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Not an Old Fashioned Marriage

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The Prospective Brother-in-Law

(Simon’s office, LA)…

“So…let me get this straight,” Simon says to the dark haired actress sitting across from him. “The mystery producer from your lunch meeting is actually a fairytale prince?”

“Yes.”

“Not any fairytale prince, but the younger brother of a fairytale king who tried getting into your pants when you were all of fifteen?”

Sarah sighs. “Yes. What’s your point?”

“Just making sure I have all my facts correct,” Simon says with a slight grimace, trying to keep his expression calm. It seems as if one of his highest billed clients has lost her marbles. “And the prince wants you to travel to some fairytale land and present yourself as a prospective bride for this…Goblin King?”

 She grits her teeth. “Stop saying fairytale so many times. And yes—in return, he’s said he will fund a movie for me, entirely. Everything. The script, director, hell, camera crew will be my choice if I so wish it. I’m finally going to get to act in a serious role instead of being type cast as a rom-com bimbo.”

Simon releases a deep sigh. Sarah Williams isn’t the first actress he’s seen have a nervous breakdown, unable to face the pressures of Tinsel Town, so he knows the drill. “Sarah, I think you need to take a break.”

She laughs at that. “Look, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.”

“There’s a new place that’s opened up in Arizona—it’s in the middle of the desert, nothing there for miles. Do some yoga, meditate, swim, and relax.”

“Simon. I’m not crazy,” she declares, arms crossed, fighting the beginnings of a frown on her forehead. Her dermatologist has said if she uses sunscreen religiously and stops from frowning excessively, she can avoid Botox till her late 30s.

Simon manages a nervous laugh. “Crazy, who said crazy?” he babbles. “You’re tired, overworked, exhausted. You deserve some time off.”

Sarah’s had enough of her agent’s disbelief. She decides to prove herself the only way she knows how. “I wish Kal, the Goblin Prince, would show up, right here, right now.”

Goblin Prince? Simon doesn’t know what to say to that. He’s had stars see Elvis in their refrigerators before, but Sarah’s Goblin fascination is something entirely foreign to him. Just as he’s about to suggest Sarah take one, or five, of his Xanax pills a strong wind ruffles the loose papers on his desk.

“So you’ve made your choice.”

“Wha-” Simon gapes at the…man? who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Who now appears to walk leisurely to sofa and plonk himself down with the grace of a cat and the lazy ease of an octopus.

Sarah turns to look at the black haired prince, marveling at how different he looks in comparison to the Goblin King. She’d been shocked when he’d approached her a few days ago, under the guise of a producer—but she’s used to him now so his sudden arrival doesn’t rattle her.

The Prince is as tall, if not taller than the Goblin King, and as lithe, but his bone structure appears even sharper. His eyes aren’t mismatched, but they are bright emerald, and his skin tone way…less pasty white—he has the faint amber glow of someone who sees the sun often.

“Kal,” she says in greeting. “Thanks for showing up.” She turns back to her agent. “See?”

Simon shakes his head and promptly swallows two of the Xanaxes he’d laid out for Sarah before taking in a deep breath. “I don’t know how you did that—but I’m not going to argue with you,” he says, addressing Sarah. “Let’s say, for a microsecond, that I believe you…” his gaze drifts to the strange person sitting on his sofa, now flipping through a magazine, “…let’s say you agree to this…man’s deal. What happens then?”

The Goblin Prince tilts his head as he overhears the exchange, a wicked smile on his lips. “Then she attends High Court with me—I present her to said Court—and they force Jareth to choose between his adversary and the Troll Princess.”

“What if this Jareth chooses Sarah instead?” Simon asks with a frown. Surely, Hollywood’s new romantic comedy sweetheart would make a better choice than a troll princess.

Throwing back his head, Kal laughs—a sound that’s almost as sinister as Jareth’s laugh, but also mischievous at the same time. “That’s not going to happen.”

