BISHOPS AND ROOKS
BOOK I: PART SEVEN
Bruce was looking at the file and wondering what to make of it.
He knew what he was looking at but he still did not know what to
make of it. He was looking at the DNA results from Fordman and Luthor.
He had followed but had not obtained the results from the Toronto
clinic. A second DNA request in as many months raised questions
that brought his natural curiosity out. The results spoke volumes
and Bruce had been curious about Smallville for some time. He had
a copy of the British Observatory and NASA's tracking of the meteor
strike. In fact he had a classified report from Strategic Air Command,
North American Aerospace Defense Command, and the National Security
Agency. The strike had set off all the alarms and forced the President
from the White House. FEMA had gone to Kansas at the Governor's
behest and had aided the local and state authorities in dealing
with the aftermath. The primary strike had hit Smallville head on
but smaller strikes hit in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and the counties
surrounding Lowell. Alfred had used all his contacts during that
point to see what the American government had discovered from the
multiple hits. Much to Bruce's surprise there had been no evidence
of anything extraordinary from the first samples taken at a number
of sites. Most importantly, only one sample had been taken from
Smallville despite the fact that sixty percent of the material was
in the township. Alfred commissioned a very top-secret report that
found the ambient radiation levels had increased over the years.
The incidents of `unusual phenomenon' had increased over the years
as well. Bruce even had a copy of Lex's medical report after the
incident and there had been no mention of anything other than an
elevated white cell count. Against all pretense of friendship, Bruce
had Lex's entire medical history. The elevated white cell count
had remained and his healing capability exceeded all known human
recovery schedules. Lex could still be hurt and severely injured
but his chances of recovery were remarkably high. He had an early
DNA map to see if the radiation exposure had altered it in anyway
it had not. Yet here was evidence in his hand that could not be
explained logically. Both film sets had the exact changes and made
up less than 4.5% of the total genetic code. The puzzle was radiation
could not explain the base pairs or the identical resequencing.
Chernobyl had shown extended exposure to radiation created gaps
in the DNA sequences but did not create a whole new base pair combination
and the radiation levels there where much higher than in Smallville.
But the most important piece of information was the lack of research
done on Clark Kent. That raised a red flag that screamed to Bruce
that he was the key. He had researched the Kent family had saw that
the boy had come to Smallville within a month of the strike. His
adoption records were legal but again there were red flags. It had
required a great deal of access and money to find the agency that
handled the case and that was when it hit Bruce. Clark's had been
a very special case, the only one handled by the agency. He could
find no evidence of this agency anywhere else and he had tried.
He had stopped the pursuit lest it also raise flags for others to
see. He had met Kent and could tell there was something about him.
Lex was in no danger but Bruce was trying to deal with this on so
many levels that it was strange. Bruce picked up the phone and placed
the call. He was going to Smallville and would ask Lex for some
answers, namely `What is Clark Kent?'
Sen. Madison (D-NB) was looking at a campaign report for Ben Davis,
his challenger in the fall. He could smell Lionel Luthor all over
this challenge. He had dared to put the business of the nation before
the interests of one of his biggest supporters and now he was going
to face the consequences. Without the Luthor backing, he was looking
at a campaign shortfall of over $500,000. That was an incredible
amount for a non-media heavy state. He could already see the campaign
war chest for Davis growing rapidly. By Labor Day he was going to
be at a negative cash position relative to Davis. He had pissed
off too many of the Democratic Party's primary support groups to
hope for much help there and the Senatorial Campaign Fund would
be fighting bigger battles elsewhere. This was his fight and he
had major opposition.
Jonathan pulled up to the Fordman house and they all got out. Whitney
walked in and went to find his mom and gave her a hug. The atmosphere
was much lighter than it had been at mass. Whit got a hug and a
"How are you doing Whitney?"
"I'm...okay Mom, how are you?"
"I miss him, but I'm okay too. Tristan has started the Wake
in the backyard, why don't you join him?"
"I think I will."
Whitney went out back and many of his father's friends were telling
stories and laughing at all the things David used to do. He noticed
Lex was chatting with a few people and saw Jonathan back here drinking
"Hi, here have a beer," said Jeff. Whitney declined and
went to the bar and poured a vodka sour. He didn't feel like beer
and he liked vodka of all the hard liquors he had tried. He noticed
Clark talking to few of the other guys from school. Whitney was
no longer sad as much as he was thoughtful.
"You know, when I first met you all I saw was an arrogant
jock who liked to pick on younger guys than him."
"Did you have to bring that up today?"
"Yes, because while first impressions are usually the ones
that stick, they can also be the ones that hide a greater truth."
"Whitney, I didn't bring it up to upset you but to remind
you that things change. As hard as this is, the pain will lessen
and while you will always miss him, you have his love."
"Lex...interesting way to get that point across."
"You are far more complex than I give you credit for even
now. I think that I've been taking this relationship for granted."
"You are so wonderful in so many ways and I don't think I
tell you or Clark that enough. I expect you to read my mind to understand
what I am feeling and thinking. When I say I love you, I want you
to realize that I love YOU." Lex hugs him and says, "We'll
continue this conversation later."
Whit smiled and watched Lex join Tristan with a few of his friends.
He could `feel' Clark walk up next to him. "Sometimes I forget
he is only 21. There are times when he can act like he is forty."
"And there are times he acts like a teenager."
"I'll give you that." Clark looked over and saw Lex and
Sebastian deeply engrossed in abstract theory about stellar matter
and quarks, space-time relationships and fourth dimension inversion
theory. Clark remembered Whitney telling him that Sebastian could
do calculus in his head. His PhDs were in astronomy and physics.
He had a Masters in mathematics. NASA loved him but Clark had never
seen a guy chase one woman after another. His ex-wife pointed it
out to Anne and all she could say was that was how he is, a womanizing
bastard but he was her son and she loved him.
Clark then heard something that made him listen intently
Sebastian, "Yes, SETI has had several contacts of questionable
origin but nothing can be disproved. The Jet Propulsion team has
some interesting pictures from the Hubble that are classified. I'm
not saying one way or another but I am working on a new worm-hole
Lex, "Really but what was it Hubble picked up?"
Sebastian, "A singularity that can not have existed at the
position that it did by even Hawking's theory. It is complex but
it appeared to be a stable point in space in an area full of black
holes. It simply is not possible."
Lex, "And this is classified?"
Sebastian, "Given the unlikely hood and the fact that we can
tell what Hubble is seeing, it is prima fascia evidence that space
can be engineered. The talk of extraterrestrials and SETI's `evidence'
would create conditions in which science would become secondary
to forces with agendas. This was a political decision and there
are less than thirty people that know. I happened to be working
on the Hubble project when the first pictures and mass spectrographs
that showed the gravity field but a STABLE QUANTAM PULSAR in its
field. That is how I know."
Lex, "Did anyone think to follow up?"
Sebastian, "I'd love to, I memorized the coordinates but only
the Hubble can see that far and I like my job. We MIGHT be able
to search there again in ten years. The political climate has to
Clark tuned out as the conversation turned to gas structures in
the face of absolute zero and a vacuum. Lex never ceased to amaze
him. The man was so brilliant but he was not using it for anything.
He looked around and saw Whitney drinking another Vodka whatever
and walked over to him. Whitney was conversing with Brent, his basketball
buddy, and Pete. As Clark approached they waved and took their leave.
Clark hugged Whit and nothing was said, just the calm comfort of
being close to each other.
The Wake began to break up after a few hours but the sun was still
shining when the Kents took their leave. Anne insisted that Whitney
stay there through the weekend. She had a conversation with Jon
and Martha about Whitney's upcoming birthday. Nothing had been decided
but Jon said that Lex and Clark should be consulted.
Whitney was going to go back to school the next day. He wanted
to put some structure back in his day even if he would be just as
bored there and trapped with his thoughts. The boys would sleep
in the loft again. Jon did not fight it. He could tell a conversation
was brewing of some significance. He would not complain as long
as Clark and Whitney made it to school on time. He was not worried
because the three did not seem upset...just tired.
They get up to the loft and stripped to their boxers. Sex was not
on the forefront of their minds. Not that it would be turned down
should one of them initiate the encounter. They settle on the bed
and arrange themselves comfortably. Clark looks at Whitney and Lex
and starts chuckling.
Lex cocks an eyebrow at Clark. "What has set you off?"
"Well I was thinking about our conversation regarding when
our anniversary is."
Whitney turns and looks up at Clark, Lex is getting this air of
impatience about him, "And?"
"It would not be Valentine's Day, but it would be Feb. 13th,
which happens to have been Ash Wednesday."
"Clark, by the time we actually had sex it was probably midnight
and since I had to suffer the aftereffects of losing my virginity,
I say that it was Feb. 14th and Valentine's Day."
"What the hell difference does it make which day since we
decided that we would use March 14th."
"Well, it is the symmetry of the year, Ash Wednesday would
be the EVENING that Whit and I first kissed and my birthday fell
on Good Friday."
Whitney started to laugh, "I insist we keep March 14th instead
of moving it to the 15th. `Beware the Ides of March', Lex is WAY
too much of a power monger to have that as an anniversary date."
Lex looked at Whitney and could not help but laugh as well. "Touche
and well met. Clark, where did the religious imagery come from?"
"Nowhere, just thought it was interesting that things began
there and it was the same year that my birthday punctuated the symbolism
had we stayed in Kansas instead of going to Hawaii, there might
be even more imagery."
