A Doll is perfection, submission and a companion for life...


4. Chapter 4


The incessant murmur of the engine fizzled away instantly, and in the next moment the door flapped open sending a biting chill to nibble at all areas of Mia’s exposed skin.

Mia wondered if it was good idea to try and do a runner, just push past Phoenix and throw herself out the door, but the thought was suppressed as Phoenix sent her a look that challenged her to run and then suffer the consequences. It suddenly seemed like everything was a bad idea. She dared to see past Phoenix, sending him innocently bewildered blinks as a ploy to figure out where she was.

‘I am unsure of whether you will be obedient, my Puppet.’ He said suddenly sending Mia’s hairs to stick on an edge. His tone seemed sorrowful almost. Whatever he was going to say next wasn’t going to be good. ‘So I regretfully have to do this…’

Mia held her breath expecting him to place a doused cloth of chloroform over her mouth but suddenly she saw his hands shoot towards her and pull her out the car. Mia let out an involuntary scream, before sending a plethora of expletives to echo in the frost kissed air as she found herself hoisted over Phoenix’s shoulder. He was hell of a lot stronger than he looked, and under the jacket she was sure he honed rock hard shoulders of some sort that were capable of denting a brick wall. Pummelling him with her fists and feet did not do anything to hinder him, except having him let out a low chuckle as he carelessly swung his body around with Mia dangling helplessly off it.

‘Put me down you son of a--!’

Mia’s groaned in frustration, cutting off her words as she strained her head upwards and found herself staring at a completely different sort of land that was not expected in London.

Except, Mia had an inkling that this was not England altogether as it faintly reminded her of Spain with the endless hills that rose like mountains, the scattering of olive trees and wild grass and the always ever present aroma of sweetness hanging in the air.

From her perched position she could see she was high atop a lazily sloping hill and in the distance she could see a condensed patch of a city where at the highest peak had a huge building with tall towers. There was a large spire just beyond it, a strange building with points reminiscent of minarets on a Mosque, a vast sweep of small houses with dotted pinpricks where the windows were, and a moss green snake of water circling the land as if it were protecting it.

The sunlight was already fading away and she could see the clouds were being sewn with fuchsia linings against an icy blue backdrop and a light teasing hue of tangerine being thrown out by the sun.

Phoenix hoisted her up, and Mia lifted her head up eagerly to see more of this strange land and found herself slipping further and further away from the dazzling sky and the humble city as Phoenix walked in an opposite direction.

‘Where are we?’ Wondered Mia as she turned her head to speak in the direction of Phoenix’s ear.

‘Toledo, Spain.’

‘What?’ Mumbled Mia in disbelief to herself before shrilly exclaiming it a second time. Though Mia had a sinking feeling that she was in Spain already, she hoped and prayed that she was wrong, that somehow she was in some exotic part of England that was made to look like Spain. But then again, it was foolish hoping she was in another part of England. She wanted to be in London, in her flat, sipping a cold but flat can of Fanta; kicking herself for not being able to write a simple short story about someone called Elizabeth Felipe de la I-don’t-know-what.

 ‘Phoenix please put me down.’ Said Mia in a rather well put on sweet voice. ‘Don’t you think I look a little silly draped over your shoulder?’ They had passed two rather large pots that had lollipop trees with bushes that looked more like well preened green afros.

‘It seems until you can learn to accept me as your Master and call me your Master you will continue to look silly around me.’ He replied in a falsely prude voice.

Mia scowled and began to pound at him again out of indignation.

‘Let me down you idiot!’ Shrieked Mia as Phoenix mounted several steps before passing under an archway. He carried on walking, and when Mia felt herself being caressed by long, enticing fingers of warmth, she found herself in a vast black and white tiled front room with a series of archways leading to other parts of the house.

She heard mutter Phoenix something which was do with ‘setting up the system’ to a presence on Mia’s left, and then finally let her down. The presence had gone, and Mia rounded up upon Phoenix with a vicious glare.

