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 Three - By Starlight
I didn't know that it was so
And you needed someone
to show you the way
So I took your hand and we figured out
That when the tide comes
I'd take you away
All That You Wanted – Michelle Branch
I’m falling in love with
Yeah, shocked the hell
out of me too. I mean, I’ve known I was attracted to him since the day we met
outside the Plant. And little by little, there were aspects of him that pulled
at me and drew me in. His smile, his intelligence, the inner child in him that
seemed to scream for someone to care. It’s hard for the maternal instinct to
ignore that, especially when a soul is crying out as loudly as his is. I never
realized how deep I was in though, not even after the night of the Fourth.
Everything had been so incredible and he had been so much gentler than I had
expected and then wham! it was over just like that, and the Lex that he expected
everyone to believe was the real him emerged. And at first it had hurt, and I
had gone home and cried myself to sleep. Then I had just gotten angry and
wanted nothing more than to hurt him back, which was completely irrational on my
part since it is easy to see how often he has been hurt throughout life. So he
hurts me and I hurt him and he hurts me… A vicious cycle.
But then tonight,
everything changed for me. It was no longer about reacting in anger but
forgiving and teaching him that he doesn’t have to be afraid of me. He asked me
if I thought I could save him. I don’t think he needs saving. I think he just
needs love. It won’t be easy. I’m not fooling myself about that. His defenses
are the strongest I have ever encountered and for me to simply walk up to him
and announce that I am falling in love would only serve to push him away
further. No, I will have to chip away at him bit by bit until one day, without
me saying it, he will realize that he is loved. It’s the only way that I will be
able to make him believe. God, I must be insane to try to take this on.
I had gone to the party
at the museum as Lex had asked. The evening had started out with my being
cornered by the managers of Plant Numbers One and Two, demanding to know Lex’s
secrets behind the growth that Plant Number Three had experienced lately. When
I had simply replied it was due to his excellent business skills, they had
promptly decided that it was only because he was Lionel’s son and could do what
he wanted. That pissed me off to no end. I excused myself from that
conversation and ended up yawning through another conversation with some
LuthorCorp board members. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before Dominic had
sniffed me out, bearing a glass of champagne and a smooth smile.
I didn’t like the man.
Not one bit. Not from the moment I had met him in Lex’s house. Our
conversation at the museum made me like him even less. He made some extremely
snide comments regarding the relationship shared by Lex and I, as if that was
the reason I got the position I held. I almost hit him. Instead, I
enthusiastically informed him about the Fortune magazine article. Dominic had
run away quickly after that, I was certain, to tell Lionel Luthor all about it.
My instincts were correct
when a few minutes later, Lex’s father had quietly cornered me in a secluded
area of the museum. I had been staring at a case filled with gorgeous Faberge
eggs when I felt someone walk up behind me. Another glass of champagne appeared
dangling before me. Knowing I would probably need it, I took it, drank a sip,
then turned to find Lionel Luthor smiling in front of me.
“Miss St. Claire. A
I raised an eyebrow at
that in disbelief. “Funny, but I got the completely opposite impression the
last time we met.”
He smiled. “Please blame
my past behavior on a father’s desire to look out for his son.”
“You mean you were
looking after your empire.”
“Semantics,” he replied
with a wave of his hand. He moved closer to me, and I took a step back, only to
find myself pressed up against the case with no where to go. “I hear you and my
son have been spending quite a bit of time together.”
Was there someone spying
on us? For some reason, I didn’t doubt it. Not with the way Lionel was
regarding me at the moment, like a particularly tasty morsel he was more than
ready to take a bite out of. “We’ve had a lot of work to do.”
“Hmmm.” Lionel reached
out and brushed his fingers across my cheek which made my skin crawl in
reaction. “I heard about that Fortune story. Nice work.”
Imagine my lack of
surprise. “Thank you.”
“Someone like you could
go far in the world,” he continued, his fingers now moving down my arm. I
itched to throw my drink in his face. “But not if you’re holed up in a crap
factory in Smallville. What would you say to coming to Metropolis and working
at the LuthorCorp headquarters for me?”
How’s no way in hell for
an answer? “I am perfectly happy where I am at the moment, Mr. Luthor – “
“Of course you are,”
Lionel replied as if he didn’t believe me. “I would double your salary. You
would travel the world.” He leaned over me, whispered into my ear, “There would
be other benefits to working for me as well, Miss St. Claire.”
I bit back the retort I
wanted to utter, knowing that I was still representing Lex, and I didn’t need to
make the relationship between him and his father any worse than it was. Still,
I couldn’t believe he had actually made me such an offer. “Mr. Luthor, I am not
so stupid as to not realize that your offer is a… generous one, but I am
surprised that you would consider doing such a thing to your son. Especially
after the way you criticized him for hiring me in the first place.” What I
wanted to really do was kick the man.
Lionel shrugged, smiled.
“My son and I continually play chess, Miss St. Claire. This is simply another
move on my part.”
I returned the smile,
slipped away from his reaching hands. “How nice for you, Mr. Luthor.
Unfortunately, I am no one’s pawn. Not your son’s. And definitely not yours.
