As an investigative photojournalist, I'm one of the best in the business. I am the best because I know exactly when to be ruthless and when to be tenacious, and I never, ever let my morals get in the way of reporting a good story. This is a cut-throat business. Those who survive have to be willing to go the extra mile to get that perfect shot, because sometimes that extra mile is what gets you paid at the end of the day.
It's a lesson I learnt the hard way when I first started. I used to think that virtue was its own reward, that good guys finish first and all that stuff. Coincidentally, I also didn't make much money! Now, there's very little I won't do. I've posed as a groundskeeper in Gotham's cemetery to get shots of Bruce Wayne mourning the butler, who practically raised him. I've even worked as a hotel maid to photograph Mafia informant Henry Graven hours before his testimony brought down New York's oldest organized crime family. The difference between success and failure can be measured in a willingness to do such things.
Still, not everyone appreciates this dedication. Of all the names I've been called, the term I truly dislike is Paparazzi. Historically, photojournalists are renowned for reporting events without influencing the outcome of our photographs. The Paparazzi form just one small branch of our number. They follow celebrities, but they do this with such zeal that their actions tarnish the rest of the community.
As a rule, photojournalists are not stalkers. Yet, because of some Paparazzi, our entire profession has been vilified. Photojournalists use images in the place of words to document our stories. In my opinion, it's journalism at its purest form, because there is no conjecture or spin; we let people draw their own conclusions as though they themselves were witnesses to the event.
Which brings me to why I'm crouching in the roof garden of the Paradise Palms Hotel, Miami at 2am in the morning. This garden overlooks the penthouse suite of the Miami Meridian hotel, which is where I happen to know President Lex Luthor is staying.
I've been following the President as part of his unofficial press corps for the last six months. Luthor is in Florida gathering support for a bold new campaign of economic reform. The man's ambition is legendary, and his catalogue of achievements is nothing short of spectacular. His authorized biography tells us that by the age of twenty-two, he was running his own company, having broken away from the parent holding, LuthorCorp, only to stage a hostile take-over just three years later. By twenty-eight, Lex Luthor had taken LexCorp to the top of the Fortune 500, in turn making himself one of the richest men in the world.
Aside from some rumours of a wild teenage past, President Luthor is surprisingly clean. He's a philanthropist, an environmentalist, a devoted husband, and by all accounts the perfect son-in-law.
I'm positive the man is hiding something.
No one is that perfect, it's simply not possible. Experience tells me that the more important the person is, the more interesting their secrets are; and, Lex Luthor is arguably the most important person in the world. I'm here to find out what lies behind the public face.
People say Luthor is a true pioneer, a man of firsts. If anyone can achieve the impossible, Lex Luthor can. He's the youngest president of the United States, and the first president re-elected under the age of forty. He is also the first openly gay man to hold our nation's highest office.
He has never made any secret of his sexual leanings. Though, by all accounts, Luthor has been in a stable relationship for the last ten years. This was a huge selling factor in his election. Instead of the usual tales of politicians and their sleazy, sexual escapades, the public was presented with a strong family unit, a committed couple, who had strong ties to their local community. It also helped that Luthor's in-laws, Jonathan and Martha Kent, were the perfect example of Middle America. The Kents are honest, hard working, pillars of the local community, representing all the ideals that founded the heartland. They're farmers, for God's sake; you just don't get more honest and hard working than that.
As I get my cameras ready, pointing them toward the hotel opposite, making the necessary adjustments for focus and lighting, I can't help but marvel at the man behind the publicity machine. Luthor's success lies in his ability to reach out and cross the boundaries of race, sex, and socio-economic means. For some reason, people feel they can identify with him. Though, the cynics out there are quick to point out that, as the heir to one of the world's largest fortunes and as a billionaire several times over in his own right, Lex Luthor has little in common with the average person.
So, what does it take to hold the interest of such a man? It's a question people have asked a thousand times. And, while I settle in for the night, with my coffee and my cameras at the ready, watching the balcony a few hundred feet away, I consider the answer: Clark Kent.
