The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 13: “I’m not running, ever.”

Sunday, January 7 – Michigan

The entire car ride from there back to the airport was silence. Lindsay nor Chase could muster a reaction to what Shelley said, nor find the words to comfort Sarina. Sarina, meanwhile, was lost in her own thoughts, ranging from disbelief to anger.

“If you guys need anything, don’t hesitate to call,” Lindsay offers as she stops at the drop-off at the airport. “Sarina, I mean it – I am just a phone call away. I’ll bust my ass down to North Carolina for you. And Chase, the offer extends to you, too. Thanks for a fun time in Puerto Rico.”

“As long as you promise to keep in contact with Ryan,” Chase comments and Lindsay just rolls her eyes. “Oh come on….”

“Just because you set us up on a date one night for your own reasons, it doesn’t mean you made magic.” Chase gives her a sad face and she just shrugs her face back in response. “Take care of my cousin.”

“Always.” Lindsay then looks over at Sarina.

“Bye princess.” She gives her a hug and Sarina just gives her a small smile in response, before grabbing her bag and beginning the walk to the plane. “Like I sai-”

“Don’t worry. I know how to get through to her.” Chase then follows her.

The silent streak continued, which was no surprise to Chase. He watched as she simply sat up in the seat as he went through checking things over, before getting set to fly out.

“We’re heading home, right?” She questions and he takes a deep breath. He knew that’d be the best option considering the emotions, but there were other plans in place. Maybe those were better off cancelled, though.

“We’re actually going to Georgia,” he tells her as she looks at him confused. “The game is tomorrow, so we’re going to my paren-”

“Oh, so while you go have some fun, you’re going to just ship me off to your parents?” Chase instantly looks over surprised as she takes a deep breath, closing her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like tha-”

“No, you have a point.” She was now a little confused as he takes a deep breath. “I just went ahead and made the decision of what to do tomorrow night while I went to the game without even consulting you. Meanwhile, you were the one who surprised me with the tickets and I care about you more than anything.” He then closes his eyes, debating how to express this next. He knew the waters were testy due to her emotions. “With how you’re feeling and everything on, I don’t want you to be alone tomorrow night – just in case. I just feel it’d be safer if you were with someone, and my parents were the first ones that came to mind. They’d do anything for us, and I know I can trust them.”

“I can trust your parents, too, and I don’t have a problem with it actually. That comment was more out of my own anger and spite for my situation.” Chase nods his head, accepting. “But we can’t just go to Georgia and stay there overnight. Remember we have the appointment with Samantha tomorrow?” Chase freezes, almost ready to go palm to forehead.

“I’m so sorry that I forgot about that. I was thinking about the vacation, Shelley, feelings, carin-”

“And your dawgs?” He shrugs his shoulders.

“Can you blame me?” She laughs, shaking her head no. “It just slipped my mind – not on purpose, though, before I feel this is really an important thing to do. I’ll text my mom and let her know we’re not coming tonight and we’ll go home as planned.” She smiles a little, as it was a better comforting scenario based on all the events today. “Anyways, you could stay with Kyle and Samantha tomorrow nig-”

“They’re leaving to head on their vacation. Let’s just say that Samantha has cursed the cold weather up and down.” Chase chuckles, not surprised.

“You can’t be as fashionable with a ton of layers, right?” She just rolls her eyes in response. “So for tomorrow night, though, it’s your choice. You could ask Ryan, you could ask Christopher, you could stick with my parents – anybody else you want, actually. Or, if you really feel comfortable and feel there will be no issues, you could stay home.” She thinks it over, pondering the options.

“Ryan? Are you kidding me? Have you not realized the annoyance that we have for each other very quickly?” Chase chuckles, nodding his head. “And by the way, it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually fun at times. But a whole night with him? Yeah, not happening. However, I do like the Christopher suggestion. He has been bugging to have a night to hang out and catch up since we last seen each other. So I will accept that offer before he flies out to Oklahoma for the Chili Bowl.” Chase smiles, glad that they found a compromise.

“And Sarina, I truly am sorry for that remark earlier and how it came out. I didn’t mean to offe-”

“Stop apologizing. It’s fine.” She then reaches over, lightly kissing his lips. “I love you, and I want you to remember that no matter what is going on.”

“I love you, too. I will always love you, no matter what happens or what anybody else tells me.” She then smiles as she sits back. “And when you want, we can talk about Shelley’s words.” Sarina nods her head, accepting. She knew the topic needed to be addressed, just like others at hand, but finding the courage and sorting out a way to describe it would be another whole challenge all together.

“I’ll keep that offer in mind, but I’m okay as long as I know you’re by my side.”

“I’m not running, ever.” She then closes her eyes, taking a long deep breath. “I’m sorry. That was terrible wording agai-”

“It’s okay, Chase. The intentions cover all the emotions at hand. We can go when we’re ready.” He nods his head, accepting, silently kicking his own butt to himself.


Sunday, January 7 – North Carolina

Chase lies back in the bed beside her, shifting over closer as she lays her head on his chest.

“As much as I love Colorado and Puerto Rico, it feels nice to be home in our own bed,” she comments as she rubs her stomach. “Oh man…”

“Sore?” He offers and she nods her head.

“Everything else has settled down or stopped, except the bits of pain – and tonight, it’s a little worse than other times.” He moves his right hand to her stomach, beginning to make small circles as she gets comfier against him.

“Stress, combined with moving around a lot would cause that. Just take a deep breath, close your eyes, and relax. I’m not going anywhere. My night is committed to you.” She does as instructed, falling asleep shortly after.


Monday, January 8 – North Carolina

Sarina gets out of the car, takes a glance over at Chase with a small nod of the head, before meeting up with Samantha.

“Hey sweetheart,” Samantha offers, wrapping an arm around her. “How are you?” Sarina takes a deep breath.

“Nervous,” she admits as Samantha rubs her shoulder lightly.

“I understand. I would be, too. At least you’re feeling better – and you actually look really good. Did you have fun in Puerto Rico?” Sarina nods her head as she glances back at Chase.

“I have to tell you later about the bird adventure we went on, and then the special dinner together.” Samantha looks back at Chase.

“Well well, you have a prince charming on your hands, huh?” Chase just smiles in response.

“I would do anything for her,” Chase comments and Samantha nods her head, accepting. She didn’t need re-assurance of that from that.

The appointment started off smoothly, as it was determined everything surrounding the miscarriage had gone accordingly, from the blood to no complications. With assurance the pain would subside over the week, a quick pelvic exam led to a bit of time to look over everything resulted in some nerves.

“So Samantha brought everything to me because you want some answers, correct?” Dr. Shave questions and Sarina nods her head. “That’s a reasonable request as I can understand the shock over what happened. Like she told you, though, it’s not a totally unique situation as I’ve seen it before. Now, I have looked over everything and I can’t say that we have an exact cause for this miscarriage.”

“Of course not,” Sarina comments as Chase simply rubs her shoulders. “I figured answers would make it easier to understand, move forward – but nope, I don’t get that blessing. Why would I expect otherwise?”

“It could be a blessing in disguise, though,” Samantha offers, catching their attention. “If there was no exact cause, that leads the door open for you to try again down the road – if you want to, and know that there will be no issues. Isn’t that comforting?” Sarina lets out a sigh and nods her head. Maybe Samantha was right, but that didn’t make this situation easier.

“I just don’t want to deal with this surprise, again…”

“The birth control pills that you are on – I would recommend changing them to another kind that has proven to have a better track record,” Dr. Shave suggests, writing a prescription as she talks. “And in the process of increasing your security measures until you are properly ready, I can include a list of condom brands that have been proven successful. I would then also just suggest taking a pregnancy test every couple weeks if it helps you deal with this.” Chase takes the prescription and list from the doctor, glancing it over. Anything was better than nothing in his mind, and he knew a repeat situation would cause way more harm than imaginable.

“What if that pregnancy test shows that I am positive?” Sarina then questions aloud. “What if this happens, again? I’m not ready to be pregnant or a mother, especially with my career of choice, but there’s no way that I could bring myself to get an abortion for selfish reasons.”

“I can assure you that following what we’re putting in place gives you a good chance – like 99% of it not happening again. Of course, with fears there, that’s a conversation to discuss with your partner here about.” Sarina glances up at Chase’s brown eyes, and Chase just rubs her shoulders.

“No matter what, I’ve got your back,” he tells her, leaning down to kiss her cheek. “We can have this conversation whenever you’re ready, but you have nothing to worry about. We can handle whatever happens together.” Sarina takes a deep breath, trying to get herself to calm down some, as she relaxes back in his arms more. There was no denying that he was her security blanket.

“Should Sarina decide to get pregnant in the future, do you see any reasons that may complicate things?” Samantha asks, knowing the train of thought was certainly lost on the pair beside her.

