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Clark and Whitney had lunch at the Talon. Whitney was totally ravenous and ate as if he’d gone hungry for two whole days… Which actually was the case. IVs don’t exactly count as chow.
Lana was shrieking with joy and crying with sadness at seeing Whitney and the wounds on his face, in that order. Whitney wore Clark’s brown jacket to cover up the rest. Lana had it figured out by now, but she didn’t say a word about it, pretended like nothing was wrong. Clark and Whitney both were very grateful to her for that, both reminded of why this beautiful girl was the first proud owner of their hearts, both decided she still had the greatest female ass in the world.
Lana now fully owned and managed the place, thanks to the divine help she'd received from Lex Luthor. They'd dated for awhile but it was obvious they weren't meant to be in love. Back to business, despite competition from the new slick joint Zinc, she was doing great business. She joined them at their usual table and was promptly all over Whitney, fussing about him like an overzealous over-possessive girlfriend. Whit sure was enjoying all the attention, as Clark quietly looked on. Whit would look at Clark now and then with the most precious expression of love that only Clark could decipher. To the rest of the world, they were still just almost-friends.
And then, in walked Chloe.
She shrieked louder than Lana and in an instant she had grabbed him into a big hug. Whit loved this gal. Their friendship hadn’t always been this close but ever since he’d returned, Chloe had been treating him like her best friend. Oddly, he too felt a kinship with her that wasn’t there before. Chloe turned to Clark then…
Clark kissed her back. His insides were twisting with guilt at having betrayed his girlfriend. He felt Whit slightly grazing his hand against his so gently and so swiftly no one else noticed. He relaxed. And then Chloe started asking questions.
“Whit what happened to your face?”
“uhh.. had an accident?”
Better keep the story straight.
“oh PLEASE Whitney, do I look dumb to you?”
So much for keeping the story straight.
“uhh.. had a fight?”
“With who? Why? When? Clark you fought with Whitney?”
Clark was totally taken aback.
“WHA..!?! How the hell do you reach that conclusion!?!”
Whit laughed and laughed.
“Chloey if you think your scrawny boyfriend could sock it to me you obviously overestimate him a LOT…” he said with a twinkle in his baby blue eyes.
Clark was smiling too, in cognizance of the little joke between them. Chloe and Lana laughed too and Chloe continued..
“Jokes apart, what did happen Whitney?”
“Ran into an old enemy, that’s all. Hey don’t stare at me like that, you should see the other guy’s face. Or rather Not see it!”
“Hmm.. who was this unfortunate fella may I ask?”
“uhh.. Mark Webber”
Clark and Whit both were getting uncomfortable. Too many secrets, too many lies. Lana looked down at her hands on the table too. For a second it looked like Chloe was not believing them. Then brushing her suspicion off she smiled.
“Oh yeah! I saw him checking out of the hospital like an hour ago."
Clark asked, "Who? Webber?"
Chloe nodded, not really meeting his gaze.
"His face was in some kind of wire traction. What the hell did you do.. break his jaw?”
Whitney chuckled. “Yep”
Clark butted in again. “What were you doing at the hospital?”
“Oh, I went there looking for detective Connor. I wanted to interview him but he kept giving me the slip all day until I finally caught up with him there. One tough cookie that one I tell you.”
Whitney and Clark recalled their run-in with him earlier that day and fell silent.
Lana noticed the sudden tension and chirped in.
“Hey who wants my latest invention in dessert.. its chocolate ice cream floating in black coffee topped with mint sauce!”
Chloe made a grossed out face. “Mint sauce? You’re kidding me right?”
“Nope. Wanna try?”
And then she grinned brightly. “Okay”
“Come on, I wanna show you something” And Lana led Chloe away, giving the boys some time to recover.
The rest of lunch was a blur and soon Whitney said he had to get home. Chloe wouldn’t let Clark go, she was too pissed at him for having avoided her all weekend. He gave Whit a helpless look but Whit smiled reassuringly. The hiding was killing them, but they couldn’t deal with this now. There were more pressing issues, like Whitney having to go home and face his mom.
Betty Fordman had been working at the store. It gave her something to do instead of having to stay at the empty house all by herself. She hadn’t once stopped wondering about her son.
//What's with this investigation? Is Whitney really involved in that big murder case they’re talking about on TV?//
The police hadn’t told her the details. Officer Haley was a friend of the family and he didn’t wanna alarm her for nothing. At least not now.
It was while she was caught up in her anxieties for Whitney, that Whitney walked in.
For a third time that day, he suffered under the bodily assault of a hysterical woman too happy to see him. He let out a little “ooff” and hugged his mom back with all the might he had.
His mother’s eyes were brimming with tears. And then filled with severe concern.
“Whitney what happened?”
She took in the gashes on his face and the still slightly swollen eye. Whitney didn’t flinch once.
“I had a little .. umm..”
//Webber wasn’t pressing charges right?//
“I had a fight with the Webber kid”
“gas station boy?”
“Yesterday morning. We.. we had some scores to settle from high school that’s all. Mom please don’t freak out on me okay? Its nothing.”
Betty Fordman said nothing. What were the kind of mothers who could make out when their kids were lying to them? 'Cause she was having this sense the boy wasn’t completely truthful right now and yet… What was she doing wrong?
“Whitney I… I don’t know what to say.”
“Then don’t mom. Please?”
