Author's Notes. Written for a personal challenge I issued where my friends give me the details and I supply the fic. This one is for Medie. Kudos to LaCasta for the beta reading and for inadvertently giving me the title.
"Not Necessarily Happily Ever After"
Rain was coming down in heavy sheets outside Chloe's window. Not that she could very much of it. Visibility was lousy, and the only time she seemed able to see anything was when lightning lit the sky. Heavy winds had knocked the power out on this end of Metropolis, as well, and had it not been for her fireplace and a few trusty oil lamps--which Clark and Pete had both ragged her for having in the first place ("And here I thought Chloe Sullivan was a modern woman," Pete had accused.)--she wouldn't be able see a thing except what the lightning allowed.
Chloe pitied anyone unlucky enough to get caught out in the storm. It wasn't fit for man or beast out there.
Mother Nature, Fate, or both must have heard her thoughts on the subject, because just then, there was a loud screech and the squeal of tires.
Throwing on her rain coat and the first available pair of shoes, Chloe did the only thing she knew to do--go out to see who had wrecked. She snatched a flashlight off the end table and left the door unlocked in her mad dash outside. Rain pounded her body as if it was trying to punish her for this attempted rescue, and it seemed like forever until she reached the end of the driveway where a car was tangled in her iron gate.
A very fancy, expensive car. Sleek and black, and Chloe caught sight of an "L" on what remained of the personalized license plate. An "L" on a license plate in Metropolis meant only one thing... a Luthor. Before she had time to process this fact, however, the door of the sports car opened in painful slow motion, and a figure in a black raincoat staggered outside into the rain. Lightning gleamed off the top of a bald head.
"Can I get you more hot chocolate?" Chloe asked after an awkward silence in which they both sipped cocoa and tried not to stare at each other. Lex Luthor sat on her couch, wrapped in one of her favorite afghans, and this was the only thing she could think to say other than "are you feeling better?" which she asked again.
"Better than your gate," Lex said, the lop-sided grin which appeared on his face relieving her instantly. If he could manage sarcasm, he was fine.
She snorted in return. "Remind me to bill you for the repairs."
"You wound me, Chloe. It's been what, five years, and all you can concern yourself with is how your gate's going to get fixed?"
Five years. He said it like it was nothing, but to Chloe, it had been more like the end of the world.
"What would you have me concern myself with, Lex?" she asked. She couldn't keep the hurt out of her voice. Five years ago, Chloe Sullivan was a senior journalism student at Metropolis University, and Lex Luthor had promised to give her a special exclusive on his plans to give funding to the school. For once, she'd gotten the interview without physical injury, but her heart had been irrevocably lost.
They dated for a few months, a whirlwind affair that still left her breathless whenever she thought about it. Lex showed her the world she was meant to have, and then, just weeks away from graduation, he took it all away.
As if sensing her train of thought, Lex lowered his usually proud eyes. "I'm sorry, Chloe."
"You're sorry? You're.. SORRY?" Her voice raised an octave. He'd gone off on a business trip, and Chloe seen him on the news two days later with a tall, dark haired floozy on his arm for the opening of some new Parisian night club. The floozy followed him home to his Metropolis penthouse, a fact he hadn't bother to hide from anyone. That was when Chloe realized that while Lex enjoyed little reminders of his days in Smallville, people from there would never be good enough for him.
"Is that so hard to believe?"
Yes, in fact, it was. "You didn't seem so repentant at the time," she accused.
"You didn't give me a chance to explain," he countered.
"The photographs of you and...what was her name again? I try to forget... said all there was to say."
"Laurette, and pictures sometime lie. You never gave me the chance to tell you the truth." He sounded tired, as if this were an old debate instead of one they'd never gotten the chance to have.
The fact that he seemed genuinely disturbed by this fact, even after five years of silence between them, was not lost on Chloe. "Would you have, if I'd asked?"
"How can you ask such a thing? I love... loved... you." The tense change threw her off every bit as much as the admission itself. Did he love her still? Was that even possible?
"You moved her into the penthouse," she reminded him.
He shrugged. "You'd already condemned me for worse. I figured if I was going to be damned for it, I may as well commit the crime." Then he sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, a Lexian gesture which meant frustration. "Laurette and I knew each other once. She surprised me at the club, and the paparazzi got it all on film. I didn't want it, didn't ask for it. By the time I got home to you, I'd already been judged and found lacking."
"You're saying you didn't fool around with her?"
"Not until she showed in Metropolis. Like I said, I figured I had nothing left to lose." His next words stunned her. "It was a mistake: one I wish to God I'd never made. Chloe, believe me, if I could turn back the clock, I'd have sent her back to Paris on the first plane out of town. I'd have done anything--groveled at your feet even--if you'd only taken me back."
Chloe wasn't sure who moved first, but somehow they were in each other's arms, lips pressed together. His mouth tasted like instant cocoa and felt like silk against hers. It caressed and teased until her lips parted in a sigh of wistful longing.
Thoughts like "we shouldn't be doing this" and "oh god, yes" flitted through her mind, only to be squelched by desire when his tongue slid into her mouth. He tasted her, mapping every inch of her mouth in a slow exploration.
They bodies seemed to remember each other, even after so many lost years, and fitted together like they belonged. His hands drifted from the sides of her face to the back of her head, fingers gently tangling in her hair. It was shorter now. When they'd dated, she'd grown it long, but lately she was back to the shorter look. Easier to maintain, though Lex's fingers didn't sink into it like they used to.
Chloe pushed the afghan from his shoulders then started working on the buttons of his shirt. His hands joined hers, leaving her hair to tug her shirt out of the waist band of her jeans. Raising her arms for him, she allowed him to pull the shirt over her head and then pushed his off his shoulders. His skin was smooth to the touch, smoother than she remembered, and her fingers suddenly itched to touch him everywhere.
When she pulled him close once again, he leaned in, kissing the soft swell of her breasts. Her heart was pounding in her chest as he worked the clasp of her front fastening bra with his teeth. This turned out to be calculated torture. Each labored breath he took fell--warm and moist--on his sensitive skin, driving her insane. By the time the undergarment slipped off her shoulders, she was writhing against him for want of more.
Lex, apparently, was of the same mind.
He pushed her down into the couch, and she reached for him--arms and legs both wrapping around him and pulling him both to and inside her. His lips nuzzled and nipped at her neck, finding tender places he should have forgotten. Her fingers raked over his back, and they would both leave marks tonight. Visual reminders of what they were doing. Holding him tighter, she arched into his body the way she knew he liked it.
Chloe didn't want to think about what would happen when the storm ended and daylight broke. If tonight was all they had left, she intended to make it last.
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