Chapter 3.


"I don't want it. Thanks anyway".

She was breathtakingly beautiful - face of an angel, long dark hair, sparkling hazel eyes, and the hourglass figure. Lola Dane wasn't his type, Clark Kent liked petite women more, but he could easily see why Lex Luthor, of all people, was planning to divorce Lana and marry this woman.

Lola Dane in my office. Unbelievable.

After Luthor's unfortunate demise the officials tried to bring Lola Dane to questioning, only to find that the woman disappeared without a trace. Rumor mill speculated for months about her relationship with Luthor. Clark was a bit curious too. They found nothing to prove that Lola was aware of Luthor's shady dealings, but this meant nothing. Women can be very good in covering their tracks.

Now Lola Dane was back; a disaster waiting to happen. Lex Luthor learned it the hard way. And Clark wasn't going to risk his career again because of the woman.

"So, Ms. Dane, what brought you back to Metropolis? And why did you forget to mention the men after your pretty head?"

"In my defense I can say that I had no idea that they followed me all the way from Chicago to Metropolis".

"Followed? I was under an impression that the shooter was sent by one of your ex-boyfriend's business associates," Clark said. "If I was able to recognize infamous Lola Dane, the gangster with a good eye could do the same".

"That's just where you are wrong. That hitman wasn't after Lola Dane. I stopped using this name after… you know," Clark nodded, trying his best to keep the poker face.

"Out of curiosity – what's your real name?"

She looked at him nervously, "Usually I don't tell my name to the strangers. But I was convinced that you can keep a secret," Clark saw that she made a decision, not the easiest one. "I'm Lois Lane".

Lois Lane… Lois Lane… where can I hear this name?

"I assume your last name have something to do with General Samuel Lane?" Clark's eyes sparkled with renewed interest.

"Not 'something', Detective. Everything. I'm his daughter," Lois said with a mix of sadness and pride. "That's why I fled from Metropolis. We are not close. But I couldn't allow his name to be dragged through the mud and his military career ruined because of my mistakes".

Clark chuckled, "If you were worried for your father's reputation, you made a funny choice of profession".

"I was working undercover".

"What, you too?"

"...working undercover as a freelance reporter. Now can you keep your snide remarks to yourself? They are not funny at all".

"Freelance reporter? Explanation as good as any. So tell me again, Miss Lane, why these men were after you, if they didn't know that you were Luthor's ex-girlfriend?"

"Can I just say that they were working for Intergang?" Lois sighed, "I see the answer in your eyes. You want more, you want the whole story. Guess I can't blame you after today's shooting. Detective, I already told you that I'm freelance reporter. I never wrote under my real name," Lois leaned in closer and asked in a hushed voice. "Does the name 'Wanda Detroit' ring any bells for you?"

So she is Wanda Detroit now? Why not Queen of Sheba?

"Lola Dane, Lois Lane or Wanda Detroit, it doesn't change the fact that put me and my friend on the line of fire. This pretty much annuls all the verbal agreements between us".

"Are you sure you are a detective, Mr. Kent. You talk like a lawyer".

"Honestly? I have no reason to trust you. I don't know if your words are true, or you are just messing up with me. What I know is that street fighting is less dangerous than risking my neck following your crazy schemes".

"What if I have a letter from a person you know, and this person can vouch for me?"

Clark asked mockingly, "Who, President Eisenhower?"

Lois smiled wickedly, "Better. Lori Lemaris".

Clark knocked his cup of coffee from the desk, but didn't notice.

"Dear Clark,

Maybe you are wondering why I am writing this letter to you. I'm wondering too.

I was very, very angry when I learned that you are alive. I kept asking myself the same questions – how could Clark do this to me? How could he allow me to believe that he died in plane crash, that his life was the price of my rescue? I wondered if I meant so little for you. I wanted to jump the first train to Metropolis and confront you. I wanted to ask, if our love was real, if YOU were real.

Guess I saw too many movies and was disappointed because I was robbed of my happy ending, ride off to the sunset and living happily ever after. Looking backwards, I'm starting to understand that it was a wise decision. Very cold, not Clark-like at all, but wise. What we had together was wonderful, but it couldn't last. Love is not always enough. We came from different worlds. You know what a wise man said: a bird can marry a fish, but where they are going to live?

The memories hurt, but not as much as before, because I'm not the same woman. I got married!

I must confess that it was an arranged marriage. At first I was too frustrated and angry to protest. Then it dawned on me that I'm stuck with the man I barely know.

Arthur saw through my doubts and insecurities. He told me that the wedding was a bit rushed, and offered to spend the honeymoon on his yacht, a good chance to get to know him better. It was a honeymoon of discoveries. And I was astonished when I understood what an unexpected gift of fate he was.

Arthur is one of the best men I've met, strong, brave, with a kind heart (not to mention the body of a Greek sculpture). And he loves the sea as much as I do. I'm good in swimming, but Arthur swims like a fish.

I think I'm falling for him, that's one of the reasons of writing this letter. I want to move on, and I want you to know how I feel.

The other reason is Lois. Please take care of her. Lo doesn't know when to quit, and can't recognize mortal danger if it kicked her in the tail. When she was in school, she wanted to fight Nazis like Lady Blackhawk – can you believe it? Aunt Ellen barely stopped her from running away.

I told Lois that you are the bravest man I've met, and very good in keeping secrets. I hope you are not planning to make me a liar.

Always a friend,

Lori Lemaris.

P.S. What's with you and initials L.L.?"

"Thanks, by the way," said Lois when she saw that Clark finished reading.

"Thanks for what?"

"For saving her life, of course. We were best friends in school. Off the record, Detective – how did you survive?"

"I don't want to talk about it," the memories weren't pleasant.

Lois wasn't prying, "Fine for me. Then let's talk business? I hope you understand why my pen name is a secret?"

"Because Wanda Detroit wasn't pulling the punches and her articles offended a lot of influential people?" Clark offered. "Including Intergang? And now Intergang learned who you really are?"

"No. If they knew, they'd sent their best men, Deadshot or Phantasm, not a couple of glorified thugs. They only found out that I'm connected to Wanda, as one of her informants. My murder was supposed to be is a warning for Wanda to stop digging".

"Could this work?"

"Could they scare Wanda Datroit into dropping the case? No way! She'd start digging twice as hard. Wanda works overtime when it's personal!"

Why does she talk about herself in the third person?

"That's what I was afraid of," Clark said darkly. "So what do you want from me? I'm a private eye, not a bodyguard".

"Detective, I don't expect you to walk on water or defeat Intergang single-handily. It's not your war anyway. All I need from you is to find out who ordered the hit on me and help me to bring him to the justice," Lois looked at Clark expectantly. "I showed my hand, Detective, what do you say? Can I count on you?"

What the heck? You only live once. And that's Wanda Datroit, the Mad Dog.If she can't find a chink in the armor of Intergang, who can?

"I'll take the case, Miss Lane".

To be continued...