Continuing Tales

What You Wish For

A Labyrinth Story
by KnifeEdge

Part 8 of 14

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What You Wish For

She dropped the crystal on the bed where it would be safe, peeled off her gown, and took the band from her hair, pulling out as many pins as she could reach. Her hair tumbled down in thick curls, the results of being pinned up for so long with a lot of styling product. She wondered if she had time to wash it, but decided not. No sense in testing the time limit. She left the stockings on, since they helped keep her legs warm, and pulled on her favorite pair of old jeans. She traded the whalebone corset she’d been wearing for a comfortable, but pretty bra, and then slid into a plain white t-shirt, and threw a green sweater with a V-neck on over it. A glance in the mirror made her pause. She looked pretty, she supposed. Relaxed and casual. No longer a fairy tale princess but just a pretty woman in a flattering pair of jeans that showed off the curves of her hips and thighs and rear, and a green sweater that brought out the green and gold tints in her eyes. Nothing special. Nothing that should have attracted the attention of the Goblin King. And yet...

Her scalp was sore from her hair having been up, but she resisted the urge to brush it. It would only make it worse. She paused and picked up the crystal again and frowned at it.

Do you want it? the memory teased her. Then forget the baby. She was forgetting something, she knew it. But what? This was his game, even if he had let her establish some rules. She couldn’t forget that, couldn’t forget what he’d take from her if she refused to grant his wish. She wanted her answers, but she couldn’t help the nagging sensation that she’d forgotten something important when they’d made up the rules.

"I just wanted some answers," she muttered. Surely there was no danger in that? No sooner had the words left her mouth, however, than the crystal in her hands lit up. Startled, she almost dropped it. Was it true? she thought. Had she wanted more from this than just answers? Embarrassed by the truth glowing in her hand, she whispered the first true thing she could think of: "I'm glad he's here." It went dark. With a sigh she tossed it gently and caught it. It was smooth and cool in her hand, a little heavy, and, she suspected, probably more dangerous to her than to him, since he didn't seem to be the one having a problem with telling the truth anymore.

In any case, she was getting tired of holding the crystal all the time. Surely there was some way... She rummaged through her things. There was an old sheer scarf in her top dresser drawer, and she used it to make a kind of pouch for the crystal, then threaded the scarf through a belt loop and tied it in place. There, she thought, a hands free lie detector. She padded in her stocking feet to the door and opened it.

Then stifled a shriek. He was leaning against the wall opposite the door, his arms crossed, and a frown slowly dying on his face.

“Don’t do that,” she said, but he didn’t answer. His lazy gaze drifted over her long tangled hair, and slightly smudged eye makeup, down over the green sweater, which might as well have been made of cellophane, the way his eyes seemed to peer through it. She kept her hands fisted at her sides as his eyes lingered over the flat plane of her stomach and then down farther, until finally he reached her toes.

The return trip was even slower, but it gave her time to think. He liked the way she looked. She knew hunger when she saw it, and his face was definitely hungry. He was even arrogant about it, studying her as if she were his prey, just waiting for him to swoop down and devour her. Again, she felt that tug in the back of her mind. You’re forgetting something, she thought. Be careful.

But she was still mad about the scene in the elevator. Mad enough so that when he met her eyes again she did her best to shoot daggers with them. “Finished?”

“Not yet,” he said.

“Take your time,” she said, and turned on her heel and swept down the hall to the kitchen, deliberately swaying her hips a little while she walked.

His chuckle was dark and sexy, and she could have sworn she heard him say, “Forever wouldn’t be long enough.”

Ha, she thought, and opened her fridge to see what was still edible after almost a week away. Jimmy had clearly helped himself, she noted, since there was an empty jug of milk cooling itself in the door rack. She tossed it in the trash without looking. The bread was down to the heels, which she hated, but her stomach was complaining about not getting any cake earlier, and there wasn’t much else. Luckily peanut butter didn’t go bad, and Jimmy was allergic to peanuts.

“I believe you owe me a tour,” Jareth said. He was leaning against the wall, blocking the doorway into the kitchen. She shrugged and dug a butter knife from the drawer.

