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

Tuesday, October 30 – Charlotte, North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You don’t thin-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What about yo-”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I got thi-”

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

“I promise Ryan, I’ll be careful.”

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 30 – Carolina Medical Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 31 – Charlotte, North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 121: Bundle of Joy, and Fears

Tuesday, September 25 – Charlotte, North Carolina

The girls were spread out through the store, looking through racks of dresses. Per the recommendation of Samantha, this was the second store to check out possible bridesmaid dresses.

“Have you heard anything from Chase today?” Lindsay asks as she holds up one of the dresses she liked on the rack.

Sarina wanted to keep the wedding as simple as possible, so the only specification was the ladies had to choose dresses that were light blue in color to match the theme. Other than that, it was up to them in their full discretion as to what they wanted to go with. Chase had kept it simple for the guys, too, requesting black pants with a white or blue shirt; whether you chose to tuck that in was your choice.

“He says he’s happy once again,” Sarina offers. “He’s got speed at Kansas and feels confident about their chances there in October.”

“Did you get him any tips?” Samantha asks, remembering Sarina’s win from May there.

“He knows what he’s doing, Sam.” Sam just smiles as she holds up a dress.

“Is this too much, or just perfect?” Sarina glances over, giving a thumbs up of approval as a yawn escapes her lips. She knew Samantha would look good in it, while not being over the top either.  “Tired?”

“A little…” Samantha nods her head, accepting, knowing it was the par for the course. She glances around, making sure the other girls were invested in what they were looking at.

“You’ll find a balance as you go through the weeks in how much sleep you need and the baby needs. Just make sure to not push it, okay?” Sarina nods her head, accepting.

“I was already planning on taking a nap when we got back to the house.” Samantha wraps an arm around her shoulders.

“And just think, someone will home tonight to cuddle…” Sarina smiles, knowing exactly who she meant with that comment.

As the afternoon carried on, various dresses were tried on by everybody, with thoughts being shared as each look was displayed. Eventually, everybody had a dress chosen and purchased for the wedding in January.

The ladies decided to cap off the afternoon by going out for desert before heading home.

“Oh, Jimmie says congratulations Sarina,” Chandra speaks up as she keeps an eye on Lydia with her ice cream. The comment caught a couple odd glances around the table, with Lindsay and Samantha wondering if the news had been shared. It’d even caught Sarina off guard a little, though a smile formed on her face shortly after.

“Seriously?” Morgan then asks, increasing the intrigue from Samantha. “Christopher and you are racing against each other next year?” Sarina chuckles, nodding her head as Morgan wraps both arms around her for a hug. Samantha could only let out a sigh in realizing the news.

“Moving over to JGR?” Emma questions and Sarina shakes her head no.

“JR Motorsports XFINITY full-time,” Sarina clarifies everything, earning a couple more surprising glances around the table.

“I told Ryan that the rumor was true!!” Lindsay lets out, though feels a bit of confusion set in at the same time.

“Looks like Dale snagged another one of your superstars,” Morgan comments, as William Byron was the first of those to drive for KBM and then move to JRM in XFINITY.

“Recall that William drove late models for JRM first, though,” Sarina clarifies, as she texts Lindsay back in explaining the plan that was in place with her pregnancy after the glance of confusion.

“So you drive for Chase, head over to Busch, and then return back to the family you began with…” Chandra traces the steps as Sarina nods her head with a smile.

“I couldn’t turn down the opportunity when Kelley offered it to me. They have great cars, and I know I can drive in that series. I’m ready to go win some races next year.” Chandra then holds her milkshake up, having chosen to get that over a sundae.

“Here’s to a successful season down the road after a spectacular wedding.” Sarina nods her head in agreement, hoping that a smooth pregnancy was in the midst of that, too.

Wednesday, September 26 – Samantha’s Bundle of Joy Fundraiser

Sarina looks in the mirror, fixing her ponytail once again, before the shifting the dress over a bit.

“Need any help?” She hears as a head pops into the bathroom and she shakes her head no. “By the way, you look absolutely amazing.” She then turns to face him, almost biting her lip as she had to admit he looked great dressed up for that night.

“You don’t look so bad yourself,” she replies, before kissing his lips. She then grabs her klutch off the counter, following him as they head for the door and out of the house.

Climbing in the Tahoe, it was only a short drive over to Kyle Busch Motorsports. However, Sarina’s eyes found their way back to her phone as she looked over the series of text messages from earlier that morning once again. Sarina felt it was fair to let Chase know everything going on, but she also didn’t want to put more on his plate with the nerves over Alison’s escape.

“Are you okay?” Chase asks, reaching over to place his hand on her lap as they sat at the stop light. He could tell by how quiet and invested in her phone she was that something was off. It also fit how quiet she had been since getting home today.

“Shelley texted me this morning,” Sarina reveals, causing Chase to instantly roll his eyes. “She wanted to know if I’d be willing to meet up with her alone without you.”

“Seriously?” Sarina nods her head as she looks back down at her phone once again. “If I’m being honest, I’m not totally comfortable with you guys meeting up alone. Call me paranoid, but I don’t feel right with her due to everything that happened. I would personally make sure you have someone with you at all times.”

“Your feelings are understandable after everything that we’ve been through…” Sarina knew the comment wasn’t just coming from the Shelley situation, but the fact that Alison was walking around undetected by anybody as of yet. It had clearly brought reminders back of everything they’d been through. “I’m not afraid of her, Chase, as I don’t think there’s anything she could do to hur-”

“Do we really need to be taking chances, though?” She then lets out a sigh.

“I was going to add that to give you peace of mind, I wasn’t going to agree to a meeting with just her and I together. besides, the reason she wants to meet without you is a little ridiculous.” Chase was caught off-guard by the comment, almost wanting to look over in surprise but knew his eyes belonged on the road before them. “She feels that you’re being over-controlling, running my decisions and forcing the hand of what happened when she met up with us.”

“Have you ever let someone run your life before?” Sarina shakes her head no with a smile, knowing her own strength always shown through. “I couldn’t even do that if I tried. I mean, I may have come off stron-”

“Chase, I’m not saying that I agree with her or am thinking that she’s anywhere near right. Besides, I agree with how you came off and I would’ve told her the exact same thing with or without you there. You don’t need to prove yourself or worth about it to me.” Chase felt confident in that, himself, as he remembered the anger Sarina displayed after one of her phone calls with Shelley.

“So, what are you going to do then?” Sarina’s eyes find their way back to the phone as she takes a deep breath.

“I don’t need any other stress or worries right now with the baby, or with Alison running around. So I am going to do what I should’ve done a long time ago.” She then hits delete on the messages, before blocking the number. “She can’t communicate with me ever again..”

“Are you absolutely certain with what you did?” Sarina nods her head yes as they park in the parking lot.

They both climb out of the Tahoe, with Sarina giving her dress one final fix. They both then headed inside, Chase wrapping an arm around her shoulders as they make their way through the front lobby.

“Thank you for coming and supporting the event,” Samantha says as she walks over, offering them both a hug. “I appreciate you showing up probably more than you realize.”

“Everything that you’re doing and the strength you continue to show no matter what is amazing,” Chase compliments her, earning a smile back in return. “It’d feel wrong to not support you and Kyle after what you’ve done for us.”

“Besides, we know what it’s like for these couples,” Sarina adds as she glances around the room. “We’ve been there in the room hearing the news of a miscarriage. We’ve been there hearing the news that we cannot carry a baby.” She then instinctively places a hand on her stomach. “We’re also taking a chance of our own even after hearing that news, knowing the worries and nerves about what could happen.”

“Like I tell all of my couples, I truthfully deep down hope you get the blessing you both deserve,” Samantha says quietly so nobody else can hear. “And you have me for anything that you need, or any questions you have to ask.” She then offers another hug to the pair, before walking off to meet with others.

“Seeing the strength of everybody here, wanting to give them signs of hope, encouragement…” Sarina takes a deep breath as she leans back against Chase. “It almost makes me want to spill everything about my story here and now.”

“It’s up to you as alwa-” Chase starts, earning a glance in return.

“You’re the baby’s father, in both situations,” Sarina states. “It’s your call, too, Chase.” Chase wraps his arms around her, holding her close.

“If you want to tell the world, feel you have the strength to, and feel it’ll help, then I’ll support you the entire time.” He then kisses her cheek. “I’ll always be here to support you. I love you.” He then leans in and kisses her lips this time.

“I love you, too.” She then takes a deep breath as she glances around once again. “Maybe when we reveal the news in December, or maybe when the baby is born.” Chase nods his head, accepting. Truthfully, he could use the time to mull over the decision as he wasn’t quite sure if he was ready for everybody to know about the miscarriage, and the fall-out that’d come from that.

The couple couldn’t help but sit back in joy that evening. It was nice meeting the families that Samantha and Kyle had been able to help so far, and spend time with the kids that had born as a result. It gave them hope that everything was going to work out for them.

They also couldn’t help but smile, with Sarina almost crying, as three new couples found out that they’d be the next ones to receive the grant and begin their journey. It reminded Sarina of the initial joys she experienced in feeling her pregnancy, and realizing the steps that she was going to take.

The auction also raised a bunch of new funds for the charity, with Chase and Sarina ultimately bidding on some items and taking them home for a good cause.

As everything finished up that night, Chase and Sarina headed out to leave, passing by Kyle and Samantha with Chase slipping them a piece of paper.

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” he says quietly, giving them each a hug before walking away. Kyle was confused at first, but unfolded it, his jaw dropping as he looked up.

“Chase?!?” Kyle lets out as Samantha looks over his shoulder, her own jaw dropping in seeing the cheque that he had written for them.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” Samantha reads the note that was attached. “You’ve done more than you realize to help both Sarina and I, and we wouldn’t been able to get to this point without you guys. Let this go to good use, anonymously.” Samantha then looks up as she watches the couple walk out the front door. “She certainly found someone special in him.”

“I just hope it works out for them….” Samantha nods her head in agreement, as Kyle puts the note and cheque away, going back to hugging everybody as they left.

Friday, September 28 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

“Whose great idea was it to make this oval into a roval?” Chase questions as he walks through the garage area with Sarina in toe.

“The great people who run this track along with NASCAR,” Sarina offers the matter of fact answer as Chase glances over. “Seriously, what’s the big deal? You know how to run a road cours-”

“This doesn’t drive like no regular road course. I’d actually rather run anywhere than here for an elimination race based on testing.” She then lets out a sigh, placing a hand on his shoulder. It was clear that the fact they were closer to the cut-off line then they hoped with the issues at Las Vegas was plaguing his mind.

