Leather & Lace

By

Paisley Rose

Disclaimer.

Yada yada yada ya…

You all know the drill

IT'S NOT MINE.

Prolouge.

Never poke a tiger

The goblins went into hiding, he was on the warpath, and they didn't want to be targets. He'd been in a bad mood for days or was it weeks now. It had started right after he'd returned from the world of man, and had seen her celebrating her victory with her underworld friends. He had come back to the destruction she'd left in her wake. His castle was a shambles, his Labyrinth defeated. His plans of her surrendering to him and becoming his pretty little Queen had been shattered. Not unlike his beautiful room of stairs. Now all he had was the echo of her worlds.

"You have no power over me."

The words played over and over, becoming an audible echo in what was left of his home. Leaving him filled with anger and pain. He had offered her not only her dreams; he'd offered her his kingdom and himself. How dare she reject him! To add insult to injury she had not only gone merrily off with the child he'd already claimed as an heir, but she went off to celebrate her victory inviting his subjects into her rooms. All but he had been invited.

Goblins hid behind what was left of the shambles of his home.

Fae King's powers reflected their emotions, his powers darkened even as his mood did. His once funny and playful castle now turned into a dark and foreboding fortress. Even the Labyrinth responded to his darker mood, it took on a far more dangerous edge to it. The inhabitants quivered and repented loudly to him their betrayal with the girl. Except for three, who were as unrepentant as the girl.

Jareth sat in his new throne room, the only thing that remained the same was the throne itself which had been of his original design. He watched as the three were brought in, chained and bound. He smiled at them with a predatory smile. "Ah, comes my fine traitors."

Hoggle looked at the King, trying not to cower. Sir Didymus held his head up high, ignoring the chains on his hands and feet. Ludo, the orange beast looked about like a child, not understanding why he was there.

Jareth rose from his throne and moved toward them. He snapped his riding crop in front of Hoggle's nose. "I hope you all enjoyed yourselves with the girl." He said in a dangerous tone.

Hoggle glared at him, "As a matter of fact, we did." He boasted. "The best part was you were not there!"

Jareth brought the crop down on the dwarfs head with a loud angry crack. The dwarf staggered and went to its knees. "Yes, I noticed how much the little girl likes to party with friends. Well, we're going to make sure she has new friends. Friends who are not nearly as noble as you three, Friends who will induce her to come to a little party I intend to throw for the girl."

Sir Didymus' eyes narrowed down his long snout. "You mean to hurt our Lady?"

Jareth smiled back at the little Knight. "No," He sneered lewdly. "There would be no fun in hurting her."

Ludo looked at the king and scratched his great head. "Sharwaaaa friend."

Jareth rolled his eyes. "Shut up."

Sir Didymus shook his head at the King. "Sire, the maiden bested ye on the field of honor, fairly."

Jareth looked at them. "You all betrayed your king and your kingdom!" He pointed out. "I gave you orders!" He shouted at Hoggle who cowered. "You ignored them." He turned to the little Knight. "And you left your post to go off on a quest!" He looked at the beast and just waved a hand, not having words.

Hoggle watched the King with hooded eyes. "She's a persuasive little minx." He offered in defense.

A voice entering the throne room cut in. "She's becoming a young woman."

Jareth turned to see the wise old man from his garden. "What do you want?"

The old man took a seat, "You've caused the garden to become unpleasant."

Jareth smiled. "It's going to become a great deal more unpleasant." He promise.

The old man shook his head. "Not wise my boy."

"You've a suggestion?" the Goblin King snapped.

"Take the battle to her territory, leave ours to heal." The hat on the old man's head offered.

Hoggle protested. "You can't do that."

The hat, the old man and the King all in unison shouted. "Shut up."

Sir Didymus placed a hand on Hoggle's wrist to quiet him.

The King smiled, "Take my battle away from here, eh?" he gave it thought and liked the idea forming. Even as his dark mood lightened, still remaining dangerous, the environment of the castle and the Labyrinth responded in kind. "Yes, let's allow our land to heal, while we tear her world shreds." He looked at the old man, "Perhaps we'll just give her a hand becoming a woman."

Hoggle gasped, but had placed a hand over his mouth to capture the sound.

"And perhaps see how she likes rejection while we're at it." He smiled making plans. "Take the traitors away! Put them in the dungeon."

