Everything In This World
*~*~ Epilogue ~*~*
Chloe squinted as she looked up towards the sun, noting the heat waves that sailed through the air against the cerulean blue sky.
It was a typically dry and scorchingly hot Kansas day and - she couldn't emphasise this enough - she felt hot. Not dramatically sexy hot, not there's a portent of doom kind of hot - just plain, old, and possibly stinky, things sticking to her skin like velcro kind of hot.
She was at one of the many county fairs that Smallville periodically stages, at the behest of Clark, Lana and Pete, who had wanted Chloe to come and help the Kents out with their stand of freshly grown produce and other farm-y type stuff. Which was all very nice and grand of Lana, the girl next door with a heart of some precious metal that was even better than gold, and Pete, who was so bored that he really needed something better to do than help his best friend set up his produce stand, but why had Chloe allowed herself to have been dragged into this?
"Chlo, you look fried."
Chloe whipped around, her eyes narrowing dangerously as she confronted her friend. "Pete - shut up."
A feigned look of hurt came over Pete's face as she put his hands up in defence. "Hey, I'm just saying. I know you don't tan well and then your face gets all blotchy before it starts peeling and -."
Chloe restrained herself from dumping the remaining contents of the crate in her hands over Pete's still talking head. "Whose idea was it to drag me out here anyway? If I die from heat stroke, you're paying the funeral bill - which won't be cheap either."
Mrs Kent hurried over. "Chloe sweetie, why don't you go and take a break? You look ... hot." Chloe looked up at Mrs Kent's kindly face, vainly trying to curtail the what must have been waterfall of sweat off her face. She glanced quickly at Lana, who was busy stacking extra crates on the other side of the stand and looking like she had swallowed an entire gallon of anti-freeze.
Her eyes narrowed with barely concealed annoyance. Why did Lana have to go around looking so damn cool and ice princess-y and - more importantly - dry, when Chloe felt like a particularly ugly overheated radiator?
Now Chloe, she chided herself bemusedly. No need to get nasty.
"Ah thanks Mrs Kent - I think I will. I feel like a lobster - or something equally as red and boiled. The key reaction being 'ew'."
The older woman laughed as she handed Chloe a bottle of water. "Thanks for helping us out sweetie. I think Jonathan and the boys can finish up."
Chloe flashed Mrs Kent a bright smile as she stacked the last crate against the back of the stand. Wiping yet more dripping rivulets of sweat from her features, she began sauntering away from the Kent stand, eyeing the scene with her hopefully improving roving reporter's curiosity.
It was mid-morning, yet already the field was teeming with activity and noise. Brightly coloured stands for the sale of everything from produce to farm equipment littered the vista as far as Chloe's eye could see. Kids who had nothing better to do ran between stands, shouting for no other sane person reason than to inject some hilarity and noise into the scene.
Chloe admired their boundless energy as she found a shaded spot, opening the bottle of water in her hands and drinking its contents greedily.
"Having fun?" She broke into a smile at Lex's mischievous voice behind her, feeling happy yet excruciatingly hot and uncomfortable at the same time. She felt his hands skip tantalisingly over her skin, drawing heated circles on her arms before he wrapped them around her waist, drawing her even closer to him.
"Some." Chloe grinned as she felt the pressure of Lex lightly resting against her cheek, his head dripping into the crook of her neck and prompting a wave of excitement to course through her body. It had been more than a year since she had first felt these strange warm and fuzzy feelings towards the man standing beside her, yet in some ways their relationship still felt new. Except of course for the dramatic, getting to know each other and fighting their way through misunderstandings part.
She chafed in the bright sunshine as they took a moment to absorb the leisurely atmosphere of the fair. A boy ran past them and threw a water bomb that landed at their feet before dashing away, while a farmer impatiently honked his truck to gain clearance onto the busy field.
"Okay, now I'm bored." She heard him chuckle as he unwrapped his arms around her, spinning around to meet his amused gaze. "Where have you been?"
"Mrs Kent said she forgot to bring the food she'd prepared for today, so I volunteered my responsible services to bring them here." He held up two picnic baskets ladened with food, one in each hand, his expression almost daring her to challenge the veracity of his task.
"You only did it to escape the hard labour that the rest of us have been put to. You should be ashamed of yourself. I thought Luthors never shirked from hard work."
Lex carefully placed the hampers onto the soft, even ground before wrapping an arm around her and drawing her in for a slow, warmth-filled kiss. "Luthors never shirk from hard work, but we're smart enough to go around it sometimes."
"You always have an answer for everything, don't you?" Chloe asked, looking up at him.
His eyes sparkled in the bright sunlight. "You always ask the right questions Chloe."
She blushed under the heat of his gaze - something she hadn't quite gotten a handle on yet. Which was okay by her, since she generally acknowledged herself to be one of the luckiest girls on earth with Lex by her side. Whoever said that nice girls finish last obviously had never heard of Chloe. "We make a good team then."
His pale blue eyes gazed piercingly into hers. "I think so." He bent down to retrieve the picnic baskets from the ground but put them back down hesitantly. Lex looked at her with barely fettered emotion, his intensity scorching in the already hot Kansas sun. "In case I don't say this enough - you're everything in the world to me Chloe. You know that, don't you?"
Chloe's heart shook with emotion as she beheld his earnest face, haloed by the brilliant rays of the sun behind him. "Yeah." She replied quietly, leaning forward to give him a sweet kiss that somehow sealed their fate. "I know Lex. I know."
(c) January 2003
Wow, bet you can't believe that this story has finally finished! I posted the last parts in one go, because I believe that they should be read together or at least, people should have the option to read it as one chunk.
I hoped you enjoyed it - you may have noticed while reading this long, long saga, that there were a lot of things in there that maybe don't quite belong in the story. This is because this story is supposed to be (and will eventually be) the first of a two or three part story, so yes, there will be a sequel coming - eventually. ;-)
And finally, thanks to everyone who gave me feedback while writing this story - you guys are unbelievably kind and helped me write this monstrosity. Without that encouragement I probably would have chucked in the towel long ago. So I want to thank the following people who have kindly left me reviews, especially those who have encouraged me every step of the way here:
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