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.”

Advertisements

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 197: “Do I honestly want a pizza that Chase gave a 4.9 too?”

Saturday, February 16 – Napolli’s Pizza – Daytona Beach, Florida – 1 week, 6 days old

“Thanks once again for doing this,” Frankie from Barstool Sports Pizza says, shaking Chase’s hand.

“When I agreed to Ryan’s podcast and then Morgan mentioned this, it just made sense,” Chase offers. “I’m actually surprised that Ryan didn’t do it.”

“You don’t want to know what he said about his schedule as we tried to set it up,” Dave Portnoy comments as Chase laughs.

“That seems very familiar. I could tell you a tale about he ignored offers from me, and then forgot to invite me to Disney World.” Dave looks on surprised as Sarina rolls her eyes.

“You still haven’t let that go?” She questions as Chase wraps an arm around her shoulders, pulling her close.

“I’m actually glad that he didn’t come to Colorado with us though,” Chase comments, leaning in for a quick kiss. “I appreciate your patience. I know you wanted to get home.”

“I’ll do anything for you. A couple more hours won’t hurt. Besides, when you and Ryan get together with Kim and Chuck, it’s always good. I can only imagine what Dave is going to offer.” Chase had to chuckle, almost worried as he knew what Dave was capable of.

“Are you sure you’re okay, though?” She simply nods her head back in return. “Are you sur-”

“I’m fine, Chase.” He could tell her by her tone that she wasn’t quite fully opening u pas he kept his eyes locked on hers. “I’m a little sore, okay? But that’s to be expected as they said everything was tender, hence why I wasn’t supposed to quite go back racing yet. But I’ll be fine; I can handle it. I should’ve grabbed a bite to eat, though..”

“Pizza?” Dave offers, holding out the box that still had half of the pizza left in it.

“Do I honestly want a pizza that Chase gave a 4.9 too?” She questions, with a glance between them.

“It wasn’t that bad….” Chase shrugs his shoulders, sticking with the rating he gave. Reluctantly, Sarina reaches into the box and takes a slice for herself. “So you didn’t choose the place?”

“I just followed orders to come here,” Chase comments as Morgan holds up her hand. “There you go.”

“See, when we got the message about the place we just assumed you picked it,” Dave offers, before glancing over at Sarina. “Well?”

“I have to agree with his rating, actually,” she comments, tossing the half-eaten slice aside. “There’s way too much sauce for my taste. Sorry.”

“Do you want to go grab something, then?” Chase offers and she nods her head back in return. “Be careful. I love you.” He then leans in for another quick kiss, before watching her walk off with Morgan in toe. “Don’t feel offended. She’s not a big pizza eater, and actually, I’m not really either. You can ask Ryan about that.”

“Oh trust me, he sent me that clip of you guys together last fall,” Dave reveals, earning an eye roll in response from Chase. He knew he was never going to live it down.

Saturday, February 16 – Streamline Hotel Rooftop – Daytona Beach, Florida

Now happily satisfying her taste buds with a yummy taco in hand, Sarina sat behind the camera man, ready for a front row seat for Glass Case of Emotion. Was it even possible to complain about good food and a show together?

She rolled her eyes as Chuck asked about the text message that Darrell sent, remembering the glances her and Chase traded upon reading it together.

“He actually did text me, and I was caught off guard because it was really random,” Chase recalls, before looking over at Ryan. “Were you in on the text?

“Well yeah I was in the group,” Ryan replies, and Sarina almost wished Chase had a flying pan to knock a touch of sense into him.

“No, were you in on the message?” She then almost chuckled at the look on Ryan’s face in return.

“No.”

“Because it was something like will you join us on row 7?”

“Well, Bubba and I starting there….” Sarina remembered sharing that tidbit when Chase shared his initial confusion upon receiving the text message.

“Like why would I join you there? It was stupid.”

“Hence why I didn’t have any involvement.” She almost broke into a fit of giggles, actually liking the comeback.

“He was just trying to trick me into declining something. But don’t try to do something stupid, and then also spell my name wrong. That really sent me over the edge.” Sarina could only shake her head in response, knowing that was one of his pet peeves. She actually wondered how many people would now do that to her.

“So I know your both friends, but would you send him into the wall to win?” Dave then asks, and she smiles. She knew having Dave on would add the right amount of fun.

“I mean, if I had to,” Chase confesses, causing Sarina’s jaw to drop. That certainly didn’t fit Chase’s style of racing, and they’d been over that many times. “He’s wrecked me before.”

“Are you talking about Kentucky?” Ryan questions and Sarina was fuming at the thought as she recalled the incident that happened on-track. Ryan took them three-wide with the 21 car, getting loose, making contact causing both of them to back into the wall. It certainly wasn’t a pretty night.

“No, but that makes two. The K&N race.” Sarina knew that she had to ask him about that later as she didn’t know what happened then.

“That was in 2011!” No wonder she didn’t realize what the boys was referencing.

“I haven’t paid him back yet.” Sarina’s jaw dropped once again, shaking her head. Though as she thought it over, she knew that it was also all part of the game in making the podcast interesting, too. It was fun to watch them try and get under each other’s skin. “He’s screwed me over a few times, and I’ve screwed him over a few times.”

“What they’re not telling you is the one will cook dinner for the other,” Kim Coon jumps in and Sarina smiles. She actually remembered the dinner that Ryan made in response to Kentucky, still surprised by how the food tasted.

“Has that happened?” Dave questions, earning a nod in response.

“But you said Ryan wasn’t a good cook…..” Sarina was glad that she wasn’t the only one that remembered how that meal turned out. She could only hope that he had learned to cook since then for Lindsay’s sake.

“No, it wasn’t the best,” Chase confesses.

“I feel like chicken wasn’t the best choice,” Ryan tries to explain himself. “It’s hard to cook. It’s hard to tell when it’s done. I should’ve went for a steak.” She shakes her head no, knowing that probably wouldn’t go over the best.

“Napoli pizza or Ryan’s chicken?” Kim then questions, which actually caught Sarina with a bit of intrigue. She had managed to eat Ryan’s chicken, while she hadn’t gotten through her slice of pizza. Then again, maybe she just ate the chicken to be a good friend.

“That’s tough,” Chase comments. “I don’t know. About the same.” Sarina could only shake her head with a chuckle.

“Did it make you sick?” Ryan wonders and Sarina candidly shakes her own head no.

“It hasn’t digested yet Ryan.” It was now her turn to wish Ryan had that frying pan.

