[Stanley's Restaurant, Jackson Square, French Quarter, New Orleans]
Sarah was startled out of her low conversation with Jareth about what he enjoyed doing in the quarter when she heard her name being shouted out, glancing up to see her friend Caitlin jogging up to her and embracing her in a tight hug. Sarah smiled briefly at Jareth who dropped her hand with an echoing smile and moved back a step as Caitlin looked over at him with a faint frown, inspecting him thoroughly for a few seconds with a distrustful glare.
Sarah registered the other man coming up behind her friend. She studied him briefly, noting his handsomeness and golden coloring, offering a small wave as Caitlin pulled back and inspected Sarah from head to toe as well, making her pinken slightly in embarrassment. Caitlin scowled at both the men and took Sarah by the hand, moving towards the small park in the center of Jackson Square.
"Oh no, go away! Girl talk!" She shouted at them when both men moved to follow. Jareth's friend simply rolled his eyes and motioned for Jareth to follow him.
"We'll go see to a table, then. Join us soon?" Niall called towards them in a friendly tone and Sarah laughed as Caitlin all but dragged her away with no answer, casting her eyes towards Jareth with a small smile, who simply smirked and walked with Niall towards the restaurant after his friend threw up his hands lightly and shook his head.
Once they were an adequate distance away, Caitlin spun around and stared, patting Sarah on her shoulders and face as if feeling for evidence of torture. Sarah sputtered and playfully pushed Caitlin's inspecting grip away, feeling her blush scalding her skin. "Yeesh, Caitlin, stop! I'm fine, promise! Calm down!"
"Do you have any idea how worried I've been?!" Her friend shrieked, looking on the verge of tears. Immediately, Sarah felt guilty for making little of Caitlin's concerns, suddenly noting the dark circles under her eyes and the faint fly-away look of her hair, telling Sarah she'd slept in her updo. She looked over her friend's form, noting the coat she was wearing that was perhaps four sizes too large, most likely telling her she also still wore her dress from last night and the coat belonged to Jareth's friend.
"I'm sorry, I didn't think…" Frowning, she reached forward and gave Caitlin a tight hug. She felt her friend's shoulders tense and then she let out a faint sniff and pushed Sarah back.
"It's OK, Niall filled me in. But dammit, Sarah! Why didn't you tell me?" Caitlin sniffed again, crossing her arms over her chest with a scowl, staring at Sarah with an accusatory gaze. Sarah sheepishly shrugged her shoulders, feeling awkward and unable to explain but she did her best to try.
"It was a long time ago, Cait. I haven't seen Jareth in ten years. This isn't exactly something that comes up in casual conversation and for all I knew, I'd never see him again. What would you have wanted me to say? 'Oh, hey Cait, wanna nab some lunch? Oh, by the way, I once had my little brother kidnapped by a fae king because I was an immature bratty teen and wished him away!' Do you understand how crazy that sounds?" Sarah shrugged faintly, sighing and rubbing a palm across her forehead. "It sounds crazy even now and I lived through it."
Caitlin let out another faint huff then seemed to slowly nod in agreement, letting Sarah knew she forgave her. Sarah let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding. "Ok, ok. Fine. It does sound completely batshit, but I am still mad at you! That…thing…kidnapped me and I was locked in a room all night, scared half to death his buddy was doing awful things to you."
Sarah's blush returned tenfold and Caitlin didn't miss it, the corner of her mouth kicking up as she stared. "Well, it seems at least ONE of us enjoyed their evening."
Sarah let out a strangled cough, shifting on her feet and rolling her eyes, wanting to die on the spot. "Oh, stop! Yes, fine, ok? I fucked him! Sheesh!"
Caitlin's familiar smirk was back as she leaned forward. "And?"
Sarah rolled her eyes but laughed as they moved back towards the restaurant, dropping her voice to an excited whisper. "And it was fan-fucking-tastic!"
Both women burst into giggles as they stepped out of the park and saw the men waiting for them at a table inside the restaurant, both watching them curiously. Sarah cast Caitlin a brief glance. "His friend's cute…" She casually let slip, watching Caitlin tense for a moment but refuse to look her way, instead staring at the men seated ahead.
Slowly, a small smile tugged at her lips as she looked over at Sarah as they entered the restaurant. "Yeah, he totally is."
Sarah bit back another laugh as they moved to sit with Jareth and Niall.
