Tuesday, December 4 – Hendrick Motorsports
Chase wraps his arms around Sarina’s shoulders, as they glance over the back of the Hendrick Motorsports property.
“What do you think?” He asks as she takes another glance around with a smile forming on her face.
“I think you made the right call,” she answers. “It’d be perfect.”
The pair had been talking about getting some proper engagement photos done before the wedding, to go along with the re-done RSVP cards to be e-mailed out this week with the re-done wedding plans in place. Chase also knew that Sarina wanted to get some images of them together as she continued to be further along in her pregnancy, now officially at the halfway mark.
“They brought me out here because NAPA wanted a more natural setting for some images, and the idea just came to me,” he starts. “The photographer even offered to take them for us, too.” She then looks over impressed.
“How did you manage to swing that?” She asks, and he just shrugs his shoulders. “You know how to spoil me…”
“I just want to do what I can for the lady that does so much for me, and I love so much.” He then spins her around so he could face her, letting their fingers intertwine together. “I know how much Alan and my dad were there through everything this year, but I don’t know if I would’ve gotten through that like I was able to without you by my side. You offer a certain amount of strength and love that I can’t describe to anybody. Maybe it’s the fact that you inspire me with how strong you are despite everything you’ve been through, or maybe it’s your determination rubbing off on me. Either way, I don’t ever take you for granted.”
“I want to let you know that the feeling is mutual, Chase. Like I’ve told you so many times, I don’t know if I would’ve become the person that I am today and been truly able to move forward from everything that happened without you to lean on. Because of your kindheartedness, I was able to open up to you like I couldn’t ever do so before. I was able to find a special trust in you that showed me it’s okay to be vulnerable, and open, and led to me opening up that trust barrier for others. I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.” He then leans in and kisses her lips. “And I can’t wait until I can call you my wife in January.” A smirk forms on her face as she thinks it over.
“Whether I say it as Sarina Elliott, or Chelsy Elliott, it does have a nice ring to it.” He had to admit that he was surprised by her second additional comment, as normally every other discussion she avoided any reference back to her original name.
She then gets changed into the dress that she chose to wear to last week’s luncheon, while Chase adorned a pair of nice jeans and a dress shirt. The pair shot a bunch of photos together with a bunch of different poses. The decision was then made to change, with Sarina adorning her banquet dress from last week as he was back in grey once again.
“You should’ve brought the dress you’re wearing Saturday,” Chase comments as he wraps his arms around her for one of the poses they wanted to do.
“Good try buddy,” she replies with a chuckle as he forms a heart with her fingers on her stomach. “You’ll see it soon enough…” She then takes a deep breath, rubbing her chest a little in between photos.
“Are you okay?” She nods her head, letting out a sigh.
“Heartburn all day. I don’t know if it was the tomatoes last night, or just pregnancy related, but it’s been acting up.” He then carefully rubs her stomach.
“Maybe if I calm someone’s jets, they’ll calm down for mommy.” Instead of calming the baby, a fury of kicks could be felt against his hand. “That’ll never old, ever.”
“That baby certainly loves your touch already.” They then switch positions, posing for another select group of photos. “You know, if you ever truly want to run the Chili Bowl, I have a friend that knows someone with a real good car and can give you some great advice.”
“Oh, so you saw my tweet back to Chase (Briscoe)?” She nods her head. “I think Rick has already opened up more than he wanted to in allowing me to run the Snowball Derby, which I thanked him for first thing I got here today. Now asking for a sprint car test and chili bowl, that may be testing the waters.”
“You don’t know until you ask, though…” While nodding his head in agreement, he was already pretty certain he knew where Rick stood on the subject.
“Considering how your truck racing went at Eldora, I’ve actually wondered if you wanted to give either a try…” A smirk comes to her face immediately.
“You should know the answer. I’ll drive anything with four wheels, no matter the car or surface. I already told Christopher that I’d be willing to accept a try at his midget.”
Wednesday, December 5 – FBI Center
The off-season was supposed to be a time of relaxation, but Chase had yet to find that in the first couple of weeks since the season finale. After going through a day of photos yesterday, he was now off to an appearance at the FBI Tactical Driving Center with Jeff Gordon for FOX Sports.
“So how is the wedding planning going?” Jeff asks as they head outside, ready to get everything started following the quick debrief inside. “I got your new invitation last night, and already sent back my answer. Ingrid absolutely adored the photos that you and Sarina did together, but I admit being surprised by the venue change.”
“An accidental double booking at the cabin in Colorado caused them to not honor our requested date,” Chase explains, still shaking his head at how everything transpired. “We didn’t want to change the date, so we went with changing the venue instead. It just makes sense doing it in Dale’s western town as the layout is right, it’s close to home, and security.” Jeff ultimately looked over concerned by the last mention.
“Is there still nerves there in regards to Alison?” Chase didn’t want to admit to that, however he would always worry with her lurking around undetected.
