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Rating: Story R/ Chapter R
Disclaimer: See chapter one
Beta reader: The wonderful Devil Girl. She gave me some wonderful hints and insight into the British way of saying things. She was kind enough to edit this chapter a number times. Thank you!
Previous ChaptersPrologue - A Legend Is Born; Ch 1 - A Chance To Get It Right; Ch 2 - Between The Darkness And The Light

Tears Of A Goblin King



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Ch 3 - Fumbling Toward Ecstacy

We’re running with the shadows of the night
So baby take my hand, it’ll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They’ll come true in the end
You said it’s a cold world
When you keep it all to yourself
I said you can’t hide on the inside
And all the pain you’ve ever felt
Ransom my heart, but baby don’t look back
Cause we got nobody else

~Shadows Of The Night ~ Pat Benatar~

Over the next few months Jareth got very little rest. Between the dreams Sarah unknowingly sent his way, his almost nightly visits to the Aboveground, and his official duties as Goblin King, there was little time for anything else. It took discipline, but the King spent less and less time watching Sarah, so he could extend his visits with Toby. The child missed his father and enjoyed having the companionship of an adult male. It was an easy task to persuade the boy to talk about his sister, and Jareth took pleasure in explaining life in the Underground.

Toby was fascinated with Jareth’s crystals and begged to learn to manipulate them as he’d seen the Goblin King do. Since his hand was too small to handle full-sized spheres, the King conjured smaller ones for him. They were carefully crafted from a spell which made it easy for the child to hold and manipulate, but impossible for their magic to be used by anyone except Jareth. The King was taking no chances with items of Power left unguarded in the world of man. As far as Toby was concerned, they were strictly for show. And Jareth knew exactly who he wanted Toby to show his new talent to.

Sarah was exhausted. It had been six months since her dad died. She was still having intense erotic dreams on almost a nightly basis and getting very little sleep. She was in the attic of her old house going through boxes that she’d packed away 9 years ago. They contained memories that she didn’t really want to look at. But it was necessary unless she simply threw them all away. Karen had received a well-earned promotion at work, and was selling the house. Her new position was manager of the branch office in San Francisco, over 3000 miles away. Sarah could hardly blame her stepmother for wanting to go back to the area where she’d grown up. Her parents were still living there and would care for Toby while she worked. It was an ideal situation, except it left Sarah alone, in Connecticut.

“Sarah,” Karen called up the stairs. “Would you like some coffee?”

“I’d sell my soul for a cup about now,” Sarah laughed.

“Well, nothing that drastic.” Karen looked up the stairs at the beautiful young woman her stepdaughter had grown into. At times it was hard for her to believe that this gentle, dark-haired person was the same passionate child who had so disrupted the early years of her marriage. “You stay there. I’ll bring it up, unless you want to take a break.”

“I’d like to keep at this. The end may be in sight.” Sarah slipped her Swiss Army Knife through the tape on the unmarked box and cut the seal that kept the corrugated top closed.

Five minutes later Karen climbed the stairs with a steaming mug in each hand. She found Sarah standing in front of a dusty full-length mirror holding a faded mint-green princess costume up to her shoulders. “So that’s what happened to that old dress. You wore it so much the spring you turned 15, I had begun to think it was painted on you.”

“It...Ah…ahh…holds lots of memories.” Sarah smiled sadly and sat on an old trunk, clutching the dress in one hand while reaching for her coffee with the other.

“They don’t look like they were very happy memories, kiddo.” Karen smiled gently and pushed a lock of Sarah’s long brown hair behind the younger woman’s ear.

Sarah shook her head, unable to talk about that summer with anyone. She’d shared part of it with Toby, but only him, no one else. “Where is Toby, by the way?”

“He’s in the garage practicing his magic act. Don’t tell him I told you, it was supposed to be a surprise.” Karen leaned back and looked out the window that faced the side of the house. She could hear her son’s voice coming from below, but he was too far away to make out the words.

“Magic, when did Toby start that?” The idea of her brother doing magic set off warning bells, but Sarah shook her doubts off as irrational.

“Not long after Robert died,” Karen whispered and blinked fast to keep tears from rolling down her face.

The stricken look on her stepmother’s face brought Sarah face to face with leftover guilt from her teen years. “I know I didn’t always act like it, but I’m glad you were there for Daddy,” Sarah sniffed to keep from crying. “After what my mother did to him, he really needed you.”

“Oh thank you, sweetie. But I don’t deserve any of the credit,” Karen tried to smile through her tears. “He was the man of my dreams, so it was easy.”

Sarah turned and looked at the woman beside her, but instead of seeing the grieving older woman, her mind was filled with images of a tall man with wild blonde hair and unusual eyes. A man who thrilled and frightened her on levels she didn’t understand, but who she knew had taken possession of her heart when she was 15 and had never let it go.

“Look at us,” Karen tried to laugh as she handed Sarah a tissue and wiped her wet cheeks with one of her own. “Robert would be furious with us if he knew we were sitting here weeping like this. We were ‘his girls’ and he wanted us to be happy.”

“I know, the last time we had lunch together he was worried about me.”

“We both were, Toby too.” Karen patted Sarah’s hand where the younger girl had a death grip on the princess costume in her lap. “Why don’t you come with us to California? There’s plenty of room.”

“I can’t, I’ve got to stay here.” Sarah wasn’t sure why it was so important to her to stay behind, but it was.

“You know you’ll always be welcome.” Karen stood to leave, and then thought better of it. There was one more thing she had to say and since Toby was out of the house this was the time to do it. “I’ve never thanked you for all you did for Toby.”

“What do you mean?” Sarah’s stomach plummeted with fear and doubt.

“Even when things were the worst between us, you loved Toby, for that I’ll always love you.”

“I…I…Of course I loved him. He’s my brother.” Sarah burst into tears. “But it was more than that. Even when I thought I hated you, I couldn’t stop myself from loving him. He was this tiny creature who made me feel needed, something that I hadn’t felt since my mom left.” She rocked back and forth crying at the memory of how lonely she’d been.

“Oh Sarah, honey, I’m so sorry I wasn’t more help to you.” Karen knelt and put her stepdaughter’s head on her shoulder.

