Continuing Tales

Of Cupid and Psyche

A Labyrinth Story
by Chibi-no-oneesan

Part 7 of 16

<< Previous     Home     Next >>

Jareth had never been the patient sort. He was never particularly fond of waiting around for a woman to go through the painstaking process required to get them presentable for formal functions. Most of the women in the Underground would merely poof on a glamor and be done with it, however, his partner for this particular function was from the Above and had only lessons in basic craft to stand upon.

Which meant she had to do everything in the mundane way. That meant that everything which normally took him five seconds took her three hours. Three, long, painful hours of waiting, while Guenevere and several maids assisted his lady and kept her company.

It did not help matters that his uncle was standing there with a look of unrivaled patience, watching him pace a hole in the floor. "What could possibly be taking so long?"

A wry smile turned up the king's lips, and he tucked his hands behind his back. "Jareth, if I've learned anything by being married as long as I've been, it's that you NEVER ask what takes so long. The ladies have it in their lovely heads that we truly give a damn that they have make up on their faces, scent in all the right spots, and their hair coiffed to perfection. I doubt they realize they could show up to this pretty little Ball my wife has planned in a paper sack and we wouldn't care less as long as we got to dance with them."

Jareth pondered that picture briefly, remembering that horrid little hospital gown she'd been wearing when her brother had wished her away, and how it had still shown the fullness of her breasts, the curve of her hips and her lovely legs all the way down to those diminutive ankles-

"You'd best retrieve your mind from whatever gutter it just fell in before your lady arrives."

"Pardon?" Jareth's brain caught up with his uncles words and his face actually flushed. He put up a hand to hide his face. "My mind has not fallen into any gutter..." Yet, he added silently.

"Right, and that's why you're acting like a compass pointing at true north."

He was discreet in shifting until his coat fell over his pelvis, poorly hiding his current discomfort. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said as airily as he could manage. He saw the look of dry amusement on the older man's face and blinked in mock innocence. " you care to talk about why it is you and Gwenny are spending so much time apart, Uncle Arty?"

The man scowled at him. "No, boy, I don't care to speak of it. I am making a few difficult choices which you have no business being part of."

"Lance is giving her a lot of looks he has no business casting in the direction of your queen." Jareth watched the man sigh, his shoulders sagging a bit. "He wants to bed her."


"There we go, all finished!" Guenevere pushed the door open and drew Sarah from the room. This went far beyond sufficient distraction from the topic he and his uncle were currently discussing.

His throat went dry, his palms began to sweat within his satin gloves. His eyes swept over Sarah and he stepped towards her, as Guenevere stepped out of the way. Gently, he took the ladies hand, turning her so he could see the full view.

The dress was a far cry from the sugar spun monstrosity she'd worn in her dream. It followed the changes in fashion for the Underground, it's tight sleeves hugging her arms from the points on her hands all the way to her bare shoulders. The dark purple silk plunged deep enough to give him a flash of the enchanting freckles which splashed on the tops of her breasts, but still left enough to his imagination to make his mouth water. Around her neck, she wore only that crystal pendant he'd given her, and small earrings of some manner of clear crystal. The skirt was full, but not overstated as the one several years ago had been.

He became aware that she looked a bit nervous and uncertain and forced himself to find his voice. "You look lovely, my dear girl." He said, kissing the back of her hands.

Her cheeks darkened with a lovely blush and he smiled wryly, glancing towards where his aunt stood with his uncle. Neither looked especially comfortable, and they were avoiding the other's gaze. Oh, there certainly was trouble in paradise. He forced himself to smile, even knowing that the girl whose hands rested in his own could most assuredly feel his discomfort. "Well, is everyone ready, then?"

He promised himself to keep a close watch on his uncle and aunt for the rest of the evening, to find out what exactly was going on with them.

Everyone nodded, Sarah giving him a queer kind of look. Gently, he pulled her arm through his, following behind his aunt and uncle, who had several inches of space between them. He brought his lips close to her ear. "There is something the matter with Gwenny and Arty."

"They're...bittersweet." Sarah mumbled. "I...I don't know how to explain it. They're really in love, but they're not...happy."

He smiled at her keen ability to read them. Yes, her empathy had gotten stronger, likely with help from Caledonensis. "That is a valuable tool you're developing. I pray it remains after your sight and mind return. It would serve you well in the future." He slipped his free hand along the top of hers. He felt her shiver and the villain in him shuddered in answer. "Enough about them, how do...I feel?"

