Thursday, June 1
Sarina walks into the garage, placing her helmet and gloves on the dash of the truck. She then noticed her teammates and their crew chiefs standing around, concerned. She then grabs her phone out of her pocket, walking over to join them.
“What’s going on?” She questions her crew chief Marcus Richmond.
“Another crew member has been poisoned,” Marcus tells her, causing her jaw drop to immediately. “One of our guys, actually – Jake. He’s going to be okay, so you don’t have to worry. But it just caught us off-guard.” She shakes her head in obvious agreement.
“First Bristol, then one of Chase’s guys and now Jake,” Harrison Burton says as he finds himself puzzled by the events.
“When did this happen?” She wonders as she glances amongst the group.
“Earlier today while we were going through tech, he seemed a little off and sure enough, that was it,” Marcus explains. “He said he had some food and he had a couple drinks while we were working before then so who knows as that could’ve been the cause.”
“You guys cleaned out the cooler incase, right?” Todd Gilliland wonders as he looks over the bottle of Gatorade that he had grabbed and Marcus shakes his head yes.
“So you’re late getting here,” Christopher Bell comments, in reference to Sarina’s late arrival. “Where have you been? Hanging out with the boy?” Sarina just rolls her eyes, getting annoyed of Christopher’s comments.
“I’ve been here since early this morning, just doing some sponsor things and other commitments – you can ask Marcus,” she states in a stern tone. “And as far as your comments with regards to Chase, he’s not even here today. He has his own commitments, you know?”
“We don’t need to get defensive,” Marcus comments, noticing the change in Sarina’s behavior as she focuses her eyes on Christopher.
“I’m sorry. It’s just Christopher can’t seem to keep his nose out of his business lately. Ever since Chase and I had that fight, he’s been riding my ass about everything. I thought you had a girlfriend, Bell.” Todd and Harrison look between their teammates with their own look of shock as Marcus could only roll his eyes.
“So I’m in trouble for caring about your well-being now?” Christopher asks as she just laughs.
“Caring?” She repeats. “Dude, you’re always accusing his ass of something when you feel something is off. Like today with whether we were busy today. There was also the trouble in paradise comment at fan day. Oh, and the best was the catch me off-guard in shop for discussion. It’s one thing to care, it’s another thing to be an annoying little brat who just annoys me!” Marcus could only look on in shock as he hadn’t heard of anything going on, nor did he feel like being a babysitter today.
“Well I’m sorry for offending you with my way of caring, Ms. Princess. I’ll be sure to keep my paws away from your little crown. Hope I kick your ass this weekend.” Christopher then turns and heads towards his garage stall as she just rolls her eyes.
“Good luck with that, jackass.” She then turns and heads over to her truck, taking a glance inside to make sure things were how she wanted.
“Good luck with them,” Harrison says as he gives Marcus a quick pat on the back. “We’ll see you later…”
“Yeah, thanks,” Marcus replies as he watches Harrison and Todd head off together. He could only let out a sigh, knowing that it was going to be interesting with Sarina and Christopher at odds. The boss’ reaction would be priceless at this time.
“Ready for practice, Marcus?” Sarina questions as she turns to face her crew chief. He immediately heads over to her direction, working at putting what happened aside.
“You know, you and Christopher need to work out whatever is going on. We can’t be having that crap.” She then rolls her eyes as she turns away from him. This was why she hated having teammates sometimes.
“So I’m just supposed to let go what he said, Marcus? Yeah, that sounds right. Until he learns his boundaries, he can kiss my ass. Now, we have a practice to focus on, right?” He lets out a sigh, shaking his head yes.
He knew he could argue more with her, but knew that wouldn’t get him anywhere, given how stubborn she was per Kyle and Chase. That was something that would be left up for her to either deal with, or Kyle since he knew how to handle behavior like that.
The practice ended up going better than they could’ve originally imagined as she topped both practice sessions on the afternoon. She also felt comfortable with the truck’s handling, feeling that she’d be good over the course of a long run through the entire stage lengths.
Wrapping up the day and putting her helmet back away, she couldn’t help but smile at the prospects for Friday.
Once she was done for the day, she headed into the motorcoach lot and walked to where Chase’s motorcoach was parked. She brought up the password in her phone, while pulling the key out of her small purse. She punched the password in, before unlocking the door and heading inside.
She walks in, tossing her purse on the small table as she goes to the fridge and pulls herself out a drink. She then walks over, flopping back on the couch as she looks at her phone. She could only count the hours till he landed in Dover, Delaware and would join her there.
Chase unlocks the door and heads inside, slipping his shoes off. A smile immediately forms on his face as he sees her sprawled out on the couch, sleeping. He walks by quietly, setting dinner on the small island table. He heads back to the couch, kneeling down to her level. He then lightly kisses her lips as he runs a hand through her hair. As if on call immediately, she sits up, sending him flying backwards as he falls back on his ass.
“Ouch!” He lets out immediately as she sits up, reaching for the first thing she could – the remote.
