Jasper:Caged Hearts MMA(3)By: Heather West
“I was coming back from the gym when I spotted those arseholes following you in here,” he explained in his deep voice which soothed Kait. Each word sounded like it was coated in delicious caramel.
“Well, thank you,” Kait breathed again, struggling to her feet. The handsome stranger immediately helped her up. He was so impossibly strong, yet his touch as he held her arms was soft and tender; he was a gentle giant.
“I’m Jasper Duboix,” he offered with a smile which lit up his entire face.
“Kaitlyn Stewart,” Kait told him breathlessly.
“Pleasure to meet you, Kaitlyn.” His smile broadened, and Kait thought she might melt. But then she saw the blood stain spreading through his tight fitting t-shirt.
“Oh my God, he stabbed you!” She stiffened with alarm.
Jasper looked down at himself in bemusement and shrugged.
“It’s just a scratch.”
“Just a scratch?” Kait’s eyes widened at him. There was far too much blood for just a scratch.
“I’ll be fine; I’m more concerned about you.”
“We need to get you to hospital,” Kait insisted, glancing at the floor and stooping to retrieve her bag and keys once she’d located them.
“I don’t need to go to hospital.”
“Yes, you do,” Kait told him sternly as she strutted towards her car. “You might need stitches. I’ll drive you.”
She threw open the car door and positioned herself behind the wheel.
“Come on!” She urged to Jasper who slowly walked up behind her. But he didn’t get in the car; he remained by the bonnet wearing a stern expression. “Get in!” Kait told him sharply.
“I’m not going to the hospital.”
Kait released the wheel she’d been gripping tightly and sighed dramatically. She could still see the blood on Jasper’s t-shirt. He’d been hurt because he’d chosen to help her. He had saved her life; she couldn’t just thank him and send him on his way. She needed to help him. But if he was refusing to go to hospital, what choice did she have?
“Fine,” Kait conceded, “no hospital. But please let me take you back to my place and patch you up a bit.”
Jasper looked hesitant at her offer.
“Please, it’s the least I can do.”
For a moment, she thought he was just going to walk away, to slink in to the shadows and never look back. And even though she was still a relative stranger, the thought of him just leaving like that caused knots to form in Kait’s stomach. To her relief, he walked slowly around the car and climbed in the passenger side.
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to get cleaned up,” he announced as he buckled his seat belt. Smiling, Kait started the car’s engine and pulled forward.
“I really appreciate what you did for me,” she told him as she steered around the tight bends in the parking lot towards the exit, seeing no signs of the men who previously assaulted her.
“It’s no problem, really,” Jasper told her humbly, clearly not relishing his new role of hero.
“Well, this is me.” Kait pulled up outside the apartment building where she lived. Lights glowed within numerous windows.
“Nice,” Jasper gave a brief nod of approval before climbing out of the car. Kait noticed how he wrapped an arm around his chest and winced slightly as he moved.
“I’m on the third floor,” she told him apologetically. “And the lift is out.”
Jasper tightened his jaw and gave another brief nod.
Kait used her key fob to open the main doors to the building. It was too warm inside. Kait felt hot before she’d even reached the internal staircase. Her landlord clearly still hadn’t fixed the issue with the heating within the building, yet another reason why she was desperate to leave her apartment and buy a house of her own where if there was a problem with anything, she’d fix it in a prompt and timely manner.
“Jeeze, it’s sure hot in here,” Jasper commented as he followed her up the stairs, his footsteps slightly laboured.