“You’ll be fine. Just do your thing and #di9 hard.” She then places a quick kiss on his cheek before letting him go as he walks through the garage stall to where the crew was standing.

“Alan told me to hide this, but it was by the No. 9 hauler this morning,” Josh says before walking away as he hands over an envelope to Chase. Chase only glances towards the crew chief a little, before looking back down at the envelope in hand.

“I probably don’t want to know what this is….” Chase muses as Alan walks over, looking him straight in the eyes. He then snatches the envelope out of his hand, tossing it on the shelf behind him.

“We both know that she’s loose, so you can guess that she dropped the note off,” Alan starts. “We know what her goal was always with the notes – to mess with your mind and thoughts. She would twist her words in whatever way possible to get your attention and make you think, double think, and question everything about you and yourself. It’s how she’d tear you down so she could make her move. I didn’t want Josh to give it to you because I care about you, and I didn’t need you thinking about what she said in that envelope.”

“So I’m just not supposed to care that she has once again been able to deliver me a note in a place where there’s supposedly security?” Alan lets out a sigh, not surprised by the defiance.

“I’m just saying don’t give her the power to twist your thoughts. We know the note is here. We’ve reported it to NASCAR and security. They promised me they’ll up their game for around us to keep watch on people, especially looking for someone of her identity. An official is also supposed to stop by and pick it up for evidence purposes, as well.” Chase didn’t feel confident in the steps taken, remembering everything that happened the last time that they supposedly had it under control.

“Whatever, I’ve got a practice to run and a track to figure out….” He then walks by the crew chief, making sure everything was in place in the car for the first practice coming up.

Each of his moves were being watched from the outside, as Alison just shook her head at the crew chief’s actions.

“It’s too bad that Alan wouldn’t let you see what you wanted to see,” she muses to herself before walking away, blending back in once again with the crowd. The crew chief’s move just meant that she’d have to change her game a little.

Chase couldn’t believe what he was seeing as he glanced up at the monitor. He had managed to escape making any mistakes during the full practice session, keeping the No. 9 on the tarmac. As a bonus, he was eighth quickest on the speed chart.

Perhaps the anxiety he was having about the event previously was pre-mature.

However, his mind was still wandering elsewhere as he couldn’t help but wonder what the note had said. He wondered if it built on what she had written him the last time, or whether she had taken a new approach. He wondered if maybe it laid the ground work or clue for what she was planning this time.

She was capable of murder. She proved that with the doctor being found dead. What if she was ready to kill? What if there was a clue about her next victim?

She was on the property and hadn’t been spotted yet. She was able to sneak around multiple tracks previously undetected for months on end. What if she popped up unsuspected when he wasn’t expecting it?

Taking a deep breath, he knew he couldn’t let his mind be consumed by those thoughts. He had to do whatever it took to protect his family – Sarina, and the baby – along with the crew guys as they’d done everything for him the first time around. It was getting mixed in her game that had been his downfall the first time, as she played every card perfectly. this time, she wasn’t winning as he held the Ace and he was ready to win.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 113: Kyle’s Perspective

Saturday, September 8 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“I don’t think I’ve seen this much rain in my life, ever,” Sarina comments as she glances out the window of the bus.

It was late in the morning, but the pair hadn’t moved. There was no point as NASCAR had already cancelled everything for the day, stating they’d try to run both races tomorrow with no practice, and the fields set by owner points. Therefore, Chase was set to start 11th in the Cup race, and 10th in the XFINITY event.

“I’m not complaining,” Chase says as he wraps his arms around her, with it not being lost on her that her hands were on her stomach.

“Oh face it – you’d rather be in the racecar right now than here.” Normally, that was an easy answer. However, as the news from yesterday still was stinking in, he had no complaints.

“I’m very comfortable here right now. I could actually stay here all day.” She actually wished they could do that as there was nothing better than cuddling together. However, the rain just meant other plans would go smoother.

“Kyle and Samantha are coming over, remember? Sam told him the news, and he has a reaction for me. Oh, and we need to go see the doctor.” Chase nods his head, remembering the plan. He was glad that Samantha was close friends with one of the regulars, and she’d be there with them each week with knowledge to help as necessary.

“Make sure that I don’t miss any appointment at all. I want to be there for them all, I don’t care.” She actually smiled in hearing that as she rolled over, kissing his lips lightly.

“On a brighter note, we don’t have to worry about condoms…” He chuckles to himself, before taking a deep breath.

“The stick said that you’re more than four wee-”

“No, it’s not a winner’s baby, Chase. The conception would’ve been sometime in July, into August.” Chase thinks back through, trying to place an exact spot as Sarina just rolls her eyes. “Oh come on, it doesn’t matter now….”

The pair eventually got up, getting dressed with Chase making breakfast. It wasn’t long after before there was a knock on the door, and they both knew who it was immediately. Chase simply opened with a smile, as he stepped back to let the pair in.

“Brexton has gone over to see his Uncle Kurt and Aunt Ashley,” Samantha informs them, knowing the question would probably come up. However, it was the furthest thing on the minds of Sarina and Chase as they sat on the couch together. “Now, isn’t morning sickness easier to deal with when you have someone to care for you?”

“Absolutely, but thankfully baby Elliott is behaving today,” Sarina comments, glad that Samantha killed some of the tension in her thoughts with a conversation breaker.

“I think that maybe due to you having that off of your chest to worry about. Stress isn’t good for the baby…” Sarina nods her head, having heard that a couple of times from others. It was why she was always on the keep Lindsay calm patrol when they watched races together.

“The rain may be a pain in the ass, but it’s helping with keeping things relaxed…” She then glances up at Chase, as he keeps an arm wrapped around her.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much rain in one location before..” Sarina chuckles, having said the same thing earlier that morning to Chase.

“It’ll be interesting going into tomorrow without a single lap of practice,” Chase finally perks up, as he keeps his eyes on Kyle. He was surprised at how quiet he was being.

“You at least have the XFINITY race to give you an idea of conditions,” Kyle finally joins in as Chase nods his head. That was certainly one advantage to being unexpectedly asked to drive for Spencer.

“I’m sure you’ll be stealing notes from Christopher and Ryan.” Kyle had to give Chase credit as he had read his mind perfectly.

“There’s nothing like getting a feel for it yourself, though.” Chase couldn’t argue with that, either. “So I guess congratulations are in order for you both. So congratulations on the pregnancy.”

“I swear we were trying every preven-” Sarina immediately headed down the apologetic road.

“Samantha already pleaded your case, Sarina,” Kyle cuts her off as Sarina takes a calming deep breath. “Hey, it happened; there’s nothing you can do now. Do I believe that you were taking those measures? I would hope so after everything. Does it matter? Nope, since baby showed up anyway. The only discussion we need to have is how to handle the situation.” Sarina knew that the next set of words out of Kyle’s mouth would determine her future. “Having seen the struggles of pregnancy firsthand for parents to be, from my own experience and helping Samantha with Bundle of Joy, I understand why you can’t go through with an abortion and would rather take your chances. In that regard, I do hope that everything works out for both of you so you don’t have to go through that heartbreak, again.”

“Thank you,” Chase and Sarina say together, nerves still swirling through Sarina’s mind.

“Sam, when you have the next gala, please let me know so I can help you out,” Sarina adds as Samantha nods her head in approval. “I totally get why you want to help these ladies, and I want to help as well.”

“I appreciate that sweetheart,” Samantha comments, before glancing back towards Kyle as she knew there was more to be said.

“Samantha told me that you still want to finish the season with KBM, though?” Kyle questions and Sarina nods her head. “And you’re in agreement with this, Chase?” Chase was surprised that Kyle called upon his opinion, as he was ready for the decision to come out and go forward from there.

“I know it’s risky so please don’t warn me of those risks,” Chase starts as Samantha bites her own tongue, having done that already with Sarina. “But just like me, you should understand where she’s coming from. That’s the competitive fire, determination, fuel to be the best that you can be. You realize the work and sacrifice it takes to get to where she is right in the championship fight. Could you just walk away like it was nothing? Could you have no regrets? I don’t want Sarina living with those regrets, so therefore I am onboard for her to do this. Regret can be worse than failure because it leaves so many unanswered questions. Regret can drive you into theories that make it so you can’t sleep at night. Sarina has been through enough. She doesn’t need those regrets lying on her shoul-”

“We’re not just talking about the baby anymore, are we?” Samantha interrupts and Chase takes a deep breath, shaking his head no. “Sarina told me some of the things that you both went through with Alison. It’s okay to still feel pain from that. It’s okay to still not be totally over that as it won’t happen overnight. It’s okay to want to vent sometimes. But Chase, I don’t care what you regret, it is not and never was your faul-”

“I know that now, Samantha.” Chase takes a deep breath as Sarina rubs his back, knowing this was a touchy subject. “I made the choice to go to therapy and it helped. I was able to reach into those emotions, address them and open the biggest can of worms that you’d never think possible. I know it wasn’t my fault. I know I can’t stall over those regrets because no matter what, Alison would’ve found a way; she was that crazy.” He then swallows the lump in his throat as he thinks about the letter that he still hadn’t chose to open from her. “I’m just bringing up that time, and those feelings so Kyle can see where my decision came from.”

“Thank you as it’s nice to see your perspective,” Kyle says as he glances down at the ground, still conflicted. “As your boss and team owner, I feel responsibility with this decision should something happ-”

“I accept all the risks, Ky-” Sarina interrupts, feeling that he was going to turn her down.

“I get that, Sarina. That’s what Samantha said you told her, and that’s what Chase just said to me. But, regardless, it’s still on my conscious.” Kyle hoped he didn’t regret saying the next words that he was going to say, but ultimately, he had decided upon this immediately after speaking with Samantha yesterday. “As long as you’re ready to accept the risks, I will allow it without any second guessing or holding you back. Like Chase said, I understand the drive to succeed more than anyone. I just hope I don’t regret it.”

“When there’s a championship trophy in the KBM shop, will you regret it?” Kyle chuckles, shaking his head no. “That’s what I plan to deliver you, boss. You’ve given me all the tools and more to get the job done. It’s now time for me to make you proud.”  Kyle then stands up, switching over to the couch with Chase and Sarina to sit beside her.

“Whether you win the championship or not, I am proud of you. I’m proud of how much you’ve grown since I met you. I’m proud of how much trust and commitment you’ve shown, and the relationships that you’ve been able to form after being so scared to trust a single person. I’m proud of the lady that you’re growing into.” Sarina wipes the stray tear from her eyes.

