Flight 88 – Chapters 46 Thru 50

Chapter 46: Monday Part 2

“I like the train,” Alyssa comments, speaking of the monorail that they rode to get to the park.

“It’s always a fun ride, eh?” Jordan questions and Alyssa shakes her head yes. “Well, just think of it as a big way to start your day. There’s more fun rides soon. Maybe even a bigger train.” Alyssa looks at Jordan surprised before they continue walking.

“I think she’ll be fixated on one thing before we even get to the rides,” Rob interrupts the pair. They then stop talking, showing their tickets before being allowed inside the park. “Give it a couple…..but she’ll want to go see a princess.”

“Look Jordy!” Alyssa yells as she points towards the castle. “Cinderella’s castle!” Rob then smiles as he looks over at Jordan.

“Told you.”

“Wow. It big! Can we go inside? Can we?” She then tugs on both their hands. “Please?”

“We will go see Cinderella and have lunch with her in her castle,” Rob announces, having already planned out part of their day. Once he knew that he was going, he had checked out options as to things to do, noticing the lunch with the princesses. He knew that Alyssa would enjoy that.

“Yay! ‘Hank you!”

“Thank god I have you here,” Jordan comments as Rob chuckles a little. Jordan then glances over at him as they watch as Alyssa still takes in the sight of the castle. “Dale and Marie haven’t told her yet that she’s a princess. Can you imagine the shock on her face when she learns that she has a castle of her own? She’ll freak!” Rob laughs as he snaps a quick photo of Alyssa.

“Nah – she’ll be wanting to wear the dresses,” Rob reasons as Jordan shakes his head.

“Nope – crowns and castles for this girl. You can tell by the look on her face. So Disney expert, where to first?” Rob smiles as he crouches down to Alyssa’s level.

“Say, how about we go see Stic-”

“Oh my – look who I see! Pluto!” Alyssa’s eye shoot up away from Rob as she notices Pluto as well, signing autographs and taking photos with people. “Do you want to go meet Pluto?” Alyssa shakes her head yes as the pair head towards the line together.

“Suddenly, I feel like I’m out with two kids.” Rob then rolls his eyes as he follows the pair, knowing that it’s going to be an interesting day.

*****************

“So Rob didn’t come to our little crew game of mini-putt?” T.J. questions as he meets up with Steve, Jason and the others.

“Rob is at Disney World with Jordan and Alyssa,” Steve answers as T.J. smiles.

“That figures. We knew that he was a kid at heart.”

“He also knows how to do little girl’s hair into pig tails if you ask Jason.”

“Really?” Jason then shows T.J. the picture that he received from Jordan earlier and T.J. breaks out laughing. “That’s adorable. Honestly, truthfully, adorable.”

“And funny?” Steve questions and T.J. shakes his head yes.

“It’s a good laughter relief,” Jason comments, putting his phone back in his pocket. “So, are you ready to lose?”

“Please – we both know that you’ll get stuck on the windmill again,” Steve jokes. “Anyways, I got something to ask you about.” Jason looks at Steve curiously as T.J. takes his turn, going first. “I overheard you on the phone the other day. Everything okay at home? And if I’m intruding, let me know.”

“Things are fine…” Jason then walks away, grabbing his golf club, ready to take his shot.

“Are you sure about that? You know that you can trust me.”

“Dude – I know that so you don’t need to inform me, but things are fine. It’s nothing unusual.”

“And who can mini-putt?” T.J. questions as he scores it in the hole in his first shot.

“Show off,” Jason mutters as they watch the new guy on the team go next. “Say, this new engineer is pretty swift. I’m sort of glad that Kenny sent him our way. I think he’ll be an asset.”

“Have we pranked the new guy yet?”

“Not yet but Speedweeks has just begun my friend.”

“That it has.” They watch the new guy take a shot, getting it in the whole. “I finally have competition. You’re up LeTarte! Make sure you aim for the hole, alright?” Steve gives him a surprised look. “Got your glasses this time?”

“You’re just asking for your butt to be kicked T,” the new guy chimes in as Steve walks over to the spot.

“He always is,” Steve comments before making his shot, scoring it in one shot. “Now what were you just saying?” He then walks back over to Jason as they watch Laura step up for her turn. “I like the new guy as well. Just watch your step with him till we know he’s comfortable with how we roll. And, are you sure things are okay?”

“Things are fine,” Jason replies. “I can deal with it and do my job. Let go and relax. I got this bro.”

************************

“Now remind me how awesome I am for thinking of this great breakfast idea,” Marie questions with a glance back towards Dale as they sit together in the motorcoach. She then turns back to the toaster, checking on the waffles as they toast. “We’ll just keep it between us, though. I wouldn’t want the others to get jealous.”