"Bye bye!" the hat called as the three were lead out. "I'm going to miss them." It said with not a trace of remorse.

Jareth drew a crystal from the air. "I will need a base of operations, a place to connect the magic of our realm to the energies of theirs." He searched and found that on the outskirts of the town Sarah lived in were Ley lines. He also noted an old estate that would make the perfect base. He tossed the crystal high into the air, disappearing as it shattered in the air into dust.

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Chapter one

New friends and acquaintances

Sarah had spent the summer following her experience in the Underground in New York with her mother. It had given her a perspective on her home life. Karen, her stepmother was not really all that bad. Sure she was not the vivacious Linda, but she was not all that bad. Sarah more or less offered her stepmother a truce, unspoken but offered.

It was a few days before the new year of classes began that Sarah looked at her room. Stuffed toys, story books, and childhood treasures stared back at her. She was standing in her door way, out in the hall, looking in when Karen came up behind her with the laundry basket.

"What are you doing?" She asked the girl.

Sarah turned and flashed a little smile. "Trying to see it from an objective perspective." She pointed into the room. "I want to see what a first impression of my room is."

Karen nodded, "What's the verdict?"

"It's childish." Groaned the girl who was weeks from turning sixteen.

Karen put the basket down on the chair sitting in the hall. "What would you change?"

Sarah walked in, "Everything!" her hands waved about the room. "I want to change it all. From the color of the walls to the bed, to …oh just everything."

Looking about, her stepmother offered. "We could make some nice changes without having to get rid of the furnishings…Just a few minor changes. Say we take down that canopy, and the little drapes… change the color of the walls and bring in some new linens."

Sarah looked at her. "Could we?"

Karen nodded, "I don't see why not. Perhaps some nice grown up wall paper…" she tapped her chin. "I think we still have some left from the stuff we used in our bedroom, put up a bit of cove and make a chair rail…what do you think?"

Sarah loved the paper in Karen's room, but had always resented the other woman too much to admit it. "I like that idea. But I'd like richer tones in the accents and linens then what you used."

"Fair enough." Karen smiled. "I've got a sample of the paper in a book downstairs. Why don't we go look for paint and linens this afternoon?" She offered. "We can paint this weekend while your father is out of town."

Sarah loved the idea. "That would be great!" She looked at the room. "Thanks…" she paused, not sure what to call the other.

"Oh for heaven's sake, you can call me Karen." Her stepmother laughed.

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An afternoon of shopping had produced some interesting purchases. Paint, linens and other accessories had been placed in the laundry room. Sarah after dinner took boxes up to her room and began to pack away her childhood. The stuffed toys were the first things to be packed. She hugged, and kissed a few goodbyes before placing them carefully in the box and closing it up. Next was the books, she picked out one or two of the antique ones to keep on the new shelf that Karen had purchased for her to go with the desk she had also purchased. The rest of the books were packed away. She cleared the walls of childhood memories as well as taking down the cornice her mother had placed over the bed, telling her it was fit for a princess. Right now she didn't want to think of anything having to do with royalty.

Sarah looked at her vanity, and the little almost grotesque statuette. She picked it up gingerly and looked about. No way was she letting this stay out. Finding a shoe box under her bed, she laid the figurine within and then put it in the bottom of a box to be covered over with other items from her vanity, including the music box she'd once treasured that now only gave her distress and the willies. It had played "Green sleeves" when it had been new. Now it played a different song, one Sarah never wanted to hear again.

Her father was in the hall when she made her third trip up to the attic. "What's up?" he asked as she walked past him.

"Putting some things away in storage, daddy." She said making another trip.

"Don't just dump things up there!" He shouted up to her. "I've got things in order you know."

She looked down at him. "I know, I'm being careful."

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Karen had asked her brother to come and help with the painting and the wall paper. He'd been only too glad to be of help. It pleased him to see his sister and her stepchild finally getting along. He listened as the two females chattered about the room and making a new floor plan.

When Saturday was over, the room was almost finished. Karen told Sarah to sleep in the guest room for the night and allow the paint to dry before trying to move the furnishings. Her brother was returning to help move furniture with a buddy the next day. Monday morning, Sarah awoke in a newly decorated bedroom. She pushed back her long hair and smiled, happy with the new changes and the new direction she was taking in life.

