Disclaimer: Smallville and all related elements, characters and indicia © Tollin-Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television, 2002. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situationssave those created by the authors for use solely on this websiteare copyright Tollin-Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster.
Chloe knew she was pushing her luck with this one. But how could she resist this opportunity? An exposé of this nature might be her chance to move from a simple intern at the Planet to an actual field reporter next summer. She'd be stupid not to jump on it.
Thank God for her free period at the end of the day. After hearing Clark talk about Lex getting kicked out of the mansion, she knew what she had to do. Normally she spent this time in the Torch office, tweaking the layout of next week's issue or balancing photo colors so that the latest debate club champ didn't look ghostly in print. But today she flashed her all-access hall pass to the school rent-a-cop, marched into the parking lot, and took off. She zipped through town in her red VW, then turned onto RR 27 and headed north.
Chloe frowned a bit as the building came into view. In the past, her visits here only led to trouble. How could she tell if today would be any different? Only one way to find out, she though, pressing the brake pedal.
The wheels ground to a halt a few feet before the mansion's front gate. Chloe rolled down the car window and flashed the guard her brightest smile. "Hi!"
The man stared at her. "You lost?"
She faked a girly sigh, complete with an airhead-style eye roll. "No. I'm here to see Lucas Luthor."
"I'm Chloe Sullivan, I'm a friend of Lex. I thought I'd come by and welcome his brother to town."
The guard eyed her with suspicion. "Just a minute." He crossed to the callbox and picked up the phone.
She raised her eyebrows at the guard, hoping her overconfidence was enough to fool him into thinking she actually belonged here.
"Mr. Luthor," the guard said, "a Chloe Sullivan at the gate. She claims to be one of Lex's friends." He glared at her once more. "Yes, sir. No, sir."
An electronic whir caught Chloe's attention, and she craned her head to watch a security camera pivot to focus on her. She plastered her ditz-smile on again and gave the camera a wave.
"Yes, sir. No, I don't know, sir. She didn't say." A pause. "Yes, sir." The guard jabbed at the keypad next to the callbox and the gate swung open. "Go right in, Miss Sullivan."
"Thanks," she chirped as she drove into the Luthor estate. She circled around the fountain and parked to the left of the massive front doors. After turning off the car, Chloe stepped out into the shadow of the building, crossing the few feet to the entrance. Just as she raised a hand to the giant brass doorknockers, the door swung open.
A butler stood over the threshold and gestured her inside. "Mr. Luthor is in the office, miss. Up the stairs, then follow the hall on your right to the end. You'll see it straight ahead."
"Thank you," she said with a nod, and then started up the massive curving staircase. Forty-two stairs upshe countedand then down the hall. The doors to the office stood wide open, and red light spilled into the hallway from the stained glass windows inside. Chloe bit her lip, trying to organize her thoughts. One wrong word, and all her hopes for an interview would be over.
She peeked into the room. "Lucas Luthor?" she called out.
"Come on in."
Chloe stepped into the office, now completely cluttered with furniture. A plasma TV and a green leather sofa sat in the center of the room, and a mess of gym equipment had been set up in the corner. But what caught her eye was the guy by the desk.
Tall, wide shoulders, strong jaw and brown hair. Lucas barely looked like his brother at all. He crossed to her and held out his hand. "I'm Lucas Luthor." A flash of a smile, cold blue eyes.
Ah, there's the Luthor resemblance. "Chloe Sullivan." She shook his hand.
Lucas turned away and crossed back to the desk. "So what, if I may ask, is the nature of your visit? Did Lex tell you all about me, and you got curious about the new Luthor in town?"
"You're half right. Lex didn't tell me anything. He and I aren't close at all."
He fiddled with a letter opener. "That makes two of us." A pause while he fixed his eyes on Chloe. "What made you tell the guard that you and Lex are friends?"
"It's that curiosity you just mentioned," she replied. "I found out you're not only alive, but here in town, and I couldn't resist meeting you."
He crossed his arms and leaned against the desk. "What can I say? I'm irresistible."
A genuine eye roll from Chloe this time. "I'm sure. And I bet the citizens of Smallville feel the same way. That's really why I'm hereI'd like to interview you for the Smallville High Torch."
He let out a half laugh and looked away. "A school newspaper? You've got to be kidding me."
"No, I'm not. As editor-in-chief, I pride myself on always being on top of the news, both at school and in the community. Seeing as how you're part of the Luthor legacy, and considering how greatly this town is affected by your family, I thought an interview was in order."
Lucas stood up and crossed to the door of the office. "I don't think so."
"But Mr. Luthor"
"Listen," he said, fixing a cold glare on her, "you're going to have to leave. I have a lot of important work today."
"Is that why you were wasting your time playing Rogue Squadron before I came in here?"
