Disclaimer: Don't own most of it… the plot and Darien are all mine though… ) Anything else belongs to Jim Henson and CO.
A/N I apologize for the extremely long wait… hopefully I still have readers out there! ) I'll do my best to update sooner next time! To all that reviewed for the last chapter: "Thank Yous" go as following:
LadyIconDraco Thank you for both of your reviews for chapter 1 and chapter 2… I'm really glad that you like my story so far! )
draegonfire More games in this chapter… though I'm afraid Jareth is the one to get creative this time! ;) Thanks for your review- hope you like the update!
Djinn I'm SO glad that you thought so! I wasn't as worried about it until after I realized that some people may find it offensive… thus my little Author's note at the end… ) I'm glad that it did it's purpose though! Thanks for the review!
redaura Thank you! ) And as aforementioned… I'm VERY glad that you thought it was funny! And Jareth's retaliation… is pretty much this entire chapter… so now your curiosity will be rewarded! ) Hope you like what you read!
Scattered Logic Inspiration DID strike… but actually getting all of it written and posted proved more difficult… ;) Hopefully you haven't forgotten all about this fic because I'd love to know what you think of this chapter… ) Thank you so much for reviewing!
Niffers YAY! Someone ELSE who found Sarah's little stunt amusing! Thank you very much- I'd love to know what you think of THIS chapter if you liked the LAST one- )
ginnymanytongues I'm exceedingly glad that you think so… however I'm sorry that it didn't get posted soon… Cringe Though to make up for it- I DID post 2 short Laby fics! I think I should get a little credit! PLEASE? )
StarGazer/Stephanie Awww. Thank you so much! ) (You don't know how sweet it is to imagine someone rallying for me in an empty room! ;) LOL..) I'm sorry it didn't get updated sooner! ( But hopefully you'll like this chapter! ;)
Sway Umhmm. My original idea was to involve a restaurant in my fic… just because I don't recall any other Laby fic revolving around one. LOL Ridiculous what one thinks of when they're trying to write an original story… ) Plus I wanted to make the beginning humorous… and I'm definitely trying my best! Hopefully you'll enjoy this… sorry that "half time" took so long! LOL
Gwen :gives Gwen puppy dog eyes: I know I was bad not to review sooner…. But I DID try to make up for it by writing some Laby ficlets! Really! There's evidence that you can READ and everything! ;) LOL Ulterior motive? MOI? Thanks for the snowmen- cookies are always a lovely treat! ;)
phoebemoon Why thank you! ;) I wonder what you'll think of THIS chapter… )
(Unknown person.) Umm, hope you like it… do you think you could leave me an initial or something… it'd be nice to actually ADDRESS such a kind reviewer! )
dawn Ah, yes… but then Jareth IS rather possessive isn't he? ;) I'm glad that you like Sarah with a sense of humor… I think that too many people make her WAY too serious so I wanted to lighten her up a little… You know, give her character more middle ground between being madly in love with Jareth, terribly upset with him, or being miserable because of the occurrence of some disaster- which is how most fics have her… LOL (I'm definitely not knocking it- I've read TONS of awesome fics w/ Sarah Very serious and disasters all around… but I just wanted to try something different from what I normally do myself.) )
Rhiannon Faylinn Yes, it sort of was… though I imagine that I wouldn't be too kind to Jareth if I were in her shoes… that peach might as well have been a gauntlet… ) Glad you thought it was funny- that's all I was going for! Your 'wonderings' are very apt: The first one is about to be answered… but the next one, I'm afraid… will take a little longer. ) Happy reading!
Sarah Well I'm thrilled that you were thrilled! ) I know how nice it is to be acknowledged by the author after leaving a review…. So I swore to myself that I would do it for this story. I'm even MORE thrilled that your addiction has increased! Though it makes me feel guilty because I haven't been able to update in quite some time… ( I did post some Laby ficlets for everyone… but I'm afraid that none of you readers noticed! ( I'm sorry you didn't get your fix! Hopefully this will make up for it!
CrystalUnicorn I'm extremely glad that you like it! Thanks so much for the review!
jadefeather Aww, shucks:::blushies: that's too sweet! Thank you! And yes, I am continuing it… and hopefully at a faster pace! LOL )
Phew… there it is! My list of kind and wonderful reviewers! )
Here we go! Chapter 3…
The mournful song of the Kanter bird echoed hauntingly in the enclosed gardens nestled deep in the center of the Labyrinth.