“I’m talking about the chicken.” Oh duh!

“No, it didn’t make me sick.” Sarina smiles, glad her re-collection was correct.

“Then it was good.” She could only let out a sigh, knowing that wasn’t the best judgment radar to use when it came to the chicken.

Her attention span seemed to wonder as the boys continued talking, glancing at the screen before her on her phone. Running her fingers across the image, she almost wished that she had accepted the offer to go home early. She could’ve watched this later, anyway.

“So is there crazy security?” Dave’s question then catches her attention. What the heck were they talking about?

“I wouldn’t say crazy security,” Chase replies, causing Sarina to go palm meet face. That obviously wasn’t the image you wanted with a mad man running around the country.

“There’s a fence and a guy that stands there,” Ryan adds, and Sarina knew they were talking about the driver’s motorcoach lot.

“Some retired guy,” Chuck comments, just causing Sarina to shake her head further.

“…..and you need certain passes.”

“You could probably sneak in if you’re good,” Kim interrupts, causing Sarina to shake her head even more. Was this discussion really happening right now? She wanted to go strangle each of them.

“Now that’s not what we should be telling everyone,” Ryan comments, and Sarina nods her head in agreement. She was surprised it took them that long to realize that.

Feeling the need to rid of those feelings in relation to that, she focused back on the image before her on the screen. It took a single glance for every thought of negativity go away as her eyes focused on the little being before her. It was amazing, yet almost scary at times, in seeing how small Abigail was. However, she kept her faith in the progress shown.

She didn’t need to pay attention that much to know that Chase would prefer to win at Darlington or Bristol over Daytona, and she knew that he wanted to go skydiving one day. He actually had brought up the idea of them going together, but she had put it off –referencing that fear of flying that still remained there a little. While he had done a good job curbing it with his own skills as a pilot, it was a whole additional level to think about actually jumping out of a plane mid-flight.

She was also thankful that he didn’t want to go on the slingshot ride behind them, referencing it was “probably a good way to end up on the beach,” as she knew that she probably wouldn’t handle the nerves in watching him do it.

Once they were finished, she patiently waited as they discussed things over, before separating. With a familiar arm wrapped around her shoulders, she finally admitted it.

“I cannot absolutely wait until we land in Georgia,” she comments, earning a smile back in return as he kisses her cheek.

“Only a matter of hours now,” he replies as they head to the airport together.

Sunday, February 17 – Daytona International Speedway – 2 weeks old

“Max!” Chase yells once again as he slips his shoes on. “Max, want to go for a walk? Max!!” He then smiles as the dog comes tearing out of bedsroom, sitting right by his feet. “Good boy.”

Once he got him on the leech, they walk outside together as Chase lets out a sigh. While he knew every step they were taking was worth it, he was going to be glad when things would return to normal. Flying back to Georgia, spending the night with Sarina, and then flying back out to Daytona in the early hours today certainly weren’t the way he would’ve preferred to spend a Daytona 500 morning. However, a single glance at his daughter this morning and little hand grab for good luck, he knew it was worth it despite the aggravation.

“Son of a bitch!” He hears, glancing in the direction of the words spoken. While initially he was worried someone was in trouble, he in return broke out into a series of laughter in seeing Darrell climbing out of the hatch in the motorcoach above the bathroom. “Not funny!”

“It is when you’re standing here watching,” Chase comments, still laughing as Darrell just shakes his head.

“I bet it was you!” Chase just shrugs his shoulders as he focuses on what Max is doing. “Chase?” Chase didn’t even let his eyes leave the dog, still laughing. “William Clyde Ellio-”

“Easy there, man….” Chase finally looks over at him as Darrell could only shake his head in response. “You deserve it.”

“I deserve it?”  Chase nods his head.

“You didn’t invite me to Disney, and then you sent me the most ridiculous text message ever. I had to do something.” Max then pees on the back tire of Darrell’s motorcoach. “And Max seems to agree. See ya later today, man.”

“I am going to get you back….” Chase could only shake his head, but knew he was going to have to watch his back in the coming days as Darrell was pretty good at his pranks sometimes.

Chase stood by the NAPA Chevrolet, taking a couple deep breathes. While everybody was focused on the greatness that made the Daytona raceday special, he was just ready to get the day started. While it was nice to see everybody and experience the festivities, it also brought forth additional emotions standing there alone today.

“Chase!!” He hears, glancing in the direction of the voice immediately. He smiles as Lydia comes running over to him, wrapping her arms around his legs.

“Hey princess,” he replies, before kneeling down to her level. “Aren’t you supposed to be with your dad?” Lydia thinks it over, before shaking her head no.

“I asked first.” Chase glances over, seeing a nod from Chandra that told him the comment was right.

“That’s a good girl.” She then looks around, before setting her eyes back on him.

“Chase, are you lonely without Sarina?” Chase was actually surprised by the question. However, he knew that she was onto something given the emotions that he was experiencing.

“I know that Sarina wants to be home right now, and spend time with our daughter. I also know that our daughter loves spending time with us, so it’s okay.” Lydia’s eyes light up.

“Can I see your daughter?” Chase loads a photo on his phone, as Lydia looks on in amazement. “Can I visit?”

“Maybe we can ask your dad and mom to bring you to see her, okay?” Lydia nods her head, accepting.

“But you’re lonely…” Chase was caught off-guard by her repeating those words, along with the hug that followed. “I keep you company.”

“I’d actually like that.” He then easily gives her a hug back in return, a smile forming on his face. “Thank you, princess.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I told you that I was fin-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But no father stands beside me
To give this bride away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here I go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 132: A Freezing Halloween

Tuesday, October 30 – Charlotte, North Carolina

Ryan and Darrell had been standing at the end of the haunted house for a bit now, tapping their feet, now almost impatient as they waited for Chase to make his way through.

“Where is he?” Ryan questions with a sigh, even trying to take a peak back through the exit he should’ve used.

“It’s Chase we’re talking about,” Darrell starts. “He gets afraid by the smallest little scare…” Ryan lets out a sigh, knowing that was true. Hence why they always avoided scary movies.

“That’s why he has a dinosaur to protect him.” Darrell had to chuckle in response, though also noticed a bit of hesitation in his friend’s voice.

“What are you thinking?” Ryan wanted to shrug it off, but couldn’t virtue of his own previous experiences.

“Alison.” Darrell freezes immediately as he looks over surprised.