"We would not have as much fun. I can see that. Look Whitney,
Clark about the earlier conversation...I do love you both and I
don't want to get lazy about this in any way, shape, or form. I
am happy and I like staying here Clark and I appreciate your parents.
The structure that they give is something that I never had; there
was a path given and directions to follow but no direct oversight.
Sometimes even I forget that I am only 21, I feel so much older
at times. I wanted to say this...I will never take either of you
for granted. You both matter to me more than anything else does,
"Lex, why aren't you using that awesome mind of yours to change
"Who says I'm not. I have a few surprises up my sleeves but
know this; we will rule the world and the people will adore the
ground we walk on. Remember, I want to do great things and I had
a few things started before I ever met either of you. You both have
altered the nature of the path, not the path itself."
Whitney kissed Lex then sighed, "Well as long as we are reaching
for the moon might as well have everything you have ever wanted."
The response was not verbal but very clear. A warm happiness that
was comforting and embracing flowed through the three of them. Words
were never exchanged but the feelings were crystal clear. A day
of much sorrow ended for them on a note of much happiness. The rites
of Spring were renewed as the cruelty of April yielded to the peace
Wednesday, May 1, Smallville
Lex was on his laptop and was having a quiet moment. He remembered
Bruce's comment to look into Ares Machines. He soon found that it
was a subsidiary of Luthor Corp that manufactured weapons and weapons
systems. It was the primary provider of body armor to all SWAT teams
in the United States and the US Army. It provided a range of artillery
munitions. He had no idea because it was a blind item on the annual
reports. He noticed that no earnings had come from this division
in years. He used the back door he had built into the Luthor Corp
mainframe and began to dig for items pertaining to Ares.
After four hours of searching and reading Lex was in a foul mood.
He had years worth of Annual reports and Quarterly reports for SEC
filings. He had found the line items that had been used to reflect
income derived from the unit and also to see where losses had been
posted. He was able to put together almost forty years of history
for the division in its various incarnations. He soon found reports
hidden in various files and folders in the strangest places. It
was simply amazing that Luthor Corp had helped fight proxy wars
all over the globe and CIA had used Ares as its primary weapons
supplier. Ares in various forms had used Yugoslavia and South Africa
as arms depots and exchange points for non-aligned countries. However
the end of the Cold War had stopped all non-Department of Defense
related contracts so Luthor Corp used a Goodwill write down of $7
billion dollars over three years and closed the book on Ares except
for the existing legal contracts.
The whole thing gave Lex a headache because part of this was legal
and part was legal because it was government sanctioned but was
shady and then there was the blatantly illegal arms dealing activities
that he just happened to find. He had some clue from some of the
papers he had seen from his mother's original file from his uncle
and some from his grandfather's files. It was still a huge endeavor
to make sense of it and to figure out what part was the arms dealing.
The accounting had been fast and loose and the FASB rules, when
applied, allowed many liberties with usage. On top of all of it,
only the legal parts had to be accounted for and even then Luthor
Corp had used losses to hide additional profits. He had seen a number
of foreign currency parity uses of funds and finally dawned on him
just how creative the accountants had been. He also saw the huge
executive bonuses that had been used yearly and most of that went
to his father. He remembered that his father had taken over as President
and CEO before he was born. He had used a court order to force his
grandfather to step down and yield all control to him. According
to some of the unbiased accounts he had been able to find of the
event it had been bloody. He had only been through half of the files
that he had inherited and there was so much information but he had
a real life now and he preferred his lovers to reading. He did have
a headache now and a tension one at that. Clark was really good
with his hands and could get knots out easy but Whitney had been
around trainers enough to do an excellent job as well. It was strange
because Clark's hands were soft and Whitney's had feint calluses
from hard work.
He returned to the files and began to see patterns that developed.
He was willing to bet that a great deal of the money and the way
it had been funneled was exactly what Roger was investigating. If
so, then Lex had to find a way to bring those funds under his control
and not his father's. If Lionel moved and claimed them then Lex
was up a creek and all bets were off. Lex resolved not to tip his
hand. He was in a superior position relative to his father at the
moment. It was then that Lex remembered that Damien had been sent
to South America and that was the hub of the operation. A chill
ran down his spine that Lionel would active the old arms network
as a money generating opportunity in the current unstable world
situation. Lex calmed down and tried to breath. He grasped for composure
and found it. He would have to get Roger to go to Southeast Asia
and Japan to see what he could learn there. He also needed to find
out what Chloe had for him in a preliminary form. That would be
his ace in the hole. He had to find a way to keep his father distracted
but it could not be from him. If Lionel thought Lex had fucked him
over then the war between the Luthors would officially begin. Lex
was nowhere near ready for such an occasion, mentally or emotionally.
Thursday, May 2, Metropolis
Roger was in the archives of the Inquisitor looking for some leads
regarding Nathan Daniels. He had spent the day before looking over
the Internet for clues from some of the `known' information about
the man. Not only that but he had to actually write an article for
the paper. He was a reporter so he did a quick piece about offshore
tax havens like the Caymans and was done with writing for a while.
His editor thought he was getting soft so he hacked it into a hack
job and openly questioned if Luthor Corp was using such places.
Roger had been pissed about it but this newspaper was a rag so
he didn't mind...much. He was looking at the microfilm when he ran
across a photo of Sam Phelan. Suddenly he hit on it. Lionel had
operatives in the Department, but did Lionel have anything to do
with it. Phelan had been a detective and therefore would have been
extremely useful. It was a hunch but he had some time so he would
see where this lead.
Dominic was smiling because fate had been very kind to him. One
of the warehouses in Spain had burned to the ground, and thanks
to some of the chemicals on site, it was a total loss. The chemicals
had increased the fire temperatures to levels that could only be
achieved by use of accelerants. The arson investigators would find
slag and very little else. The good news was Dominic had already
pulled all the items he needed from that facility. He would be able
to keep them on inventory and have the insurance pay for it. It
was a win-win deal for him. He was getting paid twice and it required
no forgeries in the Accounts Receivable.
His contact had also come through with some embarrassing information
regarding Lionel Luthor. It was such that the man would have the
humiliation of having an audit done or worse a full investigation
into his business practices. Since it was also political in nature,
Lionel would be abandoned by his allies. Dominic had known where
to dig and it had been a jackpot. Now he had to find the right recipient
for the information to have maximum effect.
Whitney was playing hoops with his friends. It was nice to relax
and just play. It was weird because once word had gotten out that
the fag bashing had backfired everyone was cool to him again. All
he could think was that he had reestablished himself by kicking
some serious ass. Well, he admitted, Clark had kicked some serious
ass but he would never admit that to anyone. Clark liked his reputation
as a good guy even if most of the school thought he was a cute geek.
`Hell, he is a cute geek, with a heart of gold.' Whitney hit a three
pointer with ease. All he could think was too bad he hadn't been
sucking Clark's cock before the school year started because he would
have been a much better football player. He stopped when he felt
a growing rage coming from Lex. He stopped and his guy scored but
it had taken him by surprise.
"Fordman, you okay man?"
"Yeah, tweaked my groin, I'll be fine."
"Dude, get Kent to give you a massage and you'll be fine."
All the guys laughed. A few admitted that they were wicked jealous
that Whit was getting laid all the time. Whitney still remembered
which guys had gotten hard from walking in on him and Clark making
out that Saturday after Hawaii. `Nothing worse than repressed sexuality.'
"Funny, I'll be sure and tell him that you guys recommended
that course of treatment." The game finished up within moments
after that. Whitney knew Clark was in the Torch offices and headed
When he got up there he saw Clark reviewing stuff for Chloe. He
stays in the doorway and listens to Clark pick which articles he
"Hey guys, what is going on?"
"Whitney! I'm helping Chloe build her portfolio; she wants
to have an annual look at her best work. You look nice and sweaty."
Clark says with a twinkle in his eye and a Cheshire cat grin.
"Guys, get a room, do you EVER quit? Actually Whitney, are
you taking Clark to the Prom?"
Whitney and Clark stare at each other for a moment. Neither of
them had even thought about it and it was in two weeks. Whitney
started to sweat and got nervous, he and Clark had never actually
gone anywhere but had been seen everywhere. It should be no big
deal but this was the event of the senior year. Whitney looked at
him and smiled. He reached over and lightly touched Clark's hand.
It opened under that touch and soon their hands were joined.
"Clark, may I have the privilege of your company to my Senior
Clark dropped his gaze and then looked through his hair at Whitney.
He was excited and nervous. He smiled and pulled Whit close and
"Whitney, it would be an honor to accompany you to the Prom."
Chloe did not know whether to puke or cry at the scene. Here was
the damn Knight in Shining Armor and Mr. Right being all romantic
and gooey with each other. She was still smarting from her breakup
with Lana. They still had three classes together so there was no
way to avoid each other at school. She looked at the guys and felt
that twinge of jealousy and it hurt to think she could not rise
"That is so sweet you guys. What is Lex going to say?"
Clark and Whitney looked at each other and Clark responded, "Not
sure but maybe we can make it a weekend getaway."
"Good idea, maybe we can meet him somewhere after Prom?"
"Thanks Chloe, we have to go...can we finish this tomorrow?"
