Marionette, page 1
Copyright © 2019 by Celia Crown
All rights reserved.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and events are from the author's imagination or folklore, legends, and general myths.
The book or any portion of the book may not be reproduced or used under any circumstances, except with the written permission from the author. Public names, movies, televisions, and locales, or any references are used for atmospheric purposes. Any similarities and resemblances to alive or dead people, events, brands, and locales are all complete coincidences.
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by Celia Crown
James Novak has been in love with his precious sweetheart for three years and counting. She is perfect, so pretty. Big trusting eyes and adorable little smiles. She is the world’s biggest singularity called Marionette and he is her owner. She listens to him, innocently obedient to his orders, and lives off his praises; he shouldn’t hold so much power over her, but he does. She’s so young, untouched, and like an obsessed man he is, James brands his ownership on her ass.
One promise to an old friend stops him from crossing the line. James lets his sweetheart be unattached and vulnerable to advances, but he is her shadow. Wherever she goes, he goes.
Those fans who call themselves Prince Charming doesn’t stand a chance.
Once the clock strikes midnight, James will stake his claim.
Mari Collins knows she shouldn’t think of Mr. Novak with dirty thoughts; he’s someone she admires and trusts with her whole heart because he’s never done anything to hurt her. He takes care of her, provides unconditioned support when her modeling career got too stressful, and her soul soars when he looks at her with such tenderness that she’s drunk on his undivided attention.
She’s used to eyes on her, photographer and her modeling team all work together to create the magic of Marionette. However, when Mr. Novak stares at her, it feels like behind his dark eyes lay a savage animal ready to pounce and sink his hands on her ass.
Mari doesn’t mind, she belongs to him anyway.
WARNING: This has dominant/submissive tones, the theme is ‘Sir’ in typical role-play fantasies, and it’s the foundation of the characters. Do take this lightly, it’s not meant to offend. Stay with us, lovelies, it’s a sweet story and it’ll be worth your time!
“You know better than to eat that, little doll.”
Apple-green eyes lift from the tub of mint ice-cream, a stainless-steel spoon hanging from her plump lips as she swallows a dollop of sweetness.
Her heart thumps in shyness as the man encloses his big hand over hers, taking the cold utensil from her grasp. His hand warms her cold fingers as he smiles down on her.
Standing over six-foot tall, towering over her smaller frame even when she’s seated on a kitchen stool. Thick muscles stretch over a white button-up dress shirt with his sleeves rolled up to the elbows, intricate tattoos wrap around his wrist and extend up to his arm, circling around his body like a work of art himself.
She accidentally walked in on him changing in his office once and she ended up with a red face and awkward feet shuffles the entire week, and she wasn’t able to meet his eyes.
His black hair pulling back in a stylish comb with his hand as the darkness swirling in his eyes, locking with her meek green hues with a small reprimanding chide that has her wiggling in her seat.
“I just wanted—”
He taps the tip of her nose with his finger, “No excuses, sweetheart.”
She nods obediently.
Mari has known Mr. James Novak for three years now. She was terrified of him at first, who wouldn’t? Her aunt, Hayden was in the army with him and they were both honorably discharged. Mari is a lot closer to her aunt than to her parents, they were workaholics who thought work was more important than her.
On her eighteenth birthday, she waited at the government’s private airfield for her auntie after getting permission from her parents to live with her. Mari never thought they would agree so quickly and it was over the phone too because their conversation was cut short as they were going to be late for a meeting.
She stood at the gate where her auntie and Mr. Novak walked out with their army uniform and bags that looked so heavy to the point that if she were to even try to lift the bag up, it would snap her weak arms.
Mari has never seen anyone more intimidating than Mr. Novak. Yes, there were other soldiers walking out too and many of them stared at her, they thought she was a lost little girl of some family member. Though, he took her attention away from her auntie before she could have spoken one word.
He was that scary.
Auntie Hayden introduced him to her and Mari couldn’t utter a word out, she thought he was going to bore a hole into her skull at how intensely he was staring at her.
Her heart was either beating from fear and nervousness or shyness through her red cheeks. His shoulders filled out the army clothes so well, it was as if it was made for him. When he extended his hand out for her to shake, she froze with wide green eyes begging her auntie to help.
Auntie Hayden assured her that Mr. Novak was a good man and Mari had to swallow her anxiety and grasped his hand, it covered her entire hand; his palm was heated and callous from months and even years of training, thick fingers held power in his grip.
He held on much longer than necessary, but oddly enough, she hadn’t mind.
He was reluctant when he pulled away after giving her a brief friendly smile, it was a smile that simultaneously calmed her nerves and ignited her heart in chaotic beats.
