Disclaimer: Only the crazy voices in my head belong to me. This little tale was created for entertainment purposes only; no copyright infringement is intended.
Rating: T (for dirty song lyrics, sensuality, and a few words that should not be uttered in polite company)

A/N: So, I'm newish to the fandom (not new to Labyrinth love, though), and I've only read about 250,000 of the million Labyrinth fics there are. So, if you more seasoned members of the fandom see similarities between this tale and another story I have yet to read, please know that the likeness is utterly unintentional, and I offer profuse apologies.

I'm pretty sure I'm nowhere near the first Laby-fan to come up with this plot bunny. Chances are pretty high that you've read a story like this before (even if I haven't yet). I just hope my take on it is entertaining enough for you to keep reading anyway.

Special thanks to my beta, Lady Kurina!


Blind Date


Sarah opened her door, took one look at the mismatched eyes and unkempt blond hair before she slammed it shut again without comment. She walked over to her phone, dialed her best friend, and waited while it rang, gripping the receiver so tightly that her hand began to ache.

"Come on, come on. Pick up, Tracy!" Sarah ignored the knock at the door.

Finally, Sarah heard her friend's familiar voice. "Hello!"

"Tracy, you have some explaining to do!" Sarah said without preamble.

"…the Pritchard residence. We're not able to come to the phone at this time…"

It was the answering machine. Sarah groaned as it rambled on.

"…a message after the tone, we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Oh, and if this is Sarah. Get over yourself and just go on the date."

Sarah almost threw the phone across the room in a fit of frustrated rage. She wanted to hunt Tracy down and strangle her with the phone cord. How dare she? Tracy talked her into a blind date and who shows up at the door? None other than the villain from Sarah's childhood nightmare, that's who!

Somewhere in the middle of her mental tirade, Sarah began to realize just how ridiculous her reaction was. Jareth had been a figment of her own angsty teen imagination, nothing more. Her friend didn't even know about the dream, so how could Tracy know to avoid setting Sarah up with slender, blonde, handsome men with mismatched eyes?

Jareth is not real. Get a grip, Sarah.

There was another knock at the door, and Sarah really wanted to laugh at her crazy behavior, but she couldn't. That dream had been so real, so harrowing, and her nemesis so three-dimensional that an icky foreboding feeling churned her stomach. Oh stop, she berated herself. Even if he was real, he has no power over you, remember?

That final thought cinched the deal. Sarah decided that she was going on this date, and later she would tell Tracy that she only liked brunettes and redheads—which was, of course, a total lie. But she'd be damned if she was going to find another Jareth look-alike on the other side of her door again.

With a deep breath, Sarah opened the door. After her initial shock (and anger), she realized that while the guy was nearly the spitting image of the mythical Goblin King, there were differences. His hair was unruly, but it was short, and the pale brows over his mismatched eyes were not upswept. He wore a simple t-shirt and jeans over a pair of Doc Martens. It was an outfit she was sure Jareth, who personified masculine flamboyance, wouldn't be caught dead in. Besides, the jeans weren't nearly tight enough.

"Sorry," she said, mustering a smile. "I thought you were someone else."

He gave her a lopsided grin. "I'm glad I'm not him."

Sarah blinked. The voice was right, though, right down to the deep tone and British accent. She narrowed her eyes. "What's your name again?"

"I'm sorry, I'm being rude." He offered his hand (which Sarah noticed was not gloved). "I'm Erik Turner. And you're Sarah Williams, right?"

She forced herself to shake his hand. It was warmer than she expected. "Yeah, that's me."

His grin broadened, and it was disarming, unlike the smirks and leers she remembered from Jareth. "Well, if you don't mind my saying so, Tracy's description of you didn't do you justice."

Sarah blushed, and she tried to hide it by saying, "Tracy didn't give me a description of you at all." Or else I would have never agreed to this date, she finished in her head.

Erik shrugged. "I believe that works in my favor. No expectations for me to live up to."

Sarah barked a laugh. You have no idea, buddy. Though, she would be very happy if Erik lived up to none of the expectations she had. She grabbed her purse from the small table by the door. "Shall we?"

