Context

by rebecca


Written for Random; beta'ed by canadian_snoopy and Nat. Thanks guys!
Feed me. Liked it, hated it, whatever--tell me, darnit!


"Yes, I told you, I'm fine. Yes, I got it. Dad, you'll be gone four days. Yes, I know. Love you too, Dad. Bye." Chloe hung up the phone and made a face at it. "God, he thinks I'm twelve," she grumbled under her breath. "Just because he's off in Central City for a conference, he thinks I'm going to forget to eat or something."

Back to the mirror. She twirled a little, liking the way the pink skirt flared softly around her legs. The dress really was gorgeous--strapless, with a sheer shawl, ending at the floor when she was barefoot and just below her ankles when she wore shoes. It was fairly close-fitting through the hips before flowing into a full skirt. It made her feel pretty, all soft and feminine.

The phone rang again and she rolled her eyes before getting it. "Hello?" she said, expecting it to be her father. "Oh, hi Dave. What's up? Yeah...yeah, I know. But--oh." Chloe sank down on the bed, numbly. "Yes, I understand. Yeah, it--yeah. Okay. Thanks for letting me know." She hung up and bit her lip, using the pain to keep from crying.

So Dave couldn't make it to prom because of a family emergency. She could just as well go alone, right? Honestly, who needed a date anyway?

Chloe stood slowly, walking back over to the mirror. She supposed the dress would do just as well for next year or something. It wasn't a traditional prom dress; maybe she'd get to wear it for something else anyway. Smoothing her hands down the front, she blinked back tears determinedly and reached for the zipper.

Of course, the doorbell picked that moment to ring. "Damnit!" She gathered her skirt in her hands and hurried down the stairs, devoutly hoping Clark wasn't the one at the door. "Hello?"

It wasn't Clark. But as she opened the door, she wished it had been. "Lex," she said dumbly. "I--my father's gone already. He decided to get an early start."

Lex rubbed a hand over his head. "I thought he might have left by now, but I wanted to ask him something if he hadn't." He looked down at her dress, raising an eyebrow. "Big night?"

"Oh--no, not really. I was trying on my supposedly prom dress."

"Supposedly?"

"Yeah." Chloe's mouth twisted and she fought back tears for a third time. "My date had a family emergency and canceled on me."

"I'm sorry." He seemed to genuinely mean it, which surprised her a little.

"Thanks." Chloe finally realized that keeping Lex out on her porch wasn't necessarily the best idea and moved, gesturing for him to enter. "Dad's gone, but do you want a drink or something?"

Was that hesitation? She wasn't sure. "That would be nice, actually," he said with a slight smile.

"Have a seat in the kitchen--I just want to change and I'll be right back." She ran up the stairs, nearly falling on her face, and changed from the pink dress to an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt with Goddess scrawled across it.

Lex was leaning against the counter, hands in his pockets. One side of his mouth quirked up when he saw her clothes; Chloe shrugged in reply and got two glasses from the cabinet. "Every woman is a goddess in her own way," she said simply.

"Very true." For some reason, Lex's calm statement unsettled her.

"Um--what would you like? I have water, juice, some diet soda that's not too bad if you hold your nose, and my own iced tea mix that's guaranteed to wake you up. Clark said I should tell people it puts hair on their chests but frankly I didn't think that was such an appealing idea."

"With a sales pitch like that, I think I have to try the tea."

"Don't say I didn't warn you." She got the pitcher and poured two glasses, handing one to Lex. Their fingers brushed and she nearly dropped the glass. Damn carpet; she'd shocked herself.

Lex sipped carefully before blinking and looking down at his glass. "Chloe, I'm almost afraid to ask, but what do you put in this?"

"A little of this and that. I promise, it's all legal and non-toxic." She raised her glass in a mock salute before downing a quarter of it.

"At least it was before you mixed it together," Lex countered. But she noticed he didn't push the glass away.

Chloe leaned against the wall, reflecting on the weirdness of life. Ten minutes ago she'd been in tears over prom and now she was standing in her kitchen drinking iced tea with her father's boss. "So. Um. Dad's got his cell phone on, if you wanted to reach him that way--I'm guessing you have the number though."