‘I really hate you.’ She spat vehemently.

‘And I am rather fond of your outlandish attitude.’ He replied with a dismissive air. She crossed her arms and frowned. Nothing was going to work against him.

 ‘So my dear Puppet, welcome to your new Home. In a brief moment we will have something to eat, and then after I will introduce you fully to your new life as a Doll.’

Mia mumbled darkly, eyeing the huge set of doors she had walked through and then glanced back to the room. The door on the far side slid open, and her eyes went round as a stream of house staff walked in, all dressed smartly in black silk waistcoats, white shirts and trousers- or skirts if they were women. They all gathered around Mia and Phoenix in a semi-cut circle, and smiled amiably- though Mia could discern some were suppressing giddy smiles at Mia’s gawking face.

‘Staff.’ Greeted Phoenix cordially with a brief bow which was exchanged back in a flurry of moment. ‘This is my new Doll. Say hello to my staff, Puppet.’

Mia threw Phoenix a dirty look and mumbled to her feet.

‘Yeah, hi.’

Furtive mumbles erupted but were halted as from the group a more distinctively dressed staff member stepped forward.

‘Welcome home.’

He paused momentarily and nodded in direction of Phoenix as though he was confirming a prior dodgy deal which he didn’t want the room to find out about. He had a thick mass of curly hair on his head, intelligent mint green eyes and delicate cheekbones that indicated he was around the same age as Mia.

‘My name is Nicolai and I will be the one who will be educating you on being a Doll.’ He paused, his tongue pressed to the back of his teeth as he peered at Mia, perhaps mildly bemused, or silently judging.

‘Educating?’ Murmured Mia as she fought to snatch at Phoenix’s hidden expression behind the mask. The sly bastard was purposely avoiding her. He was up to something.

 Nicolai cleared his throat and recommenced with a swift gesture of his hand to a door just beyond.

‘Dinner is served, Sir.’ Cue the finality in the tone of Nicolai’s voice and the plethora of staff dispersed, each leaving through a different door and only two really going in the same direction of Mia, Phoenix and Nicolai.

Mia hardly had a second to register what was going on but found her hand grasped by Phoenix and steered across the room through the doors into a dining room. Green’s washed over the furnishings, but not a sickly assortment that was usually found in those fancy-pants art deco stores, but luscious green’s laced with cream that reminded Mia of Kew Garden’s on a partially cloudy day.

Right in the middle of the room was a huge rectangular table draped in cream sheets and decorated with ornately carved emerald candles that looked like vines trailing a plant stalk.

Mia hoped that she got to sit at the opposite side of the table- as it was a good six metres away from Phoenix if he sat at the other end- but was literally dragged to the only part of the table that had cutlery placed up on. It looked ashamedly bare with the single modest setting of cutlery at the end, and even then she realised that the table was wider than a conventional one as two people could comfortably sit next to each other- maybe even three if they squeezed together.

‘You sit next to me when we dine.’ Droned Phoenix as though he had picked up on Mia’s thread of thoughts. He tugged Mia roughly, and led her to a seat next to his- which she realised had a smaller back and was completely different to the design of his own chair. It seemed like that there was some sort of ‘discrimination’ going on here, in that ‘Doll’s’ were made to have completely different things to their Masters. What a typical male thing thought Mia darkly as Phoenix pushed her down to sit on the chair by pressing her down by her head like one of those whack-a-mole games except with less force, but more domineering power. She slapped his hand away out of instinct rather than malice and found him send the same glare as before.

Oh boy.

She looked away and immediately busied herself with her dress and surroundings and made a face when she realised that she hadn’t a set of cutlery herself.

‘Oi Nico.’ Said Mia directing her irritation towards the ‘person-who-claims-he-is-going-to-educate-her.’ Seems like she had gained back some of her London slang and with battling triumph. ‘What about my set of cutlery?’