"I thought you'd never ask," he said with that crooked smile. He led her down the steps to his car—an old burgundy Volvo. Sarah felt her trepidation begin to lift. There was no way that Jareth would drive a car like this, even if he was masquerading as a mortal.

Erik noticed her staring at the vehicle and gave her an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry that I don't have chariot befitting a lady such as yourself," –he gave her a flourishing bow as he opened the passenger door— "but being a small business owner, I'm not exactly rolling in the money at the moment."

The car's interior was nearly pristine, and Sarah smiled. The resemblances between Erik and the Goblin King were growing farther and farther apart, and that suited her just fine.

"Come, come now, precious thing," Erik murmured as he started the engine.

Suddenly tense, Sarah's eyes snapped to him. "What did you just say?" Her tone was harsher than she intended.

He glanced at her with a confused look. "What? Oh, that." His expression turned sheepish. "I was talking to the car. I've had her since I was a teenager, even shipped her over to the States when I moved here. I find that she starts up better with a little encouragement." He cringed. "Completely oddball, I know. That doesn't make you want to leap from the car, does it?"

Sarah chuckled, feeling her shoulders relax. "No, not at all. It's kind of cute, actually."

Erik blew out an exaggerated sigh. "I can breathe easier now. You've no idea how nervous I am."

Nope, not like Jareth at all. Sarah realized that she had a mental chalkboard keeping a tally of ways that Erik and her old nemesis were alike and unlike. She was quite pleased that the "unlike" hash marks were piling up.

Uncomfortable with the silence that fell between them, Sarah said, "So, you said you're a small business owner, but Tracy told me that you work at her office."

"Ah yes," he replied, not taking his eyes from the road. "I'm really both. Working at the cooperation pays the bills until I get my own little upstart running."

"And what is your little upstart?"

"The internet is growing like mad, and I'm trying to capture a piece of it." Erik glanced at her with a smile, before turning back to his driving. "My business is in granting wishes."

"Wha—what?" Sarah stuttered.

"I mean, not like the fairy godmother," he hastily added. "I'm setting up a website where people can post something that they're wishing for. Others log in, and if they have the means and the desire, they can grant those wishes." Erik looked at her again, as if gauging her reaction. "I plan on having advertisers fund the overhead costs. I'd like to keep it free for the wishers and granters. The idea is completely mental, isn't it? That's what everyone tells me anyway."

Sarah wasn't sure if this revelation fell under the "like" or "unlike" category. She decided to put a hash mark under both, just to be safe. "It's definitely a unique idea."

"Good or bad unique?"

Sarah shrugged. "I guess it depends on whether or not it works."

Erik laughed. "A very diplomatic answer. Thanks for not saying outright that it's utter rubbish."

"No, no, no." Sarah shook her head. "That's not what I meant. It's an unusual idea, but it could work." She studied him, noting how he lacked the arrogant confidence that his doppelganger had.

As they pulled into a parking lot, Erik said, "I hope you like Italian. I found this hole-in-the-wall restaurant, and I can't seem to get enough of it."

"I love Italian!" Sarah didn't mean to sound so enthusiastic, but the weirdness of the situation had thrown her off her game—not that she was always cool, calm and collected around attractive men.

"That's a win for me, I think." He started to open his door, but turned to her. "Now you are going to stay put, right? And let me be chivalrous? I'll not have you reporting back to Tracy that I was anything but a gentleman." His tone was light, but it still hinted of a commanding personality hidden beneath the laid-back exterior. Or was Sarah merely projecting Jareth's persona onto him?

For a moment she considered asking Erik to take her home. She was getting a headache trying to figure him out. Stop jumping at shadows, girl. Jareth isn't real. "If you want be a gentlemen, then far be it from me to stop you," she replied.

He flashed a brilliant smile, devoid of pointed teeth, before practically bounding out of the car. It was very un-Jareth, and Sarah grinned in spite of herself.

