Cabin Fears – Chapter 3: The Drive

I know this chapter is much longer than the other two, but I got writing and couldn’t stop tonight. Don’t worry – it’s worth the read.

 

“I’m fine, Jeff,” Chase insists as he stands up and walks towards the exit of the office.

Just minutes earlier, it seemed the emotions of angry, worry, pain, and flashbacks of the past all hit Chase in a ton of bricks as tears were leaking from his eyes in the conference room. While everyone continued to look over everything, Jeff had spent time consuling him, eventually leading him back to his office once the group discussions were over for the time being.

The security cameras at JR Motorsports didn’t lead answers to the kidnapping as she was seen on camera leaving, but not seen being taken; it seemed the person knew the placement of cameras well. Then on the flip side, the security cameras at Hendrick Motorsports didn’t give details as to who dropped the note off due to the mask in which they wore. It was now whether there’d be any finger prints on the note and looking to get clues moving forward.

“Are you sure?” Jeff asks and Chase glances back and shakes his head yes. “I could give you a lift home, or come with you wherever you’re goin-”

“I’m fine.” Jeff knew otherwise based on the tone of Chase’s voice, but wasn’t going to push the envelope. Being able to have a window of communication at this time would be key in helping moving forward.

“Where are you headed? Not that I’m worried about you as you say you’re fine, but I’m just curious.” Chase didn’t know where to go, to be truthful. He couldn’t sit around and do nothing as that felt useless. There were no leads on where she could possibly be based on everything he heard thus far. He didn’t want to go back to the pool house or Dale’s as that’d be just reminders. He almost felt like driving around aimlessly, taking his chances on finding her and letting himself clear his head a little.

“I can’t sit and do nothing so I’m going looking for her. Is that okay, babysitter?” Jeff took a deep breath, resisting the urge to say something in return to the ‘babysitter’ comment. He knew Chase didn’t mean that directly.

“Alright. Just promise me you’ll keep your phone on you and give me a call if you need someone to talk to, or help, or anything. Oh, and at least send me a text every half hour or so. That way I know you’re safe. By the way, your security guard of the day is outside waiting to come with you, too.” Chase glanced out the door seeing the gentleman standing there and rolled his eyes. He’d rather be alone, but knew nobody would allow that with everything that was going on. He also hated the restrictions that Jeff was laying on him, but knew as long as he agreed that he could get some air.

“Deal.” Chase then walks out of the office and turns to face the security office. “I understands that you’re my guard and I can’t get rid of you. So since you’re following me, I’m taking the car and going looking for my girl.”

“The chances of you finding her a very sli-” the officer starts as Chase gives him a surprised glance.

“I don’t care what the chances are,” he cuts him off. “I am going to find my girl because I can’t stand the thought of her missing or going through the hell that I’ve been through. Sure, the chances are slim with no leads but it’s better than sitting on my ass and doing nothing. Now, you were given a job, right?” Jeff shook his head as he sat in the office, watching the confrontation through the window. He made a note to offer an apology to the officer later on as he knew the behavior was way off what anybody was used to Chase. However, given everything, he understood the frustration as he’d probably be the same way if anything happened to Ingrid and his kids.

“My job is to follow you around and protect you. I’ll ride in the passenger seat for your trip around to look for Ms. Alyssa Earnhardt. To keep you happy, sir, I will keep my peace and quiet for the whole trip. I’m sorry that I offended you.” Chase was satisfied with the answer and turned on his heels to head down the hall. Though with each step, he realized just how his behavior had turned in the past several minutes. He had snapped on Jeff, and now was snapping on someone who was simply set there to do his job. He then takes a deep breath as he reaches the door to go outside, looking back at the officer.

“Look, I’m sorry for my behavior. I should’ve been more reasoning when I first met you outside of Jeff’s office. It’s just I’m frustrated, angry, and worried right now.” The officer shook his head understanding.

“I perfectly understand and don’t hold it against you, si-”

“You can call me, Chase.” The officer then shakes his head as he follows Chase over to the car.

“This is yours?” Chase shakes his head yes as he gets in the front seat. “Nice ride.”

“Thanks. Got it for summer driving around town.”

Over the next three hours, Chase drove all over North Carolina, checking some of the back roads and hidden spots to see if perhaps she was hidden there. He also went by some of the warehouse places, wondering if they were keeping her in one of those spots. The drive also included checking abandoned houses and spots that had been discussed in past encounters. As he went from spot to spot, crossing into different towns, he began to wonder if they were now out of state. That thought only made his stomach flip flop further.

He also kept the promise to Jeff, asking the security guard who had joined him to send a text message every half hour to the boss. There were other text messages coming through from his parents, Dale, Ryan, Darrell and Regan, with the security guard reading each one out loud before Chase texted a response. Chase knew there’d be nothing too personal and right now, every bit of information could help if relayed across so he didn’t mind having the guard do that. Each time the guard did him a favor, he found himself kicking his own butt even harder for his initial behavior.

