“Here are the companies I’ve come up with so far.” Chloe passed the list across the table to Clark. Pete was at football practice, leaving Clark and Chloe alone at their usual table at the Talon. “I’ve starred the ones that have the most potential.”
It had been a week since their interview with Lucas. Clark hadn’t seen Lucas since their meeting in the loft, which was fine. What wasn’t fine was that he hadn’t seen Lex, either.
Clark hoped feverently that Lex hadn’t faded yet. He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Then again, he knew he never would be.
“We need to be careful,” Clark told Chloe, glancing over the list of potential buyers for the plant. “If too many people show interest, Lionel will wonder what’s up and may not sell.”
“Or he’d up the price,” Chloe said, understanding.
They had spoken at length during the week about the plant closing. Chloe had not told her father, who was a manager at the plant. Clark praised her restraint, because it was their livelihood on the line.
Clark noted Hardwick Industries on the list, but it wasn’t starred. He had subtly suggested a buyout during his talks with Chloe, who instantly latched onto the idea. She had begun researching companies immediately.
“I’ll put out feelers on a few of these and see who might be interested,” Clark said. It wasn’t a full lie. He’d wait to see what happened with Victoria, first.
A motorcycle drew Clark and Chloe’s attention to the window. Lucas pulled to a stop outside. “Do you think we should question Lucas on the possibility of selling the plant?” Chloe said.
Clark had already done that, but he hid the truth for now. “We should wait until we have a potential buyer lined up.”
Lucas entered the Talon and zeroed in on them. Clark folded the list and tucked it into his pocket.
“I have a problem,” Lucas said without preamble, flopping into the empty seat at their table.
“Hello to you, too,” Chloe said sarcastically.
“What is it?” Clark said.
Lucas glanced around and lowered his voice. “The ghost has it in for me.”
Clark’s brows rose. He’d thought Lex was leaving Lucas alone.
“What happened?” Chloe asked, a reporter’s gleam in her eyes.
“What hasn’t?” Lucas said. “My bedroom’s been trashed, the media room looks like a tornado has gone through it. Antiques have been smashed and pictures knocked from the walls.”
“Are you sure it’s not a staff member or an ex?” Chloe said.
“I’m positive. It’s been going on all week,” Lucas said. “I feel like I’m being watched everywhere I go in the castle and am disrupted when I sit down to do something.”
“Have you done anything different this week than last to maybe cause this reaction?” Clark said, worried that Lex was upset or angry.
“Perhaps last week was unusual,” Chloe said. “We know for a fact that everyone who’s tried to stay overnight before was scared off. Maybe your moving in confused the ghost for a while.”
“I don’t care. I want it gone,” Lucas said.
“I’ll see what I can come up with,” Chloe said.
Lucas flashed her a smile. “I’m on my way to Edge City, but I’ll be back Sunday.”
“Meet here around seven?” Chloe said.
Lucas rose and walked over to the counter. Chloe turned to Clark with a sinful grin. “I have a date.”
Clark smiled half-heartedly in response. He was more concerned about Lex. It looked as though he’d be sneaking into the castle once again.
Clark waited until after midnight before going to Luthor Manor. The in-house staff were tucked in their rooms and the lights in the main wings were turned out. Clark zipped past the night security guards patrolling the grounds and entered the castle through the hidden garden door. He used a flashlight until he reached the secret entrance in the pantry in the kitchen.
Cautiously, Clark crept from the kitchen to the library, hoping to find Lex in their former meeting place. Bright, full moonlight spilled into the room from the skylights overhead.
“Lex,” Clark called in a stage whisper. There were fewer vases and other objects in the library than before, he noted. The glass-topped desk was missing, too.
He’d been worrying about Lex all afternoon, concerned to the point of distraction. Something big was bothering Lex for him to be tormenting Lucas. Clark wanted – no needed – to fix whatever was wrong.
Clark ventured to the second floor balcony. The familiar chessboard sat on the small table between leather easy chairs. He made an opening move with the white knight, smiling faintly in memory of games played and friendship formed over the board.
A flicker of a pale glow caught his eye and he smiled fully when he saw Lex emerge from the bookshelf. “Hey.”
“Clark.” Lex’s return greeting was flat. Hard eyes measured Clark and found him wanting.
Clark was taken aback. “I, uh, haven’t seen you in a while.”
“I decided to leave you alone. I figured Lucas was taking up your time.”
“I did my part already,” Clark said, confused by Lex’s standoffishness. “Chloe gave me a list of other possible companies that might buy the plant, but other than that, I’ve been waiting for your friend Victoria.”
