Why don't you like me?
You know the drill…
Henson and company.
Theory of Relativity belongs
Goblins and other mystical creatures
The High King
I'm just the Goblin King's scribe
I don't get paid
I don't get…oops
End of silly disclaimer
If you want the legal jargon
You must visit the Goblin Legal Department…
*I wouldn't do that if I were you.*
I mean it, don't go there!
Most stories begin with 'Once upon a time..' This one does not, it begins with an ending of sorts.
(words by A.C. Smith from his novel Labyrinth)
Modifications by moi
Hoggle popped up from behind the bed. "Yes, if you ever need us ... for any reason at all ..." He stared at her from under his bushy eyebrows, and started to fade.
"Hoggle," Sarah said, "I need you. I need you all."
The dwarf blinked in utter disbelief, "You do?"
A sad sweet smile came to the girls lips, "I don't know why, but every now and again in my life… for no reason at all… I need you~ All of you."
Her words were followed by celebration, Her victory over the Goblin King. Her victory in finding herself, and in claiming what was hers. Her friends and companions from her soul journey joined her…. All but one. Outside the dark window, the white owl had been perched with his claws hooked on a branch, an effigy of watching and waiting. Now he swooped away over the park, on silent velvet wings, up toward the full moon. Nobody saw him, white in the moonlight, black against the stars.
And that's where most would think this tale ended… but then most don't know the Goblin King. Most forget that a Fae has forever in which to plot and plan and seek~ revenge and or understanding…. And so our story starts where Her story left off~ or more precisely a few years down the road.
Three years to the day from the night of the big storm~
A storm was brewing, and Sarah could feel the electricity in the air. The school year had ended; she had turned eighteen and was planning her on campus life. Things between her and her stepmother were~ diplomatic. Neither was sure of how far to trust the other, but both seemed to be actively working on the truce. While Sarah had not given up her interests she did spend less time on her own. It had taken a full year for her to mend fences with schoolmates. Some of whom never came back round, but others, long time companions seemed to have understood the 'trauma' Sarah had suffered when her mother had abandoned the family for the flood lights of Broadway. Girls who had known Sarah since kindergarten were more inclined to give the teen a break. Once she started to socialize with her classmates Karen seemed to be more disposed to give her breathing space.
Once Toby was out of his crib Karen suggested the outrageous switching of rooms. She pointed out that Sarah was more in need of the larger space and that Toby would function much better in the old nursery. This was just before Sarah turned sixteen, and Toby turned two. The move was made with very little exertion or struggle. In fact Toby seemed to be more adept to the move than Sarah who had longed for the larger room before the boy had been born. Most of the games and toys that Sarah now felt she'd outgrown were kept aside on a closet shelf for Toby. Her collection of stuffed toys had been boxed and put up in the attic along with things that were no longer as important to her. Costumes, costume accessories, and other childish things had been assigned places up in the attic space. Even her posters had taken up residence under the rafters. Some of the antique fairytale and folk lore books now were on a high shelf in her new bedroom. She would take them down from time to time to read a story or two to Toby who would sit wide eyed listening. Still surrounded by treasures she became comfortable in the larger bedroom.
By the end of her Senior year Sarah Williams was once more one of the gang. Now freshly graduated, and preparing for College, Sarah contemplated her situation. Jess the boy she'd been dating for the last six months was pressing for more intimacy. She knew some of her girlfriends had become sexually active. She'd heard one or two boasting in the ladies room. She understood what it was Jess wanted, and while she wanted it to~ she wasn't sure he was the 'one'. But she also knew she could only put him off for so long, and her excuses were getting lame. She'd told him she couldn't go out with him tonight because she'd promised to babysit her little brother. Jess had been disappointed, but made her promise to keep Saturday night open for him. He had plans, and told her more or less that this was it. She either came across or they would go their separate ways.
Karen paced the foyer gazing once in a while at her watch counting the moments until Sarah would arrive home from her part time job she'd taken at the end of her junior year. While Sarah had shown a great deal more responsibility, her timing still left something to be desired. Robert was finishing some work in his den, Toby was in the parlor with his blocks and Karen paced. Thunder sounded over head and she fretted about Sarah walking home in the rain. Stepping out to the porch she could see the figure racing toward the house from the direction of town. "Really," she huffed in an exasperated tone.
