Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

  Masters of the Shadowlands 1:


  Cherise Sinclair

  VanScoy Publishing Group

  Copyright 2009 Cherise Sinclair

  Masters of the Shadowlands: 1

  Club Shadowlands

  Her car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she’s sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she’s a professional woman—an accountant—and surely isn’t a submissive …is she?

  Master Z hasn’t been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She’s intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can’t resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.

  * * * * *

  What reviewers are saying about Cherise Sinclair…

  Ms Sinclair sets the bar for the BDSM erotica genre, especially with her hot dominant alpha males. ~ The Romance Reviews

  I picked up Club Shadowlands after two friends told me I would like the Masters of the Shadowlands series and I absolutely must pay this favor forward by Joyfully Recommending Club Shadowlands. I stayed up far too late reading Jessica and Zachary’s story and immediately upon finishing Club Shadowlands I ordered the rest of the series ~ Joyfully Reviewed

  Cherise Sinclair unlocks your deepest desires with stunning results in this tale that is brimming over with sensuality as well as a depth of emotions that will take the readers breath away! Club Shadowland is a superbly crafted story that will dazzle any BDSM fan and have them adding it to their must read list! 5 Hearts ~ The Romance Studio

  Masters of the Shadowlands 1: Club Shadowlands is a breathtaking BDSM that held my attention till I turned the last page. In one word…POWERFUL. Recommended Read ~ Blackraven Reviews

  Masters of the Shadowlands 1: Club Shadowlands

  Copyright © January 2009 by Cherise Sinclair

  ISBN 978-0-9837063-4-2

  Kindle Edition

  Published by VanScoy Publishing Group

  Cover Artist: Christine M. Griffin

  This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales, business establishments, or organizations is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this eBook only. No part of this eBook may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  Warning: This book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. This book is for sale to adults only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase.

  Disclaimer: Please do not try any new sexual practice, without the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither the publisher nor the author will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury, or death resulting from use of the information contained in this book.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Praise for Cherise Sinclair


  Author’s Note

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Book List by Cherise Sinclair

  Preview of Masters of the Shadowlands 2: Dark Citadel

  About the author

  Author’s Note

  To my readers,

  This book is fiction, not reality and, as in most romantic fiction, the romance is compressed into a very, very short time period.

  You, my darlings, live in the real world and I want you to take a little more time than the heroines you read about. Good Doms don’t grow on trees and there’s some strange people out there. So while you’re looking for that special Dom, please, be careful.

  When you find him, realize he can’t read your mind. Yes, frightening as it might be, you’re going to have to open up and talk to him. And you listen to him, in return. Share your hopes and fears, what you want from him, what scares you spitless. Okay, he may try to push your boundaries a little—he’s a Dom, after all—but you have your safeword. You will have a safeword, am I clear? Use protection. Have a back-up person. Communicate.

  Remember: safe, sane and consensual.

  Know that I’m hoping you find that special, loving person who will understand your needs and hold you close. Let me know how you’re doing. I worry, you know.

  Meantime, come and hang out with the Masters of the Shadowlands.

  ~ Cherise

  [email protected]

  Chapter One

  Jessica Randall scrambled out of the water-filled ditch, her heart hammering. Frigid rain slashed through the dark night, drenching her face and clothing. Gasping for breath, she knelt in the mud, surprised to have made it to the bank in one piece. She glanced over her shoulder and shuddered. Alligators loved to hang out in Florida ditches. A few moments more and she could have been… She stifled the thought with a shudder.

  Hands shaking, she scrubbed the water off her face and pushed to her feet.

  As her fear diminished, she peered through the darkness and could barely see her car. Poor little Taurus, nose down with water roiling around the hood.

  “I’ll be back for you. Don’t worry,” she promised, feeling as if she were abandoning her baby.

  Once on the narrow country road, she pushed her tangled hair out of her face and looked each way. Darkness and darkness. Dammit, why couldn’t she have an accident right in someone’s front yard? But no, the nearest house was probably the one she’d passed about a mile back. She headed that way, stopping to glare at the pool of water where her car had aquaplaned right off the road. The armadillo, of course, was long gone. At least she hadn’t hit it.

  Head lowered, she trudged down the blacktop toward the house, getting wetter and wetter. Hopefully she wouldn’t trip on something in the darkness. Breaking her leg would be the final straw in a day that had been a disaster from start to finish.

  Number one mistake: meeting at a halfway point for their first date when the man lived miles and miles outside of Tampa.

  He sure hadn’t been worth the trip. She’d have found more excitement auditing business accounts. Then again, he hadn’t appeared all that impressed with her either. She grimaced. She’d recognized the look in his eyes, the one that said he really wanted tall and slim, an Angelina Jolie type woman, no matter that her posted picture portrayed her quite accurately: a pint-size Marilyn Monroe.