There is intense speculation about their relationship, mainly because, looking at them, Luthor and Kent don't seem like an obvious couple. President Luthor is completely bald, and he has been since childhood. He's pale and striking, lean without running to thin, and he carries himself with the air of a person born to lead. Kent, on the other hand, could do with a serious injection of confidence. With his height and sheer size, he would be an intimidating figure, if he weren't such a textbook nerd. Cheap suits and those ridiculous horn-rimmed glasses of his certainly don't help his image. I swear that man makes it onto every worst dressed list there is!
I first saw them together at the annual LexCorp fund-raiser for cancer research. The impression I got was that they're an incredibly well choreographed team. No emotion, no mistakes, perfect polite smiles as they work a room, charming everyone there. It's a relationship with no visible signs of intimacy. The most the world has ever seen Luthor do is place a hand on Kent's back to guide him into a room. Occasionally, he'll lean close enough for Kent to whisper something in his ear.
Hardly the great love story we've all been sold!
I'm not the only one to notice this. Terri Greenfield, host of TMBC's 'Late Night' talk show, has a series of comedic sketches devoted to President Luthor. Her theory is that Lex Luthor wants to be the first at everything, and that, one day, he will don a wig to become the first female president. She also likes to joke that Luthor isn't really gay, he just married Kent to grab the mantle of 'first gay president'.
Watching Kent and Luthor together in public, those theories seem quite plausible. Yet, my sources inside the White House tell me that Lex Luthor is almost pathologically obsessed with his husband's happiness. There are just too many inconsistencies for me to let this go. My gut tells me that the key to President Luthor lies in his relationship with Clark Kent.
Setting up, I settle into on my seat, trying to get as comfortable as I can. This is the toughest part of the job: the waiting. At least this is Florida, and it's warm here. I remember old times, like camping outside in the middle of a New York winter just to get a shot. The moon is full and the light from city buildings brightens up the sky. It's a good night for pictures, if I ever get the chance to take one.
I can't believe my luck. Just after 3am, after scarcely an hour of waiting, President Luthor walks out onto the penthouse balcony. The President is still fully dressed, wearing tailored trousers and a dress shirt. I guess the rumours about him are true: the man barely relaxes let alone sleeps. His only concession to comfort seems to be an unbuttoned collar.
I watch him through the lens of my camera, adjusting the focus to get a sharper image as he strolls across the balcony. The trademark swagger is there, though slightly less pronounced in his slow gait. Silently, I offer up a prayer to the God who invented high-resolution zoom lens technology; it's as though I'm three feet away.
That thought pulls me up short. It occurs to me that I have an unimpeded view of the President. He's completely alone on that balcony; no Secret Service, no bodyguards, nothing to stop me if I meant him harm. First thing tomorrow, I'll send an anonymous tip to the Secret Service about my contact at the Meridian Hotel. I might be deplorable, but I'm still a patriot.
The light spilling from the room behind is soft and it casts a golden glow about the President as he swirls a snifter brandy in his hand. Luthor looks preoccupied and just this side of exhausted. The tired way he rubs his eyes before placing a hand on the parapet confirms my suspicions.
His husband isn't with him on this trip, though that isn't much of a story. Kent seldom follows Luthor on such trips. He prefers to stay in Metropolis, concentrating on his job at the Daily Planet. Everyone understands this. Clark Kent has to work doubly hard to quash suggestions that everything he has is bought and paid for, because his husband is both the President and the richest man in the world.
As President Luthor stares down at the city below, I take several pictures. It's a strangely evocative image, almost . . . lonely. And, it's an image I'm eager to capture. I doubt few people ever see a shred of vulnerability on Lex Luthor's face.
Suddenly, Luthor's head lifts, tilting sharply toward the sky. Before I can even begin to speculate on what has caught his attention, my eyes are drawn to the figure, which floats down and hovers in the air a few feet away from the balcony.
Immediately, I start to panic. What is Superman doing calling on President Luthor this late at night, and what the hell is so urgent that it couldn't wait until morning? Whatever it is it can't be good. These two are only ever seen together when it involves matters of national security, or some global catastrophe.
