Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 35 of 40

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Sarah rolled over sleepily and with a sigh, opened her eyes. She was surprised to find sunshine filtering into her room. She had meant to take a small nap after Galyon had visited. Had she slept straight through to the morning? That seemed to be the case when she saw the sunlight bathing the room with its warm light. As her eyes roamed the room, she realized that someone was sitting in a chair beside her bed. It was Jareth. He was sleeping and the sight of him made Sarah's breath catch in her throat. He was so handsome.

He was sitting back in the chair, hands folded on his chest. She smiled. With his guard down, he looked like an innocent child instead of a sometimes arrogant Goblin King.

A knock at the door halted Sarah from looking Jareth over any further.

"Yes, come in," she called softly.

Delphina stepped slowly into the room. She smiled when she saw Sarah and she didn't look so surprised to see Jareth sleeping in a chair beside the mortal's bed.

"I thought that I might find him here," Delphina whispered. Sarah smiled. "He didn't show for dinner last night. Galyon told me that Jareth was snooping around while he was healing you. Speaking of which, how do you feel?"

"A bit sore, but not too bad."

"That's good. Should I send for breakfast?"

'That would be wonderful. I'm starving." Delphina smiled and left the room in search of food.

Sarah watched Jareth sleep a short while before she moved to sit on her knees right in front of him. He must have been exhausted to have missed Delphina entering the room. Sarah watched as he took in and let out each breath. His blond hair cascaded down his shoulders and she found herself combing her fingers through it. The strands were so soft and silky, like finely spun golden threads. She leaned forward and pressed a soft kiss against Jareth's forehead. He stirred immediately and his eyes fluttered open.

Sarah smiled. "Good morning, sleepy head, " she teased.

Jareth blinked, obviously unsure of his whereabouts. "Sarah..?"

She smiled and reached out to caress his cheek. "Forget where you were for a moment?"

"No.I just. I didn't expect to fall asleep." He sat up, frowning at his wrinkled clothes. He looked like some sort of slob. Sarah didn't seem to mind, he could feel her intense gaze on him. He looked up and met it with one of his own.

Gods, but she was beautiful. Her long hair fell like a curtain of dark silk down her shoulders. Her pale skin seemed to radiate in the morning light. It took all of his strength to keep him from kissing her and taking her right now.

She smiled at him sadly. "Delphina has gone to get breakfast."

"She was here?" he asked. Sarah nodded. "Did she say what she wanted?"

Sarah shook her head. "No, she didn't say. She saw you and said that she had a feeling that this is where you had gotten off to. Then she went to get breakfast." Jareth frowned and Sarah did not miss the expression.

"What's wrong?" She asked.

He sighed deeply. "She most likely came to speak about what will happen the day after tomorrow."

Sarah lowered her head. "You mean in court."

"Yes." Jareth's answer was so quiet that Sarah wasn't even sure if she had heard it. "We should prepare you for what is to come. Delphina is a member of the court, she knows the order of events that will take place.

"Will she help us? Being a member of the court, she must have influence." Jareth shook his head. "She will not be able to help us. Her vote and her opinions might not even be accepted. She is a close friend of mine and the court will believe her words to be jaded."

Sarah sat back on the mattress. "So we have no allies to help us. We're on our own." Jareth shook his head. "We have Galyon and Lee, Loryian and Hoggle. That may be enough." "And what if it's not?" Jareth's brows furrowed and his expression was one of sadness. "We will deal with that if, or when, it comes to it."

They didn't have a chance to say another word as Delphina returned. "Ah, Jareth, you're awake."

'Good morning, Delphi. Did you sleep well?" "Very well. I've brought us all some breakfast. I thought it best to talk on a full stomach."

Sarah and Jareth glanced at each other.

"You're going to prepare me for court, aren't you?" Sarah asked.

Delphina nodded to the goblin that Jareth and Sarah had not even noticed. The creature put a large tray onto the table by Sarah's bed. He bowed before Jareth and then Delphina and was gone.

"Yes, I'm going to prepare you for court. You've never seen the Seelie Court in action. You have no idea what to expect."

"I wish that I didn't have to see the Seelie Court in action," Sarah said bitterly. This was all Dartaynian's fault. She and Jareth could be together right now if it were not for him.

"No one wants to face the court unless absolutely necessary. This is necessary. You must defend yourselves against the charges."

