<< Previous ChapterChapter 1
Whitney Fordman was in town. On vacation. It had been a little over a year since the Fordman household saw its biggest upheaval in, well, ever. Whitney’s dad died after a long battle with heart disease and Whitney himself soon skipped town to join the Marines. Something he wouldn’t have otherwise done had he not lost that damn football scholarship. The guy was on his way to greater glory than any selfless life-risking country-serving job could ever get him, well, at least during peace-time. Such is the irony of our times, a 30 year old kid running around in tights with a ball clutched to his heart is worshipped by one and all, while the real heroes fighting for real honor, saving real lives, do so in quiet oblivion.
Tell me about it.
Nope, not complaining. Noooo cribbing either. Just sayin' .. making a … implication-less observation. Lets move on shall we?
So back to Smallville. Yep Whitney was back. His backbone straight and stiff just like his dad would have liked to see. Calmer, or maybe quieter? Slimmer, and leaner, but well-muscled, absolutely hot if you ask me… in a totally straight-guy-to-straight-guy kind of way mind you. His eyes, they were so.. intense and.. something about the way he looked at me.. a very cursory glance I might add, hardly a nanosecond. Figures, why should the whit-man himself come up and say hi to a local farm boy. No matter how close(?) we’d become during the last month we spent together.
But something about those eyes…
His hair was shorter, like the crew cut you see in war movies? Only Whitney’s hair being Whitney’s hair.. there was still something wild and wavy about them. Or was it just my imagination? And since when do I imagine male hair?
Get a grip Kent.
Look at Chloey’s hair. Isn’t it cute? All wild and wavy?
I cant believe how close me and Chloe have gotten in the last one year. Hell you’d think with Whitney out of the way, and the fucking necklace out of the way, me and Lana would have hit it off big but, well, didn’t happen. We both seemed to suddenly miss the magic. The thrill of the chase, the challenges that our potential relationship faced.
We missed Whitney. Too much.
Chloe on the other hand, came to me as a breath of fresh air. Everything we do together becomes exciting and thrilling because she infuses it with her energy and enthusiasm. She is bright and funny and sexy and God, so good to me.
She loves me you know. And I… think I love her too.
I just wish my life was not so complicated. I wish there weren’t so many secrets between us that I know keeps me isolated even from her. This is my curse I guess. The curse of the gift. To never be able to share my life with someone.. heart, mind, body and soul. Don’t get me wrong, the identity crisis and the living-in-perpetual-hiding aside, I wouldn’t trade my gifts, my alien status with anyone for anything. Very few get the chance to earn their salvation like I did. My arrival on this planet brought a world of troubles into this one and its caused so many people so much pain. Not many people get to make amends the way I can. And specially now when with my heightened senses, I hear the pain so loud and see the misery so clear, I couldn’t stand not being able to help.
Getting self-righteous are we?
Yeah a little. How times change. Cant afford to be the awkward freshman no more. And God be my witness, if I ever hurt someone, and believe me I can, if I am ever tempted to use this gift for any.. you know.. not good things, I might as well go stand under the fucking kryptonite shower till I’m nothing but... lamb chops.
“Finally! I am so starving!”
Chloe and me were at the Zinc, the new Smallville hangout having dinner after a long day at the Torch. Things have really picked up at the local newspaper and both Chloe and me are working quite hard to pave the way, rather finance the way we need out of this small town and into the big city Metropolis. College, journalism, Metropolis reporters.. its all there on the cards. But right now, back to the starving.
The table was laid out with steaming delectable lamb chops and iced soda.
“Slow down Clark, you’ll give yourself a heartburn if you eat at that supersonic speed!” Oops. Didn’t notice I was doing it again. Hunger pangs. Enough to bring any super strong renegade alien to his formidable knees.
“Besides, leave some for me will ya?” I gave her a lop-sided smile and stuffed my face again.
“Hey did you know Whitney was in town?”
“Who doesn’t. Its all people talk about. How he seems changed, more mature blah blah.”
“Yeah Yeah. He went to see Lana the other day.” Obviously, Chloe was gauging my reaction. Obviously I continued to stuff my face.
“She says he’s really like a different person altogether. So chivalrous. They spent the evening together here at the Zinc…”
Pausing at appropriate moments. Hmm.
“And basically talked and talked, catching up on old times. He told her about life at the corp. Although he still didn’t talk to her about his dad”
I looked up.
“Yeah its like denial or something. Whitney totally refuses to talk about his dad. Changed the subject every time she brought up the funeral day”
“Obviously. Now why does she have to go dig up stuff so old?” The guy’s still hurting. Leave him alone for Christ's sake.
“Well Lana just wanted to apologise I guess. She feels guilty she wasn’t there when he needed her most.” That was partly true. Maybe I should apologise too, since I was part of the reason why she wasn’t there.
But then, apologies and Whitney don’t mix. Neither give nor take. Non-covert display of sentiments and Whitney don’t mix. Period.
“So anyway..”, Chloe was saying something. Better not zone out now. “Then when Lana said she had to leave, and they started out of the bar, you wont believe what happened next.”
Pause. Suspense. I like it.
