If you could imagine the regular weekend race scene and amplify it by 10 or 20 that would equal Race Wars. The team set up camp in the middle of it all, their cars a border around their small fort. Hector had set his team up very near by and the guys had gone off to talk business.
Mia sat down after finally cleaning up after their dinner. She grabbed the beer bottle Letty had opened for her and grinned, "everything is going to work out perfectly."
"Eternal optimist," Letty replied sipping her own beer.
"Doesn't love make you feel optimistic," Mia asked.
Letty didn't reply. Love. Four letters had never formed a scarier word. Love meant a lot of different things to different people. To Letty it was pain. When you loved you inevitably lost, and sometimes what you lost was irreparable and irreplaceable. Sometimes what you lost took a piece of you and never returned it. She wasn't sure what Dom would take from her if she dared to love him but she did know that she wouldn't ever be okay again if she lost him.
Before she could reply to Mia's casual question they both turned toward the sound of approaching foot steps. Both women were surprised to see J. King with his posse. They didn't look around, which told the girls that they had been watching them for a while and knew the guys were down with Hector. J. King stopped directly in front of them. Mia rose beside Letty, gently murmuring, "does he have a death wish?"
"Obviously," she replied just as quietly before stepping forward. She tossed her hair back and gave her best 'please, fuck with me, cuz I'll stomp on your nuts' look. The four men looked like they had been working out for their Race Wars debut. Letty took a lazy sip of her beer, "looking for trouble?"
He snorted while smoothing his slicked back blonde hair, "if you're trouble then I guess I am looking for you."
"And what in the world could she possibly do for you," Mia asked, hand on hip and head shaking like the fiery Italian and Dominican she was.
"Well that's the thing," he grinned and his group of rich boy miscreants surrounded them, "I think the two of you could make a victory against your brother imminent."
"He so doesn't know," Mia told Letty.
"No idea," Letty agreed, rolling her shoulders, preparing for a battle.
"What's that," he asked as they crept closer.
Letty grinned, "just who the hell the two of us are."
Mia cracked her beer bottle on her chair and spun before filling the space between her and J. King and slicing his right cheek. The other guys ran onto them quickly. Letty cracked one guy square in the jaw, dropping him. She spun in time to avoid another guy's out stretched arms and kicked him swiftly in the groin. J. King cursed profusely while grabbing Mia and pulling him to his chest, his other arm locked around her neck.
"Stop, Letty, or I swear to God I snap her neck like a twig," he warned.
Letty stared at him, watched his blood drip down his face and onto Mia's shoulder, "let her go and I won't fuck all of your shit up."
"I've got the upper hand," he reminded her, "or should I say I've got your sister-in-law."
At Letty's widened gaze he grinned, "you think I wouldn't find out that you and Toretto are together? Its common gossip now that the king of the streets has crowned his queen."
"Just how do you think this is going to pan out," Letty asked as one of the guys recovered enough to yoke her up against him, "once Dom knows that you put your hands on me again, and then touched his sister, he will kill you. And that's only if Vince doesn't get you first."
"Enough talk," he motioned to his friends, realizing that he was allowing himself to maneuvered. He definitely couldn't afford to allow Letty to maneuver him. He motioned to his friends, "let's get them out of here."
He turned and collided with Leon's fist. He had come back to get another burger and had hidden behind the trailer when he had realized what was going on. He had texted the others before sneaking up behind J. King. Mia was released and dropped to the ground, the lack of oxygen making her weak. Letty swung her head back and cracked the jaw of the man holding her. She heard him groan and when his arms weakened she turned and cracked his nose open.
"Mia," Dom's question was clear enough in the concerned way he called to her. He finally entered their small space and took in the scene, Vince at his side. J. King and his friends quickly ran away, their plan a disaster. Dom paused, letting Jesse and Vince bend down to help assess his sister, and looked at Letty, "what happened?"
"J. King tried to take me and Mia, probably as incentive for you to lose tomorrow. We handled business," Letty replied.
"This," he waved his hand toward the ground at the blood, spilled beer, and his slowly rising sister, "is handling business?"
She sensed his hostility and his anger, but like always it triggered a similar response in her. His condescending tone of voice after she had just been in an altercation was not something she could appreciate at the moment. In fact, she felt her blood pressure rise a bit more, "considering we would probably laying in one of their trunks beat up or unconscious, or worse sitting on one of their dicks, yeah I consider this handling business."
"Watch your mouth Letty," Dom warned.
Mia palmed her sore throat, "why are you mad at Letty? We defended ourselves they way Daddy taught us to!"
