Breathe

by Uris


Thank you Elizabeth for the beta.
Sequel to Eclipse.


Clark pulls over at a large Chinese buffet restaurant off the highway. I order an ice tea and fill a plate with salad. Clark returns with a plate full of egg rolls and fried noodles. The boy has this fear of healthy food, but he's an alien maybe he could live off greasy food without fear of arteriosclerosis. Since my mother died of heart disease, I have a healthy fear of greasy food. I didn't eat a low fat Vegan diet, but I had read that was the best diet to avoid heart disease. I ate fish and chicken in moderation and tried to keep the fat to a minimum.

"Clark, what happened?"

"My mother lost the baby and my father blames me. I put your father's key in the ship to destroy it and the storm cellar was destroyed in the explosion. My parents were trapped in the truck and I didn't get Mom out fast enough to save the baby," Clark explained in a rush.

"I called your mother. She doesn't blame you," I explain. "I told her that you're accompanying me to my friend's house and I'll send you back as soon as I'm safe." That wasn't so bad. When I get to be the rational adult, I'm always the child running away from home. Usually I ran away from prep school, Dad had his companies to run and it wasn't like Dad had time to care for me with his businesses. I even got kicked out of MU to get my father's attention. Crazy me, I thought bad attention was better than none. Now, that I'm a responsible adult my father and my wife tried to have me killed. I should have continued to shun my responsibilities and wasted my father's money on opium in Hong Kong and partied my way through Asia and Europe.

"How did you betray Helen?" Clark asked.

"I took a vial of blood out of her office. I figured it was mine then she implied that it was your mother's so I returned it." I felt rather stupid explaining my mistake.

"Why did you think it was yours?"

"My father was making Emily clones, so why wouldn't he make Lex clones?" Since he spent all money to dump me in the ocean, I didn't think he wanted to make copies since the original didn't turn out to his specifications. Then, he might want to raise the betas differently than the alpha and felt he needed to dispose of the original. Trying to figure out how my father's mind works would only give me a headache.

"Helen took my blood," Clark said with an honestly that I reminded me of the time he asked to borrow my Ferrari. "Could Lionel be interested in cloning me? He had some pretty weird equipment in that cave."

"I wouldn't put it past my father. If that is the case, we have to get the blood back." I don't have a clue how we were going to do it, but we couldn't have Clark clones running around; they would end up without conscience like Emily. I finish most of my salad before going to get some more food.

Clark fills his plate with a number of different entrees. He would get his money's worth at this restaurant. I would suggest we stop at a buffet the next time we need to eat. I got a smaller potion of three entrees. "Clark, why did I marry her?"

"Because you loved her." Clark likes to state the obvious.

"But I didn't and she apparently never loved me." I could only think about Clark when he didn't show for the wedding. The best man missing the wedding was a bad sign, but it was more than that. I didn't want to get married without him there. I was trying to deny how much I loved him. Was the six-year age difference insurmountable? Clark is now seventeen, a year from eighteen, the age of consent. Eighteen and twenty-four isn't that big of age difference. I finish eating and nurse my ice tea.

The only reason that I went through with the wedding was pride. I knew the two days before the rehearsal dinner that Helen wasn't trustworthy that is why I had her office broke into her office. I didn't expect to find an unmarked vial of blood. I didn't know if the blood was mine, Martha's or Clark's. All I knew that doctors didn't store unmarked vials of blood in their offices. Blood was held in the lab and wasn't kept in an unmarked vial. I hoped by taking it that Helen would let me in on her secrets; instead it my whole plan backfired.

"Then, why?" Clark looked into my eyes.

"Because she felt like a moral compass." When she had an unmarked vial, I felt she was no longer as honest as I once believed. She was deceived me as well as her patients. I didn't want to find that anything wrong in her office. I wanted her integrity to be spotless. I wronged her by taking the blood, but she wronged me by being dishonest when she begged me for honesty. I should have canceled the wedding then, but I was too proud. We had invited guests including Helen's family from out of town. I didn't want anger Helen's family so I didn't cancel the wedding, like that was more important than my own happiness. It seemed so stupid looking back. I was thinking that the worse thing that could happen is that we ended up in divorce and hating each other.

