The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 171: Flashbacks and Surprises

Monday, January 14 – Charlotte, North Carolina – 27 weeks pregnant

Sarina lays there, taking a deep breath as she watches him sleep peacefully, not wanting to disturb a single moment. She knew there was no way that she was going to take moments like these for granted after the worry that she was feeling exactly a week ago. She couldn’t thank her lucky stars enough that he was okay, and knew she’d probably never stop thanking Morgan and Christopher for what they did.

“Normally I am the one staring at you,” she hears, which breaks her concentration immediately. She could only smile back in response, remembering those times she woke up to the same thing.

“I think I’m beginning to understand why you laid there like that some mornings,” she offers, earning back a smirk in response.

“Ah, it’s so nice of you to admire my beauty…” She then chuckles, rolling her eyes as she half-expected a smart ass comment like that in response.

“Actually, I’m just glad that we get to spend this time together, like this.” He then reaches out, clutching her hand with his.

“When we married each other, I promised you that I’d be here for you. I vowed to hold you, cuddle you, listen to you, take care of you, and keep you safe. I vowed to make sure that you didn’t endure the same pain that we have endured ever again, and I vowed to be yours forever and always – till death do us part. I don’t break my promises, sweetheart.” She knew that, knowing she could trust him no matter what with how much their trust in each other had grown from the first day they met.

“I know, and I’m glad that I get to call you my husband.” A cheesy smile then forms across her face immediately. “Husband. That’s as much fun to say as it is to say Sarina Elliott.”

“Just like Abigail Elliott, it seems that Sarina Elliott has a nice ring to it as well.” He then brings her hand to his lips. “I meant what I said, so you don’t have to worry about me going anywhere. I wasn’t going to marry you and just leave you like that.” He then gives her a light kiss, before letting it go slowly.

“I would’ve probably smacked you if you did that to me.” He then chuckles.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise.” He then goes to move slightly, letting out a small groan as he feels a sharp pain in his shoulder.

“Easy Chase…” She then reaches over, rubbing it lightly. “Relax, and take it easy. It’s only been a week. Don’t push it and not heal accordingly.”

“I just wish the nagging pain would go away.” He then sits up, grabbing the bottle of water and pain killers off of the nightstand. He then takes a couple, followed by a sip of the water.

“On a brighter note, I heard that chicks dig scars. You’ll have something to impress the ladies.” He then looks over at her, shaking his head.

“I don’t need to be impressing any ladies as I have the woman that I’ve wanted right here beside me.” She smiles back in response, as it didn’t hurt to hear that repeated multiple times a day.

“Well, how about this?” She then slips down the edge of her pajama shirt, revealing the scar that remained on her shoulder. “Even if yours is going to be a little bigger, we’re going to match now.”

Chase slowly nods his head, taking a deep breath as he tries to keep calm with the thoughts coming back to him immediately. There was no way he could forget what happened that day.

“I hope you enjoy the present I left for him, as well as what you’re going to receive,” he hears Alison say, as she brings her body against his, pinning him against the closest wall as he stood there blindfolded. “Let’s give her a show…” She then brings her lips to meet his once again, pushing against him, reaching into his boxers to stroke him slowly. “You’re so hard, baby.”

“Alison Reynolds!” A voice reigns through the place, which immediately causes Alison to back off of being against him. He could hear the wheels of the chair that Sarina was tied to rolling, followed by a gunshot being let off.

“Oh fuck!” Sarina let out immediately.

“What is going on?” His voice reign out, staying frozen in the same spot, still blindfolded. He feels arms wrap around him – recognizing them immediately to belong to Alan. He could feel them beginning to untie the mask. “What happened?!?”

“Chase….” He hears, snapping him out of his thoughts. He was now sitting up in the bed, breathing heavily, feeling a sudden panic on the flashback. “Chase?” He feels Sarina’s arms wrap around him immediately. “Talk to me, please. Say somet-”

“I’m okay,” he cuts her off, taking a couple deep breaths as he tries to get everything back under control and block out those feelings. “I’m okay.” He then finally turns to look into her eyes. “I’m fine.”

“I’m sorry….” She knew immediately what had happened and where she had transported him back to immediately in seeing him freeze up sitting there. Once again, she hadn’t been careful enough in knowing how sensitive his feelings still were about everything that happened. “I’m sorry, Chase. I shouldn’t had mentioned a single thing abou-”

“It’s fine, it’s not your fault.” He then takes a couple more deep breathes, before snatching the water off of the night table to have a couple of sips. “You couldn’t had known that it was going to cause me to do that.”

“I still should’ve been more careful in knowing that you’re still coming to grips with everything that happened. We’ve talked about this before.” He nods his head, remembering the night they were laying together and she made a comment exactly like something Alison said. It caused him to freeze up then, and flashback to that trail of events with her.

“I’m not mad at you, Sarina. It’s okay.” He then looks over at her, now calm, taking her hand once again with his. “I promise that I’m not mad or upset. If I’m going to move forward, I need to face everything that comes with it – and that includes dealing with flashbacks like that. You didn’t mean anything wrong as you are right with your comment.” He then looks back down at the bed spread, taking a deep breath. “That week with Alison was the worst of everything that she managed to do during the time that she was loose – well, and poisoning me so I was knocked out and she could have her way. But that week, every single emotion that you can think of has resulted from what happened. I’ve ranged from sadness, to betrayal, to disgust, to anger, to guilt, to being so sick to my stomach that I puked every single thing up.”

“Chase, it’s not your fault. You don’t need to live with that forev-”

“I know it’s my fault, but I do have to live with what happened forever. It’s not just going to go away. It happened, it affected me, and I have to deal with it accordingly like I have been. It’s coming, slowly, but there will be moments like that – and it’s not your fault, okay?” She slowly nods her head. “Out of everything that she did that week, that single moment where I was blinded, heard the gun shot, followed by your scream, is the scariest thing. I honestly thought the worst had happened. I thought she had popped off some shot at you, or threw you right in direct line of fire to save her own ass. I was fearing that when Alan got it off of me, that you were going to be gon-”

“That didn’t happen, though. I was okay. It just briefly brushed my shoulder.” He takes a deep breath, knowing that as the mark on her shoulder indicated that simple reminder.

“I know. But in that moment, I didn’t know that. The flashback took me back to that fear. It reminded me of how afraid I was. It reminded me of how guilty I felt at that time because I had let Alison continue this tirade, and led everything to that happening with the plan. I know factually that I am not guilty of what happened, but in that moment, that was the emotion. The scar took me back to that moment, hence why I froze up.”

“I’m sorr-”

“I told you, Sarina, it’s not your fault. Part of me moving forward is facing every bit of what happened. It’s about figuring out what I’m dealing with, why I am dealing with it, and how I can overcome it. I need to do that for me.” He then takes a deep breath, sipping on the water once again. “Actually, in a way, this has helped me because here I am openly talking about the emotions to you for a change. That’s progress. That’s a step in the direction. Those are things that I need to do to move forward.”

“Well, whenever you want to openly talk about your emotions, or anything, please know that you can turn to me whenever you want.” She then lightly kisses his lips, as he takes a deep breath. That simple reminder emphasized guilt in what he was doing right now in keeping the Carter secret from her. However, he remembered the reasons that he told Christopher and knew his actions were justified – right?

“That goes both ways. I’m always here for you, and for this princess as well.” He then kiss her lips in return, before kissing her stomach afterwards. “Do you realize that she was kicking around 3am?”

“While I was sleeping? Seriously?” Chase nods his head, remembering.

“I woke up in the middle of the night due to a bit of pain. I shifted myself over a bit, before getting set to close my eyes. I brought my hand over to your stomach, and she was kicking up a small storm. I rubbed your stomach lightly, and she finally calmed down.” Sarina could only let out a sigh as she looks over at him to meet his eyes.

“She woke up to make sure that her daddy was okay. Look at this – you’re both already looking out for each other. What am I going to do when she comes?” He already knew where those thoughts in her head were going.

“Don’t worry – I got enough love to spread around to both of you as you’re the ladies of my life, and I promise to take care of you both.” He then kisses her lips once again, content on keeping that promise in hearing that Carter had been caught soon.

“Aren’t we going home?” Sarina asks, as she looks out the Tahoe windows confused.

They had just got done lunch, and they were supposed to be heading home from what she knew. However, Chase was taking a different route then she remembered.

“I figured we stopped in and check on how Lindsay and Evelyn are doing,” Chase answers with a smile. He knew it was a better than telling her the truth.

“Actually, I think that’s a good idea. We could use some baby love right about now.” Chase lets out a small sigh of relief, glad that she bought what he was saying.

“I figured you and Lindsay can spend time with Evelyn, while I check out Ryan’s new puppy.” That was actually the plan as he knew the ladies would be busy once he got there, just not in the way that Sarina was probably thinking.

They pull up to the Blaney household, with both of them getting out of the Tahoe together. They walk up to the front door, with Chase opening it without even knocking.

“I told Ryan ahead of time that we were coming,” Chase informs her as she glances at him confused. “Go on inside. I don’t want you catching a cold.”

Sarina then enters the house as instructed, going around the corner as her jaws drops.

“Surprise!!” The bunch of ladies in the room let out as she enters, seeing the teddy bear cake in the center of the room. She then glances up, seeing the banner ‘Baby Elliott,’ along with the several other directions.

“Oh my gosh!” She lets out, clearly surprised by the surprise of the baby shower. On top of the decorations, she was surprised by everybody who had shown up to celebrate with her.

“The only ones that couldn’t be here were Kaitlyn (Sweet) and Morgan as they’re in Oklahome for the Chili Bowl, as well as Emma whose at home with the baby,” Lindsay says after a bunch of the girls get done giving her hugs. “However, we knew that we wanted to do something for you and the baby. We also knew that it’d be a good pick me up after everything that has happened.”

“This is amazing….”

