Luna had memorized a few lines and she had been repeating them no end to each and every single person who had asked her about her holidays in the USA. Including friends, family, clients and employees.
Luna had done such an incredible job at pretending that she had had the time of her life and that she was okay that not even when she started acting so out of character had they suspected something wasn’t right. Everybody bought it that she was fine; everybody with the exception of M.
Four weeks had passed since Luna had arrived from LA and she had only left her house to go to work. She spent so many hours locked in her office that almost all of the time the only people inside the building apart from her were the security guards.
When Luna was back at home she was always crying non-stop. She was crying under the stream of water inside the shower and with her face buried in her pillow, muffling the sound of her cries, in a lame attempt to mitigate her sorrow. Luna was starting to think that she wouldn’t have enough tears to cry for him.
On her chest, at her heart level, there was a small scar as a reminder of her unforgivable mistake. So Luna had made up her mind and decided that from now on she wouldn’t look at her naked body in the mirror anymore.
M phoned Luna each and every day and sometimes more than just once. She was the only person that knew about Luna and Vin Diesel’s affair and she was very conscious about Luna’s feelings concerning ‘Mark’. But Luna never mentioned Vin to her family or friends.
They were all oblivious to the fact that Luna had met Vin Diesel never mind that she had moved to his house for a week; she had fallen in love with him and that she had left him. All of them knew about Vin Diesel just like everybody else around the planet.
Day after day, Luna dealt with the world, pretending that everything was okay, hiding her sorrow as best as she could.
Nevertheless M knew full well that the pain was silently devouring Luna’s soul, consuming all her hopes and dreams in its slow, painful path. Even Luna was oblivious to that fact because she was busy trying to focus her mind on her firm and not on the man that she had left behind.
Six weeks after her arrival from LA, Luna’s physical deterioration was clearly visible. She hardly ate for almost one week. Of course, she was hungry, but when she sat in front any kind of food; she just simply couldn’t bring it to her mouth. So M moved to Luna’s place for a couple of days to force her to eat and sometimes she had to yell at Luna as if she was a little kid.
Luna had never slept for long hours, but at that moment, sleeping had turned into a luxury out of her reach. And when she finally succumbed from exhaustion, it was just to be haunted by her nightmares.
Luna dreamt that she was in strange places surrounded by strange people. In places that were about to fall to pieces, mostly at night. She was scared to death, cold and alone. Sometimes she was locked in rooms without doors or windows, with no way out. Always hearing a voice calling her, but unable to place who the voice belonged to.
In the end, she always awoke startled, covered in a thin veil of cold sweat, with her heart beating fast, her breath ragged and trembling.
Her German partner in business, Mrs. Müller, was really interested in Luna, and Mrs. Müller was seriously considering buying Luna’s firm. So Luna started to work like a maniac, following a frenetic rhythm of meetings, trips to Berlin and countless hours writing reports. And she did that in a lame attempt to get over the rage and the pain that had made themselves comfortable within her heart since the day she had left Vin.
Until one day, just as the voice inside her head had foretold, the tears stopped, but the pain stuck, clasped around her wounded heart. The brightness in her green eyes vanished, along with the tears, leaving behind only sadness. And from that day on, not even one of Luna’s smiles reached her eyes anymore.
Two months later. Spain
Luna climbed out of bed and headed directly to her closet. She opened it and grabbed a pair of dark blue pants and a white tank top, then opened one of the drawers and pulled out a pair of panties and a bra, as well as a pair of socks. She turned around and went to another closet, pulling out her high heel boots. After that, Luna headed toward the bathroom, thinking about a report that she had to write before the end of the week.
Luna entered her office, pushing the glass doors open. “Good morning, Ana.” Luna said smiling as she continued walking in the direction of Susana’s desk.
“Good morning, madam.” The receptionist replied, shaking her head a little. She liked it when Luna corrected her but her boss stopped doing that a couple of weeks ago and Ana sighed hard.
Luna reached Susana’s desk. “Good morning, Susana.” Luna said as she left her purse in a chair. Susana sighed hard and lifted her head. “Are there any messages?” Luna asked as she entered the small room, picking up a bottle of water.
In response, Susana frowned deeply. “Yes. M phoned to remind that you’re dining together at her place.” Susana answered and went silent.
“That’s all?” Luna asked and sipped from her bottle of water. Susana arched a brow. “Well?” Luna added as she picked up her purse. Susana shook her head ‘no’, sighing hard.
“Um… there are more messages.” Susana said, staring at Luna. Luna smiled slightly as she fixed her gaze on her personal assistant.
“And… Are you going to tell them to me any time soon or do I have to figure it out?” Luna asked arching a brow, her voice serious yet tinted with sarcasm.
Susana shook her head one more time and continued. “Luis is in your office with two new investors. Mrs. Müller asked for a balance account and here you have the reports you were waiting for from Madrid.” She informed Luna.
Luna rolled her eyes. “Thank you very much, Susana.” She replied as she picked up the reports and headed toward her office.
