by Fen

I sometimes wonder if it was part of his plan to begin with. The frantic, fumbled coupling with his son in shadowed alcoves and on library tables. He gave me everything I ever wanted all he asked in return was my soul but he got my body in the bargain as well. In the beginning I had the battle lines drawn. I would go so far, and no farther, but gradually my resolve began to crumble. Perhaps if Clark had been here, I never could stay mad for long in the face of, well his face but he disappeared like the sun in winter and left me to freeze.

It was odd at first; wandering the Luthor mansion, Lionel set a desk in Lex's office for me to use and the two of us sat silently side by side for hours everyday. His injuries and grief left Lex a hollow shadow of the charismatic young man he was before the accident that killed Helen. He became a puppet for his father, I watched from my vantage across the room and wondered then if Clark could have stopped the continued undermining of his friend or if the demoralization of Lex Luthor was inevitable.

I came to see the differences in him in myself, the soulessness that comes with selling yourself to the Devil. The only hint of the man he once was came in the form of notes he left hidden in my desk and amongst my things. Haphazard references to the bible, fairytales and mythology all with sharp biting meanings if one took the time to look them up, but we never spoke. We spent silent hours in some freakish sort of companionship but neither of us ever spoke.

The days, turned into weeks and weeks into months while we waited out our winter sacrifice in chilly silence. Then they found him. I don't know where or how but Mr. Kent and Pete came back with Clark in tow. I knew it from the look in Lex's eyes when I walked through the door so I didn't need the words that accompanied it.

"He's back." His voice was hoarse from lack of use, we stared at each other silently for a moment and then I found myself crossing the room and climbing into his lap. My mouth found his in a kiss that was part love, and hate and desperation not to be cast aside and his arms hauled me flush against him as his hands tangled in my hair.

A little less than two weeks later when school started again neither of us had seen Clark, but we had both seen Lionel. I don't know what Lex said to him, despite all the sex we still didn't talk, so when my turn came I stood before him like a sacrifice waiting at the altar.

"It has been arranged for you to reside here at the mansion."

"My Dad..."

"Gabe has been promoted and is transferring to one of our overseas offices, he agrees that it would be cruel to uproot you so far into you high school career. He has graciously accepted my offer for you to reside here as a companion for Lex when I am out of town on business and so you can finish the next two years at Smallville High." I must have flinched a bit because he smiled then.

"What did you tell him?"

"The truth, that my son wants you in his bed, and a Luthor always gets what he wants. He was startlingly easy to convince."

I tried not to think about the implication that my father had just sold me into some perverse form of slavery, but then I guess I did that to myself when I agreed to Lionel's bargain. Dad just capitalized on the inevitable.

"What about Lana?"

"Your father is making arrangements, though I assume she will be living with the Small's or perhaps, the Kent's," he watched me for some sort of sign of weakness but I stood firm. "Do you really care?" I ignored the question.

"I'll pack my things."

"Already done, you my dear are the newest member of this household, your things will be arriving later today. Welcome to the family." With that he went back to the papers on his desk effectively dismissing me, making me feel even less human than I already did. In the dim hallway Lex waited and I got some perverse satisfaction out of making him cry out my name where our conqueror could hear.

On my desk in the newly refurbished Torch office there sits a small statue of the goddess Demeter, a gift from Lex, one that only I understand. Everyone looks at it, comments on the oddness of it and the beauty but no one has ever asked why she rests there amongst all the trappings that my soul wrought. No one asks why a mural of a painting by Monet has replaced the Wall of Weird. The fact that I now live with the Luthor's has been a great source of gossip for any and all interested in debating lives other than their own but no one ever mentions it to me. The perks of having power or at least having friends with power.

I sit there, across from Clark in a mirror of the way I sit with Lex at home and wonder if he could have saved me like he had every time before. If he could have saved Lex before he became a shallow lifeless shell that only ever feels anything when he has me pinned to some flat surface or has a blade in his hand. If he had been there, could he have stopped the battle before we became casualties of our own making and gave in to the devil for what sunlight he had promised us.

