Friday, November 10 – Phoenix Raceway
Sarina emerged from the care center, having been checked out and deemed okay besides being a little sore, and had only one thought on her mind.
“Where is he?” She immediately questioned as her eyes landed on the first person she recognized. The brown eyes that glanced into hers could care less about finding Christopher at this moment, though, as they were filled with concern and worry from what they had just witnessed.
“Are you okay?” Chase asks in response, ignoring her question totally. Wasn’t it obvious that she was okay?
“Where is Bell?” Chase knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere unless he answered her question. He actually wished that he didn’t have to give her this response as it was unfair.
“They fixed some of the damage, changed the tires and he’s back out.” She immediately rolls her eyes, feeling disgusted right away. Of course he would not have enough damage to end his race early.
“Son of a bitch! I’m going to kill him.” Chase takes a deep breath, trying to remain calm, hoping they could focus on how she was doing instead.
“Sarina….” She was surprised at his disagreement in her plan. Wasn’t he upset about what happened?
“What? He deserves it!” He felt like rolling his eyes, knowing her plan had many layers of failure. It also didn’t address the biggest concern that still filled him.
“Sarina…..” She didn’t care anymore what he said or thought, as it was clear that he wasn’t going to be supportive or do what she wanted. How was that even fair after she backed him all the way with Denny?
“I am going to go wait for his ass and he better watch out.” She then begins to walk away, creating a new sense of panic for Chase. How was he supposed to get his answer this way? What if she did approach Christopher? What would the team, or more importantly Kyle say afterwards?
“Sarina, no…. Sarina…. Chelsy!” Upon the name slipping out of his lips, she froze immediately, spinning around on a dime to face him. Was this really happening?
“What the hell is your problem, William?” It was Chase’s turn to be caught off-guard by her response, but that didn’t deter him from the plan at hand. He was going to get his answer, and solve the other problem at the same time. With eyes locked on each other, he immediately reaches for her arm, grabbing a stern hold. “Let me go…”
“You’re not going out there….” Sarina couldn’t believe this was happening right now. Shouldn’t he be simply following her, ready to back her up on all accounts?
“Let me go, Chase….” Chase knew there was no way that was going to happen based on her frame of mind right now.
“Not until you calm down.” She didn’t want to say the next words, but she was willing to do whatever it took to get her hands on Christopher.
“William Clyde Elliott, let me go before I kick your ass, too!” Chase knew she was just saying that out of frustration and lack of rationalization in her state. He also knew that she could try, but he would keep a hold on her to prevent her from doing something she’d regret later on. Besides, he had another concern on his mind…
“Sarina, are you okay?” Wasn’t it obvious to him that she was okay? She was walking around, willing to go kick some ass, and not deterred one bit.
“I told you to let me go….” Chase figured he better let the question go, because it wasn’t getting them anywhere. Maybe he had over-paniced a little when the wreck happened.
“Alright, I guess I got my answer – but I’m not letting go. You’re not going out there…” Her eyes immediately began to roll in response. If he got his answer, why did it matter anymore?
“Why not?” Chase knew the dead obvious answer.
“Because you’re not approaching him on pit road.” She had to laugh in response. He could easily approach Denny two weeks ago, but now she wasn’t allowed to go talk to Christopher?
“Why? Because I’m a girl? Because you want to protect me, Chase? Gosh, you approached Denny and you guys weren’t even on pit road! You were on the bloody backstretch! What is different here?” Chase knew his response immediately. An argument between two drivers was one thing, but punches thrown between teammates would be a whole other level.
“You’re a lot more fired up than I was and willing to kick his ass.” Again, a laugh escaped her lips. She had an obvious reason to be upset with him based on what happened.
“Oh, so because I’m going to get myself in a fight with possible punches you’re afraid now?” He had to shake his head as he knew she could stand her ground against any driver in this garage area. He had witnessed that already enough racing against in late models.
“No. I’m saying this because you guys are teammates. Do you really want to piss Kyle off by causing a scene out there? It’s not Kyle’s fault that it happened. It’s not the team’s fault, and it’s not the sponsor’s fault. But if you dare go and approach Christopher out there, cause a bloody scene, every one of those people are going mad at you for making a bigger headache.” She knew that he had a point on many levels, but that didn’t deter her plan for Christopher. He had to know that she wasn’t happy with what happened.
“So I’m just supposed to sit back and let him get away with that?” Chase knew there was no way that was happening as he did want to give her a chance to tell Christopher just how she felt.
“No – you’re just supposed to handle it appropriately. Why don’t we go back to the trailer, sit back and watch the final laps, and then you can approach him back there away from everybody? That way he knows your angry and gets to see why you’re so upset – and deservingly so, without a problem, please.” As long as she got the chance to talk to Christopher, she didn’t care how that happened.
“Fine. Can you let me go?” Chase shakes his head no. He wasn’t going to take a chance of her changing her mind in accepting his plan.
“No….” He then leads her back to the trailer and inside, closing the door behind them with his fingers still attached to her arm.
“Is this how it’s going to be? Are you keep doing this until I talk you about how I am feeling or give up on approaching Christopher?
“I’ll let you go when he gets back here….” She lets out a sigh, though knew she wasn’t winning this argument so she relaxed back, letting her eyes focus on the TV in the hauler.
After all the chaos that ensured, she watched as Johnny Sauter took the victory ahead of John Hunter Nemechek, with Christopher back in eighth. She almost wanted to scream watching Johnny do his celebratory burnout, though crossed her arms as Christopher came onto screen with one of FOX’s reporters.
“Can you take us through the side-by-side racing with Sarina Ott?” The reporter asks as Sarina just shakes her head. She couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say.
