Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2) (8 page)

BOOK: Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2)
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Chapter 27

 

The burly security guard who barred the way towards the back stage area thankfully recognized Kait. He gave her his best attempt at a smile before letting her past.

 

“Thanks,” Kait told him breathlessly. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d moved so fast. Her heart beat drummed madly in her ears. She had to get to Jasper. She hurried down the familiar corridor and found his dressing room. She took a few seconds to catch her breath before promptly knocking on the door. When there was no reply, she took the plunge and just opened it.

 

It was relatively dark inside with only one small lamp towards the back of the room providing any light. Quietly, Kait went in and closed the door behind her.

 

“I thought I told you to leave,” Jasper snarled from where he was sat on the sofa, his head leaned back and his eyes closed.

 

“Jasper…it’s me. Kait.”

 

When he heard her voice, his head snapped up and his eyes opened.

 

“Oh my God, are you okay?” She ran to his side and looked down in horror at his supported leg. The blood which had been flowing down his face was now cleaned away, but she could see the swelling beneath his eyes and around his nose which would darken and bruise. He was in bad shape.

 

“I saw what happened,” Kait spluttered nervously. “I came to support you and when that… that guy hit you,” she reached for Jasper’s hand and squeezed it. To her surprise, he quickly snatched it away, scowling angrily at her.

 

“I didn’t ask you to come tonight.”

 

Kait’s mouth flapped open, her words suddenly stolen from her. Why was he angry at her? She’d done a nice thing in coming to support him; how could he possibly be mad?

 

“Jasper…” she began tentatively. In her mind, she was still reeling from the horror of seeing so much blood gushing out of him. “I just wanted to be here for you.” She reached for his hand again, but he moved it beyond her grip.

 

“Did you enjoy seeing me be humiliated?” He asked spitefully.

 

“What?” Kait was now sitting beside him on the sofa, but he wouldn’t look directly at her. His gaze was distant as he swept across the other half of the dressing room.

 

“Of course I didn’t enjoy seeing you get hurt. Jasper, it killed me to see you go through that.”

 

“Then how do you think I feel?” Jasper barked. Now he was looking at her. His eyes burning with rage. “This is my career, Kait, my whole life. I looked weak out there which means I risk losing it all, and without my fighting, I have nothing.”

 

Kait flinched at his words. He blatantly didn’t have nothing; he had her. She was there by his side where she felt he belonged. But perhaps, he didn’t think that she was enough.

 

“Jasper, you’ll always have me,” she offered kindly.

 

He grunted in disapproval.

 

“Is there anything I can do?” She asked, looking down at his damaged leg. “Could I make you a cup of tea or something?”

 

“Yeah, because that will fix everything,” Jasper snapped sarcastically.

 

“I’m just trying to help.”

 

“If you want to help, then why don’t you go back in time and stop me getting my ass kicked in front of a packed out arena. Can you do that?”

 

Kait was staring down at her hands. She hadn’t expected Jasper to be like this. She thought he’d have melted against her as she embraced him, grateful that she was there. He was weak, and he should be leaning on her, but instead he was acting like a cornered feral animal and just blinding lashing out.

 

“I’m sorry the fight didn’t go the way you had hoped it would.” She told him sincerely.

 

“You think?” Jasper gave a cruel laugh. “Winning only counts if it looks like it came easily. Now everyone will be gunning for me and my title. I’m a laughing stock.”

 

Kait knitted her hands in to a tight basket. She bit her lip and tried to remain calm. Jasper was just upset over what had happened. He was lashing out at her because he could, because he cared about her, but she was starting to grow tired of his nasty attitude.

 

“Can you just go,” Jasper gestured towards the door. The remark pushed Kait over the edge.

 

“I came here for you!” she seethed at him. “I came here because I care about you! Because I want to support you and your career! And all you can do is be mean to me when I’ve done nothing wrong!”

 

Kait was climbing to her feet, shoving her handbag on to her shoulder and preparing to leave.

 

“Are we actually even together, Jasper?” She demanded tersely. “You say that we are, but you sure as hell don’t act like it. I barely see you, and when I do, it’s just about sex!”

 

“You want to talk about this now!” Jasper shouted at her. “Can’t you see I’ve got bigger things going on?”

 

“Well, that’s it, isn’t it?” Kait cried, raising her hands up in the air in defeat. “Everything will always be bigger and more important than me. And do you know what, I’m tired of it!”

 

Kait blinked back tears, refusing to give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

 

“Somewhere inside you there is a decent guy, a guy who would endanger himself to save a stranger. I’ve every interest in dating that guy but not this…this self-involved shell you too often become.”

 

Kait could feel that her tears were close. She wouldn’t be able to hold them back much longer.

 

“When you’re ready to be a decent guy, the kind of guy I actually deserve, give me a call. Until then, you can go to hell!”

