Status: Completed... For Now.


Velvet Touch.

He kept seeing Blair’s face around every corner; when he went to go swimming in the pool, to work on his new car, to retrieve a new case of Corona from the bar… she was there. She had a knack for preceding him; she could read him like a book. The mismatched gaze pierced him to the core.

Toretto wasn’t certain why he was avoiding Blair anymore; since he had stormed out two days ago, he hadn’t once woken up sober. This was what happened when he tried to tell women how he felt about them - he thought, shaking his head as he swigged the Corona which had become permanently attached to his spider-webbed arm - they ignored him, they kicked them out of their homes. It hadn’t happened with Letty, but perhaps Letty was less of a girl than normal women were; she was less… dramatic. Toretto drained the bottle and tossed it atop a growing pile in the corner of his living room, the one place he could count on Blair NOT showing up.

Blair, meanwhile, had busied herself organizing nightly racing trips into Moscow and St. Petersburg with her team - a few good racers she had taught from scratch. Papers were necessary for such distant forays - anything outside of Tver required a false identity. They also required a truck for transportation, she was not about to let a group of convicts off the hook on a five-hour trip into St. Petersburg with her own hard-earned cars, and some of the cars were too delicate to be left to the overly offensive driving maneuvers of the boys on an autobahn. Being so busy allowed her to forget about Toretto - minus the fact that she kept running into him, and pined to ride in the car she had given him once more. She could claim she hated him all she wanted, but it was of little use; try all she might, there was no forgetting Dominic Toretto. Especially not when she and Mia had become the best of girlfriends - Mia was a dab hand with the scissors and had offered to cut Blair’s severely misshapen mop, and in return Blair had invited her over for ‘girlfriend’ nights - nail painting, cosmopolitans (the drink AND the magazine!), naked pillow fights, the works.

Mia, Blair noted, was just as hard headed as her brother was but with less of a temper and no need for speed at all. Blair had given her a Volkswagen Jetta TDI for transportation purposes, for Mia was no racer. She enjoyed the vehicle as much as Dominic had though, and had taken Brian into Tver that same night. Brian wanted to race, but hadn’t the need like Dominic did. He was happy with the leisure that living in the Compound brought, the time he was able to spend with Mia because he wasn’t looking after Dominic or busting random drug dealers and other criminals. Luckily, it was not known that Spillner had been a narc, and Blair was working hard to keep it that way.

“Why does he need to race?” Blair asked Mia as they tanned in the downstairs parlor in the salon that had become their territory. There were very few other women in the Compound, and even fewer were interested in keeping up their appearances as the pair were.

“What do you mean?” Mia’s timer clicked, and she climbed out of the tanning bed naked (avoiding tan lines), stretching for her lush white robe. Blair was already swathed in hers, she was too pale to stay in the beds for as long as Mia’s dark skin required.

“Dominic. He seemed so upset when I told him that he could have a car, but he can’t race until the heat is off.” Blair shrugged, reaching to lotion her legs.

“Have you ever heard of the book ‘If you give a Pig a Pancake?’?” Blair shook her head, no, she hadn’t, and she didn’t read books with such crappy titles. “It must be just an American thing, then. But it’s a children's book, and it’s big in SoCal. But its whole thing is if you keep giving the pig stuff, he’ll want more and more stuff to go with it. Like, ‘If you give a Pig a Pancake, he’s going to want Butter to put on it.’ Stuff like that. ‘Cept my brother is the pig in this instance.”

Blair burst out laughing; Mia had just called her own brother a pig, something the girl wouldn’t normally do. Realizing her mistake, Mia laughed as well, braiding her smooth brown hair over one shoulder.

“He’ll learn to live with it eventually, but you can’t keep it from him forever. The boy’s got NOS in is blood,” Blair nodded.

“I can sympathize with that, but I fail to see why he doesn’t just go with the flow - or get that he can’t race for a little while. At least until his hair gets a little longer.” Blair was glad he had stopped shaving his head at this point; someone had tipped him off to the fact that his clean-shaven look was very distinctive, and even with a little bit of stubble he looked radically different. She glanced at her cell phone for the time.

“Ah, shit, Mia, I have to get moving, we have a trip out to St. Petersburg tonight.” Blair jumped into her clothes and embraced her friend. As she was leaving the tanning beds, Mia grabbed her hand.

“Blair. Take him with you. He doesn’t have to race, just take him with you.” Mia’s big brown eyes were pleading, so Blair embraced her again.

“I’ll think about it.” As she swept up the staircase to her apartments, Blair found met one of her racers on the steps. “Get me Dominic Toretto,” She asked quietly, and then proceeded to her apartments. She was drying her hair after a shower fifteen minutes later when he finally knocked on her door.

“Wait.” She called, slipping into her outfit for the evening, a short emerald dress and black tights - she wasn’t racing, so what did it matter what she wore? Blair finished pulling her hair straight, and pulled her mascara brush through her long eyelashes, then walked to her door, heels in hand.

“Come in, Toretto,” Blair hadn’t meant to sound harsh, but it was the way the words had come out. She closed and locked the door behind him, and perched on the cold black countertop of her kitchen to put on her heels. “There’s something I’d like to ask you.” She watched him out of her peripheral vision; he retrieved a new Corona and placed a lime in it.

“But you’re drunk! Dominic Toretto, put that beer back this instant!”

“Don’t you be bossing me around; my last drink was hours ago.” Blair sighed, slipping her second black high-heeled shoe before she slid off the countertop, walking over to Toretto. “I was going to let you come with us tonight, but only if you sober up in the next hour.” It took Dominic a minute to get what she had said, but he handed her his beer and walked over to the kitchen counter to stick his entire head under the faucet, mouth open, water on the coldest setting.

