Sarah William’s eyes were shinning beautifully as she looked down at the flickering candlelight. All around her were the smiling faces of her friends and family suspended like masks against the shadows that danced playfully around them. They all waited in silent admiration, gazing upon this beautiful young woman that she had become. Sarah closed her eyes. She knew what her wish would be, she had wished for the same thing on her birthday last year, and every other time the opportunity had arose. But all those times before, these words never had been answered. And though logic was against her, and whispered that her wishing was all for not, Sarah held her breath and concentrated, feeling with all of her heart the phrase that was running through her mind. Finally she opened her eyes and blew out her candles.
The party fell into darkness but only for a second. While someone searched for the lights, the room filled with joyful applause and cheers of congratulation. Sarah smiled as one of her best friends hugged her in what felt a bit more like a tackle. As the lights came on, Sarah was brought back to the reality of her surroundings. She was standing at the head of their long dining room table, around which stood her friends from school, her father and stepmother, little toby, and the large array of close and distant relatives. As the cake was cut, everyone mingled together among the array of hanging streamers and tapped up balloons. Their large New England home was completely decked in decoration, just as Sarah had pictured it. Everything was white or beige and small crystals were hung from the chandelier and around every doorway. Maybe it was just her way of being hopeful, but Sarah felt it couldn’t hurt to encourage events with a little recreation.
Taking a slice of cake she sat down with her cluster of friends, all gabbing and giggling about the party so far. It didn’t take long for one of them to ask what she had wished for. Sarah smiled at the ground, knowing that they knew she couldn’t tell them, but for reasons that they couldn’t possibly understand. Her best friend, Taylor, the same who had left Sarah feeling rather sore from hugging her earlier, wasn’t as easily fooled. She spotted the cute little curve hidden in the corner of her mouth and instantly called her out on it.
“Obviously she can’t tell us, because it was about a boy.” Sarah looked up at Taylor with humored surprise.
“It was not!” she said but Taylor laughed and pointed knowingly at her best friend’s reddening face.
“It was! Look at how much you’re blushing.” Sarah covered her rosy cheeks as she held down a laugh. The rest of the girls proceeded to ask her about the mysterious person, pushing to try to find out who was causing such a reaction in their usually composed friend. But Sarah was as silent on the matter as she was excited about it, so after a while they changed the subject to less prying means.
The rest of the evening went wonderfully. A few gifts were given, music was played in the living room and Sarah had even been asked to dance, her partner being her 83 year old grandfather, but none the less she had still been flattered. As they slowly spun around the room, Sarah stifling a giggle at the looks on her friends teasing faces, she couldn’t help but feel relaxed as she gradually fell back into the familiar motion. It had been two years since Sarah had danced like this, since that first waltz in a crystal ballroom, on the steady arm of a man who had offered her all her dreams. The memory felt almost more like a dream now, and Sarah sighed as she felt all the enchantment of that moment hover just out of her grasp. She wanted so badly for tonight to be the one that would take her back. But the hours were again winding away, and as she turned those lazy circles in the carpet, she couldn’t help but feel as she always did, that tonight would fade into normality, just like every other.
“Where did you learn to dance, pumpkin? Seems like you’ve done this before.” Sarah looked at her Grandfather, silent for a moment as her previous thoughts scattered away.
“Oh, um, I haven’t, you’re just a very good lead, Grandpa.” He looked into her eyes knowingly. Mr. and Mrs. Williams had been avid dancers in their day, in fact, that’s where they had met, at a local dance where the waltz had introduced them and made them fall in love. They had become one of those cute couples that danced each other into old age, and if Mrs. Williams were still alive, would still be doing so to this day. So Sarah’s Grandfather knew a lot about dancing, and could tell when someone had experience, but even more so, could tell when it had made someone fall in love. The same look shone in his granddaughter’s eyes that he had seen in his wife’s, all those countless times before. But part of love was keeping it a secret some times. So he smiled and nodded, letting her keep that precious treasure to herself.
