Continuing Tales

As Easy Mayst Thou Fall

A Labyrinth Story
by kzal

Part 20 of 24

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As Easy Mayst Thou Fall

On the first day, everything was beautiful.

The night had passed in lovemaking and occasionally in sleep; Jareth whispered words of love, of devotion, that she answered with promises of forever. He hadn't stopped touching her, holding her, not once, as though he was afraid that this was a dream, that she was not quite real. He even said it, once: "I dreamed this." She pinched him, hard, and he glared for a moment, until she kissed the glare away.

Now, the sunlight suggested late afternoon, and Sarah was cuddled into his shoulder, trailing her hand slowly over his chest, watching each individual small, sparse, pale hair bend under her fingers.

"What are you thinking, beloved?"

"I've never really looked at you before." She felt him shift, knew that he had raised his trademark questioning eyebrow, but she didn't look up. "Well, yes, we saw quite a bit of each other last night, and this morning," she smiled, and felt him laugh, "but not in detail." She moved, following her fingers closely with her eyes, trailing them lightly down his side. To her surprise, he jumped. "You're ticklish?" Her devilish smile was completely involuntary.

"Sarah dear, unless you wish—" His hands came down to grip her shoulders; not hard or constraining, but present.

"No, I think we shall save that little revelation. Right now I want to keep exploring." He laughed and released her, then stretched like a cat, allowing her ministrations. She circled her finger over the sharp edge of his pelvis, then kissed it. "Hmm, I like this better. Perhaps I'll kiss every new part." Her fingers trailed across the tops of his thighs, followed closely by her lips. She teased a bit across his knee, feeling him shiver again, then kissed down the top of his shin, and the top of his foot, and each individual toe. Moving down below his feet, she pressed her thumbs firmly into his sole, rubbing up from the heel to massage the balls of his feet.

"Sarahhh..." It was something between a sigh and a moan, and she had intended this only in play, not to get him going again already, but hearing her name on his lips so pleadingly she knew she'd never get over his whole body before one of them broke. Well, she'd count it a win if she could get all the way over his legs. She repeated the massage on his other foot, earning an inarticulate sigh, then kissed her way back up to the top of his other thigh. Then, ignoring his growing erection, she pushed his legs apart, kneeling between them to place a kiss in the crease of his thigh, pretending not to notice the way he gasped as her nose grazed his balls. She moved down again, slowly and steadily, tongue and teeth as well as lips, licking under his knee and then working her way down to his ankle. At each kiss, she could feel his growing tension, the muscles in his legs twitching as he fought to hold still. Switching legs again, she slowed her pace, reveling in the way he was now shivering in anticipation, licking and sucking her way up his calf until, again, she swirled her tongue under the bend of his knee. She paused, nuzzling her nose into his skin and smiling.

Quick as lightning she was on her back, Jareth leaning over her, his eyes full of fire, one hand pinning both of hers above her head. Slowly now, he kissed her cheek, then the corner of her mouth, moving down her jaw, avoiding her lips, though she moved to kiss him.

"Torment me, will you? Turnabout is fair play, my dear."

Later, she asked him again, "What do you want?"

He answered, "You."

On the second day, they finally made it out of bed.

"Are you hungry, beloved?" Jareth's head was resting on her stomach; he could probably hear it grumbling.

"A little," she admitted, finally. "I have been, but… I hate to end this."

"Dearest, we have only to refresh our strength." He stood, pulling her to her feet. "Come." When they passed the threshold of her chamber, both were clothed. Sarah noted absently that magic clothes really were more comfortable: the fit was better than the best tailoring, and there were absolutely no seams. Less fun to remove passionately, maybe, but she could see the advantage. In the next step, they were in the middle of the hedge maze, at a neat dead end, where a picnic blanket was spread.

"This is familiar," she teased.

"Perhaps. But I have something different in mind this time."


He sat on the ground, pulling her down to him, then pushing her back against pillows that appeared to catch her. Propping himself up on his elbow, he leaned over her. "Now, you hold still."

"How do I eat like this?"