"Obviously, you were wrong." Clark shovels food in his mouth with his fork.

I have chopsticks. Using a fork while eating Asian food is gauche, but Clark has time to learn about the finer things in life. "It nearly cost me my life."

Bruce Wayne is a computer expert. If anyone could track my father and Helen, he could. I would have my life back in order in no time and the blood will be located and destroyed. I wondered if Clark would still love me after our lives returned to normal. He was sweet in an innocent way. He had all this strength and weird abilities, but had no clue how to use them. If I was able to work with him, we could have the world at our feet.

As Clark returns to the buffet to get another plate, I go to the bar and dial his mother's number. "Mrs. Kent, we just entered New York State. I'll send him back on a plane in a day or two."

"I know he's safe with you," Martha says. "I know this is going to sound strange, but by any chance is he wearing his class ring?"

"Yes, he is."

"Is his behavior odd?"

"Yes. He's being honest with me, but he's upset about you losing the baby." I laugh to myself that Clark's honesty came from a magic ring and he couldn't be honest on his own. I hated his lies when I asked him for help in tracking Dr. Walden. I knew that Clark could read the symbols; I have his genealogy report that he threw in the trash.

"Tell him that it wasn't his fault."

"I have. Would you like to talk to him?"

"Lex, try to get him to remove that ring."

I pause a moment. "Why?"

"It makes him lose his inhibitions."

"And that is a bad thing." I smile to myself. He has been honest with me. So Clark needs a magic ring to prevent him from lying. If I hadn't lived in Smallville for two years, I wouldn't believe in magic rings; those things are only suppose to exist in fantasy novels like The Hobbit, but in Smallville anything is possible. Does he lie to everybody or is it just me? The other time that recall him being blatantly honest he was also wearing a class ring. He commented that he wouldn't drive my Ferrari off a bridge. "You ask him to take it off."

"Lex, I shouldn't have mentioned it. Put him on."

I go back to the table. "Your mother would like to speak to you."

"Tell her that I don't want to speak to her." Clark continues to eat.

"He's busy eating." I make an excuse for him. "You need a farm to feed Clark."

"So you discovered that." Martha doesn't sound too upset. "He's the only person that can eat five pizzas and still have room for dinner. Have him call me later."

I know he won't call her. He didn't call her that last time that he promised to. Clark returns to the table with a big bowl of ice cream and a plate full of slices of cake. "Clark, I would like to get to my friend's house."

"It's all you can eat." Clark puts his spoon into his ice cream.

"That does mean you have to eat all of it," I tease him. The ring loosens his inhibitions. He slept in until the cleaning lady arrived in our room and he was now eating enough to feed a small army. He was hard to get moving, but otherwise, he was a good companion on a cross-country trip.

"Another hour and I'll go."

I yawn. I get a scoop of ice cream but I mostly play with it. After the busboy gives Clark a dirty look, I put a tip on the table and we leave. I give Clark directions to get to Wayne Manor. I climb on the back of Clark's motorcycle. With my helmet on, no one will see me. Men don't ride on other men's motorcycles in the United States. Most cars on the highway have one person in them. All someone will see looking at us zooming down the highway is a large man with someone thinner hang onto him. In black leather, I probably looked like a biker chick hanging on my man. I couldn't be any more incognito. It was much safer than traveling by train or bus where I might be recognized. Not that it was likely anyone was looking for me, unless one of my servants saw me at the castle and told my father; however, that couldn't be helped because I needed cash.

