Needless to say, I was officially pissed. What the fuck was that? Hot and heavy. That could only mean one thing, at least in my mind. I didn't know who I wanted to kill first, Letty for lying, Vince for being stupid, or this guy for...everything. Guess I was going back to jail.
"What's up, man?" Hector said, walking up to me.
"How's it going," I said as he approached.
"You wanna race tonight?"
"Who all's running here? Anything to worry about?"
Hector looked around and shook his head. "Nah. These two are pretty regulars. But they ain't nothing you can't handle. Don't know much about this dude over here. But from the looks of his ride, you got it in the bag," he said pointing to the three other racers. One of them I identified as 'James'. I had to beat anyone associated with Mr. Blue Toyota.
I nodded, reaching into my pocket to grab the roll of money. I slapped it in his hand and made my way to the car.
The rise from the ignition, vibration from the motor, such a familiar feeling that I loved. But despite it all, I could not clear my mind. These were supposed to be my ten seconds of freedom. Although I tried, I couldn't be free from thoughts of Letty with another guy. Of Letty keeping secrets from me. 'I wasn't ever with anybody else. And, if you were, in prison, I'd rather not know about it,' her words to me only a week ago echoed in my head. Liar.
I felt the blood in my veins reaching dangerous temperatures. I quickly pulled the car up to the line and slammed on the brakes, making the tires screech. It could barely be heard above all the music, though.
I looked out the window. I saw Letty with Mia. They were looking at the car and talking. I looked straight ahead. I needed to focus. Focus on the line. I could do this. I had to do this. Something inside of me knew that if I didn't win this race….well I was afraid of what might happen. Of what I would do. What I would feel.
"Go!" I heard some skank up ahead yell out. And as quickly as she said it, I was off. I pressed the gas down so hard my foot practically slammed into the pavement below. I changed gears. I wasn't even focused on the cars around me. Usually I would make sure I noticed where all the competitors were out of the corner of my eye. But this time, I was focused on the line. It was all I could see. Nothing else existed right now. That was the only way to get through this race. I had to block everything else out. I had to free myself from the bullshit.
And as quickly as it started, it was over. I knew I had won. I felt it the second I crossed the line. I didn't know where everyone else was in the mix. All I knew was that I had won. I needed to know that regardless of what else happens, I could still win the race. I braked and turned off my car. I hesitated for a second. I didn't want to get out. I didn't want to face the scene again. But I had to. The crowd was already rushing my car. And I wanted to collect my money.
I took a deep breath and reached for the handle. I opened the door carefully, trying not to hit any of the scantily clad women that miraculously appeared. Normally, I would have scanned the crowd until I found Letty. I found myself not doing that this time. I stood there, in a daze. It wasn't the amazement of winning. I was somewhat used to that feeling. It was that the rush was over. I was forced with facing reality now.
Hector approached. He slapped my hand, and a large stack of money followed. I accepted it, but didn't say anything. Everyone around me was smiling, happy.
The other racers, though looking pissed, were nearby to offer congratulations, or snide remarks. I just dared one of them to say something. Double dared.
Vince and Letty approached. Letty walked up, pushing past the other females, and embraced me. I didn't hug her back. I didn't kiss her. I didn't look at her. She knew instantly that something was wrong.
"What?" she asked.
I didn't answer.
"Congratulations brother. Another win for the team," Vince said.
I couldn't find the words to answer him either.
I walked up to Mia and handed her the money. She gave me a strange look, but didn't say anything. She just started counting the money. No one outside the team seemed to notice that I wasn't speaking, wasn't excited, wasn't acting like my usual cocky self. I was glad.
I tried to relax against Mia's car, pretending to act as her protector with the money. With the thrill of the race still thick in the air, music started playing and people started partying. No doubt another race would start as long as the cops kept their distance. But, for now, everyone was content to just stand around. I saw Letty talking to Vince out of the corner of my eye. Gee, I wonder if they were talking about me. Their poor attempts at being nonchalant were blown by the sheer number of times they both looked over at me. I didn't care. They could try to guess what was wrong with me all night.
