Monday, July 03, 2006

Enemy, Chapter 4

Late Season 5
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me

Pete bit his lip to stop himself from yelping as he tried to pull his hands from their bindings. He'd been working at it for the past hour, and his wrists were wet with blood. It hurt like hell. But all his effort and pain were paying off, because the ropes were getting looser.

He slid a look at his unconscious brother. Andrew hadn't stirred since the goons had brought him in here, and that gave Pete a feeling of urgency. He had to get out of here. Not only was Andrew in serious danger, but Clark was, too. He hadn't had any choice but to tell these guys everything he knew about Clark. Now he had to get loose and give Clark warning.

He had to. Because if these guys got Clark because of him, he'd never be able to live with himself.

He gritted his teeth and yanked his arms really hard. Pain shot through his wrists... and the ropes fell away.Thank God, he thought, reaching down with his hands to untie the ropes around his ankles. His hands were almost numb, so his fingers fumbled awkwardly against the ropes, but he slowly began to undo the knots.

Now all he had to do was sneak past several bad guys armed with guns, carrying Andrew, who outweighed him by seventy-five pounds, and then somehow get to Clark and warn him.

It sounded like a job for a superhero. But there weren't any superheroes around right now. There was only Pete Ross, Supernormal Guy.

And he would have to be enough.


Clark walked slowly along the edge of the driveway, looking at the tire marks in the dirt. Chloe watched him. After a few minutes, she predictably couldn't keep quiet any more."See anything?"

"I see plenty." He'd studied the dirt very carefully, using his preternaturally acute vision. It had rained a couple of days ago, so all the tracks were fresh, which helped his observations quite a bit. "Mom took her Taurus. That's those tracks." He pointed. "I haven't had the truck out since it rained. So there's two more sets of tracks that don't belong. Those--" he pointed-- "are probably from Pete's old Falcon. Those over there belong to a truck. Maybe a Humvee. Something heavy, anyway, because they're pretty deep."

She looked impressed. "You can tell all that from a few tire impressions?"

"Yeah." He walked across the driveway and stared at the dirt just outside the barn door. "And there was a scuffle here. Check out all the footprints."

She came over to him and stood next to him. The fragrance of her hair drifted up to him, reminding him of how she'd sponged off his chest and back and arms, and heat stirred inside him. He pushed it away, because he had other stuff to think about besides the scent of Chloe's hair. Down, boy. Pete's in trouble. You're in trouble.

But despite those responsible thoughts, he surreptitously inhaled deeply, breathing in her fragrance.

"All I see is a lot of churned-up mud," she said.

"Footprints." He pointed. "That's probably Pete's prints. It's his size. He's got pretty small feet for a guy. And there were two other guys. Both a lot bigger than he was."

"So there was a fight?"

He nodded, feeling unhappy. "Not only did they churn up the ground," he said, "but there's some blood here." He pointed to the door frame. Not a lot of blood, but enough to worry him.

He didn't like the thought of his friends getting beat up because of him. Damn it, this was all his fault. Pete had come back to Smallville after two years and immediately gotten hurt. He was the reason Pete had had to leave Smallville in the first place, and now...

"It's not your fault," Chloe said, reading his expression with the ease born of years of practice. She reached out and squeezed his arm. "The bad guys could have gotten him in Wichita just as well."

"Yeah, but I should have been able to save him." He sighed. "If I'd been aware of anything, I would have heard all this, Chlo."

"Which is no doubt why they threw the meteor rock through your window," she said crisply. "I doubt they were trying to kill you, because they couldn't have known you would fall on it. They just wanted you out of the way for a while."

"That makes no sense, Chlo. I was figuring they abducted Pete to find out more about me. But if they already know about the kryptonite..."

"Then they already know a whole lot about you. You're right."

"So what's going on here?" He felt anger stir inside him and had to fight not to put his fist through the side of the barn.

"My guess is that they're trying to use Pete to get to you," she said.

"And you're basing that theory on what, exactly?"

"Well, you've looked over all the footprints and the tire tracks, but I think you missed some evidence." She leaned down, picked up a small, white, rectangular card from the grass that grew alongside the barn, and waved it at him, looking triumphant.

"They left a calling card."

Read Chapter 5 here.

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