It’s been gettin' worse, this feelin’ of loss, of… estrangement. And I know why. I know who. We left someone behind. I left someone behind. Standin’ there in the road next to the wreckage of the Charger.
I took the car and got my ass outta there, leavin’ him to face the music. Maybe a part of me decided he'd tell the cops I put a gun to his head. Maybe not. Maybe he'd have been in their faces, arrogant and self-assured as the day he brought the wreck of the Toyota to the garage, presented me with my 'ten second car'.
Is that why I've still got it? Is that why I'm sittin' here now, the tarp thrown back, ass on the workbench, bare feet against the bright orange door? Brian gave me this car and despite it being what the Feds were lookin' for I drove it all the way to Mexico, stoppin' once only to realise it was too late to pick up Mia.
He wouldn’t tell them what I was drivin’, I told myself with almost absolute certainty. They'd never seen it, it had been in my garage up until Race Wars - we'd only taken it out twice, to the beach and one other time.... Okay, so it wasn't the least conspicuous car on the road but surprisingly it got me over the border. Some punk in a souped-up Toyota. I looked cocky enough but didn't give them any trouble, any lip. Let them look in the trunk, told them I was part of the legit Rally circuit.
It was only once I was in Mexico that I realised they weren't looking for me yet. And I knew that was thanks to Brian - buying me whatever time he could. It was the first time I regretted leavin' him behind. It wasn't the last.
I was so fuckin’ angry when I left L.A. Angry at Jesse for doin’ what he did and gettin' himself killed, at Leon for lettin’ him race Tran in the first place. At myself for lettin' things get so outta whack, not listenin' to Letty that night, not listenin' to Vince when he'd told me Brian was bad news - a narc, a cop. A faggot.
But angry ain't anywhere close to what I was feelin’ about Brian. I was seethin’ over what he’d done to us – to me. Only once before had I felt that kind of brutal fury and somehow Brian came away unharmed. He’d betrayed, lied, used my family – my sister – to get to me. But even that wasn’t it, wasn’t what was eatin’ away at me.
I’d been in Mexico a good few days before I overdid the Tequila and sitting watching the ocean I finally stopped kiddin’ myself. Mia wasn’t the only one he’d fooled into lovin’ him. God help me.
It happened the once. One night, after we’d taken the newly finished Supra for a test drive, we were both high on the adrenaline, on the rush.
I was high on him.
Just the two of us in the garage with the smell of high-octane fuel and engine oil. Not like I hadn’t done a guy before, and not just in Lompoc either. Don’t know if he had. For some reason, I don’t want to think he had but know down inside I’m foolin’ myself. He wasn’t nervous, wasn’t scared. After touchin’ some, teasin’ some, I got him face down on the hood of the car, jeans around his ankles, T-shirt pushed up to his pits. He let me fuck him usin’ engine lubricant. He was no virgin.
He was incredible. So fuckin’ tight, so fuckin’ demanding though I don’t know why that should have surprised me. I can still remember the sounds he made – a low purring like an idling engine. The guy really did a number on me.
But the reality is, I let him.
Brian Spilner. What did he say his real name was? O’Connor. Fuckin’ Irish. Might have known.
The new kid in the garage.
I’d known the team my whole life, more or less. They looked at me as a father-figure, even Letty to a point. I was the one they followed. They didn’t mouth off to me, for the most party they never questioned me.
Then along came the pretty blond with the tune sandwich fetish and from the get-go he was in my face. I liked him right from the start and I've done enough self-analysin' over the last couple o'months to know why.
Guys come on to Mia all the time. She can look after herself. So when he started showin' up at the store every lunchtime I didn't pay much attention. Not at first. But then, I hadn't really seen him.
About two weeks into what I know now was a charade, I went into the store to get a coke just as he arrived. I met his eyes and he smiled at me, said 'hi' before greetin' Mia. It was a couple of seconds before I realised I was still standing there starin' at him. A hissed word from my rapidly-gettin'-pissed-off sister got me movin' and I slouched back into the office, freaked out and with the answer to Vince's continuous whining over that last week - 'what does she see in the pretty, skinny fag?'
Answer – fascination.
Even now I can remember his eyes being a weird two-tone blue, shinin' like somethin' out of a high budget horror flick. Gigawatt smile bright enough to light up Hollywood. Deep, honeyed voice that spoke on a whole range of levels and not just to your higher brain functions either.
