Continuing Tales

A Necessary Deception

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 14 of 28

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"What are you talking about?" Sarah still didn't understand what he meant. Nobody had touched her. Nobody had... Suddenly she realized that someone had touched her. Marcan had healed her hands.

She automatically glanced down at her palms.

"Ah, I see you do remember," Jareth's voice was biting.

Guilt and embarrassment warred on her face. How was she supposed to tell him that she'd injured herself because of her own insecurities?

"It was nothing," she whispered.

"Nothing?" he snapped.

He began to circle her slowly and Sarah tracked his every move as he walked around her. She'd never seen him this angry before.

His voice lowered, "Did you find him attractive, Sarah? I noticed you looking at him. I didn't appreciate you making such a spectacle of yourself. Holding hands with my cousin in public made for quite a tawdry little display."

"We weren't holding..." Sarah began and then his words sank in. He was turning this back on her? Fury flared hot within her. She whirled to face him and stepped directly into his path, stopping his movements.

"You think I was making a spectacle of myself? Well, let's talk about spectacles. What about you and Vivienne? That woman was practically sitting in your lap."

"Vivienne isn't the point." His voice was suddenly far too calm.

"She is as far as I'm concerned." Sarah suddenly flung up a hand. "No, no, you're absolutely right. Vivienne isn't the point, at least not just Vivienne. You had your entire little harem there tonight. You wouldn't believe the things they were saying about you in that sitting room and they made sure I heard every word of it."

"It couldn't have been very dreadful, you seemed quite cheerful when I came in." Jareth said coolly.

Sarah looked at him for a moment and then bit out, "I was laughing because I was so scared that my only choices were to laugh or scream. And having to listen to that school of piranha going on about you was worse than dreadful. Thanks to your former flings, I now have a very long list of the things you will do in bed, and a very short list of the things you won't."

Jareth's eyes narrowed and he said with an icy smile, "Well, that will save us time, won't it? Just make a note of the ones you find most interesting and we'll try them out later."

Sarah froze. For a moment, she felt like she'd been kicked in the stomach and she briefly closed her eyes. When she opened them again, she was as cold as he was. "Congratulations, you've managed to be even more insulting than Vivienne."

She turned and began walking toward the door.

"Don't walk away from me, Sarah," he warned.

She didn't listen. As she reached the doorway, she gritted through clenched teeth, "And you don't have to worry about 'trying out' anything with me ever again." With that, she exited the room and left him standing there.


By the time she'd reached her bedroom, Sarah had worked herself into a rage. She slammed the door shut and began pulling her clothing off, not caring if she tore the buttons of her dress, all the while complaining loudly about arrogant Goblin Kings, their harems and red-haired bitches.

Ducking behind the screen, she waved a hand over the bathtub to fill it. She intended to take a long hot bath and try to forget this day ever happened. Sarah grabbed her robe and wrapped it around her. Walking back into the room to get her hairbrush, she looked down as she tied her robe and suddenly bumped into something that shouldn't have been there.


"What the hell do you think you're doing in here?" she gasped and took several steps back.

"I'm getting tired of you walking away from me," he said grimly.

"Tough. Now get out of my room," she demanded, her eyes flashing.

"Your room?" he advanced on her and she involuntarily took a step back. "May I remind you that you're living in my castle? I go where I please."

"Do you want me to get out? Fine, I'll find someplace else to live."

"And just where do you think you'd go? To Marcan?" Jareth's voice lowered dangerously and he took another step toward her. "Do you think that he'd take you in after a little hand-holding? He wasn't even willing to fight for you."

"He wasn't holding my hand," Sarah's voice rose.

Jareth reached out swiftly and seized her hand. Holding it up, he drew one leather-clad finger over her palm, mimicking Marcan's earlier actions. "What was he doing?"

Before Sarah could answer, Jareth felt the residue of the earlier magic. His eyes became flinty. "What did he do to you? He used magic. What did he do?"

Sarah tried to pull her hand away, but Jareth wouldn't let go. "What did he do?" he demanded.

Her lips thinned into a straight line and her eyes narrowed. "Let go of me."

