The papers had been delivered that morning. The courier, very official looking to Chloe’s eye, said he was from a law firm and there it had been, right on the front of his uniform. The honorable law firm of Tate, something and something.
Bradshaw and Phillips, she reminded herself silently as she glared at the paperwork that lay there even now, on the coffee table of her tastefully decorated little Metropolis apartment, right next to the article she had planned on finishing that day in her ‘time off’.
The anger that simmered in her veins had cooled only slightly since the moment she had torn open the envelope and read through the ‘greeting’ that accompanied the very formal set of papers from the firm. It was seeing His name that had set her off first, long before she ever got to the point of the firm’s contact with her.On behalf of Alexander Luthor…
The Slimiest Scum to Ever Walk the Face of the Earth.
Yes, that Lex Luthor.
The corner of her lips turned up in an indelicate sneer. The first thought that had gone through her mind was that he had some nerve to even attempt to contact her. Hadn’t she made herself perfectly clear, two years ago, when she walked out on their friendship? On that budding relationship that she was so sure they had been on the cusp of? When she’d turned her back, just as he had apparently done to her, and left him? She didn’t want to speak to him, read about him, or hear about him. She wanted nothing to do with Lex or any other Luthor for that matter. They could all burn in the deepest pits of Hell for all that she cared.
And Lex knew that without a shadow of a doubt, as she had told him just as much to his face, the one and only time he had tried to contact her after the incident that had torn them apart. She’d made it abundantly clear that he was never to try to contact her again under threat of certain and immense pain.
Surprisingly, she hadn’t heard from him since.
Until today. She was stunned to see his name on the papers. But stunned disbelief had faded to shock which had then given way to fury as she tossed his name around in her head, half debating whether to even read through the papers further. It was curiosity and a biting sense of ‘what if its something important’ that had caused her to pick them back up from where she’d thrown them on the floor, reading through the rest of the greeting.
Halfway down the page the shock had come back in a blinding rush that left her stumbling for a chair. She’d collapsed into it, biting back the bile that had risen in her throat.
He wouldn’t do this.
He couldn’t do this.
It had just been –
But nothing was ever just a joke to Lex Luthor, she told herself firmly, reaching for the papers again even now. Just a few thin sheets, yet they felt like a ton of bricks in her hand, a weight that could never again be lifted off of her shoulders. This little game he was playing – for she had no doubt that it was a game to him and nothing more – would change her life forever and always.
How. Dare. He. Righteous indignation flooded up from the pit of her stomach, making her see red for the briefest of moments before it washed away again. Getting angry – no, scratch that…getting angrier wouldn’t help her. This was the kind of thing that only happened in movies. Sick and twisted, at one point in time she would have expected better from him. At least where she was concerned. The rest of the world be damned, he had always treated her like she was something special.
Yet he was doing it, just the same.
She flipped past the greeting letter to the page that was behind it. It was just a copy, made on plain white legal-sized paper. She could still see the lines from the notepad, just the same, and remembered the night clearly when she had penned the words that now sat upon it. A marriage contract between herself and Lex, should he not have found a suitable bride by the time he turned thirty. There were conditions and details, things that she, Clark, Lana and even Lex had thrown in ‘just for fun’, but nothing that detracted from the overall purpose of the ‘contract’.
Just a joke between friends is what it had been at the time. She hadn’t even realized he’d kept it, though some part of her knew that it was silly to be shocked that he had. When had friendship ever come between Lex Luthor and having the upper hand?
And that’s exactly what this contract gave him – the upper hand. On her, at least. She’d unwittingly made herself a pawn in whatever twisted little scheme he had going through his mind right about now. If it had anything to do with being lonely – about not having started a family – at this point in his life she’d be well and truly floored.
She didn’t even have to read through the attached documentation his lawyers had provided her with, at his request no doubt, stating all the reasons why the contract was binding. Signed in front of witnesses without coercion of any kind, it was a contract for all that it hadn’t been drawn up by a lawyer and his staff. The documentation they had given was only meant to serve one point and one point only – there was no getting out of this. She could hire her own lawyers if she wanted, but what would they really do in the end other than provide Lex and his legal team with a bit of amusement? With all that money at his fingertips Lex would have hired the best to make sure that this was binding. The best lawyers to make sure that, should she fight it, she lost.
What Lex wanted, Lex got.
And for some reason that was currently beyond her addled thinking, he wanted her.
Chloe bit her lip, shaking her head at the hopelessness of the entire situation. She was being forced to marry Lex after everything he’d done to hurt her. Once upon a time ago he could have had her, maybe, without a contract. She had all but given him her heart and what had he done? Stomped on it like it was nothing more than a piece of trash at his feet.
He didn’t deserve her in his life, but he was going to get her anyway.
Anger bubbled up again, a cold smile licking at her lips. Fine. He wanted her in his life. Okay. Fine. He could have her.
But she would make damn sure that he regretted every single minute of it.
“For as long as we both shall live,” she smirked, gathering up the papers and her car keys. What time like the present to go accept the ‘generous’ offer Lex Luthor had made for her hand in marriage than three in the morning?
If she wasn’t going to get any sleep tonight, then neither was he.