Continuing Tales

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 19 of 42

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Most Prized Possession

Although his words sent a barrage of alarm bells off in her head, she didn't struggle. She had never been this close to him before, and even though she knew she should be wary, she couldn't help but be intrigued. She felt the movement of his thighs as he strode down the hall. She couldn't see him clearly since they were in the dark but she was very aware of his warmth and again she caught his magic scent like some unidentified exotic spice mingling with the scent of brandy. It was intoxicating and for a brief moment she let herself drown in it. She was surprised that he was able to carry her so effortlessly as he was so slender and lithe, but perhaps his magic lent him strength, or maybe she had just underestimated him.

Sarah shook herself out of her thoughts and realized he had reached the door to her bedroom. With a mere thought the door swung open on its hinges and he carried her inside. With a burst of smoke and flame the sconces and candles in her room blazed to life as he walked purposefully towards her bed. His smell was all about her and her skin tingled everywhere his body touched hers. As he lowered her onto the bed, she swore her heart was pounding so hard he would hear it.

Oh God...what's he going to do?!?

She swallowed nervously, looking up at him and her eyes widened in apprehension. As he placed her on the center of the bed, his startling mismatched gaze lowered to meet hers. Sarah's insides seemed to lurch.

Jareth looked down at the pretty young mortal. She hadn't said a word, but she hadn't bolted or protested either. She just sat there staring up at him with those wide eyes, her knees drawn carefully towards her chest. It occurred to him how innocent she looked like that, with her face flushed with embarrassment, and her pretty little mouth slightly parted in startled surprise. Her posture and her expression may have made her look very young, but her body was that of a woman.

His eyes drifted over the thin night-shirt. It was apparent that she wore nothing under it, for he could make out the shape of her full young breasts, with their taut peaks straining against the linen fabric of the garment. He tore his eyes from them, letting his gaze drift over her bare legs before they returned to her face.

Sarah felt as though she were frozen to the bed. His face was so close, and in the firelight he was so striking, that it made every inch of her want to kiss him. Every neuron in her brain knew that kissing him was not a smart idea...quite deadly and suicidal really. But the longing did not come from a rational place. She was dying to know what his lips would feel like on hers. She made the mistake of imagining it. The mere thought sent a stab of desire through her belly.

Oh God...just do it already...I don't care anymore...

It seemed an eternity that their gazes were locked. What Jareth saw there nearly made him lose his self-control. There was desire in the way she looked at him. Oh yes, he could sense it. Her pretty green eyes had nearly gone black as she looked up at him and there was the strained expression of barely contained longing on her face.

Jareth might have had a bit more brandy than what he would have deemed wise, but he was still in full control of his faculties. As he watched Sarah leaning back slightly on her bed, he was aware that her choice of bedclothes would be incredibly easy to remove. He noted that her inquisitive gaze currently lingered on his mouth. He was also very aware that just looking at her was making him aroused. He only had to make his move, lean down and kiss her, for he was quite sure the rest would quickly escalate from there.

As much as his blood hammered away for her, he wondered, should he wait? He was torn. Should he or shouldn't he? If he walked away her trust in him could only improve, and no doubt, making her simmer in her lust would only prove beneficial when he finally did take her. Prolonging it would only make it that much more powerful, wouldn't it? Plus there was the question of her sobriety. He wasn't an expert on gauging levels of intoxication, but even he could see she was more than a little drunk. Still, she seemed lucid enough to know what she was doing and he was sure she would be so worth the trouble. She was startlingly passionate. Hell, if she possessed half the passion in bed that she possessed while arguing with him... He shivered, Best not to think of that now.

He had nearly convinced himself to just throw caution to the wind and kiss her, but then he thought of what she had confided to him. He didn't want her to view this as another impulsive mistake. He had to keep his wits about him. The plan was to make her fall in love with him, not just seduce her, though he couldn't deny he was really looking forward to that part.

No. He would proceed with his plan. She would fall hard, and when she landed she would know what it meant to be at the mercy of another, after having his way with her first, of course. Yes. He would wait until he had her fully within his grasp. Only then would she truly belong to him. Not just for the year either, no, after having a taste of what his love could offer, she would pine away for him, and only him, for the rest of her mortal life. That would be justice.

Though he had decided to refrain from kissing her it was much harder to make his body obey, as it had it's own ideas about what it would like to do to her. What he was about to do took a great deal of self-discipline.

He took one last look at her, for he wanted to remember how she looked up at him from her bed. He straightened, offering her one last seductive smirk before he purred, "Goodnight Sarah."

She watched him back away with a mixture of despair, relief, and confusion. Her body seemed to protest his retreat, knowing full well it had been cruelly denied the heavenly sensations that she somehow knew his kiss would provide. She was smart enough to know that the repercussions of such a kiss were something she'd rather not deal with, but it didn't change the fact that she wanted it regardless.

Nearly an hour after Jareth's abrupt departure she tossed and turned in her bed, still wanting it. When he had left her alone in her room, she had flopped on her back in utter frustration. Had she not been afraid he might hear, she would have screamed into her pillow, or better still, thrown something very breakable at the door to his room. He was driving her mad, and she swore that he was doing it on purpose.

For one very depraved moment she wondered if she should just throw herself at him and get it over with, maybe then she might be able to think clearly. Sexual frustration was such a bitch. Like she really needed this right now. Being trapped here with her former nemesis was bad enough, but the fact that she was having naughty thoughts about him well that was...utterly fucked up.

She smoothed her hands over her body to straighten out her nightgown. As her own hand brushed over her breast she hesitated. She could just put an end to that annoying ache on her own. She wasn't one to often indulge herself, however none of her past partners had really ever given her anything to get all hot and bothered about. Jareth, however, was different. Right now she was very hot and extremely bothered.

