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Metropolis Confidential

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Metropolis Confidential

by Serafina

http://www.piekric.slashaholics-island.com/index.htm



If anyone was going to commit a crime at the club Atlantis, tonight was the night to do it. Oh, security was milling around the building and the floor as usual, keeping the peace and collecting payoffs from those who conducted their business on the dance floor or in dark corners. However, the security monitors in the main office all showed one image and one alone: the boy on his knees in the bathroom giving blow jobs to a line of paying customers.

Morgan had been watching for about fifteen minutes, and the boy had been going for longer. This was the second night in a row he'd come in, and his routine was similar to the night before. The boy walked into the club and danced until someone bought him a drink. In payment for the drink, they disappeared into a dark corner where the boy brought his patron off. Then, he returned to the floor for another round. By one o'clock, he'd had a string of easy hits and moved from drinks to cash. The boy would lead them to the bathroom, drop to his knees, and start sucking until the customers ran out or the club closed. Then, sticky with sweat and semen, pockets full of cash and wearing a shirt he'd conned off a customer, the boy would leave the club for destinations unknown.

Rumors of the boy abounded, of course. Stories of a man who could tear ATMs out of walls, who threw cars fifty feet, who'd set Club Zero on fire by looking at it. Morgan had ignored the rumors until today when the boy had seen fit to interrupt a bank robbery Morgan had set up. He'd gotten away with five hundred thousand dollars, and, despite his wealth, had shown up once more to pleasure the customers of Morgan's club.

He was beautiful. Breathtaking. Even on the grainy black and white screens, his talent and beauty shone through. Muscles bunched and shifted under tanned skin that was shiny with sweat he'd built up from work. Dark hair fell in curls around his face and was plastered to his forehead. His lips were swollen and shiny as he sucked cock after cock, working them with tongue, lips, and hands like a pro, fondling balls, stroking shafts, and teasing heads through latex. And the boy was good: every cock that went into his mouth had a condom on. He only allowed bare cocks for handjobs and when guys wanted to come on him.

Morgan shifted as yet another man climaxed in the boy's mouth, knuckles going white in his hair. This man had been particularly brutal, unwilling to let the boy--Kal was his name--take any form of control. This man had gone in hard and fast, practically tearing Kal's hair as he fucked the pretty mouth, forcing it open wide until tears leaked from Kal's eyes as the cock was shoved down his throat.

And Kal took it, his own cock pushing hard against the confines of his tight leather pants. No one ever asked to see it, see that magnificent organ that enticed Morgan through its coverings. The boy was big; Morgan could only imagine what his cock looked like.

"Sean," he said suddenly, not taking his eyes off the monitors as yet another man stepped up to Kal's waiting mouth. "Go downstairs. Pay him a thousand to blow you and jack himself off as he's doing it." Morgan pulled the money out of his drawer and handed it to Sean.

"Yes sir." Sean took the money and left. A few minutes later, he joined the line. He'd removed his security jacket and gun, and was simply wearing a crisp white shirt and slacks. Morgan's heart picked up in anticipation. Sean wasn't gay and, as far as Morgan knew, had never been with a man. However, he never turned down a blowjob either. This would be interesting.

After an eternity, it was Sean's turn. He gave Kal the money and explained what he wanted. The boy smiled wickedly, his eyes flicking up to the security camera in the corner of the bathroom. So he did know; interesting.

Kal leaned back onto one hand and unfastened his pants. Slowly, he teased them off his slim hips and down to his thighs before sitting back on his knees. His pants gapped open and his cock jutted out, hard, tip wet with precome.

Morgan sighed and adjusted himself, eyes devouring Kal's cock. Long, thick, it was easily the biggest Morgan had ever seen. He could feel it inside him, feel it pressed against his stomach as he pounded into Kal's ass, feel it tearing him in two as Kal pounded into his. He didn't know which he wanted more.

Kal's hand wrapped around his cock and he started stroking. His eyes fell closed, mouth open and Morgan could practically hear the moan that was escaping as the first hint of relief jolted through Kal.

Money fell around him as men Kal had already taken care of grew hard again. They began stroking in time with Kal, eyes watching his every movement.

Still stroking his own turgid member, Kal bent forward and took Sean in his mouth. He licked and sucked, lips wrapped around the head, teasing. Sean fell back against the sink, gripping it tightly as Kal worked his magic. His head began to bob in time with his fist, faster and faster, stronger strokes, more tongue. Sean was biting his lips, trying to keep from making noise. One of the men in the crowd lost it; he came in hard splurts that hit Kal's back, mingling with the sweat.

Kal didn't seem to notice. He kept moving his head, faster until it seemed almost impossible. His hand was a blur, his head nearly so. His free hand pressed into Sean's perineum, massaging hard, pressing as he sucked, cheeks hollow, Sean's cock.

Sean came hard, mouth open, knees practically giving out. Kal kept sucking until Sean pulled his dick out, shaking, looking weak.

With a wicked smile, Kal leaned back again, eyes on the camera. He was heavy lidded, lips curved wickedly. He continued to stroke his cock faster, harder, and his other hand reached up and fondled his nipples. He twisted and tugged, mouthing something that looked like "Come on," and "Fuck me, please." Then he raised his body and reached underneath him.

As one finger slid slowly inside him, three more men came on him. Kal didn't notice as he fucked himself with one finger, then two, then three. He was moaning, twisting his hips, cock twitching and turning darker as he teased it.

Finally, Sean dropped to his knees in front of Kal and took him into his mouth. Another pulled Kal's ass into the air and started licking his hole, tonguing him, teasing the sweet, puckered flesh around his opening.

Morgan came when Kal did, although not as hard or as sweetly. Kal threw his head back and howled, body shuddering, fingers clawing his own flesh as he flew apart. When he was done, he fell to the floor, scattering the money that had been thrown around him, sweaty, limp, and sated.

A little embarrassed, Morgan cleaned himself up and took a sip of water. Then he pressed the intercom for downstairs security.

"Yes, sir?" the guard answered promptly.

"Bring the whore in the bathroom to my office. Make sure to bring his money."

"Yes, sir."

Morgan sat back and gazed at his newest acquisition once more.


Kal spent about thirty minutes cleaning up in Morgan's bathroom. When he emerged, he was damp from his shower, hair curling around his flushed face. He was dressed in the clothes Morgan had laid out for him: black slacks and a dark green silk shirt. No shoes-Kal's own shoes would do, although Morgan was amused by the fact he left the bathroom barefoot.

Morgan stayed behind his desk as Kal swaggered from the bathroom. His shirt was unbuttoned, and a bead of water slid down his chest and dripped off the strange scar that adorned it. Once, someone had tried to touch the scar. They'd ended up across the room and required an ambulance. The story spread quickly and no one had tried again. Of course, Kal's clientele hadn't disappeared; with that mouth, it was no surprise.

Impassively, Morgan watched the drop's journey before lifting his eyes to meet Kal's smug expression.

"Have a seat," he said, gesturing to the chair set out for him.

Kal pulled the chair around so he could straddle. Arms wrapped around the back, he rested his chin and gazed at Morgan with an air akin to innocence. And seductiveness.

The boy could have made millions as a model. In addition to the breathtaking face, he moved like liquid mercury and oozed sex with every breath.

"What can I do for you?" Kal asked. He traced a pattern on the back of the chair with the tip of his finger.

Morgan pushed the money he'd counted and sorted across the desk to Kal. "Eight hundred dollars.. That's a good take. What did you make last night?"

"A little less than that."

"And the night before?"

"Five hundred. The more I've come, the more popular I am." Kal shrugged and licked the tip of his finger. "Well. The more they come, the more popular I am."

"Modesty does not become you."

Kal just laughed and sucked enticingly his finger.

"You made eight hundred dollars tonight. As it's Saturday, you can be sure that this is your biggest night. If you were to remain the rest of the week, you might make more next Saturday. Might."

"Uh huh."

"Of course, you could continue robbing banks as you did this afternoon and give up whoring."

With a noisy pop, Kal pulled his finger from his mouth. "But why? It's fun."

"Fun?"

"I like sucking cock. Want me to suck yours?"

"No, thank you," Morgan replied. "Not right now." He pulled a coin from his pocket and, under the table, began running it over his knuckles. "I have a proposal."

"I charge double if you want to fuck me." Then Kal grinned wolfishly. "You'll only be the second."

Interesting. Only one other man had breached that delectable ass? "I'll pay you two thousand dollars a week to live in an apartment of my choosing. I'll pay for the apartment, your food, your clothes and amenities, as well as anything you might desire. In exchange, I'll have you do things for me."

"Things?"

"Sometimes I have need for someone impossibly strong, fast, and invincible. I have enemies I need to protect myself against, and I am occasionally hired to perform feats best carried out by someone with gifts such as yourself."

Kal nodded thoughtfully. "Will I get a cut on the things you want me to steal? I mean, when you're hired."

"You're already making two thousand a week for doing nothing."

"Except things that might put me in danger. I don't think it's unreasonable to want a reward for putting my ass on the line for you."

Morgan smiled. "Perhaps not." He leaned back in his chair, palming the coin. "I'll give you ten to twenty percent of the fee I get, depending on the difficulty of the job."

"Okay. I'll take it." Kal rose and glided over to him. Hitching himself up, he stretched lengthwise across the table. One hand rested casually across his stomach, the other propped his head up. "So. Is this going to be one of those deals where I have to walk around naked? Wear a collar? Should I call you Master?"

"No, Kal. Morgan shall suffice." He leaned forward and touched Kal's lower lip. "Do you know who I am?"

Kal bit his finger gently and licked it with the tip of his tongue. "No."

"Then why take the deal?"

"I like money."

Morgan raised his eyebrow and stroked over Kal's cheek, feeling the soft skin that now belonged to him. "You must have some idea who I am. Why else would you agree to be mine?"

Kal moved closer, his hand now dangling off the side of the desk to rest on Morgan's thigh. It was tantalizingly close to his crotch. It was very tempting to give in, but Morgan had a plan and he promised to see it through.

"I figure you're a horny old man looking for something to play with. A horny rich old man with money to spare." His hand cupped Morgan's crotch and Kal licked his lips. "A horny, rich, sexy old man."

Morgan picked the hand off his lap and raised it to his mouth. "My name is Morgan Edge. I am the biggest crime boss in Metropolis. I am very rich and I'm very important. I also happen to be in the market for something pretty." He rose and pulled Kal to his feet. "Now. I have work I need to do. My assistant, Quentin, will drive you to your current lodgings before taking you to your new home."

"And then you'll come and fuck me?"

"I'll probably come to see how you're settling in around one. Feel free to go where you want and do whatever you want. Quentin will order you breakfast, just tell him what you want." He kissed Kal's hand once more and left.

"But when are you going to fuck me?" Kal shouted after him, sounding petulant.

Morgan just smiled and continued on.


Morgan's apartment was easily the coolest place Clark had ever been in. The penthouse suite took up the entire top floor of the skyscraper with its eight rooms, six and a half bathrooms, a huge living room, and two balconies. It was tastefully decorated, mostly in muted tones, but Clark's room was in bold black and green, and Clark had to wonder if it was a coincidence or if Morgan had decorated the room just for him.

He wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. There were so many toys for Clark to play with: an entire room devoted to movies, three computers, all equipped with a cable modem, and digital cable with every station known to man. Plus, Quentin took him shopping after breakfast and let Clark buy both a PlayStation2 and an X-Box. Quentin even showed Clark the premium porn sites on the Internet, and then paid membership so Clark could access them.

Clark had hit the big time, no doubt about it. A rich man wanted to keep him as a pet and, truth be told, Clark didn't mind being kept. Especially by the owner of his new favorite club.

Clark had been in Metropolis a month. He'd ripped off hundreds of ATMs, robbed three banks, held up an armored car, and mugged countless muggers. He'd been on shopping sprees to decorate what he'd thought was a decent apartment until now. Clark's days were devoted to sleep, movies, and the acquisition of money. Nights were devoted to clubbing and, lately, sex. At first, he'd held back, uncomfortable with being touched, frustrated by the fact he couldn't find anyone close to Lana Lang's perfection.

And then, he'd met Jake. Or maybe his name had been Joe. Whatever his name, he'd been the first one that made the itching in Clark's skin go away, and then to light Clark on fire. In the back alley behind the club where they'd met, they'd frantically rubbed against each other, kissing and biting, bringing each other off.

The next night, Clark had skipped the straight clubs and gone directly to a place called Club Zero. He'd given and gotten his first blowjob that night and accidentally burned the place down when he'd come.

Nights had settled into a pattern after that. Go to a club, find a couple guys to screw around with, go home feeling sated, his skin and scar numb.

Then, one night, some pimp had tried to jump him. Clark had gotten into a huge brawl that nearly gotten him arrested. When he tried to return to the club a few nights later, he'd been banned.

But the idea that he could make money off sex was firmly planted in his mind. So, he'd tried Atlantis. And found that sex sold. Big time. Plus, was a hell of a lot of fun.

Being picked up by Morgan was luck. Pure luck. Clark knew that he couldn't have continued the way he was going. The way he figured it, the Atlantis gig was due to blow up in his face in a week or so. Soon, he'd go through all the clubs in the city and have to move on. And while there wasn't anything that was keeping him in Kansas, Clark liked the city, and didn't really want to leave.

Morgan was going to keep him here. Okay, yeah, he was keeping Clark on a leash. Or in a gilded cage, whichever metaphor you wanted to use. And, yes, Clark had fled Smallville partly to escape the leash or cage or whatever. But Morgan didn't want Kal the way Jor-El wanted Kal. Morgan wanted Kal in his bed or playing video games or whatever. To indulge his hedonistic side and, frankly, Clark felt he deserved to for a change.

He didn't want to conquer the world. He didn't want to hurt his .... Hurt the Kents anymore. And if he only got to suck one cock instead of a hundred to keep him comfortable, well, then he'd do it. Morgan probably had a nice cock. There was something really sexy about him for an old man.

Clark started getting ready for Morgan around noon. He showered carefully, using all the expensive products in the bathroom. He blow dried his hair so it curled softly, and gelled to keep it in place. There was lubricant and condoms under the bathroom sink. Carefully, Clark slicked his fingers and stretched himself out as best he could. He still didn't feel pain, for the most part. His only source of it was from the red Kryptonite and his scar, so he wasn't afraid of it hurting when Morgan fucked him.

However. He'd been fucked once. And he hated it. A lot. So much so, that he'd declined every offer, request, and money for others to do it to him. He just didn't like and had planned never to do it again. But Morgan was paying him a lot of money for the pleasure of .... Anyway. Maybe taking extra time to stretch his passage would make it easier.

He didn't care about more enjoyable.

One o'clock found him stretched and naked on the couch, cock half hard. He was listening attentively for Morgan's arrival, wanting to be hard and ready when he finally arrived.

The doorknob rattled at ten after one. Clark stroked his cock roughly, bringing it to full hardness.

The door opened and Morgan appeared. He was dressed in a black and blue, his slacks pressed with a sharp crease down the middle, his shirt three shades darker than his eyes, a black coat hanging around him like wings. His eyes seemed to gleam behind his glasses when he saw Clark and a small, amused smile graced his lips. "Hello, Kal."

"Hey." He stretched luxuriously, and then returned to his work. "How was your day?"

"It's been fine." He shrugged out of his coat and hung it on the rack. "How do you like the apartment?"

"Come over here and I'll show you how much I like it."

The smile grew. Clark didn't like it. He seemed smug, somehow. And he wasn't looking at Clark with lust. At least, not like any kind of lust Clark had ever seen.

"I'll have to pass for now. There's some work I need to get done."

Clark sat up. "But ... but ..."

"Oh, and I have a task I need you to do for me tonight," Morgan said as he walked across the room. He went to the kitchen and pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator. It wasn't like the plastic, cheap water bottles Clark usually drank; the bottle was made of blue glass and looked expensive. When he returned, he sat on the couch. If Clark moved just a little, he could press against Morgan's body and bring himself some relief.

"You do?" he said barely refraining from humping Morgan. He bit his lip and ran his hand over the tip of his cock.

Morgan nodded and leaned against the back of the couch. His body formed a sort of bridge over Clark, and he seemed to hold himself carefully, so as not to touch Clark.

But Morgan was so close. So close, and he wasn't. Touching. Clark.

"I need you to break into Lane Towers and steal some documents. The files I need are in Lois Lane's office, which is on the thirtieth floor. They're in a locked file cabinet in her desk."

"Child's play," Clark said, breathing heavily. The heavy heat that always came over him when he jacked off had embraced him, and he wasn't doing this for show anymore. He'd always enjoyed playing with himself, feeling the heavy length of his cock in his hand, feeling it fill with blood, feel his hands stroke from tip to root. He always twisted his wrist just a little at the bottom, and pleasure zinged through him.

Morgan lifted the bottle to his lip and took a long drink. When he pulled away, he ran his tongue of the opening with an almost contemplative expression on his face.

Clark groaned.

"I figured I'd start you on something easy. Easy, but important." He lowered the bottle to his knee and idly stroked his finger over the top. "You've heard about what's happening with LuthorCorp?"

"No." Clark watched Morgan's finger, heart pounding harder. Fire was building in his groin, and his skin tingled. He wanted to be touched. Badly. By Morgan. His nipples were draw into tight peaks and ached. No one ever touched his nipples. No one ever touched him and he was being paid to touch and be touched. Wasn't he?

"I see. Well, there's intrigue brewing, as there often is, between LuthorCorp and Lane Enterprises. Lionel Luthor has asked me to relieve Miss Lane of some documents for half a million dollars. As it's an easy job, I think ten percent is a good enough fee."

Clark groaned at the thought of the money, cock twitching. He felt a drop of precome ooze out of the hole, and he caught it in his finger. "What time do you want me to go?"

"I think midnight should suffice. Slip in, steal the file, and slip out. Try not to be seen by the security cameras. Cover your face, perhaps."

Why wasn't Morgan touching him? God, Clark was in agony. "Yeah." He'd agree to anything at this point. He'd dye his hair, wear make-up. He'll, he'd wear a dress if only Morgan would pay attention to what he was doing.

Clark shifted; his cock brushed Morgan's shirt, and the sensation shot through him, making his toes curl. "I'll do what you want, no problem. But first ..." He licked his lips and smiled sultrily. "Don't you want me?" He twisted his hips in what he hoped was an enticing motion.

Dispassionately, Morgan looked down at Clark's cock. He didn't move except to take another drink of water.

What was wrong?

Frustrated, Clark lifted his free hand to his nipples and tugged. He groaned and the sound was only partially staged. Morgan may not be touching him, but his gaze was heavy on Clark's skin. Beads of sweat formed on Clark's forehead as he stroked harder, faster. He cupped and fondled his balls, then allowed one finger to penetrate his hole.

He didn't like other people in there. That one time had sucked. But this .... Sliding a semi-slick digit in and out in quick, short movements while he stroke his turgid cock. His stomach clenched, and he keened softly as he stroked faster and faster until his hand was a blur and ...

Morgan licked the opening of the water bottle again, then swallowed it down. His lips wrapped around the hard blue glass and his throat worked in slow, languid movements as he tipped his head back to drink.

Clark's entire body seized and he came. Semen welled over his fist, which was clenched tightly over the head of his cock. It dripped down his hand in viscous strands. Some got onto Morgan's slacks and, tiredly, Clark wondered if he should offer to lick it off. He decided against it, instead stroking the come over his sweaty chest to his mouth and licked his hand curiously, eyes on Morgan.

He produced a light blue handkerchief from his pocket; Clark caught the initials LL embroidered in the corner. Then he turned it so the initials were hidden and scrubbed at the semen. "I have some work to do, and then I might get some more sleep. Feel free to come or go as you like. This isn't a prison. I'll want to speak to you before you leave for Lane Enterprises. I have a key card for the side door entrance and a cell phone, in case you need to contact me." The, raising his bottle to his lips again, he left the room.

A hot bubble of anger rose in Clark's chest so quickly that he had to direct his gaze to the fireplace so he didn't set the penthouse on fire. Although it would serve Morgan right.

What the hell was wrong with that man? Clark was literally his for the taking. Clark would let him do anything for the right money. And he was paying the right money. Why wasn't he taking Clark?

"Twisted bastard," Clark said, realizing what Morgan was trying to do. He was trying to drive him crazy. To play him. To humiliate him.

Well, Morgan didn't know who he was dealing with. He was Clark ... Kal ...

He was himself. And he wasn't going to be played for a fool.


Lionel Luthor had always preferred quiet elegance to anything else. While Morgan and the rest of their gang had been content to run around the slums and hold their meetings in abandoned buildings, Lionel had insisted they move to the fountain by the park. It was more suitable for a band of gentlemen bandits, he'd explained, and, even though most of their crew had no idea what the word bandit meant, Lionel's manner and bearing when he said the word only increased their devotion to him.

It didn't end with meeting places. Lionel couldn't work in the neighborhood in which they lived; he had to work at the Petite Fleur, the most expensive restaurant in Metropolis. His clothing was meticulous, his hair always clean and well groomed, and he read as much literature and history he could to make himself sound upper class. The night after he and Morgan had killed Lionel's parents, and after they'd received the official news of their demise, the two of them had checked into the Grand hotel and rented the most expensive room they could afford. The hookers they'd brought in for entertainment were off the streets and cheap, but Lionel swore to Morgan that as soon as LuthorCorp make its first million, he'd buy them both a couple of first class whores.

As it'd turned out, Morgan had made the first million, but crime paid more than legitimate business. And Lionel had to spend years cultivating his appearance so anyone who met him would only see the stately king instead of the downtrodden pauper he had been. Morgan, who took care of all the underworld dealings for LuthorCorp, who'd quickly clawed his way through the underbelly of Metropolis to become the top crime boss at age twenty-five, needed no such veneer of gentility.

And yet, years of association with Lionel, of going to his parties, of mixing in that world, and through simple exposure to the man himself, had allowed Morgan to adopt some of that veneer for himself. Perhaps he was not as elegant or polished as Lionel, and he didn't speak three languages fluently nor could he quote any more history and philosophy than he'd been taught by Lionel, but he'd managed to assume the quiet, dignified air that made him fit into a place like the Executive Suite, Metropolis's most exclusive gentlemen's club.

The fact that Morgan had always been ten times more patient than Lionel helped as well. Lillian had often remarked laughingly that Lionel was like the David--larger than life, magnificent and with no shame--but Morgan, which his quiet grace and enigmatic smile, was the Mona Lisa. One might venture a guess as to Lionel's thoughts but Morgan was a mystery to all.

Well, all but Lionel. Lionel, who had known Morgan since birth, who'd been with him through ever beating levied by his father, every school yard skirmish, every gang war. Morgan was never a mystery to him.

Lionel was waiting for Morgan at a private table in the back of the club. There was a martini and a smoldering cigar in front of him. The Daily Planet was spread over his crossed legs, and he had a pensive expression on his face.

"Hello, Lionel," Morgan said, easing into the chair across from him. He gestured to the waiter, who immediately came over for his drink order. After he gave it, he met Lionel's eyes.

"So?"

"He left just before I got here. I don't imagine that it should take very long for him to accomplish his mission."

"I hope not."

The waiter came back with Morgan's bourbon. He sipped it. "How is Lex?" he asked, as he always did. Ever since Lex had turned sixteen, he'd been almost violent in his refusal to see Morgan. He kept tabs on the boy, of course, and occasionally was able to catch a glimpse of him. But the last time Morgan had tried to get near him, Lex had cut his own wrist then waved the bloody knife at Morgan threateningly.

Of course, Lex had been high at the time. And hallucinating. But it was a lesson that hit Morgan hard. Lionel may use Lex's fragile psychological state to suit his own purposes, but Morgan could never use his son that way.

"He's fine," Lionel said, briskly folding his paper. "Cocky, though, which makes me uneasy. He's convinced he's covered all the bases in our covert takeover of Lane Enterprises, but I'm not sure. Lois Lane and her father are a little too cagey for my tastes."

"What do you think is in the file?"

