“You’ve quiet….” Sarina offers as she glances over at him.
After going out for dinner that night, they had retreated back to her house to take in some Christmas movies. Once going through the possibilities, they had settled on going through the Home Alone collection, each movie at a time.
“I’m enjoying the movie,” he states with simplicity laced in his voice. She shakes her head, though, knowing that wasn’t the case. He was even more quiet than normal when it came to their movie-watching quietness.
“Chase, I’ve gotten to know you over the past couple of months,” she starts. “Tell me the truth.” He lets out a sigh as it was the truth.
Since the conversation with Ricky, he had thought about plans for Christmas. He wanted to spend Christmas with his parents, but he also wanted to spend it with Sarina. The simple answer meant having her fly up to Georgia with him to do that very thing together. However, that’d involve his parents finding out about them being together and asking her.
He didn’t see a problem with that, though. Given how much time he was around his parents, it was only going to be a matter of time till they figured it out. He was actually surprised that his mom hadn’t picked up on the signs yet. She was quite close that day in Chicago. Why not do the right thing and tell themselves to save the guessing?
Of course, that brought a whole new trade of thought. Why go forth with hiding the relationship? Why create the possibility for discussion behind their back and rumors? Why not just come out with it and see where things went? He wanted to be openly able to spend every minute with her, and selfishly wanted her there by his side for the Daytona 500 in February. Why not just come out now?
“What do you think about us coming out about the relationship?” He finally asks her, causing a shocked expression on her face. She was thinking that his multitude of thoughts surrounded either their new racing deal or Christmas, not that level of the relationship.
“Chase, we’ve talked about this….” She says quietly and he shakes his head, agreeing, remembering their countless discussions. However, in his mind, her arguments no longer sounded valid.
“I know that we talked about it, but hear me out, please.” He then takes a deep breath, remembering what he said earlier. “You’re worried about whether someone will recognize you. You have a new name – third name that you’ve ever had – and have completely changed. Plus, it’s been six years since anything happened. They’ve probably forgotten abo-”
“And what if they haven’t, Chase?” Chase lets out a sigh.
“They may not have, but you’re different and an identity that they don’t know of. You’re also a racing superstar now in the late model circuit, talked about on a variety of websites. Wouldn’t that have tipped them off?” She knew that was probably the case and solved her question, but wasn’t convinced yet…or wouldn’t let herself become convinced.
“You’re also worried about how others in the industry will talk about you. Your talent speaks for itself. Those that need to know understand that our deal was put together for the right reasons, and those alone. As a result, why does it matter? If people can’t see past it, then they’re not watching what you’re doing on track or deserve your respect.” A small smile formed on her face as she thought about the praise that he had given her. It felt good to hear that, especially from someone as respected as Chase.
“I’ll think about it, okay? I’ll give it a couple days on the mind and then let you know.” It gave him a good feeling inside, but it didn’t totally solve the problem as Christmas was also in a couple days. He needed to do something about it now. “Can we at least com-”
“I’m fine with that, as long as you agree to come home with me to Georgia for Christmas and spend it with my family.” Her jaw drops immediately in hearing the question – more like an ultimatum from Chase. Was he serious about welcoming her home for Christmas? Though taking a deep breath, it wasn’t a bad idea. It’d be nice to have someone to spend Christmas with, especially Chase. She already knew that his parents liked her, virtue of Bill accepting the offer to hire her and Cindy’s understanding in Chicago.
“I have no problem with that, actually. I think it’ll be fun to be with you on Christmas with your family.” Chase couldn’t help but be happy in response. That was all he needed for now as he could worry about the rest later.
He just hoped that everything went smoothly with his parents.