I move my camera round, using the zoom lens as a telescope to focus in on the rest of the hotel. I'm looking for any signs of activity, any lights coming on or people running around. But, so far, there's nothing. Swinging my camera back to the Penthouse balcony, I focus in on Luthor, Superman and the room behind. I'm expecting the Secret Service and White House staff to come rushing in any second now.
But, nothing happens. By the time I've finished checking the hotel, Superman is on the balcony, standing a few feet away from the President. It takes me a moment to notice that President Luthor is smiling. Amazingly enough, it looks like he and Superman are talking?
Absolutely surreal, but there it is! They're having a conversation. Superman leans casually against a pillar, arms folded across his chest and he watches Luthor, who, from time to time, takes slow sips from his glass during pauses in their conversation. God, how I would love to be a fly on that wall to hear what they're talking about. But, I settle for taking my pictures, and I take as many of them as I can.
The two men look very comfortable together. Which, I suppose, makes sense. Superman has been a big help to Luthor during his presidency. Apparently, they've managed to build friendship into their professional relationship. But, that doesn't explain why my reporter's sixth sense is tingling. I've learnt never to ignore that sensation. It has got me out of trouble on numerous occasions, and onto the cover of several major publications.
Luthor says something that makes Superman laugh, and the look on Superman's face as he throws his head back is light and happy and a million miles away from the dour demeanour the world knows. He pushes off the pillar and he comes up behind President Luthor, taking the glass from Luthor's hand, setting it down on the floor beside them. Then, Superman wraps both arms around President Luthor's waist as he pulls Luthor back against his chest.
My jaw drops in astonishment. The President, however, doesn't seem remotely surprised. Instead, he leans back against Superman and he looks up at the sky, as though he's watching something far off in the distance.
I'm going crazy taking pictures. This is incredible! I'm not sure what I'm bearing witness to but I know it's monumental. Superman leans down, whispering something in the President's ear. And, oh my, isn't that a sight to behold: Lex Luthor is laughing.
After that Superman's attention seems to shift. He's not looking out at the city any more; he's concentrating fiercely on Luthor. He seems almost mesmerized, and Luthor seems to recognize this. The President's smile takes on a faintly smug quality as he turns his head to one side, letting it rest against one broad shoulder. Then—
Superman kisses the side of Luthor's neck.
Superman is kissing President Luthor on the neck, on the throat, behind his ear. And Luthor's face—oh my God! His eyes drift shut, his lips part, and Superman continues to kiss him on the throat, one hand stroking sensually over Luthor's chest before unbuttoning his shirt and sliding inside.
It's an unbelievably erotic image, particularly because of the two men involved. Lex Luthor is not known for any public displays of affection. As for Superman, no one even knew if he had sex! There are rumours of a relationship with Lois Lane, but, this . . . Jesus! This is the fucking story of the century! And it's mine, it's all mine; I get to break it to the world.
My hands shake with such excitement that my camera slips through my fingers. In my fumbling attempts to pick it up, it clicks again and again. I can't believe this . . . total rookie mistake to drop your camera. But, thank God President Luthor and Superman are still on that balcony when I finally get myself together. They're facing each other now, lips pressed together in frantic, deep, and open-mouthed kisses. It looks like they're trying to eat each other alive.
With all the heated touching and kissing, I'm expecting them to just drop to the floor and go for it right there. But, they don't. Suddenly, things slow down. Superman's touches get softer, slower, and President Luthor looks like he's breaking from the torturous speed. His hands are running through Superman's hair, stroking it, pulling at it as Superman licks his way down his chest.
I can only imagine the sounds Luthor makes when Superman drops to his knees in front of him. If they are anything like mine, they are high-pitched and completely shocked. From this angle, I can't see the expression on Superman's face, but whatever Luthor sees there makes his eyes shine. Then, Superman bends forward and his head bobs up and down in a rhythm that's slow, unhurried and completely unmistakable.
I can't think—
Somehow, I keep taking pictures.