“It’s not your fault, I wouldn’t have let you.” Sarah pulled back and tried to give the older woman a reassuring smile, but all she could do was cry. “I may have loved him, but there were times I thought he was a real pain, and I’d get mad at him for no reason.” She shrugged her shoulders and took a deep breath to stop the tears. “I had this awful dream when he was about 18 months old. I dreamt I wished the Goblins would come and take him away, but it was their king who came and got him. In order to win him back I had to fight my way through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, across a huge maze, to the Castle beyond the Goblin City.” Her voice fell unconsciously into the sing-song pattern she always used when saying the lines from her Labyrinth book.

Karen shook her head at Sarah’s wild imagination, as she patted the younger woman’s shoulder. “It’s all right, it was only a dream and you did get him back.”

“It was so weird.” The younger woman shook her head at how real the reoccurring nightmare seemed, even nine years later. “At the very end, I had to make a choice: Toby or the man of my dreams. I couldn’t have them both. I chose Toby.” Her eyes filled at the memory and she hid her face in her hands.

“It was just a dream, sweetie.” The older woman tried to comfort the younger one. “And if Toby was only 18 months old, you couldn’t have been much more than 15. Of course you would’ve chosen your brother over…this Goblin King.”

“I know. It’s taken me years to figure that out.” Sarah tried to pull herself together. “At first I thought I hated the King, but it wasn’t hate. It was fear. Fear because I was too young to understand what he was offering me. Even if I had, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it. Besides, I couldn’t have let him turn Toby into a Goblin, so it was all doomed from the beginning.” She shrugged and sighed.

“A Goblin? My goodness, that sounds like one heck of a mixed-up dream.” Her stepmother patted her hand. “But it also sounds as if you were beginning to discover there was more to life than teddy bears and faery princesses. The girl I remember you to be at 15 would have been very attracted to a Goblin King.”

“I was,” Sarah dried her face and was finally able to breathe normally. “But he was only a dream.”

“Now all you have to do is wait, until he comes along in the flesh.” Karen smiled, always the romantic, always wanting for her stepdaughter what she’d found with Robert.

“Yeah right, more likely he’ll be an accountant from Connecticut.” She sighed.

“Don’t knock accountants from Connecticut. For some of us they’re a perfect dream man!” Karen disappeared down the steps shaking her head. Sarah may have given up acting in favor of a career as an illustrator, but the young woman still had a flair for the dramatic.

Heart don’t fail me now
Courage don’t desert me
Don’t turn back now that we’re here
People always say
Life is full of choices
No one ever mentions fear
Or how the road can seem so long
How the world can seem so vast
Courage see me through
Heart I’m trusting you
On this journey to the past

~Journey To The Past ~ Aaliyah~

After dinner Karen and Sarah sat in the living room and watched 10-year-old Toby perform card tricks. When the show was over, Karen went upstairs to quickly change her clothes. Toby belonged to the swim team at the YMCA. His teammates and their parents were taking Karen and Toby out for a farewell party of ice cream and video games.

“Sarah, I’ve got a special trick that’s just for you.” He waited until his mom was out of sight, then moved behind the table that he’d covered with a black cloth and reached for some things he’d hidden there.

“If it’s just for me, then I know it’s going to be great.” Sarah smiled as Toby turned his back in preparation.

She froze in her chair when Toby turned and stepped from behind the table wearing a long black cape. His hands were fisted on his hips, he held his chin high, and strutted across the room in a perfect imitation of the Goblin King. When he stopped two feet from her chair, his right hand dipped into the cape and came up with a crystal.

Toby grinned, he had Sarah’s complete attention as he moved his hands this way and that. The small crystal that was just the right size for him slid easily from one hand to the other. Over the top of his right hand and back to the left; he only wished he was good enough to have done it wearing gloves.

“Toby--” Sarah gasped and felt 15 again.

“It’s a crystal, nothing more.” Toby’s little boy voice may have been saying the words, but Sarah heard a very different one whispering in her ears. “But if you turn it this way,” the young boy flicked his wrist and the crystal slid over the back of his hand and fingers to land in his palm. With another flick of the wrist, he changed hands and did it all over again. “It will show you your dreams.”

“So what do you think of Toby’s special trick?” Karen was standing in the doorway with a light blue pashmina thrown casually around her shoulders and holding her son’s coat.

“It’s…it’s…amazing…” Sarah’s voice squeaked. “You’ve left me speechless.” Her stomach was tightening as she tried to applaud and give her brother the encouragement he deserved. “I think I need some air, I’m going to pass on the party tonight.” She smiled weakly and stood on legs she wasn’t sure would hold her.

“Wait Sarah, this is for you.” Toby tossed the crystal to his sister. “It’s your dreams, remember.”

Sarah caught the crystal, but dropped it as if it were on fire as he mentioned her dreams. Toby reached for the sphere as it rolled on the carpet and placed it in her numb hands. “Don’t worry. I got three more of them upstairs. That one’s for you. It’s special. It’ll make you happy, you’ll see.” He hugged her tightly around the waist before turning and dashing after his mom to the garage, calling back over his shoulder, “love you, sis.”

Sarah was still clutching the crystal when she ran from the house. She took the short-cut through the neighbor’s yard and sprinted to the park. “Jareth….Jareth…”she began shouting as soon as the foot bridge was in sight. “Jareth, where are you?”

It was dark and a misty rain made Sarah shiver. She hadn’t bothered with a jacket hoping that her long sleeved t-shirt, cashmere knit warm-up pants and Ugg Boots would keep her warm. She was going to find that Goblin King and settle this once and for all. He couldn’t come back into her life nine years later and try and trick her into trading Toby away. “Jareth, you cowardly…” A dark shape moved out from beneath the trees ten feet away. “You cowardly…” The words caught in Sarah’s throat as he stepped out from the shadows in all his Kingly splendor.

“Oh my God, you’re real,” She gasped and had to fight to keep from losing her footing as a wave of dizziness made spots dance before her eyes.

“We’ve been through this before, but at the time I attributed it to your fever.” He gave her a devilish smile and stepped closer.

