And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. --Genesis 22:8
"I miss your mother, Lex."
Outside of their history, the words don't sound like a command, but this is a very old order, as old as the year his mother died. Besides, Lex is used to hearing things others can't. After a slowly-breathed minute, he nods at his blind father and leaves the room where Lionel sits like Zeus on his throne. He takes the stairs one at a time, gripping the bannister, like his eyes are also dead. It's like driving on a highway with the scenery blurred. The phone breaks through the daze, not ringing, just black and silent on the table in the hall. Clark won't call, not yet, still in class living his all-American hero life. As usual, their timing is wrong.
Lex keeps the box shoved to the back of his closet. Dust coats it, a fine grey powder that stings his eyes when he blows. He feels like Pandora. The contents lie neatly inside, the gold necklace with its Saint Christopher medal wound in a circle on top. His mother would toy with it, waiting for his father, and when she died her fingers were clasped tight around the medal, bright against her faded skin.
Stale perfume wafts up as Lex carefully lays the box on the bed, and another memory strikes. His mother isn't in this one, and his stomach rolls, so Lex opens the window, hoping to smell the river. Without the wind, nothing reaches him. A paperweight rests on the sill, and Lex holds it to the light, studying the color, which is like the water he can't see. He'd climb inside if he could.
The shower is burning and unnecessary. Lex is always very clean, but the point of ritual is the satisfaction of repeated steps. Toweling himself dry, he listens for the phone, which still doesn't ring, with Clark out saving someone else. Back in his room, naked, Lex puts on the necklace, cold against his water-flushed skin, then reaches again into the box, pulling out a small blue bottle. Uncorking it, he pours oil into his hand then anoints himself. Some places receive more oil than others.
The clothes are next: the noiseless glide of black silk stockings held up by garters, the hooking of a black bra, the slither of black silk between his legs. Half-hard, he slips into the short red dress scented with Chanel No. 5. The shoes go on last, glossy black pumps that he bought in Italy when he was sixteen, which pleased his father. The old ones never fit right, and the details matter. They are a very Catholic family.
His mother always applied makeup at her dressing table. It had three mirrors like a triptych, and Lex would sit at her feet and watch. The colors appealed to him, the shiny gold cases, the round silver pots, red and brown inside like new and old blood. He uses the bathroom mirror and wears her favorite colors: a sharp red on the lips, something called "Agnus" on his eyes. His cheeks are shaded like the desert, and he wears two coats of black mascara. Like her, his lashes are too pale.
He always shivers at the last touch. Until then he's a cartoon, a kid playing dress-up. With the red wig straight to the shoulders, he's her, just like the picture from the day she met Lionel, twenty-one and a little wild. There's nothing in her eyes to show she'll die in twenty years. As Lex studies himself in the mirror behind the door, his throat tightens like he's choking, and he touches his reflection, presses his cheek against the cool surface. His mother shakes her head, whispers, "Don't go," but that's part of the ritual, too. On his way down, Lex also touches the phone.
Lionel hasn't moved from the great chair beside the window, still wears his suit. His cane rests against the arm, the handle glinting in the sun, and there is an empty glass on the table. The air is Scotch-scented. "I wasn't sure you were coming," he says to his dead wife.
"I always do." Lex keeps his voice low and soft, and watches his father react, since this is the first time they've done this since Lionel lost his sight.
His father opens his legs so Lex can stand between them. Nothing happens for awhile, just breathing and sorting through memories. Then Lionel's hands go out, close around Lex's waist, hold him there although Lex isn't moving. Under the sun that floats through the squares of glass, Lionel looks old. Time has shifted his skin, folded it, pulled it tight in places, loosened it in others. His eyes are the same, even blind, just a little wider, and his mouth still flits from cruel to loving.
"You're here because you want to be," Lionel says, which is new. He tries to catch Lex's gaze as he speaks, but ends up looking at a spot over Lex's right shoulder. He could be star-gazing.
