Tuesday, October 31
Chase walks through the house, smiling as he enters the kitchen, wrapping his arms around her from behind.
“Something smells good….” He comments as she just smiles.
“Oh really?” She questions, before turning around to face him, lightly kissing his lips. “Well, I hope it tastes just as lovely.”
“I’m sure it will.” He then lets her go, so she can focus on dinner, going over to the fridge to grab a drink.
“Good day or bad day?” Chase glances over, shrugging his shoulders. Certainly the guys in the shop weren’t feeling peachy after the weekend, but things did go smoothly.
“Meeting goals accomplished, and ready to go kick some ass this weekend. I say it was a good day.” Sarina could see that easily happening, though her mind couldn’t help but wander.
“What about Denny?” Chase leans against the counter with a sigh.
“Not a single word spoken. But, I did receive a text and voice mail from him.” She then looks over surprised. “Something along the lines of an apology….” She then snatches his phone off of the counter, reading over the message, before handing it back over.
“I’m surprised you didn’t respond…” Chase shrugs his shoulders. He had thought about it initially, but there was no way he was going to accept an apology. You don’t lift someone’s tires off the ground by accident.
“Not worth my time, right?” He then walks back over, wrapping his arms back around her. “Besides, I have someone else I can focus on…” She just rolls her eyes.
“Did you get around to reading his apology on twitter?” Chase nods his head as he did load that when he went on to check college football updates.
Other than that, he had stayed away from reading everything else, knowing that the media was going to try and blow up the coverage to the extreme. There was no point getting warped in the midst of that?
“His apology was…umm….interesting….” Chase comments as Sarina immediately laughs.
“So that’s your response?” She questions as he shrugs his shoulders.
“It’s an interesting approach; I’ll give him that. However, Ryan is my hero.” She then looks on intrigued. “I was listening to his podcast and he goes, ‘I can kill an animal and apologize, but it doesn’t make a difference’ or something like that. Perfect! I literally texted him that I owe him ice cream.”
“So it looks like he’s getting ice cream and a basket of his favorite chocolate bars.” Chase shakes his head, not surprised by Sarina’s reaction. “Although Landon was pretty neat in how he broke down the race count factor.”
“Hence the interesting approach….” She just laughs as she focuses on finishing up dinner.
“After we’re done eating, we need to get changed. I did promise Brexton that we’d be dressed up when Samantha brought him by.” Chase nods his head, accepting. He had let Sarina pick out the costume of choice for the night, glad that it was better than what he wrote at Ryan’s party. They were going to simply be Mickey and Minnie for the night. “I still can’t believe Kyle is missing Halloween….”
“SEMA could’ve easily planned the show for another weekend.” Sarina nods her head in agreement.
They hear a knock on the door, both glancing at each other with a smile. They had finished dinner, got into their costumes, and been relaxing. Samantha had sent them a warning text that she was on her way over, and they knew that little knock belonged to a little hand. Sarina opens the door, with Chase popping out from behind her.
“Hey!” Sarina says as she smiles at the costumes by both Samantha and Brexton.
“Wow….” Chase comments in surprise as he looks at them. He never would’ve expected them to be done up based on the movie Psycho.
“Trick or treat!” Brexton says as Sabrina continues looking back, smiling. She then reaches back behind the door, grabbing the giant chocolate racecar, handing it over. “Cool! Thank you!” Brexton immediately gives Sarina a hug.
“You both look awesome,” Sabrina comments as she looks between Brexton and Samantha. “I never would’ve expected that costume…..”
“Kyle and I watched the movie a couple weeks ago,” Samantha explains. “I just fell in love immediately and knew it’d be perfect. I texted Kyle some photos and he’s just in pure joy.”
“I would be too as your make-up is perfect!” Samantha twirls around with a smile.
“You a cutie,” Brexton says as Sarina looks down at him, giving him another big hug.
“You’re always a sweetheart,” Sarina replies.
The pair embarked in some conversation, ranging from Kyle’s messages about SEMA to reflections on Sarina’s big win at Martinsville. From laughs to smiles, everything was going smooth as could be.
“Have you talked to Denny yet?” Samantha then asks mid-conversation, and Chase could only sigh. He figured she’d eventually bring it up given how Kyle and Denny were teammates.
“Sam, I’d rather not talk about this-”
“You know, I don’t think Denny really meant to do it.” Chase rolls his eyes, having expected a comment like that, as well. Being teammates, of course she would see the positives in Denny and believe that he didn’t do anything. Besides, she’d dealt with her fair of controversy in the past, thanks to Kyle. It was never Kyle’s fault when he and Brad got together, right?
