Here it is, the last chapter! Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of those who stuck with me through the entire book! You are awesome! Thank you also to those who always sent me such wonderful, encouraging reviews! Please let me know what you think of this story as a whole, and if you have any advice at all concerning it, let me know! I would really like to know what you think of the entire plot! For those of you who are interested, I am in the process of writing (finally) a Jareth/Sarah story. Several of you had requested it, so it's in the making! Enjoy this last chapter, and have a terrific upcoming week!
Chapter 32: Mysterious Woman with the Sea Green Eyes
The morning dawned and Sarah slipped out of bed and made her way quietly out of her room. She wanted to spend a few last minutes with Angeletta before she returned to the Aboveground, leaving her new friend behind.
She easily climbed the stairs to Angeletta's chambers and then knocked gently on Angeletta's door, not wanting to awaken her if she was still asleep.
Her knocking was not answered, so she opened the door a crack and peeked inside.
Angeletta's room was empty, but the doors to the Fae woman's balcony were open, so Sarah stepped into the room and walked over to the doorway. She caught sight of Angeletta through the sheer curtains, standing on her balcony, dressed in her nightgown and robe, her long hair moving gently in the breeze.
Sarah prepared to step out onto the balcony, but seconds before she walked through the doorway, she caught sight of a swirl of glitter at Angeletta's side, and watched, curiously, as the glitter transformed into the Goblin King. She watched, with pleasant surprise, as Jareth took one long stride towards Angeletta, bowed low, and then kissed the beautiful woman's hand.
"What brings you here on this glorious morning?" Angeletta asked as Jareth arighted himself.
"I wanted to see you, naturally. Am I not permitted to see my queen?" Jareth smiled, and Sarah's breath hitched in her throat.
Was he, the Goblin King, actually being nice to Angeletta? Had they finally come to some sort of agreement? They were actually married now? But it was impossible! Hadn't they originally hated each other?
She leaned forward more, intent on what Angeletta's reaction to his kindness would be.
"Sarah leaves today," Angeletta sighed, putting her hands on the balcony railing. "I shall miss her, Jareth. She has been a true friend."
"She will be able to see you whenever she wishes through the crystal I gave her," Jareth said, moving to her side. "She won't forget you, my darling Angeletta, and if it is her will, she shall be permitted to return to the Underground whenever she pleases."
"Oh, I do hope she'll come back again!" Angeletta exclaimed. "That shall be wonderful!"
"I trust that my queen slept well?"
"Yes," Angeletta nodded, moving closer to him. "But I thought so much of you that it was difficult to fall asleep. When I did finally drift into slumber, my dreams were all about you."
"Were they now?" Jareth smiled, wrapping her in his arms and pulling her towards him. "Because every one of my waking and sleeping thoughts had you in them."
"Oh, I love you," Angeletta said, putting her arms around his neck. "I'm so glad we finally came to terms."
"May you never regret that, for you shall be spending the rest of your life with me. You'll be forced to see me almost every day, in my strengths and in my weaknesses," Jareth murmured, kissing her on the forehead.
"How ever shall I survive?" Angeletta laughed and was then silenced by his lips on her own.
"Well, well, well," Sarah whispered, a radiant smile on her face. "Who'd ever have thought that Jareth and Angeletta would become such a romantic pair?"
The Fae King and Queen continued to kiss each other with long, passionate motions, focused only on each other and their passionate feelings.
"Angel," Jareth spoke, presently pulling back from Angeletta. "I shall leave you now, for I believe Sarah wishes to spend some quality time with you. She's been standing patiently waiting for the past several minutes now. Come on out, Sarah," he grinned and then disappeared in a flurry of glitter.
"Look at you," Sarah laughed, stepping onto the balcony. "You and Jareth finally came to a civil relationship. You never thought you'd become Queen of the Underground, did you?"
"No, I didn't," Angeletta blushed, embracing Sarah. "I truly am sorry that you shall have to return home today. I sincerely have enjoyed you."
"I'm just happy to know that you and Jareth finally admitted your love for each other. I have to leave in a matter of minutes. I just wanted to say good-bye to you in private before I say good-bye to everyone," Sarah said sadly.
