Title: Someone to
Watch Over Me
Author webpage: http://www.watchersjournal.com/aelora/aelora.html
Genre: Het, Original character, Drama, Romance
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??
WATCH OVER ME
Part Two - Apathy
I want to learn, how you save yourself for someone who, loves you
so many times we just give it away to someone who, couldn't even remember your
could you save yourself for someone who, loves you for you, loves me for me
give it away to someone who will cherish your name
Yourself – Sense Field
I stayed away from the
Plant for two days. I remained holed up in the castle, venturing into town only
once for some coffee. Luckily, I saw no sign of Sinjun. I know I was being
cowardly but I didn’t think I could handle a confrontation just yet. I did find
myself hoping to run into Clark, just so I could casually ask how Sinjun was
doing. I wondered if she had told her family anything, then found myself
doubting it. I believed she was the type to keep such things to herself. Then
again, it was easy to see the Kent family sitting around the dinner table
discussing what a scum bag Lex Luthor was. Pleasant thought, that. No wonder I
I almost went to the Kent
farm that night I coldly chased Sinjun away. If I had gone, what would I have
done? Thrown rocks at her window like some teenage Romeo? And what would I
have said? I’m sorry for being such an ass and taking advantage of what you had
offered me, can we still be friends? Somewhere in my heart, I knew there were
things I had wanted to say, but it was all buried so deeply I doubted that I
could ever truly dig it all out. And I didn’t even know if I had the strength
or will to do so. Some things were better left buried and unnoticed. Too many
resurrections brought pain. Pain was an emotion that made you weak.
The worst of it was, I
didn’t regret what happened. If I had to go back and do it again, I still would
have given in to Sinjun’s advances. Did that make me an even worse person
because I enjoyed being with her? Because I had felt truly wanted and needed at
her touch and for a brief span of time had thought that maybe happiness wasn’t a
fairy tale, that it was possible.
I had to stop dwelling on
Going over my calendar
that day, I cussed neatly when I noticed the annual LuthorCorp managers cocktail
party was the next evening, at the same time as my meeting with the Da Vinci
people. Now I knew why my father couldn’t do it. I found myself wondering if
he hadn’t done this on purpose – to keep me away from the gathering for fear of
others seeing how well his son had been doing with the management of Plant
Number Three. I wouldn’t have put it past him. Unfortunately, my father always
underestimated me. I would simply send the perfect representative in my place,
someone who spent her days making the Smallville Plant look good. Glancing at
my watch, I realized it was just before lunch, a perfect time to stop by the
I was using that
LuthorCorp party as an excuse, I knew. I could have sent her an email, left a
voice message, anything other than seeing her face to face. It was due to my
morbid curiosity to stop by the office and see how things were between Sinjun
and I. It was too soon – I should have stayed away longer. For both our
When I pulled up out
front, I noticed that most of the equipment from the Fourth’s activities had
been cleared away with only a few carnival trucks remaining. I tried not to
think of that day as I jogged up the outside steps to the management offices. I
saw Gabe on the way in, stopped to talk to him for a moment, asked how the
picnic turned out, and if there was anything that needed my attention at the
Plant. He updated me on a few production problems that he seemed to have in
hand, and then I asked him if Sinjun was in. Gabe nodded, said she was in the
office dealing with some reporter over the phone. I thanked him and headed
office, I found that Sinjun was indeed on the phone, pacing behind the desk,
dressed casually in a summer dress and matching jacket. I found my gaze moving
over her appreciatively, enjoying the way she walked, the slight tilt to her
head when she obviously didn’t like what the person on the other line was
saying, her fingers tapping restlessly against the receiver. It all came back
to me immediately – the feeling of her in my arms, her soft skin, the sound of
her voice calling out my name, her lips pressed against mine.
Dammit it all to hell.
