11. The Other Shoe Drops
“You gotta let go of the bat, Amber.”
Dom led Amber up the stairs and across her porch. Amber hadn’t made a noise, not after she had finished screaming. Silent, she allowed herself to be led back into the house. He made an effort to close the broken door but it was a lost cause, at least right now. Dom could easily replace it, but he knew that Jim would be able to fix it. For some reason, Dom imagined that Amber would prefer that; that the house would stay the same. From the things that she had screamed at Alan, he got the impression that it was for the house that she fought, or it had become about the house at least.
Quiet, compliant, Amber was easily led across the living room. Dom looked down and shuddered. Hissed intake of breath, his hand tightened on Amber’s arm. She had walked through the broken glass scattered across the floor. Hadn’t made a sound. Guilt snaked through him; he should have known, should have looked. Amber couldn’t; she was somewhere else.
The thought of picking her up went through his head but he didn’t know how she would take that. It might just snap her out of the strange stupor that she was in, but she was still armed and might swing on him with the bat in a panic. More importantly, she could get hurt. Again.
With the toe of his boot, Dom scraped and kicked the shards of glass away, and led Amber around the biggest pieces. He watched every step, as though it was his own bare feet moving across the floor. Or Mia’s.
She made no complaint as he sat her down on the battered couch, but still hadn’t let go of the bat. Dom looked around in the dark living room and, spotting the silhouette of a lamp, crossed the room to turn the light on.
“Fuck…” It had been dark outside when he had looked at her face, at the rest of her, and he hadn’t gotten a really good look at what the bastard had done. Dom’s vision went red as he looked at what was going to be a huge bruise on Amber’s face. At the blood across her nose and mouth, the clear boot mark across her white tank top, her bloody feet.
Her eyes were wide and glassy with shock and she trembled slightly as she looked at him. Hands already white with strain tightened even more on the bat as she looked at him. A deep breath, and then he rubbed his hands over his face. All the anger he could dredge up wouldn’t help her right now, all it would do is frighten her more than she already was. His anger would only make things worse.
On his knees in front of her, he reached forward, holding the bat just above her hands, not pulling, just holding. “Amber?” He said her name a couple of times, trying to get her attention, speaking quietly. Slowly, she turned to look at him, look through him; she was definitely in shock. “Amber, you’ve got to let go of the bat.”
Blinking, she looked down at her hands, still tightly gripped around the bat. She looked a little puzzled, as though she didn’t know how she had ended up there, on the couch, covered in blood with a baseball bat in her hands. “Oh…” Voice trailed off, small and still. The fingers around the bat didn’t loosen, at least not on their own. Dom looked at her face as he pried them back, pulling the bat from her and resting it against the side of the couch. He left it close deliberately, as Amber’s eyes tracked it, needing to know where it was.
From his place on the floor, he got another look at her feet and swore again. “Fuck. I need to take you to a hospital….”
Startled, he pulled back, catching her and keeping her from bolting. “No! I can’t! I won’t! Please…” She broke into sobs, pleading with him.
The spot between his eyebrows bunched and crinkled as he held onto her. She couldn’t break free, and he wasn’t about to let her run. She wasn’t thinking right and there was no way that he was about to let her bolt across the glass strewn floor. Pulling her back down to the couch easily, he held onto one hand and pressed down on her thigh with the other, pinning her gently.
“Easy. For fuck’s sake, Amber, take it easy. You’re going to get hurt.” Even more, he thought.
“Please, I don’t want to go to the hospital, okay?…I…” Her hands fidgeted but she hadn’t pushed him away. Fear flashed, a sudden summer storm across her face. And shame, humiliation. Of course. An explanation would be expected; doctors would demand to know what had happened to her.
It wasn’t something Dom could claim to personally understand. If you got hurt, you went to the hospital and got it fixed. “Easy, take it easy,” he soothed.
Jesse had come home beat to shit one night; he hadn’t wanted to go to the hospital either, hadn’t wanted to say anything at all. He and Vince had forced him; dragged him yelling and howling, to be exact. But he hadn’t wanted to go. Wouldn’t say who had done it either, and wouldn’t talk at the hospital. Didn’t talk for a couple of weeks after that.
