by Rontgen Katze
Lex pocketed his cell phone, sighing as if he were the most put upon man in the world. He then buzzed the secretary, "Have my car brought 'round. I'm leaving in five minutes."
Waiting outside the building, Lex went through a mental checklist of errands to run on the way home. He sighed again, remembering Clark's call and added the dry cleaners to his list of stops.
The International Marketplace was closest, so Lex purchased steamed lobster packed in dry ice, two aged bottles of red from the French vineyard recently acquired by LexCorp and splurged for an entire mocha hazelnut cheesecake from the deli.
Perusing the shelves at LackLuster Video, he selected Terminator 6: When Evil Clones Attack, for Clark and Clouzot's Les Diaboliques, for his own viewing pleasure.
His last stop was Metropolis' Finest Dry Cleaners. Climbing over the abundance of packages, Lex awkwardly exited the limousine, ordering the driver to remain at the curbside or suffer the consequences.
As he entered the shop, a wall of steam hit Lex square in the face. The damp and wilted clerk apologized profusely, "I'm so sorry, Mr. Luthor. One of our steam presses is on the fritz. A repairman is on his way, but until he gets here, we're stuck in this sauna."
Lex rolled his eyes heavenward, shaking his head, "It's okay, Brigitte. Are my things ready?"
"Yes, sir, I have them right here." She bit her lip, glancing at the drooping boutonniere in Lex's lapel, "No charge, Mr. Luthor...because of the inconvenience."
Lex smiled and lifted the bulky cello wrapped clothing over the counter, "Thank you, Brigitte. I won't forget your consideration, either."
As he stumbled out of the shop, still blinded by the billowing steam, Lex collided with a pedestrian, dropping his bundle onto the sidewalk.
"Hey, buddy! I'm walkin' here!"
The familiar voice sent shivers up Lex's spine. "Miss Lane, I'm so sorry. As you can see, I was at a slight disadvantage."
As the clouds of moisture dissipated, Lex nearly swallowed his tongue. There on the sidewalk in the heap of freshly pressed clothing, lay a garish blue and red spandex jumpsuit and matching cape.
Lois grimaced when she recognized whom she had bumped into. "Luthor. I should have known." When he didn't reply, Lois peered sharply at his face. He glanced at the limo, but not fast enough. She peered down at the sidewalk and immediately noticed the cape. "Hey! What the...why in hell do you have Superman's costume, Luthor?"
Lex felt his balls attempt to crawl up into his stomach, "Uhm...it's not Superman's. . .I rented it for a costume charity function. . .yeah. . ." Lex swallowed hard and knelt, wadding the clothing in his arms and struggled back to his feet. "I, er, spilled wine down the front of the suit and decided to have it cleaned before returning to the rental shop. I really must be going now, Miss Lane."
He rushed headlong toward the waiting limousine, ignoring Lois Lane's shouts of protest. "I'm not through with you, Luthor. Hey, you come back here!"
Throwing the slick plastic bags into the back of the car, Lex fell in behind them, slamming the door, "Home, James and step on it!"
He cringed as Lois followed, beating at the passenger window with her purse, "You'd better talk to me, Luthor, or I'll put this story on the front page tomorrow."
Thankfully, there was a break in traffic, and the limo swept away from the curb. Lex fumbled for his cell phone, called a local forger on his payroll, and ordered a receipt from Edge City Costume Shoppe. He assured the startled man that someone would be by that evening with a handsome reward for services rendered.
By the time Lex reached the penthouse, he was livid. He exited the elevator, shouting. "CLARK KENT? GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE RIGHT NOW!" However, the apartment was empty. Lex found a note on the kitchen table.
I'm sorry. There was a landslide in the Outer Hebrides. I'll be home late. Don't wait up.
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