Chloe waved at Lex where he sat on the grass, wearing knee-length swimming trunks, before turning to the four young adults playing Chicken Fight. Dinah sat on Pete’s shoulders and Lana sat on Clark’s as the males tried to keep the females up straight and the two brunettes laughed and battled each other, trying to unbalance the other and cause them to topple into the water.
“Come on Dinah and Pete!” Chloe cheered them on from where she sat on the dock with Mrs. Kent, who was laughing and cheering on Lana and Clark. “You can do it!”
“C’mon Clark, Lana! Show them what you’ve got!” Mrs. Kent called out, amusement in her voice as she dangled her feet into the cool water. “They are going to beat the others.”
“No way!” Chloe giggled, turning to the older woman. “You don’t know Dinah, she doesn’t have one bone in her body that isn’t competitive. There is no way that she would let anyone beat her at anything--not even Chicken Fight!”
Martha laughed at that and continued to cheer her son’s team enthusiastically.
Chloe rolled her eyes and turned from where she was sitting to once more look at Lex, where he sat next to Mr. Kent, with whom he was having a lively conversation. Both men seemed to be having a very good time, enjoying each other’s points and arguments, and they broke out into laughter every now and then.
The brunette sighed and smiled at Lex, knowing that her boyfriend had missed out on this sort of fatherly time. While he did get along with her father, there were just some things you couldn’t talk about with the father of your live-in girlfriend, so she was glad that Lex had finally found someone male with whom he could just relax and talk about anything.
Lex’s blue gaze traveled to her subconsciously, and when he saw her looking at him he smiled at her and mouthed the three words that made her heart skip a beat and butterflies dance in her stomach.
I love you too, she mouthed back, smiling tenderly at him with a contented expression, before turning her attention back to the fight going on in the water, watching as Lana gave a squeal and Clark tripped on something, bringing both of them down.
“Yes!” Dinah squealed, throwing her hands up in the air in victory as Lana and Clark emerged from the water, sputtering and wiping the water from their eyes. “Cry losers!”
Pete laughed wholehearted. “Baby, you look like a drowned rat!”
“Excuse me?” Lana exclaimed, mouth open, eyes twinkling. “You are so going to pay for that comment, Pete Ross!”
He grinned suggestively at her. “I was hoping you would say that.”
Lana grinned, blushing.
Clark looked at his two friends and rolled his eyes in amusement.
Dinah made up a face and slapped the top of Pete’s head. “Don’t use innuendos while you’re between my thighs.” She suddenly paused, frowning. “That didn’t come out right.”
Lana and Clark looked at each other before throwing their heads back and laughing, even Pete laughed, while Dinah blushed and scowled at them all.
Chloe sniggered at her cousin, that girl always got in trouble because her brain never filtered what her mouth said!
Even Mrs. Kent was laughing into her palm, trying to pass it off for coughs.
Lana finally stopped laughing before turning to Chloe. “Lois, it’s your turn. You’re going to have to defend Clark and my honor and beat your cousin.”
Chloe looked back at Lex, who deep in his conversation with Mr. Kent. “I don’t think Lex is up to it.”
“No prob, just use this big guy.” Lana smiled, slapping Clark’s muscled arm playfully.
Chloe froze, gaze going to Clark and noticing that he’d done the same. Once again that spark that she was trying desperate to convince herself didn’t exist, shot between them, causing her to jerk. “I—I--.”
Dinah frowned. “You know, I’m tired, I think we should get a little break and--.”
“Are you nervous Lois will beat you?” Lana turned to Dinah with a smirk.
“Of course not!” Dinah sputtered, turning her attention back on the petite brunette. “I could beat Lo with my hands tied behind my back!”
Lana suddenly grinned brightly, as if she’d won some battle. “Really, huh?” She turned to Chloe. “That sounded lot like a challenge Lois, you gonna let your cousin talk like that about you?”
Normally Chloe would be the first jumping onto whoever’s shoulder and trying to knock her darling, arrogant cousin a peg or two, but when those shoulders were Clark Kent’s…well…she was hesitant. There was something strong and hot between them, and she didn’t know if she’d be able to continue to deny it if she touched him.
“Go on.” Martha encouraged. “I’ll even cheer for you!”
“But--.” Chloe thought desperately for an excuse to get out of this. “But--.”
“Come on.” A voice said in front of her, and Chloe turned to see that Clark Kent was right in front of her in the water, hand outstretched. “Let’s show them.”
