Title: Move Me
Author: SunflowersAndHoney (formerly ChinaTeaSunflowers)
Rating: M+ (as usual)
Summary: AU. Letty Ortiz is a dancer for a professional dance team who prefers being under the hood of a car. Dominic Toretto is a Los Angeles mechanic and Letty's possible salvation. But he has a surprising connection to the captain of the team, and Letty's arch rival. Things are about to get interesting. Slow-burn Dotty. M for the language and the lovin'.
Insert witty disclaimer here.
A/N: Thanks to a review by Enchanted15, this story has come to fruition. It was a brilliant idea and I can only hope that I do justice. (: Thanks for the prompt, love. Also, the professional basketball and dance teams here are fictional and any likenesses to persons living or dead are entirely coincidental. Repost for MsShaShaD and Mialovesyou.
Chapter 1: Qi (Chi)
March, Los Angeles, 9:30AM
Letty Ortiz rolled her shoulders twice to work out an unnecessary kinks. Clenching and unclenching her fists to break in the black hand wraps around her knuckles, the brunette mentally prepared herself for the physical task before her.
Another deep inhale.
"Yahh!" She shouted as she released a furious assault against the hanging punching bag. Her arms moved quickly and her fists pounded away at the exercise equipment. She let loose all of the frustration from the past week. The Latina only wanted to get away for a very long vacation.
Unfortunately, she had commitments, responsibilities; some she chose herself, while others were put upon her. Letty was, for the past three years, on the dance team for California's professional basketball team, the Los Angeles Lancers. Her mother, Lana, had gotten her the job because she owned shares in the winning team.
There was nothing more that Letty loathed than the barely-there outfits that they had to wear damn near every night... except the captain of the team, Elena Neves. Letty's dislike for the exotic woman ran deep. Since the day the two had met, there was a powerful rivalry between them. And everyone could tell. While most of the girls stayed far away from their verbal swordplay, there were quite a few who enjoyed the public tête-á-tête.
But this was her life. And while not all of the company was pleasant, Letty would be lying if she said the money wasn't amazing. She was by no means a materialistic girl, but there was something utterly soothing about going home to her two floor condo in Los Angeles and relaxing in her Whirlpool bathtub with its forty-six massaging jets.
When she was working in retail at an upscale boutique down on Rodeo Drive, Letty would have never been able to afford the place she was living now.
There were stipulations, though; the girls have been given a weight class to stick to. An average calories chart, which Letty had never stuck to. Fortunately for her, she had always been naturally petite and could eat as much as she wanted. A lot of the other girls weren't as lucky. They each had to log in at least ten hours at the gym a week and were subject to beauty treatments, on the dime of the dance team's shareholders, every Sunday; hair appointments, nail appointments and waxes.
No, Letty wouldn't complain. She couldn't, anyway. According to her mother, she should be thanking all of the Saints that she was more fortunate than others. Joaquin, Letty's father, and Nico, her older brother were just happy that they got front row tickets to all the games. They tried to stay out of the 'politicas de mujeres', women's politics, as her father called it.
Nico always listened to Letty's problems over a large pizza and a few cold beers. He was sympathetic to her woes, and understood that she only continued with her unexpected career as a dancer girl because of their mother. And if anything, one did not want to cross Lana Ortiz.
Drinking deeply from her water bottle, Letty inhaled through her nose, attempting to control her breathing. Sweat glistened on her body, already beginning to soak back into her skin. She glanced over at the glass-encased 'quiet room' of the gym to find the rest of her team ending their pilates session. Rolling her eyes, Letty headed towards the locker room to shower before she headed to her weekly beauty treatments. It was a game day for the boys, which mean, thankfully, the regimen would only take a few hours as opposed to the half-day that it normally took.
The Latina pulled her sweat-towel off of her shoulders and dabbed at her face before pulling off her sports bra. She wrapped a towel around her exposed body and headed to a shower stall. Along the way, she bypassed Elena and her 'Army of Skanks', as Letty referred to them.
"Hey, butch. How was your macho, ass-kicking session?" Elena asked.
"A lot better than pilates. Getting limber for your clients tonight?" Letty quipped.
Mia Ferragamo, one of the only girls on the team that Letty could stand, snorted her laughter, lowly, as she opened her gym locker.
Elena glared. "Something funny, Mia?"
"Dude, she just called you a prostitute. Me, laughing, is the least of your problems."
Letty smiled, smugly, bypassed Elena and continued on to the showers.
Letty double-kissed her favorite, gay hairdresser/makeup artist, Raymond, and headed out of the salon. Now, she had to head home and get ready for the game. Letty opened the door to her GTO and pushed her newly blown-out hair over her shoulders. She put her keys into the ignition and started on her way.
As she made a right turn, Letty heard the distinctive rumble of a flat tire.
"Oh, you have got to be kidding me." She sighed. Letty pulled her phone out of the cup holder and held down the home button.
"Siri, where's the closest auto shop?"
The automated woman's voice directed her to DT's Auto Garage.
