Continuing Tales


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 38 of 40

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The silence that had occupied the courtroom vanished in seconds as the crowd went wild at hearing Jareth's words. They were shouting and talking, the noise so loud that it was deafening. The High Prefect made no move to silence them.

Dartaynian was sneering and laughing. He could not have planned this better. Jareth would suffer and he would remain victorious.

Sarah stood perfectly still, her eyes had not left Jareth's face. He had said the words and had now trapped himself and bound himself to her. There was no turning back now, for he was doomed to follow her shadow with no real hope of ever being with her. Sarah wasn't even aware that she was crying until the tears streamed down her cheeks and fell upon the hand that was clutched to her breast.

Amidst the chaos of the crowd and the court, Delphina lowered her head into her hands and wept.

Jareth nearly stumbled as soon as the words fell forth from his lips. He grabbed onto the podium to keep from falling. He was suddenly dizzy and no matter how hard he tried to fight it with his magic, it overwhelmed him. Imaginary walls built themselves around him, restraining him. Sarah was almost all he could think about and immediately his gaze fell upon her. He could see her crying and it tore his heart to shreds, but he didn't show her that. It was by some miracle alone that he managed to keep up his Goblin King demeanor.

For one moment, the High Prefect looked and felt as if his decision had been wrong. But that appearance faded quickly. The crowd and now the court were shouting and talking about what had just been admitted.

"Recess, one half hour!" The High Prefect called loudly. His voice was barely heard over the chaos in the courtroom. He immediately saw to it that he was escorted out of the courtroom.

Before things got out of hand, Dartaynian, Sarah and Jareth were also escorted from the room by guards armed with swords. The moment they left the view of the crowd, Jareth stumbled and nearly fell. He felt so restrained. It was if something was choking the life out of him and anything he did to fight this unseen force only made matters worse. Dartaynian snickered as he witnessed the transformation. All too soon the Goblin King would be a beggar. Begging for the life with a woman that could never be his.

Sarah rushed to Jareth not caring that several guards watched her do so. She immediately tried to help him walk, seeing his difficulty.

Dartaynian reached for her. He grasped her hard by the arm, pulling her away from Jareth, and watched with satisfaction as the Goblin King lost his balance and nearly fell down. "Let him go, my dear. He's worthless to you now. I, on the other hand, can be most useful. You will need a protector in this world. I am willing to let the past die and be forgotten. Including your treachery, if you accept me."

Sarah twisted in Dartaynian's grip and then, without warning, slapped him hard across the face. "You delusional bastard! As if I would ever accept you after what you did to me! After what you did to Jareth!"

Dartaynian still held Sarah's arm and he pulled her to him, her wild struggles only urging him on. He gripped her so hard that she cried out, her voice echoing down the interior halls of the Seelie Court building. Dartaynian pushed her against the wall, not caring that a few guards were watching. It mattered little if they saw him beat her. The damage to Jareth had already been done and that was what he had come for. Beating a woman surely wouldn't get him in much trouble since she did belong to him.

As Dartaynian raised one hand in preparation to hit Sarah, he suddenly found himself with his back slammed to the wall and the eyes of a murderous Goblin King glaring down at him. Dartaynian struggled beneath the death like grip that held him to the wall, but stopped as Jareth pressed a knee into the top of his thigh. One false move and Jareth's knee could slip and Dartaynian knew that he would have a very nasty pain in his groin. A blow from an enemy in any other place would not have frightened him so, but with Jareth's raging anger, Dartaynian was actually afraid for himself. He had been told by many women that he was quite blessed and Dartaynian intended to stay blessed if he could help it. He didn't move a muscle.

Jareth snarled as he spoke, his actions more like that of a wild animal than a man. "I don't care if she's your partner by law or not. If you ever attempt to touch or hurt Sarah again, I will kill you."

"Go ahead, Goblin." Dartaynian challenged. "Why don't you do it right now and get it over with?" Dartaynian's fear was gone instantly. There were armed guards in this room. What could Jareth possibly get away with while in the presence of 4 men with iron swords?

"In front of witnesses? Do you think I'm stupid? Unlike you, who instigated this entire thing in front of armed guards!" Without any warning, Jareth swept one booted foot beneath Dartaynian's feet and tripped the Lord, forcing him to go sprawling onto the ground, face first.

Dartaynian scrambled to his feet, teeth gritted together, fists clenched, breathing quick ragged breaths. If Jareth wanted a fight, he would give him one, but Jareth was already moving away with Sarah clinging to his arm. "You can hide for a short while, Goblin, but once we are back in that courtroom we'll see who has the upper hand! We'll just see!" The guards watched Dartaynian as he yelled. "What are you looking at! Good for nothings! Why don't you stop them?"

"Because they did not start this, my Lord. And further more, no real harm came to you." One guard told him.

Dartaynian growled and stomped away down the hall like a child.

* * *

Jareth steered Sarah into a small room and away from the prying eyes of others.