If I'd known then what I know now I might have seriously considered lettin' Vince take him for a little ride, gettin' rid of the kid before he got too close. But hindsight's a beautiful thing.
Before I knew it he was in my orbit and worse still, I'd invited him. I know now the whole police chase thing that night was orchestrated. Irritatingly, just like Vince said.
So him showin' up along that alley wasn't coincidence but Tran havin' a little fun sure as hell wasn't planned. And at the house he tossed back a casual, don't-give-a-flying-fuck 'take care' and wandered off. Until I called him back, asked him if he wanted a beer. I couldn't let him leave, not just like that.
Maybe I wanted to rub their faces in it - Vince, Letty and Leon - my so-called family who'd left me to find my own way back. Maybe I just wanted Brian where I could keep an eye on him.
Truth is, I had no idea why I didn't want him to just walk away, didn't understand the need to draw him in. Not then.
Wasn't long though before I was startin' to get an inklin'. There was no denyin' how happy I was to see him pull up with that hunk o'junk he called my ten-second car. Happy! Only when I felt it I realised how long it had been. His fuckin' Cheshire Cat smile, that confidence - 'Dude, I almost had you'. Yeah. Right. Almost.
Problem was, he did have me, had me by the balls. Don't think he ever knew it though, not really. Not even after that hot, sweaty night in the garage.
Whatever suspicions his antics in Hector's garage had arisen in me, that night wiped them out. No way - no way - was he a cop. No cop, however deep undercover - and let's face it, he was never that deep - would have let their mark do that to him. I was so sure, so absolutely certain, I was gonna tell him everything after Race Wars. Just because. Because he was a part of the family then no matter how much Vince hated him. As far as I was concerned he was gonna do the right thing by Mia... and now and again he could do the right thing by me too.
That was fine. He was fine. Which is why I absolutely could not believe what I was hearing out beside Highway 68. Kneelin' in the dust, Vince's blood all over my hands, all over his, about to call him 'brother' for the stunt he’d just pulled.
I can't describe how fuckin' amazin' it was to see the orange bullet shoot past me doin' a hundred and forty, aiming straight for the truck like he knew without a doubt he could save Vince. And he did. I owed him bigger than I'd ever owed anyone my whole life.
And right in front of me he makes the call to save Vince, IDs himself as 'Officer O'Connor'. Shit! And I thought he was makin' it up! Thought it was some rouse to get Vince to a hospital before he died there in the desert. But only for one, self-denyin’ moment. Just looking at Mia's face told me the truth and suddenly I wanted to kill him. There and then. Wanted to rip his throat out and pound my fist into his pretty face until there weren't anythin' pretty about it. Until he was breathin' blood.
But somewhere in that mental explosion of violence I felt somethin' else, somethin' much more difficult to forgive him for.
I remember thinking, the night of the street race, the night he saved my butt, ‘does he not know what fear is?’ He didn't show any fear around me, that was for sure. He was definitely pushing the boundaries of disrespect too. No fear of his car or what it could do to him, of the cops - although that makes sense now - not of Tran.
Most guys dropped into a situation like that for the first time would have freaked out, either at the gun pointed to his head when he was told to pull over, or at the mess they made of his - my - car. Gun fire and the resulting NOS explosion. What was his reaction to the whole attack? 'We got a twenty-mile hike. Humour me.'
The one and only time I saw fear in his eyes was out there in the desert. Not at Race Wars but at the side of '68, makin' the phone call, lookin' straight at me as he revealed he was a cop. He was fuckin' scared at the moment and he damn well should have been.
Don't know when it first struck me that I was in love with the guy.
Us men, we're not complicated creatures. The dick and the heart aren't exactly directly connected.
But Brian made every sense, every part of me sit up and take notice. He had a hold over me he never got. I don't think he ever knew I'd never shown the Charger to anyone before. They knew about it, Vince, Leon and Jesse, course they did. But it was mine, somethin' I kept for myself away from the rest of them. I think a part of me wanted him for myself too.
I meant what I said to him in that garage, after knowing him for what? A week, maybe two? The team and all their bullshit didn't matter. But he mattered. He mattered more than I realised.
It's only now, exiled in Mexico with him God knows where doin' God knows what, I'm only just startin' to realise how very much.
