Managed 2: A Rock Star Romance, page 3
“Thank you,” he said throwing the empty bottle on the ground.
Hailey arched an eyebrow at him.
“The cleaning people come through the hotel room twice a day and pick things up. I have to give them something to do.”
“I call it bullshit. You are in pain and don't want to admit it.”
Jasper tried to smile at her but the pain he must have been feeling was making it impossible. “Can you help me take my shirt off? I want to take a shower and get the grime of yesterday off me.”
“Yeah, will you be alright in the shower by yourself?”
“Are you asking to join me, Little Bird? Because if you are, I will gladly accept your company.”
Hailey’s face heated up, realizing what a mistake her words sounded like. Also she couldn't stop her mind from sending her mental pictures of a wet naked Jasper into her very overactive imagination. “I didn't mean it that way. I meant if I leave to go to the office, would you be ok by yourself? Last thing I need is you slipping and falling and breaking something else or worse.”
She wasn't sure if she was imagining it, but she could have sworn his face fell after she mentioned leaving. She didn’t want to think about it.
“I don't want to be alone today. I tell you what, wait for me and I'll go to the office with you. That way you can keep me good and doped up on pain meds, and you know my every move. If I sit here all day I will go insane and clean out the wet bar.”
Her brain halted. His logic made sense to her, but she couldn't help but feel that maybe he didn't want to be away from her almost as much as he didn't want to be alone. She knew that he hadn't talked to his band yet and they would probably come over in a second if he called them. Well, maybe not Dustin. He seemed to be the type to ditch anyone if he had the chance to get laid.
“I have to go to my apartment and get changed. I can go while you are in the shower and come back and get you.” She didn't know why her voice decided to go all raspy on her.
“Just wait for me, it won't take me long. I need you to help me unbind my ribs and bind them up anyway. I also need you to get me that waterproof sleeve and leg thingy you bought at the pharmacy so I can take a shower. You might as well stay and help me, then we can go to your apartment and you grab whatever you need before we head to your work.”
Once again, his logic made complete sense. Maybe it was the lack of sleep that was making her want what he was saying to her to mean more than it did.
“Ok,” Hailey said, not really having any other choice. He was right; he would need assistance getting the binding off and on, and the waterproof sleeves, although it looked easy, with one hand it was probably going to be impossible to get on.
Jasper pushed off the doorjamb, lifted one hand, and tried to lift the casted hand up as much as he could. Hailey moved closer to him and begged her breath to keep an even pace. She reached over, grabbed the hem of his shirt, and tried to lift it without touching his skin. The back of her knuckles grazed over his hard abdomen and Jasper hissed. Hailey stopped quickly, afraid she had caused him pain.
“I'm sorry,” she whispered when she noticed his eyes were shut tight and he had a sheen of sweat covering his forehead.
“It's ok. I realized you probably won't be able to get my shirt off me.”
“Why is that?” she asked still holding the bottom of his shirt up exposing some of his delicious abs.
“I'm a little bit too tall for you.”
A weird sound burst through Hailey's lips. She was sure it was supposed to be a laugh, but for some reason it came out as an odd loud noise. Jasper looked down at her and a slow smirk overtook his face.
“I can get a chair,” she told him wanting to get this over with so she could dig a hole and bury herself in it. It was too early to be embarrassing herself already.
“No need. I'll just bend down.”
“That won't be necessary. I don't want you to hurt yourself.” He tapped her nose with his good hand and ever so slowly knelt in front of her; a romantic gesture that made her feel alive and sexy.
At that moment, Hailey couldn't think of anything sexier than Jasper lowering himself down to the ground in front of her. Even the fantasies she had about Matthew, her somewhat maybe boyfriend, paled in comparison to Jasper's movements. Her hands were still gripped to the bottom of his shirt and the lower he got the higher his shirt got exposing his muscular abs and then the bandages the nurse had wrapped around him the night before. Hailey held her breath as she stared down at Jasper. She wanted to kiss those soft pale lips.
“Anytime you are ready.”
