Title: Someone to Watch Over Me
Author:  Aelora
Author email:  missjedi@fandomchicks.com
Author webpage:
Genre: Het, Original character, Drama, Romance
Rating: R
Pairing: Lex/Sinjun
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DC Comics and Warner Brothers.  Except for Sinjun.  She's mine.
Summary: Clark's cousin moves to town.  Told between alternating viewpoints of Lex and Sinjun.
Warnings: Yes, there is sex in this.  What did you expect??  It's Lex!! 



Part Two - Apathy

Chapter One


I've got to hand it to you now
You're a hard one to please
When it looks as though, you've got all you need
All the many times I've dreamed
I could walk in your shoes
What a nightmare it must be
Just being you..

Just That Good – The Calling


Sinjun St. Claire is the type of person who could easily fade into the background and never be noticed.  I actually think she prefers it that way and I have yet to understand what reasons she could have for it.  Maybe some people just don’t crave the attention.  Clark’s like that.  He’s the hero of Smallville, but no one really knows it because he never makes mention of it, never wants others to make mention of it.  I, on the other hand, was raised in the spotlight, even when I didn’t want to be.  “You’re a Luthor” my father would say, “People want to see you, and they don’t care about your delicate sensibilities.”  Delicate sensibilities.  I was nine fucking years old and bald.  Delicate sensibilities my ass.


I gripped the steering wheel, forcing myself to calm down, and back off the gas pedal which I currently had floored.  Though any of the Kansas State Troopers would know better than to pull me over, I still knew 140 mph was a little over the top for I-70.  Besides, if I allowed anything to happen to the Aston Martin, Sinjun would most likely have me crucified.  Of all my cars, she loved this one the best.  The first time I had pulled up to the farm in it, she had squealed.  Actually squealed.  I didn’t know anyone really did that.  She had begged me to let her drive it, which of course I had said yes, and we had peeled down the driveway with her at the wheel, her uncle watching disapprovingly from the farmhouse.  That was when I had discovered Sinjun was a Bond freak.  She knew all of the movies by heart, could name each and every villain, gadget and Bond girl ever.  I told her she really needed a new hobby.  She had replied as to if the car came equipped with an ejection seat.  I knew better than to try to one-up Sinjun’s banter.


It would have been easy to have never really noticed her.  Sinjun is a self-described wallflower and had the accident with the forklift at the plant never happened, she probably would have remained as such to me.  She would have been little more than the administrative assistant in the front office, who I never would have taken a second glance at, no matter how many phone calls she transferred.  But Fate, it seemed, had worked to push her into my line of sight.  I had yet to decide if it were a good thing or not.  And I’m fairly certain she felt the same.


The manner with which she had quickly taken control of the situation had impressed me.  Her loyalty to the plant had impressed me even more.  She hadn’t seemed afraid of me, nor intimidated by who I was.  And yet, she was still very much like her cousin --  a little naïve, somewhat innocent, open and trusting.  Somewhere along the way, I realized I had become fascinated with studying her.  Sinjun seemed to know it, too, for it always made her fidget more around me.  She was like an open book, her eyes constantly revealing everything she was thinking and feeling.  She’d be horrible at poker.  It was the main reason I normally let her write press releases and speeches but rarely let her give them.  In most situations, the press would eat her alive.  She was a terrible liar, which is why I think she preferred not to do so.     


Having been away from Smallville for almost a month, I found myself smiling as I drove past the city limits signage.  A year ago I never would have believed I would actually be happy to return to such a … quaint little town.  But then, a lot had changed since my “banishment” to Smallville by my father.  I had friends now, close friends.  And I actually felt as if I belonged.  It wasn’t something I was used to and I had issues with not fighting against it.  Not everything was perfect in my new home, not everyone had accepted me the way Clark and Sinjun did.  But it was some sort of strange new beginning that I doubt my father had in mind for me when he sent me out to take over Plant Number Three.  If he had, I really don’t think I’d be here.


I made the decision quite quickly not to go straight home, and taking the next left, I turned onto the road that led to the Kent farm.  I knew that Sinjun was in the middle of a two week vacation I had granted her to help out with the planting of the corn and I was curious to see how she was faring.  And truthfully, though I would never admit it, I had missed her.  Hell, after almost a month in my father’s company, I found I missed just about everyone, including Jonathon Kent.  His obvious dislike for me was preferable to whatever it was I received from dear old dad.  Pulling onto the dirt road that led to their farm, I slowed to what for me was a crawl, then glanced to the passenger seat to make certain the files I needed were still beside me.  Parking the car, I opened the door only to immediately feel the oppressive Kansas heat that drew past me as it reached in to suck out the cooler conditioned air.  It was promising to be a hot summer.  Only the beginning of June and already in the nineties.


Grabbing the files into my hand, I stepped out, looking over at Martha who was working on the flowers near the front of the house.  She was watching me, smiling.  She rose as I approached and walked over to meet me.


“Lex, when did you get back in town?”  She asked, shielding her eyes from the sun with her glove-covered hand.


“A few minutes ago,” I smiled.  “Is Clark around?” 


“He’s in the fields with his father.  Sinjun’s in the barn.”


