Miles Fairchild was one annoyed livid Fae. That wretched Faun, Stephans, had betrayed him. He had lost his elegant home and beautiful possessions. He had lost his mortal slave, Mora. He had been humiliated at the hands of the Goblin King, of all people. Oberon had yet again exiled him. Of all the degradations the one that affronted and insulted him most genuinely was he had been thwarted by Sarah Williams, a chit of a girl, and mortal at that.
He could still see her youthful face, smell her heady perfume, and taste her luscious lips. Damnation, she was one delectable mouth-wateringly scrumptious mortal. Food of the Gods, that's what Sarah Williams was, and much too good for the likes of Jareth the Goblin King. What Sarah required was a Fae who could show her the wicked sinful immoral delightful satisfaction and bliss that could be had. He of course was the only one to his mind that was appropriately suitable for the job. She had fire, enthusiasm and vigor he'd never witnessed in another female, Mortal or Fae.
He could still hear her bold sultry voice ring in his ears. 'I told you once Miles, you don't have what it takes to keep me burning!' her words had set his teeth on edge. She'd only compounded it when she'd added. 'Miles, you have loved no one, except perhaps yourself! You over indulgent, over sexed, pitiful excuse for a man. Pleasuring a woman, is not loving her! You're petty and you are spoiled. Things have been way too easy for you.' She had caused him to lose his temper and demolish the furnishings he'd worked so hard to acquire for her 'gilded cage' as she'd called the room. Perhaps the thing that had perturbed him the most was her declaration of I have known more powers then most people ever dream of in either realm.' She boasted. 'I am the only person to solve the Labyrinth!' Some devil within her would not let her leave it at that. 'I am also the only woman, Fae or Mortal, Jareth the Goblin King, ever wanted for Queen. I am the only woman to ever bear his mark.'
Antagonism, resentment and rage filled Miles, "Damn you Jareth!" his voice roared in the cavern, shaking the very ground beneath his feet.
Sarah had taken an 'Ardduc' from its hiding place above her heart. "Mystical Avalon, hear my plea; Fill me with your energy! In Mist and Dell the Woodland King doth roam and dwell. Father Oberon come to me!" She slammed the 'Ardduc' down on the polished marble floor of the foyer as hard as she could. The disc shattered into millions of pieces that became dust and rose to form a vortex.
Miles could still see and feel the vortex that had brought Oberon into his house. That woman was accomplished and astutely shrewd, he'd give her that. He had not even detected the 'Ardduc'. With Oberon there, she'd accused him with breaking the Law of the Escheat. At every turn she had a snappy answer, and she stood there letting the cub Jareth paw her in front of everyone. It galled him that she preferred that puppy to him.
Oberon needed to address Miles grievances, "Miles Fae Child, thee are guilty of breaking faith with the laws of our kind. Thee is guilty of interring in a Marking bond. For thy crime, thee is sentenced to being unable to see and appreciate beauty for one hundred years. I also banish you to the between for a term of one year." He stood and waved his hand. "Be gone!"
Miles placed a hand on the wall of the cavern and wept. The betrayal he felt from Oberon was the heaviest burden. Oberon was as much his father as he was any other Fae's. Miles knew he'd wounded the High King when it was revealed that he had taken the Dark Courts vows. This injury too he lay at Sarah's feet, if she had but kept silent Oberon would never have known…
Miles looked at the water pooling on the floor of the cavern. "Reveal." He ordered.
The pair descend the stairs looking at them anyone 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. 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."
Miles ended the vision in the pool. "He's joined her." The pain in his voice could not be hidden. "Enjoy her while you can, Jareth… you will not have her long." He vowed. "For before another fortnight is passed, I shall steal her away from your bed and she will be my willing slave." Miles dung his fingernails deep into the heel of his hand, drawing blood that spilt onto the pool that had shown him the vision. "I swear it!"
Sarah sat quietly while the two men discussed the next move. Jareth listened attentively as his father spoke of the importance of securing the William's family. Emerald eyes with hearts of blue fire gazed at the High King of the Fae and his son. No one would have believed her if she'd told them. She sipped her coffee and wondered what she'd gotten herself into.
Oberon placed a tolerant hand on the girl's arm, "Sarah, did you hear me?" he asked patiently.
She turned her face to him, "I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I asked you how you felt about a having the wedding here on the estate." He repeated kindly.
Placing the cup and saucer down carefully, she looked from father to son. "Wedding?"
Jareth rose from his seat, coming to stand behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Beltane my love. May Day, remember you promised to marry me on that day?"
Sarah looked at Oberon. "That's barely two and a half months off. We could never pull a wedding in so short a time! I have to get a dress… bride's maids…pick china…" she stopped feeling tears coming. She stood up and walked to the window. "I guess you can scratch the picking of china and crystal…."
Jareth followed her and placed hands on her shoulders. "You have Kingdoms and all their artisans at your disposal."
Her lower lip trembled. "It's not the same… Garrett would have understood." She pulled free and made a hasty exit.
Oberon stopped Jareth from going after her. "Give the woman time."
Jareth's mismatched eyes were filled with worry. "No father, this time I have to do it my way." He took a breath and let the glamour cover him. Once more he was Garrett. "She's right, she needs Garrett right now." He turned to pursue his bond-mate.
Oberon, his hand still in the air, cocked his head to one side. "Perhaps you are right, my boy."
Sarah lay on the bed, sobbing broken heartedly. She silently berated herself for behaving like a stupid child. She was going to become a Queen and here she was crying over not being able to pick a china pattern.