"I do, and I may try him later. It really wasn't anything urgent. I just thought I'd drop by." Lex sipped his tea again, a little less tentatively. "Prom's tomorrow night, isn't it?"

"Yeah. I suppose I could still go." Chloe shrugged. "Or I could spend an evening online looking up random strangeness to increase my geek quotient. And of course there's the eternal female standby of sappy movies and ice cream."

Lex nodded. "You could. Or you could come to Metropolis with me to see Swan Lake."

"Excuse me?" She drank more iced tea in an attempt to convince herself she wasn't dreaming. "Did you just invite me to the ballet?"

"I did. I've got two tickets for the performance tomorrow night and frankly, I'm not a fan of going by myself. I was going to find some lucky couple to take them instead." Lex shrugged. "Are you a ballet fan?"

"I took dance lessons when I was a kid, although I quit around seven. But yes, I enjoy it." Chloe hesitated for a moment. "Forgive me for saying so, but--you don't seem quite the type to enjoy it."

"I've found you can enjoy most things in the right context," Lex said casually. "And it'd be a shame for that dress to go to waste. It looks beautiful on you--or rather, you look beautiful in it."

"Thank you," she managed.

"You're welcome." Lex set his glass down. "I'll pick you up at four-thirty? That way we can have dinner before the show."

Still relatively speechless, Chloe just nodded.

"See you then." Lex strolled out; only after the door shut did Chloe blink.

"I wonder if this qualifies for the Wall of Weird," she said aloud.

Like most people attending prom, Chloe left school at lunchtime. She wasn't going to bother with a manicure, but she did want to keep the appointment to get her hair done. "I'll just consider this an exercise in femininity," she decided, flipping through a fashion magazine while waiting.

"Chloe--I heard about Dave, I'm sorry," Lana said, sitting down next to her. "Are you still going?"

"No, I'm afraid not," Chloe said, putting the magazine down. "But I am going out tonight."

"Oh? With who?"

Chloe smiled. "Lex stopped by the house yesterday--when he found out about Dave, he invited me to go to the ballet with him tonight. Believe me, I'm under no illusions it's anything but a sympathy gesture, but it is a nice one."

Lana smiled back. "Good for you! And good for him. I hope you have a wonderful time."

"Thanks--and you know I'll need to hear all about prom on Monday to write about it."

"I'll keep track as best I can." Lana nodded firmly and both of them laughed.

"Chloe Sullivan?" the hairdresser called.

"My cue--see you on Monday." Chloe got up and followed the hairdresser.

By four-twenty, she'd convinced herself the whole thing was a horrible mistake and was about to call Lex and cancel when the doorbell rang. So much for that idea. "Hi," she said breathlessly, answering the door. And it was a good thing she'd said that before she'd seen Lex; otherwise she didn't think she'd have gotten a single syllable out.

Damn, but he looked good in a suit. As in wow. As in Chloe was suddenly extremely glad women didn't have the same visual problems arising from hormones that men did. "You're early," she said when she found her voice. "Come on in--I'll be ready in just a minute."

"I figured I'd better get here early or you'd cancel on me," he said, stepping inside.

"I wouldn't do that." Well, okay, so much for the truth.

Lex just smiled. "You didn't seem the traditional roses type to me, so I have these for you instead." He handed her a tissue-wrapped bouquet and she took it in surprise.

"Lex, you didn't have to do that."

"Attractive women deserve attractive flowers. Of course, if you don't like them..."

Chloe looked at them and smiled. Mixed carnations, tulips, and in the center, one deep coral rose. She wondered if he knew the meanings of the flowers he'd given her. She'd have to look them up later. "They're lovely," she said, inhaling the scent. "Let me put them in water."

"Not a problem."

She hurried to the kitchen and arranged the flowers in a vase, stroking the soft satiny petals of one of the tulips gently. The bathroom off the kitchen gave her a chance to make sure her makeup was all right and she didn't have lipstick on her teeth. "God, this is insane," she muttered before grinning like a fool. "Right. Tone down the smile."