Hailey was staring for longer than was socially acceptable. She carefully removed the shirt from his body making sure not to jar his injuries. After the shirt was gone, Jasper stared up at her not moving his body. They locked eyes and Hailey stopped herself from grabbing onto his hair and kissing him senseless.
“Thanks,” he said finally rising from the floor. “Can you get the wrap?”
Hailey swallowed loudly as she moved behind him to help him unwrap his ribs. Every time her hands skimmed his naked flesh, her heartbeat sped up. By the time she was done, she needed a shower. A very cold shower.
Jasper winked at her and walked into the bathroom, leaving the door open a crack. Hailey moved over to his bed and sat on the edge listening to the sound of the water. She kept picturing Jasper's naked body and thinking that he was only a few yards away.
She needed to get her head straight. Nothing good would come out of her lusting after her client. All too soon, the water shut off and Jasper was rummaging around in the bathroom. She was at war: hoping he wouldn't call her to help him and begging to see him naked.
Jasper came out of the bathroom with a towel awkwardly wrapped around his waist. Hailey's gaze roamed over the wet naked flesh. Beads of water dripped aimlessly from his muscular frame. When the towel twitched, showing that a certain body part didn't mind her looking at all, Hailey ripped her gaze away quickly.
“I'll go get the extra wrap.” She bolted out of the room so she wouldn't do anything stupid.
Jasper chuckled as she made her way into the kitchen.
For the next twenty minutes, Hailey played nursemaid, wrapped him up, and helped him get dressed. The entire time, her heart raced at the sleek physique and the sly laughs from the wicked, drugged rock star. With every touch, it made her quiver all over.
Once Jasper was thoroughly bound and dressed, they made it to the lobby to meet up with Carl. Carl jumped out of the car as soon as the two of them exited the hotel. He looked over at Jasper, worry on his face. It warmed her to see that someone that worked for Jasper cared about him. He was a good guy, as much as he pretended not to be, and the people around him, even the ones that worked for him saw through his fake bad boy routine.
“You look like hell,” Carl told Jasper, as they got into the back of the car.
“I feel like I was hit by a bus.”
“Nope, just a cab,” Hailey said before slapping her hand across her mouth. She was mortified she said that to him.
Carl leaned back his head in the driver’s seat and burst out laughing. Jasper tried to laugh but grabbed his ribs.
“Ah, Little Bird, you do have a sense of humor,” he whined, as he wheezed and laughed next to her.
“Sorry,” Hailey told him, unable to stop the giggle that burst out of her.
Carl pulled out into traffic, still laughing, as he drove to Hailey's apartment. When they pulled up to her apartment nerves shot through Hailey. It wasn't that she wasn't proud of where she lived but it was not what Jasper had become accustomed to. He lived in an apartment at the top of the hotel where he had maids and room service at the touch of his finger. King in a castle of servants.
She fumbled with her keys and let Jasper enter her apartment. He looked around taking in the small living room.
“I'm going to take a quick shower and get ready. There's food in the fridge if you’re still hungry from breakfast.” Hailey couldn't meet his ey
“I'll be fine.” He walked to her entertainment center looking at the pictures on it. “Who is this?” he asked, pointing to a picture of Hailey and her grandma on Hailey's graduation day.
“That's my grandma. She raised me.” Hailey snapped her mouth shut wishing she hadn't said anything.
Jasper turned his head to look at her over his shoulder. When she didn't give him any more information, he turned back to study the rest of the pictures. Hailey watched his back for a moment before shaking her head and walking into her room. She picked a pair of baggy khaki slacks and a button down purple shirt before heading into the bathroom attached to her room. It was at this point that she didn’t feel so bad about her place. It was hers and maybe he needed to see that to understand why they couldn’t be involved. She liked her simple life. The peace and quiet was just what she needed. Her giving back was her way of finding normalcy in an evil world of users.
Hailey turned on the faucets and eased into the shower. The hot water felt amazing on her aching body. She stood under the flow and let it caress her cares away. Who would have thought doing absolutely nothing could make a person so sore? Her eyes snapped open when the bathroom door cracked open. “Jasper?”
