Despite the fact that Lex had argued and disputed his reasons why this was a very bad idea, the bald billionaire realized that he was being delusional if he thought his disapproval of the whole plan was going to keep them from doing it—so to be able to keep a close eye on them he’d reluctantly agreed to coming with them and helping them get into the club they so wanted to visit in Metropolis.
Chloe felt a little bad for having forced him to come, especially since clubs held bad memories for him, but she was enjoying herself a little too much to let his attitude dampen hers. Dressed in black leather pants and black silk shirt with a duster over her shirt, she’d dyed the tips of her blonde hair black just for the occasion, and she’d been dancing most of the night with Lex and Pete, but her high heels were killing her, so she returned to the table to get something to drink.
Leaning back on her chair, she looked out on the dance floor and giggled at Lana, who looked pretty in pink, dancing with a bored looking Lex, who kept sending quick glances towards the table to make sure Chloe was still there safe and sound. The blonde rolled her eyes at his over-protectiveness when it came to her.
On the other side of the room, Buffy and Pete danced together, laughing nervously at whatever they were talking about, and blushing like hell the whole while. Buffy wore a short black skirt and tall knee-high boots with a tube top, and Pete wore dark jeans and a silk shirt he swore he hadn’t bought but found in his closet anyhow.
The brunette girl and dark boy were commandeering most of the attention on that side of the dance floor, as they grinded up against each other, dancing amazingly well considering that both had denied having any dancing abilities.
Chloe continued to watch, shaking her head and giggling at Lex’s attempts to leave the dance floor and come towards her and the table—only to have Lana just kept grabbing him back. He’d ended up giving up and continuing to dance.
The guy really needed to start relaxing.
It’d been a couple of weeks since the attack at Wayne Hotels, and while they’d had their hands busy with the meteor freaks that were rampant, they hadn’t had any otherworldly visits, and Chloe had pushed it to the back of her mind—even if Buffy and Lex hadn’t and still stiffened every time they saw a shadow move whenever they were out at night.
Feeling that feeling once more, Chloe frowned and looked around her. She’d felt eyes on her the whole night, and now the feeling only grew.
Green eyes narrowed as she searched the crowd yet everyone was enjoying themselves and no one was even looking in her direction, so she shook it off as her friends’ paranoia rubbing off on her.
Shaking her head, she got up and went back to the dance floor, closing her eyes and getting lost in the body of dancers. Throwing her hands up in the air, eyes still closed, she rocked her body to and fro to the rhythm of the music and enjoyed herself, deciding that she deserved a night of fun after the weeks of fighting meteor freaks.
It’d been easier with Clark because he had that innate way of always knowing where something was, and she missed her friend so much, especially since he’d always been the first to go off with her to investigate the ‘freak of the week’, as Buffy had adequately termed them.
But Buffy was just as supportive—if not way more open—than Clark was, and Chloe was growing really close to her brunette protector.
Still, she missed Clark.
She missed Clark terribly.
Feeling warmth behind her before a pair of hands clamped down on her hips, pulling her back against the male body, Chloe was a little shocked yet continued dancing. She knew that whoever was behind her wasn’t Pete or Lex, because while Pete could be a flirt, she had a feeling he was developing a crush on Buffy and wouldn’t want to ruin any chances he had with the brunette—and Lex wasn’t forward like this.
…Especially not with that pressing up against her ass as they continued to dance.
So she had a stranger holding her intimately—handling her as if he had every right to touch her like this.
She should be pissed, but decided not to care. Tonight was her night off, she was finally having the fun she’d wanted ever since she’d gotten out of the hospital, and she wasn’t about to let teenaged insecurities ruin it.
Tons of women in this night club were in the same predicament and none seemed to care.
So she threw her cares to the air and continued to dance, grinding back against the steely male behind her. They continued to dance together dance after dance, and since her eyes were closed she didn’t realize that he’d danced them into a corner where her friends couldn’t see them.
She felt his lips against the pulse of her neck before he whispered: “You look beautiful tonight, Chlo.”
The blonde froze as she recognized that voice, and the heat disappeared from behind him. “Clark?!” Twirling around, she couldn’t find him, her dance partner had disappeared into the throng of people, but she kept searching, looking around, frantic to find him.
Seeing a tall, muscular brunette walking away to the right, she pushed pass the dancing couples and further away from her friends. “Clark!” She tried calling, but her voice was drowned out by the blaring music.
Finally making it through the dancers in time to see a door to the backstage closing, Chloe hurried towards it and jerked it open, not even hesitating before entering the poorly lit backstage and letting the door swing shut behind her, blocking out most of the music.
