Walking the Tightrope

by paperbkryter

Chloe lost her "date" within minutes of walking into the club, and somehow she wasn't surprised. Her luck with guys seemed to be holding true when she turned around and saw him snaking through the crowd with a tall brunette clinging to his side. Had she not still been overwhelmed by her phenomenal luck in actually not having to flash her fake I.D. at the door, Chloe would have ordered a drink, maybe several, and gotten herself plastered.

What was it about herself that seemed to attract guys who liked her at first and then either tried to kill her or use her, or simply wander off for another?

She looked down at herself. She looked rather good, or so she thought. A short suede skirt, a blouse that showed off a little midriff and a lot of cleavage and a pair of strappy heels that made her legs look nice and shapely. It was club attire. It was fashionable. She'd even cut and dyed her hair. Lana had told her it looked very mature. Her dad didn't approve, which told her right there that it was trendy and cool. Normally Chloe didn't care about being trendy and cool. She marched to the beat of her own drummer, but lately....

It was getting hard to be overlooked all the time.

Chloe ordered a coke, and hoped the rather sleazy looking bartender came up with a soda and not a selection of fine imported contraband like what Chloe had seen flowing freely in the ladies room. She'd never felt so very young before in her life. The people around her all seemed to be much older, post college age if she guessed correctly. As skimpy as she felt her own outfit was there were those on the dance floor and on the balconies wearing much less. Some of the dance moves were scandalous. That was putting it mildly.

What am I doing here?

She was jostled a little as someone edged in further down the bar. Her coke spilled over the top of the glass and she scowled, mopping it up with a cocktail napkin. The bartender had stuck a cherry in it. Chloe wasn't sure if he was being facetious or not.

The newcomer attracted the bartender's attention and he moved away, much to Chloe's relief. A sip of her soda confirmed it was nothing more than soda. She listened to the conversation further down the bar as the bartender greeted the new arrival.

"Come up for breath, Kal?"

"Yeah, give me a shot of tequila will ya, I'm parched."

Chloe blinked.

Carefully craning her head around the two guys next to her she looked down to the end of the bar where a young blonde girl had been propped up on a stool facing outward. Between her legs stood a tall man, his head bent over hers as they kissed.

Kissed, Chloe thought, was an understatement.

He had one hand up her blouse, the other down her pants as he moved in a not so subtle way against her. She was responding in kind, lifting her hips forward and back to meet him. She was thin and shapely. He was tall and muscular, a fact illustrated by the tight black T-shirt he wore. Even over the music Chloe could catch snippets of their soft moans and heavy breathing as they all but screwed each other on the bar. The other patrons were laughing and joking. The guy was a player. The blonde his latest conquest.

"Get a room, Kal!" someone laughed.

"Kal" removed his right hand from his girl's pants without looking up and flipped the speaker the bird, the ring on his hand flashing in the strobe lights.

They all laughed. Chloe didn't. She sat on her stool, staring, shocked at the lewdness of the whole situation. The bartender poured the shot, and Kal broke away from his seduction long enough to toss it back. His smile was broad.

"Just what the doctor ordered."

Oh, my God!

Chloe jerked her head back, turning away and hiding behind the guy next to her. Cautiously she eased from her stool and moved through the crowd toward the ladies room again, being careful to keep her distance from the couple at the bar. From a secluded area behind a pillar she looked over at them from a different angle, and confirmed what she'd seen.

It was Clark.

He paid for the tequila with a single bill, and even from the distance Chloe could see quite clearly that it was a fifty. Her eyes widened as he lifted the girl down from the bar with ease, and began leading her away through the crowd with his hand firmly planted on her ass. Chloe recognized her too, as one of the coke snorters in the bathroom. She was laughing and hanging off of Clark's shirt, her hands scraping over his chest, making playful grabs at his belt buckle. It wasn't hard to see she was high as a kite.