As Sarah and her Grandfather made their final turns, everyone watched in a contented silence, admiring the sweet pleasantries as the evening wound down. But of all the party guests, none watched with such intensity as a figure who gazed from beyond the window. Perched outside in the shadows of a large tree, a magnificent barn owl calmly observed the party, and more specifically, its guest of honor. As the bird gazed at Sarah, watching as she followed a synchronized rhythm of steps that could only be achieved through dedicated memorization, he couldn’t help but sigh to himself and questioned for the thousandth time if he was making the right decision. But through his array of doubts and concerns, which had swarmed his mind for longer then he’d care to admit, the image of her dancing there and that playful smile on her lips pulled his full attention to her, this simple common woman, and refused to let it go. He had been patient, and she had called to him more times than his heart could bear. And now here she was, mimicking that moment that had bound them those two long years ago. So yes, this was the right decision. It was finally time.
The music ended and so did their dance. People clapped as Sarah hugged her Grandfather, but as she went to pull away he held her securely for a second more as he whispered to her,
“It’s a wonderful thing, Sarah, to share something as special as you have. Just remember not to let the two of you fall out of practice.” Sarah looked at her Grandfather with confusion. But before she could say anything he simply smiled and patted her shoulder, “Happy birthday, sweetheart.” He walked away then, leaving her to stand slightly dumbfounded in the middle of the living room.
‘The two of us?’ Sarah began to think to herself, instantly a certain goblin king coming to mind, but surely that’s not what he meant. No one knew about that, and she hadn’t been in any relationships since then. So what he had meant?
But before she could finish her thought, her attention was returned to the calls of her friends. They started dancing too, joking as they dramatically waltzed each other into a giggling frenzy, almost crashing into a standing lamp in the process. Finally the lot of them collapsed onto the sofa, holding their sides and catching their breath. There they stayed for the remainder of the party, in a comfortable little pile where their loud gossipy chatter gradually faded down to more serious quiet conversation, as the celebration too came to its end.
When the clock struck 12, Sarah stirred from her position in the couch, peeling her face away from where it had been nestled firmly against Taylor’s shoulder. She stifled a yawn as she stood up from her friends, and walked over to the dining room where she found her father.
“Most of the family has left already,” Sarah said, leaning in the doorway, “and I think Taylor and the girls are heading out now too. Where’s Irene?”
“She went to put toby to bed, it’s awfully late for the little guy, but I think he’s really happy that he was able to stay up for the party. Did you have a good time, sweetheart?” Sarah smiled at her dad, crossing her arms as she sleepily nodded.
“It was wonderful, Dad. Thank you again for all your guys help. Really I couldn’t have asked for better.”
“Of course, sweetie. I’m glad you and your friends had fun.”
“Do you need any help cleaning up in here?” she asked as her father started picking up used paper plates and napkins. He looked at her over his shoulder.
“No, I’m fine. You go say goodbye to your friends.” Sarah nodded, and went to give her father a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving to see them to the door.
As the last of Sarah’s friends cars pulled away, some twenty minutes later, Sarah stood waving them goodbye from the end of their driveway. The red lights turned the corner, and she let out a deep sigh, her breath collecting heavily in the cold night air. Everything had been wonderful, it was true, but Sarah couldn’t help but feel the subtle weight of disappointment that was lying heavily upon her heart. Once again, her wish for a conference with the Goblin King had not been answered, though by now she was hardly surprised. Sarah had almost expected it, prepared herself for these more reasonable circumstances. Goblin Kings don’t just appear out of nowhere simply because a girl wishes for it on her birthday. But, a voice inside her faltered, she wasn’t just a girl, especially not now. Right? He had come to her once before, had fallen in love with her once before…why couldn’t he do so again? Because you pushed him away, the other voice said wickedly. And she knew that it was true. Sarah hatted that voice most of all. It was the same that often told her that the whole experience never happened in the first place, that she had dreamt it. And to be honest part of that was true. Some of the labyrinth had been a dream, a wonderful dream. But Sarah believed more than anything that that’s what made it stronger, that’s what made it true. He had known her dreams and showed them to her, in a reality as tangible as this one. She had seen it, felt it in her hands, and Sarah knew with all her heart, that she would feel it again.
Closing her eyes she wrapped her arms around herself and shuddered against the cold. Patience, she told herself, that’s all you need, patience.