  So far, she’d have to say finding a guy through the Internet rated right up there with back-country shortcuts, her second mistake of the day.

  Aunt Eunice always swore things happened in threes. So would braking for an armadillo be considered her third mistake, or was there another disaster lurking in her near future?

  She shivered as the wind howled through the palmettos and plastered her drenched clothing against her chilled body. Couldn’t stop now. Doggedly, she set one foot in front of the other, her waterlogged shoes squishing with every step.

  An eternity later, she spotted a glimmer of light. Relief rushed through her when she reached a driveway studde
d with hanging lights. Surely whoever lived here would let her wait out the storm. She walked through the ornate iron gates, up the palm-lined drive past landscaped lawns, until finally she reached a three-story stone mansion. Black wrought iron lanterns illumined the entry.

  “Nice place,” she muttered. And a little intimidating. She glanced down at herself to check the damage. Mud and rain streaked her tailored slacks and white button-down shirt, hardly a suitable image for a conservative accountant. She looked more like something even a cat would refuse to drag in.

  Shivering hard, she brushed at the dirt and grimaced as it only streaked worse. She stared up at the huge oak doors guarding the entrance. A small doorbell in the shape of a dragon glowed on the side panel, and she pushed it.

  Seconds later, the doors opened. A man, oversized and ugly as a battle-scarred Rottweiler, looked down at her. “I’m sorry, miss, you’re too late. The doors are locked.”

  What the heck did that mean?

  “P-please,” she said, stuttering with the cold. “My car’s in a ditch, and I’m soaked, and I need a place to dry out and call for help.” But did she really want to go inside with this scary-looking guy? Then she shivered so hard her teeth clattered together, and her mind was made up. “Can I come in? Please?”

  He scowled at her, his big-boned face brutish in the yellow entry light. “I’ll have to ask Master Z. Wait here.” And the bastard shut the door, leaving her in the cold and dark.

  Jessica wrapped her arms around herself, standing miserably, and finally the door opened again. Again the brute. “Okay, come on in.”

  Relief brought tears to her eyes. “Thank you, oh, thank you.” Stepping around him before he could change his mind, she barreled into a small entry room and slammed into a solid body. “Oomph,” she huffed.

  Firm hands gripped her shoulders. She shook her wet hair out of her eyes and looked up. And up. The guy was big, a good six feet, his shoulders wide enough to block the room beyond.

  He chuckled, his hands gentling their grasp on her arms. “She’s freezing, Ben. Molly left some clothing in the blue room; send one of the subs.”

  “Okay, boss.” The brute—Ben—disappeared.

  “What is your name?” Her new host’s voice was deep, dark as the night outside.

  “Jessica.” She stepped back from his grip to get a better look at her savior. Smooth black hair, silvering at the temples, just touching his collar. Dark gray eyes with laugh lines at the corners. A lean, hard face with the shadow of a beard adding a hint of roughness. He wore tailored black slacks and a black silk shirt that outlined hard muscles underneath. If Ben was a Rottweiler, this guy was a jaguar, sleek and deadly.

  “I’m sorry to have bothered—” she started.

  Ben reappeared with a handful of golden clothing that he thrust at her. “Here you go.”

  She took the garments, holding them out to keep from getting the fabric wet. “Thank you.”

  A faint smile creased the manager’s cheek. “Your gratitude is premature, I fear. This is a private club.”

  “Oh. I’m sorry.” Now what was she going to do?

  “You have two choices. You may sit out here in the entryway with Ben until the storm passes. The forecast stated the winds and rain would die down around six or so in the morning, and you won’t get a tow truck out on these country roads until then. Or you may sign papers and join the party for the night.”

  She looked around. The entry was a tiny room with a desk and one chair. Not heated. Ben gave her a dour look.

  Sign something? She frowned. Then again, in this lawsuit-happy world, every place made a person sign releases, even to visit a fitness center. So she could sit here all night. Or…be with happy people and be warm. No-brainer. “I’d love to join the party.”

  “So impetuous,” the manager murmured. “Ben, give her the paperwork. Once she signs—or not—she may use the dressing room to dry off and change.”

  “Yes, sir.” Ben rummaged in a file box on the desk, pulled out some papers.

  The manager tilted his head at Jessica. “I will see you later then.”

  Ben shoved three pages of papers at her and a pen. “Read the rules. Sign at the bottom.” He scowled at her. “I’ll get you a towel and clothes.”

  She started reading. Rules of the Shadowlands.

  “Shadowlands. That’s an unusual na—” she said, looking up. Both men had disappeared. Huh. She returned to reading, trying to focus her eyes. Such tiny print. Still, she never signed anything without reading it.

  Doors will open at…

  Water pooled around her feet, and her teeth chattered so hard she had to clench her jaw. There was a dress code. Something about cleaning the equipment after use. Halfway down the second page, her eyes blurred. Her brain felt like icy slush. Too cold—I can’t do this. This was just a club, after all; it wasn’t like she was signing mortgage papers.

