Barnes and Noble
Sexy redhead seeks the perfect Dom …
Isabelle Peters spots the Dom she wants — darkly handsome Sebastian D’Alessandro. Seems he’s also the impossible-to-please Dom, and the most-likely-to-find-fault Dom. Doesn’t matter to Isabelle. She’ll show him she’s the perfect sub.
Sebastian wants nothing to do with Isabelle. She lacks the proper respect. But he agrees to do a scene with her. If she’s as good as she says, she “wins” a weekend at his place. If she fails — as he knows she will — he never has to touch her again.
Can two such different people work out a D/s relationship … or even love? That’s what the negotiation is for …
“I want that one.” Isabelle pointed at the tall Dom with straight black hair tucked behind his ears.
Katie’s mouth opened when she saw the direction Isabelle was pointing.
The Dom was fully dressed. Still, Isabelle could see the power in his shoulders and arms. His waist was slender and his ass… She liked a nice, tight ass. In his black trousers, this Dom’s ass was very nice indeed.
Katie’s eyebrows raised in horror. “Sebastian? You can’t want Sebastian. He’s—well, all the subs know this, it’s not a secret. He’s impossible to please.”
Isabelle flicked her hair over her shoulders and allowed her lips to curve into a cat-and-cream smile. She wanted that Dom. Master Sebastian. It had a nice ring to it—she could hear herself saying, “Yes, Master Sebastian.”
“Trust me on this, Iz, Sebastian is not a good pick for you. Let me find you someone else.”
Isabelle shook her head. “Doesn’t matter. He’s the one.” Master Sebastian was showing off for the audience, laying on a tawse with precise, economical strokes that turned the uncollared sub’s ass a watermelon pink. Impressive. A Dom arrogant enough to show off to the crowd and skilled enough to get it right. And—from the way he held his shoulders—he knew it.
“Seriously, Iz—he’s bad news. He prides himself on making subs miserable.” Katie tried to whisper, but it came out like a witch’s hiss.
Isabelle frowned. “Do you mean he sets the bar so high that a sub can never avoid punishment?”
“Yes.” Katie paused, then shook her head. “No. Wait, that’s not what I mean.”
Isabelle turned to her friend, a petite brunette Domme. No one looking at the two of them, standing on the periphery of one of the main rooms at The Club, would think Katie was a Domme and Isabelle was a sub. Katie looked like a sprite with her cheery smile and pixie haircut. She just happened to like powerful men groveling at her feet. At The Club, D.C.’s BDSM hangout, Katie had her pick of guys—guys who, at the end of the day and tired of their government jobs, stripped off their power suits and submitted to her will.
Isabelle was the one who didn’t get selected often. Perhaps because she never lost that look of hauteur her mother had taught her. Isabelle’s head didn’t dip, she stood up straight and looked Doms in the eye. Even without her fuck-me pumps, she was too tall for the role of demure sub.
She didn’t dress the part, either. Tonight she wore a black silk bustier with a pencil-thin black leather skirt that ended just above the knee. With sheer black hose and stiletto heels, she called it her “Italian mistress outfit.” Stunning, with her cascade of flame-colored hair and cream complexion, but the total package did not say “I ache to serve you, Master.”
Which was why she’d gone through a dry patch for a few years. She’d had a relationship with a Dom in Chicago that suited them both well enough, although they kept it pretty chaste considering his marriage to a vanilla housewife. They’d played but never had sex, which didn’t bother Isabelle too much. She’d happily get worked up in their Chicago bondage club, then go home alone and let her vibrator and imagination finish the job.
The fun had been the role playing, being ordered to do something and doing it perfectly, submitting to a Dom’s will while meeting her own standards.
Isabelle realized it would take a special Dom to make her really ache to please him. A special man—like the raven-haired god wielding the tawse. Master Sebastian.
“I don’t care,” she told Katie. “I want him. He’ll just have to get used to perfection.”
Katie shook her head violently. “No. It won’t work. He’ll hurt you. He hurts all the subs.”
Isabelle laughed, loud enough that a couple of people turned around from watching the oh-so-precise Master Sebastian to look at her and Katie. “That’s part of the scene, you know. Just because you verbally abuse your groveling male subs doesn’t mean that some of us don’t like the nip of pain mixed in with our pleasure.”
“Isabelle, that’s not what I’m saying. He’ll hurt you emotionally. I’ve been in the ladies’ room when subs come in, sobbing because Sebastian is such a bastard. Or, worse, they don’t know how to please him, so they keep trying. And failing. And sob some more in the bathroom. Please, trust me, he’s not the Dom for you.”
Isabelle shrugged. She’d humor Katie’s inner know-it-all. “Then who would you suggest?” After all, this was Isabelle’s first full night at The Club. If she hadn’t been friends with Katie, and if her Chicago Dom hadn’t been high-powered enough to recommend her, she wouldn’t even have gotten an interview here. The Club was very selective and careful—almost to the point of paranoia. Might as well hear what Katie had to say.