Sarah opened her eyes again and let out one more cloudy breath against the black night sky. But as she did a flash of movement caught her attention. Sarah turned her head, freezing suddenly as a large pair of eyes met her own. She couldn’t move, her breath caught in the back of her throat, her heart not daring to beat. Staring before her were the powerful green and blue eyes of a large white barn owl. Drawn to them like pools of light against the darkness, they flashed at her from the bird’s perch in a tree across the yard, captivating her under their dark scrutinized gaze. With a flash, the blood rushed back to her head, returning her to thought and reason. It was him, and the moment she realized that, she didn’t dare waste a second. Sarah quickly stepped forward, the Goblin King’s name perched on the tip of her tongue, but before she could call out to him he took off, leaping gracefully from the branch and soaring up into the sky. Sarah ran a few steps and stopped, watching the great bird as he disappeared over the distant tree line.
“Jareth.” The name that had haunted her dreams flowed from Sarah’s lips as but the brush of a whisper, and faded as it was carried away on a cold winter breeze. She had seen him, no she had actually seen him. And not just in her dreams or imaginings but there, right in front of her. She knew she could never mistake that gaze, those sad longing eyes that had imprinted themselves in her mind a thousand times over. And, at long last, he had seen her too. This was no accident, one only saw the Goblin King if he wanted one to, and for that she could be certain. This was his sign, and, Sarah desperately hoped, her second chance.
Quickly she ran inside, her mind racing with what to do next. She had seen where he had flown and knew where he would be waiting. But she couldn’t just run after him now, her parents were expecting her, and what would they say to such a thing. No, she’d just have to wait for them to go to sleep… but she also couldn’t leave Jareth waiting. Nor, for that matter, bear to force herself to endure sitting through another uncertain hour. She’d have to leave immediately, Sarah decided, she would simply tell her parents that Taylor forgot something and she had to run it out to her. Yes, that would work.
Her heart pounded as she ran upstairs to her room. Sarah had never felt this excited, nor this nervous before. But she did her best to steady herself as she quickly ran a brush through her long brown hair. Leaning into her mirror to touch up her makeup she noticed her hands shaking and let out a breath, trying to steady her nerves. It’s OK now, everything’s going to be fine. Sarah set down her brushes and took one last look at her reflection. The young girl who had run the labyrinth was not the same woman who looked back at her now. Two years had brought a lot of change for Sarah Williams, her soft round face given way to elegant cheekbones and refined set eyes. And in the red party dress she wore, there was no mistaking her womanly charms. Sarah was very pleased with who she’d become, she only hoped, that Jareth would be too.
Turning from her room she quickly ran down the stairs, barely hitting the last few steps as she practically glided to the floor. Hearing His daughter’s noisy return, Mr. Williams stepped away from his work in the kitchen and leaned curiously into the foyer. He caught her just as she was throwing a long coat around her shoulders, and called out as she made her way to the door, hastily tying a belt around her as she went. Sarah quickly made up something about Taylor having dropped her house keys in the sofa and that she needed to run them out to her, grabbing Irene’s own silver key ring as she ran out the door. Mr. Williams nodded and shouted a reminder for her to drive safely, but his words were stopped short as their front door slammed behind her.
Jumping into the front seat of her step mother’s Cadillac, a car that Irene hatted for her step daughter to drive, she pushed the key into place and cranked the car to life. The powerful machine purred beneath Sarah’s hands and she couldn’t help but revel for a moment in just how “forbidden” this was for her. But without a moment’s more hesitation, she backed the car up and quickly sped along her way. The drive would only take a minute, Sarah’s destination was only a few blocks, but still she couldn’t seem to stop her hands from shaking as they clutched nervously to the wheel. A thousand thoughts raged inside her mind, tearing apart any sense she could make of what would happen when she saw him again. And though she tried to be calm and remind herself that it was a miracle that this was even happening, a low worried feeling was bubbling insistently in her stomach, and refused to leave her alone.