“No, it can’t be,” she shook her head to clear it and stepped back.

“Oh, but it is,” the corners of Jareth’s mouth twitched as he put one hand on his hip and raised the other with a flourish that made Sarah think of windy nights, white owls and French doors that flew open all on their own.

“Wait, wait,” she put her hands up in front of her as if to ward him off, but he just kept on coming, until her palms were pressed against a well-muscled chest. “Now wait just one damn minute. I won! What are you doing here?”

“You called, I came.” He gripped her by the shoulders and pulled her closer. “I know you’re stubborn, but is it really worth wet feet?”

Sarah looked down in surprise as the water of the lake lapped an inch away from the heels of her Uggs. A shiver ran through her body when she realized the only part of her that was warm was where Jareth’s hands touched her. The heavy mist that had filled the air when she ran from the house had turned into a steady drizzle that dampened her hair and clothes. Somehow, the Goblin King appeared dry and untouched by the weather.

“You’re freezing,” he slipped out of his cloak and wrapped it around her shoulders. “You and I have something that needs to be discussed.”

“No, there’s nothing to talk about.” She tried to pull free of the long black cape, but it clung to her shoulders and swirled around her body. “You can’t have Toby, end of discussion. Now take this thing back.” She fought the soft black material she was wrapped in, but instead of getting free of it, it hugged her all the tighter.

“I didn’t come here for Toby. If I had, he’d have been mine a long time ago.” Jareth reached out and stilled the moving cape until it hung obediently from her shoulders.

“Then what is this thing all about?” She held out the crystal that Toby had given her. “What was all that you taught my brother? ‘It’s a crystal, nothing more. But if you turn it this way it’ll show you your dreams’.” She unconsciously mimicked Jareth’s speech pattern and voice. “I wasn’t open to trading him for a hunk of glass 9 years ago, I don’t know why you think I’d be willing to do it now.” Jareth’s cape was keeping her warm, but she couldn’t stop shaking. Sarah wasn’t sure if it was anger, fear, or a combination of both.

Jareth was losing patience with the stubborn human. She may have grown up into a beautiful woman, but she was as difficult as ever. “I gave Toby that crystal to get your attention. We need to talk and I am unable to come to you in human form unless you call me. The crystal did its job. You called.” Jareth touched the sphere and it disintegrated. The sparkling particles which floated in the air sang as they were carried away by the wind.

“We have nothing to talk about.”

“Oh, don’t we?” His brows rose and he stepped so close Sarah could feel the magic radiating off of him in waves. “How have the last nine years been for you, Sarah? Have they been fun years? Do you feel fulfilled? And the dreams, Sarah, what about the dreams, have you enjoyed them?” His voice cracked, filled with emotions he was barely able to keep in check.

“That was your doing?” A piece of Sarah’s heart broke at the thought Jareth would have tormented her all that time for revenge. “Have you really hated me that much?”

“Hate you, my dear?” Jareth shook his head and smiled sadly as he tucked a dark strand of hair behind her ear. “I’ve never hated you. But we do need to talk somewhere where we won’t be disturbed.”

“All right,” Sarah agreed with a toss of her head. All the while telling herself that the only reason she was doing this was to get him to tell her the truth about the last 9 years. It had nothing to do with the wonder of seeing him again or the way his slightest touch made her feel whole and complete. “There’s no one at home. We’ve got a few hours until my brother and stepmother will be back. We can talk there.”

“Hold on to my shoulders,” he instructed as he slipped his hands beneath the cape she was wearing and gently gripped her waist. He felt her trembling increase at his touch and it gave him hope that this wasn’t all in vain.

As Sarah felt the world begin to spin around her, she heard Jareth whisper, “you’ll find it easier if you close your eyes.” His right hand cupped the back of her head and gently pulled her face against his chest.

Her grip tightened on his shoulders as she felt wind rushing in her ears, then all was quiet and she cautiously looked up. In the amount of time it had taken her to breathe in and out three times, he had transported them to her living room. Her mind ground to a halt. She was lost somewhere in his magnificent odd eyes, as his scent filled her nostrils and it triggered an old memory. “Moonbeams and magic,” she murmured.

“Yes, that’s right. You said that about me once.” He smiled in delight that she was able to recognize a fragrance unknown to humans. It was one of the more tangible pieces of evidence that Sarah was meant to be his. “Do you remember what else you said?” His whispered words were accompanied by a gloved finger that trailed gently down her cheek.

His seductive voice caressed her ears and her words of three years ago filled her mind. “I said…I said…” Her hand reached for his face, needing to feel if his skin was as soft as she remembered it. “I said you were more beautiful than I remembered,” each word dropped from her lips accompanied by a breathy sound that shook them both.

Sarah gasped and blinked as what she said finally penetrated her fogged brain. “No! That wasn’t real,” she shook her head in denial. “I had strep throat and was running a high temperature. I only dreamt you.” Excuses tumbled out as fast as she could think of them and filled the space that separated them.

“As you think you’re only dreaming me now?” He shrugged and turned toward the fireplace. With a flick of his wrist he produced a roaring fire and two cushions in front of the hearth. “As you’ve been able to convince yourself that your adventure through my Labyrinth was only a dream? Come, come, Sarah, I expected more grit from you than that. After all, you’re the girl who defeated the great and mighty Goblin King, to win back her brother.”

“I’m not the same girl I was.” She sighed and stepped away from him. He was attempting to goad her into something, but she refused to take the bait.

“That’s very apparent.” His eyes slowly swept her body then came to rest on her face, “very apparent, indeed.”

“Don’t do that to me!” Sarah cried out, her hands clenched at her sides in anger. “You were always doing that to me before and it wasn’t fair!”

Jareth threw back his head and laughed. “Now that’s more like it. I was beginning to think my lionhearted Sarah was lost somewhere along the way.”

“I’m not your Sarah, and I never will be!” It was a lie but she justified it by telling herself that it was no different than the one she’d told him 9 years ago.

“Then how would you explain this?” He pulled a sheet of drawing paper out of thin air and handed it to her.