Taking a deep breath as he turned onto another street, he knew about the scenario at hand. He knew the dangers that Alyssa was in. He knew the things people of this nature were possible, and the different torture methods that they’d use. He knew how they made you do what they wanted, and how much pain it inflicted on you. He also was disturbed by the fact not one person had received a text message from the kidnapper in regards to the details. If this was a ransom, wouldn’t they text what they wanted in return of Alyssa by now? He didn’t care the dollar figure they sent, either, as he was willing to accept it immediately.

He also knew the importance of the first 48 hours after someone went missing. Everybody heard the statistic that if you didn’t find the person in the first 48 hours, they’d more than likely be dead. He didn’t want to let that thought cross his mind, not knowing what he’d do if everything came to that. She had to be okay, there was no other way around it.

As he went up one of the hills on a back road, he felt the car begin to slow more and more. His eyes then fell on the gas gauge as he let out a sigh, pulling over to the side of the road. Glancing around them, realizing it was like 9 o’ clock at night, pitch black, out of gas – it had every bit of a creepy movie. Combine it with the fact that Alyssa was missing and you could say it was the perfect storm.

“Out of gas,” he states as the car comes to a complete stop and he turns off the key. “In the midst of my worry, I forgot to get gas when I left Hendricks as I planned. I don’t have any spare gas anywhere, before you ask.” The officer bit his own tongue, not wanting to freak out the person he was supposed to be protecting. However, this went against everything in training.

“I should’ve been checking knowing your state of mind and the fuel consumption rate,” the officer states. “It’s both our faults so don’t panic. There was a gas station just five minutes back there. I’ll go get some gas and we can fill up, and go from there.”

The thought of sitting in the car for approximately 15 minutes (five minute walk there, five minutes to fill can, five minute walk back) pegged Chase’s worry as it continued to write the perfect storm even more. Why would you sit alone in a dead car in the middle of a back road? However, the thought of walking alone scared him even more as something about sitting there felt more secure. There was also the thought of going with the officer – but he didn’t want to leave the car alone. Then of course they could both wait for help, but that’s just waiting for a perfect storm and who knows how far someone is away. Besides, nobody knew where he was, it was only going to be 15 minutes and he could defend himself should something happen. Why was he panicking?

“Okay, that works,” Chase states as he grabs his wallet, grabbing a couple bills and handing them to the officer. “Buy a can, fill it up quickly. Or, buy a can and just bring enough for me to turn around and go back.” The officer shook his head and left without another word.

In the first few minutes that the officer was gone, Chase felt relaxed in the seat of the car. He was busy texting back some people, reading through some twitter notifications, and listening to some music on his phone. It just felt like another calm night in his life.

However, as he sat there watching the minutes, followed by the seconds tick by, it began to hit him in regards to the situation. He felt his nerves begin to grow as he sat there, double checking around the car to make sure there was nothing around. He also jumped at the smallest of sounds into the woods, thinking there was someone coming – only to realize it was a fox.

Nine minutes past, six minutes to go, he was focused back on his phone trying to distract himself when a pair of headlights in his rearview mirror caught his attention. He immediately glanced up at the mirror, watching them get closer to the back of him. Trying to find something to clutch onto, he was ready to defend himself his necessary as the lights got closer and then stopped.

He then heard the sound of a car door opening, followed by it being slammed. His eyes continued to focus in the mirror as he tried to make out the figure walking towards him.

Maybe it was just some random person traveling through town or stopped to help. Maybe it was someone that he knew, and they could help him out. Or, maybe it was just the opposite and he’d regret every decision made in the past three hours. Why did he decide to go on this aimless drive anyway?

Watching the figure walk up the side of the car, his eyes glanced in the side mirror as he continued to try and make out who the female was. He noticed her hair first – crisp black, shoulder length. He then noticed her figure was of the slender kind, but yet the shoulders had a broad confidence in how they presented themselves. The female didn’t look as though she was built strongly, which gave him confidence if someone he needed to rid of. However, that didn’t mean he took his fingers off of the book that was lying by his hand.

“Sir?” He hears the voice as the figure makes it alongside him. He had heard that voice before. He knew that voice from somewhere. It was a voice that was forever lodged in his system without anywhere to leak out of him. It was a voice that he knew would haunt his dreams for a long time. It was a voice…..

“Get away from me!” He screams as he opens the door in a swift motion, sending the female back on her ass. He then went to the grab his phone and dial for help, finally putting the pieces together, though saw the cracked screen by his feet now from moving so quickly and causing it to go flying. There was no using it now – there went the third phone in the span of two weeks.

“Chase?” He watches as the female slowly stands up, reaching his hand for the book he had fingers on moments earlier. He just had to keep her at bay for another couple minutes and the officer would be back.

“Get away from me! Stay back!” He then held the thick book up his hands, watching the female take a series of steps back away from him into the middle of the road.