“Before she goes ahead with getting pregnant, I would recommend that she come see me once again,” Dr. Shave states, catching Sarina’s attention. “The only reason is I want to make sure the hormone levels are right, and I do have a concern over a possible uterus issue. While I don’t see signs of that being the problem this time around, your uterus isn’t the shape of a typical woman.”

“Well, she’s not your typical girl either,” Chase offers, trying to lighten the mood some, but only earns a look from Sarina.

“Uterine anomalies are responsible for about 10 percent of miscarriages, and what happens is what we call a uterine septum–miscarriage. Either the embryo doesn’t implant properly, or once implanted, it can’t get the nutrients from the mother it needs. The only correction for that is surgery, and then you may be required to be on bed rest or in the hospital during your pregnancy.” Sarina rolls her eyes with a slight laugh.

“And you think that’s my problem?” Sarina questions and Dr. Shave takes a deep breath.

“You’re not the typical shape, but I don’t see the shape being a problem as of right now,” Dr. Shave tells her. “I just want to keep a close watch on that, hence checking before you decide to go through with a pregnancy.”


“Hey, don’t get all upset about it,” Samantha encourages her. “Everybody is different and has their own challenges. Look at me and Kyle and what I had to go through. I can connect you with a ton of other woman who have faced challenges. No matter what, miracles can happen and if you want, it can happen for you when the time is right.” Sarina wanted to believe that, but alarms were sounding in all directions.

“How am I supposed to get a miracle when nothing else seems to be going right?” Sarina questions, causing a shocked glance from Samantha.

“Nothing is going right? What do you call an amazing, caring boyfriend that would do anything for you? What do you call an amazing opportunity with my team? What do you call winning at Martinsville? What do you call reuniting with your cousin? There has been a lot that has gone right for you.” Samantha then eyes Chase with a bit of confusion, as Chase just keeps Sarina held close.

“Ignore every single thing that Shelley said to you and delete it from your mind,” he encourages her. “I don’t want you to think about a single word that she said. I don’t care what she thinks. You did what you could, and had to do in the situation you were dealt. It’s not your fault how things turned out, just like this is not your fault either. Like I told you, no matter the battle, you can get through it and I’m here with you the whole way – I promise.” Sarina takes a deep breath, letting both comments consume her thoughts as she tries to block out everything else.

“It’s just tough sometimes, you know?” She tells them, and they both nod their head.

“Life isn’t easy,” Samantha tells her. “It throws tough moments at you so you can appreciate the highs that much more. It makes you think back and reflect, and be thankful. Just always remind yourself of those positives in the toughest moments.” Sarina nods her head, accepting.

“That was actually a pretty cool afternoon at Martinsville….”

The doctor didn’t have much more to say, letting them go with the note to call if they had any questions or concerns, and remember the advice given. Once reaching the parking lot, Samantha assured them both once again, while they wished her the best on her trip away, before separating.

“You know, I could skip the game tonight,” Chase offers as they get set to leave.

“You’re kidding me right?” Sarina questions, looking over totally shocked.

“No, I am not kiddi-”

“There’s no way that you’re skipping the game. This has been your dream to see your team in the playoff finals at home. You’re not skipping it, Chase.” He then reaches over and takes her hand with his own.

“You mean more to me than a football game. You mean more to me than a lot of things, actually. I would do anything for you. I wish I could just take away every bit of pain you’re feeling and put it on my shoulders, sometimes. I care a lot about you, and I’d hate to go to the game if you really need me tonight.” A small smile forms on her face as she takes her other hand and places it on top of his.

“I love you, and trust me – you are my world at times. I know there’s a lot of emotions swirling through my head, but you can believe that I will fine tonight. Christopher and I have already planned a variety of topics to talk about, along with a couple racing games, too. I will be fine tonight. You deserve to go have some fun and cheer on your dawgs.” The smile on his face now matched hers.

“Are you sure?” She nods her head. “Alright, only if you say so. But if anything comes up, text me and I will fly back instantly.” She nods her head once again.

“I’ll be fine, Chase. I’m a big girl.” He then puts the key in the ignition, heading out to the short drive over to Christopher’s.


The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 10: Vacation!!

Tuesday, January 2 – Secrets Papacayo, Costa Rica

Sarina lets out a sigh as she shifts a little in the chair, getting comfy as she looks out onto the water. They were certainly right – the change of scenery was a nice. How could you complain when you were looking out to crystal clear water on the perfect sandy beach?

“Hey,” she hears, glancing up with a smile as she takes the bottle of water, along with a pain pill from Chase. “How are you?” She looks back out to the water with another sigh.

“Sore, still cramping, still bleeding a little,” she comments as she takes a sip of the water. “I just wish it was over already.” He then kneels down to her level, placing a hand on her leg.

“It will be soon; just hang in there. They said it can last up to two weeks, but most times it’s less than that. We’re only a couple days removed, remember?” She nods her head as she looks back out to the crystal clear water.

“So, what’s on the docket for you today?” He knew her question was a simple diversion because she didn’t want to talk about the pain, or emotions – exactly what he expected to happen once they decided to take the trip. He knew eventually they would have to face it head on, and deal with the emotions. He just hoped that came smoothly, rather than a repeat of the past.

“My plans? I thought my intentions were made clea-”

“You’re not just going to lay around on the beach catering to me for the entire time we’re here. There was a reason why we planned this trip – certain sights and things to do. Like I told you at the house, I don’t need to be catered or babied. Enjoy your vacation as intended.” He knew she meant well, but to him, that didn’t matter right now.

“We just got here a couple hours ago, so I was looking for some time to relax first anyway. But, to your point, I’m enjoying myself. Any time I can spend quality time with you, that’s special to me. I want to take care of you, I want to be here for you, and I have no issue just relaxing right here beside you.” She smiles, knowing that he meant well with his words – and probably was truthful, too. But, she wasn’t accepting it.

“Fine, you can do that for today. But you better damn well promise me that tomorrow you do what you were originally planning to do while you were here – something anyway. I mean, what about the mountain bike trail? What about the national parks, or snorkeling, or even the surfing? You’re not just going to become a beach bum for me, Chase, and you’re going to damn well promise me that’s not happening.” He smiles, already having a plan in mind already.

“I promise you that I will take some time to have some fun with Ryan doing those things. By the way, you’re not going to be our beach bum either. I know how excited you were about seeing the animals, so we’re going to make it work to where you can come with us.” She then looks at him with a glance of surprise.

“Seriously? I can barely move right now at times.” Chase nods his head, feeling absolutely terrible for her.

“We can make it work. Remember, I’d do anything for you.” He then kisses her forehead. “I’m going to go see what is taking Ryan so long on getting the food.”

“I bet you he’s flirting with the attendant…” Chase lets out a laugh as he heads back to the lodge.

“Is she okay?” Ryan asks as they meet halfway, and Chase helps him carry the stuff.

“It’s bothering her, and she’s avoiding that discussion,” Chase answers as Ryan lets out a sigh.

“Maybe this was a bad ide-”

“No,  it’s fine. It’s actually alright because I can see a little happiness in her, too.” A grin immediately forms on Ryan’s face.

“Tell me that I was right, Mr. Elliott. please just say it…” Chase just rolls his eyes as Ryan looks over. “Oh come on, give me the satisfaction.”

“For once, a crazy interruption of yours paid off. Are you happy?” Ryan nods his head with the grin firmly there not fading a bit.

“But what about the emotions and discussion?” Chase stops, taking a deep breath as he looks over at Ryan. Sarina wasn’t the only person willing to shelf the idea for now.

“Maybe it’s not time for that, yet. Besides, the number one priority is making sure that she feels better.” Ryan nods his head in agreement as they continue walking out.


Wednesday, January 3

With relaxation still on the topic of the mind, the morning had started out pretty slow. The boys were going to head off and do something that day, but Chase didn’t want them leaving just yet. He had a plan first.

As they were passing the time with a quick round of Go Fish, a knock at the door saw the cards instantly be dropped and a smile cross his face.

“Do I want to know?” Sarina questions as Chase gets up and heads to the door. She then looks over at Ryan, who just shrugs his shoulders. “Do you even know?” Ryan shakes his head no.

“You made it!” Chase lets out as he opens the door, backing up immediately to let her in. “Surprise!”

“Lindsay?” Lindsay walks over, dropping her bag in an instant as she wraps her arms around Sarina. “What are you doing here?!?”

“Well, I was supposed to come see you in Charlotte but obviously, you guys took a trip instead so Chase told me to get my ass down here,” Lindsay reveals as Sarina looks back over at Chase.

“So you arranged this surprise, again?” She questions and Chase nods his head with a smile. “How did I ever get so spoiled with you?”

