Incalescence

by Meadow Lion


This includes slight spoilers for "Reaper" and a bit of unusual
kinkiness. The basis for Lex's concept of winning must be attributed to a
former history prof of mine; that idea, in addition to the characters (Ms.
Avery notwithstanding) and established world herein, belong to people other
than myself. I'm making no profit whatsoever off this story. I'd like to
thank Thamiris for encouraging and Beth for betaing. Any remaining idiocies
are mine alone. Feedback, preferably off-list, will be received with much
gratitude and appreciation.


Lex was starting to feel as though every inhalation formed an icicle in his nostrils. He sucked in the next breath through his mouth and dug into his pockets for a tube of lip balm. The cap stuck at first, since the smooth surface of his leather glove didn't provide enough friction against the plastic for him to get a good grip, but he pulled it free eventually. He traced the balm over his lips while glancing around the Crows' stadium.

The bleachers were mostly empty, so it was easy for Lex to choose a seat that was suitably yet not rudely far away from Mrs. Kent; Lana, who was now seated with Chloe and Pete; and anyone else who might be inclined to take particular notice of Clark and himself. On the way to his seat, Lex retrieved the plaid, fleece blanket that Clark had set aside on a higher bench. A passing gust of wind made him toss it over his lap and tuck his hands into opposite elbows. He had plans for tonight. Those plans didn't include getting frozen while he waited for Clark.

Clark's friends seemed intent on the game and were heartily cheering for Whitney and the Sharks. Mrs. Kent kept glancing up the rows behind her, past Lex. When a pleased smile appeared on her face, he turned to see what she did. Clark and his father were coming down the stairs. As Clark patted his arm and branched off to settle beside Lex, Jonathan managed to show only mild resignation and suspicion through the charitably happy expression he'd been sharing with Clark. He continued down toward his wife. Clark's eyes reflected glints of the stadium floodlights as he turned his grin on Lex and sat at Lex's other side, away from the stairway.

"Hey," he said in greeting. "By the way, thanks again for setting all this up. I really appreciate it, and I know Whitney does, too."

"My pleasure." He was only partially equivocating. It had looked like Lana was showing appreciation as well, but Lex chose not to mention that yet. He spread the blanket over both their legs and, starting to slide his hand up beneath it, watched as Clark's grin became the not-so-subtle approximation of a startled glance.

"Lex? What are you --"

"It's cold out here." He raised an eyebrow, knowing Clark would have a comeback.

Clark didn't disappoint. "My mom says you should try wearing a hat sometime."

Lex took a deep breath and smiled to cover how close his teeth were to chattering. "It doesn't quite fit my image. Besides, I have you to keep me warm."

He edged his hand a little higher on Clark's thigh and pressed his fingertips against the inner seams of Clark's jeans. He squeezed, just to make Clark squirm and try to change the subject, which he did.

"I saw you talking to my dad up there."

"And I saw you talk to him afterward. I take it you've worked things out regarding this year's fishing trip."

"Yeah, we'll be fine," Clark replied. His voice pitched a notch higher when he continued. "What's weird is that you two actually looked kind of . . . friendly. Plus he didn't mind that I wanted to sit with you rather than him and Mom. Is something going on, and should I be worried?"

Lex focused his gaze on the game below and spoke nonchalantly, even as he squeezed again. "Not unless I should be worried about the way you seemed to be snuggling with Ms. Lang over there while her boyfriend is occupied on the playing field. Nice kiss on the cheek, was it?"

"What do you think?"

He could feel Clark staring at him, waiting. His hand crept higher on Clark's leg again; someone else's boyfriend wasn't above playing. Clark parted his knees slightly. Lex glanced around them to make sure everyone else's attention was on the field. With his free hand, he rubbed his thumb hard against Clark's cheek, like he could wipe away Lana's kiss and maybe even her existence in Clark's life. Muscles shifted under his thumb, and he applied more pressure. The leather slipped easily across Clark's skin, but Lex kept getting caught on the lines of Clark's jaw, firm and stretching responsively beneath his touch. He heard Clark's breath coming in short gasps, in and out of his open mouth. Lex dropped that hand as he finally met Clark's eyes.

"I think that Lana will be very busy comforting the quarterback after he loses, along with his professional idols. Which means that you can spend your time some other way." Under the blanket, Lex was cupping Clark's cock, hot and half-hard through cotton and denim and leather. He was starting to forget that it really was cold outside.

"You just started watching, Lex. Whitney and the Sharks made some great plays while you and Dad were talking. Whitney's got the home field advantage, and the Sharks don't exactly look like fish out of water tonight."

Lex gripped Clark hard and twisted slightly. If anyone had asked, he would have sworn that he'd groaned at the bad pun, not at the heavy heat of Clark's cock filling his hand.

"Clark, the home field advantage is a myth, and like all myths, it will lead its heroes astray. The Sharks are going to lose."

It really was still cold outside, because he was still shivering, and fuck, Clark felt hot through the leather. Lex pressed his other hand down in his own lap, trying to remind his cock that now would not be a good time (or temperature) to come out and play.

"Sure about that?"

Lex leaned closer to Clark and breathed into his ear. "Absolutely. I may have paid the Sharks something extra to come and play." He winced inwardly at the way his words had echoed his thoughts. "But I didn't pay them to win."

What he didn't say was whether or not he'd paid the Sharks to lose to the scrimmage team, composed primarily of Shark benchwarmers and some amateur-level players with nothing else to do. He had, in fact, told a few big fish to take a little dive that would have no ill effect on their professional careers. He had greased palms -- in one case, literally, as he'd been practically forced to toss a number of large, slimy fish into the pool with the team's toothy official mascot -- and done a lot of fast-talking. Although he'd found himself willing to get Whitney the privilege of playing with the team, Lex didn't like the quarterback enough to want him to win tonight. If nothing else, as he'd pointed out to Clark, the loss and subsequent need for consolation ought to keep Lana occupied with her own damn boyfriend.

Clark's implicit forgiveness of the quarterback through favors like this was acceptable yet not completely understandable in Lex's opinion. He had no reason to believe that Mr. Fordman wasn't a good man or that his son didn't love him; however, that didn't make his son deserving of a victory of this magnitude. Clark probably knew all of Lex's thoughts on the matter and had simply decided against arguing until they agreed to disagree. Actually, the stronger likelihood was that Clark still suspected Lex of carrying the favor so far as to ensure a victory for Whitney in front of his father, but Lex wasn't going to point out the error of his ways this time.