"Let me take care of you." At first, he used his fingers, feeding her little bits of meat and fruit, but when she saw him sip from a goblet of some cool liquid—juice?—she made her thirst known. She started to sit, to reach for a drink, but he stopped her, catching her lips and kissing her back into the pillows. "Did I not tell you to hold still?" he said, with mock severity.

"Then how...?"

"Trust." He took a mouthful of liquid; then, holding his lips closed, leaned over her and pressed his closed mouth to her lips. Understanding, she tentatively opened her mouth, and sipped directly from his lips. The drink was still cool, crisp, and delicious. When he moved back, she giggled; the gesture was silly, but also erotic, requiring trust and care. "Well?"

"More please." The second sip went smoother; it was easier with practice.

When they had finished eating, she leaned into him, nuzzling into his shoulder. "I don't want to move. Can we just stay here forever?"

"No, beloved," he answered, "but we need not move just yet." She slipped a hand into the open collar of his shirt, caressing gently, and he leaned back into the pillows and pulled on her top leg, so that she straddled him. She leaned in for a kiss, which he gently returned, holding her in place, his hands around her upper arms.

"It feels almost… too perfect," she said, when they broke apart. "Is that strange to say?"

He rolled them, pressing her down; she wriggled to get comfortable, trapping his legs with hers. He kissed the corner of her mouth, her jaw, her throat.

"My land is made of fairy tales," he whispered, and she thought, and they lived happily ever after.

She woke in the middle of the night, before the third day, alone. Jareth wasn't in the room, or on the balcony, but the door to the King's Stair stood open. The Eyrie. Of course.

As she had seen him before, he was sitting in the window, blowing dreams into the night. Moving close, she joined him, silently pushing him away from the wall so that she could climb up behind him on the sill, cradling him as he worked, nibbling gently on the back of his neck as her fancy took her, and combing her fingers through his hair. When he had finished, he leaned back into her shoulder, turning his head to push his face into her neck.

"Good dreams, I hope?"

"Some," he answered softly, now kissing her ear. "You inspire me."

"I want to keep doing that."

In reply, he turned and took her in his arms, and kissed her like he was drowning and she was air.

On the fourth day she woke alone in the morning, and found him standing at the doorway of the Relative Stairs. She moved to him, wrapping her arms around his waist.

"Thinking, Jareth?" He said nothing, but his hands came up to hold onto hers, where she held him. "Will you tell me what you were thinking about?"

"I have not seen a single goblin for three days." His voice was flat, as though that wasn't the whole story.

"Well, they haven't burnt down the castle; I'm sure they're fine." She tightened her hold on his waist. "Play a game with me?"

"What game, dear one?"

"Tag... you're it!" And she took off, running up and around the stairs. She was ahead of him, she thought, until suddenly, she turned a corner and he was there. Grabbing her shoulders, he leaned in and kissed her.

"My turn to run," he laughed, and let her go, disappearing over the edge of the platform. She followed, but he was too quick, and at the next turning she found he was out of her sight. He reappeared across the room and she moved his way as quickly as possible, only to find that he was gone again. She chased him around several more corners, then, finally, found herself standing on a wide floor, with Jareth directly above her, standing on what, to her, appeared as ceiling. If she could bring herself to let go, she could catch him, but that was the one trick of the room she had yet to master. She'd never tried again, after the first time.

"Come, beloved," he taunted. "Truce, if you can reach me now." She hesitated, and he reached out to her. "Sarah, I will not allow you to be hurt. Come to me. Trust me." He paused, then said, softer, "You are not too young, any longer." His words gave her the courage she'd lacked, the last time she'd stood in the same position; the spectre of the past haunted her no more. She looked to him to ground her, and felt herself fall, accelerating as his gravity took over. She reached out, as he had taught her, and pulled just a little on the gravity she'd left, seeking a gentle landing over an undignified crash, and, to her surprise, she landed gently on her feet, just in front of him. He hadn't needed to catch her at all. The adrenaline from what she'd just done hit her suddenly and she burst into surprised laughter, her knees buckling slightly. He wrapped her in his arms to steady her, and she could hear his smile as he spoke into her hair. "Well done, beloved. How you turn my world."

