From his little nook in a corner of the Talon Lex watched Chloe lean over her table and chatter animatedly with Clark. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair, adjusting his pants slightly. He scowled. She was radiant and he hated it.
At some point he had stopped thinking of her as a cute little girl. He tried to act as though he still thought of her that way and sometimes he actually believed it. At least until she stepped into the room. His eyes were first drawn to her glowing smile, followed shortly to her figure (just curvy enough to make his breath catch), and finally to her bouncy blond hair.
He supposed it had all started at her eighteenth birthday party. She had opted for a small party of family and friends. She had worn a great clingy dress and greeted everyone at the door. Lex gave her the gift he got her, a seventy dollar desk organizer. It was beautiful, dark cherry wood with her name etched in it among delicate flowers. He'd given the gift some thought before he got it. He knew she'd appreciate it. Her desk at the Torch was chaotic at best. When she opened it a charming squeal of delight passed through her luscious lips and she gave him an impulsive hug. He started in surprise when she wrapped her arms around him. Suddenly he was hyper-aware of her breasts against his chest and the thought that she was now legal popped into his head.
He discouraged this train of thought by reminding himself that Chloe had invited him to be polite. Lex wasn't really a part of their little circle of friends. The only reason he knew who Chloe, Lana, and Pete were was because of Clark. Even he and Clark had an uneasy friendship. Lex was not the kind of person who easily let people into his life. His father had instilled that in him. Don't leave yourself vulnerable, and you won't be hurt. Half the time he thought that Clark had only befriended him only so he'd always have someone around to save. He felt kind of guilty for thinking that.
Clark abruptly noticed him and beamed at him. A smile tugged at Lex's lips. It was about time. They'd come into the Talon fifteen minutes ago. Clark could be really oblivious sometimes. He forgave Chloe for not noticing him. After all, Clark was in the room. He stood up and strolled casually over to the table.
Chloe followed Clark's gaze to see Lex Luther walking with the predatory grace of a panther. He was personification of elegance, of course. His pants and jacket were obviously tailor-made of the finest quality navy blue silk. The cream colored shirt underneath hid what she suspected to be a lean, toned body. The memory of the hug she gave Lex at her birthday party several weeks ago popped in her head. She swallowed a sigh. That hug had been a mistake she realized. More and more frequently she found herself thinking of that seemingly innocent embrace without really knowing why. She wasn't interested in Lex. She was in love with Clark- had been for years.
Lex stood at the table. "What's up?" he asked, sounding bored and uninterested.
She was painfully aware that he was staring at her with what looked faintly like a sneer on his sensual lips. Was there something on her shirt? She glanced down at her tank top. No, it was fine. Good. It was new. It was a little lower cut than what she normally wore, but she had felt especially daring today.
"There have been some sightings of a huge animal near the caves. I was wondering if I could check them out and look for clues." She held her breath, waiting for a rejection.
"Sure. Just don't go to the caves without someone. Tell me when you're going to see them." She beamed up at Lex and an odd expression came across his face. "I mean it. See me before you go there. Strange things have happened down there remember?"
She rolled her eyes. "I know, I know. When do strange things not happen in Smallville? You have seen my Wall of Weird, right?"
Clark spoke up. "You're probably going to have to go with her most of the time, Lex." They both looked at him in surprise, having forgotten he was there. "I have to help out around the farm and Lana's supposed to help me with my English paper."
Lex smirked. Lana was going to help Clark with a paper? Lana wasn't exactly the person he'd recruit to help him out with anything involving the higher mental faculties. Of course, he was sure they'd do very little actual working. He gave Clark a knowing look and Clark flushed slightly.
"Fine." He gazed down at Chloe, who was gazing up at him looking breathtakingly appealing. "I'll look forward to accompanying you." That was putting it mildly, much to his irritation. He left before he made an idiot of himself.
Chloe watched him leave and frowned in bewilderment. Lex was acting strange lately. She forced thoughts of him from her mind and refocused on Clark.
Later that day, Lex made his way to the caves. He wanted to check them out himself before Chloe came. He didn't want her to get hurt. His urge to protect her was disturbing, to say the least.
The caves were as dank and murky as usual. He raised his flashlight to the paintings smeared across the walls, wishing that he could figure out what they mean. Somewhere, deep in the recesses of the cave, water dripped. All in all, nothing seemed different.
