"Like this scar…you got that the first night we met.. You were fifteen, first street race.. some kid tried to show off lost control of his car wiped out right next to you, you're lucky you didn't lose your arm"
"And let me guess… you saved me"
"Nah I was the kid showin off"
The sun was just about finish setting in LA. The pinks and oranges swirled in the sky as it reflected on a rusty red '69 mustang. Hovering over the hood of the mustang stood a fifteen year old, Leticia Ortiz. She emptied the final drops of oil into the engine and screwed the oil filler cap back on. A deep baritone laugh that she was all too familiar with, caught her attention as she turned her head to the right to look down the street.
Six doors down lived the Toretto's. Standing outside the house were two boys. Dominic Toretto and Vince. Or at least that's what she thought was his name. She watched as Dom smiled that little smile he did while looking down at his feet. Letty smiled to herself thinking how adorable that was. Dominic Toretto had caught her eye at the age of eight when she first moved into the neighborhood while he was twelve; and since then, she only had eyes for him. She thought he was amazing… He was tall, dark, and handsome… but the most important thing about him was that he loved cars just as much as she did. But despite living down the block from Dom she had never officially met him.
Letty shut her hood and got in, sticking the key into the ignition. As she turned the key she could hear her engine roar into life. She stepped on the clutch again and shifted into the first gear pulling out of her driveway. She had just turned fifteen, and tonight was going to be the first time she was going to race and she wanted to drive out her nerves. Passing the Toretto household she could feel his eyes on her as she drove away. After driving for about twenty minutes she ended up in the warehouse district of LA. By now the sun had set and people were driving to the street racing scene. She could hear the loud bumping music and see the flashy imports that were lined up for show and tell.
Letty pulled in and already she could see people giving her looks. And she knew the reason for the looks. Firstly, she was a she… and second, she was driving an American muscle. Down in the racing scene of LA, there weren't any girls that raced or knew about cars, and they sure as hell didn't drive American Muscle. She turned off her engine and got out, walking to the man in charge of the races tonight. While passing numerous guys, they had hollered and cat-called trying to get her attention. Letty being Letty, was unfazed by the sudden shift in attention to her.
"Hey little mama, that's a nice ride you got there but you stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of imports" He chuckled. Letty smiled a little.
"Thanks… I'm Letty"
"Hector's the name, you tryna get into the race tonight?"
"Yeah, how does that work?" she asked.
"Well, we're not completely sure yet… Usually Dom sets the stakes. You heard of him?"
She nodded in response. And like clockwork the engine of a Mazda sounded.
"Speaking of the Devil…" Hector said trailing off.
Dom got out of the car with Vince following and instantly the attention shifted from her to him. Almost every girl that didn't belong to a pack of racers strutted to Dominic Toretto. Almost every girl, with the exception of Letty. Hector walked over to Dom and shook hands.
"Hey man, how you wana do this tonight?"
"The usual Hector, A grand buy in, winner takes all, no second best" Dom answered cockily, each arm around a girl.
"Cool. Listen, there's this new racer she wants to get in"
"She?" Dom questioned, one eyebrow going up.
"Yeah, she drives a muscle" Hector pointed over to Letty, who was now leaning on the side of her car looking at her feet. Dom removed the girls from his arms and confidently walked over with Hector, Vince and everybody else that was interested in the foreign face. Dom's eyes flicked over to the car before the girl and instantly recognized it as the car from a few doors down. He let his eyes scan the figure that was standing next to the car starting from her shoes. White chuck taylors, dark blue jeans, and a white beater; her hair was let down straight and shoulder length. Dom was appreciating her curves when abruptly her eyes had caught his. He blinked suddenly finding it harder to breathe.
"It's Leticia right?" He asked when he finally captured his breath.
"Ain't she the girl from a few doors down?" Vince blurted out.
"Oh, so you guys know each other than" Hector chimed in.
"Well… not exactly. I'm Dom" She looked up at him with a blank face. Dom stepped a little closer to Letty's car and dragged his hand over the hood.
"So…You gona show me how you drive?"
"You're going to have to wait and see" She smirked. The corner of Dom's lip went up as he raised both his eyebrows at her.
"So listen, I don't exactly have a grand … but if you're willing, I've got my pink slip" she muttered under her breath a little self-conscious. Maybe she was in over her head she thought. Dom looked over as she reached into her glove compartment to pull out the little sheet of paper.