Sometime when I wasn't looking, a familiar redhead approached me. She was petite, and her skin was pale. She had long bangs that practically covered her green eyes. She was pretty sexy. And I was pretty mad. I couldn't remember her name. But that did not stop me from moving closer to her. Typically, this was not the type of girl I would usually be in to. But tonight, who knew what I wanted?
"Congratulations," she said to me. Her dark leather skirt was so short, I thought that if I looked close enough, I could definitely see her ass.
I didn't verbally respond. I just smiled and folded my arms.
She lifted up her index finger, bending it, willing me to come closer to her. I stepped a bit closer and she pressed her body up against mine. She stood up on her toes and whispered into my ear.
"Are you here with anyone?" she asked.
Well, wasn't that just the question of the night? I knew I was. I knew what I needed to say. But damn if my pride didn't always get in the way of what I was supposed to do.
I just let out a small laugh. "Why?" I asked, my voice just above a whisper.
"Well, someone needs to properly reward you," she said seductively.
Despite how much I loved Letty, this was definitely something I missed. Getting hit on my random hot chicks just for winning a race. Money and sex. What could be better?
"I'm right here," I said to her, unfolding my arms. "Reward me."
She pressed herself up to me. I looked at her. Then down her shirt. Nice.
"Maybe we could go somewhere a little more…private," she said pressing against my crotch.
Damn. Why did I decide that talking to her would be a good idea? It would be practically impossible to pull this off. And I didn't want to cheat on Letty. I loved Letty. Shit, Letty. I looked around. The crowd was heavy and she was nowhere to be seen. I saw Vince in the distance, talking to another girl. I guess the rest of the team had dispersed into the ocean of people.
"What did you have in mind?" I asked her.
She stuck her hand in my front pocket. She reached over until she found my penis. Slowly, yet obviously, she started to stroke it. Shit. I had to get out of this situation. I couldn't do this. Not with her. Not here. Not now. I reached over and grabbed her hand. No sooner had I removed it from my pants than I heard a familiar voice.
"Red's a good color for you," Leon said, coming up from behind.
I nodded in agreement. The girl paused, confused.
"Shut the fuck up," Letty said to both Leon and myself. I hadn't even noticed her with Leon until now.
"Who are you?" the redhead asked Letty. Wrong question to the wrong girl. I knew what was coming.
"I'm about to be your worst nightmare if you don't back the fuck off, bitch," Letty said, getting right up in the redheads face.
"What?" she asked full of confusion, but backing up.
"Yeah, pretty sure you heard me. Get the fuck out of here," she said, getting closer and balling her fists.
"Go to hell," the redhead said, walking off.
"Just as long as you won't be there, skank," Letty yelled back to her.
She turned to face me.
"Where have you been?" I asked her, knowing the conversation was about to go nowhere good fast.
"What do you think you're doing?" Letty angrily asked me.
I shrugged, brushing off her question for a much bigger issue. "You obviously did fuck him. I'm just wonderin' why you had to keep it some big secret. Makes me wonder if you're still fucking him."
"Fucked who?" Letty asked incredulously.
"Douche bag from earlier. The guy with the Toyota." I knew from her expression that she understood who I was referring to.
"Wow." That was all she said. She had a surprised flare to her voice, but not nearly as much emotion as I would have thought. That was probably a bad sign.
"That's it? 'Wow'?" I couldn't believe it. Wow. That was it. That was all she had to say?
"Sorry that my reaction didn't meet your standards- reactions are funny in the way that I don't give two shits about what you think when I respond to something," she said, her temper beginning to flare.
"You know what, forget it. Ain't nothin' worth all this," I said and turned around to leave. No relationship was worth the massive amounts of effort that I had already poured into this one. This kind of embarrassment. This kind of anxiety. This kind of disappointment. If this is what relationships got me. Fuck it. I was going back to one-night stands and racer chasers.
Letty finally got it. She realized what I'd meant. I honestly meant that our relationship wasn't worth this argument. She growled loudly, "I did not fuck him!"
