The Forged King
I don't own it, never did, never will… but if I did I would not
Waste it like a certain Mr. Brian Henson does…. You HEAR ME?
That's right Brian, I'm talking to you!!!!!
This is a challenge to you readers.
I'm going to uses a line from a movie as my chapter title.
See if you know what movie and what it has to do with the chapter…
Happy reading all.
"What do you want Quinn?" She balled her fists at her side.
Quinn acted as if giving it hard thought. "What do I want…ah…I have it…I want a kiss."
"A kiss?" Sarah asked incredulously.
"A kiss." Quinn placed his hands behind his back and clasped them tightly to stave off the pain now racking him.
"Just a kiss?" He nodded and she shrugged. "Fine."
Quinn looked at her, "A kiss, freely given in front of the entire court."
"Great, invite the entire Seelie Court if you like." She was getting agitated. "Now go, find Jareth."
The dream ended, as it always did, with Sarah sitting up bathed in sweat and fear. She pulled her blanket closer. Telling her self…it is just a dream…it is just a dream…She also told herself Quinn was gone. She looked over at Jareth sleeping peacefully beside her; her dream had not disturbed his sleep. Usually he was so light a sleeper, she thought to herself, yet each time she had a dream of Quinn, Jareth slept though it. Although Quinn was gone… he was never forgotten. Sarah lay back down, listened to the soft sounds of sleep her husband made. She looked at him bathed in moonlight, and saw so much of the one who'd given all to preserve the peace and the Realm. 'Oh Quinn, sometimes I wish you were here.' Her troubled thoughts whispered in her mind. Sarah returned to troubled sleep.
Chapter 1. Tannis, anyone?
It had been nearly a year since the remarkable marriage of the Goblin King to his Queen. The Kingdom had long accepted Sarah, as the Mystic and Champion of the Labyrinth. The Royal court had taken on a new look with the addition of the Queen. The palace of the King had taken on a new look as well, his marriage affected all life in the Kingdom. To any who looked at things on the surface, the Kingdom, and its King seemed to be at peace. But the surface often does not tell the truth.
Somewhere in the depths of the Goblin King a new battle was brewing. Lying dormant but ever present was Quinn, the one who'd sacrificed all for the love of the mortal his other half had bonded to. Yet Sarah was not truly mortal, and it had not really been a sacrifice in the mind of the Lord of Tarsi. He had given his body to what was left of his brother and other half, Jareth. His compensation was that he was part of the union with Sarah, or so he'd told himself. At first the thoughts of the two made one were joined, as were most of their collective memories. Still there were parts that Jareth could not quiet touch, things about Quinn that were dark secrets things that remained a mystery. However, content with a new Bride at his side, the King let it go. Yet slowly a change had begun, and the personality of Quinn began to awaken.
Giles entered the private sanctuary of the King quietly. "I've the morning post, Jareth." He said shuffling though the scrolls. "Petitions, and requests… ah, a message from our friend, the Governor of Tarsi," Giles handed the innocent looking scroll to his King.
Jareth broke the seal with a sigh, and unrolled the parchment. He read the first lines of greeting without much interest. Moving further down the parchment something caught his eyes, and caused his heart to race. "The Millennium Celebration of Tarsi is coming up… and we've been invited and requested to make a Royal appearance at the festivities." He handed the page to his Archer.
Giles read the page over, a soft smile on his lips. "It would be good to see our friends again. Shall we accept?"
"Accept what?" A male voice asked as the King's Paladin entered the room.
"An invitation to Tarsi," Giles handed Ryan the parchment.
Ryan read and nodded, "Looks like a good time."
"It will be." Jareth said fondly, as half his memory went to the beautiful isle. "Tarsi is a wonderful place, with wonderful experiences to be had."
Anne the King's Scribe tapped at the door frame, "This a boy's only meeting?" She teased. The King waved her in and she looked at the parchment in Ryan's hand. "So what's up?"
Ryan handed his wife the parchment and smiled ridiculously, "Road trip and party!"
