Disclaimer: I don't own Fast and the Furious.

Rating: Very Strong T

Warnings: Language (not to colorful). Sexy times –it isn't detailed and is mostly abstract, but if you want to skip it, the start will be indicated by a bold and underlined divider and will end at the next divider. I don't think it warrants an M though, but you won't be hanging if you skip it either.

Author's Note: I would have posted this on Christmas (Hope you had a Merry Christmas), but my internet was wonky.

Chapter Thirteen: Long Time Coming

Rayne was going through the response e-mails for their latest installment and wasn't surprised to see a bit of outrage from some parents about encouraging children to race in the streets. Heck, some even attached various articles of street racing related accidents to prove the evils of the sport.

If there was anyone more knowledgeable about the dangers of racing, it would be her seeing as she'd lost so much because of it, but it didn't help demonizing it. Criticizing without any solutions didn't take away from the problem and let's face it, commissioned tracks charged exorbitant prices to get on their tracks, not to mention that one never chose who they got to race. If most racers were given a viable option they wouldn't be on the streets, there were the few daredevils that liked the dangers of weaving through traffic. But, with the organization that had come about over the years with Race Runners tracing out tracks that took away from busy streets, the number of accidents had decreased. It was the inexperienced racers that caused most problems with impromptu races on busy streets.

"Hey Ray check this out," Ethan said, stealing the keyboard away from her.

With his arms around her from behind not at all practicing professional proximity, she wasn't surprised that the office tongues were wagging. "You know Hall, this right here is the reason why everyone thinks we're sleeping together," pointing out the arms that caged her in between him and the desk, as he was practically breathing down her neck.

"Please Cassidy, you are way too much woman for me to handle," he dismissed playfully, earning a chuckle from the woman. "They don't know what they are talking about – Ta da, our next great adventure," tapping the 'Enter' button enthusiastically to bring up the desired article.

The Race Wars poster that had been forwarded to her as well filled the display, "Race Wars? I'm not getting the connection here?" When outcry began, the most viable option was to subtly move onto something else. Shoving more of what people were complaining about down their throats was just asking for boycotts and trouble.

"Don't pretend to be oblivious Cassidy. This," he pointed to the screen, "is going to be our next article, because you and I are going to head out to Vegas and cover it for our avid readers." Their street racing series was doing well, so why not go out with a bang –writing about the biggest event out there?

Rayne sighed, "Hall, we are getting boycott threats from groups because we are 'glamorizing' the vice that is street racing, do you really want to galvanize them further by writing more about it again. We've ridden the street racing wave to its lovely death, time to move onto the bigger and better. Besides, no way Styles agrees to something that might result in a drop of sales."

"So, we're on if I get him to agree?" Ethan questioned taking a seat on the desk across from her.

"You already went to him with this, didn't you?"

"He said yes, as long as it doesn't interfere with our coverage of the Low Rider competition he's sending us to cover in the same place," he smiled, it was nice to have a partner who was always up to speed.

"Since when were we covering the Low Rider competition and how do you even know what a Low Rider is?" She questioned amused that the word even came out of the guys mouth. He was the formula 1 type of guy, not the off track motor shows. Heck, the guy thought gang members were prevalent in street racing before they began the series, now he was talking about low rides?

"I'm not as sheltered as you think," he defended, but got a skeptical raised eyebrow for his trouble forcing him to reveal the truth. "Okay fine, Picasso mentioned it when we were doing the interview with her and I did my research and forwarded the concept as a tie-in. The internet is your friend."

She chuckled at the man's ridiculousness, "Viva Las Vegas, I guess." Of course, heading out to Vegas of all places together would fuel the office gossip further.

-~*+*~-:-Fast and Furious-:-~*+*~-

The days leading up to Race Wars were going to be busy to say the least, since they had other racers who wanted to try their luck at the event bringing in their cars to be worked on, while the team tried to find the time to work on their own cars. There were also negotiations with C&C which were less hectic than Dom had imagined. It helped that the cars that came in forced them to buy in bulk, not the 20 that usually got a discount, but 5 to 6 at a time. Han had been right about the company supporting local SME shops, and had allowed discount negotiations with as little as 5 pieces. Briggs was being a bitter ass, trying to ruin business by redirecting racers to other shops, but it didn't end up affecting their business too much.

