Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 26 of 40

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Sarah clutched Jareth's hand in her own tightly as he led her away from the ballroom. Her cheek stung and her heart was heavy with grief at her new discovery. Her anger had long since fled her and she found that herself breaking down. The farther she and Jareth got from the ball room, the weaker her strength over her emotions became. The tears streamed down her face and she could not stop them. Her usual strength had left her the moment Dartaynian's hand had slapped her.

Jareth finally stopped, out of breath in a dark hallway. His heart ached in his chest at the sight of Sarah crying. She had been humiliated in front of Dartaynian's subjects and friends and she had learned exactly what the lord of this land was like. He should have attempted to tell her. He damned himself. Perhaps Lee may have been right. Maybe the hurt would have been less had he attempted to tell her.

Jareth didn't waste any time and he twirled one hand to make a crystal. He attempted to bring them back to his castle and would bring Hoggle and Lee, later. But his magic would not work. Dartaynian had found a way to safe guard his castle from any who used magic. It wasn't something unheard of at times like this. Many lords protected their castle or kingdoms with a spell that would prevent anyone other than themselves from using magic. Often this was done at such gatherings to keep the peace. If Jareth wanted to bring Sarah back to his castle, they would either have to walk to the outskirts of Dart's kingdom, or ride.

But Sarah was in no condition to do either. She was clutching him tightly and she was very aware of the small crowd of servants who had stopped to gawk at her and the Goblin King. Jareth entered a room and pulled Sarah inside with him to get away from the servants prying eyes. Once inside, Sarah buried her face into Jareth's chest and began to sob loudly.

"I'm such..a .fool." She managed between sobs.

Jareth kissed her hair and stroked her arms as he held her. "You're not a fool..."

She wrenched back from him, her anger had returned and this time for herself. "'Not a fool?'" she echoed. "Lee and Hoggle tried to tell me what he was like! And I was so damned blind!"

Jareth swallowed. "Love does that at times." he whispered softly.

"But I don't love him! I never have and I never will! He was a friend and that is all that I ever wanted him to be!"

"Then why did you agree to court him?" The words came spilling from Jareth's lips before he could stop them.

"I agreed to court him as a friend! He knew I was here only for a vacation. I told him I wasn't looking for a relationship."

"Sarah, there is no such thing as courting as a friend here. Two friends that court.." Jareth took a deep breath, looking quite vulnerable. ".do so with the intention to wed."

Sarah gasped. "What? But he knows that I'm not staying here! And if he felt that strongly about me, why did he just throw himself all over that woman in there? If he cared for me at all then why did he do that? He doesn't care for me!" She pulled further away from Jareth and turned her back on him. She hugged herself and shivered. "He's no different than anyone else. He doesn't want me! No one wants me!" Her words tumbled forth from her grief, her humiliation, her anger and her loss. From not only today, but through her life.

Jareth took a deep breath. "Sarah, you can't mean that.." Didn't she have any idea how much she meant to him?

She spun to face him. "I do mean it because it's true!" Tears streamed down her cheeks.

"How can you say and believe that?"

Sarah ignored his pained expression. "How? Let me tell you. My mother left me when I was 10 years old! She left me behind for her acting career and she never came back! At first I heard from her with cards and presents at Christmas, but those stopped too! If she loved me and wanted me, she wouldn't have left, wouldn't have severed all contact! And my father, did he love me and want me when he left me in that apartment? You saw it for yourself! It was a dump!" She started breaking down, choking on her tears as she continued on bitterly. "And David led me on.he never really wanted me..and .and.John.John.he..." She lost it completely at that point and she sagged toward the ground, sobbing hysterically.

Jareth was at her side in an instant and he pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her. Sarah buried her face into his neck as he whispered softly into her ear. She was feeling sorry for herself and she had every right to. Her life had not been easy and Jareth was certain now that she had not talked much of her troubles with anyone. Lee knew of Sarah's troubles, but judging from the way Sarah broke down the two had never seriously talked about them.

"No one wants me and no one ever will." She sobbed bitterly.

"That's totally untrue!" Jareth cried out at her. The raising of his voice made her pull back and she looked into his face with surprise. She saw desperation in his eyes, along with something else that thrilled and frightened her at the same time.

