Continuing Tales

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 26 of 42

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Most Prized Possession

Jareth slowly looked her over as if trying to make sense of her outburst before he chided, "Oh, you don't like him? You seemed rather taken with him back in the ballroom."

Sarah brushed the dust from her breeches as she sarcastically bit out, "Yeah well...I didn't know he was such a prick, did I?"

Jareth wryly replied with a puzzled expression, "A prick?"

She shook her head, coloring slightly as she supplied, "A dick, er doesn't matter."

Jareth smugly supplied, "Well, if it's any consolation to you, I detested him from the moment he opened his mouth...abhorrent little serpent"

Sarah tilted her head to the side and replied, "Yeah, and you made that pretty obvious from the start."

Jareth's expression suddenly softened with concern as he ventured more seriously, "Are you sure you're alright? He didn't hurt you did he?"

Sarah shook her head, "No, he just startled me that's all. I'm glad you came in here when you did though, he was more than ready to slap me around."

He remarked evenly, "Do you really think I'd let someone strike you?"

Sarah pulled the velvet hat from her head, and shook out her hair as she shrugged, "Well, you certainly took your time getting in here."

His eyes met hers as he drawled, "Only because I was distracted by your performance. That was quite a show you put on. Very dramatic. For someone who can't speak, Sargonne uses his mouth quite well."

Sarah grew agitated and flustered at the comment and stammered, "Oh please! What was I supposed to do? You told me to hear her out."

Jareth crossed his arms over his chest in a patronizing manner as he retorted, "Yes. I told you to listen to what she had to say, I don't however, recall telling you to woo her."

Sarah defiantly retorted, "I wasn't wooing her! SHE was the one spouting her feelings for ME!"

Jareth was quick to chastise, "Well, she must have made quite a case then, judging by the way you were kissing her..."

Sarah hissed incredulously, "She ASKED me to kiss her! The poor girl was pouring her heart out...what was I supposed to do? Laugh in her face? Maybe that's what you would have done, but I'm not THAT cruel! YOU started this...YOU made ME dress like a boy and play your little servant. It's not my fault she preferred my company to yours!"

There was a flash of warning in his eyes as they settled on her face, his mouth was drawn into a thin tight line. She had flung the stinging insult before reason could warn her of the peril. She had impulsively antagonized him yet again.

"Way to go Sarah", her subconscious hissed.

For a moment he merely considered her words in unnerving silence. Then his expression darkened, becoming something much more threatening as he shrewdly sneered, "Yes, well...things might have gone differently if you weren't bound to keep you mouth shut. I doubt the lady would have tolerated that sharp tongue of yours. Yes, I'd go so far as to say she favors you as the silent type...after all that tongue of yours could be put to far better uses than talking..."

She was overwhelmed by the urge to slap him, but tightening her hand into a fist, she thought better of it. Abruptly she turned on her heel to get away from him, her face coloring from embarrassment as she hissed, "That's enough...I don't have to put up with this. I did what you wanted. I'm going to change." With that she strode purposefully from the throne room, bent on getting as far away from him as possible.

Jareth however, would not be dismissed so easily and she heard the heavy echo of his boots on the stone floor as he pursued her.

As he followed her through the pantry the ominous sound of his voice struck her, "Hit a nerve did I? Or perhaps you're afraid to finish what you start...since you are in such a hurry to run away."

The accusation made her halt in her tracks, and she whirled to face him. Her fists balled tightly at her sides in response to her rage as she spat incredulously, "Running away? I'm NOT running away! And for the record YOU started this!"

He smirked in that self satisfied smug manner of his before he haughtily replied, "Did I? As I recall, it was you who was dallying with and couldn't keep your lips off our unexpected visitor...and you who attracted the attention of that hypocritical buzzard of a brother."