The others were out getting a late lunch since they'd all worked through it, leaving him as the one behind incase a client came in. It also gave him the chance to work on the books that he'd neglected for longer than he should have –

And there it was the article that had been sitting in his desk for longer than it should have, because the only viable option were read or destroy and he hadn't done either of them. True to her word he hadn't seen head or tail of Rayne since the race, heck even Maya didn't mention her. In fact this was the first time he'd come across anything that was directly linked to the brunette, even if he used that flash drive as an extra keychain.

Despite his long aversion to reading the article, mostly due to his bruise pride and ego, he sighed and flipped open the folder to read it. He wasn't a coward to the truth and he wouldn't start then.

FAST LANE: LA UNDERGROUND

By R. Cassidy

The world of street racing could be seen as a double edged sword depending on whose wielding the opinion, glamorized by the so called adrenaline junkies that take part in it and demonized by those who've suffered under the hands of these speed-demons. Both opinions are valid because it is true that there are good points and bad points in this world, but I'm not one to neither glamorize nor condemn it. In fact, what I will present you with are inside facts so you can make up your mind about it –whether white, black or a compromising grey.

Into the New (Under) World

From someone who had been part of this addictive world once before, I had somehow expected for it to be more or less the same as I had left it with little to no change which, I would admit, was mostly true. The cars are still modified to an eye catching extent with thousands of dollars pumped into the machine to achieve racing form, as well as the human compulsion of impressing others with their work. But, I suppose with time came sophistication into the previously unorganized scene of the underground. In this new and, I supposed, improved underground, different syndicates run the circuit in each city. Usually it is the crew that contains the top dog, or King. The King, or number one, has the right to pick the Race Runner who of course handles all bets and wagers placed on the racers.

Races and Wages

Unlike the legitimate races and tracks, street racing can only accommodate two kinds of races –circuit or drag. Some countries, like Japan, have drift races that fall into the circuit category, but due to the cost and higher risks involved in drifting it is yet to pick up in the LA scene.

Circuit races accommodate, depending on the width of the road, four racers each time with wages ranging from as little as $5000 to as much as a pink slip. The track is usually traced well in advance by the Race Runner, who usually has it cordoned off to avoid head on collisions with bystanders but, sometimes for the more hard boned dare devils, racing in open traffic is more thrilling so they forgo the nuisance of road blocks.

Drag or straight races are usually reserved for common challenges or rank challenges, allowing two or four racers depending on the circumstances. The track for such races usually stretch for a quarter mile of road and are easier to secure, since closing off a quarter mile straight road is much easier than the winding stretch of a circuit. They are much more common and preferred for this reason.

Thus far, I venture to guess that you're asking yourself: If there are Syndicates and Kings at play, isn't this addictive world one step shy of the mafia? That would be an exaggeration on your part, but if you are interested as to why that is I suggest you read on.

Life in the Fast Lane

As I am a LA native, it's only expected that the scene I visited was LA's flashy underground. The King position is probably the most lucrative as it gives one certain privileges, not only being number one but running things like a pseudo don. However these privileges don't seem to appeal to some in that position. Las Vegas, New York and the like have the established status quo that the 'King' runs things, but with change of culture varying from state-to-state and city-to-city, you'll find that the case in LA is different. As much as the King of LA holds the position undisputed, the Race Runner is independent of him. For him, it isn't about control –not in the obnoxious sense. Rather his search for control is confined to his car. The rest is bureaucracy.

What is the reward for him you'd ask? His answer when I asked was simple, "Freedom for ten seconds or less". From a former racer stand point, I can understand that view of things. Because, sometimes it isn't about the glory or high, but about the freedom achieved going 200mph and leaving it all behind. As unbelievable as it seems, for some it's about freedom, it's about getting into a car and forgetting what went wrong during the week. Forgetting your boss' issues, forgetting the loan you have to repay. It's leaving your problems behind for a quarter mile stretch of road for ten seconds or less; 200mph therapy that you won't get at a psychiatrist office.

For some it's about being part of something, to have a family when you originally didn't have one. Most of the crews you frown upon aren't adrenaline junkies looking to cause trouble as you'd imagine, but people who know how to do one thing extremely well and gaining family and understanding they otherwise would have been without.

Now does the fact that there is a good side to it, discount all the cons accompanying it? Probably not you'd say if you dislike this world. Illegal, risky and dangerous are some of the words you'd use to describe it, but for some it's the only time they are a part of something great, a time when they are free.