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the ladies played a variety of different baby games. Who could put the diaper on the doll the quickest? Who could guess the correct size of her stomach right now? Guess the baby food, where you try a baby food from unmarked jar and guess the contents. They also played bobbing for nipples, which was a fun take on bobbing for apples.

They then sat around the living room together, handing over the gifts that they’d bought for Sarina and the baby. She was thankful for the car seat from Cindy, as well as the diaper bag from Erin that matched the nursery. She knew Abigail would be stylish in the outfits that Samantha had bought, each gender neutral as nobody in the room (except Cindy) knew the baby’s gender yet. On top of that, she couldn’t complain about the diapers, bottles, and gift cards that had been purchased by the other ladies in the room.

“So since Kyle already went through the liberty of buying a go-kart for the baby, we knew that a firesuit was necessary as well,” Samantha says after they had done the rest of the gifts.

“She got a hold of me, and wanted to know the exact design of the firesuit that you are getting for JR Motorsports,” Kelley continues. “I offered the different designs to her, so she could order them accordingly. I then called her a couple weeks later, saying that your baby couldn’t just show you love so we needed to add some more.”

Samantha then hands over the big box, which Sarina easily rips open. She then chuckles as she begins to go through the contents, seeing that they had gotten her baby firesuits that would match each of the suits her and Chase would wear this season.

“Your baby will be the most stylish baby this season,” Kelley says as Sarina checks them out. “We got them in newborn, three month, six month, and 12 month, so each size this upcoming season you’ll be prepared for.”

“This is amazing and completely adorable,” Sarina replies. She then places them back in the box, before offering each of the ladies a hug. “Thank you everybody so much for the gifts. They all mean a lot to me.” She then rubs her stomach, taking a deep breath. “Hopefully this little one co-operates and shows up in a timely, yet healthy fashion for mommy and daddy.”

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The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 170: Carter Williams

Sunday, January 13 – Charlotte, North Carolina – 27 weeks pregnant

Christopher and Morgan make their way inside as Sarina closes the door behind them.

“How are you doing?” Christopher asks, giving Sarina a hug.

“I’m doing good,” Sarina answers honestly as they make their way inside.

“And the baby?” Sarina lets out a sigh, having grown used to the question from everyone.

“She’s behaving and co-operating. There hasn’t been any issues. You don’t have to worry.” Christopher simply nods his head in return; however he knew that he’d probably be one of those bugging her right until the day that the baby was born.

“So where’s Chase?” Sarina points up the stairs.

“His shoulder was bothering him a bit so he was resting in the bed. He knew you were coming and said for you to come up when you got here.” Christopher smiles, remembering how he was caught off-guard when Chase sent him a text to come over.

“I trust that you ladies will behave then…” He then heads up the stairs as Morgan follows Sarina out to the kitchen.

“It is still strange to watch Christopher come over and ask to see Chase instead of me.” Morgan chuckles as she sits at the island in the kitchen.

“The same way that it’s strange that we’re actually on good talking terms, too?” Sarina smiles, with a simple nod of her head.

“I’m glad that we’ve gotten to know each other. You’re a great gal.”

Meanwhile upstairs, Christopher made his way to the bedsroom, knocking on the door to get Chase’s attention, which easily saw him welcomed in the room.

“I figured if we’re up here, they won’t hear what we’re going to discuss,” Chase comments, getting up off the bed to shut the door after Christopher was inside. “I don’t want Sarina hearing this while she’s pregnant as the stress isn’t good for the baby.”

“Secrets aren’t a good thing, either,” Christopher retorts, causing Chase to take a simple deep breath. Given everything they’d been through over the past couple of years in relation to Sarina, he understood where he was coming from. “You told me this was important and that I should come see you before I left for Oklahoma. What is it?”

“I got a call from the investigator that has been working on Aliso-”

“I thought she was supposed to be rotting away for the rest of her life…” Chase nods his head, as he was still pleased with the fact that Alison would be spending the rest of her life locked away in maximum security for the string of crimes that she committed.

“She’s locked away in maximum securi-?

“So why am I supposed to care?” Chase felt like pulling his hair out already with the constant questions, and he hasn’t even unveiled the biggest thing.

“As part of her therapy, she is beginning to reveal her motivations, confessions, details about everything that happened. It’s supposed to help in figuring out why she is the way that she is. I don’t even care to know or why they are doing it, and I told the investigator that initially. However, she wanted to let me know because of a name mentioned. Carter Williams.” Christopher froze immediately upon hearing the name, as he remembered his phone call with the officer a couple days ago.

“Carter Williams is one of the individuals that they are looking for in relation to what happe-”

“He is also the one who took a shot at me, as well.” Christopher could only let out a sigh as he tried to avoid letting his own mind wander. “Carter was the individual that was helping her sneak into tracks, and getting her funds. We knew someone was helping her and that was him.”

“Could she just be mentioning this name due to hearing the police report and what happened to us?” Chase shakes his head no, as he had asked the same question.

“She doesn’t have access to outside news and sources as per her current arrangement. She has to follow good behavior to unlock things like that.” Christopher chuckled as he couldn’t imagine Alison and good behavior being mixed together.

“So in other words, what happened may not be a simple coincidence like we believed. We thought we were just set-up by some random thugs, but yet we find out that Carter has a connection to Alison and you.” Chase slowly nods his head.

“Welcome to my life. If it’s not Chris, then it’s Bethany, or it’s Alison, and now Carter. It’s like one thing after another – hence why I didn’t want to tell Sarina and make her worry.” Christopher understood where Chase was coming from. However, a simple important aspect still had him questioning the decision to not tell her.

“Shouldn’t you warn her in case there’s more to come, though?” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing when the truth came out, that’d be one of the reasons she’d be yelling at him.

“She already knows that he’s one of the guys involved in what happened. That should be enough warning to make sure to scream, do whatever if he enters her life – or your life, my life, or Morgan’s.” Christopher knew that for certain, as he was going to make sure this upcoming week that Carter’s photo and identity was known to everyone on the team.

“It still doesn’t make sense, though. You ended up at that random road after going for a random drive. How was he supposed to know that you’d leave your own wedding and go for a drive to clear your thoughts? How was he supposed to know that you’d break down? We saw him come out of the random cabin, Chase. Are you telling me that was totally set-up, too?” Chase didn’t know exactly how to respond as his mind had been flipping back and forth over the options since the phone call.

“Alison followed me around the country undetected for a year. Could he have been spying on me at the wedding? Nobody would’ve called him out if he was near the grounds or anything as we didn’t know that he was a threa-”

“What about the cabin?” Chase takes a deep breath, as he debates the theories over in his head.

“Follow me for a second. Say he is spying on the grounds, possibly even having snuck on to the property with multiple people coming through the Dirty Mo Acres gates for the wedding. What if he messed with the truck?” Christopher froze at the thought, remembering the days he spent going over the engine compartment.

“There was some things underneath the hood that didn’t seem like they’d be manufacture correct. That would explain those changes being made. He could’ve wired it to malfunction, whether having just you on the road by yourself, or thinking that you and Sarina would leave the reception together.” Chase nods his head, feeling another tinge of fear. What if Morgan and Christopher hadn’t been there that night? He originally had asked Sarina to come by herself to meet with him.

“So he messes with the truck and he knows it’s going to eventually just die somewhere. I leave the party and he’s there, he follows me undetected. My mind was swirling with thoughts and I just wanted to clear my head, so for all you know he could’ve followed me right out there. The truck breaks down, and he watches as I call Sarina for her to com-”

“Why wouldn’t he make his presence and attack known right then and there?” Chase shakes his head as he knew there were holes in the theory as he developed it.

“Maybe he wanted Sarina to be there. Maybe that was part of his angle. He didn’t know that you were coming, neither did I.” Christopher nods his head, as he had approached Sarina after she had gotten off the phone. “He realizes that you guys are with her, knowing that it isn’t going to be as easy as planned. What if he went to the cabin and threatened the other two to help him?”

“In theory, it may not have taken much. Based on the police records and what the officers told me, they are drug gang members who are known for being low-lifes and always looking for money. Let’s just say that he offers them a big payday in return for their help, and boom – they’re working together.” Chase chuckles a little.

“Isn’t it ironic that he gets lucky that I break down in a spot where he can find two low-life assholes?” Christopher could only shake his head in disbelief as they put the theory together.

“The only good thing is if they can catch either one, whether Sasha Krause or Steve Lane, they may easily give him up in trade for a deal if they fit the personalities that we’ve given them.” Chase nods his head as that was a good theory to begin with.

“We just need to find them, and Carter for that matter.” Chase takes a deep breath. “I just thought that I’d warn you because I don’t want you to come across them in Oklahoma totally surprised without warning of connection.”

“I appreciate that. I just hope Sarina doesn’t kill you for hiding this from her.” Chase glanced in the mirror, knowing that it wasn’t going to be pretty when it came out. However, he was willing to take his chances.

“She already experienced cramping. It’s already a high risk pregnancy, Christopher. I’m not taking any chances. I said that when it came to Alison’s next move, and I will say that again in relation to these three.” He then turns around to face Christopher. “Nobody is going to hurt my family. It’s simple as that.”

“But promise me you’re going to be careful.” Chase had to chuckle, remembering the exact same advice from Alan when he told him the same thing.

“I’ll do my best – but at the end of the day, Sarina and the baby are what matter most.” Christopher walks over, placing his hand on Chase’s good shoulder.

“I’m glad that I didn’t break you guys up with my constant worries because you are doing the best that you can for her. I just hope that you don’t cause yourself more harm than good in the process.” Chase’s phone then goes off, catching both of their attention as he takes it off the dresser.

“Emma and Cale had their baby.” Christopher then looks over his shoulder at the photo that Ryan sent of Emma holding her newborn son. “Louie Rae Conley.”

“He’s adorable. I’m glad that he has Emma’s looks already.” Chase had to laugh a little. “Two babies for the Blaney family born just two weeks apart. Erin is going to have her hands full as an aunt.”

