Written by Cherise Sinclair
for Scorching Book Reviews’s Perfect Men contest.

 Please meet Master Z and Master Nolan who are representing the Masters of the Shadowlands. They decided that a vote for one of the Masters would be a vote for all of them–and since they’re Doms, their submissive author didn’t even try to argue.

Cheers for Nix from Scorching Book Reviews who bravely shows up at the Shadowlands to conduct the interview.

“Your author has nominated the Shadowlands Masters as Perfect Men. How’s that feel?” Nix asks, trying to ignore the smacking sounds of flesh meeting flesh behind her. She’s beginning to realize that doing the interview in the notorious BDSM club is a serious mistake.

Dressed in black slack and silky black shirt, Master Z sits back in his leather chair, steepling his fingers. “I’m honored Cherise feels that the Masters come close to this standard, although–much as a Dom might like to appear that way–no one is perfect.”

“Speak for yourself. My Beth thinks I’m perfect,” –Master Nolan grins — “and if she doesn’t, I’ll tan her gorgeous little ass.” He pauses, then leans forward, elbows on his knees, dark gaze on the interviewer. “You’re squirming, Nix. Does thinking about being spanked make you uncomfortable…or excited?”

Surrounded by the sounds of pain and sex, talking to two utterly confident, powerful Doms, and having them toss out words like…spanking? Hot flash time. Dodging the question, Nix asks, “If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?”

Master Z frowns. “You were asked a question by Master Nolan, little one. Answer it.”

As Nix hears the steel in his voice, the pit of her stomach ends up somewhere near her feet, and she gulps. “Some of both.” And depends on who she’s with, right? She eyes Master Nolan. Black leathers, black eyes, black hair — talk about dangerous-looking.

Master Z’s smile warms with approval. “An honest answer. Good girl.” He studies her for a long minute. “If you wish, I’ll introduce you to a Dom, one who will show you how pain and pleasure can mix. Someone interviewing people in the BDSM lifestyle should be knowledgeable about it, don’t you think?”

“Well. Yes. All right.” Nix tries to swallow, but her spit is sadly lacking. “But, for now…my questions?”

“Right, you want descriptions.” Master Nolan picks up a beer and motions toward the owner of the Shadowlands BDSM club. “Let’s see, Z, what would we use to describe you? Rich, smooth, fucking mind-reader psychologist who butts his nose into everything?”

“I believe that’s more than three words,” Z says mildly.

“Hell, I don’t particularly like rules.” A smile flashes across Nolan’s darkly tanned face. “And I’m a Dom, so I get away with it more often than not.”

Z tilts his head. “For Nolan: stubborn, arrogant, experienced.” He smiles slightly. “Very experienced, or I’d never have chosen you to work with Elizabeth.”

Nix makes a note — ask about that later — then asks Z, “Why do you think your author picked you out for this event?

Master Z shakes his head. “Cherise is a sweetheart, but she was too intimidated to choose one of the Shadowlands Masters, so she drew numbers from a hat.” He leans back, arms along the back of the couch. “She might have cause to worry. When Master Cullen’s number didn’t get drawn, he told her she’d be serving as a bar ornament. We probably won’t see her in the club for another month.

“She’d make a fine ornament.” Nolan’s gaze lands on Nix. “As would you, pet.”

“Me?” Nix glances at the massive bar in the center of the room. God help me.

Master Nolan sets a finger under her chin and tilts her face up. “You’re flushed, little interviewer, and your heart’s beating faster than a jackhammer. Would you like to sit on the bartop for the Doms to enjoy?”

“No.” As a shiver of anticipation shakes Nix’s body, Nolan’s hard face creases with a smile. “I’m here to do an interview,” she says, firmly keeping her gaze on her subjects, not her imagination. Or the hum under her skin. “What can you tell us about the events in your published story? ”

“Events, huh.” Nolan sips his beer, then motions toward Z. “Z’s story.  After putting her car in the ditch in a storm, his short, curvy accountant walked into the Shadowlands, looking like a drowned poodle. Innocent. Sweet. The place was in full swing, and apparently, her big green eyes kept getting bigger. It went downhill from there.”

Z shakes his head. “I should never have let her in, but the way she responded to some of the scenes was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Jessica wants to be dominated. She needs the control…and I need her. “ His rich, smooth voice deepens. “She brings light into my life.”

“And tries to protect every sub in the club. Like my Beth.” When Nolan glares at Z, Nix pushes her chair back a foot.

Z glances at Nix. “When Nolan met his submissive, Beth needed to be dominated to feel alive, but she was terrified of giving up control. She always picked the weakest Doms to scene with, and it wasn’t working for her. She was getting close to breaking, so…” — he nods toward the cruel-looking Dom — “I coerced her into accepting Nolan as her Dom.”

“And manipulated me into taking on a terrified little bunny, you bastard,” Nolan said in his gravelly voice…then grinned. “Might I say thank you?”

Nix bites her lip. Master Nolan sure wasn’t the Dom she’d have chosen for a fearful submissive. “So, if you had to, how would you convince us you are the Perfect Man in your category?”

“You’d best vote for Z, Nix,” Nolan said. “Rich, powerful, experienced. Educated. Babysits all the little subbies in the club and teaches the Doms.”

“What about you, Master Nolan?” Nix ventures.

“Little subs flee when they see me. “ Nolan runs a finger down the long white scar on his face. “I’m rough, don’t talk much –“

“And he gentled a terrified submissive right out of her hole,” Z adds, a faint smile on his face, then nods at Nix. “Don’t worry, little one, I’ll start you with someone a bit less terrifying.”

“Um.” After a long moment, Nix manages to pull her gaze from Master Z’s. His devastating self-confidence is oddly reassuring. Maybe this is the time to stick her toe in the water. What would it be like…? Concentrate on the interview, Nix. She scans her notes. “Right. What would be your campaign slogan to win our imaginary crown?”

Z tilts his head and speaks directly to her. “I won’t give you what you want, pet, but you will always get what you need.”

A quaking started deep in her stomach as he traps her gaze, holds it until the room fades.

“And she needs to start with something easy,” Nolan says, breaking the spell. He rises and pulls Nix to her feet. “Come, subbie. Since Cherise didn’t show up for the interview, Master Cullen’s in dire need of a bar ornament. But you’re wearing far too many clothes.” He crosses his arms over his chest. “Strip for me, Nix.”

* * * *

Author’s Note: I want to thank Scorching Book Reviews and DayDreamszzz for inviting me and the Masters to the Perfect Man event.  It’s been fun…although I swear, I’m sooo not returning to the Shadowlands until Master Cullen forgets my name.