Know Thy Self

by HumbugGirl

Author's Notes: 1) this fic has been a while in the making. it's a future fic and perhaps a little controversial.
Feedback: Please. As always it would be loved.

Title: Know Thy Self
Author: HumbugGirl
URL: Pairing: Chloe/Lionel
Rating: NC17
Summary: It's easy to misinterpret gifts. Spoilers: Minor `Exodus' spoilers.
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine - they all belong to someone else entirely. Author's Notes: 1) this fic has been a while in the making... it's a future fic and perhaps a little controversial. Feedback: Please. As always it would be loved.

Chloe's days always started in much the same way. The radio alarm clock on the night stand by her bed would go off, filling the room with the sounds of what usually turned out to be an irritating commercial, probably something about a new type of carpet cleaner or washing powder that promised to remove all of life's little stains. It would force her to open her eyes groggily, blinking at early the morning light streaming through the bay window in her bedroom and while Chloe always intensely disliked the fact that it was morning, that she was going to have to get out of the warmth of her bed, she invariably take the chance to enjoy the light; knowing as she did, that in Gotham it would never last long. However, it was never long before she would roll over and thump the dreadful rocket off. Then she would slowly push herself into a sitting position, rubbing her eyes a little as she did so, while idly wondering if she should attempt to put on a pot of coffee first or hop into a quick shower.

By her side a figure groaned and rolled over sluggishly. In the dim light Chloe saw eyes sleepily opened before a rumbling voice said, "I really don't understand why you insist on waking to that rubbish."

Hoisting herself out of bed Chloe responded, "Just go back to sleep."

He muttered something in reply but appeared to accept her suggestion.

From the small cushioned armchair she had positioned by the window Chloe grabbed the small black silk robe that had been her Christmas present the year before from the man laid in the bed. As she pulled it on, the soft material fluttering butterfly light over her bare flesh of her back before settling on it. Chloe quickly tied the belt and tried to ignore the coolness of the silk against her skin even as the cool air in her apartment came rushing in. Sliding her feet into outrageously out of place fluffy white slippers Chloe padded quietly across the honey coloured bare wood floor of her bedroom and out into the darkened hallway.

The feel of the different rooms was entirely varied. The bedroom was done out in warm shades of sunshine yellows and the occasional touch of terracotta red or white while the hallway was stark in comparison. Her stylishly designer kitchen, far too ostentatious for her small apartment and another thing the man in her bedroom had insisted on having fitted, was coolly brilliant in shades of blue and glistening stainless steel which took Chloe forever to keep clean. On the side there was a handsome coffee maker, barely out of its packaging and into this Chloe poured fresh coffee she dug out from the bottom of the freezer.

It was three years since she had moved into the apartment and Chloe still found herself displaced on a day to day basis by the general feeling of newness the place still possessed. The duration of time she spent in the place seemed to have no effect on the sensation either and furthermore as Chloe stood waiting for her first cup of the day she was vaguely aware that she doubted whether the place would ever acquire a homely feel.

The problem was of course that try as she might the place just didn't feel like hers. Everything in it had been carefully chosen, from the fancy designer kitchen to the plush surroundings of the sitting room. As she walked around any room in the apartment Chloe was certain she would be able to pick out when it had been given to her rather than what it had cost her. There were one or two things which were her own, normally things she had purchased on impulse and without any real thought. Many would not survive long; she would bring then into a room and set them down only to decide they seemed far too out of place and quickly throw them out or packed them away never to see the muted light of a Gotham day ever again. The few that did survive somehow seemed to be drowned out and occasionally when the blonde was stood in the middle of it all she almost felt more as if she were a part of it all rather than the owner of it all.

It meant as a result that she often found herself wondering whether the man in the bed; the man who had been the principal contributor of the majority of the things in the apartment just expected her to be there when he visited as he might expect the kitchen to look the same or the chair he favoured to be in the same position as it had been the last time he had sat in it. It was not so much a question of whether she was just another part of the furniture but rather that perhaps time stood still in the apartment when he was not there.