I headed straight for the
ladies room and stayed there for over twenty minutes. When I figured the coast
was clear, I emerged once more and decided I’d had enough of that party and was
getting out of there. That’s when I passed through the Luthor Hall of the
museum and noticed the Elizabethan jewels in the case, especially the emerald
necklace that had caught my eye at Lex’s house. And a cold chill had swept over
me. I had taken out my phone and dialed Lex. He had been disbelieving and
then, quietly accepting. When he had hung up on me, I had dialed back
immediately but only got his voice mail. I panicked. Called Clark. Like he
could have helped all the way out in Smallville. He told me to calm down, hang
up the phone, and call the police. Then he told me not to go near the docks, no
matter what I wanted to do or thought I could do. Oh yeah, like I was going to
listen to him or Lex. I dialed the police, gave them the location, then ran for
the Aston Martin.
When I’d arrived at the
docks, the police and medics were already there. I became frantic when I saw
the coroner zipping up the body bag on Lex’s driver. The police finally calmed
me enough to let me know that Lex had been shot, but was alive and on his way to
the hospital. I wanted to follow immediately, but they held me back for
questions. I knew that I had to give in to them since I would soon be talking
to the press anyway. Already my mind had kicked into damage control – the press
would go nuts over the shooting of Lex Luthor. Luckily, they didn’t keep me
long. I got the distinct feeling that the cops I spoke with had dealt with the
Luthors before, and there would be little to no investigation.
So there I was standing
in the hospital, waiting for Lex to come out of surgery while I watched the
summer rain falling onto the city outside. It was just after midnight, and I
was beginning to feel the effects of the day, from the confrontation between me
and Lex in his library, to the party, the frantic phone call to Lex, and the
realization that he could have been killed.
And now the knowledge
that I was falling in love with him.
I turned to see Clark
hurrying down the hall toward me, aunt Martha following behind. I was so
relieved to see a welcome face I couldn’t see straight. I went to him
immediately, and he hugged me.
“Are you okay?” He asked,
holding me away from him to look me over. “What happened to Lex?”
Aunt Martha was beside me
before I could answer. “Honey, you look exhausted! When Clark told me what
happened, we got in the car and hurried here as quickly as we could. Your uncle
was out hunting, or he’d be here too.”
I hugged her, looked at
both of them. “I’m fine. Tired, I guess. Lex is in surgery. He was shot.”
Aunt Martha gasped.
Clark just frowned.
“Is he going to be
okay?” My aunt asked.
“I… I don’t know. They
haven’t told me much yet.” I was terrified, and I couldn’t admit as much to
her. I glanced at Clark, knowing that I could at least talk to my cousin. I
had no one else.
“I’m going to call
Jonathon and let him know where we are and what’s going on so he doesn’t worry,”
aunt Martha told us before hugging me again and hurrying off to the phones.
Clark took my hand and
led me over to the chairs where he sat down beside me. “Okay, explain to me
“Lex was going to this
meeting for his father – trading jewels for something. Anyway, while I was at
the museum, I saw the exact same jewels and realized that what Lex had were
fake. So I called and warned him. When I showed up at the docks, the police
and medics were there.” I shook my head. “It was weird. Two of the men who
had shot at Lex were unconscious. The police said they believe one of the
stacked crates had come loose and fallen on them. But the others had taken off,
without making certain Lex was dead. Isn’t that strange?”
Clark raised his
eyebrows, shrugged. “Do we even know who these people were?”
“I’m sure Lex does.” I
worried my lower lip for a long moment. I just wished someone would come out and
tell me something. I was sick of trying to be strong for appearance’s sake. I
happened… between Lex and I.”
Silence. Then, “I kind of
I looked over at him, and
he was smiling. “It wasn’t good, Clark.” He frowned. I quickly added, “Well
it was. And then it wasn’t. In fact today… well we said some awful things to
“I don’t understand.”
“Neither do I,” I
admitted. “One moment it’s like he wants me and the next he doesn’t.”
“Lex is a little closed
off,” Clark commented.
“That’s putting it
Clark put his arm around
me and gave me a hug. “Is there anything I can do?”
“No. I am going to work
through this,” I told him quietly. “I can’t help but get the feeling that Lex
needs a little TLC in his life.”
My cousin smiled. “You
really care about him, don’t you?”
I sighed. “Yeah. I
guess I do. Your father will love that, won’t he?”
Clark made a face. “Oh.
Didn’t think of that. Maybe we’ll just keep this between us for now, hmmm?”
“Excuse me, you were the
young lady with Mr. Luthor, correct?”
I turned to see Dr.
Ahluwahlia, whom I had met earlier, standing beside me. I immediately jumped to
my feet, Clark joining me. “Is Lex all right?”
“Mr. Luthor came through
surgery just fine,” he assured me. “The bullet
nicked his lung which then led to a shortage of blood flow to the left atrium.
We went in and sutured the tear in the lung's lining and aspirated the blood
from the chest cavity. We’re going to carefully monitor his blood pressure over
the next few days and keep an eye out for any possible malfunctioning of the
valves, such as mitral valve regurgitation.”
I hadn’t the slightest
idea of what the man was talking about. But that didn’t matter. “May I see
“I’m sorry, ma’m. Only
family are allowed in.”
“She’s his sister,” Clark
I blinked. The doctor
“I didn’t know Lionel
Luthor had a daughter.”
“I’m not that important
in the scheme of things,” I supplied, wanting to both kick and kiss my cousin
for his brilliant and yet troublesome mind.
