Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 32 of 40

<< Previous     Home     Next >>

Loryian was playing with a long twig, dipping it into the swirling flames. As soon as it touched the fire, he would pull it out again. Taunting the orange, yellow, blue and white colors. He, Lee and Hoggle had decided to take a break from all the walking. They were more than halfway to the castle, but their tiring legs needed a break. The night had grown cold and damp and they sat in front of a small fire they had built to keep warm.

"I never knew my real parents. I was too young to have any recollection of them." Loryian dipped the stick into the flames and watched the end burn and fall off into the fire. "The only life I have ever known has been with my father Tilan, my mother Jesseen and my older brother Broton."

Lee watched the flames make lighted patterns on Loryian's face. "Aren't you ever curious about where you came from? Don't you care to learn who your parents were?"

Loryian met Lee's eyes. "Of course." He looked away, his thoughts elsewhere before he threw the twig into the fire. "I often wonder what my real parents were like, why they wished me away. Did they run the labyrinth or was their wish a very convenient way to get rid of an unwanted baby?" He gave her a sad expression.

Lee reached over and touched his shoulder. "Lory, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked that." 'God I should just keep my mouth shut sometimes.' She looked away, obviously horrified that she had asked such an insensitive question. Curious or not she should have kept quiet.

"It's all right. I have no regrets. I love my family dearly. I could not have asked for a better one. I owe King Jareth a great deal." Loryian looked away from Lee and the fire and gazed up at the stars. His voice became quiet. "Sometimes, I wonder what it's like the world above. I'm always hearing tales of its wonder, its technology and I wish I could see it for myself. To see where I came from."

"It's changed a lot in 300 years." Lee told him.

He smiled at her. "I know that. I'm aware of the changes, but I still wish to see it with my own eyes."

"Maybe someday you will. Maybe when this is all over you could visit me there?" Lee asked with a hopeful expression. For some reason her usual boldness surprised her. Why did she always feel different around Lory?

"Your offer is most kind, but the Seelie Court would never allow it and my father, he tells me to let it lie. Fate has willed things for it to be this way and I shouldn't question that."

Lee frowned.

Loryian looked into the flames. "I wonder how Sarah is doing and King Jareth as well." He eagerly changed the subject.

Lee pulled her knees to her chin. "I hope that they are all right. God, this is all such a terrible mess. Jareth and Sarah deserve to be together, but that stupid asshole Fart has messed things up for them. When I get my hands on him he's going to wish he was never born!" She pounded a fist into the palm of her other hand for effect.

"If things are meant to work out for The King and Sarah, they will. Have faith in that." Loryian told her.

"But there must be something we can do to help them!" Lee cried out.

"We don't even know if Sarah loves him. We might not have to do anything." Hoggle said. "And besides, we shouldn't go meddlin'. The King don't like that. He always tells the goblins that meddlin' backfires on ya."

"No sah. meddling doesn't always backfire." She suddenly remembered that things had not gone so well when she had left Jareth and Sarah alone together in the garden a while back. She quickly spoke of something else. "I'm willing to bet my life on it that Sarah loves him, even if she doesn't know it yet. I've seen the way that she looks at him."

"Just because the King harbors affections for Sarah doesn't mean she feels the same way about him. You may be jumping to conclusions. We would all like to believe that Sarah has affections for King Jareth, but we don't know for sure. And besides, those affections we would like to exist would destroy him. Sarah is not free." Loryian reminded her.

"I know that!" Lee cried out. "And I know that Sarah is going to flip out when she finds out about that curse." She angrily kicked at a small stone and sent it into the fire. Hundreds of tiny sparks flew into the air and drifted away, burning out as they reached the cool air. With a shuddering sigh she lowered her chin to rest on her knees that she had drawn to her chest. Loryian watched with concern. Her mood kept changing.

"Why did this have to happen? Why did Jareth chose Sarah? This is such a big stupid mess. It's not fair!"

Hoggle groaned. "Please don't say that."

Loryian inched closer to Lee and gently draped an arm around her shoulder. "Sometimes things happen and we have no control over them. All we can do is make the best of what has happened and move on."

"How the hell can you make the best of knowing that Jareth's going to go crazy? How the hell are Sarah and I going to leave this place knowing that Jareth isn't going to be ok? I could never live with myself knowing that and what about Sarah? How would that effect her?" There were tears in her eyes.

"You almost sound as if you care about Jareth." Hoggle let out.

"I do care about him. He loves my best friend enough to give up his future and his sanity! He cared for her when she was sick and dying, he was a friend to her when she needed one and he saved her in that ballroom when everyone else was laughing at her. He's taken good care of Sarah. How could I not care about him?" She shot back angrily.

