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Petals of Love

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Petals of Love

by Artemis

http://www.livejournal.com/users/artemisraine


Rating: NC-17
Disclaimers: I don't own the pretty boys or their friends in the Smallville universe. Neither money nor profits were made in the creation or posting of this story. The spells used are not my creation, and the credits for them are in the Author's Notes. Spoilers: Season 1; up to "Prodigal" of Season 2. It's AU from there: No Helen marriage, No evil Lionel, no Red K summer, and no Dr. Swann. Summary: It's the Autumn Equinox. Mabon. And Clark performs a ceremony in celebration with some very unexpected results. Written for Zodiac Virgo Challenge. Challenge: Zodiac Challenge (Virgo) -- The "Kinky Characters" Challenge: Time for some kink. Go for S&M, DIs, discipline, fetish, bondage, roleplaying, threesomes, public sex, group sex, or something else that floats your boat. Found at www.kardasi.com Warnings: Same Sex (MALE/MALE) relationship. If this turns you off, go back now. A neo-pagan/pagan ritual, as well as philosophies, are included in this story. If you find such ideas offensive, don't read any further. Really, please don't. Any feedback with criticisms about devil worship or evil will be deleted unapologetically, as I consider everyone duly warned.

NOTE I: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THE STORY UNSPOILED. The rituals and spells used below are from "The Truth About Witchcraft Today" by Scott Cunningham. I did alter them slightly to varying degrees, both for the story and according to my preference. Which is what neo-paganism/paganism is all about: taking what you like, adding in what you wish, and coming up with something personally tailored. So the rituals have a mish-mash of elements I've read in other books, on the web, etc. NOTE II: This is in NO way a reflection of my own beliefs or a promotion of what I feel anyone should believe. In addition, this story is also not a reflection on what I think Clark or Lex would believe, or even what they'd promote. I do think it's viable that Lex would know about such things, or have at least been exposed them. Neo-paganism does appeal to many young people, especially since as a belief system it is so encompassing and non-judgmental, which I think could appeal to both Clark and Chloe. In my personal sphere of friends/acquaintances, many of the American college kids I knew had at least heard of neo-paganism, if not dabbled or even adopted it. Hence, while this story is NOT meant to vilify or promote any one religion, I do think it possible that Clark and Chloe could decide to dabble in a bit of magic. If the idea of such a belief system offends you or your church, please don't read the below story. Again, I can't repeat enough, save yourself the embolism.


Petals of Love
By Artemis
August 2004


September 21, 2003
Smallville, KS

Clark finished setting out his materials. He looked at everything he'd taken out of his duffle bag, then at the ground at his feet, and next cast a wary glance at the trees around him. Seeing and hearing nothing, other than the wind ruffling the leaves, he looked back at his feet. They were nice feet. Clenching his fists against his thighs, he experienced a moment of indecision.

Stupid. He was so stupid.

But he'd promised. He jerked his hands up, gripping the edge of his sweatshirt. He started to pull up, stopped mid-torso, yanked back down, and threw his hands out away from his body. His fingers sort of spasmed as he kept changing his mind, not sure what to do with them. Shirt. No shirt. Shirt. No shirt. Finally, gathering his courage---and possibly ignoring what little brains he clearly possessed---he reached back for the bottom of his Crows sweatshirt. This time, he also grabbed the edge of the t-shirt that lay underneath.

Biting his lower lip, he was all elbows and rough jerks as he pulled his sweatshirt and t-shirt over his head in one move. Next, he reached for his jeans. He had to clench his eyes shut so he wouldn't chicken out, but he managed to fumble with the button. Pulling down the zipper, he pushed his pants down and kicked them off. Or tried to.

He frowned as he realized he'd forgotten to take his shoes off. Bending down at the waist, he loosened both laces and kicked first his right tennis shoe off, then the left. Without stopping to think, he immediately wiggled out of jeans. Which left him with not a whole lot left to go. Staring at his socks, he slowly lifted one foot and then the other, pulling them off one at a time. He dropped them onto his shoes.