Dr. Ahluwahlia clearly
didn’t believe either of us. I was ready to cry. Finally he turned, indicating
that I follow him. “Come along then, Miss Luthor.”
Flashing Clark a quick smile
of thanks, I hurried after the doctor down the hall toward ICU. He stopped
beside a door, held it open, and stepped aside so that I could pass. I came to
a halt as I entered, my gaze staring ahead, barely registering the quiet closing
of the door behind me. Lex looked so pale and weak against the stark white
sheets, wires and tubes stemming from him to the blood pressure monitor, EKG
and, IV. Forcing myself forward, I pulled a chair over beside the bed and sat
down, gently lifting his hand into mine. A hand that could be at one moment
gentle and strong and threatening the next. I held it against my cheek,
enjoying the softness of his skin, and then I just broke.
The past few days washed over
me in a torrent of pain, and I cried for what I probably shouldn’t have allowed
to happen between us, no matter how badly I had wanted it, and the consequences
that followed. I cried as I recalled the angry words I had said to him about
people wanting to kill him and my comparison of him to his father and Dominic.
I was angry with myself for wanting to hurt him when he had been hurt so often
throughout his life already. I should have been more understanding, stronger.
The excuse that he had hurt me first wasn’t justifiable. I knew what I was
doing when I had walked into his house that night; I knew why he had been
pushing me away. Still I had selfishly taken what I wanted from him, even if he
hadn’t been ready for it. When the tears had finally ceased, and I knew in my
heart what I needed to do, I laid my head beside him on the bed and fell
I dreamed again of being in
the White House, walking down the long hallway into the Oval Office. This time
though, the doors to the terrace stood open. Longing for the feel of the sun
against my skin, I stepped outside, blinking for a moment against the harsh
light. Around me, there stood only silence. No breeze blew through the trees,
no birds chirped. Nothing. It was as if I had created an artificial world into
which I could escape.
“It’s only us.”
I turned to find Lex standing
beside me, dressed as I was in all white. I shook my head. “I’m lonely. I
don’t want it to be like this.”
“Its too late. I’m all you
have, Sinjun. Isn’t that what you wanted?” He turned and walked back through
I shivered, looked around,
glanced over the railing, contemplating the fall beneath me.
“Sinjun!” Lex called from
beyond the doors. “Come inside before the world sees you.”
Drawn by all that I knew was
Lex, I started in, when Clark’s voice came from behind me:
“Don’t follow him, Sinjun.
Stay. Stay in the light.”
I turned, looking for my
cousin, but couldn’t see him anywhere. “Clark? Where are you? Come out,
“I can’t, Sinjun. There is
too much you wouldn’t understand. I must remain hidden.”
“And I must follow Lex.” I
turned toward the doors once more.
“Once you step through, you
will never be able to turn back.”
“Sinjun!” Lex called again,
“I know,” I told Clark. “But
Lex needs me.”
“Sinjun, don’t,” Clark
pleaded. “Stay. Just a while longer.”
“Goodbye, Clark.” I took a
step over the threshold.
“Sinjun!” Clark cried out,
but I didn’t look back. “Sinjun!...
“Sinjun? Hey, Sinjun, wake
I opened my eyes to find
Clark standing beside me, holding out a Styrofoam cup filled with coffee. I
blinked for a moment, attempting to separate the dream from reality, before I
glanced over at Lex who appeared unchanged. I realized I still had not let go
of his hand.
“What time is it?”
“After two,” Clark replied,
shoving the coffee toward me once more. “Mom and I are going to head back
home. She thought you might want to go with us, but I told her I doubted it.”
I smiled. “Thanks, Clark.”
“Anyway, I brought you this
to help with the whole “wake” factor.” He shoved the coffee toward me again. “I
know you hate the stuff but it’s all they have.”
“What? You didn’t run all
the way to Starbucks?” Clark grinned as I frowned, but I took it and swallowed
the bitter beverage down, made a face, drank some more. “Any sign of Lex’s
Clark shook his head. “No,
but I did see some reporters. They wanted to talk to you, but I told them to
come back tomorrow.”
I shook my head in
disbelief. “His own son is lying in a hospital bed, shot, and he doesn’t even
have the decency to come see him.”
“Yeah, you should have heard
some of the things my mom has been saying,” Clark agreed. “I didn’t even know
that she knew some of those words.”
I laughed a little. Clark
always could make me feel better.
“Mom wanted to know if you
needed anything before we left?”
“No, I’m okay. I’ll call in
the morning to let you know how he’s doing.”
“Okay.” Clark leaned over
and kissed my cheek. “He’ll be okay, Sinj. Lex is tougher than he looks.”
“I’m sure he’ll appreciate
your saying that.” I smiled.
“Doubtful. See you later.
And tell Lex I’m glad he’s okay for me when he wakes up.”
“I will. Goodnight.”
I watched as Clark
disappeared through the door, and I was left alone once more with Lex and the
soft, reassuring beeping of the monitor beside him. Leaning over, I brushed my
hand across his forehead, caressed his smooth head, ran my fingers down his
cheek. In a way, I was taking advantage of his unconsciousness to do what I
knew he would most likely not allow otherwise. I liked touching him, wanted to
touch him, reassuring myself that he was there and he was alive. For good or
bad, Lex Luthor had become a significant part of my life, and I just didn’t
think that I wanted him out of it just yet. Standing, I placed a kiss at his
temple then, grabbing my coffee, I wandered around the small room, working out
the strain on my muscles from sleeping in such a strange position. Always, my
gaze strayed back to the bed, silently pleading for the motionless form to
In the next hour a new
doctor, by the name of Adams, came on shift and attempted to get me to leave.
