[This is a Kayla Jor-El from a different universe than the one inhabited by the Clara Kent we know. The only initial difference here is that the spaceship that delivered her to Earth was damaged more heavily. Kayla arrived unconscious and oxygen starved. The ship was able to follow out its intentions towards her – to deliver her to the artificial intelligence in the Kawatche caves so that it could preserve the Kryptonian race despite what that might mean to Kayla. The kryptonite cloud that followed in Clara Kent’s path never made it to Earth in this version of events. Let me begin by apologizing for some confusion that may occur. As always, Jor-El’s daughter is KAYLA Jor-El, but this story also features KYLA -- the Native American from the Smallville episode “Skinwalkers.” This story is about a very different Kayla Jor-El and how her different nature changes the world in which she lives.]
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30
Kayla felt the air escaping from the passenger compartment. She knew that their attempt to reach another world had failed. She blamed herself for the accident because she had delayed their departure by hiding from her parents. She felt she deserved to die. She thought that she would die peacefully lying between her Mother and Father. This seemed less scary to her than facing life on a strange new world. She held tightly onto her parents’ hands as she lost consciousness.
The spaceship swung around Krypton’s star Rao at top speed while it reflected on the resources available to it. Only one of the passengers could survive the journey and just barely – the child Kayla. Her body contained the necessary genetic make-up to create a diverse enough variety of offspring to allow her race to continue. The ship knew that the survival of his daughter and the Kryptonian culture was one of Jor-El’s goals for the mission. It formed a capsule around Kayla and pumped the remaining air into it. Now that the ship had rounded Rao, any planetary debris heading towards it would fall into the star and not be any further threat to the mission. Repairs were quickly made. The ship realized that Kayla may suffer brain damage due to an inadequate supply of oxygen, but from the ship’s point of view, that was of no concern. Its only purpose for her life was to have her grow into a fertile woman so that Krypton could be reborn through her. The ship plotted a new course to the planet Earth and its ultimate destination – a small cave in Smallville, Kansas where an ancient Kryptonian mind, a twelfth level artificial intelligence, had been left millennia before.
Kayla awoke in a dimly lit chamber. The six year old stood naked in a glass tube filled with a thick liquid. She heard a voice inside her head say, “Kayla Jor-El, Mother of New Krypton, welcome to your new home. Here you will be kept safe so that you can grow to maturity and fulfill your intended purpose. No work will be asked of you. There is no need for you to think or worry. Just exist. For you, consciousness will be un-necessary. Rest now. Sleep and dream of whatever your kind dream about. Sleep until your body is ready and you can fulfill your destiny.”
In her liquid environment, Kayla’s tears couldn’t be seen. Even if they had been visible, there was no one to care … no one at all.
Chloe Sullivan and Pete Ross rode their rented dirt bikes near the borders of the Kawatche Wildlife Refuge. Pete decided to show off by driving fast over a small rise in the ground. The sound of his bike faded and disappeared. Chloe dismounted her bike and looked over the rise to see that Pete had vanished from sight. She walked a short distance to where Pete had landed and found a large hole in the ground. She yelled for Pete. From far below, Pete yelled, “My legs … I think they are broken. Get help!”
Chloe stood up and turned. She stood face to face with a Native American woman named Kyla. Kyla said, “What are you doing here? This is holy ground!”
Chloe said, “I wish you had warned us earlier, my friend just fell down one.”
Kyla asked, “Fell down what?”
Chloe said, “Down a hole! I need to get to him. Can you help me?”
Kyla said, “He must be removed from there. That is the place of Numan! I will help.”
Chloe said, “Maybe you can get this guy Numan to help too.”
Kyla said, “Numan is a woman from the heavens.”
Chloe said, “I don’t care where she’s from as long as she is strong enough to help us get Pete out of there.”
Kyla led Chloe down a path and through some underbrush that concealed the large opening to a cave. As they went inside, they could see strange lights dancing on the cave walls. They entered a large chamber and Kyla motioned for Chloe to duck behind a rock and be quiet. The chamber was lit by sunlight from above that came through the large opening made when the ground gave way below Pete and his dirt bike. The dirt bike was in the middle of the chamber and looked to be in remarkably good condition. Pete was also in good condition considering his claim that he had broken his legs. He stood and stared at something Chloe couldn’t see. Chloe shifted her position and had to cover her own mouth to keep from shouting out in surprise. There was a second chamber off the main one. Inside was what appeared to be a small spacecraft, a platform the size of a day bed and a glass cylinder filled with some kind of thick liquid that was in the process of draining. More shockingly, the tube contained a woman who appeared to be alive. The woman had a tangle of long dark hair that hung to just below her knees. Whether she had any clothes under the hair was hard to tell. A voice was talking to Pete in some strange language. The tube disappeared into the floor and the woman clumsily took a few steps over to the platform and sat down. As the woman reclined on the platform, Chloe no longer had any doubts that she was naked. Chloe saw the woman’s knees go into the air and then part. She shifted her gaze to Pete and saw him unbuckling his pants.
Chloe ran forward and yelled, “Stop right now Pete Ross you two timing pig. Broken legs my ass! If you touch that woman it won’t be your legs that get broken!”
A light shot across the cave and struck Chloe and Kyla. They found that they were unable to move. The woman on the platform sat up and stared at them with great interest. A voice started speaking to them and slowly began to make sense. It said, “You have come to interfere but now shall be part of the great plan. You will serve as surrogate Mothers for Kayla’s fertilized eggs. Now six embryos can mature at once. Each of three shall carry two at once. In eighteen years time, when 210 of Kayla’s children have been born, they will carry on the work that has begun this day. Soon Krypton will be reborn.”
Chloe shouted, “LIKE HELL! This is MY body and I’ll do what I DAMN well want with it when I DAMN well choose to!”
Kayla, the woman from Krypton, blinked in surprise at the tone of Chloe’s voice. Such disobedience to authority came as a total shock. Kayla had spent the last 8 years of her life in a tube controlled by artificial intelligences. She had spent her first 6 years under her Father’s strict control. It never occurred to Kayla that she could choose to disobey and have any chance of getting away with it. Yet this Earth female acted as if she was certain that defiance was possible.
The voice said, “Woman of Earth, you forfeited your right to choose when you entered this domain. None may see what you have witnessed and leave. It is far better to make use of you as a surrogate than to dispose of you. Your body is not a resource to be wasted.”
Chloe struggled to break free. When she found that she couldn’t, she screamed, “NO! HELP! SOMEBODY HELP! SOMEBODY SAVE ME!”
Kayla’s eyes turned red. She rotated her head and looked deeper into the chamber where she was sitting. Twin laser beams shot from her eyes and cut through the cave walls like a blow torch burning through dry leaves.
Kyla cried, “It is Numan, the one I was named for! She has returned at long last!”
Chloe found that she was free to move again and shouted “Run for it!”
Explosions came from the area near Kayla. She was almost instantly surrounded in flames. The liquid remaining on her skin caught fire and burned. She made no attempt to get up or move. She just watched Pete, Chloe and Kyla to see what they were doing. Pete came to his senses and ran towards Chloe, but she ran in the direction that he had come from. She went to the platform and reached into the flames for Kayla’s hand. Startled, Kayla pulled her hand away. Pete got on the dirt bike and started it. Hearing the loud sound, Kayla screamed. Chloe reached for Kayla’s hand again and this time Kayla grabbed onto it. Chloe tugged on Kayla’s arm. Kayla stood and followed as long as she was not pulled too close to the dirt bike.
