Clark/Chloe/Lana/Lex Elseworld (inspired by The Princess Bride and A Fighting Man of Mars)
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the CW and DC Comics, not to me.
Read the previous chapter here.
Read the story from the beginning here.
What he had just done with Chloe was very, very wrong.
Clark wanted to urge his stallion into a gallop, just to cool off his flaming cheeks in a rush of cool night air, but the woods were dark, and he didn't dare ask the horses to go quickly down the narrow, winding path. Besides, Beetle couldn't keep up with his long-legged steed. They rode along slowly, which unfortunately gave him plenty of time to reflect on his behavior.
He knew that kissing Chloe the way he had, touching her the way he had, was not the way gentlemen behaved to decent women. He'd not only kissed her; he'd thrust his tongue into her mouth. And then he'd wrapped his arms around her and pulled her right against his...
He shook his head, trying to dispel the images. But they wouldn't go away, no matter how hard he tried to think other, more innocent thoughts. All he could think about was the way she tasted, the touch of her fingers on the nape of his neck, the way she had felt against him...
It was wrong of him to keep envisioning the incident so vividly. Entirely, completely, utterly wrong. Because he was in love with Lana, not Chloe.
Chloe was merely a friend. He'd just allowed himself to become confused by the desires of the body somehow.
He frowned, and tried very hard to focus on a dark-haired beauty with an arrogant expression and a haughty lift to her chin.
But as much as he tried to focus on that image, it kept melting into the image of short, tousled blonde hair, wide, bright eyes, and a happy smile.
The night sky was still inky black as they reached the edge of the woods, but a reddish glow came from the valley below. Clark urged his stallion into a canter, hearing Beetle's hooves behind him as the shaggy pony tried valiantly to keep up. On the knoll that rose above Smallcroft, he reined his mount to a halt, staring.
Chloe rode up beside him. "My God." Her voice was full of shock. "They set the Lang farmhouse on fire."
"Lana," Clark whispered, overcome with guilt, because he'd failed to get here in time to save her. He could have been here sooner. If only he hadn't wasted precious minutes in kissing Chloe, he might have been able to save the Langs. If only he hadn't allowed himself to become distracted...
If only he hadn't left at all. If he hadn't been so curious about his origins, if he hadn't wanted to make something of himself, he would have been here tonight, sleeping in the stable as he always did, and he would have prevented this disaster before it occurred.
He'd failed the Langs. He'd failed Lana.
"I'm sure she's all right," Chloe said gently, placing a reassuring hand on his arm. "Did you not tell me they planned to abduct her? If that is the case, she is certainly not dead."
The thought reassured him slightly. "But her parents..."
"Perhaps you can save them," she suggested, and he remembered that she'd seen him walk through fire once before. She was right. If the Langs were still alive, he could save them.
Clark urged his horse forward. The stallion raced down the gentle slope, skidding to a halt near the burning dwelling. Clark dismounted as the beast danced nervously. He heard Chloe ride up behind him, but the stolid Beetle simply stood quietly as she leapt lightly to the ground.
Clark squinted, staring into the house, right through the walls. There was no one in the dwelling. And of the men who had done this, there was no sign.
"No one is there," he said, his heart lifting slightly. "But the house..."
His voice wobbled, despite his best efforts to keep it steady. He always felt guilt when he failed to help someone, but this was worse, because he'd worked for the Langs for years. They had never treated him particularly well, but he had never wished them any harm. He was relieved that they hadn't perished in the fire, but their farmhouse, and all their belongings...
My fault, he thought. All my fault.
He shook his head at her hesitant query. "No," he answered, his voice still quavering. "Lana is not in the house. Nor are her parents."
"That's something, at least." Chloe's arms went around his waist, and he knew she had heard the tremor in his voice. "I am sorry, Clark."
Emotions battled inside him, a strange mixture of feelings, sorrow for Lana and guilt that he hadn't saved the Lang farmhouse and the strange new sensations of pleasure he felt when he was close to Chloe. He wrapped his arms around her, taking comfort from her gentle touch.
"We have to find Lana," he whispered into her hair. "We have to."
"We will," she promised, her lips moving against his throat. The sensation sent a tremor through him, which he did his best to ignore. "Such a large train of men cannot have gone far. We'll find her, Clark."
Read Chapter 9 here.