Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrinth or any of its associated characters.
So darn, another story. I had to get this out there though. Still messing with the story line, but I'm like 90% sure I know where I want to take it. Story takes place in modern day. J+S are currently broken up at the beginning of this story, and I do plan on making some flashbacks of their relationship so you can see why they're where they're at.
Rated M for smut, language, smut...and basically adult themes.
Sarah sat by herself at the bar at an upbeat restaurant Downtown, waiting for her date to show. She couldn't believe she agreed to another blind date, but one of her oldest friends from high school, Emiley, had been persistent, promising that this guy was definitely the one for Sarah, though Sarah highly doubted that; any guy Emiley had thrown her way had been a total asshole. She wouldn't press her luck tonight.
Sarah didn't really want to go anywhere either, but it was Friday night and Emiley had already set the date up. Plus, she'd do anything to keep herself busy as a means to not think about him, as she had done for the past six months. So she reluctantly put on her lacey maroon bodysuit with jeans and heels, kept her makeup light and minimal, and curled her long dark hair so that it fell into perfect waves around her shoulders. She had Ubered her way to the bar and restaurant where she and the blind date were to meet, and when she got there, she rolled her eyes at the sight of several people all huddled around the bar from high school who she knew, hoping none had seen her enter. She hated living back home for this exact reason- seeing people from high school annoyed the shit out of her, but she had gotten a great job opportunity at a PR firm and couldn't pass it up.
Trying to avoid being recognized, she had taken a seat at the far end of one of the bars and ordered a gin and tonic with lime juice. Now, here she was, fifteen minutes later, scrolling through Instagram on her phone and still waiting for her date to show up. She sighed and looked around the place, trying to see if she'd notice the man from the picture Emiley had sent her. She remembered him being pretty cute, but she suddenly couldn't remember if his name was Sean or Shane. Shit. She questioned herself as to why she hadn't gotten the guy's number from Emiley, and decided she would leave in five minutes if he didn't show up. Maybe he was looking for her in the restaurant? She was beginning to get irritated, and went back to scrolling through the same pictures she had just looked at on social media.
"Sarah?" she was suddenly being asked.
Sarah looked up from her phone to the person who had said her name, and was delighted to see it was the guy from the photo Emiley sent her a week ago. Too bad she had deleted the text with his name…
He smiled, showing off his perfect teeth and Sarah noticed he had one small dimple on his right cheek. He was about six foot, had sandy brown hair which was styled nicely, and his eyes were hazel, with more green than brown. Sarah couldn't help but think he kind of resembled a younger Mark Wahlberg, and she was immediately attracted.
Nicely done, Em, Sarah thought. This guy is a total babe.
"That's me," Sarah replied sweetly. "It's nice to meet you," she added, offering her hand. She hoped he'd introduce himself, seeing as she had forgotten his name.
"Nice to finally meet you as well, Sarah. I'm Spencer," he said, shaking hands with hers.
Spencer! She was so close. Sarah shook hands with this perfect stranger, thinking what strong hands he had and was impressed with his firm shake. She was always one for a proper hand shake; so many people nowadays gave wimpy and limp ones, which she considered unattractive.
"Can I sit?" he then asked.
Sarah took her purse off the bar stool to her left, offering the seat to him. "Of course, please do."
Spencer grinned and sat down next to Sarah, turning his body slightly towards her. She looked him up and down subtly, enthralled that this guy also had good style. He was wearing what looked to be Levi jeans and a black V-neck shirt, exposing his muscular chest. He also wore a silver chain with a dog tag around his neck, something Sarah found to be sexy.
"I am so sorry I'm late, by the way," Spencer began to say. "There was an accident on the freeway and getting off at 16th street was a bitch. I wanted to call and let you know, but Em refused to give me your number and of course she wasn't picking up to pass the message along to you. So I apologize for that. I hope you haven't been here long."
Discerning that his words and attitude seemed genuine, Sarah decided to let him off the hook. "It's okay. I know how the freeways are here. But no, I haven't been waiting long. Only for about twenty minutes, no big deal." Sarah smiled rolled her eyes playfully, hoping he'd catch on that she was teasing him.