It didn't of course. There was always something going on in her life; she didn't live like a hermit after all. The whole reason she had moved to Gotham in the first place was as much to make a new life as it was to get away from Smallville and Kansas and everything that place represented to her. The truth was she enjoyed living in Gotham for all its dark, rainy skies. College and like-minded people were in Gotham; as was her new baby - the college newspaper where, while she may not be the editor-in-chief, she was making her name as a reporter. She had gained a number of great friends while living in the city which she would probably hold onto for life though none knew every aspect of her life.

They clearly wondered about why it was she stayed in the city all year around and very rarely went home to visit her father. It also was clear that they wondered at the scrumptious little apartment filled with its disproportionately expensive furniture that seemed to come from nowhere. Perhaps one or two suspected something like the truth; especially when her pager would go off abruptly and instead of ignoring it as some might she would go rushing off. There were even a few questions directed towards her occasionally, enquiring ones that Chloe found herself either managing to deflect or giving sly non-informative answers. She was lucky enough that they were all good enough friends that such things did not matter very much and they allowed her that degree of privacy.

In some respects Chloe hated the fact that she could not tell them anything; it was the one stipulation she had been granted but unfortunately it was a condition that worked both ways. That said, of course, she was not entirely sure how a person would go about telling her friends, intelligent knowledgeable people who for the most part were involved with the newspaper business themselves, that she was sleeping with a man like Lionel Luthor and that furthermore it was he who allowed her to live as she did, with the degree of freedom she did, by supplementing the young blonde reporter's allowance. Of course, that financial help was whether she wanted it or not. Chloe would have been happy living as all her friends at university did, in large houses where there was always some one around to talk to.

Lionel had been less than impressed with the idea, looking up from where he had been seated in his favourite chair while reading a newspaper and saying, "Do you then express a desire to end our arrangement?"

Chloe's eyes had widened, the leap of comprehension momentarily escaping her. Clearly noticing this fact Lionel continued in what turned out to be a rather appropriately stern and authoritarian manner. "You yourself demanded a level of secrecy in this arrangement which I would gladly have avoided and which we have worked hard so far to maintain. However, were you to decide to co-habit with a crowd of other students then I assure you that maintaining that level of secrecy would be impossible and that leads me to question your motives in even proposing such a course of action."

"What are you saying?" Chloe asked quietly.

Lionel had shifted. "As I have said; do you want an end to our... relationship?"

With a small bite of her lip Chloe had asked, "Would you let me end it?"

"I wouldn't want it to," he replied with an emotionless voice that had told Chloe as she needed to know. In reflection it was even the answer she had expected; after all there had always been something about the way in which Lionel treated her that was oddly possessive in spite of the apparent independence he had also allowed her to have. Chloe knew she had only to look back on the manner in which he had perused her `help' in the early days of their relationship whether business or otherwise to see that. He had always been there to follow her, to keep her under his eye and while occasionally it had been useful to her Chloe was in no doubt that there was a more concerning possible aspect to Lionel's close observation of her.

Why Lionel insisted on always keeping her so close was something that baffled Chloe. There was the old adage about keeping friends close but enemies, or rather potential enemies, closer but Chloe seriously doubted whether she would be able to cause enough trouble to worry Lionel considerably even if that had been part of her original intent. A part of her supposed that he might see something useful in the skills she was acquiring but then again Chloe knew there were others out there with just as much potential as she had. Of course the physical aspect of the arrangement was wonderful and the time they spent together in bed was astonishingly stimulating for Chloe and probably for him as well. There was something about Lionel and the way in which the man seemed to instinctively know what to do to make her react, whether it was a soft lingering touch or an abrupt slap to the thigh or butt cheek in order to cause her to curl herself around him wantonly. It was a sign that he enjoyed her as much as she enjoyed him and, as a result, Chloe supposed it was the most logical reason he kept coming back to her like he did. Certainly the idea that there was actually any real affection was more than a little ridiculous. When out of bed and away from the multitude of sensual little touches and heartfelt groans and glances, Lionel was as stoic with her as he might have been with a boardroom full of men. No, it wasn't affection, it couldn't be that.

