Submitted: April 2003
Summary: Forced into a night out by her editor, Perry White, Lois pulls out all the excuses in order to meet a handsome stranger at a nightclub.
It had been so long since she'd been out. Her last relationship had left her terribly afraid to get close to anyone again. So instead of joining her friends at the dance clubs, she'd spent all her time working. That had paid off. She'd won three Kerth awards in three years. Not bad for a woman working in a man's world.
When Perry offered her tickets to this event, she thought it was because he wanted a story. He quickly put those thoughts aside. He told her tonight was for her. She needed to just get out and let her hair down. She was working herself to the bone. And Perry, being her self-appointed protector, decided it was time she went out, personally.
Passions was an upscale nightclub in a more affluent part of town. She figured the convention staff had picked this place to lighten the mood a little. Most of these conference parties were subdued and not much fun.
Sitting in a far corner at the end of the bar allowed for a great view of most of the club. From here she could watch every fool in the joint embarrass himself. And tonight there were a great many fools to choose from. It was hard to believe these were some of the best reporters in the business.
In among all those trying desperately to impress one girl or another, was a tall, dark and extremely handsome fellow. He looked to be about her age and had the most gorgeous dark hair. Although he wore glasses, she could tell it took nothing away from his looks. Never before would she have thought she would be attracted to a man because of his looks, but she was definitely attracted to this one.
He seemed to be assessing the crowd as she was, not looking particularly interested in anything. A comment from one of the band members between sets yielded one of the most beautiful smiles she'd ever seen from anyone. That broke her resolve. She had to meet this man. Always being one to jump in without checking the water first, she picked up her drink and made her way over to his table.
Along the way to this man's table, the thought occurred to her that she had absolutely no idea what she was going to say. Before a plan could be formed, he turned and saw her approaching. She'd have to do what she'd always done. She'd wing it.
"Excuse me," she said in her most confident tone, even though she felt far from it. "I think you've got my chair."
He looked up at her with the most apologetic eyes. "I'm… sorry." His voice threatened to fail him. He was looking at the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He rose quickly and stepped aside to give her back her chair. "I should have checked to see if anyone was sitting here."
The lady could only smile as she took the seat. Now that she was close to him, it was hard to breathe, let alone form a decent reply. He was better looking than she thought.
He smiled back shyly trying to control his racing heart, then glanced around the room for another table. Seeing none, his eyes fell to the empty chair at the woman's table. "Ah… there seems not to be an empty chair. Would you… would you mind?" He gestured to the empty seat.
Her mind was in overdrive. He had played right into her hands, making her job easier. "No, that one's not taken. I don't mind if you sit here. I'll be glad to share."
"Thank you," he told her and sat back down. "It really seems kind of full tonight."
"Yeah. It's usually packed on Friday nights. But I guess it helps that the convention decided to have their party here." She smiled up at him, feeling completely lost now. In the next instant he was returning her smile and melting her heart. Suddenly she felt quite comfortable with him.
"Ah… thank you… for the chair." She nodded and he fiddled with his glass before looking back up at her. "Could I drink you a buy?" His face reddened as he realized what he'd said. "Oh, listen to me. What I mean is can I buy you a drink?"
Now her heart was thundering. Not only was she sitting here with this good-looking man, but he had just offered to buy her a drink. "Yes. I'd like that. White wine, please."
This time the smile threatened to overtake his face. He gestured to the nearest waitress and ordered them both another drink.
She lifted the glass to her lips when the drinks arrived. "Thank you," she told him after a sip.
Deciding this conversation needed help to progress, she sat up a little straighter in her chair. "Well, I guess I should ask your name."
"Oh, sorry. Clark Kent," he told her, extending his hand.
She took it, surprising them both with the almost electric shock that passed between them. "Nice to meet you. I'm Lois Lane."
"Lois Lane? The reporter?" She nodded. "This is a treat then. I'm a big fan."
Lois beamed at the praise even as the flush rose up her cheeks. "Thank you." They sat in silence simply staring at each other and holding hands. Finally she withdrew from his grasp and looked away. She took another sip of her drink before turning back to Clark. "Are you waiting for someone to meet you here? I mean, I'm not, but I wouldn't want to keep you from anyone."
"Well, that makes two of us. Glad you came."
Lois' mood drifted from nervousness to excitement. Everything to her was a challenge. Meeting someone new was no exception. She relaxed and they set into a friendly conversation. Two hours and three drinks later, they fell silent.
Clark was feeling a little awkward. The conversation had been flowing well, then all of sudden, it seemed Lois was withdrawing from him. He needed something to say. "So… do you know the name of the band?"
"No, I don't, but they're good, aren't they?"
"Would you like to dance?"
Lois turned to Clark, a new excitement filling her. "Yes." An instant later her hand was in his and he was leading her to the dance floor.
Clark was a great dancer. He talked about learning from a Nigerian princess. The song was perfect — about strangers meeting for the first time.
"I like this song," Clark told her.
"Yeah, me too. It reminds me of you and me." Lois didn't know why she'd said that, but it was out there now. She shouldn't have worried though because Clark smiled and pulled her closer as they moved to the music. One song faded into another, but they failed to notice. Both were aware only of the other.
Lois took a deep breath and leaned back to look at Clark. "Do you think there's a chance that later on… I… could drive you home?" That was the single boldest question she'd ever asked a man, personally. She had told herself after Claude that no other man would get to her. But standing here, against this man, feeling his hand in hers, she had lost all sense of rationality.
Clark was beside himself. He felt he was looking at the woman of his dreams, and she had just asked to drive him home. "You, ah, sure you don't mind?"
"No, I don't mind at all." She hoped she wouldn't tomorrow either.
"I think I'd like that."
"Good." She leaned back against him to finish their dance. When it ended, they made their way back to their table.
It was nearly an hour later before Lois stopped her jeep outside Clark's apartment building. This was it. The moment of truth.
Clark turned to her. "I would really like to take you out."
"On a real date?"
"Yeah. Lois, I had a great time tonight. And… I like you, a lot."
"Oh…" She smiled at him. "I like you, too. But before I say yes, I have to tell you the truth." Clark's eyes scrunched in worry. He braced himself for the 'I have a boyfriend/husband' speech. What he got was absolutely wonderful.
"That wasn't my chair after all."
I want to thank Hank Cochran and Dean Dillion for the words that inspired this story. I also want to acknowledge George Strait for singing the song, 'The Chair'. I know… another story inspired by a song, but they (songs) really help to get your juices flowing sometimes. Besides, these little short pieces are so much fun to write.