Chloe knew she had to tell him about the baby, she was already beginning to pouch a bit in the midsection. But how exactly did you tell a Luthor that he was going to be a father?
Finger tapping against her lip, she looked at him across their large table, observing him as he ate cheerios while reading the morning news in only his boxers. If she’d ever been told that this was where her life would lead her, living and pregnant for the handsomest man she’d ever seen, who was now only wearing a boxer yet expected her to continue eating her cereal…she cleared her throat and looked away.
You’re pregnant, Chloe. Your urges shouldn’t be this heavy.
“What are you doing next Saturday?”
Looking up at him in surprise, she blinked. “Saturday? I’m not sure. Why?”
“There is a charity function during the night trying to raise money for children with AIDS.” Lex announced without looking up from his newspaper. “We received an invitation, and while I usually don’t like attending these things, I think the cause is quite noble and I’d like to give a donation.”
She smiled crookedly. “Are you asking me out on a date, Mister Luthor?”
A smirk appeared as he peered at her from over the newspaper. “That depends, Miss Sullivan, what would be your answer if I was?”
Shaking her head, smile growing into a grin, Chloe couldn’t help but love their relationship. “Where were you when I needed a date to the prom?” She asked in a doomsday voice, hands to her face. “I had to go through everything by myself, possession—and worse—being named prom queen.”
Lex’s smile disappeared as he watched her silently. “I wish that I had realized what I felt for you back then, Chloe. Everything would have been so much different if I’d realized that I didn’t just admire you, that I was fascinated and quite infatuated. I wouldn’t have given you any other choice than to move in with me right after graduation.” He told her. “But I’m going to make up for all the time I wasted.” Clearing his throat he looked away. “I have a surprise for you this evening. Could you be here at the mansion around five?”
“Sure. I have a lunch with Lois and Lana, and then we planned on seeing a movie and having ice cream…but I should be free for you around five.” She laughed, yet some unknown smell reached her and her stomach grew nauseous instantly. Closing her eyes she leaned forwards.
“Chloe?” Lex asked, putting down his newspaper, eyes narrowed.
Getting up Chloe hurried to the closest bathroom.
“And he still didn’t realize that you’re pregnant?” Lois asked in astonishment as the girls had lunch together in Metropolis. “He’s either extremely ignorant about these things or just thick.”
Lana smirked at that. “You know, when I was pregnant Jason hadn’t a clue despite all the times I threw up or got nauseas. And he also blamed my snappishness on PMS.”
Chloe shook her head, small smile appearing. “Yes, well, Lex thinks that I’m ill and won’t tell him.” She frowned, hiding her face in her hands. “He wants me to get an appointment with a doctor friend of his to see if I’m seriously ill or dying or something.”
“Did he actually use the words “dying”?” Lois wanted to know before biting into a piece of bread as they waited for the main course to be served.
“No.” Chloe announced, peeking through her fingers at her cousin. “He said, and I quote: ‘Don’t tell me that you’re fine, you’ve been sick for a week now, and if you won’t make that appointment for today I will. I’m not losing you because of your damn stubbornness’. And then he walked away.”
“That’s so sweet.” Lana placed a hand on Chloe’s shoulder. “He’s frightened that he might lose you.”
“Or be accused of murder at your demise.” Seeing the looks that gave her, Lois made a face. “What? It was a joke.”
Raising an eyebrow, Lana turned to Chloe once more. “You have to tell him.”
“How?” Chloe wanted to know.
“How about,” Lois announced, waving her bread around. “Darling, I’m pregnant?”
“While that would sound like the easiest way, it isn’t.” Chloe growled. “And its not that I’m afraid he won’t want the child—I know he’ll be happy—it’s just that, I don’t know. I feel as if by talking to Lex about the baby it’ll suddenly come true and I’ll lose my own identity.”
“Come again?” Lois asked.
“Lex has always been somewhat of a protect-freak.”
