Monday, February 12, 2018 – Daytona International Speedway
With breakfast done and complete, the dishes were placed in the sink and rinsed off. Chase then came back over to the table, sitting down before her.
“So, this is our one day where we don’t have to do a single thing at all….” He offers and she nods her head, having glanced at the schedule. While yesterday was blank at Daytona, he would be off to Atlanta due to some promoting for the hometown event – something about lucky charms. Then on Wednesday, it was a day full of media, before back to racing action on Thursday.
“Considering how the past two days have gone, I’ll take it,” Sarina comments as there were no doubt that stress had been in the air with Speedweeks action, and the mysterious notes. It was almost unnerving sometimes to think about there not being something in their eyes since Friday.
“But I do have something that we can do, though.” She looks at him intrigued, half-expecting to head to the beach for the day, or over to New Smyna Speedway to watch some late model action. “What about going to Disney World?”
“Seriously?” He nods his head.
“We both like roller coasters, and there are some pretty neat rides there so why not?” She couldn’t argue with the idea, even if relaxing was more her original plan for the day. But really, any day spent with him was better than nothing, right?
“Why are we still sitting here? Let’s go!”
“Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?” Chase questions once they’re in the park with their passes paid for.
“As much as Space Mountain is cool, you know that I have to go with the mountain,” Sarina answers and Chase nods his head. He should’ve remembered from last year’s trip. “We can do mine and then do yours?”
“Even being at the opposite ends of the park?” Sarina knew it wasn’t the best plan, but they had all day and the idea was to do their favorite rides. So she simply accepted, despite the walking that’d be required.
After taking in them both, they were certainly starting off their day with thrills as the smiles were easily seen from one end of the park to the other.
“What’s next?” Chase questions as it was back to her to decide what they would tackle.
“I challenge you to a shoot-off,” Sarina answers with a determined look in her eyes. He knew that meant Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. “The loser has to give the winner a special treat tonight – no holding back one bit.” He looks back at her with a intrigued glance.
“Are you that determined for me to pleasure you?” She chuckles back in response as they get in line.
“And you better make it worth my while….” Chase then crosses his arms as he thinks it over.
“Who says you’re winning?” She gives him a wink as they inch closer. “I’m serious! Recall, I did beat you the last time…”
“That was beginner’s luck.” He just rolls his eyes back in return.
The shoot-off ended up being closer than either expected, as they were both able to shoot a good number of targets accurately through the whole ride – despite trying to throw each other off at times. Though in the end, Sarina held true to her word as she came out the winner by a couple 100 points.
“You owe me,” she states as they come out of ride. He just wraps his arms around her from behind.
“I have no problem with that because trust me, by the time I’m done, you’re going to be wanting to give me just as much back,” he tells her, kissing her lips as she just smirks back. “Fantasyland or Main Street?”
“Main Street. I worked up quite the appetite kicking your ass.” He then rolls his eyes as they head that way. “Besides, we can go to Pirates of Caribbean afterwards.”
“Aye, the pirate’s life is for me…” She just laughs at the accent as they head off together.
Through the rest of the day, the pair explored the entire park, taking in some of their favorite thrills from one end to the other. Chase made sure to end off their day in style, though, making sure that they had dinner at Cinderella’s Castle.
“A princess like you deserves to be treated as such – especially since you’ll be missing me tomorrow, and we’re busy on Valentine’s Day,” he told her as they entered.
He also made sure to save riding Dumbo the Elephant for last. While it wasn’t the most quickest or intense ride, the sweet serenity of slowly going around in the air underneath the fireworks with his arm wrapped around her meant everything to him.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 – Atlanta Motor Speedway
Kicking off the home track promotional tour, Chase made his way into the media center where an assortment of lucky charms awaited delivery for him. The track had done a promotion for fans to send in something lucky, and needless to say, they had gotten a bunch of stuff.
Glancing over everything, he couldn’t help but smile as there were great, unique items throughout. The next step was doing a Q&A with the media from the stage, followed by one-on-one interviews.
“You have one more to do but we have to wait for your Dad to get here,” Morgan tells him and he nods his head.
“Yeah, he said he’d be here in about 10 minutes or so,” Chase answers, having texted him a couple times.
While waiting, Chase made his way back over to the assortment of items, going through them once again. He then picked up a couple of the envelopes off the floor, flipping through them. He tore open a couple, reading the notes inside to pass the time – admiring some of the notes from the youngest fans. As he reached for the next batch, his hand froze as he recognized the writing on one of the envelopes.
Swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat, he wished that Jordan would’ve been there to take the envelope and open it away from everybody like he had with the previous one. However, that was not an option today. He could easily hand it over to Morgan, but he didn’t want her to be more concerned than already with the warning at the shop. He also knew he could brush it off to later, but curiosity said otherwise.
Running his fingers along the top, he opens the envelope with ease as he glances inside to see the contents. Being a stack of papers, he admitted being caught off-guard as the small card before them fell into his hand first.
“Always know that I have an eye on you, and access to everything,” he reads quietly, sending a shiver down his spine.
Closing his eyes, reminding himself that it was just a mental game and they were just trying to mess with him, he tries to shake off the feeling that had come over him. He then pulls out the stack of papers, reading them over quickly. It didn’t take long to realize what it was, which caused a new worry.
“How would they have access to the NTSB and FBI report?” He questions to himself as he glances through the papers. At first he believed that they were fake documents meant to resemble the originals. But upon reading closer, checking the details and dates, it was clear – it was either a photocopy of the original documents from the plane crash.
Shoving it back in the envelope before anybody could realize the change in his demeanor, he quickly seals it back shut, before sending a text to both Jordan and the investigating officer. With confirmation that they’d take it into evidence and look into the cause, he tried to focus on the rest of the activities for the day.
“Ready for the interview?” Morgan questions and he takes a deep breath, nodding his head. He puts the envelope back in hidden behind the rest before following her to where FOX wanted him to do it.
Following the interview, Bill stood back as Chase went through the final step of the day, giving pacecar rides to a couple individuals around the speedway.
Once that was complete, Chase was free to leave for the day, ready to head to the airport and fly back to Daytona to be with Sarina.
“I couldn’t help but notice that you were a little distracted earlier,” Bill comments as they head out of the track together. “Is something going on?” Chase nods his head as he couldn’t lie to his father, and Bill already knew about part of what was going on anyway.
“Remember what I told you about the notes, and when we were going to fly to Daytona?” Chase reminds him and Bill nervously nods his head. He couldn’t help but feel a tinge of worry in the perfect set-up that was played at the airport that day. “There was another package today mixed in with the Good Luck Charms.” Bill looks over, surprised.
“Like what?” Chase takes a deep breath as he stops, glancing in the box and sorting through the various bears and other notes. He pulls out the envelope, handing it over to his Dad. Bill opens it, jaw dropping immediately as he looks over the contents. “This is classified information. You can only get this information if it is coming from you, a lawyer working for you, or you’re working in the department. Are you sure this is the real deal?”
“I read enough to know it is.” Bill then stops, looking at Chase with every bit of concern.
“You can talk to me….” Chase lets out a sigh as he glances back at his Dad.
“It’s one thing for a person to send me notes to try and mess with my mind. it’s one thing for a person to know what will bug me and set it up so right. But knowing the person has access to the infield at Daytona, as well as these documents – this isn’t just some random deal anymore.” Bill knew from the beginning it wasn’t random.
“I thought we both believed that Allison had a role in this, meaning it wasn’t random. Now, considering that it was her cousin Chris that tampered with the plane, could she be getting access through his lawyer? Did he receive a copy of documents at trial time to look over as part of the evidence?” Chase shrugs his shoulders as he had never wondered and worried about that. Through his fears at that time, he had just let the district attorney’s office handle it, making sure that Chris didn’t have any freedom coming in the future.
“I’ll mention that to the investigating officer to look into. Thank you for the suggestion.” He then takes the envelope back, putting it with everything else as they continue walking. “That actually gives me a bit of comfort as it explains her access to everything. I just wish she’d come out and face me, rather than play hide-and-seek.”
“As much as I don’t want you facing danger or anything like that again, I can see why you would want that, Chase. I understand how this is driving you insane.” Bill knew he wanted to give Chase space as he was grown up now, but this was one of those extreme situations. “Would you feel more comfortable if Mom and I came down to Daytona with you?” Chase knew being an adult, he should be able to handle this alone and deal with every emotion and twist on his mind. however, he couldn’t help but want that extra security feeling.
“If you could please, I’d appreciate it…” Bill simply nods his head accepting, knowing Cindy would have no problem with it.
Sarina sits on the couch nervously as she watches the door open, with Chase entering, followed by his parents. He could instantly sense something was off with her as he walked over, lightly kissing her cheek.