His eyes grew wide and he turned a little red. "Aw, shit. That long? Fuck."
"It's no big deal, really. You'll just have to make it up to me," Sarah told him flirtatiously.
Spencer narrowed his eyes lightly and smirked at Sarah's cheekiness. "How should I do that?" he asked.
Sarah sipped the rest of her drink seductively, the gin already going to her legs. "Well for starters, you can buy me another drink," she told Spencer after finishing hers. "Then maybe if you're lucky…dinner afterwards."
Rubbing his hand along his mouth, Spencer could only smile. "I'm definitely feeling lucky," he said after a few seconds. "What would you like to drink?"
Sarah looked from Spencer to the bartender who had made his way over to them. Leaning over the counter so he could hear, Sarah requested another gin and tonic, while Spencer asked for a Stella Artois.
A beer drinker, huh? Why am I not surprised. At least he isn't a wine drinker, like he was.
The bartender nodded and went to get them their drinks.
"So, Sarah. What do you do?" Spencer politely asked.
Sarah couldn't help but think how lame the question was. She was sure Emiley had told him anyway, and wanted to skip the all the proper formalities.
"Aw, come on. You can do better than that," Sarah remarked in a lighthearted way. "Didn't Emiley already tell you plenty about me? Knowing her, she probably gave you my entire background."
Chuckling, Spencer answered, "You're right, she did. Somewhat anyway." He grinned at the woman before him. He turned his entire body on the bar stool so he was facing Sarah. "Alright. I'll ask you this instead: what do you enjoy to do? I already know you work in public relations as an event coordinator, you're a Sacramento native who went to Cal Berkeley, which is super impressive might I add, and you love to run half marathons. From what I can tell, you're an insanely gorgeous woman who is probably used to being hit on, making you an occasional ball buster, and you don't take shit from people. Which begs the question as to why you stuck around here around despite my tardiness; you don't look like someone who'd tolerate something like that. In fact, you're probably one of those people who is always on time to everything and even if you're ten minutes early, you think you're late. People generally love you for your fun energy, but can be intimidated by your seemingly aggressive personality, which I was able to take note in immediately as soon as you told me to make it up to you in a suggestive manner. In addition to pointing out that my initial question was basically lame. All qualities I like, might I add."
Sarah raised an eyebrow, impressed with his sudden forwardness and ability to evaluate her well so far. She was used to being called a ball buster weirdly enough, and even though Sarah had a great group of friends and got along with mostly everyone, she had zero patience for stupidity and often rubbed people the wrong way with her candid behavior and outspoken attitude. How he was able to discern that, she didn't know, but she appreciated his honesty. Additionally, he was right – she despised when people were late, given that she always made an effort to be on time.
"Nicely done," she said. "To answer one of your questions, I stuck around here because I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt, and I liked my outfit too much to just go back home and drink wine alone while watching Netflix. As for your first question…I enjoy a lot of things. Running is just one of them, but I like a good workout in all forms."
Spencer could only stare at Sarah, clearly enjoying her allusive nature. Just then the bartender came back with their drinks, setting them down carefully. Sarah took hers and took a generous sip, surprised she was enjoying Spencer's company so far.
"My turn," Sarah then said, not giving Spencer a chance to respond on purpose. "I only know that you're a twenty-seven year old engineer for BNC Engineering, Inc., who attended Stanford and graduated Cum Laude. But besides that… Emiley didn't seem too keen on giving me that much information about you. She was probably afraid I'd find you grossly boring or something. Which makes me wonder why. But my guess is that you're most likely a Marvel fanatic and probably know all the lines to Lord of the Rings, in addition to knowing everything about the series by reading the books Appendices. You were possibly always the smartest guy in the room growing up, but felt you had to downplay your intelligence, since you didn't want to be disliked by those around you, because who could ever tolerate a know it all? I can also tell that you like to work out as well, not that I've been staring at your pecs or biceps or anything. You definitely played soccer or lacrosse growing up. You are for sure a people pleaser as well, but not to the point where you'd sacrifice your own dignity. Not too much anyway. Oh, and you probably love cats."
