Continuing Tales

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 23 of 24

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The Debt

A time to Kill...

"King Aiden of Noross. How nice of you to visit." Farris let out coldly. The irritation didn't escape his voice.

"Better late then never." Aiden said and he gave Jareth a grin. "I suppose that my being here changes all of your plans, Lord Farris." Aiden's voice was completely calm and this angered Farris further.

"Hardly. I'll kill you as well." The dark lord spit.

"You don't seem to be in a position to be making threats. After all, it is I who has the sword pointed at your back, not the other way around."

"You wouldn't kill a man from the back. Your honor does not permit it."

'My honor would permit it if I am saving a friend's life, which I am doing. There is no shame in that."

"First your father then you. What is so important about this man?" Farris asked eyeing the Goblin King. Jareth stood before him, the blade of his father's sword still hovering over his heart. He looked angry and determined.

"A kingdom was wrongfully taken from him. We merely protect him so that he may reclaim it."

"You knew?" Jareth's surprised voice echoed through the room.

Aiden nodded. "Yes, I knew. I was sworn to secrecy. My father told me the day would come when it was time for you to learn the truth. If you knew before hand you would have rushed off prematurely to battle Farris and would have lost. We didn't tell you, to protect you."

Sarah and Cyla remained silent, still held by the guards, to digest all this new information. It was shocking news to both women.

"But it seems your protection did little good. Because if I die then so does the Goblin King. You may live to tell the story Aiden, but he will not and the land will go no where. I'd rather see no one rule it then him." Farris spit, eyeing Jareth.

The three men stood silently and Sarah let out a shuddering breath. Her heart was beating so hard in her chest she was sure that everyone in the room could hear it. The sight of the sword's sharp tip, pointed at Jareth's heart was more then she could bear.

"Drop the sword, Farris." Aiden commanded.

"As you wish." The dark lord started to bend over to place the sword on the floor and suddenly thrust the blade forward." Sarah cried out as the blade shot towards Jareth, but the Goblin King had been ready. He neatly dodged the blade and Farris stabbed empty air. The Dark Lord fell to the floor on his stomach. The sword slid from his grasp and he reached for it, crawling on his belly. Jareth was a step ahead of him and he picked up the sword quickly.

"Perhaps I should bestow upon you the same courtesy you bestowed upon my father and mother!" Jareth yelled pointing the blade at Farris. Jareth rolled the dark lord over with his foot and Farris lay on his back staring up at the Goblin King. The tables had turned. The tip of the blade now pointed at Farris' heart.

"Then do it, Goblin King. Kill me."

"There is not a method of killing invented that would be sufficient enough. I wish for you to suffer as I have."

"Then you're a pitiful fool! No magic can hold me. What would you do, lock me away somewhere to forget me? In one of your oubliette's perhaps?"

'No, we'll be going to court so that everyone can see who the real Farris is. They will decide your fate. Now get up!" The dark lord didn't have to be told twice. "Release the women." Jareth called to the guards. They did so without hesitation.

"Cowards." Farris spit at them.

Jareth forced him across the room with every intention of locking Farris in the dark lord's own dungeons. His magic would be useless there until Jareth and Aiden figured out what to do with him. Just as the guards were letting Sarah go one of them tossed her forward right toward Farris. The dark lord easily slipped from Jareth's grasp and grabbed Sarah pulling her in front of him like a shield.

Jareth moved towards them. He had to free Sarah.

"Take another step and she's dead!" The dark lord let a dagger fall from his sleeve and he positioned it over Sarah's throat. Jareth cursed and backed away, dropping the sword he held. He should have listened to his own words from earlier instead of trying to be honorable like Aiden. If he had killed Farris before, Sarah would be safe. What good was his honor if he lost Sarah?

He watched helplessly as Sarah struggled against Farris and she stopped immediately when the blade of his dagger dug into her throat causing a small cut. Farris gripped her tighter, letting his hand settle on one her breasts. She cried out when he tightened his grip. He was getting a sick pleasure from touching her. He let his hands roam the front her body while he held her and he leaned his face close to her head. Sarah struggled against him and he only held her tighter and touched her more. He placed quick kisses on her neck and hungrily reached for her earlobe with his mouth. The rage was growing within Jareth. The sight of Farris' hands on Sarah's body was enough to make him go crazy. Farris was backing away towards the doorway, pulling Sarah with him. He dropped the dagger as he reached the doorframe and put his arm around Sarah's neck. Sarah had no doubt that he could snap her neck like a twig if he wanted to.

Jareth panicked. What if Farris chose to use his magic now that he had dropped the iron? He could disappear with Sarah and do who knows what to her if he chose to take revenge. And then an idea hit him.

It took Jareth only seconds to transform into an owl. He dove at Farris, clawed feet aimed right at the Fae's face. Farris had a small fraction of time to react and thankfully didn't react with magic. He lost his grip on Sarah and she fell, crawling away on her hands and knees.

Jareth let out a fearless cry and attacked Farris, scratching his face with his sharp claws. Farris stumbled backwards and fell onto the ground, his face scratched and bloodied. He reached blindly for Sarah, his only bargaining tool and his last chance for escape. But she was gone. He had sorely underestimated the Goblin King and had forgotten that he could transform. Jareth transformed back into his humanoid form and reached for Sarah, pulling her up off the floor and into his arms.

Mad with rage, Farris lunged at them. He had managed to get a hold of his sword in the brief moment that Jareth had reached for Sarah. Farris charged at them with it raised high above him. Jareth pushed Sarah out of the way and rolled on the floor grabbing his father's sword. Farris continued to run at him, unaware that Jareth now held a sword in his hands. The sound of the blade cutting into flesh was a sickening sound and Sarah turned her eyes away.