“You can thank me,” Ryan offers as he cleans up the cards, putting them away. he knew the game was officially over as the girls would be set to chit chat based on everything going on.

“All you did was piss her off that day…” Chase muses as Ryan looks back over his shoulder.

“But I did give you a reason for conversation, right?” Chase lets out a sigh as Ryan just smiles. “I’ll accept my you’re right Ryan whenever you feel like.”

“Is he always like this?” Lindsay wonders and Sarina nods her head.

“He’s been a bit of a vacation pest since he got back from Cuba,” Sarina offers, earning a ‘surprised’ glance from Ryan.

“Recall it was my idea to come down here rather than sit at home in the cold,” Ryan reminds her as she lets out a sigh, remembering the discussion. She still couldn’t believe that he managed to convince Chase. “Like him, you can give me payment whenever you feel like it.” She just flips the bird, causing a couple laughs around the room.

“Now that you’re company is here, us boys are off to explore,” Chase states as he grabs Ryan’s arm. “Consider this my way of getting him out of your hair for a while.” Sarina just smiles, blowing him a kiss.

“Be careful!” She shouts as the boys head out, set for a mountain biking adventure.

“So, how are you doing?” Lindsay questions, catching Sarina’s attention.

“I’m oka-” She starts and Lindsay shakes her head as she gets comfortable on the couch.

“Cut the bullshit, and tell me the truth.” Sarina lets out a sigh as she glances out the window.

“Sore, conflicted, emotional, sad, angry, confused – a complete mess at times, I guess.” Sarina then takes a deep breath as she slowly stands up, walking over to the window, glancing outside. “I didn’t even know I was pregnant, but yet here I am acting like that grieving mother who lost everything. It just doesn’t feel right.” Sarina then looks back at Lindsay. “Am I supposed to be this emotional over something that’s not even seeming real at times?”

“Absolutely. Whether you knew or not is besides the point, Sarina. It was a living human being. It had a heartbeat, and a soul. By you showing compassion and sadness, that just proves how sweet you are. Anybody would have your reaction. I mean, I’d be confused too because I’d want answers.” Sarina nods her head, accepting, as she looks back out the window.

“Samantha is taking everything to her specialist tomorrow to see if we can get some answers because she feels that’ll help us both moving forward. To me, I don’t know, but I’ll let her do it because maybe she’s right. I just….” Sarina leans back against the wall. “I felt where I stood with my relationship with Chase was finally where I wanted it. We were trusting each other, loving each other unconditionally, and fully in love. We had put everything behind us, focused on the future, ready for the next step. But yet, here we are….”

“Chase hasn’t given any signs that he doesn’t love you, Sarina. I don’t think this changes how he feels about you at all.” Sarina glances away as she thinks those words over. Chase’s unconditional love was there as ever. However, she wasn’t about to write everything home free yet.

“We haven’t faced each other with a true heart-to-heart, yet. We haven’t been able to talk about our future together – whether we want kids, how we’re going to handle this in relation to our sexual life, and how it changes if it does anything. He keeps hinting towards it, wanting me to reveal how I am feeling, and I just avoid it. I’m afraid of voicing that opinion. What if I say something that doesn’t fit what he wants and he’s gone just like that?” Lindsay stands up, walking over, looking at Sarina straight in the eyes.

“He loves you unconditionally. He has repeatedly said that you are his world. sure, a small disagreement in opinion may create a tussel. But sweetheart, here’s some news for you – life isn’t easy. You have to work at your happiness and earn it. You both need to have this discussion, talk about things, and work towards being happy. You need to work through the disagreements and finds a compromise or understanding. considering how strong you bot-”

“I run away from conflict. I run away as soon as things get tou-”

“But you’re stronger now, and you know that you can trust him because he will help you with your emotions. You ran before because of uncertainty. But now, open that door, have the discussion, and don’t run because in the end, you know you can solve your problems now. In the end, you both know you need each other.” Sarina nods her head, accepting, as she lets out a sigh.

“Look at us. You haven’t been here five whole minutes and I’m dumping everything on you.” Lindsay smiles as she takes in the same view as Sarina outside.

“That’s why Chase called me. He knew you needed me to vent to, and talk to, and share things with. He called me because he cares about you, and sweetheart, I’ve always cared about you.” Sarina smiles, knowing that was the truth. “That sand is so beautiful….”

“I was laying out there yesterday and it’s just amazing. The boys certainly picked the perfect vacation spot.”


“So everything is going okay so far?” Samantha double checks.

“She says it’s not any worse, and there’s no signs of complications,” Chase offers as he leans against the railing outside. Like he had done every other night, he was on the phone with an update for Samantha. It felt nice to have her talk to, in a way, as sometimes he felt himself suppressing his feelings in front of Sarina just as much as she was to him. “Now we haven’t discussed things much with regards to how she’s feeling emotionally…”

“Give it time, Chase. She’ll discuss it when she’s ready – just like you’ll bring it up to her when you’re ready, too.” Chase nods his head as he looks up at the stars.

“If I wish upon a star, do you think it would make it easier?”

“You can try, but you know that’s probably not the case. It’s meant to be hard and emotional because it’s not easy to go through uncertainty, loss, questions, and pain. You should know that from what you’ve experienced with her brother. I know you try to be the strong one for her – and that’s amazing because you’re right, she needs you. But Chase, just like we talked about the first night, you need to face your emotions just as much as she does hers.” Chase lets out a sigh as he knew that.

“Sometimes I’m ready to just let it go and tell her everything. Other times, I want to bottle it up and ship it away because I don’t want to make her pain any worse.”

“Maybe hearing those emotions, understanding that you sympathize with her, could allow you both to do what you need to do.” He thought about it, and debated it, as he glanced back inside at her sleeping on the couch. She had fallen asleep while watching a movie with all of them. “By the way, please tell your mom thank you. I got her e-mail with everything that I need in full detail so I appreciate that. Also, give Lindsay a quick thanks, too, as this gives us some place to start for Sarina.”

“It was the worst thing I could say out loud to my mom. I felt horrible, broken apart, lost in saying those words to my parents. Telling them was me coming to grips that this is reality, and I can’t hide from it Sam. It made me realize those emotions that I’m telling you about. And my gosh, the reaction from them surprised me. They were super supportive, willing to do anything, not even torn up a little bit.”

“Parents will do anything for their kids, Chase. They know you very well, and know what you need sometimes before you even know. Cindy knew to give you that assurance because she knew you needed it to begin to face these emotions, to then tell me, and next to tell Sarina.” Chase takes a deep breath as he thinks it over once again.

“Maybe tomorrow night. I think Lindsay and Ryan are going to go out for some time of their own. Maybe it’s time….”

“Don’t push it too soon just to do the right thing. You know yourself better than anyone so you will know the right time when that time comes. If that’s tomorrow, that’s great. If that’s a week from now after you let her get better, that’s fine too. Just as long as you totally don’t deny or avoid it forever.”  Chase closes his eyes, remembering the advice that he always gave Sarina.

“I’m not running Sam. I can’t do that to her. I know what it feels like to be on the other side of that, and it would crush her if I did it.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 9: “I feel every part of me just ripped apart”

January 1, 2018 – Carolina’s Medical Center – Charlotte, North Carolina

“Oh man…” Sarina lets out as her eyes open, causing Chase to immediately glance at her.

“Easy,” he says quietly, rubbing her shoulders as she glances up at him. “Good morning.”

“Hey. You didn’t move at all last night…” He shakes his head no as he gives her a kiss on the forehead.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, other than with my arms wrapped around you. Are you okay?” She then takes a deep breath and glances out the window.

“I’m still sore. You know, I dreamed that I woke up and last night was just a dream. I still can’t believe what happened. I still can’t believe what the doctor told me. I just don’t know what to do, Chase.” She then glances down at her hands, which were wrapped around her stomach, with his arms wrapped around her on top. “I’ve always been in control of everything in my life. Even when I was running from it, I was in control making those decisions. I knew what was at bay. But damn, I feel like the rug has just been pulled out.”

“Like Samantha said, it’s not your fault as it happens. You do a great job taking care of yourself, and it’s not your fault that you didn’t realize you were pregnant, or you went through this.” She nods her head, accepting.

“But now what? What do we do now?” He wasn’t sure of those answers himself, still feeling lost in what to do as his focus was solely just on how she was feeling and taking care of her.

“The first step is to get out of here, and the second step is to focus on getting you feeling better. I don’t care about the rest – as long as you’re okay; that’s my priority right now.” He then takes a deep breath, remembering Samantha’s other piece of advice. “Then we find out what we can about what happened, so we know. We see if there was a specific reason, and anything that we can do differently in the future. Then, it is up to us to make decisions.”