Lionel strokes Lex's hips, thumbs extended, like he wants to learn from the bones. Lex stands quietly even when his father presses his cheek to Lex's hip. His hair is a rough mix of old brown and silver, the strands coarse and messy, nothing to envy anymore. Still, Lex touches it, combing it back, a new gesture with a very old root. Lionel doesn't shake him off, not at first, only rumbles like an old lion. It's a relief when Lionel reaches up for Lex's shoulder, urging him down. The rules have to stay the same, or this will turn into something else, or he will, like a kid in a fairy tale, transformed into an ogre with rough silver-brown hair.
With no carpet on the study floor, Lex's knees ache a little. He dropped too fast, eager to start, eager to finish. His father moves to the edge of the chair and seems to watch as Lex unbuckles his belt, unzips him. Lionel is still mostly soft, and white strands also tangle in the dark hair here. His father's cock has always impressed him: bigger than his, thicker, swollen with blood. Back when he believed his father's lies, Lex thought sucking it would take away Lionel's pain, make them both strong.
For the first year, when he woke up crying for his mother, Lex even begged for it, would go into his father's room, hungry for his cock and the warm flood of strength down his throat. That's when Lionel took control and established the first primitive rules of the rite: Lionel must speak the words, and only then can Lex come to him. (An accident and petty revenge bring about the other rules.) After that, if Lex broke the rules his father punished him by withholding comfort for months, blaming Lex for their mutual suffering. He'd cry again with relief when his father said the magic words and allowed Lex to fill his mouth with his strong cock.
Old habits die hard, and Lex bends his head, opening his lipsticked mouth. The first contact isn't his favorite, too real, with the musty smell and taste. The swelling of his father's cock improves the situation, and Lex keeps up the momentum by tonguing his way down the shaft. Lionel likes it slow and messy, lots of imaginative tongue-work which he swears will produce a bigger load. Practice makes perfect, and Lex gives him what he wants, tracing Greek letters on the sides and head. His father's purring by alpha, his cock beginning to leak, and Lex carefully licks up the drops, encouraging more by squeezing the fat head. This is, after all, how you become a god, and it's all he gets these days.
By omega, Lionel moans and says, "Good boy," and shoves his cock deeper into Lex's mouth. The old feeling comes back, but weaker now, and Lex sucks hard, grasping the shaft with both hands. With his father's control, the blow job can continue for a good half hour. Today, even with Lex's expert mouth sliding quickly, it does.
This is dangerous since anyone could walk in, but Lex isn't even sure Lionel knows this is wrong, that dressing your son up like your dead wife and fucking his mouth is what corporate executives do across America. Lionel never told Lex to keep quiet about it, never threatened him if he told, never waited for the safety of dark. Occasionally he couriers over a new lipstick with a scrawled note: "This color is better. Throw out the other one." When Lex started seeing Victoria, his father sent him a box of condoms with the warning: "Be safe with the whore. Remember who owns you." Last week, on his return from a visit to the Kent farm, Lex found a pink box from a lingerie store on his bed. The message with the black silk underwear read: "I'm the only one who can save you." His father knows too much.
With the press of his father's hand on his shoulder, Lex realizes his rhythm's off. He's remembering the river and the face of the boy who saved him, and that's blasphemy. He concentrates again on the head of his father's cock, licking and sucking until the skin feels ready to burst. There's an undeniable sick pride in getting his father so hard, in the rough moans that Lex feels on his tongue. Lex should know what he's doing: he's had more practice sucking Lionel's cock than anyone else alive and knows best what gets his father off. Concentrate on the head, on the vein that runs like a river down the length, then swallow it gut-deep a dozen times. This will leave Lex's mouth bitter and his stomach churning with old grief.
Not that Lionel gives him free rein. Like all gods, his father guards his power, smacking away Lex's hand on his balls, where he permits only a little reverential licking. Lex does it now, light touches with his tongue, thinking about Zeus and Saturn, which makes his own cock strain against the silk. As though he knows, Lionel puts his right hand on Lex's head, careful of the wig, and holding his cock in the other, guides Lex's mouth back to it. Lex's jaw begins to ache like his knees, and his own hardness fades. He's strangely proud of that, too.