How can I get rid of the Toyota when it’s all I have left of him?
"I don't want to call my friends, they might wake me from this dream
And I can't leave this bed, risk forgetting all that's been
Oh I am what I am, I'll do what I want but I can't hide"
I’ve been walking around in some kinda daze for weeks. Jimmy’s called me on it once or twice. Rome… Rome thinks I’ve lost it big time.
I thought I was doin’ okay.
Getting out of L.A. was easy. I took a cab a block or so from the crashed Charger to my house – somewhere I’d barely lived. The cops weren’t even looking for me then, they’d have been just about to find Tran’s corpse and a trail of destruction leading back to Jesse’s body. The last thing Mia would have done was call the cops. But one of the neighbours might have done. Whatever, I had about two minutes to make a decision about the rest of my life.
I’d won ten grand at Race Wars, something I hadn’t even thought about it in the chaos that had followed.
I kept some spare cash around the place. I kept a car too, one registered to me. So I took a bag of clothes and nothin’ else and left.
I got lucky with Hector – news hadn’t travelled that fast. I needed a car, I needed to run. He didn’t ask questions, just took my wreck off me along with the ten grand and handed me the keys to a fully tricked-out Mazda RX-7. One like Dom’s.
For a couple of weeks, I loved that car.
Driving across the US, L.A. was the first place I left behind. What else could I do? No way to stay. Tanner and Bilkins would have the LAPD and the Feds on my ass once they worked out what had happened.
What I didn’t know then was that they wanted me for Aiding and Abetting. I found that out by reading the papers.
Bastards. I think they actually thought I’d been in on that last hijacking attempt.
It’s weird seeing your own face staring back at you from newspapers and television sets. Weird running from the very people you thought you belonged with.
I needed cash so I took some risks, raced a couple of street races. With Hector’s car and Dom’s recalled wisdom I won every time. I couldn’t afford to lose.
I slept in more motels than I could count, at times feeling more scared and alone than I’ve ever been. Maybe if I’d stayed in L.A. I would have got away with dismissal. Now there was no way to go back. Now I was a wanted felon just like the man I’d helped to escape. If they caught me I was going to jail. And that wasn’t something I wanted to think about.
The morning I had to ditch the Mazda was the worst since leaving L.A. The cops were all over it – no chance of getting it out from under them. I remember leaning against the wall of the motel and just for a second or two feeling like crying. But I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. Didn’t have the time to find a replacement car either – not there. The pretty face and the winning smile got me a ride and bought me the girl’s silence too.
Finding the Skyline was pure luck. Stupid forecourt jockeys who couldn’t recognise a good car when they saw one still tried to shaft me for more than it was worth.
The sums I’d been racing for now and again were much more than I needed to live off. Even after buying the new car I had enough to starting tricking it out. New paintjob, new plates, NOS injection, stand-alone fuel management…. It was one night, when I was renting space in a garage in Maine, when it all finally caught up with me.
Just sitting on my ass on the stone cold floor of the garage, the Skyline in front of me, some dude’s Toyota behind me, I put my head in my hands and sobbed.
I’d left everything behind – my career, my friends, the life I’d known before meeting Toretto. All I had left was a bag of clothes and a head full of bittersweet memories.
More than anything right then I wanted to see Dom again, I wanted to be given the time to explain and to apologise. But I was absolutely certain I wouldn’t ever see him again. Whatever might have been between us had been wiped out by the truth, a truth I didn’t think had mattered to me for a while, and certainly hadn’t mattered to me since the night we’d fucked on the hood of the Supra.
I wanted to tell him. Back then I’d wanted to come clean, warn him the Feds were comin’ down on him and the team and he needed to get out fast. Given another day I might have done. Given another night together I would have done. Now I just wanted to tell him not all of it had been a lie.
That morning, out in the desert I was scared to death – not that he was going to beat the shit out of me, I deserved it and he had more than the right to do it – but of everything else, of ending up just exactly where I am. Without him, without any of them. Without what they’d given me, shown me, how they’d made me feel.
How he’d made me feel.
Going up against someone like Dom was a constant adrenaline high. He wasn’t anything like his file suggested. He wasn’t a cocky street racer, he wasn’t a vicious, violent man. I knew it the first night, the first race. He actually looked scared as I left the cops standing. He seemed scared… of me. I didn’t get that, not until he made the move the night we took the Supra out.
