Season 5, sequel to "Thirst"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me
"Are you sure you're all right?"
Chloe Sullivan rolled her eyes as her best friend escorted her into the Kent farmhouse, his arm curved around her protectively. The dark gold sunlight of late afternoon slanted into the kitchen windows, and a cool breeze eddied around them as he closed the door behind them. "I told you, Clark, I'm fine. Quit hovering over me like a mother hen, will you?"
Clark Kent drew her over to a stool and didn't let go of her till she was seated. "I can't help it," he answered, raising his hand to her cheek and cupping it. His green eyes looked very intense in the golden light. "You almost died, Chloe."
"Yeah, well, so did you." His hand felt warm and rough and callused against her cheek, and she patted his hand, trying to ignore the little quiver in her stomach at the touch of his skin against hers. "But we both survived, so quit worrying. We've been through some pretty weird things together, but this may have been the weirdest. A vampire sorority. Who'd have thought Metropolis could be as bizarre as Smallville?"
He moved his hand away from her face, somewhat to her dismay, and put the laptop in his other hand down on the counter. She immediately reached for it. "Oh, good, I need to finish that article."
"Chloe. You were just released from the hospital. Tonight you need to relax."
"I just have a few things to jot down in my notes..."
"Which will lead to you writing until midnight. I know you." He pushed the laptop out of her reach. "Forget it. You can finish your story tomorrow."
"Fine," she said, a little sulkily. "But I feel perfectly okay."
"The doctor said you should rest. That's why I brought you over here. So I can make sure you take it easy."
Chloe looked around. The Kents' golden retriever, Shelby, had trotted into the kitchen when they arrived, and was now sitting near his food dish, his tail waving, an expectant look in his dark eyes. But there was no sign of Jonathan and Martha Kent. "Where are your parents?"
Clark glanced around, too. "I guess they're outside working." He headed for the refrigerator, then stopped and looked at a note posted to the white enamel by a magnet. "Actually, it looks like they went to Metropolis for dinner," he said. "They won't be back till late."
Great. So she was alone with Clark for the better part of the evening. Ordinarily that wasn't a problem-- as best friends, they spent plenty of time alone together without anything of a physical nature happening between them-- but for some reason she was more intensely aware of his presence than usual. Clark was sexy as hell, but she'd learned to cope with her attraction to him, to pretend it wasn't there. But right now it was so strong that it was impossible to ignore.
Maybe, she speculated, it was her brush with death. She'd read somewhere that coming so close to death tended to make people horny. Or maybe it was just a physical response to her recent illness.
Regardless of the reason, she was suddenly gripped by a deep, desperate desire to jump Clark's bones.
Clark glanced over his shoulder at her, apparently unaware of the hormones racing through her veins. "Want a Coke?"
"Sure, thanks." He bent and looked into the fridge, and she admired the smooth, tight curves of his rear beneath his jeans, then forced herself to look away. Down, girl. Clark was dating Lana Lang, not her, and she needed to remember that before he glanced over his shoulder and caught her staring at things she had absolutely no business staring at.
"So how's Lana?" she asked, trying to shove herself back into cold, hard reality.
"She's fine," Clark said. He pulled two cans from the fridge and turned around, and she saw a shadow in his eyes. Something was worrying him, she decided, and figured she should probe a little deeper.
"Have you two talked about what happened?"
"Yeah, we talked." His eyebrows drew down a little as he handed her a can.
She popped it open. Something was obviously bothering him, and as the best friend, it was her job to listen to his problems. Even when they revolved around another woman, and the relationship he had with her. Even when listening to him talking about his woes with Lana made her want to beat her forehead against the nearest wall. "Okay, Clark, what's going on?"
"It's just that..." He sighed, stepping back from her and leaning a shoulder against the refrigerator, his arms crossed in an oddly defensive posture. "The whole vampire thing with Lana really creeped me out."
