Lionel Luthor might have had Clark and Martha Kent believing in his ‘I’m a changed man’ story, but Chloe Sullivan knew that a cockroach could never turn into a butterfly—despite the fact that it had wings. To be honest, she was somewhat hurt at the Kent’s quickness at forgetting that if it hadn’t been for Lex, Lionel would have killed her, and she wanted to slap the expression off of his face when he’d seen her again.
He’d given her the look.
Growling, Chloe closed the lid of her laptop angrily, not able to concentrate on the article she was trying to write. If she’d had any doubt that he was lying about being different, she’d known for a fact that he was the same man when she saw him yesterday, free from a prison he shouldn’t have left in at least ten years.
If Lionel Luthor really was a changed man, as he claimed so arduously, he would have been repentant for his sins, for using her against Clark, for using her, period. But no, he’d been smug, giving her knowing looks behind Clark and Martha’s backs, and she hadn’t appreciated the ‘accidental’ way his fingers had grazed her breast when he’d reached for the salt.
And, of course, with all of his super-enhanced abilities, Clark noticed nothing.
“Ms. Sullivan, I always knew you were addicted to your work, but you are only a week from graduation and you’ll have burnt yourself out before you can begin Met U.”
Stiffening, Chloe twirled in her seat at the Torch and glared up at the man who, not weeks ago, had possessed Clark’s body and sought her out in this very room. He’d used his knowledge of Chloe’s feelings for Clark against her, feeding her hope little by little before dropping her harshly with a ‘Don’t you wish.’
“Come to kill me now that Clark and Martha aren’t around?” Chloe quipped, a muscle in her cheek jumping as she glared up at the man who would seem intimidating to anyone else. But she’d seen him in ways no one else had—not even Lex—and despite the fact that he’d tried to kill her, she wasn’t afraid of him.
“I’m most amused that you still think I care enough about you to kill you.” He sneered from the doorway, leaning on his cane in an aristocratic manner that made her want to desperately sucker-punch him.
“But you care enough to lower yourself and come to the Torch’s office,” she sneered right back at him, having perfected the Luthor sneer with quite ease during their brief alliance. “Boy do I feel the love.”
His sneer morphed into a smirk as he entered the Torch office, closing the door behind him. The sound of the lock turning echoed off the completely silent room. It was way after school time, and both knew that even if she screamed no one would hear her.
“Oh no, you unlock that door this instance Luthor!” Chloe glared, standing up, body tense, waiting for an attack yet not willing to go down easily.
He paused, observing her, before his smirk faded into a somewhat confused scowl. “You really think I’m going to hurt you, don’t you?”
She glared darker at him, wondering what game he was playing. “Yes, well, considering the hit you called out on me, forgive me for not feeling particularly safe around you in a locked office in the middle of an empty building.”
Confusion colored his eyes darker as he leaned heavier on his cane. “You mean--you really thought I tried to get you killed?”
Chloe took a step back and bumped into her desk when he took a step towards her. “Don’t come near me! I have mace!” She reached into her bag and drew said object out so fast she was sure even Clark would be impressed.
He paused, frown dangerous. “You actually do.”
“Have mace? Of course.” She held it poised precisely so that if he so much as sneezed she could spray the liquid into his eyes. Hopefully it would blind him permanently.
“No.” His eyes wandered up and down her stiffened, defensive body, frown intimidating. “You really believe I would kill you. That I tried to kill you.” He paused. “You really are frightened of me.”
“I am not frightened of you.” And yet Chloe could hear the tremor in her voice. “And even if I were--which I’m not--I think I have enough reason to! If you could kill your parents without one feeling of remorse, then offing a little teenaged nuisance like me wouldn’t even make you bat your lashes, remember?”
“If I remember correctly, Miss Sullivan, you turned eighteen some weeks back.”
Chloe frowned, slightly thrown through a confusing loop with that random observation. “What of it?”
“Technically, you’d be considered an adult nuisance and not a teenaged one.”
The blonde’s hand wavered slightly before she tightened her hold on her can of mace. “Oh, that was good. Confuse me so I can lower my guard and you get the mace from me? Really good.”
He was smirking again, leaning against her only way of escape. “What a suspicious little mind you have, Chloe.”
“It’s kept me alive so far so I’m not complaining.” She snapped back, getting really irritated at how unaffected he seemed with the fact that she was threatening him with a full can of mace. “You would have done better to use the same amount of caution.”
His only reaction to that unwise taunt was to curve his lips in a near smile.
And that only managed to terrify her because when Lionel Luthor smiled it didn’t mean anything good for the person he was smiling at.
Anger and slight hysteria built inside of her. “Look, Luthor, I’m not getting any younger here, and frankly, neither are you, so either you try to kill me, threaten me, or just annoy the hell outta me by taunting me with how everyone has conveniently forgotten how you should be in jail and me safe. Whatever it is you thought you could gain from this visit, do it now.”