He glanced at Lex with a knowing look. "So it's all a matter of who's the best, and the Sharks are the best."

Aware that scanning the crowd again could make them appear more suspicious, Lex resisted that urge but gave in to another. He unzipped Clark's jeans and pushed his fingers inside to wrap around Clark's cock.

"If that were the case, then we could probably surmise that I just enjoy taking risks." He flexed his grip, swallowing hard as his gloves slid against Clark's skin, and added wryly, "Or rooting for the underdog."

He rubbed his palm over the head, wishing it were even warmer beneath the blanket so he could ditch the gloves to feel skin-on-skin. The thick pulse of his cock through the leather made Lex hungry for more. When Clark started to speak, Lex bit his ear, and his words came out as one low, garbled sound.

"I think, however," Lex said, still close, "that your faith in the quarterback and his current teammates is admirable but misplaced. In games like this it doesn't matter who's the best; the winner is merely the team that happens to be ahead when that buzzer sounds." He gestured at the lighted scoreboard with his free hand and pumped the other under the blanket.

Clark jerked forward and tried to reach for his hand; Lex gave him a warning look that dared him to admit the cold was bothering him, too. As usual, no admissions were forthcoming, and he was only getting harder. After glancing around and squinting oddly, Clark thrust minutely into his grip. "Would you like -- oh, God, Lex -- to make a friendly wager on the game's outcome? Since you're so certain and -- unghh -- in such a gambling mood tonight."

Lex pulled his hand out and re-zipped Clark's jeans. "What are your terms?" he said calmly.

Clark tried to guide Lex's hand back to his cock. Lex's hand closed over Clark's, fingers lacing together, and he put both underneath, just resting on the zipper of Clark's jeans. He turned their hands to knuckle the raised seam. Clark spread his legs until his knee was tight up against Lex's thigh.

"If I win, you have to do whatever I want." Lex turned their hands again, pressing the heels of their palms down, hard, and Clark amended, "For one night." He glanced sideways at Lex. "Same for you?"

The pressure stayed. He didn't even blink at the possibility of allowing Clark to choose whatever he wanted of Lex for one night. Lex sincerely doubted that Clark could conceive of anything that he couldn't afford, after all, and there was always the chance that Clark could surprise him with something . . . interesting. Lex stuck his tongue in Clark's ear and whispered exactly what Clark would have to do in the highly likely event of the Sharks' defeat.

Clark raised his eyebrows and said, "Again?" But he was licking his lips into a smile.

Lex returned his attention to the field in time to see a scrimmage player dive and tackle one of the Sharks into the mud. He pulled his hand free of Clark's in order to pump his fist into the air. He shouted, "Go, team," and ignored the subsequent grumbling from Clark. Money really could accomplish wonderful things sometimes, and he was so going to win this bet.

Forty-five minutes later, it occurred to Lex that his fast-talking must have been with the wrong people. Apparently the general manager, the coaching staff, and the mascot - or, for that matter, the team's foolish owner -- had no actual sway over how the Sharks played their games. Apparently some first string Sharks had decided to give their all in support of Whitney, while the quarterback, for his part, had played his issue-ridden heart out in front of his ailing father. Apparently, as Clark avowed with an exaggerated leer, Lex was going down.

The result was a rather drastic success by the Sharks, Whitney, and Clark, who had started smirking about ten minutes before the final buzzer sounded. By then, Lex had yanked the blanket away from Clark and wrapped it completely around himself, since Clark didn't deserve it anymore and didn't seem to need it anyway. His throat was sore from all the frozen air he'd swallowed along with a number of obscenities; his ears, cheeks, and several other appendages were numb from the cold; and he was going into shock, although that was more because he'd lost than anything else. He sat and stared at the field, willing the players back onto it.

The game couldn't possibly be over, because his team hadn't been winning. He hadn't won, and Clark had. What the hell was wrong with the world? Lex sat still as he noticed the other spectators, including Clark's friends and family, rising from their seats and excitedly preparing to head up the stairs. Clark stood with a big smile -- no, really it was still just a big smirk -- and tried to push past him, presumably to greet them and exclaim over Whitney's (and his own) victory.

Lex slid down so that his knees were very much in Clark's way, and Clark tripped to the point of almost being in Lex's lap. That was an entirely unforeseen but pleasant consequence. He breathed in the warmer air that surrounded Clark like a life force he could absorb into himself.

Clark's head turned as his hands landed on Lex's knees. He pushed himself up but leaned in close to Lex before fully standing again.

"Lex." He said it with the low, husky tone that always made Lex want to do many things that would get him into very deep trouble. Clark was good at that, and knew it, so Lex didn't bother answering him; he just waited, trying to stop his mind and body's mad rush from shock to lust.

"The Sharks were ahead when the game ended, and according to you, that means I won. Know what else it means?" Clark's tongue flicked out to taste the corner of Lex's mouth, which fell open and stayed that way as Clark went on. "You're mine."

Clark left one hand on Lex's leg until he'd reached the stairs, winked at Lex over his shoulder, and said lightly, "We'll work out the schedule and other details later." Then he joined the small crowd coming up the stairs.

Lex blinked and forced himself to close his mouth. He thought that he should probably put on more lip balm, and he should probably move or otherwise force blood back through the rest of his body, and he should probably be a little afraid of what Clark was going to do. It took him another few minutes, though -- long after everyone else had disappeared from the stadium -- to stop contemplating exactly how shocked he was.


Lex usually took his morning coffee in the kitchen, when he wasn't planning to stop at the Talon -- and sometimes even then, if he felt in the mood for a purer caffeine jolt than Lana's froth. He would glance through The Wall Street Journal_ and _The Daily Planet, saving the Torch for those Talon days. He periodically shared tidbits of news with his new cook, Ms. Avery. She had joined the staff after the previous cook, a man named Gustav who was stouter in body than in temperament, opted for early retirement (which was sometime between all the mutant attacks on Lex and anyone who happened to be in their way at the castle). Rather than discussing with him either the news or the menu for that week, Ms. Avery would regale him with tales of her son, daughter, and trips to the chiropractor.

After about a week in her company, Lex had asserted that, unless Lionel wanted to allot him more funds so that he could spring for an expanded kitchen staff, his father would have to approve some appliance upgrades. The original refrigerator and oven were monstrosities, according to Ms. Avery, probably meant to suggest old Scottish charm. She claimed to be surprised that the freezer wasn't merely an icebox in the basement. Lex gave her a copy of the upgrade budget from his father; he also essentially gave her carte blanche to purchase whatever she saw fit for "her" kitchen.