“Like, whether we want kids or not? Chase, you don’t realize. I haven’t even got a chance to think about my future because I’ve been focused on one goal alone and that’s making it to where I am. And now I am supposed to glance at that and ask myself what I want more?” He takes a careful deep breath, knowing the discussion wasn’t going to be easy no way they went about it.

“I understand because I’ve been in your shoes and know what that feels like. I’m not asking for you to give it up or debate what you want more. I mean, if we have this discussion and decide to focus on what we have now and maybe talk about kids say two or three years ahead, then that’s fine. No matter how the conversation goes, I will love you and support yo-”

“Even if I go against what you’re deepest desires are?” He knew that she was testing him out of her own fear, but he had to remain strong.

“I don’t even know what I want, to be honest. Hence why I brought up the conversation at the right time. But, I know that whatever we both want, we can find a way to compromise. We’re a team; we will always stick together.” She smiles, realizing that meant more to her to hear than she could’ve probably thought at first.

“And oh yeah, we’ll probably have to discuss intercourse and whether we should or not. I don’t want to get pregnant by accident again.” He nods his head, accepting, also wanting to avoid that situation.

“We’ll discuss ways to make sure that we prevent that as much as possible, too. Don’t worry – we got this.” She smiles, accepting. She watches as his hands leave her, reaching for his phone.

“Do I want to know?” He lets out a sigh as he reads through the latest batch of text messages.

“Everybody is just concerned about you. Kyle, Sam, and Christopher know the truth for what happened. The rest just think you had a serious stomach bug; I told them that you’d be fine after a couple of days.” She smiles, glad that he had come up with the perfect cover. “Do you mind if I tell Alan? It’s just, I want him to know in case caught off-guar-”

“It’s fine, Chase. You can tell Alan, and you can tell your parents. As long as we keep it on the down low, I don’t mind telling those who are closest. Besides, they say you should have as much support as possible, right?” He smiles, slowly sliding out from his spot underneath her.

“You’ll always have my support. I love you so much.” He then gives her a kiss. “I’m going to go tell the doctor that you’re awake, and then go grab us some breakfast. Maybe we can get out of here soon.”

“I’d be fine by that.”

After sharing another kiss, Chase goes down to the nurse’s station, letting them know she was awake – as the doctor had originally requested. He then heads to the elevator, taking the quick trip down to the bottom floor to the cafeteria. As he got off, he was caught off-guard by his phone ringing, but relaxed right away as he noticed the caller ID.

“Hey Alan,” Chase says as he takes a quick step outside for a breath of fresh air. Admittedly, he was more tense and caught up emotionally in everything going on than he probably realized. But, that wasn’t allowing to show through, since he knew he had to be strong for Sarina.

“Hey,” Alan replies. “Listen, I heard from someone that Sarina got sick at the Christmas party, and they took her to the hospital. Is she going to be okay?” Chase closed his eyes, leaning back against the wall, silently thanking anyone he could for his next set of words.

“Yeah, she will be.” Alan caught the hesitation in his voice, and felt his own concern growing.

“What’s going on, Chase?” Chase knew that Alan had caught the emotions without a doubt as he fought against the emotions that were involved.

“She was pregnant and didn’t realize it – till last night when she had a miscarriage.” Alan’s jaw drops immediately as he shakes his head. He immediately wished they were having the conversation in person, rather than on the phone. How did you communicate this over the phone?

“Chase, I’m so sorry…” Chase felt his eyes begin to get wet, taking a shaky deep breath, every emotion set to show.

“I don’t even know what to think, Alan. I’m trying to be strong for her because she’s just torn apart about it, blaming herself, feeling terrible, and thinking every worse thing she could no matter what we talk about. But I feel every part of me just ripped apart as I think about it.” Alan takes a deep breath, trying to find the words to say in response.

“That’s understandable. I mean, whether you knew or not, it’s a big loss for both of you to take in. And you’re doing the right thing being there for her, supporting her, and offering her advice. But remember – those who put up the biggest walls are going to fall the hardest. You should know that from helping her all this time. Don’t block everything totally out that you don’t help yourself. Let her see what you’re feeling, and give you that respect back in return. Also, I’m always just a phone call away as I am willing to hear you out and listen.” Chase knew that, and it was why he had asked Sarina if it was okay to tell him.

“Thanks, I appreciate that. I’ll try to keep what you’re saying in mind. I think because it’s just fresh, it almost feels numb and not real. Like, I’m in the midst of a bad dream.” Chase then takes a deep breath. “But I can do this, and I’ll be fine. Still, thank you.”

“You’re welcome – but remember what I said, okay?”



January 1, 2018 – Charlotte, North Carolina

“Are you sure you’re comfortable?” Chase asks, as he fixes her pillow for what seemed like the millionth time in the past 10 minutes.

After he had returned with breakfast and she was able to eat most of it, while seeing signs that things were slowing down some, she was prescribed some pain killers and allowed to go home – with strict instructions for bed rest until everything had ran its course.

From the moment they walked out of the hospital, Chase had been super caring. He had carried her into the house, laying her carefully onto the couch, before getting her all the pillows and blankets that a girl could love in that minute.

“I’m fine Chase,” she tells him once again, placing a hand over his. “Trust me – I’m comfortable. You can stop fretting, and take a breather. I appreciate how caring and how much you’re doing for me, but you need to relax a little. I’m okay.” He gives her a simple nod in response.

“Alright fine, but don’t try to hide it if you want something,” he offers, before listening to the instructions as he finally takes a break, sitting down in the chair. Though as his butt touched the chair, he heard a knock at the door. “Seriously? I told everybody that we just wanted to be left alone today and we were set on relaxing. Why can’t people listen?”

“It could be Samantha and Kyle.” Chase lets out a sigh, standing up as he goes to the door, opening it. Immediate surprise came over him as he just shook his head. “Who is it?”

“Oh you’ll never guess…” Ryan then enters the house with a bag in hand over his shoulder.

“Seriously?” Chase nods his head as Ryan slips his shoes off, before taking a seat in the living room across from her. “You just can’t stay away, can you?”

“I heard the news, and frankly, Colorado wasn’t doing it for me,” he offers as Chase smiles. He wasn’t surprised based on previous trips.

“You’re not made for cold weather,” Chase offers as he takes a seat once again.

“Anyways, I came here because I was worried about you, and also my bestie here. I wanted to come check in and see how you both are doing.” Sarina wasn’t buying it totally, as her eyes glance over to the bag.

“What about that?” She asks, pointing to the black bag as Ryan takes a careful deep breath.

“I don’t want to bring this up incase it’s off the tab-” Ryan starts, trying to tread carefully.

“Spit it out, Blaney!” Ryan then looks over, surprised.

“Recall, we were all supposed to go spend some time in Costa Rica.” Chase’s jaw drops as he immediately recalls the discussion.

“We can still go.” It was now Ryan’s turn to look at Sarina surprised as he shakes his head.

“Are you serious?” She nods her head.

“I’m supposed to rest as much as possible. Now, resting in a nice warm, tropical location would work perfectly for my recovery, I think. As I feel up to doing things, we can check out the spots that we talked about, but I can also take some time by myself resting while you boys drive yourselves insane.”

“Sarin-” Chase starts, unsure about the idea. He certainly wasn’t willing to push the envelope right now.

“Chase, it’s fine,” she tells him sternly. “We don’t need to changing and screwing up plans because of me. I can handle this and would tell you otherwise if I couldn’t. We’re going to Costa Rica as planned, and that’s final.” Chase then looks over at Ryan, looking for same back-up.

“It’s up to her and what she feels comfortable with,” Ryan offers as Chase just rolls his eyes.

“I’m still not sur-” Chase starts.

“You don’t need to treat me like some delicate flower or perfectly precious,” she cuts him off. “I will be fine. I know what I can handle and what I can take. Besides, if we didn’t go, I’d be damn well regretting that I didn’t take some time this off-season to get some vacation time in. So, I say we pack the bags accordingly tonight and fly out as planned tomorrow morning. No ifs, ands, or buts – this is not up for debate.” She then takes a deep breath as she glances up at the ceiling. “Besides, a change in scenery and pace may be what we need right now as we try to figure out everything.”

“Alright, fine, we’ll go. But the minute it gets to be too much or if a single problem arises, you’re going to tell me and we’re calling it off.” Sarina nods her head, accepting, as a smile forms on her face.

Despite things getting off to a rocky start, the evening went smoothly as the group enjoyed stories and games, while telling some jokes along the way. And knowing it was an early morning heading out, bed time came earlier than expected.

Chase carefully helped her off the couch, refusing to let her walk up the stairs to the bedsroom on her own, carrying her up the steps, laying her in the bed lightly before helping her change into some comfortable pajamas.

“I’ll be back in about 10 minutes, okay?” He offers and she simply nods her head, accepting.

“I’ll be waiting,” she replies, blowing him a kiss as he leaves the room.