This time, Sarah can’t fight off her frown. “Why not?”

“No offense, Sarah,” Kal says with a grin, showcasing his sharp teeth, one of the few traits he has in common with his brother. “My brother cannot stand you—the sight of you alone would cause him to flee in the opposite direction.”

“What?” she asks, her eyes wide in disbelief. “He practically begged me to stay when I was a kid—said he’d be my slave.”

Kal shrugs. “Distraction tactic.”

Simon doesn’t know what to say, so he keeps his mouth shut. But Sarah, however, is still reeling in shock. “He asked me to love him,” she argues. “Love is fucking serious.”

“Look, Sarah darling—I’m sure you were very charming, the epitome of beauty even. But the only reason Jareth would want a fifteen-year-old mortal in love with him, would be so that he could feed off the emotion.”

Feed off the emotion? Her face contorts with disgust—that sounds gross.

Kal continues when the mortals remain quiet. “In any case, you defeated him. Humiliated him. And then never gave him an opportunity to exact vengeance. I can, quite accurately, say that Jareth, the Goblin King, Protector of the Labyrinth, absolutely, unequivocally, ardently even, hates your very existence. That you are the last female in this realm, and the next, that he would ever choose as his bride.”

Sarah stares, her mouth wide open. The last female? The last female in this realm, and the next? The thoughts jumble in her head until the only word she thinks is ‘last.’

“Sarah?” Simon calls, feeling thankful he hadn’t popped all five Xanaxes in at once. He hands her a pill with a glass of water. “Take this.” It isn’t every day that an adored actress hears that she’s not exactly as…amazing…as she believes herself to be. He knows what’s going to follow, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Sarah doesn’t disappoint. Her face turns red with anger as her shock dies down, and she glares at the black haired prince. “What the fuck do you get out of this?”

Kal raises a brow at the mortal woman’s outrage but doesn’t address it otherwise. “I? Apart from the pleasure I will receive when Jareth realizes he’s so close to, and yet cannot touch, his adversary?” He smiles as he pauses. “I will have tricked Jareth into the fate he intends for me. Seeing him married to the Troll Princess will be a…priceless sight indeed.”

She raises her brows and curiosity gets the best of her. “He wants you to marry the Troll Princess?”

“Yes,” is Kal’s simple reply, “And as King, he can damn well command me to do it. Not if I trick him first.”

Not too much brotherly love lost, she muses before her thoughts turn towards herself. “And in return, you’ll produce a movie of my choice and give me free reign?”

The black haired prince bows, “As my lady wishes.” Humans…he thinks…so very easy to persuade.

But Sarah isn’t entirely convinced this crackpot plan will work. Not yet. “But what if he flat out refuses either bride? How can the Court force a King to do their bidding?”

Kal smiles, that’s a good question—perhaps she’s shrewder than she appears. “Without boring you with the details of our convoluted political system, let us say that the High Court has tried getting the Goblin King to marry for centuries,” he chuckles darkly as she gasps, “…yes, centuries. At this point, Jareth desperately needs the Troll Kingdom as an ally, so were the Court to present the Troll Princess as a prospective bride, Jareth cannot flat out refuse her unless he offers an alternate-”

“What if he offers you?” Sarah cuts in, the court intrigue appealing to the dramatic aspect of her personality.

“Ah, that,” Kal says with a gleam in his eyes. “If he offers me in his stead, then he will be forced to marry you. And as I said, to him, that’s a fate worse than death.”

Bloody bastard. Sarah seethes—her? A fate worse than death? She’ll show him! “This Troll Princess—what does she look like?”

“Like a troll,” Kal replies with a shrug, “Broad of stature, thick of hide, and wide of face.”

“And is Jareth vain at all? That’s the impression I got when I met him, but maybe I was mistaken.” With a somewhat evil smile on her face, Sarah laughs gleefully. “Do looks matter to him?”

Kal grins. She’s shrewd alright. “Absolutely.”