Ms. Avery's selections were modern -- blatantly so, compared to the decor in much of the rest of the castle. The refrigerator was one of the newest models available, complete with individually climate-controlled drawers and a stainless steel outer surface to match the new countertops that she'd chosen. It had a large, upper section for refrigerated items and a smaller, bottom compartment for frozen foods. Ms. Avery said that this design made more sense for her kitchen, since she used many more fresh items than frozen and would, therefore, do little bending to reach them and subsequent damage to her back. Lex passed her decisions on as necessary to his father, pointing out that each would help cut down on the lifting, bending, and previously inevitable workers' compensation lawsuits.

For the same reasons, the new oven, with a chrome-plated door that was said to nicely coordinate with the counters and fridge, would be set into the wall at approximately the height of Ms. Avery's head and shoulders. That item, however, had not yet arrived for installation, and so the old oven, with its black exterior and even more blackened interior and stovetop, was temporarily still in place. The few times that Lex had tried to catch a glimpse of something that Ms. Avery was baking, he'd had to bend himself in half to peer into the oven, low to the ground as it was. He certainly understood her complaints.

Now, he was leaning against the central counter island some half dozen feet from the offensive appliance, glaring at it with his head held high. Clark, who looked absurdly overdressed for the occasion in his traditional jeans, T-shirt, and flannel, sat on the counter beside him, kicking his heels against the support column beneath. He was grinning widely at Lex's predicament but had at least enough decency to hide the grin with an equally wide, playful bite to Lex's bare shoulder. He licked at the spot and said, "Lex. Now."

Lex turned his head to grimace at -- well, at Clark's hair, to be precise. He huffed and cast a wary glance toward the small bank of curtain-less windows, interspersed between cabinets above the counters, on the other side of the kitchen. "All right, all right."

He removed the last article of clothing, his plum-colored briefs, and folded them neatly atop the pile of his other clothes. He then glanced at the item next to them in resigned distaste, picking it up and crinkling his nose at the somewhat crunchy sound that it made between his fingers.

"Put it on," Clark said with a remarkably neutral expression.

Lex slipped it over his head and offered the strings at his back to Clark. Clark fumbled with them for a moment, ignoring Lex's comment that he thought Clark would have done this before. The strings pulled tight around his waist, cinching his breath. Like a corset, except not, because that instrument of torture lacked this apron's transparency, vinyl, and Clark's hands, which made all the difference.

Once he had the bow tied firmly, Clark began rubbing the path of the string around Lex's waist, tracing back and forth along the thin line with thick fingers. Making Lex cook naked as part of his tasks for the evening had, of course, been Clark's idea, which Lex had to admit was interesting; wearing an apron was Lex's stipulation. Clark hadn't wanted to concede that point -- he couldn't seem to fathom the potential dangers of making potato cakes with no clothing -- but in the end, he'd been a gracious winner and given in to Lex's request. He'd still insisted on choosing the style of the apron himself, though, which was why Lex was now adorned in clear vinyl.

Even with the questionable protection that offered, he had some safety concerns, especially for his bare arms. Boiling, and therefore splattering, olive oil was something of a formidable adversary. When Lex tried to explain this, Clark ignored everything else but jumped on the "bare" description -- in a less fun way than Lex might have hoped.

"Exactly! You don't have any hair to lose from your arms anyway, Lex, so I'll just keep an eye on you." Clark smirked. "Y'know, to make sure you don't get burned."

"Uh-huh." He narrowed his eyes. "Okay. But you'd better be able to move pretty damn fast."

The smirk slanted sideways for a moment before turning upward into a brilliant smile. "No problem."

Lex leaned back against Clark's chest, although the pressure of Clark's hands kept their lower bodies separate. He cocked his head to the side so that Clark could rest his chin on his shoulder. When Clark pressed one finger into his navel through the vinyl, Lex shifted uncomfortably. "Clark, this feels really strange."

"It's not like this isn't strange to me, too, Lex, but you look . . . amazing. So sexy. You're making me hungry, and you haven't even started cooking yet." Clark's words were like a benediction, rapid and hot and holy, spoken right into Lex's ear, and he recognized this as special punishment for his behavior at the football game.

He reached behind himself for Clark but had his hands swatted away, so he clenched them into fists at his sides instead and breathed out slowly. Clark's left hand moved to Lex's back, and Lex felt his fingers twisting into the string around the bow. His thumb was digging into Lex's skin just below the waist. Clark spread his right hand and dragged it up and down Lex's chest, never past his hips. The vinyl peeled itself away from his skin with every movement, like suction cups tugged free. That was a kink Lex had never even imagined having, but something in him was opening up and screaming with glee beneath Clark's hand.

Clark licked the flesh behind his ear. "Still strange?" His palm had settled over Lex's heart, as if he were planning to measure the beats as a lie detector.

"Hell, yes."

"Mmm." The rumbling of Clark's lips sparked against a surprisingly sensitive spot just below and behind Lex's ear. "Too bad. Now get to it!"

So Lex stepped away from Clark, who jumped up onto the counter in front of the oven, and got to it. He made the potato cakes, spent the next five minutes washing from fingertip to elbow to rid himself of butter and spud bits, then mashed many, many pounds of ground chuck into hamburger patties, and spent ten minutes after that scrubbing his arms again.

Clark had really angled for Lex to use the hibachi outside in order to grill the burgers. He'd gestured at the twilight outside the kitchen windows. "You own, what, five hundred acres in each direction? And you did banish the staff to the opposite end of the mansion. It's not like anyone else would see you!"

"Remember the apron discussion and what I said about my cooking completely naked, Clark?"

"Um, that it's never going to happen?"

"Right. In case you hadn't noticed, it's very close to freezing outside. Besides, at least in here I can lock the doors, although that's been an admittedly faulty line of defense in the past."

Clark made a face at him.

"Don't even try it. No puppy dog eyes either. You're going to eat oven-grilled hamburgers and like them, or I'm going to put my real clothing back on and go upstairs by myself."

"That's not fair!"

"Screw fairness. I couldn't even win this bet through bribery; no way am I going the fair route now."

"You're bad, Lex."

Clark grinned, and Lex turned away. He opened the oven and bent down low behind the open door to insert the cookie sheet full of hamburger patties. "You don't know the half of it," he muttered.

"What?"