“The letter went out last Saturday,” Lex said. “She should arrive by the end of the month. Then, Lucas will have his hands full and probably won’t have time for anything else.”
“Okay,” Clark said slowly, watching Lex carefully. The moonlight filtering down from overhead made Lex glow brighter than usual. “Lucas said the ghost in the castle has been busy lately.”
Lex’s expression became mulish. “And?”
Clark moved closer to Lex. “What’s wrong?” he asked, studying Lex. “I know something is, so don’t tell me nothing.”
“It’s none of your concern,” Lex said.
“What would you like me to say, Clark?”
Clark changed tactics, to get Lex to open up. “Why haven’t you come over? I waited for you every night all week.”
Lex scoffed. “I doubt you were lonely.”
“The cows were scintillating conversationalists,” Clark responded drolly.
“Because you do so much talking with Lucas.”
Clark was startled by the acidity of Lex’s tone. “I’ve only seen Lucas twice since you came over last Friday. I barely know the guy.”
“Funny, it looked like you knew him intimately, to me,” Lex said caustically.
The pieces came together like a jigsaw, forming a whole picture. Lex must’ve seen Clark and Lucas in the loft last Saturday. But that meant Lex’s attitude and his ‘haunting’ of Lucas were as a result of what he’d witnessed. Clark’s eyes widened. “You’re jealous.”
“What could I possibly be jealous of?” Lex said. His flat tone didn’t hide the truth reflected in his eyes.
“It was only a blowjob,” Clark said. His jealousy made Clark’s heart flip.
Lex scoffed and looked away.
“Lex, I’m not interested in Lucas,” Clark tried again. “He’s not my type.”
“He’s not,” Clark said. “I happen to like guys who are smart, handsome, and sophisticated. Like you.”
“Then you forgot the dead part,” Lex said.
“I didn’t,” Clark said. “If I had any chance with you, I’d take it.”
Lex’s gaze shot up and he studied Clark’s features. “You mean that.”
Clark nodded. “I do.”
“I’m dead,” Lex reiterated.
Lex kissed him.
It was cold, but Lex’s lips were solid against Clark’s own. The gentle pressure of the kiss lasted briefly. Lex drew back and searched Clark’s face again.
Clark lifted his hand and paused beside Lex’s cheek. The pale face glowed brighter as Lex became more solid. Clark touched Lex’s cheek. The ghostly skin was cool and felt like the wind beneath his fingertips, as he slid his hand around to cup the back of Lex’s head. Lex’s gaze never strayed from Clark’s, the first blush of passion clouding the air around them.
Clark lowered his head, his eyelids fluttering shut as he claimed Lex’s mouth in another kiss. Tingles ran along his skin that had nothing to do with the cool press of Lex’s lips. The kiss deepened with a sigh of pleasure and want, mouths parting and meeting again, tongues sliding against one another’s, ice to heat, until Clark broke slowly away.
Lex’s hooded gaze didn’t hide the bliss reflected in his eyes. His hands rested against Clark’s chest, sinking slightly beneath the skin, feeling like twin handprints of coolness. Clark rubbed his fingers against Lex’s scalp, caressing the still wind.
Lex’s hands slid up and around Clark’s shoulders, leaving a trail of icy tendrils beneath Clark’s skin. His lips curved in a smile as Clark shivered. Dissipating beneath Clark’s touch, he lifted his mouth and kissed Clark again with a wisp of ghostly lips.
“Lex, don’t tease,” Clark said, running his hand along an intangible shoulder.
Lex relented. Solid lips pressed against Clark’s, parted invitingly, drawing Clark into another deep kiss. Clark held onto Lex’s hips, where he touched becoming a tangible body. He lost himself in the sensations weaving a spell around them.
Victoria Hardwick arrived in Smallville at the end of September and Lex’s smirk grew larger with every day that passed. “They’re perfect for each other,” Lex told Clark. “All they care about is money and sex. In fact, they were having sex in the vault when I left.”
“Do you really think the plan is going to work?” Clark asked.
“I do,” Lex replied, running his ghostly fingers through Clark’s hair. It felt like a soft breeze ruffling Clark’s dark locks. “Lucas has already approached our father about selling.”
Lex had stopped haunting Lucas and instead visited in the evenings with Clark. Clark enjoyed having a boyfriend again. The hours were spent like before, talking, playing chess, or going for walks, but now interspersed with short kisses or long make-out sessions. Kissing, fondling, and blowjobs bordered on kinky with the coldness of Lex’s touch. Lex couldn’t become fully tangible, however, nor did he become physically aroused beneath his irremovable clothing. Sometimes, he dissipated beneath Clark’s hands, or sank into Clark’s body because he’d stopped concentrating on keeping touched areas solid.