The brunette stared at his crumpled clothes on the grass.

Moving quickly, he swooped them up in his arms. He held them tightly against his body for several minutes, using them as a shield. Possibly even a security blanket. He really, really wanted to put them back on. But he didn't. Using his shaking hands, he folded them carefully and put them on top of his empty duffle bag.

This left him staring down at his boxers. Which were still on him. Eyes darting to his other clothes, he started biting his lip again. Boxers. No boxers. Promise. Screw the promise. Torn, he decided he could decide later. Maybe just before the ritual started...he pushed the thought away. Things. He had things he could be doing.

The clearing around him really was perfect; he couldn't have designed it better. He was on Luthor land, behind the infamous castle. It was a weird little circle of trees around a bowled depression, which had to have been planted by the former owner of the land before the castle had been transplanted. Heck, the bowl had probably been dug out by the owner. Of course, when Chloe had heard about the small grove of trees, she'd declared it a fairy circle.

He felt an odd shimmer of something skim across his bare skin. He shivered, telling himself he was being ridiculous.

There was no such thing as magic. Maybe. Probably. He threw his hands up in the air, getting mad at himself. Okay, so why was he here if there was no such thing as magic? He ticked off the reasons in his head as he picked up the broom he'd brought, sweeping the grass as he imagined "cleaning" the area of all negative energy.

He probably should be sweeping himself away.

No! Reasons. He was going to be positive. Think positive. Think warm, glowing positive energy brushing away all the negativity. Remember he had reasons.

First: This was Smallville. There were mutants, glowing green rocks, and aliens. Heck, he was the alien! He'd befriended a child psychic. His best friend's hair had dropped out at the age of nine after a meteor had almost squashed him. Shape-shifting, heat vision, pheromone mind control, mind control with touch, freezing touches, pyromania...just a start to the list of weird in his life. He'd learned the impossible was almost always very possible. Even probable.

Two: Chloe made him. Sighing internally, he stopped that thought in its tracks. He apologized mentally to Chloe, correcting himself. That wasn't true. They'd both agreed to do this. They'd cruised the web sites, read the books, and visited the chat rooms. All talk, no action; they were tired of it. They'd both sworn to each other to go through with it. Finally.

Three: He wanted to believe. There were people all over the world who believed. Just reading the sites about paganism, neo-paganism, and Wicca had felt like something was clicking inside of him. Not that he was very religious, but he was spiritual. Sort of. And paganism was all about a greater universal power, a female-male energy to the universe, and magic. Which was cool. And okay, he agreed with their philosophies, which was pretty much 'harm none', everything you do comes back to you three-fold, and no one religion is right for everyone. All good, right? It worked for him. He liked how it was actually promoted that you take from it what you wanted, forming your own beliefs. No one told you how to live or what to believe, instead having a live-let-live philosophy that was grounded in the sanctity of all life. All life was precious, and everyone was accepted. He was all for with being precious and accepted.

Four: He had nothing to lose.

He sighed, leaning his cheek against the broom handle. He felt like a complete idiot doing this, yet there was also this wild excitement jumping around inside of him. He could almost image the magical energy of the Sabbat dancing along his skin, and there was a sense of peace, of power, in this place.

Maybe he was nuts.

Either way, his list helped. Feeling more centered, knowing he'd made a promise, and telling himself Chloe was somewhere out in Smallville doing the same thing helped.

They'd worked forever before agreeing on a ceremony. After finally settling on all the particulars, Chloe had made him pinky swear not to chicken out. In order to guarantee that this wasn't some sort of candid-camera set up, they'd agreed not to reveal where they were going to set up their circles. So he had to.

There was nothing holding him back.

No one knew where he was or what he was doing. Lex had attended meetings all week at LuthorCorp, opting to stay in Metropolis for the weekend since he had to be in meetings all this week, too. His parents thought he was going to the late movie with Chloe. Since it was Chloe, it didn't matter that it was a Sunday and a school night. He even had permission to sleep in the loft if he got back too late.

