himself to stay focused.


She walked quickly to keep up with his long strides.

It felt warm, and soft beneath his long fingers, caressed the skin.He shifted a little in the bed, moaning softly as a small smile appeared on his lips.

His eyelids flickered open, and his bleary eyes made out the shape next to him.He jumped at the realization he was definitely not alone in his bed, and it was no dreamthe thigh was very real, and he quickly jerked his hand away.He could feel his face burn crimson as he realized he was only in his boxers, and having too much fun with his dream. He carefully climbed out of bed and went into the bathroom.

After many protests, she insisted on sleeping in the reclining chair, stating firmly that she couldnt sleep if she knew he was contorted into some weird shape all night, while she slept comfortably.Apparently the chair wasnt as comfortable as she imagined, because there she slept, curled around her part of the blanket, sleeping peacefully.

He stayed in the shower for a long time, not sure what to do in such a tiny room with Charlotte sleeping.Finally, he gave up, dried off and quickly dressed.He decided to go and get them breakfast, though he had no idea what time it was.The sun was just starting to peak over the downtown skyscrapers, so hopefully the diner would be open.

She smiled sweetly at him as he handed her coffee.

Oh..sorry about invading your space last night...I just couldnt sleep in the chair.

Charlotte noticed and laughed a little, making him blush harder.

Thankfully you wont have to worry about it tonight. She looked away, smile sliding off her face, pretending to be engrossed with the TV.

He wasnt sure how far to push the issue, so he proceeded cautiously.You dont have to tell me anything, but Id like to help if I can.Are you from here?

Im sorry Im being so vague. Its just such a long story, and I dont even quite believe it yet.

If theres anyone you need to reach, we can do that today. If notI was getting bored talking to myself anyway.He smiled warmly at her.

Especially since Im not sure how long it will be.

When the time comes, well just deal with it.

He sat up quickly, panicking,thinking she may have changed her mind and run off.Adjusting his hearing a little, he could hear Charlottes voice distinctly and it sounded upset. Not wanting to invade her privacy, he adjusted his hearing back to normal, even though it was killing him not to find out what was upsetting her. Hed learned his lesson long agowell not so long agonot to use his super hearing to spy on people. His father had driven that point home on many occasions.

She listened to the impatient English accent tell her she would go ahead with everything as planned, and he didnt expect another phone call like this in the future, or hed be forced to let his superior deal with her.Charlotte definitely didnt want that.Shed dealt with his superior on one occasion only and that was more than enough for her.She cut off his assistant abruptly and thanked him for his time, hanging up after assuring him she would do what they agreed.She sighed heavily, steeling herself to go back into the room, and have to look Clark in the eyes again.She reasoned as hard as it was to hurt someone like him, she owed him nothing, and his life wasnt more important than her own.She had no choice.Taking a deep breath, she walked back down the hall towards the room.

She made the bed and tried to get one of the three channels the tv could pick up if you were nice enough to it to come in.She smiled a little thinking of how cute he looked blushing hard last night, when they both decided it was best if they shared the bed.He was very clear that it was a comfort issue, and nothing else.He also insisted on wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants to sleep in, much to her dismay. She wondered if he was still a virgin or just incredibly politemaybe both.

I thought youd made your getaway.

Clark was desperate for some uninterrupted sunlight, since he no longer spent time working outdoors.Charlotte was oddly quiet since the trip to Starbucksthey decided to splurge just this onceand Clark had run out of small talk.Finally, tired of the silence, he looked at Charlotte. He wanted to know what happened to her. It bothered him greatly that she was obviously upset, and didnt seem to want his help.

Obviously you dont have to tell me, but maybe theres something I can do.

The look of earnestness and slight confusion mixed with concern.She thought he was going to push the issue, but then his face relaxed and he simply nodded, and turned back to look out over the city.

Why are you here? I cant imagine you not having someone out there who cares about you.

But he felt that familiar ache in his chest when he thought about the farm.So used to keeping everything shrouded in secrecy, his first instinct was to simply lie. But instead, he told her as much as he felt he could.

No..I didnt do anything to him.

He noticed a slight catch to her voice, but ignored it.

Im just tired of waiting around..especially here.

Its just...scary, I dont know. Not that Im afraid of anyone here...its something else. I feel like Im losing something.Ive always seen mostly the good in people. But watching everyday, the things people do to each other...such small petty things..I just..it makes me start to doubt the basic decency of people, and I dont want to lose that.

He couldnt suppress the smile on his face, he was so relieved to see him.