“Clark?” She called, craning her neck in both directions, eyes narrowed, trying to find out where in the world he’d gone to.
Hearing footsteps to the right, she jerked in that direction. “Clark? Is that you?” Frown darkening, she started walking in that direction, wishing she could see better in the darkness when she nearly tripped over something on the ground. “Clark? I know you’re here.”
The footsteps stopped.
“Show yourself.” She continued walking slowly, carefully, in the dimly lit room. “You wouldn’t have let me know you were here if you didn’t want to see me, talk to me.” She cleared her throat nervously. “So why don’t you just come and talk to me? I—I—Clark? Please?”
There was no answer.
“Clark, please.” Tears were threatening to fall and her voice was choked. “I miss you.”
She opened her mouth to try once more when she was grabbed from behind and thrown into the wall with a sickening thud. The blonde didn’t have time to scream when she was pulled up by the front of her shirt, her feet dangling in the ground, and she looked into smug brown eyes.
Brown eyes she’d last seen fleeing from Wayne Hotels.
“You!” She cried out at the redheaded vampire that smirked at her. “Let me go!”
“You were harder to catch than we’d thought, Miss Sullivan.” The vampire exchanged amused sneers with his partner, who’d also escaped Wayne Hotels after Chloe had dusted the one trying to drain her. “He hasn’t been very happy with us for taking so long in acquiring you for him.”
She tried kicking him, but only seemed to amuse him further.
“She’s feisty.” The dark skinned vampire chuckled. “I think he might be right about her.”
“Makes you wonder though—she looks like such a tiny thing—even for a human.” The one holding her replied, eyeing her thoughtfully.
“Listen, I don’t know who thinks he wants me or for what, but all I am, is a normal, teenaged reporter.” She continued wriggling around desperately. “I’m no one important—nothing special at all. Guys don’t even like me that much!”
“Now, Chloe, don’t sell yourself short.” A voice replied calmly.
The three of them turned in surprise to see the tall, muscular brunette wearing black leather and dark shades, leaning against the wall, apparently without a care in the world.
Chloe’s eyes widened, a smile warming her face despite the circumstances. “Clark!”
He ignored her, eyes on the vampires. “I’d let go of her if I were you.” There was an air of danger that surrounded him so thick that even the vampires looked nervous.
“This is none of your concern Kal.” The dark vampire told him shortly, looking less intimidated than the one holding Chloe.
The blonde narrowed her eyes. Why were the vampires calling Clark ‘Kal’?
“Oh, actually it is.” He looked at his nails as if uninterested in the whole conversation, but one could sense the danger growing. “You see, you don’t touch something that is mine, be it my friends, my family, or my belongings, and get away with it.”
The redhead holding Chloe gulped. He actually looked frightened. A vampire. Afraid. Of Clark. Happy-go-lucky Clark. “Listen Kal. We’re on a job right now. You more than any of us understand that when on jobs--.”
“Job or not, you insist on touching her and you’re going up against me.” He finally looked up at them, but the dark shades hid his eyes from them.
“Clark, they’re not normal people.” She tried to warn them. “They’re--.”
“Vampires.” He finished for her with an amused smirk. “Yes I know. But thanks for the warning anyway.”
The dark vampire growled impatiently. “Listen Kal, our boss wants this girl and if we fail him again--.”
“I don’t care.” He cut him off. “If you want to leave this room you’ll put her down easily and walk out. Now.” His voice darkened, surprising Chloe with its violence.
“You’ll regret this Kal.” The redhead promised, though he quickly set Chloe down on her feet again and took a couple of steps away from her.
“Yada yada yada.” He nodded in a bored fashion. “Shouldn’t you be on your way?”
Hissing, the vampires gave them one last glare before hurrying away into the darkness.
Only when he was sure that they were gone, did Clark look up at her with a smirk that wasn’t like him at all. Then again, this bad boy didn’t remind Chloe of her beloved farm boy at all. “I see you’re still getting yourself into trouble.”
Chloe wanted to run up and hug him, wanted to kiss him, slap him and scream at him for just disappearing and leaving her like that—she wanted to hold him close and beg him to never leave her again--tell him how afraid she’d been that he’d been killed--but she couldn’t, she just couldn’t, and that pissed her off.
He smirked larger, watching her intently behind his shades. “You’re looking good, Chloe.”
Suddenly remembering what she was wearing, Chloe blushed and ducked her gaze, her black-tipped bangs falling into her face. “You’re not looking half-bad yourself, considering that I was terrified that you’d gotten yourself killed.”
He chuckled at the scolding tone. “Yes, well, as you can see, I can take much better care of myself than you can.”
She paused. “What?”
“My name is Kal.” His tone dared her to challenge him on that front.
