To Command and Collar by Cherise Sinclair



  Cherise Sinclair

  Masters of the Shadowlands 6: To Command and Collar

  Copyright © November 2011 by Cherise Sinclair

  All rights reserved. This copy is intended for the original purchaser of this e-book ONLY. No part of this e-book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without prior written permission from Loose Id LLC. Please do not participate in or encourage

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  eISBN 978-1-61118-667-3

  Editor: G. G. Royale

  Cover Artist: Christine M. Griffin Printed in the United States of America

  Published by

  Loose Id LLC

  PO Box 809

  San Francisco CA 94104-0809

  This e-book is a work of fiction. While reference might be made to actual historical events or existing locations, the names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


  This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language and may be considered offensive to some readers. Loose Id LLC’s e-books are for sale to adults ONLY, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

  * * * *

  DISCLAIMER: Please do not try any new sexual practice, especially those that might be found in our BDSM/fetish titles without the guidance of an experienced practitioner. Neither Loose Id LLC nor its authors will be responsible for any loss, harm, injury or death resulting from use of the information contained in any of its titles.


  I’m a writer, and words are supposed to come easily to me, yet there’s no way to adequately express my appreciation to the people below.

  I’m blessed to have the sweetest, most enthusiastic readers in the world. The long hours at the computer, the blurry eyes, the dirty house, and the frozen dinners—you make it worthwhile. Please realize that without your stubborn insistence (that’s a polite way to say nagging ), Master Raoul wouldn’t have a story. Truly, I adore you all.

  A book is a team effort, and I’m very grateful for all those who helped get this story into your hands. A special shout-out:

  To my Erotic Romance Authors critique group, who kicked the beginning of this book into shape. To Bianca Sommerland and Cari Silverwood, who beta-read it…and made me rewrite the ending again and again.

  To G.G. Royale, my wonderful editor, who keeps the story on track—and made me lighten up the torture on the boat—and to the excellent line and proofing editors who made this book readable. To the Loose Id Quad who kindly ignore the way I tuck extra characters in…and how long these books have gotten. To the supremely talented artist, Christine Griffin, who’s created each Shadowlands cover and captured the ambience so well.

  To Suede, who enthusiastically shares tales and answers questions. A big hug to you.

  I’d like to thank Kane and careena at the Lair de Sade in Los Angeles for your warm welcome and for the tour of your huge dungeon…especially that sinister jail cell in the basement. Thanks to the generous Doms, Masters, submissives, and slaves there who shared their stories, and a special thanks to the awesome Dom who did the fireplay scene. Many hugs go to Fiona Archer from Australia, who joined me on the late-night dungeon jaunt despite an early flight. That’s friendship above and beyond the call of duty.

  To my wonderful, creative, loving children, real and honorary, who put up with a mom who disappears for hours at a time. And last but never least, to my good-natured husband for his patience when I say “uh-huh” without hearing a word. You’re the reason I can write about love.

  Bless you all.


  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.


  Chapter One

  Kimberly Moore kept her eyes focused on her long, transparent skirt. The silky material provided no cushioning for her knees on the cold tile floor. But she should be used to misery— since the day she’d been kidnapped, her life had held no comforts, just pain and abuse. And it looked about to get worse. Don’t move. Don’t tense. Don’t show anger.

  The Overseer stepped closer, his boots—black like his soul—entering her field of vision. “The three buyers are in the living room. Serve them drinks, hors d’oeuvres. Use your bodies to please them. I suggest you all do your best. If you’re not bought, you’ll entertain the staff in any way they choose, and then be auctioned off next month.”

  A new owner . Trembling started deep in Kim’s center, and bile rose into her throat. She tried to swallow, but her collar seemed to tighten, choking off her breath, choking off her life. Forcing a slow inhalation, she kept her hands still. Don’t try to rip it off. A scar ran up her neck from the first collar she’d cut off, slicing herself in the process.

  Lord Greville had beaten her until she’d vomited from the nightmarish pain. As her hands had smudged the blood on the concrete, she’d futilely wished her knife had sliced deeper—an artery and not merely her skin.

  Endure. Be silent . She tightened her stomach muscles and made herself into a statue. The Overseer’s boots remained in her vision for another moment before he walked out of the kitchen and into the living room.

  The sound of his footsteps had faded completely before Kim dared look up. She could keep her face from betraying her, but not her eyes. Any slaver seeing the hatred in her eyes would beat her.

  “Buyers,” Holly whimpered.

  Kim reached over to squeeze the nineteen-year-old blonde’s hand. “Shhh. It’ll be fine.

  Maybe there’s a nice one here tonight.”

  “Do you think so?” Hope filled Holly’s sweet face.

  “Who knows?”

  The third slave in the kitchen took Holly’s other hand. “Be strong, honey. We’ll get

  through this.” She shook her head at Kim, disapproving of giving the younger woman false expectations. They both knew nice men didn’t buy kidnapped women.