I.. Lex looked past him suddenly, and then back at Clark with a look of bemused surprise. Charlotte had appeared in the doorway.

He extended his hand Nice to meet you Charlotte.I dont mean to be rude, but Clark and I have some things to discuss. Do you think you could give us a minute?

You must be going stir crazy here alone all the time. I just never thought Id see the day when you invited a girl to your hotel room.

I cant stay long, I just wanted to check on you, and give you that. You holding up ok? Lex walked the length of the room, pausing to look out the window and then turned back to Clark.

Imhoping hell slow things down if he knows Im watching. The only fear in that is, he may feel the need to be even more cautious.

Clark made sure he could control his voice before he spoke again.

I hate this place and I miss my family. Who knows how long this will go on. Ive been thinking the best thing to do is just confront your father.

Clark, just give me another week, and if I cant figure out a way out of this, take the matter into your own hands.

Ill see you soon.

He never felt so tired in his life.

He sighed at the new mix of emotions he felt daily.Things had to come to an end soonor Clark knew he would create his own ending, even if it was just in his mind. He was feeling stretched and thin lately, and quietly going insane.The one thing he hated was being alone, and while Charlotte offered some companionship, she didnt know him.He wanted the comfort of someone he could share anything with. But who did he ever share everything with? Not even his parents knew everything.Charlotte knocked lightly on the door. Clark couldnt help noticing she seemed a little shaken, though she tried to hide it.He wondered if Lex really was that imposing.It was hard for someone like Clark to imagine.

So he knows whats going on?

Listen, do you want to see a movie or something? Theres a theater about 3 blocks from here thats actually sort of clean. They show second run pictures for $2.

The only movie playing was a silly comedy, and Clark tried to relax and just enjoy it.He managed to laugh a couple of times, and enjoyed Charlotte occasionally resting her hand on his shoulder and leaning into him, but the nervous tension wouldnt completely leave him.He felt like he was waiting for something terrible.

his hand and looked up at him. Clark, whats wrong?

Are you hungry? I think theres a pizza place around here somewhere.

Shed be instructed to complete her task tomorrow. Tomorrow shed be saying goodbye to Clark forever, and tonight she wanted him to feel safe.Though she had no idea how to make that happen. The streets around them were dark, and lifeless, though dozens of people milled about. She knew these streets well. Theyd become her home recently, and after tomorrow, she hoped with the money she was promised shed be able to leave them and everyone behind forever.Money wasnt what motivated her to take on this assignment.A very nice Mr. Luthor, who she mistakenly thought was just another pompous business man, and tried to rob, informed her, her very life depended on completely the task satisfactorily. At the very least he would send her to prison for the theft.Apparently Clark had only two weaknesses, and she was one of themor girls like her.She still wasnt sure what that meant.She didnt understand any of it, and she learned quickly not to ask too many questions.

The sudden tension between them was palpable. Things happen pretty quickly when you dont have anyone or anything else dont they?

He smiled for real this time.

Clark shifted uncomfortably on his bed.Though he was impervious to most changes in temperature, the tight air made him feel like he was suffocating. He still wore his jeans, and he wished more than anything he could simply strip them off and lay around in his boxers.Charlotte had found comfort in one of his t-shirts that swallowed her small frame. It hung well below her waist, making the need for bottomsunnecessary.Clark noticed how lovely her dark hair looked in his bright red t-shirt.

He glanced back at her; he had no idea why she was suddenly flirting with him, and he decided to remain calmcool even.Lots of girls flirted with him, this was no different. It didnt matter that they were alone in a hotel room and she was only wearing one of his t-shirts..this could be any hallway in Smallville High, right?..But that moment they shared on the streets, after the movie; Clark felt like kissing her, picking her up and just kissing her, but of course he didnt, he never did anything like that...He decided to be brave for once and turned around and looked at her.

She wanted to be close to him, as close as humanly possible in his last hours.She wanted to give him something to hold on to. But she knew it was more about her needs. Charlotte was terrified and she wanted one night of peace.His body looked so strong, she just wanted to crawl into it and pretend that nothing could ever harm either of them.She tugged gently at his jeans. Clark..?

Ok..but could we lie back on the bed together..just hold me and tell me about the place you came from; your home.

I grew up on a farm..in a small town not too far from here.It was just me, and my Mom and Dad, we all worked the farm together. I know it must seem very boring to you, and it probably is..but its the one place Ive always felt safe...until..recently.

They adopted me when I was about three...my mother couldnt have children of her own. But they always made me feel as if I was just as much a part of them as if Id shared the same DNA.They give up so much for me..they never complain....they never..make me feel.... Clark felt the swell of emotion pressing against his chest, he fought it hard, he didnt feel like being weak now, he couldnt afford it.