"You heard Jareth," Angeletta smiled, pushing a stray strand of hair out of Sarah's face. "You are welcome to return whenever you wish, and you have all of the gifts you received to remind you of your stay here."
"He was right," Sarah said, hugging Angeletta tightly. "I will never forget you."
"And I most certainly can never forget you. Come," Angeletta said, taking her hand. "Let's get you downstairs."
She waved her hand, and instantly she was arrayed in a silken blue dress and Sarah was clothed in her poet's shirt and blue jeans.
"Jareth gave me a few gifts to enjoy before the official wedding ceremony," she smiled. "I can change clothes with the blink of an eye an also transport us wherever we need to be. Hold on."
She and Sarah disappeared, and seconds later, they reappeared in the throne room.
The room was crowded with creatures, all of them waiting to say good-bye to Sarah.
Goodbyes had never been easy for Sarah, and this was one farewell that would be extremely difficult. She looked about the room at all of her friends, old and new, that she had just spent the Holidays with, and sadness overcame her. She walked over to where Ludo, Sir Didymus and Hoggle stood, and bent down so that she was eye level with Sir Didymus.
"Sir Didymus," she said, trying hard to hold back the tears. "I will miss you."
She kissed him on the cheek and then swept him up into her arms and hugged him tightly.
"My lady!" Sir Didymus exclaimed, his whiskers brushing against Sarah's cheek. "You shall see us again. Never fear."
"But I don't know how long it will be," Sarah cried as she put him down. "Ludo, my dear Ludo, I miss you already!"
She wrapped her arms around the furry beast and let her tears fall slowly onto his fuzzy chest.
"Don't cry, Sarah," Ludo said, tightening his hold on her.
"And Hoggle, my dear, dear Hoggle," Sarah said as Ludo released her. "You are one of the dearest friends I could ever ask for. I can't bear to leave you again."
"Well," Hoggle said, returning her hug and smiling when she kissed him on the cheek. "You'll be seeing us again. Remember, should you need us, just call."
"I will. Oh Hoggle, I will!"
"Sarah," Angeletta said gently, and Sarah stood up and turned to the new Fae Queen.
"I shall miss you most!" Sarah whispered as she threw her arms around Angeletta's neck and squeezed her tightly. "You have been the dearest friend I have ever had. You've taught me so much, and have shown me how to have compassion for others. Thank you, beautiful Queen. Thank you!"
"Oh Sarah, no tears," Angeletta said, struggling to keep back her own. "This isn't the end. I will always be here for you should you need me. Just say your rights words, and I'll come."
"The time is short," Jareth said, putting an arm around Angeletta's waist and pulling her towards him. "Little girl," he addressed Sarah, a touch of the old smirk on his face, "It's only forever, not long at all."
"Goblin King," Sarah whispered. "You have shown me my dreams. You have given me wings to soar. Of all the creatures in the Underground, it is you I should be thanking the most."
"No. You have restored peace to my world, Sarah. It is I who should be thanking you," Jareth said with a bow. "You have helped me find my dreams, and I am eternally grateful. It is time to leave."
A crystal orb appeared in his hand, and he tossed it gently to Sarah. She took hold of it and then looked up.
Jareth, Angeletta, Ludo, Sir Didymus and Hoggle all began to fade away, but as they did so, a few last words echoed to her from the enshrouding darkness.
"Down in the Underground, you'll find someone true. Down in the Underground, a land serene of crystal blue. It's only forever, not long at all. Lost and lonely, that's Underground, Underground!"
As the last words faded away, Sarah found herself standing in her room in front of her mirror, gazing at her reflection. She sighed sadly and turned away, catching sight of her gifts from Christmas on her bed. She walked over to them and gently picked up the painting Angeletta had given to her.
"Such a masterpiece," she said, finding an empty nail on the wall and hanging the beautiful painting up.
She then found the crystal orb from Jareth and picked it up, glitter springing up onto her fingertips as she carried it carefully over to her vanity. She placed it in the exact spot where the little Goblin King statue had been and then brushed her fingers over it gently.