He goes downstairs, stopping as he reaches the last step and sits down on the staircase.

Taking a deep breath, the emotions from earlier was beginning to re-surface. He thought through his own thoughts, combined with everything she knew she was going through.

Taking another deep breath, he knew going away to Costa Rica tomorrow was a way to avoid discussion, run away from what was happening. He cursed Ryan for being there and helping convince it, but maybe he merely gave in to avoid everything himself.

His fingers find the way to the phone in his pocket as he dials Samantha’s number, remembering that she wanted him to check in and keep her informed in how they both were doing.

The conversation went smoothly, as he stated how she was feeling a little better, and the slight details of the evening. He even made a point to tell her about the trip, which she actually stated it was a good idea as it may give them a distraction while they look for clarity; that gave him some comfort to his initial thoughts.

As they were set to be near the end of the conversation, Chase found the words to ask the question.

“Sam, what can I do for her?” He asks, still feeling lost on everything, despite hearing encouragement about what had gone on thus far.

“There’s not much, Chase,” she offers. “You just need to be there. Hold her, support her, cuddle her, wipe the tears, help her with the pain, just be you.” He nods his head, accepting. It still didn’t feel like enough, though.

“Okay….I just can’t believe this.” Samantha felt her heart breaking, as she remembered her own experience, while hearing other people’s stories. Why did this pull at her heart strings?

“I understand. When Kyle and I were having issues getting pregnant, I couldn’t believe it. How can I who is healthy fit as ever not be able to do a motherly function? It left me perplexed.” Chase knew there was only one response, and wondered one day if the same blessing would come his way.

“I’m so glad you have Brexton.” Chase knew that at the other end of the phone, there was a big smile on Samantha’s face. Brexton was her pride and joy, and he understood why.

“It took a lot of work. Which by the way, I do have a copy of everything from Sarina and I am going to talk to my specialists about it to see if we can have answers for when you want to have kids eventually – if you do.” Chase was accepting of that, actually curious as to what they could deliver. Maybe some answers would give them clarity moving forward.

“Okay.” Samantha knew the next question would bring some unrest, but it needed to be asked.

“Now, I do need to get some family history. Fertility, cancer, diseases = it can all connect.” Chase knew what that would involve – but how was he supposed to go about that?

“I can get that from my mom. How do I even tell her?” Samantha knew how close Chase and Cindy were, and knew she’d turn into extra caring mother immediately. Maybe that’s what Chase and Sarina needed, though.

“Patiently, slowly, carefully. Knowing how I’ve seen your mom with you, she’ll want cuddle and take care of you both.” Chase smiles, knowing that Samantha was probably right. “Now Sarina’s family….”

“Her parents are dead.” Samantha knew that already, remembering when Sarina came and revealed her back story to both her and Kyle for full disclosure. It’s why she so badly wanted to see her happy.

“…..and we can’t access Chris or Bethany.” Chase takes a deep breath, knowing there was maybe a way to go about this.

“Look, I’ve been trying to find her family. She just got reconnected with her cousin Lindsay, and the next step is her aunt Shelley, I believe. So maybe I could ask them for any information, possible.”

“Okay, that’s great. Anything will help.” Chase knew it was now more important than ever to put the final piece together.


“I know this is so tough to hear and handle, but you’re in good hands. You both are strong andd you’re going to make it through this, Chase. This is a way to get through this – even if it seems impossible at times. And you have a chance for your rainbow baby down the road. This is why I have bundle of joy. I know the right people. I know the different protocols and procedures. I know the struggles. When it comes time, don’t hesitate because of this. You guys can do it…” Chase felt a small smile cross his face in hearing her vote of confidence and encouragement. While he wasn’t sure about Samantha before, he knew he was right to call her and open up about this some.

“I believe you. I mean, Sarina has gone through so much already that if she wants that, she can do it. And Sam, a lot of people have wondered about you and Kyle and your love together. If you guys can weather a storm like this, then heck, you are meant to be and beyond perfect for each other. Don’t ever let me question you guys again if I do.” Samantha chuckles, but knew his words were true. There wasn’t a day that went by that her love wasn’t a fairy tale in her eyes.

“Hey, don’t sell yourself short. You and Sarina have been through a lot together. I feel the same about you guys.”

“Thanks Samantha. Look, I’ve got to get going as I promised her I wouldn’t be long. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, I promise.”

“Sounds good. Have fun in Costa Rica. Take lots of photos so Sarina can share ‘em with Brex.” Chase smiles, knowing how much Sarina loved spending time with Brexton.

“Absolutely. Goodbye Samantha.”

“Goodbye Chase.” Chase then hangs up, taking a deep breath, feeling a bit better about everything as he heads back up the stairs.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 8: “There’s no way.”

December 31, 2017  – Carolina’s Medical Center – Charlotte, North Carolina

“Nice to see you’re awake,” the doctor comments as Sarina simply smiles in response. “I’m Dr. Adams, and I’ve been in charge since they brought you in. How are you feeling?” Was that question even necessary at this point?

“Pretty sore,” she admits, hand continuing to rub her stomach, trying to ease off the pain.

“Are the pain killers helping that at all?” She nods her head, noticing that they’d taken away the worst of it. But still, there was no way she could get comfortable just yet. “That’s great, and they should to work more as they get into your system. Now, I didn’t want to say anything earlier due to patient confidentiality, especially on something like this. If you want, you can ask both of them to leave before I tell you what is going on.” Sarina immediately shakes her head no.

“They can both find out.” The doctor nods his head, accepting, as eyes of nerves focus on him in every direction.

“So we’ve discovered you had a miscarriage.” A series of jaws drop immediately as Sarina shakes her head in disbelief. That couldn’t be possible.

“What?” Chase and Sarina both say together, still caught off-guard.

“There’s no way,” Sarina adds as she locks eyes with Chase. They used protection and she was on the pill. They were always careful. It wasn’t like she had even experienced any signs of being pregnant, either, or else she would’ve taken a test and then proceeded to be more careful.  “I wasn’t even pregnant…”

“You must’ve bee-” The doctor goes to repeat as Sarina continues shaking her head.

“This can’t be true.” The doctor takes a deep breath as he glances between Chase and Samantha, before focusing back on Sarina.

“I assure you that is what is happening with your body, based on the pains, ultrasound, pelvic exam, and the beginning traces of blood.” Chase’s eyes immediately fall to his lap, noticing a bit of red on his pants. That must’ve seeped through her jeans while she was laying on him on the bathroom floor, and he hadn’t even noticed. “Now, there’s not much that we can do, except let it run its course, while making sure you’re hydrated and able to handle the pain. With that in mind, I am going to leave and give you some time to process, talk amongst yourselves, and then I will come back after and we can discuss options moving forward, as well as answer any questions.” The doctor then quietly leaves the room as Sarina just stares forward, continuing to shake her head. Was this really happening? Was she really starting the new year like this?

“I can’t even say the words….” Chase found himself in a state of shock and disbelief. He was glad that it wasn’t something more serious and she would be okay. But to lose a baby? To be sitting there and find out they had a child coming without even realizing? How was this even possible?

“You had no idea you were pregnant?” He double checks, almost worried that she had kept the news from him. Maybe she had been waiting for the right time to tell him, maybe she was scared of his reaction. But no, she would never do that because they had entered a stage in their relationship where they could trust each other no matter what happened.

“Absolutely not,” Sarina states firmly, and Chase nods his head, accepting. It was a far-fetched comment to try and give some reasoning to what they learned, but highly unlikely to give the answer he wanted.

“Did you skip a period?” Samantha wonders, confusion filling her as she kept her eyes locked on the pair.

“My cycle has been out of whack for a long time.” Samantha nods her head, accepting.

“Okay. But you guys knew to use protection, right?” Chase’s jaw drops as he immediately remembers the one night.

“Oh crap…” He lets out, as Samantha looks over with a little shock of her own. So this was no super accidental surprise? She thought the pair would’ve been more careful knowing what was at stake on all ends, especially after Kyle’s comment.

“Now that was when?” Samantha wonders, trying to hold her tongue from yelling at their lack of smartness here. She let her worry for Sarina consume her more than what was actually happening to keep that at bay.

“Beginning of October – but I had my period the week after.” Chase nods his head, remembering that weekend clearly. It was when he got his first dose of what really bad period cramps look like.

“The pains at Talladega,” he adds to give Samantha reminder. Samantha nods her head, accepting, remembering that weekend as they had Erik sit on stand-by for the race. Taking a deep breath, that eliminated the process of blaming them for being stupid. At least they were using all protocols necessary.

“Bu you could still had gotten pregnant since then,” she starts carefully, trying to piece together. “Sometimes condoms don’t worry as they can break, you know?” Sarina had heard the horror stories, and sometimes wondered in those extra passionate moments where the latex was standing up to the job. However, she still felt confused as she sat there.