Pete yelled, “Get on!”
Chloe said, “Go ahead. She won’t get near the bike. I’ll be right behind you!”
As Chloe pulled Kayla towards the cave entrance, Kayla batted falling rocks aside as if they were made of paper Mache. After Pete went through the cave entrance, a boulder fell and blocked it. Chloe was going into a panic while Kayla watched her changing expressions. Chloe said, “Don’t you get it? We’re going to die!” She pointed at the rock and said, “That’s where the entrance was and now we’re trapped!”
Kayla looked at the boulder and reached down and lifted it with one hand. Chloe didn’t say anything, so Kayla put the rock back down. Chloe said, “NO! You blocked our way out again! Lift it back up and move it out of the way! I want to go outside. OUT SIDE! I want to see the sky again. You know … the sky?” Chloe pointed up. Kayla smiled as if she understood. Chloe returned her smile nervously. Kayla lifted Chloe like a rag doll. Chloe said, “I sense a failure to communicate here. What are you doing?” Kayla carried Chloe back through the falling rocks to the main chamber as Chloe screamed. Kayla took one last look towards the spaceship and jumped. Chloe let out a final scream before she realized that they were back outside. Kayla had jumped forty feet straight up and out the hole that Pete had fallen through. Kayla put Chloe down and stared at the sun. Chloe said, “That’s not good for you … staring at the sun like that. So are you Numan?” Kayla didn’t turn her head. Chloe continued, “… or Kayla?” Kayla’s head jerked to look back at Chloe. Chloe said, “I guess Kayla it is.”
Chloe led Kayla down the path to where Pete was trying to dig his way back into the cave. He saw Chloe and said, “Gee, thanks for telling me there was a back door. I thought you were trapped!”
Chloe asked, “Where did that woman go?”
Pete said, “What woman? I never saw anyone but you and what’s-her-name here.”
Chloe said, “That’s Kayla.”
Kayla started pushing on the boulder in the cave’s entrance and it started moving. Pete said, “Whoa Momma!”
Chloe said, “Kayla, stop! What are you doing? Are more of your people in there or something?” Kayla pointed at herself and towards the cave. Chloe said, “Is that your home? Is that what you think? You don’t want to go back in there. I could find you a better place to live than that. Leave what is buried, buried.” Kayla pointed towards the cave and started to cry like a baby. The machines that had cared for her and the only home she had known for ten years were gone.
Chloe said, “Pete, give the woman your coat.”
Pete said, “Why?”
Chloe said, “Because she‘s naked.”
Pete took a closer look. Chloe slapped the back of his head. Pete said, “My coat won’t fit her. She’s a giant.”
Chloe said, “Pete, she needs something. A woman can’t walk around naked.”
Pete said, “She doesn’t seem to mind and I don’t.”
Chloe said, “Well I do! Stop waiting for a stiff breeze and take off your coat!”
Pete took off his coat and tried to hand it to Kayla. She looked at him and the coat but didn’t reach for it. Chloe yanked the coat out of Pete’s hand. She took one of Kayla’s hands and forced it down a sleeve. Then she took Kayla’s other hand and forced it down the other sleeve. She tried to pull the jacket closed but it came no where close to fastening. She pulled some of Kayla’s hair from between Kayla’s back and the jacket and arranged it in front of her. Chloe said, “Pete, your belt.”
Pete said, “My belt?”
Chloe said, “You had no trouble unbuckling it for her a few minutes ago. Give it here.”
As Pete pulled his belt loose, he asked, “When did I unbuckle my belt? What happened anyway?” Pete handed Chloe his belt then pulled up his pant legs to look at himself. He said, “My pants are all bloody but I don’t have a scratch. Even a scar I got in eighth grade is missing. I remember yelling for you to get help, a bright light shining on me and then you yelling for me to run for it.”
Chloe put Pete’s belt around Kayla’s waist and pulled it tight to hold Pete’s coat shut. Chloe said, “Pete, we’ll review your convenient memory loss later … once we get Kayla comfortable with the idea of riding on a dirt bike and get her out of here. I’ll have to take her home with me until I decide what to do with her.”
At the Sullivan home, Kayla shared a bedroom with Chloe. Chloe was annoyed at first that Kayla knew absolutely nothing about anything and never said a word. Chloe was kept busy baby sitting her and teaching her the simplest things about day to day living. Chloe was going crazy thinking about the fame that could be hers if she simply wrote the story that was happening right in her own home. Gabe was feeling uncomfortable as well and often embarrassed because Kayla didn’t seem to understand the need to wear clothing. When she could be convinced to wear clothes, she didn’t like wearing anything tight … and any of Chloe’s clothes that Kayla wore were so tight that Kayla might as well have been naked. It didn’t take long for the Sullivans to make a trip to the Goodwill store. Chloe learned to keep near Kayla because if she saw a dress she liked, she would disrobe quickly and try it on … without wasting time to find a dressing room or a secluded place. The Sullivans took Kayla to stores that sold new clothes too, but Kayla liked the feel of clothes that had been warn and washed many, many times and refused to try anything on. Everyone including Kayla seemed happier when Kayla started to like wearing clothes. She only wore oversized dresses that hung like a potato sack. If Kayla could find dresses long enough to drag on the floor as she walked, she was all the happier. And Kayla loved to walk … all through the house. She acted like it was a big adventure to walk big circles through all the rooms. She didn’t go outside often She wanted to know one place very well before exploring anyplace new. Familiar places and faces put her at ease. She didn’t like the TV and made a point to leave a room if a TV was turned on. If Chloe wanted to be alone, she would click on the television and Kayla would leave for other parts of the house.
When her new life with the Sullivans began, Kayla was scared of almost everything. Being touched made her jump and scurry off. Kayla was especially terrified of Chloe’s cat Chester. Chester, however, took an immediate interest in Kayla and followed her all over the house … pawing at her skirt and then hiding to pounce the next time she came by. The stuffed toys and dolls in Chloe’s room also took some time for Kayla to get used to. Solid food and eating were other things that Kayla was nervous about until she discovered sweets -- then she had a hard time learning self control.
As soon as Kayla got over her fear of being touched, she became addicted to giving Gabe and Chloe big hugs and warm smiles that melted their hearts. She got over her fear of the cat and began stalking him around the house. Chloe accepted it when the stuffed animals decided to sleep with Kayla instead of her … but wasn’t too crazy to find her Barbie dolls naked in tall glasses full of corn syrup.
Kayla liked lining things up and keeping things clean and organized. Chester decided to avoid Kayla when she decided that he needed to be bathed on a regular basis. She washed anything dirty in steaming hot water – except for Chester. Both Chloe and Gabe were incurable slobs. Soon they got used to the organization that Kayla brought to their household. Kayla soon began cooking meals for her new family. Once she learned not put sugar in everything she prepared, she became a pretty good cook.