Mia's resurfaced from the crowd and looked up at us sharply. She hadn't been paying attention until this loud announcement. Of course much of the crowd had now heard and was starting to gather around for the inevitable show. Mia's mouth widened. "Excuse me?" she said to both of us.
Letty finally controlled herself enough to consider responding. She looked at me, at Mia, at the crowd. Anger was still in her voice when she said, "I don't know who you got your information from. But, Dayton and I are not fucking. Period. End of story!"
"I didn't say that you are fucking him, I said you did fuck him. What? I gotta worry about you jeepin' behind my back now?"
A crowd of bystanders had quickly assembled and were closely watching the entire encounter. I was so angry that I could pretty much only see red.
"Jesus, Holy Hell! Dayton and I," she repeated, "do not and have not done any version of the word fucking. EVER!"
"Well damn you don't have to act like the world would end," Dayton responded from the sidelines, obviously offended.
"Oh it would be the end of your world," I told him, walking towards him, still ready to kick his ass. He hooked up with her. He deserved to die. I was mad and looking to take it out on his face.
He noticed me approaching him and began to back up. What a pussy. I heard Mia yelling for me to stop. That was nothing new.
"Why do you always have to be such a fucking asshole?" Letty yelled at me. That got my attention. Why was I being an asshole? All of my past sexual escapades were pretty much out there for the world to see – in fact many of them were standing around right now. But Letty knew about that. And I obviously hadn't had sex while I was in Lompoc. That…well that needed no further explanation. She was the one that was lying. Keeping secrets. And I was the asshole? What kind of a mixed up parallel universe was this?
"Me?" I said, a mixture of shock and rage. "I'm the asshole in this?" I was facing her now. For the first time since the interaction started I was actually taking notice of the large group around us. I was never one to invite very many people into my business. And I sure as hell wasn't going to break up with my girlfriend in front of the entire street racing scene of Los Angeles.
"Yeah. You're the asshole in this."
"Because it kinda seems to me like you're the one being the crazy fucking bitch," I yelled back.
"Jesus! Get fucking bent, Toretto." With that, she shot me the bird and walked off.
"OOOO," called out the entire crowd as Letty walked away.
Damnit! I yelled this to myself. Inside. I did not want everyone to see how emotional this was making me. How much I wondered if, by letting her walk away, if she was walking out of my life. I didn't want to lose her. Despite everything. Losing her would be the worst thing that could happen to me. Damnit! I wanted to punch something. Or someone. I looked around. Dayton was long gone. That was smart of him. I rubbed my face and shook my head. The crowd was still standing around, looking, awkwardly. Fuck. I walked away from the center of the group.
"Dom, Dom," I heard Vince yelling after me.
I turned to face him, still steamed.
"You okay?" he asked, after we had made an escape from the crowd.
"Am I okay? Am I okay? No I'm not fucking okay. Why did you lie to me?" I asked, approaching him. He lifted up his hands in defense, backing up against the wall of an abandoned building. "Why, huh? Why didn't you tell me what was going on?" I continued to yell.
"I didn't know, Dom. I swear to you, brother. I didn't know."
I backed up, out of his face. I rubbed my head. Tonight was so fucked up. I didn't want to hit Vince.
"Honestly, Dom. And to tell you the truth, brother, I still don't know. What did you find out?" he asked.
I shook my head. I didn't want to talk about it. I needed to leave. There were too many people here. And I was feeling too many emotions. That was going to end badly. I needed to just get away.
"Where are you going?" he called after me.
"Make sure Mia gets home okay," I yelled back, ignoring his question.
I got in my car. It took a couple of unique maneuvers, but I made it past all the cars and all the onlookers without having to talk to anyone. I just needed to cool off. What had just happened? Had I read the signs wrong? Or had I just been made a fool of?
I loved Letty. I really did. But right now, I hated love. With a passion.
I just drove.
That guy? She hooked up with that guy? He was such a tool. What could she even have seen in him? How could she like a guy like that, and then a guy like me? That made no sense.
Had there been signs all this time that I had missed?