Before Simon can intervene and appeal to the logical side of her brain, Sarah Williams holds out her hand. “We have a bargain, Goblin Prince. Let’s hope the Goblin King and his beautiful bride have a wonderful marriage.”

--

A Duplicitous King

(High Court meeting, Elysium, Underground)…

The High Court convenes in an enormous structure with a dome ceiling, that reminds her of the Roman Senate—the entire building is made of pure white marble, and there are little to none accents or decorations. She can’t help but inch a little closer to Kal—feeling intimidated.

“Do not fret, mortal. As they say in your world, this will be over in no time,” the Prince offers some words of reassurance. The last thing he needs is the mortal to turn hysterical at the wrong time. “Ah, it’s beginning.”

Sarah stares at the man who stands on a dais at the center. “That’s the High King,” she hears Kal whisper in her ear.

“The Court asks Jareth, The Goblin King, Protector of the Labyrinth, to step forward,” the High King states, his voice, well, kingly.

Sarah gasps as she catches sight of the Goblin King for the first time in sixteen years. Dressed in black armor, not unlike his outfit when he’d shown up at her parents’ place, he looks every bit the frightening monarch she’d encountered as a child. He climbs up the dais and stands opposite the High King.

“I am loathe to step away from my Kingdom and my duties, High King, so please, let us conclude this…session at the earliest.”

She can’t help but gasp again—his voice. Oh God. His voice had haunted her dreams for years after her jaunt through the Labyrinth. She feels herself tremble lightly. “Calm down,” she hears Kal whisper again. “Don’t draw any attention, I want to shock him.”

The High King nods before turning to address the rest of the Court. “Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies—it is my honor as High King to decree that the Goblin King shall take a wife.”

-slow murmurings become louder and louder until a banging sound is heard, commanding silence-

If Jareth feels any shock at the decree, he doesn’t show it. His face remains impassive save for a small smirk that twists his bow shaped lips. “My dear High King,” he turns towards the rest of the Court and gives the onlookers a mocking bow, “Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies. The High Court has had the same decree before, yet I have always refused. Why should this day be any different?”

-the murmurings are louder this time and some remain even after the banging sound-

The High King smiles at the arrogant, lesser monarch serenely, but his eyes gleam with triumph—as if saying ‘I’ve got you now.’ “We have more than one prospective bride for you this time, Goblin King—should you refuse one, you will marry the other.”

“Oh,” is the Goblin King’s arrogant reply. “Do go on. My heart threatens to burst out of my chest as I await, so anxiously, for the names that this…prodigious Court has chosen.” He stresses his sarcasm laden words so that they convey something entirely different than what they mean.

The High King pays no heed to Jareth’s disdain. “Princess Althesyea of the Troll Kingdom.”

-the slow murmurings start up again, this time there is derisive laughter in the mix-

“Unfortunately,” Jareth says, his smirk growing by the second. “I have already proposed that my brother, Prince Kal of the Goblin Kingdom take Princess Althesyea as a bride.”

“The Troll King is willing to offer the Princess to you, Goblin King—she is a valid choice.”

Sarah can see Jareth’s muscles tense slightly as he takes in this information. His smirk, however, remains.

“Very well,” the Goblin King states, his arrogant tone considerably less arrogant. “Who is the alternative?”

“Mortal Sarah Williams, Victor of the Labyrinth.”

And two time Golden Globe winner for Actress in a Comedy/Musical, she adds in her head. If they all had titles, so did she, dammit!

Kal frowns—he expected a temper tantrum, or at least a look of disgust from Jareth. Instead, the Goblin King merely stands there, his face expressionless.

Sarah fumes. The bastard doesn’t as much as look around the room, trying to find her.

“I believe the High Court criminalized unions between mortals and immortals,” Jareth says, after a significant pause. “Why am I so demeaned as to even receive a mortal woman as an option?”

