Love or the Game

BY : Jade
Category: G through L > Labyrinth
Dragon prints: 12446
Disclaimer: I do not own Labyrinth, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Title : Love or the Game
Rating: PG-13 for most, NC-17 for last part, which is why FFN dropped it. grrr
Authors : Jade and Kara
Email : kahenwood@yahoo.com and kcbenton@hotmail.com respectively
Summary : Jareth has started a new game, one of revenge. Can Sarah make it out alive, or will she fall victim to the whim of the Goblin King?
Disclaimer : The characters of Labyrinth belong to Jim Henson Productions. We make no profit from this. The character of Boona belongs to Jade. Please do not use her without permission.
Feedback : Comment and we'll love you forever. ^_^

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"Sarah, will you marry me?"

Sarah stared down at the man kneeling at her feet, her mind reeling. "William, I, I don't know."

"Why? What's wrong? Is it somebody else?" William rose from his knees and stared at her quizzically.

Sarah was caught off guard by the question; was it someone else? She wasn't really sure. It had been over ten years since her journey through the Labyrinth, but she hadn't forgotten him. It seemed that there was never a day that she didn't allow herself to wonder if Jareth was thinking of her too, if he had feelings for her, or even if she truly had feelings for him. There were times when she truly believed herself to be in love with that mystical man, but others she just didn't know. One thing she did know, however, was that she would have to figure out how she felt before she could answer William's proposal.

"I'm just unsure of how I feel, William," she spoke at last, turning her hazel eyes in his direction. "I need time. Please?"

"You can have all the time you need. I love you, Sarah," he stroked her cheek, and she smiled weakly at him.

"Thank you."

******

Sarah lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling and thinking about Jareth. He was a never-ending presence in her life; no matter how she tried, she just couldn't stop wondering if there was something between them. If only she could see him again, even it was just for a few minutes.

"Jareth." It was the first time she had spoken his name aloud in ten years "Where are you?" she whispered, somehow knowing he could hear her.

*********

Jareth sat up, wondering what he thought he had heard. The Labyrinthine nights seemed so cold and lonely and have been so for many years. Shaking the notion from his head, he smiled and rested his head against the pillow. Again he heard the soft whispering voice that startled his senses.

"Sarah," he spoke softly, a wicked grin crossing his face.

Throwing the covers from him, he quickly got up. So many plans he had and now the time was at hand for him to take action. Revenge was a sweet offering, which he gladly accepted and plotted against the woman that took down the mighty Goblin King.

Taking long strides, he walked to the window and peered out across his Labyrinth, the night air cool against his skin. The faint breeze refreshed his senses as he prepared to descend into the life of the unsuspecting Sarah Williams. He could still see her innocent eyes staring blindly past him as she said the words to make his world come crumbling down.

The sounds of the night filled his ears and he knew that many had fallen prey to the nightmares that filled the Labyrinth at night. Many creatures not seen during the light of day, ventured forth to stake their claim to the night. He knew all to well the dangers of the night, and smiled at the thought. Soon he will have what he seeks, and Sarah, poor little Sarah, will be lost.

Walking blindly through his room, grabbing a robe along the way, he quickly walked through the door, searching the vacancy for something. Something he needed to keep her under his control.

Tying his robe around his waist, he long strides helped the distance to pass quickly. Reaching the end of the hall, he opened the door, a wicked smile on his face, and looked upon the poor creature that was now his bait.

"G-good evening, yer majesty," the voice stated humbly before the Goblin King. A simple nod from Jareth was enough to make the creature cower before him.

"Hello, Heggle. I trust that your accommodations are well?" he asked, looking hi and and down.

"Yes, yer majesty," Hoggle replied, his eyes on the floor. He could feel his whole body shaking in fear.

"Good. You will not be here much longer Hogwart. Soon as she comes, you may go."

"Beggin' yer pardon, yer majesty. What if she don't come?" Hoggle asked the only question that Jareth didn't want to be faced with.

"And why would she not want to?" he replied, taking a step closer to Hoggle. Grabbing him by the ear, Jareth pulled him out the door and down the dark hallway to another room. Casting him inside, Jareth snickered. "She will come, and when she does, she will know grief." he replied, pulling the door closed and locking it.

Hoggle sat down on the cold floor, his head in his hands.