Clark didn’t mind. It was Lex, himself, that Clark liked, not the physical aspect of their relationship, though that was fun, too. At times, however, he would remember that Lex wouldn’t be around forever and it made his heart ache fiercely. He tried to live solely in the present, treasuring each day he had with Lex.
“Chloe can’t believe I ‘chose’ Hardwick Industries,” Clark said. He stretched his legs in front of him, propping his feet on the front porch rail. The swing chair rocked gently. “I told her Lucas makes decisions with his dick and Hardwick had the best looking sales associate.”
Lex chuckled. “That, they do.”
Clark glanced over at Lex and feigned jealousy. “Her tits are plastic and her legs are practically detachable.”
“The best qualities in a woman,” Lex said with a teasing grin. He tugged on Clark’s hair. “Something you wouldn’t understand.”
“Ah, no,” Clark agreed. “Guys and ghosts are my specialty. Especially guy-ghosts.”
“Hmm.” Lex carded his fingers through Clark’s hair again. “Tell your friend she needn’t worry. Once Hardwick Industries buys the plant, another company will be more willing to step in and purchase it down the line. It’s cheaper and less problematic to deal with someone other than LuthorCorp.”
The crisp October breeze blew, catching a scattering of colorful fallen leaves. “Do you still plan on giving Lucas the shares from the dummy corporation?” Clark said, watching the leaves dance in the setting sun.
“Once the plant is out of LuthorCorp control,” Lex said with a nod.
Clark tried to hide his sadness. “And then, you’ll be gone.”
“I was never here to begin with,” Lex reminded gently.
Lex’s fingers curled under Clark’s chin and turned his head. Clark looked at Lex with blurry eyes. Lex shushed him softly and brought their mouths together in a kiss.
Clark and Lex found a rhythm in their time together, as the days passed. Lex would be in the loft when Clark had finished dinner and he would linger there well into the night. Lex still loved to share his vast knowledge of useless trivia with an attentive audience, and Clark could sit for hours simply listening to him talk.
“The code of chivalry is most associated with knights of the Middle Ages. The code really did exist, but it was peculiar. Under the code, you could kidnap, demand outrageous ransoms, beat up peasants, loot houses and markets, and kill practically anyone with the excuse of defiling the King’s name.”
“Did they actually do anything chivalrous?”
“Well, they did give their cloaks for warmth, carried baskets, and offered an escort to those of a higher station.”
“Sounds more like the knights were hitting on them.”
“No, that was an entirely different set of rules, known as the ‘Art of Courtly Love’.”
“Tell me more about that. I could use the pointers.”
“You don’t need them.”
“Some people look at the stars and see names and numbers. Others see shapes and stories. The vastness of the universe can awe or frighten. Defining it, whether by science or religion, allows us to remain in control.”
“My mom used to tell me someone put a piece of black paper over the earth and stuck pins through it.”
“Mine said the stars were angels’ peepholes and that they watched over everyone.”
“How long did you believe that?”
“Until I was five and read an astronomy book.”
“That’s too bad.”
“Not really. Sometimes, I still believe.”
Clark rocked gently on the swing chair, listening to Lex quote his favorite poet. There was no moon visible. Lex was a pale wisp of smoke sitting beside him in the dark, holding his hand.
He wanted Lex to stay forever. Maybe he could somehow sabotage Lex’s chances to finish the task keeping him tied to earth. Or, he could just ask Lex to remain. He had to do something, because he didn’t think he could voluntarily let Lex go, any longer.
“‘He whom I call answers me, and takes the place of my
He rises with me silently from the bed.
Darkness! You are gentler than my lover – his flesh was
sweaty and panting,
I feel the hot moisture yet that he left me.
My hands are spread forth, I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which you are journeying.
Be careful, darkness! Already what was it touch’d me?
I thought my lover had gone, else darkness and he are one,
I hear the heart-beat – I follow, I fade away.’”
Clark stopped untangling fencing wire and looked up at the roar of a motorcycle. Lucas pulled to the side of the road and shut off the engine. Clark rested his arms on the fence and grinned. “Long time, no see. Though I hear that’s understandable,” Clark said.
“You heard right.” Lucas removed his sunglasses, looking smug. “Vicki is more than a handful.”
Clark chuckled at the innuendo. “So, what tears you from her side?”
“I sold the LuthorCorp Plant today,” Lucas said. “Vicki’s dad’s company bought it.”