Superman has both arms wrapped around the President's hips to keep him still. There's enough light coming from the room behind and the city below to illuminate President Luthor's face and what I see there makes me groan in reaction. Luthor's eyes are closed; his teeth are bared as though he can't stand the pleasure. Occasionally, they bite on his bottom lip, or his mouth falls open, but everything he's feeling is right there on his face.
His fingers comb restlessly through Superman's hair, but nothing he can do changes that rhythm. Finally, he just seems to give in to it, placing both hands on those broad shoulders as his head tips back in ecstasy. When he comes, it's with visible shudders that seem to rack his entire body. His head falls forward then, back into shadow, and in the dim light I can make out that he's curled over Superman's shoulder, shaking.
He doesn't stay that way for long. Superman lifts him up, moves him onto his lap, so that President Luthor is straddling his now out-stretched legs. Then, Superman draws the President's head down to meet his.
God, this kiss is even more intense, if that's possible. This time, I'm positive they will do each other right there and then. But, no, again I'm wrong. President Luthor gets up, pulling Superman to his feet, and there's an expression of pure lust on his face as he drags Superman off the balcony into the room behind.
I'm not sure whether I'm relieved or disappointed. Maybe it's best to feel relieved. They're going to have sex, and frankly, while it would give me the most extraordinary pictures, I'm not sure I could handle witnessing that much. As the lights go out inside the President's bedroom, it occurs to me that our President just might be having sex with an alien.
Not only is Lex Luthor cheating on his husband, he's doing it with Superman. Stunned, I sit in the roof garden, shaking my head in utter amazement. My camera stays pointed toward the Meridian's penthouse suite, just in case something else happens. Nothing to do but wait and try not to think about what's going on in that room.
Superman and President Luthor emerge a few hours later. The President is now dressed in a robe, looking far more relaxed than he did when he first came out. As usual, Superman is wearing that bright costume of his. The sun is just starting to rise on the horizon, and it bathes the two men in soft reds and yellows.
As they watch the sunrise from the hotel balcony, Superman's reluctance to leave is quite evident. He stands behind President Luthor, keeping one hand on Luthor's chest, buried inside that robe and his lips trail gently across Luthor's scalp. Slowly, he turns Luthor round to face him, and then he kisses him with a longing that even I can detect hundreds of feet away.
This is no casual affair. No, there's nothing remotely casual about what I'm seeing here. President Luthor takes the hand now stroking his face and he presses a kiss into its palm. Then, he pulls that dark head back down to meet his. They stay like that for a few minutes, foreheads touching, arms wrapped around each other.
Eventually, President Luthor draws back. Superman looks unhappy but resigned. He presses a final kiss onto the President's forehead, and then he flies away. President Luthor watches the sky for some time before he returns to his room.
Neither one of them is aware that my high-resolution cameras have captured everything.
The story breaks three days later.
It takes me that long to negotiate a lucrative enough deal with the newspapers. The world isn't ready for explicit pictures of the President having sex with another man. God knows most of us don't want to think about our President having sex at all. Of course, when the world is ready, I will sell some of my more risque shots. But for now, there's enough in the pictures I have chosen to more than hint at a story of infidelity.
I've picked the ones where Superman has his arms wrapped around President Luthor, also a couple where Superman is kissing Luthor's neck. The quality isn't up to my usual standard; the pictures are a little grainy and the light in them is pretty faint, but they're good enough to show what's going on.
Within hours of going to press, my pictures are the lead story on every network and every twenty-four hour news program. Everyone is talking about the special relationship between Superman and the President of the United States. They've talked about it for years, but never quite like this.
As is the way with reporting, the story starts off with a hint of supposition: a nuance here, some implication there until some brave soul comes out to say the words everyone is thinking. Tom King on TMBC is the first to call it an 'alleged affair', and after that, all the headlines change.
By the following morning, every newspaper is running the story of President Luthor's alleged affair with Superman on the front page. No one mentions the alien thing. Instead, the focus is on the rumours of Luthor's wild past, and the possibility of an early mid-life crisis.