She tried to rationalize satisfying herself by admitting that it would put her out of her misery (temporarily anyway) and there would be no consequences, but then she remembered under whose roof she was staying, and there was no contest really. There was no way she could do "that" knowing he was in the next room, or anywhere in the general vicinity, for that matter. She had no idea what the extent of his magic was, but very idea that he might find out about it was reason enough not to do it. Not to mention that there was always the possibility that he may come back, unlikely, however, still a possibility.

With a very exhausted and defeated sigh, Sarah forced her hands under the pillows where she firmly reminded herself they would remain for the rest of the night. She should not have had so much brandy, for she was sure that it was like pouring gasoline on the fire. Plus she was warm again, and why was her nightgown practically choking her?!?

Her last thought before she drifted into a fitful slumber was that she could not wait to go home and retrieve some of her own clothes. Her own tees and boxers to sleep in, her own jeans, and mercifully sneakers, for those boots were killing her.

Before Jareth retired to his bed, he instructed his Goblins to let Sarah sleep in the next morning. He knew she was bound to be exhausted from their late night, if not wholly ill, from the amount of brandy she had consumed. There was no harm in letting her sleep, as there were no documents left to be drafted, and the library could be tidied at any time.

The Goblin King woke later than usual and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast by himself. After he had finished his morning meal he shifted into his owl form and soared over the expanse of land that was his labyrinth. When he returned from his flight it was nearly mid day and he discovered that Sarah had yet to emerge from her room.

Perhaps she had become ill from drinking too much. In any case he decided it would be wise to check on her.

Jareth materialized in her bed chamber as noiselessly as possible. The curtains were still tightly drawn, keeping out nearly all the sun's rays. This was of little concern to him, however, as his vision was exceptional in the dark. As he neared the bed, he could see the heap of tangled blankets at the foot of the bed that Sarah had tossed aside during the night. He heard the even rhythmic sound of her breathing, which confirmed that she was still fast asleep.

As he rounded the bed, what he saw came as a bit of a surprise. There she lay, on her stomach, wearing...hardly anything at all. Only a pair of black cotton underwear to be exact.

Her head was turned away from him. Her dark hair spilling over the pillow was a sharp contrast to the bare expanse of flesh that filled his inquisitive gaze. Her linen nightshirt lay discarded in a rumpled heap on the floor beside her bed. In her slumber she had thrown back all her bed linens. He relished the opportunity to take in her sleeping form.

It was rather funny, the way she was positioned. One knee was drawn up, her bottom raised slightly. He raised his brow as he studied her shapely derriere. Her strange undergarments mystified him. They were unlike anything he had ever seen, however he guessed their design was more practical compared to the rather involved undergarments that Fae noblewomen wore. These would certainly enhance one's freedom of movement, that much was obvious.

He stilled as she shifted, drawing her bent leg up a little higher, and she murmured something incoherent. She was still asleep. Probably dreaming, he mused. Watching her restless movements, he wondered what she was dreaming of.

He let his eyes drift up her bare back. Her skin looked so soft, he was tempted to remove his glove and stroke her back, but he refrained. As his eyes traveled further up her body, he noticed that she had moved her arm so that he was now looking at the side of her breast. He was struck by the urge to run his hands up her sides to cup that soft flesh.

He stood rigidly, his hands forming tight fists at his sides as if he scarcely trusted them. He stood like that for a moment, half praying that she might roll onto her back so that he might get a good look at those gorgeous breasts, half hoping that she would wake and tell him to get out, but to his dismay she did neither. He was just about to leave when he decided that he had better wake her. It was well past noon and he should at least encourage her to eat something, even if she was feeling ill. True, she was bound to be angry, but then again she was so lovely when she was angry it was well near worth it. Besides if he didn't wake her, then his Goblins eventually would, so in essence he was doing her a favor.

He guessed that she would probably be mortified but probably no more mortified than if she were to wake having three unblinking Goblins staring at her. His mouth formed a sinister smirk as he imagined her horror. None of his Goblins had ever seen an unclothed mortal before (that he knew of), and they would no doubt be annoyingly curious. No it was much better this way.

He gave her body one last appreciative glance before he settled on the edge of the bed. He lowered his gloved hand to her shoulder and gently shook her. "Sarah...It is time to wake." She turned her head towards him, her eyes still shut in sleep as she murmured, "Five more's freezing Kayla...close the window." Jareth merely smiled as her hand strayed over the bed, looking for the absent blankets.

He suppressed a chuckle and shook her again. She turned her head away as consciousness intruded on her slumber like an unwelcome guest. She was still unaware of her whereabouts and merely groaned in response to the throbbing ache in her head.

Even though she was momentarily unaware of where she was, she recognized the pain for what it was and grumbled, "Ohh...never drinking again...Kayla, I hope you have some Tylenol."

She reluctantly opened her eyes as she lifted herself onto her hands.

"Sorry love...wrong again."

She froze as the cool voice registered as one she should not be hearing. Then she realized her state of undress.

She frantically glanced over her shoulder to see exactly what she was afraid she might see, the Goblin King sitting there smiling smugly at her predicament. She yelped in surprise, halting her movements, as she had been about to afford him, unintentionally, a very good look at her breasts.

Her first choice would have been to grab the sheet and cover herself, but unfortunately the covers were way down at the foot of the bed. They might as well have been in Siberia as she couldn't get her hands on them without turning around. That was out of the question. Instead she scooted to a kneeling position, crossing her arms over her chest as she mentally cursed the unpredictable climate of this God forsaken place. As hot as it had been during the night, the room was now nearly as cold as Siberia.

