Wednesday, October 18
Chase emerges from the change room, smoothing the suit out as he flashes a quick smile to Morgan.
He would’ve preferred to be at the shop. He would’ve preferred to be biking, hanging out. He could’ve even spent some time hanging out with Sarina. Instead, it was another day of work for the sponsors – this time, being a photoshoot for Hooters.
“Okay, so let’s get this started,” one of the many sponsor representatives says as he comes down the hall. “Chase, this is the girl that you will be taking the photos with…”
Chase glances over his shoulder, his breath catching in his throat immediately. There was no mistaking that face anywhere as it was one to never, ever forget no matter what happened moving forward. Sure, she had changed some of her appearance since their last meeting – but it was her without a shadow of a doubt.
Was this really happening?
“Alison?” He finally finds her voice, as she glances up to finally meet his eyes.
“Chase?” She asks, puzzled as ever, as Chase felt confusion wash over him immediately. Maybe that was restraining order wasn’t looking too shabby now….
“What the…..?” She puts her hands up immediately, knowing that his thoughts were probably flying a hundred miles an hour as they stood there frozen.
“This is total coincidence….” Morgan then glances up from her phone, seeing the tension immediately.
“Do you know her?” Morgan questions, and Chase looks at her with a total face of surprise. How could Morgan not recognize her? Didn’t she remember the chaos endured?
“Yeah….” He states, as if to try and implicate that it should be obvious.
“Well?” Chase couldn’t believe he was having to explain this outloud.
“She’s the one that went after me at Indianapolis….” Morgan’s face turns serious immediately, as she takes another glance at Allison once again. The hair or contacts didn’t fool her anymore as she found the recognizable facial features.
“Oh hell no, there is no way this is getting done…” Allison then glances at her, surprised. Who was this person to say what happened in Chase’s life? Wasn’t that the duty of Chase himself? Besides, she looked nothing like Sarina. Had something happened? Did Bethany and Chris finally get their wish.
“Who are you? His assistant or something?” Morgan then looks at the brunette in immediate surprise from her tone. She knew there was no chance around it – she needed to be thrown out of there as soon as possible.
“I am his media and public relations representative,” Morgan states firmly as she crosses her arms. “I am supposed to handle everything when it comes to those departments to protect him, and our marketing partners.”
“She’s also there so I don’t have to shift through pointless requests,” Chase adds, though Morgan shoots him a glare right afterwards. She knew she needed to get this handled right away. there was no way that she could let this go any further, or she might as well kiss her job goodbye immediately.
“Now, where is the boss so we can get this cancelled?” Chase was still caught off-guard by seeing her standing there, remembering her words in the court room. Didn’t everything that happened in Las Vegas ruin a chance of this ever happening?
“I thought you lost your role with Hooters totally. You also said you didn’t mean what happened. Why are you here?” Morgan rolled her eyes, wishing Chase wouldn’t even give her the time of a day.
“Chase, I can explain…” Allison starts, followed by taking a deep breath. “I had no idea that you would be here. And yes, I lost the pageant but they keep every girl’s name on file. They liked my modeling work so they called and asked me if I do a photoshoot. They didn’t explain the details at all. I can give you copies of all the paperwork for proo-
“I’d like to see those, plea-” Morgan interrupts, not believing a single drip of her story. She knew how stalkers worked and wasn’t about to let this go through at all.
“Morgan….” Chase states, caught off-guard by Morgan’s tone as she looks over at him.
“Liability, Chase. I have to per the terms of my contract with Rick.” Chase really didn’t know her contract, but figured that may be along the lines. Still, he wanted to at least hear what Allison had to say.
“Listen, I’ll let you see them, no problem,” Allison immediately offers. “They’re my change room in my bag actually. But anyways, I took the job. I’m short cash, and I need money, so I took the job. I had no idea you were involved. If I knew, I would’ve said no for obvious reasons. I never wanted to see you again, cause anymore problems, violate any conditions from the trial…. I’ll go tell John and he can get one of his other girls.”
Chase knew that would solve all the differences of opinion here, but he also knew how that’d go over. John would have two million questions, they’d need to spend time explaining, and then it’d create tension moving forward.