“Okay….I’m sorry….I’ll go back to my car and go. I didn’t realize it was you. I saw a car stopped on the side of the road, and thought I’d stop to help. I’ll go…” She then begins to make her way back to her car when Chase finds himself staring at her. In this situation, it’d be best to let her go so he didn’t take chances all by himself in the middle of nowhere with no phone and in the dark. However, if he let go, he may also be letting answers to his questions walk away as well.

“Wait! Demi, we need to talk – now!” She then freezes, caught off-guard by the tone of his voice. In the time that she spent with him before, she had never heard a tone that dark, cold, and full of a combination of command and anger. “I’m sure you know that Alyssa is missing. Do you want to talk about that?”

“I didn’t have anythin-”

“Why are you in North Carolina? I thought you were supposed to be staying out of state, far away from me, from what I heard at your release?” She knew it was suspicious being in town. However, it was obvious nobody told him the circumstances surrounding her return.

“Alyssa was reported missing at 4:15pm by a security officer at Hendrick Moto-”

“I know the details, sweetheart. Get to the point!” She felt herself freeze even more, even though he hadn’t moved an inch from where he was sitting in the car. She knew she had to get it out quickly or else he’d likely kick her ass. Although, thinking back to their history, she deserved it.

“My parole officer phoned me just after 4:30 when I was done work stating that he wanted to ask me some questions. I went to his office immediately, and confirmed where I had been for the past 48 hours so he had record. He then stated detectives in North Carolina wanted to question me further to just cover all basis, given our history, so I started the drive down. I just got into the state about 10 minutes ago and was headed to Charlotte to the station. As I said, I saw the car and stopped to see if you needed help, not knowing it was you.” Chase took a deep breath, resisting the urge to jump out of the car and kick her ass, hoping the punches would rid of the past frustration and answer questions surrounding Alyssa. He understood her explanation and the confirmation of her whereabouts, as if it was supposed to clear of her any wrong doing. However, he had let his guard down with her before, and knew what that got him.

“Just because you haven’t been around for 48 hours doesn’t mean you didn’t have anything to do with her disappe-”

“I swear Chase, I didn’t have anything to do with it. Since I’ve been released, I’ve been focused on trying to rekindle things with my parents and siblings, and put my life toget-”

“And how do you think my life has been since you betrayed me, hurt me and put me through that? It hasn’t been the same since!” He then takes a deep breath, knowing a rant of anger would get him nothing, especially if she did knowing anything about Alyssa’s disappearance. “What about the crime ring, huh?”

“I’ve had nothing to do with that, Chase. I swear. I have no idea what they’re up to or what happened since I told the cops all those details back then.” He wanted to keep her there, still not feeling comfortable with letting her walk off. However, continued questions were going to get him nowhere. Besides, if she was telling the truth and headed to Charlotte, the officers would certainly be able to cover more basis than he was able to with their training.

“Go. Get out of here. Keep your distance from me and don’t dare cross paths. I don’t need your help.” She then shook her head as she walked back to her car, slowly.

“Chase, I truly hope she is found soon – and I am sorry for everything, still.” She then climbs in the car and drives off into the darkness as Chase lays his head back against the headrest.

He wanted to think about anything but what happened. He didn’t want to remember the pain. He didn’t want to remember the coldness of the Canadian arctic. He didn’t want to remember the betrayal. Clutching onto the book in fear someone else would show up, he just hoped the officer would stop taking his bloody time and show up soon.

Cabin Fears – Chapter 2: Piecing Together The Puzzle

Chase sat in the conference room at Hendrick Motorsports, eyes focused on the desk. No matter how many times he ran the thoughts through his mind, he couldn’t come up with a solid response or anything to say about what had happened.

Except – why now? Why again?

His eyes only glanced up from the table when he watched the door open, and Jeff lead in Dale and Marie.

Taking a deep breath, he knew it was hard on them – but knew it had to be harder on them as her parents. They had done everything to protect their baby, raise her, keep her away from most of the happenings, help her through the nightmares that did linger, but yet they had found themselves here. Worst of all, reading the note again and Chase knew Marie would blame herself based on the wording that was in the note.

“Where’s Elsa?” He asks the pair as they sit down at the long table. A simple lock of eyes with each other and they could each see the tears each other had already shed in the panic already experienced.

“She’s with Karsyn and Kennedy at JRM, and security is on alert before you ask,” Dale answers, in the calmest way that he could imagine. It seemed in these moments of panic, he could keep a steady face in front of everyone to get what needed to be done accomplished. Marie, meanwhile, always seemed to turn into a blubbering emotional mess. It was strange considering Marie had dealt with a version of the horror through her childhood. “Jeff explained that you found the note in your car in the parking lot, and assured me security was already looking at footage to see if they could see anythi-”

“They should be going over footage at your end as she’d be at your shop toda-”

“I already made the call, and it’s already happening. They’re going through everything while keeping an extra eye out in case the person is still around. Chase, this isn’t my first rodeo.” Chase lets out a sigh, slowly shaking his head. It was obvious it wasn’t their first rodeo as they’d been through own mini versions of hell each. “Jeff asked for his guys to check because we need to see who dropped the note off for you. Is there a possibility that I can see the note, please?”

