by elfin

It’s beautiful here; the simple beach house, golden beach stretching for miles, framed by palm trees, lonely road that leads here.  It’s all Mia.  The silver Nissan I’m parked next to, that’s Brian.

The baby was an accident, Mia told me in Rio, that the last thing she wanted was to get pregnant while on the run from every law enforcement agency in America.  But she’s a Toretto, Torettos protect family and the kid was family from the moment she conceived.  She told me she didn’t know if Brian would stay with her, said something strange about duty not being enough, but I knew he would, I knew he’d look after her.

“I’ve never seen my sister so happy,” I tell him.  I haven’t, but I can’t say the same for him.  He looked happier walking into the dragon’s den in L.A., looked happier racing through the desert on my tail in Mexico, looked happier after throwing away his life for me the second time around, busting me off the Lompoc prison bus, breaking more laws than I’d ever done.  He looks relieved but not content, not settled.  I know that feeling.

But he nods.  “Because we’re free.” 

It’s there in his voice, in his eyes, in his whole body.  Freedom has made Mia happy, not Brian.  I can tell by the expression on his face - it’s the same expression I had on mine two nights ago, the one Elena called me on.  It’s why we’re here.  She sees more than most people and I should be able to love her for that but I don’t.  We’re free.  And it’s not what we hoped it would be, because we’re also apart, scattered all over the world.

He looks across at our cars, my slate Dodge Charger parked next to his shining silver Nissan GT-R, American muscle next to Japanese import, and smiles.  Speed vs. power.  “I want another shot.”

I think about telling him to let it go, like I always do, but I love the sight of him behind a wheel and I haven’t raced since we left Rio.  It’s just one of the things I’ve been missing.  “Yeah?” 

“Yeah.”  God.  I make sure my smile stays easy, friendly, even though my heart’s started thumping against my ribcage.  Brian’s always had this effect.  I’ve tried keeping him at arm’s length because he’s like some kind of illegal high.  I’ve kept the physical stuff to a minimum because I’m not sure what will happen if I start getting all hands-on like I am – was - with the rest of the team.  He’s Mia’s, not mine.  Maybe I missed a chance I didn’t even know I wanted to take or maybe I didn’t.  I’ve never really understood Brian, his motives, what was on offer.  “No wagers,” he says, “Nobody else.  You and me, once and for all.”

Like so much else he’s said in the sparse time we’ve spent together over the years I’ve known him, I’m not sure there isn’t a double meaning, something else to be taken if I was so inclined.  “Sure you can handle the disappointment?”

The way he looks at me is the same way he’s always looked at me, with reverence.  He’s given up everything for my family - his career, his life - I owe him my freedom.  Still can’t believe he looks at me like that.  “Are you?”  He’s teasing, and there’s a smile playing around the corners of his mouth, same smile that was on his face when he saw me this afternoon. 

“All right, O’Connor.  Let’s see what you’ve got.”


Back in L.A., the first time, when he got under my skin, into my life, into my family, I didn’t know what hit me.  He was nothing like the rest of them and maybe that’s why I got taken in by the act.  Only I’m not sure how much was an act, not sure when his loyalties changed, when he pledged to himself that he’d protect me from everything, no matter what; guilty or innocent.  Mia told me Brian let me go that day because he respected me more than he respected himself.  Bullshit.  That’s what he told her.  What else is he going to say?  Definitely not the truth, if my suspicions are right.  Or maybe they’re not suspicions, maybe it’s just wishful thinking, some weird, skewed fantasy on my part.

Brian’s not the first guy I’ve been more than a little interested in.  Han and I danced around one another for years, split up then came back together in the Dominican Republic and finally did something about it.  But it was never serious, and in Rio when I saw him look at Giselle I knew we were done, at least for now.  Not that it mattered, because I wouldn’t have done anything with Han knowing Brian was nearby. 

Seeing him again in Parkes’ apartment was like a hammer blow to the stomach.  He looked different, sounded different, ‘course he was different.  I wasn’t looking at Brian Spilner, I was looking at Officer Brian O’Connor – a total stranger.  I thought I didn’t know him at all and that made me feel sick.  But I did know him.  And he let me walk out of there, again, like he has some aversion, an inability to arrest me.  Made me wonder what I could do to get him to act like a cop around me.  In Rio he pointed out that life would have been easier for everyone if I’d left him at the Mexican border like he’d told me to.  He’s right.  How was I supposed to know he’d be breaking me out of a prison transport a couple of months later?  Maybe he knew already, sitting there in the desert in agony, telling me to get out of there because he’d already worked out what he’d have to do if I didn’t.  Still, he didn’t push it, let me make the choice and again threw his life away to save my ass from jail.

I’d have to be blind and dumb not to realise that Brian something special in my life, my guardian angel sent to save me from the stupid ass choices I keep making.  What I don’t know is where I fit into his world.  He’s not a heavenly creature doing God’s work; he’s just a guy who apparently thinks he owes me every sacrifice there is to make.  I don’t understand why but I want to know.  Now, I need to know because I can’t work out what to do with the rest of my life.

