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Thread: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb 2011 "Blackmail" Entries

  1. #1
    NS Senior Member Senior Member
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    Matthew Perry's attic

    NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb 2011 "Blackmail" Entries

    We have three contenders and an extra because the fourth story is my offer to the challenge. Please remember to vote and be sure to give feedback to our wonderful authors.

    Story #1
    Story #2
    Story #3
    Story #4

    Voting ends March 14th at 11:59 pm EST.
    Last edited by westwingwolf; 3rd March 2011 at 09:53.

  2. #2
    NS Senior Member Senior Member
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    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Story #1

    Title: The Perfect Family
    Rating: PG-13
    Spoiler: Um...I dunno? Maybe the vaguest hint of season 6/7? Probably not though.
    Summary: What would you do to keep your family safe?

    Chloe sat perfectly still in a cream colored wool coat. Her blond hair was twisted and pinned in a refined coif. She had sunglasses on which not only shielded her eyes from the bright morning sun, but covered her sad wet eyes. Jeans and comfortable black ankle boots were the only other articles of clothing that could be seen from Lex's vantage point.

    How he knew she was sad was hard for him to describe. He'd been married to that woman for just shy of five years. She never had to smile for him to know she was happy, he just knew these things about her. And he knew now that she was sad.

    Lex sat down across from her and folded his hands on the table. He didn't know what to expect, didn't know whether or not he should even have come at all. But he missed Chloe so much. The last year of their marriage had been difficult for the both of them with her in hiding. He just had to see her.

    “Hi Lex,” Chloe said coolly. “I'm glad you decided to meet me.”

    “I would have met up with you sooner,” Lex admitted.

    Chloe reached into her purse and pulled out a manila folder. She placed it on the table and before Lex folded back the flap, he knew what it was. He didn't need to read a damned thing in there, all he had to see was the blank spot on her ring finger to know that these were divorce papers.

    “Chloe, there's a better way for us to handle this!” Lex insisted, his voice rising. There were people in the cafe watching them.

    Chloe made sure they did this in public because she knew Lex's power over her, over anyone. He just had a way of looking at you, ripping open your ribcage and cradling your heart in his gentle hands. Chloe was there before and knew that he kept her heart safe, but that was the extent of his powers.

    “This is the best option, Lex. Just sign the papers and go home,” Chloe begged. Her voice was thick with tears but nothing fell down her cheeks. She had already run out of tears.

    “We can still be happy together, Chloe. Once we get rid of her, we can be together again.” But Lex knew it was harder than that. He'd been trying for two years now to track her down, to kill her.

    “She contacted me two weeks ago. I don't know how she found me, Lex. I thought I made myself disappear. I wasn't even in America, for God's sake. They didn't even have cameras and computers where I was hiding. I don't know how!” Chloe was breaking before his very eyes. There was something she wasn't telling him, something she kept behind the sunglasses. When Lex reached out to pull her sunglasses off, she didn't resist him, she just let her guard down further and her lips twisted to hold back a sob.

    “What are you not telling me, Chloe?” Lex asked as he gazed into her red rimmed eyes. Her expression became tightly controlled, hard and burdened.

    “A week after I went into hiding, I found out that I was pregnant, Lex.” She could see the shock on his face, interchanging with anger and happiness.

    “What happened?” Lex asked slowly.

    “She took him. I know she did. And then she left this folder on my pillowcase and I knew what she wanted. She'll kill him, Lex. Just sign the papers and go home!” Chloe demanded. Her hands were shaking, there was a cup of coffee on the table with her deep rosy lip print on it. The coffee wasn't steaming anymore and Lex knew there was nothing he could say to keep her in this marriage with him. To save this son he never knew, he'd have to give up the only person he loved.

    He took out the sterling silver pen she got him for his birthday last year and signed his soul on the dotted line. He felt hard all over, like a suit of armor. And when Chloe put her sunglasses back on, Lex knew he'd lost her.

    “What will happen now?” Lex asked.

    “I don't think she'd hurt him, but keep an eye on her. I think all these cat and mouse games have finally gotten to her,” Chloe replied and stood from her seat. She placed a tip on the table and pulled her scarf around her neck. Lex stood as well, closing the manila folder in the process.

