He came to her as he had in her dreams; silent and meek, seeking solace in her touch which she gave to him as she took him by the hand. She drew him in toward her, cupping his face between her hands. He was warm. His lips burned her as she kissed him. Moving her fingertips down to his chest she could feel his heart beating hard beneath his skin. He shivered a little, bowed his head to hers, and heaved a contented sigh.
"Touch me," Chloe whispered, tugging at his hands. "I'll show you. Don't be afraid."
Fear was something he probably didn't understand, nor the sensations coursing through his body. She guided him. Her hand lay atop his, moving his fingers across her breast, teasing nipples already standing erect as if longing for his touch. It was soft, his touch, the skin of his fingertips slipped across her breasts like satin ribbon. Parting her legs, she drew him closer and kissed his lips again, before guiding his other hand down to where the heat was rising and she needed to feel him.
His hand wrapped in hers she pressed his fingers to her clit, and moaned with eyes closed as a shudder coursed through her body. He was a quick study, or, like Pavlov's dog, associated sound with reward. She felt the tendons of his hand move beneath hers and the soft pad of his index finger delicately stroked her. It made her want more.
She gestured behind her, patting the cheap hotel mattress upon which she sat. "Lie down, here."
Trusting her, he obeyed. He even smiled a little as he withdrew his hands slowly from her grip and eased himself down on the bed. Chloe stood up to admire him stretched out before her. His eyes followed her motion as she climbed up to lay beside him. She studied those eyes, marveling at their shape, and the long dark lashes. He'd never let her close enough before. In the muted light of the room his eyes appeared a dusty gray-green, like lichen upon a stone, but flecked with slivers of gold.
She touched his face and smoothed his hair back from his forehead. His hands reached out to her.
He chose her.
Chloe snuck back into the Torch office after Clark left it, and immediately sat down at the computer to see what he'd been doing. He had not (typically) bothered to cover his tracks so it was easy to follow in his footsteps. She suffered a pang of guilt about betraying his trust, but quickly shoved it aside beneath the ever increasing bitterness inside her regarding all things Clark Kent.
"Shut up," she whispered.
She had contacts, and she contacted them. She hacked into files she was not supposed to see and gathered information that both intrigued and frightened her. Clark had taken a winding road, but he hadn't followed it very far, not as far as Chloe did. It twisted and turned, switch-backed, and became congested with tangles. She patiently unraveled them.
Peter Dinsmore was small fry. What Clark and Lana had stumbled into was much bigger than anything they, or Chloe, had expected. Chloe followed it back to its source.
"Oh, my God."
Chloe's breasts brushed his chest. She straddled him, kissing his mouth hard, gasping her breath into his mouth as his hands wrapped around her waist. He moved one on his own accord, finding her belly, where he caressed her gently but did not move any lower.
Chloe needed him to move lower, needed to be touched there again and more. He was hard against her thigh. Shifting her hips she thrust against him, coating the underside of his stiff cock with her damp opening. When he gasped and arched up into her she slipped her tongue into his mouth to tickle his palate. When he threw back his head she nipped at his throat.
"Want," he murmured. His voice was low and husky, not like his normal light tenor. It oozed sensuality. "Hmmm."
It was odd, she thought, that so many people worried about sex. Here lay the blind leading the blind and yet they each knew what they had to do. Instinct, some primal voice buried deep inside them, guided their actions. Chloe reached a hand between his legs and moved him up to the place he so desired. She wanted too, wanted him inside her. Her thigh muscles taut, trembling, she allowed him access.
He entered her easier than she expected, but she felt every bit of him. Her barrier parted with a little resistance as she eased herself down, causing her to hiss with pain, causing his expression to shift into one of concern. She nodded reassuringly. She guided his hand to her breasts as she shifted forward, felt a wave of pleasure when his fingers stroked the sensitive skin of her nipples. It was hard to resist the urge to thrust but she did. He sat up, eyes seeking hers, and kissed her tenderly with soft, warm lips. Chloe drew his face to her chest and kissed the top of his head. Hot puffs of breath tickled her skin when he licked her throat.
She began to move, awkwardly at first, seeking the place where pain became pleasure, and once found, she could leave everything else behind.
