Patience - by Jennyxbc


Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
My tongue-tied patience with too much disdain;
Lest sorrow lend me words and words express
The manner of my pity-wanting pain.

- Sonnet 140, William Shakespeare


Prologue

Underground, Jareth was undoubtedly one of the most powerful beings within the twisted stretches of the realm, if not the most powerful of all. Being a King afforded him certain liberties; the most beautiful women, the first to be served at any banquet, elaborate and exotic gifts from faraway lands from his courtiers, not to mention the fact that they happily pandered to his every whim, no matter how ridiculous or downright stupid.

However, Jareth's power was limited in the Above. He was unable to materialize in his 'human' form unless responding to the careless wishes of a child, and thus was trapped in the appearance of a majestic-looking barn owl.

It was a nice owl, Jareth thought, but an owl nonetheless.

He had enjoyed his bird-form for many millennia. It allowed him glimpses into the mortal psyche, allowed him to spy on their secrets and peek in at their sins. He had been detachedly amused by the human race for centuries, never once wanting to reach out and be a part of their world. That was until he saw her for the first time.

Jareth was amazed that he had never noticed her before.

Her erethreal pale skin, her hypnotizing green eyes so bright that they glowed against her alabaster cheeks, her luscious red mouth, long ebony hair that hung to her breasts and a slender feline figure that Jareth longed to touch.

And then there was her voice.

So powerful and strong, yet sultry and enticing.

Watching her became his new favourite past time.

He was entranced with her utter selfishness, her need to establish herself amongst her peers as a far superior being, her childlike excitement when faced with a new challenge.

Jareth had never known love before, but now, faced with a fourteen year old girl – too young for him even by the laws of his own kingdom – he was enraptured. He had to have her.

But she was too young.

Too young to know of the needs of her body, too young to comprehend the lustful wanderings of the mind of a masterful fae, too young to know even of the Labyrinth and the sinful world which lurked on a plane separate to the mortal Earth that she knew so well.

He had to have her.

When he could not sleep, he watched her through the magic of his crystals, and when his schedule would allow it, he perched on the tree branch outside her window.

Her power over him was addictive. He longed to see her face, to see the way her dark lashes swept over her cheeks, to see her perfect lips stretch into a breathtakingly cruel smile.

She was different to all of the others. She was the one.

His mate.

And though he knew it would take time, Jareth was prepared to wait.

Her love of literature and dramatics was his inspiration.

Producing a script marked as "The Labyrinth", Jareth made sure to leave the book where she would find it. That was, bound in black silk and tied with a silver string, tucked away in the pile of gifts set aside for her fifteenth birthday.

It was her favourite gift that day, and she soon became entranced with the world of cruelty and magic that was the Underground.

Jareth knew that his plot was working when she began to say her name in her sleep. Her young, teenage mind was still too naive to understand the desire that she felt for him, but Jareth understood all too well.

So eager was Jareth to encourage her lust that he added erotic scenes containing himself and the would-be heroine of the Labyrinth, who coincidentally had long black hair and green eyes.

Jareth knew that his love for her would have been perverse, had it not been so filled with purity. He longed to make her laugh, to see her smile, and yet he knew that he must be patient.

"Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul*," Jareth murmured. "My future."

...

She played right into his hands.

"I wish the goblins would come and take you away," Sarah muttered in exasperation as she flicked off the light to her father and stepmother's bedroom. "Right now."

...

His first proper conversation with her did not go exactly as he had planned.

He longed to touch her, to hold her, and yet he knew he could not. To do so would be a sign of weakness, and he could not afford to let her win.

Under the ruse of distracting her, Jareth produced a peach to knock Sarah into unconsciousness.

However, only he knew that her time solving the Labyrinth would not be affected by his little indiscretion.

Jareth loved dancing with her. She was as graceful as a swan, as poised as an eagle, and yet her anxiety showed plainly on her face. It was during their dance that Jareth realised that she felt something for him. Her fear disappeared as soon as she was in his arms, and he twirled her around the room as if time had no limits. All that mattered was the way her curves felt beneath his fingertips, the way her eyes glittered and her smile stole his breath away.

And then she realised what was happening and escaped from his expert manipulation.

...

For the first time, someone had beaten the Labyrinth –and, by extension, beaten him.

He had been impressed with her strength and determination. She had gotten further than anyone else ever had in spite of the fact that Jareth continued to place obstacles in her way. And Sarah kept face through all of it, never once admitting defeat.

She was, however, unaware of the consequences of beating the Labyrinth. Jareth knew what would happen and so he let her say the words that would leave her chained to him forever.

In defeating him, she had marked herself his equal, solidifying Jareth's belief that she was his one true mate.

Jareth had enjoyed the company of women in his bed in the past, but had never marked one as his mate. He was well aware of the knowledge that Fae mate for life, and now that he had found Sarah, he had no intentions of letting her go.

But she was still too young.

And so Jareth waited.


"Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul." – taken from Vladimir Nabokov's 'Lolita'.

Reviews make me update!