No fucking way. “Dom?”
Of course. Brian called her every week. She’d finally stopped hanging up. “Right.”
Where was Dom? What was he doing? Why was he suddenly calling after two years?
Shit. “Is something wrong?”
Dom laughed and Brian could imagine him shaking his head. “No, man. Everything’s fine.”
“Where are you?”
Dom snorted. “Just because I’m dumb enough to call, doesn’t mean I’m a complete idiot.”
“Yeah.” Brian rolled his eyes at his own stupidity.
“Mia said you opened a shop.”
“Yeah. Just your basic garage.” He relaxed and toed off his shoes.
“You still racing?”
Brian smiled and flopped down on his bed.. “No?”
Snort. “Yeah right.”
He laughed for a moment then sobered, his body going tight. “Are you?”
Brian relaxed again. “Good. Cause that’s not a real good way to lay low.”
“That’s how they found me, you know?”
“Mia might have mentioned that.” He could hear Dom’s smile. At least someone was amused. “I gotta go.”
“Yeah.” Brian should have known this would be short.
“Can I ... call again some time?” He sounded nervous, uncertain.
“Yeah.” Brian’s eyes fell shut. “Anytime.”
“Later.” He hung up and stared at the ceiling wondering if Dom really would call again.
“Brian! Phone!” Brian dropped the airgun and walked over to Roman.
“This is Brian.”
Brian felt his cheeks flush and turned his back Roman’s assessing look. “Hey.”
“This a bad time?”
“Nah, just doing a crappy lube job and rotation.”
“Bread and butter.”
“So how’s Miami?”
Brian cracked up. “Same as every other time you call. Hot. Sunny. Half-naked women everywhere. Kinda like L.A.”
Dom laughed. “Sounds good, man.”
“What about you? Where you at this week?”
Dom’s laughter turned to a groan. “I’m standing knee deep in snow. And all the women are covered in several layers of clothing.”
“Snow?” Brian’s eyebrow’s shot up and then he laughed. “You? In the snow?”
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I just ... I guess I always figured you’d head south. Mexico, you know? Not north?
“I did. Spent a year down in Baja. But ...”
“Get lonely?” Without realizing it, Brian had walked across the shop and out the bay door. He leaned against the wall and stared at the cracked concrete beneath him.
“Yeah.” Open. Honest. A tone Brian remembered well. “I miss ... I miss the shop. I love driving, but ... not like this.”
Brian remembered being on the run. “I know.”
“Yeah.” The fell silent for what felt like hours, but was only a brief moment, then, “I should go.”
“Take care, Bri.”
“You too.” Click. Brian sighed and slid down the wall, eyes closed, head back.
“You all right?” He looked up to see Roman standing over at him.
“Then get your skinny ass back in here and get that piece of shit off the lift. We got 3 more cars to finish before we leave today.” Brian rolled his eyes and stood up, but part of him was thanking Roman for the distraction.
“B&R Auto. This is Brian.”
Brian felt the grin break out on his face and didn’t even try to hide it. He saw Roman roll his eyes as he took the phone into their little office and closed the door. “Hey.”
“You guys busy today.”
“Nah. It’s fuckin’ dead. Been doing inventory of belts and filters.”
Dom chuckled. “So you could maybe take off early?”
“Probably. Was thinking about grabbing some waves.”
“I got a better idea.”
Brian frowned. “Better than surfing? This I gotta hear.”
Brian walked out of the office and over to the bay door. Just up the block was a beat up old Charger with a hand raised out the window. “Dom?”
More chuckling, and this wasn’t the time for that. Then the car door opened and Dom was standing there, locking the car, and moving toward him, cell phone to his ear. “Surprise?”
Brian hung up the phone and just stood there.
“That him?” He spun to find Roman peering over his shoulder.
Roman rolled his eyes and gave him a playful shove. “Your mystery caller? The one who puts a tent in your coveralls? Makes you smile like you just got laid?”
Brian shoved back. “I do not.”
Roman laughed. “Do too.” He jerked his chin up and Brian turned around and found himself face to face with Dominic Toretto for the first time in over two years.
“Hey.” The both spoke at the same time and then laughed.
“Good to see you, man.” Brian shook Dom’s hand and pulled him into an awkward hug.
Dom dropped his hand and wrapped both arms around him. “Good to see you, too.” He pulled back and looked around, inhaling deeply as he did. “Man I missed the smell of a garage. Nice place you’ve got.” He looked over at Roman and then back to Brian.
“Uh, Dominic Toretto, this is Roman Pierce. Rome, Dom.”
They shook hands and nodded at each other. “Hey Bri? Why don’t you take the afternoon off, I’ll close up shop. Go catch up.” Brian wasn’t fooled by the glint in Roman’s eye.
“Uh, yeah. Thanks.” He turned to Dom. “Just give me a sec to change.”
“Sure.” But as Brian walked away Dom followed him into the back.
“Your car could use some work,” Brian mumbled as he pulled off his work shirt.
“We can talk cars later.” Dom pressed him back against his locker and kissed him. It was hot and messy. Teeth and tongues. Desperate and wonderful. Two years overdue.
When Dom finally pulled back, they were both gasping for breath. “Hurry up.”
“Hey,” Brian retorted. “I’d already be changed and ready to go if you hadn’t slammed me up against the wall.”
“You complaining?” Dom traced a finger down his chest.
Brian swallowed and pulled on a clean shirt. He shook his head. “Let’s go.”