Gabe and Chloe started enjoying having Kayla around and got nervous that someone would come along and take her away from them. Chloe didn’t have to work too hard to convince Gabe to adopt Kayla. There was only one person that Gabe knew could arrange a no questions asked adoption – Lionel Luthor. Chloe convinced Gabe that Lionel would be more likely to help her, so Chloe approached Lionel, batted her eyes and sat on his desk while charming him into agreeing to do her a favor that would be child’s play for him. Lionel agreed to arrange the adoption if she would do him a small favor of his choosing at some later time. Chloe agreed saying that it was only fair. At worst, she figured that he might ask her to slant a news story in his favor. When the paper work was filled out, no one knew Kayla’s age so they guessed that she was 26 years old. So Kayla got a new name -- Kayla Sullivan … and Chloe got a big sister.
Kayla liked flipping through books. She flipped through them so fast that everyone decided that she must just enjoy turning the pages. No one could even get a good look at the pictures as fast as Kayla turned the pages. Chloe took Kayla to the library whenever she went. One by one, Kayla took a book and flipped through it before putting it back and taking the next one. She never even sat down in the library – just made a path through the stacks of book intent on looking at every one of them. On the next visit, she would go to the next book in order and resume where she had left off. On rare occasions, she would go back to shelves she had gone through before looking for books that were checked out on her previous visits.
Kayla seemed to understand what she was told but she never spoke. Except for humming along with music that she liked and an occasional outburst of laughter, she rarely made a sound. Kayla seemed too distracted when Chloe tried to teach her to read children’s books. Kayla got frustrated and mildly upset when Chloe wouldn’t allow her to flip the pages. Finally, Chloe gave up trying. Chloe did discover that Kayla could easily draw images with photographic realism. Chloe decided that Kayla might be an idiot savant – low intelligence in some ways but heightened abilities in certain areas.
Kayla usually avoided strangers unless they were very old. Old people fascinated her. They didn’t move as quickly or aggressively as younger people did – and fast moves and aggressive attitudes scared Kayla. Kayla especially stayed away from anyone who spoke loudly or in a harsh tone. She was very sensitive to any criticism of her or her new family. She cried very easily. She often stared off into the distance for hours. Chloe could sense that, despite her, Pete’s and Gabe’s companionship, Kayla was very lonely for something that was missing in her life … or for something that she had lost.
Kayla usually kept to her routine by staying home and circulating through the Sullivan house, but occasionally she would go out and take long walks by herself. The first time it happened, Chloe thought that Kayla might have gone back to the cave and was worried that she wouldn’t return. But Kayla always came back. She usually brought back wild flowers with her. She loved lilies especially. When Kayla brought home lilies, Chloe often found the Bible opened to Matthew Chapter 6. Why Kayla always opened the Bible to that same page remained a mystery because it seemed obvious that Kayla couldn’t read.
Chloe was very shocked the first time Kayla spoke to her. There was a routine for everything. Routines were a great comfort to Kayla. Kayla would come home from a walk. She would give Chloe her hug and smile at her. Then Chloe would ask, “Well, where did you go today?” Kayla would smile again. Then Chloe would ask, “Is it a secret?” Kayla would nod yes. Then Chloe would ask, “Well did you bring me anything? Kayla would either give Chloe a flower or another hug. This day was different. Chloe got her hug and smile then asked, “Well, where did you go today?”
Kayla said, “FISHING!”
Chloe almost fell over. She casually touched her underwear to make sure that she hadn’t had an accident, then tried to compose herself and asked, “Did you catch anything?” Kayla nodded her head vigorously. Chloe asked, “Well how big was it?” Kayla spread her hands as wide as she could reach. Chloe said, “That was a big one. Did you bring it home for supper?” Kayla shook her head no. Chloe said, “Did it get away?” Kayla shrugged. Chloe asked, “Well, did you bring me anything?”
Kayla said, “Ca...ca…catch your own fish!” Then Kayla laughed, turned and ran upstairs.
Chloe allowed herself to fall backwards over the arm of a large overstuffed arm chair. She laid there, kicked her feet and pondered what this latest development might mean.
The next day, Chloe heard from her sources that Lex Luthor had run his car off the bridge on River Road and into the river far below. Somehow Lex had been mysteriously been thrown clear. He didn’t even get a scratch. Chloe printed an 8 by 10 picture of Lex and brought it home. She showed Kayla the picture she had printed of the bushy, red-headed heir to the Luthor fortune. Kayla laughed and laughed and pointed at the picture and said, “FISH!”
Eighteen months after the adoption was finalized, Lionel Luthor called Chloe and said that it was time for his favor. Chloe casually asked what she could do for him. He told her that he was dying of a rare, incurable liver disease. Chloe said how sorry she was for him. Lionel said that she had really got his motor going the day she visited him and that, before he died, he wanted one last fling … with her. Chloe thought that it was a bad joke, but Lionel went into great detail about how he would destroy Gabe’s life and have Kayla institutionalized if Chloe didn’t get into the limousine that was on the way to pick her up. Somehow Chloe kept her composure until she hung up the phone.
Kayla found Chloe crying and wrapped her arms around her. Chloe blurted out the entire story of the deal she had made and what was expected of her in return. Then Chloe said, “It sure is nice to have a Sister to share things with … especially one that will never repeat a word of it to anyone else!”
Kayla stared into Chloe’s eyes and said, “I can tell Chester … can’t I? He likes me to … talk or sing … while I give him … his bath. It calms him down … a little.”
Chloe said, “Oh my God!”
Kayla said, “Oh, I won’t … have to … tell God. He knows. But it was a joke about Chester. Nothing calms him … when I bathe him. I won’t tell him. He can’t keep … a secret. I won’t tell … Daddy either.”
Chloe said, “I can’t believe this! Look at you. Now you’re talking in sentences and making jokes and everything. Since you obviously can talk, why don’t you talk more often?”
Kayla said, “Not much to say … I guess. Will you … reciprocate? That is a BIG word! Will you promise me … the same as … I promised you – to not tell Daddy?”
Chloe said, “You don’t want me to tell Dad that you can talk.”
Kayla said, “No. I don’t want him …to know … how I pay … for my adoption … papers.”
Chloe said, “OH! You didn’t understand what I told you! I’m sorry if I frightened you. You don’t have to do that with Lionel. I am the one who is paying for your adoption papers. I am the one that is going to sleep with Lionel Luthor.”
Kayla said, “Sleep with him? I thought you … had to have … sexual intercourse … with him.”
Chloe said, “That’s what ‘sleep with him’ means.”
Kayla said, “It does? What about me … sleeping with … you … during thunderstorms! Or with … Chester … we he isn’t … mad about … getting a … bath?”
Chloe said, “Sorry. ‘Sleep with him’ only means sex sometimes. It’s a polite way of saying … look … we’d better talk about this later. I have to get ready. I have to do this whether I want to or not. I’ll try to explain it all when I get back.”
Kayla said, “You don’t have … to explain. And you don’t … HAVE to go. A contract involving … anything requiring … an illegal act … by either party … is not legally binding. It is … null and void. Sexual intercourse … can not be … used as a commodity … in Kansas. In parts of … Nevada … yes … but not in … Kansas.”
Chloe asked, “Where did you hear that?”
Kayla said, “I read it … at the library.”
Chloe said, “You read?
Kayla said, “Yes. I read fast. But … if you haven’t … noticed, … I don’t talk fast. There goes … my career … as an … auctioneer.”
Chloe asked, “Do you write too?”
Kayla said, “I guess … I could … but I have … no need … to do so. I’m not … the oxymoron … that you … thought I was … am I?”
