Continuing Tales

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 3 of 42

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Most Prized Possession

Sarah frantically rose onto her knees, sitting back on her heels as her eyes trailed slowly and reluctantly up his imposing frame. The black leather boots went to his knees. Upward her eyes drifted, over dark gray breeches that left little to the imagination. Her gaze darted higher still, over a mahogany leather waistcoat, cinched low, exposing a pristine white poet's shirt. His shirt was slightly open at the throat, revealing the amulet that hung in place against his alabaster chest.

His arms were crossed menacingly, his hands covered by black leather gauntlets. It was the termination of her gaze's journey that was the most agonizing. His mouth was fixed in the very arrogant smirk that had tormented her dreams, and his cold mismatched eyes hadn't changed at all...they were the very same ones that had haunted her for the past six years.

He was exactly as she remembered him. The same wild unruly platinum hair, that same haughty expression, however as familiar as he was, his realness, his proximity, his magic scent like winter air just before it snows, seemed twice as devastating now that she was no longer a child, because she knew that this time, there was no chance that her imagination had simply run away with her.

And just as Sarah was thinking that the situation could not get any more precarious, his voice cut through the darkness. The sultry sound of it caressed her ears, as he drawled, "Hello Sarah."

Sarah closed her eyes against the surge of dread caused by the sound of his voice and swallowed, searching herself for even the smallest bit of strength as she struggled to regain her composure. Slowly she opened her eyes, fixing them on the object of all her dreams and nightmares, and demanded in the firmest voice she could manage, "Where's Kayla?"

The Goblin King grinned at her as he came out of his casually arrogant stance to stalk closer. Sarah swiftly got to her feet, choosing to ignore the pain that shot through her knees from her earlier fall. His smile was clearly predatory as he replied, "Really Sarah, I would have thought you'd have learned by now."

Sarah winced at his words, "She's in the castle isn't she?"

Jareth looked over the mortal standing before him and it didn't escape her attention that his eyes lingered on her chest before dropping to her exposed legs. His eyes made their way back up to her face as he remarked, "How very astute of you."

Sarah clenched her fists together as she raggedly breathed in a voice that broke, "Is she to become a goblin?"

Jareth lowered his head in contemplation, as he began to walk around her in a circle. His eyes were fixed on her as he smirked, "No. Your friend is an adult, capable of making her own decisions, and I do not transform adults into goblins."

Sarah held her breath as she demanded, "What will become of her then?"

Jareth seemed to consider her question and quipped, "To be honest I haven't quite decided..." His eyes held hers as he added, "...but I can promise you that it won't be pleasant. What shall I do with your precious...Kayla, was it?"

Stinging tears blurred her vision as she begged, "Please...let her go. She didn't mean what she said!"

Jareth tilted his head to the side in a mock gesture of regret as he replied, "I can't do that Sarah. She wished herself away to me...she spoke the words, it doesn't matter if she meant them or not. What's said is said. Your friend is not some helpless child..." His gaze drifted over her form again as he added, "and neither are you."

Sarah wasn't even listening at this point, all her thought was bent on finding a way to make Jareth bring Kayla back.

And there was only one way that she knew of.

The labyrinth.

Sarah raised her chin and tried to sound determined as she replied, "Alright...I'll play your game. I did it before, I'll do it again."

Jareth held up his gloved hand, "Ah determined and brave Sarah...I'm afraid things have changed this time. Your friend wished herself away. You cannot save her by solving

the labyrinth. In fact, this has nothing to do with you. I suggest that you forget her."

Sarah could do nothing to stop the stream of hot tears that flowed freely down her cheeks. This was all her fault. If she hadn't let Kayla read that book. Hell, she should have burned the damn thing the day she got back from the underground, but something prevented her from doing so.

No, this DID have something to do with her, she was sure of it. Jareth was bitter that she had bested him. He had to be. Somehow, someway, this had been orchestrated by him, she would stake her life on it. He wanted something. The fact that he was here now was proof of that.

Sarah blinked and resolved to do whatever it took to get Kayla back safely. She took a deep breath and countered, "She is my best friend. I can't forget her. So tell me...if not the labyrinth, then what must I do to get her back?"

Jareth considered her question and pulled a crystal out of thin air, "You could take this. Then you will have no trouble forgetting your friend." A slight smile graced his face as he added silkily, "...and you'll have your dreams."

Sarah turned her face away as if the very sight of the orb repulsed her, "Not a chance. I turned down your gift before and I have no problem doing it again. I want Kayla back, safe and sound. Now...What. Must. I. Do?"

The crystal burst into thin air as he disappeared with it. He reappeared directly behind her and brought his mouth close to her ear as he chided, "Such formality. You really do like to get right down to business. Well, seeing that I am feeling generous, and once upon a time you proved to be a worthy opponent, perhaps we could bend the rules a bit and negotiate."

Sarah shuddered as his warm breath drifted across the side of her neck. With him standing so close she couldn't think clearly. Fighting the urge to shiver she quickly took a step away from him and stammered "Fine...we negotiate...but I have to know that she's alright."

Jareth's eyes locked with hers as he slid into her view again, "Very well."

Suddenly Sarah and Jareth were standing in the throne room of the castle beyond the Goblin City. Sarah glanced about frantically and saw that Kayla was kneeling in the center of the room in the indented center of the stone floor. Her wrists were secured together behind her back with crude rope and goblins of all shapes and sizes were swarming all around her.

Kayla looked up to see Sarah on the other side of the room and her voice rang out in panic, "Sar, What's going on? What are these things?"

Sarah wiped at her eyes and tried to run to her friend, but a strong hand caught her by the arm and held her back. Sarah tried to make her voice sound calm as she yelled back, "It's alright Kayla. I'm going to get you out of here. They're just goblins. Stay still and they won't hurt you."

Jareth pulled Sarah back and impatiently began, "There you've seen her...Now..." He waved his hand and all activity in the room ceased as all the inhabitants of the room disappeared. Only herself and Jareth remained, "Let's get down to negotiations shall we?"

Sarah glanced about in confusion, "Where'd she go?" Jareth was growing annoyed, "She's in the oubliette...I assure you she's perfectly safe."

Sarah was still confused as she added, "And the goblins?" Sarah looked up to find that Jareth lounging on his throne. "They are a distraction when it comes to negotiations, so I've sent them elsewhere. Now, let's discuss how you can get your friend back."

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 3 of 42

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