Authors: Ava Claire
Tags: #billionaire, #contemporary romance, #alpha male, #billionaire romance, #alpha male romance, #billionaire contemporary romance
The Billionaire’s Trust (His
Submissive, Part Eleven)
Copyright 2013 Ava Claire
The His Submissive Series
The Billionaire’s Contract (Part
The Billionaire’s Touch (Part
The Billionaire’s Passion (Part
The Billionaire’s Heart (Part
The Billionaire’s Girlfriend (Part
The Billionaire’s Secret (Part
The Billionaire’s Lust (Part
The Billionaire’s Promise (Part
The Billionaire’s Desire (Part
The Billionaire’s Past (Part Ten):
The Billionaire’s Trust (Part
Eleven): July 26
The Billionaire’s Forever (Part
Twelve): August 23
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"You ready for this?"
I should have been the one asking
him that because he didn't sound remotely ready for what was
waiting on the other side of the door.
Jacob's usually authoritative voice
was unsteady. Nervous. The man had taken on squirrely investors,
paparazzi and Rachel Laraby like a Spartan charging into battle,
but he paused at the entrance to The Vineyard. He paid no mind to
the staff, perky and already springing to action as they pulled
open the heavy oak doors to the restaurant. He looked beyond them
warily, like he could already see his mother, smiling brightly as
she secretly plotted some way to break his heart all over
To the outside world he was the
picture of cool sophistication. His dark waves were tamed and
pushed back, highlighting his good genes. There was no missing his
signature, strong jaw, bright blue eyes and lips that would make
any woman's cheeks redden as she thought up ways to put them to
good use. His crisp, two-piece suit commanded attention and if it
wasn't for the staff providing a buffer, the paparazzi were more
than willing to oblige. Usually, he'd trade barbs since he knew
most of them by name, but not today.
"If I didn't know better, I'd think
you were trying to chicken out," I said, my lips curling at the
Comic relief--that’s what this situation
He gave me a single look that would
have reduced anyone else to a bumbling mess, but I didn't even
blink until he dropped the hard ass routine and his mouth tilted
into a smirk.
"Chicken out? No--there's just other
things I'd like to do..."
I felt every single
as blue eyes worked their way around the curves of my body
before settling back on the weakening resolve in my eyes. I was
pretty sure I knew where the conversation was headed. Other things
he'd like to do...to me.
And I wouldn't put up a fight. We'd
already spent most of the morning in some manner of undress and all
it took from him was a single look, heck, a single
I was quivering and wet.
He roped a hand around my waist and
I didn't even have time to say a word before he gripped my
The cameras went wild.
My face was already on fire but I
didn't look up to nonverbally ask if he really wanted our picture
of the day to be one where he was copping a feel; we were both
nervous as hell about this meeting so I considered making another
joke or stepping it up a notch and really giving them something to
photograph, but my face fell when I saw his.
His expression was a raw, exposed
nerve. One look into his sea-blue eyes and I learned it was much
more than jittery nervousness. He was like a man about to walk to
Jacob's apprehension was
understandable. It had only been a few days since Alicia pulled the
stick from her ass and handed over his grandmother's ring. After
awkwardly going our separate ways, we'd speculated how things would
change. His money was on Alicia acting like nothing happened,
stepping into our lives as if she hadn’t been adamantly against our
relationship. Mine was on her judging us from a distance. She was
worthy of sainthood since she deigned to give up the ring, and now
she would suffer in near silence until we learned our
Unfortunately, Jacob was
Not even twenty-four hours after the
apology a barrage of texts, calls, and emails bombarded us both. It
was like she was literally trying to make up for lost time. She was
always apologetic, but after finally letting it go to voicemail it
was obvious that she wasn’t going anywhere. When she’d suggested
meeting for lunch to talk about the wedding I said yes before Jacob
could get a word out, mostly because I figured it would be an hour
or so that I wasn’t staring at my cell, waiting for it to light up
with some new concept she wanted to share.
Now that we were here, I entertained
thoughts of coming down with a spontaneous bug. Or maybe I could
use the paparazzi; there was always one that went too far and made
their subject snap. I could go all Bjork on their ass and then
lunch with Mommy Dearest would
The owner of The Vineyard hustled
out, dressed in a two piece suit of her own with stars in her
eyes--and she drew a good number of eyes to the front
There'd be no backing out
"Mr. Whitmore," she gushed, her
teeth as blaring white as the platinum blond hair pulled into a
high bun on her head. "It's truly a pleasure." She shook his hand,
lingering, like she was trying to savor the contact. She remembered
herself and glanced at me with embarrassment setting fire to her
cheeks. When she held out her hand, her face apologetic and
slightly worried I'd be pissed, I shook hers with a smile. In the
past it might have made me roll my eyes or bring my defenses up as
I moved closer and marked my territory, but I felt no need. He put
a ring on it and I knew when Jacob made a commitment, he meant it.
Besides, we'd survived too much for me to act the fool just because
some random woman had a crush.