Fast cars, fast money and fast love

Of course there is the other side of this world, and pretending it doesn't exist would be telling only half the story. Because as always with such flash there is money and with money there comes beautiful women, which of course leads to sex. This world is all fast –fast cars, fast money and fast love. Every moment spent in its midst is an adrenaline high, whether your part of the race or part of the crowd. Accountants, trust fund kids, mechanics, journalists… it doesn't matter what you do 9 to 5 on the weekdays in the circuit. What matters is your car and how you race it, no questions asked. Because when it's Friday night and the new venue is set up and bets are being raised, your hierarchy in the employment world doesn't matter. It's all about you, your car and the competition and the first one across the finish line is the one with the bragging rights.

All street race scenes are the same with groupies ready to hang on the winners of the race, not only because of the alpha draw, but the money they possess as well. So you could say the things that rule this scene would be Money, Power and Sex. Money always seems to speak in any scene, so racing crews who cheat themselves of ownership of the circuit when really they have mediocre racers who are nothing but loud mouths, exist. But racers, with actual skills and money get power and that's what everyone after, right? That's why I mentioned earlier that Kings are the most coveted title racers search for.

Sex in this fast paced world is traded as a commodity, almost as much as insults and challenges; race chasers easily giving it away and Racers easily accepting it. The higher you are on the hierarchy, the easy it is to get. So where do female racers fit in to all this? It is hard enough to gain respect in the circuit without being viewed as nothing but an object, so is it even worth an attempt?

Back when I was racing, even now, female racers are underestimated by their male counter parts. So why bother? I guess we do it just to prove them wrong, because undeniably proving a chauvinist wrong makes any race that much sweeter. "Some men's brains short circuit when they meet a woman who knows and understands cars like they understand their own children, but they shut up real quick when you leave them in the dust," was what another female racers told me. So just as in the real world, women are still taken lightly, but work hard to prove them wrong.

Conclusions?

So you ask what is so drawing about this world; the adrenaline shooting through your veins at a win. But like every high, it does have its consequences, because anything fast has its risks. In form of reckless challenges by novices that end with fatal accidents. Risks come with responsibility that many of these speed junkies ignore ending in their own deaths and deaths of people being in the right place at the wrong time. To ignore this would be ignoring reality.

After reading this article or the last few paragraphs you may assume that I don't understand why many are against it or that I don't understand the pain of losing a loved one. In that you would be wrong. I'm one of those who have bared the brunt of the dark side of racing. I walked away from racing, but still ended up being put into a wall by a racer who wouldn't take no for an answer –I was 6 months pregnant. You may not believe me when I say that just like me, others have lost their loved ones in the same way –fathers, brothers, sons and friends all the like, but remain racing for whatever reason.

As you can see I've seen it all, the good, bad and ugly of the underground racing world, so this article wasn't written to make you an advocate of street racing or attempt to glamorize it. It was giving you the common facts and allowing you to draw a personal conclusion. Personally, going back I was skewed negatively as my last encounter with this world was dark and scarring, but once in its midst I was reminded it was not all bad. However, it isn't enough to convince me to go back to it, or push me to advocate for it.

So what do I conclude after all this –black, white or grey it's up to you to conclude what you think about this underground scene.

-~*+*~-:-Fast and Furious-:-~*+*~-

It had been a while since Nix stepped foot in DT due to the shit storm that had stirred up after Rayne's big reveal, but the damage had been eased after Rayne and Dom's race a few weeks prior and the brawny racer was willing to deal with Cass again.

"Dom's in the back," Letty informed him, not even sparing him a glance as she tightened a bolt. Dom could play nice all he wanted, but she wasn't ready to –once bitten, twice shy and all that bullshit.

Nix couldn't help chuckle, "Still pissed?" it was probably a rhetorical question, but he couldn't help ask as he approached her. He would probably get decked for his trouble, especially the smile that was pulling at his lips.

"Still here," finally raising her eyes only to glare at him. That stupid smile wouldn't work on her, maybe the first time but definitely not this time.

"You know, you are going to get over it one day and I'll be waiting," he may not go for the grand gesture like Rayne, but he figured if he pissed her off enough she'd sock him in the jaw and they'd finally get talking. She wasn't the type to just forgive without at least getting a hit in first, and he deserved it.

She raised an eyebrow, "Sure, right after I beat your ass." Tossing the wrench in the tool box

"I don't doubt it," he replied smile widening further, "Time and place?" Oh, he was baiting and he didn't care. It wasn't a secret that he wanted her back, and if goading her to admit she missed him too by giving him the swift punch in the face would work, he'd do it.