It began to rain as she drove toward Shelbyville, and the sky was dark with swirling clouds as she pulled her car up into the parking lot of the address she sought. A trio of semi-trucks, unmarked, were lined up in front of one set of big double doors and men were busy carrying things out of the building. Chloe parked behind the building where her car would not be seen, and risked a mad dash across the wide open parking lot. It would not due to be caught, nor to get hit by lightning.
After five years of tracking down stories for her Wall of Weird, Chloe had found it necessary sometimes to slip in and out of places undetected. It had almost become second nature, and with all the commotion going on, it was easy to infiltrate Khem Co. Labs.
It was more difficult to avoid the men bustling around. Chloe could see they were dismantling equipment, packing boxes, and then moving said boxes and equipment out to the waiting trucks. Having read about Dinsmore and his work she understood that this was medical and scientific material. Some of the smaller boxes were file boxes, with hard copies of confidential material that would be devastating in the wrong hands. If she could get her hands on some of it she could make a name for herself.
This was only one of many labs, and quite possibly Dinsmore was ignorant of its existence. He wasn't the only scientist in Lionel Luthor's employ, nor the only one working on cloning projects. Dinsmore was only one piece in a much larger puzzle. Clark and Lana tripped the fuse and now Lionel was hastily covering his tracks and moving his work elsewhere. If one kept moving, one was more difficult to catch.
She heard footsteps. Chloe hastily ducked down a deserted corridor and into a room when it became clear someone was coming her way. Crouching down beneath the window, she hid until she heard the footsteps retreating down the hall before standing to see where she'd put herself. If there were untouched files here, and it looked like there were, she would have hit the mother load.
But there were more than files. There was another room, accessed by a sealed door, and viewable through a large glass window set in the far wall. She went to it and peered through.
For a minute she thought she was dreaming. When she realized she wasn't, she became very afraid.
Chloe arched her back, rolling her hips forward, rising and falling like a wind-tossed leaf. She stroked herself on his rigid cock, riding it up to the very tip and down again, caressing it within her folds. Sweat trickled down the long, arch of her spine and between her breasts. It left glistening, salty trails. He rose from the bed to grip her waist. His strength assisted her. His mouth suckled at first one, and then the other, of her throbbing breasts. She felt the swipe of his tongue over the nipples and her muscles contracted around him with a new surge of wetness. Shivers ran through her at the sound of his moan.
Then she was falling, tipping sideways to the bed and rolling into the soft folds of the sheets with him above her. Instinct, she told herself, blind instinct. Her nails dug into his broad shoulders as she lifted her legs to grip his sides. She raised her head to watch the rise and fall of his buttocks and the flexing of his back muscles as he thrust into her. He was balanced on hands and knees, his cock buried deep inside her, doing her, riding her, fucking her.
She sank her teeth into him, and growled. "Harder."
Physical pain she could deal with, but not the ache she'd been carrying around with her for so long that was eating her from the inside out. If she had known sex would be the balm for that ache she would have allowed herself to succumb much sooner than this. Pain of the heart no longer existed for her. All her consciousness was focused on the burning, aching sensation between her legs and the growing tension deep in her gut.
Chloe's fingers buried themselves in thick, dark locks of silken curls. She could feel the heat of him between her hands, inside her, and on her lips as she drew him in for a kiss. He moaned her name. The pressure was building. His pelvis ground into her. With every thrust he buried himself hilt deep, his thick cock stretching her. The friction against her clit made her cry out, made her writhe beneath him, taking sensation to new heights. She began raising her hips into him, thrusting back against him. She wanted him deeper. She wanted him to move faster. Their sweat slicked bodies slapped rhythm to the creak of the bed.
"Uh, uh, oh, please, please...."
She was there, and falling, crying out as her body rose from the bed in a series of short, quick spasms.
He continued to move in and out of her, keeping the waves of pleasure rippling through her going, grunting in time to his efforts. As he reached the edge he stilled. Inside her she felt him still moving, swelling within her before he was coming in shuddering bursts of wetness. Chloe wrapped her legs around his hips and pulled him deeper. She tightened her muscles around him and he cried out at the sensation it created, collapsing forward across her body.
She felt silly. She was crying, and telling him she loved him as she caressed his heaving shoulders.
"They're all dead."
Chloe spun around, tearing her gaze away from the rows of bodies lined up on tables across the inner room. There were six in all.
