Thank you for the reviews, my lovelies! Here is the third and final chapter for you all. Be warned, this is more plot than sex (how did that happen!?) but there is plenty of Jareth yumminess. Enjoy!
Things changed for them after that. Now that Sarah understood what he wanted from her, she felt no resistance. How could she, when the place he wanted for her was truly a powerful one? She gave herself wholly to him every night and in return he offered her everything he was. He lived to please her, served her pleasure always, gave her intense satisfaction in his dominion.
Of course, out of the bedroom they were still at odds so much of the time. It was a thin line they walked, but somehow Sarah seemed to navigate it. He wanted obedience, but he reveled in her boldness in defying him. She came to understand that there were times he wanted an excuse to punish her later (and she had begun to look forward to those punishments) and there were other times he was simply refreshed at having someone stand up to him.
There were still times when she truly incurred his wrath, but she was learning to handle those as well. He was quick to anger, but quick to forgive. His temper was explosive, but his apologies always sweet and sincere. She found that if he could handle her stubbornness, she could handle his frequent ire.
As they navigated this middle ground between them, Jareth continued to lead her further down the path of a submissive. He tied her up, he blindfolded and gagged her, he kept her on the edge of orgasm for hours, he even whipped her. But none of those things ever hurt her or truly frightened her. She came to love them as much as he.
When she realized that there was nothing he wanted that she didn't enjoy, she began to wonder if he'd been right about them being made for each other. They fit, just like he'd promised. Pieces of a puzzle matched up perfectly.
Most of the that time they spent apart was so he could oversee his kingdom. She happily spent the time with her friends and exploring his world. Usually she saw very little of his day to day functions as king. It was only by chance that she was in the throne room the day the wish came.
The goblins in the room all stilled, silence descending instantly. The words sounded like a whisper coming from a long way away, distant and distorted.
"I wish..." There was a pregnant pause, in which all the goblins pressed together in anticipation. "I wish the goblins would come and take you away!" The silence was broken by shrieks of joy and laughter. They cackled with glee, throwing themselves into the air and not caring when they crashed back down to the stone floor.
"Silence!" Jareth commanded, every inch the king. The goblins all quieted instantly. "Myneth, Torrace, fetch the child."
"No!" Sarah rushed forward and gripped Jareth's sleeve. The goblins all gasped at her audacity.
"Pet, this is none of your business. Go see your friends or explore the city. But leave the castle and do not attempt to enter the Labyrinth."
"No! You can't do that!"
"This is my kingdom, Sarah. I can do whatever I please. He has wished the child away, and I will take it."
"But you...what if he doesn't mean it? What if he's like me?"
Jareth found himself chuckling despite the gravity of the situation. "There is no one like you, precious. But if he truly is worthy of the child, he will have his chance to run the Labyrinth and win it back."
"But you're going to try and stop him."
"That is the Labyrinth's purpose, Sarah." His patience was wearing thin.
"That's not fair!"
"Have you learned nothing?" he exploded at her. "Have I not told you before that things are not black and white, fair and unfair? Is it fair to the child that it was wished away by an uncaring parent? Is it fair to me that I must let him into my world and allow him the chance to take back his wish? Is it fair that I am once again painted the villain by you?"
"Then don't be the villain! Don't steal this baby!"
Jareth was at her side in an instant, moving with lethal speed and ferocity. He gripped the back of her neck and raised his hand as if to strike her. To her credit, Sarah didn't flinch. She reached quickly into her pocket and pulled out the crystal he'd given her that first day, the one that would take her Aboveground. Jareth had already stopped and was lowering his hand, but the sight of the crystal made him freeze.
"Hit me and I will leave. There will be nothing you can do to ever make me come back."
Jareth stared at the small crystal as if it was his life clenched in her hand. In so many ways it was. "Are you a coward now, Sarah? You'd rather run than fight me?"
"Coward? How dare you! I've stood up to you, I've voiced my opinion without fear. But this is one of my lines, Jareth! Cross it and lose me forever."
"Is your anger so petty, your forgiveness so fickle that you'd leave everything we have over one strike?"
