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“Well?” Chase breaks the silence that had come over the room.
Sarina sat there, staring at him with shock written over her face. She couldn’t believe the words that she had just heard. Did Chase just offer her a ride for next season? Was this really happening?
She had dreamed of the right opportunity, the right equipment to prove that she could get the job done even stronger than she had thus far in her career. But yet, that opportunity had yet to come about – till now. Was this really happening?
Taking a deep breath, though, she had to relax before her excitement overflowed. Perhaps the offer was solid, but perhaps it was not. What if Chase was just offering because of Bubba’s offer? What if Chase was just offering because he felt bad about what happened? What if he was just offering due to them dating? This seemed surreal.
“Did I hear you right?” She finally breaks the silence. “Did you just offer me a ride?” Chase shakes his head, slowly. He thought that the offer would’ve been met with a quick yes. “Seriously?”
“Absolutely dead serious on the offer, Sarina,” he assures her as she takes a deep breath, still working at keeping himself calm.
“Does this have anything to do with Bubba’s offer? Are you just doing this because you feel bad about how things went down with the Derby?” Chase shook his head no to both offers, surprised that she’d think that. However, the Bubba thought made sense – given his reaction at the party.
“To be honest, I’ve been thinking about having a driver run the car while I am busy with the NASCAR stuff. I want to give back to the community that I grew up in, and Ricky Turner loves working on these cars so I want to give him the opportunity to work with someone. I had a couple drivers on the short list, including you. I finalized my decision with regards to a couple weeks ago – based on that performance that you put together at Winchester, and how much determination you’ve shown over the past couple of weeks.” Sarina take a deep breath, thinking it over. The simple word ‘yes’ wouldn’t spill from her lips as disbelief continued to set in.
“Chase, I don’t know what to sa-”
“Just say yes and let’s move forward with the plan.” He then places his hand on top of hers, catching her attention. “I love you. That’s no secret. However, this has nothing to do with that. This is purely based on your talent and ability. Ricky and my dad both agree, as well, as they approved the offer. I just need you to agree.” The confirmation from both Ricky and Bill gave her an added boost of confidence, but that quickly disappeared with the events that had happened that day.
“Are you sure that they will feel the same way even with the DQ?” Chase couldn’t be 100% sure of that as he had yet to speak to either about the situation. However, he knew how understanding his father was, and explaining the situation with Jeremy could possibly clear Sarina in his mind. It was Ricky that he worried about, a little, but felt confident that he could convince the crew chief otherwise.
“I’m certain that they wouldn’t have a problem with it, Sarina. They both agree that you’re talented and the DQ wasn’t your fault. Therefore, it should go over without any issues.” Sarina knew that she could trust Chase, as she had trusted him thus far with everything that they’ve done. Why would this be any different?
“I’m speechless and in disbelief that this is happening. This is my dream coming true right before me. What else am I supposed to say?” Chase laughs, knowing where their discussion was headed based on her words.
“Tell me yes – that’s all that you need to say.” She then smiles, grabbing his hand in full grasp.
“I can do you one better than that. I know that you say this has nothing to do with the chemistry between us, but I feel this is the only way to say yes. I feel we’ve got to the right time for this.” She then leans in and kisses his lips, passion radiating as she wraps her arms around him. She allows herself to fully embrace in the kiss, before pulling back after a couple of minutes, breathless.
“Wow…” Chase could only sit there in disbelief. It was just a kiss – nothing more than a kiss. However, it was the kiss that he had been waiting for. There was the kiss in the garage, though, that set the sparks off, but nothing since then. Thus far in their relationship, they had yet to have any romantic kisses – small pecks on the cheek, but noting beyond that as he was set in waiting till she was comfortable. However, now, finally in that moment that night, it had finally come together and he got the kiss that he wanted. “You didn’t have to do that, Sarina.”
“I know, but I wanted to. I love you so much, Chase, and I wanted you to know that in return. I know I haven’t made it easy on you so I wanted to assure you about that.” He smiles as he scoots a little closer to her.
“I have no complaints, if that matters to you. We just have to remember to keep business separate from love.” She then chuckles, knowing that wouldn’t be as easy as he was stating. They’d probably be stuck with Ricky mediating things in the middle.
“I’ll do my best, but there’s no promises. There’s something special about those lips.” Chase then looks straight at her, ready to play that to his advantage.
“Oh really? Well, doesn’t a Snowball Derby winner deserve something special to celebrate?” She then lets out a sigh as she glances away a little. “Too soon?” She then looks back at him.
“Just a little, but I won’t hold out on you.” She then leans in and kisses his lips once again. “Besides, don’t I have something to celebrate now?”
“That’s a girl!”