three weeks later
"..Then I was planning on getting custom rims, and maybe one of radical new paint jobs that change colors when you're driving..."
Sarah smiled and nodded, as she listened to her blind date drone on and one about his car.
It had been a favor to her father, that she would go out with one of his partner's sons. He was 19, tall, football player, pre law.
And mind numbingly dull.
What's his name again? Paul? Pete?
Her mind drifted off to the phone call she had gotten from The Goblin King 3 weeks earlier. She had changed her number, telling her father she had received some crank calls.
Ever since, her phone had been thankfully Goblin King free.
The gall of him. Calling me out of the blue, asking me where his snake was! After what he did!
The snake, who apparently had known his name was Mr. Scales and came to it, had made an appearance that same night, wrapped around her bedpost.
She had keep her cool and called to Hoggle, who appeared and trapped the reptile, returning it to his annoying owner. While she wasn't fond of snakes, she wasn't one to freak out either.
She snapped back to the present. "Umm..what?"
"I asked you if you wanted another soda?"
"Oh. Sure. Yes. Diet please." She handed her empty glass to the waitress.
Sarah snatched her purse up and stood. "I should get that it could be my mom. I'll just go to the ladies lounge. "
Thank goodness. This guy is boring with a capital B.
When she got to the restroom she looked at her phone.
Out of area.
She answered reluctantly. "Hello?"
"Sarah dear, I realized I had not thanked you for returning Mr. Scales to me. Whyever did you change your number? It took nearly 2 aboveground weeks to reacquire it." said the all too familiar voice.
"I'm on a date." She replied. "Do you mind?"
"Still angry, precious?" He sounded amused.
Sarah felt herself starting to get angry again, but took a few deep breaths. "Why wouldn't I be? And I'm not your precious. Stop calling me that."
She heard him clear his throat before he answered."You're precious to me. Sarah. After all you are my champion. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are stuck with me. It's a perk of beating the Labyrinth. Your own personal Goblin King to watch over you." He said. "So tell me about him."
"About who?" Sara wondered distractedly. sHe was still trying to wrap her mind around what he had said.
"Your young man. That's who. Remember you are on a date?" The Goblin King reminded her.
"He is wonderful. Handsome, smart, funny. Good dresser, great hair." She lied. "Snake and goblin free."
"Sounds stimulating." Was the reply.
He sounds jealous. Sarah thought, which made her smile. good.
"Oh he is. "She answered. "Now If you'll excuse me."
"Sarah, wait.." She didn't let him finish and hung up the phone.
She went back to the table, and found the waitress openly flirting with her date.
not that she cared, but it was rude.
"Miss me I see." She remarked as she sat down.
"Oh. Hi. you're back." Her date said turning from the waitress, who smiled at him and left quickly.
"Look, Peter." She began.
"Patrick." He replied.
"Okay, Patrick. Look I don't think..."
She ignored it. "Anyway, this really isn't."
Out of area.
She snatched up the device and turned it on. "What is it, Jareth!?:
"Really Sarah, we need to work on your phone etiquette." He said. "I'm disappointed in you."
"I really don't care how you feel about me." Sarah replied. "I told you I'm on a date."
"Is that your boyfriend?" "Patrick asked curiously.
She shook her head. "Absolutely not. I don't have a boyfriend, and if I did have a boyfriend, he would definitely not be my boyfriend." Sarah told both of them at once.
"Well your father told me you didn't have one, but you know how parents are, sometimes they don't know." Patrick answered.
"He is an idiot Sarah." Jareth said on the phone. Loudly.
"Did he just call me an idiot?" Patrick bristled. "I'll meet that guy anytime, anywhere and show him who's an idiot."
"No you don't want..." Sarah started to speak.
Jareth was laughing. "Oh I've no doubt he would show me who is unquestionably an idiot if we were to meet." came the droll reply.
"Hey, come at me!" Patrick stood and yelled, his fists clenching. "Anytime!"
"Is that an invitation?" Jareth sounded smug. And to Sarah's alarm far too interested in granting Patrick's wish.
"No!" Sarah screamed into the phone. "Don't you dare show up here!"
"Tell him to go right ahead." Patrick replied. "I double dare him. "
"Sarah..." Jareth began.
"Shut up! I'll talk to you later!" She turned the phone off completely.
"You should have let him come." Patrick sneered. "I could kick his ass."
"Patrick, take my advice. You DON'T want to go there." Sarah informed him. "He could do damage you can't even imagine."