Charlotte wrapped her arms around him and pulled his head onto her shoulder. She held him as tightly as she could manage, as he clung to her as everything hed been holding back for weeks came pouring out of him.She stroked his hair as he sobbed against her shoulder.There was no need to say anything, she knew she only had to hold him.She felt his composure slowlyreturning as he loosened his grip on her.His head swam, and he couldnt think straight. There was nothing but pain and bitterness.He ached for his old life back. He didnt want to be here, now in this room, not even with Charlotte. He wanted every simple, insignificant thing hed ever taken for granted before.More tears fell, as he realized he may never have any of it ever again.He fell back against the pillow, as tears silently ran out of the corners of his eyes. He stared at the ceiling, not moving.Charlotte bent over and kissed his face, wiping his stained cheeks.He looked up at her with pools of blue-green, and slipped his hand behind her neck and pulled her mouth to his.The kiss was a desperate one, he didnt want to feel the pain anymore.She gave in, knowing shed do just about anything for him in this moment.She pulled his shirt up over his head, and began unbuckling his jeans. She glanced quickly at his face to see if he wanted her to stop. He only looked at her blankly. After ridding him of his jeans, she laid on top of him, kissing him passionately, a passion he didnt return, it was more about the pain he feltor didnt want to feel.They spent the evening making each other feel as good as their hands and mouths would allow, stopping just short of taking Clarks virginity. She wanted to leave him that. If he did come out of this alive, she didnt want to take that away from him. Shed taken enough away.Besides, he was too terrified of hurting her to let them go that far.She didnt understand, and he wouldnt explain.

Hed fallen into the deep hard sleep, he was clearly exhausted. She nudged him a couple of times to see if he was still alive; he didnt stir at all. The sun was just peaking up over the tenement building across the street. In just a few hours, she would be taking Clark to Lionel, and possibly never see him again. Suddenly Clark turned over, and looked at her.She smiled down at him, but he didnt return it.For a moment she thought he might still be half asleep.He seemed to be looking through her.

What?..But he closed his eyes again, and fell back into a deep sleep.

These are the inane thoughts going through Charlottes mind as she stood in the hallway of their motel happiness receiving final instructions of where to take Clark.She listened impassively, scribbling down the address, and time.They were to arrive by 10am.Charlotte knew it would be easy. They allowed her to come up with her own story to lure him there, since she knew better than anyone what would work on him.She hung up the phone without saying goodbye and walked slowly back to the room.The clock blinked 7:46am in the darkness, flashing red on the face of sleeping Clark.She sat down inside the curve of his bodycurved into a near fetal positionand stroked his hair.He woke almost immediately.The familiar smile was there before he opened his eyes.Once he opened his eyes, the smile faded slightly.Morning..

Clark merely climbed out of bed, pulling the sheet around his waist, and headed towards the bathroom.He stopped before at the threshold. Um..Ill be out in a sec..want to go get some coffee?

He felt tired, just tired of everything.He knew that one or the other, this was the last day hed spend in this motel room. It was time to face whatever it was he had to face.Unfortunately, that meant probably leaving Charlotte behind. But theres was an impossible situation. They were only together out of loneliness and aching need; he doubted if theyd even know each other under normal circumstances.He did like her, and thought he was beautiful, but she was very different from him.She never really felt like she was all there.He wondered if thats how Lana felt with him, or everyone.There was something she held back, and it kept him from really knowing her. Still, when he needed her, she was there, and she was strong when he didnt have the strength to be anymore, and he would always be grateful for that.He blushed when he thought of the other thing she had given him, and couldnt help but smile.

She noted his modesty and knew he thought last night had been a mistakeor he definitely didnt want to repeat the experience with her.He sat next to her when he was dressed and leaned her against him, running his fingers down her arm.What did you need to talk to me about.?

Do you think...maybe you could go with me?

Hes supposed to contact me tomorrow.I guess I can wait til then.

It was a tall penthouse building on the waterfront.She glanced at Clark to see if he recognized it, but he showed no indication of having been there before. She feared maybe Lex Luthor had a residence there.Clark stood looking up at the grand entrance. You grew up here?

And listen..if things get a little tense, we can go ok?

