Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 177: “He’s going to kill us when he wakes up…”

Tuesday, November 28 – Caesar’s Palace

The shots went down one after another, as Chase knew that tomorrow was going to probably go on forever based on how he was feeling. Certainly, as predicted, the singing of tunes happened, as he joined in a couple rounds of songs with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

For being typically the sober one, Sarina had gotten into her fair share of drinks and it was showing. She could barely stand up straight in her boots, leaning on Lindsay for support.

“I’m going to take this girl back to the hotel,” Lindsay says partway through the night.

“I should come…” Chase says as he breaks free from his friends.

“No, you enjoy your birthday. I’ve got her. She wouldn’t want you to cut your night short for her. You only turn 22 once.” Part of him cared about Sarina too much to care, but the alcohol overcame the thought as he accepted the offer, giving her a kiss and letting the girls leave together.

“Are you up for a game of beer pong?” Ryan wonders as Chase shakes his head no, leaning back against the bar.

“I couldn’t throw the damn ball straight no matter what,” he answers as Ryan could only laugh.

“You are totally drunk….” Chase nods his head, knowing there was no denying that.

“You aren’t far behind me. Couple more, and I bet you won’t walk a straight line.” Ryan just smiles as he sips on his glass.

“You just enjoy your drink while I go kick Kyle’s ass at a game of beer pong – without your help. I can’t believe you’re doing this to me. That’s so disappointing. Not even gonna help a brother out after all this birthday planning?” Chase lets out a sigh as he stands up.

“Alright, fine. I’m in for a game. Besides, we could totally take Ricky and Kyle.” Ryan smiles as he grabs the plastic cups, taking to the table that they had set up in the middle of the room.

Needless to say, it went as badly as Chase should’ve expected, balls missing glasses, and more liquid flowing down his throat. As they finished up, he knew the limit had hit him.

“I need a nap…” He lets out as he heads back to the bar, going behind and climbing in the corner.

“Chase?” Ryan asks as he follows, glancing behind and looking on surprise. “Well, we did give you lots….”

“Did he pass out?” Kyle Larson questions, catching Ryan’s attention. Ryan simply nods his head, yes. He wasn’t looking forward to taking him back to the hotel. “Damn.”

“I told you he wouldn’t make it,” Ricky comments as he joins the pair, grabbing another glass off of the bar. “Least he found somewhere comfortable first.”

“Please tell me one of you got photo evidence,” Austin chimes in as Ryan holds up his phone with a smile.

“Anybody willing to help me get him back to the hotel?” Ryan wonders, ready for his request to fall on deaf ears. He had the place to the morning, with the staff accepting that the gifts could be picked up and delivered to his room then. Perhaps leaving him there was a better option.

“You know, I have a better idea…” Kyle comments as a smile forms on his face. Ryan immediately shakes his head no.

“Please tell me that the elevator isn’t far from here,” Ricky adds, catching on to the idea.

“We’re not taking him up to the roof and leaving him there,” Ryan declares as Kyle lets out a big boo.

“Why do you have to ruin all of our fun? I mean, come on. It’s the perfect prank, Ryan. You know he would be on-board if you would’ve passed out first.” Ryan knew that Chase could chime right with the pranks, but still felt bad about this idea.

“We weren’t going to leave him totally,” Kyle adds. “We’ll stay up there, share stories, sleep ourselves even. It’s nice enough out.” Ryan knew there was no way he was winning this fight because he had no energy left himself. Those drinks had come many and without many breaks inbetween.

“Alright, fine,” Ryan reluctantly gives in, which was met by a series of cheers. “But please be careful, don’t drop him, and let’s try to be smart here.”

“That’s why I got this tool already,” Austin offers, rolling a dolly over behind the bar. Ryan could only shake his head as he watched the crop go to work on their plan.

It didn’t take long to get their buddy on the dolly, followed by quietly snuck through the halls to the elevator with a trip to the top of the tallest tower – 29th floor on The Palace Tower. It didn’t take them long to find the keys to the rooftop patio, which surprisingly was left unlocked. They rolled the dolly out, with Ryan throwing a blanket over Chase before taking a seat.

“Was that so bad?” Austin questions as he gets comfy in a corner with a pillow that he had snagged on the way.

“He’s going to kill us when he wakes up…” Ryan muses as he lets out a yawn himself.