“Pregnancy hormones….” Samantha chuckles as Sarina immediately pulls Kyle into a hug. “That means more than you could realize coming from you. Thank you…”

“Just make sure that man over there doesn’t hurt you or I’ll have to kick his ass.” Chase just rolls his eyes as Kyle shares another hug with her before going back over to Samantha.

“I almost feel like I’ve been threatened by a fath-” Chase comments

“Older brother feeling, please,” Kyle interrupts. “I’m not that much older than you guys.”

“So who do we tell next?” Sarina wonders out loud as Chase lets out a sigh. Alan, Lindsay and Ryan were the easy choices being there that weekend, but his parents were high up on his personal radar.

“It’s up to yo-” Chase starts as Sarina just rolls her eyes.

“Every decision isn’t mine to mak-”

“The baby is growing inside of yo-”

“You’re the father so you’re just as much responsible.”

“Do you think Chase is letting her decide everything so he can pick the name?” Kyle wonders as Samantha just chuckles, with them not catching the couple’s attention.

“I am just wondering if it’ll be a boy or a girl,” Samantha adds as she glances back at Kyle. “Either way, they’ll be full throttle from birth with them as parents.”  Kyle glances over at the pair discussing things, before turning back to Samantha.

“Do you think they’d let their kid race?” Samantha nods her head as she couldn’t see either stopping their child. “Chase may get overprotective if it’s a girl.”

“I don’t want to think about a girl. Brexton may find a girlfriend.” Kyle’s jaw drops in shock as Samantha keeps her eyes locked on him. “Let that sink in….”

“I don’t think I could handle my kid dating a miniature version of them.” Samantha smiles as she looks back over at the pair.

“It could be worse, Kyle. Brexton could date Scarlett.” Kyle spits out his drink that he was sipping on, catching the attention of Chase and Sarina as Samantha just laughs.

“Do I want to know?” Chase questions as Kyle shakes his head no.

“Scarlett and Brexton together….” Kyle offers as Sarina feels her own tinge of sickness at the thought.

“It could be worse. Brexton could end up with Taylor.” Kyle then gives Chase a ‘really’ glance as Chase smiles. “Sorry, I still hate your teammate.”

“There are some days that I want to kill Denny, too.”

The joking continued into the afternoon, before the quartet made their way over to the care center for the meeting with the doctor.

Sarina and Chase had to admit that Samantha had a good idea, and Dr. Lee Carson certainly knew her stuff when it came to babies which would be beneficial. The group hit it off immediately, with the couple suspecting no issues moving forward despite the secret that was set to play out.

The bigger surprise, though, was finding out that Sarina was indeed very pregnant, actually eight weeks along already. Chase’s mind immediately had done the math already, smiling as he remembered the nice night at the beach.

“She’s a Daytona baby,” he commented out of blue as Sarina just rolled her eyes. “You took care of my ankle a little too well that weeken-”

“No more hauler sex,” Sarina responds with a theory of her own as Chase just laughs. “Actually, I take that back. Hauler sex is the best kind at times.”

Sunday, September 9 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“Is the track flooded yet?” Sarina asks as she glances up from her plate as she eats her omelet.

“If there was more banking than I would say yes and we should go canoe racing,” Chase answers as he sits down across from her.

“This better be the last day of rain. We’ve ran out of movies to watch, stories to tell, games to play, and let’s face it – we’re going to run out of food soon, too.”

“Well, that’s good as you need to make sure you eat since you’re eating for two.” She then rolls her eyes, knowing that was the first of many lines she’d hear over the next several months.

“I am going to try and keep my firesuit as long as I can before going a size up….” Chase shakes his head, as he knew that wasn’t going to last. “Damn, I am going to be fat…”

“You’ll still be cute.” She then glances over at him.

“You’d say that even if I was wearing a paper bag.” He nods his head yes as she just lets out a sigh.

“I’m sorry, but you’re adorable no matter what you’re wearing. Your inner beauty shines through..” She glances over with a smile. “And to be honest, you’re going to make an amazing mother.”

“You’ll be an even more amazing father. The sweetness that you’ve shown me proves that.” He then grabs his phone as it goes off, looking at the latest text message. “Alan?”

“I sent him a picture of the pregnancy test stick and he sent back asking if Kyle cut my balls off.” Sarina breaks out laughing, spitting her food across the table at him. “Oh, I see how it is…”

“I’m sorry…” She then chuckles as he flings a piece of it back at her.

“Food is meant for eating to feed the baby, not for usage as a weapon against your fiancé.” She smiled at the simple mention of ‘fiance’ as it just sounded so perfect. “He did offer his congratulations, and wished us the best given the circumstances.”

“Did you tell him about the full plan, though?” Chase nods his head, having typed that out in the last series of messages before this response. It was odd to share over text message, but he didn’t want to chance saying it in the garage area tomorrow as someone may overhear.

“He asked me if I had a bucket of tums ready, along with a stress ball and gum. I told him maybe for Talladega, but other than I’d be fine. He just said to be careful.” Sarina lets out a sigh as she glances down at her dish.

“So in other words, he doesn’t necessarily agree to the plan…” Chase shakes his head no as he sets his phone aside.

“Let’s face it – not everybody is going to agree with us because not everybody understand where you’re coming from, or what we feel as drivers. They haven’t been there through everything from rock bottom and where you started to where you are now. What have I always told you in these moments?” Sarina slowly looks up at him.

“To just believe in yourself, and remember you’re stronger than they think you are and do your own thing because you’ll do it right.” He smiles as it was nice to hear her recite it perfectly. “But what about if your parents argu-”

“It doesn’t matter to me, Sarina. All that matters to me is how we feel about this as it’s our baby, our decision.” He then reaches over and grabs her hand. “I love you. Stop worrying about everybody else. All that matters is you, me, and that baby.”

“I love you, too.” She then kisses his hand before he slowly lets go. “Now, I am telling Rudy when I get back to North Carolina. When are we telling your parents, Ryan, Lindsay, Kelley, and Dale?”

“We need to tell Kelley and Dale before they announce anything – if we’re at that point.” Sarina smiles widely, knowing that it was pretty much a done deal from their last meeting. “So we better say something soon.”

“We could tell your parents at dinner this week on Tuesday.” Chase glances out the window, before looking at her.

“If we get the race in on Monday, we’re going to JRM on Tuesday and then having dinner that night with my parents. We’ll follow that up with telling Ryan and Lindsay in Vegas.” Sarina nods her head in agreement.

“If we don’t get the race in on Monday, I say screw it, let’s go home.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 112: Pregnancy Decisions

Friday, September 7 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The girls sat at the dining room table in the motorcoach with the blue stick sitting on the table between them.

“Has enough time past by yet?” Sarina questions and Samantha nods her head, glancing at her phone to see what time it was. Sarina then reaches out, picking it up off the middle of the table, and glancing at the little screen. “Well, that’s no surprise….”

“Pregnant?” Samantha asks and Sarina nods her head as she sits the stick back down on the table.

“4+ weeks at that, so at least a full month along..” Samantha then picks it up and glances at the stick herself, before placing it back on the table.

“Say something, please….” Sarina then takes a deep breath as she looks over at Samantha.

“I want to be happy. I want to be like all of those classic mothers that you see who go, ‘Oh my gosh I’m pregnant’ and jump up and down and hug you, and celebrate. Then again, I can’t stop and think about everything. We took every precaution neces-”

“Sometimes it’s meant to be and happens no matter what you do….” Sarina already had that thought locked in her mind, and it was why the next set of decisions were set in stone.

“I was also told that I couldn’t carry a baby full term. Do you know what that means? This living thing is going to grow inside of me, and it may not stand a chance at living. Heck, one doctor said if you got pregnant, you should choose to abort and then really analyze these options.” Samantha’s jaw slowly drops in response to hearing that revelation.

“I’m sorry but no doctor, female or male, righteous or not, has a right to tell you to abort because of a fear based on scans due to a single miscarriage. Do you know how many people lose their first baby for no fault of their own?” Sarina glances back at the table, rubbing her hands across her face. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brou-”

“No, you had every right to bring that up. I need to discuss this and see every option, and realize everything on the table immediately before me. That’s why I took the test, right? So I could know and figure what to do.” Samantha reaches across the table, placing her hands on Sarina’s, which now rested on the table.

“You don’t need to decide everything overnight, sweetheart. You have some time before your next scheduled race, and you still need to talk it over with Chase. Don’t be rushing to something you’ll regret.” Samantha then takes a slow deep breath. “I know no matter what you decide, it will put you in a tough spot somehow, someway. I want you to know that I sympathize with what you’re going through, having been through my own pregnancy troubles. No matter what you do, no matter how it changes the future or whatever, there’s no pressure from me in regards to KBM on your decision. You do what you feel is best, and the rest will have to just fall in place somehow as I’ll make sure Kyle doesn’t argue – but I don’t see that, either.”

“I appreciate that, Samantha. Like I’ve always said, I couldn’t have chosen to drive for anybody else and have had such an amazing experience, from equipment to friendship. The friendship is what I’ll cherish forever.” Samantha slowly smiles.

“Yeah, I heard about you potentially leaving – but I understand you need to pursue opportunities, and I damn well hope you kick ass next year.” Sarina then glances down at her stomach.

“And now here I am pregnant as I finalize a deal with JR Motorsports to drive for them full-time next year. It’ll go over great with them that I’ll miss a couple months due to a baby on-board, huh?” Samantha could only hope that Kelley and Dale were as understanding, as she didn’t need things to be harder on Sarina.

“I’m sure if you go to Kelley and Dale and explain the situation, they’ll understand and give you some leeway. Dale is one of the nicest guys from what I’ve seen.” Sarina could only hope that now as she looked back towards the stick, knowing her decisions.

“So the first step is obviously figuring out exactly how far I am along, and getting official doctor confirmation. But based on what I am going to do, that’ll be a tough deal to do this weekend.” Samantha looked over a little concerned, but wasn’t about to judge as she wanted to make the process easy as possible knowing others would.

“I know one of the doctors that travels with the series every week pretty well from when I was pregnant with Brexton. I can talk to her, and perhaps we can get you in there and keep it just under the radar hidden till you want to say something?” Sarina nods her head, knowing that’d work perfectly given that there were still two months left of racing.

“I would appreciate that, as you’ll understand based on what I am going to tell you…” Samantha takes a deep breath, ready to hear the plan out. “I may be selfish with what I am thinking and I may be doing the wrong thing, and I know people are going to hate me. However, based on what I know, what people have told me, and how this may play out, I’m going to do this my way.”

