Chapter Sixty Four

Truce

Sarah could see Miles face, and his smug smile. "He'll come after me. Bonding or no, he'll come after me." Her voice was quiet.

"That is my fear." Jareth released her wrists, as he knew she would not fight him any longer. "He's obsessed with the desire to have you. An obsession I well understand."

He touched her face, with the touch of a lover. "But no one will ever have you. You are mine, and what is mine, stays mine."

Sarah placed a hand over his, "How could he have escaped?"

"He's Fae, and has been in existence a very long time, my love. We could not bind all his powers. It would be a death sentence; he needs his powers like humans need air. He's lived in exile so long he's learned how to move places we didn't think he could." Gently his hand moved over her cheek. His index finger curved and stroked her with a show of lawful claim. "His escape pushed my plans up."

"When were you going to tell me?" Worry filled green eyes.

Jareth sighed. "Had he not escaped, I had planned on having our Mortal ceremony as scheduled. And I would have revealed myself much the same as I did last night to you." Mismatched eyes met hers. "His escape made things more urgent. None the less our joining is valid."

"That whole masquerade thing downstairs last night, what was that really about?" Fire appeared in the eyes again, an edge took form on her voice.

Seeing the fire pleased him, a fierce Sarah was far better than a cowering Sarah. "That is an old tradition, as I told you."

"What didn't you tell me?" She narrowed her gaze.

"My father, and members of the High Court were the guests."

"You said they were your relatives," she reminded him.

"Most of them are," he said as he brought his face closer to hers. He paused, leaning over her. "They were there to view the new Queen of one of the Underground Kingdoms."

"Some didn't approve of me." Looking into mismatched eyes she sighed. "No matter how much magic you've given me, they will never approve."

"I don't care about what they approve of." He soothed. "You are my Queen."

"Queen?" Sarah sighed.

"Cookie," he said in his Garrett voice. "We are what we are. I am for now The Goblin King and you are my Queen."

"For now? Dare I ask what that means?" She was not sure she could trust him. There were too many things that he was leaving unsaid.

His face changed, gone were the playful smiles and the teasing. Replacing it was a face of a king who expected to be obeyed, even by his Queen. "Enough questions. I don't have the patience for them. There are more, pressing issues to be dealt with."

"Yes, Your Majesty," she lowered her eyes.

"It pleases me to go forward with the wedding plans," he stated. "A mortal ceremony to seal you to me in this world as you are sealed to me in mine."

"I am not going to marry you," she rejected the idea.

"You promised to marry me," he tossed back at her.

"No, I promised to marry Garrett."

He wound his arms about her. "Then I suggest you marry Garrett."

"He does not exist."

"I beg to differ." He reached over and picked up Garrett's smoky glasses. As he placed them on, the glamour covered him. "So, Cookie, I say we get married."

"No," she refused, shaking her head.

"Yes." Garrett countered, moving closer and nuzzling her.

"Don't do that!" She warned, fire building in her tone.

"Stop me, if you can," he challenged.

Sarah pushed against him, and he pushed right back. "I will not be a party to these stupid games, Jareth!"



"Cookie," his voice was uncompromising. "I told you once I'd battle even you to keep you. You gave me your word and I'm holding you to it, even if I have to use a spell to accomplish the end results. You will marry me."

"You can't keep using magic on me," she growled.

"I would prefer your co-operation," he growled back. "For the sake of both our families."

Sarah stopped, swallowed her pride and looked at him. "My family? Are they in danger?"

"Miles is not careful," he reminded her. "His carelessness nearly cost us Toby."

She looked away from him, "Take off the glasses," she said.

Jareth removed the glasses and the glamour. "As you wish."

"How will marring you protect my family?" She was thinking of others instead of herself.

"Once you are my wife, not just my consort, your family comes under my protection. Toby of course is already covered by my guardianship." He began to peal the blanket back off her.

"Are you saying you would not protect them, if I …." It was unthinkable. He could not possibly be that mercenary.

"I'm saying my time here in your world is limited. I must return to my Kingdom." His voice was apathetic. "I'm a Fae King, Sarah, with a Kingdom to rule. That Kingdom and its subjects are my first concern, that is as it should be." The hand that pealed back the blanket came to rest on her breast. "With or without your consent, we will be wed. With or without your co-operation, you will be my Queen."

There was no disguising that his touch could do things to her no one else could. Even now, furious with him as she was, his touch was making her want him. "You've taken a great deal of time away from the Kingdom to pursue me." It was a statement, not a question. "What you say has merit, much as I dislike it. For the sakes of both our families, I have to co-operate with you. But don't for a moment fool yourself into thinking I'm happy about this."

"Sarah you were happy to accept Garrett's proposal." His hands moved over her, his woman, his property, and his wife to be. "Ours can be a happy marriage." He moved closer. "We fit together."

"You once said I was as cruel as you."

"I believe what I said was your eyes can be so cruel, just as I can be so cruel." He corrected tenderly.

"This is beyond cruel, Jareth, this trickery you've used on me." She was losing the battle not to respond to his touch.

"Sarah, I enjoyed wooing you as a mortal would." He pressed his skin to hers, knowing the way she'd react to him. "I did not have to woo you, I wanted to. You were already mine." His lips were now at her ear. "You love me. You've loved me from the moment our eyes met in your parents' bedroom the night you wished Toby away. Why do you work so hard at fighting what is so much a part of you?" Her breathing told him she was ready for him to take her. "Sarah, who do you turn to when things become desperate?"

"You," she whispered.

"Whose name do you call out when there is danger?"

"Yours."

"Who knows you, your heart and your soul?" His voice caressed her.

"You do," she breathed back to him.

"Let us call a truce, dearest," he begged.

She nodded as her arms wrapped round his shoulders.

