Continuing Tales

A Necessary Deception

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 25 of 28

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A Necessary Deception

Sarah managed to make it to her room before completely breaking down. She stumbled into the room, sobbing. How could she have been so blind? Why would Jareth love her if he weren't forced into it? Shaking her head, she brushed away her tears. She didn't have time for this. She had to think clearly. She would need money to pay for a place to stay until she could find a job. She didn't have much that was of value but she'd take anything that she could sell. Anything small and portable. She'd start with her jewelry. Her jewelry.

Sarah froze at the thought and slowly unclasped the pendant she wore around her neck. She held it up and looked sadly at the small crystal, sorrow ripping at her heart and tears filling her eyes once again. Her lips trembled briefly and then firmed. She had to hurry. She carefully placed the necklace on the table under the mirror and then resolutely turned her back to it.

'Jareth will never allow you to leave,' a small voice inside reminded her and Sarah shoved that thought away. She just wouldn't give him a choice. She didn't have a suitcase, so she stripped a pillowcase off one of her pillows and began tossing in items from her vanity.

"You look as if you are a child running away from home," Jareth drawled. "But I'm not surprised. You are acting like a child."

Sarah glanced over at him standing in her open doorway.

"There's no point in trying to stop me," she said quickly.

He stalked into the room and made a sharp gesture. The door slammed shut behind him. "You are not leaving," he said, his normally silky voice had grown harsh.

She took a good look at him and winced, it was all too apparent that he was furious. She sighed inwardly.

"Jareth, it's for the best..." she began.

"For the best?" he interrupted angrily. "It would be for the best if you forgot this nonsense. I love you, Sarah. Why do you persist in doubting me?"

"You doubt yourself," she snapped. "I saw it in your eyes."

Jareth hesitated. "Am I not allowed a moment of weakness?" he asked softly. "You were correct in saying that I've never loved before but that does not change what I feel for you. It makes it no less real."

"You believe that, I know you do," she said, suddenly weary. "But it's not real."

"I was under a spell the first time that you were here," he admitted. "But I also know that what I feel for you now is much stronger, much more intense. If you had heard the entire conversation, you would have also heard me tell Ethain that I truly love you."

She simply shook her head and sudden comprehension flashed in his eyes.

"The truth of this situation is that you find it easier to believe that I am under a spell than to relinquish your self-doubt," Jareth said quietly.

Sarah looked away. "That isn't it." "Of course it is. The damage that was done to you by your pathetic excuse for a mother is far reaching. It torments the both of us." In a few swift steps, he was standing directly in front of her. He reached out and grasped her by the arms.

"Do you love me?" he demanded.

"What I feel for you has nothing to do with this. This is about what you feel. What happens if the spell wears off? You'll find yourself burdened with a wife and child you never wanted. You'll hate me then." She blinked back tears and bowed her head. "I don't think I could bear it if you hated me," she whispered.

"I'll never hate you, Sarah," he said softly. "You try my patience like no other woman I have ever encountered, yet I will never hate you." He released her arms and tipped her face up to his to look into her eyes. "You asked how I could love you. You're a caring, intriguing, beautiful woman. How could I not love you?"

She closed her eyes briefly. She wanted so badly to believe him. When she opened her eyes, she saw that he was looking past her with a slightly puzzled expression. His gaze rested on the pendant lying on the table. He looked back at her and she could clearly see the pain in his eyes.

"You are no longer wearing my betrothal gift," he said. His voice had gone flat.

"I'm sorry, Jareth, but I can't marry you," Sarah said, her voice resigned. "I know you think that you love me, but there's a difference between magic and reality. You're caught up in an illusion." His expression hardened. "You would presume to instruct me on the difference between illusion and truth? I am no inexperienced mortal who cannot distinguish between the two. I was aware of the precise moment that I fell under that spell and I can certainly recognize the difference between magic and the lack of it." An odd gleam suddenly came into his eyes. "I love you, Sarah. If I must, I will prove it to you."