Chloe said, “Oxymoron?”
Kayla said, “Strong as an ox … but not so intelligent.”
Chloe said, “Was that a joke? Did my sister tell me a joke?”
Kayla said, “It was an … attempt … at one … anyway. I hear … timing is … everything.”
Chloe said, “This is some kind of dream I’m having … attached to a nightmare!”
Kayla said, “I’ll pinch … you … if you want … me to.”
Chloe said, “No thanks. Look, now that I know you can understand me, let me say this bluntly, I have to go to see Lionel and do whatever he tells me to and it has nothing to do with whether or not the deal we made was legally binding. I have to do it because ….”
Kayla interrupted, “… because you are honorable … and true to your word … and you made a promise … so you could … have me as … your sister. Because you got … everything … you wanted … you want Lionel … to get what … he has coming.”
Chloe gritted her teeth then said, “Well, that wasn’t exactly what I was going to say … but if that’s the explanation you LIKE … well, let’s just go with that one.”
Kayla said, “Thank you for … adopting me Chloe … and taking me in … when I had … no one. I appreciate … all you did … and I would … NEVER … let you do … anything that … upsets you so much!”
Chloe said, “Kayla, I HAVE to. Lionel has to be satisfied or ….”
Kayla said, “I will do … anything I have to … to make him … satisfied. Which dress … should I wear?”
Chloe said, “No, Kayla! You CAN’T go with me!”
Kayla said, “I won’t.” Chloe breathed a sigh of relief. Kayla continued, “I’m going … all by myself! I will pay … for my … adoption papers.”
Chloe said, “What are you talking about? You’re finally saying words … but what you are saying doesn’t make any sense.”
Kayla said, “It makes … perfect sense. I got a family. It was … for me … so I will … pay. It is worth it. I got so much … and the price is … so small. I love you, Sister Chloe.”
Chloe laughed nervously and said, “It’s okay, Kayla. Just go and have some cookies and milk and I’ll be home later and we’ll talk some more.”
Kayla put a hand on Kayla’s shoulder and said, “Save me cookies, … okay? I will go … to Lionel Luthor … and perform … my intended function … like the mind … in the cave … taught me to.”
Chloe said, “NO, Kayla! You don’t understand what you are talking about or what he would expect of you!”
Kayla said, “I understand. The mind … in the cave … taught me some things … about Earth men … and how to … get the most … out of them. You have Pete. I have no one … so it does not matter.”
Chloe shouted, “IT MATTERS TO ME! I can’t bear the thought of anyone hurting you like that!”
Kayla said, “Nobody can … hurt me … sister, … unless I let them. I won’t … feel a thing … unless I ….” Kayla turned beet red, then continued, “unless I … get curious … and decide … that … that … I want to.”
Chloe said, “You won’t want to! Believe me. You can’t do this. I won’t let you.”
Kayla said, “This time … you have … no choice.” Chloe felt the energy flowing from Kayla’s hand through her shoulder. As she started to pass out, she heard Kayla say, “It would upset … you to go. But it will … make me happy … to thank the man … who gave me … my new family – who gave me … my wonderful, … precious …sister. I will … thank him … over and over … and over again! Rest now. Go to sleep. Have sweet dreams ... of whatever … your kind … dream about. I love you … more than anybody else … in this world … or any other.”
Kayla was waiting when the limousine arrived. She smiled at the man who helped her into the back seat. He smiled back at the tall, bare-footed woman in the old, worn formal dress that was more than a few sizes too big for her. Her face was stunning, but Lionel usually went for women with a sense of style. On the way to Metropolis, the driver wondered what Lionel wanted with his cargo – who sat staring out the window and hummed happily during the entire trip. An hour after picking her up, the driver put her into a private elevator to the penthouse above LuthorCorp and pushed the button to take her all the way to the top. She got out of the elevator and ran past Lionel to a window to look out. She jumped up and down and clapped her hands then ran back to where Lionel was standing and said, “My first elevator ride! So high up! So pretty! I like the … Daily Planet globe!”
Lionel stood there with a glass of brandy and said, “What is this? I sent for Chloe Sullivan. Who are you?”
Kayla smiled and said, “I am … Kayla … Sullivan!”
Lionel said, “You’re the moron she found somewhere and adopted?”
Kayla said, “Yes I am!”
Lionel said, “My arrangement was with your Sister. Did she think I would settle for you?”
Kayla said, “She didn’t want me … to come. She arranged … because of me … so I could have a family … again. Now I will pay for … what I was given. I got a lot … so I will give a lot. I am happy … because of you … so I want to … make you happy … too!”
Lionel said, “Do you drool?”
Kayla said, “If you want me too … I’ll do it.”
Lionel laughed and said, “I’m sorry, Honey, but I was in the mood for something blond … something perky … something with a brain ….”
Kayla shrugged her shoulders and her dress fell to the floor.
Lionel said, “I just had a sudden mood swing! This is a pleasant surprise … a pleasant surprise indeed.”
Kayla said, “I should have worn underwear but I don’t like it!”
Lionel said, “I … Well … I … My Dear, I’m tongue tied!”
Kayla said, “Will you help me? Show me what to do?”
Lionel said, “I will do my best to be helpful … my very best.”
Kayla said, “Will you be kind?”
Lionel said, “I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try something new.”
Lionel expected Kayla to be frightened and reluctant and intimidated, but as they embraced for the first time, Lionel became confused and disoriented by all the things he was feeling. He expected to have sex. He never expected to make love. The way Kayla touched him sent energy coursing through every nerve. He couldn’t tell whether he was in intense pain or feeling more pleasure than he had ever known. All he knew was that he wanted more. Occasionally, Kayla would ask, “Did I do that right?” “Could I try it again?” and “What is next?”
Lionel went to sleep knowing that he would be too sore to move in the morning … if he didn’t die from over-exerting himself, but he woke up feeling better than he had in years. Kayla’s arms were wrapped tightly around him from behind. He had to struggle to free himself. Kayla didn’t wake up. Lionel pulled a chair up to the bed’s side and stared at her. For a while she looked like a child having peaceful dreams. At times she looked scared. She reached out for him in her sleep. Not finding him, she pouted her lower lip, grabbed his pillow, held it tight and whimpered and moaned like an abandoned puppy. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. He felt if he looked at her hard enough that maybe he could see inside and know the real her somehow. When her eyes popped open, Lionel jumped in surprise. She returned his intense stare then slowly smiled at him. She licked her top lip and then bit her lower lip. She stretched and the silk sheet pulled tight across her long, lean body. He had an impulse to run. Instead, he leaned forward and crawled back into the bed. He almost lost it when she let loose with a rippling giggle. He couldn’t remember feeling ashamed even in his most distant memories, but he felt guilty now. But he was irresistibly drawn to her. He decided to feel guilty later as he pulled the covers over both of them and tasted her lips again.
A few hours later, she baked him some chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. He watched her as she dunked a dozen of them in milk, ate them and licked her fingers clean. It took all the will power he had to send her home. She pouted as he herded her to the elevator saying, “I didn’t … do … the dishes … yet!”
She hugged and kissed him before stepping into the elevator. As the doors started to close, he said, “Enjoy your second elevator ride.” He saw her blow him a kiss as the doors came together. He just stood there for a long time not knowing what to do after a night like that.