“He walked up ahead and held the door open for her.”
Couldn’t help but laugh at how zapped Chloe looked right then.
“Yep, new man alright. Speaking of whom..” I was sitting facing the door so I saw him come in. Alone. No Lana. Chloe turned her head to see what I saw. She waved, she caught his glance and he smiled. He started walking towards us.
Whitney was walking towards us.
“Hey” . His voice was soft. His eyes were.. there’s something about those eyes I can't quite… maybe if I use my x-ray vision? eww gross.
“Hey Whit. Its been so long.” Chloe got up to hug him, gave him a peck on the cheek. His smile couldn’t get any wider. Then he turned to me. Turning down the wattage a bit.
“Fordman”. I got up and shook hands with him.
“You doing okay?”.
“Yeah. How about you?”
“I’m good. Yeah.”
“Hey come join us for dinner. I wanna know everything you've been upto this last year!”. Take it away Chloey.
“Well actually, I'm here to meet some guys from school. Look how about tomorrow? I’m leaving the night after but we’ll definitely catch up promise you that” He shrugged apologetically.
“Leaving so soon? You just got in.” That was me. Clark Kent. Answer me nice will ya Whit-boy. I wont steal your girlfriend again. Honest.
“Duty calls.” that shrug again.
“Anyway, catch ya later Chloe. Kent.” I nodded. Chloe was at his throat, sorry neck again. He smiled a little shyly I think, and moved towards another table in the middle of the diner.
Of course, he was there to catch up with his old high school buddies. Some of his old team mates and gang members were still in Smallville. Four of them sat on this table dressed in their best black leather and cigarette-and-tequila colognes. Frankly, I never thought Whit was such great friends with this particular bunch. Never trusted them much anyway.
“Things sure have changed since last year” I remarked casually while slugging my drink like it was beer (not that I know anything about it! No sir), nodding towards the fivesome.
Chloe looked around, her mouth full of lamb chop. “Hmmm” was all she was capable of right now.
“I just wonder if someone keyed Whitney in on these four. I mean, most of his good friends moved out of Smallville. And this group here hasn’t exactly been playing the model citizens.”
Chloe knew I was referring to the number of assaults and vandalisms the group had been involved in in the past. I'm sure they had other sinister means of making a living too.
“Hey they’re his buddies. They’ll tell him themselves, in a fit of drunken unabashedness. Showoffs that they are.”
He seemed to be really enjoying himself. Dressed for the part himself, in blue jeans, white tee and black leather jacket, and I really should stop staring at him now. One nostalgic party that one. I sure had happy memories myself of these five…. They were all there.
The night of the scarecrow.
“Why do you care anyway? I don’t remember you guys being pally or anything. ” Chloe brought me back to the present, but she was still thinking back to the damned incident from the past.
“Well yeah, but now I think the guy is cool. And it wasn’t always like that. The guy was a total jerk initially..”
Chloe knew what I was referring to. She always knew.
“I don’t hold it against him, or any of them for that matter, what happened that night. But I can't forget it either. It was one of my first experiences with polite society you see, after having come from such a sheltered “pampered” life on a farmyard .. let me tell you… not recommended.” I pouted very seriously, well, about as serious as can be with your mouth stuffed full of food. Chloe to my absolute delight, broke into one of her huge hearty laughs. Jeez she’s beautiful. I joined in.
She leaned across and kissed me on my left cheek all red 'supposedly' because of the bitter chill. Frankly I don't know why my cheeks are always so red like I have makeup on or something! Stupid and embarrassing. But she loves it. Gave a wickedly distracting smile and sat down. I flashed one in return and she continued.
“So what changed?”
“Only the fact that I got to know him a little better. Wasn’t so mean as he pretended to be. Just another insecure teenager fighting to keep his popularity, his social status and his girlfriend. That aint so bad now is it?”
Chloe was nodding, watching me intently. Wheels were turning in her clever little mind I could see, without my enhanced vision.
“Plus, fate hasn’t been entirely partial to him. I bet he would have given everything up, his popularity, his social status, his girlfriend, maybe even his life if he could get his dad back in return. I know I would have.”
Chloe is the closest friend I have. I can tell her anything. Anything except you know what. So anyway, I meant every word. I do not hold anything against Whitney. And then again, it wouldn’t do for a super strong renegade alien with formidable knees to hold something so trivial against a mere human now would it. //ducking oww//
“Uh-huh.. so the famous Kent soft corner for damsels in distress isn’t exclusive to damsels after all…” The wicked smile returning to her face.
“Funny. Watch it or you might find yourself in distress too…”
Chloe sighed her deepest, “Any time sweetie.”
Hmm. Think I might just take her up on that soon enough..
Unfortunately tonight’s not the night. Sex with Chloe was like everything else with Chloe.. challenging, exciting and leaving me absolutely spent and exhausted by the end of it. You’d think it’d be difficult to exhaust... well, you know, me! Believe me, its not. Its highly exhausting to constantly hold back and never be able to let go completely.
So anyway, we finished our dinner and left the place around ten at night. I dropped Chloe home in dad’s old wagon and then headed for the loft, yawning. Gonna sleep like a log tonight.