This is what you’ve been wishing for, Sarah. Don’t worry, not anymore. Sarah licked her lips as she turned the corner, signaling into an empty parking lot, and the misty park that lay before it. Pulling into the vacant lot, she turned off the car, sitting in the noisy silence of her pounding heart and jingling keys that shook as she clutched them in her trembling hands. But as she looked out through the fogging glass of the windshield and watched the rolling mist wonder aimlessly through her headlights, Sarah felt her worry slowly melt away. Her breath steadied, her heart beat calmed, and as she brought her hands to rest neatly on her lap, they too refrained from their shaking and settled calmly again. She sat there for a minute or two and just breathed steadily through her nose, giving herself some time to accept the reality of what she was doing, and once again step back into the brave state of mind of that hero she had been. She had the power here, she always had. Everything was going to be fine. Sarah nodded to herself and clicked off the headlights, stepping out of the car and into the silent night.
The car door shut with a clunk, and Sarah stood alone. Breathing in the smell of the chilled air, fresh frost, and the gentle must of fog, she pictured being in the Labyrinth again, walking through those misty passageways and damp forests just like before. Only this was colder, like the labyrinth she had run every night in her dreams these last two years, replaying every step in her mind almost until it felt real again. But they had been simply memories, void of the warmth and life that only the underground could provide.
Sarah snuggled into her coat as she turned onto the path that rounded the pond, the cool air blowing off its still rippling surface adding an extra chill against her skin. It was black as pitch, with no lampposts placed on these isolated trails to light the way. But that was no matter. Sarah knew this place better than any other. She spent many a summer and fall afternoon in these clearings, reciting her favorite monologs of adventure and woe to the attentive audience of trees and wildlife that surrounded her. This is after all, where they had first met, though she hadn’t realized it at the time. That day she had decided to go in costume, wearing a simple theatric dress whose white fabric, she remembered, had hung and flowed beautifully despite its low quality. But she hadn’t minded, in fact she had adored the old thing, it made her feel like she could embody the princess she was playing, and in a way, she supposed, it did.
When the Goblin King had appeared to her that night from the balcony window, she had seen him first in his Owl form. And even then, though in her moment of panic, she somehow recognized him as the same wide eyed creature she had spotted watching her preform in the park only hours before. Thinking back on it now, Sarah supposed the story could have been of influence on her connection to that. The small red bound novel also describing the fearsome Goblin King as a man who took the shape of an animal who matched his cunning and power. Not to mention those same amazing eyes.
She was just crossing the little stone bridge when she reached her destination. Through the darkness and the gentle fall of the snow, Sarah admired the tall stone pillars that crowned this part of the park. It had never made sense to Sarah why they had been placed here, but it didn’t have to. She appreciated these purposeless statues, especially now as their years had accumulated on top of them, and began to push them to gradually sink deeper into the earth. Walking up to one of the pillars she put a sender hand against it and felt the cool damp stone numb her vulnerable skin. Sarah shuddered then, the icy touch of ancient stone matched suddenly by the equally numbing sensation that bore down upon from a pair of deep and concentrating eyes.
Slowly Sarah turned, her fingers lazily slipping from the frozen surface as she met that familiar and haunting gaze. From the shadows of the forest, his eyes found hers, and though she couldn’t quite see him, she knew that before her was not the humble nocturnal creature, but the much more dominating presence of the King himself. Sarah’s breath caught in her throat, and though she stood frozen and speechless before him, she couldn’t help but feel the immense weight that was lifted from her. She felt as if she could have cried. For here he was, real and willing to see her once again. That was all her heart needed to know.
Sarah took a cautious step forward, the fresh snow crunching underfoot and breaking the long held silence that hung between them. She wondered what she should say. How does one start when addressing the Goblin King? Could she call him by name, or would he not approve of that? It hurt her that they had ended on such poor terms, and that this hesitation arose in her because of it. But she pushed her thoughts of worry away. This was why she was here. Sarah Williams looked at him then, the subtle moonlight capturing all her radiance in the gentle cascade of the whispering snow, and gently she spoke to him.
Her voice was different then he remembered it, it was lower, more enhanced with delicate articulation, but still ringing with the soft song of her words. And she had addressed him by name. This brought a great deal of relief to Jareth, at least he could rely on the fact that they wouldn’t have to fall back on official titles and forced protocol, otherwise this night would have moved at a very slow and uncomfortable pace. Still, the soft sound of her voicing his name rung in his ears, and he didn’t know whether to be thankful for this, or wary.
Still concealed in the security of his shadows, the Goblin King looked at the woman before him. He paused for a moment.
