Home > The Billionaire's Secret (His Submissive #6)

The Billionaire's Secret (His Submissive #6)
Author: Ava Claire


Ava Claire - His Submissive #6 - The Billionaire's Secret

The Billionaire's Secret (His Submissive #6)
Ava Claire

billionaire/erotica/romance

 

Escape.

It was the thing I’d wanted since I realized that my friendly cup of coffee with Whitmore and Creighton’s new client, action star Cade Wallace, had been a horrible mistake.

I’d come to my senses too late, just in time for a photographer to snap enough pictures to tell a story. A story where I wasn’t Cinderella at all--unless Cindy liked to spread ‘em for any Prince that came knocking.

I thought I had time for damage control; to surprise Jacob with a nice dinner and after his belly was filled with steak and he had a glass of wine or two, explain myself. I thought I had time to ease him into the truth before he saw any photos of me staring into the eyes of a man I swore meant nothing. But Jacob was home and without saying a word, I knew something was terribly wrong.

I held my breath, hoping the savory aroma would sink in and he’d lose the scowl on his lips. Instead, it deepened.

“I picked up some Sullivans for dinner.” My stomach churned madly as I tried to explain. “I remember you saying how you loved their prime rib so...”

My voice trailed off as he ignored me completely, instead, peeling off the remnants of his work day. He put his briefcase down with a click near the door. His coat was next, easing one arm out, then the other. He loosened his tie with an abrupt yank.

His movements were mechanical and precise and when he finally gave me his full attention, his face was tight and void of any signs of emotion. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that his silence was par for the course. Classic Jacob. But he didn’t mask his emotions around me anymore. Not unless I was in big trouble.

I tried to convince myself that he couldn’t know. There was no way the story, the pictures, could be live that quick...right?

He finally spoke, his voice low and dangerous. “Sullivans, huh?”

I bit my lip and nodded, surprised I didn’t draw blood. “I hope that’s alright.”

He opened his mouth and anger rippled across his face, but he hid it away almost instantly. He walked past and whatever was on his tongue was left unsaid. The tension screeched in the silence, so thick that I needed an ax to hack through it.

I drew a shaky, barely steadying breath and followed him into the dining room, wanting to get the truth out before I lost my nerve. Jacob was already seated, pouring himself a glass of wine. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence, eyeing the ruby red liquid before raising the rim to his lips. The coward in me wanted to say the words from where I stood, away from his steely gaze and in a somewhat close proximity to the exit. But running was the thing that had me sneaking out of the office to meet Cade, avoiding Jacob to minimize drama. I needed to look him dead on and explain myself. I owed him that much.

“I need to talk to you.” I yanked out the chair beside him and sat down, feeling like I was about to walk the plank.

I hesitantly brought my eyes to him, seeing only the razor sharp jut of his jaw until his gaze shifted to me. I was sure there would be something in those pools of blue, but he was still playing his cards close to the chest.

Of course he is, I thought, dread pulling my heart to the pit of my stomach. Cold as ice is Jacob Whitmore’s default mode when he’s pissed.

“After the meeting with Ca—” Really?! Now’s a good time to take his insistence on first name basis to heart? “Mr. Wallace,” I corrected quickly. “I, um, we…”

I swallowed the stumbled confession that rose in my throat. I just needed to get it out.

“Cade and I had coffee and when I was leaving, I ran into a photographer.” I practically sighed with relief when it was out--until I saw the icy daggers shooting from Jacob’s eyes.

“And you want me to pay the photographer off?”

I pulled back, surprised and slightly offended by his callous remark. “Uh, no, I just--”

“Well then what’s done is done.”

I gawked at him, watching him scissor through the prime rib, mouth opening and closing, Adam’s apple bobbing. ‘What’s done is done’? Why was he holding back? This was clearly affecting him more than he let on. Maybe he wanted me to beg. To prove that I knew it was wrong.

“I’m sorry, Jacob.”

It was a whispered plea, every ounce of me pouring into the words, wanting him to look at me and see that I meant it.

He didn’t.

“You have nothing to be sorry for,” he said with a half-shrug.

His dismissal hurt. It was as palpable and real as a blow to the gut. But my hurt feelings were irrelevant. I needed to make him understand. “It was just a cup of coffee.”

“Then why are you apologizing?” He snapped his napkin like a whip before dabbing the corner of his mouth. “It’s done. You had coffee, he whispered sweet nothings in your ear--”

“He did not whisper anything,” I said indignantly, heat burning my cheeks. I knew I had no right to be insulted or blush like he’d just called my honor into question when I did a fine job of that myself by meeting Cade in the first place. “It didn’t mean anything.”

He let out a snicker that was deep and condescending. “You were millimeters from kissing him in one of them, Leila. That means everything.”

And just like that, the world stood still.

He’d seen the pictures.

I was caught, a fish wriggling in the tangles of a net. Not knowing when to let go. Not knowing when to shut up. “Jacob, I’m just trying to explain that--”

“I don’t want to talk about Cade Wallace!” he thundered, slamming both fists on the table.

Everything in the room that wasn’t nailed down shook, along with my resolve to lay it all on the line. Clearly, talking was just making this worse.

I wish my mouth got the memo.

“But I’m--”

“If you say you’re sorry one more time, I swear to God.”

He finished his wine with an angry swig before slamming the glass down on the table. It was divine intervention that it didn’t explode. Not that it mattered. Jacob was clearly picking up the slack in the exploding department.

“I just want to eat dinner,” he said heatedly. “You want to help? You want to make things better?”

“Yes,” I whispered, my throat on fire.

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