The Billionaire's Contract (His Submissive, Part One)

By: Ava Claire


I gave the massive structure, all brute metal and glass windows glittering like teeth, a long, pensive look. The Whitmore Building looked so posh on television--almost gothic and cathedral-like--but without the flashing lights it was just another building on Fifth Street. Still, a couple of things set it apart from the others. The first was PR, an Emmy nominated reality television show that followed two tenacious publicists on staff, documenting the drama and glamour that comes with cleaning up the messes of the mega rich. The second was Jacob Whitmore, the twenty nine year old billionaire at the helm of the company and a constant fixture on the glossy pages of tabloid rags for his lavish lifestyle and penchant for supermodels and celebrities.

I futilely smoothed my dark, corkscrew curls and pushed through the revolving door. Stepping out of the muggy heat and into the cool of central air should have been a relief, but instead, it made me hyper aware of my nerves. The sweat at my back was sticky, making the sheer black blouse I wore adhere to my skin like glue. Even a swallow of the dewy ac didn't do my dry throat any favors.

I instantly recognized the lobby from the show, the motif of glass and white walls giving off a clean, sophisticated edge. Each employee passing through the revolving doors was more glamorous than the last and I couldn’t help but pause in the shuffle, gawking at it all like some awkward tourist.

Trying to gather my wits about me, I gave my head a hearty shake and locked eyes with a burly man sitting below an etched sign that read ‘Whitmore and Creighton’. I was supposed to check in with him and get a name tag. As I inched closer, my eyes drew up and around the marble arch behind the man and I paused again. This place was gorgeous. And even a blind man could see I didn't belong.

Remember Leila, I thought, squaring my back and taking a step forward. All that glitters is not-

BAM!

I let out a hiss of surprise as someone sideswiped me, making me swerve and clutch onto nothing but air until a woman steadied me before continuing on her way. Damn heels. Reason number 1,231 I had to move out on my own. All of my flats had mysteriously disappeared overnight, leaving me two options: my Chucks, or the barely worn stilettos Mom had gotten me for my 23rd birthday a few weeks ago. I frowned at the memory of her sneaky smile as I rushed out of the house in the cursed things. God works in mysterious ways, Lay.

Regaining my composure, I opened my mouth to tell whoever missed the woman sized figure in their path that I was okay, only to see the squared back of the man that ran into me hustling toward the elevators--with no intention of stopping.

"Excuse you!" I snapped, my annoyance following his confident stride. The man came to a hard stop then slowly pivoted to face me and I just about died on the spot.

It was Jacob Whitmore.

As his aqua colored eyes narrowed to slits and began to survey me, I took him in. The camera didn't do him justice. Dark, wavy hair framed an impossibly handsome face. He had an aristocratic nose; sharp, but not overly so. It was the kind of thing that seemed engineered to look down on everyone else. His jaw was strong and sure and a bemused smile at his lips created two dimples that made my heart skip a beat. I found myself drawn to his lips--not because he was clearly laughing at the fact that I was scared shitless after lashing out at the boss, but because they were thick and lush. Perfect for kissing. Perfect for running up and down a bare body...

When he took a step toward me, I began to babble. Talking, presenting myself had always been my forte. Back in college when I was put in a group, the other members always volunteered me to speak for the lot. After I gave the student address at graduation, both faculty and a couple of classmates told me that my speech was engaging and powerful; by far the favorite at an event where Dr. Seuss quotes and “follow your dreams” were the norm. But now, facing the billionaire playboy in the flesh, I found myself flabbergasted, red with embarrassment, and unable to string two cohesive words together.

"I, er, I'm, it's-"

He moved closer and his smell, warm with a hint of lime and musk, wrapped tight around my vocal chords. I stood like an idiot as people hustled around us. Not that they mattered. As far as I was concerned, it was just the two of us.

"What's your name?" The authoritative snap behind his question caught me off guard, but it shouldn't have. He was worth a crapload of money and just a glance at my Jcpenney skirt and worn blouse said that I was definitely not. There was no mistaking who was in charge and who decidedly was not.

"M-My name?" I stammered.

“Yes.” He raised a brow. “Those things one is given at birth?”

I cleared my throat. Rich and snarky. "Leila."

"New hire?"