"You are really looking to get punched in the jaw, pretty boy? Move away," she warned feeling her defenses wane because of that stupid smile on his face.

He was breaking her, but he couldn't push her too hard. "Don't make promises you can't keep, Letty," words breathed in her ear before walking towards Dom's office, we'll aware she was glaring at him in anger and confusion. Of course his triumph would be dimmed as soon as he opened the door and saw his cousin topless and straddling Dom, making sounds no older brother wanted to hear, "Bad time?"

"You know normal people knock, Nixie" Marisol told him, shrugging on her shirt but not in a hurry to get off her perch on Dom's lap. Woman lived to make his life hard, even harder than Rayne usually did.

"Just get your clothes on, Sol. Dom and I have some business to discuss," eyes averted to give her time to pull herself together.

Buttoning up her shirt, knowing exactly what type of business he wanted to discuss with Dom, "You going to threaten him, like you did all my boyfriends?" Rayne might have thought his pit bull routine was cute, but Marisol was a grown woman she didn't need his over protectiveness when he usually bedded different women every other month.

"Sol, don't try to be cute," Nix warned, unable to look her straight in the face, waiting until she left to look at Dom. He was pissed about what he walked into on some level, but he wasn't going to throw his weight around. "You got that cheque for me?"

Dom could understand what Nix walked into bothered Nix; it was obvious in the man's eyes and tone. But, he also wasn't one to explain himself to anybody. Sol was a grown woman and she had been there on her own. "Yeah," pulling open the drawer to get it, only to have Rayne's article stare back at him. "Here you go," handing it over, and slamming to drawer shut. "You want to say something, man?"

"Rayne doesn't do grand gestures, on her best days she doesn't apologize –too stubborn to admit she's wrong," Nix began. Rayne wasn't one to fall easily; it took moving mountains to get to her as Kane had found out. Even harder for her to show her heart to anybody, and with Dom she'd pulled all the stops, and he didn't want her hurt. "She cares which is hard for her. What I'm saying is don't go down a road you'll regret."

"And Sol?" He asked, curious as to why he wasn't warning him off his cousin, but was advising him not to hurt Rayne.

He chuckled humorlessly, "This isn't the first time I've walked in on her like that; gave up the 6th time it happened. I can only hope she's being safe." The more he shook down her boyfriends, the lower her standards became to spite him so he stopped pushing. "Vince has got the parts, I'm out," already seeing Dom's mind ticking away.

-~*+*~-:-Fast and Furious-:-~*+*~-

"So supposedly you did something that I will be pissed about and you're pleading for my forgiveness," were Rayne's words of greeting when Ethan picked up, getting back to him after hearing his voicemail.

Ethan laughed nervously on the other end, "its not bad-bad, just…nosy-friend-who-should-have-kept-his nose-out-of-your-business bad," rambling on but not really telling her the thing he'd done.

"Yet, you haven't told me what you've done," she pointed out, sliding shut her windows as she began getting ready for bed. "If it makes you feel better, I don't know where you live so I won't be hunting you down until tomorrow. So, just spill it." She doubted it was as tragic as Ethan made it out to be, having learnt that the guy had a flair for the dramatic.

He released a breath, "Remember when we were making the hotel reservations online and you took a coffee break? Well your e-mail was sort of open, and I sort of clicked to enlarge it and I may have read a certain proposal that I thought was too good not to be forwarded –"

"–What did you do?" Ethan wasn't the ambitious, thieving kind so she doubted he'd lifted her idea. Perhaps deleted it or accidentally hit the send-to-all button, but nothing dirty.

"I forwarded it to Styles, with full credit to you of course. I know, 'Ethan you nosy bastard', but come on. Branching into Japan is something the company has always wanted and with what you suggested, it may actually work solidly than the launch did," Ethan answered already going on the defensive. "You have all the right to be pissed –"

Like she'd expected, it was less dramatic than he made it out to be, "Hall, breathe," cutting him off before he suffocated from lack of oxygen. "It's cool; I was planning to forward it soon. You just pre-empted everything."

"Really? So you won't slash my tires, key my car or something equally dramatic?" He questioned skeptically.