Lucas followed her raised eyebrows in the direction of the television. A giant "game paused" message flashed on the screen, the digital soldiers frozen beneath it. He sighed in defeat. "Fine. I'll do your interview. But on one condition."
"You'll find out after the interview."
She scoffed. "I don't think so."
He crossed towards the TV and reached for the Playstation controller. "You want the interview or not?"
"Yes." Chloe instantly knew how desperate she sounded. A deep breath. "Yes, I would."
Lucas fell into the sofa and draped an arm along the back.
Chloe sat down on the opposite end. She fished a tape recorder from her bag, then pressed the record button. "So what brings you to Smallville?"
"Would you care to expand on that?"
Lucas cracked his neck. "My brother came to get me, and I caught a ride with him back here."
"Do you have any plans for the family business?"
"I prefer to keep my business dealings to myself."
Chloe pressed on. "Are you currently involved in any way with LuthorCorp? Or might you instead be a part of LexCorp? I imagine with your father and brother both running such large companies, you'd be in a prime place to become involved in either."
"You shouldn't go imagining things, Miss Sullivan. It's unprofessional."
Chloe crossed her legs. "And what leads you to believe you're an expert on journalism?"
"I watch The Today Show every morning."
She gave him her best "are you serious?" look, but was met with a completely blank expression. Then he winked at her.
"You don't think I actually meant that, do you?"
Chloe smiled. "You never can tell with some people."
"Any news show with fans cheering outside the window isn't the news."
"Thank you! Sometimes I think I'm the only one who feels that way."
Lucas relaxed a bit more, his body slumping deeper into the leather. "Back to the interview. What else have you got for me?"
"Have you always been in contact with your family? Or is this, excuse the pun, relatively new for you?"
"My father has always been a, shall we say, supportive presence in my life. Lex, however, has only recently taken an interest in me."
She leaned forward slightly. "And why do you think that is, Mr. Luthor?"
He picked a piece of lint from his pants. "Lucas, please. There are too many Mr. Luthors in this town already."
"It's funny you should say that, Lucas. There are a lot of people in Smallville who say the same thing."
She waited for a reaction, the slightest facial twitch. Nothing.
"How do you feel being part of a family with such a complex reputation?"
Lucas sighed, obviously bored with her questions. "I have my own reputation to be concerned about."
"And what would that be? I'm afraid your reputation hasn't preceded you. What do you want the people to know about you?"
He looked at her, his eyes locking on hers. "Nothing."
Chloe straightened, pulling her head back in a quizzical manner. "Nothing at all? You're soon going to be the talk of the town, and you don't want to dispel any rumors that people may spread?"
He laughed. "I'm the type who starts his own rumors."
"Funny, because you just said you didn't want people to know anything about you. That would have been the perfect opportunity to start some of those self-created rumors."
He leaned forward. "Tricky, Miss Sullivan, tricky."
"That's what it takes to be a good journalist. And can you call me Chloe."
Lucas stood up and crossed to the pool table. "So being a good journalist is catching your subjects in a trap, then?"
She swiveled on the couch to face him. "It means always being one step ahead, and calling a bluff when you see it."
He rolled a ball back and forth on a few inches of the table's felt top. "You're good."
"Do you think you're good enough to call all my bluffs?"
She raised an eyebrow. "I don't see what this has to do with the interview."
"It doesn't. But it will help you sharpen your bullshit detector. Isn't that something every good reporter needs?"
"Will you get back to the interview if I play along?"
"Yes." He folded his arms.
"Good," he laughed. "You passed the first part."
"What's the next?" she asked, leaning back.
"You want to know if I'd rather keep completely to myself, or spread my own rumors. The answer is neither. I prefer to start my own rumors, but to have others spread them for me." A pause. "Do you think I'm bluffing now?"
"How would you do it?"
Chloe grinned. "Get others to spread your rumors for you."
Lucas grinned back. "Let's see…" He picked up the cue ball and began tossing it in the air. "Let's say I want people to think I'm the sexiest guy who ever walked the earth."
"When really you look more like that guy from Saved by the Bell," Chloe joked.
"Hey, I think he's sexy."
"Bluff," she laughed.
"Of course! But that one was too easy." He began tossing the ball back and forth between his hands. "So all I have to do is charm one person, make myself look like the greatest thing since the Internet, and my work is done."
She stretched her shoulders a bit. "And if you make that one person believe you, then that's it?"
"Exactly. Because then that person does the work for me. She tells her friend, someone overhears, she writes it in an article…"
"Newspaper articles aren't about how sexy someone is," Chloe argued. "Newspapers can't be biased. And 'sexy' is something that's founded completely on a bias."
"Fine. Newspapers are full of facts. But reporters do have biases, whether they want to admit it or not."
"If a journalist brings her own bias to her report then she's not being fair, and that undermines her credibility as a reporter."