Glancing over the city, he couldn’t admit that the view was amazing as he snapped a photo on his phone before closing his eyes.

***********

Wednesday, November 28– Caesar’s Palace

His head was pounding, his vision felt blurry, and his stomach flip flopped more than he could count over the spawn of 10 minutes. He glanced around, seeing bright blue sky everywhere he looked, immediately burying his head underneath the blanket that laid on his body.

“Good morning sleeping beauty,” Ryan comments as Chase peaks out from underneath the blanket. “How are you feeling?”

“I could kill you all for last night,” Chase replies, causing a series of chuckles to go off around him. Feeling as though he could handle the bright light, he lifts the blanket off of his face and looks over towards the group. “Where the heck am I?”

“On the roof of Caesar’s Palace…” Chase looks at him, confused, though seeing the wheels underneath him, he could only let out a sigh. That’s when pieces of the night came flooding back all together – he never should’ve taken that nap.

“You guys are jackasses!” A series of laughs escape around him.

“We should’ve left him guessing about the events for a bit longer,” Austin suggests as Ryan quickly flips him the bird. “Well well, we are feeling quite peachy this morning aren’t we?”

“Do you want to go flying off the roof?” Ryan threatens as Austin looks on surprised.

“Easy Ryan….” Kyle Larson offers, rolling a bottle of Tylenol and water over to Ryan and Chase. “Take those, and relax. We’re all hungover. That was one rough night.”

“That was totally your fault,” Chase comments as he glances over at Ryan, taking two of the Tylenol. He hoped it managed to settled the thumping in his head before the Luncheon. “Shit. What time is it?”

“We’ve got two hours before we have to be at the Wynn all dressed and fancy,” Ryan answers with a glance at his phone. “Your phone is down on the bar, by the way.” Chase didn’t know if he wanted to face that right now. He knew there’d probably a couple missed calls from Sarina.

“Sarin-”

“I texted her what we did. She actually sent me back LMAO and let her know how it played out.” Chase simply rolls his eyes.

“She had a gift that was supposed to be between me and her for later on that night…” A couple evil grins form as Chase immediately regretted his words.

“I’m sure she’ll offer that gift another time for you,” Ricky comments as Chase nods his head, accepting. However, something about her words made him think it was something else. Regardless, he still didn’t know how he would ever thank her enough for the guitar.

“Wait? You’ve done the dirty?” Austin questions, a little shocked as Chase glances over his way.

“He’s a grown adult…” Austin knew that, but a smile formed on his face.

“I didn’t realize that he had a naughty side to him, though.” Chase rolls his eyes. “Just make sure you don’t get her pregnant. Kyle isn’t the easiest to deal with when he’s mad.”

“Trust me – he’s already gave me fair warning about that,” Chase offers, remembering Kyle’s words already. “I have a feeling I’d lose my manhood in that situation.” He then slowly stands up, and walks around the roof top a bit, glancing over the city. “As much as I’m willing to kick all of your asses right now for this, thank you for a great birthday party. We won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.”

“Shall we meet again next year?” Ricky questions and Chase smiles, knowing the thought process already.

“Here’s to all of us making the playoffs, with one of us – preferably myself – celebrating the championship. Then we can really set off a birthday extravaganza.”

“Here here!” The group chants together as Ryan glances amongst them.

How would they ever top this party?

Following a mandatory group selfie together – per Ryan’s request, they made their way down from the patio, taking the elevator back to ground level. They stopped by the party room, picking up any belongings that they had left behind, including Chase’s phone. Ryan informed him that all the gifts would be delivered to his hotel room, complimentary of the great party planning, which Chase easily accepted.

Adorning a set of shades as the Tylenol was just beginning to work, the group takes the short ride back to the Wynn and separates to head to their respective rooms. In just a couple hours, another crazy day in the midst of their stardom lives was set to begin.

Pulling his key card from his jeans, Chase inserts it and unlocks the door to his hotel room, walking inside as he slips the door closed behind him. He smiles as he sees both Lindsay and Sarina doing each other’s hair in anticipation for the luncheon.

“How are you feeling?” Lindsay wonders as Chase walks by them.

“Just peachy,” he comments as he flops back on the bed. “I feel like curling in these blankets, getting comfy, and forgetting about the rest of today.”