"Holding hands, hm?" Niall casually asked, looking up from his menu while the women had their little female chat in the park several feet away. Jareth's gaze swept back towards him with a frown from where he'd been busy staring in the direction Sarah and Caitlin had gone.
"What about it?" He asked, narrowing his eyes, still uncomfortable with his friend knowing his weakness - her. Niall smiled and shrugged a shoulder, dropping the questions when a waitress came up and took their orders. The men let her know they were waiting on their companions and simply ordered coffee for the table for now. She nodded and shuffled away quickly to place their order.
"Nothing, nothing. It just looks like things are progressing nicely with you two…" Niall said after several moments of silence, smiling faintly at Jareth as he once again met Niall's gaze with a frown. "Are you going to tell her how you feel?"
Jareth wiped a hand over his face with a grimace. "Is it that obvious?"
Niall shrugged faintly, tucking a napkin in his lap. "To them, perhaps not. To me, yes. You must remember I've known you for several centuries. I've never seen you so distracted by a woman."
Jareth tensed and Niall let his hands raise faintly in surrender for a moment before the waitress brought over four cups of coffee, letting the woman settle them on the table with cream and sugar before continuing. "Relax, friend. I've no need to twist this to my advantage. As loathe as I am to say it, the Goblin Kingdom and the Labyrinth have flourished from the atrocity it once was under your care. I've no need to remove you, nor would I wish it. I can't stand those beasts, neither can my father. You have a way with them we simply don't understand. Your rule and position, as it were, will remain unchallenged. Believe it or not, I just simply want to see you happy."
"You're a good friend, Niall." Jareth frowned faintly, sipping at his coffee after liberally lacing it with sugar and cream, watching Niall do the same. "I…don't know what to say."
"Say 'I won't fuck this up Niall,' that's all you can say." Niall chuckled, watching Jareth stare at him again with a brief flicker of anger, raising a finger towards him to cut him off before he could say anything in return. "I'm serious! You can be so damned pig-headed. Don't let your insecurities and silly pride get in the way. You'll end up regretting it, my friend. We live very long lives, that is too long to live with such a thing."
Jareth blinked, a small smile tugging at his lips, wanting to ask his friend when he had become such a wise man when the women returned, looking in much better spirits. Sarah settled beside him and Caitlin sat beside Niall, studying his friend with a curiosity that wasn't present earlier. He raised an eyebrow as he looked over at Sarah and Sarah grinned faintly, making herself a cup of coffee – noting she liked hers the same way he did. It made him briefly smile.
"Morning, ladies..." The waitress said, returning to the table once more after a few minutes and smiling at the women, glancing around the table. "Can I take your order now?"
Several minutes later, the table was alive with conversation, now that everyone's anxiety had been eased. They ate with gusto, everyone having been thoroughly starving by the time the dust had settled from the awkward earlier reunion. Jareth and Niall had ordered seafood po'boys and the women had settled on eggs benedict, both eating quickly between sips of coffee. Laughing at something Niall said, Sarah didn't object when Jareth's fingers skirted along her back, resting his elbow against the back of her chair. She blushed faintly but let him settle his arm around her shoulders as Caitlin and Niall seemed to be distracted with one another in some verbal sparring match, staring at each other intently.
"So, what, I can see through your horseshit? What a lame-ass super power…" Caitlin groused, making a face as Niall laughed and shook his head when he told her what she was.
"It's a rare gift from your ancestry. It simply means most fae magic doesn't affect you. Don't downplay its significance, my dear. It's a very handy 'superpower' as you call it when it comes to dealing with the fae. I haven't run across a seer in centuries…so it took me by surprise that night. And if you hadn't busted my favorite chair, we could have been doing so much more with our time, my fair friend…" He glared back playfully, making Caitlin huff and roll her eyes dramatically.
"Well, if someone hadn't kidnapped me and instead let me check on my friend, who obviously was perfectly fine…" She gestured at the casual way Jareth and Sarah were sitting together, scowling at Niall despite a slow smile fighting its way across her face, "then perhaps we could have." She raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms over her chest, waiting for him to reply something better in turn against her jab.
Niall stared at Caitlin, a slow grin replacing his earlier glare. Both seemed so engrossed with one another that when Sarah cleared her throat to drag their attention back to the table, both seemed slightly startled. She bit back a grin and faintly heard a small bite of laughter under Jareth's breath. Seems like those two are hitting it off….