Sarah turns beet red with utter fury—if she were a cartoon, smoke would emanate from her body. Demeaned? That they’d presented her as an option demeaned him? Ugh, what an asshole.

The High King sighs. “The Court concludes that you, Goblin King, have demeaned us and our time for too many centuries. The mortal is a Victor, is she not? We believe that will suffice to…elevate her status among us.”

“Allow me to repeat and confirm what I understand,” Jareth says, his voice deceivingly calm. “The High Court shall not criminalize my marriage with the mortal? That I am to be ridiculed as the only exception?”

“The Court shall not criminalize your marriage with the mortal. However, we are generously allowing you the option of taking Princess Althesyea as your wife—be grateful, Goblin King.”

“And if the Princess and I are not well suited, shall the Court dissolve our marriage contract?”

The High King laughs—the rich sound echoes around the room. “Absolutely not. The Court will not spend the next few centuries running around and finding another wife for you. Once signed, your marriage contract will never be dissolved.”

It’s Jareth’s turn to laugh. “Ah, but if I were to choose the mortal, she will die in a few decades.”

-loud whispers that turn louder and louder by the second-

“Silence!” The High King demands before turning to Jareth. “We are not foolish, Jareth,” he addresses the monarch by name, an insult. “Should you choose the mortal, we will turn her and you will be the object of ridicule for all of eternity. As I stated earlier, we have been kind enough to include the Troll Princess, whom, you will no doubt, choose as your wife—make your choice official, Goblin King.”

Sighing dramatically, Jareth turns and faces the Court. “Kings and Queens. Lords and Ladies,” he says. “I am deeply humbled today—I feel as if I am the recipient of a cruel jest. Would the Court truly force this atrocious choice on me? Should I take the High King’s words as absolute truth?”

“Yes,” comes the resounding answer, making Sarah jump a little. Everyone in the room, including Kal, join in saying ‘yes’ a few more times.

And right at that moment, the Goblin King looks at her, as if he’d known she was sitting there the whole time. His dual eyes are so intense that the hairs on her arms stand up.

“My choice is mortal Sarah Williams.”

-there is absolute, deafening silence for a few seconds before the room erupts into mad chaos-

--

The Mother of all Charades

(The Goblin King’s chambers, Elysium, a few minutes later)…

“What’s happening?! How is any of this even happening?!” She talks, mostly to herself, as she holds her head in her hands trying to figure out what the fuck has just happened. When chaos erupted in Court, she’d found herself being pushed towards the formidable Goblin King, who’d brought her to a large suite and dumped her on the couch.

Jareth studies her intensely, his mismatched eyes drink in her vision. He keeps his distance, opting to stand by the massive window—allowing her some space. The woman seems to be in shock.

She looks around the room, searching for Jareth until her eyes find his. “Why,” she begins, but her voice dies down and she has to swallow a few times. “Why did you choose me?”

He tilts his head, face expressionless, eyes intent on hers. “Why not?”

Her lips part as she stares at him, not knowing what to say until the silence becomes unbearable.

Fortunately, right at that moment, Kal appears in the room, his expression utterly livid. “You’d really choose a mortal—A MORTAL—over the Troll Princess?”

The Goblin King raises a brow, his eyes hold a spark of amusement, as if he finds Kal’s rage hilarious. “This one, yes.”

Miraculously, Sarah’s voice returns as she, too, is overcome with rage—rage at a certain black haired prince who’d told her this farce would only take a few hours of her time. “You said he hated me,” she yells, standing up and walking up to the slightly frightened looking Prince. “You said I was the last female in this realm, and the next, that he’d ever choose for a wife.”

“That’s what he’s always said,” Kal says, his voice defensive as he backs away slowly from the advancing mortal.

Sarah scoffs at that. “Yeah, right,” her angry voice now takes on a deadly calm tone. “You were out to trick me from the very beginning, weren’t you?” She turns to Jareth, who sports a wide grin, “Did you send him to do your dirty work?”

