The Manchurian Bride

Chapter 1

by Alan Smithee

Tags: #cw:noncon #clothing #dom:male #f/m #pov:bottom #sub:female

Created based on a writing prompt from "Jeff" at the mcforums, as part of his "wayforward machine" updates.

Chapter 1

The month of.

When Bella awoke, she felt content. It was a pleasant surprise, considering how late they’d stayed out. There was no hangover, no headache, and she felt well rested. She concluded that she must have been relatively responsible. The latter half of the bachelorette party did get a little fuzzy though. When she eventually grabbed her phone and checked the time, she was shocked for two reasons – the first being that it was actually three pm while her alarm was supposed to go off at noon, and the second being that she had no idea where she was.

She pulled the blanket up higher to cover her body fully while she surveyed the surroundings. The room was sort of cramped, and there was stuff everywhere – beer cans, computer games, disorganized piles of mail and torn envelopes.

Where the hell am I? She thought. Then just as soon as she did, she felt calm. It didn’t matter where she woke up today, it was nothing to worry about. It was so much easier to just not think about it, especially when she still had heaps to do.

She got up and resigned herself to putting her outfit from last night back on until she could get home. When she caught her reflection in the mirror, she stopped an examined her profile – as if one night of partying might have somehow undone all of her hard work lately. Nope, still looking good, she thought. She was once again grateful that she’d inherited just enough from her mother’s side of the family to fill out her breasts but not so much that she got her metabolism – orher temper. She couldn’t find a hair brush, so she did what she could with her fingers as a temporary fix.

Just as she was finishing getting dressed and ready to leave, her phone rang. Spam, I bet. She was just about to dismiss the call when she paused. It wasn’t somebody from her contacts, but something about the number seemed familiar. She swiped across and lifted the phone to her ear.


“Why don’t you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?” said a deep, soothing voice. It was a voice she loved listening to.

All of the tension drained out of her muscles. That sounded like a wonderful idea. Isobel had always liked passing the time by playing a little solitaire. She walked over to the bench and cleared a small space from the papers that covered it. She put the phone down and activated the loudspeaker.

The cards were already in her hand. They felt right to be there. She shuffled the deck then laid them out in front of her in neat, ordered piles. Then, she started turning cards. Seven of clubs. Ace of diamonds. Queen of Hearts.

She froze.

“Do you see the Red Queen, Isobel?”

“Yes Sir,” she replied. There was nothing else. She was safe here. She was ready to obey.

“It’s time to execute order one.”

She scanned through her list of instructions.

“Yes Sir.”

“When you’re done with that, I want you to visit your good friend Aiden. Do you remember him?”

“Yes Sir.”

“You remember where to meet him, don’t you?”

“Yes Sir.”

The phone line went dead. She stood and moved out of the building. There was no need to take the cards, they’d be with her whenever she needed them.

* * *

Bella screamed. A metal object clanked on the floor below her. The dress. The beautiful dress she’d spent so much time deciding on. Her stomach had fallen away completely. There were multiple large slashes down the front of it. She ran her hands across it, as if her eyes might have lied and that perhaps it was actually unharmed after all.

She looked down at her feet and saw a knife. Some of the white fibers still lingered on the edge of the blade. At some point in the last five seconds, her eyes had started to develop tears, although she was too distracted to know precisely when.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” she heard as her fiance’s footsteps bounded down the hallway.

She couldn’t speak.


She could feel Mark standing behind her now.


“What the heck happened… oh, oh shit, what? Who did that?”

“I…” she continued, now openly sobbing. “I think I did…”

He pulled her close and looked into her eyes.

“It’s ok baby, it’s ok,” he said, then wrapped around her in a gentle hug.

“I thought I had everything under control,” she said, “I thought everything was going smoothly. I guess… I guess it all just got to me?”

It kind of made sense to her. Sort of. But as the words left her lips, they felt more like an excuse than an explanation.

“Oh god Mark, what are we going to do?” she continued. Mark pulled back slightly.