"Be careful, Sarah," he mumbled beneath his breath. He only hoped for her sake that she was out of Jareth's reach.

****

Sarah found herself in the Labyrinth again, standing in the dark musky tunnel. She glanced around, briefly wondering why she was there.

"I must be dreaming," she thought aloud.

"Don't take anything for granted."

Sarah spun around and was met with the sight of the man she so longed to see.

"Jareth," she acknowledged his presence rather more calmly than she felt. He smiled at her and slowly approached her, his eyes never leaving hers.

"Sarah."

"This is a dream."

"Oh, now why would you assume such a thing?" He chuckled and walked past her.

"What is it you want, Jareth?" Sarah asked, trying to maintain some control of the situation.

"You tell me, it is your dream after all."

She stared into his eyes, attempting to think of a way to make some sense of what he was saying.

"Tell me, Sarah. What is it your afraid of?" Suddenly he was directly before and she found herself pressed into the cold stonewall behind her. She swallowed hard, and returned his gaze, refusing to be intimidated.

"I'm not afraid." Her voice came out far moteadteady than she had thought it would. His mouthed twisted into an amused smile.

"You should be."

*******

Sarah awoke, startled and breathing heavily. The dream seemed so real, and yet, here she was in her own bed. Glancing around, she made out the familiar shapes of all her belongings and yet in away, her heart was saddened. As long as she had waited to see Jareth once again, it was merely a dream. Dropping her head in her hands, she wasn't sure what she was to do now. Should she marry William and have the normal life everyone dreams of, or should she take that extra step and reach for what she thought to be her dreams?

Tossing the covers from her, she pulled on her robe and walked slowly to the kitchen. Grabbing a glass from the cabinet, she turned on the water, watching the endless stream flow. Her mind elsewhere, she didn't notice the owl perched outside her window silently staring back at her.

Coming back to her senses, she quietly filled the glass half full and went back toward her bedroom, flicking off the light.

Jareth stood silently in her kitchen, watching her retreating form. A wicked smile played upon his lips at the thought of finally having his vengeance. Slowly, he made his way across the floor, his boots tapping softly upon the tile. Glancing out the doorway, he watched Sarah close her door and his smile broadened. Stepping softly on the carpeting in the living room, he stalked his way toward her door until he stood just in front of it. Reaching out a gloved hand, he gently rested his fingertips on the wood surface, leaning closer in an attempt to hear what she was doing.

Sarah's light breathing filled his ears as he slowly turned the knob and pushed the door open silently. Peering in through the darkness, he could see her resting peacefully under the covers.

Stepping into the room carefully, he closed the door quietly, his eyes never losing sight of her. Cautiously he neared the bed, to look down upon her. Studying her features, a small smile creased his lips as he reached out toward her face. His fingers swept the air next to her cheek, not wanting to wake her just yet. Dropping his hand to the comforter, he sensed the softness of the blanket, watching the covers rise and fall with her soft breathing. Letting his eyes wander back to her face, they paused and focused on her parted lips.

Jareth brought his hand to his mouth, snagging the finger of his glove with his teeth, gently pulling it from his hand. Again he reached out, but this time his fingers found her dark hair as he slowly ran his fingers through it. Kneeling down beside her, he watched her lips quiver as though she were speaking but no sound escaped. Watching her with interest, he nearly got knocked over as Sarah moved, rustling the covers around her to rest on her side, now facing him. Jareth stood, glancing at her once more before vanishing without a trace.

Sarah sat straight up, clutching the covers around her body. Looking around with wide eyes, she still felt as though she were being watched. Being studied by some unknown person without her permission made her shiver involuntarily. She breathed a sigh of relief at not seeing anyone there. Smiling, she shook the notion from her mind and stretched back out, and fell asleep.

*****

Jareth watched everything in his crystal. A smug smile upon his face, he studied her image.

"She has become quite a winning creature over the years," he murmured softly. "Time to go hunting." He smiled evilly and tossed the crystal into the air, where it disappeared instantly, leaving no trace of it's existence behind.

Getting to his feet, Jareth strode toward the window and gazed out at his Labyrinth. He still could not believe that a mere child bested him at his own game.

"Well how about upping the stakes once more Sarah? For old time's sake," he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. "You won't know what hit you until it's too late my dear."

