Clark wishes he were normal but he's not; Lex proves it to him when they're alone together. His tongue is the key to a puzzle Clark hasn't been able to solve on his own. Suddenly, the pieces fall into place. It's the second-biggest surprise of his life.
Clark's kisses were formed against a teenage girl's candy-glossed lips. Lex needs something harder, reshaping Clark's eager mouth with his tongue.
Lex's use of Clark is rough, but not unfriendly. When they're through, Clark feels melted and malleable, but Lex is the one whose face is blurred by friction, lips swollen and red.
Clark says, "I love you."
"I know you do." The sound of a zipper opening, tooth by metal tooth, is loud in the dark. Sounds of kisses are overlaid with the rustle of fabric, clothing being shed.
A thin layer of damp cloth against Lex's palm, Clark's pulse beneath that. Clark arches into his touch, gasping. He says, "Lex, wait; I want--I want you to know me."
"It's okay; I do." He tastes Clark's neck, hears the hitch in his breath, then takes his weight as his knees buckle.
Clark shudders. "You don't, Lex."
"It's okay. I know enough."
Hiss of breath as sharp teeth close on his throat. Clark's leg over his shoulder, the other at his waist, pulling him in and in. His thighs are tight against Clark's ass, slick with sweat and lubricant. He wants in deeper, wants friction the length of his cock. Clark holds him still but begs, "Fuck me."
"Then let me. Let me fuck you."
Pulling back, slick traction dragging against the head of his cock; thrusting hard, sliding deep against pliant resistance. Clark wails, arching against him with each stroke.
"Is--this--what you want, Clark?"
It's good. So fucking good.
"Adrenaline, I guess."
"It's probably just junk mail."
"I must have been sleepwalking."
Clark is a liar, and a poor one, at that. Lex is more practiced, and his lies sound sincere. He can tell a lie with his whole body and still make Clark come.
"I don't fuck her, Clark."
"It's a relationship of convenience."
"I don't know what's in it for her. I've never asked."
Helen wants him to end it, now, before the wedding. Suddenly, she thinks he should be monogamous, with her. She insists. It's impossible. She's ruining everything.
"I promise you, Clark. Nothing will change."
"Helen told me, Lex. I want to see it."
"She did, did she?" Lex shakes his head with a rueful smile. "I can't say I'm surprised."
Clark clenches his fists at his sides. "I need to see it, Lex. I need to know why."
Lex's shoulders are relaxed and level, his spine ramrod straight. Clark walks down the hall behind him, watching the sun shine pink through Lex's small, neat ears.
It's a nondescript door. Lex takes a key from his pocket, puts it in the lock. "Last chance, Clark. You really don't have to see this."
"Yes, I do."
Clark turns slowly, taking it all in. The ruined Porsche on its rotating dais. The screens, each displaying some bit of Kentish evidence. The cabinets full of files. Roger Nixon's tape playing in a loop. He'd assumed that Helen exaggerated, but this is worse than he imagined. There are pictures of him everywhere, pictures of his family. His handwriting, in English and Kryptonian, blown up to poster size.
Lex tries, and fails, to mitigate the impact of his collection. "I come here to think, Clark."
"To think about me." Clark's voice is low and tense.
"Among other things," Lex admits.
Clark is livid. "This isn't about the accident, Lex. This is about me." His face is beautifully shadowed and blue-lit, fists clenched at his sides. "Why don't you just ask me?"
Lex laughs, a harsh bark. "Ask you? Just ask? Since when do you answer my questions?"
"Did you ever think I might be protecting you?"
"No. I never did think that. I think you're protecting yourself. From me. It hurts, Clark."
"You have to stop. You have to get rid of this...stuff."
"I can't do that."
"I won't. I need to know."
What Curiosity Did to the Cat
It's been a week, and Clark hasn't been back. Helen keeps her distance, sleeping elsewhere; he sees her diamond flashing a warning down at the other end of the dining table.
Mrs. Kent stammers, a worse liar than her son, and says that Clark isn't home and, no, she doesn't know when he'll be back.
Mr. Kent walks out to the fence, knocks on the passenger window. He's not angry, just pitying. He tells Lex it's dangerous to park here, half in the road. He tells him to go home, calls him "son."
He's ready to stop asking questions now.
Philip of Macedonia
He's been shut up in his office all morning, methodically breaking expensive toys. If he hesitates even a moment, he's afraid he'll start cutting off pieces of his own flesh, sizable chunks. If he slows, if he shows any fear, the shadow in the corner will take him down in an instant. He drinks in frantic gulps, attempting to control his heartbeat, but the crazy knocking continues unfettered.
Is it predator's instinct? Or is he really prey? Without turning, he knows his father is here, uninvited. Lex suddenly realizes how very, very drunk he is.
"Why are you here, Dad?"
Lex is drunk and hiding it poorly. He faces Lionel only a little unsteadily, his expression haughty, but even a bad father knows when his child is in pain.
"Why are you here, Dad?"
"Gabe Sullivan called. He's worried about you."
Lex stiffens. "LexCorp is none of your concern."
"You aren't LexCorp, son."
Lex sneers and turns away.
Lionel tries again: "Alexander died at 33. Losing Hephaestion ruined him."
"I know, Dad."
"I don't think you do," Lionel sighs. "Love is a distraction."
Lex's shoulders shake soundlessly.
Impatiently, Lionel snaps, "You're better off without him, Lex." and pours another brandy.
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