She shook her head sadly. "There's nothing you can say that will convince me."

"You are wrong," he said sharply and tilted his head toward her bedroom door. "The door will not open again until I will it. You shall remain here until I return." "What?" Her voice rose. "You can't lock me in my room."

"I can and I have." His voice was cold. "We have done things the human way for far too long. We have talked repeatedly and yet it accomplishes nothing. The time for talking is past. I shall return for you shortly." He reached out and casually stroked gloved fingers against her throat. When he removed his hand, the crystal pendant was once again around her neck.

"I don't ever want to see you without it again," he said, eyes narrowed. Without another word, he simply faded from view.

Sarah rushed to the door and twisted the doorknob frantically. It wouldn't budge.

"Damn it, Jareth," she yelled. "Let me out of here."


It was more than an hour before he returned. Sarah was pacing her room, fuming, when suddenly Jareth stood before her, blocking her path.

"This is absolute bullshit," she spat out angrily. "You have no right to keep me locked up like a prisoner."

"I have every right," he said coolly. "You seem to forget that I am still the King and you are subject to my wishes." He held out his hand. "It is time for us to go."

"Go?" she asked, in surprise. She looked at him suspiciously. "Go where?"

Jareth's mouth tightened into a thin line. "Don't defy me, Sarah. I grow weary of these games."

"Don't defy..." Sarah began and then closed her mouth quickly as Jareth advanced on her, eyes flashing.

"Enough," he snapped and slid his arm around her waist, pulling her to him tightly. His voice softened and he murmured, "Close your eyes." She obeyed instinctively and felt the whirl of being transported. When she opened her eyes, she looked around and gasped. They were standing outside the salt caverns.

"What are we doing here?" She jerked away from him.

"We're going inside," he said calmly, grasping her by the wrist.

"I don't want to be here," Sarah said, backing away. "I don't want to go in there again." She twisted her arm trying to pull away from him, but he wouldn't let her go. "Please, Jareth."

He shook his head. "We have no choice, Sarah."

He began to walk forward, steadily pulling her in after him. Torches illuminated the main cavern and, as Jareth pulled her behind him, Sarah was relieved to see that he was heading for a different passage than the one she'd taken when she was here before. Still, she tried to dig her heels into the rough floor but found herself slipping along in tow despite her best efforts.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she shouted. "Let go of me!"

"If you don't stop fighting me, I'll put you over my shoulder and carry you," he said, glancing back at her. He never slowed down, relentlessly pulling her down the passage until finally they arrived at their destination.

Entering the chamber he'd prepared earlier, he pulled her in after him and swung her to face him, quickly grasping her by the upper arms. Sarah was breathing rapidly, her face flushed and her eyes glittering with anger.

Leaning down, he lowered her to sit among the pillows and thick blankets he had piled to cover the floor. Candles lined the alcove's edges, bathing the room in flickering light and throwing shadows across the large salt crystals that gleamed dully in the rough-hewn walls.

Sarah began to scramble up but stopped as Jareth shook his head in warning. He looked into her eyes and very deliberately began to remove his gloves.

"You can't seduce me into believing you, Jareth," she said sharply. "Sex and love aren't the same thing."

"Don't you know why I've brought you here?" he asked as he slowly pulled the gloves off, one finger at a time.

"No," she snapped. "I just know that I don't like this place."

"Salt is a natural barrier to magic," he reminded her. "Magic cannot exist here."

The gloves free from his hands, he tossed them carelessly to the floor. Moving to her side, he sank to his knees and pulled her up to face him. She gazed at him, her anger subsiding and comprehension beginning to dawn in her eyes.

"But it's a spell, just a spell..." she began, her voice breaking.

"If it were only magic that caused me to love you, then why do I still love you here?" he demanded.

"But..." she began.

"No," he stopped her. "No magic. No spells. No illusions. Here there can be only what I feel. I love you, Sarah. I love you even in this place."