At DT's, Letty parked along the street and headed inside. Five grease monkeys were hard at work on customers' cars. Hip-hop music played, lowly; from where, Letty couldn't be sure. One of the mechanics caught Letty's eye. He seemed to be the owner of the establishment. With a muscular form that demanded attention and a bald head.
"Hey, can I get some help?" Letty asked. Everyone's head turned towards the Latina who was standing, confidently, in the doorway. Her feathered hair and nude makeup only added to her natural beauty. In cropped yoga pants and a performance tank top, she looked as if she was getting ready to go somewhere and did not have time to wait around in a mechanic's garage.
"What can I help you with, little lady?" The bald-headed one asked. The nametag on his jumpsuit read 'Tony'.
"Please tell me you guys sell tires here."
"How much for the new ones?"
"One-fifty, generally. Depends on what type of car you're driving."
Letty jutted out her chin. "I've never paid more than a hundred for a new tire. I've got a 1970 GTO."
A low whistle from the muscled, scruffy guy working on a Nissan SRX. "That's a strong ride for a delicate little flower."
Letty smirked. She was used to being underestimated. "Trust me, I've ridden things a lot stronger than that, and managed to tame every last one."
His eyebrows went up and he chuckled. "I like you."
"Thanks, so, about that tire..."
"Well, I can take a look at it. The extra fifty is for the labor."
"Oh, well that's sweet but I can change it myself."
"Dom." Tony called over another of the mechanics. Letty could see a resemblance between the two men. She assumed they were father and son. "This is my son, Dom Toretto. He'll assist you."
Dom extended his hand. Letty looked at it for a few moments before shaking it. "Letty Ortiz."
"Nice to meet you, Letty." He studied her face for a moment. "Do I know you from somewhere?"
"Likewise. And I doubt it." She shrugged; she was not in the mood to sign autographs or have her mechanic drooling over her dance background. The girls were well-known and performed some risque burlesque routines every now and then, and she was no stranger to the lust in people's eyes when she told them about her profession.
"I'll change the tire for you, no extra charge."
"Really, it's okay."
"Don't worry about it. You're all done up like you've got somewhere to go. It wouldn't be right if I let someone's masterpiece go to waste." Dom smiled.
Letty noticed that he looked different when he smiled. He looked... less sad; less like he'd seen too much of the world. He was extremely handsome.
When it was all said and done, Dom changed her tire for her and only charged her one hundred bucks.
"How about a complimentary oil change?"
"I changed it myself last week." Letty told him.
Dom looked her up and down. Suddenly remembering something his father had always told him.
Never judge a book by its cover.
"How good are you under the hood of a car?"
"Pretty advanced. I used to work on cars with my dad. Still do sometimes."
"Vince, the one who said he likes you, is going on vacation for two weeks. We good use an extra set of hands."
Letty laughed. "Are you offering me a job?"
"As long as you don't come to work all dolled up."
"What? Are you supposed to be the only pretty one here?"
He chuckled. "Well, yeah. I thought that was kind of obvious." He flipped imaginary hair behind his shoulder, and the brunette couldn't contain the laugh that escaped her.
Letty pushed off of her car and opened the driver's side door, grinning. "Sure. I'll help you guys out. You've got my information."
"I do." Dom nodded.
Letty shut the door and started the engine. "Oh, and one more thing."
"Your dad's prettier than you." She teased before pulling out of her parking space. Dom remained standing there, intrigued by his new impromptu hire.
After the game, which brought an unsurprising win for the guys, the girls did meet and greets. They smiled, took pictures with fans -mostly guys- and signed pictures of themselves in the new calendar they'd recently released. Among the crowd, Letty, or Miss March, was a little stunned to see Dominic. After he got a few of the others to sign their months on his calendar, he made his way over to Letty's table.
"Toretto. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised to see you here."
"The feeling is mutual. How long have you been a dancer for the Lancers?"
"Three years, give or a take a couple months."
Dom nodded his head as if he were pondering her words. "A dancer who's also a mechanic. That's something you don't see everyday."
"Hmm." Was all Letty responded with.
Sure, the conversation was simple. But, Letty felt comfortable with her soon-to-be-new-coworker. She opened her mouth to see if Dom wanted VIP passes to meet a few of the players, when she was interrupted.
"Dom!" Elena's voice cause both of their heads to turn. She was smiling, waving him over.
Letty turned her attention back to Dominic, raising an eyebrow.
"I gotta go." He informed. "I'll see you around?"
Not long after he was summoned, Mia bounced her way over to Letty's table, smiling conspiratorially. "Well, well. Look at you making friends with Dom."
Letty smiled, but shrugged nonchalantly. "He seems cool."
"Mhm. 'He seems cool'," mocked Mia. "Are you sure you aren't making friends to get under Elena's skin?"
"I didn't even know that she knew him." Letty admitted. "Who is he, anyway? Her brother?"
Mia's mouth gaped open and she stared at Letty in sheer disbelief. "You're kidding, right?"
Letty slung her black gym bag over her shoulder. "No."
"Dom is Elena's new boyfriend."
Letty's head snapped up from her phone. She quickly composed her facial expression so she wouldn't reveal too much to Mia. "Oh."
Up Next: First day on the new job.