She gave him a wary glance. Something about it made his blood pulse in wanting. "You feel..." Her lips twitched a bit into a dry smile. "You know...I don't think I should tell you."

He stared down at her in surprise, and his face cracked into a broad grin. "Sarah, be warned, I've been generous up until now...but I can be cruel..."

Her smile turned into a saucy grin, and she lowered her face to hide it. "Oh? And just how do you intend to punish me for not telling you?"

He tilted his head back and a laugh escaped his throat. "That...will have to remain secret for a time, precious thing. However, I do promise that some day you'll defy me," he leaned close to her ear, "and I will make you suffer greatly..." He felt her shiver again, and her cheeks turned red with a blush.

He continued leading her through the hall, pretending not to notice as she fanned herself with her free hand in an attempt to cool her warm face before they entered the ballroom. A hush went over the ballroom as they entered. He felt her grow a little tense and knew she could feel the eyes of the people in the room staring at her. He leaned towards her, lowering her voice. "Your will is as strong..." he said softly.

Her face lifted to his and she smiled at him. "Yes," she agreed. Her hand on his arm tightened slightly and her back straightened. In that moment, she went from awkward girl to regal lady and the other's in the room took notice. His lips curved in a faint, secretive smile as they continued to move forward. Once in the center of the room, and not far from the 'hosting king and queen', the music cued up and he swept her into his arms.

He didn't bother trying to tear his gaze from her face. Her soft lips were curved upward, in a faint smile. Her eyes were obviously lowered, because he could only just see the milky white orbs through her thick, dark lashes. He could catch the faintest dusting of gold colored glitter-dust over her cheeks, the tops of her shoulders, and the swell of her breasts. In the light, it made her seem to shimmer just a bit. He could tell that his aunt had painted her lips a flattering shade of...peach.

He smiled in a feral manner, remembering the dream she pulled him into during the time she ran the Labyrinth. He promised himself that he would taste those tempting little lips when they were not under the scrutiny of half of the city. "What say we gather some information as to why my dear aunt and uncle seem to be having a rough time of it."

The smile turned mischievous and she arched a brow. "Are you suggesting we eavesdrop on Gwenny and Uncle Arty?"

He chuckled darkly. "I want to know why they're acting like they're on the verge of separation," he admitted. He saw the woman's lips purse and leaned down, bringing his lips close to her ear, taking pleasure in the way she shuddered slightly. "I lead, you follow?"

"Wherever you wish." She agreed.

He stilled slightly at her words, before guiding her towards the other couple. He could hear them speaking softly, to each other, his aunt's voice sounding genuinely upset. When they were close enough to hear, the argument was obviously nearly over.

"You don't have to go speak to her tonight. You could wait a day or two. Please, stay with me, darling-"

"Gwen, my first duty is to my country. You know this. I must go as soon as possible. Who knows when word will reach my sister that her deeds have become known. She will flee when she learns, so I must go and collect her before then."

The song came to an end and Guenevere pressed her face against Arthur's chest, whispering something so quietly that the Goblin King could not hear her. Jareth frowned deeply, stroking Sarah's hair, noting some faint distress from the woman. Slowly, he released Sarah, turning towards his aunt and uncle. "May I have the lady for a dance?" He asked, keeping his tone light and jovial.

Arthur's look was warning, possessive. "Very well." He eased the woman back. "Then I shall have your partner for one."

Jareth nodded, knowing his gaze was just as warning and possessive, until his aunt whacked his arm, glaring up at him, even though he detected a well hidden rim of red around them. After Arthur had led Sarah away, he whisked his aunt around the room, grinning at her. "What's eating you, Gwenny?"

She huffed, glaring at him. "Are you trying to pump me for information?"

"Say it how you wish, dear, but I'm not the one who looks like she spent last evening crying. What is wrong?"

She lowered her gaze, looking away. "It's personal, Jareth. And this is very public. Maybe some other time."

"I'll hold you to that, aunt. I won't forget."

She sighed, resting her forehead against his shoulder, even as her breath hitched. "I know, Jareth, I know."


"It's not nice to eavesdrop, Lady Sarah."

She felt her cheeks warm and she pursed her lips a bit. "Jareth's a bad influence," she complained, glancing away.

There was a rich laugh from the man. "I suspect that you rather like that about him."