“It’s your life, and your body. It’s also yours and Chase’s baby. The only ones who get to judge and decide are you both.” Sarina began to worry now, hoping that Chase would understand where she was coming from and just roll with it.

“I can’t just go ahead with an abortion. I can’t kill something that is half me, half-Chase. I would never forgive myself for that as here I am killing an innocent life that could easily live out to be the person who finds the cure for cancer, wins a noble peace prize – does whatever they want.” Samantha could easily understand her viewpoint on that situation. She would also deal with describing the situation to Kyle and the fall-out, whatever it may be. However, she had faith in her husband.

“Having gone through fertility issues, I sympathize with your viewpoint….” Sarina takes a deep breath as she rubs her stomach instinctively.

“There’s obviously science and images that state I shouldn’t be able to carry a baby full term due to the shape of my uterus. However, we’ve proven science wrong before, right?” Samantha nods her head, yes. “So therefore, I am going to believe in this baby in hope that he or she can make it work in there and grow, and be my pride and joy. If they have half the strength that their daddy ha-”

“And their mommy, too…” Sarina smiles a touch.

“They’ll be able to make it work in there. If the worst happens and I do suffer another miscarria-”

“Don’t even think or say it-”

“Trust me, I have 100% belief in this baby. But, if it does happen, I accept the consequences that come with that. I chose to take the chance, and if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. But like you said, sometimes it is meant to be and if I can get pregnant considering all these provisions that were set in place, then damn, I am going to stick with it.” Samantha had to chuckle a little, but smiled with pride. It was nice to see Sarina’s strength showing through. “That said, I told you that I am going to be selfish. I don’t want to let go of my chance to win the championship this season. I have worked my ass off the past two years to get to where I am today, and I don’t want to just watch that fade away and wonder what if with my team. Call me selfish, call me obnoxious, call me crazy, stupid, whatever you want – that’s my feelings. I’ve got five races left and I am going to race them and win this championship for myself, and this baby.”

“So you’re going to race the last couple of months pregnant?” Sarina nods her head immediately. “You realize that you’ll be four months pregnant by season’s en-”

“Oh, I know I will be and I’ll probably be a little chubby in parts and people will say that she’s gaining weight. Oh, and I’ll need a new firesuit and some other clothes to wear for pit road. But Sam, as much as I can’t give up this baby and go for an abortion, I can’t give up my dream. Am I selfish?” Samantha bit her tongue as she didn’t want the words to come out harshly.

“In a way, I could say that you are. If you’re committed to this baby, then I would tell you to be totally committed and do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and your baby. Going 200 mph and potentially having someth-”

“Isn’t that already there with those full-term statistics?” Samantha lets out a sigh.

“I just feel that you’re increasing your chances of something going wrong, and I don’t see that right if you’re fully in committed. I honestly hope when you tell Chase your ingenius plan that he tells you different.” Sarina wanted to be surprised at the clapback, but she couldn’t be as she knew it was only the beginning.

“You’re my boss, Samantha. Are you going to lay your foot down if for some reason he agrees?” Samantha was surprised to hear the question pointblank, and knew that the decision would actually come down to Kyle. Once again, she had a strong belief in her husband at this point.

“I damn well may not agree with you right now, but I would not paint you the box like that to make your decisions for you as I’d be mad if roles were reversed.  That said, Kyle has the final decision and I wish you the best of luck.” Sarina knew there would be one way around that, however she didn’t want to chance that as she could see Samantha blurting it out at some point.

“I am going to tell Chase when he comes home. I am giving you permission to tell Kyle when you go home if you want to get it off your chest. If not, then I will take the time to tell Kyle myself. Either way, we’ll discuss and see what happens. Other than that, I plan on telling Lindsay, Rudy, Alan, and Chase’s parents – but nobody else for now.” Samantha understood the decision in whom she was choosing and couldn’t find an argument – except for a forthcoming announcement.

“I will talk to the care center doctor as I’d also like to see someone with medical knowledge be in the know in case something happens. But also – what about JR Motorsports?” Sarina hadn’t even thought about that, but she knew the writing was on the wall.

“I guess I am going to Kelley and Dale and telling them, and seeing what happens next year after I have the baby, right?” Samantha nods her head, accepting. “Other than that, I think the best thing would be to reveal everything at the banquet.”

“Could you imagine standing on stage as the champion announcing, ‘Oh yeah, there’s been a baby on-board. I’m pregnant,’ and walking off?” Sarina smiles widely as she sits back and beams.

“That’s the plan, isn’t it? However, if I am eliminated after the first round or second round, I will forfeit the rest of the season since the championship dream will be over.” Samantha never wanted to wish one of her drivers out of the hunt early, but a small part of her hoped the math didn’t add up.

“That’s fair and reasonable.” Samantha then shifts over to the other side, sitting right alongside Sarina. “I’m just surprised that there’s a life growing in there. Just think sweetheart, we get to be pregnant together.” Sarina then looks over at Samantha shocked.

“Seriously? You’re pregnant? I was wondering if there was a glo-”

“Oh no, that’s the make-up happening.” Sarina was now slightly confused. “Kyle and I have talked multiple times and we’ve agreed to finally begin the IVF process once again. We’re ready to give Brexton a little sister.”

“Awww he’ll be the best big brother ever…” Samantha couldn’t help but beam in pride as she was pretty proud of him, too. “Well here’s to us both having smooth pregnancies without any complications and problems.”

“Here’s to that!”

“Ah shit, I just realized something…” Samantha then looks over intrigued. “I am going to be walking down the aisle to marry Chase while six months pregnant. Can I ditch the high heels now?” Samantha chuckles, nodding her head yes.

“Better schedule lots of alteration meetings. Better yet, I should just have one of my favorites on call for you 24/7 leading up to the day because you’re going to be growing…” Samantha then grins a bit. “So does that mean that you’re going to have the baby in Georgia just like it’s daddy?” Sarina was confused a little at first, but it hit her immediately. If she was due sometime in March, there was a possibility of having the baby on Atlanta race weekend.

“Seriously, there are too many things adding up perfectly here for me to not take a chance….”

“Well, it was nice chit chatting, and Sarina, have fun tonight,” Samantha offers, giving her a hug and wink before heading out of the motorcoach. Chase could only watch her in a bit of confusion leave, before turning his eyes back to Sarina.

“Do I want to know what you’re planning?” Chase questions as Sarina shifts over on the couch a little to make room beside her. She wasn’t sure how to answer that question yet till everything was out in the open.

“I hope you’re going to be happy like I am slowly becoming about this,” Sarina offers, before motioning for Chase to sit beside her. He does as instructed, keeping his eyes on her in an intrigued way. “I have some news for you that Samantha actually got to hear first because she helped me figure it out.”

“Is this good news?” Chase could only wonder and try theorize what the girls had figured out together. Perhaps she had chosen her wedding dress finally.

“If I am happy about it, then I say it is good news, right?” Chase could reason with that as he wraps an arm around her. It was nice to cuddle while listening to the rain continue to fall outside. “So we’re going to have a miniature Chase or miniature Sarina running around by next spring, possibly.” Chase was now confused, as ever. What would Samantha have to do with that?

“Wait – you went down the surrogate route and Samantha agreed to do it for us?” Sarina shakes her head no, while continuing to smile. The fact that both of them would have a baby of their own instead stood better than Chase’s theory.

“I’m pregnant, Chase.” She then pulls the stick out from underneath the blanket, placing it on his lap as he glances down. He then picks it up, taking a closer look, before sitting it back down as he looks back at her. “Say something, please….”

“I want to leap out of joy, hug you, kiss you, and share the happiness because expecting a baby is everything…” She then glances up into his eyes, running her finger across his lips.

“So what are you waiting for?” He then glances back at the stick once again, before looking into her eyes.

“Weren’t we trying everything we could for you to not get pregnant?” Sarina nods her head yes. “But yet you’re still pregnant…”

“That’s what the magic stick, and the fact that I’ve been feeling a little sick the past couple of wee-”

“Morning sickness, huh?” She nods her head slowly. “Wow….” She knew the initial shock was there, and hated to pounce it all at once, but she needed to tell him before Samantha began texting Kyle’s reaction.

“Now, Samantha and I talked and I shared with her a detailed plan that I would like to follow for the next several months. I am hoping that you’re on board.” Chase glances into her eyes, giving her a nod to continue.

With a couple mixed deep breathes, and trying to keep her emotions composed as it began to set in more. She was really expecting a baby, something she thought at one point would never happen, but was now growing inside of her and ready to come in March. She watched his eyes the entire time as he sat there content and quiet, letting her dish the entire plan out. She tried to read each reaction, adding a couple added remarks if she saw discontent written there, while trying to just stick to her cards.

“The baby isn’t just mine,” she then begins, taking a deep breath as she remembered Samantha’s words. “We created the baby together. We both have an equa-”

“It’s your bod-” Chase went to repeat, following suit with the same words he told her in January. Just like then, she was ready to chew him out.

“It’s your baby, too, Chase. It’s half of you, half of me. Therefore, while I have a plan of my own and may be set to follow it, you have a right to your opinion and persuading me in a different direction if you want. So, now that you know what I am thinking, I want to hear what you have to say, please…” Chsae then takes a deep breath as he tried to put everything in order.

“I agree with your thoughts on a potential abortion. I don’t think I could forgive myself, either. every life deserves a chance, especially if they can be conceived through us trying to follow birth control and condoms.” She had to chuckle a little, but it showed the stubbornness that she hoped worked in watching their baby grow together. “I know it’s a big risk that we’re taking, and there’s a lot of pain at the end of the road if we go a month, two months, four months and something happens. We learned that in January and we didn’t even get to know that baby.” He then glances into her eyes. “You barely got through that at times, but I know you’ve grown and you’re stronger since then. We can do this, together, whatever may happen.” Those comments gave her faith that he wouldn’t discontent the rest of the plan.

“I know I can conquer the world if I have my Clyde by my side.” She then snags a quick kiss as he tries to compose the next batch of thoughts to tell her.

“There’s so many risks in what you’re planning on doing, as Talladega just keeps flashing in my mind. However, I understand that drive. That determination to get to this point as fueled you to fight through and overcome things that would’ve broken others. I know the regrets that you’ll have if you choose to walk away. I know that’ll hurt more than anything as regrets are the worse pain that you can have sometimes…” He then takes a deep breath, shelving that back away as he didn’t want to think about Alison in the midst of baby happiness. “Therefore, I am on-board totally with you chasing the championship. I would be over the moon if we were standing on the stage in Florida together, as champions, arms wrapped around your stomach. I think that’ll push me further than anything else could starting this weekend.”

