Continuing Tales

The Enticement

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 11 of 16

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Jareth lay awake late into the night. Initially, he had been furious with Sarah. Apparently, she took him for a fool. Her continued denial of the very clear attraction between them would certainly indicate that she thought as much. However, after her admission of the truth, and after he had carefully considered her answer to his question, his anger had faded. Her continued resistance made him reassess what he perceived to be her dreams. He had been so certain that he'd known what Sarah wanted, and while he wasn't usually wrong in his assessment of people, he wasn't infallible.

He thought back to their conversations. She had wished for her family to be alive again. Wishes were not necessarily dreams, but perhaps in Sarah's case they were the same.

She was tired of being alone. She wanted her family.

He had to find some way to give them back to her. It was not possible to restore them to life and she would not accept an illusion, but perhaps they could live again in another way.


The next morning, Sarah arose early. Her eyes burned and felt gritty, and she knew she needed more than the couple of hours sleep that she had gotten, but she wanted to get this task out of the way before Jareth awoke. She couldn't afford for it to be the basis of further discussion later in the day.

Sarah crept through the living room, pulling on her coat and then went out the back door. The snow seemed to have stopped for the moment, but the temperature was still well below freezing. The sun was just rising to the east, but it was far too cold to linger and admire the light beginning to play over the snow.

Pulling the plastic sled away from the back door where they had left it, Sarah slowly began struggling through the snow and made her way to the shed where the firewood was kept. Opening the door, she quickly loaded the sled.

She took the wood back into the cabin and piled it on the storage room floor, trying to be as quiet as possible. She'd decided to leave it there until Jareth was awake and then, while he was in the shower, she would fill the wood box in the living room.

Sarah made a second trip to the shed and was stacking wood onto the sled when a shadow fell across the doorway. She glanced up quickly to see Jareth standing there. He didn't speak; he simply began helping her stack the wood onto the sled.


Once they made it back into the cabin, they filled the wood box and rebuilt the fire.

"Why don't you take your shower while I make breakfast," Sarah said. "Then I'll take a shower while you eat. I didn't take one last night."

"You wish to avoid me?" he asked with a frown. "That is impossible in this place, surely you know that."

"I'm not trying to avoid you," Sarah said shaking her head. "I just don't want to argue with you, not today. I'm really tired and on top of everything else, it's Christmas Eve. Toby used to love this day, with all its anticipation..." her voice trailed away. "I used to love this day. We all did." A wistful note had entered her voice.

Jareth's expression softened. "Your family enjoyed this day?"

Sarah nodded, surprised at his interest.

"Christmas is a holiday, is it not?" Jareth asked. "How do you celebrate?"

Sarah was silent for so long that Jareth thought she wasn't going to answer. Finally, she began to speak in a hesitant voice.

"Well, first we'd all go and pick out a tree and take it home. Mostly we'd just buy one but one year we actually drove out to a friend's farm and cut down a tree. That was fun." Sarah smiled faintly. "Anyway, we'd decorate the tree and my stepmother would spend all day cooking while my dad and I tried to keep Toby from bouncing off the walls because he was so excited over Santa Claus."

"Santa Claus?"

"He's an elf that comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve and leaves presents for children to find on Christmas morning," she said dryly.

"Why does he enter through the chimney? That seems unnecessarily dangerous. And what is the purpose of the gifts?" Jareth asked, confused.

"It's just a story. Santa Claus isn't real," Sarah said and then narrowed her eyes at Jareth thoughtfully. "At least, I don't think he's real. After I met you, I was never really sure about that."

Jareth saw her contemplative look and shook his head. "I have met no such elf."

Sarah gave a harsh laugh and briefly covered her face with her hands. "Do you have any idea how surreal this conversation is?" She shook her head. "Anyway, none of this is important. I don't celebrate Christmas anymore. I don't like being reminded of... of everything that happened."

Jareth was silent for a moment. "Since your family enjoyed this holiday, perhaps you would feel better if you would honor their memory rather than dwell upon their deaths," he finally said. "If the situation had been reversed, Sarah, would you have wanted your family to mourn you to the exclusion of enjoying life?"