“Can I join you, please?” Sarina asks as Chase looks over at her intrigued.

“So you finally got into some good stuff last night, and look what happened….” She just rolls her eyes.

“You don’t look to be doing much better, and you have a full day of activities to follow. This should be fun.” Chase nods his head, knowing that it was going to be one of those never ending days once it began.

“Those donuts are going to be the death of me…” Letting out a sigh, he knew sleep wasn’t an option. So he stood up, grabbing a dress shirt and pair of black pants, he headed for the bathroom for a necessary shower. It wasn’t long before every stink of last night was washed away, and he emerged from there about a half hour later all dressed and perfected for the first responsibility at hand.

“You look absolutely stunning….” He smiles as he watches her walk over to the mirror, taking another look over her outfit. He walks over, placing his hands around her waist, kissing her cheek.

“You look even better than I do. You look perfectly charming.” She smiles, satisfied that the simple orange dress had fit nicely. It wasn’t beyond stylish, but formal enough for a casual awards luncheon. It also didn’t hurt that it showed a bit of skin, in the form of her leg and the slit in the chest.

“It doesn’t cut too low up top?” He shakes his head no, immediately.

“Nobody can see anything.” He then gives her another kiss, before running his hands through her hair. “By the way, what was your birthday surprise for me?” She smiles as she spins around to face him.

“We have to head out to the Luncheon so I can’t show you right now. I want to have some time to talk and show. I guess it will have to wait until Thursday night or Friday.” He hated the aspect of waiting, but he was willing to do it as he knew it’d be worth it based on her first gift.

“The guys automatically thought it was something naughty by the way…” A grin immediately forms on her face.

“Well that is always in the cards for you, that’s not what I have for you in the form of a birthday surprise. Are you sure you’re okay with waiting?” He nods his head, accepting.

“I’ll be too busy to have time, anyway.” His phone then goes off, and he grabs it off the charger, seeing a text message from Morgan. He sends her one back quickly, stating that they’d be down to the lobby in five minutes. “Are you ready?”

“Yep, ready as I’ll ever be.”

“Lindsay?” Chase questions, seeing she had chosen a simple blue gown that went to just below the knee.

“Ready to go,” Lindsay answers as she grabs her purse off of the table.

The group head out of the hotel room, set to begin the day – even if not quite feeling 100% yet.

Wednesday, November 28– Wynn Las Vegas

While the Luncheon was only two and a half hours long, it seemed much longer with the drawn out awards and speeches being given by each recipient. Admittedly, it was no surprise to see Dale honored with the Chevrolet Lifetime Achievement Award, and everybody could agree that both Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex were rightfully deserving of the Myers Brothers Award.

Thankfully, the Tylenol had kicked into overdrive by the time Chase had to sit down for his media availability, answering a series of questions for a good 15 minutes for the variety of reporters. From reflections on the year, to his thoughts moving forward – there was lots to be desired. There were even a couple who asked how he celebrated his birthday, which he downplayed in saying he just got together with a couple friends last night.

Once his responsibility was filled, he caught up with Sarina and Lindsay, who had changed out of their gowns during the interview period. Without a single word spoken, everybody knew what now consisted of.

“You know that you don’t have to come tomorrow nig-” Chase starts as he wraps his arms around Sarina.

“What have I told you already about that?” She cuts him off, as he lets out a sigh. “Listen, I love you and I want to be here to support you.”

“I know, but you don’t need to stress about it. I mean, it’s not like you’re missing my championship celebration.” Noticing the look on her face, he immediately stops, staring into her blue eyes instead. “I don’t want to argue before you leave. So I will tell you that I love you, hope you draw a good number tonight, and have a good safe practice tomorrow. Promise me to stay out of trouble and be safe.”

“I promise that, as long as you promise to stay out of trouble with the guys.” He chuckles, seeing the group not far behind him.

“Trust me, I don’t think I have the energy to do another night like that.” She chuckles back in response.

“I love you. Have fun and give me a shout tonight when you get in.”

“I love you, too.” He then gives her a kiss. “Safe trip. Lindsay, keep her out of trouble and watch out for her. Have fun!”

“I’ll do my best,” Lindsay offers as the pair quickly hug.

Without another word, the girls headed off to the exit to catch their ride to the airport, while Chase headed up to his room to change.

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