“I don’t care what your
sources are telling you, Mr. Moorly,” Sinjun snapped. “I’m telling you that it
is utter and complete crap… Yes you can put me on the record saying that,
because it’s the truth… Well now, they’re obviously lying, aren’t they? Most
likely its some story made up by the competition to make the Plant look bad…
Would you like to come out here and run some goddamned tests yourself?!... Well
then, if you can’t back your own bullshit, you’d best not print it, hmmm?...
Tell you what, you give me a name of this supposed employee, and I will look
into it myself. In fact, if I find out it’s true, I’ll write the expose
myself!... That’s right, because there is no employee making those claims, Mr.
Moorly. Trust me. I would have heard about it long before this… Why? Because
Smallville is a very little town and rumors such as this spread like wild
fire.” She laughed suddenly. “Off the record? You can’t be serious?... Mmhmmm…
I’m curious, Mr. Moorly, what exactly is it you are wanting me to say here?...
Well there must be something or you wouldn’t be so insistent… I see… Is that
so?... Off the record… Fine. How is this for off the record? Go to hell you
life-sucking vampire. Have a nice day.” She tossed the phone to the desk.
“What the hell was that
all about?” I asked, my eyebrows raised.
Sinjun turned to look at
me, her face registering no surprise at my presence. No anything really. “Just
the press trying to print a false allegation by some made up employee that we
have been contaminating the town water supply.”
“I take it he had no
evidence to back up his statement?”
I smiled. She didn’t.
In fact, she immediately turned from me and went back to work, sorting through
the paperwork before her. I frowned and moved from the doorway over to the
desk. Sinjun stood, walked away from the desk over to the filing cabinets.
Actions speak louder than words, and hers were practically screaming at me. Not
for the first time I began to question my decisions, my motivations, just about
everything within me. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was losing
something special before I had ever really had the chance to experience it. Of
course, those were emotions talking again, and I knew better than to listen to
Sinjun said something,
snapping me out of my fugue. I frowned. “What was that?”
She glanced over at me
and glared. “I said, I’m surprised I still have a job.”
I sighed, turning away
from her gaze to sit in the chair behind my desk. “You should know me better
than that,” I muttered in return.
“Oh? But everything else
has been so very cliché, why not that as well? Powerful, rich boss sleeps with
secretary-turned-PR manager, gets the piece of ass he was looking for then gets
rid of her before she can cause trouble.”
Damn, she was really
pissed. I winced, clenching my jaw. “Do you plan on causing trouble?” I asked,
looking back up at her.
Sinjun blinked, glancing
at the files she had in her hands. “Erm… no.”
“Then drop it,” I
replied, a bit too harshly.
Her head snapped up at
that, and she looked like there was something else she wanted to say and I
waited, but she finally turned back around and began rummaging through the
files. The silence extended between us for the next few minutes, horrible,
uncomfortable silence that made me want to hit something. I really needed a
drink. I glanced at the wet bar, eyeing the scotch, realized I would have to
pass by Sinjun to get to it, and decided to remain where I was. I turned to the
computer, opened my email, read a few messages from my father, before getting up
the nerve to speak again.
“I need you to attend a
party in my place tomorrow night.”
Silence. I pushed back
from the monitor and watched her, eyeing her body language. Still too easy to
read, especially how stiffly she was holding herself, as if she really, really
wanted to fidget and was really, really fighting with herself not to do so.
“LuthorCorp holds an
annual gathering of the managers and divisions heads,” I explained. “Basically
it’s just a cocktail party where everyone does some bullshit networking, and my
father gets up and gives some stupid speech, thanking everyone for their hard
work and dedication, spouts out some projections for the year ahead and everyone
goes back to getting drunk.”
“Sounds like a real,
hardcore party,” Sinjun commented, shutting the file drawer loudly before
turning and leaning back against it, arms folded over her chest as she conversed
with me. “Why aren’t you going?”
“I have to do something
for my father,” I told her.
“Why not send Gabe?”
“Because you’re in charge
“Your father doesn’t like
me – “
“My father doesn’t like
anyone.” I smiled. “It’s being held at the museum. You can drive the Aston
Martin into Metropolis.”
