Marketed in fall, small, orange and potent, the Habanero was the object of Clark's current fascination. This particular chile had sufficient heat to tear the eyes of the most jaded spicy food enthusiast and a sumptuous flavor that transcended the burn. Add to that the fact that the shape of the tiny, powerful chile brought to mind the contours of an ass, and how could Clark resist?
"Clark?" Lex's voice drifted into the kitchen. "What're you doing?"
"If I told you," Clark began, his reply lilting, "it wouldn't be a surprise."
Clark diced three of the peppers, and placed them into a bowl.
"I don't like surprises, Clark. Their unpredictability-- "
"--'Unpredictability' is what got us together."
"'Fate' is what brought us together, Clark."
Clark didn't need super-senses to know Lex quirked an eyebrow. "Really."
Clark grabbed the bowl and headed into the living room.
"Orange," said Lex, nodding approvingly. "The color's intriguing. Very autumnal."
Clark's lips turned up slightly. He crouched, taking Lex's left hand in his own.
Clark traced the lines of Lex's palm delicately with a finger, then turned the
pale hand over.
He sprinkled a bit of the diced pepper onto the back of Lex's hand.
"Clark, you might want to rethink this." Clark lowered his mouth onto Lex's hand, allowing the saliva to moisten the area. "Although I do understand people eat peppers for health reasons..."
The warmth of the pepper rose, followed by the sweetness.
"...Vitamin C, the antioxidant vitamin E, iron and potassium, for the flavor and heat, or maybe even for the endorphin kick," Lex continued.
Clark sucked, tasting the hot sweet saltiness as the flavors of Lex and the chile merged on his tongue. To the flannel clad teen's surprise, his lips began to tingle. "There's definitely nothing..." Clark spoke between licks. "...else...like...it.."
Lex quivered as Clark ran his tongue down a finger. "Especially given its rated heat is somewhere between 100,000 to 300,000 Scoville Units..." Clark popped a handful of the diced pepper into his mouth. He guided Lex's index finger inside, tongue juggling the pepper pieces as he alternated between suctioning and blowing.
Lex shuddered. "..making it the hottest pepper known..."
Clark paused. "Scoville Units?" The inscrutable businessman was wearing his "readable query" face. Clark smiled. Not just anyone was afforded that particular perk. Clark responded as Lex intended and extended his tongue. He dotted more of the Habanero along the pink landscape.
Clark leaned in, angling himself toward Lex. He balanced himself carefully, using his thighs and abdominal muscles for stability.
Slowly, Clark unbuttoned Lex's shirt, exposing immaculate white flesh. He drew his tongue deliberately across Lex's torso, leisurely tracing circles and the occasional figure eight... wherever... he... felt... like...
"Invented in 1912. By a pharmacist named Wilbur..." Lex moaned. "Scoville."
Clark stopped, tilting his head up. His green eyes were guileless -- and very bright. Lex immediately recognized Clark's state as that of enhanced arousal. Clark was very good at being able to keep some things to himself. Lex chortled. Extreme sexual excitation was not one of them.
"Scoville Units measure the amount of capsaicin - the chemical that provides the heat - in a pepper," Lex explained.
"Hmmmrrrrrm," said Clark, returning to the task at hand. He slurped more chile and suckled Lex's wrist for a bit before turning his tongue and attention to Lex's chest and stomach.
"Granted, measuring by Scoville Units is very subjective. To achieve a rating, it takes three out of five people to taste the 'heat' in a diluted solution of alcohol and sugar water. The ratio of dilution is the Scoville U-NIIIIIIIIIIIT."
Clark stifled a laugh and moved onto the neglected nipple as it appeared to require his immediate attention. He licked, then nibbled gently, adopting a soothing rhythm with tongue and teeth.
"Contrary to popular belief, the chile pepper did not originate in India. The chile pepper comes from South America, although exactly where in South America it originated is subject to debate. Many believe it first grew somewhere in central Bolivia, but this remains to be fully substantiated."
"Mmmmrrrpppphhhhffff," said Clark.
"The misconception of the origin of the chile stems back to the time of Columbus. Columbus, believing he'd discovered the Far East, believed he'd found a new type of black pepper, and subsequently named what was in fact a chile 'pepper'. What Columbus really found was not related to black pepper at all."
Clark paused, regarding Lex. Ok, it was gonna be like that. Clark felt a chill run up his spine. Nothing made him hotter than Lex Luthor playing hard to get. So if Lex wanted to play...
Clark dumped the remaining Habanero pieces into his mouth. He chewed a bit, nodding dutifully as Lex spoke. "It was referred to as aj' by the local populations. Aj' is what we now call the chile pepper. Columbus took the pepper with him back to the Iberian Peninsula, and it quickly spread around the world. It spread so quickly, and became such a substantial part of Indian and some Chinese cultures - mmmmmmmmrrrrrpppph."
Lex struggled against Clark, but only briefly. Round One definitely went to the naive farm boy from Smallville, Kansas. Lex savored the burn and taste that was Clark Kent as their lips and tongues met, mingled and lingered.
Clark pulled away. Lex licked his lips contentedly.
"The people of Thailand consume an average of five grams of hot peppers per person per day. The Korean people are close behind..." Lex paused. "Don't..."
"Stop?" Clark held up the empty bowl. "Out of Habanero."
The disappointment on Lex's face read like Fun with Dick and Jane. The facial downturn would prove to be short lived.
"Solution?" asked Clark eagerly.
"I just may have some kim chi..."
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