*...and also involved in the stand-off were several innocent bystanders; Whitney Fordman, 30, of Metropolis; his wife, Daily Planet reporter Chloe Sullivan-Fordman, 27; and their eighteen-month-old son John. No one was injured, and the perpetrator was successfully taken into custody. He has been charged with kidnapping, assault, attempted robbery, and reckless endangerment. His name has not yet been released by the authorities.*
Chloe sat back, editing a few sentences here and there, and letting her spell-check correct her oddly-atrocious spelling. "Jimmy!" she yelled out. "You got those pictures from the LexCorp conference this morning?"
"Yeah, they're in the copy room!" came the answer, followed by Jimmy Olsen's red head popping around the corner. "You want a copy of 'em, C'lo?"
"Yeah, if you don't mind. I've gotta see which ones Perry's putting in with the article so I can adjust a couple of the commentaries to match 'em, and write the captions." She flashed him a grin. "Pretty please with a toasted sesame bagel on top?"
"You owe me about ten of those already," Jimmy snorted. "I'll bring a copy up in about half an hour."
"You're the best!" Chloe chirped.
"No, he's the best," Jimmy said, pointing at the elevator.
Chloe craned her head, and then grinned when her husband stepped off the elevator. "Whitney!" she yelled, raising her arm and waving it. "At my desk!"
"For a change," Whitney said, balancing two cups of coffee in his hands. "They know me at the desk as Mr. Sullivan," he said, pouting. "John's with my mother--she hasn't let go of her darling grandson since we brought him home last night, so since I had a little spare time, I brought caffeine and sugar for my best girl," he said, holding up the small bag that held lemon-filled doughnuts, Chloe's favorite.
"God, I knew there was a reason I married you," Chloe said, getting up and meeting him halfway. She gave him a kiss as she snuck the doughnut bag out of his hand, and then gleefully withdrew the sticky treat. "You bring me coffee and doughnuts when I'm working."
"And here I thought you loved my bubbly personality and amazingly toned abs," he said, returning the kiss and holding the hot coffee out of her reach until they were both sitting at her desk. "You're writing the LexCorp story?"
"Yeah. I convinced Perry that I could be fair and balanced, instead of doing a complete hatchet job on Lex." She sighed. "My cousin? Not nearly so nice about it. Lois was all for the hatcheting, despite the fact that Lex had nothing to do with the nutball working for him taking us hostage after we'd had dinner with him."
"Good, because I'd hate to see Lex or Clark get another bad story in the press." Whitney sighed, and slid one of the coffee cups over to Chloe. "Mom's going to take John all night," he said pointedly.
Chloe nodded her agreement; bad press was the last thing their friends needed, especially after just having come out together.
"You should oil those squeaky wheels, Sullivan," Whitney said with a grin. "I can hear 'em turning all the way over here, and when that happens it's usually not wonderful news for me."
She gave Whitney a guilty grin. "Sorry, baby. Just thinking about Clark and Lex," she answered, sipping her coffee.
"Kinky," was Whitney's answer to that, and he easily ducked the wadded-up napkin Chloe threw at him.
"Pervert," she accused, sending the text of her article to the printer so she could have a hard copy to arrange Jimmy's photos around. "So did last night change your mind?"
Whitney shook his head at that, all business. "No. If anything, it's made me more determined to accept Lex's offer. He needs a better security team, and I'm going to head it for him."
"And the idea that Lex is starting to build his own private army--"
"Is as ludicrous coming from you as it was from that paranoid freak job last night!" Whitney interrupted. "Worse, even, because you know Lex!"
"Calm down, honey," Chloe soothed, still sipping her coffee and patting Whitney on the arm. "I'm just making sure. Because you know Lois is going to jump all over this with both feet as soon as it goes public, and you're going to have to tell her off."
"She's your cousin, Chloe, not mine. I'm more than capable of telling her to screw off," Whitney pointed out.
"You just don't like Lois because she called you a goose-stepping establishment automaton," Chloe said, dimples winking as she grinned. "She's still got issues with my uncle Sam about being a military brat."
"Yeah, well, she should be right at home with that paranoid Bibbowski she's interviewing now. Says he saw the caped guy flying over LexCorp last night while the cops were finishing up with us."
Chloe rolled her eyes. "Don't even mention that story to me, Fordman," she growled. "Lois has been driving me nuts with it. I finally told her this morning to just leave me alone and let me write the hostage story while she chased after the Flying Wonder."
"I can't believe that guy thought that a respectable, award-winning journalist like you was going to write that piece of crap article about Lex," Whitney said, but before he could say anything else, a loud bellow shook the newsroom.
