[ spring; the beginning. ]
"Fuck me!" Letty huffed. She'd been trying to "go green" with paper instead of plastic, but honestly! The brown bag tore and out came three boxes of rice, two packs of chicken breasts and her perfectly ripened avocados.
"One of those days, huh?" He asked, bending to retrieve her lost items.
"The absolute worst." She replied, tossing the ripped bag in her trunk to help him. "Leave it to me to wait until the day of a holiday to buy ingredients for dinner."
"You're not alone." He gestured to the packed parking lot.
"I figured everyone would still be in church. Bunch of heathens!" He called to no one in particular in the parking lot.
That sent Letty into a fit of laughter. She liked this stranger, she decided.
"What does that make us?"
"Us? Oh, we're different. Can't you tell?" He waved it off and handed her the still-wrapped avocados, smiling. She accepted them, placed them in another bag and watched as he unloaded the remainder of her groceries into the trunk. He was gorgeous. His smile was confident, but his eyes betrayed him. They stole furtive glances her way, telling her that while he was generally a cocky guy. he was a little intimidated by her.
"Dom Toretto." Holding out his hand, he told her, "Your white knight."
"Letty Ortiz." She shook it. "Damsel in distress."
He laughed. "Something tells me you're not."
"No. Not really. I'm just a girl whose in-laws are in town."
She's married, Dom sulked inwardly.
"Well," he replied, shutting her trunk for her, "I hoped I helped a little."
"You did." She smiled and gazed at him for a moment before clearing her throat. "I feel like I should buy you a cup of coffee or something. To say thank you."
"Tell you what," He pulled a card from the back pocket of his jeans, "call me when you want that coffee."
D•T Precision Auto Shop
Dominic Toretto, Owner
She held it up in acknowledgment before putting it in her back pocket. "Will do."
Rounding her car, Letty opened the door, turning back to him.
"Happy Easter, Dom Toretto."
"Happy Easter, Letty Ortiz."
A few hours later, she was serving her husband, Owen, his brother Declan, and their parents an expertly cooked Easter dinner. And the entire time, her mind was replaying her short, but telling conversation with Dom.
Two weeks later, Owen had business in Ottawa. Letty sat in the kitchen of her beautifully designed Victorian home. Her legs were crossed Native-style in a chair and she was fiddling with Dom Toretto's card in one hand and her phone in the other.
This was stupid, she decided. He probably didn't even remember her. She didn't have many friends, save for Gisele and Tej, both of whom were currently occupied. Gisele just had a baby and Tej… well, Tej and his new bride, Ramsey, had been stuck in their honeymoon phase for the last two years.
I should have called weeks ago, she scolded herself. Who knows? He could've been a cool friend.
But as she looked around the empty house, her boredom threatened to suffocate her.
Fuck it. What do I have to lose?
Tapping in the last number, she brought the phone to her ear.
"Dom Toretto." He answered on the third ring.
"Hi, Dom. You probably don't remember me, but—."
He remembered her?
"Yeah. It's Letty."
"I was hoping you'd call."
"Yeah, as a matter of fact, I was just thinking how tired I was. Coffee might help."
Letty could hear his smile through the phone. And it was contagious. She put her hand on her forehead, trying to stop the grin on her face.
"Well, it's nearly eight at night. It'll keep you awake. How about we grab drinks instead?"
"My kind of woman." He chuckled.
She was his kind of woman! She had no idea why that pleased her so much to hear.
"There's a bar on La Brea called—."
"Han's? Yeah I know it. A good friend of mine owns it. Meet you there in a half hour?"
"Sure." Letty replied.
"Cool. See you soon."
Thirty minutes later, she was being pulled into an embrace like they were old friends.
And forty minutes after that, Dom and Letty were halfway through an entire bottle of tequila. A bottle that Dom had reached across the bar top for and held it up to the Asian bartender who simply nodded his head. They found a hidden booth, close enough to the music and noise of Han's but far enough to enjoy each other's company.
"What made you call me after two weeks?"
"I was bored."
He laughed loudly. "Nice. That's so good for my ego. Thanks for that."
