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08 April 2009 @ 12:47 am
The Naked Truth (Chlex Drama/Romance; PG-13/R): Chapters 1 & 2  
Here are the first two chapters of one of my latest Chlex fics. Enjoy!

For four years Lex and Chloe have been the bitterest of enemies. Now, the young Daily Planet reporter is about to print a front-page story on his shady business. Little does she know fate will get in the way and uncover a secret which will leave her heart completely exposed.

Thanks to my friend Angie for creating this banner for my fic.

Author: lexie

Rating: PG-13/R

Homepage: http://www.freewebs.com/lillianschild


E-mail: lillianschild@yahoo.co.uk

Spoilers: Freak, Progeny and Phantom.

A/N: The sequence of events in this story may not necessarily follow the timeline of the show. I´ve manipulated the time frame of certain events for my own creative purposes.

The opening dialogue between Chloe and Lex is taken ¨almost¨ verbatim from Progeny.

Disclaimer: all Superman and Smallville characters belong to DC Comics and Gough & Millar. No infringement's intended.

CHAPTER 1: The Threat

The Daily Planet 2007

It was past seven o´clock in the evening and Chloe was alone in the news room at The Planet. She had stayed behind long after closing time, too determined to finish her latest article to be dragged away from her computer.

The previous forty-eight hours had been the most angsty and adrenaline-pumping she had lived through in years. Once again she had come face-to-face with her mother, even spoken with her, only to lose her all over again in one of her catatonic spells.

Chloe had done things she wasn´t aware of- like assaulting Lex in the middle of the road to get proof of his dubious dealings at 33.1. She now remembered actually shooting him when he had crossed her path on her way out of the secret Luthorcorp facility. Unbeknownst to her, Moira Sullivan had urged her- or rather, ordered her with her mental powers- to do whatever it was necessary to escape unscathed.

For months the blonde reporter had been gathering information and interviewing meteor freaks who had allegedly been held captive by the Luthor heir. She had even experienced in the flesh the procedures which were performed at 33.1. The scar in her right shoulder, where the implanted tracking device had been, was enough proof she hadn´t just imagined it all.
She had seen it with her own eyes; Lex was carrying out experiments on meteor-infected people, and she was going to expose him for the criminal he was. She owed it to her mum and to countless innocent meteor victims like herself to put him behind bars.

¨LuthorCorp Crimes Against Humanity. That´s catchy. Too bad it´ll never make it to print, ¨said Lex matter-of-factly, walking behind Chloe.

The young reporter had been typing furiously on the computer when she felt him step into the room. He had done so stealthily, but she´d always had a sixth sense that warned her of his presence; a sixth sense and something else which unsettled her- a feeling or a memory she couldn´t put her finger on. Better not to dwell too much on it for it´d surely not lead her to a quiet place.

¨Lex, I´m tired of games, ¨ she said through clenched teeth as she finished a paragraph.

¨Your audacity´s impressive, Chloe, especially given your recent late-night activities, ¨he said tersely. ¨Don´t tell me you don´t remember running my car off the road a few nights ago. Investigators have boot prints, hair fibres, samples of mud found in your apartment. ¨

¨You´ve had my apartment broken in? ¨she asked him uneasily.

¨They might give you ten to twenty years for aggravated assault, Chloe, ¨he added, boring his eyes into her.

¨A small price to pay to see you rot in prison, ¨she spat at him.

¨You´ve got no shred of proof about any of this, Chloe. Unlike me who´s got the evidence against you locked away safe and secure, ¨he said wryly.

¨I´m not making this article disappear, Lex, if that´s what you´re suggesting, ¨she responded, tilting up her chin in defiance.

¨I thought you might say that. That´s why there´s a Plan B firmly in place... a plan that makes prison look like a picnic, ¨he said menacingly, straightening up and strutting back to the elevator.

Chloe closed her eyes tightly and, stifling a sob, she slid down on her swivel chair. She looked at the computer screen and scanned the article that could sky-rocket her career at The Planet. Her hand on the mouse trembled as she let the arrow hover over the pull-down menu. Her journalistic nature refused to give up, but she valued her life too much. She pressed ´save´ and stored the file on a CD-ROM, which she stashed away in the bottom drawer under lock and key.