"Mrs. Whitmore is already inside,"
the owner said, back in business mode. "If you need anything at
all, please don't hesitate to ask. My staff and I are at your
Jacob gave her a crisp nod and
looked down at me, slipping the mask of armor back on. "Shall
Stepping inside of The Vineyard made
my heart swell in my chest. The rich colors, the walls lined with
wine bottles, the rustic furnishings--everything about it took me
back to Venice. I didn't miss the parallels: Venice was me and
Jacob’s beginning. Alicia was trying to make this
Our host guided us to our table and
I took a deep breath as Alicia saw us and rose to her feet. An
older woman was beside her, plunking out a final word on her iPhone
before she gave us a quick smile and her face went serious. Alicia
was gushing like she hadn't seen us in months. I shook Alicia’s
hand and watched as the Awkward O-Meter ticked up to ‘run and hide’
as she moved to hug Jacob and he took a step backward, giving her a
look that made me shiver.
Surely she didn’t expect that to go
over well, but the crestfallen look that flashed across her face
Never one to stay down, Alicia
recovered from the slight like a pro, turning back to the silver
haired woman. “I’m so glad you two agreed to come.” She began the
introductions. “This is Macy Scott. She’s the best wedding planner
in the city.”
“Oh Alicia,” Macy said with a
haughty chuckle. “You’re exaggerating just a smidge.” From the
smile she had slathered on her lips at the compliment, she was
loving the praise--and believed every word. “Best in the city? That
may be a little bit much.”
“You orchestrated Mika Sanchez’
last minute nuptials to that Saudi prince, made Oz Claiborne’s
sixth wedding look like a storybook romance instead of a lecherous
old man’s end-of-life crisis and even
was impressed when
you turned Liza Jackman’s rehab romance into a goth’s wet dream.
She talks about you like you’re the second coming of Christ,” Jacob
paused, cool eyes locked on her. “I think you know exactly how good
The three of us women just gawked at
Jacob. He had the strong, silent thing down pat five seconds ago
and now he was striping away the BS before we even sat
He pulled out my chair and waited
for me to sit before easing into the seat beside me. His mother
still had this gray eyed, deer in headlights thing going. Macy was
just as stunned.
“What?” Jacob shrugged. “I do my
research as I’m sure you’ve done your own.”
Alicia sat down without a word,
polishing off the rest of her wine like she knew we were in for a
bumpy ride. But Macy--there was something different when the
initial shock faded. Her eyes brightened, her whole demeanor going
from professional with a hint of ‘meh’ to downright interested.
“You read up on me, huh?”
Jacob took a long swig of his water
before answering. “I know as much about you as you know about me.
Surface information easily garnered from a google
He said it easily. Coolly if you
really knew him and could see past the almost bored way he skimmed
the menu. He was Jacob Whitmore, head of Whitmore and Creighton,
one of the most prestigious PR firms in the world. Google was for
amateurs and we were the big leagues. If he wanted, he could have
had a dossier filled with everything from her first kiss to the
date and location of her first heartbreak. Research was our thing,
knowing every minuscule piece that made a person who they are so we
could find a way to make them better. Saying he Googled her proved
how little he thought of this whole thing. One word and he’d just
given her the ultimate diss.
“I’ve done my research too,” the
planner said smoothly. “I know that you’ve had relationships with
models, actresses and other personal assistants, but none of them
compared to her.” She sat up a little taller. “You weren’t
expecting her. In fact, you fought it and kept her at arm’s
I felt the gasp ripple in my throat
and pressed my lips together to keep it inside.
length--she was talking about the contract!
Words and phrases
and liability--all ways to regulate and control his emotions. To
control me. Good thing I didn’t let the gasp go because Macy wasn’t
done, turning to face me.
“You loved Jacob the moment you saw
My lips weren’t pressed together
anymore because my jaw was on the table. I couldn’t believe that
her clear, far-from-soft voice was carrying our conversation to
several tables around us and now
was in her
“I’m sure you didn’t know it was
love at the time since every woman with a pulse lusts after Jacob
Whitmore.” She glanced at him, not missing a bit. “No offense.” She
didn’t wait for his reply before returning her attention to me.
“But I think you knew there was something different about him.
About the two of you together. I know what the media’s calling it,
‘A Real Cinderella Story’ and ‘The Billionaire and His Secretary’.”
She dismissed that with a scoff. “It’s unimaginative and cliche and
now that I’ve seen you two together, I know there’s nothing cliche
about the way you look at each other.”
Jacob and I exchanged a look and for
a few seconds, we were the only two people in the room.
“Like that,” she said with a toothy
grin that blinded me. “Real. Passion. Sex. Love that leaves you
breathless.” She smoothed her hair back away from her face. “I
don’t know what other wedding planners would do with your story,
but I know that I could take that--” She held her hands out and
framed us, “--and make it shine through. I could get people to look
past the glitz and glamour and see the thing that’s uniquely