Clark pulled off his red sweatshirt as he rounded the corner and came into view of the temple. Lana and Chloe were just walking up from the other direction. As they all approached the temple, Lex was standing there looking between the sky and his watch.
"Clark, wouldn't you say it is about noon here?"
Clark looked up at the sun. "Yeah, so?"
"Since it is three p.m. by my watch, we must be about three time zones west of Metropolis."
Chloe and Lana both looked at their watches, too. Chloe looked back up as Lex continued, but Lana just kept looking at her watch frowning.
"Also since it seems so warm here, I am guessing we are in California or maybe Baja Mexico."
Lana looked up, "It's strange, but my watch says ten p.m. not three and appears to be working okay."
The others gathered around for a look. Finally, Chloe spoke. "I don't understand how it is possible, but it goes along with your feeling that you had been tied up here a lot longer than an hour. Lex, you're the expert, do you know how Lana and the professor could have left Metropolis U. one hour before us and arrive here seven hours before us?"
"All of the theories I saw said the transition is instantaneous. I have no idea what it means however the professor was six months further along with the hardware than he told me, so there are probably other things he didn't clue me in on either." Lex made a mental note to do a thorough review of all of his other projects when he got back.
Clark was certain he knew the answer, but explaining it now would mean explaining how he got ten miles down the canyon and back in five minutes. Hopefully, if he waited a while, a solution would present itself that wouldn't require revealing his secrets.
"Whether it is three or ten, it looks like we are going to miss the bus back to Smallville. What about notifying our families?" asked Lana.
"While we were waiting for the equipment to recycle, I had Chloe call her Dad and Nell and Clark call his parents to tell them I had given you tickets for tonight's Avril Lavigne concert. After the concert my limo would take you back to Smallville. So we have about twelve hours to get back or at least reach a phone."
"Well, by my watch we have about five hours," responded Lana. "Let's get a move on."
The others all agreed and trooped back into the temple to look for supplies.
With a few minutes work they had scrounged up a couple of canteens, a box of granola bars, three knapsacks, and some blankets. Lex suggested everyone put a few of the coins in their pockets or handbags as souvenirs. Clark realized the coins would come in handy and filled his knapsack. Fortunately, sixty pounds of gold doesn't take up as much space as you would think.
After two hours of steady walking they arrived at the wide spot in the canyon where the pool had formed. The pool, forty feet wide and crystal clear, looked incredibly inviting on such a hot summery day.
A sandy beach had formed where the path skirted the pond. As they walked up Lana remarked, "From here it looks just like the fresco back in the temple."
"All it is missing are the nymphs," said Lex. "Any volunteers?"
"Dream on, Lex," said Chloe as she and Lana shared a grin.
Lex grinned back and quirked an eyebrow. Then returning to a straight face said, "I think this looks like the perfect place to take a break and go for a swim to cool off."
"We don't have any swimsuits, Lex" responded Clark.
"We don't need swimsuits or at least I don't. There are times when my bad boy image comes in handy," said Lex as he started to strip. "I suggest you take this opportunity to cool off, who knows how long until we will get another chance."
"Lex, some of us are not as wild as you." Lana said with a blush, looking away as Lex finished stripping and headed for the water.
Lex ran out into the water until it was past his knees and then dove in. After a few seconds his bald head broke the surface. Looking back towards the others he shouted, "The water is great, just the right amount of chill." As the others fidgeted on the shore he continued, "Oh come on, if you're that shy just leave your underwear on."
Chloe, who had not looked away as Lex had performed his strip and dash display, glanced over at Clark. "I have kind of wondered about that Michael Jordan question."
"What Michael Jordan question?" asked Clark as he turned his attention to Chloe.
After glancing down at his belt buckle, Chloe looked him in the eye, "You know, boxers or briefs?"
"Are you serious?" Clark asked wishing for once that his powers included the ability to read Chloe's mind.
At this point Lana decided to get into the spirit of things. "Yeah, Clark. Boxers or briefs?"
"Well, if you really must know, should I tell you or show you?" Clark said with a pretended sigh of exasperation.
"Show us," exclaimed the girls clapping their hands.
Clark gave a surprisingly bashful smile then proceeded to pull off his tee shirt.
Immediately Chloe got Goosebumps thinking about running her hands over that perfectly chiseled chest. In the couple of years she had lived in Smallville she had only seen Clark shirtless a few of times. And each time set her heart aflutter.
Lana too was impressed. Obviously hard work on the farm made up for never playing any sports. Clark had nothing to be ashamed of even compared to a jock like Whitney.
After a few seconds of the girls just staring at him, Clark finally asked, "Well, should I continue?"
"Oh, definitely," whispered Chloe looking back up at his eyes.
Clark leaned back against a large boulder for a moment to remove his boots and socks. Then standing straight again he undid his belt. With one quick motion he lowered his jeans, paused for a moment to give the girls one good look, then sprint at almost super-speed out into the pond and then dove underneath.
Boxers. With large Wiley Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon characters.
The girls started giggling. Laughing. Laughing hysterically. Finally, long after Clark had surfaced, they calmed down.
