"It is not time yet, darling."

The puppeteer stands behind her and begins to survey his beautiful and petite ragdoll.

Her voice squeaks a little, fear rising slowly through her voice.

"After I do what you say, will I be set free?"

A mischievous smile dances on his lip. Suddenly – with lightning speed – he raises his hands. Silvery strings, nearly invisible by the human eye, latches onto her emaciated, pale skin. With a slight flick of his wrist, he pulls her to his lap in a second.

"Why, of course. Anything you wish, my love."

A kiss here and a pat there shows he approves, she thinks silently to himself. The more I behave, the less hurt I will be. One day, I will really find a way to be myself agai—

"What are you thinking so heavily about?" A stern look crosses in his masked, slightly hooded face.

"You and only you," she says with confidence and yet, stares at the ground.

"Hm, best you're answering truthfully. You're not going to like how mad I'll be when I find out," he teased.

She nods and stares at him, hiding the defiance curling in her stomach.

"You and only you, my love," she adds.

As his response, the puppeteer strokes her hair, down to her body and other unmentionable regions.

"Now, that's more like it."