By JDG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: October, 2007
Summary: How much would Lois give up to date the Man of Steel?
Here's my attempt at a Lois first person POV. Many thanks to LaraMoon, who volunteered to beta one story and ended up reading this one instead. You were right — it should stand alone.
I was standing at my kitchen counter and sorting through my mail when I saw it. Finally! I had seriously started to worry that I was being deliberately snubbed this year by the Metropolis Children's Trust. The charity bachelor auction is only a week away and I had yet to receive an invite. But here it was — better delayed than never.
Beneath the invite is a creamy envelope from the law firm of Madison, Bender & Klein. What could Lex's law firm possibly be sending to me? Had some loose end from my disastrous near-wedding come back to haunt me? I tap the envelope on the kitchen counter, loathe to open it. Curiosity finally wins out and I slide my finger under the flap to tear the envelope open.
"Enclosed please find the annuity check from your trust fund. If you have any questions, please contact our office."
I open the last fold of the letter and a piece of paper floats to the counter, landing face-down. I turn it over and spots dance in my vision for a moment.
"Fifty-three thousand, two hundred thirty-seven dollars and sixty-one cents."
I read it a couple of times in utter disbelief. Then I pick up the phone and dial the law firm. The night service answers and I leave a message to have Sheldon Bender contact me as soon as possible.
Bender's secretary, Elaine, returns my call the next morning, just after I arrive at my desk. The check is in my purse — I hadn't dared to leave it sitting in my apartment.
"Why am I receiving an annuity from your law firm?" I ask, coming straight to the point.
"I'm sorry, I don't really have the details and Mr. Bender is out of the office until next week." Elaine's tone of voice makes clear to me that she has much bigger problems to deal with this morning.
"I don't want Lex's money."
"Technically, it's your money, not his," she says impatiently. "The account is in your name, but there are apparently stipulations on when you can withdraw from it. I do remember that half of the yearly interest is directly payable to you."
"Half the interest? This check is only half the interest? I have a bank account earning over a hundred thousand dollars in interest on a yearly basis? Good grief, how much is in the account?"
"You'd have to talk to Mr. Bender about that. Should I have him call you when he returns?" Her tone is unmistakable — I have taken up more than enough of her precious time.
"Yes, thank you." I hang up the phone and sit there in disbelief. To earn that much interest, there must be millions in the account. My account. I have a bank account with millions of dollars. Millions of dollars of Lex's blood money.
"Is something wrong?" Clark touches my shoulder. "You look upset."
"I think I'm a millionaire," I tell him.
"Stock market?" he asks.
I fish in my purse and pull out the annuity check, holding it up for his inspection. "Lex Luthor."
His eyebrows rise as he reads the amount on the check. "You do realize that there's a difference between a million dollars and just over fifty-thousand, right?"
"Ha." I snatch the check back from him. "This is half the interest from the trust fund that Lex set up for me."
"Half the interest?" His eyes narrow as he does the math and then he lets out a low whistle. "You are a millionaire. A few times over."
"I don't want his money."
Clark sits down in the chair next to my desk. "You can hardly give the money back to him now. Why don't you do something positive with it? Donate it to charity or something?"
The solution to my problem is so obvious! I can't believe I didn't think of it myself. I give Clark a huge smile. "You're hired. You can be my financial advisor."
"In that case, you should just sign the check over to me," he teases with a grin.
I put the check back in my purse. "No dice. Hit me up next year."
"Fifty-three thousand, two hundred thirty-seven dollars and sixty-one cents!" I take the check out of my evening bag and hold it up over my head.
The entire room falls silent. I glance at Superman and I can see that he's fighting a smile. Is he wondering why I'm suddenly so wealthy?
"Uh," the auctioneer finds her voice again. "Any other bids?"
A murmur starts in the room but no one challenges my offer.
"Going once, going twice…" The auctioneer raps the podium and gives me a very bright smile. "Sold, for just over fifty-three thousand dollars!"
There's applause but all I can hear are my own frantic thoughts. I did it. I have a date with Superman!
After the check has been signed over to the Children's Trust, Superman takes my elbow and deftly leads me out of earshot of the crowd. "Do I want to know how you arrived at such a precise amount to bid?" he asks.
"Probably not," I tell him. "It was actually Clark's idea."
"Clark told you to bid on me?" He cocks one eyebrow in cheerful disbelief.
"Not exactly," I temporize. "But it was his idea."
He shakes his head in amusement. His smile has now grown wide enough that I can see a dimple in his cheek before he asks, "So when would you like to go on this date?"
Oh my god! It's really going to happen! I think I manage to sound nonchalant when I answer. "My schedule is wide open. I'm sure it's harder for you to get away than for me."
"Tomorrow night?" he proposes. "Seven o'clock?"
For a moment I'm sure my heart has stopped. All I can do is blink and nod and then stammer, "S-s-seven will be fine."
Thank you, Lex. Here's one promise you did keep — you've made me the happiest woman alive.