"Except one," Lionel continued in the same soft tone he might have used to soothe a small child. "Hence the delay. They're waiting on my word to euthanize it." His eyes shifted to the window. "Pity. It was the best of the lot. We had hoped it would survive but...."
"You killed them?" Chloe breathed. Her voice was hoarse, choked with an emotion she wasn't sure she could define.
"No. There was a flaw in them, besides the fact that they...." He looked back to her and smiled slightly, mysteriously. "Were somewhat lacking in many ways." With the shake of his head his long hair brushed against his black-clad shoulders, the silver in it glinting beneath the fluorescent lights. "Anticipating possible difficulties we coded in a genetic failsafe switch, triggered by a small electronic implant. A little chemical bomb, so to speak."
"Jurassic Park." Chloe whispered.
Lionel raised a brow. "I beg your pardon?"
"In the Michael Crichton's Jurrasic Park they had the ability to euthanize the dinosaurs if they got out of hand by coding in an allergy to a particular chemical substance. Of course nothing went the way they planned."
He chuckled. "Neither did this. The failsafe mechanism triggers when the specimen reaches a certain maturity, thus killing it."
Chloe stared at him. "These are human beings!"
A chill ran up her spine when his response was nothing but a slowly spreading smile.
He lay curled against her, his head resting on her chest and one arm thrown protectively across her midsection. Her arms were wrapped around him. She kissed the top of his head and ran her fingers through his hair. Sweat soaked tendrils clung to his face and the back of his neck. The fever had not subsided.
Chloe fought the urge to doze off herself, blinking rapidly to ward off the grainy feeling in her eyes. She wanted to hold on to every moment she spent with him but time was drawing him away. Sated and warm, her body had other plans for her, and as she tightened her grip around his shoulders her mind drifted away.
"Chloe, how could you do this to me?"
"Clark, please. I'm sorry. I didn't know!"
"You sold your soul, Chloe. That's fine. But you have no right to tamper with mine. You had no right to sell me!"
"I swear, Clark, I didn't...."
"I'm dying, Chloe. Look what you've done."
"But I love you! Don't you understand? Clark! Clark don't leave me!" CLARK!"
She jerked awake. He raised his head to her, his expression questioning, and Chloe shook her head. Placing a hand on his forehead she felt his fever, yet his body was shivering, so she wriggled away from him just enough to pull the sheets and the spread over his shoulders. Expressing his gratitude in a kiss, he snuggled up to her again with a sigh. Chloe could still feel him shivering. She could hear him breathing heavily, fighting for air.
He held her tighter when she started to cry.
"How did you get the DNA?" Chloe asked softly.
"I have my sources," Lionel said silkily. "And resources. The two in combination made it quite easy to acquire what was needed."
The purse of his lips told her he would not reveal anything further. Chloe shuddered as she felt his fingers around her elbow. She allowed herself to be guided away from the window.
"You're a smart girl, Ms. Sullivan, sometimes too smart. Despite this intrusion my offer to you still stands, but now I have to make an addendum to the original terms."
"Oh?" she said weakly.
He stopped in the hallway, turning her so she could see his face when he spoke. It was important for her to see his face, she guessed, so that she could understand he was not making an idle threat.
Five words insured her silence.
"Do you love your father?"
Chloe showered away her tears. The water cleansed her of the smear of semen on her inner thigh, and the little bit of blood declaring her loss of virginity. The least of her worries were pregnancy or disease.
The shower also washed the scent of him from her body, her hair, and the taste of him from her lips. She could still smell him on her clothes, though, and she inhaled his essence as she bent to check on him. He reached up to finger her damp hair and smiled at her. If he was in pain he didn't show much of it, only a slight grimace as he moved a little too quickly. Chloe held his hand through it, only letting go when it passed.
She picked up her cell phone and pressed the "call back" button. Her call was answered in the first ring.
"It's Chloe. We're at the Lost Pines Motel, off of Rt. 4, between Shelbyville and Grandville. Room 107. If you want him alive you better hurry."
A voice interrupted any comment from the other end of the line.
Chloe flipped her phone shut and went to the bed. "Yeah?"
He patted the mattress. "Lie down," he whispered.
The phone fell from her fingers to the carpet, forgotten, as she climbed onto the bed and curled up beside him. If it brought him comfort she would hold him as long as she could.
His long fingers toyed with her shower-soaked hair. "I love you," he murmured. "Don't cry."