"SULLIVAN, I WANT THAT ARTICLE ON MY DESK THIRTY MINUTES AGO!" shouted Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet. "FORDMAN! STOP DISTRACTING MY BEST REPORTER AND GET THE HELL OUT!"
"Sure thing, Chief!" Chloe sang out, grabbing the papers from the printer and smirking at Whitney. "He hates that."
"DON'T CALL ME CHIEF!" The door to Perry's office slammed shut.
When Chloe came home that evening, she found a (take-out) dinner already laid out on a candle-lit table. Wineglasses filled with iced tea sat at each place setting, and a big, goofy grin spread over her lips as she saw the careful preparations that Whitney had made for a romantic evening. "Okay, Fordman, what did you do now?" she demanded, hands going to her hips.
"Took the ringer off the phone, turned down the answering machine, hid your cell phone, and locked the door behind you," Whitney said, clicking the lock behind her.
Chloe smiled. "And you bought dinner. You are a good husband."
Whitney's chest puffed out. "Yeah, I am," he said, reaching out for her and tugging her in close.
"And John's okay with Lorry?" Chloe asked, wrapping her arms around his waist. She'd missed him so much when he'd been serving overseas, and now that he was home, she couldn't get enough of being with him, even after nearly two and a half years had passed.
"I called right before I turned off the ringer," Whitney said. "John's had dinner, watched Nickelodeon cartoons until he passed out, and is currently sleeping in his grandmother's spare bedroom with Frankie the dog."
Chloe shivered. "Oh... I can't believe it. We're... all alone."
"Mmhmm," Whitney nodded, starting to kiss Chloe's neck. "So, what do you propose we do?"
"Naked Twister?" she suggested, sliding her hands over Whitney's biceps and up under his sleeves.
"Interesting idea of foreplay," Whitney replied, pulling Chloe in behind him, the answering machine going unheard.
"That's why you love me," Chloe agreed, following him into the bedroom. "I keep things spicy." Her hands slid down Whitney's stomach and started untucking his shirt so that she could kiss her way up his chest.
"That you do," Whitney agreed, raising his arms so that she could push his shirt off entirely, and once his chest was bare, he brought his arms down around her waist, doing the same thing to her and raising her shirt up her back, unhooking the lacy yellow bra that held her breasts captive.
Chloe gave a deep sigh as his fingers released her breasts, and then slipped under the unhooked garment to massage them lightly. Whitney's thumbs stroked over the welts left by the elastic cutting into her generous cleavage as his fingers cradled their weights reverently, rubbing carefully. "Oh, that feels good," she almost purred.
Whitney just grinned as he slid her shirt the rest of the way off, then tugged the lacy bra with it. He moved to sit on the edge of the bed, hooking his arms around Chloe's waist to tow her in. Once she was snuggled between his open legs, Whitney's mouth opened to gently suck one of her nipples.
Chloe gave a delighted little squirm, straddling Whitney's lap and settling down. Her hands rose to hold out her breasts, offering them to her husband, rubbing the nipple of one over his lips until he opened and sucked it in once more.
Whitney's fingers unsnapped the fasteners that held Chloe's slacks closed, unzipped them and let his fingers slide inside, teasing along the outside of her panties as he drew gently on her nipple. He didn't rub between her wet lips, yet, just teasing along the outside of her underwear, following the lace and elastic around the leg and crotch as he switched nipples, giving the other equal attention as he grinned up at his wife.
Chloe laughed breathlessly and shoved Whitney back. "Tease," she accused, climbing off him as she slid down her green slacks and her underwear, ducking as Whitney's jeans came sailing over her head. When she turned around and looked at him, Whitney was lying on the bed, naked and waiting for her, legs spread open and framing his cock, one arm tucked behind his head and the thumb of the other hand flicking across his nipple.
Her knees went weak seeing him posed like a centerfold, and she crawled into bed beside him, straddling his hips. She leaned over and kissed him deeply, seriously, the playfulness from before shifting quickly into full-blown need and hungry desire. When his hands stroked over her back, Chloe arched into them, then rubbed against them as they slid over her chest and down her stomach.
Chloe didn't hesitate when she felt Whitney's fingers stroking her slit and rubbing gently over her clit. She reached around his hands, holding herself open as she rocked her hips back and started to slide herself down his cock. It brought a groan out of her throat as she pushed down on his shaft, feeling each inch of his erection penetrating her. His hands were on her hips, pushing her down and rocking her gently back and forth, keeping her from moving too much until she was completely impaled on him and ready to ride.