Chloe looked down at that hand and then at his eyes before looking back at the hand. She couldn’t back down now, it’d look suspicious. “Okay.” She whispered, reaching out tentatively and wrapping her fingers around his much larger, calloused hand, gulping loudly, eyes widening at the heat that shot up from that touch, accompanied by a strong electric shot.
She tried to jerk her hand from his but Clark’s hand closed over hers, keeping their hands joined. “Come with me.”
Her heartbeat raced in her chest, trying to understand why his touch seemed so familiar to her as he gave her his back and she shuffled forwards on the dock, getting onto his shoulders uncomfortably and then giving a little squeal when he let go of her hands and his went to her thighs, rocking her slightly so that she was nestled closer to him.
Chloe’s body erupted in heat, and she froze, the hands on her thighs seeming to tingle, and she knew that there was no way that she would be beating Dinah today, not with Clark touching her. She could hardly think, much less fight with her cousin!
You can do this, just, just, just concentrate. Clark is any other boy, you’ve done this before, all you have to do is concentrate on the game and everything will be fine.
And then, as Clark waddled back towards the others in the deeper part of the lake, his thumbs rubbed the softness of her skin, causing her eyes to close momentarily and her body to shiver at the caress…
…and all concentration flew out of the window.
Chloe shook her head and opened her eyes, taking in a deep breath and tensing on his shoulders, looking at Dinah and wondering why her cousin was frowning so darkly at them.
“This is going to be quick.” Dinah promised them in an oddly tense voice.
“Hell yeah!” Pete agreed, fired up and ready to play. “You suckas are going down!”
“I don’t think so.” Clark sounded amused. “We’re winning this.”
“Dream on Clarky-boy!” Pete shook his head.
“It’ll be over before it even started.” And yet Dinah was looking at Clark as she promised that. “You have no chance, so I’d tell you to back down before you get hurt.”
Clark tensed under Chloe. “I don’t think so.”
Chloe frowned, they were taking this game way too seriously! “Okay you two, enough. Let’s do this.”
And they began. Chloe felt lucky because while she was distracted, so was Dinah for some reason, so the fight was equal. The cousins tickled and pushed and did everything to unbalance the other, while Pete and Clark tried pushing the other with their legs.
Chloe, noticing that Dinah’s gaze went down to Clark for a moment, took the advantage and reached for under her arms, tickling her in the place that sent Dinah weak with laughter. And as Dinah squealed and jerked, Clark somehow unbalanced Pete, and the handsome dark man gave a yelp and Dinah squealed as they both went under.
“YEAH!” Martha clapped, laughing from the dock.
Dinah and Pete surfaced, coughing and taking in deep breaths of water.
“Whooo-yooo!” Chloe laughed as Clark hollered victoriously, twirling them around slowly in the water in a weird form of victory dance.
“Who’s the drowned rat now baby?” Lana snickered from the sidelines.
Pete sent her a mock-glare, yet the mischief in his eyes belied any anger he was trying to pull-off.
Dinah growled and slapped the water angrily, and then took in a deep breath, calming instantly. “Fine, fine, you two win. Let’s go and get something to eat? I’m starving.”
“Me too!” Lana nodded enthusiastically. “The food Lois and Lex brought with them looked wonderful!”
Dinah nodded before turning to Clark. “You can put her down now, Smallville.”
Clark hesitated for a moment before nodding, his hands sliding up her thighs, causing her body to visibly shake as her pores exploded with electricity everywhere he touched her, before holding her with one arm and swinging her around as if she weighed nothing, earning a little shriek from her.
The brunette didn’t know how he’d done that that easily or quickly, but the next second she was sliding slowly down his chest, his body a mass of steel and electric heat, his hands at her waist, his eyes boring into her, leaving her breathless and unable to look away.
Finally her feet touched the floor of the lake, and yet his hands remained on her hips, her hands on his chest, and their gazed locked on each other’s.
Clark’s eyes were dark, intense, focused solely on her. “We make a good team, don’t we?”
She couldn’t talk, her throat had gone suddenly dry and she was unable to even open it.
The fingers on her hips played teasingly with the thin strings that held the bottom half of her bikini in place.
Once again she trembled at the feeling.
“I’m starving!” Dinah announced, grabbing Chloe by her upper arm and pulling her away from Clark, an almost too large and utterly fake smile on her face as she pulled Chloe along with her to the shore. “Let’s go eat!”
Chloe looked at her cousin, feeling both appreciative for her actions and curious. It was obvious that Dinah didn’t like to see her and Clark together, and Chloe wondered why. She blinked as a possibility hit her and she looked at her cousin in interest, wondering if Dinah was attracted to Clark and felt jealous.
Chloe suddenly grinned.
This was the best possible thing that could have happened to her!