"What of Hoggle, Didymus, Ludo? They all love you. They are your friends and they care for you. They all defied me, their King, to help you through the Labyrinth." He stroked her face, careful to not touch the bruise that was forming on her cheek. "What of Lee? She is the most devoted friend I have ever met. She tried all she could to help you here with your recovery, even staying longer then she expected and not once did she ask for something in return? Did she?" Sarah shook her head, her tears still falling. "She cares for you, wants and needs your friendship."

Jareth took a deep, shaky breath. "And what of me, Sarah?" The desperation in his eyes was accompanied by desperation in his voice. "Do you truly believe that I don't care? That I don't...that I don't want you?" He drew a shuddering breath at the dangerous ground he tread on and forced himself to stop before he told her too much and lost everything. He could already feel himself being drawn to her.

Sarah gazed at him, the look in Jareth's eyes was so intense. She noticed that his pendant was glowing brighter than she had ever seen it before. In fact it was illuminating the dark room they were in. She realized that it always glowed when she was around him. He couldn't possibly..? No.there was no way. Yet the way he was looking at her... What he had admitted to her that he once felt.could he still?

Jareth closed his eyes, his voice full of pain. "You can't possibly believe that because a few were foolish, that no one else wants you."

Tears escaped from Sarah's eyes as she watched the Goblin King, his head bowed. She had hurt him by saying that no one wanted her. It was quite obvious to her at this moment that he did want her and he seemed to be fighting himself over it.

He didn't move as she stared at him. He stood in the same position with his head bowed, eyes clamped shut, his arms loosely around her body. Sarah felt confusion wash over her. This was the most vulnerable she had ever see him. She knew how she felt about him, but what if their friendship was all a lie as well? What if he had deceived her as Dartaynian had? Yet she couldn't bring herself to believe that was true. Lee trusted him and it went far beyond her physical attraction to him. And what of Hoggle? Hoggle didn't seem so bitter with the King any longer. She didn't expect the two to become friends overnight, but Hoggle seemed to trust Jareth and got along with him for the most part.

Jareth's eyes opened slowly as for a few moments they stood in complete silence. "Jareth.I-" He shook his head, looking so pained as he placed a finger over her lips to silence her. He ran his fingers over her arm in an attempt to comfort her. Sarah realized that it was true. He did want her, but he was trying to respect her wishes. He didn't want to push her past friendship. Once again, he was doing what he thought she wanted.

Sarah gently reached for his hand and removed it from her face. Jareth watched her with a mix of curiosity and confusion. She reached for his hair, her fingers combing through the soft, long blond locks. They strayed from his hair to his face and Jareth's eyes fluttered closed at the touch. He had to pull away now or he was going to lose it completely.

And he did lose it completely as her lips sought and met his. First it was the feel of pressure combined with incredible feelings of desire. Pressure of lips, release, pressure, release. He allowed his bottom lip to lower as he sought more from her, gently taking control of her mouth. All thought of pushing her away fled him as she responded. Her lips were softer than he had ever imagined or dreamed of. Their kisses were innocent, yet still passionate as they tasted and discovered each other. He felt her hands slide up the front of his coat and he pushed himself closer to her, unable to deny the feelings that suddenly rose within him. A warmth stirred in his groin as she moved closer to him, her hands seeking the flesh beneath his shirt. Is this what lust felt like? Is this what one felt when they were close to bonding? He had never felt anything like this, for anyone.

The outside thoughts vanished as their kisses became more forceful. He gently traced her lips with his tongue, still mindful of the bruise on her face and she allowed him entrance to her mouth. The world around him became hazy, clouded and unimportant. He cared about nothing else as he began to lose himself to her touch. His pendant glowed fiercely against his chest, he could feel the heat of it, but he ignored it. He didn't care about the curse anymore. He realized that he didn't care that she was still Dartaynian's by law. Sarah was meant to be his and he was meant to be hers. Rules and laws that stated otherwise, be damned.

He wanted to tell her, he had to. He had such an urge to tell her exactly what he felt for her, he thought that he might burst. She should know that he loved her with every fiber of his being. She should know that he would sacrifice everything to be with her and that he would do anything to protect her.

