De Novo

VIII


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'She is one scary woman, that woman of mine. Remember that the next time you piss her off. Where the hell could she have made those connections?…damn!' The cold steel rail bits into Dom's hot flesh as he looked down at the finished Supra. Behind him he could hear his Miami conversing on the new disposable phone, that she insisted he buy her. 'All I have to do is let the Mad Scientist tweak my charger for Race Wars and I'm all set. That leaves me two drivers short.'

"What ya'thinking?" Vince inquired softly as he leaned over the rail.

"Going to Race Wars in the Charger, that leaves two cars that need drivers," Dom stated as he looked around. "That and I don't want any discord within the team. However once Race Wars is over, I was thinking of putting the Supra on the block."

"That's a sweet ride Dom," Vince stated carefully as he looked behind him to Letty then other to Dom. "You really want to do that?"

"Who would drive it? Insure it? Mia? It's not her style. Juan? He doesn't make enough and besides we could use the money. Hell, he could use the money," Dom commented with a dismissive shrug. "I know, you're mother could use the money."

"If the driver earns enough dough at Race Wars can he buy the Supra before you put it on the block?" Vince inquired calmly. "At auction block price."

"Juan wants the Supra?" Dom questioned concerned. "I don't know; it might be too much car for him to ride in full-time."

"Then give him a chance to prove himself at Race Wars," Vince suggested causally. "If the kid makes enough dough to buy the car, insure it for a year and twenty grand on top of that, he can buy the car from you."

"Only twenty extra?" Dom questioned as he really looked at Vince. 'I know that his ma will pass away soon, but what is this really about.' Shaking his head, Dom inquired. "Is this for Juan or to keep Mia happy?"

"Mia, she's finally looking my way, man. That still leaves us down one driver," Vince stated as his eyes automatically looked for Mia. He sighed happily at the sight of her.

"Maybe we should have Mia be the other driver?" Letty suggested from behind Dom. "She's family and we know she does know how to drive." She snaked an arm around his waist.

"But ….but…no," Vine stuttered looking flabbergasted.

"Letty has a point, Vince. The only other people who have shown interest are Mad Scientist, Buster and Hector. Two out of those three are in law-enforcement," Dom observed as he wrapped an arm around her and pulled her closer.

"They want the tricks of the trade without paying the dues," Letty laughed coldly as she leaned against Dom. "They hit Han's place's last night, good thing he just finished moving everything too.."

"Damn lucky," Vince muttered with an evil smile. "What are we going to do about that?"

"Nothing yet, the Tran's are going to be hit soon. The question is do we help him or frame him?" Dom contemplated out loud, wanting to hear their advice.

"We frame him and his family finds out, we're good as dead. I don't know about you but I don't feel like running the rest of my life," Letty stressed. 'Last time we were running from the lawman. I fully appreciated how much everyone gave up or how it affected Letty. Without Mia to balance her, she became more driven to prove herself and without Letty, Mia became so family focused she forgot which it really meant.'

"True but it would be nice not to be shot at in China town," Vince snickered.

"Fine, I'll inform Tran but we still need away to get rid of him," Dom sighed. Rumbling under his breath, Dom slowly started to smile. 'There must be some way to get the cops to take them out again, but how?'

"Oh man, what is going on in that head of yours?" Vince huffed as the significance of that look on Dom's face became clear.

"All we have to do is allow Tran to look face and his temper will take care of the rest," Dom laughed slowly. "I will warn him but his ego won't let him listen to me."

"Good, now are you will to let Juan buy the Supra or not?" Letty inquired as she narrowed her eyes at him.

"Fine, I would be willing to sell the car below auction value but he needs to earn enough dough to insure it for three years and the extra twenty grand. That would leave me with Rex and the Charger," Dom bargained as he stared down into Letty's eyes. Vince nodded his head before shoving past Dom to head down to the working level of the garage.

"Rex could be your everyday car and the Charger for racing," Letty purposed as she looked away from him to the excided kid below. "But there is no way Mia is going to race. We both know that, so it still leaves us a driver short."

"You suggesting I train Buster after all?" Dom inquired as he tensed up. 'She better not be. What the hell is…'

"Hell no, you would kill him long before we hit Race Wars! But we still need another driver," Letty sneered.

"Mia will drive 'cause Mia wants to update the kitchen," Dom countered. Seeing Letty's eyes roll, Dom huffed. "I promised Mia that I would improve her living condition. I did that when I moved us into the larger room. I updated all the bathrooms and stopped all the parties at the house."

"You stopped all the parties at the house, so you boys could open a bar; which incidentally is a smart idea. The bathrooms were more for you than her. Giving her the bigger room with a new bedroom set was for her," Letty corrected as she tried to pull away from him only to find that he wouldn't let her. "Your backing off her schooling has also helped your relationship with her."

"I wouldn't have been on her schooling if she wasn't so boy crazy," Dom grumbled as his eyes looked for his sister. "She has bad taste in boys. The two of you thought he was daring for coming around and charming. If he wasn't a cop he still wouldn't be a good racer."

"The two o…" Letty huffed as she punched him the stomach. Using his distraction against him, she pulled away from him. "We have cars that need to be fixed so that we can pay the bills. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get to work!"

"Letty! Come on," Dom argued playfully as he stomped down the stairs behind her. He spent the rest of the day tormenting his crew with his new found glee. By the time Dom announced that he was going to take Juan for driving lesions the crew was more than happy to see him leave.

"Jessie, your last test is today. You all studied up and ready?" Letty questioned as she worked on tuning the car's engine. She knew that if she kept his attention on the engine, he wouldn't stress.

"Yeah, I think I'm good," Jessie replied as he put his head under the hood.

"Your car is going to be one sweet ride," Letty commented as she backed away from the engine. Smirking at him she watched as he tweaked the car again.

"Yeah, well this is as good as it gets," Jessie laughed as bounced out from under the hood. "This is the perfect car, right here."

"Well, this car is not yours, the owner's coming to get it later today. When you get your GED you're going to get a car very similar to this one," Leon stated as he tossed a rag at him. "Boss man called, time to go take that test."

"But…." Jessie froze up. The roar of Dom's could be heard as it pulled into the parking lot.

"Hey none of that," Vince growled as he came around. "You got this and when you're done it will be in your rearview mirror."

"As you're cruising down Main Street," Mia laughed leaned back against Vince's car.

"Hey!" Dom bellowed as he pointed at Jessie. "I'll see you here, later today with your GED or I will see you at home for dinner. I expect to see you here. I got a sweet ride waiting for you."

"Go Mad Scientist, you show them that they can't keep you from your ride," Juan added as Leon escorted Jessie to his car.

The team watched as Leon drove away with Jessie. Dom silently counted down in his head just how long before they started in on him about Jessie's car.

"We're waiting," Letty commented as she leaned up against the car she was working on.

"For?" Dom drawled knowing full well that he was agitating his team.

"You know full well!" Letty snarked getting into the fake fight.

"As much fun as the back and forth banter between the two of you is, where is the car?" Vince demanded cutting off their banter.

"Letty's leaning on it," Dom purred as he crossed his arms. He watched as his girl's jumped and squealed their delight. Even Vince thumbed him several times on the back. 'He's not getting it until he graduates. Letty's right if I set up Tran and Johnny, their whole family will be out for my blood. The cops have nothing on all of us so far for the heists. They'll get the Tran's on gun charges but that's it. We need to take the heat off us permanently. But how?'

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TBC