"Sorry," Sarah apologized as she approached, soaked from her run in the downpour.
"Well don't just stand there," Karen grumbled. As the girl moved past her she admonished her, "And don't get water on the floor!"
"A bit difficult," Sarah reminded her as she raced toward the back of the house and the mud room where she was able to strip off her wet things and wrap herself in a spare towel. "I'll dry off after you and pop leave," she told Karen as she padded barefooted back into the area where Karen stood.
Karen looked out the door again, "Where is that taxi," she muttered, "We're going to be late."
"You'll be fine," Sarah said gently, well aware that Karen needed things to worry about to feel useful. "The dinner is at seven thirty, the country club is not ten minutes away. You'll be there in plenty of time. Besides Daddy hates the pre dinner cocktails."
"I know," Karen's shoulders sunk for a moment. "But this dinner is important… he's up for partner…"
"He'll stand on his merits," Sarah assured her. "You look nice," she said changing the subject.
"Not over done?"
"Not a bit." Sarah lounged on the steps to the upper floor. "You'll outshine everyone without even batting a lash."
"Silly girl," Karen giggled before giving her stepdaughter her last moment instructions. "Make sure Toby is in bed by eight," she said smoothing her skirt. "He's got a little cold coming on." She looked at Sarah with trepidation, "Are you sure you don't mind sitting with him? Wouldn't you rather be out with Jess? I can call Mrs. Miller.."
"Mrs. Miller is going to keel over one of these days, the woman is nearly ninty!" Sarah warned. "I'm perfectly happy to stay home on a rainy night and take care of the baby."
Sarah's father came into the hall; in his arms he was carrying Toby, clad in red-and-white striped pajamas. He patted the boy's back. "Oh, Sarah," he said mildly, "you're here at last. We were worried about you."
Both Sarah and Karen snickered when Toby frowned and said, "I'm not a baby…"
"Of course not," Sarah agreed. "You're quite the little man."
He sniffled, rubbed his already red nose and frowned.
A horn sounded and Karen turned to the sound. "At last," she said breathing a sigh of relief. "The taxi is here dear," she called over her shoulder heading to the door for her evening wrap and her umbrella. "Sarah, thank you so much."
"Don't mention it," Sarah said taking her brother from her father. "Go impress the big wigs."
Before leaving Karen turned to her stepdaughter, "There's leftovers in the fridge, make whatever you want. Merlin is in the garage, he's been walked… have I forgotten anything?"
"I was thinking of splurging and getting a pizza for me and the squirt." Sarah said as she moved to the door with Toby in her arms. "Don't worry, we'll be fine."
Robert opened the umbrella on the porch, "See you after midnight," he called gently ushering his wife to the waiting cab.
Sarah looked at her little brother as she shut the door, "You really aren't feeling well are you sport?" His eyes were watery, his nose red and sore and he felt a tad warmer than he should feel. "Pizza is out, chicken soup is in," she said sounding like an earth mother. Toby didn't fight her and she began to worry. "I'm gonna take you up to my room while I change," she told him before mounting the stairs.
Toby sat on her bed rubbing his nose while she got into comfy pj's and a matching robe. She felt his forehead, "You're a bit warm," she said. "I want to get the thermometer," she moved to her bath and pulled the digital thermometer out of its case and ran the tip under water. Coming back into the room she took a seat on the bed and placed the instrument into the boy's mouth. A moment later it beeped and she looked at the reading. "Ninety nine," she said knowing that Karen would never have left the house with a rising temp.
"Some chicken soup," she suggested again to the little boy who was beginning to feel miserable.
She fed him, washed up and carried him up to bed just as the hall clock was chiming eight. "A good night sleep and some Dimetapp should have you fit as a fiddle come morning." She promised.
"Story," he said as she tucked him in.
Sarah blinked, "Ah sure, I'll go get one of my books…"
Toby reached under his pillow, "This one." He handed the red leather bound volume to his sister who stared at it.
"Toby where did you get this?" She was sure she'd put it in a box along with other items three years ago and locked it up in the attic.
