West of October

by slodwick

"She got a soft little whisper fillin' up my ear.
She got a naughty little laughter that says it all.
She make the trouble and the pain,
Wash away like the rain.
She gonna catch her little baby if ever he fall."

Heaven was lavender-scented.

Leaning back against the bathroom door, his face painted softly by dancing candlelight, Jimmy breathed in the fragrant air and the fantastic view. The lights were off, the room lit instead by what looked like every candle they owned. The bathtub, something large and antique and extraordinarily heavy that Chloe had bought at an auction, was filled with steaming water, bubbles and a whole lotta of naked Chloe.

Heaven, it seemed, was not only lavender-scented, it was slippery wet, and waiting for him to lose the duds. He silently thanked whoever was responsible for the clip-on tie.

"You're late, J." Chloe said, smirking, her voice buttery-rich, sending a jolt down his spine, and he shivered, fingers pausing only for a moment at the buttons on his cuffs. She probably would have forgiven him for ripping the buttons right off, but this was his favorite shirt, the one Chloe had bought him for their first Christmas.

"You're right." Shirt, off. "I'm sorry." Luckily, she loved it when his voice shook. "Lois is insane. We were running all over the city all day, looking for her informant, and trying to catch the mayor with his mistress, and Clark," he sighed. Shoes, gone. "God, Clark was no help whatsoever. Kept pulling his disappearing act. Let's just say it's been the day from Hell." Belt, so much more complicated.

Damn it.

"Well, then you'd better get in here and let me make it better," she purred.

He did not just whimper. Did. Not.

He managed to get the belt off, finally, and made short work of the slacks and boxers. He refused to think too much about the knowing chuckle from the tub as he stumbled a little, balanced precariously on one bare foot, pulling off his other sock.

Naked at last, he stepped into the tub, his foot sinking into sweet-scented bubbles, finding the slick bottom. He dropped slowly into hot water, facing Chloe, only a little hiss around the tops of his thighs. His kept an eye on the water level as he sank, making sure it didn't get too close to the rounded lip of the tub. His eyes slid shut, a low moan building in his chest. The sore muscles in his calves and lower back immediately began to sing, loving the subtle sting of the heat, all apparent laws of nature disregarded as he momentarily forgot all about the beautiful, naked woman in front of him.

Before he'd had a chance to really melt into it, he felt a brush of a kiss on his closed eyelids, and small, strong hands on his shoulders, turning him. His eyes opened, and he gasped, wondering what on earth had convinced him to ever close them. Chloe was smiling, radiant, candles casting flickering shadows and glowing light across her face.

Apparently his brain was stashed away in the pocket of his pants over by the door, because it took him a few dazed moments to realize what she wanted. Finally getting it, he tucked his legs in to his chest and spun until his back was to her. Those slender hands then slid over the crest of his shoulders, simultaneously pulling him back against her body and fondling his chest. Chloe had always had an almost unnatural obsession with his chest, running her hands over it at every opportunity... and he didn't see a single thing wrong with that.

Her body was warm and yielding, her arms and legs wrapping around him as he stretched out, leaning back into her embrace, submerged hands grasping her sleek thighs. "Mmmmm." The sound escaped them both at the same time, making him smile, and making her laugh, deeper, huskier than her normal laugh. He felt the laugh bubbling up from inside her, behind where her breasts were pressed full and wet against his back.

Relaxing more, he dropped his head back, resting in the curve where her neck meets her shoulder like he was built for it. Turned his head and presses tiny kisses under her ear, along her jaw. She tilted her head away a little, eyes closed, a smile still playing at her lips. Her skin there was so soft, smooth like nothing on his body, and she smelled like lavender, and something crisp, like oranges, and under it all just Chloe. He breathed in deep. Simple, clean, home.

Her hair, finally growing out from the too-short cut she didn't like, brushed the top of her shoulders, and was mostly still dry, but the tips were darkened moist. There were tiny drops held there, and he couldn't explain it, but he wanted to lean in and lick them away.