Lex swam over and chuckled, "Just the right dash of Kent charm, Clark."
With a quick grin to Lex, Clark shouted, "Who's next?"
After a quick sideways glance at Chloe, Lana took a deep breath and shouted back, "Me."
Clark couldn't help but smile for a second as he thought back to the only other time he had seen Lana strip down to her underwear. That time at the school pool when she had been under the influence of the Necrodemis plant. But this time was different; Lana was doing it of her own free will, which made it so much hotter.
Last time she had worn the sexiest burgundy bra and panties, but that had been under the influence of the plant. What about this time? Clark already knew that today she had on a black bra as the heat-induced perspiration had made her white blouse translucence during the hike from the temple.
While Clark was lost in thought, Lana had proceeded to lean back against the same boulder as Clark had and removed her high heels. After taking a minute to rub the backs of her feet, Lana removed and folded her slacks. Throughout this movement the long tails of her blouse had protected her modesty.
Finally the moment arrived and Lana unbuttoned and removed the blouse. After a momentary pose and a quick pirouette, she strolled down and into the pond with just a little extra roll of the hips.
Like the brassiere these panties were black. Unlike Clark's previous experience, this set was designed for comfort, not to entice. Actually, Clark thought, she probably has a swimsuit that is more revealing than this.
After a quick dive to the bottom, Lana surfaced and swam over between Clark and Lex. Looking back towards shore, Lana shouted, "The water IS great, Chloe. Come on down."
As she started to remove her shoes, Chloe thought to herself, 'Well, this is going to be interesting. I would have to pick today to wear my sexiest underwear. When I got up this morning and knew there would be a three-hour bus ride each way to sit with Clark; it had seemed like such a good idea to feel a little extra sexy. But this day has just not been going the way I had expected. First, Lana tells Clark about my secret 'Clark' wall and Clark must think I'm crazy. And now when Clark sees me undressed he is going to think I am some kind of a slut. Oh well, guess I am just going to have to grin and bare it.'
Chloe had to grin briefly at her own pun. And grinning did make it a little easier. By this time she had her shoes off and turned in profile to remove her skirt. Finally, off came her blouse and she turn towards the others out in the water.
Lex gave out a low whistle under his breath. Clark just stared like he was hypnotized. Chloe was wearing a completely shear, light green bra and panties. A light green, just the shade of her eyes. And not even a hint of lace work for some pretended modesty.
The spell was broken when Lana shouted, "Way to go, Sullivan." After the boys let go with a couple of catcall whistles and a round of applause, Chloe did her own pirouette showing of the thong panties from the back.
Turning back to the water she gave a quick bow and called out, "Okay, you guys have had your fun. How about turning your heads while I get into the water?"
Lex and Clark both sobered up a little and nodded in agreement before turning towards the other side of the pool.
While Lana continued to look on she was surprised to see Chloe strip off the underwear and toss it on the neatly folded stack of her other clothes. Then she calmly walked out into the water and swam over to the others.
As she got close, Lana raised her eyebrows in an unasked question. Chloe answered her, "It's not like they were covering anything. Besides I hate to get my favorite pair wet and yucky from pond water and mud. Come to think of it at the moment they are not just my favorite pair, but my only pair, at least until we get back to civilization."
At this, the guys turned back and discovered that Lex was not the only one swimming in the nude.
"Ah hmmm, guys," Chloe said, "looking, but no touching, okay?"
Both guys nodded and Chloe knew it was going to be okay. If there were two guys she could trust it was Clark and Lex. Lex, because he could have any woman he wanted, and also had the iron will not to break the contract implied by that nod of his head to a friend. And Clark, well just because he was Clark.
They spent about ten minutes playing around in the cool, refreshing water. No one did any touching. Neither Lana nor Clark felt compelled to remove their underwear just to fit in.
Eventually, Lex spoke up; "I'm starting to feel the chill. I am going to stretch out in the sun for a few minutes before we get on our way. I don't know how much further we have to go, but I would like to push on soon and hope we reach some shelter before it gets dark."
The others agreed. However before starting towards shore Clark called to Chloe. By the time she swam over the others were walking up onto shore. Chloe looked into Clark's eyes and waited for him to speak.
"Ahh," Clark stammered, "can . . . Ahh . . . I . . . ahh."
"Just say it Clark," interrupted Chloe with a small smile on her face.
Rushing it out, Clark said. "Can I kiss you?" Then looked slightly embarrassed thinking he may have stepped over an unspoken line.
Chloe looked thoughtful for a minute and then did a very obvious glance down at Clark's boxers. Clark looked down too. No apparent bulge. Looking back at Chloe's face he shrugged saying, "The water is pretty cold."
Then Clark responded with a glance down of his own. Chloe's nipples were standing out very proud and erect. "Yeah, Clark," she said as Clark looked back up and into her eyes. "You're right the water is cold."
Getting back to the question at hand, Chloe said. "You remember you promised no touching while we are in the water?" Seeing the combination of embarrassment and rejection on his face she relented. "Okay, you can kiss me, but you have to agree to keep your hands behind your back."