She clenched her fist tighter at her side inundated by the urge to slap that goddamn sanctimonious smirk clear off his face. She couldn't think of anything that would be more satisfying than for him to return to the company of his guests with a lovely red hand shaped imprint on his fair face. The only thing that kept her hand in check was the fact that she would never get away with it. Her outrage made her voice waver as she finally spat, "Dallying?! I was doing what you asked! I LISTENED to her...something you apparently did not do! Didn't you even hear a word that she said?!"

He straightened, "In fact I heard a great deal."

Sarah stared at him in disbelief and cried, "Then what the hell are we arguing about this for?! When there are obviously much worse things to worry about..." She halted abruptly, scrutinizing his sudden, rigid, and seemingly stoic expression. At that moment something occured to her.

He was jealous.

The first time he hadn't witnessed her interaction with Desdemonna, and back then she wasn't even sure if he had any interest in her at all. Now she knew for certain that Jareth wanted her at the very least, so for him to react badly to what had transpired between herself and the young fae wasn't so unheard of. Jareth was possessive and a sore loser...this she knew, and he was certainly proud as well, so it was unlikely that he would ever take kindly to talking openly about his feelings, especially if they could make him appear vulnerable and went any deeper than casual attraction.

She swallowed uneasily as he stiffened, she could practically feel his ego bristling in response to her inevitable assault. He was readying himself to engage her in battle, and there was no doubt he would be merciless. Caution would be pertinent.

She quickly shoved her foot in her mouth, before she voiced her observation and began more carefully, "I mean...she seems to believe that the Shadow Horde has been's new members now active..."

Some of the tension left his frame as he wearily interjected, "Sarah, we've been through this. I told you before. The likeliness of the Horde's return is next to impossible."

Sarah was persistent, "We'll that may be...but you heard what she said right?"

Jareth shook his head dismissively, "I heard what she said, but that's not the only explanation. There are other possibilities that make for far better scenarios."

Sarah replied with honest curiosity, "Oh? Like what?"

He leveled a confident gaze at her and remarked, "Well, bloodwraiths for one."

Sarah paled slightly, "Bloodwraiths? She mentioned that. That doesn't sound good. What are they?"

Jareth sternly offered, "Ghastly, depraved creatures that feed upon blood. For them, alicorn blood would be a delicacy."

He noticed the stricken look on her face and added, "And no, they are not...good, they are deranged by their ravenous thirst for blood, killing all creatures indiscriminately. However they are not invulnerable, and not very cunning. They are simply animalistic pests, easily subdued by magic such as mine."

Sarah was slightly relieved by his response, but not entirely convinced that there was no danger. After a moment of silent contemplation she questioned, "But what about what she saw? The meeting place? The bonfire? Trodden ground, and the spilled blood?"

Jareth shrugged, "Bloodwraiths are simple creatures yes, but certainly capable of building a fire. The Northern lands grow cold this time of year, and as for the trodden ground and the blood...It is no secret that bloodwraiths prefer to hunt in packs whenever possible. So there is your explanation."

Still not persuaded, she protested, "But Desdemonna doesn't believe that. And what of the rumors?"

Jareth replied with an air of bored certainty, "Sheer paranoia."

She was quiet a moment before she frowned and interjected, "But..."

Jareth sighed and cut her off, "Sarah, I grow weary of this conversation. Logic points to bloodwraith infestation, and until I see something to make me believe otherwise..."

Hastily she interrupted, determined to press the issue, "But why would she feel the need to warn me if she didn't truly believe..."

Jareth tilted his head to the side and proposed gently, "Sarah, it's no secret that the girl is fond of you. It's not entirely unreasonable that she may have concocted the warning to get your attention and place herself in your favor."

Sarah pondered the possibility and was quick to disagree, "I don't think she would do something like that...I mean she was crying for god sakes."

Jareth scoffed, "How do you know she wouldn't? You barely even know her?"

He did have a point there. It was true that Sarah barely knew a thing about her, but something in her gut told her that the young lady wasn't lying.

Jareth grinned smugly and added, "The lady is Fae Sarah. I assure you they are a manipulative lot, capable of much more than tears to attain their ends."