“But I’m on the pill, and we’ve used the condoms every time, except once,” Sarina insists and Samantha nods her head, accepting. She appreciated the homework and due diligence by both, but knew what was possible. After all, she had done every bit of pregnancy research you could do when she wasn’t having any luck getting pregnant herself. Thankfully, the IVF procedure worked out for both her and Kyle to have Brexton.

“Some girls get a period for the first month even when they’re pregnant. Actually, there’s even a rarity out there of a couple having their periods right through a pregnancy. And while the pill is supposed to be fool proof on top of your condoms, I’ve read stories of that not working as planned, either.” She then walks over, placing a hand on Sarina’s leg to catch her attention. She could see how this was eating up Sarina already. “Listen, I know this is harder to accept and it’s confusing. But I know ladies who don’t realize they’re pregnant until the third month. So it can happen. The main thing is that you’re okay.” Sarina kept her eyes focused on the bed, wanting to let those words from Samantha sink in, but still feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt. How could she let this happen when there are girls who would just wish to be in the same position as her?

“I messed up…” Chase immediately moves his arms to her shoulders, wrapping them around her, pulling her into a hug, wanting to ease every bit of blame she felt.

“You couldn’t had known,” he offers as she looks over into his eyes.

“It doesn’t make me feel better,” she replies as the doctor reenters the room. Chase retreats back to his seat, hand still locked on hers, eyes drooping down as guilt and sadness reflected from her words.

“Did we have a chance to talk about it?” Dr. Adams asked and the group simply nods their head quietly. “Understandably. I am going to go through some things that you should know for your own sake. This is a process that can take anywhere from a day to 20 days in some cases as your body sheds everything. I would make sure to have panty liners and pads for the blood because you don’t know how long that can take.”


“I’ll be with you the whole way,” Chase assures her, reaching up for a kiss on the cheek, before focusing back on the doctor.

“Over that time, the pain should slowly decrease each day to where you have no effects,” Dr. Adams offers. “Now, you can either let this process happen naturally, or we can give you misoprostol, which will cause uterus contractions, to help speed it along quicker. You can also have a health care professional, whether myself or a fellow female doctor if you’d prefer, perform a suction curettage to remove everything manually. Would you be interested in either of these right now?” Sarina felt overwhelmed and confused immediately as she keeps her eyes focused on Chase, as if the answer was written on him.

“It’s up to you. It’s your body, and your situatio-”

“You’re partially to blame too,” she snaps, immediately freezing as she tries to take a couple calming deep breathes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out like that. I’m just frustrated, and….I don’t even know anymore…” Chase takes a deep breath, trying to let it simply roll off his shoulders, but she was right. He was responsible for getting her pregnant.

“It’s your body, though, so it’s whatever you want to do. But, as you’re right in the fact that I’m just as much a part of this too, I will be right by your side with whatever you choose.” She nods her head, accepting, as she tries to process everything through. Given the wide range of emotions, and the fact that she couldn’t be many months along, maybe it was best to just keep tings status quo.

“I’m going to try and go about it naturally, and then only go down that road if deemed necessary.” Dr. Adams nods, accepting, as he makes a note in her file.

“That’s totally understandable, and I’m sorry to put this pressure on you for decisions at this time,” he comments. “Now, during the process, if you find your blood increases or stays bright red, or you have a foul smell, or a fever, or the cramping doesn’t become any less, you need to come in immediately as something is obviously and clearly wrong. We are going to keep you tonight to monitor the situation before letting you go tomorrow, but this is for when you get home.”

“Lovely,” Sarina comments as she looks over at Chase. “We get to spend New Years in a hospital room. Aren’t you so excited?” Chase almost chuckled, but held it back as his worry was still pinged. What if they ran into one of those issues? What were they supposed to do? How would he handle it? After all, his normal calm collected self barely handled everything tonight; he would’ve been totally lost without Samantha there.

“As long as I’m with you, and you’re going to be okay, I don’t care where we are,” he offers as she just smiles back in response. As annoying as perfect love comments could be sometimes, it was nice to hear as it gave her heart comfort – despite the swirl that felt to be going around and around.

“Once you heal, I would wait four to six weeks before having any intercourse,” Dr. Adams continues and the pair nod their heads. Truthfully, with this scare having happened, they knew there were other questions to answer in the process. “And I’d wait three to six months before getting pregnant once again. Other than that, I have nothing else that you must know. Do you have any questions?”

“Is it possible to get a copy of everything?” Samantha asks, catching everyone off-guard. “And do you know the cause? I just feel it’s best for her for future reference.” Sarina smiled as it was nice to have Samantha there to look out for her, and do things that totally weren’t even in the midst of her thoughts. “I want to pass it along to my specialist so that way she can have some answers…”

“We cannot released without patient consent,” Dr. Adams states as Sarina looks over.

“It’s okay, she can do this,” Sarina replies, with a small smile. “Thank you..”

“I’ll bring you back complete photo copies in a bit.” Samantha nods her head yes as she watches the doctor leave the room.

“Know that no matter what, I love you,” Chase tells her as he goes back to rubbing her hand.

“I love you, too,” she quietly replies, keeping her eyes locked on him.

“You  know, you can always talk to me – both of you,” Samantha assures them and they nod their heads, accepting.


January 1, 2018 12:00 AM – Carolina’s Medical Center – Charlotte, North Carolina

As the clock ticked midnight, the pair of them glanced at each other with a smile.

“Happy New Years!” He tells her, kissing her lips, as he keeps his arms wrapped around her. After Samantha had left and he insisted that he wasn’t leaving her alone for the night, he had climbed up in the bed with her, allowing her to lay back against him in his arms. It had helped calm her some after everything.

“Happy New Years to you, too,” she replies. “Here’s to not spending much more time here, and to happier times.” He smiles, nodding his head in agreement. “I love you, Chase.”

“I love you too, Sarina, always and forever, no matter what happens.” He then takes a deep breath, reaching for her hand, letting their fingers lock together. “It’s going to be okay. We’ve got each other.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 7: New Year’s Party

December 31, 2017 – Charlotte, North Carolina

Chase walks down the stairs, stopping as he reaches the last stop and taking a pause as his eyes set on her. He just shakes his head as he walks over.

“You look absolutely amazing,” he compliments her as she just flashes a quick smile at him.

“Thanks,” she replies. As discussed, she was adorning her cowboy boots and matching jacket, combined with a white t-shirt and blue jeans. Despite the color of the t-shirt, the snowball around her neck still glowed like always. “You look good, as well.”

“I didn’t want to overdress you.” She then takes a deep breath as she looks back in the mirror once again. “Still not feeling that well?”

“Not really…” He then wraps his arms around her waist, holding her close.

“We can stay in if you’re not feeling that well and just have our own quiet celebration. We don’t have to go-”

“I’ll be fin-”

“You’re not going to enjoy yourself if you’re not feeling good.” She then takes a deep breath, thinking it over, before turning around to face him.

“It’s not that bad anyway. I’ll just take it easy, but trust me – I’ll be fine. Besides, it’ll be fun to meet up with everybody.” He smiles, kissing her lips.

It was a short drive over to Kyle and Samantha’s place, and Chase was the pure gentleman the whole way. After parking, he walked around and opened the door for her, holding his hand out to help her, before leading the way up to the house together.

“You guys are just so adorable!” Samantha lets out as she had been standing in the doorway watching them the whole way. She then gives them both a hug, as Sarina’s necklace catches her attention. “Help yourself to some drinks. Kyle is already in there talking up a storm.” Chase nods his head as he goes inside. Sarina goes to follow, but Samantha stops her. “Can I see that necklace up close, please?”

“Oh, this?” Sarina offers as she holds out the snowball away from her neck so Samantha can take a closer look. “Chase got it for me while we were in Florida for our anniversary.”

“It’s perfect.” Samantha then glances at the bracelet, taking Sarina’s hand with her own and having a closer look. “I love the bracelet, too. Both of these just fit you perfectly. He knows his girl well…” Sarina nods her head in agreement, watching Chase over Samantha’s shoulder. “There’s no other jewelry that I need to be concerned about, right?”

“Nope, just those two things – but it was a very sweet Christmas. By the way, I love your wedding photos that you’ve been sharing all day. They’re absolutely amazing. Kyle certainly gave you the wedding of your dreams.” Samantha beams in glory, nodding her head.

“He always makes me feel like a true princess. Everybody focuses on his negativity and roughness at the track, but when it’s just us, he makes me feel amazing, special, like his whole world.” Sarina smiles as she could relate with her and Chase. “Alright, enough chit chatter, let’s have some fun…..”

