Season 5, following my story "Here Without You," which followed two other stories and "Void"
Rating: Adult. If you're under eighteen, please go elsewhere now.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the WB and DC Comics, not to me
The next morning, a loud thudding awakened me out of a sound sleep. With some effort, I managed to crack open an eyelid. Bright light seeped in around the Venetian blinds on the windows, and I realized we'd slept pretty late.
Looking down, I saw Chloe curled against me, her back pressed against my front, her skin warm against mine. She was still fast asleep, oblivious to the awful pounding noise. I wasn't surprised she was so tired, since we'd been up pretty damn late last night making love. We hadn't fallen asleep till past four. We just hadn't been able to stop, not until we simply collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
I noticed my skin was glowing slightly, and I could feel the slight buzzing of our EM fields where our skin touched. Almost instantly my body jumped to attention, and I pulled Chloe closer. Even though we'd made love so many times last night I'd honestly lost count, I really hoped the pounding would stop so I could wake her up and do it again.
Unfortunately, the racket only got louder and more annoying. And then an even more annoying voice yelled over the din. "Cuz! Wake up!"
I sighed and shook Chloe. "Hey," I said in her ear. "Lois is here."
Her eyelashes fluttered. "Hmmm?"
"Your cousin, the human alarm clock. She's here."
Chloe blinked sleepily for a second, then her eyes snapped open, and she bounded out of bed, staggered over to the dresser, and started yanking clothes on. I sat up, more slowly, and started hunting around for my clothes. They were scattered all over the room, which didn't surprise me when I remembered exactly what we'd done last night.
Chloe started for the door, then stopped, wincing. "Ow," she said. "I can hardly walk."
I knew what she meant. I was sore in places better left unsore, too. We'd been seriously carried away last night, and despite everything we'd done together, I was still plenty interested this morning. I hoped the wild sexual enthusiasm from our lifebonding would wear off soon, or we were going to wind up killing ourselves.
Although I could think of worse ways to go.
Chloe hobbled across the room. I pulled on last night's khaki pants and zipped them up as Chloe cracked the door open. "Hey," she said. "What's up?"
"Hey, cuz. I'm sorry I woke you up, but--" Lois glanced over Chloe's shoulder at my bare chest, and immediately winced dramatically and covered her face with both hands. "Ow. My eyes! My eyes!"
I almost bared my teeth. Considering the last time I'd seen her had been in an alternate universe, and she'd been calling herself Chloe Sullivan and acting like she'd never met me, I should have been glad to see the real Lois. And yet I was already entertaining fantasies about tossing her out the window. Lois tends to have that effect on me. "You know," I said, finding my shirt and starting to pull it on, "some women think my chest looks pretty good."
"They're obviously a lot more desperate than I am."
"Gee, thanks," Chloe said dryly.
Lois uncovered her eyes and looked back at Chloe. "I knew you guys were dating, but I didn't realize it had gone... this far." The revolted tone of her voice suggested she'd found us doing something seriously perverse. "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"
"I mean, he hasn't used some sort of weird hypnotic stone on you or anything, has he?"
Chloe snorted at Lois' reference to the time a woman named Simone had used a glittering pendant to try to make me into her sex slave. "He doesn't need a hypnotic stone, Lo. Take a good look at his chest."
"Ugh. I'd really rather not."
"So are you saying you only love me for my body?" I asked Chloe, buttoning my shirt up. I hate wearing Oxford shirts, and I made a mental note to zip back to Smallville and change into flannel as soon as I possibly could.
Lois rolled her eyes. "I'm sure she'd love you for your brain if you had one."
I took a threatening step toward her, but Chloe stepped between us before I could strangle her. "Look," she said, holding out her hands in a peace gesture, "you guys are going to have to learn to get along."
"We get along just fine," Lois said.
"Yeah, for six-year-olds. Clark and I--" She glanced over her shoulder at me, and I nodded slightly, telling her to go ahead and use the only explanation we'd been able to come up to explain our new, closer relationship to our families. "We're engaged."
It was true, sort of. Life-bonded was kind of the Kryptonian equivalent of engaged. It wasn't like I was ever going to leave Chloe, after all. She was stuck with me, just she'd said yesterday. And I was stuck with her.
Which made me happier than I ever would have thought possible.
Lois' eyes went wide, like Chloe had just announced she was taking up a life of robbing banks. "Oh, God. No."