  Kim only wanted to be purchased, to get away from the Overseer. After that, somehow— somehow she’d get free. She remembered for an instant the surge of the ocean under her boat, the scent and taste of a briny breeze, the camaraderie of the other Georgia biologists. Keep those memories, but bury them deep, where whi
ps can’t reach. She’d get home again. Somehow. Maybe tonight. Any change in routine presented opportunity for escape, especially during transportation. She’d learned the hard way chances decreased once a buyer got her home. Slaves were put into closets or basements when the masters weren’t using them. A shiver ran over her skin. Or cages.

  She swallowed. Her defiance had broken against the heavy steel of the dog-sized cage. On hands and knees, unable to stand, to move. Pissing down her legs. Panicking and screaming until her voice gave out.

  Her master hadn’t liked it when she’d tried to kill him.

  And did you learn anything from your experience, Kim? her inner cynic asked. She scowled. Next time, I’ll stab him faster. Yet she knew in her gut that she’d never have the courage again.

  With a sigh, she rose and hauled Holly and Linda up beside her. “Well, ladies, let’s go entice some buyers.”

  Silently, she led the way into the formal parlor. She studied the two men conversing quietly by the fire. One was overweight, thirties, with a cruel twist to his fat lips. The other was gaunt and older. Which would be more careless?

  The third buyer… Across the room, a man stood in the hall doorway. Only around six feet, but so muscular, he appeared huge. His white silky shirt set off his dark tan and even darker eyes. Expressionless face, unreadable gaze. He studied Linda and Holly before turning his attention to her, and his impersonal regard blew like a winter wind across her naked skin.

  She shivered. Not him. Please, God, not him. I’m ugly. Clumsy. Bad slave. You don’t want to buy me.

  Standing in the doorway, Raoul Sandoval breathed in the humid Florida air coming from an open window. The dark Victorian parlor with regal blue floral wallpaper and Oriental carpets seemed an appropriate setting for masters and slaves. The other unnamed buyers occupied tapestry-covered chairs. He gave each an indifferent nod, catching sight of himself in the ornate mirror over the fireplace—tailored slacks and silk shirt, his black hair shortened to collar-length and styled. He looked more like his sleek friend Z than himself, but that was the point. He needed to appear rich enough to buy a slave girl. And not a third-world female with broken English, but a well-educated, well-brought-up woman from the US. Only the finest slaves for the richest men.

  Across the room, a dark wood buffet held an array of liquor bottles where three slave girls made drinks, supervised by the tall, pale man labeled the Overseer. “Call me Dahmer,” he’d said, and Raoul had to wonder what kind of psychopath named himself after a serial killer. He appeared average enough. In fair shape, straight brown hair starting to thin, narrow-set eyes the color of mud. A long upper lip with a dent, mouth with a cynical twist. Not the appearance of a person who kidnapped and sold people like cattle.

  Taking his time, Raoul checked out the women. A terrified young blonde; a tall, lush redhead; and a pretty, black-haired female who quickly dropped her gaze. All were dressed in matching silk skirts and nothing else.

  “Any preferences, gentlemen?” Dahmer asked. He handed the blonde a drink and nodded toward Raoul.

  The short, overweight buyer pointed. “That one’s on the old side, but I like redheads. For some reason, they’re more fun to fuck.”

  When the redhead paled, Raoul had to tighten his control over his emotions.

  The balding older man barked a laugh and leered at the youngest woman. “I prefer blondes.”

  The little blonde startled, her arm jerking.

  Raoul caught the glass of wine before it spilled on him. “Easy, chica,” he said.

  She cringed, obviously expecting a blow. Anger spiked inside him. Keeping his expression calm, he took a sip of the drink.

  His nod of approval cleared the worry from her face…until the Overseer directed her toward the old man. Her expression of dismay showed clearly.

  The remaining slave had more control. She stood beside Dahmer, eyes down, hands clasped in front. He wouldn’t call her beautiful, but she was pretty enough to please any man. Her skin held a bronze-red tone a few shades lighter than Raoul’s, perhaps from some Native American in her ancestry. Her high breasts sagged slightly, her cheeks were hollowed, and she was slim to the point of being gaunt. She’d obviously lost weight in captivity.

  The Overseer nodded at Raoul. “Will this one be adequate for now, Master R? Of course, switching around is easy enough, or if none pleases you, then simply enjoy the evening, and we’ll arrange another selection at a later date.”

  That was the plan. Refuse them all and score an invitation to the big auction. Where there would be more kidnapped women. Where the FBI could net the entire bunch of bastards. Don’t think about the future. Buyer. You’re a buyer, Sandoval. He strolled across the room to stand in front of the unchosen woman. She kept her gaze on the floor. “Turn,” he ordered, keeping his voice clipped and rough to hide his pity.