On the fifth day, she found him in the Throne Room, thinking again, sprawled in his throne amid the cacophony of goblins drinking and fighting and laughing. She watched him a moment, then went to him, curling her fingers into the hand that had been resting at his chin.

"This is the third time I've woken up to find you gone." She smiled so he would see she was teasing, not accusing. "Did you miss the goblins so very much?"

"The noise helps me think, on occasion."

"And what are you thinking about?"

He paused before answering, and she knew he was weighing his answer carefully. "Sarah, will you permit me to use magic on you directly?" Given the way he had paused, she didn't know if he was answering her question or avoiding it, but she knew they wouldn't get back to that conversation until he had the answer to this new question.

"Don't you already?"

"I use magic around you, but even transportation is not exactly what I mean; it works somewhat differently." As he spoke, he guided her around the throne and into his lap.

"What do you mean, then?" In answer, he took her hand, drawing one finger down the middle of her palm. Her palm filled with warmth, buzzing and tingling, and she gasped; the feeling shifted to icy cold and then briefly, tingly pain before the warmth returned. He leaned in close, meeting her eyes.

"Things like that. I can do that... anywhere." His look was dark desire; his smile knowing. "And that particular touch was muted by the gloves."

Her breath caught on the erotic promise of his suggestion, and, slowly, she nodded. "Yes. Yes. There is only one thing I don't want, and that's for you to use magic to change my mind."

"I would never, beloved." He took her wrist in his hand and brought it to his lips, trailing kisses up her arm. "I might distract you, drive you wild, encourage you to forget, all with my touch, magic or no, but you will always have free will. This I vow." She was trembling, now, his touch and his words working together, far more effective than either alone. He drew her forward as his lips moved up her arm, above the elbow, until his cheek was pressed to hers and he was whispering in her ear. "Shall we adjourn upstairs, my love?"

Back in the bedroom, she was unclothed almost before she noticed, spread across the bed with him above her, lost in sensation until, without warning, something grasped her wrist and pulled it out, away from her body. She pulled away from his kisses to look, and saw that a silk tie had looped around her wrist and the bedpost, holding her arm securely, though not painfully.


He grinned down at her, eyes sparkling with mischief and desire. "Trust me, beloved," he whispered. "Let me give you the full demonstration. Let me make you squirm, make you sing. Put yourself in my power." As he spoke, another tie drew her free wrist to the opposite bedpost. She shivered, half fear, half anticipation. His confidence, his strength of command, was as alluring as it had always been; his hands caressed her distractingly, cupping her breasts to graze across her nipples. "And if ever it is too much, just say your right words."

"My—my right—" She could hardly think, lost in the touch of his hands, the power of his presence.

He drew back, giving her space, meeting her eyes. "Wish that I would stop."

"I understand." Her voice came out a breathy whisper. "Do as you will; I'm yours."

His laugh was wicked as he kissed her, and cords threaded her ankles as well, tightening until she was spread-eagled in the middle of the bed, all, like the first, not painful, but she also couldn't move. A fifth wound around her shoulders and torso, tightening slightly so that her breasts pointed upwards with the pressure. Another time, another place, another man—she might have been frightened—but she kept her eyes fixed on his face and there was no fearing the blatant worship in his gaze.

And then—oh God, it wasn't just his fingers, he could do it with his lips, with his tongue; his mouth around her nipple was warm and tingly but his tongue was cold as ice, and the contrast as he flicked it against her made all her muscles clench. Lightning bolts of sensation skittered up and down her back, racing across her skin, and maybe it was magic or maybe just biology but she felt every touch of his mouth on her nipple as though his mouth caressed between her legs. His hand was heavy as he palmed her other breast, and his thumb pressed into the hardened nipple was like a thrust inside her. Masterfully, he touched her until she was frantic with need, never once touching where she truly desired, drawing her close to the edge of release and knowing she needed more to find it.

"Ja—ahh! Please, please, I need—ahh!" She was babbling and she knew it, and she didn't care. His lips left her breast as he rose to lie down beside her, his hair tickling her sensitive skin as he bent to whisper in her ear. She strained against the bonds, eager to feel his skin on hers as he leaned over her.

