Sunday, August 20
“Just think guys – tonight, we’ll be heading off to Amsterdam set for the time of our lives,” Ryan comments as they reach the court house doors together.
“Can we just go there now and forget this?” Sarina questions as Ryan holds the door open for her and Chase.
“I wish….” Ryan then follows them inside. “If we could get away with doing that, I would do it in a heartbeat.” If there wasn’t a piece of a paper and e-mail requesting Chase’s appearance, he knew that he’d be following Ryan’s request. “By the way, what happens if you don’t show up today by chance?”
“Unless I’m in a hospital or a jail cell, and can provide a note backing that up, I would be deemed in being in contempt of court,” Chase starts, causing a confused glance from Ryan. “An arrest warrant would be put out for my arrest, and I would go to jail for a minimum of 30 days, to a maximum of five years per Florida law. That was included in the package sent to me, by the way.”
“So maybe it’s a good thing we did listen, huh?” Chase nods his head as they enter the court room. “Although, if he went to jail, that’d free up a lot of things that we could just do togeth-”
“I heard that, Blaney!” Ryan laughs as Sarina just rolls her eyes.
“If he was sitting in a jail cell, then you’d be going on your own because I’d be trying to get his ass out,” Sarina informs him. “And by the way, there’s no way you’d survive this trip alone. You need someone to help your ass back to the hotel after the drinks…” Chase could only smile in response as he sat down, with his friends on either side of him.
“You do realize that I could’ve taken a lot of other friends other than you both?” Chase and Sarina then look over at Ryan, surprised.
“Then why don’t you call them up? I mean, you’re cutting in on the time that we’ve got alone together…” The smile on Chase’s face widened as Ryan tried to find the right words to say.
“You’re not going to win this argument,” Chase comments as he wraps an arm around Sarina’s shoulders for support, knowing she’d stiffen up as soon as her brother entered. There was also a mix of thoughts already based on the possibilities of the psychiatrist’s findings. “
“Please don’t tell me the whole trip is going to be this way….” Ryan begs as Chase just gives him a wink. Ryan went to say something, though stopped as he watched the clerk walk in and stand before the judge’s desk.
“All rise!” The clerk states, as they all rise together. As he did the same time they were in the court room, Chase clutches Sarina’s hand tightly with his own, keeping her held close as he watches them bring Chris into the room. Chase catches the glance that Chris throws his way with a smirk, and Chase focuses on giving him the most stone cold look he could muster in reply.
“And you’re worried about me….” Sarina whispers, catching Chase’s reaction immediately.
“I’m fine,” Chase replies. “He’s not bothering me in anyway. I’m just sending him a message.” Ryan could only chuckle at the thought.
“Chase a big tough guy?” He questions. “Nobody would ever believe that….” Chase then glances over at Ryan.
“Once we get outside, I’ll show you just how tough I can be when I kick your ass.” Sarina then took her turn glancing over, eyes in surprise.
“Oh really? We’ll just have to wait and see…”
“YouTube Gold!” Sarina lets out, perhaps a little louder than intended as a couple eyes look her way. She immediately looks down, cheeks turning red, as the boys quietly chuckle. “Of course you’d both get me in shit…”
“This is going to be a great week,” Ryan comments.
“Judge Reynolds preceding!” The clerk announces as the doors open for the judge enter.
“So what’s the charge for telling the judge he’s a jackass for ruining our vacation plans?” Chase and Sarina both chuckle again.
“When you go up there, you should steal his gavel,” Sarina adds as Chase chuckles a little louder.
“I thought your goal was to keep me out of jail,” he comments as she shrugs her shoulders.
“It’s only a criminal offense if you get caught, right?” He looks over surprised as Ryan just smiles.
“And my only thought was just to tell him what we thought of him, and here goes the lady with the greatest suggestion of all-time,” Ryan comments as Sarina glances at Chase with a smile.
“I have his seal of approval,” she says as Chase rolls his eyes.
“You obviously don’t know what you’re in for this week,” he says, though had to admit it was probably going to be an amazing experience.
“Please be seated,” the judge states, as they all sit down together, trying to hide their smiles and giggles from the discussion. “We begin with the findings of our court psychiatrist, Dr. Hugh Greenfield.” The psychiatrist walks to the front of the room, taking his spot in the witness box. Chase had quietly crossed his fingers, hoping for the answer that they needed to hear to move forward. “Did you evaluate the defendant, Chris Dryer, as requested by the courts?”