Loryian gently squeezed her arm. "We all have frayed nerves right now. Getting angry and upset isn't going to help."

Lee sighed. She knew that he was right. Going off like an explosive rocket wasn't going to help. She lowered her head, chin to her chest and closed her eyes. She felt Loryian gently rubbing her back. He leaned closer to her and ran his fingers through her short red hair.

"Your hair is so short. Do many women in the above world wear their hair like this?"

"Why, you don't approve of it?" She asked, not moving.

"I didn't say that. It is just unusual for women here to have short hair."

"Well men here have long hair like women, why can't women have short hair like men?"

Loryian chuckled. "You make a very good point." He stared at her intently and Lee felt quite uncomfortable. She glanced over to Hoggle, hoping that Loryian would remember the dwarf was there with them. Hoggle was rummaging through his pouch of jewels and was completely oblivious to the two humans who sat across from him.

A finger smoothed her cheek and her eyes shot to Loryian. "You are very beautiful." He whispered only loud enough for her to hear.

Lee looked away, very uncomfortably. "Th-thanks." She stammered.

Loryian continued to look at her intensely. "I'm very fond of you. Do you know that?" He gently kissed her cheek.

Lee stood abruptly, severing the contact harshly. "We've wasted enough time sitting. We need to make it to the castle." Her tone was bitter, almost angry and Loryian watched in silence, though the confusion was written all over his face. What had he done wrong?

"Huh?" Hoggle asked suddenly noticing that Lee was standing and walking away.

'We've wasted enough time here, let's go." Lee told him forcefully.

Hoggle's brows drew together but he nodded and stood. Loryian was already putting out the fire. Lee ignored him. She could feel his eyes on her back, but she didn't turn to face him.

* * *

A soft moan awakened Sarah. Her eyes flew open and she felt a body pressed closely to her own. Her cheek was pressed against the warmth of someone's chest. She knew who it belonged to when she saw the steady glow of Jareth's pendant just beside her face.

She picked up her head to notice that she and Jareth were sitting up and that they were still in the Escher room. The sun had not yet risen, but it would rise soon. The sky was already a palette of oranges, pinks, purples and yellows outside the stone arched windows.

She gazed up and into Jareth's face. "I'd forgotten how uncomfortable stone floors and walls can be." He joked lightly. Sarah glanced down to realize that she had curled up against him, her entire body resting against his. He had taken the brunt of the uncomfortable bed they had unwillingly chosen. Sarah started to move away from him so that he could get up, but he pulled her back to him.

"Please don't.." He whispered. He gazed into her eyes and then lightly touched her face. "I don't know how many more times I will be able to share a moment like this with you."

Sarah's eyes filled with tears. "Please don't speak like that."

"I'm sorry."

Sarah leaned against him and she felt him stroke her hair. She gazed at the glowing pendant that rested by her face. After a few moments, she let her fingers stray to the metal that should have been cold, but instead was warm and alive with feelings and emotions. She could feel the intense emotions again. They coursed her body like blood, filling her entire being. The feelings amazed her as did something else. Jareth let out a soft groan, barely audible and allowed his head to fall back. Sarah pulled her hand away from the pendant and he didn't move or make a sound. Experimenting, she slowly ran her fingers over the metal again. Jareth shivered and another soft groan escaped his lips.

Sarah's jaw dropped. "Ca-can you feel me touching the pendant?" She curled her hand to her chest, suddenly afraid to touch the glowing object that had fascinated her moments before.

Jareth let out a sigh and gazed down at her. He nodded slowly. "You're touching my feelings, Sarah. My feelings are not just held within the pendant. It is a sort of extension of myself. It isn't just a beacon that shows what I feel. It has become a part of me."

How could he explain to her that when she ran her fingers over the pendant so gently that it was as if she were doing the same to his skin. It was a frightening and exhilarating feeling. Arousing and dangerous. No doubt that was planned by the Seelie court. He could get into trouble letting her to continue to touch it. He carefully tucked it into his shirt and glanced at her.

Noticing her bewildered expression he kissed her forehead and chuckled at this whole ridiculous situation. "This is all a bit much for you isn't it?"

She nodded. "That's an understatement. Tonight I was deceived and attacked by Dartaynian and barely escaped. I learned about the curse that was placed on you. I learned that I could destroy you. I learned of your feelings for me." 'I realized that I love you and I can never tell you.I can never be with you.' Her eyes glistened with tears.

