The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 235: Motion Filed

Saturday, April 20 – Phoenix, Arizona

Chase walks into the court room, letting out a sigh as he glances around. He had hoped that his next appearance would simply be to hear what the jury had to say with a good outcome. However, instead, it seemed that he was there for another reason now.

He had a couple days to process what was about to happen with Alycia coming to see him. He even read over the piece of paper a couple times, considering all the options in relation to what he was seeing. He was even mixed as to how he wanted things to play today.

If the motion was accepted and he had to make the appointment, then it’d further close the door on options for an appeal. If the motion wasn’t accepted, it’d certainly hurry the process as the jury could go back to deliberating and maybe he’d be free of this entire experience sooner. Besides, the quicker he didn’t have the wear the ankle monitor, the better.

He takes his seat alongside Alycia as he had done in each of the appearances prior, glancing around the court room. He was almost intrigued by the facial expression from Carter in about what was to go down – but didn’t bother to think about it more. He had to focus and see what direction things went here.

“All rise!” The baliff states, as everyone stands up in the court room just like weeks prior. “Presenting the Honorable Judge Jackson Pruitt.” Jackson once again walks out of the doors and up to stand, taking his seat, as he had done before as well. Chase tried to get a read off of him, but couldn’t figure anything thus far.

“You may be seated,” the judge instructs, as everyone follows suit. “By all intentions, the trial proceedings has been completed on Tuesday, April 16, with the jury set to deliberate the charges against Mr. Elliott and Mr. Williams. However, it was brought to my attention to pause deliberations on Thursday, April 18 as a result of a motion being filed to my office. Was everyone made aware of these events?”

“Yes sir,” all three lawyers – Kyle Gates, Nellie Martin, and Alycia Burrows – each state one after the other. That was a meeting with Alycia that Chase wasn’t about to forget, either.

“Thank you. Ms. Martin, it is my understanding that you filed the motion in regards to the charges against Mr. Elliott. However, you are supposed to be the defense attorney for Mr. Williams and worried about his case.” It didn’t far to grasp as to why Nellie was the individual to file such a motion in Chase’s eyes, given that she’s working in Carter’s best interest.

“With all due respect, sir, the charges against Mr. Elliott pertain to an assault against my client,” Nellie Martin begins. “So therefore, I feel that I have legal bounds to pursue this matter.  In addition, if I may, Mr. Elliott testified against my client on behalf of the prosecution, as well, so therefore this connects back to my case as well.” Chase could only roll his eyes, but again, wasn’t surprised. It was just like Alison and all the games that she mattered to play over in the courts.

“Reasoning is accepted, hence why I agreed to hear the motion in court,” Judge Jackson Pruitt replies, earning a partial groan in response from Chase. It would’ve been better to have this thrown out entirely without an appearance to allow the jury to do their job. “Ms. Martin, you have filed a motion for Mr. Elliott to be seen by a court appointed psychiatrist for a session. May you please explain your reasons, ma’am.”

“Ms. Burrows is stating her client’s reasons for assaulting my client stem to self-defense, civic arrest, and mental state. It is my understanding that any other case that has gone through the courts in regards to mental state, whether it be provincial or federal, has resulted in the individual being seen by the psychiatrist for an evaluation. Those findings are then shared with the court for the jury to also be able to consider in their proceedings. All I am asking for here, sir, is consistency with the court system.” Chase lets out a sigh, remembering how Alycia had stated those exact words to him when she told him about the motion. It was why she believed that it’d probably be allowed by the court.

“Mr. Gates, may I ask why this wasn’t included in your proceedings as it is the state that you’re representing and they pressed the charges against Mr. Elliott?” Chase almost had to laugh in hearing the question. Wasn’t it obvious to the judge yet that Nellie was behind the charges, given her constant focus on that?

“Ms. Burrows presented the records from Mr. Elliott’s psychiatrist visits – indicating that he had been seeing someone,” Kyle Gates begins, carefully. “However, this is a man that has been allowed to drive a racecar on every given weekend at a high rate of speed. If there was really something going on, would he be trusted to do that by his own psychiatrist? Normally you’re only requested to have evaluations if they center around insanity, or sanity, and whether the person should be at large to society or not.” Chase almost wanted to turn and ask Alycia if a comment of that nature was beneficial, or not. Did that debunk the mental state theory? Could that cause the jury to lean away from his defense?

“Ms. Burrows also was clear to state that her client only has these ‘moments’ as she called them in relation to particular events and people,” Nellie Martin then begins. “She referenced a series of events in connection to Ms. Alison Reynolds, before linking them to my client. Therefore, the implication is still implied despite Mr. Gates’ very reasonable argument. I just want to clear it up by offering a third party point of view for the jury. Besides, those records and such could have been forged or done as a favor as we know Mr. Elliott’s pull with people.” Chase actually admired his consistent push as his questions for Alycia continued to build.

“Ms. Burrows, do you have anything to comment in relation to the motion?” Judge Jackson Pruitt questions as Alycia takes a deep breath. She glances over at Chase, debating which direction to go with this, before looking up at the judge.

“I firmly believe that I presented the best case possible for my client,” Alycia begins. “I showcased the three reasons for Mr. Elliott not to be found guilty, and hopefully combined with everything the jury can see why he did what he did. I feel this is either a stall, or last desperation tactic from Ms. Martin due to her client’s situation.” Chase smiled as he had to admit he was feeling the same thing, and it gave him more confidence in the eventual jury decision.

“Although you may be calling it that, and we hate to extend the court’s time, Ms. Martin is right about the standard being set for psychological evaluation. We’ve already bent the rules for Mr. Elliott in allowing him bail despite mental state being part of the defense, in allowing him to continue traveling around the country racing, and being allowed to take off the ankle monitor on race weekends. So therefore, I feel it is the court’s duty to fulfill the requirements that are laid out before it. The motion is accepted.” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing exactly what that meant. He had spoken about Alison and Carter before, but it still wasn’t easy to step up and speak to someone else about it.

“There is no timeline stated on the motion as filed. So therefore, I would appreciate the court’s time in allowing Mr. Elliott to spend Easter Sunday with his family for dinner, as everybody else involved in the case will be allowed to do so. I would then be open to scheduling the appointment on Monday, April 22.” Chase crossed his fingers that was allowed, as he wasn’t about to miss family dinner.

“That is allowed,” Judge Jackson Pruitt thankfully accepts. “Following the evaluation on Monday, the court will re-convene during the week to hear the findings, before allowing the jury to continue deliberation. Mr. Elliott, you are instructed to speak with a court appointed psychiatrist on Monday, April 22 at the time given to you by the clerk. If you miss this appointment, you would no longer be allowed bail and face jail time for obstruction of justice proceedings. Am I clear?” Chase didn’t need the additional comments on his head to make sure that orders were followed on Monday.

“Yes, sir,” he simply states as he focuses his eyes on him. His mind, meanwhile, was elsewhere, feeling a mixture of emotions in regards to this situation.

“Your honor, is the location of such appointment determined?” Nellie Martin then questions, catching a couple off-guard glances in response.

“I see on the motion that you are recommending Mr. Elliott travel to Delaware with his evaluation taking place at Delaware Psychatric Centre,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states, earning a nod from Nellie. The color instantly erased from Chase’s face as he looked over at Alycia, shaking his head no immediately. There was no way that he was going to step in that building.

“My client is already making weekly travels from Dawsonville, Georgia to Phoenix, Arizona for court proceedings,” Alycia begins to try and plea, seeing the immediate response from Chase. She didn’t need to ask him as she knew herself the reason why. “The only baring is that it’s a court appointed psychiatrist that is registered with the state. Couldn’t we go with someone in Georgia?”

“We’ve talked about special trea-” Nellie Martin interjects.

“Okay, fine, then because the charges have been laid by the state of Arizona, shouldn’t his appointment be at an Arizona facility? I feel this is just another tactic played by the defense. They’ve been aware that Ms. Alison Reynolds is currently housed in their high security department via copies of the documents from Mr. Gates and myself. I could only bet that’s why Ms. Martin chose that location.”  That was only the explanation that Chase could find himself, as he sat there still stunned.

“I accepted the motion, which means I accept every single piece of writing on it,” Judge Jackson Pruitt states. “Therefore, the location stands. Your client is a pilot. He can certainly get himself there in time. Court adjourned!”

“I’m sorry…” were the only words that Alycia could think to say as she glanced over at Chase, seeing the disgusted look on his face. “If anything, it’ll help the case because that’s obviously going to cause a reaction from you.”

“Thank you for what you’re trying to do – I appreciate it,” he replies, before standing up and walking towards the door. He just wanted to get out there as he didn’t need to think about this a single moment more. He already knew he’d probably be sick on Monday.

Saturday, April 20 – Columbia, South Carolina

Darrell walks over to the group, handing each of them a drink, before resuming his place as they get ready for a fun night together.

“I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to come,” Ryan comments with a glance over at Chase. Chase actually had a couple nerves himself initially as he was standing in the court room.

“Alycia knows what she’s doing and I wasn’t about to miss family dinner tomorrow,” Chase replies as he looks over at Ryan. “Be sure this was perfectly needed after today.” Cracking the can open, and taking a long sip, he was ready to ignore everything that happened at least for the night thanks to the guys. He would worried about that on Monday.

“Your dad is coming to pick us up tonight, right?” Chase nods his head, remembering the conversation. After they got done with court, he landed in Georgia, taking Sarina back to the house to spend the night with Lindsay (wedding planning). Though before separating from his parents, he put the question to his father, which was easily accepted. “No drowning your sorrows too much there, boy.”

“Hey, I wasn’t the one that needed to be carried home on Thursday. I can handle my alcohol.” He then takes another long sip, as Ryan keeps an extra eye on him. He trusted him, better than most, but he was keeping an extra eye just in case. He had heard enough details from Chase on the way up to South Carolina to have him concerned.

“I love you guys!” Bubba lets out, wrapping his arms around both of their shoulders for a bro hug together. Ryan and Chase could only look at him a little concerned, but then both laughed it off.

“Daddy worked like a mule, mining pike county coal,” Ryan begins to sing along with the opening song. “He messed up his back; he couldn’t work anymore. He said one of these days you’ll get out of these hills. Keep your nose on the grind stone and out of the pills.”

“See the ways of this world just to bring you to tears,” Chase joins in as Bubba could only glance over at them in amazement. He then turned on his phone, taking a photo to send back to the girls. “Keep the lord in your heart, you’ll have nothing to fear. Live the best that you can and don’t lie and don’t steal. Keep your nose on the grind stone, and out of the pills.”

The girls only chuckled as they watched the video, sending back a thumbs back in response.

“But yet they tell us that they don’t sing,” Lindsay comments, as Sarina just laughs back in response.

“Chase always told me that, too,” she recalls with a smirk on her face. “That all changed when he sang to me.” Lindsay smiles as she remembered Sarina telling her about that. “They can sing better than they realize. We need to do a Karoke night together.”

“And embarrass ourselves?” Sarina instantly turned to surprise as she shook her head no.

“Girl, you can sing – whether you want to admit it or not. I’ve heard that voice of yours. Ryan will agree once he hears it. Hell, he may sing more for you.” Lindsay was set to argue totally against that, focusing back on the binders.

“So with doing a beach wedding, I was liking the idea of having yellow and white flowers…” Sarina looks over the notes that Lindsay had added herself since the last time they sat down together planning the wedding.

Sunday, April 21 – Dawsonville, Georgia

The whole afternoon at the Elliott household had been fun and entertaining. There were chuckles in watching Chase’s niece and nephew run off through the field looking for the Easter eggs that Cindy had hid for them. Cindy then got the photos of them all together she had been requesting and bugging from the beginning for – with Sarina following her instructions in taking the images.

“That better not be the last time that we do photos,” Cindy commented as they finished up with a couple of other requests. One of her personal favorites was having Bill with all three grandchildren together. “As those kids get better, we need to promise to keep doing them each year.”