A regal man threaded through the rustling plants leisurely. A wisp of moonlight flitted across an inhumanly handsome face: high cheekbones, and strange mismatched eyes that revealed nothing. They were Aristocratic features- very fitting for a king.
As the light from the rising moon illuminated his face once more, the casual observer would have noticed a twist to his thin lips that hadn't been there earlier- an expression of wicked satisfaction. He reached down and plucked a silvery flower from its stem and twirled it expertly. To the casual observer, the man was obviously plotting something. To the residents of the Labyrinth, however, that smile was something to hide from- something to fear.
Unfortunately, there was no way for Sarah to know that.
"Hey, Brent! How've things been in your office? It's been like a ghost town in mine."
Brent Gott glanced over at his close friend, Sarah Williams, as she slid into a seat across from him. Starbucks was surprisingly quiet, only the Regulars remained- sipping their caffeinated beverages and watching the scurrying people outside.
Mischievous gray eyes shone amiably at Sarah and full lips broke into a charming smile as he took in her face and appearance.
"Wow, Sarah. That's some outfit for a day with the girls isn't it?" Brent was constantly teasing Sarah for working in an office where the only male was an office supervisor that flirted with anything that had two legs. And ironically, that remark was completely true… Jon Devons had informed his employees from the moment that he took his job as their superior that his sexuality did not exclude anyone. He proved this bit of information true when at the end of the workday a 'friend' came to pick him up and take him to a "Couples Only Club". A MALE friend. They left holding hands, leaving a wake of stunned social workers behind.
Sarah's eyes narrowed at Brent's dig, but refused to rise to the bait. "What? Am I overdressed?" She countered innocently.
Brent's smile deepened. "Hmm, I'm not sure… Why don't you stand up and let me see the full effect."
Sarah rolled her eyes in feigned exasperation, but answered with acid sweetness. "Anything for YOU, Brent."
She stood up and smoothed the seams of her outfit down her hips. A wolf whistle that most certainly did NOT come from Brent echoed in the small confines of the coffee shop.
Sarah had grown accustomed to her looks and even felt pride in her appearance, but a faint pink blush still bloomed in her cheeks at the open approval of a stranger.
Brent caught the blush and laughed delightedly, "I hope you realize that by wearing that outfit you will be the subject of quite a bit of attention- unwanted or not."
Sarah knew that the tight-fitting auburn outfit she had donned that morning would definitely catch some eyes… Brent was right, it wasn't something that she would normally wear to the office. But Sarah had her reasons for wanting to look good. One reason in particular; She was pretty sure that Jareth would be retaliating in some way and she was vain enough not to want to look frumpy if he was still spying on her.
Someone once said that beauty could be a woman' s weapon, and Sarah wasn't hesitant to add it to her own arsenal. If she couldn't summon up a magic bubble and trap him in his own dreams- then at least she had more interesting alternatives.
Sarah stayed and chatted with Brent for her entire lunch break. Which lasted for an entire 25 minutes. Jon's romance ideals aside, he was still her boss and he had set up rules that he expected to be followed… Which meant that Sarah had exactly 35 minutes for lunch and if she was late then she would be "eating" away at her personal vacation time.
She hadn't driven to Starbucks, it was close enough to her work that Sarah had decided to walk. The trees along the sidewalk she strolled down were rustling as a light breeze played along their leaves.
Sarah always found tranquility in nature and today she was enjoying the sights. The leaves were turning yellow- some had already begun to gold… Autumn was coming and the trees were donning its colors accordingly.
It was nice to walk passed the quaint park on her way to the office… It was hard to find such perfect snatches of nature in the middle of such a bustling city. She glanced back wistfully at the tall oaks that swayed peacefully before crossing the street and being submersed into the hoards of people striding briskly to their destinations.
She followed the driveway to her offices' door; The "Social Services" building was an immense brick structure that looked as if it had seen the turning of the times and still had the strength to remain. It wasn't homey, but instead gave the impression of sturdiness. Some people saw the building and disliked it immediately- Sarah had never been one of them. Instead, she was fond of the old building, taking the same "oldness" that people had disliked about it, and instead seeing it as "character". After all, age changed everyone- it held the power to make a person stronger or wiser, bitter or unkind. Time was both key and catalyst, to so many things.
Corrie's eyes were wide with unsuppressed longing. She had never seen herself as completely unattractive, but there had always been a tiny prick of jealousy when she heard all of the other girls in the office talking about their love-lives. Men just didn't flock to her the way they did to others. She had no romance in her life to speak of. For God's sake, she was thirty-three and still a virgin! Not that she was ashamed of it- she wouldn't want to just throw that sort of thing away… She wanted it to be special, and with a special person was that so much to ask?