Sinjun shook her head
with an angry smile. “It isn’t necessary to kiss my ass, Lex. I work for you,
remember? I’ll do my job as I’m told.”
I turned away from her,
feeling the sting of her words. I liked it better when she was always trying to
make me smile. “I’m not kissing your ass, Sinjun,” I replied. “I simply
thought you would enjoy driving the Aston Martin. If you want, I can have the
limo take you.”
“The Aston Martin is
I knew she wouldn’t pass
that up. At least there were some things she was extremely predictable in.
“You can swing by tomorrow afternoon and pick it up.”
“How thrilling. Anything
else? I have a lunch meeting with the reporter from Fortune that you refuse to
speak with. Apparently he is willing to write the article from my views of the
Plant and your… management.”
Why did that make me the
slightest bit worried? Oh yeah. A woman scorned. “Sinjun – “
“Not to worry, Lex,” she
interrupted, waving her hand in dismissal as she moved to grab her purse. “For
some insane reason I still feel this inexplicable loyalty to you that could only
have been brought on by being dropped on my head one too many times as a child.”
I bit back my smile at
her sarcastic humor, so typical of her. At once I felt elation that there was
still something there that tied her to me and remorse for forcing her to
question its existence. I watched as she moved toward the door, not even
affording me one last glance. Did she really think it was that easy?
“Sinjun,” I called out.
She stopped. I waited,
saying nothing until she turned back to me. I could tell by her eyes that she
wanted nothing more in the world at that moment than to get out of there, away
from my presence. I wanted her to stay. I was tempted to tell her she couldn’t
go, that I needed her for something. Problem was, I couldn’t think up a
plausible lie. It was terribly selfish and cruel of me, but I found myself
wondering if she had cried over my treatment of her. Sinjun always projected
such a strong front. Was it possible to move her to tears? Or did I naturally
attract people who didn’t care enough about me to feel sorrow that deeply?
“Thank you.” For your
loyalty. For speaking to me. For being here.
Sinjun made a face, shook
her head, and walked out the door.
That evening on my way
home I stopped by the Talon to grab some coffee. It was a pleasant surprise to
know the place was doing so well and that I had not been misguided in my
decision to forego the parking lot and take up Lana on her suggestion to turn it
into a coffee house. It was actually beginning to make a profit.
Entering the interior,
the latest Top 40 music was playing in the background and teens through adults
crowded around the tables. I made my way over to the bar, ordered a cappuccino
from a new server I didn’t recognize then scanned the rooms, a little surprised
when I saw Clark sitting in a booth with Chloe and Pete. Grabbing the beverage,
I wandered over to their table, greeting the three teenagers. Clark and Chloe
both replied enthusiastically while Pete remained surreptitiously quiet.
“Have a seat,” Clark
invited, scooting over to make room.
I sat down beside him.
“So what trouble are the three of you causing tonight?”
Chloe smirked at me.
“Oh, you know us. Out to conquer the world, stuff like that. Oh wait. That’s
Sometimes I thought Gabe
Sullivan’s daughter needed to be taken over her father’s knee and taught a
little respect for her elders. Other times, I thought she was one of the
brighter and more interesting people in Smallville. With my mood tonight, it
was the former. “You know, Miss Sullivan, that internship at the Inquisitor is
in trouble of going to someone else.”
She pouted. Beside me
Clark chuckled and across from us Pete scowled at me.
“Well we need to be
going,” Pete said, jumping up suddenly and tugging on Chloe to follow him out of
the booth. “We’ll see you tomorrow, Clark.”
“Okay. Bye guys.”
I turned to Clark after
they walked away. “Sorry about that. It’s obvious they left because of me.”
Clark shrugged and gave
me a slight grin. “No problem. I see them at school all day anyway. I’ve
hardly seen you at all lately. That picnic was great, by the way. The
fireworks were the coolest.”