Since speaking with the Hendrick Motorsports security officials and alerting them that Alyssa was missing, they had kept their hands on the note. They wanted to get it transferred to forensics to see if possible finger prints could be pulled off. They also had notified local authorities so a missing person’s alert could be released. The final instruction was everyone to gather in the conference room for discussions on where she could be.

“I have the note, actually,” one of the security personnel speak up, catching Dale’s attention. “My name is Blaine Teller, and I run the security team here at HMS. I have the note so that way I can pass it on to the detective when he gets here. You may view it while we wait, though.”

“Why isn’t that detective here yet?” Dale questions as he takes the note from the security official, seeing it sealed in a plastic bag.

“I called the detective immediately following my initial discussion with Chase and he assured me that he’d be over here immediately. I’m sure he’ll be here shortly, sir.” Dale could only roll his eyes and instead focus on the note. As long as he had something to focus on, he could easily keep the emotions at bay and focus on getting his daughter back. It was when any sense of quiet and boredom soaked in that he’d go crazy.

“I’ve got your precious Princess Alyssa now,” the note read. “And don’t think that I’m letting her go easily. There will be something to trade for her, so you better be able to make a good size withdrawal when I ask for details.”

“So it’s someone wanting a lump sum of money in trade for my daughter’s safety?” Dale questions as he slides the note back over to the security official. “Who the hell would want to do that?”

“Everybody knows the royalty that Marie brings, combined your rich NASCAR pockets,” Jeff starts as he leans against the wall in the corner. He couldn’t believe he was watching the family go through something like this again. All he could think about was the time he spent helping Chase with his emotions a little to start the rookie season, before Alan stepped in and took full control. “It could be someone that you know, someone that hates you and wants to cause you harm. It could also be the most random person on the planet.”

“And we’re supposed to sit on our hands till they give us a phone call or give us more details somehow?” He then glances over at the security officials as he crosses his arms. “That’s ridiculous!”

“We’re not waiting on anything,” Blaine then starts. “That’s why we’re checking our cameras and that’s why we’re pleased that cameras are getting checked at JRM, too. That’s why we’re filing the missing person’s report in case someone spots her. That’s why the note is getting checkered for finger prints, as if something comes up we can know who has her and then go from there. However, with that said, I want each of you in this room to keep your cell phones handy and watch any place that you go for suspicious note activity. As soon as something comes through, notify us and we’ll take whatever steps we need to.”

“It’s why we’re also giving each of you a security official to remain with you at all times and help keep you safe till this is solved,” Blaine’s assistant then spoke up. “Considering we don’t know the lengths this person will go, that will include you as well Jeff, and your fellow executives at Hendrick Motorsports. We know this is a lot of people, but we want to cover our basis. We want to prevent anything worse happening.”

“This shouldn’t be happening period,” Chase comments quietly as he glances up from the table. “We’ve all been through enough. I was just starting to feel comfortable in doing everything, but here we are – again. I don’t get it.” A couple tears then roll down his cheeks as Dale reaches over, and wraps an arm around Chase’s shoulders.

“I don’t either, but we’re going to find her and everything is going to work out,” Dale tells him as Chase glances up into Dale’s eyes. “I mean it, and have I ever been wrong on my word, ever?” Chase shakes his head no.

“It’s just….I should’ve been there with her. I should’ve been more car-”

“Chase, what have I said about beating yourself up? It’s not your fau-”

“Demi!” Everybody then freezes upon her outburst as Chase shakes his head over and over, pushing himself out of Dale’s grasp and standing up. He then walks over to the other end of the room. “She got out of jail not that long ago. She promised me that she’d never come near me, but I never trusted her. It’s why I got the protective order. However, here we are. That’s not her signature of a note, but the timing just seems perfect.”

“I’ll alert the detective and he can check with her parole officer and bring her in for questions,” Blaine states as she makes a note in her records.

“Damn it!” Chase lets out as he shakes his head. “I should’ve known….I should’ve done something…” He then feels his legs give out as he slides down the wall, sitting back against the wall with his knees up, head between his legs as the tears begin to fall. Dale then moves to come over and Jeff puts up a hand to stop him.

“I’ve got it,” Jeff tells him as he makes his way over to Chase. “You both have enough on your plate with Alyssa missing. Focus on your own emotions, finding her, and Elsa. Use the people and resources that you have to you as you work your way through it. I’ll deal with him.” Jeff then kneels down to Chase’s level, wrapping his arms around his young protégé. “It’s okay. Let it out, but know it’s not your fault no matter what happened. You did what you could in warning her, and you can’t always live in a bubble.”

“I’ll call Ryan, Bubba and Regan to tell them what’s going on in case he wants them,” Dale states as he goes to stand up. Kelley then walks over and puts her hand on his shoulder.

“I’ve got it. Besides, there’s a couple others we should let know,” she states before leaving the room.