“Are you saying that we’ve created an Easter tradition?” Sarina questions, earning a nod in response from Cindy. Sarina couldn’t explain as she thought it was adorable. She also knew that she’d probably be doing the same for herself, Abigail, and Chase.

“I was the trouble maker of the three of us – but yet you’re the one wearing one of those fancy monitors first,” Starr comments, earning a glance from Chase that wasn’t too pleasant. “What? I’m sorry, but I had to make a comment on it.”

“I have to admit that you are right, though,” he finally gave in with a small smile on his face.

“We could always get Brittany to bust it for you.” Brittany glances over, giving a simple nod as she had knew disabling devices like that was right up her ally in the Air Force.

“She’s too much of an angel to do something like that…” That only earned a couple laughs around the room in response.

“Ah shit!” They hear Sarina let out, with each of the Elliott kids glance over to see what was the reasoning. It didn’t take them long to realize, seeing Abigail had spit up on herwhile Sarina was burping her.

“Rule 1 – never wear white with children as it’ll get marked up immediately,” Brittany states, earning a nod in agreement from Starr. “I wore a white dress to a party once, and I ended up with pee everywhere thanks to little man.”

“Lucky for you, I have training with stains, too,” Cindy comments as she joins in the group. Chase easily takes Abigail from Sarina’s arms, letting her head off with Cindy to get cleaned up.

“So what are you going to do if she wants to race like her parents?” Starr questions as Chase looks over at her. With Abigail being only 11 weeks old, he hadn’t given it much thought. However, he knew it was a big possibility with how much time she’d be spending at the track.

“We’ll have to see when the time comes,” he answers as he glances down at her. He then leans down, giving her a couple kisses, which just earned some giggles in response.

“I’m surprised some team hasn’t already signed her to a development contract,” Brittany comments. “I could honestly see her and Brexton dating while racing as teammates one day.” The comment only earned a glance of surprise and shake of the head from Chase. “Oh, so we don’t flinch about her racing, but we freak over dating?”

“Listen, she’s not dating until she’s 18 or possibly older.” Both of his sisters chuckle back in response, looking out in the backyard at their dad playing with the kids.

“Don’t worry – dad always said the same thing about us. You can ask him how that turned out.”

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The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 234: Flying & Concerts

Thursday, April 18 – Dawsonville, Georgia

Chase Elliott looks through the photos before he glances up, making sure that Kevin Coleman was fine putting with finalizing everything for the night in the hanger. With the boys having tickets for a concert that night with friends, Chase had made sure to have room in the hanger so Kevin could keep the plane there overnight.

He smiles as his eyes return to the laptop screen, clicking a view to make them bigger, and zooming in with how crisp they turned out.

“That photo is amazing,” he hears from behind, nodding his head in agreement as he opens the particular image in question. He remembered the exact moment they shot it, as it was during Kevin’s second turn behind the controls. “I think your mom’s photography lessons are finally paying off.”

“No – I think you’re just giving me the perfect material to work with,” Chase replies back as he transfer the photo to his phone immediately. If there was going to be a photo shared from today, he didn’t have any doubt on which image to share now. “Ryan texted me. They should be here shortly. He appreciated Dad’s offer to give them a lift.”

“Your dad is just like you are. He’ll take any chance that he can get to go flying.” Chase couldn’t deny that offer, as he remembered several times when he was learning how his dad offered to go up with him.

“He still says that we’re crazy for what we’re doing today, despite that.” Kevin shakes his head, not surprised, given the nerves that he had seen from Sarina yesterday.

“He’s just worried about you. That’s what parents do.” Chase once again couldn’t argue with his friend’s sentiments.

“Regardless, thank you for coming and spending the week here. It means the world to me.” He then looks over the images once again, taking a deep breath. “I didn’t realize how much I needed this break until this week and spending that time in the air with you. However, losing myself in that moment, it was the perfect release.”

“That’s why we both got into flying, right? It’s the one place that we can both go and feel free above anything else no matter what is going on in our lives.” Kevin watches Chase closely, as he puts things away. “Look, I may not know everything that’s going on, and you don’t need to tell me because I don’t need to know. But it’s easy to tell that there’s a lot going on. When you hear the charges laid down against both you and Carter, when you realize what all went down, and how long it has gone on for, you begin to understand. So I perfectly understand where you’re coming from, and I understand needing the break. So as your friend, I’m glad to be able to give you that opportunity.”

“I try to pretend that it doesn’t affect me sometimes, but that’d be lying to myself. I realized that when I made the decision to do something about it last year.” Kevin nods his head, remembering a day they agreed to meet and Chase was late due to the appointment going longer than expected. “Sometimes, I admit that it feels harder this time because there’s so many unknowns. I don’t know what Sarina is feeling and what she’s going to do next. I don’t know what the jury could be decide in regards to my fate for the future. What if they don’t see it the way that they should?”

“They’d be insane to not. Honestly, I’m shocked that the courts even let these charges go through. I’m sorry, but all you did was stop something from happening and you called the authorizes. So now we’re not supposed to protect ourselves?” Chase shrugs his shoulders, feeling that same confusion.

“Though according to Nellie Martin, I went too far when I bent his fingers back while holding him and told him that he was a sick bastard and there was more that I wanted to do to him.” Kevin felt a bit of shock come over him in learning the details that he hadn’t realized were involved.

“Did you actually break a finger?” Chase nods his head, having seen the proof in the court room. He couldn’t help but echo the chuckle from Kevin in that moment. “Damn boy! But, again, who can blame you? I would’ve done the exact same thing in your shoes, and I’m sure the majority of that jury would do the same thing. They’re hypocrites if they think otherwise. Honestly, I don’t think you have a single thing to worry about – but I understand the nerves just in case.”

“I appreciate that, I think…” Kevin wraps an arm around his shoulders.

“Listen, whenever you need to just get away like this, call me. If I have tine in my schedule, I’ll come down because I can’t help but admit that I have a ball when we’re together.” Chase nods his head with a smile in agreement, having seen that over the past couple of days.

Chase comes out of the shower, towel wrapped around him as he heads into the bedsroom. He goes into the drawer, pulling out his jeans and a t-shirt. He knew it wouldn’t be long until he’d be leaving with the boys.

“So the black firesuit is back for Talladega?” He hears, smiling. He knew that Sarina had a certain fascination with the black firesuit, stemming from the original Mountain Dew edition. “Doesn’t a girl get a warning anymore?”

“I was planning to surprise you, given that you absolutely adore it,” he answers while focusing on getting ready.

“Well, unfortunately, your PR team spoiled that as they shared the firesuit across social media today. But I will admit that the Caesar’s car looks absolutely amazing. The golden chrome on the white pops nicely.” He nods his head in agreement, having noticed that from the very first moment it was unveiled.

“It’s right up there with the Hooters paint scheme, then?” She nods her head, still ranking the Hooters appearance as the best of the four. “I thought it was nice when they sent me the proof images.”

“You’re just lucky that you didn’t have that sponsorship on the car while I was pregnant. I would’ve been snagging as much crazy bread from you as possible.” He then chuckles in response, having to admit that it tasted absolutely amazing.

“Wouldn’t that make you sick of it?” He then turns around, jaw dropping as he takes in her appearance from that night. While he was going out with the boys, he knew that her and Lindsay had plans together. However, he didn’t know they involved getting totally decked out. “Where are you going dressed like that?”

“Oh you know, we’re just playing dress-up in house tonight.” Chase rolls his eyes, knowing better. Just as Ryan was good at getting tickets and finding shows for them to go to, he knew Lindsay was right up there in that department. “Cassadee Pope is at Terminal West tonight, and Lindsay may have gotten us VIP passes to go.”

“Leave it to the Blaneys to spoil us both while I thought you’d be working on wedding plans when Dad mentioned something about having Abigail for the night.” She just chuckles back in response. “Well, I hope you both have an amazing night as you look absolutely spectacular.”

“You don’t look so bad yourself, Clyde.” She then leans in, kissing his lips.

Thursday, April 18 – Georgia Theatre

“I’m surprised that you’re here,” Kevin comments as he looks over at Darrell Wallace. That only returned a surprised glance in return.

“Why’s that?” Darrell questions, expecting a common response in return.

“You’re a metal head. I wouldn’t peg you as someone to enjoy some country.” Chase chuckles, as obviously Kevin had no idea about Darrell’s wide range of music tastes.

“If it’s good, down routes country, proper lyrics – then you’ve got attention. But you wouldn’t catching me jamming to a Taylor Swift song to save my life.” The comment only made Chase chuckle even more. “Blame this Georgia boy over here. The only problem is Ryan and I still can’t get him to like a single metal band.”

“That’s never going to happen,” Chase candidly admits as he watches Ryan rejoin them together in the crowd, carrying a round of beers in his hands. “Are you trying to get us drunk tonight?”

“Dude, it’s only the second beer,” Ryan states as he hands each of them a can to drink.

“We’re only five songs into the set,” Kevin reminds him and Ryan nods his head, having kept track himself.

“We’re going to be fine boys, don’t you worry….” Ryan then pops open his can, holding it up in the air. “Cheers to a good night with my favorite men!”

“I’ll drink to that,” Darrell offers him a cheers in response, followed by Kevin and Chase, with each of them taking a long sip.

“There’s a place where the sun doth shine and the birds keep time with the pines up ayonder,” the boys sing along as Colter begins singing ‘Caroline’. “That’s the home of my Carolina, she’s dancing in the sky…”

“Oh how sweet, when we meet on the golden streets of the great white valley,” Ryan easily carries the next verse. “These old chains around my feet, they’re pulling me back down…”

“And yet he claims to not be able to sing a single lick,” Chase whispers to Kevin and Darrell, who each chuckle and nod in response.

“I heard that! Just ask Chase about his dancing shoes…” Kevin then looks at Chase puzzled, who simply shakes his head no in response. “He can line dance with the best of them. Just get Sarina to ask him to do it.”

“When he’s drunk off of his ass later, I’m not carrying him home….”

Thursday, April 18 – Dawsonville, Georgia

Chase lets out a sigh as he leans back against the wall, shaking his head. Although he’d sworn earlier in the night that he wasn’t going to be responsible for Ryan’s drunken butt, that is what ended up happening. He made sure to get him in the house, and in the bedsroom, before leaving him in Lindsay’s care.

“I know I just met you, been talking your ears off, but I wanna know everything and I got all night long,” he hears, instantly swaying a little as he recognized the song immediately. “Are you tryna be someone for someone? ‘Cause you remind me of where I come from. So boy, I know it’s kinda soon, but I’ll tell you what I wanna do.”

“With a voice like that, I can’t damn well deny you anything,” he instantly comments, glancing towards the bed. The sight before him only caused to bite his lip right afterwards, fully enticed by the sight before him. It was a simple white tank top and brown shorts, but those sexy toned legs in those boots always caught his attention.

“I wanna take you home….” She then reaches out for his hand, which he easily allows her to grab, following her lead to close the gap that was between them. “And I ain’t talkin’ about a two mile ride back to my place. Oh, this ain’t the same old song about two hearts hooking up one and done, on a Friday-”

“I’m glad, because I wouldn’t be able to stay away from you..” He then reaches over, picking her up in his arms, allowing her legs to instantly wrap around his waist as their lips find each others. He keeps inching closing to the bed, laying her back as he easily climbs on top. “You certainly know how to get me good.”

“I don’t see you complaining, so how about you give me those sexy lips back?” She then wraps her arms around him, pulling him back down, going back right in for another kiss as she runs her fingers up on the edge of his t-shirt.