I raised an eyebrow at that.  Maybe Martha could read me a little more easily than I really wanted.  “I wouldn’t want to bother her,” I began.


But Martha rolled her eyes.  “Lex, don’t be silly.  She’s been wondering when you’d be back.”


I smiled.  For some reason this woman always made me feel like a misbehaved little boy.  And there were times that she looked at me with such… parental concern, I guess, that it made me more than slightly uncomfortable.  I wasn’t used to it.  Though I sometimes found myself envying the relationship Clark had with his parents, I still didn’t think I could deal with the constant awareness of what I did with my life.  I turned and headed toward the barn, glancing once toward the fields to see Clark and his father with the tractor far in the distance.  I didn’t see how they could work all day in this heat and dirt.  No wonder Clark was the size he was at his age.


The barn was no cooler when I entered, the shade offering no resistance to the humidity.  I stopped just inside the door, unable to contain the smile at the sight before me.  Sinjun was kneeling on the ground, a screw driver in hand, staring at piece of farm equipment in front of her.  She was dressed in faded jeans and one of Clark’s old flannels – I could tell by how large it was on her – with the sleeves cut off.  Her dark hair was in two braided pigtails that fell over her shoulders.  I wondered what my father would think if he saw my PR Director now.


“Well, if it isn’t Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” I called out.


Sinjun turned to look at me and an incredibly bright smile lit up her face.  Amazing.  It was something someone could get used to.  I was no fool.  Like I said, Sinjun was an open book and I could read her better than she probably could herself.  I knew she was interested in me.  I knew she fought against those feelings as well.  I’m glad she did.  I didn’t want to be the one to have to tell her no.  I think she was smart enough to realize we came from two different worlds and she would never be comfortable in mine.


“Lex!”  She climbed to her feet as I walked over to her.  Placing her hands on her hips, she shook her head in exasperation.  “How do you do it?  Summer in Kansas and still you wear dark colors and long sleeves and don’t break a sweat.”


I smiled.  “Luthors don’t sweat.”


Sinjun rolled her eyes heavenward.  “Of course not.  You defy the laws of nature as well.”


I laughed.  She always did that to me.  “How are you, Sinjun?”


“How do I look?” She asked, tossing the screw driver to the floor.  “I’m exhausted.  I thought I missed living on a farm.  Then I realized that was only because I had been on one as a child with fewer responsibilities and more time to play.”  Shaking her head, she smiled up at me again.  “How was Japan?”


“Both beautiful and boring,” I replied blandly.  “A great place to visit but not when your main company is my father.”


Sinjun made a face at that.  Her initial meeting with my father had not gone well and her opinion of him was probably lower than that of her uncles.  Not that I minded.  Unfortunately, his opinion of her hadn’t changed either.  He was still on me to hire what he referred to as a “professional”.  The more he bothered me about it, the more determined I was to keep Sinjun around.  Maybe it was unfair of me to her to place her in the middle like that but whatever worked against my father was okay by me.


“What’re those?”  Sinjun asked, pointing to the files I was holding.  “Don’t tell me you stopped by on your first day back just to give me more work.”


“As much of a slave driver as you seem to think I am, Sinjun, I am not that cruel.”  I held them out to her, quieting my tone as I told her, “They’re your father’s files.  Going back to when he first began working for the company.  You were right in your assumption that he worked on Level Three.  Apparently, he was one of my father’s top biochemical engineer’s.  He made some discovery during his work on Level Three – which unfortunately is not documented and will take more time to learn – which is why my father had him transferred to Plant Number One to take over operations there.”


Sinjun took the folders from me without replying, wandering over to a hay bale where she sat down and began flipping through the papers.  I followed, hovering above her, watching quietly.  Finally she looked up at me and gave me a half-smile.  “Thank you, Lex.  I really… well, thank you.”


I shrugged.  I actually still had people looking into her father for me.  There were certain loose ends, questions that I had regarding the work he was doing for my father before his death. Something wasn’t quite right but I wasn’t about to tell Sinjun anything until I knew for certain what I was looking for. 


“Oh!”  Sinjun glanced up at me sheepishly for a moment and a slight flush filled her cheeks.  “I forgot to mention – I planned a little party while you were away.”


Like I said, her eyes gave her away.  Currently there was some mischief sparkling in their green depths and I knew instantly that when she said “party”, she didn’t mean a small gathering of friends here at the farm.  I raised an eyebrow at her, flashing my most haughty and intimidating expression.  “And just what is this little party you forgot to mention?”


She faltered a bit at that and I immediately felt a pang of guilt.  But then she cocked her head to the side and watched me for a moment and it must have occurred to her that I wasn’t really as scary as she believed.  Sinjun smiled.  “Nothing really, Lex.  Just a little get-together for your employees.”


“My – “  I stopped myself, shook my head.  “I don’t want to hear this, do I?”


Laughter.  She jumped to her feet and started toward the door, glancing back to make certain I was following.  I moved ahead to hold it open for her and she whispered a quiet “thank you” before stepping out into the sunshine.  There was a stick of hay lodged in one of her braids that I reached out and grabbed, tossing to the ground.  If Sinjun noticed, she didn’t make mention of it. 


