Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 19 of 40

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Sarah sat in the bed for a short while longer, her mind a whirl of thoughts. She and Jareth were to be friends. She shook her head and almost laughed at the odd situation that now spread out before her. She would be friends with the Goblin King. The very man she had loathed upon re entering his realm. No.she shook her head. She had never really loathed him and she had never hated him. She had misunderstood him.

With a sigh she pulled at the blankets that were twisted and wrapped around her feet. With unsteady legs she got to her feet and slowly began to walk toward her dresser. She wanted to dress and be ready for Lee when she arrived. They had so much to catch up on. She reached for her favorite pair of jeans and decided on wearing a simple red t-shirt. Running a brush through her hair, she decided that she was ready. And not a moment too soon as a knock on the door signaled a visitor.

"Come in!" she called out.

The door swung open and Lee stepped in. Her red hair was pulled back and her make-up was as outrageous as ever. She was dressed in Sarah's straight legs jeans and her own t-shirt. Sarah was never so glad to see her friend and she rushed at Lee and the two hugged each other tightly.

After a short while, Lee pulled back and shook Sarah's shoulders. "Damn it, Sarah! You scared the life out of me! I thought we were going to lose you!"

"We?" Sarah asked.

Lee shrugged. "Yeah, me Hoggle, Ludo, Didymus. Everyone."

Sarah nodded disappointed at not hearing Jareth's name included, but then grinned. Lee didn't know all that had happened between them.

"You really should have said something to me that morning if you didn't feel good. Have you any idea how scary it was to watch my best friend collapse? Thank god Jareth was around."

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him." Sarah smiled brightly.

Lee grinned. "I get the feeling that you two made up."

"Perceptive as ever. I apologized to him for my behavior and we've agreed to become friends."

Lee hugged Sarah. "How wonderful!" Sarah smiled. "Are you hungry?" Lee asked immediately.

Sarah grinned and then giggled. Leave it to Lee to think of her stomach. "I'm starved."

"Oh good!" Lee put an arm around Sarah. "C'mon let's go!"

"Gee are you in a rush."

"Breakfast is getting cold silly!" Lee started for the door and Sarah stopped her. "What is it?"

" I want to walk myself. I'm feeling better."

"Sure." Lee stepped away from her and the two continued on.

The farther that Sarah walked away from her room the more she noticed her strength diminish. Her legs felt heavy and the dining hall felt as if it was miles away. Soon her body was giving out on her. Trembling in the middle of the hall she reached for Lee and grabbed onto her tightly.

"Hey, you ok?" Lee asked stopping.

Sarah nodded slowly. "Just a little weak. I'm ok, but I need some help."

Lee nodded and slipped an arm around Sarah to help balance her. "We're almost to the dining hall." Lee told her. Sarah nodded gratefully and they continued on.

The next few minutes felt as if they had been days. Sarah was never so happy to see the dining hall as the giant oak doors finally came into view. She'd had little trouble moving to her dresser to change that morning, but walking so far so quickly after her fever had disappeared was probably a bad idea. Lee nearly had to carry her to her seat.

"Are you going to be ok?" Lee asked. Concern was all over her face, as she looked Sarah's slumped figure. Jareth had told her that Sarah's fever had broken and he had mentioned that she would be weak, but Lee had not expected this.

"I'll be fine once I eat and rest. I think I tried to tackle too much walking too quickly."

Lee nodded, not sure if she was convinced or not. Despite the growing concern the two women began to eat. Soon Sarah's pale appearance led way to her face positively glowing with life. Things swiftly looked as if Sarah had never been sick at all.

* * *

"There is no place for such riff raff in college. Drinking alcohol, not studying and disrupting my wondrous class! Have you no shame?" Lee held her nose as she spoke, her voice appearing deep and nasalish.

Sarah giggled. "You've got his voice down perfectly!" She and Lee had spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon talking in the dining room.

Lee had told Sarah how she and Hoggle had passed the time trading jewelry as they waited for Sarah to recover. They didn't talk about Jareth very much if at all, but the few times that his name was spoken, Sarah smiled. Lee knew much more than she let on about things. She was dying to ask how Jareth had ended up in Sarah's bed that morning. Lee had checked on Sarah before she went to bed and she had been alone. Yet when she checked on her friend in the morning, the Goblin King was mysteriously in her bed! She had left soon after the discovery when there was a knock at her door. She disappeared with Hoggle for a little while and returned to find Jareth standing outside her door. While the Goblin King appeared to be his arrogant and cold self, Lee wasn't fooled for a moment. Something had happened between him and Sarah and it was something good.

"James Henry! Are you drinking coffee in my classroom? Shakespeare didn't drink coffee! And you Sarah Williams! Are you daydreaming again? There will be no daydreaming about the Goblin King in my wondrous class!" Lee continued.

Sarah leaned over the table and smacked Lee's arm. "He never said that to me and I certainly never daydreamed about the Goblin King in Mr. Ogden's English class." She laughed.

"Maybe not. But you sure dreamed about him a good deal in high school."

"I did not!"

"Oh come on Sar! You were obsessed with that book. Even more so as we entered junior year. How many times did Mrs. Souza catch you off guard? She knew you were daydreaming, that's why she would call on you. You even said that the next element after Sodium on the Periodical table of elements was Jareth! I didn't know what the name meant at the time, but I do now. So. are you going to lie about it or fess up?"

Sarah sighed. She had been caught and damn good too. "If I thought about him it was how much I couldn't stand him and how angry I was with him."