"So, Niall, how do you two know each other? Besides being friends, I mean. How'd you meet?" She asked, returning to her food and giving him time to answer, shifting her gaze between Niall and Jareth.
Niall smiled. "I've known Jareth most of my life. My father is high king and his father served as head of his council, so we were constantly around one another. Jareth had the head for tactic and politics while I had the head for empathy and the people. We were complete opposites in that regard, but together we usually outwitted most so it seemed wise to stick together. Don't get me wrong, Jareth can be a pain in the ass most of the time, but he's loyal and stubborn – both good qualities to have in a friend and confidant. When Jareth's father passed, my father was determined Jareth would be more than just a councilman like his father was, pushing for the court to appoint him to a seat in one of the Kingdoms. We needed someone with Jareth's head as the court had grown lazy and stagnant. It took considerable effort but he was granted the seat of the Goblin Kingdom and the Labyrinth, which serves as a foothold between your world and ours. He's done very well with it, compared to what it once was."
Jareth laughed faintly, leaning to murmur conspirically in her ear. "Also meaning that no one else would take the job."
Niall grinned faintly as Sarah chuckled, remembering her time there. "That, too. But you've done well with it."
"Really? No one wanted it?" Sarah asked, confused, looking back over at Jareth with both curiosity and amusement, finding it hard to believe that Jareth was – for all intents and purposes – just another guy in the fae world. "Are you telling me you're just an 'Average Joe' by fae standards?" Even her voice echoed her surprise.
Jareth shrugged a shoulder, watching her curiously. "That's exactly what I'm saying. I'm not of noble blood but the seat of the Goblin Kingdom allows me to interact in court even though most choose not to associate with me. They consider me beneath them. Why so surprised, precious?"
Because you're beautiful and powerful and frightening all at the same time. Average? Are you kidding? To me you're noble, otherworldly, something special…
Sarah swallowed and smiled faintly, not voicing what was really going on in her head, shrugging her shoulders faintly. "It's just…well, I guess to me you seemed like you were when I was there."
"Oh, the Labyrinth does have its own special perks. He's able to do some things others can't because of it. But it's a hard mistress and most fae are too lazy to put in the effort to rule something that challenges them, especially royal ones who are already secured some kind of seat in the court. Jareth had an uphill battle, but he's always surprised me with how well he holds his own." Niall supplied, watching Sarah stare curiously at Jareth.
"So that makes you high king apparent?" Caitlin asked, saying the next thing on Sarah's mind. Niall shifted uncomfortably in his chair, nodding as his eyes fell back to his coffee.
"Whoa…" Caitlin stared, fascinated. "I've never met a high prince before…"
Niall chuckled and winked at the table. "Don't let anyone tell you I'm just a nice bloke underneath it all. I have a reputation to uphold. Very few see this side of me. Fae are mercurial in the best of circumstances, so I trust you'll keep my secret."
Sarah smiled faintly, sipping at her coffee, digesting this new bit of information. "Your secret is safe with me." She saw Caitlin nod, smiling faintly at Niall when his gaze wandered towards hers. "Does it hurt your reputation to maintain a friendship with Jareth?" She asked casually, watching out of the corner of her eye as Jareth stilled and looked towards his friend.
Niall shrugged, looking at Sarah with renewed interest. "Perhaps, but no one has been foolish enough to press the issue. Why do you ask?"
Sarah shrugged faintly, slightly waffling under his intense stare. "It sounds like how our own monarchies have functioned in the past. A lot of times, rulers were forced to give up close friendships in favor of the court, until it took someone with enough backbone to stand up and say 'enough.' What I'm saying is, I admire that. You seem like a good friend to Jareth and if that's anything to go on, I'm betting you'll kick some serious ass as High King one day, too."
Niall's face transformed into a bright smile. "Why, I do think that's the kindest thing anyone has ever said to me, Sarah. Thank you."
She returned the smile, nodding. "You're welcome." She felt Jareth's hand squeeze against her shoulder briefly and she looked his way, blushing faintly at the gleam in his eyes as he studied her.
"Enough of that talk. Tell us, ladies, what are your plans for this evening? How long are you staying in New Orleans?" Niall asked, breaking through the silence that had suddenly descended on the table.
Sarah and Caitlin looked over at one another with a smile. "We're here through Wednesday, just in time to see the parade. Why, have something in mind?" Caitlin supplied, looking at Niall with a faint grin.
