Author's Notes: Written for the Challenge in a Can at the First
Church of Lex. My challenge words were lightning/smooth/eyes/ The
CiaC can be found here:

"Lightning's Embrace"

Lana Lang was afraid of storms. She had been ever since she was a
small girl, even before her parents died. After their deaths, storms
took on new fears. The lightning and the thunder reminded her of the
raging balls of fire that had consumed them with pounding fury.

When the rain started later on that evening, she was working at the
Talon and didn't really give it much thought. Customers slowly filed
out, some of them grumbling about forgotten umbrellas and getting
home before it got much worse. Lana, however, was too busy doing
inventory and writing up next week's work schedule to notice a change
in the weather.

Until a loud clap of thunder, followed swiftly by a blue-white
flash, preceded the Talon losing power--drowning it in darkness.

The next crash of thunder--louder to Lana's ears this time--caused
her to drop the clipboard she was holding. It fell to the floor,
mimicking the thunder as it clattered to the ground at her feet.
Then came more lightning, lighting the former movie theatre in some
devilish imitation of a movie reel flickering evil blue-yellow light
into every corner of the darkness.

Lana screamed and ducked behind the counter. Sucking in a ragged
breath, she began muttering an old child's prayer in hushed tones, as
if by whispering it, the storm would not find her. Instead, the wind
picked up and rain pelted the roof and windows of the building.

After yet another clap of thunder, she crawled into one of the
cupboards under the counter, shivering like a terrified rabbit. She
couldn't see the lightning anymore, but knew that with the thunder's
roll, it would light the room. In the darkness, there were no
seconds to count between them, as the storm was here... waiting for
her to come out of hiding.

A loud crash and the sound of shattering glass met her ears and she
let out another shrill cry. Her heart was in her throat, its beat
pounding in her ears. She barely heard the crunch of footsteps on
glass, and when she did, it was the sound of the storm come to life
in every nightmare she'd ever had. Fire and fury come to claim her,

"Lana!?" The voice was collected and firm, yet held an edge of
urgency to it. "Lana, are you here?"


No, Lana told herself. It was the storm, a ruse for it to get to
her. More thunder and she shrieked, cowering further in her cupboard
until the wood bit into her skin. The menacing footsteps followed
the sound of her scream, pausing behind the counter. Then a sliver
of light appeared as the cupboard door opened.


"Lex?" she whimpered. He was holding a flashlight, open concern
visible in the thin beam of its light. "How... how did you know I
was here?"

"Gabe called my cell when you didn't come home. He tried calling
here but the phone lines are down." He held out his hand to her,
which she took hesitantly.

As she stood, lightning struck the ground just outside the window.
She reacted as a skittish colt, jumping at the sound and into Lex's
arms. The flashlight fell from his grasp, darkening as it hit the
floor. Lana screamed again.

"Shhh... " Lex's voice was close to her ears, warm and comforting.
"Shhh... everything's going to be alright, Lana." She couldn't stop
trembling, though, and stumbled as he led her into the back office.
"We'll be more comfortable here," he said in reply to her questioning
gaze, lowering them both to the couch.

She clung to him, hiding her tear-stained face in his rumpled purple
shirt and felt his arms tighten around her. His body against hers
was solid and warm, and she couldn't remember the last time she felt
this safe in the midst of storm. One hand massaged her back, rubbing
in slow, comforting circles, and Lana felt herself relaxing into his
gentle touch.

"Lex..." she whispered breathily, and when she shivered this time,
it wasn't with fear. Long fingers brushed across her skin, smoothing
a tangle of dark hair away from her eyes as they cupped her face and
tilted it towards his. The caress was softly intimate, and Lana's
breath caught in her throat.

The blue eyes that regarded her flashed suddenly--desire flitting
across his countenance like the lightning that still brightened the
sky outside their haven. Lana wanted to lose herself in the
oblivion those eyes offered. They promised sweet forgetfulness in
the depths of their darkening pools.

Her lips quivered, but no longer from fright, and a slight twitch of
Lex's mouth told her that he'd noticed the difference. He tilted her
head a little further back, and she let him, tasting the storm in the
rain dried on his lips, smelling it in the wind that had only so
recently caressed his clothes with its rough hands. The warmth of
his kiss raced through her body, scorching her soul with its flames.

His very touch was fire on her cold, trembling skin. Where his
fingers moved--removing clothing as they went--they seemed to burn
through her. Where she touched him, in turn, she felt only searing
heat. And when he took her, it was as a bolt of pure lightning
tearing through her storm-ravished body.

Outside, the storm had begun to move away. Lightning no longer
brightened the sky and the thunder had faded into the distance. Lex
gathered her into his arms and held her to him, kissing her hair
tenderly, as if this is what you did when the flames that consumed
you died away. His whispered words of reassurance smoldered in her
ears, and eyes drooped hazily as she listened to them.

Tonight, they were both victims of the terrible storm--their
friendship sacrificed to its power and might. Tomorrow, in the light
of a new day, they would be forced to build whatever was left. One
thing was certain, though: Lana would never fear the storm again.
She'd faced it at last.