For a minute Chloe stood there, completely stunned. They'd been looking for Clark for weeks and there had been no trace of him. All Chloe knew was that Martha Kent had miscarried a baby after a car accident. The accident, Pete said, had been the result of an explosion at the Kent farm. It had been some old fertilizer, improperly stored, an explanation that confused Chloe considering the Kents farmed organic. Nonetheless, Clark blamed himself and he'd left with no explanation other than that. He left his parents in the middle of a major crisis, and Lana, heart-broken. Chloe found herself somewhat disgusted at Lana and sorry for her at the same time. She knew how it felt when Clark broke your heart. For lack of a better description - it sucked.

But Chloe didn't understand this. This wasn't like Clark. The Clark Kent she'd known since middle school wouldn't run away from home. He'd hole up somewhere and brood, or turn to his friends for advice.

He most certainly wouldn't wind up in a Metropolis club drinking tequila and macking on a crack-head.

"What's wrong with this picture?" Chloe murmured.

Abruptly she realized Clark was getting away from her.

Pushing through the crowd, mindless of the guy she'd brought with her, Chloe headed toward the exit where she just saw Clark and his crack whore exiting. At the back of her mind she chuckled at the fact he still held the door for her. Juiced up on whatever he was obviously taking, Clark still had some manners at least.


She ducked behind a couple dancing when Clark turned and scanned the room before exiting. Even with her bright platinum do and non-Smallville type garb, Chloe was sure he'd recognize her if he saw her. After a wait of a heartbeat she continued following them, slipping out the door and trying to blend with the crowd mingling outside without losing them. Her car was parked close at a meter. She fumbled for her keys and hurried toward it, hoping she'd be able to catch Clark's vehicle as it left.

She got lucky. A black motorcycle drove by just as she started her car. On the back sat the blonde, and driving was a leather jacket clad Clark. They would be easy to tail.

"Clark, what the hell are you up to?" Chloe shifted into gear and pulled out behind them.

Lionel Luthor had asked for information on Clark, and Chloe had given him a very straightforward and honest report. She had, however, sensed his disappointment when she'd presented it to him. Just what he'd wanted she didn't know, but the fact that he had wanted more made her suspicious. Yeah, Clark had secrets, but what could he be hiding that would interest Lionel Luthor?

The answer made her nervous.

Lionel thought Clark was a meteor freak.

Chloe had thought that a few times herself, but having been drilled on presenting facts, and only facts, as part of her journalistic education, she had no proof. Without proof, she was not going to make speculations to Lionel. Clark had hurt her, and she'd responded by saying the hell with him. She would pursue her dream of being a reporter and put him behind her, even if it meant consorting with Lionel Luthor. She didn't feel any sense of guilt. Lionel couldn't touch Clark. If he could, he wouldn't have been employing Chloe to dig up dirt on him.

Chloe watched the motorcycle turned a sharp corner and sped up a little to catch up, her eyes glued on the tail light as it grew smaller in the distance. She didn't want to lose them.

Finally settling back into a steady pace, Chloe relaxed, returning to her thoughts. Was Clark a meteor freak? He certainly was exhibiting freakish behavior right now. He claimed not to have been in Smallville during the meteor shower, but Chloe had since discovered his adoption had been a sham. Lionel had arranged it himself. Clark being some sort of love child, whether Lionel's or one of the Kents had been disproved. It was possible that there was something different about Clark, and the Kents had tried to cover it up with secrets and deception, but that it was perfectly mundane. Perhaps, like Cyrus, the boy found wandering alone as a toddler when his parents were lost in the meteor shower, Clark was just mentally disturbed.

"Yeah, but this is Smallville we're talking about and Cyrus was crazy, but he was also a mutant." Chloe sighed.

Two plus two in Smallville equaled five, and Clark was definitely a five.

He was also Clark.

Most of the time.

The motorcycle turned into an alley and stopped. Chloe continued past the opening, quickly pulling over to the curb where she found a parking spot. She parked and locked the car before running back to the alley, where she peeked around and saw an elevator beginning to rise up the front of a modern apartment high rise. Chloe recognized it as one of the pricier buildings in Metropolis, prized by the young urban professional because of its style, downtown location, and the fact it was within the vicinity of clubs such as the one they'd just left. It was for singles. It was for playboys. Lex might have lived in such a building, if he didn't own one himself on the other side of town.

