Chapter 1: An insufferable ding

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Lena had never been very keen on the idea of meeting a complete stranger online - never mind someone to be intentionally romantic with. The internet was a foreign place to her and, despite the majority of her company's work involving it, she tended to avoid it at all social costs. In fact, she only had an account on Instagram due to Sam's skillful persuasion and had to ask her assistant, Jess, what the blue tick she was offered by the company meant (she had nodded along with hums of understanding, flawlessly acting, when in fact: she still had little idea of what it meant. Perhaps it was because she was a Luthor?). However, here she was. On a quiet Friday night in her office, she was studying her phone, following simplistic instructions Sam had sent her over text of how to set up an account on a dating site.

Don't get this wrong: Lena didn't want to go through with this ridiculous, destined-to-fail-miserably plan; she had fought ferociously with Sam over the cons to it, even resorting to the voice that had Sam dramatically clutching her chest, scolding her that it was 'a real Luthor move' to use her strictly business meeting appropriate only tone. Unfortunately, Sam knew Lena better than anyone and so, with a sigh of instant regret, Lena pressed the button to start setting up her profile and watched as a ridiculous amount of lovey-dovey, cringe-worthy heart emojis filled the screen. This is disgusting, she thought. Love is disgusting.

After an atrocious few moments of waiting for the stupid pink heart to finish tauntingly loading in the centre of the screen, she was unpleasantly greeted by a long list of questions to fill out. A long huff of exhaustion escaped as she inspected her office, desperate to spot something other than this that needed to be done. Nothing. Of course, Lena had completely overworked herself and finished every ounce of paperwork for the next forty eight hours. For once in her excessively work-demanding life, she was irritated at her own proactive tendencies. Her eyes reluctantly squinted back down at the screen.

What are your hobbies?

Easy enough, she supposed and begun chewing on her bottom lip whilst hesitantly typing out her hobbies: engineering, computer science, drinking (which she soon deleted because 'that makes me sound like an alcoholic') and baking (for good measure - it was a white lie, but how hard can baking really be? Plus, it made her sound more fun and carefree; a department Lena believed herself to be lacking in).

What are your preferences?

She shifted in her desk chair. She hadn't really thought about her type all that much. She knew it was women, obviously; they had always caught Lena's undivided (and often unsolicited) attention from the way they cared with their entire heart to the fact that they always looked so much better in suits than men did. Besides that general umbrella description, she truly had no idea. Jokingly, she had casually typed in 'not a self-centered business woman', snorted quietly to herself and then swiftly backspaced it. She wouldn't admit it to another person but it had unexpectedly stung a little when her mind decided to question if she had described herself.

She moved on from that one quickly, leaving her answer as a broad 'women over 20'.

After several more questions from her favourite food to her dream first date, in which she had answered 'dinner on a yacht', she reached the final section of her profile to fill out. Photos. Lena grimaced. She hated taking photos. She always felt so awkward taking them, especially ones on her own. After careful deliberation and lots of zooming in for inspection purposes, she settled on a picture Jess had sneakily taken during a gala last year and one that Sam had taken of Lena in front of a science museum they had visited on a weekend trip a few months ago. Lena silently preferred the first as, although she had been completely oblivious of the camera, the black dress she had been wearing cut off at all the right points and the silky fabric clung to her like a glove, smoothed out over her curves. The latter had been questioned whether it should have made the cut or not several times as Lena stared in frustration at the wide grin displayed on her face in the photo; it looked out of place, in her opinion, but it held a special, unannounced place in her heart for being one of the only pictured moments of honest happiness. 

With a few final checks (and a five minute crisis in Lena's mind of why on earth she had signed up for this, pun intended) she finished her profile with a sporadic, firm press of her thumb on the big pink button before her mind could fill up a suitcase worth more of reasons of why this was a godawful plan. And just like that, it was over. Except it wasn't.

It most definitely was not over as Lena eyed the immediate flow of smiling, flirty and flexing women. Jesus Christ, she mentally screamed in a gay panic but couldn't help lifting the phone closer to her face to inspect the first picture. She could have just zoomed in like any average person however she was absolutely terrified of pressing the wrong button. It was a young woman in her early twenties, posing in a revealing black bikini on a stunning beach that looked like it had been plucked straight from a holiday advertisement. She was gorgeous, Lena confirmed quickly, but she knew she wouldn't be the type of girl she would approach in a bar. Nonetheless, she swiped right (the way in which the green tick was facing) and glued her eyes to the next single-gorgeous-stunning-supermodel-looking girl.

This continued for a short while; at least, that was the longest amount of time Lena would care to admit. In fact, she had snapped her head up in shock at the sudden pool of light flooding into her office that signaled it was morning. Fuck. A hand instinctively slid over her forehead and begun soothing out a headache she hadn't realised existed. Double fuck. She surveyed the minimal clutter her belongings had made on the surface of her desk, scooping everything up in a haste and dropping them uncharacteristically carelessly into her handbag. Her phone began vibrating amongst the other items but Lena simply snatched the bag by its handles and traipsed out of the office and to the elevator.

The metal doors slid open with a ding.

However, her escape was not going to turn out speedy nor easy. Stood with raised eyebrows, wide eyes and hands balancing a tray of coffees, the woman shared brief but questioning eye contact with Lena, who was now fiddling with her hands like a scolded toddler.

"Lena..." Sam begun slowly, trying to impossibly maintain eye contact.

"I know, I know. You don't need to rub it in." Lena sighed, slotting into the space beside her.

"You've been here all night?" asked Sam, momentarily stepping in front of her to press the ground floor button before resuming her firm stand in the centre of the elevator whilst turning her head to observe the response.

"I have. And now I intend to go home, so please don't lecture me on appropriate working hours." she begged lightly, wincing at a wave of pain smashing through her head.

"Good job I brought coffee." Sam laughed lightly, tilting the tray towards her as an offering. Without hesitation, Lena gratefully plucked one of the cups out of its holder and took a relief-filled sip. "What kept you up, then? The new prototype? That deal with Catco? You know, I'm sure reporters don't stay in their offices at the ripe hour of three a.m. like you, Lena."

Any chance of making proper eye contact with Sam had now vanished, dragged away by pure embarrassment on Lena's part. How on Earth was she supposed to explain that she, the CEO of one of the world's most successful businesses, had stayed up all night in her office being utterly mesmerized by women on a dating site? Instead, she merely nodded and then immediately regretted it as the consequential head throb arrived not milliseconds later.

"I'll text you later?" Lena tried to sound casually positive as she rushed to speak over the elevator ding (she was definitely going to get that insufferable-when-one-feels-as-though-they-have-been-hit-by-a-truck noise silenced by her maintenance team once she was feeling better). Sam could only smile graciously and throw out a 'Yes, get some rest' before Lena was weaving her way through the small crowd of employees.

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