Continuing Tales

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 31 of 42

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Most Prized Possession

Slowly the pink sunlight of dawn crept over the labyrinth. When the light at last reached the massive fortress at the center, many of the inhabitants of the surrounding Goblin City were stirring and milling about, going on with their usual morning routines.

A single stream of sunlight penetrated into the tower that was the Goblin King's chamber. The heavy crimson drapes, though almost tightly drawn, managed to let in one sliver of daylight that steadily crept across the flagstone floor, onto the massive bed, as if trying to entice the mortal girl from her slumber.

The narrow beam of light slowly inched over the girl's cheek, intruding with a seeming gentle caress of the radiant sun. Clinging to the blissful haze of slumber, she shifted in her sleep, evading the persistent strip of sunshine.

Even in sleep, she instinctively shifted closer to the warm solid body that was molded against her back. The arm that was thrown so haphazardly over her hip, tightened about her waist in response, drawing her even further into its warm embrace.

Somewhere between dreaming and consciousness she remembered whose bed she was sharing. A slow smile of sleepy contentment spread on her face as she inhaled sharply, letting the sweet magic scent of the pillow and bed linens lure her back into the pleasant dream she had been having.

Suddenly the pounding of a heavy insistent knock reverberated throughout the chamber startling Sarah awake. She felt Jareth stir beside her as a frantic Goblin voice called from behind the thick oak door, "Your Majesty!"

Even in his groggy state, the panicked tone in the Goblin's voice registered in Jareth's mind and he sat bolt upright, flicking a wrist in the direction of the door as he barked, "Enter!"

The door swung open, nearly causing the stout goblin on the other side to lose his balance. He stammered in a frantic hiss, "Ssssss...sorry to disturb you your majesty..."

Jareth, half expecting a plethora of ill news, wearily prodded, "Yes, what is it?"

The Goblin swallowed in blatant nervousness, his eyes wide with fear as he gushed, "It...It's the girl your majesty!"

Jareth leveled a haughty gaze at the goblin and coolly replied, "What of her?"

It was precisely at that moment that Sarah sat up, clutching the wine colored sheet to her chest, covering herself from the awkward intrusion.

The goblin had already started to answer when he caught sight of Sarah and his voice faltered with uncertainty, "Shhhh...She's..."

Understanding suddenly dawned on him and his panic turned to relief, which quickly gave way to embarrassment as he lamely finished, "She's...Uhhhh...right here with you."

Jareth noticed that Sarah's face was quickly turning as scarlet as the sheets as the Goblin stammered uneasily, "Uhhhhh, yeah...I...I'll be on my way then." He started to close the door behind him when he suddenly halted and added, "Oh...I almost forgot your majesty...the captain of the guard has come to give you his report."

Jareth inclined his head in approval as he ordered, "Have him await me in the throne room." The goblin nodded sharply, "Yes, your majesty." and with that he ducked out and closed the door.

Jareth leaned back against the ornate headboard, his eyes sliding over, appraising the girl who was now sitting up next to him.

Sarah's dark hair was out of place, looking slightly wild in it's unruly state, and he noticed her skin was flushed a deep pink in embarrassment. She still clutched the sheet to her chest as she turned her sparkling hazel green eyes to meet his.

She bit her lower lip in her uncertainty. The childish gesture, and her youthful features made her look so young and innocent, so vulnerable...

Jareth inwardly smiled to himself as a voice in his head reminded him that looks are often deceiving. After all, it was the same, seemingly innocent girl that shared his bed mere hours ago, making his body burn, evoking and returning a passion the likes of which he had never known.

For a moment he thought of the way she had writhed under him in the heat of passion, how she had cried out so forcefully. They had made love for a good part of the night, and he recalled with delight that more than once had she screamed his name, begging him for more. His gaze lingered on her for a moment as amusement curled his thin lips into a smug grin.

His eyes strayed over her form as he silkily mused, "It seems my subjects have a gift for always disturbing me at the most inopportune times."

Sarah looked away shyly as she thoughtfully admitted, "Yeah, I've noticed."

With a disarming smile Jareth threw back the covers and slid out of bed, noticing that Sarah's cheeks flushed a deeper crimson as she quickly averted her eyes.

She heard him pour himself a glass of water and she nodded when he offered her some. He stalked closer to the bed, water goblet in hand, and it was a struggle for Sarah not to let her eyes follow his naked form. Though they had already been intimate, Sarah was modest by nature, and couldn't bring herself to unabashedly oogle him, even though he was without a doubt the most beautiful male she had ever seen.