Lex waited for the elevator doors to shut before letting out the breath he´d been holding. He slouched against the mirror and tightened the grip on the railings, feeling the cold metal bury in his flesh. He swallowed hard and fought the tears that were pricking his eyelids. He was sure he´d made his point and got across the message, but facing her tonight and issuing that threat had demanded a lot of him. He hoped she was sensible enough to make the smart decision and not print the article. Four years before her recklessness had put him in the uncomfortable position of having to make a heart-wrenching choice, and he prayed for both their souls she didn´t force him to take a similar decision again for he wasn´t sure he´d be able to keep his sanity.

She hated him. He´d only had to meet her beautiful hazel green eyes to see how deeply. She thought she had reason to loathe him, seeing how he´d used her mum, but she didn´t remember she had a lot more to hate him for. He prayed she didn´t force him to make her remember because if the worst came to the worst, he´d have to. She´d then feel what he´d gone through, and she´d learn what her unquenchable thirst for the truth had cost them both.

CHAPTER 2: Knight in Dented Armour

The Apartment above The Talon- 2007

Chloe was tossing and turning in bed, covered in sweat and experiencing an excruciating pain like none she´d ever felt before, when a sharp knock and a distant voice which kept calling out her name intruded in her nightmare.

¨Chloe! Chloe, are you there? ¨called Clark, banging on the door.

¨Clark? ¨asked a disoriented Chloe, stealing a glance at the alarm clock.

¨Chloe, are you OK in there?¨insisted Clark, resisting the urge to use his X-ray vision to check on her.

¨I´m coming, Clark. Just a sec, ¨she said with a furry mouth, putting on an old terry robe.

¨Hi, Chlo´!¨ Clark greeted her, observing the black rings under her eyes and her tousled hair. ¨I´m sorry to have woken you up this way, but I was worried about you. I´ve been waiting for you at the barn since nine this morning. ¨

¨I apologise, Clark, but I came back from Metropolis really late last night. I should have called you and left you a message on the answering machine to tell you I wouldn´t be able to make it, but it just slipped my mind. I know, I know, I´m the worst friend you could have wished for. I´ve made a promise to you and then I ended up not keeping it, but well... with your own record of failures at turning up for appointments... ¨ she said without making a pause to breathe.

¨Chloe, is everything all right? ¨he frowned.

¨Yes. Why? ¨she responded with a smile she hoped could take her off the hook.

¨I don´t know. You sound strange; that´s all. And I know you´re talkative, but seeing that you´ve just woken up and that you haven´t had your first cup of coffee yet... ¨

¨Are you saying I´m grumpy in the mornings, Clark? ¨she cocked an eyebrow.

¨Well, I remember what you were like at The Torch during the first period,
¨he answered with a lopsided grin.

¨Listen, Clark, I know we talked about what we were going to do about... about... you know, ¨she swallowed the lump in her throat, ¨but ... mm... I think it´d be better if we just..., ¨she stammered, darting glances everywhere but at Clark.

¨Chloe, what´s happened? When we talked yesterday you were sure about it. ¨

¨Well, I´ve had time to think it over with a cool head and... Let´s face it, Clark. Who´s going to believe me? A green reporter barely out of high school accusing the most powerful family in Metropolis of crimes against humanity. It´s my word against the Luthors´, Clark. ¨

¨You aren´t saying anything we didn´t know yesterday, Chloe. Has Lex threatened you? ¨he asked, grabbing her gently by the arms.

¨Let it rest, Clark, ¨she whispered, freeing herself of his grip. ¨Let him enjoy his little victory. He hasn´t won the war yet. The time´ll come for him to pay his dues, ¨she gritted with unshed tears in her eyes.

¨He didn´t touch you, did he? ¨he asked worried.

¨Touch me? He hates my guts, Clark. He´d never lay a finger on me himself. He´d have someone do the dirty work for him. ¨

¨Do you think... ? ¨

¨I´m not willing to test the waters, Clark. Don´t worry, though. Sooner or later he´ll hang himself, ¨she snapped, suddenly flinching.

¨Chlo´,what´s the matter? ¨

¨Everything´s fine, Clark. Feminine stuff, ¨she explained.

¨Oh , right! ¨he exclaimed, blushing.

¨Why don´t you go downstairs? I´ll come down in five for a cup of coffee, ¨she shooed him away.

