The carriage wheels bounced on the cobblestone streets leading up to the Goblin City. The city itself was arrayed in grandeur displaying the might and power, and let's not forget the innate stylishness of the Goblin King himself. Carriages lined up in front of the castle staircase discharging their fashionably dressed occupants in a rainbow of colors.
Sitting in traffic behind a long line of carriages, Marcus could barely contain his excitement. It had been almost a full year since Hyrle and himself had said their goodbyes, leaving the Labyrinth for the elf's beloved woods. Marcus had to admit his lover was right about the benefits of living a more...shall we say rural life. His greatest fears were never realized - not a single night was spent outside of a featherbed, nor was he at any time prevented from soaking in warm bath. He did have the chance to get up close and personal with the wildlife, though. Apparently Hyrle had an affinity for speaking with animals, kind of a nicety considering the only wildlife Marcus had ever seen was more on the lines of the canine variety. And well, dogs just couldn't hold a candle to being able to pet and feed Bambi.
Catching a glimpse of his appearance, noting the sun-kissed skin of his rich tan and ultra blonde hair, Marcus would have to agree - living in the woods agreed with him. "And damn it, I am just too sexy for my own good."
It seemed like forever before their carriage finally made it through the line. As soon as the footman opened their door, Marcus bounded out like small child after and endless car ride followed by Hyrle in a more stately pace. The dynamic duo earned a couple of wistful sighs from an approving group of ladies standing nearby. Marcus' tight fighting breeches accented his still muscular legs, the cut of his coat accentuating his broad shoulders and narrow waist.
Hyrle cut a pretty mean figure himself, dressed in his flowing elven robes. At Marcus' instance, he wore his hair loose instead of tied back, so it cascaded down his back in a tide of pure gold that shimmered in the dim torchlight.
Moving as one, they entered the sparkling ballroom illuminated only by the glow of a thousand tapered candles. Excitement thrilled through Marcus at the sight of all the fine lords and ladies of the Underground twirling together in the throes of a waltz. The music of the orchestra barely registered over the din of the crowd. As the dancers revolved to the music, the lively colors of their gowns merged resembling flowers from some exotic garden.
A liveried servant passed by carrying a tray of fluted glasses. Marcus nabbed a couple handing one to Hyrle. "Have you spotted 'Lyssa yet?"
The elf shook his head. "Patience, Marcus. The Goblin King never makes an entrance before all the guests arrive." Hyrle sipped delicately at his wine. Its unexpected bubbles tickled his nose. He eyed the goblet suspiciously. "What vineyard did this come from? It's certainly not elvish."
Marcus suppressed a grin. "I do believe the champagne was imported, my love."
Hyrle was mollified. "Imported?! Since when has elven wine not been good enough for the Goblin Kingdom." He snorted. "Champagne, indeed!"
Trying to keep a straight face was impossible, so Marcus sipped at his glass instead. "The Lady Elyssa is rather fond of good elven wine, but Hyrlie even you have to admit that a bottle or two of Dom Perignon now and again never hurts."
Hyrle looked unconvinced.
Marcus shrugged. Considering the endless bottles they were going through, this particular indulgence must have cost a fortune. Ironic considering Elyssa couldn't drink the wine herself.
The elf's retort was cut short when a sudden hush fell over the crowd. Glitter fell down from the ceiling catching the candlelight and filling the room with an ethereal glow.
"I guess Jareth was feeling impatient," Hyrle mused.
"I think it's much more likely that it was his lady," Marcus added with a grin.
All eyes turned to the grand staircase in anticipation, every trying to catch the first glimpse of the Goblin King with his Queen. A satisfied murmur of approval swept through the crowd when the Royal couple appeared. Jareth was resplendent as ever in his black dress coat and cream colored ruffled shirt. Beside him, a very pregnant Elyssa, dressed in a simple green gown that accented her swollen belly, was the picture of elegance. Firejewels sparkled on her neck. Long white gloves covered her hands and arms.
Taking her hand, Jareth guided his wife down the stairs nodding and smiling to his guests as they descended. With one graceful wave of his hand, the music began once again throwing the throng back into a slow, revolving dance.
While Jareth paused to speak to the an awaiting dignitary, Elyssa slipped away making a b-line for Marcus. He immediately swept her up off her feet into a huge bear hug, careful not to crush her belly. Giving her a large, undignified smack on the cheek, he set her back down. "Same old Marcus," she grinned nodding her head politely at Hyrle.
"So how's the married life been treating you sweetcheeks?"
Elyssa made a face, the smile never leaving her eyes. "Absolutely terrible. Jareth has turned into tyrant here of late, and won't let me do anything. Did you know he hasn't even let me dance for the past two months now?"
The Goblin King slipped up behind Elyssa, sliding his arm around her slender shoulders protectively. One gloved hand came around to rest on her belly. "I'm only overbearing, my love, when you keep insisting on doing things you shouldn't considering your condition."
Elyssa rolled her eyes. "I'm pregnant, Jareth - not dying. Women have babies all the time."
Leaning down, he placed a gentle kiss on her neck, enjoying the color which rose in her cheeks. It drove him crazy how easily her body responded to him even with the slightest of touches. He pulled her closer to himself, suddenly wishing to make this evening as short as possible.
"I don't care about other women," he growled low into her ears, knowing fully well what the sound of his voice was doing to her. "I only care about you."
Marcus lunged forward, spoiling the moment. Placing both hands on Elyssa's belly, he squealed in delight. "Oooh girl, you are just about to pop! You know, I hate to tell you, but I gotta agree with ole crazy eye over here," he gestured towards Jareth, "but you know, it just wouldn't do for you to be up and dancing as big as you are." Elyssa's eyes flew open at this. Marcus either didn't notice how angry she was getting, or simply chose to ignore it. Knowing him, it was probably the latter... "I mean, what if you were in the middle of a pirouette or something and the kid just popped out."
"And just had do you mean by as big as I am getting, huh?" She jabbed one finger into his chest. "You trying to say something, old buddy old pal?" She slapped his hands away from her belly. "And my baby is not and it!"
Marcus shot Jareth a look of supreme sympathy. "Is she always this moody?"
Jareth gave him a brave smile full of patient longsuffering. "Only sometimes."
Elyssa turned to glare at him, daring him to say anything more. Oh, but Jareth dared. "Most of the time, she's much much worse."
Marcus snickered. Beside him, even Hyrle could no longer repress a smile.
For a moment, Elyssa looked honestly hurt. She couldn't keep up the mask for long. A mischievous light appeared in her eyes. "Would you have me be submissive then, my King." She dropped into the lowest curtsey her belly would allow. "Perhaps you would prefer a queen with less fire in her spirit."
Jareth cupped his hand on her chin bringing her lips up to his own. "I love you just the way you are."
Marcus groaned. Grabbing Elyssa's wrist he tugged her towards the dance floor. "Leave the lovey dovey crap for the bedroom. Come on, 'Lyssa, dance with me. Let's show 'em how they do it in New York City."
Elyssa looked to Jareth who nodded in approval, a small smile playing at his lips. Laughing, she allowed Marcus to lead her into the raging throng, her heart full of joy.
Jareth had burned away all the darkness, all the nightmares of her soul just as she had burned away all the loneliness in his. Now there was only light, the light of their love. A love that would last more than just a lifetime. A love that would last for an eternity.
Thank you all for taking this journey with me. This was my first experiment with writing, and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
.....Dedicated to Seragwen, the most lovely of all muses....