After getting a room in a hotel outside the city, I lie beside Clark. His body is like steel to the touch so I can't sleep in his arms. His skin is peculiar to the touch; it's like silk when you rub against it with slight pressure and hard if hit it was more pressure. His cock is the same way as I stroke it or put it in my mouth. He's as sensitive as a man, but he's much stronger than a man. When he pounds me, he could break every bone in my body but he doesn't. He's very gentle and loving. Clark doesn't allow himself to come in my mouth and I respect that. He teases that it feels better in my hand, but I know he's afraid that he will break my teeth or jaw and I appreciate that. I tell him that I can handle it. I licked his cock after he fired. "Clark, you won't hurt me."

"I'm an alien. What if my cum is toxic?"

"Clark, those meteor rocks made you like us. Your cum is the same as mine."

'That is why I don't sweat, I stronger than ten men and my skin is impenetrable."

I snuggle against him although it's like lying against a board. "Helen took your blood."

"I was sick with alien spores," Clark says.

"It tastes different, but not in a bad way." I put my hand on his rock-hand arm.

"Could anyone love me? When Cyrus was telling everyone that he was an alien, Lana said that being friends with a real alien would be scary. After I destroyed the storm shelter, I couldn't explain how it happened and I knew she would hate me if I told her the truth. I begged her to go with after I put on the ring and she refused."

"Did you tell her that you aren't human?" I ask.

"No, I couldn't. Do you love me?" Clark asks.

"More than you'll ever know." I kiss his cheek.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I was obsessed with you and six years seemed insurmountable. I wanted you to see me as sophisticated when all I wanted was to know you better and make you happy. I've never wanted to hurt you. I've tried to act in your best interest." I gently touch his face.

"I'm sorry that I lied to you when you asked for my help. You knew that I could read those symbols."

"I gave you a chance to tell me. I didn't regret your friendship because you denied it." I flirted with him and he always flirted back, but I assumed that he was interested in Lana so I didn't pursue it further. He was always coming to me for advice; so I tried to act mature and sophisticated. His parents saw through me. I wasn't the businessman that owned half the town, but just Clark's friend like Pete or Chloe. I like that Jonathan Kent feels comfortable enough around me to tease me. I hope he still feels comfortable around me when I tell him that his first instinct about me was right; I did want something from Clark. Would Mr. Kent understand that I want Clark's happiness more than anything?

"Perhaps, if we were both more honest, this mess wouldn't have happened."

"If I was honest with my emotions, I wouldn't have married Helen. After I proposed, I couldn't take it back. My pride got in the way."

"I understand." Clark moved his hand over my scalp and kisses me deeply. His lips seem soft at first contact, but as he deepens the kiss they become harder. His tongue remains soft in my mouth. His technique has improved over the course of our trip and he doesn't drool all over me. I put my hand behind his head and enjoy it as long as I can. I close my eyes and fall asleep beside him.

In the morning, we get there without any wrong turns. Clark leans his motorcycle in Bruce's bushes. The weight of the motorcycle breaks several branches off of the shrubbery. Clark is usually more conscientious than that.

Clark kicks his bike then looked around at the gate, the bushes and the mansion past the gate. "Impressive. Not the castle, but sweet."

I stand by the gate security camera then press the bell.

"Welcome," says Alfred. "Who may I say is calling?"

"Al, it's Lex," I remove my motorcycle helmet to let Alfred take a good look at me. The intercom light goes off. Alfred was usually overly polite. It's out of character for him to turn off an intercom without saying good-bye. After Clark killing shrubbery and Alfred hanging up on me, I figure that K-Mart must be running a special on magic rings. "That was odd. Clark, you told me the first day you visited that you squeezed through the bars. How did you manage that?"

Clark pulls two of the bars on the iron gate.

"You're a strong one." I nod in appreciation. "Bruce has the latest security. He saw you."

"So?" Clark waves to the camera. "Hi, Bruce."

"You first." I point to the hole in the twisted metal bars.

Clark turns sideways to go through the hole then I climb through with my duffle bag. Clark then bends the bars back into place. "Good as new."

