AN: Hi, everybody, it's been a while. I wanted to inform you all that, while this tory will continue to be updated on my profile, so as not to cause confusion, I will be taking a backseat to writing it, taking the place of beta, starting with this chapter. I mentioned that I wasn't sure I could continue to write it and so I put it up for adoption and The masked romantic contacted me. I'm pleased to say that the story will be finished and is doing a wonderful job in keeping with what I had originally planned, even without much input from me. That being said, I don't know how often it will be updated, but at least it will get finished, right?
Chapter nineteen: Remembrance of the past
"Which way?" Jareth asked as we were coming up to another fork, having to go left or right.
Closing my eyes and focusing on Sarah, I spoke instinctively "Left." I decided to keep my focus on her for a moment longer to see if I could pick up anything. "How do you know of Raiko and what his abilities are? Have you just heard of him or do you know him personally?" I asked as I gave up, not getting anything from her while curiosity got the best of me, like it usually did.
As the memories continued to press insistently against my mind, I couldn't help but let out a deep sigh.
"Unfortunately...I know him personally," I spat. "In a sense, we kind of grew up together, along with Felicity."
"She was my sister." I grimaced, the memories refusing to be held off any longer. I shook my head to clear it slightly. Now wasn't the time for dwelling in the past. "Anyways, the three of us would play together, while our parents had meetings regarding relations between the two kingdoms. We quickly build a friendship and I looked up to him as an older brother. You already know he is from the Kingdom of the Dark Elves, a evil and horrid place. No one could have guessed it, though, when he was younger. Back then he was actually a good and kind person, charming and charismatic.
"As Raiko grew into adulthood, the dark evil that lingered within his kingdom slowly took him over. Making him lose who he once was. Felicity was expected to be the next ruler of the Goblin Kingdom, because she was older than I. I became the new heir simply because I beat the Labyrinth faster than her."
"So who ever completed it in shortest time became heir? Doesn't age factor in at all?" She asked her voice full of wonder and curiosity.
"Correct on the first, and as for age, it means little to us here. Mainly because a person's age doesn't determine much, all it means is it's another year added on. It is just assumed that the eldest child will be faster than their siblings, because they're groomed for it. A child cannot run the labyrinth until their fifteen hundredth year. Which would translate to fifteen years old in above ground years. We both completed her, obviously, but I was the one who did it in less time. Making myself the rightful heir.
"I often wonder to myself, if I had been slower, would she still be alive? Part of me wishes I had, but then again if I did, I would have never met my Sarah." I mused, mostly to myself.
"So wait, he killed her? But why? Wouldn't he want to take you down?"
I rolled my eyes, hoping to dissuade her from the painful subject, "So full of questions, aren't we?"
"Yes, did you expect anything else?"
"No" I answered honestly before continuing, "He murdered her because she became useless to him. I will get to that part momentarily. You see, Felicity and Raiko had taken a liking to each other early on, more or less beginning as a crush. When she came of age to run the Labyrinth, and beat her, Raiko took even more of an interest in my sister, planning to use her to gain control of the Labyrinth, to become King, I presume. They began to court—date, I believe it's called above- after that day. Which lasted a full hundred years until I turned the proper age and bested her time.
"Felicity was proud of me for besting her time, and never thought it would be a problem, for she thought that Raiko loved her. As he claimed he did. She thought that they could go on with their lives together easier if she didn't have the responsibilities of queen, that they would be happier, she of course had no idea of what he truly wanted her for. Had no idea that her intended future was the only reason he 'loved' her. The man never knew the meaning of the word.
"I might have been young but I could tell when something was wrong, and usually I was correct. I quickly and easily suspected Raiko was the culprit behind it all. Often was I around when he'd come to see my sister, I don't know if he knew that or not but I think I can safely say he didn't or at least at first. She would get this disturbing, loving gaze in her eyes whenever he would speak to her. When he touched or looked at her, the look she gave would deepen, turning into one that could resemble desire. I was never able to gather my proof until one day, when he came over and asked my sister to take a walk with him through the palace gardens. In secret I followed them.
"I watched helplessly as she fell right into his trap, not even realizing it...he begun touching and kissing her in a seductively. I waited for my proof, to take it to my parents, waited for him to command her or something, anything. When she was completely under his spell, completely helpless, I got my proof...she started to scream, a horrible, painful scream. Within seconds, she was gone and I hadn't even had time to move from my hiding place. That's how I learned what his abilities were, and how he used them. He was never brought up on it, because it could never be proven that he was indeed the one to kill her, so they had to set him free. The same thing occurred more than just the once and yet no proof could be found."
I took in another deep breath and looked up to the stone cold ceiling as I tried to think. There had to be a way to pry more information out of Raiko. Regardless of the consequences, I need to try. Jareth and Leslie needed me to try. Come on Sarah, you can do this. After all, how hard could it possibly be? He's believing your act as it is, I coached myself silently. Then the perfect idea hit me.