“Part of PR, Lex, is good relations with your own employees,” she explained as if I didn’t already know that.  I just continued to watch her with an expression of interest.  “And you want to be able to secure the best possible attitudes among your employees before those government inspectors come out, so… “


I waited for a moment for her to continue.  When she didn’t, I looked over to see another guilty flush staining her cheeks.  “What have you done, Sinj?”


She grinned at me.  “I sent out an invitation to all of the employees and their families for the First Annual LuthorCorp 4th of July Spectacular!”


“The employees and their families?”


Sinjun thought that over for a moment then admitted, “Actually, all of Smallville.”


I think she must have seen me pale.


“Well, I mean, much of Smallville is helping in putting it together.  The local farmers are providing the food, Fordman’s and Riley Lumber are helping with supplies and the tents and all, Libertyville’s Party Carnival is supplying games and rides and such – “


“My father isn’t going to like this, you know,” I commented blandly. 


“Well, that’s okay.  Because he isn’t invited.”


I laughed at that.  She obviously didn’t realize that once he heard of her little shindig, he would invited himself.  Just to be there.  Just to make me miserable.  But I didn’t say anything to her, not wishing to ruin the enjoyment she was obviously having. 


“So is there anything else I should know about this party of ours?” I asked.


Sinjun thought about it and then shook her head.  “Not really.  Unless I can convince you to volunteer for the kissing booth.”


I rolled my eyes at that and started back to the car.


“How about the dunk tank then?”  She asked, following behind.  “I’ll bet I could have them lining up for that one!”


Stopping, I turned to her and frowned.  “Sinjun St. Claire, are you suggesting that there would be a bigger line to drown me than there would be to kiss me?”


She unsuccessfully attempted to muffle her laughter.  “I didn’t suggest anything, Lex.  I’m flat out saying – “


I placed my hand over her mouth, not wishing to hear yet another statement against my character.  She watched me with obvious amusement in her eyes.  “No one should take such delight in belittling their boss, Sinj,” I warned her.


Sinjun’s eyebrows raised at that and she replied, “Mmmmuufffttt ooooo ccccfffttt nnnmmmvvvvbbberrrrr –“


I took my hand away from her mouth.


“Be belittled, Lex,” she finished with a laugh.


I shook my head.  “I don’t even want to know what you said.” 


Turning, I moved up to the car, casting a wave back to Martha before opening the door.  Sinjun was eyeing the car appreciatively as I climbed in.  She walked over to stand by the door. 


“Come by my place tomorrow and we’ll discuss these plans of yours,” I told her, starting the engine. 


“You’re not mad at me, are you, Lex?”  She asked.


There was the slightest hint of vulnerability and innocence in her voice and gaze.  It only served to remind me how much alike she and Clark were.  “No, Sinj.  I could never be mad at you.”


I drove home with the memory of her beaming smile to keep me company.


Brandon greeted me at the door of the castle when I arrived.  He wrinkled his nose distastefully as I walked past.


“You smell like a barn,” he commented, taking my coat.  “I trust the rest of your luggage does not smell the same.”


And I thought I was pompous.  Brandon regularly puts me to shame in that regard.  I’ve always wanted to ask him if he went to a special pomposity school before my father hired him.  “I stopped by the Kent farm on the way into town.”


“Ah.  Miss St. Claire.  Intriguing young woman.”


I raised an eyebrow at that.  “What makes you think I stopped by to see her?”


Brandon shrugged his narrow shoulders, moving down the hall to hang my coat in the closet.  I followed, working my way towards the study. 


“And what’s that comment supposed to mean, anyway?” I asked as I entered my favorite room, glancing at the pool table like an old familiar friend.  “Intriguing young woman,” I mimicked in his nasal tone.


He stood in the doorway, hands clasped in front of him, appearing for all the world as if he were looking down his nose at me.  At me!  “Miss St. Claire stopped by here a little over a week ago to drop off some reports from the plant.  She seemed… impressed with your library.  Even played a game of pool while we talked.”


“You let her play pool?”


“I do not believe she asked my permission, sir.”


I grinned at that.  “She probably batted her eyelashes and you became a puddle of goo.”


Brandon flashed me an expression that clearly told me exactly how unlikely that event was.  I dropped down into the chair at my desk, glancing over the stacks of messages and the folders of reports.  I would have to remind my father that leaving the country for a month at a time wasn’t very good for business, no matter if there were companies to take over or not.


“Shall I have Cook prepare your dinner this evening?”  Brandon asked, poised to depart at any moment.  I always wondered where he went and what he did with his spare time.  This was, after all, a fairly large place that one could become lost in.


I shook my head.  “No.  Nothing tonight.”


“Very good, sir.”  Brandon inclined his head and quickly disappeared, leaving me to my work.


I spent the evening going over the reports that Sinjun had brought over from Gabe as well as the media clippings she had saved from the past month’s Ledger.  The image of the Plant seemed to be improving, at least in the media’s eyes, and I made a mental note to point that out to my father, along with Gee, dad, maybe my choice of PR Director wasn’t so bad after all.  I knew he would still disagree though.  After all, it had been my choice, not his.