“Get up and walk any closer and I’ll throw this at your face!” She yells as he sits up slowly, putting his hands in the air. “Oh….” She then sets down the remote as he laughs.
“Who did you think I was?” He questions as she shrugs her shoulders.
“Are you okay?” He stands up, brushing off his jeans, shaking his head yes.
“My ass is a little sore, but I’ll be fine. It’s nice to see you, too.” She just smiles as she reaches out for his hand, pulling him back close to her.
“Now that I know it’s you, I wouldn’t mind that kiss again.” He smiles as he kisses her lips once again, before picking her up in his arms. “Woah….”
“I brought you dinner.” He then carries her over to the table, sitting her down on the bench on one side, before taking his place on the other side.
“Thank you. Maybe I’ll give your butt there a little rub after to make it feel better.” He laughs as he opens the bag.
“That’s certainly one way to get a greeting from your girlfriend….” She chuckles herself as she takes her dinner from him.
The pair focused on their food. She talked a little bit about how practice went. She also told him about Jake being poisoned earlier in the day, and how he was going to be okay. He talked about the sponsor appearance he had to go to. He also mentioned the crew lunch with the guys. It was more or less small talk for dinner, till they got near the end of their meals.
“So I pissed off Christopher today,” Sarina reveals quietly, catching Chase’s attention.
“Bell?” He asks and she shakes her head yes. He rolls his eyes, remembering their last conversation about him. He had been a little pushy from what Chase could recall. “What happened?”
“Well, I showed up later to the garage than he, Harrison and Todd did because I had that appearance with Toyota and the interview to film for that local TV station. So he made the comment of my late arrival, asking where I’d been and whether I was hanging out with you, basically implying it was your fault that I was late.” Chase could only shake his head as he heard that.
“So I told him that I’d been there since the morning, doing commitments and told him to talk to Marcus if he didn’t believe me. Then I added that you weren’t even here today, and that ‘you have your own commitments’.” Chase shakes his head, accepting. It seemed reasonable so far. He had to admire her tactic of response.
“So then Marcus goes that I don’t need to be so defensive towards Christopher as obviously, he has no idea about what happened previously so he didn’t get the true meaning behind the tone of his voice. That’s when I said that I was sorry, but Christopher can’t keep his nose out of my business. I told Marcus and basically everybody there that since we had our little fight, Christopher’s been on my ass about our relationship and then told Bell that I thought he had his own girlfriend.” Chase couldn’t help but laugh, even if perhaps she had taken her response a little too far.
“Well, they say if someone is bugging you that you should make them aware. You were just telling him how he was bugging you since things happened. What’s wrong with that?” Sarina rolls her eyes, remembering the comments from Marcus and Christopher afterwards.
“Well then he said, ‘So I’m in trouble for caring?’. I basically flipped on him, saying that it wasn’t fair that he was always accusing of you shit from one end to the other and that there’s a difference between caring and what he was doing. I basically told him that he was an annoying little brat who just annoys me.” Chase’s jaw drops in shock, but he couldn’t help but cheer inside. He knew how annoyed he had made her.
“Please tell me that Marcus backed you up….” She then laughs.
“Marcus didn’t say a bloody word, or bother to take anybody’s side. He’s rather more concerned about team morale, but more on that later.” Chase was ready to eat the rest of his dinner, but couldn’t with what was on tap to be said.
“There’s more?” She shakes her head yes. “Oh boy…..”
“Well after my comment, he apologized for offending the ‘princess’ and that he’d keep his paws away from my crown. Then he said he hoped to kick my ass this weekend. That’s when I told him, ‘Good luck with that, jackass.’” Chase laughs as he couldn’t believe what he had missed earlier that day.
“Can’t blame you…..”
“Well then after he left, Marcus suggested that Christopher and I talk about whatever we got going on and work that out as we can’t have that crap going on. That’s when I turned to Marcus and basically said, ‘So I’m just supposed to let go what happened?’ He didn’t say anymore as we focused towards practice, but I could tell that he was a little ticked.” She then looks down at the table, before looking back up across at Chase. “Did I do anything wrong?”
“You stood up for yourself. Christopher is just going to keep being an ass if you don’t say anything. If he gets it through his brain that you’re annoyed, he’ll let it go maybe. That’s all you were doing. Did you take the wrong approach? Perhaps as some of the comments weren’t needed, but he also didn’t need to make the princess comment. Anybody that knows you knows better than that as you’re no perfect princess.” She shakes her head, accepting. It felt better that Chase had her back, even if she knew a possible lecture from Kyle was coming in the future.
“Thanks. I appreciate the support.” He then reaches across the table, grabbing her hand and holding it.
“I’ve always got your back, just like I know you have mine. Oh, and if Kyle says something, just explain what is going on. He’ll understand and perhaps say something to Christopher, too.”
“Kyle understanding? Do you realize how many people would laugh if they heard you say that after this past weekend?” He shakes his head yes.
“Dale is bringing him a snickers on Friday.” She then laughs with a shake of her head.