by Phyllora

Thanks to Saratms for the beta. Feedback makes me pant.

by Phyllora

Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: So not mine

Trust has never come easily to her.

She has been brought up in privilege and wealth, and been taught that money above all else is power. She likes to put her trust in material things. Things she can hold on to such as expressions on faces when she has said something perfectly right, the crisp sound of reports, and the feel of silk beneath her fingertips.

She delights in security. In knowing what will happen next. She likes statues and tall buildings. They give her a sense of stability and of a power that she can hold on too with all her senses. She has never held much stock in the concept of faith.

Uncertainty irritates her. She is rarely uncertain. Firm decisions, her father tells her. Worry snapping at her, biting away little pieces of her flesh until she thinks she could scream. When she was younger, she would wake up clutching her sheets and her throat raw and dry. She has since learned there are measures to take that can keep her safe.

Lex Luthor. Bright eyes, sharp tongue. Kisses that make little bits of her melt. She has a memory of a boy who would occasionally say the right things to her, and sometimes she would catch him watching her. Catching rare open expressions on his face that would frighten her. She remembers wanting to tell him that people such as them should never be so open. It was as if he took every word, thought and action and soaked it into his skin.

She likes being sure of what she wants. The thrills down her spine when she has a purpose. Plans in the making, like delicate shadows of a spider web. She busies herself with plans and ideas. Looking ahead, always staying one step ahead in the game. Ruthlessness is learned Victoria, she tells herself every time she wavers. She doesn't really need to anymore; she stopped feeling the twinge years ago.

And she has learned that nothing is sacred, that boundaries are created so that those who are ambitious enough, brave enough can break through them. She is of the breed that gifted with enough money and privilege, can with strength conquer the world. Or so she has always been told.

It was easy to meet up with Lex again in Metropolis. Even easier to get Lex to invite her to Smallville to stay with him. He smiles in the mornings when they wake up. He has new depths in those eyes, in his looks. But Lex always lets it be chased away kisses and she can convince herself that his smile is meant only for her.

Lex Luthor a boundary against which she might crack herself. Cruel pointless inanities spilling from her lips when she talks to him, and she chides herself for lack of control.

She compares the current Lex, to her memories of a younger Lex, more eager and desperate to please. Still he falls for her bait easily enough and his skills in bed have only improved. Not of course, that it would have made a difference.

Still he is different this time around. Skills sharper than ever and he plays the familiar old game with a new kind of energy and a half scornful expression on his face that makes her seethe a little. In the few years since she has seen him he has learned how to dress properly, and meets every word of hers with one of his. He smiles at her in a ways that never seems to deepen into anything real. No more sly glances at her, instead she finds that it is herself that is doing the staring when she is sure that he isn't looking. This worries her. He has turned into a riddle that no matter how much she tries she can't quite find the answers to.

Cadmus labs will be her golden fleece. She is looking at the reports, when interrupted by that boy that always seems to be around. Clark. Looks at him, noting the set jaw, tight lips and eyes that seem unclouded by the admiration she is used to commanding from most men. Especially boys. At that her mind whirs off into little tangents, and later watching Clark talking to Lex, she leans closer to Lex and doesn't quite wait for him to leave before she curls her fingers under the collar of Lex's shirt. Narrows her eyes at Clark's blush and his quick goodbye. There is something there she can't quite put her finger on, but she begins to notices the little things. The way Lex shakes her fingers off just a bit more roughly than usual. Watching again as Lex talks softly on the phone to Clark, noting the mixture of pleasure and something that might be fondness, she thinks she might get it. Amusement warring with disbelief, and she considers the situation as she watches Lex, not even pretending to hide her smirk.

She insists that Lex come home early and stay the night with her.

"Really Victoria. You're like a little spoiled kitten." She smiles widely. "Does it bother you then?" "Of course not." A glib answer, so very like Lex, delivered without hesitation. Still, she has her doubts.

In a dryly amused sort of way, she almost appreciates the local attempt to assassinate her. In Metropolis for a couple of days she can take a real breath. Clear her mind, and her foggy vision. Lex is still only a boy she tells herself. He has yet to show that he's capable of outmaneuvering her. Still she can't quite shake the uncertainty creeping up on her.

Lionel Luthor. Eyes like his son. Has the same way of looking at her. He smiles down at her, and she can see the calculating going on in his mind when he talks to her. She leans back to stare at the man leaning against the bar. Marvels again at the sense of ...supreme arrogance that seems to radiate from him. "Miss Hardwick."
Statement and interrogation hanging in the air between them like something solid. Beautiful is the word that springs to her mind, at the way that he can bring force to his word. Power present in that word and in that voice. Emotion too, but not of the type that she can easily classify. Narrows her eyes a little, before lifting her head with a smile. "Why, Mr. Luthor. Such a pleasure to see you here." "I'm must admit it was a surprise to see you here tonight. I was under the impression that you were in Smallville with...Lex." Unasked question in that sentence and this...this could be interesting. Familiar feel of danger, welcome to her. This is a game she knows how to play. How to win. And all the riddles in the eyes that are boring into her are of the variety that she can answer. "Would you enjoy a tour?"
Thick sarcasm and lust wrapped in his words as he inclines his head towards her. Scent of blood in the air and the taste in her mouth as she bites her lip. Swallows delicately straightens her shoulders and smiles again.

She stares down at Metropolis from the balcony of her hotel. On the skyline she can see the tall silhouette of the Luthor Corp building. It's one of tallest buildings in Metropolis. The wind is cold and bites through the thin robe she is wearing. On the bed is a copy of the reports she lifted from Lex's computer. Trust. She wonders if she could trust Lex, and really considers the idea for the first time. She has to admit that she feels a grudging admiration for Lex. He thinks big. She runs over her options again and gives a shuddering sigh. Relaxes her grip on the railing and walks back in. Reaches for the phone as she pulls on a sweater. "Daddy? It's Victoria. I have some excellent news for you."

He gestures ahead of him to the bedroom and she walks forward slowly and deliberately. Lionel Luthor. Lips harder and rougher then his son's, and there is something there, something in this moment that makes her just the tiniest bit afraid. His skin so different from his son's, but with eyes just as cold, and his motions and reactions just as controlled. She bites her lips and pushes him down smiling inwardly. She appreciates a challenge. Each moan, every choked out word a victory. Every touch against her skin an experience, a moment in time to file away for later study. His cock heavy on her lips, and her fingers tense and she clutches a little at the sheets, closing her eyes, and shutting down her mind. Swallowing, Lionel shuddering as he comes. She pulls off crawling forward, and looks down into his eyes. Hot dry hands on her back pulling her down, kisses on her cheeks, and he gives a dry chuckle. She forces her hands to let go of the sheets and thinks briefly about families and games. Wonders what exactly she has gotten into.

Later, looking into his eyes, she lets the shiver pass through her. "Cold?" He inquires, and she doesn't let herself look down as she nods. Sleep doesn't come easily to her. She lays there wide awake, trying to dispel the tiny knot of doubt growing within her. She turns slowly, resisting the urge to cover herself with her robe. Stays in bed struggling against her mind, creating and dismissing scenarios. Tomorrow she returns to Smallville. Father will be arriving in Metropolis in a week. His voice had been brusque over the phone, but definitely pleased nonetheless. "Excellent work Victoria. I knew that you could be depended on." Memory of the pleased glow she had felt at that returning to her now, here on the cold bed. Fine, she tells herself quietly. Everything will be fine. And she sleeps.

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