By Letitia Logan <email@example.com>
Submitted November 1998
Summary: The appearance of an old friend causes sparks to fly. Part 1 of a 3-part series.
"Clark? Honey, I'm home."
The familiar silence greeted her. Clark was out — AGAIN. Lois prayed that he was somewhere saving lives, dealing with natural disasters or just scouting around for "Twinkies." Even before she reached their answering machine, she knew what it would tell her.
"Hi, Lois. I'm having lunch with Penny. Be back by three. Love you."
The beep which followed startled her out of her jealous thoughts. The truth was that lately, Clark had been spending a LOT of time with Penny Landry, an "old friend" from Smallville who had business to attend to in Metropolis.
"What do I have to be insecure about?" Lois wondered aloud, a sure sign of her anxiety. "Clark and I are married and we love each other. Besides, he would never do anything to hurt me. I trust him."
However she tried to comfort herself, there was a small part of her which would always doubt the everlastingness of marriage. After all, hadn't Mom and Dad also loved each other? And look how they ended up — divorced. So who's to say that Clark and I… "Stop it!" she scolded herself, knowing that thinking about Penny and Clark together would only make things worse. She glanced at the clock — 2:30. Good! That left half an hour before Clark would get home. She smiled to herself as she recalled the love she found so often in her husband's eyes…
Clark came home to find an aggravated Lois waiting for him. His smile wavered. "Sorry I'm late, honey. Penny and I had a lot more catching up to do than I thought. Ummmmm…is something wrong?" Lois had planned to be calm, but the mention of Penny's name for the umpteenth time broke her resolve and her insecurity became too much.
"Is something wrong? Wrong? Clark! Of course something's wrong! My HUSBAND spends more time with another woman than with me, comes home late, talks about her as if she's a goddess and asks if there's anything wrong?! Have you ever stopped to think how I feel about all this? You spending so much time with someone who also happens to be gorgeous, smart and successful?"
Before Clark had a chance to respond, Lois continued her assault. "How long will this go on? Is she going to be here forever?! She's coming between us, Clark. Can't you see? If you love me, you won't see her anymore."
Even as she said those words, she knew how childish and selfish she must sound to Clark, but it was too late to unsay everything.
Clark stood frozen, stunned by Lois's outburst. He had had no idea she felt this way. He thought she understood that he and Penny were just close friends.
"Lois, don't be ridiculous. Nothing's going on between Penny and me. We're just FRIENDS and I do love you, but I'm sorry, I won't stop seeing her."
Lois knew that he was right and she also knew how much his friends meant to him, but she was beyond being rational.
"FINE." And with that, she stormed upstairs, leaving Clark troubled and confused.
In bed later that night, Clark tried again to get through to Lois after an unsuccessful attempt which resulted in an uncomfortably silent dinner. He turned her around so that she faced him, one hand stroking her cheek. "Lois, I know I've been neglecting you — us and I'm sorry, but Penny's a good friend of mine and we haven't seen each other for a long time. We're close, but it can't compare to the way I feel about you. I love you and NOTHING can or will come between us. I promise."
Looking into those deep brown eyes, she couldn't help but give in to him. "I know, Clark. I can't believe how stupid I was to doubt us. Forgive me?"
He lowered himself and planted a soft kiss on her warm lips. Her arms encircled his strong neck, fingers curling around the luxuriant black hair at the nape of his neck. They made love as if to reassure each other that they would always be together. Afterwards, the two lay together, just holding each other.
Lois awoke to find a pillow where Clark's head should've been, but she could hear him in the bathroom. Just the thought of last night made her smile and blush at their intense lovemaking. Without bothering with a robe, she walked in and wrapped her arms around his waist, toying with the knot of the towel which was draped there. Clark smiled at their reflections. They made a stunning pair. He turned around and pulled her closer, their mouths locking for another passionate kiss.
"Feeling better," he asked, eyeing her appreciatively.
"Much. And I thought we could have a shower together," she suggested coyly.
He grinned wickedly as he picked her up.
Lois hadn't felt this good for a long time. She and Clark were getting along better than ever and, more important, Penny was leaving today. The doorbell interrupted her reverie. It was Penny. Even Lois had to admit that she was breathtakingly beautiful: Long blonde hair cascaded down her back leaving a few tendrils to frame a delicate face. Those cerulean eyes were mesmerizing and her body was no exception. She smiled, showing white even teeth. They had met once before, but it hadn't gone well.
"Hi, Lois. Is Clark here?"
"Yes. He's upstairs. Would you like to take a seat while I call him for you?"
"That'll be great, thanks."
They were politely cool to each other for Clark's sake.
Seconds later, Clark appeared. He hadn't needed Lois to tell him that Penny was here. After all, he *was* Superman. The two hugged, but Lois thought Penny hung on a little too long. Knowing that Clark would want to spend a few minutes alone with Penny, she decided to excuse herself. "Uh, I've got some groceries to shop for, but I won't be gone for long. Have a good trip, Penny."
Lois thought Penny seemed a little relieved to have her gone. "Bye, Clark," she said as she reluctantly closed the door on them.
"Oh, Clark, it's been such fun spending the past few weeks with you. I'm glad we got the chance to catch up," Penny beamed.
"You know I'll always be happy to see you. I'll miss you. If you ever need my help, don't hesitate to call, okay?"
Her laughter tinkled. "You're such a wonderful man, Clark. Lois is a lucky woman."
Clark smiled, thinking that he was the lucky one to have someone like Lois to share his life with.
"Now I remember why I had such a huge crush on you back in Smallville."
"You had a crush on me?" Clark was incredulous.
"Don't be so surprised. A lot of girls had a crush on you, you know. I just happen to be one of them," she dimpled again.
Clark was flattered and didn't know what else to say.
"How about giving this friend a goodbye kiss?"
He smiled and bent to place a brotherly kiss on her cheek, but she turned her face so that their lips met. While Clark was momentarily stunned, Penny drew him closer and kissed him harder. Before he could stop himself, he felt himself responding to her kiss.
"Sorry, but I forgot…"
They hastily pulled apart as Lois walked in.
"Lois!" Clark looked as if he were a two-year-old caught with another child's candy. One look at his guilty face was all Lois needed to confirm what she thought she saw. She turned and ran off.
It was too late, Lois would never forgive him now. Clark looked forlorn. He would lose the most important person in his life because of this one mistake.
TO BE CONTINUED……