Phoenix sat next to her, adjusting the ornately decorated shoulder pad with feathers as he tightly laced his fingers together in a small hut.

‘It’s Nicolai.’ He said testily. Though Mia knew she would never call him by such a mouthful of a name. Nico sounded nicer. Cuter even. ‘A Doll does not have her own cutlery, or plates. She shares the same cutlery and plates as her Master-unless he wishes otherwise.’

‘You are joking right?’ Quipped Mia with a smile that really wasn’t meant to be there. ‘I want my own plate. I want my own cutlery. I am not some Dog who eats the scraps off someone’s plate. Phoenix. Just give me my own damn plate.’ She was getting hysterical, and that being over plates and cutlery. She knew she would think about it later on and would feel embarrassed by her reaction, but it was now, not later and Mia wanted her own damn plate.

Phoenix motioned Nico over with a wave of a hand, and he sleuthily approached Phoenix on the side away from Mia as Phoenix whispered to him. Nico straightened up, and saw him gesture to two other house staff that promptly came over to where they were seated and picked up Phoenix’s plates and cutlery.

‘I’ve decided that for one week, and one week only you will be able to have your own cutlery and plates- but owing to your rather passionate disposition, they will be plastic, as will be mine. However, you will only eat what I choose for you.’ Said Phoenix sternly.

Plastic plates and cutlery. She felt like she was five years old again and was on a picnic with her family, except she was actually in her twenties and that she was bitterly being degraded like child. Plastic cutlery. If she really wanted to stab at Phoenix, she would have picked up his highly polished silver as soon as she sat down, but no, she couldn’t do it even if she wanted. She found wounding someone was hard, and Phoenix wasn’t exactly hurting her, so claiming she did it in self-defence defeated it. The only thing he had done was buy her…Strip her down till she was naked... Okay maybe there was some leeway in saying it was self-defence if she hurt him, but still... Mia sighed inwardly and stared at the plastic plates and cutlery that was now laid in front of her.

One week only she could eat like a normal human being. She was going to find out some way to make it so that it was permanent for however long she was here. Escaping, however, was still on her agenda. Staff poured in the next moment, with dishes covered with silver lids that they placed around Mia and Phoenix. Mia’s stomach growled- and loudly too- as she could have sword Phoenix was hiding a smile under that mask. But as she thought of his mask, the unmistakeable thought crossed her mind: was he ever going to show his face to her? And the way the mask was created was so that he could still eat with it on. It looked like she was going to find out how he looked like when he was sleeping. And she did not want to know the rules for a Doll when she was ‘allowed’ to sleep.

Like it was perfectly synchronised, the staff opened the lids of the dishes allowing a deliciously tempting array of aroma’s to be inhaled by Mia. She did not know what was in half the dishes, all she wanted was food. And lots of it. She lunged forward, her hand reaching for the handle of the large silver spoons that were dipped in some but found it pulled away from her. She let out a beastly growl which was not becoming of her prompting Phoenix to frown at her expression.

‘Calm calm Puppet, you will get your dinner.’ He said soothingly. Never in her life had Mia felt like a dog. Heck she was even acting like one because of how she was being treated. Though Mia feared Phoenix would be a stingy bastard and would give her a tiny bit of every dish, he was actually kind enough to give a generous portion of everything. There were a few Spanish dishes such as risotto and paella, but to her surprise found some Moroccan infusion dishes as well as Italian and Mediterranean.

Had Mia of met Phoenix in completely different circumstances, she knew she would have been figuratively in love with him for actually allowing her to taste such a fine selection of dishes.

The meal commenced in silence, expect for Mia’s silent exclamations of ‘mmm’ that surely earned some sniggers from the few staff in the room.

To Hell with them. She hadn’t eaten in days. Dessert was not extravagant, but comprised of sweet amaretto biscuits with warm milky tea. Luckily, she was even allowed her own cup and she hoped that stuck. She didn’t want to catch a cold off Phoenix by sharing his glass; it was cringe worthy thinking about it.