"My Sarah, I will give you what you need when I desire it and not before." He bit her ear, making her cry out, then raised his head to meet her eyes. She found herself looking into that devilish grin, the wicked, expectant smile of the Goblin King. She had thought, once, that she would cower before that gaze, if he turned it on her; now, bound and exposed and excited, she thrilled to it. Her eyes were locked to his, and she was too lost in them to feel him move until, without warning, he dropped the hand that had held her breast and thrust two fingers roughly into her. She arched her back, as much as she could, and cried out, her eyes rolling back in her head and her hands winding into the bonds that held them, looking for purchase.

"Look at me, Sarah," he snapped, and she found she had no choice. "You will not find release until I have given permission." His fingers inside her moved steadily, forcefully, thoroughly, and she bit down on a moan as she nodded her understanding.

Satisfied that she understood, he turned his attentions to her neck, thrilling her with touches of chill and pain against the warmth as his fingers kept up their steady rhythm. Slowly he worked his way down her body, attending to each straining breast, to the inside of her hip, to the swollen flesh where he'd buried his fingers. Each caress seemed a day; each touch an eternity, and slow building tension screamed in her veins. She wanted to take matters into her own hands—she wanted to touch him, to wind her legs around him and force him to take her—but she was bound to his touch and to his will. As slowly as he'd begun, he worked his way back up, until his lips once again brushed against her ear.

"Sarah..." his breath was warm on her cheek, on her ear; his body was hard against hers, his hand filling her, his touch traveling up pleasure to the point of pain and back down again. She'd lost track of time, of her limbs, of her breath, of everything but his hands on her. She was alive only where he touched. "Sarah... let go... now."

She'd lost track of the number of times she'd nearly peaked. She couldn't even have said if she was close. But at his words, her body reacted automatically; every muscle clenched as she spasmed, her toes curling painfully, her head back, her throat torn with a ragged cry, her vision white and empty. Nothing mattered but the power of the release that gripped her, that went on and on as she clenched against his fingers, claiming them, drawing them deep within. He held still, held her there, as her rolling eyes closed in truth and she went completely limp.

It could have been hours later, but was most likely minutes, or perhaps only seconds, when she opened her eyes to look up at him. Her body felt far away; even her face tingled, pleasant pins and needles shivering across her skin. His hand was still inside her, but when she met his eyes, he gently withdrew, bringing his fingers to his lips and licking them slowly, never breaking eye contact.

She drew a shaky breath. "Wow."

He smiled around his fingers, sucking them into his mouth, and despite the boneless feeling in her entire body, she watched him hungrily, a pleasant tingle starting again in her skin as his tongue flicked out to lick his lips. When he bent to kiss her, she tasted her own desire. Her hand strained towards him in the bonds.

"Jareth... please... let me touch you." She arched towards him, flicking out her tongue to trace his lips, the only way she could reach him for a caress. She could feel his heat hard against her hip.

"No," he answered, his voice low, and he moved again, nipping down her jaw and shifting to whisper in her opposite ear. She caught the edge of his ear in her teeth as he passed, pleased to hear him hiss in surprise before he shook her free. "Perhaps if you are very good. But not yet."

On the sixth day, she woke still dazed by the night before. She stretched carefully, feeling rather worn out; Jareth hadn't been lying about the magic in his touch. A girl could get used to that kind of worship. Romance writers, eat your hearts out—you can't begin to imagine what a man like him can do. "Mind-blowing" didn't begin to describe it.

It did leave her with one lasting, burning desire, however. She'd given him such power over her; now, she wanted the same, over him. Fortunately, he'd left the ties in place, and he was still asleep.

She was leaning over his head, to tie his second arm, when he woke; her first warning that he was stirring was when he captured her breast in his mouth. She jumped, but managed to secure his wrist before he realized what she was doing. But a moment later, he tried to reach for her.

"Sarah!" She couldn't tell if he was more annoyed or amused.

"Stop. Don't fight." She leaned over him, kissing him lightly. "I know you can magic or squirm out of this if you want to. I'm asking you not to do it. Just stay right there and enjoy yourself, because there's something I've been wanting to do that requires you to let me have control, and you haven't allowed me that yet." He was still glaring at her, but she smiled again, leaving to work her way down to secure his legs. She kissed his ankle as she tied it.