“Uh, congratulations?” Clark said questioningly. Inside, he was amazed – the plan had worked.
“Definitely. I can’t wait to get out of this shithole.” Lucas smirked. “No offense.”
Clark shrugged off the insult to the town. “When are you leaving?”
“Next Tuesday. I’m heading to England with Vicki before Dad sticks me with another scapegoat job.”
The pain hit him suddenly like a sledgehammer and it was all he could do not to curl into himself. “I’ll tell Chloe so she can break the story, now that the plant is secure,” Clark said. “She may have a few more questions for you.”
“Tell her to swing by,” Lucas said. “In fact, I’m throwing a Halloween party on Friday night. You and she are both invited.”
“I’ll let her know. Thanks,” Clark said.
“Cool.” Lucas slid on his sunglasses. “Costumes are required. See you then.”
The motorcycle roared to life and Lucas rode off. Clark’s face fell into misery the moment he was out of sight.
Jonathan strode up to Clark, having been working further down the fence line. “Was that Luthor?”
“Yeah,” Clark said, not in the mood to argue Lucas’s name. “He’s leaving on Tuesday.”
Jonathan picked up on Clark’s despondency. “I didn’t know you knew him that well.”
“Then why the long face?”
Clark stared over the neighboring farm fields, but only saw the ghost in his mind. “When Lucas goes, so does Lex.”
“Lex? The ghost that you’ve been spending all your time with? That Lex?”
“Yeah.” Clark’s chest felt like it was in a vice.
Jonathan studied him closely. “Usually, you’re much happier with your successes.”
But Clark normally wasn’t in love with the ghosts he helped. He dashed his hand over his stinging eyes, cleared his throat, and boxed his feelings tightly. “Let’s get back to work. The fence isn’t going to fix itself.”
Jonathan looked at Clark a moment, then clapped him on the shoulder and walked away without saying a word. Clark was thankful to him for that.
If there was one thing Clark excelled at, it was keeping secrets. Although Jonathan had told Martha, neither of them pressed about Lex, and no one else knew he was in love with a ghost destined to fade too soon.
Clark did his best to hide his pain as well as his love from Lex. He didn’t want to burden Lex with his emotions, when he knew that Lex simply couldn’t avoid finishing his business with Lucas. He tried to ask, once, for Lex to stay, but the words had gotten stuck in his throat. Lex seemed to know, however, and he touched Clark more and kissed him longer when they were together.
Wednesday became Thursday and turned into Friday, and it was Halloween. A smattering of kids at school wore Halloween makeup and offbeat costumes. People talked about which party they were going to, what pranks to pull, and where to get the best candy (even though they were “too old” to trick-or-treat).
“Ten o’clock,” Chloe had said before parting ways with Clark at school. “Be ready to go when I get there.”
At 9:55 PM, Clark stood in front of the mirror, examining his costume. He wore his usual flannel shirt and jeans with straw stuck in various places. A poor man’s scarecrow, the best he could do on a budget of zero.
Clark wondered if Lex would haunt the party, or even if he’d show up just for Clark. He would’ve asked, but he hadn’t seen Lex all day. Clark’s heart seized for the hundredth time and hoped Lex hadn’t faded yet. He hadn’t said goodbye.
The squeak of Chloe’s car turning into the driveway forced Clark to bury his feelings. “I’ll be home late,” he told his parents in passing.
Pete, Chloe’s “date” for the party, was crammed in the backseat of the VW. He was dressed in partial football uniform with black smudges under his eyes. Obviously, Clark wasn’t the only one going for the cheap costume.
Chloe looked cute as Peter Pan, sitting behind the steering wheel. “Hop in, Clark. We want to be fashionably late, not late-late.”
The party was in full swing when they arrived. A sea of cars was parked on the lawn. Lights shone from the first floor windows of the castle. The main doors were open, admitting anyone who came by. Thumping music spilled outside and costumed partiers talked, drank, and danced in the many rooms of Luthor Manor.
Chloe and Pete made a beeline for the nearest bar. Clark lost himself in the crowd of unknown faces, until he stumbled upon Lucas.
“Kent!” Lucas, in a smoking jacket and slippers, had his arm wrapped around a lissome redhead wearing skimpy underwear as a costume. “Glad you could come. Meet Vicki.”
“Hi,” Clark said.
Victoria Hardwick smiled blandly at him. Clark didn’t mind the snub.
“Grab a beer, grab an ass. Mί par-tay es tứ par-tay,” Lucas told Clark, gesturing widely with his drink hand.