"With any luck, the signed contracts that, when Lex has carried out the final steps of this scheme, will ruin their company." He rubbed his beard pensively. "I'm afraid, though, Lois is trying to do to LuthorCorp what Lex is trying to do to Lane Enterprises." He sighed and picked up his cigar. "Lex bought an engagement ring today."

Morgan blinked and pulled his cigarette case from his pocket. "Did he?"

Lionel nodded and rolled his eyes. "He has some romantic notion that after Lane Enterprises is ours, he'll propose to Lois. To make everything better, you see."

"Does he really believe that she'll accept?" He lit his cigarette and raised it to his mouth.

"He gets his romantic side from his mother, I suspect," Lionel said laughingly.

Morgan smiled tightly and said nothing. Lionel was kind, in a way. He never blamed any of Lex's faults on his father, always on Lillian. Of course, as far as Lionel was concerned, Morgan had nothing to do with Lex or Julian's conception. They were Lillian's faults and Lionel's strengths when Lionel admitted to the boy having any strengths.

Morgan could have named hundreds of them. But not to Lionel.

"She might accept. Their relationship is perverse enough. But," he continued, leaning forward. "He thinks that we could give her a position in the company."

"Talk to him," Morgan suggested. "He'll see the light."

"Perhaps. I wouldn't trust that viper to be a file clerk at Luthor Corp."

Morgan's cell phone rang. "Yes?"

"There's no file," Kal said, sounding frustrated.

He frowned; surely Kal was more adept than this. "You looked in the drawer?"

"I looked everywhere. She's even got a safe in here. It's hidden, and I checked it, but there's only some green rocks." His voice wavered as he mentioned the rocks.

Morgan's eyes flicked to Lionel, then pretended to concentrate on flicking the ash off his cigarette. "Check the office again."

"I checked underneath this stupid carpet she's got in here. And every single other office on this floor, it's not here." He sounded whiney. "The only thing that has anything to do with the Luthors is a picture of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor kissing. Should I take that?"

"Did you check behind the picture to see if there was any documents?"

"Yeah. There isn't any."

With a sigh, Morgan pulled the phone away from his mouth. "The file isn't in her office, or anywhere on the floor."

"Damn," Lionel breathed. He tapped the cigar against the ashtray. "Get him out of there. If it's not in her office, it's not there. Dammit."

"Kal? Get out of there."

"Are you sure? I could ..." Kal broke off abruptly with a pained gasp.

"Kal?"

"I'm okay," he growled in a voice that sounded anything but okay.

Shit. "What's going on?"

This time, there wasn't any answer, just a lot of panting and pathetic whimpers. Morgan's heart raced as the phone was dropped, and he heard something that sounded like fabric ripping. Kal was grunting and crying softly.

What the hell was going on? Was he under attack or sick or what? Maybe this investment wasn't exactly what Morgan had thought it would be.

"Kal? Pick up the phone."

There was a long moment during which Morgan held his breath, on tenterhooks, not sure what to do. Not that he could do anything, not from here. Then, Kal said weakly, "Sorry." His voice was so small and weak, it actually wrenched Morgan's heart to hear it. "I'm okay." Kal took a deep breath; when he spoke again, his voice was firmer. "I'm leaving the building now. Is there anywhere I should go?"

"Just go home. Stay until I get there," Morgan snapped.

"All right." The connection closed.

"What happened?" Lionel asked.

"I'm not sure. He searched the entire floor, including her secret safe and under the carpeting. He said there was nothing there. Then he ... fell ill or something."

"Fell ill?" Lionel arched an eyebrow and shook his head. "It doesn't sound like this man is very reliable."

"He's new and he's young. But, he is remarkable. I have faith in him." Morgan ground out his cigarette and finished his bourbon. "I need to see what happened."

"I'll call you when I have new information. In the meantime, please keep your ear to the ground. The standard rate for any and all information you gather will, of course, apply."

Morgan nodded and wished he could pay Lionel to pass him information about Lex. But he merely smiled enigmatically and replied, "Of course. Good night."

The drive back to the penthouse was a blur. Morgan wove in and out of traffic, trying to put together what had happened. Had Kal gone in high? Morgan had never seen the boy do drugs, but it wasn't if Morgan knew him all that well. But it should have been common sense: when breaking and entering a multi-million dollar corporation on a job worth a million dollars, you didn't go in intoxicated.

He stormed into the penthouse, anger high. "Kal!"

"I'm in here," a weak voice came from the bathroom.

Morgan stopped short at the tone. It was completely different than the boy normally sounded and, for the first time, Morgan was worried.

Kal was in the tub, skin ashy, hair plastered to his face. There was a half empty bucket of ice next to him, and one hand rested inside it. The scar on his chest was an angry red, and when Kal opened his eyes, they were bloodshot.

Morgan didn't say anything as he sat on the edge of the tub. Kal was watching him almost fearfully, waiting for the explosion, Morgan supposed. For something.

Instead of giving it to him, Morgan simply reached into the bucket and picked up a piece of ice. As he ran it over Kal's forehead, he frowned at how unnaturally hot the boy was. The water he was in was ice cold, and yet his temperature was well above normal.

"What happened?" he asked, running the ice back and forth of the feverish flesh.

Kal's eyes fluttered closed and he arched into the touch. "I had no trouble getting into the building. I diverted the cameras away from me while I was looking, and most of the time I .... I moved too fast for anyone to see me. But the file wasn't there."

"Then you called me, then this happened."

He nodded and inched down so the water rose to his nose. Then he rose again. "Yes."

The ice cube was gone, melted against the heated skin. Morgan reached into the water and smoothed it over Kal's neck. "What drugs do you do?" he asked.

"What?"

"I don't want you buying drugs off the street. There are too many unknown factors, and I don't want you buying a bad mix of anything. I'd rather purchase them for you."

"I don't do drugs."

Morgan blinked, hand stilling on Kal's skin. "I beg your pardon?"

Bloodshot eyes opened and met his. "I don't do drugs. This isn't because of ... drugs." He swallowed and didn't say anything more.

Taking another ice cube, Morgan tried to pull all the information together. He already knew Kal was bullet proof and moved faster than the eye could follow. He was incredibly strong; he'd pulled an ATM out of the wall without breaking a sweat. He drank a lot while at Atlantis, yet never seemed to feel the effects. But something had reduced him to this.

"Are you ill?"

Kal hesitated, then nodded. "Sort of. It's an allergy."

"To what?"

This time, he said nothing. His face completely shut down. "I'm sorry for failing," he said after a moment of silence.

"You didn't fail. The information was bad."

"I meant for getting sick."

Morgan was silent as he ran the ice over Kal's neck, easing towards the scar. He wasn't feeling particularly suicidal right now, but, on the other hand, Kal was quiet and pliant. He might not react.

Kal hissed when Morgan touched the scar, stiffening.

"That hurts?"

"Yes. Please, don't." It came out a moan, and Kal pulled himself, wet hands grasping Morgan's slacks and coat. "I'll ... blow you. Jack you off. Anything, just don't touch the scar."

Morgan threaded his fingers through Kal's hair and gently nudged him back. "I don't need anything right now, thank you. And I won't touch it. I simply thought it might help."

There were tears in Kal's eyes as he leaned back against the cool white porcelain. "Don't you want me?" he asked in a shaky voice. "You won't even touch me."

He unclenched his fingers and ran his knuckles down Kal's face. His eyes closed and he arched into the touch, mouth falling open. "I'm touching you now."

Kal's tongue came out and wet his full bottom lip, and Morgan was hard pressed not to suck that lip into his mouth. But he didn't, not yet.

"Can't I touch you?" Kal whispered, hips arching from the water. His cock was hardening, but slowly. His entire body screamed exhaustion, and Morgan noticed that any time his fingers brushed against a drying spot of skin, Kal flinched.

"Not tonight. Tonight, I want you to rest." He bent forward and pressed his lips into Kal's forehead. "Is there anything you need?"

Kal grabbed his arms and held tightly. "Don't leave. The ... the penthouse, I mean."

"I'll be in the room across from yours." Then, he kissed Kal very, very lightly, before rising and leaving the room.


Kal spent the next week or so doing his best to piss Morgan off. Despite his plea for Morgan to remain near him the night he'd fallen ill, Kal seemed indifferent, almost angry, at the fact he was still in the apartment the next day. On entering the kitchen and finding Morgan comfortably ensconced at the table with a pastry, coffee, and paper, Kal hesitated, almost frozen. He ignored Morgan's polite, "Good morning," although it seemed to spur him into action.

With a defiant lift in his head, Kal swept past Morgan into the kitchen. He grabbed a donut, cup of coffee, then left once more. When Morgan entered the living room an hour later, Kal was curled on the couch, playing video games. He didn't acknowledge Morgan's presence with even a twitch of his eyebrow when Morgan informed Kal he was leaving for the day.

Amused at Kal's behavior, Morgan called Quentin and instructed him to move Morgan's clothes and personal items from his apartments to the penthouse. Normally, he didn't live in the penthouse. It was for show. For entertaining. For making a point to those who would question or challenge his authority or place in Metropolis. He only used it once every few weeks or so; the rest of the time, it was vacant and Morgan lived in a smaller, more secure apartment.

When all was said and done, Morgan was a private man. He'd never been married, never lived with a lover for longer than a few weeks. The two times Lillian had been pregnant, Morgan had lived at the Luthor residence. He'd stayed until Lex was one and a half, which was when Lionel had politely suggested that it wouldn't do to confuse the boy too much.

Lionel never had even asked Morgan to leave with Julian. He'd killed the child too quickly, even though Morgan had done everything he could to make his son worthy of Lionel's attentions. Julian had been born a month early, and his lungs were underdeveloped. Lillian had been so weak and depressed after Julian's birth, and Morgan had been unwilling to trust Julian to the nurse for his sole care, so he'd taken over everything. He fed, rocked, cuddled, and changed that child for nearly three months, leaving Quentin to run his organization and report back to him.

And then, the crime world was thrown into something of an uproar. Morgan was called away, and, three nights later, when he'd finally been able to return, Julian was dead.

His stay at the Luthors' was the longest period of time Morgan had lived with anyone his entire adult life. Briefly, he wondered how long Kal would be in his life. And what it was, exactly, that he wanted from this boy.

But, in the long run, it was best not to think about it too deeply. Instead, he acted, moving into the penthouse and then going about his business as if nothing had changed.

The second day, Kal was gone when Morgan woke up. A brief glance at the security cameras revealed the boy sleekly gliding through the cool waters of the indoor pool. Kal was naked whether because he knew the cameras were trained on him or he had no suit, Morgan didn't know. Nor did he care. He simply made a call, had the pool closed for the day, and sat back to watch Kal swim. All in all, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

The pattern continued. Morgan would wake to find the boy either gone or in the living room. Almost everything Morgan said was met with stormy silence. To Kal, nothing existed by the television and Quentin. Morgan was gone from his world.

About a week passed. Then, one day, Morgan came home to find Quentin backed against the wall. One of Kal's legs was wedged between his, and Kal was nibbling his neck, whispering.

"Then I'll drop to my knees and suck you until your eyes cross," Kal's throaty voice floated across the room.

Intrigued, Morgan closed the door quietly and leaned against it.

Kal's blue-green eyes snapped up at the noise. They met Morgan's, and his lips curled. White teeth sank into tanned flesh, and Quentin let out a strangled sound.

"Then I'll fuck you," Kal said. "I'll pour oil on my hands, on my chest. I'll stroke my cock until it's hard and glistening and you just want it so bad. You want to feel it in you, and I'll put it right ... right on the entrance and hold it. You'll be desperate, and you'll beg me, but I won't give it to you until you start pushing yourself down on me, tugging my hips until the tip of my cock slides in, stretching you." Kal ripped Quentin's shirt open. One hand slid down Quentin's chest and slipped beneath his waistband.

Morgan crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow.

"Then, after you've pushed down further, begging me, sobbing my name because you know how fucking good I'll feel, I'll hold you down on the bed, pressing your face into the sheets. You won't be able to move, Quentin. You'll be at my mercy. I'll hold you down, and I'll fuck you." Beneath the tented fabric of Quentin's trousers, Kal's hand moved in one vicious movement.

There was a loud cry as Quentin came. His blunt nails scraped down Kal's skin and his knees went weak as the fabric grew damp.

Laughing, Kal pulled his hand out and licked his hand clean. His eyes never left Morgan's as he said, "Hey."

Flustered, Quentin forced himself to his feet and pulled his shirt tightly around him. "Morgan. I ..."

"I think you should go change," Morgan said evenly. "You're supposed to be following Lois Lane tonight."

"Yes, sir." With a flustered look at Kal, Quentin ran his hands over his hair and walked swiftly across the room.

Kal just smirked and vanished.

"Quentin."

Quentin stopped, hand on the door. Fear and guilt drenched his features. "Yes, sir?"

"If he succeeds in getting you into bed, tape it for me."

"Yes, sir," he said with something like relief. Then he left.

Morgan hung up his coat and went to the kitchen for a bottle of water. He needed a moment before he felt ready to face Kal. The boy was damn seductive, and if Morgan didn't watch himself, he was going to end up being seduced instead of the other way around.

When he felt calm, he went to his bedroom. Kal was stretched across the bed, naked. One hand played almost idly with his nipples; the other was wrapped around one of the bars of the headboard, tugging at it experimentally.

"You angry with me?" Kal asked when Morgan entered.

Morgan crossed the room to his dresser. He removed his tie and set it on the dresser. As he turned to face Kal, he undid the first few buttons of his shirt. "I never said you were not allowed to sleep with anyone else. You may have sex with anyone you wish so long as you are safe."

Kal's eyes darkened and he sat up. "Why am I here?" he demanded.

"Because I'm paying you."

"What are you paying me for? Why won't you fuck me? Or touch me? Don't you want me?" He paused, looking at Morgan closely, confusion and frustration written across his face. When Morgan said nothing, Kal growled and said, "I don't get you. You're paying a lot of money for the privilege. Why don't you just take me already?"

He smiled and touched Kal's cheek gently. "Who ever said I was paying you for sex?"

Kal's mouth fell open to retort angrily. Then he stopped, eyes narrowed. Color flooded his cheeks and he replied, "Why ... why else would you? I mean, you sent that guy into the bathroom that night so you could watch me suck him off. You hired me right after I did that. You ... you wanted me to live in your apartment, and you're paying me. Why would you pay me to live in a penthouse and play video games all day?"

"Because it amuses me. Because I have the money to spare." He allowed his fingers to wander to the curly mass of hair, twining through gently. "Perhaps I'm merely an eccentric old man. Perhaps I'm trying to simply experience something I've never had. Perhaps I've never had the pleasure of watching a beautiful boy enjoy himself. No, not merely enjoy. Indulge himself by playing games and eating junk food and watching movies." He smiled and tugged a lock of hair. "Or swimming."

"You're paying me to be your son?"

No.

Morgan traced Kal's earlobe. "Or, perhaps I'm not quite ready to have you yet," he answered in lieu of an out and out denial.

"I'm ready for you."

"No. You're not."

Kal lifted his chin defiantly and said, "It's not like I haven't had sex before. And I really like sucking cock. I want to suck yours."

Morgan looked at Kal through narrowed eyes. He just might mean that last bit. After all, Kal had been very enthusiastic in tackling the line of men back at Atlantis. It wasn't so inconceivable to think that he enjoyed it; and he was here. Perhaps he did want to suck Morgan's.

But, at the same time, Kal was incredibly tense. It wasn't quite fear, but Kal wasn't comfortable in his own skin, not when he was around Morgan. And Morgan had bedded enough skittish virgins to know it was only fun when their desire overrode their nervousness. Every movement Kal made while trying to seduce Morgan clearly screamed his willingness to put up with being fucked, but only with a firm resolve not to enjoy it.

"You said you've only been taken by one other man," Morgan said. "Tell me about it."

With a roll of his eyes, Kal threw himself back on the bed. "What is your problem? I'm young, I'm beautiful, and I'm horny."

Deliberately, and none too gently, Morgan cupped Kal's ass. His thumb worked its way through the well muscled cheeks until it came in contact with the entrance. When he pressed, Kal gasped and stiffened, fingers ripping at the sheets. His face contorted with something akin to pain, and every muscle screamed.

It was, actually, beautiful. But not what Morgan wanted.

"Sorry," Kal gasped when Morgan pulled away. "I wasn't ready."

"No, you're not ready," Morgan agreed readily. He wiped his hand on his handkerchief; once again, Kal had applied lubricant in an attempt to seduce him. "Tell me about your first time."

"Jesus," Kal swore. He pulled a pillow on top of him and sat up. "I met this guy at a club. A few nights after I got my first blowjob. And he wanted to fuck me, so I figured ... if I was going to be gay, I might as well be gay all the way, right? So I went into the alley with him. He pulled my pants down and jacked me a little, and we rubbed against each other for a bit. He told me to turn around, and he put a condom on. Then he stuck a finger in my ass and stretched me a little, then he started fucking me." Kal shrugged. "It was uncomfortable and felt weird. After he came, he pulled out and sort of bit my neck. Said I was a good fuck, and then he left."

Typical. "He didn't even make sure you got off?"

Kal shrugged and avoided meeting Morgan's eyes as he said, "I wasn't hard anymore. And he had to leave."

"You hated it."

"I hated it."

Morgan stroked his thigh, wanting nothing more than to push him to a bed and show him what it could be like. Instead, he merely asked, "Then why do you want me to take you so badly?"

"You're paying me," Kal said flatly. "What I like or don't like doesn't matter."

"It matters to me." Morgan placed his hand on the nape of Kal's neck and pulled him forward.

Startled, Kal's eyes went wide. He didn't move when Morgan kissed him, softly at first, then with more force. He licked at Kal's mouth until he parted his lips. Delicately, he slid his tongue inside, tasting and teasing. He nipped and sucked at the full lips until Kal moaned and surged into Morgan. His hands gripped at Morgan's shirt and he began kiss Morgan back with passion. With need and heat.

He also kissed like someone who'd never really had a good kiss. Morgan notched his estimation of Kal's age back from seventeen to early sixteen. A sheltered sixteen who'd left an even more inexperienced girlfriend back home.

Threading his fingers through Kal's hair, Morgan took control of the kiss. Kal was not easily subdued, too eager in his exploration and caught up in the sensation of being touched, but Morgan had years of experience on him. He tamed Kal, slowed the pace until their mouths met leisurely with no hurry. Tongues danced with each other, brushing together before pulling away to explore other areas. Teeth were used to nip gently, to pull. Morgan showed Kal how to use tongue, teeth, and lips to tease along the bottom lip, and allowed a gratified noise escape his throat when Kal performed the action on Morgan.

Finally, breathless and a little lightheaded, Morgan pulled away. The kiss, or, rather, kisses had gone on longer than he'd intended. But, then, Kal was delectable and so eager. And he'd genuinely enjoyed it, judging by his flushed face and swollen lips.

"I want you to relax," Morgan said. He rose and stood above Kal, gazing down at him. "Stop looking over your shoulder and worrying about what I am going to do. When I want you, you'll know. You already know I won't push, and I won't make you do anything you don't want to. I only want you to trust me. Until then, accept what you are being given."

Kal licked his lips and sat up, pillow still firmly held over his lap. "You're paying me ..."

"To indulge yourself. To not have to worry about being caught by the police or found by your parents."

A shutter closed over Kal's face and he said, "They won't look for me. I'm not worried about them."

"Of course not," Morgan said with an ironic smile. He touched Kal's face again. "I want you in my bed, Kal, but not yet."

"Then when?"

His smile turned whimsical and he bent forward so he could whisper in Kal's ear. "When you beg me," he whispered. "When you're so desperate for me to fuck you, you can't control yourself anymore. When you're on your hands and knees, begging for me to take you, when it feels as if you won't be able to live without me inside you, fucking you, making you mine and making you come harder than you've ever come in your entire life. And when you've reached that point, where every muscle in your quivers with the need to be filled ..."

"You'll fuck me?" Kal said breathlessly. He turned his head, lips brushing over Morgan's temple.

"I'll take you," Morgan agreed. "Over and over again, until all there has ever been in your life is me." With a quick movement, he kissed Kal once more, then left the bedroom, leaving Kal to think about his words.


After their conversation, Morgan decided to see if his words had had any effect on his favorite boy. A couple days after they talked, he carefully showered, slipped lubricant and a condom in the pocket of his dressing gown, and entered Kal's room unannounced. "Hello, Kal," he said in a low voice.

Kal was stretched on his stomach, reading. He blinked at Morgan lazily, resembling a jungle cat after a full meal.

Morgan smiled and sat on the bed. "You're beautiful, you know," he said softly, caressing down Kal's back.

The boy squirmed and rolled away. "Please don't touch me." He turned the page in his book, body tense.

"What?"

"I don't want you to touch me."

"At all?" Morgan put his hand on the waistband of Kal's jeans and fiddled with the button.

With a trembling hand, Kal pulled Morgan's arm away. "At all." He was clearly terrified, but he met Morgan's eyes squarely with just a little bit of defiance in the set of his chin.

Morgan looked at Kal for a long time, long enough for Kal's skin to flush and the muscles to turn to absolute stone. Then, he smiled and rose, hands out in appeasement. "Of course, I'm sorry. I should have asked."

Kal started in surprise. "You're not... Yeah. You should have asked."

"Forgive me. I'll leave you now."

"Bye."

Kal took great pleasure in turning him down after that. It became almost a game. Morgan requested more and more of him--sex, another Lane Enterprises break-in, shopping, entertaining friends of his--and Kal said no to it all. He said no if Morgan asked to do something that was part of his salary and if it would pay extra. It didn't matter. He continued saying no, and with each refusal, he grew more self-confident, self-assured, and happy.

And then, one day, perhaps four days after their talk, Kal flew out of his bedroom, pushed Morgan against the wall and kissed him. Passionately.

Morgan allowed the kiss. Welcomed it. It was the first time that when Kal initiated something between them, he actually seemed to want it.

It was also gratifying that it happened while Morgan was wearing only a dressing gown and underwear. He wasn't unattractive by any means, nor was he ashamed of his body. But he was old. Old enough, his background check had found out, to be Kal's father. Was, in fact, older than the man who had adopted Kal by at least fifteen years. And time, while not unnecessarily cruel, had left its mark. Morgan knew the moment he made his offer to Kal that there was a good chance Kal would never actually want Morgan. What teenager wanted a man in his very late fifties?

But, here they were. Morgan in his dressing gown and Kal, damp, sweaty, and smelling of sex as he pressed Morgan into the wall and kissed him deeply. His hands slid inside the silk robe and brushed over Morgan's skin. His lips were salty and mouth tasted of toothpaste.

He kissed with all the enthusiasm of a teenager, but with more concentration and determination. As compared to their last real kiss, Kal hadn't improved all that much; he was still a little sloppy and unskilled. His teeth bit too hard and his tongue felt too big, which was usually a symptom of not using it quite right.

And, yet, he was so focused on Morgan, so intent on pleasing him. Kal's hands stroked up and down over his torso, making his skin tingle, and he worked so very hard at teasing with just his mouth, it was hard not to forgive any youthful ignorance.

Morgan's head fell back against the wall heavily. He had no idea what brought this on, but whatever it was, he wasn't going to question it. Instead, he wrapped his arms around Kal and kissed back, guiding again by example, but continuing to allow Kal to take control.

When Kal finally broke the kiss, Morgan was breathless and a little lightheaded.

There was a smug grin on Kal's face when he pulled back. "Morning," he said casually. As he backed away from Morgan, he allowed his hands to trail over Morgan's skin. When they emerged from the dressing gown, Kal straightened it carefully and tied it together tighter.

"Good morning, Kal," Morgan managed in a nearly steady voice.

The smug grew and Kal licked his lips. "Thanks." He turned and swaggered back into his bedroom, closing the door behind him.

Negotiations with Lane Enterprises were stalled, and Morgan welcomed the interruption. Samuel Lane had abruptly been called overseas, and Lois, unlike Lex, was not allowed to take any action without her father's presence.