“Samantha, you can say what you want. It doesn’t change my opinion on what happened.” Sarina could see the tension in Chase’s voice, and felt bad that their Halloween fun was being ruined by this.
“I think we should change the topic….” Her voice trails off as Chase keeps his eyes locked on Samantha. Instead of just moving on, he knew something needed to be said.
“I don’t mind hanging out with you and Kyle. Actually, Kyle isn’t that bad once you get to know him as we can relate on a couple different levels. But, there’s certain spots to draw the line – and that includes Hamlin. I don’t want to discuss it because we won’t come to an agreement.” Samantha lets out a sigh, though she understood where Chase stood right now.
“Okay, that’s fine,” Samantha accepts as Sarina’s eyes lock back down on Brexton once again.
“I can’t believe how cute he looks!” Sarina lets out as she picks Brexton up in his arms, spinning him around which causes a big smile on his face. “So, are you going around visiting the various driver houses?”
“I figured since it’s just me and little man, and he’d probably get tired if I took him everywhere, that I’d just hit up certain spots.”
“I can’t say I blame ya….”
“You know, it’s strange how even Brad sent a text saying to come by, too.” Sarina and Chase’s jaws drop in shock as they never would’ve expected that. If there was one thing for certain in the garage area, it was that Brad and Kyle just didn’t get along – period, no matter what. Although, admittedly, Brad had tried to soothe things over a couple times.
“Really?” Chase questions and Samantha nods her head.
“Yeah, it’s weird,” she replies. “Him and Kyle still don’t agree on a lot of things – which obviously I get why Kyle is still angry with him. But Brad wants them to come to a truce, in a wa-”
“Sort of like agree to disagree?” Sarina questions, having seen some of Brad’s previous approaches to do so, including his blog.
“That’s what I meant! So he sent me a text saying he wanted to see what Brexton was going to be for Halloween.” Chase just shook his head in surprise, as there was no way to wrap his head around that. He could only wonder what Kyle’s response was.
“That’s strange….” Chase comments as Samantha nods her head.
“That’d be like Denny and Jordan bringing Tay-“ Samantha starts.
“Samantha!” Chase and Sarina cut her off immediately, as Chase just rolls her eyes.
“Sorry, you’re right. I should just let it go…” Chase nods his head, accepting. “Actually, I better get going. We need to make these stops before it gets too late. Thank you for spoiling my prince.”
“Anytime,” Sarina says. They watch Samantha and Brexton head off together as Chase just shakes his head over the whole conversation.
“Do you think Denny put her up to asking us about things?” Chase wonders, catching Sarina’s attention as they head back inside the house.
“No, I don’t think so. I think her heart is in the right place as she’s looking out for her teammate, and friend, but just not realizing where you stand.” Chase could accept that as they reach the kitchen, sitting down across from each other. “I can’t believe I have to leave tonight…”
“Going to miss me?” She then looks over the table, giving him a look full of surprise. She had to leave late that night around 11 to catch a flight as she was taking part in Toyota’s big motorsports celebration day at their headquarters tomorrow. The manufacture was getting all of their drivers together to speak to the crowd of employees and interact with them.
“Obviously!” He smiles back in response, as he places his hand on top of hers.
“Just think – it’s only one day, and then we’ll be reunited tomorrow night before we head to Texas together. It’s just under 24 hours. We can handle it. We’re grown-ups.” She then laughs.
“Are you sure about that?” He nods his head as he leans across the table, kissing her lips.
“I’ll text you constantly if it makes you feel better. Just promise me you won’t kill Denny?” She then laughs even harder.
“I can’t that promis-”
“Sarina!” She then stops laughing, letting out a sigh.
“Alright, fine. I’ll behave.” She then focuses back on their dinner. “I wonder if Bell would offer to pay my bai-”
“Sarina!” She then looks up giggling as he rolls his eyes. “I mean it. I don’t want to hear any complaints from Joe and Kyle because you acted out of line.”
Wednesday, November 1
It had been a jam-packed day full of action from top to bottom.
The day started with the entire group assembling on stage, speaking to the crowd about a variety of topics. Sarina then sat and signed autographs for a couple of hours, smiling and taking pictures along the way. It was almost robotic like some employees were just collecting for the sake of doing so, but a couple of them caused bonus moments with some surprised she was a female, as well as some more congratulatory messages for her win. Their day was then completed with a tour of the factory.