Sarah smiled, thinking fondly of the man who was acting protective knight, charming prince, and nefarious villain all at the same time. "I suppose I do..." She inclined her head, hearing his laughter ring out across the ballroom, and her smile broadened. "He's...I don't know. I can't remember, but there's something there, just out of reach, and if I could just brush that veil aside, I'd know. Being near him makes it stronger, and I feel like that veil is just as thin as a spider's thread. But I can't breach it. I don't know what I have to do to breach it."

Her companion hummed softly. "From what Merlin said, that is not surprising. He seems almost certain that Jareth holds the key. Too bad the boy doesn't know what that key is, or he'd have already turned it and brought you back."

"I..." She smiled a bit. "I'm not so sure. He wants me better, but afraid of my memories returning. I think he...I think he believes I will leave."

"Wont you?" The remark made her flinch. "Your family is in your own world, no doubt missing you and wondering where you've gone."

She drew back as the song ended and turned her face away. "I don't know. I...remember the boy. I know the boy is important to me, but I...the others are so faded it's like something from a dream more than something which actually happened. I don't know why."

A large hand rested gently upon her head. "Child, sometimes, it is better to not worry about things like that. Just be happy that you are hale and whole, and trust that the boy will see you again. Just try not to give Jareth false hope. False hope kills a relationship more soundly than anything else."

He wasn't looking at her, but he was radiating that bittersweetness.

Sarah frowned a bit, until she heard her name spoken. She turned towards the voice, smiling. "Jareth."

"Yes, darling. I came across a few of the court who would like to meet you. Sarah, these are Gawain, my cousin and brother to Mordred, who you've met before but neither time was a really proper meeting. Also, this is Lance, a gentleman of the court." The tone of his voice implied that the word 'gentleman' was used loosely.

A hand scooped up her own and placed a kiss upon her knuckles. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sarah-"

She felt displeasure from her escort and withdrew her hand from the man, contemplating him. He radiated desire, and she had a nasty feeling that he saw her as easy prey. Too many strange sensations were pouring over her from various sources. It was making her feel sick. She unconsciously reached up, gripping the crystal at her throat.

She felt the gaze of the man before a satin gloved hand took hers gently. "Sarah, are you alright?"

"I...need air." She managed after a moment.

"I will escort you to the garden, my lady." His tone was gracious, gentle. "Come along, precious." She felt him gently tug her hand, drawing her towards the large doors which led to the castle gardens. Once they were outside, he pulled her arm through his, and she felt his concern.

She took a gulp of the cool evening air and rested her head upon his shoulder. His hand slipped over hers and she felt the cool satin of his gloves play over her skin. "Thanks, Jareth," she said quietly. "Suddenly it was just too much. The heat, the emotions rolling off of everyone. I got...nauseous."

"Yes, well, Lance tends to do that to people." The voice beside her sounded wry, amused. "Though admittedly, ordinarily men are the ones who feel the effect. It is not pleasant to watch that one attempt to seduce any woman in sight who is spoken for."

"He encourages adultery?" Even to her, she sounded horrified. "And no one...does anything?"

Her companion sighed and she felt him halt, turning her gently to face him. "He is one of my uncle's best strategic Generals, and when outright told by the woman to back off, he complies. No one has filed a complaint, however if he sets hand on you anymore, I just might."

She blushed at the implication. "Are you saying I'm spoken for?" She lifted her face, wanted to look at him, but she could see nothing. From him, she could feel anticipation, and that hint of dark swelled up a bit. His fingers touched her face and she realized with a start that the satin no longer separated their skin. The contact sent a jolting tingle straight through her that made her feel warm.

"Not yet." He said quietly. "I promised your brother I would protect you, which includes from myself. You cannot know who or what I am, love. Until you do, I cannot stake any claim on you."

She was surprised at the hurt. "What if I didn't mind if you did?" She asked quietly, taking his bare hands and pulling them down from her face, lifting her own so he could see it. "What if...I wanted to see a bit more of that villain you speak of so frequently?"

Something in him changed and she felt herself pressed up against something cold and hard, and his body pressed close to hers, his mouth coming close to her ear and whispering something in a language she didn't understand. She recognized the words, however, from one of the stories he'd read her from the library. His lips repeatedly brushed over the flesh as he spoke, and his hands trailed up her arms and over her bare shoulders, drawing a surprised gasp from her.