Jareth laughed heartily, and looked around. The chaos surrounding him was beautiful. He thrived on chaos, and fear. Soon she shall know the meaning of fear, he thought to himself. Smiling, he turned on his heel, and walked from the throne room, kicking a single goblin that chanced to cross his path.

Making his way down the hallways, the smile still graced his features. He would have her exactly where he wanted her soon. It was all a matter of time now. Pulling a key from the air, he unlocked the door and pushed it open. Hoggle lay on the floor, his arms wrapped around himself as he slept.

"Get up, Hogwart." Jareth commanded, nudging Hoggle to consciousness with his boot. Hoggle slowly awoke to the King glaring down at him. Sitting up quickly, he cautiously met Jareth'sningning gaze.

"She here already?" he asked, his voice quavering in fear.

"No, Higgle, she isn't. But the time has come to put you to good use,"
Jareth stated, looking down his nose at him. "Give me your baubles, Hogwart."

"But yer majesty, how're my baubles gonna do you good?" he asked, pulling his precious things from his belt. Reluctantly he handed them to Jareth, knowing the penalty of disobedience.

"Never you mind. Come," he commanded, walking from the room and down the hall. Hoggle followed closely, not venturing to glance around. Finally Jareth stopped and Hoggle looked up.

"What's we doin' here yer highness?" Hoggle asked, looking at the massive door in front of them. "I thoughts I was goin' a help you?" he asked, confused.

"Your living arrangements have been altered yet again," Jareth replied, grasping Hoggle's shoulder and thrusting him through the doorway. Shutting the door, he looked in through the metal bars. "I can't very well let her find you, now can I?" he mused.

Hoggle sat in silence, not caring if he ever got out so long as Sarah was safe from the monster that is the Goblin King. He glanced at the door and noticed the grin upon Jareth's face. It chilled him to the bone and he had to look away.

"Oh don't worry my pet, this isn't permanent," Jareth regarded him pleasantly, "yet."

Jareth walked away from the door, leaving Hoggle in complete darkness. His laughter echoed off the walls, wearing thin on Hoggle's nerves. Glancing around the dark of the dungeon, Hoggle felt dread infiltrate his mind. He was doomed unless Sarah could save him.

********

Sarah awoke to a soft tinkling sound. Opening her eyes slowly, she could see the rays of the early sun filtering in through the window. Stretching, she pushed her arms over her head and hit something unfamiliar with her hands. Jumping in fright, she spun around to see Hoggle's jewels hanging at the head of her bed. Reaching out, she clutched the bag and pulled them free. Wondering why Hoggle's things were in her bedroom, her ears once again heard the tinkling sound. Turning around slowly, Sarah found herself looking at Jareth sitting across the room, and staring back at her. He held three crystals in his hand.

"Why are you here?" she asked, pulling the covers close around herself. Jareth smiled.

"No need to cover yourself, Sarah. I have seen it all before," he mused, getting to his feet smoothly with his dark cape swishing behind him. Sarah felt her face grow hot, and knew she had to be blushing.

"Why are you here?" she asked again, trying to keep her voice calm as she watched Jareth closely.

"Now, is that anyway to treat an old friend?" he asked, stepping close to her. Kneeling down beside her bed, his gaze transfixed upon her. "I think it's safe to say, William will not be getting a wife any time soon." he grinned.

"How did you-?"

"I know everything, Sarah," he replied, cutting her off in mid sentence. Staring at her sitting there, a smile crept across his lips.

"And what of me?" she asked nervously. She watched him walk toward her dresser, his gloved hand sliding across the top. When he turned to look at her once more, Sarah flinched. The look on his face terrified her.

"You, dear, are going to come back to the Labyrinth with me."

"I don't think so," she retorted, anger rising in her voice at the thought of being ordered around by him of all people.

"You have no choice in the matter unless of course you wish to see Hogwart's death," he replied, a smug grin tugging at the corners of his mouth.

"Hoggle?" she breathed. "You wouldn't dare-"

"Oh come now, Sarah. I play to win," he grinned, watching her expression. "How else do you suppose his jewels made it into your grasp?"

Sarah looked at the jewels in her hand. Tears fought their way to the surface of her eyes, only to be pushed back in an attempt to appear strong. She would not give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. Throwing the covers back, Sarah stood and faced the Goblin King wearing merely her nightgown. Modesty was no longer a priority so long as her friend was in ble.ble.