    “No, I mean you,” Lex clarified sternly.


    “Are you just going to leave your son's fate in her hands?!” Lex demanded. He looked ready to throw the divorce papers onto the ground. Instead, he took her hand in his vice like grip.

    “If you're alive and he's alive then everything I've been doing up until now has been a success. Don't take that away from me, Lex. Let me walk out of here with some dignity. Do you think I want another woman to raise my child and sleep with my husband?!”

    “We'll stop her, I know we can do it. We've done so many amazing things together!”

    “You don't know the power she has over people, Lex. Excuse me, I have a flight to catch,” Chloe said and pushed passed him in a final effort because he was so close, it would have been so easy to fall into his arms instead.

    “Where will you go?”

    But Chloe didn't answer. She just had to get away from all of this. The sooner she was away from him, the sooner she would know how safe her son was. She had to get on that plane and leave this country again.


    Lex was distraught over losing Chloe again. The first time was pretty bad but the second time was the worst. He didn't know whether or not he'd ever see her again and had no idea where she'd gone. When Lex pulled open the doors to his home, the first thing he noticed was the scent of a savory cooking dinner. Then his eyes caught sight of a small child sitting in front of a pile of blocks in the middle of the room. The boy was blond and was round and rosy. He knew immediately who that boy might be.

    And when a voice called out from the kitchen, Lex's heart felt as if it would turn to ash and blow away.

    “Honey, is that you? I've got a roast in the oven, it should be ready in a little while,” Lana smiled sweetly at him from the kitchen. But even from the distance of the room, he could tell there was something wrong with her eyes, something too wild about the brightness there.

    Lana bent over the young boy and picked him up. He didn't struggle, but did seem a bit lethargic.

    “Alex jr. say hi to daddy!” She dumped the child into his arms and Lex could see he was drugged.

    “Lana, what have you done?”

    “It's just a little Benadryl. This house is so dusty!” She claimed. When Lex adjusted the child in his arms to reach for his cell phone, Lana grew angry.

    “Be careful, Lex. Someone you know is on a plane to a remote place and I don't know if the plane will make it through this storm,” Lana murmured coldly.

    Lex knew there wasn't any storms that he'd known of. But he also knew that when they broke it off, she'd taken quite a bit of his money and resources. She was at it still, the blackmail would never stop. If she wanted money, he'd give her every cent he owned. But she wanted the perfect family that he had offered her so many years ago and she wouldn't ever stop until that was what she got.

    “Now give me a kiss hello!” She chirped.
    Last edited by westwingwolf; 1st March 2011 at 07:10.

  3. #3
    NS Senior Member Senior Member
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    Matthew Perry's attic

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Story #2

    This fic follows previous NS Challenge entries Tipping the Board, All of You , and Home Movies.

    Title: Level the Field

    Standing outside the door, he was poised to knock. It was an action he performed every day, but today it was hard. Today, everything would change. Oh, he knew that he didn’t actually need to knock. He could simply walk into the room and confront the person it contained. But somehow, it was wrong. He wanted to do this right, or, at the very least, he wanted to look back on this moment and not be shamed by it. The door was a beautiful oak. It was obviously heavy and reinforced, but it was beautiful. The inlay was decadent and bespoke a breeding and taste. It would serve as painful reminder. He could not imagine the person who was deserving of this subtle cruelty. Intellectually, he knew that this punishment was deserved, but his emotions gently prodded him towards mercy. He wondered if he was up to this task. He knocked on the door and waited a moment before it was opened.

    “Yes, today everything is changed.”

    ************************************************** **************************

    He knew what the world saw when they looked at him. The world saw his wavy dark red hair, his 6’3 frame, and well-toned body. It generally meant that people would accept him and go along with his thoughts and ideas far more readily than they otherwise would have. He had recently decided to wear a trimmed beard and mustache. The media said it made him look rugged and dangerous. Erik planned to keep the facial hair for a long time. As long as he kept the hardest partying out of sight, everyone was okay with him. The media called him Erik the Red. Oh how the media loved to draw comparison to his father. But he didn’t mind. There were worse people to be compared to.