As the night went on, the pair found themselves amerced in all the fun. They caught up with Kyle and Christopher, before enjoying some dancing together amongst the crowd. Kyle had also invited other drivers, which led to more fun conversation during the night – including Cole Rouse wondering what Sarina’s late model plans consisted of for the new year on top of her truck series schedule.

The pair managed to get separated at some point, and Sarina was hating that feeling as the sickness she was feeling earlier began to grow some, along with a bit of stomach pain.

“Excuse me,” she excuses herself from the conversation with the mix of KBM crew members. She goes straight to the bathroom and leans over the toilet, taking a deep breath, but feels nothing coming. “Ugh…”

“Hey, are you okay?” She hears and turns around to see Samantha standing there. “I saw you disappear into the bathroom and you didn’t look so good.”

“I’ll be fine. It’s probably either just a stomach bug, or cramps. You should go enjoy your par-”

“I can’t enjoy my party when my girl is in the bathroom feeling terrible.” Samantha walks over, wrapping an arm around Sarina’s shoulders. “You don’t look so good.”

“I probably match how I feel.” She then lets out a small grunt as her hands find her way to her stomach, rubbing it, feeling the pain intensify that much more. “Oh man…”

“I’m going to get Chase.” Sarina didn’t have the energy to fight against it, and maybe going home would be a good idea as she couldn’t hide in the bathroom all night.

It didn’t take long for Samantha to find Chase, whispering in his ear to follow her to the bathroom. Chase immediately listened, going over to Sarina, who was standing with one hand on the sink, one hand on her stomach.

“Samantha told me you’re in pain,” he comments as he wraps his arms around her, holding her in his arms. “Are you okay?” Sarina lets out a sigh.

“It’s a little worse than earlier,” she tells him truthfully as he keeps his arms wrapped firmly around her feeling better.

“I called you in here because I’m thinking if she goes home and gets some rest, or if you even take her upstairs to my room she can relax,” Samantha suggests, earning a nod of approval from Chase. Though a glance at Sarina once again, and Samantha wasn’t even sure if that’d be enough. “Maybe you should actually take her in to get looked at….”

“It’s probably nothing,” Sarina offers immediately, not wanting anything to do with the hospital that night. “It could just be cramps. I may be getting my period.” Chase knew what she was like when she got cramps, knowing the extremes they reached. This didn’t appear to be that, but rather something much worse, and had him extremely concerned.

“This is worth than that,” Chase comments and Sarina immediately lets out an aggravated sigh. There was no way that she was going to the hospital, and she hated that Samantha wasn’t even getting to enjoy her own party.

“Regardless, sweetheart, you should go in,” Samantha coaxes her, catching Chase’s drift and figuring he knew when to panic with her and when to not. “They can give you something.” As the words slipped out of Samantha’s mouth, Sarina immediately began to feel a little faint, her legs giving out a little as Chase grabs onto her even tighter.

“Oh gosh….” Sarina lets out as Chase keeps a firm grasp on her, slowly lowering her to the ground as she sits now between his legs, arms still wrapped around her.

“I think we should listen to Samantha,” Chase suggests, not wanting to play around anymore as his concern meter felt pegged out of this world.

“Why is it so bad? It hurts so much…” Both of her arms wrap around her stomach, just below his, as a couple tears trek down his cheeks. Chase releases one of his arms, wiping a bit of hair out of her face, rubbing her cheek lightly.

“You’re going to be okay.” She relaxed more back in his arms, feeling as though the pain could consume her in that moment.

“Maybe we should call-” Samantha starts, unsure whether the pair could even get up together.

“Go!” Chase instructs immediately, feeling Sarina relying more on him as he continues to rub her cheek.

“Chase-” Sarina starts, as while she didn’t want to go the hospital, she certainly didn’t want to go to by an ambulance. That is always a great way to leave a party full of people.

“No, you need someone right now!” He then takes a deep breath, continuing to hold her as he rubs her cheek. He noticed her body begin to slump more against him, and could see the eyes slightly closing in the mirror. “Stay with me, stop drifting off. Just stay with me, talk to me, please.”

“It hurts so bad!” He felt like crying himself as he heard the pain in her voice.

“I got you, but you need to stay with me…” He thought he had the situation where he wanted under control, but the slumping feeling that he was feeling returned. “Sarina? Sarina?” No response from her hit every panic nerve that you could imagine immediately. “Samantha!!”

Samantha comes running back into the bathroom, phone in hand, with Kyle right behind her. Samantha continues to give off information that they wanted as Kyle goes over.

“They’ll be here soon,” he tries to assure Chase. “She’s going to be okay…”

Like Kyle told him, it wasn’t long before they arrived and had her bound for the hospital after a quick series of questions.

“I’ll be fine by mysel-” Chase starts as they head out and both Kyle and Samantha start shaking their heads immediately.

“She’s my driver, she’s my friend, and you are not doing this alone,” Samantha cuts him off as he lets out a sigh.

“This is your par-”

“And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, Chase. I’ll take you over.”

“Besides, I can hold down the fort,” Kyle adds with a smile as he puts his hand on Chase’s shoulder. “It’s going to be okay…”

It was a short drive to the hospital for Chase and Samantha, and truthfully, Chase was glad that she drove because he didn’t know if he could’ve handled the drive anyway. Once they arrived, they were set to head to the room, but instead found themselves sitting in the waiting room, per doctor orders.

After what seemed like forever – but was only about 45 minutes, the doctor came out and said that he’d have the results for Sarina when she woke up. But for now, they could go see her while she was given fluids and pain medicine.

That was all Chase needed as it wasn’t long before he was sitting by her bed, hand wrapped around hers.

“Samantha, if you want, you can go,” he restated once again and Samantha immediately shook her head no.

“I’m not going anywhere until I know that you’re both okay,” she insisted as he nods his head, accepting.

“Thank you. Not many people would give up their own party to be here.” She gives a sly smile, eyes focused on Sarina.

“I care about my drivers, Chase. To me, they’re more than just an employee, but rather family. That’s why even though Erik and Christopher are off to better opportunities, I’ll always be close to him. that’s why I still make sure to give Brian Scott a call here and there to check on him, too. It hurts me just as much to see her like this.”

“I just can’t believe it, you know?” He then takes a deep breath, closing his eyes for a quick second, though re=opening right away to focus on her. “It’s like one thing after another. We went from dealing with her brother, to Bethany, to Allison. We finally get everything sorted there, and get some quiet time to ourselves and even happiness with her cousin – and now we’re here.” Glancing at the clock, seeing the hours and minutes ticking down to the new year, he only had one wish. “I just want 2018 to go smoothly, without these hiccups, and for both of us to have the happiness together that we want. She deserves it, Sam.”

“I know, Chase. You guys will get your happiness and your fairy tale. By the way, I love the necklace that you gave you her.” He smiles, seeing the snowball sparkle even in this moment. “Actually, both the necklace and the bracelet are nice.”

“Did she show you the heart on the bracelet?” Samantha nods her head as she watches Chase take out his set of keys. “She got me a new key for my keychain to always carry with me. It only works on one thing alone, and that’s her heart – because she says that I have the key to her heart. In reality, though, she has the key to me in so many ways that I can’t even describe or even thought possible.” He then takes the key, placing it in the heart on her bracelet. “I never thought I’d fall so hard, and so quickly, in love…”

“Chase, look up!” Chase glances up, seeing her eyes flicker a little, before widely opening with her blue eyes meeting his brown ones. An instant smile crosses his face as she looks down at the heart.

“The key…” She says quietly and he nods his head yes. Before she could even say anything more, a sharp pain came to her stomach, causing her hand to immediately go there. If Chase wasn’t holding the other one, that would’ve been there too. “Oh man….Holy fuck….Damn it, where am I? What’s going on?”

“Hey,” was all Chase could muster for her, unsure of where to even begin after the events and emotions.

“Hey.” She wished he’d say more, but instead watched as his fingers traced her hand, followed by a kiss landing immediately.

“You’re okay, you’re awake…” She knew that, hence why they were talking. Why hadn’t he said anything else?

“My stomach….” Chase places a hand on top of the one that rested on her stomach, while continuing to rub the other hand. What else was he supposed to do with no answers?

“I know it’s sore and I know you’re in pain..” She almost wanted to smack him at this point; she would’ve if she wasn’t so caught up in his sappy emotions. Where were her answers?

“What happened? I remember I went to the bathroom with Sam..” Chase knew by those words that she didn’t even remember him coming to check on her, nor passing out in her arms. Certainly they had made the right call.

“You passed out in my arms, so Sam called an ambulance and brought you to the hospital.” Sarina nodded her head, accepting. That made sense based on the lack of memory and room surroundings. But still, he hadn’t told her what she wanted to know most of all.

“What’s wrong with me?” Chase takes a deep breath, wishing the doctor would’ve told him. Normally, the doctors would tell you what was wrong so you knew for when they woke up and had understanding. But to now sit there with no answers felt almost unbearable.

