Authors: Emily Jane Trent
Bend To My Will: Book 6
Emily Jane Trent
The emotional weekend ended, and Vivienne returned to her apartment. The heavy book was still on the floor, a reminder of how upset she’d been so recently. She lifted it back onto the shelf and straightened the pages, before picking up the pressed flower. Holding it to her cheek, Vivienne thought of what had happened over the last few days.
When Jacob had confided that, as a child, he’d been physically abused, Vivienne had been deeply moved. For his sake, she had held back her reaction, knowing that discussing the subject was difficult for him. But she was alone now, and a tear rolled down her cheek. Vivienne cried for the young boy who had been brutalized by his own father, and for the grown man who had to deal with the emotional damage.
Jacob was complicated. Although Vivienne had some insight into the darkness, it was only a glimpse of what was inside him. He was a product of being raised by an alcoholic father who left scars on his back and in his heart. Yet he had also been molded by Vico and Sophia, the parents who loved him.
Vivienne gently put the pressed flower back into the book, marveling at how dramatically her relationship had changed within a few hours. The treasure she wedged between the pages represented the romantic side of Jacob, one he chose to deny. She was grateful that he’d imparted a few details of the childhood trauma, which he had been reluctant to speak about before.
But Vivienne hadn’t pressed for more. Jacob had shared what he could, yet Vivienne hoped that he would tell her about his past in greater depth, when he was able to. Now that she knew about the abuse, a lot of things made more sense. Although she didn’t completely understand him, as that would take a lot more than one conversation.
Later that night, Vivienne snuggled into her bed. She tucked her knees up and hugged her pillow, unable to fall asleep. If only Jacob was next to her, it would be so much better. With the drama of her reaction to the breakup, and the immense relief of Jacob rescuing her, there had been little time to reflect on what had caused it all.
The heat of the playroom was vivid in her mind, and at last, Vivienne was in touch with her feelings. It had been disappointing that she’d said her safe word, even though Jacob assured her that she’d done the right thing. He seemed to think it was his fault.
But now, Vivienne knew it wasn’t.
When Jacob had guided her into an intense scene, right after playing out her request for rough sex, something inside her had shifted. Without warning, Vivienne had slipped into a new state, one that had been unfamiliar to her.
The progression had moved her emotionally, and, overcome with a desire to please Jacob, she’d experienced the feeling of complete submission. The unexpectedness had thrown her off a bit, but the deliciousness had swept her up. The power of the feeling had been as irresistible as the drug of choice was to an addict.
The pull was far too great to fight, and in the throes of passion, Vivienne had no will to do so. The exhilaration and the utter satisfaction of submission to Jacob had consumed her. If that had been all, she might have come through it without folding.
But something else had happened, and Vivienne hadn’t seen it clearly before. She loved Jacob, with all her heart. It was just as he had warned her, that sentimentality mixed with the high of sex play was dangerous. That was exactly what had happened.
All at once, the love Vivienne felt for Jacob had swelled her heart, while simultaneously the pride of total submission flooded her. It had been a deadly combination, as it had thrown her into a sea of emotion that she was unable to navigate.
It had been too much, and had overwhelmed her. Since Vivienne hadn’t confessed her love, there was no way to let Jacob know that was what had happened. At the time, she hadn’t even understood it. But now it was as clear as the night sky outside her window.
How could she have not seen it before? Vivienne had paid little heed to Jacob’s admonishment that romance didn’t belong in the playroom. But her reaction had demonstrated the truth of his words. Truly addicted to the intense sex play with Jacob, she was also utterly in love with him. Vivienne had no clue how to reconcile the two.
Maybe Jacob didn’t either, which explained why he advised against confusing one with the other. Vivienne wasn’t doing that. It wasn’t that the intimate scenes, and being dominated by Jacob, made her
she loved him. Worse than that, Vivienne
love him. And she hadn’t dealt with it very well in the heat of passion.
The next morning, Vivienne was quickly immersed in business, dealing with the usual issues along with some new ones. Although Jacob was on her mind, she focused on the tasks at hand. After she ensured that Michele was moving forward on a couple of important projects, and that Luke had the warehouse under control, Vivienne went to work blending scents.