“I think she’ll make sure to spoil them both completely.”

After dinner, Sarina treated Chase to another sponge bath, checking to make sure the wound dressing was staying on and clean accordingly without any stitches ripping. It also served as a good round of desert.

With everything done for the night, including some cleaning, the pair curled up together for some relaxing time together. Sarina knew it presented the perfect opportunity to have the conversation she had been swirling through her mind.

“Chase, can I ask you something?” She questions as he wraps his arms around her.

“You know that you can always ask me anything you want,” he answers, as she watches his hands come together wrapped around her stomach perfectly.

“Now that we know for sure that we’re having a girl, I think we should talk about some name ideas.” Chase was intrigued by her suggestion. “I thought of two names while I was talking to Lindsay, and I wanted your thoughts.”

“I’m fully open to ideas.” While he had been certain through the pregnancy that she was having a girl, he hadn’t given any thought to name ideas.

“Hailey Elliott. Abigail Elliott. What name sounds better to you?” He runs them both through his head, as a smile forms on his face.

“Abby would a cute nickname, wouldn’t it?” Sarina couldn’t help but smile as she had been preferring Abigail as well. “Abigail Victor Elliott.”

“Abigail Casey Elliott.” He then lets out a sigh as he remembered the conversation about middle names. It started with his suggestion in wanting her to always carry her father’s memory with her despite everything. She had managed to shift it to a discussion about his fondness for his cousin and wanting to carry the memory, too.

“Are you going to let that go? I told you what I thoug-”

“I also told you what I thought about the usage of my father’s name, too.” He then lets out a sigh, remembering how they’d gone back and forth for awhile, before agreeing to shelf the topic for the time being. Since then, they hadn’t gotten back to discussing baby names – until now. “I thought about what you said, though. I also told Lindsay about that discussion, and she offered some eye-opening thoughts. For our wedding, when it came to the something borrowed, she let me borrow a locket that my father had given her. It was meant for her to hold something special in it, and she put a photo of us together, as well as a photo of her parents. She gave it to me as she wanted my father to be a part of our wedding, knowing how he’d be proud of me.”

“She’s not lying about that, Sarina. You’ve grown into an incredible person. Given everything that you’ve been through, he’d be super proud in how you persevered, how you fought, how you pushed hard, and how you found your true self through it all.” She smiles a little, feeling her eyes get wet in the process.

“Lindsay said the same thing, actually. She also told me that he’d be proud of the man that I was choosing to share the rest of my life with, knowing that I had a sweet southern peach who knew how to be caring and everything that I needed.” Chase chuckled a little at the reference.

“I bet she didn’t say it in those words, though…” Sarina shakes her head no.

“It made me think about everything, really, and it made me realize that maybe you’re both not wrong. After a lot of careful consideration, I think it’d be fitting for our daughter to carry his memory forward. it’d offer a conversation starter so that way despite everything that’s happened with my family, he isn’t lost in everything that happened.” She then glances back into his eyes. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott.”

“So you’re not dropping the Casey thing at all?” She shakes her head no. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott does have a nice ring to it, though.”

“It’s the perfect way for us both to honor that special someone whose close to us, Chase. It’s the perfect way to make sure that neither my father, or your cousin are ever forgotten.” He thinks it over, knowing there was something to her words, as he continued to run the name through his head.

“I think I like it. Abigail Victor Casey Elliott sounds perfect..” He then feels a kick against his hands, chuckling. “I think she likes it, too.”

“I’m glad that you came around and accepted my idea.” They then hear his phone go off, as he reaches over for it off the night table. “Who is it?”

“Christopher. He has safely landed in Oklahoma, but more importantly, he got a message that they have caught two of the three guys.”

“Just two of them?” Chase nods his head, seeing that it was Sasha Krause and Steve Lane who had been arrested. He knew that meant that Carter was still out there somewhere, just as he and Christopher predicted would probably happen.

“Carter Williams is still on the loose. I’m sure once the police speak with Sasha and Steve, they’ll be able to find Carter real soon.” He then rubs her shoulders. “But that doesn’t matter to me. All that matters to me is you. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 169: “We’re having a girl?”

Thursday, January 10 – Charlotte Memorial – 26 weeks pregnant

No matter what was set to happen, Sarina knew that she wasn’t going anywhere. She hadn’t gotten to be by his side the past couple of days – and understood the reasons as laid out even if frustrated, and planned on making up for that now.

Sitting there, it was easy to muse about the future anyway. She talked about how she dreamed the best for their little girl, and how she couldn’t wait to buy sweet little outfits. There was also going to be the fascination of dolls and cars, but also the fear of make-up and boys. Those rambles continued for awhile, before dying out as his parents showed up.

She remembered hearing Christopher recap everything that had happened from when they left the wedding, through the quiet lonely days, to finding their way back to civilization.

She remembered hearing Bill speak about how there were issues in even being able to file the proper missing person’s report, to finding out even a blip of information towards what had gone on. Just as Morgan suspected, they actually had managed to cover their tracks to get away for now.

Taking a deep breath, she wanted to simply let it go. They were just three random guys they met after Chase found himself stranded on a random deserted road. There was nothing to worry about. They were supposed to free now anyway, since Alison had been caught. Everything was supposed to go right now, right? Wasn’t their marriage the beginning of a new chapter?

Trying to keep her worries at bay was difficult, but she knew it was possible as she looked at the man before her. She knew no matter what, they’d do what it took for each other. It’s what they’d done so far, and they hadn’t gotten this far to just give up on the journey now.

As she kept her fingers wrapped around her hand, she feels a small squeeze in return.

“Chase?” She asks, almost wondering if she was imagining this right now. She watches as his eyes slowly open, automatically catching hers. “Babes…”

“I love you,” he tells her, as he takes a deep breath. Immediately, the pain that had been there before his slumber could be felt across his body. However, thankfully, the doctor’s work combined with the medicine were working to take the edge off – finally.

“I love you, too. I’m glad to see that you’re awake.” He then clutches her hand even tighter back in return, before bringing it up to his face, placing a kiss on the back of it.

“I’m okay. I’m going to be okay. You don’t need to worry about me. Stress isn’t good for you…” He then notices the IV in her hand, fingers tracing around the outline of it immediately. “Please tell me you’re okay….”

“Absolutely. Christopher forced me to get checked out, and everything came back fine. I’m doing well, the baby is doing well-”

“Then why the IV?” She takes a deep breath, remembering the words from the nurse upon her admission.

“It’s just a precaution as they were worried about me being dehydrated due to being away for so long. They also want me to stay for 24 hours of observations, once again as a precaution. I told them that was fine as I wasn’t about to walk out of these doors without you.” He smiles back in return, relaxing as hearing the good news about her and the baby was all that mattered to him.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way as I need to keep an eye on you, and that baby…” She chuckles, almost wanting to burst out with the news immediately. “Ugh…”

“Is it sore?” He nods his head. “The doctors said that thankfully it missed anything important, just tearing a couple muscles. They cleaned everything up, and you’re looking at four to six weeks of recovery time.” He shakes his head, as that seemed to be no surprise. When would he be able to start a season without something happening beforehand?

“Morgan and Christopher did a good job taking care of me.” He then glances around the room, almost surprised they weren’t there.

“They went to go get some food, and get cleaned up. They told me that they’d be back after to see you.” Chase nods his head, easily understanding, as he knew he was ready for a good meal and wouldn’t mind a nice bath right about now.

“I care about you, I love you, and I want to talk to you every day and every minute.” He then glances towards his parents standing at the back of the room giving them space. “But I think we should share the love…”

“I have no problem with doing that any day of the week.” She then shifts back, allowing both Cindy and Bill to come over and give him a hug.

“I’m just glad that you’re okay…” Cindy says as she wraps her arms around him, kissing both cheeks in the process. “You got to stop doing this to me.”

“I know,” Chase states quietly as he easily accepts all the love she had to offer. “Relax Momma, I’m okay. You don’t need to worr-”

“I can’t help that. You’re my baby, and I’m always going to worry about you.” She then gives him another kiss.

“Now just make sure to take it easy, okay?” Bill reminds him, which earns a simple nod in return. “I know you’re going to want to do everything you can for her, but you need to look after yourself as well.”

“I’ll try,” Chase states, as he knew that he probably wouldn’t follow those orders directly. He couldn’t help himself from worrying and wanting to do everything for Sarina these past couple of weeks.

“Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, either.” Chase nods his head, taking a deep breath. He knew his dad’s words had double meaning, given everything that had gone on, along with the taking care of part.

“Now, for you….” Chase then pulls Sarina back close to him as he looks into her eyes. “heard you mumbling about buying pink clothes, dolls, and maybe even a secret that you wanted to tell me. What were you talking about?”

“Maybe I was just rambling on to get your attention so you’d wake up,” she tries to brush it off as he just chuckles back in response.

“I know you better than that, and I think I heard more than you think…” She was actually surprised by his revelation, but quickly brushed it off.

“So Dr. Grayson was not here to check me out, so her colleague Dr. Holmes did it on her behalf. She accidently let something slip-”

“We’re having a girl?” It was easy to put the pieces together once he heard that clue as she nods her head in return. “So you mean, after all your doubts, I was right. You’re pregnant with a little girl?” She nods her head once again.

“Can you believe it?” He then lays his head back against the pillow, shaking his head in disbelief. “Chase Elliott, you’re the father of a little girl. Everything that you were feeling was correct. We’re having a girl!” She then feels the familiar tears trekking down her cheeks.

“A granddaughter….” Cindy slowly lets out, as Sarina looks over, nodding her head.

“Christopher and Morgan know as they were there with me,” Sarina continues. “I’d like to keep it quiet for now until the baby is born, if you both don’t mind.” Cindy and Bill easily nod their heads in approval of the decision. “I just hope somebody can keep a secret here…”

“A baby girl…” Chase says as he looks over at her. “So it wasn’t just a ploy to make me wake up?” She shakes her head no. “I promise that the secret will remain between us, and I promise that she’s going to be a daddy’s princess immediately. Heck, I think she already is..”