“Oh…” All the fight went out of her and she slipped to the floor in front of the fireplace. Her fingers shook as she looked at one of her drawings that had come up missing a few months ago. It was of the white barn owl that lived on her property, but the eyes were ones she only saw in her dreams. She’d drawn the bird with one blue eye and one brown. “I’d wondered where this had gotten to. Are you him? Has that been you all along?” It finally made sense why she’d felt a compulsion to protect the white bird that lived in the trees around her home.

“No, but he was gracious enough not make a fuss when I intruded on his hunting grounds. For that he will always be welcome in the Underground. When he is too old to hunt for himself he may come and live in the safety of the Labyrinth for all time.” The King declared, his words a decree that were not taken nor given lightly.

“Thank you,” Sarah murmured. It was odd to see the Goblin King express tenderness.

Jareth sat on the floor facing Sarah in the darkened living room. A pillow between his back and the side of the couch, booted feet crossed at the ankles, and legs thrust out in front of him to rest on the floor beside her shorter ones. He carefully watched the woman in the firelight as he told her the history of the Curse and all that it meant to his family and to her. It took all his willpower not to reach out and caress the legs so close to his. The soft material they were covered by showed her well-toned muscles and gentle curves.

“Wait, back up…” Sarah’s head was spinning at the tale she was told. She wanted to trust him, but coupled with the fear he’d given her as a young teen and the story he had just told her, it was almost impossible. “So you’re telling me we’re soulmates or something like that? You’re saying that the whole Labyrinth thing, all those hours of torture and worry about Toby were nothing but a ruse?

“Not a ruse, a test of sorts. The first step to breaking the Curse that was set upon my family and the women we would love, three generations ago.”

“A test! You would’ve turned my brother into a Goblin because of a test?” Sarah leapt to her feet as anger boiled up in her.

“Oh, Great Oberon’s Eyelashes, no,” he rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Where did you ever get a nonsensical idea like that?” He stood and watched her pace. “Goblins breed fast enough as it is. Why in the worlds would I want to add to their population?”

“But it said…it said…in the book I’ve got, it said the King turns the child into a Goblin. It never even mentioned 13 hours in your maze! How was I supposed to know about that?” She planted her hands on her hips daring him to refute her evidence.

“That book of yours is a product of the Curse, don’t you understand?” His voice rumbled as he flicked his wrist. A moment later Sarah’s tattered copy of the Labyrinth was lying in his outstretched palm.

“No, no I don’t.” She began to tremble at the implications. “That would mean that you…that you and I…well that…”

“So far, the only thing this book has gotten right is that the Goblin King loved the girl,” the last words were spoken so softly they were a breeze that tickled past Sarah’s ear and ran up her spine. Jareth cleared his throat and went on. “Unfortunately, you made your feelings for me quite clear, 9 years ago.”

She could hardly catch her breath at what she heard. Her eyes filled with tears and she knew she couldn’t hide the truth from him any longer. “I lied,” she whispered.

“You what?” Jareth had been expecting it. On some level he’d always known. That explained why the magic had hung in the air above their heads in the Escher Room, unsure if it should send her home or keep her in the Labyrinth. This was the piece to the puzzle he’d been missing all these years. Her words had said one thing, while her heart had said another. “Do you realize what this could have meant if things had happened differently, if I hadn’t been able to get back to you again?” Angry at himself for meddling in the magic, he lashed out at Sarah. “We’re not just talking about your life and mine, but the welfare of an entire Kingdom hangs in the balance.”

“Well, what did you expect me to do?” Her anger boiled over and she exploded towards him, wanting to wipe the haughty expression off his face. “No matter who was to blame, I thought you were going to keep my brother and turn him into a Goblin.”

“By the time I offered myself to you, Toby was safe asleep in his own bed.” He stared her down, his voice as hard as ice.

“How was I supposed to know that?” It was difficult to stay angry with him when all she wanted to do was listen to his beautiful voice telling her over and over again that he loved her. “Besides the book doesn’t say a word about what the girl feels.” It was a lame excuse, but she hoped he’d stop questioning her.

“Tell me, Sarah,” his insistent words were punctuated by his boot heels clicking on the stone hearth, as he moved towards her with feline grace, backing her between the mantle and the wall. “What was it you felt all those years ago, that you lied about?”

“Stop that!” She raised a fist to hit him on the shoulder, but was too caught up in her own emotions to do anything but reach out for him. Her eyes filled with tears and she began to tremble. In an attempt to hide it from the King, she buried her face in her hands and stood rocking back and forth on unsteady legs. “Even if I’d known that Toby was safe…I couldn’t…I couldn’t…have stayed no matter what I felt…I just couldn’t…”

“Oh, my poor Sarah,” his temper melted away as he wrapped his arms around her and buried her face against his neck. “I keep tearing you apart when I only want you to be happy. The Curse must be making a last attempt to destroy us.”

“But you don’t understand.” She pulled free and stepped away from him and the corner he’d backed her into. Her hands were tightly wrapped around her body to keep them from shaking. As much as she craved the comfort he offered, she was unable to take it until she’d told him the whole truth. “I couldn’t have stayed with you, no matter what,” she whispered. “You terrified me.”

Jareth blinked in surprise. “I never did anything to hurt you and never would.”

“I know. It was something I had always known. Then when you threw that snake at me, and it turned into a scarf, it only confirmed what I’d believed all along: that no matter how powerful you were, you would never harm me. You might startle and tease me to make things difficult, but you weren’t as cruel as you pretended.”

“Then why were you so frightened?” He reached out and picked up his long black and midnight blue cape that she’d discarded earlier and began to wrap it around her trembling body in hope of giving her comfort that she wouldn’t accept directly from him.

“No, that’s an unfair advantage,” Sarah pulled back and wouldn’t take what he offered.

“Ahh yes, moonbeams and magic,” he grinned knowingly at her as he tossed the cape to the couch. He was very aware of how his scent affected her. “You were saying?”

Sarah bit her lip and felt herself blush. “If I’d wished Toby away a few months earlier, I’d have been too young to…to…understand what happened in the Ballroom and if I’d been a bit older…well things might have turned out differently.”