  Turning to the last page, she scrawled her name and wrapped her arms around herself. Can’t get warm.

  Ben returned with some clothing and towels, then showed her into an opulent restroom off the entry. Glass-doored stalls along one side faced a mirrored wall with sinks and counters.

  After dropping the borrowed clothing on the marble counter, she kicked her shoes off and tried to unbutton her shirt. Something moved on the wall. Startled, Jessica looked up and saw a short, pudgy woman with straggly blonde hair and a pale complexion blue with cold. After a second, she recognized herself. Ew. Surprising they’d even let her in the door.

  In a horrible contrast with Jessica’s appearance, a tall, slender, absolutely gorgeous woman walked into the restroom and gave her a scowl. “I’m supposed to help you with a shower.”

  Get naked in front of Miss Perfection? Not going to happen. “Thanks, b-b-b-but I’m all right.” She forced the words past her chattering teeth. “I don’t need help.”

  “Well!” With an annoyed huff, the woman left.

  I was rude. Shouldn’t have been rude. If only her brain would kick back into gear, she’d do better. She’d have to apologize. Later. If she ever got dried off and warm. She needed dry clothes. But, her hands were numb, shaking uncontrollably, and time after time, the buttons slipped from her stiff fingers. She couldn’t even get her slacks off, and she was shuddering so hard her bones hurt.

  “Dammit,” she muttered and tried again.

  The door opened. “Jessica, are you all right? Vanessa said—” The manager. “No, you are obviously not all right.” He stepped inside, a dark figure wavering in her blurry vision.

  “Go away.”

  “And find you dead on the floor in an hour? I think not.” Without waiting for her answer, he stripped her out of her clothes as one would a two-year-old, even peeling off her sodden bra and panties. His hands were hot, almost burning, against her chilled skin.

  She was naked. As the thought percolated through her numb brain, she jerked away and grabbed at the dry clothing. His hand intercepted hers.

  “No, pet.” He plucked something from her hair, opening his hand to show muddy leaves. “You need to warm up and clean up. Shower.”

  He wrapped a hard arm around her waist and moved her into one of the glass-fronted stalls behind where she’d been standing. With his free hand, he turned on the water, and heavenly warm steam billowed up. He adjusted the temperature.

  “In you go,” he ordered. A hand on her bottom, he nudged her into the shower.

  The water felt scalding hot against her frigid skin, and she gasped, then shivered, over and over, until her bones hurt. Finally, the heat began to penetrate, and the relief was so intense, she almost cried.

  Some time after the last shuddering spasm, she realized the door of the stall was open. Arms crossed, the man leaned against the door frame, watching her with a slight smile on his lean face.

  “I’m fine,” she muttered, turning so her back was to him. “I can manage by myself.”

  “No, you obviously cannot,” he said evenly. “Wash the mud out
of your hair. The left dispenser has shampoo.”

  Mud in her hair. She’d totally forgotten; maybe she did need a keeper. After using the vanilla-scented shampoo, she let the water sluice through her hair. Brown water and twigs swirled down the drain. The water finally ran clear.

  “Very good.” The water shut off. Blocking the door, he rolled up his sleeves, displaying corded, muscular arms. She had the unhappy feeling he was going to keep helping her, and any protest would be ignored. He’d taken charge as easily as if she’d been one of the puppies at the shelter where she volunteered.

  “Out with you now.” When her legs wobbled, he tucked a hand around her upper arm, holding her up with disconcerting ease. The cooler air hit her body, and her shivering started again.

  After blotting her hair, he grasped her chin and tipped her face up to the light. She gazed up at his darkly tanned face, trying to summon up enough energy to pull her face away.

  “No bruises. I think you were lucky.” Taking the towel, he dried off her arms and hands, rubbing briskly until he appeared satisfied with the pink color. Then he did her back and shoulders. When he reached her breasts, she pushed at his hand. “I can do that.” She stepped back so quickly that the room spun for a second.

  “Jessica, be still.” Then he ignored her sputters like she would a buzzing fly, his attentions gentle but thorough, even to lifting each breast and drying underneath.

  When he toweled off her butt, she wanted to hide. If there was any part of her that should be covered, it was her hips. Overweight. Jiggly. He didn’t seem to notice.

  Then he knelt and ordered, “Spread your legs.”

  No way. She flushed, didn’t move.

  He looked up, lifted an eyebrow. And waited. Her resolve faltered beneath the steady, authoritative regard.

  She slid one leg over. His towel-covered hand dried between her legs, sending a flush of embarrassment through her. The full enormity of her position swept through her: she was naked in front of a complete stranger, letting him touch her…there. Her breath stopped even as disconcerting pleasure moved through her. But she didn’t know him. A tinge of fear made her stiffen.

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