Author's Note: Three years it's taken to finish this story? Shameful. I still don't own any part of this franchise. Only L.C. Jones and Christian are mine.
I know it's been so long since I promised this ending. It's the one that's always been in my head (I wanted it to end in the present at a beginning of sorts) and it has been sitting on my hard drive forever in some form. I appreciate those of you who badgered/coaxed/encouraged me about finishing. I suppose I am having a very difficult time letting this story go as it is one of my absolute favorites along with Growing Up Fast and Interconnected. Even though I still plan on revisiting this universe later, this core story has meant a lot to me as has the feedback I've gotten from it.
Apologies in advance for how long this is and also for any stray typos, etc. Thanks to all of you who have kept with it with reviews and alerts and just plain reading the whole thing. This is an amazing community of fans and writers and I'm very fortunate to be a little cog in this machine.
I haven't had the best opportunities to keep up with the great stories coming out and I very much want to go back and contribute to supporting the other folks being so creative with these characters. If there are any stories you would recommend, please let me know via whatever means (PM/review). I'd love to catch up on what I've missed and offer some feedback that I've been lucky to receive for my work.
Chapter 13 (Epilogue)
Letty stepped out of the car, releasing the breath it felt like she'd been holding since leaving her hotel. Her eyes made a panoramic sweep of the view surrounding her. The old stomping grounds.
God, she had known every nook and cranny of this block back in the day. She remembered hitting the mailbox on the corner house with her car when she was fourteen. Three doors down was the house with the hole in the fence. She and Mia had used that particular feature to run through the neighbors' yards and sneak into her back door when they'd caused some mischief on the block—or when they were trying to meet some boys without the guys knowing about it. It was still visible, although she doubted she could fit through it anymore.
The familiarity to everything she saw was eerie as was the immediate feeling of comfort simply standing in this spot after so long. It felt like coming home.
But it wasn't exactly home, just the memory of one. The house looked the same, if not a little more tidy. The paint on the outside appeared newer and there was a hint of landscaping with the neatly mowed lawn and shock of flowers along the side leading to the back. There was no more busted middle step on the porch, a long ago casualty of some tussle the boys had gotten into. And, apparently, Dom had finally gotten the driveway properly paved which was a nice touch.
"You sure you don't want me to come in with you?" a voice asked from the driver's window of the car she'd just exited.
Letty smiled and turned back to Hector who was looking at her with a casual concern, communicating that he'd have her back if necessary. "Naw man, it's cool. I know your abuela would kill me if I kept her precious baby away for much longer." Letty had known Hector's grandmother since she was a child and the woman was not someone you messed with, as sweet as she was otherwise. Besides, it was her birthday and Letty wouldn't dream of getting in the way of her favorite grandson celebrating with her. It was actually Hector who made the request to the bosses to extend their trip. She got to tag along with him and that allowed her to spend another day in L.A.
And here she was, perched on the sidewalk, nostalgia mixing with apprehension over what was to come.
Hector smiled in that knowing way of his. "Okay then, Let'. I'll cruise by later to check up on you. Just in case, of course." She rolled her eyes at him, yet a small smile creeped into her expression. Her old friend only laughed and then pulled away from the curb.
Letty tracked his car until it disappeared around the corner and then brought her gaze back to the house in front of her. Thrusting her hands in her pockets, she made no move to approach.
When Dom had met up with her last night, she'd had no idea what to expect after they inevitably got real with each other. And there had been no doubt they'd move past the happy reminiscing and catching up to get serious about the demons that had driven her off. Turns out, it hadn't been that painful, or at least not as painful as it could have been. They hadn't tried to solve all of their past problems or make any promises to each other either. They'd just laid it all out there and then focused on rekindling the friendship that had gotten them through so much in their lives.
Dinner at their old spot had been nice. They tried to treat it as the most natural thing in the world for them to be together like that. Having already covered conversation about their lives and the lives of their friends, they settled on talking shop. They quickly figured out that they both knew the woman who had written the article on Letty, the one that had prompted their reunion. She'd cracked up hearing about how he chided Jones for driving a Prius just like she had. But they'd both liked her and Letty had agreed to help her out on some secret project she was going to start later in the year.