The restaurant was small and loud. The owner greeted Erik like an old friend, pulling him into a tight embrace and slapping him hard on the back. Sarah kept her distance, not wanting to be on the receiving end of one of those hugs.

"Ah, Erik!" bellowed the portly man. "Who is this bella donna you bring to my humble establishment?"

Erik placed his hand at the small of Sarah's back as he introduced her. "This is the lovely Sarah Williams who has deigned to spend the evening one so humble as myself."

"Lady Sarah," the owner said with a bow, "I am so pleased that you are here. I am Carlo Mancini. Once you take a bite of my cooking, you will never eat anywhere again!"

~o0O0o~

Carlo hadn't been exaggerating. Sarah enjoyed every bit of her meal, and the conversation wasn't half-bad either. The hash marks under the "definitely not the Goblin King" side of her mental chalkboard were piling up, and she found herself having a good time with Erik. He seemed genuinely interested in her work as an illustrator, and he made her laugh with stories from his work—stories that often featured him as the hapless victim of ridiculous circumstances.

Nope. He was nothing like Jareth at all.

Erik gave her his one-sided grin as they ate their tiramisu. It was charming in the G-rated Disney romance kind of way. "I'm pleased to know we've made it this far without the dreaded blind-date disaster."

Sarah raised her brows. "Oh? And what kind of disaster normally befalls you when you go on blind dates?"

"I'm not sure you were planning on this date lasting all night," he said, his grin turning rueful, "but if you truly are demanding a recap of every less-than-pleasant blind date I've had over the years…"

"No, that's okay." She laughed. "Although, I wouldn't mind a few highlights."

"Morbid curiosity, is it?" Erik winked. "I'll make a bargain with you—tit for tat, if you will. For every harrowing tale from the realm of dating I share, I expect one in return from you. What say you?"

Sarah grinned. "It's a deal. You first."

Erik shook his head. "Oh no. I'm a gentleman, remember? Ladies first."

"Fine." She rolled her eyes. "Let's see. I'd been interested in a guy for a while—he used to work for my publisher. One day, he finally asks me out. Just before the date, he called and asked if I could drive. That probably should have been my first clue."

Erik leaned forward and rested his chin on his hands. "Do tell."

"He directs me to the fanciest restaurant in the city, so I'm thinking he's not so bad after all. He orders a bottle of wine—not the cheap kind either, and we dig into dinner. It was good, really good. The conversation, on the other hand, not so much. I mean, he was nice enough, but we weren't really clicking."

"I hate it when that happens." Erik nodded.

"At the end the waiter brings the check, and my date says, 'Do you mind?' At first, I thought he wanted to split the check—which I was okay with, since we were definitely not making a love connection." Sarah shook her head. "No, he wants me to pay for it all. Says he left his wallet at home. The bottle of wine alone cost two hundred bucks! But it gets better."

Erik snorted. "I can't wait to hear this."

"When I dropped him off, he said we should do it again sometime." Sarah scrunched her nose. "And he tried to kiss me!"

"Pish!" Erik waved his hand. "That happens to me all the time. My dates always want me to drive, expect me to pay for dinner and then try to wriggle a smooch out of me when it's all said and done."

Sarah laughed. "I never thought of it that way before. But at least, you know from the get-go that you'll be footing the bill."

"Very true." Erik flashed a wry grin. "I suppose it's up to me to best your story. And I believe I am up to the task."

Sarah mimicked his earlier posture, leaning forward on her elbows. "Do tell," she said, imitating his accent.

He raised a brow. "Now that, my dear, was utterly charming." He held up his hand with a dramatic sigh. "But no! I must not be distracted by your wiles! I am determined to beat you at this game."

"Oh, so this is a game?"

"I adore games." Erik's grinned turned into a smirk, the image of Jareth popped into Sarah's head. Erik frowned at the sudden change in her expression. "Does that put you off? You seem quite disturbed."

"No, it's just…" Sarah shook her head.

"Ah, let me guess," he said. "I just reminded you of that other, nameless fellow?"

She nodded with a wince.

"Surely not the same man who made you pay for a two hundred bottle of wine?"