A rumble sounded nearby and Lex tensed. Perhaps, it was thunder, he thought. It had been sunny on his drive to the caves but maybe a sudden storm had rolled in. He chastised himself. A storm couldn't have formed during the mere five minutes he was in the cave.
The rumble turned into a feral growl. Lex almost dropped the flashlight. He shuffled back towards the entrance of the cave. Overcome with uneasiness, he turned to run. A sharp pain shot through his arm and he was jerked off his feet. He fell on his hip and swore fiercely. He gazed at his arm and realized that some animal had his elbow in its powerful jaws. Lex couldn't make it out in the dark. All he could see were its glowing eyes. It shook Lex arm and he gasped, thinking that his arm was going to be jerked from its socket. He struggled to escape but its teeth were firmly embedded in his flesh.
He grabbed his flashlight and hurled it with all his strength where he supposed its head should be. He beast howled in pain and released him. Lex scrambled to his feet and sprinted out of the cave. He ran towards his car, blood streaming down his arm. Dizziness overcame him and he leaned against a tree to regain his bearings. He glanced over his shoulder. The monster wasn't following him. He sagged in relief. Before Lex could tell what was happening his vision went blurry and he blacked out.
By the time he woke it was night. He pulled himself to his feet. He inspected his arm. Blood soaked his entire sleeve, but there wasn't a scratch on him. He frowned in confusion. What had happened to him?
Noises assaulted his ears and he swiveled around. He realized that it had just been the wind rustling the leaves. A bird chirped nearby, sounding deafening to his sensitive ears. His nose flared in reaction to all the smells he suddenly noticed. He was almost dizzy from his heightened senses.
"Overwhelming, isn't it?" a voice asked.
Lex spun around. A seven foot tall man leaned negligently against a tree. He was a powerful looking man, heavily muscled with broad shoulders and thick neck. His face was round and strangely angelic, crowned with straw colored hair. He wore a pair of pants that looked much too small for his trunk-like legs and a shirt that looked like it was going to pop at the seams.
"Who are you?"
That is such a difficult question." He sighed. "I'm a god of sorts, I guess you could say."
Lex snorted. He'd heard that before, mostly from his own father.
"Do I really have to prove it to you? Need I remind you of the cave incident?" the stranger asked. For a moment a huge furry beast, a deformed wolf-like monster with glowing eyes, stood where the stranger had and then in the blink of an eye it was gone. The man smiled.
Lex stiffened and involuntarily clutched his bloody arm.
"Yes, so sorry about the pain, but it's all better now. Oh, I know you've encountered a shape-shifter before. I am quite different, I assure you. The infamous meteor shower has nothing to do with my abilities. I'm really only here out of curiosity and boredom. I've heard of all the strange things happening here and had to come and see it for myself."
"So, why did you bite me?"
"You are a very arrogant man, Lex, but decent at heart. I have decided that you need to be humbled a bit. You will noticed some odd changes about yourself over the next few days. I suppose you have heard of werewolves?" Lex paled. "Well, I suppose, that myth is probably the closest explanation of what you are now."
"How will this humble me?"
"Oh, don't think for a minute that anything about being a werewolf is cool, as you humans say nowadays. I suppose you can say I'm trying to humanize you by making you into something not quite human." The god laughed at his own ingeniousness. "You will become human again when you learned to trust the one person that means the most to you." And with that he disappeared.
Lex stared at the place were the god had stood, slack-jawed in horror. The one person who means the most to him? His mind raced over the possibilities. Who meant the most to him?
He stumbled back to his car and managed to drive back to the mansion in one piece. He threw himself into bed, shoes and all, and stared up at the ceiling. He was a werewolf now? A laugh lodged itself in his throat at the ridiculousness of the idea. He gazed out the window from his bed. So, was he going to turn into some monster during a full moon? That seemed almost too easy. If that was all that was going to happen all he would have to do was lock himself up during that night. His clothes chafed against his skin and he literally tore them from his body in irritation. He stared at the shredded clothes in his hands in amazement. He made a mental note to be more careful of his own strength. Sleep overcame him quickly that night.