"Let's see, shall we?" With a mocking smile, Jareth brushed his free hand over her palm and shattered Marcan's spell. The smile faded as he saw the bloody grooves reform in her palm.

Sarah hissed as her hands began to sting. "Are you happy now?"

Jareth once again brushed her palm and the wounds were gone. He released her and quickly took her other hand in his, examining it briefly before smoothing the small wounds away.

"Why? Why would you harm yourself this way?" he asked quietly.

She jerked her hand away from him. "To gain some control." She sneered, "You ordered me not to react to anything, remember?"

"What could possibly have upset you that much?"

"I've already told you. Vivienne was practically in your lap. No woman wants to be forced to sit across a crowded room and watch the man she loves being hit on by his ex-girlfriend. Particularly when he seems to enjoy it so much."

Sarah was so angry that the words left her mouth before she'd thought clearly. As soon she said them, she cringed inwardly. This wasn't how she'd meant to tell him.

Jareth went very still.

She turned her back to him, but there was no refuge there. She was now facing the mirror and when she looked into it, his eyes locked eyes with her.

"You love me?" he asked softly.

She dropped her eyes and moved to step away but he was suddenly standing close behind her. He grasped her by the waist, pulling her tightly to him. Her eyes flew up again to meet his in the mirror.

"Sarah, you love me?" he repeated, his breath warm against her ear.

"Yes," she whispered. "I love you." She shook her head slowly, "But right now I don't like you very much."

To her surprise, he laughed softly. "No, I can well imagine that you don't."

The realization hit her suddenly and her mouth dropped open. "That's what all this is about. You're jealous."

He arched an eyebrow. "As are you."

"You have no reason to be."

"Nor do you," he shot back.


"Vivienne was amusing herself at our expense. I owe Ethain an apology about that. He warned me, but I thought she'd be above that kind of behavior."

"Obviously she treated you differently than she treated me. I wouldn't put anything past that woman," Sarah said tartly. "And what was all that about remembering what she described and regretting your decision? As if I can't guess."

"We're alone in your bedroom and I'm about to tell you that I love you. Do you really want to discuss Vivienne?" Jareth asked calmly.

Sarah's breath caught in her throat and her heart was suddenly pounding. "I don't know," she said slowly. "Are you going to be very romantic about it?"

He shook his head ruefully, "Considering the circumstances, probably not as romantic as you'd like."

She smiled slowly and twisted around in his arms to slide her arms around his neck. "Tell me and then kiss me passionately. I've always wanted it to happen that way."

He laughed and then became serious. He looked into her eyes and said, "I owe you an apology, also. I shouldn't have given in to jealousy. It's such a petty emotion, but I've never... I love you, Sarah." He lowered his head and kissed her, his tongue slipping into her mouth and twining with hers, becoming more demanding as she responded. He heard her moan low in her throat and pulled her more tightly against him.

She finally broke the kiss, her lungs screaming for air. "That was very romantic," she said breathlessly. "An apology and an 'I love you.' I'd say you did just fine."

He trailed kisses down her neck. "I'm happy that you were pleased."

A small crease suddenly appeared between her eyes and she said, "Ethain told me that most Fae don't..."

"I heard what he said and there are exceptions." He pressed another kiss against her neck and then looked up. "I do love you, Sarah."

"I shouldn't have been jealous tonight either, but those other women were all so beautiful," she said hesitantly.

"Do you think that's all I want?" he asked. "I want more than just a pleasing appearance. Never before have I had a woman want me for who am, the good and the bad, rather than just for the titles I possess." For the first time, she saw a hint of vulnerability in his eyes. "Do you think that any of those women would have cradled a child that had been wished away and then offered to wait with me while those thirteen hours passed?"

He dropped a light kiss on her lips and gently turned her back to face the mirror. "But if appearances concern you, you have nothing to fear. You are very beautiful in your own right."

He reached down and began untying the belt holding her robe closed. Sarah was suddenly acutely aware that she wasn't wearing anything else.

"Jareth," she said uncertainly, but the belt was already untied and he was pulling the robe open and off her shoulders. It dropped to the floor between them.

"Let me touch you, Sarah," he murmured. "Let me show you how beautiful you are."