Jonathan and Martha still had no idea what to do for Whitney's
birthday. Anne said that Tristan and Jeff could not think of anything
either. They saw Lex walk in and he was upset.
"Lex, are you okay?"
"No, I am not Martha, thanks for asking."
Jonathan looked at him, "Anything that we can do to help?"
"No, not really. I have some things to think about that is
"Lex...do you have any ideas on how to celebrate Whit's birthday?"
Lex stopped for a moment and thought about it. "He likes baseball
so lets take him to a game. The Royals are playing in Metropolis
or maybe head to St. Louis and see the Cardinals."
Martha and Jonathan looked at each and smiled. It was the perfect
all day event. Jonathan stood up, walked over to Lex and gave him
a brief hug. "Excellent idea. I'll call Tristan and see what
Lex was having a hard time dealing with all the information he
had found on Ares. It had confirmed much of the dark history that
he had suspected his family of being responsible for. He was sick
that his father and, to a lesser degree, his grandfather had provided
weapons to any and all who could pay. Lex resolved that he was the
last Luthor EVER.
Jonathan returned from talking to Tristan and could tell Lex was
out of sorts. He knew not to push but he did want to see what was
bothering him. "Well Tristan said it was a great idea, he was
going to call and get us a suite so everyone could go and have a
Lex started laughing, "Beware, if this is like the Owner's
Suite at Great White Stadium, then Clark may never stop eating while
we are there."
Martha was choking, she was laughing so hard. Whitney had taken
great delight in telling her about the bottomless pit that was named
"Oh Lex, one other thing, Tristan and I decided to charge
the whole thing to LFK. It could be an entertainment expense."
Lex sat for a moment and then could not stop the smile. "Okay,
even if I said no, you and he can out vote me. I may have to watch
Martha and Jon laughed and the three of them began to discuss how
to keep most of this a secret from Whitney.
Damien was looking at the report and was enraged. The files that
Nathan had recovered from Lex's house had been restored to the best
possible state and they were only 17% recoverable information. There
was no way to use any of that information against Lex. He was going
to have to find a different path to wounding the young billionaire.
He still had other problems that needed a higher priority than taking
down Lex. He still had to deal with the CIA investigation and getting
a new information source in Smallville. He had heard that all the
free agents were now skittish to get involved in the Metropolis
area. Too many of their fellows had died recently and that was a
The guys settled in for the night and Clark and Whitney could tell
that Lex had a great deal on his mind. They did not want to press
him but at the same time wanted to let him know that it was okay
Whitney finally broke the ice, "Lex, is everything okay?"
Lex looked down and sighed, "No, not really. It is hard to
be faced with a truth that you've long denied. My family is corrupt
and it hurts to actually know some of things that have been done
in the name of business. I've told myself a thousand times growing
up that the Luthor name was not that bad. That we aren't the Boogey
Man, but we certainly have been working on reserving a level of
Hell to ourselves."
Clark kissed him and Whit hugged him. Clark whispered, "You
are not them. You are not the one responsible; you are the one to
clean up the mess. This is a bad time but...Whitney is taking me
to the Prom."
Lex could not help but laugh. "Why is this a bad time? Go,
have fun and enjoy. If I have my way then next spring will be your
last year in High school."
Whitney kissed Lex, "You want you to join us after so we can
have a weekend together."
"Okay, that is a great idea."
All conversation is lost as the dance of hormones again starts
the beat of her music and the boys have no choice but to follow
Saturday, May 4, Smallville
Whitney woke up to Clark sucking on his rod. He couldn't think
of a better way to wake up off the top of his head. Clark was very
talented with his mouth and Whit gave himself over to the pleasure.
Soon he saw Lex moved behind Clark and slowly enter him. Whitney
held on as long as he could but Clark was trying to get Whitney
to shoot and Whit knew he was going to lose in the end. Of course,
it was the result he wanted also, just not too quickly.
Lex loved fucking Clark, he also loved fucking Whitney. He really
loved them and this was the best way to express his devotion. If
any of his former classmates from Eton, Metropolis U, or Princeton
ran into him, they would not recognize him. He was so smitten, or
as others would say `whipped' that it was not funny, but Clark and
Whitney were addictive. He slowed his rhythm and saw Whitney arch
as he came in Clark's mouth. He could feel the beautiful release
thanks to their link. He heard Clark moan in frustration as his
pending orgasm was delayed with Lex's slower thrusting.
Whitney moved and soon took Clark's dripping cock in his mouth.
Clark's moans grew louder as his point came closer. Soon he grunted
and Whitney was reacquainting himself with that unique taste that
Lex felt Clark's ass tighten as he came and that was all Lex needed
to find his own release. All three of them fell into a sated heap.
The morning was broken when they heard Jonathan's voice calling
them to breakfast.
Whitney had no idea where they were all going. All he knew was
Tristan, Jeff, and his mom were in one car and he was in one with
the Kents and Lex. What he did not know was there was a third car
that had Pete, Chloe, and Lana. He knew it had to be related to
his birthday tomorrow but he had no other clue besides that.
When he saw Jon pulling into Royal Field he was happy. They were
going to a game and he definitely loved baseball. Lex and Clark
could feel his elation but they knew that he was in for a better
surprise in a few minutes.
As they took the escalators to the Suite level Whitney was bouncy.
He had never been in a private suite for any type of game. When
they walked in he was amazed. Their waitperson greeted them and
asked if they would like anything to drink. Whitney and Clark ignored
him and looked around. The room had a full bar and a buffet table.
There was a couch against one wall, a large stuffed chair and two
television sets. Clark looked out the sliding glass doors to the
actual seats that looked down onto the field. It was an excellent
view but it was all the other stuff that was amazing.
Whitney was shocked. "I don't know what to say other than
Tristan walked over and hugged his youngest brother. "You
are very welcome, besides this is going to be our Suite starting
today. The LFK logo will be placed on that wall and the name will
be mounted outside the door."
Lex smiled. His family did not own the Royals and he knew that
his grandfather had tried many years ago to purchase it. The reason
his father never bought them was the simple fact that in Metropolis,
the market was too small and the team would lose money in pursuit
of a championship. In Lionel's mind it would be a waste of money.
In fact, Jeff had warned everyone that the Royals were the worst
team in baseball but it could still be a fun game.
Clark was in heaven. There was a huge tray of chips and dips on
the coffee table in front of the sofa and Tristan had ordered a
variety of items to be served. He filled his plate up with stuffed
mushrooms and Buffalo wings and went to sit down and watch the game.
Chloe sat behind Clark had watched him attack the two plates of
food he had.
"Mr. Kent, does Clark eat like this everyday?"
Lex, who was sitting on the other side of Clark, could not help
laughing. Jonathan was smirking, "Chloe, Clark was always had
a hearty appetite."
Lex could not help it any longer, "Chloe, when they took me
to see my first game at Wrigley Field, Clark ate every two innings."
Whitney sat down next to Clark and handed him his Coke and a plate
full of nachos. "Lets see and after the game we went to an
all you can eat buffet and he had how many plates?"
Clark stood up and looked at them. "You know, I am RIGHT HERE!
And I told you that I like to eat while I'm at a game."
Jonathan smiled, "that is true, any game and he ate the whole
Clark smirked at Lex then Whitney and attacked the plate of nachos.
He could not help it; he loved food served at baseball games.
Anne was relaxing on the sofa and was chatting with Martha. Lana,
Pete, and Jeff walked out to the seats to see if the Royals could
actually manage to win a game.
Tristan was watching a different game on one of the sets and was
soon joined by Jonathan. The adults were able to enjoy the game
in air-conditioned peace while the younger crowd only came back
in for more food. By the seventh inning, the game had gotten exciting
and the Royals were threatening to blow the game wide open.
By the time it finished the Royals had earned a rare victory and
the group left to head home. Whitney could not help but feel bittersweet
about the whole day. It was his last day as a minor and his dad
would have loved to been here. He did not share his thoughts with
anyone, some things need to be private but he knew if he really
needed to talk there would many there to listen to his heartfelt
Shearn Phipps had finally received the news that he had long sought.
The information broker in New York, Basil Jaxson was being held
responsible for the debacle that Metropolis had become. His protection
from various elements was melting away and Shearn was going to silence
the man once and for all. He had the perfect team in mind and they
could also raid Jaxson's files. Shearn was going to make his bid
to centralize the mercenary information services. He knew that Jaxson
had files on almost everything. It was the prime opportunity to
make a play and get all the information he needed in order to keep
the business running.
Whitney woke up early and left the loft. He was eighteen and did
not want to talk to anyone yet. He went for a run; he wanted to
clear his mind and also wanted to be alone. He knew that Clark and
Lex could find him if they needed him. It had been a week since
his dad died and if Lana could whine about her parents for years
then he could complain for a while longer. He knew that thought
was unfair but she was so predictable. He sighed and stopped thinking
about her. He did wonder how well Chloe was dealing with the break
up. They had been dating for longer than he and his partners. He
felt bad but Lana was not the type of person who could settle down
until she dealt with her issues.
He continued his run and ended up at the cemetery. He jogged to
the family plot and looked at the still unmarked grave. He stood
there and said nothing. He had no idea how much time had passed.
He only knew that the sun steadily rose in the sky and when he did
become aware he looked and saw Lex and Clark standing a few feet
away. Whit said a silent prayer and walked over to his soul mates.
They hugged him and lead him to the car.
