Lex knows the truth about Clark. WHAT does he want Chloe to do to keep him silent?
Raising an eyebrow as she went through the papers on her desk, Chloe couldn’t help but feel eyes on her. She’d been having that feeling for months now, and as she rose from her desk at the Daily Planet, she noticed that once more she was alone. There was no one who could be watching her, and calling herself a paranoid she sat once more with a shake of her head.
She tapped her pencil against the table, trying to distract her mind. Moments passed on in silence as she read the information she’d pulled up on Charles McIntire, the newest enigma for the star reporter. He’d appeared a couple of months ago, the same time that a series of unexplainable bank robberies had started, and she was sure that the meteorites had given him powers…but what?
Biting down on her bottom lip she read what she ironically called his autobiography, his electronic diary. She’d managed to hack into it and was reading it, trying to find if he had written anything he’d done since graduating from Smallville High and leaving the small town.
A pencil dropped from a nearby desk and she jerked up, standing, body trembling. “Hello?” Nothing. “Is anyone there?” Still there wasn’t an answer, not a shift in the shadows to warn of someone lurking there.
Screaming when her cellular began ringing, she placed her hand on her heart, and the blonde chuckled nervously, reaching for it and pressing ‘speak’. “Yeah?”
“Hey Chloe.” Clark’s voice was heard on the other side of the phone. “Oliver, KC, Victor and Bart need some information on some Luthorcorp operation in India, could you--?”
“Yeah, I’ll be on it right away.” She sat once more, hands on the keyboard, cellular wedged between her shoulder and jaw. Despite the fact that the group didn’t officially have a name, she liked to call them the ‘Justice League’, it had a nice ring to it. “Any city in general?”
“They never mentioned one.”
“Have the ‘almighty leader’ call me with more information, my search was inconclusive.” She ordered after some moments, frowning as her fingers rode over the keyboard and the results showed that there were numerous Luthorcorp buildings there. “Does this have anything to do with you know what?”
“Yes. They say that a new friend of theirs was taken and they need to save him.”
“You going on for the ride?” Chloe wanted to know.
There was silence. “I don’t know. Lois and I had plans, we were--.”
Chloe smirked. “Do I sense a romance in the air?”
“Chloe.” Yet he sounded more embarrassed than annoyed.
“Okay, well have him call me with a name and I’ll narrow the possibilities down for them.” There was a moment’s silence. “And Clark?”
Yet the sound of something breaking in Perry’s office caused her to gasp and reach for her light, turning it off. “I think there’s someone in here with me.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“But aren’t you in England with Lois?” She frowned. “What are you doing in England with Lois anyway?” But the call had been disconnected. “I hate it when he does that.” Grabbing her paperweight, Chloe felt her way in the darkness towards Perry’s office, trying to hear something, yet everything was ominously quiet. Her hand reached for the handle and turned it noiselessly before carefully opening the door and reaching for the light switch, hitting it, paperweight held high, yet when the light flooded the room, there was no one there.
Body relaxing immediately, she allowed her hand to fall to her body and she dropped the paperweight, going to the open window and closing it. Hearing screeching wheels she narrowed her eyes and watched as a car skidded away from the Daily Planet building. A Luthor car.
“Oh my god.” Which of the Luthors had been spying on her, and why? Were they beginning to suspect that she was helping the Justice League? Were they zeroing in on her and readying to contact a hit man?
Papers flew in the air. “Are you okay?”
Turning, Chloe opened her mouth to answer affirmatively when she narrowed her eyes before raising an eyebrow. “Why are you wearing a tuxedo?”
He blushed. Blushed? What would make Clark Kent blush? “Lois and I were having dinner when I got a call from Oliver and then I excused myself to call you.”
“Are you telling me that you and my cousin are dating?” Chloe choked, not knowing whether to find this amusing or not.
“Not really, we just, uh, decided that we wanted to have dinner after the opera.”
“Opera?” Seeing him open his mouth to hurriedly explain she put up her hand. “No. Don’t. I have a feeling that I don’t want to know.” Turning back to the window, she sighed, hands on her hips. “I just saw a car with the license plate that reads Lex XX hurrying away from here.”
“You think that Lex has someone spying on you?” Clark asked, worried.