"There wouldn't be anything to leave! You'd have already destroyed it. I have faith that you'll never truly hurt me. If you hit me, that's gone and you can never get it back."
"It wouldn't have truly hurt you," Jareth dismissed scornfully.
"You could have killed me! Do you forget how much stronger than me you are? I'm a woman, Jareth!"
"Fey women are as strong as men, if not stronger," he argued. "You play at equality among the sexes, but we truly have it."
"I'm not fey! I'm human!" She was so angry that she would have liked to slap him. Considering the circumstances, though, she didn't think it would help her cause any.
Jareth narrowed his eyes at her in thought. "For now," he agreed finally. "You are correct, Sarah-mine." His voice had softened and his grip on her neck turned into a caress. "I forget that you are not of my kind and as such have different needs and limits." A small smile flitted across his face as he thought of how she'd have reacted to his strike had she been fey. The little temptress likely would have trounced him. "I understand that this is a line for you and I will respect it. You should know, though, that I would not have struck you even without the reminder of your frailty and accompanying threat. Because I never wish to harm you. Because I love you. But always remember; cower before me and I will be frightening. Love me..." Again, the words hung between them unsaid. And I will be your slave.
Sarah met his eyes and finally nodded. She was still furious that it had crossed his mind even for a moment to hit her. The fact that among his kind a hit from a woman was likely more dangerous than a hit from a man was a decent excuse. It was that he'd already been lowering his hand before she'd spoken that truly comforted her, though. It was so easy to forget that there were worlds between them.
"Fine," she said softly.
"And Sarah..." He tipped her chin up and looked at her darkly. "Later on we will discuss why you carry that crystal around ready to break it at the least provocation. I thought what we have is stronger than that." Sarah opened her mouth to protest but was cut off. "In the mean time, I have work to do." He gestured to a few of the goblins near by. "See that Lady Sarah makes it safely out of the castle. The rest of you are to guard the Labyrinth. This running is going to be a dark one, I can feel it. Should any of you allow her past you and let her into that danger, the consequences will be...severe." The softly spoken threat was more frightening than any scream or hiss could have been. The goblins shifted uneasily.
"Jareth, that's not-"
"Enough, pet. Do not interfere in this. We will speak later." He turned back to the goblins who were ready to go collect the baby, knowing that the others would see her out. Sarah was herded this way and that until she was outside the castle.
She wanted to stomp on the ground or scream at the sky. He was infuriating! How could be so rational and good about one thing, only to be so awful about another? He wouldn't even listen to her about the baby. Did he honestly expect her to sit idly by while some poor man was made to run the Labyrinth in hopes of getting his child back? She knew well the desperation and hopelessness the place could bring.
He could order her about all he liked, but that didn't mean she would obey.
Mind made up, she set off to find Hoggle. It didn't take long to track him down. He was by the entrance to the Labyrinth, gassing pixies just like he had been the first time she'd seen him.
"Hoggle, I need you help."
"Oh! Sarah, good to see you! What can I do for you?" He smiled at her and shot down another pixie.
"I need to get into the Labyrinth. But Jareth can't find out."
"Into the Labyrinth? I don't think that's such a good idea, Sarah. It's turning dark, can't you see it? Not a place for you right now. From the look of it I'd say there's some nasty business about."
"I know there is. I'm trying to help. I just need to know if there's another way in. One that won't be guarded."
"Guarded? Jareth's posted guards? Oh, then, no Sarah my girl you'd better stay out. The things you could run afoul of in there aren't to be played with."
"I've run the Labyrinth before, Hoggle, you know that. I'll be fine."
"Not like this you haven't. The Labyrinth changes for each challenger, didn't you know that? It wouldn't be like you remember it. Not by far. Best to stay away from it."
"Are you saying that you won't help me?" She once again fought the urge to stomp the ground.
"I'm sorry, I really am. But I wouldn't be a friend to you if I helped you in when it's like this."
"Fine, I'll find a way in on my own." Angry and hurt, Sarah turned away and started searching for another way in. Why did no one trust her to take care of herself? Yes, she'd had the help of friends when she'd been trying to save her brother, but she'd been younger and weaker then. Now she had no doubts she could make it through in time. She would do what she could to get that man his child back, with or without the help of her friends.