Her eyes quickly darted to his face as she suddenly pointed out, "So are you. Does that mean I shouldn't trust you?"

His smug smile turned predatory as he replied silkily, "Now there's a subject to be breached. Let's just establish something you trust me?"

Sarah swallowed, taking a step back, "I...I don't know."

His smile distracted her from the fact that he had advanced another step. It was a sinister yet intensely alluring smile that made her blood run cold, causing her to shiver. He suddenly seemed too close and Sarah tried to retreat without success. She backed herself up against the heavy butcher block table.

His eyes fell to her lips before he drawled, "Now you've got me curious. Tell me...Do you?"

Sarah's gaze remained locked with his as she admitted, "Yes. Sometimes...and other times I feel as though I shouldn't."

His voice was rich yet soft, "Oh? And why is that?"

Her heart was pounding again and she was aware that her voice sounded breathless as she replied, "I don't know...I just feel as though I should be cautious when it comes to you." She inched to the side and retreated, feeling much better with the table between them.

He gaze remained fixed on her as she hastily added, "I...I should get changed so that we can return to the ball."

His eyes raked over her as he stated, " all means..." , before he turned his back to her and added softly, "Just tell me when you are ready for the corset and I will assist you."

Sarah turned away, shrugging off her doublet before she hurriedly began unfastening the buttons on her billowy poet's shirt. A fleeting backwards glance confirmed that Jareth was indeed still facing the other direction. Free from his piercing gaze, she pulled off the linen wrapping that bound her breasts.

She hastily stripped off her breeches and stepped into her dress. Pulling the garment up, and holding it to her chest she softly instructed, "I'm ready for the corset."

Jareth retrieved the bodice from the table beside him and turned around. Sarah was facing away from him, clutching the garment to her chest with both hands.

For the second time that evening his eyes fell on her exposed flesh. It looked untouched, pure as snow, and softer than the finest silk. The expanse of flesh that composed her back was a work of art, turning in at her waist and then outward, revealing the sculpted curve of her hip.

In that posture, with only her hands holding the shimmering gold fabric to her partially exposed body, she looked breathtaking and virginal, shaming even the most beautiful and enchanting marble likeness of the female form, more striking than any goddess.

Tentatively she turned her head to glance over her shoulder. Her face was lowered in humility and she looked up at him out of shy apprehensive eyes that were a bewitching mixture of jade and hazel bordered by captivating dark lashes.

Her intense demure gaze seemed to pierce his flesh stabbing him to his core. He found her innocence, her purity enticing, a seduction in itself, which when combined with her fiery spirit and natural beauty, made for a temptation far too exquisite to resist.

His own heart seemed to pound in his ears as he approached the object of his desire. His soul seemed to whisper in warning, that it could wait no more. He freed the laces from the corset, placing one end of the string in his mouth, as he would need the use of both his hands.

As if in slow motion he stretched out the corset, raising it over her head and lowering it in front of her. She took the front of the bodice, guiding it to her breast as he brought the two ends together at her bare back, carefully arranging the fabric of the gown beneath it. With one elegantly gloved hand he held the corset together at the back as he took the lace from between his teeth.

It proved an arduous task to feed the end of the string through the first set of tiny holes, his leather gloves hampering him further. Impatiently he imparted, "Hold it tightly in place for a moment."

Barely able to breath, never mind respond, Sarah did as he requested.

With one hand securing the back of the bodice, he brought his other gloved hand to his mouth, catching the fingertips between his teeth before he pulled his hand out of its leather casing. He freed his other hand in the same manner and cast his gloves aside on the cutting table.

Now free of his gloves, his hands were less clumsy and more adept for the task of lacing the bodice. He skillfully tackled the first few passes of the lacing when he noticed that the rhythmic rise and fall of Sarah's shoulders had been interrupted by a shallow hitching breath.