“No, Lex might be a lot of things, but he’s far from a fool. I actually admire him a lot. He’s the most intelligent man I’ve ever known.” Seeing the look Clark gave her, Chloe cleared her throat and continued. “He wouldn’t let his people use his own car in these situations. I think it’s Lionel trying to frame him.”
Clark narrowed his eyes. “Lionel wouldn’t do that. He’s changed.”
“Just because he hasn’t told Lex about your secret doesn’t mean that he’s changed.” Chloe announced, slightly annoyed at how gullible Clark could be. He always tried to believe that there was something good in everyone, which Chloe failed to believe when it came to Lionel Luthor, the man whose hatred and example had made Lex whom he was now, the man who’d tried to kill her, and it was only thanks to Lex and Clark that she had survived. “He could be keeping it to himself because it’s something he has over your head. He knows your secret and that makes him powerful, which is a feeling every Luthor loves.”
“ I know that you don’t believe that he’s changed, Chloe, but he is.” Clark sighed.
“Look, let’s not fight, and especially not over Lionel Luthor.” She announced. “This little event made me decide to take my work home.”
“I’ll take you home.”
“No, Clark. If Lois realizes that you’re not—wherever you’re supposed to be—she’ll never forgive you.” Leaving Perry’s office she grabbed her keys and her bag, turning to smile at her friend. “Just walk me down and I’ll hail a cab.”
Lonely Leopard says: You look beautiful tonight.
Smiling, she shook her head as she lay in bed, wearing her nightgown, wrapped up due to the cold. Laptop on her lap, she wrote a quick response to the mysterious man whom she’d met in a chatroom nearly a year ago and whom had captivated her. Usually she grew bored with the people she met online, yet this man, who wouldn’t even reveal his name, grew more interesting with each quick email, each long ‘chat’.
Although his secrecy screamed ‘ax murderer’ in the back of her head, Chloe decided that as long as she never gave him her address, and the security system she’d had installed worked fine, then it was okay to flirt with danger.
PlanetGurl says: Thanks…although you can’t see me and so it’s a lie, yet it’s nice to hear that once in a while.
Lonely Leopard says: Why don’t you have a boyfriend, Chloe? You’re beautiful and intelligent, a rare mix in a woman, I might add. You should have a pick of men who desire you.
PlanetGurl says: You’d be surprised. I had few boyfriends during high school, most freaks, and then a while back I went out with someone at my job, named Jimmy Olsen, yet we went our ways some time ago. I just guess that I’m one of those persons who are meant to be single.
Lonely Leopard says: Or maybe the right man for you has been under your nose all along, and you’re too busy with your life that you haven’t noticed him.
She raised an eyebrow at that. Maybe he was right, maybe she had allowed her job to be her lover, but what perfect man was there out there for her?
She snorted, remembering how their blink of a relationship had been.
Date your cousin’s ex-boyfriend? Nope.
Cute, but no thanks.
Anyway, the last two were never around anyway.
PlanetGurl says: Believe me, there is NO ONE here for me. But I might have more luck soon.
Lonely Leopard says: Oh? And why the prediction?
PlanetGurl says: I haven’t told anyone yet, I’ve been offered a job in Australia and I took it. Plus, I met the guy who would be my boss, and he’s a looker. Lol.
There was no message for a couple of minutes, and Chloe began to wonder if he’d been disconnected when he wrote.
Lonely Leopard says: What newspaper?
PlanetGurl says: Oh, it’s a larger branch of the Daily Planet, centered in Australia. I’ll be given the job of Assistant Editor, it’ll be wonderful. I can’t wait to go. I’ve always wanted to see the world, and despite all the nasty creatures in Australia, I think that I’ll live.
Lonely Leopard says: I understand your desire to see the world, yet I wouldn’t put my heart in that job too much.
PlanetGurl says: What? Why?
Lonely Leopard says: Because I’m sure that that you’ll find a reason to stay.
Cryptic as ever, he intrigued her. Chloe shook her head and quickly reached for her cellular on the side table when it began to ring.
PlanetGurl says: brb. I have a call.
Flipping the cover she placed it to her ear. “Hello?”
“Is this Miss Chloe Sullivan?”
“Yes, with her.”