He wished now hed been paying attention, he was sure he would have noticed that something wasnt right.But his mind was too clouded with his own problems to fully take in what was around him.He let go of Charlotte so she could knock on the door.She literally trembled with anxiety he thought.A man, almost as tall as Clark, and slightly stockier opened the door, and invited them inside. Clark guessed the man wasnt her father and wondered if it was a servant, or bodyguard.As the guard passed them, he paused in front of a large ornate box sitting on a table, one flick of the lid, and pain cut through Clark like hot wires.The enormous rock glowed green ferociously, illuminating the room in a bright sickly green. Clarks head swam, and his stomach lurched, as every vein felt like it was burning his flesh.His muscles began to fail him, and despite his struggling he fell to his knees with a loud strangled scream.The pain was more than he had ever felt before, and soon the muscles in his throat no longer worked and the screams were deafening only to him. In the swirling chaos saw Charlotte standing there, and felt anger, so much anger and pain.Her eyes looked terrified and she silently pleaded with him for forgiveness. But he only looked away, and closed his eyes, giving in to painless darkness.

His first instinct was to push against the restraints, and try to pull himself free.But, his arms felt like leaded weights, and his entire body ached and throbbed as what felt like a thousand needles prickled his skin. The nausea was overwhelming, and he fought back the urge to wretch.The only thing to do was to stay calm and assess the situation.He pushed away all thoughts of where he was and what they planned to do to him, and tried hard to think of some way out, even if it seemed utterly impossible.

The blindfold was so tight, he could barely open his eyes beneath them.He listened hard for any sound, hoping atleast some of his extraordinary hearing had returned, but he only caught a low distant hum, that sounded like machinery. He shivered violently. It was so cold in the room, he wasnt used to feeling cold.He realized suddenly that he felt his flesh hitting cold metal. That shouldnt be.Theyd stripped him. A slow panic rose in his chest, and he swallowed hard to push it back.This wasnt the time to lose it, not yet.The idea that they left him so exposed and defenseless made him want to weep and his face flushed with humiliation.

He couldnt allow himself to die naked and alone in this cold little room.

He knew he was breaking down, close to sobbing like a child, and it was the last thing he wanted. He needed his strength now, even if his physical strength had left him. It was the soft hand caressing his hair.It was too much. He turned sharply away, and she turned and left.He didnt know how he was supposed to stand this.How do you prepare yourself to be left alone, completely vulnerable and at the mercy of people who had no regard for your life.Dr. Allen returned with a blanket. It was soft fleece, and very warm.She noticed, the bright blue of the cloth caught the flecks of blue in his eyes.It was her turn to look away.She tucked the blanket around him, and left him lying there without another word.

It wasnt hard to find. She knew Clark was from Smallville, and all she had to do was ask the first friendly face she saw when she arrived in town.The money Lionel Luthor gave her enabled her to buy a car, and a place to stay for awhile in the town she lied about being from, and it was just a few miles from Smallville.She tried hard to forget about Clark, and concentrate on a new life for herselfthe one she traded for his. She wondered if he was still alive. It never made sense to her what they possibly could have wanted with him.He definitely wasnt a threat to anyone. Despite his imposing presence, he was never anything but gentle and kind with hereven the night before she left him, when he was obviously tormented. It was like he knew something terrible was about to happen to him.Why didnt she tell him everything and run with him? It was the one thought that assaulted her daily.She could have saved him, instead she delivered him togod knows what. She almost felt like a murderer.

She had no idea what she expected to find when she came. It was her third visit, and the last couple of times, shed seen a strong, yellow-haired man working the fields, who she guessed to be Clarks father.She assumed no one would pay attention to a young girl pausing by the edge of a field. But she was wrong.

After the first morning, hed awaken to find a pillow under his head, and his jeans and someone elses sweater on the floor beside him.His limbs were no longer bound, only a thin metal bracelet with a sliver of green embedded in it replaced them.It left him with a nagging nausea that didnt prevent him from devouring the first plate of food brought into him.He didnt even know what day it was.It amazed him how the mind adjusts to its surroundings.He couldnt sustain the level of sheer anguish any longer, so he started to lose himself in his thoughts.He had whole conversations in his head with his parents and friends, and tried to recall entire pages of books he loved; anything to make the hours seem shorter.He found himself wanting to see Dr. Allen.He didnt trust her anymore than the rest, but at the very least, she tried to cheat him like a person, even if she mostly petted him like a child.All she felt was pity for him; he realized that; but in his situation, it was equivalent to a warm embrace.

