Chapter 1

Category: Romance
Rating: PG
Pairing: Chloe/Clark
Warnings: None

Summary: Clark discovers Chloe's letter from "Fever" and now Chloe is mortified. This takes place sometime during season 4 however, Chloe does not know Clark's secret.

Clark,

I want to let you in on a secret. I'm not who you think I am. In fact, my disguise is so thin I'm surprised you haven't seen right through me. I'm the girl of your dreams masquerading as your best friend. Sometimes I want to rip off the façade like I did at the spring formal. But I can't because you'll get scared and you'll run away again. So I decided that it's better than live with the lie than expose my true feelings. My dad said there are two types of girls - the ones you grow out of and the ones you grow into. I really hope I'm the latter. I may not be the one you love today, but I'll let you go for now, hoping one day you'll fly back to me. Because I think you're worth the wait.

Clark couldn't believe what he was reading. He suddenly had an overwhelming sense of guilt over the way he'd been neglecting Chloe. I mean, he knew that she had feelings for him but this; this was way beyond a high school crush. 'She's waiting for me to grow into her?' Clark thought to himself. 'Could Chloe be in love with me?'

"Hey Clark" Chloe said as she entered the Torch office. Clark was sitting at her desk holding a bright pink piece of paper. Being startled by Chloe's entrance Clark jumped and quickly tucked his arm, which contained the paper, behind his back. Chloe's throat fell into her stomach as the realization hit her of what that pink piece of paper was. "What are you doing going through my stuff Clark!"

Before he had the chance to respond, Chloe moved behind Clark and grabbed the paper out of his hand examining it to make sure it was what she thought it was. "Chloe, I'm sorry! I wasn't going through your stuff, I swear. I was looking for your notes on tomorrow's cover story and that letter fell out of one of the folders I was looking through. I shouldn't have read it but I saw my name on it and curiosity got the best of me."

Chloe was mortified that Clark found her letter! She was also furious at herself for leaving it in her desk where she knew Clark had access while working on the paper. Tears started to well up in Chloe's eyes as she began to fully realize what Clark had just read and that he now knew that she had more than just a little affection for him. She crumpled up the sheet of paper and tossed it into the wastebasket while running out of the Torch, tears streaming down her face. Clark jumped up from his seat and ran after her "Chloe, wait!"

"Go away Clark! You know I don't do well with huge, embarrassing situations and this is the Titanic of embarrassing situations!" Chloe said with a scratchy, choked up voice.

"Chloe please stop! We have to talk about this." Clark gently grabbed Chloe's arm and spun her around to face him. "I'm sorry that I saw your letter. I know that it was personal and I shouldn't have read it. But, I did read it and now we have to talk about it." Chloe looked at her feet and mumbled, "I'm too mortified to ever talk to you again."

Clark tilted her chin up and wiped away a tear with his thumb. He gave Chloe a small, sympathetic smile and asked, "So, we're just never gonna speak to each other again?" Chloe didn't respond so Clark continued, "If you quit talking to me who's gonna be my partner in crime to solve all of Smallville's mysteries? Who am I going to go to for some comic relief when Lois and my parents are driving me crazy and I need to get away from the farm? Most importantly Chloe, who's gonna be my best friend?"

Chloe was moved by the genuinely sad expression on Clark's face. She cracked a tiny smile to console him and that caused Clark to break out into one of his famous ear-to-ear grins. She couldn't help but think of how sexy he looked when he smiled like that. Chloe was starting to feel better already. She silently scolded herself for what she was thinking, 'Concentrate Chloe, pining after Clark is what got you into this mess to begin with'.

"So, can I have a 'Chloe hug' to cement that we're officially on speaking terms again?" Chloe laughed and scooted into his arms resting her head on his chest. Ahhh, Clark loved 'Chloe hugs'. That's what he named them because they were so noticeably different than the way other people hugged him. While most people squeeze him back, Chloe relaxed into his arms and just allowed herself to be hugged. In Clark's opinion, this made it much more of a personal experience. He held her tight for several seconds realizing how long it had been since he'd really hugged Chloe. It felt so comfortable with her in his arms and Clark loved how warm her body felt against his. Had Chloe always smelled so good?

That thought snapped Clark back into reality and caused him to remember the reason for the hug. Chloe was embarrassed because Clark had found her letter describing her intense feelings for him. He still couldn't believe what the letter had said and wondered why she had written it to him and never gave it to him. 'What did she mean by me "getting scared and running away again"? I don't remember ever being scared of Chloe' he thought to himself. Clark was going to have to have a serious conversation with Chloe and find out exactly what was going on. "Come on, I have nothing to do the rest of the day. Let's go to the Talon and I'll ask Mom to make us some mocha lattes. Then we can have a little chat to clear the air."

Chloe gulped and felt herself growing very nervous. What would she say? Should she tell Clark that she's madly in love with him and has been since they were 14? She was just going to have to take things one-step at a time. She decided she needed a little space to gather her thoughts. "That sounds good Clark. Just let me wrap up tomorrow's issue so I can put the paper to bed. I'll meet you a the Talon at 6pm, k?"

"Umm, sure Chloe but I thought we were finished with tomorrows issue. I just finished up the cover story and usually once the covers done you send the paper to press." Chloe came up with the fastest response she could think of. "Well, I just discovered a new story that I wanna get in right away." Clark knew it must have been a pretty big story for Chloe to change the paper layout at the last minute; she was notorious for having every mundane detail of each issue planned a week in advance. "Oh yeah, what's the big story?" asked Clark.

Chloe mentally kicked herself for not coming up with a better excuse for having to meet him later; she should have known that Clark would ask questions if it had to do with an article. Since she wasn't prepared with a made up article idea she said something that she actually had wanted to work on in the future. "I'm writing an article on the effects of meteor rock induced hormones with libido enhancements. Apparently Luthorcorp has been developing a new drug that uses meteor rocks to stimulate certain male testosterone levels, which optimizes sexual performance."

Clarks face turned dark pink when he heard the words 'sexual performance'. "You mean like meteor rock Viagra?"

Chloe giggled, she was impressed with herself for turning the subject off of her embarrassing letter and onto something that embarrassed Clark. "Yeah Clark something like that. Anyway, I know it's testing my limits as far as appropriate high school newspaper material but I seem to have free reign over the Torch these days. Someday Principal Reynolds is going to end up regretting lowering his censorship control over the paper. So, I'll see you at 6 then?" asked Chloe.

"See you at 6" said Clark as he headed out of the school and on his way home. Chloe immediately ran into the Torch, sat at her desk and switched on her computer. She knew she wasn't going to get a lot preparation done for their talk now that she had to throw together an article in under 2 hours.

Exactly 2 hours and 56 minutes later Chloe walked into the Talon. She was late meeting Clark but knew he was not angry when she saw him sitting at a corner booth smiling and waving her over. She had needed a little extra time to think about what to say to Clark, so she took her time getting to the Talon. Chloe had come to the conclusion that she would start off by telling Clark that she had written the letter two years ago while he was sick and she had been evaluating her feelings for him. But, that she never intended on giving him the letter and had thrown it out. Then she'd tell him about how she suddenly found the letter in an interesting place two days ago.

"Hey Chloe, have a seat" Clark said invitingly. "Hi, Clark", Chloe sat down across from him in the booth and prepared herself as she was about to reveal to Clark Kent the biggest secret of her life. That she was in love with him.

To Be Continued…………..