A hand reaching past her to rest on the counter brought her abruptly back to herself; a turbulent fall and one that leaves her shaken slightly. With a deep breath Chloe turned around and instantly brought hands up to rest lightly on his chest as he looked down at her. There was something oddly bear-like about his appearance. Lionel Luthor looked odd to her in loose boxer shorts and a t-shirt that hung a little too close to his frame. His hair, never the neatest aspect of his appearance lay messily against his head and Chloe dared to spy tangles in the short hairs of his beard.

"I thought," she said. "You were going back to sleep."

"You were taking an inordinately long amount of time out here," he countered avoiding a direct response.

"You missed me," Chloe guessed with a smile only to have him scoff at the idea.

"You had no plans to come back to bed anyway."

"Ah," Chloe observed, letting her fingers play against his chest briefly before capturing his gaze with her own. Moving one hand southwards to cup him through the thin material of the boxer shorts Chloe said, "I see a certain someone else missed me." She was rewarded by a twitch of interest beneath her touch.

"A certain someone else always misses you," Lionel replied. "Now be a good girl and get that well maintained behind of yours back into bed."

Chloe frowned. "I have class."

His hands dropped abruptly to grip her bottom lifting her against him so that the knuckles of her own hand pressed almost painfully into her groin. A shiver of something not unlike arousal swept through her at the action even as Lionel whispered close to her ear, "Perhaps you need reminding of other lessons first."

A line of tension ran through Chloe; warmth spreading to her groin even as she attempted to frown in disapproval at him. There was something utterly damnable about him and the fact he seemed to know just want to say to manipulate her into playing his game that always left Chloe infuriated that she seemed unable to resist. The frown drifted into a pout even as Chloe found herself looking Lionel fully in the eye once again. There was something there which was undeniably desire but it was unclear as to whether the desire was purely physical or not; the truth was that where Lionel was concerned Chloe was aware that it was never just one thing anyway.

Chloe shook her head slowly, words forming on her lips before she had fully thought it through, "You're a bad man."

The corner of his lips turned up into an amused smirk appearing. "Is that a complaint, or a compliment?"

"An observation?" Chloe hazarded and brought a chuckle from Lionel's lips.

"You just don't know what you want to do Chloe?" he answered, leaning down as he did so and placing his month close to her ear. There was a brief pause and then the familiar sensation of him inhaling deeply. It sent a shiver through Chloe and she brought both her hands up to wrap around his waist. She stepped forwards that last step leaned her head against his chest. A hand came up curling in her hair, gently massaging her scalp. Tightening his grip Lionel pulled her head back sharply, taking her lips with his furiously. Chloe responded instinctively, letting him take the lead in the kiss and set the pace of the exchange. A brief whisper of his tongue against her lips and she was parting them and allowing him access to her mouth, which was almost immediately ruthlessly assaulted.

"Bedroom," Lionel commanded with a squeeze of her ass at the same time. Chloe complied, rolling his hand into hers and leading the way through into the bedroom.

Dropping his hand Chloe went over to the bed, climbing up and over the unmade sheets and quickly unfastening the belt. It felt from her shoulders, floating downwards as Lionel stepped towards her, the look on his features evident of just one thing at that moment: lust. Chloe reached out, taking hold of his hands, curling her fingers through his briefly and then bringing them up and to her breasts. A shudder went through the blonde girl; she let her head fall backwards as Lionel touched her eagerly, first lightly stroking the flesh and then kneading lightly. There was a slight nip of pain for a second then a hand on her shoulder pushed her backwards.

She landed with a bounce, eyes opening to look up at the man still stood over the end of the bed. For the briefest second doubt passed through Chloe's eyes and then she pushed it away. Shuffling backwards she arched her back somewhat and pushed her breasts forwards. When she was laid back against the pillows Chloe relaxed her body and let her hands trail down her sides. Meeting Lionel's eyes, holding them and remaining focused on them even when the man glanced away.