Niall grinned faintly back at her friend. "Oh, a few things. How about you allow Jareth and I to cook dinner at my residence? Let you see our place? I've also heard there is a DJ in town, he's world-renowned, playing at the House of Blues. Care to join us?"
Sarah waited for Caitlin to decide, sipping casually on her coffee. She felt Jareth's fingers idly rub up and down her back, glancing over at him with a brief blush. When she heard her friend's acceptance and the shopping plans she had for the early afternoon, Jareth grinned faintly and leaned forward to whisper in her ear.
"Don't think for a minute I'm letting you out of my sight. I'm not that easy to get rid of, precious."
Sarah blushed and let her hand fall underneath the table, cupping him as she leaned forward to whisper in his ear, pleased to feel a tense intake of air from him as she teased him. "Oh, I wouldn't dream of it."
He growled faintly but pulled back, staring at her intently as their friends sitting across the table talked details with one another. She swallowed, feeling her blush and arousal deepen as his gaze clashed with hers, searing her down to her toes, jumping like a shot had been fired when she heard Caitlin calling her and waving a hand in front of them both.
"Earth to Jareth and Sarah…" Caitlin laughed, snapping her fingers. Niall simply grinned as he sipped at his coffee, reaching for some bills in his pocket to cover brunch.
"Um, yes?" She squeaked, snatching her hand away from Jareth under the table, feeling his fingers tense against her back. She remembered how he felt against her hand and knew he most likely hated the interruption too, if that tell-tale bulge held any indication.
Caitlin gave them both a knowing look. "I said Niall knows a great used bookstore down the road called Faulkner books. Want to come with us?"
She looked back over at Jareth who was staring at her like she was desert and he was ravenous for something sweet. She swallowed, trying to find her voice and somewhat succeeding. "Um, how about we just meet you at Niall's house?"
Jareth's answering grin and Caitlin's small laugh was her only answer as she stared at him. As Niall turned to pay the waitress, Jareth had already risen and tugged her to her feet, dragging her out of the restaurant.
"See you tonight!" She managed to call before feeling Jareth tug her across the square, into the shadowy area behind one of the pillars of Saint Louis Cathedral. She opened her mouth to ask where they were going when his mouth crashed down on hers and she felt the odd tug of being transported.
[Royal Sonesta Hotel, Sarah's Suite, French Quarter, New Orleans]
They both hit the bed with a rush of grasping hands and tangled limbs. Sarah moaned as Jareth tore at her panties, stripping them quickly from her legs as her own fingers made quick work of the belt buckle and zipper of his pants, letting out a pleased sound as he sprung eagerly into her hands.
Opening her legs as Jareth settled between them, she guided him to her and let out a soft cry as he thrust inside quickly, setting a languorous pace, his mouth dropping to nibble and suck along her neck as she grasped his backside, her ankles crossing to anchor him in place as his hips rolled into hers at the perfect angle, sending her body quickly into orbit despite the slow punctuated pace he had set.
She let out a surprised gasp that turned into a languished moan as her body suddenly spiraled into orgasm, her fingers and ankles tightening as her body milked his in tight, constricted bursts. Oh god…more…
"Sarah…gods…" He groaned against her throat and shuddered, stiffening as he joined her, his own voice sounding hoarse as he stilled and settled heavily against her while he pulsed inside her, filling her with his release. A deep hidden part of her swelled in satisfaction that she was able to bring out his own response in the way he seemed to lose himself atop her for a moment, his voice dropping to nothing more than a few roughened grunts as he shuddered, finally feeling him relax against her once his orgasm left him.
"I'm sorry, I couldn't stop…" She whispered once she had caught her breath, swallowing as she panted faintly, her hands wrapping around his back.
"Shhh," he murmured, lifting his head and kissing her slowly, his fingers curling around her jaw as he gently tugged on her chin, opening her mouth to his. "I'm not complaining. Gods, woman, you make me spill like an untried youth…" He smiled at her stifled chuckle, kissing her deeply for several moments, not removing himself from her. She kept her ankles crossed, her hands in place, in no rush to move herself.
"We….should see if we can catch up with them. We can't spend the whole holiday in bed…" Sarah whispered weakly against his mouth.
"Watch me," Jareth replied as his mouth dropped again, nipping at her neck, making Sarah both shiver and laugh at the same time. She blushed as she felt him harden again.
"Maybe in a few minutes…" She moaned weakly as he began to thrust again. Soon, her protests were drowned out with his mouth back on hers, his body once more sending hers to new heights she had yet to discover.