Chapter 34. Accroches-toi a ton reve ( Hold on tight to your dream)
Jareth watched in the crystal orb, Toby at his side. The boy looked at him with eyes full of pain. "She shouldn't have to be so anxious, so… vexed."
"She needs to," Jareth countered. "For this to work, Sarah has to feel loss."
"But I'm fine," the boy protested calmly. "I'm right here, and I'm fine."
"She must surrender," Jareth explained. "Just as you used the words… so must our Sarah."
Unsure, the boy shook his head. "I think this is just plain cruel."
"The next few hours shall be," Jareth admitted without remorse. "However, once she says her right words, all will be as it should be. She shall relinquish her mortality, just as you did, and embrace her new life." He placed the orb down on the surface of his desk. "We've a few hours in which to prepare," standing he motioned the boy to follow him. "Both you and I shall need to get cleaned up. We certainly can not greet our Queen not looking our best."
"What Queen?" Toby asked quickly following the Fae.
"Why Queen Sarah of course," Jareth stated striding like an ice skater through the halls; "My wife to be," his voice softened and became almost dreamy.
"Wife," Toby shouted. "You're going to marry her?"
"Of course," Jareth winked at the boy. "You didn't expect me to lie in sin with her, now did you?"
"Wow," Toby cried joyfully. "My sister's gonna be a Queen!"
With amusement Jareth ushered to boy toward the private wing of the Castle and the bathing chambers. Once in the wing that housed the royal apartments, he showed Toby to his room and turned him over to the goblins whose duty it was to see to the boys being scrubbed clean and dressed for the upcoming ceremony.
Sarah felt a dull ache and her vision blurred. "Missing?" she repeated over and over tearfully.
Matt saw the surprise on the face of Kathy's lawyer and knew the woman had not told him that boy had gone missing. "Your honor," he began but was motioned to sit.
Judge Mason motioned the bailiff; "Arrest Mrs. Jameson for child endangerment, and get a patrol out there to look for the boy." She looked at Sarah, "Can you think of anywhere he'd go?"
"He should have come to me," Sarah stated. "He should have come home…" she glared at Kathy being cuffed sullenly. "He should never have been taken from his home."
"He'd be there now if it weren't for you," sneered Kathy. "But you always have to ruin everything, don't you? Your own mother could not stand to be in the same house with you…that's why she abandoned you!"
Matt grabbed hold of Sarah's shoulders. "That's not true, don't listen to that rubbish."
"Poor Toby," Sarah murmured trying to think of where he could go. "Try the Fencing School," she suggested. "He might have sought out Master Dé Danann, he trusts him."
"Wouldn't do him any good," Anise said loudly. "Master Dé Danann left for London this morning, took a red eye home on business. His apartment is locked up, even his servants are gone."
"We'll check there anyway." An officer said to Sarah, wanting to give some encouragement to the distraught sister of the missing child.
Sarah blinked more bad news. "Master Dé Danann's gone?"
"What," taunted Anise; "Didn't he even take the time to say goodbye?" she laughed seeing the disappointment in Sarah's face. "I guess you're not so important to the great man after all. He's likely got some little English Rose waiting for him. He'll soon forget you… "
Della placed a hand on Sarah's shoulder. "Don't listen to her…."
"It doesn't matter," Sarah whispered. "Nothing but Toby's whereabouts matters." Although she meant the words, it didn't stop the dull ache of sorrow from hurting. She had kept Master Dé Danann at arms length for so long she was certain the man thought she'd little or no interest in exploring the feelings that they awakened in one another. For Sarah it was just another loss she was not prepared to face. It was something more that she had to put aside in favor of finding Toby.
Toby frolicked in the bath, playing with the goblins sent to scrub him clean. It was more fun than being locked away in a room with little light and less hope. Six goblins splashed in the water and blew soap bubbles as large as Toby's head to entertain the boy. Jareth excused himself to go to his own bath to ready for the arrival of the Queen. He left the boy in the company of the goblins for he knew they would not only keep the lad busy, but safe. He was after all their little prince. The boy had not shown fear of them as a baby, and not now. He was as accepting of them as they were of him, and Jareth knew he was safe.