Nearly to the back of the Labyrinth she found a cracked wall that had just enough space that she could slip through. It was guarded, though, by two burly looking goblins. Cursing her bad luck, Sarah thought quickly of how she could distract them. In the end, all she could come up with was throwing a rock into a bush a few feet from where she was hiding. She was convinced that there was no way it would work, but underestimated the stupidity of goblins. They raced over to investigate the bush and Sarah slipped past them into the Labyrinth.
Once inside, she felt a pang of guilt over tricking them. Jareth wouldn't be pleased when he found out she'd managed to get past them. But she'd have to deal with that later. For now, she needed to find the man who'd wished away the baby and get him to the castle.
Finding the man was easy enough. Once he'd entered the Labyrinth, there was only one way he could go at first. It had taken her a while to convince him that she was there to help, but eventually the desperate man had gratefully accepted her aid.
As they traveled, he told her his name was Max and that his daughter, Anne had been taken. When he'd haltingly told her about wishing Anne away, he seemed to expect her scorn and was surprised when she sympathized with his mistake. She could well understand how a few heedless words could cause such disaster.
Despite her existing knowledge of the Labyrinth, Sarah found it increasingly hard to navigate. Never before had it been so dark and oppressive. Thunder clouds hung over head and lightning split the sky. The moss and leaves that usually covered the walls and ground had been replaced with thorns. Even the creatures within the Labyrinth had grown more sinister. The worm who had first given her instructions appeared instead as a deadly viper. The Fire Gang no longer danced as frivolous revelers with detachable limbs. Instead they were fire demons, burning Sarah and Max when they got too close. Even the Knight and Knave, whom Sarah had seen only a few days before, were changed. Gone were the befuddled old guards who usually stood by the doors. In their place stood onyx beasts with red eyes and thunderous voices.
It was easy to see that Max would never have made it to the end without her help. He was terrified of the things within the Labyrinth, not without reason. There were times that even with her by his side he thought of turning back. The junk woman appeared to him as a beautiful seductress and would have swayed him to forgetting about Anne if Sarah hadn't been there to stop her. But eventually they did make it through. They raced through the Goblin City, avoiding the army waiting there for Max. All the time Sarah had spent exploring the city paid off as she was able to lead him safely to the castle. They reached Jareth's throne room with only an hour left until Max's deadline.
Jareth was reclining in his throne, Anne perched on his lap. The little girl was giggling happily and tugging on his long feathery hair. The look on his face was almost...peaceful. But that changed when Sarah and Max rushed in.
"Sarah?" He looked between the two of them as if he could not believe what he was seeing. She lifted her chin proudly, unwilling to let him make her feel ashamed. If he felt betrayed by her aiding Max, then so be it. She felt betrayed that he would take the baby in the first place. When she met his questioning gaze unashamedly, his expression suddenly became thunderous. "You have no idea what you are playing at," he hissed at her.
"I know exactly what I'm doing," Sarah insisted. "He made it through the Labyrinth. He deserves to get his daughter back."
"And how many times would he have failed without your interference?"
Sarah bit her lip for a moment, then shook her head. "That doesn't matter. He made it. Give him back his daughter."
"No!" Jareth bared his teeth at her in a growl. "Myneth, take her." He handed the baby to the goblin nearby.
"Anne!" Max started forward toward his daughter but Jareth held him back with his power. He stalked toward Sarah, fury blazing in his eyes.
"You speak out against me in my own court, I forgive you. You defy me at every turn and I am lenient with you. I give you a life fit for a queen, and this is how you repay me? Are you still a foolish child? Or only a stupid, selfish woman? At least before you had the excuse of your youth!"
"Don't speak to me that way!" Despite her righteous outrage, tears stung her eyes at his harsh words. "I helped him because someone had to!"
"I will speak to you whatever way will get through to you! Once again you've tried to make me the monster. But I'll not have it this time, Sarah. Did you not notice the changes within the Labyrinth at his arrival? Or were you blinded to them by your relentless stubbornness? Rebel against me, spurn me, but do not defy me in this! If you continue down this path, I'll not be able to protect you from the ramifications." His eyes softened for a moment, as if real concern for her had broken through his anger. "Don't do this."