"Raiko?" Was all I was able to get out before he held a hand up to cut me off.
"Hush Sarah, no more questions remember? I'll keep you safe from him and that's all you need to know for now, my love." Raiko said back to me, just before taking his hand and gently sliding it across my jaw line.
Oh, how badly my hand itched to slap him with all my might, and yell at the top of my lungs. 'Jareth is twice the man you'll ever be, and he is the first and only man to own my heart you sick freak!' Instead, I bit my tongue and allowed him to do what he pleased as I pretended to enjoy it...for the time being at least.
I plastered on a smile "Raiko don't I deserve to know the whole truth? It's the least you could do, especially after lying to me before. All I want is to have my questions answered." This wasn't going to be easy, but who knew, since I'd managed to fool him so far.
"No" was the only reply I received from him, pissing me off, but it was only seconds later that I heard him sigh heavily. "Look Sarah, I'm sorry to be so harsh on you. I don't mean to be. It's just that I need to focus on how to keep you safe from that monster of a King. If and when he arrives."
I could easily tell that his apology was false and forced though, mainly because I knew most of it was a lie. He was nearly as good at acting as I was. Still playing my role, I replied in a really innocent voice, resisting the urge to bat my eyelashes like they do in ridiculous sitcoms, "I do understand, but I need to know. Do you have any idea how terrifying it is, not knowing? You seem like a good man." Yeah right, I thought as I had to hold back the deep urge to gag at my own words.
Raiko gave me a slight grin, then, and a heated look that would normally send any girl to their knees. Even though it disgusted me, it still brought a strange sensation through my body. One I couldn't understand, pleasurable yet sickening at the same time and it sent a shiver down my spine, that I couldn't place the cause of. Raiko clearly noticed, for he came closer and with his hand he brushed my arm all the way down. Oh God what's happening to me? Come on, Sarah, you can do this, be strong and try to file this away for another time.
I smiled real sweetly and continued, "Surely you must understand?"
He chuckled giving me a knowing look, "Oh I understand, Sarah...hmm...are you quite alright?" He asked while raising a brow "Your cheeks are turning red, my dear."
"Yes, I'm fine" I immediately lied. I had the feeling he knew exactly what he was doing and even had control over my reactions to some extent, "It's just super hot in here...all of a sudden."
Smiling like this was the reaction he wanted, he yet again he placed his arm around my shoulder, "Come dear, sit down and relax."
"No, I don't want to relax." My anger was boiling, even though I couldn't show it to its full extent. I decided that I could show just a bit of it. If I didn't, I might lose my temper and get myself killed. "Although what I do want is answers and I would like them now," I continued as I removed his arm and crossed mine over my chest. I got up and walked across the room, leaning against the stone, cold wall. To my surprise, it actually felt good, even dressed as lightly as I was.
"Later Sarah...I promise but-"
"No buts, Raiko, please," I cut him off, softening my voice with the last word, so it didn't sound like a demand. I could see his anger rising at my refusal to listen.
Did I care? Not entirely, no, but something, deep inside of me, was saying that I should at least pay attention and be careful.
"Sarah..." He warned in a low voice, any lower and it could have been called a growl. He stalked over towards me and my eyes grew wide, before I could stop them.
As he reached up and caressed the side of my face, the feeling returned, with even more force. He stopped and left his hand there, cupping my face in a loving way, a way that made me think of Jareth.
Raiko was lowering his head slowly, oh my God, is he going to kiss me? My body was frozen in place, against my knee-jerk reaction to flee. I could barely breathe, let alone talk or run!
His lips only a breath away from mine, closing the gap between us.
Softly, he kissed me.
His lips were still on mine when his eyes grew wide. Suddenly, he backed quickly away, letting out a low, pained scream. Closer to a girlish shriek, really, my mind provided waspishly as he began muttering something under his breath, so low that I couldn't make out what he was saying.
When Raiko turned back toward me, his face was a mask of rage and pain. I could see then what had made him back away.
Black...his lips, they were burnt black! Like charcoal. A part of me smirked, reminding me of Jareth, even as outwardly, my eyes simply widened in shock.
"You little bitch!" He yelled at me, then he suddenly paused. Then, terrifyingly, he chuckled, "You've been lying this whole damn time! Oh, you will pay for this, you conniving little bitch! I'll make you pay, and Jareth will feel every bit of it. He will remember what it means to take what is mine!"
AN: I don't know for sure when the next chapter will be up, but this story will be finished. thank you so much, to those of you who are still around and a huge thank you once again, to The Masked Romantic, for this chapter and willingness to put up with my erratic replies and attachment to this story.