Katie looked around the room, then bent at the waist to get a view into the next room. The Club was a massive underground space in the form of linked public rooms. No privacy, mostly as a safeguard against snoops. Everyone down here had a secret to maintain, everyone respected the rules and kept each other’s secrets.
“I’d suggest The Lawyer, but I don’t think he’s looking for another sub yet.” Katie flicked her head at a slightly older man, very distinguished, in dark trousers and a plain blue business shirt.
“Wait—the guy who argues all those cases before the Supreme Court? That Mackenzie Lyon?”
Mac Lyon? Isabelle felt that thrill of being close to a celebrity. In a place where the junior senator from a Midwestern state was strung up, literally, by his balls, Mackenzie Lyon still stood out. That was The Club for you. Isabelle was pretty sure she’d spotted two former Cabinet members in the crowd. And she hadn’t really been looking.
As exciting as it was to be in the same club as Mac Lyon, he wasn’t Master Sebastian. Isabelle’s choice seemed even more certain now she knew he beat out The Lawyer. Still, she was curious. “I’m not going to change my mind, you understand. I just want to know—what’s Mackenzie Lyon’s deal?”
Katie shrugged, a tiny gesture that made it look like she was getting ready to fly around the room. Isabelle smiled at the image. Her friend, Mistress Tinkerbell.
“I don’t know the whole story, but he stopped playing some months ago. Subs offer all the time, and the most he’ll do is let them suck him off. And that’s rare.”
Isabelle eyed the man. She’d do him, sure, but she wasn’t going to fawn over him, the way a brunette sub was doing now. “If he never plays, why does he come here? Voyeur?”
“Oh, I think it has to do with his role as the ‘Lawyer to the Doms.’”
Isabelle laughed again. Someone shushed her. She ignored them. “His what?”
Katie smiled. “Mac offers his legal services to some of the members. When I bought my condo, he had an associate at his firm help me with the closing.”
“A cute young associate?”
Katie’s cheeks darkened. “Yeah, we had a little fun. Too vanilla for me, though.”
Isabelle nudged her friend with her shoulder. “Ooh, that one’s yummy. Who’s that?” A massive man, tall even to Isabelle’s eyes, walked in with a pretty blonde sub by his side.
“That’s Cal and his sub, Sara. She was left to him in his uncle’s will.”
“No way. He inherited his uncle’s sub?”
Isabelle was charmed by the idea of getting a super-hot Dom in someone’s will. She laughed and asked for the rest of the story.
Before Katie could answer, though, Sebastian finished his aftercare with the sub he’d played with. He stroked her in a perfunctory manner, then swiveled to face Isabelle. Their eyes locked. His face was stone-cold, his eyes like chips of onyx. His swarthy complexion suggested a Mediterranean or even South American ancestry. Isabelle’s sex clenched.
He was, quite simply, the most gorgeous man she’d ever seen.
Katie sucked in her breath with a slight groan as Sebastian approached. Sure enough, he was not happy with them. Isabelle tilted her chin. Let him try to unnerve her. Let’s see how well that worked for him.
“Mistress Kathryn.” He greeted Katie formally but never stopped staring at Isabelle. “Who’s your noisy friend?”
Isabelle stuck out her hand. “How do you do? Isabelle Peters.”
He ignore her hand. “Ms. Peters, as a guest at The Club, you may not be aware that we expect visitors to respect those engaged in a scene.”
Isabelle smiled sweetly. “Actually, I am a member. As of yesterday.”
His sleek black eyebrows, with their slightly wicked arch, rose. “Who sponsored you?”
“Katie, of course, and Bob Levonson.”
“As in the—?”
“Of Illinois, yes.” Isabelle’s smile widened into a saucy grin. “Bob and I enjoyed a very pleasant relationship in Chicago.”
Sebastian’s face hardly changed, but Isabelle could see he was putting the pieces together. If she played with Bob, a Dom’s Dom, then by definition she was a sub. Just not the kind who fawned at Sebastian’s feet, clearly.
Time to give him the good news.
“I was just telling Katie that you’re my first choice. For a Dom, that is.” Isabelle pulled her shoulders back, just enough for her black silk-clad breasts to catch his attention.
“I like respectful subs,” Sebastian said. His eyelids lowered in contempt.
“Oh, I respect you.” Isabelle smiled. “Your mastery with the tawse is quite impressive.” She let her gaze slide down his torso, clearly muscular and toned even in a loose shirt. Below his waist, she admired his large erection and long, lean legs.
She was being impermissibly naughty and she knew it. Something about Sebastian definitely brought out her most confrontational demeanor.
“Well, you may respect me—although I’m finding that hard to believe—but I definitely don’t respect you. You pick your first evening here to have a cozy gossip with your friend when there are countless bars and coffee shops in the D.C. area. May I suggest you two take your conversation elsewhere, preferably somewhere more private?”
Katie opened her mouth, but Isabelle beat her to it. “Ah, but I can’t find a high caliber Dom at any of those bars and coffee shops.” She smiled up at Sebastian’s glacial expression. “Whereas, here I just did.”