“Strawberry lip balm, huh?” She chuckles, actually surprised that he had tasted it so easily. But she kept her focus, pulling his t-shirt up above, only allowing their lips to separate for a second, as she pulled it off, tossing it aside. She then reaches for the edge of jeans, with his hands landing on top of hers. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Are you going to be like this every time now?” He then takes a deep breath, wanting it just as bad as she probably did right in that moment. However, he also remembered the moment in the trailer when she tried too soon with him.

“I just don’t want to hurt you. I want to make sure that you’re totally ready for this after what happened.” She appreciated the concern, and was almost set to back off totally. However, one look into his brown eyes and her heart was swirling again.

“I can tell you right now that all I am thinking about is making you mine, boy, and showing you how much I love you. I want to spend every single night in your arms cuddling, but tonight, I want you.” Chase couldn’t help but smirk in response to hearing that comment, as he had to admit that he was completely set on that upon the sight of her.

“Then what are we waiting for?” She smiles as she pulls him back down, kissing his lips once again, as he works at getting her tank top off.

“Is it wrong that I want you so badly right now?” He shakes his head no as he tosses the tank top on top of t-shirt.

“I just find it amazing that I turn you on so much…” She could only roll her eyes in response.

“Right, when meanwhile every female is flawking themselves all over you every weekend.” She then leans in for another kiss, as he looks deep into her blue eyes.

“I don’t notice a single drop of it, because my eyes are set on you.” She could only smile back in response.

“Don’t worry – my eyes don’t leave my peach either, I promise.” She easily allows him to slip off her bra, followed by her shorts, managing to barely get them off over her boots as those needed to remain on. Flipping over so she was on top, it didn’t take long for her to get his jeans off, playing with the waist band of his boxers.

“Damn Sarina…” She actually chuckled in seeing how much it drove him crazy that she was taking her time with this step.

“Easy peachy…” She then slowly slips them off. “You’re much better with no fabric on you.” She then runs her tongue along his waist.

“Stop…teasing…” She then runs her tongue along his waist once again, barely letting the tip touch his skin.

“Does it drive you crazy?” He nods his head in response, letting out a low moan as he just wanted one thing and that was all.

“I need you…now…” She then goes to take him with her mouth, but he shakes his head no as he pushes back a bit on her shoulders. “No….”

“Chase….” He shakes his head no as he forces her eyes to look up at him.

“I need to be inside you, please…” There was two reasons for this – the simple temptation that he was feeling right now, and the feelings that still surrounded regarding that position. “Please…”

“I want to taste you first, tho-”

“I can’t do it, please…” She could hear the pleading in his voice, catching his drift as to the direction that they were headed. In not wanting to lose the moment, she was easily willing to accept – and then maybe discuss at another time, or work towards being comfortable with that again.

“Okay, as long as we have each other tonight, as planned…” She easily rolls off of him, allowing him to move just enough to reach up into the nightstand. He grabs one of the condoms out of the box, handing it over to her. “Really? Do you really trust me?”

“Absolutely…” He then lays back in the bed, allowing her to slip it over his cock. “You do it much quicker than I do anyways, and I need you…” With it securely on, he quickly resumes his position on top of her, easily slipping it inside of her.

“Oh God…” He begins to move his hips against hers, being gentle in how he picks up the pace and how far he goes inside of her. It didn’t take them long to be moving in perfect sync.

Friday, April 19 – Dawsonville, Georgia

“So how was last night?” Kevin asks as they get ready to head out for their first flight of the day.

“You were at the concert with me, and I assume that you didn’t drink as much as Ryan did,” Chase begins, caught off-guard by the question. His response only caused a chuckle from Kevin. “What?”

“I’m talking about after we got home. It’s pretty obvious what happened.” Chase instantly freezes, jaw dropping as his cheeks go a deep shade of red immediately.

“Were we that loud?” Kevin breaks out into a laugh, shaking his head no.

“I was in the room next to you, remember? I took the guest room while Ryan and Darrell were downstairs. Anyways, I couldn’t sleep so I was up reading, and I heard a couple quiet sounds and put it together.” Chase only remained frozen in response, which just brought more laughter.

“This isn’t funny…” Kevin nods his head as he stares at him.

“The look on your face is priceless, though. But really – relax. Nobody knows except me, and we discussed it yesterday how much you need a release sometimes. Everything going on, no daughter for the night – I would’ve done the same thing. Just let it go as by the look on your face, she did a fine job pleasing your ass.”

“Can we just pretend we never had this conversation?” Kevin only laughs once again as they head into the hanger.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 233: Upside down, or right side up?

Wednesday, April 17 – Dawsonville, Georgia – 10 weeks old

Sarina walks across the airport to the hanger, glancing over the plane that had just landed not that long ago. She takes a deep breath, remembering exactly what Chase and Kevin had planned for the afternoon.

“I still can’t believe that you’re going to do this,” she comments, catching Chase’s attention.

He understood her fears of flying, knowing that dated back to when they first started dating. Thankfully, she had gotten comfortable with being his co-pilot in flying across the country to races and appearances, and comfortable with Abigail being on the plane. However, he knew that nerves still remained for when he had an opportunity to push the limits – like today.

“You know that I am always careful, right?” He questions, and she nods her head. She had watched him too many times over to make sure that was the case. “Trust me when I say this – actually, I promise it. I will be just as careful today with Kevin.”

“I still think you’re insane…” She muses as he chuckles a little, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

“Kevin is very experienced with this – he does it for a living. He also knows how to teach and do so properly. He’ll make sure that I understood everything completely before letting me loose with it, okay? I promise you that I’m going to be careful.” She nods her head, accepting. “You’re not going to stay to watch, are you?”

“Are you kidding me? Hell no!” She had found herself debating what to do instead for the day, as there was nothing scheduled on the calendar work-wise and she obviously was in charge of Abigail. “I’ll probably go back to the house, chill out and relax. Maybe I’ll catch up on laundry for a change, or maybe cleaning.”

“That’d be a miracle!” She chuckles, knowing that it’d been insane to squeeze in time to do simple things with the schedule that they had together.

“What? Getting you in a plane upside down?” Kevin Coleman interrupts the pair, having caught the end of Sarina’s comment. She could only look on at pure horror in relation to his comment. “Okay, I’m sorry. I should know better by now….”

“You’re lucky that I didn’t throttle your ass when you suggested teaching him,” Sarina comments as Kevin just shakes his head with a glance between them.

“That’s because you trust your man to be careful and take care of himself. But don’t worry – for good measure, I promise to look out for him. I’ll return him to you at the end of the day in one piece.” She takes a deep breath, reminding herself about the constant safety comments that they were instilling just in the first couple minutes of being there. “How did court go yesterday?”

“Laiken did her job accordingly on the stand,” Chase comments, still pleased with how things went as he looked back. “Carter isn’t going to defend himself, so now it’s in the jury’s hands. We wait to see what the result will be.” Kevin actually had a bit of confusion as if things were straight to the point – as he saw them anyway, then why were they still standing around?

“You’re not guilty of any wrongdoing, so where’s the verdict?” Kevin questions as Chase lets out a sigh.

He had already pondered the thought from the moment he left the court room, through the entire evening and into the night. He even woke up middle of the night, taking a breather outside as he tried to keep reminding himself about what Alycia told him. The wait for the jury wasn’t about him, but rather probably about Carter’s actions due to lack of physical evidence with everything to go through. He had to be patient, but that didn’t mean he was willing to easily do that.

Thankfully, he knew today would be the perfect distraction as he’d be totally focused on making sure to take in as much as he could, and follow the instructions to accomplish the goals at hand.

“Alycia thinks they’re deliberating over the extent of Carter’s charges, and that’s why it may take some time,” Chase finally states, as Kevin nods his head easily accepting. “The lack of actual physical evidence means that they have to weigh the testimonies against each other, and see whom they believe – and if it’s enough.”

“And this flying around upside down is still okay despite being out on bail?” Kevin double checks, not wanting to get in trouble with any law officers today.

“I was told that I could do as I wanted – as long as I stayed within the country, checked in the bail officer once a week, and wore the ankle monitor anytime I wasn’t busy racing. Well, I checked in for Anthony Alfredo yesterday so we’re free to do as we please today.” Kevin smiles, as he knew that meant they were in for a day of fun.

“Then what are we waiting for?” Chase glances over at Sarina, with a shy smile as she just rolls her eyes. “You could stay and watc-”

“Do you want your ass kicked?” Sarina threatens as Kevin takes a couple steps back. “That’s right buddy, I can still kick your ass even with daughter in hand.” She then takes a deep breath, looking into Chase’s brown eyes. “Be careful, have fun, and I’ll see you tonight. I love you, Clyde.”

“I love you, more,” Chase tells her, before kissing her lips. He then gives Abigail a kiss on the head. “I’ll call you when we’re done and see what we’re going to do for dinner tonight.” She nods her head, accepting, as she watches the pair walk over to the plane.

“So I know we’ve talked about this before, but I want to start off going over controls and the knowledge of what you should have before hand – call it school review,” Kevin begins as Chase intently listens to every single word.

With the flying lesson out of the way – including some time flying inverted, Chase sent Sarina the planned text message. They finally agreed that the three of them would meet up at one of his favorite local diners to have a nice meal out together.

“I hate to ask this – but did you teach him anything today?” Sarina asks as they wait for their meal.

“He learned to turn it over upside down and hold a steady wheel, as well as fly up higher while inverted pretty good,” Kevin answers, causing Sarina’s nerves to cringe a little. She was glad that she had chosen to go back to the house for quality time rather than watch. “Tomorrow, we’re going to see if I can teach him some quicker flips and maybe a fun trick.”

“I still want to know how you do that triple spin while going up – the spiral as you call it,” Chase comments, as Kevin smiles with a nod of approval. It was one of his signature moves that he always threw into every show that he did.

“We’ll see how far you get and I may just show you that – but that’s a big maybe.” Sarina takes a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves with the instant thoughts that filled in hearing the ideas the boys were planning for tomorrow.

“Should I show her the photos that we took?” Sarina does an immediate double take upon hearing the comment.

“You were taking photos while up in the plane?” She questions, earning a nod from both of them. “I’m sorry, but shouldn’t your eyes be focused on the controls? Shouldn’t you be focused on what you’re doing? Are you both bloody insane?”

“Trust me – I didn’t take any photos while I was in charge of the controls – just when Kevin was showing off a little,” Chase reasons as he pulls out his phone. He had already transferred the images off of the camera onto the phone for quick sorting. “Look at this!”

“I’d rather not….” Sarina knew it’d probably just cause her blood pressure to spike with the thoughts.

“Trust me…” She lets out a sigh, knowing he wouldn’t let up as she takes the phone from him. She glances over the photo, her jaw dropping as she glances between them.

“That’s actually insane beautiful!” Kevin nods his head in approval as he remembered Chase showing it to him afterwards in-between runs  up in the air.

“I want to steal that from you!” Kevin lets out, as Chase takes his phone back from Sarina. He immediately follows through with the man’s request, sending the image over. “I took a photo, too. I was pretty impressed with how I framed it.”

“It’s actually my new favorite flying photo,” Chase comments, as he swipes through the photos. He then hands Sarina his phone, showcasing a photo of him flying upside down.

“You look so relaxed…” Sarina offers as she looks over the image, even zooming in for a better look.

“I’ve always told you that nothing relaxes me like being behind the controls, with my mind focused on the task in the clouds. Even in the chaos that we were doing today, it felt like second nature, pure relaxed, as I just followed through with the steps. I mean, after I did them, it was a total badass thought in realizing what I could do.” She takes a deep breath, as she slides the phone back over. It took a lot to say what she was thinking.

“As much as it may drive me crazy sometimes, I am glad that you have that release for you. I’m glad that you had fun, and it worked out as planned. Just don’t pull any of those tricks with me, got it?” He nods his head immediately in approval.

Thursday, April 18 – Cherokee County, Georgia – 10 weeks old

“I’ve flown all over the world, but I still say that Cherokee is one of the views,” Kevin comments as they head back to the airport to land after their second run of the day. “It’s just a good view of the water and trees to give you that peace you want, but yet simple enough to not be too much to stare at while having fun like we are.”