When the meal had finished, Mia had never felt so content in her life, and never had ingested such a delicious selection of food. Heck she was hungry enough to call a tin of Heinz beans an exquisite meal. Light-headedly she followed Phoenix and Nico out of the room like an eager lamb to the slaughter, and made her way up a staircase to a rather nicely decorated room with a four poster bed and a pair of wooden sliding doors on one side. It had a combination of feminine and masculine elements which made it unusual, but it still was rather appealing. It was dark outside, and the curtains of the room were drawn, the soft diffusing down lights turned on, but then the pinch Mia needed came all too quickly.

‘A Doll shares her Master’s bed.’ Announced Nico. ‘You can’t get out if this one unless you want to sleep on the floor.’ He added with an unfurling smirk. Mia’s mouth wavered like a guppy fish sucking against the glass wall of a fish tank.

What the Hell?!’ She exclaimed, finally reacting. ‘No. I refuse. What if he tries to sleep with me?!’ She exclaimed pointing at Phoenix like he was some animal from a freak show.

Nico shrugged, but Phoenix cut through the void of silence.

‘I won’t sleep with you. I keep my word about what I said earlier.’

She eyed him with distrust.

‘Guestroom. Let me sleep there.’

‘No.’ Replied Phoenix firmly. ‘You sleep here in this bed, or the bathtub. Choose.’

‘Bathtub.’ Said Mia with scorn. Phoenix pursed his lips angrily.

‘Stop being foolish. I know you are hard-headed, but sleeping in a bathtub is not comfortable.’

‘It will suit me fine.’ She spat back.

He stared at her, hard like stone, and then glanced over at Nico sending one of his messages that Mia could not understand.

‘Night clothes are through that door on the left. And don’t try to run away when your Master is asleep. Your windows are locked, and your door is automatically locked once it shuts. Only your Master can get out.’

Mia really was beginning to feel like a caged animal now. What could get worst?

‘Also, a Doll is required to bathe when her Master bathes. You have no other way.’ Continued Nico in his same unaffected manner.

Mia groaned. All the exasperation was lost from her. Everything was just getting worse and worse.

‘Yeah… Okay…’ She mumbled wearily.

‘Also, your Master bathes every day before he sleeps. I suggest you get undressed and ready for your bath right away.’

‘No.’ Mumbled Mia. ‘I was forced to have a shower earlier on.’ She said trying her best to avoid another naked situation with Phoenix. Also, this time if he was naked too, there was no guessing what could end up happening.

‘Your body has been airbrushed. It might irritate your skin if you don’t wash it off.’ Spoke Phoenix placidly as she watched him lift off his jacket that he handed to staff that disappeared from Mia’s eyesight.

‘Then I will deal with that later. Just need some makeup wipes and I’m all set.’ She replied with sordid determination as to not look at Phoenix.

‘Your parlour through that door has all what you need.’ Continued Nico as he brandished his hand elegantly to the door on the left of the room once more. This time Mia’s eyes followed his hand and snagged on the image of Phoenix unbuttoning the top buttons of his shirt and loosening the cravat he wore with it. He had a leaner body than she thought, a body shape which movie stars would have died for- of which women would have lusted over- a strange mixture of brawn and an athletic build. She tore her eyes off him with ease after a moment, and fought against her eyes being attracted to the image once more like a magnet.

‘Doll.’ Addressed Nico which Mia was thankful for as her willpower was wavering. ‘Starting tomorrow at 7am your Doll lessons will commence. Your Master will rouse you as he wakes early for the day.’ He paused slightly scrutinising Mia in the same way he did before and then continued. ‘Goodnight Sir, and you, Doll.’

Mia had the urge to correct him and tell him that she has a name, and that calling her a Doll was degrading and was putting the Women’s Right’s back another one hundred years. She pursed her lips and blew air through them slowly as he left.

