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My Last Duchess

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Lex would have liked Helen longer, he thinks, if she'd been honest enough to make the very obvious Bluebeard comparison. It wasn't as if he were averse to a good literary reference.

 

Bluebeard never opened the one door for his lady love, though, and Helen wasn't exactly looking at the corpses of her predecessors. On the other hand - she'd been drawn into the Kents' orbit, and he'd asked her to move in to keep that connection close, so she could claim some rights of succession.

 

'Tis a pity she was a whore.

 

And what a way to die. The Inquisitor had been in scum heaven for months: Oops, Wrong Luthor! Helen Luthor Dies in Car Crash After Sex Rendevous With Lionel Luthor. Coroner's Office: Evidence Shows Lionel Was Helen's Lover.

 

Leaking the results of the sperm tests was, perhaps, unnecessary. But then it had been unnecessary for his father to fuck Helen, and Lex rather thinks that the disgust with which people have been looking at Lionel of late was worth the public revelation of his cuckolding.

 

Lex fingers the pages filled with her handwriting. She'd taped them to the underside of the second-to-last filing cabinet in her office, along with a glass slide dark with dried blood. The slide, minus a few cells still being analyzed at Cadmus, has its own transparent cube on the far left of the room. Helen's notes will do just fine in the safe. He's fairly confident that she hadn't seen fit to share them with Lionel before her untimely demise.

 

The pager on his hip buzzes, indicating that his guest has arrived. Lex is a good host, so he slides the papers back into their slot and closes the heavy door of the safe.

 

The only real lasting harm of the incident is that this isn't the sixteenth century, and a man who acquires and loses wives at such a rate will be thought, at best, unfortunate.

 

He'll have to be more careful from here on out.

 

Lex closes the door behind him and hears the electronically activated bolts on all four sides of the door slide home. He tugs at his jacket to straighten it as he descends the stairs and hurries into the study, where his guest awaits.

 

"Hello," he says and smiles. "I hope you're hungry, because the chef has really outdone herself tonight."

 

His guest knows enough to be useful, is loved enough not to be abandoned even in the arms of a Luthor, and has the animal intelligence necessary to know that she doesn't want to see behind any locked doors.

 

Her smile is brilliant, like a light - turn the switch and it comes on. "I can't wait," Lana says, and he takes her arm and walks towards the future.