She loved to ride him, and she loved that he got off on it as much as she did.
Loved that she could see in Whitney's eyes how much he wanted her, when he was ready for her to go faster, to slow down. Loved how she could link their fingers together as she slid over his body, her breasts bouncing teasingly as he sat up to kiss and lick them. Loved that she could feel him stiffening and grunting under her as she moved harder, pulling him to the brink of orgasm before slowing down to do it all over again.
Loved the feeling of her wedding ring when Whitney rubbed his thumb over it, loved the feel of his when her fingertips pressed against it in their clasped hands as he rolled her over, of his mouth kissing hers hotly as he thrust into her, his cock sliding easily in her wet depths as he made love to her. She loved that he was gentle, never rough unless she asked for it; loved that she could feel how much he loved her in every soft touch of his hands on her skin, his mouth on hers, the whisper of her name in a hoarse voice as he stroked into her.
When she came, she felt like she was going to shatter inside Whitney's strong embrace. His arms were tight around her, holding her together as she shuddered through her orgasm, then when she felt him coming, her arms tightened around his shoulders to return the favor, holding him tightly to her chest.
Chloe was curled beside her husband, head resting on his shoulder as she dozed. There was soft music playing in the background, and it muffled the thump of an unscrewed doorknob falling onto the carpet. Bolt cutters snipped the chain lock on the door, and a black-clad figure slipped into the apartment.
It hid in the shadows of the dark living room, staying out of the soft silver moonlight coming in from the glass doors leading out onto the patio and fire escape. Instead, he stayed near the dark walls, in the shadowy kitchen.
Chloe stirred in the bedroom, mouth dry and stomach rumbling. She was hungry, thirsty, and it wasn't going to let her sleep any longer. She rolled quietly out of bed, picking up one of the discarded sheets and wrapped it around herself like a toga, tucking it under her arms to cover her nudity.
Whitney stirred. "Chloe?"
"It's okay, sweetie," she said softly. "I'm just going to get something to drink. I'll be right back," she soothed, pulling the comforter up over his hip. She waited a few moments until he'd settled back down, and then quietly opened the door and slipped out into the living room.
The blinking of the answering machine caught her attention, and she tightened the sheet around her chest as she reached down to press the play button. While the machine was beeping softly, she turned on the lamp beside the table, casting a small circle of light around the coffee table.
*"Chloe, it's Lex. I tried calling you earlier but I keep getting the machine. Harris escaped from police custody this afternoon, and they haven't been able to find--"*
The machine cut off abruptly in the middle of the message, and Chloe reached down to check it out only to find that the cord had been ripped out of the wall. A second later, she saw the black-gloved hand that had jerked the wire out, and screamed.
Tried to scream. She was muffled instantly by her assailant's gloved hand clamping over her mouth and dragging her back, despite the kicking and flailing of her arms and legs. She cried out in pain as her forearm slammed against the brass lamp she'd turned on earlier, sending it crashing to the floor. The bulb shattered, and so did the glass-topped coffee table where the answering machine sat.
The crashes in the living room woke Whitney, along with the breaking glass. "Chloe?" he yelled out, rolling out of bed as he listened for her answer. Nothing, and Whitney picked up the jeans he'd been wearing earlier, sliding them over his hips as he went to the closet, and brought down the silver lockbox from the top shelf. He spun the combination on the lock, popped it open, and pulled out the .45 caliber M19 service pistol he'd been issued in the Marines.
With hands used to doing this in the dark, Whitney popped out the magazine and did a physical check to make sure that all seven rounds were in, and he slammed it back home with a soft click. He was careful not to thumb up the safety, and checked the sight down the barrel before cocking the hammer back. Easing open the bedroom door, Whitney did a quick scan of the dark living room, and caught sight of Chloe almost immediately, struggling in her white sheet as a masked man held his hand over her mouth and an arm around her throat.
Quietly he eased into the living room, gun held steady, finger on the trigger. "Let her go!" he called out, once he was in position, happy with his line of sight.
Which was ruined the second Chloe turned around, because the masked man swung her around into Whitney's line. "Back off," grated the man's voice. "We wouldn't want the little lady to get hurt." A soft snick echoed in the quiet living room, and a silver knife blade materialized out of the hand holding Chloe's throat.
"No we don't," Whitney said, holding his hands up, but not putting the gun down. "Let her go."
"No," he said. "She's gonna write the story. Just like I tell it to her. Or I'm going to cut her throat, and then cut yours," threatened the masked man. "Luthor's not gonna get away with this. I'm gonna stop it. You're not gonna help him build an army!"