I lead Clark to the main door of stately Wayne Manor. Less than a minute after I knock on the heavy wooden knocker, Bruce, a well-built man a bit older than me, opens the door. "Welcome. Please, come in," said Bruce. "I heard your plane went down in the Caribbean."

"The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," I say following Bruce across the marbled foyer into the parlor.

He hugs me. Bruce's dark eyes have a warmth they usually lack. "Good to see you, old friend." He pats my back a couple times as he releases me from the bear hug. Little me is surrounded by mountains of testosterone and loving every second of it. Not that I'm little; it's just that Bruce and Clark are gods.

"It's always good to see you," I say, taking a seat on the leather couch. "I wish it was under better circumstances. I believe my father was responsible for my plane going down."

"How is Mrs. Luthor?" Bruce took a seat beside me. "I'm sorry that I missed the wedding. Gotham City never sleeps."

"I've heard that," I say. "Helen wasn't on the plane when it went down."

Clark continues to stand. I don't know what Bruce thinks of me having a young man in black leather and denim standing guard over me. Bruce slept with underage men; I was one of them. He couldn't insult my taste, besides unlike fourteen year old me, Clark is of age.

"Doesn't the bride go on the honeymoon?" asks Bruce.

"Not when she poisons her groom," I explain. "I swam to shore and found a flight to Metropolis. Clark has been protecting me since. Have Alfred show Clark where to freshen up. We have business to attend to."

Bruce looks at the young man standing at attention. "Mr. Clark, how long have you been in Mr. Luthor's employ?"

Clark put his hand out to Bruce. "Clark Kent, and I don't work for Lex. He never told me he had friends outside Smallville."

"Clark, Smallville is not the world," I say.

"No, it isn't," agrees Bruce. "Sit."

Clark sits on a recliner. "Lex has never spoken about you."

"We both went to the same prep school," explains Bruce. "A group of boys were circling around Lex and I put an end to it."

I smile. "Clark also saved my life the day we met. When I woke up with his lips on mine, I thought I died and went to heaven."

"Then, he met my father," Clark said.

"I'm part of the family now," I say. "He gave me a compass to get to find my way down the aisle, saying it was a Kent family tradition."

Alfred enters the parlor. "Tea is being prepared." Tea meant any meal. I wasn't going to tell Clark that tea included food or he would never leave Bruce and me alone to talk business.

Bruce gestures to Alfred. "Mr. Kent needs to shower after his journey. He seems about my size. Get him something to wear. Lex and I need to talk."

"Yes, Master Bruce," Alfred says. "Mr. Kent, follow me."

Clark follows Alfred up the stairway. I sit closer to Bruce on the sofa and whisper, "We need to find out what my father has been up with me out of the way."

Bruce said, "Let's go to my home office. Alfred can bring the tea to us."


Bruce enters information into his computers. The man must have a CRAY or several in an underground lab of his. Bruce has more secrets than Clark. However, if you need to know someone else's secrets, Bruce is the man to see. "That's interesting," says Bruce. "Your father had a truck load of equipment used for genetic experiments shipped to a farmhouse in BF Nowhere."

"He's cloning," I say. "I put a stop to his cloning experiments before. He must figure since I'm out of the way that he can restart them."

"He was overheard talking to a teenage girl about Mr. Kent. Does your father know that Mr. Kent can bend metal?"

"I don't know what he knows. He keeps me in the dark. As much as I know, he could be cloning me in that secret lab of his. Did you find out anything about Helen?"

"She died in that plane that went down in the Bermuda triangle."

"She doctored my drink before we took off. She never left the ground. Helen is working in that secret lab with my father under a pseudonym. We have to put a stop to their work."

Bruce says, "I'll have a friend of mine pay them a visit."

"Make sure your friend contacts the press. We want the illegal lab on live television." I look at the computer monitors. I could use his high-speed connection. I don't want my father and Helen to clean up the mess before Bruce's friend arrives. We need to get everything on live TV, the livelier the better. I couldn't wait to see Helen's face on the evening news.