"I'm ready," Lionel finally announces. He doesn't mean ready to come.
The last time his father filled his mouth with semen, Lex was fifteen. The scar changed that. A stupid accident at school: he was standing on the window sill, watching the sky, when he fell the wrong way, inside instead of out, and cut his lip. Blood everywhere, pain like a punch, leaving a bright red scar that took a year to fade. Lionel didn't approve: "I don't want you ugly." For revenge, Lex dressed up that Halloween as his mother. Lipstick masked the scar, and he found her favorite dress tucked away in a box in the attic. He bought the wig, shoes, makeup and underwear the day before, and used an old picture to copy her. When he tottered into the den, bolstered by a few shots of his father's best Scotch, Lionel said, "My God, Lex, what have you done?"
"I miss my mother," he told him. It sounded true, not ironic.
When Lex tried to leave, slowed by the heels, his father grabbed his arm. "You're not going anywhere like that."
"Stop me," Lex said, and Lionel did. The panties were ruined, and the couch where Lex came on it. He couldn't sit for three days afterward, his ass sore and stretched. Lionel had discovered a new way to share grief, and the ritual was complete.
Now they're going to replay that scene, with a few minor script changes. Lex stands, stretching his cramped legs, and so does his father before pushing the chair back against the wall. The cane falls noisily. Leaning over, Lex grabs onto the armrests and waits. No sense wasting an expensive couch for this round; the chair will do. He doesn't have long to wait, even with Lionel blind.
Lex shivers as Lionel first draws up the dress then tears off the flimsy underwear. Next, his father runs his finger along the crack to ensure that Lex is well-oiled, before grabbing his ass and spreading him wide, holding him open. Then the thick head of his father's cock is against him, still wet from Lex's mouth. There's no immediate penetration, just rubbing in small circles, occasionally pushing but never hard enough to enter. Lionel likes to announce his entrance.
"You know that I love you, Lex."
"Of course," Lex says. The phone still doesn't ring. "Why else would you do this?"
"Luthors play by different rules. It's what makes us great."
Lionel never rams in, at least not after that first time. He does it slowly, deliberately claiming every inch. Lex gasps at the first one, gripping the chair harder, but it doesn't hurt even as his father's cock forces him taut. The lack of pain used to bother him; being fucked by your father should leave scars. Instead, in the cheapest cause and effect, his cock swells as his father fills him. He's tried to picture ugly things to stop this--then the irony sank in. Besides, it didn't work: Lionel always insists that Lex come, will command, "Do it to yourself," if Lex stays too still or quiet. His father would've made a great director.
So when Lionel takes him over piece by piece, Lex says, "Yes, that's good." It's partly true, like being in a coma is partly alive. Sometimes life is better if he considers the fractions.
"Yes," his father grunts. "Tight as a virgin every time. Don't ever let anyone else have you."
That's love, Luthor-style.
Lionel requires greater leverage, and so grasps Lex's hips, closing the gap. They're one now, his father's balls firm against his ass, his cock buried so deep it feels permanent. Inevitable. Maybe it is: fate takes pretty strange forms, and if it's fate, there's nothing Lex can do but enjoy it. Holding the chair with one hand, he reaches for his cock with the other. His father hasn't moved, waiting for him. It's not consideration: Lionel is locked somewhere between the memory of his wife and the desire to play God. Lex has simply learned to time it right, to start the strokes as his father starts to ride the deformed rush.
"God," Lionel says. Confirmation, not prayer.
Sometimes Lex wonders where he fits in his father's religion. ‘Bitch' seems too general, ‘disciple' a lie, since Lionel doesn't really want to be displaced. What god does?