All she had to do was get Clark together with Dinah and that would solve all of her problems!
Smiling brightly, the reporter felt better, knowing that everything was going to be okay.
Jonathan Kent didn’t like how things were going, he didn’t like it at all.
Despite the fact that Martha was all for Clark doing whatever to win Chloe over, he wasn’t. Jonathan liked Lex, he truly liked the younger man, who was intelligent and witty and obviously adored the girl to death. He’d watched Lex sending her quick glances while she was on the dock, making sure that she was fine, and then he’d noticed Lex tensing and had turned to see his son lowering Chloe suggestively down his chest.
Clark was playing a dangerous game, a game Jonathan just didn’t appreciate.
Call him old-fashioned, but he believed that a true gentleman never poached on another’s territory, and Chloe was definitely Lex’s.
And while there was an obvious attraction her and his son, as Jonathan watched Chloe and Lex sitting together, eating, Chloe laughing and Lex’s arms around her possessively as she sat between his thighs, glaring at Clark with a look that screamed BACK OFF, well, Jonathan truly believed that his son should back off.
But the look Clark was giving Lex proved that he didn’t plan on doing any such thing.
Sighing, Jonathan turned to look at his wife, who was looking torn about the whole situation. She obviously wanted Clark to be happy, but saw how happy Chloe and Lex were together. His wife was a good, caring woman, and a situation like this would obviously tear at her.
And, of course, there would be the whole Lana/Dinah thing. Both women were stubborn and both were obviously rooting for different teams.
Lana noticed the way Clark looked at Chloe and the way Chloe ignored his looks, and she smiled.
Dinah looked at Chloe and Lex, as her cousin sat in between the billionaire’s legs, with his arms around her and laughing at whatever he whispered in her air, and she smiled.
Pete was the only one who seemed oblivious with the whole thing. He only had eyes for Lana--and the food, of course.
“I love you.” Lex whispered in Chloe ear after swallowing the piece of pie she was personally hand-feeding him.
She smiled adoringly up at him, her eyes expressing the deep and genuine feelings she had for him. “I love you too, baby.”
Dinah, overhearing that, smiled brightly and nodded to herself, as if counting that as a grand victory. She reached for another piece of pie and taking a large bite out of it.
Clark looked broken at that interchange, and Jonathan hoped to God that it would knock some sense into his son, but when the boy only shook his head and determination once more darkened his eyes, the elder Kent just sighed in defeat.
The music in the boombox Pete had brought with him changed into a hip, modern beat that Jonathan tried to endure for the sake of the young adults. Honestly, he didn’t understand why the people these days called this sort of noise music.
“Oh! I love this song!” Chloe announced, eyes widening and smile appearing as she looked up at Lex. “Let’s dance!”
He grinned down at her. “You know I don’t dance.”
“Yes you do.” She grinned, getting up and pulling a chuckling Lex up with her. “C’mon, you know you wanna!”
Lana jumped up easily and pulled up a groaning Pete. “Let’s dance too!”
“Man!” Pete laughed as he, like Lex, allowed his woman to drag him closer to the boom box as the remix to Rihanna’s Please Don’t Stop The Music blared loudly.
Martha watched Chloe and Lex as they began to dance intimately.
Jonathan blinked, watching as Lana and Pete did some things that truly didn’t look like dancing, but something much more suggestive.
“C’mon Smallville.” Dinah surprised everyone by getting up and glaring down at Clark. “I’m not going to be the only one not dancing.”
Clark frowned at her before getting up and following her to where the others were dancing.
Martha’s eyes widened in surprise as Clark and Dinah began to dance.
Jonathan raised an eyebrow at he watched that development. He doubted that Dinah had invited Clark to dance because she liked him, that girl had been sending as many back off vibes towards his son as Lex had, so the farmer couldn’t help but wonder what Dinah’s angle was.
Chloe smiled up into Lex’s eyes as his hands gripped her hips as they moved against each other intimately, letting the beat of the music and the familiarity of each other’s touch take over. While Clark’s touch burnt her like a raging fire, Lex’s soothed and comforted her, made her heart swell in peace and satisfaction.
She felt perfect harmony whenever Lex touched her, and she felt his love expressed through each caress of his fingers.
His hands on her hips drew her close until they were pressing against each other suggestively, and she could feel how being this close to her affected him.
Grinning, she tightened her hold around his neck and pressed her chest to his, resting her cheek on his shoulder, their bodies moving as one. That was what they were, one. “I’m glad you came here with us today. It wouldn’t have been half as enjoyable without you.”