Garrett slid next to her in the bed and placed his hand on her with the gentlest of pressures. "I'm sorry Cookie, this is so terribly unfair to you. Of course every woman dreams of picking a china pattern and crystal. Things that say who she is; how far she has come and what direction she wishes to go in. Can you forgive me?" he turned her to face him.
Sarah looked at Garrett, "I'm behaving like a fool." She sobbed. "You've offered me a kingdom and I'm crying over china."
"You're not crying over china, Cookie. We both know that." Garrett soothed. "You're crying over how unfair the whole mess is." He kissed her eyes. "Sarah, if time were not of the essence, I'd love to be able to permit you the little customs and arrangements. As it is, we have little time."
"I don't know what to even call you." She choked out.
He smiled sympathetically. "At moments like this, I'm Garrett, there will be other times when I have to be Jareth. And still others when I must be His Majesty, Jareth the Goblin King." Gathering her to him, he comforted his beloved. "When we are alone, I'd still like for you to call me Garrett."
"I loved you." She bemoaned.
"Loved?" His fingers wiped tears from her cheek. "You don't love me now?"
"It's different now… Now you're not just a temperamental, unpredictable and brilliant professor…you're the Goblin King." She whispered harshly.
Garrett's eyes behind the familiar smoky glasses danced. "You think I'm brilliant?" He kissed her softly, looking into green eyes filled with misery. "Cookie."
Sarah closed her eyes, "It's all an illusion." She rolled to her side. "Just another stupid glamour, a trick played on a foolish girl."
"Not all of it," he crooned into her ear. "Garrett King is part of the total of who I am. Furthermore make no mistake about it my girl, you are not foolish. You are Sarah Williams, the only person to ever beat my Labyrinth." He slid his hand up her side possessively. "The only woman ever marked by Jareth, the Goblin King." His tone had become playful.
Sarah sniffed and looked at him with red eyes, "What do you think you're going to do?"
Garrett leaned suggestively over her, "I'm fixin' to be goblin on my Cookie." His mouth worked its magic at the soft skin beneath the lob of her ear. "Oh Cookie." He moaned.
Sarah whispered his name and gave herself over to his expertise.
William cleared his throat to get Oberon's attention. "Is the coast clear?"
Oberon snickered. "For now, my boy. What brings you back?"
The younger Fae frowned darkly. "We've lost the trail on Miles, you best warn my cousin to keep close to his bird."
The High King frowned. "This is becoming a logistic nightmare." He looked up the stairs and then smiled softly. "Ah well, the poor child is going though enough as it is. We will protect our Sarah. No need to worry her about it, not just now."
William shook his head, "I don't know…Sarah always struck me as one who could take care of herself if she knew what she was up against."
Miles had used the tunnels that had been long forgotten. Even trolls and ogres would not use these. He knew every inch of them though having made them his private play ground as a child. He'd used them later when he became a young man to lure willing Fae women to pleasure him. Then when he had been sent to live in the world of man he used them when he felt a need to be deeper in the magic. Now he used them as a means to find one who would aid him in his quest to wreak revenge on the boy King and steal the pretty mortal and make her his slave.
He was pleased when the tunnel he'd taken had lead to the underground grotto of the blue crystals. He felt the surge of magic and knew it would be enough to remove the banishment of beauty spell Oberon had used in exiling him. Miles Fairchild, banished from seeing and appreciating beauty? Unthinkable.
As he moved closer to the lapping waters of the pool that was at the base of the waterfall he found something hidden here for emergencies. He lifted the large conch shell and blew into it one, long sharp blow. Replacing the shell he stood by the water and waited. He didn't have long to wait, the surface of the water broke and a beautiful face appeared.
Veronica looked at him for a moment before she recognized the him. "Well, the stranger returns." She purred invitingly to him. "Welcome back, Miles." Her voice was like silk.
Miles bowed to her. "Still the most beautiful fish I ever caught."
The woman whose waist long red hair was now falling over her bare shoulders in waves and ringlets simpered as she whipped her tale out of the water. "Only half fish darling, not that it ever seemed to bother you." Pulling herself out of the water she took a seat on the damp shelf of the ledge he was standing on. "What brings you to me friend Miles?"
"I need your help." He said honestly.
"I had heard something about you being in hot water again with that odious king of yours, what did you do now? Tickle his Queen's fancy?" Her voice was as suggestive as her mouth.
Miles laughed, "Oh far worse, I wounded the pride of his puppy."
Veronica frowned at the mention of the Goblin King even though it was not by name. "OH, did you run off with one of his little goblins?"
"No," Miles said. "I tried to lure his marked mortal."
The mermaid sniffed the Fae man, "And will try again as soon as you can by the smell of you. You've the hunt scent drenching you." She purred again. "And what do you want with the puppy's mortal?"
"I wish to make her my willing slave." Miles boasted with a wicked smile. "Care to help me?"
"For a price, Miles, for a price." She looked at him with large sea green eyes. "My help does not come cheep."
"I am willing to pay your price, Queen Veronica." He knelt down and tipped her chin up. "What will it be this time? A necklace, a handsome young seamen?"
The mermaid guided his hand down her throat. "The pleasure of your company for a night." She said hungrily.
Flicking his wrist, his garments vanished and he was as naked as the day he'd been born. "Here I thought it would be something difficult." He teased her as he pushed her flat on the rocky ledge. "Here, fishy, fishy…Miles has a nice hook for you."
The Mermaid Queen moaned as he entered her before she'd even finished transforming to human form. "Helping you will be my pleasure, dearest wicked friend."