"I haven't done that," she said defensively.

Jareth merely raised an eyebrow. "Haven't you? Then go with me now to obtain a tree for this festivity."

"You can't be serious," Sarah said in disbelief.

"Why not? If this holiday was pleasing to you and your family, why should it not be pleasing to you again?"

"It wouldn't be the same," Sarah said, looking away from Jareth.

"No," he agreed. "It will never be the same. But perhaps it is time to make new memories and stop avoiding the old."

"Well, haven't you turned out to be quite the amateur psychologist?" Her voice was sarcastic.

He just crossed his arms and looked at her steadily.

She gave a peevish sigh. "We'd have to go back out outside and it's freezing."

"We are both already cold and wet," he said calmly. "Now would be the most logical time to go." He picked up her coat and held it out to her.

She stared at him, completely bewildered. "Why are you doing this?"

"Because we are trapped here together and when you are in a foul mood, you have no qualms about talking it out on me," he said in a pleasant tone.

"Oh, look who's talking," she shot back.

She hesitated and then snatched the coat from his hand. "All right, but if this makes me feel worse, you'll have to take it back outside."


They went to the storage shed to retrieve a handsaw and a shovel. Towing the sled behind them, they made their way through the small clearing behind the cabin into a more heavily wooded area. Stopping for a moment, Sarah instinctively examined the trees with a critical eye, looking for one with the right height and shape. Selecting a likely candidate, she waded her way through the snow to circle the tree, looking for imperfections.

When she nodded her approval, Jareth used the shovel to scrape the snow away from the base of the tree. Since Jareth had never used a saw before, he held the tree steady while Sarah knelt down and quickly sawed through the trunk.

The tree was loaded onto the sled and they took it back to the cabin and left it by the back door. Another trip to the storage shed to drop off the tools and pick up the boxes of decorations, and they were finally back at the cabin.

After a few false starts, they wrestled the tree into the stand and finally tipped it upright. They took turns showering and changing clothes and then, with the clean smell of fresh pine needles filling the cabin, Sarah made breakfast.

They ate quickly and Sarah washed the dishes while Jareth unpacked the boxes of decorations.


Jareth watched Sarah while she sat in the floor, looking into various boxes of ornaments. Her eyes had brightened and she wore a slight smile.

"My grandmother always used silver and gold ornaments," she said. "She thought they looked best with the multi-colored lights."

"These are placed upon the tree?" Jareth crouched next to her, examining a fragile silver ball with a small metal hook attached to the top.

"Well, you have to put the lights on first," she answered, nodding toward the tangled green ropes she had pulled from one of the larger boxes. "Then you put on the ornaments."

Jareth carefully replaced the glass ornament and picked up one of the ropes of lights.

"It will take hours to straighten these," he said.

Sarah shook her head. "No, it looks worse than it really is. Watch."

She took them from his hand and unwrapped the end that was twisted around the rest of the lights. She gently shook the lights and the strand began to loosen and drop free. They still tangled in a few places, but she quickly worked them apart.

Sarah plugged the lights into an electrical outlet and Jareth watched as they began emitting a soft luminescence. In a few moments, they began to blink off and on in a random pattern. Sarah smiled widely.

"I was afraid they wouldn't work but they're fine," she said, obviously pleased.

She began to drape the lights along the tree branches. When she had finished, she repeated the process with another strand of lights and Jareth had to admit that the jewel toned lights glowing among the green of the tree had a pretty effect.

"Now we put on the ornaments," Sarah said, picking up a box of the glass spheres. "Well?" She glanced at Jareth over her shoulder. "This was your idea, remember? Are you going to just stand there and watch or are you going to help?"

With a raised eyebrow, he picked up a box of ornaments and went to her side.


Sarah stood back, looking at the tree. It was beautiful, she thought. To her complete surprise, she didn't feel the horrible sadness that she'd thought she would feel. Maybe it was because the setting was different; she'd never spent Christmas at the cabin before. Or maybe it was because she'd decorated the tree with Jareth; she'd certainly never done that before, either.