He moved swiftly back and forth, from his flower truck to Sarah Williams' desk. The movement of his body drew her hungry eyes back to him instantly and snapped her attention back to the present.
The man that had come in with vases and vases that were brimming with strange silver flowers looked like the men she dreamed of after reading a particularly steamy romance novel. His pale hair was tied in a ponytail and he had a strangely sensual walk- maybe it was the slight sway of his hips…not feminine… but more like the graceful stalk of a fencer. Each footstep was deliberate… Commanding. Like the world rested at this man's fingertips, and the universe at his feet.
Corrie snapped herself out of an unbidden fantasy. Ripping her eyes away, she tried to look at her computer and stop drooling, but eventually gave up the attempt when she realized that she kept searching for his reflection on the screen.
She turned back towards him, slowly, her eyes drifting back to his strong, lean body. She was embarrassed by her own lack of self-control, but try as she might- she couldn't bring herself to drag her gaze away from his lithe form a second time.
It wasn't long before the icily handsome stranger noticed her scrutiny. Corrie felt all the blood in her body rush to her cheeks. She was mortified… Would he say something?
Jareth almost let a pleased smile grace his lips at the steamy look in the little woman's eyes. He almost allowed himself to take a bow at the obvious appraisal she was bestowing upon him. But then he saw the blush bloom in her cheeks and he remembered that he was on Earth. There was no way for Jareth to tell the little woman that she had just paid him the highest compliment of his kind. The Court's customs had always been considered lewd by the other inhabitants of The Underground, but Jareth had always appreciated his realm's customs. There were no coy mind games- just honesty and emotion. Jareth chuckled softly- the particular combination of those two elements in his kind had borne some truly spectacular scandals.
He looked at the woman sitting at her desk and smiled- a small smile of greeting- nothing more and nothing less. Even as she smiled back Jareth felt himself don another persona- he grew so tired of the politics of Earth, but he was under The Court's law and one of them was to use his gift to show humans whatever they wanted to see while he was in their realms. As his mother had said, "Jareth, if they dream of thieves then you must become one… If they dream of fairies then sprout wings and give them what they want... Only strong dreams will power the Labyrinth now… If you do not continue, then all of our ways will die out as The Labyrinth does."
Jareth had lost himself in his own thoughts again and barely remembered to send out a crystal to catch the woman's dreams. He nodded his head at her and gave one last glance to the desk overflowing with the silver flowers that the Queen had named "Revelations." Sarah was about to have a couple.
As he was leaving, the crystal he had sent to the blonde trailed after him, reflections of lovers entwined could be seen bubbling beneath the surface. Jareth made sure that his gloves covered every inch of his skin… it wouldn't do to invade her mind and enter her dream… and even the smallest bit of contact would do just that.
There were downfalls to being the Prince of Dreams- the need for gloves was definitely one of them.
Corrie was typing rapidly and trying her damndest to ignore the memory of The Flower Man. She kept taking furtive glances at the strange silver flowers piled around Sarah's desk. She and Sarah were confidantes and close friends… Surely she wouldn't mind Corrie taking just a couple…
Once Corrie's fingers curled over one green stem she felt compelled to raise it's delicate petals to her face and breath in it's scent. A strange rush of feeling swept through her… the flower smelled like nothing she had ever smelled before. In fact, there were no words to describe the scent of the shimmering petals… It smelled the way you would think sunshine would smell… It was also so warm, almost... Heated…
Corrie gasped… There was a strange feeling overtaking her… And what she saw entering the room made her heart race and breath escape in gasps.
Well, this took a while to write and I've no doubt that you're wondering where I'm taking this one… but you'll just have to wait and see! I think that you should all forgive me the wait just because of the length of this chapter! ) As before-mentioned… it took FOREVER.
If I missed anyone that reviewed- I apologize… don't worry I'll acknowledge you next update!
Tell me what you think! Review, review!
PS I've decided to take Jareth's background in a direction other than the "Fae" explanation… "The Court" will be explained a little more in later chapters… so I don't have any answers for that one yet… all will be explained in due time my grasshoppers. LOL ;)
A/N 2) 7/16/06 I came, I saw, I edited. And I feel so much better about it, especially since I had a glaringly ugly typo mixed in amidst the panting after Jareth bit. ;)