Letty had even expressed some petty jealousy over the car Dom had recently rebuilt, a reaction that Dom loved, of course. They'd both missed the little things like that, Letty could tell. A few years ago, hearing about him working on that kind of thing without her would have probably made her sad. Yet after having some time to heal, it was more validation that they could still lead meaningful lives on their own.
After dinner, they'd driven around L.A.; visited past favorite spots and old haunts. Dom made an off-hand suggestion to stop by the garage so she could get her hands dirty with some cars worth a damn for a change. They both recognized it was probably a bad idea, though Letty had laughed at the jab. There were too many intimate memories associated with that place and they weren't quite ready for all the emotional baggage it might dredge up. However, they did stop to watch a couple of street races put on by a new generation of racers. That had been a lot more fun than she expected. They silently agreed to watch from afar, although close enough to inspect the cars and the various posturing from the crews spread out around the streets. Everyone knew the legend that was Dom, of course, and he wasn't in the mood to put on a show. Letty just didn't want to be recognized.
At around two in the morning, he dropped her off at the hotel and even though she let him walk her back to her room, they both knew it wasn't the best idea for him to come inside. The temptation was strong but they were still so fragile.
So he'd left her with his number and with a renewed proposition: he'd get the gang together for a Sunday barbecue and she'd show up as his surprise.
Letty had been silent at the request at first, debating whether she was ready to see everyone again and all the emotional hangups it would involve. Maybe she'd be pushing her luck trying to reconnect with so many of her old friends at once. Just Dom had been exhausting enough. There were no assurances about any lingering resentment at her staying away or awkwardness at her trying to fit in when everyone else had moved on without her. Dom made it seem like everyone would be thrilled to see her but she wasn't so sure. It wasn't the team that had come to that car show. It'd been only Dom and the new kid who didn't even know her.
On the other hand, she had felt good about seeing Dom again, better than she'd ever imagined. And seeing him again reminded her that she missed her family.
There were good people in her life right now but it wasn't the same. Her life was basically about work and travel. She was doing what she loved and got to handle some of the best machines on the planet. As for her personal life, however, when she wasn't dealing with sterile hotel rooms and empty, bullshit socializing in the name of business, there was only her impersonal apartment in Spain. And most of her time there was spent isolated and exhausted. Nothing she'd accomplished could completely make up for the loneliness.
There were no promises made—her maybe was contingent on extending her trip for another day. But when she'd confirmed this morning, his pleased response allowed her to let a little excitement bubble up in her heart.
Sighing, Letty allowed one last look up at the house and took her first few steps towards whatever lay ahead for her.
She walked towards the front steps but stopped short. There was a familiar set of cars lining the driveway and she'd heard some sounds coming from the back. She wondered if she should try the front door or just go towards where she knew everyone would be hanging out. Dom hadn't mentioned how she'd make her entrance. Was it better to just pop in on everyone at once or surprise whoever came to the front door? Leave it to Dom to reduce her to an insecure teenager again.
"You gonna stand out there all day?" came that deep voice Letty had learned to revel in again over the last twenty-four hours. While she'd been contemplating her decision, Dom had quietly opened the front door and was staring at her from inside the house, clearly encouraging her to come to him.
Letty at least had the decency to look embarrassed as she smirked at him and climbed the stairs to confront her past.
He'd had his eyes on her from the moment she pulled up. Actually, he'd been watching for her all afternoon.
Naturally, he played it off around the others. They had no idea what was in store for them. Or what he hoped would be in store for them. But Letty had said she'd be there and she wasn't one to go back on her word.
As far as Mia and the team knew, he'd gone to the auto show yesterday with Jorge. Between driving around to clear his head and spending time with Letty, he hadn't been around enough for anyone to quiz him beyond the basics. Jorge wouldn't be around until later, not that he knew anything about the time he'd spent with Letty. Dom had made himself scarce this morning at the shop too, leaving Leon to handle things while he went on a supply run. He'd had to straight up dodge Mia who was dying for more details. At their brief, early encounter over breakfast, he suggested they get everyone together later on for a barbecue after they closed the shop. When it was clear that he wasn't going to volunteer any other information anytime soon, she let it drop.