"No, no!" She laughed with him. "I didn't mean it like that. I was just sitting home, alone, on a Saturday night. All of my friends were busy."
"Alone? Where's the husband?"
"Who knows? London, Ontario, Amsterdam. Wherever the fuck he is this week." She shrugged, knocking back another shot.
"Gone a lot?"
"I'm eighty percent sure I married a hologram." She joked.
"Well, his loss, is my gain." He poured them two more shots and he held his up. She followed suit. "To finding new friends in the most unlikely places."
Together, they took the shots and grimaced at the taste.
"So, what should I know about you? Besides owning your own auto shop and being a volunteer white knight in your spare time?"
"There's not much to know. Married, three years. I work hard, play harder." He shrugged.
"Lemme guess. You married a brunette named Maria who wants kids like yesterday?"
"Ehh!" Dom mimicked a wrong answer buzzer and slapped the table. "A bottled honey blonde Brazilian named Elena who has a son from a previous relationship."
"I was close."
They died of laughter once again.
"Okay, my turn. You married a struggling musician named Juan who has some sort of foot fetish?"
"Nope. An Englishman named Owen who owns a company that does—." She trailed off. "He told me once but it was so boring I forgot. There is no foot fetish that I know of, however, he has said Tokyo is his favorite place to visit because they're, and I quote, 'uninhibited'."
"That's code for foot fetish, Letty, I'm telling you."
"Oh, shut up!" She replied through more laughter.
Hours later, the bartender, who Letty came to know understand was Han the owner, shouted for last call.
"Holy shit, it's one-thirty in the morning already?"
Their words were slurred and the empty bottle of tequila now had a friend beside it: a bottle of Jack.
"I still don't want to go home to an empty house." Letty pouted.
"It won't be empty. I'll be there." He held up the half-full bottle of Jack. "Drinks on me?"
She chuckled. "Let's do it."
They managed to maneuver through the LA streets, Letty leading the way to her house. Once there, they proceeded to finish the bottle of whiskey.
"Thanks for hanging out with me tonight." Letty said as they settled in on the back deck of her house. They'd decided to watch the sun come up sitting around the lit fire pit.
"Thanks for calling."
Somewhere between that moment and the dawn approaching, Letty had fallen asleep against Dom, who had wrapped an arm around her to ward off the morning chill. Now, he was nudging her awake to watch the sunrise.
"The sky is changing colors." He murmured into her hair. His voice was groggy and deeper than she'd ever heard it. It was sexy. She sat up, but remained against him, the throw blanket from the outside furniture covering their lower halves.
"I can't remember the last time I watched the sun come up."
"Me either." He admitted.
Letty looked up at him, finally. Her eyes catching his. The light from the sun was warm and made their naturally tanned skin appear golden and everything felt so organic and right.
"Your eyes are lighter in the sunlight." She whispered.
Before she could even finish her sentence, his mouth was on hers. He kissed her how she'd needed to be kissed and how she'd been wanting for so long. Too bad he wasn't her husband.
Her husband! His wife!
"Mm, no. We can't." She said but made no attempt to pull away. That was all Dom needed to know.
"You mean we shouldn't."
But when he pressed his lips against hers again, she melted into him.
And when he started urging her onto her back, falling in between her legs, Dom knew this was the point of no return.
Letty knew that this was happening. She couldn't fight the attraction or the desire any longer. The consequences were hers, and she would accept them.
Somehow, someway… their clothes came off.
And after kissing for what felt like hours, Dom slipped inside of her.
In more ways than one.
[ summer; the heatwave. ]
They'd lost control once. And now… now it was a full blown affair.
Letty had told herself "this is the last time" on more than one occasion. Dom told himself the same thing. But by their fifth lovemaking session, it was moot.
"You're so good at that." She breathed after he'd eaten her out in the backseat of his car at a drive-through movie theater.
"I needed a snack for the movie." He whispered back.
They hadn't even gotten past the previews.
That had been on the Fourth of July. Owen didn't celebrate "silly American holidays". So, he spent it in his office. Elena, who was a cop, took on a security detail for the parade.