Toby shrugged, "Found it…"
He pointed to the area where her dressing table used to sit. A green chair now took its place. "Behind that chair."
Sarah frowned, "When?"
"Today," he answered without any guile. "Read it to me."
"It would take too long," she hedged.
"Read it to me," he insisted before sniffling again.
Not sure if the sniffle were for her benefit or because he was miserable Sarah took one long ragged breath. "Alright," she agreed reluctantly taking a seat on what had once been her bed. "Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman whose stepmother always made her stay with the baby. The baby was a spoiled child who wanted everything for himself, and the young woman was practically a slave girl. But what no one knew was this: the King of the Goblins had fallen in love with her, and given her certain powers." Icy fingers worked their way down her spine. She looked at her little brother and paused.
"Read," he begged snuggling into the thread worn teddy bear that now resided in his arms.
Sarah bit her lower lip before continuing, very uncomfortable. She had not looked at the book or anything else from that fateful night of three years ago. She had made herself believe in the last year that it was all a hallucination induced by the Owl entering the bedroom and scaring the shit out of her. She nodded slowly, lightning and thunder crashed again, but both Sarah and Toby had become quieter. "One night," Sarah continued, "when the baby had been particularly nasty, the girl called on the goblins to help her. And they said to her, 'Say your right words and we'll take the baby away to the Goblin City, and then you'll be free.' Those were their words to her." Sarah's voice trembled with emotion as she read the passage. "But the girl knew," she went on, "that the King of the Goblins would keep the baby in his castle forever and ever, and he would turn the baby into a goblin. And so she suffered in silence, through many a long month ... until one night, worn out by a day of slaving at housework, and hurt beyond measure by the harsh, ungrateful words of her stepmother, she could bear it no longer." Merlin was barking out in the garage. The storm delivered a lightning flash and clap of thunder directly above the house. It rattled the windows in their frames. Teacups danced in the kitchen cupboard.
Sarah was aware of the flood of memories, of images she'd banished from her mind, and of something she'd not sensed in a very long time. A presence, something that didn't belong there. She looked at Toby, whose eyes were drooping; she spoke quietly, "I'm sorry Toby… I'll read to you tomorrow… right now you need to sleep." Bending down she kissed the child as he drifted from wakefulness into sleep.
Carrying the book with her she moved to the door, switched off the light and whispered. "I didn't mean it," she gulped back the tears and quilt. "I never meant it." She moved across the hall leaving his door and hers ajar incase he wakened needing her. She tossed the offending book to her bed. "Stupid book, stupid story!" she glowered. "It's all your fault!"
The windows rattled again as thunder sounded over head. Sarah feared the latch coming loose and rain coming in. She moved to the windows as lightening lit up the night sky with its jagged ripple. Ion and ozone filled the air, heady and strange and almost magical. Making her feel… different. She had long realized she wasn't like the rest of her crowd. While she did what they did, dressed as they dressed, deep down she wasn't the same. Something held her back from being really one of them. Something had prevented her from allowing Jess the usual liberties. "It would be so easy if I could just reorder time," she whispered placing her head against the pain of glass that was already showing signs of condensation. "If I could just go back.. .change things…"
The storm raged and the lights flickered, but Sarah lost in her reverie never seemed to notice. Reading the beginning of the story, her story, she had set in motion something powerful. Sarah couldn't stop her mind, his image was there, had been hiding and now with the few words from that book it was refusing to go away. "I won't compare Jess to you," she bemoaned. "He's here, he's real… you're….not." Balling her hands into tight fists she added, "Why can't I give him what he wants?"
Again the windows rattled, railing against her.
Closing her eyes she whispered, "Goblin King, Goblin King where ever you may be, I wish you'd come and talk to me….." Lightning flashed and thunder hammered the air and Merlin barked as if all the burglars in the world were closing in. Realizing she'd spoken aloud Sarah backed away from the French windows fearfully. Something came flying through the storm and wings were now angrily flapping at the widow. The clouds boiled. Rain lashed
the leaves on the trees. Thunder was followed by lightning. She recoiled as history repeated itself.