“That’s effective,” Blair poured out the beer beside his head, sucking on the lime as she trashed the bottle. She had cleaned up from their soiree the other night, and had since installed a newer, bigger garbage can so that the ’broken-bottle incident’ didn’t happen again. Even though it had nothing to do with trashcans or lack thereof, but it was a comfort knowing that it was nearby. She sat on the countertop by the sink, waiting for Dominic to finish his impromptu shower so she could hand him a towel and explain the agenda for the night.

Finally, he pulled his head from beneath the faucet, his hand reaching toward her for the towel she held. He rubbed it through his short growth of hair - Blair spied his elbow, and noticed that he was taking good care of the tattoo even in his drunken stupor.

“Well?” He asked through the towel, looking up at Blair though he could not see her.

“I don’t think you’ll be able to take the drive there, but we’re going to St. Petersburg tonight. You won’t be racing, but I’m willing to take the risk at your sister’s sincere request.”

“Mia told you to take me tonight? This isn’t out of the kindness of your heart?” Toretto slapped the countertop with the towel as he leaned against the island, gazing up at Blair.

“Both, actually; I wouldn’t have honored her request if it wasn’t for the kindness of my heart. So will you be sober enough by then to drive?” They still had to get all of the cars on the trailer and the racing wouldn’t start until the small hours of the morning, but Blair liked to be a little bit early. The racers all gathered in the same place every single time - an old parking garage - and people got there well before the usual start time.

“When do we leave?”

“In an hour or so.”

He accompanied Blair downstairs to oversee the cars being put on the truck - the drivers would hang around inside the truck with their vehicles, drinking and whatnot. Blair and Toretto were going to follow the truck in Toretto’s Mustang, mainly so that Toretto had another chance to drive the thing. Blair found herself sitting in the passenger’s seat again, her legs stretched onto the dashboard and crossed at the ankles as she punched the coordinates and address of the place they were headed into the GPS. She selected the music from the iPod, and then laid back to relax for the five-hour trip.

“Where do we stop for gas?” Toretto asked, noticing that someone had topped off his tank.

“In a few hours, it’s all in the route information I put in for you.” She managed to fall asleep for an hour or two before waking up at the first gas stop.

“Good morning Miss Mutterer,” Toretto teased, as she stuck her head out the open window. Blair scowled.

“I was not that asleep, don’t flatter yourself.” She glanced around, looking for the truck. “Uh, Toretto? Are you running ahead or behind the truck?”

“You were, and we’re behind at the moment, at this one-pump-wonder of a gas station you picked out here.” Blair nodded, settling back into her seat as Toretto went to pay. “Let’s play some catch up,” He grinned, and threw the car into drive, shifting like a pro. The pulled up behind the lumbering truck in no time - Toretto sunk into a drafting position and set the cruise control.

“You have a nice touch on the gas,” Blair admitted, taking off her heels so she could sit on her feet. Toretto turned to her, quirked an eyebrow and turned back to the road. “I’m serious, that’s a compliment. None of these other dogs can drive like that.”

“That’s probably because you taught them.” Toretto shot back at her, the believed she was just insulting him as usual. Blair glared at him once more, but chose to ignore the statement. She and Toretto drove in silence for another few hours until they reached the city, and finally arrived at the large parking garage.

A hushed silence came over the usually rowdy group as Blair, Toretto, and Blair’s boys (who had offloaded just outside of town) arrived; Blair’s cars were so uniform, her reputation so formidable that people treated her and anyone associated with her with reverence. Except the little slutty girls that tended to accompany street racing. It was refreshing to see Blair among the crowd, Toretto realized as she returned to where he leaned against his Mustang (which required constant supervision because of how high profile and rare it was).

“We’ve arranged the races; would you like to be the money man?” Toretto raised an eyebrow, prompting Blair to add, “Because of your car, they think you’d be easy to find if you ran off with the cash.” She produced a bag from her shoulder, with the money in it. He scowled.

“A Purse? Literally?” Toretto held the thing out by the strap on his pinky finger, unzipping it to make sure she wasn’t playing a trick on him. It was packed with rubles.

“Well, you don’t have to carry it, just keep it in the Saleen.” He did so, watching Blair dissimilate back into the crowd of half-naked girls and adrenaline junkies. She was like Letty in that way, she also stood out from the racing crowd, but for different reasons.

While she had the looks and the body, Blair was no flag girl. She was disinclined to watch the beginning of a race, and more apt to wait at the finish line to congratulate “her” winner. For Blair’s racer’s barely lost, Toretto noticed, no matter how inferior she claimed them to be, Blair’s boys were winners. Toretto couldn’t fault their technique - it appeared that Blair had an eye for a good racer like a horse breeder had an eye for a good stallion. Even though she was queen of the scene, she clung to Toretto as if she were his trophy wife, asking him the occasional question about his thoughts as if she valued them. Which she did, Blair was used to having some sort of bodyguard among the crowds at the races, simply because like the Mustang she was a high-profile target.

She also had a sixth sense for when the cops would show up. She distributed winnings other racers deserved and called it a night at 4:30 AM, and as Toretto drove off, he spotted flashing lights in the distance. Blair pulled the purse from beneath the Mustang’s plush leather seat, flicking through the bills as she began to divide their winnings.

“You can drive home as fast as you’d like, darling. The boys know who has the money, and if they don’t show for it…” She smiled wryly, kissing Dominic’s cheek before he sped off into the night.

Toretto couldn’t help but wonder what the punishment for not showing was - he didn’t really want to guess.
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Title: The 69 Eyes.