“Waffles, strawberries and whip cream – definitely a treat but definitely a secret treat,” Dale comments as he finishing cutting up the strawberries. Marie then looks in the fridge for the whip cream, surprised when she sees there is none. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s no whip cream. Did you have a midnight snack?” Dale shrugs his shoulder, ducking away from her as she reaches to smack him. “Dal-”

“I needed something to help me sleep last night. What do you expect? Relax, as I have a plan. I’ll go see if Jimmie has some as I’m sure he keeps some hidden for Evie and Lydia.”

“You’d probably have more luck with Harvick and perhaps I should go as I need to ask Delana something.”

“It’s up to you.” He then watches as she takes the waffles out of the toaster, sitting them on a plate before wiping her hands off. “I’ll go since you’re busy with the food.” Dale then grabs his shoes, slipping them on as he watches her check on the bacon and eggs. They had decided on bacon, eggs, waffles (with delight) to go with a glass of orange juice for breakfast. “I’ll be back before you can finish those eggs…I promise.” He gives her a quick kiss on the lips before exiting out of the motorcoach.

“Tell Delana I say hi!” Dale then shuts the door, feeling a hand on his shoulder as he does so.

“Going somewhere?” He hears, instantly freezing as he recognizes that voice. Without thinking, he swings his hand back, making contact with her head and knocking Mariela back a couple of steps.

“Marie!” He yells as he keys the code in, opening the door.

“Dale?” She questions as she walks towards the door away, curious. “What’s wrong?” She picks up her step, worried that he had possibly fallen or something.

“Marie isn’t going to save you next time,” he hears Mariela say.

“Dale?!?” Marie yells out once again as she opens the door. He then stands there frantic. “What’s wrong?” Dale turns around without saying a word, glancing to see if there’s anybody around him. He then lets out a sigh of relief as he doesn’t see Mariela anywhere. “Earth to Earnhardt!”

“Your sister…she…was…just….” Marie pulls him by the arm and drags him into the motorcoach, shutting the door behind him. “She….was….there….she…gone…” Dale places a couple fingers on his throat, pain aching from the scream that he had let out as he walks towards the kitchen and grabs a drink of cold water. Feeling the cool liquid go down his throat and ease the pain, he sits down. “I walked out and she was there. When I yelled for you, she said that you wouldn’t save me next time and she ran.”

“So she’s on the property? Shit!” Marie grabs her phone off the counter, dialing a phone number that she had made sure to retrieve earlier. The phone number would give her instant connection to the security office and without a do, she was ready to make a report. “Forget the whip cream – we’ll do it with ice cream.” She then sits across from him, ready to file the necessary report. There was no way her sister was going to do something again.

 

Chapter 47: Report Filed

“I just wanted to let you know that your report has been filed,” the officer speaks as he stands between the pair in the motorcoach. “Every officer on the property is looking for Ms. Mariela Calantay now as we speak. Once she is located, she will be placed under arrest for attempted kidnapping as that’s the charge that fits what she attempted here. We have yet to locate her, however I am sure we will in the next few hours.”

“And what are we supposed to do till then?” Dale questions, still shook up from everything as he sips on some more water. His throat felt sore, scratchy and everything else irritating from the simple act of screaming. No doubt it was why the doctor had advised against use of voice on Saturday night.

“Till then, I would advise you both not to make many steps outside of the area for fear of her lurking and waiting. To offer you some comfort, we could get a guard to stay positioned here to protect you both.”

“That’d be comforting, actually. There’s no telling what this girl is capable of.”

“Sir, I understa-”

“Do you honestly? Have you read up on her file?”

“Dale, please relax and understand that the officer and his staff are doing what they can,” Marie comments as Dale looks over.

“I just want to make sure that everything possible is being done,” Dale states.

“Well as the officer stated, they are looking for her and will do what it takes to protect us.”

“That is correct,” the officer states firmly. “I will do need to head back to my office, however I will call for Office James Carson to stand guard for the rest of the day. If Ms. Calantay is not found by nightfall, another guard will take his place. I am sorry for the situation that you both find yourselves in.” The officer leaves quietly without another word as Marie leans back against the counter in the small kitchen.

“So much for a relaxing day without life’s stresses eating us up,” she comments to herself as she takes a bite of the waffle.

“We can still have our relaxing day together as we weren’t planning on going far anyway,” Dale says as she looks over.

“Oh yeah because you sounding all worried about my dear sister makes perfect lead in to that.”

“I told you – I just wanted to make sure that the officers were doing everything that they could. I’m not worried about your sister as I can kick her ass if I want.” Dale then stands up and walks over to Marie. “But I’d rather do this to you.” He then leans in and kisses her lips lightly.

“Spill the truth.” He then takes a step back surprised.

“Excuse me?”

