A/N: Yes, I'm still alive I promise. I really fail at this whole updating in a timely manner thing. I'm still trying! Ever since my Daddy passed away several months ago I've been a bit preoccupied. I am still here though and if it takes me a while in between updates just please bear with me! I appreciate all of your comments! Thank you!
Chapter 2: Surprises
Dumbstruck. That's what she was. Completely and utterly dumbstruck. Sarah knew she must have looked like a complete fool standing there in the presence of his Majesty holding a basket and her mouth hung open but she could not form coherent thought enough to close it. He was actually here, and now she had no earthly idea what to do now that he was.
A slow smile spread across Jareth's face as he witnessed the complete surprise dawn on the young girl's face. He artfully slid the crystal globe between his gloved hands, never taking his eyes off of her. She was beautiful, her dark brown hair down around her shoulders, free of the clasps that had held it up the day prior. Her bright green eyes wide in disbelief. His eyes curiously surveyed her strange attire, dark blue pants of an unknown material and fitted shirt. She wore garments that were deemed as scandalous in the underground but he could not help but appreciate them.
"I am pleased that you managed to find me so quickly." he said in his cool voice.
Sarah swallowed hard, willing her dry mouth to form words so that she did not look like a total moron.
"Goblin King, I'm surprised to see you." she managed, and she was.
Jareth honored her with a rare true smile, flashing his pointed teeth."Well you did request my presence, Precious. Or did you change your mind?"
"No!" she answered a little too quickly, but attempted to recover at the sly look she was rewarded with.
"I mean, I had thought you had changed your mind when you didn't say anything...you know, yesterday…" she trailed off suddenly very interested in the basket she was holding.
Cool leather suddenly caressed her chin and lifted it up. She was surprised to find him so close to her; she hadn't even heard him move. That same sly smile was still on his handsome and foreign face, and she suddenly wished he wasn't standing so close. 'Dear God he can probably hear my pulse.'
"Trust me Precious. I have anything but changed my mind." he said softly.
Sarah blushed and was thankful when he withdrew his hand from her skin. He straightened and eyed the basket she still held onto.
"What is that you have there?" he asked.
"Well, my stepmother kind of sent this for our new neighbor. Stupid, I know." she said.
He smiled and took the basket from her grasp and sifted a gloved hand through the contents.
"How kind. I do appreciate the gesture."
"Wha, wait. You live here?" she asked in disbelief. She was surprised but slightly relieved that he hadn't bogged the new owners just so he could commandeer their backyard – she would not put that past him after all. He withdrew a cookie from the basket and looked at it as though it was the strangest thing he had ever seen.
"Well not permanently obviously. A bit difficult to run a kingdom from above, but it will do for now." he said, taking a small bite of the cookie.
"For now?" she repeated, raising an eyebrow at the delicate way he bit into the morsel.
"Why yes precious. How did you expect me to keep up my end of the deal if I cannot spend any amount of time with you? These are delectable I must say."
Sarah pondered for a moment with her mouth agape. He actually planned to live next door? The Goblin King living next door. Oh that was rich. She could just imagine what the neighbors would think when he came out with his riding crop to get the newspaper.
"How the hell are you going to live here? Do you know how out of place you are going to look?" she began before Jareth slipped a finger over her lips and the rest of her grievance died in her throat.
"You either worry far too much or forget who I am my dear. I do not intend to be out of place. You will be the only person I allow to see me in my true form, should I allow anyone else to see me at all." He said softly, removing his hand from her mouth.
Sarah swallowed deeply. This man had absolutely no regard for personal space. She had the urge to start complaining at him about 'keeping out of her bubble' but she could only imagine the look he would give her. Jareth gave her that same sly smile and glanced over at the bushes near the base of the porch. Within moments two goblins came stumbling from their hiding place and gave their King a sloppy yet eager salute.
"Hi Kingy!" the shorter of the two said gleefully.
Sarah stifled the laugh that threatened to come forth at the annoyed expression on the King's face. He obviously did not enjoy the goblin's sentiment of 'Kingy' very much.
"Creeper, take this and put it in the kitchen. Do not touch anything inside. If I find so much as a claw mark on a single item it will be the bog for you." He ordered, thrusting the basket into the taller goblin's grasp.
The goblin in question gave her a nearly toothless grin and he gripped the basket tightly as though he had been given the world's most important mission.
"Queeny stay a while?"
Sarah bristled at the unexpected nickname the goblin had given her and was about to correct him when Jareth dismissed him.
"That is none of your business Dip. Now get out of my sight before I bog you just to entertain myself."
"Yes Kingy! Bye Queeny!" Creeper said happily before running up the stairs, tripping over Dip and rolling inside the house.
Jareth just rolled his eyes at the commotion and turned back to Sarah.
"Those two leave me with the biggest headache you could possibly imagine." He said, massaging his temples.
Sarah smiled, and took a step back from him.