It must have been sometime after one in the morning when I dozed off in my chair.  It was a habit.  Sometimes the master bedroom was too big and empty to tempt me into retiring to it, so I would stay up working until I fell asleep at my desk, catch a couple of hours sleep and then get up.  I rarely needed much rest anyway.


The dream began in the house in Metropolis I grew up in.  I was wandering down the hallway, toward my mother’s sitting room, when I heard her whisper my name.  Speeding up, I hurried to the room, entering only to find my father with his hands wrapped around her slender and pale neck.  She was looking at me, such love in her eyes, such pleading, begging me to help her.  I ran to her, knocking my father out of the way, pushing him to the floor.  I turned to my mother and there were tears in her eyes.


“Alexander,” she whispered.  Her hand reached out, she cupped my cheek.  I felt all the warmth and love she harbored for me.  “What happened to you, my sweet Alexander?”


I shook my head.  “Nothing, mom.  I’m the same.”


“You loved me once.”


“I still love you, mom.  I will always love you,” I told her, crying.  “I’ll always love you.”


“No.  You’re like him now.  You don’t know how to love.”


“That’s not true!”  I shouted, grabbing her by the arms, shaking her.  “I can love!  I do love!”


“You destroy.  You corrupt.  You ensnare.  But never love.”


“Stop saying that!”  I raged, shaking her harder.  “I am not him!  I am not him!”


My hands crept to her throat.   I began choking the life out of her, all the while insisting I wasn’t like my father.  That I could love.  I was crying, shouting, my hands constricting around the throat clasped between them.




I stopped.  It was no longer my mother that I held in a death grip but Sinjun.  She looked at me, pleading, begging, all the while loving as I killed her, my hands unable to let go, no matter how much I cried and told her over and over again that I could love.  That I wasn’t like him.  Not him. 


“Lex,” she whispered with her last dying breath.  “How could you do this to us?”


I started awake, my heart thudding painfully in my chest, the last vestiges of the nightmare clinging to my mind.  I pushed myself out of my chair, over to the bar where I poured a double shot of scotch, swallowing it down.  I ran a shaky hand over my head.  I was sweating.  Luthor’s never sweat.  I heard Sinjun’s mocking laughter in my mind.


I knew I wouldn’t sleep the rest of the night and went back to work.    




It was about noon the next day as I was staring at an email from Dr. Hamilton regarding the latest setback in the experiments he was conducting when I heard Sinjun’s voice call out:




I looked up to see her peaking around the corner of the doorway, as if it would be easier for her to make a quick getaway as long as she didn’t bring her whole body forward.   I stood, waving her in.


“Not too busy that I can’t put it on hold for a bit,” I told her, walking around the desk.  “Up for a game of pool?”


Sinjun grinned at that.  She had replaced her pigtails with one high ponytail that swung back and forth as she walked.  “I take it Brandon told you about that, hmmm?”


“First name basis with the staff.  Impressive,” I intoned.


She rolled her eyes at me.  “So you wanted to talk about the party.”


“Straight to business.”  I smirked.  “I thought all work and no play – “


“Make Lex a boring man,” she interrupted.  “Yes.  I know.  But I can’t stay long.  I have a date.”


My eyebrow twitched.  Literally twitched.  I don’t know why.  I reached up and rubbed it for a moment, then glanced over at Sinjun who was already making her way over to the pool table and racking up the balls.  Following her, I asked, “A local farmer boy?”


“Something like that.”


“How quaint.”  I don’t know why I was letting the sarcasm issue forth but she just kind of looked up at me when I said it then returned to what she was doing.  I continued to watch quietly as she leaned forward with the cue stick and then crack! the balls split apart, three of which instantly disappeared through the holes.  I frowned.  “You aren’t trying to hustle me, are you, Sinj?”


“Lex, I don’t even have anything worthy of hustling you with.”  She walked around the table, leaned forward again, positioning the stick.  She was wearing form-hugging boot-cut jeans (I never even knew there was such a thing before moving to Smallville!) and a small t-shirt, that when she moved, showed glimpses of her midriff. 


I returned my attention to the table, tapping the end of my cue stick against the floor as I leaned on it.  “What about the party?  I win, you cancel it.  You win, I pay for whatever you want to have at it.”


Her green eyes glanced up at me, wider than usual.  “Those are fairly high stakes, Lex,” she commented softly.


I shrugged.  “I’ve played for more.”


She grinned.  “I’ll bet you have.  But I haven’t.”


“Afraid to lose?”  I taunted.  I watched her eyes.  For once, I couldn’t read anything there and wondered if she was beginning to take my advice.


Sinjun just smiled.  “You’re on… Lex.”  Then I saw it as her eyes flickered back to the table.  Just a glimpse.  An assuredness of victory.  I’d already made the bet and couldn’t back down now.  But her poker face still needed work.


She cleared the table.  Twice.  I glared.  A ringer.  I should have known.


“You hustled me,” I commented, dropping into the chair behind my desk after an hour of being fairly humiliated.


Shrugging, Sinjun sat across from me.  “I told you I didn’t date much during those two years in college.  I hung out at the Student Center and played pool every night.”