They begin to move: long deep thrusts from Lionel, short fast strokes from Lex--poetic as incest can be. Yet this is the ritual's highlight, the fuck itself, because the facts are undeniable: he can't pretend the hard thick cock up his ass and the voice growling in his ear belong to anyone but his father. But there's also this fogginess to it, with the lust messing up reality, and if Lex tries hard enough, lets himself feel good enough, he can float there until it's over. Only the floating weighs differently this time, and when Lex closes his eyes against the stern back of the chair, he smells the river, feels different hands on him.
"That Clark Kent," his father says, "is an exceptional young man."
It is possible that Lionel Luthor actually is God.
Lex allows himself one long, hot second to switch Lionel for Clark, and even that's too much. A rougher than usual thrust follows, as though his father knows, and Lex loses his balance, falls face-first onto the chair, his cheek against the leather seat. Clark has no place here, and this proves it.
"Maybe it's time for a change." Lionel pulls out and puts his hand on Lex's shoulder, tugging him up, then sits back on the chair. "We'll do it this way since you can't seem to manage the other." He smooths an imaginary crease in his pants--bastard can't even take them off, just lets them fall low on his hips--and grips his cock. "Come on, Lex. We don't have all day."
"Sorry if I'm keeping you from any pressing appointments." The heels make it awkward, but Lex manages to slide first one leg behind his father's back, then the other, helped by his father's hands on his hips. His arms around Lionel's neck, he lowers himself onto him, the dress falling around them. His ass, well-stretched from the fucking, opens easily, and his father sighs as his cock is engulfed.
"Try not to be clumsy this time."
From this position, reality is inescapable: Lex can't see anything but his father's face. Lionel can't see him, of course, just casts this wide blind stare. A sharp thrust reminds Lex why he's here, and he meets the next one. The heat returns, spreading under his skin and hugging his bones as his cock rubs against his father's pinstriped suit. He's going to ruin it, and almost laughs to imagine the punishment.
"Something amusing you, Lex?"
"What could I possibly find funny about this?"
His father's mouth goes tight, and he replaces the smooth rhythm with a harder, more determined one. Lex's hips will be bruised tomorrow with his father using the bones as levers. His ass, too, as he's fucked deeper and harder than ever.
"You're mine. You understand that, Lex?"
"Maybe you could draw me a map."
Lionel's hand shoots up, and Lex waits for the blow. Instead, his father rips off the wig, tossing it to the floor. Then he locks his hand at the back of Lex's neck and pulls him down. Lionel tastes like Scotch, while his beard and mustache are softer than Lex would've guessed. His father's tongue slides over his, more pornographic than the cock inside him.
Lex starts to sweat, wet lines running over him, the makeup melting. With a sudden swift move he yanks off the dress, throwing the bra after it. Only the black silk stockings and the pumps remain. Still, this isn't a full-fledged breakout, just a readjustment of the boundaries. No reprimand from his father, not out loud. Lionel just grabs Lex's left nipple and twists it hard, pushes his tongue and cock deep as they can go. Subtlety was never his father's strong suit.
Then Lionel shakes away Lex's mouth. "You should tell Clark about this. Or maybe I'll tell him."
Used to his father's jabs, Lex doesn't flinch. "You do that, Dad. Show the world who you really are."
"Anyone would think you're ashamed of our encounters." He takes Lex's cock in his hand, squeezes possessively. "We know better, don't we?"
"Right--because we know how much a hard dick reveals."
"It reveals more than you'd imagine. Just ask that pretty Clark Kent. I've heard he's stained more than a few sheets thinking about you."
Lex proves his father's point about body-talk, twitching against his fingers. "Why are you so obsessed with him? Looking for a new son?"
"I'm not obsessed, Lex. You are."
Another kiss, and his father's hands are everywhere, stroking and pinching, while he fucks him hard with his tongue and cock. Lex hates to come first, fights it every time, even succeeding once or twice. Only now Clark's in his head, screwing everything up. He doesn't want to ruin him like an old couch.
