Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Chapter 34: Inquiries

Chloe slapped the phone shut, growling in frustration; Nothing… I’ve followed every lead I can think of… even the ones I think are long shots and there’s nothing.”

Lana quietly replaced Chloe’s fourth espresso with a fifth and joined her at the table.

“You’ll find something. I’m sure of it.” Lana offered confidently. “Look how many mysteries you have already solved.”

Shaking her head remorsefully, Chloe caught Lana’s eyes as she answered, “Yes, but never Clark’s. No. I’m … just plain tapped out here. His emails are clean. There weren’t any calls to or from his cell. The Torch’s phone shows nothing during that time.”

Tossing back the espresso as though it was a jolt of scotch, Chloe grimaced and slammed the little cup to the table with a gusty sigh.

“Can you think of anything else that might have happened? Anything at all? From that morning or the weekend before?” Chloe demanded, even though she knew Lana probably wasn’t holding anything back from her.

“No, I’ve tried since last night, but I can’t remember anything out of the ordinary happening at all… until Clark’s mom called.” Chloe nodded in resignation. She hadn’t really expected anything else, and hated feeling at loose ends… like she had missed something important.

“Damn it! I don’t even know the right questions to ask. If he didn’t do anything or say anything out of the ordinary, then how are we supposed to figure this out?”

“Well…” Lana started hesitantly.

“What?” Chloe’s voice rose as she asked, “What is it?”

“It’s just that…” Lana mumbled, “Well, it didn’t make any sense.”

“What is it? Chloe asked again impatiently. “Did he say something at Lex’s? For heaven’s sake, Lana spill it. I won’t tell anyone.”

“I only saw him for a few minutes… but he did say something odd… and had a panic attack after saying it.”

Masking her exasperation, Chloe stared at Lana for several seconds before she was sure that she could control her voice well enough to ask: “Why didn’t you tell me? What did he say?”

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