“The perfect backdrop then?” Chase questions in response as he focuses forward, knowing they coming up on the airport. “That’s why I usually go that way if I’m practicing or playing around.”

“Well, it’s also a good place to practice in getting your bearings because the forest can mess up your sight sometimes.” Chase nods his head, having experienced that during the first couple of flights that he had taken while training to get his license.

Kevin quiets, allowing Chase to focus solely on his landing, bringing down the plane smoothly on the runaway – just like he had each time before now. They then roll to the hanger, before turning the key off. The pair of them climb out, as Kevin double checks the fuel gauge.

“I have to say – you’re super smooth on the controls,” Kevin starts as he takes focus on his young student. “I mean, I’ve worked with so many people, but I can say that you’re in the top-five for how smooth you are. Those small precise movements, pulling it up, your turns – it’s just pure smooth. I know your dad is the same way, so it either comes with the family or your racing experience.” Chase was intrigued by the comment, knowing that certainly didn’t connect with his short track upbringings.

“Superspeedways we’re always taught to hold the wheel as steady as possible, smallest movements to turn the corner, in an effort to scrub off as least speed as possible,” Chase recalls the words from his first trip to a superspeedway event.

“That’s probably you’ve won a couple poles then, because of that very reason. That’s also the same that we’re taught for the Red Bull races, too. I also have to compliment your tunnel vision – pure focus on everything, not letting a single thing distract you. I’ve said it before but I have to tell you again. That’s critical, especially when I’m throwing a bunch of tricks at you.” Chase hoped that the compliments were building to the big moment of the day.

“So are we ready for a spiral session?” Kevin takes a deep breath, knowing they were certainly creeping in that direction.

“Your transitions are beautiful, and you can hold a pretty wheel once you get it steady upside down. But I still feel there’s a touch that could be improved if you want to be perfect with it. If you’re going to learn tricks, then you should be perfect with it – because tricks can go wrong in a hurry. It’s also good to learn preventative measures if you get in trouble.” Chase nods his head, remembering the safety speech and importance yesterday.

“Just tell me what I need to do better, and I’ll work at it the next run. That’s why you’re here – to teach me…”

“See when I know that I have a client out on bail, I know not to go looking for him at airports,” they hear, catching their attention. Chase didn’t know whether to worry or smile in hearing Alycia’s voice as he looks towards her heading their direction. “Then I remembered that you’re no usual client. The best part is I didn’t even need to phone you to find you, since you have a sweet Instagram following.”

“I’ll let you both speak while I get the plane ready for another run – quick fuel top-up and check a couple things over,” Kevin comments, earning a simple nod from Chase. He actually hoped Kevin wouldn’t disappear so quickly, feeling the nerves build.

“So are you here because we have a verdict?” Chase questions, earning a shake of the head from Alycia. He could only let out a sigh as it was getting painful waiting, even with trying to remember the advice that she offered in regards to the waiting period on Tuesday. “I know I shouldn’t worry because it’s only been two days, and because of what you said, but I am nervous right now.”

“That’s normal, but I can assure you that we have an air tight case with everything presented in enough manner that they should see through what you did without a doubt,” she explains, earning just a simple nod in return.

“So if you don’t have a verdict, why do you need to see me?” She then glances around the airport, still caught off-guard they were having the discussion here.

“Did you clear this airport time with Mr. Alfredo, by chance?” Chase nods his head, remembering the conversation from Tuesday after the trial. Given his nerves and worries, he knew he needed a distraction. That was why he had immediately texted an okay to Kevin, followed by a quick conference with the bail officer.

“I told him exactly what I was planning to do for the rest of this week, leading into Sunday. He told me that it was certainly bending terms that you’d expect, but as long as it was teaching time in the plane and shown on paper, no argument could be allowed. Kevin is a registered pilot teacher. He is going to sign off on it for me.” Alycia nods her head, glad that wasn’t something else to add to her job list. “Is that why you’re here?”

“Please, if that was why I was here, I would’ve announced your grounding to Kevin and not allowed him to prepare you for another go around. Instead, a motion has been filed in relation to the trial, that may hold up the verdict. Frankly, it’s something that I am disgusted looking at.” Chase crosses his arms, already not liking the direction this was going. Given Alycia being disgusted, it probably didn’t work into his favor.

“I’m a big boy, Alycia. You can tell me.” She then pulls the piece of paper out of her bag, handing it over to him. She was glad a certain recommendation on the location was left off the piece of paper, knowing the additional emotions that would cause.

“Nellie Martin filled the motion, not Kyle Gates. Kyle doesn’t believe there to be reason to do so, given everything presented. However, Nellie went above the head and did it herself.” Chase reads over the text on paper, glancing at her with a bit of surprise written on his face.

“Seriously?” Alycia nods her head slowly. “So because you cited my mental state in relation to Carter and events that happened, I am being recommended for a psychological evaluation by a state psychiatrist? I’m not crazy, so why would this even be a thought?”

“Kyle said the same thing, as he said your statements in relation what happened previously and your record in having seen a psychiatrist yourself to speak about what happened with Alison showed the potential of that playing apart. He was then set to let the jury be the judge as to whether that, along with Carter’s actions, gave you the right for what you di-”

“Which you have told me that we have an air tight case. Are you lying?” Alycia shakes her head no as Chase takes a deep breath. He wanted to believe her and feel confidence, but the paper gave him a whole new batch of worries and nerves.

“However, look back through past cases and 80% of those that referenced mental state required an evaluation. Therefore, she does have an argument that I can’t go against. I mean, I am going to try for the same reasons as Kyle stated and the fact that we’re not debating whether you’re crazy or not, and the fact that you can easily function day-to-day in society at a high standard might I add. But, I will let you know right now – state standard probably means that this will go through.” Chase lets out a sigh as he hands the piece of paper back to her.

“That means that we’re going to further delay the verdict, right?” Alycia nods her head.

“The jury deliberations will be suspended, and not allowed to resume until the psychiatrist speaks in the court following the meeting with you. Simply put, you would meet with the individual and tell him exactly what you said in the court about what happened post Alison. You just need to be honest and say your feelings. Then it’s done. In a way, it’s a good thing because it makes the case more air tight to prevent a possible appeal.” Chase runs his hands through his hair, not even wanting to let that thought ponder his mind right now.

“Fine, as I guess I have no choice.” He then glances back towards Kevin, hating to have to cut this short.

“Tomorrow is a holiday so there can’t be court deliberations. I believe this will go before the court on Saturday, and I will then request for a Monday or Tuesday visit to allow you Sunday with your family.” Chase was surprised by her putting it off, but wasn’t going to argue. He didn’t want to mess up family weekend plans, or frankly plans for that night either.

“That sounds fine. Thank you for what you’re trying to do and all the work that you’re putting in – even if it seems the cards continue to stack against us.” Alycia places a hand on his shoulder.

“It’s going to work out, Chase. I told you that I’d make sure that you get through this from the moment that I walked in the police station, and I’m not backing down until it’s cleared fully.” He nods his head, accepting, before watching her walk away.

Chase takes a couple deep breathes, clearing his mind, knowing that he didn’t need to waste time thinking about something that he couldn’t change. He simply could only focus on what he could do, and that included making the most of this afternoon. It may be wrong in using it as a distraction and shifting his focus, but he needed this break from everything.

He then makes his way over to the plane, ready to see how far Kevin had gotten on the list, hopeful to be back in the air real shortly.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 232: Laiken’s Testimony

Tuesday, April 16 –Phoenix, Arizona – 10 weeks old

“The prosecution would like to call Laiken Baumgartner to the stand.” Laiken stands up upon hearing her name, walking to the front of the room and taking her seat in the witness box as instructed.

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?” The balif asks as Laiken places her hand on the bible.

“I do,” she replies, eyes focused forward, ready for what was to come. She knew the job that she had at hand.

“Ms. Baumgartner, what is your relation to Mr. Elliott?” The district attorney Kyle Gates questions to begin everything. That was certainly an easy question to answer.

“We work together in relation to promoting Hooters. He’s a representative for the company through their sponsorship of his racing program. I was named Miss. Hooters International 2018. We work together on select weekends to promote the brand through appearances and fan interactions.” Chase smiles as he remembered the beauty pageant when she was officially named the representative for the year. Out of the ladies that were there, she was certainly in his personal top-five as someone that could do the job well – and she had displayed that ability ever since.

“When was your first interaction with Mr. Carter Williams?” Chase glances down, not really wanting to go back through all of the details. However, he knew it was necessary for trail of evidence.

“The Wednesday following the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I was at the Hooters in Arizona, working on Chase’s schedule for the upcoming weekend.” Chase lets out a sigh, as he knew there were plenty of other ways this could’ve gone down that would’ve worked out better for everybody involved. However, he was also glad that Carter hadn’t done anything worse.

“Please tell the courts what happened….” Laiken takes a deep breath, thinking back to that afternoon.

“I was in my office at that location along with my fellow track representatives – Allie and Deanna. Being that we were in Arizona for that weekend’s race, our bosses had laid out where they wanted to have Chase and us to appear throughout. I was simply putting together the pieces as to timing wise so that way we could work with our schedule, and Chase’s schedule for the weekend. I was trying to find a way to do it around the Xfinity Series race so that way Chase could be there to watch Sarina. The girls left the room, leaving me to finalize things. That’s when I heard a voice that I didn’t initially recognize.” Chase knew immediately where she was going with this testimony, as obviously Carter had managed to sneak in when the door was open when the others left. Why hadn’t they noticed him?

“Was there any explanation for how he entered the room?” Laiken glances down, having tried to figure that out ever since, even checking possible security footage.

“I can only assume that he made his way back there when Allie and Deanna left because it was supposed to be a closed off area. I didn’t even look up at him first, thinking that he was lost for that reason and suggested going up to the front for service. That’s when he told me that it related to what I was working on, so I looked up, half expecting it to be one of the Hendrick Motorsports representatives. Once I saw the face, I obviously knew better.”  Chase shakes his head, knowing that he wanted to make sure some changes were made moving forward to not have a repeat incident.

“Why did you recognize his face, Ms. Baumgartner?” Laiken glances over at Chase, taking a deep breath. She remembered their simple discussion before the season even began.

“Chase warned me about him, because there was obviously an arrest warrant listed in his name in connection to the attempted murder in January.” Those were types of conversations that Chase hoped they were done with moving forward.

“What happened after you recognized him?” Laiken takes a deep breath, thinking the entire afternoon through her head, trying to piece together the best way to say what happened out loud.

“I was ready to scream, but that’s when I noticed the gun that he had in his hand so I froze immediately. So I asked what he wanted, and he told me that he wanted to make sure that Chase wasn’t at the track when the Xfinity race was over. He threatened to kill me if I didn’t make it happen. So I told him that I’d schedule the appearance from 5 until 7, so that way it’d be set for when the race was supposed to start at 4. However, he didn’t leave until he made sure that I made the phone call to the location, confirming everything.” Chase felt guilty in knowing what she went through in the hauler. However, hearing her recount of the trailer, it just made that guilt increase even more.

“Did anything else happen?” Laiken takes another deep breath, nodding her head. She knew it didn’t end there.

“He walked around the table, placing the gun against my back, telling me that he hoped someone taught me a lesson and for me to not get him caught or he’d make sure his partner handled me accordingly. He left the room and that was it. I thought about telling security right there, but I was scared. I was scared for my own life. I was scared for Chase and Sarina. I just didn’t know what to say or do because what if something happened?” Chase could hear the fear laced in her voice, as he glanced down. It was the same offset that made him worry when he received the text message from her a day later.

“But you did go ahead and tell someone eventually, right?” She nods her head, remembering the decision to send Chase the text message.

