Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 101: Suspicions and Villain?

Thursday, June 29

Christopher Bell takes a deep breath as he sits back, watching the pair hang out together. He knew the promise that he had made Sarina about keeping his distance, but he couldn’t help but wonder right now.

He watches as Chase heads off, set to begin his duties for the day. He then takes a deep breath, making his way over to where she was.

“Sarina!” He lets out, catching her attention as she gives him a quick smile.

“Hey Christopher,” she replies as he shoves his hands in his pocket, nerves building. “I’m surprised to see you down here on an off-week.”

“Figured I’d get to know the guys a little that I am going to work with later on this year.” Sarina shakes her head, having seen the announcement that Christopher was going to run select XFINITY events this season.

“I can’t argue with that logic, especially considering this weekend normally produces a great race.” He glances away, debating whether he should open his mouth or not, before looking back towards her.

“You can yell at me if I’m crossing the line or whatever, but I’m going to say this because I’m damn well worried. How much can you trust your brother? It just seems when there’s been poisoning incidents, he’s either been hard to trace. There was also mention from Jared that he was around then. I’m just wondering if history is repeating itself.” Sarina crosses her arms, looking at Christopher in the eyes, doing everything she could to not punch him then and there.

“So you’re saying that my brother is behind this?” Christopher didn’t know if he could say that exact quite yet.

“I’m saying it could be a possibility. I mean, KBM crew member, followed by JGR crew member, and then Hendrick crew member. You also add in Darrell Wallace, and there’s just some odd connections there, along with what I said already.” Sarina was really resisting the urge to punch him now.

“And for what bloody reason would he be doing this, Bell?” Christopher then put his hands up, defensively.

“Look, I don’t know. Jealousy? Spite? I’m just saying that we should consider all avenues. I mentioned it to Kyle and he said it was nothing. Chase has heard, too, and he said it’s nothing either. I just thought I’d be the polite one to warn you of the thought incase it is reality.” Sarina then takes her sunglasses off, closing the gap between the pair as she looks at Christopher in the eyes.

“What did I tell you a couple weeks ago? Do you remember?” He shakes his head yes.

“To stay out of your life.”

“Then why don’t you start doing that, jackass?” She then puts her sunglasses on, turning around and heading the other direction as she lets out an aggravated sigh.

She made her way through the garage area, trying to shake off the conversation with Christopher. However, as she thought about it more, she couldn’t help but see what was being said. Besides, there was the odd comment that he made before.

Instead of heading into the 24 hauler as she had originally planned, she went and found where her brother was hanging out.

“Can we talk?” She asks him as he looks over and shakes his head yes. “There’s suspicion about you surrounding the poisonings. People are saying that your location has been hard to place at time of events, combined with your questionable past. I don’t want to be an ass, but do you have something to say?” Chris shakes his head no.

“Why would I do such a thing?” He questions. “I told you before that I felt bad for everything that happened during that time, and I didn’t mean it. Why would I go back to those ways?” Sarina felt confident in his answer, as that was she had tried to tell herself when Christopher approached her.

“It’s just you made mention how I can never let my past go and it will always be a part of me.” He shakes his head, remembering the comment.

“I meant that you can’t just change your name and try and forget what happened. It’s something that’s part of who you are, and shapes what you do. Just because you try and forget it, or escape those people, doesn’t mean that it never happened as it may seem. I was trying to get you to think about coming to peace with everything and agreeing to the family reunion, possibly.” She then rolls her eyes, knowing that was still never a possibility.

“I told you what I thought about that, so can we not talk about it?” He shakes his head, accepting.

“You asked, I answered. I just wonder whether you’re forgetting your own family because you feel your new adopted family is better since there’s not all this chaos in members who you don’t agree with. I actually asked my psychologist about that one. He said it’s possible, but not true. Who knows…” Chris then walks away, as Sarina looks on confused.

She then shakes her head knowing that had nothing to do with her thought process. Her reason for ignoring the reunion was simple – she didn’t want to involve with the people that twisted her life upside down to begin with, as there were no words they could say to bring her parents back, or forgive themselves for what had happened.

Taking a deep breath, she reminds herself of the advice heard from those around her and decides to put it at the back of her mind, focusing instead on the upcoming day ahead.

The same couldn’t be said for her brother, who was now wondering whether the plan he and Bethany had put together was really going to pay off. If they were being found intriguing now, how were they going to pull off the next couple of rounds?

He then took out his phone, dialing her number, hoping for some reasoning.

**************************

Chase walks into the trailer, flopping back on the couch as he rolls his eyes.

“Well you look pleased…” Sarina comments, noticing his actions as he looks over at her.

“Media center availability – such fun, huh?” He questions as she looks on confused. “Oh, did you not see the lovely questions that they decided to go with?” She shakes her head no.

He then pulls out his phone, pulling up the transcript before handing it over to her.

YOU ARE SECOND TO DALE ON THE LAST LAP HERE, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
“I am just hoping I have the right push to get around him.”

NO HESITATION TO PASS HIM?
“Absolutely not. I wouldn’t think twice about it if I had an opportunity to pass him. I am not going to let anybody win. Would you?”

“Why would they even ask if you would think of finishing second to someone?” Sarina questions as she hands him his phone back. “I mean, that’s just ridiculous! Everybody knows that every single racecar driver is going to go for the win, no matter who the hell is in front of them and what it means to that person.”

“Thank you,” Chase accepts her comment.

“So why the aggravation?” He then lets out a sigh as he opens up twitter.

