Well, I’m sorry for the delay in this chapter, but I was busy writing other things that just wouldn’t leave my mind, but still planning on how to write this chapter and begin setting up drama for the chapters to come. I also wanted to show Dinah’s protectiveness of Chloe, and her reasons for acting the way she does. I also wanted to show some interaction with Lana, so here I offer you this humble chapter and hope that you like it!
“You know, I was invited to go spend the weekend in Cali with Sally, so the fact that I chose to spend it with you here in Hicksville should prove to you that I truly love you.” Dinah announced as they walked into the Talon to meet with Lana as Chloe and the other woman had agreed upon the night before.
“Yes, yes.” Chloe smiled as she rolled her eyes as she caught sight of Lana and waved at the chirpy other woman.
“That’s Lana?” Dinah asked as they walked towards the woman behind the counter.
“Wow, you’re right, she is pretty.” Dinah sounded surprised, then she just shook it off and smiled at Lana.
“Hey Lois!” Lana finished the last mocha and took off her apron and smiled brightly at the newcomer. “You must be Dinah, it’s very nice to meet you. I read your and Lois’ articles faithfully! And your last article about Senator Kelly’s pilfering money from his own office to have his many mistresses and illegitimate children living better than the president? It was amazing!”
Dinah’s grin turned genuine. “Yes, well, the guy’s a pervert, and he really had it coming to him.”
“I bet.” Lana smiled before turning to a redhead next to her. “Shelly, man the fort while I’m gone.”
“Sure Lana.” The redhead nodded.
Coming out from behind the counter, Lana ran her fingers through her silken, dark tresses and took in a deep breath. “So, what do you two want to do first?”
“I want some coffee before anything else.” Chloe blushed at the look Dinah gave her. “What?”
Dinah shook her head and turned to Lana. “The girl is addicted to the thing. Lex and I have been trying for years to get her to stop.” She grinned cheekily at her cousin. “Coffee stunts growth you know--at least we all know why you’re the midget of the family.”
Chloe made a face at Dinah.
Lana looked at them with amusement. “Okay, other than coffee, what do you want?”
“I, personally, want to go see those caves Lo told me about.” Dinah announced, missing the surprised look that crossed Lana’s face. “She said that there was something about the drawings that caught her attention, so I’m going to take some pictures of it and see if I can come up with some sort of--oh--I don’t know what I’ll find, but we’re both really interested in it.”
“And then we thought that we’d have a picnic at, I think it’s called Crater Lake.” Chloe supplied for Dinah. “All I have to do is call the castle and the servants will have a huge picnic basket waiting for us to pick up.”
“Plus,” Dinah trudged on, both cousins used to talking at once and finishing each other’s sentences--or paragraphs. “We thought it’d be a cool way to get Lex out of his study for a while.”
Lana tilted her head to the side, clearly amused with their interaction. “How?”
“Jealousy.” Dinah grinned. “The Luthors are possessive Neanderthals. If Lois and I just asked Lex if he wanted to come along, he’d say he was busy, and for us to have a great time--.”
“--and not get ourselves into more trouble than we usually do--“ Chloe grinned.
“--and that would be it.” Dinah continued as if Chloe hadn’t ever spoken. “But if I oh-so casually let slip that Chloe is going to be in her itsy bitsy red bikini, in a remote area, with other men--.”
“--then he’ll suddenly decide that he needs some fresh air.” Chloe finished with a smug grin.
Dinah shook her head in confirmation.
Lana just grinned in amusement. “I’m going to have fun with you two, I can see that.”
“Stick with me, and we’ll go places.” Dinah announced, placing her arm around Lana’s shoulders with a cheeky grin.
Lana opened her mouth to say something when her hazel gaze landed on something and she grinned. “Well, girls, you’re in luck.”
Chloe turned to look at whoever Lana was waving over and froze when her gaze met that of Clark Kent’s. Millions of emotions jolted inside of her, confusing and frightening her, and yet the brunette masked it well, tearing her green gaze from his blue, searching one.
She didn’t notice Dinah’s smile disappear when she noticed Clark’s gaze on Chloe, or the way she was reacting to it.
“Dinah, this is Clark Kent.” Lana stepped forwards and pulled Clark closer to the group, smiling a little too brightly. “He’s actually the one who discovered the Kawatche caves, so he’d be the best guide for us.” She tightened her hold on Clark’s arm. “Clark, this is Lois’ cousin, Dinah.”
He tore his gaze from Chloe’s face and turned to Dinah in surprise, eyes widening once he truly looked at her. “H-hello, Dinah?”