"I dislike not being in control." She moved to his other leg; his words protested, but he hadn't magicked himself away yet, so she wasn't about to listen. She moved back up to lay beside him, reaching one hand down to stroke him. Despite his protests, he was hardening rapidly. She kissed his neck, then bit gently.

"Please, Jareth," she whispered against his skin. "I trusted you. Trust me back. You aren't giving up control for good." She grinned, moving up so that he could see her clearly. "Believe me, most of the time I like it when you're in charge." He kissed her, then tipped his head back, giving her access to his throat. But she laid only one gentle kiss under his jaw before, moving rapidly, she dropped down between his legs to take him in her mouth.

She had touched him like this in foreplay; it wasn't the first time he'd let her do this—once he had his control back, in any case. But it was the first time she did so without distractions, the first time she could concentrate fully on the task, and she worked to find the motions that pleased him, a bit of gentle suction, a swirl of the tongue, a deliberate swallow so that he pressed into the back of her throat. His groans and gasps were sweet music; and when she hummed in pleasure after one such delightful sound, he let out a moan that nearly undid her resolve to finish this as they were. He felt like heaven in her mouth, straight and thick and strong, a more detailed, immediate, tactile sensation than she felt when they made love. His breathing increased in speed; he flexed his hips, thrusting involuntarily into her mouth. Restrained as he was, he couldn't get far. She picked up the pace, encouraging him.

"Sarah—stop—I need—" The choked cry drew her attention; his breath was coming in rapid pants.

"Ssh!" Rising, she replaced her mouth with her hand and leaned up to whisper in his ear. "Let go. Let me. Don't hold back. Don't stop. Don't worry. Be mine." The rhythm of her hand kept pace with her words, and a full-body shudder passed through him. With a rough, quick kiss, she pulled away to take him in her mouth again. This time, when his breathing quickened and his body tensed, he didn't fight it. She kept up her rhythm, then held on as he cried out and his release spilled forth, holding him and licking him slowly as she swallowed.

As she cleaned him up, she kept an eye on his face. His eyes were closed, his head back, his breathing shallow. His body had gone completely limp. Rising, she snuggled into his side to wait for him to come back to her.

Perhaps a minute later, he stirred. "Sarah… that was…."

"That good, eh?" She kissed the underside of his jaw, proud of herself.

He shifted slightly. "My people… did not… spill seed," he said slowly, his voice hoarse. He had freed the arm under her head, and curled it around to stroke her face. His other arm twitched, as though to join the free one, then subsided.

"What, so you never…?" His head rolled left, then right; she took that as a negative. "But you said no one was ever born here… so why not?"

"We were never so fertile as Men, and when you are practically immortal..." he shrugged, "it is difficult to let go of old ways, old customs." He had freed himself completely, now, and he rolled over to take her in his arms.

"Well, at least tell me I won't have to fight so hard, next time."

This time, she felt his headshake as a brush of his nose in her hair. "No. The ties will be quite unnecessary." He rolled her onto her back, pressing her down and positioning himself between her legs. "However, my love, much as I know you enjoyed that, I believe you are still unsatisfied." She laughed, then gasped, as his fingers trailed over her. "I will see to that."

The seventh day she looked for him, but could not find him. The day was very short, and she was hesitant to stray. In the end, the first sign she saw of his presence all day was a noise in her bedroom; when she looked, she found a beautiful, dark green dress, of a style that fit with his usual attire, and a note asking her to come upstairs to dine when she was ready. She smiled: romance. Perhaps this was why he had been hiding all day. Still, she couldn't help but remember how often he'd been gone, the past several days. How often she'd woken alone; how often he'd left her bed and she'd had to go looking or just wait for him. A niggling worry began at the back of her mind: something's wrong. But she'd gone hours—and sometimes days—without seeing him before they were lovers; perhaps she was just expecting more than he was from this. He did still have responsibilities. But he'd been unusually quiet, as well, and dodged her questions, she now remembered. Before the night where he'd used magic, she'd asked him what he was thinking about, and he'd never really answered. He probably hadn't sought out the Throne Room to consider how best to seduce her with his fantastic touch, and as for yesterday—he'd tired her out and then left again, returning only as she was beginning to think of sleep.