“It’s just hearing the question to begin with, as you expressed, and now the local media is turning it into a big deal in how I’m the mean butthead that won’t help my teammate.” She then chuckles as she couldn’t believe it.

“Chase Elliott the villain? What has happened?” He shrugs his shoulders. “To be honest, that’s just ridiculous. I mean, I don’t even get how that happened. That person whoever they are should be banned from media centers for the rest of their life. By the way, is today ridiculous day or what? It goes along the lines of everything else today.” Chase then looks over, confused. “Would you believe that Christopher Bell thinks that I should be worried about my own brother hurting people?”

“Really?” She shakes her head yes.

“He came up to me today and made mention of it, trying to convince me and playing his damn worry card again. You can tell how far that went.” Chase could only imagine the drawback that Christopher got, but wondered if it was really warranted as he had his thoughts about her brother, too.

“I wouldn’t want to be him….”

“Of course, I did talk to my brother. By his answer, I say there’s not a thing to worry about – except the fact that he may be attending the family reunion. He also made mention that I may be avoiding my family because I don’t think of them that way anymore, due to having become a part of this adopted racing family and only thinking of that. Like, I’m using an avoidance measure.”

Chase about opened mouth on the comment as it only added to the theory about her brother being involved. By poisoning people, he could be taking charge against her new adopted family out of jealousy. It went along perfect with him saying that nobody could fix him and his other previous comments.

Shaking his head, he knew that it was probably just his own fear talking based on what had happened in the past. He had to remember that was all gone now, thanks to the great work of the doctors.

“Chase?” She questions, caught off-guard by his silence as he looks over.

“Sorry, just got busy reading a tweet,” he lies, not wanting to say something. He knew that she’d flip on him. It was why he was going to stick to what he had told both Alan and Kyle – concrete evidence before suspicion discussed. “Based on what you’ve been through, I wouldn’t blame you if you are using it as an avoidance measure because I would be doing that, too. However, to be fair, your reasons for not going are logical and you don’t need to defend yourself. If he’s really making you pick sides, then he’s not the sweet caring brother that you need in your life – no matter how you put it in needing each other. Don’t let him upset you, okay?” She shakes her head, accepting.

“And what do I do about ding-a-ling?” Chase had to laugh at her nickname for Christopher.

“The police have leads and interest into everything. Once it’s solved, you can rub it in his face that he was wrong and to stop doing what he’s doing. For now, just try and keep things work related between you guys, and if a problem arises speak to Kyle.” He then sets his phone down, wrapping an arm around her. “I thought we were supposed to be enjoying being in Florida together, getting a chance to soak up the sun rays and have some fun.”

“You’re the one that came in here all sulky because of a dumb reporter….” He then smiles, knowing that was true.

“Well, what do you say we forget about that and your ding-a-ling problem, and we focus on having some fun? I’m going to go run this practice session, and then we should go to the beach.” She smiles, liking that idea.

“Can I bury you in the sand?” He knew he’d hate that with how it would tickle, but it’d be a nice change in pace.

“I don’t see why not.”

*****************

Chase relaxes back in the trailer, glancing over at Alan as he types up the last bit of notes.

“I thought you’d be long gone to the beach by now,” Alan comments as he notices Chase sitting there.

“Actually, I need to tell you something instead,” Chase says, catching the crew chief’s attention. “Bell approached Chris about all of our concerns in him being involved, by the way. Sarina told me before practice. She said that he mentioned how there’s suspicions, playing the worry card, and wondering if maybe she could look into it.” Alan was hoping something would be said, but obviously didn’t want to be the one to do it because he didn’t want to get in the midst of their relationship. He knew he should buy Christopher a Christmas card now.

“What’d she say?” Chase rolls his eyes, remembering the response.

“She said she talked to her brother, actually. By his answers, though, she’s not worried about anything as she feels he’s innocent and same deal that we’ve said about coincidence.” Alan then closes his laptop, focusing on Chase. The notes could wait as safety was paramount – especially considering there had been talk of a bomb threat around Daytona, with police even investigating it at one point during the day. Like everything else so far, those cops found nothing.

“Coincidence was something we discussed, but you also said there were worries with what he said to you, too.” Chase knew that, as those words continued to haunt him.

“He told me that nobody could fix him, no matter what I did in trying to catch him as they had tried before. It’s the stupidest line, but I guess it makes me question the whole tumor theory and whether it’s a fix or not.” Alan shakes his head, understanding.

“You know, I’ve heard about people in his situation that have changed after having a tumor removed. So it’s not too far fetched. I also get why you’re worried, though, because of what you saw and your own fear speaking. Now, did Sarina mention anything else?” Chase shakes his head yes.

“He told her that she may be avoiding her family reunion because she doesn’t think of them in that way no more, due to having found a new family in racing. I don’t want to sound strange here, Alan, but what if he’s behind the attacks and the reason is he wants to eliminate her new family piece by piece out of jealousy? He’s so fixated on rekindling what they had, the past, not holding a regret against actions made – what if this is out of spite?” Alan knew the theory could be on to something, and was glad he hadn’t changed his thought process.

“Now do you see why I told you to be extra careful?” Chase shakes his head yes. “Promise me that will continue?” He shakes his head yes, once again. “Have you thought about talking to the authorities?”

“I don’t want to say anything right now till we have some sort of proof. I don’t want to throw the trust that Sarina and I have away because of a fear and theory that I have. I’d rather make sure I’m right, first. Besides, they already have him on their list.” Alan knew that, having heard what Jared had told them.

“That’s fair and understandable, and for your sake – I hope he is not the one behind everything.”

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