“It was really intense and we were both doing everything we could to go for the win,” Christopher starts. “It’s a big advantage to be on the outside because you have all the side force and whenever you crowd her like that you take all the air off the side of her truck. I knew that I was playing with fire there and that there was a good possibility that I was going to get us both in trouble. She was doing a really good job down there of hanging onto it and keeping it up – we were just racing really hard and it didn’t work out.” She almost laughed at how quickly he brushed off the contact. Like, it was supposed to mean nothing because they were both racing hard for the win and sometimes shit happens. She understood that, having found herself on both sides of coin previously. But you at least expect your teammate and best friend to give you a little more room.
“Are you mad at Sarina for the accident?” Chase then looks over surprised at the reporter. Why would Christopher have any right to be mad at Sarina when he was the one that crowded her to begin with?
“Everybody that drives a truck or any NASCAR, the aerodynamics are huge. Like I said earlier, you’re at a major advantage whenever you’re on the outside because you can just pinch that guy or girl down and make them loose, loose, loose and when they get loose, they lose momentum. You’re playing with fire whenever you do it and that’s the risk you run whenever you run like that and it didn’t work out for me.”
Sarina reached up, hitting the knob to turn the television off. She didn’t need to hear anymore of the post-race coverage as she had heard enough. Crossing her arms, she looks out the window to watch for him coming.
It wasn’t long before he was back in the pit area, and bound for the trailer. Chase kept a hold on Sarina, giving her a simple nod as she looked back.
“You can speak and rant and yell all you want – I don’t care,” he tells her. “But I’m holding you back enough so you don’t punch the guy.”
She watches as the door opens, her eyes immediately meeting his as he knew what was coming without saying a single word.
“What the hell were you thinking?” She questions before he even has a chance to say anything.
“I was just thinking about the win,” he answers, which he thought was pretty obvious. Weren’t they both focused on that?
“Well, congratulations because you gave it away to Johnny rather than letting one of us get it. Are you happy now?” He lets out a sigh, as he was nowhere near happy with what transpired.
“I was trying to crowd you to get you loose – yes, for sure. I wanted to get you to wiggle a little so I’d get the momentum and clear you and drive away. I didn’t expect you to get that sideways or to come around. I guess I got a little too close off of turn four, and I apologize. I never intended to wreck you and I am so sorry. I was looking forward to battling right to the flag. I didn’t mean to do that and I feel absolutely terrible.” She was caught off-guard by his instant apology, and how sincere it sounded that it caused her to take a step back. That didn’t mean all was forgiven, though.
“But you did, and you saw what happened. Your words don’t fix trucks, Bell.” He nods his head, knowing that he certainly wasn’t done apologizing for what happened yet. Clearly each employee at KBM deserved an apology, too.
“I know, and I plan to apologize to everybody for what it is worth. We’re all learning here and I made a mistake. While I can’t take back what happened, I can tell you that I’ve learned from it so I won’t do that again. I don’t know what else to say, really.” She didn’t know what else to say either as how could you argue with a guy that was taking the full blame? But, that didn’t make her feel better at that moment.
“I accept your apology for what it’s worth, but that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to hang out and be super buddies quite yet. I’m going to need some time to let this go.” He nodded his head, accepting.
“Take whatever time you need, but know I am sorry….”
“I know…” She then head out of the trailer, with Chase in toe, ready to turn in for the night.
Saturday, November 11 – Phoenix Raceway
Sarina lets out a long sigh as she glances at the clock. How could it be morning already?
“Are you okay?” Chase asks, causing her blue eyes to focus on his brown ones. “And please don’t lie…”
“I am sore,” she answers, as she moves closer to cuddle up with him. “My back, my shoulders – a little bit everywhere. That wasn’t pretty last night…” It didn’t take much for him to agree as he wrapped an arm around her.
“Now do you understand why I was so worried?” She nods her head, almost set to kick herself in the butt for how she acted.
“I’m sorry I was a pain in the ass. I should’ve been understanding of your concerns for me, and I should’ve co-operated a little more. I guess I have some work to do in the anger department.” Chase chuckles a little, glad that she realized what many had seen the past couple of years.
“Least you have a boss that can give you some advice…” She rolls her eyes. “And hey, it’s okay. I understood your frustration. I wasn’t too pleased with Christopher, either.”
“He did apologize, though, and I don’t think he meant it, unlike say someone else…” Chase sighed, not surprised that a reference had been made back to Denny’s behavior at Martinsville. He would rather not hear a single word about that moving forward.
“Do you forgive him?” She nods her head, knowing that she couldn’t find a reason to stay mad any longer – despite how sore she was feeling. “Now, I know you want to stay and cuddle all day, but I do have to go practice…”
“Can’t you just tell Alan you’re not feeling well and get Justin to fill in?” Chase had to admire her attempt, but wasn’t about to go for it as he slipped out from their cuddle, standing up. “Chase….”
“I’m sorry, but that’s just how things go.” He then grabs the bottle of Tylenol and water off the night table he had placed there in the middle of the night, knowing this moment would happen sooner than later. “Take 2 so you ease some of the pain. Then after I grab a quick shower, I am going to run you a nice warm bubble bath so you can soak in it while I go pract-”
“I was going to come wit-”
“No, you need to take care of yourself today. So you’re going to soak for a good bit, and then I want you to either relax on the couch or in the bed. You need to take it easy so you don’t make all this soreness worse. But if you’re good today, I’ll make it worth your while once I’m done both sessions….” She then looks at him, intrigued. “Trust me.”
“You haven’t let me down before….”