Chloe bit back a stab of jealousy and resentment. She had no right to feel like this. So what if her cousin always had the men drooling after her? It’d never bothered her before! Chloe had Lex. She didn’t care if Clark was struck speechless by Dinah’s beauty.
Dinah nodded wordlessly.
Lana smiled, appearing oblivious to the tension in the room. “Well, Clark, why don’t you take us on a tour of the caves?”
Dinah Sullivan stayed a little behind the group as they toured the Kawatche Caves. Her excuse for this was that she was taking pictures, but the truth of it was that the reporter was keeping an eye on the situation and trying to discover just what the situation was.
Her shrewd gaze appraised Clark. She knew she found him attractive—although he was so not her type—and something about him made her feel trusting, and in other circumstances she’d have been there making great friends with him and teasing him or something. But right now she’d decided that she didn’t like Clark Kent.
Or, better said, she didn’t like the way Clark Kent looked at her cousin.
“This ugly fellow caught my attention when I came here yesterday.” Chloe was saying, looking at a drawing of a two-headed monster on the cave’s wall.
“Um, yeah, that’s Segeet and Numan…” Clark continued to talk about the drawing, but his gaze never left Chloe’s face--as her gaze never left the wall.
Dinah’s frown grew darker.
Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. There were many men who found her cousin breathtaking--why shouldn’t they?--but Chloe had never acted this way towards them. ‘Lois Lane’ had always had only one love in her heart (other than journalism of course) and that love was Lex Luthor. She’d never noticed other men, or their attraction towards her, she’d never shown signs of attraction to another man either--until today in the Talon, with this Clark Kent.
Dinah knew she was scowling horribly, but she couldn’t help it.
She didn’t like the fact that there was obviously a very strong attraction between Clark and Chloe. Lex was like a part of the family, Dinah loved him like a brother, and she didn’t like the thought that Lex’s position in the Sullivan family was being threatened.
Lex had always taken care of her as if she were his sister and he’d been there for her when she’d needed someone the most: her parents’ funerals.
The dark haired beauty turned her back on the others and gulped when she thought back to that horrible time. Chloe had been there emotionally for her, and Lex had taken over everything, the funerals arrangements and bills. Dinah, who had always been jealous and somewhat resentful of his place in Chloe’s life, had finally come to truly accept him as her family. She desperately wanted him to be her real family, and she’d been helping him by warming Chloe up to the idea of moving their relationship to the next level…
…and now she didn’t like the fact that this stranger was a threat to what had been such an obvious path to take only a couple of days ago.
Don’t think I don’t see your sinister little plan, Smallville.
She frowned, realizing that she was going to have to talk to Lex about this. There wasn’t a doubt in her heart that Chloe adored Lex and would never have it in her heart to be unfaithful to him--she just wasn’t the type--but Clark Kent was gorgeous, and he obviously had Chloe’s immediate attention, her whole attention--if her obvious show at trying to be indifferent said anything.
Her cousin was fighting that attraction so much Dinah could see the war going on behind those green eyes, and that was what frightened her.
And Dinah didn’t appreciate the small smile on Lana’s face as she looked between Clark and Chloe, as if she approved of the attraction and was trying to encourage it.
Oh no you don’t.
“So, Smallville,” she ignored the way he flinched when she said that, butting in between him and Chloe. “What exactly was it that you were doing all this time anyway? Where were you training? What exactly were you learning?” She noticed the flash of surprise and worry that darkened his eyes, and she could just smell fear. “What regimen exactly were you in?”
“Clark was training in the Peace Corps.” Lana spoke up brightly, smile in place from Clark’s other side. “He spent some time in Haiti, and I have some of the postcards and pictures he sent us. It’s such a lovely place!”
Dinah frowned. Okay, so he hadn’t been doing anything hideous while he’d been missing, and there was physical evidence to prove that he’d been there.
She could find something else about him that would prove to Chloe that he was not someone to be interested in--and all without Chloe realizing what exactly it was that she was up to.
“Wow, Peace Corp, how fascinating.” Dinah plastered a fake smile on her face and took a quick picture of Clark’s face, knowing that the flash would momentarily blind him. “You’ll have to tell us all about it sometime.”
“Um,” Clark blinked, rubbing at his eyes, obviously having trouble focusing to the darkness of the caves after the extreme brightness of the flash. “Uh, sure, sometime.”
Classical music echoed throughout the chamber and Dinah smiled, knowing that it was Lex checking up on Chloe. The guy adored her cousin, she was his reason of living, and Dinah loved him because of that, because he realized how special her cousin was and treated her as such.