“I can tell by how much you love her, but I can promise you that I love her just as much.” Chase then reaches over, clutching Sarina’s hand, as both of their hands go against her stomach.

“She’s going to be our princess that we’re going to love, protect, and do whatever we can from the moment she is born. I can’t believe it’s a girl…” He then leans in and kisses Sarina’s lips. “I hope she has your looks.”

“She can have my looks, as long as she’s just like her daddy personality-wise.” He then brushes a stray piece of hair out of her face.

“You’re not so bad yourself, though…..”

——————————-

Friday, January 11 – Charlotte, North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

Sarina walks into the room, keeping her robe wrapped tightly around her, before sitting down on the bed. She immediately cuddles right up to Chase, laying her head against his good shoulder.

“You didn’t have to run that bubble bath for me,” she starts. “But thank you as that was exactly what I needed.” He then wraps his arm around her, kissing the top of her head.

“Remember, I have to take care of you and our little girl,” he reminds her, which is something Sarina didn’t need to hear as he was already making that pretty clear in his actions.

“Just like I have to take care of you, and make sure that you’re following doctor’s orders and healing accordingly.” She then glances over, making sure the bandage was still snuggly over where the wound was. The doctor had told her if it was to come loose to replace immediately as no dirt or water was allowed to get in there. He was then supposed to return back to the hospital late next week for it to be checked out, and possibly have the stitches removed.

“I say that you’re doing quite a good job at that.” She had to smirk as she knew exactly what he was referring to. Before he ran her the bubble bath, she treated him to a sponge bath from head to toe, which easily turned into some fun of their own by the end. “I can get used to having that treatment every single day. Is that part of the doctor’s orders?”

“I don’t think that’s what they had in mind, but I can promise you that Nurse Elliott can put that down as a daily prescription.” He chuckles back in response, certainly enjoying what she had to offer. However, there was also serious business to discuss.

“Christopher called while you were in the bathroom.” Sarina lets out a sigh, knowing by Chase’s tone what it dealt with immediately. Besides, Christopher was busy planning for the Chili Bowl so it had to be important for him to take the time to make a phone call. “They found his truck, but not the three guys connected.”

“I don’t think I’d want it back after a group of thugs drove it around and did whatever they could to it.” Chase had to chuckle at her thought in watching Christopher drive it now.

“They found it at one of those vehicle teardown shops, where they part out everything so that way you can’t track it down. Let’s just say that some dumbass left the license plate and one of the VIN tags where you could find it.” It was now Sarina’s turn to laugh in hearing how they weren’t smart. “So the mechanic is officially arrested on some sort of charge involved with that, as well as theft since he was in procession of stolen property. With the threat of the charges over his head, he gave up the identification of who dropped off the truck to him. Now the police have a lead on who to go looking for in relation to what happened to us.”

“That’s comforting – even if they chased Alison around the country for a year and didn’t catch her. However, these guys aren’t Alison. They’re low life thugs. I’m sure they’ll turn up somewhere.” Chase had to nod his head in agreement. “Did Christopher ever tell you what was wrong with your truck that he fixed temporarily?”

“No, we didn’t talk about that actually. I’ll have to text him to see.” He then pulls her closer. “But that can wait until morning. For now, I’m going to offer you every bit of cuddles you deserve for everything you’ve been through for me, and so that way I can keep my princesses happy.”

“Ready for another movie?” He nods his head as she surfs through Netflix, selecting another movie for them to watch as they cuddled together.

 

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 168: “We’re going to be okay, I promise”

Thursday, January 10 – Mooresville, North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

“I don’t get it…” Sarina lets out as she sits up on the couch, glancing over towards Morgan. “How haven’t we been rescued yet? You’d think we would’ve been found by now. It’s been three days, Morgan.”

“I’m quite aware of that,” Morgan comments as she leans back against the wall, glancing into the bedsroom. Just like the prior days, she was on her shift of keeping an eye on Chase while he slept as Christopher once again tried to get the truck running.

“You’d think someone would stop seeing a truck stuck on the side of the roa-”

“This road doesn’t have a lot of traffic, and people aren’t very trustworthy these days.” Sarina could understand that, having been through her fair share of people that she wanted to throw to the curve.

“What about the fact that they stole Christopher’s truck? Since by now we would’ve been reported missing by our families – I hope at least, they would be looking for that truc-”

“There are many trucks that look like Chri-”

“The licens-”

“You ditch the license plate, and probably the vehicle too at one of those parts places. Besides, if they’re caught, they’re just going to state that they came across the truck randomly with no connection. They’re not going to want to get caught for assault with a weapon.” Sarina also understood that, however she wasn’t about to give the three guys that much credit.

“One of them would give up the others…” Morgan wasn’t necessarily ready to believe that. “Regardless, you’d think that someone would spot Christopher as he’s been out there each day, all day, trying whatever he can to get the truck running.”

“Listen, there’s so many theories and reasons as to why we haven’t been found yet. It’s just useless to go around in circles debating that. I’d rather focus on doing what we need to do to survive, okay?” Sarina wasn’t quite ready to give in that easily as she let her eyes drift through the open bedsroom door.

“What about Chase? We don’t have all the time in the world. He needs to see a doctor.” Morgan knew that, as she nodded her head in return with a glance Chase’s way.

“I know. For now, let’s be thankful that he’s strong, and fighting, and what we’ve been able to do has helped a little.” Morgan finally looks over at her. “Let’s look at the positives, okay? We’re all alive, and he’s fighting. It could be worse.”

“Did Christopher tell you about the cramps?” Morgan slowly nods her head, as the pair had talked once Chase and Sarina both fell asleep the first night. “I’m glad that he’s so caring as for being someone who didn’t know anything about babies and what I was going through, he was able to calm me right down and help.”

“That’s Christopher, sweetheart. That’s why I fell in love with the man – because there’s a kind sweet side of him underneath that harsh ready to drive anything and do what it takes to win attitude. You just have to get to know him to see that side.” Sarina smiles, having done so over the past couple of years.

“I’m glad that we got to be teammates, even if he was a bit of a pain in the ass at first.” Morgan chuckles, remembering the ramblings that Christopher would go on about to her, saying how he believed this and that about Sarina and Chase.

“Isn’t it strange that at one point he was ready to break you guys up?” Sarina nods her head.

“He wasn’t the only person, though. I thought Chase’s sisters were going to kill me, if his Momma didn’t.” Morgan then comes over and sits down beside her.

“Luckily for me, my parents love Christopher and absolutely enjoyed going to New Zealand with us.” The parent discussion brought Sarina back to her own thoughts, almost feeling bad that she wasn’t able to make the same memories as Morgan was able to make.

“I wish my dad could be here today. I wish he could see the man that Chase is, and how well he treats his little girl. I also wish that my dad was here so he could meet my baby.” Sarina then rubs her stomach, taking a deep breath. “I don’t talk about this a lot with everyone, but my dad means the world to me. There’s so many things that he did for me before he was killed that meant everything. We were like two peas in a pod, and it was beyond perfection at times. Heck, I even remember my mom being jealous of all the time that we spent together.”

“Were you close with your mom at all?” Sarina shakes her head no.

“We never grew that relationship when I was a child, and my father’s death and having to drop everything and move pulled us further apart. She tried to be close and help me with my grieving then, but I was angry at the time. I didn’t get why I was being taken away from my friends, my family. How were we going to be safer without those people around us?” Sarina then finally glances back up. “It makes me understand why my brother did what he did. While I pulled myself in, and just pushed forward in my own life without a care, he went forth with lashing out. Obviously that warped into what he became.”

“I’m sorry….” Morgan then reaches over, placing a hand on Sarina’s for comfort as Sarina takes a deep breath.

“There’s nothing that I can do, though. That was his decision, just like I made the decisions that I made. I have regrets, yes I do, but I’ve learned that I can’t change what happened. The only thing that I can do is be a better person moving forward. It’s my duty to learn from those mistakes, and make sure to not do them over again.” Morgan nods her head, understanding, but also surprised in where the confession had come out of nowhere.

“Given how you and Chase have grown together, and fought through what you’ve been through, I say that you’ve done a good job.” Sarina couldn’t help but agree as she traced the ring on her hand with her finger.

“I just hope that it was worth it….” Morgan then wraps her arm around Sarina, pulling her close.

“We’re going to be okay, I promise.”

The girls then look up as they watch the front door to the house open, with Christopher walking in. Just like the previous days, he was covered from head to toe in grease.

“I have some news,” he begins, catching the girls by surprise. Normally he’d just walk by, get cleaned up, and focused on doing what he could to help them all out for the night. “I’ve got it running. I don’t know for how long, but it’s running. I figure it may be enough to get us in to town to the nearest gas station, or somewhere with a phone, so we can call for help.”

“I knew your determination would pay off,” Morgan says as she is the first to stand up off the couch. “I say let’s all get ready and head out then.” Christopher nods his head in return.

“I am going to go get Chase up. I’ll let you know if I need a hand…” He then heads into the bedsroom as Morgan takes a glance back at Sarina.

“I told you we were going to be okay.”

Thursday, January 10 – Charlotte Memorial – 26 weeks pregnant

Sarina laid back in the bed, letting out a sigh, as she tried to keep herself calm as possible. She was glad that she wasn’t alone, as Morgan sat in the chair beside her as Christopher leaned back against the wall.

Thankfully, they had been able to make the short trip into town, driving upon a family restaurant. After Christopher ran in and explained the situation, it wasn’t long before an ambulance and police car had joined them.

Now sitting in the hospital, silence filled the room as now it was just making sure that everything had worked out.

“Mrs. Ot – well, actually, Mrs. Elliott?” A doctor appears in the doorway, catching Sarina’s attention as she nods her head. It even felt nice to hear a doctor say her name. “I am Dr. Holmes. I am here to check on you and the baby.”