Once she was confident that her hands were strategically placed, she pivoted slightly glaring at him as she hotly demanded, "What are YOU doing here?"

He pretended to be unaffected by her state of undress as he drawled coolly, "Waking you, of course."

She noticed her nightgown on the floor and she recalled taking it off in the night, as the brandy had made her even more uncomfortably warm. Ahh, the brandy. Well that certainly explained the hangover, but it did not explain what the hell he was doing in her room.

She narrowed her eyes menacingly as she sarcastically replied, "Thank you, master of the obvious...but WHY are YOU here waking me?"

He cocked his head to the side as he arrogantly replied, "It is past noon. I've been kind enough to keep the Goblins from pestering you, as I thought you might require some added sleep. You might want to try and show just a small amount of gratitude."

That pushed her over the edge.

Her eyes blazed with anger as she snapped, "Gratitude!?! In case you haven't noticed I am practically NAKED Jareth!!!!"

Her outrage only succeeded in delighting him further and he brazenly lowered his eyes to where her hands clasped her breasts before he remarked silkily, "Yes, you are, aren't you? Believe me Sarah, I noticed."

It might have been the heat with which he said it, or perhaps it was his audacity, whatever it was made Sarah's whole body flush pink. Thoroughly unsettled, she sprang from the bed, stooping to collect her nightshirt before she hurriedly disappeared behind her dressing screen. She felt slightly braver once she was out from under that scathing gaze and she fumed from behind the screen, "Apparently the idea of privacy is foreign to you are ALWAYS barging in on me at the most inappropriate times."

Jareth stood, placing his hands on his hips as he looked at the ceiling and sighed, "Sarah, my only intention was to wake you...How was I to know that you like to sleep without your clothes..."

She fired back from behind the screen, "For your information, I don't usually sleep without clothes. I was hot and I was barely conscious when I took them off...and YOU ought to know better since you seem to be the authority on sleeping naked!!!" Oops she hadn't intended to get so carried away. Well now he certainly would know that she had noticed his lack of clothing when he emerged from bed...not that she had ever allowed herself to get a good look at him.

She was rather glad she couldn't see his face at the moment. She sighed and broke the strained silence by asking, "Well now that I'm wide awake, with a beauty of a hangover...what is it that you want? Surly, you have some arduous task for me today."

Jareth stalked over to the dressing screen and she could hear the sound of his boots against the stone floor while she was struggling to pull on her clothing. He stopped by the edge of the screen with his back to her, crossing his arms over his chest as he coolly replied, "Yes, well, I'd like for you to see to it that the goblins are bathed today."

He wasn't facing her, so she couldn't see the amused smile on his face as she exploded, "WHAT!!!! There's no way in hell I can do that. There are scores of them and I'm sure they are not just going to do it willingly...I'd have to physically force them."

Jareth was barely able to stifle his laughter as he ground out, "You're strong willed. I'm sure you could manage it."

Sarah interrupted again, "I'm not THAT strong willed and...they're bound to fight. They'll probably bite and scratch and stuff."

Jareth added nonchalantly, "Probably."

Sarah remarked, "Mmmm great, Goblins biting, God knows what I could catch from that..." She emerged from the screen just as Jareth could no longer contain his laughter.

Her mouth hung open and her eyes widened as she realized that he was totally screwing with her. She stiffened and cried, "Jareth!!!"

Jareth finally managed to compose himself and he was nearly out of breath when he chuckled, "Oh Sarah, you honestly thought I was serious. It's impossible to bathe a Goblin. I wouldn't even attempt truly amuse me."

Sarah couldn't help but lower her guard, it was quite a change to see him laugh so effortlessly. She shook her head and replied, "How was I to know that? I'm not what you would call an authority on goblins you know. I didn't even believe they existed until I met you." Jareth finally seemed to get himself under control and he began to slowly circle her.

Sarah felt the uneasiness begin to seep in again as his eyes focused on her. With an impatient glance away she asked, "So what is that you want...really?"

He stopped his pacing and regarded her. She noticed that he was holding a riding crop in his hands and he tapped it against his leather clad palm as he explained, "In truth, I thought we might pay a little visit to your domicile. You have some belongings to collect, have you not?"

She was nearly breathless with excitement as she prodded, "You mean you will take me there...right now?"

His mouth twisted into a satisfied smirk as he drawled, "Well, a deal is a deal. I see no point in delaying, however, you'd better eat something first. Transversing the barrier between worlds can be draining and your health is already compromised."

She shot him a quizzical look and he supplied, "You're dehydrated."

She nodded, suddenly remembering her headache. She shrugged and admitted, "Oh, just a hangover. I think I over did it on the brandy last night, but I'll be fine after I eat and drink something."

He nodded noticing the sudden spring in her step and he finished, "I don't doubt it. Go to the galley, I'm sure the kitchen goblins can find you something to eat, and once you have readied yourself, come find me in my study."

A little over an hour later Sarah was feeling her old self again as she walked into the study to fetch Jareth. He looked up from a pile of maps as she strode in. He noticed she was wearing the same clothes that she had been wearing the night she had taken Kayla's place. Jareth folded the maps and rose, he was tempted to comment on her attire but he held his tongue.

Sarah hesitated in the doorway to make sure she wasn't disturbing him. Jareth took a step towards her and asked, "Are you ready to fetch your belongings?"

Sarah nodded and he added, "Do you still wish to have some time with your friend?"

Again Sarah nodded and he elaborated, "Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any. I am not anticipating any guests so you may be granted the company of your friend for the remainder of the day, but come tomorrow morning she must return."

Sarah looked up at him uncertainly and ventured, "You mean...she can come here?"