Susana followed Luna’s moves with a sad expression written all over her face. She didn’t know what was going on but from one day to another, Luna stopped teasing her employees, making jokes and laughing with them.
After all those weeks, some things had changed. Luna was treating everyone around her in a similar way as she’d had been doing before her holidays. Nevertheless, all those small details, the ones that were imperceptible to the people who weren’t close to Luna, were the first ones that vanished. The tears and the sadness wiped them away. All those small details that made it possible for Luna to be herself, to be Luna.
The shooting in Canada was going exactly as planned. Vin Diesel had moved there to shoot “The Chronicles of Riddick”. For the second time, he was playing his most charismatic character, Richard B. Riddick in the sequel of “Pitch Black”.
Vin Diesel involved himself completely in this new project, supervising each and every single technical detail as well as the artistic ones.
During the endless and exhausting shooting sessions, Vin Diesel was giving the best of himself on each and every single take, playing Riddick with his heart and soul. He was so involved that he had been putting his life at unnecessary risk.
Vin Diesel had demanded to play his actions scenes personally, refusing to use a stuntman. He even threatened the studios, telling them that if they didn’t let him play all the scenes, he would leave the project.
His persistent demands had led the director to openly show his disappointment with him. The co-producers and the Studio had refused to agree with Vin Diesel’s demands, arguing with the actor and his manager Amanda for endless hours in the presence of their lawyers.
But finally they gave up. At the end they damn well knew that more than fifty per cent of the success of the movie would be related to the fact that Vin Diesel was involved in the project.
The consequences were that the insurance company increased the policy above the already expensive rate, and Vin Diesel’s body ended up full of bruises, scratches and cuts.
To the rest of the people around him, Vin Diesel was a serious and professional actor, who was playing his character, giving his best, showing his passion and pride concerning the movie.
To Valentino it was the perfect way to give free reign to his rage and frustration and at the same time a way to keep his mind busy with other thoughts apart from those concerning Luna.
To Vin Diesel it was a more than great way to do a good job and at the same time enjoy his love for performance.
It was a way to avoid thinking about Luna, even though that was an impossible task.
News about the filming was making its way around the country. Every time that something happened on the set, almost immediately the local newspapers and magazines were writing about it. Some of those things were also described in magazines in the USA, and some of those events got mentioned in international newspapers.
The shooting of “TCOR” was half finished. Promotional photo shoots of all the characters had been taken, and the studio made them roll on the Internet along with a summary of the story line.
All of a sudden, Vin Diesel was again in the bright spotlight and everybody wanted to know where he was and what he was doing.
Part of Amanda’s job consisted of spending a lot of time tracing those news and comments, visiting the different message boards of Vin Diesel’s fan pages around the Internet.
Vin Diesel had a reputation and an image to take care of. And it was important that neither of those were damaged with uncertain rumors about his work as an actor or his private life.
Two months later. Canada.
Vin was pacing back and forth, speaking with Amanda on his cell phone under the close gaze of Valentino and Roman.
“Have you seen the pictures?” Amanda asked at the other side of the line, trying to hide her disgust.
“No.” Was Vin’s answer.
Amanda shook her head. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. What? Don’t they sell tabloids in Canada? Since when do they not have computers and Internet in Canada?” She mocked, her voice sounded full of sarcasm.
Vin rolled his eyes, he was starting to get tired of this shit.
“Are you trying to make me believe that you don’t have people reading the message boards where your fans talk about you?” She asked frowning deeply, raising her voice slightly.
“I’m not trying to make you believe anything, Mandy.” Vin retorted coldly. “I’m too busy jumping, fighting, slashing, firing and running to do anything else apart from playing Riddick.” He added with the exact amount of sarcasm in his voice that Amanda had used with him.
Amanda rolled her eyes and stood almost knocking over her chair. “Fuck, Vin! They are everywhere!” She exclaimed as she tightened her jaw. Amanda couldn’t believe Vin would have dropped his guard so easily. “There’s a whole fucking collection, DAMNIT!!!” She shouted.
Vin grunted as he closed his hand into a fist. “Amanda.” He warned her. “I don’t have time for this shit.” Vin muttered, coldly.
Amanda gasped, shocked, and took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She knew that she was playing with fire here. Vin Diesel wasn’t a man to mess with especially when linked to his private life.
Amanda breathed deeply as she cleared her throat. “Listen, big guy. The pictures are on the Internet, in magazines, in tabloids, even on TV.” She took a seat in her chair, sighing hard. “My phone is ringing 24/7. People want to know who she is and what she means to you.” Amanda explained, looking at the picture in front of her eyes.
In that picture they were kissing each other as Vin was grabbing Luna’s bottom. Roman appeared too, sitting at Luna’s feet. The surrounding seemed to be one of the streets near Vin’s house.