A couple of guys had jumped him outside of the liquor store and beat the everloving shit out of him. The humiliation was worse than the beating and after a couple of days, Dom had threatened anyone that had talked to Jesse about it. Some things were worse than pain. That was a lesson reinforced for him in prison; having people know what had been done to you hurt worse. A beating you could endure.
“Easy,” he soothed again, his voice dropping. “So we stay here, but you gotta settle down so I can clean this mess up. I have to go next door for the first aid kit. You gonna stay here? Not move, all right?”
Dom stayed where he was, knelt at her feet, until she looked at him and nodded. He moved to stand, and crouched down one last time, the rumble of his voice no more than a whisper. “If we went to the hospital, you wouldn’t have to tell anybody what happened. I’d make sure of that.” There were places that wouldn’t ask questions; he had needed that kind of care before, where they wouldn’t ask too many questions.
Hazel eyes looked right through him, right into him, all defenses down; she had nothing left anymore. Hoarse but clear enough to be heard, she answered, part defiance. “It wouldn’t matter anyway, it doesn’t help. It never has.” A deep, world-weary sigh and she looked out past his shoulder to the black shape of the window beyond. “The doctors’ll call the cops and I’ll spend most of the night repeating the same story over and over again. Then they talk to Alan, and I never hear about it again.”
“He threatened to kill you.”
Her eyes were old, tired, when she looked at him again. “Yes, he did. And if you take me to the hospital and the law gets involved, if Alan gets involved, they’ll learn that you threatened him too. Alan can be very convincing. He doesn’t always look…” Amber shuddered as she remembered how terrifying her ex-husband looked in the dark of her living room. “He doesn’t always look like he did. He’d show up in a suit and tie and start talking. And he can threaten too, not just…” She pointed absently at her face. It wasn’t the first time for this either.
A choked out laugh-sob that sounded like neither and looked more like a convulsion was yanked hard out of her. “We’re both fucked, but I don’t want to go to the hospital. I’ve had worse.”
That silenced him and he looked up into her eyes. The hurt went deep, but she was aware. Just bone tired. Dom’s jaw dropped, wanting to say something, anything. No clue where to start. What the hell could he say? He wanted to take her to the hospital; that would be the right thing to do. She didn’t want to go and a small part of him that left him feeling ashamed didn’t want her to go either, because of the grief it would cause him; getting charged with assault would send him back to prison in a heartbeat.
Muttering under his breath, he looked down at the floor and cursed again. “Fuck.”
Her laugh was a bark, one single sound and Amber had a hand over her mouth, gently. “We’ve established that already.”
“I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t move, okay?” Dom waited for her to nod before he got up and crossed the room. Looking back once to be assured that she hadn’t moved, he jumped down the porch stairs, scanning the yard outside.
Both Alan and Heather had left. Something about that made Dom uneasy, but he didn’t have time to think about it, couldn’t afford to be worried about it. Right now, all he could think about was Amber. It wasn’t just bandaging her up; she couldn’t be left alone. She was beat to hell, and should be in his car, being driven to the hospital where someone could take a look at her. Her door was busted off the hinges and her ex could come back. Dom couldn’t take her anywhere, she wouldn’t leave, so he couldn’t leave either.
Scribbling a quick note to Mia and posting it on the cooler where she would see it Saturday morning when she got in, he locked up and darted back across the deserted driveway, back to Amber’s house. She hadn’t moved. Dom wondered if she would stay there, frozen to the spot, until the next morning. Thought that she probably would.
Water ran in the kitchen sink, and he soaked and wrung out a couple of dishtowels that he found in a drawer, grabbed a couple of dry ones to go along with them. Back where he had left off, crouched at her feet, he didn’t know where to start; her feet, her face, to get a look at the damage to her side.
Opted to deal with what was bleeding first. Her feet looked worse than they were. The glass from the cabinet must have been some sort of safety glass, like in a windshield, broken into thousands of tiny cubes. The edges were sharp but they didn’t lance through skin the way the glass from the vase would have. It left several small shallow cuts that bled profusely. They were patched up easily.
“I’m going to look like a mummy by the time you’re done.” Dom hadn’t expected that he could laugh at that. Her bandaged arm and leg, now her feet, wasn’t something he should laugh at, but he was strung out, just as she was, and he laughed anyway. A little.