His lips brushed over the shell of her ear and she felt his moist tongue slide against the ridges and valleys, before his words became ones she could decipher. "You do not understand, my love what you ask of me. I want you. Ever part of you. I want to hear you moan as I taste every freckle on your body, I want to pierce your innocence and spill my seed within you. I want to have sons and daughters with you. And yet, I want to make you feel every single moment of pain and agony I went through when you left me. Six years of longing, Sarah-mine. Believe me, you do not know of what you ask."

His words, the feel of his hands running over her skin and dress, his lips and tongue against her ear. Everything about him sent pleasure pooling in her stomach and she found as he drew back that her hands were clutching his jacket for dear life. She also discovered she was trembling like an autumn leaf clinging to it's wind-swept branch, about to fall.

"Damn." The swear drew her attention and she felt his hands go beneath her elbows, gently supporting her. She felt his brow against her forehead and his nose brush against hers a bit. "Oh, precious, forgive me. It is not my want to frighten you."

She gently put her hands over his mouth, feeling something coming closer. "Someone's coming." She whispered.


Jareth gently took Sarah, hiding with her behind the wall, glancing around the corner. Sure enough, Guenevere, who had wandered off after the dance he'd had with her, was drifting through the gardens, looking like a lost waif.

Guenevere was young, a good bit younger than Arthur, although he knew they were madly in love with each other. He'd been at the wedding, and he'd never seen two happier people. Guenevere, who laughed and smiled at her king as though he were the only man in the world.

Jareth would have moved forward, to comfort her, except before he could, Lance stepped from wherever he was hiding, and moved towards her. He moved to stop him, but a hand on his arm stopped him. The hand was too large to be Sarah's, and he turned, finding Arthur there, wearing a sad smile on his face. "Arty-" He whispered softly.

"Lady Guenevere, you look lovely this evening."

"Greetings to you Lance." Her voice was quiet, reserved.

"Wherever is that husband of yours?"

Jareth glanced around and found Lance standing inappropriately close to the realm's queen. "You're going to let him seduce your queen?" He whispered, stunned and upset. "Why?"

Sarah inclined her head, obviously listening.

"He had to leave the ball early. He"

"No man should leave such a lovely lady on her own so often. My dear lady, you wander these gardens by yourself most evenings. Should your king not be your companion always?" There was a sneer in the voice, and Jareth wanted to smack the fake smile off of the Lothario's mouth.

Guenevere sighed softly. "The king has much to do, and only so many hours in the day with which to do them. It...It is hardly his fault if he cannot take me on an evening stroll through the gardens."

"Are you trying to convince me or yourself?" Lance sidled closer. "If I do not overstep my boundaries, if you were my lady, I would never leave your side."

Guenevere stood and paced away from him. "My husband loves me and I him." Her voice was firm.

The man smiled at her, catching her hand. "It was not always, so, however. Once upon a time, you were spell bound by me, claimed to want no other. And then this...Arthur comes along and whisks you away from me. You are mine, Guenevere, you always were."

Her hand met with his cheek and from where Jareth stood, he could see tears in his aunt's eyes. "This has gone on long enough," he whispered fiercely. He stepped from the darkened alcove, moving towards them. "Gwenny, is everything alright?"

Lance's eyes flickered towards the young king, and his lips flattened out of their sneer. "Ah, hello, Jareth-"

"That would be your highness if you please," Jareth said in a cold manner. "I may not be your king, but I'm a king still." His eyes flickered to his aunt, who looked pale and drawn.

"How much did you hear?" She asked weakly.

He ignored the other male, gently resting a hand upon his aunts head. "Enough. Would you like me to see you to your room, or would you prefer Lance's company?" He watched her pale and lifted his gaze to Lance's smug one. He inclined his head as Guenevere set her hand upon the one he offered to her.

"Thank you, Jareth."

He began guiding her, pausing only for a moment. "Lance, you may be a favored general, but if I ever catch you wooing a woman you know to be married, engaged, or otherwise involved with another man, I will remove the parts of you with which you are obviously thinking and I wont bother using a knife to do it." He was rewarded when Lance grew exceptionally pale. Smirking, he led Guenevere over to the alcove where Sarah and Arthur waited.

Guenevere saw her husband looking anywhere but her and lowered her gaze. "I...I was not tempted-"

"You wouldn't be." Sarah answered. "I...I think someone told me a long time ago...that when you love someone, I mean really love them, then no one will fill the hole left behind when the loved one leaves except that person. I...don't remember who told me, but I remember the words." She frowned faintly, her brow furrowing. "Dammit, it's right there, and I just can't..."