Not having Clark’s finesse, I became a little belligerent and angry, and he
threatened to notify security. I guess I’d been influenced by Lex a little too
much already because I promptly informed him that being both Lex’s valued
employee and confidant, I would make certain that this hospital would never see
another penny from LuthorCorp for research or otherwise, and that I doubted it
would be very hard for LuthorCorp lawyers to find a reason to have his license
revoked. After that, I was left alone. It didn’t take long before I felt
ashamed for what I had said and done, and I considered seeking out Dr. Adams and
apologizing. But then I looked over at Lex and pictured him waking to find no
one there, and I realized I had done the right thing. It was Lex who was
important at the moment, not some doctor’s over-inflated ego. Growing tired
once more, I curled up into the chair beside the bed, my gaze carefully trained
on Lex until my eyes grew too heavy to hold open any longer.
I dreamed that I was holding
Lex’s unmoving form against me, my clothes and hands bathed in the blood from
his wound. I caressed his face, kissed his cold lips, knowing that he was
already lost to me. Despair took over me, and I held him to me, breathed my
life into his lungs, gave of him everything I harbored within me, determined to
trade my life for his. And then he was holding me, alive and strong and tears
flowed from his eyes, and he ran his fingers over my lips, kissed me, whispering
over and over again how very sorry he was.
“Save me, Lex,” I begged.
He shook his head. “I
can’t. Please forgive me, but I can’t.”
Lex leaned down, kissed me
once more, and I clung to him, desperate to take him with me, to never let go,
not caring that life was ebbing from both of us and we were falling into
“Let me go,” Lex begged,
struggling within my grasp.
“I can’t,” I replied.
“Please forgive me, but I can’t…”
I forced myself awake, my
eyes flying open, my heart pounding rapidly in my chest. I unclenched my hands,
which had been balled into fists in my lap. My neck ached from the position I
had been laying in against the chair. I could still feel his cold lips and the
wetness of his tears on my face. The room was flooded with the dawn’s light
from the window, signaling that I had slept the past few hours peacefully.
Willing myself to calm, I suddenly felt the unpleasant sensation of being
watched and quickly cast my gaze over at the bed where Lex’s eyes were open and
quietly watching me. Relief flooded through me.
“Lex!” I uncurled myself
from the chair and leaned over to him, once more gathering his hand into mine.
I reached over and pushed the button to alert the nurse before turning my
attention back to him. I wanted very much to tell him how worried I had been
but fear of moving too fast held me back. Instead, I asked, “How are you
“Like… “ He rasped, his
throat obviously dry. “Like I’ve been shot.”
I smiled. “Well, that would
make sense, wouldn’t it?”
Standing, I poured him some
water from the pitcher beside the bed, then reached my hand under his head to
lift him up just a little and held the glass to his lips. He took a few
swallows before pulling away, and I gently lowered his head back to the pillow.
Lex continued to watch me as I returned to the seat and laid my hand over his.
His gaze was full of questions that I knew would have to be addressed
eventually, but for now I wanted the doctor to look him over and assure me once
more that he would be all right.
“What happened?” He asked
finally with a frown. “I thought for certain that I was dead.”
“Well, there – “ I started
but the door opened, admitting Dr. Adams and his nurse, and I quickly stood.
“I see our patient is awake,”
the doctor announced as if neither of us had already figured that out. “How are
you feeling, Mr. Luthor?”
“How should I be feeling?”
Lex snapped back, his voice still slightly groggy.
I found myself smiling
though. Clark had been right. Lex would be fine.
Dr. Adams flashed a tight
smile that I’m certain Lex would get rid of in no time. “Miss. St. Claire,
would you mind waiting outside while we exam Mr. Luthor?”
I glanced down at Lex,
feeling slightly overprotective but knowing I had probably already pushed my
limits with the medical staff. “I’ll be right outside the door,” I told him.
Lex grunted in reply, glaring
at the nurse as she approached him with a tray filled with metal instruments.
Wincing in sympathy – I personally hated hospitals – I quietly slid out the
door, immediately pulling the cell phone from my pocket and dialing home.
“Hey, Clark. It’s Sinj.”
“Hey! How’s Lex?”
“He just woke up, as cranky
Clark laughed. “Told you
he’d be all right.”
“How’re things at home?”
“Dad’s not too happy with you
still being there. He wants to know where it’s written that as an employee of
Lex’s, you are supposed to be his nursemaid as well. He threatened to drive out
there and get you this morning.”
I made a face. “I kind of
figured that would be his reaction. Look, just explain that I have to handle
press matters. It’s my job.”
“What about rest? You’ve
been up a long time, Sinj.”
“I’ve been sleeping in the
chair. I’m fine, Clark. Don’t worry about me.”
“My dad isn’t going to like
this, you know.”
“If he gets really testy
after chores this morning, have him give me a call.”
“Wow. You’re brave.”
