Toxic, Part 3

(by Smokedawg, 17 December 2009)

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Toxic, Part 3

By Smokedawg (aka JbouleyJdog)



All DC Comics characters used for entertainment purposes only, and remain the
copyright of DC Comics and its affiliate and/or parent companies.

NOTE 1: This story is inspired by an idea presented to me by Blackbladder,
the author of many memorable smoking fetish tales, including the Buffy the
Vampire Slayer fan fiction story, "Demon Weed."

NOTE 2: If you find the mention of Superman's harsh actions toward Nick
O'Teen in this story and its follow-up chapters to be out of character, I
should mention that in one of the early 1980s anti-smoking campaign
commercials featuring Nick O'Teen, Superman is indeed depicted as doing just
what I describe him doing (although the injury and aftermath is my own
creation). There were several different commercials featuring Nick O'Teen,
but the one I refer to can be found on YouTube (in November 2009 anyway) at:


"I know you said you wanted me to come to your suite for dinner," Annabeth
told Nicoletta as she exited her mistress' shower, toweling off her straight
blond hair. "You didn't say I would be cumming from dinner. I found a bit of
strawberry still lodged up in my nethers during that shower. At least the
maple syrup washed off quick enough. Next time you're feeling snackish,
though, leave the marshmallow cream in the pantry. It's a bitch to get off."

Nicoletta chuckled. "Well, it isn't all about smoky sex, now is it, my
darling? And you enjoyed yourself well enough. I should make you get dirty
again licking the remains of our sugary snacks off of me, but I suppose I'll
just shower like you, instead."

"I'm just glad you were so obviously pleased with my results in London."

"Ah, yes. Manchester Black. The root cause of my father's troubles and his
ultimate fall, now turned into a mindless wretch. Superman has his own pain
coming to him, but at least he didn't set out to ruin my father in revenge
over a business dispute-and Superman would have never cared who my father was
to begin with if not for Manchester Black twisting his mind telepathically."

"I am surprised that you had me ruin Black's brain so completely," Annabeth

"Oh? Why?" Nicoletta asked, lighting up a cigarette with fingers that were
still sticky with honey, syrup and champagne.

"You don't usually throw away something useful. You have a strong
reuse-and-recycle ethic, even if you don't much care about the `reduce' part.
With Manchester Black in your thrall, you could have done a lot. He was a
complete asshole, but a superb psychic."

"Corrupting people who are basically good is fantastic," Nicoletta said, a
long streamer of smoke rocketing toward her lover/bodyguard. "Even if your
control starts to slip on them, or they regain some willpower, their
restraint and decency will typically keep them from doing anything drastic to
you. Plus, good people have dark sides that they secretly want to explore, so
they'll often sabotage themselves to be in thrall to someone like me. Nasty
people like Manchester Black don't usually have a secret good side that
they're aching to let out, and they want to have all the control."

"So he was too dangerous?"

"By far. One tiny re-emergence of his autonomy, even a sliver, and he could
have wormed his way into my mind-or yours-and planted some nasty seeds of his
own. I couldn't risk using a telepath like him. Not that I'd tolerate his
presence anyway. What he did to my father was purely vindictive and
intentionally vicious. Let him take up space in a mental hospital instead. Or
in an alley."

"Won't argue with you there," Annabeth said, delicately grasping her
mistress' wrist, pulling her hand to her mouth, and taking a drag from
Nicoletta's cigarette, exhaling slowly across her fingers as she licked at
them. "You don't have any early meetings tomorrow, and we don't have to open
that damned salon until the day after. So why don't you let me go ahead and
lick you mostly clean and then we can shower together. And then maybe have
another all-over kind of feast. This time, I'll even let you do that thing
you wanted to with the shrimp and the breadsticks if you want."

Nicoletta took a deep drag, pulled Annabeth close for kiss, and then slid
farther up on the sticky, smeared bedding, opening her thighs slightly and
beckoning Beth with one sticky, glistening finger. "That's why I keep you
around, Beth. An employee with initiative and with very good ideas."

* * *

Lana Lang, business editor of the Daily Planet, was amazed to be able to even
get an appointment at the new salon just down the street. Fantasia Luxe Salon
& Spa had generated a decent amount of buzz even before opening, and was
gaining stature quickly via word of mouth. Now, several days after opening,
Lana was certain she'd have to wait weeks to get an appointment.