“I know my sister spooked you and obviously with what she did to you, you’re probably a little scared and worried. Considering how this has gone for us both, there’s no surprise that the nerves are a bucket full.” Dale lets out a sigh before sinking back in his seat.

“So you want the truth, huh? Okay, fine – here is the truth. I’m mad that your sister escaped under that ‘royalty innocence’ law shit that you brought up earlier. I’m mad that your mother didn’t see fit to bother to believe you when you told her that it wasn’t right. I’m upset that are good day is spoiled by her invasion because we sit here worried. I’m perhaps a little worried about our daughter not being with us in a sea of people where Mariela could hide out and trap her again. Do you see a problem here? Yes, I’m worried. Yes, I’m even scared. Yes, there’s nightmares that come to mind at the sight of your sister. However, I also realize that with the officers searching and with that officer on guard, that things will most likely be okay. Plus, Alyssa has Jordan and Rob – plus Mickey Mouse and his security guards. For that reason, I am trying to make the best out of the situation. Happy?” Marie walks over and sits on his lap with a smile.

“Honesty is awesome to hear. I appreciate the honesty. Truthfully, my thoughts match yours because why should the evil witch spoil how much I love your company?” She then kisses his lips as he wraps both arms around her.

Peaking from her hidden spot, Mariela rolls her eyes at the sight of them cuddling. She couldn’t believe how care free that they seemed to be acting despite her actions to try and play her cards.

Carefully watching her step, she moves away out of the motorcoach lot and scours across the Daytona infield in a spot where she wouldn’t be noticed. Once tucked away in a quiet spot of the fan campground, she pulls out her phone and dials the number in question.

“Hello?” She hears on the other end as she lays back in the grass, soaking up the warm sun.

“Why hello,” she replies with a smile. “I hope you’re enjoying your day with the team mini-golfing. We both know that you can’t hit a ball worth anything. I guess that goes with figuring out things for me because I know more than you know. Remember that passcode? Yeah, I know it.”

“Well done. I guess that increases the price, huh? I mean, I did get you access and location.” She then chuckles and shakes her head in disbelief.

“Oh sweet dear, it doesn’t help you because you could’ve got it for me and saved the trouble. You got to love spooking a man, and then watching his every move closely as he types five numbers into a keypad. Only problem now is I’ve got some security guards watching my tail behind. Got some words for that?”

“They do their night-time switches at about 9 o’ clock. That should give you a window to get in there, type the keypad in and make your move. However, making an escape if I sense your ideas would be testy.” She smiles as she hums to herself, musing over her thoughts.

“No fear. I can get my way out without help. I’ve become known for sneaky situations. Now, I need your help with a four year old.”

“Simple as pie sweet thang. I’ll pull convincing tonight at dinner to get Jordan and Rob to keep her for a night, or for her to spend some time with Stevie and his kids. Pull strings in that sweet couple needs more time alone after your ordeal. Payment? Or four year old trouble?”

“Payment. Well done. You’re learning quicker than ever. By the way, keep up what you said on the resume. Don’t arose suspicions.”

“10-4. I’ve been good so far. The guys seem to like me.”

“I don’t know why they would. Thanks for the conversation. Bye.” She then hangs up and tosses the phone back in her pocket. Now what to do till later that night?

*****************

As TJ and Laura sit leaning against the wall waiting, they notice the three telephone amigos returning to the group. Each had gone off to talk on the phone to someone about something following the round of mini-golf.

“Hey hey, cellphone city has ended,” TJ comments as Laura chuckles a little. “Everything okay?” Everyone shakes their head yes – except Steve. “Stevie….”

“Rob reports that he is surrounded by two kids in the form of a four-year-old blond and a 20-something-year-old who screams on kiddy rides,” Steve starts as they all laugh.

“So fun is to be had at Disney World, huh?” Laura questions and Steve shakes his head yes.

“I got a hold of Marie and it seems they had a visitor in the form of a Mariela. Now relax as they’re both okay. They’ve reported it and an officer is standing guard to make sure that she doesn’t return. It’s caused some spook in their step, but they’re okay. Oh, and Rob says that Jordan wants to keep Alyssa for the night because they’re having so much fun that they’re doing Universal Studios tomorrow.”

“Jealous!” TJ yells as they head out.

“Awww, does T want to join the fun?” Laura teases as TJ playfully slaps her.

“You just wait till we get the go-kart track missy.”

“If TJ didn’t have a girl at home, I’d say that you two are boyfriend and girlfriend,” Steve comments, getting laughs from the others. “You’re so couplish.”

“Oh can it!” TJ says as he playfully throws a candy wrapper back at Steve.

They then head off to the go-kart track as one person in the group smiles in delight. It was nice to see Jordan make things easier in having Alyssa away for the night as that meant that Mariela could truly do what she needed to – satisfying payment requirements.

