Jasper:Caged Hearts MMA

By: Heather West

Chapter 1

Kaitlyn Stewart waved at the night security guard who was leaning against the reception desk. He glanced up and gave her a sad smile.

“Working late again, Kait?” He asked, showing concern.

Kait rolled her eyes and pushed a strand of blonde hair behind her ear.

“You know it, Rob.”

“You work too hard, anyone ever tell you that?”

“You’ve made quite the habit of telling me,” Kait mocked with a warm smile.

“Well just you take care,” Rob offered as he did every night. “Pretty girl like you shouldn’t be walking around on her own after dark.”

“This isn’t the seventies, Rob,” Kait laughed as she pushed open the glass doors that served as the entrance to her office building. The sharp night air pressed up against her, causing her to shiver beneath her designer trench coat. Drawing her arms close to her body, she lowered her head and started to walk purposefully towards the high rise parking lot where her car had been waiting for her since first light.

Kait was grateful of the brisk evening air which pulled at her long blonde hair. It was a pleasant change from the stuffy recirculated air of the office where she worked. She just wished that the days were longer during the winter months. Lately, she arrived at work in darkness and left when the stars were out shining once again. She missed the warmth of sunlight upon her skin. The tan she was currently sporting had come via bottle.

Her black stiletto shoes snapped sharply against the hard ground as she hurriedly approached the imposing structure of the parking lot. She tottered over to the elevator, pressed a button with a manicured finger, and patiently waited for it to arrive. As she waited she sent a few cursory glances around the ground floor of the parking lot. It was deserted. All the other cars had long since gone home for the day.

Kait shivered. She wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or from unease. She hoped that a few cars would remain on the fourth floor where she was parked. The elevator arrived with a gentle chime, and the doors begrudgingly parted, granting her access inside. Stepping inside, Kait stiffened as she thought she saw a shadow move just beyond her peripheral vision. She strained to look back in to the parking lot, but the doors were already closing, limiting her view.

“I need to stop working so late,” Kait mumbled to herself as the elevator began to ascend. Lately, she was working late every night. She was desperate for a promotion and did everything she could to prove her diligence to her boss, Sarah. She worked overtime, she picked up extra jobs, and she never left an email unanswered. Kait was pushing herself in the vain hope that it would ultimately pay off. A promotion would enable her to put down a deposit on the house she’d been coveting for months. She’d be able to pay off all her debts and finally start having the career she’d always dreamed of. But Sarah was notorious for never promoting anyone. Kait was determined to win Sarah over, to get the promotion she so sorely deserved.

The elevator arrived on the fourth floor, and the doors slowly parted. Kait stepped out and to her dismay saw that her little Fiat 500 was the only car remaining there.

“Damn it,” Kait quickened her pace as she approached her cream coloured car. She didn’t like being the last person in the parking lot; there was something creepy about the place at night. There were too many shadows, too many concrete pillars someone could hide behind. Kait was just a few feet from her car, her key palmed in her hand in readiness when a force pushed her from behind. The sharp clatter of her own footsteps had hidden the scrambled run of her assailant from her.

Kait lost her balance and tumbled awkwardly against the concrete ground, losing her grip on both her handbag and her car keys which skittered away from her.

“Come on then, bitch!” Rough hands rolled Kait on to her front. She glanced up to see a man with an angry face and several gold teeth staring down at her. His breath smelt of cheap cider.

“Please, just let me go,” Kait pleaded, raising her hands to shield her face.

“Let’s take her car!” A nearby voice sneered.

“Or let’s just take her,” another declared viciously. “She’s really pretty.”

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