Clark's face appeared between his legs, and Lex stared upside-down at him. He wasn't quite shocked, but it was a definite surprise.

Warmth emanated from the open, pre-heated oven, hitting the top of his head in waves. At this angle, the apron was drawn tight across his chest; it made his breath catch. It was a lot like being trapped underwater -- in a geyser. Not that he had any previous personal experience with that.

He wondered if Clark were a mirage, especially when Clark's tongue flicked out to paint a long, wet stripe up the back of his thigh. Lex braced his hands on the cool edges of the stainless steel counters, above and to the sides of the oven, and mumbled something completely unintelligible. If he remembered correctly, ovens didn't dole out as much radiation as microwaves, so hopefully his cock would just keep getting harder instead of shrinking before his eyes.

Clark licked the back of his other thigh, this time in a downward motion, and tucked one hand between Lex's legs. When Lex spread them a little further, Clark rubbed his thumb over the head of Lex's cock and just barely touched his tongue to Lex's balls. Then he pulled away and leaned back against his hands.

Before managing to refocus on Clark's still upside-down face, Lex absently noted the smear of pre-come on the previously clean vinyl in front of his cock. He shifted and felt the apron tug at him, more sticky than slick. "Hey."

"Hey."

"Get back here, and do that again."

The smirk, at least, was back. "I don't feel like it."

Lex felt sweat gathering at his forehead and attempted to think cool, calming thoughts. They were a little reluctant to surface, given that he was also currently attempting to get Clark's tongue on his skin again. "Well, that's too bad. You can't just stop."

Clark cocked his head to the side and raised an innocent eyebrow. "Really? Why not?"

"Because it's not fair."

Clark stuck three fingers in his mouth, sucking for a moment, then pulling them out to answer, "Nah, I'm with you now. Screw fairness."

Lex started to turn and straighten to face Clark. He rolled his eyes at the way the see-through apron curved around his erection, but Clark was sucking on his fingers again, and a little pre-come wouldn't ruin the apron or anything. It was just a scrap of vinyl that Clark had probably picked up for $3.99 at the general store. The cheap string itched along Lex's neck and waist, and down where the tails of Clark's awkwardly tied bow trailed over his ass.

"Screw you." He'd been going for petulant, but he sounded more desperate than anything else.

Way too much of the material was clinging to him, driving Lex crazy with its friction and how it warmed to match his body temperature. Clark had tied the bow so tightly that the apron fitted Lex's body even more closely than his leather gloves -- and possibly the leather pants in his bottom dresser drawer as well -- and the vinyl surface was similarly smooth. It wasn't nearly as flexible or soft as it pulled on his skin, though; it was too fucking tight and stiff. Lex had to wonder if his gloves had given Clark this idea. He considered himself lucky that Clark hadn't stooped low enough to chose an apron that said "Kiss the Cook," but at least that might have sped things up a little.

"Nope." Clark put his hand on the tented apron, moving his fingers so that they left streaks of saliva across the vinyl over Lex's cock. "I think you'd better turn back around and bend over again instead."

Lex obeyed without another word. The heat pouring out to coat his chest made him look into the oven, staring at bright red coils and meat that was beginning to sizzle. He could definitely sympathize.

The food would most likely be ruined if he didn't shut the damn oven door and set the timer. Clark's teeth scraped against the back of his left thigh, at the lower curve of his ass -- and oh, fuck the food. The burgers would just have to become the so-called spoils of war. He put his hands on the counters again, bending to take the brunt of the heat on the back of his head and neck rather than his face.

"Now what?"

Clark met Lex's eyes from between his legs and grinned wickedly, baring his teeth in response. He nipped at Lex's leg again and worked his way up, pressing little bites into Lex's ass. As he shifted from side to side, now alternating each sharp nibble with an open-mouthed, sucking kiss, the muscles in Clark's throat stretched and flexed. Lex's view of the movement was slightly distorted by the transparent vinyl barrier that he now almost regretted having added to this exercise. Hearing something crackle in the oven ahead, he shuddered. Almost.

Slick fingers slid around his cock and made the sight between Lex's legs even more interesting, although the subsequent wet streak he could see going down the front of the apron was more amusing than arousing. Clark started to stroke him in conjunction with the actions of his mouth: up, bite, down, suck. Lex grunted, pushing into Clark's hand and against his lips.

Lex knew that he was sweating, and he would have leaned his head down to press against the oven door if he hadn't been able to imagine just how much worse that would be than his first -- and, thank God, only -- skull sunburn. Even really nasty, hot sex with Clark couldn't make up for getting blisters like that again.

Speaking of blistering heat, his cock was starting to get a little too warm, and not just from the friction of Clark's hand. He managed to gasp out Clark's name, nearly growling when Clark swiped his tongue across one cheek, dipped shallowly into the crevice between, and licked across the other cheek to mumble a "Hmm?" against his ass.

"Stop." Lex had panted that, but it was still a terrible word.

"Stop?" Hot breath gusted over his skin as Clark snorted. Oh, God, such a terrible, terrible word.

Unfortunately, he was also hit with another wave of heat on the front of his body, and his cock was starting to point out that pain hadn't really been on today's sexual schedule. Lex wrapped his hand around Clark's to still its motion. "Hot," he stated.

"Isn't that the point, Lex?"

Clark brushed his thumb over the head of Lex's cock and planted a sloppy, wet bite on the back of his knee. Lex's mouth fell open, and he jerked involuntarily into the combined grip of his and Clark's hands. He'd always known that his double entendres would come back and bite him in the ass someday. The idea that the bite might be literal hadn't particularly occurred to him.

"Unghh." There was a chance that he would never again use polysyllabic words outside his own mind. He heard the meat starting to make much louder sizzling noises and decided not to add body parts, or every last shred of his libido, to the list of things that would be lost as a result of this inane bet. "Stop," he said, in the closest he could muster to a commanding tone.

Clark's hand and mouth were instantly gone from his body, more quickly than Lex could process at first. He heard the slap of palms against linoleum and confirmed, with a glance behind him, that Clark was squatting and leaning back on his hands again. He gave a sigh of relief as he lifted the oven door and slammed it shut. When he leaned forward to set the timer, the press of the door was cool through the sticky press of the vinyl against his thighs. Well, it was comparatively less hot anyway.

"Finally." Ooh, three syllables.