Whitney turned on the charm, smiling goofily to appease his upset mother. The night before, he’d thought he’d never see his mom again. Damn it was good to be home.
“The police were here Whit, they wanted to know where you were and ask you some questions. What was that about?”
“uhh.. nothing mom. I told you on the phone, I knew the deceased’s brother. They’re following some really weird line of investigation mom and wanna keep all the people they question in town awhile longer.”
//couldn’t say ‘suspects’ now could I?//
“That’s why, Officer Haley talked to my commanding officer at the base and … I’m staying for at least another week”
He smiled. The happiness he felt at having one more week at home, and …. with Clark was too much to keep inside. It spilled over with his huge smile that Betty could simply not ignore. She forgot about all her apprehensions and smiled back.
“Come here baby..”
Okay the boy was past eighteen.
//So what!?! I am still his mother aren’t I? //
They hugged each other, mother and son.
//Again I say, damn its good to be home!//
Clark and Chloe were sitting inside her car leaning against one another. They had kissed for the longest time then just laid back, each lost in their own thoughts. Chloe wondered why Clark looked a little .. distant, but she kept the thought to herself.
//What could it be? Is my hair flat already?//
Clark felt like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He couldn’t know what that really felt like, and wouldn’t until much later in his extraordinary life. It just seemed like a cool thing to feel right now.
Outside, he sat cuddled up against Chloe, running fingers through her pretty hair. Inside he was tearing himself apart, wondering how long he could deceive her like this.
//Kent you cant do this to her. She loves you and you’re betraying her trust! //
//What the hell am I supposed to do? Tell her that I had fallen in love with Whitney and break up? Break up? Do I want to break up with Chloe? God, I don’t wanna hurt her //
He…. he cared so much for her. And he knew she was crazy about him. She had passed up on a great chance in Metropolis just so she could be with him. She had loved him selflessly for so long now.. how could he break her heart just like that?
Clark was miserable. It was clear Whit and him didn’t wanna come out right away. They had way too many issues to sort through right now.
Being bisexual is one thing, being in love is completely another. For Clark Kent, love and loyalty came hand in hand. And yet, here he was… madly in love with Whitney and not willing to give up on Chloe either. He was lost and confused.
And then there was the Connor problem. He didn’t know what to do to keep Whitney safe from the murder investigation. That was the first and foremost thing on his mind. Of course the other first and foremost thing on his mind was the fact that Whitney would soon be returning to the Corp, and that he would be left behind, alone and yearning. But he didn’t wanna think about that right now.
//Do you know what denial is Clark?//
He smiled to himself wryly. //I know now Whit.. I know now.//
Chloe turned her face up to capture his lips with hers. He let her. She brought her hands up on the sides of his face and pulled him down, sucking at his tongue all the while. He let her. Soon she was pulling off his jacket and his shirt and caressing the bare skin on his back with one hand, while she ran her thumb along the beautiful jaw lovingly. Clark closed his eyes and lost himself in the kiss, holding her about the waist tightly. The kiss got frantic as Chloe plunged in deeper and deeper.. taking all his senses with her as she went. She brought her denim clad legs around him and squeezed him closer to herself. Clark never denied the fact that Chloe made him surrender utterly every time she so much as touched him. Aside from the tight rein he held on his alien strength, he inevitably would find himself at the mercy of this beautiful woman… to be held, and kissed and caressed, to be licked from head to toe, to be loved and be possessed with such totality… it scared him.
The circles she was drawing across his chest and down his abs .. around his bellybutton over and over and over .. were driving him crazy with desire. She unzipped him and reached into his jeans to hold him.. and fondle him… and that’s when it happened….
//I’m also… I’m also … in love with you Clark Kent//
Clark broke the kiss off as fast as possible.
Chloe let go of his member and brought her hand around to support the head that had jerked so suddenly away from her.
“Clark what's wrong?”
He was gasping for breath and wide-eyed with fear. Fear for what he was doing to both Chloe and Whitney. No!
“Chloe .. I.. I’m sorry.. I..”
“baby… ?” Chloe was shocked, and hurt, and concerned if he was okay. She held his face with both hands.
“What happened? Sweetie what's wrong?”
Clark was too busy panting, trying to calm down the ignited passions in him.
“Chloe please I.. I'm sorry. I have to… I just remembered...”
“.. that.. that I don’t have protection.”
//Another lie. How many has it been today Kent? Lost count already? //
Chloe held her breath for a second and then let go. She didn’t really care much about protection, but Clark was right. They shouldn’t do this without one. Meekly she managed to smile.
“Okay Clark, but.. I wont let you go .. ”
He stared at her as she gathered him into her arms and pressed his head against her heart, much like Clark had done with Whitney to soothe him.
//So this is where I get it from //
He clung to her, disgusted with himself at his constant deception of people he claimed to love. How long could he go on like this? He feared for his sanity. He feared for his heart. But most of all, he feared for Whitney and Chloe who loved him so much.. more than he deserved damnit! Is this how he was destined to live? Hiding, lying, cheating? He nestled into the warmth that held him and shivered with the cold inside.
When his breathing came back to normal, he raised his head to look into her eyes, so filled with love and .. trust.
// What makes her trust you so blindly Kent? //
The answer was more than obvious. And the chanting from before resumed in his head.
// Liar Liar Liar….//
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