“I knew I couldn’t lead Chase into the dark without knowing anything. If I couldn’t stop what was happening, at least I could give him warning so he could prevent something else from happening. So when I found out that he was in Las Vegas for an appearance with NAPA, I texted him and asked him to come meet up with me secretly. I then told him the full details of the discussion.” She then looks over at him, catching his eyes. “He told me that he’d handle it. He told me that he’d do whatever it took to keep me safe. He told me that he’d make sure that Sarina was safe by having people with her post-race if he couldn’t be there. He also told me that he’d watch for himself in case there was a change of plan. I believed him due to experience with Alison, and just hoped that he was right and we would all be okay.”

“That wasn’t your last meeting with Carter, though. Please tell the courts what happened at the track.” Chase glances down, knowing that this just didn’t surround what could happen to Carter moving forward, but also himself.

“I got to the track halfway through practice once I was done the last of the morning appearances. I knew Chase was busy, so I figured that I’d just wait for him in the hauler. After checking in with Chris Golder, I went up into the lounge to just hang out. I heard the door maybe 15 minutes later, and I just thought it was another crew member. I knew they’d be up in the lounge to do work and stuff, so I just ignored it. However, once I heard the voice, I knew it wasn’t.” She then takes a deep breath, glancing down. She hadn’t realized until that very moment how thankful she was for Chase coming in at that exact time as who knew what could’ve happened.

“What happened, Ms. Baumgartner?” She takes a deep breath as she focuses her eyes back out. She had to say everything entirely so the jury understood what happened and did their job accordingly.

“He asked what I was doing, and I told him that I was waiting for Chase. He asked me if I was going to tell him, and I told him I wasn’t. I went to leave the lounge, see if I could find anybody, and that’s when he stepped right in front of me, accusing me of saying something. I yelled back that I didn’t, prepared to defend myself. Before I could do anything, though, Chase tackled him against the couch and held him there until Alan came in with an officer. Chase then offered me comfort after Carter was taken away, and we moved on the rest of the weekend as if nothing happened.”

“Thank you, Ms. Baumgartner.” Kyle takes his seat as Alycia simply offers a nod towards Chase in approval of what they had just heard. She knew that went along with everything that had been stated thus far.

“Ms. Baumgartner, what state are you from?” Carter’s attorney Nellie Martin asks as she stands up.

“Georgia,” Laiken replies back with pride laced in her voice.

“And what state is Mr. Elliott from?” Laiken glances over at Chase, feeling a bit of confusion with the questioning.

“Georgia.”

“And wasn’t Mr. Elliott on the panel of judges that chose you to be the representative for the company?” Laiken nods her head, remembering the pageant clearly in her mind. It was still one of the best days of her entire life to date.

“Absolutely, along with four others who filed their votes.” Chase watches Nellie’s glances, already knowing the direction that she was taking with her defense.

“It wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that you and Mr. Elliott have romantic connections, that another reason drove him to select you beyond the normal, and that you’ve had some special times before – hence the secret message route. It would also explain if he had you telling a story for his benefit to try and trap my client since he didn’t have any proof. What are your thoughts on that, Ms. Baumgartner?” Laiken almost chuckled as she heard the story play out from the defense.

“I can assure you that there’s nothing romantically going on between myself and Chase. It’s a strictly professional relationship, right from the beginning. I am unsure whether where I was from played a hand in his selection process, but I also know that I was the top ballot choice for two other members on that same panel. I’m also best friends with his wife, so that’d be a little ridiculous to think. As far as you thinking that my client would lie with a theory, I’m sorry but that’s not his style. He doesn’t tell lies or stories.”

“I guess the jury can decide, considering the mixture of evidence….” Nellie then takes her seat, as Chase glances at Alycia, curious as to what she was going to do next.

“The defense council rests without any other questions,” Alycia states, offering a nod to Chase right afterwards. Laiken’s fact story, combined with the testimony the past two weeks from Chase and Sarina, had proven what Alycia believed they needed to so everything came out as they wanted.

“You may step down,” Judge Jackson Pruitt allows, as Laiken immediately follows the instruction as given. “Nellie Martin, do you have any witnesses that you will be calling to the stand?”

“No, your honor,” Nellie Martin replies, causing another shift of confusion in the court room. They were expecting Carter to take the stand and attempt to defend his actions.

“With all of the testimonies heard and evidence submitted, the jury will now be given the instruction to deliberate, considering all the charges against both clients in their thought process. Please be advised that you do not need to find a client guilty on all of the charges, as there can be split decisions. It is up to the jury to fairly weigh the evidence and testimony to determine what they feel is right. Transcripts of the trial will be provided if necessary to help in discussions. We will reconvene when a verdict has been submitted. Court adjourned!”

“How long does a verdict normally take?” Chase questions, catching Alycia’s attention. She thought their time in court rooms would’ve taught him enough.

“It could take an hour, but more than likely you won’t hear anything back until at least tomorrow,” Alycia answers. “If they don’t give us something before Friday, then you won’t hear anything back until after Easter. Let’s hope you get a surprise with a clean verdict before then.” She then goes to leave, though pauses in seeing the uncertainty on his face. “Based on the testimony, I believe that we’ve proven enough to get you off without any issues. It’s Carter that will keep the jury in question because of lack of physical evidence and the many windows that were created with questions that couldn’t be settled. Do they believe you and Sarina over him? Or do they buy the skeptic theories that something else is going on? So therefore, if there’s any delay, it’s not about you – it’s about him. Relax, enjoy your life as normal, Chase. I promise you that everything will be fine.”

“Thanks Alycia.” He then stands up, easily giving her a hug, before watching her walk out. He then meets up with Sarina and his parents, walking out together as a group.

“You didn’t even give me a chance to defend myself?” Carter questions once everybody else had left the room.

“I don’t believe that it would’ve done us any benefit, except to go around in circles once again,” Nellie Martin answers. “The prosecution is supposed to prove that without a reasonable doubt you are guilty. No physical evidence, the multiple theories that I presented against each testimony, they all create the doubt that the jury needs. If there’s any doubt, then they are supposed to find you not guilty. I did what I could with what I had. Have faith in the process.”  Carter then slowly stands up, placing a hand on top of Nellie’s.

“How much faith do you have in the process?” She then takes a deep breath. “You told me this was a uphill battle because of their standing in society and the amount of evidence pointing against me. Have we made any headway?”

“There’s been some made, as I explained with the possible doubts in the theories.” Carter knew that wasn’t enough, though. He could already see the jury finding him guilty.

“But this is probably the end. I am probably going to go to jail.” Nellie didn’t even glance over at hearing the words, hating that she had let down her client for him to already believe this. “Alright, fine, I accept it because I can tell you that every single minute was totally worth it. But, we’re not done yet. You’re going to do something for me.”

“Carter, I am not going to break any laws for yo-”

“I’m not asking that. I just need to do one thing and then I can set the rest in motion with help from Damien and Alison. But your step, it’s the most important step, and no, it’s not illegal.” She then lets out a sigh as she looks over at him.

“Fine. What is it?” Carter glances around to make sure that nobody had lingered behind to hear everything.

“If Chase wants to get off on reasons connected to mental state of mind, doesn’t that normally involve having a psychiatrist examine and determine where that stands?” Nellie nods her head, knowing that’s normally how cases of this nature went. However, she hadn’t gone forth in fighting against that with her focus being on trying to get Carter found not guilty. “File a motion and make sure that the place is a certain spot where we can find Ms. Reynolds. Then leave the rest in my hands.”

“Do you realize that I am guilty by conspiracy?” Carter glances around once again, before focusing his eyes on her.

“Who has to know that we had this discussion?” He then walks out of the court room without another word spoken, smile forming on his face.

If they were going to go down, they were going to do so in style. It was time to get one final round in – and make it count this time.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 231: Easter Photos

Sunday, April 14 – Dawsonville, Georgia – 10 weeks old

Sarina fluffs out the bottom of her dress, glancing around, before letting out a sigh.

“I feel I overdressed for this…” She lets out as she leans back against the tree as Chase immediately shakes his head no.

“I think you absolutely look perfect,” he replies as she just rolls her eyes with a glance at him.

“You’d say that even if I was wearing a paper bag.” He then chuckles, with a shrug of the shoulders. That wasn’t far from the truth, though.

“Sorry, but no matter what you’re wearing, you’re beautiful.” She lets out another sigh as she glances around. “Hold that pose right there, please…” She was intrigued by the request, but does it, hearing the shutter of the camera in the distance.

“We’re supposed to be doing Easter photos – not model images of me for you stare at later.” Chase glances over the images on the camera, as Cindy looks over his shoulder.

“Actually, I think you’re going to like this image as well,” she comments. “You look beautiful, sweetheart.” Sarina felt a bit of hope in hearing the compliments from Cindy, though wondered if they were both trying to warm her up. “But I agree with Chase – you certainly didn’t undress. You wearing that pink gown, combined with the cute pink fluffy dress that you picked out for Abigail is going to be perfectly adorable.”

“Just trust the process,” Chase comments as he takes Abigail out of the stroller, bringing her over to Sarina. “I love you, so please trust me…” She slowly nods her head as she watches him walk away.

“Now, we just need to set this perfectly…” she then watches Cindy bring a couple Easter eggs, placing them on either side of Sarina. “Now sit between the eggs, it’ll be perfect.”

“I trust you more than I am going to trust him about that,” Sarina comments as she follows the instructions, with Chase simply sticking his tongue out.

“That is absolutely perfect!” Cindy then takes a couple different images, as Chase watches on closely. “Alright, get in there Dad.” Chase easily follows instructions, sitting alongside Sarina. “Give me those cute family poses, lean on each other a little…”

They then go through the series of instructions that she was offering, allowing her to take the series of images that she wanted to take. She then allowed both of them to get changed, along with Abigail, into something more comfortable, before doing some more generic family photos as they had originally talked about.

“Has anybody told you that you make the most adorable family?” Bill questions as he walks over to Cindy, after having walked Max around the park. “Those images are going to be perfect. It helps to have a photographer in the family.”

“Thank you so much for doing these,” Sarina comments once they are done, glancing through a couple of them. “They look absolutely amazing!”

“I am willing to do photos of my granddaughter anytime, as that means just more images for me,” Cindy comments, smiling as she looks over at Abigail giggling in Chase’s arms. “It seems now that you have a daughter of your own, you’re beginning to understand why I took so many photos of you.”

“I still say that you went overboard a couple times,” Chase replies, earning a simple eye roll from Cindy.

“I’ll make sure to get these to you both in the next couple of days, so you can do what you want for Easter. There’s still one image that you have to make sure gets done this wee-”

“Don’t worry, Abigail has a day picked out already for a bunny visit,” Sarina interrupts, already having planned that out. “I think she beat how cute Max was with the bunny last year.”

“That’s still one of my favorite photos of him,” Cindy admits as she glances over at him, seeing him chewing his toy underneath the tree.

Monday, April 15 – Dawsonville, Georgia – 10 weeks old

With knowing the rest of the week was pretty scheduled with a variety of different things – good and bad, they had made the decision to let Abigail visit the Easter bunny on Monday. After checking with friends and places, they had found a spot that was doing photos of children for Easter through the whole weekend.

“It’s Monday…” Sarina starts as they make their way through the mall. “How are there so many people here on a Monday to see the Easter Bunny?” Chase initially chuckled, though froze upon seeing the line.

“They have a busy schedule like us?” He offers, earning him a simple eye roll in return.

“Shouldn’t half of these children be in school right now?” Chase checks the time, shaking his head as it was after three in the afternoon. Obviously, the shop meetings through the morning and early afternoon, plus the flights back and forth, took longer than Sarina initially thought.