He placed a kiss on the back of her neck. “I’m glad I came as well.”
She smiled into his shoulder, breathing in the smell that was purely Lex. She loved that smell, had become addicted to it during the years that they’d been together.
Like whenever Lex touched her, everything and everyone else disappeared, and it was only them as they danced to the music, enjoying the feel of each other’s body, their heartbeats synchronized, beating as one.
“I didn’t like when Clark touched you.” Lex admitted in a soft voice so that only she could hear, and Chloe felt horrible when she heard the slight vulnerability in his voice.
“Lex…” She pulled away slightly and looked up into his face.
“I just don’t.” He whispered fiercely, his hands on her hips tightening their grip. “He wants you and I want to kill him for it.”
She felt horrible. She hadn’t thought about how this would affect Lex, and guilt ate at her. Lex was obviously hurt, and she hated herself because subconsciously she’d been a part of the situation that’d hurt him.
“I love you.” Chloe whispered truthfully, raising her hand and cupping his cheek, trying to convey to him with her eyes how much she loved him, and how she wouldn’t hurt him or betray the trust he’d bestowed on her.
“I know.” He whispered, closing his eyes and resting his forehead against hers. “It’s just that you’re the only good thing in my whole fucking life, Chlo, and I’d die if--I don’t know if I can survive without--.”
“Shhhh.” She moved her hand so that it was covering his lips, stopping him from even finishing that sentence. “I’m never going to leave you.” Chloe promised, smiling at him, feeling tears pricking at her eyes. She loved him so much! “So you don’t have to worry about that.” Her thumb brushed over his lips tenderly. “I’m not going anywhere.”
He pressed a kiss to her thumb.
The music transitioned into the remix of Dream’s He Loves U Not, and Pete suddenly cried out. “Lana! You’ve been messing with my playlist again!”
Chloe turned to watch in amusement as Pete tried to pull away to change the song and yet his fiancé kept a good grip on him.
“Leave it.” Lana ordered.
“But it’s chick music!” Pete whined, yet stayed with her, dancing to said chick music.
“I happen to like that song.” Lana told him with a grin. “And it’s short, it’ll be over before you even know it.”
“It’s still chick music.” Pete grumbled, resigned to obey his woman.
Chloe looked up at Lex and they shared a quick chuckle at the two, who were acting like an old, married couple.
Soon enough the song ended and the song Give It To You By Eve and featuring Sean Paul blared up, and Pete looked a lot more comfortable dancing to that song, which caused Chloe and Lex no little amount of amusement.
Lex twirled Chloe around and pulled her back against him so that she was facing away from him, his erection pressing into the back of her bikini bottom. She grinned, loving how easily she affected him, and ground herself seductively against him as his fingers dug into the skin of her hips.
“Tease…” He whispered huskily in her ear before nibbling on the curve of her neck, causing her to shiver as he used her weaknesses against her.
“Like you’re playing fair.” She closed her eyes and whimpered, reaching back with one hand and running her fingers through his auburn locks, fisting her hand in those silken tresses like she knew he liked it, slowly driving him insane as they danced.
Neither noticing the looks on them.
“Okay, Smallville, my father was a general so I know all the rules of engagement, so I know that before any battle was about to commence the leaders of each side would meet and speak things over to see if they were able to settle things amicably before blood was shed.” Dinah announced to Clark when both of them tore their gazes off of Chloe and Lex. “And so this is me, talking to you, telling you that it’s in your own best interest to back away from my cousin before someone--in other words you—get hurt.”
He was silent, looking down at her as if examining her. “Why do you dislike me so much, Dinah?”
She frowned, not liking the way this conversation was going. “I don’t dislike you, Smallville, it’s not something personal, I don’t know you well enough for it to be that.” She paused, choosing her words carefully before continuing. “I just know that you’re trying to work yourself into an equation that you don’t belong in.”
He continued to look at her, not angry, not defiant, yet contemplative. “You can’t be sure that they belong together.”
She glared at him, exasperated. “Just look at them, Smallville.” She turned to Lex and Chloe, who were dancing together as if they were the only ones in the world. “How can you even suggest that they don’t belong together?”
He was silent, watching the couple, hurt, anger, longing and jealousy playing over his face, and it just didn’t make any sense. Those emotions would be justified if he’d known Chloe and been in love with her a long time ago--but he’d only met her the night before! He was acting like he was in love with her and that Chloe had betrayed him somehow by being with Lex.
The guy was utterly confusing, because no matter how much on Lex’s side she was, Dinah couldn’t help but suddenly feel sorry for Clark--and that pissed her off!