But the first thing the receptionist had asked on the phone was her name-odd
to ask a name before making the appointment, she thought-and the moment she
gave it, the receptionist said she could get any time she wanted the next

In the end, she supposed that the owner had made a short list of names that
should be given priority, and Lana would have suspected that the Daily
Planet's gossip columnist, Cat Grant, or one of its two fashion editors,
would have been toward the top of the list. But she supposed that this being
a business, it wasn't so odd that Lana, being business editor, would have
also rated special treatment by a savvy owner.

And apparently the owner of Fantasia Luxe was very savvy based on the amazing
success of such a new business.

In any case, Lana wasn't about to complain, and took advantage of the ability
to get in so soon by making an appointment for lunch the next day. When she
was told she was eligible for a 25% discount on all services, she hurriedly
told the receptionist that the newspaper's policies wouldn't allow for
special dispensation. The receptionist simply laughed and noted that the
discount was for anyone within two blocks, and her office phone number on the
caller ID clearly placed her in that demographic.

Lana tried to convince herself that her haste in trying to get an appointment
had nothing to do with her still-simmering crush on her childhood and high
school buddy Clark Kent. True, he was married now, to Lois, but when Lana was
honest with herself, she knew that she was still trying to prove something to

Prove that he had missed out on something special by not hooking up with her.

* * *

When she showed up to her appointment, Lana was treated like royalty. She
would have put it up to ass-kissing on the salon's part to wheedle her into
running some kind of positive "new business" story in the paper, but then she
realized that everyone was being treated that way.

With attention like this to their customers, this place would do well; Lana
was surprised that the staff here could endure being so pleasant and so
attentive to so many people, but she didn't detect a single bad attitude from
anyone in the staff.

The hairdresser actually came to the waiting area to sit with Lana and ask
her what she wanted and needed for her styling, and then turned her over to a
salon assistant who led her to a shampooing station.

The hairdressing assistant who then took over to rinse, wash and condition
her had magic fingers, of that Lana was certain. Those fingertips not only
felt like heaven as they worked a silky lather into Lana's red hair and then
worked  satiny conditioner into it, but the woman gave her what had to have
been a 10-minute-long scalp massage before putting in some more conditioner
and rinsing a final time. Lana now understood why appointments were an hour
long at minimum-and why the salon had such a large staff. How it was going to
turn a profit though...

All her business-oriented musings were increasingly dulled under the magic of
those fingers. Her scalp felt warm and tingly, in all the best kinds of ways,
and she started to feel just a little bit drowsy. By the time it was over and
the assistant was leading her back the hairdresser's station, Lana felt like
she might have gotten lost without the help.

Everything seemed like a dream. Just warm and cozy. No worries. 

The hairdresser, Lana realized, was model-pretty. Everyone was attractive in
here, male and female staff alike. Even those that weren't actually
great-looking but "merely" average were so well put-together and had such
vibrant personalities that they exuded attractiveness. Lana felt like she was
in expert hands as her hairdresser...

...she realized she had forgotten the woman's name, and asked her,
shamefacedly, what it was.

"Colleen," the woman said, pausing in her combing of Lana's hair as she
leaned into the business editor's ear to whisper that name. Lana caught a
whiff of something and realized that one of the many wonderful smells in here
was Colleen's perfume. It was-well, Lana couldn't put words to it.
Sultry-fresh-mystical-sparkling-sexy? Lana asked what kind of scent she was
wearing, and Colleen pressed just a little closer, her lips almost touching
the skin of Lana's face and the warm breath pouring into every crevice of her
ear with gentle insistence.

"Persuasion," Colleen answered with a soft, melodic purr. "Signature brand of
Fantasia Luxe. You can buy it here before you leave. No one else has it.
Everyone else is going to want it."

Persuasion. Mmmmmm. The name rolled through Lana's mind comfortingly.

Snip. The hairdresser's shears razored together, the soft, crisp rasp of
metal on metal, shearing hair. Snip.

The sound became like a lullaby to Lana. At one point, Colleen asked Lana to
keep her head straight, and then, no matter how sleepy she seemed to get with
the warm cozy scents all around here and the gentle snip-snip-snip, she
didn't need to be reminded. Every so often, Colleen would coo softly about
how well Lana was doing, and Lana would smile dreamily, happy to have pleased

Vaguely, Lana realized she was hearing soft music now, separate from the
ambient music of the salon's sound system. Small speakers in the chair, near
her head, feeding her tunes that seemed to be a perfect blend of electronic,
jazz and classical. Soothing. Warm. Soft. 