“You don’t thin-”

“She’s stalked him secretly before, she’s done everything imaginable. I wouldn’t put it past her to know that we’re here tonight.” Ryan then takes one more peak. “Screw it, I’m going looking.”

“Are you serious?” Ryan then makes his way through the exit, set to follow the halls back up through. “Wait for me!”

The pair make their way through the halls, ultimately catching the characters off guard who were questioning them going the wrong way.

“We lost something,” Ryan quickly pawned it off each time. “The manager said we could look through.” Each character simply nodded their head accepting, before retreating back to their hiding spot. Clearly, it hadn’t been the first time.

They had been going for awhile, before they noticed a wall slightly off, almost a secret door open.

“You don’t think, do you?” Darrell questions, and even before he was finished, Ryan was opening it the rest of the way.

“Shit!” The only words to escape Ryan’s mouth as he ran over right away, trying to find the break-open latch.

Stuck in a tall glass tube, they saw their best friend – with his dinosaur unfortunately deflated, shivering as cold ice and water came down over top of his head.

“Here it is!” Darrell then opens it immediately, which releases cold ice water on them right away.

“Chase?!?” Ryan questions as he gives him a pull out of the center, getting a shivering response.

“So…cold…” Chase managed quietly, shivering before them as he tried to wipe any bit of water away.

“Go get help!” Darrell gives a simple nod, pulling out his phone to dial 9-1-1 while running off to find someone. He wouldn’t mind that dead doll popping out for a change now. “Get your wet clothes off…” Ryan then helps pull the costume that Chase was wearing off, before throwing a roll of paper towel.

“How’d you know?” Ryan knew him standing there shivering with nothing on wouldn’t help, as he stripped out of his own costume next.

“You were taking too long.” He then hands him over the beast costume. “You need to get war-”

“What about yo-”

“I’m not the one that was just standing in ice water for who knows how long!” Chase easily instructs, slipping on the pants, before Ryan helps him out with the shirt. “Better?”

“Still…freezing…” Ryan could tell by the shivering that his legs were still really cold.

“Try dancing around.”  Chase tried to move around as much as he could, as Ryan tried to find anything that would help. “Damn it, hurry Bubba!”

“Wrap this around your legs,” a new voice chimes in, causing both to look over as Christopher Bell was standing there, dressed as Chef Boyardi, handing off the apron.

“Thank you,” Chase simply replied before doing as instructed.  “What are you doing here?”

“We came to check out the haunted house – just like you probably did,” Morgan Kemenah comments as Ryan could only chuckle at her cardboard noodle costume. “Keep wiggling your toes, keep moving your legs. That’ll get the blood flowing and help warm you up with the layers.”

“Put these gloves on and rub your legs too,” Christopher adds, handing over the oven mitts that went with his costume. “The friction should help.”

After what seemed like an eternity, the manager arrived over to them with some paramedics in toe. Despite assurances from Chase that he would be fine once he got some more warmth, he was sent with them to go get checked out at the hospital.

“You go with him,” Christopher instructs as he looks over at Ryan. “We’ll go pick up Sarina.”

“Okay,” Ryan replies, accepting. He would’ve preferred to tell Sarina himself, but also knew it’d be strange in sticking Chase and Christopher together. “Hey Christopher, be careful in telling her the news. Make sure that she knows he’s alright.”

“I got thi-”

“I mean it, Christopher. Make sure that she knows he’s alright and she doesn’t panic or freak or anything. Just make sure that she stays calm, please…” The repeated comments initially caught both Morgan and Christopher off-guard, but Christopher gave a nod of approval.

“I promise Ryan, I’ll be careful.”

It didn’t take Christopher long to reach where he had parked, with both him and Morgan set to head back to the Elliott household.

“Ryan repeated that a couple more time than necessary,” Morgan comments as she puts her belt on. “It’s almost like there’s a hidden mess-”

“Sarina is pregnant,” Christopher cuts her off, earning a surprised glance in return from Morgan. “I wanted to say something the other week myself to her about it, but I noticed that her firesuit was looking a little tighter around the stomach area.” He then pauses, realizing how that probably sounded saying it out loud. There was also a time that I stopped by to see her, that Chase had his hands resting very suspiciously there.”

“You’re going to need to warn him about that if they’re trying to keep it secret…” Christopher nods his head as they head out to the house. “And Christopher, I know what you were thinking. I’m not worried.” She then reaches over, placing her hand on top of his as it rested on the shifter. “I know you love me, and I love you with everything. I know that we have nothing to worry about with you doing something with her, or vise versa. So if you’re worried about that looking comment, it’s fine. You guys spend lots of time together as friends so it’s bound to happen.”

“I love you.” He then turns to her, giving her a kiss, before focusing his eyes on the road.

Tuesday, October 30 – Carolina Medical Center

Sarina walks into the room, walking over to Chase and wrapping both arms around him immediately.

“Are you okay?” She questions, earning a nod in response. “Are you sure?”

“I told them that I was fine there,” he answers. “But with these nice warm blankets, I am toasty right now. Every bit of feeling, warmth, whatever is back in my legs.” She then kisses his lips, feeling the blankets as she does so.

“Those are nice and toasty. Do you think we can get some for the trailer?” He smiles back in response.

“Anything for you, as always.” He then leans in for another kiss, which she obviously accepts.

“Did they say anything?” Christopher asks Ryan as the couple embraces.

“They’ve given him their seal of approval,” Ryan answers. “There doesn’t look to be any longing effects or anything, so I think we got there in the nick of time for that. They’re just keeping him for a couple hours to make sure nothing develops.”

“I got what you were saying when you repeated it twice…” Ryan then looks over, a bit of horror and surprise mixed together. “Relax, I won’t say anything, I promise.”

“They’re doing whatever they can to keep it a secret until the banquet.” Christopher looks back over at the pair cuddled up together.

“Well, just warn him about hand placement in the garage area. I mentioned to Morgan that I saw something suspicious a week ago, and combined with your repeated messages, I figured it out.” Ryan knew he would have to pass along the message in a timely fashion. “So that announcement about next yea-”

“Stay tuned. She’s going back racing once she has the baby in the new year.” Christopher smiles as he was looking forward to competing against her once again. “She’s like 15 weeks along.”

“Really?” Ryan nods his head. “So she was pregnant at Talladega. That’s why she was crying afterwards.” Ryan nods his head once again. “Well, I hope for the best as they deserve it.”

“Hey Christopher!” Chase says, getting his attention, before throwing the apron and gloves back at him. “The chef needs his apron and oven mitts if he’s going to get any baking done. But thank you, once again.”