Sarah tossed her hair over her shoulder, and looked at Spencer who seemed perplexed. His hazel-green eyes were even more narrowed than before, and he was clearly trying to take in Sarah's assessment of him.
"How'd I do?" she finally asked.
"I actually prefer DC over Marvel," he answered. "And I only know some Elven language thank you very much."
Sarah laughed and watched as Spencer took out his cell phone. He leaned into Sarah and showed her his screen.
"My cat, Nancy," he explained, displaying his wallpaper to Sarah. "Now she's a ball buster. Well, more like lady killer. She detests other females."
"Hmm, does she meet a lot of them or something?" Sarah joked, trying to implicate Spencer as a man whore.
He looked up, giving Sarah a lopsided grin. "I knew it. You are a ball buster."
"Only sometimes," Sarah responded while shrugging nonchalantly. "By the way, now I know you must have bad taste in most things. I mean, DC over Marvel?"
"Hey, Batman is awesome," Spencer defended.
"And Thor is practically a God," retaliated Sarah. "That's way cooler."
"I guess. If you're into that blonde, mysterious, God-like complex, then sure," he said, putting his phone back in his pocket.
Sarah gulped, her thoughts suddenly turning to something else. More like, someone else. Fuck. And she'd been having fun so far. Why did he always have to go and ruin everything? He wasn't even here and he managed to make Sarah's life dull.
"Sarah? You okay?"
She broke herself out of her thoughts, and looked back to Spencer who had a concerned expression on his face.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think I'm just hungry. Do you want to go in the dining area now?"
He seemed unsure and hesitant at Sarah's sudden change of direction, and furrowed his eyebrows slightly. "Uh, yeah. Yeah, sure." They both sat up then, and Spencer added, "I'm guessing I passed stage one?"
Sarah chuckled and grabbed her drink. "I'd say so. But there's still plenty of time, so don't get your hopes up," she teased.
Spencer smiled at Sarah, and allowed her to lead the two of them to the main dining room area, where they waited to be seated. Several minutes later, they were sitting across from one another in a booth, where they continued to chat with one another and Sarah was glad this guy didn't seem shy or act nervous. She had been having fun with him so far, and couldn't help but think this was the best date she'd been on since…well, since that happened. All the other guys she'd gone out with were losers.
About an hour and a half later, as the two shared a pizza, she and Spencer were respectfully debating on which school was better: her alma mater, or his.
"Stanford is harder to get into," Spencer rationalized. "Which means smarter people go there."
"Please. Haven't you ever heard of a teddy tree?" Sarah asked. "Everyone loves bears."
"You're right – how could I have been so stupid?" Spencer said, throwing his palm against his forehead. "Berkeley is way better for that reason."
Sarah laughed and bit her lip. God he was cute. Just as she thought this though, she felt a shiver go down her spine and she suddenly felt…paranoid.
"Hey, I'll be right back," Spencer announced, spurring her out of her thoughts momentarily. "Gotta use the bathroom."
"Sounds good. I'll be here," Sarah replied.
Spencer just smiled and got up to use the restroom. That uneasy feeling hadn't left her yet, and she felt extremely unnerved. She looked around the restaurant, trying to find the source of her paranoia but told herself to not worry. No sooner had she tried talking herself out of fear, she saw someone sit down in the booth across from her from her peripheral vision. Turning her head reluctantly, there he was, sitting across from her. She knew from past experience that he never went out in public Aboveground in his usual guise, and tonight was no different.
His blonde hair was in its shorter style and coiffed perfectly. He wore a white button up shirt, leaving the first few buttons undone, which showed off his own muscular chest. His indigo jeans matched the shirt perfectly.
"Jareth! What the hell! What are you doing here?" she asked in a whispered tone, trying to keep her voice calm.