Lying back in the hot waters of the Royal tub in the Royal bathing chamber, Jareth once more observed the girl in an orb. He was glad the child was not there to witness the pleasure he was taking in Sarah's being caused this pain. The boy didn't need to know that there was still some resentment between him and Sarah. He vowed that once this was done, once she'd said her right words, he would expel any and all resentment from his heart. He observed the chaos at the court, the cutting words of the women trying to cut the Labyrinth's Champion down to their level. He observed the Queen to be under emotional fire, and little by little felt the resentments and desire for payback diminish as he felt the surging of pride in the girl with emerald green eyes. Her reaction to the news that his alter ego had vanished plagued him, he wondered if she were ready to sacrifice her humanity, and her need for human contact. He suddenly found himself praying that being the wife of a Fae could be enough for her to justify the renouncing of her mortality.
Withdrawing his hand, he willed the orb to remain suspended and balanced in the air above his bath. He pouted slightly, thinking of how she'd just reacted upon hearing of the exit of her fencing instructor. He was pondering the dilemma when he became aware that as he was observing Sarah, he too was being observed. Closing his eyes he recognized the one keeping watch. "Yes Father," he called out. "What can I do for you?"
The voice came through, even as the body stayed where it was. "You seemed perplexed, my boy."
"I was thinking about a woman," Jareth stated honestly. "And wondering why it is part of her prefers my mortal guise to the Fae."
After a moment of silence the owner of the disembodied voice made a request. "Might I join you?"
"Of course, Father." Jareth said still gazing at the orb hovering above him.
The room hummed with magic as the Fae High King folded time and space to join his childe. "You were saying," the elder took a seat and let his robes fall into folds and draping off his chair. He looked regal, but accessible and unexpectedly extremely parental.
Pointing to the orb flashing all the activity at the courthouse, Jareth spoke gently. "She's just learned that Master Dé Danann has made a speedy exodus, and she's lamenting his departure."
"Is that not natural?" the High King gazed at the orb. "Was this alter ego not considered an aly?"
"It's more," pouted Jareth. "She responded to him in ways she never has to me."
Oberon chuckled softly, "Amusing," he murmured. "You are jealous of yourself."
On the verge of protesting Jareth gave it better thought, "That sounds demented," he admitted; "Even for me."
"My boy," Oberon sighed as he looked at his son. "Perhaps she saw in this ego display of yours what is was about you that she was drawn to in the first place. Perhaps you should take a lesson from your experiences with her in her own realm, and put them to use in the on going wooing of the girl."
"On going wooing," Jareth leaned back and looked at his father. "I'm about to marry her, turning her into a Queen and give her all her dreams… what more does she need?"
"What you don't know about women could fill a cavernous canyon," Oberon jeered. "Let me give you a piece of advice boy… never, never stop wooing her… never take her for granted or underestimate her… the moment you do, you'll rue it… They need to be told they are loved, that they are the center of your universe. Fae, Mortal, or any other breed… Females need to feel appreciated, and adored… and equal."
Sitting bolt upright, Jareth's face showed that some thought had registered. "Equal… that's it; she needs to stay my equal…"
"From what I've seen, she is indeed your equal in many areas…" Oberon observed coolly. "She will indeed be a fine queen… however I don't approve of your method of gaining this Queen." He stood up. "I shall be in attendance at the ceremony, until then I will take my leave of you…"
"Father," Jareth called softly before the elder departed. "Thank you."
Oberon graced the younger Fae King with a gentle smile and was gone.
Sarah had been escorted to a waiting room, Della sat with her, holding her hand and giving what comfort she could. Matt Banning was making calls to every one he could think of. Sarah had called Enid in the hopes that Toby had gone there, to no avail. Tommy had not seen nor heard from the boy since the moment he'd been hauled out of the Williams home. Once or twice even Judge Mason checked into the waiting room to see if any word had come.
Margo had breezed into the room and looked down her nose at Sarah. Sarah rose from her chair shaking off the hand of her companion. "What do you want? Haven't you done enough damage, Margo?" Sarah accused.
"Now Sarah," Margo addressed her as if speaking to an errant child. "Aren't you blowing things out of prospection? How can you blame me for anything?"
"You're the one who told Kathy about that picture in the paper," the girl stated firmly, not having any evidence other than a gut reaction.
Margo pursed her lips, "Yes I did," she stated without remorse. "I was thinking of the safety of the child."
"Bullshit," Sarah exploded. "You were thinking of what would hurt me…. You…you don't care about Toby, or anyone else… you've always only cared about your own self!"
Della remained seated, watching and silently cheering her companion on.