“You’ve got the talent and team….” He nods his head in agreement.

“Rudy also knows how to make the best come out of you…” He almost hated to see that breaking apart, but still stood by what he said the other day in her decision to go to JR Motorsports. “As far as JR Motorsports, sure, you’ll miss the first few races. However, win and you’re in is the format and I know you can get the job done in an XFINITY Series car. Kelley and Dale are amazing, and I’m sure they’ll understand. They’ll either get Elliott to stay for a couple extra races, or I may finally say yes to drive his stuff again.”

“Ah, you would go drive in top-notch equipment and try to win for me?” He chuckles a little as he pulls her a little tighter to him.

“I would do anything for you…” He then gives her a kiss on the top of the head. “I’ll come with you to see them if it makes it easier. And the list that we’re telling – that’s perfect. Don’t be surprised if my mother smothers you with love.”

“Do you think Kyle will be understanding?” Chase takes a deep breath as he could only ponder that thought.

“You may get some discontent from him, but he beats to his own drum. He should understand that you’re like that in a way, and give you the leeway you need.”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 111: Southern 500

Saturday, September 1 – Darlington Raceway

Chase runs his hands through his hair as he stands on pit road, glancing over the No. 23 Chevrolet.

“Hey,” Sarina says as she walks up behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder. “There’s a lot of laps later this afternoon. You’ll be fine.” He wanted to believe her, but it still didn’t make him feel better. He was en route to a solid lap in qualifying, before the car snapped around and spun. With having to change the tires now, he was set to start back in 38th.

“At least I didn’t damage the car,” he offers as she rubs his shoulder.

“You’ll be fine….” She then glances out to the track. “She’s a nasty bitch, but you can put a whooping on her when you need to.” He then chuckles as her reference.

“She’s called too tough to tame for a reason.” He then looks down pit road towards Christopher, before glancing back at Sarina. “Do you think you could ask your boyfriend to give me the secret as to why that car is driving so good?”

“You know just as well as I do that Christopher doesn’t share competition secrets.” Chase knew that, but joking around a little was better than fretting about his mistake.

“Perhaps you could change the tune with a way of your own.” She then looks at him a little surprised.

“Wow, I’m surprised that you, Mr. Elliott, would like me to share my ways with someone else other than you.” She then runs his finger tips slowly along the back of his neck. “Are you sure you want that shared?”

“Good point, as I wouldn’t want him swiping you off my hands.” He then turns around to face her, lightly kissing her lips. “Ready for some lunch?”

“Yeah, I actually am today..” He smiles as he takes her hand and they head back to the trailer, ready for a quick bite to eat for the XFINITY race.

If there were any doubts about how the race was going to go, or the handling of the No. 23 Chevrolet, those were erased out of the way right from the beginning as he made his way up to 22nd just in the first two laps.

“Damn boy!” Sarina couldn’t help but let out as she watched him climb the scoring pylon.

He’d make his way into the top-five near the end of the first stage, running up front all race long en route to a sixth-place finish.

“So I’m not fired yet, am I?” Chad Norris questions afterwards and Chase shakes his head no.

“It took us some searching, but we found what we needed at the right time,” Chase offers. “A couple more adjustments and we would’ve been right there.”

“So are you ready for Indianapolis next week?” Chase knew it was an unknown with the drafting package, but also felt confident based on the past couple of weeks with this group.

“I like our chances better there than they were today.”

“Hopefully we can snag a win together. Thanks again.” Chase gives him a simple nod as the crew chief heads off, while Chase takes a deep breath. He knew he needed to get right back out to pit road with Cup qualifying next on the docket.

“I’m surprised that you’re not hanging out with Chase on pit road,” Christopher says as he watches Sarina walk over to him. She knew everybody expected her to be right by his side, but she also didn’t need to be distracting him right now.

“He’s focused on qualifying and Alan so do I really need to be there this exact minute?” Sarina questions back, earning a simple shrug of the shoulders from Christopher. “Besides, I had to come and check on my friend.” Christopher lets out a sigh.

“I didn’t even hit that hard, Sarina. I’m fin-”

“I realize the contact wasn’t that hard at all – been there, done that. However, I saw the interview and how bummed you were. I also heard about what happened with inspection yesterday and your crew chief kicked out. I came over here from a morale point of view.” Christopher’s eyes don’t leave the ground the whole time.

“What else is there to say? This weekend just sucked as a whole. There’s nothing we can do. We just need to regroup, move on, and go win at Indianapolis next week.” While Sarina wanted to see happiness for him, she was actually hoping to watch Indy go a different direction.

“I’m sorry, but you’re going to get beat next weekend. You can finish second, though.” He finally glances over, almost a little surprised.

“And here you came over to boost my morale, but now you’re bursting my bubble already. What kind of friend are you?” She then places a hand on his shoulder with a smile.

“An honest friend, Christopher. I figured learning a week early would help the pain a little next week.” He then rolls his eyes with a chuckle.

“Tell Chase that I won’t make it easy on him.” She could only grin in response.

“I wouldn’t expect otherwise.” She then goes to walk away, but he snags her hand. “Chri-”

“We were supposed to become teammates at JGR, but yet you’re supposedly rumored to be headed to JR Motorsports. What happened?” She then lets out a sigh as she glances back into his eyes.

“Why don’t you go ask Joe Gibbs? He wouldn’t give me a chance to run full time next year, but JR Motorsports has the offer on the table. It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t entertain that offer.” Christopher wanted to argue with her, but knew he’d do the same thing in her shoes.

“So if Joe was to offer you a full-time ride, you would accept it?” She nods her head yes as he lets out a sigh. “I wish I had the power to force him to do that.”

“Trust me, I would like to work with you once again, as well. Instead, I’ll be against your ass next year. Are you ready to get your ass kicked this time around?” He then looks on surprised.

“Do I need to pull my championship trophy out and show you whose name is on it?” She couldn’t blame the comeback.

“For your information, I am getting one of my own this year.” He smiles as he wraps an arm around her shoulders.

“And I couldn’t be more proud. Keep doing what you’re doing – and avoid stupid shit like last week. I thought you would’ve learned after what you did to me.” She then rolls her eyes as she removes his arm from her shoulders.

“And here we go again. I’m done…” She then walks away as he reaches out for her hand but misses.

“Sarina, I’m joking…” She then slightly glances back.

“I know, but you’re still a pain in the ass. I’ll see you around, Bell.” She then continues walking, making her way to pit road to see the tail end of Cup qualifying with Chase ending up 11th at the end of the session.

Sunday, September 2 – Darlington Raceway

Running up front all day paid off for Chase at Darlington Raceway as he finished stage one in 10th, followed by a fourth in stage two, before picking up a fifth-place finish. It certainly wasn’t the win they had hoped for, but the car came home clean without any marks and their string of solid runs continued.

Though on the flight home, that wasn’t the discussion between Chase and Sarina. Instead, their minds were focused elsewhere.

“Shelley finally got back to me, by the way,” Sarina broke the silence as they flew above South Carolina. “She said that she was busy, but is still interested as ever as if we are-”

“We?” Chase questions, and Sarina nods her head in response.

“She said that the apology is owed to us both as her decisions proved costly to us both.” Chase lets out a sigh as it seemed to be coming at all directions now. However, he was set to stick to his guns of being in the know rather than leaving everything in the dark. “She added that we can let her know some days that we’re available and she’ll pick one.”

“Did you send her some ideas?” Sarina glances up from her phone.

“I was just typing that reply, actually. I had to double check your calendar.” Chase knew things were hectic right now with the playoffs approaching, and as Hendrick tried to finalize some of his sponsorship contracts.

“For the same reason that we’re going to meet with her is the same reason that I want to open the note from Alison.” Sarina wanted to begin cursing immediately after hearing the name.

“Then how about you get it over with when we get home, read the freaking note, and then burn it with the rest of her shitty manipulating lying games?” Sarina then takes a deep breath as Chase reaches over to place a hand on hers. “Chas-”

“Sarin-”

“Both hands on the controls, please…” He then does as instructed, fighting every instinct to comfort her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it to come out that way. It’s just every time I think about her hands on you, manipulating you, forcing you, and making you feel so twisted – it makes me sick and I want to do whatever to protect you. If she doesn’t kidnap me, she doesn’t get her hands on yo-”

“You can’t play the what if game. She was crazy enough that she would’ve found out a way to do it no matter what. That crazy is what drives me to stay a step ahead this time and see what she is thinking, trying to imply, so I can be ready.”

“You do what you need to do – just let me burn it afterwards for therapy. How is that?” He smiles and nods his head, accepting. “Chase, we’re going to be okay even if she does try something again.”

“I know. We’ve got each other, and we’ve weathered the storm. We’re still together and we’ll keep weathering whatever comes our way. We’ve got this.”

Friday, September 7 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

“This is ridiculous,” Sarina comments before curling up once again on the couch.

With Chase set to run both series races this weekend, they had flown out to Indianapolis as per their schedule to be there for Friday. However, all day, all that Sarina had been staring at was rain drops as it didn’t seem to be letting up with NASCAR eventually canceling both XFINITY Series practices scheduled for Friday.

“I could’ve stayed home curled up in my own comfy bed, with my teddy bear, in my super soft pajamas, with my cuddly fiancé,” she complains once again as she looks back towards the television.

“You would’ve missed spending time with me then,” Samantha offers as she glances up from her Ipad on the other couch. Kyle was off with some friends, so Samantha had come over to see Sarina, while Chase went over to Ryan’s for some games.

“I hate to kill the company bubble, but my bed overrules that right now.” Samantha slowly sits the Ipad down, now her eyes totally focused on her friend.

“You’re feeling that sick, huh?” Sarina slowly nods her head yes. “Have you gone to the care center to be checked out yet?” Sarina shakes her head no. “Okay, that’s not like you, or Chase for that matter. I mean, I thought he’d be all over making you do what you need to do.”

“Maybe it’s because I’ve hidden it so far this weekend…” Samantha’s jaw slowly drops. “I’m sorry but he’s busy enough with running both cars, and this whole madness over Alison sending some stupid apology note that I didn’t want to burden him more with something else to worry about.”

“Sarina…..” Samantha then stands up and makes her way over to the couch to sit right next to her. “You know once he finds out, he is going to be mad, right?” Sarina nods her head yes. “So I think that you need to say something like immediately.”

“That conversation may not go so smoothly.” Samantha was confused. Why did that matter if Sarina was sick? “This isn’t the first weekend I’ve felt like this. The past month, it’s been off and on, almost…like….”