“I know you didn’t want to involve family too much, but you know one of my cousins is a dressmaker, right?”

“Wait, really?”

“Yeah, do you want me to see if he’s able to do anything with it? Otherwise we’ll have to look at getting something else done on short notice.”

She felt the weight lifting off her shoulder. Partially.

“I’ll pay of course,” she said. “I don’t want them doing any more for us, it feels ridiculous considering-”

“Alright,” he said, cutting her off. “I’m sure he won’t have any trouble sending an invoice to Missus Moneybags here.” She smiled and looked up again.

“That’s future Missus Moneybags.”

“My apologies, miss,” he said. “Now, why don’t you let the future Mister Moneybags here take care of this. You’ve done so much organizing and planning already. I think you can take the rest of the day off.”

She smiled, then stood up on her toes and kissed him.

“I love you, Mark Christopher Liu,” she said.

“And I love you, Miss Rossi,” he replied with a smile. “Now go away and relax for a while, right?”

Isobel knew exactly how she could relax. She powered on the car and pulled out into the street. Aiden wasn’t that far. It might have seemed odd to some people – Aiden wasn’t a masseuse or anything like that. But he was tremendously good at one thing – helping Bella relax. Aiden was the kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being she’d ever known in her life. It totally wasn’t anything untoward, not cheating, but it would be hard to explain. I shouldn’t tell anybody about my meetings with Aiden, she thought. That seemed correct.

Ten minutes later, she was there. She felt a little bit anxious. That’s why I’m here, she thought. His office was one half of what probably used to be a residential house. There was an unlocked door that let you pass between where he was and a thrift shop on the other side.

She liked to imagine that Aiden was some kind of therapist. He certainly helped her a lot. But as she looked around, she wasn’t so sure. There was nothing on the walls except holes where things used to be hung. There was no furniture to wait in. There was nobody to screen anybody on the way in. She brushed the thoughts aside and knocked on the door.

“Come in,” he said. He had such a lovely deep voice. Aiden’s voice is very relaxing. I love listening to it, Isobel thought.

She crossed the threshold into the room, and felt immediately at ease once she laid eyes on him. He wore a rather sharp three piece suit, all shades of dark grey and black. She smiled, but he simply looked focused.

“Good to see you Isobel,” he said. “Please, please, take a seat.”

It didn’t look very nice. It was a heavily worn bar stool. She could see bits of stuffing poking up through cracks in the leather.

“Oh, thank you,” she said before sitting. Her cheeks were almost instantly uncomfortable, but she didn’t want to be rude.

“Now what can I help you with,” he asked as he pulled out a deck of cards.

“I’m just so stressed. All the wedding stuff, you know? And I…” she trailed off, lost momentarily in the movement of his hands as he shuffled the cards around.

“Hmm?” he said.

“Oh, I had a little accident. I’m going to need some last minute repairs done to my dress. Or it might need to be replaced, I’m not really sure yet.”

“Oh goodness me, that sounds awful,” he said.

She shifted her weight around on the chair a little. He started laying cards on the table in front of her.

“Yeah. It’s not a money problem, you know, not with my family and my aunt passing and all that.”

He put the deck down and leaned back. With a flourish of his hands, a card appeared between his fingers.

“Wow, you’re really good at that,” she said, still smiling.

“I’ve had a lot of practice,” he said.

“You know, when I was a kid, I used to think magicians were just the coo-”

Her mind froze as he turned the card to face her.

“Do you see the Red Queen, Isobel?”

“Yes Sir.”

It was at this moment that Aiden Smythe finally smiled.

“How do you feel, Isobel?”

“I feel uncomfortable, Sir.”

“No you don’t. You feel very comfortable.”

Her shoulders tensed.

“I…” she managed. I feel comfortable, she thought, but it didn't ring true. The thought was somehow alien to her. She tensed up. “No...”

He sighed.

“Very well. Ignore what I just said.”