“Ookay then.” She could accept that, along with his new wardrobe, for now. “Kal…how—why—those were vampires.”
“And you don’t seem surprised. I guess that’s not the first time you’ve met up with them.” He pushed away from the wall and watched her intently. “Have you been getting close to the supernatural Chloe? How do you feel, knowing that humans aren’t the only life forms on this pathetic little planet? How does that make the avid reporter feel? Already got your headline for the Torch?” He finished that with a sneer.
“I’ve always felt that we mightn’t be the only ones here.” She frowned, wondering why he seemed to be grilling her angrily. “And, Kal, there are just some things that should never be in newspapers.”
“Why not?” He seemed surprised, stunned by her answer. “You have that bite mark on your neck as evidence enough to get a bigger investigation. Why wouldn’t you publish the story? Who knows, you might get that internship at the Daily Planet you’ve wanted so much—maybe even a Pulitzer.” He was back to his mocking. “Imagine the headline--high school teenager wins Pulitzer.”
By now she was getting really pissed with Clark’s new attitude, and wondered why he’d even saved her if he was so angry at her for some unknown reason. “Even if I could prove without a doubt that vampires existed I wouldn’t do it.”
“Sure.” He obviously didn’t believe her.
“Listen, I don’t care what you think!” She growled at him, surprising him with her aggressiveness. “If I ever exposed the truth about vampires I’d be exposing and putting into danger someone I’ve learnt to care about very much, and not even a Pulitzer would tempt me into betraying my friends!”
He took a couple of steps back as if he’d been hit, before clenching his fist. “Not even for a Pulitzer? Come on Chlo, that’d be your dream come true.”
“I value friendship, Clark.” She spat out, hurt that he really thought she’d betray her friends for a shot in the limelight. “Too bad you never truly did.” Turning her back on him, she lowered her head, sadness filling her completely. “Thank you for saving me.” Taking a step, she hesitated, voice choking with the tears she refused to shed in front of him. “And I really meant it when I said that I missed you.”
“Chloe--.” That voice sounded more like the Clark she’d known and loved for so long.
Suddenly the door burst open and Buffy appeared, looking frantically around before seeing Chloe and racing towards her, pulling her into a quick hug.
“Are you okay?” She asked, pulling away to look her over. “What are you doing over here? I got the wiggins and I couldn’t find you anywhere! We were all so worried!”
Lex, Pete and Lana appeared through the door behind her, all wearing worried expression on their faces and crowding around Chloe and Buffy.
“What happened?” Pete wanted to know, eyes narrowed.
“Did the vampires get you again?” Lana asked fearfully, looking around them in distrust.
Chloe looked behind her to find that the space Clark had been standing in was now deserted.
Lex caught her gaze and narrowed his eyes. “What is it Chlo?”
She turned to look at Lex and smiled weakly. “Lex, I just want to go home.”
His eyes bored into hers in worry, as if sensing that she wasn’t telling them something and not knowing whether to push the issue now or talk to her about it later. Those blue eyes went back to the space where Clark had been seconds before, as if sensing that something important had been there, and then returned back on a shivering Chloe.
“I say we get the heck out of Dodge.” Buffy looked around the room, eyes narrowing. “We’re not alone.”
Lana gave a little whimper and grabbed hold of Pete’s arm in fear, looking around with eyes wide.
Pete tried to look calm for Lana, but he was obviously worried as well, not wanting to meet any vampires any time soon. “Come on, let’s go home. We’ll all go to Chloe’s and eat some of Buffy’s burnt popcorn.”
Despite the fact that her eyes were trained on something in the dark, Buffy managed a distracted smile. “Just for that you’re sitting on the ground while we watch the movie Chloe and I rented.”
“As long as it’s by your feet I won’t mind.” He replied with a cheesy grin.
She turned to him this time, as if sensing whatever was in the room wasn’t hostile, and slapped Pete playfully. “Behave.”
Lex was still tense, mouth a grim line, as he glared into the darkness, placing a protective arm around Chloe’s trembling shoulders, a slight, tender smile replacing his grimace when she leaned her head against him, accepting his comfort and enjoying it. “Let’s get out of here.”
Buffy met his gaze over the blonde’s head and nodded, confirming that she too knew that Chloe was holding out on them, and agreeing to help him get everything out of her once they were safely back at the Sullivan’s residence.
As they led her away, Chloe looked back at the darkness and saw shadows shifting, betraying a muscular, male form watching them.
Bye, she mouthed before turning to look up at Lex and smile softly, leaning her head against him and sighing.
This story should continue somewhat in “From Hell”, in which the secret about who was after Chloe should later be revealed.