Lionel considered that he might have been set up. He thought that the woman he had spent the night with might have not been Kayla Sullivan at all but some high priced call girl sent to pleasure him to death. He decided that if she wasn’t legitimate, she deserved an Academy Award for her performance.
Lionel walked to the bedroom to see if he could still smell Kayla’s scent on his sheets. He found that his bed had been made. He went to the kitchen and found that the dishes had been washed and put away. The room was spotless and sanitized. He decided that he must have somehow imagined it all and was complementing himself on his fine imagination when he saw a plate on the table piled with Kayla’s heart-shaped cookies.
It crossed his mind that he had died after calling Chloe Sullivan and that last evening was his first night in Hell – intense pleasure, intimacy and satisfaction as a set-up for an eternity of isolation and longing.
Lionel called his personal physician to see why he wasn’t dead. His physician came right up and was shocked by how good Lionel looked. He would be even more shocked a few hours later to discover that all traces of the liver disease were gone.
When Lionel found out that he had a clean bill of health, he decided to celebrate. He called the secretarial pool and had a woman with special skills sent up to him. He sat at the kitchen table with her and had her eat cookies while he stared at her. Then he thanked her for coming up and sent her away untouched.
A limousine brought Lionel Luthor to the Sullivan house. After he was invited inside, Lionel sat down in the living room with Gabe. In the shadows behind Gabe, Kayla smiled and waved at Lionel. Lionel couldn’t help but smile back. He said, “Mr. Sullivan … Gabe, … I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it. I’m in love with your daughter. I can’t think straight. I can’t sleep. I just can’t stop thinking about her. She’s the sweetest, gentlest thing I’ve even known. I just want to protect her from everything ugly and awful in this world and keep her safe and happy.”
Gabe said, “First off, my daughter is not a ‘thing.’ Second, to my way of thinking, you’re one of the things she needs protected from. As to you having some kind of obsession with her, that is understandable, but you’d better try very hard to find a way to stop thinking about her because no way in Hell will I allow Chloe to marry you! There is nothing you could threaten me with or do to me to make me change my mind.”
Lionel said, “I was speaking about your older daughter, Kayla.”
Gabe said, “Kayla? You’ve never even met Kayla? Never mind. It doesn’t matter. The answer is the same. No way!”
Lionel said, “I would do anything. I would sell my soul for her.”
Gabe said, “You would need to have one in order to be able to sell it. Anyone who is interested in having anything to do with either of my daughters will need full possession of his soul – and that soul will have to be spotless and shiny and clean. I can’t imagine anyone less likely to have my approval than you!”
Lionel said, “I know I could force this on you … but I don’t want to. I swear to you that no one on this Earth would take better care of your daughter than I will. She is the only person I’ve ever met that … that I could somehow sense was as all alone and lonely as I feel. We need each other.”
Gabe said, “Kayla is NOT alone! Chloe and I love her and would do anything for her!”
Kayla stepped up and put a hand on Gabe’s shoulder. He looked up into her sad, pleading eyes and heard her say, “Daddy …. Please!”
Gabe was shocked. He had never heard Kayla speak before. He said, “NO! You have GOT to be kidding! You can’t possibly ….”
Kayla said, “PLEASE!”
Lionel said, “You just said that you would do anything for her.”
Gabe shouted, “Shut the HELL UP!”
On the wedding day, the maid of honor, Chloe Sullivan, burst into Lionel’s dressing room and demanded to talk to him alone. She pleaded for him to call off the wedding and offered to do ANYTHING for him if he would spare her sister. Lionel apologized for the call he had made to Chloe that night, told her that he was a changed man and intended to try to make it up to Chloe by making her sister the happiest woman on the planet. Chloe didn’t believe him and started to undress. Lionel said, “Please, Miss Sullivan … Chloe … your Sister wants this as much as I do. And your Sister is far from stupid. She is different – very different. But her differences are what make her the very special person that she is -- the person I love move than my own life. I appreciate what you’re feeling right now. I really do love Kayla and would shoot anyone like me if they ever got near her.” Chloe wasn’t satisfied. In fact, she was terrified. But she left anyway. She wondered what would happen when Lionel discovered just how special Kayla really is.
The wedding made the cover of every major magazine. “Incredible Science” speculated that Kayla was a “Stepford Wife” made to Lionel’s specifications in one of Lionel’s laboratories. She was dubbed “The Silent Bride” -- even though in interviews, Lionel swore that she didn’t hesitate to speak when she thought it was important enough. No one who saw Kayla’s wedding pictures could doubt that she was happy on her wedding day.
Lionel had a new wardrobe designed for his wife. The Goodwill dresses and everything else Kayla had were left behind at the Sullivan house. The new clothes were tailored to show off Kayla’s figure. If Kayla didn’t like the new clothes, she didn’t let it show in any way. She seemed intent on pleasing Lionel in every way.
Chloe answered a knock on the door of her house. She saw Kyla of the Kawatche tribe standing at her door with a wooden box. It took a moment for her to recognize the woman and then she said, “It’s you! The woman from the day at that cave two years ago.”
She answered, “I am Kyla, named for the one who is Numan. I have brought a gift for her … something recently un-earthed that she will need on the day when she weds her chosen one – Segeeth.”
Chloe said, “You are a little late. My sister just married Lionel Luthor a few days ago.”
Kyla said, “I am, in fact premature in delivering the Palac to you. The man who the Numan first marries is just her first battle against evil in this world. It is the way in which my people will be redeemed and made prosperous. But Lionel Luthor is not the chosen one. Segeeth will come when she is ready to receive him and found the second kingdom.”
Chloe said, “Oh … okay. My sister seems pretty happy. As much as I dislike the choice she made, I certainly hope she isn’t facing a bad marriage. Beyond all other considerations, I want her to be happy. Kayla is totally devoted to her husband. God help anyone who tries to come between them.”
Kyla said, “Numan’s first husband will love her and treat her well. But there will come a time when he will face his past and suffer for his sins by being forever separated from his precious Numan. Then Segeeth, pure of heart and most beautiful among men, will come into her life and make her whole. He will be her true mate and protector and will be the Father to the new generation.”
Chloe asked, “And when is all this supposed to happen.”
Kayla answered, “Oh, not for a while yet. Numan’s arrival sparked the life into Segeeth. She has only been here a little over ten years now – since she was six years old. She will not meet him until she is in her mid-twenties and he is mature enough to wield the powers she will bestow on him with the Palac.
Chloe said, “My sister is 28 already, so I don’t think your time table is accurate.”
Kyla said, “You have a piece of paper saying she is 28, but what is that based upon? What I was taught was that a girl of six shall be trapped in a column of liquid by a soul-less intellect until she is freed by the example of a woman with an unconquered spirit. I had very little faith until that day in the cave when I witnessed your act of defiance that set Numan free. Since that day, I am a true believer. But I have more than my faith. I had my first hand experience two years ago. Ten years ago, my Grandfather saw her arrive from the heavens in the belly of a silver bird … what you might call a spaceship. My Uncle woke up that same night and was called to bring an offering to the cave. In the cave, he saw a wall open up. Inside he saw Numan in her glass column. She was a child then – perhaps five, but no more than seven. When we first saw her, she looked like she will look from now until the end of times – but she was between 14 and 16 years old. But time is meaningless to one like her. She can move faster than the wing of a hummingbird or stand like a statue for a thousand years just to watch the changing of the seasons.”