As he reached the foot of the bed he handed her the goblet, which she took with a quiet "thanks" before he flopped onto the bed, letting his upper body rest atop the mattress. He folded his arms on the covers, resting his chin atop them as his engaging gaze settled resolutely on her.

Sarah risked a glance in his direction, and his mouth curved into the most seductive and mischievous smile she had ever seen. Her insides seemed to melt and she was struck by the realization that even if she made love to the Goblin King a thousand times he would still fill her with this overwhelming nervous excitement. His lazy confidence, and commanding presence simply kept her in awe. The fact that she was hopelessly smitten with him didn't help matters either.

As Sarah took a tentative sip of her water Jareth mused, "They may have the most atrocious timing, but at least there is one good thing about the disruption..."

Sarah swallowed a mouthful of water and asked, "What's that?"

Jareth tilted his head slightly to the side, admiring her as he admitted, "You're blushing again..."

Sarah felt her face grow even hotter as she shook her head in protest. He assured her in a velvety tone, "It's nothing to be ashamed really are quite lovely when you blush."

Sarah turned her head from his penetrating gaze and informed him, "I'm blushing because it's embarrassing. I can't believe that just happened. Caught red handed in your bed...that couldn't have been more obvious."

Without warning Jareth was atop the bed, advancing on all fours towards her. He hovered over her, like a predator about to strike, an amused smirk plastered on his face as he playfully drawled, "That's where you are wrong. I can think of plenty of things that would have been much more obvious." His breath came warm on her throat before he nuzzled her ear, "Would you care for me to demonstrate?"

She looked up at him demurely, not sure if she should encourage him or not, when she noticed that the crimson sheet that covered her was inching lower and lower. Jareth tugged the sheet so it was uncovering her little by little, and just as it started to slip off her breasts she snatched it back up, her fierce green eyes engaging his.

She fought the smile that was tugging at the corner of her mouth and teased coyly, "Jareth! Don't you have somewhere to be? Isn't the guard waiting to give you his report?"

He shrugged in that casually arrogant way of his and purred, "Most assuredly. However at the moment, the prospect of remaining in bed all day is so much more appealing. Add a certain mortal, tucked so nicely into my bed...and there's no contest really."

Sarah tried to ignore the fact that her breath had caught in her throat as she pressed, "'re just going to make him wait?"

Jareth tilted his head to the side as he admired her and drawled, "I might. Though it would, more than likely, only add to the speculation."

Sarah's brows rose, drawing together as she quipped, "Speculation?"

Jareth smugly replied, "The rumors. Word travels fast in the Underground. No doubt, news of our torrid love affair has already reached the Goblin City. Any further delay would no doubt only compound the rumors."

He smirked wickedly and added, "By lunchtime they'll have us married with no less than five hundred children. Stories tend to get blown out of proportion, especially when they are being carried by Goblin tongues, as they do have a propensity for being slightly over dramatic."

Sarah's raised her inquisitive eyes to meet his, her full lips tugging into a teasing smile as she sarcastically taunted, "Wonder where they get it from..."

His eyes drifted down slowly, over the curve where she clutched the sheet to her breast, before they flicked back up to her face. His smile faded, and a raw intense expression replaced his amusement. His eyes held hers as he imperiously whispered, "Are you baiting me?"

Sarah felt the familiar flutter in her stomach as her breath caught in her throat. Why was it, that any discourse with Jareth, be it arguing or flirting, always made her feel exhilarated, like she were playing with a dangerous animal? She never really knew what he would say or do next and it suddenly occurred to her that that was one of the things she loved about him. She returned his feral gaze and barely managed her husky reply, "Maybe."

A slow sinister grin spread across his face, his mischievous expression reminiscent of some maniacal jester as his smile widened, showing the fine points of his teeth. He pursed his lips pensively before he drawled with a crooked grin, "Have it your way then..."

Sarah didn't even have time to react as he quickly grabbed a fistful of the bed linens that covered her and yanked hard, flinging them aside. In the next instant his hands had caught her wrists in their iron grip and he forced her hands over her head, easily pinning her to the mattress as he climbed atop her.

Sarah balled her hands into fists as she struggled against him, but it was to no avail as he only tightened his grip, forcing her wrists down harder against the bed. It occurred to her then that he was much stronger than she was, even without using his magical abilities, he easily overpowered her. His lean build was quite deceiving, for he was much stronger than he looked.

He lowered his face, bringing his mouth close to her ear as he warmly tsked, "Willful girl, now you force me to teach you a lesson...and keep the guard waiting." His throaty voice washed over her like thick honey, making every inch of her body scream for the fulfillment of his wicked promise.

