Sarah Williams had locked away her past, her youthful dreams. So why the hell was she there? That remained to be seen.
Sarah sighed wearily as the slender waitress swept through the din of antsy restaurant goers. Adjusting her stride, she closed the distance between herself and the woman leading her. Finally stopping, Sarah was beckoned to a small covered table perched between moonlight and shadow overlooking a balcony. She descended gracefully onto the heavy, well-made chair and managed to wonder internally at the lovely satin tablecloth, while smiling politely at the waitress and ordering a glass of red wine.
The magazine article had admonished upon Enchantments lavish settings, breathtaking overlook, and above all, it's tasteful display of magic.
As close as humans could make it at least.
Sarah had seen the real thing and she wouldn't have the liberty of looking at the Magicians in wonder. The cynic in her would rise to the occasion, or maybe it was just the emptiness the Labyrinth had left in her; reminding her that everything pales in comparison to reality.
In any case, Sarah was rather surprised when she found herself calling and making reservations. The memory felt blurred, like someone not quite awakened from a dream. Then there was the compulsion to come alone, which would have been fairly normal if she hadn't canceled a date to do so.
Sarah felt watched, and not even the beautiful atmosphere surrounding her could ease her nerves. Carefully taking in her surroundings she realized that there was, in fact, another table on the balcony, but it was so far into the blackness of shadow that it could barely be seen. It made her slightly uncomfortable to think that she was so secluded, though it probably wouldn't have been so bad if she could actually see whoever was ensconced in the darkened corner. Get a grip, there probably isn't even anyone there. And yet, even with her silent convictions, Sarah found herself straining her eyes to try and pick up a sign of life from the still corner of blackness. Finally, she allowed herself to relax and began, once again, peering over the elegant balcony to the beautiful scenery that was overlain with the mystery only night could accomplish.
The moon was a large glowing orb that seemed to hover above impossibly high treetops. It was like a fairytale forest and it became apparent to Sarah that the name of the restaurant was aptly chosen.
The wind blew, whistling it's relaxing song, and Sarah felt herself give herself over to the moment, closing her eyes and letting her thoughts become as elusive as the fingers of air curling over her.
Strands of hair wrapped across one cheek before a stray burst of wind smoothed it back into place. It was an unusual moment and it caused Sarah to open her eyes and touch the ebony strands tentatively. Her pensive expression smoothed away into a more serious one as she noticed that she was no longer alone on her balcony.
Spine stiffening, she noticed the vague outline of a man sitting amongst the shadow of the dark table. Her discomfort was obvious and she felt immediately embarrassed. She was no longer a child to be afraid of the dark or unknown.
Well if he wasn't going to speak to her, then there was no reason why she should break the silence. He was probably just another person enjoying himself at a nice restaurant. Who else could it possibly be? She chided herself. Images of a man with wild white-blonde hair flashed through her mind.
Her full, red lips uplifted in an ironic smile. The Goblin-King- God, when am I going to stop trying to live a child's dreams? He's not coming for you. You were his downfall- what could he possibly want from you besides revenge? She toyed with the wineglass before raising it to her mouth and drinking a generous amount of the dark ruby liquid.
"Are you ready Ms. Williams?"
Startled, Sarah looked up at the composed face of her waitress. "Oh, um, do you have any specials?"
The waitress nodded with a graceful smile and began to recite, "We have a lobster dinner with drawn butter and a petite cut of prime rib steak for $23.99. Our special fettuccini chicken with fresh bread and your choice of salad or soup for $17.99. Our-" She stopped when she noted Sarah's enthusiastic nod to the fettuccini chicken dinner. The waitress swiftly wrote it down, asked her what she'd like as sides, and with a practiced smile walked quickly back into the building.
Sarah began to toy with the cloth napkin that had been arranged artfully on her place setting. Suddenly, a man encompassed in black seemed to appear in front of her. She let out a gasp and unconsciously pressed a hand to her heart. Bowing, the man dressed in black held out a hand to her and with a flick of his wrist revealed a long-stemmed rose held between two fingers. "My most sincere apologies for startling such a beautiful woman." His voice was deep and sensual. Sarah felt her eyebrow lift at the courtesy of his words even as she dismissed them. Smiling slightly, she focused on the perfect red rose he offered.
"Isn't red only for lovers?" She asked amusedly before continuing, "I don't think that you're in that position, are you?" It was a bit ungracious but she couldn't refrain from barbing the magician, as she suspected that far too many women had fallen prey to his easy charms.
"Hmm, you're right. Does this suit you better?" He passed his free hand over the bloom of the flower and it seemed to change instantly from deep red to storm-shot orange.
Sarah almost let out another gasp but managed to refrain. The features of her magician were uncertain, as the candlelight that gave off it's halo of flickering light seemed to dim near his face and morph his features into planes of shadow that seemed to flow into his dark clothing.
Reaching out for the rose, Sarah felt, rather than saw, her hand captured with long graceful fingers and brushed with warm satin; he had kissed her hand.
"Step into the light…" Sarah demanded once the fingers relinquished their hold.
"With pleasure." Came the teasing reply.
Dark hair fell in waves to his broad shoulders, and Sarah felt herself being caught by silver eyes that seemed to reflect light. It's a wonder I couldn't see his eyes in the dark, with them glowing like that.
Her fingers closed instinctively but she didn't realize that she was holding the rose until she looked down and saw the vibrant orange petals. "How did you-" She began. He held his hand in front of her mouth, just barely brushing against her lips.
"It's all part of the 'enchantment'." He prompted, along with a smile that made Sarah's knees weak.
"And now, beautiful lady, I must leave you to your dinner. Please come again!" With a flash of smoke he was gone, and through the wispy remnants she saw that her dinner was sitting on the table.
"Nice." She muttered appreciatively to no one in particular.
She fell to eating with fervor; the smell of her food was mouth-watering.
Sometime much later, when she was full and quite sated and looking back up at the moon, the person at the table next to her made sounds of movement. In the time that it took for Sarah to turn her head and look at the table which had become illuminated in moonlight, her eyes picked up two significant details:
1.) The table was covered in silver glitter that seemed to reflect its surroundings like the broken shards of a mirror.
2.) There was a peach sitting innocently amid the glitter.
The only time that she had seen glitter like that was when she was a teenager- one dark night, when whispered words brought her to a place of magic. And to him.
Only he would use peaches as his calling card.
Sarah's shocked expression melted into a feral grin. Fine, he wanted her to know that he was watching her. Maybe it was time to show a certain Goblin-King that she could play the game just as well as he could.
Jareth had a lot of things to answer too, and Sarah knew she was just the person to make him see that.
You want to play Goblin-King? Well, let's up the stakes a little.
A/N) Please review- this is my first Laby. Fic, and I'm a little nervous about posting it……. So PLEASE tell me what you think!
A/N 2) 7/16/06. I am in the process of editing my fanfics (some of them at least) because I know how desperately they need it. I've made some minor changes here and there, but I feel much better about this chapter now so it's on to the next.