"No, not that guy." Sarah waved her hands. "I don't want to talk about him. You were about to try to one-up me on the bad dating experiences." She smiled. "I have my doubts."

Erik studied her for a moment, as if he was going to pursue the topic of his doppelganger. To Sarah's relief, he said, "If you insist. Have you ever set your date on fire?"

She leaned back in her chair and chuckled. "This ought to be good."

"Not for me, unfortunately." Erik's expression became pained. "I was in Los Angeles a few years ago, and beach parties are all the rave out there. All of them end the same, with the ceremonial bonfire and roasted marshmallows. I fancied a girl, and it only took six months for me to work up the courage to ask her out. I decided taking her to a friend's party was fairly safe. Less pressure on me to be debonair, you know?"

Sarah shrugged. "I don't know. I think you're doing just fine on your own here."

"All those elocution lessons and years in charm school have finally paid off, it seems." He waggled his eyebrows, and Sarah laughed. "Back to my tale of woe, however… Most of the party went off without a hitch, and I believed that my chances for a second date were looking fairly high. The bonfire started, and soon everyone had their marshmallows hovering over the blaze."

"So where did your flaming marshmallow make contact on your date?" Sarah asked.

"So impatient, Sarah," he said, laughing. "If you must know, it was her hair. Apparently she was fond of hairspray."

"No!" Sarah brought her hands to her mouth.

"Sadly, yes." He sighed. "And to top the evening off, I put the flames out by beating her with a blanket. Fortunately, she really was only a bit singed—lost only a few inches of her long locks. Needless to say, I did not get that second date. I haven't been able to look at a marshmallow since."

Sarah guffawed. In her mind, she saw the image of some poor woman's hair going up in flames and Erik whapping her with a blanket. "Oh that was good. That was really good."

"Care to top that one?"

Sarah wiped her eyes. "I don't know if I have anything better. I did go out with a guy who halfway through the date told me he was Batman. And he believed it. He asked me if I wanted to see his bat cave."

"Oh damn." Erik made a disappointed face. "And here I was all set to tell you that I'm really a great sorcerer with my own kingdom."

Sarah's stomach dropped, her icky foreboding feeling kicked into high gear again. She narrowed her eyes at him.

"Egads, Sarah!" Erik furrowed his brow. "I'm not serious." He ran his hand through his hair, disheveling it further. "Wow. That joke was a universal flop. I'll make a mental note to avoid using it again the future."

Sarah tried to smile. Jareth isn't real. Jareth isn't real. Was she really going to throw away what was turning out to be a pretty good date over some stupid adolescent nightmare? Still, she put a few extra hash marks under the "Maybe he's Jareth in disguise" category.

"Perhaps we need a change of venue," Erik said, invading her thoughts. "Or have I already botched things too badly?"

"What do you have in mind?" She still felt a little unsettled.

"Someplace public, I assure you." He grinned. "I'd like to see if I can get your laugh back."

~o0O0o~

The public place was a karaoke bar. When Sarah balked, Erik promised her that he had no intention of making her sing.

"Just think of how fun it will be to snicker at the hapless souls on stage," he said as he ushered her toward the door.

He was right. Twenty minutes in, Sarah was banging her fist on the table, shaking with laughter, as some Michael Jackson wannabe was trying to moonwalk while singing "Beat It" off-key. It was so bad, it was good. Sarah told Erik that she couldn't get drunk enough to embarrass herself like that. He laughed.

"And now, we're moving onto to my favorite part of the evening," the DJ announced, "where I get to pick the songs." He picked up a clipboard. "Our next victim is Erik Turner!"

Sarah turned to her date. "Does he mean you?"

Erik raised his brows and shrugged. "I guess I have fewer inhibitions than you." He stood up. "Now, I expect a thorough critique of my performance—especially one that ends with you lauding my musical abilities. Barring that, mocking is acceptable."

Sarah chuckled as he made his way to the stage. She wondered what song the DJ would inflict on him. She also wondered if he could sing. He did have a nice voice. Like someone else. Sarah stifled that thought.