Reading over the parchment, the Scribe's face became somber. "I don't think attending is a good idea." All three men turned their eyes on her and their mouths dropped. "Did any of you consider that much as we like and support the Governor, there may well be some supporters of dear sister Elise still ensconced there?" She didn't bother to mention the fact that it was the stomping grounds of the King's other half… Quinn. Anne had never quite gotten settled with the idea that Quinn had paraded about as Jareth for months without her even noticing.
Jareth frowned, "I hate when you're right." He muttered tossing the quill he was holding aside. "Incarcerated or not, Elise is still a danger as is good old Robin."
Giles cleared his throat, "Right or not, we may not have an alternative." He had been looking at the seal; he turned the parchment over when he'd taken it from Anne's hand. He showed the hidden mark to Jareth. "Klaws would not use this mark unless it was an urgent matter."
Anne glared at the pair of them, Giles and Jareth with their heads together. "What mark?" she took the parchment, "I don't see a mark…" she flung the page back at the men. "I'm the King's scribe, if there was some kind of mark I'd know about it!"
Jareth gulped. "Anne, I didn't tell you about the mark." He pointed to the two men. "It's a security thing…."
"And who around here is more secure than me?" She demanded.
Ryan took a seat on the edge of the desk, "Down Red." He sighed.
Anne came around the back of the desk, stood beside the King. "Show me this mark, and explain it to me. Slowly, and don't leave anything out."
Jareth nodded, he pointed to the mark by the sealing wax so minute that unless you knew what you were looking for you'd miss it. "This was Giles idea, some thing from the club I gathered."
Anne looked over at the man who was wearing a wolfish grin. "Yes, something he cooked up with the boys who were men at arms…" She looked back at the mark. "Well, if Klaws needs us, Klaws needs us… so I guess that means we're taking a road trip." She looked at the King who was looking a little too pleased for her, "How soon do we leave?"
"In two weeks," Jareth said softly trying to tone down the gloat. "Anyone have any idea of where the hell my wife is?"
"Locked up in that tower," Ryan said softly. "She's been spending every spare moment she can there, no one knows what she's up to."
Jareth wondered what it was about the tower that made her want to spend so much time behind closed doors. Since the marriage her magic had progressed swiftly, he felt she was doing fine without the tower for practice. "Well, if you'll all forgive me, I'm going to go let her know." He looked at Giles, "You, Ryan and Anne go over our schedule and see to the arrangements if you will."
Anne looked at him with a quizzical look, "Has he promoted you to chancellor yet?" She asked once the king had left the room.
"Not officially…" Giles said taking the King's seat. "He is seeing how the shoe fits."
Ryan slapped the man on the shoulder. "Ah, you're a shoe in!" he laughed at his own pun. "Besides, no one else wants the job…no one else reads him as well as you do, not even Sarah."
"Well, thank you." Giles seemed pleased. "Ryan, see to security for the journey and for our stay on Tarsi… Klaws will of course be housing us in the palace." He paused, a worried look passed and he looked up at Anne. "I wonder if that's wise."
Anne, taking notes muttered, "Nothing about this trip is wise…."she looked over at Giles, "I've got a really bad feeling about this whole thing, a gnawing in the pit of my stomach."
"You need lunch," Ryan quipped.
Giles sighed, "Tempting fate or not…we are needed…and the champions of the Labyrinth…"
"I know, I know." She groused. "The Champions of the Labyrinth go to where ever they are needed in the Kingdom…including hell."
"My wife assures me that Tarsi is beautiful… she thinks of it as home." Giles pointed out.
Anne walked to the window, muttering to herself. "All I can think of is…Quinn…."
Ryan and Giles looked at one another; both knowing she'd never quite forgiven the King's other Half.
Jareth found Meep, Sarah's personal pixie sitting on the floor outside the door to the tower. "What are you doing out here?" He asked looking at the miffed little pixie.
Meep motioned to the door with his thumb. "She kicked me out."
Amusement filled the King's eyes. "Why on earth did she do that?"
"I made a few suggestions…and she said I was a back seat driver…." Meep frowned.
The King looked at the door with concern. "She's not trying to levitate again, is she?"
"No," Meep quipped, "she's had enough of that trick, and she never will master it. She's working on some stupid potion or other."