“Geez. That instills
confidence, Clark. Thanks.” I wandered into the waiting room as we spoke,
finding the coffee dispenser. I filled a cup about halfway with powered
creamer, added half as much sugar, and then filled it with coffee. That ought
to keep me sufficiently wired for a while. If not, I would just resort to some
“Well I’d better get the cows
fed. Say hi to Lex for me.”
“I will. Bye, Clark.”
I hung up, took a taste of
the coffee, winced at the flavor, poured a quarter of it out and then filled it
with more powered creamer. There, that was better. I dialed the castle.
“Brandon? It’s Sinjun.”
“Ah, Miss St. Claire. How is
“He’s awake and doing well
judging by his disposition.” I paused. “You haven’t heard anything from Lionel
Luthor, have you?”
“No, miss. Nothing. Though
we have had plenty of calls from Mr. Luthor’s business associates and press.
Mr. Sullivan was also hoping that you might contact him when you have a moment.”
“I’ll take care of it. For
now, just keep taking messages for Lex. I don’t think he needs to be dealing
with any business matters at the moment. Besides, if anyone has a question,
they can read the paper.”
“Yes, I have my copy of the
Planet in front of me right now.” I could hear Brandon’s smile through the
phone. “Interesting little story, how it paints Mr. Luthor as a hero. His
father will be… amused.”
I could care less what Lionel
Luthor thought of it. I had to tell the press something and since I doubted
that the truth of the matter was anything the Luthor’s wanted getting out, I had
to make things up as I went along. So the story I had fed to the press last
night was that Lex had accidentally come into information regarding some stolen
Da Vinci artwork from Europe. His intention had been to collect the art and
return it to the museums from which it had been pilfered. Only, things had gone
badly and he had almost died in the heroic attempt to restore such important and
valuable treasures. I knew the press would take things from there and embellish
however they felt was necessary. It was frightening, how easy this line of work
was becoming for me.
We hung up, I dialed Gabe,
and filled him in on Lex’s condition. He said the phones were going crazy
already that morning at the Plant. I told him to forward them to me, and I
would take care of it. We chatted a little about when to expect Lex back, and I
told him that I would try to have him give Gabe a call later that day. I
seriously doubted that Lex would be out of commission for long – bullet wound or
no. For some reason, I found myself picturing the Black Knight in Monty Python
and the Holy Grail, still trying to fight without his arms and legs. The
thought made me giggle, and I realized I was seriously in need of some
Slipping the phone back into
my pocket, I tossed the coffee, dug through my purse for some coins, and broke
down and bought myself a Mountain Dew. Pure caffeine, through and through. I
hated the stuff almost as much as coffee. Still, I got two cans out of the
vending machine, slipped one into my purse, opened the other, and swallowed it
down. There were a half dozen people scattered around the waiting room, two
stretched out across the couches, sleeping hard, a couple of kids coloring at
the table. They glanced up at me as I walked past, and I smiled down and
complimented their work before moving back down the hall toward Lex’s room,
where I remained waiting outside the door, my mind drifting to the memory of
that too short evening that Lex and I had spent together.
“Well, I see the lioness is
protecting her cub.”
I snapped from my reverie to
see Lionel Luthor leering down at me, his expression a cross between amusement
and immense dislike. I glanced down at his hands to see him holding copies of
the Planet and Inquisitor, both of which he was currently slapping irritably
against his thigh. I hated that this man intimidated me so badly. I wanted to
stand up to him but always felt myself shrinking in his overbearing presence.
It was like being forced to confront Satan himself and then realizing you walked
into Hell without a single fragment of ammunition.
Finally gathering my wits
about me, I retorted, “What, did you finally find a few seconds in that overly
packed schedule of yours to see whether or not your only child was dead or
A thin smile. “Why should I
worry when he is obviously in such… capable hands?” He waved the papers in my
face. “My son makes the screw up of the century, and you have him painted to be
a hero? I can’t decide if you’re incredibly clever or extraordinarily obtuse.”
“That’s funny, since I can’t
decide if you’re just simply a terrible father or an undeniable asshole to
everyone, regardless of blood relation.”
Lionel took a threatening
step toward me, and I backed up, about two inches since behind me was a wall.
He grabbed my chin and lifted my gaze to meet his. Cold, calculating. “Your
father was a valued member of LuthorCorp, Miss St. Claire. I would hate to see
the St. Claire name sullied because you haven’t learned when to keep your mouth
I debated opening it right
then but wisely refrained from a reply.
Lionel stepped back, still
holding my gaze. “Now, I am going in to speak with my son, unless you have an
“Well.. erm… the doctor is
examining Lex,” I informed him.
“Then I guess he’ll have to
stop, now won’t he?”
Lionel flashed me one more
look, one which I couldn’t quite distinguish, and pushed the door open. I
peered in through the narrow window of the door in time to see Lex look up at
his father, and the myriad of emotions that passed across his face made me want
to scream. The briefest moment of happiness, followed by sorrow, resignation,
and finally anger. I was tempted to follow Lionel in there but instead barely
jumped out of the way as Dr. Adams and the nurse practically flew out the door,
Lionel’s barking voice on their heels. The doctor turned to look at me as he
passed by, his expression incredulous.
“You actually work for these
people?” He shook his head and stalked off down the hall.