She had dressed for her first day, a half day at that, and came down to breakfast in a better mood than she'd been in. It had seemed like years since she'd felt this good about anything. When she arrived in the breakfast room, her father was finishing his coffee and reading the morning paper. He took little notice of her and left a few minuets later. Sarah waited until he was gone and then turned to Karen.

"I want to get my hair cut." She announced boldly.

Karen looked worried. "Your beautiful hair?" She reached out to touch the long dark hair. "Oh Sarah, no."

"Oh come on, I look like a little kid with this haircut!" Sarah said. "I don't want to take it all off, just change it a bit, give it shape and some bounce…I'm not talking about cutting it all off."

Her stepmother sighed. "Alright, then, what do you have in mind?"

After school, Sarah and Karen met at the salon where Karen had her hair done weekly. They went over the plan with a stylist who seemed reluctant to cut even one strand of Sarah's hair. Finally won over the stylist sat Sarah in her chair and wrapped the cape round the girls neck. After a good washing the hair was combed and the stylist began to take the first cuts. "Remember, once it's off, it's off until it grows back." He warned.

"Do it." Sarah closed her eyes. He took the first cut, and the hair that had originally reached nearly down the middle of her back was now just below her shoulder. He layered it as he went up higher. When he finished the floor was littered with long dark hair in clumps. He took up the blow dryer and was amazed at the deep waves and curl in the now lighter hair.

Sarah turned to look at herself in the mirror, she smiled. "I like it."

"It's still long." The stylist said. "You can do amazing things with it at this length."

"At least it doesn't make me look like a little kid." Sarah said, pleased with the new look.

Karen still had misgivings. "Your father is going to have a fit." She said as she paid the bill.

"No, he won't." Sarah said hooking her arm into that of her stepmother. "He won't even notice."

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The next morning at breakfast, Robert took a look at his daughter and went back to his paper. "New sweater?" He asked turning the page.

"Yep." Sarah said as she winked at Karen. "That's right daddy."

"Nice." He mused as he read the political page.

Karen poured him more coffee and breathed a sigh of relief. "So you have a full day of classes today, Sarah?" She asked.

"Yep, and I'm going to be late getting home, I want to check out some of the clubs…you know pep club and that sort of thing." Sarah said gathering the books she's laid on the table the night before. "I'm going all out this year."

"That's nice," her father said behind the paper.

Karen rolled her eyes. "Have a good day dear."

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The community high school was a long bus ride from home. Sarah's Dad had bought the old Victorian years ago while he was still married to Linda. It had been a wreck, and he had poured a lot of money into it. When Linda left, he kept the house and Sarah as well. Now the house looked like a jewel and Sarah knew it.

She walked though the halls of the school she'd been enrolled in for the last two years. She found her locker and began to work the combo on the lock. She heard some whispers behind her, and gave an over the shoulder look toward the group of girls snickering at her. Once more she was going to be targeted she knew. When she turned to say something the group of girls had moved on. Sarah wondered if a new haircut would help, now.

Her first class of the day was Math, and she prepared to take down notes. A girl came into the room, handing a note to the instructor. She didn't look like the rest of the class, there was an air of wild abandon to the girl. The instructor looked at the note and said, "Class this is Sophie Curtis. Miss Curtis, take that seat in the second row."

Sophie Curtis took her seat, and Sarah blinked watching the girl. She looked like a Madonna video, or something out of a Madonna video. Her hair was three or four shades of blond, cut wildly like Madonna's hair had been in her early videos. She wore leggings of dark red under a pink skirt, held on by suspenders over a blue top. Some of the more bold popular girls snickered at her, but Sophie didn't seem to notice. She looked over at Sarah, and her notes.

"Take some for me." She mouthed. When the class ended, Sophie looked over at Sarah. "Hey, what you got next?"

Sarah looked at her schedule and said. "History."

"Bummer," the other girl said. "I've got a study hall. What time you have lunch?"

"Third lunch." She showed the other girl.

"Me too, what say we sit together?" Sophie offered. "You seem a bit cooler than the rest of these hicks."

Sarah giggled, at hearing her classmates being referred to as hicks. "Sure, I'm Sarah…Sarah Williams."

"Well you know I'm Sophie thanks to that dullsville teacher." They exited the room together. "So I'll meet you at the cafeteria." She then took her map and schedule and headed toward her next class.

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Sarah was in line when Sophie found her. "Anything worth eating in this joint?" Sophie asked.