He was hoisted up by his arms and ordered to take his clothes off.Their tones were calm, and non-threatening, but it make Clark shiver.If they took his clothes, hed be reduced to a lab experiment.He didnt move.By now they knew the drill.One of the doctors slipped a fairly large meteor rock out of its lead casing, and Clark slumped against the arms holding them.The placed him back on the table and began removing his clothes.Clark tried to pretend Dr. Allen wasn;t in the room. He refused to look at her. His first instinct was to fight them, but he felt so weak and dizzy he knew it was pointless.He merely lied there while they stripped him, refusing to look at them, waiting to hear what the purpose of this vist was.He saw no sharp instruments, so he hoped it wasnt what he feared.It wasnt; They wanted to take a semen sample.They first argued at length as to whether an alien would even have semen. Clark tried his best not to listen-he had no desire to lose it again. He thought of anything; the farm, his friends, even the last movie he saw to try and drown out the incessant chatter of his torturers-as he'd come to think of them. They discussed how best to obtain a sample. A needle, tipped with kryptonite and injected into his scrotum, brought Clark much pain, but no satisfaction for them, since there was no fluid. So finally it was decided to obtain it the old fashioned way. They gave Clark the option of doing it himself, but their suggestion was met with an icy glare, and Clark ripping one of his shackles free from the table. The doctors panicked immediately, and called for backup, and two of them held him down, while one opened the door, letting the room flood with that familiar green glow. Clark fell limp almost immediately. Dr. Allen was sent out of the room, at Clark's pleading-the one request they seemed ok with honoring, while another did the necessary act to get what they wanted. Afterwards, Clark was bathed, and released from his shackles. He immediately curled into a fetal position as someone placed the soft blue fleece blanket over him. He tried his best to pretend it was his own blanket, in his own bed on the farm,forcing his mind to go blank, and not think about where he was and what would happen to him now.

They ignored her completely as they passed.It surprised her how much that whole scene shook her to the core.The desperation in which he clung to his innocence..or as much of it he could protect, made her want to run out of the room and never see any of them again.For the first time his voice was strong, and his eyes were wild as he begged the other doctors to please send her out of the room. She was grateful when they didnt object.She turned before walking out the door to see him stop fighting, shutting his eyes and pulling his head back, trying to get as far away from what was transpiring as possible. He swallowed hard as a gloved hand gripped his penis firmly, and shut his eyes tighter.She noticed a single tear escape and she left the room quickly.Now she stood in the hall, listening to his quiet sobs, feeling like a monster.

After his ordeal, they let him sleep for awhile, then prodded him awake, helping him off the table, and motioning him towards the open panel in the wall.He followed them in a daze, blanket draped around his still naked body. He took in nothing of the room, he just sank into the soft mattress and fell immediately back to sleep.

The room suddenly flip-flopped, and he lurched forward spilling the contents of his stomach on the floor.He fell back against the pillow pleading with the nausea to stop.Dr. Allen called for some men to come and clean up the mess. She opened a cabinet above the sink in the small bathroom just off the room, and pulled out a towel. She wet it and gently wiped Clarks mouth.

She removed it and placed it on a far counter.Clark sighed heavily with relief as the nausea began to recede.

Every time she spoke to him, it seemed like she was asking for his forgiveness.He had no intention of giving it. Her methods may have been gentler. But all it amounted to, was he would be slightly more comfortable while he waited to be tortured and eventually killed.

Dr. Sutton and I are working on an anesthesia especially made for you. Its tricky, but we're pretty confident it will work. So you'll be unconscious during the surgery. And afterwards, they'll take all meteor rocks away again to allow you to heal. They just want samples of your liver, kidneys, and anything else they think they can safely take. They think taking a sample of your heart is too risky. But the goal is, we think we can re-grow your organs if we can keep the tissue alive."
Dr. Allen watched as he seemed to close in upon himself. She watched his cheeks color, as his breathing took on the all too familiar pattern.She reached over to smooth his hair back. Clark jumped suddenly.

He forced himself to calm down.

He took a long, hot shower, and washed his hair. He felt ashamed of his pathetic state of the last few hours. He found his jeans on a chair and put them on, along with the sweater.He stopped and looked around the room.He let the realization of where he was wash over him. It was too tiring to try and push everything away constantly.As long as he hid, hed never get out of this situation, and somehow, he intended to find a way.Yesterday nearly crippled him. It was something he couldnt even comprehend.They treated his body as if it meant nothing to him. He was a project now, no longer a person; there was no point in trying to get them to see otherwise. He had to accept it, or hed never leave there alive.He glanced around the sparsely furnished room. There was a bed, with a tall lamp next to it. A chair in a corner and a counter with small drawers under it, which Clark guessed didnt contain more clothing. He sat on the bed and heard the soft crinkle of paper as he sat down. He felt inside his back pocket and pulled out the piece of paper. It was the letter Lex had given him from Chloe.Hed forgotten all about it.That part of his life seemed so far away now.He opened the letter and immediately recognized Chloes determined scrawl.

