Invidia

by Christie
http://number14.org/precious


Going to bed with Lex is the closest I'll probably ever get to him. It's pathetic, really, but it's the only real solidity in our relationship. Every other moment is spent dissecting words and expressions and body language. He doesn't trust me and I sure as hell don't trust him.

But sex? We've got that down. Moans and kisses and bites and pleas are the only language in which we know how to tell the truth.

If that makes me some kind of a whore, I guess that's okay. This thing with Lex isn't going to last forever. In fact, it's pretty close to imploding as it stands today. And really, does anyone get involved with a Luthor thinking it's anything but temporary? Perhaps the truly nave.

Perhaps that's why Lana Lang seems to trust him implicitly. She's no older than 17, completely doe-eyed and innocent, and obviously enamored with him. Not that she shouldn't be. He told me the Talon is where Lana's parents met and fell in love. It was the driving force behind its resurrection. Lex admitted it was a little indulgent of him to agree to become business partners with a high school girl bent on a dream, but what the hell.

What the hell. It's exactly what I think when she calls him on his cell at 7:30 in the morning. Not that 7:30 is a completely irrational hour, but Lex and I are in bed and it feels irrational just the same. My anger is directed at Lana, although I suppose the fact that Lex makes love with his cell phone on the nightstand should tick me off a little too. And it does. But mostly it's her.

I can tell it's her because he softens his voice after he barks out his name in greeting. This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last that I have to hear him placate her, so I'm pretty up on his signals. He pulls the sheet over himself, like somehow she will be able to sense his nakedness over the phone. God, I want to lean over and throw up. In his lap. I hear him tell her not to panic. He'll be right over.

Right. Because God forbid someone else help out with a missed delivery or leaky toilet or whatever the hell is wrong. In fact, isn't Lex the last person you want to call in an emergency that doesn't involve acquisitions or mergers or the like? 'Call a plumber, Lana!' I want to shout.

I keep my mouth shut and start inventorying the room for my complete ensemble. If Lex has to leave, I have to leave. It's an unspoken rule. I've never questioned it. I should, but I haven't.

What I want to ask is, would Lex make Lana find her bra and panties and both shoes because he has to leave unexpectedly? Or would he let her sleep in his bed, ordered undisturbed by the housekeeping until she finally blinks her pretty eyes open around noon, finds one of his shirts to slip into and heads to the kitchen to be treated to strawberry waffles and friendly conversation with the sweet old cook?

It's not fair of me to assume Lex would let Lana do that. But I'd bet a year's salary he would.

He hangs up the phone and looks at me. I'm already halfway dressed.

"I have to go to the Talon."

I want to throw my shoe at him. Instead, I smile sweetly and say, "something wrong?"

He knows I don't care, which explains the smirk before he throws the sheet aside and climbs out of bed. I want to warn him that if he doesn't take a shower, Lana might smell the sex on him. Then I realize she probably doesn't know what sex smells like.

I'm completely dressed by the time he's chosen a pair of pants from his enormous closet. I want to hate him while I sit on the edge of the bed and wait for him to finish picking out the perfect ensemble to go be a hero in. I want to, but I can't.

That is half of Lex's power right there. And he knows it.

He kisses me before we leave his bedroom in a way that for a second makes me believe I've imagined my entire paranoia. It makes me remember that jealousy is an ugly emotion. It makes me remember that pettiness is for weak-minded women. But I'm not lounging in his bed, nor am I tip toeing through the castle in one of his shirts in search of strawberry waffles. I'm following him out of the mansion, where I'll get into my car and he'll get into (one of) his. He'll break every traffic law known to man, and some not known, to get to the Talon to help Lana with...something.

I'll go home and take a shower and not be able to stop thinking about him. And Lana.

Does she think about me? Severely doubtful. She probably doesn't even know about me. I am 10 years her senior and I am obsessing over her relationship with my boyfriend. It's a bitter pill to swallow and I'm embarrassed, even in my own conscience.

Lex kisses me again before I get into my car and tells me he'll call me later. He apologizes for having to leave like this, and the part of me that desperately wants to, believes him. He closes my door for me and steps back while I pull out of the drive.

Even though I'm leaving the grounds first, I know it'll be less than five miles down the road when he passes me in a silver blur. That would happen with or without an appointment with Lana Lang -- Lex just isn't capable of driving at the speed of other normal human beings.

Its three miles east of the estate that he pulls into the oncoming traffic lane and shoots by me. He honks as he does, but I keep my hands on the steering wheel and refuse to give him a wave in return. A few seconds and I can only see his dust in the road ahead. Smallville proper is seven more miles in this direction. I'll make it there in ten minutes. Lex will make it there in five.

I have to pass the Talon on the way home. That's the reason, I tell myself, that it's totally justified to slow to a crawl as I pass Lex's car parked at the curb, then swing around and pull to a stop on the other side of the street. I suppose it's the masochist in me that keeps me idling there, staring in the large glass windows on the opposite side of the street.

Vaguely, I can see through them. Lex, Lana and another person that seems to be getting an earful from Lex. I'm no detective, but I assume Lana called in the big guns when someone wouldn't take her seriously. I assume that she has to do that a lot. Another reason it probably wasn't the most prudent of decisions for Lex to go into business with a teenage girl. But he never asked me; in fact, he doesn't seem to give two craps what anyone thinks about it.

I would have admired that, if it wasn't all about Lana Lang. At 8:00 in the morning she's got on tight jeans and an equally tight white sweater, hair all glossy and loose around her shoulders. I cannot stand her. I cannot stand me, for being jealous of a teenager.

I watch them for what seems like forever. The third party leaves. Lex and Lana go out of my field of vision, then return with a pot of coffee and a plate of donuts. They sit across from each other and have a rapport like I've never seen Lex have with anyone before.

Things become more lucid after watching them devour the pastries and finish the coffee. Not everything, but some things. I don't know what it is about Lana that makes her deserve this special attention from Lex. I've thought about it. A lot. There must be something; something I can't see or something I'll never know about that draws him to her. Like a moth to a flame, whether he knows it or not, Lex can't get enough of her.

I comfort myself in small ways. I truly believe Lex isn't fully aware of how he feels about her. Not that it matters. His heart will never be available as long as Lana's around. I'd be a fool to keep trying to win it. Lex and I will never trust each other the way Lex and Lana do. We can pretend for a while, but I think we both know how it will turn out in the end.

So I throw the car back into drive and turn it around on the quiet street. I'll go home and take a shower, make some strawberry waffles and call Johns Hopkins to accept their offer.

END
3 March 2003


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