"All set?" Lex asked when she returned to the foyer.

"I think so, let me just grab my bag." It was a tiny little purse big enough for the essentials--lipstick, driver's license, cash, and keys. Anything else was staying home. "All right," she said, smiling. "Let's go."

She wasn't surprised to see the limo waiting outside, nor was she worried about people talking. The night of prom, there'd be limos all over Smallville, waiting to usher everyone off to prom. As she slid into the soft leather seat, though, she had a momentary attack of panic. It was a long drive to Metropolis. What if they didn't have anything to talk about?

An hour and a half later, she was surprised to see they'd arrived at the restaurant. She and Lex had been engaged in a rather energetic debate over corporate ethics for the second half of the drive; the first had been spent discussing everything from ancient history to obscure trivia. "Where did you learn all this?" Lex asked, taking her arm as they entered.

"The same place you did, I bet--books all over the place. I'm an only child, I read a lot."

"I know that feeling only too well." Lex smiled. "I still disagree with you about Napoleon, though."

"You have a perfect right to be wrong," she teased him.

"I could say the same."

The maitre'd showed them to their table and held Chloe's chair for her; she smiled at him as she settled into it, arranging her skirt carefully. "Thank you," she said, accepting the menu he handed her, already open and--she noted--without prices on it.

"I know it's horribly cliched and probably sexist, but do you trust me to order for you?" Lex asked dryly.

She smiled and closed her menu. "You're in luck, I'm having an attack of femininity tonight. Please go ahead."

"It suits you," he murmured.

"Don't get used to it," she warned him.

"That's not to say your normal, feisty personality doesn't suit you either," he added.

"Oh, nice cover," she said, laughing.

Lex just smiled.

Chloe had very little idea of what she ate; between the banter with Lex and the fact that he'd ordered for them, she didn't quite know what was on her plate. She was fairly certain her main course was duck, and her appetizer was--well, it was delicious, whatever it was. "Oh, this was wonderful," she said when the plates were finally cleared. "Thank you, so much."

"My pleasure." Lex leaned back in his chair with a half-smile on his face. "I'm curious about something--you don't get much chance to engage in intellectual debate with Clark or Pete, do you?"

"Sadly, no." Chloe shrugged. "They just roll their eyes when I go off on one of my 'Chloe rants'."

"Mmm."

"Why do you ask?" she questioned when it became clear he wasn't going to say anything else.

"I'm just surprised--pleasantly so, I might add--that you're still such an opponent. Normally people's wits falter when they have less exercise."

"Ah, but that's where you're mistaken." Chloe wiggled her fingers at him. "I debate plenty online."

"Now it makes sense."

"The net's wonderful for all sorts of things," she told him.

Lex smiled. "When I was at school my classmates mostly used it for looking up naked pictures."

Chloe laughed, nodding. "As I said, it's wonderful for all sorts of things."

"Not that you'd know personally, of course."

"Of course." The sparkle in her eyes met the dry smile in his and for a moment, Chloe thought she saw something else there. Something close to--interest? Attraction? She shivered a little and told herself not to be so silly.

"The theater's only two blocks away," Lex said, rising. "Do you mind walking?"

"No, not at all." Chloe stood and smoothed her skirt reflexively. "It's a lovely night."

"As I said, anything's lovely in the right context." Lex took her arm as they left for the theater.

She wasn't quite sure how to take that comment.

Chloe was mildly surprised to discover they had orchestra seats, instead of a box. "I prefer these," Lex explained, even though she hadn't asked. "Box seats are more for being seen than for seeing."

"Makes sense." She adjusted her shawl and smiled. "Honestly, I'd rather watch the show than be it."

"I'm unfortunately accustomed to the latter, but I'd have to agree with you."

Before Chloe could respond, the lights dimmed and she settled back in her seat to watch. She didn't think she moved again until intermission.

"Enjoying yourself?" Lex asked, turning in his seat.

"Lex--I can't thank you enough for this," she confessed. "This--it's been an amazing evening. Just--" Chloe ran out of words and kissed him on the cheek instead.

