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Chase glances off of the scales and gives her a quick nod of the head, giving her the cue to climb out of the late model. She walks over and glances at the numbers that he had jotted down.
Determined to beat Ty and everybody else this weekend, they had been spent the past couple days in the shop with Ricky Turner. They had gone over the car from front to rear a couple of times, making sure that everything was tip top for this weekend. They then discussed a couple set-up changes, finally agreeing what way to go moving forward. with the new set-up under the beast, it was time to check the weight and then load it up for a trip to Hickory for the Easter Bunny 150.
It wasn’t a race originally on her schedule, but they knew that they needed more laps if they wanted to figure out what they were missing for the front field runners. It was why Ricky suggested going to run it, in which it didn’t take much following that to convince the pair otherwise.
It just took some time in telling Bill and Cindy they’d be missing Sunday Easter dinner, but they both understood. Cindy was used to spending Easters at the track with Chase.
“What’s on your mind?” Sarina asks as she walks back over to the garage door, opening it.
“I get a weekend off from racing, and here I am headed to the track with you,” he answers as he shakes his head. “You’d think that I’d want to get away from it.”
“We both know that you can’t get away from it, no mater how hard you try.” She then smiles as she sees Ricky standing there, with the trailer open and ready, before returning back to the car. “At least this weekend is in your own backyard.”
“At least we’re getting to spend the weekend together.” She then hops in the car, driving it over and on to the lift before shutting it off as Chase walks over. “I still can’t believe that you’re not coming to Martinsville next weekend.” She then climbs out and lets out a sigh. If there was any race on the Sprint Cup schedule that pained her to miss, it was next weekend at Martinsville. However, she wasn’t going to skip Southern National as she knew that was going to be a great race and battle with Ty and Bubba.
“Trust me, I wanted to go badly. We’ll just have to tell the sweet people who arranged this year’s schedule that it sucks.” Chase smiles, and shakes his head in agreement.
“As long as you have fun, and do well, I guess I could let you go.”
“You owe me a good run then, too.” He then pulls her close, wrapping her arms around him.
“You just worry about your sweet self and Mr. Majeski.” He then kisses her lips.
“Is anybody going to help me load things up tonight or what?” Ricky interrupts them as he walks by to go get something from in the shop as the pair laugh. “I’m going to find you a bloody rabbit this weekend to play with before you start acting like bunnies. Better yet – no bunny action or I’m telling the parents.”
“Ricky….” Chase says in a stern tone as the crew chief laughs. Sarina then follows Chase, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulling him back against him, rubbing against him.
“Oh come on, Chasey, he can know our secret,” she offers with a grin as Chase laughs, catching Ricky’s attention.
“I know Chase better than that, Ms. Ott,” he states with a smile. “Nice try.” She then lets him go with a sigh and shrug of the shoulders.
The pair arrived at Hickory Motor Speedway, and it was obvious through practice that the adjustments they had made had worked. She topped both practice charts, followed by qualifying to start on pole for the race.
The race went smoothly, as she was able to lead all but a couple of laps, holding off a father-son duo in the final laps to pick up the win. It was satisfying for the team in knowing just a couple races into this deal and they already had two wins under their belt.
Though, they weren’t letting the win go to their heads. Chase and Ricky had been carefully watching her times throughout the race. She had picked up the win, but the lap times still weren’t where Ricky would’ve preferred. With many big names missing out on the race to prepare for Southern National another way, he knew that they still needed to find a little more if they were going to do well as they hoped next week.
“I’ve got a couple more ideas,” Ricky offers as they walk away from technical inspection after the race.
“Please tell me that hey don’t deal with tungsden,” Chase states as Ricky gives him a glance.
“Are you ever going to let that go?” Chase lets out a sigh and shakes his head no. There was nothing more disappointing than dominating the Snowball Derby, to just lose it in tech due to a small thing like that. “And for the record, no, it doesn’t deal with that. I think we need to go a little softer in the rear so it’s a little looser and gives her some movability with it off the corner.”
“That could work. She’s got it so tight now that she’s having to back off a bunch to make sure it’s straight off. Let it be a little loose, and she may get that run off sooner.” Ricky shakes his head yes. “I didn’t mean to offend you with that. I knew that you had a good ide-”
“So, how serious are you two now?” Chase then stops as they reach the trailer and looks back at Ricky in surprise. “It just seems that you’re closer now than you were a couple months ago.”
“Everything we went through in January brought us closer together,” Chase starts. “I can feel it, and I know that she feels it too. We both showed each other just how much we care for each other, and want to be there for each other. We also told each other more than we perhaps would’ve otherwise. I think it made us realize that we can’t live in worry – she can’t be scared of her past, I can’t be scared of moving too fast. We need to live in this moment because you never know.” Ricky smiles as he crosses his arms. It was nice to see the young teenager that he started crew chiefing for several years ago continue to grow up.
“So where are you guys right now?” Chase shrugs his shoulders, not sure how to describe it. “You’re in love, officially in a relationship. You’re maki-”
“Living together, cuddling, and a couple kisses here and there, but no making out. We haven’t started to figure it out each other in that way, yet.” Ricky then looks at Chase, intrigued by the additional word. “I guess I’m ready to admit that I’ve completely fallen in love and am ready for it. I’m ready for those couple moments with her. I’m ready for those dates, and make out sessions, and all those things that other things I would’ve called disgus-”
“Sex?” Chase then freezes and shakes his head no, immediately, as Ricky can’t help but smile. “Just like I thought the other day in the shop. You still haven’t changed, and that’s a good thing. There are a bunch of people who do it too soon or just for the sake of doing it. Don’t let yourself be one of those people – I shouldn’t even tell you that, actually, as I know you’re smart enough to realize when the time is right.”
“When we get married, on our wedding night.” Ricky glances towards the trailer, where he knows Sarina is getting changed inside.
“Does she know?” Chase shakes his head no.
“We haven’t talked about it. I’m not going to bring it up if she doesn’t.” Ricky shakes his head, understandingly.
“Okay. Just don’t let her pressure you into something that you don’t feel comfortable with, and make sure that you guys keep it real with each other.” Chase shakes his head, understanding.
It was nice after the mixture of thoughts that he felt last week in discussing things with Dale, T.J. and Amy to have this discussion with Ricky. It really allowed him to figure out where he thought they were in their mind, and figure the right way to move forward.
As long as he stuck to his feelings, instincts, and kept things with honest with her, there was nothing to worry about……except another lagging thought on his mind.
He had contacted Kendall at least five times over the past couple of weeks, hoping she had some sort of update on the plane sabotager, Harry Butler. While she had learned details of his past and places to check for him, it seemed each lead came up empty and they had been unable to catch him.
The continuing thought that Harry was out there somewhere had him nervous, and wondering. Would he manage to strike again? What would happen when he struck again? Would they get as lucky as they did the first time? Why was he after them in the first place?
The nervousness had him lying awake at least twice a week, trying to answer all of his own questions that he had. Though when he was asleep, he made sure to hold Sarina close to him, wanting to protect her and hope that if something happened they’d be okay.