I sighed. Yeah, well, not
everyone was smart enough to become a doctor.
Turning, I peeked back in
through the window. Lex’s head was turned toward the window, so I figured his
father was on the opposite side of the room where Lex wouldn’t have to look at
him. I watched as his jaw clenched and unclenched, he winced, then a careful
mask fell over his features, and he turned back towards Lionel. The older man’s
voice raised occasionally but I only heard snatches of the conversation,
something about Lex “letting such a deal fall through”, “not paying attention to
detail”, and “disappointing me yet again, Lex”. No hint of “I’m so glad to see
your okay, Lex” or “I’m sorry I got you involved in this, Lex”. Nothing even
remotely parental-like and concerned. No wonder Lex shut himself off from
people the way he did. Feeling that Lex had suffered enough torment, I grabbed
my phone out of my pocket and dialed Gabe at the Plant.
“Gabe? Sinjun here… Do me a
favor and call me back immediately on my cell. Ask for Lex… I just need to get
Lex out of his current situation… How’d you guess?… Oh… Yeah… I don’t know, make
something up… Thanks, Gabe. I owe you one.”
I hung up. Seconds later the
phone rang. I hit “talk”, held it to my ear.
“This is Sinjun. Sure, Gabe.
Hang on.” I pushed through the door, just as Lionel was in the middle of some
sentence about Philip of Macedonia. I couldn’t for the life of me fathom what a
history lesson had to do with being in the hospital with a bullet wound, but I
put it from my mind, figuring I would never fully understand the Luthors
“Sorry to interrupt,” I
commented to Lionel as I brushed past him over to Lex’s side. “It’s Gabe. He
said it was important.”
Lex frowned, took the phone
from me, quietly began speaking to Gabe. I turned back to Lionel, my smile
freezing on my face. Damn, he was pissed. I winced when his hand shot out, and
he grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to stand in front of him, away from
earshot of Lex. He leaned over me, his icy gaze holding mine.
“You may feel you’ve won this
round, Miss St. Claire, but I guarantee you’ve done nothing but set yourself up
for a bigger fall. You think you’re protecting my son from me? Others have
thought the same thing and ultimately failed.” He smiled then, pleasantly.
“Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. You see, my dear Sinjun, I
don’t have to do anything. Ultimately, it will be Lex who screws you over,
leaving you as little more than an empty, soulless husk. He does that, you
know. Feeds off the strength of others. I will admit, I shall enjoy watching
your descent into Hell. Enjoy your victory while it lasts.”
Lionel stepped away from me,
chuckling as he made his way through the door and out of the room.
I felt sick. I thought I was
going to throw up. What was I doing? Were these simple games that father and
son enjoyed playing with one another? How the hell did I ever think I could
“What the hell was that all
about?” Lex demanded from behind me.
I turned to look at him, not
certain what he was talking about, my mind still echoing with Lionel’s parting
Immediately, Lex’s expression
softened as he looked at me. “Sinj, what’s wrong? What did he say to you?
Come here.” Somehow my legs carried me over to him. He took my hand in his,
told me to sit down, his gaze continually watching me. “You’re pale as a
ghost. What happened between you and my father?”
I shook my head. I really
didn’t know. Finally, I answered, “Last night he offered for me to come work
for him. Leave you and the Plant.” Lex frowned at that but said nothing.
“This morning… I think he doesn’t like the story I fed the press.”
Lex smiled. The sight of it
tore at my heart. “No, he didn’t like that at all. You might have gotten away
with it if you had said he was the one to discover the information, but he hates
it when I’m mentioned in the press.” Lex paused and I belatedly realized his
thumb was stroking the palm of my hand. His blue eyes were watching me
closely. I wanted to lean over and kiss that perfect mouth. “I… thank you,
Sinjun,” he said softly.
It took me a moment to
understand what he was talking about. I had to stop looking at his lips and
concentrate on his eyes. No, I got lost there too. Finally I shrugged. “It’s
Lex frowned. “Is it?”
No, the truth is I would do
positively anything for you whether I worked for you or not. Of course, I
couldn’t voice that out loud. Lex would have jumped right out of the bed and
taken off at a dead run. The visual that thought conjured was a funny one, and
I couldn’t refrain from smiling.
“What is it?” He asked, his
gaze trained on my smile.
“Nothing.” I shook my head;
changed the subject. “Clark says hello. He wishes he could be here too but
he’s needed on the farm.”
Lex nodded. There was a
brief moment of silence where he handed my phone back to me, and I dropped it
into my pocket. He still held on to one of my hands. Finally, he asked, “What
are you doing here?” He looked up and our gazes met and held. “And don’t tell
me it’s your job.”
Here we go. Am I ready for
this? Probably not. “I’m here because I want to be here, Lex. Because I don’t
want you to be alone. Because you need me. Because I need to be here.“
Turning his head away, Lex
told me, “Sinjun, go home – “
“No, Lex. I listened to you
once, and I’m not going to make that mistake again.”
He turned a quietly
disbelieving gaze in my direction. “You’re not going to listen to me?”
I shook my head.
There was long silence
between us where we continued to watch one another. I kept waiting for that
mask to fall over his features, for him to shut himself off from me completely,
but surprisingly it didn’t happen. I watched as disbelief turned into surprise,
a very brief, simmering anger then, every so slowly, something that closely
resembled acceptance. Lex’s hand tightened around mine. I squeezed back.