"You never thought about him in a positive way, ever? Not even when you were all lost in space, all starry eyed?" Lee imitated Sarah when she was daydreaming.

Sarah's lip trembled. "Ok, fine, you win. I did think about him some in high school. But just a little. I did think he was. attractive.once."

'Oh come now Miss Williams. Attractive? That is the only descriptive word you could think up after taking my wondrous class?"

Sarah blushed. "Maybe I thought he was more than attractive, and then again maybe I didn't." She crossed her arms over her chest and looked away, hardly believing that they were talking about this. As she turned, something caught her attention. There was a figure standing only a few short feet from where they sat, bathed in shadow. Even in the darkness Sarah recognized who it was. She blushed fiercely and cursed under her breath. How long had he been standing there? How much had he heard?

Realizing that he had been noticed, Jareth stepped into the light. He was dressed all in black and only his blond hair and shining eyes had allowed Sarah to notice him.

Lee smiled when she saw him. Lord but the Goblin King had perfect timing. "Hello, Jareth." She smiled sweetly, and for once there was nothing seductive about her smile.

"Lee." He nodded to her. Cautiously he stepped beside Sarah and to her heartbreak she saw such arrogance in his eyes and his stance. It seemed the caring, concerned Jareth that helped her when she was sick, was gone. She looked away from him.

Jareth saw her look away and cursed his uptight behavior. He had meant to keep himself slightly distanced so he would not act on his feelings. Perhaps it had not been the best choice.

"The goblins were not as destructive as I had originally feared." He said softly. "I thought perhaps we could take our walk early." His tone had changed and when Sarah looked at him, she noticed warmth in his eyes. Sarah's blushed again as the Goblin King reached for her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it lightly.

Lee's eyes widened. Oh something was definitely going on between them. She could hardly contain her joy at the little display.

"It would please me greatly if you would.*both*. walk with me." Jareth was quite unsure of himself after hearing that Sarah was once attracted to him. His emotions were chaotic and as much as he sometimes despised being in Lee's presence, she would keep him in line.

"Yeah, the walk." Lee started. "I don't think that's a very good idea."

Her words broke the dreamy gaze that Jareth and Sarah shared. "Why not?" Sarah asked. "I feel fine."

It was true that she looked better, but Lee wasn't fooled. "Sarah, I had to pretty much carry you to the table this morning. Have you forgotten?"

"What?" Jareth's concerned voice rang out clearly and he looked to Sarah. "Is this true?"

Sarah nodded slowly. "The walk was very long. I grew tired much faster than I thought I would."

"You are still very weak. It was unwise to walk all the way to the dining hall without assistance."

"Yeah we found that out." Lee told Jareth matter or factly. "Yet you want to drag her around the gardens?"

Jareth shook his head. "Just a short walk. I thought that the fresh air would do Sarah some good." He reached for Sarah's hair and brushed the stray locks from her face. She looked pale again and that worried him. "But now I'm not so sure." He tenderly stroked her cheek with the backs of his fingers. "You should rest."

Sarah nodded. "I am tired. After being in bed for a few days I'm not used to activity."

"I imagine not." Jareth's voice was soft and throaty.

"Would you..?" Sarah asked and Jareth nodded knowing what she wanted of him. He gently reached for her, slipping one arm beneath her knees and the other under her back. She smiled as he settled her against him. There was once a time when she seemed repulsed by the thought of him touching her. Yet now she found comfort and security with him and it made his heart leap with joy.

Lee just watched as Jareth took Sarah carefully into his arms and she smiled up at him as if he had been doing it for years. Lee could hardly keep from smiling. They had come a long way in a short amount of time.

Without a word Jareth left the dining hall. He was barely aware that Lee was following behind him. All he could think about was Sarah. She smelled of clean soap and of springtime. Her proximately to him made the world around him feel non-existent. He felt her rest her head upon his shoulder and glanced down to see that she had fallen asleep. He entered her room, laid her down carefully on her bed and with a flick of his wrist dressed her in her nightgown. He pulled the blankets over her and gazed at her. She was so beautiful as she slept, so peaceful with her long dark hair spread out around her. He couldn't stop himself and he leaned over, placing a kiss on her forehead.

*'Sweet dreams, dearest.'*

He turned slowly from Sarah and his loving expression became cold when he saw Lee standing in the doorway. He had not meant for her to see his tender side. How could he rule with an iron fist if he appeared soft? Hastily he brushed past her and strode into the hall with a growl.

Lee closed Sarah's door and jogged after him. "Jareth, wait!"

Jareth turned with a sigh. "I am fatigued as well." He said simply. He never retired to bed this early and with no supper, but he found that he was exhausted. He'd been dealing with goblins all day and he had not received much sleep in the past few days. "I would like to rest."

Lee nodded. "Ok." He looked weary and Lee had the feeling that his exhaustion was not just due to lack of sleep. He was fighting something.

Her lack of resistance surprised Jareth, but he accepted it. "There is something I would ask." Jareth said quietly. Lee nodded. "I do not want Sarah to be alone. She is still very weak and she will be for some time to come. She will need help when she walks and she will become frustrated at times with the lack of progress."

"How long will she be like this?"

"That depends on Sarah, but I ask that you do not leave her alone, unless she is within the safety of her room. She could get hurt roaming the castle. If you can not be with her, call for the dwarf or myself and we will attend her."

"Ok, I can do that." Jareth nodded and continued on without a word. Lee watched him go. She had a lot of planning to do and very little time to do it.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 19 of 40

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