Or at least he used to own it. Lex was still missing, and therein lay a can of worms Chloe tried to avoid. She'd been there at the mansion, delivering her report, when Helen had returned. Not keen on being a murder witness, and the look in Lionel's eyes had been murderous, Chloe had beaten a hasty retreat.

She wondered if Clark knew about Lex. Would he care? Clark seemed to be in the habit of ditching his friends lately.

Chloe marked the floor where the elevator stopped, and waited for a few minutes before searching out the stairwell. The elevator could attract too much attention. The last thing she wanted to do was get caught spying on Clark, especially if he were high or drunk. He was certainly acting unpredictable, very un-Clark-like. She wasn't sure she wanted to risk provoking his temper. Chloe had been on the receiving end of Clark's temper before and it hadn't been pretty. He was big, and he was strong, and if he chose to get physical with her - that would definitely be ugly.

The apartment wasn't hard to find, and neither were its occupants. The window blinds were open, and the inside was filled with the pale amber light from a floor lamp in one corner. It wasn't difficult for Chloe to peer inside and see what was going on without being detected herself. She hid in the doorway, and peered around the jamb into the apartment.

Jerking back, she put a hand to her mouth, her breath coming in short gasps. What the couple had been doing in the bar was nothing compared to what they were doing now.

That's not Clark. That can't be Clark!

There was no denying it upon a second look, which turned into a long, opened mouthed stare.

Lying enrapt beneath Clark was the blonde, her long hair spilling down over the pale sheets beneath her, and her legs raised around her lover's sides. His back flexed and bowed, muscles contracting in undulating waves as he cupped her face in his hands and exposed her throat to his kisses. His hips moved forward and back, rising and falling. Chloe wasn't blind and she wasn't stupid. She knew what sex looked like, and Clark was definitely fucking that girl.

Chloe felt her stomach tighten. He was doing a good job of it, too, if the muffled moans coming from behind the door meant anything. She bit her lip. The girl inside lifted her hips from the bed, rising to meet the increasing tempo of Clark's thrusts inside her. Chloe swallowed. A cold sweat broke out down her back and she moved her gaze from Clark's hips to his face. He'd turned his head and she could see him clearly.

His mouth hung ajar, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, and from behind the door she could hear him crying out every time he pushed himself deep inside his partner. It was an expression of pain mixed with ecstasy, twisting familiar features into something both frightening and beautiful. One last cry and he was there, and so was his partner.

Chloe felt like her knees were going to give out on her. She forced herself away, retreating to the top of the stairs around the corner to catch her breath. There were tears in her eyes. She clutched her small purse in her hands, her keys digging into her palms as she fought the feelings rising up from her stomach. She felt sick. She felt....

God, she wanted him. She wanted him to make love to her, kiss her like that, hold her like that. She loved him as himself; sweet, funny Clark, even with all his issues, but this new Clark....he was strong, and confident, and sexy. He'd never been aware of his beauty before, never realizing he was handsome, never using it. Nobody every paid him much attention except Chloe, and he'd never known the extent of her crush, or just how much he meant to her. She acknowledged that somewhere along the way her schoolgirl crush had evolved into a different sort of desire. Watching him take that girl, watching him experience orgasm, made Chloe need him. More than ever before, she wanted to have sex with him.

A shout attracted her attention. She peered around the wall and found the blond standing only half clothed, outside Clark's apartment door. She wore her shirt, and was hopping on one foot to put on her skirt, all the while screaming curses at Clark's closed door.

"You fuck! You fucking asshole! How am I going to get home? Huh?" She pounded on the door with her fist. She held her shoes in that hand, and they thumped against the door with her pounding. When there was no answer she resumed her screaming. "Bastard! You fucking bastard!"