I wasn’t sure what was going through his head when I pulled into the garage and killed the engine. I turned to him, grin plastered to my face, and whatever I was going to say died in my mouth. His eyes, huge and dark, lips parted, flushed. Suddenly something that had been plaguing me from that first night, at his place when he’d stopped on the stairs and told me I still owed him a ten second car crystallised in my mind. And in my dick.
At that moment there was only the two of us and the car. Mia was wiped from my thoughts, the sight and scent of her brother crowding in.
He tilted his head slightly, like he’d just got with the programme. And there wasn’t any doubting what he wanted when he reached out, curved one big, warm hand around the back of my neck.
He seared himself onto my body and mind that night. Nothing and no one else will ever be enough after that, I just didn’t know it then. Didn’t know it when my wheels hit Miami and I clocked the women in bikinis with what must have been a huge shit-eating grin.
I knew it when I let Monica walk away with a handshake.
Rolling into Miami I happened to see a couple of tricked out, custom-paintjob cars at an intersection. I followed them and found Jimmy. Through Jimmy I met Tej. Tej pointed me to the houseboat and introduced me to Suki.
I got the Skyline finished, tricked it out, souped it up. Started racing, started taking more and more risks. Went from quarter-mile drags to five-mile courses and with the increased distance came the increased danger. I craved the adrenaline rush. And I craved the silence in my head. I won’t ever forget what Dom said about living a quarter-mile at a time, that for those ten seconds or less he was free. It was the same for me, only it was a different kind of freedom.
When I race, all the other things go away. When I race, I’m not thinking about L.A., not thinking about how it went down, not thinking about Dom.
I’d been living and racing on the outskirts of the city a couple of weeks when the Feds picked me up. It was only a matter of time once I stopped moving and I know I need to get my head around why I did stop moving anywhere north of Mexico. But I did, and they found me.
So I found Rome again and even the years of history between us paled in the shadow of just the few weeks Dom and I shared.
When Bilkins put the deal to me, I wasn’t interested in clearing myself, although I was kinda hoping to stay out of prison. When he asked what I did want, I simply said, “Toretto” and he did the last thing I expected him to do. He laughed.
“Still got the hots for him, huh? You know what’s funny? Muse and Tanner thought it was Mia who was turning your pretty head.” Then he turned serious and I didn’t carry through on the desire to punch him because he said, “We’ve got shit on Toretto, O’Connor. That’s what you were undercover for!”
The whole deal went down with Verone.
For a couple of days I was back to living on danger and all I could think about was staying out of Chino, keeping Rome and I from getting a bullet through the skull and trying to get Monica out from where she was, alive and in one piece.
And I knew better than Rome about the place she was at.
When, at the end of it, we shook hands and she left with Markham… that was that and I was surprised – or maybe I wasn’t – to discover I was okay with it. But Rome didn’t believe me, told me I was full of shit. I still hadn’t told him about Dom, not really. I hadn’t filled in the blanks for him despite him needling me at every opportunity.
A couple of days later she called, asked me if I wanted to go for a drink and I said yes. I didn’t have any kind of beef with her, I just wasn’t interested. Besides, I’d convinced myself for whatever reason that I was out of her league.
We met up at a bar just outta town and we talked, about her and Verone, about where she’d been, what she’d done. She sounded vaguely disgusted with herself and when I called her on it she told me she’d slept with him, just to keep her cover. I was the one that added, “to keep him from puttin’ a bullet in your brain.”
I reminded her it was part of the job, the only way to keep herself from getting’ killed. When she asked me why I wasn’t a cop any longer I told her I’d been where she’d been – exactly where she’d been. But I hadn’t done it to keep myself alive. I’d done it because I’d wanted to. Sister then brother, I’d fallen deeply in love.
She didn’t make a move on me and I didn’t make one on her. We both understood one another a hell of a lot better though. She’s a smart, beautiful woman. She’ll be okay.
But it all made me think long and hard, and by the time I got back to Tej’s place that night I’d come to a decision.
Rome, sitting with Tej, Suki and Jimmy playing poker, seemed surprised to see me back there at all, and back there alone. “She ditch you, bro?” I walked past them, ignoring the teasing tone until he added, “Don’t tell me she ain’t your type, baby?”