Chloe showed up at the mansion at noon the next day so she could look at the caves. The butler had her wait in the foyer while he got Lex. Minutes later Lex came bounding down the stairs two at a time. She watched him, transfixed. He looked different somehow, though she couldn't quite put her finger on it. His natural grace and magnetism seemed even more pronounced and more... untamed somehow.
He came to a sudden halt before her. His eyes widened and nostrils flared as if he caught a particularly tantalizing scent. The way he looked at her made her tingle in all the wrong places and she fought to ignore the feeling. He started for her as if he wanted to grab her. The thought gave her a shiver of delight and apprehension.
"Lex?" she said hesitantly.
He snapped out of it suddenly and frowned.
"I wanted to ask if I can go see the caves," she explained.
"What? Oh. No!"
"What? Why?" she demanded.
"It's not safe. I went there yesterday and saw something..."
Her eyes lit up. "What did you see?"
He groaned. "Nothing, nothing at all."
She rolled her eyes. "Lee-eeeex."
This time his eyes lit up. "You called me Lex."
"I did? Oh. So?" she challenged, chin belligerently up. She refused to confess that she already thought of him as Lex in her mind.
"Call me Lex all the time from now on. No more Mr. Luthor." His gaze was hot on her. He muttered huskily, "How I'd wish you'd moan my name just once. Well, more than once."
"What?!" She was sure she'd heard him wrong.
He blinked. "Huh?"
"What did you just say?"
His face was an utter blank now. "Call me Lex?"
"No, after that."
"I said something?"
"Yes. Something about me moaning your name more than once."
His face turned a shocking beet red and Chloe was bowled over. She had never ever seen him blush before. She didn't think he was humanly capable of it. "Sorry," he said. "I didn't realize I said it out loud."
"So, you were thinking it?" She couldn't actually believe it. Maybe she was dreaming all of this.
Lex's face grew stiff and he straightened suddenly. "So? What if I was? You know guys. Crazy hormones."
"Lex... do you have a thing for me?" she asked warily.
He laughed hollowly. "Me? No!"
She was a bit disappointed. "Well, that's good, I guess."
He sobered suddenly. "Besides, even if I did I know you're in love with Clark. It'd be pointless to pine over someone I can't have."
She frowned and then shook her head to clear it. She decided to change the subject. "Well, then, if you won't come with me to the caves I might have to find a way to sneak in them." She sighed melodramatically.
"No! Fine, I'll go with you, but only for a minute." He looked very uncomfortable still. The way he moved seemed more edgy than usual and he never quite took his eyes off of her.
She grinned triumphantly and turned toward the door. She was sure for a moment that Lex growled behind her, but then decided that she had imagined it.
The ride to the caves had to be the longest of Lex's life. He wasn't kidding when he had made the remark about his hormones. They seemed to be in hyper-drive. It was all he could do not too tear off Chloe's clothes and claim her in one primal thrust. He'd just been waking up from a very erotic dream centering around her when she came. He'd known she was there the moment she walked through the door. The vaguely familiar scent of her, citrus and summer, sent his mind spinning out of control for a moment. He threw on his clothes and nearly scared his butler to death as he bounded from the room. He faintly disgusted by his eagerness but tried not to dwell on it too much.
When he caught sight of her, looking even more breathtaking with his super- sensitive sight the world had tilted on its axis. Some feral creature clawed at his chest demanding freedom. He felt uncomfortable in his own skin. He froze before her, seriously scared that he might pounce on her and ravage her without her consent. The demon still struggled to be free in the car and he was glad she hadn't noticed his semi-erection. The close quarters of the car were driving him insane. He gripped the steering wheel a little tighter.
That was when he noticed the coarse brown hair on the back of his hand. Oh, no. He was going to change. He stepped on the gas. This was going to be a short trip.
Lex rushed Chloe to the caves as quickly as he could. She led the way, waving her flashlight around while he followed her impatiently.
"Are you almost done?" he asked anxiously.
"Geez, I just got here. Hold on."
He could see the movement of her hips in the dark and wished they were in his bedroom instead of the cave. The beast in him snarled. A tremble shook him to the core. He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold back the beast. The idea of being around Chloe when he turned was terrifying.
Chloe gazed at the cave paintings. "So, should we just wait around until this animal or whatever shows up?"
"No! Let's go. We can come back later sometime."