Snip. Lana smiled, thinking of how the hairdresser was shaping her hair.

Snip. Lana thought about how Colleen was shaping her appearance.

Snip. Lana thought about how Colleen was shaping her.

After a while, Colleen leaned in again, and this time her lips did touch
Lana's ear with a soft warm pressure. And the voice and breath were so
controlled they didn't tickle her inner ear at all, just filled it with vocal

"Lana, I'm going to take a very short break now. I need a smoke. I'll be back
soon to finish shaping you. But a smoke will feel so good right now and put
me in the right frame of mind. I like Glorianas. They're new. Smooth.
Satisfying. I need them so much. I need one right now. You cannot understand
how wonderful they feel in your chest until you've tried one. Be still. I'll
be back soon."

Lana didn't budge. She was still and content, the music providing an anchor
for her, and while she knew some 10 minutes must have passed, they were
minutes full of bliss. The bliss of being shaped. The bliss of the music and
the deeper things she could almost hear underneath it. The bliss of knowing
Colleen would be back soon.

When warm lips touched her ear again, she shivered deep inside. Deep between
her legs. Lips hot now. Moist and just a little sticky with fresh lipstick
and gloss. Marking her skin.

"I'm back Lana," Colleen said, and Lana sighed with the knowledge of that.
She smelled wonderful. If anything, the olfactory hints of her recent smoking
break added nicely to the scent of the perfume. They seemed to merge to
become one. "It was a very good smoke. So filling. I craved it so much. It
satisfied me. I hope you can be satisfied like that soon. All you have to do
is look for it. Ask for it. Take it. Open up to it."

Lana sighed again, her fingers trailing across one thigh underneath the
light, soft styling cape that Colleen had so long ago draped over her. As she
smelled the hints of the smoke Colleen had so recently enjoyed, Lana felt
jealous. It smelled so divine, especially mixed with the Persuasion perfume.
Desire. Longing. That was what she felt. But she could be patient. Something
in her head told her to be patient.

To let herself be shaped.

And then she could seek relief in perfume. And release in smoke.

* * *

"Tonight on Daily Planet News at Nine on WGBS..." the announcer proclaimed on
tens of thousands of television screens throughout Metropolis. "...Shrapnel
blows his cool in a spat with Power Girl and ends his day in pieces-and in
custody. LexCorp deals with its latest class-action lawsuit, claiming that
Lex Luthor has all of his employees tagged with nano-locators. The Metropolis
Maniacs score an insane upset in the finals match with the Gotham Knights,
and we'll have exclusive interviews with the coach and key players of our
home team. And finally, a swank salon that opened just a little over a week
ago downtown is making famous perfume designers' hair stand on end with the
amazing word-of-mouth success of its in-house product, Persuasion perfume."

Clark Kent smiled to himself as he put the final touches to the knot of his
tie. That friendly bet with Bruce Wayne with regard to the Maniacs-Knights
game would mean a nice big donation to charity from Wayne Industries to the
Metropolis Mobile Night Clinic program.

Even Superman and Batman can appreciate a little friendly wager, as long as
it's for a good cause, Clark mused. But perfumes making the list of pre-news
teasers? At least it was last on the list. The day something like that is put
up first as tip-top news, I may need to consider a new career for my secret

* * *

Lois worried a little about Clark as she made her way to work. And about the
two of them together, frankly. Not only did he still seem to be brooding
about her biological clock-and the increasingly loud ticking of it that she
had brought to his attention-but he was troubled by his failure to have
actually captured that Vitriol character, even though he had handed the guy a
sound defeat.

He's worried about my desire for children someday, and I'm angry that he's
spending so much time worrying instead of just accepting the eventuality,
Lois thought. And now, in perfect and annoying juxtaposition to that, he's
worrying that Chemo has developed the ability to reproduce itself.

As she approached the Daily Planet building, she frowned as she saw a couple
clusters of people near the entrance, smoking. It wasn't her imagination; she
was certain there were way more people than ever before catching smoke breaks
in the past several days. Were things getting that stressful around here?

And most of them women, too, Lois noted. 

Great. Another blow to women's health. Of all the damn things for us to
assert ourselves over, and all the things we might try to out-do men on, does
it really have to be consumption of cancer sticks?

Yet, as she passed by the vague haze of mingled cigarette smoke near the
doors, sweet and bitter and a little spicy all at once, she felt that pang of
remorse for quitting. She felt her hand twitch toward her purse to seek a
pack that wasn't there.

She sighed. 