Bringing her hands up Chloe cupped her breasts, skimming fingers over the heated flesh, swirling around the nipples almost tentatively. They dropped down again, enclosing as much of the flesh as she could manage while the rest spilled forth. Noticing that Lionel's eyes had strayed southwards, that they were now focused solely on what she was doing, Chloe walked her fingers down over her midriff by way of resting on the hips of her nails and leaving light imprints. Grazing them across the flesh she paused for the briefest second near to her belly bottom then continued down over her stomach, eventually finding the jutting points of her pelvic bone. She stroked the flesh then, feeling her nipples tighten in response.

Lionel's tongue snaked out, darting over his lower lip as Chloe lowered her hand brushing against curls of pubic hair that she discovered to be already damp. She found the folds of her cunt and slipped a finger inside and immediately finding the swollen nub of flesh. A ragged sigh escaped Chloe, the noise hoarse and heady; singular in the fashion in which it caused Lionel's own body to tighten. Quickened he climbed onto the bed, moving between her legs even as she parted them further for him to do so. Suddenly he was very large, very significant presence before her and the tension in the room rocketed.

The first touch made her whimper, the pressure of lips low on her stomach, sealing against soft flesh and pressing a little more than was strictly necessary. He laid himself down upon her bed with his upper body brushing against her parted thighs and sparking life into her groin afresh as she unconsciously bucked against him. The involuntary action delighted Lionel who chuckled against her flesh and causing the whiskers of his beard to tickle her. In reply Chloe lifted her leg and put it over his shoulder only to have Lionel push it aside and hold it firmly against the bed. There might be a bruise in the morning but at that moment Chloe didn't care - there was something in her which was calling out for a reminder somehow of the sort of man that she was currently lying beneath.

She struggled against him for a moment, Lionel instantly receiving and understanding the message about what she wanted and responding in kind even as Chloe brought her hands up and raked her nails over his shoulders. It took her only a few moments to find the hem of his t-shirt and pull it up his back, rolling it as she went and then pausing in order to allow the man to help her slip it over his head. The t-shirt gone Chloe didn't have a moment to wait before she felt him lay himself down on top of her again while pushing her arms over her head. She struggled against him, arching her body against him and bringing her legs up, parting them further so that she could feel him hard and ready against her through the material of the boxers in such a way that it felt damn good. Every movement brought her closer to him until she could feel the material of the boxers, rough while damp from the wetness between her legs, scrapping against her thigh.

It felt almost as he were holding back, stopping her from gaining the much needed contact between them that she desired and Chloe knew if he was then it was certainly part of some sort of plan to infuriate her; to make her beg for him to do so. Lionel, she knew, liked to know what when all was said and down she wanted him. Teasingly he held both her wrists with one hand while reaching down and pushing the boxers down over one hip and then the other. They stuck for a moment over his erection and the man hissed in irritation until he managed to rid himself of them completely.

Excitement curled in Chloe as she looked down the length of their bodies through the gap that had been revealed by his movements and found herself to be confronted visually for the first time that he was ready to take her. Lionel looked her once in the eyes before slipping inside her, a type of acknowledgement between them that there was no safety net between them to prevent her from catching pregnant, that one action alone a territorial one that reminded Chloe just who she belonged to. She stretched easily enough to accommodate him, her cunt well accustomed to his size from year's worth of both hasty and languid fucks when Lionel had been the only man allowed to touch her in such a way. A groan escaped her all the same at finding him fully sheathed in her and for a brief second Chloe closed her eyes as she found them rolling back in her head and the thought occurred to her that it was certainly a sin that the man before her felt so good to have in her.

Short thrusts followed, each pushing him deeper in her even past the point when Chloe was certain that it was impossible for him to actually manage to go any deeper. Still, as her body warmed further to him, as the friction of him sliding around inside her and rubbing up against her inner walls slicked her further Chloe felt herself to be crying out with increasing frequency as his movements caused the head of his cock to hit against her cervix. She felt herself begin to twitch around him even as he moved to nuzzled her neck and place there the most persuasive series of kisses that she had even known; convincing her more and more that laying in Lionel's bed, being his piece of flesh to fuck whenever he felt like it was probably as close to heaven as she was ever going to get. The irony was not lost on Chloe but she tried instead to ignore it and focus solely the sensation of pure abandonment he was making her experience. In the brief moment before she felt her orgasm flood through her, when there should have been no thoughts her in mind, Lionel bit down harshly on her neck, marring the flesh and reminding her abruptly that whatever else she was his and then she was over the edge crying out as she fell, "Oh God yes!" Seconds later she felt him come inside of her as he swelled sharply and flooded her with a decisive deep grunt.