Chloe sighed in disgust. "Look, what's your problem? You're the one who said I could investigate the caves. Are you hiding something?" She walked toward him while shining her flashlight elsewhere, obviously unaware how close she was getting to him. His semi-erection grew harder and his breath became ragged.
A pebble tumbled off a wall somewhere and she jumped a mile. She grabbed Lex's arm. "What was that?"
Electricity shot from her touch directly to his groin and a snarl slipped from his lips.
"Lex?" Chloe could barely see him in the dark but she sure as hell noticed his little snarl.
The next thing she knew Lex pulled her into his arms, plastering their bodies together. His lips moved aggressively over hers and she gasped in shock. He seized the opportunity and his tongue dove into her mouth. Her knees grew weak as Lex plundered her mouth, leaving no part unexplored. His hand slid down her back to cup her buttocks and grid his hips against hers. Lightning shot through her and she trembled in anticipation. He withdrew from her mouth to trail kisses down her neck. "Your mine," he whispered rawly against her neck. "You were made for me." His hands moved to her breasts cupping them tenderly and thumbing her jutting nipples. Her hands moved of their own violation to the back of Lex's next.
She touched hair and stiffened. What the-
Lex tore himself away from her. What had he just done? The change was upon him. His skin itched as hair began to sprout where there hadn't been any since the meteor shower and where there had never been any at all, and should never be. His bones ached as they rearranged themselves. He fell to his knees and then suddenly the beast was in control.
"Lex?" Chloe said.
Something growled where Lex had been. Large eyes glowed in the dark. She froze. It was the animal! Where was Lex? Did it get him? But how? She didn't even hear it approach them. Of course, she'd been kinda distracted the last few minutes.
The eyes drew closer. Chloe took a step back and tripped, falling on her back. She could feel its nose all over her body sniffing wildly. She held her breath. This was it. The end. It nuzzled her crotch once, which felt oddly erotic (she rationalized this as remnant of her recent make-out session) and licked her face like a dog. Then it was gone.
Chloe scrambled to her feet. "Lex? Lex?" she called. No response. She recovered her flashlight, which she'd dropped sometime ago while making out with Lex. She searched the caves but he was gone.
Lex came to lying in the caves wearing all his clothes, which he thought was very odd considering his transformation, with his hands covered in blood again. He couldn't remember what had happened. Bile rose in his throat. He had no idea who the blood belonged to.
Chloe! Where was Chloe?! All brain activity stuttered to a halt. He gazed down at his bloody hands. He felt like screaming in rage. He didn't! He couldn't! He'd rather die than hurt her. He lurched to his feet and ran out the cave. His car was still where he'd parked it and he somehow still had the keys in his pocket.
He climbed in his car, vaguely aware he was getting blood all over the interior. Oh well, he could afford a new one. He took off his shirt and sopped up as much of the blood as he could. He had to find Chloe. He couldn't have killed her he told himself, only mostly believing it. But what if she was lying somewhere hurt and bleeding to death?
He shut off the car and got out. He drew in a lungful of air. A million scents bombarded him. It took him several moments to sort through the different ones and find Chloe's. He trailed it from his car to the cave and back again. She'd gone to his car then her scent just stopped at the road. Someone had picked her up. Lex breathed slightly easier.
He picked up the scent of blood, both on him and farther away. He followed the smell into the woods. A few minutes later he stumbled upon a small deer. Its neck was bent at an awkward angle and it was split open, neck to hind legs. He leaned heavily against a nearby tree, realizing that he had killed the deer. The idea that he had feasted on it made him physically sick and he vomited quietly in a bush.
He returned to his car and remembered that Chloe had a cell phone.
Chloe stormed into the police station. It was pretty empty and quite. No surprise considering that they were in Smallville.
"May I help you?" asked the lady at the front desk.
"Yes. I can't find Lex Luthor. I need a search team to comb the area."
The lady just stared at her. "Okay, just slow down and tell me what happened," she said patiently.
Chloe sighed in exasperation. "We were in the caves. You know the ones, the only ones in Smallville, and-" Her cell phone rang. "Hold on." She answered the phone. "Yeah?"
"Oh, thank God."
"Lex! Where the hell are you?"
"I'm in my car. Where are you?
"I'm in the police station. I was gonna send out a search party." A low laugh rumbled over the phone and jangled in her ears. Chloe frowned. "It's not funny."
"Sorry. I'm just flattered that you were worried about me."