"I..." she paused, taken aback at his plea. But one glance at Max was enough to make up her mind. "I have to. I'm sorry Jareth." She turned to Max. "Tell him he has no power over you."
"Sarah. My Sarah, don't!"
"You have no power over me," Max shouted at Jareth.
She should have known. From the moment the anger fled his eyes, she should have known she was wrong. The look he gave her as Max spoke the words shook her to her core. But by the time she realized her mistake it was too late. The castle quaked as if with a monstrous thunder strike. The roar of worlds colliding echoed in the stone room, deafening her. Then suddenly it all stopped. Max and Anne were gone. The goblins had scattered, leaving Jareth and Sarah alone in the throne room. He only stared at her, unable to speak. Then he staggered back to his throne and collapsed into it. She stayed rooted to the floor, afraid to break the silence. Would he rail against her? Curse her? Cast her from the Underground for all time?
"Go, Sarah. Just go." He sounded defeated.
"I...I'm sorry, Jareth."
"Sorry? You're sorry? Why does it always seem that you're sorry, Sarah? You apologize and then never learn from your mistakes. But this time an apology can't right the wrong you've wrought. Nothing can." Again, the heat that had risen to his face faded, leaving him gazing out of the window blankly. Desolately.
"But what happened? I don't understand."
"No, you never do, do you?" He shook his head. "See for yourself." The crystal ball dropped from his hand and rolled across the floor to her. She picked it up and looked into it. What she saw shocked her so deeply that she nearly dropped the crystal. Max and Anne were in a filthy home. Garbage was littered on the floor and needles obviously from drug use were strewn across the rickety table. Max dropped Anne onto a dirty blanket and collapsed onto the sagging couch. He let his head fall into his hands and didn't notice when Anne picked up one of the used syringes and began playing with it.
"Oh my god! Jareth, we have to stop him! We have to help her!" Sarah rushed to his side and knelt beside him, her voice imploring. Jareth caressed her cheek gently.
"You've put her beyond my help, Sarah-mine. I tried to protect you from this. The Labyrinth changes to reflect it's runner. I could feel how dark he was. Maybe his heart was in the right place attempting to get her back, but he has no business raising a child. Do you know why I didn't take the time to check on his progress in the Labyrinth? It was because I was healing her injuries. Curing her of the illnesses she'd contracted at his careless hands. And by the time I was finished, I wanted to look for you, but you made me promise never to use one of my crystal balls to see you. I'm bound by my word, Sarah. Never once, though, did I imagine that you'd be so foolish as to lead him here. Never once did I think you'd doubt me so much as to conspire against me. Have I done nothing to earn your trust? Judging those who wish away children is a terrible burden. I wanted to protect you from that. From the guilt and the terrible truth about callous people. Now, because of that, the child is back in his hands. And there's nothing I can do about it."
"But there has to be something!" Sarah clutched his hand, tears in her eyes. She was desperate, heart broken for that little girl. Guilt weighed so heavily upon her that she feared it might crush her. She'd only been trying to help. But because she hadn't put her trust in Jareth, she'd failed them both. Knowing that he'd been trying to save her from the ugliness of his job, from the pain that came with it, only made her shame worse. Why couldn't she have just trusted him? Yes he was bossy and pushy and demanding. But he didn't make demands that weren't in her best interest.
"There is nothing. I am bound by my very nature. I cannot simply take children from their beds. They have to be wished away to me. And once my bargain is struck, I am bound by it. Now that he's completed the Labyrinth, no fey alive can take the child from him." He closed his eyes tightly against the pain on her face. Though he was outwardly calm, inside his own heart was breaking. Not only because of her anguish, but also because of his doubt. She didn't trust him. Maybe she never would. And before, she'd pulled out the crystal that would take her home as if she'd been keeping it at the ready the whole time she'd spent with him. Was there any hope for their future? He loved her, he always would. But if she couldn't love him...where did that leave them?