They'd all assumed things had gone poorly, or at least, hadn't gone as planned. His calm contentment was mistaken for denial and he let them think whatever they wanted to. He wasn't going to share Letty until he absolutely had to. And it would make the surprise of seeing Letty bigger and better.
Now she was standing at the fort looking as unsure as the first time he'd seen her on his front steps. Then, she'd been barely ten years old and trying to hide her nervousness about coming over to play with her new neighbors. She'd met Mia at the park around the corner and his little sister had begged the only girl on their street to come by and side with her against her brother and the rest of the stupid neighborhood boys. Dom grinned at the memory, recalling that it was actually him and his dad and the car they were working on that really secured Letty's attention.
Last night, he offered to take her by the shop and for a few seconds, he hoped she would say yes. Instead, she had laughed, although he would have bet major money that she was tempted. The timing hadn't felt right then. But if Dom had anything to say about it, he'd get her back on their old turf sooner rather than later.
For now, it was enough that she was there, standing in front of their old home together. There was no doubt that she was nervous, but she still looked like the tough Latina who demanded he fall in love with her lest he go through life feeling incomplete. She looked casual, like she had the night before; the cargo pants had been traded for jeans and she'd switched up her hoodie and tank top. Her hair was up in a ponytail and she was makeup and jewelry free, except for a simple silver band on her right pinky finger. As she approached the door, he saw her gaze flash towards the back and then a pause as if considering where she should make her grand entrance.
Seeing her hesitation, Dom decided he couldn't wait any longer. He needed to have her at his side again, even if it was just these first tentative steps towards friendship. He wanted to see the looks on everyone's faces when he brought their family back together. And, yes, he wanted to show her off like it was the old days when she was his queen. It still hurt a little to admit how well she was doing without him but he wasn't afraid to show how proud he was of her.
They'd been through too much bullshit for him to waste time living in the past.
So he opened the door quietly and asked her if she was just going to stand there. Her surprise brought an instant grin to his face. This was going to be fun.
She walked up the steps towards him with that beautiful smirk curving her lips.
"Don't mind me. I was just in shock by how respectable this place looks. No skid marks on the front lawn or beer bottles on the stoop? Man, you've really cleaned up nice."
When she made the final steps onto the porch to meet him in the doorway, he took her hand and pulled her across the threshold. "Well, you still might want to keep your expectations low because nothing else has changed much since the last time you were here." Dom ushered her inside and closed the door.
Even from the front room, they could hear the music drifting inside the house, no doubt from the open back door. The smells of chicken and barbecue sauce were wafting in as well. She stopped to look around and he smiled as she closed her eyes briefly to take it all in. She was so still that his smile faded and he worried that he had overwhelmed her. He scrambled for something to say that would ease her mind.
"See, same couch as before with that same damn spot from when Mia tried to paint your toenails. We never could get that out." She turned towards the couch to run her fingers over the big, red blotch on the arm. "Same video game set up. Although we've upgraded the hardware as you can see." Letty nodded with approval at the new television and entertainment center with room for all their consoles and games.
They turned the corner to the dining room and kitchen, her hand remaining in his which Dom took as a good sign. "We got a new stove and oven because Mia kept hounding me about it so I had to give in on that one. But it's the same table from before, just a few more dents in it."
The table had seen their family through a lot of good and bad times. It had been one of the first big purchases after his parents got married so neither Dom nor Mia wanted to part with it. They had many memories of sitting at that table with their mom and dad. Later, there were the meals they'd spent with just their dad and their circle of strays in Vince and Letty. Finally, there were all the parties and celebrations when Dom had been the head of their team and of the household after his father's death. Even with so much transition in his life and in this house, after Letty left, family meals there never really felt quite right.
They walked past the table, Letty gliding a hand along the back of a chair. If memory served, they'd had sex on that chair once. It seemed she hadn't forgotten either.