"Well, of course, I was. What if that creature had torn you to bits? Where did you go?"
The line was silent for a moment. "I went outside to...collect myself."
Chloe felt her nipples grow sensitive just thinking about his wandering hands. "Well, for your information you left me to that animal, whatever it was."
"Thankfully, not a lot. It just sniffed me a little bit and licked my face and left. I was really more surprised than scared of it. But, damn, sometimes I really hate surprises."
Lex sighed in relief. "Well, it's just good you weren't hurt."
"Yeah, then I went out and couldn't find you. Clark happened to drive by and picked me up. He's waiting for me in the truck."
"Lucky you." He sounded far from pleased. "So, I'm assuming that you don't need a ride home."
Chloe, to her surprise, was reluctant to agree with him. "Yeah, I'll see you later." They hung up. "Sorry," she said to the receptionist. "Lex is fine."
The lady nodded and Chloe left the police station. As she stepped outside Clark was reaching for the driver's side door. He froze, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
"Lex is okay. He's in his car," she announced.
Clark relaxed. "Good. What happened?"
"Uhhh...he stepped out for some air. Did you go somewhere?"
"Oh, no. Just stretching my legs." He made a production of stretching out his legs. She nodded absently, though she didn't quite believe him for some reason. They both climbed into the truck.
"This has been one crazy day," Chloe muttered, mostly to herself.
"Yeah, I guess so," Clark agreed. "Got enough info to write your story now?"
"I don't know. I think I want to check out the caves again." She hesitated. "I know this is gonna sound crazy but I didn't feel like the animal wanted to hurt me."
"Hmm. Maybe it's a nice animal?" Clark suggested.
Chloe snorted. Clark could be such an idiot sometimes. More and more often his naivety was beginning to grate on her nerves. "Unlikely. Most nice animals I know of don't have glowing eyes or snarl at the drop of a hat."
"I see your point. Look, if you're going to go there again than tell me. I'd like to see this animal."
Chloe watched Clark as he drove out of town to her house. He was as incredibly handsome as ever, almost too handsome. She wondered if he kissed as well as Lex. Her panties grew damp at the memory. What was wrong with her? Why was she so attracted to Lex? Could the meteor rocks be involved at all? Why was it that her heart raced whenever Lex was around, but not when Clark was? Could she be falling out of love with Clark? It was an odd feeling, but she almost felt relieved, freed. The burden of unrequited love had been lifted off her shoulders. She just had to check and make sure she was positive that she didn't really love him.
"Clark? Can you do me a huge favor as a friend?" she asked.
"Can you kiss me?"
Clark nearly swerved off the road. "What?!" He pulled over to the side of the road and parked. "Look, Chloe-"
Chloe rolled her eyes. "Look, Clark. This is just an experiment, okay? I know you have a thing for Lana. I just want to make sure I don't still have a thing for you." He just stared at her. "Geez. Fine, forget I said a thing. If I knew you'd make such a big deal out of it, I'd have never brought it up."
"You still had a thing for me? I thought you'd gotten over it," he said.
"Well, thank you Mr. Sensitivity. I think I have gotten over it. It just wanted to make sure. It's not such a big deal," she snapped, wondering how she could have ever let herself fall in love with him.
Clark stared down at the seat for a minute, and then he looked up at her. "Okay."
"Okay?" She blinked in surprise.
"Sure, you're my friend. You're right. It's not a big deal. A kiss won't kill me."
"Gee, thanks for the ego-booster." She scooted closer to Clark and his eyes widened. "Now, this has to be a real kiss for me to make any real judgment. Try to fake some enthusiasm, okay?" His adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed and he nodded.
She pulled his head down to brush her lips against his. They were soft and warm. She applied more pressure to the kiss. Clark sat there as if frozen in his seat. His lack of response wounded her dignity and after a breath of air she began her real assault. She nibbled gently at his lips and licked teasingly, noting the texture of his lips. Part of her couldn't help comparing them with Lex's. She felt the tension melt out of Clark and his mouth fell open as his hand rose to clasp the back of her neck. He began kissed her back with sudden eagerness.
Chloe decided that she had enough and pulled herself out of his arms. That was when, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Lex's little silver sports car come to a grinding halt. Clark's chest was heaving as he drew in several breaths of air. She was flattered, but not anywhere near as affected as him.