She couldn't help roll her eyes, "Go to sleep, you're being delirious we'll talk about this tomorrow," a knock on the door stealing her attention. "Let's just focus on the trap of 'Race Wars' you got us stuck with, okay? Goodnight." Returning the cordless on its cradle, she tightened the belt of her gown making sure it was secure before answering the door. She'd expected Fox or Nicole since they were the most likely to make an impromptu house call in the middle of the night, but she was surprise to find Dom's hulking frame on the other side of the threshold. "Come in," she managed after a moment of hesitation, pulling the door open wider to give him access.

"Bad time," He asked, even though he knew it probably was. It was nearing 11 and no-one usually made house calls at that time unless they were booty calls. That and she looked liked like she was ready to hit the sack.

She padded past him down the hall, assuming he'd follow. "It's heading to midnight, but since you're here, I guess I can be accommodating," if she was overly emotional she would have slammed the door in his face, because though there last meeting was amicable, he was the one that put a definite end to things so his presence was puzzling. "I think Nix or Fox, have some beer leftover in my fridge. It's not Corona–" she began listing off beverage choices like any good host would, cutting off when he placed the copy of her article she'd given him all those months ago, topping it with the flash drive.

"These are yours," Dom spoke when she remained silent. He'd bit the grit and read it, surprised to find that it was nothing like he expected. The picture he'd painted of it was detailed and evasive, yet it barely brushed over anything he considered personal which left him with questions and no answers.

She busied herself with pouring herself a glass of water to collect her thought. Of all the things she'd expected him to bring up; she didn't expect the article considering it a closed matter. "So you didn't trash them after all," deciding to just go with blunt, because she was highly surprised they were still with him. "But, they are yours; I gave them to you with no intention of getting them back."

"I read it," it was redundant to say but, he said it anyway. "Why didn't you submit it?" He asked one of the questions that had been on his mind after finishing the article, eyes burning into her as she moved round the counter to settle into the stool beside him obviously buying time.

It was a question she didn't want to answer, especially now that he read it. Heck, any question related to the article was something she didn't want to answer, but she wasn't a coward either to run from the truth. With Dom she'd done it more than she should have already, "Does it matter" she honestly didn't understand why it mattered now. She'd apologized, it wasn't enough and they'd parted ways did they need to pick at old wounds they'd settled.

"Why are you deflecting?" It wasn't like her, and she wasn't even looking at him as she sipped on the water like it was a life line. Last time he'd seen her, she was all swagger and defiance that had always driven him crazy. And now she was deflecting, and not even in her usual playful way. He'd admit he'd been cool and unforgiving with his ultimatum, but wasn't this what she had wanted when she'd handed him the article –to talk.

The sigh of concession escaped her, because she could feel his eyes burning into her and would remain unrelenting until he got what he needed. Swing around to face him, she placed the glass on the counter before looking into his eyes once again, "Because the damage is done and there's no taking it back." He hadn't accepted her apology, perhaps he didn't hold a grudge but after their race… it was over, right?

"Why didn't you submit it Rayne," he wanted answers, and he wouldn't accept no-answer as a response. If she thought she was stubborn, she hadn't seen anything yet, pretty eyes leaving his once again, as she shifted in her seat in discomfort.

"Dom –"

"–Simple question, Rayne."

Looking him straight in the eye, she answered. "It didn't feel right. I had already been struggling with it for months, then I wrote it as I thought I should, but I couldn't hand it in because it wasn't worth," she explained. What did he want, for to put it on the line? She wanted another question to fill the silence, but he remained quiet which only meant he wanted more. "Come on, Dom. Do you honestly don't know why I didn't had it in?" She made a frigging grand gesture, so outside of her character it hurt and he still couldn't put it together that she liked and cared for him?

"You could have kept it to yourself and never told me. Why didn't you?" At the point she'd finally come to him with the truth, he hadn't cared that she had something to hide. Part of him would have given it to her as her personal business, and never asked if she'd stayed silent. It wouldn't have mattered, especially since she hadn't handed it in for him to find.

Perhaps she deserved the skepticism after her actions, but come on did she seem like the type to kept things like that hidden. She'd told him about the accident and about her father, things she rarely talked about outside of family. Getting to her feet she stepped closer, not looking away from his eyes for one second, "Dom, you may think I'm the most deceptive person you've ever met and I haven't exactly given you a reason to think otherwise, but I couldn't be with you and keep something that big from you. I know how much trust means to you, and it's would be pretty shitty of me to spit on it by continuing on with a lie." There it was, she'd laid it out for him again more plainly than ever and left herself open for attack. "You mean something to me." This vulnerability bullshit sucked, because the silence and his poker face, was cutting.