“… Happy birthday Sarah.” His low British voice could have melted the snow around her. Sarah let out another breath.
“Thank you,” she quietly replied, “I… was worried you wouldn’t come.”
“Were you?” he asked calmly, well aware of the girl’s many troubling concerns. But for Sarah it was so true that she almost laughed in shame of it.
“Yes, actually. You see, I’ve wished for this moment so many times. But… I’m sure you’ve been busy. I guess I can’t expect you to listen especially for me.” But Jareth had been listening, her voice was the one he searched for on those cold nights when the winds blew through the empty Goblin palace, and only her beautiful please could chase away the surrounding solitude. And yet it was these words that he would cling to, but could never allow himself to answer. This girl had hardened his heart once before, and even now as he stood before her, he feared what would happen if he opened it to her once again. So the king stood his ground.
“Of course not. Haven’t you learned anything Sarah? Or are you still so centered on the idea that everything will be handed to you, like… oh how did you put it, so elegantly before? Ah yes, like a piece of cake.” His eyes bore into hers, though his expression was smooth and taunting, there was accusation and blame behind those eyes.
Sarah held her hands against the cold, looking down away from his gaze. She had feared this would happen. But she had also prepared herself for it as well.
“No, I wouldn’t expect that from you, or from anyone, with how I behaved.” she looked up to him again, “But you see that’s why I’m so glad that you’re here. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what happened, between us…”
“between us?” he interrupted stepping out from the shadows at last. Her fist time seeing him in all his glory, since that last moment so long ago, and Sarah couldn’t help but be dazzled by him. Not too different from his final costume, the King now stood before her in gossamer white, only the shadow of his dark captivating eyes, and the playful tint of blue that freckled throughout his hair stood to contrast the magnificent glamor that he portrayed. If he had meant to intimidate Sarah, which he had, it was certainly working. His slightly quizzical gaze pulled her eyes back to his as he slowly drew near.
“Pray tell, my sweet, what do you think happened between us?” there was subtle laugh to his words as if to mock her hopeful attempt of apology, and it cut into Sarah more then she expected it would.
She furrowed her brows slightly. “Well… everything, all that you said, surely you can’t say you’ve forgotten?” He stood before her now, only a mere foot away, smirking at her question.
“Forgotten what? An empty declaration of love made to a spoiled child, who was only one of thousands encountered before. Did you really think that was for you? Or was it just a memorized spell used on every blind and needy girl who came before you?” Sarah shook her head and stepped forward, her heart aching in her chest as she heard his defensive lies.
“No, no I know that’s not true. And so do you! I don’t care how much you’ve convinced yourself of that, if only to shut out the truth. Because I know, I… I know I was wrong.” She caught him off guard then. “ I was selfish and I took advantage of all that you offered me. And… I fear I’ve hurt you Jareth. And for that I am truly sorry.” Jareth was silent, staring down at her large hazel eyes as they sparkled earnestly up at him, the kiss of tears glistening in their corners. Her breath like glass ushered out between them as she dropped her head. All the emotions of two long years were swelling inside her, and now that she had finally spoken her piece, she feared she would burst if not to hear his response. But moments passed in silence, and still he said nothing. Sarah shivered, a harsh wind shuttering through her as she stood bare and open before him. When she went to wipe a tear from her eye however, she was surprised to feel a sudden warmth surround her. Startled she looked up to see Jareth removing his magnificent cape and draping it over her shoulders. The lavish fabric, lush in the elegance of white feathers and sparkling lace, was nearly weightless upon her, and yet Sarah felt instantly enveloped in its warmth. His hands lingered on her shoulders as she gladly accepted the generous token, both of them silently wishing they could stay. But the firm security of his grasp slipped away reluctantly. He wasn’t going to be open with her just yet, there was something more he needed to know.
Sarah’s small hands pulled the softness of the cloak closer around her, the gentle caress of the fabric against her skin bringing waves of desire over her, a desire she had held for years to be able to see this man again, to say what she had and to make her peace with him at last. But a desire too to cross the boundaries from before that she had never dared, to touch and accept him, has he had once welcomed her to do. If this was as close as she would get, it would be enough, but still something in Sarah hoped for more.
