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Disclaime: See chapter 1
Rating: Chapter R/Story R
Beta Reader: Devil Girl is still with me, thank goodness. She is an invaluable help.
Notes: The chapter went long so I had to post it in two parts, they are linked.
Previous Chapters: Ch 1 - Coming Storms; Ch 2 - Nothing Is What It Seems; Ch 3 - Second Chances

For Love Of Sarah

by Phyllis Christie lattelady6

Ch 4 - A New Beginning - Part I

After saying goodnight to his mother, Jareth transformed himself into an owl for the trip back to the castle beyond the Goblin City. He flapped his great wings, climbing high above the Underground. When he felt the change in pressures that indicated an air current, he extended his wingspan to its full length of three feet. There, beneath the moonlight, he rode the invisible pathways of air until the city gates were below.

Five minutes later he was knocking on the door of the home of his best friend and Aide, Lord Galen Marquest. His lips twitched at the flurry of activity be heard going on behind the closed portal. It was evident that the staff was completely unprepared for a visit by the King. Finally the door was opened by a harried-looking goblin that was still buttoning his coat and straightening his stock.

“Your Highness,” the butler bowed deeply.

“I have come to see Lord Galen and the Lady Marilee,” Jareth stated and walked into the entrance hall as if he owned it.

“This way, Your Majesty,” the goblin kept bowing his head as he directed his king to a large drawing room across the hall.

“Your Highness,” Galen bowed but couldn’t keep the grin off his face. Once the doors were closed and they were alone in the room the tall dark-blonde Fae shook with suppressed laughter. His staff had been completely undone by the surprise visit. “And what brings you to my home tonight?” He knew if it was State business, that Jareth would be behind his desk and he would have been sent for. “A quick game of chess, perhaps?”

“Hardly. Chess with you is never quickly concluded.” The two Fae had grown up together and chess was only one of the many things they had competed at over the years. Since Galen was almost as skilled a tactician as Jareth, they were evenly matched. “I apologize for rousing your household at this late hour.”

“It’s of no consequence.” Jareth’s Aide moved to his liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle and another snifter. “Join me in a cognac?”

“Thank you,” Jareth took the thin, crystal balloon in his gloved hand, another sure sign that the visit was personal. “Is Marilee about?”

“She’s reading Maia a story, but should be down shortly. We can adjourn to my study; no one will disturb us if the door is closed.” It was evident something was wrong. The Goblin King would, on occasion, arrive at odd hours, but he was unfailingly polite and always sent advance notice. Only once in the ten years that Galen had been married had Jareth arrived on his doorstep unannounced. It had been on a dark windy night six years ago. The king had been deathly pale and silent as he sat drinking in Galen’s study. When dawn arrived and the bottle was empty he’d left as suddenly as he’d arrived and never spoken of the incident or its cause. There had been strange rumors, but no one who knew Jareth believed them.

“Actually, this concerns her as well.” Absent-mindedly Jareth slipped the short stem of the delicate balloon between his fingers and curled his gloved hand around the fat base, all the while sending a tiny warming spell from his palm until the amber liquid was exactly the right temperature. Cold cognac tasted like something to be used to polish tack; once it was warm it became liquid gold on the palate.

“Is Ellamora all right?” Galen’s expressive face showed all the worry he felt. Every protective instinct in him jumped to the forefront. His mother-in-law had had a respiratory infection during the winter that had lingered for months. He didn’t like the idea of her living alone, but she stubbornly refused any help.

“She is well,” Jareth grinned. His friend appeared ready to throw his body in front of any unhappiness that might come his wife’s way.

“Your Highness,” the double doors to the room opened and Marilee sank into a deep curtsy as she crossed the threshold. She was slim, blonde and beautiful. Though the product of an Elf-Fae marriage, only her deep, darkly expressive brown eyes hinted at her mixed parentage.

“Lady Marilee,” the King acknowledged with a bow of his head and held out his hand to help her rise.

“You honor our home by your visit.” She saw the serious expression on her husband’s face and began to worry. “I have much to occupy me. If you would like to discuss your business in the drawing room it is at your disposal.” She moved to curtsy again, but was stopped when Jareth laid his hand on her shoulder.

“Please stay. I need your assistance, yours and Galen’s.” He nodded toward his friend. “It is a matter of the utmost importance and discretion.”

Marilee moved quietly to the sofa beside her husband, unsure what was going on. In the past she had been asked to act as hostess when important dignitaries visited the Goblin Territories, but those occasions were usually planned well in advance.

Jareth stood tall, unsure how to proceed. He could order his friends to do as he wished and he knew they would comply, but he needed them to help Sarah because it was what they wanted to do. “There are two new inhabitants at Corramar Estates. They are staying at the manor house tonight, but will return to your mother’s cottage tomorrow.”