I wondered how many others she had suckered in with her innocent expressions in those two years.  She went on to talk about her ideas for the 4th of July party and I listened.  It was beginning to sound like an enormous carnival that LuthorCorp was paying for.  I didn’t mind but I knew my father would.  Sinjun had a point – it would be great for both employee moral and relations with the town.  She was planning a barbeque cook off and bake sale and rides and games and music and, of course, fireworks that evening at ten o’clock.  She said that she had snared both Clark and her aunt into volunteering for the kissing booth but her uncle was still holding out.  I grinned, asked her if she planned on volunteering to which she replied only if she absolutely had to.  She brought up the dunk tank again, to which I shook my head emphatically.


“I’m not saying no to be difficult, Sinjun.  I’m doing it for you.”


Sinjun raised an eyebrow at that.  “Oh?  And how is that?”


I leaned forward on the desk and met her gaze.  “If your uncle had the chance to humiliate me in front of the town again and again at a dollar a ball, that farm of his would be even more in hock than it is now.”


Sinjun laughed.  “Okay.  You have a point.”  She reached down into her purse and pulled out a small notebook.  Scribbling something into it, she looked back up at me.  “Think we could get your father in there?  I bet if I sent out fliers around the world, I could raise enough money to buy LuthorCorp outright.”


I just shook my head, not even dignifying that comment with a reply.  My phone rang.  Glancing down at the caller ID, I noticed it was my father.  Sighing, I flipped it open, commenting to Sinjun as I did so, “Speak of the devil.”


Her eyebrows shot up beyond her bangs.  “Want me to leave?”


I shook my head that it was unnecessary.  “What’d I do now, dad?”  I asked.


“Lex, who says you have to do something wrong for me to call you?”


“You do.”


Civil laughter.  The kind that says yes you are right but I don’t need to admit it for you to know it.  “Actually I have a little business deal that I am working on that I need you to finish for me.”




I was barely paying attention.  Sinjun had gotten up from her seat, in the manner of a child raised by polite parents who would instruct their child never to listen to another person’s conversation.  She strolled away from the desk toward the little staircase that led to the balcony where the books were stored.  My father was droning on about some original artwork by Da Vinci that he was getting a steal on in exchange for the pieces of Elizabethan jewelry that were in our collection.  I made a face at that.  Those pieces had belonged to my mother, passed on from her family.  They might mean nothing to him, but they sure as hell did to me.  Not that he cared.  He needed more artwork for his office.


“The deal has already been set, Lex.  I just need you to go and make the exchange.”


“Why can’t they come to your office?”  I glanced up at the balustrade as I heard Sinjun exclaim happily in delight over something.


“Who is that?”


“No one,” I replied. 


Currently Sinjun had a stack of half a dozen books cradled in her arms.  What did she think this was? A library?  She reached for another then promptly dropped all of them to the floor.  She turned a mortified gaze to me, whispered that she was sorry, then dropped to her knees and gathered them into her arms once more.  I quietly reminded myself not to let her handle any of the Waterford crystal.


“Are you listening to me, Lex?”


“Yeah.  You still haven’t answered me, though.”


A pause.  “It’s my first time dealing with these people.  They aren’t too certain of LuthorCorp yet so they would prefer to make this deal on their terms.”


I frowned.  No doubt that made the artwork stolen.  Sometimes my father did really stupid things all for the sake of pride.  Wayne Enterprises probably recently purchased a few Van Gogh’s or something and now my father wanted to out do them. 


“They will be contacting you when they are ready to make the exchange.”


“Sure.  Whatever.”  My eyes drifted up again, watching curiously as Sinjun sat on the floor, crossed-legged, the books set before her, leafing through each one. 


“Lex, don’t screw this up.  This should be relatively easy.”


“Gee, thanks, dad.  Your faith in me is astounding.”  I hung up the phone, tossing it back to the desk.


“That was a short call,” Sinjun commented from above me.


I looked up, walking over to stand beneath the diminutive balcony.  “Really?  I thought it lasted forever.”


Sinjun peered down at me between the rails.  “Have you two always been like this?”


I frowned at the question, not certain how comfortable I was talking about my personal life with her just yet.  Considering the question, I walked over to the bar and poured myself a scotch.  I heard Sinjun coming down the steps, the low heels of her boots clicking against the wood.  I didn’t turn around, listening carefully as she stopped a few feet behind me.


“Sorry if I asked something I shouldn’t,” she apologized.  “I’m just… curious, I guess.  I mean, my parents and I were always close and Clark and his… well, you see how wonderful my aunt and uncle are with him.”


I swallowed the scotch back.  She didn’t need to remind me of the relationship shared by Clark and his parents.  She didn’t need to remind me that the one I had with my father was on the borderline between barely acceptable and outright hostility.  I know Sinjun only meant the best by asking.  Most likely she wanted to tell me things weren’t that bad or something like that but at the moment I wasn’t in the mood to deal with her sympathy or pity or whatever it was she was offering. 


“Don’t you have a date to go on?”   I snapped.  I hadn’t meant to do that but it happened and I didn’t take it back.


A long pause.  I didn’t turn around.


“Yes.  I do actually.  I guess… I’ll see you at work Monday.  Talk to you later, Lex.”


