Her favorite picture of herself, which she kept in a small, gilt pearl frame on her vanity, was of her at ten or 12, in auburn braids. Crowded by midnight blue bottles of her scent and golden tubes of burnished red lipstick, her younger self negotiated the black and white landscape of Welsh childhood, mouth wide with surprised laughter.
It was the picture Jason liked best too. When he came grudgingly into her room, arms crossed against the onslaught of jasmine and low-lit silks, he'd unvaryingly pause before the mirror and take it up. She'd watch his reflection, the way his face set, how closely he studied it. It would be hard for him to make her out in that freckled little girl. Sometimes it was hard for her too. On those days, it was like a favorite picture of one of her nieces.
She used her fingers for her makeup. She spread her lipstick on with her pinkie and right ring finger, smudged it slowly, carefully. Licked the corner and worked more in. She had been watched at this by many men. Before his feet reached the floor, Jason would sit at the bed's edge, watching her with his small hand cupping his chin. When he didn't want to sit patiently, he'd uncap her perfume bottles and bring them up to his wrinkled nose. Or swish his finger around in her powder before she clutched his wrist lightly and pulled his hand away. Her lovers would try to grab her up from her seat before the mirror, get inside her kimono. Cup her breasts as she touched the scent to her arched neck.
She wore herringbone tweed at home in Conwy, luxurious mink and rabbit in Metropolis. She traveled with hat boxes and a lined case for her pill bottles and unguents. Inside a thin pocket, she'd slip the framed picture. She'd unpack her unmentionables first, then her scents and the photograph. She'd brush the photograph off with a swipe of her palm and set it up on the smooth table lace.
She wore her blood red kimono to the bath, running her feet into kookoon slippers. She began to unsash the kimono, it slipped off her shoulder, when over the rushing water, she heard the faint sound of glass chiming into glass.
She pressed the door open and found Lex Luthor, back turned to her, leaning over the vanity and holding her photograph in his gloved hands.
She cleared her throat. "It's hard to believe, isn't it? That I was ever so-"
"Warm?" He said, turning around, grey wool jacket dark at the shoulders where snow flakes clung and melted.
She smiled leisurely. "Young."
He looked back at the photograph, his cheeks flushed from coming in from the cold. "The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time." He said, patronizingly.
She left her white shoulder exposed and went back into her bath to turn off the steaming water. She felt him, smelled the cold on him, as he moved close behind her. She reached over, clasped the spigot handle as his long coat kissed lightly against her naked calve.
"Such a malcontented little boy..." She said to herself. When she turned to him, his eyes were soft, unfocused, following her lips. "Are you here for any particular reason Alexander, or do you just like interrupting a woman in her boudoir?"
"I want you to leave Lana Lang alone." He said, reaching slowly to brush the loose length of hair from her neck. He leaned in, just a slight movement like he was rocking from his heels to his toes, and breathed her in. She closed her eyes and bared her throat to him.
"And if I don't?" She murmured as he nosed at her pulse, so carefully, so cautiously.
"I'll make you." He said plainly, and when he suckled at her artery, she tangled his collar in her hands and dragged his hot mouth to hers.
His throat made a clicking sound as he opened to her.
Lillian was gathering her son, who had collapsed in a balcony seat somewhere, just 6 then, asleep before the chorus had risen to lament the death of Thebes. Her own son, her youngest, was also asleep, at home and tucked between the pillows of her bed. Lionel stood by, his coat over his arm, waiting with observable impatience. She rose, smiled at her husband's casual inquiry, and walked through the crowd to join Lionel.
"It appears, love, that you've misplaced your family." She said airily. He turned to her, one eyebrow raised.
"Genevieve. Yes. It does appear that way."
"Do you have a moment, Lionel? I'd like a private word." She empathized with a sturdy squeeze to his upper arm.
In the empty hallway to the second wing seating, she took his mouth, one hand in his hair, the other slipping down his chest, down his stomach to his sex, which she cupped closely through his ribbon-smooth pants.
His expression was naked and muzzy with need. She couldn't watch him, wanted to look away but he dropped to his knees.
"Oh Lex." She whispered as he steeled himself and wrenched her knees open, her kimono yanked apart.
Without preface, his tongue slicked hot across her clit. She gasped and arched, reaching behind to claw desperately at the cold porcelain. He choked, grunting as he found her emptiness, his fingers bruising her thighs.
"Slow...please, love, slow down." But he was too excited, his head bobbing, his nose bumping into her clit as he ate her out messily, frantically.