“I hadn’t heard. Mama keeps her own council.” She and Galen had been trying to convince Ellamora to share their home with them since they were first married. They’d had a private wing added for her use. Even when Maia had been born five years ago, she had refused to leave her cottage on a permanent basis. “We usually spend Week’sendday with her, but she’d sent a message this morning saying she and Her Highness the Dowager Queen had some things to attend to and she wouldn’t be at home all day.”

“Marilee, I would like you to pay her a visit tomorrow afternoon. It is my wish,” Jareth cleared his throat and rephrased his request. “It is my hope that you can find it in your heart to befriend the woman, Sarah, and her younger brother, Toby, who are staying with her.”

“What is this about, Jareth?” Galen was getting a bad feeling.

Marilee blinked at her husband; even after ten years at his side, she couldn’t get used to the fact that he occasionally spoke to the Goblin King as an equal and that the king permitted it.

“Sarah and Toby are humans, newly arrived from the Aboveground.”

“She’s a wisher-away?” Marilee gasped and covered her mouth when she realized her tone had been anything but respectful. “And she’s with my mama?” Anyone who lived in the Underground and had contact with humans who accepted the Labyrinth challenge knew that they were a dangerous lot. If they would mistreat their young, they would think nothing of harming a stranger.

“Yes…No…not exactly.” There was nothing to do but explain the entire situation to them. Even Galen hadn’t known about Sarah’s unusual trip through the Labyrinth six years earlier. Jareth had told no one and the goblins that lived in the city had such short memories that they were never sure what had happened when. Soon Sarah Williams’ adventure had been forgotten by all but a few creatures and one lonely Goblin King. Her story had been relegated to rumor or myth, but few believed it or knew which ruler had let a human slip past his guard. “What I’m about to tell you can go no further.” He looked at his subjects. “Aside from the damage it might do to me personally, there could be political ramifications if it were to reach the ears of the High Court of the Underground before I am ready for them to know about it.”
“And that’s the entire story. Unfortunately, I’m unsure of the ending.” Jareth sighed and took the last sip of his cognac. He could tell that Marilee was on his side. She’d melted into a romantic puddle almost from the beginning. Her Elf heritage was definitely showing. Where Fae tended to be more practical and straight-forward, Elves were the weavers of dreams and though commonsensical to a fault in everyday life, were easily moved in matters of the heart.

“Of course we’ll help you, Your Highness, but I can’t lie to her.” She tried to smile. Part of her wished that Jareth had ordered her to be friends with the girl; now, if it didn’t happen, she’d feel as if she’d failed her King. “If you’ll excuse me for saying so, I don’t think it will help you if we manipulate her in any way.” Marilee leaned back against her husband’s reassuring arm. Advising royalty was his domain not hers, but she believed she understood the workings of the heart far better than he.

“You are correct, Lady Marilee.” Jareth bowed his head in respect for her insight and honesty. “All I ask is that you try and befriend her, and give her any guidance you think might be necessary. The Underground is very different from where she comes from.”

“I’ll do my best. From what you say, both Her Highness the Dowager Queen and mama like her, so I am sure that it will be easy for me to do so as well.”

“Our mothers do have impeccable taste, don’t they?” Jareth straightened his vest and sat very tall. He knew that both his mother and Ellamora were exceedingly proud of their offspring.

“Yes, they do.” She laughed outright at the King’s obvious posturing. Galen had told her for years that their ruler had a very dry sense of humor, but she’d always been in too much awe of him to see it.

“I must warn you that Sarah Williams has something of a stubborn streak and is not always easy to deal with.”

“I gathered as much,” Marilee’s eyes sparkled as she teased Jareth. It was unnecessary for her to add that if Sarah were a little less stubborn, she’d already be Queen.

“Humph.” The King’s brows rose in amused surprise at how quickly he found himself being bated. “I do believe that Galen is having a bad influence on you.”

“Oh no, Your Majesty,” her voice softened as she leaned back against her husband and looked up into the face of the Fae who had captured her heart. “He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

“Er…well, yes…” Jareth was taken aback. Marilee had always showed great restraint when in public, but it warmed his heart to know that his friend was so well loved by this woman. He could only hope that someday he would have such joy with Sarah. “Give her a chance. If you forget she ever wished away a child then you should be all right.” The Goblin King was worried that even the kind-hearted Marilee might show innate prejudice where the human girl was concerned.

“But from what you say, she never really did…” she ground to a halt, realizing too late that it sounded as if she was criticizing her king. She wasn’t afraid of Jareth, but she respected him, the rule he exercised and the title he bore.

“You are quite right.” The tall blonde Fae took her hand and kissed her fingertips to show that he took no offense at her words. “All the more reason why no one should know what happened six years ago.”