    His father was the reason for his errand today. Erik had questions and his mother refused to answer them; and because she refused him, Brainiac, or President Lex Luthor as the world knew him, would follow suit. All of them knew their origin. Their names embodied their mother’s hopes and dreams for them. All of them were set to their purpose and relished it. At least, he did. He had strong suspicion that his brother and sister also gleefully walked the path set out by their mother. But Erik could no longer be content with partial reveals when his mother deigned to share. He felt a deep restlessness. Sometimes he thought Arthur and Liza felt the same, but then a word or gesture from their mother would set their minds at ease. Arthur, in particular, felt their mother’s gentling touch. Liza was more comforted by the puzzles and enigmas of Brainiac. Erik drew inward most of the time. But there were times when his own conviction and purpose could not help the need within him, which was why he even considered his plan.

    Erik held the chess board in his hand and knocked on her door with the other. And then he waited. Liza was forever making everyone wait. Her computers and puzzles consumed her life. There was a time when he was worried that she wouldn’t be able to relate to humanity, but he saw her through high school and made sure she wasn’t bothered too much. Erik liked to think that he helped her develop a healthy social life. She never let go of that part of her. Not even Brainiac could change his influence over his sister. Erik would’ve destroyed the machine if he had tried. He didn’t know how he would’ve done it, but he would have with no hesitation. His brother and his sister were his responsibility and no one got to hurt them. No one got to interfere with their bond. It was the one thing that was off-limits to even their mother. Together, they were untouchable.

    Liza made him wait three minutes before she finally opened the door. Her room ordered, with everything in its proper place. It served as a stark contrast to the disarray of her hair and the rumpled state of her clothes. He loved the way her eyes lit up when she saw him. Liza truly enjoyed his presence in a way Arthur never could. She was the mediating force between him and his brother. It probably had to do with the rampant maleness that flew about any room they occupied at the same time. Over the years, he had learned to tactically give in; but when the time came, they both knew who made the final decision because Erik wouldn’t insist on a course of action unless it was absolutely necessary.

    His sister’s smile dropped a fraction when she glanced at the chess board. He only brought it when he wanted something and simply asking wouldn’t guarantee her compliance. A contest was generally the only way to get Liza to do anything she was not inclined to do if given the choice. Erik knew that this would be one of those times. Their eyes met and Liza crossed her arms over her chest. She was never happy to play chess with him. Her keen intelligence and ability to see through complex problems sometimes failed her when playing chess with him. Erik made it a priority to study people and he was always able to anticipate her. He wasn’t a particularly good chess player, he just knew her; and knowing her meant that he could knock her off her game and distract her sometimes. She still won many contests, but it was never the sure thing it was against many other people.

    Liza’s voice was neutral, “What do you want, Erik?”

    He pushed passed her and set-up the chess board. “We’re going to play a blind stakes game,” Erik straightened and looked her in the eyes, “One game, Liza.”

    Erik saw the refusal in her body language and he continued before she could voice it, “We play one blind stakes game, Liza, or I tell mother that it was you who broke into the Watchtower’s database,” he tilted his head and smirked at her, “I hear it sent the Justice League into emergency status. Batman was livid and it really put President Luthor in an awkward position.”

    Liza’s body stiffened. Erik realized that she was going to make him pay for even bringing the incident up, but he didn’t care. Sometimes he had to blackmail her before she would even entertain playing him. The unstated rule was that after he used the information to begin play, he couldn’t use it again nor would he ever actually reveal it. It kept everyone involved honest and it removed excessive ill will. She walked into the room and invaded his personal space. Her words were angry and intense.

    “We’ll play, but not a blind stakes game. Tell me what you want now. Then we’ll play.”

    If he lost, she would tell their mother. Liza was really going to make him pay, but it was worth it and he knew when he’d lost an opening gambit. Erik answered her as he sat, “I want into the gilded room. I want to meet the real Lex Luthor.”

    Emotions raced across her face in rapid succession, but in the end, her features softened. She might not make him pay so badly after all. She reached up and brought his forehead to her own. There was sympathy and gentleness. This is what he and Arthur needed: for their sister to believe in them and love them as they loved her.

    Her reply was soft, “Erik, why would you think I wouldn’t help you?”

    She pushed him away and punched his arm. Brusque and focused. This was their sister, the planner. Liza went to her computer.