Erik threw her a sheepish grin as he took the microphone. He glanced at the small television and his eyes widened. "You can't be serious!" he exclaimed, turning to the DJ.

The other man shrugged.

"Sarah love, this one is for you," Erik said into the microphone. "May you look back on this moment with far less mortification than I will."

The music started, a heavy guitar riff and then Erik was singing. "I love myself, I want you to love me. When I'm feeling down, I want you above me…"

Sarah recognized the song and felt her cheeks burning. A part of her noted that Erik did, indeed, sing quite well. Really, really well.

"I don't want anyone else, and when I think about you, I touch myself. I don't want anyone else. Oh no. Oh no…"

Erik caught her eye and made a face before launching into the second verse. "I close my eyes, and see you before me. Think I would die if you were to ignore me. A fool could see just how much I adore you…"

Sarah laughed. He was really getting into it now, and so were others in the bar. People were getting up and dancing, some even singing along with him. He was putting on such a good show, that it was hard for Sarah to remember that he was a computer nerd.

"…don't want anyone else, and when I think about you, I touch myself…"

A drunken woman in the audience yelled, "You can touch me, honey!"

Sarah lost it then. She couldn't breathe, she was laughing so hard. Women were flocking to the stage now; even a few men joined them. Erik stepped back to avoid the sudden onslaught of hands reaching for him, but he didn't miss a beat with the song.

"…I search myself, I want you to find me. I forget myself, I want you to remind me…"

"I'll remind you!" someone exclaimed. Sarah was pretty sure it was a man.

Erik threw his head back for a grand finish. "I want you. I don't want anybody else, and when I think about you, I touch myself. Ooh, oooh, oooooh, aaaaaah."

The crowd went wild. Several were yelling for an encore. Sarah was still laughing too hard to do more than clap. It took Erik several minutes to get through the handsy throng and back to their table.

"I think I was just molested by every soul in this place," he said when he sat down. "I wish I could say it was a pleasant experience."

Sarah snickered. "What do you expect when you sing a song like that?"

He frowned. "As you recall, I had little say in my song choice."

"You didn't have to sing at all." She pointed out.

"What? You expected me to turn away from a challenge?" Erik placed his hand against his chest, pretending to be stunned.

Sarah opened her mouth, but was interrupted when a perky blond sidled up to him.

"Oh my god! You sing soooooo good," she said. Sarah was pretty sure the girl had far surpassed the legal alcohol limit.

"Thank you," Erik replied. "Have a nice evening." He glanced at Sarah and made a gagging expression. Sarah giggled.

"Oh my god! You have the cutest accent!" the blond continued. "Do you, like, come here a lot? Because you totally should!" She was all over him, pressing her busty chest into his shoulder.

Erik scowled and shoved the girl back. "Have you no shame?" he asked in an angry voice. "Or is it intelligence that you lack? It is quite obvious to anyone with working eyes that I'm here with a date." He stood up and towered over her. "And even if I hadn't been, I can assure you that I would not be interested a dim-witted female such as yourself."

The girl glared back at him. "You don't have to be such an asshole about it."

He gave her a flat look, his tone almost haughty as he said, "When it comes to the muck of humanity, I find that I often do."

"Whatever, jerk!" She flipped her hair and walked away.

Sarah stared at Erik with widened eyes.

He turned back to her, and seeing her expression, cringed. "That was terrible of me, wasn't it?" He sat down. "I'm determined to ruin my chances with you, it seems." He put his head in his hands and groaned.

Sarah didn't know what to say—what to think. The girl obviously wasn't getting a clue, and she had enough experience to know that what Erik said was right. Sometimes it took being cruel before someone finally got the message. She'd had to be a bitch in the past, herself, to lose some idiot who wouldn't give up.

Erik's brush-off of the blond wasn't what had disturbed her. It was the way he looked while doing it. His bearing became regal, as if he were royalty being mauled by someone utterly beneath him. During his near tirade, all Sarah saw was the Goblin King.