“Why do I have a feeling that I am not going to like what you’re going to say?” He questions, reading her facial expressions immediately.
“Because I fucked up today, like usual,” she answers and he just looks at her confused. “Clearly you haven’t been on twitter at all….” He was now even more confused as he took out his phone, scrolling through some of the messages.
“I’m not seeing anythin-”
“Go to my page and see what I sent out, followed by the responses. And for the record, I’m sorry and I didn’t mean anything by it.” He went to her page, seeing the tweet that she sent out mid-afternoon. It certainly wasn’t something that he would’ve preferred to send out himself, or seen, but it wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve been posted. But clicking the responses, his jaw drops immediately at some of the mentions.
“So because you made a simple joke in regards to the Hooters girls, this is what has transpired today while I was out?” She slowly nods her head as the parents both look on confused.
“What’d she post?” Bill whispers to Cindy as Cindy had pulled out her phone to look herself.
“Someone asked her about the Hooters girls and how they always hang around Chase,” Cindy whispers back. “She replied that they should focus more on their chicken wings and the kitchen, than him, because there was no way that he was leaving her arms. She then made a crack that her hooters were prettier, anyway.” Bill looks between the pair, shocked and intrigued, as Sarina lets out a sigh.
“Chase, I never meant anything by it,” she starts quietly. “I mean, I was just being a bit of a sarcastic ass-”
“You don’t need to apologize,” he cuts her off as he sits down beside her on the couch. “Have I gotten any messages from Hooters? Nope, but you know they’ve seen it because they replied it – and frankly, they took better to it than everybody else. Have I gotten any messages from Morgan, anybody at HMS, or have you gotten any messages from anybody at KBM? Everybody that’s important is fine with it.” She then lets out a sigh as she taps the tweet to bring up all the replies.
“And what about all this crap? Saying that I should keep my mouth shut? There’s also some that say that I am being a little over possessive, possibly controlling, and you should look into that. Of course, the best is those who say I am only with you for the fame, hence the Late Model ride which got Kyle’s attention. Do I need to go on, Chase?” Chase grabs his phone, instantly shutting off Twitter as he keeps his eyes locked on her.
“Do you see any of those comments bothering me? I know that you’re not that way, and I know what we have. I know that you were just being a little sarcastic – maybe just maybe over the line a tiny bit, but I know you didn’t mean to be harmful with your words. I know who you are. I love you. I want to be with you. I see a future for us. I see a beautiful, charming, stunning, determined, honest, fierce, racecar driver and woman that is my equal and true love. I can give you all the reasons why I love you, not because of what they say.” A small smile forms on her face as she reaches out for his hand.
“I thought you’d be upset…” He shakes his head no.
“Besides, those who know you, know that you didn’t mean anything by it. Those who know and respect you took it the same way that I am. That’s why there hasn’t been any other messages. That’s why I see a ton of fan support mixed in all that garbage. Those who were saying the other things – they’re just jealous of you, for the success you’ve had, and what we have. They’re just haters trying to get you riled up, the same way people say that I only have my ride at Hendrick because of my Dad and that I have no talen-”
“They’re full of shi-”
“Exactly, the same way they are about you. So just ignore it and don’t let it get to you. Stick to your guns, your beliefs, and those who are behind you, and let them hate. Haters are motivators, per your boss right?” She chuckles, remembering those words, as she nods her head.
“Thank you.” She then lets out a sigh. “It just hurt to see everything being said…”
“That’s because your human, and you have feelings, and it’s okay. As long as you realize that those hurtful things aren’t representative of yourself, and do what we’ve said, that’s what matters. It’s also nice that you told me, too.” He leans in and lightly kisses her lips.
“Media day tomorrow should be interesting now, huh?” Chase shrugs his shoulders.
“Let ‘em talk and ask questions. Just be honest and go with it. Everything will be fine…”
He then stands up, walking to the kitchen as he takes his phone out. He goes back into Twitter, finding one of his favourite photos of them together from Disney World.
This would be one of his more standout posts than what he would usually post, but he wasn’t about to let Sarina face the music alone, either.
@chaseelliott: Everybody can say what they want, but I’m standing behind @SarinaOtt18 no matter what. We both love each other equally, and forever, and there’s nothing going to change that. So she’s right @Hooters Girls, she’s the only leading lady in my life right now but I do like your wings.
Closing his phone and shutting off notifications for the night, it was time to focus on having some fun together with his parents.