Dom had no response to that and they all knew it. He eyed the scene for a moment longer before kicking one of the chairs so hard it flew against the trailer. Letty didn't so much as wince. He paced furiously, his gaze swinging back and forth between her and Mia.
"Why don't you give us a sec," she suggested to the others.
Vince shook his head, temper in his eyes, "I get why he's mad but I'm not leaving you alone with him right now."
"Are you serious right now," Dom's furious gaze swung to Vince incredulously.
Vince sized up his best friend, "as a heart attack. There are a lot of emotions running around right now and I'd hate for this new connection you got with Letty to end up with me knocking you out because you got pissed and couldn't control yourself."
Dom pointed at his best friend, head down, trying to collect himself and hold on to his control, "you don't know what you're talking about man."
"You're my brother Dom, but I don't trust this new situation," Vince admitted. The words that had needed to be spoken since the night Letty had chosen Dom were finally said.
Letty sighed, gesturing for Jesse and Leon to bring Mia inside the trailer. She stepped in between the men and looked back and forth between the two, "Dom can I talk with Vince alone?"
"This shit is ridiculous," Dom muttered angrily as he walked into the trailer.
Letty opened the cooler and grabbed two beers, easily opening them with her hand. She righted the chairs and sat, waiting for Vince to join her. When he finally sat beside her and grabbed the offered beer she took a sip of her own. They sat quietly for a time, letting each other figure out their thoughts.
"It was a long time coming," she finally said.
Vince turned to stare at her as she kept her eyes trained on the dirt. Neither of them were particularly good at throwing their emotions on the table.
"Yeah," he agreed. In hindsight there had been a million signs over the decade and a half of their friendship that had indicated that Dom and Letty would be together.
"He's a good guy, and a good friend to you. You both fuck up, in fact, very often. You both need to trust each other more. You both are better men then you know," she continued.
"Yeah," he couldn't seem to make the words in his head and heart make sense. All that he knew was that the last time Letty's mother's boyfriend had bruised her he had given him his just reward. All he knew was that when Dom was in prison Letty was the only one he felt he could trust 100%. All he knew was that he had never had a baby sister until the day he had met the woman sitting across from him.
"I love him," she choked on the words.
Vince sighed and drained his beer, "yeah."
"Fuck," she dropped her now empty beer bottle and palmed her head in her hands.
He rose and pulled her into his arms, holding her to him as if he could protect her from all the bullshit.
"What's going on," Dom's voice penetrated their moment. Vince looked up as he held Letty, neither of them had moved. He simply nodded and after a quick peck on her hair he settled her on her own two feet, looked in her eyes, and nodded. A small acquiescence because he knew she needed it.
Dom watched his best friend walk into the trailer and waited for Letty to turn. She didn't for a long time. When she did he could tell instantly that she was guarded. She was waiting for his next action, ready for it to be bad, hoping it would be good.
"I was…" he began to say but she placed her fingers over his lip, quieting him from what he was about to admit.
"I know. Shit happens man."
That was all it took, a knowing look and one sentence or less. His heart felt lighter and the unknown weight that had been on his shoulders had lifted. He pulled his hand through her hair, forcing her to look up at him as he kissed her.
He brushed her bottom lip, entranced with it and the way it tasted, "you're my girl."
Letty grinned, sliding her body closer to his, "I know. But more importantly, you're my man. I've claimed you."
"You have," he teased, a grin tugged at his lips before he turned thoughtful once more. Letty could have sworn that she felt the growl in his chest before he pulled her hips closer to him, "I should kill J. King on principle. Twice now he's been stupid enough to touch you. And now he's extending his crazy practices to my baby sister. I'm not having it."
"The race," she reminded him as she gently caressed the muscles of his chest, "you win behind the wheel, the way you always do. Then, if he's still pressing you…you gotta do what you gotta do."
The race scene was like a cult in some ways. Corporeal punishment was real in their community. You did what you had to do to protect what was yours. No one would fault, or narc on, Dom if he took his pound of flesh. But that was tomorrow. Dom knew that to make a move tonight before his race would make everyone believe he struck because he was afraid he'd lose the race. He'd worked hard to build his reputation and wouldn't have it ruined because of one little rich boy bum fuck. No, tomorrow he would get into his car and smoke his competition. Tonight though, tonight would be for him and the fiery Latina at his side and their team.
"Are we allowed to come out now," Mia's taunting sarcasm came from the window.
"Yeah, troublemaker," Dom replied, "and bring some Coronas with you."