Out of curiosity his gaze lifted to the side of her face just as she closed her eyes. His eyes were then drawn to the pale skin of her shoulder blades and he halted in his task. The forgotten laces fell from his grasp.

Tentatively, he raised his slender elegant fingers to hover above the flesh of her contoured shoulder blade. He hesitated but a moment before he let his fingertips just barely graze over the skin there. In the instant of the contact, a jolt of excitement tore through him so strongly that he barely caught Sarah's soft gasp of surprise.

It had been so long now that he had desired to touch her like this, free of his gloves, to feel the warmth and texture of her skin under his curious fingertips. Her skin was so soft, smooth, and full of warmth. His breath caught in his throat as he brushed his fingertips along the contours of her shoulder blade. His movements were agonizingly slow as he waited for her to protest, but no objection came.

Sarah froze. Her eyes closed, as her chest heaved with shallow breaths.

She felt as though she were dying when he approached with the corset, but just as she thought her longing for his attention couldn't get any worse, she was introduced to a new, much crueler form of torture. His touch.

From the moment his fingertips made first contact with her skin she felt as though her heart would overflow. So much of what she felt for him, had so long been repressed and denied. But now as his fingers skimmed lightly over her skin she could no longer suppress the barrage of feelings.

His touch was as gentle as a feather, the tips of his fingers cool against her bare back, but they brought with them a sensation that she could only liken to electricity that seemed to spark through her entire body, igniting her flesh and waking the dreaming demons that dwelt in her heart and soul.

She closed her eyes against the sensation. It was both heaven and hell. Rapture and torture twisted together and made indistinguishable. It was like a whisper, a sweet promise and a dark threat of all the things yet to come. She couldn't help imagining such a touch all over the rest of her body. She desperately feared it and craved it at the same time.

In that moment she knew that his touch would haunt her forever, even if this was the only taste of it she ever got. She was no expert in matters of the heart, but she knew enough to decipher that this probably meant that she was in love with him.

God...why was he doing this to her? In her mixture of elation and misery she realized she was doomed, for how could she stop a feeling, especially when it was so divine?

It seemed she was incapable of breath or rational thought as his fingertips continued to skim over her shoulder blades and trace a path down the valley of her spine only to resume their journey upwards grazing over her silky back.

Jareth was astonished by the softness of her skin and he became consumed with the desire to explore the rest of her young body. He felt as though he would perish if he didn't have her soon. Made bold by his need, he flattened his palm firmly against the flesh between her shoulder blades and with considerable pressure he slid his hand up, squeezing her shoulder before his fingers trailed across the nape of her neck.

Her sharp intake of breath was audible and only further prompted his exploration. Stepping closer, he brushed her thick dark hair aside. Time and space seemed to hang suspended between them as he bowed his head and lowered his lips to her shoulder. His breath came hot on her bare flesh as he raggedly breathed in consternation, "You're trusting me now..."

Her eyes closed, and her breath was stolen away as he tasted the skin of her shoulder. His kiss was painfully slow, and artfully deliberate. His lips slowly advanced to where her shoulder met the side of her neck as goose-bumps rose all along her flesh. Both his hands closed roughly on her shoulders as he lavished searing open-mouthed kisses against her neck. Sarah's heart leapt into her throat as desire surged like liquid fire through her veins. She was melting in response to the increasing roughness of his touch and kisses. Such seduction was beyond was villainy. It had to be...for the things it made her want to do to him were positively wicked.

Feeling as though he could never get enough of her, Jareth slowly ran his tongue over her skin, savoring her salty taste. Her mouth parted in surprise at the sheer pleasure of it.

She thought she might die from the sensation, never in her life had anything stirred her so. Rattled by the sudden dizzying and disorienting desire she felt for him, she tensed. Shameless villain or not, she didn't care. She wanted him...quite desperately. The peril of falling washed over her like sudden vertigo, as she teetered on the edge of a terrifying precipice.