“The doctor said they’d tell you when you woke up..” Samantha debated leaving the room to find a doctor and say that she was awake, but didn’t want to leave them alone incase Sarina said something that Chase was left without an answer for. Focused on the pair, listening to their conversation, she had already developed a theory of her own on what the doctor would say – but immediately brushed it off. That couldn’t be it as if that was the case, she would’ve found out news before this occurrence.

“The IV…” Chase’s eyes immediately glance towards where it was pieced through her skin, his hand not leaving hers one bit along the way.

“Fluids and pain killer. Just the usual…” She nods her head, accepting, feeling frustration and worry creeping in as her eyes finally look away from Chase to see that Samantha hadn’t moved an inch.

“Sweetheart, you’re going to be okay,” Samantha comments, noticing the eyes locked on her.

“You should get back to your par-” Sarina starts and Samantha shakes her head no.

“I’m not leaving until I know that you’re going to be okay. It’s fine. Kyle has everything under control and I’d be too worried to party.” Sarina accepts, taking a deep breath, as she lies her head back against the pillow.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this….” Chase fought with what words to say, but didn’t bother speaking any as he watched the doctor walk in and give her a glance over.

Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 164: “Look, are any of you on my side?”

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….

“Good point….”

“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?”

“Yeah, whatever…”

Short Track Lovin’ – Chapter 129: Axaltra Pocono 400

Sunday, July 30 – Pocono Raceway


Chase lets out a sigh as he glances out the window of the motorcoach, tapping his finger on the window ledge. It seemed odd to be sitting there just a couple of hours before the race, but he had no choice in the matter this weekend.

He knew his body was still overcoming everything he put himself through the prior weekend. The fact that he woke up feeling a little sick that morning, combined with the random muscle spasm while getting dressed, were clear reminders. Well, that was if the pills he taking weren’t enough already.

He knew he made the decision to come that weekend to support Sarina, and rightfully so. He wanted to be there for her as he loved her a lot, and knew he would’ve driven himself crazy at home. But yet, sitting there that morning, the reality setting in that Justin Allgaier was going to drive his car, he didn’t know how to stomach the thought.

He fully understood the feelings people went through when they couldn’t drive their own racecars now.

“Hey, are you okay?” Sarina asks as she sits down on the couch beside him. He simply nods his head. “That doesn’t sound like you….” He then glances at her.

“I’d rather be dressed in my firesuit right now and getting ready to race than sitting here,” he comments as she lets out a sigh, reaching out to rub his shoulders.

“I know it’s tough. That’s why your parents suggested you stay home this wee-”

“I’m not regretting the decision to spend the weekend with you, one bit.” She smiles as she continues rubbing his shoulders.

“Trust me, I’m glad that you’re not regretting that as I love having you here. But, it’s those feelings that they were talking about.” She then pauses, glancing away from him. “And, like everything, that’s my fault…” He then looks at her confused.

“You didn’t do anything wro-”

“The only reason Bethany approached Allison was due to-”

“I accepted the deal, so with that, I accept the consequences. I’d rather deal with this than the alternatives.” She simply nods her head.

“You know, if you would’ve actually made the call to sleep with her, I wouldn’t have been too upset. I would’ve totally understood the fact that you had no other choice, and know you did what you had to survive – just like everything I’ve been through. It’s part of life.” Chase sighs as he reaches out for her hand.

“You may have been able to sit and live with it, but I never could’ve. It would’ve haunted me for months, years because I could never see myself ever doing that to someone. That’s why I made the decision that I did. I can deal with this – couple weeks feeling like crap is nothing new. But that, I don’t think I could.” Sarina sighs as she lays up against him.

“Have I told you today that you’re amazing?” He laughs and shakes his head.

“You’ve told me every day but today.” She then looks into his eyes.

“Well, I am telling you today, just like I’ll probably tell you tomorrow, and the day after that.” She then leans in and kisses his lips. “Whenever you’re ready, we’ll head out together. I just got to make sure to stop by and see Kyle and Sam. But, if you don’t want to head out, we don’t have too. I get it.” He nods his head, as he glances back out the window.

“I love my guys, and I said to them that I was here to support them. For that reason, I’ll head out and I’ll be fine. They’re going to do amazing. Justin is a good little driver.”

The pair relaxed there for awhile together, before keeping their word and heading out to the grid. They agreed to make their first stop at Kyle and Sam, before heading down to see his guys.

“Oh hey Kyle,” Chase says as he looks at the foam figure with a head twice as big as Kyle’s. “Whoops, you’re not Kyle.” He then turns around and looks at Kyle. “There’s the man…” Kyle could only look back with a face of confusion.

“Are you sure you’re feeling okay?” Kyle questions as Chase glances between the foam figure and Kyle.

“Does this thing creep you out at all? Because hate to say it, he’s creepy as ever.” Sam gives her nod of approval, remembering her first encounter with the figure.

“Hey, that thing is better than having myself as a blow-up doll or a dipstick.” Chase’s laughter immediately stops as Kyle just smiles. “Sarina, have you inquired about that doll yet?”

“Kyle!” She yells, giving him a smack as Chase looks at her with an intrigued glance. “I never ever did mention a comment about that before to him, ever, so you can tell him to kiss your ass.”

“I don’t feel like eating a terd before the race,” Kyle says as Chase just rolls his eyes.

“Well unlike you, my ass is clean…” Chase replies as Kyle looks over, surprised.

“How would you know such detail?” Chase thinks it over, knowing the options were limited on comments.

“It stinks…” Kyle then smiles as he leans back against his car.

“My fans would say different, especially when I’m giving them my famous bow. I shall show you that post-race.” Kyle then pauses as he keeps his eyes on Chase. “And to be honest, I’d rather be having the chance to run with you than Justin. You make it more interesting.”

“Comment appreciated, I think….” Kyle gives him a nod.

“Are you going to be good to go for next week?” Chase nods his head.

“We’ll get to see if I can figure out the best way to turn left and right.” Kyle smiles, having already proven that he could do that quite well.

“Watkins Glen is easier to drive than Sonoma so you’ll be fine.” Chase could only hope as he knew there’d be significant ground to make up after this weekend. “So you’re getting a Chase waiver?”

“Special edition one at that.” Kyle was intrigued as Chase remembered the discussion with Alan and Rick. “It was technically a track staff member that poisoned me so it’s fault of the series and track, right? So they said that they’ll credit me with Justin’s points and if I am still in the top-16 by either points or win, I get in.” Kyle almost felt like arguing the point made, and probably would’ve – if it was anybody else.

“If you dare win the championship, be prepared to get your ass kicked because you saw how people reacted the year that I did it.” Chase nods his head, remembering the reactions. “But, we won’t get to see that because I see a good future ahead.”

“Oh really?” Kyle nods his head. “To be honest, if the guys in the shop don’t figure out the speed we’re lacking, you’re probably right. I mean, normally Jimmie slumps in the summer, but this is ridiculous.”

“So if you’re lacking so much speed, how did Kasey win Indianapolis?” Chase shrugs his shoulders.

“They figured it out there, which gives me hope that we got more good stuff coming down the line.” Kyle knew the other teams were working to close the gap, but that didn’t mean he was ready for that.

“Well, all I can say is good luck because right now, I’m liking how things are.” Chase rolls his eyes.

“Of course….”

“Did you see this conversation happening and being so awesome at that?” Samantha wonders and Sarina shakes her head as she picks up Brexton.

“It’s actually amazing to be honest,” Sarina comments. “I mean, I didn’t see them getting along this well.”

“You’re spoiled…” Sarina nods her head, knowing that quite well. “And I think someone loves you…”

“You know, I’d babysit him whenever you and Kyle want a night out.” Samantha then looks at her surprised.

“Oh really? I didn’t picture you as the kid/motherly type…” Brexton laughs as Sarina tickles him.

“I’ve always loved kids, and they seem to always like me as I get along with them almost immediately. I mean, I could never see myself raising my own, but I am always open to watching someone else’s.”  Samantha almost asked her why she didn’t want to raise her own, but bit her tongue as she didn’t want to touch upon Sarina’s past. She heard from Kyle it wasn’t all roses, so she wasn’t sure where the boundaries lied.

“I’ll make sure to remember that because Brexton seems to love you, too.”


Chase watches as the race finishes, glancing over at Sarina, and giving her a nod.

The day hadn’t gone amazingly or perfect, but it was better than what they had seen recently with Justin Allgaier consistently running in the top-10 throughout the event en route to a solid 10th. He had been bullshitting Kyle earlier when he said he thought there was some better equipment coming down the line, but perhaps there was more truth than he realized there.

Taking a deep breath as he heads down the stairs, he couldn’t wait to get back behind the wheel himself next week.