Jareth passed Guenevere to her husband and moved cautiously towards Sarah. "Don't fret, love. We'll work through this. You will get your memories back. I swear it." He saw her lower lip tremble and his heart ached. Without another word, he put his arms around her, embracing her gently.

"Gwen, darling..." Arthur said softly. "I...would not have held it against you had you taken him as a lover. I know you are lonely here. Most are too intimidated by your station to try to be your friend, save those who wish to improve their own status, and...I'm rarely here."

Her face jerked up and she stared at him, dumbstruck. "You..." Her hand lifted, cracking across his cheek. Jareth felt Sarah jump and had to admit a bit of surprise and grudging respect for the woman who was his aunt. "You unbelievable prick! Did you think that laying with that...that..."

"Disease ridden man-whore?" Sarah offered.

Three sets of eyes stared at her, shocked, before a strangled giggle left Guenevere's throat. "Yes, precisely." She looked up at her husband, eyes still filled with mirth. "Do you really think that he could fill the loneliness that I feel when you are gone? That his body would bring mine any relief? If you truly believe that, you are a fool, husband of mine."

Arthur gave a faint, warm smile, embracing the woman gently. "I suppose...I can leave it up to the guards to capture Morghaine." He looked at Jareth, his face serious. "I must take her and give her a trial. She is too far gone for anything else. I spoke to Mordred. Fifty years, Jareth, two or more most years, and who knows how many before she enlisted Mordred's aid."

Jareth nodded, stroking Sarah's hair gently. "I know." He looked at his aunt and uncle. "My kingdom has been without it's king long enough. I must return to the Goblin Kingdom on the morrow. Who knows what manner of mess those brats have caused at this point. I was only supposed to be gone a few days." He smiled wryly, seeing the wince on his aunt and uncles face.

"Well, in case we do not see you in the morning, safe journey, Jareth." Arthur extended his hand, and Jareth shook it, nodding.

Jareth gave the pair a speculative grin, arching an eyebrow. "What was it you told me the other day? Oh yes: try not to make too much noise."

He saw the shock settle over their faces and decided that directly transporting himself and the chuckling Sarah to her room would be prudent. Once they were in the privacy of her chambers, she dissolved into helpless giggles and they both collapsed on the floor, laughing like fools.


Sarah actually felt a little sad as they hugged Guenevere and Arthur goodbye. Caledonensis placed a comforting hand upon her head and murmured words in an unfamiliar language while Jareth over saw the packing of the palanquin. Mordred shook her hand in parting, and whispered an apology to her once more.

Jareth finally returned to her side, helping escort her away. She paused a moment, focusing on Guenevere for a long moment before that wonderfully enigmatic smile turned up her lips as he helped her down the stairs. She felt Jareth's lips brush against her ear as he spoke. "Love, you look positively mysterious right now. What is going on in that delightful brain of yours?"

She pursed her lips a bit, glancing towards Jareth. "What would you say if I told you that the lady is expecting?"

She sensed his dumbfounded shock and then amusement. "I would say that Arthur is going to have his hands full for quite some time." His voice was dry, laced with good humor. "You didn't tell them."

"It's not my place. Besides, I'd hate to give them fair warning."

He barked out a laugh even as he helped her into the lavish, covered cart, and was still laughing as they began moving. "Darling, you are as wicked as I am, dare I say. That is positively evil."

She shrugged faintly, smiling as she leaned her head comfortably on his shoulder. She felt a brief shock and then he relaxed, his arm going around his shoulders, holding her close. His hand gently pet her hair, and she felt his lips against the crown of her head. The warmth of his breath ruffled her hair and she felt a strange sensation in her chest, a curious warmth that had blossomed more and more with the time she'd spent with the Goblin King. With a sigh, she burrowed into his side, closing her eyes and listening to the sound of his heart beating.

Jareth smiled as she snuggled into him and wrapped his other arm around her as well, gently petting her hair from her face. How he loved this naive little woman-child. So wonderful in her mischief, so cruel in her innocence. He closed his eyes, breathing her scent deeply as she breathed his own, her slender arm thrown around his stomach. It was a pleasure to hold her like that, all the way back to his own kingdom.

Of Cupid and Psyche

A Labyrinth Story
by Chibi-no-oneesan

Part 7 of 16

<< Previous     Home     Next >>