Title: On The Hunt
Sequel to: Werewolves Gone Wild
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Adam Milligan
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
Summary: Adam and Chloe are on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring for Lois, but they're not the only ones hunting.
"Thank you so very much for getting me out of there." Chloe hugged Adam's arm tight as they walked with through the mall. "If I had to stay in that place for one more second I was gonna go insane and bite someone."
Adam sent her an amused smile. "You know that they're worried about you, and your tail only vanished yesterday. There was no way you could hide that."
"I know." Chloe pouted, fixing her hat on her head once more, self-conscious about the wolf ears still adorning her head, hidden by the hat and strategically styled hair. "But you don't get it, I feel claustrophobic in the house. I love you and Kate, but I can't be shut up like that unable to even look out of the window unless something's covering my...fur."
Adam messed with her hat slightly. "I like your fur, and Lo practically has a fetish for it."
Chloe glared at him, batting his hand away and straightening her hat once more. "She keeps petting me. I feel like George's replacement."
Adam's old Mastiff was wary with her whenever she arrived with some new animalistic scent or appendage, followed her around, and had even yanked on her tail once or twice.
"Nah, you could never be George's replacement." Adam assured her. "You don't drool half as much."
Giving a little shriek of laughter, Chloe pinched him in retaliation. "You're horrible! Terrible! I only drooled that one time! And I was sleeping! It doesn't count!"
Adam sent her a look that clearly said he didn't judge her for her drooling problems.
"It doesn't!" She continued to deny vehemently before pausing, staring at something in the window. "What about that?"
Adam stopped, gazing at the same thing she was, gulping slightly, his hand coming to rest on her hand on his. "You think?"
"Why not?" She wanted to know, dragging him by his arm closer to the window, eyeing the object with intensity. "What do you think?"
"What do I think?" Adam nearly squeaked, tension and nervousness obvious as he cleared his throat loudly. "What I think is irrelevant. That's why you're here. To do the thinking."
She snorted in amusement at that, sending him a look. "What you think actually counts a lot here."
"No, it really doesn't." He countered, shaking his head. "I've had two friends who've gone through this already and believe me, they've assured me that what I think means nothing whatsoever."
"Your friends are punks." She informed him with a roll of her eyes, returning her attention to the display. "The ring you use to propose with should be something that you've chosen for special reasons, not because it was the most expensive or the clerk assured you it was a popular design or because it was the first one you saw and you chickened out at the thought of going to more jewelry stores."
Adam fidgeted. "It's...shiny."
"Gods, you really need my help." Chloe sighed as she straightened. "And that's that I'm not exactly a ring girl. I mean, I think they're pretty, but I enjoy necklaces more. Lois' thing is usually shoes. But you can't propose with a pair of Louis Vuittons can you?" She then made a face, bringing her thumb to her lips contemplatively. "Or can you?"
The look her soon to be cousin-in-law gave her obviously declared he had no idea what a Louis Vuitton was and he didn't trust it in the least bit.
Chloe was about to mess with his head a little when that feeling she'd been receiving the last couple of days intensified, and she frowned, gazing around her in what she was sure was a suspicious manner. For a while now she was getting the feeling that she was being watched, and it was creepy as hell. Also, it was annoying, because if she really was being watched she couldn't catch who was doing it, or figure out why they were doing it, and it made her paranoid. What if someone had caught onto the fact that she was a creature of magic? What if some pervert was stalking her? What if it was a mixture of both? With her luck it'd be the mixture.
It could also be in her mind. The fact that she was paranoid over someone seeing her ears could be transmitting somehow into her brain and messing with her frequencies, causing her to manifest her fears of someone seeing her...fur...as the feeling that she was being watched.
Whatever it was, it was annoying her greatly.
Putting it out of her mind, she grabbed Adam's hand and pulled him into the store, dragging him towards some rings. When he'd come to her asking her for this favor she hadn't realized just how much help he needed! It wasn't that Lois was the pickiest of people, and Chloe knew already that even if Adam bought the first ring he saw Lois wouldn't care as long as he actually proposed, but she also knew that there should always be a story behind these sorts of events for progeny sake, and she would be damned if it was a boring one. Nothing in their lives was boring, especially considering what they did in their free time, so she figured picking Lois' ring shouldn't be either.
