“The Chronicles of Riddick” had been shown in several cities in Asia, USA, South America, Canada and Australia over the last two weeks. The criticism for the movie had been more than just great, so the rest of the countries were waiting more than eagerly for the movie to be shown.
The Studio had decided to leave the tour around Europe for the end because the European Film Festivals were taking place there. All the journalists were franticly running from one country to another, trying to cover all of the events that were taking place at the same time in different countries.
On TV, special shows dedicated to movies were shown practically 24/7 and all the cities involved were trying their best to allow as many people as possible into their hotels, conferences buildings and auditoriums.
There were many more stars traveling around Europe making promotions than stars in a hot summer night sky.
Naturally, Vin Diesel had arrived a week ago and he was presenting his movie with interviews on TV, posing for pictures, teasing, making jokes, showing his charm and smiling from ear to ear.
Most of the cities had been confirmed by the time and just Madrid had said ‘no’ because they had problems with distributors, so the tour would spend two nights in London instead of one.
Amanda had been planning Vin Diesel’s schedule with meticulous precision. The last week would be hell for all of them.
Namely – Monday, Rome; Tuesday, Berlin; Wednesday, Paris; Thursday and Friday, London.
Vin Diesel was more than just exhausted at this point of the tour, but he had always been a professional. So he continued smiling non-stop, making everybody believe that he was ok.
Of course Amanda and Valentino knew that he was pretending, but damn! Vin Diesel had always been such a great actor, that even they bought it on a couple of occasions.
Everybody around him knew that after such an intense week, Vin Diesel was going on vacation until his next movie started filming.
According to their busy agenda, considering that all of the European airports were overbooked and the actor’s exhaustion, the Studio decided that Vin Diesel was going to fly from one country to another on board a private jet during the last week. So at least he would be able to relax completely for a few hours between cities without the constant attention of fans and press around him.
The waiter was waiting eagerly for the group to arrive at the restaurant. It wasn’t that he wasn’t used to seeing celebrities around, but he was a fan of the action star and today Vin Diesel was going to have lunch there.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity for the young waiter, the group entered the restaurant.
They were two men, one from the Ministry of Culture and the other from Distribution, a woman who was the translator, David Twohy, Amanda Spencer, Valentino Morales and Vin Diesel.
After a moment, everybody took places at the table. Vin Diesel was sitting between Val and the woman, and across from him there was Amanda who sat next to David. The rest sat around the table and they all started to talk amongst themselves.
“How are you doing, Vinnie?” David asked softly.
“Great, David.” Vin Diesel answered, as he got comfortable in his chair. “We all know how this shit works.” He added, smiling broadly.
“I don’t know how you can endure such tension, Mr. Diesel. I mean it’s a completely crazy agenda.” The man from the Ministry of Culture said, arching his brows in surprise.
Vin Diesel smiled. “Call me Vin. Who says I do?” He mocked, grinning.
Everybody around the table laughed.
The maitre’d made a gesture to the young waiter and he started to put different kinds of starters and drinks on the table.
They all ordered their meals and continued talking.
“Mr. Diesel…erm…Vin. What are you going to do when you finish the promotion the following week?” One of the men asked and he took a sip from his wine.
Vin Diesel frowned slightly. “I think I’m gonna take a vacation. I’ve got to admit that I’m exhausted.” He answered as he tilted his head to one side, thinking. “Maybe I’ll go to Tibet, so I can be ready for my next project.” Vin Diesel added, sipping from his glass of water.
“What that will be?” The other man asked.
“I’m gonna shoot a Disney comedy.” Vin Diesel said, grinning.
“Oh, wow. That’s a completely different thing we’re talking about here, Vin.” The first man replied arching his brow, shocked. “Can you tell us something about the storyline?” He asked, grinning.
Vin Diesel nodded, grinning and he elaborated.
“It’s about a Navy Seal who has to protect a bunch of kids from the bad guys.” He said, smiling. “I’m dying to work with kids. I’m sure it’ll be amazing.” Vin added, laughing.
He had always loved kids and he had spent quite some time playing with his brother’s kids since they were babies.
For a few seconds, Vin let his imagination fly free and pictured himself with his own kids. Their own kids, Luna’s and his, and they were playing on a beach with Roman, laughing and full of happiness, while Luna was taking pictures of them.
The waiter came and brought two baskets with different kinds of bread. Almost immediately Valentino raised his hand and went to pick up one.
“I’m starving.” Val whimpered softly. His words pulled Vin out of his little happy world.
“Don’t you dare, bro.” Vin teased, fixing Val with a serious gaze, arching a brow. Val frowned slightly and went still, his massive arm frozen in the air, looking puzzled. “You know when to start but never when to stop.” Vin joked, pretending to sound as serious as a heart attack.
“What can I say?” Val replied, grinning. Vin knit a brow staring at him. Val grinned. “I’m insatiable, man.” He purred sensually, winking.
In unison everybody at the table burst into hysterical laughter, even both of them. But after a moment, while the rest were still laughing they both were serious and locked eyes.
Vin’s eyes showed such deep sadness and pain that it made Val’s heartbeat stop dead, feeling for a second Vin’s pain as if it was his own.
Valentino cursed himself silently and managed to swallow the invisible knot that had appeared from nowhere, making it difficult to breath.
After a moment, Val patted Vin’s shoulder, causing a sad smile to grace Vin’s lips as a heavy sigh escaped them.
For a few more seconds, his mind went far away from that table once more as Vin remembered Luna’s eyes flashing at him full of passion, desire and love.
I’m on my way to you, babydoll. He silently told himself as an unconscious grin spread on his lips.
The rest of the lunch was almost perfect. Vin Diesel signed a few autographs and posed for pictures.
That night they were flying to Rome, fulfilling the last part of his European tour, presenting “The Chronicles of Riddick”.
Málaga (Spain). Luna.
Luna was staring at her reflection in the big mirror with her eyes fixed on a spot only she could see. After a long moment, she shook her head and started to undress.
Luna pulled off her clothes until she was completely naked, and then narrowed her eyes, traveling with her gaze along the surface of her skin.
It felt almost like an eternity since the last time she had seen herself naked, even though it had only been six months.
Hesitantly, Luna lifted a trembling hand and slowly she rubbed her tiny scar at her heart, frowning slightly. A strong shiver crossed her spine and her vision blurred.
“Show me the path.” Luna murmured to no one in particular.
Immediately, that sensation long forgotten pierced her stomach softly, as if thousands of butterflies were wildly fluttering.
As soon as Luna felt it, her heart skipped a beat, causing an unconscious grin to spread on her lips and two single silent tears rolling down her cheeks.
Mark, her own voice echoed faintly inside of her brain.