Chloe rolled over in bed, dimly aware that someone was tapping at her window. She thought it was just the wind, but the tapping didn't stop--if anything, it got more insistent. So she pushed herself upright in bed and saw Clark sitting on the tree branch outside.
"What the..." She crawled out of bed and unlatched the window, letting him in. "Clark, do you happen to know what time it is?" Grumbling, she got back into bed, turning on her bedside lamp.
"Um--late?" He gave her a sheepish grin and sat down on the edge of her bed.
"No, Clark. We are beyond late here. It's 3:30 in the morning--that puts us in the wee hours. And what are you doing here, anyway?" Needless to say, Chloe was not a morning person. Especially when she'd only gotten to bed a few hours previous.
"I need to talk to you," he said, looking uncomfortable. "It's important."
"Is everything okay? Are you all right?" Chloe asked, going from peeved to worried in the space of ten seconds.
"What? Oh, yeah. Everything's fine with me." Clark looked like he was getting up the courage to say something. "I saw you with Lex earlier," he blurted out finally.
She closed her eyes and leaned back against the wall with a thud. "When?" she asked. Well, she'd known this ws coming. Two weeks wasn't so bad.
"When you left the castle, on your way here. Chloe--what were you doing with him at midnight?"
"Going home?" she offered, knowing it wouldn't work.
"Is--is something going on between you?"
'No, Clark, I spend all my Friday nights with a multimillionaire who thinks I'm intelligent and attractive. Hadn't you noticed?' Okay, so maybe she needed to cut out the sarcasm before she spoke. "Why do you want to know?" she asked.
"You're my friend, Chloe--I want to know what's going on in your life." Clark turned and looked at her with an expression so earnest she fought back the impulse to pat him on the head and offer him a treat.
She shrugged. "Lex and I are friends." Friends who happened to have great sex, but she wasn't going to tell him that just yet. He'd woken her up at three-thirty in the morning; he deserved to sweat a bit.
"Is that all?"
"I'm not in love with him, if that's what you're asking." Which was true--she wasn't. It wasn't about love between them. It was about two people recognizing a kindred spirit and having a good time together. Sex just happened to be a side benefit.
Clark took a deep breath and looked down at his shoes. "Are you sleeping with him?" he asked, steadfastly avoiding her eyes.
Damnit. So much for evasion. "Yes," she said, waiting for his reaction. It didn't take long.
His head snapped up and he stared at her like she'd just told him she was secretly an FBI agent studying the effects of the meteorite fragments. "Chloe--but--he's--" Clark sputtered. He actually sputtered. It would have been kind of cute, had it not been about her.
"He's your friend, Clark," she snapped, fatigue lending an edge to her words. "Is he good enough to hang out with but not good enough for me to date?"
"No, I didn't say that. I just think--well, he's older than you, and he's more experienced--" Chloe had to hide a smirk at that one. Experienced--oh, my yes. "And I don't want you to get hurt."
"Which one of us don't you trust?" Chloe asked, deciding to skip the verbal fencing.
He looked like she'd just kicked him in the balls. "What?" he managed after a moment.
"Okay, let's look at this, shall we? I'm your friend, Lex is your friend. Yet you find out we're seeing each other and show up at my window at three-thirty in the morning. Obviously, you don't trust one of us. So who is it?"
"It's not that I don't trust you! I just--there are things about Lex that you don't know." Clark was beginning to look flustered.
She leaned forward and cupped his hands in her face, turning him so he faced her. "Do you honestly think Lex would ever do something to hurt me?" she asked, making him look at her.
"Not deliberately, no." She let him go and sat back against her pillows.
"Do you think I'd ever hurt him?"
"No." Clark sighed and looked down at his feet again--Chloe had no idea what was so fascinating about the tan work boots.
"Then once again, what's the problem?"
"I just feel like I don't see you anymore. Why didn't you tell me about this when it started?"
"Why didn't you tell me about Lana when you two started dating?" Chloe retorted.
"Um. Okay, you've got a point there." Clark sighed again. "I wanted to tell you, but it was just new, and I didn't know where it was going..."
She nodded. "And you didn't consider the possibility that I might have been holding off on this for the same reasons?"
"I guess I overreacted."
"Yeah, I'd say so." Chloe rubbed her eyes. "Lex and I are friends. We have fun together." And he has time for me these days, which you don't, she added silently. Not since Lana. "Look, I'm going to be nice and not mention to Lex that you were here, because I don't think he'd appreciate it."
Clark looked relieved at that, but not as relieved as Chloe felt. In a confrontation between the two of them, Clark might walk away with wounds from Lex's words. But he would be the less injured of the two.
"Anytime." She smiled sweetly. "What are friends for?"
That hit home, as she'd intended it to. "I'd better be going," he said, standing up. "It's late."
"I'm so glad you finally noticed."
"See you around?" he asked, beginning to climb out the window.
"You got it." She shut the window after him and climbed back into bed with a sigh. Getting back to sleep was going to be pretty much impossible.
"Damn it, Clark, why do you have to be so earnest?" she grumbled, punching her pillow. She shuddered to think of the kids he and Lana might have some day--big-eyed, adorable, and completely sincere about everything.