¨OK. I´ll wait for you by the counter, ¨he said, leaving the apartment.

Chloe shut the door and pressed her back against it. She inhaled deeply as an intense stab of pain pierced her abdomen and a wave of nausea overtook her. Her menstrual cramps had never been so acute, but Chloe didn´t have the heart to send her best friend away- least of all today when she needed someone to cling to. She fished in her bag for a capsule of ibuprofen and filled a glass with tap water to wash it down.

Following Clark´s conversation and feigning she was paying attention to his prattling on Lana proved to be a major ordeal. However, she managed to fool him with some snarky remarks and a couple of rehearsed Sullivan smiles. She couldn´t help but flinch inwardly. She´d come to perfect her smiles just as Lex´d made an art of his smirks and his trademark poker-face.

By three o´clock the pain was so unbearable that no amount of ibuprofen helped her numb the discomfort. Chloe grabbed her jacket and a few banknotes and climbed down the stairs intent on walking to the nearest chemist´s for a prescription of some stronger over-the-counter painkillers. She´d just locked the front door of The Talon and gone a couple of steps when the stabbing pain in her abdomen doubled her up, and she found herself caught by a pair of strong but gentle hands.

¨Chloe? ¨she heard him say in a rich and cultured voice charged with worry- a worry that had to be feigned.

¨Take your hands off me! ¨she screamed, making a few heads turn around and then hurry away as they met the steely blue-grey eyes belonging to the town´s resident billionaire.

¨Can you walk, Chloe? ¨ he asked, slipping on the mask he´d come to wear so often to cover the hurt that her words had caused him.

¨That´s exactly what I was doing when you pounced on me, ¨she snarled, controlling another wave of nausea.

¨I´m afraid you´re twisting the facts, Chloe. ¨

¨And isn´t that what you expected me to do, Lex? ¨she asked, raising her eyes to meet his hidden behind a pair of light-purple coloured shades.

¨I haven´t asked you to ´twist´ the facts, Chloe. ¨

¨No, of course not. You´ve asked me to bury them, ´she gasped, inadvertently clutching at Lex´s arm to steady herself.

¨Let me drive you to the medical centre, Chloe. You don´t look well, ¨he offered, noticing her complexion had turned ashen.

¨I´ll go back to The Talon and lie down, ¨she answered stubbornly.

¨Don´t be hard-headed, Chloe. You need medical attention, ¨he said gravely.

¨Cramps, Luthor. They´re just cramps, ¨she hissed. ¨With your revolving door of women I´m sure you know what that means, ¨she muttered.

¨Have they ever been this intense? ¨

¨Since when are you a certified M.D., Lex? I´m not speaking with you about my... ¨she gasped again before passing out and ending up in Lex´s arms.

The billionaire checked her pulse with shaky fingers and breathed relieved when he felt the steady beating. He brushed some unruly blonde hairs off her face and, swallowing the lump in his throat, picked her limp body up to carry her straight to the sports car he´d parked a few steps away from the coffee shop.

Once he had her secured in the passenger seat, he shut the door and walked around the Porsche under the attentive look of a couple of townspeople who eyed him suspiciously. Considering he had such a precious cargo in bad need of medical attention sitting unconscious in the car, Lex thought they could go to the devil for all he cared.

He drove to Smallville Medical Center at a breakneck speed and screeched to a halt in front of the ER entrance in time to see Chloe come round in a daze. He killed the engine and turned in his seat to unfasten the seat belt which was restraining Chloe´s movements.

¨What are you doing? ¨she asked weakly.

¨I´m making sure you get the attention you need, ¨he stated matter-of-factly.

¨I told you... ¨

¨Why don´t you stop this nonsense, Chloe? You loathe me. You don´t have to go out of your way to make it clearer, but you need a doctor. ¨

¨I know what I need, ¨she responded, recoiling from his touch.

¨The hell you do, ¨he said through clenched teeth.

¨You´ve already got what you wanted. Now, leave me alone, Lex., ¨she sobbed, stepping out of the sports car and slamming the door shut.

¨Chloe! ¨ he shouted, seeing her legs wobble and her body collapse on the pavement.

¨I need a doctor! ¨boomed Lex, walking through the ER doors, carrying an unconscious Chloe in his arms.

