The snow fell softly, covering the castle grounds in a blanket of white. Lex watched it swirl from the window of the conservatory. The perfume of the various hothouse flowers was pungent as he observed the cold world outside from the confines of the heated room.
The conservatory was a riot of color: yellow, red, green, orange, blue, and his favorite, purple. There were exotic flowers and plants from all over the world. A large bank of red and white poinsettias was arranged by the miniature waterfall, the cascade of water from the blue-green fountain shaped like the Green Man a pleasant melody in the background. Lemon and orange trees were fragrant as the lush greenery and flowers were bright against the gray stone castle walls.
Inside, here was light and warmth. Outside through the hothouse window was a beautiful landscape, pristine and untouched, almost virginal in its purity but ultimately cold and harsh, rich jewels of snow glittering but glassine. Nature was a harsh caregiver during winter.
Inside, it was if all the cold perfection had melted into the vibrant colors, sometimes chaotic, sometimes ordered as they splashed around stately gray walls. The wind howled outside as the waterfall continued its merry song.
He could hear footsteps coming down the hall, neither heavy nor light but with knowledge of the layout of the castle. Lex crossed his arms, his lilac-colored sweater thick and bearing a designer label. He shivered a little as he looked out over the snowy gardens, the bare branches of trees and shrubs bowed under the weight of the snow. The stone benches had completely disappeared and the fountain with its water-bearing stone cherub was swathed in crystalline white with hints of blue and purple.
The newcomer stopped and waited in the entryway. Lex was mesmerized by the howling landscape.
He turned at the sound of that sun-warm voice. Clark was standing dressed in a red handmade sweater and blue jeans, his face flushed pink from the cold and his leafy-green eyes sparkling like twin emeralds. He held out his hand, which contained…
“…apple pie, freshly-baked. It’s dusted with cinnamon, just the way you like it.”
Clark smiled as brightly as an explosion of the sun and Lex mentally sighed. If he was to give into temptation, Clark was certainly worth it.
He stepped forward with a smile.