“This is impossible, you
know,” Lex told me softly as he tugged me nearer to him. “It’s not going to be
“Nothing worth having ever
is, Lex,” I replied, sounding more confident about the situation than I felt.
“I’ll try to push you away,”
I moved closer. “I know.”
“I’ll hurt you.”
“There are some things that
would hurt worse, Lex,” I whispered as his hand wound around the back of my
neck, pulling me toward him.
“You’ll have to be strong.”
His fingers threaded through my hair.
“I’ll be strong enough for
both of us.”
My lips brushed over his, and
I felt that familiar and welcome tingle from the tips of my hair to my toes. I
tried to remind myself that he had been shot only hours before and was lying in
a hospital bed hooked to an IV, and I really should have left him alone to rest
but Lex’s kisses were incredibly drugging. One would think he would be rough,
dominating, and cold; but in actuality his kisses were soft, tender, impossibly
gentle, and warm, almost hesitant as if he were uncertain they were invited. I
could kiss him for hours on end. I wanted to trace that scar on his upper lip
with my tongue, but I knew there was time enough for that once he was out of the
hospital. Knowing this, I pulled back and retook my seat in the chair next to
Lex was watching me. Hell, I
was watching him. He still held my hand. That was a good sign. Happiness
flooded through me. I found myself smiling. Lex smiled back. I yawned. He
“You should go home, Sinjun,”
he told me sternly. “You’re exhausted.”
I was already shaking my
head. “No, Lex. I’m staying right here.”
“What? Until I’m released?”
He scoffed. “Go back to Smallville. I’m sure your aunt and uncle are frantic
about you being here anyway.”
“So you’d rather I drive two
hours in an Aston Martin along a boring Kansas Highway when I’m dead on my
Ha! Had him there. Lex knew
it too, if his frown was any indication. He could give such fierce
expressions. It had to be frightening to be his enemy. I drummed my fingers
against the arm of the chair while I waited for his response. He continued to
frown a good minute before finally looking back over at me.
“Go to my apartment in town
then. Get some rest. You can’t argue with that. It’s nearby – you can take
the train to it if you need to. And you’ll still be close enough to come
running to my rescue whenever you deem it necessary.”
The last Lex said laden with
heavy sarcasm. I wasn’t so thick-headed that I didn’t realize he was a little
upset with my intrusion on his conversation with his father. I wasn’t going to
let that bother me though. I’d do it again if I had to.
“You just can’t admit when
you need someone, can you, Lex?”
A muscle flexed in his jaw.
“Luthors don’t need anyone, Sinjun. Once you realize and accept that, you’ll
save yourself a lot of heartache.”
“Yes, Lex.” I nodded.
He gave me a narrowed look.
“Are you being condescending?”
“No, you’re just being
paranoid,” I replied innocently.
“Paranoid my ass.” And then
he smiled and shook his head. “Where are my things? My keys should be in my
I stood and walked over to
the small closet where they had placed his clothes. I dug through the pockets
of the leather jacket he had been wearing, finding not only his keys but also
his cell phone and PDA, which I figured he would want for later. Moving back
over to him, I set the articles on the table beside the bed while he took the
key ring from me and slid the apartment key off of it, handing it to me.
“It’s located at 14003 Market
Avenue, Penthouse #2. I’ll call ahead to the doorman so that they can expect
you. I haven’t been there in awhile so don’t expect there to be anything in the
I quietly tried to remember
the numbers he had rattled off. I felt slightly uncomfortable about going to
his place without him as I stared down at the gold key I held in my hand.
“Don’t worry, Lex,” I told him. “I won’t disturb your things.”
Lex’s hand shot out and
grabbed my wrist. “I didn’t mean that, Sinj,” he replied. “You take whatever
you need, okay? I’ll call Anna, the woman who watches the place for me, and
have her stock up the kitchen for you. Especially if you have any intention of
staying in Metropolis until I’m released. Which I believe you do.”
“You think me incredibly
foolish, don’t you?” I asked, unable to meet his gaze.
A long silence, then, “No,
Sinj. More like incredibly wonderful.”
I looked up then, and he was
smiling at me. I smiled back, leaned over, and kissed him. “Will you be
okay?” I asked. “Is there something I can do for you?”
“Yeah. Go get some sleep.”
“I will. And I’ll be back
soon,” I promised.
“Get that doctor back in
here,” Lex told me as I moved toward the door. “I think I need to apologize for
my father’s behavior earlier.”
“Lex, if you apologize for
every time your father is rude to someone, you’re going to spend your entire
life following that man around.”
A perfect smile. I’d carry
that with me for the next few hours at least.
“Get out of here, brat,” he
I ducked out the door and
went in search of Dr. Adams.
It started raining shortly
after I left the hospital. Another heavy Kansas summer thunderstorm. Not
wanting to walk in the rain and too tired to drive, I took a cab to 14003 Market
Avenue, otherwise known as Luthor Towers. I sat staring at the daunting eighty
story structure before me as the doorman hurried over to the car, umbrella in
hand, pulling the door open for me.
“You must be Miss St.
Claire,” he smiled as I climbed out. “My names Carl. Mr. Luthor just called to
say you were on your way. Let me show you up to the Penthouse. Have you ever
been to Luthor Towers before?”