    “This will probably end poorly. Be prepared for the worst. I think this is on par with that time when Arthur nearly killed Kon-El.”

    Erik nodded and kissed the crown of her head. “If she didn’t kill him for that, then she won’t kill me for this.”

    Liza searched his face for any sign of hesitation. The real Lex Luthor was known to her. She’d made sure to know all of them. Liza knew it was their mother’s way of testing her. This was his test. She knew it even if her mother would never confirm it. Chloe Sullivan-Luthor would probably need to know if Erik could truly accept himself. Liza was being honest when she told him that a contest wasn’t necessary because she needed to know that her brother was okay with himself just like her mother did.

    “He might not be what you’re expecting, big brother.”

    Erik’s rueful smile spoke volumes. “I know, but it changes nothing.’

    Her brother would be okay with whatever answers he got. If he wasn’t, she and Arthur would be there to pull him back. The three of them formed an unbreakable unit, but only if they each did their part. Liza would let nothing break her brother. Liza nodded and got to work.
    Last edited by westwingwolf; 3rd March 2011 at 07:59.

  4. #4
    NS Senior Member Senior Member
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    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Story #3

    Disasterous to his Consequences
    Standard disclaimer, no warnings, no spoilers.

    Chloe Sullivan knew Lex Luthor well enough to say he thought himself an enigma, elusive beyond brief, casual affairs and business meetings. She knew he would consider himself inscrutable, and difficult to read. She expected he thought quite a lot of his poker face, if he ever lowered himself to playing games that didn't shuffle whole industries.

    She understood his reluctance to meet with her in her professional capacity. It wasn't as if she was unaware of his hesitation opening himself to media scrutiny. She would even go so far to say he was treated unfairly by reporters more often than he was given the benefit of good intentions.

    Chloe reserved the right to be insulted he lumped her in with every other reporter who had taken all the worst without researching the counterpoints of his character. She wanted her interview and she wanted an apology, or their little hotel shenanigans were going to stream live wherever she could post them online.

    It had not been a deliberate trap on her part, just a confluence of simple events that added up to an embarrassment if it got out. She didn't think it had the makings of a real scandal, but Lex was minding his manners for a potential gubenatorial run in the next few years. If she released the 'private footage,' Lex would have to say something, and his dignity would be dented, if not fatally pierced.

    The delicious part was imagining what he might say; protestations of video trickery, perhaps a confession of an addiction to booze or prescription drugs, or even an accusation he'd been roofied were all on the table. He could marry a chilly and upright society woman, and take on the reflected virtue of her frosty calm. Visiting sick kids probably wouldn't make matters any better, nor would charitable contributions.

    He could go ultra bad-boy, clubbing and banging his way into the record books – a return to his teenage pursuits. It would delay his political target for a while, but ultimately might bring votes. It was America, and being manly did garner some admiration.

    Chloe knew her part of the video wasn't going to get her any points, but it wouldn't do a great deal more harm than her old meteor freak stories. People knew she was hard-working and also goofy. It was difficult explaining how those two traits mixed, but her editors figured it out readily enough. Her reputation would take a momentary hit, and she would carry on until the next dumb move took the spotlight away again.

    She knew better than to threaten what she'd never venture to do; she'd release the tape freely to anyone with an internet connection. All she wanted was an interview, and Lex had as much as admitted he didn't mind spending time with her.

    Well, she amended, he didn't say anything, but he spent the whole night in my hotel room and implied it strongly. He'd implied it strongly several times. She might have implied it back just as often, or maybe a few times more than he had.

    She didn't want this to be a long, bitter battle. It really wasn't a big deal one way or the other, except she had a loaded weapon that he knew about. Doing anything less than using it against him would feel like pity to Lex.

    Chloe wanted the interview, he entertained a sick and twisted desire to be hated, and she would play into that by blackmailing him. Their companionable enmity was hardly as weird as half her stories.

    As she picked the lock to his penthouse, she wondered why Lex needed complications like her. He had a challenging career and, if business slowed down, high society was infinitely game for screwing people over. He could take up big game hunting and try his luck with enraged polar bears, or simply date his usual women and cross his fingers about surviving. He had a PhD in chemical engineering and the means to get any other degrees he wanted to master. It defied logic how a man with so many conveniences required tormenting or he became nervous.