Everything she was at that moment was foreign to him, what it was doing was foreign to him. Maybe it was the fact that she was close and her proximity was always intoxicating to him that pushed him to do what he did next.

-~*+*~-:-Fast and Furious-:-~*+*~-

She expected anything, dismissive words before he walked out the door but not his hand cupping the back of her neck as he pressed his lips urgently on hers. For a confused moment she didn't know what to do, still reeling from everything she'd said but the familiarity of his lips on hers coaxed her to respond. At first she was hesitant and unsure, but sizzled into confident and responsive when he pulled her close by the small of her back. Damn, she loved his mouth, opening to allow him access as his tongue met hers in a slow tangle.

The last thing he should have done, with a woman that twisted him up this bad was kiss her, especially when her kisses had always driven him crazy. But, he'd wanted her at that moment and he'd just decided to screw it and kiss her. Her mouth was still delicious as ever, and the little teasing nibbles and nips at his lips were sexier than ever, because even then she still drove him crazy. He didn't hesitate in lifting her on to the counter and pressing close as her legs easily wrapped around him holding him there –mouth never left hers.

She didn't want to think, she just wanted to feel –his sensuous kiss, his body against her, his hand on her thigh and fingers in her hair. Her hands cupped his neck and face wanting to get lost in him and nothing else. A gasp escaped her, when he broke the kiss only to torture her with electrifying kisses down her throat trailing dangerously toward the neckline of her gown and this time she didn't plan to stop him.

He was more than sure that she could feel him pressing against her, and wasn't too far gone to know his tasting lips and tongue were heading lower than she'd ever let them before, but her arching to him in response told him that she wouldn't stop him this time. Her hands worked to de-vest him of his jacket.

She was well aware that the more he touched and tasted, the harder it would be for either one of them to stop things from progressing. But, as much as it wasn't smart, because sex never fixed anything, she wanted it. She wanted him. His jacket falling to the floor moments before, he slipped her gown off her shoulder both of them panting, foreheads resting against each other. He was giving her time to think it through and stop him, despite being as turned on as he was and being unable to hide it, pressed against her.

Rayne had always been beautiful and sexy to him, even no standby. But, he couldn't continue on unless she was completely sure of what she was agreeing to do with him. The lace and silk vest that clung to her chest, but otherwise barely covered anything was already taunting his already worked up state, but just a word from her and he'd walk away –blue balls welcomed.

She was sure but, he seemed unsure and she couldn't blame him. Her need for him was surprising her as much as her resolve was on wanting him physically, after all those moments she'd told herself she wanted to take it slow. But she was ready for this, despite what consequences lay ahead. Pressing even closer to him, she tilted his head back to look at her, his darkened eyes making her shiver in anticipation. She teased him, parted lips brushing over his taunting him to take initiative and respond.

Part of him wondered why he'd stopped, as her swollen lips coaxed his, body on fire wanting more. His unconscious grind against her, making the sexiest gasp of his name escape her that destroyed the last bit of restraint he had left. He could have had her right there on the kitchen counter, but he choose to ask. "Room?"

Somewhere between kisses and pressing her against walls, he managed to crash into the bedroom –his t-shirt and her robe lost somewhere between the kitchen counter and falling onto her bed. Clothes coming off faster than their predecessors, until all there was only skin against skin and the drizzle of sweat coating their skin.

The ripple and taunt of his muscles under her finger tips as he moved, the feel of his mouth as he tasted her skin, the caress of his hand on her body was incredible adding to overwhelming sensations.

Her teeth nipped teasingly against his skin, before it was soothed by the swirl of her tongue. Fingers digging into his shoulders when she liked something he did, and trailing down his back was something he didn't know would drive him crazy. The smooth skin and taste of her skin something he'd never get over.

Months of sexual tension resolved in the heat and slow fire of intimacy. Whether it was good because it was something they'd wanted for so long, or because their chemistry was just that incredible was up in the air. Completion coming after what felt like hours, cries an intimate whisper.

-~*+*~-:-Fast and Furious-:-~*+*~-

The first thing Rayne noted when her eyes fluttered open, was her sheets puddle low around her hips with an arm thrown over her that pressed close against Dom's to provide her warmth. Half of her had expected to wake and find him gone, but he'd stayed. She was the type of person who assessed all possible cons before taking an action, until Dom that is, who seemed to evoke instinct over caution in her on things she should have probably thought through. Was that to say, the night before wasn't incredible and still had her body tingling from all the sensations she'd experienced? No, she didn't regret a moment of it, even though she had crossed blurry lines she shouldn't have because where they stood was still unclear.