“Relax I just want to talk to you and I didn't want to yell through the door. I got lonely in there too. Don't worry I can't see anything and I’ll be a complete gentleman.”
Hailey pulled the shower curtain back; he wasn't lying when he said he couldn't see anything. The bathroom door was opened a sliver. It still didn't make her feel very secure, and she hurried to wash her hair.
“Why did your grandma raise you? Where were your parents?”
“My mom died of cancer when I was really little. I don't know who my dad is so my grandma took me in. She was a great woman.” As much as Hailey wanted to hurry, the amount of hair she had would not allow her to scrimp on shampooing and conditioning. While doing the first rinse she waited for Jasper to talk again. As awkward as it should have been with him talking to her while she was soapy and naked there was something intimate about it.
“Don't be. My grandma was amazing. We didn't have a lot of money while I was growing up but she taught me how to work hard for what I wanted, and I did. When I was bullied, she told me not to listen to the other kids because they didn't have a plan for life but I did. They needed something to do to fill their empty heads. She was right. Half of them are living off other family or just plain sorry.” Hailey smiled as she squirted conditioner into her hand thinking of how her grandma comforted her when she was bullied and gave her the strength to not care what the kids at her school said.
“Why were you bullied?”
“The kids made fun of me because my clothes never fit right. My grandma told me that girls that worry more about their clothes than their grades weren't fit to judge other people.”
Jasper was quiet for a while and Hailey thought maybe he was done with his little twenty-question game. It seemed he was just thinking. “That's why you help with the kid’s charities.”
Hailey got out of the shower and rubbed lotion all over quickly before dressing in the clothes she was grateful she brought into the bathroom. His words were more of a statement so she didn't think he was looking for an answer.
“My grandma would have loved those kids and they would have learned a lot from her. I hope I am helping them learn the lessons she taught me.” Hailey's heart skipped a beat, hoping that she was doing her grandma proud.
“She would be proud of you.”
Hailey stood up straight wondering if she had spoken out loud, but Jasper just read her mind somehow. She couldn't stop the smile on her face as she towel dried her hair the best she could before putting it up in a messy bun on the top of her head.
“You’re not wearing that,” Jasper said, as soon as she exited the bathroom.
“What? And why are you laying on my bed?”
The sight of Jasper on her bed had her heart palpitating. He looked sexy laying on her bright green comforter with his head nestled on her pillow.
“I was tired and your bed looked comfortable. Besides, I don't think you would have let me sit in the bathroom with you.” He wiggled his eyebrow and Hailey felt her face flush.
“No, I wouldn't have let you come in the bathroom with me, good call. Now why am I not wearing this?” She looked down; her outfit was pretty frumpy even for her.
“Because you are representing The Weeds’ lead singer. Hailey I know you keep wearing what you do because you don't want people to judge you for your clothing and not the brilliant mind you have, but it will be ok if you change into something even a little more flattering. You respect your mind and your hard work, how about throwing some respect for your body in there as well?”
Hailey turned from him so he wouldn't see the tears that flooded her eyes. She walked inside her small walk in closet and looked at the disaster she called a wardrobe. She spotted a pair of jeans she had when she was in high school. She pulled them on. They were a little snug, but not nearly what some of the women wore. She pulled off her shirt and found a large gray shirt that hung off her shoulder. When she exited her closet, Jasper's whole face lit up.
“Much better. Are you ready to go?”
Hailey nodded her head, and they both walked out of her room. Before Hailey made it passed the kitchen, she stopped him.
“I have to make Sam his lunch. Do you mind?” Even though she asked if it was fine, she was already moving to the kitchen to make the elderly security guard at her company his lunch before he answered. Hailey had been making Sam his lunch since his wife passed away about a year ago, and she wasn't going to stop now.
Jasper leaned against the kitchen counter as she busied herself trying not to drop everything she came in contact with. Jasper's presence seemed to make her small kitchen even tinier and his cologne wafted into her nostrils making her mouth water.
“Ok all finished.” she said, fully aware of how winded she sounded from making a sandwich.