Ironically, his hands slid down her arms, steadying her as they tightened about her waist. His voice was husky and breathless as he whispered against her skin, "I know you're torn. Deep down you do trust me, yet out of caution you hesistate. You're afraid of me aren't you?"

Sarah struggled to catch her breath as she weakly stammered, "A...Afriad of you?"

His response was laced with tension as he hissed, "Yessss. I think you are afraid of what I might make you feel...that it might be something powerful...something you've never felt before."

He was so goddamn right that it unnerved her. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of letting him know how very right he was. She shook her head as she swallowed, trying to gain a small shred of composure.

Jareth was faster, and he wasn't going to make this easy on her. His hands traveled up her sides as he relentlessly kissed the side of her throat, finally scraping his teeth against her skin in a rough sort of love bite, just hard enough to startle her.

She cried out at the blessed mixture of pleasure and pain. His hands steadily traveled upwards as his mouth found her ear. He nipped seductively at her earlobe just before his harsh sultry voice promised, "I know you far better than you pretend. If you would stop fighting...give me half a might be pleased with how agreeable I CAN be."

It was too much. His words, his touch, his kisses. She was exhausted from fighting. All she wanted was to feel his mouth on hers.

His lips seared a path of scorching kisses up the side of her neck, his tongue sending shivers of desire racing through her as his hands slid over the front of her bodice, coming to rest over her heaving breasts. Rapt by all that was happening, all that he was making her feel, she helplessly turned her head towards him breathlessly murmuring his name in a rasp of surrender, "Jareth..."

Hearing her plea, he looked at her. He drank in the sight of her tortured expression and his eyes darkened with desire.

It was now or never.

With all the purpose in the world, he claimed her mouth with savage intensity.

The kiss was like the soldering heat that joins metals and she welcomed the cruel ravishment of his mouth. The brutal contact seemed to sate her soul, and she returned his fierce kiss with reckless abandon.

For one startled moment Jareth was weakened by the power of her kiss. Never had he imagined that she might respond with such fervor. Something gripped him then, something that was beyond his control and comprehension, and for the first time ever he was shaken. He desired this mortal human girl so much that it terrified him. As his tongue explored the recesses of her mouth his hands flattened against her breasts, wanting desperately to feel the warmth of her skin underneath the heavy bodice.

To his surprise, Sarah's warm velvety tongue eagerly started to explore his mouth just as her trembling hands slid forcefully over his own. Her fingertips were icy, but her palms were hot as she smoothed her hands roughly over his, encouraging him to touch her more vigorously. Feeling drugged by the heady sensations she aroused in him, he savored the potent pleasure of her kiss, her touch.

With her hands still atop his, he slid them downward, caressing her ribcage before they resumed their journey upward, smoothing over the bodice and continuing up to where the corset hung loose at the tops of her breasts. His hands moved magically over her smooth breasts and she whimpered piteously against his mouth as her hands left his to fitfully grasp the material covering her thighs. In frustration she twisted the fabric in her clenched fists as if to keep them from disobeying her. His palms flattened over her breasts smoothing over the bodice, grazing her painfully hardened nipples. She inadvertently let out a tormented groan as her hands released the gown.

The sound of her incoherent plea stirred him further, making him painfully conscious of his intense state of arousal. Suddenly he was aware that her hands, which had just been at her sides were now restlessly clutching at the sides of his thighs. Driven blindly by his passion, his hand left her breast to travel southward. While his assault on her mouth continued, he reached down, catching the hem of her skirt in his hand.

He moved his body closer to hers and she flattened her back against him, basking in the warmth and feel of him. He hitched up her heavy skirts, his hand disappearing underneath. Suddenly Sarah felt the warmth of his bare hand coming to rest on her thigh, just above her knee.

Long slender fingers gently stroked her silken flesh. Sarah gasped at the intimate feeling of his bare hand on her naked thigh. Slowly and deliberately he ran his hand up, caressing her inner thigh.

