One of these days, he'd learn not to underestimate Letty. This hadn't been that day.
Currently, his hand was massaging his jaw where her fist had connected with it. While doing this, he was looking down into her dark eyes and thinking how sexy she looked. The problem with his thoughts was that she could read him like a book. When she saw what he was thinking, he had to grab her hand before he got hit again.
"What the hell, Letty?"
"What the hell?" She demanded angrily. "What the hell? You have the balls to ask me that after what you did?"
"Letty -- "
"In the middle of the night, Dom! You walked out in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, you asshole. I woke up to find you gone."
"I was trying to protect you," he said, desperate to get her to listen to reason and not hit him in the mouth again. Damn, he had almost forgotten how well she could throw off a punch. "I knew the cops were going to keep coming after me and I didn't want you to get caught up in that mess."
"How dare you decide take that decision from me, Dom?" She pulled away from him, her eyes full of the anger and hurt she was feeling. It was hurt and anger she had been holding onto since she had woken up that first morning and found him gone and she used it to fuel her words. "I told you before that I didn't care about that. I told you we were a team. I was pretty sure I had made that damn clear to you, but you still walked away!" Letty had never been good at letting go of things when they mattered, and this was one of those times it had really mattered to her.
"You think doing that was easy for me, Letty? You think that I enjoyed sneaking out of the country while you were asleep? It wasn't fun," he fired back.
"Yeah, well you sure acted like it was easy enough!" She glared at him. "I hated going back to L.A. without you! I was miserable and when I came to help you, I meant to stay. You knew that! I wanted to be with you again and I wasn't going to leave you." She was so angry that she was clenching her fists in an effort not to punch him again. "I came down, I helped out and then you decided to go on your merry way!"
"Damn it, that wasn't it at all, and you know it."
"No, I don't," she growled at him. "We've been a team for as long as I can remember, Dom, and I have never once walked out on you -- no matter how many times you've deserved it. But this time you just had to go and be a bastard and decide to try and run my life for me."
He had to admit she was right on that one. No matter how tough the times had gotten, Letty had always stuck it out with him. He had never loved anyone like he loved her, and he knew exactly how she felt about him. That was one thing he was never in doubt of -- what Letty Ortiz was feeling at any given point in time.
"You wouldn't like jail, Letty," he tried to reason with her. "I didn't want that for you."
Letty was not in the mood to reasoned with in Dom's fashion. "Leaving me behind was worse than when we left Mia behind, Dom. I love you and that means that I accept the bad with you as well as the good. I'm not your baby sister. I'm your girlfriend -- at least I thought I was." She shook her head. "Waking up to find you gone made me wonder if you cared about me as much as I care about you."
"Don't Letty," he said, some of his tiredness seeping into his voice. "You know I love you. You know I love you more than almost anything."
"It certainly doesn't seem like it sometimes," she said, shaking her head. "You can't keep trying to make decisions for me because you think you know best."
"Letty, the cops aren't going to give up until they find me and put me in jail. I've told you before that I am not going back." He reached out and grabbed her, pulling her towards him. "I'd rather die than go back to jail. I won't be put in a cage again. It's going to get bloody and I don't want you to get caught up in all of that."
"As opposed to all of the other times we've ended up bloody and had to run to safer ground?" Letty's voice was dry as she smacked him lightly in the chest. "Because fleeing the country and leaving my second best friend behind was such an easy thing to do? You really can be a jackass sometimes, Dom."
"You could end up dead if you stay with me, Letty," Dom's voice softened as he looked down into her face. "I could face anything but that." He shook his head. "I couldn't stand it if anything happened to you because of me."
"It wouldn't be because of you, Dom," she said in exasperation. "It would be because of choices I had made. Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn't revolve around Dominic Toretto. I could be killed just as easily away from you as I could being with you."
"You wouldn't be in a situation like that if it wasn't for me."
"Oh for fuck's sake. Dom!" She shoved him away. "Will you cut it out. I chose this life. I could have walked away at any time, but damn it, I'm good at it. Can you honestly see me doing anything else? I sure as hell can't. I'm not cut out for a desk job or some damn retail monkey. I'm good at this life and I enjoy it."
"You have dangerous tastes, Letty."
She laughed, her eyes full of mirth. "You're just now realizing that? Come on, Dom. How long have we been together."
"A long time," he said, pulling her close. "And not long enough."
"I love you, you idiot," she said, shaking her head as she lay a hand against his cheek. "I fled the country with you. I hijacked fuel trucks with you. I searched Mexico and Brazil for you and I kicked the shit out of people who wouldn't tell me where you were. I did all of this because it's what I want. You're what I want. No one forced me to do any of this, Dom. I made all of these choices because I wanted to. They were my choices to make and no one else's." She made him meet her eyes. "Have you ever seen anyone who has tried to keep me from doing what I want?"
"This isn't the best idea for you --"
"Damn it, stop trying to tell me what to do. I'm not a child and I don't take orders from anyone -- least of all you."
Dom sighed, looking at her and shaking his head. "I love you, Letty, but you can be so damn stubborn sometimes."
"I've had a really good teacher for the last several years."