Jareth's eyes took in her form, looking her up and down with a pleased smile. Taking a step closer, cocking his head to one side, he whispered softly to her. "My how you've grown up Sarah. No longer the spoiled child, but rather a lovely woman."

Sarah stood her ground, staring back at him defiantly. "What do you want, Jareth?" she asked, this time no fear in her voice.

"What I want, dear," he said, his eyes drifting lazily across her form once again until they locked on her eyes, "you would not be so willing to offer."

"Where's Hoggle?" she asked, changing the subject. She didn't want to think about his implications.

"It won't be that easy, Sarah," he spoke as stood in front of her. He raised his hand and ran it down the side of her face, smiling as she shivered beneath his touch. He slipped his hand down her neck, slowly moving downward until it was knocked from its path by her hand.

"Don't even think about it, Jareth," she stated.

"Ah, but you have, haven't you my dear?" he questioned, his eyes twinkling mysteriously. Sarah took a step back. "I told you I know everything, Sarah." Jareth took a step closer, his eyes consuming her. A smug smile took flight across his thin lips as he saw her nervousness increase.

"I don't know what you thought, Jareth, but I had no such notions," she remarked, stepping back further. His intense gaze brought a fear to surface inside her that she didn't want to deal with. All the time she spent wondering what if she saw him again, it never dawned on her that perhaps she would be afraid of him. At this moment she was fifteen again and standing before the cruel Goblin King, uncertain of her future.

Sarah's legs hit her bed and she tumbled backwards upon it falling onto her back. Propping herself up on her elbows, she felt a shiver run through her at seeing him tower above her with that smooth smile that could melt steel. Trying to sit up, she gasped as he pushed her backwards onto the bed once more, this time bringing himself down upon her.

"Now this I could get use to," Jareth grinned, holding her down beneath him.

"Let me up Jareth," she demanded, her mind a dizzying blur of emotions at having him this close to her.

"Oh no, I rather like this," he stated, dropping his head and nipping at her neck. His hands moved down her body and he felt her tense beneath his touch. Grinning against her skin, he continued his assault on her, knowing that he would claim her one day.

"Stop it," she pleaded, hating how her body was responding to his gentle caresses. Jareth's hands grasped her waist as his knee slipped between her legs. Pushing them apart, he ground his hips into hers, making her scream in fright. Chuckling to himself, he moved from her to stand beside the bed once more.

"That, my dear, was to show you that I can have anything I want. I didn't have to stop," he stated, eying her flushed face. Sarah sat up, feeling hot tears stinging at her eyes. Not looking at him, she got up and walked toward her closet.

"What exactly do you want Jareth? No more games," she said, her eyes upon the fabric hanging in front of her.

Jareth eyed her, a satisfied smirk playing upon his lips. "You have a choice," he said simply.

"Lucky me," she mumbled as she grabbed a red short-sleeve shirt off a hanger and walked toward the dresser. She could feel his eyes watching her as she moved about the room. Finding her jeans, she slammed the drawer shut. "Well? What is it?" she asked, turning to look at him again. She began to regret her question as she noticed his smile fade and the look in his eyes slowly replaced with a dangerous glint. Swallowing hard, she slowly backed into her dresser as he approached.

"I have your little friend Hoggle. It isn't wise to anger me, Sarah." He placed both hands on the dresser, leaning in close to her pale face.

"Just tell me what you want, Jareth." she whispered, eyes searching his for some hint of what he was planning.

"I give you two days to find your friend. If, in that time, you are unable to locate poor Hoghead, then you are mine. . .to do with as I please."

"Fine, but if you harm him the deal is off," she said as she regained some of her courage.

"You are in no position to make demands, my dear." He paused. "Shall we go?" He smiled cruelly, and Sarah nodded ever so slightly. A second later, Sarah f her herself in the Goblin City; wearing the clothes she had picked out moments earlier.

"Two Days," Jareth reminded her before disappearing from sight.

Sarah breathed a sigh of relief at having Jareth gone. "Well, Hoggle. It looks like I'm on my own this time." She glanced around her, determining which direction to start in. With a shrug, she began to walk forward, straight out of the city.

~~~~~~~~~~~~


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