Sarah's breath caught in her throat as the degree of her arousal was frighteningly intensified. Kissing him back feverishly, she wondered if he was aware of the yearning he was causing between her legs.

As his fingertips drifted higher, her world seemed to skid to a halt. Oh god if he touched her there...she would surely die.

His hand crept unhurriedly up her inner thigh. His caresses were exploratory and lingering, as he savored the feel of her warm silken skin under his hand.

When he ran his hand up slowly towards the juncture of her thighs Sarah's mouth broke away from his as she released a shuddering breath. The intensity of her yearning was plainly written in her expression and Jareth couldn't resist the chance to give her pleasure.

His fingertips grazed her right where the throbbing ache was the most acute. Her eyes were screwed shut in anguish as she failed to stifle a soft moan.

The sound affected him profoundly. His eyes drifted closed as he rested his forehead against her temple and raggedly breathed into her hair with a definite edge to his voice, "By the Fates...I want to touch you." He sounded as though he was in just as much agony as she.

It shattered her to pieces to hear him beg her like that, especially when she too could think of nothing else but the pleasures of accommodating him.

His hot mouth descended upon her neck as he begged breathlessly, "I want to please you. Please let me touch you..."

It had been so long since she felt release, and this was Jareth. Jareth kissing her, Jareth touching her, Jareth begging to please her.

God, it was more than she could stand. She was only human. How much temptation could she possibly endure? She had already suffered more than what she would have thought possible. He was so enticing...and the things he did felt so good. Every fiber of her being screamed that she wanted him, needed him to make her feel things that she never thought possible. But such a thing was so dangerous, wasn't it?

Something told her that if she gave in she would never come out of it alive, but then again, at that moment, it nearly seemed a fair price. At present, she wanted him so badly that swore she could deal with the consequences, no matter what they were.

Incapable of coherent speech, she swallowed her pride, throwing caution to the wind as she nodded, affirming that he had her permission.

Neither of them seemed to breathe as he touched her. She gasped at the raw pleasure of it. He was struck to his core by the feel of her; blessedly soft, shaming even the most silken of rose petals.

Confronted with his undoing, he groaned in a mixture of agony and awe. After feeling her, how could he ever be satisfied? He had to have her. Tonight. Or his wanting would drive him to insanity.

He ruthlessly toyed with her, focusing his attention on the one spot that would surely bring her the most intense gratification. Her breathing became erratic as he pleasured her, and her soft pleading moans became more and more insistent.

As he watched her brow knit in rapture, he felt his restraint beginning to falter. Much more of this, and his self-control would snap. Soon he would have to take her, though he reasoned, based on the way she was responding, it wouldn't have to be by force.

She grasped tightly at the fabric of his waistcoat as she breathlessly panted in little gasps, "Oh." breath "Jareth..."

His suspicions were confirmed. No, it would never be by force. Gods, she certainly liked this. He found this side of Sarah Williams rather fascinating, and quite pleasantly surprising.

Without warning she reached back blindly, finding the evidence of his arousal. She forcefully ran her palm over his breeches, rubbing him through his pants.

Jareth gasped, nearly coming out of his skin at her bold caress. She relentlessly repeated the motion, and he hissed from behind clenched teeth, "Ssssarahhhh...what...are you doing?"

Breathless from the pleasure and torment he was inflicting upon her she panted breathlessly, "I want to touch you too..."

Pushed well beyond his limits, Jareth suddenly withdrew his hand from under her skirts and promptly lifted her in his arms as though she weighed nothing. Ignoring her surprised cry of protest, he carried her purposefully to the butcher block table where he set her down on her back.

Frantically, he shrugged off his waistcoat bending over her, roughly claiming her mouth. His kiss was urgent and punishing and Sarah seemed to melt into it. Just as savagely, he tore his mouth from hers, and began branding her neck and shoulders with searing kisses.