Farris let out an agonizing scream as the iron sword was driven into his chest. He was dead by the time he hit the floor. The last thing he had seen before death took him into its dark folds, was Jareth.

Sarah cried out and rushed to Jareth, throwing herself into his arms. She buried her face into his neck, drawing comfort from the warmth of him and his very presence. Jareth let out a tremendous sigh as he held her to him. He looked down at the body on the ground. He had never killed, and he never realized how deadly iron really was. The Dark Lord never had a chance. The moment the iron went into his chest, he had died. He shivered looking at Farris' crumpled body. That could have been him on the floor or even Sarah. He tightened his grip on her and buried his face into her hair thankful they were both alive. He was oblivious to Aiden and Cyla still within the room.

A shadow watched over the scene for a moment, before disappearing from the door, moving swiftly down the hall.

"It's finally over." Aiden said after a short silence. He let out the breath he had been holding since Farris had grabbed Sarah.

Jareth lifted his head from Sarah's hair. "Yes and no." he said softly. Aiden nodded understanding Jareth's words. There was still the matter of the court, of a kingdom not yet claimed, catching Metta and the other traitorous elves and of course Sarah's presence in the underground. The high court might not permit her to rule by Jareth's side. They might not even permit her to stay in the Underground at all. Things were far from over. Jareth finally released Sarah from his embrace content that she was safe from harm. "I thought you had abandoned me." He said turning to Aiden. 'You didn't show on the battlefield. Where were you?"

Aiden grinned. "Gathering the largest army ever assembled in the underground." Jareth gave him a blank stare. "I still have a few friends in high places and they were more then happy to send reinforcements. If Farris had gotten outside with Sarah, he would not have gotten very far."

Jareth walked to a window and gazed out into the night. Thousands upon thousands of torches lit the area surrounding Farris' castle. "I should have known better." Jareth let out. He closed his eyes and then looked apologetically at his old friend. "Aiden-"

Aiden put up a black gloved hand. "No need to apologize. I would have been worried and would have thought the worst too. But things turned out all right and that's all that matters."

A confused look washed over the Goblin King. "How did you know that we were here?" He and Aiden had not spoken since he and Sarah left Noross. So much had happened in between.

"Your stable master. He went looking for me and stumbled upon the army and I out on the road. We decided to come here when he told me of all that had happened."

"I owe him a great deal." Jareth said, gazing at Sarah. " The tables turned when you came."

"They did and I was glad to be of some help. Now, I think it's time we all went home. I think we've all had enough excitement for the night."

Jareth nodded as Sarah stepped beside him at the window to look outside for herself. He drew her to him. "Yes. Home sounds like a wonderful place to be right now. I have promises left to fulfill." He gazed down at Sarah and she smiled, understanding his words. She suddenly looked up at him with concern. "What is it love?"

She said nothing but reached up to gently touch the marks Farris had made on his face with his sword. She frowned when he winced at her touch. "Nothing my own magic can't fix once we're home." He told her and to reassure her he placed a soft kiss on her lips. Sarah responded and wrapped her arms around his neck.

'All right all right. Why don't you two get a room for pity's sake!" Aiden let out. He was overjoyed that Jareth and Sarah had reconciled and apparently more then that had happened. He could tell from the way that Sarah was staring at Jareth that she had already admitted her feelings to him. He would have to ask Jareth about this later.

Jareth grinned deviously at Aiden's words. "That... won't be a problem." He replied caressing Sarah's face.

"What about me? Has everyone forgotten me?" Cyla's voice shattered the happiness.

It was true, in all the danger and excitement Aiden, Sarah and Jareth had all forgotten about Cyla.

"You should be locked away for all eternity." Jareth replied coldly.

"I don't think she truly meant us any harm Jareth." Sarah said softly.

"Excuse me? She delivered us right into Farris' hands!" He didn't attempt to keep the anger out of his voice.

'Jareth, I didn't want to! Those who came before us know, that I didn't want to!" Cyla cried out.

"Then why did you?" He unconsciously tightened his grip on Sarah.

"I did it for my son. Farris threatened to kill him if I did anything stupid. He knew you would come for Sarah. He knew you would go straight to the dungeons. If I didn't do as he asked he would have killed my son. You must believe me."

Jareth said nothing for a moment and regarded his ex lover. "You have changed Cyla. Maybe not completely but you have changed. You're not behaving selfishly."

"I made this life for myself and I've accepted that. My son doesn't deserved to be punished because his mother was a fool."

Jareth glanced at Sarah and then Cyla. Despite her immortality Cyla looked older, much older then she should have looked. Fae or not, immortal or not, she had suffered and it showed.

"You and your son will be free to go and when I face the courts explaining my actions I will ask that they give you Darkwood. Let that be your punishment. You have your own magic, try to restore this place or destroy it. The decision is yours."

"You would do that for me?"

"Yes." He gazed at Sarah again. "We have all suffered enough." He took Sarah's hands into his own and smiled at her seductively. " Now if you two don't mind." Jareth started, glancing at Cyla and then Aiden. 'I'd like to return to my castle."

"Of course of course." Aiden laughed. "We will talk again old friend about the future. There is much to talk about."

"We'll talk but not tonight or tomorrow or the next day. I will be unavailable." He gazed lovingly down at Sarah. "Ready to go home, love?"

She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. "As ready as I'll ever be." Jareth grinned and seconds later he and Sarah were gone, replaced by sparkling glitter.

The Debt

A Labyrinth Story
by Corrie McDermott

Part 23 of 24

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