Sleep seemed to have helped Jareth pull himself together. He made sure that he was strong for Sarah. He saw the tears in Sarah's eyes and gently pulled her against him. He ignored his protesting body, which was tying to tell him that it would like to move off of the hard stone floor. "I am sorry that I have pulled you into this." He told her softly. "If there were anything I could do to change this all, I would do it."

"No! Don't you dare try to change a thing!" She cried out pulling back. "No reordering time, no sending me back. I don't want to go, I don't want for this to have never happened. God Jareth, I l-" She quickly snapped her mouth shut. She was horrified by what she had nearly admitted and she pulled back further. Oh god, had she just done the unthinkable?

"Sssh. I won't change anything. You have my word. There are too many who have become involved. I could not change things if I wished to."

Jareth seemed more interested in calming her and Sarah sighed when she realized that he had not noticed her near slip up.

He held her against him and glanced around the room. The room she had defeated him in 9 years ago. 'I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City.' He gazed down at her in his arms. She had gone much farther than the Goblin City and the castle. She had made her way right to the Goblin King's heart.

She had bested him in this room, but losing to her was not nearly as painful as actually losing her. He had lost her here and years later he gained her, even if for a very short time. Even if he had broken the rules again. He frowned and licked his dry lips.

"Perhaps we should leave this all behind us for now. Let us have breakfast." He gave her a brilliant smile in hopes to soothe her. He wanted to enjoy what time he could with her.

Sarah pulled back and nodded. Breakfast sounded like a good idea. The sun had risen now and she'd barely had a thing to eat at the ball last night. She shuddered at the thought of the ball. Jareth's lips against her cheek made her smile and temporarily forget the bad memories. She helped him to his feet and they made their way toward the dining hall.

They were nearly to the dining hall when a goblin, making terrible noise with his loud clattering armor stopped before them in the hallway. "Yer majesty?" The goblin asked.

"Yes?" There was a hint of annoyance in Jareth's tone. He and Sarah had finally been allowing all the bad thoughts to subside. They have been walking hand in hand, laughing about a tale that revolved around her friendship with Lee.

'This has just come fer you, sire." The goblin held up a rolled leather case.

Jareth frowned when he saw the gold emblem on one side. He took it from the goblin and nodded to the creature who remained. "You may go." Jareth told him.

Sarah noticed the sudden anger in Jareth's tone. "What is it?"

He could tell her it was nothing. He could hide it from her for just a short while. No.he couldn't do that. He had to be honest with her. He frowned at the brown leather roll. He knew damn well what it was. He had received one only one other time in his life.

"It's a summons."

"A what?"

"A summons to appear before the Seelie Court."

Sarah frowned and she felt a horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. "How do you know that without even opening it?"

He turned to face her, his expression a mix of emotions. "Because I have received one, once before." Carefully he untied the red ribbon and uncurled the leather. Cream colored parchment was revealed to his eyes. He began to read aloud.

"Jareth, High King of the Goblins, is summoned to appear in front of the Seelie Court in two day's time. He is ordered to bring with him, the mortal woman, Sarah. Charges have been presented by Dartaynian, Lord of Tabor Castle and are as follows: Assault without just reason, deception, dishonesty, betrayal, affections and intentions toward the presenter's partner who is already bound by courtship, kidnapping." Jareth couldn't finish reading the rest.

"Kidnapping, but you didn't kidnap me!" Sarah cried out. "And.and Dartaynian was the one who was dishonest and deceptive. He betrayed me and he assaulted me and tried to rape me. Jareth how can he get away with accusing these things?"

"I don't know, but he has gotten away with it. The court has heard his pleas. The proof of it remains here." He glanced at Sarah and she noticed that he was fighting to remain in control. "He didn't waste much time did he?" He tried to joke and he gestured to the parchment.

"What are we going to do, Jareth? We can fight this can't we?"

"Of course we can and we will. Yet we can fight all we want Sarah, but we're not going to win."

"Jareth." He was giving up so easily. That wasn't like him.

"Sarah, don't. It's over, don't you see?" Tears clouded Jareth's mismatched eyes as he fought to control himself. Sarah felt any hope she may have had disappear as he began to break down. "I care for you and I shouldn't. That right there will ruin this all." He crumpled the parchment in his hands. "I've failed us both." He let out in an anguished voice. Without a further word, he disappeared from the hallway in a shower of glitter.

Sarah stood shaking for a moment. She had never seen Jareth react like that before. He had broken down so quickly. Were things really that hopeless? 'Every situation, no matter how grim, contains hope, even if that hope is small.' Mrs. Miller had once told her. Sarah suddenly had an idea. She quickly pulled herself together and moved down the hallway. She needed to seek out a friend.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 32 of 40

<< Previous     Home     Next >>