An Entirely Different Thing'

Oh would you look at that nice painting. I bet that cost like maybe… a huge amount of money. I wander if I can slip a four-foot long masterpiece in my bag and get away with it. I'm just willing to bet my dad won't have to work anymore and we'll live like royalty for the rest of our lives. But then again Lex would know I took it and he would make my life a living hell—even though my robbery won't even make a dent in his finances. And it's not like he's not going to get mucho bucks for it from the insurance company.

'Wait, does Lex Luthor even believe in insurance? He's so self-assured he probably would disdain the thought of a security blanket.

'Rambling!

'So I wonder just where he is. I just have this nagging feeling I did something really improper and I'll have to apologize.

'Of course I did find some huge hickeys this afternoon all over my upper body. I just hope it wasn't from him. Because how ironic and devastating would that be? To be ravaged by Lex Luthor's lips and not have a shred of memory of the entire experience.'

Lex Luthor walked into the office and Chloe rose quickly, sending her rather light chair sprawling backwards and toppling with a silent thud on the plush carpet. "Sorry," she murmured, blushing profusely.

He looked up at her in surprise, his mind having been otherwise preoccupied by his own problems and anger that he did not notice her presence in the room. "You've taken to murdering my temporary replacement chairs, Ms Sullivan?" he asked with an arch of his brow.

"Oh are these temporary?" she rambled on. "What a shame. They're pretty," she continued, bending down to replace it.

"You really don't have to…" His voice trailed off his protest at the sight of her buttocks being presented to his full view as she struggled to put the chair upright. Chloe straightened and smiled shyly at him. "Discomfort ill suits you," he told her. "What can I do for you?" He really had no time for teenage requests or possibly hysterics by the sheer panic that appeared in her eyes. Lex searched for the fury that had overcome him just a couple of days ago but surprisingly found how much it waned after seeing her.

Chloe dug a hole in the carpet with the toe of her shoe. She smiled in a lopsided manner that he had never seen before. She always had her smile meter on full alert, almost blinding to people like him who rarely saw genuine expression. Oddly enough, he found this almost bumbling Chloe Sullivan a notch more charming—probably because he knew not a lot of people are privileged to see this side of the girl who takes no prisoners. He was now one of those privileged few.

'No matter how much he denies it, I know that that bastard Clark Kent, who has no real regard for what friendship really is, is in love with her. If I were his age, I probably would to. And I wouldn't have to hide it by mooning over the town's fairy princess when I can have a flesh and blood, a gorgeous flesh and fiery blooded woman at that, right within reach. But then again I was a genius and he, sadly, is not.'

"I just have this strange feeling," she begun, moving closer to him, "that I did something I should apologize for."

"You were infected," he told her. "Of course you probably did. But no one blames you."

There was that grin again. "Not even Lana," she admitted. "But for my piece of mind, Mr Luthor, if I did something inappropriate to you—"

'Screw Clark Kent and his idea of friendship. And I know just how to do it.' "I wish you had," he said clearly. Her eyes widened and Lex grabbed her arms and pulled her close, fusing his lips against hers.

'This was not how I imagined his kiss would be like,' her mind whispered. Chloe tried to stand still, ignoring the bruising force of his grip on her. She forced her lips to… what… All she knew was that he was forceful and his teeth grazing her mouth painful. She felt like she was being swallowed alive by the unashamed movement of his lips. He was taking and giving her nothing. It was something akin to rape. Only… she didn't struggle.

Lex knew he was hurting her. This was a girl who did nothing to him except probably fall for a friend that betrayed him. But he could not help the feelings that warred inside him. He could not get back at Clark. Not yet at least. But he had a person right here who Clark felt very deeply for. And she was all the vessel he could ever need to unleash the pain.

Chloe felt the tears sting her eyes as her teeth cut into the inside of her mouth because of the pressure of his kiss. She didn't even know if you could still call it a kiss. She had never heard of a kiss that made you want to cry out. Slowly coming out of the shock of something she would call an attack, Chloe started to struggle.

She squirmed against him, and pressed full against his body as she was, she rubbed against him in a way that awakened a side of him that he had always fought against. Lex's grip on her arms bit deeper. He felt wetness against his cheeks and realized that the girl he was holding was now crying. He had to stop. But then she stopped fighting.