Breathing hard Chloe found herself covered by him, his body warming her sweat drenched skin against the cool Gotham air while his heart pounded against her. Trying to calm herself, swallowing sharply, she brought her hands down from over her head and to rest on his shoulders, holding him to her and revelling in the feeling of his weight even though she knew he had no plans to move from his prone position. Sometimes, at moments like this, she found herself at a loss as to what to feel. Part of her hated herself, hated him, hated the world at putting her in such a position where it made her so at odds with herself that she could want him so badly as often as she did. The other part of her though, the part which was extraordinarily dominant, was the part of her that could not think past the satisfied feeling low in her stomach that radiated out through her entire body simply because at that time Lionel was as much under her thumb as she was under his.

Unexpectedly he moved; pushing himself up onto his forearms so that he might look down at her. The rush of cool air pebbled her nipples once again and Lionel smiled. His eyes were for the most part focused on her neck however and bringing up her fingers Chloe traced over the spot. Wincing a little and holding them up she stared at the thin traces of blood from where he had marked her. Her eyes darted to his face but she saw no apology there and if she had been completely honest with herself then she had expected none anyway.

Quietly, hoarsely, she said, "Was this my lesson then?"

The smile still there Lionel said, "Sometimes I think it's the only way to get through to you. Talk can only do so much and then I have to resort to other methods."

"I don't make you," she said cautiously.

"You might as well." He took a deep breath. "Chloe, my dear, stop struggling against me all the time. You might think that I'm taking you independence away from you but stop a moment and really think about it - I've offered you a far more perfect sort of independence. I've never stopped you from following a career. I've never stopped you from making friends or keeping them; more than that I've actually provided you with a means to do so more easily when we both realise that I don't really have to. It isn't even as if I ask you for anything that you do not want to give... do you honestly expect me to believe after that little performance that you don't want to be in my bed? The only person you're really fighting now is yourself."

She shook her head slowly in practised denial; an action that Lionel mirrored seconds later although with an utterly different sentiment attached to it. He sat up abruptly, surprising her. Sitting back he said, "I've made a decision - should have a little time apart."

Unable to stop them Chloe's eyes widened and she said, "Why? You wouldn't before so why now?"

He stood and retrieved his clothes from where he had laid them on the blanket box at the end of her bed before beginning to pull them over his frame. "You need some time to sort out what it is you want Chloe. These frequent shows of defiance, while initially refreshing and somewhat invigorating are starting to grow stale. Hopefully a little time will allow you to remember the fact that our arrangement and whatever else it is and will become is advantageous to us both."

Chloe came to her knees, ignoring the dull ache he had left her with and moved a little way towards him. "What if I decide that it isn't what I want anymore?"

Lionel smirked at her, looking at her with eyes that seemed to pity some ignorance that Chloe's wasn't even aware that she possessed. He crossed the short distance between them again and said, "I won't stop you if you change your mind. Far be it that anyone would suggest that I would keep you with me against your will but Chloe, shall we be completely honest with each other? I have the utmost confidence in you that when it comes to making your decision then there won't even be much of a contest and you will be back so to speak."

She frowned at him, a thin tendril anger forming to accompany the confusion she had already been feeling. "You can't know that."

He laughed, the sound bubbling up from nowhere and he leaned down to kiss her forehead. "That would be a more convincing argument if you sounded a little surer of yourself. Goodbye Chloe. I'm sure I will be hearing from you soon."

The blonde girl was still staring at the door minutes after her had passed through it and minutes after she had heard her front door close. There was a solitary thought stuck in her confused mind - that she had the sneaking suspicion already that Lionel had been right.


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