“You wished to see my home. This is it. Feel free to poke around. But I don’t remember anything in your wish about giving you a tour,” she was surprised at how calm she was responding. He growled low in his throat. It was a very Not-Human sound, but perversely, it didn’t frighten her. She wondered, absently, if she rubbed his ears if he’d purr. Then she pushed that thought as far from her mind as she could. Don’t be stupid, Sarah, she admonished herself, taking her frustrations out on the bread. This is a game, and he’s very good at games. You can’t trust him.

Since he was blocking the way out, she leaned back against the counter and took a bite of her sandwich. If he wanted to see her home, he was welcome to it. He smirked, then came further into the kitchen. She swallowed convulsively. Her kitchen really wasn’t that big, and he seemed to fill what was left of it with the force of his presence, which, in turn, made the claustrophobia kick in. He approached her fridge and began lazily studying the magnets and things stuck to it.

She wasn’t entirely sure what to make of him. Like some kind of otherworldly detective, he opened every cabinet and drawer. Some of them he shut, some of them he touched the things inside with the tips of his gloved fingers. She watched, mutely fascinated by the way he went over everything, his eyes not missing a thing.

When he’d finished the kitchen, he moved—to her vast relief—to the dining area, then the living room. His gloves trailed over the back of her sofa, and suddenly all she could think about was the way they’d felt on her feet, gentle and firm. He slid his hand over the back of her armchair, and she imagined it was her back he was touching. She felt herself grow warmer, and she threw the rest of the sandwich in the garbage, and poured a tall glass of cold water which she drank as if she were dying. He examined every DVD on her storage shelf, every CD beside the stereo. He ran one finger over the spine of every book on the three tall bookshelves that dominated one wall of the room, and she had to pour herself another glass.

He studied the photos hanging on her wall with the intensity of an art student. He stroked the soft throw she’d tossed over the arm of the couch. It was getting really hot in the kitchen, she thought, absently. And then he went into her office.

Don’t watch, she told herself. There’s nothing in there he can hurt, she thought. Resolutely, she turned and went back into her bedroom where she wouldn’t be so tempted to peek around the door and watch him fondling her computer or whatever it was he was doing. In the bathroom, Sarah splashed cold water on her face and washed the mascara rings from around her eyes.

What had happened? She wondered. One minute she’d been... not exactly enjoying the party... but at least things had been normal there. One birthday wish later and her world was upside down, there was a Goblin King wandering around her apartment, and her luggage and purse were five time zones away. She was suddenly tired.

“Interesting reading material,” Jareth said, when she came out of the bathroom and found him standing beside her bed.

“That’s none of your business,” she said, and snatched her well read copy of The Immortal Highlander out of his hands. So she had a slight addiction to romance novels. Especially romance novels that were a little smutty. And had really hot Faerie princes in them. She was an adult. She was allowed. She opened a cabinet to reveal her small library of romance novels, and stuffed it inside before he could get a good look at the contents—although from the smirk hovering around those expressive lips, she had a feeling he had a good enough idea of them anyway.

He turned smugly away and began going over her bedroom with the same meticulous care. He only paused at the window to frown thoughtfully out, as if looking for something. Then he turned his back to the window and studied her room again. It made her feel oddly violated.

When he moved, she didn’t see it. He was suddenly in front of her where she was leaning against the jamb to the bathroom. And she backed up before she realized what she was doing. He followed her into the small space, trapping her with her back to the tub while he went over the things around the sink.

“You said you wanted to see every room,” she said, angry. Trying not to panic at being trapped. “Not touch everything in them.”

“There’s all kinds of ways to see things, Sarah,” he said, his voice a husky murmur. “You should know better than most that things aren’t always what they seem.” He turned to her, crowding her against the wall. She should have panicked then, but she didn’t. His eyes held hers, hypnotizing her with their intensity. “Sometimes,” he said, “one must touch something to truly understand it.” He brushed his thumb over her cheekbone and she felt the blood rush back into her face again. His touch seared her even through the leather.

“Why do you wear gloves?” she asked, mesmerized. He shrugged, and his voice remained low and lulling when he spoke.