In spite of that, the President still has a lot of public support. Strangely enough, it's his husband who gets the rough treatment. People come out to say that Clark Kent is, well, quite frankly a little boring. Perhaps Luthor needed a bit of excitement, and who better to provide it than Superman? And really, could a small town boy from the middle of nowhere hold Lex Luthor's interest forever?
When cornered by his counterparts in the press, Kent will only reiterate that he trusts his husband. President Luthor, on the other hand, chooses to take the high ground. He flat out refuses to comment on the allegations, saying that he refuses to dignify such rumours with an answer and that he will not discuss his personal life. He also refuses to be drawn on the authenticity of the photographs that are now world news.
But, that tactic only fuels speculation about an affair. Every time the President appears in public, trying to raise awareness for his campaign on economic reform, someone invariably mentions Superman and the supposed breakdown of his marriage to Clark Kent. This goes on and on, and nothing the White House Press office can say will deflect the nation from this topic. Finally, one afternoon, after weeks of pressure, the President just snaps.
It happens at a visit to an inner city housing project. Selina Stewart, the editor in chief for the Gotham Herald, is in the front row of the press. Stewart is well known in industry circles for her intense dislike of Clark Kent. The rumour is that she tried to hit on Kent during his internship at the Metropolis Daily Planet and that she was summarily shot down. The rumour is also that when things got nasty, which they invariably do when Ms. Stewart is involved, Luthor pulled enough strings to get her re-assigned to Gotham, far away from his then fiance.
Stewart is bold enough to ask President Luthor how his marriage is faring in light of the recent revelations surrounding his infidelity.
"What infidelity?" the President practically snarls at her.
"Well," she purrs nastily. "I'm sure you must have seen the pictures of you and Superman engaged in intimate discussion, shall we say, on the balcony of the Miami Meridian Hotel."
There's some hastily muffled laughter from the surrounding reporters.
"Obviously, the two of you share a special relationship," Stewart continues. "Just how close is it?"
"Photographs can be manipulated, Ms. Stewart. I'm sure you of all people know that," Luthor says coldly.
Her jaw seems to harden and her lips twist into a bitter parody of a smile. "Oh, I'm all too aware of that Mr. President." She gives President Luthor a meaningful glare before adding: "But, these are one set of photographs that don't lie."
The President ignores this, saying nothing. He continues with his walkabout, smiling tightly, shaking hands with local residents.
"Don't you have anything to say, Mr. President?" she taunts to his back. "If not to us, then what about to your devoted husband? It's pretty obvious you've been cheating on him—"
Suddenly, the President whirls round and he stalks up to where Stewart is standing among the press. "Now, listen carefully," he says, lifting his right hand to point at her and her cameraman. "I have not now, nor have I ever been, unfaithful to my husband. Nor will I ever be unfaithful to him," President Luthor states emphatically. "I love Clark and I am committed to our marriage."
Well, after that, I decide to sell some more pictures. Who in their right mind could blame me? Particularly after Luthor set himself up so nicely with that morally upstanding speech.
While the first set of pictures hint at something deeper than friendship, the set I now choose to sell are unmistakably sexual. These photographs show Luthor and Superman with their heads angled close together, lips scant centimetres apart. It looks like they've just been kissing, or they're just about to kiss. And, oh dear, Mr. President, is that a hint of tongue?
I know what the tabloids will make of that!
Sure enough, when the pictures run in the Inquisitor, it's with the caption: **The tongue that lies!** Jesus, these people are so predictable. The Inquisitor even goes so far as to interview a respected xenobiologist for some credible insight into the mating practices of Kryptonians.
It's at times like these when I'm truly ashamed of my profession.
But, that's not the worst of it.
Superman suddenly seems to go into hiding. There are no reported sightings of him anywhere in Metropolis or around the globe. As a result, the crime rate in America soars. People take Superman's disappearance as some sort of admission of guilt. Still, President Luthor refuses to admit he has been having an affair.