It wasn't like anyone would see him, so he wouldn't be going to school tomorrow to find everyone gossiping about how he was a devil worshipper or a complete freak. No one would ever know.

He wasn't exactly naked.

God. Why did he and Chloe decide if they were going to do it, they were going to do it "right"? Traditional. Skyclad. He sneaked another quick look at his boxers, tongue peeking out to lick at his lips nervously.

Tearing his eyes away from his almost-nakedness, he put the broom back down next to his bag. Squinting, he looked around for the rocks. Not seeing them, he let out a huff of frustrated breath. This was dumb! He couldn't see anything. Yes, there was only the one circle of trees so they didn't block the moonlight, but there wasn't much moonlight to block out. The moon was in her last quarter, and he wasn't going to stumble around, tripping and falling. If there were any friendly spirits wandering around, they'd leave after seeing what a klutz he was.

He turned to the huge pile of sticks he'd gathered and placed in the exact center of the 'bowl' clearing. He was going to wait until after he'd cast the circle to light the bonfire. Not because it was in the ritual, but because it seemed more dramatic. Practicality called for a fire now. Narrowing his eyes, beams shot out of his eyes. The sticks started on fire with a flare, and he kept his vision focused until the pile was burning brightly.

Allowing his heat vision to stop, he blinked at the fire. The very large fire, from the perhaps too large pile of sticks. Which, okay, were more like branches. Lots and lots of branches, which there were plenty around from the tornado, even if that was over a year ago.

After sending another wary glance around him, sure he was about to see someone watching him from behind a tree, Clark turned back to look at the fire in dismay. He hadn't realized it would be so big. It wasn't like he'd ever really had a bonfire, and he'd never been to one. The only bonfires he knew of were the secret keggers the popular kids threw, and ninety percent of the student body would have to drop dead overnight before he was ever invited. Probably not even then, since most of the popular kids would be dead so they wouldn't be in any shape to throw any parties.

However, it seemed to be burning fine. Nothing seemed about to be going out of control. He'd done his research to make sure he didn't need to do anything special. The fire was a lot bigger than he'd meant, but it wasn't like anyone would see. No one ever came to the Luthor property, Lex was gone, and the staff had two weeks off.

No one would see anything.

Clark repeated that to himself one more time before gathering the four flat stones, each roughly the size of his two cupped hands. It had taken him forever to find four that were large enough or flat enough. He smiled slightly as he remembered where he'd found them: the river he'd first met Lex in. Lex was big about dramatic entrances. Placing one to the north, near the edge of the 'bowl' before the ground sloped up sharply to where the trees were standing, he turned to his right. A second stone was placed to the east, the third to the south, and the fourth stone was placed to the west.

Pivoting around, a small proud smile tugged at his lips as he saw the four stones in all four quarters. Maybe this was a good idea after all. It wasn't that hard. Next, he picked up the candles. Taking the pink candles, the color chosen for the spell he had planned after the Mabon ritual, he set one on top of each stone. Starting with the north, he went clockwise to the east, south, and west.

Next, he arranged his baskets in a line next to his altar. The first contained the corn and squash he'd 'borrowed' out of the garden. It wasn't really for anything other than to symbolize the harvest, but he'd wanted a representation of Mabon. The Autumn Equinox was symbolic of the second harvest, when winter started to approach and the fertility of the earth started to wane with each sunset. As a farmer, or at least a son of a farmer, he thought he should pay his respects to the bounty they'd received and the passing into the next season.

The second basket contained leaves he'd collected from the small forest on Lex's land, knowing his friend really wouldn't care. The third basket was filled with a loaf of fresh bread his mom had baked earlier in the week that he'd also 'borrowed', along with caramel rice cakes artistically scattered around the uncut loaf. Not exactly crescent bread, but it would work.

He took one last look at his 'altar', which was really an area indicated by setting all his stuff on one of his flannel shirts. A white candle and a holed stone to represent the Goddess. He'd had to make it himself, and it had taken him seven tries with his heat vision before he'd made one without wrecking the rock. A red candle and an acorn to represent the God. His athame, another 'borrowed' item. Wand. Incense. Bowl of salt. Chalice of water. Chalice of wine. Vase of roses. Mirror. Book. Notebook.