She finally stumbled away, clutching her shoes and her purse to her breast as she got onto the elevator. Chloe could just see her as she descended, leaning up against the side of the elevator with her cell phone to her ear, apparently calling a cab or a friend for a ride. Chloe didn't feel very sorry for her, and figured that was the wrong way to be, but she wasn't in a very charitable mood. Apparently neither was Clark. He'd thrown her out after he'd gotten off on her.

The bitterness rose into her throat like bile. That was a typical Clark move; use them then lose them.

After a moment she succumbed to a temptation she knew she should have just ignored. One last look was all she wanted, before she would take her new knowledge of Clark's whereabouts home with her to Smallville. The Kents needed to know what was happening with him, even if they could do little about it. Aside from kidnapping Clark or having him arrested, Chloe wasn't sure what they could do to get him home if he didn't want to go home.

She crept out of her hiding place by the stairs and went back to the window.

The room was empty.

"You always spy on people like this?"

Chloe stifled a scream as she whirled, her back slamming against the door in an about face. She braced herself, shocked, as she stared up into Clark's eyes. Somehow he'd gotten behind her, she didn't know how, and now stood there watching her with an amused smirk on his face.

"Clark," Chloe gasped. "What...what are you doing here?"

"Having a nice life," he sneered. "And in case you haven't noticed, I live here."

Chloe had winced at her own words being thrown back at her. They were laced with acid, and they burned.

"Everybody is worried," she said lamely.

"Not my problem."

He reached out a hand to the doorframe and leaned on it, his outstretched arm flexing with muscles Chloe never realized he had. Except for a pair of loose fitting pajama bottoms he wore nothing, and with their close proximity Chloe could smell him.

He smelled like sex, or at least what Chloe thought sex smelled like. It was a sweaty, musky scent, blurred with the coke-girl's perfume and the smoke from the club. It wasn't a smell she associated with Clark, who had always smelled of freshly cut hay and whatever soap his mother was washing his clothes in that week. That was a safe smell. The other smelled - dangerous.

But what captured Chloe's attention more than what he wore (or didn't) and his smell, was the horrific scar upon his chest. Etched into his skin was an ugly burn, the skin puckered and badly damaged by whatever had happened to him. Furthermore it wasn't just a scar, but a brand, a glyph of some sort that had quite literally been seared into his flesh. It was a symbol very much like those from the caves at home, the ones Clark had been so obsessed with before he'd left. Had he done this to himself? Or had it happened in the mysterious explosion at the farm?

Instinctively she reached out a hand to him. "Clark, what is...."

His hand struck hers with the speed of a striking snake, batting her arm away from him, making her fingers sting with pain. His expression hardened. His voice was a low and dangerous growl.

"Don't touch it."

"What is it?"

"Nothing." Clark stood up straight, his height, for the first time, seeming imposing to her. "What do you want?"

"Nothing, I just saw you at the club and wanted to confirm it was you. Now that I know, I'll be going."

There was a sharp pain in her shoulder as he shoved her back against the door. Her first reaction was fury, and she geared herself up to yell at him, but as she looked into his face she held her tongue. His jaw was clenched. He was not going to let her go just yet, and Chloe decided caution would be prudent.

His eyes slowly took in her outfit. He reached out a hand and fingered her hair. "You're dressed like a slut."

Chloe bristled. "You should know. What was that thing you brought back here? I saw her snorting lines in the ladies."

"Ah, so you followed me from Atlantis. What were you doing there?"

"You first."

The slowly spreading smile gave Chloe a chill. Again she had the distinct feeling she wasn't dealing with Clark at all, but some mutated version of him. He was different, from his attitude to his looks to his smell. He peered out from under a mop of untamed waves, his eyes large and intense, his smile feral, and she was frightened.

Never let them know you're scared.

"Looking for a good lay," he said softly. "Tell me, Chloe. Did you watch? Is that what you were doing up here, watching me fuck that girl?" He made a tsk-tsk sound. "What would your father say?"

"What would yours? You're under-age Clark. She had to be thirty something at least. She could get hauled in for statutory rape!"

Clark laughed, and he leaned in close to her ear. She could feel the heat of his body, and smell the Tequila on his breath.