"I really must correct that spell book…." Jareth mused.
Meep shook his head, "Don't bother, her not knowing how to do that one thing keeps her humble."
The Goblin King laughed, "Meep you've such a nasty streak… you sure you're not part Goblin?"
Grinning back the little Pixie winked. "I'll never tell…"
Jareth laughed then moved to the door, Sarah could lock the rest of the world out, but never him….or…Jareth paused, disturbed by the thought that had just entered his head. He had been about to think his other half's name. Passing into the lower chamber, he whispered. "Quinn?" when there was no answer he tried to shake off the foreboding that had suddenly taken possession of him. He regained his composure and went up the stairs, at the door of the upper chamber he stopped to listen. He didn't hear cries for help, just frustrated mutterings. He cracked the door open and peered in. Sarah was standing at the work table with the spell book and a cauldron. Spread out before her were dozens of herbs. "Is it safe to enter?" He asked from the door.
Sarah turned, "Enter at your own risk…" she looked back at the table. "I know I had some here… Now where did I put it?"
He came closer, "What are we looking for?"
"Tannis root." She said scowling. "I had some this morning…and I could swear I put it right here."
"Look under the table, it may have rolled off." He suggested.
"I did! I've looked everywhere." She turned to him, "This is not the first time this has happened…lately… I lose things left right and …" She stopped speaking, staring at a spot just beyond the king. "Why would Tanis root levitate?"
Jareth turned and plucked the root from the air. "I don't know," he said, making a mental note to have a word with the pixie about teasing the mystic.
Sarah took the root and placed it in the cauldron, "What brings you to my kitchen?" she asked as she added the rest of the herbs for the potion she was making.
"We received an invitation today… from Tarsi..." He said quietly, watching her reaction.
Sarah stopped adding things to the cauldron. "You mean we received a summons…."
Jareth gathered her into his arms. "As far as the world will be concerned it is an invitation to their Millennium Celebration, but yes…Klaws sent a summons."
"Do we know why?" she asked resting her head on his chest, not looking up.
"No…" He said, wondering what was going though her mind; she had learned to shield certain thoughts and had become so adept he could not read her.
"How soon?" she asked with honest dread in her tone.
"In two weeks." He said. "We'll be making a caravan… but we, you and I and the other champions, shall arrive on Dragons. Sarah, is something wrong?"
"No." She said softly, but clearly disappointed by something.
"Yes there is," He tipped her face up to his, "What?"
"I haven't been feeling well." She shrugged off the worry. "The Healer says I have to stress less…" She smiled. "So who all is going to go?"
"I thought it would be a nice trip to take your parents and the kids on." Jareth said allowing her to change the subject, "Educational for Toby and little Kerry, and fun for Karen."
Sarah giggled, "Oh good, somewhere else she can shop…"
"I know Robert will have a fit, but…" He shrugged and released his wife. "Don't work too hard up here… and I'll see you at lunch." He turned and walked out of the room.
Sarah sat down, staring at her hard work now for naught. "Shit!" she muttered and knocked the cauldron over spilling the contents of the potion. "A lot of good this will do me now." She waved a hand and the ingredients separated and returned to their bottles. Folding her arms on the table she laid her head down. "Why did it have to be in two weeks…why not two months?" she asked aloud. "Then we'd have all kinds of things to celebrate."
She stood up and went to the book shelf and pulled the book she'd been working from. "Damn, the moon won't be in alliance again for six months!" She looked at the door her husband had exited though. "Jareth, how could you have forgotten?" She shoved the book back on the shelf. "Damn." She pouted and whispered, "It's not fair…." She walked over to the window and started to feel weepy. "How could he have forgotten?"
Jareth walked down to the courthouse, "Is Judge Williams in?" he asked the gardener who was beating down the flowers he hated.
"In the back taking his lunch," the answer came from the scowling lips.
Jareth nodded, and headed to the back of the courthouse building where there was a patio and a nice place to sit and enjoy the beauty of the Labyrinth. "Robert, could you spare me a moment?"
The man looked up and smiled at the King who happened to be his son in law. "Come join me," He invited the King. "What do you need?"
