by M. Edison

God, I have never been so tired in my life. The doctors move about me and, in the other cubicle, my father in a frenetic pace that seems strangely hushed. They assume, erroneously, that I'm in shock and behave accordingly but they're wrong. I simply can't find the energy to move or care.

I wonder if this night will become a turning point. If, at some future date, I will look back on this day and know that it is the defining moment of my life. It feels as though my exhaustion hides within it some sort of epiphany. I can't even summon the energy to hate my father. I can't seem to feel anything about him.

He's irrelevant.

The moment the doctor has pronounced me fit, I leave the exam room.

I emerge into the hall to find Chloe Sullivan, still in dance finery, standing a few feet away, leaning against a wall. Her arms are wrapped about herself, and she's watching the people bustling about the floor with a look of dejected confusion that tells me in an instant what happened.

Clark, my friend, you've truly done it this time. I'm sure that whatever reason drew you from Chloe's side to rush off to Lana's aide is a valid one but that doesn't negate the pain I see in her captivating eyes or the anger I feel toward you. I know in the past I have encouraged your feelings for Lana but I certainly never meant you were to do so at Chloe's expense.

The beauty before me turns her gaze and meets mine, our gazes lock and something surges between us. In that instant I know two things. I know that Clark Kent, you are an idiot and as for the other thing...I'm incredibly grateful for that fact. For handing me, practically gift-wrapped, an opportunity I didn't know I wanted.

I don't remember closing the distance between us but suddenly Chloe is in my arms, my mouth is on hers, and she is making the most erotic sound I have ever heard - something caught between a whimper and a moan - and I am lost.

Propriety be damned, I back Chloe against the wall, pressing myself up against her, my body gleefully reacting to the feel of her oh-so-intoxicating curves flush against it. My God, she is bewitching and, entranced, I deepen the kiss as her mouth eagerly accepts the admission of my tongue.

Sweet, sweet Chloe. Do you have any inkling how beautiful you are? I strongly suspect you don't and, were I to bring it up, I know you would make some crack about Smallville's standard of beauty requiring raven hair and emerald eyes. But that's one thing I find so gloriously refreshing about you. You are beautiful in an unassuming way, an earthy and natural way that brings beauty to a standard that is not an impossible dream. In the world I come from, girls like Lana lang are - as they say - a dime a dozen. They are flawless and elegant, and say and do all the right things, but they don't encourage close examination. They are china dolls that belong on a shelf, admired but never touched. But not you. You are a beauty that draws people, they want to be close to you. I can quite honestly say that I have only once before met anyone like you...and she was my mother. I'd never thought I 'd know anyone like her again. And now there you are, as beautiful and as unique as she was and I know I never will again.

My mother would say, Chloe Sullivan, that you are a treasure and I say she's right.

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