Okay, decision time. Clark took a deep breath, mentally preparing himself. He could do this. He was a Junior. Seventeen. He'd be eighteen in nine months. That meant he was almost an adult. What was a little nakedness? He was naked at least once a day. Granted, he was usually in the shower, but still.

He didn't have anything to be ashamed of. It wasn't like he hadn't been naked in front of people before. There was his mom and dad. When he was like five. And there was...there was...well, he'd been naked...ummmm...well, he'd been almost naked in front of other people. Like...Whitney and his friends. Which was so wrong, and bringing back memories of the Scarecrow incident probably wasn't a good idea. He shook his head.

Jessie! Jessie had seen him naked. Well, okay, she'd seen his naked chest, but it was naked skin and she'd really liked touching it. She would have even blown him if he hadn't come first. He'd really liked the making out part, and she'd seemed to like it when he came in his pants.

Clark blew out an exasperated breath. Who cared if no one ever saw him naked. It wasn't like he was stripping in front of the entire school. No one was going to see him. He had no idea why he was so paranoid. Squaring his shoulders, he pulled off his boxers and put them on the pile with the rest of his clothes.

Clark experienced a very awful, very terrible minute where he felt every inch of his skin being caressed by the air around him. Because he was naked. Not in the shower naked. No, he was actual naked, on Luthor lands, which was surely some sort of omen of evil.

At least that's what his dad would say. He sort of found the thought enough to get him a little hard, which was all kinds of bad. He was here for a purpose, and getting hard so he could jerk off to thoughts of his male best friend was not it. He paused, going over that last sentence in his head. All right, maybe he could do that afterward, but he'd have to really get comfortable with the whole naked thing before the night was over.

Swallowing hard and lifting his chin, he pretended the dim moonlight drifting down from the crescent above was caressing his skin. Blessing him. Naked was good. Naked was very good.

Not really believing this, he went to pick up his notebook anyway. Holding it in his left hand, he stared at the white candle, chosen for purity and protection, as well as reminding him of the moon. In an impressive display of control, if he did say so himself, the candlewick flared to life. Next, he stared at the red candle, chosen for courage, passion, and protection. He knew he was probably going overboard on the protection, but this was Smallville and he was sure the spirits would understand. Again, after a few moments, the wick was aflame. Finally, he stared at the incense, even as he wrinkled his nose in distaste. Once it was lit, he picked up his athame.

He really hoped his mom didn't miss one of the kitchen steak knives. She'd kill him if she knew what he was using one of the good Chicago knives for, but it wasn't like he was actually going to ruin it. Besides, he couldn't use one of the old, cheap knives. He might insult the Goddess or God, and then where would he be?

Touching the blade of the knife to the water in the chalice, which was a snitched wine glass from the good dishes cupboard, he visualized power flowing from the knife, clearing away all negativity. Like a stone casting ripples as it was dropped into a pond, he imagined all the negativity rippling away as he said, "I consecrate and cleanse this water that it may be purified and fit to dwell within the sacred circle. In the name of the Lady and the Lord, I consecrate this water."

He lifted the knife, placing the tip in the bowl of salt. Again picturing power flowing out of the knife, he said, "I bless this salt that it may be fit to dwell within the sacred circle. In the name of the Lady and the Lord, I bless this salt."

Lifting out the knife, Clark walked to the rock and candle he'd placed to the north. He was starting to feel more confident, and other than feeling self-conscious about his dick just hanging there, he was starting to forget about being naked. In fact, it was actually invigorating. Exciting. He felt an illicit thrill from it, and he could even admit he was half-hard from it. Like he was doing something incredibly naughty. Something really sexy and naughty.

Pointing the knife at the ground just beyond his flat stone, he started walking in a circle clockwise. He concentrated on picturing a line being created. He imagined power pouring out of the knife and down to the ground, creating a line of safety, a place of sanctuary. A focus area to contain and concentrate magical energies. As he walked, he chanted, "Here is the boundary of the sacred circle. Naught but love shall enter in. Naught but love shall emerge from within. Charge this by Your powers, Bright Lady and Golden Lord!"