She did anyway.
He stood in the rain in front of her car. Naked save for a pair of grey sweats, barefoot, and shivering, he stared wide-eyed into her headlights like a startled deer. Her foot stomped down on the brakes and the Beetle's ABS system kicked in to bring her to a screeching halt on the damp pavement. Her windshield wipers beat in time to her heart as she tumbled out of the car into the rain and approached him.
"Clark? What are you doing? Have you gone crazy?"
With Clark nothing seemed too far fetched. He didn't make any reply, and Chloe wasn't sure he could his teeth were chattering together so rapidly. The end of his nose was red and his breath curled from his mouth in white vapor. The warm Spring weather they'd experienced earlier had taken a back-step. It was freezing cold.
"Where's Lana? Weren't you with Lana?"
"Oh, God. Nevermind. We've got to get you out of this weather."
Stepping behind him, Chloe guided him toward her car, urging him to get into the passenger's seat. From the trunk she retrieved the blanket she kept there for emergencies and thrust it in onto his lap as she got back into the car herself. She turned the heater up full blast.
Clark sat staring at the blanket in his lap. He was still shaking.
"Don't just stare at it! Clark are you okay?"
He stared at her instead, his eyes wide, but said nothing. Water dripped from his bangs. Chloe reached across to him and shook out the folds of the blanket, tugging it awkwardly around his bare shoulders. After a moment he seemed to understand what she was doing. He reached up to help her, wrapping himself with the blanket.
In the glare of the dome light Chloe caught site of his arm. "Whoa!"
Her hand wrapped gingerly around his wrist, pulling his arm over beneath the light so she could see better. All up and down his inner arm from wrist to elbow were track marks and bruises in varying shades of purple. Chloe stared up into his eyes, but they seemed clear and focused if only a little vague.
Clark would never do drugs. Someone had done this to him. Who? And why? Had it been Dinsmore? And where was Lana?
"I've got to get you to a doctor."
Abruptly he jerked his arm out of her grasp and scrambled for the door handle. "No! No. No doctor. No!"
He shed her blanket as he ran out into the rain again. With a curse Chloe followed out her side, running around the car, which was still sitting dangerously in the middle of the road, to chase him. Her boots thudded across the pavement and with one lunge she caught him by the wrist before he could disappear into the trees at the side of the road. He backed away from her in terror when she jerked him to a stop. To her complete and utter amazement, he was crying - no - sobbing.
"No doctor, no doctor!!"
"Shh, shh. Don't cry. It's okay. No doctor, okay. I promise. Just get back into the car before we both die of pneumonia. I'll just take you somewhere warm, then I'll take you home."
But not before I call the sheriff. This is too weird, and I'm worried about Lana.
Rain was pouring down in sheets, running down his face to drip from the end of his nose and the curve of his bottom lip. "Home?"
"Yeah, home. Come on."
He followed her like a puppy.
"You're going to turn my car into a water park," Chloe grumbled.
For some reason that made him laugh.
It was, Chloe reasoned, very much like timing contractions during child-birth. The irony didn't escape her. She'd been able to feel the attacks when she was lying next to him, although she sensed him trying to hide it from her. He was very quiet when they occurred, but the swift intake of breath followed by a stiffening of his muscles gave him away. Chloe didn't know what kind of chemical reactions were taking place inside him, or how they were affecting him precisely. She did know it was killing her to watch.
They started coming in shorter and shorter intervals throughout the night, with more intensity. Chloe rose to sit cross-legged beside him on the bed, soothing his brow with a damp cloth when he tossed and moaned. He begged for her to lay with him, hold him, and she did when she could, but she could not stand the fever that leeched into her from his body. His moans vibrated down her spine. She felt herself grow tense and nervous as she listened to make sure he still breathed. She failed to bring him any comfort.
"Where will you go?" she asked softly. Her fingers were interlocked with his. He watched her face, his eyes guileless and innocent. "When you leave me? Where will you go?"
He understood her better than she thought he would.
"A better place."
Chloe smiled, but felt her throat closing up on her again. "Yeah, well. Sometimes I wish I could go to a better place too you know, where I don't have to put on a game face and go on like I'm not hurting. I'm tired of it, Clark. I'm so lonely, and nobody understands, especially not...."
