Author's Notes: Written for the Challenge in a Can at the First Church of Lex. My challenge words were lightning/smooth/eyes/ The CiaC can be found here: http://triplethreatdjm.crosswinds.net/FCoL/
Lana Lang was afraid of storms. She had been ever since she was a small girl, even before her parents died. After their deaths, storms took on new fears. The lightning and the thunder reminded her of the raging balls of fire that had consumed them with pounding fury.
When the rain started later on that evening, she was working at the Talon and didn't really give it much thought. Customers slowly filed out, some of them grumbling about forgotten umbrellas and getting home before it got much worse. Lana, however, was too busy doing inventory and writing up next week's work schedule to notice a change in the weather.
Until a loud clap of thunder, followed swiftly by a blue-white flash, preceded the Talon losing power--drowning it in darkness.
The next crash of thunder--louder to Lana's ears this time--caused her to drop the clipboard she was holding. It fell to the floor, mimicking the thunder as it clattered to the ground at her feet. Then came more lightning, lighting the former movie theatre in some devilish imitation of a movie reel flickering evil blue-yellow light into every corner of the darkness.
Lana screamed and ducked behind the counter. Sucking in a ragged breath, she began muttering an old child's prayer in hushed tones, as if by whispering it, the storm would not find her. Instead, the wind picked up and rain pelted the roof and windows of the building.
After yet another clap of thunder, she crawled into one of the cupboards under the counter, shivering like a terrified rabbit. She couldn't see the lightning anymore, but knew that with the thunder's roll, it would light the room. In the darkness, there were no seconds to count between them, as the storm was here... waiting for her to come out of hiding.
A loud crash and the sound of shattering glass met her ears and she let out another shrill cry. Her heart was in her throat, its beat pounding in her ears. She barely heard the crunch of footsteps on glass, and when she did, it was the sound of the storm come to life in every nightmare she'd ever had. Fire and fury come to claim her, too.
"Lana!?" The voice was collected and firm, yet held an edge of urgency to it. "Lana, are you here?"
No, Lana told herself. It was the storm, a ruse for it to get to her. More thunder and she shrieked, cowering further in her cupboard until the wood bit into her skin. The menacing footsteps followed the sound of her scream, pausing behind the counter. Then a sliver of light appeared as the cupboard door opened.
"Lex?" she whimpered. He was holding a flashlight, open concern visible in the thin beam of its light. "How... how did you know I was here?"
"Gabe called my cell when you didn't come home. He tried calling here but the phone lines are down." He held out his hand to her, which she took hesitantly.
As she stood, lightning struck the ground just outside the window. She reacted as a skittish colt, jumping at the sound and into Lex's arms. The flashlight fell from his grasp, darkening as it hit the floor. Lana screamed again.
"Shhh... " Lex's voice was close to her ears, warm and comforting. "Shhh... everything's going to be alright, Lana." She couldn't stop trembling, though, and stumbled as he led her into the back office. "We'll be more comfortable here," he said in reply to her questioning gaze, lowering them both to the couch.
She clung to him, hiding her tear-stained face in his rumpled purple shirt and felt his arms tighten around her. His body against hers was solid and warm, and she couldn't remember the last time she felt this safe in the midst of storm. One hand massaged her back, rubbing in slow, comforting circles, and Lana felt herself relaxing into his gentle touch.
"Lex..." she whispered breathily, and when she shivered this time, it wasn't with fear. Long fingers brushed across her skin, smoothing a tangle of dark hair away from her eyes as they cupped her face and tilted it towards his. The caress was softly intimate, and Lana's breath caught in her throat.
The blue eyes that regarded her flashed suddenly--desire flitting across his countenance like the lightning that still brightened the sky outside their haven. Lana wanted to lose herself in the oblivion those eyes offered. They promised sweet forgetfulness in the depths of their darkening pools.
Her lips quivered, but no longer from fright, and a slight twitch of Lex's mouth told her that he'd noticed the difference. He tilted her head a little further back, and she let him, tasting the storm in the rain dried on his lips, smelling it in the wind that had only so recently caressed his clothes with its rough hands. The warmth of his kiss raced through her body, scorching her soul with its flames.
His very touch was fire on her cold, trembling skin. Where his fingers moved--removing clothing as they went--they seemed to burn through her. Where she touched him, in turn, she felt only searing heat. And when he took her, it was as a bolt of pure lightning tearing through her storm-ravished body.
Outside, the storm had begun to move away. Lightning no longer brightened the sky and the thunder had faded into the distance. Lex gathered her into his arms and held her to him, kissing her hair tenderly, as if this is what you did when the flames that consumed you died away. His whispered words of reassurance smoldered in her ears, and eyes drooped hazily as she listened to them.
Tonight, they were both victims of the terrible storm--their friendship sacrificed to its power and might. Tomorrow, in the light of a new day, they would be forced to build whatever was left. One thing was certain, though: Lana would never fear the storm again. She'd faced it at last.
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