Chapter 34. To have, to hold, to Keep
Upon entering the King's private rooms, seeing the lavish furnishing and the care taken in the appointments, Sarah began to wonder what Jareth was going to expect from her. She carried the baby about the room while she explored. She spotted the curtains of the alcove and stepped into the little side chamber. Her mouth dropped as she saw the walls decorated with depictions of her having run the Labyrinth and Toby in his stripped PJ's. "Who…who drew these?" she asked aloud.
"King did," the chorus from the Goblins surrounding her filled the room with sound.
Sarah looked at the cradle and placed her son in it, no surprise he fell instantly and peacefully asleep. The child seemed to be as comfortable in this strange place as he had been in her apartment in her mother's brownstone, a fact that Sarah found a bit disconcerting. Placing a finger to her lips, Sarah prayed that the Goblins would understand and keep quiet. Some gathered round the cradle and began to drone the song she'd heard long ago, but in a much slower and quieter fashion. Sarah walked to the wall that began her tale and inspected the drawings. He had taken such care in depicting every detail, some that she'd forgotten and some she really didn't want to remember. He had depicted it all and she marveled at how lifelike the paintings were. Everywhere she looked in the little alcove was pictures of her on her adventure. From the moment he'd seen her in the park, right down to the moment he'd offered her the orb with her dreams one last time.
The room went quiet; she saw she was alone with her son in the chamber of a memory. Some time during her inspection of the gallery the Goblins had quietly taken their leave of her. Sarah moved out of the alcove to allow the baby to sleep. She looked at the larger chamber and overcome by anger, fear and every other emotion she'd ever known, she began to tug at the little silver ring she'd worn for a year now. Try as she did, it would not come free.
"It won't come off," an amused voice informed her. She spun around to find the Goblin King leaning on the wall beside the heavy doors of entry, watching her. No longer dressed in the Goblin armor, now he was attired in a poet shirt that opened to reveal his lean but muscular chest and the dove gray breeches he'd worn in the tunnel. The only thing missing was the leather jerkin and his cape. Jareth smiled lazily; "It was placed on without fear or favor, and won't come off unless I so will it… and I will never, never… NEVER do so." He moved off the wall and walked past her. "Did you find the baby's accommodations to your liking?" He peered into the alcove and looked at the sleeping babe. "Is there anything I forgot?"
"You forgot a good many things!" she still tugged at the ring, frustrated and angry she shoved her hand before him. "Take this thing off me!"
"Like hell I will." He answered sullenly; he pushed the hand back to its owner and moved to the edge of the bed to take a seat. "So what is it you think I've forgotten?"
"I'm not your property!" she railed as she moved forward.
"Yes, yes in point of fact you are…." He mused leaning back on his elbows and looking at her with a salacious gleam in his eye and a mocking curl of his sensual mouth. "You are a subject of the Goblin Kingdom, I am it's King, ergo you are my property…."
For one moment Sarah could barely breathe let along think of a retort. She stood staring at him, and panting for breath, began to look for something in the room she could hurl at him. She turned her back on him. "You arrogant,"
"Yes," he agreed mildly.
"Indeed," he sat up and reached for her wrist.
"You tricked me!" she pulled trying to free her hand.
"Yes, I did." He acknowledged.
"You used me," she accused.
He smiled in agreement, "I did, didn't I?"
"You're a lying; cheating…" she gulped and gasped as his hand snaked up her waist to her breast. "Stop that!"
He ignored the protest, sharply tugged the blouse aside to reveal the breast his son had fed upon. At his very touch she shivered and the milk began to flow. He leaned forward, capturing the nipple between his lips as he began to suckle as greedily as their son did. Sarah cried out in surprise and found she needed to grip his shoulders to steady herself. He released the hand that had held captive her wrist, pulling the rest of her blouse from her shoulder and revealing the other engorged breast swiftly he left the one and began to drain the other leaving the young woman dazed. He pulled her closer, buried his face in her abdomen and moaned against her. "Oh cradle of life…" His voice was filled with passion, as he began to kiss the area of her body that had cradled his son. Looking up at her, his eyes were filled with hunger.
"No," she protested, as he pulled her onto the bed. "I'm not going to do this."
"Of course you are," He assured her now kneeling over her as he tugged off his leather gloves. "I've been deprived of the pleasure of bedding you for an entire year; I will be deprived no more." He raked his fingers down her shoulders and over her breasts sending shivers down through her to her spine. She arched unexpectedly under his hands and he quipped. "You need this nearly as much as I do."
"Get your hands off me," she snapped sharply trying to hold on to her own sense of control.
Jareth laughed mirthlessly as he reached up to rip his own shirt off, "Sarah, no need to be shy…." He teased. "After all this is not the first time we've been together."