"Sarah.I.." he started breathlessly. She shushed him as her mouth reached for his. She teased him by taking his lower lip gently between her teeth and then with her lips. The words never fell forth as their frantic kisses began all over again. Jareth felt as if he couldn't get close enough to her, even though she was pressed tightly against him. The warmth in his groin had turned into an aching desire and he knew now exactly what he felt. His body wanted to bond with her, to make her rightfully his. He counted on instinct alone to guide him. Sarah seemed to be responding to similar feelings and instincts as she reached for one of his hands and positioned it on one breast. She wanted this as badly as he did! He'd had no idea that she felt this way about him.

They shouldn't be doing this he realized...Not in Dartaynian's castle, but he found that he didn't care. Yet this should wait, until he could bring her to that special place within his Labyrinth where he had always dreamed of bonding with his future queen. The outside world was a forgotten place as he lost himself to her. Her hands had found the warmth of his flesh and he kissed her hungrily as she ran her hands beneath his shirt and up the front of his chest.

A loud crash startled them cruelly out of their heated embrace. They drew away from each other, breathing hard and almost in disbelief at what they had just been doing. Further realization led them to notice that the loud crash they had heard was the sound of the door hitting the wall as it was swung open harshly.

They both turned toward the door and there stood Dartaynian. He looked smug, with his hands on his hips. Jareth should have felt satisfaction when he saw the ugly bruise that had formed on Dartaynian's face from his shot at him. But he didn't. The realization of what he had been doing with Sarah, the curse, everything suddenly overwhelmed him.

"Well, isn't this charming..and she calls me a deceiving bastard." Dartaynian wrinkled his nose in disgust as jealousy reared it's ugly head. Visions of the scene he had just witnessed flashed over and over in his mind. Sarah had never kissed him, yet she had allowed the Goblin King to kiss her.

"I can explain." Jareth started immediately. The Goblin King's cold arrogant mask was in place but it had been more difficult for him to pull than it had ever been. He found himself still floating in the aftermath of Sarah's touch and his own feelings.

"You have much explaining to do, especially in front of the Seelie Court when you receive your summons." Dart spat bitterly. Jareth winced visibly and Dart sneered. He reached for Sarah and attempted to drag her along with him.

"Let me go!" She cried out. She suddenly hated this man and the mere thought of him touching her made her feel ill.

"You are mine, Sarah. You should do well to remember that." Dart told her.

Sarah's eyes widened and she swung at him. "I belong to no one but myself! I never want to see you again!"

Dart chuckled. "This isn't the world above, dear. You can not merely 'dump' me, I believe the term is. You agreed to this courtship."

"I agreed to see you as a friend and not a thing more!" Sarah shouted still trying to twist away.

"I'm afraid it doesn't work that way here." Dart smiled wickedly at Jareth who was staring coldly back at him. He turned back to Sarah. "You agreed to court me and here that means that you belong to me until we both agree to separate."

"Well I want to separate and right now! I don't ever want to see your face again!" Sarah still was not understanding.

Dart chuckled again and the sound was not a pleasant one. "Yes, but you see, I do NOT wish to separate. This is a mutual agreement after all. We both have to agree and I my dear, do not."

"But you don't love me! You made that painfully obvious that you don't give a damn about me. You lied to me about this ball being thrown in my honor, you ignored me all night until Jareth appeared and then you flaunted yourself at that..that woman!"

"Were you jealous?" He teased.

"No! I was pissed off for not realizing what an asshole you really are in the first place!!"

"Dear, such colorful language." He tisked. "You will stop seeing that Lee Matthews girl straight away. I will not have my lady talking in such a manner to her lord."

"Go to hell!" Sarah cried out at him and she slapped him hard across the face. The unexpected blow caused Dartaynian to release her as he touched his stinging cheek. Sarah rushed to Jareth and she nearly cried when he didn't make any attempt to take her into his arms.

"Go and run to Jareth. He will do nothing for you, for there is nothing he can do. You are mine, little mortal and you will be until the day you die. Now that I know of the Goblin King's feelings for you, I will never let you go."