"That's not how we do it here little girl. Cash or Nothing. 'Sides, nobody wants your rusty ass mustang anyway" A regular standing next to an Integra called out. Letty was going to say something but noticed all at once, Dom, Vince and Hector turned from where the comment came from. It got silent real fast.
"Vince man…did somebody ask this fool for his opinion?"
"Nah Hector, he better shut the hell up before I walk over there" Vince replied reminding everybody who was in charge. "You down Dom, pink slip and cash as well?"
"Yeah I'm with it" Making eye contact with the guy who had blurted out his comments.
"Aight, races are a go then" Hector waved to his boys and everybody started piling out from in between the two warehouses.
Dom still intrigued by the girl that lived down the block, stalked slowly to his car hoping to follow her as they all pulled out. How was it possible that he didn't know her? Fine, young thing like herself...And how is it that she never approached him? He thought back, was this the little girl that played with Mia…that he had seen a few times around the house, but was too preoccupied with TV to notice her? A million questions ran through his head…Now he was a little too distracted.
"Well, I'll get to know her now" He said to no one in particular.
Letty pulled up at the spray painted red line as she waited for the others. She could see that everybody was still gathering to block off the rest of the streets. Looking in the rearview mirror she saw that Dom was rolling slowly over to the starting line. She also caught that smirk of his as he then stepped on his gas and did multiple donuts while making his way to the starting line. Letty who was now slung halfway out her side of the window watching, laughing at his very blatant way of showing off. Dom was taken by her full smile, her big brown eyes squinting while she laughed, the way that her hair flowed when the LA breeze flew by her… Good god she was gorgeous. Too gorgeous, because Dom didn't hear the sound of honking and the sound of tires screeching out of the way. In an instant the Acura Integra connected to the backside of his Mazda Miata and he flew towards Letty's direction. Trying to regain his composure and the control of his car he braked, but that didn't do any good. With the speed that the Integra was traveling and his speed, the only thing the brakes did was leave tread marks on the ground, slowing down maybe ten to fifteen. Letty noticed that Dom wasn't stopping and panicked stalling the car.
"Come on, comon, comon!" Letty yelled. She decided to abandon her baby as she went to open the door. Right as her door swung open, she let out a sharp and painful yell grabbing onto her arm. It all happened too fast, one second his car was 20 feet away from Letty's car and within the next half a second, he had made contact with her Mustang. Dom looking back, simultaneously stepped on his brake and yanked at the emergency hand brake. Dom's door flew open even before his car had stopped skidding and picked up his pace over to Letty, who was now on the ground with blood running down her arm.
"DOM!" Vince yelled. Dom turned his head at Vince and nodded towards the driver of the Integra, fury in his eyes. Vince knew what to do. He caught Hector's attention and both as well as some of Hectors boys ran over to the Integra viciously pulling out the kid.
When Dom had reached Letty, he slowly bent down and pulled out the bandana that was in his back pocket. He wiped her arm down, so he could make out where the blood was coming from. Letty stared at Dom while he so carefully located the source of bleeding; there was a big nasty gash from her wrist and Dom ran back to his car grabbing a spare beater that he always kept in the back seat. Retrieving it and discarding the bandana he gently tied the beater around her wrist, as she winced at the contact from the cotton material.
"Shit, I'm so sorry, I didn't even see him. You could have lost your arm goddamit!" He shook his head guiltily. Angry at himself for not handling the situation better, he knew that this could have been avoided.
"Ya know, for someone who's supposed to be the king of the streets…you're a shitty driver in an emergency situation. Remind me to not ask you to be my getaway driver… for anything" She teased.
Dom looked up from her wrist to her face and the smile on her face instantly melted away his worries. Involuntarily he smiled back at her.
"You really know how to show a girl a good time, don't ya?" she continued. He stood up, carefully helping her up as well. Vince walked back dragging the SOB who was now bloodied beyond recognition and threw him at Dom's feet. Realizing it was the kid who they had embarrassed shortly before the accident Dom bent down again taking a knee.
"The only reason you still walking is because I have more important matters to attend to. If I ever see you in my streets again…" Dom walked away letting the threat hang, knowing he wouldn't be seeing the kid again. Dom turned to Vince, "Get the Mustang back to the garage, we'll figure it out tomorrow I'm gona take her to the hospital.. I'll see you back at the fort"
"See you there brother"
Dom took his place back next to Letty and led her to his car.
"Actually, I do know how to show a girl a good time… and now you got the scar to prove it" Finishing his sentence with a smirk.
Neither one of them knew that this accident would be the start of something beautiful.