“Many reasons. They’re terribly comfortable. I think in the future everyone will wear them,” he said, and she caught the teasing glint in his eye. It made her smile a little, and she was pleased when his gaze dropped to her lips. “Magic requires concentration,” he said, shifting his weight so that she could feel him standing so near that only a whisper of air was between their bodies. This close the scent of him made her mouth water, and she had the strangest impulse to lean forward into the heat that was coming from his body, rub against him, and purr.

“My sense of touch is rather,” he hesitated, searching for a word, “...acute. Sometimes this makes magic easier to handle. Sometimes more difficult. The gloves help to minimize distractions.” His fingers were brushing over her face like moth wings, the leather so soft and his touch so fleeting that her eyes fluttered closed. She felt drugged and languid, with only the wall at her back to support her and keep her from falling against him.

She felt his breath fan over her face, and knew that he’d ducked his head closer to hers. Oh, god, she thought, he’s going to kiss me. This gorgeous, wicked, infuriating creature was going to kiss her, and she still wasn’t sure if she wanted him to or not. Her body was all for it, but a little voice in the back of her mind whispered beware. He’d seduced her before to distract her from what she wanted. Whether the peach dream had been real or not, he’d still known how to tempt her romantic, girlish heart. He knew the kind of promises that would make a girl lose her reason and forget everything but him.

Still, she thought, one kiss couldn’t hurt, could it? His fingers brushed her hair back behind her ear, and she realized that she couldn’t feel leather, only his warm fingertips hovering over her skin. He caught her jaw in one bare hand and tipped her face up to his, and she couldn’t help it. Her head fell back even as her body tensed, waiting. Oh, please, she thought, it’s been so long since someone wanted me.

“Sarah,” he breathed against her lips, so close but not touching. “Lovely Sarah.” Her nails dug into the palms of her hands as she fought to keep them by her sides. He cupped her face, and she thought she heard him groan softly. “I wish,” he said, “that you would kiss me.”

Her eyes flew open. He was so close, his sensual mouth curved into a smile that was oh so sexy and smug. From beneath his dark lashes his eyes glittered impishly.

He’d trapped her again, physically, this time. He wouldn’t give her what she wanted. Instead he had tricked her into wanting to give him exactly what he wanted: her submission. She had no choice, either. Either she kissed him, or she lost Toby, and that wasn’t going to happen. He parted his lips slightly, as if breathless with anticipation, but she knew him better.

Her nails bit into her palms hard enough to draw blood. He wanted to play, she thought furiously. Fine. Two could play his game.

She purred, and smiled as seductively as she knew how (and considering all those acting classes she’d aced, she knew exactly the kind of smile that would melt a man), then unclenched her hands and slid them up over his shoulders, trying not to feel how buttery supple his leather jacket was, and pressed herself against him. For a moment, she let her lips hover over his, until she heard him growl softly, then she brushed her lips against his once, twice, three times, more intimately each time. His gloved hand slid around to fist in her hair, and she molded herself against his lean hard body, and slid her tongue into his mouth.

She hadn’t counted on how good he tasted. Oh, he's like chocolate, she thought hazily, deepening her kiss and lapping at him hungrily. His tongue was warm and sleek, and he was utterly delicious. With another growl he pulled her even closer, until she could feel how much he wanted her through all their layers of clothing. It startled and pleased her to know that she had such an effect on him.

Her heart was hammering in her ears as she nipped his bottom lip, then licked at the corner of his mouth delicately. She could hear him breathing raggedly as she slid her lips down to trail along his jaw, and she could feel his pulse pounding as fast as hers beneath the pale skin of his throat. Her head was spinning, and her heart sounded like it was going to...

She froze.

That wasn’t her heart. Someone was knocking on the door.

With a mental sigh of relief, she forced herself to let him go, and push him away. A little payback wouldn’t hurt, she thought. Much.

As it was, her entire body was taut with lust, and she could feel the heat between her legs insisting that she go back and climb him like a fireman’s pole.

Especially when she glanced at him and saw his eyes dark and mirroring her own desire, and his long fingered hand reaching for her, the glove forgotten on the floor.

Oh no, Sarah, she thought. You are not letting him win that easily. Go answer the door and leave His Majesty twitching in his britches. She couldn’t help the self satisfied sway of her hips when she walked away from him this time.

What You Wish For

A Labyrinth Story
by KnifeEdge

Part 8 of 14

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