“I’m just warning you, Smallville.” She stuck to her principals, no matter how much like a kicked puppy Clark looked like at the moment. “Lex and Lois were destined for each other, you try to change that and you’re only going to end up being hurt.”
He didn’t answer her, yet continued to watch the couple in silence.
“I’m only going to say this once.”
Clark looked up in surprise at the fact that Lex Luthor had managed to sneak up on him. When the dancing had stopped he’d gone to the bushes to attend to the call of nature and think about what Dinah had said to him, the last thing he’d expected was for his one-time-best-friend-turned-rival to follow him out.
“Stay away from Lois.” There was no trace of the Lex Clark had known. No lingering friendship, no feeling whatsoever, the only expression on his face was one of warning. “I know she’s gorgeous, friendly and funny, and I know for a fact that it’s hard not to fall in love with her…but she’s with me, and I’m not going to just sit by and watch you touch her.”
Clark tilted his head to the side in silence, examining Lex, realizing that the man was threatening him.
That’s two people in one afternoon warning me off Chloe.
“I like your parents.” Lex continued in his controlled yet cold voice. “And I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt them because they are some of the few genuinely good people left in this world, but if you try to take Lois from me, I will bring down the fury of hell on you.”
Clark shook his head at the other man, knowing that nothing he could do could hurt him. “You don’t deserve her, Luthor.”
“No one does.” Lex answered truthfully, not at all affected by that. “But I’m still keeping her.”
Clark was shocked by that. He’d never seen Lex act this way with anyone, not even when he’d been ‘in love’ with Lana. It was disconcerting to say the least.
“That’s all I came here to say.” And with that, Luthor turned and left him.
Clark frowned as he watched him leave. It appeared that no matter how many times the timelines changed, Lex Luthor and him were destined to be rivals.
The drive back was filled with laughter as Dinah entertained them with ridiculous jokes she’d heard, and yet it’d died down when she’d gotten a phone call that left her talking animatedly to whoever was on the other end.
“You had a good time?” Lex asked Chloe.
“Yeah.” She smiled at him, hand resting comfortably on his thigh. “You?”
“Yeah.” Lex nodded, eyes returning to the front as he drove down the road towards the castle. “I really enjoy talking to Mr. Kent.”
“I’m glad.” Chloe sighed and closed her eyes, leaning back against the leather seat. “I’m so tired.”
He grinned. “Out of shape, are we?”
“Hey!” She shrieked in laughter, slapping his arm before giggling and closing her eyes again, relaxing. “I’m just glad that I got you out of the castle before you went crazy studying those folders your father just had to send you.”
Lex shook his head, grin still on his face, but then it suddenly disappeared as he remembered the 33.1 problem. He was completely torn with the issue, and desperately wanted to ask Chloe’s advice, wanted to know her thought on the matter, and yet knew that he couldn’t.
Or could he?
“You know, I actually got a little time to read a book.” He spoke nonchalantly, looking ahead of him and signaling a left turn. “It’s science fiction, about this town filled with weird people with these abilities and this facility that experimented on them.”
“How horrible.” She murmured tiredly, eyes still closed.
“You think so?” He frowned, taking a sideways glance at her. “But those people are dangerous, they’ve already attacked and hurt a lot of innocent people, using their abilities against the normal human beings.”
There was a moment’s silence. “How exactly did these people get these abilities? Was it a natural-born thing like X-men or something forced on them like Spiderman or something they just wanted and did all they could to get it, like animal sacrificing and soul-selling stuff?”
He paused, remembering that the meteor rocks were supposed to be responsible for this phenomenon. “The second.”
“Well, then it’s not their fault, is it?” Chloe yawned, turning slightly in her seat and snuggling, obviously nearly asleep. “And about the hurting people--I’m sure that there were people with abilities in that book that help others, so just because they have abilities doesn’t mean that they should be made lab rats.”
He frowned, understanding her point, and yet not fully convinced. “So you think that they should have just left them alone and let them continue doing whatever it was they were doing?”
“No.” Her voice was deeper with sleep. “But I think that they should be respected as human beings--having abilities or not they still are humans.”
Okay, he hadn’t exactly thought about that. He’d just seen them as Meteor Infected.
“They deserve a chance, like the rest of us.” She responded softly. “But if they are caught using their abilities to do evil and hurt others,” she yawned, “then they should be contained, neutralized, but not experimented on.”
“But how would we know how to neutralize their powers if they aren’t experimented on?”
But he got no answer, Chloe had fallen asleep.
Sighing, Lex zoned out Dinah’s chatter in the background and lost himself to his conflicting thoughts as they continued the drive to the castle.