The next time she saw him again was when Auntie Hayden met with him for a casual business meeting. She wanted to have Mari try out modeling because Mari had the entire package of doll features.
A small statue, delicate bones, and an innocent face.
Her aunt had explained to her that in addition to her modeling career, she would be legally owned by her and James. It wasn’t as bad as it sounded in the legal paperwork, but it was a formality to prevent future problems of other people trying to get a piece of copyright off of Mari.
Mari thought Auntie Hayden might as well be talking about aerodynamics to her because she felt that she listened with one ear and out the other, and somewhere in the middle of breaking down the terminology and legalities, Mari just nodded along.
Mr. Novak had been so kind as he explained it in different words for her to understand what she was signing. He said he didn’t want Mari to be forced into something she hadn’t truly understood, she was thankful for his consideration.
The plan was quite simple since he had explained what the entire ordeal was. Two things were to happen at the same time. Auntie Hayden would begin the modeling activities with Mari having key distinctions between her and mainstream models; a touch of enigmatic, a flare of teasing, and a whole demeanor of untouched innocence. The debut photos would be of different genres, but Hayden believed their
The second thing that was happening at the same time was Mr. Novak opening an art museum with her photos as the only pieces featured. Mari wasn’t sure how she felt when he told her the name.
He built a museum just for her, designed the security with her best interest in mind, and Mr. Novak became an overnight sensation along with the name Marionette.
The photos that were released took the world by storm. Marionette became an international phenomenon of people on multiple spectrums. Conspiracies surrounding Marionette had many believing she was a real doll, and some thought she was an artificial intelligence machine created by the government to brainwash consumers.
On the most part, people thought she was a mannequin that was used to feature clothes, jewelry, or makeup. Basically, anything that could be displayed on an unmoving mannequin.
That theory was never proven or debunked because the internet just thought she was too real to be fake, but too unique to be a living form.
Mr. Novak’s security around her was impeccable, no one was able to find anything on her as the ‘artist’ behind Marionette remained anonymous. Auntie Hayden said it would create unhinged curiosity, so she kept both their identity hidden.
It wouldn’t be that hard either since she rarely used social media.
On top of that, even if someone were to find out who she was, Mr. Novak would have taken care of that. He was adamant that she only had him as her bodyguard and she was to never trust anyone but him and Auntie Hayden.
He took care of her, just as he’s doing it now.
Mari’s lips wobble when he confiscates her tub of unfinished mint ice-cream.
It matched her eyes too.
“I won’t tell if you promise you’ll have dinner with me?”
She nods instantly, lips curving in a bashful smile.
“It’s our secret, Mr. Novak.”
If Auntie Hayden heard she was eating ice-cream, she would be scolding Mari for trying to be bloated before a photoshoot.
Thank goodness Mr. Novak is understanding of her needs. Sometimes a girl just needs that unhinged gluttonous hour; eat until her heart is content and get her belly satisfied with sweet cravings.
This isn’t the first time he’s caught her with her hands in the forbidden jar of sugary snacks, and every time, he’s kind and patient with her. He only asks that she eat with him, depending on the time; they could be eating a hearty breakfast, calming lunch, or a warming dinner.
It’s a compromise she can do because he’s only looking out for her wellbeing when Mr. Novak knows very well that her impulse control lowers when she’s hungry.
“Haven’t I told you to call me James?”
Mari takes his offered hand and steps down the stool with a sheepish giggle. He had been telling her to call him by his name since their first meeting, but Mari being Mari, she’s shy around the man and her throat would close erratically at times if she looks at him for too long.
“That would be rude,” she murmurs, his finger strokes the back of her hand.
He smirks with his pearly whites gleaming at her as she flushes, “It wouldn’t be rude if I asked.”
Mari bites her bottom lip; his eyes darken as he stares at the plump flesh. His thumb pulls at her chin, releasing the abused flesh from her teeth as he applies pressure on the reddened skin.
“Do that again and I’ll bite it for you.”
Her apple-green eyes widen as a blush rises to her entire face, burning heat makes its way to the tips of her ears as she shutters and shifts on her feet robotically.
“Okay,” she breathes.
He can bite her any time, the devious side of her purrs.
It’s the first time she calls his name; it rolls off her tongue smoothly, like melted chocolate and running honey. Something flashes in his dark eyes, it makes them even more mysterious as she can never tell what he’s thinking.
He nods approvingly, pats her head with a pleased hum through his wide chest. James runs his hand through her silky hair, tapering down her back to her lower waist and stops at the dip of her spine.