"Jareth, why did you do that!? That was foolish!" She cried out at him once they were alone. There were tears in her eyes and she was struggling to keep in control.

"You would have had me allow him to continue hurting you? I'm sorry if you did not agree with my actions, Sarah, but I wasn't going to stand idly by while he hurt the woman I love!" Jareth shouted angrily. His heart was pounding in his chest and remaining angry was nearly the only thing keeping him from breaking down.

His words tore down Sarah's walls of strength. She buried her face into her hands and began to sob. Twice Jareth moved to take her into his arms and twice he backed away. He couldn't afford to touch her or he would lose it. He was barely in control and this was his only chance to save her.

He turned away from her and walked to the other side of the small room. He let his fingers glide over a small statue of an owl on a table that sat with statues of many other animals that his kind could change into. The owl was in mid flight, wild and free. Unable to deal with seeing it, he tossed it to the ground and watched it shatter into hundreds of tiny pieces.

The noise made Sarah look up. She stared at Jareth's back and did so for quite some time. Jareth simply refused to look at her.

"They will no doubt ask you, what you feel for me." He said softly. "You must deny that you feel anything for me." Jareth's voice turned cold and emotionless.


He turned to face her now, his eyes full of anguish. "You WILL deny that you feel anything for me, is that understood?"

"You can't make me do that, Jareth!" She cried out at him. Why did he want her to deny him? She didn't want to be the one to give him the final blow.

"You stupid girl! Do you realize what will happen to you if you don't deny me?"

"I don't care! I just don't want to see you hurt anymore, Jareth! I see the pain in your eyes!" She sobbed. "I.I don't want to be the one to deny you, to. take away your freedom!"

Jareth stood up straighter and his eyes suddenly filled with arrogance. He amazed himself at times, being able to gain such control.

"It does not matter. Either way, my future will not be as I wish it could be. You don't understand how things work here, Sarah. If you admit that you feel anything other than friendship for me, they will kill you and they will do so without a second thought. If you do not wish to see me at my most vulnerable state then you WILL deny me. I would rather live without you, knowing that you live and thrive Aboveground than to witness your execution."

Sarah gasped. " My ex..execution?"

"Yes. If you admit you feel something for me, that will be treason because you are bound to Dartaynian through courtship. Such a treason is punishable by death."

Sarah's eyes widened as she took in the full effect of Jareth's words.

Jareth moved toward her now, the pain was beginning to show in his eyes again. He was finding it more and more difficult to hide it. "As soon as this is over, I will send you home. Only I have the power to do so. Dartaynian won't be able to find you and the court will not be able to break the protection spell I put over you."

Jareth moved closer to her. "I will hurt, no matter what happens, but at least this way, I can see you live. And. maybe someday we might be able to see each other again." He told her softly with a small smile. There were tears in his eyes now. Jareth knew that he would never be able to see her again, but if he told her they had a chance, perhaps she would agree to his request.


He stepped closer, his body mere inches from hers. "Please, Sarah. Promise me that you will deny me before the court. I've accepted my fate, you must accept it was well. If you want to help me, deny me and save yourself.please."

Tears streamed down Sarah's cheeks and Jareth moved his thumb over her skin to wipe them away.

"Promise me, Sarah." He whispered.

Sarah bit her lip. "I.I promise."

She moved forward to bury her face into Jareth's chest, but he stepped away from her. She reached for him in confusion and Jareth shook his head, his control barely intact. He turned away from her at the sight of her pained expression and seconds later he fled the room before he lost his control forever.

* * *

The courtroom was still bustling with activity when Jareth, Sarah and Dartaynian returned to it. People had simmered down a bit and when the High Prefect entered the room, silence descended once again.

Jareth felt very strange as he sat on the bench behind his podium. He couldn't shake the feeling of being restrained and it had grown steadily worse. One of his gloved hands was shaking and he focused his attention on it to keep himself from looking at Sarah. He hated leaving her in that room like he had and although he had only moved down the hallway to make sure she was protected, leaving her when she obviously wanted his comfort was unbearable for him.

He had thought about little else other than her as he stationed himself just down the hall. He kept seeing the pained expression that she gave him before he fled the room. He kept thinking about their first kiss a few nights ago and how badly he wished to touch her again. He wanted to hear her say his name, wanted to know if she loved him as much as he loved her. She had become a sort of life force that he required to stay alive, but sitting here, he could feel that life force being retched from him. He was going to lose Sarah and the thought of that drove him mad with rage, despair and loneliness.

Sarah was a mess after her conversation with Jareth, but she hid it well from the court. She would not appear weak before them.

The High Prefect announced the court first. "We have all learned some valuable information today. The defender has admitted that he loves the presenter's partner. While tradition states that he should be punished for his actions and that the court should provide those punishments, King Jareth's curse that was placed on him by the court several hundred years ago will be sufficient enough." The High Prefect gazed at Dartaynian. "I would assume, Lord Dartaynian that you have seen justice served here today and that you have nothing further to add."