Her hands never stopped moving, like the energy built up from not talking had to be redirected somewhere. She caressed and stroked across his stomach, up to his chest, half above and below surface of the warm water, and the light dusting of hair that ran down his body. He supposed he could have blamed the stiffness in his nipples on the cold air, but he knew what wasn't true. Chloe knew exactly what she was doing.

He was almost really enjoying soaking this bath, but he was so hard under the water, his pulse throbbing under his skin, and that was a problem that needed addressing. Very soon, in fact. Their morning romp before he'd rushed (late, again) to meet Lois at the Planet had been amazing, but nothing like enough. And if he knew Chloe, he knew she felt the same way.

Reaching up one dripping hand, he cupped her face, pulling her mouth to his. The kiss was soft, slow, her mouth so hot on his. Her tongue danced across his lips, skimming his teeth, grazing and dodging, playful. Growling a little, he spun halfway in the tub, one hand slipping down to support him, the other slipping further into her hair, deepening the kiss.

She responded by arching her body up, rubbing against his hip, her hands gripping his shoulders. Soft, breathy moans filled his mouth, the sort of noises she always made, and the sort that turned him on more than he already was, more than he thought possible. He realized, feeling her firm nipples pressing to his ribs that she was just as excited as he was. And, judging by the slight shaking of her thighs, she had been doing more than simply sitting quietly, waiting for him to get home.

Shifting upright onto his knees, ignoring the protesting muscles in his legs, he pulled her closer, partly upright, too. His quick movements caused a large wave to splash over the edge, a deluge of bubbly water falling onto the floor in a loud gush, soaking the purple fishy bathmat and his clothes. Distracted by the splashing water, both he and Chloe were momentarily stunned, staring and still holding each other close.

As the water leveled out, quite a bit lower than it had been, the urge to laugh proved too great. He was relieved to hear her light, sparkling laughter, too, mixing with his, echoing off the tile in the small room. His hands came up to frame her face, and he stopped both their laughter with a long, sweet kiss. When he pulled back, she was still smiling, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "What do you think? Should we move this show to the bedroom?"

"I think, for the sake of our downstairs neighbors, that's the best plan," he said, trying not to groan when she turned to turn the drain on the tub, her breasts angling, pressing into his chest, her hip nudging against his own. The bath water was draining quickly, leaving his wet body exposed to the suddenly chilly air.

Chloe rose quickly, leaving his face even with her waist for a moment before stepping down out of the tub. It could possibly have been an accidental tease, though he knew it wasn't when she cast a downright devilish over her shoulder and gave her rear a little shake. Jimmy steadied himself on the side of the tub as he forced his legs to lift him, and congratulated himself on his remarkable restraint in not leaning forward to nibble on the curve of her hip.

"C'mon, J... I'm getting cold!" She called through the bedroom door, out of sight before he'd even managed to escape the slippery tub. Stepping carefully over the now-squishy bathmat, still chuckling, he stepped to the open door, and stopped, breathless.

His lungs had just... ceased to work. Normally that could be a problem, but... God.

Chloe always did this to him.

She was sitting on the bed, her back to him, leaning forward, apparently occupied with something on the floor in front of her. Her skin was smooth, fairly glowing, and Jimmy just wanted to live there. Right there, in the elegant line of her spine, the delicate curves of shoulder and waist. The faint candlelight spilled into the bedroom, bathing her in a wavering gold. She was amazing. Every last inch of skin, every scattered freckle, every muscle sheathed in pale, soft silk.

It was like seeing the perfect metaphor for her, beautiful, lush vulnerability concealing an incredible hidden strength.

Moving to the bed, his lungs somehow finding a way to go on without any help from his mind or heart, he crawled across the worn comforter on hands and knees, settling right behind her. His hands moved to touch her, to slide fingers and palms along the slightly wet skin, rubbing away the last of the bath water that clung there.

He leaned down, following the bend of her shoulder blade with his mouth, his tongue skating up the nape of her neck, tasting the empty, warm water spiked with the simple taste of her. Chloe shifted more upright, a foot sliding what looked like a long, black box back under the bed. Curious, he leaned over her shoulder a bit, trying to get a better look, but her softly breathed moan urged him to continue.