After tea, I went upstairs, showered and changed into the tie-dye t-shirt and Bermuda shorts that I brought after my clothes were ruined by the swim. I put on some flip-flops and a gob hat purchased in the Caribbean to keep my scalp from burning . I looked in on Clark; he was sleeping two feet above the bed. All I needed was for Bruce to walk in on that. I shut the door.

I walk back down to Bruce's office. His computer banks remind me of a movie set war room. I had those plasma screens in my Clark shrine, but plasma screens are show. Bruce had real power. Bruce looks at me, focusing too long on my skinny pale legs.

"You aren't going out like that," he says.

"You didn't mind my legs wrapped around you," I snicker. "It's summer. I look like any out-of-town visitor. All I need is one of those "I Love NY" hats."

Bruce read his monitor. "I found more information on your father's farm. Drs. Dinsmore and Donavan are known for their cloning research. Dr. Dinsmore left the field some years ago after the death of his daughter."

"He cloned his daughter. Helen had research grant from John Hopkins, which she turned down to stay at Smallville. She's probably up to her eyeballs in it. I stole a vial of unmarked blood from her office."

"Why did you marry the woman?" Bruce clicked on a few more screens.

"Pride." I smile, knowing I'm probably blushing. "I didn't know what she was up to until the day of the rehearsal dinner. I told Clark I wanted to hold onto my romantic notions."

"While you were holding him," Bruce teased.

"So. I wanted to make my father proud of me although I invited Clark's parents to the wedding in my father's place. Lionel Luthor's son can't be a fag." I had this image to uphold. I had this need to be a better man than my father that included marriage and family. In my fantasy life, there was no room for a male lover. No matter how much I wanted Clark, I had talked about women with him and pretended that I wasn't drooling the moment he came into a room. "I tell my father that I hate him when inside I'm dying for his approval."

"Lex, we'll talk later. You buy some clothes and is there I anything I should know about your friend if he wake up."

"Feed him, then feed him some more then he'll get digestive stupor and he'll go back to sleep,"

"He's not too bright." Bruce punches more information into his computers.

"He has an eidetic memory and can solve math problems faster than you can type the numbers into your computer. Unfortunately, he just warehouses information; he doesn't know how to process it. If he stays awake, give him some books to read."

"I can see why your father would want to clone him. Bends iron, eidetic memory, math wiz; is he human?"

I knew Clark was an alien, but I couldn't tell Bruce that. "What else would he be? I need to shop." My cell phone has no signal inside Wayne Manor. Knowing Bruce, he has the place shielded. I would need to phone for a taxi outside. "I'll be back tonight. Tell Clark I won't be out long."


I went into the city to get some clothes: tee shirts, jeans, boxers, socks, and sneakers. I also went to a hat store to buy a baseball cap. Wearing the beige gob hat and shorts and tee shirt, I don't look like a missing billionaire's son. Alfred certainly wouldn't let me back in. He never considered me a good influence. I was finding better ways to get high when Bruce was studying several forms of martial arts. Bruce is a bit too tightly wound for my liking, but he knows computers and has eyes everywhere.

Clark greets me at the gate. "Did Alfred feed you?" I ask.

"He gave me some chicken and the leftover sandwiches," Clark states. "So let's see Gotham."

"I need to change. You look good in Armani." I continue to check Clark out in Bruce's clothes. He cleaned up very well. I hoped I wasn't drooling.

"What did you and Bruce discuss?"

"That my father and Helen are cloning you."

"We need to kill them," Clark says; with that magic ring, he doesn't have his normal Messiah complex. During of the trip out here all he wanted to do was sleep, eat and fuck. I didn't know that murder was on his 'to do' list.

"All in good time. Bruce is planning to have the media expose their illegal experiments. Let's enjoy the city. I want the media to still think I'm dead." I hoped Bruce's friends found Helen in the illegal lab. I wanted to see her face on the evening news.