I turned, looked at them all and suddenly it was pointless. I didn’t want to be there a minute longer.
“Jimmy, you still got that Mazda?”
“The one you’ve been droolin’ over since you got here? Sure, bro.”
“I need it. Name your price.”
I still had the Yenko that I’d made the run for Verone in. Jimmy named it and added five grand. Fine by me. I wanted the RX-7. It was a deep, metallic red and reminded me of the one I’d left L.A. in. And, of course, of Dom’s car. I tossed him the keys and he stared at them for a second like he was suddenly understanding I wasn’t talking about next month or next week or even tomorrow.
“I need it in an hour.”
His voice was hushed when he told me, “It’s yours.”
Predictably, Rome was less than a minute behind me. “Bri?”
I was throwin’ clothes into a bag. What was it? Comin’ up on three months since I’d left L.A.? Still I could fit my shit into one sports bag. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I figured that one out.
“My mark, in L.A.?” I started by way of some kind of explanation as I grabbed my kit from the bathroom, “Bilkins thinks I let him go cos I was in love with the guy’s sister.” I didn’t have to see the expression on Rome’s face to know what it said – ‘huge surprise’. “He’s wrong.” Checking one last time, I zipped up the bag and threw it on the bed, grabbing up my leather jacket. “I let Dominic go because I fell in love with him.”
Rome is very rarely stuck for words. In an odd way, I was proud of myself for being the cause just one time. All credit to him, he recovered fast.
“So… what, Bri? Why are you tellin’ me this now? And where the hell are you going?”
“To find him. There are some things I need to tell him, some things I need to explain. He needs to know it wasn’t all lies. With Monica and Verone, it was. But not with Dom and me. I need him to know that, bro. I just hadn’t realised how important it was to me until tonight.”
By the time I got through with the short but oddly sweet goodbye to Rome, Jimmy had my new car parked out front.
Leaving Miami wasn’t half as traumatic as leaving L.A. As I drove north, I couldn’t think of a single thing to make me look back. Only one goal then. Mexico.
I had no idea where Dominic was but I could guess where he’d been. Shortest route into Mexico from L.A. is through Tijuana. It was as good a place as any to start. Only around 2400 miles from Miami. So it was gonna take a couple of days. It wasn’t like I had anything better to do.
"I won't go, I won't sleep, I can't breathe, until you're resting here with me
I won't leave, I can't hide, I cannot be, until you're resting here with me"
I left the night the team decided they’d had enough.
I walked in from the garage to a barrage of voices.
“Jeez, Dom, where have you been?” – Leon.
“Take a break, bro.” – Vince, who’d joined us a couple of weeks before after the cops made the mistake of turning their backs on him for a minute. They didn’t have anythin’ on him anyway. Brian… Brian hadn’t given them squat.
Vince arrived in Ensenada with a smug expression that said ‘I told you so’ and mouthed off about Brian for days before he caught me in the wrong mood one night and we got into a fight about it.
As he lay on the ground, looked up at me with fear in his eyes and spat out a tooth, he grudgingly accepted that not only had Brian saved his life, he’d saved all our butts from prison. That was when he told me Brian had gone, left his badge for the cops to find when they’d raided his home, taken off and was still – for all he knew – runnin’.
It threw me. And I wondered briefly if he’d come to Mexico.
“You spend more time with that car than you do with me.” - Letty.
And in the middle of it, Mia, lookin’ at me with a real sad look in her eyes. “Go find him, Dom.”
The others hadn’t a clue who she was talkin’ about, not at first. They stood, starin’ at her and at me.
Me, I was in full macho arrogant bastard mode. “Find who?”
But that had never phased Mia. “Don’t play the fool with me. You know who. Don’t deny you’re in love with him.”
It was my fault – I’d pushed her.
I asked her, I called her on it, and she predictably she backed it up by saying, “In the driveway that final day – he had a gun pointed right at you and you turned your back on him. So sure he wouldn’t shoot you, so safe in the knowledge he’d just wait until you’d sorted Jesse…. I knew something had happened between the two of you that was more than your career and his.”
Letty was the first to ask, “Who the fuck are you talking about?”
But it was Leon who answered, cooly and quietly. “Brian.”