“We got to find her…” Marie lets out as she looks over at Dale. Dale then sighs as he sits back in the chair, pulling Marie close.

“She’s a combination of us,” he starts. “She’s strong. She will get through this, and we will find her. Everything will be okay.”

Cabin Fears – Chapter 1: The Note

18-year-old Alyssa Earnhardt couldn’t be happier with how her life is turning out. She just graduated high school while racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for her father Dale Earnhardt Jr. Currently dating her best friend Chase Elliott, she can’t complain about how life is going.

At the age of 32, Chase Elliott is a Sprint Cup Series Champion, driving for Hendrick Motorsports, having moved past the fateful events of the past with life going great now. Honestly, there’s nothing to complain about.

But what happens when life turns upside down for both Alyssa and Chase, all because people circulate their way back into their lives and go after Alyssa’s parents, Dale Jr. & Marie-Ann Belle Kastona Earnhardt?

This is the sequel to Chasing The Love, which was the secondary future sequel to Flight 88. You do not need to read Flight 88 or Chasing The Love to understand, except if you want to know their past that’d be a great place to start.

Characters: Alyssa Belle Kastona Earnhardt, Chase Elliott, Bill Elliott, Cindy Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marie-Anne Belle Kastona Earnhardt, Elsa Marie Belle Kastona Earnhardt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, L.W. Miller, Karsyn Elledge, Kennedy Elledge, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and more

 

June 2028

Chase Elliott sat in his office, signing a stack of autograph cards.

It was a normal day for the superstar as once a week, Hendrick Motorsports officials would drop a bucket of stuff for him to sign in his office that had arrived from fans. Some of it would be simple autograph cards, while other things could include racecars, previous photos and momentos. It didn’t bother Chase a single bit as he always enjoyed seeing the fan support that he got, and wanted to honor it by giving back a simple signature in return. He just hoped everything didn’t end up on Ebay.

Glancing at the photo on his desk, a simple smile formed on his face. It was from earlier in the year at Texas Motor Speedway. On top of his head, he wore a cowboy hat, as did the female beside him in the photo. He had to smile remembering it was one of the many weekends this year that the pair had both won their respective races, meeting in victory lane.

After everything that he had been through, it was crazy to think how much happiness surrounded him right now. There had been no complaints thus far this year as everything on-track was going great, and off the track everything was right. There’d been nothing to scare him, and he was in a perfect happy relationship with Alyssa. Following their discussions in the spring, the pair had been able to move forward without any issues. There were no more nightmares, freezes up or anything. For the first time in his life, he believed he had finally put everything to bed.

It was crazy to think about everything he had been through, from betrayal to stabbed in the leg to almost froze to death somewhere in Canada. However, he stood now stronger than ever before and ready to tackle everything that came his way.

Letting out a sigh, he sets the marker down and twirls his fingers around a little. That was the last signature that he had on the day and it was a good thing as a cramp had begun to form in his fingers. He smiled as he knew the day would be done soon – a simple check on the guys in the shop, and then he’d get to meet up with Alyssa for a dinner for two.

After quickly answering the last series of text messages on his phone, he checked his twitter notifications quick and answered a couple fan questions. Once he felt he had sent enough for the day, it was time to head down to the shop.

He easily made his way down the stairs, speaking with the guys about the upcoming race that weekend at Pocono Raceway. They talked about the car they were preparing, how far they were already, and why they felt they could win another race this season. He was determined to get the win that weekend as Ella had been bugging him about the fact that she had five wins this year for HMS while he only had four. It’d be nice to walk up to her with another trophy in hand to stop the shop ribbing.

Satisfied with the discussion and knowing what time it was, he thanked the guys for their hard work and made his way out of the shop. Flipping his keys in his hand, he smiled as he looked at the sweet convertible parked behind the shop.

He wasn’t one for buying lots of cars, however knew as soon as the new corvette came out this year it’d be a great summer driver. It was in that moment at the end of May he bought himself the corvette, while buying Alyssa the beautiful 1969 Pink Camaro she had dreamed of. For him, it was a way to spoil himself for a change. For Alyssa, it marked the dream high school graduation present. Well, besides her dad surprising her with the fact that her Cup Series debut would come later on that year.

Unlocking the door and sitting down in the driver’s seat, a simple smile crossed his face as he focused on the steering wheel. There was nothing that could describe how sweet this car felt on the open highway going a good rate of speed. Finally he had found a way to make the drive to work more fun.

He was about to put the key in the ignition when he noticed a piece of paper sitting on the passenger seat. He then looks at it slightly puzzled, as he picks it up in his hands. Perhaps he had dropped it there that morning and forgotten, or maybe it slipped out of his stuff. Either way, it was worth looking over.

He unfolds the edges of the paper, curiosity increasing as he notices the red handwriting inside. It didn’t match any writing that he had seen from anybody close to him, which got him more interested.