“I’m glad that I could help,” Christopher replies. He then glances over at Ryan with a comment of his own in the mixing, as Ryan rolls his eyes. With a look back at the couple, he couldn’t hold it in. “I heard you were doing some baking of your own. Congrats on the bun in the oven.”

“You figured it out?!?” Chase questions, earning nods around the room.  “Thanks…”

“And be careful on your cuddles. I almost figured it out without Ryan’s help..” Chase looks over at Sarina, giving her a wink.

“I’ll try, but man, I can’t wait for this little baby to be here..” He then places his hand on her stomach as he had been doing so many times recently. “I still say it’s a little girl.”

“I don’t care, as long as he or she is healthy,” Sarina comments, placing her hand on top of his.

Wednesday, October 31 – Charlotte, North Carolina

Chase fixes the outfit once again on Max, taking a step back and giving himself a nod of approval.

“You look good Max,” he says, before giving the dog a treat for co-operating as he dressed him up.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Sarina questions from upstairs, earning the millionth eye roll of the day. “I mean, I think you should be relaxing.”

“I could say the same thing for you.” She then lets out a sigh, growing very tired of his repeated remarks.

“Meanwhile, I wasn’t the one in a hospital just last night because a crazy chick had attempted to freeze me alive while holding a gun to my face.” While Alison’s other attacks had left him with after thoughts for days, surprisingly he was moving forward very smoothly after last night’s events. It just further enhanced his rules about not entering haunted houses anymore, though.

“She also killed my dinosaur, remember…” He checked over his own appearance in the mirror. He had managed to get his hands on another Mario costume, though wasn’t able to find the one with Yoshi in time. “I think that’s a good thing, though. Max didn’t like the dinosaur.”

“Did the costume fit Max, by the way?” While he had spent the morning relaxing per Sarina’s orders, she ran to the store to grab his new costume, something for herself, and managed to get an outfit for the dog in the process.

“He looks great. Now, can I finally see your costume?” She then makes her way out of the bathroom, down the stairs, and stopping at the bottom with a smile.

“A Mario needs his Peach to save…” A smirk forms on his face immediately, as he wraps his arms around her, picking her up.

“No Bowser would ever kidnap this Peach.” He then kisses her lips, before slowly setting her back down on the ground.

“You may be my Georgia peach, but I am your Peach tonight.” He then gives her a wink in return, as she just chuckles with a smirk of her own. “I almost want this Halloween night to be at the end to see what you’re thinking.”

“I don’t know if you can handle all of this sexiness.” She then grabs the straps of the overalls, pulling him close.

“I’ve handled them before, and I plan to handle them again accordingly…” She then slowly kisses his lips, as she backs him against the wall. “I don’t know if you can handle everything that I want to give you.”

“I’m not complaining, ever….” A bark from Max cut their fun off as they both knew it meant someone was at the door. “You should’ve dressed Max up as Yoshi.”

“I looked but they were out of Yoshi dog costumes.”

They had been having a smooth evening, handing out candies to the various kids that stopped by. Although they had critiqued some of the outfits for going too far to themselves, they had to admire others as there were some cute princesses and monsters.

In-between handing out the candy, the pair were naturally spending their time in the living room, playing either Mario Kart or Super Mario Brothers. It was Max’s bark that alerted them to pause and hand out the candy, accordingly.

“Beat ya again!” Sarina lets out, having crossed the finish line first.

“That stupid shell,” Chase commented, as he had been leading until a green shell she threw hit him.

They then heard Max’s familiar bark, glancing at each other before both getting up and going to the door. Chase reached the door knob first, opening it, before having to look down at who was there.

“Here to save the day!” Brexton let out, before a classic superhero pose. Both Chase and Sarina chuckled in response.

“Is that so?” Sarina questions, earning a nod from Brexton. She then scoops him up in her arms.

“But whose going to save Brexton from Tickle Monster Mario?” Chase asks, before beginning to tickle him as Sarina kept a hold on him. The giggles immediately escaped from the little boy.

“Daddy…Mommy,” he lets out in between chuckles.

“Let him go!” Samantha and Kyle appear from their hiding spots, both dressed in superhero costumes as well. Chase stops immediately, as Sarina puts him down.

“My princess!” Brexton then gives Sarina a big hug, which she easily accepts.

“I think you lost your princess for the night now,” Kyle comments, earning a shrug of the shoulders from Chase. HE actually thought it was adorable in seeing the bond that Sarina had formed with Brexton this year, and it had him ready for moments like these with their own child one day.

“So I heard that you lost Yoshi last night,” Samantha adds, earning a nod from Chase as Kyle simply gives her a glance. “I’m glad you’re alright.”

“Just thankful that Ryan came looking when he did,” Chase says, before looking back over at Sarina and Brexton with a smile. “Say, what do you say for a treat?”

“Trick or Treat!” Brexton lets out, before going back outside to grab his bag off of the porch.

“That’s a lot of candy!” Chase then drops a couple chocolate bars in as he looks up with a smile.

“Thank you.” Brexton then gives him a hug, as well.

“Ready to go visit more houses?” Samantha asks and Brexton nods his head.

“Have fun!” Chase tells him, as Sarina offers one more hug for him before watching the Busch family leave together.  They stood on the porch together, with Chase wrapping an arm around Sarina’s back. “That’ll be us in a couple years. Are you ready?”

“I’m in charge of the costumes, right?” She questions, earning a chuckle from Chase.

“Do I trust you?” She then gives him a playful punch, which just increases the chuckling.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 131: First Data 500

Saturday, October 27 – Martinsville Speedway

Starting off the truck series race, Sarina was able to run up front throughout the event, remaining in the top-two through the top two stages. However, as had been the case many weeks this year, a bad pit final pit stop lost her crucial track position, as she would restart back in 12th. She wasn’t able to get back to the top-five, ultimately ending up seventh.

“It was a good day,” she tells the media after the race. “Our goal was to earn points and get to the next round of the championship, and we earned a good bit today. We just had got behind on the pit stop, and it’s hard to pass so I couldn’t make it back up. We’ll stay focused and try to do the same at Texas next week, as well as ISM. That’s all we can do.”

“Did you feel tire wear was not an issue today and is that a problem?” One of the media members ask her.

“No practice, no rubber laid down, maybe that’s the problem – I don’t know. either way, it’s just a strange weekend. I mean, if the tires wore more, then maybe you could pass. But whether tires, or the motors just not getting the horsepower down, I don’t know but it was tougher than normal.”

