by Isilya

There's something hanging in the air when she walks in the door, and it doesn't feel like home anymore. Grease from last night's roast dinner coating the back of her nose, a heavy atmosphere that almost makes her turn around and walk straight out again, back to the Bentley that chauffeured her home. The windows are locked, and there are blowflies buzzing against the glass. A pile of opened mail on the table, dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counter. A black line of ants marching straight into an open jar of honey. So, Jonathon had lunch. Too tired to even get annoyed. She finds the little window key on her chain, battered and vaguely copper- incongruous next to the smooth, platinum oblong that Lionel has given her for LutherCorp access. There are ten windows downstairs, and soon enough all of them are open to the dusty Kansas breeze.

Jonathon comes in to kiss her neck while she's leaning over the sink peeling potatoes, and she holds her breath against the stale sweat of him. He closes the windows, leaving fingerprints on the glass, talking seriously of cattle, crops, corn. There is tension in his voice as he skirts around asking her about her day, and she's patient when she answers, biting her tongue here and there to keep Lionel from slipping home here with her. She's not ready to let Lionel Luthor into her conversation yet.

Dinner is quiet- she doesn't talk about Lionel, and Clark doesn't talk about Lex. She wonders when cutting the Luthors out of discussion first started to mean silent Kent meals. She slices her food into neat pieces and chews well. Jonathon wipes his plate with bread.

The sound of the shower hissing in the bathroom. She heads upstairs and strips the linen from the bed quickly. New sheets, crisply ironed, light fragrance of the lavender she keeps in the closet. Fresh pillowcases too.

Jonathon comes in, hair wet. Quick urge to slick it up into a kewpie doll point, and there's a tug on her heart at the little boy grin he flashes as he drops his towel. Clean scent of soap, toothpaste, Jonathon sucking a bruise into her shoulder. It is easy, letting him mark her. The buzz of her phone against the bedside table is louder than the rasp of Jonathon's breath.

It's dark, and she's wrapped in a dream she won't remember. A garden, half shadowed, with white daisies blooming in the twilight. She reaches out to gather the simple flowers, yearning for their innocence. A half forgotten proverb, daisies are for trust. She grasps at the stems and now she is watching herself, small shock of pain, of thorns. Palms up, held out for examination. She moves to look at her hands - red welts swelling the pads of her fingers. Hears herself make a little sigh, and she bends to run her lips across the sores, tip of tongue slipping down her palm. She tastes of smoke, and smells like blood and roses.

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