At that thought, she gave him a sidelong look. He was standing with his hands on hips, head tilted, looking at the tree closely. He'd turned out to be one of those people who redecorated the tree after it was finished. Immediately after she had placed her last ornament on the tree, he'd begun switching the colors so that there weren't two gold or silver ornaments hanging side by side.

But it had made the tree even prettier, she admitted with a wry smile.

"Now what is the next thing we should do?" he asked.

At that, Sarah stopped and shook her head, suddenly at a loss. "I... I don't know," she said softly. "This isn't..." She bit her lip. "This is new."

"Your stepmother cooked, you said. Is there a traditional meal to be prepared?"

"Not for today, but tomorrow... I didn't buy a turkey. I don't think I have all the things to make stuffing, anyway. I know I don't have the yeast to make rolls," she said, a crease suddenly marring her forehead. "And there's supposed to be cranberry sauce."

The more that it occurred to her that she had no way to make the traditional Christmas dinner, the harder it became to breathe.

Jareth frowned. Sarah had wrapped her arms protectively around herself and her voice was shaking. She was obviously becoming more and more upset as she spoke.

"Then we will have a different menu," he said soothingly. "This traditional meal seems far too elaborate for merely the two of us, in any case."

She nodded, and then bowed her head and took a sharp breath. "It's really never going to be the same again, is it?" she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

"No," Jareth replied, softly. "It is not."

He watched an almost panicked expression creep into her eyes. She turned back to the tree and began shaking her head. Before she could speak, he reached out and touched her arm. Startled, she looked back at him.

"What was your favorite meal when you were a child?" he asked. "Perhaps that is the meal we should have tomorrow. Again, we will start a new tradition."

Her eyes began clear and she relaxed slightly. "Um, well, we certainly can't have a Happy Meal."

"While it may not be joyous, there is no reason for it to be a sad occasion, either," Jareth replied.

He was dumbfounded when Sarah snorted and then began to laugh softly.

"No," she said, still smiling, "a Happy Meal is a child's meal that you get at a particular restaurant. I loved those when I was a kid. There was always a little toy or something in them."

While Jareth didn't appreciate being laughed at simply because he failed to know the menu of a restaurant, at least it seemed to have broken the tension that had been building within her.

She tilted her head and looked at him. "What was your favorite meal when you were a kid?"

He raised an eyebrow and thought for a moment. "Honey cakes," he finally said. "When I was a small boy, whenever there was a special occasion, our cook would prepare spiced honey cakes cooked on a griddle for our breakfast. They were not overly sweet and I enjoyed them very much."

"How about your favorite meal as an adult?" Sarah asked.

"Roasted chicken," he said without hesitation.

"I'm surprised," she said, raising an eyebrow, "I would have thought something more exotic."

Jareth sighed. "The goblins tend to be careless with their livestock, particularly their chickens, and they end up in the castle from time to time. Each time I eat a roasted chicken, I am assured that there is one less underfoot."

Sarah's mouth rounded in astonishment and then she burst out laughing. "That's mean," she said, still laughing.

"Not at all," he answered with a smile. "It is clearly self-defense. They make a terrible mess."


Sarah made lunch and after they'd eaten, Jareth read while she sat at the dining table, poring through her grandmother's recipes and cookbooks. Matching what she had in the storeroom against recipes, she'd finally decided on a modified version of her grandmother's Sunday dinner: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green peas and corn. She could even make an apple pie for dessert.

She glanced up at Jareth. He was sitting, one hand propping his head up, and one leg drawn up under him, leaning comfortably against the arm of the sofa. He looked completely relaxed.

It seemed that last night's disagreement had been forgotten, at least by Jareth. After she'd given it some thought, she couldn't really blame him for what happened. He'd tried and she'd said no. He'd dropped the subject and she had been the one to pursue it. And today, he'd been pleasant and she'd been the one getting defensive.

The flashing lights of the Christmas tree drew her attention. It really was very pretty, she thought. It just seemed a little sad without any presents under it, though. Sarah bit her lip. Jareth was so curious about the Christmas holiday. Maybe there was a way to put their argument behind them and allow him to have a bit more of the holiday experience, but she couldn't remember what supplies had been left here at the cabin or taken back to New York with her.