Clark nodded and was sucked back into the throng of Halloween revelers. Apparently everyone had gone for the cheap costumes; Clark saw a lot of naked flesh hidden by scraps of silk and lace. The noise level was nearly unbearable, the same music playing in every room of the castle. Porn was on the widescreen television in the library, re-enacted by couples on the couches and floor, when Clark thought to seek refuge there.
He saw no sign of Lex, who knew Clark had been invited to the party. Instead, he found Chloe and Pete in the club-lit grand ballroom. Chloe latched onto his arm and dragged him into dancing. Clark closed his eyes and threw himself into the music. Memories of time in Metropolis high on red kryptonite loosened his limbs and rocked his hips.
Once song bled into the next and the next. Clark rolled up his sleeves and unbuttoned his flannel shirt to his navel. He danced like no one was watching, costumed men and women surging around him to the pulsing beat. Chloe and Pete laughed with him, drinking and having fun. The music never stopped, the alcohol flowed, and the party grew hotter and wilder.
A couple hours later, around midnight, Clark stumbled out the French doors into the backyard for some fresh air. Benches with smokers and knots of people conversing inhabited the ornate stone patio. Clark went down the fives steps to a second patio and found a place to lean against the stone rail, overlooking the vast grounds.
Clark was bemused, as he watched a baseball player chase a string of squealing women in bikinis across the lawn. Grunting sounded from the bushes below him, a werewolf rutting with Little Red Riding Hood. He caught glimpses of other Smallville High School students and a few twenty-somethings he knew from town.
Clark turned around to face the castle and saw Lex standing at the rail on the high patio. An automatic smile spread across his lips, but it faded, as Lex walked down the steps towards him.
Lex wore tight black trousers tucked into knee high black boots and a flowing white pirate shirt. His skin was not translucent but the color of buttermilk slashed by the pale pink curve of his lips. The most intense blue eyes Clark had ever seen danced with delight, and Clark’s mouth parted in wonder and awe. “Lex?”
Lex captured Clark’s hand, brought it to his lips, and kissed the palm. He closed the distance between them, his solid body pressed full length against Clark. Lex released Clark’s hand and wrapped his tangible arms around Clark’s waist.
Tentatively, Clark slid his arms around Lex’s shoulders. He didn’t dissipate beneath Clark’s touch. “What…?”
“It’s All Souls Day,” Lex murmured. He began to sway off-rhythm to the music, slow dancing without taking his gaze from Clark.
“But you’re solid,” Clark breathed. “You’re real.”
Lex smiled. “For a little while.”
Clark rested his forehead against Lex’s and looked into eyes bluer than he’d ever imagined. “How long?”
Lex didn’t answer. He lifted his lips for a brief kiss before stepping out of Clark’s hold. Emotion stung Clark’s eyes as Lex took his hand and led him into the castle.
They passed Lucas near the stairs leading to the second floor. Lucas gave Clark a thumb’s up. Victoria’s eyes widened as she stared at Lex.
Lex led him through multiple halls, the thumping music becoming muffled, until he reached a bedroom. He closed and locked the door behind them. “This is- was my room,” he said.
Moonlight spilled through gauzy white curtains over the tall windows. The house staff cleaned the entire castle and no dust was on any surface and the large bed looked inviting. A royal blue bedspread draped over the sides of the bed, brushing the hardwood floor. Darkly colored wood dressers, wardrobes, and side tables lined the walls beneath paintings of seascapes. On one table next to the bed was the Whitman book.
Clark wasn’t interested in the room, however. He pulled Lex into his arms, feeling the solid body against him. One hand splayed between Lex’s shoulder blades, the other cupped the back of his head, and Clark kissed Lex without restraint.
Lex moaned into the heady kiss, clutching at Clark’s biceps. His hips shifted against Clark and Clark’s cock swelled in reaction. The hand on Lex’s back slid down to his ass, and Clark pulled him closer, pressing their pelvises tightly together. Clark’s mind was clouded with need and desire to possess Lex while he was able.
Clark broke the kiss, breathing heavily through his nose. He drank in Lex’s features, soft flesh covering the aristocratic bones. A constellation of freckles dotted the corner of Lex’s left eye and a few more decorated the hairless scalp. The fan of Lex’s pale lashes and the color of his brows made Clark want to discover the shade curling on Lex’s groin.
He freed the pirate shirt from the waistband of Lex’s trousers and pulled it over Lex’s head. Clark’s flannel shirt was lost as well. Lex’s gaze heated and he caressed Clark’s bare chest. Lex’s chest was smooth and cut with faint lines of muscle.