The reprieve gave Morgan the time to concentrate on his business. He was still looking for the missing file for Lionel, of course, but he had troubles of his own to look to. There was a new punk in town, Rick Jeffries, who was making noises in the underworld. He'd already killed the top drug dealer in the city and taken his place. He was now refusing to deal with Morgan. Not only that, but Jeffries was starting a protection racket in three of the ethnic areas of Metropolis, blithely ignoring the fact that Morgan already had deals going. And the small business owners of the area were too scared to do anything but pay Jeffries, meaning they had nothing for Morgan.

He could, of course, demand the money be paid anyway and take it out in blood when it wasn't. But blood wasn't money and he wanted money. And it was bad for business to take down an entire community. Making an example of one or two shops kept everyone else in line was one thing; being forced to deal with an entire community spoke of weakness. If Morgan couldn't stop an upstart from infringing on his racket, how powerful could he be?

The problem wasn't taking Jeffries out. That could be done quickly, easily, and in a number of different ways. The problem was collapsing the organization in such a way that made a point to anyone else that was thinking of starting in this business without Morgan's blessing.

The answer came to him one night while he was watching Kal dance at the club. Kal had returned to the Atlantis after a short break, but not to his customers. Morgan had informed him that, should Kal want to set up shop once more, he was free to, but Kal demurred.

"I just want to dance," he said. And dance he did. Shirtless, often. Until he was drenched with sweat, every night. With men hanging off his every move, of course.

Morgan enjoyed watching, and often took breaks from work to watch from the upper balcony. Kal always knew and he moved so Morgan had an unobstructed view.

The answer was absurdly easy. The cops were watching a house on Twenty-first that they suspected of being a crack house. Morgan was trying to get rid of the drugs without alerting the police or losing customers. He'd have to lose customers, and seventeen thousand dollars worth of heroine, but Jeffries would be taken care of.

Kal looked up and met Morgan's eyes. Morgan smiled as the idea took form, then glanced at his office. He didn't expect Kal to take the hint, but, to his surprise, when he got to his office, Kal was waiting for him.

"What do you need?" he asked, propping his feet on Morgan's desk.

Before he answered, Morgan went to the bar and poured Kal a drink. Kal seemed to have no preference of alcohol; in fact, Morgan had noticed the boy rarely imbibed unless someone bought something for him. It was interesting only because Kal seemed to be rebelling so hard against someone or something. And yet, he didn't do drugs and he rarely drank alcohol.

Kal accepted the drink and sipped it cautiously.

"It's Scotch."

He nodded and took another sip. "It's good." It was an obvious lie, but Morgan let it pass. He'd teach Kal about drinking later.

"There's an important job I'm going to send you on. Not tonight. Probably not until a few days from now, but I want to make sure you're ready. It's a sensitive mission, and I can't afford having you fall ill again."

Kal's eyes darkened, but he merely nodded. "What do you need me to do?"

"You're going to help me frame a rival of mine. Well, no, he's not really a rival, per se. But he is an annoyance and I need him taken out."

"Am I going to have to ... kill someone?"

There was something like fear in Kal's voice and it put Morgan on alert. Here was a line, finally, that Kal seemed reluctant to cross. The challenge would be, of course, getting him to cross it, but Morgan was strangely hesitant to do so. Kal was wild enough when he wanted to be; did Morgan really want to unleash the killer that might be lying beneath the beautiful face?

"No," he finally answered, truthfully. For this particular mission, killing Jeffries wasn't necessary. Not yet and not by Kal. This was something he'd have to do himself. "No, you don't need to kill anyone. Not this time. But it's a delicate job. You'll have to sneak into a house and remove some merchandise. Then you'll move it to another location and leave it poorly concealed so that when the cops get there, they find it easily." He sat on the desk and folded his hands in front of him. "I haven't worked out all the details of the plan yet, but that's pretty much all you'll need to do. The concern I have, Kal, is that you'll have another episode like you did the other day."

Kal's face darkened and he ran his finger over the rim of his glass. "You don't trust me."

"I still don't know what happened. You said you had an allergic reaction, but you didn't say to what."

Conflict warred in Kal's face. His eyes narrowed and he chewed on the corner of his mouth. Lost in thought, he set his glass down and twisted the cheap class ring he wore around his finger. Morgan often wondered why a runaway would wear such a pervasive symbol of home during the height of his rebellion, but Kal did. The only time Morgan could remember it being off was the night after the Lane Enterprises job.

Kal's eyes came into focus. "When do you think you'll need me?"

Morgan did the mental calculations to see how long it would take to set up. He had several men tailing Jeffries, and one who'd already infiltrated his organization. Getting Kal in and out of each place was simple enough; the only tricky part would be getting the police first into Morgan's soon-to-be defunct crack house and then directing their attention to Jeffries. But they must be close to obtaining a warrant; they just needed a reason. And, after the search, an anonymous tip would get them into Jeffries's, solving Morgan's problems.

"Two days from now." He'd call the dealers tonight, tell them to settle up with their customers then gather everything together. And he'd send a present to Jeffries in the form of a beautiful young call girl Morgan kept on retainer. "Will you be ready?"

Kal shrugged indolently and tossed back the rest of his Scotch. "I'll be ready. And don't worry. I won't have another breakdown like I did before. I promise."


The red meteor rock didn't exactly work like most drugs. At least, it didn't have the side effects that were commonly associated with drugs. For example, it never stopped working. As long as Clark wore the ring, he was high. And he could feel it. His skin buzzed and his mind worked just a little bit slower. His emotions were more tightly controlled, and he didn't feel as acutely. He still got angry and sad and happy, but it wasn't like normal. And things that bothered him didn't bother him as much, so he could ignore them.

He also didn't crash like one did when drugs wore off. There wasn't any shaking or vomiting or headaches. Okay, yes, his skin was a thousand times more sensitive, and he cried more easily, but that wasn't because of the ring. It was because all those things he could ignore while wearing the ring came flooding back to him, and he had to deal with it all and he just wasn't ready.

Clark didn't think he'd ever be ready. He'd screwed everything up so royally when he'd left Smallville, and it hurt. A lot. So long as he wore the ring, it wasn't as bad, but when he took it off...

With a frustrated grunt, Clark rolled over and picked another piece of ice out of the bucket on the floor. The other problem with taking the ring off was how damned sensitive his skin got. He'd go into the bathroom and soak, but he didn't want Morgan walking in on him. Well, a part of him did. The last time Clark had felt like this and had taken off his ring, Morgan had helped. Okay, so he'd just rubbed ice on Clark's head, but it'd felt nice. And what had felt especially nice was how he hadn't asked any questions.

And the thought of questions inevitably brought him back to memories of Lana Lang.

Miserable, Clark moved across the bed. The ice went into his mouth; his head went under the pillow.

He'd been in his room all morning trying to come down from the ring enough so he wouldn't have to worry about burnout. He knew that the longer he wore the ring, the hotter and more painful his scar would flame up. Clark had gotten into the habit the last couple of days of showering without it on, and, when Morgan was gone, walking around for a couple hours without it. Today, the ring had been off five hours, and he'd spent each one of those hours in agony. And not all of it was physical.

Clark could still hear Lana crying when he took off the ring. Crying for him not to leave, lying and saying that his secrets didn't matter. That she loved him, and they belonged together. And he wanted believe her, wanted to be with her despite her questions about him. Or, at least, he had until everything had happened and now...

But he was gay, apparently. Really gay. He didn't just fuck guys for the money, he honestly liked sucking cock. And, yeah okay, maybe he wasn't thrilled with anal sex (well, bottoming at any rate) but since arriving in Metropolis, he hadn't really been interested in girls. At all.

It wasn't like Clark could ever go home anyway. He'd made the paper with his exploits when he first came to Metropolis. His parents weren't even looking for him. They were probably glad that he was gone and they could get on with their lives. Maybe adopt a kid to replace the one he'd killed, even. And, as for Lana...

She probably knew about Clark already anyway. Chloe had seen Clark in the alley with the first guy he'd been with. She followed him home and confronted him before Clark had kicked her out. Knowing Chloe, she probably wrote an article about him in the Torch or Ledger. Local Runaway Turns Queer.

Everyone was probably glad he was gone. Clark was glad he was gone.

Moving so fast that he didn't quite remember even having the impulse to do so, Clark found he was sitting up, phone in his hand. It was ringing, and he held his breath, hoping no one answered.

"Hello?"

Tears sprung to his eyes, and Clark wished he hadn't called. Not like this, when he felt sick and hot and uncomfortable. He should have waited until he was wearing the ring again and didn't care.

"Hello?" Martha repeated, voice a little sharper this time. And then, it must have clicked in her head, because she said, "Clark? Clark, baby, is that you?"

He bit his lips and didn't answer.

"Oh, God, Clark, please. Come home. I ... We miss you so much, we need you here, honey. I need you here." There was a pause, and Clark could hear his mother crying softly. "Clark," she whispered, anguished.

Feeling as if he were ripping a limb off his body, Clark tore the phone away and hung up. Then he fell back to the bed and shoved his head under the pillows.

The door opened, light flooding the darkened bedroom. "Kal. I want you to come out and eat lunch with me," Morgan said.

"I'm not hungry," Clark replied. He pulled the pillow tighter around his head.

There was silence, but Clark could hear Morgan's soft footsteps as he crossed the room. How such a big man could move so silently was beyond Clark; if he could figure it out, he'd feel like less of a klutz. Except, as Kal, he could do it. When he was high. When he didn't care and his skin felt a little better, he could move as quietly as he wanted.

The bed dipped as Morgan settled on it. There was a sigh, and then ice was being applied to the small of Clark's back.

"You said you didn't do drugs."

"What is it with you and your obsession with drugs?" Clark asked. He kept his head under the pillow, but he felt some of the muscles in his back relaxing.

"This is a bit beyond an allergy. It looks as if you're trying to detox. The lights are dimmed; you're locked in your room. You're sweating and refusing to eat. What else is it but drugs?"

Clark groaned and rolled onto his back. After a moment's deliberation, he pulled the pillow off too, figuring it was stupid to roll over and then not look at Morgan. And, once the pillow was off, it felt stupid to be lying flat, so he moved up so he was propped against the headboard. The benefit to that was the fact Morgan moved his hand to his thigh and started rubbing the ice there. His hand slipped in between Clark's legs and while he didn't move any higher than the edge of his boxers, it still felt really good.

"Okay, well, it might be a little like drugs, but not the way you're thinking." He glanced at the ring that was on the night table and said, "I'm not like most people."

"That's something of an understatement." Morgan followed Clark's eyes to the ring. After a moment, he said, "The meteor shower."

Startled, Clark turned to him. "What do you know about that?"

There was a small, strange smile on Morgan's face that Clark couldn't quite interpret. When Morgan picked up the ring, Clark thought about taking it away, but he sat quietly and watched. "I had a friend who was in Smallville the day of the meteor shower. And I've heard rumors that the meteors ... affect people in different ways."

It took Clark a second. He'd like to blame it on the fact he'd been high for most of the summer, but truthfully, he just didn't like to hear anything he didn't want to. But it did penetrate and Clark went abruptly cold. "You.... Smallville?"

Morgan smiled and looked up at him. "Yes, I know where you are from." He went back to studying the ring. "What does it do?"

And that was it. "I know where you are from," and nothing else. No questions or demands, just, "What does it do?"

Clark licked his lips and grabbed another piece of ice from the bucket. "It makes everything bearable. Makes it seem far away. I feel a little buzzed, but still in control. The only problem is, if I keep it on too long, it starts hurting. It hurts my scar, especially. I mean, my skin is always really sensitive when I wear it, but it's not really a problem."

"Except for the scar."

"Except for the scar," Clark agreed. He sat up and took the ring from Morgan. Their fingers brushed together, and Clark felt a thrill run through him. "I want to be ready when you send me out, so I'm taking a break from the ring. I'm planning on not wearing it all day today, and then I'll take it off for an hour or two every day until the job is done."

"And then after?" Morgan let the ring go easily, but after Clark put it on the night table, he ran his knuckles over Clark's cheek.

Clark's mouth went dry. It was weird how Morgan could do that. Just sit there and be so sexual. Or just touch Clark in the lightest, most platonic seeming way, and for it to feel so... good.

If Morgan could make a light touch on his cheek feel like that, maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have his cock up Clark's ass.

A bolt of fear when through Clark, and he pulled away without meaning to. "Um, I guess," he fumbled, feeling dumb. "I might take it off sometimes, just so it doesn't hurt quite so badly. It's just." He broke off and glanced at the phone, shame and loneliness filling him as he thought of his mother.

She really did sound like she missed him. A lot. And she called him "baby". And "honey", as if she still loved him. And, maybe she did, but Clark had killed her real baby and there was no way Mom could ever forgive him for that. He couldn't forgive himself.

"Kal?" Morgan sounded concerned.

The question came out before Clark could stop it. "What's the worse thing you've ever done?"

From underneath the fringe of his lashes, Clark saw Morgan glance at the phone. Then he sighed and shifted his position, hand resting fully on Clark's thigh. His thumb and finger stroked the damp skin in a way that made Clark's groin tighten and stir, despite his misery.

"I made a deal that was the ruin of three of the most precious lives I've ever had the honor of being connected to," he said at long last. "One never had a chance to see what life might bring. One died before I could even think of making amends. And the third ... the third is a star that burns so brightly, I should be very much surprised if he lives to see twenty-five, much less thirty. And there is absolutely nothing I can do. I made the deal willingly, with both eyes open. And, I can't say I wouldn't do it again, even knowing the outcome."

That was suitably vague. But at least two people were dead, so Clark felt that Morgan would know what he was talking about when he asked, "What do you do? I mean, knowing that your actions caused people to die. How do you live with it?"

Morgan raised and lowered his shoulders in an elegant motion. "It gets easier. You learn to move on. The guilt stays, as well as the nagging sense that there was something you should have been able to do, some way to prevent it all, but the fact remains that now you can't. Not now. Not anymore." A bitter smile played over his mouth and he said, "Eventually, you will stop running, Kal. Either stop running or lose yourself so completely that nothing matters anymore."

Clark swallowed hard and said, "I think I'd like to lose myself."

He laughed softly and touched Clark's cheek again. "If that were true, you would never take off the ring. You'd continue to wear it until it consumed you, and there was nothing left." Then he rose and bent over Clark. His hands--big, with blunt fingers with slightly calloused pads that caught on Clark's skin--rested on Clark's neck as Morgan pulled him into a kiss.

Clark liked Morgan's kisses. They were strong and forceful. Full of purpose, with tongue and teeth all working together to consume Clark's mouth, to take him and turn him inside out. It was so unlike kissing Lana or Chloe or any of those boys he'd kissed at the club. Morgan knew exactly how to make Clark's stomach turn over and his cock to rise to attention.

"Lunch," Morgan said on pulling away.

Clark rose to his knees, bunching the fabric of Morgan's shirt in his fists. "Why do you always do this to me?" he asked roughly between fierce kisses. "You make me so hard and so horny and always just leave."

Morgan climbed onto the bed, forcing Clark back against the padded headboard. "What do you want, Kal? Do you want me to push you down and fuck you? Cover you with kisses? What?" His teeth sank into Clark's neck, and Clark winced, hoping his bulletproof skin didn't break teeth.

He felt dizzy and lightheaded as Morgan licked and bit down the side of his neck, along his collarbone. His hands stroked down Clark's sides, lighting fires where he touched. His thigh wedged between Clark's legs and he pressed against the bulge there, making Clark moan out loud.

"What do you want, Kal?" Morgan breathed into Clark's neck.

The words, "Fuck me," were on the tip of his tongue. He wanted it. He needed it. Clark could feel his blood pounding in his body, making him burn hotly, making him ache with the need for something, to be filled, to be take, to not have to worry.

He took a deep breath, trying to ignore the sudden churning of his stomach. He wanted this. Really. He did, it would feel good. It wasn't like nothing had ever been up his ass before, and he'd been playing there, and it felt good, and....

"No," he choked out suddenly, terrified. He couldn't do it; not like this. Not without the ring. Not without something to help.

Frantic and shaking, he pushed Morgan away. God, Morgan was going to be so pissed at him, and....

"Calm down," Morgan said, voice heavy and tinged with frustration. He caught Clark's hands and squeezed. "Calm down," he repeated more firmly. "I'm not a rapist."

That wasn't exactly soothing. Shame suffused Clark, and he couldn't look at Morgan. "I'm sorry."

"I simply came in to make sure you ate something today."

With great difficulty, Clark forced himself to meet Morgan's eyes. "Aren't you getting sick of me?"

"No. I'm not." He touched Clark's jaw with feather-light fingers and said, "I want you, Kal. But I want you to give yourself to me willingly and without fear."

"I don't know if I'll ever be not scared," Clark admitted, feeling stupid. "It's a little ... daunting."

"But pleasurable." Morgan dropped Clark's hand and rose. "Get dressed so we can go to lunch. This is not a request."

"So I can't say no?" Clark asked with a lopsided smile.

Morgan returned the smile and shook his head. "Not to this. I call the restaurant and make reservations."

Clark went to the closet, but hesitated. "Are you showing me off or something?" he asked.

This time, Morgan's smile was lustful and sent ripples of anticipation down Clark's spine. "You are my most beautiful possession," he said in a purring tone. "I think I deserve at least this." His eyes ran the length of Clark's body, lingering on the tenting fabric of Clark's boxers. Then, with a smirk, he turned to go. "You have half an hour." Then he left.

Achingly hard, Clark threw himself on the bed, head full of Morgan. He had half an hour, and he intended on using every second of it.


Kal seemed a completely different person without the ring on. Well, perhaps not completely. He had the same smile, although it was less of a self-satisfied smirk and more of a smile of genuine delight. He spoke the same way, but the words coming out were a little slower and less confident. There was a hunch to his shoulders that was missing when was wearing his ring, and he was quieter all around.

Morgan wondered if the quietness came from a desire to be hidden or if it was simply an after effect of taking the ring off. Kal was not feeling quite right, although he seemed better than he had that morning. He was dressed in a silk shirt and very soft slacks in deference to his sensitized skin. His cheeks were still flushed as if he was overheated, but he wasn't sweating anymore.

Still, ring or no ring, Kal loved being showed off. All though lunch, he flirted with Morgan, stroked the back of his hand, leaned over for kisses at any convenient moment, and made it clear to all who he belonged to.

High or not, Kal was clearly his. The concern was the fact that all too quickly, Morgan had become Kal's as well.

He couldn't say, exactly, why that was. It wasn't strictly sexual since, despite the sensuality Kal radiated, what Morgan wanted from him wasn't just sex. What he'd said to Kal about never having a son to indulge was true; the few times Morgan had tried with Lex, the boy had grown decidedly uncomfortable and withdrawn until, eventually, Morgan had stopped trying.

Kal wasn't a son by any means. But he did have Morgan wrapped around his finger. He wasn't sure if Kal was aware of that fact, or what he'd do even if he were. Kal, for all his cynicism and flagrant sexuality, was an innocent. His life, up until now, had been sheltered. His parents were married, small town farm people who'd done an excellent job of nurturing this boy. Morgan could still see the sweet innocence of the boy who was struggling to become a man.

Even after the incident in the bathroom. Even after selling himself for two thousand a week. The aura of innocence still clung to him, making Kal nearly irresistible.

Morgan pulled a cigarette from his cigarette case. It was his favorite: pure silver with a mosaic of the sea breaking against the bottom of a rocky cliff. Lillian had given it to him after Lex had been born. Lex's conception and birth had marked a period of deep intimacy between the two of them. Not sexual intimacy, beyond the obvious. Emotional intimacy. Affinity, as well. He hadn't loved her, exactly, nor she him, but there'd been something there between them. Something Morgan believed Lionel had sensed and thus sent Morgan away, trying to preserve not his relationship with his wife, but his ownership.

"You shouldn't smoke," Kal said, frowning as Morgan lit his cigarette.

"Probably not," he agreed. He slipped his lighter back into his pocket and inhaled deeply on his cigarette.

"It's bad for you." Kal took the cigarette from him and was about to ground it out when Morgan asked, "Have you ever tried?"

Kal stopped and he seemed to consider the challenge. It was a stupid, petty thing to taunt the boy over. Especially since Kal was right; it was an unhealthy habit. Besides, Morgan would prefer not to worry about supporting Kal's nicotine addiction, should he develop one, since there was a good chance Kal would throw himself into smoking with as much enthusiasm as he did everything else.

And, yet, Morgan enjoyed seeing how far he could push Kal. And what he could convince Kal to do by just asking.

"No," he finally said. "I haven't." He raised the cigarette to his mouth and inhaled. Almost immediately, he started coughing, and he shook his head. "You like that?"

"It takes some getting used to." Morgan reached to take back the cigarette, but Kal ground it out, shaking his head.

"The thing is, it won't do anything to me. But it can to you. Why risk it?"

He shrugged. "What have I got to lose?"

"Your life."

"A life well lived. It's not loss then. It's only... life."

A frown line appeared on the bridge of Kal's nose, and his eyes looked thoughtful. Definitely different than with the ring; now, Kal's eyes were bright and clear and showed every emotion. Normally, there weren't many emotions to reflect.

"I suppose," Kal said. He picked up his fork and idly poked his finger with the prongs. "But why tempt fate? I'm not going to stick around if you're sick."

"I'm not sick. And that's uncharitable. I will, of course, still be paying you, sick or well."

Kal laughed and didn't answer.

"Perhaps you're right," Morgan said contemplatively. He gazed into the distance, remembering. "Someone I ... cared for died because she couldn't give up smoking." Then he frowned. "Her death didn't seem like much of a deterrent, though."

"Well, then, what about your star?"

Morgan blinked, eyes focusing on Kal. "My... my what?"

Blue-green eyes gazed into his guilelessly. "Your star. The one you think is going to burn out too quickly. Before he's thirty. Don't you want to stay around and make sure he doesn't?"

"He doesn't want me around."

"That doesn't mean he doesn't need you. Even if you're not there." Then Kal frowned and looked back down at his plate. "I'm sorry. I don't want to talk about this anymore."

He's going to leave me. The thought flitted unbidden through Morgan's mind, as did a sense of impending panic. Not yet; it was too soon. Not only did he still need Kal to pull of this next job, but he hadn't quite gotten what he'd wanted from the boy.

Although, he had to admit to himself, he most likely never would get what he wanted. Not entirely.

"Hello, Morgan. I didn't expect to see you here," Lionel said, walking up to the table. "You've been almost reclusive the last few weeks." His eyes slid to Kal and a knowing smile curved his lips.

Wonderful. "Lionel." Morgan rose to shake his hand. "I didn't realize I'd been so bad as that."

"Oh, don't worry. Believe me, I understand." Lionel's eyes raked over Kal, studying him intensely. "But your normally predictable habits have been rather unpredictable lately, and I haven't gotten the chance to run into you in quite awhile."

"Please, join us."

"I was just going to," Lionel said softly. He pulled a chair to the table and sat across from Morgan. For a moment, his eyes lingered on Kal, who was apparently indifferent to Lionel's presence.

Well. Not quite indifferent, and Morgan had to suppress a smile as Kal pulled his chair closer to Morgan and placed his hand on his upper thigh. He didn't look at Lionel, but he seemed tense and hyperaware of his proximity.

"Lionel Luthor, this is Kal. He's been staying with me."

"Kal. Good to meet you." Lionel held out his hand to shake.

Eyes dark, Kal shook Lionel's hand while his left slid further up Morgan's thigh until it was resting over his crotch. "Hey." Then, dropping Lionel's hand, he pulled his chair closer to Morgan and kissed his neck.

Morgan suppressed another smile and gently pushed Kal away. "How is Lex?" he asked Lionel. He allowed his own hand to drop underneath the table so he could caress Kal's leg.

"Fine. He's fine. He tells me that we should be ready to drop the axe on Lane Enterprises in a couple days. It will be something of a relief."

"You still aren't checking what he's doing?"

"He knows what he's doing. I taught him everything he knows, after all. Education must account for something."