“I did, your honor,” the psychiatrist answers – as expected. Sarina just wanted to see the questioning move ahead.
“Can you speak to the defendant’s state of mind, please?” Chase took a deep breath, fingers still crossed, also perhaps trying to cross his toes in his shoes.
“I found the defendant, Chris Dryer, to have a complete sane mind as the next individual. He answered everything clearly. When we spoke of the case and events, he showed signs of trying to act insane – but none of those were matched with actual insanity. The suspicion that he may try to use it as a cover-up and not be is very found.” Sarina smiles as it was nice to hear a psychiatrist confirm what everybody had said for months.
“So, to continue with the trial and have him go to jail would be correct according to the theory?” Chase knew the answer to come, and couldn’t help but glance towards Chris to see if he was disappointed.
“Yes, indeed. There is nothing that should stop that process.” Sarina and Chase squeeze each other’s hands a little tighter in approval.
“Thank you. You may step down.” The psychiatrist then leaves the stand as Chase takes a deep breath. He knew what was next. “Now, we can carry the trial forward, as originally planned. Second witness, please…”
“We would like to call Chase Elliott to the stand please,” the attorney states as Sarina reaches over, giving him a quick kiss.
“Just tell it as it happened and tell the truth, and it’ll work out,” she tells him. “I love you.” He smiles, slowly letting go of her hand.
“Love you, too,” he replies before making his way to the front. Sitting down in the witness box, he takes a deep breath. He should be in a comfy t-shirt and shorts right now on a plane headed to Ambersterdam, not sitting in a box in a suit. Maybe stealing the gavel was a good idea…
“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth?” The clerk asks as Chase holds his hand up, focusing back on the trial. If he had to tell the truth, maybe he should tell the judge what he thinks of this vacation ruining plans….
“I do,” he simply replies, eyes focused forward as he didn’t even want to look at the judge right now. He watches as the attorney stands up, walking over to begin her questioning. He could easily smack the attorney instead of the judge; the attorney was the one who issued the subpoena, after all.
“Mr. Elliott, can you take us back to that night in July, please?” The attorney asks as Chase thinks it over, wondering where he should begin.
“I got done the race – crappy finish.” He could only think about how the end of the race didn’t go his way, thanks to Michael McDowell being his usual douche self. He still wanted to kill Michael for the tweet, too. “I talked it over with my team, before heading into the hauler – I normally chill out a bit, before flying home. I grabbed a bottle of juice from the fridge, began to drink it as I laid in the lounge. The symptoms started to come over me, and I remember thinking of calling the guys. Alan showed up, and called upon the crew guys, and they got Greg and the medics. I was then taken to hospital with poisoning.”
“Let the record show that it was same poisons used for all the previous cases, even those in which Mr. Dryer has pled guilty, too.” Chase knew the connection was enough to create suspicion. Now when combined with Chris’ history with Chase, the charges were eventually laid. “The bottle came from the fridge into the team hauler. Can you explain the connection to the defendant?”
“I filled it with juice and brought it from my motorhome to the trailer on Friday, as I usually do at the beginning of the weekend so I have a drink there if I want. Chris had access to everything in the motorhome as he was staying there with myself and Sarina, and well, everybody else was getting poisoned by him, so it just makes sense.” He knew how that came across, and knew there was a 50/50 shot at the jury believing him right now. It was worth the chance, though.
“You have a history with Chris, though….” Chase nods his head, knowing that he could never forget their previous encounters.
“That’s why this is not a surprise to me, and why we connected the dots immediately. I mean, he pushed me down the bleachers at the Winterdown Showdown, and messed with my plane twice.” The attorney crosses her arms.
“Why wasn’t he convicted either time, then?” Chase smiles, as he glances over at Chris, glad the games were up.
“Because they found him to be insane, therefore requiring mental help rather than going to jail – when meanwhile, he was just making it seem that way. I mean, he even told me that in California. He told me before he pushed me that he knew he’d get caught, but it was okay because they’ll just take him to the hospital and try to fix him, failing like they have every other time.” Chase knew he could never forget those words as they were spoken to him, or the tone that Chris had decided to use that day, either. It was why he never forgave him despite the strides made with Sarina, and why he began to keep an eye on him. Too bad he hadn’t kept a better eye out….
“Thank you.” Chase’s eyes immediately focus over to Chris’ lawyer, knowing the series of questions were about to come flying and obviously, they were supposed to throw him off his game.
However, he was ready for it. Like Sarina said, he just needed to speak the truth.