The moment disappeared, however, as she looked at a very dejected Erik. He couldn't be the same man that had forced her to run the Labyrinth. She wasn't being fair to him, she realized, by being continuously suspicious of him. Jareth didn't exist, and she needed to stop comparing Erik to him.

She patted Erik's arm. "I don't blame you," she said. "She was really stupid."

He looked up and offered Sarah a tentative smile. "Quite." He put his hand over hers. "Though, I think it might be best to take you home before I really foul things up." He leaned forward and continued in a low voice, "I'm hoping for a second date, you know."

Sarah grinned. "It's a distinct possibility."

For a second, she thought his smile turned feral, but when she blinked it was his usual lops-sided grin.

~o0O0o ~

On the ride back to her place, they swapped more bad date stories (Sarah won that round with a date that puked on her head during a trip to the carnival), and discussed what songs Erik could have sung if he had been able to choose (she giggled when he suggested "I'm Too Sexy").

By the time he pulled up in her driveway, Sarah had all but decided she would see Erik again. Alarming similarities to Jareth aside, he really was a funny, engaging guy, and she'd had her fill of bad dates. Why should she let him slip through her fingers just because he was a tad Goblin King-ish. Jareth didn't exist, anyway, right?

Erik helped her out of the car and didn't let go of her hand while he walked her to her door. His hand was warm and soft, and she kind of liked it.

"Did I pass?" he asked as they stood on her porch.

Sarah gave him a sly grin. "I don't know. That song was pretty horrible."

"Drat," he said with mock disappointment. "Foiled by a DJ."

She chuckled. "I had a good time. I might be convinced to repeat the experience."

He waggled his brows. "I'm pleased to hear that."

There was a moment of silence, and Sarah felt a tension grow between them—the pleasant kind that let her know she wouldn't mind a kiss to finish the evening.

As if he read her thoughts, Erik took her face in his hands and leaned down. She shivered just before their lips touched. The kiss was chaste, but it still left her wanting more when he pulled back. He gave her a small smile, and she realized it was rather alluring. There was definitely going to be a second…

He kissed her again before she could finish her thought. This kiss was not chaste. As his mouth moved against hers, she felt a fire ignite in her belly. He pulled her closer to him, nearly pressing the length of his body to her. Sarah gasped, and he took advantage of her open mouth, tracing her lips with his tongue. She wrapped her arms around his neck, using him to anchor herself against the tide of raging want that washed over her.

It was the best first kiss she'd ever experienced. She was pretty sure it was the best first kiss in the history of kissing.

When they pulled apart again, she whispered, "Wow."

Erik didn't reply, he just smiled down at her, looking like he might try to entice her into another lip-lock. And Sarah wouldn't object if he did.

A breeze ruffled Sarah's hair, and she remembered they were on her porch. Still heady from the kiss, she forgot all of her first date rules. "Do you want to come in?" she asked. When he quirked a brow, she added, "For coffee, I mean."

Erik was still smiling. In fact, as she studied his face, she thought the smile looked a little self-satisfied. She brushed it off. He just gave her a damn good kiss. He deserved to gloat a little, didn't he?

"Are you certain you want to do that?" he asked, still holding her close to him.

She gave him a slightly confused expression. Didn't asking him inside imply that she was sure?

"Are you certain you want to invite me into your home?" He pressed.

There was something about the way he asked the question that gave Sarah pause. Was he being a gentleman, one of those no-means-no guys who wouldn't make a move unless they were certain that was what the gal wanted? He seemed to need a clear invite.

It was just coffee. And maybe a little more smooching. Harmless stuff. Although he gave her some unsettling Jareth vibes, Erik did not set off her scary creepo radar.

"Yes," she answered finally. "I'm sure I want to invite you in."

He gave her a broad grin. "Then I accept." He let go of her so she could unlock the door.

As soon as they were inside, he grabbed her and planted his lips over hers again. He picked up where they had left off with the last kiss. Sarah had read the phrase "soul-melting" in stories before but had never experienced it until this moment. Where on earth had Erik learned to kiss like this? Was there a class for this? It was the perfect mix between slow burn and uncontrollable flame.