We sit, and write but we don't talk, I rarely speak now leaving my thoughts and emotions to my journal. Lionel couldn't have done a better job alienating us from each other if he planned it himself. I'm actually sort of jealous that he is such a good judge of the nature of people, and the ruthless way he jumps of the weaknesses of his enemies and allies alike. It's a trait I can't seem to pick up but startlingly Clark seems to have no trouble with the concept and uses his advantage to corner me in my own lair.

"Chloe, talk to me."

"Are you done with your article for this weeks edition?"

"It's on your desk and that's not what I meant," he grabs my arm and turns me to face him. "Please. I know you're hurt about Lana and I, but what you're doing..." He gestures at the new Torch and vaguely at me and I pull away not able to stand his touch for a single second longer.

"It has nothing to do with that, or you. Clark Kent boy wonder and center of the universe." The sarcasm that has so long been my only escape from the unique pain that only this one person can give me slips back into my voice rusty after a long period of disuse. I start to leave but his voice louder now, more assertive than I can remember it being follows me and I realize suddenly I'm not the only who's changed.

"You can't run away forever Chlo. Lex is my friend but he's too old for you. There are things about him you don't know." I turn on him unable to keep it all bottled inside any longer.

"My God Clark! You are such a hypocrite. You talk about Lex lying, keeping secrets? Like what? Like his women, the drugs in his youth? Maybe you think he has to hide his ruthlessness from me to keep me in his bed." Clark's eyes widen and I get a sick pleasure out of the fact that he wasn't sure until that second that I was sleeping with Lex. "You aren't one to talk about secrets. You lied to me." His skin flushes guiltily and I smile glad I struck a nerve.

"I apologized for that Chloe, I didn't know how to tell you about Lana." I laugh and it sounds twisted even to my own ears.

"Oddly enough Clark this isn't about that one defining moment in our relationship." Damn once the sarcasm starts I can't seem to stop and he's looking at me like I just killed his favorite kitten.

"What happened to you Chlo?"
"You happened." I spit out at him my venom quickly failing and dissolving into tears that are threatening at the back of my eyes. "You lied to me and deserted me." I'm crying now, ashamed because Lex would be disappointed but unable to stop when I feel Clarks hand on my shoulder. "First my mother, then you and my father I should be used to it by now. I'm just not one of those people that people keep around for the long haul."

"That's not true, we all miss you Lana, Pete we're all worried." I don't know what hurt more his concern now that it was too late or the fact that he was talking to me as some sort of group representative holding an intervention with the out of control kid. "I know how you feel, about not being wanted." I find myself laughing again, way to go Chlo that'll make him believe you haven't lost it.

"I used to agree with you. I thought we had so much in common, we both got deserted by at least a mother so you had to understand. But you didn't Clark. Wherever you're from your parents didn't discard you they loved you, so you can't begin to know what it's like to not even be able to make your own mother love you." The look on his face should be comical. It's the realization that he doesn't really a thing about what I'm feeling coupled with the 'oh shit' look he does so well.

I wish I could be like Lionel, because this instant would be the perfect one to jump one. Yes Clark, I know your secret, now figure out if I've told Lex or Lionel. Try and find the mistake you made the action that gave it away.

"When?" I want to be cruel but I can't be.

"Not long after you left. I had enough pieces; chard's of information and my own experiences to pull it all together. It wasn't as hard as it should have been."

"Did you..."

"I didn't tell anyone, I destroyed what I had. Started giving Lionel useless and half-true information to keep him off my back."


"It was easier keeping him on his back." The shock in his eyes is almost unbearable, followed by the guilt I knew he would have as he realized what I became to have my chance at being the savior. He doesn't say anything more but I notice as he leaves the office his hand lingering on the statue of Demeter, my namesake. I know he understands that I gave up what I loved to preserve it. That I made a deal with the devil to win back the sweetness of spring even if that meant I had to dwell in the sorrow. I only hope he uses the knowledge well.

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