She then watches Chase walk over, wrapping an arm around her.

“You did good considering everything,” Chase offers, giving her a quick kiss. “I’m proud of you as always.”

“I fought as hard as I could,” she comments, leaning on him a little. “I mean, I’m actually tired. That little track can take a lot out of you.” He then chuckles, ironic considering she was a bucket of energy earlier.

“Just imagine running 500 laps here…” She shakes her head no.

“I don’t think I could do that right now.” He then glances over. “And no, you don’t get the right to scold me now. I got what you were saying earlier.”

“It doesn’t look like you listened…” She just rolls her eyes.

“I am going to get changed. I need to go find my sweater.” The cold temperatures hadn’t let up, and he could tell that was bothering her.

“Stop by my hauler and grab my jacket. You can thank me later. Then maybe after qualifying, we can head home and sit by the fire with some hot chocolate.” He then gives her another kiss. “I am going to hang out here as qualifying is soon.”

“Do what you do best!” She then heads to the garage area, ready to get out of her sweaty firesuit.

Chase climbs out of the car, in a combination of disgusted and angry, in glancing up the board. How were they only 21st quickest? He then lets out a sigh as he looks over at Alan, knowing they’d be there for a good long debrief session. So much for that fire and hot chocolate.

He watches as the reporters walk over, letting out a sigh. Of course they’d want to get his thoughts on a crappy qualifying effort.

“What did you need during that round?” They ask, as if that answer wasn’t obvious enough.

“To go a lot faster,” he tells them.” It just wasn’t…” He then bites his tongue, not wanting to reveal where their struggles were “….didn’t do a real good job, just a lot of work to do.”

“What is the biggest challenge coming from the back of the pack?” He almost wanted to chuckle at the questions.

“Not getting lapped.” He then walks away, done with the interview, as he catches a glance from Sarina.

“You guys will get it working on Sunday and have a good ru-” She starts, almost rehearsed perfectly.

“Something is on your mind other than that,” he comments and she just lets out a sigh.

“I thought I saw Shelley in the garage area. I thought I saw her by my hauler, but yet next time I looked nobody was there. I think it was just coincidence, really, as it could’ve been anybody.”  He then places his hands on hers, looking into her eyes.

“But it was enough of something to get you spooked.” She then lets out a sigh.

“Do you blame me right now, though?” He shakes his head no.

“If it makes you feel more comfortable, we can ask for them to keep an eye out.” She almost wanted to welcome that, but also wouldn’t mind seeing Shelley again to chew her out.

“I can handle Shelley. I can take care of myself…”

With the crappy qualifying effort in the books, Chase made his way back to the hauler, meeting up in the lounge with Alan, Josh, and Tom to go everything once again. They had to find speed, and they had to find something that night if they wanted to do decent tomorrow.

Not having the motorcoach at the track, and not wanting to stick around elsewhere, Sarina had easily accepted the offer to head back with them. As the boys discussed everything, going over every note possible twice, she had curled up in the corner on the couch.

Between the coldness of the weekend, finally finding some warmth, and the tiredness of the race, it wasn’t long before her eyes were closed as the group glanced over at one point to see her asleep.

The meeting would go longer than usual, as Chase expected though, however the group believed they had figured out the best package to put under the car for tomorrow. Josh and Tom filtered out of the room first, ready to round up the crew to go out to dinner, leaving Alan and Chase.

“Do you want to come to dinner with us?” Alan questions as he puts everything away. Chase takes one glance over at Sarina, shaking his head no.

“I owe her a nice fire and hot chocolate,” he answers, earning a smile back from the crew chief.

“Is the pregnancy going smoothly so far, though?” Chase nods his head back in response.

“Dr. Grayson hasn’t seen anything that has her worried, and everything she’s had so far – leg cramps, morning sickness, it’s all per the course and easily handled. Although, I wish she’d listen to me and take it easy.” Alan could only chuckle at that attempt from what he saw.

“Sarina? Take it easy? That’s doesn’t come lightly.” Chase knew that, as well, but he wasn’t going to give up on his reminders for her.

“It just seems that she has this extra burst of energy as she wants to really finalize the last bit of wedding plans, combined with starting the nursery, and talking about other things. I keep telling her to slow down, but did that get me anywhere?” Alan shakes his head as he could already see Sarina protesting in his mind.

“I remember when Shannon was pregnant with the boys. She was the same way through the whole second trimester when we were expecting John, but yet it happened a little later with Austin. It’s totally normal for her to be experiencing that so don’t feel too caught off-guard. If anything, take advantage of it as you know there won’t be time between the wedding, and the final months of the pregnancy.” He then picks up his backpack, double checking everything was inside. “Make sure to lock up. I’ll see you tomorrow, and Chase, don’t hesitate to ask for advice – on any topic.”

“I’ll remember that.” Alan then leaves as Chase glances over at Sarina. As much as he was set to get out of there and get home for the night – thank you for a small flight, he also felt guilty in thinking about waking her up. A couple extra hours longer wouldn’t hurt anyone as he curled up alongside her underneath the blanket. “I love you….”

“I can’t believe you let me sleep,” Sarina comments as she sits before the fire on the couch.

She had ended up staying asleep for a half hour longer, before waking up and glancing over at Chase slightly confused. Though once awake, the pair headed out – grabbing her another Martinsville hot dog, before boarding the short flight home. Once they landed, they stopped for dinner before coming home.

“You were tired and I didn’t want to disturb you,” he tells her from the kitchen. “It doesn’t bother me.”

“You could’ve woke me up…” He then comes into the living room, sitting on the couch with her.

“I still feel that letting you sleep was the better decision. But now, I owe you something….” He then hands her a hot chocolate, complete with whip cream, before holding one for himself. “Hot chocolate and cuddles.”

“Nightmare before Christmas, as well?” He then lets out a sigh, knowing that she had bugging him about watching that movie for a whole week now.

“Fine…” She just grins in response as she puts it on, before cuddling up with him underneath the blanket.

Sunday, October 28 – Martinsville Speedway

Starting back in 21st, Chase began to make his way forward from the drop of the green flag, finishing 11th in the first stage. He would then move up to seventh in the second stage. Through the final stage, he tried to continue to move forward in fifth, though hit a brick wall with not being able to pass, ending up seventh.

“Top-10 after starting deep in the field has to feel good….” The media starts after the race and he simply nods his head.