 

Kait stormed out of the room almost colliding with the smartly dressed man on the other side of it. He gave her a bemused look as she apologized and hurried off down the corridor.

 

Chapter 28

 

“Well, that explains a lot,” Carl said smugly as he entered the dressing room and turned on the main lights. Jasper scowled at him and stiffened on the sofa. “I told you no distractions.”

 

“She’s not a distraction,” Jasper insisted, loathing that he had to defend himself.

 

“She sure as hell looks like one,” Carl noted. “What was she even doing here?”

 

“Saying goodbye,” Jasper explained bitterly.

 

“Right, well, good then.” Carl frowned as he looked down at Jasper’s damaged leg.

 

“There’s a car out back waiting to take you back to your place. Can you walk?”

 

Jasper remembered how he felt out in the ring. No, he couldn’t walk. He’d totally blown his knee out.

 

“I doubt it.”

 

“I don’t really like the idea of you going out of here in a wheelchair. What if someone gets a picture?” Carl was looking worried.

 

“I guess I can walk if I can lean on you,” Jasper shrugged.

 

“That could work,” Carl brightened and sauntered over to the sofa.

 

“We could just swing by the hospital like the paramedics suggested,” Jasper said hopefully. He knew that once the medication wore off, he’d be in agony again. His knee needed sorting out.

 

“Bad idea,” Carl declared stubbornly. “Too many photographers will be hounding the place expecting you to show up.”

 

With Carl’s help, Jasper managed to stand up. His bad leg felt unreliable beneath him as though it were now made of paper instead of lean muscle. He propped himself against his agent and did his best to sluggishly maneuver out of his dressing room.

 

After twenty breathless minutes, he was in the back of a waiting car, relieved to be off his feet. Carl was negotiating details with the driver beyond the closed doors. Jasper leaned forward and massaged the area around his knee. The paramedics had seemed concerned by his injury; he really should be at hospital having medical professionals take a good look at it.

 

“Okay, all set?” Carl climbed into the car beside him.

 

“I want to go to the hospital.”

 

“No, you don’t,” Carl decided briskly.

 

“Yes, I do,” Jasper insisted urgently. “My knee is fucked up, Carl, we can’t pretend like it didn’t happen. If I push too hard with it now, I risk causing irreparable damage.”

 

“Is that what the paramedics told you?”

 

“Basically, yeah.”

 

“Well, basically isn’t verbatim. I seemed to remember them saying that you should get it checked out, not that you must.”

 

“Aren’t they the same thing?”

 

“What do you think a doctor will say?” Carl turned to face his client as the car they were in pulled out of the car park and headed back towards town. “He’ll tell you to stay off it for weeks, maybe months. That means no training at all. You’d miss fights. After the way you left this latest fight, it would mean you could kiss your career goodbye.”

 

Jasper shivered at the thought of losing his career so quickly.

 

“So what do you suggest? I can barely walk.”

 

“Well,” Carl stroked his chin thoughtfully. “For now we just dose you up on pain meds. We get you through your next four fights which brings you to the end of the season. Then we take stock of your knee, and if need be, we get it replaced.”

 

A knee replacement. That was a big surgery. Jasper’s eyes widened at the prospect. It seemed a dangerous thing to do when he might avoid surgery if he just rested now.

 

“Fighting has always been about taking risks in and out of the ring, you know that,” Carl told him flatly. “It’s on you, Jasper. We could go the hospital now, but I guarantee you’ll never fight in a championship match again.”

 

Jasper chewed the side of his mouth as he deliberated. He currently felt only discomfort in his knee not pain thanks to his pain meds.

 

“So where to?” Carl prompted. “Home or the hospital?”

 

Jasper took a deep breath.

 

“Home.”

 

“Good lad,” Carl smiled and reached over to tap his shoulder in approval. “We’ll get you through these next few fights, just you wait and see. You’ll end the season a champion.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“And no more distractions,” Carl said sternly. “I don’t care what that blonde girl is to you, I don’t want her showing up backstage again. Understood?”

 

“Yeah,” Jasper sighed, “understood.”

Chapter 29

 

Kait had fought the urge to call Jasper. As much as she wanted to, she knew that the ball was now in his court. If he wanted to see her, he knew where he could find her. But what if he never came round? What if they were now done? Kait knew she couldn’t think like that. Jasper was just lashing out at her because he was hurt about what had happened in the ring during his latest fight. They were okay as a couple…weren’t they?

 

When someone finally knocked at her door the following evening, Kait literally jumped up from the sofa with delight. But she took her time answering, not wanting Jasper to know how eagerly she had been awaiting his visit. As she’d expected, when she unlocked the latch, she found him standing in her doorway looking sheepish.

 

“Hey.” He had the decency to look deep into her eyes rather than avoid her gaze. Kait felt a rush of heat burn through her as their eyes connected.