But not before taking one last deep breath of the second-hand smoke before
she entered the building.

* * *

The Flash made the trip from Central City to Keystone City in less time than
it took to brush his teeth; not a difficult feat for the fastest man alive,
particularly since the two cities were, after all, a short drive from one
another. He'd been notified that Captain Cold was trying to knock over the
BankCentral main branch downtown, and planned to put those plans on ice.

Yeah, I'm the witty one, aren't I? Wally West told himself en route,
half-deprecatingly, and then he was there, braking to a swift halt and ready
to... someone else try to take down Captain Cold, apparently.

There was a petite woman facing off against the freeze-gun wielding maniac,
wearing nothing more than a flashy bodysuit, wristbands and a small backpack
unit and-much to The Flash's surprise-apparently belly dancing.

"OK, time to save this lady from herself before she gets freeze-dried," he
mumbled to himself. But as he prepared to rush to help apprehend Captain Cold
and keep this amateur hero from getting herself hurt, Wally found himself a
bit disoriented and distracted. The dance was quite...interesting...and frankly
seductive, and the woman's bodysuit was projecting some kind of holographic
pattern on its surface. 

Ribbons of dancing pink and lavender light, and swirls of cool and warm
spirals that seemed designed to draw a man's eyes right to her nipples, then
down her belly toward the juncture of her thighs.

Her body undulated and Captain Cold simply watched. A couple times, he seemed
ready to raise his freeze-gun, but then hesitated and returned to watching
the dance. Wally was also quite interested in the dance, but realized that
since he wasn't getting the full-on, close-up view, he also wasn't getting
the complete hypnotic effect that Captain Cold apparently was. Still, what he
was getting was captivating in and of itself. With an effort of will, he drew
his eyes to the periphery of the woman's body to keep from drooling and
getting caught up.

With a sudden flick of her wrists, a pair of long polymer tendrils shot out,
one relieving Captain Cold of his weapon and the other one restraining him as
police cars arrived and the criminal was taken into custody.

Wally approached this new heroine and held out his hand. She smiled beneath
her domino mask, which was pulsing and undulating with its own little subtle,
sinuous light show, and gave his hand a light squeeze.

"Well, that's an interesting combat technique you have there...uh..."

"Serpentine," the woman finished. By her skin tone and slight accent, Wally
took her to be Southeast Asian or Middle Eastern; he'd never been good at
those kinds of distinctions. "Glad to have the assist, Flash, even if it was
just good intentions in the end instead of direct involvement. But I was
closer to the action, and I wanted to pop my cherry on a real villain. No
hard feelings?"

Wally was ashamed to admit he had very hard feelings, of the sexual kind, and
was happy that like so many superhero males, he wore a lightly armored
version of an athletic cup that was hiding his erection quite nicely right
now. He lowered his eyes from her face for a moment, embarrassed a bit, only
to have his gaze caught by the throbbing, undulating light show of her chest.
He reeled a fraction of an inch, for just a moment, then caught his balance
and tried to figure out...

Rolling. Embracing. Sliding down. Into. Around. Sliding. Spiraling.
Lost/found. Rhythm dancing sex full round sleek warmth...

...he tried to pull his gaze away, then found it far too tempting to try to
figure out the pattern instead. Rolling. It wasn't really a swirl or spiral.
Sliding. It was multiple spirals and swirls, and also serpentine threads
weaving in and out from the center-her nipples. Warmth. Sex. Also faint,
throbbing pulses like a heartbeat in his eyes and head. Sleek. Rippling lust.

Then, visions deeper there in her bosom. Mist. Fog. Smoke. Losing. Lost.

Her breasts began to touch his mind. Kiss his thoughts. Heat. And the smoky
embrace hidden in those lights pulled him in. Surrounded him. Smoke. Led him
deeper. Sucked him down. Embrace. Lost. But not wanting to be found. Back to
a mother's womb. Or embraced by a lover's pussy. Or both. Lust. Lost.

Then he thought he heard words. Smoke. Mistress. Nicotina. Toxine. Whispers
at the edge of his mind, mixed in with the lust and the warmth and the
welcome and dreams of wet, gripping pleasure...

"Flash?" Then, in a louder voice: "Flash?! Oh, shit. Sorry."

Suddenly, Wally was jarred loose from the trance, losing his grip on the
images and words, and found himself staring at a charcoal gray bodysuit with
vague patterns like viridian and violet scales. The lightshow was gone now,
though, and The Flash realized he was staring at Serpentine's breasts.