A white owl was flapping insistently on the glass. She could see the light from the landing reflected in its great, round, dark eyes, watching her. The whiteness of its plumage was illuminated by a series of lightning flashes that seemed continuous. Behind her, a goblin briefly raised his head, and ducked down again. Another did likewise. She didn't seem them. Her eyes were fixed on the owl's eyes.
Lightning crackled and flashed again, and this time it distracted her attention from the window by shining on the clock that stood on the mantelpiece. She saw that the hands were at thirteen o'clock. She was staring distractedly at the clock when she felt something nudge the back of her legs. She glanced down. The bed was moving across the carpet on scaly legs like a lizard's, with talons for toes, one leg at each corner of the crib. Sarah's lips parted, but she made no sound.
Behind her, something snickered. She spun around and saw it duck down again behind the chest of drawers. Shadows were scuttling across the walls. Goblins were prancing and bobbing behind her. Sarah was watching the chest of drawers. Like the bed, it had a scaly, clawed foot at each corner, and it was dancing.
She wheeled around, mouth open, hands clenched, and saw the goblins cavorting. They ducked away into the shadows, to evade her eyes. She looked for something that would serve as a weapon. In the corner of the bedroom was an old broom. She took it and advanced upon the goblins. "Go away. Go away," she whimpered, trying to sweep them up, but the handle of the broom twisted in her hands and slithered out of her grasp. Somewhere in her mind she began to realize she had to prevent them from getting out of her room and into Toby's.
The storm wind rose to a pitch. Lightning made daylight in the room, and scared faces suddenly began to vanish into cupboards, drawers, or down the cracks between floorboards. As the thunder boomed and the wind shook the curtains, a blast of air blew the window open. Between the fluttering curtains the white owl entered.
Sarah wrapped her arms around her face, and screamed, and screamed again.
She felt the wind blowing her hair around, but the flapping had ceased. Between her fingers she peeked out, to see where the bird was perched. Perhaps it had flown out again.
A prolonged crackling of lightning was throwing a giant shadow on the wall facing the window. It was the shadow of a human figure.
Silhouetted against the stormy sky was a man. He wore a cloak, which swirled in the wind. She could see that his hair was shoulder-length and blond.
His face was unusually handsome, unearthly and unchanged with the exception of his expression. It wasn't the haughty smirk he'd worn upon their first meeting. No it was grim, not angry but grim and annoyed. She found her voice frozen in her throat, but he had his, "I want to talk to you!" he announced bitterly.
"The last time we talked," she said throatily, "You nearly reduced me to tears… that won't happen again." She wondered where this false bravado had come from. Folding her arms akimbo she took a firm stance. "We have nothing to discuss."
"You invited me," he reminded her. "Otherwise I wouldn't be here."
Sarah's arms dropped to her side as she remembered calling out to him just moments before. "It was a mistake," she muttered guiltily. "I've nothing to say."
"Indeed," he raised one brow elegantly. "Just as well I've a few things I'd like to get off my chest."
"Yes you ungrateful wretch," he spat. "Really."
"Ungrateful, what did you do that I should be grateful for?" she demanded.
"Everything," he repeated from their last conversation. "I did everything you demanded of me!"
"You stole my brother," she accused.
"Still harping on that? Still passing the blame for what you did?" he asked before reminding her. "You asked me to take him; I can't steal what's been freely offered. Or have you managed to put that fact out of your mind?"
"I never meant it!"
Crossing his arms he stood his ground, "Didn't you?"
Sarah paused, took a breath and closed her eyes, "Alright, maybe a little…" she admitted. "But I never in my life believed…."
"Didn't you?" he mocked.
Green eyes flashed as the lids flew open. "Go to hell!"
"Tut, tut," he admonished. "Nice little girls don't use such language."
"I'm not a little girl," she informed him hotly.
Mismatched stormy eyes assessed her, taking their time as they did. "No, you're not." he seemed mildly amused when she pulled the robe tightly about her as if it could shield her from his vision.
"I was~" she sought a word to explain her situation, but found none.
"You were what?" he mocked, "Put out at having to mind the baby?" He lowered his arms and sauntered her way, "Oh dear, had to do something for someone else…"
Sarah watched him move closer and wondered how it was that he could move with such grace while clad in that heavy goblin armor. "I was a kid… going through a stage," she muttered. "You're making sound…"
"Wanting, demanding and then blaming others," he accused. "You Sarah Williams were a brat."