 

Chapter 48: Night Fall

“It’s 9….where are you?” Mariela heard the officer say out loud as she hid behind another motorcoach, patiently waiting. She knew that they’d switch at 9 o’ clock per the phone call and had planned to be in that particular spot at that time.

“That’s the million dollar question,” she whispers to herself as she checks her watch once again. She was glad to hear that Alyssa hadn’t returned as that’d make just two people within the doors and not a third person.

Truthfully, she didn’t want to hurt the three-year-old as it wasn’t her fault that she was stuck with this family. It wasn’t Alyssa whom broke the rules that were laid in place. Who goes behind their father’s back and breaks a law? Who kills their own father? And who is fully okay with the actions of his supposed fiancé now? None of those questions ended up in the answer being Alyssa.

“I wonder if the other guard forgot that he was even on duty,” Mariela whispers to herself once again, getting annoyed with waiting.

“James!” She hears as another officer comes into view and walks over to where Officer James is standing.

“Man, why are you late?” James asks the officer as he takes a couple steps away from the front door of the motorcoach and over to where the new officer is standing.

“Perfect,” Mariela whispers as she watches the pair intently. She had hoped that they’d get themselves into some sort of conversation and then she could sneak behind and type the password in the keypad, entering the motorcoach.

“Well at least you’re here now so let me brief you on what you need to know,” she hears James continue. She watches as the officers get locked in a conversation and slowly makes her way over. Upon reaching the door, she types the four digits into the keypad, smiling when she hears the door unlock.

Noticing the officers aren’t moving from position, she opens the door – as quietly as possible – set to go up the steps.

“Who’s there?” Mariela hears her sister call from inside the motorcoach as Mariela slips inside, carefully shutting the door behind her. She could tell by the distance of her sister’s voice that Marie and Dale were in the back lounge part of the coach. She could only think that Marie thought it was someone that they knew real well.

“Did you hear something?” She hears the officer outside ask as she finds the first thing in reach that she can use to jam the door from the inside. She didn’t want to take any chances.

“Steve?” Dale asks out loud, thinking that Steve had come to see them after being done his fun day with the crew and knowing that everybody was a little spooked upon Mariela’s visit earlier.

“The last time I checked, my name wasn’t Steve,” Mariela speaks out loud as she reaches the back room, causing a look of shock on both Dale and Marie’s faces. “So you honestly thought that a guard would stop me from seeing you. Real funny…and cute might I add. The problem is, guards have a switch time and with the right ‘crew member’ informing you, you know all the details about where people will be at certain times and when the switch will happen.”

“Crew member….no….” Marie says quietly out loud, not believing that someone on Dale’s own team would be helping her sister. However, it did make sense considering that Mariela had access to the motorcoach lot and knew when they’d be there. “What do you want?” Marie then gets off the bed and walks right over to her sister. “I could scream for help right now and you’d be arrested for everything that you’ve done.”

“I’d like to see them try and get in here before I do something to you little one. Blocking the door to make sure that nobody can get in always work out perfectly, doesn’t it? Plus, you know that you should pay your dues.”

“I have no dues to pay as I did what any sane person would do since daddy was insane and those laws were insane.”

“I never thought that you’d be the naughty one, Marie-Ann.” Mariela then reaches into her pocket and pulls out a knife, pulling her sister close and wrapping an arm around her. “Scream and you won’t see the light of day again, got it?” Mariela then looks up at Dale, who is sitting on the bed still surprised about Mariela’s appearance. “You know not to break my rules so you wouldn’t scream, would you?” Dale shakes his head no as he keeps his eyes firmly locked on Marie’s.

“So what are you going to do? Kill me? Do you really have what it takes to kill your own sister?” Marie then kicks her foot back, landing square in Mariela’s crotch, causing Mariela to bend a little. Marie uses the opportunity to grab Mariela’s arm with the knife and pull it away, causing the knife to fly out of her hand.

“Help!” Dale screams as he searches for where the knife landed, knowing that Mariela will be looking for it to plan her next move.

“Bad move…” Mariela calls as Marie turns to face her sister.

“Think again sister,” Marie comments, before punching Mariela, though Mariela ducks.

“You never were good at fighting. I guess that’s why you just made the decision to shoot daddy rather than perhaps do something else.”

“Get out of my face and leave my life alone!!” Marie then goes after Mariela once again, though Mariela jumps back, as Marie goes running down the main hall.

“Run sister run…while I get a man of my own to play with.” Mariela then looks back at Dale, who has an eye locked on her. “So what is it about you that she likes so much?”

“I would make an escape rather than stand there and look all tough,” Dale suggests as he gets up off the bed, scanning the floor for the knife. “It’s time that you rot away in hell for what you’ve done.”

