Sunday, January 13 – Charlotte, North Carolina – 27 weeks pregnant
Christopher and Morgan make their way inside as Sarina closes the door behind them.
“How are you doing?” Christopher asks, giving Sarina a hug.
“I’m doing good,” Sarina answers honestly as they make their way inside.
“And the baby?” Sarina lets out a sigh, having grown used to the question from everyone.
“She’s behaving and co-operating. There hasn’t been any issues. You don’t have to worry.” Christopher simply nods his head in return; however he knew that he’d probably be one of those bugging her right until the day that the baby was born.
“So where’s Chase?” Sarina points up the stairs.
“His shoulder was bothering him a bit so he was resting in the bed. He knew you were coming and said for you to come up when you got here.” Christopher smiles, remembering how he was caught off-guard when Chase sent him a text to come over.
“I trust that you ladies will behave then…” He then heads up the stairs as Morgan follows Sarina out to the kitchen.
“It is still strange to watch Christopher come over and ask to see Chase instead of me.” Morgan chuckles as she sits at the island in the kitchen.
“The same way that it’s strange that we’re actually on good talking terms, too?” Sarina smiles, with a simple nod of her head.
“I’m glad that we’ve gotten to know each other. You’re a great gal.”
Meanwhile upstairs, Christopher made his way to the bedsroom, knocking on the door to get Chase’s attention, which easily saw him welcomed in the room.
“I figured if we’re up here, they won’t hear what we’re going to discuss,” Chase comments, getting up off the bed to shut the door after Christopher was inside. “I don’t want Sarina hearing this while she’s pregnant as the stress isn’t good for the baby.”
“Secrets aren’t a good thing, either,” Christopher retorts, causing Chase to take a simple deep breath. Given everything they’d been through over the past couple of years in relation to Sarina, he understood where he was coming from. “You told me this was important and that I should come see you before I left for Oklahoma. What is it?”
“I got a call from the investigator that has been working on Aliso-”
“I thought she was supposed to be rotting away for the rest of her life…” Chase nods his head, as he was still pleased with the fact that Alison would be spending the rest of her life locked away in maximum security for the string of crimes that she committed.
“She’s locked away in maximum securi-?
“So why am I supposed to care?” Chase felt like pulling his hair out already with the constant questions, and he hasn’t even unveiled the biggest thing.
“As part of her therapy, she is beginning to reveal her motivations, confessions, details about everything that happened. It’s supposed to help in figuring out why she is the way that she is. I don’t even care to know or why they are doing it, and I told the investigator that initially. However, she wanted to let me know because of a name mentioned. Carter Williams.” Christopher froze immediately upon hearing the name, as he remembered his phone call with the officer a couple days ago.
“Carter Williams is one of the individuals that they are looking for in relation to what happe-”
“He is also the one who took a shot at me, as well.” Christopher could only let out a sigh as he tried to avoid letting his own mind wander. “Carter was the individual that was helping her sneak into tracks, and getting her funds. We knew someone was helping her and that was him.”
“Could she just be mentioning this name due to hearing the police report and what happened to us?” Chase shakes his head no, as he had asked the same question.
“She doesn’t have access to outside news and sources as per her current arrangement. She has to follow good behavior to unlock things like that.” Christopher chuckled as he couldn’t imagine Alison and good behavior being mixed together.
“So in other words, what happened may not be a simple coincidence like we believed. We thought we were just set-up by some random thugs, but yet we find out that Carter has a connection to Alison and you.” Chase slowly nods his head.
“Welcome to my life. If it’s not Chris, then it’s Bethany, or it’s Alison, and now Carter. It’s like one thing after another – hence why I didn’t want to tell Sarina and make her worry.” Christopher understood where Chase was coming from. However, a simple important aspect still had him questioning the decision to not tell her.
“Shouldn’t you warn her in case there’s more to come, though?” Chase lets out a sigh, knowing when the truth came out, that’d be one of the reasons she’d be yelling at him.
“She already knows that he’s one of the guys involved in what happened. That should be enough warning to make sure to scream, do whatever if he enters her life – or your life, my life, or Morgan’s.” Christopher knew that for certain, as he was going to make sure this upcoming week that Carter’s photo and identity was known to everyone on the team.