“Good evening, Kathryn,” a new voice said. Isabelle didn’t want to lose her staring match with Sebastian, but she was too polite to ignore whoever had joined them.
She glanced over. It was The Lawyer, Mackenzie Lyon.
Katie introduced them. “Sir, may I present Isabelle Peters? She’s moved here from Chicago. Bob Levonson sponsored her membership here.”
“And you did too,” Isabelle reminded her, jostling Katie’s shoulder in an effort to lighten the mood.
“Mackenzie Lyon.” The dark-haired man shook Isabelle’s hand. “Any friend of Bob’s is welcome here, of course.”
“Thank you, Sir,” Isabelle said primly.
“Oh, so you’ll call Mac ‘Sir.’” Sebastian’s expression said it all. Disgust, impatience, and a general attitude of “Why should I waste my time?”
“Mr. Lyon has been gracious and polite to me, that’s why.” She gave her shoulders a little shimmy masquerading as a shrug. It was too much fun teasing Sebastian.
In perfect synchronization, Mac and Katie’s heads swiveled to look at Sebastian, then Isabelle, then back to Sebastian.
Sebastian reached up to tug his long, black hair back from his temples. It looked like he wanted to tear it out in frustration. “I’m leaving. Mac. Kathryn. Miz Peters.”
Lyon put a hand on Sebastian’s arm. “Oh, don’t go. I was thinking we’d do better in the Founders’ Lounge, that’s all.”
Katie’s face, which had been pink—presumably from embarrassment—brightened. “Mac, what a great idea.” She turned to Sebastian. “You’ll come, won’t you?”
“Oh, all right.” He shot an angry look at Isabelle.
The Founders’ Lounge was behind one of the few closed doors in The Club. Mac opened it with a large brass key, then stood back to let Katie and Isabelle enter first. The painted brick walls and polished concrete floors in the main rooms stopped at the doorway to the lounge, which was pure Edwardian gentleman’s club. Wood paneling and bookcases, massive Oriental rug and dark green leather club chairs. There was even a library table behind the sofa with a tray of glasses and cut-glass decanters. The no-drinks rule must not apply to Founders.
“Ms. Peters, may I pour you something?” Mac Lyon took on the host duties, stepping around to the drinks tray.
Isabelle sat in one of the chairs. “No, thank you.” She needed her wits about her. She couldn’t stop staring at Sebastian, leaning insolently by some bookshelves. He made her nipples itch and clit ache. She wanted to touch herself, which was a surprise. Her body didn’t normally respond to a Dom, at least not until they’d started a scene. Sebastian seemed to exert power over her nerve endings without lifting a finger. Somehow that power made her want to play with him even more.
Katie also declined Lyon’s offer. Sebastian accepted a scotch with ill grace. At least holding the glass required him to uncross his arms.
Mac Lyon poured himself a small amount of something, then capped the decanter and took a seat next to Katie on the sofa.
“Sebastian, why don’t you tell Ms. Peters what you are looking for in a sub?” Lyon’s voice was affable enough, but there was an undercurrent of tension between him and Sebastian.
“Obedience, respect, humility.” Sebastian bit the words off in quick, crisp syllables.
Lyon nodded. “And Ms. Peters—”
She smiled at him. “Please, call me Isabelle.”
“All right. Isabelle, what are you looking for in a Dom?”
Isabelle shot Sebastian a glance. He was inspecting his shoes, or maybe the carpet. His expression suggested a punishment was in order for whoever picked the subdued Oriental rug.
She looked back at Lyon. “Control, expertise, intelligence, and a sense of humor.”
“Why a sense of humor?” Katie asked.
“Because if two people can’t laugh at something funny, there’s not enough of a bond there.” Isabelle turned to Sebastian. “I’m genuinely sorry I laughed during your scene. I assure you that I wasn’t laughing at you.”
He nodded curtly.
“Unfortunately, Sebastian isn’t known for his sense of humor,” Mac Lyon said after a moment’s thought. “In every other way, though, he meets your criteria. Sebastian? Would you agree to a scene with Isabelle tomorrow night?”
Sebastian’s head lifted. He’d unhooked the hair from behind his ears, its silky length flowing back from his forehead. He looked like a nineteenth century English rake being offered the new girl at some brothel. Just the thought of being under his command compressed Isabelle’s chest, making it hard for her to take a deep breath.
“On one condition.” Sebastian’s eyes glinted at her.
“What’s the condition?” Lyon asked.
“If she misbehaves, I never have to touch her again.”
Mac turned to Isabelle. “Would that work for you?”
“I love a challenge. But what’s in it for me? What reward do I get if I meet your exacting standards?” Isabelle let a smile play with her lips.
Sebastian considered her for a long, breath-stopping moment. “You get the Dom of your choice. For one weekend. My place.”
Isabelle rose and walked over to Sebastian. She looked him in the eye, then knelt gracefully on the carpet in front of him. “I accept. Sir.”