“Nah, that’s my sister as how can you be with someone who killed someone?” Mariela questions as she walks over to Dale. The pair of them set eye on the knife that lies on the floor in the middle of them. “And anyways, saying that I’m crazy due to my father’s death and behavior would cover anything I do, right?” Mariela then dives for the knife, grabbing it just before Dale can get his hands locked on it. “So what do you have to say to me now?” Dale gets up off the floor and begins his run through the motorcoach as he hears Marie at the front door, making her way out to tell the officers. “Run…of course…” Mariela then grabs the biggest item that she can pick up and literally throw with her hands in the bedsroom, tosses down the main hall, hitting Dale straight in the back and knocking him down. “That’s more like it!” She then walks down the hall as she hears Marie outside with the officers.

“One second till you’re dead or arrested…”

“Nah, I know what I’m doing sweetheart.” She then takes the knife and stabs it square in his back as she hears multiple footsteps coming up the stairs. She runs through the motorcoach to the bedsroom, opening the window and climbing out.

“Dale!” Marie yells as she runs over to him. “Damn it!” She then crouches down to his level. “This is what happens when officers decide to socialize and talk about the girls they’ve slept with. What are you going to do now?” She then looks back down at him. “Dale?”

“Pain….pain…” he lets out as the officer radios for an ambulance.

*********************************

Steve LeTarte walks through the doors of the hospital waiting room and over to Marie, sitting down beside her as he hands her a hot chocolate.

“Have you heard anymore?” He asks as she shakes her head no.

“No updates…yet…” She answers as she sips on the hot chocolate. “Thank you. I appreciate you running down and getting this. I still can’t believe it.”

“He’s going to be okay, Marie.” Steve then rubs Marie’s back as he thinks everything over.

Only a couple hours earlier, his phone had gone off with a phone call from Marie telling him what had happened. He then proceeded to call everyone else who needed to know at that moment before making his way over to the hospital.

They had all been sitting in the waiting room downstairs – crew members, Rick, family members – waiting for an update. The doctor came out about an hour ago to report that Dale was going in for surgery due to the wound caused by the stabbing. The doctor had said that only immediate family members were to head to the upstairs waiting room by recovery. Steve and Rick had weaseled their way into that group virtue of pleading by both Marie and Kelley.

Since then, the doctor had yet to come out with any updates. Steve had promised everybody else downstairs that he’d report to them when he heard something so that way they knew.

“Rob and Jordan have Alyssa downstairs,” Steve started quietly. “They told her that Mariela escaped and saw her daddy and caused a big booboo. She’s worried about him, but the boys are doing a good job in telling her that he’ll be okay and keeping her mind occupied. She wants to see him, per Jordan, but Jordan says that they’ve told her that she can see him after when the doctor allows and that he’ll be okay. She seemed to accept their explanation.”

“I don’t know what we’d do without Jordan this weekend,” Marie says quietly as Steve keeps her held close.

“Jordan has always been there when we’ve needed him. Actually, the whole team has fallen in love with Alyssa.”

“Then why is it that Mariela said that someone on the team is helping her?” Steve looks at Marie completely surprised as he couldn’t believe those words herself.

“Seriously?” Marie shakes her head yes as Steve shakes his head in disbelief. “This team is like family. Nobody would backstab the other.”

“That’s what she said, Steve. That’s how she got in the motorcoach lot and how she got to us and knew that we’d be alone.” Steve then freezes as realization hits him. It all made sense based on the behavior that he’d seen so far.

“Jason. He’s been acting strangely.”

“Burdett?” Steve slowly shakes his head yes as Marie shakes her head no. “No way!”

“He’s been odd with his phone calls and won’t talk about what is going on that has him all odd. His behavior doesn’t’ add up at all, Marie.”

“I have an update on Mr. Dale Earnhardt Jr.,” the doctor’s words cut their conversation off as they turn to see the doctor standing there. “He is out of surgery and in recovery. I am happy to report that the surgery went well. The stab wound has been repaired effectively and he should heal in the coming days. Once the anesthetic wears off, he should wake up in the next hour or so. Mind you, he’ll be in some pain and discomfort. You’re welcome to go see him – about five at a time. May I get the first five to follow me?” Marie stands up along with Kelley, Brenda, Kerry and Rick and they follow the doctor accordingly.

Steve, meanwhile, heads the other direction to go downstairs to update the rest of the people in the waiting room – but also see what Mr. Burdett has to say for himself.

 

Chapter 49: Burdett

Sometimes the truth isn’t what the truth may seem 😉

 

“So he’s going to be okay?” T.J. asks once again and Steve shakes his head yes, keeping one eye on Jason.

“Yeah the doctor says that surgery went well and he should wake up soon,” Steve answers. “Give him a couple weeks to heal up and he should be good to go.”

“Couple weeks?” Rob asks, surprised as he looks over.

