Jasper:Caged Hearts MMA(10)

By: Heather West

My head is banging like you wouldn’t believe this morning. Great night though! We MUST do it again soon! Love ya xoxo

Kait dropped the phone back down and pushed her fingers through her golden hair. A few seconds passed as she gathered her senses and then her body froze with panic. She was surely late for work. Outside the sun was already shining which meant she wasextremelylate for work. She made a panicked dash towards the bathroom but stopped abruptly in the hallway when her brain finally caught up and she remembered that it was Saturday. She didn’t need to be at work. With her shoulders sagging with relief, Kait continued towards the bathroom, figuring that she needed a shower to sharpen her senses and wash away the fog of fatigue.

Chapter 9

With her skin glowing from the heat of the shower, Kait made herself breakfast and flicked on the television. A news report was on which she glimpsed at with mild interest. For some reason, she was struggling to focus on the presenter despite their serious expression and grave tone.

Holding a fresh mug of coffee, Kait wandered back into her bedroom and grabbed her phone. Then she flopped down on to the sofa with no intention to move for the rest of the day. Her head ached with the promise of a blinding headache, and her bones throbbed. She needed a day of rest and relaxation, but as she sipped her coffee, she found her spare hand calling up Jasper’s twitter page, unable to suppress her own curiosity. He’d already tweeted twice that morning;

I’m up and hungry for more! Last night was just the appetizer, the main course is coming at 8pm! - @J_Duboix

Tonight! Ample Garden Theatre @8pm! Tickets $25 at the door! #bringthepain - @J_Duboix

He had a fight that night. Kait ceased looking at the television, completely entranced by the message on her phone. Jasper was fighting again tonight despite the brutal beating he’d endured in the cage. Yes, he’d won, but at what cost?

Guilt swelled through Kait as she thought of his wounded chest. A wound which could have been avoided, a wound which he refused to seek medical attention for. How could a professional athlete be so careless with their own well-being? His recklessness infuriated her.

Two fights in as many nights seemed crazy. Admittedly she didn’t know the industry, but it felt excessive by any standards. Surely Jasper needed more than a day to recover from a bout in the ring. Why was he pushing himself so much?

Looking back at his Twitter, Kait noticed that some of his followers echoed her thoughts in their replies to his message;

Woah, @J_Duboix is an ANIMAL killing it again in the ring tonight!

Seriously, dude, do you ever like, sleep?

@J_Duboix must be sponsored by #duracell because he never stops!!

Kait closed the Twitter page and put down her phone. Frowning, she stood up and went to retrieve her laptop. Settling back on her sofa, she opened it up and ran another search on Jasper Duboix. This time her mind was more alert to take in all the findings.

There was a lot documented about his triumphs as a fighter. Jasper seemed to be a prolific fighter, entering both Mixed Martial Arts and Cage Fighting tournaments and almost always winning. By all accounts he was a fierce competitor with a steely determination to win. As Kait read more about Jasper, she started to discover where some of his determination might come from.

He’d grown up in the foster care system and apparently never knew his birth parents after being abandoned in a local church as a baby. Kait found only the one article about Jasper’s childhood. It was on the BBC website and had come out shortly after his triumph at the Olympics that year. He’d enjoyed a flush of celebrity yet Kait hadn’t recognized him. Then again, she was always too consumed with work to watch much television.

There were tellingly no quotes from Jasper in the article, just accounts of where he had grown up and how troubled he had once been. Apparently he was regularly in trouble with the police in his early teens, but then he found martial arts at fourteen and turned his life around.

Kait admired his grit and tenacity, but her admiration only angered her. She wanted to hate Jasper; she wanted to discover that he was a creep with a wife and a couple of kids who he publically doted on and then screwed over behind their backs. But from what she could find online, Jasper was very much single and focused solely on his fighting career.

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