"Yes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen," Lucas countered.
"I mean, just look at you. You're here, doing an interview with me, but you have opinions of me you'll bring to your article, whether you realize it now or not."
Chloe scratched her head. "Such as?"
"You think I'm pompous, spoiled, and incredibly hot."
She laughed. "Yes, yes, and the third is you bluffing."
He smirked. "I wouldn't so much call that a bluff as I would 'putting words in your mouth.' Want to know what I think of you?"
"I don't know. Do I?"
"I think you're intelligent, quick-witted, a bit full of yourself, and incredibly attractive."
She felt herself blush, which embarrassed her to no end. "Yes, yes, hopefully no, and the last has to be a bluff."
"For once you're wrong. This time it's all true."
The blush deepened. Chloe's eyes narrowed. Who was this guy to play around with her interview, and then play with her mind? Jerk. "Can we get back to the interview now?"
He put down the ball and crossed back to the sofa. "Do we have to?"
"Yes. Besides, we've already established you have nothing else to do besides play video games."
"That's not entirely true," Lucas said, leaning down and grabbing her face in his hands. Before she could react, he kissed her.
Chloe made a muffled yelp into his kiss, then pushed him away. "What is your problem?"
Lucas blinked at her a few times. "I thought you wouldn't mind."
"What on earth made you think I wouldn't mind?" she fumed. She threw her tape recorder in her bag and stood up. "This interview is officially over. I know the way out." She pushed past Lucas and made her way towards the door.
He chased after her and grabbed the strap of her bag, spinning her around. "Chloe, wait."
She glared at him, mouth twisting down into a frown. "You know, you can't just go around kissing women without at least asking them first."
"Yes, but asking first takes all the fun out of it," he said smugly. "You do know what fun is, don't you?"
For once, Chloe was dumbstruck. She stood glaring at him through squinty eyes, her mouth open in disbelief. Who does this guy think he is?
Lucas laughed at her. "Yeah, I thought so. I bet you're the type who thinks your responsibilities are so important that you don't have time to even make friends."
"I have friends," Chloe retorted.
"Do you have a boyfriend? I bet you don't have time for one of those, what with your oh-so-important newspaper."
"I can't believe you think insulting me is going to win me over."
"Just tell me if you have a boyfriend."
Images of Clark flashed through her head. Clark in the Torch office, Clark in his tux for the dance, Clark making cow-eyes at Lana…
"No. But" she held up a hand to keep him from interrupting, "not because of the newspaper."
"Because he's interested in someone else, okay?"
"Oh." Lucas nodded. "Then why not kiss me? Maybe he'll find out, get jealous, realize what he's missing out on… It's a win-win situation."
She raised her eyebrows. "Can you explain to me how you came to that conclusion? Because your train of logic just jumped the track."
"You win because you get the chance to make your guy jealous. I win because I get to kiss you again."
"I don't believe you."
"Who knows, you may enjoy it."
Chloe closed her eyes tightly and frowned. "Fine. One kiss, and that's it."
Lucas reached down to touch her cheek, tilting her head slightly towards him. Chloe felt him leaning in, and then his lips were on hers. He kissed her harder, one arm snaking around her back to pull her against him.
Chloe heard herself moan against him, trying to keep her lips tightly closed. There was no way she was going to kiss him back. This bratty, egomaniacal creep who … just happened to be a really great kisser. She began to loosen her lips against his, and his mouth pressed against hers, molded hers, until she found she was kissing him just as hard as he kissed her.
Lucas broke away. "So what do you think, you want to stay or go?"
Her mouth turned up at the corners.
"So you'll be staying," he said.
Chloe gave him a full grin, and Lucas kissed her again. His lips pressed against hers, across her cheek and to her ear. She giggled as his teeth found her earlobe.
"You like that, huh?"
She responded by grabbing his head and pulling it back to her face. Her mouth found his, open and panting, and she kissed him, her tongue moving against his. Lucas groaned and ran his hands through her hair, pulling her head back, and his mouth latched onto her neck. He kissed down to her collarbone as Chloe gasped into the air.
Lucas braced a foot against the sofa, pulling her against his body. He lifted her slightly off the ground, then pivoted slightly and dropped onto the sofa, pulling Chloe on top of him.
She looked down at him. "This is so not what I expected coming here today."
"But isn't it better than what you hoped for?" He pushed her hair out of her face.
"Definitely." She kissed him again.
Lucas closed his eyes and moved underneath her, jostling Chloe slightly so that her legs slid between his. She ran a hand over his shoulders, then down his chest as he moaned. Her fingers moved across his chest and down his stomach, and for the first time she realized how hot Lucas Luthor actually was. He was all muscle under his shirt, and he really was handsome. Not as hot as Clark, really –
Why am I even thinking about him right now?