"I have something rather disturbing to add, High Prefect. Something that I should have mentioned much earlier, but failed to with all the chaos."

The High Prefect tilted his head. "Do announce this to the court." He seemed slightly irritated.

"Not only is King Jareth guilty of loving one he should not, My Lady can be accused of doing the same."

The High Prefect's blond eyebrows rose. "I beg your pardon? Now you believe that your lady was unfaithful to you?"

"That is exactly what I am saying." Dartaynian told the court. "During recess they remained together, alone. This only fueled my initial speculations."

"King Jareth has confirmed that he is friends with Lady Sarah and while his friendship might have been dishonest because he longed for more, hers has not suggested otherwise."

"I wish that she be questioned, High Prefect." Dartaynian demanded.

The High Prefect glared at Dartaynian. "Lord Dartaynian, are you here to waste our time? Lady Sarah is yours by law. I'm certain that you will be able to handle your affairs with her in private."

"I am not certain of that." Dartaynian pushed. "She has been unfaithful and I demand justice be served for her crimes."

"A kiss between friends and some time spent together is hardly unfaithfulness."

"High Prefect, if you will closely view the charges I have presented, you will see that I have charged Lady Sarah with unfaithfulness. It is clearly presented on the scrolls."

The High Prefect glanced at the scrolls on his desk and was rather surprised to have missed the additional charges. Little did he know that his scrolls had been changed during the recess. "There do appear to be charges against her."

Dartaynian grinned. He could rid himself of Jareth and the pathetic mortal in one court session.

"I do not know why you won't just separate by mutual agreement, but ask your questions." The High Prefect told Dartaynian.

Dartaynian stood and the High Prefect nodded for Sarah to do the same. She stood and risked a quick look at Jareth. He was sitting so still, his eyes cast to the floor. As if feeling her eyes on him, he glanced at her. Jareth appeared strong and calm on the outside but Sarah could see the torment, the pain in his eyes. She turned away from him, unable to bear seeing him in pain.

Dartaynian paced near Sarah's podium. "I was good to you and you refused to accept my generosity. You always went to Jareth. So I want to know the honest truth, do you love him?"

Sarah stood up straight and tall. "I refuse to answer."

Jareth closed his eyes and cursed. Why did she always have to be so stubborn, so difficult?

"You refuse to answer? Refuse to answer?!" Dartaynian roared.

"I will not have yelling in my courtroom, Lord Dartaynian. We are all civilized here. Lady Sarah, you must answer the question."

Sarah lowered her head and swallowed the lump in her throat. It had been worth a try. She took a deep breath and raised her head high. She closed her eyes and a tear slid from one eye down her face. Opening her eyes she began. "I-"

There was suddenly a loud crash at the back of the courtroom as the double doors flew open and the crowd gasped.

"Don't answer, Sarah!" cried a voice.

Sarah couldn't believe it, that was Lee's voice! She spun around to see her friend standing in the doorway, hands on hips, looking like a force to be reckoned with.

The High Prefect stood and as he did so, armed guards rushed to stand in front of his podium to protect him. "What is the meaning of this?! How dare you interrupt this session!"

Lee walked further into the courtroom with Hoggle in tow. Sarah could see Lee's friend Loryian remaining by the door. "My apologies, High Prefect." Lee told him, dropping to one knee out of respect as Lory had told her to do. The High Prefect seemed less upset by the intrusion with the respect suddenly shown to him.

"Why have you interrupted this session?" The Prefect demanded.

"We have proof that Lord Dartaynian has been unfaithful to Lady Sarah." Lee told him.

The High Prefect's eyes widened. "Is that so?" Well, wasn't this getting interesting. "And you are.?"

Lee bowed. "Lee Matthews, High Prefect. Lady Sarah is my friend as is King Jareth."

"There is nothing in this world that you could have brought to prove I was unfaithful to your friend, because I never was!" Dartaynian spat.

"Oh really?" Lee asked with a smirk. "Loryian, would you be so kind as to bring our witness forth?"

Dartaynian briefly scanned the crowd to see that Lady Lyllan, the woman Sarah had grown jealous over at the ball, was sitting in her seat within the crowd. She smiled seductively at him and he smiled in return. He and Lyllan had not even been intimate yet. Lee had nothing to use against him. Nothing effective anyway. She and her friends had probably found some no name or a servant to use against him. He chuckled and turned his attention to the back of the room. He wanted to see this.

There was a gasp throughout the crowd and suddenly everyone was getting to their knees and bowing their heads as Loryian walked forth with a beautiful young, blond haired woman. The High Prefect paled as he saw her, as did Dartaynian. Jareth's eyes widened and a sudden hope filled his now trembling body.

Loryian bowed before the High Prefect as he entered the circle. The woman looked frightened but she held her own. "Ladies and gentlemen of the court, may I present our witness." Loryian said to the court. "Lady Talia."

The woman stepped forth and timidly stood before the High Prefect.

"Hello, father."


A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 38 of 40

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