"I really need to be going, my step mother thinks I am only stopping by to be polite and coming back home straight away." She said, wanting to dismiss herself and take a little time to sort out just how she was feeling.
Jareth made a soft 'tut' sound and raised an eyebrow at her.
"Excusing yourself to the King before he allows your leave is hardly polite where I come from, Precious."
Sarah thought about that for a moment, and suspected it was in poor taste. She had a lot to learn about dealing with monarchs.
"I apologize, I didn't mean to be rude I just don't want my stepmother to worry." She replied.
Jareth turned and offered her his elbow without comment to her complaint and she assumed that she could do nothing else but take it. She slipped her hand in the crook of his proffered arm and she marveled at how toned he felt beneath his thin shirt. 'I wonder if he magically stays in shape or if he actually exercises. ' She thought. Jareth then begin to walk away from the porch and down the path with Sarah in tow.
"In regards to your concern about your stepmother, I think that once again you have forgotten who I am. I am the master of time after all." He commented.
Sarah glanced up from the path to find his strange eyes studying her. She blushed at the intense look his gave her.
"And, your stepmother would hardly find it polite for you to object a King's request for a simple stroll in his garden. Wouldn't you say so?"
Sarah swallowed and looked back down at the path they were taking.
"I guess she would find that impolite." She replied softly.
Jareth's lips curled into a smirk as he watched her. Not nearly as talkative as she had been the day prior, but no less lovely or intriguing. He couldn't decide where her fire had gone for now, but presumed it would be back when she got over the shock of seeing him. Had he known that his decision had surprised her this much he would have come to see her last night. He decided to bask in her temporary compliance; after all she would probably be back to her stubborn and beautiful self presently.
"Um, how do I address you? I haven't been around many members of royalty. Okay, I haven't been around any but you. Most of the Aboveground does not have a monarchy. I'm worried I'll be impolite again." She rattled off.
Jareth gave a small smile and continued to face forward as he led her along the stone path.
"Most address the King with a formal greeting. Majesty does just fine with general polite society." He stated.
Sarah nodded, filing that away in her still shocked brain and hoped she would remember.
"Although the woman that the King is courting is granted special privileges that none other in the Kingdom has rights to." He offered.
Sarah turned her head and looked up into the mismatched eyes that were studying her intently as they walked. She blushed as she realized he was referring to her as the King's girlfriend. Is that really what she was? Had she agreed to date a king? This was too much.
"If you are referring to me, then what do I call you?"
Jareth turned back to facing the pathway as he replied.
"You may call me Jareth." He answered.
Sarah nodded. She had heard Hoggle use his name before, but she didn't believe that he was supposed to do that. Turns out she was correct.
"So, um, Jareth. What exactly do we do now?" Sarah asked. She needed to know what to expect, some sort of ground to stand on with her once enemy now…boyfriend? That didn't even sound right!
Jareth grinned at her.
"I like the way you say my name." He purred.
Sarah blushed and immediately feigned interest in the gardenias that were blooming to her left.
Jareth chuckled. Oh how fun it would be to tease her with his no holds barred sort of attitude. So sweet she was.
"To answer your question my dear, I believe the facts are the same here as they would be Underground. I am to court you like a lady should be, and we will see where it goes. I promise to be as gentlemanly as I am humanly capable of." He answered.
Sarah turned back to him with a nod.
"Um…I think I can do that." She replied uncertainly.
Jareth raised an eyebrow.
"You have a rather fond attachment to the word 'um' I am noticing. I am not used to your uncertainty."
"Sorry, it's not every day your average girl finds out she's dating a King. Kinda weird."
"I am quite sure that you will grow used to it soon enough my dear."
As he finished saying this, Sarah realized that he had led her to the edge of the garden and to the path back down to the front sidewalk.
Jareth slipped his elbow out from her light grasp and nodded his head to her.
"We would not want your dear stepmother to worry too much. I shall let you get back." He stated gesturing for her to continue down the path back home.
Sarah nodded and took a few steps away from him before turning back around.
"Um, when will I see you again?" She asked. Jareth eyed her with humor.
"When do you want to see me precious?" He asked, flashing his pointed teeth.
Sarah turned red and narrowed her eyebrows.
"Why are you always asking me a million questions? Just answer one for once!" She groaned.
Jareth awarded her with a genuine laugh. "There is my girl. I knew she would come out at some point or another." He teased. His eyes danced for a moment before he conjured a crystal.
"I'll be in touch sooner than you think." With that, he disappeared in a cloud of glittery sparks.
Sarah frowned at where he had stood. Here she was, 18 years old, about to begin her first year at college within the next month, and now she was dating…a king?
"That will never sound normal." She mused to herself.
Would this even work? And was she even sure she wanted it to? A part of her laughed and said, 'of course you want it to'. She sighed and started back towards her home, hoping that he had at least altered the time long enough for her not to get scolded.