"I need you to clear your calendar for about a week or perhaps a fortnight would be better…starting two weeks from today." Jareth said looking at what Karen had packed him to eat. "She's got you eating like a bird." Jareth complained.
"She wants a healthy hubby." Robert leaned back with a carrot stick in his hand. "I can clear the decks easy… what's the occasion?"
"Road trip!" Jareth winked. "We're going over to Tarsi, the family and the champions."
"Ah the Millennium Celebration," Robert mused, and laughed; "Another blatant excuse for my wife to go shopping!"
"I know, I'm sorry," Jareth feigned being sympathy.
"Some help you are." Robert mused; he looked at the young King and looked concerned for a moment. "Are you feeling alright? You look a bit… off."
"I'm fine, just a bit preoccupied with this command performance we need to put in." Jareth said not wanting to concern his father in law too much. "Let Karen know, you know she'll be packing and re packing the next week." He rose from the chair. "We'll see you all on Sunday for Family Dinner."
"Yes," Sarah's Father picked up his lunch sack and watched the King walk away. Chiding himself for thinking something was off.
Sarah had left the confines of her tower, and was entering the offices of the scribe, "Anne do we have a schedule of events we'll be attending?" She approached the desk gracefully.
The King's Scribe nodded, and handed a parchment to her friend. "I knew you'd want a copy. Going to coordinate your attire, right?"
"Ever the showmen," Sarah mused as she read over the parchment. "Seems like there's little time to explore the isle…"
"It's pretty well defined, that's to be sure. Seems they expect the Royal Couple to attend nearly every function…and I'm still not sure it's a good idea to attend this thing at all." Anne said bitterly.
Sarah looked at her and blinked, "Why?"
Hesitating, as if saying the name would bring bad luck, Anne frowned. "Quinn." She watched Sarah's face when she said the name aloud at last. She didn't like what she saw there, was it regret?
Sarah sighed, "Quinn is gone." There was sadness and something else in her voice. She felt tears threatening to sting her eyes. "I've about an hour more of work to do in the tower…I'll see you for lunch." She rushed out of the office and ran back to her tower.
"Can I come in now?" Meep asked as he kept pace with his mistress.
"No!" she said sharply. "I need to work this out for myself!" She entered the tower and ran up to the upper level. Opening the door she moved to the table and let her mouth fall open. She had put all the herbs away, she had cleaned out the cauldron…yet here it sat bubbling away happily. "How in the world…" She looked at all the bottles, they were exactly the ones she'd used only a short time ago.
Sarah looked at the potion bubbling, sniffed and knew that it was right. There was even a potion bottle on the table. She looked about the tower and wondered if her mind had caused the tower to do the work for her. She stirred the potion, it was ready. Getting the ladle she began to fill the potion bottle, and a few spares. "Don't know what good this is going to do me… I can't take it to Tarsi…can I?" She tapped her chin, "It is after all…part of the Kingdom so technically I could." Sarah raised one of the potion bottles, "But what good will these potions do me? Jareth's forgotten all about…." She felt weepy yet again, and placed the bottle back on the work table.
Jareth looked at the coach that would carry Robert, Karen and the children over to the isle. He had always been fond of pomp and ceremony, and the royal carriage reflected his tastes. He had ordered new head dresses for the winged horses that would pull the carriage, and was pleased with how they had turned out. The grooms were happy to make the King happy. He turned to Giles and smiled broadly. "We will look magnificent as we enter Tarsi's capital; five dragon riders and a royal carriage."
Giles nodded in agreement, "The new dragon riding habits arrived and look wonderful."
"It's all in the way things are presented, Giles." Jareth quipped as he looked at the inside of the carriage. "Do you think Robert and the family will be comfortable?"
"If we were doing things the way most do, no, but as you are going to use magic to transport us most of the way… Yes… it's too short a time for the kids to make a fuss…." Giles also inspected the coach.
"My thinking exactly," Jareth looked at the wagons being loaded. "Is everyone's trunk marked?"
"Yes, Sire." Giles nodded, and handed a parchment list to the King. "I've check off everything on the list. The only item that has not been packed is your wife's jewel coffer."