“Like Clark isn’t?” Lana wanted to know.
The blonde in their midst made a face. “Yes, but I’m not sleeping with Clark.”
“Which is why you still breathe.” Lois smirked, flinging a crumb at her cousin.
Dodging the crumb with a smile, Chloe shook her head. “What I mean is that if Lex had me followed by his security team when that creep threatened me for exposing him by writing an article about him in the Daily Planet--.”
“Wait, what guy?” Lana asked, eyes narrowed. “Why wasn’t I ever told about this?”
“You don’t remember?” Lois was surprised, then she shook her head. “Oh, right, you and Jason were off on a sexy trip that weekend.” Her eyes lit as their plates were brought to them, and when the waiter left, she returned to attention to Lana. “Charles McIntire? Shapeshifter extraordinaire?”
“Oh yes, I remember reading Chloe’s article on him.” Lana smiled slowly, shaking her head. “He’d shape shift into a mouse to get in the vault and into a gorilla to break down the doors and escape with the cash.”
“Yes, well, Chloe and Clark discovered the secret and Charles swore revenge on Chloe—and then escaped. He was smart enough not to live up to his word though, and was never heard of again.” Lois informed before tasting the delicacies on her dish and making a face. “I knew that this dish sounded great.”
“Well, getting back to the point.” Chloe continued after trying what she’d ordered as well. “Lex had his men follow me for months, even tried to blackmail me into leaving my job because it was too dangerous. Imagine what he’ll do if he finds out that I’m pregnant?”
“She’ll be in lockdown till that baby pops out of her.” Lois snickered, then seeing the look on her cousin’s face, she winced. “Sorry.”
Despite everything, the image of Chloe in a straightjacket and a baby just popping out of her caused Lana to giggle.
Chloe groaned. “You’re both some help.”
Swallowing a big bite out of her food, Lois pointed her fork at Lana. “How did you tell Jason you were pregnant with Jessie?”
Lana smirked. “He tried getting frisky one night I wasn’t feeling too good and definitely not in the mood, so I told him that I wouldn’t allow him to poke holes into our baby’s head.”
“Yep Chlo.” Lois sniggered into her palm. “We have found your method of attack. Wait till he wants to jump your pants and let out that suave answer.”
Blushing, Lana hid her face, laughing.
Chloe shook her head, smile growing. “You two are impossible!”
Chloe had gotten the nerve to tell Lex, but when she returned home that evening she found a note from him explaining how something had come up unexpectedly, there’d been an attack on a Luthorcorp facility in England, so he’d had to leave immediately. A sigh escaped her lips as she sat on the sofa, looking into the fire. At least she knew that this had nothing to do with 33.1, all facilities affiliated with that had been shut down by direct order from Lex.
A noise behind her caused her to narrow her eyes and look into the shadows, yet could find nothing. She shook her head and pulled her knees to her chest. She’d given everyone the night off, wanting to have one night to herself in which she could collect her thoughts and try find the right way to tell Lex that while they’d be parents, she was also still going to be Chloe Sullivan—reporter extraordinaire.
Her cell rung and she smiled when she saw that it was Lex. Flipping the lid she placed it by her ear. “Hey stranger.”
“Hey beautiful.” His voice sounded tired and stressed.
“How are things there?” She asked. “What time is it over there anyway?”
“Late.” Lex chuckled darkly. “I don’t get it Chloe.”
“I got here expecting the worst—but my building was never bombed.”
“What do you mean it was never bombed?” Chloe asked, eyes narrowing.
“Just that.” Lex growled. “I arrived here and everything was in order, not a brick moved. It’s almost as if someone wanted me to be here.”
“That’s a creepy thought.” Chloe whispered.
“I have a bad feeling Chlo.” Lex sounded worried. “I just boarded my jet and I’m coming back home.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.” She smiled softly. “If I were you I’d get a good night’s sleep and--.” Yet she screamed as something went around her throat from behind, choking her slowly. She dropped the cellular and tried squeezing her fingers between the rope and her throat, tried swallowing. After moments of struggle, of hearing Lex’s voice screaming her name on the cell, she gave into the darkness.