 

“Look, Kait, about yesterday.” She moved aside so that he could enter the apartment. It pained her to see him hobble in awkwardly on his bad leg. She glanced down at it and saw that it was covered by a support bandage beneath his gym shorts. She hoped Jasper had been sensible enough to go to the hospital and have someone take a look at it.

 

She wanted to tell him how angry he’d made her. How he should have been thankful that she’d come to support him at his match. But now he was in her apartment, now she could smell his sweat mixed with his designer cologne, her thoughts became a blur, and she couldn’t think. When he reached for her, she didn’t resist.

 

They crashed together in a passionate wave of kisses as arms eagerly felt every inch of one another’s body. Kait groaned as his tongue pressed up against hers. They found their way into her bathroom, and Jasper soon had her back pressed up against the tiled walls. He pulled off her jeans, and the cool surface was cold against her bare skin. But Kait didn’t care. Her body was already on fire.

 

Jasper came close and kissed her neck. Kait held him close, savoring the sensation.

 

“I missed you,” he nuzzled the words into her ear.

 

“I missed you too,” she told him breathlessly.

 

For the next hour, they were locked together in the bathroom. The mirror became steamed up with the heat from their intensity. When they eventually parted, Kait was breathing hard. She looked over at Jasper, wanting to take him all in, but to her surprise, he was quickly pulling his shorts back on.

 

“What are you doing?” she demanded sternly. She had hoped that perhaps they could enjoy a bath or shower together, spend the evening unwinding in front of a movie and even indulge in a takeaway pizza like they used to do.

 

“I need to be heading back,” Jasper told her flippantly as he left the bathroom. Kait stormed after him, not caring that she was still completely naked. She did however reach for a towel by the door before she powered through it which she now protectively wrapped around herself. Moments ago, she’d been in euphoria to be naked with Jasper. Now, she didn’t want his eyes to see her bare flesh.  He’d once again changed in an instant and let her down. But this would be the last time. She knew that.

 

“You’re not going anywhere!” She shouted at him. Jasper had already been headed towards the door, and he stopped and slowly turned around.

 

“I can’t stay here,” he told her apologetically. “I’m not even supposed to be here.”

 

“What?” Kait snapped incredulously.

 

Jasper massaged the back of his neck and looked awkward.

 

“I’m meant to be focusing on my training right now,” he admitted. “You saw how badly I took a beating out there. I can’t let that happen again. My agent, he fears that being in a relationship knocks me off my game.”

 

“Well it’s none of his business!”

 

“Look, Kait-”

 

“I am done with you treating me like I don’t matter to you. You come round here, and we have amazing sex, and then you leave. Do you have any idea how that makes me feel, Jasper? I don’t feel like I’m loved by some amazing guy; I just feel used.”

 

Kait tilted her head back to avoid crying and bit her lip. She’d wanted to be wrong about Jasper. She’d wanted to believe that they could be a genuine couple, that they could be happy together. But nothing was changing. She was still coming a very distant second to his career, and she knew it wasn’t a position she could remain in long term.

 

“What do you want from me?” Jasper roared the words at her. “I came here to see you even though I shouldn’t. You know how things are for me. I told you!”

 

He was so angry that the veins on his neck were protruding. Kait folded her arms across her chest and tried to hold her ground. She didn’t want to fight, but she felt like he was giving her no choice. All she’d wanted was for him to stay and spend the evening with her, and somehow it had escalated in to a full blown argument.

 

“I want us to be together!” Kait admitted. “Not just part time, but properly!”

 

“I can’t do that!” Jasper threw his hands up in dismay. “You knew what you were getting into with me.”

 

Kait was crying now. This wasn’t the response she’d been hoping for. Jasper wasn’t speaking with regret and telling her he wished things were different. He was telling her that things were as they’d always been and weren’t going to change. Did he not wish they could be together more?

 

“But I want more!” Kait declared as her tears exploded down her cheeks. “I want to lie in your arms and fall asleep against your chest. I want all of you, Jasper, not just the little bit that you can spare.”

 

She saw his shoulders tense. She hoped he was about to come and take her in his strong arms, but his expression remained hard.

 

“If you don’t want to do this anymore, then fine,” he told her quietly.

 

“That’s not what I’m saying!” Kait implored desperately.

 

“If you can’t handle what we have, then let’s call it quits.”

 

Jasper was being cruel. His eyes were glazed over and distant, the way they were when he was in the ring. This wasn’t like him. This wasn’t the man who had saved her from those thugs in the car park.

 

“Jasper - ” but it was too late. Jasper powered towards the front door and slammed it behind him as he left. Shaken, Kait dropped to her knees, gazing helplessly at the space where he had just been.

 

BOOK: Break Me (Caged Hearts Book 2)
3.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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