Her mouth dropped open to protest, but words froze again.
"Cat got your tongue?" he jeered, moving closer and stopping within a foot of her. He shook his head, "Even now you're trying to think of how to turn this all against me…."
"That's not what I'm thinking," she blurted out before she could stop herself. "I was thinking you're right…."
Jareth shook his head, "I wonder if you learned anything during your soul journey in the Labyrinth. You've not changed!"
The girl protested, "You're wrong, I'm not the same girl who entered the Labyrinth!" She looked toward the open window, the same one that her steps had taken her into his kingdom. Tonight there was only the storm beyond its portal, not the windswept hillside that stood outside the gate to the magical kingdom. "I learned a great deal and made some wonderful friends… I did change."
Something in her tone took him off guard; he inclined his head and blinked. For a moment they stared at one another, "Why don't you like me?" he asked taking her by surprise.
"I beg your pardon?"
He leaned closer, "Why don't you like me?"
Sarah swallowed, wishing he'd step back or leave or… "Do you want me to like you?" she asked in confusion.
Jareth smirked, "You did read the story didn't you?"
Sarah looked past him to the book that lay on the bed that was dancing a jig. "The story?"
"You were a quicker wit three years ago," he lamented.
"You had me going on adrenaline," she snapped. "I had to make snap decisions to save my brother."
Jareth chuckled, "Toby was safe and sound," he assured her. "You on the other hand … not so much."
His voice sent quivers down her spine, a feat that no male including Jess had ever achieved. "Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered…" she mumbled. "And you have the nerve to ask why I don't like you?" She shook off the desire to throw herself into his arms and plant a big kiss on those generous lips. "You trick me into giving you my brother, then you trick me into running your labyrinth… setting me up for failure… giving me a coward and a traitor for a companion…" her voice shook with rage, "You dropped me into an oubliette, chased me with the cleaners, fed me a poisoned peach and have the nerve to ask why I don't like you?" her face colored. "Why should I like you?"
Jareth leaned closer, "Do I attract you?" his voice dropped an octave and became silky.
Sarah blinked, "I think our talk is finished," she pointed to the open window where the storm brewed. "Go."
"Not yet," he retorted. "Do I attract you?"
"I don't repulse you," he said with confidence. "So I must attract you."
"Why you conceited, narcissistic arrogant…" she tried in vain to find a word.
"I can be loathsome," he agreed before turning charming, "But I do attract you."
Sarah felt as if the air were being sucked out of her lungs, "I didn't say that." She felt warm color flood her cheeks and wondered why he could make her blush when boys like Jess couldn't.
Jareth haughtily smiled at her, "Deny it." He taunted.
"I'm seeing someone," she said defensively.
"Is that why the invitation was finally issued?" He asked moving toward the chair that was beside her desk. He lowered himself down and gazed at her with amusement. "Three years ago you threw a rather rowdy party in your room," he pointed to the door and the room across the hall. "You invited all sorts of inhabitants of my kingdom, companions and enemies… but not me. I was banned from your celebration, forced to watch from a branch outside your boudoir window."
"You were watching?"
"Long enough," he sighed, "And since that fatefully evening I've awaited your invitation… three long years." Impersonally he gazed at her, "So to what do I owe the honor of being summoned?" When she said nothing he added, "You said you wanted to talk…so talk."
"I wanted to figure out something." She muttered.
Sarah began to pace the floor, "I've been seeing someone," she said softly. "He wants to take our… relationship to the next level…but…"
An expression of delight at her dilemma crossed the handsome features of the Goblin King, "Not quite ready to cross the threshold?"
"Threshold?" she repeated.
"Into adulthood," Jareth said offhanded. "That's the point where most believers put up barriers that prevent them from seeing the unseen… and me." He placed his chin into his gloved hand, "So while you're no longer a little girl in the physical sense, you're still…."
"Stop playing shrink!" she bitterly ordered. "If I want to get analyzed my father will gladly send me to someone who charges a hundred dollars an hour."
"My charges are much steeper than some quack mortal practicing mind games," he assured her with a smirk. "A price I don't think you'd be willing to pay."