“Something serious is wrong?” Sarina had pondered that, however she had a different theory in her mind already.

“I’m taking birth control, but it’s proven to not work with me before. We’re also using protection, but I know a condom or two broke. I saw it in the garbage pail. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to concern me knowing my thoughts after January.” Samantha slowly began to realize where Sarina was going with this and why she hid it.

“So are you saying that you’re pregnant?” Sarina slowly stands up, and makes her way to the cupboard. She then reaches up to the top corner, pulling out a box and placing it on the corner.

“I don’t know the damn signs or anything, but I’m pretty certain it is adding up to that, Samantha. That’s why I bought this the other night when I went to the store myself.” Sarina then glances back towards the box. “I just haven’t been brave enough to open the package and take the test.”

“If you want to take it – and I think you should based on what you’re saying, I’ll stay here with you for support.” Sarina looks back over at Samantha.

“There’s so many decisions to be made if it is positive. I am currently in the playoffs for my first championship and I don’t want to give that up. At the same time, I’m not supposed to be getting pregnant right now based on all these provisions. I’ve also had doctors tell me that I can’t carry a baby full term and should look into options.” Samantha knew of these discussions and knew it would be a long, interesting road. However, it all didn’t matter quite yet.

“How about we just begin with you taking the test?” Sarina slowly opens the box.

“If it is positive, I have a decision in my mind – even if everybody will tell me I’m crazy.” She then takes out the test kit. “I just hope everybody won’t be mad at me.” Samantha walks over, placing her hands on Sarina’s shoulders.

“I’ve been in your shoes with all these uncertainties. Any woman whose been in our situation understands what you’re feeling. Nobody will be mad at you as you were doing what you were supposed to be doing, and you’re only human – things happen. Sometimes it’s meant to be even if the timing and everything else is wrong.” Sarina glances down at her own stomach, before looking back at the pregnancy test.

“Welp, here goes nothing…..”

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 90: Alison’s Story

Monday July 2, 2018

Chase takes his seat in the court room in the front row, watching as Sarina sits to his left with his father to his right. It didn’t surprise anybody to see Cindy sit in the same row alongside Bill, with Kyle alongside Sarina. With about room for five people per row, Alan and Jordan had taken the immediate seats behind Chase, along with Samantha, Ryan, and Lindsay.

While it was supposed to be important meeting day at Hendrick Motorsports, Chase was caught off-guard in seeing the rest of the team enter and take seats, ready to show their support as they each still wanted a piece of her for the bomb. Chase even questioned Alan about it, to only to be told, “Our own team meeting, and the group shop meeting was pushed back to tomorrow, as a show of support for you and Sarina.”

The bigger surprise was seeing Christopher and Morgan walk in to Sarina, but Christopher told her that he wanted to be there to support his best friend as much as he could.

“Are you okay?” Alan questions as he places a hand on Chase’s shoulder, earning a simple nod in response. Chase wanted to remain as strong as possible through this, and that meant showing least amount of emotion as possible because he knew that was Alison’s end game.

“Thanks for the advice Saturday by the way,” Chase offers as Alan smiles back in response. He didn’t care if he got the appreciation in return or not, as long as Chase took it to heart and did what he needed to do.

“All rise!” The court officer says, as everybody stands up. “Now presenting the honorable Judge Gus.” The judge enters, taking her spot as expected.

“Everybody may be seated,” the judge states, as Chase takes a shaky deep breath as he does so. He knew the next step was Alison’s entrance, and that’s where all the emotions would begin. “Bring her in…”

The doors to the right of the room open as an officer enters, holding Alison as her wrists remained bound together in handcuffs. She instantly looks over towards Chase as a smirk forms on her face.

“It’s so nice to see you again sweetheart,” she starts quietly. “Do you want to feel your baby?”

“How about you just reveal that your pregnant with somebody else’s kid?” Bill questions as he keeps a strong grip on Chase’s right hand.

“Ahh, is there a problem Grandpa?” She then smirks even more. “I can’t wait for family dinners together as the baby gro-”

“You’ll be rotting away in hell for what you did to my son,” Cindy snaps, earning a couple surprised glances as Bill reaches over for her hand, too.

“Order!” The judge instructs as he slams down the gravel. “I will not tolerate outbursts from individuals in the court room. We’re simply here to hear Alison say what happened to each count of guilty plea, to help determine her sentencing and whether the insanity plea is viable. Take the stand, young lady.”

“It’d be my pleasure as I’m sure momma dearest would like to hear how her son played right into my hands, right Chase?” She then takes her seat beside the judge, smirk still firmly planted on her face as she kept eyes locked directly on Chase. Chase just pointed his own gaze down, taking a deep breath, as he tried to remain as calm as possible, despite feeling the same panic that bit him the last time they were there.

“As I stated, we will begin with your guilty pleas – and then it’ll be up to you and your lawyer to discuss the non-guilty pleas. We want simple explanations for your actions, understood?” Alison finally takes her eyes off of Chase and looks over at the judge.

“Please, let me tell the tale of our estranged secret love affair….” The judge opens the file on her desk.

“In March 2018, you pled guilty to poisoning Mr. Chase Elliott’s drink. Why did you do that?” Alison smiles as she crosses her arms.

“I could always tell that he loved me from the first day that we crossed paths at the Hooters Pageant. That’s why he didn’t want me to win – because then I’d be off doing all these tours and such. However, I get that he’s a little quiet and reserved. I also get how he’s kind of stuck in a fake love situation with that chick. Sometimes a little gentle persuasion does the trick. I spiked his drink, figuring that maybe he’d give in once he got a taste of what a real woman can offer him.” Sarina just rolls her eyes in disgust as Chase fought the laughter that was willing to escape his lips.

Though of course he got the defense that Alison wanted to use in the fact that they were having a secret love affair behind Sarina’s back, because Chase wouldn’t want to break up with Sarina and prove everybody wrong in how she got her ride and how they initially got together. it was crazy enough to even seem a little believable – if any bit of having feelings for Alison was true.

“She’s certainly crazy,” Morgan whispers, earning a quiet chuckle and nod of approval from Christopher.

“We haven’t even got into the worst of it yet,” Christopher replies, remembering everything that he and Sarina had talked about together.

“You pled guilty to the attempted murder of Alan Gustafson. Why did you do that?” Alison lets out a sigh as she glances between Chase and the crew chief.

“I get it. I’m not the perfect princess and certainly how I entered Chase’s life is no saint of actions, either. So because of that, it seems everybody wants to judge me – including Chase’s parents it seems. Chase was just about to show me how much he loved in his trailer, when the crew chief showed up. I figured if I scared him, he’d go away and we could get the deed done. Meanwhile, I was never going to hit him….” Alan chuckles as he remembered looking straight down the barrel of the gun until he had jumped out of the way. The memory made him take a pause, and thank himself for his lucky graces that day. “If I may, your honor, I would like to detail the events in the trai-”

“That’ll be for another time, unless you want to plead guilty to sexual assault as you are charged.” Alison then looks over at Chase shocked.

“You charged me with sexual assault after you brought on that kiss yourself? Wow, I’m impressed how far you’ll cover for your poor decision to sleep with that tramp and regret it later.” Chase looks down, shaking his head as he regretted every single moment there. Why did he let any of it go on as far as he did?

“The only regret that we have is not knocking your head off sooner!” Cindy comments, earning another round of surprise glances around the room.

“Mom!” Chase lets out as he looks over at her, shocked himself. Cindy was normally the one in control of the family, and every situation. However, that was now her second outburst of the day.

“Anymore outbursts from Ms. Cindy Elliott and you could be held in contempt,” the judge warns as Cindy just laughs. It was irony how the judge was willing to throw the innocent in jail, but yet at one time had enabled Alison’s escape. “Ms. Elliott….”

“Mom, please….” Chase reaches over Bill’s lap, placing his hand on hers. “I need you here with me so please listen. I know your angry, and so am I. There’s so many things that I want to tell her, but we need to let this go on as it is, and I need you here for me….”

“What did you want to tell me, Chasey-boo?” Alison then questions, snatching his attention away from Cindy. “Did you want to admit to the world that you love me?” He then laughs as he shakes his head back in response.

“Try again, bitch….”

“That’s enough from you too, Mr. Elliott,” the judge states. “In May 2018, you pled guilty to kidnapping Sarina Ott in the state of Tennessee. Explain why you did that, please.” Alison lets out a sigh as she glances at the pair.

“That should be obvious now,” she starts. “It’s clear that Chase loves me more than her, and has only kept her out of protection of his own career, decisions, and kind-heart in not wanting to leave her stranded on the side of a road. That said, she always gets in the way of our love – despite knowing that she’ll never be first in his life. I had to get her out of the way so I could really show Chase what he meant to me, and maybe convince him to let her go.” Chase just shakes his head as he tries to ignore every bit of reasoning out of her mouth as nothing made sense or was even believable no matter what planet you lived on.

“Who in their right mind would believe that Chase loved her more than Sarina?” Alan wonders out-loud, earning a glance from either side of him.

“A sociopath, which is what Alison is,” Samantha starts. “She doesn’t understand what other people feel, therefore not knowing the consequences of her actions. She doesn’t understand that Chase’s reaction to her was not out of love, but out of fear and pain. Combined with that, she’s a manipulative bitch who will do whatever she wants to get whatever she needs. She went after Chase for a reason, Alan….” Alan glances back at her.

“Opportunity to land herself in fame and fortune, hence trying to pawn a pregnancy off….” Samantha nods her head in agreement as she looks back towards Alison.

“We have reached the end of your guilty pleas,” the judge states, surprising everybody. “There was also charges of stalking, attempted murder in Florida, sexual assault in a trailer, assault via tripping an individual, robbery of a ring, and sexual assault.” Chase lets out a sigh as he knew those would all take forever, and brought forth the most pain, million times worse than what they had addressed. “Would you like to discuss these charges?”

“I don’t see how there’s any point because I didn’t do those things, right?” Alison offers, before looking back towards Chase with a smirk. “I’d rather talk about my baby with my future daddy. I want to know his feelings, whether he thinks it’s a boy or a girl, and any name ideas he has. Oh, and please tell me that there’s a baby shower coming. I’d assume your mommy is planning it, right?” Alison then rubs her stomach as her smirk widens. “I remember the night that we conceived this baby, every single detail. Your skin was so smooth, so soft, and I just took in every single inch. I took you long and hard, and slow so I could savor it all – and you just let me knowing that I had total control and were in love….”