Vince knew better than to comment but Letty, to who Brian had up until then been nothing but a minor irritation, exploded. “That narc?! Why the hell would you want to find him?! What could possibly….” I could almost see Mia’s words penetratin’. “Did she say… in love….”
Remind me to thank my sister for this one sometime. But I couldn’t deny it. And by the looks of Leon and Vince, Letty was the only one not to have clocked the truth about my relationship with the blond cop. So much for a woman’s intuition.
There was a fight, sure. She beat her fists against me and I let her have the first two out of three blows but after that I grabbed her wrists and held her back and by then we were alone.
I told her about Brian and me, about the night of the Supra’s test drive. I told her I loved her but in all honesty the reason we weren’t sleepin’ in the same bed every night had everything to do with Brian, nothin’ to do with her. I hadn’t planned it and I very much doubt he had either. He’d already been in my good graces, he didn’t have to let me fuck him to prove anything. That was what Mia had been talkin’ about.
I said I was sorry but even to me it sounded lame and inadequate. Letty isn’t one for tears but I know when she walked away from me she was cryin’.
I found Mia in the kitchen.
But I shrugged it off. “Not your fault, Mia. I should have told her.” I dropped down at the table and looked at her as she looked at me.
“You know what I can’t believe?” she started gently, “that you’ve been carrying a torch for him, all this time. I thought… it would wear off. It did for me. But you… you’ve been pining for him, Dom.” She smiled that little smile she keeps for me. “It’s very romantic.” And I know she’s teasin’ me. I deserve it.
“So… where do I start?”
And that’s when her smile changed. “Miami.”
I wasn’t exactly expectin’ an answer. “That was a rhetorical question.”
“And where would that have got you?”
“Miami? How do you know?”
She bit her bottom lip. “An article in a newspaper I picked up last time I went up to Tijuana. It said the Feds had taken down a Miami drug dealer with the help of an ex-L.A.P.D. officer and an ex-con. There was a stock mug-shot, an old one.”
“How’d you know it was an old one.”
“Because he looked happy.”
I really didn’t want to touch that comment.
But I’d made up my mind there and then. “Miami it is.”
“Dom….” I knew what she was gonna say. She knew I knew and didn’t bother with the words. Chances are the Feds were still lookin’ for me too, although chances were equally as good that they had nothin’ on me, thanks again to Brian’s silence.
“Think he took the drug dealer gig to stay out of prison?”
Mia nodded. Sure he did. Why else would an ex-cop be in on an undercover gig as fuckin’ dangerous as that without motive?
All she said was, “You could take one of the other cars.” But we both knew I wouldn’t.
By the time I left two hours later, Letty was already gone.
I’ve got all the papers now, getting out of Mexico was easy. I crossed the border at Yuma and got onto Interstate 8 through Arizona, turning onto the I10 at Casa Grande. All I had to do then was sit on the I10 through New Mexico, into Texas, Louisiana, get on the I12 at Barton Rouge then back on the I10 just before hittin’ Mississippi. Alabama into Florida and finally down on the I95 into Miami.
I had no idea what I was going to do once I reached Miami. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that Brian had already moved on. As I drove along I8 at fifty-five I formulated some sort of plan. Find the street racers - that was the first thing. After that, someone would recognise Brian. I had a photo that Mia had taken one lazy afternoon in Echo Park.
I hoped that someone would either recognise him straight out or would tell him there was a mean-lookin’ bastard in town looking for him. I could only hope he wouldn’t run.
I imagined him doing this same journey a couple of months back – keepin’ to the speed limit, maybe stoppin’ at the same truck stops and cafes. Difference is that he was runnin’ – movin’ from place to place, scared out of every town by mug shots in the morning papers and reports on the evenin’ news. No one’s looked at me twice, or if they have done it’s been for all the right reasons.
I stopped when I needed gas. But with those exceptions I drove for ten hours straight, stopped for a piss and a burger, drove another seven hours. Finally I knew I had to stop or risk fallin’ asleep at the wheel. I was forty or so miles into Louisiana, somewhere called Lake Charles.
Place sounded kinda nice. Pity the motel wasn’t.
Still, it was a bed and a pillow and there weren’t any cockroaches. I was so tired on the road I thought I’d pass out as soon as my head hit. But I lay awake for half an hour, thinkin’ about Brian, wonderin’ if he slept here, if he came here. It was a thought that tookme back to the night of the Supra’s test drive and suddenly my body was achin’ for him, my dick hard despite the surroundings.