Clark brushed his thumb over one pink nipple. Lex’s skin was cool to the touch. Clark pressed his palm against Lex’s chest, wanting to feel the heart beating beneath, to know that Lex was real. A furrow of confusion drew down Clark’s brows.
“You have no heartbeat,” he said. He realized something else, as well. “You’re not breathing, either.”
“I’m only solid, Clark, not alive,” Lex said, covering Clark’s hand and holding it against his chest.
Clark’s eyes widened. “You’re not a corpse, are you?”
Lex laughed. “No. My body has been made flesh temporarily, that’s all. I’m still a ghost. My physical deceased self is rotting in a grave in Metropolis.”
“Pleasant,” Clark said dryly. He rubbed his thumb back and forth against Lex’s soft skin.
Lex stepped closer, keeping hold of Clark’s hand against his chest. He looked up at Clark. “I want to touch you, Clark. I want to hold you. I want you to hold me and fill me and make me remember you even after I’m gone.”
“Lex…” Clark swallowed back the sudden lump in his throat. He lowered his head, capturing Lex’s lips with his own.
They made it to the bed, pausing long enough to strip off the remainder of their clothing. Lex’s pale skin glowed in the moonlight and Clark couldn’t touch him enough. His lips traced a path down Lex’s body, tonguing the dips and curves. He nuzzled the carrot red curls surrounding Lex’s unresponsive cock and dusting over his balls. Lex tasted like skin washed clean. Clark lifted Lex’s hips, used his thumbs to spread Lex wide, and kissed him intimately.
Lex watched intently, propped on the pillows behind his shoulders and head. His hand carded through Clark’s hair, as Clark laved him open. Clark’s erection throbbed, trapped beneath him on the bed.
“Clark…,” Lex said, tugging lightly on Clark’s hair. Clark lowered Lex’s hips and climbed over him at the beckoning. His mouth slanted over Lex’s, kissing him long and thoroughly. Lex arched and rubbed against Clark’s hard cock, one ankle hooked over Clark’s leg.
Clark broke the kiss, raising his head to stare down at Lex. Lex’s features were slack with emotional arousal and desire. His lips were red and shiny from harsh kisses. Lex’s fingers curled in Clark’s hair and brushed the shell of his ear. Clark’s heart seized, not knowing if he was in heaven or hell, to be able to finally touch Lex but only for a little while.
Burying his feelings, he brushed a kiss across Lex’s lips. “Do you know where we can find lube?”
“There should be some in the drawer,” Lex said, pointing towards the left hand side table.
Clark moved reluctantly. Inside the drawer were condoms and lubricant. Both were expired.
“I’m already dead, Clark,” Lex said, humor coloring his voice. “As long as it’s slick, it’ll be fine.”
Clark half-grinned and crawled back to Lex with the bottle. He laid a hand on Lex’s shoulder and urged Lex to roll over. Lex spread on his stomach, arms folded beneath the pillow under his head. Clark knelt between Lex’s thighs, moving Lex’s legs up frog-like, causing Lex’s ass to lift invitingly. He leaned forward and nipped at the swell of Lex’s buttocks, as he popped the top of the bottle.
Clark prepared himself quickly, sucking in a breath as his hand slicked down his erection. He tugged at his balls, wanting to last as long as possible with Lex. He closed the top of the bottle, dropped it on the bed, and wiped his hand on the bedcover.
Lex’s hole was shiny from Clark’s tongue, winking at him as he leaned over Lex. Clark guided his cock into place, the leaking slit kissing the puckered opening. He held his breath as he pushed forward.
“Oh, Clark,” Lex whispered in a roughened voice, as Clark slid home. His body shifted beneath Clark’s, hips lifting higher in acceptance.
Clark didn’t move for a long minute, reining in his control. He was deep inside Lex, pelvis to ass, the rings of muscle clenched around his cock. He closed his eyes, licked his lips, and flexed his cock. Lex made a gratified noise.
Clark leaned down, blanketing Lex, his hands sliding beneath Lex’s arms. He entwined his fingers with Lex’s, his chest pressed flush to Lex’s back. He spread his thighs wide, knees butting against the back of Lex’s, and began to move.
Whimpering slightly, he buried his face against the side of Lex’s neck. Pleasure coursed through him with every stroke into Lex’s body. Lex tightened his fingers around Clark’s, holding his hands in a strong grip. Lex rolled his hips into Clark’s thrusts. Clark babbled quietly against Lex’s skin. “Lex, Lex, oh, god, Lex…”
“Let me feel you,” Lex murmured, clenching around Clark’s cock. Clark moaned and started thrusting faster, harder, and deeper. His lips painted a path from Lex’s neck around his scalp. He sucked on the knot at the back of Lex’s head before resting his forehead against the damp skin.