When she awoke, Chloe coughed, hands reaching to her neck as she slowly pushed herself into a sitting position. Her eyes narrowed as she recognized Lex and her bedroom, she sat on their bed, looking into the darkness for either the perpetrator of this or a way of escape.
“I never thought that I’d have Lex Luthor to deal with.” A voice came from the shadows, yet Chloe couldn’t see anyone. “Took me a little longer to get to you than I thought I would.”
“Who are you?” Throwing her feet over the side of the bed, she pushed off. “What do you want?”
“I had a wife before you had to ruin everything for me.” He announced as he emerged from the shadows. “She wouldn’t have anything with me, not even after I escaped and begged for her to return to me.”
“Charles.” Chloe whispered in horror, quickly reaching for the telephone by the bedside, onto the find the dial tone dead…something he would be too if she couldn’t find a way to call for help.
“I cut the wires on all of the telephones, you’re cellular burnt at the stake, and I’ve split the wires to your computers.” He informed her as if talking about the weather. “Your Luthor is on a jet, and you have no connection to the world. When he arrives he’ll find you tied to his bed, dead.”
A situation like this would be enough to send any sane woman over the top, but Chloe’s hand went to her stomach. She had a child that depended on her. Turning to him as he charged on her, her hands went over the dead phone and brought it down on his head, breaking it. His cry of rage and pain filled the room as Chloe slipped passed him and out the room door, running down the halls.
Reaching the stairs she looked back when she heard the bedroom door bang shut and his shout of rage shake the room. The blonde placed one hand on the railing and hurried down the many flights of steps, feeling him behind, getting closer with each breath. Her bare feet touched the floor and she pushed off in a brisker sprint, screaming as his hands went around her hair and pulled her back against him.
“You can run, but you can’t hide.” He whispered into her ear.
“Then I’ll run.” She shot back before shoving her elbow into his stomach and biting down on his hand.
“You bitch!” He cried out in pain as he threw her to the ground.
Once more free, Chloe crawled onto her feet and hurried towards the next flight of steps, heart in throat, praying to all holy for her life to be spared—not for her—but for her baby. As she reached the stairs she felt the floor trembling, and she looked up to see a cheetah racing towards her.
Screaming she hurried faster down the winding stairs, tripping she tumbled down the stairs. She placed her hands around her stomach, shielding it, head receiving various hard thuds. Chloe didn’t care what happened to her, but she had to protect her child.
Landing in a pile of arms and legs at the bottom of the stairs, Chloe looked up and screamed as the cheetah pounced on her. Yet a flash of movement, quicker than the mortal eye could detect, torpedoed into the cheetah, sending it flying into the wall. The force rendering it unconscious, and the form of Charles McIntire was soon returned to normal.
“Are you alright?”
Chloe looked up at Clark in surprise, as he carefully helped her up. “Yes—I—I think so.” She winced slightly at the pain in her body, but thankfully the pain wasn’t to her stomach. “How did you know I was in trouble?”
“Lex called me.”
Chloe blinked. Her body was bruised from here to toe, and there was an ugly gash to her forehead from the fall, which was bleeding a lot. “Lex called you?”
“Those were my thoughts exactly when I saw his name registering on my cellular.” Clark whispered, picking her up bridal style as the sounds of sirens were heard. “At first I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, he sounded frantic. Then he said that you were in trouble and begged me to help you.”
“He asked you for help?” Chloe’s world shook. When Clark kicked open the front door, and the lights and sirens from the police vehicles and ambulance flashed on her face, her eyes rolled back in her head.
The sound of soft cries was what awoke her. That, and the abominable beeping. Chloe groaned as she forced her eyelids apart, surprised to find Lex sitting by her bed, leaning over her, quickly wiping his eyes.