They couldn't keep their hands off of each other. Each time they locked eyes, Dom and Letty ended up so lost in their own sexual utopia, they would lose track of time.
August came quickly, and Dom's birthday along with it. They had a private celebration the day before. Dom was in the foulest mood. Letty pulled him up the stairs of her house and lay him on her marriage bed before straddling his body.
"I'm not in the mood, Let." He said as she kissed her way from his ear to his neck.
"What's wrong, my love?" She murmured in his ear. He tried to withhold a groan.
"Is the shop okay?"
"Yeah. But I think I have to fire one of the guys."
"Shows up late or comes in hungover."
"Well, we can't have that, now can we?" She sucked on the sensitive skin where his neck met his shoulder. It hadn't taken her long to find that spot.
"Fuck." He growled. She felt the effect it had and ground against it. His hands, which had been lying flat on the bed, suddenly reached up and squeezed her ass. "No, we can't."
"You're the boss." Letty told him. "You do what you have to."
"Tell me again." He mumbled.
She grinned. "You're the boss."
"I'm in charge?"
Letty nodded and her giggles turned to full-blown laughter when he flipped her onto her back.
"You're in charge!" She yelled through her merriment.
And that's how the summer went. When one said 'no', they were easily persuaded by the other to give in.
Mid-August, Letty and Owen had a fight. He was gone too much. She wasn't understanding enough of the fact that his job provided for them. And if he had to travel, he had to travel.
It was the same fight. Over and over again. He locked himself in his home office where he'd probably sleep and Letty went out to the patio to call Dom.
"I need a drink." She said, a drink already in her hand.
"You need to breathe. Put the whiskey down."
She paused, the glass against her lips.
"The ice was clinking in the glass."
Letty shook her head, chuckling to herself.
"I thought you were going to try yoga? Isn't that supposed to be calming?"
"Yeah, well I tried. Gisele took me to some hot ass yoga studio. I tried to relax and then I come home and he fucks up my qi or chakras or whatever the fuck it's called."
Dom laughed. "I'll have to show you the right kind of yoga. It'll help you relax, I promise?"
"You know yoga?"
"Yeah, I'll help you put your leg over my shoulder and stretch you out real nice." His smile was evident in his voice.
"That's not yoga."
"Sure it is. Then I'll show you how to bend over into my favorite position."
"Oh, I'm sure you will." Letty laughed. She could feel the familiar tingling between her legs. It happened whenever he talked like that. Hell, it happened whenever he talked at all. Every part of her craved him now. And the craving was mutual.
"I want you." He told her.
"You've had me."
"More. Now." His voice was more firm, and her eyelids fluttered. She liked to challenge him, and it wasn't always intentional. Most times, it happened because of her nature; she was just as determined as he was. Dom, however, had come to discover that when it came to the bedroom, Letty liked to be dominated.
And it had been like that nearly the entire summer. One said jump, and the other asked 'how high?'. It was scary how often they found themselves curled around one another. And they knew it was wrong. Letty had tried to stop. And so did Dom.
Just before Labor Day, Letty and Dom were sitting on a bench in a park nearly three miles outside of the city.
"Elena asked me if I was having an affair." Dom told her as he stared at the lake in front of them.
Letty's brows rose as she studied his profile for some idea of how he was feeling.
"Why did she ask?"
He looked at her. "We're not having sex anymore. She wanted to know if I was finding it somewhere else."
"And what did you do?"
He turned back to the water. "I slept with her."
Letty felt like she had been slapped in the face.
"I don't know why I feel I've been cheated on. Isn't that insane?"
"No. I felt like I was cheating on you the entire time."
They sat in silence for a long while, just watching the ducks floating peacefully across the still water.
"We have to stop."
Five minutes later, Dom was fucking Letty against a tree along a secluded path in the park.
"I'm sorry." He whispered in her ear and she wrapped her legs and arms tighter around him.
When they came, it was together. And when they left the park, they were apart.
It was the end.
[ autumn; the changing. ]
Except it wasn't.