Chase focuses his eyes on the ground, taking a shaky deep breath as he tries to make the hot tears that were forming in his eyes go away. He felt his stomach flip flop immediately as a clear image entered his mind upon each of her words.

“I remember how you laid back in bed, telling me that I could do whatever I wanted that night,” Alison continues in a low, seducing voice. “I remember stripping you down to nothing. I remember leaving that mark on your neck, and you saying how you’d treasure that until our next meeting. I remember when I first tasted you, and how I couldn’t get enough. you went hard immediately for me, and I just took it from there baby, and woah it was a night of pure hot sexual joy. Chase, do you remember, baby?”

“Chase….” Bill says quietly as he maintains his firm grip on Chase’s hand. “Ignore her. She’s just doing this to get under your skin and make it crawl. Just close your eyes, and block it out. You know that never happened like she said….”

“Oh Bill, you just wish that was the case so that way you can stay in your crystal ball of belief in that your son has the perfect engagement to Sarina. After all, you liked her too since she drove a late model that you owned, right? It’s okay to realize that your son’s first love isn’t what it seems and there’s a dirty little secret. I mean, your first love didn’t work out either.” Bill didn’t care what she was saying, as his eyes and focus remained on Chase, just wanting to do whatever he needed to help him get through this.

“Can we put a gag order on her already?” Christopher demands from his seat, earning even more surprised glances as he wasn’t one to freak out on a nature.

“Oh Bell, I’m glad that you’re here,” Alison starts next, earning a surprised glance on both Christopher and Morgan’s faces. “It’d be great if you could explain to the court how you and Sarina have been having some great weekends together. I mean, I couldn’t believe that article that was released. How amazing how you guys were caught already. I should’ve given you some more pointers on those secrets, huh? But it’s great because you can reveal your love to Sarina, and I can reveal mine for Chase. I just feel bad for precious Morgan and how she’ll be left out….” Christopher’s frustration was set to hit a new height as his hand immediately formed a fist.

“Relax,” Morgan told him as she placed both of her hands on top of her fist. “We talked about this, Christopher. I know what you mean to me, and what we mean to each other. I also know the friendship that you have with Sarina, and I will never be jealous or think it is more. She is just doing pawning her deed off to you to try and get to you and Chase more. She wants to get us all feuding so we break apart more…”

“How about you stop telling your damn dreams and speak about reality for once in your bloody life?” Cindy questions. “I’m sorry but I don’t care what that judge says. I will not bother to sit here and listen to you twist words and situations to torture people. You deserve every bit of sentence you get, and I hope you rot away to little bits and pieces. Better yet, I hope you find someone in prison that can torture you just like you’ve tortured my son.”

“You’re just afraid to admit it as well, sweetheart,” Alison states with a grin on her face as she lets out a laugh. “Isn’t it great that we’re finally talking about it, though? I’m glad that we’re getting it out in the open…..” She then looks back towards Chase. “I just wish you’d say something to me, please….”

“That’s enough!” The judge finally states as she looks towards Alison. “You’ve explained what you did, and you had a chance to defend yourself and didn’t choose to accept it. We’re done.” She then looks back out to the courtroom. “As for everybody else in here, I already warned you once and I’ll let it be known again – outbursts will land you in contempt.”

“It took her quite a while to speak out,” Cindy whispers, earning another stern glance from Bill.

“We will re-convene at a later date to begin testimony from the prosecution with their witnesses, including victims. I hope everybody is better behaved then. Court adjourned!”

The judge leaves, followed by the officer with Alison. Everybody else files out of the court room, except Chase who still sat frozen with his little circle surrounding him.

“Chase, talk to us, please….” Alan offers as he places a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m fine,” he replies as he glances up for the first time in awhile. “She is sick and twisted, and that’s all she was trying to do there – get under our skin, get a reaction, satisfy herself. It worked considering some of the things that were said.” He then takes a deep breath. “But I’m strong, and I’m going to get through this. I don’t care what she says. I’m fine. Everything that she just said is a total fictional imagination and I can’t wait till that is thrown out.”

“You did a great job handling yourself today,” Bill comments as he stands up, taking Cindy’s hand as he does so. “Call me if you need me, okay?” Chase accepts, nodding his head, as his parents head out together.

“For once, do you think Dad will be giving the lecture instead of Mama?” Alan and Sarina offer a light chuckle in response. “Seriously, though, I am okay. It took a lot to block out what she was saying and not create my own theories again, but I’m fine.” He then looks over at Sarina. “Besides, you’re my focus.”

“Chase, I told you the other night that I’d do anything for you,” Sarina starts. “That includes being there for you as much as you need me, too. You don’t need to put up a fron-”

“I’m not,” he replies. “Besides, we have an appointment to get to and that’s what should matter most here.”

“I know that’s on our minds, but I care more about how you’re doing. So please, let me be there…” Chase takes a deep breath as he slowly stands up.

“I’m fine. One day at a time. I’m ready to just move forward…..”

“Remember what I’ve always told you – don’t let it eat you,” Alan warns as he gives him one final pat on the shoulder. “Call me if you need me – both of you.”

“You have my word,” Chase replies, giving the crew chief a hug, before looking back towards Sarina. “I’m not lying to you. She didn’t bother me today because my number one focus was you. I knew as soon as she focused on that baby, she wanted to get under our skins about that and I knew to look towards you.” He then pulls Sarina close. “We’re going to be okay…..”

“I know that,” she replies as she looks into his eyes. “I love you, always….” She then leans in for a kiss.

********

“I appreciate your patience with the appointment scheduling,” the doctor states. “I reviewed your file multiple times, hoping to find something that may have been missed. I even had a couple colleagues in the surgical department review it, as well as other fertility specialist. I know this is news that nobody ever wants to hear, but in my view, it would be impossible with the shape of your uterus to carry a baby full-term.”

“Okay,” Sarina replies quietly as Chase wraps both arms around her, holding her close.

“If there’s anything that I can do to make the process easier to handle, please let me know. I’m willing to fully break down everything we’ve gathered with you. If you need help in moving forward, please do not hesitate to ask. I can get you in contact with potential councilors, as well as answer any questions about the previous options discussed.  Please remember that there’s no timetable on making that next decision, or dealing with any pain that you are feeling right now…”

“Thank you.” Sarina then takes a deep breath as she glances back over her shoulder at Chase. “To be honest, I’d come to the reality of what was to be my future as a potential mother. I just wanted to hear it a second time so I could actually move forward knowing that I’d tried my options. It’s not ideal, but like everything else, we’ll get through this. And when that day comes that we want to be parents, I’m sure we can work out an option that’s suitable for us both.”

“I’m behind you no matter what you decide,” Chase offers, kissing her shoulder.

Though in the back of his mind, the words from Alison in court began to replay in his mind. What if he had blacked out what happened just like he had suggested to Alan on Saturday? What if Alison was actually having his kid?

Shaking his head, he knew he couldn’t wonder about that right now as it was just Alison to play games to make him believe those things. Besides, his focus was right here and now, and being there when Sarina needed him most.

The Tale of Love & Racing: Sarina’s Story – Chapter 76: “I could easily take this off, and enjoying it all….”

Friday, May 18 – Charlotte Motor Speedway

Chase glances at the radar. Everybody knew rain was in the area, but they hoped that it’d at least hold off for the morning so some practice would get completed. It’d suck going into tomorrow night with a whole new package and not a single lap on the car.

Sarina had gotten lucky through the morning as the truck series was able to get in both practice sessions. Despite being unhappy with the truck through the first session, she had ranked third on the chart. Rudy had been able to make it better during the second session, leaving her with a smile as they finished up ranked fourth.

Now it was Chase’s turn as he put his phone up, ready for the first Cup practice for the day. Although it appeared rain was all around them per the radar, it was right now dry at the track, and he was ready to take advantage of that.

A simple nod to both Jordan and Alan and he was climbing in the car, getting the belts all on and ready to go for the session. Jordan reaches in, giving everything a final check over before putting the window net up, with the cue to Alan to send him out.

Getting out there right as the session started, Chase was able to get a single lap in – though immediately cut it off and got down to the apron at the start of the second with the skies opening up.

He was back to the garage quickly, everything off and climbing out of the car as eyes fell back on the radar once again. Sure enough the green glob that he saw before was now right over top of them.

“Lovely,” was all he could say as he put his phone in his pocket, knowing that they’d be in a long wait.

“It’ll clear up and hopefully NASCAR will adjust the schedule in a smart matter,” Alan offers as Chase rolls his eyes. It was rare that the sanctioning body actually was able to work with them like that.

Knowing that they were getting nowhere and not wanting to linger around the garage area, he made his way back to the motorcoach, slipping inside as a smile found its way to his face immediately.

“You look pretty comfy,” he comments as he walks past Sarina, going straight for the fridge to grab a drink.

“I knew it was going rain so I thought why waste the walk to the garage area,” she offers as he lets out a sigh. “At least you got a lap in and know there’s nothing wrong with the car, I guess.” Chase nods his head, accepting.

“You’re just in a good mood because you were able to get both of your practices in, and have a good truck for tonight.” He then sits on the couch beside her. “Think you can beat the boss?”

“I beat him last week, right?” He smiles as it was certainly a great race to watch from the pit box. “I remember at the beginning of the year, I was questioning everything about working with Rudy and whether Kyle made the right decision. But I get it now, Chase. I get why Kyle does what he does. Rudy has been absolutely amazing. He has helped me improve my feedback, my driving, and is a great coach.”

“I’m actually surprised that he got you calmer on the radio, too.” Sarina chuckles as admittedly, she was surprised as well. “I just wish Kyle didn’t have a plan for you for this weekend…”

“Are you saying that you don’t want me to jet off to Canada?” He lets out a sigh. “Chase, you can admit it….”

“I understand, and I get why Kyle wants you go to run the Pinty’s Series race. It’s great experience for you ahead of the race there in the fall as you’re getting laps on the same track and it’s the first round of the playoffs. I know how well that worked for Christopher. But…” He then glances into her blue eyes. “The selfish part of me wishes you were here all weekend with me.”

“Trust me, anytime that I am away from you pulls at my heart because I hate being away from you and want to spend every second together. I want to be there for you, always. That’s why the schedule for the summer has me pulled at wits a little. But, like you’re saying, I understand the reasoning and that’s why I committed.” He then places his hand on top of hers.

“And I don’t want you to back out on that commitment, either. I’ll be fine. I have the guys, and you’ll have Lindsay with you. Besides, maybe you can bring home a trophy.” She then smiles as she leans in closer to him.

