What's a dance between old friends?
Sarah sat on a chair at the party, looking out among the other masked party-goers who wove themselves amongst each other. It was a heart-wrenching scene, even though she knew it was merely a dream. She'd never been one for masquerades, especially after that escapade when she was fifteen. It had been many years and many heart-breaking relationships since then.
She tried to be the kind of girl who was fun to date, but as she had grown older, she grew tired of the question that always came up at the end of the night. 'My place, or yours?'
It didn't matter the date number, what she ordered for dinner, or even if she simply viewed the man as a friend, they always thought that by the end of the night she'd be so enamored with them that she'd try to jump in the sack with them.
She wasn't that hard up for a good time.
One such dismal date had occurred that very evening, leaving her feeling bruised afterwards. It wasn't as though she truly had any emotional attachment to these men. She never dated them long enough to feel more than a faint attraction, and their disregard for her self-respect usually killed that before the night was out.
She'd returned home, nearly in tears, closing and locking the door before retreating to the bathroom to scrub her mouth furiously. Finally, when she'd gotten into the shower, she'd let her tears go, sobbing into her hands. Truth be told, she hadn't felt more than a passing attraction for a man since she was fifteen. She'd met the man of her dreams then. Cunning, frightening, beautiful, and yet...he never touched her, except for in her peach-induced hallucination.
Perhaps the fact that she'd thought about him that night, something she'd refused to let herself do for years, which had her sitting in this ballroom, wearing a lovely gown of dark purple, a far cry from the sugar-spun monstrosity she'd worn as a youth. It was silk, with a splash of black lace around the edges. It was a dress suited for a queen, not a foolish little mortal girl who had rejected the only man she'd ever been tempted to accept.
She half expected to see the man who invaded her thoughts that evening playing hide and seek in midnight blue velvet. Yet, she'd seen neither hide nor hair of the Goblin King since she'd begun dreaming. Perhaps he too had decided to sit this one out.
Suddenly, she felt fingers against the back of her neck and the hairs on her arm stood on edge. A tingle worked it's way through her and she couldn't control the shiver that followed. She turned her head, half afraid to look back at him.
"What a surprise..." His voice filled her ears and she closed her eyes as her breath shuddered from her. How long had it been? Fourteen years? Fifteen? Did it even matter? She swallowed reflexively. "Whatever are you doing here, Sarah Williams?"
The way he said her name was like a violating caress. She swallowed hard. "I...I'm not sure." She finally admitted. Don't look, don't look, she told herself, trying to control her responses to the man as his hand trailed down the exposed portion of her shoulder, to the edge of the dresses bodice. She swallowed hard. "Maybe you should tell me?"
"I suppose you're simply ready for this dream," he taunted. "Too bad you didn't accept it when it was first offered, right, Precious?"
She felt tears pierce her eyes and refused to look at him. Her jaw clenched and she stood abruptly, walking away from the man who haunted her. When she'd collected herself enough to not burst into tears from the sight of him, she clenched her jaw, whirling on him.
He was still so beautiful, dressed in black silk. While she was nearing middle age, he was still as perfect as he'd been when she'd first set eyes upon him. He hadn't aged, he seemed unchanged, ever the villain. Was she the only one affected by their previous encounter, then? She took a steadying breath and walked back towards him, her eyes hard. "So I should have just taken what you offered and to hell with my baby brother?" She asked calmly. "In case you didn't notice, from the start I said I had to get him back."
He seemed surprised at this turn of events. Then, his lips turned into a pointed, predatory smile. "Ah, for a moment I thought you were going to burst into tears and wail about it not being fair."
She clenched her jaw. "What do you want Jareth?" She finally managed, trying to ignore the thrill of pleasure from speaking his name.
His brows shot up when she did so, and she didn't bother to suppress the pleasure she felt from shocking the Goblin King. He inclined his head to the side, moving towards her. He held out a hand and she felt a shiver of apprehension when she noticed that he wasn't wearing gloves. "Just a dance, Precious. What's a dance between...old friends?" His tone mocked them both.
She felt herself grow weak and she lowered her gaze a bit. A soft sigh escaped her and she stepped forward, setting her hand upon his. "I would hardly call what you attempted last time 'making friends'."
He smirked, shrugging in a cavalier manner. "Yes, yes, I know. What a dastardly villain I am."
She glared at him. "Yes. Yes, you are, and your enjoyment of that fact is both annoying and intensely frustrating."
"Darling, I can hardly deal with your frustrations here."