"Why not?" Jareth seemed a bit more impatient than was necessary.
Sarah sat in the bedchamber she shared with her husband, looking at the coffer and placing the items in it carefully. Her mother had insisted that she treat the royal jewels with more care than she'd used with anything else. Her fingers touched the jewel that was most precious to her, the Spider of Tarsi. Lifting it off the velvet bed, she gazed at it with reverence. Her mind drifting back to the moment Quinn had placed it upon her…
Quinn laughed as he pushed her back against the stone stairs. "Shut up…" He slid his hand over her side, "It's payment time," he lowered his face to her neck and began to trace the line of her throat with his lips. Upon reaching the hollow of her throat, he paused to pay homage.
"What are you doing?" She gasped.
"Warming up." He murmured against her skin. Slowly he inched his way up her jaw line, taking time to anoint her eyes, her cheeks and the tip of her nose. "Close you eyes," he whispered hoarsely. His mouth touched the corner of hers, she shivered under his touch.
"Quinn, no…wait…" she said suddenly.
"No, Sarah…I'll wait no longer." He growled softly from the back of his throat, "open your mouth," he moaned as his lips covered hers. She refused; he pressed his jaw against hers. "Give me passage, woman." He urged. Gradually the soft lips under his parted. Quinn moaned softly, breathing her in like a perfume. "Now tongue." He exhaled as his tongue slid in and over her inner mouth. Tickling the roof and then seeking her tongue. Quinn had kissed many women, but no kiss had ever given him more satisfaction. Pausing a moment, he looked down at her face, "Sweet Sarah." He said softly, shifting his weight and pulling her closer. "Again, I've yet to find your lungs…." He lowered his face to hers, this time she did not resist his assault, but welcomed it.
Sarah had only known the kisses that Jareth had bestowed upon her. Soft, tender, and almost chaste, this kiss was very different from those. At first she had not wanted to respond, she wanted to shield herself from the passions the two made one wakened in her. No ploy she applied worked, she could not help but want what he was offering her.
Her arms embraced him as he pulled her closer. She cried out as a sharp object stabbed her.
Quinn pulled back and looked down. "Sarah?"
"Something in your jacket just stabbed me." She whispered.
Reaching in he pulled out the large crystal and diamond spider. He looked at it for a moment then down at the young woman. He smiled, as he placed it on her bodice. "It's time Sarah."
"Time?" she asked blinking.
"We begin the bonding here, and now." He smiled at peace finally.
"Here?" She could not pull away, and she was staring at the crystal and diamond spider he had set on her. "Do you know the history of this room…. I mean in regards to your bother and I?"
Breathing deeply he nodded. "Indeed I do… that is why it's perfect for us. You refused and rejected him here…It's the perfect place for you to accept me."
"Quinn, this isn't funny." She warned shaking her head.
"I'm not joking." He stated as he began to peal off the leather gloves that were one of Jareth's trademarks.
Sarah moaned. "Oh that can't be good."
Crooking a finger, he stroked her cheek, and then her jaw. "Good no. Wonderful…oh yes."
"Quinn…. I'm not ready…." Fear filled her eyes.
Gently he touched her face. "I'm not going to bed you here Sarah." His voice was teasing. "I'm only going to begin the bonding here."
"But here…" she gasped. "Here?"
"Listen to me Sarah," He crooned in the same tone that Jareth had sung to her long ago. "It's not safe for us to be bondless anymore."
"What do you mean us? Jareth and I are bonded…."Fingertips silenced her.
"No, my sweet…All three of us are but half or not at all…It makes it dangerous for us. Moreover, Jareth is too weak to remain out of the healing place for long. It is time for us to bond. You must bond to us…both of us." Quinn kept the tone soothing, coaxing.
"We need you Sarah…bond with us…"
"But…I bonded…" she began to tear up, feeling like a cheat.
"We love you." He said softly. "With heart, mind and soul." Crooked fingers stroked her jaw. "Do you love us?"
Sarah, racked by a dry sob, did not want to answer.
"Do you love us?" He asked again, this time urgently.