God, I had it bad.
It didn’t take long and at least I went out like a light afterwards.
I hit the road again just before seven.
The I10 was as silent as the grave, at least the section I was on. I thought about putting my foot down, getting there sooner. And just as it was thinking about that, a red car went past me on the other side of the road. I caught the low growl of the engine and the resonation of the exhaust and I recognised it. Mazda RX-7. The same car I’d built and raced in L.A.
I slowed down to get a better look as it passed me going in the opposite direction. What I saw, what made me stomp on the brakes and bring the Supra to a skidding stop, was the driver. Blond hair, blue eyes checking out my car.
Actually, his car.
It was Brian.
I heard the brakes of the Mazda bring it to a stop somewhere behind me. Then we both slammed into reverse and drove back until we were side by side, me using the rear window, him – I noticed – using the rear view mirror.
So he hadn’t changed. Still a know-it-all, smartass punk with no sense. But as the two cars pulled side by side and I met his sunshine smile, my whole being seemed to sing.
Then he was gone and for a moment I thought I was gonna have to chase him. But a glance behind me told me what he was doin’ and about two seconds later the Mazda was idling beside me, this time facing in the same direction.
He was still smiling, revving the engine gently, and I knew exactly what he was sayin’, exactly what we were about to do. I hadn’t raced a worthy opponent in a long time.
He held up three fingers then counted them down. Three, two, one…. He stamped on the accelerator and a heartbeat later – the little idiot – hit the NOS. I never caught him. Ten seconds, it was all over. The fucker beat me by a fender.
He parked the Mazda up on the side of the road, kickin’ up dust and I pulled the Supra up beside him. Then he was out and we met in front of the two cars.
“I was just on my way to Miami,” I told him, still not quite able to believe he was standing in front of me.
“Funny, I was heading into Mexico.” God, his voice, that heady, bass tone. His shining blue eyes, blond hair bleached even lighter now, tan that little bit darker. Then his ready smile faded and before I could say anything, he was asking, “Are we okay, Dom?”
I wanted to cry.
“Yeah, Bri,” I assured him, “we’re okay.”
The next thing I knew he was wrapped around me, arms tight around my neck and for a second there I thought his legs were around my waist – both of ‘em! But that would be impossible for a guy his height. And weight. Not that there’s an inch of fat on him but he’s built. He ain’t a skinny guy.
It was short-lived and he was backing off before I was ready, just as I realised I’d just stood there, making no move to return the gesture, and now he wasn’t sure his welcome went that far. Time to put a red light in the path of that thought.
Just as he let go, I snagged one arm around his waist and brought him right back exactly where he belonged. In my arms.
He buried his face in my neck and I turned my head to feel his hair against my nose and mouth. Eyes closed I could feel his breath against my throat, his eyelashes ticklin’ my skin. He was as hard as I remember him being, yet at the same time he plastered himself to me. More than anythin’ at that moment I wanted to be buried deep inside him, feeling him bucking underneath me, clenchin’ so hard like he’s tryin’ to squeeze my dick off.
But holdin’ him was enough just then. It had to be.
We stood there for what felt like hours, the sun beatin’ down on us and the cars. No good for us or them. We needed to move and we both knew it. But I didn’t want to drive away from him again.
When he pulled back a second time I let him go.
“I can’t believe you kept the car,” he laughed softly, carefully, and I knew I’d have to work at gettin' him to lower his guard this time around.
“My ten-second car,” I told him proudly, too embarrassed to admit I’d kept it because he’d given it to me. A lot too embarrassed to tell him how much time I spent with it. “Listen, there’s a motel around thirty miles back.” He nodded but looked as reluctant to drive away as I was. “Follow me?”
Only when I was back behind the wheel did I think I should have stuck my tongue down his throat just to show him exactly how okay we were. First thing I’d do when we reached the motel. Absolutely.
I must’ve checked the rear view mirror ten times a minute for the whole journey, just to make sure he was still there.
We parked up in the lot and without a word I went to get a room, dropped fifty bucks on the counter, picked up the key.
We didn’t speak until we were inside.
And we didn’t speak for sometime after that either.
No adrenaline rush this time, no hot metal beneath us.