Chloe said, “So Kayla is my age.”
Kyla said, “According to prophesy, you both took your first breath at the same moment but worlds apart.”
Chloe said, “I’m in a prophesy? And Kayla’s name is Kyla?”
Kyla said, “Yes. The Numan is supposed to be Kyla.”
Chloe said, “And my name is supposed to be …?”
Kyla said, “Numan’s sister.”
Chloe said, “So much for my place in mythology. And what name is Segeeth supposed to go by?
Kyla said, “Jonson.”
Chloe said, “Well, I’ll keep an eye out for him.”
Kyla handed the box to Chloe and said, “Guard this well -- even from Numan. Her love for her current husband will make her want to use it for his benefit – which would be a sad mistake. Wait until Segeeth is promised to her before giving it to her. It has great and dangerous power within it.”
Chloe looked into the box and saw a ceremonial knife. She said, “So, save this for Jonson?” Chloe looked up but Kyla was nowhere in sight. Chloe spoke into the empty air saying, “Yeah, I’d disappear too. Not even a spoon or fork to go with it. Service for six would have been more suitable a wedding gift! Well, this goes into the closet with Kayla’s Goodwill dresses.”
A few weeks after they were married, Lionel awoke to hear Kayla weeping uncontrollably. He found her at his desk in the den adjacent to their bedroom. She sat in her frilly dressing gown staring at papers spread across the desktop in all directions. Lionel looked down at her at said, “Kayla, what are you doing? These … these are my private business papers. You have no right to ….” Kayla abruptly turned her face to look up at him with her large, doe eyes. The tears kept flooding down her cheeks. Lionel said, “Kayla, this is none of your business. It’s what I do so you can have pretty things like your ring and that dressing gown you are wearing.” Kayla took off her wedding ring and threw it across the room. It imbedded itself in the wall. Then she began pulling at her dressing gown ripping pieces of it off. Lionel said, “No, Kayla … don’t … DON’T! I SAID STOP IT!” Kayla cried louder. Lionel raised a hand to strike her. His arm trembled mid-air as he looked down at her in anger. She looked up at him in fear and continued to cry. Her lower lip was trembling. He could feel his heart beating harder and harder. He sank to his knees next to her and put his head against her chest. He quietly said, “Kayla, Honey, it doesn’t really matter what I do for a living … if anything. I have more money than I have any use for. I wanted power once … but right now, I don’t know why. I have everything I want right here. If you want, I’ll sell bubble gum and popcorn for a living. I know, I’ll sell your chocolate, chocolate chip cookies.”
Kayla sniffled and asked, “And milk?”
Lionel said, “Well of course you HAVE to have plenty of milk for dunking if you’ve got cookies, now don’t you?”
Kayla sniffled again and said, “Ye..yes.”
Lionel said, “Here I thought you were totally submissive … but I can see that you are someone who knows how to pick her battles.”
Still crying, Kayla said, “I don’t … WANT TO … fight with you. I LOVE YOU!”
Lionel said, “How about this arrangement. I won’t do anything that will hurt or cheat anyone ever again … if changing how I do business will make you happy? Is that a deal?”
Kayla said, “Okay.”
Lionel said, “Just please don’t cry anymore. Please don’t cry.”
Kayla wrapped her arms around Lionel and draped herself over him. She said, “I’ll stop soon. Will you stop soon too?”
Lionel touched his face and felt the wetness. He tasted the saltiness of his fingertips. He hadn’t realized that he was crying. He didn’t even think he was able to cry. He said, “Yes I will. You have quite a profound effect on me, Mrs. Luthor. You really do.”
At first, no one believed that Lionel was a changed man. His ex-business partners were angered because he pulled out of any planned or ongoing joint ventures. They watched and waited silently to see what the real scheme was that Lionel was working on behind what they saw as a façade of legitimate business ventures and charitable undertakings. Stock holders rebelled when the share prices dropped and Lex staged a take-over bid. Lionel fought back hard and told Lex that he wouldn’t let Lex take control of the business from him because he intended to give it to him. As the legitimate businesses took hold, the increased volume of business brought in record profits despite ridiculously low mark-ups on products and services. Stock prices went back up and reached new highs and Lionel managed to keep control of LuthorCorp. He decided however to change the company name to Numan Enterprises … since he felt like a ‘new man.’
The public was divided as to whether Lionel was a saint or a devil, but Lionel didn’t care what they thought. He dressed Kayla in the finest clothes and threw lavish parties for her. She would smile and mingle and listen but rarely speak. As long as there were cookies and fruit punch and Lionel was nearby, she was happy. Occasionally she would lose sight of Lionel and panic. Seeing him again would be little comfort until she could feel his hand in hers again.
During one party, Lex asked Kayla to help him in the kitchen. Kayla followed him and was concerned that he was sick because of the way he carried himself. When they were alone, he started kissing her on the neck. She pushed him away, gave him a very sad look and said, “Lex, don’t drink so much!”
Lex said, “I’m not drunk …. Wait, yes I am! I am drunk with love for you. You pulled me out of that river didn’t you?”
Kayla said, “The big fish … that got away.”
Lex said, “I thought so. At the time it happened, I thought I had imagined you … that nobody was that perfect. But you’re wrong --I didn’t get away. You threw me back. You were waiting for a bigger fish -- my Father. You certainly hit the jackpot, didn’t you?”
Kayla said, “Yes, … the love jackpot.”
Lex said, “LOVE? My old man has no love in him at all. His head is filled with schemes and plans and lust for power and evil desires. There is no room left in there for LOVE! He didn’t love my Mother, he doesn’t love me and he doesn’t love you. If he has any love at all, he saves for himself. You … you’re nothing but a show piece for him. Something he can dress up and show off. I’m surprised that he doesn’t have you pose nude for some men’s magazine so that he could show the world what he was able to get for his money. Having you for a wife is just a way for him to tell people he’s still virile. He probably can’t even get it up, can he? You’re just a trophy wife. Let me guess, he only touches you in public. You don’t have sex very often at all, do you?”
Kayla said, “No, Lionel … has to work a lot ... and exercise … to stay healthy.”
Lex said, “I thought so.”
Kayla said, “So we only … have sex … after meals … and at bedtime … and in the morning.”
Lex said, “I didn’t ask when you brush your teeth!”
Kayla said, “That’s okay, I don’t … mind telling … you. I brush my teeth … before sex except in … the morning. I wait until … after breakfast … in the morning. I brush after between meal … snacks … and before … between meal … sex … as well. Oh, … we also … have sex … when we … take naps … and after I … give him … a massage … and when we … have a shower … or bath … together. So, no, … we don’t … have sex … too often … and I … hardly ever … floss. Anything else … you want … to know?”
Lex said, “What Lionel does to you … that’s NOT love! You’re just an object to him. He doesn’t love you … or me ….”
Kayla said, “I don’t like … you drinking … so much. It’s makes … you act mean! Have fruit punch … and a cookie.”
Lex said, “I don’t want a cookie. I want you! I want you the way my Father has you. Let’s go away somewhere.”
