Desmond Aurelio. If "attitude" was defined in the dictionary with a photograph, you might catch this hothead's mugshot under the word. Born into a family of construction workers, Desmond already had expectations to live up to before even leaving the womb. His father was a hard case, his mother even harder. Enough was never good enough, even if enough was Desmonds best. At school he preformed well, but if it wasn't straight A's, if it wasn't wood-shop, physics, math, mechanics, then it didn't matter. Halfway through high school, Desmond gave up trying to please his family, and set ambitions of his own.
His dream was, something you'd expect a kid to say when they're young. "Dad, I want to be a race car driver when I grow up!" And in truth, that dream stuck with him throughout his youth, never waning, always in the back of his mind. It was a stupid dream, his parents told him. They tried to teach him to keep his expectations realistic.... they tried. But Desmond was far to stubborn, and far to opportunistic. There was no way he was giving up. He bought his first car at 16. A 1990 Toyota Corolla. Of course he worked on it. And of course he raced it. Illegally of course, as many lads his age would. It wasn't until his last year of high school that he was finally nabbed by the 5.0. Copped a fine and a slap on the wrist, along with having his licence temporarily suspended. It was his parents reaction that really got to him though. Scolding him, shouting at him, telling him how much of a disgrace he was. Eventually he'd had it. His whole young life spent being under appreciated, his parents trying to force him down the path they wanted, never not once receiving their pride or their praise.
He packed and left, crashed with a friend he'd made at the car meets. He dropped out of school, got a job at a seven-eleven, made enough to pay his share of rent and food. On the off days he'd work in the shop his friends father, Marcus, owned. Little did Desmond know that they worked for some shadier people, changing plates and writing new papers for stolen cars. Providing illegal parts for cars to be used for criminal activity. Desmond was working one day when the big cheese himself walked in with a couple of his boys. Anthony Santoro. Word on the street was that this man had his finger in every pie around the city, some saying that his influence stretched even further than that. His right hand man was whom caught Desmond's eye however. Scariest looking bastard he'd ever laid his eyes on. Not by his hard face, or the scar across his throat, but by those cold, emotionless, green eyes. He remembered the man making direct eye contact with him, and that alone sent chills down his spine.
Santoro wanted three cars worked and readied by the next morning, and Marcus gave the task to Desmond. Scared out of his wits of what may happen if he screwed up the job, he spent the entire night working on the cars, checking and rechecking to make sure everything was in order, exactly how Santoro wanted it done. He was still awake when the men came by to collect the rides. The right hand man from the day before was the one leading this time. He looked over the rides critically while Desmond watched, sweat sliding down his temple. After what felt like an eternity, the man looked up and nodded. "Good work, kid." He said, his voice deep and gravely, walking over and handing Desmond a roll of cash, and then a few hundred extra. "For makin' sure everything was up to scratch." He explained, before taking the keys from Desmond's almost trembling fingers. "Now go get yourself some fuckin' sleep."
That horrifying encounter was apparently enough to prove his real worth to Marcus, and he was taken on as a full time employee. Desmond started making bank, and with some real cash in hand, was able to buy a new car, a 1995 Honda Civic. With his new engine knowledge, access to tools and parts, and money to back himself, Desmond went about modding his car for some serious driving, not with fun in mind this time, but making even more cash.
Desmond started racing, started losing, but after a few loses, a few thousand spent, and a few mods.... started winning. He picked his opponents carefully, watched how they drove, checked out their rides, calculated the odds in his head. Sure, he still wouldn't always be first over the line, but he was making profit, and he was loving it. But the time he hit 20, he was a recognizable face in the street racing scene, and started getting himself noticed by the bigger names. He accepted a race by a man named Mackenzie, a Scottish lad rocking a BMW M3 GTR. This time the race was for slips. Desmond was hella nervous, and the Scot, confident as could be..... and yet, Desmond's Civic made it first over the line.
They drove to a quiet street to complete the transaction, but Mackenzie wasn't having it. He and his cronies beat Desmond with tire irons, resulting in multiple breaks and fractures, as well as internal bleeding. That probably would have been the end of him.... if not for a door opening from a bar close by, as the last patrons of the night walked out. Santoro's right hand man, and four of his men, a little sauced up, but with enough to register what was going on. It only took a few moments, and a single warning to get lost from Mackenzie and his boys, for Santoro's men to figure out the situation. "You come onto Santoro's turf, you race under fair conditions, and when you lose, you don't hold up your end of the agreement?" The man with the scar and the cold green eyes demanded. Mackenzie warned him once more, stepping forward with the tire iron. "I said get lost old man. Unless you want some of this."
