Willow’s mind raced. A tiny portion grew angry at Dawn for revealing her sexual preference. Another part of her turned her face red, embarrassed. A larger segment wondered how to explain it to Lex, to the students. Still another section wondered about her legal rights, the contract she signed. Was her job in jeopardy?
Lex had a simpler reaction. He laughed.
“I hate to ruin the reputation of such an acclaimed reporter,” the mockery was plain in his voice. “But I think you’re mistaken.” His sophisticated smile was full of smooth confidence. “There are ways a man can tell when a woman is interested, in his, shall we say, advances.” He rose from his seat, holding a hand out to help Willow up. “And now, I suspect we should continue this,” he paused. “Conversation separate from your students.”
Willow blinked. Then she glared at Chloe. “Didn’t I just give you the no investigation lecture?” Then she shot a telepathic comment to Dawn. “As for you Dawnie, we’ll have to talk about being all Silent Secret Girl.” Dawn cringed. Then Willow took Lex’s hand and the two swept out of the coffee bar.
“Well,” Lana breathed. “Wow!” Her smile was a sunburst on her face.
Clark had a big smile of his own. “Looks like someone’s gonna be lucky tonight.” He promptly was smacked by both Dawn and Lana.
Dawn then turned to Chloe. “I thought we were becoming friends.” Her eyes glared. “Do you have any friends?” Dawn spat out. “Or is everyone just sources for your paper!” she slammed the door as she left.
“I think my break’s over,” Lana fled.
“I do too have friends,” Chloe said. “Friends don’t keep secrets from each other.”
Clark and Pete exchanged a troubled glance and then both left without a word. Chloe sat there for nearly an hour, alone, just staring at her coffee cup without drinking it. Finally, she got up and left the coffeehouse herself.
Meanwhile, Lex was proving Clark wrong. An accomplished seducer, Lex knew the difference between pursuit of a one-night stand and that of a longer liaison. He wasn’t in Metropolis, with its throngs of willing women, drawn like moths to his fame. So he didn’t press her, settling instead for her smile and her laugh as he charmed her. He didn’t even have her followed when she left, protesting at the time.