When people want to play the game of mixing words and things like that, you turn us into robots. We can’t say the things that we want to say or do the things we want to do because it gets us in trouble or gets us in a bad light. It’s really unfortunate.” – Kyle Busch
Wednesday, February 14 – Daytona International Speedway
Sarina lets out a long stretch and sigh, before glancing over at the empty spot beside her in bed.
It was the day of love, but it was like that had disappeared with yet another day of work on the horizon. She actually wished he would’ve woken up before he left.
She then slowly gets up, making her way to the kitchen half-asleep, knowing that she’d have to go in a bit herself. Letting out a sigh, a day of photos and talking to the media just seemed perfect.
As she reaches the kitchen, a smile immediately blossoms on her face as she walks over to the small dining room table. She sees the dozen pink roses lying there, along with box of chocolates and a card. She picks up the card, quickly opening it as she leans back against the desk.
“I love you no matter and always,” she reads out loud. “You’ll always be my girl, no matter what anybody says. Have some fun today, ignore the hatred that you’re going to receive, and just be you. I’ll see you later…”
She then picks up the roses, smelling them as she gets out a make-shift to vase to put them. As she gets them settled, she was caught off-guard by a knock at the door. She was a little taken back, but wondered if it was possibly either her PR rep thinking she’d be running late, or maybe even Chase’s parents.
She makes her way over, slowly opening the door, relaxing as she sees her boss’ face immediately.
“I was wondering when we’d actually see each other after last night,” Kyle states as he enters the motorcoach. Sarina could feel the lump foaming in her throat as she closed the door behind them, slowly following him to the living room area.
“Kyle, I can explai-” She starts, hoping that she could somehow muster her way out of this.
“You don’t need to explain yourself.” She then looks at him confused. “Anybody knows that you didn’t know anything about it. Considering that Chase sent out a tweet supporting your statement, and the fact that his sponsors haven’t said anything, why are you thinking that?” She felt relieved immediately, but taken back by his words at first.
“I just thought that I’d be in shit considering the messages I’ve gotten back in return.” Kyle had to chuckle as he had read through a bunch of them last night before falling asleep.
“And you don’t think I’ve gotten worse? Do I need to show you what I received when I wrecked Dale?” She lets out a sigh, shaking her head no. Perhaps Kyle showing up was actually the best thing. “I like the personality and spark that you have. It’s one of those reasons why I felt you were perfect for KBM, beyond your talent. I thought Chase would’ve pushed for you to stay in the Hendrick/GMS family, but I can see watching you how he felt that you were perfect under my wing, too. I actually stopped by because I wanted to offer my hand in support, in case you thought I was mad at you.” She smiles back in return as it was nice to actually here, even if originally implied.
“I just don’t know how to handle everybody today after what was said…” Kyle crosses his arms as an idea comes to mind immediately, with a twinkle. “Oh no….”
“I’ve done it, but it’d be perfect…..”
Chase had been busy all morning, going through the required stages of the media day. From the radio interviews, to the TV interviews, to now sitting before a bunch of people talking his butt off.
Didn’t they have anything else to talk about, though? It was just about first win and the prospect of being the next most popular driver. Why did they want to make a big deal out of it?
“Your tweet last night in relation to Sarina surprised some people,” a media member speaks up, catching his attention. “We haven’t seen you speak out much about things…”
“I speak out when necessary, answer questions as they’re asked, and go about my business,” Chase offers. “But last night, it was clear that a lot of people took her comment the wrong way. Nobody associated with me, or myself, had any ill-feelings, but you could see yourself the comments. I just wanted to show my support.” He just hoped they left it at that.
“What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?” He smiles, shrugging his shoulders.
“I can’t tell you that, man. She’s around here somewhere and may hear my answer. That’d ruin the surprise.”
Sarina was also busy doing her rounds at the same time, and found herself before the same people later on. Taking a deep breath, she couldn’t wait for the fun to begin. She trusted Kyle’s judgment in doing this.
“What are your thoughts going into this weekend?” One reporter asks and she just smiles.
“Everything’s great,” she answers, noticing Kyle watching out of the corner of her eye.
“What is your reaction to the backlash from last night?” Another wonders.
“What about your relationship with Chase Elliott?”
“What about Valentine’s Day? Chase mentioned a possible surprise….”