“Hey.” Was that hoarse thing her voice?
“You’re awake.” He choked, shaky hands wiping her hair out of her face. “How do you feel?”
“I thought you were in England?” again, it was said in a raspy voice.
“You’ve been out for two days.” Clearing his throat, he quickly wiped his eyes once more. “I was beginning to fear that you wouldn’t wake up again.”
She forced a smile. “You can’t get rid of me that easily, Mister Luthor.”
“I realized that.” His smile was genuine. “Especially since I’ve discovered the excuse I’ve been looking for to coerce you into becoming Mrs. Luthor.”
“What?” Chloe gasped.
His hand went to rest over her stomach. “When were you planning on telling me?”
She bit down on her bottom lip and looked away. “The night it happened. I’d finally gotten the courage to do so, but then I discovered that you were on a jet to England—or maybe landing there at that moment—it wasn’t the right time to tell you.”
His smile grew tender. “We’ll have to move up the wedding date. I want him to be born to Mr. and Mrs. Luthor.”
Chloe frowned. “Lex, just because we’re going to have a child doesn’t mean that we have to get married. You don’t have to do ‘the honorable deed’ believe me. I don’t expect this baby to change how our lives were going.”
“Good.” Lex chuckled. “Because it isn’t.” His fingers caressed her pale cheek. “The day I was called to England, when I asked you to be home early—remember?”
“I was going to ask you to marry me.”
Her eyes widened. “That was your surprise?”
“Why?” Chloe whispered. “Why would you want to marry me?”
Lex seemed surprised at her question. “Because I love you, Chloe, and I want to spend the rest of my days with you. You’re the smartest, stubbornness, sweetest and most beautiful woman I have ever known.”
She looked away, hurt crossing her face. “I’m not beautiful. I pass for fairly attractive, but not even in my best days can I be labeled beautiful.”
Lex’s smile disappeared as his hand went around her chin and forced her to look at him. “Don’t you ever say that again, do you hear me?” His eyes bore into hers. “You. Are. Beautiful.” He whispered forcefully. “You’re the most beautiful woman I ever laid my eyes on, and I won’t let you continue believing that you’re the Ugly Duckling when you’re a beautiful swan.”
She smiled faintly. “Do you really think I’m beautiful?”
“The most beautiful on the earth.” He allowed his smile to return. “And if our child is a girl, she’ll be just as beautiful.”
“I don’t think so.” Chloe laughed genuinely. “I’m beginning to show really early on into my pregnancy, so she will most probably be a fat one.”
“There’s always liposuction.” Lex teased before turning serious once more. “I love you Chloe, and while this isn’t the way I’d planned to ask you this, I need you to be mine.” Getting up, he pushed away the chair and went on his knees, holding her hand. “Will you marry me?”
Pushing herself up slowly in a sitting position, Chloe bit down on her bottom lip, trying to keep the silly smile off of her face. “Yes.” Reaching towards him with her free hand, she allowed her fingers to caress his smooth cheek. “How could I let the only man who ever looked at me as if I were the goddess of beauty get away?”
Teeth shone as he smiled and stood once more, claiming her mouth with his own.
The wedding had been a lavish affaire. Chloe, dressed in white despite the obvious bulge in her midsection, had walked down the aisle to the altar and said “I Do” to Lex Luthor, becoming Chloe Luthor. While she’d said the normal vows, Lex had surprised her and everyone by having written his own, his words still burned into her soul.
“Chloe, my life before you was filled with heartaches and disappointments, of lonely days and sleepless nights. You were what I’d been unknowingly searching for, and today, now that I’ve somehow managed to convince you to do this” which caused a couple of chuckles from the listeners “I promise you that I will love you for the rest of my life, cherish and protect you with my every breath, and to never stop telling you how much I love you or how beautiful you are—even if I have to ask you to dress in something less attractive due to jealousy over the many gazes that will be focused on you.” yet more laughter “I promise to be your Alexander Luthor, now and forevermore, and to try make that as pleasant as it possibly can.”