"The fruit is safe." Sarah said quietly.

Sophie smiled. "Honest, I like that." Hooking her arm in Sarah's she said. "Let's blow this pop stand." She dragged her out of the line and toward the vending machines that held juice and bottled water. Sophie got a couple of bottles of juice and then pulled Sarah out of the lunchroom and out toward the courtyard of the school. "God one more minute in there and I'd go nuts!" She handed a bottle of juice to Sarah. "How do you stand it?"

"I don't know…I've lived here most my life." Sarah said opening the bottle she'd been offered and took a sip. "I guess I'm just resigned to it."

Sophie stretched out under a tree. "I notice you're not in one of the snobby little cliques."

"No." Sarah agreed. "I'm an outcast."

A dark smile came over the face of the other girl. "Being an outcast can be fun, you know. Or do you?" She sipped her juice. "So what did you do to be cast off?"

"I didn't, my mother did." Sarah sat on the grass beside the girl who looked like a punk rocker. "My mother is an actress and she left here to peruse a career. Leaving me with my dad, and now a stepmom."

Sophie laughed. "Is that all? Oh then they are gonna love me…I'm a rockers love child." She boasted. "My mother was a groupie back in the day…she still is if the truth be told."

She smiled, "So who's your mother?"

"Linda Williams, who's your father?" Sarah asked without thinking.

"Lance Curtis." Sophie sighed. "He was kind enough to give me his last name even though he and mom never walked down the isle." She spoke as if it didn't matter to her one way or the other. "So what do you say, Sarah, how about us outcast banding together?"

Sarah looked at the other girl and blinked. "What you got in mind, Sophie? I don't really want to rob a bank or anything."

Sophie rolled to her side laughing. "Nothing quite that serious, not just yet." The punkster said lightly. "I just figure we'd do better together than separately…unless you really feel like trying to fit in with the 'in crowd'."

Sarah noticed that even out here they were getting stared at by the popular crowd. "It doesn't seem to be an option."

The blond sat up and finished her juice. "I wish you had been in my other two classes…talk about boring! Here, let's compare afternoon classes." She handed her schedule over to Sarah. "Anything?"

Sarah nodded. "We've got the next three classes together. Including PE."

"Cool beans, Jean." Sophie trumpeted. "At least there will be one friendly face for each of us."

Sarah stood up. "Come on, let's go."

Sophie stretched, "What you got going after school?"

"I was going to try and join one or two of the school clubs, but it seems pointless now." Sarah inclined her head toward the groups staring at them. "Why?"

"I thought maybe we'd hang together." Sophie said. "Suppose if I light up, some teacher or school rep will have a hissy?"

Sarah hoped the girl was referring to cigarettes but didn't ask. "Don't! There's a no tolerance policy. You have to be at least a mile from the school to do anything."

The punky blond bobbed up and down. "It's cool. I won't blow it, pal." She looked at Sarah. "So you want to hang?"

Sarah looked at the other and felt a strange sense of adventure and camaraderie. "Why not."

"Cool." Sophie walked beside her as they went back toward the building.

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When the classes ended, Sarah put what books she didn't need for homework into her locker and waited for Sophie to gather hers. When Sophie came toward her she had a big grin on her face. "What did you do?"

"Put a snob in her place." Sophie hooked her arm into Sarah's. "Some hick just asked me which rocker spawned me so I told her." She was as happy as a lark. "You should have seen her face, it was priceless!"

Sarah laughed. "Where do you live?" When given her address, Sarah sighed. "That's near me, but I didn't see you on the bus."

"Bus?" Asked Sophie. "Hey babe, daddy-o gave me a car for my sixteenth!" She pointed to the lot. "Granted it's not a Jag like his or a Vet like my mom's but hey it's four wheels and it's paid for." They began to walk toward the lot.

Sarah looked at the red mustang. "This is your car?"

"Yep, get in." She unlocked the doors. "And direct me to the nearest mall."

Sarah giggled, got in and gave directions.

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Jareth watched the pair in the crystal in his hand, pleased that his plans were going so well. The old man leaned over the back of his chair and watched as well. Only the bird in the hat seemed to be disinterested. "The rocker's daughter has found our Sarah."

"Did you doubt she would?" the old man asked.

"Not for a second." Jareth said with glee. "Not for a second."