Looking up at her, he handed her a cold, wet cloth. For her face. Amber winced, pressing the cloth against her lip, the blood wiped clean. Unlike her feet, Dom knew that her face was worse than it looked right now; that tomorrow it would be swollen and purple. His vision went dark again and he lowered his head, the growl unbidden. Forcibly relaxing when Amber stiffened.
He needed to talk, anything to keep from putting his fist through a wall. Or from hunting down her ex and putting him through a wall. “What made you leave?” What he really wanted to ask is what the hell made her stay, but he’d save that one for Mia.
There’s a question. Start and stop. There were so many reasons. Sitting before Dom, bloodied and battered, all too familiar, was only one. Lathering antiseptic on her foot before he finished bandaging it, Dom muttered, “Sorry, shouldn’t have asked.”
“No, it’s a good question. Just hard to answer. I don’t know why the hell I stayed in the first place.” Dom looked up at her; it was what he had wondered. He nodded and moved on to another cut. “He cheated on me. Hell, he had probably been cheating on me for a while, but I walked in on him after work one day. He didn’t even care, just sat up in bed and asked me what the hell I was doing home. It was one of those moments of clarity, like a last straw. Pissed me off.”
Dom took a look at the bat still balanced against the edge of the couch. “So I gather.” The blood on her feet was finally cleaned up, the cuts bandaged.
Like Dom, Amber had also looked at the bat, with its ridiculous bow. “Guess I repressed a lot, huh?”
Dom bit the inside of his lip so he wouldn’t laugh. What kind of a fucked up person would laugh at something like that? Apparently, they both were, because whether they liked it or not, they were laughing at it.
Amber snorted out a laugh and then winced, a cut on her lip opened up anew. It took all the fun out of the conversation and the bunched up spot between Dom’s eyebrows was back. He fished a couple of aspirins out of the first aid kit, getting up to get her a glass of water.
From the kitchen, he looked back at her on the couch, her head back against the ratty fabric, eyes closed. Hair a mess, a white dishcloth held up against her face, the white bandage from where Mia had patched her up earlier in the day a ghostly shape against the darkness.
Torn. He still wanted to go out and hunt down the guy that had hurt her, but things weren’t that simple anymore. He wasn’t a kid; hadn’t been for a long time. A long fucking time. In the heat of the moment, he had fallen back on settling things with his fists; it wasn’t a mistake he could afford to keep making. And it wouldn’t help Amber at all. It didn’t make her problem go away. Getting locked up wouldn’t help her either; it would just leave her out here all alone. Which didn’t make the violence recede, just pushed it into a corner, making him feel helpless. There wasn’t a fucking thing he could do.
Except stay. That he could do.
He crept quietly across the living room floor but needn’t have bothered; Amber had fallen asleep. Dom wasn’t sure if this had been the worst day of her life, he had no way to know, but the day had taken a hell of a toll on her.
Without turning on a light, he made his way back to her bedroom, pulling a blanket off her bed and returning to cover her as she slept. Carefully, he eased down onto the opposite side of the couch, to watch over her.
At some point before dawn, he stirred. Amber’s cheek rested on his arm, her tangled mess of hair lying on his chest. Snoring softly. Breathing shallowly so as not to wake her, he shifted. Not a lot, and not all at once. Just enough so that her head rested on his chest and he could pull the blanket back up over her. The tank top she wore rode up in her sleep and he got his first look at the huge purple bruise on her side.
Closing his eyes, Dom held his breath. Just wanting to hold her. Not really being able to. It had been a long time since he had held a woman and not thought of fucking; it didn’t even cross his mind. All he wanted was to let her sleep. A few minutes later, he joined her there.
Dom jolted awake at the sound of yelling. On weekends, Mia showed up a little later, but it was still pretty early. A car door slammed. Mia shouting, talking fast. Pissed off at somebody.
Amber moaned, holding her head as she sat up, too quickly, pulling the blanket closer around her. Not that she had to, but it was a reflex action, like waking up after a one night stand. A discomfort Dom was familiar with; he didn’t think Amber was and he sought to put her at ease. “It’s okay, nothing happened. You just fell asleep, okay?”
Guilt flashed across her good eye, as she quietly ascertained that she was at least still dressed. Dom wasn’t offended; he’s seen women do the same on more occasions than he could count, and he didn’t have the time as the yelling drew closer to Amber’s front door. A voice that he recognized from the night before, calmer, more rational, but the same. He was back.