“Glad to hear that,” I
replied, taking sip of the hot beverage. I paused for a moment, then asked, “So
“Actually,” Clark began,
looking sideways at me. “I was going to ask you about that. Did you guys argue
“No.” We hadn’t
technically argued. There had never been raised voices or anything between us.
“I don’t know,” he said
with a shrug. “I tried asking her about you yesterday, and she refused to give
me any sort of an answer, like she didn’t want to talk about you or something.”
I gave a tight smile.
“You know me, Clark. Doesn’t take long before most people stop wanting to have
anything to do with me.”
Clark frowned. “That’s not true, Lex.”
I silently scoffed at his
reply, said nothing. I wondered what Sinjun would have to say about me after
today’s little confrontation. Clark was a smart kid; he would eventually figure
out something happened between us if couldn’t both work to make things normal
between us again. The problem was, things were never really normal between me
and Sinjun. From the first, there had been something working to throw us
together, to cause me to have faith and trust in her that I would normally never
so easily hand to another individual. So where did we go from here? I didn’t
know if we could go back to being friends. And yet, there was no other choice
for me. I didn’t want to lose her completely. I couldn’t stand the thought of
Giving and taking at the
same moment is what Sinjun had accused me of doing. And she was right. I
wanted to know what it would be like to have her at my side, and yet I wasn’t
willing to open myself up for the vulnerability of such a situation. I wanted
her to be there and yet I wasn’t willing to ask her to be there. I wanted to
hold her, but didn’t feel as if I had the right to do so. I wanted to give her
my trust but was unwilling to accept the consequences of doing so.
“Do you… I mean, I don’t
want to pry into your personal life or anything.”
“Clark.” I smiled.
“We’re friends. If anyone has the right to ask personal questions, it’s you.”
Clark flashed one of his
megawatt grins. “Okay. Do you like Sinjun?”
Okay, wasn’t prepared for
that direct of an approach from him. I purposely misinterpreted his question.
“She’s a nice girl. Smart. Hard worker.”
The teenager beside me
rolled his eyes and snorted. “Geez, Lex. That’s not what I meant.”
I raised an eyebrow at
“I meant, do you like
her? You know, as in dating material.”
I chuckled to hide the
truth of what I felt at his question. “I don’t think your cousin and I are
exactly compatible, Clark. We come from two different worlds.”
“Wow. That was extremely
snobbish of you.” Clark frowned.
“No, I didn’t mean that,”
I replied with a sigh of exasperation. “What I meant was, she was raised a lot
like you – to trust and accept and see the good in the world and be nice to
everybody. Stuff like that. I’m jaded and cynical and not always a nice
“So you think you’re not
good enough for her.”
Sometimes I hated his
perception. I refrained from a reply, tapping against my mug as if I were bored
with the conversation. But Clark wasn’t.
“I think the two of you
would make a great couple,” Clark insisted enthusiastically. “You certainly
worked well together with the Plant stuff, and I know you get along well. And I
happen to think my cousin is very pretty.”
I couldn’t hide my smile
at that. “Yes, Clark. Sinjun is… “
Beautiful, sensual, alluring, enchanting, breathtaking.
“So why don’t you – “
“Clark,” I interrupted.
“Why are you trying to play matchmaker?”
He shrugged. “I don’t
know. I guess because you’re my friend and she has always been special to me,
and I just thought that you two could make each other happy.”
I gave him a grateful
smile. Where did he develop this faith in me? “Thank you, Clark.
Unfortunately, I have yet to succeed at making any one happy. Trust me on
this. I would only make Sinjun miserable.”
“You’re only saying that
because the only kind of women you’ve ever dated are people like Victoria.”
“And you’re the dating
guru?” I asked with a laugh.
Clark had enough sense to
look abashed at that. “Look, I’m just saying – “
“Clark, drop it, okay?
You’re living in a fantasy world if you believe anything could ever happen
between me and Sinjun that wouldn’t end badly. You’re right. She is a special
person. And I wouldn’t do something like that to her.”
