Continuing Tales

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 13 of 24

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The Debt

Truth hurts

The large double doors flew open and Jareth and Aiden looked up in surprise as Sarah came storming in. She was dressed in her nightshirt and was barefoot as well. Her long brown hair settled wildly about her shoulders. She didn't care what she looked like and she didn't acknowledge Jareth and Aiden's look of shock.

"What the hell did you put in that juice?!" she demanded angrily.

Jareth blinked, a complete look of shock and confusion registering on his face. "I didn't put anything in it."

"Bullshit!" she spit.

Aiden coughed. "Um, if you'll excuse me. Nature calls." He hastily left the room, closing the doors behind him.

Sarah's face was bright red. "What the hell did you put in it!?"

Jareth looked at her with complete innocence, his eyes wide with surprise at her attitude. "I swear I put nothing in it."

"Why don't I believe you?" she cried out angrily.

"I don't know."

"I trusted you and you took advantage of me! Just as I knew you would!"

"What? I-"

"You broke the rules of your own deal. Send me home!" She demanded.

"I didn't break the rules." There was anger in his voice and suddenly he was standing.

"You did too!" she cried, not caring that she sounded like a spoiled little child, determined to get her way. "To become more then friends, had to be a mutual agreement."

"And it was a mutual agreement. I didn't see you trying to stop me from kissing you. Had you asked me to stop I would have!" He walked toward her and she stood her ground. He watched as she grew even angrier.

"You did something to that juice." She insisted stubbornly.

"I didn't do anything to the juice!" he shouted. His brows came down harshly over his mismatched eyes. He began to pace around her like he had that night at the barn. "You feel guilty for enjoying yourself and you're trying to blame it on me. You enjoyed that kiss and you can't deal your emotions so you're trying to find an excuse."

'I'm doing no such thing. I didn't enjoy it."

"Oh really? I seem to remember you eagerly responding. Do you remember all that happened?"

"Of course I do."

"Then surely you remember wrapping your arms about my neck, pushing me backwards against a tree while you kissed me and reaching to undo the buttons of my shirt. Yet you didn't enjoy what was happening?"

"I wasn't myself. You did something to me with magic."

"No I didn't! I would never manipulate you with magic."

She laughed and it wasn't a pleasant sound. "Yes you would. You've been using me all along. Playing nice because you just want to get me into your bed!"

Jareth's eyes grew cold and dark. "If I just wanted to bed you I could have done it last night! And I could have done it a long time ago and forced you, against your will!" he spit, his face close to hers.

"Then why didn't you do it? Why must you insist on playing these games with me!"

"I'm not playing games with you!" He was so angry he was trembling. Why wouldn't she understand?

"Yes you are! What else would all this be about? You want to torture me and play games with me like the past! Why else wouldn't you bed me right away if that's what you wanted?"

He stood close to her, staring directly in her eyes. "Only those who died before me know why I love you after all you have done to me. And only they know why I'm willing to wait eternity for love that might never be returned! You want the truth? I do want to bed you, but not like this. It will be done correctly, after you've admitted you love me or not at all. But it appears I've been waiting like a fool because you will never feel anything but bitter hate for an act of the past. An act I've wished everyday for 10 years that I could take back. But I can't take it back because what's done is done. I took your brother and made you face my Labyrinth. I can't change the past Sarah. I can try to make sure that the future turns out better, but you won't let me! All you see is red and you are blinded by what happened 10 years ago!" He threw himself down hard into a chair, nearly breaking it.

Sarah was shaking where she stood. What had she done? His eyes had become dark and his emotions unreadable. "I..I"

Jareth pulled a crystal forth from the air. "Go home Sarah. You've caused enough damage." He offered the crystal to her, balancing it on his fingertips.

She could take it, go home and leave all of this behind her. She could go home and forget all that had happened here. She stepped forward reaching for it, but she stopped when she saw the look in his eyes. It was there only for a second but she saw it clearly and nearly cried. In that one glance she saw the truth. He truly loved her and she was breaking his heart. Confused and fearful of what she had seen and heard, she stepped back , stumbling and nearly falling. Quickly she fled the room, rushing down the stone halls, blinded by her tears. Jareth let the crystal fall from his hand with a whimper and it shattered on the floor in front of him. He buried his face in his gloved hands and trembled as he fought to keep from sobbing.