"What are you up to, Chloe?" He asked softly, grinning, mouth close into her ear.

"Mmmm..." She moaned again, this time nudging him gently with her shoulder. "Ask me later."

"I'll do that." Jimmy's mouth continued its journey along her neck, tracing the line of her pulse with little bites as her head fell back on his shoulder, and his arms circled her waist. He loved the way her still-wet hair stuck to her skin, the way her lips hung open, the way her eyes fluttered beneath nearly shut lids.

He raised one hand, lacing it in her hair, turning her face to his. He stilled for a moment, and just looked at her, waiting until she opened her eyes, brimming with desire. "I love you, Chloe." The words were hushed, reverent, released in a soft rush of heat, just inches from her lips.

"God, I love you, too, Jimmy." If her rasping voice and near-desperate grip of hair were any indication, her desire was as great as his. She leaned in, pressing her mouth to his, hungry and hot. So hot, fiery and alive where she touched him, tongue moving like liquid heat in mouth, in his veins, like exchanging his blood for pure love.

"Did you find it, J?"

"Got it!" He closed the door behind him, crossing the roof with the large, wooly blanket draped over his shoulders, carefully dodging the air conditioning unit he didn't see, but knew was there.

As he approached, Chloe moved forward, making room for him. He threw a leg over the low chaise, and slid down behind her, stretching his legs along side hers. She curled up her legs close to her body and leaned back, shivering. He quickly wrapped the blanket around them both, tucking the dangling edges under his thighs to trap their body heat.

"Brrrr! Why didn't you tell me it had gotten so cold, J?"

"Well, honey, if you'll recall, I was a little... distracted when I got home. Discussing the weather really isn't the turn-on it should be, I guess."

She laughed, quiet and relaxed, like it just seeped out of her pores, and that was his favorite. Her laughter was always lovely, and God knows, he did everything he could to inspire it, but that one, so contented and truly happy, that one was the best. Perfect, in fact. His hands on her shoulders, he massaged gently, remembering the taste of the skin under that gray Met U sweatshirt.

"I just hate that it ruined my plans," she said, dropping a nod towards the telescope set up nearby, alongside a flashlight, an untouched bottle of wine and their beat-up stereo, which had been playing music until about ten minutes ago when the batteries had worn out. "I know how much you love watching the meteor showers, and I thought I'd try to make tonight's special. How was I to know it would be so cold up here?"

"You know, I appreciate the thought, Chloe," he said, shifting her a little closer in his arms, resting his chin on her shoulder, slightly stubbled cheek brushing hers. "But I think watching them here, in this chair with you, was by far the best way to see them. Who needs a silly old telescope anyway?"

"Oh, wow, baby... Lois was right. You can kiss ass with the best of them." She squirmed in the most delightful way when his fingers found that ticklish spot just under her ribs.

"Brat. So, where did you get a telescope on such short notice, anyway?"

"I borrowed it from a friend. It was just gathering dust in a closet, and I thought I could put it to good use."

"Huh... I wonder if Clark expected us to peek in on our neighbors, too?"

"Now who's being the brat?" She giggled, poking his stomach. "That's supposed to be a secret. Besides, he did me a favor, so be nice." Another poke for good measure.

"I suppose it really is the thought that counts," he said, smirking, and then he kissed her temple tenderly. "Thanks, Chloe, really."

"You're welcome, J," she replied, snuggling further down in the chair, using him as a pillow.

The sun was coming up slowly over the trees in the park across the street, orange and red bleeding into blue and violet, and the surface of Heart Lake was a dancing, swirling reflection. Time passed, and he found that the dawning of this golden morning was nothing compared to the luster of her hair, impossibly bright and smelling sweet against his chest. His thumb traced lazy messages over the baby-soft skin on the inside of her elbow, and he thought she might have dozed off, until he heard her sleepy voice.

"So, was it a good birthday?"

"The best, Chloe. The best."

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