That bit of comfort was short-lived, however, when he felt Letty stiffen beside him. She must have gotten her first glimpse of the team through the windows facing the backyard. Everyone was gathered outside. Leon was tending the grill while Jesse was pouring ice into a cooler. Mia had just stepped down from the stairs with more food that Vince immediately took from her and set on the table. He was yelling something over at Leon that Dom couldn't quite make out but it made everyone break out in laughter, Mia heckling him further and Jesse throwing some ice in Leon's direction. Letty must have caught what was said since her mouth curved up in response to it.
He stepped up behind Letty, invading her personal space a bit. She didn't seem to mind. Or maybe she was more focused on how things were going to go with the rest of her old crew.
"What are you waiting for?" he asked playfully right at her ear. He squeezed her hand in support and then steered her to the steps leading outside. "Don't forget to breathe," he added over his shoulder. The breeze of her exhale against his neck forced him to reign in the thrill of desire it caused.
When Mia spotted him in the doorway, Letty's petite frame concealed behind him, she scowled before putting her hands on her hips. "Dom, the food is almost ready so you better not come down here empty handed."
"Damn straight," Vince said from where he was setting up the table. "You've been dodging work all day so grab some shit off the table and get out here.
Dom laughed and stepped out in full view. "Oh I'm bringing something with me alright, don't worry." When he started down the steps, everyone turned to see who he had in tow. "Guess who I found lurking out front."
Letty exhaled and followed Dom down the stairs to the waiting people below in the yard. Everyone was still smiling at the ribbing being directed towards Leon. Vince had put some food down on the table for Mia who followed him, rearranging things so it fit nicely. Jesse had returned to dealing with the ice chest, now putting in more beer along with a couple of iced tea bottles and soda.
It felt so surreal walking back into all this. She'd spent so much time becoming close with these people; that had altered the entire direction of her life. There had been fights and make out sessions in this very back yard; schemes had been hatched, friendships tested and family, in its many iterations, reaffirmed.
At that moment, it hit her that she was really going to do this. She was finally going to test how far she'd come since pledging to make the best life possible for herself.
Vince turned to chastise Dom for apparently not carrying his weight with the barbecue logistics. And then everything stopped—two seconds, then ten, then thirty. Letty's heart felt like it was going to fly out of her chest and she gripped Dom's hand and felt him squeeze back.
"Leon, don't burn the damn chicken, man."
"Oh shit!" Leon quickly returned his attention to the grill and pulled a few pieces of meat off of the heat.
That was enough to break the tension and Mia was flying across the yard to pull Letty into a tight embrace. Letty hugged her back just as tightly and soon they were rocking with each other and pulling back before hugging again in a flurry of ponytails, excited exclamations and tears, from Mia at least.
"Look at you!" she said pulling back from her once more. Letty was getting a little self conscious since she didn't think she'd changed that much, not in appearance at least. "No, you look the same and that's good!" Mia clarified, knowing what her good friend must be thinking.
There was nothing like getting a hug from Mia, even if you didn't want it. It was like sunshine. Of everyone, Mia was the only one who she'd had any contact with over the years, even if it was sporadic. They both recognized the forces that had pulled their lives apart. But unlike everyone else, for a while they tried to look past the obstacles and be the most they could to each other in their new lives, no matter how limited.
Standing in front of each other, taking it all in, Letty was reminded of the little girl she'd befriended almost twenty years ago. She'd been so wary of the only other young female in the neighborhood with her pretty clothes and good cheer. Yet they'd become fast friends and eventually strong family. They'd had hundreds of sleepovers and gossip sessions while Letty was hiding out from her parents. When Mia got drunk for the first and only time in her life, Letty was there to hold her hair back while she threw up and covered for her with Dom and her dad. What little trouble Mia had gotten into as a kid, they'd done it together. As they got older, Letty was a gateway between Mia and the boys. Even after she started dating Dom, they were always there for each other.
Letty smiled and hugged Mia again. If nothing else went well today, she was glad for the chance to reconnect with her oldest friend.