Her eyes filled with tears. "I... I thought..."

"You thought that I could not truly love you because you do not believe that you are worthy of being loved. Isn't that it? Somewhere inside you is still a frightened young girl whose mother abandoned her. A young girl who desperately wants to be loved and yet is so afraid of allowing it to happen that she has convinced herself it isn't possible."

Tears filled her eyes and she bowed her head. He touched her chin to raise her eyes to his.

"I love you, Sarah. I will not abandon you," he said firmly. "I will not choose another over you. You are mine and I am yours. But you must accept that these things are true. If you do not, we will only succeed in tearing each other apart."

Tears fell freely down her cheeks as she looked at the man before her. There were so many emotions in his eyes. Love was there, and passion. But she was stunned to see that acceptance was there, too. That this glorious creature could accept her for who she was, with all her faults and fears, and yet still love her was almost overwhelming.

She lifted a shaking hand to touch his face. "I love you so much, Jareth," she whispered. "I just... I get afraid sometimes. I can't understand how you can love me. I'm nothing special."

"You are special to me." He smiled and carefully brushed away her tears. "Why do you love me, Sarah?"

"I just do," she said. "I don't know why. I can't give you a specific reason." He laughed softly. "Nor can I give you a specific reason why I love you. Perhaps that is simply the way of it. If we can list reasons, then perhaps it isn't real." "I'm so sorry I ever doubted..." she began.

"Hush," he murmured.

He lowered his head and his lips covered hers, his tongue sliding into her mouth to gently tease hers. Sarah responded fiercely, wrapping her arms around his neck as he deepened the kiss. He cupped her breast, his thumb stroking her nipple through her shirt. She gasped into his mouth and arched into his touch.

He broke the kiss and gently pushed her back down among the pillows, nimble fingers already unbuttoning her shirt and unfastening her bra. She reached up and began tugging at his shirt but he smirked and playfully batted her hands away.

With a wide grin, she locked her legs around his waist and twisted suddenly underneath him. Catching him off balance, she rolled them over until he was lying on his back and she was now straddling him. She quickly shrugged off her shirt and bra, and kicked off her shoes.

"My turn to be in charge," she murmured.

He had time to arch an eyebrow in surprise before she reached down and simply ripped his shirt open.

"Sarah," he admonished with a sly smile, "that was my favorite shirt."

"How can you tell? You have a dozen just like it," she whispered. She shifted back slightly, settling herself more firmly on top of him and he bit back a groan at the contact.

She gave a slow smile at his reaction and deliberately shifted again. His eyes went dark and she leaned down to kiss his chest, her tongue flicking over the small nipples until his breathing became erratic and his fingers sifted restlessly through her hair.

She slid back down onto his thighs and trailed open-mouthed kisses down his chest to the waistband of his pants. Sitting up, she looked into his eyes and slipped her fingers under the edge of the fabric. She slid her fingertips back and forth slowly, fingers dipping a little lower with each pass, enjoying the feel of his soft skin. Jareth finally gave an impatient growl. She shook her head in mock reproach and unfastened his pants, although she made no move to take them off.

She brushed teasingly against his erection through his pants and smiled at his quick intake of breath. Leaning back, she allowed her hands to travel further down, caressing his thighs, and then moved to kneel at his feet.

Sarah tugged off first one boot and then the other. She stood and looked down at him with a grin. She unbuttoned and unzipped her jeans and pushed them down over her hips to the floor. Her panties quickly followed and, stepping out of them, she kicked them aside and knelt at his waist.

"Now it's your turn," she said softly. She tugged at his breeches and Jareth obligingly lifted his hips so that she could pull them down over his legs and off. They soon joined her jeans in a crumpled heap on the floor.

She tilted her head and looked him over with a wicked smile. "Hmm, where to begin?" she wondered aloud, tapping her finger against her lips. She chuckled at his eager expression.

"Here?" she asked and brushed her lips against his knee. "Or here?" She placed a kiss on his thigh. "Or maybe," she whispered against his skin as she moved up, "right here." And her mouth closed around him.