Intrigued Sarah moved toward him, "What are you talking about?"
"You called me here issued an invitation because of something troubling you. Something you feel only I can help you solve, much like the Labyrinth." he said. Bolding adding, "And for a fee I'll be happy to sort it all out for you."
Thinking she was being played she crossed her arms once more, "You can't have the baby."
"How is the baby?" he asked pleasantly.
"Four years old, growing like a weed, and insisting he's not a baby," Sarah mused. "And you still can't have him."
"I don't want the baby," he said convincingly.
"What do you want?"
"A kiss," he said softly, "A willing kiss." He was taking advantage of the situation, but being Fae and her still being mortal; it was all fair and well. "So what do you say Sarah, care to wager a kiss?"
"That's silly," she said.
Jareth sighed; she'd forgotten so much, this was going to be easy. "That's the price for my company."
"Who says I want your company?"
"You." He purred.
He had a point, and Sarah knew it. She had wanted to speak to him, to close a door on one chapter of her life before opening another. Jess had her uneasy. Was he asking for something she wasn't capable of? Or was she like Jareth had said, not ready to grow up? "Alright," she said tentatively, "You help me with my … dilemma and I'll…"
"Pay me a kiss," he finished. "Done." Relaxing he leaned back in the chair, "What seems to be the dilemma precious?"
"My… beau." She said refusing to call Jess her boyfriend and finding that even referring to him caused her to blush in the presence of the Goblin King.
Jareth stiffened for a moment, "What about him?" his voice had lost its warmth and had gone flat.
Sarah moved to the chair that sat across from the man, "He wants…." Her hand moved, rolled and then dropped. She looked at him wondering how to speak on the subject of intimacy.
"He wants," Jareth's voice turned to a dark growl in the back of his throat. His eyes nearly devouring the girl.
"Yeah." She looked away.
"He hasn't…" a gloved hand mockingly made the same motions as hers had a moment ago.
"No," Sarah said firmly.
Jareth looked like he didn't believe her, and then he smiled, "I see…you didn't want to!"
"Okay," she said rising and moving toward the window, "This was a mistake…" she knew he was laughing at her.
Jareth had also risen and followed her, toyingly he whispered in her ear. "Why Sarah?"
"I don't know," she answered closing her eyes to her own frustrations, "He's a nice guy… popular… cute... smart… but…"
"But he doesn't feed your inner fires," Jareth suggested quietly. She shook her head. He smiled to himself, she'd told him far more than she'd intended to. Sliding hands passively about her waist he whispered in her ear, "I can be flirty, I can be dirty….make your pulse race…"
A soft moan escaped her, as she collapsed back against him. "What are you doing?"
His lips were at her ear, his breath warm against her skin, "I can be anything you want… or need."
Sarah shivered, "What?"
"You want to know why you don't want to… with this boy?" he taunted gently, his hands moved over Sarah with a lovers expertise. "Because he's just a boy… he has no magic to offer you." He took her lobe between his teeth and tugged gently before continuing, "I could be wholesome, I could be loathsome. I could be hurtful. Whatever you want me to be… Gotta be mean~ you like it when I'm mean… you need me to be mean. You and I have a cruel streak that keeps us safe from the world outside."
Sarah felt her body respond to the Goblin like it had never done to Jess. "This isn't happening…"
Lips moved to her throat, he could feel her pulse race, "Why don't you like me?" he asked placing a kiss on her pulse.
"You're confusing me," she tried to shake off whatever it was he was doing to her. But there was something here she'd not found anywhere else. "You're not real…"
"Am I not?" he asked.
"You tried to kill me…" she was desperately trying to find fault with the Fae man.
He purred in her ear, "Darling if I had wanted you dead you wouldn't be breathing now."
"You poisoned me…" she reminded him.
"Oh I may have used a little Fae tincher, but darling it wasn't poison." She shivered and he pressed closer, "You invited me here because you didn't want to be with him… you want me."
"No," she said in despair, "I can't want you! You're the enemy!"
"But want me you do," he assured her.
"Why don't you like me," he asked, his voice was calmer, and if the girl had any sense she'd run. It wasn't just a question, it was a challenged issued.