Walking to the east, south, west, and north again, Clark completed the circle. Placing his knife back on his altar, he picked up the bowl of salt. Dipping his fingers in the bowl, he started sprinkling salt on the ground on his imaginary line, starting at the north again and moving clockwise until he met back at the northern candle. The entire time he imagined he was purifying the circle. Next, he carried the incense around, sneezing every few minutes. Geesh, he hated incense! Nose wrinkled and glowering at the small stick, he again started and ended at the north, moving clockwise as he visualized purifying energy.

When he was finished, he huffed out in relief as he set the incense next to the red candle at the altar. Good riddance. Picking up the wine glass of water, which was from a bottle of the fancy pure stuff Lex drank just in case the Lady liked expensive spring water, he started at the north once more. He sprinkled water along the circle; his visualization of purifying his circle came easily to him this time. If he hadn't known better, he would have sworn he felt little tingles dancing along his spine.

Setting the chalice back on the altar, he picked up his wand and walked to the north. Technically a baseball bat, but he used it to point at the candle and stone. He focused his vision on the candle. Visualizing a green mist rising and swirling in the Northern Quarter over the stone, he cried out, "I call to the North, spirits of Earth, to attend this circle. Enter and be welcome. Watch me and guard me. Charge this by Your powers, Bright Lady and Golden Lord." With a dramatic cue, the pink candle was lit. "Welcome to my circle."

Clark smirked. He could get into magic. Harry Potter, watch out! He walked to the east candle and rock. Pointing his baseball bat, he visualized a sunny yellow mist of Air energy forming over the stone. He chanted, "I call to the East, spirits of Air, to attend this circle. Enter and be welcome. Watch me and guard me. Charge this by Your powers, Bright Lady and Golden Lord." The east candle flickered to life. "Welcome to my circle."

Lowering the bat, he moved to the south. This time he visualized a crimson fire mist. "I call to the South, spirits of Fire, to attend this circle. Enter and be welcome. Watch me and guard me. Charge this by Your powers, Bright Lady and Golden Lord." An eye-spasm later, the south candle was lit. "Welcome to my circle."

At the last candle, he visualized a blue mist the color of Lex's eyes. The essence of water. A charge of energy, or possibly lust, made his cock jerk. Cheeks flushed, he called, "I call to the West, spirits of Water, to attend this circle. Enter and be welcome. Watch me and guard me. Charge this by Your powers, Bright Lady and Golden Lord." Squinting, he lit the last candle. "Welcome to my circle."

Walking back to the altar, he set the bat down. He closed his eyes briefly, raising his face to the star-studded sky. He imaged feeling the circle breathing, a living thing all around him. The spirits of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water were present. He visualized them watching him with green, gold, red, and blue eyes. He 'felt' the energies swirling around him, and he envisioned the circle glowing with white energy, growing in power. He stood still for a long time, letting the breeze tousle his hair. Finally, he opened his eyes. He felt a warm rush as he looked out into the night sky. He could almost feel a warm hand brush against his cheek.

Smiling slightly, he moved back to the altar. He took a moment to look over the Mabon Sabbat ritual he and Chloe had agreed upon. Since it was the Autumn Equinox, they'd both agreed that if they were seriously going to at least try a ritual, they should do it during a Sabbat. Magical energies would be stronger, and any rituals they performed, seasonal or otherwise, had a better chance of working. He felt a tiny flicker of excitement about the magic spell that they'd been unanimous in wanting to perform. But first he had to complete the seasonal rites.

Taking a deep breath, he stood at the altar and intoned the Blessing Chant: "May the powers of The One, The source of all creation; all-pervasive, omnipotent, eternal; may the Goddess, the lady of the Moon and the God, Horned Hunter of the Sun; may the powers of the Spirits of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, rulers of the elemental realms; may the powers of the stars above and the Earth below, Bless this place, and this time, and I who am with you."