As the last unfold was completed, his eyes locked on the writing inside of the paper. As he read the note word by word, one word at a time, he felt his heart beat faster, followed by sweat forming on his face and hands, hands turning into fists, finding it more difficult to control his breathing in what he was reading.

“Chase?” He hears from what feels like a distance as he remains frozen staring at the piece of paper. “Chase!?!” The voice goes unnoticed in his mind as he continues to stare blankly at the piece of paper in his hands. “Chase, what’s going on?” A hand then reaches out to take the paper from his hand, but he immediately moves the paper away from the hand. “Chas-”

“Don’t touch the paper,” he states as he turns to face the eyes that had landed on him. He then takes a couple of deep breathes, trying to find some way to calm down before speaking again. “Call Dale. Tell him to get his ass down here immediately. Tell him to bring Marie, Elsa, anybody else really important. I’m going to call the cops.” Chase’s quick reaction resulted in a look of puzzlement on the face of the person who had found him.

“Why? What’s going on?” Chase takes a deep breath, knowing that Jeff would find out anyway. If they were going to get anywhere, he needed to be able to say the words now.

“It’s Alyssa. She’s been kidnapped. Here’s the note.” He then slowly lets Jeff take the note from his hands as he climbs from the car, tossing the keys back in his pocket as he pulls out his phone. “Can you call Dale while I go see our security team here?” Jeff’s eyes remained focused on the piece of paper as he slowly shakes his head yes in response to Chase’s question. “Jeff, I’m serio-”

“Go, take the note to them. I’ve got the phone call under control.” Chase then snatches the note back and takes off running. “Alyssa kidnapped for ransom? I know it’s damn well possible but come on, this family has been through enough!” Jeff then makes his way back into the shop, heading up the stairs, debating the whole way what to say on the phone to Dale.

Moving Forward – Chapter 27: Their Discussion

March 2016

Marie lets out a sigh as she loads the dishes in the dishwasher.

She glances out of the kitchen towards the hallway, smiling as she watches Dale read Alyssa a story. She couldn’t deny how cute they were both together, and the unique father-daughter bond they had already formed.

However, turning back to the dishes and loading them in the dishwasher, there was no getting her mind off what she had seen earlier in the wedding binders. She tried to not let it bug her, knowing there was still nine months till the wedding, but it kept creeping into her mind.

When it was discovered that she was queen of entire country, Dale had taken to the role with accepting very quickly. He understood the responsibility that Marie had and was willing to back her up in every way possible. As they moved away from that time, he continued to stand by her side, help her when she needed his help, and back her up when she needed assurance, without much of a complaint.

She wondered at times, though, whether it was a just face. There were times that she’d bring something up or seem frustrated with something, and his reaction brought forth questions in her mind in how much he truly cared.

It seemed every suspicion that she had came fluttering back every time she thought back to the binder.

When they proclaimed her as a Queen with him as her unofficial King and Alyssa as the princess, they had skipped some of the traditional steps. She took that with stride, knowing that she had just flung everything about her family and the country on him.

However, these traditions for the wedding – it was different. She remembered watching her parents follow the tradition, and then remembered the celebration of watching her uncle and aunt follow along, too. It was one of the small joys as a child in seeing how everything happened, the happiness which surrounded it, and feeling the special honor for the day.

Now seeing as how he had ignored it, she wondered if she was going to get to experience that truly herself, and it hurt knowing that was a possibility.

Throughout the rest of the night, they went about everything as normal. He finished reading Alyssa the story, followed by Marie giving her a bath. The pair then put Alyssa to bed together, followed by another diaper/feeding round with Elsa.

As the clock reached 10, they both finally found some calm and quiet for the night, for them to just spend some time alone. It was brought forth with the pair cuddling on the couch downstairs together, intrigued in the latest episode of Agents of Shield, thanks to Marie’s interest in the series.

“Dale, can I ask you a question?” She asks in the midst of one of the commercial breaks. He then glances over at her curiously, wondering what was on her mind. Normally, she’d just blurt out the question she had on her mind without a word. It was part of the trust factor that they’d grown between them.

“You can ask me anything,” he answers. “You know that.” She shakes her head, remembering their commitment to always be truthful with her, and always reveal what they were thinking. It was an agreement that allowed them to move forward past everything which happened easier in being able to use each other to lean on during those times.

“I looked through the wedding folders, and by the way, I agree with everything that you’ve looked over so far and signed off on. There’s just one folder that was missed in the middle of some of the others that you looked at, and I was wondering why.” He then thinks it over, remembering back in his office earlier in the day.

“The procedure binder?” She shakes her head yes as he smiles. “I didn’t know there was anything that I needed to sign off in there.” His response brought her a bit of hope, wondering if perhaps she had read his reactions to everything wrong.

“So, you did take a peek at the folder?” The immediate shake of his head no erased the smile and hope that had filled her mind. “Oh.”

“Is there a problem?” She then lets out a sigh as she didn’t want to have to force it upon him. However, if she was giving her dream spring wedding, she was going to at least keep other things she had on her mind.