"Yes." She whispered. "Yes, I love you …both of you."
Quinn sat up gathered her into his arms. "Then bond with us, beloved. Bond with us."
"Alright." She nodded her head.
Quinn pulled back withdrew his arms. He held his hands out, his naked hands with the palms upraised. "Take my hands, Sarah. Take them freely."
Placing her hands within his, she looked into his eyes, "And now?"
"We give you the Kiss of marking. You kissed Jareth, but it we who will kiss you." Quinn leaned forward. "And from this moment on, we three will be bonded." His lips moving over hers was deepening the kiss. Warm light and the scent of a garden surrounded them. Quinn moved back, "It is done." He picked up the spider pin, and placed it on Sarah's shoulder. "You are our beloved."
"Is this even legal?" she asked huskily.
Smiling at her innocents and confusion, Quinn brushed back her hair. "No one can now sever the connection. You and you alone will be wife to the Goblin King."
Sarah looked down, "Quinn…is…Jareth…still…"
"With me?" he placed a hand under her chin. "Yes, and soon the shattered soul will be mended…and there will be but one…"
Sarah hung her head; "Will it hurt?"
"No…" He assured her. "It will be as it was meant to be."
She looked at him, for a moment he looked more like Quinn of Tarsi then Jareth the Goblin King. "AS it was meant to be?" She placed her head on his shoulder, "As it was meant to be." She repeated.
Sarah looked at the spider again, and whispered. "You wouldn't have forgotten, would you Quinn….damn but I miss you." She placed the Spider on her vanity; she was going to wear it on her riding habit jerkin. Arriving in Tarsi she would be adorned in the jewel that set her apart from all others. The Bonded Bride of the Two made One. "Tári," She called her maid over. "I want you to personally carry the coffer on the way over to Tarsi if you don't mind."
"Not at all, ma'am," the maid picked up the riding jerkin to help her mistress finish dressing. "Would you like me to pin the jewel on for you?"
Sarah picked up the Spider and turned to her mirror, "No, thank you. I can do this; you may go and get ready to leave." Sarah looked at herself, touched the spider and whispered the name of the one on her mind. "Quinn."
Anne and Ryan walked down to the area in the courtyard where everyone was to assemble. Robert and Karen and the children were there already, and Giles and his wife Celestia were coming down the steps of the castle smiling broadly. Jareth was giving last minute orders to Hoggle and Sir Didymus as they would be in charge of keeping the peace while the King was away.
"Now Hogs teeth…" Jareth began
"Hoggle," He corrected the King
The King paused, looked piqued and asked; "Are you sure? I could have sworn…well, matters not… as I was saying, you're in charge of keeping the goblins… Didymus you handle the staff and the guards… and don't let Ludo do anything! The last time you did…. It took us a week to clear out the rocks."
Jareth looked up at the castle irked, "what is taking that woman so long?"
"She wants to be perfectly presentable, Sire." Didymus stated taking a courtly stance.
On cue the girl appeared at the top of the castle steps. "I'm sorry I've kept you waiting." She held a riding crop that was like Jareth's. "I'm ready now." She smiled sweetly to her husband.
Jareth sniffed, "What's that scent…it's not what you wear." He smiled a soft dreamy smile and looked at her as she blushed slightly. "That's rather nice…"
"Thank you." Sarah felt as if she were going to stammer. "It's just something I cooked up in the lab…" she pointed to the dragons awaiting them, "Shouldn't we get going?"
The King gave her bottom a pat and then strolled down to his dragon as if nothing had happened. "Angus! Ready for a nice stretch o the wings?" He addressed his beloved dragon.
"Aye Laddie, that I am…" The dragon sniffed as the Queen passed by to go toward her mount, and he let a throaty growl emit. "Hello, Lady…." He murmured cocking his head to either side.
"Can it you over grown lizard." Sarah warned.
Moments later five dragons and the royal coach were air bound, followed by the servants and luggage wagons.
Hoggle looked at Sir Didymus, "Why do I get the feeling they are headed for trouble?"
Didymus, watching the procession shivered as a goose had crossed his grave. "Oh dear… I hope the King knows what he's doing…."