"They're ridiculous charges!" Sarah cried out in sudden anger. "Jareth didn't do anything wrong!"

"That is what court will hopefully realize. The Seelie Court is just despite what others say. They believe in truth and they will find it." Sarah sighed. Might as well get this over with. "What do I have to know?"

* * *

They had been riding for hours and Lee was so sore she figured that when she got down off of her horse that she wasn't going to be able to walk for a week.

"Are we there yet?" She asked. Sheesh, I sound like a little kid.


Finally, an answer! How many times had she asked where they were going and were they there yet and no one had answered? It was Loryian who had finally answered her. He must have thought her to be an impatient little brat by the annoyed tone of his voice.

"Where are we going?" Lee tried.

"To Brookhaven." Loryian replied.

"Brookhaven? Isn't that where you are from?"

"Yes, it is my homeland." Loryian said simply.

Now she was confused and a bit angry. They'd been traveling for hours, in the blazing hot sun, to go to Lory's homeland? "Ok, stupid question, but what the hell does your homeland have to do with Dartaynian cheating on Sarah? I mean cuz if this is a joy ride, which it isn't for me, I can't even feel my legs, then I'm going back to Jareth's kingdom."

"Go back if you wish," Loryian told her. He sounded very annoyed.

"Look, why don't you take the stick out of your ass, ok? I'm sweating my butt off in the hot sun, I can't feel my legs and we are taking a joy ride to your fucking homeland? We're supposed to be helping Jareth and Sarah, remember?!" Lee knew that she was being harsh, but she didn't care. She felt as if the last several hours riding had been for nothing.

Loryian spun his horse around and galloped it to Lee. Hoggle, who was riding a pony that belonged to Jareth's stables, trotted out of the way and into the lead to get away from the two hot heads that he was riding with.

"Look, I don't know what your problem is," Loryian started.

"My problem? What about you?!" Lee shot back.

"Me? You are suddenly acting as if I am diseased. You won't look me in the eyes; you won't accept my compliments. You are acting like a bitter, cynical woman around me and it was quite a sudden transformation. Have I offended you? Because if I have, I would like to correct the wrong, right now." Lee's jaw dropped. She had expected a fight. "I.."

Loryian sighed and walked his horse to stand directly beside Lee's. She suddenly looked as if she was going to cry. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you. It's just.we started off so well and now." He frowned. He noticed that Hoggle had stopped his pony and was watching. "Hoggle, go on ahead and make sure the road is clear," Loryian ordered.

Hoggle looked to Lee to see if she was ok. She nodded at him. "Go on Hoggle. Make sure the road is clear." Hoggle nodded and nudged the pony forward.

"Please, Lee, if I said or did anything to offend you, I beg of you to tell me what it is, so that I may correct it." Lee bit her lip and unexpectedly buried her face into her hands. She couldn't stop the tears that suddenly filled her eyes. She felt Loryian's arms wrap around her as he leaned over in the saddle to comfort her.

"What is it? Please tell me." His voice was soft and full of concern.

Lee pulled away from him, tears streaming down her face. Loryian's brows furrowed as he watched her. She had been so strong when he had first met her. What had happened?

"Oh, Lory, you haven't done anything wrong. It's me, it's all me." She looked disgusted with herself.

Loryian lifted a hand to cradle her cheek, but she pulled away from him.

'You? You haven't done anything wrong. You have fought for the honor of your friend, you saved her from being hurt further, you are determined to find a way to set her free from the tyrant who has trapped her. You've done no wrong."

"I haven't done any wrong here, home." Loryian was suddenly understanding. "There is something you are ashamed of. Something from the past?" He guessed.

Lee nodded.

"Lee, I'm sure that whatever it is, is not a terrible thing. You are an astounding woman, unlike any I have ever met in the Underground. Surely things can not be as bad as you make them out to be?"

Lee squeezed her eyes shut. Her wild lifestyle had caught up with her. Oh, how she should have listened to Sarah a long time ago. She was ashamed of her past, ashamed of how she had lived and she had never known it until now. Being a wild child never made her happy. It just kept her from thinking about how she truly felt.

"You are right that I am not like other women," She started shakily.

"Yes, and that makes you exquisite."

Lee turned away from him. "No! It makes me undesirable and, and.worthless and used!"