"Oh, wow. Sorry about that, Serpentine," he said, snapping his eyes back to
her face. "That's kind of outside professional boundaries, huh? Well. Yeah. I
think I should at least be buying you a meal," he finished with a laugh.

"My fault," she responded with a smile. "Forgot to turn off the holoweave of
my costume. Guess I have a few things to learn yet. Hope it wasn't too weird
or disorienting. Look, I have to go, but I'll take you up on that lunch
sometime-even if it was my fault my bosom had so much of your attention. Men
still have to pay a price, right? Maybe I'll call you through Justice League

"I hope you do," he said, as she walked away and as he finally zipped back to
Central City to continue the lingering investigation he had been conducting

Once he was away, Serpentine keyed up a secure link to Nicoletta. "Mission
success. Subliminals planted in target's mind. Captain Cold in custody."

"Excellent work, Serpentine," Nicoletta told the woman, who outside of
costumed activity was a former dancer and gymnast named Sarina Markesh.
"Before you come home, head to the office that our two temp associates are
using. Dance for them, Serpentine. Dance their brains to oblivion's doorstep.
Not only don't I want them remembering what they did to hire Captain Cold for
our needs over the past few days, I don't even want them remembering their
names for at least the next few months. After they snap out of your trance a
week or two from now, I don't even want a telepath to be able to dig up
anything they know, even though I'm 99% sure they know nothing of use anyway.
The only thing I want them to remember is their last conscious vision of your
tits and thighs blasting their psyches to shreds."

"Oh, understood, Nicotina," the lithe young woman answered her mistress.
"I'll give them a table dance the likes of which they'll never remember."

* * *

Cat Grant was getting a bit tired of all the company she had been forced to
keep on her smoke breaks. Seemed like everyone-well, mostly everyone among
the women-had suddenly taken up the habit. Like many recovering alcoholics,
Cat had turned to cigarettes as part of her replacement for the booze. After
all, no one got arrested for driving under the influence of nicotine.

But for her, the half-pack to pack a day she smoked was very personal. And
she didn't want to be social when she smoked. She wanted privacy, and time to
reflect. She might seem superficial to many of her co-workers, but she did
spend time thinking about her place and direction in life, even if she didn't
want to share those thoughts.

She certainly didn't want to share her time with Smallville escapee Lana
Lang. The only former Smallville resident Cat had any desire to spend any
time with was Clark, and she wasn't even sure why, except perhaps to piss off

And yet here came Lana, around the corner and catching Cat's eye, and
approaching as Cat took a slow drag on her nearly-finished menthol cigarette.

"Cat, I know you'll probably say `No,' and I hate to ask, but I left my
cigarettes in my purse upstairs when I came out here to take a quick stroll,"
Lana said, tossing her red hair a little. "I'm dying for a smoke now that I
see yours. Can you spare one?"

Cat couldn't believe Lana Lang was asking her for anything, but the notion
that Lana smoked was what was truly blowing Cat's mind right now. Too stunned
by that revelation to argue, she stuttered out a, "Sure. Why not? I don't
normally like company for smoking, but what the hell."

She took out her pack and shook one out for Lana, who took it gently and with
a grateful smile. Cat produced a lighter, and watched curiously as thoroughly
anti-smoking-well, formerly, apparently-Lana leaned in close, pulled in her
cheeks and sucked the cigarette to life. She stood up and released the smoke
in a loud, satisfied exhale.

"Boy, did I need that," Lana said, then looked at the burning end of the
cigarette between her fingers. "Not as tasty as the Glorianas I've been
smoking the past several days, but nice. Thanks, Cat. Really."

Lana hadn't really expressed any warmth toward Cat in the past, and Cat had
been happy to return the favor, but there was something refreshing in not
getting the side-eye from Lana. As the other woman pulled away to stand and
continue her smoke, Cat was suddenly aware of both an absence and a presence.
Perfume. And very nice perfume, at that. But fainter now as Lana had moved
slightly away from Cat.

Cat took another drag on her dwindling cigarette, then frowned. And smiled.
Her smoke tasted surprisingly good all of a sudden. She's always liked
cigarettes more than she'd be willing to let on to most of the health-Nazis
these days, but this was something different. The smoke filled her lungs with
a truly thrilling and superb sensation, and tingled on her tongue and in her

And somehow, she sensed, it was that perfume, mixing in some perfect
olfactory way with cigarette smoke. Cat inhaled deeply on her butt again, and
the experience was much the same. Maybe better. She inched a little closer to
Lana to talk, taking advantage of the other woman's more friendly demeanor
today, and sucked smoke deep into her lungs. Even better than before, closer
to the source.