Now that was a nightmare-inducing image if ever she had one. Clark and Lana, happily married, with two or three dark-haired ankle biters running around--and herself, living the life of a single journalist off in Metropolis or something.
It wasn't even like she really wanted Clark. She'd grown up a bit since her middle-school crush on him. But the fear of being alone while everyone around her got married and settled down was enough to keep her up at night.
The phone beside her bed trilled softly and she grabbed it before it could wake up her dad. "Hello?" she asked, figuring it was Clark calling to tell her he'd gotten home.
"You sound entirely too awake for this hour of the morning," Lex's silky voice said in her ear. "Dare I ask why?"
"Couldn't sleep." She tucked the phone under her ear and snuggled down into the blankets. "Why are you calling, anyway?"
"I was out for a nighttime drive and saw the light on in your room."
"Couldn't sleep either?" She smiled.
"I'm a night owl by nature."
"No, you just don't sleep."
"Not if I can help it, no," he agreed. "Sleep eats up hours I could use to be doing things."
"Like what?" she teased. These nighttime phone calls were becoming a bit more common between them. She was never sure if he just knew when she was awake or didn't care if she was asleep. It didn't matter.
"Well, I could work, or work, or work on ways to have you moaning incoherently within ten minutes."
"Ten, huh? Last time it was fifteen. Trying to break a record?"
He laughed softly in her ear. "No, I just like seeing you speechless and writhing in my bed."
She blushed. "You know, you could get that reaction if I had the stomach flu," she countered.
"I forgot to mention naked with me buried deep inside you, didn't I?" Lex added seductively. She nearly groaned. Words were her undoing. And he knew it. Damnit.
"Oh. Well, then, yes, that would be different." She swallowed and hoped he didn't hear it.
"Different from the stomach flu, yes. Different from a few hours ago--no, not really."
The muscles of her lower belly clenched involuntarily at the reminder. "Are you trying to drive me nuts?" she asked.
"No, not particularly. I just like making you squirm."
"So glad to know that." She kept her voice dryly amused somehow. "I'll be sure and remember that the next time we go out."
"You do that."
"So where are you, anyway?" she asked, rolling over onto her back.
"Sitting in my car looking out over this leafy little hamlet from the top of Oak Hill."
"That's got to be boring," she said, noting that Oak Hill was all of two blocks from her house. "Want some company?"
He laughed softly. "I thought you'd never ask. Shall I come get you?"
"No, I'll walk over. Be there in ten." She hung up and scrambled out of bed and into some form of clothes. It was such a good thing her father slept like a log.
It was exactly eight minutes later when she rapped on his window, dressed in a denim skirt and a blue tank top under a pale yellow cardigan. It was colder out than she'd realized; she hugged the sweater over her breasts, hoping her nipples didn't stand out too much.
"Looking for me?" Lex said behind her and she jumped, turning around.
"Hi there," she said with a smile.
"Hi yourself." His eyes skimmed over her clothes with a faint hint of amusement. "Nice color combination," he commented and she realized she'd thrown on her green sneakers without realizing it.
"Yeah, well--somehow I didn't think you'd care overly much."
"You'd be right."
He kissed her then, lightly, then more deeply as she wrapped her arms around his neck and opened her mouth for him. "We could get caught up here," she breathed when the kiss ended. "This is so not a--oh!" Lex had pushed up her tank top and was caressing her breasts, biting the side of her neck as he did so. "We're right out in the open," she protested as he bent her over the hood of the car.
"Chloe, it's four in the morning and we're in the back end of nowhere. I promise, we won't get caught." He kissed her again, encouraging her to wrap her legs around him.
"Never figured you for an exhibitionist," she managed, impatiently shoving his shirt out of the way. The hood was still warm against her back, surprisingly.
"Lots of things you don't know about me, Chloe," he said softly, one hand toying with her nipples as the other pushed up her skirt
She gasped and arched her hips for him. "Any of them going to hurt me?"
"Only if you ask nicely." He bit her neck again, hard enough that the hint of pain blended with pleasure.
"I'll--remember--that." She wriggled out of her panties, kicking them to the side.
He pinned her hands to the hood, leaving her spread-eagled with her legs wrapped around him and her skirt pushed up around her waist. "I like this look on you," he said, licking and sucking his way across her chest.
"In me. Now," she half-begged, half-demanded, trying to pull her hands out from under his.
He transferred his grip on her wrists to his right hand and used his left to undo his pants, pausing just briefly before he slid into her with one deep, hard thrust.
With both her hands pinned to the hood, she couldn't move under him the way she wanted to. She arched her hips as best she could, gasping for breath as he rode her hard and fast.
He'd never been quite this rough with her before. She didn't care. Her whole body was tensed, needing contact with him, needing what he was giving her. When she came, it was so intense she nearly blacked out. She thought she might have screamed. It didn't matter about that, either.
When he finally groaned and relaxed on top of her, he let go of her wrists, letting her drape her arms over his back. "Wow," she said after a moment.
He kissed her neck, lightly. "Still interested in learning about my deep dark past?" he murmured.
"Uh huh." Words of more than one syllable were beyond her at the moment.
"Thought you might be." He kissed her again and slid out of her , standing to refasten his clothes. Chloe lay there for a moment before stirring and beginning to fix her skirt.
"By the way," he said casually, "what did Clark want?"
And she froze.
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