"And who's going to tell, hmm?" he whispered. He drew back slowly, his eyes locked with hers, and his smile unwavering. "Not you."

"What if I do? Clark your parents...."

"They aren't my parents."

His voice was so cold, so matter-of-fact, it brought Chloe up short. She was rapidly losing control of the situation if she had even had it in the first place.

"You tell, Chloe. You tell the world you found me. I promise you if you do, I'll go even further away from Hicksville, and you will never see me again."

"You wouldn't do that."

"Watch me. I can, and I will."

They stood there in silence for a moment, Chloe struggling to figure out if offense or defense would be a better strategy, or if she should just leave, tell someone else and let them handle it. She couldn't read this Clark like she could the other.

Clark plucked the decision right out of her hands by pulling the rug out from under her.

"You did watch, didn't you? Did it make you wet, Chloe?"

The glint in his eye was a challenge. He was practically begging for her to slap him, or at least make the attempt. She recalled how easily he'd batted aside just a touch and refused to rise to the bait. The answer was clear in the way her face flushed anyway. There was no point in making a denial.

She shook her head in a gesture meant to throw her hair back from her face, hair cut in a style she didn't have anymore. The gesture remained. Sometimes old habits died hard, and likewise sometimes her mouth got the better of her.

"You pay her, or did she pay you?"

For the briefest instant Chloe thought Clark was going to slap her, but he didn't. He just laughed, and again leaned over her, this time also adding a step forward so that he held her pinned against the door with his hip.

"She couldn't afford me." Clark reached out a hand, and traced the curve of her jaw with one finger. "You, on the other hand, would get a significant discount."

Chloe laughed uneasily. "Are you seducing me, Clark?"

His eyes narrowed slightly, making him look - sultry - and his voice was soft and low. "I don't know, am I?" he whispered. "You're trembling."

"I'm cold."

"It's July," Clark murmured.

Chloe pressed as far back against the door away from him as she could. "I have to go," she said.

"Then go."

He made no attempt to move away from her, and Chloe made no attempt to push him back so she could get away either. She was shaking and not because she was cold. Clark's fingers moved from her face to her shoulder, then down to her chest where he casually traced the low drop of her neckline across the tops of her breasts. She felt her nipples harden immediately and she gasped.


Clark paused, one eyebrow quirking up under his long shaggy bangs. His smile broadened. "Yes, Chloe?"

She shoved at his shoulders, squirming away from him to back up against the balcony railing. "You know, just because you're hyped up on some mind altering - whatever - doesn't give you the right to molest me."

Both eyebrows went up. "Molest you?" he laughed. "Don't be stupid. I have no intention of molesting you."

Chloe straightened her blouse. "No? You just copped a pretty big feel there, buddy."

Clark's expression was nonchalant. He crossed his arms over his chest, partially obscuring the scar, and idly twisted the ring on his finger. It made Chloe uneasy. He was staring at her as if she were some sort of prey.

"You should live a little, Chloe. Isn't that what you were trying to do with those clothes, that haircut? And since when does Smallville's intrepid reporter go clubbing?"

"Since her best friend dumped her and then went schizo," Chloe snapped.

He tilted his head in acquiescence, and came closer to her. "So go schizo with me, and maybe you'll make a new friend." Chuckling softly, he took another step closer. "I don't have to molest you, Chloe. I think you'll be very willing."

Chloe dodged again, but quickly found herself pinned in the doorway within a blink of an eye. Clark loomed over her, his chest close to her face. Looking up, she saw him coming for her and opened her mouth to protest. He cut her words off with his lips, and her breath with his hands on her breasts and her stomach. She whimpered when his tongue probed deep inside her mouth.

He let her up for breath, but did not take his hands off of her. Slipping one down behind her he cupped the swell of her butt and pulled her closer. The other slipped between her thighs, and up her skirt. She pushed down on the skirt.

"No! Clark, no!"

Clark stopped. He kissed her again, lightly, on the cheek, leaning in close to her ear. His breath was steaming hot, but her flesh rose in goose pimples. "Nobody ever told you what happened when you were infected with the cave parasite, did they? I suppose Lana didn't want to cause a scene. She's like that."