“Those procedures are traditional. I’ve watched previous generations of my family follow them to a key. I’ve also watched other countries’ ceremonies in awe and surprise. I haven’t asked for many traditions in regards to the wedding, but I would like to stick with that traditional sense.” Dale shakes his head, understanding, though had to shake his head a little. She obviously read his response totally wrong.

“Listen, I understand that those traditions are important as I know that’s why you included them. I also know how much Pitronia means to you, as well as everything that comes with it. I can see that in your eyes and how you speak so highly of the role you hold. I wasn’t going to avoid reading the book forever, Marie. I just figured that it’d be better to read it closer to the wedding so that way it was more in my mind for the time that it counted. Is that okay with you?” She immediately smiled and shakes her head yes, letting herself collapse against his body. She felt like kicking herself in the butt for questioning him in any sense earlier in the day after hearing his response. Perhaps she was letting her fears from other stuff get in the way here.

“Oh Dale, how did I get so lucky to be with you?” He then laughs as he kisses the top of her head.

“I don’t know, but I know I am equally lucky to have you in my life.”

Chasing The Love – Chapter 111: Birthday Present

Following lunch, Dale took Alyssa out shopping, allowing her to buy a new dress and shoes.

“So when do I get to see my boyfriend?” Alyssa asks as they leave the mall. Dale then glances over and smiles, having received a text message from Chase moments prior.

“How about now?” He offers and a big smile forms on her face. “Get in the car.” She easily accepts, relaxing the whole drive back to the house. They then drive up the property to the house and Dale turns the car off.

“I could’ve easily picked a dress from my closet and saw him if he was her-”

“You weren’t allowed to see him till he texted me at the right time, so it doesn’t work that way. Besides, I figured you deserved something special for your birthday.” He then leans over and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek. “Now, I’m getting the ATV and you’re going to get on it. I am then going to blind fold you to take you out to where he wants to meet up with you.” She then looks at her shocked and intrigued.

“Seriously?” Dale shakes his head yes as he opens the car door, glancing back at her.

“Boyfriend’s orders for his surprise.” She then lets out a sigh, easily following the instructions put in place by Chase. She climbed on the ATV and reluctantly allowed her dad to blindfold her.

“You’re lucky I trust you right now.”

“Don’t worry – it’ll be worth it in the end.” He then climbs in the driver’s seat, taking off quickly as she reaches for the bar in which she knows is ahead of her.

“Take it easy, please?!?” He then laughs as he slows down a touch.

“I had to take advantage of the chance to scare you.” She then rolls her eyes, hoping the ride would be over soon. Those instincts did end up being correct as about five minutes later, the ATV came to a stop. “I want you to step off and take 10 steps forward.” She then rolls her eyes as she lets out a sigh.

“Should’ve told me before I picked out a pair of heels.” She carefully places one foot on the ground, before following it with the other. Standing up slowly and reaching around to find her bearings, she takes the required 10 steps forward. “Now what?”

“From the moment I held you in my arms, I knew you were special,” she hears as a pair of arms wrap around her. If she didn’t immediately recognize the voice, she would’ve screamed. However, she instead relaxed as she knew those arms completely. “You had that special twinkle in your ey-”

“Can you reveal that twinkle so I stop looking like a nerd?” She cuts him off, hearing his familiar chuckle in response.

“Bare with me,” he tells her as he keeps his arms tightly wrapped around her. “I knew you just weren’t another regular person, but someone special. As you grew older, I stayed fond of you. I enjoyed the time we spent together, the laughs, playing with cars, and joking around. Sometimes I ask myself how I would’ve gotten through some of those days without you. When I needed an escape from everything, you were there. When I needed to just have fun and forget, I could count on you to make me laugh and play.” He then lightly kisses her cheek as a slight smile forms on her face. “You saved me, Alyssa, in a way.”

“You saved me too, as you were there for my nightmares and everything that I was going through.” He then spins her around so they’re facing each other, with her still blindfolded.

“I don’t know where it turned into love, but I do know that I wouldn’t change a single thing. I love you and nothing will change that, ever. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to keep growing closer. I want to hold you in my arms and let you complete me. Happy birthday, Alyssa.” He then leans in and kisses her lips, slowly sliding the blindfold off her eyes.

“Chase….” She lets out after the kiss, taking in the view behind him.

In a spot of empty field on the property, there now stood a gazebo. She could lightly hear the tune of a song starting, smiling as she recognized it immediately to being one of the first songs they heard together. She could see a table with two spots for people to sit. Combined with the lighting, rose pedals – it was more than she could’ve dreamed for.

“How did I get so lucky to deserve all this?” She asks as he keeps his eyes locked on hers.

“Because you’re special and you deserve something special,” he answers. “I couldn’t think of what to get for your birthday. Every single materialistic thing just didn’t seem right. However, as soon as I thought about this idea, it was perfect. A sweet romantic night for just the two of us to spend some quality time together alone, relaxed, not a care in the world.”