Jareth shrugged and admitted, "Better that she come here, where I can keep and eye on you both." He smirked and added, "I won't have you trying to run off." Sarah seemed to briefly consider the idea and he added, "I know what you are thinking, Go ahead and try it. I promise you won't get very far, a deal is a deal and you are bound to me Sarah no matter where we are. If you try to run, I shall catch you, and if you hide I will find you..."

Sarah crossed her arms over her chest as she expelled an exhausted breath and wearily replied, "Who said anything about running?"

He simply smirked and countered, "I wouldn't put it past you."

She shrugged and replied, "Let's just go already. You've made your point. I agreed...remember?"

Jareth nodded once and extended his gloved hand to her, "Very well then...shall we?"

Sarah took a tentative step towards him and hesitantly placed her hand in his. As his fingers curled tightly around her hand he flashed her a satisfied smirk before he pulled her closer. His other arm encircled her waist tightly and the last sensation she felt was his warm words uttered in her ear, "Hold tight."

Sarah closed her eyes against the feeling of being violently pulled in several directions at once. The feeling didn't last long but it was very unsettling and she was pretty sure that if it continued for much longer she would be sick. With a sudden lurch the feeling instantly stopped and she opened her eyes to find herself standing in her dorm room.

Everything was exactly the way she had left it and Kayla was snoozing soundly on her bed. It was all as if she had never left. Suddenly realizing that the Goblin King still held her about her waist, she pulled out of his grasp and stepped closer to her napping roommate, staring as if in disbelief. She glanced back at Jareth who was looking about her room with mild curiosity and whispered, "Can...can she see us?"

Jareth strode away seemingly interested in the objects that littered her desk as he replied, "If we wake her she will."

Sarah neared the edge of Kayla's bed and whispered, "Kayla, wake up, it's me Sarah."

Kayla blinked her eyes and stirred, stretching as she yawned "Hey Sar, did I doze off...?"

Kayla stopped mid yawn as she noticed the stranger that appeared behind Sarah. He was an attractive older man and he was dressed very oddly and his eyes appeared to be two different colors. Kayla suddenly sat up as if very wide awake. She seriously hoped that this character was just one of Sarah's eccentric theatre buddies.

Kayla looked uncertainly at Sarah and stammered, "Uh...Sarah...Who's your friend?"

Sarah suddenly seemed rather flustered as she looked over her shoulder at her blonde companion. When she turned back to her roommate Kayla didn't miss the faint blush that graced her cheeks as she stammered, "Oh, uh...Kayla, this is Jareth."

Kayla took in her friend's uneasy state and put two and two together. Sarah had finally brought a man home, and by the looks of him he was probably just what she needed. She always knew Sarah had a soft spot for those eccentric actor types. Kayla flashed Sarah a secretive smile, but Sarah hurriedly jabbered on, not wanting her friend to get the wrong idea, "Kayla, I have something to tell, you may find this hard to believe but..."

Kayla leaned forward, pushing herself off the bed, as she gushed in a low hiss so only Sarah could hear, "You could have told me you were seeing someone. I would have taken off for the weekend. Just give me a sec...I'll clear out and the room is all yours..."

Sarah shook her head and grabbed Kayla's arm in protest, "NO!! I mean...that's not necessary..." and then she added in a hushed tone, "It's not like that." Sarah noticed that Jareth suddenly stalked a bit closer. Apparently he was becoming very interested in their exchange.

Sarah took a deep breath and explained, "See Kay, Jareth is...the Goblin King. He's from this place called the underground. I...I'm sort of staying with him for a while in his...uh...kingdom. I just came to get some of my things and, well, if it's OK with you, I'd like you to come with us, but just for the night..."

Kayla looked at Sarah with a dumb expression before her jaw dropped and she stammered, "Ohh-Kay...what?"

Sarah shot Jareth a helpless look as she settled on the edge of the bed. Kayla was now openly staring at Jareth, fully taking in his very strange attire as she babbled, "Ok, I know I just woke up and I haven't had my coffee, or even a cigarette for that matter, but it just sounded to me like you just said that Jareth is a Goblin King. And you are staying in his...kingdom. Am I missing something here?"

Sarah shook her head and lamely replied, "No. You just summed it up in a nutshell...exactly. Hard to believe, I know, but I swear..."

Kayla suddenly looked at the two of them sternly, as if she didn't appreciate ridiculous jokes at such an early hour. Kayla sighed and warned, "Ok, Sarah, look I know you take your drama club stuff pretty seriously...and I'm sure you thought it would be just a scream to drag Prince whatever his name is in here to get a rise out of me, but seriously... I just woke up. I have the shittiest organic chem. exam to study for, and I have a hankerin' for some nicotine that's more hard pressed than Anna Nicole Smith in a tube top, so please...spare me the practical jokes. I assure you my weekend is going to be shitty enough as it is."

Sarah sighed, "I knew you wouldn't believe me..." She turned to Jareth and pleaded, "Can't you do something to show her?"

Jareth thought a moment and replied, "If you insist." With that, he pulled a crystal from thin air and made it dance over his fingertips before he deliberately hurled it at Sarah.

She held up her hands in an attempt to stop the orb, but it was futile. The crystal burst like a bubble showering Sarah with it's glittery magic. For a second Sarah had convinced herself that nothing at all had happened, but then she saw the slack jawed stare with which Kayla looked at her. A look of wide-eyed horror contorted her usually sarcastic expression as she weakly managed, "whoa...tha...that's just not right."