Her muscles relaxed. She exhaled audibly. He opened a drawer on his desk and pulled out a small unmarked bottle.

“It’s time for your medicine, Isobel.”

Her mouth opened before he’d even finished the sentence, and she stretched out her tongue. He unscrewed the lid and raised it above her tongue, holding it there. His eyes scanned up and down her body and licked his lips.


Three small drops fell onto her tongue.


The liquid tasted disgusting, but that was irrelevant. She complied instantly. Aiden moved behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. He started gently rubbing the muscles in her upper back and neck.

“Now, how do you feel.”


“You feel comfortable.”


“Y o u a r e f e…”

The world started to drift out of focus.

Isobel did not have to worry about anything right now. She felt comfortable. All she could hear was the sound of his lovely, deep, rich voice. She found herself nodding along with whatever it was that he was talking about.

Her body was moving from time to time, but it felt nice. Warm sensations, pressure, movement with purpose, however hidden it may be. Aiden was helping her relax. Aiden was giving her good advice about… something or other. It didn’t really matter.

Eventually, shapes started coming into focus better. She could grasp onto ideas better. Awareness was rising.


“Hello,” he said softly.

“Oh, did I fall asleep? Oh I’m so sorry.”

“That’s fine, it happens.”

“You know I really should be paying you for this stuff, it really makes me feel so good,” she said. She hadn’t felt this content in a long time. Her legs were a little sore, but that was a small price to pay.

She looked around for a moment and realized she wasn’t in the stool anymore. She was in his chair! Her shoes were on the floor over by the stool, and her legs were on…

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” she said, pulling her feet down to the ground and away from his crotch. She went bright with embarrassment. What the hell was I doing, oh gosh he must think I’m such a freak!

“It’s nothing to worry about.”

She felt calm wash over her. It’s nothing to worry about, she thought.

“I really hope this is all for the best, you know?” he continued.

“What do you mean?”

“Well this whole marriage thing. It’s stressing you out so much. Is it really worth going through all of that?”

All the negative feelings building up inside her made a sudden and ferocious return. She started breathing a little more rapidly. She still had to make sure the catering was all on track. Her parents hadn’t even got here yet and they were going to make things worse.

“I’m sure it’ll work out ok in the end,” she said with a weak smile. But she wasn’t so sure.

“Oh yeah, totally. Just think about it, that’s all. You know I just want what’s best for you.”

That was what was so great about Aiden. He was always looking out for her.

“Oh, can I have that back?” he said, pointing to her neck.

“What do you…” she started, then put her hand up. She was wearing a leather collar for some reason. It felt really, really nice and calming around her neck, although she hadn’t the faintest idea why it was there. She scrambled to take it off. “Oh I’m so sorry, I don’t know how that got there,” she said, turning a little red.

He smiled.

“It’s nothing to worry about.”

* * *

Maddy was a caller. She always preferred the immediacy and richness of a phone call over the ambiguity and distance of messaging. Some of her friends hated that about her, but Bella had never been one of them. Today, Maddy was calling for a reason. She pressed the dial button. It rang for a few short moments.

“Oh hey girl,” said Bella.

“Heyy. I was just checking in on you to see how you were going.”

“Oh… you know, stressed. Tired. The usual.”

“I was kind of getting that impression, yeah,” said Madison. “I guess it was all just kind of getting to you last night.”


“You know I’d only say this because I love you. But you were kinda sorta maybe being a little tiny bit of a total b.”

“Woah woah woah. Slow down with the censored language there. What are you talking about?”

“You don’t remember kicking half the group out at nine pm? You sounded like the terminator. You wanted to be surrounded by your bridesmaids only, you said. If I wasn’t one of them I might have felt scared.”

The call was silent for a few moments.

“I’m gonna be honest, I don’t really remember that much about last night. I felt pretty great when I woke up this morning though. Was I really that far gone?”

“You just kinda snapped, I don’t know. It was a little after that magician guy was done with his act. You kinda disappeared for a while too.”