“So you do care about
her?” Clark insisted with a smile.
I sighed. This was going
to be a long evening.
I had just finished my
fencing practice with Heike the next afternoon when Dominic strolled into the
library, a leather case clasped in his hands. He flashed me one of those slimy
smiles of his. God I hated this man. My father was bad enough, but this man was
actually worse because he was so willing to lick my father’s boots. As a child
I used to think it would be neat to have someone around who would jump when I
told him how high, and who took care of all of my ‘dirty’ work for me without
question. But as I came to know Dominic, I realized I could never respect
someone like that, and I would never want someone I couldn’t respect that close
“Well,” I drawled,
tossing my epee to Heike as she left the room. “Looks like the locusts are in
Dominic’s smile grew.
“Always a pleasure as usual, Lex.” He moved over to my desk, setting the
briefcase on it.
“I take it those are the
“They are indeed.”
I walked over to stand
beside him as Dominic unlocked the case and opened it. Inside glittered
diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and pearls, displayed in heavy gold, gaudy settings
that only a monarch from 16th century England would wear. There was
only one piece out of the entire collection that I had truly ever admired – an
emerald necklace that looking at now reminded me of Sinjun’s eyes. I was
tempted to pull it from the case and give it to her. Of course, that would have
been completely stupid on my part. I would probably end up with the damn thing
shoved up my –
“Your father says he is
counting on this exchange to go smoothly,” Dominic told me, in a superior tone
that I instantly hated. “He trusts you have worked everything out with the
“You know, if my father
is so utterly worried that I’ll screw this up, why doesn’t he send you to do
it?” I asked.
Dominic flashed another
smile. “I have more important duties this evening.”
“You mean slithering
among the employees, listening for dirty little secrets that you can use against
them, or who might be a threat to the King’s throne,” I commented, sobering
quickly when I realized I was sending Sinjun into the viper’s pit by herself.
“What makes you think I
would do such a thing?” Dominic asked innocently. “I will be enjoying myself,
the same as everyone else.”
“No one enjoys themselves
at these parties, Dominic.”
“I take it you’re talking
about the same party you are shipping me off to,” Sinjun announced, walking into
turned an appraising gaze to her that made me want to poke his eyes out with one
of the cue sticks. A slow smile spread across his face, and he stepped towards
her, holding out his hand in greeting. “You must be Miss St. Claire.”
Sinjun stopped, regarding
the Englishman before her for a long moment before accepting his greeting.
“This is Dominic the
Toady,” I told her, folding my arms over my chest as I leaned against the desk.
“He works for my father.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she
replied in a fervent voice to the man in front of her.
She said it so quickly
and innocently that it took me a moment to realize exactly what she had said.
And then I chuckled appreciatively while Dominic frowned at her, snatching his
hand back. He was suddenly staring down his nose at her like she was some
peculiar bug that deserved little more than to be squashed. I felt an
overwhelming wave of protectiveness wash over me at that gaze, knowing that
Sinjun had just made herself a very slippery enemy. Too bad the man didn’t have
a sense of humor.
Sinjun walked past
Dominic over to me, effectively dismissing him as someone she would rather not
have to deal with. Once more, I found myself reconsidering my decision to have
her attend the impending party by herself. Moving beside me, she looked down at
the jewels, her eyes widening in admiration.
“Very nice.” She looked
up at me. “Aren’t these part of that collection in the Metropolis museum?”
I nodded. “My mother’s
family owned them.”
“So what are they doing
here? You putting on a drag show you didn’t tell me about?”
I stared at her for a
long moment before replying, “No. This is part of that meeting I have to take
care of for my father.”
“I don’t think Miss St.