“It still doesn’t make sense, though. You ended up at that random road after going for a random drive. How was he supposed to know that you’d leave your own wedding and go for a drive to clear your thoughts? How was he supposed to know that you’d break down? We saw him come out of the random cabin, Chase. Are you telling me that was totally set-up, too?” Chase didn’t know exactly how to respond as his mind had been flipping back and forth over the options since the phone call.
“Alison followed me around the country undetected for a year. Could he have been spying on me at the wedding? Nobody would’ve called him out if he was near the grounds or anything as we didn’t know that he was a threa-”
“What about the cabin?” Chase takes a deep breath, as he debates the theories over in his head.
“Follow me for a second. Say he is spying on the grounds, possibly even having snuck on to the property with multiple people coming through the Dirty Mo Acres gates for the wedding. What if he messed with the truck?” Christopher froze at the thought, remembering the days he spent going over the engine compartment.
“There was some things underneath the hood that didn’t seem like they’d be manufacture correct. That would explain those changes being made. He could’ve wired it to malfunction, whether having just you on the road by yourself, or thinking that you and Sarina would leave the reception together.” Chase nods his head, feeling another tinge of fear. What if Morgan and Christopher hadn’t been there that night? He originally had asked Sarina to come by herself to meet with him.
“So he messes with the truck and he knows it’s going to eventually just die somewhere. I leave the party and he’s there, he follows me undetected. My mind was swirling with thoughts and I just wanted to clear my head, so for all you know he could’ve followed me right out there. The truck breaks down, and he watches as I call Sarina for her to com-”
“Why wouldn’t he make his presence and attack known right then and there?” Chase shakes his head as he knew there were holes in the theory as he developed it.
“Maybe he wanted Sarina to be there. Maybe that was part of his angle. He didn’t know that you were coming, neither did I.” Christopher nods his head, as he had approached Sarina after she had gotten off the phone. “He realizes that you guys are with her, knowing that it isn’t going to be as easy as planned. What if he went to the cabin and threatened the other two to help him?”
“In theory, it may not have taken much. Based on the police records and what the officers told me, they are drug gang members who are known for being low-lifes and always looking for money. Let’s just say that he offers them a big payday in return for their help, and boom – they’re working together.” Chase chuckles a little.
“Isn’t it ironic that he gets lucky that I break down in a spot where he can find two low-life assholes?” Christopher could only shake his head in disbelief as they put the theory together.
“The only good thing is if they can catch either one, whether Sasha Krause or Steve Lane, they may easily give him up in trade for a deal if they fit the personalities that we’ve given them.” Chase nods his head as that was a good theory to begin with.
“We just need to find them, and Carter for that matter.” Chase takes a deep breath. “I just thought that I’d warn you because I don’t want you to come across them in Oklahoma totally surprised without warning of connection.”
“I appreciate that. I just hope Sarina doesn’t kill you for hiding this from her.” Chase glanced in the mirror, knowing that it wasn’t going to be pretty when it came out. However, he was willing to take his chances.
“She already experienced cramping. It’s already a high risk pregnancy, Christopher. I’m not taking any chances. I said that when it came to Alison’s next move, and I will say that again in relation to these three.” He then turns around to face Christopher. “Nobody is going to hurt my family. It’s simple as that.”
“But promise me you’re going to be careful.” Chase had to chuckle, remembering the exact same advice from Alan when he told him the same thing.
“I’ll do my best – but at the end of the day, Sarina and the baby are what matter most.” Christopher walks over, placing his hand on Chase’s good shoulder.
“I’m glad that I didn’t break you guys up with my constant worries because you are doing the best that you can for her. I just hope that you don’t cause yourself more harm than good in the process.” Chase’s phone then goes off, catching both of their attention as he takes it off the dresser.
“Emma and Cale had their baby.” Christopher then looks over his shoulder at the photo that Ryan sent of Emma holding her newborn son. “Louie Rae Conley.”
“He’s adorable. I’m glad that he has Emma’s looks already.” Chase had to laugh a little. “Two babies for the Blaney family born just two weeks apart. Erin is going to have her hands full as an aunt.”