We race to a look-out point a few miles along the coast from the house, setting the finish line by this weird telepathy that develops between us when we’re driving like this.  I beat him – naturally – I have to beat him because it’s what keeps him coming back.  If he ever wins fair and square, I have this notion that I’d never see him again.  It’s probably bullshit.

I get out, car door clicking shut just moments before Brian’s.  I watch him walking round his car, joining me where I’m standing in front of the Charger.  He looks nervous suddenly, and that makes me nervous because when Brian loses that innate confidence of his, bad things tend to happen.  He walks up to me until his toes are touching mine, and without warning he wraps his arms around my neck.  I’m surprised but I get over it quickly and catch him, one arm around his waist, the other across his back, holding him bruisingly tight as he turns his face into the crease of my shoulder and I can feel his breath on my skin, sending goose bumps across my shoulders, a spark down my spine.

Closing my eyes I just relish having him close against me, feeling him breathing, smelling of salt and soap, the ghost aroma of engine oil.  I have no idea what he’s thinking but right then I don’t care.  I hate that everything I want is a betrayal of my sister.  I hate that no matter how hard I try to pretend, I want him with a need that gets stronger with every passing day.  But if he turns this into something else, something more, Ill do with it in a heartbeat. 

After what feels like forever but it’s too damn short, he lifts his head but doesn’t step away, rests his forehead against my shoulder and starts to speak.

“This is what I want.”  He says it softly, so softly I almost miss it.  “Nobody else.  You and me, once and for all.”

Christ.  This is what I’ve been waiting for, this is what I’ve been wanting to know, what I wasn’t sure I’d ever find out.  Suddenly he’s telling me and I know it’s not an offer, not yet, but all I have to do is take and he’ll go with it like he’s gone with every other damn thing I’ve ever thrown his way.  I know it’ll change everything.  But it’s exactly what I want and I’ve always been a selfish, self-centred asshole.  “You got it, Brian.”  I hate myself but I can hear the promise in my own voice and I know I mean it.  It’s too late to deny it, it’s been too long. 

He steps back suddenly but I’m not letting him go, not now.  “Dom....”  I’m shaking my head, getting the hand that was on his back curled around the nape of his neck. 

“If I’m what you want....”

“I can’t....”

It’s mean and selfish but I pull his face to mine and stick my tongue in his mouth and just like that he’s right there with me like I knew he would be, tongue sliding over mine, fingers already scrabbling to get up under my T-shirt, hand a brand on the small of my back, short nails scraping over my scalp.  The world tilts on its axis and I know I’m destroying so much that’s old and sacred to build something new, something so exciting it makes my heart race and my blood pump harder just thinking about it.

The Charger’s right there and we hit the hood hard, Brian trying his damndest to climb me, hand reaching between us, ripping, unzipping and pushing denim out of the way.  The first touch of skin against skin is like a lightning strike and I don’t know how long I can hold out for him.  This is at least five of my fantasies playing out right here.  It’s raw and rough, Brian’s teeth biting into my neck muscle, nails biting into my bicep, long fingers mashing us together, hips snapping forward, bucking him against me, sliding me through his hand.

I pull his mouth back to mine, not so much a kiss more like an act of possession.  When he sucks on my tongue and I feel the vibration of a hum in his lips, I come so hard I see stars. 

“Shit....”  He pulls back almost immediately, need sated, real life spilling back in.  That’s not allowed.


He turns, looking down at the mess we made, shaking his head.  “Dom, I’m... I’m sorry.....”

“Brian.”  I zip up and make a grab for him, get my arms around him, pinning his arms to his side and pulling him back until his legs hit the fender again and he drops next to me.  He’s trying to pull away but doesn’t put that much into the struggle.  He’s given up already because he’s right where he wants to be, even if the truth of that stings.  Resting my chin on his shoulder I close my eyes and breathe in that heady scent of salt and sex.  “Don’t.”

“I can’t do this.  Mia, Dom, she’s your sister.  You’d never forgive me.”

Right.  That’s the way it should go but I’ve denied this, denied us, for too long.  “Never forgive myself.  But it’s right, Bri, we’re right.  You belong to me.”  It’s not supposed to be what it sounds like and I know Brian gets it.  I feel the fight go out of him, the moment he accepts what I’m saying.  He doesn’t like it, neither of us do, because we’re betraying the one person I’m supposed to protect in this life.  But that thing we just did – I want to do it again with less clothing, less guilt and a lot more time.  I let my tone lighten.  “It’s always been me.”