When Mia finally let her go, she ran over to Dom and hit him on the arm before embracing him as well. "You sneak! You knew she was coming this whole time and you didn't say anything."
"Well, I didn't know for sure until a couple hours ago," he replied putting his arms around his sister.
Letty saw her give him a big squeeze before letting go. "You brought her back home to us. Thanks big brother." Letty smiled at the two but was then ambushed by two big arms as Leon grabbed her and spun her around.
"Well, I'll be damned. Look who's slumming it with her old crew. You come to teach us a thing or two?" He put her back on her feet and she playfully punched him in the shoulder.
"I could have done that at any time," she threw back. She and Leon had loved to bicker back and forth about who knew more about cars. They both knew that it was Letty but he enjoyed giving her a hard time. When they'd first met, he'd been the typical dude writing her off as just some girl who was hanging around the garage to get close to the guys. She'd put him in his place immediately and that had been the end of it. Leon loved life and was always looking for a good time. He was loyal to his team and wasn't one for holding grudges or being bad tempered. It was a comfort that he didn't seem much changed.
Leon put his arm around her and guided her over to the grill. "You're just in time too. This is supposed to be a two-person job. I'm the sauce man and you're the grill master. You're all traveling around the world and I'm here stuck flipping the chicken."
"More like burning the chicken," Letty heard from behind her. Jesse stood there with a shy smile on his face, happy to see her but unable to figure how to express it.
Letty turned and tackled the little guy in a hug. "That's my boy, calling Leon out like that."
She let him go and watched the adorable blush creep into his cheeks. "Somebody's got to." Leon and Jesse had come into her life together, like a package deal. He had been so quiet back then but they'd warmed to each other pretty quickly. She could tell right away that he was something special. When the Mad Scientist in him came out, she made sure to help nurture it; they could talk about cars for hours.
"I hope you've been keeping these clowns in line. Somebody's gotta be the brains in this operation. You don't know how many times I could have used your skills, man." It was true. She'd be working on a car and would wonder how Jesse would fix something or what he would do to make a design better.
"Well, you should have just called and I'da been there." Letty's smile faded a bit with regret. He was probably right but she had been too wary to ever risk it. "But you're here now and you can supervise Leon over there before we end up with nothing but burnt barbecue for dinner." Leon pushed him aside and they began a back and forth of mock jabs at each other.
"See what you've been missing?" Vince had snuck up beside her and draped an arm over her shoulder.
Letty looked up at her old friend and placed her arm around his back. "Yeah, I see." Vince kissed her on the top of her head and Letty slipped her other arm across his waist and squeezed. He returned her hug and they simply held each other for long moments while the others looked on.
Vince was Dom's best friend but he was family to Letty. She had been the most worried about his reaction to seeing her again. He'd been so angry when she left, mostly because he understood why she had to do it. Vince had openly disapproved when she and Dom first started dating. Dom was such a player back then and no one but the two of them were convinced he could commit. It was no secret that Vince would stick with Dom if something went wrong and Vince was afraid that he'd lose Letty over Dom's bullshit. It hadn't quite gone down like that but it had still hurt.
"It's good to see you, Babygirl." He let her go and grabbed a beer that he opened for her. "Now we can put you to work because Leon really is going to burn that food if you don't supervise."
She laughed and walked towards the grill. "Well, I haven't done this in a while but I can't do a worse job than you right now, right Leon?"
He shoved her with his arm but grinned and handed her the tongs. "You grill, I'll sauce."
Letty looked over to see Dom coming down the stairs with more stuff from the kitchen. He'd already had his time with her and was holding back. She nodded in his direction and he smiled in return before turning and speaking quietly with Vince.
This felt good. Things were different for sure. The passage of time was all around them and the weight of their past lingered. But it felt like a rekindling and not just a spark of nostalgia that flares before dying away forever. Food laid out, drinks cooling in the summer heat and family reconnected around the table, they said grace and thanked the heavens for bringing their team together again.
'This was how it should be,' Dom thought to himself as he looked around the room.