"I should take you out more often if it gets me a response like that," he said lightly.

He was flirting with her. Why, she didn't know. But--why not flirt back? "I'd give you a better one, but we're in public," she countered.

To her surprise, Lex's eyes darkened briefly. "Don't get yourself into a situation you don't want," he warned her.

"I'm not like that, Lex. I thought you knew that." Chloe was unaccountably hurt by his meaning. What did he think, that she was a tease?

"My apologies. I had no right to presume."

"It's all right." She smiled in apology. "I did mean it, though."

Lex raised an eyebrow. "I'm learning all sorts of things about you," he commented.

"And vice versa."

"Such as?"

Oh, a challenge. She grinned. "Such as--you're exceedingly well-read in ancient history, specifically emperors and kings, but stop just short of drawing parallels to your own life. You enjoy ballet and fresh asparagus. And--you're constantly aware of everyone around you, although you don't show it."

"You've been reading too much Sherlock Holmes," Lex said with a smile.

"I always hated those books, actually. Conan Doyle never gave you the clues to solve the mystery on your own."

"Which, of course, you prefer doing."

"I am a journalist," she pointed out.

"Trust me, Chloe, it's impossible to forget that."

Lights flashed and she settled for a grin instead of a pithy response.

When the ballet was finally over, neither one of them spoke on their way out. But it was a comfortable silence; Chloe's hand rested in the crook of Lex's arm and he glanced down at her occasionally as they made their way to the limo.

"Lex--I did mean what I said earlier," she said, once they were on their way and the partition was up. "I can't thank you enough for this evening. Yesterday I thought I was going to be home with a pint of Ben & Jerry's finest and a pair of sweatpants, and--it's just been magical."

Lex smiled. "I'm glad you enjoyed it, Chloe. It's been a fun evening for me, as well. I don't often get to engage in intellectual conversation with someone whose intelligence is as keen as mine."

"Thank you," she said softly. She chewed her lip for a minute, debating. Then, before she lost her nerve, she scooted across the seat and kissed him. Just a brief moment of her lips against his, nothing more.

"You didn't have to do that," he said quietly.

"I wanted to." She smiled. "I've wanted to do a lot more since you showed up at my house, looking edible in your suit."

"Oh?" It was dark, but she thought he raised an eyebrow.

"Please, don't pretend that's not a surprise."

"From you, it is. I rather thought your taste ran more to dark-haired farmboys."

Chloe sighed. "He'll never look at me that way. And--I have to be honest. Clark's sweet, but he's kind of boring."

"So what am I, your rebound?"

"Hardly." Chloe snorted. "More like a smack upside the head."

"I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not."

"Take it as one and kiss me again," she suggested.

Lex laughed and stroked her hair gently. "I can do that."

His mouth was gentle on hers, but insistent. One hand cupped the back of her head, coaxing her to yield to him. She parted her lips and was rewarded with a deeper kiss, his tongue teasing hers. "I think I just moved from magical to unbelievable," she said when they parted. "And if you tell me this was a mistake--"

"I wouldn't do that," Lex told her. "You're old enough to make your own decisions."

"I'm glad someone thinks so." She smiled and leaned against his shoulder.

"Chloe--" Lex was laughing, softly. "I lost my virginity at fourteen. Whether or not you're ready for that is none of my business, but--believe me, you're more mature than I was."

"What if I want to make it your business?"

"Is this where I'm supposed to remind you that your father works for me and you're still in high school? Or is this where I tell you that I find you a very attractive and desirable woman and I would like, very much, to be your first?"

"I'd rather you went with door number two, but I think you knew that."

"I can manage that." He kissed her again and she nearly melted against him. Lex was good; this wasn't exactly a surprise, but she hadn't really thought about Lex in bed in combination with her before and oh God, now his mouth was on her neck and there were little sparkles flashing along her spine and settling in her breasts and between her legs.

"One condition," she said finally, pulling away.

"What's that?"

"I am not having sex in this limo," she said firmly. "My place or your place, I don't care. But not here."