Chloe stiffened. "What? What are you talking about?"

He chuckled, and nipped at her neck. "You, and me. Had I not been stricken by a sudden case of conscience we would have been a lot closer than we are now, Chloe. A lot closer. Tell me, do you still wear that pretty black lace bra?"


Clark's hand on her ass moved, and before Chloe knew what was happening he'd opened the door to his apartment and ushered her inside. She dropped her purse as he swung her around to shut the door. His hands were still moving as she stood there staring in shock at the rumpled bed. She heard the zipper on her skirt being drawn down and it barely registered.

Clark whispered in her ear as he undressed her. "Be honest with me, Chloe. Do you really want me to stop? Do you really want me to let you go without showing you what you missed that day? I can make you come like I did her, and believe me, it will be much, much sweeter for you."

"Clark," she breathed. "Please...."

"One word, Chloe," he murmured. His hands eased her blouse over her head. "Yes, or no. It's all in your control."


Laughing, Clark pushed her down onto the bed, and pulling her legs up one by one, he unbuckled her shoes. "That's not the right word," he said, throwing the shoes aside.

Chloe watched as he stepped back. In one swift gesture he'd slid from the pajamas. He stood there, naked, very obviously aroused, and all of Chloe's ability with words failed her.

Then he smiled.

Oh God!

"You...you have protection? Right?" she stammered. "Because God only knows where that...oh."

He had produced a box of condoms from the dresser drawer. "So I take it that the answer is yes?"

Chloe hesitated, then nodded. "Yes. Just...just don't tell anyone. Clark, please...."

Clark knelt beside the bed and casually leaned his chin on her knee. "Of course not, Chloe, because if I did, then people will know you found me, and if they know, they'll start asking questions. Call this an insurance policy."

Abruptly, Chloe sat up on the bed. "You tricked me!"

"Of course." He reached up and ran a finger beneath the leg band of her underwear, hooking them. "But again, be honest, Chloe. You want me."

Chloe started to make a denial, claim that she didn't want him, not like this. But honesty prevailed and she realized she did. She'd seen what he'd done to that other girl, and she couldn't deny her attraction. If this was what it took....

I'm not that kind of girl. I'm not! Oh, God but it's Clark. I want him so badly. I want him to love me so badly.....

She'd already sold her soul. What was her body but a pittance in comparison.

Swallowing heavily, Chloe nodded.

Clark slid her underwear down, gently removing it from each foot with utmost tenderness. He kissed her foot, his lips warm along the top of her toes as he caressed her heel in his hands. He knelt between her legs, spreading them. She felt his shoulders brush her thighs and the warmth she'd felt before when she'd watched him with the other girl, returned. Her thigh muscles tightened.

"Shh," Clark murmured. "Relax."



Something hot, and wet stroked her inner thigh, making her squirm. Clark's hands held her down, caressing her stomach and thighs as he moved into toward her center. She felt herself opening to him and clenched her fists in the soft silk sheets. Just the tip of his tongue teased her opening, parting her folds to expose a most sensitive little node to his mouth, and one hesitant taste had her shivering.


"Sweet," he whispered, his voice low, and sultry. His hands caressed her thighs. "More?"

Chloe nodded, swallowing heavily.

She felt his breath against inflamed skin. His tongue worked her teasingly, tickling and toying with her. His hands held her open and pressed her into the mattress as he probed her opening, lapping the wetness there before returning to her clit. Long strokes alternated with tiny flickers, and the sensations thus produced made her moan. Nothing she'd ever experienced before could have prepared her for this.

His mouth covered her clit, lips surrounding it, tongue stroking gently, and breath sucking against it. Her hips jerked, wanting to rise up and meet him.

One finger slid inside her.

"Uh...oh! Oh, God!"

With each stroke he pressed a little deeper, testing her response. It hurt a little, but what his mouth was making her feel made it more than tolerable. She felt the pressure building in the pit of her stomach, and as he let her go she found herself thrusting up against him.