“Your Highness, I’ll look in on mama and her guests tomorrow afternoon, if that is soon enough for you.” Marilee looked from her husband’s worried blue eyes to the King’s odd mismatched ones. It was easy to see that they had more to discuss. She smiled and curtsied as she backed towards the door, her mind already busy thinking about tomorrow’s activities. “I’ll leave you two to conclude your business.”

Jareth watched as Galen stood to wrap his arm around his wife’s shoulders while he escorted her into the hall and the foot of the steps. The King grinned and felt his heart warm when his Aide leaned down to discreetly kiss Marilee on the temple. As he watched the couple in the hall, Jareth thought back to their younger days, when both he and his friend had been wild, free bachelors, who’d both declared that they’d never settle on one female when there were so many to choose from. Now Galen was blissfully happy with his wife and daughter, while Jareth longed for a human woman who might very well be his undoing.

Moments later Galen was back in the drawing room, facing his ruler. “Have you thought this through?” He leaned back against the closed double doors and ran his hand through his wavy dark blonde hair. “As your friend and as your advisor I need to ask.”

“I’ve done nothing but think about it for more years than I care to remember.” Jareth relaxed in his chair. “I drifted for decades believing I could settle for a bloodless marriage like so many of our kind, who don’t believe in the ancient writing.”

“When did you develop religion?” Galen chuckled.

“I’d hardly call it that. As my mother was quick to point out the other night, given who my parents were, how could I not believe that the Great Creator had a plan for us and His plan included a chosen one for each of us.” Jareth sighed. “But it wasn’t only my parents. Every time I would let myself think that I could settle for less, something stopped me.”

“Magic, faith, religion whatever you call it, it doesn’t matter. It’s all the same, believing in something that cannot be proven. In many ways, for those of us who possess power, it is the essence of what we are.” Galen knew Jareth was the most powerful Fae he’d ever met, and that was even before he’d inherited the magic of the Goblin Kings, which was contained in the Labyrinth. If his King believed, then so would Galen.

“I’ve believed for over one hundred years that my other half may not be Fae,” he grinned at his friend in anticipation of the response to what he was about to say. “When Marilee was first born I thought perhaps she…”

“Don’t even say it!” Galen stood, every possessive bone in his body on alert. “Because then I’d have to hit you and I have no wish to end up on trial for high treason!”

Jareth crossed his arms and tried to look scandalized. “You show no such restraint when it comes to beating me in chess. What is the difference between a blow to the ego or the chin?” Finally unable to hold in his mirth any longer he laughed.

“Jareth, I really don’t want to discuss my wife with you.”

“It’s easier than my lack of one.” All mirth was instantly wiped from the Goblin King’s face. “I tried to make myself not believe, but how does one do that? I knew that my Chosen One would be different, as surely as I know that the sky was blue.” Jareth shrugged in frustration. “There are certain finite principles in the worlds, which not even Great Oberon’s magic could have altered. I’m uncertain why I thought my temper tantrums could. Anyway, I attempted to hide from the truth for a long time. Then something changed in the fabric of the worlds around me and I knew she’d been born, but not here, not in the Underground.”

“Stop, Jareth. Don’t go any further.” He held up his hand. “You have my undying loyalty, and I think you know from tonight that you have Marilee’s as well, but the less we know the better. If the High Court ever tries to build a case against you, I want to perjure myself as little as possible. Whatever you do from now on, you are guaranteed my assistance, but the less premeditated it seems the better, especially since you let her run the Labyrinth when it wasn’t necessary. That in itself could be construed a misuse of power.”

“You make it sound as if I tried to get her to trade her innocence for her brother!” Jareth was aghast. “No Goblin King has ever done that.”

“No, the Kings haven’t, but then most of the girls hadn’t been innocent either. In the old times some of the stronger Fae lords used them for their own pleasures, often making promises they had no intention of keeping. It wasn’t until Lord Dennimar, early in your grandfather’s reign, was stabbed by one of those creatures and died from wounds made by an Aboveground iron blade that it was declared treason against the king for any being with power to interfere with a wisher-away running the Labyrinth. You, my friend, are on very shaky ground; about the only thing that saves you is that it is impossible to commit treason against oneself. Because from what you told us, you interfered!”

“I can’t tell you how much that has enriched my evening.” Jareth paced with one hand on his hip. With the other he pulled a crystal out of the air and rolled it in his palm.

“How many know?”

“That I love her?” Jareth looked into the crystal that contained Sarah’s dreams to satisfy himself that they hadn’t changed. “Only you, Marilee and my mother know for certain. Not much escapes Ellamora, so she probably has suspicions, but I doubt mother would confirm them.”

“You haven’t mentioned Sarah.” Galen grinned at the obvious lack of her name on the list.