“Yeah, it was just really bad, really poor execution on our qualifying effort and better in the race, but not near where we needed to be,” he replies. “So, I’m sure we are in a hole and probably going to have to win one of these next two races.”

“Do you feel in a way that you survived this, though?” Chase shakes his head no immediately.

“No, I need to win. I mean playing the points game is nice, but I need another sticker.”

He then walks away once done the interviews, catching up with the team as Alan glances over at him.

“I’m confident about next week after Kansas,” he tries to find a positive. “So I think we can get it done next week and then we don’t have anything to worry about.”

“I don’t mind that theory,” Alan comments. “And then when we make the Championship 4, we won’t have to worry about Joey.” Chase then looks over a bit surprised.

“Martin is that mad?” Alan nods his head in response.

“Quote unquote – ‘he may have won the race, but he isn’t winning the damn war.’ Does that sound familiar?” Chase nods his head, remembering his comments a year ago in relation to Denny.

“Truthfully, it couldn’t happen to a better person.” Alan chuckles a little. “I’m sorry, but Joey ranks low on the list – not as low as Denny, but he’s still an ass.”

“Can Matt Kenseth tackle his ass again?” Sarina questions, earning a couple chuckles from them. “I just don’t see Martin doing anything. He’s too nice in nature.” Alan then gives her a side-eye glance.

“Everybody said that about Chase, and we saw what happened at Phoenix,” he reminds her as Sarina smiles widely in return.

“That’s my favorite memory from that track!”

Tuesday, October 30 – Charlotte, North Carolina

“Are you sure that you don’t want to come?” Chase questions as he tries to get in the costume. Glancing in the mirror once again, he just shook his head.

“My legs are still sore…” Sarina offers, trying to get as comfortable as she could. She had been dealing with leg cramps all day, to the point that she had left KBM early.

“Okay, would you rather me stay home and take care of you?” Certainly cuddling Chase was the most comfortable thing, but she couldn’t ruin his night. Besides, Ryan and others were expecting him and they couldn’t let curiosity grow.

“I will be fine here. Besides, Lindsay is coming over as she doesn’t want to go.” Chase then pops his head into the room, trying to hide the bottom part of the costume.

“Then who is going to his beauty?” He knew that Ryan was dressing up ‘The Beast’ per a bet that Ryan lost to Darrell. He would’ve preferred that over this disaster, however a lost game to Ryan on Fortnite and a costume pick was in order.

“Dylan Smith according to Lindsay.” Chase had to chuckle as perhaps he wouldn’t look like the most ridiculous person there. “Can I see your costume, please?”

“I guess, although I’d rather have a princess to have to rescue.” She then looks on intrigued, though immediately breaks out laughing when he comes into full view, with Yoshi fully blown up. “Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. I’m sure that’s what everybody will be doing tonight.”

“I’m sorry but you look adorable…” He just rolls his eyes in response. “If you’re a good boy tonight, maybe you can have a princess to rescue when you get home.” He then walks over to the bed.

“Your offer almost makes me want to stay home…” He then leans in and kisses her lips, obviously with Yoshi’s head getting in the way.

“Your dinosaur likes kisses, too…” He just rolls his eyes, prancing out of the room as she just keeps on laughing.

Tuesday, October 30 – Whiskey River

There was no shortage of laughs throughout the night, as fans and friends chuckled alike at the costumes worn. Chase couldn’t get over how ridiculous Ryan and Dylan looked together, but the same could be said about his dinosaur.

“I have an idea….” Ryan comments as they leave later on that night.

“Is this a good idea?” Darrell questions, as Ryan glances over at him.

“Aren’t all my ideas good?” Chase had to laugh as he took in the costume that he was wearing. “Hey now, everybody complimented your precious dinosaur.”

“Careful, or he’ll stick his tongue out at you…” Chase then gives Yoshi a whack in the head.

“Nope, it doesn’t work like the video game,” he comments, pouting a little. “So what’s your bright idea this time around?”

“That,” Ryan states, pointing to the haunted house down the street. “Let’s do it.”

“Are you serious?” Darrell asks and Ryan nods his head.

“Scared of a Haunted House?” Darrell shakes his head no, as he looks over at Chase.

“He may be…..” Chase had to admit that he wasn’t the biggest fan of haunted houses, and he also didn’t want to stay out much later as he wanted to get back to the girls. However, he wasn’t backing down in front of his friends.

“I’m in,” Chase finally states, sending a quick text to Sarina that they’d be later than originally expected.

“Get ready to pee your pants!” Ryan states as they walk up, ready to pay and head inside.

It wasn’t long before they were inside that the screams began, with the first coming from Ryan as he practically jumped out of skin courtesy of a clown. The screams only continued as they made their way through the various sections of the house, only to be followed by others laughing at them in return.

As they rounded a corner, they got separated virtue of the different halls and each taking a different route. The rules of the game were simple – first one through wins, last one through has to buy the others dinner another night.

As Chase was set to round one of the corners, having avoided most of the frights so far, he feels a tug on the shoulder. He goes to reach back and pull the hand off, though feels something cold instead.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” he hears in a whisper, recognizing the voice immediately. “I’ve been following you all night, Mr. Elliott, and I’m glad that you came to see me. Scream for help and I’ll kill you. Is that clear?”

“Wouldn’t that end your games?” He questions, not even taking the opportunity to look back at her.

“That’d just begin another round with your sweetheart, and others of course….” He didn’t doubt that she’d do something like that, knowing her crazy reach stemmed large. “Come with me…..” Taking a deep breath, knowing his options were limited, he listens, following her through the black curtain.

Alison’s options were small and limited with her surroundings, but she had managed to find the perfect fun for them to have together.

“Ice water is a beautiful thing, dear…” She muses quietly in his ear, giving him a slight nudge in the back.

“What do you have in mind?” He questions, unfortunately following the instruction to enter the tank that was there. He could only hope that someone got curious soon, especially Ryan and Darrell in knowing how much longer he had been in mind.

“If you’re frozen solid, how can you ward off my advances?”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 47: Stratosphere 200

Friday March 2, 2018 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Bill walks into the hauler, smiling as he sees Chase walk out of the lounge, all set for practice shortly. He knew Sarina wasn’t there, having seen her head off as she was going to do a morning shopping run. That was welcomed by him, given the topic at hand.