"Fair enough," Lex said, licking a spot right behind her ear that made her shiver. "I prefer beds in any case. There's more room."

Something in her stomach clenched at that low statement. "I--oh."

He laughed and drew her into his lap, arranging her against him. "Tell me if I'm moving too fast for you," he murmured against her throat. "I'll respect any boundaries you want to set--but once you say yes, there's no going back."

"I understand." His hand was warm on her leg, even through the soft silk of her dress. "But Lex, why are you doing this?"

"Because--" He kissed her throat. "I--" Another kiss, softer, below her jaw. "Want--" Right at the corner of her mouth. "To."

This kiss wasn't gentle; Chloe thought dizzily of 'plundering' as an accurate description. It was hot and wet and left her gasping for breath and clinging to Lex, whose hand had snuck under her skirt when she hadn't realized it. "You're wet already," he murmured, palming the panel of fabric between her legs.

"Can I help it if intelligence turns me on?" She shifted against his hand; it was incredibly intimate and she knew she should be wary, but all she wanted was to arch into his touch.

"Not at all." His voice was husky and his eyes locked on her face; one finger stroked her, slowly, rubbing the damp fabric against her. She stifled a moan at the feel. "Spread your legs for me, sweetheart," he told her. "Just a bit--yes, like that."

"Lex--" It came out as a cross between a gasp and a moan. The tip of his finger was resting right against her clit, lightly.

"Too much?" he murmured.

"Not enough." Chloe bit her lip, trying to keep from rubbing against his finger. "Not--nearly enough."

"Show me," he said, sliding his hand out from under her skirt and capturing her hand. "Show me what you like, how you like to touch yourself. I want to see."

Her cheeks flamed. "I can't," she said, shaking her head.

"Can't or won't?"

"I've never--I mean, not in front of anyone. It's--"

"It's intimate," he said gently. "I know." Lex kissed her temple. "But I bet there's a part of you that wants to do it. Show me, Chloe. Show me what you look like when you come, how you touch yourself when no one else is around."

She swallowed a moan and let her eyes close. "Never realized you were such a voyeur," she said, wondering if she had the guts to do this.

"We can discuss that later." He kissed her again, coaxing her hand down. "Show me, Chloe. Please."

It was the 'please' that undid her, she decided, licking her lower lip. Lex helped her hike up her skirt, although she chose to leave her panties on. "Thigh-highs?" he asked, stroking the edge of one."

"I hate pantyhose."

"I'll remember that."

She was so wet her fingers slid right inside, no friction whatsoever. "Oh..." God, she needed this. It wasn't going to last long; another time, she might have tried to make it take longer but all she wanted at the moment was the shattering release.

"Yes," Lex murmured in her ear, nuzzling the sensitive spot right behind it. "God, Chloe, you're so hot..."

Chloe couldn't remember the last time she'd been this turned on. It was a little embarrassing, but at the same time, she was loving the effect it was having on Lex. She arched her hips a little and licked her lips, slowing her movements a little.

"Showing off for me, Chloe? Spread your legs a little more...oh yeah." He nipped her earlobe. "Good girl."

She moaned, not bothering to hide it. She'd think about the whole exhibitionist thing later--right now she was getting closer, and closer, and Lex was whispering comments in her ear about how sexy she was, how hot she was making him, and she flashed on the thought of them in bed together, what it would be like to have him inside her--

Years of thin walls kept her quiet when she came, only a soft cry escaping. Her hips jerked once and she sagged back against Lex; he held her against him and kissed her gently. "Damn," he murmured. "Sure you're still a virgin?"

"Mm-hmm." Chloe moistened her lips and swallowed. "I've had years of practice in this area." Her brain felt foggy with the post-orgasm meltdown; eventually she moved her hand so it wasn't inside her anymore, but that was about the limit of her abilities.

Lex picked up her hand and raised it to his lips, drawing her fingers into his mouth. The gesture was--even after what she'd done--amazingly intimate. She flushed and tried to pull her hand away, but he wouldn't let her. "I like the way you taste," he said, finally.

"Oh."

"We're almost back in Smallville," he told her. "My place or yours?"

