Evergreen

Part 5

Green was the hue that spoke so clearly and undoubtedly of envy. At the same time, so many used green to speak of fertility, of health. For Lex Luthor, green stood for the endless pool of Chloe's eyes that sent him to oblivion. When he looked into the fascinating orbs, he had no more care in the world. Often Lex wondered if he would allow himself to get lost in those green eyes again. Often he told himself that the question had no merit. When she had first left him to be with Bruce Wayne, in that landmark choice she had made far away from him, Lex Luthor decided that Chloe would not even have the chance to draw him in. She had been a liar and a sinner. Worse, Chloe had betrayed that flame of hope that he had lit when he gambled against the odds and married a girl fresh out of school who had barely a penny to her name. With one flourish of her pen, Chloe blew out that spark of light he held so dear.

No, Lex had decided, Chloe Luthor would never see a smile from him again, nor an extended hand. The thought should have made him stronger. Instead, Lex Luthor's heart fluttered in his cold chest. As he walked into the castle, striding along the corridors where she had once run from him, giggling, holding only a sheet around herself, his eyes stung with the salt of tears he was unwilling to shed for a treacherous ex.

Lex had swallowed heavily then. The coldness of the castle that had settled like a heavy blanket when she left tightened around him almost to the point that he needed to cough--so little was his air. Was Bruce Wayne inside his own manor then, thinking of betrayal and loss and regret, of treachery and vileness and hatred?

Truly, Lex doubted it. A better bet would be of the Wayne mogul standing in that stranded Pacific island, surveying still the crash site amidst the poisonous mosquitoes and stagnant puddles of water, braving death by some disease he could catch in a climate that his body was ill-suited for, holding on to the ridiculous hope that he would on the next moment glimpse a strand of blonde hair that would tell him where Chloe was. No doubt Bruce Wayne had imagined himself picking her battered body up in his arms, taking her home to his kingdom which was Gotham City, taking care of her until she woke up to tell him she loved him still, beyond anyone or any amount of fortune, beyond all that Lex Luthor ever was.

And Lex cursed the overactive imagination that took him away from the castle. Bruce Wayne had been so blissfully blindly enamored of Lex's wife that he did not fully comprehend how much she had stolen from him. Bruce Wayne had believed she was alive. Perhaps he was right, Lex thought ruefully. Chloe was alive, ensconced in a villa in Italy relishing in her success, laughing while counting the money she had taken from two men who surrendered everything they had to her.

Damn her, he thought to himself as he trudged his way to his bed. Damn her for the malicious bitch that she had turned out to be. Damn her for cheating him of so much more than money. Damn her for falling in love with another man before giving him a chance to fall out of love with her.

Damn her soul to fiery hell countless times because after all this, all he wanted now was the crawl to his bed and bury himself in the pillows that strangely enough, after so long, still smelled of her hair. All he wanted was to sleep in the bed that he had once shared with the temptress who seemed to be everything she was not.

Damn her, finally, for making him desire something that he would never have. Because of all that she had pretended to be, right at that moment, with his hand poised over the knob of the door to his bedroom, he remembered that his favorite welcome after an exhausting day at work was his wife in the bed, her arms warm and open.

Lex opened the door and stopped in his tracks, because the first figure that he saw was the looming one of a red-caped man. Superman stepped out of the shadows with a grave greeting, "I've been waiting."

"Leave. There are better days to talk."

"You will want to know what I have to say." Superman stepped aside and revealed on the bed that had been haunting Lex since forever. It was a picture perfect thing like love handed to you in a basket with a giant bow. "She was near death in the crash site. We took care of her as much as we could. Now she's almost recovered." So far from her, he quelled the urge to push away the Man of Steel so he could sit with her, reach for her to know she was real. "Lex," Superman said. When he turned, the hero continued, "She doesn't remember. In fact, when I asked her who to call, she said she only remembered you."

When, Lex wondered, would that desire to strangle and kill her consume him? He had prepared for it. Why was the only need that overwhelmed him at that time a trembling in his hands to touch her face?

Idly, Lex forced to his head lines he had read from her letter, when she had asked him to let her go. Ideally they were enough to spark that mind-numbing anger.