Slipping form under his arm, she padded out of the room to find her robe, finding it a few paces from her bedroom door and donning it. What he said when he woke up would be defining for her, on whether or not to let things go. The night before obviously proved that she still felt something for him no matter how much work she'd immersed herself in work and all the moving on she'd done. He was still there subconsciously. She'd given him much more than she probably should, and she wasn't willing to plunge further without definition. She was insanely attracted to him but, she wasn't going to hang around waiting–It wasn't her. Picking up his t-shirt and jacket she returned to the room finding him stirring awake.

Dom wasn't in his bed, the rich sheets lay low on his hips and the overly soft mattress proved that if nothing else, yet he was alone. His mind sketchily pieced together the previous night's events as he tried to orient himself with the place. Rayne, he'd come to see her the night before all ending up in a sweaty tangle in her sheets. He hadn't exactly been celibate since they were something, if anything he'd been more active than ever. Yet with her he'd reach a level of sensual enjoyment he hadn't managed to experience of late, that sexy aura that surrounded her carrying through to every moment. He didn't even know just how deep she'd gotten with him until last night, and he wasn't even talking about the sex. He still wanted her even then and the night before proved their compatibility seeped in everything –intellectual, physically, emotional, sexually… they had it all. Damn this woman.

Stretching out lazily, he opened his eyes spotting her at the foot of the bed hanging his jacket on the railing, wrapped in her robe and mussed hair from the night before, making quite the sexy picture. "Morning," he greeted, voice rough from sleep.

"Morning," she returned, going to her window to pull open the curtains and let in the sunlight. Also to give her mind to catch up with her body and it raging hormones that wanted a repeat of last night. Dom wasn't exactly unattractive, his chiseled body demanding exploration.

His body was already looking to have her again, as the night before flashed through his mind vividly at the sight of her. Despite the exertion, he could tell that it was still early in the morning and he hadn't overslept like he'd imagine. Also clear to him, was the subtle tension in the room –regret maybe? "Want to say something?"

"More like ask," she confirmed biting her lower lip, a bit unsure of how to approach the topic. Subtly could work, but bluntness cut to the chase and offered instant reaction like ripping of a band-aid. "What I want to know is what last night meant," closing the distant to sit on the edge of the bed, looking at him. She knew in the frenzy and her acceptance, there hadn't exactly been room of contemplation. She didn't regret it, but she wanted to know where she stood. "Is it a fresh start or is it… closure?" because to her it was closed should it have meant nothing but fulfillment to him, no matter how much she liked it. Giving herself to someone wasn't something she did casually, last night wasn't all that different –it had meant something.

Those eyes of hers messed him up every time. She was under his skin and in his head that much was solid and clear to him, which gave her too much power already –he didn't need her getting any deeper. She had his mind and emotions which no other woman had been able to do, but the first betrayal though small had stung. Getting more involved with her would be risking getting messed with and he was the once bitten, learn and make sure it never happened again type of guy.

"Huh," she concluded the answer from his silence. Even if he didn't say it, everything was written clearly in his eyes. He couldn't move past what she'd done, and she understood it despite herself. He'd given her trust and she'd broken it. Closure, "I need to take a shower, if you leave before I get back lock the door behind you."

Rejection stung horribly, especially when you put yourself out there, vulnerable to hurt. With Kane she'd been lucky to gain acceptance, when she'd laid it all out for him. Dom's last and final rejection was enough and she was just done. Dropping her robe and turning on the shower with a shaky breath, she heard the tall tale click of the door as he left. Under the sprays she tried to ignore the lone tear she allowed to fall.

TBC

A/N: This was hard to write, because in my head it went one way and typing went another –more angst than I imagine. Love scenes aren't my specialty and I didn't want to bump this up to M, so I tried to make everything subtly sultry and abstract.

[Preview]: Race Wars, the return of a TFATF character, a new annoyance to Cass & Dom's team and my own tribute to Paul Walker (May he and his friend rest in peace) through Brian O'Conner.

Reviews would be lovely, helps me know what you think. Constructive Criticisms is welcomed, because it helps me improve. Flames "to each, his own".