"What an adventure," she whispered.
"Sarah!" A call came from downstairs, and Sarah's face lit up with pleasure.
"I'm here!" she answered, running to her bedroom door.
"Sarah, honey, I'm sorry it's a little late in the day!" Karen exclaimed, running up the stairs to greet Sarah. "Your father and Toby are getting gas in the car, but they dropped me off here first. How was your Christmas? Oh, it's so good to see you again, sweetheart!"
She threw her arms around Sarah and hugged her tightly.
"Did you enjoy your time with your friend? I love you, Sarah! I missed you, but I got you several different gifts, and I wanted to give two of them to you now! Mind if I sit on the bed?"
"Go ahead!" Sarah laughed, watching as her step-mother sat down on the bed, two wrapped packages under her arms.
"Here, open these, Sarah. I can't wait to see what you think about them!" Karen exclaimed.
Sarah took one of the gifts, a box with blue and green wrapping paper, and began to open it. Karen watched eagerly and clapped her hands together with delight when Sarah pulled out a dark green medieval dress.
"What do you think?" Karen asked as Sarah stood up and held the dress to her. "I found someone in Florida who makes those and thought of you."
"It's beautiful!" Sarah gasped, swirling so that she could see the dress swish around her in the vanity mirror. "It's the most beautiful dress I've ever seen! Thank you, Karen!"
"That's not the best gift, though," Karen smiled, eyes sparkling as she handed Sarah the next package, a small rectangular parcel with red wrapping paper.
Sarah put the dress down and took the next gift from Karen. She began to pull the wrapping paper off, and while she did so, Karen stood up and moved to Angeletta's painting.
"Sarah," she asked, studying Angeletta's eyes carefully as Sarah finished opening her gift. "Where did you get this?"
"My friend painted it. Beautiful, isn't it?" Sarah asked, looking down at the worn, leatherbound brown book in her hands. "What is this?"
"That is the diary of my great-great-great-grandfather," Karen said, sitting down on the bed next to Sarah, her eyes still studying Angeletta's. "I know you like old books, so I thought you would enjoy that one. There's a mystery in that diary," she said slowly, turning her eyes to gaze at Sarah, "that I thought you would find astounding. Grandpa once took rather a fancy to an outstandingly beautiful young singer who sang and acted at a New York theater before the Civil War began. He writes a great deal about her, though he never mentions her name. He went to the theater ten different times just to see her. He described her only as a woman of amazing beauty with long, soft dark hair, and amazing, piercing eyes of a color he had never seen on a woman. They were the eyes of the sea, he said, and if you looked into those eyes, you could see into the woman's very heart. Occasionally you could see the wildness of an ocean storm reflected in her lovely orbs, but for the most part, you could see the beauty and charm of a peaceful sea, perfect for sailing. From his description, her eyes looked astoundingly like those of the woman in your painting."
"What is the mystery?" Sarah asked, eyes wide as she flipped gently through the pages of the old book, her heart beating rapidly as she contemplated her ancient grandfather admiring Angeletta.
"After one of her performances one night, she disappeared," Karen said softly. "No one knew where she went or what happened to her. To this day, no one still knows."
"I know," Sarah thought to herself as Karen got up from the bed.
"This painting is stunning, Sarah. I am going to start unpacking, but I do want to hear all about your adventures over the Holidays, perhaps during dinner?" Karen asked as she stepped out of the room.
"That sounds terrific," Sarah nodded and then moved over to the crysal on her vanity.
She smiled as she touched the orb and then peered into it. She could see Jareth and Angeletta dancing on the brink of the ocean, completely engrossed with one another, glitter swirling all about them.
"To think," Sarah said to herself, resting her chin on her elbow as she gazed at the image. "I spoke to someone my grandfather adored, knocked some sense into a prideful Goblin King, and helped destroy a brutal enemy all in only a couple of months. I learned the importance of forgiveness and the gift of loving my stepmother. Life may not always be fair," she smiled, turning away from the crystal orb, "but it surely is one ride I would never want to miss."