"Yes Lex, I'm fine just needed a little time alone."
Clark placed his hand on Whit's shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
He didn't say anything as they headed back to the farm and the birthday
breakfast that Martha was preparing.
Nick Brady was trying to catch up to all the other senior executives
that had worked for Luthor Corp. He was beginning to realize that
COO was a title with little power. The CFO and the Executive Committee
did not report to him. All avenues lead to Lionel Luthor regardless
of title. In fact in the Company's pecking order, Nick discovered
he was sixth. He could only achieve his goals by outsmarting the
others and outthinking them. Thus he was working on a Sunday trying
to figure out some of the financial discrepancies he had uncovered.
He saw the last transfer that came in but it did not correspond
to any existing invoice. He also saw monies being moved about and
authorized outside of the Finance Department. He continued his inquires
and found numerous transfers that had no references and did not
go to any General Ledger accounts for internal purposes. Nick began
to feel his heart race and he was beginning to sweat. He was sitting
on enough evidence to trigger a massive audit and possible criminal
investigations. Nick had not been at the company long enough to
take the fall but he would be damned if his career was going to
be tainted because of this. He brought out a blank CD and began
to download all the files he had seen with account discrepancies
and then used his personal copy machine to create his own files.
He was following the rule of CYA, it was the first lesson at Harvard,
or kindergarten, never be the one holding the hot potato in the
Whitney packed up his stuff to head home. He was going to sleep
in his own bed and had mixed feelings. Clark and Lex were also moving
back to individual beds but he enjoyed the comfort and companionship
that a shared bed brought. He walked into his house and it was surreal.
It was all the same and yet it was not. He took his bags to his
bedroom and looked around. It was the same. Jessica and Sebastian
had left it as they found it but Whitney could feel the gloom of
the day threatening to overwhelm him again.
"Hi Mom, how are you?"
Anne walked in and gave her youngest a kiss and a hug. "I'm...coping
and you, happy birthday."
Whitney hesitated then smiled, "Thanks...so where are Tristan
"They said they would be back soon. They will be here for
"Okay Mom." Whitney paused and saw his mom turn and leave.
A silence, the unspoken lingering in the air. Words, he searched
for the words but they deserted him. He let the moment go and gathered
his laundry. He found a pair of Clark's boxers and smiled. It was
strangely comforting to have the laundry mixed up. It was a sign
of normalcy and intimacy.
Whitney heard Tristan pull up and he went down to with his laundry
basket. It had been a long time since his mother had done his laundry.
She had four sons; she knew exactly what was happening when each
boy started that chore. He never complained having to do certain
chores he did hate working at the store but that was now part of
the past. He missed it because it was another sign of the changes
the occurred this past year. He sighed and headed to the laundry
"Hey Whit, Jeff and I bought you something."
Whitney was interested. Lex had not bought him anything but then
again Whit specifically asked that he not buy him anything. "What?"
Jeff walked over and threw his hand over his shoulders. "Whit,
we had no idea what to get you but you needed something to cheer
you up. Something to bring something `new' to the house and something
that you've always wanted..."
"Jeff, if you and Tristan bought me a blow up doll, I'll...."
"Dude, we thought about that but Clark would probably take
it from you."
"Okay, I'm going to finish up my laundry." Then he heard
it and it was music to his ears. He saw Tristan holding a Golden
Retriever puppy. Whitney had not had a dog since he was twelve when
the family chow died it was a shock.
Tristan walked over, "She has been spayed and is already house
broken. What do you want to call her?"
"You have been hanging around Lex too long little brother."
Whitney called Clark who came over in less than five minutes. Clark
and Duchess bonded instantly. Lex, Martha, and Jonathan showed up
for Whit's birthday dinner and all they heard that evening was Clark
wanted a dog also. He kept saying that the puppy needed a playmate.
All Lex kept thinking was Clark made the perfect one already.
Lex walked over to Whitney and took him outside. They strolled
a little before coming to the end of the street. Lex motioned for
Whit to sit and they sat on the ground.
"I know you did not want anything from me but I would be remiss
if I did not mark the occasion in some fashion." He handed
Whitney a small box. He opened it and could not help the sudden
shaking in his hands. It was an emerald ring, perfectly masculine
but flawless. He turned to the inside and saw the inscription. It
was tiny but clear, Whit, all our love, L & C.
"Wow. Thank you."
"You are most welcome. Clark thought it over the top but I
thought it was something of a physical reminder that you will always
be loved and cherished by us. You are more precious to us than the
most precious stones."
"Lex...that was a little much."
"Yeah but I was going for a prose angle. I am trying to rebuild
my own image after two teenagers have shattered my restraint and
"Well, keep working on it. I need to reclaim my dog before
Clark decides that what's mine is his. Wait...how are you?"
"Whitney, I hurt for you and your loss. But look at it this
way, you have a wonderful family and Clark and I. I sound like Lana
but I lost my North Star ten years ago, my Uncle helped me stay
sane but the last five years I wondered the wilderness alone and
have paid the price. I am considered Satan's son. And I find out
that the Luthor clan is one step above Hell Spawn. I am a product
of that breeding." Whitney moved close and placed a finger
on his lover's lips silencing him.
"And yet Clark and I love you and know you. We trust you and
will be there through the trials, we could not be there all those
years ago but we can lance the boil that still rests in your soul.
Lex, I can feel your pain, it echoes and resonates with me. I know
I am not much support at this point but Clark is a rock, trust him."
"How did we end up on this subject?"
"Lex, sometimes the thing that most needs to be said gets
They walked down the street headed back to the house. The melancholy
that had pervaded the day for Whitney lifted, he was eighteen and
his whole life was ahead of him and though he could not see the
path, he knew the journey was going to be one for the ages.
Monday, May 6
Bruce looked at the Luthor lands and was struck by the epic nature
of the project. He thought Wayne Manor was imposing but once this
was complete it would radiate power and wealth beyond comprehension.
He shrugged and continued on to the Kent farm. Lex had no idea he
was coming. Bruce wanted to surprise him and hope that the unexpected
would yield the information he desired. He saw the farm and saw
Lex getting ready to leave.
"Good morning Lex."
"Bruce! What brings you to Smallville?"
"Questions that need answers or at the minimum valid half
"What are you talking about?"
"Lex, there are a number of...incidents that can not be explained
logically in Smallville."
"Bruce...what are you getting at?"
"Lex, Clark Kent is an enigma. We have a history, we made
a promise back at Eton, we both know that I have kept a discrete
eye on you."
"Bruce, get to the point, do not belabor the issue, what about
"Why are you having your DNA and Mr. Fordman's mapped?"
"Bruce that is a gross invasion of my privacy."
"Answer the question. You're actions are clear as are your
motives but the results I saw..."
"Bruce there is a line and it now well behind you."
"Why haven't you tested Mr. Kent?"
"That is none of your concern."
"What do you know about Mr. Kent?"
"What are you implying?"
"Lex, there are some problems in his past that warrant attention.
There is a limit to the amount of aid I will render."
"Bruce, I know a great deal about Clark Kent and I do appreciate
the assistance in the past but you test the bounds right now."
Bruce walked back towards his car. "I've seen the estate,
I have no doubts it will look great. There is far more to this place
than meets the eye Lex. There is far more to you as those results
show. Look into it; I'll be in contact. We still have business with
Minerva. Here look this over." Bruce tosses Lex a CD-ROM. "I'll
be in touch."
Lex was confused by the whole exchange. He could not grasp what
had been done here. He knew Bruce to be the most complex man he'd
ever met. "By the way, thanks for the tip on Ares. For the
sake of the past I'll let this breach go but be warned Mr. Wayne,
there are limits and you are there." Lex turned and headed
back into the Kent house. He knew what he knew but it was not his
to tell. He needed time to formulate a strategy. When friends became
suspicious then enemies were already gathering and that meant his
father was in that pack of wolves. He glanced down at the disc he
was carrying. He did not want to know how much information Bruce
Chloe walked into the Talon and saw Lana and Pete talking. She
kept telling herself that it was petty to be angry with either of
them. She wanted a person that would support her and be there for
her not someone who bailed when things got intense. The baseball
game had been fun and she was able to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
It had been difficult to share a car ride with them that day. She
had continued to do the research that Lex had left for her but she
had come across some information in her search that sent her scurrying.
She went to the cafeteria in hopes that she would find Clark or
"Hi Lana, Pete. Have you seen Clark or Whitney? I need to
talk to them."
Pete tried not to choke and Lana responded while pounding on his
back. "Chloe, I think they snuck off again."
"Of course they did. Well, if you see them when they are finished
would you please inform them that I some information they might
Clark and Whitney walked into the Torch office and saw Chloe talking
to some new guy.
"Hey guys, I'd like to introduce you to Brian. Brian is here
today to check out the school He will be a junior in the fall when
he transfers in from Metropolis. Brian, this is Whitney, he's graduating,
and this is Clark. We don't know what he is doing."
A few 'nice to meet yous' were exchanged before Chloe walked Brian
out. "He was cute. His parents are moving here at the end of
the month. He came down for a two hour tour and to check out the
Whitney could not refrain his comment, "I saw you checking
him out. Nice by the way, not too tall for you, looks to be in reasonable
shape." Clark and Chloe looked at him. "What, I am a gay
guy and I can look just not touch. Clark, NO ONE compares to you.