When the talk of impeachment starts, Clark Kent takes a leave of absence from the Daily Planet, citing personal reasons. He returns to his hometown of Smallville, Kansas, ostensibly to stay close to his parents. It's common knowledge that Kent's father has a heart condition, and the furore of the past few weeks has taken quite a toll. However, the minute Kent leaves Metropolis for Smallville, the rumours start to circulate that he's leaving the President.
Amidst all this, other witnesses start to come forward. A hotel maid in New York claims she saw Superman in Luthor's bedroom suite during his first presidential campaign. A disgruntled former LexCorp executive says Luthor has been cheating on Kent for years and that he remembers seeing Superman in Luthor's office on countless occasions.
If these people are telling the truth, then President Luthor and Superman have been having an affair for over ten years. I can't understand why they got so careless in Florida, not when they've gone to great lengths to hide it. I can only guess that, after a while, people start to think they're untouchable.
Which could explain why the President thought he could lie about his infidelity and get away with it. The man had the audacity to look the nation in the eye and tell a bold faced lie. Technically, there are no grounds for impeachment because President Luthor didn't lie under oath.
However, the level of public outrage is such that the talk of impeachment continues. It's almost as though people want him prosecuted for his sheer arrogance. Though, in all fairness to the man, who can blame him? When I think back to that night, watching Luthor on the balcony with Superman on his knees before him, it's no wonder Luthor has behaved so arrogantly.
Following weeks of controversy and an intense public backlash, President Luthor announces that he will hold a live press conference before addressing the nation. His approval rating has plummeted to an all time low. It's yet another first for Lex Luthor. No sitting President in history has had such appalling approval ratings. Obviously, it's a long way past the time for damage control, and everyone wonders why it has taken the President so long to take action.
The press conference is held on the White House lawn. For the first time I get an official invitation, courtesy of the White House press office no less. It feels good to be part of this, to be rated as one of the big boys. It's validation for all the hours of hard work I put in.
As President Luthor walks out and climbs the platform onto the stage, I notice the stiffness of his gait and the darkness in his eyes. He looks like he's hiding something. That's really not a good impression to give off in front of a pack of reporters.
"Ladies, Gentlemen, we all know why we're here," he says wearily. "But, before I answer your questions, I have something I would like to say."
Luthor is a few sentences into a speech about family and loyalty when, suddenly, Superman appears high in the sky overhead. It's the first time anyone has seen him in weeks. Collectively, we all breathe a sigh of relief. People were starting to worry that something had happened to him.
As Superman sails down from the sky, I realize this is also the first time anyone has seen him within a hundred feet of the President since the scandal broke. He moves to stand at Luthor's side, looking calm and imposing in that otherworldly way of his. President Luthor, on the other hand, looks stunned.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he gasps.
"Standing by you," Superman responds laconically. "I'm also here to stop you from making a huge mistake."
"Wait, listen to me!" Luthor appeals to him. "You don't have to do this!" The President is so distracted he forgets the proximity of the microphone and that it's picking up everything they're saying, broadcasting their words to the world.
"Yes, I do, Lex," Superman answers calmly. "I think it's finally time we cleared this up, don't you?"
President Luthor looks as nervous as anyone has ever seen him. This is a man who has calmly faced down terrorists intent on killing him, yet the possibility of Superman revealing an affair visibly flusters him. "We've talked about this already," he says, running a shaking hand over his scalp. "Clark—"
"Will adjust," Superman interrupts him. He lays a hand on the President's chest ostensibly to calm him, and the intimate familiarity of that gesture sends a ripple through the watching audience.
"Clark will have to adjust, we all will," he continues. "Lex, this is really hurting you. You know I can't let that happen. You've done great things, and you're going to continue to do great things. I won't let you throw away everything you've worked for your whole life just to protect me."
Luthor pulls Superman's hand off his chest, gripping it tightly. "There's another way. Give me time—"
But Superman is shaking his head, and the argument, it seems, is over. "It's too late for that, Lex," he says quietly. His free hand goes to his hair, and he starts running his fingers through it, smoothing it down.
President Luthor looks absolutely petrified.