His hand tightened around hers. His eyes closed as he ground his teeth together and moaned between them. It ended in a short, sharp whimper of pain. Breathing faltered, but he hung on, drawing in a long breath just as the spasm subsided. Panting, he gazed up at her with pain glazed eyes. Chloe moved around behind him, and rested his head on her thigh.
"When I was little," she said. "I used to be afraid of the dark."
Her hands, which had been smoothing his hair across his forehead, stilled.
"I'm not anymore."
The Lost Pines Motel was no Sheridan. It wasn't even a Holiday Inn Express. It was a row of little rooms connected together like a horseshoe-shaped train, curving around a central courtyard with a few frost burnt flowers languishing in the cold. It was also cheap, which suited Chloe just fine. The ragged looking clerk behind the desk didn't even ask for identification, but just had her write her name on a card and took her nineteen-ninety-five. She told him to keep the nickel.
Their room was ragged and worn, but relatively clean. No cockroaches went scuttling when they flipped on the lights, and there were no mysterious stains on the bedding. It had two thin towels and one wash cloth in the bathroom. The toilet tank lid was cracked but the bowl was spotlessly clean.
Chloe looked at Clark. He was sopping wet and still shivering.
"God, what are we going to do with you?" She went to the heating unit and turned it on as high as it would go. It rattled into life reluctantly. "I wish we could get you out of those wet clothes," she added, as she went into the bathroom to fetch one of the towels.
When she came out she flung up a hand and covered her eyes. "Oh, sheesh! I didn't mean...Clark!"
He'd stripped off the sweats while she was in the bathroom and stood naked and still shivering, in the middle of the room. Chloe approached cautiously, one hand over her eyes and the other holding out the towel toward him.
"Here, take this, dry yourself off."
She felt him take the towel out of her hand. After a moment of silence she ventured a peek, and found him still standing there looking at her, holding the towel in his hand as if he had no idea what to do with it.
"Oh for pity's sake."
Chloe gave up on being embarrassed, mainly because he wasn't, and snatched the towel away from him. She climbed up on the bed behind him so she could reach his hair and started to dry him off from the top, and was not sure what she was going to do when she reached the middle.
"I really regret not having my camera right now, because I would have blackmail material on you for centuries, and considering how pissed off I've been with you lately, some leverage might be a good thing to have."
She rubbed at his shoulders vigorously, and scrubbed his back down until she came to his hips, not daring to go any lower. He laughed when she dried under his arms, which made her crack a smile too. It was hard to stay mad at him under normal circumstances. This was definitely not normal circumstances, which reminded her she needed to make some phone calls.
"Here, let me just...."
Chloe reached over his shoulders to dry his chest and stopped. Her face reddened, but she managed to smile slightly and crack a joke.
"I was happy to see you Clark, but not quite that happy."
He blinked at her. With shaking hands she continued rubbing the towel over his chest, but couldn't stop sneaking looks down....
Slowly he turned around to face her, catching her by the wrists as she lost her balance on the bed. Standing on the bed she was just slightly taller. It were his eyes that captured her then, drawing her into their depths and making her feel everything she'd ever felt for him all in one swift burst of emotion.
His hands touched her hair, her face, and her lips. They were soft, and feather light, his hands, and his adoring gaze was for her alone. Chloe found herself holding her breath.
"Beautiful," he whispered, and smiled at her.
That's all it took.
It came after midnight. Entering on dark wings, it took him away from her in swift silence. The pain was constant now, eating him alive. He fought it, lying stiff and still in her arms trying not to moan out loud, but in the end his strength simply was not enough. Chloe pushed his bangs out of his eyes. Staring up at her, he smiled faintly, just a corner of his mouth twitching upward, and Chloe kissed his cheek. The salty taste of sweat burned her lips and tongue.
When she raised her head his eyes were closed, and beneath her hands, his chest was still.
Kisses were tentative. Chloe let him explore her body, allowing him to help her remove her clothing as she sank down to sit on the bed.
Her cell phone rang.
It was on the bedside table. Chloe reached back and picked it up. Her voice was faint and her eyes remained on Clark, locked into his gaze. He tipped his head and smiled at her, caressing her cheek with his fingertips.
"Ms. Sullivan. I believe you have something of mine in your possession."
Chloe started. As if Lionel could see her through the phone, she drew her discarded shirt across her body in a futile attempt to cover herself. She tore her eyes away from Clark.
