"Lex may have turned his back on you, but I never will."

Ever since Clark Kent had heard those words two days earlier, he couldn't seem to get them out of his mind. Of all people who might help him protect his secret, he never expected it would be Tess Mercer. She was so connected to Lex that he knew it would be foolhardy to trust her, but he couldn't help himself. He wanted to be able to talk to someone about his other life, not lie to every person he met, and be constantly afraid that they would run out on him. Sure there was Chloe, but she was his friend, and she had her own life to live.

He was snapped out of his revive by a tap on the shoulder. He looked up, and he saw Lois standing in front of him. He liked her a lot, but he just couldn't risk putting her life in danger by giving her the burden that came with knowing his secret.

"Hey Smallville, wake up."

"Huh, what's going on?"

"Well, it's the middle of a news day and the boss wants to see you."

Clark didn't reply; he just got up and walked up the stairs to Tess's office.

He stopped in front of her office door and knocked, feeling nervous but not knowing why.

"Come in", he heard and he opened the door to find himself face-to-face with Tess Mercer, her green eyes staring directly into his blue ones. For a minute it seemed that neither of them could look away and then Clark broke the silence.

"You wanted to see me, Ms. Mercer?"

"Yes, and its Tess Clark. I accused you of being an alien, so I think we can drop the formalities."

"All right then Tess, why exactly am I here?"

"Oh that's quite simple. I'm going to Paris and I want you to come with me."