"What do you think about any of these?" She pointed to a group off to the side.
Adam made a face. "Why are they pink? I thought engagement rings were supposed to be diamonds."
"A) They don't have to be diamonds. It's just more traditional if they are. And B) Those gems are diamonds." Chloe sighed, realizing just how much he needed her. "Diamonds aren't always clear you know. There are pink and yellow and blue..."
Adam sighed, bringing his hand to his forehead. "I'm feeling a headache coming on."
"Lets stick with the traditional colors. I'm a traditional kind of man. Tradition is our friend." Making his face up at the pink stones, Adam went to a display with white diamonds. "My god."
She wondered if he'd finally gotten a good look at the prices. "What?"
"What the hell shape is that?" Adam pointed to the offending ring.
Chloe, who'd spent hours the night before doing her research just in case something like this might happen, raised an eyebrow. "That's an Asscher Cut."
"You're telling me that there are more than one type of cut?" Adam shook his head. "My friends were right. This is fucking insane! Put a diamond on a band and be done with it!"
Right then and there Chloe decided that it should be illegal for a man to buy his girl an engagement ring without female supervision. "There is a variety because if every single engagement ring was identical then the brides-to-be would have nothing to flaunt or brag about with their girl friends."
Adam nodded slowly, obviously able to get that point. "I see."
"Good." Encouraged by this step forwards, Chloe gazed down at the rings. "Any of these cuts you don't like off the bat?"
"Yep." The sandy-blonde declared without a second thought. "That Asser one and the heart."
She kept from correcting him, instead eyeing the rings. "Lois would probably snark you to death if you gave her the heart one, so you have made a good choice there."
"Chloe, I don't like any of these rings." Adam admitted, making a face. "None of them look like, or feel like, Lo."
The blonde looked up at that, smiling. "Now see? That is how you choose an engagement ring! You're learning my young padawan."
"How are you so cute and yet such a geek at the same time?" Adam puzzled as he led her out of the jewelry store just as one of the attendants caught an eye on them and was heading in their direction.
Chloe slapped at his arm. "You're the one planning on marrying the video-game fanatic!"
Adam grinned dreamily. "How a woman can be so perfect is still a mystery."
"Okay, I'm going to do you a favor and let her know you said that, word for word." She grinned. "Who knows? You may get lucky!"
"You mean she'll actually let me win a game?" He snorted, throwing an arm around her shoulder as they continued on in search of the perfect ring.
"Not a chance!" Chloe laughed, about to pull a strand of blonde hair behind her ear when she remembered it was where it was to hide her wolfy ears, and made a face. "You might get hot sex out of it though. Not that the ring won't help in that department."
"You don't think that I'm rushing into things, right?" Adam worried, taking in a deep breath. "You don't think I'm going to go on one knee and totally creep her out because I'm jumping way ahead of things?"
It was moments like these in which Chloe kinda envied Lois. The brunette had found the perfect guy for her, her 'Soulmate'...even the Ouija Board had said it, hadn't it? Despite being a little younger than Lois, Adam Milligan was mature beyond his years (sometimes more mature than Lois herself) and he adored her. He was also ridiculously proud of her, in awe of her, and had transfered colleges just so he could be close to her. They loved each other in a way that Chloe had never seen people love each other, in a way that was so uniquely them and so heartwarmingly right...
Chloe could understand why sometimes Jo got fed up with them.
Seeing those two so enamored with each other was kind of a hard blow to your ego if you were chronically single.
"Here's another." Adam mumbled, maneuvering them to another display window. "Maybe there's something here."
Chloe gazed at the rings, but there was a shadow in the window, almost as if the dark reflection of something behind watching. She gasped and pulled away from Adam, gazing around her intently for whatever could have produced that reflection but couldn't find anything or anyone.
Adam raised an eyebrow at her. "What are you doing?"