Sarah looked up and caught a glimpse of her reflection in her full length mirror just as she heard the Goblin King begin to chuckle. She could not believe her eyes. She had become...a Goblin! She still possessed long dark hair and her eyes were undoubtedly the same, but she was smaller, and God help her, greener! She was dressed from head to toe in crude goblin armor. Her face was merely a comical whisper of her former self and her pointed beaklike mouth was simply preposterous. Sarah glared at Jareth, who had totally lost it, and was now laughing uncontrollably.

Sarah snapped, "Jareth!!! Change me back..." She winced at the unfamiliar squawking voice that had come from her, but she managed to add with urgency, "...Right now!!"

Jareth finally managed to compose himself and with a wave of his hand Sarah was her old self again. She ran her hands over her body, just to make sure everything was where it should be.

Kayla gaped at Jareth and gushed, "Oh my God Sarah, you weren't kidding." Sarah pulled a large duffel bag out from under her bed and started ransacking her drawers, confirming, "No, I certainly was not."

Jareth watched with mild interest as Sarah started to pack her things. She simply ignored him and pushed past him whenever he got in her way. Kayla stared blankly at Sarah and asked, "So what happens now?"

Sarah stuffed several pairs of jeans in her bag and replied matter-of-factly, "I'll finish packing my stuff...then it's back to the Underground."

In a matter of minutes the trio was transported back to Jareth's castle. Kayla regarded Jareth warily, after what she had just seen him do, but knowing he was the Goblin King didn't change the fact that he was very attractive. She couldn't wait to have a second alone with Sarah, to get the full scoop. Kayla knew her roommate, she knew her tastes, and knew there was no way that Sarah could've spent a full three weeks with this guy without some juicy story to spill.

Once they arrived at the castle. Jareth promptly excused himself and informed Sarah that he would return for them later. He could only assume that Sarah had much she wanted to discuss with her friend, and after turning her into a goblin, he guessed she wasn't going to be very receptive to his company for the time being.

Sarah led Kayla onto a dusty dirt path that lead away from the castle. She figured she had much to explain to her friend, and she might as well get some fresh air at the same time. As soon as Kayla was sure they were out of earshot from the castle she hissed, "Sarah, you mind telling me just what the HELL is going on?!?"

Sarah walked a little farther ahead and once she felt she had put enough distance between herself and the castle she looked about and began, "I know this all seems really crazy..."

Kayla laughed, "Ha!...yeah it's crazy. The weirdest guy I've ever seen in all my life just transformed you, something and then POOF! Here we are. What the hell is this place? There's no way we're still in Connecticut."

Sarah herded Kayla towards the nearby stone wall and replied, "You'd better sit down while I explain...this is gonna take a while." Kayla sighed deeply sitting on the wall as Sarah began. "See, when I was fifteen, I used to babysit Toby, a lot...all the time actually. Well this one afternoon, I was at the park, rehearsing the lines from that book, 'the Labryrinth' when suddenly I realized I was late to baby sit. It started raining as I ran home, and by the time I got there, I was thoroughly soaked and pissed that I'd have to spend another Friday night babysitting. Well as soon as I got in the door Karen started on me. You know that when I was younger I didn't get along with her very well...when she started bitching at me, that was the last straw."

Kayla looked at her and interrupted, "Sarah, what does this have to do with anything?"

Sarah began to pace as she promised, "Hold on, I'm getting there. So, there I was babysitting. Toby was still just a baby then, and he started crying, and he just wouldn't stop. I was so mad already...I started telling him about the Goblins, I was trying to scare him into being quiet..."

Kayla gave her a look and Sarah admitted, "Horrible, I know, but I was angry, stupid and fifteen...So on an impulsive whim I said the words, and inadvertently summoned the goblins to take him away."

Kayla furrowed her brow, "What words?"

Sarah sighed, "It's not important. What is important is that it worked and the Goblins took him...there." Sarah motioned towards the castle that they were staring at.

Stunned, Kayla replied, "Holy shit! Stuff like that actually works?!? Well forget about me ever trying that bloody Mary shit then. Hey...wait a minute! How come you never told me about any of this before?"

Sarah shot her an exasperated look and replied, "Would you have believed me?"

Kayla, shook her head and admitted, "Good point...ok so what happened next?"

Sarah continued, "Well Toby vanished, Goblins were running all over the room and then Jareth made his grand entrance."

Kayla stared at her and she elaborated, "He flew in the window, as an owl, and then transformed into himself, right in front of me."

Kayla's eyes widened as Sarah went on, "As you can imagine...I was pretty freaked out. I knew right away who he was, and I immediately started pleading for Toby's return. He toyed with me for a while. He told me to forget about Toby and he tried to give me a crystal...he said it would show me my dreams. I ignored it and was insistent that I had to have Toby back. Finally he told me that if I wanted Toby, I'd have to make it to the castle at the center of the Labyrinth."

Kayla stammered, "The...Labyrinth?"

Sarah nodded, "Yeah..." she pulled Kayla to her feet and dragged her to the edge of the hill where she turned Kayla's head so she was looking through a small opening in the tall hedges.

Kayla gasped as she looked out over the vast labyrinth, "Ho-ly shit! You're right...that's one huge fucking maze."

Sarah nodded, "Yes it is. I found my way in and I had 13 hours to make it through. Jareth told me that if I didn't make it, Toby would become one of them...forever."

Kayla gaped, "Thirteen hours! To get through that?!? You're shitting me right?"

Sarah shook her head, "Nope...Serious. And you've met Toby, so what happened is no surprise. I made it, in time...just barely."

Kayla looked at Sarah with newfound respect for a second before her brow knitted in confusion and she asked, "Ok, but that was like five or six years ago...what are we doing here now?"

Sarah looked at Kayla and replied, "We're here now because three weeks ago I let you borrow my Labyrinth book, and even though you were only joking, you managed to wish yourself away to the Goblin King."