Vin let out a deep growl. “I don’t care what the fuck they want to know!” Vin retorted, annoyed. Amanda jumped slightly in her chair and her eyes opened wide. “It’s my fucking private life, DAMNIT!!!” He shouted as he started to squeeze something inside of his fist so tightly that his knuckles turned white in seconds.
Vin was annoyed more with himself than with anybody else, but he couldn’t help it. He couldn’t stop thinking about Luna, no matter how hard he tried.
Vin was trying to forget her and he was starting to be more than just mad with the rest of the world because they weren’t helping him with this task, even thought it wasn’t their business to try and help him.
Vin knew that it wasn’t Amanda’s fault. He had been so relaxed with Luna that he had forgotten to keep his guard up when he was outside of his home, forgetting and therefore allowing the paparazzi to take pictures of them together.
Vin then took a deep breath. “It’s not the first time though. You know what to say.” He added, glancing at Val who narrowed his eyes, fixing his gaze on Vin’s fist.
Val then saw what Vin was squeezing in his fist. It was the red pouch.
Amanda went silent for a few seconds. Then she cleared her throat. “And that will be…” She replied sarcastically.
Vin chuckled at her tone of voice. “No fucking comment.” He hissed, and hung up the phone, throwing it against the wall of the trailer causing it to shatter in several pieces.
Valentino shook his head as he sighed hard. Vin rubbed his forehead and shut his eyes tightly, breathing through his nostrils, feeling his anger slowly fading.
After a long moment, Vin went to Val’s side and took a seat in front of him. On the table there was a Canadian tabloid. It was a special edition dedicated to all those Hollywood actors who were still single.
Vin took a deep breath and growled deeply. Then he opened the cover and looked for Vin Diesel’s section.
The headline screamed: ‘VIN DIESEL, last member of an endangered species?’
The extensive article was talking about all his affairs over the years, including pictures of most of the women. They had even published interviews with several of them.
Of course they hadn’t bothered to check, if what those women were saying was true. Among them, there were girlfriends from high school, chicks from when he was a bouncer in NY, actresses, models, porno stars, unknown one-night chicks and even chicks he had never seen in his life. They had enclosed a special section just for the mysterious woman.
At the centre of one of the pages, several pictures of both of them had been printed. In one of them they were kissing each other. They put a circle on that picture and this part had been enlarged to show Vin’s hand grabbing Luna’s bottom. Under the picture, the following text had been added.
“Our brawny actor and ex-bouncer from NY Vin Diesel, famous thanks to action movies like “Pitch Black”, “TFATF” and “XXX” seems to have a “romantic” side. With his “little puppy” Roman, Diesel (whose real name is Mark Vincent) shared a hot ride with his new chick. Neither of them seemed too worried about hiding their “habits”, looking at their public show of affection. Love?”
Others pictures completed the collection. In one of them Luna was driving his SUV while leaving his house with Roman sitting next to her. There was another picture of both of them crossing the street where they made the same big circle with the image enlarged inside, but this time with Luna’s hand inside of Vin’s back pocket. At the bottom another text could be read.
“It seems that the connection between them is so strong that Vin Diesel trusted her with his most precious possession: his little baby Roman. Just a glance at them and you’d be able to see how much they have in “common”. Will this one be the one who finally hunts Diesel down?”
There was as well a picture of Valentino and Luna. On that one, Luna’s face was covered with Val’s shoulder, but they had enlarged the part of the picture were Val was grabbing Luna’s hand, and they had added the following text:
“It seems that our sexy baldy wants to share his chick with his best friend and bodyguard Valentino Morales. Anyone a threesome?”
Vin grunted as his hands closed into fists. He then turned the page, doing his best not to tear it in to pieces, and found a big picture that covered the whole double page. In that one, they were hand in hand, staring at each other eyes, smiling. The paragraph said:
“The sexy and hot actor arrived at the Cha-Cha-Cha with the mysterious woman. Has Vin finally found the woman of his dreams? Again? Don’t cry yet ladies! By now he’s filming his next movie, and ladies look out, he’s AAAAALLLL ALONE!”
Vin shut his eyes, tightening his jaw. Val frowned deeply as he fixed his gaze on the large picture in front of them.
“She’s really beautiful, brother.” Val said softly as a hard sigh escaped his lips. Vin chuckled at that, sighing sadly.
“She’s much more than just that, Val.” Vin replied, almost in a murmur. Val patted his shoulder, friendly, and stood, picking up Roman’s leash and headed outside of the trailer with the dog, leaving Vin alone with his thoughts.
Vin fixed his gaze on Luna’s face and without being aware of his move, he lifted a hand and traced the outline of her face, stroking her printed cheek gently. After a long moment, he pulled the ring out from the small red pouch.
Vin could see how Luna’s eyes were showing the fear of posing with him, but he also could see how her eyes were reflecting something more.
Vin turned the ring in his hand causing the star, trapped inside of the stone, to shine. His heart skipped a beat.
“Where are you, babydoll?” Vin whispered absently as he continued stroking her printed face, while the star was shining with more intensity.