He also remembered her statement from the court room, her regrets, the fact that she never meant to do it. What if she truly meant that? He had gotten to know how insane Chris and Bethany could be.
Besides, he had a date planned that night with Sarina and knew any delays here would cause him to be late. While he knew that she’d forgive him, he didn’t want it to come to that.
What was the harm in taking a couple photos together for promotional reasons?
“No, it’s fine,” Chase speaks, catching both Morgan and Allison off-guard. “We can do this.” Morgan’s shocked expression lands directly on Chase, arms still firmly crossed. She had expected Chase to throw Allison out after everything.
“What?” She questions as Chase takes a deep breath.
“It’s going to take forever for them to find someone else right now at this moment. Let’s just do the photos, and get it over with. I want to get back home.” Morgan glances around, not believing this. Was this really happening?
“Can we talk alone?” Chase rolls his eyes, knowing that it was a waste of time.
“Of course,” Allison answers, before Chase can say anything. “I’ll go get you the papers…” Allison then leaves, as Morgan locks her eyes on Chase in the hallway.
“Chase, I am so sorry,” Morgan immediately begins. “I should’ve checked into these conditions and everything. I should’ve asked about who they were making you pose with. I shou-”
“It’s fine, Morgan,” Chase cuts her off immediately. Why were they having this discussion? “It’s not your fault.”
“No, it is! I’m paid by Hendrick Motorsports to do your public relations, media relations, and damn well security through that. I should’ve been on the ball knowing that sleezeball was walking around. I mean, I didn’t even recognize her and I was sitting in the damn court room with you! I should’ve done a background check!” Chase could see that she was beating herself, perhaps worried that she’d be fired in a matter of days. However, Chase didn’t see it that way. These slip-ups were possible, and he was willing to give Morgan the benefit of the doubt, for now.
“Look, you do a great job. We’ll just get these photos over with, and then we can talk to them, okay? If we try and hold this over, it may take hours and that messes up schedule and I want to get home. Can we just go forward, please?” Morgan hated the thought of moving forward, but felt obligated to listen to him.
“Sure….” Chase smiles a little, as he places a hand on her shoulder.
“And Morgan, please lay off a little….” She gives him a ‘really’ glance.
“I’m just doing my job, Chase.” They both watch as Allison walks over, handing a couple pieces of paper over to Morgan.
“Here are those papers. I’m sorry once again….” Allison says as her eyes find their way to Chase.
“Thank you,” Morgan replies, as she begin to look them over.
“Are we ready?” The representative looks down the hall, having grown tired waiting.
“If you are?” Allison asks, eyes locked on Chase. Why had she screwed things up so badly?
“Let’s get this over with, please….” Chase simply states, before following her to where they needed to be.
The representative got the pair to stand back-to-back, her flowing hair brushing his shoulder, eyes locked forward. The shutter closed a couple times, with flashbulbs around them
“Chase, relax a little man,” the camera man requests. “Let’s try and make these look natural….”
Chase takes a deep breath, trying to follow suit with the request, though he couldn’t help but feel the nerves Morgan previously warned of creeping in. He wasn’t sure about her story in the court room now…
Friday, October 20 – Kansas Speedway
Sarina makes her way down off of the 24 hauler, making her way across the garage, signing a couple autographs for some fans that recognized her. She flashes a couple smiles for some photos, too, knowing her destination in mind.
“Don’t you ever spend a weekend away from the track?” She hears a familiar voice, seeing Kyle immediately as they cross paths with him headed to the 18 hauler.
“Once upon a time, there was a guy who rarely spent time away from the track, too,” she reminds him of his younger self as he just chuckles. “You know why I’m here…”
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit that you’re here supporting him, actually. Just make sure you’re having and kicking it loose. This is your last break before the end of the season.” She nods her head, accepting. She was actually excited for the next four weeks as they were going to be four really good tracks, hopefully producing a win or two.
“Of course, boss. Any other advice for the day or am I escaping your butt chewing?” He then glances back surprised, as he looks back towards the garage.
“Go cheer up your man….” She then crosses her arms.