“What exactly are you talking about?” The second she mentioned the Ballroom, Jareth was on guard.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” Sarah’s chin reared in anger that he was making her say it. “Are you really going to make me say the words?”

“I think that might be appropriate,” he said in a low voice, unable to take his eyes off her face.

“When you danced with me, you looked at me…for one moment…the look on your face…I could see…I could see…And all those people with everything on display…their every movement showed their corrupt longings. Being in their midst made me feel dirty. All I wanted to do was hold on tightly to you because I felt safe when your arms were around me…except then I remembered how you had looked at me…and…and I didn’t feel safe anymore…your eyes had been like theirs only worse, because it had been personal. You’d looked at me…”

“How did I look at you?” Jareth had always been so sure that in the Ballroom Dream he was the only one who saw others as they appeared on the inside, instead of how they showed themselves to the worlds they inhabited. He must have let himself become complacent when he had been with Sarah. It had been a careless mistake that might yet cost him dearly.

“I didn’t know what I was sensing then and refused to recognize it for a long time, but it was desire,” Sarah whispered.

Jareth’s chin dropped to his chest and he had to fight for words. “I’m so sorry, my dear.” He reached for her face with hands that trembled. “I never meant for you to see it, and I’ve tried for 9 years to deny that part of me, which could feel such a thing for a young human girl. I wanted you with me. Damn the Curse,” he roared in frustration and anger. “Damn my great-great-grandfather who was too short-sighted to see what was right. Damn Caliban for not taking responsibility for his own fate! And damn that book of yours,” he pointed to where he’d tossed it on the couch moments earlier. The magic that flew from his fingers transported the offending item out of sight. “Damn it for bringing you to me when you were so innocent!” The windows of the house shook and the weather was whipped into a frenzy for miles around.

“It wasn’t the book, you know,” Sarah whispered into the storm that shook around her. “I’ve checked countless times, and the words it contains aren’t the correct ones.”

“I know,” he sighed and turned away from her, still ashamed of his feelings. “Toby showed me the book the night of your father’s funeral.”

“You were there then, too?” She had a distant memory of opening the window to let him in and of strong, sure arms that had held her through the night. She moved until she was facing Jareth and held him by the shoulders. “And when my mother died, it was really you?”

“Yes, you called to me each time.”

“And each time you came and took away my distress.” Sarah took a deep breath and with shaking fingers caressed his face. “You have nothing to be ashamed of, Jareth, King of the Goblins.” Tears filled her eyes as she realized the tender care he’d given her. “You’ve shown me nothing but loving kindness in the years I’ve tried to convince myself that you never existed.” She stood on tiptoes and tenderly kissed his lips. “You are a beautiful man on the outside, but you’re even more so on the inside.”

Jareth laughed with joy at her words. “Sarah, if you believe that, then may you always be so deceived!”

“What do we do next?”

“Well, first we take care of these,” Jareth removed one glove and carefully wiped away Sarah’s tears then rolled them into crystals. With a nod of his head the black velvet bag appeared. “Open that for me, please?”

“What is it?” She opened the drawstring and watched in amazement as a miniature crystal sphere rolled from Jareth’s hand into the open bag. Then he quickly replaced the glove he’d removed.

“It is a source of great power that must be guarded at all cost.” He held the bag open and carefully slid the contents onto his palm. “In here are all the tears that all the Goblin Kings and Queens have ever shed. I’ve added yours to them for safe-keeping. That one in the middle, the one with the deep blue center, that’s the one that fell from my great-grandfather Morgan’s eyes when he realized that his father Jared, the original Goblin King, had been wrong about Caliban’s Curse. It truly did exist. Those two lighter pink ones came from my mother, Livia, Dowager Queen of the Goblins. They were placed in this sack a long time ago by my father. I’ve no idea what caused them. The livid red one next to the pink ones belonged to my father Cormac. It fell when his human woman died, alone and loved by no one, except a Fae King who lived worlds away. And this one, that’s swirled with blue and brown, is mine, from the night you broke the Escher room. The rest are yours from over the years.”

“Those are all mine?” She looked in wonder at 6 tiny globes that danced with firelight.

“Yes,” he smiled. “Humans cry more easily so there are more of them, and yours sparkle with passion because they fell from your eyes before you have experienced it.”

“But the dreams,” she whispered, not realizing she’s spoken aloud. Too often in the last months she’d burned with desire that was like nothing she’d ever known.

“The dreams are false magic. If you doubt me, look closely at that tear.” He pointed to the one he’d just added to the pile. “It burns as brightly as the rest, for you are just as innocent as when we first met.”

“If what I feel in the nightmares is untrue, how can you be so sure that I didn’t leave my passion behind long ago?” Sarah bit her lip in worry. The only part of the dreams she’d welcomed had been how alive she’d felt. Over the years she had come to think she might be frigid. With the advent of the dreams she’d hoped that was changing.

“Aaahh, I see. You question your abilities,” Jareth smiled and tilted her chin upward so she met his gaze. “Do so if you like, but have no doubts about mine.”

His whispered words sent a shaft of pure fire through Sarah that made her rock back on her heels. “I…ah…” She cleared her throat and tried again to speak. “I just don’t want you to be disappointed.” Her chin rose at a defiant angle and she met his eyes with determination.

“In you, never,” he took a moment to slide the precious crystals back in their sack, and then with a flick of his wrist it disappeared. “Never,” he murmured as he reached for her and pulled her into his arms. When his mouth touched hers this time there was nothing tentative about it. He was demanding as he held her head in place so he could ravish her lips.

With a moan that echoed from her soul, Sarah ran her hands up his neck and into his hair. Her lips parted under his and she tasted him as his tongue thrust deep then curled and danced with hers. Her hands moved erratically through his hair and over his shoulders, plucking at the soft material of his shirt.

She shivered as she felt Jareth’s hand move beneath the hem of her long-sleeved t-shirt and run up the side of her body to cup her right breast. Her body moved closer seeking hands that she had only felt in her dreams.

Gasping, they pulled apart to gulp some much needed air. “You still have doubts, my Sarah?” He hissed against her ear. Then trailed hot kisses down her neck and flicked his thumb across the lace that covered her nipple. All the while he kept her body pressed tightly to his.