Kayla said, “No, NO, NO! You talk too much! You say things … that aren’t right! Lionel loves Lex! LIONEL LOVES LEX! I don’t care IF he loves me. I DON’T CARE! I DON’T CARE! I LOVE HIM! AND he treats … me nice. Nothing else matters … except that … I love him … and … he tolerates me … enough to … spend time … with me. I love you too … as a friend … as my husband’s son … as a person who is lonely … I KNOW lonely! You can kiss me … as a friend … as your step-mother … NO OTHER WAY! And I DON’T … want to go … anywhere … that Lionel isn’t!” Kayla began crying.
Lionel casually walked into the kitchen. He said, “Lex, what’s upsetting Kayla?”
Lex said, “Like you weren’t listening at the door. If you really don’t know, ask her. She really is brain damaged, you know. I believe she actually loves you. That’s a first.”
Lionel said, “Well, maybe a close second. I think I have a Son that kind of likes me too but hasn’t found a way to admit it to himself yet. By the way Son, I’d REALLY appreciate it if you don’t make negative references to my wife. So, tell me what’s going on here.”
Lex said, “I think Kayla’s just all choked up with emotion. She was just telling me how much you love me.”
Lionel said, “I do, Son. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to prove it to you … not for my sake, but for yours. You need to believe that you are loved and accept it and drink it in … instead of drinking whatever rot gut you’ve been over-indulging on tonight.” Lionel walked over and pulled Kayla into his arms. She buried her face into his neck. He said, “I will begin proving my love by ignoring the fact that you were upsetting my wife by making a move on her. But don’t let me catch you doing it too often. I won’t have to worry really, but you should. Kayla is pretty tolerant, but she does have her limits … and a mean right hook. Just ask our chauffeur if you doubt me, but you’ll probably have to wait until they unwire his jaw.”
Lex walked over and put a hand on the middle of Kayla’s back and said, “Mom, it won’t happen again. I’m sorry I upset you. I think I was wrong about my Dad not loving you. He is no fool … and he would have to be the world’s biggest fool not to love you. I’ll be heading home.”
Lionel said, “You’ll be spending the night here even if I have to have a security team see to it. You’re not going anywhere in that condition.”
Lex said, “Then I’ll just go listen to that string quartet you hired … and have some punch … and a cookie or two.”
Kayla mumbled, “The cookies are … really good, Lex.”
Over the next seven years, Lex did come to accept his Father’s love … and the love and friendship that Kayla was willing to offer him. Lionel handed Numan Enterprises over to Lex so that Lionel could spend all his time with Kayla. Lionel often told friends that he wanted to spend the rest of his days listening to Kayla sing opera for him. He always said it with a straight face, but everyone took it as one of his standard dry jokes – a loving dig at his wife. Lex married a renowned violinist from the Netherlands named Josephine and started cranking out kids. Lionel took the attitude that if Kayla got pregnant, he would be overjoyed … but that he would be just as happy having her undivided attention.
When Lionel was found shot to death, there were many suspects, but no one was ever arrested. He had been at his desk in the study adjacent to his bedroom. He was killed by a single shot to the head. A man was seen entering the house but no one was seen leaving. The gun and silencer were found on the floor. The gun was empty and a number of flattered shells were found. The police never figured out the significance of the charred spot in front of Lionel’s desk. Kayla had been found in bed with Lionel’s blood covering the front of her nightgown. She refused to say anything about what happened. The police never considered her a serious suspect, but felt she knew something about what happened. They thought that she held Lionel for a time after his death and cleaned up his desk for him before going to lie down. Morgan Edge, a leading suspect, was never seen after that day.
Lex was left a fifty-four percent interest in Numan Enterprises and all personal affects that had belonged to his Mother. Everything else including a lifetime lease on the penthouse above Numan Enterprises was left to Kayla. The reading of the will got Kayla very agitated. Afterwards, she turned to Lex and said, “Help me, Lex. I don’t want it. I don’t … want anything! I just want … to go home … to Smallville … to live with … Chloe and Pete … and Patricia and Daddy … and Pete’s dog Rambo … and Chester the cat too. Please, Lex!”
Lex said he would take care of everything for her. He let her believe that she had inherited nothing, but put everything in a trust fund for her and had Chloe Ross given guardianship over Kayla and the trust fund. He told Kayla that he wanted her to live in his house in Smallville and take care of it for him and that her family could move in with her if she wanted. Kayla promised to take good care of the Luthor Mansion for Lex never realizing that it was hers.
Kayla left her fine clothing and jewelry behind and went back to wearing her Goodwill dresses and occasionally some gaudy but fun dime store costume jewelry. She liked the mansion because there was a lot of room to wander around and a lot of windows to look out. She played dolls with Chloe’s daughter Patty and watched over her while Chloe was at work. Patty taught her how to skip rope and play hopscotch. Kayla developed a fondness for baloney sandwiches with peanut butter and orange marmalade on them.
Chloe wasn’t fooled by Kayla’s smiles. She often saw Kayla staring off into the distance and unaware or unconcerned with things going on around her. Chloe often wondered what Kayla thought she was seeing. Kayla was back in her own world. Life made few demands of her so she did almost nothing. Kayla had retreated into silence. Nothing was important enough to make her say a word. She only spoke through expression and gestures and actions.
About the time that Chloe’s second child was due, Chloe noticed a change in Kayla. She still roamed the mansion but there was a skip in her step and she seemed to smile more easily. She noticed that Kayla often carried a flower around the house with her. It would be a different flower every day and she would hold it in an iron grip as if her life depended on it. She stayed more towards the North side of the mansion and either gazed out in that direction or looked at her flower and smelled it. Chloe often heard a deep sigh when Kayla was keeping her faithful watch over the farmland to the North. There was also the mystery of the vegetables. Kayla liked vegetables but the refrigerators were full of them – far more than their small family could consume … and more arrived every day. She would occasionally hear Kayla somewhere outside the house talking rapidly. Kayla hadn’t been talking at all and never talked fast or steady. It was a shock to hear her speaking as fast as an auctioneer, breathlessly trying to get in every word she could as if every second were precious. Again and again, Chloe tried to find out who Kayla was having these conversations with or get close enough to hear what she was saying, but all she usually found was a smiling Kayla holding a bag of vegetables in one hand and a flower in the other. Kayla ignored her when she asked what was going on. Kayla would just sigh deeply again and head off to the kitchen with the vegetables. Then finally Chloe understood everything. She saw the delivery man. He looked like a god and his effect on Kayla was undeniable. The smile on the man’s face told her that the feeling was probably mutual … but whether it was love or lust, Chloe didn’t have a clue.
One day, Kayla heard the sound of the delivery truck and ran for the door. A handsome, middle aged man walked up. Kayla looked around him and at the truck again and again but no one else was there. The man said, “My name is Jonathan Kent. I’d like to see Mrs. Lionel Luthor please.” Kayla pointed at herself. Jon said, “No, I’m looking for MRS. Lionel Luthor.” Kayla pointed to herself again. Jon said, “You were married to Lionel Luthor?” Kayla rapidly nodded her head ‘yes’ and flashed Jon a big smile. Jon said, “I expected someone older. Lionel sure robbed the cradle … or else you’ve had some serious work done. Anyway, I’m Clark’s Father.”
Kayla’s smile got even bigger, she reached out and put a hand on Jon’s chest just above his heart. She inhaled deeply then sighed and breathlessly said, “Clark!”