She gasped, squeezing her eyes shut as she felt the erotic sensation of him running his tongue up the side of her throat. Cruel cool air chilled her skin as he drew back, and she was suspended in limbo, devoid of his touch, until, mercifully, she felt his hot breath on her breast.

Her senses were shocked to life as his tongue made eager teasing circles on her skin. He still held her wrists firmly, and she writhed against him, breathlessly gasping in an urgent husky whisper, "He can wait. I believe I am in need of your...correction"

His lips lightly brushed against hers teasingly, and she strained against him, trying to capture his mouth, but he turned his face out of her reach and whispered into her hair, "That you are...dire need."

Meanwhile, further North of the Goblin City...

A warm breeze drifted through the verdant courtyard, gently rustling oceans of flowers and lazily carrying white feathery seedpods, giving the very air a magical look. The central gardens of the Northern Imperial Palace were always a breathtaking sight during the Underground's sunny season, so it was not surprising at all to see diplomats strolling through the gardens after their audiences with the Emperor.

Desdemonna sighed deeply, lost in her small book of poetry, as she fingered the potent smelling blossom she had plucked from a nearby sapling. The words of the love poem loitered in her mind like Sargonne's sweet taste had lingered on her lips.

She sighed again as she thought of the youth. She had told herself, countless times, that it was fruitless to dwell on Jareth's servant, as longing for him would only bring her more heartache, but it was so hard not to think of him when the warm perfumed breeze teased her senses with a scent so reminiscent of him.

Her mind was muddled with the recollection of the dizzying sensations he had stirred within her. She closed her poetry book as she sighed a third time, muttering hopelessly to no one in particular, "I shouldn't have kissed him..."

She rose from her comfortable spot on the grass, deciding it was time to seek out her father and return home with him. At least then she could get out of this blasted spring air and manage to keep herself distracted with her lessons and embroidery.

As ambassador, her father routinely visited the palace but his business was usually completed by early afternoon. He would almost certainly be finished with his duties this late in the day. She brushed herself off and headed in the direction of the main hall. The sooner she got home the better. The saccharine sweetness of the garden was getting to her, and she had to stop thinking about the Goblin King's page before she drove herself mad.

She strode quickly along the garden path, in such a hurry that she nearly collided with two figures as she rounded the bend. She looked up, startled to see the two gentlefae, dressed in black finery before her.

The shorter of the two smiled politely as he softly greeted her, "Ah. There is my sister. Father said you would be about the gardens."

Desdemonna met her brother's engaging silvery eyes and replied evenly, "Nyx? What are you doing here?" His tone was slightly mocking as he teased, "Why...walking of course. I had an audience with some of the other diplomats today, and I ran into father as well."

He glanced at the Fae to his left, a tall thin noble with fair hair that was neatly gathered into a ponytail and striking violet eyes. Nyx cleared his throat politely, "Bastienne, I present to you, my sister, Desdemonna."

The lithe Fae bowed his head in a gesture of respect as he replied, "It is a pleasure my lady."

Desdemonna gave a curt bow in response and hastily replied, "Charmed to make your aquaitance." Before she turned her steady gaze to her brother. The tension between them was apparent in the following moment of silence, before she stiffly retorted, "You said you saw father, tell me...where is he?"

Nyx supplied, "I just saw him. He is in the foyer." Desdemonna nodded to them in a quick dismissal as she turned, abruptly heading towards the palace. Nyx watched her rush off and called after her, "Are you in such a hurry that you can't even bid us good day?"

She turned to look over her shoulder, gathering her skirts in her hand as she called back to them, "Excuse my haste, but I've tarried here too long already...good day to both of you."

Nyx looked away, letting his gaze linger on the ground, as Bastienne watched her go. When the girl was out of earshot the fair-haired Fae ventured, "Your sister is quite spirited...not to mention striking."

Nyx raised his head, his smoky eyes scanning the horizon as he conceded matter-of-factly, "Yes, that she is."

Bastienne again looked in the direction the girl had fled, but she was no where in sight as he muttered, "I'm sorry Goblin King didn't see it..." But then he suddenly smirked as he reconsidered, admitting, "On second thought...I'm not. Thanks to Jareth, your sister remains available."

Nyx narrowed his eyes at the mention of the Goblin King's name but otherwise remained silent as Bastienne went on, "She'd be more suitably matched to one among us...even if it does throw a wrench into your plans."

He approached Nyx who was still looking out at the setting sun and ventured, "But perhaps your plans don't involve her at all. I couldn't you've been so secretive."