Sarah walked across the room to the shelves by the stereo and breathed a sigh of relief when she found what she'd hoped to find.

Jareth looked up at her curiously.

"I'm still working on the menu," she said and he nodded. When he turned his attention back to his book, she picked up a sketchpad and an assortment of pencils and erasers from the shelf. Turning back casually, she held them against her and returned to the dining table.

She quickly propped several of the cookbooks open on the table and hid the pad behind them. When she was certain that he was still reading, Sarah picked up a pencil and began to sketch, stealing glances at him. When she'd roughed out the sketch to her satisfaction, she closed the pad. She would finish it tonight and surprise him with it in the morning.

She began to gather up the cookbooks when something else occurred to her. She paused and then opened the books again, looking for one last recipe.


"Did you want to play?" Jareth asked, gesturing toward the backgammon set as Sarah began to put away the cookbooks.

"Not today, if you don't mind. I'd rather not have time to sit and think about things." She hesitated. "Could we just talk?"

Surprised, Jareth set his book aside. "About?"

Sarah put the last of the cookbooks away and turned back to him.

"I've wanted to ask--how are Hoggle and Sir Didymus and Ludo? I haven't seen them in so long."

Now Jareth was truly taken aback. "You haven't kept in contact with them? You were able to do so. I allowed them the freedom to visit you."

Sarah looked down. "I haven't called them since before..." Her voice trailed off and she gestured mutely toward the Christmas tree. "And then I was afraid they wouldn't come."

"They are well, as far as I am aware. The dwarf is still tending the shrubbery near the Labyrinth entrance. The little knight has returned to guarding the bridge," Jareth looked at Sarah pointedly, "after it was rebuilt. As for the other creature, he routinely frightens my guards."

"They pick on him," Sarah admonished.

"Not any longer," Jareth grinned briefly. "It seems that he usually has pebbles and small rocks trailing along in his wake. Now when he is seen, the guards run in the opposite direction."

"Good for Ludo," Sarah smiled and sat on the sofa next to him. After a moment, she frowned slightly. "You need better guards. If the four of us could beat them, it doesn't say much about their abilities," she pointed out.

Jareth raised an eyebrow. "Your concern is touching, but unnecessary. I fear no attack." He smiled bitterly. "What does my kingdom have that anyone would want?"

Sarah drew her legs up under her to sit cross-legged on the sofa. "That brings up something else that I've been wondering about. If the Labyrinth is so powerful, if you can do so much that the others can't do, then why aren't you running the whole place?"

"High King?" Jareth was astonished for a moment and then threw his head back and laughed. "Why ever would I want to be High King?"

"Well," Sarah fidgeted for a moment, "you don't seem very happy running the Goblin Kingdom. I thought you might want to be the one in charge of everything. Just because your great-great grandfather got stuck with the job, why should you have to put up with it?"

Jareth shook his head. "It would not be a matter of simply announcing that I had decided to be High King. It would require that I curry favor with the various kingdoms in order to garner support in the war that would inevitably follow."

"Oh," Sarah said, "I didn't know. I just thought it would be whoever was the most powerful."

"Politically powerful, yes," Jareth agreed. "Not necessarily who controls the most magical power."

Sarah looked down and played with the hem of her jeans. "What does it feel like? To be able to do magic?"

He smiled, slightly bemused at her questions. "Like breathing, I suppose. It is simply part of who I am."

"Did you have to be taught?" She looked up at him. "Or were you born being able to do it?"

"I had to be trained to control it." He nodded slightly. "But I was born with the ability."

Sarah laughed. "That must have allowed you to throw some pretty spectacular temper tantrums when you were a baby."

"That is the reason that a child's ability is not initially as strong as his parents," Jareth replied with a smile, then gave her a thoughtful look. "I am not certain that your abilities will ever grow to match my own. You are not fae and this is a rather unique situation."

"My abilities?" Sarah looked flabbergasted. "What do you mean--my abilities?"