He tried to draw her in for another kiss when Lex stormed out of his car, eyes blazing. He wretched open Clark's door and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. Giving a yelp of shock, he fell out of the car on his butt. "Hey! What's the idea?" Clark demanded.
Lex ignored him for a moment, staring accusingly at Chloe. If Chloe didn't know any better, she could have sworn he looked hurt. Her heart cried out for him.
"What's the idea, Sullivan? Playing both sides of the field, are we?" He sneered. "Or was I just a convenient stand-in?" He reached for her in the car. "I'll show you who's the stand-in." Chloe's heart leapt in anticipation. She wanted to throw herself into his arms.
Clark clamped a hand on Lex's shoulder. "What are you talking about?"
Fury boiled in Lex's veins as he lost his control over his emotions. The beast shook him down to his Italian leather shoes as Lex turned around and shoved Clark. Clark flew a good ten feet landing with an expression of shock on his chiseled features. For the first time in his life, Lex hated Clark. It wasn't fair. Clark had it all- a loving family, respect in the community (he was a sweet farm boy while Lex was a rich, self-serving interloper), and now he wanted Chloe, too.
Clark got to his feet. "Lex, what's wrong with you? You're acting weird." He approached Lex cautiously.
Lex was barely aware of what he was doing. "Chloe is mine. You will not kiss her ever again." He couldn't believe he had just said that. Some part of him cringed inwardly. His hands clenched, trying to contain his anger and the beast simmering just beneath his skin.
Clark looked stunned for a moment. Then he frowned, eyes gleaming with challenge. "Shouldn't Chloe be the one to decide that? I can't help it if she'd rather kiss me. And I'm afraid I would offer very little resistance. Man, what a kisser." Clark met Chloe's eyes briefly and she knew he was just saying that to see how Lex would respond.
The next thing Lex knew Clark was sprawled on the ground, holding his jaw and looking shell-shocked. "That hurt," he muttered to himself. "It actually hurt."
"Lex, stop it!" Chloe cried out from the truck.
Her defense of Clark was the straw that broke the camel's back. Lex dove into his car and locked the doors. He was changing and right in front of Clark and Chloe.
Chloe gasped as she watched Lex transform. Brown fur spread all over his body as his clothes disappeared. Next he grew larger and larger as his body morphed into a creature that looked like a fierce wolfish thing the size of a bull. Nausea overwhelmed her just watching him change. He grew too big for the car, fur and claws and snarling white teeth pushing against the windows. The roof bulged and finally popped right off the car. The beast that had once been Lex lunged out of the car and toward the truck. Chloe screamed involuntarily.
"Chloe!" Clark started for her but then the beast swung towards him, snarling menacingly. Clark backed off and the snarling quieted. Clark backed farther away and it stopped. After a couple minutes, it sat down between the truck and Clark.
"I think it's fine as long as you don't try to come near me," Chloe told Clark. Chloe climbed from the truck, careful not to step on Lex's tail. He rubbed against her leg and his bright silver eyes glowed up at her, conveying some emotion she couldn't quite understand. She realized that he was the animal in the cave. "See, he won't hurt me. I told you. He was the thing in the caves."
"Careful, Chloe, we don't know if he knows what he's doing," Clark warned. "How long do you think he's gonna stay this way?"
"I have no idea. A couple hours, a couple days, who knows." She found herself more fascinated than nervous of the animal. "The better question is- how did he get this way?" Clark shifted on his feet and the beast tensed. "Look, I don't think your helping anything by being here, Clark. Why don't you go to the caves, that's where he first turned into this I think, and try to look for some clues?"
"And leave you here with it?"
"It doesn't want to hurt me. You on the other hand...just go, the sooner we can fix this the better for all. Come back here and pick me up when you're done. Go!" she ordered when he hesitated. Without another word Clark left.
Minutes after Clark was gone the beast transformed back into Lex, clothes and all. It was much less unnerving to watch the second time around. Lex sat in the middle of the road for a long moment before he looked at his car then up at Chloe. He paled and groaned into his hands. He jumped to his feet and made a break for the nearby woods.
"Lex, wait!" she called but he was more than halfway there. Damn, he moved fast.