Chloe took a long swig of her Coke. "It freaked me out a bit, too," she admitted, remembering how Lana had grabbed her, buried long, sharp fangs in her throat, and greedily drunk her blood. Ugh. Not really an image you wanted to think of every time you looked at your friend. "But you know, it wasn't her fault. It was a disease, Clark."
"Yeah, I know. That's not what's freaking me out. It's what she said to me this afternoon."
Clark had taken Lana back to campus this afternoon, cured of vampirism. Chloe was a little surprised he'd bothered to return to the hospital to pick her up. She'd expected him to watch over Lana, since Lana was his girlfriend, and his top priority. Instead he'd chosen to watch over her. She suppressed the little thrill the idea gave her. "Exactly what did she say?"
He grimaced. "She said she'd never felt closer to me than when she was drinking my blood."
"Yeah, ick. It was just such a creepy thing to say that I didn't have a clue how to answer. I just kind of cut and ran at that point."
Chloe frowned at the Coke can. Part of her-- a small, unpleasant part-- wanted to use this incident against Lana, to point her faults out to Clark, but she squelched the desire as unworthy and petty. Sure, Lana wasn't perfect, but neither was she. "I guess maybe she was still a little under the influence of the disease at that point," she suggested. "It couldn't have been easy to be a vampire. Maybe she's a little messed up mentally right now."
The frown lines in Clark's forehead eased a bit. He straightened up, walked over to her, and stood next to her, placing his can on the butcher block counter. "You're probably right."
"I'm always right." She took a last swig of Coke, put her can down, and grinned up at him. He was so close now she could touch him, and part of her wanted to do just that. Most of her wanted to do just that. She forced back the hungry lust that was inexplicably lurking inside her, making her blood boil with longing, making her skin itch with the need to be touched. Lana, she reminded herself. "So how come you didn't invite Lana over here, too?"
"I don't have to keep an eye on her to make sure she won't be up till all hours writing, that's why. Lana has enough sense to relax after she's been ill. You don't."
"Oh, that's nice. So you want to keep an eye on me because you think I'm a moron. How thoughtful."
"You're not a moron, you're a workaholic. And I was worried about you." His eyes grew dark, and he cupped his hand around her cheek again. "The doctors told me you were probably going to die."
The very real distress in his gaze warmed her heart. She looked up into his eyes and felt her bones melt, felt her muscles turn to jelly. All of a sudden the lust she'd been trying to suppress reasserted itself in a big way. He was bent over her protectively, his face very close to hers, and a compelling desire gripped her, the desire to lift her head, just a little, and brush her lips over his. Just to see what might happen. Her breath rasped unsteadily in her throat, and her heart thudded wildly.
He's dating Lana, she reminded herself. Not you. No matter how anxious he'd been for her, no matter how much he'd been afraid she was going to die, he was worried for her as a friend, and only as a friend.
Clark stared into her eyes for a long moment. She could feel the heat of his hand against her cheek, and her heart pounded faster, beating so loudly she was certain he could hear it. He had superhearing and could hear better than Shelby, so there was no chance in the world he wasn't aware of her arousal. This was the downside to having a best friend with superpowers... stuff like that didn't get past him.
She didn't have superhearing, but all of a sudden she became aware that his breathing was rapid and unsteady, too. Wow, she thought, looking into his eyes and seeing something dark and needy there, a look of unmistakable hunger. He wants to jump my bones, too.
Unable to stop herself, she lifted her hand to his cheek and let her thumb brush over the mole high on his cheekbone. It was the only blemish on his face, the only imperfection on a face that was otherwise utterly perfect, and for some reason she'd always wanted to touch it. She let her thumb stroke it, very lightly, and Clark shut his eyes, looking so overwhelmed anyone would have thought she was caressing him somewhere very intimate, instead of just touching his face.
"Chloe," he muttered, in a low, rough whisper.
She let her hand slide across his cheek, brushing her fingers across the sensitive skin of his ear, feeling him jump and shudder a little at her touch. Slowly, she threaded her fingers into his hair and tugged, just a bit.
He lowered his head willingly... and kissed her.
Read Chapter 2 here.