She strained her brain and thought. "Mine," she said finally. "Is that okay?"

He smiled. "It's fine, as long as you don't have a twin bed."

"What happens if I do?"

"We go back to my place," he told her.

"You're in luck--I got a queen-size last year." Chloe grinned. "I kept falling out of my twin."

"Restless sleeper?" Lex was dropping little kisses on her temple and her hair; it was soothing and arousing at the same time.

"Mm-hmm." She cuddled closer.

When the limo finally pulled up in front of Chloe's house, she disentangled herself from Lex and slid out, going to unlock the front door while he spoke to the driver. As soon as they were inside, he pressed her back against the door, kissing her hard and deep while his hands slid around to cup her ass and pull her against him. She felt the heat and the hardness of his erection and moaned into the kiss.

"I want you," he said hoarsely. "And I'm warning you now, I don't know how good my control is."

"I don't care." Chloe was surprised to find she meant it. "Come upstairs with me." She took his hand and led him to her bedroom, shutting the door. She was a little nervous, she realized.

"I want to see you," Lex told her. "Nude and waiting for me."

Her stomach clenched again and she swallowed. "I can do that."

"But--I want to be the one to make you that way." He stepped forward and kissed her, reaching around to unzip her dress. The silk slithered down, leaving her in shoes, thigh-highs, and panties. "Jesus Christ, Chloe," Lex muttered, kneeling to slide her panties down. "Since when did you get so incredibly sexy?"

"Only to you," she said shakily.

"Don't say that." He rose and guided her to the bed, kneeling over her.

"Um--one of us is overdressed and I doubt it's me," she said, reaching up to undo his tie. Her shoes were gone, but the stockings remained.

"I can remedy that," he said, tugging his tie off.

"Or I--"

"No." Chloe looked at him in surprise. "Chloe--if you touch me--it'll be over before I want this to be."

"Oh." She blushed a little, watching him strip off his clothes. "Well, that answers that question," she teased.

Lex raised an eyebrow. "About my lack of hair? Yes, I suppose it does." He stretched out next to her, running a finger over her stomach. "Is it a problem?"

"I think it's hot," she admitted, watching Lex's finger circle her navel.

He leaned over and kissed her; she wrapped her arms around him and pulled him on top of her, opening her legs instinctively so he could settle between them. She felt his erection pressing against her and moved a little against him; he sucked in a breath in response.

"Fuck--Chloe, I am not about to take a chance on getting you pregnant," Lex said suddenly, sitting back.

She struggled to clear her mind and think. "Um--top drawer in my dresser, right hand side. Don't ask."

"I wasn't planning on it." Lex slid off the bed and returned with a box, tossing it down next to her. He had one packet in his hand; as she watched, he opened it and rolled on the condom carefully.

"Now," she said, reaching up for him. "Where were we?"

"Here," Lex purred, biting her neck. "Or maybe here--" his lips closed over her nipple and sucked. "Or here?" He kissed her, hard and fast.

"I like here," Chloe said, arching her hips against him.

"Damn, but you're a greedy thing, aren't you?" he murmured against her throat. "It'll hurt, Chloe."

"I think I knew that." She bit her lip, waiting.

It didn't hurt--and then it did, and she whimpered in spite of herself, clutching his shoulders. She felt stretched, filled--and there was a sharp throbbing pain between her legs that made her want to scream. "Easy," Lex was saying, his shoulders stiff with the effort it took not to move. "Easy--it'll get better."

"I--oh--" He moved slightly and she gasped. That just felt--right. "Do that again," she whispered.

Lex moved again, sliding out of her and back in with a smooth thrust. "That?"

"Oh--" It still hurt, but the feel of him moving inside her was incredible. Even more so when she flashed on what she was actually doing--that Lex's cock was inside her, filling her--she whimpered.

"I can't hold still much longer, or it'll be too rough for you," Lex said thickly.

"Do it, Lex--" she said, gripping his shoulders. "Move in me, I want to feel you--"

He kissed her before he started to move, slowly and smoothly, until she was more used to him. "Touch yourself," he gritted out. "It'll hurt less."