Of course it was obvious that I wasn’t an employee since I’d been wandering around like a dolt. And the fact that I wasn't a blond, leggy carbon copy of most of the women that strut past made me stick out like a sore thumb. I didn’t trust my words to not glom to each other so I just shook my head.

He frowned. "Then what brings you to my building?"

"Interview," I croaked. "Research aide."

"Huh," he said, running a quick hand through his hair. The dark waves crashed back around his face effortlessly. "I suppose that makes sense."

The haze of being in his presence was starting to wear off and the dismissive tone of his voice made me jut my lip out defiantly. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Surprise flitted across his face. "That research seems a suitable fit for you."

"Somewhere tucked in a dank cubicle where the cameras wouldn't dare venture?" As soon as the retort came out I slapped a hand over my mouth. Jesus Christ, Lay! Calling out Jacob Whitmore? Right before your interview?!

Something unreadable flashed in his eyes and before I could apologize effusively or duck out of the building, he reached out and gripped my forearm. "You're coming with me."

His tight hold made a protest rise in my throat, but he was on the move, bobbing and weaving as he drug me along like an anchor. Eyes cast our way only took us in for a moment before dutifully glancing away.

As we marched past the main elevator and made a sharp left down a darkened corridor, fear began to bubble in my gut. Where was he taking me? And even better, why was I letting him take me anywhere?

Just as I gathered the backbone to pull from his hold, he retrieved a slender id card from his breast pocket and swiped it through the reader. A green light flashed and he pushed open a metal door, gesturing for me to enter. I glanced in and my heart raced when I scanned the poorly lit stairwell.

"After you," he said smoothly.

I took a small step backward. "My interview-"

"I'm about to administer a preliminary interview." he cut in. "Personally."

The erotic edge to his words should have made me run, kicking and screaming, in the opposite direction. Instead, the throbbing in my heart was met by a pulsing decidedly lower.

I began the descent and told myself I didn’t have to let on that I'd do anything to work for his company. That would make me seem desperate. Whore-y. And I was neither. I was just someone that knew what I wanted and would get it--by any means necessary.

As far back as I could remember I’ve been the queen of spin, able to talk my way out of just about anything. Missing curfew, bringing home a B- instead of an A, mastering the 'it's me, it's not you', and even talking my way out of a flurry of speeding tickets.

At Whitmore and Creighton I'd get a chance to use my silver tongue to segue into the lives of the rich and famous. When shit hit the fan and Dick and Jane in Everytown, USA read about the latest mess a prominent figure was embroiled in, I would be behind the scenes, turning crap into apple pie. With time, maybe I'd even make a name for myself--one as fearsome as Jacob Whitmore.

But the feel of him behind me, domineering and forceful, reminded me that I was still a nobody and still had a pound or two of flesh to give.

"Are you afraid?" he asked, something in his voice betting on yes.

"No.” I wasn't afraid of him so much as my willingness and excitement to follow him into the unknown. I had no idea what waited for me at the end of the stairs but a part of me hoped it was something illicit; something that involved those lips pressed against mine. Against my neck. Trailing and tracing every curve...

I teetered a bit on my ridiculous heels and let out a nervous chuckle when I felt him immediately against me. I knew he meant to steady me, but the nearness of him made my morals and my body sway--especially when I felt the swell pushing through the fabric of his pants. His passion only spurned me on and I was deadly close to ripping off my skirt and letting him take me then and there.

What are you doing? A voice shrilled, cutting through the arousal. You're gonna let some strange man have his way with you in a stairwell?

It was a splash of cold water to the face and I pulled back when we reached the landing, putting a few feet between me and my beautiful prospective employer. "I-I can't do this."

His cerulean eyes glittered. "Do what?"

I gave him an incredulous look. Was he really going to make me say it? "I have an interview." I combed my memory for the woman's name given over the phone. "With Maria Delacourt." I glanced down at his crotch and spied his snug arousal and shot my gaze back up. "A proper interview."

If annoyed or insulted by my last sentence, he had a helluva poker face. His face was still, handsome features cut out of marble. Unfairly perfect. Unfairly hard to read. But when he strode forward, backing me up until I was against the wall with no place to go except through him, there was no mistaking his intentions. My nipples strained against their intimate prison and I felt moist desire pooling between my thighs. Still, I denied him.

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