Claire needs to know anymore about your father’s personal business,” Dominic
Both Sinjun and I turned
to glare at him. Even though I knew he was right, I still felt like telling him
I could damn well share any bit of information with Sinjun that I wished. I
looked back down at the woman beside me as she continued to regard the jewels,
her fingers moving lightly over the emerald necklace. I found myself picturing
it nestled against her neck, the main focal – a six carat emerald – laying
against her collarbone. I could shower her in jewels, dress her in velvets, and
silks and furs, fly her to exotic locales, spoil her beyond belief, make her
every dream come true – and she was the first woman I had ever had that urge to
do that for. What the hell was wrong with me? What was it about her that
evoked those thoughts in my mind? Mentally, I shook my head to clear it,
turning back to Dominic to find him watching me appraisingly. I glared. He
smiled, slowly, knowingly. I could only imagine what he was planning to report
to my father regarding me and my PR Director.
“Well,” Dominic said. “I
must be going. Lex, your father will be expecting a call from you tonight when
you are finished. Miss St. Claire, I look forward to seeing you at the party.”
He nodded to us both and
walked from the room.
Sinjun had turned to
watch him leave. Once he was gone, she glanced up at me and commented, “How
“That people like that
are a part of your life.”
Pity. The one thing I
never wanted from her. It angered me. Pushing away from the desk, I walked
around to the other side, digging through the drawer until I found the extra set
of keys to the Aston Martin. I tossed them to her.
“Try not to crash it,” I
Sinjun offered a tight
smile in reply. “Well that all depends on whether or not there is someone out
to kill you today, Lex. Perhaps I should let you drive it.”
I blinked. That hurt,
more than I would have ever cared to admit. I looked away quickly, fighting for
control over those emotions that made me weak. More and more I learned my
father was right about me.
Sinjun obviously saw my
reaction though, for almost immediately she recanted, “Lex, I’m sorry. I didn’t
mean – “
“Just go, okay?” I told
her, still refusing to look at her, taking a seat at my desk, concentrating on
the twin monitors before me.
She stood there a moment
longer. Her perfume was permeating the air. I doubted that this room or my
bedroom would ever stop smelling like her. Maybe I should have the staff
rearrange the place. I know I had asked for her anger, but it still hurt to be
on the receiving end. I doubted highly that she meant what she said – I knew
she hadn’t – Sinjun didn’t have it in her to be purposely cruel to anyone. But
that didn’t change the fact that her words hung in the air between us, an
unwelcome addition to the gap that was quickly widening.
“Some of these are very
pretty,” Sinjun commented quietly, her attention returning to the Elizabethan
jewels. “It’s a shame that some people can so easily give up something
beautiful and rare.”
My gaze shot up sharply
at that, and she met it unwaveringly. I gripped the arm of my chair tightly.
She shrugged, looking
back down, adding, “I guess there are those who just seem to have their concept
of value all screwed up.”
“Or maybe it all depends
on one’s viewpoint,” I countered.
Sinjun held up an
enormous diamond brooch surrounded by fat red rubies. “Someone’s obviously been
looking through cracked lenses.” She set it back amongst the pile. “Glad you
think you know what you’re doing, Lex.”
The problem was I didn’t
know what I was doing. I was acting on instinct. Protecting myself. Survival
of the fittest and all of that crap. And it terrified me to know that she
seemed to see that. That I had become so transparent to her. It angered me,
too. I was feeling vulnerable beneath her scrutiny, and I hated it.
“Why don’t you stop
telling me how to live my life?” I snapped, turning back to the monitors.
“Whatever you want… Mr.
I winced, keeping my eyes
focused on the screens as I heard her heels move away from the desk toward the
door. A wave of concern flashed through me once more, and before I could stop
myself, I looked up and called out, “Be careful tonight. Both Dominic and my
father will be there. Not everyone in LuthorCorp is – “
Sinjun whirled around and
glared at me. “Don’t worry about me, Lex. I’ve learned my lessons the hard way
on how to deal with your kind.”
It was the “your kind”
comment that hurt the worse. She had just lumped me in with my father and
Dominic, the same as her uncle did. Unreasonable rage rocketed through me, and
I bolted out of my chair, stalking toward her. To her credit, she held her
ground, though I saw a momentary flash of fear in her eyes as I neared. It was
most likely what stopped me from reaching out and strangling her.