Jareth rumbles an amused laugh as he watches the exchange—his brother seems to be cowering at the wrath of a mortal. His mortal. “No, dearest—he came to you of his own accord.”

She turns back to Kal, who’s now backed against the wall. “You set out to ruin my life, for what? Shits and giggles?”

“Calm down, Sarah,” Kal says, his generally derisive voice now shaky. Dear gods, did mortal women hiss like that? “I believed, in all honesty, that he’d even choose an obese dwarf with a personal hygiene problem over you.”

Obese dwarf with a personal hygiene problem? Of all the fucking insults! Perhaps it’s incredulity in his voice, or his choice of words, but her fury blazes into a blinding inferno. “Then explain to me, Goblin Prince, what, in hell, just happened?”

Suppressing a laugh, Jareth decides to save his unruly brother from the rabid wrath of his affianced. “What happened, precious thing,” he says, his silky voice low, “…is that you entered a rather unwise bargain with my brother, who falsely believed he could join with the Court in coercing me to marry the Troll Princess.”

Kal mimics Sarah as he stares at his brother, his jaw wide open. “You knew?”

Jareth gives him a sharp grin. “Of course I knew.”

“How?”

“I happen to be six centuries older than you, little brother. Your…plotting skills are no match for mine.”

“Well, mother is certainly going to be hysterical about this,” Kal says, shuddering as he considers his mother’s reaction when she finds out the role he had to play in the whole thing.

Feeling forgotten, Sarah lets out an angry huff. “As touching as this brotherly conversation is, how the fuck do I play into this sadistic game of yours?”

Jareth sighs, his face returning to its impassive mask. He turns his piercing gaze to the enraged mortal. “This is not a game, dearest. The High Court has just decreed that we are joined in a union that can never be dissolved.”

At the look on Sarah’s face, Kal decides to cut his losses and run. He’ll figure out how to get out of the Troll Princess situation later. Just as Sarah looks as if she’s about to wring his neck, he vanishes out of Jareth’s chambers.

“Argh!” Sarah screams in frustration as Kal disappears. She’d been told she could start working on her movie the very next day—instead, she seems to be at the disposal of…wait a second…ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod. “What do you mean we are joined in a union that can never be dissolved?”

Giving her a slow, menacing smile, Jareth rakes his eyes over her body, not missing a single detail. “Marriages decreed by the Court are considered in effect the second the High King makes the announcement—legally, we are already married.”

“WHAT?” Rage replaces panic and jade eyes flash with vehemence. “Fuck that. I never said ‘I do’ and neither did you. Haven’t you heard? If you didn’t say it, you didn’t do it.”*

“No, I haven’t,” he humors her with an answer as he slowly stalks towards her, his eyes never leaving hers.

It’s her turn to back away until she finds her back plastered against the cold marble wall. Her heart starts hammering in her chest and small beads of sweat appear on her forehead. “Well then, now that you have, I hope you understand that we are most definitely not married.”

Chuckling slowly, he rests a gloved hand against the wall, almost touching her face. “The High Court is the law. I have no doubt you will put up a valiant fight against this decree—but resistance is futile.”

In spite of her freakishly bizarro situation, she can’t help but laugh at his choice of words.

“Do I amuse you?” Just like that, his voice is deadly calm.

“Um, no,” she stammers. “That’s just something aliens say.” Except he isn’t an alien, is he? She frowns—for all she knows, maybe he is. Sensing his displeasure, she changes the subject quickly. “Kal doesn’t want to marry the Troll Princess,” she blurts. “That’s why he asked for my help.”

“I know that, precious thing,” his icy eyes sharpen just a tad. “I find it…diverting…that you seem so well acquainted with my charming sibling.”

She raises her brows—is he angry about something? “Why the fuck would you choose me if you hate me so much?”

A brow raise. “I don’t hate you.”

“But Kal said-” She’s cut off by his fingers on her lips, the smell of leather infiltrating her senses.