Education, of course. The boy was a genius, his intellect and intuition far superior to Lionel's. Morgan's too, if he was perfectly honest, but, then, Morgan had always believed himself to be smarter than Lionel, so he freely attributed Lex's genius to himself. Lionel was showy, quick-witted and intelligent, but he worked for every bit of knowledge he'd crammed into his head. Morgan learned nearly everything with little effort, and if he chose not to display his knowledge, it was only because he preferred to be underestimated. Even by his closest friend.

Still, this whole thing made him uncomfortable. "I would prefer it if you looked over what Lex was doing," he said quietly, squeezing Kal's thigh unconsciously.

"There's no need. I've been keeping tabs on him."

"But not taking an active part in it."

Lionel smiled thinly. "Do you think him incapable, Morgan?"

"I think him inexperienced."

"You seem to think that I'm allowing my entire fortune and future in Lex's hands."

Morgan narrowed his eyes at that. "I was under the impression LuthorCorp might be in danger should this take-over go sour." Because that was what Lionel had been hinting at all these weeks. That he was trusting Lex to the biggest deal of LuthorCorp's history, and if it went wrong, Lane Enterprises would own everything. Why so flippant now?

An enigmatic expression fell over Lionel's face and he said, "There is more to life than just LuthorCorp. Even if Lex should somehow lose it, I have no doubt that I should soon claw my way back to the top."

No doubt, although he was rather old for it. Morgan wondered if Lionel wanted him to find out what he was up to, or if he was so caught up in his supposed omnipotence, he didn't care. "And what of Lex?" Morgan asked, pulling Kal's hand off his crotch and folding his fingers under Morgan's.

"It's not like Lex is replaceable, Morgan. If I had to rebuild my empire, he would be at my side, of course."

There again. From anyone else, it would be the right answer, but from Lionel, it was simply wrong. What was he up to? He was speaking about the company that Lionel and he had created from nothing. It was the company built on the ashes of Lionel's parents, mixed with blood from the people who'd gotten in their way, forged in back rooms and dirty dealings and years of labor until it became the colossus it was today.

And trusting Lex was a new one as well. As far back as Morgan could remember, Lionel hadn't trust Lex to do anything but screw up. But now he was trusting Lex to pull this off successfully. Why?

"Lex is the guy in that picture I saw in Lois Lane's office, right?" Kal asked suddenly.

"Yes," Morgan replied.

Kal frowned. "He's your son?" Kal looked Lionel over disdainfully and said, "I guess we know who got the looks in your family."

Lionel laughed. "I like him."

"Thank you." He took Kal's hand and kissed the back of it. The conversation and meeting was making him uneasy. Uncomfortable. He didn't like Lionel looking at Kal, he didn't enjoy Kal asserting his ownership quite as much with Lionel here, and he didn't like not knowing what Lionel was doing. Morgan wanted to find out what was going on right now and end this charade. "I'm rather fond of himself myself."

"Tell me, Kal. How much do you charge?"

Kal looked Lionel in the eyes and said, "I'm not for sale, if that's what you're asking. And, if you're not, my wages are between Morgan and me."

"That's no way to get ahead in the world."

"I like it where I am, thanks."

"To be static is to die."

"Thank you, Lionel," Morgan said dryly.

Lionel smiled at him unapologetically. "I'm not saying anything against you, Morgan. Of course Kal has a world of opportunities should he stay with you and your organization. But he could have so much more should the two of you allow me to introduce him to some associates."

Kal coughed quietly and pulled away from Morgan. Leaning into Lionel, face composed and confident, he said, "Look, Lionel. I'm sure I could make thousands a night whoring for your friends, pretending to give a crap about what old men do and say at parties, and looking pretty and exploitable. And I'm sure you might be able to keep me awake with corporate espionage and breaking into buildings Mission Impossible style so you can remain the queen bee in business. But the truth is? I'm not interested. Because you are a small, boring man and I don't like you." He straightened Lionel's tie roughly, then rose. "I'm tired, Morgan. I want to go."

"Have them bring the car around. I'll be down in a moment," Morgan replied.

Lionel turned to watch Kal slink off, then said, "I like that child. I'm almost intrigued enough to buy him for the night." He turned back.

Morgan shrugged. "He's not for sale, Lionel."

"Everyone is for sale," Lionel said dismissively.

"I'm not going to sell him," Morgan said quietly. "I'm not his pimp, and I'm not going to share him."

Lionel's eyebrows rose. "You're not going to share him? Why ever not?"

Because I don't want to, he wanted to say. But he didn't. Instead, Morgan smiled quietly and asked, "Did you need something?"

"I'd need someone to be gently convinced to come work for me. I have the mouthpiece, but I need someone to do the convincing."

"When?"

"Thursday night, ten-thirty. The man is very regular in his habits and will be isolated, as he always is, at that time."

"I'll have someone for you. Your office?"

Lionel shook his head. "I'll send a car around to the Atlantis at eight to pick him up."

Morgan rose and nodded. "The standard fee will apply, wired to my usual account."

"Very well. And, Morgan," Lionel added with a smile. "Give Kal my best."


Kal was broken. Limp and lifeless. Morgan hadn't seen him move in over three hours, and it'd been the same for the past few days. He didn't know if it was a teenage thing, a ring thing, or just a Kal thing, but every since their lunch with Lionel, Kal had spent his days imitating the furniture. Nights, he was fine; he went to the Atlantis, danced until it closed, then went to Morgan's private table to have a few drinks before they left. Kal always gave him a searing kiss before disappearing into his room, and Morgan was beginning to wonder who was trying to seduce whom.

"Thank you, Quentin," Morgan said into the phone. "Just have everyone in place by this afternoon. We'll go in at six." Then he hung up and set the phone on the table.

Kal was in the living room watching porn. He was stretched on his stomach on the couch, cheek pillowed on one hand, his other hanging limply with the remote. His eyes seemed a little glazed as he gazed at the television, and he was breathing very slowly.

"Are you alive?" Morgan asked.

Kal twitched and said nothing.

"Do you need a doctor? A mechanic? An espresso?" He lifted Kal's legs and sat down. Kal was, as usual, only wearing his boxer shorts, which left his magnificently muscled legs open for perusal. Morgan ran his hands up the lean calves, massaging and, yes, worshiping.

"I'm fine."

Morgan nodded and glanced at the television. A well-endowed young man was fucking a smaller man with intense concentration. The smaller man looked as if he were in heaven, mouth open, fingers grabbing the sheets underneath him, face twisted in pure bliss.

"Everything is set up for tonight. You'll go into the house around six, and then move the merchandise to Jeffries's apartment. Make sure it's hidden, but there's enough evidence to lead the police to where it is."

"Okay."

Morgan paused and studied the lifeless form. "Are you sure you're up for this?"

"I said I'm fine." There was an edge to Kal's voice now, which was reassuring.

Certain that everything would go all right with the job, Morgan turned his attention back to the TV. The smaller man was now groaning loudly and meeting each thrust eagerly, undulating his hips.

Kal seemed unmoved.

"For a man young as yourself, and as sexually active as you are, you seem rather unimpressed by what you're watching."

Kal shrugged.

"It's the best money can buy."

"So am I. I don't see you enjoying me."

Morgan laughed and rubbed his palm up Kal's spine. "I enjoy you very much, Kal."

Kal arched his back, a lazy smile crossing his face as Morgan pet him. "Porn is boring. All they do is have sex, and it's not even all that hot. I mean, I like having sex with guys, but this feels all.... Like they keep switching camera angles and making stupid faces and the music is stupid. It's just dumb."

"So don't watch."

Kal picked up the remote control and turned it off. Then his flopped listlessly back to the floor.

Concerned, Morgan squeezed Kal's calf hard and said, "Are you all right? You've seemed different lately."

"I'm hot."

Morgan blinked. "You have the air conditioning on so high, I'm wearing a sweater. How on earth can you be hot?"

"Just am. Or maybe it's boredom." He rolled onto his back and it became apparent that Kal wasn't quite as indifferent to the pornography as Morgan had thought.

Kal shifted until his head was pillowed against the arm of the couch and his feet were in Morgan's lap. "Why does it have to be all or nothing with you?" he asked, rubbing his right foot over Morgan's crotch.

"What do you mean?"

"So what if I'm not quite ready for you to fuck me? Why can't we do other things? Why won't you let me suck you off or something? I want to, Morgan. Really." He ground his heel into Morgan intently, color flooding to his cheeks.

It was a good question, and one Morgan had asked himself many times over the past few weeks. Why deny the boy the chance to do what he was good at? What he so clearly enjoyed and wanted to do?

The only answer Morgan had was that denial whetted his appetite further. And increased Kal's as well.

"Answer me this question first," Morgan replied as evenly as he could. Kal's foot was insistent, and Morgan had denied himself too long not to respond. "Why does a man who feels no pain fear being taken?"

Kal shrugged, mouth tightening. "I don't know. I guess I just don't like the idea of being helpless."

"How could you be helpless?"

"It's happened."

Morgan caressed Kal's abdomen, feeling the muscles bunch as Kal moved his foot slowly. His skin was so smooth, so soft Morgan was surprised that people didn't attempt to pet him all the time. When his fingers accidentally brushed against the edge of the horrific scar, Kal froze minutely but said nothing.

"I don't want you to be helpless," Morgan said, tracing Kal's navel. "That's not what I'm after, that's not why you're here. I want you."

Kal swallowed hard and arched his hips, eyes falling shut. "I want you, too."

"You just don't want me to fuck you." It shouldn't matter. None of this was what he'd intended in the first place, so why did it matter now?

"I don't know. I almost don't care." His shifted his hips and the head of his semi-hard cock peeked out from the opening of his boxers.

Morgan tugged Kal's boxers down, Kal obligingly lifting his hips. The silky fabric slid over equally silky skin until Kal was naked.

"Gorgeous," Morgan murmured. He wrapped his hand around Kal's cock and stroked from base to tip. Kal was so big, Morgan couldn't quite encompass it entirely.

Kal moaned softly, brow knitting as Morgan stroked him. "That feels good."

Morgan moved so he was closer, stretching his arm over the back of the couch. "How many people have touched you like this, Kal? Touched you just because you are so beautiful."

Blue-green eyes peered at him from beneath thick lashes. "Not many. I'm usually too busy touching them," he said in a throaty whisper. "Sean touched me. The guy you sent to me in the club. He was the only one once I started charging." His hips bucked and eyes fell shut again.

"What about back home? Any boys?"

Kal shook his head, thrusting rhythmically into Morgan's hand. The head of his cock rose and fell through the opening of Morgan's fist until, finally, he bent down and wrapped his lips around him.

"God," Kal groaned. Then he gasped, "I was dating a girl. She wanted to wait for sex, and I was fine with that. I... I wasn't sure I was gay. I didn't think... Wasn't sure, and I was scared, it's a small town. I already was..." Kal growled, fingers tearing into the couch. "Victim," he managed, thrusting hard into Morgan's mouth.

Morgan opened his mouth and released Kal's cock. Both his hands pressed into the sharp hipbones, trying to hold Kal down so he could concentrate on the head.

"Victim?" he said around his mouthful.

"Yes! Yeah, they.... It was a prank. Tradition." Kal was twisting, trying to thrust and bury himself in Morgan's mouth, but Morgan held him firmly. Morgan knew that, should he really want to, Kal could break free and thrust all he wanted. But something held him back, and for that Morgan was grateful. It was more fun to tease the boy by using his tongue to caress just the head, rather swallow him down.

Besides. Morgan wasn't exactly sure he'd be able to take Kal in very far anyway.

He pulled his mouth off Kal's cock. "A prank?" Lifting one hand from Kal's hips, Morgan pushed back the foreskin so he could taste the head. Then, he reached down and cupped Kal's balls, rolling them gently.

For a moment, Kal was inarticulate. His mouth worked soundlessly, fingers scrabbled in Morgan's hair and tugged desperately.

"Gently," Morgan admonished. He pulled Kal's hands off his head and guided them to the arm of the couch. "You mentioned something about a prank."

Kal gave a dry sob and said, "The football team tied me to a cross and left me in a field of corn. It's a tradition in Smallville. Scarecrow. And that's before I knew I was gay ... oh, fuck this." Kal sat up in a sudden movement and pushed Morgan back. His hands threaded in Morgan's hair again as Kal wormed his way onto Morgan's lap, straddling him. His mouth met Morgan's in a hot, hungry kiss, teeth nipping at his lower lip and tongue plunging inside deeply.

Morgan felt lightheaded as he kissed Kal back. He'd thought that Kal's kisses had been passionate before, but they were nothing like this. Desperation and lust and sheer need strained each muscle and drove each caress.

Hands rucked Morgan's sweater up and off; his shirt soon followed. With a soft sound, Kal kissed and bit down Morgan's neck and chest, sucking the skin until bruises formed. Any tinge of embarrassment, any trepidation Morgan might have felt about his age or body or Kal's reaction to him was banished as Kal all but worshiped his body with hands, tongue, and lips.

"What do you want?" Kal asked against his skin. His lips closed over Morgan's nipple and sucked.

"You know what I want," he replied, combing his fingers through Kal's thick hair.

Kal growled and bit him gently.

Morgan laughed, nerves sparking. "Whatever you want, Kal. I want whatever you do. Just don't stop."

There was a wet pop, and then Kal licked down the center of Morgan's chest. His nose pressed into Morgan's breastbone, then traveled further down. Fingers scrambled at Morgan's belt and then the thick leather slid through belt loops. Kal tossed it aside, then yanked on Morgan's slacks.

The fabric gave way even as Morgan attempted to lift his hips. Carelessly, Kal dropped the ripped fabric to the floor. His tongue pressed against the bow of his lip as he pulled Morgan around until he was sitting upright on the couch. Kal slid to the floor, moving as if he had no bones, all liquid grace. His mouth nuzzled the inside of Morgan's thigh, sucking the tender flesh as he tugged Morgan's shoes and socks off.

"I saw you the first night I went to the Atlantis," Kal whispered. He nipped the skin before moving up, ripping Morgan's underwear off as if it were made of tissue.

"Did you?"

Kal nodded and licked the underside of Morgan's shaft. "You were just coming in for the night. Wearing that black turtleneck and jacket. You moved like you owned the world, and someone said something to you and you got this sexy smirk on your face." Kal's mouth closed over the head of his cock. His talented tongue swept over the head, then he slid down until he'd swallowed Morgan whole.

Morgan grunted, head falling back against the couch. Kal's mouth was so hot, so wet. He knew exactly where to apply pressure, exactly when to lick, when to pull away. And he was relentless, sucking, pulling, harder and harder, head bobbing until it was a black-curled blur in Morgan's lap.

His groin tightened and cock twitched. Heat suffused his body, his skin tingled, and all he could think was what a fool he'd been before. This was everything he'd hoped for; why had he waited?

Kal's hand wrapped around the base of Morgan's cock, and he slurped his way to the tip. With a final swipe to the wet head, he pulled off. "I knew I had to get you to notice me. You were so fucking hot, and I wanted you so badly." There was a quick wind, and then Kal was straddling Morgan's lap again. "I still want you. You're amazing." Kal had a tube of lubricant in his hand; he flipped it open and applied some to his hand.

"I'm amazing?" He took Kal's face between his hands and kissed him. "You don't have to do this," he whispered. "Not if you really don't want to."

"Fuck it," Kal growled. His fist encompassed Morgan's cock, and he stroked hard, slicking his length. Then, without any preamble, he sank slowly down onto Morgan's cock.

"Shhhh," Morgan hissed, grasping Kal's hips. He was so tight; so incredibly, deliciously tight and hot. His ass flexed around Morgan's cock, and Kal's mouth was open, head tilted back and he was keening in small, almost pained sounds, but he moved so slowly, inch by inch that Morgan honestly didn't think it was pain, just pure, overwhelming pleasure.

"Oh God," Kal gasped, pushing down further. His thigh muscles strained to keep the slow pace as he sat, and his arms trembled as he gripped the couch on either side of Morgan's head. "Oh," he keened again, and then he was down, sitting fully impaled on Morgan's cock.

Gathering his scattered wits, Morgan laughed softly and stroked Kal's cheek with his knuckles. "Not so bad, is it?"

Kal shook his head, eyes wide-opened and wondering. "No. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because it was perfectly possible that you might dislike this. Not every man enjoys being fucked. It's not a mandatory part of being gay, and I didn't want to sell you on something you might not like. I didn't want you to lie to me," Morgan said, trying very hard not to thrust into the heated tightness that encompassed him.

It took a moment, but Kal finally did nod in acknowledgement. He would have lied, before. Not now. Not anymore.

"So," Kal said after a moment. He caught Morgan's hand and brought it to his mouth. After pressing a kiss into the palm of his hand, he finished, "What happens now?"

Morgan smirked. "Now? You earn your keep." He leaned back against the couch, comfortably resting his head in his hands.

Kal laughed and rolled his eyes. Bending forward, he brushed his lips against Morgan's and whispered, "Yeah. I'll do that." His teeth sank into Morgan's lower lip, and, keeping their mouths in contact, he started moving his hips.

As much as he wanted to close his eyes and enjoy the sensation of a sixteen-year old boy riding his cock with all the furious intensity of a teenager, Morgan wanted to see it. See Kal's beautiful face twist in concentration and pleasure. See the wonderfully tanned flesh flush with passion and shine with sweat. See his cock disappear between the sculpted cheeks, watch the powerful thigh muscles flex as they raised and lowered Kal's body onto him. Watch the swollen-red mouth fall open, teeth catch the lower lip, and fall open again as Kal worked, fucking himself on the cock beneath him, wiggling his hips, finding that spot and stilling, body stiffening at the sudden, unexpected pleasure, the cry that echoed through the room as Kal maneuvered so he hit it again, and again.

"Oh God," Kal wailed, head falling back. His hips rolled in circles for a few moments, grinding Morgan's cock against his prostate. Morgan watched Kal's cock twitched against Morgan's stomach before arched away; a strand of precome connecting them together.

"That's right, Kal," Morgan said, voice graveled. "Fuck yourself on my cock. I want to see you work."

"Trust me," he gasped, riding Morgan hard. "It's not work."

Morgan smacked Kal's ass, causing the boy to convulse forward.

"So hot," he whimpered, grabbing Morgan's head and kissing him with a lot of tongue and no technique. His body continued to move against Morgan's, cock pressed between them, riding with a twist of his hip to make Morgan hit his prostate with every movement. He was crying into Morgan's mouth, free hand tearing the couch, ripping though leather and padding, his other holding Morgan's head in place as his tongue slid in and out of his mouth wetly.

"Oh," he moaned suddenly, body picking up pace. "Oh, fuck, I'm going to ... I'm going to..." Kal broke off abruptly, entire body stiffening. He came with a loud wail, semen spreading warmly over Morgan's stomach, entire body trembling.

Morgan's arms enclosed Kal's trembling body, pulling the warm, sweaty boy against him.

Kal turned his head and kissed Morgan's neck tiredly. "Wow."

"I agree." His hand worked between their bodies and grasped Kal's limp cock. "But what about me?"

"You sick fuck," Kal groaned. He bit Morgan's neck and started moving his hips again.

Morgan sighed and turned his head to kiss Kal. The truth was, he was close to coming. He wasn't going to last much longer.

"You like this?" Kal whispered heatedly in his ear. Sharp teeth grabbed his earlobe and tugged. "You like making me work. Fuck you, fuck myself on you? Am I your whore, Morgan? Do you like making me work like your whore to get you off? Your dirty rentboy who rides your cock even though he's tired and it's too much." Kal gasped, body shuddering. "So tired, but you want me to work. To fuck you, even though all I want is to rest. To just lay there as you hold me down and fuck me until I can't move. To keep me there until I'm so tired, until I'm limp and satisfied and just a body that you use. Just your whore." He bit Morgan's neck so hard he cried out. "I am. Your whore. Your boy." Kal kissed him with bruising force, then moved to the other side of his neck. "Yours and you're. You're mine." Kal bit him hard and twisted his hips. As he twisted, he tightened around Morgan's cock, squeezing.

Morgan came hard. His body suffused with heat, and a tight groan escaped his throat as he came, pouring into Kal.

Kal caught Morgan's face between his hands and kissed him sweetly. His face was flushed, curls stuck to his skin, eyes bright. "How was that?" he asked almost shyly, the roughness of before gone. He dropped light kisses all over Morgan's face.

Morgan caught Kal by the nape of his neck and pulled him close. He kissed the swollen lips gently, feeling almost tender in the aftermath of his orgasm. "How did you think it was?" he countered. He nipped Kal's bottom lip gently.

"Wow," Kal breathed. He slid off Morgan and laid his head on his shoulder. His hand trailed through the sticky semen drying on Morgan's stomach. "We should probably get cleaned up, huh?"

"Probably." Morgan slid his arm around Kal and held him close.

Kal kissed Morgan's chest and relaxed against him. Every muscle was completely relaxed, and he radiated contentment.

Morgan stroked his hair idly, relaxed as well. He knew they should clean up and get dressed. The longer they stayed, the dryer the come would be, and the stickier they'd feel. Besides, Kal had a job to do tonight, and Morgan wanted everything set up early.

But he was comfortable, and the boy was a snuggler. Morgan enjoyed that.

"Why are you so nice to me? Understanding, I mean?" Kal asked suddenly. "You're paying for me, and I should have let you do that a long time ago."

"It was my choice not to. I said no when you offered."

"I know." Kal moved his head and gazed into Morgan's eyes. "But you did that for me. Because I wasn't sure I wanted to do that. Why?"

Morgan sighed and combed Kal's sweaty hair back from his face. "I wanted you from the moment I saw you," he said honestly. "I wanted you and I wanted you to give yourself to me completely. And I knew it would be worth the wait." He smiled and twisted a curl around his finger. "And it was."

A brilliant smile crossed Kal's face. He tried to banish it, but it stuck until Morgan finally leaned down and kissed his boy.


It was easy to get into the crack house without anyone noticing him. Even with something like fifteen undercover cops around, Clark slipped past them with no problem. Inside, there were only four guys, and they all worked for Morgan, meaning none of them were high when Clark got there. He was glad because he really didn't want to have to deal with all that. He just wanted to get in and get out without any problems.

"You Morgan's kid?" one of the guys asked Clark as he opened the duffle bag. Morgan told him to make sure all the drugs were there.

"I trust my men," he'd said. "But not that much."

Clark did a quick count of everything before saying, "If you mean the kid Morgan sent to pick this up, yes. If you mean child, no." He flicked his eyes up and smiled. "That would be just gross." Then he zipped the duffle back up. "This everything?"

They nodded. "Morgan said you were going to start a distraction to get the police in here?"

"I am. If I were you, I'd find the closest exit." He slung the duffle over his shoulder and glanced at the couch. A quick zap with his eyes set it alight, and then he said, "They'll be in soon," before taking off.

It was easy enough to break into Jeffries's apartment. The guy had tons of security, but Clark got by them without anyone even noticing. He didn't mind if he accidentally tripped the security monitors; if he did, it might bring the cops, who'd then find the drugs. And, if they didn't, Clark was supposed to call Quentin, who was phoning in an anonymous tip when Clark got out.

It should have gone off without a hitch, but it didn't. Not like it was planned. Clark had done exactly as Morgan asked: he'd hidden the drugs so they were easy to find, but not so badly it looked like they'd been planted. And it wasn't as if it'd taken him a long time; Clark was moving faster than humans could move, but not as fast as he could. He wanted to get everything in neatly since the rest of the apartment was fastidiously organized; it only made sense that Jeffries would also keep his drugs packed neatly.

And then, he fucked up. After racing down from Jeffries's apartment, Clark stopped at the bottom of the stairs, inside the stairwell. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed Quentin's number and said "I'm out," when Quentin picked up.

"Very good."

Clark slipped his phone back into his pocket and folded the duffle underneath his jacket. Then, he casually sauntered into the lobby.

And ran into Rick Jeffries.

"Sorry," Clark stammered, losing his grip on the duffle bag.