Clark quickly nodded his agreement and made a show of putting his hands behind his back.
They were standing in one of the deepest spots in the pool with the water almost reaching to Chloe's shoulders. However Clark was so tall the water was only lapping at the second row of his six pack abs. Chloe made a mental note to look up the names of those muscle groups when she got back home.
Clark tilted his head down as Chloe stepped up to him. Stretching up on her toes, her breasts lifted clear of the water and came into view of the others on shore briefly before they were pressed against the top of Clark's abs. Chloe reached around his neck to maintain her balance against the modest current as her lips finally touched his.
Chloe had planned to keep the kiss simple and chaste. However her emotions started to carry her away. She had been waiting for this moment a lot longer than Clark, ever since she had first seen him on the first day of eighth grade just two weeks after she had arrived in Smallville. Back then she had already attained her full height and Clark had been barely taller than her, it was only in the past year that he had had the big growth spurt to his currently impressive six foot four stature. Even back then there was something special about Clark. Something it felt like she had been looking for almost forever.
Therefore it was not really surprising that Chloe turned out to be the aggressor once the kiss began. After a few seconds Chloe's lips parted and her tongue started to rub along his lower lip.
Clark opened his mouth slightly, in surprise as much as lust when suddenly a massive shiver rippled through Chloe's body. They parted slightly and Clark realized that Chloe was freezing cold. Bringing his hands from behind his back Clark reached for Chloe's hand and started pulling her towards shore. "Let's get you out of this cold water."
As they waded into shore Chloe said, "Thanks, I have wanted to do that for a long time, but why did you ask me just then?"
"I have been looking for a special moment ever since asking you to the dance. However we have never had the right moment alone since then. I know we aren't alone now, but having you next to me and naked, well it was like a fantasy moment that I couldn't let go by."
"Fantasy moment?" inquired Chloe.
"Sure, you know, being able to look back when we are old and remember that you were nude the first time we kissed."
Chloe stopped and looked at Clark and from the expression on her face he knew that something had just happened and that the intimate moment was past. He tried to remember what he said that could have changed things so. It had to be his comment about getting old and implying they would still be together. Didn't Chloe see their relationship as being potentially permanent?
Chloe walked over by Lana, did what she could to straighten her short blonde hair with her fingers and then stretched out on her stomach on the sand to let the sun warm her, somehow managing to look as sweet and shy as possible for a beautiful, naked girl. Clark's comment about growing old had broken the spell and forced her to remember her real situation. At most they could only spend a few years together in a normal relationship.
Meanwhile Lex was stretched out a little ways away in some thick soft grass watching the interplay and thinking, 'Hmmm, this swim certainly turned out more interesting than I expected. The way Chloe managed to strip naked and still take complete control of Clark and to a lesser extent even me. The no touching rule. Clark keeping his hands behind his back while they kissed. She certainly has a natural ability I haven't noticed before. I need to keep an eye on her. When she is older she might fill an important role at Luthor Corp.'
Lana had been laying there with her eyes closed enjoying the heat of the sun after the cold water and wondering, 'If Chloe had volunteered to get in the lake first, what would I have done? I never expected her to just strip and go in naked. Of course, if she wanted to get in the water with that underwear she didn't have much choice. That was also a surprise. After seeing her in gym class I always thought she was the 'Jockey for Girls' type. I guess it is like they say, it is the quiet, shy ones you need to watch out for. Of course, a lot of it must have to do with Clark asking her to the dance. Her self-image seems so much higher. Still, if Chloe had gone first would I have felt compelled to strip also to compete? Maybe so, but I doubt I could have keep things under control like she did. Boy, has this been a long, strange day so far.'
For a few more minutes everyone soaked up the sun. Eventually, Lex had warmed up enough to start to feel the stirrings from being near two naked or near naked girls. Time to get dressed and get the group moving again.
As the others were getting dressed, Lex started searching through the backpacks looking for the granola bars. As he reached to pull Clark's pack towards him, it barely moved. Stepping closer, he used both hands to lift it. Compared to the ten-pound packs he and Chloe had been carrying, Clark's must weigh seventy to eighty pounds. What in the hell was in here? And how had Clark carried it six miles without appearing to work any harder than the others?
"Hey Clark," shouted Lex, "did you fill your backpack with stones just for a more challenging workout?"
Clark looked up from lacing his boots. "I was in the cub scouts and boy scouts in elementary school. They always stressed being prepared. Anyway, it seemed to make sense to bring along more of the gold coins, just in case."
Lex walked over to Clark. "If you felt that way you should have said something, I would have carried half."
"No offense, Lex, but your fencing and home gym are not the same as working on a farm everyday. Besides none of you are wearing shoes designed for walking long distances, let alone carry a heavy pack. For now just let me do it. If it gets to be too much we can decide to split it up or stash part of it."
Lex assented and went to get his pack. By this time the girls were ready to go too. Everyone was both refreshed and more relaxed after the time by the water, but still anxious to be on their way.
End of Chapter Two