Title: She Left Him in Texas
Author: ChinaTeaSunflowers (that's me! hehe)
Summary: AU. "Running. It's what she did best. It's what she'd always exceled in. When shit got too tough or someone got too close, she had to pull away." 21-year-old Letty moves to Texas to get away from her life in LA. Living in her grandparents' ranch house, Letty bumps into Dominic Toretto, the small town's mechanic, who was her first... well, everything. When she broke his heart 4 years ago, she never thought she'd see him again. Now, she has to work hard for his forgiveness. M+ for language and lovin'.
Disclaimer: Any characters you recognize, aren't mine.
A/N: So, AU fanfics are my favorite and I've gotten pretty good at writing them and this was the result of reading 'Calamity Jane meets Doctor Isles, Medicine Woman' (and its sequel). I highly recommend that you all read that if you love the Rizzles fandom. So, I figured I'd try my hand at a modern, Texan love story. (:
Chapter 1: The Move
August, Spur, Texas, Thursday, 11:02PM
What the hell was she doing?
Running. It's what she did best. It's what she'd always exceled in. When shit got too tough or someone got too close, she had to pull away. And if it just so happened that 'away' meant more than one-thousand miles, then so be it. It was a chance for a fresh start, where no one knew her except her grandparents.
And that's exactly what Letty Ortiz got when she passed the 'Welcome to Spur Texas' sign. It was always a shock to read 'Population: 1,321'.
"Make that twenty-two." The brunette muttered to herself. She squinted a bit as she turned right onto another dirt road, the darkness becoming overwhelming. Letty had forgotten just how dark the night was in Texas. After all, it'd been nearly five years since she'd made an appearance. Almost ive years since she'd seen her grandparents. And practically five years since she'd even thought about this godforsaken town.
But it was 'away'. And that's what she wanted.
It took Letty all but twenty minutes to turn onto the gravel and dirt path that led to her grandfather's ranch house. It still looked the exact same. Looking up at the two-story, brick and wood house was like looking into a box of memories. Some good. Some not so good. But, it was home now. At least, for a little while.
The front door was open, but the screen door was shut. And Letty could see that the lights were still on. All over the house, actually. It wasn't surprising though. Her grandfather, much like herself, often stayed up late.
"You never know what you're missing when you close your eyes to sleep, Letty." He'd told her once.
Letty grabbed her overnight bag out of the front seat and opened the driver's side door. There was no way in hell that she'd be bringing in the rest of her belongings until tomorrow morning. She was hungry and tired from the seventeen-and-a-half hour drive from Los Angeles.
And it seemed like her grandmother could sense her woes. She could smell good Southern cooking wafting through the screen door. And as she went to grab it, the door flung open dramatically. Her grandfather stood there with a theatric glare on his face and his hands on his hips. He gave her a once-over, eyeing her suspiciously.
"Leticia, you look skinny. You on that West Beach diet, huh?" His face broke out into a grin and he held his arms out, wordlessly demanding a hug.
"Poppy!" Letty laughed and pulled him in for a hug. "It's South Beach. And no I'm not. But I am starving."
She walked into the house, and dropped her gym bag down by the door. Looking around, she noticed that everything had changed. From what she could see, they had upgraded to HD flat screen TVs with a new surround sound system and newer pictures lined the north wall. There was even newer, more modern furniture in the house.
"Poppy, someone turned this place into a beach house." She said, turning back to him. He opened his mouth to speak, but was rudely interrupted.
"Leticia Ortiz, pick that bag up!"
Same old grandmother, though.
"Hola, Nana!" Letty smiled and crossed the room to embrace the older, petite woman. Hugging her around the middle, Letty kissed both of her grandmother's cheeks.
"Que hay para la cena?" Letty asked. (What's for dinner?)
"She looks too flaca, right, Lena?"
It was then that Letty's grandmother finally pulled back, carefully examining her waist before pinching it.
"Damn, Nana! That hurt!" Letty exclaimed.
"Watch that mouth!" Lena snapped her floral dishtowel at Letty's retreating form as the brunette walked into the kitchen.
Once Letty had made herself a plate of fried chicken, smashed potatoes and collard greens, she sat at the dining room table and tucked in.
"I'm glad you're here, Letty. I need you to take a look at the truck. I think there's something wrong with the breaks." Her grandfather called from his seat in the living room.
"I'll take a look at it tomorrow morning, Poppy." Letty said through a mouthful of greens.
"Now, Leo, let her get settled in. Just call the Toretto boy tomorrow. What was his name again? I'm sure he'll make a quick visit to check it out."
