Chapter 26, epilogue
Battered, bruised, and bandaged, Hattie's staff refused the offer of the Goblin King to heal their wounds. Instead they chose to wear the scars of battle with nobility. They brought broth and drink to the family as it returned to the house and treated the King with respect but weariness.
Beau refused to allow Lizzie out of his arms, and now sat on a chase lounge with his beloved. "I will speak to your father," he assured her. "How do you feel about a June wedding?"
Lizzie rolled her eyes, "I graduate in June," she reminded him.
"I have never liked the idea of long engagements, Char." He quipped.
Sarah sipped a cup of mint tea, and watched quietly. Kristy seated beside Sarah also watched with pleased eyes.
Lizzie looked over at Hattie, "A little help; please."
Hattie stood by the mantle; she'd been looking at the portrait of Jolie, "I'm afraid I'm on Beau's side, Char. I cannot wait for you to be my daughter in law!"
Artemis looked with some melancholy at the face of the man looking down before turning his eyes to the woman; "My congratulations, my dear." Hattie didn't seem to hear him; she was looking at the young couple and remembering a time long ago. Burying the disappointment and regrets, he looked at the King who was watching Sarah. "Sire, I feel a great need to return home…."
"Yes," Jareth nodded distractedly. "With the dangers in our own kingdom abated, it's time to end this little spring break." He moved toward Beau, "I approve your choice of wife," he said simply. "Send me my invention and blessings on you both."
Beau smiled up happily as he enfolded his beloved. "We thank you, Uncle."
Lizzie rested her head on Beau's shoulder behind her. "Yes, thank you … Uncle."
Moving to Hattie he took the long slender hands into his own. "My dear," he said before planting a kiss on the offered cheek. "Be well… if you need me…"
"I'll call," she promised.
Jareth looked at Kristy and Sarah, "Ladies," he bowed to the both before turning to exit.
"Hold it right there, hot stuff!" Sarah gruffly said in so quite a tone that it was almost not heard. Jareth turned sideways to look her way, "Yeah you," she said rising from the chair. "We need to talk," she motioned to the garden.
"Sarah, there is no time," he offered apolitically.
"Make time," she demanded as the door flew open upon her approach.
She had not move her hand, had not touched the door and yet it had opened. Jareth cleared his throat and looked at the assembled group in the room. "Excuse us," he said following the dark haired girl out to the veranda.
Hoggle slapped a hand to his face, "Is she crazy, she was free and clear."
"Hardly," sighed Artemis.
Hattie moved toward him with a cup of tea, "When next do you plan to visit our fair city?"
Surprised, stunned and too pleased, he accepted the cup, "Soon, if that's alright."
"You will call, won't you?" she asked pleasantly.
Hopeful and full of joy the goblin scholar sipped the cup of tea.
Jareth moved out of the house, once more in the glamour of a Southern gentleman. "You wish to have words, Char?"
Sarah leaned on the post that rose from the floor to the roof. "Char," she addressed him more intimately than she'd ever dared. "I know you have to return to your… kingdom," she was choosing the words carefully. "I also know that I'm not ready to go with you… not just yet."
"No, you're not." He admitted moving toward her, glidingly as if on ice. Gently he braced himself on one arm, poised on the very post she was leaning on. "Sarah." He said her name gently, caressingly.
"Jareth," she whispered back.
"We have an understanding," he asked with eyes dancing merrily.
"We have," she assured him.
His eyes traced every inch of her face, before staring at the one object that he most desired. "Care to seal the bargain?" Sarah raised her head, closed her eyes and offered her lips to the King. Softly he placed his lips upon hers, sealing for all time the bargain made. With the arrangement sealed he felt the pull of his kingdom and vanished gently from the world of man. Sarah opened her eyes, "Au Revoir, Char." She said gently before going back into the Bodine house. Somewhere in the distance she could hear the sounds of music, joyful and jubilant. The reverie of hundreds of goblins, and the words… "You remind me of the babe…" Sarah smiled to herself.