With everything complete, the group was let loose and headed off separately, airport bound, ready to take the flight home and get back to their lives. Sarina couldn’t wait to see Chase later on that night, daydreaming about their hugs and cuddles already. Letting out a yawn, those cuddles were going to be perfect…
“Hey Sarina, did Chase get my text message?” Denny’s voice ruins her daydream, as she immediately rolls her eyes. She remembered seeing that message on Tuesday, chuckling to herself at Chase’s lack of response.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure,” she replies. “You’re talking about the one you sent after the race, right?”
“Absolutely. I also sent another one on Tuesday.” Sarina could only roll her eyes, as she had seen both of them – not that Denny needed to know that detail.
“Well, if he got the one, then he got the other.” Denny figured that as much, but was caught off-guard by having no response yet.
“Yeah, I guess. I was hoping he would’ve replied by now.” Sarina knew that was not going to happen by what Chase told her. Smiling to herself, it was time to have some fun as Chase hadn’t made her promise to not do that. She had just promised to not kill him.
“Denny, he is in no mood to reply to you.” Denny lets out a sigh, remembering the anger expressed. He had hoped that would’ve faded now three days later with reasoning setting in.
“Can you tell him that I asked, and still want to talk?” Sarina rolls her eyes, knowing that’d fall on deaf ears. She actually couldn’t wait for the laughs when speaking of this conversation.
“Sure, but I don’t see how it’s going to have any point.” Denny then glances over at her, surprised.
“Sarina, you know I’m a good guy. I mean, just ask Kyle.” Sarina then stops, eyes locked on Denny. Was this discussion seriously happening?
“Denny, you’re lucky it wasn’t me that you wrecked or else I would have punched you square in the face on the backstretch. To be honestly, you’re really lucky it was Chase because at least he knows how to be respectful.” Denny rolls his eyes, growing old of the threats. Why couldn’t people see that it was an accident?
“I did not mean to wreck hi-”
“But you basically lifted his ass entering the corner. As soon as you did that, you had to know what was going to happen. I mean, you’ve been racing long enough.” Denny knew how it panned out, but that was never the intention. Why was it different than what happened between Chase and Brad? Why was it different than moves pulled by other drivers in the past?
“It was just supposed to be a bump and run.” Christopher then stops walking, glancing back at the pair, with a laugh of his own. This was getting ridiculous.
“Really, Denny?” Christopher questions, catching Denny by surprise.
“Oh, so now you’re on her side?” Denny asks and Christopher nods his head. There was no question what happened was wrong.
“Absolutely. That was the dirtiest driving that I’ve seen since Kyle wrecked Hornaday in that truck race.” The whole group stops mid-way down the hall, jaws dropping around the circle as Kyle focuses his eyes on his young driver. Why was he the focus now?
“Hey! That’s ancient history,” Kyle comments. “Can we like refer to Kenseth and Joey instead?” Matt then crosses his arms. He was never part of the aggressive driver discussion, but now he was the second name mentioned?
“Hey! Logano totally deserved that!” Matt replies as Kyle thinks it over. Joey had been acting like an ass for quite awhile….
“But I mean, Chase got into Brad so really, he’s not innocent as you all may claim, either,” Denny interrupts, working back at defending his actions, as he focuses on Sarina. “I mean, being his girlfriend, you would know whether he’s totally innocent or not.” Jaws drop once again as Sarina resists every urge to punch Denny straight in nose as Christopher and Kyle both put a hand on each of her shoulders. Erik slowly takes his phone out of his pocket, set to record any punch that is thrown if one happens, knowing Sarina’s feisty side from the sort tracks.
“Do you seriously want me to kick your ass right now?” Sarina questions as Kyle just stands there, shaking his head. It was getting harder and harder to stand up for his best friend here…
“Denny, that was uncalled for,” Kyle comments as Denny shrugs his shoulders.
“I was just trying to crack a joke-”
“Very inappropriate.” Denny lets out a sigh, as he glances around the circle of surprised faces. He almost felt like he was on an island right now.
“Alright, fine, I’m sorry. Look, are any of you on my side?” Kyle lets out a sigh, shaking his head.
“I get being aggressive and doing anything for the win because you’re right – it’s ticket to Homestead,” he starts. “Hence why I got into you. It’s just I wouldn’t have done it like you did.”
“In my world, you crossed the line between respect and being an ass,” Christopher adds.
“You don’t want to know my opinion,” Sarina states, trying to calm herself with some deep breathes.
“I guess everything you’re all saying is well deserved,” Denny finally gives in, knowing he wasn’t winning the argument no matter how hard he tried. “Just let Chase know that I asked though, okay?”