"Lena, for the last time, the boy's name is Dominic."
Letty's fork clattered against her plate. She swallowed harshly and her head turned slowly towards Lena standing in the doorway. Her mouth was suddenly dry and her hands, clammy.
"Are you okay, Letty? You look a little pale."
"I'm fine." She scooted back from her seat, her appetite suddenly gone, and went to grab her bag. "I'm just tired."
"Well, the guest room on the left is all yours again."
"Thanks, abuelita." Letty kissed her grandfather's cheek and then her grandmother's on her way to the steps. "Buenos noches."
"Noches, sweet girl."
Letty dragged her feet up the stairs, her thoughts suddenly running wild. Her heart thumped in her chest. And everything in her began to feel like running to Spur was the dumbest idea she'd ever thought of. She hadn't thought about Dominic Toretto in the nearly four years. Dominic always talked about leaving town for as far back as she could remember. They'd even made plans to leave together. But he was still right there in Spur, Texas. Population 1,322.
He was her first crush, first kiss and the first time they made love, she vowed that she'd never sleep with anyone else ever. And she'd kept that promise to herself. Perhaps, subconsciously, that's why she'd never allowed anyone else to get too close to her heart or her body.
Stepping into the room, Letty smiled despite herself. The pale green and cream room hadn't changed much except the two new modern floor lamps and the bed was now a queen instead of the full-size that it used to be. Dropping her bag on the hardwood floor, Letty took off her leather jacket and pulled her dark hair out of its elastic holder.
She crossed the room to the cream dresser and she picked up an old photo of herself and her mother. Letty was the splitting image of her mother, Lana, and she felt a slight pang of guilt in her chest for leaving so abruptly. Pulling her phone from her back pocket, Letty called her mom but quickly hung up as soon as it started ringing. It was late and she didn't know how she would even begin that conversation.
Eventually deciding to wait until the morning, Letty shimmyed out of her jeans and climbed into bed. Thoughts of Dominic Toretto swam around her head and now she couldn't think of anything but him.
Tomorrow, was her final thought before sleep overtook her, tomorrow, I'll go see how he's doing.
Letty awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee. When she rolled out of bed, she pushed her hair out of her face and headed to the bathroom. After showering, the brunette brushed her teeth, washed her face and decided to allow her hair to air dry. She dressed comfortably, in a pair of medium-washed jeans and a white, v-neck shirt before padding her way, barefoot, down the stairs and to the kitchen.
"Morning, Nana." Letty greeted, kissing Lena's cheek.
"Donde esta Poppy?" She asked. (Where is Poppy?)
"At the corral with the horses."
Letty's eyes widened. "Does he still own Whisper?"
"Of course. He'd never sell your horse, Letty. You know that."
"I'm gonna go see her."
"Breakfast first." Lena told her.
Letty wrapped two slices of bacon in a pancake before kissing her grandmother's cheek and heading out of the house.
"That's not what I meant!" Lena called after her granddaughter.
The sound of metal clanging against metal drew her attention around the side of the house. Crouched beside her grandfather's pickup truck was a tall, muscular man with a shaved head in jeans and a white shirt. She bit into her bacon and pancake sandwich and chewed thoughtfully, her head cocking to the side.
Dom's arms stopped moving and his head slowly lifted, but he didn't turn around. He knew that voice. But it couldn't be her. Could it?
When he turned to glance over his shoulder, Dom came face to face with the woman he'd been thinking about for the past four years. The woman who broke his heart and skipped town. The woman who could still look at him a certain way and all he wanted to do was kiss her. But he wouldn't. Instead, he would hold firm to the vow he made to himself all those years ago: if Letty ever came back into town, he wouldn't give her the time of day.
"Hey." She said, smiling at him and leaning against the side of the house. Her bare feet enjoyed the lush grass under them.
Clearing his throat, Dom mumbled a 'hey', before turning back to his work.
"How have you been?"
Tightening the break onto its axle, Dom stood and wiped his hands on a cloth rag. "Letty, is there something you want? Or need?"
Confusion played over Letty's olive-complexioned features. "Uh,-."
"I gotta get to work." He interjected and closed his tool box before picking it up and walking past her.
Letty's eyebrows furrowed and she looked after him for a few moments.
The brunette's head whipped around and she saw her grandfather a few yards away with her horse, Whisper, an all black stallion with eyes like honey. An excited smile graced her face and she started towards the two of them.
Up Next: Letty rides... and what really happened 4 years ago.