He pulled the gloves from his hands, tossing them onto the table in front of the mirror. Reaching around her, he softly brushed his palms over her breasts, feeling the nipples harden under his touch.

Sarah drew in a sharp breath. He dropped his head and his tongue slid slowly along her neck, up to her ear and he suckled at her earlobe, nipping gently with his teeth. Her head fell back against his shoulder. He moved forward, pressing his body more closely against hers. She could feel him, already hard and erect, pushing into her lower back and an intense wave of desire spread through her.

His mouth moved down her throat again and his fingers rolled and plucked at her nipples. Sarah gasped in pleasure and instinctively reached back, cupping his thighs, pulling him to her more tightly, restlessly sliding her hands up and down.

She watched their reflection in the mirror through heavy-lidded eyes and Jareth lifted his mouth from her skin to meet her gaze. Her saw her reaction and a wicked smile crossed his face. He slowly skimmed one hand down her body, over her ribcage, across her stomach, moving steadily lower.

It was almost unbelievably erotic, feeling his hands on her while simultaneously seeing it happen and she was trembling by the time his hand slid down to touch lightly between her thighs. She was slick with desire and she arched into his touch, trying to increase the contact. He lazily teased one finger against her.

"Something you want?" His ragged breathing belied his calm words.

"Please," she gasped.

Looking into her eyes, he slid his finger inside her. She moaned and thrust hard against his hand. While he continued to caress her breasts, he slowly moved his finger in and out of her, adjusting the fit of his hand against her to give her the most pleasure. Her eyes slipped closed at the sensation.

"Open your eyes, Sarah," he whispered. "Watch me touch you."

Her eyes fluttered open at his words and she watched his hands moving on her. The feeling of voluptuous sensuality ratcheted up to an unbearable pitch and she began making little hitching sounds in her throat.

"Jareth," she whimpered, "I'm going to..." Her voice trailed off into a gasp as he caught her eyes with his and quickened his movements. Sarah climaxed with a sobbing moan.

He felt her inner walls clamp down around his finger and he shuddered, his self-control hanging by a thread. He continued to move his hand until the last of her contractions faded and when he felt her knees begin to buckle, he quickly slid his arms around her waist, holding her upright.

When her breathing began to even out, she turned in his arms and kissed him deeply. She pushed against him, urging him back toward the bed.

As she began to pull him down with her, he hesitated for a moment. She looked up at him, puzzled, and he said softly, "I won't forget the spell this time." She watched as he closed his eyes briefly and concentrated. A moment later, he joined her on the bed.

They made love slowly, gently, and as the height of passion reached them, she pulled him deeper and choked out, "I love you, Jareth." His eyes widened and he gave an almost triumphant cry as he emptied himself inside her.


"Would you care to explain to me just what you thought you were doing tonight?" Vivienne snapped after the last guest had left.

Marcan smiled. "Whatever do you mean?"

"I thought you were going to help me get rid of the mortal, not seduce her."

"I wasn't trying to seduce her. I was trying to win her trust and I did an admirable job of it."

"What does it matter if she trusts you or not? I waited all evening for her to choke on her dinner or take a fall or something equally as calamitous."

Marcan regarded her incredulously. "You didn't honestly expect that, did you? Here? In our home? After the way you acted, Jareth would certainly have known that Sarah's demise was no accident. No, you'll just have to have a bit of patience."

"I didn't act so badly. Although Jareth wasn't nearly as amused by my coterie of guests as I'd thought." Vivienne said sulkily.

Marcan sighed. "If you'd have asked, I could have told you that no man wants to have all the women he's bedded gathered into one room. The opportunities for unfavorable comparison are far too great. Only women are so egotistical as to find that prospect pleasing."

Vivienne laughed, "I could almost hear the mortal's blood boiling from where I was sitting. But only Arlana, Treise, and Isleen would participate in Sarah's little learning opportunity. Fiona was far too taken with Brennan to take the risk and Geileis was absolutely insulting when I asked her. She said if she'd known that's why I was inviting her, she'd never have come."

"Geileis has always had more sense than the rest of you," Marcan said dismissively.

"So what do you have planned?"