“Hey baby.” Chloe smiled, placing the phone to her ear. “How are you doing?”
Dinah chanced a look at Clark, surprised to see the pain and anger in his eyes as he watched Chloe give them her back and talk softly into the phone.
“We’re at the caves.” There was a pause and then she laughed. “I’m fine Lex. Dinah, Lana and Clark are here with me.”
Dinah turned to look at her cousin, wondering how Lex would react to that news. Luthor was no fool, and Dinah was sure that at the dinner last night he’d picked up on the same thing she had this morning, and Dinah knew that Lex wouldn’t appreciate Chloe hanging out with Clark--especially when he wasn’t around to assert his claim on her.
Not that I blame him.
“Yeah.” Chloe seemed tense. “We’re going to have a picnic in a bit with Clark, Pete, and the Kents, we already asked them, and I want you to put down those books and--you’ll come with us?” She smiled brightly. “Great baby! We’ll see you when we leave here…the red bikini.” A surprised and confused look crossed Chloe’s face as she turned towards them. “But baby, I’ve never had a one piece before!”
Dinah grinned and looked away.
Uh-huh, Lex was getting possessive again.
Today is going to be a very, VERY interesting day.
“What do you think Clark is doing?” Jonathan Kent asked his wife with a scowl as they sat together in the kitchen. They’d just been called by Lana and had agreed to go to this picnic, but truly the only reason they’d done so was so that they could run interference between their hardheaded, and somewhat obsessive son, and the heir to LuthorCorp.
“He’s fighting for her the only way he can.” Martha sighed, looking down at the glass on the table in front of her. “Clark obviously isn’t going to give her up despite it all, and he’s trying to spark some memory in her.”
“That’s dangerous!” Jonathan scowled deeper. “If he sparks her memory he could very well spark Lex’s, and despite the fact that I like the boy now, I don’t want his crazy alter ego going after my son!”
“He knows that!” Martha didn’t want to snap at her husband, she really didn’t, but she was sick of having to be so tranquil and neutral in her husband’s and son’s arguments. “But I think that if he’s willing to risk that to have Chloe back, then I think we should support him in this!”
“Support--support?” Jonathan looked at her as if she was just as insane as Clark. “She isn’t even Chloe, Martha! She’s Lois Lane! She’s been with Lex Luthor since she was sixteen! Clark isn’t going to change that and he shouldn’t.”
“Why not?” Martha shot up and went to the sink, giving her back to her husband. “You don’t know how life was like for Clark before, Jonathan, you just don’t. You don’t understand how important that girl was for this family! She could get through to Clark when even I couldn’t!”
Taking in a deep breath, Martha turned on the faucet and began to wash the few dirty dishes that she’d left from last night’s festivities. “If Jor-EL hadn’t changed things, Clark would have asked her to marry him when he returned.” She finally let her husband in on the secret that her son had told her before leaving to the fortress. “He’d already realized his feelings for her but didn’t want to say anything until he felt ready to put Jor-EL behind him and be by her side without worrying about having to go train.”
Jonathan was silent where he sat by the kitchen table.
“I have the ring he made for her in a secret place.” Her voice wobbled as she let him know that as well. “It’s so beautiful, Jonathan, you can just feel his love for her whenever you touch it.” She closed her eyes. “If Clark has any chance of getting that happiness again, even if he unleashes the fury of hell to have it, then I will be on his side every step of the way, sunscreen in hand.”
Lex sat in his study, looking down at one of the countless folders filled with news clippings in which these Meteor Freaks were featured. His father hadn’t been exaggerating when he’d said that they were a danger to society, and that if they weren’t stopped, neutralized, or at least controlled, they would be a danger to everyone’s future.
At first Lex had been appalled by the experiments his father had conducted on human beings, but now he could understand why his father would do this. These people were dangerous, they could one day band together and no army in the world would be able to stand up against them.
Pyromania, mental control, telekinesis, shape shifting…
He shook his head and shivered at the thought of a future with these creatures in control. He imagined Chloe going out researching some horrible murders and being killed herself by one of these monsters. He imagined their child being tormented in school by these creatures.
He wasn’t going to allow these things put his woman or their future children in danger, he wouldn’t, he’d protect Chloe with his life if he had to, but if there was a way to prevent that from happening, then he would do all in his power to do so--even if what he did could be seen as inhumane.
And this IS an interesting little coincidence…
He picked up a picture of one of the Meteor Freaks being taken into custody by the police, and in the background, a young Clark Kent was seen in the midst of the onlookers.
He seems to be involved somehow in almost all of these cases.
And Lex refused to believe that it was a coincidence.