It had taken a while for Sarah to calm down, but now she sat on the couch bundled in a blanket and softly shaking as she ate spicy beef and broccoli from the box. Jareth had found something that looked relatively light hearted on the television and hoped that it helped take her mind off of things.
"Feeling better?" Jareth asked.
"I guess" Sarah replied. She put her carton down and took an eggroll. She watched Jareth when he stood up. He set his food down and headed down the hall. Sarah felt suddenly hot and cold all at the same time. She glanced at the window. The curtains were pulled tightly together and there hadn't been any disturbances since the creature had left. She swiveled her head around and looked at the patio door. It too was free of disturbances. Relief spread through Sarah when Jareth returned. He had changed his pants for loose flannels.
"You can go change into something comfortable if you'd like" Jareth said. He had started to close the Chinese food boxes. "I'll clean up."
"Alone?" Sarah asked. She mentally thumped herself for being so childish. Jareth raised an eyebrow at her. She stood up, tossing her blanket aside. She left the room with the egg roll in hand. Jareth cleaned up, as he told Sarah he would. He was concerned about his dark haired beauty, but had news that might help her hold onto the situation. The boxes of food fit into the fridge nicely. Jareth snagged a wet rag and brought it out to clean up the coffee table.
He smiled as Sarah came back into the living room. She was in sweatpants and a t-shirt. "We need to talk about our visitor, if you're up for it."
"Is it back?" Sarah asked fearfully. She touched the wall of the hallway and looked at the window.
"No" Jareth replied. He tossed the rag into the kitchen and pulled her back to the couch. "It's safe." As soon as she sat down, he sat and faced her. "I think I know what it is."
"You do?" Sarah asked. Jareth ran a hand through his hair.
"Seeing it up close and hearing it" Jareth started. "I believe it's a bogie."
"A bogie?" Sarah said. "I thought bogies were types of goblins."
"They technically are, but not many bogies reside in my kingdom" Jareth replied. He had a stern look of hidden concern. His fingers fidgeted, making circles with each other and drumming softly. "Many bogies are solitary. They travel through the various kingdoms or stand territorially over a particular spot that is often between worlds. They can be friendly or completely terrifying."
"How do we get rid of it?" Sarah asked. She reached out and placed a hand over Jareth's in a comforting manner. "Do we kill it?"
"It varies" Jareth said holding her gaze. He slipped one of his hands over Sarah's, holding it in place. "This one seems to believe you're his. Did you do something I don't know about?"
Sarah thought about it. "Are you sure?" Jareth tilted his head slightly. "That bogie said that it wants what is his."
"And it pointed at you" Jareth insisted. Sarah thought about the black creature again and shook her head.
"What if I just have something that it wants?" Sarah asked. "Could that be a possibility with a bogie?"
Jareth kissed the back of her hand and smiled at her. "You've always been clever. We need to find what it wants."
"We don't even know what it could be" Sarah worried. Jareth stood up, pulling her along with him. "It could be anything!"
"It's a bogie" Jareth stated. "They tend to like pretty old things or things that are flashy like jewels and gold or unique natural items." Jareth turned the television off and pulled Sarah towards the hallway. "Let's start in your study."
It didn't take long for Sarah to form a pile of things that she had either recently purchased, was an antique, or was some newly acquired natural creation. Jareth had first entered her study and would pick up an item, ask about it, and put it back in its place. Sarah had ordered him to sit while she took over. Talking about each and every item was not what she felt like doing.
Jareth was looking at the items on the desk. Sarah had walked around the room a few times, picking out more things each time. Jareth picked up a stone with a hole in it, which Sarah called a "fairy stone", and looked through it.
"I think that's it" Sarah said. She placed a few old bottle caps on the table. "I found these on my run one day."
"Bottle caps?" Jareth asked. He put down the stone and picked one up. "Possibly, but probably not. A lot of fae stay away from human-made metals."
"That's kind of weird" Sarah commented. She picked up a bottle cap and ran her finger over the rough edge. This particular bottle cap was an old Coke cap from the 50s or 60s - at least that was Sarah's guess.
"You humans have claimed for hundreds of years that iron can kill us" Jareth said. He was looking at a vintage pair of glasses. "Most just try to stay away. That's why people don't claim to see the fae or even the little flower fairies anymore. Better to err on the side of safety."
Jareth put the glasses on and looked up at Sarah. The tortoise shell cat eyes were not his style and Sarah couldn't help but chuckle.
"Lovely" Sarah prodded. Jareth smiled and took them off; happy that he could assist in fixing Sarah's frayed nerves. "Should we just ask the bogie if one of these is it?"