It wasn’t only Sensual Scents that needed a continual supply of unique perfumes, Vee’s did also. The foundation of her business was supplying popular brands, but buyers often chose her shop to find a blend that was different and stood out. Vivienne’s passion was for blending the special fragrances, even more than the business side of things.
Vivienne lost track of time, and it was nearly lunchtime when she took a minute to check email. There was an important one from Alfred. She read it, then reread it. There were some issues involving the online venture. A few key suppliers had delayed shipments for various reasons, and the website wasn’t active yet.
Testing the purchase system had turned up a few bugs, and the programmers were fixing them. Alfred was pressing some domestic suppliers to deliver without further delay, letting them know the late shipments to the warehouse had stalled the online business venture. In the email, he apologized to Vivienne, but it wasn’t his fault.
Vivienne replied: “You’re doing all you can.” That was true, and the delay wasn’t cause for panic. As long as Vee’s did well, she could wait for the new venture to be profitable. The pressing issues had Alfred’s full attention, which meant he wouldn’t be flying off to Paris anytime soon. She was glad that she wasn’t the one who had to manage the support structure of Sensual Scents.
The following day after hours, Vivienne planned to meet Lana for drinks. She couldn’t wait to hear about her friend’s trip, and to share what she could of her weekend too. Since she was the first to arrive at the gastropub, she decided to get seats before the place got too crowded. The huge space had two long bars and a separate dining room, but since it was warm outside, she chose a table on the garden patio.
Vivienne nibbled on the bar snacks and scanned the cocktail menu. When her phone vibrated, she was pleasantly surprised to see it was Jacob.
“Hi, baby, what are you up to?”
“Nosy, aren’t you?”
“If you must know, I’m sitting in a garden waiting for Lana. We’re having drinks, but she’s not here yet.”
“Yes, they got back from their trip,” Jacob said. “Trace was at work today.”
Vivienne hugged the phone to her ear. “It’s good to hear your voice.”
“I called to tell you something,” Jacob said. “I’ve been putting off a business trip for a few weeks, but I do have to go.”
Vivienne’s heart fell. She knew that travel was a requirement for a wine importer, but it hadn’t come up yet. Now Jacob would be flying off somewhere, and she’d be alone. Her mood sagged. “When do you leave?”
“You mean…when do
leave?” Jacob let that statement hang there before continuing. “I’m taking you to Barcelona with me.”
Vivienne’s mind raced. She couldn’t leave Vee’s, she didn’t know what to wear in Spain, and, most of all, Jacob hadn’t
I can go?”
“I refuse to leave you behind.”
Jacob had said just the right thing. He had made plans without consulting her, but Vivienne wasn’t going to drag her feet too much about a trip to Spain. “I wouldn’t want you to leave me behind,” she said. “I just have to figure a few things out. When do you have to go?”
“I can email the details as soon as I get word back from my pilot,” Jacob said, “but next week, for sure. Does that give you enough time?”
“Would it matter?”
“Of course it would matter.” Jacob sounded frustrated.
“Okay, it will be fine,” Vivienne said. “I’m excited. I haven’t been to Spain before. And Barcelona must be quite a city.”
“It is,” Jacob said. “I have business to do, but we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the sights.”
Vivienne saw Lana looking around for her, and she waved her over. “Lana’s here.”
“Okay, baby. We’ll talk about this more later.”
Lana sat in the chair across from her and draped her purse over the back. “What happened? You have an expression like you just won the lottery or something.”
“Not quite, but Jacob is taking me to Spain.”
“You’re kidding.” Lana threw up her hands. “First you get to visit France, and now Spain. I’m jealous. And I thought I was special because I got to visit Hudson.”
Vivienne laughed. “We’re flying to Barcelona next week.”
“Can you get away?”
“I’ll make it happen,” Vivienne said. “I’m not passing this up. I might not get the chance again, and…I’ll be with Jacob.”
“Yes, you have to go,” Lana said. “You don’t want him away in another country, meeting some foxy Spanish babe.”
“Not a chance.”
The waiter came over and they placed their drink orders. Then Vivienne leaned back in her chair. “So tell me…how was your trip to Hudson?”