He abruptly stopped - everything.

Chloe fell back to the mattress, panting, her body trembling on the verge of an orgasm he was not going to allow. Instead he stood up and reached for the condoms, giving her a single command as he opened one with his teeth.

"Take off your bra and get in the bed."

She moved to obey, unhooking her bra and tossing it aside as she scooted back into the bed. The rank scent of the coke-girl's perfume was all over the pillow, and Chloe reached back to flip it around just as Clark's weight joined hers on the bed.

He was suddenly there, kissing her, and she, with fingers tangled in his hair, was kissing him back. She felt his hands upon her breasts, caressing them, teasing her nipples erect between his fingers, and the hard jut of his cock against her thigh. Her legs rose around him instinctively. His mouth replaced his fingers upon her left breast. He sucked and nipped, making her moan.


"Mmm," he moved to her other breast, and his fingers found her clit, working her until she squirmed beneath him.

It wasn't his fingers she wanted, but his cock. She moved her leg, rubbing it with her thigh, feeling the slide of lubricated rubber against her skin. She could also feel the heat, and the throbbing of his blood through the thin rubber condom. Reaching out she dug her nails into his flank.

"Please, please...."

A shift of position and he was entering her. He paused to kiss her before more than just the head was inside her, resting his head close to hers. Between kisses he spoke softly.


Chloe nodded, feeling him move inside her a little deeper. She bit her lip, but then his hand found her clit and pain became pleasure.

"It will hurt a little."

She looked up into his eyes and felt tears in her own. Looking down at her wasn't the hostile young man she'd feared out on the balcony, the one who threatened her and talked ugly to her. "Kal" was gone, leaving behind only Clark, whose gentle expression was full of kindness and compassion. Chloe feared it would not last.

"I know," she whispered. "It's okay, Clark." Her lips met his, lingered, then parted. "I love you."

He didn't hear her, or if he did, chose to ignore her words. He pushed harder, deeper, and Chloe felt a sharp biting pain inside as something tore. Then Clark was moving, thrusting in and out of her so that the pain of losing her virginity became only a distant memory. His mouth was at her breasts, his hips were driving against her, stimulating her with every stroke. She rose to meet him, wrapping her legs around him as she'd seen the other girl do, urging him to go deeper. It felt so good, so....

"Oooah. Oh!"

Chloe threw back her head, biting her lip as shudders wracked her body. From groin to breasts to temples she felt wave after wave of her orgasm. Muscles clenched, and her hands clutched at the air, the bed, Clark's back and shoulders. Another massive shudder and she screwed her eyes shut, panting. Clark continued to stroke her from the inside out, prolonging the sensation until he himself was coming.

Eyes snapped open, and Chloe saw his face. She felt the pulsing of his cock inside her, and his balls pressed tight against her ass when his orgasm rolled over him. He couldn't stop moving. Rocking her as he came, he called out her name, and buried his face in her neck. She pulled him close when he collapsed against her, still inside her.

There they remained for some time, breathing heavily.

"Clark," Chloe whispered.

He withdrew, pushing himself back and rolling off the bed. She turned her head to see him removing the condom and tossing it into the wastebasket beside the bed. As he looked back over his shoulder, he regarded her coolly, as if she meant nothing to him, just like the girl who had lain there earlier. By this Chloe realized "Kal" had returned. Whatever had been on his mind when he'd looked at her so compassionately before, had fled, and it left Chloe feeling used, and angry.

"What? Now you're going to throw me out?" she demanded. "Like her? You are a bastard, Clark, damn you!"

Chloe sat up stiffly, and started crying as she fumbled around for her clothes, her sobs making her chest hurt. Seconds later she felt the bed dip, and Clark's hands on her shoulders. His kiss upon her neck stilled her.

"I'm going to take a shower. Just shut up and lay down."

She stopped, and looked over her shoulder. Clark disappeared into the bathroom where the water started running almost immediately. Chloe collapsed into the bed, still crying, and clutched the pillow to her face as she curled in on herself.

I love him, she thought. It repeated itself over and over in her head like a mantra. Ilovehimilovehimilovehim.