I waited until I heard the front door close before I turned around.  I had another scotch, tried not to think of my penchant for treating those who actually seemed to give a damn about me like crap.  Maybe that was why I always ended up as I was now, alone with a drink in my hand.  I feared letting anyone in, pushed them away instead and then wondered why I had no friends.  Maybe I really would turn out to be my father someday.  Bitter, alone and mean as hell.  But rich.  At least I had that going for me, I thought as I sat down on the leather couch and leaned my head back, closing my eyes.


I thought, Mom, I don’t think I’m turning out to be the man you wanted me to be.  I’m sorry. 




Later that evening I grew restless in the house and drove into town to see if anything interesting was happening at the Talon.  Granted, this was Smallville and very rarely did anything equal to those happenings in Metropolis occur, but one never knew when some mutant kid would show up and wreak havoc on the populace.  Not that I was looking for anything like that.  Usually when something like that did occur, I was stuck on the receiving end.  I preferred not to get knocked around anymore. 


Entering the coffee house, I waited a moment for my eyes to adjust to the dimness of the interior before stepping forward and almost running into Lana.  She looked up at me, as if surprised to see me there.


“Lex.”  She blinked.  “I didn’t know you were back in town.”


“Keep looking at me like that, Lana, and I will begin to wonder if you haven’t been embezzling money while I was away.”


Lana didn’t say anything to that.  Just kind of looked at me as if she couldn’t decide if I was teasing or serious.  I guess I had just become too used to Sinjun, who I knew would have probably replied with something like What makes you so certain I haven’t been? Or something equally sarcastic.


Moving past that, I glanced around.  “Business seems to be doing well.”


“Oh we’ve been really busy!”  Lana replied enthusiastically.  “Aunt Nell has already booked two bands to play in the next few weeks.”


“Great.”  I could only imagine what a band from a barn in Smallville sounded like.  To my credit, I did attempt to sound interested.  “Anything happen that I should know about while I was gone?”


Lana shook her head.  “Nothing Aunt Nell couldn’t handle.”  She peered over my shoulder at the door.  “Oh!  There’s Whitney.  I’ve gotta go.  Bye, Lex.  And welcome back.”


I watched as she scurried past me to meet her boyfriend at the door and they disappeared into the night.  Walking over to the bar I ordered a cappuccino, my gaze scanning the room as I waited.  I noticed Clark sitting in a darkened corner by himself and when my order came up I grabbed the cup and moved over to him.  He didn’t seem to notice my approach, his head turned to look over his shoulder, his gaze intent on something.


“Hey Clark.”


He kind of started then turned to look at me with a quick smile.  “Oh, hey Lex.  What’re you doing here?”


I shrugged as I sat in the seat across from him.  “Restless, I guess.  Wanted to see what was happening in town.”  I raised my eyebrows as Clark turned to look over his shoulder once more.  “The question is, what are you doing?”


He looked back at me, flashing a sheepish expression.  “A favor for my dad, actually.  You can’t say anything or she’ll kill me!”


I took a sip of the cappuccino, still watching Clark as if he’d lost his mind.  “Who?  What are you talking about?”


The teenager sighed.  “Sinjun has a date tonight with Billy Preston.  My dad doesn’t like him or trust him.  Said he’s a date rape waiting to happen.  So he sent me out to – “


“Spy on them?”  I interrupted, finding that for once me and Jonathon Kent agreed on something.  “You mean there is someone else in town your father dislikes other than me?”


“Yeah.”  Clark grinned.  “The way he talked, I almost think he would prefer it if Sinjun were going out with you, actually.”  At that we both kind of rolled our eyes, like the chances of such a thing to happen were a million to one.  Clark glanced over his shoulder again.  “They’re over there, in the back.  While Lana was here I could at least convince Sinj that I was here to visit but now… I no longer have an excuse.  Besides, I get the feeling she already knows.”


“How does it appear to be going?”  I wouldn’t have asked had he not made mention that his father hated this guy so much.  Suddenly, I didn’t want Sinjun in the vicinity of him either.  I thought I was trying to play big brother. 


Clark shook his head.  “I can’t tell.  Sinjun sure is fidgeting a lot though.”


I frowned.  “She’s uncomfortable.” 


I looked down at my cup when Clark turned to me.  There was a long silence where I knew he was still watching me.


“You and Sinjun are getting pretty close,” he commented.


I looked up sharply at that to find Clark grinning at me.  I made a face.  “I’m her employer, Clark.  We have to know each other to work well together.”


Clark grinned like the teenager he was.  “Work well together, huh?”


I pursed my lips.  “You know, Clark, sometimes I forget how old you are.  Then wham!  You remind me.”


He rolled his eyes.  “Gee, thanks, Lex.  You’re a real pal.”


“Clark Kent, are you spying on me?!”


Clark’s eyes widened in surprise at me before he turned and flashed the most innocent smile possible at his cousin who was suddenly standing beside our table, her arms folded over her chest.  I hid my smile in my cup as I took another swallow of the cooling beverage.


“Spy?  Why would I spy on you, Sinj?”  Clark asked blankly.


Shaking her head in exasperation, Sinjun turned to look at me.  “Hello Lex.”