The sound of Clark’s pelvis slapping against Lex’s ass was underscored by the muffled music floating through the walls from the first floor. The bed rocked under them, bedcovers bunching beneath Clark’s knees. The bottle of lube bumped against his foot. Clark breathed raggedly through his mouth, eyes rolling beneath his closed lids as pleasure washed over him.
His hips bucked wildly once, twice, and he pressed himself flush against Lex’s ass as he climaxed. Lex clenched and released around him, milking him of his come. There was a buzzing in Clark’s ears and white out behind his eyelids for a long, drawn out moment, before he slumped in release.
Clark licked his lips and swallowed dryly. He bowed his head and rested it against Lex’s shoulder. Panting, his body shuddered once in aftershock. Lex hooked a foot behind Clark’s ankle and squeezed Clark’s hands.
Clark didn’t want to move, but he wanted to hold Lex closer and kiss him. He pulled out reluctantly and dropped onto the bed beside Lex. Immediately, he gathered Lex into his arms with a little maneuvering, so they were on their sides facing each other. Lex’s eyes sparkled with contentment.
Clark kissed him slowly, deeply. Post-coital lethargy made his limbs heavy as he held Lex.
Lex’s hand stroked Clark’s side and his mouth curved in a gentle smile when he pulled from the kiss. “I could get used to this.”
“Yeah, me, too,” Clark said. His fingertips danced along the curve of Lex’s scalp. “I wish you could stay.”
“I know.” Lex bussed a kiss on the tip of Clark’s nose. “Don’t let’s talk about it. There are many other things we can do with our mouths.”
Clark tamped down on the emotions bubbling to the surface. “You’re right,” he said, rolling so Lex lay on top of him. “I want to abuse this body of yours while I can.”
“Who said I’m the one who’s to be abused?” Lex said with smirk, and proceeded to show Clark exactly what he meant.
Sunlight streamed into the bedroom through the gauzy curtained windows. Clark rubbed a hand over his face and blinked sleepily. He didn’t recognize the ceiling and it took a moment to get his bearings. He was in a bedroom at the castle, snuggled beneath the sheets after a night of sex with Lex.
Clark turned his head, but the bed beside him was empty. An indentation on the pillow was the only indication someone had lain there. Clark touched the pillow, brushing his fingertips over where Lex had been. He had still been solid when Clark had finally succumbed to sleep.
“This is perfect.”
Clark snuggled against Lex’s chest, physically
exhausted from all their lovemaking. He
played with the trail of red hair arrowing down beneath Lex’s naval.
My being able to touch you.”
“Hmm,” Lex hummed in agreement, petting Clark’s
hair with soft strokes.
“It’s going to be hard when you’re a ghost again,
now that I know what I’m missing.” Clark
nuzzled the cool skin beneath his cheek sleepily. “I wish this night could last.
Lex kissed the top of his head, nosing the mussed strands with a gentle sigh. “That it is.”
Sitting up with a sigh of unhappiness, Clark glanced around the room. “Lex?” he called, searching for the ghost, but Lex was not there.
Pushing aside the covers, Clark swung his legs out of bed. His gaze alit on the Whitman book sitting on the side table and his heart froze. A single sheet of paper with angular handwriting rested on top of the book. He picked it up with a shaking hand, knowing what it said before he read it.
Goodbye is too final, so I say until we meet again, I will remember you always and with love.
P.S. The Whitman book belongs to you now. Treasure well the beauty within and outside the pages.
Lex was gone.
Clark’s lower lip trembled and a tear splotched the paper in his hand. He had known this day would come but he’d hoped deep down that it wouldn’t arrive. The night before had been so perfect… and Clark knew that was why Lex had chosen to go, without saying goodbye.
But that didn’t make it any easier to handle. Pain spiked Clark’s heart and he curled forward, wrapping his arms tightly around his waist. A choked sob wracked his body and he gave in to the tears of grief. Lex was gone.
Clark pulled himself together eventually, smoothed Lex’s crumpled note, and set it on the book. He wiped his cheeks and nose, and rose to dress. Lex’s pirate costume was still on the floor and Clark gathered the clothes and laid them on the bed. Tucking the note between the pages of the book, Clark took a last look around the bedroom, focusing briefly on the pillow where Lex had lain, and left the room.
Both costumed and pajama-clad people roamed the halls of the castle. Some were passed out in corners from the night before. Clark stepped over a pile of faux fur that snored and dodged a zombie wandering the corridor in search of coffee.
