin elaborated. “Luna calls me ‘asshole’ all the time. And don’t laugh man, but she also calls me ‘Mark’.” He added as his grin widened.
Val grinned back arching his brows.
“No fucking way, bro. Are you shitting me?” Valentino asked, amused and smiling broadly. Vin rolled his eyes and shook his head ‘no’. “Fuck, man. Only your mama calls you Mark,” Val couldn’t help but start to laugh. “And only when she’s pissed off with you.” Valentino added, frowning deeply.
“I know, man.” Vin replied, as he frowned with him. “She asked me ‘why ‘Diesel’’ and I told her my real name and she asked which name she had to use and I told her that I didn’t care. And you know what? It was true, Val. I really didn’t care as long as she called me. So, I don’t know why but she fucking picked ‘Mark’.” Vin explained to Val.
“But you don’t like Mark, bro.” Valentino said as he narrowed his eyes. Vin nodded in agreement.
“Yeah, but it’s the way she says it, you know? I don’t need to be Vin Diesel.” Vin sighed hard and collapsed again in his chair. “Luna doesn’t know anything about me, Val. It’s so easy with her…” Vin closed his eyes for a second, letting out a heavy sigh. “I’m sure she’s seeing the real me when we are talking. She’s not looking at me and thinking about Riddick, or Dominic or Xander. When Luna is talking with me, she’s looking at Mark Vincent who happens to be an actor.” Vin rubbed his forehead.
Valentino narrowed his brown eyes as he remained in complete silence for a long moment.
“I don’t know what the fuck I’m gonna do now, Valentino.” Vin admitted as he shut his eyes.
Valentino sighed hard and standing he headed towards the door. When he spoke, it was over his shoulder.
“Remember I told you she meant trouble?” Val asked Vin, holding his gaze.
“Yeah.” Vin replied.
“I was talking about this situation, Vin.” Valentino added and with that he opened the door, closing it at his back.
Vin leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes. Fate, his mind echoed. He sighed hard. Luna… His own voice said. Luna… he echoed faintly.
She could hear his voice echoing faintly like a murmur inside her head and Luna opened her eyes, blinking slowly. She then glanced at her chrono. It had been four hours since Vin drove her to the hotel.
Luna took a deep breath and climbed off the bed, then headed directly to the bathroom and stared at her reflection in the mirror.
Her eyes were slightly red and under them dark shadows were visible. Luna heaved a hard sigh and picked up her cell phone. She connected it the battery and her mailbox emitted a beep signaling that she had a voice message. Luna fingered her personal code and waited. A few seconds later the voice of M sounded.
“Hi, Gemini. Call me when you have two minutes. No matter the hour, just call me back. Love you.”
Luna sighed hard and dialed M’s cell phone number. Just two tones and M answered.
“Hi, kid.” M greeted her.
Luna frowned deeply. “You’re not tired of being right, are you?” Luna asked M. Her voice serious. M narrowed her eyes, but smiled.
“I could say ‘yes’, but it would be a lie. Tell me. How’s everything?” M said, her voice still gentle but her eyes narrowed even more.
“Well, you tell me. It seems to me that you already know.” Luna replied sarcastically. M arched a brow at the tone of Luna’s voice, but let it go for now.
“You already met him?” It wasn’t a question at all.
M knew full well that Luna had met the man who she had anticipated that Luna would meet. Luna didn’t answer, just started to chew her lower lip.
“Where’s he now?” M asked as she took a seat and got comfortable. This phone call was going to last longer than she had originally thought.
Luna chuckled. “I don’t know where the fuck he is and honestly I’m not sure if I want to know anymore.” She answered, pretending that she really didn’t care. M shook her head.
“What’ve you done, Gemini?” M asked and her voice had sounded suddenly serious and cold.
“Nothing.” Luna retorted, as she took a seat on the bed.
M rolled her eyes. “You’re stupid, kid. Tell me what’ve you done?” M demanded. When Luna didn’t answer her. M raised her voice. “Don’t tell me you pushed him away from you. Don’t tell me that, Luna.” M warned her in a low cold voice.