She had said she wasn't with anyone while I was gone. But clearly that was a lie. I tried to think back. To wrack my brain. There was the shirt. The random shirt that was in the back of her car the night I made that run for Tran right after I got out of Lompoc. Was that his shirt? It had to be. I knew something was suspicious about that. But she had been too busy getting mad at me for me to bother saying anything about it. Yes, the signs had been there the whole time. Did I not see them until now? Or did I just not want to see them until now? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, I was far past the road to hell at this point. I was smack dab in the center of the flames.
I turned the music up loud to drowned out my thoughts. I was driving aimlessly. I didn't know where I was going or where I wanted to head. I didn't know what was going on. How had things gotten so out of hand? Did Letty and I just break up? She certainly seemed mad enough.
After about an hour of driving, I was calmer. But I still didn't want to go home. I didn't want to see Letty. I didn't know what to say. I had so many questions floating around in my head. I had no clue how to even start. I needed time.
Before I knew it, I was at the garage. My car had brought me here, not my brain. I guess it was just familiar. Of course it was also crawling with memories of Letty. I guess after so long, everywhere was filled with memories of her. That was when I noticed it. Someone was inside the garage. I saw a shadow moving around.
What the hell? No way would someone have the balls to break into our garage. But sure enough, there was someone in there.
I got out of the car, closing the car door quietly so as not to draw any attention to myself. I walked up to the door of the garage. There was a gun in the office. I used to carry one in my car. Seemed like something I may need to start doing again.
I reached for the doorknob. The door was unlocked. I couldn't imagine why. But, I was gonna kill whoever forgot to lock up today. I turned the knob slowly, the shadow did not seem to notice my presence.
I slipped into the office and reached into the top drawer of the desk. The gun was there. I grabbed it and quietly cocked it before leaving the office to find the intruder. I saw the shadow move again. They had a faint light coming off of something in their hand, but otherwise the shop was totally dark. I lifted the gun and pointed directly at the figure.
"We're closed," I said sternly to the imposter, calling attention to myself. They turned. I knew they were facing me directly. The gun reflected in the moonlight that was seeping in through one of the bay doors.
"Dom put the fucking gun down," Letty said with an annoyed tone.
"Letty?" I asked, noticing her voice immediately. "What are you doing here?"
"What are you doing here?" she asked in response.
"I thought someone was breaking in," I said, pressing the decocker towards the magazine until I heard a click. Then I put the gun down.
"I was playing Solitaire," she said, showing me her phone. I guess the light coming from the "trespasser" was Letty playing games on her phone.
"Why're you at the garage?" I asked her, leaning against the hood of the closest car.
She hesitated. I waited. "Needed to think. And I wasn't ready to see you yet," she responded.
"Do you want me to leave?" I asked. I wasn't sure if Ieven wanted to stay.
She didn't respond. She turned from me, walking over and turning on a lamp from a nearby table. The lamp did not create much light. But enough to see more clearly. She looked upset. Letty wasn't a crier but her eyes were red. She still hadn't spoken a word.
"What the fuck is your problem?" she let out, totally breaking the silence with her harsh words.
I just shook my head out of frustration. I couldn't believe this. This was still my fault in her eyes? She was crazy.
"What could you possibly be smiling about?" she asked bitterly.
"You lied about fucking some other dude. You can't possibly be getting mad at me!" I told her, my voice raising with each word.
"Dayton? Jesus fucking Christ, Dom. We have a business relationship. That's it," she said, as if that offered any explanation.
"Oh yeah? Getting 'hot and heavy' with someone, what kind of business is that?"
"Mine!" she replied sternly.
"Fine!" I said, throwing up my hands. "I ain't gonna pry in your business. If that's the way you want it then I'm done." I didn't really know what I was saying. Words were just coming out. I wasn't really thinking. But what other response could I offer this? I wasn't going to keep things up with her if she was going to lie, and then get mad at me about it. I thought I really cared for her. But this was just not something I was willing to do.
"Just like that, huh?" she exasperated.
I just shrugged.
We both just stood there in silence. Was she not going to say anything else?