It’s what Tanner said to him all those years back, standing in the front yard of some Hollywood house with a Hollywood history.  Brian told me about it one night back in L.A., one of those nights where beer and tequila turns any bar into a confessional.  He looks at me and I can see it clear in his eyes now, the reason for everything he’s done.  Not an angel but a demon, beautiful, intoxicating and deadly.  I’d been thinking I was his obsession but in reality he’s mine.  That’s how he got to play me in L.A., because I fell for it; for the easy smile and the laid-back attitude, the warmth in blue eyes that should have been ice cold but weren’t, not when he looked at me.  I fell for him years ago, and all this time he’s felt the same way about me.  I could have had him anytime, and the thought makes me a little bit mad at Mia for taking what should have been mine, for getting pregnant with his child, for trapping him. 

Part of me wants to take off with him from here, leave everything behind and never look back.  But I won’t.  I can’t do that to Mia even if she’s never going to speak to me again because I know things will never go back to the way they were and Brian knows it too.  He looks terrified, but behind that there’s a relief; the stress has gone from his shoulders now that the tension’s finally been broken between us.  He leans forward, tilts his head and kisses me, tongue tracing the shape of my mouth before pushing, demanding, between my lips.  My dick’s filling again like I’m still nineteen and feeling bold I press an open palm to his crotch, rubbing his re-awakening erection.

This time it’s slower, although his hand on me is no less arousing and the feel of him is no less perfect.  We stay where we are, me on the hood of the Charger, legs spread, him standing with his knee against mine, jerking each other off like we have all the time and privacy in the world.  He comes first, and this time I feel it, the tremors in his body, the muffled sounds in his throat, the warmth of come on my hand and wrist.  I’m a couple of seconds behind, feeling that hum again against my mouth, thinking what that’s gonna feel like on my dick and hoping to hell he’s up for as much as I am once we get somewhere near a bed.

I get my answer as I watch him bring his hand to his mouth and swipe his tongue up along his index finger.  “Wanna taste you,” is what he says and I can see the promises and challenges in his eyes. 

“You’re gonna kill me,” I bitch, but there’s no heat or truth in it.  Wouldn’t be a bad way to go, I can’t think of anything better.  But sometime soon we’re going to have to face the music; the reality of this situation is not good.  “Actually, Mia’s going to kill us both.”

“Actually... I think she’s half-expecting something like this.”  I have to let my eyebrows do the questioning.  “She’s not stupid, Dom.  She knows I did what I did for you, not for her.  These last couple of months... this isn’t me, sitting around on a beach watching the sun rise and set.  She knows I’ve been distracted, knows I’m... bored, that I need more than this.  Money and freedom... it’s good, you know, but it’s not how I ever planned to be living.”

“It’s not living.”  I know how he feels, what he’s talking about.  It’s the biggest disappointment of all; that being comfortable doesn’t necessarily equate to being happy. 

“I know I need to wait it out, and I’m not saying I can’t be happy unless I’m chasing criminals or being hunted by cops.  I won’t abandon Mia now, but if I have to resign myself to this I think I might go crazy.”  Suddenly all that stuff back in Rio makes sense, asking me about my Dad, telling me about his.  He never thought of having kids, maybe he never wanted them.  I know I’m too selfish to father children.  “I know I should stay, be a father, be responsible.  But the idea makes me want to walk into the ocean and keep walking.”

Shit, Brian....  I hook an arm around his waist and pull him forward, between my legs, rest my forehead against his ribcage.  His arms wrap around my shoulders, one hand on my head.  I can feel his heart beating, his lungs filling and emptying.  “We’ll talk to Mia,” I tell him, “but I’m not going anywhere.  I won’t leave you here.”  It’s a promise, a vow, for my sake as much as for his.

“What about Elena?” he asks, one cheek coming to rest on my head, fingers stroking the back of my neck.

“She knows why I came here.  I think she’s known all along.  I’ve been a distraction, an escape, but nothing more.  First night out of Rio she asked me about you and I told her everything I knew, everything I wanted to know.”  I hesitate.  “Told her I thought you could be the one, but I didn’t know if I had it in me to steal my sister’s boyfriend, let alone the father of her child.”

“And this is the woman we left alone with Mia while we drove out here?”  I can hear the amusement in his voice, but there’s relief there too and something else.  He pauses before he asks, “You think I could be ‘the one’?”  There’s hope behind the slight tease and I’m not sure which to play to.

“No one else like you in my life, Bri.”  It isn’t reassurance or confirmation, but he lifts his head and so I do and he grins anyway like it’s enough, like any small thing I’m willing to give is enough.  But it just isn’t, not after everything he’s given up for me, plus all the things he’s about to give up.  I love him.  I just can’t say it and maybe I don’t have to, because he knows hurting Mia isn’t something I would do if he wasn’t important to me, if this wasn’t something vital, something I didn’t need like oxygen and sunlight and fast cars.

He’s got no such reservations.   “I love you, Dom.”

I wonder how much damage those three little words have done over time.  I’m going to tear my life apart just to hear them again.  But it’s nothing he hasn’t already done twice for me.