The blind bastard sees it, laughs against Lex's mouth, and jerks his head back for one last dig. "He'll never love you like I will, Lex." His strokes turn erratic, like Morse code, and he won't stop laughing.
"Clark," Lex moans. "Clark." The word's part revenge, part need, and Lex rides it all the way. He arches back, seeing Clark's face over him, imagines Clark under him, Clark's mouth on his, and comes all over his father's well-tailored suit.
Lionel wraps his hand around Lex's chin, holds him still, and says, "You can't escape." Then he thrusts up, sharp as a knife, and fills Lex with hot, hot seed.
The phone rings.
Lex climbs off his father, come dripping down his thighs, and answers it. "Hi, Clark." Like it's the most natural thing in the world.
"How'd you know it was me?" Clark sounds pleased, his smile reaching through the wires.
"You're always there when I least expect it."
"Want to come over tonight? My mom baked some of that pie you like. The rhubarb kind."
There's nothing he wants more. "I don't think so, Clark. It's been a long day."
"Are you okay, Lex? You sound kind of weird." There's a pause. "Is it your dad? I know he's been riding you hard lately."
"You have no idea."
"So how about it? The sky's really clear, and I can show you that new star I was talking about."
The last time he went to the loft, Clark stood too close and smiled too hard, his eyes bright with something Lex isn't used to. "I shouldn't."
Lionel stands, adjusting his pants, then nudges around with his foot for the fallen cane. "Scared he'll smell me on you, Lex?"
"Was that your dad?"
"He likes to make his presence felt."
"So come here and get away from him. Please, Lex."
"Okay," he says, because his father looks ready to speak again. "I'll come by around eight." Lex hangs up before he changes his mind.
"Are you planning to change?" Lionel asks. "Or will you let him see who you really are? He'll reject you if you do, schoolboy crush or not. I'm the only one who truly knows you, Lex."
"He's stronger than you think."
"But you're not." Lionel begins to walk away, then his cane stops clicking on the tile. "With the right prompting, some day you might be."
Lex's next shower lasts an hour. Under the burning water, he opens his mouth for the spray until it feels like he's drowning. He can't get warm.
When it's over, he lies on the bed, the box neatly packed beside him, the phone cradled against his cheek, and sleeps.
The alarm's shrill shriek wakes Lex a few hours later, giving him enough time to dress and drive to the Kent farm. On his way out, he avoids his father, taking the back door, the dusty box tucked under his arm. With the air conditioner blasting inside, he'd forgotten it was summer and relaxes into the heat, driving with the roof down. The country's pretty when his father's not blocking the view, with fields full of sunflowers and solid red barns, all connected with the circle of blue-green water. Something's missing, though, like a painting with the center cut out.
Clark completes the picture, and when he comes running up to the car, huge grin on his face, so damn happy it hurts, Lex no longer feels like a sacrifice on his father's altar. "Hi, Clark." He can't help the smile; it grows too suddenly and too fast.
"I've been waiting for you. Let's go to the loft. There's pie and my telescope, and we can talk and stuff."
"I should say hello to your parents."
"Can't," Clark says, as they start to walk. "They're in town for some meeting with the local farmers. It's just us tonight." He glances over at Lex, then quickly looks away. "I was thinking about you today in French class. About your dad."
Lex follows him up the stairs into the loft. "What about him?"
"You should ask him to leave."
"I thought you were all about family values. Isn't that part of the hero's condition?"
"It's just that your dad...He's not like other people. You always seem different when he's around."
"All kinds of different." He drops onto the couch, his long legs stretched out before him. "Like you don't belong to...Smallville anymore."
Lex sits beside him. "I'm not going anywhere, Clark."
"Good. Because things are better when you're here."
"You're the only one who thinks that."
"I'm the only who matters." It's a joke that falls flat as Clark turns to him again, suddenly serious. "Because we're best friends, right?"
The loft is very warm, and Lex wipes his forehead. "You saved me, Clark. That puts you in a special category." He knows it's a mistake when Clark's face goes soft, his voice even softer.