“She knows it in here.” Jareth pointed to his heart. “But she has yet to accept it.”

“That should give us time to lay the ground work.”

“There are three others who know that she wished away her brother six years ago, but I doubt they know how I feel and they are utterly loyal to Sarah.” The King though of the friends Sarah had made on her last trip to the Underground. Since none of them had magic, they were exempt from the law and in Hoggle’s case, Jareth had used him to deliver a certain enchanted peach. Goblin Kings over the centuries had let the lesser beings who were inhabitants of the Labyrinth lead many an unsuspecting human around in circles.

“Who are they?”

“They’re an odd lot to have joined together to help her, but then Sarah wasn’t the usual wisher-away.” Jareth shrugged and as so many times before wondered how she had succeeded in uniting the three. “They are Sir Didymus, Hoggle of the Labyrinth Gate and Ludo the Rock Conjurer.”

“It sounds like you had a minor rebellion on your hands. If this girl was able to sway the loyalties of the likes of Sir Didymus, the sooner you marry her, and secure her loyalties to the crown, the better I’ll feel.” Galen thought carefully about all he knew of the other two.

“I’m glad to know you always have my best interests at heart. But it wasn’t a rebellion, minor or otherwise!” The King crossed his arms and glared.

“If you say so,” he grinned at his friend’s discomfort. “I don’t think you have anything to worry about from Didymus, and the Rock Conjurer would have no credibility with the High Court, but what about the Dwarf?”

“He has no love for me, but he cares deeply for Sarah and I am beginning to gain respect for him.” It had taken great courage for Hoggle to swallow his pride and come to Jareth, but he’d done it because he feared for Sarah. “I doubt he will do or say anything that would harm or upset her.”
Later that night Galen wandered through his home, his mind in turmoil. For the first time since he’d accepted the job of advisor and aide to the king he felt at odds. For the first time the advice he would give his best friend, Jareth, was different from what he would proffer to the ruler of the Goblin Territories.

With a sigh he went upstairs, undressed and climbed into bed next to his wife.

“Galen, I was beginning to think you weren’t coming to bed,” Marilee sleepily turned over and laid her head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her.

“I had some thinking to do,” he kissed her forehead and pulled her supple, naked body closer to his. “When you go to visit your mother tomorrow, don’t take Maia with you.”

“You have doubts about the human woman?”

“I don’t know what to think, except that our daughter is too young to be around anyone who may have wished away a child.” He covered her body with his and cupped her face between his hands, worry for his family clearly written on his face.

“But he explained that.”

“Did he, or did he see what he wanted to see?”

“You’re really worried about Jareth, aren’t you?” She slowly rubbed tension from his neck, her fingers straying up into his hair and down his back.

“Yes. I am afraid he may abdicate if the High Court forbids a union between a human and the Goblin King.”

“He wouldn’t, he couldn’t; he has no heir.”

“All the more reason his actions are so out of character.” Galen rested his head on her breasts and let her fingers dance over his skin. “It’s almost as if she has bewitched him.”

“Humans directly from the Aboveground have no powers and even the little ones who come to us as babes are only capable of minor enchantments after puberty. It’s a simple matter of biology. A child must be conceived in the Underground and the pregnancy nurtured by its magic for a being to have any true power. What if he really loves her and she him?” Marilee kissed his brow. “What if she really is his destined one? Remember how it was for us eleven years ago?”

“That is why I am so sure he will give up his throne before he will give her up.” He looked into his wife’s deep brown eyes. She never knew how close it had been for them or that without Jareth’s unwavering support he would have had to choose between the woman who was his heart, and the task of adviser to the being he loved as a brother. Marilee was of mixed blood and, many had believed, was therefore unfit to be the wife of a man who had so much influence with the King of the Goblins.

“Then if she truly returns his love, she will not let that happen; no female would, not to the man who is the center of her being.” She held Galen tighter to her. She knew how easily she could have lost him before they had even had a chance to be together and the thought of it still had the power to frighten her.

“You knew?”

“Of course. If the ruling by the High Court hadn’t gone our way I would have been over the border into the Elf lands before you knew I was missing.” She kissed him deeply to take the sting out of her words. “You would never have found me.”

“Oh my darling, how can you have shared my life and my bed for ten years and yet doubt that anything would have kept me from you?” He grinned devilishly at her, his blue eyes twinkling as he straightened his arms and ground his hips against her softness. “Not all the magic in all the worlds could have kept you hidden from me.” Galen’s voice grew hoarse with desire as he reached to spread her thighs and then ducked his head to take one rosy-tipped nipple into his mouth.

“I love you,” Marilee cried out and rocked against his hardness nestled between her thighs.

To Part II of Ch. - 4 - A New Beginning



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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

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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".
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Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

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