“Good.” The voice on the other side of the line announced. “My name is Barbara Mathews, and I work for Mister Mundane from the Australia branch of the Daily Planet.”
“Oh, hi!” Easing out of her bed she went out to the balcony. “Does Mister Mundane want me to go to Australia earlier than expected?”
“No.” The woman replied. “But he would like for you to come in tomorrow morning around ten. He’s informed central Daily Planet of your transfer and you need to sign some papers.”
“No problem, I’ll be there ten sharp.”
“Great. Mister Mundane loves punctuality. Goodnight then.”
“Good night.” Hanging the phone she allowed her gaze to rise to the stars, from whence Clark had arrived. A contented sigh escaped her lips as she turned and returned inside, never realizing that her every movement was being watched.
PlanetGurl says: Hey, sorry for the wait, but I’m back.
Lonely Leopard says: Who was that?
PlanetGurl says: The secretary from Marc Mundane’s office. I have a ten o’clock appointment tomorrow. I have to go and sign some papers, you know, about the transfer and all.
Again there was a blank screen. Noticing the clock, Chloe winced.
PlanetGurl says: Wow! It’s late and I have to get up early tomorrow. Goodnight.
Lonely Leopard says: Sleep well.
Logging off, Chloe turned off the laptop and placed it on her side table, turning off the lights. Stretching, she snuggled in bed happily, without the knowledge that one of the many hidden cameras in her loft was filming her.
She was still enjoying a restful sleep when she heard a noise in her room. Jerking await she screamed as she saw the dark figure in her bedroom, going through her things. The figure turned to her and began advancing.
Screaming for help she jumped out of bed and grabbed her laptop, bringing it hard down over his head, breaking her beloved possession. The wily blonde kneed the intruder when he cried in pain from the blow to his head, and hurried passed him to the living room, yet she didn’t make it to her opened door before he grabbed her arm and twirled her around, the back of his hand making contact with her jaw, sending her flying to the ground.
“Bitch.” He growled with an English accent before reaching behind him and pulling out a pistol.
A gunshot rang throughout the room and Chloe screamed, hands over her head, crunching her body in the fetal position. Yet realizing that pain never came, and hearing a loud thump, she opened her eyes and watched in horrified fascination as her attacker lay lifelessly on her rug, staining it with his blood.
Turning rapidly, she noted the figure in her doorway. If the light of the moon hadn’t been shining in through her windows she mightn’t have been able to make him out, yet as the curtains flickered with the wind, she gasped.
The figure dashed out of her doorway down the steps below.
Standing, Chloe quickly turned on the lights and winced at the dead body in her living room, before hurrying out her door and the down the stairs, yet Lex wasn’t there, and as she opened the door, looking outside, she couldn’t find a trace of him.
Closing the door, leaning with her back against it, her eyebrows nearly touched in a frown. What had just happened?
“I shouldn’t have left you there alone.”
Phone wedged between her shoulder and jaw, Chloe parked the car in the visitor’s section and turned off the engine, having recently left Marc’s office. “Look Clark, I’m fine. The police already identified the body. He was some thief—rapist…looks like he’s been breaking into different homes in Smallville where single women live, rapes them and then steals their stuff. The police have kept it on the hush-hush, but believe me when I say that it’s going to be the feature of my newest article, and knowing Perry, on the front page of the Daily Planet.”
“Still.” Clark muttered. “I shouldn’t have returned to England.”
“Oh please. You know that you couldn’t have known that it would happen, so stop beating yourself over it.”
“Were you able to recognize who saved your life?”
Twice. He’s saved my life twice. Locking the car door behind her, she looked up around her, at the Luthor Manor. “Uh, no. It was too dark.”
“That’s too bad; he might be interested in helping Oliver and the team.”
“I doubt it.”
Wincing, she showed the guards her I.D. and turned as they phoned ‘Mister Luthor’ to see if he’d be gracious enough to see her. “Well, not everyone wants to save the world.”
“You’re right.” He sighed. “I just don’t get how he knew you were in trouble.”
Seeing the guards nod to her, opening the door, Chloe quickly fixed her hair. “That’s what I’m going to find out.” Closing the lid on her cell, she placed it in her pocket and followed one of the guards to Lex’s office, where she found him sitting on his chair, hands folded over his chest, examining her.