Dom pushed off the couch, turning back to Amber, his hand held out to hold her back. She had heard her ex-husband as well. And knew that Mia was out there with him. “Stay here,” he was quickly backing towards the front door. “I’ll find out what that fucker wants.”
What Dom wanted was a chance to do what he hadn’t finished the night before. Knew he shouldn’t want it, but wanted it all the same. Shoving the broken door aside, Dom stepped out onto the porch and felt his stomach lurch. Like when you know you’ve done something really stupid and it comes back to bite you in the ass.
Amber wasn’t joking; Alan looked like a completely different person when he was cleaned up. Impeccable business suit, looking and sounding for all the world like a very angry businessmen. A deal gone wrong, a lost briefcase, rather than a guy that had just assaulted his wife. Ex-wife. There was lots of talk of people getting sued and other people losing their jobs if something wasn’t done about it.
The Sheriff looked convinced. Sheriff Hollabird was a perfect caricature of what a southern Sheriff should be. A large man, now balding; he had probably been some sort of football hero when he was younger, now tending towards a pale flabbiness that his uniform couldn’t hide. Right down to the mirrored sunglasses and baton on his hip. A regular good ol’ boy. Dom had dealings with him only once, when he first bought the garage. The Sheriff had made a point to come out and make a speech about convicts and what he thought of them, of where they should end up. Told Dom to stay out of trouble. There was an or else there that went unsaid.
The Sheriff’s car was parked near the end of Amber’s driveway; Alan’s car was nowhere to be found. Not hard to put that together; Alan had rode in with Sheriff. Right now, the Sheriff stood in the middle between Alan and a very pissed off Mia.
It always surprised Dom to see that side of his little sister; fierce, fiery. She didn’t swear or curse or threaten. Wasn’t a bitch like Letty. But she wasn’t about to back off either, and the Sheriff was getting it from both sides. Alan yelling for the Sheriff to arrest Dom for assaulting him, and Mia coming right back at him with that he had obviously done something to deserve it.
The Sheriff was making a few assessments of his own. He didn’t care much for Dom, for the whole idea of ex-cons, but when it came down to it, the desert was full of them. Making it his business to interfere in the lives of everyone who skirted shy of the law could be bad for his health. And would just be too much damned work. Alan Brightman had stormed into his office demanding that Toretto be arrested for assault, and it was pretty clear that someone had assaulted him. For some, that might be enough on it’s own. For some.
As of yet, neither Alan nor Mia had acknowledged Dom, so intent were they on shouting around the Sheriff about which one had more right to be more pissed off. To make things worse, Jim’s tow truck pulled back into the garage’s driveway, followed by Eddie’s truck.
Dom, resigned to the thought that he would likely end up in jail, strode towards Mia to pull her away from Alan and the Sheriff; he’d already got an eyeful of how Alan dealt with his women troubles. “Mia, don’t get involved…”
The words were like kicking over a hornet’s nest. Mia rounded on him, furious. Not at him, maybe just men in general; it was clear that she saw right through Amber’s ex-husband. Dom was pretty sure what she thought too, and she had no problem with sharing that opinion. Loudly.
Swatting Dom’s chest, Mia stepped forward and rounded on her brother. “Don’t get involved?! What the hell do you mean, don’t get involved?! We’re already involved, and…!”
“We need to sort this out, Toretto.” The Sheriff put himself between Alan and Dom, Mia not quite forgotten but clearly no longer at risk, pulled out of the way by Dom. Alan now stood behind the Sheriff, yelling and demanding that Dom be arrested; that if Dom wasn’t arrested, Alan would sue.
It was bedlam. Like an afternoon talk show had decided to play itself out in the hard scrabble of Amber’s front yard. Jim had come forward and Dom passed off Mia to him, which didn’t impress Mia in the least. “You didn’t do a damned thing to deserve this, Dom!” she shouted as Jim led her back towards the side of his tow truck, out of the way.
The muscles in Dom’s jaw clenched and bunched as he looked through the Sheriff at Alan. Arms crossed over his chest in an act of extreme restraint, Dom fought the urge to push the Sheriff to the side and pound the hell out of Alan.
“Look what he did to my face! I want you to arrest that asshole r….” Alan yelled and gesticulated from behind the Sheriff. Clearly, Alan had no problem convincing the Sheriff to come out to the garage, but the Sheriff didn’t seem to be in a great rush to do much other than hold everyone apart and watched how it played out. Maybe that was a smart move. People would tell the whole story anyway. This way it all just happened at once.