‘Puppet, you require a bath.’ Began Phoenix once more.

‘No.’ Replied Mia flatly as she looked to the floor avoiding Phoenix and traced her steps to the door that led to her parlour. Makeup wipes will let her get out of this bath situation, tomorrow morning she will request for one and Phoenix would have to oblige, and judging from his character, he did not seem like the sort that would break routine just to join her.

She hoped.

She pushed open the door and found herself in a room that was part walk-in-wardrobe and part parlour. It was decorated in soft pastel colours which she rather liked despite not really being into those sort of shades, there was a large dressing table with a beautifully designed mirror that looked like it had pewter roses as a frame, two small lamps either side of the large mirror that accompanied the dresser, a generous lining of cupboards around the room and in one corner a fainting couch in dusky rose. She did find that she actually had no clothing aside from a cream and pink coloured short lacy nightdress that reached just above the leg. Just her luck. Just when Mia thought she was going to get a standard pair of pyjamas she was literally given lingerie. She gave the item of clothing a sarcastic smile before mumbling to herself: ‘Yeah sure you don’t wanna get in my pants Mister I-keep-my-word-about-not-wanting-to-deflower-me.’

She had no bra as well, and in a clingy night dress like that there was bound to be some midnight ‘wardrobe malfunctions.’

‘Phoenix!’ Shouted Mia with an unimpressed scowl on her face. She expected him to walk in still in his half buttoned shirt, trousers and that mask, but dropped the night dress as he walked in wearing only a towel. And not only that. He had taken off his mask.

‘Oh.’ Gasped Mia as her eyes glued on to him and she tried to pull her gaze away. She turned, her cheeks burning hot trying her best to convince herself that the guy in her parlour was not Phoenix.

‘Er Phoenix?’ Murmured Mia in a shaky voice as if she was clarifying her thoughts.

‘Yes?’ He replied impatiently. ‘Decided to join me have you?’

Mia had her hands placed on her cheeks as an agonising groan escaped from her. She could not sleep in the same bed as him! Those eyes with that sleek nose, the defiantly chiselled chin, the thick brown locks of hair. Oh… No…

She felt him come close to her, and her skin went up in goose bumps.

‘Are you okay?’ He asked as he lightly tapped her shoulder with a finger. Mia shrieked and ran across the room.

‘Please please oh please let me stay in a guest room.’ She said as tears-which should have not been there-began to roll down her cheeks.

‘Ah Puppet…’ He replied in an affectionate voice as he swiftly padded over to her. ‘Are you really that afraid to share a bed with me?’ He paused and spotted the lacy dress on the floor. ‘Ah.’ He said as though he had confirmed an internal thought. He leant over, clasping the towel tightly around his waist and picked it up as he let his brown locks settle over his face momentarily before he brushed it back effortlessly with his hand as he stood up. ‘This worries you, I can see it, and you are probably wondering why you have nothing else to wear. I apologise for that, tomorrow you will be fitted for your clothing, but for tonight, until you are provided with slightly more appropriate clothing, you can sleep in one of my black shirts. It will be longer than that dress and will ease your mind in the sense that I won’t be able to see anything. As for the sleeping arrangement, I can’t do anything. The guest rooms are being prepared for my guests tomorrow and as a Doll you are required to sleep in the same bed as me.’ Though there was a soft tone throughout his little speech, it grew harder towards the end. He kept those sun laced irises focused on her for a while, almost blinding her with their brilliance.

‘Okay, fine.’ Faltered Mia. ‘But could you… Could you… Just wear something other than a towel when you speak to me.’

The corners of his mouth turned up, his facial expression went lax with ease as he said deeply. ‘Well, you’re the one who called me, Puppet.’

Mia wrung her fingers as she watched him fling the night dress into one of the open alcove sections and left the room, giving her a quick glance which she was sure was just so he could see her blare like a red traffic light again by seeing the taught muscles of his back tighten as he walked.