“She hasn’t been caught yet, right?” Jeff lets out a sigh, nodding his head. “She also has been lurking around, as evidenced by visiting Kyle before coming to Florida and leaving a present by the trailer to say ‘congratulations’.”
“I can’t honestly believe that they haven’t caught her yet considering all the places that she seems to have access to. I also can’t believe that she has gotten away with everything that she has.” Jeff then stops, reaching his hand out to Chase’s shoulder. “But you’re doing okay with everything, right?”
“Absolutely. I’m done with all the feelings connected to her, and letting her control everything. She doesn’t bother me anymore, Jeff.” Jeff knew that was partially a lie based on the comments earlier, but wasn’t about to push the issue at this time with others lurking around.
“I just want to let you know that if you ever need someone to talk to about anything, I am just a phone call or text away – no matter what.” Chase nods his head, accepting. “Now, let’s go have some fun and figure out who is the better driver – which is obviously me.”
“Are you sure that you’re not rusty in your old age?” Jeff’s jaw drops surprised by the remark as Chase just laughs.
“I see how it is, young pup. You just sit back and take notes on how a pro gets the job done.” Chase rolls his eyes, but couldn’t help but smile as it was going to be a fun day playing on the course set-up for them.
He also couldn’t help but take a deep breath, and know that this was a good educational experience as knowing what to do in a situation like this could be beneficial. He could never be too careful when it came to Alison.
Wednesday, December 5 – Kyle Busch Motorsports
Sarina takes a deep breath, taking a pause as she lifted the photo off of the desk.
She smiled, immediately remembering what race it was from as Brexton sat on the tailgate of the truck pre-race beside her. She places it in the box, before letting her eyes land on the second image. It was another moment of her and Brexton together, hanging out in the trailer between practices with some of his toy cars.
She couldn’t help but smile at the memories, but also thanked the young boy in her mind. Rubbing her stomach as she thought about those moments, it gave her faith that motherhood would come natural and she’d be able to do what was necessary for her baby.
With those images in the box, she found herself scanning the other images that had sat on her desk through the years. She chuckled at the image of her and Kyle at Martinsville together, before smiling widely in seeing herself and Chase in victory lane for her second win at Kansas.
She may have only spent two years at Kyle Busch Motorsports, but she’d made memories that would last a lifetime. More importantly, she had formed friendships that nobody could ever replace no matter what happened moving forward.
“Sarina?” She hears, catching her attention as Brexton stood in the doorway. She had been used to his visits through the years, actually welcoming them as times as they were a good distraction.
“Hey buddy,” she replies, immediately accepting his hug as he ran in the office, wrapping his arms around her like always. She then let go, eyes glancing back on the box to make sure everything was organized.
“Packing?” She then freezes, as she hadn’t expected the question. She looks over, nodding her head. “Why?”
“Come here and I’ll explain it to you…” She then walks away from the box, sitting in the chair as he climbs up on her knee. “So while I drove daddy’s truck all this year, next year I am going to drive a car for Dale.” She watched a little bit of confusion on Brexton’s face.
“So no be here?” Sarina slowly shakes her head no. “I like you…”
“Trust me, I like you as well, and no matter what happens, you’ll always be my little buddy.” She then pulls him even closer to her. “I’m just not going to be here every day like before due to driving Dale’s car instead next season. but I can promise you that each weekend at the track, you can come over and say hi to me, okay?” Brexton nods his head immediately.
“Sleepover?” She nods her head, accepting, with a big smile.
“Of course we’ll still have our sleepovers so Chase and I can tell you bed time stories, and eat smores with you. nothing is going to change, buddy. I will still spend plenty of time with you, okay?” He nods his head yes with a smile of his own.
“I love you.” He then gives her a big hug, which she easily accepts.
“Are you being careful Brexton?” A voice interrupts, as both Brexton and Sarina look over.
“Yes Daddy,” Brexton answers as he slowly gets down off of her knee.
“That’s good.” Kyle then walks into the office, letting out a small sigh as he looked over the empty desk. “It feels so weird being empty. I know you’re off to a great opportunity with Dale, but I am damn well going to miss you being here every week.”
“I can promise that I am going to miss being here, too. From the moments with Brexton, to the meetings in your office, to the times with the guys – it’s been one helluva ride, and I am going to miss it for sure.” She then walks over to Kyle. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity, and letting me drive for you.”
“Thank you for giving it everything that you had right to the end, and doing what you can do behind the wheel. You’ve improved so much since the day I hired you. I remember believing in your natural talent, but now you’re maturing into a polished talented driver. Keep honing those skills, and I can promise you’re going to go far.” He then easily accepts the hug that he knew was coming from her.
“And thank you for everything that you’ve done persona-”
“You don’t need to thank me, Sarina. You deserve every bit of happiness.” She then takes a deep breath, easily accepting the comment.