"You put me through hell in that crazy labyrinth of yours," she blurted out pushing him off her. Turning her face was full of ire, "And now you ask why I don't like you? Why should I like you?"
"I only did what you asked of me," he reminded her.
"I asked you to drop me in a oubliette?" she retorted bitterly. "I could have broken my neck!"
"Hardly," he teased.
"And I didn't ask to be chased by the cleaners!"
"You called the Labyrinth a piece of cake," he defended his action. "All you had to do was flirt back with me… but no… you had to be a little smart ass."
"I was fifteen," she said indignantly. "You were a bit to~"
"Dirty," he suggested lewdly.
Sarah glared at him, "What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking how nice it would be to get you out of the mannish manner of dress you insisted on wearing and into my bed." He answered honestly.
"I was fifteen," she shook a long manicured finger in his face.
Jareth smiled, "Sarah, I danced with you, and being fifteen didn't stop you from being the most attractive woman in the room."
"You're impossible," she seethed.
"I can be," he agreed. "I can be anything you want." He began to circle her, "You needed a villain, I was only too happy to play the villain. You needed a romantic man of mystery, again my pleasure to fulfill your desires. You longed for a dangerous adventure…."
Sarah watched him as he circled her, mush as he had in the ruins of the castle just before she'd delivered the 'fatal blow'. Part of her mind was screaming at her to repeat the words that had sent him packing the last time. Part of her was fascinated, like a moth drawn to a flame. His scent, that unique mixture of spice and leather, filled her sences.
"Why don't you like me?" he asked again toyingly taunting her, teasing and drawing her deeper into his magical web. "I can be anything you like," he promised. "Can this mortal boy?"
"No," she whispered the admission.
"Why don't you like me?"
"You've never wanted what the rest want, what the world says you should want…" He had circled her three times, and now stood face to face with her. "Why start now?" He smiled softly, as he had in the ballroom. "Why don't you like me?"
Sarah looked at his face. He wore the same expression he'd worn in the crystal ballroom when they'd danced. There appeared to be no malice no trickery no mocking. "I~" She bit her lower lip for a moment before sighing, "I never said I didn't like you…"
"You never said you did," Jareth retorted.
"Sometimes, during my journey you were… charming… and alluring… and"
"Yes," she whispered, "I liked you."
It was nearly enough, but only nearly, "Liked?"
Sighing the girl took the fatal step, "Like."
He held her face in his hands, "I'll take that kiss now." He leaned toward her, tipping her face up to his.
Sarah closed her eyes, and when his lips brushed against hers she surrendered.
Jareth pulled back, gazed at the dazed girl and whispered, "Cha-ching!" Her eyes opened questioningly and he gloated, "Got ya!" His hands dropped away, his expression became one of supreme bliss. "I was right; you were quicker witted and less trusting three years ago." He laughed as he stepped away from her, "You're losing your edge my dear."
"What did you do to me?" she asked feeling her lips burn.
"Oh just took a pound of flesh, the first of many I intend to take," he boasted. "But don't worry; it won't hurt for long… only … forever."
"But…" she sunk to her knees. "You said…"
"I lied…" he told her boldly. "Well it's just a little lie," he motioned with his fingers. "I left out what happens when a mortal freely gives a kiss to one of my kind."
"Am I poisoned again?" she worried.
Jareth knelt beside her, "Much worse," he boasted. "This time you're bound to me." He was gloating.
Sarah stared at him, "No," she shook her head, "You couldn't!"
His pulse began to race, and fire surged in his veins, "I could, and I did." He placed his hand to her long slender neck, pulled her forward and began to devour her lips. He'd expected her to fight, to push him away and to deny him. Instead she responded with a force that nearly sent his senses reeling. His eyes opened wide and he wondered just who had been hoist on their own petard? He pulled back, gazed at her and frowned.
"Why don't you like me?" she asked teasingly, her hand moving over his goblin armor in a suggestive manner.
"You little witch," he accused, "Turning my own spell round on me."
"Sauce for the gander," she assured him with a wicked twinkle in her lovely green eyes.
"Stop that," he warned.
"Am I too flirty?"