Just his tongue in my mouth, my dick in his ass. I’d always known Brian was gorgeous. I mean, it’s a difficult thing to miss. But with him lyin’ there under me, sweat on his skin, hair ruffled and damp, lips parted and swollen, muscles taut, legs wrapped around my waist, urging me deeper inside of him, I thought he was the most incredible sight I’d ever seen.
Despite his urging I went slow, squeezed and pumped him to the same agonisingly torturous rhythm.
When he came, the sight of it tipped me over too.
I rolled us over so that he was on top of me, so I didn’t crush him, but when he tried to move off me I clamped my arms tight around him.
“I don’t think so, Bri.”
He smiled, chuckled, then laughed.
“I need to piss.”
I rolled my eyes and released him. “You come right back now.” It was all I could do not to smack his ass as he got to his feet and padded into the bathroom.
He did come back, but he sat up on the mattress facing me instead of lying plastered to me where he belonged. I expressed my displeasure but he just smiled and grabbed the hand I was trying to grab him with.
“Why are you going to Miami?”
My turn to laugh. “To find you, you idiot!”
“Really. Now I found you, I taking you back to Mexico and keeping you as my sex slave.” I deserved the punch to the thigh he gave me. So I got serious. “I missed you, Brian.” It wasn’t an easy thing to say and by the look on his face he got that.
“How did know to find me in Miami?”
I told him about the newspaper article Mia had read. “That sounded like some dangerous shit.”
“Yeah.” He hesitated, sucking on his bottom lip in a way I’d never seen him do before. “I said I’d do it if they cleared your rap sheet.” Mine? “But they had nothing on you. I guess Vince….”
“Is with us.”
He nodded, lookin’ relieved. “Mia?”
He wrapped his fingers around my hand, starin’ at it. “I’m sorry about Jesse.”
Me too, kid. “That wasn’t your fault, Brian.”
“I killed Tran.” That was news. I’d seen him under the bridge but I thought it had been an accident, thought he’d lost control of the bike or somethin’. And suddenly I realised just how much Brian had been runnin’ from. A possible manslaughter charge on top of Aidin’ and Abettin’. Just how much did we really owe him?
“I didn’t know.”
Brian just shrugged in a way that implied there was no reason I should have known. “Listen, Dom…. I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you, I was gonna tell you. After that night… no way was I going to turn you in, I just didn’t want you to get hurt and I knew the truckers were arming themselves. I thought if I told you who I was you’d probably kill me. I didn’t know what to do. Tanner – my sergeant – told me I’d been lying to him about you and asked me if I’d been lying to myself too.”
“Hey, why should you have left yourself out?” I was teasin’ him but his expression was enough to shut my mouth. “You know, as mad as I was with you – it was my fault. I swallowed your bullshit because I didn’t want to believe what Vince was tellin’ me, two, three times a day. After you let me fuck you, all I could do was roll my eyes because I knew without a doubt you weren’t a cop, weren’t a narc. But I couldn’t tell Vince why, so I just kept quiet, kept on ignoring him. After Race Wars, I was gonna tell you everythin’, even though that ‘jack was supposed to be the last one for a while.
“I was gonna tell you because you were one of us, ‘cause I’d had you, Brian.” I smiled at him, still amazed he pulled it off, wormed his way into my life, my family, in a matter of fuckin’ days! “You were a good cop, a very good undercover cop.”
He snorted. “Yeah, tell that to Tanner. I lied to him, set up two innocent people for a job I knew they had nothing to do with, slept with the mark’s sister, destroyed an $80,000 car, slept with the mark himself, failed to call backup during a hijack, failed to call in when I knew the team responsible for the ‘jackings was runnin’, failed to call the cops when I witnessed a drive-by shooting, chased down a suspect and killed him in full view of the public, destroyed a railed crossing gate and finally I hand the mark my car keys and let him go. Man, I read my rap sheet – it was three pages long and it ended with dangerous driving! I wasn’t a good cop, Dom. I was a lousy cop.”
Wriggling my hand out of his I reached up, brushed his hair back, twisted my fingers in the blond curls. However difficult it was to say it, I knew he needed to hear the words, however much he didn’t think he ever would. “Love ya, Bri.”
His eyes went wide and it was worth the pain to see the sappy look on his face. “Dom….”
“I mean it, man. You can stop runnin’ now.”