“You can leave us.” He informed the guard before turning his attention on her once more. “I had a feeling that I’d be seeing you here today, Chloe.”
“Yes, well, after appearing in my home late last night with a gun was enough to get me here.” Sitting when he motioned her to sit, Chloe felt slightly uncomfortable under his penetrating gaze. “What were you doing in my room yesterday?”
“If I remember right, I was saving your life.” Came the cool answer.
“Yes, and believe me that I mean it when I say ‘thank you’. But why were you there?” Leaning forwards, she placed her hands on the desk. “And don’t say that you were ‘in the neighborhood’, because that would be extremely lame.”
A smile flickered on his lips. “No. I wasn’t in the ‘neighborhood’.”
“Then what were you doing there? And with a gun?” Shivering, she leaned back. “And is it you who has someone following me?”
“I don’t have anyone following you, Chloe, of that you can be assured.” Lex announced in his smooth manner. “But I will admit that I have been watching you. Lately you’ve made some interesting friends.”
A feeling of dread filled her stomach. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Chloe, let’s not play dumb. You’re the most intelligent female I know, and I’ve always admired you for that.” Reaching into his desk’s drawer he pulled out a folder and allowed it to fall on the surface of the desk. It flew open and pictures with Chloe surrounded by the Green Arrow, Cyborg, Aquaman and Flash fell out in front of her. “I don’t think that a good little girl like you should be associating yourself with criminals.”
Shakily picking up a picture where she was alone with the Green Arrow, crying because she’d thought that Clark had been killed, and the green hero was holding her, Chloe gulped. There were several other pictures with her and the Green Arrow, thankfully in full gear so that he could not be recognized as Oliver Queen.
“Silence is very diplomatic, I appreciate that.”
Looking up at him, she put down the picture. “What do you want?”
“What?” She exclaimed, shooting up from her seat. “I will not work for you spying on them. You’re father offered me that with Clark a long time ago, as you already know, and you definitely know how all of that ended up. So you can just shove your offer up your—why are you chuckling?”
“It amuses me how you assume that I am only interested in you when it has to do with my father or Clark.”
All of her righteous-indignation deflated and all she could do was blink. “I—I don’t get it.”
“Please, Chloe. Sit.” He motioned to her seat, watching as she mechanically did as told. “Now, when I said that what I wanted was you, I meant that. I want you, as my mistress.”
“What?” She squeaked.
“I have always admired you, Chloe. While Lana might be the beautiful one, you’ve always stood out for me, which was why I offered you my protection against my father and actually kept that promise.” Tapping his fingertips together, he continued. “And I believe that this liaison would benefit both of us.”
“I—look Lex, you really caught me unprepared for that,” Chloe admitted, trying to get her wits about her. “But no matter how perversely flattering it is for me to know that you’d want me to be your—uh—mistress, I couldn’t do that to Clark.”
“Actually, I think it would be in his best interest for you to accept my proposal.”
That word, proposal, that made it sound so wrong, so permanent. “What do you mean?”
He wordlessly reached inside of his desk’s drawer once more and slid a picture towards her. It was of Clark, lifting a truck. “I know Clark’s little secret—I have for a while now and it explains everything really. Laser vision, super strength and speed, added to what I believe is an alien background. I know many people in the military and science departments of our government who would love to have him.”
“How long have you known?”
“A year or so.”
She looked up at him in surprise. “Then why haven’t you tried something before?”
His intense gaze caught hers and held. “I was waiting for a moment in which this information could be valuable and useful.”
Chloe’s eyes widened. Was she hearing right? Lex Luthor had known all about Clark for a whole year and the best use he could find for it was a blackmailing tool against her? He was blackmailing her into becoming his mistress? She hated how perversely flattered she was at the fact that someone as handsome, rich and powerful as Lex Luthor, who had millions of women throwing themselves at him, would resort to blackmail to have her, plain little Chloe Sullivan, whom no one had ever looked at twice.
“I can understand how you would need some time to go over my proposition.” He announced. “I shall give you the time you desire.”
Obviously being dismissed, she stood and giving him a last look, left.
“So, what’s bothering you?” Lana asked as she slowly lowered herself onto her sofa. Jason was out working and she’d taken her maternity leave from the Talon. Her stomach was round and large, which made the petite woman look slightly odd.
