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Decker watched the boy leave from his vantage in the cornfield across the street. Just there one moment and gone the next. Sudden acceleration that even a man with honed reflexes only caught the initial blur of. Not only bullet proof, but fast. Which explained the second bullet, the one that hadn't impacted at the fairgrounds. It also explained why he was damned hard to track. If Decker hadn't been on Lex's trail, he'd never have picked up the boy's.
He lifted the binoculars back to his eyes and watched Lex, alone now in the front drive, in the process of buttoning up his shirt. A vein began to throb in Decker's temple, a pressure of building resentment towards that boy and what Lex had been doing with him in the house. A greater resentment towards Lex who hadn't the sense to stay away from a boy who'd already put him at risk. For knowing the boy was an abomination and still letting him lay hands upon him.
Lex was a slut. Had been since he'd grown out of his gawky adolescence and into sleek young adulthood. He'd gone through a phase where his flavor of rebellion was to fuck everything that moved. A big metaphorical 'fuck you' to his daddy, who'd let him run wild, his brand of parental discipline subtle and cruel and ultimately ineffective. But he was still young, still flexible enough to learn hard lessons and Decker would instill that sense of discipline that Lionel Luthor never had been able to. Decker would deliver the sort of punishment that Lionel Luthor never had. Decker would teach him the meaning of obedience.
He trembled, following Lex's movements. He was alone now, and vulnerable. In a place that no one but the boy would know about. Decker could take him now, clean and clear with zero risk. He'd made the preparations he needed to, made a secure place, stocked it with the things he'd require. And the need was eating him from the inside out, coiling in his head like a nest of snakes, egged on by the whispers rustling at the edges of his mind. Take him. Break him. Use him like the whore he is.
The only thing stopping him was the boy. The boy was unpredictable and the boy was hard to track unless Decker knew where he would be. Lex would bring him back here, to this safe haven. Lex wouldn't be able to help himself. It was a prime location and Decker could take them both here.
He watched until Lex locked up and left, the tires of his car kicking up dust in the dry drive. When the Porsche was long out of sight, Decker rose, and went to scope out the lay of the land across the street. Began to plan his attack.
Long after dark, when he returned to his house on its secluded track of land, he sat eating cold beans from a can and stared at the chunk of raw meteor rock on the table before him. He'd connected the translucent green shard in the capsule the boy had given Lex to the same rocks he'd seen offered as souvenirs on a dusty back shelf of the salvage supply store he'd been frequenting in the months he'd been here. Rumor was that the strange happenings in Smallville and the surrounding areas had begun the day the rocks had fallen from the sky. And if the boy was to be believed, the meteor could make him bleed when a .50 caliber bullet couldn't.
He picked up the chunk he'd bought for forty dollars at the salvage shop, and began to chip away at the edges, began to fashion a shape, long and flat and glass edged sharp.
Just as well. This boy had fucked Lex. A bullet would be too impersonal a method for righting that wrong.
Pete shuffled up to Clark and Chloe the next day after Biology, looking awkward and a little embarrassed and asked. "So - - uh, you guys have a third for the comparative anatomy project?"
Chloe lifted a brow and said airily. "We were thinking of asking Lana.
"No," Clark said about the same time.
She gave him the look then, followed by a shrug and a snide, "Well, if you think you can stomach our company - -"
"Better than you giving me the stink eye all week," Pete shot back at her.
"Yeah, well, I call 'em like I see 'em."
They bickered all the way to the lockers and Clark couldn't keep the smile off his face. It felt like everything was just coming together for a change.
Clark knew Pete though, and Pete wasn't up to talking in depth about it, just yet. But the fact that Pete had made a decision to get over it was good enough for Clark. Pete had dealt with the alien thing, he could deal with this.
They headed to the Talon to confer over a science project that more than likely would get pushed to the back burner. Chloe was chatting to Pete like she hadn't talked to him in a year, and comparative anatomy never entered into the equation.
They piled into the Talon, heading for their favorite table by the window. Peggy, the day manager hailed Clark as he was heading that way, and he changed direction and went to the counter.
"We found your phone, sweetie. You need to be more careful." She slid a sleek little cell phone across the countertop towards him.
"Uh," he stared at it warily. "Its not mine."
"You sure?" she cocked her head. "That's what Mr. Luthor said, when he stopped by for take out this morning."
"Oh. Oh!" He picked it up. "Uh, yeah, I guess it is mine. I didn't realize I'd - - um, thanks."
He didn't grin until he had his back to her. Chloe and Pete were pulling out books at the table, still engrossed in catching up, so he wondered towards the pastry counter and dialed Lex.
"I see you found your phone," Lex greeted after about three rings.
"Somebody found it," Clark greeted back. "My dad's gonna flip out."
"Why would he? You bought a phone yesterday afternoon at Smallville Verizon. You can produce a sales receipt if necessary. The monthly bill will come to your house under your name. You were very frugal. It's an affordable plan."
Clark shook his head and pointed to a bear claw under glass when the girl behind the counter gave him an inquiring look. It sounded like Lex was in a restaurant, or a bar, conversation and clinking silverware and glass in the background.
"Where are you?"
"Wining and dining a potential investor."
"Oh. You gonna be back tonight?"
"That's the plan."
"I could come over - -?"
There was a long pause, Lex thinking it over maybe, then, "No. No. My father has the tendency to roam the halls at night. Tomorrow."
"I don't know if I can wait till tomorrow," Clark ducked his head and whispered urgently. Just talking to Lex was making him hot.
Lex laughed at him. But it was one of the soft, growly ones that stirred Clark's cock rather than raise his hackles. "You'll survive. Any insurmountable problem that arises, I trust you can deal with manually."
Clark snorted and rolled his eyes.
"I've got to go."
There was a silent severing of connection. Clark stood a moment more, holding the phone to his ear, disappointed. But, if he didn't have Lex at the moment, at least he had a phone. A really cool phone, that was only a partial gift, since he'd be paying for the monthly service. Not that he minded gifts per say, but he felt a little guilty lying flat out to his parents. Lex had covered his bases for him though. Likely there'd even be a sales person to confirm Clark had come in and bought it himself if push came to shove. He loved Lex.
He stood there a second, thinking that over and repeated it to himself. He loved Lex. He really did. Wholeheartedly. Loved him so much he wanted to burst at seams with it. And tomorrow he'd tell him and he'd tell him the rest of his secrets. Better to get them out of the way before too much time passed. The prospect of it scared the hell out of him, but if Lex loved him half as much as Clark loved Lex, Lex would understand.
When Clark got to the Maplethorpe house after school the next day, Lex's Porsche was already parked in the drive. The heat had broken a little, chased away by rain showers earlier in the day. The ground was still wet and the skies a little grey, but the showers had stopped. Clark pelted up the steps and had enough mom-ingrained manners to wipe his boots on the mat outside the front door before pushing it open and striding in.
The twin parlors were empty, but there was a light on in the foyer, and there hadn't been electricity at all last time he'd been here.
"Hey, Lex!" he called again, and heard the sound of soft footfalls from upstairs. Lex appeared at the second floor banister overlooking the foyer.
"You got the lights turned on." Clark grinned up at him.
"And the water." Lex leaned on the rail, watching Clark climb the steps two at a time. "I thought it might be more convenient to shower here as opposed to using the 'creek'."
"Ha." Clark got right up in his personal space, caught the back of his neck and kissed him. "I missed you."
Lex leaned back, lifting a brow. "It's been a day."
"I know," Clark leaned in to chase him down, fingers sliding along the back of Lex's silk shirt. "Thank you for the phone."
"Umm." Lex licked his lips, slipped out of Clark's arms and headed down the hall.
There was a bedroom with a lot of old furniture, and fancy globe lamps and the sort of stuff you'd expect in the house of a well to do, elderly woman. The bed was the best part. The bed was what caught Clark's gaze and held it. A bed was serious stuff. The wall and the floor and halfway on a couch was where you fooled around but a bed was for lovers.
He caught his breath, let it out slowly, and turned to follow Lex as he drew off the dusty quilt and tossed it across what might have been a chaise lounge under its sheet. He ought to tell him now, before he got distracted, about the ship and all his parent's supposition about him, but Lex was staring at him, eyes half lashed and blue, and the top three buttons of his shirt were undone, revealing the contour of his collar bones and the graceful curve of his pecs.
"I missed you, too," Lex admitted, barely a whisper.
It was like a straight shot of adrenalin to all the parts of Clark that mattered. He was there in a fraction of heartbeat, clasping the sides of Lex's face, meeting Lex's mouth. It was a fumbling dance to the bed then as they tried to get each other's clothes out of the way. Clark's knees hit and he went down and Lex came down on top of him, still connected at the lips.
Everywhere Lex's skin touched his was electrified. All he really needed was Lex's hand on his cock and the tight press of his body for his balls to tighten and that mind-blowing spike of pleasure to barrel through him with freight train velocity.
Almost it was embarrassing how little it took for him to come, and he offered a breathless, sheepish 'sorry', because Lex hadn't yet, though he was hard and dripping in Clark's grip.
"That's sweet," Lex laughed at him, no less breathless, so Clark pushed him onto his back and crawled between his legs to practice his oral sex techniques. Lex stopped laughing pretty quickly and after that it was just breathy curse words and incoherent sounds.
Clark collapsed next to him afterwards, forehead pressed against his side, arm draped loosely across his hips, loving the smell of him, and the way his skin felt, slightly damp from sweat and humidity.
"Have you ever been in love?" he finally asked, afraid maybe to just come out and say it himself.
Lex lay for a while, gathering his breath, silent. Almost Clark thought he wasn't going to answer, but then he said. "I've been in lust. I've been in mutual satisfaction and mutual gain. I don't - -" He broke off, that tremor of emotion in his voice that he only ever let show when he was off his guard. "I don't know if I'd even know it if I were."
There was something almost baffled in that. And painfully sincere and Clark had to wonder if he hadn't just climaxed screaming, if he'd had offered that insight. Clark thought if he tightened his arm or pressed closer, it might be a bad thing.
So he said instead. "I thought I was. And maybe it was love - - you know, with Lana. I'd have done anything for her. I'd have put my life on the line for hers. I'd mope around when she didn't pay me any attention and it would be like Christmas morning when she smiled at me. It felt good when we were together. It made me warm. Inside. And I didn't even really want to - - be with her. I mean I imagined it, what it would have been like - - but my imagination had nothing on the real thing. And I don't know if that was love, but it felt like it."
"Then pursue it," Lex said, just enough control back in his voice to hide the hurt. Almost. "There are plenty of successful relationships that don't center around sex."
"But I like the sex." Clark did tighten his arm then. "And what I felt for her doesn't hold a candle to how I feel about you. All that stuff I said times a thousand. Except the not really wanting to be with her part."
Lex drew a breath. Let it out on an aborted laugh, then reached up and pinched the bridge of nose. "Look at you, sixteen and an expert on love."
Clark drew his brows, pushed himself up on an elbow and looked down at Lex. "More than you, looks like."
Lex waved his hand, granting Clark that one. Opened his eyes finally and met Clark's narrow gaze. "I guess you do. There wasn't a great deal of love lost in the Luthor household growing up, so I don't have a lot to go on."
Clark stared, gaze softening. There was no evasion in Lex's eyes, no attempt at smooth avoidance, just raw honesty. Clark melted a little inside, wanting so very badly to show him. He leaned down and kissed him, a soft nibbling exploration of lips. Again, and tongues got into play. That exquisite tension curled in his gut again, rushing out to fill his dick. He pushed past Lex's tongue into his mouth, shivering in exhilaration when Lex let him take over the kiss.
He pressed his fingers into the soft inside of Lex's thigh, sliding his hand up to the hot hollow at the juncture of his leg, then down the warmer crease behind his balls.
Lex moaned into his mouth, arching up and Clark wanted inside him with a need so primal it hurt. He wanted to feel Lex again like he'd felt him when he'd been on the red meteor. He wanted Lex to welcome it. To welcome him.