"That would offend it" Jareth replied. He ran a finger over an old ring and picked up a small ceramic figurine of a girl in a gold dress. It had chocolate colored hair and pink cheeks and lips. Jareth looked up at Sarah. The ceramic figure was frozen in a dance step. The figure looked strikingly like Sarah and even had green dots for eyes. "Tell me about this one."
"Reese found that two weeks ago" Sarah said. "We went to Derry, which is about an hour drive from here, and ended up at this little antique store. He said it looked like me and look—" Sarah pushed the figure around in Jareth's hand so he could see the bottom of it. "It even says 'Sarah'."
"I think this is quite possibly what we're looking for" Jareth said with a smile. He saw the twinkle in Sarah's eyes and felt himself take a deep breath. "It's a lovely figurine, just like you."
Sarah balked at the compliment and stood upright. She sputtered for a second before pursing her lips. "Jareth…"
Jareth stood up, taking pleasure in standing a little too close to her. He leaned into her, making her lean against the desk, as he put the figurine behind her with the other items. He smirked and ran a hand through his hair. Sarah's cheeks were blushing.
"Are you okay?" Jareth asked with false concern. His smirk turned into a smile, especially when he gently pushed some hair behind her ear. Sarah gave a slightly confused, vague noise that almost sounded like 'fine'. Jareth leaned in close enough to brush the tip of his nose against her cheek. "I think I'm going to retire for the night." He pressed his leg against hers. "I have some reading to catch up on."
Sarah gasped when he moved away from her. Her blush had deepened and her mouth was hanging open. Jareth smiled and took a backwards step towards the door.
"Don't lose that figurine" Jareth said with a smile. He pushed his hair from his eyes and left Sarah leaning against her desk, doing her best deer-in-headlights impression.
Sarah spent two hours blankly staring at her computer. She had checked her social media sites like always, browsed pinterest, and read the news, but the only thing she could think about was how her stomach had fluttered when Jareth's nose had brushed against her cheek. Her brain railed against her.
What are you thinking? Sarah asked herself yet again. She had no answer. Instead she glanced at the clock and sighed. It was almost 10pm and sleep was starting to sound wonderful. She could sleep and not worry about anything until she woke up. It didn't take any prodding for her to turn off her computer and lights in her study.
Sarah stood in the hallway looking into her dark bedroom. Her feet weren't moving. In her mind, she kept hearing the tapping noises from the window and the bogies' deep raking voice.
Don't be silly. Jareth told you it wouldn't be back tonight, Sarah told herself. She scowled and reached out to flip the light on. She wanted to barricade the windows and make them sound proof. She forced herself to enter her bedroom. It was quiet. Checking the blinds, to make sure they were as tightly closed as they could possibly be, Sarah felt that she would have to be satisfied with it. She lightly closed her door and changed into a mint green nightgown. It wasn't anything special. It hung loosely on her like a sack rather than a fitted pretty nightgown. Sarah had picked it out because it was soft, had some leaves embroidered around the v-neck, and was sleeveless.
There was a metallic, hollow pop sound from the wall. Sarah closed her eyes and touched the end of her hair. It was just the heat coming on. She had heard the sound loads of times before, but tonight she just wasn't having it. She opened her eyes and opened her door. She had left the hallway light on.
The second Sarah turned the hallway light off; she felt anxious fear run up her back. She stepped lightly and stood in front of her open bedroom door. The light spilled out across her feet, but entering her bedroom was not something she wanted to do. Her mind replayed images of the bogie running its long fingers along the storm door.
"Merf?" Sarah whispered. She looked around, but didn't see the roly-poly goblin. Her feet felt glued to the spot she was in. "Merf, are you around?"
"He's not here right now" Jareth said from behind Sarah. Sarah nearly jumped straight up, but her feet felt heavy. Instead she stepped, moving her heavy feet slowly, and shot daggers at Jareth for startling her. "Didn't mean to scare you."
"You failed" Sarah whispered trying to regain her composure. He stood in his doorway only wearing his flannel pants and his pendant. Sarah realized that she hadn't seen his pendant since he had made his style change to fit in. She looked away from him before he could accuse her of blatantly staring at his shirtless chest. "I was just heading to bed."
"Certain of that?" Jareth asked. Sarah nodded, staring at him again. He was lean and muscular like a dancer.
"I was just—I thought—I just keep thinking about the bogie" Sarah muttered. Jareth's eyes felt piercing. Sarah lifted a hand and rubbed her neck. "Dumb, I guess."