Her shoulders jump in surprise as her aunt’s voice rings from the backroom of the studio. The strength in his hand supports her body as her heartbeat shoots up the roof, his chest rumbles in a deep chuckle.
“I have to go.” her bright eyes locking with his, his height allows her to snuggle into his chest as he leans down to her ear.
“I’ll pick you up for dinner,” he reminds, pressing his lips on her cheek in a chaste kiss that lingers, and he goes for another kiss on the same spot.
“Mr. Novak—” she squeaks in embarrassment at the sound of Auntie Hayden’s heels crackling on the marble floor.
The studio is a gift for Mari with equipment and lightings, along with everything else is paid for through his massive bank account. The security in the studio is the same level as his museum, and wherever she is, he’s in her shadows protecting her from harm.
“It’s James,” he growls in her ear, kneading her waist to bring out a small uncontrollable laugh from her pink lips. She’s always been ticklish, and he takes full advantage of that.
“I’m going to have to punish you for your mistake, little doll.”
His husky purr has her nipples tightening in mortification.
She’s such a naughty girl.
“Will it hurt?”
Mari wants this brute of a man, she wants his constant attention like a starved kitten craving for milk. He never crosses the line even when he clearly blurs it from time to time, but he’s adamant about his role in her life.
He’s her protector.
That means he’s going to protect her from himself.
“Not too much.”
His definition of her punishment probably means having her sit in silence while he watches her for any movement to further her timeout for being a bad girl, Mari is also concurrently in training to be completely still in her position with military techniques.
However, she wants his hand coming down on her ass as a form of punishment.
Clearly, they’re on two different spectrums of discipline.
He’s a man obsessed.
A man twice her age wanting to possess a young and naïve girl with a dark need to throw away the key to his lock of control over her.
Mari brings out the primal obsession out of him; she hasn’t seen the evil in the world as he had, her trust in him is unyielding as she puts her life in his hand without hesitation, and she eats up his praise with big green eyes begging for more.
From the moment he saw her in the waiting area of the airport, he knew she was his. Those initial dark thoughts of wanting to lock her up in his home and keep her chained to him shocked him, but Mari needs to be protected. She’s such an honest girl, always trying her best to please him and her aunt.
Speaking of her aunt, James holds a base level of resentment to Hayden. That woman is a good friend of his, but she’s also a pain in the ass. They have been in the army for ten years and James had seen crazy people on a daily basis, but nothing beats Hayden Collins.
She’s lean and fast, crippling enemies in seconds through close quarter combat with a preference of putting people twice her size in a choke hold. No one would train with her because she’s too skilled in fighting, but James likes challenges. Through each other, they quickly rise to ranks and recommendations filter in with their names being on the top for other positions.
Hayden is the strongest woman he’s ever seen, and he assumed that her family is with the same caliber.
How wrong was he.
Mari Collins was the opposite of what he thought her family members would look like. She looked out of place at the airport waiting area.
Unusual color, between rich gold and pure
Her small frame hugged by a simple shirt and jeans with her dainty hands twisting in front of her. Long black lashes fluttered when she blinked, never given the time to fully be aware of Hayden’s presence or his imposing company.
She was Hayden’s niece from her workaholic sister who always traveled with a babysitter at home to look after the young girl. As a legal adult, Mari was allowed to make her own decisions and when he found out she wanted to live with Hayden, the woman was completely fine with it as she is so fond of the young girl that Mari is seen as her own child.
He doesn’t believe in first love at sight, but little Mari changed his mind with one look at her trying to blend into the walls of the massive private airport waiting room designed to military family members.
She looks lost all the time and it pulls on his protectiveness.
James would have pursued Mari the day he saw her, but Hayden is his partner in crime, it’s a respectful thing to tell her his intentions.
The woman said if she’s too young to drink, she’s too young for him.
His heart dropped to his stomach when she said that, his mind was trying to wrap his conscience around her underage status. Then the evil woman said Mari was eighteen and she doesn’t need a man old enough to be her father to do whatever his dirty mind had coped up.
He was only twenty-eight at the time. Though he doesn’t argue with her, he told her that because they’ve been friends for so long that he’ll respect her wish to leave Mari alone until she was twenty-one. Then, he would take the young girl to himself, with or without her permission.
Hayden didn’t have a problem with that as long as Mari agrees.
Three painfully long years pass by with the tortuously innocent distance between them; he’s been at her side every day to get as close as possible and to guard her against unwanted suitors. His touches are always welcomed by her and sometimes he crosses the line between her ‘boss’ and her bodyguard, but the title he wants is her husband.
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