I walked over to my desk, placed my coffee down and frowned at the screen. As I glanced at the clock, I let out an impatient sigh, where the hell is he? Right as I pulled my chair out to sit down Bart came zipping off the elevator. I straightened up, looked over at him, and raised an eyebrow as I spoke.
Bart rolled his eyes.
“Jeez boss man. Let a guy catch his breath.”
There was irritation in my voice when I spoke.
He held up his hands in defeat and plopped down on the couch.
“Alright, alright…she’s fine.”
I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding.
“You spoke to her?”
He shook his head and I gave him an ‘are you crazy’ look. He cut me off before I could say anything.
“Listen, you know how she feels about us tailing her Oliver. I wasn’t gonna take the chance that our beautiful golden goddess would get mad at the Bartster…I saw her at the Gazette. She was fighting with that guy…what’s his name…Grant something or other. Trust me she was fine.”
I shook my head.
“Not the point. She fell off the grid last night. I wanted to know what happened. That’s why I asked you to go make sure she was okay.”
“And I did…got any tacos?”
He rubbed his stomach and I grimaced.
“It’s 9:30 in the morning Bart. Try eating normal breakfast food for a change.”
I grabbed my suit jacket off the chair and put it on. I put the phone on speaker and dialed a familiar number. A couple of seconds later a woman picked up.
“Good morning, Gotham City Gazette, how can I help you?”
“Yes, good morning can I please speak with Victoria Vale?”
“One moment please sir while I transfer you.”
It rang two more times and then a light voice flowed over the line and I smiled.
I sat down and heard a slight creak on the other end of the phone.
“Hey Ollie. What’s up?”
“You fell off the grid last night…”
“Yeah…my cell phone kind of got smashed to pieces.”
My grip on the phone tightened.
The line was quiet for a minute and I was about to ask again when she sighed.
“I had to walk home because someone slashed my tires; I was attacked by two thugs.”
Bart was next to me in seconds.
“You tell the Bartman who tried to hurt you Chloelicious and I’ll take care of them.”
I heard her chuckle over the phone.
He grinned at the speaker phone and I shook my head.
“Hey there beautiful. I gotta say that purple dress is really working for you…”
I slapped my forehead and glared at Bart as a hush came over the other line. He looked up at me and made a silent ‘oops’ with his mouth.
“Please tell me that was a very accurate guess…”
Bart scratched the back of his head.
“Uh…it was a very accurate guess?”
I heard her slam something down and I winced.
“Dammit Oliver….I thought…”
I cut her off.
“No…don’t start okay. It’s not like we were sending people to shadow you…trust me we’ve learned our lesson about that. You fell off the grid…that wonderful little dot on our sever that tells us your alive and well blinked out. We got worried, so I think I handled things just fine. You’re lucky I didn’t tell Clark…you would have had him pounding on your door last night.”
“Fine…I guess you’re right.”
It was quiet for another minute and I cleared my throat.
“Yeah…actually you’ll never believe who helped me out of my little jam last night…”
I was getting all the papers I needed together for a meeting when she spoke.
I froze. It figures…
“So, you’ve met him?”
This time when she spoke I could hear the smile on her face.
“I sure did…you should have seen him Oliver…he was…I can’t even put it into words. The way he moved…his style of fighting…”
Her voice trailed off and I chuckled as Bart frowned at the phone. There was amusement in my voice when I spoke.
“It sounds like someone has a crush.”
Before she could answer Bart slapped his hand over his heart and spoke.
“Senorita…are you cheating on me with that flying monkey?”
I saw the look of hurt on Bart’s face and I had to keep myself from laughing at him. Her voice drifted over the phone.
“I think in order for me to cheat on you, I’d have to be dating you first Bart...and he’s dressed like a bat…not a monkey…monkeys don’t fly…and well technically I don’t think he does either.”
I smiled and Bart shrugged even though she couldn’t see it.
“Bat, monkey, same thing…”
“Right of course they are. Do you think it’s possible for you to go do your job since I’m paying you and all?”
He rolled his eyes.
“Fine…but this conversation it’s over.”
I blinked and he was gone. I shook my head and leaned back in my chair.
“Sorry about that. So…tell me about last night.”
“Not much to tell. He saved me; I tried to get him to join the JL. He left.”
I sat up straight and spoke in an incredulous voice.
I heard some noise in the background and something falling. A couple of seconds later she spoke in an irritated tone.
“Listen Oliver I have to go.”
She cut me off.
“I’ll give you a call after the charity gala tonight.”
“Okay, talk to you later.”
I heard a click and I pushed the off button. I stood up and grabbed my stuff to head out to work. Well at least I don’t have to call Clark…he hates that anything can happen to her while she’s miles away in Gotham City…but there’s nothing to worry about…everything is fine…
I pressed a couple of keys on the computer and watched as an image popped up on the screen. I clicked through a series of them and let out an irritated sigh. It’s not working…I need her…she is the key to this whole damn experiment. I soft buzz threw me from my thoughts.
“Mr. Luthor, you have a phone call.”
“Who is it Stacey?”
She hesitated before speaking.
“He won’t give me his name.”
“Transfer the call.”
The phone rang and I picked it up on the second ring.
“Why hello there Mr. Luthor…have I…interrupted anything important…”
I leaned back.
“Not at all…I assume that since you are calling me, that you found what I was looking for?”
I heard a slightly maniacal chuckle on the other end of the phone and I rubbed my forehead. This guy is honestly out of his mind…If I didn’t need him he definitely would not be my first choice in partners.
“Ohh not only have I found it, but apparently my little bat has taken quite the interest in it. It seems he’s been following your lovely young blonde.”
I sat up in my chair. Could the Batman be working with Robin Hood and his merry thieves?
“I see. So the phone records I checked into and gave you were helpful?”
“Mmmhmm…Oh yes…very…very…they led me directly too her…it looks like our Victoria Vale, star reporter of the Gotham City Gazette is your very own Chloe Sullivan of Metropolis…”
His voice was comical and I grinned. Everything was finally falling into place now all I needed to do was make sure he followed the plan…I cleared my throat and spoke.
“Wonderful. I appreciate all your help. You’ve been instrumental to helping locate the missing link to my project.”
“Mmm yes well…as long as we have a deal…it’s what do you call it…m-mutually beneficial…”
Yes…mutually beneficial…it will be even more beneficial when I add ‘The Joker’ to my factory of genetically enhanced freaks…I smirked to myself.
“Yes, indeed. So we are all set for this evening, yes?”
“Mmm…yes…the guests of the ball will be happily surprised with their special visitors…”
“Don’t forget I’ll be attending. It’s important that no one finds out we know each other…at least not until it’s too late…”
I heard another laugh and I shook my head again.
“Ohhh I like the way you think Mr. Luthor…just think in two days…the Batman will be dead and Gotham City will be mine…”
I wasn’t exactly sure what to say to that…
“Yes…it’s quite an accomplishment…I should be going though. I will contact you tonight.”
“Ta-ta for now.”
The phone went dead and I glanced at it. They just don’t make quality criminals like they used too…