A throat cleared behind him, and Lex turned his head. Clark tapped his fingers on the floor and waited, one eyebrow raised. Lex made sure that every single burner on the stove was turned off and at least mostly cooled. Then he stretched as far across the surface as the muscles in his stomach and back would allow, planting his hands on the wall above the stove dials and spreading his legs. He didn't turn when Clark whistled, didn't move when he felt one of Clark's hands following the curve of his spine all the way from his ass to the back of his head.

Clark's body was draped over his a second later, and Lex couldn't help pushing back a little at the too-clothed hardness fitting between his legs. Clark lifted his hand to kiss Lex's scalp before sliding his tongue out and covering it with brief, delicate licks. One of Clark's hands shifted in front of the oven door to cup Lex's cock through the apron, while the other settled tightly, possessively, on his hip. Lex moaned loudly when Clark's mouth closed over the knob of bone at the base of his skull and began sucking. He moaned again when the wet suction disappeared, but he couldn't get out any sound at all when Clark tightened his fist around his vinyl-covered cock and spoke.

"You thought you were hot before, Lex?" There was warmth at his ear from the proximity of Clark's mouth, but Lex had no intention of doing anything so stupid as claiming Clark was full of hot air. Not when . . . "That was nothing."

He pushed into Clark's hand, hard. Within Clark's grip, the vinyl encasing Lex pinched him slightly. The apron transmitted heat from Clark's palm but didn't really let him feel Clark. He needed more. Clark squeezed, which made the vinyl constrict with a snapping noise, and Lex twitched. Clark licked and bit at the back of his neck, mimicking the straining of the apron with his teeth.

"Yesssss." He was back to single syllables, and those burners must not really have cooled at all, because his skin was way too tight. There wasn't even enough air to breathe. Either Clark was really heavy, or the castle was in dire need of oxygen tanks and some additional vents.

Lex turned his head to the side, gasping for breath, and Clark's teeth sank into his shoulder, a hell of a lot harder than at the beginning of all this. He wanted more friction on his cock, but Clark wasn't moving his hand at all, just holding him still, even as Lex tried to thrust. He ground back against the front of Clark's jeans, seeking more roughness than the well-worn material offered. Clark leaned back, easing his weight off Lex and leaving Lex's ass hanging in the castle's excuse for air.

Lex growled. He yanked one hand from the wall and reached back to grab Clark's hip. When Clark started to pull away, Lex stood up straight and caught his other hip, slamming Clark forward against his own back. He swallowed a groan just so he could hear Clark's instead, and then he tilted his head to meet Clark's gaze. "Clark, if you don't stop teasing me in the next ten seconds, I swear you're going to find out first-hand if it's possible to get a denim burn on your dick, okay?"

A strange flicker went through Clark's eyes, right before Lex felt him grow even harder against Lex's ass. He shifted one hand to Clark's cock and gripped it tightly. "So. The first step away from that is for you to take these damn jeans off. And the shirt."

At Clark's nod, Lex released him. He watched, arms folded over his chest, as Clark's flannel shirt landed in the sink, shoes -- possibly permanently -- beneath the refrigerator, and jeans near the doorway to the hall. Clark still wore boxers and a T-shirt, though, and Lex was about to insist that those be removed as well.

He uncrossed his arms to gesture and opened his mouth. Before he could speak, Lex was facing the stove again, pressed up against it with Clark's hands ramming his own back onto the wall.

Hmm.

Radiation most likely wouldn't have affected him so quickly as to mess with his head this much, not that he wanted to think the oven had really exposed him in the first place. He started to smile, because if anyone was exposing Lex, it was Clark. He'd barely opened his mouth to comment on the instant repositioning when a hand covered it. Two thick, warm fingers pushed their way between his lips and stroked his tongue.

"I won, remember, Lex?" The words were hard -- and, oh, yeah, Clark was hard and hot in the cleft of his ass -- but his voice was soft, almost sweet and pleading. "Play by the rules."

Clark's other hand slipped around Lex's body, tugging him in even closer until his fingers found Lex's nipple. He twisted it, and Lex decided to pretend that an intelligent response about the actual lack of rules involved in their current activity had come out of his mouth, rather than a whimper. Lex sucked Clark's fingers in a vague attempt at retaliation; Clark laughed at him and started rubbing them over Lex's other nipple.

Being so completely at the mercy of Clark Kent seemed against the laws of nature. Fortunately, Lex was as willing to ignore those laws as any others when they were really just in his way. Wet friction on his overheated skin made a really, really worthy excuse in this case.

He lifted his right hand from the wall and moved it toward his cock. Clark's fingers tightened on his nipple as he wrapped his other hand around Lex's. Instead of replacing their hands on the wall as Lex had expected, though, Clark tucked them under the apron and started pumping his cock with their combined grip. His knuckles were immobilized between Clark's, every part of his hand surrounded by Clark just like the rest of his body; he was trapped between two powerful heat sources. He had no control over the pace, and virtually none over anything else.

Lex muttered a "God, yeah" and entertained momentary, bizarre thoughts of punching his left hand right through the wall as Clark clenched his -- their -- fingers and jacked him harder. He pushed into the movement, shivering a little when Clark dug his fingernail nail into Lex's nipple before smoothing that hand over Lex's chest and down his stomach, then around to press against Lex's hip.

"So, these --" He worked his throat for a minute, trying to think with a brain not lodged down under Clark's fingers. "These supposed rules that you've imagined. Do they include you fucking me any time soon?"

Both grips tightened.

"Or do I just get to keep fucking your hand? Because --"

"Not yet." The words were a distinct purr against his back while Clark slid down -- ahhh, that was Clark's cock rubbing all the way from Lex's ass to his knee -- and squatted behind him again.

"Well --"

The "Shut up" that was meant to cut him off came a second too late: what really made Lex's throat close up was the wet flick of Clark's tongue at his balls. That, and the very well timed pressure of Clark's thumb just under the head of his cock, both of which were light enough touches to take Lex close to the edge without actually letting him anywhere near it. He really felt like kicking Clark right then, but that would have unacceptably knocked the mouth and hand away from their current positions. He settled for gurgling and wiggling his ass instead.

Clark laughed at him again.

And really, even allowing for how amazing a certified Clark Kent laugh sounded, there was only so much a guy could be expected to take. Lex was certain he would have made some attempt at telling Clark that, except Clark's tongue was still between his legs. Tight in between and tracing back and forth like there were flashing arrows between Lex's ass and his balls, and Clark just couldn't decide which prize to choose.