“Oh yeah, he was kinda cute. I’ve never seen a hypnotist in person before.”

“Well you certainly seemed like you were having fun with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you dancing like that before.”

There was another pause.

“I don’t- are you saying he hypnotized me?”

Maddy looked down at her note pad and scribbled Hypnotic amnesia. Her handwriting was not great, but it was legible enough.

“Yeah. Do you remember anything about what he asked you to do?”

“Oh god, no, I hope it wasn’t anything too embarrassing.”

He had indeed made her do all sorts of things. Everyone had laughed when she got up dancing, but the evening had got a little… weird. He had one of the other bridesmaid’s choke herself. The memory of the way he’d dominated the women on stage made her bite her lip. Focus.

“Honestly it might be better if you don’t remember some of it. You might die of shame. Look, have you been… have you been experiencing anything strange since then?”

“Oh god Maddy, are you… have you opened a case? Are you taking notes?”

Madison laughed.

“I’m not saying that I am. But I’m not saying that I’m not, either.”

“Oh, what’s this one called? The Blushing Bride to Be Was A Bitch? The Mysterious Grump At The Hen’s Night?”


She’d tried to blot out some of the more embarrassing memories from school. The Nancy Drew adjacent bullying had been quite fierce, not helped in the least by the fact that with her red hair she even kind of looked the part.

“No no, I always loved it when you did this stuff. Maybe a little dorky but...”

“Well, are you going to answer my questions, then?”

“Ok um… well actually now that you mention it, yeah. I um. I kind of went a bit crazy this morning. I ripped my dress, and I’m not sure if it was an accident. I think I was just so overwhelmed by everything and I just lashed out. Are you saying you think I was hypnotized to do that?”

Maddy thought for a moment, then lifted her pen. Wedding sabotage?

“Look, it might be nothing. You have been pretty stressed after all.”

“Yeah… Mark’s going to take care of it, anyway. It’s probably nothing to worry about.”

“You’re lucky to have him, Bella,” said Maddy. Even after all these years she still felt a slight twinge in her stomach as she said that.

“I really am.”

“Well don’t blow it! No more self sabotage. Anyway, I have to go. But if you need to talk to me about anything, I’m here, right?”

“Thanks Maddy.”

She put the phone down and looked at her notebook.

Cheating on Mark? Roofie?

Hypnotic Amnesia. Wedding sabotage?


* * *

Bella ran. She was wearing a dress. Her wedding dress? She couldn’t tell. The more she ran, the less she seemed to move. She turned over her shoulder and they were gaining on her. Dark amorphous shapes. She felt the cold run through her, fear, anxiety, dread. She tried to run faster, but she couldn’t. She looked ahead. She could see someone. Who was that? A man in a suit. He was very handsome. His hand was outstretched. She had to choose. She had to choose something. She took his hand. Aiden was beside her, smiling at her and the man. If Aiden approved, then who was she to doubt him? He was the kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being she’d ever known in her life.

Bella was kneeling. The man was in front of her. She was free now, free to serve him. Free to be his. Free to give him everything she had. She wanted to give him everything. Every part of her being. Who was he? He was strong. Far stronger than her. He would take what he deserved. Bella was shaking. Aiden was whispering something to her as she knelt before the other man.

“Your place is here,” he said.

She opened herself up to the man before her. She let him inside. His hard cock slid in effortlessly. She was on all fours now and he was taking her. He was fucking her from behind. She loved it.

“Your place is here.”

He was pounding, pounding, pounding. She was moaning, she wasn’t going to take long. Just a little more, just a little more…


The world gave way. The shapes were gone. Laughter. Laughter? The fog of sleep started slowly lifting.

“Having a nice dream there?” said Mark, sounding very amused.

“Oh god… I guess I was.”

“Well,” he said, “Perhaps I can help with that.” He ran a hand along her inner thigh. She tensed up.

“Oh god yes,” she said, then grabbed him.

My place is… here?

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