“Look, everybody wants to get the photos done as soon as possible so they can get them printed and set-up how they want for family and the weekend.” He glances down in the stroller, seeing that Abigail was still napping in the carrier. “Considering you’re not wanting to be patient and stand in lin-”

“I didn’t say tha-”

“Your frustration is already showing, though. So why don’t you go look around? I know you mentioned having to grab a couple of things so go do that, and I’ll text you when we’re close to the front.” She was easily ready to accept, knowing that she’d be bored if she had to stand there waiting. However, she didn’t feel totally  comfortable in leaving Chase and Abigail alone in line.

“And you promise that you’ll text me in time and not see the Easter bunny without me, right?” Chase nods his head. “And what are you going to do waiting?”

“I have a cutie to keep an eye on, and my phone.” She then rolls his eyes, knowing that meant texting Kevin Coleman some more. She already heard about their plan for Wednesday, which sent an immediate series of nerves through her immediately.

“Don’t get anymore crazy ideas with Kevin. I already don’t know what to think.” He just smirks back in response, feeling the opposite of her as he was actually excited to get along further with the plan that they had in mind. Everything about flying enticed him, and learning to fly inverted was certainly the next step.

“What else can we think of? Fighter jets upside down, inverted loops?” He watches the color immediately escape her face. “I’m sorry…”

“I feel like slapping you, but that wouldn’t be the best public look. Text me.” He then watches her walk off, rolling his eyes about her response as he glances over his phone.

He began by checking on how Jimmie made out with the Boston Marathon, seeing that he had just missed the three hour mark he wanted – but not by much, having clocked in at three minutes, eight seconds. He quickly sends a message of congratulations for good measure.

Switching feeds, he went through various sports team updates, along with a couple other fun videos, glancing in the carrier at different times to make sure that Abigail was still sleeping.

As promised, he sent her a text when he was close to the front of the line, in which she returned immediately upon receiving the message. As she glanced in the carrier to get Abigail out, Chase could only stare at the amount of bags.

“You were gone for a half hour,” he starts, counting them over once again as he tries to peak in. “How much shopping can you fit in during that time?”

“I told you that I needed some stuff – and well, Blue Notes was having a sale and you know that I can’t pass on a good pair of jeans or two, or more,” she replies, only to earn a eye roll in response from him. “What? You’re the same way when it comes to shoes, and your certain shirts. Do you want to do a closet comparison tonight, boy?”

“Half an hour, and this is what you come back with…” She nods her head.

“You’ll love for me, I know it, because you just love how my ass looks in a good pair of jeans.” He couldn’t help but bite his lip with that thought in mind, knowing that he always had his eyes locked on her in those moments. “Mind out of gutter, Chase. You can’t do any bunny hops here.”

The time spent was enough as they were able to get up the front, getting an image taken of all three of them with the Easter bunny. They then allowed the bunny to hold Abigail for an image, chuckling when she began to fuss a little. They could only imagine her reactions to come when it was time for Santa, and more Easter images.

“Even fussing, she’s adorable,” Chase comments as he looks over the images once printed out and paid for. Sarina looks over it, smiling as you could see Abigail’s cheeks puffing out about to scream.

“I thought she’d cuddle up with him being so soft,” Sarina replies and Chase shakes his head no.

“Sorry, but that’s just reserved for Daddy.” He then gives her a little kiss, before cuddling her close to him. Sarina easily accepted the cue, throwing the bags into the stroller, pushing it through the mall as Chase carried Abigail in his arms.

“I swear she’s going to be able to get away with anything when she’s older, all because of you. You won’t be able to say no to her.”

Tuesday, April 16 –Phoenix, Arizona – 10 weeks old

“What are you smiling at?” Sarina asks as she and Chase walk in the court room together.

“Look at this photo,” Chase answers, handing his phone to her. The same smile he just had on his face formed in hers as Brittney had sent an image of her son falling asleep with Abigail on the floor. “She said they were playing together, and he fell asleep first. Abigail kept kicking a little bit longer, and then passed out.”

“They’re such good playmates.” Chase nods his head in agreement, before locking his phone and shoving it in his pocket. “I’m glad, because it’s giving you an opportunity to get closer to your sister. Is Starr coming for Easter dinner this weekend?”

“Yep, she said that she’s coming and bringing her daughter. Dad is absolutely excited about having all three grandchildren at the house together, and Mom has already made a promise that photos are taken of everybody together.” Sarina wasn’t surprised, knowing how much Cindy loved having her images to capture the moment. However, she couldn’t argue as it was nice to see everybody together.

“Cherish those moments. Family is special when everything goes your way…” Chase wraps an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close, as he knew the comments had certainly hit a cord with everything that she’d gone through.

“I know it’s tough sometimes, but be thankful for the friendship that you’ve grown with Lindsay, and know that your dad is always with you.” She nods her head, as she takes a deep breath, calming herself down.

“Sometimes I wish things were different, and then other times I am thankful for how it played out. I wouldn’t have gotten the form the family of my own that I’ve formed. I’ve got you and Abigail. I’ve got a crazy brother in Christopher, and big brother and sister with Kyle and Samantha. Heck, Rudy and Marcus were almost like uncles at times.”

“So does that make Justin the annoying cousin?” Sarina chuckles, knowing the interesting teammate dynamic that she’d grown with Justin Allgaier already. They could be completely honest with each other, with him telling her straight up what she was doing wrong, while offering the best advice possible. However, he also knew how to absolutely pick and annoy on her to drive her crazy when warranted.

“It’s time…” Alycia Burrows comments as she walks into the court room, giving Chase a quick tap on the shoulder as she walks by. Chase leans in, giving Sarina a quick kiss on the lips, before following her to take his seat at the front.

“All rise!” The baliff states, as everyone stands up in the court room. “Presenting the Honorable Judge Jackson Pruitt.” Chase watches the judge walk in, focusing his eyes on him through the whole process. He hoped that they had to only meet a couple more times before everything would be dealt with and over.

“You may be seated,” the judge instructs, in which everyone follows suit in the room. “May the prosecution please call upon the third witness.”

“We actually have some things to take care before then,” District Attorney Kyle Gates comments, catching everyone’s attention by surprise. The last time someone stated a comment like that, it involved an argument against the terms of Chase’s bail. He didn’t want to have argue about that again as he had been co-operating fully thus far. “We are waving the testimony from Mr. Christopher Bell as we believe the grounds have been established by the testimony given by Mr. Chase Elliott and Mrs. Sarina Elliott. We are doing this in order to speed things along.”

“Motion accepted.” Chase lets out a nod of approval himself, knowing the less days they had to sit and listen to people talk, the better.

“We also want to make it clear that the guilty pleas from Sasha Kraus and Steve Lane have been entered into evidence for the jury to understand their connection to the case, as discussed in previous testimonies.” Chase was fine with that as well, as again it brought less time spent in the court room.

“I should be given the ability to cross-examine the witnesses,” Carter’s attorney Nellie Martin contests, causing Chase to roll his eyes immediately. Nothing was ever easy in the court system. “I mean, their credibility certainly should be questioned, as they are known drug dealers.”

“With all due respect, that is included in the plea as they explain that is why Carter Williams allegedly reached out to them for their help in this situation. The jury can see the credibility that the defense is speaking of with the papers that they’ve been given, as that is included with the pleas as well as their criminal record. It is up to the jury to judge whether Mr. Williams is guilty based on the testimonies all put together.” Chase could only bite his lip as he hoped that didn’t hinder the case. He didn’t want to see Carter get off with anything. However, the lack of physical evidence across the board wasn’t showing much promise.

“Motion accepted,” Judge Jackson Pruitt allows, as Chase tries to erase the nerves that he was feeling about the situation.

“It was also stated that Ms. Alison Reynolds referenced Mr. Williams in her sessions as being someone she worked with,” Kyle Gates continued, causing Chase’s breath to hitch in his throat. He was fine with anything here, except for seeing her face ever again. If they had to bring her into testify, he knew that Sarina wouldn’t be the only person who threw up in this court room. “Given her security risk and mental state, we would not want to put her on the stand – but rather enter the psychologist’s notes as evidence.”

“Again, where’s the ability to cross-examine the witness to question credibility?” Nellie Martin contests once again, causing the bubble in Chase’s throat to grow bigger.

“Ms. Reynolds’ credibility or possible lack thereof was displayed in relation to her attacks against my client, Mr. Elliott. I understand it simply being seen as a way to torment him once again, or stick in one more dig. But recall she has no access to the outside world information so she came to that conclusio-”

“And where’s the ability to cross-examine? It’s a continued injustice to disallow that!” Chase could already see this going downhill from here, with an appearance from Alison happening.

“In the interest of time with the credibility timeline already being established, the motion is accepted,” Judge Jackson Pruitt rules, causing a couple confused glances in the room. It was nice to see that for time and not seeing Alison, but it also brought forth many questions. “The jury can judge whether to find her credible with the prosecution not allowing cross-examination, and with Ms. Reynolds’ past history in the courts with Mr. Elliott. Can we move on councilor, please?”

“That’s all my motions for today, as I am ready to call my third and final witness to the stand,” the district attorney Kyle Gates reveals.

Chase already knew the name that was going to be called, remembering the series of events that transpired.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 230: Toyota Owners 400

Friday, April 12 – Richmond Raceway – 9 weeks old

“How many cars are on the lead lap?” Chase questions, trying to figure out where Sarina would restart after the incident.

“23,” Lindsay answers after checking her the line-up on her phone. “Christopher hasn’t made up much ground since the slide, so it’s tough to pass tonight.” Chase just rolls his eyes, knowing that would only add to her frustration.

“Hey, I just wanted to say I’m a big fan and good luck tomorrow night,” Chase hears unexpectedly behind him. It instantly catches him off-guard with a small jump, before he glances over his shoulder and sees the gentlemen standing there.

“Thank you, ‘preciate the support,” Chase replies with a smile as Lindsay glances back to see who was talking to them.

“I hope you aren’t going to have to handle Justin for the lady.” Chase chuckles at the thought of that, knowing that certainly wouldn’t be what was about to happen.

“Trust me, she can handle herself against anybody.” He then focuses his eyes back on the track, watching them double-up for the restart. He could only hope that she was able to make up some ground.

Chase walks over to where the No. 9 car was parked on pit road, noticing the disgruntle appearance on Sarina’s face immediately. He didn’t even need to watch her chuck the gloves off and back into the car to know that she wasn’t happy about how the night played out. He didn’t blame her, either, as she hadn’t been able to make up any ground, finishing 22nd.

“Don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do,” Chase advises, catching her attention in the midst of her anger. She shakes her head immediately, knowing where he was going with his comments. If it had been any other year, he probably would’ve been right on the money.

“You approached Ricky and Denny both, so you can’t tell me that advice smarty,” she replies with a smirk. “But don’t worry – I am not going to kick his ass like he royally deserves.” She then rips her ponytail out, chucking the hair elastic back in the car, before running her hands through her hair. “I’m pissed – scratch that, I’m beyond pissed. I can’t believe that he’d be so stupid to do something like that. He tells me that I do stupid shit, but yet look at what he just did.”

“I know….” She then lets out a sigh as she crosses her arms, leaning back against the car.

“We had such a good car, too. We had managed to even get it a bit better heading into that run, towards what we had in practice. I thought we could even snag a top-five out of this one. But oh no, stupid has to do what stupid does. I guess it was a night for stupidity, though, considering Christopher wasn’t using his brain, either.” Chase understood the frustration, but he knew that Christopher didn’t deserve all of this hate from her.

“He was trying to get a run underneath John and pinched it too much. You can’t get mad at him for that. At least he didn’t wipe you both out.” Sarina had to admit that – even though she swore that she had shit her pants initially.

“That’s because he actually has talent behind the wheel – unlike other people in this universe. It just frustrates me to no end to watch a day that started off so well just go down the drain like that.” She then glances over at him. “You know how I feel, having gone through what you did at Brist-”

“Did you really have to remind me of that experience?” She then lets out a sigh, knowing that wasn’t the most memorable afternoon – even if he was the Radio Sweetheart from that.