Less than twenty-four hours after their goodbye sex in the park, Dom sent Letty a text.
I'm going to ask Elena for a divorce.
It was enough to make her call him.
"Are you insane?"
"A little, I guess."
"You can't leave your wife."
"You know, if this were a movie, you'd be begging me to leave my wife." He tried to lighten the mood, but Letty was having none of it.
"It's not a movie, Dom. This is your life. You can't destroy it for—."
"You?" He finished for her. "I know what I'm doing. I'm a big boy, Let."
She rolled her eyes even though he couldn't see her.
"This is a big decision."
"One that I'm not taking lightly, babe. I know it's not just my life that I'm blowing up. It's Elena's and Marcos', too."
"Are you sure about this?"
"My mind is made up."
They didn't speak about it for a few more weeks until Letty got a call one evening.
"Can you meet me at Han's?"
Letty looked over at Owen who was washing the dishes after dinner.
"Yes. I, uh, I asked Elena for a divorce."
Letty's lips parted and her voice got caught in her throat.
"Say something." He replied and Letty could hear the desperation in his voice.
She'd made a half-hearted excuse about grabbing a drink with Gisele, kissed Owen on the cheek and headed out.
At Han's, Dom and Letty sat at the booth that had become their own.
"She didn't say much. Just took Marcos and left."
"I'm not." He replied. And he meant it. He took her hand in his and kissed her palm.
Days past and they were falling even deeper for each other.
Hey." Letty said into the phone, her voice soft and and dream-like.
"Hey." He replied in a tone not unlike hers. Then they broke into a fit of giggles. It had been like this for a few weeks. They were falling in love, neither wished to acknowledge it.
And they were beginning to get sloppy with their secret. Dom had gone from always keeping his phone in his pocket to leaving it on counters, tables, and dressers. Letty found herself having to plan a romantic evening with Owen because she'd accidentally sent him a text that had been meant for Dom.
The closer it got to the holidays, though, meant there were less opportunities to see one another. For Halloween, Dom took Marcos, Elena's son, out trick-or-treating. Elena wasn't his biggest fan, but Marcos had asked for him. It worked since Elena was scheduled as security for the annual Los Angeles Halloween Parade. When Dom picked Marcos up, Elena barely looked at him.
Upon returning home, there was a picture message from Letty, in lace underwear, cat ears and dark eye makeup with text that read: trick? or treat? She was going out with Gisele. He groaned inwardly. He could have been balls deep into her right then. Instead, for the remainder of the night, he was wrists deep in a stupid pumpkin basket, checking for suspicious candy.
Three weeks later...
"When are you going to tell Owen about us?"
They were lying in bed, both freshly fucked, when he asked her. She had just complained about yet another holiday that she had to spend with her in-laws.
"They don't even celebrate Thanksgiving. They're English." She'd scoffed.
"Well, maybe by Christmas, you won't have to see them anymore." He replied, hopefully.
On Thanksgiving, Letty's overly-critical mother-in-law had one too many things to say about the dinner Letty had made.
"Letty, how long did you leave this turkey in for? It's a little on the dry side."
"Listen, you old witch—." Letty managed to say before Owen found himself cutting her off to defend his wife. It was touching, and so not like him. Usually, he tried to explain what he mother meant, even though she'd already said it as bluntly as possible.
"Mother," Owen interrupted, "I think you owe Letty an apology. She worked very hard on this meal, as she does every holiday and I think she did a fantastic job."
Letty was in shock. He'd never stood up to his mother before and it was endearing that he did so on her behalf. She reached over and squeezed his hand to show her gratitude. Owen's brother, Declan, changed the topic, giving their mother a way out of apologizing. Neither Letty, nor Owen pushed the subject any further.
After that, Owen was… different. He started to do more around the house; helping with dinner and dishes and laundry every so often. One Saturday, Letty woke up to breakfast in bed. And internal battle began. Dom or Owen? Was it too late for she and Owen?
Things were changing.
[ winter; the ending. ]
"I know about him." Owen said, running a hand through his hair.