“I, you are still friends with Lex, right?” Chloe asked, biting at her lipstick.
“Of course, he’s going to be Jessie’s godfather when he’s born.” Lana announced, dark hair pulled up in a ponytail. “Is this about Lex?”
“Uh, yeah.” Her eyes roamed the house nervously. “Uh, what do you think about him?”
Intrigued, Lana smiled. “Well, he’s a great person. He’s helped Jason and I in all he can, and since he doesn’t have much ‘friends’, he’s faithful to those he has. You know what? He’s a much better friend than Clark was. I mean, Lex doesn’t always disappear when you need him most.”
Deciding to ignore and forgive, given the fact that Lana didn’t know the truth about Clark, Chloe cleared her throat. “Yes, but, as a man…”
Lana’s smile grew. “Do you like Lex?”
Chloe winced. “Um, it’s more complicated than that.”
Her smile lessened yet held. “Why don’t you just tell me everything? I’ll be able to help you better that way.”
“Well, for personal reasons I had to go and see Lex this morning, and to make things a quick and summarized version, well, he—uh—this is difficult.”
Lana giggled, not used to seeing Chloe embarrassed. “You two didn’t kiss, did you?”
“If only he had done just that—no, wait—that came out wrong. Look. I’ll do what you said and just say it as it is.” Chloe sighed, rubbing her temples. “Lex told me, straight out, that he wants me to be his mistress.”
Lana, who’d been in the process of swallowing a sip of her lemonade, choked, pounding her chest. “What?”
“My reaction exactly.”
“Did he say why?” Lana asked, eyes wide, leaning towards her best friend.
“In his words, it would be beneficial for both parties.”
“He’s always been such a romantic soul, hasn’t he?” Lana announced sarcastically, raising an eyebrow. “So, to summarize things—as you put it—he told you he wanted you to be his mistress because it would be good for the both of you.”
“That’s about it.” Chloe nodded.
“Wow.” Leaning back in the sofa, Lana placed a hand on her stomach. “What did you tell him?”
“He said that he’d let me think it over.”
Lana was silent for a moment before prompting her to continue. “And?”
“And I’m not sure. He presented a pretty good case, and my jury isn’t voting unanimously.”
“Are you still attracted to him?”
“When did I say that I was attracted to him?” Chloe wanted to know.
“During high school, when he literally went against his own father to keep you safe, don’t you remember?”
She frowned. “Oh, yeah.”
“Are you still attracted to him?” Lana hurled the question out there once more. “Because if you are, I don’t see anything wrong in you and he getting together. You’re attracted to him, he’s obviously attracted to you, and he’s right, it would be good for the both of you.”
“No, you don’t get it. He’s not asking for a relationship.” Chloe cleared. “He’s asking for sex without any strings attached, whenever and wherever he wants it.” She paused. “Wait. I’m right. He isn’t asking for a relationship. Just sex.”
Lana raised an eyebrow at the smile dawning on the blonde’s face. “And that’s a good thing?”
“Of course! That way Clark never has to know.”
Lana frowned. “You’re not still in love with him, are you?”
“With Clark?” Seeing her friend nod, Chloe made a face. “Nah. We’re best friends and I’ve finally realized that that is how it was meant to be.”
Reaching over, Lana squeezed Chloe’s hand. “Well, whatever you decide, I’ll support you, and help you keep it a secret from Clark for as long as we can.”
“Thanks.” Chloe smiled, returning the friendly squeeze.
The next day found Chloe stomping passed the guards of Luthor Manor and throwing the door open angrily. There, Lex Luthor sat in his favorite chair, hanging up his phone.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” Chloe demanded, going to the desk and leaning her palms down on it.
“Good morning to you too.” He announced sarcastically.
“What business did you have in contacting Marc Mundane and telling him that if decided to take me off of the Australian branch Luthorcorp would be making a juicy donation to the Daily Planet and its different branches—especially to the Australian one?”
“I was doing what any business man would do.”
“And what would that be?”
“I’m protecting my investments.”
She growled. “I’m not your ‘investment’.”
He sat silently, watching her. “I told you that you’d find a reason to stay.”