Sarah wanted to cry. She suddenly understood what had happened and it was overwhelming. Had she known that Dartaynian could have such a hold over her, she would never have agreed to a courtship. She was trapped until he wanted to release her and she didn't see a chance of that happening. Sarah glanced to Jareth who stood stiffly beside her. She could almost see the turmoil that he felt. He had feelings for her just as he had so long ago. He had just proved them to her only moments before. She realized that something prevented Jareth from intervening, no matter what he felt for her. It made her sick with dread and fear.

Dartaynian nearly snickered when he saw Jareth's uncomfortable stance. "Go on and admit that you love her, goblin. I want to watch the satisfaction drain from your pathetic face as she either denies you and gives you a beggars life or admits that she feels the same. I want to see the expression on your face as you start to realize what it will be like to live the rest of your life knowing that you can never have her!"

"Jareth, what is he talking about?" Sarah asked him, clutching his arm.

Jareth didn't look at her. Instead he glared icily at Dartaynian. If looks could kill, Dartaynian would have been dead.

Dart chuckled. "Yeah, that's what I thought. You've told her nothing. Once a fool always a fool, eh goblin?" He scratched his chin and winced having forgotten his bruised face. "And you were foolish to assault me, Goblin King. I will see your kingdom taken from you for that."

"I had every right to avenge her."

"Oh really? Do tell how that is possible." Dart crossed his arms over his chest looking quite amused.

"She is my friend in every TRUE sense of the word, something you wouldn't know anything about. I had every right to avenge her. For once I followed the rules."

Dart snorted, looking unconvinced. "So what. You still broke all the others. You fell for my woman and you will pay dearly for turning her against me."

"You turned me against you, yourself!" Sarah shouted out at him. Dartaynian grabbed her harshly to him before she or Jareth could react.

Dart sneered at Jareth who glared daggers at the Lord of Tabor Castle. "I'll see you in court, Goblin." With a wave of his hand, Jareth was gone from the room.

Sarah felt herself tense. "What have you done with him?" Her eyes were wide with fear.

"Sent him home is all. He'll spend the next few hours trying to figure out how to return, only to discover that he can't." Dart laughed.

"Why are you doing this?" Tears threatened to fall, but she wouldn't let them. She was stronger than this.

Dartaynian jerked her to her feet. "Because I owe Jareth for ruining my future. I lost the woman I loved and was prepared to bond with to a friendship with him that became nothing. He even helped her bond and wed another while I was left in solitude! So now he shall feel the same. He will be the other man and he will spend the rest of his life, pining for a future that will never be his! And you my dear.." He pulled Sarah closer to him and she tried to wiggle away. "You will repair the damage and trouble you have caused me tonight."

Sarah's eyes widened with fear as she saw the hungry look in his eyes. "You will pleasure me and I will take great pride in stealing your mortal innocence. I will take it from you before Jareth ever has the chance to take it."

Sarah twisted away violently, but she was no match for Dartaynian's strength. "No! You can't do this!" She cried out in horror. "Please! Don't do this!" He was going to rape her and there was no one to save her. He'd sent Jareth away.who knew where Lee and Hoggle were, probably back at the castle beyond the Goblin City as well.

"I CAN do it, and I WILL." Dart smiled devilishly and with a twist of his hand they appeared in his bedchamber. He reached for Sarah in the darkness and she screamed, kicking him away from her. He advanced angrily and hit her face, knocking her back forcefully onto the bed. She began to cry as he reached for her dress and tried to pull it from her body. She fought against him and he continued to hit her to discourage her. She was no match for him, but that didn't stop her from trying.


* * *

Jareth tried unsuccessfully once again to return to Tabor Castle, only to learn that his magic was ineffective. A blood curdling cry echoed in his mind. Sarah's frantic voice calling his name. Their kiss had brought him closer than he would have dared to go. It had sparked his instinct to bond with her and now he was nearly connected to her. Her cries penetrated him and he fell against one wall of his throne room in anguish. Sarah was in trouble and he could not even protect her. He collapsed to the floor, burying his face in his hands. He had to save her, needed to, but there was no possible way. He was going crazy all ready and he'd yet to admit a thing to her. The pendant burned against him reminding him of the position he'd put himself in. It was too late to turn back, for his heart had already chosen her as the one.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 26 of 40

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