&

Oberon looked at the ballroom, and the crystals hanging from the ceiling. His son and Sarah were still behind closed doors. That had to be a good sign, or at least he hoped it was.

William brought him a cup of tea. "Sire?"

"No word," he sighed.

The younger man shrugged. "At least here she is safe from attack."

Oberon looked toward the grand staircase. "Leave me now William. They come."

William nodded, "She does not need to see me, not just yet. By your leave, my Liege." The young man vanished.

The High King, now dressed in his usual robes exited the Ballroom to watch the pair descend the stairs. Anyone looking at them would think they were seeing a normal couple. Jareth was dressed in garments from the Goblin Realm, and looked more regal 

than ever. Sarah was also dressed in the style of the Fae, and looked every inch a Queen. Oberon did note the fact she wasn't smiling.

Jareth stopped a few feet from his father, and bowed to the High King. "My Liege."

Sarah dropped into a low curtsey, staying down.

Oberon looked at his son. The look of pride on the young King's face was apparent. Oberon turned his attentions to the mortal. "Rise, Daughter." He felt a pang of guilt for his part in the charade when the girl rose, but kept her eyes downcast. "Wilt thou not even look upon me, Daughter?"

Emerald eyes with hearts of blue fire rose up and gazed at the High King of the Fae. "As you wish, Sire."

Oberon shook his head, "We have been friends, Sarah. I should like to think we still are. You have even called me Father."

"That was before I knew who you really were," she reminded him sharply.

Oberon smiled. "She does have fire," he told his son. "Never stop speaking your mind, my dear." He addressed the mortal girl. "It will serve you well, as Queen." He extended his arm and waited until Sarah placed her hand on it. "Come to breakfast."

Sarah looked over at Jareth. "So you two are just going to pretend that everything is perfectly normal?"

"Isn't it?" Jareth kept pace at their side.

"No," she stated. "No, things are not normal!"

Oberon seemed to ponder her words. "Sarah, dear, to a Fae, the extraordinary is ordinary. We behave as we behave. In time you will come to accept that." He seated her at the breakfast table.

Glisten entered and bowed first to Oberon, then to Jareth and lastly to Sarah. He looked at Jareth. "I shall have breakfast brought in, my King."

Sarah looked at Jareth. "He's Fae?"

"Most of my staff are." Jareth lounged in his chair, putting on his usual bored face.

Oberon was amused by the look on Sarah's face. "The Labyrinth is not the only placed where things are not as they seem, Sarah."

She looked at the High King, "Sire, may I ask a question?"

Oberon's face was wistful, "If you will call me Father again."

Sarah lit her lower lip. "Father, can you tell me how my friend Colin is?"

The High King looked at her with pride. "You are going to make a fine Queen. Concern for a subject is a virtue more Queens' could do with. Colin is adjusting well. His lands, the Greenbrier is adjacent to the Labyrinth, and he actually is a lord under Jareth's reign. The Lady of the Greenbrier chose well."

Sarah smiled, "I'm glad to hear he's well. And his sister?"

Oberon sobered again. "Not nearly as well. She mourns her Fae lover."

Jareth looked at the ceiling. "She's too good for Miles."

"She loves him," was all Sarah said.

Oberon placed hands on the table. "Children, we need to discuss the wedding, your return to the Goblin Realm, and Sarah's coronation."

Sarah felt the color drain from her face. "Return to the Goblin Realm? Oh no."

Jareth leaned toward her. "I am its King." He reminded her yet again.

"Yes, but that means… I have to live there." Sarah's eyes began to tear. "I have to leave my family."

"Perhaps not." Oberon smiled as the couple both looked to him. "Sarah, it would be safer for all involved if your parents and brother were to take up residence in the Underground. That way Toby can be trained to take up his responsibility when he comes of age."

Emerald eyes darkened. "What responsibility?"

Oberon looked at his son the look urged him to speak. Jareth looked at Sarah, his face a mask of disinterest. "I named Toby my Heir to the Goblin Throne."

"You what?" Sarah stood up, knocking her chair over.

"He's perfect for the Throne. The goblins love him." Jareth smiled at her.

"He's mortal!" She reminded the man. Then she looked at Oberon. "For that matter so are my parents!"

"Toby is no ordinary boy." Jareth yawned. "Just as you are no ordinary girl."



Oberon placed a hand on the girl's arm, and motioned her to be seated again. When she'd righted her chair and took her seat, he spoke. "While it's true your parents are, as of now, Mortal, that can be amended. They will not have magical powers, not the way you and Toby have, but they can live a long and useful life in our realm. Your father is a man of letters and the law. Jareth could use a good Chancellor."

Sarah looked at Jareth. "You gave Toby magical powers?"

"A few," he admitted quietly. "He'll receive more as he is trained."

"And when Toby becomes Goblin King, what happens to you?" Sarah asked.

Jareth looked to his father. "You want to take that one?"

"Jareth is going to become a high king. High King over the Underground's kingdoms." Oberon spoke with pride.

Sarah looked at both men. "As if his head isn't big enough." She said under her breath. She directed the next question to Oberon. "I take it there are more realms then just the Underground."

"Oh yes," the High King of the Fae answered. "And all are held by my heirs."

"Toby is not your heir," she said.

"Toby is my heir," Jareth corrected. "Our marriage makes him my little brother."

"But you said he was already your heir," she corrected.

"He is, I was going to adopt him."

Anger flashed on the girl's face. "You can't just take a child…" she stopped and groaned. "Damn."

Jareth suddenly laughed and smiled. "We are going to have such fun, Sarah." He held out a hand. "I've given you crystal dreams, and you've given me so much more. Now if you'd just learn to do as I say…"

"Not even in your crystal dreams, Goblin King."