“What?” She whispered, sinking into the seat, remembering Lonely Leopard telling her that. “That was you?”
“I will admit that I was surprised to find that PlanetGurl, the woman who’d captivated me for six months was young Chloe Sullivan, but then again, you’d always fascinated me anyways, yet this time it was on a totally different level.”
“We’ve been chatting for nearly a year, and you’ve known it was me for more than half of it and you didn’t find it necessary to tell me that the man I was telling all of my secrets to was Lex Luthor?” She demanded.
“Have you an answer for me today or did you just come to scream at me?”
She snorted before shaking her head to try and rid herself of her anger and frustration. “I came to tell you that I accept.”
He was silent, face not betraying any emotion. “And what made you decide to accept to be the mistress of a monster like Lex Luthor?”
“Well,” She gulped. “Because when I talked to Lana about it she reassured me that you wouldn’t assassinate me in my sleep, and, well, I realized as well that you aren’t asking for a relationship. You’re not asking me to move in and go with you to your functions. You aren’t asking me to be Mrs. Luthor and for there to be feelings. We’re just fulfilling a business arrangement. I’ll be your mistress and you will burn all information you have on Clark.”
“When did I mention anything on burning?”
She raised an eyebrow.
He chuckled. “Though if that is what you want, consider it done.”
Nodding her approval, Chloe continued. “And, after stating all the above I realized that what you were proposing was a sound business deal.”
“I always knew that you were a smart woman, Chloe.” He smirked. “I’ll have the contract dawn up and ready to be signed by noon.”
“Contract?” Chloe asked.
“Of course.” Lex’s smirk grew. “No business transaction is made without a contract.”
The contract had been nice and simple, and after rereading it twice she’d signed, ignoring his mocking smile at how she’d fully examined the document before even touching the pen. Now, Chloe finished the meal they’d had at Luthor Manor, and was ushered to the bedroom while Lex went over some business documents which had arrived during the meal.
Gulping loudly she went towards the bed and found the revealing nightgown there and slowly began to undress, slipping the silk material over her head and covering her body. She went to look at herself in the mirror and bit down on her bottom lip, trembling. While dinner had been surprisingly entertaining, with Lex telling her about his day and an amazingly comical argument he’d recently had with his father, now, as she looked at the bed, she was frightened.
“You look terrified.”
Twirling, she noticed him leaning in the doorway, jacket off, necktie discarded and the buttons around his neck undone. She was amazed at how attractive she found him, and that in itself caused her to grow even more nervous. “Yeah, well, I’m not exactly used to doing this.”
“I know.” He smiled softly and came towards her until he was a step’s distance from her, looking down into her face. He then did something Chloe had never dreamed would be included in their business arrangement. He reached down with his hand and gently chucked her chin, raising it, for when his lips slowly descended on hers.
A shock ran through Chloe’s body as his lips worked slowly over hers, coaxing hers to respond shyly beneath. Her head was fogged, and she couldn’t think clearly as his arms went around her waist and pulled her against him intimately. Her body aligned with his, and she groaned into the kiss when she felt his growing manhood against her stomach.
Giving a little cry of surprise when he picked her up and slowly lowered her to the bed, her heart raced with fear, yet the feral look in his eyes as he watched her while he undid his pants and shirt, discarding them on the floor, sent heat throughout her body and by the time he joined her on the bed her fear had decreased.
His mouth sought hers and found it once more, this time without any need of coaxing for her lips to respond to his, and his tongue slipped into her mouth while his hands gloried in her body as hers slowly made their way up his back as he positioned himself over her, manhood against her entrance.
“This will be our little secret.” He whispered before plunging deep within her depth, an electric shot rushing through their bodies, as if uniting them one to the other and a nearly animal growl erupted from the back of his throat.
“Yes.” She whispered, gasping as he pulled out only to plunge back in, her body in delicious agony. She’d been with only one other man, and Jimmy hadn’t been a talented lover, which had left her unprepared for the carnal sensations wracking her body, clouding her mind. “Our little secret.”
Lex watched her as she slept with her head against his chest, breathing soundly. A small smile touched his face as he softly caressed her short yet silky locks. This was only the beginning. Chloe Sullivan had entered his bed, and now he would do all in his power to keep her there.