“Stab wound, Rob. It’s not that deep and thankfully didn’t tear any important per the doctor. Now I know this may not seem like the perfect time for this, but to my…I mean Jason’s guys – Regan is going to run the rest of Speedweeks with you.”

“Still can’t say that flat out, huh?” T.J. questions as Steve shakes his head.

“Should I go tell Jordan that he can take Alyssa upstairs?” Rob wonders as Steve shakes his head no.

“Wake till we know he’s awake and then we’ll let her come up for a couple minutes before taking her away and to bed.” Rob shakes his head approving as Steve walks past the fellow crew members and other drivers that have joined them in the room. “Jason, can I talk to you?” Jason then looks at Steve confused.

“What is there to talk about?” Jason questions as Steve takes a deep breath, trying to remain calm.

“I’d prefer that we talk about this in private rather than in front of everybody so move your ass outside now,” Steve states, taking another deep breath.

“Fine…” Jason then stands up ands heads outside, caught off guard by the hint of attitude that he caught in Steve’s voice. Normally, Steve was always laid back so he wondered what had the crew chief up in a bunch. “So why did you have to drag me out here?”

“You’ve been acting strange all week and it has caught my attention – as you noticed earlier today. However, I’m really interested now that I’ve heard from Marie that Mariela told her that someone on this team is helping her.” Jason then looks at Steve completely surprised by the accusation.

“Are you saying that person is me?” Steve then crosses his arms as he keeps his eyes on Jason.

“Well, you’ve been acting strange and you’ve been on your phone a lot these past couple of days so you tell me.”

“I can’t believe that you would even accuse me of this! I thought you said that you trusted me, LeTarte! So you think I’ve been on my phone with Mariela, huh?” Jason then takes his phone out of his pocket and tosses it to Steve, which Steve firmly catches.

“It seems to be the logical explanation since you won’t tell anybody what the hell is going on. Am I right? Is there reason to believe that you’ve backstabbed everyone?” Jason shakes his head no as he points to the phone.

“Look into my contacts and see who I have been talking to. Look through my text messages. Look at the messages from my sister. Look at the phone calls from my dad’s cell, my mom’s cell and from their house and then tell me your thoughts. I thought you trusted me. I thought that was why you hired me. However with how you’ve been acting in wanting to be here with your nose in the business and then now accusing me, I have to wonder if you really do trust me. Do you? Or was I hired because everybody else told you too?” Steve looks through the text messages, before flipping to the previous calls, never taking his eyes off the phone.

“The decision was made as a joint effort by myself, Rick, Dale and Chad. I was one of the first people to suggest that you be bumped up to the new crew chief on this team.” Steve looks through the previous calls, immediately feeling his heart drop as he sees that they correspond with what Jason is saying, before handing back the phone. “Jason, I’m sorry I ever accused you and I do hope that your mom gets better soon, honestly.”

“That’s why I’ve been out of the loop – I’ve been worried about her. I would never do anything to hurt Dale or Marie or Alyssa. I love them and have loved them since they came into our lives. It hurts me to think that you thought that. However, I understand. The pieces were there – as you say.”

“It’s not fai-”

“You don’t need to say anymore. You apologized, I accepted it. It’s time for us to move on. Let’s hope Dale gets better soon, Mariela gets arrested and Regan wins us a damn Daytona 500.” Jason then pulls Steve into a hug before the pair head back inside.

As they walked inside, Steve’s eyes scanned over the rest of the crew, wondering who the weasel of the group was.

*********************

“Are you sure you’re comfortable?” Marie asks as she sits in the chair beside Dale’s bed. He had been awake for a couple of hours and had said his hellos and given the hugs to those who requested them.

“As comfortable as I’ll be,” he answers before letting out a little grunt with the pain that he was feeling in his back. The drugs were working as they took the sharpness away from the pain, however there was still a dull annoying ach that was bugging him. “Why are you sitting there? Why aren’t you lying with me?”

“Because you haven’t asked me to yet…” He then shifts over a little and pats to the spot on the bed beside him as he lies on his stomach – it seemed to be the most comfortable spot. Lying on his back wasn’t working out and laying on his side wasn’t a good suggestion either. She then climbs up in the bed, getting comfortable beside him.

“Now that’s much better.” She then leans in and kisses his lips without saying another word, rubbing his cheek lightly. He then wraps an arm around her, holding her close to him. “Hey, it’s okay. I’m okay. Stop worrying and no blubbering. Your sister gave it her shot, but she doesn’t know who she’s messing with.” Marie chuckles a little as she lays her head down on the pillow.

“It still doesn’t erase how much I worried about you. I can’t even put that into the words. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I turned and saw the knife sticking out…and the blood…..I love you. I never want to lose you.”

“You’re not going to lose me. I told you that before and I’m going to tell you that again.”