Sarah sat curled into a ball on her bed, sobbing. God how she had been so wrong!. She shivered as his words echoed in her mind. He truly loved her and she had been stupid and blind in missing what he felt. She assumed that it was all a game, he had a goal and it had been to bed her. But it had not been a game like the past. She was beginning to believe what he felt for her was love and she might have destroyed those feelings with her impulsive actions. He had been right, she had not changed. She was still the spoiled, selfish little brat she had been as a child.

"I'm such an idiot!" she sobbed letting her face fall forward into her pillow. She grasped the soft fabric in her hands and sobbed like a baby. She had enjoyed that kiss and she had allowed it to continue. She had been so intoxicated by him and not any juice. His touch, his scent, the way he looked at her. Those things had drawn her in. "I can't let myself love him." She sobbed. 'He's the Goblin King!" Last night's events began to replay in her mind. Dinner like usual, a wild night ride to Avyar. They had danced together and she could not remember the last time she had laughed so much. Jareth had been so different. Always smiling, happy with his surrounding and who was in his company. She remembered their kiss and she shuddered. She had enjoyed it more then she cared to admit. And Jareth, would he have stopped had she asked him to?

She nodded to herself, answering her own question. He had pulled away from her and had cast a sleep spell upon her when she had reached for the buttons on his shirt. Her own actions had been so sudden. He had not taken advantage of her, he had protected her. Protected her from herself before she made a harsh mistake. The atmosphere that night had made them both act a little differently then normal. It wasn't the juice and it wasn't Jareth's magic.

She heard a sound within the room and looked up to see Jareth standing before her. He was in all black, his cape and hair flowing out behind him on a wind that wasn't there before. He pulled a crystal from the air. His stance was rigid and his eyes cold and angry. He let the crystal roll back and forth along his hands.

"What are you doing?" she asked, not caring that tears were still streaming down her cheeks.

"I'm sending you home." His voice was cold and distant.

"You can't do that." She shook her head, clutching her nightgown around her, feeling cold and vulnerable.

"I most certainly can." He stopped rolling the crystal and fear gripped her. She needed to talk to him before anything rash happened.

She shook her head. "We have a deal. Or have you forgotten?"

"It's obvious how you feel Sarah. Why should I wait 2 more months for a decision I already know the answer to." His voice remained cold and bitter.

"You can't possibly know the answer because I don't even know it myself. I want the 3 months I was promised. I have two left to remain here before I have to decide. We have a mutual agreement. I am not agreeing to go home. I promised that I would get to know you and I intend to keep that promise." She looked at him defiantly.

"Isn't it a little too late for that?" He mocked. He pulled at his gloves and then put his hands on his slender hips.

"It's never too late to try to make a wrong, right. Jareth, I know I hurt you and badly and you have to believe me that it was not my intention to do so." Tears stung her eyes and she again remembered his words "I seriously thought this was some kind of game and I was wrong for assuming that. " her voice shook.

"Why should I believe you?" he crossed his arms over his chest.

"I can't make you believe me. I can't even ask for your trust because I've completely shattered it! All I can do is stand here before you and beg you to let me have another chance. I want to see who you are. I want to know the real Jareth so that when I make my decision, I don't regret it. Because if I choose wrong, go home and realize that I love you and can't be with you. I would rather die." A tear trickled down her cheek and his insolent gaze dissolved.

He took a shaky breath. "What are you saying?"

"I'm asking you, I'm begging you to help me make the right decision. I owe it to you to make the right decision and I owe it to myself. I promise to leave the past behind us and live in the now. Please Jareth." She pleaded

Something inside him told him to deny her as she had done to him twice. To hurt her as she had him. He shivered at the thought. No matter how much she had hurt him , he could never hurt her intentionally. He loved her, despite everything. He nodded, some of his spiky hair falling over his eyes.

She managed a smile through her tears. "Dine with me?" he nodded slowly.

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 13 of 24

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