Jasper:Caged Hearts MMA(4)

By: Heather West





“I’m sorry,” Kait turned back to face him as she reached the first floor. “The heating has been broken for months. There are currently just two settings: Mediterranean or arctic.”



“Sounds…intense.”



Kait moved purposefully up the staircase, passed the second floor, and carried on towards her own floor. Jasper continued to flank her, his breathing steadily growing heavier.



“Okay, we’re here,” Kait fumbled nervously for her keys as she pushed open the door to the third floor. Running a hand through her golden hair, she tried to appear casual as she approached her apartment, but in her mind she was aware that it had been quite some time since she’d let a man cross the threshold, yet here she was inviting a relative stranger inside. A stranger who had saved her life though. A stranger with deep, dreamy eyes and bulging biceps…



Shaking herself back to her senses, Kait put the key in the door and opened it up. The heat from the hallway continued through to her immaculate apartment. The décor was minimalist, and everything was tidy. The few pictures which were scattered about were of Kait and her mother.



“You keep your place nice,” Jasper commented politely as he followed her inside.



“Thank you.” Kait just hoped he wouldn’t clock the over flowing laundry basket residing near the kitchen area.



“You live alone?” Jasper asked casually as he looked around. Kait felt her heart skip a beat. Was he asking if she were single? Did he care? Or was he just making polite conversation? With a disappointed sigh, she decided it was probably the latter.



“Yeah, it’s just me,” she admitted as she kicked off her shoes and approached the kitchenette which was adjoined to her living and dining area.



“I’ve got a first aid kit somewhere,” she mumbled to herself as she began opening cupboards. “Can I get you a tea? Or coffee?”



“Tea please.” Jasper smiled at her as he nervously sat down on her pristine cream couch with carefully placed turquoise scatter cushions. The curtains in a matching rich shade were open, revealing the lit up apartment building on the other side of the parking lot. It was hardly a scenic view. Yet another reason for Kait’s eagerness to move. She yearned to open up her curtains in a morning and see rolling green hills and vast open skies instead of endless cars and street lamps.



Kait smiled lightly to herself at Jasper’s request. For some reason, she had him pinned as a coffee man. Tea seemed more…refined a choice. She liked that he was able to surprise her.



As the kettle boiled, she found the first aid box. It hadn’t been opened since she’d grabbed it at a supermarket several years earlier. Breaking the seal, she peered inside. There was some gauze, bandages, sterile wipes, and anti-bacterial hand gel. Not much of use really, but it was all she had.



Kait made them both a tea and carried the mugs over to where Jasper was sitting, the first aid box nestled beneath her arm.



“I still think you should consider going to hospital,” she told him cautiously as she handed him the hot drink. “This is all I have.” She perched on the coffee table across from him and showed him the plastic first aid box.



“That’ll do,” Jasper shrugged casually and began removing his t-shirt. Kait tensed as she spotted the sculpted ripples on his chest. The man was like a living, breathing piece of art. With his t-shirt removed, the cut across his perfect chest was glaringly obvious. The sight of blood snapped Kait back in to the moment.



“I can’t believe they stabbed you,” she muttered as she began rummaging nervously through the contents of the first aid box.



“Seriously, they only grazed me,” Jasper insisted bravely. “I’ve suffered far worse injuries than this.”



Kait eyed the wound and wondered what sort of injuries Jasper had suffered before. This one looked pretty nasty, though thankfully, on further inspection didn’t appear too deep. Ripping open a sterile wipe packet, Kait tentatively came and sat beside Jasper. His chest was rising and falling with each breath he took.



“This might sting a little,” she warned.

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