“How about you share those secrets that make you so fast?” He then laughs right away. She was good…
“Not happening, but good try….” They then separate as she walks into the garage stall, waiting back patiently as she sees Chase standing here debriefing with Alan and Josh. It had been a decent qualifying run as he would start Sunday’s race in 15th.
Taking a deep breath, she just quietly asked for a nice, clean, quiet race day come Sunday.
Saturday, October 21 – Indiana
“This is ridiculous!” Chase lets out as they climb out of the car, bound for the familiar court room once again. “I thought we told them that we didn’t want to do these things on race weekends?”
“The judge is trying to expedite the process,” Sarina comments as she wraps an arm around his shoulders. She understood and sympathized with his frustration. He had finished practice that day all the way back in 22nd, and now ad to fly from Kansas to Indiana just to see Bethany. She had suggested that she just go herself, not wanting to add more to his day and also giving him time to talk with Alan, but he wouldn’t allow that to happen.
“The judge is also an asshole…” Sarina nodded her head as they walked inside, taking their familiar seat.
They just hoped that the process went as quick as possible. Thankfully, they were just there to hear how long she would spend behind bars, hoping that it was for a long time.
“Ms. Bethany Adams, I would like to throw you away for a long time given what you’ve done – but I can only do as the law allows,” the judge begins. “You pled guilty to coercion against Ms. Allison Reynolds. Coercion in the form of a Class C felony because it involves threatening with a deadly weapon gives you up to eight years in prison – which you’re receiving completely as words cannot describe the level of actions you caused Ms. Reynolds to follow suit with by your actions. The level of fear experienced to the amount of people involved – it’s unfathomable.
“You also pled guilty to poisoning Mr. Elliott through coercion since you put the method in motion, while supplying the vile that was injected into his system. That’s a class C felony of coercion, equaling another eight years. On top of that, a charge of poisoning at a degree to where life was without reasonably a doubt threatened based on medical record findings – actually, attempted murder is more like it for Mr. Elliott was on the verge there for a period of time. That right there brings you another 10 to 15 years – which I am placing 15 years, once again.
“Therefore, if I was to add everything together, you will be spending a total of 31 years behind bars for your actions against Mr. Elliott and Ms. Reynolds. You will also have no chance at parole for you showed no remorse for your behavior during the court proceedings. Court adjourned!”
Satisfied with the results and how quickly the events took place, Chase and Sarina immediately make their way outside, taking the back door to escape the media field of questions that surrounded the main gates.
“Feel better now?” Chase questions as he rubs her shoulders.
“I’d feel if she was dead and I had no chance of seeing her face again,” she answers as Chase lets out a sigh. He could sympathize with her feelings as they climbed in the car together.
“Both of us would feel better. But hey, 31 years behind bars isn’t too sha-”
“You will be 52 and I will be 51 when she gets out. We’re both easily able to be found, Chase. Do you not realize we’re never going to get away from this?” Chase runs his hands across the steering wheel, finding patience in her words despite his own frustrations. That thought wasn’t lost on them.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For all we know, seeing how she’s unruthless, she could get herself in trouble in prison to earn more years or get killed. We don’t know what the future holds. All we can do is focus on each day ahead, and put that out of mind. When she does get out later on, if she does, we will handle it. We will get the right papers and details put together.” She wanted to firmly believe in his words as she nodded her head. “And I’ve put in for that restraining order against Allison.”
“Really?” He nods his head. The more he moved away from Wednesday, the more nervous he felt about the whole ‘random coincidence’ meeting.
“I don’t want to take any chances. I know she felt, and I know she says she didn’t mean it – but what if?”
Sunday, October 22 – Kansas Speedway
“Nice job!” Alan gives him a high-five post-race following a fourth-place finish. “You did a good job sticking with it all day.” Chase smiles, as he was certainly proud of the effort.
They hadn’t started out as strong as they wanted, fighting the balance of the car from start to finish. However, they kept working at it, getting it a touch better, and found their way to the front in the late stages using a bit of driving know-how and strategy. It wasn’t the day they may have envisioned, but it was enough as they were now off to the Round of 8.
“We just got to keep working at it….” Chase tells him and Alan nods his head in agreement.
“Let’s just go survive next week at Martinsville, and go from there, okay?”