“Well?” Bill questions, catching Chase off-guard. “Engagement ring. Did you get one?” Chase lets out a sigh, remembering their discussion a couple nights ago about buying the perfect ring, and spots to go look. He had also rambled off some proposal ideas, getting his dad’s thoughts on which way to go. Bill’s only advice in return was to be you, don’t try to do it too big, and make it special. It wasn’t much advice, but it helped narrow down the selection.

“I may have,” he teases as Bill gives him a glance. Chase pulls out his phone, unlocking it and going into his photos. He brings up a photo of a ring, showing his dad with a small smile. “It’s hidden righ-”

“Don’t tell me somewhere she’ll look easily.” Chase shakes his head no as Bill glances over the photo.

“She doesn’t go through my bags and I buried it in the bottom of one in a secret pocket for safe keeping.” Bill hands the phone back over with a smile.

“It’s really nice. Good job…” Chase smiles back, as he glances over the photo. He had gone with something simple, knowing that she wasn’t big for jewelry, but something that he knew would make a statement. “I can’t believe that my son is about to enga-”

“Just hold the thought because it isn’t happening overnight.” Bill crosses his arms, now confused. He thought a decision had been made and set in stone. “There’s a lot going on righ-”

“I thought we both decided that you aren’t letting Allison run your life anym-”

“I’m talking about Shelley and Chris. It’s no secret the thought of Chris being one step towards freedom, even just moved from jail to a mental institution, has her unraveled.” Bill nods his head, having heard the discussion last night from the pair of them about the series of text messages. He immediately made sure the right phone calls had been made to the lawyers, while Cindy vowed to do whatever it took to protect her baby.

“So now you’re going to let Shelley and Chris run your life? Chase, there’s always going to be something going on. Welcome to the life that you live, and the fact you’re both involved in this business. If you’re asking for a calm moment, you’re going to be waiting a long time.” Chase knew that, but in his mind, this was different than the normal circumstances.

“She’s afraid of engagement and marriage. I don’t want to set her off more than she is. That’s why I was thinking maybe I should wait until after this gets resolved.” Bill looks on shocked, shaking his head immediately.

“These court cases can take anywhere from a month, to six months, to a year. Do you really want to put it off that long? And besides, what if something else comes up after this?” Chase shrugs his shoulders as he looks back towards the photo again. He couldn’t wait to slip the ring on her finger, but it didn’t seal the deal in his mind.

“Then it happens. This doesn’t make or break the relationship for me, Dad. As long as we’re together, we can trust each other, and can see each other all the time, I don’t have any problems. I know everybody else wants to push the theory and say we should be engaged, but it doesn’t matter to me. I love her, and she loves me. If we’re both happy together, what does it matter?”

“You’re right, absolutely right. But remember what we talked about as well…” Chase nods his head, having been running everybody’s advice multiple times through his mind whenever he got a moment of uncertainty.

“I’ll see you after. I got to go to see Alan. Practice is soon.” Bill nods as Chase heads off, set for practice.

Once in the garage, Alan laid down the plan for the session, which was pretty simple. Start off with a run in qualifying trim, followed by doing a second semi-long race run. He was also set to jam-pack everything together in the 45 minutes they had, as a result of having to sit out the final 15 minutes due to a penalty after failing tech a couple times last weekend.

While last weekend at Atlanta brought frustration throughout the weekend, things started out much smoother as he was happier with the handling of the car through both runs and felt they were only a couple minor adjustments from being right there. Ultimately, he finished the session in ninth.

After a quick debrief with Alan and team, he was set to head out of the garage, knowing the next commitment of the day. He smiles as he comes out of the garage, seeing Sarina standing there.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” He questions, knowing she went on a quick shopping trip. She nods her head, giving him a kiss.

“Not a single problem at all, thankfully,” she answers as she wraps her arms around him. “Why can’t we just stay here like this?” He chuckles as he brushes her hair back.

“Because we both have commitments that we’re supposed to attend to…” She makes a face, followed by a sigh.

“Do you think NASCAR would be mad if I skipped the autograph session?”

“Do you think Las Vegas would be mad if I skipped the Q&A?” They both chuckle, heading out to the garage area together. “Don’t hold up my fans too long signing there. I don’t want them to miss my awesome answers.”

“Oh boy….” He just laughs back in return as they reach the stage. “Don’t take up all their time so they can come say hi at least. I love you.” She then kisses his lips, before heading off to the tent for the autograph session.

Once both of them were done their commitments, they made up before heading back out to pit road. The day didn’t stop there, with both of their qualifying sessions set to take place back-to-back.

“Care to make a wager?” She questions, catching his attention as he looks on curiously. “I bet that I’ll qualify better than you will.” He chuckles as he wasn’t surprised by the idea.

“You were better in practice, and it’s clear that the KBM trucks are where to be, compared to where I would like to be myself,” he answers as she crosses her arms.

“Are you saying that you don’t think you can qualify better? Are you giving on yourself?” He knew that she wasn’t going to let this go easily.

“What’s the stakes?” She thinks it over, a smirk easily forming on her face.

“The loser has to spoil the winner tonight after the truck race.” He knew no matter what, they both won in this scenario as it was clear where that’d lead to.

“It’s a deal.” They then share a kiss before she heads up pit road to meet up with Rudy and the team. Chase just crossed his fingers that Alan got the car tuned up as good as he thought they could.

It was no surprise when he saw her make it to the second round of qualifying, and he knew it’d be no surprise if she got the pole. As much as he wanted to win the bet, he’d have no issues in watching her lead the field to green later on that night.

“So Bubba, explain to me why my boy isn’t engaged yet….” Ryan comments as the pair walk up on Chase, and Chase can only roll his eyes.

“Bubba, explain to me why Ryan won’t tell you anything about Lindsay,” Chase counters as Ryan looks over shocked. “Yeah, that’s right, two can play this game. I know how close you two are whether you want to admit it or not.”

“Is that why he’s been missing our adventures?” Darrell questions and Chase smiles, nodding his head.

“It seems that he’s been texting his girl and talking to her on the phone as much as possible. I’m actually surprised that she’s not here this weekend.” He could see the bit of sadness on Ryan’s face in that mention immediately. “Another dance recital?”

“Yeah,” Ryan says quietly. “But she’ll be at the next two races.” Chase smirks as he glances over at Darrell, giving him a wink. “I saw that!”

“Like I said, two can play this game,” Chase comments as Ryan wraps his arm around his shoulders.

“So how about you answer my question?” Chase just smiles back in response as he pulls his phone out. He loads the same photo that he had shown his dad earlier, causing both jaws to drop in return.

“That’s beautiful!” Darrell lets out as Ryan keeps his eyes on Chase.