“It’s better than any gift you could’ve bought and wrapped and gave me. It’s perfect, Chase, just like you.” She then kisses his lips once again before they walk up to the table.

Dale couldn’t help but smile in watching the pair walk away from him together as he drove away on the ATV back to the house. He had always dreamed his girls would find the perfect love that he found in Marie. He didn’t ever think it’d be Chase, but it was fine by him. He knew he could trust Chase more than anything, and knew that Chase would never hurt his little girl.

With everything that had happened over the years, it was nice to see the children get some quiet time and peaceful bliss just to themselves. It was nice to take a break from the insanity, and perhaps find the peace that they all so willingly wanted and felt they deserved.

It was just a question of whether the demons from the past would remain hidden in the closet.

 

THE END

 

I didn’t just come back to write this ending as that’d be pretty silly. Stay tuned as I can PROMISE you that I have a killer sequel in store for you.

Moving Forward – Chapter 26: Returning Home

Dale returned home later on that night, dropping the files on the table, before walking over to the crib and scooping up the little girl. He had noticed her eyes open immediately upon entering the room, and there was nothing better to put away a crazy day then by holding a sweet little girl.

“Did she wake up?” He hears and glances up at Marie, shaking his head yes. “That figures. She has been eating, sleeping, diaper change, cuddle and then eat again.”

“I’ll get the diaper this time,” Dale answers. “And hey, that’s the fun part of being a mother. You get to follow the same routine for a couple of months. I hope you can handle it.”

“I can handle you, so I think I can handle a little princess.” Dale smiles as he heads off as Marie then glances at the table and shakes her head immediately. She had gotten done her royal business earlier in the day than normal so had spent some time cleaning up the house a little. However, it seemed it wasn’t going to last as long as she hoped with Dale just dropping stuff down as he pleases.

“Doesn’t he know that these have a special spot to go?” She then scooped up the binders in her hands, walking back through the house.  It seemed they had visitors on a regular basis over at the house. What if someone showed up? What if someone started reading the binders? While she didn’t mind sharing wedding plans with some people, that list was very short and particular as she wanted everything to be right about their dream day.

She then walks into the office, dropping the binders on the desk satisfied. She could put them back in their drawer later on, but at least they were out of harm way if someone showed up.

She was set to leave the room and go back to the kitchen for the finishing touches on dinner, but caught herself frozen staring at the binders. She then sat down in the chair, curiously opening the top binder.

“Glad he at least likes the date,” she states seeing as though he had agreed to Saturday, January 14. She still wasn’t sure herself on the date, to be honest though. She had always dreamed of the perfect spring wedding in April with flowers beginning to bloom. However, with his racing schedule, the only time to fit in a wedding and be certain to fit all the royalty business which came with it was in the winter. Goodbye to her dreams, and hello to a wedding in January.

Her eyes then fell to the bottom of the page, noticing his familiar handwriting. She smiled immediately, having picked up on her favourite features of how each letter and word came off of his hand. However, as she took in the note of a four day honeymoon, followed by traveling to Pitronia, it helped ease her anger about the date. So they weren’t getting married during the time of year she always dreamed of – but they were getting time together and together was the important part, considering everything they had gone through. As he had with the date, she circled his note and offered her own quick initials so he knew that she had agreed to his idea.

She then sighed noticing there were no notes on the royal proceedings. She always believed herself to not be a tough Queen to deal with, keeping her rules and requirements to a minimum. However, it appeared as though these pages had not been touched and it bothered her. While she had changed certain laws, she was strict on tradition in having watched her generations of family follow everything. Now here was her dream husband not seeming to care or even inquire about what was in the pages that’d follow. Letting out a sigh, she just hoped that it wasn’t a sign of things to come.

She quickly found her happiness in opening the next binder, seeing the familiar checkmark and initials. He had chosen to get married in the Whiskey River Church. She was glad that he had chosen that spot – somewhere special, somewhere pretty, somewhere that meant a lot to them, and somewhere they could have some privacy. With knowing that everybody – royal and racing – would be all over them in the rest of the days before and following the wedding, it was nice to know that the actual wedding day would have the peace and serenity she hoped for.

She also saw the mark near the reception, which pleased her. It meant that they wouldn’t have to travel far after the wedding and could have some fun doing photos around the property. So far, the only issue was the traditions.

She then notices the rest of the folders had no notes of being touched so she stacks them neatly and keeps them in their spot on the desk. There was no need to panic or worry as they still had nine months for him to go through the rest of the binders she had before him.

She was about to stand up when she noticed the top binder fall off the pile on to the floor. She quickly scoops it up, making sure nothing fell out and gets set to put it on the pile. However, she finds herself frozen, smiling widely. Her eyes immediately lock on her boredom doodle in seeing her name written fully and completely for marriage. She then smiles a little more, though, as she notices the hand-writing beneath hers.

King Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. – or per your royalty documents madame, King Ralph Dale Belle Kastona Earnhardt Jr.