She went very still, and he hadn't even pulled her in for the dance. She looked up at his face and saw amusement there. She lowered her face when she felt the familiar itch beginning. "You wont be dealing with any such frustrations at all, so I suppose that's for the best." She said coldly.
His bare hand lifted her face and she found a confused look on his face. "Sarah, why do you look like you're trying not to cry?" He asked quietly. He pulled her against his body, as though her resistance was completely unnoticed.
She wanted to look away, but one arm was wrapped snuggly at her waist, and his other held her chin still so all she could do was avert her eyes from his baffled expression. She ground her teeth together, refusing to answer him. She had no reason to explain herself to him. He didn't need to know her history. All the magic of the evening had been killed by those few words.
She felt him release her face and would have tried to step back, the hand which had held her chin moved and clasped his other behind her back, dragging her flush against his body. She didn't look at him, even as her body went into overdrive from the contact. "I think I'd like to wake up, now." She said quietly. She tried to break away from him when he sighed, placing a kiss softly upon the bare skin of her shoulder, close to her neck. She went very still, eyes going wide.
"If you will give me this one dance, Precious, you may wake and never worry about me finding my way into one of your dreams or vice versa ever again."
She squeezed her eyes shut, biting her lip hard. She stepped back, putting a little space between them and lifted her hand, in proper waltz position. She saw amused exasperation in his gaze and his bare hand slid up her side slowly, causing her body to become hyper-sensitive to his touch, and her insides to tie themselves into vicious knots. When his hand finally wrapped carefully around her own, he began turning her on the floor.
Once again, as they danced, she found herself unable to look away from his achingly perfect face. His own seemed to wander over her face, not with disgust, but rather as though he were intrigued with the changes. "You've grown into a lovely woman, Sarah." He said quietly. He pulled her closer, the hand which held hers relocating it to his chest, over his heart.
She felt her breath hitch in her throat and she stared up at him. "Jareth..."
"Just relax, darling. You needn't fear that I will prove myself the same as those foolish males from your world." He said softly. "I saw you crying this evening. My earlier words were in jest, nothing more. When and if you are ever in my bed, I would have it be your own desire that put you there." He caught her chin with his hand, tilting her face up, looking down at her. "You'll wake soon."
She watched him lean towards her and her throat closed completely, even as his lips drew close. She felt the warmth of his breath on her face and then his lips brushed tenderly against her own. She felt herself leaving the dream and clung to his shirt, tears of frustration filling her eyes. "I want to see you again." She whispered against his lips. "Even if it's just like this."
Those lips curled into a smirk against her own mouth. "Darling, I've always been in your dreams. As long as I am, you'll be able to call me here."
She hesitated. "What about in my life? What if I want to see you in my life?!"
He pulled back, looking down at her, as though gaging her honesty. Then, his lips turned up into a broad smile. "I'll see what I can do, Precious." He leaned down, kissing her again, even as he peeled her hands free of his shirt. "It's time to wake up, sweet Sarah..."
She opened her eyes, staring up at the ceiling, startled to find tears wetting her face. She took a shuddering breath, reaching up and brushing the tears from her cheeks. She gave a faint smile, half-glaring at the little figurine which stood on her desk. "Thanks, Jareth." She said softly.
Sarah sat at the office party, wearing a wine-colored suit and rose blouse, ignoring the leering men, her mind on another party which was similar, but not the same. The music here was decidedly more modern, the dancers less graceful, the spectacle less debauched, but it still brought a certain royal pain in her heart to mind.
It had been more than a week since she'd had that dream. In hopes that Jareth might actually make an appearance in her life, she'd told her last date that she couldn't see him anymore. That man actually stood not far away, still glaring over at her. They were never happy about being dumped. Still, at this point, if there was a chance of her having, quite literally, the man of her dreams-
A finger trailed along the back of her neck, causing a tingle that led to a shiver. Her eyes widened and she kept her eyes facing forward, unable to believe it fully. Lips moved close to her ear. "Surprise, Precious."
She twisted her torso, looking up at him, finding mis-matched eyes looking down at her. He wore a black suit and crisp white shirt, a burgundy tie hanging down his chest. His normally wild hair had been brushed back and secured into a ponytail. Her breath caught. "You...wear Aboveground surprisingly well."
"I could say the same about you and Underground." He teased lightly. He offered her his hand. "Can I have this dance?"
Her lips curled into a smile. "What's a dance between old...friends?" she agreed, setting her hand in his own.
His ever present smirk gave way to a smile and he tilted his head back and laughed. Sarah allowed herself a chuckle as well, even as his arms snaked around her waist and he pulled her close, kissing her firmly on the lips. "Well, then precious, lets see if I can't change my status."