    She supposed Lionel was the missing link that made it sadly clear, but it was still irrational. Lex was so disciplined about everything except the activities she had captured on their little home video and his urge to be punished for his rich, white guilt.

    It was not for her to judge. Chloe let herself in and disabled the security panel with a combination so easy to work out she hoped his stalkers were all bimbos. Birthdays were an obvious choice, and easily found in county records. Lex wasn't so egocentric to use his own, but his mother's was clearly etched on her grave stone.

    Tiptoeing toward his bedroom, she recalled how the dress ball had become her assignment scarcely hours before it began. In her hurry, she'd had to buy a dress and rent a hotel room upstairs from the ballroom to get ready. It was habit to set up her laptop on the bedside table. Chloe had turned on her webcam to talk to Lois for a few minutes, but cut the call short to go to work. It was a slip of freshly moisturized fingertip that left the webcam recording, and a prodigious battery life that meant it was still recording when she entered the room with Lex.

    I'd say he entered the room, and I spilled into it like cheap champagne, she heckled herself. I don't know what I was thinking.

    It had been fortunate Chloe stumbled into Lex's elevator. She had skipped all her meals and ended up blitzed on her second glass of courtesy wine. It set people at ease to see her loosening up, until it made them worried she'd puke on their evening wear. Chloe remembered most of the night, but the vivid parts were Lex's laugh and smile, his gentle, coaxing touches. Their actions and reactions that night had been genuine, not withstanding all the complications afterward.

    Things that night could have gone much worse, and she was tempted to take pity on Lex's pride. Chloe held her bag tightly to her side as she crept to his door and opened it silently. Mercy was wholly unsatisfying for a man like Lex, especially since he knew to expect her Machiavellian wielding of this new power.

    She could drag this out or make a really big impact, but the truth was Chloe didn't feel like it. She walked into the bedroom with a normal step, and wondered if he would hear her approach before she called to him. He bolted up with a dull thump as the pillow went flying, and she didn't pause for his full recognition. Her laptop was popped onto his lap and the video file played with one click.

    Chloe perched on Lex's bed and watched him looking at another bed and another time. They were entwined, huffing and grunting. Her hand went out above her head, yanking at blankets. On the video, Chloe smiled in taunting pleasure, her legs bending up around Lex's body. On Lex's bed, in the present, she grinned at the gasping threats she had thrown at him, interspersed with helpless giggling.

    “You don't scare me, this is like wrestling a garden gnome, shorty,” the Lex on the video crowed.

    Chloe paused the playback. She'd made her point and the rest was more of the fully-clothed flopping and laughing. She raised her eyebrow in a mockery of his own steely interrogative, and saw Lex push down an urge to roll his eyes.

    “So this is the blackmail part,” she said agreeably, and he nodded against his pillow. Lex had yet to do her the honour of sitting up and showing terror at her presence. “I want a private interview – this week – or the whole world will know you get in chaste tickle fights with blond reporters.”

    He blinked a few times and folded his hands over his chest, tipping his chin to one side. Chloe leaned in, eager to hear his return salvo. It did not disappoint. They both knew this was only the beginning of a negotiation, and there was no reason to deny themselves a diverting round of mind games.

    “I would hardly call one tickle fight a conclusion, and the video only shows us from the waist up,” he said firmly. “I would say it could be anything but chaste beyond the shot.”

    She did roll her eyes, unwilling to give up the habit. “But if you play it right to the end, you bring me a glass of water, tuck me in, and read the phone book to me until I fall asleep.”

    He sighed, flipping the laptop closed. “You obviously mean to ruin me, Miss Sullivan.”

    Chloe snickered happily, until his next words. “If you play the video even longer, you'll see that you snore like a fifty-year-old chainsaw.”
    Last edited by westwingwolf; 1st March 2011 at 06:27.

  5. #5
    NS Senior Member Senior Member
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    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Story #4

    Architect of His Own Fortune

    Spoilers for “Fortune”

    Every man is the architect of his own fortune. - Sallust

    Chloe turned to face Clark with a worried expression. “I spoke to the wedding chapel. They said the marriage was valid, but wouldn’t confirm the groom. Only that he wasn’t you.”