It was late but everyone seemed content to linger as the night deepened. They'd eaten themselves full and then some. Dom and the boys had cleaned up outside but he'd left Letty and Mia to wash the dishes, giving them time to catch up and gossip in whatever girly fashion they deemed appropriate. Then everyone sat around like they hadn't done in years and just hung out, playing video games and telling old stories. Eventually Jorge had turned up, probably to get another up-close view of Letty. It had been cute watching him trying out his game on her and she being a good sport about it. Hector showed up too bringing with him some of their old friends and it had become a bona fide party at that point, albeit a low key one.
At the height of the festivities, Dom snuck Letty away to check out the remodeled car he'd told her about. The two of them spent an hour thoroughly examining every part of it. Of all the interactions they'd had in the last day and a half, that had been the most intimate to him, but also the most natural. Each time she'd caress the body or adjust something under the hood, he was reminded of the other parts of him she'd touched; the little things she'd done to make him better. So many things they'd gotten through in this life by bonding over a sweet ride and each other's company.
Now they were back sitting in the living room, listening to Vince rag on Dom about some stupid stunt he'd pulled when they were sixteen. Letty was sitting next to Vince adding a funny detail when it seemed appropriate to heighten the story.
Why couldn't it have been like this all the time? Why had it taken five years and a life away from Letty to bring this kind of peace to their household? He, Mia and the boys had had some good times since Letty left, times that he was proud of. But none of them were like this.
Maybe he was being naive thinking they could hold on to this vibe after the evening was over. But it was in his nature to go after what he wanted and there was no way that he was letting this be the last time he felt this kind of contentment. He was hoping that Letty felt the same way because it was her that made it possible.
Dom laughed at Vince still clowning him but didn't miss the look that passed between Letty and Hector. There was no mistaking what that meant; their time together was coming to a close. This wouldn't be the end even though he and Letty had made no plans for the future.
Leon had turned the tables and was telling a story about one of Vince's past adventures and with the attention off of him, he caught Letty's eye and gestured towards the front. She nodded and made for the front door, Dom following close behind.
Once outside, she stopped at the second step and sat down. That was their usual spot and the place where they had that last, sad conversation before she left. He lowered himself beside her and they sat together, calmly watching the night slip away from them.
Dom turned to her, liking the way the occasional breeze stirred the loose strands of hair around her face. He studied every detail, every curve and line, every movement she made with those expressive eyes. Examining her like that was almost too much for him.
"So, that wasn't so bad, was it?" he asked, turning back to stare at the street in front of him.
Letty shifted to stretch her legs out in front of her. "No, not bad at all. Thanks for the invitation."
Silence followed again, this time not so comfortable. It was difficult to know where to go from here.
Cutting to the chase, Letty stated the obvious. "I still live halfway across the world, Dom. And even when I'm not in Spain, I'm on the road all the time for work."
"I've missed this though." Another stretch of silence.
"I think my dad would be proud of us right now," Dom said. Letty turned towards him, brow furrowed at the unexpected shift in topic. He met her gaze squarely. "We've come a long way. He realized right away that you were special. He adored you."
Letty smiled at the mention of Dom's late father. "I adored him too."
"Now look at you. He'd be happy to see it." He paused and turned away. "I know he wouldn't approve of everything I've done but I like to think he'd respect the man I've become, despite my mistakes."
Letty brushed his shoulder lightly with her own, bringing his attention back to her. "I know he would have, Dom. You've done right by Mia. You've kept his memory alive and become everything he wanted for you. I may not have been around for all of it but I can tell that you worked hard to get where you are. Successful business owner, well-respected in the community, still king of the streets if you ask the right people."
He chuckled. "Is that so?"
She joined in his laughter. "That's what I hear."
He took her hand in his. "I did work hard to get to this point, Let'. I'm glad you can see that." He paused searching for the right words. "It matters to me that you can see that after … after everything." Tentatively, she slid over closer to where he sat and leaned her head on his shoulder. They remained like that for a while, hands still grasped together.
Behind them, a door opened and Hector popped his head out. He looked sheepish about the interruption but it was definitely pretty late by this point. The garage was closed on Mondays but Letty and Hector still had a cross-continental flight to catch the next morning.