Jareth perceived the gnawing hunger that now burned within him. "You're bordering on something beyond flirty little girl." His eyes looked at her with a yearning that couldn't be mistaken. "You're playing with fire Sarah, and you will get burned."
"Do you burn?" she asked breathing deeply, leaning closer. Taking little notice of his warning she continued to let her hand roam over him.
"You know I do," he said darkly.
"Why don't you like me?"
Jareth yanked her arm, pulling her closer, "I wouldn't be here if I didn't."
Sarah, her face inches from him smiled, he smiled in return. "What do you want Jareth?" She asked in a silky tone. He leaned toward her, whispered something deliciously dark, dangerous and dirty into her ear. A throaty laugh issued from her.
Jareth growled gently in the back of his throat, "There are so many games I can teach you little Sarah." The hand that had drawn her forward was now pulling her closer, "So many things no mortal could ever enjoy with you."
"So you want me to be your dirty little playmate?" she questioned.
"Is that a reservation I hear," he replied. "Do you have a problem with such a suggestion?"
"I should," she remarked.
Admiration and approval filled Jareth's eyes, "No ordinary girl," he said haughtily. "You're not insulted; you're reveling in the fact that you attract me. I do believe there's a very dirty girl hiding under all that prim and proper façade you've been showing to the world. What fun discovering her depths will be." He gently brushed back the hair that had fallen over her face.
"I tried so hard to forget you," she murmured. "Tried to be the perfect daughter, sister and friend…. Tried to fit in."
"You were never meant to just fit in," Jareth scoffed.
"I feel sorry for Jess," she confessed. "He wanted me so…badly… and I just couldn't return those feelings."
"He'll get over it," Jareth assured her coldly.
"Why Jareth," she mused. "Jealous?"
"Yes," he admitted.
"Don't be," her lips were inches from his, "He never got beyond a goodnight kiss at the door…"
"Good thing," the Goblin King said icily, "It saves him from a lifetime of being dunked in the bog." He stood up and reaching down pulled her up to his side, "To the victor goes the spoils."
"Is that how you see yourself?"
"Not as much as I'd like to," Jareth said feeling like he'd been chasing his own tail. "I think this is a case of you win, I win, and we should leave it at that."
Sarah leaned against him, her head over his heart. "This situation is froth with problems."
"Matters not," he assured her. "Nothing in your world or mine can stop what is to be." Enfolding her protectively, he kissed the top of her head. "We shall be lovers."
"Lovers," Sarah's response sounded tragic.
Jareth heard the hesitation and the mournfulness, "You want more?"
"I don't know," she closed her eyes, "I guess maybe I do…"
"I can offer you more, I have done so already," Jareth reminded her once more of a conversation three years past. "Just fear me and love me," he told her in a gentle voice, "and do as I say, and I ... I will be your slave." He waited, wondering what her response would be. She wasn't the girl of fifteen anymore, no longer too young to understand what it was he was offering.
"I don't want a slave," she looked up, her face troubled. "Do you?"
Jareth held her at arm's length, "I want an equal."
"But to be just lovers," she argued.
"Then take what I offer Sarah Williams," he coaxed. "And make of it what you will."
"I don't want to be just your little playmate," she warned.
"It's a start," he suggested.
"I need more."
"Then take more," he told her.
"In which world?" she asked.
"Whichever you desire."
"Hoggle will have a fit," she snorted.
"That is likely," he agreed.
"You are dirty," she scolded playfully; "You make good girls think bad thoughts."
"If I am," he teased, "It's in response to your desires…" He tipped her face up, "Why don't you like me?"
"Why don't you like yourself?" she retorted.
"What fun we will have," he promised.
Jareth cleared his throat as the scribe finished her thought. "What is that?" He didn't sound pleased. "That never happened!"
"Total nonsense," he argued.
Paisley batted her lashes at him, "Cha-ching!"
The Goblin King shook his head, "I'll never understand you woman, never."
Paisley had a feeling that was the truest thing the man had ever said. She put on her earphones and listened once more to the playful melody. Singing aloud with the refrain;
I could be brown
I could be blue
I could be violet sky
I could be hurtful
I could be purple
I could be anything you like
Gotta be green
Gotta be mean
Gotta be everything more
Why don't you like me?
Why don't you like me?
Walk out the door!