"You stop that right now. " Loryian told her. "I am very fond of you. You are not worthless." "Yes, I am! I'm not like you! I'm not like the Fae! I don't know anything about honor and love and.bonding! All I know about is sex and how to get negative attention and being a smart ass!"

"What are you trying to tell me? That you have had relationships in the past? That you acted human?"

Lee turned to face him. Her eyes widened in surprise at his words.

"Yes, that's right. I know how humans behave. I am one, remember?"

"But've grown up with the Fae. You went off last night about bonding and what the Fae believe." "Very good, what the Fae believe. Not what humans believe, not what I believe."


"I'm not Fae, Lee. I'm human, just as you are." How could he make her see?

"But you're so innocent and I'm." She lowered her chin to her chest and shut her eyes.

"You're what? Not a virgin? You have had relationships, intimate or otherwise? You've made mistakes in your life like any other human. Do you think that makes any difference to me?"

Lee's head shot up and she looked into his blue eyes.

"I'm not the only human here. I know about my kind. I even followed in their footsteps in the past. I'm not the innocent you make me out to be. Sure, I was somewhat nervous about asking a very beautiful woman to dance at the ball, but I'm not naive." He lowered his voice and looked into her eyes. "I know about intimacy, I know about desire. I've had relationships, just as you have."

Lee's eyes widened. "'ve had relationships?" Loryian nodded. "I didn't always accept the Fae lifestyle so easily. Even though I was too young to remember where I had come from, I noticed things. I began reacting differently to situations than the Fae do and I didn't understand why. Not until I met more of my own kind. I'm human and I don't have the same instincts that Fae do. I revolted against the ways of my family when I was a teenager. I didn't believe in bonding, I didn't believe in soul mates. I had several relationships. One with a Fae, the others with humans. None of them amounted to anything but heartbreak. It wasn't until much later that I changed. And even though I preach the ways of the Fae now, at times I still don't agree with them. I do believe in love and I have learned that there is a thing such as soul mates. I just haven't found mine yet."

Loryian sighed. "But please, don't go thinking and assuming that I know nothing about my people. I know my own instincts, my urges, my desires. And I know that the first time that I saw you, my heart wouldn't stop pounding in my chest." Lee looked away shyly, and Loryian gently touched her chin and turned her to face him. "You were, and still are, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, in more ways than one."

Lee cracked a smile through her tears. "That is such bullshit. How can you say that with all of those flawless Fae women? Nice try."

'They have flaws, many flaws. Most of them are beneath the surface. I am not attracted to their beauty. I am attracted to you." Lee let out a shuddering breath at Lory's words, and she turned away from him.

Loryian panicked. He felt as if he was losing her. "Why do my words frighten you so?"

"Because I'm not used to them, Lory. No one has ever said things like that to me. I don't know how to react."

"You don't have to react. Just accept what I've said, because it is the truth. You are beautiful and exquisite, bold and exciting. You speak your mind, you're not afraid to stand up for your beliefs and I am attracted to all of that. I am attracted to everything that makes you who you are, good and bad." He saw her unwillingness to accept his words. He reached for her hands and kissed each one. "I do not care about what happened in your past. I care about now. I care about you, the woman in front of me."

He rubbed his thumbs gently over her hands. "I would very much like for us to be friends.and if things proceed well, I would like to court you."

Lee's eyes widened and then they fluttered closed as Loryian leaned over and kissed her gently on the mouth. It was a soft, short kiss and he pulled back almost immediately.

"I want to learn everything about you.Lee Matthews. We could go as slow or as quickly as you like, it makes no difference to me as long as I can be with you."

Tears began to pool in Lee's eyes. For a moment she feared this would be something like what Dartaynian had asked Sarah, but that fear passed when she saw the look in Loryian's eyes. He was being completely serious and honest. There was no mistaking that.

Slowly she nodded to him. "Ok. But don't expect everything to be smooth sailing, ok? This is a bit different than what I am used to."

Loryian smiled a genuine smile and kissed her hands again. "Then we shall take all the time you need to feel comfortable. I have the patience of an immortal Fae. I will wait all of eternity if that is what it takes to be with you." He was serious when he meant that she would set the pace.

"Now," he started grinning from ear to ear. "I believe you wished to know why we are traveling to my kingdom." He nudged his horse forward and Lee did the same to hers as they continued on the road to Brookhaven.


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 35 of 40

<< Previous     Home     Next >>