Lex freed their hands from his cock, and Clark's hands shifted to his ass, palms wide and greedy. Lex dropped his hand far enough down for Clark to get the message and swipe his tongue roughly over it. Then he curled his fingers around his cock again and waited. Clark's nose bumped against his hand, so he moved it instinctively.

"God, Clark, that's so good." He couldn't help a few more slow strokes.

He looked over his shoulder just in time to see Clark's hands shift to the sides of his ass and spread him open. His head snapped back to face the stove again, and he winced. Inexplicable whiplash for his next visit to the chiropractor. Yes, that's exactly what he needed. Not that any doctor or any other person would be stupid enough to question a Luthor, or --

Or to really give a fuck about irrelevant crap when Clark had just made one long lick out of the skin between your balls and your waist. There were better things to do with that enticement than question, or even think. Lex tightened his hand on his cock and pumped harder, damp fist partially sticking to the apron on every upstroke.

Sweat glazed his skin; he felt it on his stomach just above the oven door, and he felt it sliding down his ass to meet Clark's lips. He'd apparently turned into a doughnut for Clark to mouth his skin, and Clark must have been the jelly doughnut kind of person, if the way that he was tonguing the edges of Lex's hole were any indication. Lex moaned and tried not to wonder when he'd gone doughy.

"Please."

Clark pulled back. "'Please' what?"

Lex tried to push into his fist again, but Clark's fingers pressed in and held him still. He wanted to yell and grab Clark and throw him down to be fucked right there on the linoleum. He wanted Clark to fuck him up against the stupid, ancient oven. He wanted everything. So he begged. "More. You won. Anything. Just, please."

"Okay." Clark's thumbs moved gently, almost soothingly, for a moment. "Watch the timer."

Lex blinked and tried to re-focus on the oven timer in front of him. "Whaa-ahhh."

Clark said odd things sometimes. He'd had to get used to that. It helped that other times, Clark's mouth did such wonderful, spectacular things, like sealing over his hole and sucking. Plus, there was a probing tongue, and unless you were dealing with aliens, probes could definitely be good. Lex made a noise that, in some other lifetime, might have been a grunt. Hell, maybe even aliens if they were using a tongue like Clark's.

He shook his head. There was way, way too little oxygen getting to his brain.

Clark's tongue pushed at the entrance, the tip nudging inside. Lex shifted his legs even further apart and jerked his cock. Involuntarily, his hips bucked forward and back, into his hand and onto Clark's tongue when it pushed harder against him. Clark was breathing into him, scraping Lex's hole with his teeth, fucking Lex with a thousand dark and dirty words that wouldn't reach his ears. He was sharpening his polite tongue on Lex, Kent knife to Luthor whetstone.

The hands on the timer looked as though they were going really fast, like they were spinning around and around and would never stop. Clark's tongue went in deeper, and Lex's vision blurred. Clark was pushing inside him like he'd never come out -- or he would only come out once he knew every single detail that Lex had ever kept from him. He was wet, dense heat like sweat within Lex, and he was thrusting with more power than should be allowed in a tongue.

"Clark." Lex realized that he was practically humping the oven door, trying to get more leverage, to get off, to get Clark's tongue moving deeper faster harder. He pumped his fist and again felt the scrape of Clark's teeth. "Fuck, Clark!"

Clark's hands and mouth left his ass, and his hands pulled Lex's away from his cock no matter how much Lex resisted. Plus there was a buzzing in his head. It spread down through his body, vibrating sparks in his veins like Clark had been a live wire and Lex's skin was still trying to feed the electricity back into the ground. This had to be some kind of permanent side effect of blue balls.

Okay, so it was the timer, and he probably needed to turn that off or smash it or something. The tongue, though -- Jesus, that tongue -- was tracing the edge of his ear. Clark bit down, and Lex choked on a gasp. He scrabbled with his free hand for the timer and tore at it until the noise stopped, and an additional lucid moment allowed him to yank at other dials until he'd managed to turn off the oven itself.

He tilted his head and met Clark's gaze. Clark grinned at him.

"Now, you were saying?"

"Uhh . . . 'Fuck, Clark'?"

The grin widened. "Thanks, Lex. I think I will."

Before Lex's brain even began to process that, Clark had yanked him toward the stainless steel counter island behind them. Then Clark's warm hands were pushing him down on his back on the chilled countertop. He let his knees tuck around the edge of the counter, and he sucked in a breath as the cold from the steel soaked into his back.

Lex was held in place as Clark's gaze swept from his eyes to his dangling -- well, his feet, but there were other dangling parts in between that deserved attention, too, even if they were behind a layer of vinyl. The apron, stretched by his position, clung to his skin even more tightly than before.

His lips twisted as he lay there waiting. The shiver that made his body twitch was only partially faked. "I assume you're going to compensate for that drop in temperature."

Clark lifted one of Lex's hands and lapped at his palm. "Maybe."

"Maybe?"

His tongue corkscrewed between each of Lex's fingers at the base, and Lex couldn't keep from writhing slightly. There still wasn't any heat beneath him, but Clark had sparks in his eyes that suggested maybe Lex was in for a slow roast. Clark placed little bites up and down his fingers, and harsher, scraping bites at the webbing and knuckles.

Lex reached out to grab Clark's other hand, hooking his foot behind Clark's leg to pull him down closer. The apron made loud, cracking sounds, a little bit reminiscent of his leather couch whenever Clark sank into it. That sound-image correlation went straight to Lex's cock in a way that the scientist in him wanted to study until the Pavlovian response could be perfected.

He licked across Clark's fingertips and held them within range of his breath. "Didn't you say something about fucking me? And shouldn't you be completely undressed by now?"

Clark's grip on his hand loosened. A flush was spreading over Clark's skin, which was a gorgeous sight, but he wasn't the one who needed to be warmed up, damn it.

He sucked Clark's index finger into his mouth, once and then again after each word. "All. Clothing. Off. Now."

"And didn't I tell you to shut up? We're doing this my way, Lex." Clark pushed his thumb against Lex's lips before jerking his hand free. Then he winked and leered at the same time -- probably meant to seem a very dangerous combination. "I just happen to agree with you on this particular point."

Clark's T-shirt went flying in the general direction of his jeans. The boxers seemed to have disappeared entirely. His quick, insistent fingers had kept Lex from untying and tossing the apron far away, too. That and a clothing tornado, however, were small prices to pay for naked Clark. Of course, he did have a cleaning staff and a very large sum of money, so -- right, naked Clark. Standing in front of him and looking hungry in a way that probably (please, oh, please) had nothing to do with the rich, meaty scent permeating the air.