“Don’t you ever speak to
me that way again!” I roared.
Silence. Sinjun turned
her gaze to the floor while I continued to watch her.
“I’m… sorry,” she said
I didn’t stop there. “I
trust I can let you attend this party alone?”
Sinjun raised her gaze to
mine. Resentful, angry. A hint of pain. “Yes. I will do my best to represent
both the Plant and you.”
“Good. I’ll call you
tomorrow for details.”
She nodded and then
darted away from me, down the hall toward the door. I took a step after her,
stopped myself. I wasn’t going to apologize. Not when she had been the one to
I hurt her.
She hurt me.
A vicious cycle was
developing between us, and I didn’t know when or how it was going to end.
I was in rare form when
the limo finally pulled up to the docks near the river where the meeting was to
take place. During the past few days, I had been doing a little investigation
into my contact only to discover his affiliation to the mafia. So now my father
had lowered himself to dealing with criminals. I couldn’t believe he would want
some goddamned Da Vinci’s that badly. It made sense as to how they could even
make the trade though, since I doubted the men I was meeting with actually owned
the art work. Most likely it had all been pilfered from some European museum
years ago. I think my old man was truly losing his mind.
Unfortunately, my mind
was more focused on Sinjun and our last confrontation at that moment than it
should have been. I did warn my driver to keep his eyes open as I emerged from
the car, but I wasn’t really thinking the way I should have been. I took little
notice of the five men who were lining the perimeter, watching me carefully,
other than a cursory glance their way, an amused expression on my face.
Louis Donnelly, my
contact throughout the past week, approached smiling. “Mr. Luthor, it is a
pleasure to finally meet you face to face.”
I nodded my head toward
the five men. “Exactly how many guns are trained on me at this moment? Kind of
a funny way of showing trust, don’t you think?”
Louis shrugged, spreading
his hands before him helplessly. “What am I to do? My client does not trust
I couldn’t help but shake
my head in disbelief. “I’m dealing with the mafia, and
don’t trust me?”
“You have the
merchandise?” Louis asked, ignoring my comment.
“Of course. You have the
“Yes, but not so fast.”
He turned, snapping his fingers, and a little man in a suit that seemed to big
for his frame hurried over. “This is Eddie. He would like to take a look at
the jewelry before we proceed.”
I scoffed at that.
“You’ve got to be kidding me? You actually think we would deal in reproductions
instead of giving you the real thing? This is preposterous and you can take
your goddamned paintings and –“
“Please, Mr. Luthor,”
Louis soothed. “It is only a precaution. Besides, I know for a fact your
father really wants the Da Vinci’s. I do not think he would be too pleased were
his son to walk away from this.”
It pissed me off that I
knew he was right. I walked back to the car and yanked out the case, then moved
back to the little man named Eddie and handed it to him. “Be my guest.”
Eddie gave me a quick
bow, taking the case from my hands and hurrying over to lay it against the hood
of one of their three black limos they had arrived in. I frowned as a chill
swept over me. Something was wrong. My father sure as hell didn’t tell me
these guys were so paranoid that they would bring a jeweler with them. Nor had
I expected the amount of firepower that was represented before me.
I remained waiting by the
car, my nerves on edge. I glanced back at my driver, who stood by the door,
ready to leave at a moment’s notice. Taking a deep breath, I glanced over at
the two men huddled around the jewels. I wished they would speed this along.
It was insulting that they would bring a jeweler along with them as if the
Luthors would own anything other than the real thing. I planned on telling my
father my opinion of his business associates.
Suddenly, my phone began
ringing. I considered not answering it but when I glanced at the readout and
saw it was Sinjun, I found myself hitting “talk”. I knew she wouldn’t be
calling unless it was important.
She spoke before I did.
“What is it, Sinj? I’m
kind of busy – “
“The jewelry is fake,
I froze, blinking,
staring at the men ahead of me. “What are you talking about?” I asked calmly.
