Chapter 36 – Just the Start
Sarah sat in front of her mirror brushing her hair and thinking about Jareth. He was at a Council meeting today that she hadn't felt a need to attend, but she missed him. Quite a bit.
She smiled slowly and began to think about caressing his ears, stroking them lightly and then grazing them with her fingernails.
She felt his immediate amusement and acknowledge through their life bond. A life bond between Fae was one thing, but between a Fae and human had been unknown before them, much less a human who was also the Keeper of the Labyrinth. While Fae could share emotions, Jareth could actually feel her mental touch as a physical sensation.
She smiled again more wickedly and imagined running her tongue around the sensitive outer ear and then lightly licking the ear canal itself before nipping the lobe.
Arousal was now intermixed with Jareth's amusement that traveled through the bond and she was surprised he made no effort to block her. He must be bored, she realized and decided to see what she could do to alleviate his boredom as she imagined flicking her tongue against the hollow at the base of his throat while her fingers continued stroking his ears.
His immediate ardent response took her back to the day after her memory returned. They had nearly made passionate love when he stopped them for fear of forming an irrevocable bond without her full consent. The memory of his love and respect that day induced her to send her intense love for him down the bond and she felt him accept and revel in the sensation.
They had talked for hours that night, about his fear at her accident, his concern that she wouldn't remember him and wouldn't accept him; about his realization that he had formed a soul bond to her and how desperately he wanted to create a life bond between them. He had carefully explained how a life bond between Fae permitted them to share emotions with one another and potentially even shared energy and magic. She had found the idea of having someone always aware of you and in your thoughts both intimidating and stirring.
"Precious" he had said "you complete me, you are all I have ever wanted. You hold my heart, for I gave it to your safekeeping. It is yours to do with as you wish, although…" His adoring eyes seemed to tenderly beseech her…" I would request that you treat it rather gently. I will joyfully paint you mornings of gold and spin you Valentine evenings for the rest of our lives if you will be my love, my wife, and my Queen."
Before she could respond, he held a finger to her lips. "Think carefully, Precious. I am not the easiest man; my subjects will tell you that I can be arrogant and demanding, short-tempered and selfish. But you can help me become a better man and a better king. Take at least a week to make your decision, my love." He refused to let her answer him then.
One of her concerns had been the difference in their life spans. He explained that just living in the Underground would significantly extend her life, but brought a Priestess and Healer to examine her and discuss the possibilities about what could be done to ensure that her life was comparable to his own. They were both surprised at the response.
"Your Majesty, My Lady" the priestess had said with a slight obeisance, "the Lady Keeper is already under a life geas, which appears to be tied to you, Sire."
"I don't understand" said Sarah. "A geas? As in Shakespeare's Macbeth? But who would cast a spell or compulsion on me?"
The healer who was examining the couples auras with his Othersight spoke up saying "My Lady, the geas appears to have originated with you and has bound your life to His Majesty's".
Amusement and comprehension flowed down her link from the Labyrinth. "Rin? What do you know?" asked Sarah. The memory of her singing to Jareth flooded her mind.
Sarah's eyes widened in understanding. Looking at Jareth she softly sang "I will love you, build my world around you, never leave you until our lives are done."
He lifted her hand and kissed her fingers. "Precious, in a realm where words have power, if you meant that as you sang them, you bound your life to mine."
She smiled and caressed his cheek. "You may have formed a Fae soul bond, but I also formed a bond."
The priestess cleared her throat. "More than that, My Lady. The geas is between the two of you. I dare say that if one of you suffered what would normally be a fatal wound, the injured party would not die if the other was alive."
The healer blinked, dropping the Othersight and focusing on the couple. "I must concur. I have never seen this type of bonding, but it is intertwined throughout each of you. Your lives are now linked through a powerful geas."
"How would it react with a life bond?" Jareth asked.
"I could not say" replied the Healer. "However, I believe this geas would not hinder and might actually enhance a life bond."
Once the priestess and healer departed, Sarah smiled softly at Jareth and moved closer to press a loving kiss on his lips. "I don't think a week to think things over is going to be necessary, dear heart. We are already bound; everything else is a formality at this point." She looked up at him through her lashes and wrapped her arms around his waist. He smiled down into her eyes, and immediately dipped his head and claimed her lips.
"My Sarah" he murmured.
"Only yours" she agreed.
He brought her to meet with the High King and Queen, finally mentioning that they were his parents. She forgave him the slight deception and even brought her sketches of the ball for Oberon to see. The High King was thrilled with them; he had been without a Royal Artist for decades and thought her drawings were impressive. When Jareth told them about the goblin mural, Oberon began thinking about murals he would like in the High Court.
"I fear you are too well loved, Precious" Jareth murmured to her later as they walked in the garden. "My partner, wife and Queen; the Lady Keeper of the Labyrinth; and if my father has his way, the Royal Artist as well. I am not certain I want to share you so well" he admitted.
"Ah, but I have to share you with all of your kingdom, beloved" she said softly as she caressed his cheek.
"Say it again" he commanded as he kissed her palm and wrist.
"Hmmm?" It was hard to concentrate with his lips caressing her.
"You called me beloved. Say it again" he urged with his lips against her wrist.