“It just sucks. But I have to be positive. I have to realize that we had a good car tonight. I have to realize that we’re finding our speed, and our niche. We’re going to only get stronger from here, and be ready for when the playoffs are here in the fall.” Chase’s jaw drops in hearing her sign of perspective. “Don’t look at me all shocked.”

“I’m just surprised by what I am hearing from you. What did you do with the Sarina Elliott I know?” She then takes a deep breath, knowing it had to be strange. However, she felt confident in her stance.

“There’s more bigger things in life than what happened tonight, right?” He nods his head, as he wraps an arm around her shoulders.

“Are you ready to go get some cheering up?” She easily agrees, knowing that meant going to get Abigail from his mom.

Saturday, April 13 – Richmond Raceway – 9 weeks old

Sarina makes her way into the garage area, holding Abigail close to her as she does so.

While Chase was off doing his pre-race appearances, Sarina would certainly spend her time in the motorcoach – but there was nothing the hustle and bustle of the garage area on race morning. That was something that she always had enjoyed being around from the beginning, watching the crew members go through the usual motions in getting ready for the race day. It was also nice to take in the smells, and get in the right mindset for the night ahead.

With her and Lindsay having finished their discussion about the wedding (so far) in glancing through the idea binders, Sarina was ready to get some fresh air and take the morning in.

She makes her way through, smiling as a couple crew members stop her to check on how Abigail was doing. She was expecting the same face when she reached a crew chief, though the disgruntle appearance threw her off immediately. She then looked in the garage stall, noticing the guys were working on the car – rather than rolling it out to the grid like most of the other teams.

“Please tell me we didn’t fail tech,” was all she could think by the scene surrounding her, catching Alan’s attention. He then slowly nods his head as she could only let out a sigh.

“If it makes you feel better, we’re one of seven cars to do so as Jimmie, Denny, and Erik failed, too,” Alan adds, as Sarina glances over the car, watching the crew members work on the right side.

“I want to be mad and upset, and I admit that I am. However, I also get it because I know you guys are trying whatever you can to try and get better, and I guess you went over NASCAR’s line.” Alan sighs as he pulls out the piece of paper from her pocket, showing it to her.

“Not by much at all, 100ths of an inch on the measurement.” She could only shake her head as she turned her eyes back on the guys.

“Have you told Chase yet?” Alan shakes his head no as he looks over at her.

“I get the honor of telling him at the driver’s meeting. If you don’t see me 10 minutes afterwards, can you come look for me?” She then chuckles a little as she focuses on the crew chief.

“He’ll understand, Alan. He knows how close NASCAR measurements are and how you’re pushing the envelope and trying. He’ll be frustrated with the loss track position, but he’ll understand.” Alan then looks down at Abigail in her arms, smiling as he sees a familiar pair of eyes looking back at him in return.

“Everybody told you that she has his eyes, right?” Sarina smiles and nods her head, having noticed that immediately. “Can I bring her to the driver’s meeting to cheer him up right away?” She then chuckles in response, as Josh catches Alan’s attention. “Duty calls.”

“Go get ‘em!”

Sarina then hung around, watching as they wheeled the car back around for their second trip through the inspection station. She didn’t even need to see the numbers, but rather the frustration on the faces to know that they hadn’t passed on their second trip through, either.

“I guess I’m packing my bags?” She hears Josh say, in reference to NASCAR’s policy of throwing a crew member out if you failed a second time.

“Nope, we’re throwing the engineer out this week,” the official states, pointing a finger over at Matt Brandt. “You have 15 minutes to be out of the garage area.”

“Same spot?” Sarina questions as Alan walks by her. He just nods his head, before showing her the piece of paper quickly. She then lets out a sigh, seeing they’d fix that spot, only to throw another measurement out by a bit. “Are you kidding me?”

“Welcome to how precise you have to be with your suspension measurements,” he only comments before following the pit crew into the garage stall. They knew that they didn’t have long before they had to go through again, and they wanted to make sure it was right this time. A third failure would result in starting from the tail, and having to serve a pass-thru penalty on Lap 1.

Chase glances up pit road, shaking his head, before looks back over at Alan. Every positive feeling that he had felt after qualifying yesterday was gone immediately upon hearing the news in the driver’s meeting that they had failed tech inspection not just once, but twice.

“Are you still mad at me?” Alan questions, noticing the facial expression written all over Chase’s face. He catches his driver’s attention, hoping to get a better read off of him.

“The tolerances from NASCAR are so tight that I can’t be mad at you for trying,” Chase answers with a sigh as he walks over. He then leans back against the wall. “I would’ve done the same thing. I’m just frustrated with the lost track position, and starting have to start back here. But we have a decent car, so hopefully we can make up the ground.”

“I don’t deny that we’ll be able to, as we showed decent speed in practice. It’s just about making our way up through methodically, picking off one at a time as we need to. We can do this.” Chase nods his head in agreement, as a smile forms on his face watching Sarina and Cindy chat together.

“Where’s Abigail?” That only brought a wider smile to Chase’s face, as he pointed over to where his father was talking with someone, holding her. “Aw, she’s finally  getting some time with Grandpa. I also see a special sense of pride on his face.”

“He absolutely lit up the first time that he got a chance to hold her in his arms. Mom said it took her back to the first time that they held me.” Alan smiles, having heard the story in how Casey got to be first, with Cindy and Bill following.

“She’ll defiantly carry the Elliott name with pride, and well. She’s already perfect.” Chase nods his head in agreement, having not seen a moment to dispute that.

“I think someone made a stinky…” A comment catches them both off-guard, causing Chase to chuckle as he points to Sarina.

“I’m off duty right now,” he says with a smirk, knowing that Sarina would absolutely love cleaning that mess up.

“This is a real bad stinky….” Bill offers as he hands her over to Sarina. Sarina didn’t even need to take a wiff, knowing that Bill was right on the money. She also could see some sticking out from the diaper, shaking her head.

“She makes her first ultra messy and you’re not available,” Sarina comments as Chase just stands back, leaning on the wall with a smirk on his face.

“I have a  job to do tonight – sorry,” he offers back in response. Sarina then walks over as Chase tries to back away, smelling it right away.

“I’m going to miss pre-race ceremonies, but I can’t leav-”

“I could take her and clean that up for you,” Cindy offers, but Sarina shakes her head no immediately.

“My daughter, my responsibility,” she states, keeping her eyes locked on Chase. “Go get ‘em tonight, and be safe. We both love you.” She then leans in for a light kiss, before heading off pit road with her daughter in her hands.

Chase could only let out a sigh, hoping a lesson in timing was figured out moving forward. Though with a smile, he knew pre-race ceremonies wouldn’t be too bad with his parents there.

Starting back in 33rd, Chase was unable to make up much ground in the beginning stages, running 26th when the competition caution came out at Lap 40.

“Same familiar tight condition, but the front end also won’t turn going in,” Chase tells Alan once the caution comes out. “I don’t know what you should fix, though. I wanna say the second complaint….”

“Four and fuel, one round in that right rear,” Alan instructs to the team in making the decision for his driver. He hoped the decision would fix the second problem, while hoping the tightness in the car – finally.

“Good job there felleas!” Even with making the adjustment, they managed to rip off a fast pit stop as usual, gaining him a couple of stops.

He was able to turn the track position gained into a 18th-place finish for the first stage.

“Can’t get off the corner as well as I would hope,” Chase reports over the beginning of the second stage. However, he was still able to make up some ground, cracking the top-15 mid-stage. He would make a pit stop mid-stage, set to restart solidly in the top-15. However, a shake of the car under the yellow and his confidence felt shot. “Tire feels loose.”

“Left rear,” Alan replies after talking to the guys and getting confirmation from Chad Avrit that he wasn’t confident in the lugs being tight as they could. “Come back down.” Restarting back in 24th, he would gain some ground, finishing the stage in 18th.

“No improvement in the handling, Alan.” Alan lets out a sigh as he glances over his notes, debating which way to go next with the adjustments.

The last run would be their strongest run yet, as they were able to find some speed, with Chase breaking into the top-15 following his final pit stop. He then battled through the remaining laps, finishing the race in 14th.

“Did the last adjustment help at all?” Alan asks as he walks over post-race, handing his driver a bottle of water.

“It was better than the previous run, but not by much,” Chase answers, as he takes a couple sips from the bottle.

“I went a bit of a different direction, and I think if I would’ve done that earlier, we may have been able to steal a top-10.” Alan then glances over the car, before looking at Chase. “We have a lot of work to do, I’m not going to lie about that. Really, all four teams have a lot of work to do still. I just wish I could tell you exactly what we’re missing.”

“We haven’t had the worst season, though…” Alan nods his head, knowing that they had seen some strong moments over the past couple of weeks. “We’re getting closer with each run, except for tonight obviously. If we keep working in the direction that we’re going, we’ll be fine. Nobody said that it would happen overnight, and we’re doing better than last year.”

“It just sucks to watch Joe Gibbs, Penske and SHR dominate, and make it look so easy…” Chase couldn’t help but agree with that sentiment, in seeing the continued success.

“We’ll get there, Alan. We just need to keep our heads down, and keep working as much as we can on things.” He then takes a deep breath, knowing that took commitment from him. “If you need me at any time during these two weeks to talk about set-up or anything, just cal-”

“You need to worry about the tria-”

“Everything is going to work out with that, and I’ll be fine. The worst part is over now and Alycia feels confident everything is going to happen accordingly and these charges won’t be anything but a memory. So stop worrying about me, and listen. Anytime you need me, just call me. If you want me up at the shop, let me know and I’ll fly up. I’m willing to do what it takes. In the same breath, though, make sure you take some time for Shannon and the kids. Enjoy your Easter break, okay?” Alan nods his head, accepting the sentiment from his driver.

Even with Chase telling him not to worry about the trial, it didn’t mean that he was going to ignore those nerves.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 229: ToyotaCare 250

Friday, April 12 – Richmond Raceway – 9 weeks old

Sarina climbs out of the car, looking over at Dave with a big smile on her face. She then glances up at the scoreboard, as that just drove home the reason for the smiles being quickest on the chart.

“A speed chart has never looked so good after practice before today,” she replies, as Dave walks over, offering her a high-five.

“Confidence can go a long way,” he offers, referencing her runner-up finish in her Xfinity debut at Richmond last year. “You know what you want out of the car and the line you want to run. That just made my job easier as I had to make sure the car worked to those specifications.”

“I honestly feel really good about our chances tonight. I mean, I know I’ve said that before – but I mean it right now, Dave. I feel we can run top-five all night and steal a win.” Dave nods his head, having the same observation after how practice went.

“We just got to keep working at it. We’ll get there…” Sarina nods her head in agreement as she takes a sip of her Gatorade. She knew she couldn’t stay long with having to go get Abigail from Chase.

“I’m going to go get Abigail, and then we can chat back in the hauler if you have more to discuss.”

“I think it’d be beneficial for us to break down the runs, so we know what the car will do when we get into a long run tonight – if you don’t mind.” Sarina nods her head, totally in agreement.

“Hey, you know I’m willing to do whatever it takes.” She then glances down, taking a deep breath. She had broken that commitment earlier in the week, though. “Even if I flaked out on yo-”

“If you’re talking about yesterday, I am not mad Sarina. I know that you had to testify on Wednesday, and I bet that was tough for you to go through with what happened.” Sarina nods her head, not wanting to think back on the experience as it made her stomach turn once again. “So I understand needing a day to just spend to yourself and relax without any outside introductions. I can probably bet that Chase took good care of you, too. But no, you do not need to apologize as I understand and I also know that you probably did the homework necessary.”

“Trust me – I had multiple in-car videos on as I was going through binders for Lindsay’s wedding and photos of Abigail.” She then loads the new background on her phone, of Chase holding Abigail while sitting underneath a tree. “My two favorite people in the whole wide world.”