"While your father gets LexCorp."

"After you kill them, I get LuthorCorp and LexCorp." I smile an evil grin. "We need to make it look an accident, no bending bars around security camera. We go in with a plan."

"We break the security cameras first," Clark agrees.

"We'll talk about it tonight in private." Once he takes that ring off, he'd feel rather guilty if I let him kill my father and Helen. It would be better that I let Bruce's friend inform the media and the police. I dial the Kent farm. "Mr. Kent, I have Clark here. He doesn't want to go home."

"Have him talk to me," Jonathan Kent says.

I hand Clark the phone. "Talk to your father."

Clark took the phone. "Dad, I don't want to go home." Clark says a few more things that don't make sense out of context and hangs up. It didn't go well.

"Clark, you have to go home," I tell him. "You have to face your parents."

"I ruined their lives," Clark mumbles.

"You are their lives." If I could I would adopt Clark's parents as my own. Mr. Kent accepted me into his family after my father kicked me out. He gave me that compass as a symbol. If it were possible for me to marry Clark, I would propose to him in a heartbeat. United States was the only civilized country that didn't allow gay marriage. After everything I've done in my life, I still have this qualm about sex outside marriage. Perhaps if Clark and I had a little private commitment ceremony that would ease my nerves. I like the idea of being married although my two attempts at it were utter failures.

"And he finds out that I'm sleeping with you."

"He'll deal with it." I go inside to change into my new clothes. I put on the tee shirt that says "Lefthanders are the only people in their right minds." I was also wearing Nike sneakers and painter's pants, not my normal fashion statement.

Clark points out that only ten percent of the population is left-handed.

"And?" I say. "When I pick up a fork or a pen, people will notice."

"People don't pay attention to those kind of things. I wouldn't have noticed you were left-handed if you didn't come this close to skewering me." Clark showed how close with his right hand. "It reduces the odds."

"I'm also bald, thin and pale. I might as well advertise."

"I should be wearing jeans and a tee shirt then."

"Find some of Bruce's work out clothes," I suggest. Sweats are more casual than jeans. "I'll buy you some clothes. We'll take a plane back to Metropolis." Clark is just as sexy in a gray tee shirt and spandex exercise pants. I'd have to buy Jonathan Kent another motorcycle if Bruce didn't take us on his private plane, but after I inherited my father's billions; a bike would be nothing. I should order him a hog; they can take up to a year to be custom ordered. "Clark, you look much less conspicuous. We'll get you a couple pair of jeans so Alfred can wash ones that you wore for a week."

"Sure. You stick out with your bald head." Clark is so brutally honest.

I had a hat on my head, which covered most of my head so people would think that I had hair. "Should I wear a blonde wig and stuff oranges in my shirt?" I made my voice breathy and slightly higher in pitch.

Clark started to laugh. "Lex, you couldn't pass."

I smiled at him. "I hope that isn't a dare. Seriously, many men shave their heads as a fashion statement. It isn't that uncommon in big cities and no one will notice if I'm wearing a ball cap." I love making small talk with Clark. I had no intention of putting oranges in my shirt.

After I buy Clark a couple of changes of clothes, we head back to the manor. On the news, I hear news of the bust of an illegal cloning plant and Helen is trying to hide her face as reporters ask her questions. I would have to write the television station for a copy of the videotape. In the meanwhile, I can see the photograph on the Internet. My father was escorted out of the lab in handcuffs while he was yelling no comment to the hoards of reporters.

"Your friend is fast," Clark says, staring at the news report.

"I couldn't have done it better myself. I owe Bruce," I say.

"Would you or Mr. Kent like some tea?" Alfred asked.

"We're fine," I say. "Is Bruce home?"

"He's out for the moment," Alfred states.

"I'll have to thank him for this." I'm smiling ear to ear. "Clark, put on your new jeans and we'll celebrate my freedom."

"I rather stay in the guest room." Clark plants sloppy kisses on my face.