"Have you ever woken up beside someone, Lex, and feel so inadequate? Bruce is such a good man. I don't deserve him, but I want so much to be with him. I was ugly, Lex, and you and me were so suited to each other. Lex, I have never loved a man so clean, so completely without lies or secrets that he would give me everything..."

They were thoughts she had jotted down, Lex knew, to kill his every nerve. The very sound of her words gutted him. Now, as Superman moved away and out of the window, Lex could only walk slowly to that bed.

He sat beside her and gave in to his heart's desire. He touched the hair that fell over one cheek. Slowly, he brushed his fingers down her nose. As she moaned and furrowed deeper into the pillows that would not even more smell of her, Lex Luthor told himself that he would not lose her again.

"Money is found anywhere. I will find no one else like you."

Now, certain as he was that she was his, with all memory of Bruce or her treachery forgotten, Lex could freely claim that he admired how she accomplished her goals.

With a deep sigh released, Chloe opened the eyes that served as brand to his emotion. She gave him a small, sleepy smile, then asked, "Lex, what happened?" Her voice sent shivers down his spine.

Lex picked up her hand and kissed her palm. "You were sick. I'm glad you're better now."

Chloe nodded and moved over to her side. "Lie down beside me," she requested.

Staring deep into her eyes, he nodded. Lex kicked off his shoes and climbed in beside her. He spooned up behind her and pulled her closer against him. "I heard you didn't remember everything."

"I'm sorry, Lex," she whispered.

"Don't be," he returned, his voice low and soothing. "I will stay here with you every day, to hell with the company, until I can tell you everything that you don't remember. I promise."

She turned in his arms and looked him in the eye. "Thank you."

"First," he began, "I will help you remember our anniversary plans. We will be renewing our marriage vows."

Her lips parted in wonder. "Did I think of that?"

Without blinking, Lex claimed, "Of course you did. I would never have been able to think of such a great idea on my own."

"God, I'm so lucky to have you," she declared. Chloe placed her hands on both of his cheeks and tenderly drew him closer to her for a kiss. "I love you, Lex."

With tentative hands, Chloe reached down for Lex's belt buckle and helped him take off his pants. Then he pushed his shirt off his shoulders. Her butterly touches over his skin sent him shivering.

"I missed your touch," she whispered.

Lex moved over her and tenderly moved her legs open, then slid between them. "I missed you more," he swore. Lex closed his eyes and entered her in a gentle but fluid motion. Every thrust he made inside her causedher to suck her breath in with the quiet power that he revealed. "Tell me what you want," he whispered.

"Anything?"

"Everything," came his reassurance.

Just like so long ago, against the alley wall outside the club in Metropolis, after he had caught her stealing, Lex Luthor made a vow that he seemed unable to break.

"Everything then, Lex. Give me all of you," she named.

"You have it," he swore, as he released inside of her. "You've had it all along."

After, he settled against her on the bed, with his arm over her waist. Lex Luthor fell asleep in their bed, like the dreams that never ceased.

Half an hour must have passed, and Lex remained so deep in his sleep, like a man finally sated after a decade-long hunger. Chloe gingerly lifted his arm up so that she could slide underneath. Then, she padded across the room and out the door.

Barefoot, Chloe stepped out of the Luthor castle. She had not been waiting a full minute, when Superman landed on his feet in front of her.

"Are you alright?" he asked. "Did he hurt you again?"

She turned her head away, and left him to his own conclusions.

Superman cursed silently. "I knew I shouldn't have returned you here. Chloe, I can easily take you away. Give me the word."

"No!" She reached for his hand. "I love him. I won't leave him again."

"So you'll let him hurt you?"

"I'll be anything just to be with Lex," Chloe told him. "Did you keep the papers I gave you?"

Superman nodded. "It was the least I could do. I put them where you wanted."

She gave him a faint smile. "Thank you."

"Just remember that I will always be checking up on you. If he hurts you too much, just say the word, Chloe. I will take you away before he can even blink," Superman vowed.

Satisfied, Chloe waved Clark away. She padded back inside the house and slid in beside Lex on the bed. At the movement, he stirred and asked, "Where have you been?"

"I needed some water," she explained. Chloe burrowed deeper in Lex's arms and with a gentle whisper, she bid, "Just sleep."

Forever green.

fin