Lex sat up to slide his arms around Clark's neck, and Clark's lips met his almost immediately. He pulled Clark back down with him, because the cold metal was not making any part of his body happy. Clark's warmth and hardness were much preferable to the steel, not that Lex found that at all surprising. His body apparently had mixed feelings about stiff apron material, but the reasons for that were not ones that he wanted to explore at the moment. Again, better things to do.

Clark cupped Lex's head and slid his tongue into Lex's mouth, maybe searching it for the things he couldn't have learned anywhere else. Lex knew how to talk out loud and get what he wanted, but he was still figuring out the nuances of this separate language he shared with Clark. He opened his mouth wide and curled his tongue around Clark's without knowing exactly what he was saying. Hopefully something along the lines of, 'Hot, wet mouth = good. Bare, hardening cocks = very good. Cold, hard countertop = bad, but getting better.'

Clark moaned into his mouth and shifted, tilting his head to trail his lips down Lex's chin and neck. He nuzzled at the bones forming Lex's shoulders, teeth sinking into the skin past the stupid white apron strings. Lex arched his neck to give Clark room but arched his whole spine when Clark's mouth closed over his nipple through the vinyl. Clark tugged at it, and as Lex cried out, Clark pushed his fingers at Lex's bottom lip. He could feel Clark's cock nudging urgently against his hip, through vinyl. The barrier formed by the apron was weird and tight, and that was definitely making Lex harder now.

He let three of Clark's fingers slide past his lips and over his teeth, the fourth finger and thumb tucking up close beneath his jaw. Lex folded his tongue around them, but Clark pulled his hand back. He'd nudged the apron aside to press his tongue against Lex's nipple and now seemed to be waiting for some concession. Like his smirk was buried in Lex's chest but he wanted to remind Lex of who had control anyway.

Lex slowly relaxed his jaw. Clark began thrusting his fingers in and out, languidly fucking Lex's mouth while his own claimed possession of Lex's other nipple. Clark's hair usually would have been heavy softness on Lex's chest, kind of tickling him; thanks to the apron, it was just blocking his view and making soft noises as it brushed over the vinyl. Lex slipped his hands into his hair. He was trying to get his legs around Clark's waist and rub against Clark, and Clark allowed it for a minute.

He curled his fingers over Lex's tongue and rocked into Lex's thrusts. Before Lex could establish any kind of rhythm, though, Clark shifted and started licking the rest of Lex's chest. He licked what he could reach around and beneath the edges of the apron on each side, working his way down -- and stopping at the waist. His hand slipped from Lex's mouth, but the thumb that swept abruptly over the head of Lex's cock was only moist from pre-come.

Dry fingers, Clark's other hand, grazed past to fold up the apron into a double layer on Lex's chest, off his lower abdomen and out of the way of his cock. The wet fingers moved over the apron, leaving streaks like high gloss body paint. Lex could barely feel the pressure through the vinyl.

"You know --" Lex's breath hitched. "I never would have pegged you for such a tease."

"Yes." Clark sucked at his skin, somewhere around the top left edge of his hipbone. "You would have."

He switched to the right side and applied teeth this time. Lex bucked hard and stifled a curse when his cock brushed past Clark's shoulder. Clark closed his dry hand around Lex and pumped a few times as he dipped his tongue into Lex's navel. Again, the motion stopped just as Lex reached the vicinity of being close to coming, but the firm grip was maintained.

"Oh, Christ. You're absolutely right. I always knew you were a total cocktease bastard. Making me wait four months before you would even kiss me -- four months of casual touches and batted eyelashes...." Lex momentarily had to stop ranting when his mouth was covered and filled by Clark's hand. He lost his train of thought completely after that.

Two of Clark's wet fingers were pushing in deep where his tongue had already so enthusiastically blazed a trail, and hot exhalations surrounded his fingers. Finally the countertop had warmed up, but that didn't particularly matter anymore. Lex was burning from the inside out. The stretch made every muscle in his body tighten.

Clark thrust a little harder and spread his fingers, searching beyond tongue depth. Lex could feel Clark's tongue back there, too, now, against his hole and against Clark's fingers. Clark was the brilliant one, really. Keeping them all so nice and slippery. It was making the third finger go in very easily, with just an edge of friction to make Lex clench and release. He ought to express gratitude for that later, and he mumbled something to that effect, although Clark either didn't notice or was content to wait for later. And that was fine. Clark could just continue doing exactly what he was doing, and Lex could just twist his pelvis a little to get those fingertips -- ahh. He groaned as Clark quirked his fingers and bumped his prostate again.

Of course, that kind of pleasure wasn't allowed to continue for long. Clark's fingers stayed inside him but stroked sideways, and the hand so tight on his cock made an even tighter circle between his cock and balls.

There was a moment in which Lex sincerely debated grabbing the nearest steak knife; he would simply add homicide to sodomy, corporate espionage, and his multiple other small-town Kansan crimes.

His toes curled at an accidental deep jab. Lex set his jaw and rolled his eyes. Much more of this, and Clark would kill him anyway, so he might as well just go along for the ride. A ride that had damned well better start in earnest soon.

Lex would be the first -- all right, maybe not the first, but he'd be willing, under a certain amount of pressure -- to admit that he wasn't exactly new to anal sex, even with Clark. Somehow, though, he'd never quite been able to figure out what to do with his legs when it was like this, when he was on his back and about to be fucked. Should they be tucked around Clark's waist, flexing to absorb each thrust? Hooked over Clark's shoulders for optimal depth? Bent at the knees, and spread wide enough to plant his heels on the counter beside Clark's hips? The businessman in Lex always wanted to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to each option.

There were so many reasons to be thankful he didn't do business with his dick.

Lex bent his knees as close to his chest as possible and tried to force himself down further. Clark's fingers pulled out, accompanied by a loud, wet noise. And Lex whined. Loudly. "Come on. Just fuck me already."

Clark grabbed one of Lex's hands and messily licked his fingers, then wrapped them around his cock. Lex jerked him quickly, just enough to make him a little slick, and said again, "Fuck me, Clark."

Clark growled at him and -- oh, hell, yes, finally -- pressed his thumbs at the edges of Lex's hole and lined up his cock. As the head penetrated, Lex made himself stay relaxed. Clark ran his hands up Lex's legs, to his ankles and back. Clark's palms made hot circles against the backs of his thighs, and that seemed like a fairly good answer to the leg question on Clark's part. The next thrust, maybe halfway in, startled Lex into moaning.

