FOUR OF THE TITLES SERIES
Whitney groaned as he looked at
the Lifestyle section of the New York Times. The headline
article was The Prince and the Knight. The picture was of
him and Lex just three nights ago at the awards banquet. ‘At
least it is a good picture of us.’ Whitney leaned back in the
chair he was using in Lex’s penthouse office. Lex was at work, doing
some deal for Lex Corp, while Whitney was sitting here
not-quite-able to believe that he was now in an open relationship.
He'd been to school and seen the looks on some of the people’s
faces, but he ignored them. Experiencing college was much different
for him than other students. Many were searching for something, to
find a life, to experience new things. For him it was a haven from
the past. He had more life experience than he really wanted and now
that he was ‘out’, he was gaining a new perspective. It was like the
world had flipped suddenly. A few of the jocks he talked to in class
avoided him, and one art student actually asked him out. Whitney
shook his head and went back to reading. The article was not long, a
puff piece, if that could be said for a Times article, but
coupled with Time and Newsweek
, the cat was out of the bag.
“I hope that you are proud of yourself.”
Whitney turned to look at a pissed Lionel. “What are
you talking about?”
Lionel moved behind the desk and motioned at the paper
in Whitney’s hand. “That article, which makes it very clear that Lex
and you are a happy couple. What is your game, Mr. Fordman?”
Whitney sat back and looked at Lionel, trying to
control his temper. “There is no game, Mr. Luthor.”
Lionel laughed but it did not reach his eyes. "I've
checked. Lex has given you access to his fortune, yet you have not
"I don't want his money... I'm fine."
Lionel refused to believe that Whitney wanted nothing
from Lex. Everyone used other people, only the reasons changed from
person to person. "If it's not money, what do you want?"
Whitney flash a genuine smile. "To be with your
“That sounds incredibly simple. It's not."
"Only YOU care... Why?" Whitney wanted to leave.
Lionel’s presence was overwhelming and he knew how to corner a
"My son has plans for his life. You are destroying
them." Lionel regarded Whitney coolly. The boy had shown his mettle
under live fire, but he now had to deal with him.
Whit met Lionel‘s gaze, refusing to back down from
this discussion. Too much had changed in a matter of days. "How does
my love destroy his life? He's happy!"
“Lex will be happy when he has achieved his destiny.
The only thing you can do to help him is leave and never look
When Lex walked into the house and heard his father’s
voice coming from his office, he cringed. He’d been avoiding his
father’s phone calls ever since the news became public.
“Leave him now and we can repair the damage.”
This from Whitney. Lex stepped
briskly toward his office to intervene, but he stopped, unable to
keep himself from eavesdropping when Whitney continued, "That's not
going to happen, Lionel. I am in as deep as Lex is. Our
picture is on the cover of Newsweek
. Besides, I happen to be in love with your son."
Lex moved to listen more closely but was careful not
to be seen. His heart swelled with pride as Whitney discussed their
lives with his father.
“And that alone may be enough destroy any hope he has
of achieving his destiny," Lionel argued, his voice low but
dangerous. "But if you leave, Whitney--if you let us begin damage
Whitney was losing patience, and when his patience
went, his temper usually filled the void. Lionel was leaning over
the desk, and Whitney mirrored his position. He was not going to
back down from the challenge. "Funny, the press seems to think Lex
is human, now."
Lionel laughed at Whitney. “The press is liberal.
America is not.”
Whitney reached for the paper on the desk and turned
to the Editorials. "Then explain the Planet Op/Eds...about the gay
Lionel stood up, seeking to gain some leverage and
force this young man to see some sense. “This isn't about you,
Whitney, it's about Lex. His future! And I can assure you, Americans
don't want a warm, fuzzy, soft, "human" homosexual president!”
Whitney straightened as well, his anger showing in his
voice. "You are so full of yourself, Lionel. I'm not leaving and
that is final. If you think about it, I AM the perfect trophy
husband." Whitney took a deep breath and sat down, regaining his
composure. "Besides, Lex and 'warm and fuzzy' is something only I
would know about."
Lex bit his lip to keep from making a sound. He was
trying to figure out what his father was up to--the man had ulterior
motives for every action. He was amazed that Whitney was going
toe-to-toe with Lionel though; that was something Lex still avoided
at all costs.
Lionel took a moment to sit down and reflect on the
heated exchange. “You're a bigger fool than my son, Mr.
Whitney smiled. "Well, fortune favors the
Lionel smirked, “I believe the quote is, 'Fortune
favors the bold.'"
"Star Trek." Whit said with a matching smirk. "And I
think I have plenty of bold in me." Whitney had had enough of this
conversation. He leaned forward again, fixing his gaze on Lionel‘s
eyes. He spoke low and with menace. "Listen now...and listen well. I
am NOT leaving Lex...and I know Lex won't leave me."
Lionel was impressed that the boy actually had the
balls to threaten Lionel Luthor. Of course, he made sure not to show
that he was impressed. "Then you will be a first, Mr.
The shift in tone threw Whitney for a second. "First
what, Mr. Luthor?"
Lionel smiled and this one did reach his eyes. "The
first thing my son has ever seen through from start to finish."
Lionel studied Whitney for a reaction.
Whit saw the predatory grin aimed at him. "I trust
HIM, sir, and love him. If nothing else, we took our time getting to
this place. Let US succeed or fail in our own time. I think we have
both earned that right."
Lionel rose and prepared to leave. He stopped at the
office door and faced Whitney. "Perhaps you have, but don't count on
my endorsement of this affair. Lex has made his bed--I'm sure you'll
at least make it pleasurable for him. Tell Lex I stopped by." Lionel
strode out with that.
Lex heard the end of the conversation and moved so
Lionel would not see him. No point in spoiling a perfectly good
exit. Besides, there was some place Lex had to be. As soon as Lionel
had let himself out, Lex moved quietly into the office.
Whitney was seated, leaning forward in the chair,
elbows on his knees, head in his hands. “He’s gone.” Lex knelt and
pulled Whit into an embrace.
Whitney returned the embrace, holding Lex tight. "Did
“What if he's right? What if I’ve ruined your
Lex stood and leaned on his desk while looking at his
lover. “We won’t know until we try.” Lex pulled Whit to his feet and
they met in a full body hug. “We will do this our way,
Whit kissed Lex and held on, forcing himself to calm
down. This was all that mattered. He pulled back and ran a hand
along Lex’s arm. “Your father was not happy with me.”
Lex laughed and kissed Whit again. “He’s never happy
with anyone, especially me. I bet he was impressed that you argued
with him. Shall we go out and grab a bite to eat?”
Whitney laughed. “You just want to show me off again.”
Much of the Banquet was fuzzy but Whitney did remember the pride Lex
took in introducing him around. It was the same pride Whitney felt
when Lex faced any and all challenges. He threw his arm over Lex’s
neck. “I believe it is your turn to pick the restaurant.”
Lex smiled and led Whit to their bedroom, knowing that
many challenges awaited them both.