“That’s adorable. Alright, I’ll meet you in the hauler in 5?” She nods her head, before heading off to meet up with Chase before Cup practice.

Chase climbs out of the car, not even bothering to glance up at the score chart. He knew that they probably wouldn’t be anywhere where they wanted to be, considering they hadn’t made a qualifying run and how the car was handling. If he had to guess, they’d be around 20th (24th to be exact).

Though knowing weather was coming later on that afternoon with a chance that there’d be abbreviated practice – or possibly none at all, he had to pull focus in making sure that this practice was the best they could be. Ultimately, that wasn’t quite the case.

“Did the adjustments help?” Alan questions as he looks over on the data, not even having to glance over to see that Chase was beside him.

“It started off a little better than we did the previous run,” Chase answers, which didn’t give Alan much hope based on the speed. “I thought it was okay, as it was putting more drive into the car. But it just got tighter, and tighter as we put more laps down.” Alan switches screens on the data, trying to get an idea of throttle and brake trace.

“And you’re making sure to try to roll that center with the good drive in , right?” Chase nods his head, knowing the characteristics of driving Richmond properly. “Well, I told you the focus was making sure we had a good race package. The only good news is we’re ninth on the 10-lap consecutive chart, so we can hold our own. Now if we just get the tightness out of the car, maybe we can get to the top-five.”

“I just feel it’s the same thing that we fought through the weekend at Bristol, too. Like, I don’t know what we’re doing suspension-wise, but our set-ups have been generally going to the tight side.” Alan nods his head, having noticed the trend even if you included Martinsville as well. He knew it was worth a lengthy discussion with the engineers in exploring ideas moving forward this year.

“But you have power steering this time around?” Chase chuckles, nodding his head. That was an experience that he certainly was not looking to repeat anytime soon. “I heard that Sarina pampered you…”

“It was her idea for us to have a spa day, so I could have a nice massage, sauna sit, hot tub soak, and did I mention the massage?” Alan just rolls his eyes.

“Meanwhile, I was stuck in the shop, hands covered in grease, trying to figure out why we had that issue.” Chase actually glanced at him with a bit of surprise.

“Wait a minute – you actually got your hands dirty for once?” Alan gives him a playful slap as Chase just chuckles. He knew that Alan liked to get right in and work with the guys once in a while. “I actually wish that I could’ve done more for her in return after Wednesday. However, she wouldn’t let me. She just wanted to go about as a normal day.”

“You’ve been there, Chase. You know what she’s going through right now. When the time is righ-”

“She’ll open up.” Chase takes a deep breath, remembering the discussion they had on Thursday. “I know. She told me those exact same words, too. I just worry about her.”

“That’s what true love is – worry and caring for each other.” Alan sighs as he glances back over some of the other notes that he had to look through. “At least the trial is going a long accordingly, though. I think once Laiken testifies that will seal the deal, no matter what Carter says.”

Chase could only hope the crew chief was right as he was beginning to dread the trips up to Arizona more each time, and certainly could use without the monitor during the week.

Sarina glances out the window, letting out a sigh as she grabs a Gatorade from the fridge. She then sits down on the couch, glancing over at Chase and Abigail together. She couldn’t help but smile, but the sigh returned as she looked back out the window.

“Oh look at that,” she comments, catching his attention. “They cancel Xfinity qualifying and boom, it stops raining.” Chase could only shake his head as he knew that was usually the theme when it came to decisions at the track.

“They still need to dry the track, and they wouldn’t be able to get both qualifying sessions in and start the race on schedule,” Chase reasons with her as she just rolls her eyes. Rather than getting to attempt to go after the pole, she was set to start 12th. That certainly wasn’t sitting well with her right now.

“Do you know what it’s like to lead practice, and then not even get a chance to get the pole you deserve?” He could easily sympathize with her viewpoint, but she wasn’t going to get off on this argument that easily.

“At least you got your full practice in. You could’ve been liked me, and had your second practice cancelled. Of course, that’d be fine since you are confident and led practice – but yet you could be like me and struggling with a tight handling car.” She knew how frustrating that was, having been there several times herself, as she lies her head on his shoulder.

“Alan is going to figure it out as he always does. The strength of this team over the past couple years has been the short tracks. You’ve ran well here before. You’re going to be fine tomorrow night.” He looks over, small smile on his face for the pep-talk. “Can I just admit that having Abigail to cuddle and hold makes rain delays at the track much easier?”

“I wouldn’t mind if they cancelled Cup qualifying, anyways.” She then shakes her head as she glances down at Abigail’s little fingers, seeing they had a firm grasp on Chase’s finger once again.

“I don’t think she’d mind, either. She loves spending time with her daddy.” Chase smiles, as he looks down into her little eyes, seeing a small smile form on her face.

“That’s because she knows that her daddy loves his girls very much, and would do anything for them.” He then gives each of them a kiss, causing a small giggle from Abigail.

“I’m surprised that she hasn’t wanted to nap yet…” Chase nods his head in agreement, having gotten used to that routine. However, it was nice as they got into the third month that she was spending more time awake and interacting with them.

“While you were practicing this morning, we were laying on the bed together and she was kicking those feet as much as she could. I don’t think it’ll be long before she’s rolling over now.” Sarina knew that was the truth as she’d seen those movements herself through the past week.

“Is there any way that you can convince her to not grow up so quickly?” Chase laughs, as he had hoped for the same thing many times himself.

“Don’t worry – there’s plenty times of make memories with her and together.” Sarina smiles as she glances between them, before focusing her eyes back on Abigail.

“I know, and each one of them makes every single moment that we endured together over the past couple of years mean that much more to me.”

Despite his initial concerns about the car and their speed, they were solid through the first round of qualifying, enabling to make it to the second round. He then put down another lap, placing him eighth at the end of the second round.

“We’re starting to get tight again,” Chase told Alan once the round was over. The report only brought a sigh to the crew chief as he was getting annoyed of hearing about the same problem repeatedly.

“10-4 we’ll adjust on it before this round,” Alan tells him, keeping his thoughts to himself for the time being.

The adjustments took some of the tightness out of the car, allowing Chase to lay down a lap placing him seventh quickest on the board. Following a round of high-fives for the crew, along with a quick debrief with Alan, he made his way to the media center for the typical driver availability.

Sarina makes her inside, standing to the side with Abigail, as she watches the reporters crowd around to ask a variety of questions. She could only glance at the time a couple of times, trying to keep sane, knowing that she needed to drop Abigail off and get back for driver introductions.

“You’d probably enjoy driver introductions with Mama, though…” She comments, with a glance down at the little girl in her arms, earning a giggle in response. “But Daddy made me promise that I would bring you over so he could spend time with you before getting changed and watching the race in the stands.”

“Do you think this five-minute format is something that NASCAR could use for the bigger tracks?” Sarina hears, catching her attention. She almost wanted to chuckle with the thought of watching a qualifying session of that nature. Imagine all the drivers trying to peel off together to get their lap in, but yet make sure they had a toe off of someone else. Could you say traffic chaos?

“I don’t know,” she hears Chase reply, as she watches on intently. “As long as the draft is effective, the guy that goes first is always going to be at a disadvantage. So the only way to fix that is to go faster.” Sarina had to smile, loving how he answered that without giving away too much of his discontent theory.

She then glances back at the time, making sure that she was still fine, before watching as he answered a couple more questions. Once he was done, she smiles as he walks over, instantly taking Abigail from her arms.

“Nicely done on your answers,” she tells him, with a quick kiss on the cheek. “Are we slowly learning how discontent you are with the package and slower speeds?” He just smirks back in response.

“Of course you’d go ahead and rub salt in that wound, wouldn’t you?” She just sticks her tongue out before walking away. “I’ll see you on the grid. Momma told me that she’d come out with me.”

“Don’t be late…” He then glances down at Abigail, before looking back up at her, before looking back at his daughter.

“Sweetheart, I hope you realize just how damn hot your momma is. I also hope that while you’re pretty, you don’t have all the boys staring like she gets them because I will have to kick some ass.” He then heads out, knowing that time was of the essence in making sure to fulfill the promise.

“I can’t believe that you agreed to watch the race with me,” Lindsay comments in-between the first and second stage under caution. Chase glances over, one of the first times through the night that he had taken his eyes off of the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet.

“I can’t believe that Ryan wouldn’t come up here to watch a race with you,” he replies, as she rolls her eyes. That was a topic of conversation that they’d discussed multiple times to no avail.

“I kept telling him that I want to experience tracks that I haven’t been to from a different angle, and he’d just brush it off. He’d be like, ‘it’s just like any other place,’ or ‘that’s not a cute date night’.” Chase could only roll his eyes, almost chuckling as he remembered the several times that he and Sarina had the exact same thing. He actually couldn’t wait to start doing that as Abigail got older with her.

“No matter how my career goes, I want to be able to keep doing this. There’s nothing like watching a good short track race from up here.” Lindsay nods her head in agreement, having enjoyed the view thus far.

“I bet your mom was okay with watching Abigail, too.” Chase smiles, knowing that wasn’t even a question.

“She was a little confused as to why I had asked her – since I told her why, but she understood once I explained. She offered to kick Ryan’s ass for you.” Lindsay chuckles, not surprised from what she had gathered from Cindy. “I’m just confused why he hasn’t mentioned the wedding to me, yet.”

“Because he’s a guy, and you know yourself – guys don’t think that there’s much to planning. You just choose a tux, a tie that fits the color theme, and show up. Don’t worry – he won’t leave you out of the wedding party, Chase.” Chase wasn’t worried, but rather curious as to whether he’d be the best man or if Ryan would indeed choose Bubba.

After starting outside of the top-10, Sarina was able to make her way forward steadily, moving into the top-10 through the early laps. She was able to keep herself inside the top-10 through the second stage, despite a nervous moment or two.

“Damn it Bell!” Chase lets out as Christopher tries to pinch it underneath of John Hunter Nemechek, but gets loose right in front of Sarina. Despite being completely sideways and slight contact with Sarina, Christopher was able to hold onto the car and continue.

“Breathe, they both escaped without further incident….” Lindsay encourages, rubbing his shoulders in the process. Chase could only shake his head as he takes a couple deep breathes. “I swear that man is insanely talented. I can’t believe he held onto it.”

“I’m just thankful that he did for both his and Sarina’s sake.” Chase glances at the scoring pylon, seeing that Sarina fortunately hadn’t lost much track position in the process, either. “I bet Sarina shit her pants in seeing him sideways in front of her.”

“Clean up, aisle 9!”

Sarina was still able to keep up front, once again finishing inside the top-10 for the stage. She then started off the third stage well, keeping herself in contention for a top-10 all the way until 35 laps to go.

“Damn it!” “Are you fucking kidding me?” “What a dumbass!” “Did that seriously happen?”

The comments instantly flew between the pair as they stood there, shaking their heads in pure disgust in watching the No. 9 go spinning around off of Justin Haley’s bumper.

“I knew I didn’t like Justin Haley from the minute he started in NASCAR,” Lindsay begins venting immediately. “And then he made that stupid comment about her at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park when he won that he knew she would do something stupid to cost herself the win.” Chase nods his head, remembering that weekend clearly in the frustration after her and Todd spun out battling for the win. He also remembered how he actually echoed the sentiments by everyone else, in agreeing that maybe she pushed it a little too hard there.

“Justin went over the line when he failed to mention someone being in my motorcoach until he heard that they were investigating something – despite everything else going on last year,” Chase tells Lindsay, as he remembered wanting to throat punch him upon the reveal of the details a week after the incident. “I almost wish I would’ve let the police charge him with obstruction of justice for shits and giggles. Damn it!”

“She’s going to be pissed….” Chase nods his head in agreement, as he remembered how confident she was entering the night, along with the fact that she’d been running well until the contact.