“It was romantic, just as you might imagine,” Lana said. “The highlight was the Olana, the historic home of the painter Frederic Church. We took a taxi along a winding climb up a hill above the river, then walked on a short nature trail to the estate.”
“Was it great?”
“It’s what I love about that area: the view of the green Hudson River Valley with the Catskills in the distance.” Lana got a dreamy look in her eyes. “And way up there at the top, overlooking everything…Trace kissed me.”
“It sounds like something out of a movie.”
“It really was,” Lana said. “Too bad we only had a few days. How about you? How was your weekend?”
The waiter returned with their drinks, giving Vivienne a moment to gather her thoughts. As much as she wanted to, there was little about her weekend that she could tell her friend. “It turned out really good,” she said. “I feel like Jacob is warming up to me. It’s hard to explain.”
“I’d say he’s
.” Lana laughed. “He’s taking you to Barcelona. What does that tell you?”
“That he doesn’t want to go alone?”
Lana just stared at her. “What’s wrong with you? Jacob is sweet on you, whether he admits it or not.”
Vivienne smiled. “I think you’re right. At least, I hope you are.”
“After drinks, let’s order food. They make lamb sausage tacos here that are to die for.”
“Sure, but I think I’ll go for the pork sandwich.”
“Okay, you have to give me a bite, though.”
Vivienne laughed. “I’ll give you half.”
“Don’t get carried away,” Lana said. “After dinner, we’ll go home and check out what’s in your closet. You’ll need lots of summer wear. We’ll see what you have, or you can borrow some stuff from me.”
“Sounds good,” Vivienne said. “And it’s still a week away. If there’s a gap in my wardrobe, we can go shopping.”
“Now you’re talking.” Lana grinned. “Maybe we’ll go shopping anyway.”
It started to sink in that Vivienne was really going to Barcelona. When she thought of going away with Jacob, she got excited. She’d have him for more than just a weekend, which was promising. Such a romantic trip was bound to draw them closer; Vivienne couldn’t envision it otherwise.
Jacob had opened up to Vivienne, and confided a few details of his childhood, including the horror of the abuse. He shuddered to think of his biological father. Carl Hahn had been a cold-hearted bastard, a man Jacob would like to wipe from his memory.
But that was not to be. The cruelty had impacted Jacob, leaving its mark tenaciously imbedded. There was no way to forget that part of his past, no way to obliterate it. The nightmares persisted, along with the crushing darkness that lingered long after he was awake.
Speaking of it to Vivienne had caused old wounds to feel raw again, the pain vivid. It wasn’t physical, as the welts on his back no longer hurt. It was the knife to the soul that didn’t heal, and continued to cause torment, despite Jacob’s efforts to block it out.
The worst of it was the rage that simmered just below the surface. Jacob couldn’t forgive his father, although he’d tried, because he thought it might release him from the grip of his traumatic youth. Forgiveness didn’t come; only much baser feelings surfaced.
Jacob didn’t want to be like his biological father, although he didn’t consider the man a father in any sense. Only Vico was his true father, so he strove to acquire some of his refinement. The goodness in the hearts of Vico and Sophia was all that had saved him. It was his heartfelt aim to be deserving of the Rinaldi name.
The aggression that Jacob harbored inside was dangerous. He feared exhibiting it in the playroom, and took care to hold it in check. He had vowed not to harm Vivienne, just as he’d sworn not to pull her into the darkness. Yet now he might have violated both promises.
Vivienne knew, although he doubted she understood, why he restrained his feelings. He couldn’t relax, knowing that the anger eating away from the inside might cloud his judgment. And he feared it already had.
The rough playroom scene had unleashed a savageness that was better left untapped. Jacob had played it out, satisfying Vivienne’s request. But it hadn’t stopped there. Swept up in the aggression, if only in play, he’d kept going.
Guilt riddled him, because Jacob knew better. How had he lost control like that? He had noticed the signs, how Vivienne’s eyes had glazed over, and her other reactions. Yet he had kept going anyway. He had crossed the line, and Vivienne had been left with no choice but to use her safe word.