Jon said, “When I heard that you are messing around with my Son, I had to come over and set you straight on some things. No one is robbing OUR cradle! Clark is an impressionable, idealistic young man. He wouldn’t know a money-hungry woman who sold herself for an easy life if he was right on top of her … so to speak. He may have been blinded by you but I haven’t been. You may have chosen to be some old man’s plaything, but my Son is no one’s toy! He has greatness in him and he’s not for sale. I won’t see his life sidetracked just because you have an itch you want scratched. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!”
Kayla staggered back as if she had been slapped. She gasped in horror. If she didn’t understand his words, she without doubt understood the tone of his voice and the expression on his face. Her lower lip was quivering. With great effort, she managed to say, “No. …. No … I … DON’T … under ….” Kayla turned on her heel and ran across the room and up the stairs.
Chloe Ross came to the door and said, “What did you say to upset my Sister?”
Jon said, “I told her to stay away from my son Clark. He’s no plaything for some bored rich widow and he’s NOT for sale. Tell her to go to Metropolis. I understand there are men she can hire for that kind of thing.”
Chloe said, “Are you blind as well as dumb? You actually looked at MY sister and think she would have to PAY someone? We have to spread rumors that Kayla is traveling the world or men would mob this place trying to get a peak at her. Your Son is lucky that someone like Kayla would even look his way. NOBODY has a heart as big as my sister’s and if you did any damage to it by anything you said to her, I will track you down and stomp you into the ground. She has NEVER treated anyone like property. She has certainly never judged anyone like you just judged her … or treated anyone like you just treated her. If Kayla cares for your Clark like I think she does, he has won the lottery and I am NOT … repeat NOT discussing money … although there is more than enough of that as well. No one could possibly deserve the kind of love my Sister is capable of dishing out. Your Son certainly doesn’t … especially if he’s as ignorant as his old man! Now go away. You’ve done enough damage for one day. GO! Or I’ll set the dog on you. He’s only a Shiatsu, but he loves Kayla as much as anyone else here and he’ll tear you to pieces for her.” Chloe’s face showed clearly that she was about to burst out crying. Jon was about to say something but thought better of it. He quickly turned and left.
An hour and a half later, Chloe answered the door to find a red-haired woman standing there with a basket full of muffins. The woman said, “My name is Martha Kent. My husband was here a little over an hour ago.” Chloe started to shut the door. Martha put a hand on the door to buy some time and quickly said, “Mrs. Luthor, I came to apologize!”
Chloe re-opened the door and said, “I’m not Mrs. Luthor. I’m her sister, Chloe.”
Martha said, “Could I speak with your sister please?”
Chloe said, “What have you got there? Do you think a few muffins will undo the damage?”
Martha said, “I felt I needed to bring something. I didn’t know what to do. We’re nice people. Situations like this rarely come up. I guess I was stupid to bring them.”
Chloe said, “Yeah, it was! … OH! … Give them here! They couldn’t hurt. Kayla has a real sweet tooth. She’s pretty upset. She’s been crying non-stop since your husband left. She is a very sensitive person. She’s very open and loving and that leaves her pretty defenseless against negative emotions. Your husband might as well have hit her. Even that probably wouldn’t have hurt her as badly.”
Martha said, “Oh, my. I’m so sorry. So is Jonathan. He wanted to apologize but he was afraid that he would upset her even more.”
Chloe said, “Well, he’s got that right. Too bad he didn’t show that much good judgment a little earlier!”
Martha said, “Could I speak with her? Please?”
Chloe said, “Okay, you can give it a try. But I’ll be standing right there behind you. If you say anything to upset her any more than she already is, then I’ll throw you out of the nearest window!”
Martha said, “Well, I certainly won’t risk that!”
Martha moved a few of the stuffed toys aside and sat on the bed next to Kayla. Kayla was balled up clutching a pillow and crying into it. Martha said, “Hello Mrs. Luthor, I’m Clark’s Mother.”
Without changing position Kayla said, “CLARK!” and cried louder.
Martha thought about Chloe and how far of a drop it would be to the ground and quickly tried harder to comfort Kayla. She said, “There, there, Dear. Everything is going to be all right.”
Kayla said, “Never … ever … see him … again! NEVER!!” and cried still louder.
Martha could feel Chloe coming nearer. Martha said, “I very much doubt that. When my Son makes a decision, nothing on Earth can stand in his path. I’m very, very sorry about what my husband said to you. You have to understand. Clark is our miracle baby. I wasn’t supposed to be able to have children, but one day … believe it or not … a UFO flew over me … actually knocked me off my feet … and nine months later, little Clark was born. I’m not saying that the UFO knocked me up ... it just knocked me down … and somehow healed me so that I could have children. Clark is definitely our child … our golden child. We have 4 others, but Clark was an unexpected gift and is very precious to us. He’s our dreamer … our idealist. He can be knee deep in cow manure but still have his head in the clouds. He looks for the best in everyone and believes that he can accomplish anything if he sets his mind to it. All the ladies have an eye for our Clark, but he is so much more than a pretty face. I think something snapped when Jon heard that Clark is interested in you. Your late husband approached my husband several years ago and not so politely asked him to convince the Ross family to sell him the local fertilizer plant. I don’t know exactly what Lionel said to Jon that day, but after that, Jon would insist on starting the truck before he would let me get near it. Jon feels guilty over his part in what happened to the Rosses. Jon thinks that Lionel used him to cheat them. He hasn’t trusted anyone named Luthor since that day.”
Kayla stopped crying and said, “I didn’t do it! Pete is … my brother. I love him. I MADE Lionel give … the plant back … to Pete’s Dad. I wouldn’t hurt Pete … or his family! I would …rather die!” She went back to crying, but it was softer and her head was turned a little more in Martha’s direction. Now Martha could see a little bit of the side of Kayla’s face.
Martha said, “I believe you, Dear. My husband is very sorry about what he said. The way Clark reacted when he heard that Jon came over here …. He’s NEVER said a cross word to his Father before … never! I didn’t even know that he knew those words or could get that angry. I’m surprised that Clark didn’t grab a ladder and come over here and elope with you right then.”
Kayla quieted down and asked, “He wanted … to bring me … an elope? I don’t think … I tried one … of those … before. Does it taste … sweet … like a cantaloupe?”
Martha leaned closer and said, “With the right person, it tastes even sweeter. For Clark to get that angry with his Father, I think he must be quite smitten with you.”
Kayla asked, “Is … is that good?”
Martha said, “It means that I think he loves you very much, Kayla. If he wants to see you, and I’m SURE that he does, neither my husband nor I will stand in your way.” Kayla sat up and turned to look at Martha for the first time. Martha said, “Oh my Dear! For someone who has been crying for over an hour, you are simply gorgeous! Clark never stood a chance!”
Kayla reached out her arms and pulled Martha into a hug. She softly said, “Clark’s Mother” and continued to cry as Martha stroked her back and rocked Kayla in her arms. Chloe turned and left them alone together.
A few months later, Clark and Kayla were married. Kayla shared herself with Clark in a way that she never did with Lionel. On the wedding night, Kayla used the Palac in a private ceremony that made Clark something more than human. Two months later, a mysterious flying man kept Air Force One from crash landing. Kyla would have called him “Jonson” or Segeeth. Chloe would have called him “brother,” but Lois Lane, not recognizing her cousin by marriage, called him “Superman” and the name stuck.