"What? What are you talking about? Mr. Luthor I swear I didn't take anything."
Her pulse was racing. If he hurt her father...she hadn't done anything wrong!
"I didn't say you 'took' it. I believe you were followed."
Slowly, Chloe looked up at her companion.
"Number Seven is missing." Lionel said.
She was sitting in the dark when he arrived, curled up in one of the threadbare armchairs by the window. After a half hour of staring at the body lying in the bed, she'd gotten up and turned off the lights. When they came back on she was temporarily blinded.
Lionel stalked over to the bed and pulled back the sheet. He gave a little sniff of disgust. He wasn't a man who liked failure. Chloe wondered what had happened to the incompetent who had botched his job and let Number Seven get away from him. She snorted softly. He'd probably become the next experiment.
"I appreciate your assistance in this matter, Ms. Sullivan."
Chloe met his gaze. Neither one of them spoke. Finally Chloe simply picked up her purse, slipped out of the chair, and walked calmly out the door to her car.
She hung up the phone and turned off the ringer. Biting her lip, she looked down at herself and let the shirt she held fall from her fingertips to the floor. When she looked up, he was still standing there, watching her. He wanted her. For once, he wanted her.
"If you're not real," she whispered. "This is only a dream, and nothing can hurt me."
He came to her as he had in her dreams....
Chloe came home just after seven after a fitful night's sleep, or what was left of the night anyway, in the back seat of her car in a rest stop just outside of town. The parking lot offered a beautiful view of the sunrise. She watched it before she started the car and drove back to Smallville.
The Kent's truck was parked right outside her house. He'd come to pick up Lana for school, but he virtually exploded out of the truck the minute he saw Chloe pull into the driveway.
"Chloe! Where have you been? Lana and your father were worried sick. That girl tried to kill Lana and I thought...."
"Second thought." Chloe growled. "Touching. Always the second thought."
Clark took a step backward, obviously stung. "What?"
She started to walk away and then turned abruptly. "So, when were you going to tell me you and Lana were a couple? Or were you going to leave that for me to figure out on my own?"
"I was going to tell you...."
"Really? Because obviously it was on the top of your to-do list."
His face clouded. "Why are you attacking me?"
"I'm not attacking you! You attacked me the minute I got out of the car. In case you haven't noticed Clark, we aren't on the best of terms right now, and I don't need your half-assed attempts to show me you 'care' when I know it's not true." Shaking her head, Chloe turned away from him, then turned back. "I tried to deny it, thinking that maybe we could work something out, but it's like fate, Clark. Inevitable, but always surprising when it actually happens. I'm such a fool."
She stomped up the porch steps, and jerked open the door. "Have a nice life, Clark."
Slamming it in his face was necessary, because every time she looked at him, she saw him die in her arms.
The fire flickered, warming both the room and the chill Chloe felt in her heart. She wrapped her hands around the mug of tea he'd presented her, and sipped it slowly. She'd dressed for the occasion, but didn't know why. Maybe because she'd come prepared to sell her body as well as her soul. She wasn't after all, quite as pure as she used to be.
Lionel sat down across from her, sipping his own beverage. It was not tea. "I'm glad you finally decided to accept my offer. You realize, don't you, you have a very exciting future ahead of you, Ms. Sullivan."
Chloe forced her voice to maintain a casual tone. "Opportunities like this aren't dropped on your doorstep every day, and I am with few other options at the moment." She paused. "You were right about Clark. He's not who I thought he was."
"Oh?" The slightly surprised tone in his voice was diffused by the look on his face. "I take it you have no qualms about undertaking my little research project?"
"None at all," Chloe said quietly. "But I'll do it only under one condition."
Raising an eyebrow, Lionel set his glass down on the table next to his chair. He steepled his fingers before his mouth. "Which is?" he asked after a pause.
"That you make one for me."
The fire popped and crackled in the hearth.
Chloe sipped her tea.
After only the slightest hesitation, Lionel leaned back in his chair, and laughed. His quiet voice brought back the chill.
"Oh, I think that can be arranged."
Now that I know what I'm without,
You can't just leave me.
Breathe into me and make me real.
Bring me to life.
Wake me up inside.
Call my name and save me from the dark. Bid my blood to run.
Before I come undone.
Save me from the nothing I've become.
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