We all worship the magnificence of your body, the generosity of
your spirit, the kindness of your heart, the insight of your brain,
simply put you are the perfect man."
Clark could hear retching noises coming from Chloe as he moved
and kissed Whitney. "So, I'm perfect huh? I'll remind you of
that the next time you get mad at me."
"How does Lex put UP with you two? God! Get a ROOM!"
Whitney and Clark moved apart but were still holding hands when
Clark gave Chloe a big grin, "Hey, we heard that you wanted
to see us, so what is it?"
"Guys, a body was found last week in Madison, WS that matched
Daniels description. The Medical Examiner's report showed high amounts
of antibiotics in his system and several massive infections that
were the cause of death. The interesting thing though was how easy
it was to find the body after death. Someone left the body in a
high traffic area and the local news picked up the story. Daniels
was alive a lot longer than he was supposed to be and someone is
letting people know that."
Clark and Whit looked at the papers Chloe handed them and they
had no clue what to make of this development. They knew Lex was
handling it but this was getting out of hand.
The guys met to have coffee at the Talon. Lana was working and
Pete was talking her ear off. Lex ordered their drinks and they
headed up the stairs to the offices he was using.
"I wanted to let you know that I had a very unexpected visit
from Bruce Wayne. He knows that Whit and I have been mapped but
he also knows that you were not."
"Why would he come here for that?"
"Clark...he and I have a unique friendship but he did cross
several lines with this. We were rich, strange Americans in a British
Aristocrats training ground. We even roomed together the last two
years. Yes, we did things but it was more of a brotherly relationship.
The fumbled gropings were just hormones, it was nothing major. We
laid the ground work for a joint venture that we have yet to settle."
"What is that?" Whitney asked while Clark looked anywhere
but at either of them.
"I can't tell you yet but it was that plan I've hinted at.
It is the primary reason Tristan is here and why Jeff was retained
"Then why can't you tell us?"
"I will, in the future, but it is of no consequence right
Clark turned and went to sit down. "What did Bruce tell you?"
"Clark, don't worry. I've lived, still live, your dreams.
We know each other in ways people will never fathom. He gave me
a disc that I have yet to read. I wanted to look at it with you
In the end it had been all the reports the government had done
in relation to Smallville and the meteor strike. Lex saw the radar
signal that could only be the craft Clark arrived in. The only thing
that stood out was the adoption record. Lex saw the problem that
those could pose right away. He did not want to ask Jonathan and
Martha about it but he would.
Santiago, May 7
Damien received word that what could be, had been, taken from Hamilton's
Lab was now in Costa Rica. Dr. Hamilton was still in the United
States. Damien was upset because he had not recovered the whole
lab. One of his associates had a facility that was no longer in
use in that Central American country. Damien had been more than
willing to have some of the latest body armor shipped to a place
that it could be commandeered. He had part of a report Nathan had
sent and he had scanned files that had been sent but the good doctor
was being most uncooperative. The tabloids were constantly exaggerating
the news out of Smallville but it was enough of the truth for him
to look very carefully at Hamilton's research. The fact that Lex
had been subsidizing it spoke volumes. He would look at this carefully
and he would have to replace the samples that had been lost in the
fire. He knew of one other strike site that might offer up its bounty
will little hassle. He wanted to make his presence around Smallville
to be nonexistent, he had already stirred up a hornet's nest in
the mercenary world and that was a group he did not desire to be
the target of wrath. He could not believe that Hamilton was still
in the States it defied all logic. People got into the country all
the time he did not understand how it was such a problem to get
one man out of it.
He stared out the window of the high-rise and pondered his choices
and the tight rope he was now walking. He had already acknowledged
he error in the liquidation of Nathan Daniels. It had resulted in
the mess he was in now. It had been an expensive endeavor with mixed
results. His own credibility had taken a hit with the elimination
of Nathan and the hit team. His limited financial resources had
been strained and the CIA was now investigating. The good news,
such as it was, his partners were happy because their product shipment
was up as were their profits. That at least engendered some goodwill.
He also realized that by helping Lionel get this pipeline open he
was undermining his own long-term goals. He needed to become an
independent operator but Luthor Corp ultimately held the strings
and resources he needed. He still had to find a way to distract
Lionel so he could have a measure of autonomy. Once Lionel was able
to regain focus it would be too late for him to rein him in. Damien
had to find a way to keep Lionel off balance and Lex from interfering,
that was his focus now.
May 8, Smallville
Lex walked into the Palace from one of the side entrances. He could
see the new grand staircase was almost done and he knew that the
service elevators and the main elevator were complete to the sub
basement to the fourth floor. The public rooms were approaching
the almost finished state; at least the Library, Parlor Room, Conservatory
and Study were looking close to completed. The entrance had not
been started and the Grand Hall was in shambles. The second floor
rooms were in about the same state. Those that were two stories
matched the lower floors' description. He went to the Media room
that started on the Ground floor but went into the first basement.
He could see all the electrical outlets and the wring for multiple
signals. There were going to be three Large Screens and many smaller
flat screens around the room. The recording devices would be situated
in rooms to the side on the basement level. The room was designed
with a recording studio and viewing rooms. Thirty people could watch
the large screens from the viewing platform with ease. Each room
would be able to get a feed from this room and the satellite connections.
Every Global broadcast would be monitored from this room. The software
was on par with the NSA. Lex believed that knowledge was power and
this was one way to gage the world's situation. He was still trying
to find the staff for the public operations.
He walked back to the private area of the Palace. He wanted this
to be a home was well as a symbol. The new residence wing held a
game room on the third floor and the bedrooms were on the second
floor. The old residence wing, which held the old master bedroom,
was being turned into the guest wing and would require some walking
to get to the family areas. Lex was looking forward to relaxing
once this was all finished. The family room had a separate kitchen
from the formal one up front. A large pantry and a walk in freezer
adjoined them. The ground floor family room was open to the second
floor den. Many plants and comfortable couches would grace the multi-level
living area. Large glass doors would open onto a patio and the walkway
that lead to the Pavilion on the Lake. Lex wanted that area to get
started but the lake was still frozen. Here was the heart of the
whole project. An area that people could sit and relax not surrounded
by the pretension that the rest of the estate would present to the
Lex was most excited about the new Master suite. It was on the
third floor and was not part of the residence wing. It was in the
center of the Palace and would have a private sitting room, a custom
built bed, a huge walk-in closet, and a private veranda. There was
a small kitchenette and the bathroom held a large tub and separate
shower facility. It was a self-contained paradise built with three
in mind. Lex knew that it was nowhere near complete but he could
hope. He felt the absence of his lovers when he went to sleep now.
There was a physical need to be close to them. It scared him that
he was dependent on them now in ways he had never imagined.
Thursday, May 9 New York City
The high rise was one of the most sought after addresses in Manhattan.
Basil Jaxson had the top three floors. He had great blackmail material
on the building owners that kept his rates reasonable. He was very
wealthy thanks to his dealing, double-dealing and triple dealing.
He had become a Grand Master at the game and knew how to cover his
ass. That was until Metropolis and the `Nathan Daniels Incident.'
Many markers had been withdrawn on him and his protections had dwindled
to almost nothing. He had never felt the cold touch of paranoia
but he felt those icy fingers creep and crawl all over his skin.
He was not getting his calls returned and his information sources
were drying up. He had passed along some of Daniels information
at a price. He had no idea that Daniels was going to get whacked.
The worst part was Daniels body was discovered three weeks after
his `death.' Jaxson was worried about his own skin and was preparing
to use the `unusable' material in order to save his life.
Two maids from his regular cleaning service entered through the
service elevator. One moved and disabled the alarm system and the
other moved and took out the two on-station bodyguards.
The elevator opened and the hollowed ring of a silenced round took
out the guard at the front door. The two men walked right into the
apartment. They had already been told where Jaxson was in the place.
One of the maids moved and copied all his files and the other broke
open the safe and removed all the files. They were on their way
down the service elevator when Jaxson saw he had company.
"Basil Jaxson...Shearn Phipps sends his regards." Jaxson
never responded as he crumpled to the ground in a pool of his own
blood. The two men set some high explosive devices that were timed
to go off in half an hour. The apartment would be consumed in flames
and Jaxson's body would be unrecognizable.
Friday, May 10 Santiago
Damien watched the news reports of intense fighting in the jungles
of Peru at the base of the Andes Mts. He could see that better-equipped
rebels over matched the Peruvian Army. He smiled because he was
going to make a fortune out of this. His latest arms deal had a
cache of weapons going to The People's Republic of China. The PRC
was paying five times the normal value of them but they wanted to
modernize the army at all costs. The weapons shipment and ammunition
would barely arm a battalion but he did not care. The manufacturing
plants were in Mexico and Costa Rica, he would have no problems
getting them sent to the East.
He had managed to get his `allies' off his back for losing a trained
hit team. He had paid a quiet $2 million and all was forgiven. As
it was they had plans to carve out their own state based in the
Andes. It required for financial backing and weaponry than they
had now but someone was directing this operation for the long haul.
Damien did not care because the potential profits, even after sending
Lionel his share would give Damien much to play with. He was already
looking at ways to invest is ill-gotten gains and spin it into legitimate
The good news he received was Dr. Hamilton was now in Costa Rica
and a willing participant in the research project. Damien told him
he could study any aspect of the rocks as long as he came up with
some useful results. In the end Damien was curious about why Lex
had authorized this `quack' to study the damn things in the first
place. He had seen some of the Luthor Corp research and there were
some strange benefits to the mineral but it was unstable and the
Company's best minds could not find a way to stabilize the 'wild'
variables that the mineral had in its base properties. But for Damien
it was victory against Lex to have something that Lex could not.