She followed after him, running as fast as she could. Lex leapt agilely over branches, making very little noise upon the blanket of dead leaves covering the forest floor while Chloe couldn't help stomping noisily through them. She was losing ground fast. A couple minutes later she lost sight of Lex and had no idea which direction he went. Defeat burned impotently in her chest. She made her way back to the road.
Lex flew into the mansion, much to the shock of his butler, and raced up the stairs. He dug a suitcase out of his closet and began throwing clothes in it. He'd stayed in the forest all night long, wandering around aimlessly. It was ten in the morning now.
His cell phone rang. "Mr. Luthor," he secretary said when he answered it. "You missed the board meeting." Her voice was carefully neutral.
"Dammit. Oh well, make sure to cancel any appointments for the next few weeks." He needed the time to find out if there were any doctors that could help him with his little problem.
"Sir?" She sounded shocked.
"Done, no business."
"Oh, and a Miss Chloe Sullivan called. She said it was urgent."
Lex's heart lurched painfully in his chest. "Thank you," he replied but his voice sounded strangled to his ears. He hung up.
He stared at his suitcase, mind a million miles away. He struggled to fight the pain clogging his lungs. Chloe knew what he was now, she knew what a monster he was. How could she ever love him now? Once having regaining control over his senses and seeing the terrible expression on Chloe's face, a mix of horror and concern, he realized that he loved her more than anything or anyone. She brought warmth and life into his soul where there had been none. Next, he realized that she could never care for him. He was a freak, even more so now that he was a werewolf. He didn't blame her for wanting to be with Clark. She deserved someone as good as Clark.
He continued to throw clothes in the suitcase. But he refused to stay there in Smallville and watch them fall deeper and deeper in love with each other. Besides, he'd only lose more and more control over himself if he had to suffer through that. He'd figured out what made him change. Strong emotion, particularly those involving Chloe, made him change. He couldn't risk anyone getting hurt by staying in Smallville.
The familiar smell of citrus and sunshine invaded his nostrils. He froze, dragging in deep breaths of Chloe's scent as if it were direly needed oxygen. His hearing sharpened and he picked up the sounds of her talking to his butler followed by her thudding up the stairs, swinging doors left and right searching for his room. He knew he should run but he desperately wanted to see her again.
Finally, she reached his room and threw open the door. "Lex!" Her face lit up, a relieved grin on her face. Her gaze fell on his suitcase. "Where are you going?"
Trying to ignore the intense emotions coursing through him, he closed the suitcase. "Away," he told her.
"But why? Clark and I aren't going to tell anyone about what happened. What happened to you? How did you get that way?" she asked.
"I was bitten."
"So there's another one?" She sounded horrified to Lex's ears and some part of him shriveled up inside. He wanted to rage at the injustice of it all. He wanted to drink himself into a stupor. But most of all he wanted to hide from the world until his pain receded. The beast stirred in him again, the wildness clawed at his innards.
"No, not really. He said that he was a god and that I needed to be humbled, humanized." He couldn't disguise the bitterness in his voice. He mentally shook himself to attention and zipped up his suitcase. "I need to leave Smallville. I'm too dangerous here."
"What makes you think you'll be less dangerous out of Smallville?" Her eyebrows were furrowed in charming puzzlement.
Lex lowered his gaze. He yearned to tell her, but he feared her response. He was terrified to trust her with his heart, with his feelings.
"Lex?" she whispered and placed one arm on his shoulder to draw his attention. Lust shot through him and he almost gasped in response. He grabbed her by the waist, unable to help himself and pulled her to him.
Chloe eagerly raised her face for a kiss and Lex didn't disappoint her. Her heart hammered violently and she matched his passion. His kisses were a million times more thrilling than Clark's. He knew what he was doing. He instinctually knew exactly how much pressure to apply on her lips, exactly how to maneuver his tongue in her mouth so that she was trembling with sexual excitement. His hands were hot and heavy and all over her body. He worshipped each part of her he touched. She never wanted to stop him touching her. His mouth left hers and she whimpered in protest. He kissed the racing pulse on her neck and nibbled gently on her earlobe.
"Think of me occasionally when you're with Clark, will you?" he whispered on her neck. "Wonder if I would have made you as happy as Clark."
Chloe snapped out of her arousal and pushed Lex slightly away so she could look him in the eyes. "Lex, I don't love Clark anymore. I don't think I ever really loved him."