Next, he invoked the Goddess and God:
"Crescent One of the starry skies, Flowered One of the fertile plain, Flowing One of the ocean's sighs, Blessed One of the gentle rain, Hear my chant 'midst the standing stone, Open me to Your mystic light, Waken me to Your silver tones, Be with me in my sacred rite!"

"Ancient God of the forest deeps, Lord of the beast and Sun; Here where the world is hushed and sleeps, now that the day is done, I call You in the ancient way, Here in my circle round, asking that You will hear me pray and send Your Sun-force down."

Clark let out a huge sigh, glad to be done with that part. It was kind of scary imagining that he was talking to some great universal force. He liked to think that any Gods or Goddesses that might be listening in would think of him kindly.

He picked up the basket of leaves and cradled it in his left arm against his hip. He set his notebook in the basket, just in case he needed to peek at the words. He picked up a handful of leaves and started walking around the circle, scattering the leaves on the ground. He watched the leaves drift slowly down in lazy loops as he chanted, "Leaves fall, the days grow cold. The Lady pulls Her mantle of Earth around Her, as you, Oh Great Sun Lord, sail toward the West to the lands of eternal enchantment, wrapped in the coolness of night. Fruits ripen, seeds drop, the hours of the day and night are balanced. Chill winds blow in from the North wailing laments. In this seeming extinction of nature's power, Oh Blessed Lady, I know that life continues. For spring is impossible without the second harvest, as surely as life is impossible without death. Blessings upon You, Oh Fallen God, as you journey into the lands of winter and into the Lady's loving arms."

He put the basket down near the altar and continued, "Oh Gracious Lady of all fertility, I have sown and reaped the fruits of my actions, good and bane. Grant me the courage to plant seeds of joy and love in the coming year, banishing misery and hate. Teach me the secrets of wise existence upon this planet, Oh luminous One of the night!"

The words he'd just chanted seemed to burn within him, every line holding special meaning. He couldn't help himself, and he burst out spontaneously, "Oh Lady, Blessed Mother, she who wears the crescent Moon upon her brow and dances among the starry heavens, and Lord, Radiant Father, he who runs with the swift stag and soars as a sacred falcon against the shimmering sky, please watch over me in the next year. I have a friend, my best friend, Lex...I've said horrible things to him. Things I didn't mean, when I was scared, and so I lashed out at him. Give me the courage to apologize to him, to make it up to him. Give me...give me the courage to tell him the truth. That I'm an alien. Bright Lady, please help him not hate me. Fill me with the strength of heart to tell him I love him. And if he could ever love me, please give him the strength to be able to be with me. I know I've been a burden to my parents. My friends. Please let me not be a burden to Lex."

Feeling a mixture of elation and fear at speaking the words, declaring his love and his regret to the universe, he swallowed hard. He hoped he hadn't just made a fool of himself. But it had been from the heart, and it felt so good just to admit to it all. His mistakes. The fact that he was afraid. Asking for help.

Courage.

Strength.

None of that was bad to ask for. He'd been careful not to ask that Lex love him. He'd read enough to know how horrible it could turn out to try to force someone to love you, not that it was ethical or moral to even want to make someone love you.

Glancing at the next part of the ritual, he closed his eyes again. He took a moment to think of all the changes that had occurred in his life in the past year. Because Mabon was the time of the harvest, it was also a time of reflection as things started to draw to a close. A time to think of the changes in the Earth, of the changes in his life or within himself.

Looking back, he was mostly sorry for all the things he'd said to Lex. Accusing him of being like his father after the tornado, even accusing him of trying to kill his own father during that horrible time when Jonathan Kent had been arrested for shooting Lionel Luthor. Yelling at him about being a bad friend, for not believing him, daring Lex to hit him with a hammer...when the whole time he had been lying. He'd been doing exactly what Lex had been implying, only he'd tried to make Lex feel like scum for even thinking it. It had been cruel, petty, and unworthy of either of them.