She was swept up in a whirlwind of sensations and could do nothing but shake her head and hold onto him for dear life. She knew if he wasn’t supporting her weight she’d fall in a heap at his feet.

“Good, then we need to go back,” he tilted her face upward until he could see her eyes and lazily ran his gloved fingers over her cheek. He needed to be sure she understood what she would be giving up if she went with him. That he would tell her was one more reason he was sure he loved her. If it had been only desire, he could have taken her on the floor in front of the fire and gone on his way, it might have been enough to satisfy the Curse. By giving her a choice, he might lose everything.

“Back,” she blinked at him. “That’s the way forward.”

“So I’ve heard tell,” he blinked in surprise. It wasn’t what he’d expected to hear from her.

“The Wiseman told me that 9 years ago.” She nodded as another memory surfaced. “Then there was that Blue Worm in the bottle of Tequila.”

“So you’re the one who gave one of my worms alcohol?” Jareth shook his head and reluctantly pulled his hand out from under her shirt, but kept her pressed close to him. “You realize that poor thing was hung over for weeks. It took serious arbitration on my part to keep his ‘Missus’ from throwing him out.”

“No, no, that wasn’t me.” Sarah found it hard to keep from laughing at the serious look on his face. “It was a dream and he was in the bottle when I got there.”

“Just as I suppose you’re not the same girl who knocked down Didymus’s bridge, wrecked Agnes’s trash heap, and did serious damage to my Ballroom. The Goblin City, well, we’ll leave that for another time.” Jareth’s mouth twitched as he helped her straighten her clothes.

“What can I say? I was being terrorized by a Goblin King.” Sarah shrugged.

“I never meant to frighten you like that.” Suddenly he had nothing to laugh about. “I wouldn’t have touched you until you were old enough. I wouldn’t have even kept you within easy reach.” He sighed because he knew he was telling the truth and it would have been difficult, but he would have done it. “You would have stayed with my mother until you were at least 20. That is the age when Fae woman are old enough to marry or take a lover, but I would have given you all the time you needed.”

“Jareth, those three nights when you came from your world to stay with me, you were in human form, not owl, right?” As he nodded she went on. “Was there anything in this Curse, or in your magic, that would have prevented you from seducing me on any of those occasions?”

“No,” he whispered.

“But you didn’t, just like you didn’t press your advantage when I was in the Underground. I have enough memory of those times to know that you could have if you’d tried. I love you, Jareth,” she whispered. “You’ve always been there for me, no matter what. Even long before I was pulled into the Labyrinth I think I loved you. So if you really do love me too, then what the heck do we have to do to get rid of this damn Curse and get on with our lives?” Sarah punctuated her question with a stomp of her foot that she hoped showed she meant business.

“We need to go back to the Underground.” He sighed and gripped her shoulders. “But you need to understand what that entails for you.”

“I figure it’s something pretty drastic if it’s going to break the Curse. According to what you told me, I’m supposed to give up everything for that to happen.” Sarah bit her lip and searched for courage to ask her last question. “Do I have to die, Jareth?”

“If I thought for a moment that any harm would come to you, I would lock every portal between our worlds and seal you safely in the Aboveground.” He held her close at the thought of losing her. “You’ve completed the Labyrinth, I love you and you love me. I don’t know what else the Curse could need to be satisfied as long as you come to live in the Underground forever.”

“That means I can never come back here, even for a visit?”

“No you can’t.” He rubbed her arms as he told her the truth. “You’ve been to the Underground once already, if you return, you must stay there. As long as you’re surrounded by the magic that pervades it, you’ll age at a very slow rate. Humans who never leave the Underground live as long as Fae. But if you return to the Aboveworld for even a moment, you’ll experience unnatural aging and die in a matter of days.”

“That means Toby can’t ever come and visit me.” She blinked quickly to prevent tears from filling her eyes.

“If he came he would be unable to leave, either. I’m sorry Sarah, but it is the way the magic works. It isn’t of my doing.”

“Well I guess you can say that means I’d be giving up everything, so the Curse should be satisfied.” She shrugged, either way she was trapped. If she stayed Aboveground she’d become a shadow of a person without Jareth. If she went with him, she’d never see what was left of her family again. “I guess I should be glad that I’m even given a choice. If you still followed Oberon’s law, I’d be barred from joining you.”

“With the Curse, he was given no choice. He had to accept humans, but in his lifetime the only ones who were allowed past the portal were the ones who could possibly break the spell Caliban had cast.”

“That’s why you take wished away children?” It was something Sarah had to ask before she committed herself to a life with the Goblin King.

“That’s how it started, but there’s more to it than that.” Jareth took her hand and led her back to the pillows in front of the fireplace. He pulled her down onto his lap and held her tightly to him. “The Fae live a very long time. My mother is over 1000 years old. The great creator limited the number of children a Fae woman could have.” He kissed the top of Sarah’s head and wrapped his arms around her from behind. “Given our impulsiveness, and our preference for pleasure, we could have overpopulated the worlds long ago, if it were not so. It is the unusual family that has more than one child and many have none. It is that way with all creatures of magic, with the exception of Goblins.”

“So you take human children to fill up the empty spaces?” Sarah looked stricken. It wasn’t something she thought she could live with. “Toby was almost one of those children.” She turned her head and glared at Jareth when she thought how close she’d come to losing her brother.

“I never would have kept your brother.” He caressed her chin and took a deep breath to tell her all of it. “Because of the Curse, every human who wishes away a child is offered the choice of 13 hours in the Labyrinth to win the child back. In my time as king you are the only one who accepted.”


“Do not interrupt.” It was a command and Sarah knew it. Part of her wanted to bristle against it, but this was one area of Jareth’s life that she didn’t understand or agree with. If there was any chance of happiness for either of them she needed to hear him out. “The children who are wished away are usually unwanted; some are damaged, or sick. Our magic can help them and they never retain a memory of their former lives. How could I not answer a call to help one of those children?”

“There must have been girls before me who were silly enough to call on you to take their baby brother or sister? What did you do with them?”