"Don't worry, Lex," Superman assures him again, giving him a small smile. "Everything will be okay."
For my part, I cannot imagine why Superman's tonsorial habits would incite such alarm. It's only when Superman turns to face us and he puts on a pair of horn-rimmed glasses that I start to get the picture. The face staring back at us looks eerily familiar.
The reporter sitting next to me pokes me in the arm and whispers, "Somebody had better pinch me now, because that looks a hell of a lot like Clark Kent!"
I can't even answer the man. I'm struck dumb by the utter incongruity of Superman in that bright costume we're all so accustomed to, wearing Clark Kent's face.
For a second, the thought crosses my mind that this is all just an elaborate publicity stunt, or worse that Kent likes to dress up as Superman for strange bedroom games with Lex Luthor. Then, I remember that we all just saw Superman fly into this press conference, just as I saw him fly onto Luthor's balcony that night in Florida.
Oh my God! I think Clark Kent might be Superman!
While the rest of us begin to lose our composure, President Luthor appears to regain his. He gives us all a wide grin. "As I told you all weeks ago," he says, lifting the hand of a suddenly shy looking super hero, pressing it briefly to his lips. "There has been no infidelity."
Then, the President repeats the words that have been broadcast round the world and used to brand him as a liar. "I have not now, nor have I ever been, unfaithful to my husband. Nor will I ever be unfaithful to him. I love Clark and I am committed to our marriage."
There is absolute pandemonium. The idea is so unbelievable that Clark Kent, shy, clumsy reporter and husband of Lex Luthor, is in fact Kal-El, super powered alien from the planet Krypton.
We're still reeling from the shock of this revelation when President Luthor does something the world has waited almost eight years to see. He kisses his husband, in public, for the first time. And not just a chaste peck on the lips; no, this kiss is deep, and it's open-mouthed, and it lasts a very, very long time. It also seems to make the strongest being on this planet completely weak at the knees.
When the kiss finally ends, Clark Kent is breathing raggedly. His skin is flushed, his glasses are a little steamed up, and he looks thoroughly bemused when his husband pulls them off his face and tucks them into his jacket pocket.
"You know something, Clark, I'm really not going to miss those things."
"Me either," Kent replies huskily. He stares down at President Luthor, slowly stroking his hands up and down his husband's back. His face is a picture of fatuous adoration. President Luthor smiles up at him with an expression that can only be described as besotted.
It simply isn't possible to act that stupidly in love with someone. No wonder they never used to touch each other in public if this is how they react. They don't even remember that we're all here watching them, filming them, and taking pictures.
The noise from questioning reporters grows to almost deafening levels.
President Luthor is the first to snap out of whatever trance he and Kent have fallen into. He turns to the assembled crowd and he says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we've all had enough revelations for one day."
Luthor is back in control now, every inch the calm and composed President we've come to know. "Obviously, this has been a very difficult time for everyone involved." His smile takes on a wry twist. "I give you my word that Clark and I will address the nation together to explain all this. But, right now, we need some time together as a family."
"Mr. President, wait—"
"Please, Mr. President, just one question!"
"Superman! I mean, Mr. Kent, can you tell us how long you—"
"Diane, Phil, Larry, all of you!" Luthor raises a hand to stop the barrage of questions. "I promise everyone will get a chance. But later," he says, before turning to smile at his still blushing husband. The President then adds in a much softer tone: "Much later."
It's actually a little amusing how President Luthor and Clark Kent can't seem to stop touching each other. They leave the press conference, hand in hand, leaving the visibly stunned White House press team to handle this new controversy.
I sit on the White House lawn, my mouth hanging open, equally stunned, before laughter sets in. And, once it starts, I can't stop laughing. Only Lex Luthor would manage to get caught cheating on his husband with none other than his own husband. If there were a third term in office, President Luthor would definitely get my vote.
Smiling, I think back to some of the pictures I haven't sold yet. In particular, I think of the shots on the hotel balcony at sunrise, where Luthor and Kent are holding each other. They looked good together like that.
Perhaps I'll send them a copy.