"Stop," She tried to turn away from him. "I don't want to do this…"
Gripping both her flailing hands he held them captive over her head, "Sarah that's a lie," He smirked. "You want this." With the grace of an athlete his legs slid down the length of hers as he pressed his body to hers. "You want this." He pressed his hips to hers, lowering his face to her neck, he pressed his lips to the tender area of her throat just below her hear. "And this."
"Stop," she moaned, feeling the thrilling tingle shoot though her.
Jareth murmured in her ear, "Sarah, I've yet to get started."
Struggling more with herself, she drew upon strength she was not aware she possessed. She yanked her hands free, shoved him back and twisted out from under his outstretched body. Falling off the bed as she rolled away she growled at him. "You have no right to touch me!"
Amused the Goblin King leaned up on his elbows, feral eyes watching her as if she were a mouse in a field. "Wrong precocious," he growled from back in his throat, his voice dipping dangerously low. "You wear my ring, you bore my son, and you are here…"
"You tricked me," was her angry reply. "You tricked me in the Labyrinth and you tricked me during the play… You used a potion to secure my cooperation to your seduction!" She accused as she pulled herself up to her feet.
Jareth's face lost any sign of humor. "Sure of that are you?"
"I'm sure that you can not be trusted," She turned her back on him; it was easier to remain angry and resolved if she didn't look at him. "Like father like son," she muttered; "Using a potion to settle scores." Unexpectedly she felt a warm breath on her ear.
"I didn't use the potion," his voice vibrated in her ear.
"What?" she closed her eyes, refusing to look at him, stoking the flames of anger again; "Of course you did." Forgetting for a moment his affect on her senses she turned to accuse him. "Do you think I allow every Tom Dick and Harry to just have their way with me? No, certainly not on stage in front of a house full of audience!"
Jareth listened to the tirade quietly, but a smile hung on his lips. "I had intended to use the potion…" He admitted without restraint. "However the vial that Puck thought contained the potion contained nothing more than… scented water."
"You expect me to believe that?" She glared at him.
He shrugged, "I can't say I care one way or the other what you believe." He smiled. "But I'm telling you what you did opening night you did freely of your own wanton will." He tapped her nose with one long index finger.
Sarah looked at the tip of the finger tapping her nose and frowned. "Why would you put scented water in the place of the potion?"
"I didn't," he admitted without guilt. "I would have gladly used the potion… but the High King had other ideas…" He sighed. "I should have known it was too easy, Puck secreting away to Avalon to retrieve the potion for me… I should have known my Father would not allow it to be used… but all I knew was I wanted…"pausing he let his eyes rake over her; "You."
Sarah took a step back, having a sudden unexpected need to cover her half nakedness from him. She covered her breasts with her hands. "I don't believe you."
"Sarah, I assure you, if I had used the potion, we'd be having different conversation all together." He heaved a sigh.
"I felt different…when Hayden used the… antidote!" She was grasping at straws.
"I never actually sent for the antidote, Sarah… you felt different because the need had been met." Jareth took a seat on the edge of the bed once again.
"You're telling me I just allowed you to…"
"Hardly," Jareth watched her; he was enjoying toying with her. "Sarah, come here, come closer… tell me what you sense."
"No," she refused sharply shaking her head and backing away from him and the bed.
Jareth looked down at the bed, "I had no idea you had such phobias," he mused. Swiftly he stood up and cut the distance between them. She turned looking for a means of escape; he enfolded her in a tight embrace. A moment passed by and she began breath differently. "Pheromones'," he growled in her ear. "Mine affect you, yours do the same for me. I had no need of the potion thanks to this insatiable hunger we have for each other." He bent his head and began to kiss her shoulder. "I hunger…"
"Don't…" she softly pleaded in a half hearted whisper. "I can't think when you do that…"
"Don't think, react." He commanded as he spun her to face him. He lowered his lips to cover hers. "React."
Sarah had wanted to hold desperately onto the anger, but his being so near and his hungry lips on hers set her a flame. All rational thoughts seemed to dissipate like fog. She had opened her mouth to protest only to have his tongue invade and conquer her. Her hands dropped from her breasts, moving to his waist then slowly snaking up his back. Her mouth answered his with a hunger that was equal to his. "Jareth." She moaned softly.
"Sarah," He moaned back before he swept her up into his arms to be carried back to his bed. By the time they reached the bed he had magically removed their clothes as he could not wait a second more to be holstered within her. He arched above her, then in one smooth stroke glided into her. Sarah wrapped her long legs over his, moaning deep in her throat as he began to find the rhythm that would satisfy them both. His hands moved over her not with ownership but with devotion, worshiping her. "Cradle of life," he murmured. "Other half of my soul," Sarah clung to him; her breath coming in short sharp gasps. Jareth smiled as he enfolded her.
Hours later, he lay on his side looking at her; she mirrored his position and looked back. She took a long deep breath and whispered, "Jareth, if I asked you a question would you answer it honestly?"