“I think she’ll make sure to spoil them both completely.”
After dinner, Sarina treated Chase to another sponge bath, checking to make sure the wound dressing was staying on and clean accordingly without any stitches ripping. It also served as a good round of desert.
With everything done for the night, including some cleaning, the pair curled up together for some relaxing time together. Sarina knew it presented the perfect opportunity to have the conversation she had been swirling through her mind.
“Chase, can I ask you something?” She questions as he wraps his arms around her.
“You know that you can always ask me anything you want,” he answers, as she watches his hands come together wrapped around her stomach perfectly.
“Now that we know for sure that we’re having a girl, I think we should talk about some name ideas.” Chase was intrigued by her suggestion. “I thought of two names while I was talking to Lindsay, and I wanted your thoughts.”
“I’m fully open to ideas.” While he had been certain through the pregnancy that she was having a girl, he hadn’t given any thought to name ideas.
“Hailey Elliott. Abigail Elliott. What name sounds better to you?” He runs them both through his head, as a smile forms on his face.
“Abby would a cute nickname, wouldn’t it?” Sarina couldn’t help but smile as she had been preferring Abigail as well. “Abigail Victor Elliott.”
“Abigail Casey Elliott.” He then lets out a sigh as he remembered the conversation about middle names. It started with his suggestion in wanting her to always carry her father’s memory with her despite everything. She had managed to shift it to a discussion about his fondness for his cousin and wanting to carry the memory, too.
“Are you going to let that go? I told you what I thoug-”
“I also told you what I thought about the usage of my father’s name, too.” He then lets out a sigh, remembering how they’d gone back and forth for awhile, before agreeing to shelf the topic for the time being. Since then, they hadn’t gotten back to discussing baby names – until now. “I thought about what you said, though. I also told Lindsay about that discussion, and she offered some eye-opening thoughts. For our wedding, when it came to the something borrowed, she let me borrow a locket that my father had given her. It was meant for her to hold something special in it, and she put a photo of us together, as well as a photo of her parents. She gave it to me as she wanted my father to be a part of our wedding, knowing how he’d be proud of me.”
“She’s not lying about that, Sarina. You’ve grown into an incredible person. Given everything that you’ve been through, he’d be super proud in how you persevered, how you fought, how you pushed hard, and how you found your true self through it all.” She smiles a little, feeling her eyes get wet in the process.
“Lindsay said the same thing, actually. She also told me that he’d be proud of the man that I was choosing to share the rest of my life with, knowing that I had a sweet southern peach who knew how to be caring and everything that I needed.” Chase chuckled a little at the reference.
“I bet she didn’t say it in those words, though…” Sarina shakes her head no.
“It made me think about everything, really, and it made me realize that maybe you’re both not wrong. After a lot of careful consideration, I think it’d be fitting for our daughter to carry his memory forward. it’d offer a conversation starter so that way despite everything that’s happened with my family, he isn’t lost in everything that happened.” She then glances back into his eyes. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott.”
“So you’re not dropping the Casey thing at all?” She shakes her head no. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott does have a nice ring to it, though.”
“It’s the perfect way for us both to honor that special someone whose close to us, Chase. It’s the perfect way to make sure that neither my father, or your cousin are ever forgotten.” He thinks it over, knowing there was something to her words, as he continued to run the name through his head.
“I think I like it. Abigail Victor Casey Elliott sounds perfect..” He then feels a kick against his hands, chuckling. “I think she likes it, too.”
“I’m glad that you came around and accepted my idea.” They then hear his phone go off, as he reaches over for it off the night table. “Who is it?”
“Christopher. He has safely landed in Oklahoma, but more importantly, he got a message that they have caught two of the three guys.”
“Just two of them?” Chase nods his head, seeing that it was Sasha Krause and Steve Lane who had been arrested. He knew that meant that Carter was still out there somewhere, just as he and Christopher predicted would probably happen.
“Carter Williams is still on the loose. I’m sure once the police speak with Sasha and Steve, they’ll be able to find Carter real soon.” He then rubs her shoulders. “But that doesn’t matter to me. All that matters to me is you. I love you.”
“I love you, too.”