"Nobody's trying to build an army!" Whitney yelled, trying to ignore Chloe's whimpers.
The careless blade at Chloe's throat had nicked her skin, and a thin trail of blood was slowly inching down her throat. She was trying to be still so the knife wouldn't slice any deeper, she was trying not to cry despite the fact she was terrified, and a hundred things were going through her mind. Most of them were related to her husband and their son.
When the glass doors to their patio exploded inward, Chloe bit down hard on the hand over her mouth. The man holding her shoved her down, and she flinched as a splinter of glass cut across her cheek, and she fell to the floor. Crawling, she hid behind the couch as she used the corner of the sheet wrapped around her to staunch the bleeding.
Whitney's military-sharpened reflexes had him down on his belly, arms protecting his head as the glass doors shattered. He felt several shards nicking his bare shoulders and back, several more pieces digging into his arms, but none of them hit his face. When the rain of glass stopped, he shot to his feet, gun held out at the ready.
And nearly dropped it.
A blue-suited, red-caped figure stood in the middle of their living room, holding the masked man aloft. "You shouldn't have done that," said the caped man, shaking the man in the mask before ripping the mask off.
Mark Harris, former employee of LexCorp, the same one who'd kidnapped Whitney and Chloe the night before, had tried again. Whitney's finger itched on the trigger, but didn't pull it yet. "Who are you?" he yelled. "Chloe? Are you all right?"
"Whitney?" she called out, looking at the blood on her hands and sheet from her cheek. "I'm okay, I just got cut by the glass. I'm okay. What's happening?"
"Stay down!" he yelled, keeping the gun trained on both figures now.
"It's okay," said the caped figure, and Chloe knew she had heard the voice before, but she couldn't quite place where. Slowly, shakily, she rose to her feet, and gripped the back of the couch for support. Lois' hastily-dubbed Superman was standing in the middle of her living room.
"Whitney," she said softly. "It's okay. It's Lois' Superman guy. The blue, the cape. It's gotta be," she said, voice quavering.
"Don't move," Whitney said, seeing her bare feet. "You'll get cut to shreds." He ducked back into the bedroom long enough to put on his boots, and came back out, picking her up and swinging her over the shattered glass. "What's going on?"
"You're safe now, Whitney," Superman said. "Go and get dressed, both of you, you need to go to the hospital. I'll take this man to the police, and make sure he stays there this time."
Whitney did a double-take as the caped figure dragged Harris to the balcony and jumped off, soaring into the sky with his burden in tow. Chloe was still hanging tightly to his neck, and he kissed her uncut cheek. "Come on, baby. Let's go and get you taken care of." He kissed her softly as he carried her into the bedroom.
*Superman Saves The Day
Chloe Sullivan Fordman, Daily Planet Staff Reporter*
Right under the headline was a picture of Chloe and Whitney's ruined living room, broken glass still on the floor, and then out to the side, was a picture, slightly blurry, gleaned from the surveillance cameras at the police station. A tall, caped figure was standing in the middle of the entryway, holding Mark Harris by the scruff of the neck while police officers scrambled all around him. His face was too blurry to make out, but it was impossible to miss the big S emblazoned across his chest, or the long cape swirling around his boots.
Chloe put down the newspaper and smiled, flinching as it tugged the stitches in her cheek. Lex was being so generous, sending someone over to help Whitney clean up the glass and replace the doors and whatever else needed fixing.
Perry was being generous, too, offering to let her take a day or two off to recuperate, as long as he got an exclusive.
Right. Like she could have stayed home and sat on the story that was burbling up inside her as she'd talked to him on the phone. So, against Whitney's wishes, she'd gone home from the hospital, taken a quick bath in the tub--the shower would have gotten her face wet--carefully washed her hair, gotten dressed, and come into work.
There were flowers, cups of coffee, sweets and chocolates of every kind sitting on her desk, half of them from Lex and Clark, wishing her a speedy recovery. Her voicemail was full of messages from other news sources, television stations mostly. The police had taken her statement last night, and the reporters were dying to get a copy of it.
Even Lois had asked for one, after she'd made sure that Chloe was unharmed.
Chloe had just coughed, told her to check back later, once the police had gotten her the official copy to sign, and she'd see about it. Then she'd hunkered down at her desk, because the morning's copy of the Daily Planet had just hit the desks.
In five... four... three... two...
Chloe flinched again for real, her head hunching down between her shoulders as her cousin Lois shrieked at the top of her lungs over having been scooped by Chloe, yet again.
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