He moaned at the sensation that enveloped him and then it was gone. His eyes flew open and he saw Sarah grinning at him. "Or," she shrugged, "maybe not."

She shifted beside him. "There's here." A flick of her tongue over his navel caused him to shiver. Another shift and her hands were on his shoulders. "Or here," she lowered to press her mouth against his in a feather-light kiss, pulling back and changing the angle repeatedly until finally Jareth caught her in his arms.

His hands slid up into her hair to hold her to him and he kissed her deeply. He moved to sit up and Sarah quickly broke the kiss and pressed him back into the pillows. She nipped at his earlobe and whispered, "You're so impatient. I'm in charge, remember?" She smiled against his skin. "I have been generous up until now."

"Why do I suspect that you are about to be cruel?" Jareth laughed softly as she trailed open-mouthed kisses down his neck, lingering at the pulse pounding in his throat. Her kisses continued down across his chest, her dark hair a curtain hiding her face from him. He reached out and brushed it back over her shoulders, and she flashed a mischievous look at him before continuing lower. She leaned down and ran her tongue along the length of him, listening to his sigh of pleasure. She closed her fingers around the velvety smooth skin and took the tip of him into her mouth. Her tongue swirled, a counterpoint to the movement of her hand as she caressed him. His sighs quickly became interspersed with moans as she took more of him into her mouth. Using the sounds he made as a guide, she began to experiment with her movements. Flicking her tongue over the underside of him caused him to give a quick gasp. Combining that with an increased tension drew a long groan. Adding an increase in motion caused his hips to raise from the pillows until he finally choked out that she had to stop. She reluctantly released him and looked up into his glazed eyes.

"We don't have to stop, Jareth," she said softly. "I don't mind." "I do," he said, his voice hoarse. He reached up and grasped her upper arms.

She found herself being dragged up, one knee on either side of his hips. His mouth closed around one nipple while his fingers quickly found the other. She gasped loudly at the sensation and she slid her hands into his soft hair, holding his head to her breast.

His hand trailed down her body and slid between her legs. They both moaned as he touched her. He pushed one finger into her slowly and moved it in and out of her, all the while still suckling at her breast. Her breathing became harsh and she placed her hands on his shoulders and pushed slightly.

"Lie back," she whispered.

He released her and reclined against the pillows. Sarah positioned herself and slowly lowered onto him. She moaned as he entered her and her head fell back, long hair brushing against his thighs. His hands gripped her waist to help steady her as she began to rise and fall, filling herself with him over and over again, each movement an intense pleasure.

She lifted her head to look into his eyes as her rhythm became more rapid and she cried out as Jareth slid one hand from her waist and moved it lower, fingers stroking firmly in time with the rise and fall of her body. The wonderful feelings intensified and she began to climb higher and higher, each movement of her body, each movement of his fingers, bringing her closer and closer to ecstasy.

For one breathless moment she teetered on the edge of oblivion and then with a wail, she fell as waves of pleasure washed over her. When they subsided, she collapsed against Jareth, boneless, her head resting on his shoulder. His hands caressed her back soothingly and when her breathing had calmed somewhat, his arms tightened around her and he rolled her beneath him.

His hands urged her legs up to wrap around his waist and he drove himself deep within her. His breathing was harsh as he sought his own release and Sarah watched his face and eyes as the relentless movement of his hips became harder and more rapid. Suddenly he went rigid, a hoarse cry torn from his throat as he poured himself into her. He held himself above her for a moment, catching his breath and then leaned down to kiss her tenderly before rolling onto his side, holding her close. "I love you, Sarah Catherine Williams," he whispered.

"I believe you, Jareth Rí de Aislinge," she said softly.

"I'm very glad that you do," he smiled. "Because you're going to have to help me carry all of this back out of these caverns."

Sarah rested her face against his chest and laughed.

A Necessary Deception

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 25 of 28

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