“Everything’s great.” Kyle couldn’t help but chuckle as he watched the reactions on their faces.
“Is that all your going to say today?” She then glances over, and nods her head.
“It seems that when you guys get to know me, it’s gets twisted or torn apart. I’m the girl who’s probably crazy, maybe even insane, and can’t crack a simple joke, right? That’s sarcasm, if you don’t get that, because I am not those things. But I am sick of people twisting things on their face.”
“Does that mean all of your answers are going to dry from now on?” One of them wonders and she shrugs her shoulders.
“We’ll just have to see what happens, right?” She questions as she sits back in the chair. “If I have to be honest, though, I was taken back by the responses last night to the tweet that those clearly directed to got right away. I mean, I’ve talked with those girls before at races and we have no problems. Secondly, obviously I’m excited for this weekend to get back racing and get back behind the wheel. Hopefully I can snag myself a win and start off the year well. As for your other question, Chase and I – well, everything’s just great.”
Kyle also took his time before the media, seeing as though things had been taken care of accordingly – even if some people didn’t appreciate their tactic used.
“What is your take on the situation with Sarina’s tweet?” Busch was asked about halfway through.
“Everything’s great, right?” He offers, causing a series of chuckles. “My take is simple. When people want to play the game of mixing words and things like that, you turn us into robots. We can’t say the things that we want to say or do the things we want to do because it gets us in trouble or gets us in a bad light. It’s really unfortunate.”
Despite starting after he had started, she was officially done for the day and was now doing the liberty o standing back watching him finish up the last couple of photos.
“I can’t believe you’re not down here for Valentine’s Day sucking up to Ryan,” she says on the phone, having dialed up Lindsay. She wanted to make sure her cousin was still coming as promised.
“I couldn’t get out of doing this dance recital no matter how hard I tried,” Lindsay confesses as Sarina lets out a long sigh. “Besides, it’s not like Ryan and I aren’t close yet…” It was now her turn to chuckle.
“You don’t need to keep lying to me and Chase….” It was clear that chemistry was growing as she had on good information from Chase that Ryan had been texting Lindsay.
“I’m being serious! But okay, let’s talk to you now. It must suck working on the one day where you two could truly spend to yourselves, cherishing that special love….” Sarina couldn’t find herself to agree, though, by the sight before her right now.
“There are certainly perks to this job…” She licks her lips with every thought that comes to her mind, as he lets out a quick blink her way. “I have an excuse to just stand here, stare, and not be creepy.”
“Do I want to know what you’re doing right now?” Sarina almost chuckled, as she kept her eyes locked on Chase’s.
“I’m just watching him do the photo shoot for Fox. Needless to say, we’re going to be spoiled as they are doing quite the job…” It was Lindsay’s turn to chuckle as Sarina watched as he shifted positions.
“Are you sure you want to share that with the whole world?” Sarina knew the answer that should be offered, but she didn’t need to be one of those girls.
“They can look, but at the end of the day, we both know where his heart lies….”
Once they were done their photos together, they headed back to the motorcoach.
Chase goes in before her, retreating to the back as he finds a pair of good pants and a polo shirt, heading into the bathroom without saying a single word.
Sarina makes her way in, shutting the door behind her, as she comes up through. She finds herself frozen at the table, caught off-guard. She had put the card and flowers up, and eaten the chocolate, before she left, with nothing there. However, now a big box laid there with her name on it.
She slowly opens the box and her jaw dropped immediately as she saw the dress inside. She slowly pulls it out, holding it up as she glances it over.
“Do you like it?” She hears as her eyes turn his direction, seeing him peaking out of the bathroom.
“It’s stunning…” She lets out as she lays it back on the table. He makes his way over to her, just wearing his pants right now, as he wraps his arms around her.
“After you left, I got my mom to sneak back in and set this here for you. I love you, and I want to spend this day properly with you. I’m taking you out to dinner tonight. Why don’t you get that on and show me just how beautiful you are?” He then kisses her lips, before letting go and retreating back to the bathroom.
It didn’t take her long to get dressed before they headed out together to dinner.
It went successful together, as they were able to get some quality time together, with even more gifts shared. He bought her an 18 and 9 charm to go on her bracelet with the heart-shaped locket, while she had treated him to a box of chocolates, along with a couple new magazine subscriptions and new Georgia Bulldog sweater.