"No fey can take her..." Sarah's eyes blazed suddenly, purpose and determination hardening like iron within her. "Then I will. I'm human. Send me Aboveground and let me bring her back."
"I doubt you would be able to take her either, precious."
"But why? I'm not fey. I'm not bound by your laws." She searched his face, trying to find the answer there. Then, suddenly, words he'd spoke earlier came back to her with startling clarity. "'Not yet,'" she whispered. "When I said I wasn't fey, before, you said 'not yet.'" She looked down at her hands as if they would be somehow changed. "Am I becoming like you because of being down here?"
"You've already started to change. When was the last time you ate, Sarah? How much sleep have you needed these last few nights?"
She gasped, realizing he was right. Food and sleep had started to slowly fade from her day to day life. Somehow, she hadn't even noticed it. "But I'm still human!" She put her hands to her ears to feel them. They were still rounded. "I'm not like you yet!"
"Your transformation isn't complete, no. But you've already taken on many of our characteristics. I've no doubt that you'll find yourself compelled to obey fey law."
"Well I do have doubts!" She rose and set her chin stubbornly. "I've got to try. Send me Aboveground and let me bring her back."
"You'll only cause yourself more pain. I've already seen you hurt enough, precious." Jareth shook his head sadly. Sarah wanted to yell at him, demand he send her back. But how could she be mad at him for trying to protect her? And if he sent her back and she failed, he would feel responsible for the pain that would cause her. No, there was another answer.
"I understand." She leaned up and kissed him softly. He'd been expecting her to argue with him more and was surprised at her compliance. He stroked her cheek softly, tenderly. She placed her hand on top of his and held it cupped against her cheek, leaning into the touch. "I won't ask you to send me, but I've got to go back and try." She pulled the crystal that would send her home out of her pocket with her free hand. "I wasn't carrying this around to use. I haven't carried it since that first day. I had it with me this morning because I'd planned to give it back to you. Because I didn't need it any more. I choose you, Jareth. Now and always. I love you. I only hope that you will still want to bring me back when I've done what I have to do. I promise never to doubt your intentions again, my love. And there's just enough fey in me to make that promise unbreakable. I love you."
Jareth stared at her, dumbfounded. She hadn't been keeping it with her because she was unsure- she'd been ready to give it back to him? She loved him! Before he could react any more than let joy show in his face at her confession, Sarah smashed the crystal on the floor and vanished. Jareth cried out and reached for her even though he knew it was futile. She'd gone to try and save the baby. Her fear that he might not want to bring her back broke his heart, but her promise told him everything he needed to know about their future. All he had to do was wait and then bring her home.
Sarah appeared in front of a run down looking house. She'd been focusing desperately on Max's location when she'd broken the crystal, and though she had no idea of address it seemed to have taken her to the right place.
She didn't knock on the door. Instead, she opened it quietly and crept into the house. It was just as dirty and dismal as it had been when seen through Jareth's crystal ball. Though she was careful, she stumbled over garbage and broken furniture. At the sound, Anne started crying. Sarah scrambled up and rushed in the direction of the baby. She'd barely reached the broken crib just as footsteps came down the hall.
"Quiet!" Max yelled as he flipped on the light. He saw her and his eyes widened. "You!"
Sarah turned and tried to grab Anne, but her arms wouldn't do what she wanted! They lifted but refused to move toward the baby. "Damn it damn it damn it!" Tears sprang to her eyes as she fought against her body's compulsion to obey fey laws.
"What are you doing here?" She ignored Max and called up every measure of will she'd ever possessed. An inch at a time, her hands went toward Anne. "I said, what are you doing here?!" Max stormed to her and tried to bat her hands away from Anne. Sarah wouldn't be budged, though. She forced one arm to continue on it's course and used the other to push him away. The same fey traits that were making it nearly impossible to rescue Anne had also made her strong enough to fight off Max easily. He flew across the room when she shoved him. Once he was out of the way, she focused all her attention once more on picking up the baby. If she could just get Anne in her arms...then she could wish them back.
If Jareth would take them.