"Please," he whispered into the warmth of Lex's mouth. "Please can we do it?"
His fingers were right there, stroking the taut strip of skin between Lex's balls and his hole, so close Clark's cock was jerking and leaking.
Lex shuddered, heart thudding hard enough Clark could feel it where he pressed against him. Hesitating. And Clark thought with a sick feeling, that maybe he was still remembering when Clark had forced the issue and hurt him. Maybe he still didn't get that Clark would die before he hurt him again.
But Lex nodded of a sudden and stabbed a finger towards his jacket, draped over the back of a sheet-shrouded chair.
Clark let out a breath of relief and rolled off the bed. Fumbled in the pocket of Lex's jacket, excitement surging through him. He crawled back, the required items in hand, gobbling Lex up with his eyes, all lean lines and smooth skin, pale all over except for the flaring pink of his dick, hard and leaking pre-come against his stomach.
"You'll teach me how to do it the right way?"
Lex let out a long breath, pushed himself up, planted a hand in the middle of Clark's chest and shoved him backwards. "I'll show you."
He leaned over him, knees between Clark's thighs, and plucked the lube out of his fingers. Clark lay there, staring up, breath stalled as Lex squeezed a dollop of clear gel onto his fingers. Then he bent down and took the head of Clark's cock between his lips, tongue flicking inside the sheath to tease the slit. That was distraction enough that Clark barely noticed his slick finger pressing inside him. He felt it when Lex was in up to the knuckle though, curling and stroking inside of him. That felt good. That felt great in combination with Lex sucking diligently on the head of his cock. Lex moved down to his balls, biting the loose skin between them, drawing one nut into his wonderful mouth as he slipped a second slick finger in. He pumped them slowly, grazing a spot inside Clark hard enough that something hot and urgent began to knot in Clark's belly. He arched his back fingers digging into the sheets, spreading his thighs wider to give Lex better access.
Lex squeezed a third finger in and looked up, lips moist and little swollen. "Are you okay?"
"Oh - - God, yes - - don't stop."
There was no pain at all. He didn't think Lex could hurt him if he tried. There was just the awesomely unique feeling of having something inside him, stretching him.
Lex canted his head, a hint of the sort of speculation he got in his eyes when he was trying to suss out a mystery. Then the faint quirk on his lips when he finally got it. He sat back up, taking away hand and mouth and Clark moaned at the retreat. But the disappointment was short lived, when Lex reached for a condom packet.
He stared with wide-eyed fascination as Lex rolled it out over the taut, glistening head of his dick. The fact that Lex's hands were shaking made it even hotter. For a moment, he knelt there, gaze raking over Clark, eyes wide and glistening, dark with emotion. They met Clark's and Clark mouthed the words, ' please, Lex', needing Lex's warmth back, needing any part of him he could get, to fill the void he'd left.
Lex swallowed, pushed Clark's knees forward, and Clark felt the hot, condom covered head of his erection press inside. Lex put his weight behind it, and drove in slick and smooth and so much better than his fingers had been. So much better to feel the solid throb of his dick stretching his insides, the warm press of his balls against Clark's ass as Lex leaned there, gasping, shuddering like he was about to come, and he'd only just started.
"Oh, God, oh God, oh God," the words were tumbling out of Lex's mouth, a soft breathless litany. And he was still, when Clark wanted him to move.
Clark thrust his hips, impatient, and Lex got the message, dug his fingers into the back of Clark's knees and began to thrust. He hit that spot again and again, the one that made fireworks spark behind Clark's eyes. One of Lex's hands moved to his dick, hard grip stroking up and down from base to tip.
Clark cried out, tossing his head, clenching up inside from the duel sensations. Coming, coming too damn fast again, but he couldn't stop it.
"Oh, - - fuck," Lex gasped, movement stalled, buried deep inside Clark. "Fuck - -"
The orgasm rippled through Clark, a wave crashing down, intense pleasure, hot wetness spilling onto his belly, all over Lex's hand and Lex's chest as he leaned over Clark. Even as it dissipated, as his body began to uncoil, he felt Lex tense over him, felt Lex shudder and began to drive in again, short hard thrusts, culminating into one final deep one. He threw his head back, neck corded with tension, crying out as he strained into Clark. Clark wrapped his legs around him and held him close, until he was spent and gasping.
Lex slid out, one hand supporting himself on the bed next to Clark's hip, the other stripping off the used condom, tossing it carelessly onto the floor. High color on his cheeks, eyes still drugged from the sex high, he let himself fall forward, draped over Clark, panting, cock softening and wet against Clark's belly.
Clark's own was still half hard. Getting harder as he ran his hand slowly down Lex's back, over the jut of his shoulder blades, the faint ridges of his spine, the dip of his lower back, skin damp and silken under his fingers.
"I want you to believe me," Lex gasped against his chest. "When I tell you that I usually have more staying power."
A grin split Clark's lips. Lex didn't see it, cheek pressed against Clark's chest. It wasn't like Clark had room to complain, having come first. And God, even then it had been wonderful and intense. A joining so much more profound than anything Clark had ever experienced.
"I love you. God, I love you so much." He had to say it, or he'd explode from it.
Lex stopped breathing for a moment, body just still and quiet against Clark's, and when he finally let out a long gust of air, Clark thought he was going to tell him how young he was, how this wasn't love but lust. All those things Lex probably told himself to keep him safe and on solid ground, because he didn't know any different. Because no one had ever taught him what it felt like to be loved.
Clark hated Lionel with a passion. Hated even that long dead mother that had let her husband raise a child in that sort of environment. Clark's mom would have taken a frying pan to the side of his dad's head early on if he'd had played the games Lionel Luthor had. She'd come close to it this past week while his dad had been struggling with the whole catching Clark naked with Lex trauma.
He didn't want to hear a rebuttal, when he knew - - he just knew what was in Lex's heart, even if Lex didn't. He rolled them over, getting Lex under him, squirmed down till they were mouth to mouth, loving the feeling of Lex pinned beneath him, of Lex's long legs twined with his, the feel of Lex's heart racing against his own. He caught Lex's upper lip between his, sucked it into his mouth, traced the faint scar with his tongue. Moved to the bottom one, soft and lush and slick on the inside. Lex moaned, nails scraping down Clarks ribs, tickling, making the skin pimple in their wake.
Clark needed to tell him the rest, now before he got distracted again. Needed to make him understand that the real secret wasn't all that terrible a thing, because Clark was simply Clark no matter where he'd been born.
"Okay," Lex's breath was hot against Clark's cheek as Clark sucked at the edge of his jaw, his voice raw and shaky. "Okay. Fuck me. I want you to fuck me."
And oh, god, but how was he supposed to gather his thoughts into coherent words after Lex asked something like that?
Lex arched his back, grinding his hips against Clark, his dick still warm and soft against Clark's belly. Clark wasn't soft. Not even close. He shut his eyes and dug his fingers into the sheets. Now or thirty minutes from now, didn't make that much difference.
He dove down, plunged into Lex's mouth one more time, greedily taking everything Lex offered. Insatiable. That was how he felt with Lex. Insatiable. Like he could never get enough.
A slow migration down was beyond him. Lex spread his legs to give him room and Clark fumbled for the lube. Smeared it on his fingers, jacked his hand down his dick a few times, because if he didn't do something to appease it, he'd likely die. Lex drew his knees up, stomach fluttering with the harshness of his breath. Clark splayed his other hand across his belly, brown fingers stark against the pale of Lex's skin, and felt the taut muscles quiver under his palm.
He pushed a slickened finger past the grasp of Lex's hole, not nearly as sly about it as Lex had been. He didn't think to move down and grasp his dick until after the fact, he was so engrossed in the sight of Lex's body swallowing up his finger. He remembered what Lex had done to him, swirling and crooking his finger, looking for that sensitive spot that had had Clark reeling. When Lex moaned and lifted his hips off the bed, dick starting to harden again in Clark's palm, he thought he'd found it.
He pulled out and added a second finger, clenching his jaw with the effort not to just speed through this and get to the good part. The part where he was inside Lex.
But he was doing something right, because Lex was making needy sounds and biting his lip, cheeks flushed, nipples hard little rosy nubs just begging to be touched. Clark leaned forward, fastening his mouth over one, sucking the tough nub of flesh into his mouth, fingers desperately driving into Lex, stretching him. In his fervor Clark used his teeth, and Lex's whole body jerked, hands coming up to tangle in Clark's hair, pressing his mouth tighter against his chest. Lex was talking now, soft, guttural words, only half of which had meaning and Clark had enough experience by now, to figure out that Lex got talkative and noisy when he was riding a sex high.
Three fingers in and he had to move down and see. He sissored them a little and the skin stretched taut around them, revealing a glimpse of the dark recesses beyond. Pre come dribbled down the head of his cock, and he shifted his free hand to grip the base of it tight enough to hurt.
"Now?" he asked, not sure if he could wait much longer.
"Now - - now's good," Lex gasped.
"How do you wanna - -? Is there like a beginner position?" Clark honestly wasn't sure.
Lex laughed breathlessly, choked it off as he thought about it. "Missionary's good."
Clark was more than fine with that. He wanted to see Lex's face. Wanted to see everything. He fumbled for a condom, hands trembling so bad he tore the packet and the rubber inside in his haste.
He stared at it in shock, a great surge of panic rising. "Oh - - God - - You have more?"
Lex arched a brow, cheeks flushed, eyes practically gleaming with need. "I'll remember to bring more next time."
"Oh - - crap. I can go get some. I can be really, really fast - -" and he could, he'd run to town buck naked and be in and out of the drugstore and back here before Lex realized he was gone. He'd go back tomorrow and leave the money.
Lex stopped him with a hand on his wrist. "It's okay. I'm clean. You're a virgin. Just do it!"
Clark didn't need to be told twice. And he was more than a virgin, he was pretty much immune to human diseases, so it wasn't like it was an issue.
Clark pushed his knees back, to his chest, and Lex was more than flexible enough to go with it, lips parted, eyes wide as he stared down between their bodies at Clark gripping his cock, guiding it in. He pressed forward, slow grind against muscle that wanted to keep him out. Lex bit his lip and clenched fists in the sheets.
"If I hurt you - - tell me," Clark warned. He'd pull out and jerk himself to completion if he had to. But he didn't want to, God he so didn't want to.
"God - - shut up. Keep going - -"
The flared tip of the head slipped in and he paused, shutting his eyes, little dancing lights sparking at edges of his vision, Lex's body gripping him like a glove. He pushed in further, a long slide that got half his length inside and Lex threw his head back, jaw working, little halting sounds issuing from his open mouth. But he wasn't crying stop. And Clark's control shattered.
He sank in the rest of the way, and Lex was slick and furnace hot inside, unbelievably tight and welcoming. He leaned forwards, shifting Lex's legs over his shoulders, rolling Lex forward until his spine curved and just his shoulders and upper back were pressed into the mattress. It was a fantastic angle. It gave Clark all the leverage he needed to move, drawing back slow and smooth and driving back in again, eyes rolling back at the death grip of Lex's rectum as it massaged him tip to root.
He cupped Lex's balls, pressing them up so Clark could see his dick emerging and disappearing into Lex's ass. Ran his hand up and pressed Lex's cock, hard again, against his belly, evicting a breathless moan from Lex, which turned into a grunt as Clark drove in again. He fought the tightening in his balls, not wanting to come because what he was doing felt too good. Like this was what he was made for, driving into the suckling depths of Lex's body, listening to the little sounds Lex made, the garbled half words, the prayers or curses or pleas that made no sense when Lex was half out of his mind. When he was grasping the sheets and trying to flex his body, but having little enough leeway to do it, what with the position Clark had him in.