On yeah, he acted tough.... until five guns were drawn, and the green eyed man had a .45 against the Scotsman's forehead. "Funny how all that bravado goes out the window when death is staring you in the eye." The man growled. Mackenzie pleaded as he and his buddies were frisked for wallets, phones, keys, and knives. When their possessions were in a neat pile beside the man with a .45, only then did he give them leave to fuck off. With Mackenzie running down the street, Santoro's man ordered for Desmond to be loaded into one of the cars, and taken to hospital. He didn't remember much else of that night, but when he came to, he was in a well lit hospital room, with the man sitting beside him in a clean black suit. He introduced himself as Ivan, Ivan Lynch, and expressed his admiration for Desmond's spirit, apparent skill behind the wheel, and his knowledge of modding cars. He asked if Desmond was willing to make some real money, serious money, warning him that there would be much higher risks than simple street races.
He was always reckless, always an opportunist.... so it would be no surprise that Desmond accepted the offer. He was asked to mod a car, and be the getaway driver for a job that was going down. He thought that it would be a heist of some sort, but was surprised when he was made to pull up out front a very wealthy looking house. Ivan and a small crew went in while Desmond waited with the engine running. The gunfire coming from the house shocked him to his core. It wasn't a robbery. It was an extermination. When Ivan returned, one man less, covered in blood, he hopped him the car and ordered Desmond to drive. Desmond didn't need to be told twice. The whole trip was made in silence, and Desmond did not dare make eye contact with Ivan. When he saw the look in his eyes as he got in the car, he realized just what kind of men he was working with. There wasn't anger, or pride, or bravado in those green orbs. Just cold, indifference.
When Desmond received his pay for the job he was stunned. It was more money in a single go, than he'd made over his whole time working for Marcus.... and there was the promise of more.
Over the years, Desmond made a living for himself, working in the shop and driving cars for the men in Santoro's crew, but it was Ivan specifically, who demanded that Desmond be his personal mechanic. Desmond was terrified of Ivan, but at the same time, couldn't help but respect the man. When he wasn't killing, or robbing, or burning places down, Ivan was a relatively level headed man, with a surprisingly firm set of values. He hated rape, hated human trafficking, and hated any sort of sexual violation or exploitation. He believed that one should always uphold their end of any deal struck, and that people who earn their way, should be compensated accordingly. Though the man was icy, there were moments when he would unwind and relax. He would share a laugh, play a few rounds, even sometimes race alongside Desmond. He was surprising competent behind the wheel, but perhaps not as skilled as Desmond. Despite the fear in the back of his mind, Desmond eventually grew to look up to the older man.
One day Ivan took Desmond around to his home, to his garage. Desmond gaped in awe at the sight of a sleek black, 1969 Corvette. The car was beautiful, far different to the imports Desmond was used to driving, and when Ivan asked if he wanted to take it for a spin, he jumped at the opportunity. It was a powerful machine, reaching speeds that Desmond had never driven at before. His cars were always modded to accelerate faster, and take corners sharply and effortlessly. This monster was something else entirely. Ivan had him drive to Boston, and explained that he needed a driver for a bank job he meant to pull off with an old friend. They drove to a garage, and were greeted by a metallic silver 1999 Nissan GTR R34. "Pull of this job, and the car is yours." Ivan explained, to Desmond's surprise. The car had been a dream of his since he was young, and the opportunity in front of him now was far to good to turn down.
There was only.... one catch. They needed an extra gun on the job.
Desmond had never so much as held a gun before, let alone fire one at another human being, but Ivan assured him that so long as the job went smoothly, the weapons would only be used primarially as a scare tactic. After a brief instruction on how to use the carbine and handgun he was given, the pair made off to pick up the rest of the crew. The job was a simple in-out bank heist. A small joint on the edge of the city, but owned by a man named Jackie Marco. Apparantly Ivan had personal beef with the man. There were to be two cars. The GTR, which would be used as a lure to get the majority of the police response out of the area, and a normal looking black sedan which would be used to subtly transport the score. Ivan was working alongside a man named Nicholas Shepard, president of a local biker gang. The job was, in part, a way to strengthen relations with other criminal organizations in another city as well as take out another piece of Marco's empire.
Ivan and Shepard drove with Desmond, with the sedan trailing a reasonable distance behind. The whole drive there, Desmond was tense, his heart pounding. This was a huge step up from what he was used to, a dangerous step up. But in proving himself, he would gain the respect of quite a few huge names.