But he was also sorry for hurting Chloe's feelings, leaving her at the Spring Fling without telling her why. He knew she forgave him, especially since she'd found out about his secrets. But it didn't make him feel better that he'd hurt her so much.

Then there was leading Lana on, when he'd been trying to fight his feelings for Lex. He silently apologized for being glad when she moved to Metropolis with Nell and Dean. She was his friend, and he shouldn't have been happy to see her leave even if it meant Lex would be forced to stop trying to play matchmaker. It had been hard for Lana, and she hadn't wanted to go. Instead of trying to support her, he'd been eagerly thinking of what might happen after she left.

And there was one other thing he'd done this past year that made him burn with shame. For secretly being ecstatic when Lex broke up with Helen, knowing he'd selfishly pushed Lex to break off the relationship. He'd abused his powers, spying on the doctor and reporting to Lex all the horrible things he'd found out about her. So he felt bad about Helen, too, even if she had gone behind Lex's back and agreed to work with Lionel on meteor rock research.

He had a lot to be grateful for, too. Chloe didn't hate him, and she actually took the whole 'My best friend is an alien' a thousand times better than Pete. Pete had adjusted to the news better, and he'd stopped trying to get Clark to perform tricks or use his powers. Lana had started e-mailing him, so he still had another good friend even if she lived in Metropolis. Whitney had been found, the report of his death a horrible mix up. Clark's parents were healthy and happy.

He was so thankful for Lex. That he was such a generous, forgiving person. Despite how harsh his dad could be towards the bald boy, Lex had bought the farm from the mortgage company when they couldn't make their payments this summer. He was grateful that his dad had unbent enough to accept the deed to the farm back, even if the only way he'd do so was if everything was put in Clark's name. Technically it was put into a trust managed by his parents; he knew he'd never take the farm from his parents or force them to leave, but it was a way for his dad to save face.

He tore himself away from thoughts of Lex and the past. He bent down, picking up the Chalice of Wine. Again, a creative imagination had created this from a second wine glass and grape juice. The only person he knew who drank wine was Lex, and he didn't think 'borrowing' a bottle of wine was the same as 'borrowing' a bottle of water.

Holding the glass between his cupped palms, he raised it to the night sky. The firelight from the bonfire danced across the reflective surface. "Gracious Lady of Abundance, Bless this juice and infuse it with Your love. In Your names, Lady Mother and Lord Father, I bless this juice."

Clark set down the glass of juice. Picking up the basket of bread and rice cakes, he held it in both hands and raised it to the sky. "Powerful Lord of the Harvest, Bless these cakes and bread and infuse them with Your love. In Your names, Lady Mother and Lord Father, I bless these cakes and bread."

Setting the basket down on the grass, he looked at the grape juice and rice cakes. Technically, this was the feasting part. So he could eat, drink, and be merry. But he felt a burst of anticipation for the really cool part of the night.

He knew he shouldn't be so excited about a love spell. Focusing on how Chloe was just as pumped made him feel a little better, but he couldn't hide from himself just how much he'd been looking forward to this all week. It had been two long years of unrequited love. Two long years of denial, acceptance, jealousy, and despair. Two bittersweet wonderful years of pool games, big brother advice, and an open door policy with a willing ear ready to listen.

Clark told himself very firmly as he gathered the mirror and roses that he could NOT picture Lex during the spell. The whole point was to draw love to him. For whatever love was out there for him, what was meant for him, to be drawn to him. It was NOT meant for entrapping someone specific into an impulse that went against nature. Against love.

It was all about focus and concentration. Imagination and psychic planes. He knew from Ryan that psychic abilities were very real, and he wasn't taking anything for granted when casting a magic spell.

Chloe had loved the name of the spell: Petals of Love. Clark had liked how simple it was, and how it was so non-intrusive. A general casting. Nothing that would harm anyone. As it will, so mote it be.

He took the vase of flowers, setting it on the ground a few feet from the bonfire and altar. He purposefully moved towards the east and the spirits of Air. It was opposite west, and those of Water, where he really wanted to go. But he'd thought of Lex when casting the circle and calling Water, so he knew it was a bad idea.