Jareth only smirked pompously, making himself comfortable in the spot where Spencer sat moments ago. "Hello to you as well, dearest. About time he left, even if it's for a few minutes," Jareth responded. "You're looking well."
Sarah pursed her lips. "I'm going to ask you again. What. Are. You. Doing here?" She next crossed her arms and sat up straight.
"So cruel as usual," he said, crossing his own arms. "You aren't even going to ask me how I've been? You haven't changed a bit."
Sarah narrowed her eyes at the man sitting across from her, her mind racing with all kinds of thoughts: the last time he had touched her, the fight they got into moments before that, and the way she felt the next morning after everything happened. She tried putting all that aside, for she didn't want to be distracted. She was on a date for Christ sakes!
"Cut the bullshit, Jareth. I'm on a date, and he's going to be back here soon. So why don't you tell me why you're here. Clearly you've been waiting for the right moment to invade on my personal space, so what do you want?"
Sighing, Jareth said, "Fine, let's get right to the point as always. I'd hate to do anything that isn't done your way."
Sarah only stared at him, trying to ignore his callous attitude towards her.
"I need your help," he admitted, after a few long seconds.
"My help?" Sarah repeated, squinting her eyes in confusion. "What could I possibly do to help you?"
"It's a rather long story," Jareth explained. "And as you pointed out, your date will be back shortly. I don't have enough time to enlighten you on this all right now. Once you are done here with your…mortal playmate, can you please meet me back at your place?"
Sarah felt completely befuddled by Jareth's words and suddenly grew worried. Was he okay? Why did he need her help? Jareth was a magical being who could do practically anything he wanted. The fact he needed her help for anything other than trying to figure out electronics concerned her. Her face softened for a moment.
"Are… are you okay?" she asked him with genuine worry.
"I'm not sure," he said, frowning. "Just…will you please meet me? I can explain everything then."
Sarah looked down to the napkin on her lap. "I don't know, Jareth," she whispered, shaking her head slightly. "After everything that happened, you expect me to just jump at the opportunity to help you?"
"Yes," was all he said.
Sarah's nostrils flared as she breathed in, holding her breath. She hated when he acted domineering. No wait, she remembered loving that fact about him, yet hating it all the same time. Why was everything with him so complicated? She opened her mouth to speak. "I– "
"Hey, man you're in my seat," said a voice out of nowhere.
Both Sarah and Jareth looked up to see her date, who had a puzzled expression on his face. Jareth grinned and stood up, looking the man before him up and down with no subtly.
"Terribly sorry about that. I saw our beloved Sarah here, and thought I'd come over to say hello. We go way back you see," Jareth bit back. He looked over to Sarah, who was bright red, and looked to be simmering. "I'll be off now, though. I hope to see you around, Sarah," he finished saying.
Jareth walked around Spencer, but before he walked away completely, he turned around just as Spencer was sitting back down. "Apple martinis," Jareth said randomly.
"What?" Spencer questioned, not understanding what Jareth had meant.
Jareth only smiled, and looked to Sarah who was giving him a look suggesting, "You better not fucking say another word."
"Apple martinis," Jareth said again, still looking at Sarah.
"Jareth, shut up," Sarah chimed in with clenched teeth.
"Two normally does the trick," he went on to say, turning to Spencer now. "After three, she tends to get a bit sloppy, mate."
Spencer furrowed his eyebrows, and looked from Jareth to Sarah and then back and forth again. Sarah groaned, and put her head in her hands, wishing he would just leave already. If he wanted her help so badly, this definitely wasn't the best way to go about it!
"Have a nice evening you two." Jareth walked away and out of the restaurant.
Sarah watched him as he left, a big gaping hole forming in her stomach. She began cursing to herself internally, totally taken back by his presence. God damnit. Son of a bitch! Motherfuck!
"Uh, should I ask what that was about?" Spencer then asked, dumbfounded.
Sarah merely shook her head, and put her napkin on the table. "Just an old friend. Don't worry about him, he's troubled."
Before Spencer could say anything else, the waitress came over to check on the two of them.