The fitness guru raised a brow, but her looks told Sarah she was on track. "Why Sarah dear, how can you say that…after all the heart to hearts we've had… and the good advice I've always tried to impart to you…"
"Heart to heart," scoffed the younger woman. "Margo you did all the talking, you never once listened to a thing I had to say, or one complaint… not that I ever got a chance to make one… and as for advice," Sarah felt a surge of empowerment. "I don't recall a single word of encouragement or good advice coming from you. All you ever do is sap the life and energy out of those who are near you… and now you're hanging with that lout Drake… well you are welcome to each other's company. In fact…" Sarah stood tall, poised and authoritative and Margo backed away from her as if fearful. "I wish that you and Randal C. Drake would get just what's coming to you…"
Trying to derail the girl's tirade, Margo growled darkly. "This is your entire fault Sarah! You were a lousy daughter and an even worse sister…"
Sarah gave a haughty look at the diminished figure before her. "You know nothing of it, Margo… you never did." She turned her back on the other and closed her eyes. "Go, now."
Margo looked down at Della whose eyes challenged her, "I'll go… but know this Sarah Williams; you'll never know any happiness in this world."
The King was speaking to his valet when Eldon entered, "I see you're celebrating the feast day," he commented on the Kings fancy attire.
"What better day to take a bride?" Jareth commented as he looked over the scroll a goblin was holding for him to read as he dressed.
"Personally, I would have preferred Beltane," Eldon stated scrutinizing the King's choice of attire. "I don't recall you ever having dressed in this manner…" he commented with concern.
"I felt the need for a change," Jareth mused. "I want my bride to see the man that she marries this night as the man she can grow to love." He finished tucking in his linen shirt and smoothing the lean long breeches into the knee length boots. While the breeches were lean they were not the close fit of his previous attire. "Is there something you need, Eldon?"
"Need?" the distracted Chancellor asked. "Oh, yes, I wanted to tell you the King's chapel is ready for the ceremony, and that the portal is ready to open when you are ready Sire."
"Good," Jareth let his goblin valet slid the arms of his jacket up and he seated the shoulders right. "My ward and I shall join you at the portal as soon as we are ready. Ohh," Jareth called to the man about to retire. "Has anyone seen Hoggle? He's to have the Queen's bouquet."
"The gardener is ready," Eldon assured the King. "The bouquet is exquisite."
Jareth worked at the buttons of his blazer styled tunic. "I'm sure, but my Queen's beauty and quality will outshine even the most exotic bloom Hoggle comes up with." He paused. "Did he get the box I sent over?"
"Yes, sire," Eldon nodded heading toward the door. "He complained bitterly, but promised to acquiesce to your request."
The Goblin King studied his reflection when the other Fae had gone, "Saber please," he requested and placed it in the frog at his hip. He then smoothed his hair back once more before he donned the same silky gloves he'd worn on the night he'd first danced with the woman about to become his wife and Queen. Looking at the changes in the mirror, he whispered softly. "Everything I've done, I've done for you… I have reordered time, I moved the very stars, and I turned my world upside down… all for you… my love." He held his head up high and smiled. "I've even grown up, just for you." Turning from the mirror he took a deep breath. "For my will is as strong as yours, and my Kingdom is as great!" he tugged at the cuff of the gloves before exited his chamber.
Randal C. Drake glared at the Siren. "Why is she not suicidal? You promised me she'd be on the verge of collapse. And where has that brat gotten to? I've sent demons and minions out searching for him without as much as a trace!"
The Siren glared back. "You think you're the only one with problems here? It is nearly sundown and she has yet to surrender… her soul is stronger than either of us thought. It's like she's had help…."
The Jinn was losing the ability to hold his glamour in place. His skin was turning a dull grayish blue, and his eyes were reverting to the amber shade of his line. Soon the fancy garments of the fashion maven Randal C. Drake was known to be would dissolve into the costume Jinn were known for. Gone would be the silk Armani suit, replaced by satin and velvets and gold cords. The stylish foot wear would be replaced by the pointed curled toed slippers all Jinn wore. Randal ran to the mirror. "It's already beginning…if I don't have the child in my grasp before the transformation is complete, it will be another thousand years before I can try again," he moaned.
The Siren was having problems of her own, "There is not enough magic betwixt us both to find and hold the child," she whimpered as she opened the balcony doors hoping the icy rain would quench her thirst. "I'm too far from river or sea…. I need a pond… Now." She was gasping for breath. "If that girl does not surrender her soul, I'm trapped, just as you are."
Linda entered the chamber deep under the castle of the Dark Fae who had saved her. "Is that a scrying pool?" She asked coming toward him.