She felt her back touch the wall, and he pressed up against her. The innocent notion of sharing coffee was pushed from her mind; instead she was plagued with thoughts that involved far less clothing. She tried to cling to reason, to remember that she never, ever slept with someone on a first date, but it was so hard to concentrate, especially when Erik's lips were now on her neck, expertly working her flesh.

Good grief, there had to be a school for that!

"Sarah," Erik whispered as he nipped her earlobe. Her entire body flushed and was covered with goosebumps at once. "I win."

"Mm-mm," she moaned. He wins. Wait. What? She frowned, and pushed him back. "What does that mean?"

His grin was wolfish as he looked down at her. It was very…Jareth.

Understanding dawned on her. "No!" She shoved against him, but he didn't budge. "No! You're not real!"

He laughed. "I assure you, love, that I'm quite real." He traced his finger along her jawline and she tried to turn away, angry that her body continued to react to his touch. "You really should have trusted your instincts, precious. It's too late for that now, of course."

Sarah was reeling. "But everything you said on the date…"

"What, do you think I've never explored the Aboveground before?" He snorted. "You mortals are so easy to imitate."

"Get out!" she yelled, trying to push him away again.

"You invited me in, don't you recall?" He smirked. "I think I'll stay a while."

"You have no power over me." She pounded her fists against his chest.

He captured her hands. "That's not entirely true." He smirked, and if he hadn't been holding her hands, she would have smacked that look right off his face. "Now that you willingly invited me into your home, I can come and go as I please."

"But you tricked me!" She felt a cold fear mix with the still-burning desire in her middle. Damn her body for not getting the message that wanting to get naked with her nemesis was a big, fat no-no!

He cocked his head to the side. "Have I ever played fair, Sarah? You made a willing invitation to me. Whether or not you were aware of my true identity doesn't matter. You said the words to me. Words have power. Haven't you learned that yet?" He leaned down and breathed against her ear, and she shivered. "A kiss is another kind of invitation, precious."

Sarah's eyes widened as her fear spiked. "No." The word came out in a hoarse whisper.

"Yes, Sarah. I won." His lips were at her neck again.

Angry tears leaked from her eyes, even as the desire in her belly radiated to her limbs. She was battling on two fronts, Jareth and her traitorous hormones, and she was winning neither. "Why didn't you just leave me alone?"

He pulled back abruptly. "Why?" His face twisted in fury. "'What no one knew was that the Goblin King had fallen in love with the girl.' That's why!"

Sarah's brain felt slow, but something he said moments ago struck her now. Words have power. Haven't you learned that yet? Words…words… She looked up at him. "I never said you had permission to touch me—kiss or no kiss."

His eyes narrowed. "Still the clever girl, I see. What a pity." He stepped back, releasing her hands. As he did, he transformed into the Goblin King—tight pants, wild hair, gloves, knee-high boots and all. He was more beautiful than she remembered.

Feeling bolder, Sarah said, "And I rescind my invitation for my home. Get out."

His smirk was back. "A worthy, but futile attempt. What's said is said, Sarah, and it cannot be undone. Remember?" He turned and sprawled on the couch. "I rather like it here. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before your intense desire for me overrides your defiant nature."

Screaming, Sarah grabbed the nearest thing she could find (a vase) and threw it at Jareth's head.

He laughed and caught the flying projectile with ease. "Really, Sarah. Is this how you treat all of your houseguests?" he asked, clucking his tongue.

She glared at him. "I'm going to bed." She gave him a wide berth when she passed the couch.

"Do let me know if you need someone to tuck you in, precious," he called after her.

Sarah slammed her door.

She never did forgive Tracy for saddling her with an insufferable new roommate.

~FIN~


UPDATE 5/30/11 - Your offereing was pleasing to my muse, and she decided to be generous! The sequel, "Roommate," can be found in my profile.

Oh, and for the uninitiated, the song that Erik (or Jareth, rather) sings at the karaoke bar is "I Touch Myself" by the Divinyls. Youtube it. I dare you!