He crossed his arms over his chest as he sighed and wearily finished, "Once upon a time you used to share everything with us. We were like brothers, you, Mordred, and I."

Nyx slid his molten silver gaze over the tall youth who stood waiting beside him and answered in a sincere and somewhat wounded tone, "It will be like that soon again, Bas. For the moment we just have to be careful. I will tell you and Mordred what you need to know, when you need to know it. My silence has been for good reason, and the wait is nearly over, in fact there is already something I might share with you both."

Bastienne smiled, "Good. Where is Mordred anyway? I haven't seen him since the masquarade."

Nyx softly answered, "That is what I've been meaning to tell you..."

Bastienne froze and sharply replied, "I'm listening."

Nyx lowered his voice and hissed, "Not here, the very trees and flowers could be listening...Come, follow me."

Meanwhile back in the Goblin Kingdom...

A tall lanky goblin swallowed nervously and wiped the drool from his mouth as he felt the air around him shift. As a goblin, he wasn't the brightest of creatures but he was smart enough to know that his ruler did not tolerate drooling.

He straightened, squaring his shoulders in an attempt to snap to attention as the King materialized in a shower of glitter before him. At first Jareth paid the guard no mind as he carelessly draped himself over his throne in a dramatic display of utter boredom.

His icy gaze slid over the goblin captain, who started forward in a clumsy bow that was as noisy as it was graceless. His dingy battered goblin armor was ridiculously oversized and clanked horribly as he moved. Jareth winced visibly as his subject addressed him in a shrill voice with a noticeable lisp, "Your Maggesssssty, I've come with the morning report..."

Jareth sighed impatiently and interrupted, "Yes. I know, you come every morning. Now, skip the formalities and get straight to the point." He narrowed his eyes at the goblin and sneered, "I have other engagements to tend to."

The goblin's slitted yellow eyes widened and he gawked like a fish out of water for a moment before he stammered, "Ssssskkkkkip the formalities?"

Jareth reached out, grabbing the goblin by his armor, pulling him so that they were nearly nose to nose. The King's voice was low as he ground out, "Yes. Just the important bits of last night's watch."

The Goblin nodded emphatically and repeated, "Yessss, jussst the important ppppieeecssses."

Jareth released him with a slight shove and settled back into his throne. It didn't escape the Goblin's attention that he formed a crystal in his hand an impatiently began tossing it back and forth. In fact, the Goblin's eyes never left the transparent orb as he nervously began recounting the events of the previous evening's watch.

He uneasily started to tell the king of a squabble that broke out over the last peanut in the forest tavern, but thought better of it when Jareth looked up suddenly, and the crystal stilled in his hands.

Frantic to not irritate the king further, he jumped ahead to the next item in his report, "During our march through the tunnelsssss...we ssssaw that ssssomeone had vandalizsssed the falsssse alarmssss."

Jareth slowly pressed, "Vandalized?"

The Goblin winced and squeaked, "Ssssssspray painted 'em...your majesssssty...gave'm musssssstachessss...never ssssseen 'em sssso livid."

Jareth rested his hand on his forehead and slowly sneered, "You'd best have something better than that..."

The Goblin stuttered frantically, as he struggled to come up with something, without pausing to breathe he gushed in a frightful lisp, "Ssssssomeone'sssss been pee'in on the li'l fairiesssssss by the gate again...I..." He promptly clamped his mouth shut as he noticed that the King was now pinching the bridge of his nose as though he were trying to ward off a terrible headache, or an imminent explosion of rage.

The King's voice was low and ominous as he warned, "Gathok..."

The Goblin tapped his fist against his forehead as he forced his puny brain into overdrive. The miniscule lightbulb must have finally gone on, as the goblin guard suddenly blurted, "Oh! We sssssaw sssssomething retreating into the fiery foresssst...a ssssskulking ssssort of thing...gleaming bluisssssh ssskin, it wassss glowing as it passsssed through the moonlight...and it had glittering red eyesssss."

Jareth looked up suddenly listening intently.

The goblin quickly added, "We bid it to halt...but it fled deeper into the foressssssst, so we chassssed it."

Jareth spoke slowly so that the Goblin would understand, "Did you apprehend it?"

The Goblin buzzed excitedly, "No, we kept lossssing ssssssight of it. We tried to track it for hoursssss...but it left no ssssscent."

Jareth was already on his feet stalking purposefully to the window, his clothing taking on a whitish sheen as he started to transfigure.

"Where was it last seen!?!"

Most Prized Possession

A Labyrinth Story
by Jester3

Part 31 of 42

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