“As long as you promise to give it your all tomorrow night.” She then lightly kisses his lips. “And promise me to not cut this hair for as long as possible…” He then glances at her a little confused. “What? It’s adorable, honestly.”

“I have to admit that I’m starting to like it more this year than I did last year.” She got a little giggly, though instantly calmed down, feeling her breath hitch in her throat.

“Well please don’t let that opinion change anytime soon….” She then reaches over, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Besides, it can be fun to play with…” She then twirls a piece around her finger as she closes the gap between them once again, kissing his lips.

“Sarina…..” He deepens the kiss as they lay back on the couch together, lips locked together as she continues to play with his ringlets with her fingers.

“Like I said, these ringlets are everything….” She then pulls on the neck of his firesuit, making it loose, wrapping an arm around his neck as the fingers on her other hand continue to play.

“Your lips are everything…” He goes back in for another kiss, arms remaining firmly wrapped around her.

“You don’t understand what you do to me….” She then brings her fingers to the zipper on his firesuit. “I could easily take this off, and enjoy it all….” She then brings her hands back to his hair, playing once again. “But we’ll save that for another time….”

“Yeah….” It didn’t take his lack of words to see the change in his behavior immediately following the words escaping her mouth, as the fact that he was tensing up and his breathing was quickening said enough.

“Babes….” He then closes his eyes, trying to get himself to calm back down, as she slowly sits up. “Fuck me. I screwed up….” He then looks over at her immediately.

“No, no, you did nothing wrong….” He then sits back on the couch, calming down as he grabs the bottle of water off the table, taking a mouthful.

“No, I screwed up, Chase. I should’ve known to be more careful. I should’ve known to take it slower. I should’ve known to just leave it at making out and hair twirling until you were ready. I shou-”

“Stop, please.” He then reaches over, placing a hand on hers, squeezing it. “You didn’t do anything wrong. Even though I panicked a little, it’s not because of what you did and I wouldn’t want to change what you did. I loved every single minute of that kiss, and you can play hair twirling any day.”

“I still feel terrib-”

“I’m not mad at you, so let it go – okay?” She nods her head, accepting. “Your words took me back to a night with Alison. We had flown to Nashville because of meeting with the investigators. We agreed to stay in a hotel that night due to the investigation, and the fact that I was racing at Bristol in a couple days anyway. I kept my deal with Alison, and told her what hotel room I was staying in. She showed up as planned….” Sarina glances into his eyes, squeezing his hand as she could tell his breathing was quickening once again.

“Chase, you don’t need to tell me. You don’t need to go back there….”

“She made me strip down to just my boxers and lay on the bed, spread eagle, before stripping out of her clothes, down to just her bra and panties.” Sarina felt her own breath hitch in hearing the stripping out of clothes line, instant reminders of the possible pregnancy that loomed over both of their heads with her mind flopping back and forth. There was nothing that could describe the relief in hearing about clothes left on, but there was also still that layer of wonder and panic. “She then laid on top of me, ready to kiss me, move against like she before…”

“Chase….” He closes his eyes as he could see the images clear as day in his mind.

“That’s when she ran her finger along my waistline and said, ‘I could easily take these off – but we’ll save that for another night.’ When you said the same thing, it just took me back there and I instantly felt what I felt with her – sick to my stomach beyond any shadow of a doubt, wishing I could be anywhere else.” She then wraps an arm around him, pulling him close as she could a couple stray tears rolling down his cheeks.

“I wish I could make that pain disappear for you, and I’m sorry for bringing it all back…” He glances up at her.

“I told you – it’s not your fault. Don’t be upset, okay? Like you said before, we’ll get there – in time and eventually. I just need to let it go. But how? I don’t know sometimes because there’s no words to describe how sick she made me feel, how much pain I was in, and how I just wanted to rip every part of it away…” The tears become to fall more as Sarina holds him close, letting him lay his head against her as she rubs his back with one hand, and goes back to twirling his hair with the fingers on her other hand.

“I don’t know how to fix it, I don’t know how to make it better – but I wish I could make it disappear in a second’s notice for you. But know that as you work your way through, I’ll always be here to hold you, help you, and be there for you…” She then kisses the top of his head. “I love you, Clyde….”

The pair then sat there in silence listening to the rain fall outside, as he slowly calmed down with the tears slowing down in feeling her against him. She continued to rub his back, not moving a single inch over the next couple hours – even when various text messages came through from their teams about qualifying being cancelled for each of their respective races.

“Are you sure you’re okay now?” Sarina double checks and Chase simply nods his head in response, before leaving the motorcoach.

After a quiet afternoon, he had gotten a text message from Alan to meet him in the garage area to talk about the latest details from NASCAR ahead of tomorrow’s event. He had thought about changing out of his firesuit, but running late, he left it on.

He made his way into the garage stall, finding the crew chief right away with Jimmie Johnson.

“What’s up?” He asks as he leans back against the pit box.

“So they’re still doing all-star qualifying, no pit road speed limit pit stop without any practice,” Alan answers as Chase glances over at Jimmie with a bit of a surprise.

“Isn’t it wonderful?” Jimmie questions sarcastically earning a smirk in return from Alan. “And yes, I get to be the first one out to do it. I mean, why not? I’m 7-time. I can do anything, right?”

“For once, maybe being in the Open is a good thing,” Chase comments as Alan chuckles a little.

“Then NASCAR said that they’re going to do a combined one hour practice tomorrow morning so you can get a feel for the package,” Alan adds, which added some relief to the driver. It was a little nerve-whacking heading into a race without any laps on the car in a new package.

“Now why couldn’t they run that practice tonight and qualify us tomorrow?” Jimmie wonders and Chase shrugs his shoulders.

“That’d be too easy for NASCAR,” Jimmie just chuckles.

“And on that note, I better go find Chad before he kicks my ass. By the way, Chase, make sure you do up your collar next time. You give away what you’ve been up to during the delay..” Chase’s hand runs up to the collar, having realized it was left undone by Sarina in their fun, as he watches Jimmie walk away.

“For someone who supposedly just did tha-”

“Alan, please….” Chase starts as he does it up quickly, earning a curious glance from the crew chief. “Out of everybody here, you know what happened – and there you go…” Alan wanted to smack himself immediately.

“I should’ve remembered that it was a sensitive subject, still,” Alan starts. “I’m sorry….” Chase lets out a sigh as he returns to his previous stance against the pit box.

“Just like I told Sarina, no apology is necessary – and I’m sorry I snapped last week, and again right now.” Alan then looks over sympathy laced in his eyes.

“Listen, I know how tore up you were about what happened. I was there, remember? I spent that morning in the bathroom, and the days following. You don’t need to apologize. I understand – hence why I said on Monday that I bit my tongue in return. With that said, is everything okay with you and Sarina?” Chase nods his head as he takes a deep breath.

“Everything was going perfectly – and then she said something and it took me right there immediately. We then talked about it, before just cuddling together…” He then runs his hands through his hair. “I just want to get to a time where there’s no reminders. I don’t want to feel sick and disgusted instantly. And I know it’s going to take time, and I know all this and that – but sometimes, can’t I just wish it would happen instantly?”

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting that. And really, you’re making progress because you and Sarina talked about it. That’s a start, right?” Chase nods his head.

“And before that, man, I can’t even describe this…” A smile comes across his cheeks as he thinks about their kisses together, earning an eye roll from Alan.

“I know there’s questions about her ability to get pregnant – but at least wear a glove just in case.” Chase then looks back over at Alan.

“Have you been hanging out with Kyle lately?” Alan just chuckles as they head out of the garage together, set to watch the all-star race qualifying session.

Chase stands back and lets Sarina get introduced to the crowd, before taking her hand as they head back to pit road, ready for the truck race that night.

“We need to go see Brex!” She lets out as they reach pit road, making the short turn to walk over to where Samantha and Kyle were with him, rather than going to her own truck. They immediately smiled as they walked over, seeing him having a piece of cake.

“Cake?” Brexton offers, grabbing a chunk of the small cake and holding it up to Sarina.

“I don’t want to be giving him the bath afterwards,” Sarina comments with a chuckle as she accepts the piece, eating it. “That’s actually really good.”

“Sarina!” Sarina wanted to pick him up as he wanted, but knew that’d result in getting cake all over her – not the best look before the race.

“Maybe later buddy.” She then kneels down before him. “I just wanted to come over here and say Happy Birthday. I can’t believe you’re three years old!”

“I can’t believe it either….” Samantha lets out as she tries to clean up some of the cake.

“Did you get my present?” Sarina questions and Brexton nods his head immediately. She had left a pedal car done to match her truck by the Busch motorhome earlier on that day. “We can have races against each other now at KBM!”

“Oh boy….” Kyle says as he rolls his eyes, earning a chuckle from Chase.

“’Hank you!” Brexton tells her, giving her a big hug in return.

“You’re welcome,” she replies, giving him a kiss on the cheek before standing up, as she glances over. She had luckily escaped getting cake all over her. Brexton then went to run off into the grass when Chase grabbed him, scooping him up in his arms, which sent Brexton into a fit of giggles.

“Not so fast,” Chase says as he turns him around in his arms. “I wanted to say Happy Birthday, as well! Oh, and I have a surprise for you later…” Kyle then looks over a little concerned. “I got you a bin to put all of your cars in neatly so you can take them all over – and it has a couple new cars in it. I figured daddy’s car needs a little more competition from me and my friends.”

“Now now, Jimmie Johnson cars are not allowed in the household,” Kyle teases as Chase just laughs.

“Sleepover again?” Brexton asks, catching everyone off-guard.

“Maybe another night bud, okay?” Chase offers and Brexton nods his head, accepting. Chase then sets him back down, letting him run off with a couple of his friends. “And maybe I should’ve included a Brad Keselowski car after all.”

“Well maybe I’ll just get you a Denny Hamlin diecast for your birthday, big boy,” Kyle replies, as they both laugh. “Good luck tonight. Stay out of trouble, and be smart. It’s easy to make a mistake here.”

“Gotcha boss,” Sarina replies. “Good luck tonight to you, too. See ya at the front of the field.” She then takes Chase’s hand as they walk off together over to her truck.

“I’m so glad that she has him…” Samantha smiles as she places a hand on Kyle’s shoulder.

“As much as it probably means to him to have her. I just wish that they could get the news they want about children…” Kyle glances over at Samantha. “I know what it feels like to not have that chance, feel that you can’t be a mother, you’re missing out. Of course, I can’t describe the overwhelming joy in being able to have Brexton.”

“We got our miracle. Maybe they’ll get theirs.”