That perfume, aside from being nice all on its own, was turning Cat's smoking
into a gourmet experience. Something almost like foreplay, but in her chest
and in her blood. A vaguely almost-sexual feeling thrilling faintly through
her muscles and skin.

"Lana, what are you wearing?" Cat asked, running a finger through her blonde
hair and sighing as she finished her cigarette. She flung the butt away and
immediately fished out a new one, planning to take full advantage of the
strange alchemy of tobacco and perfume.

"This?" Lana asked, confused, pointing to her torso. "I've worn this outfit a
million times, Cat."

"No," Cat said, exhaling toward Lana and wondering if she was feeling the
same way with the combination of perfume and smoke. But then again, both the
scent and the habit seemed new for Lana, so she might have no basis of
comparison like Cat did. As the remainder of her exhaled smoke trailed past
the corners of her brightly painted lips, Cat continued: "What I meant was,
what scent are you wearing?"

"Oh," Lana said, smiling in understanding and a little in embarrassment.
"This is Persuasion. That new salon down the street makes it and sells it.
It's not even that expensive. I love it. You know, you should visit that
salon. It's divine."

Cat laughed. "I've had my hairdresser longer than my marriage lasted, and
he's more loyal to me than my husband was. And more reliable. But if that
salon is the only place to get Persuasion, then I have at least one reason to
stop by. Besides, where better for the Daily Planet gossip columnist to pick
up some juicy tidbits than at a salon? If nothing else, I can use a massage."

* * *

Odd week, Hal Jordan thought to himself as he did his shift at the Justice
League Watchtower's monitors, watching over the Earth from orbit. He toyed a
little with his green power ring as he pondered, chin resting on his laced
fingertips. New mystery villain for Superman in Metropolis, Vitriol. Plus, a
general increase in super-criminal activity in that city that didn't seem to
have a particular source or reason, several instances of which were committed
by entirely new players on the metahuman scene. On the bright side, two new
mysterious heroes seemed to have popped up there as well-one armored female
and one heat-projecting male-though neither had yet offered any names. Even
Flash had some help in Keystone City and Central City on a couple of
incidents thanks to this new Serpentine woman.

But it was a lot of sudden super-powered emergences, thought Earth's most
renowned Green Lantern, and he made a mental note to explore whether perhaps
some recent cosmic event might have triggered a sudden surge in the metahuman

* * *

Almost all her female co-workers, and every single gay male co-worker-and
hell, even a couple of straight male co-workers, for that matter-had been
raving so much about the new Fantasia Luxe Salon & Spa that had opened up
almost two weeks ago that she finally began telling them today that she had
an appointment there in a few days, mostly just to shut them up.

Though, she had to admit to a certain curiosity as well-and an anticipation
for that appointment-since everyone came away from there not only looking
great but apparently feeling fantastic and renewed as well, particularly the
people who had gone for more extensive salon treatments and not just a wash
and style.

Plus, the 50% discount being offered to all Daily Planet employees for the
next two weeks certainly hadn't hurt her decision-making process.

And maybe a little styling and makeover, along with a massage to work out my
own stresses, will get Clark back into the bedroom for more than just sleep,
Lois thought with a mix of hope and bitterness. Man of Steel indeed. He has
the steel, but he won't take it out of its scabbard these days. Not since I
started talking about kids.

After all, she had realized, Lana looked great and seemed in fantastic
spirits since going there, and even though Cat said she didn't think their
hairdressing was all that great, she acknowledged that she found the spa part
of the business superb.

And besides, a little bit of that Persuasion perfume might be just the ticket
for getting Clark to think of something other than work and super villains.

* * *

Nicoletta smiled as she looked at the appointment book for the next several
days. Lois Lane was scheduled for Friday afternoon. The most prized of all
prizes at the Daily Planet, and the woman most likely to advance her plans to
locate Superman and lead him into a trap.

She inhaled deeply on her cigarette, and exhaled down across the page,
imagining how she would cloud Ms. Lane's mind and bend it as easily as she
had just obscured her name in smoke and made that smoke go which direction
she willed.

She filled her lungs again, held it in for a long time, and then freed it
from her chest with a deep sighing sound.

The owner of Fantasia Luxe was going to have to spend some very personal time
with this client once she was finally ushered to the massage room.

Very personal time indeed.

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