"Lead the way." I follow Clark to his guest room.

Clark removes his clothes in a flash. He undresses me slower so I can see and feel what he's doing. Clark moves his mouth over my body and licks my chest as his large hands move over my back. I like being manhandled as Clark pushes me to the bed. Clark kisses me deeply as his hands hold me. I know he could hurt me if he wanted to, but he just uses enough pressure to tell me that he's in charge but not enough to mark me. Clark licks my neck.

"I need you. We need lube."

"Sorry." Clark pulls it out of his bag from the drug store. "I want to be inside you."

"I want you in me." I kiss his neck.


On the CNBS in the morning, Lionel Luthor's death was reported. He died from a massive heart attack during transport to prison. He didn't live to be arraigned. It seemed strange to me that my father would die in such a matter. I wish I had Helen's medical knowledge to draw on. Believing there were drugs that given to a healthy person would cause them to go into cardiac arrest, I looked it up on Bruce's computers and found two heart medications that would do that. My father had many enemies and quite a number of them were in law enforcement.

I needed to prove that I was still alive. Bruce should return me to St. Barts and return Clark and his motorcycle to the nearest airfield to Smallville. I needed to pretend that I was hiding out in St. Barts since I swam to shore. Clark needed to rejoin his parents.

"Clark, my father is dead and Helen will probably make bail by later today," I said, joining him on the sofa.

"Where is your friend?" Clark asks.

"In the computer room," I say. "Do you still want to kill Helen?"

"Not really." Clark plays with my naked toes. "She's your wife. Planning revenge is more fun than pulling it off."

Alfred comes into the parlor. "I'm sorry about your father."

"After a pillar falls on his head and he's shot twice in close range, it's anticlimactic that he dies from a heart attack in prison transport," I say. He would have been held only overnight; they could keep him up to three days but they wouldn't have. "He never got to the arraignment."

"Grief hits after the shock wears off," Alfred says.

"All I've ever done has been to get my father's attention. I can't believe he's gone," I say, trying not to sound cold. You don't rebel unless you have something, in my case someone, to rebel against. "All these years, I've begged for his respect and his love." Was Sheriff Ethan Miller behind my dad's death? Even in prison, a former sheriff would have the connections to have my dad die on the way to being held overnight. It wasn't all that long ago when Sheriff Miller put two bullets in my dad's chest then shot up a hospital bed.

"He knew that you loved him," Alfred said.

"I better claim myself alive before Lucas gets everything," I say.

"I'm sure Master Bruce can make a few phone calls to keep your brother at bay," Alfred says.

"I'm certain it won't come to that," Clark says.

"Clark, take the ring off," I suggest.

Clark slipped off the class ring. "I need to get home."

"Bruce is a pilot; he'll fly you home," Alfred says.

"I'd like to take flying lessons." Clark nods.

"I thought you were afraid of heights," I say.

"I appreciate them." Clark grins.

"I'm sorry that I didn't tell you to take off that ring earlier, but I like having you honest for a change."

"It takes away my inhibitions like alcohol. Alcohol doesn't effect me and I doubt drugs would have an effect. I put it on because I didn't want to feel like myself." Clark kisses me briefly. "Lex, I didn't tell you why I was running."

"You told me enough. Clark, you didn't mean to kill your mother's unborn child." I hug him.

"The ship talked to me and told me that he was my father and told me that I needed to leave my family and Lana behind. So I destroyed the ship."

"You left your family and Lana when you went on the road with me."

"My father wants me to rule to world. His message is, 'On the third planet from the star Sol, you will be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies.' My parent told me that I didn't have to listen to that message and that I have free choice. Then, two days before your wedding, I started getting messages inside my head that I needed obey my father and leave Smallville." Clark hugs me tight, but not hard enough that it hurts. "Lex, what am I going to do?"

"Do you still hear that voice in your head?" I asked.

Clark nods.

"I'll fly with you to Smallville and I'll meet the press there."



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