Take no prisoners and never stop fighting. It went down the drain after not being able to escape his grasp. He was hard against her belly and further squirming would get a reaction from his body not unlike what she was experiencing now. The moment she stopped moving and she softened her lips, he took it for yielding because suddenly, his lips grew softer. The kiss that felt like punishment became a caress.

He walked backwards, pulling her along, their bodies never moving apart. Lex felt the back of his knees hit the edge of the couch. With one deft movement, he pulled her down with him. Now she was sprawled on top of him. Vaguely he realized what a chance of escape he had inadvertently offered her.

She raised her head and looked at the open door. She met his eyes and saw that they were calm. Chloe stood up.

Lex felt the cold air hit his body when she rose. With a sinking feeling he realized that she was walking out of there carrying the fact that he took advantage of her. He effectively forced her to that kiss. And he knew he would never have the chance to apologize. He didn't even want to. Somewhere between her shocked stillness, struggle and yielding acceptance, his anger at Clark was forgotten, replaced with the undeniable physical effects her closeness produced.

"Chloe."

Her cheeks were tearstained and lips were red and bruised. Chloe looked like a little girl lost. "I didn't like what you did," she whispered.

He kept his gaze on her level.

"I don't know why you did it," she continued.

Again, he was silent.

She turned and walked to the door. Lex held his breath and watched as she locked it. Chloe turned back to him. "I lied," she admitted. "I guess I'm not so smart after all."

Lex stood up and looked down at her. "Let's understand each other," he proposed. "I'm not in love with you."

"Good. I'm not in love with you either."

He reached for the ribbon of her blouse. This time, it was Chloe who grabbed the back of his head and pushed his head forcefully down to meet hers. And they tumbled on the floor that still hurt Chloe's back afterwards despite the carpet.

For a girl whose first time was with someone so experienced, Chloe just knew that she would be sore the entire day after that. But then again, he wasn't in love with her. What could she have expected?

They lay on a pile of discarded clothes on the floor of his office, breathing heavily and staring at the ceiling. He didn't cradle her. She didn't ask him to hold her.

"So is this about Clark?" she ventured to ask long minutes later, when she reached for her blouse to keep away the cold.

"Maybe. It was. And then it wasn't anymore."

"I'd like to think we had sex because of Clark. It's easier on my ego."

He turned to look at her but found her avoiding his gaze. "Well that's something I've never heard of before."

Chloe shrugged on her blouse and started looking around for her panties. "Well I'd hate to think that was because of me."

"I detect a trace of acid there."

"It had passion," she said thoughtfully. "But it wasn't how I pictured making love to a man."

"But we didn't make love." He picked up her hand and brushed a kiss on her knuckles. It was by far the most tender gesture he had done. And then to Chloe's combined disappointment and breathlessness his tongue darted out to circle the protruding bones.

"I know."

"Drive to my house tomorrow night."

Her eyes snapped in disgust. "Are you crazy? Don't you remember where we are?" She stood up and slipped on her newfound underwear. Chloe picked up her pants.

"Come on, Chloe. What do you care about this town? We're both blowing out of here as soon as we can anyway."

As she buttoned her pants, she quirked her lips at Lex, still nude at her feet. "Whatever happened to finding your home in Smallville?"

"I thought I found it with Clark. I thought wrong."

"I just made—had sex—with a man who thinks a boy is home. Somehow I am… turned on," she considered. "I think I might still have the parasites."

"I didn't mean it that way and you know it."

'I know I'm going to regret this later. But right now I don't care.' "I'll drive by. It's Friday night anyway. I'll just have to make up an excuse to Clark and Pete." 'To think I came here to apologize.'

When she started to leave the room, Lex caught her arm. Chloe turned and grinned when she saw that he had only managed to put on his boxers. "Ms. Sullivan."

"Yes, Mr. Luthor?"

Lex chuckled. "I'll try not to make it about my frustrations next time."

"Good."

Chloe left the room and closed the door behind her, allowing Lex to get dressed in private. She didn't know why. She wasn't the type who dreamt about flowers and candles anyway. She hated people like that. 'Right.' But all of a sudden, tears rose in her eyes and she laid her head back on the door. 'What are you crying about, ninny? There isn't any reason to cry!' She furiously brushed away the tears with her hand and made her way out of the building, praying she wouldn't run into her dad any time soon.

tbc