“Then stop scaring the living shit out of me! You’re not a cat, you don’t have nine lives so this is the last scare of the year got it?” He then shakes his head yes, knowing himself that they’d already been through too much and didn’t need this on top of it. “So I don’t know if the doctor told you this, but you’re not driving this weekend.”

“I know and you don’t need to break it so harshly or easily. I get it. I hate your sister. I hate missing this weekend. I hate not being able to be in the car. However, I’m just glad that I’m okay and here with you and have my precious girls in my life.”

“Speaking of which, Jordan is supposed to bring up that little trouble maker in a couple minutes. Fair warning – she knows that something happened.”

“So in other words I should be prepared for three-year-old tears and questions and hugs and kisses? I guess I can handle that.”

“Daddy!” They hear the familiar voice as she comes running in the room and over to where Dale is laying with Marie. Alyssa gets up on the chair by the bed and reaches over, hugging him and kissing his cheek. “Are you otay?” Dale shakes his head yes.

“I’m sore baby girl, but I’ll be fine,” he tells her. “It’s just a big booboo on my back.”

“Don’t worry – mommy will take care of daddy and make sure he’s okay,” Marie adds as Alyssa smiles. “Of course, I could use a little helper at times.”

“I help mommy!” Alyssa comments as Dale reaches over and plays with her Minnie Mouse ears.

“So did you have fun seeing Mickey and Minnie?” He asks, not wanting to discuss how he was feeling any longer with her.

“I got to see Mickey, Minnie and walk in Minnie house.”

“Oh wow, that was a lot of fun, eh?” She shakes her head yes.

“I also saw Cindella….and her castle. We ate with Cindella, Belle and Snow White.”

“Sounds like you had an awesome day with Jordan and Rob.” She shakes her head yes.

“Tomorrow, we go to Universaty Udios!” Dale and Marie chuckle as Jordan walks up behind her.

“I told her that I’d take her there tomorrow – actually, way before I heard what happened to you both,” Jordan explains. “I had so much fun with her today that I thought I’d go for another day of fun.”

“We appreciate you taking such good care of her and thank you,” Dale comments. “Now is Alyssa being a good behaved girl?” Alyssa shakes her head yes.

“I always good daddy,” she comments before yawning.

“I think someone needs to leave and go to bed.”

“But I no want to ‘eave daddy.”

“Sweetheart, you’re tired and if you want to go to Universal Studios tomorrow, you need to get some sleep tonight.” Alyssa lets out a sigh.

“Okay. Kissy?”

“Of course.” Dale and Marie both give her kisses before trading goodbyes with each other and Jordan as they watch Jordan and Alyssa leave together.

“Rob was saying that she was so surprised to see Cinderella’s castle,” Marie starts. “They were debating what her reaction is going to be when she finds out that she’s a princess.”

“She’ll be searching for the crown, and then the dress and of course a castle,” Dale comments before looking dead into Marie’s eyes. “Stay with me tonight?” She shakes her head yes as they cuddle up together, both set to get some sleep after their big long day.

 

Chapter 50: Tuesday

“Steve, you have a lot on your mind,” T.J. comments as he walks over and sits beside Steve. “What’s up?”

“Mariela told Marie that one of the crew guys is helping her,” Steve starts, startling T.J. “I want to figure out who because damn, one of our own screwing with us?”

“Did you check out Burdett?” Steve shakes his head yes.

“He’s been acting off as his mom hasn’t been doing that well. Trust me – I confronted the guy and felt so bad afterwards when I saw the messages and phone calls. I know it can’t be myself and it’s damn well not you as you both are best friends. So who is it?” T.J. shrugs his shoulders as he thinks it over.

“This team is family to each other so for one of the guys or gals to backstab the rest, it seems unflappable.” Steve shakes his head in agreement as he runs the list of crew members through his head. “It’s not Laura as she didn’t know some details about what the pair were doing. It’s not Jordan or Rob because they’ve been with Alyssa.”

“It could still be them, T.J. However, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because they’re part of the close knit part of this team, especially Jordan. So that leaves the whole over the wall crew and engineering staff.” Steve then sits up, continuing to run names through his head. “Say, didn’t we make a new hire recently?” T.J. shakes his head yes remembering that they’d hired Randy Burns as a new team engineer. “You don’t think that he’s the person, do you?”

T.J. shrugs his shoulders not sure as Steve thinks it over. Could it honestly be Randy?

******************

“Do I honestly have to do this?” Dale asks as he sits up in the bed.

“The doctor said that it’d be good for you to get up and do some walking,” Marie answers as he looks at her, unimpressed.

“I’m sore, cranky and did I mention sore? But I’m supposed to do some walking?” Marie lets out a sigh as she sits beside him.