I shook my head, thanking him
as he held the front door open for me, and I stepped into the marbled lobby. I
immediately felt out of place, in my rumpled black cocktail dress with my
tangled hair and smudged makeup across my face, while around me the lobby
glittered and gleamed with glass and marble and gold. Men and women in dark
business suits hurried past me, this way and that, every now and then one
occasionally would glance at me with a curious expression.
Carl led me forward,
explaining that he was taking me to the private elevator, which did not stop at
the other residential floors and would whisk us straightaway to the 80th
floor where the Penthouses were located. He went on to describe the building,
which housed a bank in the lobby on the lower level, and a five story garage
beneath it for residents only. The second through fourth floors housed a mall,
filled with only the top designers and jewelers – stores that I would have been
blessed to get a job in let alone actually buy something – while the fifth
through twentieth floors consisted of law and stock broker offices, all of which
worked for LuthorCorp. Floors twenty-one through thirty-nine were considered
the low rent district – those apartments which rented for $1500 - $2000 a
month. The fortieth floor housed the Tower gym, fully equipped with two Olympic
size pools, weights and exercise equipment, spas, saunas, racquet ball and
basket ball courts. The next thirty-eight floors went to the more expensive
apartments, ranging in monthly rent from $2500 - $5000. There were two
Penthouses located at the top of the Tower – Lex’s and one that belonged to
Johnson Jameson, a board member of LuthorCorp and Lionel’s consultant.
Apparently, Lionel Luthor had his own Penthouse, consisting of no fewer than
three floors, located at LuthorCorp Headquarters. I was just relieved to know
that there would be little chance of running into him here.
True to Carl’s promise, the
private elevator took us quickly to the top of the Tower. At an alarming rate,
truth be told. I think I left my stomach somewhere between floors twenty and
twenty-one. I said as much to the kind doorman, and he laughed and told me that
I would get used to it. I couldn’t help but wonder how used Carl was to showing
a strange woman to Lex’s Penthouse. I knew it was none of my business and that
Lex had likely had dozens of women falling over him for years now, and it was
something I would just have to get used to, but still, that little green monster
of jealous couldn’t help rearing its ugly head.
When we reached the eightieth
floor, Carl led me down the hall to an ornate oak door. I handed him the key
and he opened it for me, switching on the lights and then stepping aside for me
to enter. “Should you require anything else, simply pick up the phone and dial
“01” and that will put you directly to me. To make an outside call, just dial
“8” and then the number. I certainly hope that Mr. Luthor heals quickly.”
I smiled. “Thank you, Carl.
I appreciate all of this, and I’m certain Lex does too.”
Carl smiled, nodded, and
disappeared into the hall, closing the door behind him. I felt like
Kicking off my heels, I
wandered through the front room of the Penthouse, over to the glass doors that
led out onto the roof, which housed a garden and small pond. I wondered if Lex
ever even made an attempt to step out there, considering his fear of heights.
If it weren’t raining, and I weren’t in danger of being struck by lightning, I
would have liked to have stepped out and seen the view. I turned, allowing my
gaze to sweep over the main room. It was roughly the size of the entire first
floor of the farmhouse, maybe a little bigger. It was decorated with ox-blood
red leather couches, a bar, mahogany tables, a 60-inch widescreen television,
marble fireplace, and original oil paintings covering the walls. It would have
very much resembled a typical bachelors pad… If it had anything even remotely
personal in it. Instead, it was more of a museum reproduction of what a
bachelor’s pad should resemble.
I moved over the plush deep
red carpeting to the kitchen, which was again double the size of aunt Martha’s
though I seriously doubted Lex ever used it. I peeked into all of the cabinets,
found some canned goods though I realized I wasn’t all that hungry, glanced into
the refrigerator, which did contain an opened bottle of Dom Perignon. It was
tempting, but getting drunk on an empty stomach would have been unpleasant to
say the least. Nothing left to look through in the kitchen, I wandered down the
hall, locating the study, an exercise room, a guest room and guest bath, and
finally the master bedroom. Part of me thought it would be best if I stayed in
the guest room, but a more selfish and greedy side of me chose the master
Taking a deep breath, I
realized I could smell a hint of Lex’s cologne hanging in the air. Smiling to
myself, I allowed my legs to carry me over to the closet, which I opened to find
was completely stocked with clothing, all of Lex’s typical attire. Dark slacks
and long-sleeved dress shirts in colors ranging from black and dark blue to
lavender and light gray. Reaching out, I fingered one of the lavender silk
shirts, figuring I had nothing to wear anyway so why not? I pulled it from the
hanger, closed the door, and wandered into the marble bathroom.
Briefly I debated taking a
bath but knew I would most likely drown once I fell asleep, so I took a quick
hot shower, which only served to relax my muscles and make my eyes grow
heavier. I still wanted to explore, but my body was telling me otherwise. So I
slipped into the lavender shirt, which blessedly smelled like Lex, and returned
to the bedroom where I pulled back the covers on the king-sized feather bed and
climbed in. Snuggling against the pillows, I realized that everything around me
was laden with the scent of Lex. It comforted and teased, all at once. Smiling
at the thought of him, and knowing in my heart that he would be fine, I closed
my eyes, and drifted off into the first restful slumber I had experienced in
to Chapter Two
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