    Clark tried his best to puzzle out the mystery. “Maybe it’s Oliver.”

    She hoped this was true, but couldn’t hide her anxiety if she was mistaken. “Maybe. I wish they had told me his name. Trust me. I gave them hell for not saying. And they will have a ton more problems once I get back to Watchtower.”

    * * *

    As she left the Watchtower loft, Chloe gave a slight chuckle at the actions revealed on the emphasis tape. However, her humor wasn’t enough to alleviate her fears. She noticed Oliver had followed her outside. “A lot of crazy things happened last night. Including the fact that I’m married.”

    Oliver appeared genuinely surprised. “I don’t know anything about that.”

    From behind them, a voice said, “I do.” Chloe and Oliver looked to see the voice was coming from none other than Lex Luthor. In all honesty, they were not surprised to find him alive. Both had suspecting his return for some time now.

    He approached the pair with a torn half of a piece of paper. As he came closer, Chloe realized it was the torn half of the marriage certificate. “Imagine my luck to come across all of you when your guard was…shall we say less than fortified.”

    Oliver stepped in front of Chloe and stared down Lex. “Something tells me luck had a little help.”

    Lex didn’t let Oliver intimidate him. He stepped aside to look at Chloe, and handed her the other half of the certificate. “As you can everything is in order. However, this is just a copy. I have the original in a secure safe. We’ll want to keep those precious memories intact. Won’t we, Chloe?”

    Chloe approached Lex and slapped him. “You can take your memories and shove them…” He didn’t let the slap faze him and smirked in return.

    As the two refused to look away from each other, Oliver broke the silence. “No judge will honor this marriage because Chloe wasn’t in full capacity.”

    Lex actually dropped his gaze to turn to Oliver. “And I’m sure if you had married Chloe, this would be some silly tale you tell your grandchildren one day.”

    Oliver grabbed Lex by his jacket collar. “Our relationship is none of your business.”

    Lex scoffed, and removed Oliver’s hands. “As Chloe’s husband, I respectfully disagree.”

    Oliver moved forward to punch Lex, but Chloe held back his arm. She refused to stand back and let Oliver argue for her. “You are not my husband because this marriage is not valid.”

    In a calm voice, Lex said, “We can take it to court if you like. I’m sure a judge will rule in my favor. But I have a feeling it won’t get that far.”

    “What does that mean?” She tried not to let her fear show.

    “Queen’s extra-curricular activities may be out to the public, but I know a number of young men and women who are still leading a double life. You wouldn’t want to ruin their chance at happiness, would you? I hear one is about to get married.” His smile was genuine, but all three of them would be fools if they thought it was for the engaged couple.

    Chloe stared at Lex with both loathing and silent resignation. Oliver pulled her away, and had to force her to look at him. “Chloe, he’s bluffing. He doesn’t have any proof. Even if he did, nobody would expect you to go through with this farce of a marriage.”

    Chloe tried to hold back her tears as she looked at Oliver. “I know that, but I can’t take the chance.” She had to do this for Clark, Lois, all of Oliver’s team, even Oliver himself as Lex could still find a way to hurt him if she didn’t comply.

    Oliver leaned down to kiss her, but Lex cleared his throat. “I’m in no mood to watch my bride kiss another man.” He approached Oliver from behind, and covered his nose with a rag drenched in chloroform. Oliver fell to the ground as Chloe gasped and tried to protect him from any damage. Lex made no effort to help. Instead, he pulled her away from Oliver and toward the waiting limousine.

    She wrenched her arm away from his grasp. “You didn’t have to do that. I was going with you; however, unwillingly I may have been to do so.”

    “I’m not ready to have everyone see off the newlyweds yet.” He grabbed her arm once again, ushered her into the limo and shut the door.

    “This is crazy. You know nothing good can come out of this for you.”

    “On the contrary, I’ve taken you away from Queen, and soon Clark will know that there is nothing he can do to save you. The repercussions of this event will keep me happy for a long time.” He smiled.

    “All the crap your ex-girlfriends and ex-wives put you through will feel like a Mardi Gras party compared to this marriage.” Chloe spat before attempting to move away from him.