"That seems fairly rational" Jareth replied softly. He stepped close to her, letting a hand drift to her waist, and guided her to her bedroom. "You have a very non-threatening bedroom here, you know. There's your bed, your walls, floor, ceiling…"
"I know" Sarah snapped. "I know that. I know I shouldn't be frightened."
"Would you like me to check your closet and under your bed?" Jareth prodded. Sarah rolled her eyes and looked ready to demand he stop treating her like a child. Jareth laughed and looked around her room to avoid her starting a tirade. Sarah rubbed her face and groaned.
"I'm whipped" Sarah grumbled. She didn't move towards the bed. The windows overlooked her bed.
"I'll be right back" Jareth whispered to her. He left her standing in the room and it left goosebumps on her arms. The only personality the bedroom had was the soft black mink blanket Sarah had as a comforter.
I could use a picture or something in here, Sarah mused to herself. The sound of a light being turned off made Sarah glance at her bedroom door. The hallway was completely dark, including the light that emerged from the guest room. Jareth walked in with a book in hand.
"Get in bed" Jareth ordered softly. He padded around the room, turning on a side lamp and turning off the overhead light. Sarah did as she was told and watched him move around the room until he was crawling onto her bed.
"What are you doing?" Sarah asked in a small voice. He smiled and settled into the large bed. He opened his book.
"I was going to read until you fell asleep" Jareth said matter-of-factly. Sarah absently twirled her hair in her fingers. She slowly lay down, but kept an eye on him.
"What are you reading?" Sarah finally asked.
"It's just a fiction" Jareth replied. Sarah let him read and felt herself relax more than she wanted to admit.
Sarah wasn't sure of the time when she woke up, but she was surprised to find the lights off and an arm draped over her midsection. She grumbled and looked at the spot next to her. Jareth was sleeping on his stomach with an arm casually stretched across her. His book was on the pillow near his head. Sarah could see it in the small amount of moonlight that was able to shine below the blinds. She moved it so it was on the nightstand, next to the lamp.
Sarah didn't move the royal arm draped across her or protest in any way. She simply closed her eyes and let sleep carry her back to dreamland.
Jareth found himself draped over Sarah upon waking. Sometime in the night he had draped an arm across her and he felt one of his legs entwined with hers. Sarah was softly breathing and still completely asleep. He raised himself enough to see her clock, happy that it read 4:23am. He lay back down and watched his sleeping beauty until drifting back to sleep.
"Sarah" Jareth whispered to her. She stirred and groaned. She turned her head towards her clock before even opening her eyes. Full awareness came to her like a splash of cold water once she saw the clock reading 6:29am.
"Oh my god!" Sarah hissed. She looked up, finally realizing that Jareth was not only in bed with her, but was perched half over her so he could look down at her. "What are you doing?"
"Waking you up" Jareth said simply. "You slept in. I thought you needed the extra sleep."
"Slept in" Sarah repeated. She was wrapping her head around the near-foreign concept. She kept her gaze on Jareth, who was just giving her a small early morning smile. "Why didn't you wake me up earlier?"
"You're lovely to watch when you sleep" Jareth said softly. He leaned closer, maintaining his whisper. "You looked peaceful."
"You slept here with me?" Sarah asked in a hushed tone. It was a dumb question because it was very obvious he had. "I mean, you didn't have to."
"Of course I did" Jareth breathed. He let his lips grace hers and was delighted when he felt her kiss him back. He deepened the kiss, moving to run his hand along her shoulder and shoulder, and finally running a finger along her jaw. Sarah moaned and Jareth pulled back a little. Sarah's hand found its way to his waist to pull him closer. Sarah whimpered when Jareth pulled away to kiss her neck. In one smooth move, he was between her legs and his lips had simply trailed down along her clavicle.
Sarah's hands found their way around Jareth's shoulders. She watched him move up to kiss her again. For a microsecond, Sarah wondered if it was a dream. Over the years had had some fairly sordid dreams involving him. Jareth's lips found hers again, but this time it was demanding and consuming – a thirsty man who had found a desert oasis.
Sarah's mind flashed images of past Jareth dreams and stopped her cold with a replay of that night's dream. Sarah pushed Jareth away and moved a hand over her eyes.
"Sorry" Sarah whispered. Jareth moved her hand aside. He gave her a questioning look. "My brain is going over last night's dreams. It's habit."
"I don't mind that" Jareth said. Sarah sighed.
"I should just write it down" Sarah said softly. Sarah often recorded her stranger dreams, even if they were just a partial tidbit. In a swift motion, Jareth pinned her wrists to the bed.
"Write it down later" Jareth suggested. He leaned down so his lips hovered just above hers. "I need you right now."
Against her bullying brain, Sarah gave in to Jareth's seduction.