He wasn't really sure if east was a good idea, either. He associated Lex with the elements of Air and Water. Not only because he'd first met Lex with a meeting of air and water as a Porsche flew off a bridge and into the sky, sinking into a river. That was true enough, but mostly because Lex encompassed the characteristics most associated with those elements. Cool intellect. Reason. Fluid emotionalism.

Just as he associated Earth and Fire with himself. He knew he was of the Earth, living on a farm, in tune to the passing seasons. Steady. Dependable. He also had the Kent temper in spades to qualify for Fire. Aware enough of his own faults, he knew he could sometimes be passionate to the point of irrationality.

Yet, he didn't feel comfortable going to the north or south. East was the opposite point of west, and the furthest away. He couldn't chance it. Manipulating Lex, pulling emotions from the young CEO, wasn't what Clark wanted. He couldn't deny he was hoping it would be Lex that the spell would call to. But he wasn't going to purposefully draw the older boy to him.

It was risky sitting near Air, but it was the best option of the three.

He picked up the large hand mirror he'd taken from the bathroom. Kneeling down carefully in front of the vase, he placed the mirror between him and the flowers. He leaned forward briefly, sniffing the roses. He'd picked them up at Chloe's house just before coming here.

He and Chloe had gone shopping for the roses together yesterday. At first he'd reached for white roses, the petals reminding him of Lex's skin. Not that Lex was milk white, but he did have creamy pale skin. But Chloe had slapped his hand, her sharp blue eyes reprimanding him as she read his mind. Or used whatever Chloe-powers she used to see things few others saw and figure out puzzles that baffled everyone else. So he'd bought a dozen red roses instead.

Chloe had bought yellow roses. She said they matched her hair, so there was no intent behind the color choice other than vanity. She'd kept the roses at her house since Clark's parents would ask uncomfortable questions. Clark's lying skills hadn't improved that much, thus they'd decided it was better to be safe than sorry.

He touched the flowers gently, running a finger along the crimson petals. He sorted through the flowers, finding the "dethorned" rose that he'd prepared. He pulled it carefully from the vase, making sure not to damage the other flowers. He felt giddy excitement running through him, and a silly brilliant smile flashed across his face. He set the flower on the mirror.

Yes, he was a dork. He didn't care.

He painstakingly pushed all thoughts of Lex, Chloe, his parents, and everyone else out of his mind. He cleared his mind of everything until he only felt a sense of peace underlined with anticipation. He picked up the rose from the mirror. Holding the thin stem, he waved it over his head.

Taking a deep breath, he started to stroke his hair with the head. Drawing the flower along his hair over and over, he made sure to switch hands so both sides of his hair were touched. Next, he traced the petals along his right ear. Following the rim of his ear, he tickled his lobe lightly. He circled along his outer ear, and then traced it down his right cheek. Hitting his jaw, he brushed the rose along his jaw, his chin, and up his left cheek.

He shivered a little at the sensation of the soft, silky petals caressing his skin. It was a sexy, teasing, light feeling; it made him feel cherished even as he felt heat pooling in his stomach and groin. He moaned softly, copying his movements with his left ear. Tickle the lobe, trace the rim, and circle his ear. He visualized opening himself, soaking up the loving energies of the rose in his hand and from the vase in front of him.

He imagined the red petals radiating love. This love was reaching out to him, enveloping him, accepting him. He brushed the soft petals once more across his cheeks, his movements languid. He almost leaned into the flower, nuzzling it like a lover.

Closing his eyes, he brushed the flower over his eyelids. One, twice, three times he brushed his eyes. He shivered as the movement tickled his eyelashes. He said clearly into the night, "I see love."

Drawing the rose down his nose and smiling as he bumped the tip playfully, he lowered it a few inches and drew a deep breath. It was a heady, sweet scent that could only belong to a rose. He visualized drinking in its aroma, drawing in the essence of love. Becoming the essence of love, letting it fill his soul. "I breathe love."

Green eyes opening, he lifted the flower straight up into the air towards the night sky. "I hold love."

Lowering his arms, