Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2)

BOOK: Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2)
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.

 

Break Me copyright 2015 by Heather West. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.

Chapter 1

 

“Kait…Kait!”

 

Kait jumped in her seat as her eyes snapped wide with attention. The smartly dressed men and women gathered around the grand meeting table were all directing their gazes at her, waiting intently for her to speak.

 

“Um…yes,” Kait began to flick through the papers placed on the table before her.

 

“The figures for the last quarter were our strongest yet,” she began, trying not to sound as nervous as she felt.

 

Marie, who was sat beside her, placed a hand on Kait’s arm and leaned close to whisper to her.

 

“We’ve already been over the figures for last quarter. We need to talk about projections now, Kait.”

 

Kait nodded and shoved some of her hair out of her face.

 

“Yes,” she replied briskly. “Yes of course.” She spotted the piece of paper with the correct data and took a deep breath. “We are all extremely optimistic about projections for the rest of the year.”

 

The people around the table leaned back in their chairs and commenced listening to her report.

 

Kait breathed a sigh of relief when the meeting finally concluded. She began gathering her papers as people dispersed from the room, eager to grab a much needed cup of coffee.

 

“What was that?” Marie was standing beside her, patiently waiting instead of leaving. Her neat eyebrows were knotted together, and her shoulders were tensely gathered by her neck.

 

“What was what?” Kait innocently blinked at her.

 

“That-” Marie gestured back towards the meeting table. “You totally spaced, Kait. You can’t keep dropping the ball like that, especially if you want to make your fixture in these development meetings a more permanent one.”

 

Kait’s cheeks burned with understanding. “I’m so sorry,” she uttered nervously. “I lost my focus. It won’t happen again.”

 

“It had better not,” Marie said sternly as she folded her arms across her chest. “When you look bad, the company looks bad. Have I made myself clear?”

 

“Crystal.”

 

“Okay, good.” Marie left and took her cloud of vanilla perfume with her. With a sigh, Kait dropped back down in to her chair. The meeting had been crucial. Her team had been prepping for it for weeks. Yet in the middle of it all, she’d allowed her mind to wander. And she had of course been thinking about Jasper.

 

Kait held her head in her hands. It had been a whole month since she’d last heard from Jasper and an impressive twenty four hours since she’d felt compelled to check his Twitter page. Shouldn’t she be getting over him by now? Instead, he was pretty much all she could think about. She remembered how amazing it felt to kiss him, and her body would tingle as though being caressed by thousands of fireflies.

 

“I’m over him,” Kait told herself firmly as she stood back up and smoothed down her pencil skirt.

 

“I’m over him,” she repeated as she walked out of the meeting room, but sadly her voice lacked the conviction she’d hoped it would have.

 

Chapter 2

 

Kait found that the nights were the worst. She’d sit alone in her apartment and see Jasper everywhere she turned. She was still waiting to hear about the promotion at work. Her life felt as though it had been bizarrely put on pause, and she was unable to go forwards or back. She just had to wait. And wait for what? Did she expect Jasper to send more flowers, to offer more dates? She’d received that one text from him and then nothing.

 

It didn’t help that Anna was all loved up. Gone were the girly nights out that Kait surely needed. Each time she called Anna she was either with Robert or about to go and see him. And when they did meet up, Anna was so buoyed up with new found love that Kait would leave seething with jealously, and she hated to feel like that. She wanted to only be happy for her best friend. And she was; she truly was. She just wanted some happiness for herself.

 

In a bid to kill time, Kait ran a long, hot bath. One change which had come about since her initial meeting with Jasper was that she no longer worked late. She had told her boss about the attack in the parking lot, leaving out the part where a handsome stranger saves her. She just said that the men with the knife got spooked and fled but it had shaken her up and she no longer wanted to work late.

 

To both Kait’s surprise and relief, her boss completely understood, and now she left the office at the same time as everyone else. This was both a blessing and a curse. It meant that Kait was more rested and felt less frazzled and wrung out. It also meant that she was spending more time at her apartment. More time dedicated to pining over Jasper.

 

Lowering a hand, Kait checked the temperature of the water. It was just about right. Removing her robe, she got in and gave a sigh of contentment as she slid beneath the scented bubbles.

 

She’d bought in a glass of wine to enjoy whilst in the bath along with a book. But after having several sips of the wine, she put down her book and reached for her phone. Before she could talk herself out of it, she looked up Jasper’s Twitter page. There were numerous comments referring to a recent fight of his. From what people were saying, Jasper had taken quite a beating in the ring despite being the victor.

 

Woah @J_Duboix that look rough but congrats on the win bro!

 

You’ll be sore tomorrow @J_Duboix but think how sweet victory tastes!

 

Next time you might not be so lucky @J_Duboix

 

Kait was intrigued. The last big fight Jasper had been in he’d barely won. Were his struggles in the ring becoming a regular thing? She thought of how badly beaten up he’d seemed in the park. He needed to stop pushing himself. It was getting crazy.

 

A quick internet search on her phone pulled up a detailed account of the fight from a sports journalist who was there. It made for grim reading.

 

Several times throughout the tense match, I feared that reigning champion Jasper Duboix might not get up. His blood was streaked across the ring, and he’d lost two of his teeth during the last round. But showing the grit and determination which only a true champion can possess, he pushed through and managed to secure himself another crucial victory.

 

Kait felt cold despite the warm water around her. Jasper had basically had his teeth knocked out during his last fight. How powerful must a punch be in order to do that? Her teeth chattered fearfully, terrified to just imagine such an impact.

 

“Jasper, what are you doing?” Kait muttered to herself as she read more about his latest fight. People were quick to speculate about why he wasn’t showing his usual prowess in the ring. Many believed he’d simply lost his touch and that his time as champion was drawing to an end. This pained Kait. She knew how much his career meant to Jasper. He’d be devastated if he was to lose it, and despite all that happened between them, she wanted Jasper to be happy. If victory meant so much to him, she hoped he would always win, but it seemed he was dangerously close to experiencing grave losses or worse: an injury he just couldn’t come back from.

 

Chapter 3

 

Worry gnawed at Kait even after she’d dried off and was sat on the sofa watching the television. She kept thinking about the state Jasper must be in. His big match was just the night before. He must be holed up somewhere sore and miserable. A part of her was desperate to go and see him. She yearned to reach out and tell him that he was so much more than the man the public saw in the ring. He was kind and decent; he didn’t need all the championship titles to prove that. He had stepped in and saved Kait, endangering his own life when most men would have walked away.

 

The sound of her phone ringing made Kait jump. For a few exhilarated seconds, she thought that perhaps it was Jasper calling, that he’d been thinking about her as much as she’d been thinking about him, but her heart sunk when she saw Anna’s name flashing on the screen.

 

“Anna, hey,” Kait answered as brightly as she could.

 

“Hey, Kait. You okay?”

 

“I’m alright.”

 

“So you’re feeling better?”

 

Kait suddenly remembered that she was supposed to have a cold. It was the excuse she’d used the previous Friday to avoid going on a double date with Anna, Robert, and one of Robert’s friends. She just wasn’t ready to meet someone new no matter how wonderful Anna insisted he was.

 

“I’m getting there,” Kait coughed a few times for dramatic effect.

 

“These stupid viruses,” Anna moaned down the line. “Daniel was so disappointed not to meet you.”

 

“Yeah,” Kait lied convincingly, “me too.”

 

“Do you think you’ll be up for going out this Friday?” Anna wondered brightly.

 

Kait tensed and chewed her lip. She didn’t like lying to her friend and constantly letting her down. And Daniel might well be a simply wonderful man. But her heart wasn’t ready to risk being broken again; it was still recovering from its bout with Jasper in the ring of their non-existent relationship.

 

“He’s so nice,” Anna enthused. “And handsome too. He wears a suit to work like Robert does. A suit, Kait! How hot is that?”

 

Kait shrugged. It was hot. To most women it was the ultimate fantasy: a well-dressed man who was polite, kind, and handsome. But Kait’s blood had practically boiled when she saw Jasper in the gym wearing only some nylon shorts and a white t-shirt. There was something raw about his casual attire that she just couldn’t resist. He didn’t dress himself up in a suit and pretend to be something he wasn’t. He embraced his true nature, who he was.

 

“Oh, darn, I’ve got to work late on Friday.” Kait made the excuse before she even realized what she was doing.

 

“Really? That sucks,” Anna was audibly disappointed by her friend’s lack of availability. “They need to stop making you work late, especially after what happening the parking lot.”

 

“Uh huh,” Kait made a sound of agreement.

 

“So when can you meet Daniel?”

 

“I don’t know…soon.”

 

“Okay, well it better be or someone else will snap him up.”

 

Kait knew that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Daniel surely deserved to go on a date with someone who would be excited to see him, not someone who was doing it just to stop a friend from feeling bad.

 

After the call ending, Kait gazed gloomily at the television. Jasper was once again front and center of her thoughts. No matter what she did, she couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was like he had infected her system, and now she would forever be plagued by thoughts of him.

 

Picking up her phone, she checked his Twitter page yet again. He’d offered a simple statement about his latest fight.

 

No Pain. No Gain. @J_Duboix

 

He’d lost teeth! Where did he draw the line about what was too much? Kait gazed sadly at the tweet, wishing she wasn’t as proud as she was. She wanted to march over to the gym and demand he stop being so cavalier about his own physical well-being, but that wasn’t her place. That was a conversation he should be having with his significant other, and that definitely wasn’t Kait. She doubted she even warranted the flimsy title of ex-girlfriend in Jasper’s eyes.

 

She wished she could stop caring. That she could stop thinking of him as a girlfriend would. But she couldn’t. She spent the rest of the evening looking up pictures of Jasper on the internet, desperate to just have a glimpse of him. 

 

BOOK: Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2)
4.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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