Clark gathered up cock and balls in one hand, squeezing, and Lex screamed, 'Oh God! JesusfuckinggodClark - -', slammed his fists against the mattress, tossing his head like he was in the throes of dying or orgasm. Clark figured on the latter, when he felt him tighten up around his dick, muscles rippling convulsively. And that was a whole new experience altogether. Clark's mouth popped open, and he leaned there, gasping as Lex spilled over his hand, the muscles inside his rectum trying to milk Clark for all he was worth.
There was no holding back after that. He shuddered, mind short-circuiting as his body took over. Pumping furiously and spilling, as deep as he could get inside Lex. He didn't think he'd ever stop, this embarrassingly endless supply of come, squishy and hot and pouring into Lex like a brand on the inside, claiming him as Clark's.
It took him a while to loosen up afterwards, to make his fingers move from their grip on the back of Lex's thighs, to slowly slide out. And God, a dribble of milky cum came out with him, trailing down the line of Lex's curved spine. He eased Lex down, careful, like they were both spun glass, and Clark half felt like it, wonderfully fractured and weak and wanting nothing more than to lay down next to Lex and sleep.
He leaned there, head hanging, palms flat on the bed, on either side of Lex's shoulders. "Wow. Just wow."
He got the faintest trace of an exhausted grin from Lex, who didn't open his eyes.
"I'm not human," Clark blurted, wanting truth. Needing Lex to hear it. "I came to earth on a ship that fell with the Smallville meteor shower."
The grin faded from Lex's mouth. He opened his eyes. Clark caught the first trace of widening shock before a wave of nausea made his stomach lurch, and something snagged his hair, jerking his head back. Agony-laced fire lanced across his throat and he saw the lurid red of blood spatter Lex's pale skin, before vision went black and he stopped seeing altogether.
Clark fell atop him, heavy and limp, hot blood leaking from the gaping wound in his throat. Lex had barely had time to register the shape slipping up behind him, the glint of translucent green, before it was slicing across Clark's throat. He couldn't see now, trapped under Clark's dead weight, trapped under the slow seepage of Clark's blood.
God. God. Clark's blood. Then Clark was rolling off - - no, Clark was being yanked off him, hitting the floor beside the bed with a solid thump, and Lex didn't even waste time looking at the man who'd pulled him off, rolling the other way instead, dead panic lending him adrenaline. He grabbed the first thing within arms reach, an old double globe lamp on the far nightstand, and flung it at the man coming around the end of the bed after him. The man held up an arm and glass shattered, spraying him in the face, momentarily blinding him. Lex rolled back across the bed, almost slipped in the pool of blood on the hardwood floor - - Clark's blood - - Clark's blood - - and sprinted for the bathroom.
Slammed the door and locked it. Turned a desperate circle, looking for a weapon. For anything to give him an edge. He half yanked the medicine cabinet down in his efforts, looking for a razor - - but it was free of personal items.
Impact on the door and he started. Cursed and headed for the door leading to the adjoining bedroom. Blood cooling on his skin. Clark's blood. His vision tunneled for a second, stalling him. He closed the second door behind him, locked it, even as the first one crashed open.
The man had been wearing camouflage pants, olive drab t-shirt, canvas belt with a side arm and sheath for a damned big knife. The face was blurred, but he'd seen a picture. Broad face, square jaw, cold eyes with a spark of madness. He'd read the file, knew without a doubt there wasn't a chance in hell of him coming out on top in any fair fight between them.
"Lex. Lex, where do you think you're going?" Voice through the door, deep and rough, stern like he was talking to an errant child.
There was the door to the hall, and beyond that the stairs heading down. But what then, with no keys to the car? No phone? No clothes? No Clark?
He doubled over, shoulder to the wall, everything tightening up in emotion he couldn't afford.
"If I have to chase you down, Lex, you'll regret it." Voice through the door, the slow scraping of what might have been a knife tip against wood.
He grabbed an ashtray off a table and darted for the hall door. Tossed it over the balcony and it crashed into something in one of the parlors. He was yanking open the door to the hall linen closet before it hit, squeezing in and holding his breath, as footfalls pounded down the hall.
Clark was dead. Dead. Not human. That's what he'd said, before his throat had opened up. Blood as red as any Lex had ever shed. The footsteps receded down the stairs, ploy successful, and he slipped out of the closet, barely able to breathe and head spinning from it. He hadn't had an attack of asthma since the meteor shower. The shower that had brought the ship with it. The ship he'd thought Hamilton and his father had imagined, making mountains out of molehills.
He returned to the bedroom, forced himself not to look at Clark on the floor, sprawled on his side, face to the bed skirt, back broad and golden and still. Grabbed his pants instead, yanking them up without bothering with zipper or buttons, shrugged into his shirt and patted his pocket, making sure the car keys were there. Stopped and stared at Clark, had to stare, a knot the size of a fist forming in his throat. Crouched down and touched fingertips to his shoulder and the skin was still warm. He shuddered, bit back the sound that wanted to tumble out of his throat, and pushed himself up.
Headed out and got halfway down the hall before the man - - Decker, the name was Donald Decker - - appeared at the top of the stairs.
"Smart boy," The man growled wearing the sort of grin you expected to see on horror movie butchers.
"Fuck you, you psychopathic son of a bitch." Lex's voice felt raw, his throat all sandpaper and acid.
Decker grinned wider, spread out his arms, invitation to come and try him. Big man, almost as tall as Clark but heavier. Broad with solid muscle and mature weight. A man trained to take down other men. The only person Lex might have stood less of a chance with, was Clark. Would have been Clark.
There was no place to go but back down the hall, into bedrooms with no way out. Decker advanced, slow moving, easy gait of a predator.
"What the fuck do you want from me?" Lex cried.
The man stared at him, unnerving dark eyes that didn't flinch and barely blinked, traveling over his body. And god, Lex was no stranger to being stared at, but the look in this man's eyes made him want to find a dark room and hide.
The man advanced, silent, that anticipatory grin on his face, which was so high on the scale of creepiness that a desperate, frantic laugh escaped him. He didn't want to die. He didn't want to be discovered in this house with Clark, two decomposed corpses, victims of a madman's obsession. He held up his hands, that part of his brain that functioned well under pressure trying to gain some sort of foothold over the gibbering hysteria the rest of it wanted to let rule.
"Whatever it is you want - - I can help you get - -"
"You will," Decker whispered and lunged.
Lex hissed and stumbled backwards, and something came out of the open bedroom doorway, slammed into Decker in a flesh colored blur that sent him crashing through the balcony rail down to the foyer below.
Clark stood there, naked and panting, chest stained red with his own blood, but the gaping tear in his throat miraculously healed. Lex gaped at him, shocked speechless.
Clark looked at him wide eyes narrowing. "Is any of that blood yours?"
It took Lex a second to register the question. He shook his head, mutely.
Clark stabbed a finger towards the stairs. "Go. He's after me. Let me take care of it."
Lex blinked, not entirely comprehending why Clark thought Decker was after him - - having trouble getting past the fact that he was alive and talking to him. Clark caught his arm and propelled him down the hall, got him moving down the stairs, then stopped halfway and said. "Crap."
Lex looked where Clark was looking and saw all the pieces of shattered balcony but no body amongst it.
"Lex, get out of here. I'll find you. I swear I'll find you once I've dealt with him."
"How?" Lex didn't even know what he was asking. How was Clark alive when Lex had seen his throat sliced through? How was he planning on dealing with a psychopath? How did he think he'd been the target? How had he crashed to earth in a spaceship? God, his vision was tunneling again, around the edges, crowded in by panic he couldn't keep at bay.
"I just will," Clark said, caught Lex by the face and kissed him. Just a solid press of lips, and he backed away, turning back into the house, staring like he could see through walls.
Lex glanced towards the car pinpointing its position, glanced back and Clark was gone. Just the empty house staring back, the grand foyer littered with debris, the shapes of shrouded furniture fluttering in the breeze that the darkening sky had brought with it. He took a step backwards onto the porch, having no desire whatsoever to be in this house.
Clark tried very hard to keep the trembling at bay. Getting your throat slashed and waking up in a pool of your own blood was pretty damned creepy. Knowing the guy who'd done it knew about the meteor rock and its effect on him enough to fashion a blade out of it was terrifying. The fact that he'd been down long enough for him to go after Lex - - he couldn't think about that or he'd loose it. But he was okay. Lex was okay. And the guy was out there.
He couldn't have gotten far. And Clark was going to settle this, one way or another, now. Find out what grudge the man had against him that he'd come after him twice now. Find out how he had known about the rock?
He made a fast trip upstairs and got dressed. Damned if he was traipsing after the guy buck-naked. He didn't take the time to wash off the blood, even though the feel of it against his skin was seriously creeping him out.
The guy wasn't in the house. The glass doors at the back were open and they hadn't been when Clark had come in. There was a yard of thigh high weeds out back with a trail of them bent and broken from somebody's passage to the woods beyond.
He was into the fringe of the woods in a blink, forced to slow down because the growth was dense, a lot of new saplings crowding up amidst older trees. A lot of underbrush and bramble. The trail through the grass had been easy to follow, it disappeared in here. And the guy had meteor rock. He had to be careful and use his head.
He heard a sound, a distinct snapping of a brittle branch off to the right. He started that way, going slowly, because good as X-ray vision was, it didn't let him see in the dark and the shadows in here were thick. It had to be almost seven, maybe past seven and long summer days or not, overcast was making the dark come early. His parents were going to be pissed if they didn't hear from him.
He came upon the man so suddenly that he stopped short, startled. The guy was just standing there, not more than ten feet away a knife casually in hand. Not just any knife. Six inches of luminescent green chipped away to form a blade, bound with metal wire onto a bone handled hilt. Clark could feel it from where he stood. The terrible wave of nausea in the pit of stomach, the faint weakness making his knees tremble. He swallowed, mouth gone dry.
He could use his heat vision and take the man down from a distance, or wrench a tree out of the earth and hurl it - - but he wanted to know things before the man couldn't talk anymore. Before he ended up in custody somewhere that Clark couldn't get his answers.
"Why are you doing this? What'd I ever do to you?"
The man shifted the knife, one hand to the other, eyes cold and hard and glittering with something that made Clark's skin crawl.
"To him. What you did to him." The man growled, low rumble of revulsion in his voice.
"To who?" Clark didn't get it. Was this guy connected to one of the meteor freaks he'd stopped? Was it vengeance he was seeking?
"Lex," the guy purred Lex's name like he was getting off just saying it. "When you laid hands on Lex, you crossed a line, freak."
A cold knot of understanding began to form in Clark's gut. The guy has tried to take him down, fast and efficient, but he'd been pursing Lex. Been toying with Lex. It hadn't been about Clark at all. It was about Lex. Clark had just been standing in the way. The cold shattered, replaced by a surge of hot anger. Damned if he'd let this bastard get near Lex again.
He clenched his fists, stepped forward even though he knew he needed to keep his distance. Something gave against his shin, but he was distracted from looking down when the man made a lunging feint with the meteor fashioned blade.
Pain slammed into Clark's leg, high in the calf, just below the knee. He was crumpling, screaming agony racing up his leg. Even as he looked down, saw the tiny sapling snare he'd tripped, felt the shard of meteor - - it could only be meteor rock - - it had driven into his calf.
He barely caught a glimpse of the boot that slammed into the side of his face, sending him the rest of the way to the ground. The man crouched over him, knee in his gut and broke the sapling off, drove a fist into his calf, embedding what was in there deeper. The pain made Clark's vision bled red. There was screaming. He thought it was him.
The man turned, pivoting with his knee, all his weight still bearing down on Clark's stomach. He placed a big hand over Clark's mouth, muffling the screams. Laid the edge of the meteor blade across Clark's throat and it felt like it was bleeding all over again, but from the inside. Felt like his skin was bubbling and burning from the contact, but it was only a scant distraction from the searing agony in his calf.
A thumb traced across the place where his throat had been sliced before his body had healed itself. The man shook his head, mouth twisted in a sneer.