Kayla shook her head, "Three weeks? What? But Sarah I just saw that book tonight for the first time."

Sarah started to pace again as she explained, "Yeah, I know, Jareth has the power to reorder time. For you it's as if no time has elapsed, but for me it's been three weeks that I've been here."

Kayla gasped, "What? Why? I thought you just said I wished myself away?"

Sarah took a deep breath and explained, "You did. But I was able to convince Jareth to let me take your place."

Kayla's voice broke as she cried, "What?!? Why?!?"

Sarah leaned against the stone-wall and admitted, "I was worried. I didn't know what he would do with you...and you would've had to stay here forever."

Kayla's face paled and she demanded, "What? Are you saying that now YOU have to stay here forever because of ME?"

Sarah quickly shook her head, "No. I bargained with him. I think it was me he wanted all along anyway, so I...made a deal with him. I only have to stay for one year and when I return home, everything will be as it was, just as if no time elapsed while I was away. It won't be so bad. It'll be as if I never really left."

Kayla interrupted, "But not for you Sarah! You'll have to be here for a whole year! This is crazy! There must be something we can do. Let me talk to Jareth, this is my fault, maybe I can convince him to let you go."

Sarah sighed, "That won't do any good. It's too late. I've already made my bargain with him...and a deal is a deal. Besides, it's NOT your fault. I should have burned that book after it happened the first time. It's me this has to do with. I think getting me here was his plan all along. I think it's his way of settling the score. Everything will be alright, I promise. Worrying about it isn't going to help."

Kayla could tell by the look on Sarah's face that she was trying to be brave, but she knew Sarah, and no amount of bravado would cover the fact that Sarah was more than a little worried. Her heart went out to her friend. She was truly touched by Sarah's selflessness. She had always known that she was a very strong willed person. She knew she should be worried for her friend, but somehow she knew Sarah would be just fine. She had after all conquered this place once before.

Kayla laughed nervously and teased, "Well, at least you are getting out of midterms, for the time being."

Sarah smiled at her friend and admitted, "Well, that's one way of looking at it."

Kayla suddenly looked thoughtful as she thought out loud, "I don't get it Sarah, exactly what does Jareth want with you?"

Sarah sighed, "I wish I knew. He's not exactly the most up front person. I've come up with a few ideas, but I don't really know for sure."

Kayla optimistically replied, "Maybe if we put our heads together we can come up with something. You've dealt with him before...what happened between the two of you the last time you were here?"

Sarah rolled her eyes and sighed, "Plenty. He didn't exactly make my quest very easy."

Kayla nodded, "No, I'd expect not. But tell do you mean? What did he do?"

Sarah took to pacing again and began, "Well aside from stealing time away from me and causing numerous distractions...nothing."

Kayla nodded, "So he did try to stop you...or at least he did his best to slow you down and deter you."

Sarah nodded and replied, "That's right. If I solved the labyrinth that meant that he would lose, and Jareth isn't exactly the gracious loser type."

Kayla shrugged, "Ok, so he's proud, and seeing that you did win, probably means he is or was sore about it. He very well may be holding a grudge. What else...What were these distractions he caused?"

Sarah crossed her arms over her chest and replied, "Well, first he set this grinding machine after me. I barely escaped becoming mince-meat."

Kayla considered this and replied, "Yeah, but you did escape. My guess is that if he really wanted to hurt you at any time, he could have. Maybe he was trying to intimidate and challenge you."

Sarah sighed, "Yeah, that sounds like Jareth."

Kayla stood up, encouraged by their productive thinking and asked, "What else?"

Sarah looked away as she recalled, "He gave one of my companions a peach to give to me. I took it, not knowing it came from him. I had no idea that it was tainted."

Kayla turned to Sarah, "Tainted?"

Sarah replied, "Like drugged...but with magic."

Kayla narrowed her eyes and asked, "Why would he do that?"

Sarah shrugged, "To make me waste time and make me forget what I was looking for."

Kayla noticed that Sarah sounded rather distant as though her thoughts were somewhere else, and she asked her friend, "You avoided that trap too though, right?"

Sarah shook her head, "No, I bit into the peach."

Kayla threw her hands up and cried, "Sarah, come on! You mean to tell me that you were practically living a fairy tale and you were dumb enough to bite into a piece of fruit. Hello...Snow White and the apple! Persephone and the Pomegranate!"

Sarah winced, "Yeah, I know. I wasn't thinking of that at the time, and I was hungry. Like I said, I didn't know that it was from Jareth."

Kayla just shook her head and replied, "Alright Snow White, so what happened after you ate the peach?"

Sarah took a deep breath and continued, "Well that's when things started to get...weird." Kayla listened with interest as Sarah explained, "I felt really strange, like everything was dancing, and this funny sort of music started playing in my head. The next thing I knew I was at this bizarre masquerade. I was the only one who was not wearing a mask and I was dressed in a ball gown. People were all around me dancing and flirting with each other, but they were all wearing these strange Goblins. Anyway, I was looking around trying to figure out where I was, and then I noticed that someone was staring right at me. He took his mask off and I realized it was him."

Kayla cut in, "Who? Jareth?"

Sarah nodded, "Yeah. It was so strange, the way he was looking at me, like he could see right through me or something."

Kayla suddenly looked amused and prodded, "Ooh...kinky...go on."

Sarah sighed and continued, "I just stared back, like a moron, and then suddenly, he disappeared into the crowd. I kept looking for I was compelled to find him."

Kayla shrugged, "Can't blame you there. He IS quite a piece of eye candy."

Sarah chided, "Kayla!"

She looked about innocently and retorted, "What? He is." Sarah gave her a condescending look and Kayla accused, "Do you deny it?!?"