Jeffries picked it up for him, eyes narrowed. "You need to watch where you're going," he said, studying Clark closely.

Clark tried to look innocent and like he belonged in the building. The second was pretty easy, since he was dressed in clothes Morgan had bought him. The innocent part would be easier if Jeffries wasn't looking at him so suspiciously. What was this guy's problem?

"I know you from somewhere."

He shrugged. "Yeah, I work the club scene. Maybe you've seen me around."

There was a pause and Jeffries looked him up and down appraisingly. "You were at Club Zero the night it burned down, right?"

Thank God; Clark was afraid Jeffries had seen him with Morgan. "Yeah, I was."

Jeffries nodded, then said, "And haven't I seen you with Morgan Edge?"

"Who?" Clark asked blandly.

"Right." Jeffries reached into his pocket and pulled a card out. "If you ever want to move up in the world, give me a call, kid." He slipped the card into Clark's breast pocket and tapped his chest. "I've got room for a face like yours in my organization."

"I'll think about it." Clark took the bag back, smiled and let his eyes run over Jeffries's form, then swaggered out of the building.

Jeffries was arrested, charged, and put out on bail within a matter of hours. Clark, who really didn't care if Jeffries was in jail or wandering the streets, went to Atlantis to dance.

And that's when it went to hell. Clark was in the middle of a tight knot of bodies, all writhing together as one, when gunfire opened.

Before Clark knew what was happening, he was trapped in a mob of screaming people. They were so panicked, and so forceful, Clark was knocked off his feet as they all tried to get away. There was more gunfire, more screams.

Morgan.

Clark shoved aside fear as he rose to his feet once again. Now that he was prepared, he was able to cut through the crowd easily, shoving aside everyone as they tried to get away from the gunmen.

And there were a lot of them. At least fifteen, which explained how they got past security. They didn't seem to care who they shot, but they were intent on doing as much damage as possible. On the floor were the injured--but not dead--bodies of club goers. The mirrors were smashed, liquor bottles were decimated. The bartender was dead, as was the bouncer and three security guards. Two guys from the other side had been shot.

Bullets bounced of Clark, but he didn't pay any attention to them. Instead, he narrowed his eyes, concentrated and melted the guns held by the attackers.

The gunmen screamed as heated metal melted over flesh. Some were able to throw the guns to the floor. The others shrieked as the metal cooled on their hands, trapping them.

Clark's heart pounded and his ears rang. He had no idea if any of the guests has seen him melt the guns, and he really didn't care. He just wanted to stop this.

Morgan's men took their place besides him. Their guns were out, and their presences steadied Clark; at least someone knew what to do.

"On your knees," Clark ordered, heart pounding.

There was a tense moment before the men dropped, some still trying to work the guns off their hands.

"So you don't know who Morgan Edge is?" Jeffries said, striding into the club. He had a gun resting casually at his side and a dangerous glitter in his eyes. "You dance in his clubs. You go to lunch with him. You probably let him fuck you blind, but you don't know who he is, huh?"

Clark clenched his fists and tried to breathe steadily. "Okay, so I might know him. But you are so dead."

Jeffries shook his head. "You know, I've done some digging. It was easy to figure out what Morgan's most prized possession is." Jeffries raised his gun and fired. "You."

The bullet hit Clark in his left shoulder. It flattened on impact and fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Jeffries barely had time to gasp when Morgan came up from behind and shot him in the head.

Clark turned his head quickly, eyes squeezed shut. He could feel the wetness on his face from the blood and hoped desperately that was all it was. The thought that bits of brain might be stuck to his face made him nauseous. He noticed dully that there were no more screams, and also that he had to bit his lip to keep himself from screaming.

There was a moment of perfect silence as Clark struggled not to do anything embarrassing. Then Morgan started barking orders, "Sean, Marshall; dispose of the body. Quentin, wait outside for the cops; with any luck, Phelan will have enough sense to get here first. Jason, Thomas, Jon, go out back and deal with the crowd."

There was a hand on Clark's shoulder, squeezing it. "Kal, look at me," Morgan said with great intensity.

Clark forced his eyes open. His lashes were sticky with blood, and his face was stiff.

Morgan looked grim as he pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed the blood. "Go home. Now. Run as fast as you can and stay there. If anyone asks, you spent the evening in watching movies."

"But..."

"Don't worry. Witnesses have a funny way of remembering things incorrectly." Morgan squeezed his shoulder again. "Go. I'll be home when I can." Then, when Clark didn't move, Morgan kissed him and said, "Now."

Clark ran. He ran until the world was a blur around him, and he couldn't see it. He ran until his heart started pounding and his ears hurt from the wind whipping over them. He ran until he was in a place he recognized, on the land he'd grown up in, on his parents' farm. He stopped just outside the barn, hesitated, and then ran into the loft. Shaking, heart pounding, Clark found a corner and pressed himself into it.

"Oh God," he whispered, trembling. He pulled the ring off his finger and set it aside. A shudder wracked him, and nausea built up once. "Holy shit."

There was blood in his hair. Blood in his eyes. The stink of blood all around him, on his bare chest and face. Blood of the man who meant to kill him, who'd tried and failed, only to be killed by Morgan.

Morgan, who was Clark's lover. And who was a killer.

Clark trembled harder and pulled his knees up to his chest. He pressed his forehead to his knees and tried not to see Jeffries's head exploding. He hadn't seen it, not exactly. He'd turned his head just as Morgan had fired, but he'd caught a glimpse. And he'd seen...

What was going to happen to Morgan? Was he going to be thrown in jail, or... or what? He belonged in jail, of course, but the idea terrified Clark. Morgan Edge wasn't a good man, but he was a man and Clark.... Not loved. Not exactly. But Clark didn't want Morgan in jail. He wanted him free and in their apartment and for the world to just go away.

The stairs creaked, startling Clark. He froze, breathless as his mother ascended the stairs and entered the loft. She looked tired and pale. There were dark circles under her eyes and when she slumped on the couch, she looked as if moving was difficult.

Clark swallowed, guilt rising in him. He'd done this to her. Clark had. He'd killed her baby and hurt her. Hurt his mother, and now she was tired and sad.

Tears ran down her cheeks, but she didn't brush them away. Mom simply rested her head against the back of the couch and allowed the tears to fall.

Mourning her baby, Clark knew. Mourning over the life that Clark had killed. Clark had murdered.

He was no better than Morgan.

Clark waited in the shadows until Mom fell asleep. Then, he picked up his ring and rose carefully. Quietly, so he didn't wake her, Clark crept quietly across the room to her.

She was so beautiful. Perfect. She was his first memory and still the last thing he thought of before falling asleep.

"Goodnight, my angel, my baby, my falling star," she would always whisper to him when she put him to bed as a child. And then, she'd sit with him, combing his hair until he got used to the darkness and sleep took him. She always smelled like apples and cinnamon, and she had the most brilliantly beautiful hair he'd ever seen.

Swallowing painfully around the lump in his throat, Clark bent over and whispered, "Goodnight, Momma." He kissed her cheek not noticing as a tear fell from his eye to her face. Then he pulled away and took off, blurring over the miles back to Morgan's penthouse.

He didn't notice her opening her eyes when he kissed her, and he was gone when she rubbed the tear into her skin.


Clark was asleep, trapped in fitful dreams, when the bed dipped, waking him. He stirred and scrubbed at his eyes, ignoring the still sticky feeling of blood as he murmured, "Morgan?"

"No, not Morgan," said the drawling, nasal voice of Lionel Luthor. "He wanted me to stop by and make sure you were all right."

Stomach like lead, Clark sat up and threw the covers off him. "I'm fine. Where's Morgan? Is he all right? Is he in jail?"

Lionel laughed and stroked Clark's arm gently. "Don't worry, Kal, Morgan is fine. Men like him don't go to jail."

"Men like him?"

"Powerful men. Men who run the city. Morgan has a hand in everything in Metropolis; if he were to disappear, everything would fall apart. The police, or a certain segment of the police, realize this, and so they know they can't ever actually find him guilty of anything."

"But he killed that man."

"Rick Jeffries? Who's going to miss him?" Lionel shook his head and touched the fringe of Clark's hair. "Don't worry, my boy. Morgan will be fine."

"He's fine. I'm fine. We're all fine." Clark pulled away. "You can go now."

Lionel made a face and shook his head slightly. "I'm not sure you are all right. You haven't even cleaned the blood off." His fingers rubbed the dried flecks and his frown deepened. "I think you should take a shower, and then we can talk."

"I don't want to talk. I just want to be alone. I'm fine." He got out of bed and went to the dresser. He was in Morgan's room, having come back and collapsed on the bed, mentally exhausted from the evening. He'd barely stayed awake long enough to strip out of his bloody shirt before unconsciousness took him, and he hadn't even thought of the blood on his face.

"Kal, I think it's obvious that you aren't meant for this life. Not really. Morgan thought to groom you to take over his organization, and it's a pretty idea, training your intelligent whore to become a criminal mastermind, but it won't be you. It can't be. If anything, this incident highlights that fact. But, you are intelligent." Lionel came up behind Clark, stopping so close, Clark could feel his body heat washing over his bare skin. "You are young. And you are ripe to be groomed towards something great." Lionel ran his hand up Clark's spine and then around his chest. "I could use a boy like you."

Clark snorted. "For what? From everything I've heard about you, you're straight."

Lionel's smirked and tightened his hold. "I've a passing interest in anything beautiful. And it wouldn't just be for sex. I have room in my organization for someone like you. With a little training and a lot of education, you could conceivably take over LuthorCorp one day."

"You have a son."

"Whether or not I'll have a son in ten years is debatable. But you. I've heard you were shot at the club. And yet, there's not a mark on you."

Clark sighed as Lionel pressed his hand into his shoulder. This guy was so obvious, it was sad.

Throwing Lionel off, Clark turned. "Look. I've said it once, but apparently, it didn't register. You? Are boring. And I'm not interested in your corporation or your millions or your body or you. I'm not going to leave Morgan for you."

"Who said anything about leaving Morgan? You can stay with him. You'll simply train to enter my world instead of his."

"I don't want anything to do with your world. I don't want anything to do with you."

Lionel's eyes went back and his face darkened. "Listen, young man, I..." His cell phone cut into whatever he was going to say. Annoyed, he pulled it from his pocket. "Yes?" Listening, he frowned deeply, one hand coming up to rub his beard. "I see. No. No, don't do anything yet. I'll come down." He snapped the phone shut and slipped it back into his pocket. "We'll continue this discussion at a later date. Perhaps having Morgan with you will help you both see the light on this subject."

"I'm not going to change my mind," Clark called to Lionel's retreating back.

"We'll see," Lionel tossed back. Then he was gone.

Clark showered quickly then parked himself on the couch. He flipped to every news station there was, stomach twisted in agony as he tried to find any word of Morgan.

There wasn't any. There wasn't even a report on the shooting at the club. Clark didn't understand, but he was grateful that Morgan hadn't been exposed.

He gave after the ten o'clock news. His stomach was still tight with worry, and he wanted to go out and look for Morgan, but he didn't know where he could look. So, instead of doing anything, he fixed himself a sandwich, went back to Morgan's room, and crawled into bed.

Clark couldn't say how long he was there before he fell into something resembling sleep. All he knew was it seemed like minutes before Morgan was sitting on the bed, saying, "Kal?" in a soft voice.

Clark woke at Morgan's gentle touch to his face. Rolling onto his back, he felt a wave of relief crash over him at the sight of Morgan's calm face. "Hey," Clark said, throat dry. "Are you okay? What happened? Where have you been, I've been worried, I was afraid..."

"Shhh," Morgan soothed. He touched Clark's lips gently to silence him, then bent over and kissed him. "It's okay. Everything has been taken care of."

"But... What about Jeffries? You killed him? And the shooting. I thought you were going to go to jail."

Morgan shook his head and caressed Clark's face. "No, I'm not going to jail. Everything has been taken care of. It's all right." He kissed Clark again, this time more insistently. "Are you all right?"

"Yes," Clark said softly. His hands came up to thread in Morgan's hair, and he kissed Morgan insistently. "I'm fine."

"Are you sure? You're not hurt?" Morgan pulled off Clark's shirt and tossed it to the floor. His hands smoothed over Clark's shoulders, caressing, eyes hungry. "I knew the bullet bounced off you. I know you are bullet-proof, and yet I've been afraid..." He broke off abruptly and bent to kiss the spot where Jeffries had shot.

Clark closed his eyes and held Morgan's head lightly, hands messing his hair as Morgan dropped a trail of hot kisses over his collarbone and up his neck. It felt like he was lighting a fire over Clark's skin, and Clark's muscles turned to liquid as one of Morgan's hands slid beneath the waistband of his pants.

"I'm fine," Clark whispered, kissing Morgan's ear. "He didn't hurt me. I was so scared for you, though. I wanted to hear from you, and I didn't know what was going on."

"I'm sorry." Morgan kissed him. His tongue parted Clark's lips and delved in deeply. He tugged at Clark's pants until he lifted his hips.

Clark tugged at the buttons on Morgan's shirt. "Get undressed," he gasped. He ripped the shirt open and slid it off Morgan's shoulders.

Morgan quickly stripped the rest of his clothes off, then pushed Clark onto the bed. There was lubricant in the night table, and he wasted no time in squeezing it onto his fingers.

"Should I roll over?" Clark asked. He propped himself on his elbow and jacked Morgan's cock slowly, his own hard and throbbing already.

"No. I want to see your face," Morgan said. His hand covered Clark's as he spread the lubricant over his cock with a shaking hand. Then, he lifted Clark's legs so they rested over Morgan's shoulders and brought his cock to Clark's entrance.

Clark groaned, back arching as Morgan pushed slowly, not bothering to stretch him beforehand. It didn't matter, didn't hurt, but Clark was so tight. He could feel Morgan's cock spreading his passage, opening him, filling him.

"Fuck," Clark hissed, fingers digging into the sheets. Then he reached back and grabbed the headboard, holding tight.

"So beautiful," Morgan grunted, hips slapping wetly against Clark's buttocks. He gripped Clark by the shoulders, moving in and out. His mouth worked across Clark's chest, and Clark didn't care that Morgan was touching the scar, just as long as he never stopped moving.

Clark twisted underneath Morgan, riding the thrusts, trying to guide him to that spot. His body was shaking with need, cock hard, trapped between their bodies. The friction was unbearable, and Clark was moaning constantly, nerves on fire as Morgan pounded into him, driving into his body as if he owned it.

All the words Clark wanted to say jammed inside his throat. He wanted to say he'd been so worried, and that he was relieved Morgan was all right. He wanted to tell Morgan how scared he'd been, and how his dreams had been jammed with images of Jeffries's head exploding open, only sometimes it was Morgan's, and Clark didn't know what he'd do if Morgan were killed. He wanted to say...

But he didn't. Not with words. They were too hard, too confusing. Because Morgan did own his body. He paid good money to fuck Clark, to push him down in bed and use him. And even though Clark knew that Morgan wasn't using him, that there was something more going on than just a john fucking his whore, Clark couldn't say the words.

"Morgan," he whispered raggedly. His voice caught when Morgan hit his prostate, stars bursting behind his eyes.

Morgan did it again, thrusting hard into him. Fire raced through his blood and Clark exploded.

Morgan kissed his hair and continued thrusting steadily. One arm was wrapped around Clark's body as he held him, tightly, against his body. His breath whispered across the shell of Clark's ear, not words, or, if they were, he was speaking to fast for Clark to understand. But it didn't matter.

Clark scratched down Morgan's back, lethargy sweeping over him even as Morgan continued to move. Morgan was sweating, his forehead pressed into Clark's neck, lips and teeth tugging and sucking on Clark's skin in between his whispers.

"So beautiful," Morgan growled, fucking harder. "So perfect. God, Kal, why?"

"Why what?" Clark gasped, twisting underneath Morgan.

Morgan shook his head and thrust again. Then his body tensed and he came.

Clark turned his head and caught Morgan's mouth with his. They kissed, and Clark tried to say everything with his tongue and lips that he couldn't say with words.

When the broke apart, Morgan was breathless and panting. He rested his head against Clark's shoulder and held him tightly.

Heart pounding, Clark licked his lips. "I was worried about you," he said quietly, half-hoping Morgan wouldn't hear.

He did, though, and tiredly pet Clark's side. "There was no need. I had everything under control."

Clark licked his lips and said, "But you killed a man."

"I've killed before. I'm still free. And if there's no body, there's no murder, now, is there?"

How could he be so flippant about it? How could he not understand that people were dead and that was illegal. It wasn't like robbing a bank, and that wasn't even really the point. People saw Morgan kill Jeffries, and he could go to jail, or worse. "There were all those witnesses, Morgan. All the people at the club saw you shoot him. Someone is going to tell."

Morgan smiled and ran his finger down Clark's nose. "I guess you didn't notice. The witnesses were rushed out the back of the building before I shot Jeffries. And my security detail was blocking anyone who might have still been back there's view. I've spent the day doing damage control, and in a few days, this will all just disappear."

"Will it?" Clark asked, swallowing hard. What if Morgan was caught? What if it didn't just disappear?

"It will." Morgan kissed his cheek. "Kal, I've done this hundreds of times before. I know the business. It's been my life since I was a teenager."

Clark swallowed hard and nodded. "You promise you'll be all right?"

"If I were you, I'd be more worried about myself. What are you, Kal?"

"I'm an alien." Clark met Morgan's eyes, heart pounding wildly.

Morgan looked serious, but calm. He didn't freak out or run away or look disgusted. He just nodded and stroked Clark's face. "Don't let Lionel find out."

"Won't you tell him? I thought the two of you were good friends."

"You're mine. And I'm not going to let him take you away from me." Morgan kissed Clark's forehead and held him closely.

Clark sighed and relaxed into the embrace. By all rights, Morgan should be ready to sell him to the highest bidder tomorrow. To exploit Clark and his abilities and the fact he was proof of extraterrestrial life. After all, Morgan was the epitome of what his father had been warning him against his entire life.

But, right now, safe and warm in Morgan's arms, Clark just couldn't bring himself to be frightened. He felt too safe.


An alien. Kal was an alien. A bulletproof, super fast, heartbreakingly beautiful alien.

And he belonged to Morgan.

Morgan smiled softly and pushed some hair that was stuck to Kal's face. The boy was fast asleep, his cheeks flushed, mouth open slightly. His lips were still dark red from Morgan's kisses, but his skin was smooth and perfect. Unmarked.

A cold shudder wracked Morgan's body, and he palmed the spot where Jeffries had tried to shoot Kal. Had shot Kal, in fact. Even though Morgan had seen images of Kal being shot before, this was the first time he'd had to witness it. He'd been terrified.

But the bullet had bounced off, and now Jeffries was gone. His organization had collapsed neatly back into Morgan's. And, thanks to Sam Phelan, Morgan's employees, and a cadre of top rate lawyers, Jeffries would be written off as missing, and no one would question Morgan.

He sighed and touched Kal's parted lips. It shouldn't be this way. The terror he'd felt when Jeffries had fired, the anger he'd had towards the man, the satisfaction at seeing his head explode when Morgan had shot him. None of that should have happened. Morgan should have felt nothing but the coldness of duty. He'd had lovers before. He'd even had lovers threatened before. But he'd never felt this fear. Never felt this ache at the thought of losing them.

The worst part was, losing Kal was inevitable. Morgan knew that. He'd known that since the day he'd hired Kal. The boy was sixteen years old. He was a runaway from Smallville. He loved his parents, and his parents were good people. Morgan had investigated the Kents thoroughly after he'd found them. They were decent, honest people who worked on their farm, were active in their community, who'd never been accused as so much looking at Kal--Clark--wrong, much less abusing him. And while they may not be thrilled their only son was gay, from what Kal had told him, that wasn't the reason he'd been pushed from his home.

An accident had forced Kal to leave. An explosion of some type that Morgan assumed Kal had caused. And that explosion had caused his mother to miscarry. Morgan could understand why the boy had felt unable to stay.

But, eventually, Kal would realize that he couldn't stay in Metropolis. He was meant for something better than the life of a whore. And while Morgan never regretted his decision to rule the Metropolis underworld, he knew it wasn't for Kal. Morgan had been born into the life, had seen death a hundred times over by the time he was Kal's age. Kal had too much of his parents in him to take Morgan's crown.

That didn't, however, mean Morgan had to relinquish his grasp on Kal just yet.

Morgan shifted his body closer to Kal's. They were both still naked, although Kal had cleaned them both last night after their frantic joining. Kal's legs were tangled in Morgan's, one arm slung over Morgan's hip, hand resting almost possessively on the small of Morgan's back.

He was so beautiful. Every bit of him perfect. Even the crooked teeth added to his beauty rather than detracted. They humanized his face, somehow, and made his perfection stand out against the slight flaws.

Kal stirred suddenly, mumbling something Morgan didn't catch. His brow furrowed, and Kal twisted, panicked.

"Mom!" he called, and started awake, eyes wide and disoriented. He panted as he looked around in confusion before his eyes settled on Morgan.

"Good morning," Morgan said softly.

"Morning." Kal stretched in Morgan's arms and gently rolled his head from side to side. "How long have you been awake?"

"Not long." He bent down and lightly kissed Kal. "Did you sleep well?"

Kal nodded and kissed Morgan back. "I slept a lot yesterday, but I couldn't rest. I was too worried."

"I was worried about you as well," Morgan said as casually as he could manage. He tucked a lock of hair behind Kal's ear.

"Why? I mean, you knew I was fine."

"I know. And yet, there was a part of me that was afraid you'd have a sort of delayed reaction to being shot. Or that someone from Jeffries's gang would come after you. Or that. Or that you'd leave me."

Kal licked his lips. "Because you shot someone?"

Morgan nodded.

A serious expression fell over Kal's face. He chewed on his lower lip, fingers trailing lightly over Morgan's back. "I went home," he finally said. "When you told me to go at the club, I just ran. And went home." He met Morgan's eyes briefly before averting them again. "I saw Mom. I m-miss her. I d-didn't even say good-bye when I left, she was in the h-hospital, and I." He broke off and rubbed his eyes. "But they don't want me back, and I don't blame them. And I was worried about you. I had to know that you were all right." Kal blinked, and startled eyes met Morgan's. "It's not about the money. It wasn't about making sure... I was worried about you."

"I know." And he did. Whores, of course, were supposed to lie and say pretty things to please their johns. It was what they were paid for. But Kal didn't possess a glib enough tongue; he was too earnest, and too open. It was gratifying to know that the boy truly cared about him. Terrifying, too.

Morgan sighed and traced Kal's lips. "You can leave, you know. You're not under contract, and don't have any obligations. I pay you, but you have all the power here."

"Where would I go?"

"You could go home. Despite what you think, I'm sure they'd welcome you."

Kal's eyes darkened and he shook his head. "If what I did wasn't bad enough, what I've done since then would be. My father would never understand and I. I wouldn't want Mom to know."

He thought about saying something, but didn't. Kal would make his own decisions; Morgan didn't need to guide him in either direction.

"Are you trying to get rid of me?" Kal asked suddenly. His arms tightened around Morgan and he looked insecure.

"No." Morgan kissed him softly, reveling in the feeling of Kal's lips. "Not at all."

Kal put his hand on the back of Morgan's head, keeping him where he was. His mouth opened and his tongue lightly traced Morgan's lips, exploring.

Heat spread through Morgan's body leaving him heavy and aroused. It amazed him how quickly Kal could get him to this point. It wasn't that his own sex drive had been waning, but there was nothing like a younger man in your bed to wake you up.

The phone rang.

"Damn it," Morgan growled, pulling away. He grabbed it from the nightstand. "Yes?"

"It's Quentin. LuthorCorp's gone under."

That was certainly a quick way to cool his ardor. Morgan sat up, feeling a bit numb. "What?"

"The press conference is in ten minutes. I just got the news. Apparently the deal somehow went south, and Lane Enterprises has absorbed LuthorCorp completely."

Morgan swallowed the "that's impossible" that was resting on his tongue. Because it had happened, it had been possible from the start, and Morgan had known it. Had, in fact, tried to warn Lionel several times that something like this might happen, only to have his concerns brushed aside.

And now it had happened. The unthinkable had occurred. LuthorCorp was no more.

"Where's Lex?" he managed through a very dry mouth.

"I'm not sure."

"You're not sure?" Morgan asked sharply.

Kal sat up and put his hand on Morgan's shoulder. He looked worried.

"I don't think he's with his father," was Quentin's reply.

Morgan got out of bed and crossed the room. "Send someone to find Lex. Bring the car around. I want to go to Lionel's penthouse. Put everyone on alert."

"Yes, sir."

Morgan hung up and turned to Kal. "You know what Lex Luthor looks like?"

Kal nodded, eyes wide. "What happened? Is he dead?"

"No. LuthorCorp went under. The boy is very emotional and tends towards depression. This was his deal, and I'm afraid of what he'll do now that it's gone so utterly wrong."

"What do you want me to do?" Kal climbed from bed and pulled on his shirt.

"Find him. Keep an eye on him. Intervene should he be doing anything dangerous."

"Okay." He crossed the room to Morgan and kissed him. "Are you okay?"

Morgan put his hands on Kal's hips and held him close for a moment. "I helped build that company. I've been friends with Lionel since birth. I've stolen for him, killed for him, bled for him." He rested his forehead against Clark's. "I was there when he went away to college, when he took over his first company, when he made his first million. I've been there every step of the way, and now all we worked for, all we struggled and bled and sinned for is gone." He squeezed his eyes shut as a wave of helpless anger washed over him. "And for what? Because of what? Lionel's hubris. His stupidity. His arrogance, or his ..."

"His carelessness," Kal said softly. He touched his lips to Morgan's. "You warned him, Morgan. You told him this might happen, and he didn't care. Why?"

Ah, but there was the question. This wasn't a matter of the company being lost so much as Lionel throwing it away. Why? What was his game?

"Lionel doesn't strike me as the kind of man to make a gamble like this and lose," Kal said.

"You're right." Morgan carded his fingers through Kal's hair and kissed him. "You're right. He has something up his sleeve, something bigger than all this." He pulled away. "I just need to figure out why he threw his multi-million dollar corporation out the window." For a moment, he stared sightlessly past Kal, tapping his fingers against the warm skin of his neck. Then, he shook himself and said, "I need to go. And so do you."

Kal nodded. "I'll find Lex. I promise," he said. He kissed Morgan once more, then he was gone.

"Oh, Lionel," Morgan sighed, speaking to an empty room. "What on earth are you scheming now?"


Lex Luthor was not an easy man to track down. You wouldn't think that a hot bald guy with piercing blue eyes and skin like cream would be hard to find in a world full of fair to ugly looking people, and yet, he was.

After four hours of looking, Clark still had no clue as to Lex's location. At least he'd finally found the neighborhood Lex apparently hung out in. When Clark first had started, every person he showed the picture to said, "Yeah, I know him. That's Luthor's kid. That Lex guy. My wife (or girlfriend or daughter) says ..." and they'd go off on a long tangent about Lex's exploits, or his sex appeal, or how dangerous the kid was. It was interesting in the sense that Clark had never known anyone that famous, but not very helpful.

But, finally, he'd found a coffee shop where the answer had been, "I haven't seen Lex in a few days. He looked bad, though, like something had happened. Guess it's this whole thing with Lane Enterprises, huh?"

When he'd gotten similar responses in three places (and given all three his cell number should they see Lex again), Clark took to hanging out in the area, casually moving from bar to store to coffee house in search for his prey.

It should not be this exciting. The idea of finding Lex Luthor, that was. After all, Clark wasn't going to get to do anything with him. He was with Morgan now, and Lex Luthor probably wasn't gay.

Clark pulled out the picture and looked at him. Lex dressed in a black shirt, slacks, and black leather jacket that made his skin glow. His eyes stood out as he gazed into the distance, and his skin looked like cream. Clark wanted to lick it. His skin, not the picture.

He forced himself to put it away and continue on to the next store. It wasn't like anything was going to happen. Even if Morgan didn't care, even if Lex was gay, the fact was, Lex had just lost the family business. It wasn't something that put you into the mood for sex.

"Hey," Clark said, walking into the liquor store. "Have you seen this guy?"

The guy behind the counter looked at the picture, then narrowed his eyes. "What do you care?'

"I just want to find him, make sure he's all right. My boss sent me."

"And your boss is?"

Clark showed his teeth and replied, "None of your business. Look, he lost his father's company today; I'm just trying to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid." He pulled a twenty from his wallet and slid it across the counter. "Have you seen him today?"

Still looking wary, the guy took the money and tucked it into his shirt. Furtively, he glanced over his shoulder, then said, "He was in here about an hour ago. Bought a pack of cigarettes and some liquor. He already seemed drunk. I told him, 'Hey, Lex, it's early, man.' But he's got the money, right? So I sold him a bottle of tequila. He thanked me, said I was a good friend, and left. Don't know where he went."

"That's fine. You're not his keeper, right?" This time, Clark flashed a charming smile as he wrote his number on a scrap of paper. "If you see him again, give me a call. Okay? I just want to take him some place to dry out and relax." While I fuck him senseless, he added silently.

"Yeah, okay. Oh, and maybe you'll be interested in this." The guy pulled a piece of paper from behind the counter. Clark's picture was on it with the words Have You Seen This Boy.

A cold feeling entered the pit of Clark's stomach. He took the flyer. "Where did you get this?"

"A gorgeous gal came here a few weeks ago with these. Long brown hair, brown eyes?"

"Yeah, I know her," Clark said flatly. Damn Lana. "You gonna call her?"

The guy smiled. "I don't know. Any reason I shouldn't?"

Fuck, damn, shit. Maybe Morgan would reimburse him, but Clark didn't want to ask. He'd been acting weird this morning, saying that Clark was going to leave him, and he didn't want to fuel the fire.

So, he pulled out his wallet and pulled out a hundred dollar bill. Smiling crookedly, and with no humor, he slid it across the counter. "Yeah. I've got about a hundred of 'em."

The guy took the bill and tucked it into his shirt pocket. "Then I guess I won't call." He handed the paper to Clark.

"Thanks." Clark turned and left the store. "Fucking Lana," he groaned. He shot a quick burst of fire at the paper and dropped it onto the sidewalk. Then he continued onto the next store.

An hour later, he'd hit everything in the neighborhood but the clubs that didn't open until later. Since there was nothing he could do, he doubled back to a diner for dinner. Morgan still wasn't back from seeing Lionel, and Clark didn't exactly relish going back with his mission unfulfilled. Clark was confident that Lex would show up on the club scene tonight. He was, apparently, already drunk, and everything that Clark had heard about him said that Lex liked to party his woes away. He was probably waiting to get out and buy something designer at the clubs to forget what he'd done. All Clark had to do was be patient.

He was halfway through his dinner when she walked into the diner. Dressed in jeans and a dark blue shirt, her hair back in a headband, the way Clark liked it best, she looked every inch like home.

It took him a minute to accept what he was seeing. There was no way on earth she could be there. No way in the world that she would know where he was and how to find him. No way ... and yet, she was here. In this diner, with a steady and determined expression on her face as she crossed the floor and sat across from him in the booth.

"Hello, Clark," Mom said softly, hands folded in front of her on the table.

The food that Clark had stopped chewing curdled on his tongue. He couldn't swallow it, so he spit it out into a napkin and hid it under his plate. "What are you doing here?" he asked harshly, not meeting her eyes.

"I've been looking for you all day. Anywhere I could think. The museum, the mall, the park, apartments by the club where Chloe saw you. I went to the apartment building she told me you were staying, but they told me you haven't been there for weeks. I was going to go to as many clubs as I could tonight, hoping you might be there, and I happened to walk by and see you through the window." She reached across the table and tried to touch his arm gently, but Clark jerked it away.

"Don't. Go home. I don't want you here."

"Not until I've talked to you. Clark, please."

"My name isn't Clark. It's Kal." The words tasted like ashes. Kal-El was the reason he'd hurt her, the reason he'd left. And yet he'd taken the name, partly because he wanted to spite Jor-El, and partly because the name felt right, even though he desperately wished it wasn't so.

"Why did you leave?" Mom asked. Her voice sounded firm, but not like normal. It was like she was trying very hard not to be upset.

She sounded the way she had the time Clark had been seven and accidentally killed the cat. He'd been devastated and refused to come out of his bedroom closet. Mom had climbed in with him, shut the door, and talked to him about how it wasn't his fault, and that he hadn't meant to do it, and he just needed to remember how strong he was and be very careful about his movements and what he did. There had been tears standing in her eyes the entire time, but she never let them fall and never made Clark feel as if she was frightened of him.

"Do you even have to ask?"

"Yes. I don't know why you did it. I've thought and tried to figure it out, but I can't. I know you must feel bad about the accident, but it was just that: an accident. We've had them before, and I don't understand why'd you leave."

Clark looked at her then, and his throat closed. Eyes stinging, he said, "Then you should ask your husband. Jonathan could tell you."

"I'd rather you told me."

"Jesus Christ!" Clark wished he smoked. He needed something to do other than tear a napkin to pieces. "I killed your baby, Mo... Martha. I killed your baby, I hurt you, and I left."

"Clark," she breathed. This time, when she reached for him, he let her. Her smooth, warm hand caressed his arm in a long familiar gesture. "Baby, you didn't kill.... I've never blamed you."

"Why not? It was my fault." He licked his lips. "I put Kryptonite in the ship. Tons of it, as many pieces as Pete could find. I filled up the inside, and the ship tried to protect itself but couldn't. It exploded, and that's why the truck flipped over. It was my fault."

"No," Mom said fiercely, tears in her voice. "No, Clark, it was not your fault. You had no way of knowing that your father and I were coming home from the market early. You didn't know what would happen. You didn't know it would explode."

"My actions have consequences." Clark's voice was dull, and he didn't care about the tears anymore. He'd stupidly forgotten to put his ring on before he left, and now ... now he could feel. It hurt, everything hurt. He wanted to die. "My actions." He sniffed. "I chose to put the rocks in the ship, and it hurt you. It killed your baby, and ..."

"No, Clark, please." Mom was crying now, to, and she was squeezing Clark's arm tightly. "You are my baby. My baby, my angel, my falling star. You are my gift. Yes, I'm sad that I lost the baby, but I can't... How can you make me lose both my babies?" She sniffed and pulled away to wipe her eyes.

"Mom," he whispered raggedly in anguish. "Your life is better off without me."

"My life didn't begin until you came to us." She climbed out of her seat and slid into the booth next to him. Her arms came around him, and she buried her face in Clark's neck. "Clark, you were the best thing that ever happened to me. You came to us, you chose us, you found us. The only thing I ever wanted was a child. The only thing I wanted to complete my life was you. The baby... the baby was only going to add to our lives, not replace you. I wish I could have given you a brother or sister. But I can't lose you because there was an accident. I need you."

"Dad doesn't," Clark said, wishing he had the strength to push her away. Instead, he closed his eyes, allowing his senses to be filled with his mother. The feel of her hair, the smell of her perfume and apples and cinnamon. She had the softest skin of anyone he'd ever known, and she was so, so strong. "Dad blames me. He told me..." He sniffed as a tear made its way down his face. "It's better that I left. I was only in your way."

"Clark, that's not true." She pulled away and looked at him through tear-wet eyes.

"At the hospital, he didn't want me there. He was just worried about his wife and his baby. 'Our' baby, he said, but he didn't mean to include me in that 'our'. Not in the family. He told me it was all my fault, that my choice was what caused you to.... And he was right. It was my fault."

"Clark," Mom said, voice sharp. "I forgive you. I don't blame you."

Clark shook his head and said, "Yeah. But Dad does. And I can't go back to that. It's better if I don't." He kissed her forehead, then gently pushed her away. "I have to go. I'm working."

Mom grabbed his hands and clung to him. "Clark, please. We need to talk. I'm sure you misunderstood..."

"I didn't misunderstand. He said what he said. I can't go back. I'm sorry."

"Let me see you again. Tomorrow. Please, just one more time. Let me talk to your father and see .... Please?"

Clark sighed, stomach churning. He didn't want to, and he shouldn't. But... Maybe this way he could say good-bye.

"Fine," he finally said. "Tomorrow at five. Here."

Mom nodded and stood. "I'll see you then."

"All right." Clark looked at her for another moment, then turned and left the diner. He still had to find Lex Luthor. Then, after he went home and climbed into bed, maybe he could figure out a way to say goodbye to his mother.


"Well, Morgan, you were right," Lionel said when the lawyers and press had finally left. He poured them each a cup of coffee then went to the couch to sit. "I should have paid closer attention to what my son was doing."

Morgan eyed Lionel warily as he poured sugar into his coffee. Lionel seemed suitably frail and shaken by the events. All day, he'd had a bewildered air about him, as if he couldn't quite understand what had happened. One of Lionel's assistants confided to Morgan that he half-expected Lionel to start behaving as if LuthorCorp was still his.

He didn't, of course. Lionel had, as always, conducted himself with grace and dignity. But everyone had been cognizant that he'd lost something important and it would be a long time before he would recover from the blow.

But Morgan knew Lionel. They'd played together as boys, conning old ladies out of candy and chocolate and toys. They'd seduced their schoolteachers, first into overlooking transgressions and later into their beds (well, the young and pretty ones, at any rate). They'd conned their way out of major crimes and talked their way out of any number of gang wars by turning everyone against each other until no one knew who had done what. Lionel was an accomplished actor, and Morgan wasn't positive that this wasn't all an act.

"Are you surprised?" Morgan asked. He crossed the room to join Lionel. "Lex is a smart boy, but he had both Lois and her father against him. He didn't have the experience."

"I thought he could handle it," Lionel snapped waspishly. "I was wrong. What do you want me to do about it? Go back in time and make things right?"

"No, of course not. I simply fail to understand why you would have let Lex handle this undertaking alone when so much was at stake."

"You are the last man I ever thought would doubt Lex. He's your own flesh and blood, Morgan. Can't you take one moment to defend him?"

Morgan held his tongue as anger surged around him. In this moment, Morgan could kill him. Happily. He could slit Lionel's throat and be done with the man, because he was tired of Lionel and his attitude. Lex was only Morgan's son now that he'd failed, and it wasn't as if Morgan had never expected this from Lionel--because, Lord knows, he knew the moment he was asked to father Lionel's children their faults would fall on his head--but this hadn't been Lex's fault. The blame lay with Lionel.

But. Lionel was up to something. Killing him now, before Morgan truly understood, would do no good.

Exhaling slowly to release his anger, Morgan put his coffee cup on the table and leaned forward. "Lionel, you and I both know this is all bullshit," he said, putting is cards on the table. "Lex lost the company, you wanted him to. All I want to know is why."

A myriad of emotions flashed over Lionel before settling on offended shock. "You think I wanted this to happen?" he breathed. "You think that I wanted my company that I've committed murder for to fail? The company I've sweated and bled for, sacrificed my personal life, my wife, and my children so my name would live on for eternity? You think I wanted it to fall like a house of cards? What kind of a fool do you think I am?"

"I think you're a fool who always has the ace up his sleeve, even if it means losing the biggest pot of the night," Morgan replied softly. "You've been defeated--ruined today. You lost the company; your name is in shambles. But you played your hand badly. It was as if you gave a child who'd never played a game more difficult than Go Fish your seat, and you, Lionel, would never do that unless you knew something. I am your oldest friend. I am the father of your children. I think I have a right to know."

Lionel smiled bitterly and shook his head. "Then know this, Morgan. I'm an old, stupid fool who thought that the magnificence I've seen in you since we were in diapers might magically display itself in your son. I wanted to believe he was all that you are, Morgan, but I am sorry to say he is not. And I take the blame for that." Lionel passed a thin, fragile-looking hand over his eyes and sighed. "I'm tired. This has been a long and devastating day. You should go home and fuck your pretty toy. I'm going to bed."

"I'll come back tomorrow and see how you're doing," Morgan said as he rose.

Lionel's smile was faint, and he looked a ghost of the man he normally was. "Thank you, my friend. You are too kind."

On the way back home, Morgan called Quentin and asked him to find out exactly what Lionel had been up to lately. "Phone, bank, and computer records, and talk to everyone he's been in contact with," had been his orders. Lionel was up to something, and Morgan was going to find out exactly what it was.

Kal came home around midnight, looking discouraged and angry. He flung himself on Morgan's bed without saying a word and buried his face in a pillow.

"Did you find Lex?" Morgan asked, turning down the news program he'd been watching.

He groaned and kicked his legs on the bed. "Sort of." His voice was muffled, so Morgan pulled the pillow out from under him.

"Sort of?"

Kal sighed and rolled over. "I saw him for a second, but he got away. He was with this blond man at a club. Lex was drinking, the guy wasn't. Anyway, the club was crowded, and I was working my way to them, but when I got there, they were gone. I'm sorry."

Morgan sighed and shook his head. "It's all right. As long as he's alive." He pet Kal's back gently and slid his hand underneath the boy's shirt. "There was a part of me that was afraid he'd tried to end his life over this."

"Is he really that bad?"

"He's never tried before, if that's what you mean. But his mood seems to swing more easily and more drastically lately. Ever since he hit puberty. Lionel hasn't helped matters at all. I just worry."

"You care about Lex, don't you?"

"I do. Sometimes more than Lionel, even." He hoped Kal wouldn't ask why. It wasn't something he wanted to get into; the issue was too complex.

"How was Lionel?"

"Fine. Shaken, but fine." He stretched on the bed next to Kal and stroked his forehead.

"How could he be shaken? He had to have known this was coming."

"I think it's an act." He kissed Kal's forehead. "I think that he knew this was coming and, for some reason, wanted to lose LuthorCorp. I just don't know what."

Kal slid his hand under Morgan's shirt. "Maybe he wanted Lane Enterprises to absorb his company so he could take over both of them."

"Why didn't he simply take over Lane Enterprises, then? It would have been easier."

"Maybe he didn't have the resources?"

"I can't see how he would suddenly gain them after losing his company," Morgan said slowly, thoughts percolating. "I'll have to look into that," he said thoughtfully. "I generally don't ignore LuthorCorp finances outside of their stock and public records, but I will. Perhaps Lionel is hiding."

"He seems the type."

"Oh, he is the type," Morgan assured Kal. Gently, he pushed Kal onto his back. "He's kept secrets all of his life. From his parents, from me, from the authorities. He keeps things from his stock holders and investors and anyone working for him."

"What about his son?" Kal asked softly.

A bitter smile came to Morgan's lips and he nodded. "Especially his son." For a moment, he toyed with the idea of telling Kal the truth about Lex's parentage. It would be a relief. Morgan had never told anyone about Lex and Julian, about the arrangement he'd made with Lionel. Kal would keep the secret.

But, he merely kissed Kal's pliant lips and kept his peace. He'd done so for twenty-one years now, and he could do it longer. Saying the words out loud would change nothing.

Kal kissed him back with wide-opened eyes. His fingers brushed over Morgan's face repeatedly, and his lithe young body pressed up into his. He almost seemed to be trying to memorize Morgan, or imprint him on his skin.

"Is something wrong?" Morgan asked, nuzzling Kal's temple.

"No," was the breathy response. Then, as large, warm hands smoothed up and down Morgan's back, he said, "I found a poster with my face on it today. Had to pay someone a hundred bucks not to call the number."

He continued to move slowly down Kal's face to his neck. "I thought I'd gotten them all."

"You knew?"

"Yes. One of my men saw them last week."

"Are you going to call?"

"And lose my most prized investment?" Morgan kissed Kal's lips, first upper, then lower, then his entire mouth, tongue dipping inside. "Never."

Kal pressed closer to Morgan, almost clutching him. "You are the best thing that's happened to me since I left home," he said. He kissed Morgan's chin, then neck, and then back up. "And I'm not saying that because of the money."

Morgan smiled and moved so Kal's head rested in the crook of his neck. Carding the thick, black hair, he whispered, "I know, Kal. And I feel the same way." Heaven help me, Morgan added silently.

"I'm a kind of failure as a prostitute, aren't I?" Kal asked.

"Why would you say that?"

"I'm not supposed to, like, care. Or do anything without demanding pay. Or ... whatever. Say things and mean it. I'm supposed to be jaded."

"I imagine it's hard to be jaded with your background," Morgan said. He combed Kal's hair and added, "You seem to come from a trusting family."

Kal snorted softly and pulled away. His shirt was tossed on the floor, quickly followed by his pants. He was wearing boxer briefs today, and Morgan admired the way they clung to him, showcasing his shapely ass.

"Yeah, well," Kal said, turning to Morgan to tug at his clothes. "They shouldn't have trusted me."

"Why not?" Morgan allowed Kal to pull his shirt over his head.

"I'm dangerous." Kal pushed Morgan back against propped up pillows. His hands smoothed over Morgan's shoulders and down his arms, before traveling back up his arms and over Morgan's chest. When they met at Morgan's collarbone, Kal leaned in and lightly flicked his tongue in the hollow.

Morgan sighed softly and let his head fall back against the pillows. Kal's mouth was warm and wet, and he used his teeth liberally to tease Morgan's skin. The dull pain blossomed when those sharp, white teeth sank into his skin, and there was an answering throb in his cock.

Kal worked his way down Morgan's chest, kissing every inch. His tongue brushed lightly at the edge of his nipples, over his stomach, down into his navel. Everything was light and delicate, slowly spreading heat through Morgan's body, teasing him with the feather like touches. Then Kal would bite and pain would shoot through Morgan until he was in exquisite agony. Every nerve was one fire, his cock pressed against his trousers, and sweat slicked his body.

Kal's head moved further down Morgan's body. As he did, his thumbs circled Morgan's nipples teasingly. Tingles spread over Morgan's skin, followed by a swift heat when he looked down to see Kal working to undo his fly using only his mouth. Kal's face was twisted in concentration, and his missteps cased fabric to brush against Morgan's aching cock, teasing him even further.

He finally got the trousers undone. With one hand, Kal pulled Morgan's cock free of his underwear. He licked the tip carefully, cleaning the precome that had gathered there, then swallowed Morgan down.

Morgan sighed softly as he watched the full red lips close over his turgid flesh. In the beginning, this was the reason Morgan had been so drawn to Kal. The pouty lips that screamed "cocksucker". The way his throat worked as he sucked and swallowed. The tongue that bathed the underside of the cock, and licked up and down the length, bathing it. The concentration and energy that he put into the job, and the sheer bliss in his eyes when he raised them to whomever he was sucking at the moment.

And now, he only sucked Morgan. Morgan owned the lips and tongue and teeth that every so lightly grazed against too-sensitive flesh, causing Morgan to cry out, his entire body seizing.

Kal's slid a finger in his mouth and sucked that along with Morgan's cock. Then, he teased it out, trailing it down the length as Kal concentrated on sucking the head hard. Morgan was twisting his hips, pleasure radiating through him in waves. It built slowly, washing through him almost rhythmically. Each time Kal sucked, it surged just a little higher until it seemed as if an inferno was pooled at his groin, ready to explode.

The wet finger probed between Morgan's cheeks. Obligingly, he shifted, giving Kal access. He felt the start of surprise from the boy, and smiled. Whether Kal believed him or not, Morgan wasn't averse to having something or someone inside him; he rather enjoyed it.

Kal's finger traced the sensitive pucker, and Morgan gasped. The end of the gasp turned into a grunt as the finger wormed inside. Kal worked slowly, fucking in and out in short jabs, opening Morgan, and building the heat further. Another finger wormed in, and Kal stretched, opening and closing Morgan's passage as he worked his way to Morgan's prostate.

Kal's fingers grazed against the nub. Morgan cried out hoarsely. Grinning around the blood-heavy cock in his mouth, Kal did it again, this time pressing hard.

A red haze swept over Morgan and he came. Kal continued to suck as the cock emptied into Kal's hot mouth. Fingers fucked him hard and fast, causing stars to burst behind Morgan's eyes with each burst of pleasure.

"Kal," he sighed, sweaty and spent.

With a noisy slurp, Kal let Morgan's cock fall from his mouth. He crawled up Morgan's body, still exploring with lips and fingers. He kissed wetly up the center of Morgan's torso, tongue licking long, wet strips, semen mixed with saliva. He sucked rose red marks and bit purple-blood bruises on soft skin, his own cock heavy between his legs.

"Kal," Morgan whispered roughly. He reached between Kal's legs and took his cock in hand.

"Mmmm," Kal breathed. His mouth met Morgan's in a sloppy, wet kiss. He thrust slowly into Morgan's hand, tongue dipping in and out of Morgan's mouth in time. Kal teased his upper lip, then bit his bottom, sucking when blood welled from the puncture.

"You're such a good boy, Kal," Morgan said around Kal's tongue. "So good at sucking cock. So pretty with a cock in your mouth. With my cock in your mouth. Such a beautiful whore."

"Morgan," Kal said in a strangled whisper. He licked Morgan's jaw. One of his hands tugged at his nipples, breath coming hard. "Oh, God," he groaned when Morgan squeezed him. "I need you. Fuck me, please. Use me."

"I'm a little spent right now."

Kal whimpered, breathing harder as Morgan tugged his cock. "Please," he said pathetically. "Don't you want me? Can't I please you in some way? I want you to take me, lay me down and fuck me until I can't move, please. I need something."

Morgan's hand stilled, an idea coming to him. He pulled away from Kal. "Stay there," he said when Kal tried to follow him. He kicked his slacks off as he went to his closet and pulled a box from the top shelf. Inside was a large black dildo, veins etched on the side and a round bulbous head. Morgan hadn't had a chance to use it in years.

Kal's eyes went wide when he saw it, and he moaned. "Yes," he hissed, hips twisting on the bed. "Yes, please." He rose to his hands and knees when Morgan came back and opened his mouth.

Morgan slid the hard plastic inside. Kal's eyes fluttered shut as he swallowed it down, sucking it as if it were a real cock. And Morgan fucked him with it as if it were, thrusting in and out, tilting it down until Kal had deep-throated it, and the rubber balls rested against his bottom lip.

When it was all the way in his mouth, Kal opened his eyes. They begged Morgan even as his throat muscles worked around it.

"I should be taping you," Morgan sighed. He kept one hand on the dildo, moving it slowly in and out as he reached for the lubricant on the nightstand. "I could make a fortune on sex videos starring you. Hell, I could make a fortune letting my men fuck you for a few hours instead of using this. You'd love it, wouldn't you, Kal? Love lying on the bed as a line of men walked into the room and fucked that's sweet ass of yours. Plowed into the tight passage until you were so full you could barely move. And then, after you were sore and sticky and so very tired, I'd come from behind and take your pliant body, pounding into you until you couldn't take it anymore."

Kal just groaned.

"Turn around." Morgan pulled the dildo out of Kal's mouth and spread the lube on it.

Kal complied, still on his hands and knees. He was facing the mirror on the other side of the room, now, face flushed, eyes glued to Morgan's.

With one slick finger, Morgan traced the pucker of Kal's ass.

"Yes," Kal hissed as he slipped it inside. His eyes closed briefly, then snapped open again, as if he didn't want to miss what was happening.

"This might hurt," Morgan said, pulling his finger out. He pressed the head of the dildo against Kal's opening.

Kal shook his head. "I don't ca...are!" His voice ended in a shriek as Morgan forced the dildo inside him. He thrust until it was buried all the way, forcing the passage to open without stretching or preparation. "Oh, fuck," Kal swore, fingers tearing the bedspread. "Oh God. Oh, fuck me. Fuck me!" He wiggled around the cock, trying to get it to move.

Morgan complied. He fucked Kal with the dildo, forcing it in and out with no remorse. He moved without precision, not sure if he hit Kal's prostate or not, and not caring. Kal's ass drew the toy in, clenching around it, flexing and stretching as Morgan thrust it inside over and over again.

And he was so beautiful. His hips moved back with each thrust, muscles working and stretching under tanned skin. Kal had to force his eyes to stay open and trained on the mirror, and he whined every time Morgan thrust, eyes rolling back. He shouted obscenities, encouraged Morgan to fuck him harder, tore at the bedspread. He panted and keened and whimpered as Morgan pushed harder and harder until he was pushing Kal forward with each thrust and his arms shook.

"Such a little slut," Morgan growled as he fucked Kal. "You'll fuck anything, won't you, my love? Man, machine, plastic. You don't care, you just want sex, and God, Kal, you're so beautiful. So fucking gorgeous." He slammed the dildo home again.

With a terrific screech, Kal came. His cock twitched and sputtered, head thrown back, eyes rolled into his head. Morgan watched as a look of blissful satisfaction washed over his face. Then, Kal lowered his head to the sheets.

"Oh, God, that was fantastic."

"It was," Morgan agreed. He pulled the dildo from Kal's ass and tossed it on the bed. Then, aroused and hard again, he shed his underwear, took Kal by the hips, and slid inside.

Kal jerked in surprise, and then let out a long sound that was somewhere between a moan and a keen. He struggled to lift his head again, but Morgan pushed him down. Clenching his fist in Kal's hair, he started moving.

"Harder," Kal begged breathlessly.

Morgan ignored him and continued his slow slid in and out of Kal. The friction was delightful; he'd put a thin layer of lube on his cock before entering Kal, and there were still traces in Kal's passage from the dildo, but Kal still caught and held Morgan in places. One hand continued to hold Kal down, the other rubbed up and down his back, over his thighs, and then around to the spent cock to play.

"Oh, God." Kal's cock twitched when Morgan caressed it, then again when Morgan hit his prostate.

"I want you to come again, whore," Morgan ordered.

"Too soon."

Morgan shifted so he was hitting Kal's prostate in short, hard jabs. "Come," he demanded, yanking Kal's cock.

There was a moment of stillness, and then Morgan hit Kal just right. The boy convulsed, and his cock spat out some more fluid.

"Again."

Kal cried out as the assault on his prostate continued. Morgan caressed and stroked his cock relentlessly, attacking him from inside and out. He pulled two more tiny orgasms from Kal by stroking his cock before it became too sensitive for Morgan to touch. Then Morgan moved up and pressed into Kal's perineum. His hips moved in a rolling wave now, still brushing only Kal's prostate, so Kal was being teased both inside and out.

"Morgan," Kal sobbed. "Oh, God, it's too much. Too good. Oh. Oh. Oh!" He came again, cock twitching but producing nothing. His body was a limp, sweaty mass, and he could barely hold himself over the bed. His glazed eyes gazed at Morgan in the mirror, ecstasy and exhaustion evident in his expression. Beads of sweat rolled down his back, over his face. His arms trembled and gave out so he laid motionless on the bed, head tilted so he could still gaze into the mirror and watch Morgan treat his body like a toy.

"Isn't this what you wanted, Kal?" Morgan asked, valiantly trying to hold off his orgasm. He was so close. So fucking close. "You wanted me to use you. To fuck you until you couldn't stand it anymore. Until you were limp and tired and couldn't do anything by lie there and be fucked, because you're my whore, and I can do what I want. I can fuck you until you faint, until unconsciousness overcomes you, and then keep fucking you until you wake again. Isn't that what you want?"

Kal licked his lips. "Yes," he whispered so softly Morgan could barely hear him. "Fuck me, Morgan. Use me. Use me like your dirty whore, like I'm nothing to you, like I'm a cheap thrill you picked up off the streets. Use me."

"I'll use you, Kal," Morgan said. He released Kal's hair and grasped his hips. "But it's not because I don't care."

The blue-green eyes lit. Struggling mightily, Kal forced himself to his hands and knees again. His arms and legs shook with exhaustion, his head stayed on the bed. With a deep breath, Kal pushed back onto Morgan's cock and squeezed around him.

The world exploded.

When Morgan became aware of his surrounding again, he found Kal curled next to him, asleep.

He smiled and kissed the boy's sweaty forehead. When he did, Kal's eyes opened.

"I wouldn't let you use me if I didn't care about you," he said in a low voice.

"I know, Kal," Morgan replied. He kissed the swollen lips and repeated, "I know."


She was already at the diner when Clark arrived, sitting in a booth in the back. There was a cup of coffee and open book were on the table in front of her, but both were long neglected since her eyes were on the door.

Mom looked old, Clark realized with an unpleasant jolt. No, not old. Careworn. There were lines around her eyes that hadn't been there before, and Clark swore he could see a hint of white in her beautiful red hair. Where normally she looked healthy and full of life, she was pale and drawn, and her hand seemed tremble slightly as she raised it to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear.

"I did this," Clark thought miserably as he approached her. "I made her look like that." He wondered why she would want him back, when he'd caused so much pain. Not only had he hurt her and killed her baby, but he'd added stress by leaving. He was unpredictable and thoughtlessly cruel; why would she want him back?

"Hello, Clark," she said when he got to the table.

"Hi, Mom," he replied, fiddling with the hem of his shirt.

For a moment, neither one moved; a sense of awkwardness filled the space between them. Then, Mom rose from her seat and pulled Clark into her arms.

"Thank you for coming," she breathed against his skin. Her hand stroked over his hair and neck as if she wasn't positive he was really here.

Despite himself, Clark felt his muscles relax in her embrace. He might be an alien with a father who wanted him to rule the world, but this was his mother. She always made everything better just by existing.

When she broke the embrace, Mom cupped his face and beamed at him before sitting back down. Clark slid into the seat across from her and pulled a napkin out of the dispenser.

"So," Clark said, tearing at the napkin.

"So," Martha repeated. "I talked to your father last night."

"Oh?" He waited for her to tell him that he'd been mistaken and misunderstood what Jonathan had said. He waited for the lies.

She nodded and stirred her coffee slowly. "He admitted that he may have said some things he didn't mean. That he may have made it sound as if everything was entirely your fault. And he's sorry. He misses you, Clark, and..."

"He misses his farm hand, you mean," Clark interrupted.

"Well, things have been hard since you've been gone," Mom said a little dryly. "And then, about three weeks ago, an anonymous donor paid off our all debt. We don't know who it was, so your father can't refuse. We're in the black, and it looks like we'll stay there for awhile."

Morgan, obviously. Clark just wondered why.

"Clark. Your father is sorry, and he wants to have a chance to tell you. But if you don't want to go home, I understand."

Clark's head snapped up. "What?"

Mom's face was serious and composed. She reached across the table and put her hand on Clark's arm. "I can't imagine what it must have been like for. You were only doing what you thought was best to protect yourself and the people you cared about. It was no less than Jonathan would have done if he had felt threatened, and yes, something awful happened. But to think I blamed you for the loss of the baby.... It must have been horrible. And to hear your father actually blame you... Clark, what he said was almost unforgivable. It was hurtful. And he meant to hurt you. That's the part I have the biggest problem with. He wanted to make you hurt because he was in pain. And he completely disregarded the fact that you already knew what you'd done and were punishing yourself." She squeezed his arm. "I understand why you might not want to go back into that environment."

"All right," he said thickly, guilt at the accident racing through him. "Good, you understand. I won't go back. I'll stay here."

"Wait. You need to know everything, Clark. You need to know that if you stay here, I'm going to stay, too."

"What?" He couldn't have heard her right. Because there was no way Dad would ever agree to move to Metropolis. It wasn't in him.

Mom shrugged. "I'm going to leave your father, Clark. I decided last night. I can't stay with a man who could alienate my child the way he did." She sighed. "I still love him. He is the love of my life. But you are my child and you will always come first."

Clark rubbed his eyes, head spinning. Mom was moving to the city?

"Now, ideally, what would happen is I'd get a job and a place to stay in the city. You'd move in with me. We'd enroll you in a nearby school, maybe you'd get a part time job for extra pocket money. You said you were working yesterday; maybe you could continue on with that job."

"Mom," Clark protested, but she continued on.

"I understand, of course, that you might not want to live with me. I want you to. I think you should. You may feel very grown up, but you are still only sixteen and I worry. But I also know I can't force you to do anything you don't want to, so I won't press the issue. But I do hope that you'd visit me occasionally."

"Mom, no." His heart pounding. He couldn't believe what he was hearing, what she was saying. It was insane. She couldn't leave Dad. The Kents weren't like that.

"Clark, it was devastating enough to lose one baby. I can't lose two."

"So now, not only am I responsible for the miscarriage, but I'm responsible for the breakup of your marriage."

"Oh no. Jonathan Kent did that all by himself." Then she flinched and said, "Well. We did that. Him and I both." Mom sighed and shook her head. "Clark, honey, what he said to me last night. I could still hear the anger, and I could hear what pushed you away. I am so angry with him right now, and I don't even know if I want to go back. I do know I don't want to go back without you. I've made up my mind, Clark, and it has nothing to do with you. It's my choice, not yours. Just like the effects of the Kryptonite aren't your fault simply because you came down in the shower." Mom leaned across the table and touched his face. "Clark, I love you. You are my life. You are my child, and I will do anything for you. Do you understand?"

Something in him broke. All that love and devotion, and he didn't even deserve it.

He pulled away and pressed his hand to his eyes. "Momma, I'm a prostitute."

There was a long silence before Mom sighed. "Oh, Clark. Honey." She slid out of her seat and settled in next to Clark. "Okay, so you'll have to get a new job when I move to Metropolis," she said stroking his hair.

He looked at her through a film of tears. "Mom, don't you understand?"

"Yes, I do. You sleep with people for money."

"Are you mad?"

"I'm mad at the people who take advantage of you like that."

He blinked, shaking his head. Tears ran down his cheeks. "No. No, no one's taking advantage of me. I like it, Momma. A lot. I'm gay and I started fooling around with guys. And then I started charging them. I did it, just because I could charge them. And then the owner of the club I did business at hired me, and I really like him. I mean, he's not exactly the best person in the world, but he cares for me."

Mom opened her mouth to say something, but Clark cut her off. "He does Mom. Okay? And I care about him. He m-makes me feel safe."

"Well, then I'm glad you found someone like that." Her hand cupped his cheek, and then she used her thumb to wipe a tear away. "And I'm not upset that you're gay. As long as it makes you happy."

"I'm not unhappy," he said. Then more tears rose. "I like Morgan. I feel safe with him and I think I could be happy with him. But I miss you." It hurt to say and it hurt even more to admit to himself. But it was true.

"Well, maybe you can still see him. Without money changing hands, I mean. We'll live in the city; it'll be easy for that to happen."

Clark snorted and wiped his nose. "Mom, I have a feeling that, if you knew him, you wouldn't be so encouraging." He wiped his eyes. "Morgan is everything you and Dad are against, everything I am against, too, but ... there's something about him. I can't explain it."

"Then I won't ask." She rubbed her thumb on his forehead. "Clark, you're sixteen. And you've proved that you can live on your own, and I have no right to dictate your love life. Or who you see. I wish.... You're my child, Clark. My little boy, and the last thing I want is to see you get hurt. I want to see you dating people your own age, and going to school. I want to see you graduate, and go to college and get a full time job doing something you love. I want to see you find the one you want to be with, man or woman. I want to dance at your wedding if that's the path you chose, or have dinner at your home as a family. I want you to be happy. That's all I've ever wanted."

The tears rose in his eyes again, and Clark pressed the heels of his hands against them. It was all too much. All of it. Mom couldn't leave Dad, could she? But she was moving to Metropolis, and what did that mean for him and Morgan? It wasn't like any of it ever could have been permanent, and yet, it was hard to imagine his life without Morgan in it in some way.

But there was one thing clear in his mind. "If you leave Dad, I'm always going to feel like it's my fault," he said brokenly.

"Clark..."

"No, Mom." He pulled his hands away again so he could look at her. "I will. I know you say it's not, but I'm the one who caused the accident that hurt you. I'm the one who made the choice to run away. I don't want to be the one who breaks up your marriage."

Martha sighed and tapped her fingers on the table. "Well, then do this. Come home with me. We'll all sit down and talk. You, your father, and me. We'll talk about what happened, what was said, and where we should go. And you and I will decide then if we want to stay or not." She took his hand and squeezed. "But we stick together, and we make the decision together. Understand?"

Clark nodded and blinked tears away. "Okay. Okay, yeah. But promise you won't rush into anything."

She laughed and kissed him on the cheek. "Don't worry, baby. I promise I won't." Mom smiled, and the lines seem to fade from around her face. She tousled his hair lovingly, then said, "So. How are we going to do this?"

Clark fiddled with the hem of his shirt. "I need to tell Morgan I'm going to be gone tomorrow."

"Will he let you?"

"Yeah, he will." He wiped his eyes again. "I should go. Tell him."

"Okay. And then maybe, you could call? I'm staying at the Holiday Inn on Fifteenth St., room 205."

Clark nodded. "Yeah. I'll call." He swallowed hard then kissed her on the cheek. "I love you, Mom."

"I love you, too, Clark." She hugged him tightly, tears wetting her cheeks. For a long moment, neither one moved as they held each other, breathing each other in.

Finally, Clark pulled away and went home.

Morgan was on the couch reading when Clark got in. He looked up when Clark crept into the room.

"Hello, Kal. Enjoy your evening?"

Clark didn't answer. He crossed the room and climbed into Morgan's lap.

Morgan set the file he'd been reading aside and put his arms around Clark. "What's the matter?" he asked. He combed through Clark's hair with his fingers, working through knots and curls gently.

Clark's scalped tingled and he pressed his head into Morgan's shoulder. "There's something I didn't tell you yesterday."

"Oh?"

"I saw my mom. She's in town. Looking for me."

"Oh."

Morgan's voice didn't give anything away, but Clark could feel a sudden tenseness in his body.

"She asked to see me today. That's where I was. Having dinner with her." Clark licked his lips and squeezed his eyes shut. "She said she was going to leave my father. That she was going to move to Metropolis so she could be with me." He hesitated, but Morgan said nothing. He continued to comb his fingers through Clark's hair soothingly. "We talked. I told her that I was a prostitute. I told her that I was living with you. I didn't tell her who you were, though, she wouldn't understand how I could care so much for a criminal."

"Doubtful she could understand how you could care for a john in the first place."

Clark shrugged. "She seemed to get it. Or at least she accepted it. She even said I could keep seeing you after.... She wants to get an apartment for us to live and for me to go to school. She'll work. And I'll see you in my spare time or something."

Morgan kissed his forehead. "Would you want to keep seeing me?"

"Yes. No. I don't know." He pressed his forehead hard into Morgan's arm. "I don't want this."

"Don't want what?"

"Reality." He sighed and snuggled into Morgan's embrace. "I don't want her leaving my dad. Not over me. So I promised I would go to Smallville tomorrow and talk to them both."

Morgan rubbed his back and sighed. "Why do I have a feeling you're leaving me?"

Clark pulled away. "I'm not, I swear. I'm coming back." He kissed Morgan desperately, feeling as if the world was spinning around to fast. He needed his ring.

"Kal." Morgan kissed him. "I don't want you to think about me tomorrow. While you're talking with your parents and making your decision. Don't factor me in to what you choose."

"Why not?"

Gently, Morgan pushed Clark off him and rose. Walking across the room to the bar, he poured himself a drink. He drained it and turned back. "Because, Kal. What you need to decide is whether or not you want to live on the farm with both your parents or in Metropolis with your mother. I am not an issue; I'm just an old man who has enjoyed playing with you. And I don't want you to force me to do something noble and send you away. I'd rather you just leave on your own." He poured himself another drink, and then held out his hand. "Come to bed, Kal."

"But it's only seven o'clock."

Morgan's lips curved into a wicked smile. "Is that too early?"

Oh. Right. Sex. Fantastic sex. "Um, let me call my mom. Then I'll come."

"I'll be waiting," Morgan said with a smile that went straight to Clark's cock. He knocked back his Scotch and slunk out of the room, body language rife with promises.

Clark couldn't wait to have them fulfilled.


"Morgan?" Kal said softly, voice piercing through the veil of sleep that engulfed him.

He groaned as consciousness came over him. Reluctantly. Painfully, too.

Morgan rolled onto his back and opened his eyes. Under normal circumstances, he was a light sleeper and woke instantly. There was none of this wading through heavy drowsiness, every muscle and sinew aching, head pounding and his head screaming for him to just roll over and go back to sleep.

That, of course, was before he'd taken a sexually insatiable teenager into his home and bed. A teenage boy who was quick to learn and eager to explore new ways to bring pleasure to both himself and his partner for hours on end. Hours Morgan appreciated but, sadly, that his body was not quite up to without recrimination.

Everything hurt. Even his eyelashes. He'd been sore since he and Kal had first started having sex, and it'd gotten progressively worse. After last night, he could barely move.

"Yes?" he said, voice rusty from lack of use. When he saw that it was only seven in the morning, he was even more annoyed. They'd been up for hours last night; why was Kal waking him so early? Morgan needed rest.

Damn. When he was younger, he didn't even need sleep. Now he was actually cranky.

Kal disappeared for an instant. When he reappeared, he was holding a glass of water. "Here."

Morgan took it and drank deeply. "Thank you." His voice was less rusty, but he still sounded tired. "Are you leaving now?"

"Yeah, soon."

"You look nice."

Kal did look nice, dressed in a pair of brand new jeans and green and gray tee-shirt that made the green in his eyes stand out. His hair was carefully gelled and combed, and he was wearing the cologne Morgan had bought him.

"Thanks," Kal said almost bashfully. "I don't want my dad to think that I can't take care of myself. Even if I don't tell him where the clothes and money came from."

"You told your mother."

"I know," he said, brow furrowing. "But it's different. My mom gets that sort of thing. And I wanted her to know. It sounds dumb, but I did. But Dad... My father wouldn't understand. And there's going to be enough problems without him knowing, you know?"

Morgan reached up to caress Kal's cheek. "I understand."

Kal caught Morgan's hand and pressed a kiss into his palm. "Hey, have you seen my ring? I can't find it."

"No," Morgan lied. "Isn't it on the nightstand?"

He shook his head.

"Have you looked in your room?"

Kal sighed and disappeared. A moment later, he was back. "It's not there. I've looked three times now."

Morgan sat up and rubbed his eyes wearily. "Kal, I don't keep track of your belongings. I'm sure the ring is around somewhere."

"It's not. And I have to meet my mom. I'm already late."

"I'm sorry. I wish I could help you, but I can't even wake up." He lay back down and rubbed his eyes. Fuck. Either he was sick, or he was just old. He was leaning towards the latter.

"Hey," Kal said, sounding concerned. "You okay?" The bed dipped as he sat.

"I'm fine," Morgan sighed, catching Kal's hand as it ran up his chest. "Before you leave, can you get me a couple aspirin, more water, and a very strong cup of coffee?"

"Yeah." Kal bent over and kissed Morgan's forehead. Then he disappeared.

Morgan closed his eyes and concentrated on breathing. He didn't feel ill, not in the traditional sense. His head was clear (for the most part), stomach fine, and he was neither overly hot nor cold. Which unfortunately, meant that he was old. Old, and fucking someone too young to keep up with.

Kal returned with the aspirin and water. As Morgan swallowed them down, Kal disappeared again to return with a steaming cup of coffee.

"Do you want me to call anyone? A doctor? Quentin?"

"No, Kal, I'm fine." He smiled wanly and tugged on a lock of Kal's hair. "It's the logical result of playing with teenage boys."

Kal smirked and said, "Teenage hookers."

"Whore," Morgan said affectionately.

"Morgan," Kal groaned. He bent over and met Morgan's mouth with his own.

"Slut."

Kal moaned again into Morgan's mouth. "I have to meet my mother," he whispered, climbing on top of Morgan. "I have to go." The last was a bit of a whimper as he nuzzled Morgan's neck.

"I know," Morgan said regretfully. He stroked Kal's neck and sighed. "And I'm too sore to play." He bit Kal's ear. "Go. I'll be here when you get back." If you get back.

Kal sighed heavily and rested his head in the crook of Morgan's neck. "I'll come back," he promised.