Clark has a mouth made for kissing. This has always been a problem, never more so now, because the want's coming off Clark in waves. All Lex has to do is lean in, and he's free. Give himself up to Clark, take him, and change the rules of his father's game. There's a pile of books in the corner, Catcher in the Rye, Hamlet--normal stuff for a sixteen-year-old kid--and he concentrates on that.
"You had a test today, right?" Lex can't remember the subject, not when he looks back at Clark and sees him watching, unblinking, breathing too fast. Clark's wearing a t-shirt the color of his eyes, somewhere between green and blue. Lex has a paperweight that color; it took him three months to find the exact one. "Chemistry," Lex says quickly. "The test was in chemistry."
"I did pretty good, thanks to you. If you hadn't helped me study--"
"I'm always happy to help, Clark." His voice is too low, like they're sharing a secret. "But you don't really need me."
"You're wrong. I do need you."
Lex used to pretend that Clark didn't catch his own subtext. So much easier to package Clark's needs in conventional farmboy terms, see him as this big, innocent kid above things like wanting to kiss the son of Lionel Luthor. Clark is a hero, after all. "Didn't you say something about pie?"
"It's on the table." He gets up, grabbing a plate from behind the books, then sits, closer than before. When he hands the pie to Lex, the fork beside it, their fingers touch.
"Aren't you having any? You're always hungry."
"I get enough pie."
He chokes on the first piece, and Clark reaches behind to slap him on the back. Only when Lex stops coughing, Clark keeps his hand in place, rubbing in slow circles. "I'm okay," Lex lies.
"Just in case you choke again."
The pie is tart and sweet at the same time, filling in a way that today wasn't. Clark is like the pie, always good no matter how hard he tries. "Yes, that's good."
"You've got a piece..." With his free hand Clark wipes Lex's lip, right on his scar, then licks his finger. It's not lewd, more like he genuinely wants to taste. "Does it hurt? Your scar?"
"No. It's too old."
"Not even when...Not even when you kiss someone?"
God has a twisted sense of humor, to give him a father like Lionel and a friend like Clark. "Not even then." The last few swallows are rough, and he nearly chokes again.
"I'll take that," Clark says when he's done, putting the plate on the floor beside him, his other hand still stroking Lex's back. "You know, we sort of kissed once. That day at the river."
"That wasn't a kiss."
"It didn't feel like it at the time, but when I think about it now, it does."
"Wait until you've had a real kiss, Clark. A real kiss from a pretty girl, like Lana or Chloe."
"I've kissed them both. It's not the same--they don't have a scar."
"Scars are ugly."
"I like yours," Clark says stubbornly. Sometimes he's so incredibly young, the biggest, most beautiful kid in the world. "I don't have any scars."
The words hang in the air before Lex speaks. "I want to keep it that way." And he means it, means it so much that it's like a knife cutting them apart. Lex then admits to himself what he's known all along, no matter how much he hates it: he can never kiss Clark. Clark has no scars, inside or out, and nothing should ever destroy that. "I'd better be going," Lex says, and climbs to his feet. His back is cold without Clark's hand.
"But I haven't shown you that new star yet."
"The sky never changes, Clark. It's better that way. Besides, there's something I've got to do." He refuses to look at Clark's face because his father's right. He is weak, and if he looks he'll stay and Clark won't be the same anymore. History has a way of repeating, and Lex doesn't want to be his father.
"It's that important that you've got to leave now?"
"It's something I should've done a long time ago. Thanks," he says. "For the pie." And he hurries down the loft steps into the night.
The river is dark and quiet as Lex stands on the bridge. He trains his head high for a minute, searching for the new star. It could be that one far to his right; Lex doesn't know much about stars. Whenever he's looked up in the past, his father has been there. Tonight, though, just as Clark promised, the sky is clear.
Like a sacrifice, Lex gives his box of stale history to the water. "I'm stronger than you think," he says quietly.