Lex claims he doesnt know where you are, but I know hes lying.Obviously youre in some kind of trouble, and Lex is involved, and knowing Lex hes doing everything he can. So Im not too worried.Ive been doing some digging of my own, and for the first time, Im coming up with nothing.So whatever it is youre going through Clark, please be careful, and come home safely.I guess you probably want to know the simple things, like whats going on in sleepy little Smallville. I have to say, the town seems pretty bleak without you. I havent seen much of your parents, and theyve told everyone youre away visiting relatives.I dont think most people believe them, especially after your disappearance last summer.Come home soon, and if you need me, Im here.

Everything clicked together in his mind. He walked out into the other room, stopping slightly when saw the table hed spent nearly a week on.He forced down the sudden wave of anxiety and walked over to the door.He stood in front of the digital panel and thought back to the pattern hed memorized. He noted the numbers and walked back towards the room.He placed the bracelet in a draw so there was no chance of any of its effect reaching him.He wanted to have all of his strength for what he intended to try tonight.

The young girl approached the road just on the other side of the entrance to the Kent farm. It was the same girl he saw briefly when he visited Clark at the hotel. He hadnt heard from Clark all week. Hed tried to call him on his cell phone, and there was no answer. When he visited the hotel, he was told Clark and the girl left and never returned; their belongings were still in the room.And now, here was this girl, in Smallville with Clark no where in sight. He had no choice but to assume the obvious.Today he intended to find some answers.Hes spotted her here yesterday, and wasnt sure why he recognized her at first. The realization hit him late last night, and like he hoped, she returned to the same spot.Lex got out of his car, and walked up the road, hoping she wouldnt run when she saw him.Charlotte turned towards him and stood very still watching his approaching figure.Her instincts told her to run, but she didnt.She realized suddenly this is what shed been waiting for a way to help Clark.

He ran the numbers over and over in his head, willing his fingers toward the buttons. Hed waited until the last guard checked on him and turned out all the lights. Clark slipped out of bed, still clad in his jeans and pulled the sweater on. He had no idea what happened to his shoes, but he didnt need them.That was twenty minutes ago and Clark still stood in front of the door.He listened hard again to detect any sound beyond the walls. He was pretty sure everyone was gone.He only wished he could see through the walls, but they were made of lead.Of course he knew he was just stalling and there was a huge chance it wouldnt work, he wouldnt get free, and things would probably be even worse if he was caught. But he laid in this room too long being victimizedhe needed to do this, even if he lost.He needed to fight.

His head swam, and there was a fierce green glow surrounding him, but he kept running. He could barely see in front of him, and all he saw were two dark shadows approaching him. He tried to move faster, but he was finding it harder to even breathe.The pain was relentless; his entire body felt like it was on fire, and he knew it was about to be over. Two arms grabbed him, pulling him towards the room. He screamed at them to let him go.Suddenly he thought hed rather die, than be placed in that room again. He struggled in their grasp, but a third guard came to help them and together they picked him up easily and threw him down on the table.They immediately activated the metal restraints. Clark gathered all of his strength and shoved one of the guards, snapping one of the restraints in the process. The guard flew into a far wall, and collapsed sprawled on the floor. The other two moved back instinctively, until one quickly came to his senses.

Clark cried out in pain, and pleaded with them to close the door. The guard fixed the door open in response.He was exhausted, drenched in sweat and shaking from head to toe. His mind reeled. He couldnt think straight, he just wanted the pain to stop. He was tired of being in pain; tired of being held in that room, and tired of all of these strangers, doing whatever they liked to him. He wanted it to end, all of it.He fought with the last bit of strength he had, but he felt his body start to fail him, as his breathing become more ragged.

Just cancel backup, we can handle him now.

They left him lying there as they closed the door and turned off all the lights.He laid there in the dark, letting the despair he knew was coming, overtake him. Hed allow himself this one moment to let all the fear and anger consume him, and to mourn the person he used to be, knowing hed never be that person again, whether he made it out of there alive or not.Clark sobbed in the dark alone, until he was too tired to open his eyes.

Hi Mr. Luthor.

She was a tiny little thing, very pretty, but his instincts told him not to trust her.It wasnt like Clark to leave without letting anyone know, let alone strand some poor girl. He just hoped worse imaginable hadnt happened.