"Are you guys all finished up here?" she inquired. "Is there anything else I can get you? Another drink, perhaps?"
"Actually, yes," Spencer answered. "I'll do one more Stella and uh…" Spencer looked to Sarah and continued the order. "The lady will take an apple martini."
Sarah turned her head skeptically, completely shocked that Spencer had just said that. So much for thinking he was a nice guy. Fucking Jareth and his big mouth! "Actually no, I'll do a water," Sarah countered, giving Spencer a seething look.
"But you can bring the apple martini anyway," Spencer added, ignoring Sarah's insinuation.
The waitress nodded her head once in understanding and walked away to grab the drinks. Spencer had a smile on his face, and turned to look at Sarah only to see her angry expression.
"Wow. I guess in my assessment earlier I forgot to mention that you're a total ass hat," Sarah curtly said. "And forget I mentioned dignity, you clearly have none," she further went on to say, and then stood up.
Spencer stood up at the same time, not understanding why Sarah was so upset. "Wait, what? You're leaving?"
Grabbing her purse, Sarah told him, "Yes, yes I am leaving. You're ridiculous if you think I'm going to stay here after that little act." The truth was, Sarah wanted to go and see what Jareth wanted, but Spencer didn't need to know that.
"I'm…I'm sorry, I didn't think you'd care," Spencer remarked, looking bewildered. "I mean, you were putting out the vibes earlier of wanting to, you know…"
Narrowing her eyes and scoffing, Sarah was completely mystified that anyone would say such a thing. Sure she had been flirtatious, but she didn't think she said or did anything to the extent of saying Hi, I'm easy, come fuck me. Did she? Seeing Jareth just threw her off entirely. "Have a good night, Spencer," she rebuked.
Sarah left the imbecile behind and walked outside to the hot summer air. She hadn't thought to get an Uber again, seeing as she didn't anticipate on leaving her date so abruptly. Or seeing her ex-boyfriend for that matter. Why did he have to look so good? Sighing, she pulled out her phone from her purse and ordered an Uber; thirty two dollars for a ten minute drive home. Lovely.
Once the driver was there, Sarah hopped in the car and anxiously chewed on the tip of her nail, wondering just what in the hell Jareth wanted from her. She hadn't seen him in six months. Or talked to him for that matter. It had been one of the hardest times of her life, but she wouldn't falter or give in to him tonight should he try anything. Things had ended for a reason.
Yet here he was, asking for help. Sarah closed her eyes, images of intimate moments between the two of them popping up from over the course of five years. She trembled, remembering how amazing he had always made her feel, and she suddenly felt warmth between her legs. Just as soon as the feeling came though, it went away when Sarah opened her eyes, trying to force the erotic images from her mind.
Stay strong, Sarah. Just find out what he wants, help him to the best of your ability, and be done.
She gulped as the repeated this mantra in her head, hoping she wasn't lying to herself. She promised herself that she wouldn't allow her mind or body to succumb to Jareth again in any way, shape or form.
Sighing, she rolled her eyes. She only wished that were true.
AN: Who else hates running into people from high school? I know I do!
Background between J+S- we'll get there. I don't want to spoil anything yet.
And I know Jareth's presence is super small in this chapter, but he'll be back. Obviously. With a much bigger role. Think 1993 Bowie for his appearance Aboveground ;)
Sarah is 27, and largely resembles J. Connelly around the year 2000. Yeah, I know, I generally like to make my Sarah smart and successful who comes from a well to do family. And Sacramento was the first place that popped into my mind regarding her hometown.
And Spencer, oh Spencer. Seems like such a cool guy at first, then basically suggests he only wanted one thing and took advantage of a supposed opportunity. Typical. I wanted him to resemble Mark Wahlberg from Planet of the Apes (circa 2000). I love Marky Mark, so if he isn't your speed then try imagining him as something else? Haha.
The apple martini's scene largely inspired from the movie The Breakup with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. Love that movie.
Not sure when I'll update next, should be soon. Hopefully. Please review! I love them :)