She gasped for breath once he had left, she could finally breathe. She heard the door creak to a shut in the main bedroom before a tinny beeping sound was heard. A moment after a faint sound of splashing was heard through the thin wooden sliding door to the bathroom.

Mia sunk down against the wall for a while, thinking, just thinking, and then finally deciding that she had to get out of there. As soon as freaking possible.

She got up, and rummaged through the drawers of her dresser, making Phoenix illegal in her thoughts. There were bare minimal cosmetics there, but luckily there was a large pack of facial wipes, a bottle of cleanser, a brand new toothbrush, and a small face towel with butterflies embroidered on the corners and a hairbrush with the same design on the handle. She quite liked the items, though they reeked of femininity she couldn’t help but gush over how lovely the butterfly design looked.

She ended up using half the packet of wipes when she was done, but made sure she removed all the makeup completely from her face. Her body was another issue. She really did need that bath after all. She wiped it as best as she could but gave up halfway as she heard Phoenix return back into the bedroom. This time when he walked into the parlour, he was wearing a dark blue robe- which Mia was thankful for- but she still found herself zoning out when she smelt the pungent aroma of aftershave engulf her as well the image of Phoenix’s hair partially dry and ruffled up and his sleek features.

‘You look different.’ He grinned as he noticed the mass of discarded facial wipes in the bin beside Mia’s dressing table. Don’t you dare smile back at him! Roared Mia’s mind. With great difficulty, she mustered a scowl as he casually threw her a long black shirt that gave off that cleanly laundered smell that reminded her of crisp cold winter mornings.

She grabbed her toothbrush, cleanser and face towel and marched past him; her head focused straight ahead and determined to look beyond the male in front of her. She used the bathroom- which despite it being after Phoenix had a bath- was still immaculately clean. She spotted a secondary door in the bathroom and guessed that was for the house staff if they wanted to sneakily clean it. She went up to it and pulled down the handle, wondering if it would open. Realising that it would not open and then noticing a small sensor like the ones they had on hotel doors, Mia gave up. Nico was right about her not being able to get out.

She felt great after she worked the cleanser around her face and neck, and slyly doused herself slightly to get rid of the sticky residue the wipes had left on her body- though that wasn’t as effective as she hoped it would have been. She changed out of the thick cream dress unwillingly, and left on her socks as she slipped on Phoenix’s shirt. It was definitely long, but made her feel a lot more comfortable than being in that other night dress, though she hated she was still in those ridiculous tie-side underpants, she began to quadruple tie them once more so that they resembled a knotted mess. She certainly hoped that the shirt she slept in would not ride up.

She finally emerged out of the bathroom into a dimmer room as only the lamps aside the bed were ablaze and found Phoenix-shirtless and hopefully not completely naked- in bed reading a book by an author she did not recognise.

‘Took your time.’ He said looking up from his book.

Mia’s fight or flight reaction was buzzing through her veins. He was looking at her, inviting her into the bed with him. But she did not know what lay under those sheets. She did not want unwanted naked surprises.

‘You aren’t naked are you?’ She asked meekly, slightly melting as he placed a regal hand under his chin as he closed his book shut with his other hand.

‘I’ve been a bachelor for years, so it is a habit to sleep in the nude. But today I am wearing pyjama bottoms, just because you are far too naive about- let’s just say- the manly physique.’

Mia’s mouth went rigid and dry. Mask or no mask, Phoenix was still the same. There was no point arguing with him, getting infuriated at him, though Mia could sense it slowly emanate from her as his lips flickered momentarily into a smile. She clamoured into her side of the bed, taking the utmost care to not touch his body in any accidental way and grabbed and held down the shirt over her behind and squeezed her eyes shut. He said something, but Mia didn’t hear. He switched off the lamps on either side of the bed immersing Mia into a void of darkness.

Maybe tomorrow, she hoped, she would wake up and this would all be a dream?


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