"I cannot have a queen who is unable to control magic," Jareth said, puzzled at her reaction. "If for no other reason, you will need it simply to deal with the goblins. Therefore, you will be granted access to my magic through our marriage ceremony. But surely you were aware of this?"

"How was I supposed to be aware of it?" she demanded, throwing up her hands. "I don't know anything about what goes on in the Underground."

He gave a slow smile. "Does this make a difference? Are you now more amenable to returning?"

"No," she said flatly. "It doesn't make a difference." She shrugged slightly. "Well, I mean, not that it wouldn't be great to be able to..." She broke off her sentence at his knowing look and said defensively, "No, it doesn't make a difference."

"Just think of the things you would be able to do, Sarah," Jareth said, his voice suddenly low and inviting. "Would you like to move from place to place at will? Or perhaps you would like to take the mental images you have and put them on canvas exactly as you see them in your mind's eye. They would be perfect. I can teach you how to do these things."

"Stop that," she admonished.

"Stop what?" he asked, innocence personified.

"Trying to tempt me," Sarah said, chagrined. "It's not going to work."

Jareth raised an eyebrow and smirked.

Sarah shot him a warning glance and pointed at him. "Don't say a word. We're not going to talk about that."

"Why do you resist so?" Jareth asked, frustration suddenly seeping into his voice.

"Why are you so determined to keep trying to convince me?" She frowned.

"Because I need to go home, Sarah," Jareth said sharply. He stood abruptly and began pacing in front of the sofa. "I have duties and responsibilities. The goblins have probably already destroyed everything within their grasp. And by now even the most dull-witted of them has surely noticed that their king has simply vanished. They must be confused and frightened about what has taken place. My kingdom needs my attention and I cannot even summon up enough magic to look at my world, much less return to it."

Sarah looked stricken. "I'm so sorry," she said softly.

He turned to her. "Do not apologize. This is not your fault. As soon as the Labyrinth stops playing this childish game and allows me access to my magic, we will return."

She glanced down. "You still don't know what you're supposed to do?"

"No," he sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I am not certain."

"Um, if we're going to have Christmas dinner, I'd better take the chicken out of the freezer," Sarah said.

Jareth looked at her curiously when she wouldn't meet his eyes.

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

"No," she shook her head, her eyes flashed up to his and then quickly away. "Nothing."


Sarah put the frozen chicken on a plate and placed it in the refrigerator to thaw. She started checking to make certain that she had all the ingredients for tomorrow's dinner, but her thoughts kept turning back to Jareth. She hadn't really considered this situation from his perspective. And this didn't affect just him; it was affecting an entire kingdom.

He did need to go home.

Sighing, Sarah leaned against the kitchen counter. Well, now what was she supposed to do? Jareth would be furious when he learned of the deal she'd made with the Labyrinth. Would it be enough to simply tell him of it or would the Labyrinth consider that it hadn't lived up to its part of the bargain until they slept together? Either way, she'd have to go back to the Underground and she wasn't certain she was ready to do that. There were still too many unanswered questions.

Tears filled her eyes as she realized that all those years of waiting for the right man had been wasted because of a careless agreement that she'd made in a dream.

Resigned, she realized that there was only one way to get the answers she needed. She was going to have to ask Jareth.


During dinner, Sarah merely picked at her food and was unusually quiet. When she still said little while washing the dishes, Jareth finally inquired if she felt well.

"I'm fine," she replied, tossing the dishtowel onto the counter. She walked over and sat on the sofa next to him. "I just have some things I'd like to ask you," she said softly.

"All right." Jareth looked at her expectantly.

"If I went back to the Underground... If we got married... I don't know anything about being a queen. What exactly would I have to do?"

Jareth briefly looked surprised at her question. "When we go back, I will instruct you in your duties. Your primary responsibility would be running the household, dealing with the staff and giving them their commands. After you are more comfortable in that role, I will teach you the political aspects of being queen." His tone became reassuring. "You are an intelligent woman, you will be able to learn these things easily."

A ghost of a smile appeared on her lips. "Does that mean that I can have the castle cleaned?"

"Of course. If you can persuade the goblins to clean to your satisfaction." Jareth smiled. "And should you can manage to keep the livestock out of the castle, I will be delighted."