“I told you, I’m fin-” Sarina starts as Christopher lets out a long sigh.

“Let them check you out, please,” he begs once again. “It’s better safe than sorry considering what we’ve been through the past couple of days. It’d make everybody feel better knowing that you were alright, including Chase.” Sarina’s eyes immediately cut to lock with his.

“I’d rather be hearing that he was fine.”

“Actually, I was given an update to pass along to you,” Dr. Holmes states, catching all of their attention. “They have just taken Mr. Elliott up to surgery. They ran an x-ray, as well as an ultrasound to see how badly the damage was and thankfully, it’s not as bad as we originally predicted. The bullet managed to miss all the arteries and blood vessels, only slightly damaging some muscle tissue. They are going to take him into surgery, and just go in to clean up everything before doing the proper stitches. To whomever took care of him, they did a good job though.”

“It’s a good thing I asked you to do it,” Christopher says as he looks over at Morgan, who just smiles back in return.

“They’re also giving him fluids, pain killers, and a blood transfusion as there was a significant amount of blood loss. As far as concerns surrounding an infection, it does appear minimal so a couple days of antibiotics and that’ll be cleared up. Essentially, it is going to take approximately four to six weeks to heal entirely, but he will be able to make a full recovery.” Sarina lets out a sigh of relief, glad to hear the news. “Now, how about that baby of yours?”

It wasn’t long before they had the ultrasound machine out and set-up, as well as the baby heartrate monitor. They had gone through the precaution of hooking her up to intravenous fluids, just to be safe given the situation.

“I think you got very lucky – both of you to be honest,” Dr. Holmes tells her. “Your baby looks like she’s doing great. You can obviously see the movement on the screen, and she has a steady heart rate. I know your pregnancy is high risk from having read your file at the hospital here from Dr. Grayson, but everything looks good as far as her placement and growth.”

“That’s the best news I could’ve heard,” Sarina comments, before pausing as she looks up into the doctor’s eyes. “Wait – did you say ‘she’?”

“Oh my….” Dr. Holmes takes a deep breath. “I didn’t mean to say the gender out loud. It’s just the baby was making it so obvious with the direction that she was facing. I should’ve checked your file to see whether you had been notified of the gender or not. I’m sorry.” Sarina knew anger should be the feeling in news slipping out unintentionally, but hearing that both Chase and the baby would be okay meant so much more. It was also the perfect icing to hear that Chase was getting the little girl that he thought she was pregnant with.

“It’s okay. It just means that she’s going to be daddy’s suck and princess right from the beginning.” She then looks over at Christopher and Morgan. “Promise me you won’t say anything to anybody, please?”

“Promise,” Christopher and Morgan both say in sync.

“But congratulations!!” Morgan lets out, wrapping her arms around Sarina’s shoulders.

“I’ll let you get cleaned up,” Dr. Holmes states as she begins to put everything away. She then prints a couple of the images, handing them over to Sarina. “These can be for your safe keeping. Once we hear that your husband is in recovery, we’ll let you go up to see him. I’d just like you to please stay within the hospital walls for the next 24 hours with the IV fluids to make sure that everything is good.”

“Trust me, I’m not leaving without Chase by my side,” Sarina assures the doctor as she stares at the images in her hand.

“I didn’t think you would, either.” The doctor then leaves the room as Sarina clutches the images in her hand, staring at them. She finally looked up at Christopher and Morgan before looking back towards them.

“It’s amazing, really. From the first month that I was pregnant, he insisted that I was having a baby girl. I brushed it off as his simple wishes for a daughter over a son, or thinking that his intuition was crazy. But he was right. We’re having a daughter.” She then looks up at Christopher and Morgan with tears in her eyes. “I am going to have my own little girl.”

“….and you deserve every bit of happiness that comes with her and Chase,” Christopher states, before wrapping his arms around her shoulders. “Congratulations. Just like you said, it was meant to be.”

The entire time sitting there waiting to hear when Chase would be out of surgery, she kept ringing the name ideas through her head. Abigail Victor Casey Elliott. It did have a special ring to it.

After what seemed like the longest half hour, they were informed that Chase was out of surgery in the recovery room. With a bit of help from Christopher and Morgan, she made her way out of her room and up to the floor he was on with the IV still in her arm as the doctor instructed.

They made their way inside, with Sarina taking a seat alongside his head.

“I’m going to go call his parents, Alan, and a couple others…” Christopher states before quietly leaving the room as Morgan leaned back against the wall. She wanted to be there for her friend, but also give Chase and Sarina the space they deserved.

“Alright sweetheart, it’s time for you to wake up,” Sarina says to him as she clutches his hand tightly. “I have some special news to share with you and you’re not going to believe it. We’re having a girl.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 167: Stranded

Monday, January 7 – North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Morgan questions as she follows with her arm wrapped around Sarina’s shoulders.

“What else do we have to lose?” Christopher asks in return, as they continue slowly moving forward through the field. “There may be someone here to help us, there may be a phon-”

“There may be more people who are going to kill us.” Christopher takes a deep breath, knowing that was a possibility.

“I’m willing to take the chance, Morgan. What else do you suggest? Sitting in the middle of the road while he bleeds out?”

He remembered watching the three men emerge from the cabin and make their way through the field of grass. He remembered the meeting with them, the shot they took, and how they drove off in his truck.

His immediate attention had turned to Chase, who now had a bullet stuck in his shoulder. He had put pressure on the wound as you’re always instructed, while trying to piece together a plan of immediate attack.

The first step was to find them help. If he couldn’t do that, he needed to find them some place where they could hold down the fort until they were located. It wouldn’t take long for them to be reported missing, and his license plate to be tracked with the truck located. At that point, they were set to be found.

Considering they were stranded in the middle of nowhere, the cabin seemed like the only logical option. It would give them shelter to care for the wounded, while possibly offering the rescue that they required.

They finally reach the cabin doors, with Christopher helping Chase sit on the bench with Sarina alongside.

“Make sure you keep pressure on that,” he instructs as Chase nods his head, accepting. “You – make sure he stays conscious.” Sarina also nods her head in response. “We’re going to go check inside.”

“Be careful,” Sarina comments before Morgan and Christopher head inside the cabin.

They each take a different direction, checking for anything that was useful. They looked for possible signs of life, along with any phones or electronics that could be useful in contacting someone. However, after surfing through all the rooms, they both met at the front door empty-handed.

“We can’t stay out there,” Christopher tells her. “Let’s bring them inside and camp out here for the night.” Morgan hated the thought, but knew they had no other choice as she accepted his suggestion.

“Anything?” Sarina asks as Christopher and Morgan emerge from the cabin together.

“Shelter, and a bit of food if you trust it,” Christopher answers as he goes over to where Chase was sitting. “It’s better than nothing for tonight. Come sunrise, maybe we can find some help.”  He then helps Chase stand up, with the weakness from the blood loss and pain setting in. “Lean against me, I’ve got you….”

“Come on,” Morgan says as she leads Sarina inside. Christopher takes Chase to the bedsroom, lying him down on the bed while Morgan gets Sarina situated on the couch.

“I want to be with Chas-” Sarina immediately begins, earning a headshake from Morgan.

“There may be an infection due to the bullet wound. I’m not risking your health or your baby’s health for you two to spend time together. Chase wouldn’t want you to do that and you know it.” Sarina slowly nods her head, accepting, as she tries to get comfortable. She knew that he would want her to focus on doing what’s best for the baby.

“I just hope he’ll be okay…” Morgan lays a blanket on her.

“Trust me, Christopher and I will take care of him.” Morgan only glanced up when she saw Christopher’s head pop out of the bedsroom.

“We can’t leave the bullet in his shoulder; we have to take it out,” Christopher tells her as she walks over to where he stood. “I have no clue, and I’d probably mess up before it’s don-”

“Are you asking me to do it?” Morgan questions, and he nods his head in return. “Alright, I’ll do it. Did you see any rubbing alcohol, or any alcohol anywhere?” Christopher hurries to the bathroom, grabbing the bottle, along with a couple towels and the first aid kit.

“There may be some bandage stuff in here…” Morgan easily takes it from him.

“I’ve got tweezers in my purse, thanks to the ridiculous emergency make-up kit that Samantha insisted that I should always carry with me for events. Oh, and there’s string in case the dress rips so I could possibly do a quick stitch to maybe help close the wound.”

“You take care of him, and I’ll take care of her.” The pair separate with Morgan heading into the bedsroom, laying out the materials out on the table. She then takes the cloth, cleaning the tweezers with the rubbing alcohol, before putting some more on the cloth. She then takes a deep breath, walking over to where he was laying.

“This is going to hurt, but it needs to be done….” She then sits on the edge of the bed.

On the couch, Sarina laid there, trying to keep herself calm as she taking a series of deep breathes.

“Are you okay?” Christopher asks and Sarina just keeps her eyes focused forward. “Sarina?”

“I’m feeling a bit of cramping, almost like what they said contractions would be like,” she answers finally, catching him off-guard. He almost wished he would’ve accepted taking the bullet out now.

“You’re way too early in your pregnancy to be in labou-”

“Trust me, I’m not in labor, Christopher.” He then lets out a sigh of relief, now thankful that he had let Morgan handle business in the bedsroom. “It’s probably brexton hicks.”

“Brexton hicks?” She then looks over at him.

“So you know nothing about pregnancies?” He slowly shakes his head no. “So brexton hicks feel like real contractions, meant to give you practice before the labor in what it’ll be like. They, along with the cramping I mentioned, can be brought on by stress.”

“So what can you do to make it easier?” She then takes a couple deep breathes.

“Calming myself down, relaxing, and assuring myself that I, the baby, and Chase will be okay.” Christopher then reaches over, massaging both of her shoulders lightly.