"Abomination," he hissed. "And he let you touch him. Let you fuck him."
The knife blade drove down, deep into his shoulder. The man leaned down, put his weight behind the hand over Clark's mouth until the screams choked off into gurgled croaks. And those faded altogether as consciousness bled out with the blood leaking around the hilt of the blade.
Lex sat at the end of the drive, Porsche engine idling, and couldn't make himself go further. Clenched his hands around the wheel, trying to pull himself together. Trying to pull scattered wits into a cohesive whole, and loosing the threads. And what the fuck was wrong him that a little bit of pressure had him flaying at the edges - - he was a Goddamned Luthor. He'd been reared with pressure as a daily routine. Different sort of pressure, though, between the subtle machinations of a father who enjoyed his head games, the Machiavellian maneuverings it took to survive in a corporate world and having someone's throat slashed before his eyes. Having that same someone before the fact, casually mention that he'd come in on a spaceship and wasn't human. Being pursued by a crazed psychopath who had apparently been stalking him for years. No, those were not the sorts of pressures Lex was used to dealing with on a daily basis. It didn't seem to matter how many times somebody tried to kill him, it just never got old and commonplace.
He needed a drink. He needed Clark to appear at the front of the house, whole and sound. And not human.
Goddamned him for saving that pertinent fact for last. Goddamned him for letting Lex think he was just another unfortunate victim of meteorite mutation, instead of something more entirely, like it was just a casual curiosity instead of - -
He squeezed his eyes shut and hit the wheel. Repeatedly. Pressed his forehead against it and gasped, breathing all out of sync. What was he doing, sitting here, afraid to leave, afraid to go back when there was a boy - - a sixteen year old, human or not - - out there trying to track down a killer? A killer who knew about Clark's weakness.
Fuck. He shifted the car into gear and drove back up the drive towards the house. From now on, he was keeping a gun in the glove compartment. God knew why he didn't drive around with one 24 -7 as it was. He'd been attacked enough to warrant it.
The very first fat droplets of rain started to hit the windshield as he got out. Clouds had moved in dark and ominous, sapping away daylight. He drew a deep breath, heart thudding so hard he felt it in his throat. Hesitated at the wide-open front door, not wanting to go back into the house. Very badly not wanting to.
"Clark?" His voice echoed a little, bouncing around rooms devoid of life. No one answered. The grand foyer went straight through to the back of the house and the pair of French doors there gaped open onto an unkempt field. The woods were dark beyond it.
He called again. Voice a little hoarse, a little edged with panic. Clark wasn't in the house. Decker had fled and Clark had gone after him, because Clark didn't have enough sense to let him go and allow Lex to set people more qualified for the job to dealing with the crazy bastard.
Lex moved into the house, picked up a piece of banister railing with enough heft to make a decent weapon. Stood on the back porch and saw the faint trace of what might have been a path through the wild grass.
Yelled Clark's name again, but nothing but the faint chirping of a cricket answered back. He started out into the grass, and the faint ringing of a phone came from inside the house. He stood for a second, trying to place it, then it occurred to him that his cell was in the pocket of his jacket upstairs.
He turned on his heel and sprinted back inside, took the stairs two a time trying to get there before it stopped ringing. Hoping against hope that it was Clark using his newly acquired phone to make contact.
He got there too late, of course, voice mail already picking up the call. It hadn't been from Clark anyway. His father's private number. And fuck him anyway for setting all this in motion by hiring a psychopath to begin with.
Lex didn't look at the blood. Studiously ignored the blood pool darkening the floor. He grabbed his jacket and headed back out, not wanting to be caught up here with no easy out again. He pulled up Clark's new number and let it ring. Six rings before it went to automated voicemail and he cursed, and shoved the phone in his pants pocket, furiously trying to convince himself that trekking out into the woods wasn't the craziest notion he'd ever come up with.
He could call the authorities, but then he'd have to explain away the blood and the semen and the fact that he'd lost his sixteen-year old lover. Who might not be human by the way. He had exactly one security professional at hand at the moment, on his own payroll at the mansion, and it would take a few hours at least to contract more and get them here from Metropolis. His father had men - - and it would grate to ask him for help - - but necessity might just outrank pride.
The phone rang in his pocket. He fumbled for it, out on the front porch hovering between retreating to the car and doing something monumentally stupid.
It was Clark's number, and he shut his eyes, a rush of relief making his legs weak. "Clark, where the hell are you?"
"The green rock slices through this boy's skin like it's warm butter," Decker's voice growled at him from the end of a connection where he shouldn't have been. The relief turned to cold fear in his gut.
"What do you want?" A little bile came up with the words.
"You bring the cops into this, or your daddy, and I'll start sending you pieces of him. You do anything, but what I tell you, I start sending pieces."
"Goddamned you! What do you want?!!" Lex screamed at him.
There was no answer. Just a severed connection.
He stood there, fingers white around the phone, then the rest of the contents of his stomach surged up in the wake of the bile and he dropped to his knees and vomited it up over the side of the porch.
He leaned there, arms shaking, everything shaking, the rules of the game suddenly changed on him again. He could have just left, gone straight home and conferred with his father, who damn well did know the intricacies of dealing in blood - - more even maybe than Lex had ever suspected if he'd had a man like Decker in his employ for over a decade. Could have surrounded himself with hired guns and chased away the fear gnawing at his insides. Could have done a lot of things, if he'd been willing to let this man destroy Clark.
He'd played power games, he'd thrown around his money and the influence his money and his family name could buy - - but this - - this was beyond him. He didn't know the rules and he was terrified that fumbling about trying to figure them out would get Clark killed.
Could Clark be killed that easily? Lex had thought him dead already, throat slashed ear to ear. And he'd bounced back. Would he grow back a limb so effortlessly? Or a severed head? Lex seriously doubted.
Not human, Clark had said.
He thought about that mythical ship again, that Hamilton had been raving about. About that disc made of material not of this earth. Of alien origin. If Clark was connected, if Clark was possessed of some alien physiology vastly superior to human, what was he capable of surviving?
Lex had no idea, but he knew who would. The Kent's, who had lied and lied and lied and just might have managed to keep a world class secret for close to thirteen years. If anyone would know if Clark had any other 'more than human' advantages that might make a difference in this, it would be them. Who's son - - who's adopted son - - had just been taken by a man obsessed with Lex.
Decker dumped the boy into the back of the SUV with a grunt. The boy didn't make a sound, but his body twitched, muscles spasms under his skin, body jerking as if even unconscious the pain was more than his nervous system could take.
He took wire from a roll and wound it about ankles, knees, right above the jagged tear in the side of his jeans where Decker's snare had driven the shard of meteor rock into his leg. Flipped the kid over and bound his hands behind him, tight enough that wire bit into skin that was more than vulnerable enough now that the boy was weakened by the rock. He was still bleeding from the shoulder wound, slow steady trickle that had darkened half his t-shirt.
Pretty kid. The sort of face that made you look twice. Sort of face that would have caught Lex's eye and had. Even if he was a freak.
Decker was still amazed that the throat wound had closed up. Figured it was the rock that had done it. And the absence of the rock that had let him heal. Only explanation of why he wasn't healing now, with a piece of the stuff embedded in his body.
Kid like this, taken young and trained right, might have made a big difference in the kind of wars Decker had been fighting all his life. Too bad, almost, that he had to die.
Taking him down had been simple, despite all that speed and that bulletproof skin. But boys were easy. Boys thought they were invulnerable. They were impulsive and easy to read, easy to trip over the edge into reckless action when you threatened something they cared about. Difference between sixteen and twenty-one wasn't all that much in that respect, when it came down to experience.
Lex didn't have nearly as much as he liked to think. A year of forced responsibility after wasting his life away, fucking and drinking and inhaling his way to pretty oblivion in the city didn't give him the experience he needed to deal with a combat situation. This broken kid in the back of Decker's SUV likely had more experience dealing with life and death than a spoiled rich brat that had never gone without in his life.
Lex would fold. Decker felt it in his gut, the way he'd always had that uncanny sixth sense about enemy locale and encroaching danger. Long as Decker didn't give him time to think things through and reach the conclusion that going to Lionel Luthor for help was the smart move to make, regardless of risk to the kid, Lex would be manageable. Lionel Luthor would be a problem, though. Lionel knew the game and played it like a combat tested general. Lionel knew him.
Decker would have to take him out eventually, but not before the old man got good and used to the fact that Decker had taken his son. That would be justice long overdue.
But, overconfidence was a killer and Lex was smart. Decker was already making contingency plans, just in case he surprised him. He started driving. Needing to pick up a few things, pick a few spots and make a few arrangements to cover his ass and his tracks.
It was dark and raining by the time Lex pulled up the drive to the Kent farm. He stopped the car halfway down, sitting there, hands white knuckled on the wheel, faintly dizzy, the whole of his body knotted with tension that wouldn't go away. Fear. This was what utter incapacitating fear felt like. When he'd been young, he'd been afraid all the time. He knew the feeling. Contemplating telling Jonathan Kent what had happened to his son wasn't helping.
The lights were on, and they had to be in there, waiting for their son to get home. Wondering where he was. A little anxious maybe, but not nearly so anxious as they would be once Lex told them.
He shut his eyes, sucked in a long breath, blew it out and repeated the process. Pressed the gas and got the car moving. Parked close to the little gated front yard that protected Martha Kent's flowerbeds from hungry, roaming farm animals.
Before his foot had hit the first step, Jonathan Kent was out the front door, glaring at him. Big fists clenched, face ruddy with emotion.
"What the hell do you want, Lex? I told you to stay out of our affairs and that damn sure covered our property."
"Have you talked to Clark this afternoon?" Martha was pushing her way out the screen door, pale face, worried eyes, begging him for an answer.
His mouth was too dry to swallow. He had to look away from her, to her husband. Jonathan's anger was easier than her desperate concern.
"Clark's in trouble," he said. I need your help to get him out would have been the next thing out of his mouth if Jonathan hadn't grabbed his shirt and slammed him up against the side of the house.
"Goddamned you. I told you to stay away from him - -"
Kent was screaming in his face and Lex only caught a fraction of it, an odd sort of numb easing in around the edges. It was a welcome change from the ratcheting fear.
Martha Kent had her hands on her husband's arms, trying to pull him off, yelling herself, until finally her words got through to both of them.
"Is that blood? Lex, is that blood? Whose blood is it, Lex?"
He looked down, even as Jonathan did, at the red his rain-wet shirt had soaked up from the spatter on his chest. There was probably more, on his throat, maybe on his face that the rain hadn't washed away. And God, what would that lead them to assume? That he'd gone on a spree and butchered their son? He wouldn't put it past Jonathan Kent's particular brand of imagination.
Thank God for the man's fists tangled in his shirt, or his knees would likely give way beneath him.
"Clark's," he said. "It's Clark's."
"Goddamned you - - what did you do?" Kent was white faced, aghast. Jerked Lex forward and slammed him back into the wall and all Lex could do was laugh at the accuracy of his call, before it turned into something else, salt tinged and frenzied and mortifying.
"Jonathan! Jonathan!" Martha got her shoulder between them, shoved her husband back with all her weight and spun on Lex herself, much softer hands on his arms. She had green eyes, just like Clark. Clark's were bigger. Prettier.
"What happened, Lex? Tell us what happened."
"There was a man - - with a blade fashioned out of meteor rock - - he cut him." He wouldn't burden her with the particulars, even though it flashed across his memory so vivid he could almost feel the hot splatter of blood all over again. She didn't need to know.
She gasped, turned and gave Jonathan a terrified look.
"He healed," Lex said, before she could start spinning scenarios. "Once the rock was gone, he healed."
Jonathan's jaw tightened, he put a hand on his wife's shoulder, looked over her head, eyes brimming with suspicion and fear. "And - -? If he healed where is he?"
"He went after him. And didn't come back. This man - - has him."
