Sarah found herself standing precariously on the landing below the stairs to the attic. Dazed and confused she moved toward the hall and Toby's room to check on him one last time. Her fingers hesitated at the switch, but she chose to give it a try. The lights flickered on but seemed dim, the little boy lay sleeping peacefully on his bed. Sarah watched for a moment before she turned the light off and retreated.
She was turning off the lights in the parlor when she noticed that the front door was being unlocked and the voices of her father and stepmother were coming into the hall. "How'd it go?" she asked as she joined them.
"Sarah you're still up," her father looked at her with surprise, "I was sure you'd have turned in." he turned to someone behind him. "This is my daughter," he said to the man entering the house. Sarah stared, her mouth agape, her father chuckled, "I told you she'd be shocked to find me representing one of her favorite authors."
Karen cleared her throat, "Sarah," she whispered, "Close your mouth.
The stranger moved forward, "Sarah Williams." He took her hand looking at her with surprise and delight.
"Sarah," her father was saying in a voice she barely recognized. "This is Robin Zaker."
"Robin Zaker," she repeated incredulously.
They stared into each other's eyes, he holding her hand gently. "I understand you're fond of a book I wrote," his tone was pleasant.
"Labyrinth," she nodded.
"Robin would you like a night cap," Robert asked.
"Yes, scotch, neat." He never took his eyes off the girl.
"Sarah," Karen insisted, "It's late."
"Yes," Sarah agreed without moving.
"Bed," Karen said more forcefully.
Still the Englishman refused to relinquish her hand, "I know you…" his voice turned genuinely pleased, "Of course, you're the girl at that dreadful dinner party last year… you were with that actress… what was her name? Lidia?"
"Linda," Sarah supplied, "My mother."
Yes, of course," Robin clasped her hand in both of his, "I've been looking everywhere for you, I had such a lovely conversation with you… you saved me from an evening of tedium." He looked at her shocked parents, "So few young ladies understand classic fairytales," he gazed back at Sarah, "But you did."
Sarah blushed. "My grand mothers', both of them were very big on folklore."
"They were," Karen asked Robert who nodded, "Really."
"I'm so pleased to meet you again; I never did catch her last name at that dinner event, too many people." He smiled over at Robert, "I asked who she was but no one could or would tell me."
"I'm surprised you remembered me," Sarah said feeling her stepmother's gaze. "I really must be off to bed."
"I look forward to seeing you again, Sarah."
"Yes, well…" she extracted her hand, "Good night." Sarah scurried past him and moved to the stairs wondering what in the world Jareth was up to. Hesitating at the top of the stair she paused to try and listen to the conversation below to no avail. Frustrated and annoyed she entered her bedroom leaving the light off. She took a seat on the bed and tried to figure out what that Goblin was up to. An hour later she heard the front door open and close.
Turning she saw her window open by its self, she stood as the barn owl flew in and transformed, "Are you out of your mind," she asked in a hushed voice.
"They can't hear you," Jareth advised as he fully transformed, "I've put a sound spell on this room so we can talk." He looked entirely too pleased with himself.
"I've nothing more to say to you," she claimed defiantly crossing her arms, "We took care of all our business by finishing that bonding so you won't go mad or be forced into bonding with anyone else. So you can just leave."
Mimicking her, he too crossed his arms, "Oh did we now?" he asked in a cocky tone. "I'd say there's still quite a bit of business left between us."
"Such as," she challenged.
"Where to live, how many children to have," he said off the top of his head pleasantly.
"I beg your pardon."
"Sarah," he pursed his lips. "The bonding is a lifelong thing," sauntering forward he explained. "It may take me a couple of years to convince your father, but ah…" he snorted a chuckle, "You and I are…matched."
"Forget it," she turned her back to him.
"Give us a little kiss," he teased in her ear.
"When hell freezes over," she replied.
"I can arrange that," he crooned in her ear.
Glancing sideways at his face, seeing his confident smirk she believed he actually could. "You're going to be such trouble…"
"Count on it, precious."
Here we end yet another short tale from the Goblin Vault.
I hope you enjoyed it…
"You're ending it there?"
"But I didn't get the girl…"
"But nothing was resolved."
"If it weren't your birthday Scribe I'd have you dipped in the bog."
"Yeah yeah, then who would write your tales?"