"My Beloved" she whispered huskily. "My dearest delight, my heart, my beloved Jareth."
"If we were not in my parent's garden with witnesses all around…" he signed resignedly and tucked her hand in his arm. "We must wed soon, Precious."
"Very soon" she muttered, but smiled when he laughed in delight with the vehemence of her agreement.
When her parents returned from Europe, they stayed with her for several days. They were relieved and grateful to see her how well she had recovered from the accident and spent hours catching up on news that hadn't been covered over the telephone or email.
When Jareth finally arrived and was introduced, he had impressed her father with his firm handshake and open features. Robert decided that if Jareth had earned Sarah's trust, respect and affection, then he was willing to trust his little girl's judgment.
Her stepmother had eyed him with an approving eye as well for he was attractive and well dressed in tasteful black slacks, a black silk shirt and a leather jacket. The fact that he kissed her hand with old world continental charm hadn't hurt either.
Toby was friendly to his sister's fiancé (anyone Sarah liked that much was OK with him), but kept staring at Jareth intently, watching his every movement closely. There was just something about him… He shook his head and shrugged.
While Robert and Karen were out on the balcony enjoying their after dinner coffee as Sarah and Jareth cleaned up, Toby came into the kitchen. "There's more than you're saying, isn't there?" he asked his sister. "I couldn't remember why Jareth looked so familiar, but I haven't seen him on TV or in a movie. I've dreamt of him my whole life. He's the one from the book, isn't he Sarah? He's the Goblin King."
Sarah and Jareth had both been amazed and she had knelt down in front of her brother. "Yes Toby, Jareth is the Goblin King." Toby had looked hard at Jareth and in a confrontational voice demanded to know what he wanted of his sister.
Jareth smiled down at him, admiring the protective spirit. "To have her be my love, my wife, my life's partner and my Queen" he said to the boy.
"But not in this world?" asks Toby. Sarah looked at Jareth in surprise.
"If Sarah accepts my hand in marriage, I hope she will spend most of her time with me" Jareth replied.
"Can I come visit?" Toby asked quietly. "Yes, you would always be welcome. In fact, your parents would also be welcome" Jareth answered wrapping his arm around Sarah's shoulders. "I know your sister would be pleased to have her family with her."
A royal Underground wedding took six months to plan and by the time it arrived, Sarah had attempted to explain Jareth's real nature to Robert and Karen. They didn't believe it until they were transported to the castle a month before the wedding for a weekend visit. They began visiting more often and eventually accepted their offer to live Underground with them. They were delighted to be close when Sarah gave them their first grandchild.
A side effect of Sarah being Keeper of the Labyrinth began manifesting in the Underground when she conceived her first child. Fae women had difficulty conceiving, but whenever Sarah became pregnant, the number of Fae women who also conceived near the same time increased dramatically. The Court began surreptitiously watching Sarah for clues and rumors abounded that when the Lady Keeper began to have a slight luminosity, Fae couples desiring children should begin trying to conceive in earnest.
That may have been why when Jareth began looking a bit strained and glassy-eyed during the Council session as Sarah mentally seduced him, several would-be fathers suggested ending the Council meeting early and hurried home to their own wives.
Jareth returned home to find Sarah soaking in a large bubble-filled tub, the room lit with candles and two wine glasses already filled. She smiled seductively at him and purred "Hello Beloved. Would you care to join me?" He smiled slowly and began removing his clothes, enjoying her sultry and appreciative gaze as he undressed.
He slipped in to the tub behind her, pulling her close and caressing her wet and silky skin. "Have I mentioned today how much I love and cherish you, Precious?"
"I believe you mentioned something about it when I gave you a back rub this morning, my love."
"I am surprised I was coherent enough to be understandable. I think your back rub rendered me somewhat speechless" he said before dipping down to kiss behind her ear. "Of course, you only started with the back" he murmured nipping her ear lobe before moving his lips leisurely down her neck to her shoulder.
She turned her head and reached his ear, running her tongue around the rim before nipping the lobe. "I didn't want any other part of you feeling neglected" she smiled at him. "You're home earlier than I expected. I thought I would have another hour to torture you in the meeting."
"For some reason, about the time I had to stop myself from groaning out loud, every Council member who wants a child decided it was a good time to break." He growled slightly and tipped his head to give her better access to the ear she was nibbling and growled louder as she nipped the tips before licking them and blowing her warm breath across them.
"Mmm" Sarah murmured as his hands found a particularly erogenous zone and she shivered. "Aidan could use a little brother or sister, don't you think? The others are really too old to play with him."
"It is a King's duty to satisfy his Queen" he commented huskily. "If my Queen prefers an even half dozen children, then it is my joy and responsibility to satisfy those wishes, however long it takes."
"Such conscientiousness from such a hard-working King. Keeping his Queen satisfied day after day after day…" Jareth caught his breath at the promise in those words, but replied sensuously "and all through the nights, Precious, and all through the nights" causing her to catch her own breath at the promise his hands and lips were giving.
"Forever isn't going to be long enough, Jareth" she whispered. "Forever was only the start" he assured her.
Thank you for having read the story to its conclusion. I appreciate all the feedback and reviews. I have some ideas for other stories, so you may see something popping up soon.