He just continued to observe her silently.
And she was officially freaked. “What are you doing?”
“Watching you.” Lionel Luthor announced conversationally, as if they were having a nice cup of tea like they used to and not two mortal enemies facing off in the place Chloe had always considered her refuge.
The hand in which she held the can of mace was trembling visibly, and Chloe hated herself for showing her fear so visibly. “Why?”
“I was locked up in a barbaric prison filled with ugly, violent convicts for longer than I wish to remember, Chloe, all thanks to you.” He responded in the same conversationally-toned voice. “I think that the least you can do to start making things up to me is let me look at you as much as I want.”
Confused and frightened, Chloe gave a scream and couldn’t act in time when he abruptly lunged at her. Knocking the can of mace out of her hand, Lionel grabbed her by her arms, and twirled her around, ramming her violently against the door he’d been resting against. only seconds ago--cane forgotten and obviously never truly needed.
The blonde thrashed wildly beneath him, only causing him to press his body into hers to keep her fully trapped against the door, his hands pinning her wrists above her head.
She was so vulnerable she could cry.
Stilling once she realized that she couldn’t force her way out of this, Chloe closed her eyes tightly, accepting her fate, a lone tear making its way down her pale cheek.
She flinched when he manipulated her until he was holding both of her wrists with one of his, and the blonde closed her eyes tighter now that he had one hand free to use to strangle her…yet instead of pain and the feeling of a hand slowly cutting the air from her windpipes, Chloe jerked violently when she felt his fingers wipe away the stray tear in a nearly tender fashion.
“If my memory serves me well,” he whispered in her ear, causing her to squirm. “You used to like it when I looked at you.”
Chloe’s eyes flew open in shock and her cheeks flooded with color as she was forced to relive the brief affaire she’d had with Lionel Luthor during their alliance. “That’s a low blow.” She whispered, voice trembling. “Even for you.”
“Says Brutus.” He continued to whisper in her ear.
She narrowed her eyes, anger surging through her veins once more. “What do you want, Lionel?”
There was a pause. “I’ve never had to spell things out for you before, Miss Sullivan, and if I have to start doing so now I will be quite disappointed.” His grip on her wrist tightened painfully. “Those months with my son must have brought you down to his level.”
Chloe struggled against him again despite the fact that she knew it was futile. “Bastard.” She closed her eyes and thought back to the day that her alliance with Lex Luthor had begun.
Chloe Sullivan furiously stormed into the Luthor study, knowing that Lex was usually there but that he was out for the weekend and that whenever Lex was gone Lionel made himself King of the Castle…literally.
And she knew for a fact that he would be expecting her. Probably not this quickly, but he knew her well enough by now to know that she wouldn’t let him do this to someone she loved and not try to do something about it.
What he wouldn’t guess was that although she really wanted to scream at him and maybe even destroy some of his beloved, priceless vases and collectables in anger, she had an ulterior motive in going to see him.
“How dare you?!” She stormed up to the desk, laying her palms flat on the oak surface, bending over and glaring at Lionel Luthor, who’d watched her silently from the moment she’d stormed into the room.
“What exactly have I done to incur a display of your wrath?” Lionel asked with a flat voice, elbows resting on his stomach, long fingers touching in a mock-prayer.
“Don’t you play stupid, Lionel Luthor!” Chloe glared into his unimpressed face. “You—you—you fired my father!”
“He’s an employee of Luthorcorp, I am the owner of Luthorcorp, I can fire whomever I desire whenever I desire.” He replied suavely.
“My father has given Luthorcorp his life!” Chloe slammed down on the desk in anger, ignoring the pain in her fist once she’d done so.
“He was inefficient.”
“Bullshit!” She growled at the small curl that curled the edge of the right side of his mouth as that curse word escaped. “You told me just the other week on how impressed you were with his management of the fertilizer plant!”
“Circumstances are different this week than they were last.” He wasn’t even denying that he’d said it or that it was the truth!
“This is about me leaving, isn’t it?” She hissed, hoping that the small recorder in her pocket would catch this easily. “I didn’t want to work for you anymore—I didn’t want to be in your bed anymore, and you fire my father to get back at me.”
“I have the prerogative to do away with or hire any employee I see fit to do so.” Lionel sneered at her. “Despite what his daughter does in my bed.”
“Give my father back his job.” She demanded in a snarl.
He leaned forwards on the desk. “No.”
“Give it back to him!” She leaned forwards as well.
Lionel observed her for a moment. “Now why would I do that?”
“Because he’s the best worker you’ll ever have.” Chloe replied truthfully, trying to tamper down her anger and speak reasonably. “The Smallville branch’s productivity has risen drastically since he took over management, and losing him wouldn’t be a smart business move on Luthorcorp’s part.”
“True, but what exactly would I get out of this deal?”