“The real stuff is still
here at the museum, Lex. I saw it with my own eyes. I asked one of the guards
about it, and he said according to the timer on the case, it hasn’t been removed
in over two years.”
This wasn’t good. Any
moment now they would know.
“Lex? You need to get
out of there.”
“That would look slightly
suspicious.” I tried to remain composed. My heart was thudding frantically
against my chest. Clark wasn’t here to rescue me this time.
“Where are you?”
“I’m on my way to the car
right now – “
“Stay out of this,
“Lex, you need – “
“I mean it,” I told her
firmly. I glanced up, saw that they were done inspecting the jewels and were
now headed my way. They were joined by two more men, their guns visible. They
appeared perturbed. “I have to go now, Sinjun.”
“Lex, no wait!”
“Goodbye.” I hung up the
phone, turning it off in case she called back and slipped it into my pocket,
forcing a smile as I moved forward. “Everything okay, gentlemen?”
Louis’ expression was
unreadable. “It appears my client was right in not trusting the Luthors. These
jewels are fake.” He tossed the case to the ground, the jewelry scattering at
“You must be mistaken,” I
lied smoothly. “For what possible reason would we wish to do such a thing?
Perhaps your jeweler here simply doesn’t understand antique jewelry.”
“I am sorry, Mr. Luthor,”
Eddie spoke in a surprisingly pleasant voice. “But antique jewels are my
specialty. Especially those dating between the 14th and 16th
Shit. “I’m certain that
this mix up can be explained,” I told them. “It’s possible that my father never
had – “
“Your father has made me
look very bad, Mr. Luthor,” Louis warned. “And I believe it is my right to send
a warning back to him not to fuck with me in such a way again.”
There was no escape. I
took a step back. “I’m certain there’s something – “
The moment Louis made a
motion with his hand, I dove over the trunk of my limo, falling to the other
side as a barrage of bullets swept across the car. I heard my driver cry out,
the sound of a body hitting the ground. Glancing over my shoulder, I calculated
the distance between the car and the nearest warehouse, and without another
moment’s hesitation I made a break for it. I heard the bullets ricocheting off
the asphalt behind me, but somehow kept myself from looking back. Footsteps and
shouting echoed after me as I reached the first door to one of the empty
buildings and shoved it open, diving inside.
I kept going as my eyes
slowly adjusted to the darkness around me, tripping twice, hurrying as I heard
the door open and voices reached me as my pursuers poured in. Reaching a row of
crates, I ducked behind them, following the stack as it led against the outer
wall and toward another door on the opposite side of the warehouse. I crouched
there, straining to listen for the sounds of footfalls around me.
“You can’t hide, Mr.
Luthor,” Louis called out. “Come on out, and we’ll make certain we kill you
quickly. Don’t worry. Your father will be able to identify your body.”
That was a comforting thought. I glanced toward the door at the opposite end
once more. It was about thirty or so yards away, and there was no protection.
Once I stepped away from the crates, I’d be out in the open. I listened once
more for their footsteps, waiting to see if they moved away. Behind me, I
peered into the darkness, hoping that none of them snuck up on me. I turned
back, convinced myself that it was the only choice I had and sprang forward.
There were shouts behind me, some sort of commotion that didn’t sound as if they
were chasing after me. When I heard someone cry out, curiosity got the best of
me and I turned. There was a blur of something in the darkness and bullets rang
out once more.
A white hot burning
sensation pulsed through the right side of my chest. I found myself gasping for
breath as I stumbled back and fell to the ground. Only distantly did I realize
I had been shot. Beyond that, the knowledge that I would likely die here. Then
I remembered my conversation with Sinjun. She would likely be on her way here,
and if she walked in on this, they would surely kill her, too. The thought
terrified me. I sent a silent prayer to a God I didn’t believe in that if He
did exist, to please keep her out of harm’s way.
Then I thought of her
smile as darkness descended over me.
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