She ran a hand through her hair. "Either take me home or I'll call a cab. Either way, this date is over."
"Fine. you're not really my type anyway. I like blondes. I was just doing my dad a favor." He threw down his napkin and went to pay the bill and fetch the coats.
They said little on the drive home, but she did thank him for dinner when she got out of his car. He said "See ya." and was gone tires squealing as he took the corner.
"How was it?" Sarah's father asked as after she got inside and was starting up the stairs.
"Okay. I don't think we hit it off though. SDorry dad. " She shrugged.
Robert frowned. "Did you even try? You really need to get out and meet more boys."
"Dad, I know plenty of boys. And, I've been on lots of dates." She reminded him.
"Artists, actors...musicians? Sarah, you need to think ahead." He said.
Sarah laughed."I know I know dad. Goodnight. Love you." She walked up the stairs.
Her dad hated that she liked artistic types.
"Love you Sarah girl." He called up after her.
Wonder what he would think of a fairy king of the underground? Not much most likely.
Where did that thought come from. Oh no! Not going there!
She changed and crawled into bed, turning on her bedside lamp to read herself to sleep.
"Geez." Sarah sat down her book and picked up the phone.
"Yes, Jareth." She said before he could say anything.
"I should send my apologies, dear Sarah." He replied. "I admit I let my emotions get the better of me. He is clearly not good enough for you."
"Why are we even doing this Goblin King?" She asked him. Anger didn't work, maybe reason would. There really was no possible reason they should communicate. If she could get him to see it, he would leave her be.
"Whatever do you mean?" He sounded confused. "We are not friends? Did you not tell myself and my subjects that sometimes you need all of us?"
"Them, Jareth, not you. Why would I need you? And how did you know that?" She asked him.
"I was there, outside your window. I thought...well, perhaps I was mistaken. If you really no longer want to have contact with myself, I suppose I should leave you alone."
There was a sadness in his voice she couldn't ignore, and didn't expect. "Well...maybe..."
"Yes?" He answered.
She sighed and thought a moment. "Okay. We can talk. BUT, we need to have ground rules here. And I get to have your number too. Oh! And if I'm on a date, no calling. I mean it."
"You already have my number, precious." He pointed out. "Look at speed dial number 1 on your phone when we hang up."
"But..." Sarah started to ask how he did it.
"Now you know how, Sarah. You're smarter than that." She could hear the smile in his voice. "I'll let you look, then call me back."
When they had hung up she pressed button until she could see the speed dial list.
As he said, 1 on her speed dial it said "JtheGK." and then she looked at the number. "What in the world?" There were 37 numbers and some symbols she had no idea what they meant..
She pressed the 1 button to connect.
He picked up immediately. "See?"
"What's with that number?" She asked.
"Interdimensional calling is complicated. It requires a great deal of routing and a fair amount of sigil magic. Of course, for myself, this is very simple."
"Oh." Sarah wasn't well versed in magic so took his word for it.
"I'm sorry if I ruined your evening with your beloved, Sarah. " His voice was quiet.
"Well, to be honest... " Her words hung there mid sentence. She hated to admit he was right.
"Yes?" He replied.
She took a deep breath. "You were right. He is an idiot. It was a blind date and a set up. He spent the whole night talking about football and his car. So boring." She rolled her eyes, remembering.
She heard a deep chuckle. "I knew I had you pegged correctly. He will never be a match for you, Champion."
"Thanks, I think. Jareth, it's really late. I know you can bend time or whatever, but I need to get some sleep." She yawned.
"Ah of course. I should let you rest. We will speak again? You will call?" He sounded eager.
It crossed Sarah's mind that The Goblin King was probably pretty lonely for non goblin conversation most days. "Yes, but not tomorrow. Also I will work on those ground rules, Goblin king. We need some definite boundaries. I don't think you want me interrupting your dates either."
There was a long pause. Sarah began to wonder if they had been cut off. "Ah yes. My dates. No surely I don't want you interrupting those. That would be rather inconvenient." He said finally.
"Goodnight Goblin King." She replied.
"Jareth." He reminded her. "Please."
She yawned again. "Oh right. Alright, Goodnight Jareth."
"Sleep well and sweetest of dreams, Sarah." He sounded pleased, then phone was silent as he had hung up.
She turn off her phone and stretched out, falling asleep quickly, a little smile forming as she slipped into her dreams.