Lex sighed. He stacked the reports he had completed and left the library, heading to the kitchen.
It was as empty as the rest of the house. He had gotten into the habit of giving the staff the weekends off except when a special event was scheduled here at the mansion. The staff was delighted and gave extra effort on the weekends they were needed in appreciation.
They got time off and he got privacy and time to putter. He was learning more about flowers and vegetable plants, smiling to himself. If his old cronies in Metropolis could see him now!
His smile faded as he opened the refrigerator. He hadn’t bothered to stock the refrigerator with six-packs of Coke and other favorite soft drinks. He took out a bottle of Perrier water, drinking its cold goodness as he wandered over to a cabinet.
He opened it and saw only a few packets of microwave popcorn. He hadn’t bothered to re-stock this, either.
Quietly closing the cabinet, he reflected that he wouldn’t starve. Unlike many of his old classmates (Bruce immediately came to mind), he could cook. He would never be a Martha Kent, but he wouldn’t starve.
Oh, Lex, don’t fool yourself.
The main reason he liked servant-free weekends was the private time it gave him with Clark, who would come over on a Saturday and teach him gardening.
And even better, there were Friday movie nights.
Clark would come over and they would eat popcorn and drink Coke and it was Lex’s favorite night of the week.
He sighed again. He was resigned to the thought that Friday movie nights were no more, at least during football season. Clark was the quarterback of the Smallville High Crows and Friday nights were high school football nights.
Lex glanced at the wall clock. He had time before going to the field. He wouldn’t have private time with Clark, but no way was he going to miss his best friend’s game.
Lex still was a little in awe that he and Clark were best friends.
He listened to the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall. It emphasized the emptiness of the mansion.
Again Lex felt that sense of resignation. He couldn’t impose on Clark’s time. As the gorgeous captain of the football team, he would be very busy after the game and on Saturday nights. He had told Clark right from the beginning to just call and cancel their movie nights if he had a date, but Clark had never called for that reason yet.
Now football had effectively cancelled things.
You’re lucky to get this much.
Lex wanted more, much more, but he didn’t want to scare his young friend off. He was just grateful for friendship right now.
He frowned as the doorbell rang. Who would be coming out here at this time of night?
Lex checked the peephole. He had learned from birth to be security-conscious.
“What the…?” He yanked open the massive front door, a smile wreathing his face. “What are you doing here, Clark? Don’t you have a game to get ready for?”
Clark’s genuine smile always touched Lex’s heart. “Sure I do, but I wanted to stop by and say I’d like to continue movie nights on Saturdays during football season.”
Surprise, then joy, lit Lex’s face. “Come on in. It’s getting cold out there.”
Clark smelled faintly of apples. The Kent orchard was abundant this year. Clark must have been working there after school.
“You couldn’t have called?” Lex teased.
“Aw, Lex, you know I love coming over.”
“Yeah, I like to study European castle architecture,” Clark teased back.
Lex smiled. “Well, you’ve come to the right place.”
“So, you’re good with the switch?”
“Fine by me, Clark.” His heart was singing as he said the words.
Clark flashed another smile. “Great. Well, I have to get back.”
“Wait, why waste time going back to your house? I was on my way to the field. I can take you.”
“That’d be great.” Clark flipped out his cellphone. “Let me call home.”
Lex nodded, going back into the kitchen. He put the water bottle back into the refrigerator and heated some hot chocolate, filling a thermos bottle and grabbing some apples out of the bowl on the kitchen table. He went back out to the foyer.
“…yep, that’s right, Mom, I’m angling for the Porsche over the truck,” Clark laughed. “I planned it this way!” Clark winked at Lex.
Lex put his stash down on the foyer table, getting his coat out of the closet. A scarf and gloves would be a good idea, too.
“I’ll see you and Dad after the game.” Clark grinned. “Love you. See you there!”
Clark flipped the phone shut and Lex tossed him an apple.
“One of yours.”
“Mmm.” Clark bit into the shiny red fruit. “Nothing like ‘em.”
Lex tried not to think of Garden of Eden imagery and shrugged on his coat. He dug his keys out of his pants pocket and tossed them to Clark, whose smile was blinding as he caught them.
“Let’s go,” Lex said, picking up thermos and apples as he followed Clark out the door.
As he closed it behind him, Lex thought, Looks like I’ll have to re-stock some items tomorrow.
He smiled as he followed Clark to the garage.