Of course, the night ended off in true fashion, too, as he eventually helped her take off the dress carefully later on.
Thursday, February 15, 2018 – Daytona International Speedway
With the night going later on than intended, Chase had later than he wanted, and was shocked when the alarm went off at 4am, knowing he had to go pick up Lindsay from the airport for Sarina. It also didn’t hurt that it had gone off a half hour later than he wanted, either. Perhaps he had hit snooze twice.
He carefully sneaks out of the bed without disturbing her, quickly texting Ryan in the process. Ryan had asked to come as he wanted to see Lindsay.
“So she landed in Miami because it was cheaper?” Ryan questions and Chase nods his head yes as they pull into the parking lot. “So we’re going to fly down there, pick her up, and come back?”
“That’s the plan,” Chase answers as he parks the car. “Are you excited to see your girl?”
“I would’ve honestly preferred a couple more hours sleep…” Chase couldn’t help but agree as the pair made their way to the plane.
Glancing at the time, seeing that they were running late, he could only shake his head. Knowing the plane had been locked up, he was confident in no issues, forgoing the usual checklist.
Though now in the air for awhile, he was beginning to regret it as he saw something wrong on the dials.
“We need to land ASAP,” he tells Ryan, who looks over a little concerned. Ryan knew there was reason to be worried if Chase was saying that. “Either we turn around, or we land up here on the sand. But this…” He points to a couple of the dials. “…just doesn’t seem right.”
“Do what you feel right,” Ryan instructs as he unintentionally makes sure the belts are done up tight as they can. “I trust you. Just let me know if I can help.”
One eye on the dials, one eye on the sky, he tries to get himself turned around to head back to the original airport. Though as he turns, a big sound can be heard, causing both of the young men to jump out of their skin.
“Hold on tight!” Chase instructs, keeping both hands locked on the steering wheel as he pulls at the wheel as hard as he can. “Damn it, come on!” Despite the efforts, it wasn’t long before water was in their full view as Ryan closed his eyes, counting his blessings.
“Oh shi-” Ryan starts as he sees the beach water below him straight ahead.
“Abort!” Chase reaches over, knocking Ryan’s belts loose before knocking his own. “Go down belted in and we’re drowning. You know what to do…”
“Are you sure?” Ryan didn’t get a chance to hear an answer as he watches his friend jump, heading straight for the water away from the plane. A deep breath, and Ryan followed suit, barely making it out following him.
Thursday, February 15, 2018 – Daytona Beach – 7am
Chase takes a deep breath, glancing around him. Considering how high he had jumped from, he actually didn’t feel that bad right now. But why did things feel odd?
He closes his eyes, trying to remember the past couple of hours. He remembered the jump into the water. He remembered working hard as swimming to shore as the plane went down behind him. He remembered making it to shore. As he opens his eyes, exhaustion was all he could think of as he glances around.
“Chase?!?” He hears his name called and the missing link instantly comes to him.
“Ryan?!?” He yells back in return as he glances down the beach. He saw his friend lying on the beach and couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief. He makes his way slowly down, flopping back down beside him. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, absolutely. I’m tired as hell, but I’m okay….” Chase nods his head as he glances around.
“I’m okay, too.” Ryan couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.
“When you jumped, I didn’t know what to think….” Chase looks out to the water, before looking over at Ryan.
“Instincts just took over. I don’t know what went through my mind.” He then glances around the beach, seeing it was still bare – which seemed odd despite the early hour. “If you’re willing to do some traveling, we should go find civilization.” Ryan nods his head in agreement, as he slowly goes to stand up.
“Oh man…” Chase looks over concerned. “Sore, everywhere…” Chase watches Ryan get up, before getting up himself. He froze immediately, hands reaching down to his side.
“I knew he jinxed it!” Ryan then looks over confused. “Ricky mentioned in all this jokingly that I hadn’t hurt my ribs when this started. I recognize that pain – not as bad, but damn…” Ryan almost felt like getting the pair to sit back down, but knew that wasn’t an option.
“Are you sure you’re up for a hike?” Chase nods his head as he begins to head down the beach.
“If we’re racing tonight, we need to find the track…” Ryan couldn’t argue with him as he knew no matter how sore they both were, racing wasn’t out of the question.