“The same goes for you and Samantha. You’re going to get your rainbow baby one day; I know that you’ll both be blessed, too.” He nods his head, accepting.
“So, is everything in the box?” She glances over the desk, before looking over with a nod.
“I can carr-”
“Chase would kick my ass if I let you handle doing this yourself down the stairs right now.” She then lets out a sigh as she knew that he was right. Perhaps she should listen to everybody and take it easy somewhat.
“I help?” Brexton asks, and Sarina nods her head as she picks up the final item on the desk. She takes it over, placing the diecast truck in his hands.
“Can you carry that down to parking lot for daddy and I?” She asks and he nods his head with pride. “Thanks buddy…”
They then head for the exit of the office as Sarina stops for a second, looking back with a sigh. She promised herself she wouldn’t get emotional, but there was no denying the tears that were in her eyes. So much had changed and happened in her life over the past two years, and a lot of that was thanks to what happened within these four walls.
Thinking it all through, it was almost unbelievable to think that she was getting ready to begin a new chapter. Not only would she be driving for a new team, but she was about to get married in a month while becoming a mother after that.
Rubbing her stomach, she knew it was going to be a crazy ride, but she was ready to enjoy the rollercoaster as it would certainly be worth it in the end.
“Are you coming?” Kyle asks as he and Brexton were halfway down the hall.
“Yeah,” she answers, shutting the light off and closing the door before heading down behind them.
Thursday, December 6 – Kyle Busch Motorsports
Even though she had officially packed her stuff and moved out of KBM the day before, Kyle and Samantha both insisted that she attend the Christmas party – which she couldn’t pass up. It was also insisted that Chase attend as well, having won the Snowball with the team.
“Come play with us!” Brexton instructs, tugging on both of Chase’s and Sarina’s hands after getting his present for Sarina at the craft table.
“Brexton, be careful…” Kyle warns, as he was trying to make sure that Brexton knew to be careful due to a baby growing in Sarina’s tummy as he was told.
“How about you and Chase go play together?” Sarina suggests, catching Chase off-guard. “I can’t go play due to the baby, but I know Chase would like to.” Brexton then focuses his eyes on Chase.
“Really?” He questions, and Chase nods his head, accepting, as there was no way to say no to a little boy before him. “Yay! Come on!” Brexton tugs at his hand, as Chase glances back at Sarina with a smile before heading off with the little boy.
She could only chuckle as Brexton led him to straight to the ball pit, getting him to join Todd and Harrison inside already with the other crew member’s children.
“Do you think I’m running a race team or a daycare?” Samantha questions as Sarina chuckles, snapping a photo of the group together.
“Whose having more fun – the kids or the drivers?” Sarina asks and Samantha laughs in response. “Actually, you’re never too old to play in a ball pit.”
“I’ll make sure to put one on order for your birthday party next year.” Sarina just shakes her head with a chuckle.
“It’s amazing watching Chase with Brexton…” Sarina takes a deep breath, rubbing her stomach. “I actually thought about something yesterday. I want to say thank you to both you and Ky-”
“Sarina, I’ve already tol-”
“No, but thank you for letting us spend so much time with Brexton. It’s really giving me a chance to believe more that I am ready to be a mother, and raise a baby of my own. I knew that Chase could do be a great father as he’s amazing, and has every single attribute perfect for it. However, I admit that I was scared and worried that I’d screw up; I’d repeat my family’s mistakes. Each time that I get to spend with Brexton shows me that it’s going to be okay.” Samantha wraps an arm around Sarina’s shoulders.
“Every first-time mother shares the same fears, and trust me, you’re going to have more fears. There will be nights that the baby won’t stop crying no matter what you do, and you’ll think that you’re the worst mother; however, sometimes, they’re just fuzzy and it’s hard to calm them down. I had the same fears that you’re experiencing, and I can tell you that they lasted through the first couple of months with Brexton.” Sarina lets out a sigh.
“How am I ever going to survive?” Samantha smiles as she looks over at the ball pit.
“Faith and belief in your own ability, as well as faith in your fiancé. I mean, he’s a natural with all those kids climbing all over him.” Sarina had to chuckle in watching Chase play with the group of kids still. “You also have a great support system around you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me and Kyle if you have questions, or Chase’s parents, or Ryan and Lindsay, or anybody that you know closely. It’s okay to be afraid, it’s okay to ask questions, and no matter what, you and your family will grow and be amazing.”
“Thank you, Sam. You always know the perfect words to say….” She then looks over at her. “Just promise me that we won’t’ lose this friendship no matter what happens.”
“Sweetie, you’re stuck with me for life now. We’re best friends and you can trust me fully that I will never give up on our friendship no matter what happens, and I will be here for you and Chase always. All you need to do is pick up the phone or come see me, and I’ll do whatever you need.” Samantha pulls Sarina even tighter to her. “You have my trust and love no matter what. I’m not going to leave you questioning that ever…”