“Thank you.” She said, meeting his eyes again. He nodded, and then to her surprise started walking away from the clearing. From over his shoulder his sultry voice addressed her,
“Come Sarah, walk with me.” Without hesitation, Sarah hurried to join him, the two sharing a glance as she met his side, and together they proceeded to stroll down the adjacent path.
“All these years, Sarah, you kept calling… why?” he stared straight ahead, his beautiful eyes sifting through the falling snow as they walked, their calm voices gently ushering out to the quite chill of the silent night around them.
“I suppose I was just being hopeful. I figured a wish worked once before, so why not again?”
“But why again? Why not just leave things as they were, content to let memories fade to imaginings? You held on for some reason, and I’m curious to know what your incentive was.”
“Well…” Sarah faltered, “ I don’t know I, I don’t think I could have, let it go I mean. There was just too much. Do you really think that all that happened down there was something that would just fade away?” He looked down at her, his face solemn and cold.
“Yes.” His answer surprised her, “It didn’t seem to be something that affected you quite as much as I had hopped at the time. Quite unwavering in your quest, you seemed content to take what you had come for and be done with it.”
“I was frightened Jareth. You were offering so much, more than I could ask for, but my brother’s life was in the balance, and the clock was ticking. I felt as if it was a one or the other option. Surely you can’t blame me for choosing to save my family… you put me in a very difficult position.”
“As did you. You have no idea the rules I broke for you, what I lost that night was more than a challenge, I lost my honor… I sometimes wonder how I could have allowed myself to stoop so low.” There was anger and hurt burning in his gaze, though it surprised Sarah that his voice never raised. As they spoke, no matter how heated the conversation got, his tone remained steady and low, almost as if he had already accepted some sort of emotional defeat, and this was no more than a mention of a wound that had long since been closed.
Jareth had continued walking then intent to leave her behind, but not without Sarah’s protest. Determined she strode up behind him, matching his slow but powerful stride. Leaning in she tried to catch his gaze, but he would not give it.
“Then let me ask you a question. You seem so incredulous as to why I would have kept at it, wishing and calling for you all this time. Then tell me, if you’re so ashamed by all of this then why did you come back? Why did you suddenly decide to answer me?” These were the questions he had tormented himself with for many a countless night. Was he ashamed of what he had done for her? No, of course not, if anything he should be proud of the sacrifices he had made for love, or perhaps what he had thought was love. No. what caused him such everlasting shame was that she had not acted as profusely and unreservedly in return. How could she? She was so young. And yet he had found such wisdom and knowing in her eyes, an old soul that for a time he had thought was as ancient and pure as his own. And now, as he turned to look upon the woman she had become, standing in such beautiful radiance in the red gown that peaked out from under his own royal cloak that seemed to rest so perfectly upon her delicate shoulders, could he say that this was not true?
The Great King sighed, closing his eyes from the sight that was altogether too perfectly impossible. He was a fool, she still held the power over him, and he had doomed himself by coming here. But against the gentle kiss of the snow upon his skin, he felt the calming warmth of her hand, tenderly grasping his arm. His eyes opened once again, granting her the gift of that beautiful topaz and emerald stare. Again she asked him, her voice an encouraging whisper to his ear. He looked down, an amused smile almost peeking out from the corner of his mouth, scoffing at his own lovesick weakness.
“How could I stay away?” his voice but a melodic whisper, he met her hopeful gaze, a knowing light hiding in his eyes. “You’re not the only one who doesn’t forget easily, my dear.” Slowly a smile crept upon Sarah’s face, a sight Jareth had seen many a time from a distance, doted upon others but never something he thought he himself would receive. Seeing it now warmed his heart brilliantly against the winter’s cold. A subtle smile found a way to his handsome face as he gently rested his hand beneath her delicate chin, teasing her soft skin with the caress of his thumb, barely long enough to linger, before he pulled it away once again.
Sarah’s smile fell. He was hesitating, and of course he had every right to. What had she done for him but cause him heartache? An act that she had wished more than anything to remedy. But he had answered her call hadn’t he? So now was her chance. Boldly, and without reserve, Sarah stepped forward, and took the Goblin King’s hand between her own.