Jasper stared at her with a confused look on his face. Hailey ran her hand over her face making sure there was nothing stuck to it. When she came away without feeling anything out of place, she stared back at him with just as much confusion.
“What?” she finally asked, exasperated.
“Nothing. Let's get Sam his lunch.” He walked over to her and pulled her into a hug, kissing her on the top of the head.
Her heart fluttered at the contact of his lips and she had to force herself not to squeal. He made no move to leave, so Hailey pulled out from his grasp and walked past him, confused about what had happened. Carl was waiting with a smile on his face when they left her apartment, and all thoughts of Jasper left her as she smiled back at the big man.
Jasper's head reeled. He sat next to Hailey in the backseat, headed to her work. She was completely unaware of his thoughts as she chatted happily to Carl about the aging security guard she brought lunch to, and about the kids’ charities she was involved in. Jasper's arm was propped up helping ease the pain of the break as he tried not to take large breaths that would jar his ribs.
He couldn't believe that Hailey was moments away from stealing his heart. She was everything the good Jasper wanted in a woman, and more. She was smart, kind, loyal, and surprisingly sexy. He got a hint of how sexy her body was when she wore those jeans, and that tank top after Tara had assaulted him and she set up a press conference. But seeing her in the tight jeans she was wearing now, and her slim shoulder exposed to him, his body couldn't help but want to get a hold of her naked.
“Jasper?” Hailey's concerned voice brought him out of his naughty fantasies. “Do you need another pain pill? You look flushed.”
“No, I'm fine. I just moved the wrong way.” Uncertainty was in his statement.
Hailey fluttered her hands over him
“I'll be fine.” He captured one of her fluttering hands and linked his uninjured hand in hers.
Hailey's face took on a deep shade of red and Jasper couldn't help but think how adorable she was. Tara, or any of the other girls that he dated, never blushed when he linked hands with them. Most of them didn't even blush when he suggested doing dirty things, even when there were people around. Jasper had one girlfriend before he made it big that Hailey reminded him of. She was innocent like Hailey, or at least that's what he thought, until he found out she was lying to him. Jasper pulled himself out of memory lane thinking that the pain drugs were really doing a number on him.
When they pulled up to Big Deal, Hailey told Carl they would talk soon and opened the door to help Jasper out. Sam was sitting in his normal spot at the guard station. He smiled a toothy smile at Hailey as she walked toward him.
“Morning Sam,” Jasper said, walking slowly behind Hailey.
“What happened to you? Did Hailey beat you up?”
Jasper laughed loudly before his ribs reminded him that laughing was not an option.
“Sure did, Sam. I gotta keep him in line.”
Sam laughed too as Hailey handed him his lunch. “If he hurts you, let me know. I know where to hide a body.”
Hailey gasped but smiled when Sam and Jasper smiled at each other. “I'll keep that in mind. I need to check on my other clients. This guy thinks he needs my full attention.”
“If I were him I’d want all your attention too,” Sam told her.
Jasper couldn't help but agree. Hailey shook her head as she walked toward the elevator. Jasper noticed she slowed her pace so he could keep up, and his chest warmed at the little things she did for him. It had been a long time since Jasper had any faith in humanity, and Hailey seemed to be giving it back to him piece by piece.
When she had made Sam's lunch this morning, he had been struck by how amazing she really was, and for a moment, it made him speechless. She’d lost her mother at such an early age that most kids would have rebelled, but not Hailey. She’d listened to her grandma's advice through the adversity of being made fun of by a bunch of stupid kids. She knew they hadn’t known her situation. Just like the kids that hadn’t known his situation had made fun of him. She wore her frumpy clothing not caring what anyone thought of her. Jasper had the urge to wrap her in his arms and tell her that nobody would ever hurt her again. The weird pride he felt when he realized what she had to go through to land such a lucrative job, and do it well, caught him completely off guard.
Other author's books:
- Designing Emma (Volume 4)Designing Emma (Volume 3)Designing Emma (Volume 1)Designing Emma (Volume 5)Designing Emma (Volume 6)Designing Emma (Volume 2)Hollywood HeartthrobManaged 3: A Rock Star Romance
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