I stood on the corner, beneath a streetlight, staring at the three-story white house. I don't know how long I stood there, watching people move up the steps and into the doors, watching the figures move past the windows. My breath caught in my throat as I stood there, letting memories flood my vision. I was home.

I stepped into the street, making my way to the driveway. The air was crisp and even with the anxiety of being here, I never felt more alive. A gust of wind grabbed at my cloak, threatening to pull my hood away from my face. I held the collar tight and leapt the three stairs to the door.

I opened the door and made my way inside. People looked at me as I entered, but no one made a move to engage me. Perhaps they thought I was someone else. Maybe they were waiting for me to approach them. I kept my persona intact. Tonight, I was Death, and Death does not speak with mere mortals.

I made my way through the once-familiar rooms, memories flooding back even faster than when I was outside.

There was the couch I had spent so many nights on, chain smoking and arguing about films that really didn't deserve that much debate.

I stopped in the entryway to the living room. There, dressed as a witch, coincidentally, was Leah. Next to her, Reece swayed, and I couldn't tell if it was the music or the alcohol that moved her. Just beyond them stood Connor, looking dash cunning in his swashbuckler costume. I had to hold back the slew of comments that were threatening to burst out and attack him.

...Some habits die hard. Some don't die at all, do they?...

Off in the corner, looking as untouchable as when I'd left her, was Delaney. But there was something different about her, something I couldn't place.

...She looks content...

And she did. She was doing her best not to show it, hiding behind her rock-hard exterior, but her eyes told the truth. As she surveyed the room, she was smiling inside.

I looked on around the room, people I remembered, some I'd never seen, some people I thought I knew, but I couldn't place. And-

...There. Center of the attention...

"Sen." The whisper escaped my lips before I could stop it. No one seemed to hear, thankfully. She was in the middle of the living room, dancing with someone. There seemed to be a line of guys, waiting for their chance to dance with her.

I moved to the front of the line, and waited, watching her. I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning, I looked into the eyes of an unhappy sorcerer. He straightened his back, trying to look tough, but he was still inches shorter than me, and his pointy hat wasn't nearly menacing enough to offer him backup.

"Hey, buddy, there's a line here. I don't know who you-" I straightened my back, and opened my eyes wide. I knew that he couldn't see my face inside the hood, there were too many shadows to conceal me. But by the look on his face, I knew he could see my eyes glinting from somewhere inside the darkness. It was moments like these that I'd missed most while I was gone. The presence, the power of being me.

I changed my stance so that I'd appear even more threatening to him. I opened my throat as much as I could and lowered my voice to my limitations. It wasn't the low groan of grinding tombstones that I would hope for, but it was low enough to harken thoughts of gravel and earth. I leaned forward, attempting to tower over him and his shiny pointed hat.

"It would be wise not to mess in the affairs of those who control your fate." I waited. His shoulders slumped and his face took a defeated look beneath the white beard and glued-on eyebrows. I smiled inside the cowl. "Very wise, mortal."

I turned around again, ignoring everything around me but her. She was an elven princess, absolutely breath-taking. If it weren't for the fact that I knew I was an unexpected guest, I'd swear she wore the outfit just to tease me. She had a way of knowing my tastes in fantasy, and pushing my buttons accordingly.

The song ended and she stepped away from her partner, turning in place as the next song started up. I stepped into her swing and wrapped my arms around her, losing myself in the moment.

Together, we twirled and swayed, the music speaking to us like it would speak to no one else tonight. My cloak, billowing with our turns, teased and carressed the folds of her dress, the sound of the fabrics rubbing together, so much like the soft breath from my partner's lips.

I turned with her, bringing a hand up to touch her face. I was almost afraid that this too, would end up a dream. But my fingers touched flesh, soft and warm from dancing. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. She smiled. And it hurt to know that she wasn't smiling directly at me. She still didn't know I was here.

I took my eyes away from her face just once. The backs of my fingers trailed down her skin, following her jawline and down to her neck. And there, as my fingers passed over it, I saw the mark that I'd given her over a year ago. The curse that I'd placed on her.

...If you had the chance, though, would you really take it back?...

Her eyes, thin slits lost in the happy moments of alcohol and dancing, looked up at me once more. Her hand trailed up along the mouth of my hiding place. She slipped her fingers around a fold of cloth and drew it back.

...Is this really such a good idea?...

Her mouth, still playing with the delicate smile that she'd been holding on to, sparkled from the light crossing her glossy lipstick. I smiled back, and bent forward, trying to convey all the words I'd been longing to say to her over this year in one long-awaited kiss.

I withdrew far enough to look at her again, watching for some kind of reaction. I couldn't help but smile as I held her.

"I missed you, Sen." I bent forward to kiss her once more, and she spoke.

"Fuck you, Jareth." She whispered, almost sweetly. The words caught me off guard. My eyes opened in time to see that it would not be her lips carressing mine, but her fingers, gnarled into a fist. I felt the connection, and realized, in comparison, I'd rather have had another kiss. My head twisted from the force of the blow, and I staggered.

The last thing I saw before I passed out was the floor rushing up at me.

**Authors Notes** That's it! What a place to end the story, huh? Well, it's going to be a couple days, but next post in my stories will be the start of Story 4 in Jareth's legacy. The couple of days is what it's going to take for me to actually get it to a point where I can start posting. Raven's already way ahead of me in the writing. She and I will be posting simultaneously, running the same story, from respective points of view. Her story, naturally, will be from Seren's perspective. We've been looking forward to this one for awhile, so hold on just a little longer and we'll get it out. Hold tight till then.