It was the perfect plan.He could only imagine what this poor girl did to end up crossing paths with his father.He took a deep breath and spoke when he was sure he could trust his voice.

I didnt know anything about Clark, or what he wanted with him. I still dont understand. Clark is probably the most decent person Ive met in my life..

Where did you take Clark?

It just looked like some odd rock to me. I didnt feel anything. Charlotte shook her head. I dont understand any of this.

Neither do I. Thank you Charlotte. Ill take it from here.


The nausea made him refuse all meals that day. Coupled with the extreme anxiety and fear he felt about what was to take place that evening, he could do nothing more than lay there and try hard not to think.Hed failed miserably last night, and he couldnt find much hope of succeeding if he tried again.The room was surrounded by a full wall of refined kryptonite. Hed never felt anything like it, not even the time he was shot. Even if he somehow could push away the pain, his body would never survive.He wished suddenly he had a window. He missed the sun.He thought of how red his mothers hair looked when the sun hit it while she worked in the fields.He smiled remembering. He always loved the way his father watched her. He never felt more safe than when he saw how much love his parents had for each otherand it always spilled over to him.He hated the thought of how much his parents much be worrying. Lex would know something was wrong by now, but it seemed less and less likely hed get there in time. Clark decided what ever happened, hed try his best to be brave. There didnt seem to be much else he could do.A few minutes later, the door to his room opened.A doctor he recognized and didnt like, followed by a guard came in.

Clark returned, draped in only a towel as he was told.The doctor stepped aside and the guard flanked him.This way Clark

Despite his determination to be brave, he began to panic.

He shut his eyes at the sudden brightness. The room looked dramatically different. The metal table was covered with a sheet, and new restraints had been added. Next to the table stood a tray with several sharp instruments, all tinged in green. A large light glowed overhead. Clark felt woozy suddenly and sank to his knees. He cursed himself for behaving so weakly. The two guards pulled him to his feet and the outroom door opened. Three doctors, all dressed in surgical gowns appeared. Dr. Allen was among them. He stared at the door a second longer, waiting for who he thought would be the guest of honor. But the door slid shut behind them.

He flushed a deep crimson, and he wondered if hed ever get used to being naked in a room full of strangers.He purposely didnt look at Dr. Allen. He wanted to feel like a thing, and object, he wanted to forget he was human for the moment.Once he laid down, his wrists and ankles were bound in the titanium restraints. Several more light metal straps were wound across his chest, shoulders and hips. Clark couldnt move at all.Dr. Allen walked forward, and placed a sheet across his hips.He stared at the ceiling, feeling the panic rise in his chest. It took everything he had not to scream. He moved his body to test the restraints, but he couldnt move at all.

He glanced quickly at Dr. Allen, but his face remained expressionless. She saw the terror in his eyes though. She wanted to much to sooth him somehow. But she knew that it would only make it worse for him.He braced himself as the needle pierced his skin. Despite his efforts to relax, he couldnt help but cry out as it entered his flesh.He saw the liquid hanging on a pole above him make its way down the tube in his arm. He felt it enter his veins. A slight wooziness came over him, and Clark was prepared to be swept away by it. He closed his eyes, and the wooziness began to fade.

His son was now at the mercy of Lionel Luthor, and Lex wasnt even sure if he was still alive.

And Clark doesn't want us to know where he is for our protection.He may be strong, but we're still his parents. Protecting him is still our job..and I'm just sorry we forgot that for so long.I'm done hiding Lex..just tell me where he is so I can go and get my son."

pent-up anger and frustration.

You told us he was safe! "

When I hadn't heard from Clark in a while, I called the hotel.They said he left with the girl, and hadn't been back; his things were still in the room.I went there to check if out for myself.The room was left as if he thought he'd be returning shortly, and there was no sign of a struggle.A few days after that, I noticed a suspicious girl standing just outside the entrance to your farm.I went back the next day to see if itwas the same girl I saw in the room with Clark that day...I was right.She's the one who told me she'd been hired by Lionel to lure Clark to him...she took him there herself.She doesn;t know what happened to him once she left."

His hand instinctively went to his chest, and Lex suddenly remembered his heart condition.

He turned slowly and looked atLex with moist eyes. "So..she doesn't..she doesn't know if he's..."

She saw him less than 2 days ago, and he was very much a live.She seemed to think my father has no intention of killing him.

He fought hard not to let his mind wander to thoughts of his most precious thing on earth being held against this will, with strangers doing god knows what to him...everything they'd tried to protect him from...everything..he just wanted to scream; but there wasn't time to panic, he had to stay focused or he'd never see Clark again.