“Those children never have the right words. They may wish it all they like, but I never hear their call.” Jareth ran his nose through her hair enjoying its sweet fragrance.

“Then how did you hear mine?” Sarah was confused and it made her choice all the more difficult. “My book didn’t have the correct words, and I really didn’t want Toby taken, I was just having a tantrum.”

“Yes, you were, my love,” his laughter rumbled through his chest. “I’ve wondered how that was possible ever since I read your book last April. There are Goblins on watch at all times, but they don’t know the right words to wish away an unwanted child. When the phrase is spoken, it calls to them, but they are unable to retain the memory of what was said. The only thing we’ve been able to come up with is that the Curse must have given one of those Goblins the correct words and he gave them to you.”

“That’s it,” Sarah gasped. “I remember now. I tried to wish Toby away, using the words in my book, but nothing happened. Then as I was leaving the room, something whispered in my head, and…I repeated it.”

He stood and pulled her to her feet beside him. “The choice is yours, Sarah.” He pulled his flowing cape around his shoulders and offered her his hand. “But you need to say the words.”

“There never was a choice, Jareth.” She smiled and placed her hand in his, “because you’ve always had power over me.”

“And you over me,” he nodded his head and swept the folds of his cape around them. His arms held her snugly against him. “Close your eyes, my sweet, we’re going home.”

Sarah leaned her face against his shoulder, and was surrounded by the scent of moonbeams and magic as Jareth once again turned the world upside down for her.

All the fear has left me now
I’m not frightened anymore
It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath

~Fumbling Toward Ecstasy~ Sarah McLaughlin

Seconds later the world stopped spinning and Sarah was once again aware of a surface beneath her feet. “Goodness, I think I could get used to traveling like that.”

“It does make things easier, though there is a lot to be said for riding high in the air, under a full moon.” Jareth pulled his cape from around them and dropped it over the arm of the sofa.

“Oh my, what beautiful rooms,” Sarah caught her breath as she looked around. The ceilings were very high. Much of one wall was taken up by a huge fireplace. A comfortable looking sofa faced the hearth. Two walls had large windows looking out over the Labyrinth for as far as the eye could see. Between one set of windows there was a desk that faced out into the room. Instead of a fourth wall, there were large French doors that were thrown open to reveal a huge high bed with a blue comforter so dark it was almost black and creamy white silk sheets.

“I’m glad you like them. They’re mine.” Jareth looked at Sarah and walked slowly toward her.

“I thought as much,” She whispered unable to control her voice.

“They’re yours now, too.” He took her hand and kissed her knuckles. “A Goblin King always sleeps beside his Queen.”

“You’re asking me to marry you?”

“Of course, did you think this was simple seduction?” His brows rose and the sides of his mouth quivered in an almost smile. “Ahhh I see, you still see me as the villain of your youth.” He grinned at her confusion. “It’s tempting, very tempting, but I think we should save it for some other night. The Wicked Goblin King verses the Innocent Young Maiden is not a game for your first time.”

“Jareth,” she whispered, suddenly shy.

He gripped her hands, his eyes dancing with fire that made them look almost identical. “Sarah Williams, destroyer of bridges, junkyards, and magic rooms will you do me, Jareth, King of the Goblins, the honor of becoming my wife?”

She smiled up at him and reached for his hands. With fingers that shook Sarah began pealing off Jareth’s gloves, one at a time. “Jareth, King of the Goblins,” she kissed his right palm and then his left. “Ruler of the Labyrinth, owl of my dreams and manipulator of the magic crystals, I will gladly be your wife.”

He pulled her to him and kissed her as his bare hands moved over her back and under her t-shirt. He was finally able to feel her skin against his and it filled him with joy.

“Jareth,” Sarah purred as sensations rocked her to the core. “Now I understand why you wear gloves.” She kissed his neck while her skin vibrated under his touch.

“What is it you feel?” He slipped her shirt over her head and tossed it on top of his cape.

“I feel everything.” She could hardly breathe. “There’s passion and longing, and…love. Is that coming from you?”

He only nodded as he pushed her hair aside and kissed his way down her neck. His nimble fingers unhooked her bra and slipped it off her shoulders. Jareth could have had them both naked with her flat on her back and his body pressing hers into the bed, with a flick of the wrist, but she deserved more from him, especially for her first time.

Sarah fumbled with the buttons on his shirt, and wasn’t making much progress. The sensations of pleasure his touch was creating, made her fingers unable to behave as she wanted them to. She hated that she was being clumsy when all she wanted was to be seductive. “Would you help me out here?” Her voice was breathy in his ear and her face flushed.

“I remember telling you once that I’d be your slave, so your wish is my command.” With a nod of his head, his buttons parted at her slightest touch. Almost of its own accord, his shirt slid off his shoulders and down his arms.

“Thank you,” she shyly nuzzled his bare chest. “I didn’t want to rip anything.”

One of his hands covered hers, holding them warm against his heart and the other lifted her chin so he could look her in the eyes. “That can be stimulating as well, my love.” He smiled as wild desire looked back at him from deep green pools. “But again it is something that is best saved for another night.”

Words stuck in Sarah’s throat and she began to tremble. She would have lost her balance if he hadn’t picked her up and carried her to his bed. “I see that idea has appeal to you as well.” The mighty Goblin King grinned at his Queen-to-be, and laid her before him on the dark comforter.

“Jareth,” she reached for him as he stood over her with one knee resting on the bed next to her hip. She wanted him beside her or on top of her, anywhere but that far away. “Come closer, much closer, I’ve waited too long for this. I don’t want to wait any longer.”

From his position above her, he ran his bare right hand from her waist to her breast and felt her gasp as she arched into his touch. “You are so beautiful, Sarah,” his words were heavy with desire. All he could see was the woman beneath his hands and she was all he’d ever wanted. Suddenly it became imperative that her pleasure came first. She was innocent, a far cry from the women of his past. He swore to himself that he’d be gentle with her, no matter how much he needed her.