"Nothing." Her hand went to her hat in a subconsciously nervous gesture. "I just thought I'd seen something."
"Something like a mugger or something like..." he wiggled his fingers in what he obviously thought was a witchy way.
Her lips tilted in amusement. "I'm just being jumpy. It's nothing."
"You sure?" He cast a glance around suspiciously.
"Yeah." She nodded, refusing to get distracted from the reason they were there. "Lets go inside and see if there's anything you're getting a vibe from."
"I'm not a witch." Adam felt the need to tell her. "I don't get vibes."
"Everyone gets vibes. Just at different frequencies. It's how we instinctively know that something, or someone is 'right'." She corrected, grabbing him by his arm and pulling him inside of the store. "And when you find the right ring for Lois you're going to get that vibe from it and just know."
Nothing in the store gave Adam any sort of vibes whatsoever, and they left it to try and find yet another one, on the hunt for that elusive, Lois-vibe that eluded them.
For a guy who'd announced that an engagement ring should only be a diamond plastered on a band Adam sure was picky when it came down to actually looking at and approving of the rings. Either their cuts were wrong or they didn't glitter enough or the color was off (despite the fact that he was looking at clear diamonds) and he refused to get anything he didn't think was perfect. That was nice and all, very heartwarming, but five stores later Chloe's heels were beginning to hurt her and her wolfy ears were sweating and itching inside the confines of her hat. Still she soldered on because this was for Lois, and she wanted for her cousin to have the best ring ever created...just like Adam did apparently.
Inside their eighth store, nature called and Chloe excused herself, escaping into the little girls' room. After relieving herself of the large coke she'd had for lunch the blonde hesitated inside of the dimly lit place before going to the door and locking it, not caring if some other poor woman needed to relieve herself in one of the bathroom stalls. The blonde washed her hands and then yanked off her hat and closed her eyes as the AC in the vent above made contact with her furry ears, which twitched in utter relief. Using the hat to fan herself, adding to the coolness, Chloe let out a little whimper of pleasure. Her ears had been begging for some release for a while now, and they rejoiced in this liberation.
Suddenly something brushed against her right ear deliberately from behind, the sound of deep inhalation causing her to freeze, her eyes flying open to see the split-second reflection of a male behind her before it was gone in the blink of an eye...and the bathroom door she'd locked swung open.
Shock filled her.
Someone had been in the bathroom with her!
Someone who was so fast she'd barely gotten a second's glimpse of him in the dimness of the bathroom.
Yanking the hat back on her head, making sure her ears were covered once more, Chloe raced outside and looked all around, but there was no one suspicious around.
Her heart raced.
Where had he gone?
Who was he?
What did he want?
Was he the one watching her all along?
Heart in her throat, Chloe hurried to the jewelry store and found Adam. She rushed to him and opened her mouth to tell him what had happened.
Adam looked up at her, beaming. "I found it!" He pointed at a beautiful platinum engagement ring with a large, oval sapphire center which was surrounded by diamonds. "This is it. This is Lois!" He grinned brightly, so pleased and proud. "Isn't it?"
Seeing that excited puppy-dog look on his face, Chloe couldn't bring herself to ruin it, and took in a deep breath before smiling. "I thought you said you wanted only a diamond? That you wanted something traditional."
"Screw traditional, those vibes are vibe-ing!" He laughed. "I'm going to finally be able to put that inheritance my grandfather left me to good use. Lois is going to love this!"
Her smile grew tender as she watched him hurry to go find someone to tend to them, her gaze going to the window of the store before shaking her head and instead turning her attention on the ring. It really did feel like Lois.
That sensation of being watched returned, and Chloe raised her gaze once more, unable to find anyone staring at her or acting weird.
She couldn't see anyone who vaguely looked similar to that split-glance...not that she'd gotten a good look at all.
Licking her lips, telling herself to calm down, Chloe decided to give Adam and Lois tonight, so Adam could take her cousin on that dinner and make an honest woman out of her. She'd give them their time to enjoy themselves and celebrate without this worry on their plates, marring their happiness.
Hidden within her hat, wolfy ears turned back and pressed down against her head.