She covered her mouth, so much pain in her eyes it was hard to look at her. "Jonathan, it must be the same man - -"
"Martha - -" Jonathan said warningly.
But Lex caught it. "Same man - -? Same man as what?"
"It's not your - -"
"The fuck it isn't," Lex yelled, before the bastard could tell him what was his business and what wasn't. "He's after me. This is all because of me, do you get it? In this instance you can lay all the fucking blame at my feet, because the psychotic son of a bitch is after me."
"Watch your damn language." Was the first thing Jonathan barked at him, out of all the things he could have said to that admission. It was hilarious. Lex wanted to cry.
" Someone tried to shoot him last Saturday." Martha gasped. "Why? Why did he go after Clark?" She ignored her husband's warning look and went on. "We didn't know who or why. How did he find out about the meteor rock? How did you?"
Lex took a breath, holding back the urge to snap at them that he wasn't stupid, no matter what they seemed to think. "Clark told me. Clark told me everything."
Which was a bit of an exaggeration, because Clark hadn't had the chance, but Lex wasn't in a splitting hairs sort of mood. Last Saturday? Saturday had been the damned 4-H debacle when Clark had cut out on him, scared and ashamed. That would have been a week after the incident with the red meteor. That Decker had known about. That Decker had had to have known about. Why else put Clark on his hit list? Which meant - - he'd been in the mansion.
Lex had a moment, a lurid half memory of a man in the hallway, when he'd been so drunk he'd barely been able to walk a straight line. God.
He felt a little drunk now, without the benefit of alcohol. He leaned his back against the wall, shutting his eyes against the vertigo.
"Come inside. Lex, come inside and sit down." Martha had her hand on his arm, urging. Her voice was barely steadier than he felt.
Jonathan stepped back half a pace, letting her pull Lex towards the screen door and into the house. A frightened man, hiding it with a glower and a pair of clenched fists. Lex understood the feeling. A man that had tried to protect Clark the best way he'd known how, with suspicion and belligerence towards all comers. Lex could empathize with that as well.
He sat down in the armchair across from the couch, which she perched on the edge of, hands clasped between her knees, anxious eyes fixed on him.
"Tell us what happened? Who is this man?"
The first question was problematic. Another time he'd have had the presence of mind to come up with a believable alternative to the reasons they'd actually been alone together in an empty plantation house. Now, his lies might likely be as clumsy as the ones Clark used to tell him. He went with the second question.
"His name is Donald Decker. My father had him in his employ after the Army Special Forces came to the conclusion that his psychological issues were too skewed even for their needs. My father held lower standards. Apparently after he developed an - - unhealthy interest in me - - my father had his employment terminated, via mental institution. He escaped six months ago and has been systematically taking out people he perceives to be threats. Against me."
"Oh my god," she put her fingers to her lips, eyes wide. "Desiree? Did he - -?"
"Yes. Along with a few others."
"And he thinks Clark is a threat to you?"
He stared at her steadily, letting her work it out.
"What does he want? How do we get our son back?" Jonathan stood by the arm of the couch, his hand clenching his wife's.
Lex took a breath, having no idea what was roiling about in a maniac's mind. Not really wanting to dwell on it. But he'd have to, sooner or later.
"I don't know," he admitted. "I don't know what Clark can - - take - - and recover from. What he can do other than the speed and the strength? I need you to tell me if we've got any advantages I don't know about."
They just stared at him, with the sort of look he might expect if he'd inquired as to what sexual positions they practiced. Like maybe this was all a ploy on his part to pry information about Clark out of them.
He hissed through his teeth, tired and stretched too damned thin to deal with them holding back on him. "He came back from something I thought had killed him? Can he be killed?"
"We haven't done damned experiments!" Kent exploded. "Why do you think we hid it from people like you? We never wanted anybody ever poking and prodding him."
Martha pressed close to her husband's arm, fingers clenching tight. "With meteor rock involved - - he's so vulnerable. It hurts him very badly. With enough exposure, we don't know what could happen. We have to find him."
Fuck. Just fuck. Lex sat there, clenching the arms of the chair to keep his hands from shaking. The blood on his skin was starting to crust a little. He couldn't stop thinking about it once he started.
"Can I use your washroom?"
They stared at him a moment, like they couldn't comprehend the need. Maybe they couldn't in the middle of this. Jonathan nodded finally, stabbing his arm towards the little half bath off the kitchen.
He looked at himself in the mirror after he'd enclosed himself in the little room. Paler than usual he thought, or maybe it was just the smears of blood on his face that made it seem so. He wet the hand towel on the ring next to the sink and wiped it off his face. Unbuttoned his shirt and cleaned off the blood and the semen from his chest and stomach. He'd been sitting there across from them with that staining his skin and they'd never known. Maybe the blood smell trumped the sex one. He'd never had the occasion to test the theory.
He wrung out the towel, watching the water run pink. The phone in his pocket rang and he stopped breathing. He dug it out, stared at the caller Id. Clark Kent.
Took a shaky breath and put it to his ear.
"I want to talk to Clark."
"Then you'll do exactly what I tell you. Where are you at?"
"Fuck you. Put Clark on the line."
"Clark can't come to the phone, Lex. And if I hang up, the next time you hear from me, it'll be me telling you where you can find the kid's balls after I slice them off. Is that what you're aiming for?"
Lex shut his eyes, fingers of his free hand clutching the porcelain skink edge. "No."
"Then shut up and answer my question. Where are you? Don't think about it! Answer."
"The Kent's. I'm at the Kent farm."
"Good boy. I want you to walk out now, get in your car and drive."
"You heard me. I don't hear the engine start in thirty seconds and I hang up and we try again with one less piece of the kid to bargain with."
Fuck. He flung the bathroom door open, half ran down the hall, phone pressed against his thigh to muffle his hissed. "Follow me! Get a gun and follow me!"
"What - -?" They gaped, Martha rising, Jonathan putting out a hand as if he were considering stopping him.
"It's him!" He didn't have the time to explain and if they didn't catch on he was fucked. And Clark was fucked. He bypassed the porch steps entirely and sprinted out the gate towards the Porsche. Had the key in the ignition before he had both legs in the car.
It turned over smooth as silk and he held the phone up for a second, to make sure the sound got through, before putting it to his ear.
"Okay. Okay. I'm here."
"Route 16 and Greendale drive. Ten minutes. Drive like somebody's life depended on it."
He didn't even wait to see if Jonathan Kent was heading out to the Kent pick-up, just spun mud in the drive and tore out onto the street. Even if the roads weren't dark and wet, making that destination in ten minutes would be a stretch. There was no way the Kent truck could keep pace with the Porsche if he pushed it.
"I can't make it in that time," he growled into the phone, glancing in his rear view and seeing the glimmer of headlights behind him. A great deal behind him.
There was nothing but heavy breathing on the other end of the line. He cursed, tossed the phone to the passenger seat and put both hands on the wheel.
The intersection loomed ahead of him, green county route sign caught in the glare of his headlights. He fumbled for the phone, having no idea if he'd made it in time.
"Take Greendale west."
Lex took the turn on a dime, back tires skidding as he braked, almost sending the car off the road and into a ditch. He just saved it, tearing up the grass on the embankment. Accelerating.
"There's a picnic shack, five miles down, off a side road to your right. Three minutes, Lex."
"You fuck - - I can't - -" he ground his teeth and floored it. Didn't see any sign of life at all behind him. Hoped to hell the mess the Porsche had made of the roadside making that turn would be clue enough.
Somebody in a battered old ford passed him coming the other direction, and the Porsche rocketed past fast enough that the old guy in the ford probably felt the vibration. He peered ahead, having no idea where this side road was, afraid he'd pass it by and never notice.
But there it was, preceded by a little green county sign that proclaimed 'rest area'. Dirt road leading a couple of hundred feet off the main one to a little covered area housing four picnic tables and a pair of rusty looking grills. He sat there, breathing hard, lifted the phone to his ear.
"Pull up behind the brush. Cut the engine. Cut the lights." The voice directed.
"How do I know Clark's even alive?"
Silence from the other end and Lex cursed under his breath and did it. Sat there afterwards with the phone to his ear, waiting.
"Go over to the picnic tables." He was finally directed.
Lex ground his teeth and cut the engine. Took another breath and got out. It was still raining. He tread through mud getting to the shelter, staring through the dark warily, looking for movement. Stood in the middle of it, nothing but the sound of rain surrounding him.
"Empty your pockets and throw everything else you have on you in the trash." Decker directed.
"Oh, fuck you. I'm not doing anything else until I know Clark is even still alive."
There was a long pause. Lex shut his eyes, dreading the silence of a severed connection. But there was the sound of movement, the sound of what might have been a car door opening. A moment more and a choked squeal of pain and it was Clark. He knew it was Clark.
"That was me putting the blade through his thigh. He doesn't make a lot of noise after the first time it goes in though. Want me to wait a few minutes and shove it up his ass next? Wanna hear that, Lex?"
"You son of a bitch. You son of a - -" he choked it off.
"Sixty seconds, Lex. Toss everything. If you don't I'll know. Look up."
He did, might not have seen the little camera duck taped to the inside corner of the shelter roof if not for the blinking green light.
He hissed through his teeth and dug into his pockets and tossed car keys and wallet. Held his arms out and turned with his pockets inside out for the camera.
"There's a path behind the shelter. Take it."
It hit him as he stepped back into the rain, looking for a barely visible path through the trees that this was insanity. That he was walking into something he might not be able to get out of. That none of the things he'd thought gave him power mattered a Goddamned bit walking down a dark path in the woods at the behest of a madman, the only hope he had a farmer in a pickup truck that he'd probably lost miles down the road. That Clark was out there, drawn into something not of his making, and Lex would walk into this blind before he let him drown because of it.
There was a clearing ahead, a rugged mud tract good for little more than off road vehicles, lit by the glow of headlights. A big, dark SUV, with the figure of a man leaning against the front end, one leg propped up, resting on something in the mud at his feet. Hard to see in the glare of the headlights. Lex stopped where he was, lifting a hand to shield his eyes from the light.
The man shifted, kicking what his foot at been propped up on forward. It was a body. Clark. Who rolled limply onto his back. His legs were bound, hands probably as well, but they were trapped under him, so it was hard to see. He was pale and drenched and mud covered, hair plastered to his face like rivulets of ink running down his forehead.
Lex drew a breath, clenched his fists and forced himself not to move.
"All right. I'm here. Let him go."
Decker stepped forward, standing just over Clark. He had the green meteor blade in his hand. Gun in its holster at his side. Staring. Just staring, and it ate through Lex's resolve.
"What do you want? Money? Revenge? My father was the one who had you put away. Not me. I never even knew you."
A faint smile touched Decker's lips. Impossible to read his eyes in the darkness.
Decker tossed something at him. It hit the wet dirt at his feet with a solid splat. In the light of the headlights he caught the glint of metal. Handcuffs.
"Put them on. Hands behind your back."
Fear curled so fiercely in his gut that it almost doubled him. Survival instinct beginning to outrank every other instinct he had. He laughed dismally, shook his head, taking a half step back. "You're out of your fucking head."
Decker nudged Clark's cheek with the tip of his boot. Crouched down and laid the edge of the green knife along his lips. Clark groaned, flinching, but didn't open his eyes.
Lex shuddered, failing all around.
"I call his parents first. Tell them where to find them."
Decker shrugged. "Go ahead. Don't mince words."
His hands were shaking so badly he could barely bring up the number. And God, he hoped Martha Kent had stayed at home. And with the first bit of luck he'd had tonight, she answered, second ring.
"There's a rest stop five miles west down Greendale. Clark's here."
He didn't give her time to ask questions. Severed the connection and tossed the phone down. Crouched and picked up the muddy cuffs and snapped them over one wrist while Decker crouched there, idly running the knife over Clark's cheek. Fumbled to get the other cuff with his hands behind him, and when it clicked, lifted his eyes to meet Decker's.