Keaghan looked over at her; she was dressed in a long green open sur-coat with Celtic emblems embroidered upon its surface. Her under gown was buttercup yellow and had long sleeves that draped gracefully off her arms. She moved like a queen in her own right, instinctually he bowed to her and extended his hand. "Yes, have you ever seen one?"
"Not in operation," the queenly female stated as she accepted the offered hand. "How does it work?"
"Depending on who is using it mostly," he stated. "I have kept this one secret, few know of its existence. I have used it to keep tabs on those who would challenge my rule." His accent was still present but softer.
"Do you have many such enemies?" Linda asked.
"All Kings do," Keaghan answered. "Few who rule in the Underground kingdoms have a unchallenged rule…Even Oberon has had challengers from time to time."
"I thought the UnSeelie were not under his direct rule," Linda stated peering at the pool.
"My branch of the UnSeelie were members of his direct court… and so we bow to his…will as it were." He admired her mind and the way she was gleaning information so easily. "There is balance in our realm; good and not so good often have to work together."
"Ying and Yang?" Linda asked.
"Yes," he directed her attention to the pool, "Those who were besetting evil upon you are now coming into their undoing, in part at the hand of your daughter. She's very powerful and has no idea of it."
"Don't bet on that my lord," Linda stated with a cryptically smile. "Sarah is more than just resourceful, she's very intelligent. She'll remember more than just the words," warned the mother.
"I'll take your word for it," Keaghan crooked his index finger and stroked Linda's cheek. "If she's anything like her mother, my friend is in for tribulation suffering and delicious danger."
Blushing like a bride herself, Linda turned to the King. "Yer a fine man, and if yer friend is anything like ye, my daughter will be a very lucky woman."
Keaghan chuckled as he embraced the woman he was losing his heart to. "I enter a bargain with my old friend to secure a Jinn and a Siren…and I end up falling in love with a mortal woman." He murmured. "I wonder how he's going to react to me being his step-father-in-law."
"He'll go with the flow," Linda assured her companion. "Now, show me this pool."
Reaching out a hand over the waters, the King focused his thoughts and drew the pool into life. "We will watch until the time for us to join the ceremony comes," he stated holding the woman of his dreams in his arms. "Beloved." He crooned. "Linda Erin, my own."
"Keaghan…" she murmured dreamily.
The court house was closing, and officers were escorting everyone out. No word had come, and the officers promised as soon as word did come they would come to tell Sarah. The sky had darkened with the pelting icy rain. But it was still light enough to be considered daylight. There was only less than an hour before it would be dusk, and the search would have to be called off until daylight.
Sarah had promised Della and Daisy both to drive straight home. That she would meet them there, and they would wait together. And she had every intention of doing just that, but the traffic was so backed up on the main streets that she turned off. The side street meandered past the park, her park where she'd first seen the owl that later became the Goblin King had been. Past the pond where in a few weeks swans would be returning to. Past the little shops and old fashioned houses and hills of her town toward the old Victorian at the edge of town that she'd grown up in. She was not sure why but when she saw the old church at the end of the park, she turned into the lot. The Williams had never been a religious family, never belonging to a parish until Robert had married Karen. Linda had never seemed to think that going to church was all that important, nor had Robert when Sarah was little. Karen had other ideas, and today Sarah was sure that even her own sister didn't have the faith that Karen had.
Saint Blaise parish had been the choice Karen had made, and now seeing its silhouette in the gray of the sky, Sarah felt the urge to be there. The parking lot was empty, and the church itself looked deserted. Sarah wondered if it were even open. Parking her little car, tugging her coat closer and fighting the icy wind and rain, she moved swiftly to the front door of the building. She wondered how often she'd fought with Karen about being forced to come to worship. Yet here she was, seeking the solace that only a church could give her. She opened the door that led to the staircase up to the second floor stained glass alcove where the faithful would kneel and light candles in the shrine set up to the patron saint of the parish.
Sarah, even though she'd never put much stock in religion before, was not about to turn her back on any avenue that would help her locate Toby. She lit a candle and bowed her head, "God, if you're really there…" she clasped her hands together on the prayer bench's padded top. "Don't let anything bad happen to Toby… he does not deserve any of this… he's always been innocent…" she looked up at the statue of the saint. "And you, if you see him, shoo him back this way…" She rose from the kneeler, looked at the statue surrounded by now dark stained glass. On the window was a depiction of the saint surrounded by a multitude of candles. She looked at the cruel irons that were attached to the saint and felt repelled by them. Moving to the stairs she looked back at the shrine once more. She closed her eyes and whispered, "I wish I'd never said that you had no power over me, Jareth… I wish that Toby was safe with you."
