Her grip on the steering wheel was less than stellar due to the wool gloves she was wearing. They were more for fashion than practicality, their bright colors a happy sight compared to the gray dankness of the Kansas winter. They had been a Christmas gift from Lana the year before -- yellows, reds and blues in a pattern that Chloe described as "funky Norwegian". The description invariably led Pete to try out his miserable Norwegian accent on any unsuspecting person that happened to be near him at the time.
Chloe had a much more suitable pair in the glove compartment of her ancient car. She was tacitly ignoring them for the time being. It probably wasn't the wisest move, but she hadn't worn them yet, and seriously wondered if she'd ever feel comfortable enough to do so.
They were driving gloves made of supple leather, the same color as coffee with a milk and two sugars -- her favorite. She only drank black coffee for appearances -- black coffee was hard core, but she much preferred the creamy color and less bitter taste of the diluted version. No one but her father and Lex knew her dirty little secret. Not even Clark knew. But Clark didn't know a lot of things.
The gloves had arrived a couple of months before, in a slim box that was delivered to their door by a shivering FedEx guy. Gabe had handed off the package to his daughter without a second thought, going into the kitchen to finish fixing dinner. It was a small mercy that Chloe was instantly grateful for. Inside were a pair of gloves, a perfect fit by the look of them, made out of the creamiest leather she had ever known and with a dainty little button on the wrist for closure.
When she picked up the top glove to try it on, she saw the little white card, heavy stock and with an embossed frame, around the edge lying in the box. Written in a very tall, straight script was a simple message with a loaded meaning.
"Leather is good for many things."
No name had been signed, but Chloe knew who had sent the gloves. From that day forward they had sat in their original box, deep in her glove compartment. The weather would be changing soon and she would have to bring them inside for fear that the heat would damage them.
She would keep them locked in her room, taking them out only to care for them so they'd stay as perfect as possible for the day that she felt comfortable enough to wear them in public.
They were a simple gift, to be sure, but they also meant so much more - just like her friendship with Lex. For now they'd both remain secret.
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