“That’s what I lead him to believe—and so he did. It worked quite well towards my purpose.” He leans into her, breathing in her scent as he whispers into her ear, his lips lightly brushing against her sensitive skin, “All of you thought to make a fool of me, yet here I stand holding all the cards.”

His breath on her neck makes skin breakout in gooseflesh—her heart thuds riotously against her ribcage. Suddenly, her entire body feels so…sensitive. “You…you wanted to marry me?” She can’t hide sheer incredulity from her voice.

A slow laugh rumbles his chest. “I did—and I was able to do so, with the High Court’s blessing, even though our union would have been criminal otherwise.”

Comprehension dawns through her. “That’s why you were asking them to confirm so many times—so that they can’t go back on their word.”

“Clever mortal.” His fingers run through her dark hair.

“So now you’re going to force Kal into marrying the Troll Princess?” she decides to continue barraging him with questions just to keep the conversation going, or else he looks like he’s going to ravish her right then and there.

Annoyance flickers in his eyes as she interrupts him again, but he answers nonetheless. “No. Trolls find us about as repulsive as we find them, so the Princess will not pursue the engagement. I merely used that tactic as…motivation for Kal to seek the Court, and subsequently, you.”

Well, fuck. They’d all played right into his hands. Speaking of, one of his grips her hip. “Uh, you guys don’t look very similar,” she says squeakily. Just keep the conversation going Williams!

Pulling back from her, he sighs. “We share the same mother, the former Goblin Queen—it is her throne I inherited.”

Oh. “And Queens are allowed to have…erm…multiple partners?”

He gives her a blank stare. Just as he opens his mouth to give her an answer, he feels a faint brush of his mother’s magic. He sighs—the woman has an uncanny ability to appear every time she’s the topic of discussion.

“Really, Jareth, a mortal? Of all the ridiculous, irresponsible actions you could have taken, this is, by far, the worst.”

Sarah gapes as a middle-aged woman appears out of thin air. Unlike the other beings in this place who wear strange outfits, this woman seems to be wearing a white Chanel skirt and jacket set. She wears nude Louboutin pumps on her feet, and a Birkin dangles from her right arm. Her hair is lighter than Jareth’s but styled into a simple yet elegant bun, and her eyes are silver-gray. A bit scary, actually.

“Mother,” he greets her with a stiff hug, “You’ve taken time off from your busy schedule to visit me.” The sarcasm in his voice is blatantly evident.

“Do not take that tone with me, Jareth,” the woman replies, her voice sharp with warning. “This is the mortal, I presume?” she asks, turning and walking towards Sarah with a frosty expression on her face.

“Excuse me, uh, lady,” Sarah says, unsure of what to call her, “I didn’t ask to be here. One of your sons wanted me to trick the other one into marrying the Troll Princess and things didn’t go according to plan.”

Hiding a smile, Jareth intervenes smoothly. “What Sarah means to say is that I laid out an intricate plan that involved Kal and the Court, which I tricked into allowing me to marry the mortal woman of my choice.”

The former Queen merely shoots her son a chagrined look. He is too much of a master manipulator for his own good. “Where are your manners, Jareth? Introduce us.”

Jareth rolls his eyes—trust his mother to make him feel like such a child. “Sarah, this is my mother, Stava, former Goblin Queen. Mother, this is Sarah Williams, she solved the Labyrinth a few years ago.”

Stava’s silvery eyes shine with recognition. “No wonder you look so familiar, child. You’re Sarah Williams, the actress.”

“Uh, yes,” Sarah replies—she hadn’t expected to be recognized by Jareth’s mother, of all people.

“Don’t look so surprised, I live in the mortal world after all,” Stava states, gesturing at her outfit. “Well, I suppose if you are to be married to a mortal, may as well be someone who won’t produce hideous looking offspring.”

What? Sarah gapes at the lady—“You’re accepting me, just like that? What about your dynasty and your family honor—shouldn’t you banish me back to earth so I can go back to living my life and your son can marry someone suitable?”