¨Can you tell me what´s happened to her? ¨asked the female doctor on duty as Lex lowered Chloe on a gurney and the physician checked her pupils with a flashlight.

¨It´s the second time she passes out in the last ten minutes, ¨explained Lex short of breath. ¨She´s got intense abdominal pains. ¨

¨Has she vomited? ¨

¨Not since I´m with her, but I wouldn´t know if she threw up earlier. ¨

¨We can rule out peritonitis, ¨sighed the doctor, looking at the blood which was starting to soak her beige trousers.

¨She said... they were... menstrual cramps, ¨muttered Lex, looking at Chloe´s translucent complexion.

¨I´m not sure all this blood´s her period, Mr Luthor, ¨frowned the physician.
¨We´ll need a sonogram right now, Cynthia, ¨she told an intern. ¨Paul, tell Dr Phillips we have an emergency, and prepare an OR stat, ¨she ordered the nurse. ¨Mr Luthor, let us do our work, please. I´ll come to you as soon as we´ve got news, ¨she added, addressing a blanched Lex, who stood with a lost look in his eyes. ¨Mr Luthor, ¨she insisted, shaking him slightly. ¨Please. Wait outside. Cynthia, could you ... ¨

¨Certainly, doctor. Come this way, Mr Luthor, ¨ the intern urged him, ushering Lex outside.

Lex felt a sudden wave of nausea when the intern left him to assist the physician with the sonogram. He´d always hated hospitals. The smell of disinfectant and death which invaded every nook and cranny had always given him the creeps. Spending three-quarters of his life as a near-permanent resident didn´t precisely help either. He´d sworn he´d never set foot in one of them again, not after what he´d gone through four years before. However, destiny constantly sought to mock him, and there was nothing he could do about it. Being one of the country´s wealthiest men was no protection against misfortune as he knew only too well.

¨Mr Luthor, ¨called a grey-haired doctor, taking Lex out of his reveries. ¨I´m Dr Phillips. It´s my understanding you´ve brought Miss Sullivan to the ER. ¨

¨That´s right, doctor. What´s wrong with her? ¨he asked coolly, clenching his fists.

¨Is there someone we can contact? Do you know something about her parents? ¨

¨Her dad´s dead, and her mum... ¨explained Lex, swallowing hard. ¨There´s no family in Smallville. She´s got an uncle and a cousin, but they live away... ¨

¨That certainly poses a problem. You see... Miss Sullivan has to be operated on immediately. She´s been bleeding profusely. We´ve given her something to stop the haemorrhage and started with the transfusions, but this isn´t something we can fix with a prescription. ¨

¨Is she... is she preg... ? ¨ he mumbled.

¨No, it isn´t a miscarriage. We´ve seen a shadow in the sonogram. ¨

¨A tumour? ¨

¨We can´t be certain until we operate and we need someone to authorise the procedure. Would you? ¨

¨I... ¨he hesitated.

¨Mr Luthor, we need you to sign. ¨

¨Could I... Could I have a word with you in private, please? ¨

¨What you´re asking me to do is highly irregular, Mr Luthor, ¨said the doctor, shaking his head.

¨Think of her well-being, doctor. ¨

¨You´re asking me to lie to her. ¨

¨I´m asking you to protect her from the truth. ¨

¨She doesn´t know? ¨the physician asked in disbelief.

¨She must never know. ¨

¨But... ¨

¨It´s not your call, Dr Phillips. ¨

¨I´ve got a duty, Mr Luthor. If when we open, we prove this is the result of malpractice, I´ll have to report it to the Board of Medicine. ¨

¨Leave it in my hands, doctor. ¨

¨What do you mean with that? ¨

¨The least you know the better, Dr Phillips. Give me the papers, ¨he answered, stretching out his hand to take the document. ¨I´ll cover all the expenses, of course. My physician´ll fly in from Metropolis, and I want you to give Miss Sullivan a private room. ¨

¨Certainly, Mr Luthor. But... don´t you think you should at least tell her... ?¨

¨What for, Dr Phillips? ¨he asked with a sad smile.



Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Jengreenlady2 on April 8th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
Oooh. Very interesting beginning. Can't wait for the next chapters. :-)))
lillianschild: chlexlillianschild on April 8th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
There´ll be suspense and several secrets to uncover in this one. I´ll post more soon. :)