And suddenly Chloe saw where he was going with this—what he’d truly been trying to achieve by firing her father. Green eyes widened as she gasped and backed slowly away from the desk. “That’s blackmail, Luthor, and I won’t cave to it. My father is the best manager in the whole of Kansas, and I’m sure that he’ll find another, better job, with no strings attach--.”
In seconds he’d stood, rounded the desk and grabbed her arm, swinging her violently against the wall, causing her to cry out in pain and fright when the back of her head banged against the stone wall. “Now you listen to me and you listen to me good.”
With his breath against her lips, Chloe realized something she hadn’t before--he was drunk.
How he’d kept so clear-headed while drunk as to try and blackmail her was beyond her understanding.
“Millions of women want what you have, want to be in my bed--to have me show them what it’s like to be a woman. And yet you don’t appreciate my devotion.” He shook her slightly, causing her to whimper in fright as he insinuated a thigh between hers. “I want you--and I always get what I want.”
“Let go of me.” She trembled, frightened of him unlike she’d ever been. When she’d given into him months ago, given into his charm and his manliness, to his worldly, carnal knowledge, a voice inside of her had been screaming that she’d been making a huge mistake.
And while she’d enjoyed all he’d shown and taught her, found great pleasure as he instructed her in the art of seduction and passion until she was more skilled than most women twice her age, now she was paying a price she’d never thought she’d have to pay.
“Please.” She hated the plea, hated showing weakness to the only man she knew who relished the power he had over other human beings.
“Do you really think you can escape me, Chloe?” He sneered. “You’re mine now, I made you a woman, I made you everything you are--you even have your little column in the Daily Planet—your DREAM come true—thanks to me. I own you.”
She’d quit the Daily Planet and she knew that he knew it, knew that he realized with that little action that she was serious in her decision to stop working for him, stop sleeping with him. “You don’t own me, Lionel; I still hold that exclusive privilege.”
He pulled her towards him only to bang her against the wall harder. “Don’t get mouthy on me, little girl. If I had my own parents killed to have their life insurance, I won’t have any qualms with doing away with an ungrateful, PMS-y teenager.”
And her heart skipped a couple of beats in horror as her green eyes widened and her mouth fell open in a silent scream.
“That silenced you, didn’t it?” He sneered, leaning towards her and pressing his nose to the throbbing pulse in her neck, taking in a deep breath of her scent and trailing the tip of his nose up the curve of her jaw to press a kiss to her temple. “Just behave, be my good little girl again. Your father will be rewarded, and what happened to my parents won’t happen to you.”
Her whole body trembled in fear and she nearly cried in relief when he pulled away from her and went back to sit behind the desk. “I’ll see you tonight. Wear the red dress I love you in.” His voice was all business. “Leave me now.”
And she ran. She ran out of the study, down the many twists and turns of the hallway, barely managing not to hit the occasional servant. Her heart thudding painfully in her chest, her vision blurred with the tears she couldn’t stop from flowing, her body trembling in fear, spurred on by adrenaline, Chloe turned the corner and rammed into Lex so violently they both collapsed to the ground in a mess of hands and legs.
She’d never been happier to see someone unexpected.
“What the fu—Chloe?” Lex had looked at her in surprise from where he was sprawled under her as she clung to him and cried. Genuine worry and concern filled his blue eyes as he tried to sit up. “Chloe. What’s wrong? What happened?”
And it all flooded out.
And Lex had helped her.
She never did go back to see Lionel that night…
“I didn’t call the hit on you.” Lionel whispered against her skin, reminding her so much of that time in Lex’s study that she had to close her eyes tightly. “I ordered Lex’s poisoning, but I didn’t have anything to do with the bombing--knew that without your ‘protector’ you’d be too afraid to testify.”
Chloe tried to close her eyes tightly, trying to pretend that she was somewhere safe, somewhere far away from him.
“I remember when I heard about the bombing, I smirked.” He continued to caress her skin with his lips, with his breath, and when once that would have caused her knees to buckle in arousal, it just sickened her to her stomach. “I thought it was a masterful way to try and sway the jury--let them see how much of a ‘monster’ I truly was and how they should lock me away forever.” He paused. “I guess I don’t give my son enough credit. Keeping even you in the dark about the truth of it was pure brilliance.”
“Lionel, I don’t care.” She managed through clenched teeth. “All I want is for you to leave me alone.”
“You resist me, and yet your body still responds to me so favorably.” He chuckled darkly, rubbing the pad of his thumb against her nipple. “You still desire me.” The thigh he had insinuated between hers rose to rub her. "The key to any victory is discovering your enemy's weakness and using it against them."
When he shifted, Chloe did as well, finally free enough to bring up her knee violently between his thighs.
Lionel let go of her with a roar of pain as he pushed away and crumbled to the ground.
“Don’t you wish.” Chloe spat at him before making her way around his prostrate, withering form and grabbing her bag. "Touch me again, Luthor, and I will kill you."
She headed towards the door again, unlocked it, hurried out and slammed it shut to the sound of his pained laughter.