"Oh--" Chloe cried out when her fingers touched her clit. This was so good, so perfect--now she knew what she'd been missing all those times she'd gotten herself off. Lex's weight on her, his skin sliding against hers, the rasping breaths he was taking, but most of all the sensation of being filled in a way she hadn't known she'd needed so badly. "Oh, Lex--"

"Yes," he groaned, beginning to move faster. "Feels good, doesn't it?"

Her orgasm hit her by surprise; she cried out again and felt her inner muscles clench around Lex in reflex. He made a short, sharp sound; she looked up and saw sweat on his scalp.

"I want to be deeper inside you," he managed, holding still for a moment. "Can you handle it?"

"Yes..." Chloe hissed the word.

"Lift your legs--oh, like that, sweetheart--yes, just like that--" Lex shuddered before beginning to move again, harder.

She whimpered, trying to move her hips with his, to have him as deep inside her body as she could manage. "Ohh..."

"God, Chloe, do that again--oh, yes."

Chloe dug her nails into Lex's back, holding on for what felt like dear life. Her second climax was building; she was trembling from the overstimulation. "I'm--oh!" She shuddered, arching against Lex. "Oh, God..."

"I know--oh, Chloe--" Lex groaned, long and low. She felt him come even through the latex.

Neither of them moved for a long while; Lex was heavy on her but she loved the feel of his weight pressing her down into the mattress. But eventually he left her and got the condom off, throwing it in the wastebasket. "You bled a little," he said quietly.

"Umm." It was all she was capable of.

He smiled and kissed her. "I'll get you a washcloth."

"No--stay," she protested, cuddling up against him.

"All right." He kissed her, gently, his tongue easy against hers. "Do you want me to spend the night?"

"If you'd like," she said, knowing her face was probably begging him not to leave.

"I think I would." Lex reached up for the comforter, tugging it down until they could crawl under it. "I can think of few things more appealing than waking up to a naked Chloe next to me."

She laughed a little and burrowed against him. "We'll discuss your ki--nks later," she said, interrupted by a huge yawn.

"I look forward to it."

Chloe was asleep before he finished talking.

Waking up was odd. She was warm, which was nice, and naked, which wasn't so unusual. But there was another warm body pressed against her back, with an arm wrapped around her belly and a head tucked against her back. And there was a faint soreness between her legs.

Oh. Right.

She supposed she should feel--embarrassed, or awkward, or something. But really, the only thought in her mind was 'Who knew Lex was a cuddler?' It was nice, really. She didn't think it would last long once he woke up--ah, there came the inevitable host of questions and doubts and worries. Had this been a one-night thing? Was he going to regret it now?

The clock next to her bed said it was 7:42am. She figured she could lie in bed a bit longer and see if Lex woke up before she extricated herself and began to fret in earnest.

7:58 and she couldn't wait any longer, but when she tried to leave the bed, Lex's arm tightened around her waist. "Stay," he said softly.

Apparently, he was awake. "I thought you were asleep," she admitted, settling back against him.

"I was. I woke up when you tried to leave."

"Oh. Sorry."

He chuckled and kissed the back of her neck. "Don't be. And relax, Chloe. I'm not going to run out and never speak to you again."

"I suppose it's a bit late for the 'Will you still respect me in the morning' line, isn't it," she said sheepishly.

"Perhaps, but you don't have anything to worry about. Unless--all you wanted was a one-night stand."

"Honestly, I hadn't thought past last night."

"All right." He kissed the back of her neck again, licking the spot right behind her ear that made her shiver. "You weren't wearing perfume last night, were you?"

"No-I usually don't. Why?"

"You smell like citrus," he murmured. "I thought it was perfume, but it's just you. I like it."

"Bath and Body Works," she confessed. "I use their stuff."

"Mmm. Whatever it is, it suits you." He was still kissing the back of her neck and her jaw, light enough to tease, intent enough to arouse. She shivered and turned over in his arms. "Morning," he said softly.

"Morning," she answered, just as softly.