I was a little surprised that she was speaking to me, and behaving so normally.  I think I had been expecting her to be angry, to pout and make me suffer for my rudeness to her earlier.  I found myself smiling at this unexpected but welcome change from most of the women I had known.


“Hey Sinjun.  How’s the date going?”


She glanced at the table where Billy Preston was currently loosening the caps on the salt and pepper shakers.  She turned back to us, rolling her eyes.  “I am beginning to wonder which of us is more miserable – him or me?  We’re both obviously being overly polite to one another just to get through the evening.  I have tried to think of every possible way to call it off early but can’t come up with anything.”  Sinjun looked at me.  “You know how well I lie.”


I laughed, getting to my feet.  “You really want out of this date?  Let me take care of it.”


Clark and Sinjun looked at each other as I walked off toward the back table where Billy Preston was snickering to himself over the little prank he had just pulled.  Some people were like pests in this world and deserved little better than being squashed like one. 




Sinjun’s date looked up at me.  He had obviously been a football player in high school.  All shoulders, no neck, dull expression in his eyes.  I really hoped this wasn’t the kind of man Sinjun was attracted to.  If so, I would have to lower my opinion of her a few notches.


“You’re that Luthor guy.”


Wow.  He was brilliant, too.  “Yeah.  Look, I need Sinjun for an important matter that has come up at the Plant so you’re on your own for the rest of the evening, big guy.”


“Huh?  What?”


Shaking my head, I walked back to the table where Clark and Sinjun were watching me.  Call it my one good deed for the day.  Actually, I was discovering that the entire situation had me unnerved and the good mood I had been in was quickly replaced by a darker one.  I barely acknowledged either of them as I passed by, telling Sinjun she was off the hook because of some situation at the Plant and then I headed out the door.  I barely made it to my car before Sinjun was right beside me, looking up at me with a slightly teasing expression.


“Wow.  You change moods faster than Kansas changes weather patterns.” She actually sounded somewhat impressed.


I glared at her.  “Is there something you want?”


“Well it would look kind of strange if you said I needed to accompany you to the Plant and then didn’t leave with you, now wouldn’t it?”


“What about Clark?”


“He said he was headed over to Pete’s house.”


I ran my hand over my head in frustration.  For some reason, I felt this was a really bad idea.  Maybe it was Clark’s teasing about the closeness that existed between me and Sinjun.  Maybe it was that Neanderthal that Sinjun had gone out with.  Or it could have been how close Sinjun was standing next to me at the moment, her distinct scent of honeysuckle and apples wafting around me.  And maybe it was because I knew I was going to give in to her, even before she decided to tease me one last time.


“Billy invited me to go cow tipping with him, but I think I would rather do that with you, Lex.”


I tried really hard not to smile at that comment.  Really hard.  It didn’t work.  Sinjun giggled beside me.  Shaking my head, I opened the passenger door for her.  “Get in, brat.”


She slid in and I shut the door, moving over to the other side and climbing in.  Sinjun was already looking through my CD collection for something to listen to.  She was frowning here and there, making faces as I revved the engine to life and pulled away from the Talon out onto Main Street.  Removing the CD that was in the player, Sinjun slipped another in.  In moments The Calling was blasting through the speakers.  I was relieved that Sinjun had learned to be relaxed enough around me to make herself comfortable.  At first, when we had begun to spend quite a bit of time together with work, I swear she considered asking me if it was all right when she breathed.  It used to be when I gave her a ride that she would sit stiff and unmoving beside me, as if she were afraid she would break something.  Especially after the accident with the Ferrari.  Somewhere along the way, I had convinced her to behave around me the way she did with everyone else. 


“So did Bubba really invite you cow tipping?”  I asked.


I glanced out of the corner of my eye to see Sinjun smile beside me.


“Billy.  Geez.  And yes, he really did.  That was somewhere between my slapping his hands away and my slapping his hands away again.”


My own hands gripped the steering wheel hard.  “He didn’t try – “


“Oh he did indeed,” Sinjun interrupted, waving her hand as if it were nothing.  “About the moment we drove away from the farm, as a matter of fact.  Luckily, he had to keep one hand on the wheel.  That was when I suggested the Talon, knowing it would be safer to keep him in a public place.”


I clenched my jaw, considering how exactly I could teach ol’ Billy Preston a lesson.  I asked the one question that was nagging me more than anything, “Why did you go out with him anyway?”


Sinjun looked out the window, a purposeful turn of her head so that I couldn’t see her face.  I knew that maneuver well.  Her small shoulders shrugged.  “Guess I just jumped at the chance of actually being asked out, of someone being interested in me.”  She looked over at me quickly and her smile was a sad one.  “Should have known better than to believe someone wanted to go out with me for me, huh?”


“This self-deprecating crap isn’t you,” I snapped angrily.


Sinjun blinked, turning her gaze back out the window.  “Sorry.”


I sighed.  I hadn’t meant to snap like that but I held the market for self-deprecating comments and I didn’t want Sinjun to turn out the same way.  It would be like allowing Clark to believe he really wasn’t one of the most loyal and generous people on Earth.   Not knowing what to say, I remained silent and the music filled the gap that had grown between us.