"I think it best that you don't know. I'll want you to act appropriately surprised when you hear the news."

Vivienne gave a little moue. "I think I'd enjoy it more if I knew beforehand."

"Well, I don't intend to tell you and unless you want to take care of this yourself, you'll do as I say." Marcan's eyes grew cold.

She shrugged, feigning indifference. "As you wish." Suddenly her eyes began to gleam. "But you will tell me all the details, won't you?"


Sometime during the night Sarah woke. She instantly realized two things. She was no longer in her room and someone was...

Someone had their mouth...

Jareth's bed. He'd moved them while she slept.

Jareth's mouth was...

Oh, god.

He was...

He was...

Pleasure shot through her and all coherent thought ceased.


Something was tickling her nose. Keeping her eyes closed, she brushed it away and burrowed deeper into the bedcovers. In a moment, the feeling was back. Batting at it sleepily, she heard a low laugh and opened her eyes.

Sunlight filtered into the room and she saw Jareth leaning over her smiling, a strand of his long blond hair held in his hand. He'd been using it to tickle her awake.

"Mmmm, good morning," she said with a smile.

He leaned over and kissed her. "Good morning. It's time we got up; I'm taking you on a little trip. I've decided that you're to have a surprise today."

Sarah grinned. "I remember having a surprise last night."

"I don't think you'll enjoy this surprise as much as that one, but I think you'll enjoy it nonetheless," he laughed.

"Don't you have to work?" she asked.

"I'm taking the morning off," he said with a shrug. "What good is being king if you can't set your own hours." He threw the covers back. "Now, out of bed with you."

Sarah looked down. "I don't have any clothes here."

He looked her over and grinned roguishly at her. "So I've noticed. Perhaps I should change my mind about that surprise. I just might keep you here. You look quite fetching in the altogether."

"That's fine with me," she said as she reached for him. "I don't mind staying here."

"Now, Sarah, don't be naughty." He moved back with a smile. "At least, not until later."

She laughed.

"I'll send you back to your room. You should find your breakfast waiting. Get dressed and eat quickly. I'll meet you in the library in half an hour."

"Half an hour?" she protested.

"Well, I did hate to wake you. You seemed so content," he said with a grin.

"I wonder why?" she smiled. "So, what should I wear?"

"That Aboveworld clothing you're so fond of will be sufficient," he said and gestured toward her.

She found herself back in her room, sitting on her bed. Jareth's voice echoed through her room. "Half an hour."


Sarah set a speed record for bathing, gulped down her breakfast and threw on her clothes. She rushed into the library and found that Jareth wasn't there.

"Well, damn, I'm on time and he's late," she said aloud.

"Not late," he said as he came in behind her. "Merely punctual."

"Where are we going?" she asked curiously.

"Now that would spoil the surprise." He smiled and held out his hand.

She took it and a moment later was standing beside him on a rocky mountainside. She gasped at the view; the entire Underground was spread out before them. In the distance, she could faintly see Jareth's castle, the massive labyrinth winding below it.

"Where are we?"

"Mount Arranz," Jareth said. "Come on, what I want to show you is over this rise." He took her by the hand and began walking toward the peak.

When they reached the summit, he said quietly, "I dare not get any closer. Not with you here." He pointed toward the right. "Look there, do you see the entrance to the cave?"

"Yes," she said.

"It shouldn't be long now," he whispered.

"Long for what?" she glanced at him and automatically began whispering also.

He didn't answer and then smiled. "For that." He gestured for her to look.

A great shadow suddenly darkened the entrance to the cave. In a moment, Sarah saw a large reptilian head emerge. The beast turned its head from side to side, cautiously testing the wind for any strange scent. Seemingly satisfied, it began to exit the cave, huge wings held close to its body. Once outside the cave, it yawned, revealing a mouth full of jagged teeth and unfurled its leathery wings, arching its neck as if stretching.

Sarah's mouth fell open and she grabbed Jareth's arm excitedly. Her eyes were round with wonder. She looked up at him with a delighted expression and he smiled, pleased that he could give her such a gift.

"Oh, Jareth," she whispered. "It's real. It's really a dragon."

A Necessary Deception

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 14 of 28

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