  She rotated in place. Long hair so dark as to be almost black hung in waves to the hollow of her back. Under the blue-tinted skirt, her hips curved outward in a pleasing manner.

  “Skinny.” He glanced at Dahmer.

  “Ah.” Dahmer said in his slimy voice, “The slave got herself hurt. She’s fine now but hasn’t regained the pounds she lost. She hasn’t had much training, and she bears some scars, which is why we’re offering her at a bargain price.”

  The tiny muscles around the woman’s mouth barely tightened, but no other reaction showed. Very good control.

  “She’ll do. For now,” Raoul said. The two FBI agents running the show had recommended he present an aloof personality.

  Raoul threaded his hand in the girl’s black hair, the weight like heavy silk, and used it to pull her closer.

  She didn’t fight him, silently compliant.

  “Look at me.” When she didn’t obey, he tightened his grip and pulled her head back…gently, although it hopefully appeared cruel.

  Her gaze lifted to his, and he froze for a long breath. Startling clear blue eyes, the color of antique glass. He’d seen those eyes before…when Marcus’s submissive had shown him a picture and begged for him to watch for her friend. This had to be Kimberly.

  Madre de Dios, what a fucking mess. “The coloring is an asset,” he said to the Overseer, then opened his hand and released the…slave. Not Kimberly. For tonight, she was nothing more than a slave, there to serve him. He had no other choice. “Bring me something to eat,” he snapped and walked over to sit with the others by the fire.

  Stretching his legs out, he sipped his wine and idly watched the old fart fondle the young girl’s breasts. Rage simmered in an ugly stew in his guts. No, Sandoval. Control. Perhaps someday he could feed the lecher a knuckle sandwich, but not today. Raoul forced his fist to open.

  Thankfully, the black-haired slave appeared and knelt at Raoul’s side, holding up a plate of tidbits. Her submissive silence reminded him of his first slave, but Antonia had served him in love and joy. There was no comparison to this abused woman. “Very nice,” he murmured to her, startling an upward glance from those beautiful eyes. And a hint—only a hint—of pleasure before it was drowned in fear and control.

  He selected a cheese-stuffed mushroom, appreciating the effort someone had put into making the food, although it tasted like straw right now. He ate another, then held a piece of melon in front of the slave’s mouth. “Eat, chica.”

  Her eyes lowered, but not before he spotted the icy flash. She took the morsel, her soft lips grazing his fingers. He fed her several more, alternating with his own meal, then held his fingers for her to lick clean. He noted the pause before she obeyed. Although she subdued her body language skillfully, the tiny muscles around the eyes and mouth were difficult to control, and her eyes were an open window to her emotions. He could see she’d hated taking food from his hand. Hated him.

  He needed to get with the program. “Behave as if you’re interviewing her for a job,” Special Agent Kouros had coached, obviously doubtful Raoul could manage.

  “What talents do you possess?” Raoul asked, taking the
plate and setting it on the end table.

  She shifted her weight on her knees. “I don’t have any skills, Master,” she murmured, almost inaudibly, as if she didn’t want the Overseer to hear.

  No talents? Doubtful. Perhaps she hoped he wouldn’t buy her? Was it him she disliked or all the buyers? Did she hope to remain here? “What happens if you’re not bought tonight?”

  She couldn’t control her flinch. So her aim wasn’t to remain with the Overseer. She preferred one of the other two buyers? Raoul glanced over. Perhaps she hoped she might escape more easily from a fat or an old master? Clever girl.

  But both buyers were sadists. Not good. And he could tell from her flinch, something bad happened to girls who didn’t get sold.

  How could he leave this young woman here to suffer? Gabi’s friend. He couldn’t.

  Some of the foul taste left his mouth. At least he could save one girl. The agents would go ballistic, but they’d find an alternative plan.

  And if they couldn’t?

  He rubbed his hand over his mouth. In buying Kimberly, he might doom the others. His gut tightened. There were no easy solutions to this nightmare.

  “Can you cook?” he asked.

  “Yes, Master R.”

  Not going to expand on the answer, was she? He chuckled. “Must I drag the information from you?”

  She went white with fear. “No, Master. I’m sorry, Master.”

  His anger at the slavers rose so hard and hot that his hands clamped on the chair arms. He forced himself to lean back. “Bring me a fresh drink.” And let me get past wanting to strangle every bastard in this place. He damn well wanted this evening over with, but no chance of that. No buyer would spend this much money without a test-drive first, and if he offered for the girl too soon, Dahmer would make him for a fraud. Play the part, Sandoval. Even if you terrify her.

  She returned, knelt silently, and held the glass up.

  As he sipped his drink, he studied her, learning how she breathed, how she shifted her weight as her anxiety grew. In her late twenties or early thirties. Average height, skin slack rather than taut, so she was normally rounder. Softer. Her nipples a pinkish brown and large. A long, almost-healed red scar wound along her left rib cage, reminding him of his gang-member days. Knife scar.

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