If I give up on you I give up on me
If we fight what's true, will we ever be
Even if God himself and the faith I knew
Shouldn't hold me back, shouldn't keep me from you

Tease me, by holding out your hand
Then leave me, or take me as I am
And live our lives, stigmatized”


“I’m sorry about this afternoon,” Sinjun said suddenly.  “I didn’t mean to pry.”


She was apologizing to me.  I shook my head.  “Sinjun, you have no reason to apologize to me.  If anything, I should be asking your forgiveness for how I treated you when you were only trying to get me to talk.”

We live our lives on different sides,
But we keep together you and I
Just live our lives, stigmatized
We'll live our lives, we'll take the punches every day
We'll live our lives I know we're gonna find our way

When she didn’t respond, I glanced over to see her chewing her lower lip, another nervous habit of hers and one that was positively endearing.  I wondered what it would be like to… I mentally shook the thought from my head.  She was the last person I needed to be thinking like that about.  And I felt positively wretched for doing so.  Sinjun was almost as innocent as her cousin.  She didn’t need my influence to corrupt her, turn her into something she wasn’t, something she would one day despise me for.  But I could admit to myself that something about her continued to draw me in, each and every day I was around her.  Like tonight. 


She was dressed in a pale green, snug-fitting sundress that came to just above her knees, showing off her tanned, toned calves.  She wore matching sandals with leather straps that wrapped around delicate ankles.  Her dark hair was down and hanging past her shoulders, the way I preferred it.  I allowed my gaze to flicker from the road over her once again, wondering what it was that continued to pull me in when I knew it was best to stubbornly refuse.  Sinjun wasn’t beautiful by any conventional sense.  Her eyes were too wide, her face more rounded than oval, her nose just slightly turned-up at the tip.  She was… sensual.  That was the only word I could think of to describe her and it made me realize why Neanderthal man had asked her out.  You would never see Sinjun on the cover of Vogue. But you might see her in Playboy.  She was all curves and softness and woman and she made you think of cold nights in a warm bed. 


“Lex, wanna watch the road?”


I started out of my reverie just in time to miss going into the ditch and silently cussed myself out for letting my mind wander.  Especially about her.  Especially the direction it did.  Sinjun was not like Victoria or Claire or Nicola or Samantha or any of the others that I had used until I was bored or annoyed with them, enjoying their bodies that they so willingly bartered in return for my money and power.  From the sounds of it, she was a virgin and would most likely marry the man who was her first sexual experience and I could not believe I was thinking about this stuff while she sat beside me, having no idea that I was wondering what it would be like to have her in my bed.


“Lex, is something wrong?”


“No.  Why?”


“You look like you are going to snap the steering wheel in two.”


I forced myself to relax my grip.  I couldn’t look at Sinjun.  I started mentally calculating the quarterly returns for the Plant.  I thought about Victoria and her treachery.  Thought about my dad.  Anything other than Clark’s cousin.


We live our lives on different sides
But we keep together you and I
We live our loves on different sides”


Thankfully, I pulled onto the Kent’s drive a few moments later, stopping the car not far from the lemon yellow farmhouse.  The lights were on in the kitchen and the family room.  The damn place always looked so warm and inviting, like something on a Hallmark card.  I wondered what it was like to live in a house like that, where one got fed home cooked meals made by mom that were likely from recipes handed down generation after generation and there were always others to sit at the table with and talk about your day and they actually cared about what you were saying and what you had done.


“You always do that.”


I turned to see Sinjun watching me.  Sometimes I thought she saw too much. I frowned.  “What?”


“Tense up when you get here.”  She cocked her head to the side and once more I feared that she would see too much.


“Maybe its just fear that your uncle will one day shoot me in the head,” I remarked flippantly, turning my gaze back out the window.  I wanted her to go and leave me alone.  I wanted her to stay and talk to me.  I heard the car door open and relief flooded through me.  And so did utter loneliness.




I turned to look at her, leaning through the door, watching me, her expression as ever unguarded and thoughtful.  There was concern there.  I doubted it was directed at me, it was most likely that she feared I was angry with her or she had done something wrong.  I tried to smile, to let her know that things were okay but I don’t think it came out the way I meant it to because her expression only seemed to become more worried.


“If you ever… “  She hesitated, worried her lower lip again.  “I mean, well… you shouldn’t be worried about uncle Jonathon.  Clark and I… we’re your friends, you know?”


She wanted to say more, I could see it.  I was glad she didn’t.  “I know, Sinjun.”






Sinjun hesitated, then she was leaning in the door, her knee pressed into the passenger seat and she kissed my cheek.  It wasn’t the first time she had done it.  I doubted it would be the last.  She was a touchy-feely person and I had forced myself to grow accustomed to it.  It had been a while since she had last done this though and I had forgotten how soft her lips were, or the feel of her warm breath against my skin.  For the first time, my body reacted to her nearness.  In response, I jerked away from her, growing tense.  I couldn’t look at her.  I took the car out of park, my foot on the brake, waited for her to leave. 


Sinjun sat back.  “Wow.  Seems like I’m doing everything wrong today.”  She pulled out and closed the door before I could say anything.


It was better this way, I told myself as I tore away from the Kent farm and Sinjun.



Continue to Chapter Two

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