Sarah opened her mouth but nothing came out, and Kayla smugly replied, "Thought so. Now please, you're giving me continue."

Sarah shook her head in defeat and went on, "I kept getting glimpses of him, then just as fast, I would lose him again. Then I just stumbled upon him. He was surrounded by masked women, but he was just sort of...staring right at me. He looked incredible and...magical. I must have been gawking at him like a head case, but he didn't break eye contact."

Kayla had started to bounce up and down impatiently as she goaded, "And...what? You jumped his bones right? Tell me you jumped his..."

Sarah shook her head, "Ugh, no Kayla. I...just danced with him."

Kayla stared at Sarah and probed, "OK, you danced...then what."

Sarah whirled away and cried, "Then...nothing. I was getting dizzy. All these weird faces were staring at me, closing in...I felt and uncomfortable, so I ran until I found a way out. It was an illusion. It had to be, especially since I can't dance. When I landed, I couldn't remember what I was looking for, but then I found the book and it jogged my memory, and I took off to save Toby."

When Sarah turned back around Kayla looked thoroughly bothered and she demanded incredulously, "What! No kiss even?!?"

Sarah paced back and forth furiously and sputtered, "Kayla, I think you are missing the point."

Kayla was quick to assure her, "No I don't think so...but go on. I'm intrigued...what else happened?"

Sarah thought a moment and began, "Well, the next time I faced him was the last. I had only a few minutes left so I just did what I thought I had to..."

Kayla looked shocked and gasped, "You seduced him?!?"

Sarah's shoulders sagged and she replied, "What is it with you...NO, of course I didn't!"

Kayla threw up her hands and bit out, "OK, so what DID you do?"

Sarah explained, "I recited the last lines from the book. The ones the heroine used when she faced the Goblin King. I didn't even know if it would work, but it was all I could think of. I started to say them, but then something odd happened."

Kayla piped up, "What?"

Sarah went on, "Well I was staring down Jareth, saying the lines, when suddenly he interrupted me. He told me to stop. There was a sense of urgency in his voice. He's usually very cool and confident, he wasn't then. It was weird, he almost sounded...desperate. He offered me the crystal again, he said he would give me my dreams and..." Sarah licked her lips, glancing around as if she feared being heard.

Kayla hated being kept in suspense and cried, "And?!?"

Lowering her voice Sarah went on, "He said that he had been generous. I asked for Toby to be taken and he took him...blah blah blah, Then he said something like, 'Let me rule you and you can have everything that you want' and right before I said the last line I think he said 'Love me, fear me, do as I say and I will be your slave.'"

Kayla was breathless as she blurted, "Whoa...What did you say?"

Sarah swallowed with some difficulty and admitted, "I finished the line. I said 'You have no power over me'. He threw the crystal into the air and when it came down he had transformed back into an owl. Then he was gone and I found myself home. Toby was upstairs fast asleep, as if the whole thing had just been a dream. That...that was the last time I saw Jareth before you summoned him."

Kayla didn't know quite what to make of all of it and she just stammered, "Holy shit." She looked to Sarah who had turned away. She approached her friend carefully and ventured, "So...when you saw him again he must have been really pissed."

Sarah turned to face her friend and sarcastically bit out, "Well he didn't give me a hug and a warm welcome, that's for sure."

Kayla winced, unable to help feeling like this was all her fault, "Well, did he...I mean...he didn't rough you up or anything did he?"

Sarah shook her head and admitted, " What do you mean, like hit me? No, that's not his style. He did make it clear that I am to obey him, since I 'belong' to him for the next year, and whenever I start to push his buttons he artfully mentions that he could send me home and take you instead."

Kayla gaped, "He does?"

Sarah nodded, "I think this is his way of getting me back for beating him, but somehow it doesn't quite make sense...I mean he's been less than pleasant at times but other than making me do chores, he hasn't really punished me. Maybe he just gets some sick pleasure out of ordering me around."

Kayla arched her eyebrow and asked, "What does he make you do?"

Sarah sighed and was slightly embarrassed to admit, "He made me kiss his boots once, and he's made me pretend to be his page boy, but mostly he just gives me chores to do. As annoying as his requests have been though...he hasn't been outwardly hostile towards me. In truth it sort of worries me a little. I have no idea what the hell he is thinking."

Kayla mused, "Well you did give him the big shoot down."

Sarah snapped, "What do you mean?"

Kayla explained, "Well in his own twisted way, he could have been offering you his heart when he was all (she did her best Jareth impression, complete with the British accent) "fear me, love me, do as I say...and I will be your slave" Kayla batted her eyes for effect as she continued, "And you were all like (excessive eye batting with snotty female tone of voice) "You have no power over to the hand GK, cause the face ain't listenin'..."

Sarah shook her head and protested, "He was just stalling me, so I'd run out of time."

Kayla considered this and replied, "Mmm it's possible, but what if he wasn't? What if he meant what he said, and you gave the almighty Goblin King the ole brush off."

Sarah swallowed and admitted, "Well, to be honest...the idea has crossed my mind."

Kayla was suddenly flittering around Sarah as she exclaimed, "What if he really had a thing for you and all this time he's been obsessing over you. Ooh, or what if he's in love with you, and plans to keep you forever. He might have been plotting to get you back this whole time, and now that you are within reach, it probably drives him insane. Maybe he's just waiting for the right moment to pounce. He could even be watching you right now. Oh, I so bet he does watch you. Do you think he watches you in the shower? At the very least he's probably seen you undressed. He might have even wacked..."

Sarah put her hands over her ears and shouted, "Alright Kayla! I GET the idea!" She then covered her head in her hands and moaned, "I was afraid of this. You don't really think he is infatuated with me do you?"