Later, another amusing thing had happened when Chloe flung the bouquet, and it landed on Lois’ lap.
The only unmarried female who hadn’t joined those vying for the bouquet picked it up in surprise and turned to look at a wide-eyed Clark, who couldn’t help but allow his trademark smile appear.
“Don’t get any ideas.” She’d declared to the amusement of many.
Lana and Jason had had the after party at the Talon, and even arranged for Chloe’s favorite band to come and play at the reception.Enough memories, time for the present. Chloe smiled as she headed towards Lex, as he waited for her on their bed. He seemed fascinated with her bulge, talking to their baby every day, and instead of reading the stock market every morning as he used to, he was now finishing his sixth child care manual. The fact that he feared he’d be a horrible father amused Chloe since she’d never seen someone love another person (who hadn’t even been born!) more than Lex loved their baby…their Emma.
“I love you.” Lex whispered as she slid into the sheets, and he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to him, breathing in her scent.
“I love you too.” She giggled as he began to nibble at her ear. Clapping her hands together, the lights went off and she squealed as he launched his pleasurable attack.
“So, you see, that’s how I got your mother.” Lex announced, lying in bed with Emma, the twins Fredericka and Hannah, and little Mariana all around him.
Emma sighed with a smile on her face. “That’s so romantic.”
‘Freddie’ as her sisters liked to call her, made a face. Out of all of them she looked more like her mother. “You’re thinking about Jessie again, aren’t you?”
The blonde, elder sister, made a face. “I am not!”
“Are too.” Hanna announced, looking more like the Luthor side of the family. “You’re always talking about him.”
“That’s not true!” Emma turned on Hannah.
Mariana giggled. She was a precious bag of laughter that didn’t fail to awe her grandpa Lionel, and while he loved all of his granddaughters, his obvious favorite was the youngest, who reminded him more of Lex’s mother.
Lex raised an eyebrow at his eight year old daughter, yet a smirk was in place as he ruffled her hair. “Am I going to have to have a serious talk with that Teague boy?”
“I don’t like him papa!” Emma insisted, though she was blushing and not meeting his gaze.
“What am I going to do when you’re all teenagers? You’ll be the death of me!” Lex laughed as he rose. “To bed with the lot of you trouble makers.”
“Aw.” The girls groaned before giving him each a wet kiss and chorusing “Love you Daddy.”
Turning on the penlight for Mariana’s sake, before turning off the room light, Lex smiled as he saw Chloe in the doorway, head against the doorframe, watching him with an adoring smile on her face.
Fingers to his lips, he gave her a kiss and closed the door to the room the girls had insisted on sharing. “Hey.”
“Right back at you.” She’d allowed her hair to grow longer during these eight years. “So, is our date on for tonight?”
He smirked. “Lois arrived?”
“Ya. Clark proposed, go figure.”
Ever since he’d called Clark to help Chloe that fateful night their friendship had begun repairing itself quickly, and they became even better friends than they had been before. “I suppose her sudden desire to baby-sit is actually a ruse to get away from him enough to think the proposal over.”
“Your keen intuition is one of the man things I like about you.”
He raised an eyebrow suggestively. “So, we have the whole night to ourselves.” Lex pulled her towards him, growling seductively into her ear. “What are we going to do with such a rare opportunity?”
“How about a hotel?”
“I like your thinking.”
Laughing softly, Chloe reached into her pocket and pulled out the car keys, twirling it around her finger. “Let’s go?”
Lex looked into her eyes, still unable to believe that she was his, truly his, and that she loved him as she did. “Only if I drive. You drive like a lunatic.” Snatching the keys from her he smirked at the cry of outrage she made at that statement, before he pressed his lips against hers, losing himself in the pleasure and love he felt every time he kissed his wife.
It was official.
Life had been far too kind on Alexander Luthor.