Decker rose, faint smile on his lips. "You know something about love, boy? Makes people stupid."
Before Lex could open his mouth and ask what the hell that meant, he pulled the gun out of its holster and put a bullet in Clark's head.
Lex screamed. Saw blood at the edges of his vision. Blood and rage and denial and grief that stole his breath and his sanity. He rushed a man with a gun, as the second shot went off, tearing through bone and flesh and brain matter.
Decker let him come. Side stepped, glanced a stiff armed palm against Lex's shoulder, and spun him. Wrapped an arm around his neck that was thick and corded with muscle that bunched as Lex bucked against him, frantic, mad, staring down at Clark who had a hole in his cheek and one matting the dark hair above his temple, both of them leaking red that bled to pink in the rain. He screamed again, incoherent, until Decker dug in one of the big pockets at the side of his pants and brought out a rag, clamped the hand with it hard over Lex's face, half smothering him with the sickly sweet smell of it. It occurred to him what it was, as his head started spinning, as feeling started to seep out of his limbs. The bastard was chloroforming him and he couldn't even work up the strength to care.
Everything spiraled down, like dark water down a darker drain. The last hazy awareness he had was Decker's lips against his temple, Decker's hot breath whispering. "You will. You'll know me now."
Then he disappeared down the drain.
Decker stood there, longer than he should have, reveling in the feel of Lex limp and heavy against him. Shifted his arm from around his neck to his waist and pressed the chloroform soaked rag a little tighter over his nose and mouth, making him take in as much of the fumes as he could before they had to move. Shivering as much as Decker ever shivered, euphoria swelling and coiling inside like a nest of living things.
Mine. Mine. Mine. It was either the voices chanting in jubilation or just him. He wasn't sure. They were in accordance in this.
He could feel the heat of Lex's skin through wet clothing. Feel the slow, steady throb of his pulse under the hand he splayed across his stomach. Wet silk was an erotic barrier between his palm and the smooth skin of Lex's belly. Culmination. Years of lurid fantasy and he had him in his arms. Helpless. All that power Lex had thought he'd held about to be stripped away. He'd started the lesson tonight, running Lex around, making him accept the fact that the only choices he'd had were Decker's. The only choices he'd ever have again were one's given to him by Decker. Obey or suffer the consequences.
Decker's cock burned in his trousers. Had been hard since he'd made the second call to Lex. But it would wait. Deprivation was an old friend. Soon enough he'd indulge himself.
Decades he'd spent breaking his back, fighting the wars of the master's he'd served. Bloodying his hands, bloodying his mind until all he saw some nights was blood. He was due this. Due his own fucking private paradise, only he didn't need any damned 72 virgins, just Lex.
He shoved the rag in his pocket, got an arm under Lex's knees and swung him up. Tall as he was Lex didn't have a lot of bulk. A lot easier to handle than the boy, who'd been solid with the muscle density of a kid that worked and worked hard.
He took one more glance at the boy on the ground, who was just cooling meat now, with two bullets in his head. He'd needed Lex to see that. Needed Lex to know that all those outside things that mattered to him were gone. Irretrievably gone. And the kid might have miraculously recovered from a slit throat, but there were bits of brain matter and shards of skull, spattered in the blood soaking his dark hair and there wasn't any coming back from that.
The kid's blood had stained the carpet in the back of the SUV, but he didn't figure Lex would mind. He put him in, hesitated, snared by the long curve of neck and shoulder where the half buttoned shirt stretched away, baring skin. Laid a thumb on the big vein and felt hot blood surging through. Traced the length of it down to the juncture of collarbone. Elegant. Not one of Decker's words, but it fit Lex to a T.
He clenched his fist, drawing back, not having the time to waste here, with people on the way to find the kid. He got in the SUV, grim curve on his lips, didn't bother to adjust himself, no matter the discomfort. Pain was a good thing. Made release all the better when it was finally allowed.
He backed down the trail till he could turn, then put the vehicle into 4-wheel drive to traverse the mud, and headed towards the road the back way. It was a long way home.
He pulled the SUV into the dilapidated barn behind the house, filled with its antiquated farming equipment, long gone to rust. He hauled Lex over his shoulder, pulled the rickety barn door shut, hiding the dull gleam of the SUV, and walked to the house. Unlocked the deadbolts on the door, all of them newly installed. All of them the sort that locked from both sides, needing a key to get in or out. The house itself was mostly furnished the way the old man who'd owned it had left it. Threadbare furniture, stacks of newspaper, boxes of accumulated things that most people would have considered trash.
Decker didn't care. It was just a gateway to the sanctum below. The barn was full of trash he'd cleared out from the basement, making the space his needs required. Making a place suitable to keep a man that might have issues at first at being kept. No windows to worry about barring, just a secure metal door at the top of narrow stairs that had replaced a thin wooden one. Cement floor and walls, riddled with stress and age cracks. A bed, sturdy and wrought iron, bolted to the floor. A sink, a toilet, a shower that Decker had installed himself. Other projects he'd spent time constructing out of wood and metal. Locked metal cabinets filled with supplies to fill every need. One's to survive down here indefinitely, if the need arose. One's to teach a young, proud man the meaning of humility.
He pushed the basement door open, and maneuvered down the steps with his burden. Deposited Lex on the bed, went back up and locked the door with the keys he kept around his neck on a thin chain. He came back down, stood at the edge of the bed and stared, savoring the moment. Mission complete and victory at hand.
Sat down finally, on the edge of the hard mattress, ran a thumb over soft, half parted lips. Pressed the bottom one down to reveal the slick pink inside. Lex didn't stir. He let his fingers slide down Lex's neck, used a thumb under the tip of his jaw to tilt his head back and emphasize the arch of his vulnerable throat. He rested his fingers against the throb of pulse, shutting his eyes and letting the feel of it seep into his own veins. If he pressed harder he could interrupt the blood flow to the brain. If he kept pressing the brain would stop altogether, deprived too long of oxygen rich blood. The quiver in his gut started to pound, rhythmic beat of anticipation. He swallowed, opening his eyes and forcing his fingers down. Flicking the only two fastened buttons on Lex's shirt out of their holes.
He peeled damp silk aside. With his arms cuffed behind him, the lines of Lex's chest where taut, the delineation of his ribcage more pronounced. His nipples pink and drawn in the cool basement air.
Decker could do more than watch now. He could touch. He could reach out and catch a little nub between his fingers and tug on pliable flesh. Knead and twist until Lex made a sound, pain drawing him closer to consciousness.
It snapped Decker out of his exploration. Put him back on track.
He rolled Lex onto his side, unlocking the metal police issue handcuffs. Hard metal would bite to the bone when struggles became desperate. He stripped the shirt off, and reached for more suitable restraints. Thick leather cuffs with the added security of tiny padlocks. He fastened them around Lex's wrists. Hissed air out through his teeth, cock throbbing hot and tight in his fatigues as he cinched the leather tight. He stretched Lex's arms above his head and clipped the D rings of the manacles to short lengths of chain welded to the wrought iron spokes of the headboard.
Stripped the pants off him and had to pause and drink in the sight of him, pale and sleek as he'd always imagined, not a hair follicle on his body to mar the utter smoothness of his skin. More naked because of it. Indecent almost - - debauched and decadent, like something you'd find on a leather porn sight - - some shaved slave, bound and stretched out on display, awaiting the pleasure of his master. Only he was like this naturally.
Decker grinned slowly, figuring the rest was true enough. He ran a hand down the long, lean muscle of one calf, and fastened a cuff to the ankle. Stretched it out to the corner of the bed, clipped it to the iron footboard. Did the same with the other leg.
Then he went upstairs, pulled out his painfully hard dick and pissed. Stroked it a few times, just to take the edge off, otherwise he'd shoot his load the moment he had it out of his pants in the vicinity of Lex. Sat down after and opened a can of salvage store army rations and ate. He'd give Lex time to come out of the chloroform haze, give him time to realize his situation. Time to realize just how out of options he was, then Decker would go down and start cracking through the layers of armor he'd built up after twenty two years of living under his daddy's rule.
He had all the time in the world to ferret out the secrets and the weaknesses and use them to break Lex down, to make him malleable and willing to submit to Decker's rule.
Jonathan Kent cursed the Luthor name. Cursed Lex Luthor in particular, the taillights of the Porsche so long out of his sight he thought he'd lost him for good. The old ford engine was struggling at seventy-five. God knew how fast Lex had been sailing down a rain slick two-lane rural route. If it hadn't been for the curb all freshly torn up from somebody making a damned precarious turn on Greendale, he'd have driven right past. As it was, he slowed, rain splattering his arm and the cracked vinyl of the truck door as he peered out the open window at the tracks in the mud.
Not necessarily Porsche tire treads, but it was the only clue he had. So he made the turn, spinning tires on slick asphalt and headed down Greendale, his gut so tight with fear that he was wrong, that he would be too late, that it ached.
Damn Lex for bringing this on them. Damn him for taking an honest boy - - a good boy - - and tempting him with things that would never have crossed his mind, if not for Lex. They'd had enough damned craziness in their lives, without the Luthor's bringing their own brand of it to town.
All he'd ever wanted was for Clark to grow up safe and happy and as normal as Clark, being Clark, could hope to be. He'd always thought, in that place where he allowed himself modest dreams, that Clark would want the farm, would continue working it with a good woman and a family of his own after Jonathan was in the ground, just as he'd worked it after his father had passed.
But after the things Clark had said, the things he'd done when he'd had that damned red rock on his finger, Jonathan wasn't so sure anymore. Wasn't sure the farm would be enough for him. Wasn't sure a woman who'd give him a family to carry on the name would be enough.
He'd never admit it to a living being, but he wished it had been Lana he'd caught Clark naked and - - and fornicating with. Wished with a shame that made his soul shrink, that it had been her he'd felt the need to force into sex. God help him for wishing rape on an innocent girl, but the alternative of his son preferring a man shook him to the core.
A car passed him on the road. Leisurely pace, low broad headlights of an early model sedan. Not Lex. Damn him for driving like a bat out of hell, for racing out of the house with barely an explanation and expecting them to know what in the hell they were supposed to do.
It had been miles now. Miles of dark, rainy road and he'd passed plenty of turn offs that Lex could have taken and without slowing down and inspecting each one for signs of tire marks - - If Lex had actually had the presence of mind to make the first set on purpose - - he was lost. He clenched his jaw, an unbidden quaking starting in his chest, fear for Clark rising up like bile in his throat.
He could drive till he hit Metropolis and not catch up to that fancy car of Lex's. Best maybe to turn around and start looking for sign of where he might have turned. Lex was clever, Jonathan would give him that, and he'd wanted Jonathan to follow. So maybe he'd gone out of his way to leave breadcrumbs. Jonathan just hadn't seen them in the dark.
So he turned around, headed back the way he'd come, headlights on high beam, peering through the rain spattered windshield looking for something. Anything. There were headlights approaching. A truck. It took it slowing, the horn blaring at him for him to realize it was his own damned truck. The '72 ford that he used to haul hay and feed out to the far pastures. Expired tags, bald tires and rusted out body that had no business being out on a public road.
Martha rolled down the window, white faced and frantic eyed and cried at him. " Lex called. Clark's at the picnic stop on Greendale, Jonathan."
Damn, he'd passed that a mile back, a narrow little dirt track he hadn't thought to give much heed to. He started to open his mouth, to tell her not to get too far ahead of him, but she was already heading down the road by the time he could turn around. He pressed the gas pedal to the floor trying to catch up with her, not knowing what was waiting out there.
By the time he got there, she was standing in the rain, screaming Clark's name. He grabbed the shotgun off the seat and joined her. It was damned dark out here, no lights save the twin beams of their headlights. There was a trail leading into the woods, a walking path that local kids used more often than anyone else, to find secluded make-out spots. He'd used it himself a lifetime ago, before he'd met Martha.
He caught her arm before she could plunge down it before him, checking the load in the shotgun, before preceding her. He'd never shot a man in his life. To protect her, to protect his son, he would.