"I guess I'm just going back to the house then," she said, finally breaking through the silence.
"Okay," I responded half-heartedly. I was about to flip my shit. If I went back to the house right now, or anywhere with people, I was probably going to get in a fight. No, I was definitely going to get in a fight. I didn't really care who I fought. I just felt an intense desire to break a nose.
"Okay, what?" Letty asked
"What? You got nothin' to say about all the shit that's gone down?"
"I mean? Do you want me to say I'm sorry or something? Because I didn't do anything wrong. Despite whatever you think, I haven't lied to you. Anything that happened when you were gone wasn't a lie. We weren't together. And it ain't like you have ever asked me about my relationship with other guys. I know I never asked you. And trust me, I don't wanna know your numbers. But I didn't lie about it. We just never had the conversation."
In a way, she had a point.
I was still furious. But she was right. We hadn't had that conversation. And I wasn't so sure that I wanted to either. I mean, after all of this, I was definitely suspicious, curious about other guys she had been with, "hooked up", whatever she wanted to call it. But after the way I wanted to react to Ohio, it was probably safer for everyone if I didn't know. I wasn't sure I could control my curiosity. I definitely did not want to share my list. Definitely not. That would surely only make the relationship worse.
"I ain't still hangin' out with my list though," I told her.
"Are you fucking kidding me? How about every Friday and Saturday night at the races and then after every race at our house? What about those times? All those skanks and chasers that follow you guys around like you're gods. You've hooked up with…well, enough of those girls to know what's goin' on there."
Fucking shit. Again, good point.
"You keep saying that nothing's happened but now you want to talk numbers?" I asked.
"No, all you kept saying was that I'd fucked him. We didn't have sex, Dom. So, I never lied to you. I have no clue what you have heard. But you better check your story."
"What happened between you two?" I said. I wasn't playing this back and forth game any longer. If I had my story wrong, she could fix it for me.
"Well I guess it depends on what your definition of sex is, really."
Frustration took over and I couldn't help but laugh, "how many damn definitions of sex do you have?" This was not exactly the way I was hoping the story would start.
"I really don't wanna get into the details with you about this, Dom. Me and Dayton didn't have 'vaginal intercourse', okay?"
Wow, that was not something I ever wanted to hear coming out of her mouth. Of course, I suppose it was better than the alternative of her actually having sex with another guy- or vaginal intercourse. The idea of Letty even giving some other dude a blowjob was way too much for me to handle.
"We hooked up one time. I was way too drunk. You'd been gone for like a year. I came to visit you with Mia and you told me that I needed to move on from you. I have never been ready to move on from you. But that night I was upset about what you said, and drunk, and…stupid apparently. I'm pretty sure he probably told everybody about it. It never happened again. We never even kissed except that one night. I don't know what his friends think or anything. But that's honestly what went down."
"Anything else I should know?"
"That's seriously the only thing that happened between me and him. Or between me and anybody while you were gone. I've never wanted anybody but you," her tone lightened. But I could tell she was still kind of pissed.
"Well…" I said, starting to respond. "Good." I smiled at her.
"But, I mean Jesus. I'm still pissed. You hear some random gossip and just flip shit. But yet, you're allowed to have a past, and flirt with anything in a skirt. I mean, what does that really make us, Dom?" Letty asked, starting to pace a little.
"I don't know. Why do we gotta put a label on it? Can't we just keep things like they are?"
"God, you're such a guy. You wanna just keep randomly hooking up with me and every other girl in LA!"
"That's not what I said."
"Well, yeah, it kind of is."
"Not every other girl in LA," I said, trying to emulate her voice, but really just making fun of her.
"Shut up, that's not how I sound," she responded curtly.
I smiled. God she got mad so easily. I loved it. She was so hot when she was mad. She got this sexy, huffy look on her face. Her lips became pouty. I definitely liked fucking mad Letty. That thought made me smile wider.
"No," I said, walking up to her and putting my large hands around her small waist. "Just us, together."
Probably just one or two more chapters for the story. Thanks for keeping with me all this time!