“Is that helping?” She nods her head as she focuses on taking a series of deep breathes. “Chase is going to be okay. He’s strong, and he’ll fight hard. You should know that based on everything you have been through together. He’s going to make it through this so you can have your happily ever after together. Morgan is going to do a great job taking care of him. We’re going to find help, and we’re going to get out of here. I promise you that we’ll do whatever it takes.”

“I believe, Christopher…” She then takes a couple deep breathes. “Isn’t it ironic that after everything we’ve been through, this is how we’re spending our wedding night?”

“I wouldn’t call it ironic, but rather cruel. Those guys deserve whatever comes their way.”

Christopher continues massaging her shoulders as she focuses on the deep breathes, eventually calming down, as they found different topics to discuss. They then watched as Morgan appeared from the bedsroom, with some blood still on her hands.

“It’s done,” Morgan declares, before walking over to the sink and rinsing her hands off.

“Is he okay?” Christopher asks and Morgan glances over their direction.

“He’s sleeping right now, peacefully actually. He came through strong. He’ll be fine. Actually, the sleep right now will be good in helping to keep his strength up.”

“Christopher? Morgan?” Chase lets out as he wakes up, pain instantly filling him. He tries to sit up, though immediately gives up on that idea as the pain continues growing.

“Hey, I’m still here,” Christopher states as he walks over, sitting beside him on the bed. They had gone through this process throughout the entire night, and now through the morning hours, with Chase waking up for a bit at a time. Christopher had stayed in the bedsroom, keeping an eye out from there when he wasn’t tending to him. “Talk to me….”

“So much pain…” Christopher stands up off the bed, walking over to the dresser. He grabs the bottle of tequila, bringing it over. “Seriously?” Christopher pops the cap off.

“We’ve got nothing for pain, bud. The only thought that I had is if you were a little drunk, you may not feel it as much.” Chase instantly snags the bottle out of his arms.

“I’ll take what I can get.” Christopher notices the slight shiver escape Chase, fixing the blankets around him. “Is it cold in here?”

“Just a little, but you’re probably chilly due to the blood loss. Try to keep warm, okay?” Chase lets out a sigh as he sips on the bottle a little more. “And keep drinking, whether water or that. You need to stay hydrated.” Christopher then reaches to touch his forehead, letting out a sigh.

“What was that for?” Christopher reaches over to the night table, ringing out the washcloth in the bowl of water, before putting it on Chase’s forehead.

“You have a fev-”

“But I feel col-”

“Blood loss and possibly an infection. Just keep doing what I’m telling you to do, and keep fighting. We’re going to find help.” Chase tries to get comfortable, letting out a sigh as his eyes begin to drift close once again.

“Christopher?” Christopher easily glances over at him. “Talk to me, please. I don’t want to feel so alone. Tell me about your trip to New Zealand. What was the racing like? What were some of the best spots to check out? Talk about anything, please…”

“The racing was spectacular, but I have to admit that it was great to check out some of the local spots. Everybody we raced with kept suggesting different spots you have to see – whether mountains, cities favorites, skylines, places to eat – and I can easily say they were all amazing. New Year’s was pretty special actually.”

Christopher goes on for the next 10 minutes, finally glancing over to see that he was back asleep. He then puts both the bottle of water and tequila up, before re-soaking the washcloth and putting it back on his forehead.

He slowly makes his way out of the room, smiling as he sees the girls sitting calmly on the couch together.

“Is he okay?” Sarina asks, as she had each time that Christopher emerged from the bedsroom.

“Still in pain, but he’s breathing and fighting,” Christopher answers. “I am going to go see if I can get the truck running, or find some help. Can you keep an eye on him? He’s got a fever, but also got the chills.” Morgan easily nods her head, accepting.

“Just be careful, okay?” She offers, and he simply nods his head in response, sharing a quick kiss with her.

He then slips on his coat, heading back through the tall grass. After double checking the note he had left in case someone came across the stranded truck was still there, he lifted the hood and began to take a look.

“So how did you and Christopher originally meet anyway?” Sarina asks, catching Morgan’s attention. The girls had been sitting on the couch, sipping on bottles of water, while snacking on some chips that were originally left in Chase’s truck. It was better than nothing for the time being.

“Naturally, it began at a dirt track really with a friendship,” Morgan begins, earning a chuckle from Sarina.

“Why am I surprised? If Christopher isn’t racing a stock car, he’s out running a midget or sprint car somewhere.” Morgan nods her head, knowing that their life was full throttle.

“Hence why I was glad that we had this time off in between events to be at the wedding for you and Chase. That said, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything. I absolutely love being at the track every single weekend, no matter dirt or asphalt now-a-days. It’s an amazing atmosphere, something that I can’t describe to anyone, and it’s great to watch my man do what he does as he’s amazing.”

“I can’t deny Christopher’s talent…..”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 166: A Little Drive

Sunday, January 6 – Mooresville, North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

Following the official ceremony, all of the photos taken went smoothly. Chase and Sarina got some of just them together, along with some with his parents. Sarina and Lindsay took a couple together, followed by allowing all the bridesmaids in for some photos. Of course, there were some laughs when the groomsmen got together with Chase but the photos all were turning out amazing.

Everybody gathered afterwards for dinner, easily welcoming the couple into the party.

When it came to choosing the song for their first dance, Chase had allowed Sarina to choose what she wanted to dance to – as long as it was an Eric Church song, which caused her to laugh. After listening through some of her favorites for a couple days, she landed on “I Love Your Love The Most,” which Chase easily accepted.

I love sleeping in on Saturdays
And I love college football games
I love not acting my age
And good barbecue

Yea I’m a fan of Faulkner books
And anything my mama cooks
Small mouthed bass have got me hooked on Sunday afternoons

Yes I love good cold beer
And mustard on my fries
I love a good loud Honky Tonk that rocks on Friday nights
And hell yes I love my truck but I want you to know
Honey I love your love the most

Man I love how Redman tastes
Damn I love my Nascar race
Any song sung by George Strait is country at it’s best

Yes I love good cold beer
And mustard on my fries
I love a good loud Honky Tonk that rocks on Friday nights
And hell yes I love my truck but I want you to know
Honey I love your love the most

I love

Yea I love scuffed up cowboy boots
And broken torn up jeans
My 4-wheel drive and 8 point bucks
And rocky road ice cream

And hell yes I love my dog
And Jack D in my Coke
But honey I love your love
Yea I love your love
I love your love the most

I love your love the most

Once their first dance was out of the way, the couple made their way to the head table, sitting down, ready for dinner.

“So, how does it feel to be Mrs. Elliott?” Chase asks as they were eating. She just looks over with a childish grin on her face.

“It’s feels amazing,” she answers as she reaches over and clutches his hand. “How about you? What does marriage feel like?”

“More than I could’ve dreamed, and I can’t wait to spend every day with you for the rest of my life.” He then leans in and snags a quick kiss.

“I hope you both can wait until tonight..” Ryan teases, earning a glare from Sarina as Chase gives him a small smack. “You just can’t seem to keep your hands off of each other.”

“I wouldn’t be talking much lover boy,” Chase comments as he watches Ryan and Lindsay cast a glance at each other.

“How much longer do you think until they’re married?” Sarina asks as Chase looks over at the pair, before glancing back to Sarina.

“I wouldn’t bet against them running off to a chapel while we’re in Las Vegas and doing the quickie.” She then chuckles back in response.

“I could just make sure to aim the bouquet her way tonight…” Chase nods his head in agreement.

The rest of the night went smoothly – well, except the bouquet didn’t land in Lindsay’s arms as Sarina originally intended. Instead, it was Morgan catching it, which was fitting after her recent engagement to Christopher.

The food was tasty, the company was great and everybody was having a fun time sharing drinks and dancing on the dance floor. It even surprised a bunch that Chase was dancing the night away with Sarina – well, except to her as she remembered their special trip that revealed all the hidden details of her man.

Though as the night dragged on, there was a thought that continued to linger over Chase’s mind that he just couldn’t shake. This was his wedding day. Why was he thinking about Alison on this day?

Taking a deep breath, he smiles as he sees Sarina spending time with her girls, sneaking out of the room without being noticed. Flipping his eyes around in his hand, he knew a small drive would be what he needed to clear his head.

As he headed out of Dirty Mo Acres, his mind wasn’t focused on the direction he was going, but rather just the drive itself and letting his thoughts clear themselves out. He knew once he was able to do that, a simple type of the address in the GPS would lead him back to where he began the drive.

He thought about the range of emotions that he felt – anger, betrayal, disgust, sadness, fear, and perhaps another layer of anger added on top. He thought about the relief in knowing that it was finally over, and she wouldn’t be able to do anything else.

He thought about the relief in knowing that her dream plan would never be accomplished. He thought about how strong he was in making sure to not allow her to fulfill the goals that she wanted to.

There was also getting back to the negative association thoughts, those of weakness. How come he couldn’t have ended this sooner? Why was she able to exert so much control over him with such ease? She was able to make him twist and do as she pleased so easily – it just didn’t seem fair.

Turning around a corner, he feels the truck sputter a little.

“Are you kidding me?” He questions, pulling over to the side of the road. “Of course….”

This was supposed to be a simple trip for him to clear his head and return without anybody realizing. But now, he was stuck in the middle of nowhere. Making sure that it wasn’t stalled due to running out of gas, he climbs out of the cab and lifts the hood. He glanced through a couple possibilities based on what he felt, but nothing seemed to be adding up.

Running his hands through his hair as he pulls his phone out, he knew he had no choice but to make it known that he had escaped his own wedding party. He thought about who he should call, but there was only one name that his finger wanted to click on. Maybe a little trip away could have a sweet ending after all.

“So I escaped our wedding party to clear my head a little as I had a lot of thoughts going on,” he reveals once she answers the phone. “I’m fine now, I think I’ve got to where my thoughts are straight. However, the truck stalled. Can you come pick me up?”

“What about the truck?” She asks as he lets out a sigh. Of course he couldn’t leave the truck stuck there.

