Chapter four.

Paris was everything Tess had hoped it would be and more. The streets were busy and full of interesting, foreign looking people. The Eiffel tower stood tall and majestic and was as romantic as she had imagined it would be. Clark had promised to take her up there later that night for dinner. It was a strangely rare concession on his part, since he wasn't at all the romantic type.

Tess felt alive since they had arrived in this amazing city, something she hadn't felt for a very long time. Young, alive and carefree. Well, almost carefree. Clark walked at her side as they searched for accommodation, somewhere to hide.

Tess realized that the people walked a large circle around Clark, he looked dangerous to them and he was. It was strange how safe she felt walking besides him, dwarfed by his height and brawn. He was more powerful then anyone realized though, people here hadn't quite had the exposure to the news about Clark Luthor and what he was capable of. It was the semi incognito that they had been looking for.

Soon they found a broken down looking apartment building, boasting several alley cats and dirty corridors. It was disgusting but necessary. Tess covered her distaste by smiling encouragingly at Clark as he eyed her worriedly.

"It will do." Tess said as she looked around the tiny apartment that would be theirs for the foreseeable future. It was dingy and dirty. Tess had never been subjected to lodging like this in her entire twenty years.

"It definitely not Luthor standards sis, but it will do until we get what we rightfully deserve." Clark said matter of factly.

Tess caught the reference to "what we rightfully deserve" and frowned at her brother really worried now. "What do you mean, Clark?"

He grinned at her, which did nothing to calm her nerves because the grin was filled with dangerous mischief. She didn't know what was on his mind and that was never a good thing.

"Sis, stop worrying about things that don't concern you. Just relax and know that I will get for us, what is rightfully ours and one day soon we will be living the way Luthors should live." Clark grabbed her into a bone-crushing hug and kissed her cheek soundly. "I will be back soon. I have things to arrange. Don't go anywhere." And with that parting comment he was gone in the blink of an eye. A small whirl of wind the only sign that he had left.

Tess sighed and started to unpack. Weariness consumed her now that they had stopped traveling. All she wanted top do was sleep after a really long bubble bath. She doubted that the bath would be clean so she opted for a shower instead, all the while looking down at her feet to make sure nothing crawled out at her from dark hidden places. It felt so good to be clean that Tess found the energy to check the sheets on the bed and re-made it from scratch. Soon she was lying on the cool sheets, dozing.

There were footsteps in the living room and Tess called out sleepily; "I'm here Clark, come try this bed its divine, if a little basic."

She heard muted voices and sat up suddenly. That was not Clark's voice!

She scrambled off the bed and made a dive for the bathroom door, once inside she ran to the window trying to see if there was a way out. There was none.

Her heart was hammering wildly in her chest, threatening to rip its way out. Somehow she knew without confirmation that whom ever was in the apartment was up to no good. Tess was dressed in only her night slip - not exactly get away clothes. But there was no time for that now. The voices were whispering now, right outside the bathroom door. Tess tensed, grabbing the only thing that could be used as a weapon; a plunger from besides the sink. She bit her lip to keep herself from whimpering in fear. She was a Luthor and Luthors never showed fear. Hadn't her father told her that a thousand times?

Suddenly the door burst off its hinges and two burly thugs, armed with knives and a gun, confronted her. They grinned as they saw what she was wearing. Tess raised the plunger threateningly and they laughed loudly. To them she must seem as threatening as an angry kitten.

"Don't come any closer! My boyfriend will be back any moment now." She threatened them. Her voice came out sounding curiously small instead of the brave sound she was aiming for.

"Your brother is otherwise occupied, sweetheart. I wouldn't count on his helping you, no matter how super he may be." The one thug sneered at her. Obviously they were really well informed about her and Clark.

"What do you want with me?" She asked quietly, lowering the plunger.

"Our boss wants you in a nice safe place, a bargaining chip if you will, just in case your brother proves to be any more trouble than he already has been." The bigger of the two said, eyeing her lush curves meaningfully. "Come with us peaceably and you wont get hurt."

Fear surged through Tess and make her stomach do several nervous flips.

"Okay, I will come with you, if you tell me who your boss is?"

"We make the rules sweetheart, not you. No information whatsoever!" He reached out and grabbed her upper arm roughly dragging her through the door and out of the apartment. She had to run to keep up with their fast strides. They threw her none too gently into a dirty van, black with no plates. "Next time make sure your brother takes better care of you… if there is a next time." The thug chuckled. " Mixing with people like Clark Luthor can be bad for your health." With that the doors were slammed shut. She didn't hold any hope that someone what seen her abduction, things like this were probably all too common in this Paris slum. She shuddered as she thought about what her fate could be. She curled up into a ball against the side of the van and wished with all her being that Clark would find her.

Tess wondered at her decision to come here with Clark, she should have known that such a dangerous man would have equally dangerous enemies. She also wondered if she would have done any different if she had known it would come to this? Probably not. Clark was like a drug to her system, exhilarating and highly addictive. She knew deep down inside that she would pay any price to be with him. She only hoped her guardian angel would win out this time and find her alive.