No, she refused to think that. She'd told him she trusted him and she would have to have faith that he wanted her still. Both arms went around Anne at last and Sarah started to lift her from the crib. Despite her new-found strength, it felt as if the baby weighed a thousand pounds.
"Bitch!" Max picked himself up off the floor and shook plaster dust from his hair. As Sarah struggled to lift Anne, Max's temper flared out of control and he stormed to Sarah. When his slap didn't seem to affect her, fury clouded his eyes and his hands circled her throat. He squeezed, cutting off Sarah's air.
She panicked. Her lungs immediately began to fight for air. Adrenaline flooded her system but it was useless. If she dropped Anne to fight him off, she didn't think she would be able to pick the baby up again. But if she blacked out, neither of them would be safe. In desperation she kicked him, hard. Her foot connected with Max's groin and he crumpled to the floor instantly.
Sarah drew in air and coughed, her throat sore and bruised. In one last burst of will power, she pulled Anne the rest of the way to her.
"Give her back!" Max managed to gasp from the floor. Sarah was about to scream at him, to berate him for deceiving her and tell him just how worthless a father he was- but to her horror she found herself starting to hand Anne to him! The compulsion was so strong that she ached with it. Despite the agony he was in, Max's eyes lit up in triumph as he realized she was doing what he said.
"No, no, NO!" Sarah threw herself backwards and out of Max's reach. She cradled Anne carefully in her arms to keep the little girl from being hurt. Garbage and god-knew-what rammed into Sarah's back as she crashed to the floor. She couldn't let Max keep Anne. She wouldn't. With her eyes screwed tightly shut against the world, Sarah whispered the words like a prayer. "I wish the Goblin King would come take us away!"
There was no flash of light or crack in the air, but Sarah knew he'd come even before she opened her eyes. She felt him. Then she did open her eyes and there he was, the Goblin King in all his glory, standing in the small, dismal room with his eyes snapping fire and fury. He took in the scene before him in less than a second.
"Amend your wish, Sarah. I cannot grant it if you include the child. Hold onto her and wish for me to bring you home." He pushed the words through gritted teeth, his rage barely in check. Sarah started to protest- the whole reason she'd come here was to save Anne! But her promise came back to her sharply. She wouldn't doubt him. He would find a way. Instead, she pushed herself up from the floor and met his gaze with hard eyes.
"Don't kill him," she requested. "But punish him however else you see fit." There was no sympathy in her voice. No pity for the man who so neglected his child. Jareth answered her with a cold smile. "I wish you would send me home, Jareth." Their eyes held for one more moment, and then Jareth sent her back Underground.
When she was gone, he turned to Max. "There were horrors waiting for you in my Labyrinth. With the imprudent help of my Queen you managed to escape them. But for harming her...you will wish she had left you to their mercy."
Sarah landed smoothly back in the castle. She realized instantly that she still had Anne clutched in her arms. The relief that coursed through her was immense. She'd been right to trust Jareth. He'd found a way. She smiled through foolish tears that began to fall down her cheeks. Anne looked up at her with wide eyes, then laughed happily.
"You there," Sarah called to a group of goblins meandering in the doorway. "Take the baby to a proper room for her and get her cleaned up. One of you find Myneth and see that she watches over Anne. If there are any problems, call for me. Do you understand?" They nodded eagerly. Despite their occasional stupidity, they truly seemed to do well with children. Sarah wondered if it was simply inherent to their species or if it was something Jareth had cultivated in them.
As soon as they'd taken Anne and left, Sarah collapsed in Jareth's throne. She was beyond exhausted from the effort it had taken to get the baby back. And despite how foolish she knew it to be, she was worried for Jareth. The throne smelled like him, ethereal and masculine. She curled up in it to wait for him and drifted off.
Jareth returned as soon as he'd finished with Max. He'd kept his promise, the man was still alive. But he'd never promised that Max wouldn't wish he was dead. Jareth felt no remorse for what he'd done. Not only had Max neglected his daughter to dangerous and life threatening proportions, but he'd tried to hurt Sarah. Even though she was so much stronger now, Jareth had been able to see the mark where Max had struck her. He might have been able to forgive that. It hadn't truly harmed Sarah. But the black finger marks around her neck had been Max's judge and jury. He'd tried to strangle her, no doubt while she was helplessly fighting against the Compulsion. She'd been unable to defend herself from him and he'd taken advantage of that. He could have killed her. For that there could be no forgiveness.