He kissed a fiery trail down her neck, his tongue tasting the pulsing hollow at the base of her throat. His ministrations ventured lower as his mouth teased the tops of her breasts making her moan and gasp with pleasure. His hands seemed to be everywhere at once, cupping her breasts, caressing her thighs, venturing underneath her skirts. It was a dizzying torrent of sensations.

His mouth was upon hers again, his kiss now fierce and wholly consuming. It was so disorienting, that she was only vaguely aware of the hands that were now roaming under her skirt. She felt his fingers brush over her silken belly to caress the swell of her hip. Their counterparts suddenly joined in, and before Sarah knew what was happening, she felt her underpants being yanked unceremoniously off of her.

She tore her mouth from his as his urgent kisses strayed to be lavished on her throat and shoulders.

The hasty removal of her panties was cause enough for alarm, as was the fact that she was on her back, on a chopping block in the castle kitchens in the midst of a ball with an incensed Goblin King practically on top of her.

Finally gathering enough of her wits about her to see the big picture she panted, "Wha...what are you doing?"

Nudging her knees apart and positioning himself between them, Jareth captured her mouth again just as she felt his fingers exploring her relentlessly in answer.

She reeled at the pulse of pleasure as he broke the kiss and breathed in a ragged husky voice, "I can't bear any more Sarah. We finish this now."

She felt his hand leave her and she forced her head off the table to see that he had begun to hastily unfasten his breeches. In one panicked moment of foresight she realized that her darkest most secret fantasy was about to come true, but instead of making love to her in an opulent chamber of a fairy tale castle, Jareth was about to screw her senseless atop a butcher block table within the dingy kitchens of the Goblin Castle.

The reality hit her hard. There had been no admission of love. The endless days of tension and frustration had lead to this, the point where their desire could no longer be contained. Lust is a powerful emotion, and it threatened to overwhelm them like a speeding freight train. The momentum that was building would surely hasten the act, turning what could be something beautiful into a big hurried mistake.

This wasn't going to be an act of love. How could it be? In such a fevered state, it would be over nearly as soon as it began. With disappointed horror she realized this was not going to be something sacred she would cherish. It would be sex, frantic, hurried sex.

She had sworn to herself that she was better than this the last time she had given into the temptation of a frivolous romp while back at school. What burned her the most, was that she knew that what she already felt for Jareth deserved better than this. Of course she didn't really know what he felt, maybe he only did want sex from her...but somehow deep down she didn't believe that, and if he did feel anything for her that was beyond sexual attraction he would probably regret what they were about to do too.

She couldn't just lay back and let this happen no matter how badly her body demanded it, not until she knew truly what lie between them. Shrilly she cried, "Wait!"

Jareth paused, his hands still on the bindings of his trousers as he looked up at her.

Frantically she struggled to sit up, trying to keep her bodice from slipping as she protested breathlessly, "Jareth...wait! We...we shouldn't do this, not here. Not like this."

With a flick of his wrist he was holding a crystal, his gaze was intense as he supplied, "My chamber then?"

Sarah shook her head and weakly began, "No. I...I think if we do this now, we'll be making a big mistake."

He raised his brow in confusion and she quickly added, "I would be rushed. I think if we do this, I mean do this right now...we might regret it."

He hesitated, "Rushed?" Understanding finally dawned on him and he added, "Ah. Because of the ongoing ball you mean?"

Sarah nodded and he quickly ground out, "I suppose you're right. Perhaps it would be wiser to continue after the ball..." He added with a sinister grin, "I would rather take my time with you Sarah."

Blushing furiously, she began, "Um...yeah about that..."

His expression became unreadable, his gaze intense and Sarah reasoned that she'd better tread carefully. Deciding that diplomacy was the best approach, she quickly reassured, "Um...It's not that I don't want to...because I do..."

His smile returned as he wondered just what she was getting at. She went on, "I just want to be sure that I'm ready..."

He gave her a questioning look and she stammered, "I know, I know. It's not like I haven't done this before, but I promised myself..."

He regarded her with a quizzical look and remarked, "Promised yourself?"