"Yes," he sighed.
"Why did you let me think I won?" Velvety green emerald eyes peered at him with uncertainty.
A fleeting expression of regret filled his beautiful eyes, slowly he proceeded to answer. "I was so besotted with you," he confessed. "From before your call, your careless wish." He reached over stroking the long strands of her hair. "You were full of fire and anger and so disappointed in your world… escaping into the world of fantasy… a world that feeds the Fae world still…. I found your hunger… pitiable. I desired you… but you were young… even by Fae standards. Too old to turn, and it would have been my right to turn you…" He placed his hand at her throat, "you were too young….to keep." His voice darkened and deepened. "And to keep you is what I wanted." His hand moved down to her shoulder then down the length of her side. "I allowed you to finish… because I'd never seen anyone with such fire. Each time you were challenged you rose to meet the challenge like an Amazon warrior!" He moved closer to her under the blanket that now covered them both. "I was so torn, one part proud of your progress, and one part trying to figure out how to knock the pins out from under you."
"Magda said I lost several times," Sarah's memories of the conversations during her travels with Gwendolyn and Magda were returning slowly. "Is that true?"
"Yes." He said shortly.
"And the song and dance in the Crystal Ballroom, was that from my dreams?" her voice wavered with emotions.
"It started out as one of your dreams… I was drawn into it… and it became… our dream." There was more, and he was not sure how to say the words. "Sarah," he began softly. "I had no intentions of joining you in that… dream… once I did, I saw you not as a child… but as the woman you were about to become. When you came willingly into my arms, and danced with me… allowed me to sing Fae Song to you… you became mine."
Sarah blinked, "You mean like… a wife?"
"More like a fiancées," He corrected softly.
"I was a child." She reminded him.
"Which is why you remained pure that night," he conceded with a smile; "and ever after until we coupled on Midsummer's night?"
"Had I not been such an innocent…" She mused.
"You would never have gotten away," He mused back with a leer. His face softened. "I had to let you go…. You needed to return to the mortal planes to mature a bit."
Sarah sat up, mulling over every thing he'd just revealed, pursing her lips she turned her head to look at him; "And Toby?"
The Goblin King sat up, looked at his woman, and a surge of generosity filled his heart. "I will make a bargain with you about Toby," he offered. "The lad will be allowed to remain with his parents for now. He will be allowed to grow up in the mortal world…when he reaches manhood I will ask him if he would like to come home… However Sarah, if anything happens to Robert and Karen, I will call him home…"
"And our parents?" she asked anxiously.
"I cannot make the offer to them…." Jareth looked truly sad. "I respect them but they are… mundane."
"What do you want in return for this generous offer?" She asked with her lips trembling. "Are you going to take my baby from me?"
"No," he said too quickly. "No."
Sarah looked at him, desperately wanting to believe him.
Jareth frowned, "I want you to admit you lost, I want to hear you say…Jareth you win." One hand knotted in the long hair at the nap of her neck. "I want you to surrender to me."
"I don't know if I can." She admitted darkly. "I've always thought I won…"
"I had to allow you to think that, I had to allow the subjects that visited you at first to think that as well…." Jareth murmured.
She looked at him, "That must have rankled."
"I burned like coal in my gut," he admitted in an icy tone.
Sarah looked at him, he was a King, and he was a man… perhaps not mortal, nor human but most definably a man. He had put his own needs and desires on hold for her. He had allowed not only herself, but Toby to return to the mortal planes. He had even allowed her to be visited in the early days of what she'd thought was her victory by her friends and companions from his Kingdom. What it cost him in pride she could only guess, what it cost him in the respect of subjects or Fae she would not hazard a guess. Mulling it over she nodded, "Jareth," she whispered softly, demurely. "You win."
He lay back hooking his hands behind his head. "Thank you."
She sat beside him in the bed, looking down at his face now at peace; "And Joey?" She asked softly.
Jareth reached up taking hold of her upper arm, pulled her down to his waiting arms. "You and the boy are mine." He said firmly. "You wear my ring, my Fairy ring… and are trapped within it's magic for all time… we've a bond betwixt us… a child…. and as you are delightfully fertile we will have more…" He kissed her brow. "Our son will be a Goblin King…"
"I don't think I can get use to the idea of being treated as property." She murmured to him.
"You are far more than property, Sarah." He rolled over, lying above her and gazing into her eyes as he moved within her once more. "You are my equal… to have, to hold… to keep…."
And so the voices are stilled… and happy…
I end this tale here… and remind you… the words of Puck…
As written by the other Bard…Master Will…
If we shadows have
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Thank you to all who read and reviewed…
And To Bookie… Happy Birthday dearest friend.
To those who read and didn't review
Thank you…for reading…
And to the Goblin King my undying faith.