Kayla smiled, "Oh I dunno, I was just messin' with ya. But, from everything you said, I'd venture that is he is at least a little taken with you."

Sarah straightened and replied, "Actually, that reminds me, I overheard some of his Goblins talking last night. They were saying the same thing. I'm starting to worry, what if I misconstrued what he said. What if he was sincere? Oh God...what if it's just like the story says, and he is in love with me?"

Kayla scoffed, "Jeez Sarah, you say that like it's a bad thing."

Sarah stared up into her friend's face and replied, "It is a bad thing...a very, very, BAD THING."

Kayla cocked her head to the side as if scrutinizing her and asked, "Why?"

Sarah sighed heavily, "Because, it's Jareth. He's deceptive, and manipulative and powerful...and Hello, King of the Goblins remember?"

Kayla's lips curved into a wry smile and she taunted, "You're scared. It's a bad thing to you because you are scared, not of him, scared that you could possibly like someone like him."

Sarah shook her head, stomping her foot as she snapped, "What are you HIGH Kayla? Let's just pretend for one second that the guy is NOT my arch nemesis..."

Kayla waved her hand, "No, let's not. SO WHAT if he IS your arch nemesis. Has he ever really hurt you? I already know the answer. No he hasn't. But let me ask you this, you consider him the villain, but is he...really? Can you honestly say he is a BAD guy?"

Sarah crossed her arms defensively and affirmed, "Well, He's no prince charming if that's what you mean."

Kayla snorted and bit out, "Well, Who the hell wants some goody two shoes prince charming anyway? Cinderella can keep that shit. Sarah, answer me this...Is he evil? Like Sauron, or Voldemort, or Emperor Palpatine evil?"

Sarah shrugged, "I...I don't think so. Kayla how is this even relevant?"

Kayla smiled and stalked around Sarah as she demanded, "Answer me this then...Are you attracted to him?"

Sarah stammered, "nnn...No. Why would you ask that?"

Kayla rolled her eyes, "You are such a bad liar."

Sarah sighed and glanced around before she lowered her voice, "Fine. Maybe...alright? But you said it yourself, he's very attractive...and I'm not dead you know."

Kayla nodded, "Fair enough, I'll give you that. But you're more than just attracted to him."

Sarah crossed her arms defensively and barked, "What are you talking about?"

Kayla smiled and replied, "You like him. You're way to defensive about this, not to. Now I'm wondering how far this little crush goes. Do you think about him...often?"

Sarah let out a deep breath and protested, "I really don't see how..."

Kayla bounced with excitement, "Oh! You do, don't you?!?"

Sarah was really getting tired of bottling everything. With a weary sigh she replied, "Kayla...I...I...What does it matter anyway? I don't know what his intentions are, I don't even know if he feels anything for me, or if he's just out to get me back."

Kayla crossed her arms over her chest and assured her, "Well Sar, it's real simple. We find out."

Sarah widened her eyes and replied, "Just how do you propose we do that?"

Kayla held up her hand, "Please Sarah, I'm all about reading the signals. Once his majesty puts in an appearance, I'll be able to tell you in like five minutes."

Sarah shook her head, "Oh, I don't know Kayla, he's very tricky, and let's not forget that he's Fae, not human."

Kayla interrupted, "What?"

Sarah repeated "Fae."

Kayla responded, "What the hell is Fae?!?"

Sarah sighed and explained, "It's a race, like elves, or dwarves. He's not human. He's probably immortal and we already know he possesses powerful magic."

Kayla waved her hand and protested, "Doesn't matter...magic, no magic, short, tall, pointy ears, no ears, point is, he's a guy. Right?"

Sarah shrugged, "I suppose."

Kayla seemed annoyed by her friend's lack of faith and she insisted, "Well, he's got a dick right?"

Sarah's cheeks went crimson as she cried, "Kayla!"

Kayla shrugged, "What? If he's got a dick then he's a guy, and therefore very simple to figure out, but oh shit...wait a sec..."

Sarah glanced about frantically and asked, "What?"

Kayla suddenly seemed thoughtful and elaborated, "Well, if he's not human his anatomy could be...different. Like what his Fae plug isn't compatible to your standard human outlet."

Sarah's face was bright red again as she glanced about hoping to God that Jareth wasn't about to make an appearance. Kayla was still wrapped up in her monologue, "Whoa, like it could be a whole different size or shape. Jeez Sar, what if he's hung like an elephant?"

Sarah sighed, she hated to admit it but Kayla did have a point, Jareth wasn't human, but still those breeches didn't hide much. Before Sarah even realized what she was saying she blurted, "I doubt it Kayla, I mean his pants..."

Sarah clamped her mouth shut before she finished and to her astonishment Kayla kept going, apparently the enigma of Jareth's anatomy was very interesting to her. "No really Sarah, he probably is differently equipped. I mean at the very least, he's probably not circumsized."

Sarah was beginning to get antsy, Kayla was talking very loudly and she could have sworn she had just caught a whiff of Jareth's telltale magic smell. In desperation Sarah yelled, "Kayla!!!!"

Kayla smiled smugly and patted Sarah on her shoulder as she cooed, "Tell you what though...I'm willing to bet you five, no make that ten bucks that you find out before the year is up..."

Sarah shook her head as she noticed glitter drifting on the breeze, and she didn't have to turn around to know that the Goblin King was standing right behind them as Kayla smugly taunted, "Oh yeah, ten bucks."

Even though she knew he was there, Sarah nearly jumped out of her skin as his voice broke the silence, "Sarah. Kayla. I'm not interrupting am I?"

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 19 of 42

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