It was hot. She'd found a rock, a boulder
without much color, and it kept her in the breeze
Over the rise the adults -- her father included
-- were drinking beer, hemming and hawing because
barbecue no longer seemed like such a good idea.
She could have told them it was going to be
like this, but no, never trust the girl with the
cable internet connection.
Chloe closed her eyes and wished for the ocean.
Prom had come and gone, summer was here, and it
wasn't being. The way summer was supposed to be.
Boys. There were supposed to be boys.
Waves crashing against the shore and dramatic
music, and she should be being swept up in
someone's arms. Only.
Too hot. Human touch seemed like another bad
idea right now. Clark...was too hot, all by
himself, anyway. She tried not to think about
that, tried not to sweat more than she already
This was boring, and he was probably at Lex's
Or not. She grinned.
Chloe had a few theories about that little
situation. Had evidence in the form of
everything either of them ever did, like their
entire lives were looped around each other. Nice
and kind of creepy, but she wasn't jealous. They
were meant to be all Catherine and Heathcliff
up there in that mansion, forever and permanent,
and people like her just weren't part of the
Not jealous at all.
But it was a comfort to know that maybe she just
really didn't have what Clark wanted, and she
"What's so funny?" Lana appeared at her side,
holding a bowl. "I thought you might like some
"Nothing. Thanks," and she took the offering.
Vanilla, not exactly her flavor, and she giggled
She really needed to get out of the sun.
Lana just watched her and smiled uneasily. She
wasn't even glowing; her skin looked as cool as
stone, and Chloe idly wondered what it would be
like to be curled on top of her.
She was pretty sure, at this point, that the heat
"This weather's awful, isn't it?"
The ice cream was already a pool of sickly white.
"Disgusting. My hair has wilted," she
complained, and lapped from the spoon as best she
"It looks fine," Lana protested, amused. "If
it's that bad, why don't you go swimming?"
"Is that an option?"
"Down there." Lana motioned to the trees, which
had really been too far away to bother with
before. "There's a stream."
Chloe slid down, off the rock, leaving the bowl
and licking her fingers. "Let's go."
Into the woods, and there was a stream. Not as
disgusting as she'd expected -- it looked like
something out of a Poland Springs ad. She felt
about ready to drown herself, as long as the
water she breathed in was cool, and she started
pulling off her dress.
"Chloe!" Lana looked like Eve just after the
apple, shocked at nakedness.
"What?" She managed to un-stick the fabric from
her waist, her chest, and Lana had some serious
problems if she couldn't look at another girl in
She took that off, too.
"Are you insane?!" Lana's lashes flitted up,
then back down to the loam.
"Jesus. It's just skin."
"Put your clothes on!"
"What're you so afraid of?"
"Someone might see!"
"See what?" Chloe asked, exasperated, and then
she caught sight of Lana's face and...saw. Oh.
She was annoyed with herself for not having any
theories about that by now. Lana's agitation,
arms crossed and her eyes gone completely
black, hit her hard. She'd never thought,
before, that Lana could look like that.
She'd long ago accepted that around Lana, in
comparison or from her point of view, she was the
girl with silly grins and too-large pores -- the
sidekick, not the love interest.
Chloe had never wanted to be a princess anyway.
Really. The pink dress was a fluke.
Something she'd wanted to wear, maybe, but in the
end she'd thrown on what she was really
comfortable in, and gone with Pete. Nothing
special, but that was just her, after all.
Though, apparently, Lana didn't think so.
"You..." She swallowed, feeling suddenly very
"I'm sorry," Lana breathed, sounding panicked.
As if whatever Chloe said could wound her, drive
into her and settle there forever. As if Chloe,
finally, meant something to one of those people
who could make her hot and sick and strange with
just one smile.
Neat. "Lana." She stepped closer, touching the
edge of Lana's tank top. Brushing skin that was
humid and sticky to the touch. Like hers. "It's
okay." She leaned in and painted the inside of
the other girl's mouth with leftover sugar.
No waves, no music, no boys, but it was summer