Something's wrong. She couldn't shake the feeling.

The dress was complicated, but she figured it out. There was a moment of confusion when she realized that it buttoned up the back, but when she tried to reach around to take care of it, she felt the buttons begin to close themselves. Apparently invisible maid service went beyond picking up. She left her hair down; she knew he liked it that way.

His room glowed with soft candlelight; the brighter lamps on the walls were dark. The furniture in the room had been rearranged; his desk was clean and empty, his chaise pushed against one wall, the small tables and individual chairs completely absent. In their place, one table, set elegantly for two, sat below the open window.

He rose when she entered, and bowed low over her hand when she offered it, before pulling her close for a swift, sweet kiss. He was dressed in green as well, darker than hers; his eyes were bluer for it, and his pale skin radiant in the dim light.

Dinner was exquisite; while they usually didn't eat so much, there was no reason not to, either. He had taken pains to provide her with her favorites, cooked to perfection, and had even somehow acquired crab cakes like the ones from their first date. She gave a little sigh as she took a bite, smiling with the sensual pleasure of it, then laughed as she remembered what she'd thought at the time.

"Did you know, the first time I had these, I thought they were possibly better than sex?"

He raised one eyebrow. "And now?"

"When I thought that, I hadn't yet slept with you."

Now he looked smug. "I did enjoy watching you eat them. It was a small preview; though I would be quite disappointed if that reaction was all I could draw from you."

She rolled her eyes, smiling. "You know you're good, Jareth."

They were finishing dessert—a decadent chocolate concoction—when she finally summoned the courage to ask what she'd been thinking earlier. She inhaled, deeply, and he stopped eating to look at her.

"I need to ask you something," she said, quietly.

"What is it, Sarah?" He was concerned, careful, focused.

"Jareth, have you been avoiding me?"

"I would hardly call the last six nights avoiding, my dear."

"I know. But you've been gone during the day for the past several days. I know you were before, too... maybe I just feel it more keenly, now." She smiled. "I missed you. We've hardly talked, these seven days."

His heart was in his eyes as he looked at her; he reached a hand to cup her cheek. "I suppose I have had something on my mind." The simple sentence was somehow almost at odds with the romance of his gesture; she knew it was something serious.

"Is there something wrong?" He said nothing. "Jareth, can I help?"

"No; it is being taken care of."

"Tell me what it is." Half a demand, half a plea.

"I will tell you, my Sarah; but not tonight. Tonight... let us enjoy one another. I promise I will tell you tomorrow." She wanted to protest further, but he stilled her. "Nothing said or done tonight will change anything. Help me forget my troubles, these next few hours, my love." He drew her to her feet, and soft music began to play.

It did feel good to let go of everything, she reflected as they danced, the slow, simple movement of lovers who are more focused on their closeness than their steps. The music filled her; instrumental, simple. She closed her eyes, snuggling into his chest, loving the weight of his head as he laid his cheek on her hair. Above, other men, even her family were all a far-away dream; what was past was past. Her future held her in his arms, and they had work to do, together.

She let her mind wander, losing track of time; after a while, the music quieted, and he lifted her, easily, and pushed open the door to his bedroom, laying her reverently on his bed. She registered the room, which she'd never entered, but she couldn't concentrate on her surroundings when his eyes were on her, his hands sliding under her skirts, his mouth lowering to kiss her collarbone. He took his time, undressing her inch by inch, and allowing her to do the same to him. They made love slowly, reverently, each stroke draw out, each caress intense, his body close over hers, her legs wrapping around to trap his knees. She had one hand tangled in his hair, as she kissed him; he had one around her waist, holding her close. She held his gaze as their slow-burning passion sparked, and peaked, and spent itself in synchrony, and then drew him down to whisper in his ear.

"I love you, Jareth."

His arms tightened around her, crushing her to his chest. "I know."

On the eighth day, she awoke, alone, in her old bed, in her apartment, Above.

As Easy Mayst Thou Fall

A Labyrinth Story
by kzal

Part 20 of 24

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