Two nights before her wedding and she couldn't sleep--normal, she supposed. She wandered the halls of the manor restlessly, hands shoved in the pockets of her tattered blue robe. The poor robe had outlived its life a long time ago, but she'd never found another one quite as comfortable.
With any luck Lex was either still asleep or smart enough not to come after her. Sometimes it was nice to just sit with him in comfortable silence, but that wasn't what she wanted at the moment. She wanted solitude.
In the kitchen, she found a package of Oreos and a large glass of milk. She took her bounty and headed for the small sunroom she'd come to think of as 'her' room, at least in the mansion. In Metropolis she had her study, but the place there felt more like 'their' place, instead of Luthor Manor. That just felt imposing and unwelcoming.
The sunroom, at least, had a nicely squashy couch and a warmer feel to it--even at night, when it was dark and lit only by the moon. Chloe curled up on the couch, twisted an Oreo apart, and sighed.
Less than forty-eight hours from now, she wouldn't be Chloe Emily Sullivan anymore. She'd be Chloe Sullivan Luthor. She and Lex had discussed it, and much as she disliked the concept of changing her last name, given who she was marrying, she didn't really have a choice. It wasn't really a big deal, she supposed. Maybe.
She'd never thought it would end up like this. From the first time they'd made love, when she was seventeen and he was twenty-three and they hid it from everyone, to college, when he'd called her late at night and they'd had incredibly steamy phone sex, to her first job, when she'd called him when it all got to be too much and he fucked her senseless, to this--it was just baffling.
She didn't even know if she loved him, for crying out loud. Sure, she liked him. And she wanted him--she'd have to be dead not to. He'd been her first lover, and in some ways he'd spoiled her for anyone else. It wasn't just that he was skilled in bed, and it wasn't just that he'd had more than his share of experience. It was--when she made love with Lex, she felt as though all his attention was focused on her. It was a little unsettling, in some ways, to be honest.
Then again, her whole relationship with Lex was unsettling. It had started as a friends-with-benefits thing, and although they'd become close friends during college, she hadn't really considered him a boyfriend. And yet, here she was, getting ready to marry him. Had she absolutely lost her mind?
It took another three Oreos and half her milk before she managed to convince herself that she hadn't gone nuts, and more than that, she was making the right decision. So she wasn't necessarily head over heels starry-eyed in love with him. In the end, that didn't matter. Neither did his name or his money. She wasn't marrying his trust fund, and she sure as hell wasn't marrying his father.
What did matter was that she trusted him, she respected him, and she wanted to be with him. Chloe smiled a little, remembering the way the past two weeks had gone. Between work and wedding plans, they hadn't had much time to see each other, and the time they had was generally taken up by other people. So one night, when they'd gone to bed, she'd curled up next to him, rested her head on his shoulder, and simply lain there. It had become a daily occurrence after that. Neither one of them spoke; they just relaxed together in bed.
That told her something, even if she didn't want to admit it. She'd always hated sharing her bed with the other men she'd dated. But with Lex--it was easy. Natural, almost. She dunked half an Oreo and popped it in her mouth, brushing cookie crumbs off her robe. Okay, so she liked sleeping next to Lex. It wasn't a bad thing. Given that she'd be sleeping next to him for the rest of her life, it was definitely in the plus category.
He'd never told her whether or not he loved her. She wasn't sure what that meant. On the one hand, he might not want to lie to her if he didn't. On the other hand, if he did love her, telling her that would give her power over him. Either way, he wasn't saying and she wasn't asking. The last time she had asked, he'd smiled and kissed her. "I'm marrying you, aren't I?" he'd said in response. While it hadn't been an answer, she didn't think she'd get a clearer one.
Her feelings for him were slowly becoming clearer. Maybe she wasn't 'in love' with him. But she did love him. And more than that, she wanted to marry him. They fit together, really. Okay, so maybe she was in love with him. She could live with that. Chloe yawned and snuggled down into the couch cushions. So she was marrying Lex Luthor. All in all, it was a pretty good deal.
Lex pushed the door to the sunroom open quietly and half-smiled at the sight of Chloe, curled up on the couch, sound asleep. An open package of cookies sat on the table next to her and an empty glass--he guessed it had held milk, from the white residue and cookie crumbs in it--leaned precariously near the edge. He moved it back and squatted down next to her, stroking her hair. "Chloe," he said quietly. "Come on, you can't sleep here."
She didn't move. "So much for that idea." He draped her arms over his shoulders, scooping her up as he rose. It took a bit of effort to get her settled, but once he was upright she rested her head on his shoulder, automatically cuddling against him in her sleep. "Let's get you back to bed," he told her, carrying her back to their bedroom.
By the time they reached the bedroom, she'd stirred just enough to help him take off the robe and tuck her under the covers. "Lex," she mumbled, turning over and reaching for him. "...love you..."
He stilled at that admission before turning off the light and settling himself under the covers. For a few minutes, he just watched her, until he was sure she was asleep. Then he kissed her forehead. "Love you too," he said softly.
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