Stava waves a hand, unconcerned. “Dear me, mortal child, I know you’re an actress but don’t be so dramatic. It’s unbecoming of a Queen.”

Queen—had the woman said Queen? Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck times a hundred. “I don’t want to be Queen. I just wanted to star in a serious role for once!”

“Ah, so that’s what Kal said to tempt you, did he?” Jareth asks, oblivious to her hysterics. “Such a simplistic plan.”

Stava sighs, uninterested in the conversation. “I don’t care that the Court has declared you married—you will have a fitting ceremony at the Summer Palace. After all your official receptions of course,” she tells Jareth before turning to Sarah. “Cheer up, child. You’ve been lifted from your station in life as a peasant and have been made a Queen. Show some gratitude.”

Peasant?! Gratitude?! Of all the arrogant---! Sarah clenches her fists. “I was not a peasant.”

“Americans,” Stava says with a roll of her strange eyes. “Wasn’t it all the starving peasants, potato farmers, and impoverished nobles who immigrated there in the first place, along with criminals and the religiously fanatical?”

“Listen lady,” Sarah starts, she’s going to give the Chanel clad former Queen a slice of real American aggression. “I don’t know-”

“Alright mother, I’ll discuss the details of the ceremony later,” Jareth cuts in, really hoping his mother leaves before Sarah says something atrocious.

Stava looks at Sarah one last time, “A wardrobe will have to be commissioned—I’ll send my best seamstresses. I can’t have my firstborn’s wife parading around the Underground, looking like a beggar.”

And with those words, the former Goblin Queen disappears from Sarah’s view, returning to God knows where. Probably not America.

“I apologize for that, precious thing.”

Sarah feels dazed—as if her brain simply stopped processing new stimuli because everything’s happening too fast. Still, his words make her snort weakly. “What you’ve done to me is far worse.”

He flashes her a toothy smile. “And I will spend eternity apologizing for my wicked actions,” his tone implies something obscene. “I think I’ll start now.”

Sarah eeps as she feels his lips kiss a scorching trail down her neck. Her body feels warm and desire pools in her gut. Get it together, she scolds herself, you’re 30 years old, not a hormonal teenager who’s easy to seduce. “What about your father?” she asks, breathing out a sigh in relief as he pulls back once again.

“My father hates Court and he would never risk running into my mother.”

“Erm…why’s that?” she asks, aiming to keep him distracted.

“According to her, he stole one of her lovers.” A smirk twists his lips as he sees her widen her eyes. “Which he did.”

“Well…that sounds…ironic,” she babbles like an idiot, unsure of what to say. With all her years of living in LA, she’s used to weird, but not this level of weird.

A slow laugh. “What’s ironic, precious thing, is that the lover he stole happens to be Kal’s father.”

Her mouth falls wide open. “That is all kinds of fucked up.”

“Oh, I agree,” he says, leaning in closer. “Now…where were we?” he murmurs, placing feather light kisses on her jaw line, smiling against her skin as she shudders.

“Wait a second, hold it!” She pushes him away and peers into his dual eyes, genuinely curious. “Is everyone in your family a freaking lunatic?”

The Goblin King can’t help but throw back his head and laugh at her question. The answer, obviously, is yes.

“SARAH!” A wildly excited looking Kal transports into Jareth’s chambers. “I found a loophole!”

-there’s pin drop silence for a few seconds-

“Kal, do you remember the time you tried poisoning me and I placed you in my dungeons?” Jareth asks, his voice deceptively calm. “If you do not leave us, this instant-” his words fall short as Sarah jumps out of his grasp and runs towards his imbecile of a brother.

Kal, for his part, pales considerably when Jareth mentions his dungeons, but he grits his teeth and continues. “Just command me to fulfill my end of the bargain,” he says, clasping the mortal’s hand.

