See Chapter 1 for headers.
Chloe and Gabe plowed along in the back of a government SUV, brimming with an anticipation that was laced with foreboding. Lex's fear-inducing interrogation and very unreassuring stare played in her mind on loop. Maybe he was right; was she really prepared to face the wrath of Lionel Luthor? She turned her attention to her father. If her dad felt any trepidation, Chloe couldn't see it.
"Dad, do you think maybe I did the wrong thing, you know, by coming forward?" she asked him. She hadn't realized the extent that whistle-blowing would have an affect on herself - and her dad.
"Chloe, I've always encouraged you to be a champion of truth. You know that."
"So, you're not sorry about...all of this?"
He paused, sighed a little, and turned to her, placing his hand on her lap. "I'm sorry that we live in a world with people like Lionel Luthor. But, anytime you take the high road it's a risk. Sometimes it takes a little courage, a little faith. But you did the right thing." He nodded encouragingly, then nudged her with his elbow and flashed a little grin. "Don't look so glum, pumpkin, it's gonna all work out in the end." He even laughed a little.
Chloe tried to match his optimistic expression, and returned a toothless smile. Tottering down the road, however, she thought back to Lex's harrowing ordeal in Belle Reve and the many times Lionel had gotten off for a host of atrocities scot free. She was beginning to have the first traces of doubt. Maybe she had been too impetuous.
She turned to her father again to find him...asleep? No, his eyes were closed in a reflective countenance. She hoped he didn't feel that he had to be strong for her. Perhaps he secretly felt that she had gone too far. After some decisions she had made recently, she was growing less and less confident about her instincts. She couldn't help but think how her own actions had set this whole thing in motion to begin with. If she had never teamed with Lionel, she would have never been under his seemingly interminable grip. If she had never gone to Lex about Lachlan Luthor, he would probably never have investigated his grandparents' past. And he would have never known his father murdered them.
Sure, a lot of other people had done a lot of things to make this whole drama transpire, but still...
The SUV came to a stop.
"Ready, lady?" Gabe asked, smile firmly restored. Chloe nodded and hopped out. She felt she should tip the agents, or at least thank them, but tipping was obviously inappropriate, and they couldn't give her their names.
She and Gabe ambled to the back, and unloaded their meager belongs that would have to sustain them for a while. She ascended the steps and prepared to enter the home that would act as her sanctuary for the coming months - and maybe longer. Gabe opened the door, and turned to give her a reassuring glance before stepping in. Chloe gave one final peek over her shoulder.
Her body shuddered with a sickening dread as her eyes met one of the agents'.
In an instant, her paralyzing doubt returned ferociously, and she was consumed with one final thought:
What was she doing?