She never heard Clark come back from the bathroom. Falling asleep rendered her oblivious to anything occurring afterward, which seemed, upon waking, only to be that Clark had returned to her after his shower.

It was nearly dawn. Clark was curled around her spoon fashioned, one arm flung around her middle, the other serving as her pillow. He was what had roused her - his voice in his ear as he talked in his sleep. As she gradually came more and more awake she could feel him moving against her. Finally he rolled over onto his back, shuddering as he tossed his head back and forth, moaning.

"Mom," he murmured. "Momma...."

Chloe sat up and looked down at him. Tears streaked his face, but he was still sleeping, with eyes tightly closed.

"Clark?" she whispered.

"Home. I want...home. Don't make me....no don't...NO!"

Hastily skittering backward, Chloe barely missed having her head cracked when Clark sat up in the bed with a cry. He gazed at her with horror written all over his face. In the pale gray light of pre-dawn he looked frighteningly pale.

"What are you doing here?" he growled. "Why are you here?"

"You don't remember?" Chloe whispered.

Clark stared at her, and she saw comprehension dawning. Abruptly he lunged from the bed and started gathering up her clothing. "Get dressed!" he snapped. "Get dressed, now!" He flung them at her, one by one, before lurching across the room.

Chloe started dressing. "Sure. Fine. If that's what you want."

He was up and pacing. Unlike her, he had gone to bed in pajamas, wearing the grey silk bottoms he'd worn earlier. As he paced he ran his hands through his hair until it stood up in wild tangles, then repeatedly cracked his knuckles and twisted the ring on his finger. His eyes were wide and frightened, but of what had frightened him, Chloe had no clue.

"That's what I want," he growled. "I want you to go home, and I swear to God, Chloe you better not tell anyone where I am."

"Sure." She slipped into her underwear and bra, and searched for her blouse, finally locating it under the bed. "We had a deal."

It was easier than she thought to hold back the tears, perhaps because of the frantic way Clark was behaving. She wasn't exactly afraid of him as much as she was for him. He was losing it, and Chloe suddenly did not want to be in the way when he lost control entirely.

"You don't understand."

Chloe jerked on her skirt and stood up. "Well make me understand then!" she raged. "Clark what is wrong with you? It's like you've become two different people!"

He stopped pacing, and his shoulders slumped. When he looked up again, his expression was perfectly neutral. "Nothing is wrong with me," he said softly. "Nothing at all."

Turning abruptly, Clark went to the closet, and as Chloe buckled on her shoes, he dressed himself, pulling a T-shirt down over his scar with a jerk. He returned to her clad in a pair of loose jeans and the bright green T-shirt. Almost angrily he pulled on a pair of boots and topped it all off with his leather jacket, before yanking open the front door.

There he paused. "Just...just go home, Chloe," he whispered. "It's not safe here for you, or anyone else. Be gone when I get back."

The door slammed. Chloe heard his boots on the stairs, then the rumble of the elevator as he descended. As she sat down heavily on the bed she heard the sound of a motorcycle vanishing down the alleyway.

Her fingers caressed the silk sheets, skirting around the spot of blood staining the mattress. It was her blood, her innocence, spilled there last night in a fit of....

What? Selfish desire?

Chloe picked up her purse.

It was time to go home.



Her fingers tightened on the tiny plastic case of her cell phone. "Cuh-Kal. Hello."

"Have you told anyone?"

"No," Chloe glanced uneasily at Pete who sat at Clark's old desk across from her. "I've been busy."

There was a pause. "You have plans tonight?"

Chloe's heart skipped a little. She switched ears with the phone and got up from her desk, moving away from Pete. "I...yes. Sure. I mean, no, I don't have plans."

The pause this time was longer.

"I...I can't sleep, Chloe."

She closed her eyes.

"I'll be there as soon as I can," she whispered.


He hung up, leaving Chloe to clutch her little phone to her chest and swallow down her tears.

A pittance, it's only a pittance. Just don't run any further, Clark. Please, don't run any further.

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