“Listen to me – I know that you’re sore and I wish I could make the pain go away. However, I can’t do that now can I? Getting up and moving about is good for you. It promotes motion in your legs so that way you heal quicker all together. Also, if you’re a good boy, the doctor said that he could let you leave soon.”

“And then I could have my favourite nurse tend to me 24/7?” Marie chuckles before leaning in and kissing his lips.

“So am I getting your ass up today or not?”

“Help me…please…” She shakes her head yes, standing up and holding out her hands with him. He grasps them and slowly stands up, letting out a grunt. “Son…of…a…bitch…fuck this hurts!”

“Deep breaths and relax. Remember – a couple steps.”

“Do I get a treat if I’m a good boy?” Marie then rolls her eyes as they start walking a little.

The doctor had come in that morning saying that it’d be a good idea to get him up and moving as some constant movement would help in healing. Some circles around the room and a couple tongue bites later, the movement was a refreshing sight for Marie as she knew with him up and about that he’d be okay. She hated to see the rest of their Speedweeks screwed due to her sister, but was glad that he’d be okay.

“I’m done,” he announces before sitting back on the bed. He then lays back in the bed, couple grunts later with the pain that is still there. “Now for my treat….I did as you asked…”

“I’m not doing that he-” Marie starts as he pulls her close.

“Nobody is in the room but us.”

“Good try but you’re going to have wait till we get home. Plus, it’d be stress on your back and don’t need that.” She then flops down in the chair beside him as he pouts.

“You’re no fun.” She sticks her tongue out as he rolls his eyes. “You’re mean.”

“I’m just doing what I need to do to take care of you.”
“Well I want a new nurse if that’s the case. This…” He then grabs her hand and places it on his crotch. “This needs to be taken care of too. You know that you want it also. Come on nurse.” Marie then rolls her eyes as she removes her hand.

“You’re not going to convince me so you might as well stop. You know that you need to behave.” He then crosses his arms as he lays back, defeated.

“This sucks.”

“Sorry babes. I hate it as well.” He then looks at her with a smirk as she shakes her head no.

********************

As they head out of the diner, Steve pulls Randy away from the group as Jason and T.J. peak over curious.

“Can I ask you something?” Steve questions as Randy looks at him curiously.

“Sure…” Randy answers, uncertain of what could be on Steve’s mind.

“Mariela says that someone is helping her. I thought over every crew member on this team and picked them out as to not being involved. You’re the new guy. Are you involved?” Randy shakes his head no instantly as Steve keeps an eye on him, curiously. “Are you sure about that?” Randy shakes his head yes as Steve lets out a sigh. “Okay, but let me tell you something. If you are, you won’t be meeting no cheery side of me anytime soon.”

“Understood. May I go now?” Steve shakes his head yes.

“I’m watching you.”

“Keep watching because there’s nothing to see.” Randy then walks away and rejoins a couple of the other crew members.

As he walks away, he notices the next text message on his phone, asking which room that Dale is in. He texts the number, with details in regards to when visiting hours are over and such before placing the phone back in his pocket.

****************************

“Do you have to go?” Dale asks as Marie glances at the clock once again, realizing that it’s 10.

“Yes I do,” she answers. “The doctors won’t let me stay tonight beyond visiting hours so I’m sorry, but I have to leave.”

“I’m going to worry….” He keeps her held close as she lets out a sigh. She wanted to stay with him as well, however the doctors had told her that she couldn’t tonight. They had made a special exception on Monday night, but couldn’t two nights in a row.

“I’m going to stay with Steve and Trisha so I am not alone tonight. Alyssa is staying with Jordan and Rob. Everybody will be okay.” She then kisses his cheek. “And if you can’t sleep, you have my phone so you can text me or call me. I’ll make sure that I answer it right away.”

“And you’ll come bright and early in the morning? You promise not to be late?”

“Promise. I love you. See you in the morning. Sleep well.” She then gives him one more kiss, before reluctantly heading towards the door to leave.

“Love you. You better be here at 9.”

“I will – I promise.” He then lets out a sigh as he tries to comfortable, already hating the feeling of her being gone from his side.

Shall I take you on a tour of the clues?

Chapt 46 – I mentioned that there was a new guy on the team per conversations with Steve, Jason and T.J. Recall Steve’s words – “I like the new guy as well. Just watch your step with him till we know he’s comfortable with how we roll.”

Chapter 47 – The person was one of the three that were part of cell-phone city (joining Jason with parent call and Steve’s call to Marie) and the person’s thoughts on Alyssa not being with Dale and Marie were spread so it had to be someone that had gone mini-golfing with the team – therefore ruling out Rob and Jordan.

As a result – it’s the new guy, which I have now identified. You’re welcome 🙂

So how long till he gets figured out? What is Mariela up to? Oh that’s all to be figured out!

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