“I’ll call a tow truck once you get here. Just come, please. I want to see my lovely wife.” Sarina smiles at hearing herself be called that as she glances over at the party.

“Alright, I’ll be there as soon as possible. You’ve got your phone GPS turned on, right?” She then goes into the phone locator app, seeing his dot pop up as to where he was. “I know where you are. I’ll be there soon. I love you.”

She then hangs up, taking a deep breath with another glance at the party. She then makes her way for the door, knowing that it wouldn’t take long. Everybody was lost in their own fun anyway, right?

“Where do you think you’re going leaving your own wedding party?” She hears, freezing instantly as every curse word threatened to slide out of her mouth. Reluctantly, she turned around to face Christopher.

“Chase went for a drive to clear his head,” Sarina starts, which Christopher easily understood given everything that happened. “The truck broke down. He asked if I would come meet up with him to bring him back while he called a tow truck.”

“You’re 26 weeks pregnant and you’re just supposed to go driving by yourself at night?” She then lets out an immediate sigh, hating how everyone continued to be overprotective of her. She appreciated their concern, but something had to give every once in awhile.

“I’ll be fin-”

“There’s no way that I am letting you go alone, Sarina. I’m going with you – Morgan and I actually. Maybe I can help fix his truck so he doesn’t have the call the tow.” She then lets out a sigh, knowing there was no sense in arguing as they’d be going back and forth for awhile.

“Fine…..”

Christopher follows the direction that Sarina continued to give from the backseat of his truck, while Morgan sat in the front glancing around.

“There he is!” Morgan lets out, seeing the truck in the distance with a figure standing next to it.

“Finally….” Christopher comments as he pulls up behind the truck. He instantly caught the glance of confusion on Chase’s face as he watched them pull up.

“I called Sarina and told her to just com-” Chase starts as Christopher climbs out of the truck.

“26 weeks pregnant, traveling alone down a dirt road. That sounds really safe, Chase.” Chase was about to say something in return, though bit his tongue as he couldn’t argue with Christopher’s logic.

“Good point.” Christopher walks up to the side of the truck, taking a glance underneath the hood as the girls join them. “I was driving down the road, and it just started sputtering and no, I know that I have gas Christopher. I checked everything, but there doesn’t seem to be anything that stands out.”

“That’s why you need a Toyota.” Chase gives him a ‘really’ glance in return as Christopher just chuckles. “Are you sure you want to get used to this, Sarina?”

“I think I’ll be fine Christopher,” she comments, as she wraps her arms around Chase, laying her head on his shoulder.

“Have you called the tow truck yet?” Christopher asks and Chase shakes his head no.

“Who is even open at this hour?” Chase wonders as Christopher shrugs his shoulders. He took a quick glance at his phone, seeing it was 1 in the morning.

“We should’ve told a couple of the crew guys. They may have been able to help us.”

“Since they get paid to work on cars and trucks?” It was now Christopher’s turn to offer the glance. “I know what you’re saying, so maybe I messed up everything about the phone call.”

They then hear a shuffle in the grass field along the road, glancing at each other, as they watch some figures emerge from the field. The boys immediately glance at each other, as if to offer the universal sign that they were in charge of protecting the ladies in case, before looking towards the three men.

“You’re on the wrong side of town,” one of the men speak as they walk out into the middle of the dirt road.

“Look, we didn’t mean to come out this way,” Chase starts as he points towards his truck. “I was just driving down the road and I broke down. I called my friends to help me out. If you can let me know a place that is open to tow the truck, I can easily call and get out of here.”

“It’s not that simple, boy…” That is when the second man emerges, shot gun in hand as he points it in their direction.

“Okay, let’s take it easy.” Chase then takes a deep breath. “We’re not meaning to start any trouble.” The men then smile back in response.

“Good. This is going to be very easy – as long as we get what we want.” Chase then glances over at Christopher confused, who just shrugs his shoulders back in return. “Now before you reach your damn hand in your pocket and dial 9-1-1, how about you drop that phone here missy?”

“Easy…” Christopher warns as he knows the comment was directed towards Morgan, seeing how the gun was slightly turned her way. Morgan then pulls the phone out, dropping it on the ground.

“The rest of you – drop ‘em, along with your wallets and purses,” the guy instructs. All four of them easily follow the order, figuring this was going to be one of those regular stuck in the middle of nowhere robberies where they take the money and high-tail it out of there. “Was that so hard?”

“No,” Chase comments as he watches the leader take the shot gun from the second man. It was then a furry of action in watching the two others go through the wallets, cleaning out the cash inside, before smashing each of the phones. “Look, you got what you wanted. Now, can you let us get out of your hair?”

“We’re not done yet…” Chase then glances over at Christopher slightly confused. “There’s one more thing that we want.” Chase saw the grin forming on the guy’s face, instantly taking the stand to step in front of both Morgan and Sarina.

“You’re not touching them.” The guy chuckles as he licks his lips.

“Did you really think that it was the lady that I wanted? Although, she would be a nice quick fuck right here.” Chase shakes his head once again.

“Like I said, you’re not touching them. You’ll have to go through me to do that.”

“That’s a very easy thing to do…” The guy then pops off a shot, hitting Chase directly in the shoulder.

“Fuck!” Chase screams instantly as he falls backwards, hand immediately clutching where the bullet had gone in.

“Chase?!?” Sarina says as she leans down by him.

“Now, you’re going to co-operate with me or else I’ll give him something else to scream over,” the guy states as Christopher takes a deep breath, carefully keeping Morgan guarded behind him.

“What do you want?” Christopher asks, swallowing the lump in his throat.

“Your truck. We need something to get out of here.” Christopher knew losing a chance of some way to get out there was better than another gun shot.

“The keys are in the ignition.” The other two men walk over to the truck, reaching inside and holding the keys up for their leader to see.

“See, it’s much easier when you co-operate…” The guy then runs off, hopping in the truck with his friends as they drive off out of sight and mind.

“Chase?!?” Sarina says as she kneels by him, with both Christopher and Morgan joining her.

“Keep pressure on it,” Morgan states as Christopher pushes down on where the wound was, causing Chase to let out a big scream in the process. “Now, what are we supposed to do?” Christopher glances around, seeing nothing in sight except for the cabin where the guys came from and the street lights. “We got to do something as we can’t stay here all night.”

“We’ve got to help him!” Morgan instantly wraps her arms around Sarina.

“We’re going to figure this out, right Christopher?” Morgan asks, casting a glance in Christopher’s direction as he nods his head in return.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 165: Wedding Day

Sunday, January 6 – Mooresville, North Carolina – 26 weeks pregnant

Chase takes a glance in the mirror, fixing his suit one more time as he takes a deep breath. All of the waiting since proposing to her was finally over as today was finally the day. He was about to marry the girl that had captured his heart three years ago without a chance of letting go.

“Starting to feel the wedding day nerves?” Darrell asks as he walks over and Chase shakes his head no.

“I honestly can’t wait to marry her,” he offers. “It’s almost like can we just do it already?” Darrell chuckles as he rubs Chase’s shoulders.

“You just want to get this over with because you’re nervou-”

“I told you that I was fin-”

“Dude, every groom gets nervous. Will you relax and just admit it?” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing that Darrell was right.

“What if she runs away? What if I get one of those famous your bride has run away scenarios? What if I’m left standing at the altar by myself?” Darrell didn’t want to share the same worry as his friend, but he absolutely understood those nerves coming to him right now. After all, Sarina was afraid of commitment for the long time, from even beginning to the relationship to discussing the mere thought of marriage. However, now they were supposed to get married with a child on the way?

“She adores you so much that I don’t think she could ever dream of doing that to you,” Ryan interjects as he walks over. “She would do anything for you, and wants to be with you every second of the day. I bet she’s just as set to get it over with and walk down that aisle then you are.” He then looks over at Darrell. “Dude, really?”

“I came over to check on our groom and make sure everything was fine,” Darrell confesses. “I didn’t mean to start this…” Ryan just lets out a sigh.

“Well, I can promise that there’s nothing to worry about. I can assure you from the ladies that everything is going smoothly.” Chase then smirks as he looks over at Ryan. “And no, I am not sneaking you a photo of her dress or anything. Good try.”

“Don’t you know how much bad luck that is?” Chase lets out a sigh as he looks back in the mirror. Alan then walks over, placing both of his hands on Chase’s shoulders.

“Think about this as the next chapter of your life,” he starts. “Everything that happened before is over with. Alison is caught, locked away forever. That chapter of your life is over and in the past. There’s no worries for you to wonder about moving forward. You can finally put that where it belongs, and live your life as you wis-”

“There are some feelings that still remain, Alan,” Chase confesses and Alan nods his head, accepting.

“I know, and those will linger for months as you work through getting past what happened. Like I’ve told you before, you’re one of the strongest people that I know and you’ve been through more than I’d wish on my worst enemy. It’s going to take time, Chase. However, this is your new beginning. Today once you both stand together, and share your vo-”

“That’s if I remember them…” Alan felt a bit of worrisome in hearing those nerves as he continued to rub Chase’s shoulders.

“You’ll remember them when the time is right, or you’ll come up with something right then and there that’s more beautiful. You love her, Chase, and all it takes in that moment is expressing what she means to you.” Chase knew that, but it didn’t take away from wanting to make sure they were perfect and the time spent writing them. “My point is you’re set to begin the next chapter of your life – you, Sarina, and the baby on the way together. Use that as motivation to make this even better, to make up for the wrongs of the past, and to move forward from what has happened. You deserve it, and I know you’ll make the most of it.”

“Thank you, Alan.” Chase then turns around, offering the crew chief a hug. “You’re more than just a crew chief; you’re my best friend, and I can’t thank you enough.”

“I’m just glad to be here and be a part of your special day.”

So many years have gone by
Always strong, tried not to cry
Never felt like I needed any man
To comfort me in life

“Sarina, it’s time to get started…” Lindsay says as she heads to the door, the last of the ladies. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” Sarina replies as she glances over with a smile. “I’ll be right out….”