"You know, most people would just say 'congratulations,'" I remarked.
"You're going to marry Smallville?" Lois looked appalled. "You can do a lot better, you know."
"No, I can't," Chloe said, her voice sharp with annoyance. See, it's not just me. Lois has that effect on everyone. "Look, Lo, I don't think you realize--"
Lois grabbed her left hand and examined it, then spoke right over her words. "I mean, look at this. John Boy hasn't even gotten you a freaking ring."
"I haven't gotten around to it yet," I said defensively. "Things happened kind of fast."
"Yeah, I can see that." She rolled her eyes. "Well. If you're sure. Congratulations."
"Thank you so much for that sincere and heartfelt response," I growled. "Listen, Lois..."
"Never mind." She waved her hand, cutting me off like what I had to say was of absolutely no consequence. Which was pretty much how Lois always responded to what came out of my mouth. She turned back to Chloe. "I'm not here to talk about your love life, cuz, no matter how screwed up it is. I'm looking for my dad."
"I haven't seen him. I was going to have lunch with him and my dad today."
"Yeah, I know. The General mentioned it to me, and I thought I'd come along. But I drove over to the base to pick him up, and he wasn't there."
"He must have already left."
"Probably didn't want to be stuck in a car with you," I said under my breath. Not quite quietly enough, though, judging from the sharp look Chloe fired in my direction.
"He knew I was coming. The General's never late, Chloe, you know that. Besides, his car was in the driveway, and his wallet and keys were still in the house. I'm worried."
"Any signs of a struggle?" I asked.
She shook her head.
"Well, then, I wouldn't worry. I doubt anyone could take the General without a serious fight."
Lois looked relieved at the idea, and Chloe shot me a look of gratitude over her shoulder, then turned back to Lois. "Clark's right. I'm sure he's okay. But come in for a couple of minutes while I get ready, and then we'll all go see if we can figure out where he went."
Lois stepped into the room. Chloe leaned down and picked up the Daily Planet, which she got delivered every morning, and shut the door behind her cousin. She started to unfold the paper out of habit, then froze.
"Lois," she said. "Have you read the paper this morning?"
"Are you kidding? I never read the paper."
"Too many big words," I said gravely.
Lois glared at me, but Chloe didn't notice our bickering for once. Her attention was riveted by the paper. "Clark," she said. "Look at this."
She held out the paper. In big letters, the headline proclaimed: CRIME BOSS ESCAPES FROM PRISON.
My heart sank like a stone. "Moira Redburn?"
Since Moira "Red" Redburn had elevated pheromone levels that enabled her to control men, I wasn't terribly surprised. In fact, the big surprise was that she hadn't escaped from prison earlier. But I couldn't say I was happy she had broken out, because she knew all my weaknesses, and hadn't hesitated to use them against me the last time we met.
Chloe had gotten mixed up with Red because of me, and had eventually had to save me from her, getting Red put into prison in the process. Red had hated both of us before, but now she had every reason to loathe us. The fact that Sam Lane was missing, and at the same time Moira Redburn was on the loose, wasn't good. Odds were the two things were related somehow.
Yeah, Sam Lane was a general with military training, but when Moira Redburn had kidnapped me and Chloe, she'd shown that she thought things out carefully in advance. She'd been able to keep me imprisoned, after all, and I was very probably the strongest person on the planet. An aging general wouldn't be much of a challenge for her. She would have made sure her men knew how to take him without leaving signs of a struggle.
Or, given her overwhelming pheromones, she could have easily abducted him herself. No straight human male stood a chance against her.
Guilt settled into my heart like ice. Damn it. Chloe would never have gotten mixed up with Moira Redburn in the first place if it wasn't for me. And if Red was trying to get revenge by going after members of Chloe's family...
"Call your dad," I said tersely.
Chloe snatched the cell phone off the desk and dialed. We all waited tensely for a long moment. At last she flipped the phone shut and looked at me, her eyes wide with worry. "He's not picking up."
"He's probably fine," I assured her, but I didn't really mean it. Red had already had it in for me and Chloe even before we'd gotten her arrested. Now she was very probably out for blood. The fact that both Chloe's father and uncle had fallen out of contact was not a positive sign.
Lois frowned. "Someone want to tell me what's going on?"
"We don't know yet," Chloe said grimly. "But whatever's going on, it's probably not good."
Read Chapter 8 here.