Letty's hand stopped patting her face dry and sat the face towel on the sink. Looking at him through the mirror, she leaned forward. She could tell he as being truthful and not trying to trap her into telling him on her own. He knew. She could see the look in his eyes.
"For how long?" She asked.
"Does it matter?"
"Since April." He answered anyway. "You were different."
"You pushed me away for awhile. Not that it was hard. Out of sight, out of mind, yeah?"
"That's not true."
It was true. The affair had been easier when he was out of town, which was just often enough to make her forget she owed him her loyalty. But he always returned, and so did her guilt.
Owen had hired a private investigator. His right hand man, Klaus, was normally only used for business affairs. But, it seemed that his wife had affairs of her own. He'd known since Fourth of July. He had a black and white photograph of Letty in the backseat of a car, her head thrown back in ecstasy and breasts just barely hidden by the broad shoulders of a bald man. Why he held onto the information for so long, he had no clue. He was hoping that perhaps the photo was misleading somehow. As if it had been but a doppelgänger. It wasn't.
The doorbell rang.
"Gisele said she was dropping off our Christmas gifts today."
He waved a hand and stood from the chest at the foot of their bed. And as Letty was dismissed, Owen busied himself with untying his tie. She stopped at their bedroom door, first and turned to look at him. He gave her his back.
"Are you insane?" She whispered, pulling her robe tighter and shutting the front door behind her. "You can't be here! He's here!"
"I thought he was in London."
"He flew back. He—." She shook her head and pushed her hair away from her face. "He wanted to talk."
"Us. He feels like I've been distant."
Since the day Dom met her.
"And I still want to be with you."
"Then you need to say something to him."
"I'm trying! But he won't take it any better if you're h—."
"Letty? Is it Gi—?" Owen poked his head out of the front door and his expression changed from concerned to furious. "You!"
"Look," Dominic started before ducking a punch that Owen threw his way. The next blow was stopped by Dom's right hand and he used his left to knock some sense into Owen.
"Enough!" Letty shouted.
Both men pulled away, breathing heavily.
"I'm not a gaudy belt that can be won in a goddamned title fight. Grow up. Both of you!" She huffed.
She really had no right, to be honest. She was Helen of Troy. She'd started a war and no end was in sight.
"This is who you want?" Owen spat. "A brute in a tight t-shirt?"
"Right now, I don't want either of you. Look at yourselves." She huffed before turning into the house, and slamming the door behind her.
How she managed to turn that around on both of them, she had no idea. It gave her the time she needed to run up the stairs and towards what was once her and Owen's bedroom. Now, it was just cold.
Letty had just enough time to shed her robe and yank a hoodie over her head and pull on a pair of shorts. She threw a few items of clothing and toiletries into an overnight bag and shoved her feet into a pair of sneakers. While she was snatching her keys off of her dresser, she heard the door open and slam.
On her way down the staircase, she met Owen face to face. They stared each other down for a few moments.
"So that's it? You're just… just leaving?"
"I need time."
"You need time? Time for what? To decide who you want? This isn't high school, Letty! We took bloody vows!"
"Fuck your apology." He hissed and passed her on the stairs, headed back to their room.
Down the remainder of the steps and towards the front hallway, and out the front door. Dom sat on the porch steps and stood quickly when she exited.
"Letty, I'm sorry."
"You have nothing to apologize for. This was my wrongdoing. I started this."
The 'and now I have to end it" was left unsaid.
"Where are you going?"
"Away. I have to clear my mind for a bit."
"I don't know. A few days, maybe."
He nodded and shoved his hands in the pockets of his pants.
She got into her car and sped off, leaving two broken men and two broken marriages behind.
He didn't hear from her for two weeks.
Dom was fixing a car alone in his shop on New Year's Eve when his cell rang.
"I was hoping you'd call."
"Yeah, I was just thinking about how tired I was. Coffee might help."
He could hear her smile on the other end of the line when she replied, "That's actually why I was calling. I'm pretty sure I still owe you that coffee."
"There's a coffee shop on La Brea."
"Meet you there in a half."
And so… it was the beginning… again.