Chloe tugged on his shirt, pulling it up and exposing his stomach. Her hands slid under the cloth, pressing against his hot skin.
"God, Chloe," Lucas gasped, sitting up. She slipped off him, and for a split second they sat face-to-face, legs tangled together. And then she was pushed onto her back, and Lucas lay on top of her, kissing her all over.
His hands ran up her sides, making her giggle a bit as his fingers skimmed across her ribs. Lips back and forth on hers, opening hers, tongue pressing against hers. Chloe sighed into Lucas, threading her fingers through his short hair. And then his hand was under her shirt, pads of his fingers outlining her bellybutton, making her giggle louder. Then higher, tracing the bottom of her breasts, making her suck in a mouthful of air with a surprised whimper.
Lucas looked up at her and gave her a wide grin, then leaned down and kissed her belly. Chloe smiled at the feel of his hot breath on her flesh, and she pushed his head against her stomach with her hands. Lucas made short licks with the tip of his tongue, working his way up her body to her chest. And then both of his hands were under her shirt, sliding up to her shoulders, bringing the material with him and then over her head.
Chloe wriggled her shoulders out of the shirt, then Lucas lay down against her, pressing her between the warmth of his body and the cool leather beneath her. She wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders as he reached beneath her to pull her closer.
"Lucas," she whispered into his ear, arching herself up into his body. He responded by smashing himself into her, his muscles grinding against her.
Never before had she done anything like this with a guy she barely knew. Hell, half of her fantasies about Clark never got this farthey were always late nights in the office, a chaste kiss in the glow of a computer monitor. But Lucas, he was the guy in fantasies wearing leather pants and making out in alleys behind nightclubs with. Lucas was the guy she had the dirty fantasies about, before she even knew him. Except he wasn't a fantasy. He was right there, taking off his shirt, half-naked on top of her…
This isn't the kind of thing I do, Chloe reminded herself, suddenly very aware of her situation. And the thin layer of perspiration on their skin, aiding their fingers across each other's bodies. And the telephone suddenly ringing on the desk…
"Damn it!" Lucas muttered, lifting his head to stare over the back of the couch at the phone. He looked back at Chloe. "I'm sorry, this could be important."
With that, he climbed off her, circling the office to the desk. As Lucas answered the phone, Chloe lay on the sofa staring at the ceiling high above, wondering just what the hell she was doing there. In her bra. With a Luthor. And not the Luthor that she at least knew well enough to know not to trust.
"Thanks for the heads-up," Lucas groaned into the receiver. "Stall him for a few minutes, okay? Give him some bullshit runaround." He slammed down the phone and returned to the sofa.
Chloe was already pulling her shirt back on when Lucas stopped in front of her. "It's Lex. He's at the gate, demanding to be let in. I guess you'll want to slip out before he notices you're here."
She stared at him for a second. "Okay. Yeah."
Lucas offered a hand to pull her to her feet. "When you get out to your car, follow the drive around the mansion to the left. It'll take you through the side entrance and you can get to the road from there. Lex won't know."
Chloe combed her fingers with her hair. "I think you're the one who's most concerned about Lex knowing who's here. I have nothing to hide."
He smiled slightly, pulling her in for a final kiss. "Remember how I said I'd do the interview on one condition?"
Her eyes narrowed. "Yeah."
"Well, it's that you keep everything off the record."
Chloe's mouth dropped open, and Lucas pressed his mouth against hers. "You bastard!" she gasped when she managed to pull away.
He smirked at her on the way to the gym in the corner. "It was really great meeting you."
She watched him as he began doing pull-ups, then grabbed her bag and stormed out of the office. Back down the hall, down the forty-two stairs, and out into the courtyard. Her car started and the tires spun, sending her rocketing out of the courtyard. Two more turns, and she was back on the road.
She wouldn't cry. Not over something like this. This wasn't humiliation. Because she couldn't care less about Lucas. Besides, it was fun. He was a good kisser. That's all.
A click from her bag caught her attention, and Chole reached a hand inside to fish for the culprit. She pulled out the tape recorder, now out of tape, and pressed the rewind button. After a half minute, she pressed play. Muffled breathing, gasps. "Lucas." Her voice on the tape. Oh God.
Chloe pressed stop, then stabilized the steering wheel with her knees as she used her hands to rip the tape out of the machine. Once freed, she yanked some of the tape from the casing and crumpled it in her hand, then rolled down the window and chucked the mangled cassette from her speeding car. It bounced once against the pavement, then out of view. It would either end up in a muddy ditch, or run over by another car. All evidence of her afternoon indiscretion gone.
Chloe set her eyes on the road ahead and gripped the steering wheel. Better put this all out of her head. Think about the stuff that matters. So what will the new feature be on next week's Torch?
She began making a list in her head and pressed the accelerator. Back to the newspaper office. Back to normal.