"Go." He kissed Kal's temple and pushed at him. "You're late."

Regretfully, Kal pulled away. "I wish I could find my ring," he said.

"You don't need it. Being that disconnected will just make you stupid. Trust me. I know fathers."

"I guess." Kal straightened his shirt and smiled at Morgan. "I'll see you tonight." Then he was gone.

Morgan groaned and rolled over. He reached into the pillowcase and pulled the ring from the corner it where it was nestled. Then he shifted onto his back once more and gazed at it thoughtfully.

There was a possibility he wasn't being fair, although, to be honest, he wasn't sure if he was being unfair to the boy or to himself. Kal had wanted it, of course. It made him feel things less acutely, and it probably would have been easier for him to face his father. But Morgan knew Kal needed to go to this meeting with a clear head. No matter what the outcome.

However, going in with a clear head, with his soft heart unguarded made it a greater chance he'd leave Morgan and go back to Smallville. Because, while Morgan had no doubt that Martha Kent was serious in her intent on leaving her husband, he knew that Kal would never allow that to happen. Not without at least attempting to fix things.

And he should. Kal was too young for this, and had too much potential. He needed to go home, at least to his mother.

And Morgan had to let him go. He had no right to keep the boy.

He sighed and slid the ring as far on his finger as he could. Then, curling his hand into a fist, he rolled over and did his best to go back to sleep. The coffee could wait.

When Morgan woke again, it was early afternoon. He was not quite as sore, although his muscles ached dully. He called his masseuse and took a long hot shower. The shower went a long way in clearing the cobwebs from his head and the massage made him feel less creaky. Work distracted him for the night, and he almost didn't notice that Kal hadn't returned.

The next day, Lex Luthor had a byline in the Daily Planet. It detailed exactly what had transpired between Lane Enterprises and LuthorCorp and was favorable to neither. It was also extremely well written, riveting, and informative. It helped Morgan breath easier because he knew that Lex was going to be all right.

It was a little harder to pretend that Kal had not come back the second day, especially when Quentin asked. But it wasn't all that hard, since research on Lionel's doings over the last few months was coming in, Morgan had Lex's article to read and analyze, and the fallout from the article on the television news was fascinating to watch.

By the end of the week, Morgan acknowledged that Kal was not returning. He didn't know whether to feel relieved or disappointed. He hadn't want Kal to leave, of course, but it'd been inevitable. He was too young and too intelligent to be happy as a kept boy. He was also too good to be happy as a criminal. Their arrangement had always been for the short term.

At least Kal hadn't forced Morgan to send him away. That would have been too hard. The one thing Morgan was not, and never had been, was noble. He was selfish and it had worked for him for years. Having to start doing noble things now, such as turning Kal away to his life, would have been absurd.

And yet, he would have done it. There was no other way.

Luckily, Kal hadn't come back. He'd faded from Morgan's life like a wisp of smoke or pleasant dream. Just the way it should be.

After two weeks, he packed Kal's belongings and put the money he owed the boy in a high-interest yielding account. He moved out of the penthouse and back into his apartment. After awhile, the memory of the boy's body against his faded except in the darkest hours of the night.

The only thing he kept was the ring. Because, in the end, he did not want to forget his precious boy.


Three Months Later

"Wow," Chloe said, setting down the paper. She looked shell shocked as she shook her head. "Wow."

"Yeah," Clark said grimly.

"That poor man."

"Which one? Lionel or Lex?"

Chloe blinked at him, frowning. "Lex Luthor, of course. Lionel is the jerk who committed suicide. And he's dead. Why feel sorry for him?" She shook her head and looked back down at the article. "No, I feel sorry for Lex. I mean, my God, he found his father with his head blown off and then wrote an article about it. That takes dedication."

"Yeah." Clark rubbed his chin morosely. "Or a level of masochism that's beyond reason."

"Well, I don't think it's that bad."

"You read the article. Jesus, it's like he just peeled his skin off layer by layer. It hurt me to read, and I couldn't stand Lionel."

"Yeah, but you have some weird crush on Lex," Chloe said with laughter on the edge of her voice. "Seriously, you did meet him while you were hiding in Metropolis, right?"

Clark sighed and rubbed his eyes. "No, I didn't. I was sent out to find him once, right after LuthorCorp fell, but I couldn't." He scrubbed his face and wondered if he should go to Metropolis and look for Lex. Make sure he was okay. After all, Morgan...

Then again, maybe he should go to Morgan. Or call him. Lionel had been Morgan's friend, and for him to be dead... It had to be hard.

It'd been three months since Clark had left. Left the penthouse with every intention of coming back, and then simply... hadn't. He felt bad for not going back, but, on the other hand, he had the vague sense that it was easier on both of them that way. Clark didn't have to explain anything and Morgan... Well, truthfully, Clark didn't know what Morgan would have done.

Life back home wasn't easy. Despite an apology from his father, Clark still wasn't comfortable around him. Dad truly seemed sorry about what he'd said, and he was doing everything he could to make Clark feel comfortable, but there was still a lot hanging between them. Mom said things would get better with time, and all Clark could do was trust her.

A few weeks after he'd returned home, the caves called to him. Clark had gone, heart pounding, not sure of what was going to be expected of him this time, but ready to submit. He'd tried to resist Jor-El before and had end up hurting his mother. Now, he'd lost Morgan, too, and Clark just didn't want to fight anymore.

To his surprise, Jor-El simply said the first test was over, removed the scar, and warned that when he called again, Clark better come ready to face his destiny. That was it. Clark didn't know whether to be relieved nothing more was being asked of him or angry that he'd been put through this in the first place.

He'd decided to be relieved, and then went about the business of his life. His boring, small, almost painful life.

"Clark?" Chloe broke into his thoughts.

He blinked. "Sorry. I was just... I think I'm going to take off."

"Are you okay?"

"Yeah." He smiled wanly. "I'm just a little homesick, I guess."

Chloe wrinkled her nose. "But you are home."

"For now." He shrugged and picked the backpack up. "I'll call you later."

"Okay. Bye."

Clark put his backpack on and left the Torch office. His mind was preoccupied with Lionel and Morgan and the suicide. And the implication Lex had made that it might not be suicide. Frankly, Clark agreed with him. Lionel was too much of an arrogant bastard to kill himself. Plus, Clark was still convinced that he'd thrown LuthorCorp away on purpose. Even if he hadn't, it still seemed out of character. Maybe...

Clark stopped short.

"Hello, Kal," Morgan said softly. He was leaning against his car, arms crossed comfortably over his chest. His clothes were black, his hair stirred in the light wind, and his blue eyes gleamed in a familiar way beneath his glasses.

"Morgan." Clark walked quickly to him, and then stopped, unsure of what he should do. He wanted to go to Morgan and hug him, to kiss him like they used to kiss and breathe him in. But he didn't know if that was allowed anymore. Especially since they were in front of Clark's school.

Morgan smiled at him, and reached out to touch his hair affectionately. "You look well."

"So do you." He did. He also looked extremely tired, which made sense, since his best friend had just committed suicide. "Um, I read the article. How is he doing?"

"Lex? I don't know. I'm hoping to see him at the funeral on Saturday, but he's not returning my calls."

"How are you?"

Morgan shrugged. "He was my best and oldest friend. I remember him as a dirty-faced urchin, a cocky teenager, and a brash young adult. I was his best man at his wedding. I witnessed the birth of his children. I stood by him at his wife's funeral, and now on Saturday, I have to attend his." He sighed again and rubbed his chin. "A part of me thought Lionel Luthor to be immortal, and yet he proved to be as human as anyone."

"I'm sorry," Clark said, and he meant it.

Morgan's smile was strange and bitter. "Yes," he said softly. "I'm sorry too." Morgan's eyes seemed far away, like he was gazing through Clark. Then, he shook himself and his gaze sharpened. "Come with me."

Clark licked his lips, swaying into Morgan. "Where?"

"There's a motel in Grandville. I'm not trying to take you away. I just need..." He trailed off and smiled wistfully.

There wasn't anything to do but kiss him then, and Clark really didn't care if anyone saw. Let people think what they wanted about him; all of it was probably true.

Clark called home on the way, explaining that he was going to be out late and didn't know when he'd get home. His mother didn't sound happy, but Clark didn't care. He'd been playing the good boy for three months, now, he deserved to feel like himself again.

Morgan had already checked into the motel, so they were able to go directly to the room. Once they were inside, Clark said what had been on his mind for months now.

"You let me go."

Morgan nodded, shrugging out of his jacket. He folded it in half and draped it across a chair. "I did," he said, walking to the windows. He closed the curtains.

"Why?" Clark unbuttoned his flannel, but didn't take it off. He figured he was here to have sex, but didn't want to look like an idiot of he was wrong.

"Why keep you when you so obviously belonged here?"

Clark snorted and sat on the bed. "I don't feel like I belong here." He chewed on his bottom lip. "I didn't really fit in before, and now it's like there's this huge gulf between me and everyone. They're all so young and hopeful, and I'm just..."

"Not an innocent anymore."

He shook his head and sighed. "No."

Morgan crossed the room and sat next to Clark. "You're not innocent anymore, Kal. You're a retired prostitute, a former thief, and have seen a man get his head blown off in front of you." He touched Clark's face gently. "You've run away from home, done things they've only seen in movies, and gotten away with things they could never dream of. You've a beautiful light in you, Kal. A wonderful optimism, despite what you've lived through. Your soul is older than theirs, and you are more mature than the average high school student."

"I hate it here," Clark admitted. He leaned and rested his head on Morgan's shoulder. "I mean, I love my mother, and I'm not all that unhappy on the farm, but I don't want to be here anymore."

"So go."

"I can't. I don't have anywhere to go. Not anymore." He swallowed and squeezed his eyes shut.

"Would knowing that you have seventy thousand dollars help?"

Clark lifted his head. "What?"

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic card. "This is a debit card for your savings account. All the money I owe you is in there. I've written the PIN on this paper, and you can change it whenever you want."

"I can't..."

"It saves me the time and trouble of having to set up a scholarship foundation that you are sure to win for college. Kal, please. You earned the money."

Something inside Clark broke, and he pulled away. "I don't want it," he said petulantly.

Morgan sighed and set the card down. "Kal," he growled, pushing Clark to the bed. "I'm letting you go. After today, I swear I will never interfere in your life again."

"Why not?" Clark asked, squeezing Morgan's shoulders. "In a year I'll be legal, and..."

"And in a year, I'll be sixty," Morgan said gently. He bussed Clark's lips with his own. "I'm too old for you, Kal. And I'm a criminal. That's not what you need in your life."

"Why do you get to decide?"

"Because I'm not the hormonal teenager," Morgan answered, sliding his hand inside Clark's shirt. "I'm the adult in this situation."

"Don't pull that shit on me," Clark said angrily, squirming under Morgan. "You can't say that after all I've been through this summer that I'm just some hick kid, okay? I want to be with you."

"You can't," Morgan said harshly. He grabbed Clark by the wrists and forced them over his head. "I wish you could, all right? I miss you. But I've been able to breath a lot easier since you left."

"Gee, thanks."

Morgan laughed softly and kissed him. A real kiss this time, and his hands slid down Clark's arms to cup his neck. "I haven't had to worry about you leaving me. About you getting hurt. About Lion... about anyone hiring you away from me, or you moving on to better game. And I haven't had to worry about whether I should keep you or send you away." He caressed Clark's face with his thumbs. "You aren't a normal boy, Kal. And while my life isn't normal, it isn't for you. And I don't want you around."

"I see," Clark said thickly. "So, is this why you came? To tell me all this and get to be noble?"

"No. I came because my best friend is dead, and I needed some comfort. And," he added, smiling softly, "I came because I needed to see the one thing I ever got right."

Clark smiled and arched into Morgan. Lifting his head, he caught Morgan's lips with his own and kissed him deeply.

Sex between them had never been tender, and it wasn't exactly tender now. There was an urgency running through Clark, and a heady awareness that this was probably the last time he'd ever see Morgan. The thought tore Clark apart, made him feel hollow and anxious, but, deep down, he knew Morgan was right. There was no future they could have together and no way to step back from what they had meant to each other and still keep in contact.

Morgan's hands caressed Clark as if memorizing him. His lips puzzled over the missing scar. His body pushed into Clark's with an air of worship mixed with loss.

Neither one ever closed their eyes, except when the pleasure proved to be too much. And, when it was over, Clark wrapped himself around Morgan and held on as tightly as he could, knowing that when he let go, Morgan would leave his life forever.

It was dark by the time Morgan finally forced Clark from bed. They showered together, hands worshiping and memorizing, mouths rarely leaving each other. Morgan had so many red marks on his neck and chest, he looked like he'd broken out with a strange rash, but Clark didn't care. He'd made his mark on his lover, and damned if he'd be forgotten.

"Take the money, Kal," Morgan said as he dressed. "I need to know that you'll have an education, and a future."

Clark nodded, throat closed with tears.

"Don't come to me unless you need help. And even then, make sure I'm the last resort."

"Okay," Clark whispered.

Morgan smiled and touched Clark's hair lightly. "Try to remember what I did... It was never just about sex or ownership."

"I know, Morgan. God, I ..." Clark licked his lips. "You were the best chance I took. I don't know if I'd be here if I hadn't found you."

"I'm not sure about that. You're a remarkable boy. And now I want you to listen closely." Morgan framed Clark's face in his hands and gazed into his eyes seriously. "You're too old for this town, too great for this life. You have money in your name. I promise I won't give you anything else, and that I haven't given you anything we didn't agree on up front. This is payment for your time with me, and the jobs you did, even though I know you would have been there without being paid. I understand. But I never renege on a deal." He paused a moment, as if waiting for Clark to protest.

Clark remained silent.

Morgan nodded. "Promise me that you listen to what you're feeling. You're not meant for Smallville, and I think you're being stifled. You have money to start a new life. I'm not saying that you should run away again. Maybe you should go to college early, or graduate from high school now and travel. Whoever your choice, do it soon. Start the rest of your life now. Promise me."

Clark's throat closed up. But he nodded and whispered, "I promise."

Morgan smiled and caressed Clark almost lovingly. Then he leaned close, hand fisting in Clark's hair. His lips were fierce, tongue demanding as they plundered Clark's mouth, taking and memorizing, kissing Clark until he was breathless and dizzy. "Good-bye, Kal," he whispered into Clark's mouth. He stayed close for a moment, breathing heavily in time with Clark. Then, he pulled away and left.

He never looked back.

When he was gone, Clark curled on the bed and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. He stayed there for nearly an hour, tears closing his throat and pounding behind his eyelids. It'd been so hard to leave Morgan the first time, and now... He had closure. They'd said their goodbyes, what more could he ask for?

It hurt more than he'd ever imagined it could. But, then, Morgan was the only one who really made him feel normal, so what had Clark expected?

When the tears went away and the pain in his throat faded, Clark rose. He picked up the debit card and PIN and shoved both in his pocket.

"Goodbye, Morgan," he whispered to the empty room. Then he went home, determined to start the rest of his life.


Epilogue

There was a light tap on the front door, then Kal stuck his head inside. "Hey," he said warily, glancing at Quentin. "Can I come in?"

Morgan closed his PDA and handed it to Quentin. "Yes, of course." He looked up at Quentin. "Do you have any questions?"

"No, not at all. I should be back in a few hours." He took the PDA and went to the door. "Hello, Kal."

"Quentin." Kal waited stiffly at the door for Quentin to leave, then turned fierce eyes on Morgan. "Are you doing something illegal?" he demanded.

Morgan smirked. "Why, Superman? Are you going to take me to jail?"

"I already did," Kal replied, sitting on the couch at the end of Morgan's feet. "Sort of. And you know that if I find any more evidence that you're participating in illegal activity, I'll have to turn that to the prosecution as well."

Morgan smiled tiredly. Kal reminded Morgan of that fact every time he visited. He was so earnest and so torn about Morgan, it was amusing and painful to watch. Morgan knew that Kal didn't want him to be found guilty or go to prison, and yet, in his role as protector and as Lex's lover, he had an obligation to see justice done.

Sometimes, it was so easy to forget that this was the same boy who'd robbed countless banks wearing a mask, who'd broken into Lane Enterprises, and who'd set fire to a crack house with no sense of compunction. Kal was so very different now: grown up, confident, and honorable.

He was Clark Kent. Superman. Protector of Metropolis, lover of Lex Luthor. He wasn't Kal, the runaway and Morgan's cocky rentboy. Not anymore.

"It's the list of medication I'm on," he reassured Kal. "You know I've been ill. Quentin is picking them up from the pharmacy for me, and I want to make sure I got everything."

Kal nodded, face softening. The suspicion melted away, and Morgan smiled. Honorable and intelligent, but still easy to talk around. Not that Morgan had been lying; it was a list of medications he was on, and Quentin was picking them up from the drugstore. After he paid a witness to go very, very far away before the trial, or else risk Morgan's wrath.

"How are you feeling?" Kal asked.

"Better." He coughed, wincing at the rattle in his chest. "I have a lingering cough, and I ache all over, but better. How's Lex?" he asked, reaching for his glass of water.

"He's okay." Kal moved and pulled Morgan's blanket further on him. As he tucked it in, he said, "He's overworking again, as usual. Drinking about a gallon of coffee a day. He managed to quit smoking for two weeks before he became too much of a bitch for even me." Kal shrugged and gave Morgan a lopsided smile. "I don't actually think he's addicted. I think he just goes crazy without something to do with his hands and mouth."

"That sounds like Lex."

"Yeah. And it doesn't hurt him; his lungs are healthy, so who am I to take it away from him?" Kal sat back down. "He's agreed to start antidepressants."

"Really?" Interesting. He never thought Lex would agree to something like that, especially not after the horrors of the mental institution.

"It's getting out of hand. He's cycling about every three months now. He'll be fine, happy, working hard and easy to get along with and then, one day, he just isn't. He's like a completely different person, and can barely get out of bed. I thought I'd be enough, but..."

"Kal. It's not your fault."

Kal sighed and nodded. Pulling off his glasses, he rubbed his eyes, looking weary. "I know that. I do, really. But I love him, Morgan, and I hate not being enough to stop the pain." He squeezed the bridge of his nose. "I don't think drugs are going to help him."

With Lex's unique mutation? "Probably not."

"I'm trying to get the AI to work on it. Find the right mix of whatever to fix the chemical imbalance. And then find the right words to get Lex into therapy."

Morgan shook his head silently. Lex needed therapy, of that he had no doubt. But he wouldn't go, unless Kal managed to sweet talk him into it. Lex was too private to talk about his problems with a stranger. Lionel made certain of that.

"You're good for him, Kal. I'm glad you found him."

Kal grinned and leaned back on the couch. "Remember when you sent me out looking for him? When LuthorCorp fell?"

"Yes?"

"I still have the picture I used to show people. I thought he was the most beautiful person I'd ever seen in my life, and I wanted him so badly." He tipped his head back. "I'm glad I found him."

Morgan coughed again. "Does he know you're here?"

Kal nodded. "He's not happy. He doesn't understand. I've tried and tried again to tell him, to explain why I come and why I can't hate you. But he's so scared and hurt, I don't think he hears." He grimaced. "And I haven't told him everything. I don't tell him things that I think will be too hard for him to understand."

"You don't have to come. I don't want to put your relationship with him in jeopardy."

"I let him see Lois." Kal turned his head and met Morgan's eyes. "I'm trying to get him to see you. With me. The three of us should sit down and talk."

"Do you mean before or after the trial?"

"Before, if possible. I really don't think Lex would see you in prison, not unless he's accepted you already. But, then again, you have good lawyers. Maybe you won't go to prison."

With the way he'd been feeling lately, Morgan doubted very much that he'd ever make it to prison. The actual trial didn't start for another four months, and that was only if his lawyers didn't drag it out longer. And then, there were so many charges and so much to wade through, Morgan was counting on being free for at least another year.

He pushed the gloomy thoughts away. He wasn't that old and hadn't been that ill.

"I don't want you to bring him here if he doesn't want to come. He's been through enough in his life, and I don't need..."

"I'm going to ask him marry me, Morgan," Kal interrupted quietly. "And I'd like you to come to come to the wedding."

A heavy coldness settled around Morgan. He shivered involuntarily, and pulled the blanket around him tighter.

Married. His Kal and his son. Married. It shouldn't have been surprising. After all, Kal had never made a secret of his feelings or intentions towards Lex. And yet, for some reason, Morgan felt completely off guard.

"And what?" he finally said, lips numb. "Do you want me to give Lex away?"

"No," Kal replied, amused. "I want you there. For me." He folded his legs under him and faced Morgan. "You were such an influence on my life, Morgan, and what you did..."

"What I did? I took advantage of a sixteen year old."

"You also treated me like an adult. You never made me feel like I was dirty or perverted for sleeping around or being a prostitute. You taught me how to kiss, how to be fucked, how to talk dirty."

"You knew how to talk dirty all on your own," Morgan interrupted. "And you even did it well."

Kal blushed. "Thank you. But it was more than that. Because of you, I had the courage to graduate from high school a year early. I had the courage to stand up to my biological father. To give into my biological father, too. Sometimes giving is the bravest thing you can do, and if you hadn't encourage me to go live my own life, I think I would have ruined it by running away from something I didn't understand. You gave me enough money to go to Princeton, and then travel the world and live. You helped me define the man I am today, and then you gave me the most perfect gift in the world." Kal smiled, eyes shining. "I loved Lex even when I thought Lionel was his father, but knowing that you are, it just... Maybe it should be incestuous, but it just makes my relationship with Lex more right. As much as I cared for you, you were too old and too different. And Lex is everything good about you and everything wonderful on his own. He helps me remember that there's a good man underneath the criminal, and that it's okay to still care for you."

Morgan didn't know what to say to that. He hadn't the gift with words Kal did, nor the inclination to bare his soul, not even to his precious boy.

"When are you going to ask him?" he asked, trying to disguise how ruffled he felt.

"Soon. It's coming up on a year since he and I got together. I think I'll ask him then."

"Don't bring him to me too soon. Ask him first, and then a month or two later, try and get him to come. You don't want him to think that it's a contingency."

Kal nodded. "Okay. I won't."

"You have my blessing, of course," Morgan said suddenly. Because he knew that was one thing Kal must be after: the blessing from his former lover to marry the son.

A look of relief blossomed on Kal's face. "Oh. Good. I was afraid..."

"I let you go, Kal. Twice." Morgan smiled in self-deprecation. "Despite insisting I wasn't noble when it came to you, I, uh, hid your ring. I thought if you wore it, you wouldn't listen to your parents and would make things worse. You always seemed angrier while wearing it, and I thought... I thought if I hid it, you'd hear what they had to say and then not return."

"Oh." Kal looked down at his hands. "Oh."

"Kal..."

"Thank you." Blue-green eyes met Morgan's, and Kal smiled tentatively. "You were right. Thank you."

A weight lifted from Morgan's chest, and he smiled. It wasn't that he'd ever doubted that he'd been right. Sending Kal away had always and obviously been the correct thing to do. But, ever since Kal had come back into his life, Morgan had been afraid that if Kal knew, he wouldn't see it the same way. And then, not only would he leave, but he'd take Lex, and any intimate news of Lex, away as well.

Kal inhaled sharply suddenly and rose. His shoulders were back, eyes narrowed, and, even without changing into that ridiculous costume, he'd transformed into Superman in an instant.

"I have to go," he said, eyes far away.

Morgan rose as well. "What happened?"

"Explosion. Fire." He narrowed his eyes and then swore under his breath. "Fucking Lois is in it. Ten to one she set it to draw me out."

Morgan laughed softly and put his hand on Kal's shoulder. "What can you expect? You're irresistible, Kal."

Kal snorted and turned his head. "You'll be okay?"

"I'll be fine. Go."

Kal moved swiftly and his lips connected with Morgan before he realized what was happening. The kiss was soft and gentle and almost platonic. A part of Morgan melted, feeling as if he was home again.

Then, in the next instant, Kal was gone, and Morgan was left behind with the memory of what they'd shared.

The End



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