Jacob was a danger to be around, but Vivienne refused to see that. No matter what he said, the way she looked at him conveyed only trust. She wanted him, despite what had happened. And damn it, he wanted her.
It would take restraint, greater caution, but Jacob had little choice. Sending Vivienne away had been devastating, to her and to Jacob. He had failed to find the strength to end the relationship for Vivienne’s sake, and instead had relented.
Jacob was under no delusion. Vivienne provided satisfaction that he hadn’t found before, and he didn’t want to give it up. Now that he’d found intimacy, at least to the degree he could experience it, Jacob craved more of the same. And he intended to have it.
Jacob was human, after all, a flesh and blood man. His father had done his best to turn him into a beast in his own likeness, but he hadn’t succeeded. Damage had been done, certainly, and Jacob would have to live with that. But he had to find a way to be with Vivienne without letting the darkness swallow her, and was determined to do so.
Some of Spain’s most sensational wines could be found along the Mediterranean coastline. Wine experts touted that the northern area near Barcelona produced some of the best red wines in the country. Jacob planned to acquire a few new labels, including some old-vine Garnacha and some of the fine rosé from Costa Brava.
Having traveled to Spain many times, Jacob had an appreciation for the lovely towns, and was an enthusiast for the subtle flavors of the country’s wines. For a period of time, the Spanish wines available in New York had lacked both the quality and diversity that made the wines stand out, an issue Jacob had set out to remedy.
Despite having staff qualified to select and import wines for Rinaldi Imports, there were some wines Jacob preferred to choose personally. That was one of the things he was sure made the company unique, and the wines that much better.
The thought of flying off to Barcelona, fine wines or not, and leaving Vivienne behind was intolerable. Jacob decided it would be an advantage for them to get away together, plus he wanted her to have the opportunity to experience the wine regions.
Spain had been a grape-growing center since ancient Roman times. It was a gorgeous spot for a vacation, since it now had futuristic hotels and trendy restaurants, mixed in with medieval monasteries that had been transformed into world-class wineries.
Jacob arranged the trip, and was glad that Vivienne could get away. According to his pilot, it would be a smooth flight. He’d scheduled the jet for late evening, to arrive in Barcelona early in the morning. On the way to the airport, they sipped hot coffee. It pleased Jacob to see Vivienne’s excitement over the trip. She talked animatedly, asking all kinds of questions about Spain.
The jet took off shortly after they were aboard and buckled in. Once they were in the air, and the pilot turned off the seatbelt sign, Jacob took Vivienne to a comfortable sitting room where they could relax. It had the same cream-colored leather seats and wood paneling as the rest of the plane, but the couches were more spacious and colorful pillows were scattered around to be used for their comfort.
The flight attendant offered drinks, and Vivienne requested white wine. “It sounds refreshing,” she said.
“I’ll have the same,” Jacob said. “And bring some snacks for us.” He looked at Vivienne. “It’s usually fruit, cheese, and crackers.”
“That’s a lot better than stale peanuts out of a bag,” Vivienne said. “This is luxury. When you travel, do you ever fly commercial?”
“Rarely, since the jet is more comfortable and less hassle,” Jacob said. “I suppose there are some places I might opt for commercial, although none come to mind.”
The drinks and food arrived promptly. Jacob smiled at the attendant. “Thank you, Marcela.”
Vivienne sipped her wine and ignored the food. Jacob devoured a few chunks of cheese, before tasting his drink. “I enjoy this Chardonnay.”
“It’s very buttery…delicious.” Vivienne brushed her hair back. “I think it’s doing the trick. I’m feeling relaxed, and ready for a long flight.”
“Same here, and we can sleep comfortably too,” Jacob said. “The master suite is well appointed.”
“And we’ll have lots of time to talk.” Vivienne looked directly at him.
“Is there something in particular you had in mind?”
“I just keep thinking about what you told me, being adopted and all. Well, when I met Vico, I thought you looked like him.”
“The blue eyes?”
“And you have a similar build.”
“Yes, Vico is a runner too.”
“There is enough resemblance that no one would guess you are adopted.”
“I suppose that’s true.”
“And now I understand why Speak Up For Children is a special cause for you.” Vivienne waited for him to respond, but Jacob wasn’t sure what to say.