"Oh, that's a given, the livestock have got to go." Her smile widened and then suddenly faded.

"Would I ever be able to come back and visit Gary? I don't like the thought of never seeing him again. He's been such a good friend to me. My only friend, really."

"You may visit this world for short periods of time," Jareth nodded. "I would accompany you until you became comfortable moving between the worlds, but you should be able to visit on your own eventually."

Relief swept through her and tears prickled her eyelids. She hesitated and then took a deep breath.

"What about your "acquaintances?" Would you, um, try to be discreet? Because I'd rather that everybody wasn't laughing at me behind my back." Sarah kept her eyes firmly fixed on her lap.

"You presume that I would be unfaithful to you?" Jareth's tone was suddenly sharp.

Confused, Sarah's eyes shot up to meet his. "Well, wouldn't you?"

"Would you take the marriage vows so lightly?" Jareth's expression had grown cold.

"No, I wouldn't," she met his sharp tone with her own. "I wouldn't take them lightly at all, and if I promise to be faithful then I will. But you--you'd have to give up all those other women." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "You don't even like me. Why would I expect you to agree to that?"

"I do like you, Sarah," Jareth said firmly. Surprise swept over him as he uttered the words, but he had to acknowledge that they were true. He had grown to like her. The girl who had whined about everything being unfair during her initial trip through the Labyrinth had matured into an intelligent and capable woman.

At his words, Sarah looked as surprised as he felt and then a faint blush crept over her cheeks, and she smiled uncertainly at him.

"I like you, too," she said softly. "I didn't expect to, but I do."

Jareth smiled and then his expression turned serious.

"In the Underground, when a king marries, it is important that the parentage of the children of that union be assured. Therefore, during the marriage ceremony, a vow of fidelity is made. The fae are bound by their word. I will be bound by my word." He held her gaze with his own. "Humans are not bound by their promises."

"I am," Sarah said quietly. "If I ever make that kind of promise, I won't go back on my word."

Jareth regarded her solemnly and then nodded slowly.

"That brings up another subject," Sarah continued, looking down again. "You said that the Labyrinth chose me because you didn't have a wife or an heir. I assume that means that you want to have children."

Amused, he saw that she was blushing again.

"Of course," he replied. "Do you dislike children?"

"No, I like them," she said, her cheeks crimson. "How many children were you thinking of?" She stole a glance up at him.

"Thirty-six," he answered promptly.

"What?" Shock was apparent on her face and her eyes grew huge.

He began laughing. "Sarah, I hope to have several children, but I had not selected a particular number."

"It just seems so weird to even be talking about this," Sarah said. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back wearily against the back of the sofa. "Other than that dance, there certainly wasn't anything that would have made me think that you and I would ever be talking about marriage."

"Dance?" Jareth asked.

Sarah's eyes flew open.

"What dance?"

"Oh, shit," she murmured.

Jareth gave her a confused look and Sarah sighed. "I'd forgotten that you probably didn't know about that. After I took a bite of the peach that Hoggle gave me, I had a dream," she explained.

Comprehension flared in Jareth's eyes. "And you dreamt that you danced with me?" he asked curiously.

Sarah nodded, embarrassed. "You really didn't know anything about it?"

"No." Jareth shook his head. "I sent you a dream, but not a specific one. I wasn't aware of what you were dreaming. You selected the content." He tilted his head. "Tell me of this dream."

"I, um, it was just a dance," she stammered.

"Where did it take place?" Jareth coaxed.

"It was a party. Kind of. Maybe a masquerade ball, actually." Sarah had dropped her eyes and blushed again.

"And we simply danced?" Jareth was careful to keep his smile hidden.

"Well, there might have been some, uh, singing." Sarah twisted her fingers together.

"Singing?" Jareth asked, surprised. "Who was singing?"

Sarah jumped up from the sofa. "You know, I didn't get much sleep last night and I'm really very tired, so I'm going to take my shower and go to bed. I'll need to get up early in the morning to start cooking Christmas dinner."

Before Jareth could reply, she rushed into her bedroom. In a moment, she reappeared with her robe and the shirt she used as a nightgown and in the next instant, she went into the bathroom and firmly shut the door.