As the door shuts behind Lindsay, Sarina takes a deep breath as she takes one final glance in the mirror. Was this really happening? It didn’t seem like it was even possible.

As she looked at the lady that she had become, she could only shake her head.

She remembered what she envisioned herself being when she got to this age as a little girl. She also remembered how that vision changed as she entered her teenage years.

Then everything happened, and her life was forever changed. In the span of three years, both of her parents were gone and her brother had become someone she didn’t recognize. She was also forced to leave behind every family member, friend that she knew.

She remembered the strength that she thought she possessed through those years. She remembered how quickly she hardened herself, knowing she needed every ounce if she was going to succeed and make the most of the second chance. Besides, it was easier to do that – then face the emotions and let the tears roll down her cheeks.

At that moment as she made the initial move down to North Carolina, her primary focus was on herself. She was going to make it in life, and do what she needed to do survive – without a focus on anyone else. How would she trust someone else with everything that happened?

But I’m all made up today
A veil upon my face

Adjusting the veil that she wore atop her head, she had to laugh when she looked back at that approach. Seeing what she had learned in the past four years, she wished she had done everything different then.

Who knew a simple Georgia Peach would change everything in her life? She remembered the fear of trusting him, and how she kept saying no to his advances despite feeling every bit of attraction to him. She remembered the initial conversations, and the sleepover that changed everything, where she confessed everything.

From there on, she was thankful beyond anything for what he had done for her, as he slowly pulled back the pieces. She learned that it was okay to shed those emotions and be vulnerable, while being strong at the same time. She was finally able to address that pain – and she thanked him every day despite how much it hurt. It was amazing how much therapy it was to release all those feelings after everything that happened.

Seeing how much he cared for, and how much she cared for him return, there was no turning back. Then seeing how much he was willing to endure for her, and help her through, she knew that she couldn’t ever lose the connection they shared together.

They certainly made mistakes along the way, but she was thankful they were both patient and forgiving. She could officially say as she glanced at her reflection in the mirror that it was beyond worth it.

But no father stands beside me
To give this bride away

Feeling confidence in her step, she makes her way out of the room and gets in the car for the short ride from Dale’s house to the western down.

“I was wondering if you got cold feet or something,” Morgan half-jokes as Sarina shakes her head no.

“I could never do that to Chase,” she confesses with a smile.

Once down at the western town, the ladies got out of the car, joining up with their partners for the walk down the aisle.

As she watches Brexton and Lydia begin the parade down the aisle as ring-barrier and flower girl, it begins to hit her that she will have to make the long walk down alone. Taking a deep breath, she had expected it to come easy – though she couldn’t help but feel a couple butterflies. Taking another deep breath, though, she knew it’d be worth it once she reached the other end.

She smiles in seeing Kyle and Sam walk down the aisle next, thankful all the help they had offered through the past couple of years. As strong as she and Chase were together, she wondered if they would’ve been able to get through last year in January with the miscarriage if it wasn’t for Samantha. Knowing what they had gone through recently, she now felt the need to repay them with whatever they needed. It also served as a good reminder to make sure to take it easy today despite everything going on.

The next pair to walk down were Darrell and Emma, which caused her to chuckle via the jokes shared in an attempt of Darrell to ruffle Cale Conley a little bit. Thankfully, though, he had behaved on this important day.

Morgan and Alan were the last of the pair of bridesmaids and grooms to make their way down the aisle. Considering it was their first meeting together, everything went smoothly.

Lindsay glances back at Sarina, sharing a quick nod and smile. She then turns to face the aisle, making her way down as the maid-of-honor. Sarina couldn’t believe how easily the pair had been able to reconnect, or how much their friendship grew with each passing day. If she was going to have only limited family moving forward, she was glad that Lindsay was the chosen one.

Taking a deep breath in knowing everyone else had taken the walk down with the music beginning to play, she knew that it was her turn to make her way down.

Well, I’m standing in the chapel
Wearing my white dress
I have waited for this moment
With tears of happiness
Here I leave behind my past
By taking the chance
I’ve finally found the right man

Thoughts racing fast through my mind
As I’m gazing down the aisle
That my future will mend the memories
Torn between father and child

My emotions overload
‘Cause there is no hand to hold
There’s no shoulder here to lean on
I’m walking all on my own

“Are you ready?” Ryan whispers and Chase nods his head as he looks up the aisle, ready for her to make her grand entrance.

Seeing her enter the chapel with her first step into the aisle, everyone’s eyes turned around to face her. However, none of that mattered as her eyes were focused on a pair of brown ones at the other end of the aisle.

Chase’s jaw dropped immediately upon seeing her, admiring how snugly the dress fit her and showed off her ever-growing baby bump. His eyes followed from the train of the dress, all the way up to the eyes that stared right into his.

“I…I don’t….I don’t know what to say,” he fought to find the words in commenting how she looked.

“She looks amazing,” Ryan filled them in as Chase just nodded his head in return, standing there speechless.

The silence remained as she made her way to the altar, their eyes still locked together, as he reached out and took her hand.

“You look beyond stunning…” He comments as she smiles back in return.

“You look very handsome,” she replies, sneaking in a quick kiss.

“Hey now, I didn’t say you could kiss the bride yet,” the wedding officiator states, earning a couple chuckles through the room.

“She’s so beautiful that I couldn’t resist accepting her offer,” Chase comments, eyes back locked on her as all that mattered to him was saying the key words today and walking out of the chapel married to this stunning woman.

Here I go

Now I’m standing at four corners
To have and to hold
Now, my love, you stand beside me
To walk…

“Dear friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the union of Ms. Sarina Lynn Ott Dryer and William Clyde Elliott in marriage,” the wedding officiator states.

The usage of their full names was a discussion point for a couple of days between them, but they decided to go with it to be official. It also brought forth a second discussion in regards to Sarina’s name choice, which Chase left up to her. She decided to use the name that she had been using since changing her identity over, but yet add the Dryer part. While she wasn’t proud of her entire’s family past, she did admire parts of it, including her father, and felt it was right to be honorable. Perhaps those words stated by Lindsay in relation to their child to come were beginning to soak in.

“In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife,” he continues, before taking a glance at the pair before him. “May you always need one another, not to fill an emptiness, but to help each other know your fullness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all important ways with each other, and not fail in the little graces. May you have happiness, and may you find it in making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.”

Sarina and Chase simply nod in response to the words, without taking their eyes off of each other. There was only one thing that mattered to them both about today.

“Your love brings me to a simple question,” the officiator continues. “Do you, Sarina Lynn Ott Dryer, take William Clyde Elliott, to be your lawfully wedded husband, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long you both shall live?”

“I do,” she answers with certainty laced in her voice. There was no need for those nerves that she had ever felt before.

“Do you, William Clyde Elliott, take Sarina Lynn Ott Dryer, to be your lawfully wedded husband, promising to love and cherish, through joy and sorrow, sickness and health, and whatever challenges you may face, for as long you both shall live?”

“I do,” Chase replies as a smile forms on his face. The months of waiting that never seemed like they would end had finally concluded.

“Do we have the wedding rings?” The officiator asks as Sarina and Chase both finally turn away from each other to face Brexton. The little boy reaches into his pockets, taking out a pair of rings, handing one to each of them.

“Sarina is still my princess,” Brexton states matter of factly as he hands the ring to Chase.

“Don’t worry – I can share buddy,” Chase replies, giving him a hug, before letting him go.

“The couple have chosen to write their own vows today,” the officiator reveals. “Ladies first…” Sarina lifts her hand, spinning the ring inside of it before reaching out to slide it on his face.

“As I slide this ring on your finger, I vow to always love you,” she starts, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. “I vow to always cherish you, take care of you, and be there for you. I vow to always listen to you, and help you with every emotion that you feel. Chase, you opened a door that I wasn’t willing to open to anyone. You pried harder than I could’ve imagined – but yet so gently that I didn’t realize, making me face my greatest fears and helping me through the roughest patch of my life. So therefore, I vow to be there for you no matter what in the same way in return – and that includes moving past the latest chapter in our lives. I vow to do whatever you need me to do for you to be there for you, and to love thee completely. I vow to be your partner in life, till death do us part.” She then slides the ring up his finger, as he simply smiles in return.

“Now were those really so hard to write?” He asks, breaking the ice a little as she chuckles remembering the paper balls they had both thrown out in the process. He then takes a deep breath, holding up the ring in which he had gotten for her. It was a simple diamond band, with a slight opening so it’d fit snugly around the pink diamond engagement ring. “As I slide this ring on your finger, I vow to always love you. I vow to be there for you every single day. I vow to be understanding in our rough moments, even if you threaten to run awa-”

“There’s no way I am doing that again. I’ve learned my lesson.” He smiles, as he wipes a piece of hair out of her eyes.

“I’m glad, but just in case, I vow to be there for you. I vow to hold you, cuddle you, listen to you, and be your rock when you need someone to vent to. I vow to always be there for you to give you advice, and guidance when you need it. I vow to bring out the best in you as you’re more beautiful and talented than anyone probably imagined. I vow to take care of you, and keep you safe. I vow to make sure that we don’t endure the same pain that we’ve gone through again. I vow to make you feel safe, and secure in my arms like you’ve never felt before. I vow  to be yours forever and always. I will cherish what we have no matter as I vow to be yours, and yours alone, till death do us part.” He then slides the ring up her finger, as she wipes away the couple of tears that slid down her cheeks.

“By the power vested in me by the States of North Carolina, I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the wedding officiator officially proclaims. “Mr. Elliott, you may now actually kiss your bride for real.”

“Thank you…” He then pulls her close, as the pair share a big kiss to the chime of whistles from the crowd in the church.

“Ladies and Gentleman, family and friends, I present to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Chase and Sarina Elliott.”

“I like the sounds of that,” Sarina comments, before diving in for a second kiss.