Sarah Williams does exactly that—and finds herself back in her house, with one terrified looking Goblin Prince.

“What just happened?” she manages to ask, shakily sitting down on her sofa.

Kal sits across from her, equally shaky. “Regardless of whether you’re married to him or not, I still owe you your movie—you called it in. Until the bargain is complete, he cannot…force you to do anything.”

She gulps. “So why did you help me…considering he’s probably not too happy with you right now,” she asks, shivering as she recalls what he’d said about his dungeons.

The black haired Prince shakes off his fear and flashes the mortal a grin. “Jareth’s always won every game we’ve ever played. I believe it is high time His Highness learn to lose.”

“Let’s drink to that,” she states, her voice less shaky now. “I’ll get Champagne from the fridge.”

--

Part Time Lover

(Sarah’s house, 6 months later)…

Strong arms wrap around her sleek frame, drawing her close. She feels his breath on the back of her neck and leans back against him. “I’m never going back with you, you know.”

He places hot, open mouthed kisses on her bare shoulders, his fingers trace patterns on her stomach—his touch is unbearable light. “Of course,” he says, his tone slow and teasing, his fingers continuing their torturous journey, lower…and lower still.

She knows she should tell him to get lost—she should push him away. God help her, she can’t.

He showed up the day after she’d left, more like escaped, him and told her that he’d never let her go. Any sane woman would have been terrified enough to run away screaming…but Sarah Williams hadn’t done that. Instead, to put it crudely, she’d fucked him senseless—or had he fucked her senseless…? It didn’t matter. In the end, they’d both ended up on her kitchen floor, where they’d stayed for hours…and hours.

He has visited her ever since—not that frequently—but every time he does, he makes her half mad with pleasure.

 

“I mean it, Jareth. I’m going to draw out this movie for the rest of my…oh,” she hisses out a moan, dark, crescent shaped lashes sweep against her cheeks as her eyes fall shut. Williams, you’re such a fucking hypocrite, she thinks—a small gasp escapes her throat—oh God, why is he so deliberately slow?

“You can do whatever you want,” he rumbles, turning her around so they’re face to face. “And I, precious thing,” he whispers into her ear, his fingers kneading her flesh, his body flush against hers, “…I will worship every inch of you, until you cannot move.”

Backing her against the wall, the Goblin King makes good on his promise.

--

To Earn a Queen

(Sarah’s house, 18 months later)…

“It’s been two years, this is getting ridiculous.”

Sarah cringes at his tone…forcing herself to face the truth that perhaps he is correct. She’s been, for the lack of a better word, dating the Goblin King for two years. “This,” she counters argumentatively, “…arrangement…has always been ridiculous.”

Jareth growls, gripping her slim shoulder with one hand. “Do not toy with me.”

She sighs. “Two years is still too early to get married, don’t you think?”

“We are already married, Sarah,” he replies through gritted teeth.

Her ears perk up at the use of her name—he almost never does this unless he is absolutely furious. Well, fuck that. “No, we’re not,” she yells back, her voice holds a stubborn edge. “If you want me as your Queen, you better fucking earn me, Jareth.” Saying that, she whirls around and walks out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

A tired Jareth runs his slender hands through his unruly mane, utterly frustrated. Of all the mortals to fall in love with, he just had to fall in love with a Hollywood diva, didn’t he? Grumbling about how she fits exactly into his family full of lunatics, Jareth sets out to earn his wife. Who is, for all legal purposes, already his wife.

Sighing harshly, the Goblin King frowns and says, “It’s not fair.”

--

An Open End

Sarah finally agrees to become Jareth’s Queen once he agrees to allow her to continue to live her life however she wishes.

After the project is complete, Kal decides that he likes being a Hollywood producer so he continues being one. He lives in So-Cal and becomes addicted to avocados.

Jareth’s mother and father, and Kal’s father, decide they’d function well as a ménage e trois, so they give that a shot. Both, Jareth and Kal are traumatized.

--