    However, Lex caught her before she could. “I look forward to it, dear.” He pulled her into him for a kiss. A moment passed before Chloe pushed him off of her and slapped him. She kept to the other end of the seat. No matter her feelings right now, Lex felt the fire in that kiss. Given time, he knew he could that passion into love.
    Last edited by westwingwolf; 17th May 2011 at 01:37.

  6. #6
    Happy-ending addict Senior Member lexie's Avatar
    Join Date
    26 Jan 2007
    In RL:Argentina. In my dreams: Lexland

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    I'm glad three people picked up the gauntlet. I'm sorry I couldn't make it this time...

    Four very different takes. I have to confess my favourite's yours, Mindy- I wonder why LOL. It seems Fortune inspired us both to do something about that ending.

    Congrats to all the participants and thanks for making this month's challenge possible in the end.

    My vote goes to number 3. I just loved the big reveal of the real content of the tape at the end. Very sneaky.

    Thxs to Esther25jm for creating the banner for me and to beeej for the avi



    "Choices"May 30 '11

    "At Second Sight" August 21 '11




  7. #7
    looking for updates Senior Member somethingeasy's Avatar
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    27 Apr 2006

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Story #1: The Perfect Family

    I loved this story! It was completely implausible and full of plot-holes… and yet I loved the read. It had a surreal touch to it that I found irresistible. Not to mention the sheer angst factor, watching Chloe and Lex being forced apart right in front of me… and knowing that they were being forced apart by someone who had kidnapped Chloe’s and Lex’s son?! Talk about rubbing salt on the wound!

    I can’t help but wonder at the backstory behind this tale. Apparently Chloe and Lex are married, but they’ve also been forced to separate. In fact, not only separate, but distance themselves from each other so completely that Lex didn’t even know that Chloe was pregnant, much less that she gave birth to a beautiful blonde boy.

    And then, there was the ending. Adding insult to injury, when we discover that Lana Lang is the evil mastermind behind all of Lex’s and Chloe’s misery, pain and suffering. wow! I have to admit, I loved how Lana was explored as a deluded, narcissistic sociopath (if not outright psychopath) in this fic. She was actually cuddling Chloe’s drugged child, as if he was her own flesh and blood. Now that is truly shiver worthy creepy! I would suggest to Lex that he does NOT go to sleep anywhere near her… heaven knows what she might do to him if she comes across him unconscious and at her non-existent psychotic mercy.

    Story #2: Level the Field

    wow! This was a fascinating story. I didn’t fully understand all of it, but I understood enough to like it tremendously. It takes serious talent to make a reader enjoy an original character in fanfic… and it takes AMAZING talent to make a reader enjoy a fanfic that features nothing BUT original characters.

    heee! The character bio drawn up for ‘Erik the Red’ was fascinating. I was enthralled with the character, and I can’t help but wonder whether there’s going to be any more writings about him in future stories…?

    I was a little confused about the connection between Brainiac, Lex and Liza. There were hints of SOME kind of a connection between all three, but I couldn’t fully figure out what it was. And what do they mean by the real Lex Luthor anyway?!??

    In any case, I loved, LOVED Liza. She’s obviously not only strong-minded and stunningly intelligent, but she also has inherited the Luthors’ traits for ruthless, merciless, manipulative cunning as well. In other words, Liza is damned dangerous and scary… so much so that her own brother has to tread carefully when dealing with her. Amazing! I wonder how the heck Chloe manage to discipline her?!??

    I was also delighted to see that Erik also has his own streak for cunning shrewdness… when it’s revealed that he IS capable of besting his sister, from time to time. He handled her quite brilliantly, even though Liza struck me as darned scary during ‘negotiations’.

    Anyhow, this fic ended on one HECK of a cruel cliffhanger. I don’t know whether there are plans to continue this, but I’m intrigued by the premise and mystery already.

    Story #3: Disasterous to his Consequences

    ROTFLMAO! This was hilarious! I loved how the fic was built up suggesting that the tape Chloe was planning on using as blackmailing material was something lurid and pornographic… only to reveal that it was something that ‘simply’ made Lex lookf goofy, ridiculous and silly. But that’s perfect for blackmailing Lex. Lex could stand being made to look like a lurid sensationalist thrill seeker. But to make him look goofy?! That would be intolerable to Lex.