The main doors of the castle were still wide open and Clark stepped outside into the crisp November first morning. The majority of the vehicles were still parked on the lawn. Chloe’s was missing. A man in a valet uniform stood at the bottom of the steps. “May I fetch your car, sir?” he asked.
Clark shook his head. “I walked.”
The valet bowed his head and Clark started down the long driveway to the street. The roar of a motorcycle stopped him at the open iron gates to the manor. Lucas drove up the street towards him from town.
Lucas smiled wickedly once he’d shut off the engine, straddling the bike in front of Clark. “My, my, Mr. Kent. Did someone get lucky last night?”
“Yeah,” Clark said, careful not to crush the book as a wave of sorrow washed over him. “It was the best night of my life.”
“You’re young. You’ll have better,” Lucas said. “I’m glad I caught you, though. Remember that ghost problem I had? The one that sort of went away after I got help from Chloe?”
“I remember,” Clark said warily.
“I just thought you could tell her that she was right, it was a relative of mine,” Lucas said. “It was my older brother, Lex.”
Clark had to clear the stinging in his throat in order to ask, “How do you know?”
“He wrote me a note, if you can believe it,” Lucas replied. “I found it in my room this morning, along with a way for me to say adios to Lionel Luthor for good. Vicki almost had a heart attack, babbling on how she knew she’d seen Lex last night. I told her it was the crystal meth, but who knows? She may have been right.”
“Maybe she was,” Clark said. “Are you still leaving on Tuesday?”
“Yeah. If I don’t see you around, it was cool blowing you, Kent.” Lucas waggled his thick brows. “Give Chloe a tweak from me.”
Clark rolled his eyes as Lucas revved the engine. The motorcycle’s tires squealed on the pavement as Lucas shot off, up the driveway. Clark waited until Lucas was out of sight before running full speed home.
“So this is where Lex Luthor was buried.” Chloe wrinkled her nose at the monument. “It’s really… phallic.”
“Chloe,” Clark said exasperatedly. He stepped closer to the tall, black pillar in the Metropolis cemetery. Lex’s full name, Alexander Joseph Luthor, was carved in the marble, along with his dates of birth and death. The monument was across from Lillian Luthor’s memorial. Four white stone pillars flanked Lex’s monument like pristine guards.
Clark traced his fingers over Lex’s name, brushing away the snow, feeling the ache in his chest flare. It had been a month since Lex had gone and it didn’t hurt any less. He doubted it ever would.
The snow crunched beneath Chloe’s feet as she joined him. “Do you really think it was Lex that was haunting Luthor Manor?”
“Yes.” Clark cleared the tears from his throat. “There hasn’t been a report of ghost activity since Lucas had found the note.”
“I learned while I was researching ghostbusting techniques for Lucas that ghosts usually hang around because they have unfinished business,” Chloe said. She shoved her hands in her winter coat pockets. “I guess Lex’s business must’ve been something to do with Lucas.”
“Probably,” Clark said, side-stepping the truth that he knew.
“I wish I could have met him,” Chloe said. “You and Pete got to experience the ghost first hand. I should’ve taken you up on the offer to go with you guys.”
“Maybe next time.”
“Yeah, but it’s not like there are a lot of haunted houses in Smallville.”
Chloe wandered off to look at Lillian’s memorial, leaving Clark alone. Clark traced the L-E-X in Lex’s name on the monument. “I miss you,” he said softly. “I never told you that I loved you. I should have.”
The December breeze kicked up, sending drifts of snow to dance in the sun. Clark rubbed the stinging from his eyes, took a deep breath, and released it slowly. He and Chloe needed to get back to the MetU campus for their prospective student tour.
Clark took a step back and smiled tremulously at the monument. He felt a little foolish talking to it, but that didn’t stop him. He had come to the cemetery to say goodbye to the ghost haunting his heart.
“Until we meet again, Lex,” he whispered huskily. He closed his eyes and imagined the brush of a kiss against his lips.
“Come on, Clark. It’s freezing out here,” Chloe’s voice broke into his reverie.
“Coming.” Clark opened his eyes and took one last look at Lex’s name. Then, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and hurried to catch up with Chloe.
The snow lifted with another gust of wind, swirling and coalescing in front of Lex Luthor’s monument. The light flurry sparkled for a moment, outlining a bald man watching the boy leave with loving eyes until he was seen no more.
The snow scattered in the breeze.
William Shakespeare. Julius Caeser
Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. The Sleepers.
Clark’s story is a true story.