“I’ve made my peace, but I know that’s not enough. What do you need of me? What must I do to make things right between us?” This caught the King by surprise. He arched an eyebrow amusingly. Such a brave little lass, still sharp with that enchanting ability to do the unexpected. He thought for a moment, holding her hand firmly in his own, watching as the snowflakes wafted lazily down around her, tangling within her thick dark hair, and melting on those beautiful lashes. As he looked over her, his heart yearned to accept her once more, to break away from the chains he had bound himself in and to finally let his wounded heart heal. Here in this silent moment, with her hand in his, and that earnest and steadfast light sparkling in her eyes, he knew at last that he could trust her once again.
A vague smile came to his face as he pulled his hand from hers and gently brushed a stray lock of hair away from her eyes, his gloved fingers resting against her beautiful glowing skin. Leaning in closer he spoke to her with his rich and enchanting voice.
“Just love me… fear me… do as I say.” Radiant light shone from Sarah’s eyes as she held her hand to his, her body almost quivering with the overwhelming joy she felt inside.
“And I will be your slave.” She finished, and before either of them new it they were in each other’s arms, Jareth passionately capturing her lips as her arms wrapped tightly around him. Holding her securely in strong embrace he doted his Sarah with gentle kisses that sent shivers running down her body, her hands entangling themselves dreamily in the strands of his hair, wishing that this moment would never have to end. Together they stood in that center park where they had first met, holding each other against the haunting cold, the shared warmth of their bodies, merely an ember to the flame that blazed inside their hearts.
With one final kiss, they gently pulled away. Sarah’s lips were numb, but no longer from the cold. As she looked into the eyes of the man from whom she feared her love had been forever barred, now fully and completely free to accept him as he had once offered, she couldn’t help but feel tears coming to her eyes, and though she told him it was due to the cold, he knew better, for the same tearful relief was washing over him as well.
A smile came to him as with gloved hands he held her face, lovingly wiping away a stray tear as it fell down her frosted cheek. Sarah laughed through her blurry eyes, embarrassment causing her to blush under his gaze. Stepping back, she took a second to compose herself, Jareth in the meantime walked off the path, headed toward a patch of snow that had built up at the base of one of the beautifully bizarre stone tablets that was leaning nearby. Curious to see what he was doing, Sarah pulled his cloak tighter around herself and watched as he proceeded to scoop up a handful of snow and pat it delicately between his hands. Glancing up at Sarah he gave her an alluring and inviting look. Raising her eyebrow she walked closer, her party shoes crunching the frost and snow underfoot as she went. As she met him she eyed the perfect snowball he now held in his gloved hand.
“What’s this?” she asked looking back at his dark and clever eyes. Jareth started to roll the ball expertly between his hands, enchanting her as always with his impressive skill at the craft.
“A gift.” He said, “nothing more, nothing less.” She raised an eyebrow, her sweet mocking smile perched daintily upon her lips.
“A gift? Nothing more than that?” He winked at her then.
“Well perhaps now, yes. But haven’t we learned that things aren’t always what they seem? Tell me Sarah, what would you like?” Sarah’s eyes followed the little ball of snow as it was tossed expertly from one hand to the other, hypnotized in its movement and reminded of a similar trick from long ago. Still keeping her eyes on his hands she said quietly,
“You offered me my dreams once...” The ball stopped, Sarah’s eyes fluttering up to meet those of the Goblin King, shining brightly through the surrounding darkness. The shadows on his face almost made it impossible to discern, but Sarah could just see through the dark that charming impish smile of the man that had captured her heart those long years ago. With a wave of his hands the ball was magically replaced with one of shining crystal. Instantly Sarah felt the aura of endless possibility surround her again, offered in the hand of the Goblin King, and the man she loved.
Through the silent brush of the wind and sigh of the snow, his voice reached out to her,
“What shall it be then, my love? Mornings of gold? Or valentine evenings?” her chest fluttered with the memory of the song he had sung for her, the same words she had repeated over and over to herself countless times before. But instead of a heartfelt sigh, Sarah carefully took the crystal from her king’s hand and examined it, easily closing the gap between them as she held the crystal up. Giving him an alluring stare she asked him,
“Move the stars for me, my king?” Jareth smiled, and bent down so his face was inches from her own.
“Never again, my queen.” And with that he placed another soft kiss upon her lips. “Happy Birthday, Sarah.”