It was a small step but all wars are made up of big and small battles.
May 11, Lisbon
Shearn Phipps had read the papers of the high-rise apartment fire
in New York. He was now in possession of a vast storehouse of knowledge
that many intelligence agencies would dearly love to have. The one
piece of information that he was most impressed with was the identity
of the man who ordered Nathan Daniels taken out. He was very impressed
that he was correct in assuming it was someone new to the scene.
What was more astonishing was that his handler had him taken out.
Shearn had no way of knowing how long Jaxson had been the guardian
of this nugget of knowledge but was eye opening. Damien Parker was
a minion of Lionel Luthor's and he was willing to lay odds that
Lionel had no idea this was where the hit originated. He knew that
the Luthors were a united front in name only. They presented themselves
as such to safeguard the family business but Lex despised Lionel
and Lionel was known to privately disparage his son. None of this
was good news and if the parties found out then it would be even
Mike Davis was settling into his booth when he was unexpectedly
"Hello Davis, so how is Nathan Daniels?"
Mike felt his pulse race and saw who joined him. "The fuck
do you want Nixon?"
"Answers, why did you cover up the hit on Daniels?"
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"I know that you and Phelan used to be partners and that tiny
bit of information is no longer part of your file. That would raise
serious questions for Internal Affairs don't you think? Also, if
the Luthor guys decided to pin the Daniels murder on you then your
life is history...so spill."
"Daniels saved my life and I arranged for him to cover his
trail after the hit. He died two weeks ago. Look I know that you
work for the Luthors so..."
"I work for Lex not Lionel...I need to know what, if anything,
Daniels told you."
Davis wrote down the pass codes and the location of the locker
Daniels had hidden. He handed over the keys as well. "He wanted
the information to go to Lex Luthor. He mentioned some guy named
Shearn Phipps but I have no clue who he is."
"Listen Davis, this conversation never happened and I was
Roger went to his car and drove to the depot. He retrieved the
satchel and drove for Smallville. The sooner this information was
in Lex's hands the sooner Roger could take a day off.
Lex was in his office when Roger called to tell him that he had
information that he needed to see. Lex told where to find him and
waited for Nixon to get there.
"So Roger, what is so important."
"This." Roger held up a vial of green liquid. "Daniels
stole the stuff those punks were using to break into places. It
is also a copy of all the research that he knew of by a Dr. Hamilton."
Lex grabbed the satchel and looked through the contents. He also
found a dossier and contact names and how to reach them.
"Look, Daniels wanted you to have this stuff and he mentioned
a guy named Shearn Phipps before he could no longer communicate."
"Thank you Roger, I'll take it from here. You need to go to
Hong Kong and then Tokyo. Once that is complete then we should have
a complete picture about those foreign accounts."
Roger scowled but did as he was told. He did not want to fly to
the other side of the globe but he was being paid well, so he went.
Lex began to examine the file and saw some items that he was unaware
of. Hamilton had experimented on small mammals as a way of gauging
the radiation's impact on cellular material. He also saw evidence
of different types of meteor fragments. The curious thing was that
the longer the material was exposed around, the strong the radiation
field. This was supported by the research Alfred Pennyworth had
authorized. Lex had all the reason he needed to clean up Lowell
County and the other strike sites. There was scientific evidence
that the rocks posed a danger. He also wanted them collected and
destroyed before anyone figured out how much damage they could cause.
The township of Saint Michael's held the largest processing plant
of Ethanol and corn derivatives in the Mid-West. The plant spanned
seven square miles and the storage facilities were separated from
the actual processing area by a runoff basin in case of flooding.
Ethanol was a high volatile liquid and had to be transported by
ground, not by pipeline. One of the valves from the primary processing
area had a loose joint and the increased pressure allowed pent up
fumes to leak into the air. No one noticed the drop in pressure
but the volatile gas leak moved and soon came into contact with
a catalyst. The resulting explosion damaged the primary valve shut
offs. The control room could not shut down the flow of chemicals
to the storage area. The plant alarms sounded and people ran for
The first storage tanker explosion blew out glass for miles and
would register as a small earthquake on the Richter scale. The town
was in jeopardy from the plant fire. The nearest house was a scant
three miles and the fields that surrounded the plant had yet to
be cut back from their spring growth. A solid Westerly wind was
blowing and fuelling the flames. As the flames roared higher a second
tanker caught fire and exploded. The contents of the second explosion
flew in many directions. There was no one around to notice the sudden
reversal of pressure in one of the pipes leading to a different
storage area for non-Ethanol products. Soon a second fire broke
out in the actual refining area. The third explosion damaged one
of the central structures and flames began to give way to heavy
black smoke that was visible for miles.
Martha was watching one of her few vices, a soap opera when the
news broke in with a report about the plant fire. St. Michael's
was 25 miles from Smallville and it had been a dry spring so far.
If this did hit the grasslands then the result could be a catastrophe
for all the farmers.
Lex walked in the room and stopped. "My God, that is close."
"Lex, this is bad. That plant is on top of the town."
"I'll call Clark, see what he can do."
"Do you think that is wise?"
"Do we have a choice?"
Clark ran home at top speed and saw what they were looking at.
The firefighters were unable to get close to the actual fire. NASA
and the NOAA had each taken a thermal scan (to test the equipment)
and were seeing temperatures in excess of 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
Clark heard Whitney pull into the driveway. He was going to help
but with all the television coverage it would be difficult to help
without being discovered.
"I don't know what to do."
Whitney was brought up to speed. "The lake is still frozen
Lex looked at him and got the hint. "Yes it is."
"So if it is still frozen then it would suggest..."
Clark caught on, "That there is an active agent at work."
Whitney smiled, "if the issue is how to help then I think
Sean would have more than enough heat to thrive off of..."
"While Clark can run around and close off the pressure valves."
"And Sean lowers the air temps so the firefighters can get
closer. Question, how do I get Sean there? He thinks I'm a battery."
Lex pondered for a moment. "We have to try that approach at
first. He has been there for months and should be weak. Dr. Hamilton's
notes suggest that additional exposure may stabilize the original
Jonathan had heard the whole conversation from the kitchen and
was proud, in an odd way, that Lex was trying to find a way to help.
He just stayed there and listened. He had a feeling that the boys'
working dynamic was fine as it was.
"So... what, you just go pull Sean out of the lake and race
for the plant at your highest speed."
"I don't know, he thinks I'm his personal battery. And if
we re-infect him then it will make me sick."
"Clark my love, we have to try. We give him the dose once
he is warm, okay?"
Clark sighed and nodded his ascent. The boys climbed into Whit's
truck and headed for the frozen lake. Lex was happy because he had
been trying to get the thing defrosted for weeks. Who wants a palace
and beautiful grounds with a big frozen lake in its midst.
Whitney took the truck off road and used the future deliveries
entrance to get around to the back of the lake. Clark used his X-ray
vision and saw the figure he needed. He was not looking forward
to this. He moved at a rapid pace and slammed his fist into the
ice and cracked it. A huge block separated and he heaved it aside
and saw how far away Sean was. He grabbed the pick that they had
brought from the farm and swiftly removed the ice from around Sean's
body. He pulled him from his frozen clothes and slid him across
the ice in the direction of the truck. He moved quickly because
the ice began to thaw within moments of his removal. Clark looked
at the barely moving form and shuddered. He used a plastic tie to
bind his hands and blindfolded Sean and took of in the direction
of St. Michaels. He hoped that Sean did not recover his wits fast
enough to fight with Clark until after he was able to tame the raging
Whitney and Lex rushed as quickly as they could to St. Michaels
but they knew there was no way to keep up with Clark in a hurry.
Clark could feel Sean beginning to fidget then he heard some noises
that sounded like words. It had taken three minutes to reach the
outskirts of the plant.
"Hey Clark, you came back to warm me up, God, you give me
such a jolt."
"Sean, look over there, all the heat you will need to warm
Sean was driven by his need to warm up. It was an instinctual behavior.
He could sense the vast warmth and intense heat of the fire. He
began to move towards it.
"Hang on, we'll be there in a flash."
Clark moved and as soon as Sean was put down an area around him
became cooler. Clark moved and looked back. It was something out
of a movie. Sean was in the middle of a perfect bubble of cool air.
As he moved the ambient heat raced towards him his skin changed
back to its natural flesh tones.
Clark moved through the burning wreckage and found one of the lead
valves and sealed it. He moved and found several other pressure
valves that lead to the storage areas. He moved at top speed, racing
from point to point cutting off the future supplies that were feeding
the raging flames.
Sean was pulling in all the warmth he could. The flames did not
get near him and he walked deeper into the inferno, calming and
taming it was he moved. The shards of ice that used to be flames
melted after Sean left the area. His efforts combined with Clark's
lowered the fire's intensity and allowed the firefighters the ability
to get the blaze under control. Clark found Sean and noticed that
the flames were fast encroaching his position. He had reached the
limits of his own abilities and hunger. Clark raced and pulled him
out and moved out of the complex all together. He closed his eyes
and knew where his partners where waiting.