That area is so vast wed never be able to find him without something more to go on.

I know its hard, but I think you should go home. Ill contact you when I find something more.

He stood there calmly studying his reflection.He ran a hand down the length of his torso, over his now protruding ribs.The realization that he was much thinner than hed been when he arrived, barely registered with him.He felt detached from his body. So many people had claimed his flesh for their own, he no longer felt it belonged to him.The only thing he had left was the person trapped inside, the person that slowly slipped away from him a little more each day.He discovered he no longer remembered the smell of wet grain, or fresh baked muffins in the morning. Even trying to recall the timber of his mothers voice, or the sound of Chloes laugh, proved difficult. That now all seemed part of some distant past that belonged to someone else.

He wasnt sure how hed manage it, but things werent going to go as planned. Whatever was left of his life wouldnt become an endless cycle of pain and torture.

No one thought much of walking in on him, no matter what he was doing, so he learned quickly to always lock doors, and listen hard for approaching footsteps. He waited patiently, listening to every sound, and only relaxed when he hard the soft clank of a tray being set a table and then retreating footsteps.He emerged, still wet, from the bathroom only when he heard the sound of the second door shut.Fresh white scrubs sat waiting for him at the edge of the bed.He sat next to them, fingering the rough cloth gently. With a sigh he finally pulled the top over his head, still hating the feel of roughness against his skin, but realizing he was getting used to it.

Clark looked wildly around as his pupils adjusted to the dark. He felt the cold hardness of the floor beneath him. Hed fallen out of bed. He rose slowly on trembling knees, shaking his head, trying to dislodge the nightmare. The white shirt he wore clung to his body in large wet patches. A drop of moisture fell from his brow, and he panted heavily. He took a deep breath, trying to slow his heart rate. Looking down, he noticed the shirt was shredded across his stomach and flesh and fibers were caked beneath his nails. Only faint red marks remained from where he obviously clawed his skin, and they faded before his eyes.

His throat felt sore from the screaming he couldnt remember.He stood there, trying to make sense of his nightmare; but he knew why they were growing more violent. In a few hours they intended to open him again. The very thought sent waves of nausea and panic through him. He lay down across the bed, breathing hard, staring at the ceiling. But his jaw was set and he swallowed hard; he knew what he had to do.

But every threat of imminent pain and death had been worth the list he held in his hands.He was going over it for the third time, wondering how hed missed it.His father had managed to buy up almost all the property on the west side of the river over the past six months. Clark could be in any one of those buildings. He had men scoping the area, on both sides of the river, and he planned to go there himself the next day.His hand lingered over the phone, debating whether to call Mr. Kent.Hed promised to call as soon as he got any leads, but he feared what Clarks father would do.He had a tendency to act first and ask questions later, a trait Clark shared. If Clark were still alive and had gone through what Lex suspected he had, hed need Jonathan there.There was no doubt the situation would be extremely dangerous, and there was a chance one of them would be injured or worse. But if he somehow managed to get Clark out of there, Lex wasnt sure if he could give Clark the emotional support he needed.He picked up the phone and dialed the Kents number.

Mr. Kent, I suggest you come out now, or well have to send someone in to get you.

He emerged from the bathroom, staring blankly at the doctor and the two guards accompanying him. He hooked his thumb inside his towel and let it drop to the floor. He raised his arms slightly, signaling to the guards to take hold of them.The guards and the doctor looked slightly taken aback by his sudden courage.The guards hesitated before flanking his sides.They guided him towards the door. Clark paused only briefly at the doorway. The door to the lab opened and Lionel Luthor walked in. Clark smiled slightly, sealing his resolve.Clark stopped at the threshold and focused.The room erupted in an explosion of flames. The metal of the table immediately began twisting and melting under the intense heat. Clark narrowed his eyes again, training them on every corner of the room, and the rest of the lab exploded in a fiery blaze. Lionel tried to run forward, but a blast of heat drove him back. Everyone seemed at a lost of what to do. The guards holding Clark moved away from him in shock and fear.Lionels screams of anger brought them back to their senses.

The lab became a flurry of activity as more men rushed in with extinguishers to contain the fire. The guards slammed the door behind them and shoved Clark against the wall, striking him repeatedly. Each stroke of the baton burned his skin and he cried out in spite of himself. Something had snapped in the guards, Clark could sense it, because they were no longer trying to subdue him, they were beating him now out of anger.He felt his skin opening and blood beginning to flow, but the small smile never left his face. They could do whatever they liked to him. For now at leasthed won.