One more, all the way now, commanded like Clark's tone. "I'm right here, Lex. Nowhere else. Stay here with me."

That had him closing his fists over the edge of the counter and holding on tight. Clark quickly pulled back, almost out of him, followed by a slow grind forward. He eased in one long inch at a time, and once he was in completely, Clark immediately jerked back again. Lex's apron squeaked in protest at the abrupt movement; Lex empathized. Slowly in but fast out -- it felt like a backward rhythm, as if Clark were fucking with Lex's mind as much as his body. Lex struggled to get his legs loose, to get Clark to just go, but he was as inflexible as a rock, in and around Lex.

Lex kept wriggling, trying to get leverage against the smooth counter. He bit back a scream of frustration and nearly chewed through his own tongue in the process. "Clark, I get the point," he muttered through gritted teeth. "I'm not going anywhere. It's still your game."

He glanced up and watched Clark's lashes fall to hide his eyes. Clark held still for a moment. His grip on Lex's legs eased as his hands slid around, palms cupping Lex's knees, thumbs rubbing gently at the crease behind them.

"So let's play," Clark said against his skin, and somehow that wasn't at all what Lex had thought would happen. Neither was the series of kisses being placed along the back of his calves. He sighed, wanting to reach for his cock but not moving his hands from the edge of the counter.

There was a decent chance this was just another tease. Lex shifted his gaze to the ceiling. If he thought hard enough, he might even be capable of willing his erection away entirely.

A drop of sweat rolled down from the inside of his ankle, and that damn tongue, soft and slick now, chased after it.

So much for that idea.

Clark thrust into him roughly, finally latching onto a regular pace. Lex tried to look down, where Clark's hips pistoned back and forth. Clark tugged upward, hands still firm on Lex's legs, changing their position just enough. He drove in to hit the spot that made Lex groan, tilt his head back, and snap his hips. Clark's aim wasn't perfect every time, but Lex had stopped expecting perfection from Clark quite a while ago. When he asked for something, Clark responded in kind, and that was good.

Lex asked for more, harder, now, and got it, and that was probably as close to perfect as he would know in his lifetime.

Clark sought his gaze, and he planted his hands on the counter beside Lex's. Lex lifted and spread his legs, sliding his feet around to meet behind Clark's back. Clark's mouth found Lex's, and his tongue matched his cock, diving roughly.

Without warning, he came hard inside Lex, which was ridiculously unfair after Lex had waited so long. He would definitely have a thing or two to teach Clark about teasing in the near future -- just as soon as he was done being fucked into a nice coma.

The kiss deepened even as Clark pumped more shallowly. Ragged final thrusts drove Lex hard against the counter, and Lex wrapped his hands around Clark's tensed shoulders. He had another fleeting thought of jelly filling and the fact that Clark really had been looking for it in the wrong place earlier, because Lex was coming all over the inside of the vinyl apron, along with Clark's and his legs.

His body twitched when Clark slowly pulled out and broke their kiss. The damn steel counter was nowhere near comfortable enough, but he might just curl up and sleep here all the same. Lex closed his eyes, then quickly blinked them open again, hearing the vinyl shift against him.

He opened his mouth but had to swallow a few times before he could talk, and by then the question would have been pointless. Clark was wiping the apron with his fingers and licking them clean. He lay still and watched silently until Clark straightened the apron over his cock again, looking satisfied.

"All right, I have to admit that I thought this was a little weird, but now that we've done it --"

"Done?" Clark's eyebrows went up, and Lex's drew together. Apparently, he'd misjudged that satisfaction concept.

"We've done the whole cooking naked, sex in a vinyl apron thing. Sex which, I might add, has probably rendered the burgers and potato cakes completely cold."

"Oh, Lex. Lex, Lex, Lex." Clark shook his head and found, somewhere in his adopted Kent genes, the nerve to cluck his tongue at Lex. This was very sad, since until that moment, Lex would have been quite willing to build a shrine to that self-same tongue.

He dropped his head into his hands and peered up at Clark. "Yes, Clark?"

A smile blinded him. "Exactly. Stick with that."

"Stick with...?" Clark's head tilted to the side and his hands went to his hips. Oh. Well, Lex would most likely be better off with single syllables again for a while anyway. "Yes, Clark."

"We're not done. You still have to make dessert."

Clark offered Lex a hand off the counter, turning him to face the refrigerator. He could nearly feel waves of cold rolling off its surface and tightening his skin, but Clark was pressed right up against his back. He made a much warmer, more cushioned support than the counter had been. And Clark's cock was still half-hard where it nudged Lex's ass. Lex slid his hands up the front of the refrigerator in a parody of a caress but didn't open the door. "Yes, Clark?"

Clark's tongue was defending its honor, teasing at the back of Lex's neck and brushing over his shoulder blades.

"I think the request was pudding." A sharp bite was delivered to his shoulder. "With whipped cream." To the other shoulder. "Lots of it."

"Okay."

Clark said, "Hmm?" directly into his ear and paused, hands curved around Lex's waist.

Oh, right. Lex bent his head to lean against the fridge. "Yes. Clark."

He was going to end up with weird magnet impressions on his skull, and Clark would probably make fun of him all day tomorrow. The latest grade school photo of Ms. Avery's daughter stared at him, from the relative safety of a magnetized frame on the refrigerator door, with nothing short of a Mona Lisa smirk. Lex blinked at the picture and then, shuddering, very carefully pushed it around to the far side of the fridge. That left him facing a warped and murky reflection of himself in the steel surface, but the angle of Lex's head also showed Clark behind him if he looked hard enough.

Clark was talking without really speaking aloud again; Lex felt something suspiciously like "I won" being traced wetly into the skin of his back. Clark's hands rubbed up and down his back and ass, skimming past the horizontal apron strings to knead his counter- and Clark-abused flesh.

Their reflected selves blended together in Lex's vision and blurred further. He began repeating his assigned mantra, trying very hard not to think about how many different ways he could be called a sore loser after this. He decided, though, to break the rules one more time.

"So," Lex said, slowly and deliberately but without enough pause for interruption from Clark, "Who do you think was ahead when the timer went off?"

Clark's hands moved to spread heat over the front of Lex's body. His laugh sounded a little exasperated, and his breath was deliciously warm against Lex's shoulders. "I thought we already covered that."

Knowing that only his reflection -- and maybe Ms. Avery's daughter -- would see him, Lex couldn't help but smile through his response. "Yes, Clark."



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