A Dream of Angels

Part 1

Her hands were trembling so heavily. Chloe could not remember a day when she felt as insignificant, even deadweight, as she did at that moment.

Everyone had congratulated her the day she announced her engagement to Lex. She had been so special that day and every day she was with him. That was the most beautiful Christmas of her life. Lex had invited her to return to Smallville with him. At first, she had been hesitant. She still needed to work on some of her papers. She was competing for one of the hottest seats in the Daily Planet, and one of her edges was an upcoming study on sensational journalism.

She had been on the fast track to a brilliant career as an international news analyst. Perry White had all but laid down the red carpet leading into the most admired halls of journalism in the country. And then after Lex's few tender kisses and mumbled loving words, Chloe had decided to postpone her work and leave Metropolis with him.

He had asked to blindfold her. With more than a little reluctance, Chloe had agreed to have him lead her blindly into the manor.

Only to open her eyes to paradise.

The corridors were lighted by thousands of small candles that paved the way to one door. Chloe palms closed over her open mouth, eyes moist from the gesture, followed the lit path. Lex's hand had remained on the small of her back. She had opened the door to his bedroom. She grinned at the thought that he had come to such trouble for a romantic private Christmas night.

The room shone golden because of candlelight. Chloe walked inside the room and stopped at the center, looking down at the small box in the middle of the bed. She had gasped and whirled around to see a sad smile on Lex's face.

"God," he had murmured, "I fully acknowledge that I am an ass for doing this right now. Chloe, I know you have so many plans. I support everything that you've shared with me. I understand what you want to achieve."

Chloe had bitten her lip at the sheer vulnerability of his words and expression.

"I adore you," he had said. "You understand what I want. We've talked about all of them before."

She had nodded wordlessly.

Lex had walked slowly forward and taken one of her hands in his own. "That's why I know how big of a risk this is, and how unfair I'm being. But I want everything now, Chloe. I'm ready for everything now. And I know in my heart I won't find anyone else I can love this much."

And the entire time, his dreams were foremost in her mind. While Lex had stood there, admitting how wrong it was for him to want so much, all of the pictures he had painted for her of their future were prominent in her thoughts. They had considered tomorrow so many times—of their children studying in the city and not in some boarding house across the globe, of Chloe writing from home so she would always be there when he came home, of Lex spreading his investments so that he could have others run the companies for him, of their family spending holidays in different places every year and Sundays out together.

The decision was split second. At that precise moment, career and ambition fled. Chloe wanted to make him happy. She had wanted it when they fell in love; she wanted it at that time; she would want it forever.

She had picked up the small box and sat heavily on the bed. Chloe handed the ring back to Lex and whispered against his lips, her eyes closed, "Propose to me."

"Chloe," he started.

She had swallowed her cry and wiped the tears away from her cheeks. Even before he had gone any further, Chloe had thrown her arms around him and exclaimed, "Yes!"

He had laughed in relief then. He had pulled her into his arms and they collapsed on the bed. As their laughter and crying faded, Lex slowly slipped the ring on her finger. He turned to look at her as she smiled tearfully while gazing at the symbol of their promise. "Thank you," he had told her.

Chloe had smiled and gazed at him, then nodded. "I'll give you everything," she had vowed.

Now, in the doctor's office, two years after a fairy tale wedding and a life in which Lex had done all of his part in their bargain, Chloe sat looking down at the proof that she had never deserved everything he had given her. She lowered her head and merely stared at the words in black and white. Soon, dark spots stained the white sheet.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered under her breath. The doctor reached for her hand and squeezed it firmly. "I'm so sorry."

And then, Lex was kneeling in front of her, cupping her cheeks and lifting her tearstained face to his. Chloe shut her eyes tightly, because she could not look and discover the emotions she feared showing in his eyes.

"Look at me," he said firmly. Chloe shook her head. "Look at me," he repeated.

Finally, she opened her eyes and met his gaze. The loathing and the blame that she feared were absent. Chloe recognized determination and sadness in his eyes. Most importantly, she saw love.

"Didn't you read it?" she choked out. "It's me, Lex. I'm the reason we still don't have a baby!"

Lex shook his head. "It's not your fault," he told her.

Tears slipped from her eyes. "Why is this happening, Lex? We want one so much. We've been trying for two years!" she exclaimed. "My cousin sleeps with Clark one time and gets pregnant. She doesn't even want a baby!"

Lex pulled Chloe into his arms and held her tightly. He looked at the doctor. "What can we do?" he asked hoarsely. "If there's anything, Harris—"

"God, love," she murmured into his shirt, "I'm the reason you can't fulfill your dreams."

He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her skin over the wedding band. Lex dried her tears with his fingers. "You are my dream," he replied.

Chloe settled her head on his shoulder and looked up at him.

And she was all too familiar with the longing in his eyes then.