She inched closer to him. He looked so damned charming, when he grinned like that, that she couldn't help herself. She found herself getting lost in those extraordinary mismatched eyes of his, so she looked away as she finished, "I er...promised that I wouldn't do it again unless it...meant something."

His smirk was wicked as he teased, "Meant something?" He was obviously enjoying this.

She nodded, " know...more than just the act itself."

As if finally taking in their surroundings for the first time, he started to understand what Sarah was getting at. Here he was a powerful King with an entire kingdom at his disposal and an equally powerful prowess to match and he had been ready to ravage the girl like a desperate impatient youth on a crude wooden table in the dingy kitchens. Hardly an ideal setting or manner for the intimate encounter he had been waiting for. He had been made to wait years for this, and here he could barely stand to endure a few more minutes. As impatient as he was, he was intrigued by her reasoning, as it suggested that she wanted there to be more than just a physical relationship between them. That being of course, what he had been planning all along. She just didn't know it yet.

With an air of reserved coolness he smirked and gestured between them, "So you would find this to be...just physical?"

She was certain that he was just questioning her in this manner because he enjoyed making her squirm. Deliberately and cautiously she replied, "What I meant, is that I wouldn't have sex just for the sake of sex...I promised myself I'd wait for it to be with someone special."

He considered this carefully and seriously responded, "Special? You mean someone that you love?"

She took a deep breath and replied, "Ideally, yes. I've had enough of meaningless relationships...I just think I ought to wait for someone I have real feelings for, someone who would hopefully return those feelings."

He smiled wistfully, "What a romantic notion."

She looked away and snapped, "I know, you think it's silly...but please keep your derisive comments to yourself. I don't think I can handle it tonight."

He crossed his arms over his chest looking away as he distantly replied, "I have nothing derisive to say. I wouldn't expect anything less than romantic notions from you Sarah."

Puzzled by his answer and his pensive tone, she got to her feet approaching him carefully as she supplied, "Look, Jareth, we are both aware that an attraction exists between us, but I want you to know, I didn't mean to lead you on. I just got caught up in it..."

He smiled slightly and answered, "As did I. But before we return to the ball there is something I must know..."

Sarah swallowed, wondering what he could possibly ask, "What's that?"

He stalked closer, his face very near hers as he drawled, "What are the chances that I could become someone special to you?" For once his feral grin was entirely playful and not at all threatening.

With a slow secret smile she remarked, "I'd have a better than average shot."

His grin broadened in approval as he pressed, "Oh? How far above average?"

She shot him a wry grin as she warned, "Don't press your luck. Above average...we'll leave it at that."

His mused in response, "In that case, shall we return to the ball so I might raise the odds in my favor."

She chuckled warmly as she slid off the table and agreed, "Sure."

She smoothed out the front of her gown with trembling hands, still shaken by what they'd been about to do. Her face and ears reddened as she dared to offer him a shaky smile, brushing by him shyly, before she scanned the floor and mused in a flustered tone, "Guess I'd better put my underwear back on, and actually do up the bodice before we go back out there."

Jareth teased, "The bodice yes, or that Nyx will be salivating like a mongrel, but tell you what love? If you neglect to re-donne your undergarments, I promise not to tell...besides, it will give me something to ponder while I dance with you."

Sarah failed to stifle a laugh as she continued to search the floor, "I don't think so. Where the heck are they?"

With a smug smile he withdrew a hand from behind his back, the panties in question dangling from his index finger. With a snicker she snatched them from him, just as he taunted, "Rather scandalous, aren't they?"

Sarah shook her head biting her lip, "Apparently you haven't been consorting with humans very long. These are probably the most utilitarian pair I own."

He shook his head and replied with an air of amusement, "Ah Sarah, you never fail to amuse me. Shall we tackle that bodice of yours?"

Her eyes met his as she replied, "Alright. But this time...try and keep your hands to yourself."

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 26 of 42

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