"Give me five minutes, man, and I'm good," Letty said before Hector could think of how to tactfully hint that they needed to bounce.
He nodded and then grinned at Dom. "Am I gonna have to come out there and beat you down for being all up on my girl."
"You can try," Dom responded dryly over his shoulder. But he smirked over at Letty who was scowling at the retreating Hector.
She let go of his hand and moved to get up but he stopped her. "I was thinking," he started. "I've got a pretty good thing going on here in L.A. Shop's doing well; I got good people working for me. Mia's doing her thing like Dad wanted."
Letty forced a smile at him. "Life's pretty good here, isn't it?" She looked down at her feet, kicking a heel against the porch step. Dom warmed at the sign of one of her old nervous ticks. "I wouldn't want you to give that up, Dom."
"I know." He put a hand on her knee to stop her kicking. She brushed him off, still hating the gesture which only amused Dom more. "However, I was thinking I wouldn't mind doing a little traveling; seeing more of the world and maybe brushing up on my Spanish." He glanced sideways at her trying to gauge what she might think about that.
At first, her expression was unreadable and he worried that he'd just sabotaged himself. But when she turned to him with that shy grin of hers. The rush of pleasure to his gut was almost overwhelming.
"Your Spanish wasn't that great the last time we tested it out," she joked. They had taken a trip to the Dominican Republic to check out some potential contacts back when they were still planning heists. Infamously, Dom's Spanish skills had almost gotten them in trouble once or twice.
Dom laughed at the memory of that trip. "So I'll brush up. Or there's always Milan; or maybe Monte Carlo. I hear London's pretty fun if you know where to go."
Milan, Monte Carlo and London, incidentally, were the cities at which the Castillo Group had drivers competing over the next few months. He'd looked it up earlier in anticipation of getting to know her again.
Letty had picked up on the suggestion, her delight sparkling in her eyes. "Someone's been doing his homework." This time she did stand and put her hand out to pull him up alongside her. "Could be fun though," she responded.
He stared down at her, into those deep brown eyes he loved so much, and he saw all the possibility that was waiting for them, if only they'd get their act together. Being apart had forced them to grow up and become stronger. But together, they could be unstoppable.
She better be ready because he was coming to get her.
Letty squeezed his hand before letting go again. "I'm gonna go say goodbye to everyone so that—"
Dom pulled her into his arms before she could finish that thought. "Not so fast." He brushed his lips to hers and relished her immediate response. When Letty opened up for him, he devoured what he'd been missing for the past five years.
There was no guilt or tension to their kiss or the desperation he felt to hold on to her. There was only comfort and history. And there was love in a form that neither could yet identify. Letty's arms went around him, holding him as tightly as he was holding her, coaxing him with as much passion as he felt in his own heart. She consumed him and there was no going back. Kissing her, tasting her, loving her was everything.
He pulled away slowly only to go in again with a soft press of his lips to hers. It wasn't a long embrace but it got his message across: he was in this. He'd wait for her to join him, no matter how long it took or how much he had to chase her across the globe.
Dropping his arms, he stepped behind her and gently pushed her towards the front door. "Now you can go say your goodbyes."
She whistled as she reached for the door knob. "So you had to get your goodbye in first, huh? That was a helluva sendoff." She glanced at him over her shoulder as she opened the door.
He still held a hand loosely at her waist as they entered. "You've got it all wrong. I'm never saying goodbye to you." He kissed her on the top of the head before letting go so she could say her farewells.
She made the rounds, giving hugs and hurling insults where it was appropriate. There were promises to keep in touch and plans made for her next trip over. The boys were dying to get her into the shop and weren't above asking for perks they knew she had access to being such a big shot. After another ten minutes, she and Hector finally made their way out followed by the rest of their friends dispersing for the night.
Closing Letty into Hector's car, Dom gave her another quick kiss on the lips and made her promise to call him when she got settled back in Spain.
"See you around, sucker," she called to him through the window.
"Count on it, baby."
This time around, they were going to conquer the world together.