Sarah moaned as he wrapped his left arm around her arching body to pull her closer to him. When his mouth covered her left nipple and began gently teasing it, she thought she would die from the pleasure. “Oh my God,” her ragged whisper drove him to suck harder. His own passion strained at the bonds to be set free, but this was Sarah’s moment and he would give her all she deserved.

When Jareth felt her hips begin to buck he looked up and smiled. There was a slight sheen of sweat on her brow and she was gasping for air. He’d pictured her like this for longer than he cared to admit to himself. “My beautiful Sarah,” he murmured. His right hand slid beneath the soft wool of her warm-up pants until his fingers encountered silky lace beneath. He was caught between the desire to watch her face as he sent her over the edge, and the need to taste her hardened nipple as she was blown apart with passion for the first time. In the end he decided to do both. As his hand snuck under the lace below, his mouth covered the rosy peak he’d been sucking, but his eyes never left her face.

Sarah screamed out in need as she felt his probing fingers in her wet heat. When he gently filled her with one finger she thought she was going to die. When his thumb found her most sensitive spot, she thought she was going to shatter. But she’d been there before and had only known disappointment. In frustration she cried out the words she’d kept tightly hidden inside of her, the ones she’d always known would set her free. “Please help me, Jareth, don’t leave me like this. Help me!”

“Easy, my love, I don’t want to hurt you,” his words were harsh with restrained desire. He’d never known he could gain so much pleasure from giving to another.

“You won’t,” she gasped. Not even in her wildest nightmare had her need been so great. “Being empty and alone is what hurts, not you, never you!” Her hips rocked frantically, urging him to bring an end to the wild feelings that swarmed through her.

With a last look at the desperation on her face his sharp teeth grazed her super-sensitized nipple, at the same time his fingers drove deep into her, and the world shattered around her. She exploded into a million pieces of blinding light, only to reform again as she whimpered out his name in joy.

Her muscles were still rippling against his fingers when they heard the rumbling begin. It started as a slight buzz but grew louder and louder with each of Sarah’s inner contractions. Then the room began to shake and books fell to the floor. Sarah looked up at Jareth in terror and he rolled her to the floor with her body pinned beneath his.

The King could hardly think with desire-heated blood pounding through his veins. All he knew was that something was very wrong and he had to protect Sarah. Then as suddenly as it had begun, the world grew quiet and the ground stopped shaking.

“My God, what was that?” Sarah trembled as Jareth helped her to her feet.

“I believe it was what you would call an earthquake.” He grabbed his robe out of the air and wrapped it around Sarah’s half naked body.

“Does the Underground have them?” There was worry in Sarah’s eyes as she asked the question.

“No it does not. The land is stable. It has never been known to move.”

“Then that means, that means…Jareth, did I cause that? Was the Labyrinth reacting to what I was feeling?”

“You are jumping to conclusions, Sarah.” He gripped her shoulders and wanted to yell at her that she was wrong, but he had a sinking feeling that the Curse had not demanded all of them that it was going to.

“I must check on my Kingdom.” He nodded toward the window and the cries of panic that filled the air. In the blink of an eye, Jareth was 20 feet away, standing at one of the large windows in the sitting area of his chambers.

“What happened?” The words caught in Sarah’s throat. Even from across the sleeping area of his rooms, she could see his fingers whiten as he tightly gripped the ledge he leaned against.

“The outer wall has fallen and part of the Goblin City is on fire.”

“No,” she gasped and ran to see the damage for herself.

“I must go out there. Do you understand that?” They had come too far to lose everything now, but he had responsibilities. He always would, it was part of being a king. “I hate to leave you alone right now, but my place is out there.”

“Yes, I understand.” She tried to smile but doubt made it impossible. “I’ve always known that you were a better king than you led me to believe all those years ago.”

“Thank you, but I don’t deserve that.” He kissed her forehead. When she looked at him again, his shirt was back on, snugly fastened and tucked neatly in his breeches.

“No, Jareth, wait!” Sarah grabbed his arm before he could disappear. “It was us, me really, wasn’t it? That came from what I felt. I need to know.”

“We’ll discuss it later,” he whispered. “I have to go. It’s what I do. I am their King.”

“Then let me go with you.” She ran for her shirt, but he gripped her hands before she could pick it up. “If I am to be Queen, then I should be there too.”

“It’s too dangerous, Sarah. Please, stay here. I’ve got a job to do, they need my magic to rectify things, but I can’t do it if I have to worry about you. Give me your word that you won’t follow me into the City. I’ll come back to you, I promise.”

“Please, Jareth, don’t make me stay here without you.” She bit her lip to keep from crying.

“You must. Don’t force me to make that an order.” He stood tall and straight, every inch the Goblin King she remembered from nine years ago.

“All right, all right,” Sarah slumped in defeat. “I promise you, I won’t go into the Goblin City.”

“Thank you for making this as easy as possible.” He kissed her forehead and gripped her shoulders tightly not daring to pull her into his embrace. His passion for her was still running too high. All he wanted to do was forget all about his responsibilities and bury himself deep in her warmth. With a sigh and a very real fear that his deepest desires would cause ruin to his Kingdom, he tried to smile. “I love you, Sarah, and don’t ever forget that. You try and get some sleep. If I’m not back by morning, one of the servants will see to your needs.

“I love you too, but I don’t see what….”

“Hush, my love, we’ll talk about it later.” He kissed her quickly, then conjured a crystal and disappeared.

To Ch 4 - I'll Be There For You - part 1


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
just had to say how much I am enjoying this story so far. Came across this one, look for one of your 'raine' fics. and had to squee like the jareth/sarah fangirl I am. ;o) (though have to say I tend to avoid Laby fic, it's hard to find really well written ones. but I am very impressed by this story. :O)
awesome job...
well off to read the rest you have up... ;o)

Dec. 26th, 2006 03:52 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're enjoying my story. I've got two other short Laby stories that need some editing and a longer one that needs an ending. I'll get them up here sometime soon.

If you haven't read Scattered Logic's Labyrinth stories, I suggest you try them. I've included the URL to my favorite one, A Necessary Deception. It's a story I'd pay money to read. Very well written and a wonderful new side to Jareth. http://www.scatteredlogic.net/viewstory.php?sid=309
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears

The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

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Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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