There was now abruptly and unexpectedly a change and Sarah became instantly aware of it. The stained glass was struck by an abrupt burst of sunlight. The colors danced and blinded her to her surroundings. Feeling she must be hallucinating, she could have sworn she heard a choir singing off in the distance. She looked down, and she was no longer in the wool coat she'd been wearing. Now she was dressed in a long exquisite off the shoulders gown of what looked like spun moonbeams covered in tiny crystals that were also bursting with color in the burst of sunlight. She was wearing a veil, and it too was crystal encrusted.
Hearing the music she wondered vacantly if it were coming from the above in the church proper. She stood on the stairs, dazed slightly and facing the church. When she took a step up ward she heard a voice calling to her, and cast a gaze over her shoulder.
"Turn back Sarah," the muffled voice said. "Turn back."
She looked back down the stairs, still being bathed in the glow of the stained glass window. Below her stood a man, dressed in a tunic, a sword at his side, and a fencing mask on… but the voice was not right, nor were the words. "You….you're… him…" she said in a confused and bewildered manner. "You're the Goblin King?"
Jareth removed the mask and tossed it aside. "Turn back, before it's too late…" he crooned as he once had. This time he held out a hand to her. "Come Sarah, my… our kingdom needs its queen… as do I."
She hesitated. "Toby…is missing." She whispered. "Stolen away… and I can't find him."
"I shall give back the child to you, come…" He urged.
Sarah turned, moving down the staircase, bathed in the radiant rays of the last vestiges of sunlight. Reaching the bottom she placed her gloved hand into his, and passed though the portal into the Ethereal realm without a qualm. "You heard my wish?"
"Indeed, my love." He stated softly and motioned ahead of them. Standing in a line to witness the joining were Linda and Toby, along with many others. "Come dear, it's time for you and I to be joined…." He looked about. "Hoggle, the Queen's bouquet if you please."
Hoggle hobbled forward to present to Sarah an arm full of many different varieties of white lilies, all tied together with the green ribbons from Sarah's hair that Jareth had taken.
Sarah looked at him, "My ribbons."
"Today, I will receive the kiss that is exchanged," he stated leading her toward the robed man standing in the King's Chapel. "I told you I'd give you back your ribbons."
"Jareth," she paused, "Are you sure…"
"I was always sure…"He patted her hand. "Come darling', the Arch Druid is waiting. Accroches-toi a ton reve." He winked.
Thinking quickly and blushing Sarah whispered back. "Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"
Triumphantly the King growled. "C'est Si Bon, mon cheri."
Daisy turned to Della with a serene smile. "I love a happy ending," she cooed watching the ray of sunlight slowly vanish.
"Yeah, me too," Della admitted as the glamour that they had woven disappeared. "Makes being a muse a really great job, don't it?"
"The best!" Daisy said spinning about happily. "Where to next? Who do we get to help next?" she asked as Della directed her steps.
"What and ruin the surprise?"
Randal shook, he cried out as the sun set, and he was once more reduced to his Jinn form. "No!" The Siren had collapsed on the balcony, outstretched and unconscious. The Jinn looked at her with disgust and decided to leave her there to her fate and make a run for it.
"Going somewhere?" a voice filled the room, and the Jinn cowered. Keaghan appeared in his hands was an amber vessel, he pulled the topper off and ordered the Jinn to return to his bottle. The helpless jinn screamed as he vaporized and the smoke headed toward the amber that would once more act as his prison. The stopper was replaced in the bottle and the Fae King placed it on the table before moving to the fading form of the siren. "What was once liquid must now return," he intoned as the woman also became vapor the rose off the surface. Keaghan removed another bottle of amber and sent the liquid in vapor form into it as well. Carefully closing the lid he placed it and the one containing the jinn into his pocket. His bargain with the Goblin King complete, he opened a portal and moved through the mists to where he would join the celebration of the marriage of the Goblin King to his Queen. He moved to Linda's side and held her close as the vows were exchanged.
"I Jareth take thee Sarah, as my wife, and my queen… for your will is as strong as mine, and your Kingdom is as great…."
Let us say… not the end…but only
I would like to thank everyone who read,
Everyone who reviewed.
And most of all Coquettishness.
Without whom this work could not exist.