I hired a private investigator to look into my grandparent's death, and, unfortunately, it ended with his death, instead.

I can't say I'm surprised. But I do wish he'd managed to give me more useful information than he did. On the other hand, though, he did lead me to a much more valuable source than himself.

Chloe Sullivan.

My P.I. discovered that Chloe had also been looking into my father, and, when I went to confront her about it, it was quite plain that it was true. She tried to deflect me, of course, and claimed that she was working on a story for the Torch. Somehow I didn't see the relevance of my father's childhood medical records to a school newspapers story.

Concerned, I decided to talk to Lana and see if she couldn't give me some insight into precisely what was going on with her young friend. So I went to the Talon, just in time to see Lana emptying out the cash register. When I asked what she thought she was doing, she proudly proclaimed that she was leaving Smallville. I followed her out of the coffee shop, where she jumped into a rather expensive car with some guy and took off.

As soon as I went back into the Talon to call the police, there was Clark. I turned my back to call the sheriff, knowing full well that Clark would be gone when I turned back. I was feeling generous. Not generous enough to give up the money from the register, of course, but generous enough to allow Clark to play hero again. He seems to live for it, after all.

I even hired a lawyer for Lana to clear up the charges for her little jaunt, after Clark explained that, of course, it wasn't really her fault. No, it was those pesky meteor rocks again.

Does anyone in this town do anything that isn't the meteor rocks fault?

I'm beginning to doubt it.

I'd only just gotten home from that fun adventure when Chloe showed up again, demanding that I explain why I had someone steal her computer. I asked why she was confronting me about it, and she said it was either me or my father, and I was the lesser of the two evils. She's right about that.

I took her down to the morgue and showed her what had happened to my P.I. She was visibly shaken, but, I must admit, she hid it well. I told her I'd protect her from my father if she just told me what she had on him, but she, quite rightly, pointed out that I didn't do a very admirable job of protecting my investigator. I pointed out in turn that at least he'd known the risks, while she, quite obviously, didn't.

She took that in, but left just the same.

I went back down to the hospital the next day to sign off on some paperwork for the poor man, who's name I can't seem to recall for some reason, and came across Lana working off her debt to society, in a rather unflattering gray jumpsuit. She all but begged me for her job back, and seemed quite surprised when I agreed.

What other choice did I have, though? As I told her, I can't make a decent latte to save my life, and considering my own youthful record, well, she's still an amateur. Besides, as Clark explained, it wasn't entirely her fault. She just fell for the wrong guy. And I'd be the worst hypocrite in the world if I were to penalize anyone for that.

I went back to the mansion, and Chloe was waiting for me. She'd swallowed her pride, and asked for my help. I had her fill me in on her relationship with my father, and I truly wish I found what she'd said more shocking.

Apparently Lionel came to her some time ago and asked her for information on the meteor rocks, a subject on which she's the closest thing around to an expert thanks to Hamilton's untimely demise. Of course, from there, it escalated. My father then asked her to spy on Clark, a tidbit she was admirably reluctant to share at first.

I asked her if she did, and she swore to me she hadn't, wouldn't, and couldn't. Instead she chose to attempt to dig up dirt on my father in the hopes of blackmailing him so he'd back off.

A very dangerous decision, that.

I promised to protect her, but only if she told me what she'd found out.

She agreed, and confessed that she'd discovered Morgan Edge, the biggest crime lord around before his death, had been my father's best friend growing up.

Which means that they were undoubtedly friends when the fire claimed my grandparent's life, leaving my father a wealthy man thanks to the insurance.

I have a feeling my life just got a whole lot more complicated.

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Melody and Erana
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