Lex barely had to move to kiss her-so much for morning breath, she thought fuzzily, letting him shift her onto her back. The covers fell down around them and she looked up into his eyes, feeling that same spark she'd been noticing since he'd dropped by.

From the way his eyes darkened right before his mouth covered hers again in a deeper, deliberate kiss, he felt it as well.

Her arms wrapped around his neck and she responded to his gentle urging to tilt her head back, letting him mouth her throat and collarbone, sliding down to kiss her breasts. His tongue circled the little mole above her left breast and she laughed at him.

"Weirdo."

"Am I on your wall yet?" he asked, looking up from her stomach.

"Do you want to-oh, God-be?"

"I'd rather be on your wall of amazing," he murmured.

"I'll carve a notch in my lipstick case for you," she said, falling back against the pillows.

"I like that idea." He moved up and kissed her, settling himself between her thighs. "Then again, I like most things that involve you. Especially those that have the added bonus of you without clothes-and that soft look on your face." Lex traced the curve of her lips with a finger. "The one that says 'you're insane but oh God, I want you'."

Chloe sucked the tip of his finger into her mouth and nipped it before letting it go. "Tell me something, Lex," she said, pushing herself up so his head rested on her stomach.

"The sky is blue."

"Very funny. Seriously-did you plan this? Did you plan on asking me out with the intent of ending up-"

"Would it matter if I had?" he interrupted.

"I don't like being a sure thing, and I don't like being manipulated." She raised an eyebrow in mimicry of him. "So yes, it would."

"Fair enough." Lex kissed her stomach and moved to his knees. "Honestly, Chloe-no, I didn't. I give you my word I did not intend to seduce you."

"I believe you." Chloe leaned forward and kissed him, drawing him back down on top of her. "But since you did-why not take advantage of it?"

He smiled, and the heat in his eyes made her mouth go dry. "Oh, I intend to," he murmured.

She'd passed the point of coherency when the doorbell rang. "Fuck it," she gasped. "Ignore that damn bell."

"Good idea."

It rang again. "Goddamn it!" Chloe swore.

"Don't. Answer. It." Lex punctuated each word with a kiss to her breasts.

"I don't want to!"

The doorbell rang for the third time and they both sighed, Lex dropping his head to rest against Chloe's chest. "This had better be an emergency or I'm going to kill someone," she muttered.

"You're not the only one."

Chloe slid out of bed reluctantly and pulled on an oversized baseball-style T-shirt, muttering imprecations under her breath as she stomped down the stairs.

Clark, Lana, and Pete stood on her doorstep, still in their prom attire-if looking a bit worse for wear. "Yes?" she asked, pushing hair out of her eyes and suddenly praying she didn't have a hickey anywhere visible.

"We've been up all night and now we want pancakes. Want to join us?" Clark asked.

"Nope. Not now. Have a good time!" She smiled brightly and started to close the door.

"Wait, wait-I want to hear about last night!" Lana protested.

"And I'll tell you once I'm not wearing a big T-shirt and grumpy from lack of sleep. Okay? Bye." She shut the door firmly and locked it before running back upstairs. "Clark. Lana. And Pete," she snarled, stripping off her T-shirt. "They wanted to have pancakes."

"You don't like pancakes?" Lex pulled her down on top of him, his hands on her ass.

"I'd rather have you," she mumbled against his throat.

"Chloe-" Something in Lex's voice told her to stop.

"What?" She looked up, impatiently shaking her hair back.

"I won't be your guilty secret," he said quietly.

"I don't want you to be." She sighed; now it was her turn to sit back. "But we can't exactly go public with it. Your reputation-"

"Has seen worse. Yours hasn't. And I'm not saying we have to go public. But I won't lie to Clark. He's my friend, as well."

"I know. I know." Chloe sighed and pushed her hair back. "Just-I'm not ready to tell him. Not yet. And not like this."

Not for the first time, Lex seemed to understand what she wasn't saying as well as what she was. "All right." He rolled them over, pinning her against the mattress. "Would you like to go have breakfast?"

"Like I said-I'd rather have you," she retorted right before she kissed him.



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