She lay a shaky hand on his head, red nails scraping his naked scalp. He whined, licking mindlessly as she caught a hold of his ear and yanked.
He came up swearing, eyes black with arousal. Spit and her wetness shined on his chin. His cheeks were bright again, heated, his ears pink.
"One would think, with Lionel Luthor for a father, you'd know your way around this a bit..." She said, smiling.
While her counterparts had all married off years before, she was nearly 35 when she finally accepted Edward Teague's proposal. Though her libido had been infamous, she seldom paired herself with anyone for long and was rarely monogamous. Her unruly passion for exotic travel took her out of Metropolis for months at a time, breaking relationships unable to weather the long, mysterious seasons apart. When she reappeared in the gossip pages, she looked like she'd stepped out of Arabian Nights, skin dark, wrists wrapped with beads and bangles, dressed sometimes in a color-rich sari, sometimes in a dirty bush jacket.
Lionel Luthor, smart in a white suit for the humid Kansas summer, strode into the salon and paused at the thread of vanilla in the air. He breathed it in, turned to his left to follow and saw her standing by herself, gorgeous in blue batik, her arms naked except for a silver cuff on the right.
He smiled indulgently. "Genevieve, you smell amazing." He breathed, leaning in to kiss her cheek.
She acknowledged his presence with an arch of her brow, then looked away and drank the rest of her red wine in one draught.
"I put the oil on my neck, my wrists." She smiled and leaned into him. "I put it between my breasts and sometimes brush it over my navel and down between my legs."
He chuckled to himself, but moved closer, listening.
"Lionel, love. I'll be upstairs acting quite immodest in a half hour. Can I expect your company?"
He bit back his grin, darting a glance over his shoulder. Lillian would be waiting with dinner on the table.
She pushed back the shower curtain and found her son standing in her bathroom, black leather jacket zipped tight and a strange, sick look on his face.
"Jason, what is it?" She asked, turning off the water.
"Mother, mother..." He said, bringing up his hands. They trembled in the steam, his palms thick with drying blood.
"My God." She gasped, stumbling out of the shower, her bare feet squeaking on the wet tile. She took a hold of his wrists and dragged him to the sink. "We have to wash it off, Jason. Dear Lord, did you get it all over the car?"
"Mother!" He shouted, so close to her ear she cringed. "I killed her! I fucking killed someone!" He tried to pull his hands out of her grip, but she dug her nails into his skin and held him under the faucet.
"It will be okay. You had to, Jason. We had to." She rubbed her palms over his, then ran his blunt nails across the back of her hand, dislodging congealed blood and bits of skin.
"Oh my God, mother. Oh my God..." He sobbed, hanging his head. She ran a wet hand over his temple, down over his cheek and embraced him from behind.
"Shh love, oh Jason. Oh love. Oh my son. I love you. I love you. Shhhh." She whispered, breathing in the smell of his hair.
She crossed her heels and held his slippery upper body inside the tight hug of her legs. He was fucking her with rabbit-quick snaps of his hips, his ass pumping obscenely. Too fast. He was going to go off before she was even wet enough to enjoy it.
She smirked against his neck, feeling his pulse jump like his heart was beating out of his chest. She sucked at his ear lobe, teething it, and his hips jerked, his rhythm shot. He was too aroused to slow, to finger her clit, to do anything more than bury his naked head into her breasts and rut, moaning. She ran her palms over his beautiful scalp, the skin as soft here as his dick. Pretty boy, really, if not as pretty as her own.
A short whine followed his entry as he neared orgasm. She lay her head back, waiting for him.
"You're a good boy, Lex." She said, patting his sweaty back. "You're such a good boy."
His body arced into her, breathless and stiff for a second, and then he was coming, groaning like it was hopeless, bucking instinctively with the flex of his cock.
The lights were low in Amsterdam, the street empty, cobbles casting shadows like dark holes. She was unbelievably tired, walking back from the Allard Pierson, her scarf wrapped around her face to cut the wind. She bent forward into it, eyes tearing up.
There are moments where, hot like a rush of blood or light or painful like a stroke, you suddenly remember something you'd forgotten, understand something that had been puzzling you.
She remembered the way her mother had looked bereft, as though someone had died, when she found her in the library with her grandfather, sitting and looking through pictures of a beautiful black stone. She had been 10, perhaps older.
At the hotel, her teenaged son was on the floor before the black and white television, knees to his chest as he ate a bowl of cereal and watched a cowboy shooting from behind a bale of hay. She drew off her scarf and stopped, looking down at Jason and the pictures of the black stone he had knocked thoughtlessly all over the rug.
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