Sarah stared at herself in the bathroom mirror and grimaced. She was more tired than she had realized. She could not believe that she'd slipped and told Jareth about that dance. At least she now knew that it had all been in her imagination. While she'd always suspected as much, the disappointment she felt was bitterly sharp. Everything in that dream had been nothing more than a silly young girl's romantic fantasy.

Forcing those thoughts away, Sarah stepped into the shower to quickly bathe and wash her hair. Finished showering, she wrapped a towel around her body. As she flipped on the blow dryer, she decided that she would say a quick goodnight and then, when she was safely in her room, she would finish the sketch she intended to give Jareth as a Christmas present.


Intrigued by Sarah's rapid departure, Jareth looked at the bathroom door and rubbed his chin thoughtfully. So she had dreamt of him even then. He smiled to himself. Although he knew that fulfilling this dream was far too simple to be the task that the Labyrinth had set before him, it would take little effort and it would please Sarah. Perhaps it would help to brighten her mood for the upcoming holiday.

Rising, Jareth began to look through her compact disks.


Sarah slipped on her nightshirt, robe and slippers and opened the bathroom door. As she stepped into the living room, she saw Jareth standing at the shelves, facing her.

"You have me at a disadvantage," he said.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

Jareth pressed a button on the stereo and music began to play softly.

"You have danced with me, but I have not danced with you." Jareth smiled and walked toward her.

Convinced that he was mocking her, Sarah looked sharply into his eyes but saw no derision.

"You want to dance with me?" she asked, confused. "But why?"

"Why not?" He stopped in front of her, still smiling. When she didn't immediately respond, his smile faded and he shook his head slightly. "I thought you might enjoy it. Perhaps I was wrong."

She looked at him closely. Stunned, she realized that Jareth was trying to make her feel better.

"I would like that," Sarah said quietly, "but I'm not exactly dressed for dancing." She gestured toward her robe.

"I promise not to tell," he said solemnly. He placed one hand at her waist and held out his other hand, waiting.

Her heart suddenly pounding, Sarah placed her hand in his.

Jareth paused for a moment, finding the rhythm of the music, and then moved them into the dance. Their 'dance floor' was much too small to allow for anything more than a tight circuit of the room, but Jareth danced as smoothly as if they were in a large ballroom.

"Are you going to tell me about the singing?" he inquired curiously.

She winced slightly and shook her head firmly. "Definitely not."

He laughed and changed the subject. "Is this anything like the dance in your dream?"

"No," she said, suddenly feeling absurdly shy, "but this is better."

He raised an eyebrow. "How so?"

"It's real," she said simply.

Jareth smiled and, as the music drew to a close, he guided Sarah back across the living room, neatly finishing the dance at her bedroom door.

"Well, I guess I should say goodnight," Sarah said softly.

Jareth still held her in his arms and as she spoke, an unfamiliar emotion flickered through her eyes. He found himself puzzling over it. It wasn't desire, although, stubborn girl, he could still see that clearly enough. No, he thought, this was some softer emotion.

On impulse, before he even thought it through, he leaned forward and lightly pressed his lips to hers.

"Goodnight," he said, stepping back.

Sarah looked dazed and then she smiled. She opened the bedroom door and, still smiling, went inside and closed the door.


Sarah leaned against the door with a soft sigh, thinking of how wonderful it had been to dance with him. Even though there had been no sparkling ballroom, no masked guests or frilly dress, this dance had been far better than her dream could have ever hoped to be. Jareth had kissed her exactly the way she'd thought he was going to kiss her in that dream.

A worried frown suddenly creased her brow. She knew that she had to tell him the truth. He had to go home. But not tomorrow, she thought resolutely. Tomorrow was Christmas and she wanted to give Jareth his present and have Christmas dinner. She wanted one last chance at pretending to have a normal holiday before having to return to the Underground.

The day after Christmas, she decided. She would tell Jareth everything then.

She just hoped he could forgive her.

The Enticement

A Labyrinth Story
by Scattered Logic

Part 11 of 16

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