"What? They why-"
"It was an experiment. I wanted to double check and make sure I didn't love him."
"And you don't?" He looked like he couldn't quite believe it.
Lex was so ecstatic that he thought his chest might burst from joy. He clutched Chloe to him. Not able to resist, his tongue flickered out to taste her neck, absorb the texture of her skin, memorize each little curve. He slipped his hand inside her shirt and underneath her bra. Chloe gasped. Her breasts were hot and heavy in his hands. His burning erection throbbed for release from his pants. The steady restlessness of the beast grew more persistent.
He released Chloe abruptly. "I have to leave. If I stay any longer I'll change again."
"I'm not afraid. Stay," Chloe insisted. She disliked having to beg, but she would do what she had to do. "Don't leave." She lightly stroked the prominent bulge in his pants and he jumped.
"Don't," he said but his eyes blazed with passion. She stroked it again and he didn't move. He stood there, chest heaving and fists clenched at his sides as if he was struggling to hold himself back.
"Look, whatever it is that you're so worried about we'll get over. Trust me." She kissed the corner of his mouth and moved to brush her lips across her cheeks. She scraped against stubble and drew back in surprise.
"You see?" His eyes were haunted. "It's my feelings for you that make me change. I lose all control."
"It's okay to lose control sometimes." She held him closer to her. She could feel him trembling.
"I just don't want to hurt you," he said into her shoulder.
"You won't. When you're the wolf all you do is try to protect me," she reassured him.
"I don't want to hurt anyone else."
"How do you know?"
"Because I won't let you." Determination made her voice hard.
Lex wanted to believe her but it just seemed too easy, too simple. The beast was growing stronger. "Why? Why do you want me to stay?" He had to ask, even if it broke his heart.
"Because I love you," she said simply.
He sat heavily on his bed, his legs feeling weak. He refused to relinquish his hold on her and she sat down, too. "Say it again."
"I love you, Lex."
He closed his eyes, savoring the words even as the beast pulsated in him. It was coming. No! He didn't want it to spoil the moment.
"The beast is almost here," he told Chloe sadly.
"So?" she retorted. "Let it come. Trust me. I won't let anything happen, as long as you stay with me."
He gave up and sighed. "God, I love you."
And just like that, the beast was gone. Lex shook his head, readjusting to his normal senses again.
"What?" Chloe demanded. "What's wrong?"
A slow grin spread across his face. "It's gone."
"Gone? Really? For now or forever?"
"Forever." He kissed her. "I'm free. The god/nutcase said I'd be human again when I learned to trust the person that means the most to me and you're it! I did it!" He laughed and Chloe joined him.
They kissed again, losing themselves to their lust. Clothes flew left and right until their naked bodies were both entwined. Chloe's legs were open and Lex's pulsating erection, clad in a condom, was poised at her entrance. He gazed adoringly up at her. "Are you sure? This is a big step. You're a virgin, right?"
"Lex!" she snapped and grabbed him by the hips, plunging him into her. She gasped, arching off the bed. Somewhere in the back of her mind she waited for the pain that was supposed to happen the first time having sex, but it never came. All she felt was delightfully flipped.
Lex moaned. "God, you're so hot I don't know how long I'll last."
He moved slightly and they both reeled from the sensation. They fell into the rhythm of sex easily enough, the thrusting growing faster and fiercer with ever passing second. Chloe was burning up, on fire and eagerly racing to some kind of finish line that she knew would be a climax. A strange keening moan lurched from her throat as she drew closer. And then suddenly blessed, mind-blowing relief. She shouted as she climaxed. Lex gave a guttural groan as he joined her.
They lay panting together for several moments before Lex looked up at her with an adorably serious look on his face.
"What?" she asked.
"You're going to marry me one day," Lex said.
Chloe arched an eyebrow. "Is that so?" she teased.
"Yup. I just wanted to tell you so you wouldn't be surprised when I propose." He nuzzled her breasts and heaved a contented sigh.
Someone knocked at the door. "Sir?" It was the butler. "There's a young man..."
Chloe began to laugh.
"Clark was with me. I told him to wait down here while I talked with you."
"So, he's been waiting here all this time?" Chloe nodded and they both grinned at each other. "How about we make him wait just a bit longer?" Lex drew one of Chloe's nipples in his mouth and Chloe happily agreed
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