Vivienne seemed full of questions. “Is the way you spell your name the Italian version?”
“Yes, Jacob is Italian. My mother was of Italian descent, so I suppose that is something she had in common with the Rinaldis. And both my parents had blue eyes, so it makes sense I have them.” Jacob sipped his drink. “It was my mother who named me. I don’t suppose my natural father really cared.”
“What was your mother’s name?”
“Her name was Flora.”
“And your father?”
“You were born as Jacob Hahn, then.”
“So it would seem.” Jacob wasn’t entirely comfortable with the direction of the conversation. “But if you plan to delve into my heritage, or ask more personal questions, you’ll have to wait a bit. I have a feeling I’ll need another drink.”
Vivienne laughed. “At least you can talk about it. I’m glad about that. Okay, later then.”
For the rest of the flight, the subject of Jacob’s family history didn’t come up. It was just as well, since he wasn’t inclined to say much more about it. The jet was equipped for comfort, with a library, music, and movies to watch.
Marcela served the meal, and cocktails, a bit later. International flights could be exhausting, at least in Jacob’s experience. But Vivienne brought life to an otherwise dull trip. Using the amenities and enjoying the gourmet food with specialty drinks was like already being on vacation.
The one other time that Vivienne had flown with him, on the trip home from Provence, Jacob hadn’t shared the master suite with her. Not so this time. After watching a movie, he put on some music and they retired to the bedroom, shutting the door behind them. Except for the row of square windows looking out at the sky, it looked like a room at home, with plush carpet, wood paneling, and a queen-sized bed.
Jacob undressed Vivienne, and she returned the favor. He couldn’t wait to feel her naked under the sheets, but they didn’t get that far. Seeing Vivienne naked fanned the flames of desire into a roaring blaze. He sucked ravenously at her nipples, making her whimper, and dipped his fingers inside her, stroking until her pussy clenched tight over them.
Tossing her onto the bed, Jacob straddled her and fucked her hard. Barely recovered, he did so again. Vivienne stirred powerful urges, which he made no effort to hold back. She was just as aroused, and after two orgasms, she still went down on him, sucking his cock like a candy treat.
There was a certain thrill about sex while flying over the Atlantic, which was something new for Jacob. He hadn’t invited a woman to join him on his private jet before, so the lurid interludes with Vivienne were memorable. Through the night, Jacob couldn’t keep his hands off her. And if he didn’t reach for her, Vivienne reached for him.
Very few of the hours in the master suite were spent sleeping, and that was fine. Maybe their first day in Barcelona would be spent lounging in the hotel and recovering, which sounded pretty good. When Vivienne nestled against him and closed her eyes, she dozed off out of pure exhaustion, and Jacob wasn’t far behind.
The next thing Jacob knew, the attendant knocked on the door to let them know of their approach to Barcelona. Vivienne opened her eyes, giving him a coy smile. “Mmm, I could just stay in bed all day.”
“You can do that, baby, as soon as we get to the hotel.”
They managed to get dressed and gulp down some coffee before the jet began its descent into Barcelona. Out the window, Jacob saw the sprawling city butted up against the deep blue ocean, with mountains in the background. There were boats dotting the harbor, and a few high-rise buildings reaching up for the cloudless sky.
Vivienne’s hair was messy, and her eyes bloodshot, but she was thoroughly excited. “Jacob, that’s Barcelona.” She grinned. “I can’t wait to get out of this plane.”
Jacob smiled at her. “So sleeping all day isn’t going to happen, is it?”
Vivienne laughed. “No way. I want to see everything. What can we do first?”
“Wait until you see the hotel,” Jacob said. “You might want to hang out there for a while.”
When she looked up into his eyes, Jacob hugged her. “It’s right on the beach, and well, the view…”
“I’m convinced.” Vivienne stroked her fingertips along his jaw. “And I might want to try out the bed.”
“I was thinking the same thing, only not to sleep.”
“Who mentioned sleeping?”
Jacob raised his hands. “Not me. I was the guy in bed with you all night, remember?” He put his hand on Vivienne’s thigh, then gazed out the window for the final approach to the runway. It was going to be a good week; he just had that feeling.