GAH! I'M SO LATE IN UPDATING! SORRY! I just don't want to end this! UGH!

Okay so this chapter is technically the last one but I'm going to add on an epilogue to make this story and even number of chapters because I'm OCD like that. ;)

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to my amazing reviewers! : xsparklesthemagicalunicornx, nathansprincess, Mrz LOT, BubblesScream, demonpixie1, D27427 (Mickey and Leon will be more prominent in the third one, I swear! ;) ), Beautiful Nightmare, and KareyyMarie. I love each and every one of you!

I'm fighting a bit about what to include in the epilogue so I'll either post it tomorrow or the next day, I promise! :D

Disclaimer: I own nothing but Alex and Michaela…


Diamond in the Rough

Chapter 69: Leaving for Adventure

By: LoveInk

Mia watched them dance in the water, an absentminded smile on her face. When she'd first seen Alex head into the water with that beautiful white dress on, she'd almost had a panic attack. That dress hadn't been cheap and Alex was going to ruin the silk with salt water. But then she'd seen the way her friend was beaming up at her husband and relaxed. If she was happy, who was Mia to stop her?

She felt someone's hip bump against her own and turned to find Letty standing next to her. "They look happy, huh?" she asked, nodding her head at the couple in the water.

Mia nodded. "Yeah," she breathed. "Who would've thought Vince would be first? I always thought it'd be me or..." she trailed off, not wanting to remind Letty of Dom.

"Me," Letty finished, her voice sounding sad. She pushed a stray hair behind ear as she sighed. "I'm gonna find him, Mi."

"Are you sure you want to, Let?" she asked softly. Her dark eyes studied Letty's profile, searching for a hint of what the girl was feeling. "He left us all. He left you. What kind of person does that?"

Letty shrugged a shoulder. "He didn't do it to hurt us, Mia. He did it to protect us."

Mia bit her lip, wondering if that was true or if that just what Letty needed to believe to be able to sleep at night. Either way, she wasn't about to go telling her she was wrong. She was entitled to her own opinion. "So now what? Where are you going to go?"

"Hector said he heard rumors about Dom bein' in the Dominican from his cousin, Tego," she replied kicking at the sand with her bare foot. She looked up at Mia briefly, a smirk on her face. "You remember him? He came to stay with Hec a few years ago."

She nodded in response, remembering Tego well. He'd been hilarious. He was the kind of person that was so positive about everything that they felt untouchable. She'd heard that mind frame had gotten him in jail on various occasions. "You leaving us then?"

Letty's dark eyes looked out over the sea once again. A part of her didn't want to leave her home, her team. A part of her wanted to stay and watch as her family matured. See Vince's kid grow up, have a part in his life. Yet another part of her, a stronger part, pulled her to Dom. Pulled her to the mysterious island where he was staying. A clear vision of them sitting together on the beach, Corona's in hand made her yearn to leave and make it a reality. "Yeah."

"When?"

"Soon," she murmured looking back down at her feet.

"You sure you don't want to stay?"

"What's left here for me, Mia?" Letty asked, glancing at Mia out of the corner of her eye.

She watched as her best friend, her sister, tensed; those familiar brown eyes darkening with anger. "What do you mean what's left for you here?" Mia practically shouted, throwing her arms out to the side in frustration. "We are! We're your family, Let!"

Letty nodded as she tried to think of a way to better explain it to Mia. "I know," she stated with a scowl. She didn't know how to explain it to Mia, if she would understand. Sighing, she decided to try, "It just feels wrong to be here without Dom."

Mia's anger dissipated at the simple explanation. It made sense, of course. Dom was an integral part of Letty, her other half. It was logical for her to feel weird without him. Mia herself felt weird without her big brother there. She couldn't begrudge her best friend for that. "Just stay safe, Let," she said, pulling her into an unexpected hug. "And call me every once in a while? I know Dom won't want to, but you can. Please."

"I'll do what I can, Mi," Letty promised, relieved that Mia understood her need to get away, to find Dom.

"Thanks."

Mia kissed her cheek before heading back to the party, leaving Letty alone with her thoughts. A few minutes went by before she felt someone step into place beside her. She turned to find Jesse next to her, his pretty light blue eyes focused on the horizon. "Hey Let?"

"What's up, Jess?"

He shifted awkwardly, pulling at the sleeves of his tux jacket nervously. "Can I go with you to find Dom?"

Letty looked at him with wide eyes. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. Jesse wanted to leave his family to help her look for Dom! That was crazy! Jesse loved LA, loved being at the garage! "You want to go with me to find Dom?" she repeated, still shocked.

"Yeah," he said on a nod. He shrugged a shoulder nervously as he tried to find the right words to describe his reason. It was hard to do when there were so many other things to focus on…what to pack, if they'd fly or drive…where the hell they were going. He shook his head, trying to stay on point. "Um…it's just…everyone here's got someone and I got nothin'. I need somethin' new. I'm good at computers so I can help find him. And maybe I can be your bodyguard too. Kind of. I guess."

She held back at laugh at that one, knowing it might hurt Jesse's feelings if she doubted his ability to protect her. She just couldn't picture her sweet friend trying to kick someone's ass. Jesse was the type of guy who watched and shouted strategies at the people fighting, not the kind who actually fought. "Jess, if I leave, chances are, I'm not comin' back."

He shrugged a shoulder. "I could always come back by myself if I want to. I just want a change. It's hard to be alone around Lee and Vince. They're so happy with Micks and Lex and it just makes me miss…"

Letty waited for him to continue, watching as he rubbed at his chest, just over his heart. She had seen the tattoo he had there, the Spanish word for "hope" similar to Leon's side tattoo. She'd always wondered about their almost matching tattoos, but they were both so private about their past, she hadn't dared to ask. "Miss who?"

"No one," he said softly, his eyes falling to his feet. "It's just hard. I need something new."

Her eyes studied him. Could she trust him to protect her? To not leave when the going got tough? Hell, Dom hadn't even been able to do that. "If we're gonna do this, I don't want secrets, Jess."

"Umm…before LA and Vegas, I had this girl. And she was…great. And she's not here anymore and I…I can't handle all this lovey dovey shit without thinking about her," he explained vaguely.

She nodded slowly. The sadness that filled his eyes was enough to explain what "she's not here anymore" meant. Though she was curious, she didn't press him for more. She knew how it felt to want to keep deceased loved ones private. "All right. I'm thinkin' of leavin' next week. You down?"

"Oh hell yeah," he said, a big smile on his face. "Where we goin'?"

"Dominican Republic. You been practicing your Spanish?"

He nodded. "Si, un poco," he said, his American accent so thick it made Letty wince. He caught it and grinned bashfully. "I'll work on it more, I swear." (Yeah, a little)

"You think Mickey and Lee will be okay with this?"

"I'm a grown man, I can make my own decisions," he replied as though he'd already thought of it. "I'm all healed up too so I don't need to worry about my bullet holes and shit."

Letty smiled sadly. "They leave good scars?"

"Somewhat," he answered with a shrug. "I gotta get a good tan to show them off right though."

She chuckled, slapping his back lovingly. "No worries, Snow White, we'll get you a nice tan on the beach in the DR. We just got to be careful and make sure you don't blind anyone in the process."

He chuckled, rubbing his hands together excitedly. "Sounds awesome. I'm so down!"

They bumped fists before she pulled him into a hug. "This is gonna be fun, huh bodyguard?"

He nodded exaggeratedly. "Hell yeah! We're gonna have an adventure!"


Like it? Hate it? Let me know please! :D

Thanks so much for taking the time to read...the epilogue will be up soon! :)

~Love Ink