    The idea of Chloe indulging in blackmail can be considered plausible for her, but it would still be considered a ‘dark move’ for her. BUT, I loved how this fic made it clear that the blackmail was only a part of the extended game Chloe was playing with Lex. She only blackmailed him because he has this expectation that he SHOULD be treated as a villain… so Chloe was merely accommodating him. LOL! Playacting out a role for his benefit, and all that!

    LOL! During my second reading, all of Chloe’s inner comments about what Lex might do to explain the tape away made a little more sense. Admitting to being under the influence of booze, prescription drugs, roofies would be embarrassing to Lex, but not nearly as embarrassing as admitting that he got into a [I]tickle fight[I] while still stone cold sober! ROTFL!

    It also made sense on why going ‘ultra bad’ would actually be considered a valid solution to counteract this ‘scandal’ looming over Lex, LOL!

    And I also liked how Chloe knew that her own reputation wouldn’t suffer too much, considering that she already HAS a reputation for being slightly goofy and quirky and ‘strange’. In fact, her own reputation might soar sky high, considering that she has the honour of engaging Big Bad Scary Luthor in a tickle fight. It might have soared higher if she’d won the tickle fight.. but getting Lex to engage in one with her is accomplishment enough, LOL! And besides which, Chloe DOES have the excuse for being drunk… while Lex was only under the influence of his own sense of silly, goofy, giddy fun, LOL!

    Story #4:Architect of His Own Fortune

    heh… I was expecting a ‘Lex blackmails Chloe into marrige’ fic for this challenge… so I loved the way that this was handled in such an interesting, engaging and unique fashion. Lex didn’t blackmail Chloe into marrying him. Rather, he blackmailed her into staying married to him… in a ridiculous, drunken Vegas wedding no less, LOL!

    I loved how it began with Chloe completely confused as to the identity of her groom. She had [i}half[/I} a marriage certificate, but no memory on who her partner at the altar might have been. LOL! It must have been one HELL of a wake-up call for Chloe, to open her eyes to half a marriage certificate, and no memory on where it came from, LOL!

    I don’t know exactly what Lex was hoping to gain, forcing Chloe into marriage with him… but, since I’m a Chlexer, I’m going to imagine that Lex has been madly in love with Chloe for YEARS, and finally got desperate enough to get her drunk in Vegas, and dragged her to the front of an altar. And then made sure that she wouldn’t get an annulment by blackmailing her.

    Yes, there’s also a chance that he decided to marry her in order to use her as a hostage to make the JL behave and cooperate with him. Or perhaps to pry all of her secrets out of her after charming her into falling in love with him… BUT, I’m sticking to my original idea that he’s desperately in love with her… leading him to really low-handed tactics to lure her into a situation where he can woo and win her.

    Excellent fics, all of them! Thanks for posting!

  8. #8
    NS Full Member Rachet's Avatar
    Join Date
    29 Nov 2009
    Escaping the Mojave Desert

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    this is really hard but i think i have to go with the one that made me the most emotional.

  9. #9
    walking with cavemen Senior Member Zannie's Avatar
    Join Date
    16 Oct 2004

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    I really enjoyed all four of these!

    I really felt for Chlex in the first one, and Lana was totally creepy!

    The second one was really well-written and fascinating! I didn't know the characters so it was a little hard to follow the significance of the plot, but it looks like there were previous stories that I hadn't read. I would have gone to read them first, but I didn't know where to find them! Anyway, it was a great read even without all the context.

    The twist in the third one was a lot of fun - I wasn't expecting it at all, so I think it was very cleverly done!

    And I really liked the fourth one as well! It's such a compelling plot and very dramatically written! I strongly doubt Lex is correct in that he can force Chloe into something like that and still have the "passion" turn into love, but the delusion seems entirely keeping with his state of mind in the story so it rang true.

    I wanted to enter this challenge and even had the story worked out - but I just couldn't fit it into the word count again. I'll keep trying, though. I do like next month's prompt!

    Thanks to everyone who entered!

  10. #10
    No charge for awesomeness
    Join Date
    19 Mar 2008
    Hiding in Michael's closet

    Re: NS Monthly Challenge - #16 Jan-Feb "Blackmail" Entries

    Thank you to all of those who entered. My vote this round went to number 3.
    Great job everyone

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