Lex saw him approach and saw a limp Sean. He injected Sean with
a small dose and saw Clark flinch in response. "What happened?"
"I don't know, his heart is beating but his lungs look congested."
Whitney stopped, "WHAT! I thought he was dead."
Clark looked again, "Whit...his heart is beating and the blood
is flowing through his body. He is warm to the touch, maybe he over
Lex looked at them both, "Now what do we do?"
"Take him to the hospital? The town thinks he is dead and
he is wanted for killing his ex-girlfriend."
Lex looked away and then made a decision, "Let's take him
to the farm for now. I'll call Toby to come check on him. Maybe
there is something we can do but first he has to survive."
Sean was asleep in the spare bedroom of the Kent house. He had
an IV full of antibiotics to kill the rapidly approaching pneumonia.
It was decided that he would go to the same facility that was currently
caring for Tina and Eric. They specialized in abnormal human diseases
and the treatment of such. Sean had not woken up and no one had
been informed of his return yet. A private transport had been arranged
and his parents notified that he had been found. Clark did not know
if he was okay but the effect of the injection had stabilized his
internal temperature. He wanted to tell Chloe but Lex silenced him
with a look.
May 16, Metropolis
Nick began to look at specified accounts as a daily routine. He
was in a quandary. He had evidence that Luthor Corp was using illegal
accounting practices and withholding information to investors and
the SEC. In doing so they were also underreporting assets and income
and thus were cheating on their taxes. It was a mess but the Luthor
family owned 49% of the company and Nick did not want to hurt Lex.
He knew he owed him but could never tell him that. People like Lex
Luthor would never believe the reason for an affront, only acknowledge
that it happened and move to destroy that person. It was Lex's credit
that Nick had this job in the first place. He knew he had a breach
to heal but had no idea how to even get near the subject without
Lex throwing him out. In the end all Nick could do was sit on the
information and hope that he had enough for a Get Out of Jail Free
May 17, Prom Night
The week had passed quickly and Whitney and Clark were getting
ready for a big night. Lex had left for Metropolis earlier. He said
he had a few surprises to arrange and closed his mind to both his
lovers. That was a new development. They could always tell where
the others were but one could hide the surface thoughts and emotions
if he tried hard enough. It was still new but it allowed a certain
level of privacy for them if they should desire it.
Whitney was staring off into space, not really looking at anything
when he felt Clark's arms encircle him from behind. Clark's mouth
was right next to his ear and he began to lick it and nip at the
earlobe. Whitney was instantly turned on.
"What are you thinking about?"
"Nothing really, until now." Clark slid his hand down
Whit's abs and rested his palm against Whit's hardening length.
He began to move his palm in small circles and Whitney began to
alter his breathing.
"CLARK! We can't, come on finish getting ready so we can go
to the Prom."
"You look so good though...I want you now."
"Later, when we meet Lex at the hotel. Then you can have all
you want and more."
"I love the sound of that."
Clark and Whitney walked down the steps of the Kent house where
Jonathan and Martha waited for them. They were both in classic tuxedos
and cut a very sharp image.
"Boys, you look wonderful. Here take a picture and then go
They groaned and fussed but in the end did go see Whit's mom and
took more pictures and headed to the Prom.
The boys walked into the ornate ballroom of the Lowell County Country
Club. A few people stopped and stared at them but they were greeted
warmly. The music was crappy but Clark and Whitney had discussed
that it was going to reflect the tastes of the class in general.
"You know Whit, I really want to go to another Decadence Ball,
that was fun."
"It was, as long as I do not have to wear an outfit like the
They walked around and grabbed a Coke. Whitney chatted with a few
of his friends but he was more interested in what was after. Lex
had arranged fore a suite in Metropolis and it was a forty-five
minute drive. He told Clark that they would leave around 11 pm so
the could be in the room by Midnight.
"Whitney, can we dance?"
Whitney looked at Clark and graced him with a dazzling smile. "Of
course we can."
They walked on the dance floor and Sarah McLachlan's Vox was playing.
Whitney let Clark lead to the music as they moved across the dance
floor. They did not notice that every other couple had stopped to
watch. Clark and Whitney were oblivious to the attention they were
receiving. They were a touchy feely couple and a brief kiss or hug
had become a common site but this was beyond any of the students'
experience. The guys glided across the floor as the melody weaved
through the air and the ethereal voice filled the hall with poetry.
It was the movement of lovers, intimate and graceful, and all who
witnessed it were touched by the love they so clearly shared. As
the music faded and a Brittany Spears song came to the fore, the
spell was broken and they walked back to their table. They did not
notice the stares as they shared a deep kiss but they no longer
cared. The evening had become about them and there love and promised
to grow to great heights when the union was completed.
Lex heard the door open. He had told them to pick up a key at the
front desk. He watched as they crossed the threshold and were greeted
by dozens of roses. The whites and yellows evenly distributed amongst
the sea of red. He was also dressed in a Tux. He walked up and kissed
both of his companions. He grabbed a hand from each boy and led
them to the balcony. He had a light buffet prepared and some champagne.
He knew to regulate Clark's consumption lest he become insatiably
"Gentlemen, a toast, To Love, To Family, and To Us, long may
we be graced with such." They each took a sip and then kissed.
It was a night heavy with romance and as the music played in the
sitting room the boys danced together. All the cares of the world
and their lives forgotten for the evening. They spent the weekend
in bed, waiting for the day that the Master Bedroom at the Palace
was complete. Then they would never spend another evening apart.
Monday May 20
Chloe, Lana, and Pete were hanging out for the first time since
the break up. They had heard about the `dance' and Clark and Whitney
had not gotten back from the city until late. They saw Whit pull
up in his truck. The noise level dropped as the boys approached
"Whit, Clark...we heard you guys caused quite a scene on Friday."
"It was only a dance and besides, we do love each other. It
was no big deal."
All either Clark and Whitney heard that day was something in relation
to that dance. They were more than happy once the day ended. It
was strange because people voted them the cutest couple at the Prom
even though there was no such animal. The day was weird and Clark
was also suffering the effects of a strong solar storm. It was a
day that was never right, not that anything went wrong, it was off
They pulled up to the Talon and went to the office and saw Chloe
there. Lex saw them approach and motioned for them to sit down.
"Okay Chloe, please proceed. I told them you were doing this
sometime ago and that they were not to bother you but I think they
deserve to hear the report.'
"Fair enough. There is a mountain of Luthor wealth in Europe
that has been sitting in one form or another for ninety years. It
was able to survive two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Cold
War, and now the European Union. I was able to confirm that in its
current state it is invested in a few powerful industrial and bank
stocks. There are some gold reserves and some cash and I am 99%
certain that your father has no clue it exists. More over, most
of the proofs of ownership are in your hands. You have holdings
in Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum, Siemens, Bank Paribas,
Barclays, and a few others. Lex, the total value of that portfolio
is an astounding $12 billion and included in that number is almost
$3.1 billion in Euros and Dollars."
Lex looked at Chloe and his mind whirled. Ninety years of buying,
selling, and accruing had created a fortune that his grandfather
had hidden from Lionel. Of course, his grandfather had hated Lionel
for sometime and Lionel had overplayed his hand when he seized control
of Luthor Corp by force. If he had held out and let it all come
to him in time then Lionel would challenge for the wealthiest man
on the planet. Lex stopped his thoughts and pulled out his checkbook.
He wrote out a generous sum for Chloe.
"Now, take this and spend only 10% on anything you want but
save the rest. Wherever you want to go to school in the world, I
will pay for it Ms. Sullivan."
He handed her the check and saw her eyes light up. He was gratified
when her hands started shaking and her breathing became shallow.
"Chloe...breathe!" Clark and Whitney were growing concerned
until Chloe finally regained her composure.
"Are you sure?"
"Consider it a finder's fee." Lex said with a smile.
Chloe stood up and walked out of the office and headed the three
blocks to the bank.
Whitney and Clark looked at Lex and Clark asked the question that
was on both their minds.
"How much was that check?"
"A quarter million. She wanted enough to buy a new car; it
was very clear in her thoughts that she at least deserved that much.
Besides we just gained a huge windfall and we did nothing for it."
Whit picked up on the wording, "What do you mean we?"
"We, as in us three. I have an idea what to do with this money
and another fund that we are going to raid this summer. Clark, Whitney...LFK's
portfolio just expanded significantly. I need to talk to Tristan
and Jeff but I think we can set up our own Mutual Fund with all
those assets and use the dividends as income."
All three of them were in shock over the discovery. Lex had learned
a valuable lesson in the past half hour, the lesson of patience.
His father was going to pay dearly for having been in such a hurry
to ascend to the Luthor throne. Lex now knew how strong the ace
up his sleeve was and it was strong enough to be patient.
Roger pulls up to the Talon and climbs the stairs to the back office.
He was apprehensive about the coming discussion. Lex had told him
to back off the Kent investigation but he had persisted. He had
information about the kid's adoption that Lex had to know.
"Lex, we need to talk."
"Well by all means Roger, walk in unannounced and let's chat."
"Lex, I'm serious, it involves Clark Kent."
"Clark? ...What do you know?"
"There are some issues with his adoption. The agency that
facilitated it only did this ONE adoption. It is very obscure and
few records. It raises many questions about the young Mr. Kent."