Luna smirked. “It wasn’t necessary, M. This is the kind of things that happen when you…”
M cut her off. “The fuck it is!” M retorted, annoyed. “I knew it. I told you, Luna. I fucking told you. Don’t. Fuck. This. Up.” She added and felt her anger rising fast. “What am I telling you always?” M asked her, trying to calm herself down.
“I don’t know.” Luna retorted coldly.
“You have to let things happen, Luna. Everything has a process. You have to walk in one direction and you can’t change your path as your wish, Gemini. You can play along the way, but you can’t leave your path, ever. There are events that have to happen, but you never let those things to happen to you, Luna. Do you understand me?” M said as she waited for her answer.
Luna felt tears rising fast, but fought them back. She swallowed hard and cleared her throat.
“It’s not my fault, M. He drove me back to my hotel. I didn’t ask him to do it. It was his decision, not mine.” Luna explained her.
She knew full well that M was right, that she could have asked him if he wanted to see her again, but then he could have ask her the same; and he hadn’t said anything.
“Listen, Luna. That’s the point, kid. You’re always two steps ahead of the rest of us. You’re always running away from all the good things that are around you. Then when you can’t reach the things you want and you call me and you ask me for help. I help you and you promise you’re going to change, and then we start all over again.” M took a deep breath.
She knew that she was pushing Luna, but she didn’t know any other way to make her realize that she could be happy with someone like everybody else.
“Listen to me and pay attention, kid. When he phones you, you just say ‘yes’.” M added as she heaved a hard sigh.
“Oh, no, M. He’s not going to call me. He’s not like the others. Mark can have the woman he wants. Why is he going to call me?” Luna replied as she chuckled sadly.
M arched her brows at once and she could no longer keep her own temper in place.
“And why not?! What’s the problem with you?” M asked annoyed. She then raised her tone of voice even more. “Looking back again?! You’re beautiful, intelligent, and smart and your only problem is your harsh language, but I bet he loves that though.” M said and waited for Luna to say something, anything.
When Luna again remained in complete silence, M continued, still almost shouting at Luna through the phone.
“Little ugly ducky became a beautiful swan!! Cinderella left the town for good and now the princess is walking around, Luna. It’s time to move on, kid. It’s time to get over the past! You’re not that fat girl with glasses who was daydreaming of the perfect prince anymore. No more self-destruction, Luna. No more self-pity. Time to live, Luna!” M added almost shouting, not even breathing between words.
Luna could no longer force her tears back, thinking about her life and her past. So she let them run free along her cheeks.
M took a deep breath as she did her best to calm herself down. She didn’t need to see Luna to know that she was crying silently even though she wasn’t making a single noise.
When M was about to speak again, Luna cleared her throat.
“Yes, M. It’s over. My past is over. I’m not that girl anymore. I’m a beautiful woman.” She cut herself off as she cleaned her tears, swallowing the knot in her throat. “And I have a killer ass.” She added, chuckling at her own words. M grinned, rolling her eyes.
“Good girl.” M said smiling. “Now listen to me. You only have to wait for his call. And tell him ‘yes’, ok?” M said gently.
“Yes, M. I’ll wait for his call and I’ll tell him ‘yes’.” Luna said, taking a shaky breathe.
“Great. Let’s see how long you’re going to walk in the same direction before you fuck this up again, Gemini.” M scolded her. “Don’t forget what I’m telling you, kid. Just say ‘yes’; ‘yes’ to everything…well, you know what I mean. Love you. Bye.” M added and with that she hung up the phone, sighing hard shaking her head. Damn girl.
Luna frowned deeply as she lay back on the bed.
He’s going to call me and I have to tell him ‘yes’. He’s going to call me and I have to say ‘yes’. Luna chanted again and again, fixing those words in her brain as if they had been engraved. It was the only way she knew to keep them there; otherwise, she was sure that she would be able to tell him ‘no’.