Dom took a step towards Alan, his fists so tight they hurt, and roared. “YOUR face! You have some balls to come out here and talk about YOUR face!”
“Hold on now, Toretto, let’s…” The Sheriff placated, his voice calm and modulated like he was addressing very small children or enraged mental patients. Whichever worked. There was something else going on, and the Sheriff knew that if everyone could get calmed down, all the facts would come out.
“Could everybody stop shouting? Please?” Dom spun at the sound of Amber’s voice from the open doorway. She spoke in a normal tone of voice, but it seemed so quiet, after all the yelling.
Amber had left the blanket on the couch and now stood out on the porch. An arm, a leg, and her feet all bandaged. The bruise across her eye and most of her cheek was a murderous purple, still swollen, her lip split. Dom turned away from her, back towards Alan, near shaking with rage. Talking to the Sheriff, but his eyes didn’t move from Alan. “That fucker came here last night. Broke into her place…”
The busted front door hadn’t escaped the Sheriff’s notice. The sight of the battered woman on the porch filled out a few more of those answers. There was no doubt that Dom had committed assault, but the why of it was more important than the crime itself.
Alan pressed forward, his face twisted up in anger, to interrupt. “She’s my WIFE! And I come out here and she’s, she’s…FUCKING this guy, a fucking mechanic!…”
“Ex-wife…” Dom shouted back. The Sheriff ticked off another answered question in his head. Brightman hadn’t mentioned that fact, the divorce. It changed things.
The yelling took up where it had left off, everyone shouting at once, until the Sheriff had heard enough. “All right now, all right, y’hear.” Turning towards Alan, the Sheriff pointed a meaty finger at him, “Go and wait by the car so I can deal with this mess.” Then he turned towards Dom, “Toretto, Didn’t I tell you once already to stay out of trouble?”
“Sheriff?” Eddie had stayed at the sidelines, watching as the mess unfolded. The perfect opportunity had played out right in front of him. Dom would be arrested, and back to prison he would have gone. The case would be handed off to someone else. Except that’s no longer what Eddie wanted; he wanted Dom to stay out of prison, where he could actually do some good. That, and the sight of Dom’s neighbor, who had quite clearly taken a hell of a beating, sat and pulled at Eddie’s conscience. That Eddie could satisfy both at the same time was just an added bonus. “Maybe we could have a word?”
The Sheriff pointed at Alan again, stressing the point that he was to stay by the car, and then turned to take in Eddie. He looked like a kid but there was something about the voice. Something that smelled of authority. The average citizen had at least a small deference to authority, but Eddie approached the Sheriff like an equal. It showed in his every action. Looking once again at Dom, the Sheriff pointed at him next. “Don’t move, son, ya in enough trouble as it is.”
Dom literally bit back what he was going to say, biting down hard on his bottom lip before it got him in more trouble than he was already in. Eddie walked a short way off with the Sheriff, turning once to catch Dom shooting daggers at him. If hate could kill on sight, Eddie would be a pile of ash on the driveway. Unable to not fuck with Dom a little, Eddie winked at him, smiling, which only pissed Dom off even more.
“I should go and talk with him; I don’t want you getting into trouble for this. Maybe if I explain…” Amber stood on the bottom step of the porch, ready to walk out across the yard towards the Sheriff, her arms around hugging each other across her chest. Dom hadn’t even thought of the cold morning air, until he saw her shivering, her skin raised in goosebumps.
Mia had pulled away from Jim and run across the driveway just as Dom reached Amber again. “Oh my god! That bastard!” Mia fussed over Amber, looking at her face, her feet, the bootmark on her side all at the same time. “Dom? What the hell happened?”
Dom looked at Amber once more, before pulling back a little to let his sister take over. The note he had left hadn’t explained much, the bruise on Amber’s face, the kicked in door, explained a whole lot more.
Amber listened carefully to Mia’s rapid-fire questions. There would be time eventually to answer them, but not right now. Facing Dom, she repeated her previous statement, and stepped off the last stair, intending to do just that.
“I don’t want you getting involved in all of this.” Dom realized quickly that this was entirely the wrong thing to say, even if he meant every word of it. He didn’t want her life getting fucked up any more than it already was because of his mistakes. The consequences for beating the hell out of her ex-husband were his to bear.