When he strode into the throne room, all thoughts of what he'd done to Max fled his mind. There she was. His Sarah, curled up in his throne. She was asleep. Anne was nowhere to be seen but Jareth had no doubt Sarah had sent her off to be cared for. His heart clenched at the sight of her. His Sarah. His everything. With every step he took closer to her, her words from before echoed in his head.
She loved him.
She trusted him.
She wanted to be with him for always.
He scooped her up into his arms without waking her and willed them to the bedroom. When he laid her down on the bed and began undressing her, she woke.
"Jareth," she murmured his name softly.
"You answered my wish. You brought me back."
Jareth stripped off his own clothing and climbed into the bed with her. He pressed their bodies together and stroked her hair. "I'd have brought you back sooner had I known you were in danger. But you've made me promise not to use my crystals not to see you. Nevertheless, I will always come for you. No matter what. You are my heart, my every wish. How could I not?"
"Thank you. I suppose I should let you take back that promise on the condition that you only use them to see me when you're worried about me or something like that."
"That would be wise," he agreed with a smile.
"Fine, I release you of your promise." She laughed at his smug expression. "And thank you for finding a way to get Anne back with me. How did you do that?"
"It's all in the wording, precious. If you wished you and Anne back, the Compulsion would prevent me from granting it. But once you wished only yourself home, I could bring you- and whatever you happened to be holding at the time- back here."
"Ah, tricksy." Sarah giggled.
"When you cannot lie and are bound so strictly by fey laws, you find ways to...sidestep them. Technicalities are often our best friends." He smiled down at her. "Between my evasion and your force of will, I fear there won't be a single law we can't circumvent."
"I don't know about that. If the Compulsion only gets stronger the more fey I become, I probably won't be able to do that again. It was nearly impossible even with this much human in me. Once I become fully like you..." She shook her head. "But there won't ever be a need. I will never again interfere with those wishes, Jareth. I mean that. I know you don't want just another apology, so I hope a promise will be enough for forgiveness."
"More than enough, love. You've finally put your faith in me and I will return the favor." He kissed her lightly. "Besides, knowing that you had been carrying the crystal I gave you in order to return it to me and not as a quick means of escape already went a long way to making up for it."
"Speaking of that...Jareth, that's still a line for me, even though I'm becoming like you. Don't ever hit me. I know it's not the same for the fey, but I-"
"I agree, Sarah." He put his finger to her lips to halt her. "I swear to you, even when you are fully fey and could retaliate with twice the furor I could ever conjure, I will never strike you in anger."
"Thank you." She quirked an eyebrow at him. "Is there anything else you'd strike me in?"
"Lust. I would truly grieve for the loss if I could no longer punish your insolence by spanking you." He stroked his hand softly down her back and thrilled when she arched against him. "And unless I'm much mistaken, you'd mourn the loss as well."
"Even if you're right, I could never admit to that. After all, if I admitted to liking it, it would hardly be punishment any more, would it?"
"I would just have to find other ways to repay your defiance. I'm sure I could come up with one or two."
"No doubt you could. And what about right now, my King? Do you wish to punish me for my wickedness?"
"No." He shook his head and rolled her onto her back so he could climb on top of her. "I want to spend the next several hours worshiping you. I want to touch every single inch of you over and over until I've reassured myself that you're safe, you're here to stay, and you're mine. And then I have a promise to keep."
"You fear me in the only way you should; you do as I say in the bedroom at least; and now you love me. In return, I am your slave Sarah-mine." He nuzzled her neck and bit down gently, making her writhe. "Say the words, precious. Tell me again."
"B-bossy slave," she gasped breathlessly as he stroked her.
"Disobedient chit," he returned with a laugh.
"I love you, Jareth. I love you I love you I love you!"
"And I you, Sarah." He slid into her slowly, making her moan. "Now and always."