It wasn't that far before they reached the churned mud of an off road trail. They almost didn't see Clark, dirt and rain-darkened clothing blending him in with the mud. Martha saw him first, Jonathan busy scouring the dark brush looking for threats. She cried out, a happy little squawk that turned into something else entirely as she skidded to her knees in the mud next to him.
Martha wasn't the sort of woman that screamed, not the sort that let fear get the best of her. But the wail that ripped out of her throat was like somebody had torn out her heart. It sat his own to racing, palpitating in his chest. He dropped down, shotgun forgotten in the mud, and tried to get past her to see the damage.
It was horrific. A gaping hole ripped through Clark's temple, blood and bone and brain matter spattered on the surrounding skin. Another behind his ear, and Jonathan could just see the exit wound of this one, a hole the size of a woman's fist where his skull had just been blow away. Nothing any mother should ever have to see.
He latched onto her, his own shoulders quaking, holding onto her tight while she keened, Clark's ruined head clutched against her breast. Pressed his face against her wet hair and sobbed.
"We have to get him home," he croaked. "Martha, we have to get him home."
She leaned over Clark a moment more, then lifted her head, her face lined with agony, and nodded. What else could they do? Report it to the sheriff? Have them take his body and autopsy it and discover he wasn't human? Then they'd peel him open and take him apart, piece-by-piece to appease their curiosity and damned if Jonathan would allow it. She knew it, too.
Somebody had bound his hands and feet with wire, wrapped it around his knees. In the dark, Jonathan couldn't get a good enough grip to twist the knot free. He cursed, his own fingers bleeding from the effort and Martha put her hands on his wrists, looked up at him with infinite understanding of his frustration. He swallowed back tears that tasted like blood and got his arms under Clark's shoulders while she struggled with his feet and they got him by degrees to the pickups. Dragged him into the bed of Jonathan's, and he unrolled the old blue tarp and laid it over him, not so much to hide him, as to keep the rain out of his face. As if it mattered.
"Leave it here," he told her, when she went to get into the farm truck. They'd come back and pick it up later, but right now, he didn't want her driving it on that long wet road home.
He put the gun on the rack behind him. She climbed in and sat, hollow eyed and mud spattered next to him.
Silence on the way home, neither one of them able to speak past the pain.
Fumes of adrenalin allowed them to get Clark into house. They laid him out on the dining room table, neither one having the strength to attempt to get him upstairs. He stood there afterwards holding her while she cried softly into his chest.
He clipped the wire off Clark, while she cleaned him up as best she could. Stripped the mud caked clothing off him, washed the dirt and the blood and the other things off his body. There were wounds other than the bullet holes. Puncture wounds the width of a hunting knife. His shoulder. The hollows above both hips, the meaty part of his thighs, a few other places, as if someone had taken time and effort to hurt him.
They sat there, on either side of the table of him, her hands on his cold arms, her head bowed, while Jonathan stared blankly over them both, thinking thoughts he'd never thought he'd think. Thoughts about killing a man slow and painful.
He looked up at her voice. She was staring at him, wide eyed.
Jonathan blinked her back into focus. "What?"
There was a wrinkle between her brows, a dawning spark of new horror in her green eyes. "Oh my God, Jonathan - - where's Lex?"
"The hell should I know? Half way to Metropolis after leaving us to - - " To deal with Clark. He couldn't stop staring at the damage the bullets had done to Clark's head.
"Jonathan!" She pushed herself up. "He went there to try and save Clark. And he's gone. He wouldn't have left if he'd had a choice. You know that!"
"I know he didn't save him!" he cried at her. "I know Clark wouldn't be lying here now - - like this - - if it weren't for him."
"It wasn't his fault!" She stared at him, eyes so red from all the crying that they fairly glowed in her face. "He didn't ask for this. You can't blame him for the actions of a madman. Clark wouldn't blame him for this. Don't you dare."
He gaped at her, at the vehemence in her voice and he remembered the look in Lex's eyes when he'd run past them on the way out of the house. The desperation. The fear for Clark that sent him out to meet a kidnapper that he'd known had been aiming for him, alone in the dark with nothing for backup but a Goddamned farmer in a truck too old to match the speeds of a hundred thousand dollar car.
"We need to go and tell Lionel," she said.
Lionel Luthor was the last man Jonathan wanted to go and tell anything, but that was old grudges talking. A man had the right to know if his son had gone missing.
He nodded, pushing himself up from the table while she went to look for a blanket to cover up Clark. There was a wound on his leg, just below the knee that Jonathan hadn't noticed before. A nasty looking puncture that was inflamed and blistered. There looked to be something protruding. A sliver of wood. He went for the needle nose pliers, dug into the wound with a wince and caught hold of the piece, pulled it out, a long sliver of wood and on the tip of it, bound with thin wire, a long shard of bloody green rock. He held it up under the dining room light. Looked past it at Martha who'd come back with the blanket in her hands. This was the culprit. The reason Clark had fallen prey to bullets and blades.
"How in hell did he know about the meteor rock?" He didn't expect her to have an answer.
He looked down, then narrowed his eyes and peered closer. The veiny red in the inflammation around the puncture wound was slowly receding. Slower by far than Clark usually healed when he'd been nicked by meteor rock, but healing all the same.
Dead men didn't heal. Even dead alien ones.
"Martha," he was afraid if he said her name above a whisper the spell would shatter and he'd blink and realize he'd been seeing things. She came around the table, looked where he was looking, and after a moment, sobbed. Clutched his arm and sobbed, but this time it was tinged with something that might have been a distant cousin to relief.
Lex came awake by degrees. Lazy awareness of cool air brushing his skin, of the faint dank smell of mold, of the ball of his foot touching cold metal. He tried to shift it, and couldn't. He drew in air, a huge lungful of it and the oxygen chased away the fog. He tried to move his arms, but they were locked above his head. He twisted his head in blossoming panic, jerking against the restraints. Thick leather cuffs snug around his wrists, attached to iron rings welded to the vertical bars of a wrought iron bed.
He was naked, his legs spread wide and secured to the legs of the iron footboard. He cursed, that blossoming panic swelling to full-fledged terror. Desperately jerked at the restraints, chain clanking, leather squeaking, but the bed not giving an inch, solid and implacable and holding him fast. All he managed was to bruise his wrists and twist his shoulder a little in his efforts. He lay afterwards, panting and sweating, staring with spots of light edging his vision at the room he was in.
His vantage was limited, but what he could see was rough cement walls, spotted with age and mildew. A ceiling lined with thick beams, two sets of fluorescent shop lights and a disturbing collection of hooks and eyelets and pulleys, some draped with coiled rope and chain. There were things against the wall that looked like they'd been ripped from the pages of some hardcore eastern European porn site. Things that made him catch his breath and choke back an involuntary sob. To wrench his arms half out of their sockets in a renewed effort to free himself.
And then it hit him, while he was lying there, exhausted from futile effort, that Clark was dead. That the son of a bitch had put two bullets in his skull while he'd lain there, helpless in the mud. That Lex had misjudged everything - - had mishandled everything - - fucked everything up and Clark was dead dead dead because of it.
"Mother Fucker," he screamed, his rage and pain echoing off cold walls. Sobbed with it, clenching fists that already felt as if they were losing circulation. "You lying piece of shit."
Silence answered him. Silence and the cold, moist air of a room that was surrounded by earth. His genitals shrank from it, his skin pimpled.
A hundred images of Clark flashed across his mind's eye, a hundred instances. Those big earnest eyes, that blinding smile. The way his hands felt, big and strong and fumbling when he tried so hard to be gentle. The look of comical horror on his face when he tore a condom, the look of complete ecstasy when he sank inside him, like he'd just discovered new religion.
He pressed his face into his arm and choked on pain he hadn't felt since his mother died. That all consuming blow of loss. Utter, complete, hollowing out his insides and filling him with grief.
For a long time he lay there, shuddering, clenching teeth that wanted to chatter, under mercilessly bland florescent light. Tried his bonds periodically, but they were stubbornly unyielding.
Froze at the echoing click of a key in a lock, the creak of a heavy door opening, and the sound of heavy boots on stairs. He twisted his head, trying to see, but the bed was turned away from wherever the stairs were. It wasn't until he walked around to stand staring down at him that Lex saw Donald Decker.
"You son of a bitch. You son of a bitch! You fucking, murdering son of a bitch!" The first words started out a clench jawed whisper. The last ones ended up a scream. He arched off the bed as much as the restrains would allow, wanting this man dead, willing it so hard his temples throbbed.
Decker just looked down implacably, then walked away, out of Lex's line of vision, while he cursed him. Came back with leather in his hands. Lex hissed and cursed more when he saw what it was. A damned big black leather ball gag, attached to inch wide leather straps by shiny D-rings.
"No. No! Fucking - - No - -!!" Lex tried to twist his head, but Decker caught him by the chin, fingers biting into the hinge of his jaw, forced the thing in behind his teeth, jerked the straps tight, buckling it in place. He gagged on it, tongue trying to shove it out, slick leather this huge, unwelcome mass in his mouth.
Decker sat on the edge of the bed, weight making it dip, grasped his jaw again, and ran his thumb over Lex's lips, stretched around the girth of the gag. "Talking's a privilege you haven't earned."
Lex screamed at him, but it was eaten up by the gag.
Decker met his eyes, fingers biting into his jaw so hard they'd probably leave bruises. Lex glared back, unflinching, hating this bastard more than he'd hated anything in his life.
"What you will learn, boy," Decker's fingers loosened, moved down his neck to his chest, thumb brushing a nipple. "Is the meaning of respect."
He trapped the nipple between thumb and the knuckle of his forefinger and squeezed hard. Lex bit down on the gag.
"What you will learn, is that any power you ever had is gone." He tugged the nipple one more time, twisting it away from Lex's chest, then released it, moving his hand, palm flat, fingers spread, down his chest, to his belly. "That there are no choices left for you to make, because they're all mine. Down to when you eat, when you piss, when you sleep - - my choices." He leaned down close, lips moist against the side of Lex's mouth, tongue flicking out and tracing the line of his lips around the gag.
He turned his head, involuntary sound of distress escaping him. That burning fury in his gut beginning to be extinguished by the cold grip of fear.
Decker squeezed his cock and it felt as if it were trying to shrink up inside him. The fingers slid lower, between his legs, a fingertip prodding his hole. Decker withdrew the hand, frowning, rubbing between his fingers a little bit of dried semen. Clark's. Lex never had gotten the chance to rinse it off.
Decker leaned down, hand on the mattress next to Lex's head, lips pulled back in a snarl of rage. "You let the freak come inside you? Fucking slut. You think I'm gonna dirty my cock with that freak's spunk?"
He drew back a fist and Lex braced himself for a blow. But Decker snarled, knuckles popping from strain, before relaxing the fist, turning instead and unclipping the chain from Lex's right ankle. He unclipped the other one and as soon as it was free, Lex jerked it out of his grasp, aiming a kick for his head. Decker took a glancing blow, didn't seem fazed, leaned his weight across Lex's knees and put an end to the effort. He hooked the rings of the ankle cuffs together, hobbling him, then shifted up to do the same with his wrists.
Lex fought it with everything he had. The man wasn't Clark, he didn't have superhuman strength, but he had leverage and a lot of weight and muscle mass on Lex. The gag muffled his scream of frustration as his wrists were clipped together.
Decker dragged him off the bed with a grip on figure 8 shaped clip connecting the cuffs. He hit the floor and couldn't get his feet under him. Decker heaved him up, back to Decker's front, hauled him off his feet with a grunt and manhandled him towards what looked to be an open front shower. Just a crude little area blocked off by shoulder high cinderblocks on one side, a showerhead high on the opposite wall and a drain in the middle. There was a hook in the ceiling above the drain. Recessed hooks in the floor. And God, he knew what they were for and he bucked in Decker's grip, white panic lapping at the edges of his reason.