There was a hard line between Amber’s eyebrows as she took another step towards Dom. “Involved…?”
“Bad choice of words. But I don’t…” There was only so much that Dom was willing to concede; a part of him had accepted what would happen next. Even if he could never really accept it. Already he was putting together in his head how to alleviate the damage to those around him. Now Amber was included in those thoughts.
Meanwhile, at the end of the driveway, Eddie had tuned his back towards the others, effectively shutting them out of what was said next between him and the Sheriff. “It’s not hard to see what’s going on here, sir.”
The Sheriff pulled off his mirrored shades and looked at Eddie shrewdly. He knew exactly what it looked like. Looking like a dumb hick wasn’t the same as being one, not by a long shot. Although having a battered woman step out onto the porch had changed his perceptions a little, especially when Dom put himself between her and harm. “Not hard at all, son, but why don’t you stop dancin’ around and tell me who the hell you are really?” Eddie dressed like a mechanic, but he had the smell of law all over him.
Eddie flashed his badge quickly. Normally he would never wear it if he was undercover, but Dom knew exactly what he was, so it seemed a little silly to pretend otherwise. At this particular moment, it served him well.
The Sheriff let out a small, disgusted snort, spitting into the scrub at the end of the driveway. “Knew that Toretto kid was trouble.”
“Maybe it’s not what you think,” Eddie supplied as he tucked his wallet back into his back pocket. A week ago and that Sheriff would have been dead on, and Eddie would have gladly have seen Dom taken away in handcuffs. “I need him for an ongoing investigation.”
“You’re not investigatin’ him?” Faintly incredulous, the Sheriff shot a shrewd glance at Eddie, reading what could be read. Which wasn’t much; Eddie was good.
Eddie didn’t answer, just shot a look back over his shoulder, sweeping across from Dom, who had by now led Amber back onto the porch and was coming out of the house with a blanket. To Mia and Jim, on either side of Amber. To Alan, who stood by the police car and seethed.
“If you arrest Toretto, you’re going to screw up months of investigative work.” Which was true, even if Eddie meant it differently. It was still true. “And by the looks of the guy over by the car, if you charge him with assaulting his wife, he’s going to cause you nothing but grief. He’ll sue, and your ass will be in court from here until the second coming.”
Eddie paused, and then went for what he knew would sway the Sheriff, what would sway any guy. “From the looks of that guy’s ex-wife, I’d say the ex-husband had it coming and then some. Do you really want to charge Toretto for defending a battered wife?”
Sheriff Hollabird didn’t like Toretto, not one bit, but he liked the rest of this mess even less. “Don’t seem right at all. Nope, don’t seem right at all. If I charge Brightman with assault, he’s sure to countercharge.”
The Sheriff left it out there, waiting for Eddie, Mr. FBI, to make the call. “So don’t charge anybody.”
Silence for a moment, and then the Sheriff slipped his shades back on. “Fair ‘nuff.”
Alan barked when the Sheriff got back to the cruiser with his answer, opening the back door for Alan rather than the front this time. “What the hell do you mean, you’re not going to charge him?” That the dynamics had changed wasn’t lost on Alan either.
“When you’re in a hole, it’s best to stop diggin’, son.”
Alan seethed; he had been listening to the Sheriff all morning, while he convinced him to come out and arrest Toretto. Not that the Sheriff had needed much convincing. Now that had all changed. Alan glared at Dom with rank hatred, its scope widened.
Eddie strolled back across the now empty yard, the police cruiser pulled out already, turning out onto the road. It had gone a lot better than he had hoped; he had kept Dom out of prison, where he would be of use, and it wasn’t likely that the Sheriff would get involved again, such as it was. The ball was firmly back in his play.
Distrustful, Dom stepped away from the others, towards Eddie. Jim stepped towards the two, in case he had to separate them, but he needn’t have bothered. Dom hadn’t heard what had happened between Eddie and the Sheriff, but he wasn’t in the back of a squad car, he wasn’t getting charged.
The stood less than a foot apart, Eddie’s cocky arrogant face inches from Dom’s distrustful, angry one. “This ain’t free, Toretto.”
Biting back whatever he was going to say, Dom nodded imperceptibly, and walked back to the porch.
Copyright © October 2007