"And exactly HOW do you know all of this Roger? I recall a
conversation in my study telling you specifically to back off the
"Well I make it my business to look into things that aren't
right and I know that there is something about the Kent boy that
"Roger, I pay you very well to do what I say, not to think.
In the past you have been able to provide valuable information and
assistance, however I told you to leave the Kents alone."
"Lex, I'll drop it but there is something going on in Smallville
and you know it."
"Yes, but it is none of your concern. Now what did you find
"The final estimates come in to be 37 accounts in 15 countries
totaling $21.4 billion in funds that have remained inactive for
the past ten to twelve years. There is less than one automated transfer
between these accounts a year. The interest is sweep to various
places but it is a closed circuit of money. The only outlet is a
transfer up to Luthor Corp but that is an aberration and was new
money in the first place."
"I thank you for the information. Please return to Metropolis
and await further instructions."
"Yes, I need time to figure out things and I have more than
one iron in the fire as they say."
Roger looked at Lex and then left. He headed back to Metropolis
and was eager for some down time. He was now more interested in
the Kent family than before but knew that Lex would take measures
if he did so. He knew about Luthor measures and did not wish to
be on the receiving end.
Lex watched Roger leave and looked at all the evidence he had gathered.
Billions of dollars from illegal activities for the past fifty years.
He knew that his father knew about this and part of the evidence
spoke to the idea that Damien knew as well. He had found that $75
million transfer originating from South America and ultimately ended
up back in Lionel's hands. Lex had many reasons to be concerned
but had to play this properly or his father would crucify him. Such
events were not on his path to glory.
May 22, London
Dominic was reading the International Herald-Tribune when something
caught his eye. He could not believe his luck. He had been trying
to find a way to use his evidence against Luthor Corp but could
not find the proper forum.
"Sen. Robert Kelly, the Republican Leader, stated, `In light
if the recent wave of accounting scandals, I feel we have no choice
but to crack down on abuses by corporations. The Senate will begin
to review current laws and see if we can fix or close some of the
loopholes that current laws allow.'"
Dominic had his forum. He knew that Lionel held Congress in low
regard but the Senate would love to rake him over the coals. He
was aware that Sen. Madison had abandoned Lionel when he needed
him for the Hardwick takeover. Dominic began to plan how to get
his information to the Senator and let him plan how to use it against
Lionel. With the head of Luthor Corp distracted and the Company
suddenly knee deep in scandal Dominic could take his time and get
his program going. It would be a major victory if Lionel actually
was hurt by the investigation.
He had the site ready in Slovakia; he needed time to move all the
materials and some of the researchers there. He also had to find
a permanent funding supply outside of Luthor Corp. If the investigation
was successful then Luthor Corp was going down.
May 24, Smallville
Whitney walked down the halls of Smallville High and felt a surge
of sadness. It was the last Friday he would ever be here. All year
it had been an effort to go to school and wanted for it to end but
now it was and he was surprised by how sad he felt. It was the long
Memorial Weekend and he was looking forward to spending time with
the guys. Lex had informed them that the residence areas of the
Palace would be open in the first part of June. Whitney knew that
Lex was pushing for completion of the Master suite. Whit stopped
and looked around and felt the sting of tears, he had no idea how
much he liked this place until now.
"You can always come visit."
"You are projecting, I heard it. I guess I will feel this
way next year except I will be leaving all my friends behind."
"Come on, let's get you home...Lex has something he wants
to talk about."
"He has been silent and he won't say what is bothering him."
Lex looked at Martha and Jonathan and could not find the words.
Clark and Whitney were in the room but Lex was ignoring them. Finally
he just came out and asked, "Martha, Jonathan, is there anything
I need to know about Clark's adoption?"
The air fled from the room and the heat gathered, each person began
to sweat. Jonathan would not meet Lex's eyes. "No."
"It has been brought to my attention by TWO different sources
that the agency that handled his case only handled his adoption.
That agency no longer exists but the case worker can't be located
and no one knows anything."
"Lex...why are you digging in our past?" Jonathan's tone
was angry. Martha placed a restraining hand on his shoulder.
"Jonathan, I would not have if no less an authority than Bruce
Wayne brought it to my attention. Smallville is becoming the focal
point for many things and all the weird activity is beginning to
get noticed. I looked and I know Clark and Whitney are aware of
the Wayne report."
Martha and Jon looked at the boys. Jon got up and began pacing.
Martha had a worried look on her face. "Jon?"
"Lex, Martha does not know...only I do and one other person."
Martha suddenly knew and she was holding herself against the blow
that was about to fall.
Lex looked at Martha and Jonathan and knew as well. "Who?"
"Your father. He arranged everything; he did it for a price
and to rectify the past. I won't tell you his price because that
is between he and I. Nothing illegal was done other forging the
medical records, it was the only way to insure that Clark was kept
safe. It was fairly simple following the meteor strike, everything
had been disrupted."
Lex looked down and then at Jon. "We need to have the papers
reviewed and...I need to know what you promised my father."
"I promised him nothing, the transaction was completed when
I saw him in Metropolis...I can't tell you more than that."
Lex could hear the past clamoring in Jon's head and he was picking
up that Whitney was feeling all his emotions. Lex looked at Jon
and nodded and he and the boys headed to the loft to leave Jon with
The boys did not talk much; they were concerned about the conversation
in the house.
Clark looked at Lex, "Don't worry, it is not your fault. I
know you are trying to protect me but you don't know the whole story
and as you would say, it's not mine to tell."
Lex and Whitney accepted that answer and the boys stripped and
relaxed in each other's company. They were always the best medicine
for whatever ailed any of them. They would leave in the morning
to go camping until Monday afternoon. It was another concession
that Lex made to the other two that they compromised on the events
of the weekend. Clark and Whitney both feared that the time to go
camping would soon never be available and took the opportunity while
The camping site had been perfect, a nice remote location and a
private lake. They had gone to a place Whitney knew in Nebraska
and had enjoyed the solitude and nudity that it brought. Lex again
wondered why they had to wear clothes when it was a crime to waste
such beauty under cloth. The weekend was perfect. They could not
wait until the Palace was complete and they could actually live
together. Clark knew his parents would be upset but there was a
pain when they did not sleep together. The closeness that night
brought was beyond anything that could be described but was a need
that they felt. They had been holding out as long as they could
but with the end in site, the longing was becoming desperation.
Clark knew that his parents would have to accept, sooner or later,
that he was 'married' and that Whitney and Lex had to come first.
Wednesday, May 29, Smallville
Pomp and Circumstance was played as the Class of 2002 walked across
the stage to receive their diplomas. Clark and Lex sat with his
parents and Whit's family as the ceremony went on. When they had
returned home they had found that Martha and Jonathan were fine.
Whatever conversations had taken place they would never know. They
watched and listened to the speeches and each of them pondered the
previous nine months. Three separate people with almost no commonalities
were now bonded in the deepest possible ways. The moment was full
of mixed emotions, for the loss that the Fordmans' had sustained
and for the promise that the summer held. They were going to be
open about their feelings, no longer hiding the fact that they formed
a threesome. They knew people would not understand but they did
and so did those closest to them and that was all that mattered.
They applauded as Whitney crossed the stage and shook hands with
the Superintendent of schools. Tristan took a picture to capture
the moment. As the ceremony concluded and the graduates said good-bye
to one another, it became official, school was out for the summer
and the fun could begin.
"You guys know that we are heading to Houston next week for
business and I am taking you to the opera while we are there."
Clark and Whitney looked at each other. Whit had seen an opera
in Houston before and was looking forward to it but he could tell
Clark was not so excited.
"Yeah okay, whatever."
The extended family headed to the Fordman house to celebrate Whit's
graduation and the immanent return home of Sebastian. He was in
town to see the event but also to take a job at Metropolis University
as a full Professor of Astrophysics. He would still work with NASA
but he could now research most of the time instead of dealing with
Life was good.
Sen. Mark Madison looked again at the note and the contents of
the package. He could not believe what had been sent to him, evidence
of Lionel Luthor's collusion and tampering with legislatures and
regulatory commissions for several states. A great deal of it was
circumstantial but some of it was tantalizing. Given that and the
nasty article that had been picked up by business pages across the
country about offshore tax havens and Lionel's unsavory personality,
he had all the ammunition he needed to launch a Congressional investigation.
Not only that but the IRS and the SEC might want to take a peak
behind his and the Company's finances. He had to craft this perfectly
lest it seem like the political ploy it was. This would solve his
campaign problems in more ways than one. It would neutralize Lionel's
ability to help Ben Davis and Davis would have to denounce Luthor
should something damning be revealed. He began to search in his
head for the perfect forum. He placed a call to the Majority Leader
to schedule a working lunch.
He had a few ideas of whose committee this could go to and which
committee chairs would be the most hostile. Mary Alice Adkins of
Maryland headed Finance and Joseph Christensen of Delaware chaired
Judiciary either would be the perfect forum for airing Luthor Corp's
dirty laundry. He had to think about this and how to get the most
out of this. He smiled because Lionel Luthor's long contempt for
Congress was going to come back and bite him on the ass. The Senate
returned from the Memorial Weekend recess the following week. He
would get this information to the proper committee and watch the
fireworks. He knew Lionel had no idea this was coming and these
investigations had ways of taking on a life of their own. Sen. Madison
smiled for the first time in months. He was going to be re-elected
without breaking a sweat and Lionel Luthor was going to be yet another