“So you did ask her?” Ryan questions and Chase shakes his head no.

“I bought the ring,” he starts. “Now it’s figuring out the best way to go about asking and do it.”

“Well, do it!” Darrell instructs as Chase lets out a sigh, taking his phone back.

“I will – when the time is right.” Both of the boys just nod their heads in return, before glancing at each other.

“Bachelor Party Planning Committee!” They both let out as Chase lets out a sigh.

“The last time I let you guys plan a party was my birthday party here in November, and I woke up on the rooftop,” he recalls as Ryan laughs at the memory.

“Admit it – you had fun, though,” Ryan comments and Chase couldn’t deny that as he smiles. “Look, I don’t want to make a sequel to the Hangover because, well, I’d have my ass kicked by both Lindsay and Sarina if I did tha-”

“Cindy, too,” Darrell adds, and Ryan nods his head in agreement.

“So I promise we’ll go a little crazy, but not that crazy…” Chase rolls his eyes. He didn’t even want to know what they were planning. He then focuses back on truck qualifying session rounds out, seeing that she had ended up fifth quickest on the board.

“Got my work cut out for me,” he comments, catching a glance from his friends. “Sarina and I made a bet, and whoever qualifies worse has to spoil the other.” The pair smirk back in return as Chase shakes his head. “I know, it’ll probably me spoiling her.”

“I don’t think you’ll be complaining,” Ryan offers as Chase resisted the urge to smack him as Darrell laughed. “Oh, we didn’t just come down here to pick on you. Do you recall the text message I sent? Are you coming with us tonig-”

“I’m not missing Sarina’s rac-”

“It’s after the race is over. Come on….” Chase lets out a sigh as he flat out wanted to say no, but hated to let down his friends.

“You know that I’m not into the same sty-”

“Come be nice and give it a try, for your best buddies.” Chase lets out another sigh, finally nodding his head in agreement to go as Darrell lets out a big cheer. “Now, go get yourself a good qualifying spot. You can start in second – right behind me.”

“Hey, what about me?” Darrell questions as the boys head off, leading to a simple shrug back in return from Ryan. “I see how this goes….”

While he was able to lay down a better lap than he originally believed in, he ended up sixth – which certainly marked a good way to start off the weekend, but not as strong as Sarina.

“I beat you!” She lets out as she walks over to him after the session.

“Guess I have to spoil you,” he offers, wrapping his arms around her. “Hopefully I’m spoiling a winner.” He then kisses her lips lightly. “It just won’t be tonight after the truck race.”

“Why not?” She felt an immediate wave of confusion as Chase glances down pit road, before turning back to her.

“We’re going out after the race.” She looks on now surprised. “Ryan and Darrell welcomed us to go see Saving Alexandra.” She was now back confused.

“When did you start to like screamo-rock?” He shakes his head.

“I haven’t, okay? Look, they’ve been bugging me for weeks about this and I couldn’t say no. they want me to give it a chance and come have some fun since we don’t hang out as muc-”

“I’m sorr-”

“I don’t regret a single moment that we’ve spent together, as I’d rather spend as much time as possible with you.” She smiles back in return. “They’re also friends with the band, too. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Absolutely not. If spending my night watching a group totally rock out and hang with those two means that I get to spend hundreds of nights with you, I’d do it in a heartbeat.” He smiles back in return, kissing her lips. “I just hope they don’t mind us being a little later than anticipated.”

“I’ll accept any yelling that they tell us in response, while sending Lindsay after Ryan.” Sarina just chuckles back in response as they head back to the garage area. A quick snack, and they knew it’d be time for the truck race.

Sarina stood on pit road, leaning back against the truck, arms crossed, frustration laced.

There was no denying that she had a quick truck and was able to run up front, actually winning the first stage. She also kept herself in contention through the second with a top-five. Although she started the last stage well, it all fell apart as a truck that was certainly supposed to finish in the top-five crossed the line in 12th after a pair of poor executed restarts.

Chase walks over, simply wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close.

“That sucked,” she states clearly as she looks into his eyes and he simply nods his head back in return, sympathizing with her frustration.

“You had a good tru-” he starts and she lets out a sigh.

“I had a good truck, I ran up front all night, but oh no I fucked up and finished 12th. That’s just great, right? On a night where I should’ve easily walked away with a top-five finish, I fuck up a pair of restarts and finish 12th. What do you call that shit?” Chase understood it was her frustration showing through as he rubs her shoulders.

“Take a deep breath, count to 10….” She tries to follow his advice as she just shakes her head.

“I just can’t believe that I did tha-”

“You’re still lear-”

“That was last yea-”

“You’re still learning, and there’s going to be tough lessons. Why does Kyle make it look so easy? Why can Johnny and Brett just go execute like it’s nothing? Simple – they’re both experienced. They have tons of laps under their belt, been in those situations before, and know how to work the truck draft to their advantage. You will get better with practice.” She rolls her eyes. “Sarina…..”

“It’s just annoying to watch good finishes just get thrown away like that!” He nods his head, accepting, as he continually rubs her shoulders.

“I know, I’ve been there. But take the good away from the night. You were able to run up front, have the speed, and you learned what you can and cannot do on a late-race restart. Now moving forward when you come back here, or go to Michigan, or Pocono, you will know what to do.” She lets out a sigh, slowly nodding her head.

“I just hate giving away finishes like that…”

“I know. Hey, here’s another bright side. You’ve got a couple wee-”

“I’d rather be racing every weekend.” He lets out a sigh, knowing how she felt about that, and could already see her escaping to run some late model events during these weekends. However, selfishly, he wanted her at the track with him.

“But your next race is at Martinsville. We both know how well you run there.” A smile forms on her face as she thinks back to her first career victory.

“You wouldn’t mind if we got another clock, would you?” He chuckles, shaking his head no.

“Everybody can use three grandfather clocks in their house – maybe even four.” She laughs back in response.

“I wouldn’t mind the added décor.” She then leans in, lightly kissing his lips. “Thank you.”

“How about we go get you changed, and get out of here?” She nods her head, accepting, as they head off.

As planned, they both headed to the concert with Ryan and Darrell as discussed. While it was clear that both Ryan and Darrell had the time of their lives, Chase couldn’t honestly see himself falling for that style of music. They were good, but he’d rather stick with his country.

But it all didn’t matter, as his arms stayed wrapped around Sarina’s shoulders all night as she leaned back in his arms, both of them satisfied with each other’s company.