It didn't matter. Decker had the reach and the strength to force his wrists up and over the hook with its tongue clip. He stepped back then, letting Lex hang there, laboring to breathe when his mouth was stuffed full of leather, almost able to stand flat-footed on the floor. Until Decker unclipped his ankles and kicked his legs apart, fastening a short length of chain to the outside ring of each ankle cuff and clipping them to the recessed hooks in the floor. Then he could barely balance on the balls of his feet, his feet about two feet apart, the rest of him painfully vulnerable.
He made a strangled sound, chest heaving, muscles flinching involuntarily, trying to turn and failing, to see what the bastard was doing. A hand touched his flank. He tried to shy away, failed. It ran up his side, tracing the line of his ribs. Slipped back around to his ass and he felt thumbs parting the cheeks. Felt the cold touch of a thick liquid dribble down his crack.
He clenched his teeth around the gag, shutting his eyes, tightening up reflexively as Decker pushed something smooth and round against his asshole. Worked it a little, forcing some of the lubricant or soap or what the fuck ever Decker had poured on him, inside, then with a twist and an application of force, pushed it in. He choked on a gasp, at the sudden stretch and burn, as his body accepted it. But it wasn't the biggest thing he'd had up his ass in the past twelve hours or so, and the pain faded his body adjusting to the intrusion. Part of it was still dangling out, what felt like a rubber tube hanging between his legs.
There was the sound of running water, Decker at the sink behind him, and Lex began to get a sick feeling what the bastard was up to. When Decker came back, he had big, clear rubber bag full of water. There was a drip clip attached to the bottom, a reinforced hole at the top from which to suspend it.
"We'll wash him away," Decker growled in his ear. "Inside and out."
Then he hung the bag from a hook by Lex's wrists, attached the tube to the one protruding from Lex's ass and let the water flow. It wasn't even warm. Cold. And shocking and flooding his insides as Decker opened the valve wide.
Lex threw back his head, fingers clawing at air, legs jerking ineffectually at the chains holding them spread. He was cramping up from it, the rush of it stretching his bowels. He wanted to bend double, to curl up and sob. It was too much. It was going to rupture him and Decker just moved around him, watching him wrench against the restraints, until the bag was empty, and Lex felt like he was dying from the pain. Then he clamped off the tube, trapping it all inside.
Lex screamed into the gag, trying to tell him. Willing to plead now, to beg prettily if that's what it took to get it to stop. Decker moved in close behind him, he'd shed his shirt somewhere while Lex's insides had been flooding. Pressed against him, chest hair bristly and harsh against Lex's over sensitized skin. He reached around and patted Lex's belly. It sounded liquid and sloshy and when he looked down, horrified, it was distended.
"Good boy," Decker bit his earlobe. "You took five quarts. Filled you up nice and tight, didn't it? Feel the burn, stretching out your intestines? Hurts bad, doesn't it? It'll get worse longer I make you hold it."
His limbs were quaking, everything quaking. He rolled his head forward away from Decker's hot breath. Screamed, muffled and wet and shocked, when Decker's palm slapped his stomach hard. Groaned after, because the pain wasn't going away, it was growing, a hard swollen sea of it sloshing inside him.
The water came on, luke warm, hit him in the face and chest as the showerhead came to life. There was a retractable nozzle and Decker used it to wet him down. Squirted liquid soap in his hands and started sliding them across Lex's body, leisurely, like he was going to take his time at it, while Lex was about to burst. He made a keening sound, foreign in his own ears, like someone else was making it, cramping, shuddering, twitching as unwelcome hands traveled the length and breadth of him. Spent a great deal of time around his genitals, between his legs, around the protruding enema tube.
"Ready to let loose?" Decker was back at his ear, tongue worming its way inside the shell. Lex nodded, desperate assent, humiliation overridden by pain.
When Decker pulled the plug, and his body expelled the water, the reprieve was almost orgasmic.
Lex dropped his head, exhausted, gasping, muffled sobs of relief. Decker sprayed him off with the showerhead nozzle and the discharge swirled down the drain between his feet. He moved around to stand before him, lifting his chin so he had to look him in the eye.
"You're still dirty. One more time."
He sobbed, straining against restraints and Decker started the process all over again. He hung there writhing and cramping, while Decker stood a foot in front of him, consuming his pain, idly squeezing himself through wet fatigues.
It went on for eternity - - or ten minutes or so, before Decker gave him relief. Rinsed him off again, while Lex sagged, legs trembling so bad they couldn't hold his weight.
There was the sound of a zipper. The rustle of wet cloth. The heat of Decker close behind him. He stared forward, at the wet cement under the shower head and told himself he wouldn't make a sound. Wouldn't give the bastard the satisfaction. Not from this.
When Decker shoved inside him, it was fast and shocking, soap easing the way only marginally. Lex bit down on the gag, swallowing the cry, swallowing the burn. Decker felt big, but not as big as Clark.
Clark. Clark. Clark. Clark thoughts shattered his defenses. The mental anguish opening the floodgates and letting the physical rush in. He felt Decker inside him, hard and hot and unrelenting. Fingers digging into his hips, slamming into him like he was waging war. Scraping him raw it felt like, each time he pulled almost out and rammed back in. Bitterly unwelcome invasion.
With Clark, the stretch of pain had been something to relish - - now it was ripping him to shreds. He wanted to vomit, held it back with the desperate fear that Decker wouldn't notice and he'd choke on it, trapped behind the gag.
Decker was talking dirty to him, a litany of panting words that Lex only half heard beyond the slap of flesh and the overwhelming thud of his own blood in his ears. He'd heard more creative.
"So hot. So tight. You like that? Like my big tool? Take it. Take it all, boy."
Decker's hand slid around and gripped Lex's cock. It was soft and not even the graze of Decker's swollen glans against his prostate caused more than a twinge in his belly and surge of unwelcome sensation in his balls.
Decker twisted, hard, and Lex arched, sucking in air harshly through his nose, nowhere to escape. "What? You could get hard for that freak, but not for a real man? What's wrong with you?"
Another wrenching squeeze and Lex couldn't hold back the cry. Decker cried out after him, clenching his hand around Lex's cock and balls while he strained inside him, balls flush against him as he came.
When he was done, softening inside him, Decker curled an arm below his ribs, hugged tight enough to force air out of his lungs, said softly in his ear. "I'll let you hold on to my spunk. I'll feed it to you, both ends, morning, noon and night, until it's in your blood, boy."
Lex bit down hard on the gag, knuckles popping as he clenched his fists.
There was no strength left to fight when Decker took him down. He almost crumpled when his weight hit his legs. Decker caught him, an arm around his waist and half carried him back to the bed. Pushed him face down, kept him that way with a knee to his back while he stretched his arms and secured each wrist to the bedposts.
Sat at the edge then, and began unlacing his boots. Sat them aside. Stripped off damp socks, army green, then stood up and kicked off wet pants. Laid them across the end of the bed, army neat in the way he folded them. A precise man. A man that had routine drilled into him. He walked naked, beyond Lex's limited scope of vision. There was the sound of metal doors opening the sound of things being shifted about.
Lex squeezed his fists, fighting against the utter gibbering panic. If he lost all control of the fear it would eat him up. Turn him into something he didn't want to be. Didn't want to give this man the satisfaction of seeing. He'd been that thing - - that fear riddled child, after the meteor shower - - when the nightmares kept him from sleeping, when his father's bitter scorn had convinced him he was irreparably damaged. And he'd curl in safe shadowed places and hide from the world. Mortified, terrified, weak.
Decker came back, things in his hands. Leather things. Lex couldn't see the pertinent details. Decker shoved his thighs apart and settled on the mattress between his legs. Ran a hand over his ass, up the small of his back, the back of his head, down again, tracing muscle and bone, all over his body until Lex was flinching and sweating, stomach curling in repulsion each time Decker's hands moved to a new place.
Finally he separated a strap from his little pile of goodies. Two inches thick with a buckle and a D ring. He slid it around Lex's upper thigh, fastened it tight. Did the same with the other thigh, then folded his legs back, connecting ankle cuffs to the bands on his thighs with a short lengths of chain.
He couldn't straighten his legs, couldn't do anything but lay there on his belly, panting, blinking faint traces of wetness of his lashes.
"You're flexible," Decker said approvingly. "Pliable. It'll make things easier on you."
Right. Because the bastard was all about making his life easier. He choked back a helpless laugh. Pressed his face into the mattress when he felt the man reach under him and draw out his genitals. Big, rough padded fingers stroked his balls, then tugged them down, and fastened something hard and leather around the base of his scrotum, stretching them painfully away from his body, then another strap up the underside of them, separating them into two tight little balls of pressure and discomfort. He had to turn his cheek to the mattress to breathe, spots of pain dancing behind his closed lids.
He hated the feeling of Decker leaning down, and sucking one into his mouth more than he did the pain of the constriction. Decker moved to the head of his cock, half chewing on the soft head. And somebody needed to fucking tell him teeth and penis were not the sort of combination utilized if you were trying to spur an erection, if that's what he was even aiming for. It hurt like hell and Lex made a distressed sound in his throat, and tried to squirm away. Decker pulled back and slapped him sharply on the ass. Again, hard enough that the sound echoed off the walls.
"Disobedient little prick," Decker growled at him. And the only thing Lex could figure was that he was pissed that he hadn't gotten him hard. As if that lack were some great surprise.
"Just so you know, the lube is for my comfort, not yours." Decker said, before spreading his cheeks and smearing a drop of gel on his hole.
He speared it inside with a poke of his finger that made Lex tighten his fists. Then he felt the smooth head of Decker's cock press against him, before the man leaned his weight forward and shoved it in. Loose as he was from the last fucking, there wasn't that much resistance. Just another burning stretch that made him fight to hold back a groan, then Decker was inside him, bearing down, hands gripping his ankles, pressing his calves flush to his thighs as he fucked.
It went on longer this time, the man having shot his first enthusiastic load in the shower and having more control of his stamina now. The bed didn't rock, too securely bolted into place for that, but the box springs squeaked with each thrust, and Lex's body kept getting inched forward, until Decker would tighten his grip and drag him back down.
Decker came again, with a grunt, more of the man's sickening warmth spilling inside him. When he pulled out, Lex laid there, wetness that wasn't sweat wetting the sheets under his cheek. Hating himself for the weakness.
Something cold and hard nudged against his burning hole. Small at the tip, flaring larger than anything he'd taken so far at the base and he choked and cried out as Decker twisted it in. When it was in all the way, he felt the cool tapered seat of a butt plug pressed tight against his cheeks.
Decker patted his ass like he was a dog who'd performed to par.
"So you won't lose a drop. Been a long day. A good day." Decker said. "Time for me to sleep." He leaned over Lex and unclipped one wrist, then the other, drawing them behind him and fastening the cuffs together. Pulled him up till he was on his knees in the center of the bed, wrapped an arm around his neck and pressed himself close against his back. "Not you though. You haven't earned sleep yet."
He stood up on the bed, reached overhead and unfurled one of the chains hanging from a hook and pulley system on the ceiling.
Brought it down and hooked it to the clip between Lex's cuffs, pulled at the other end, drawing the chain through the pulley and wrenching Lex's arms up behind his back. He choked on a scream, bent forward, unable to rise and relieve the pressure on his shoulders by the straps locking his ankles to his thighs. The angle he was leaning made the plug inside him press uncomfortably against the walls of his rectum.
"Too high?" Decker asked conversationally, securing the other end of the chain to a hook on the headboard. "Pains good. It'll keep you alert."
Lex moaned into the gag, shoulders already screaming in discomfort. It was a struggle to find that exact position that the bonds would allow him that offered the barest hint of relief.
Decker leaned down, jerked his head back by the ring on the back of the gag strap, and looked him in the eye. "Tonight was just you and me getting acquainted. Tomorrow the real lessons begin."
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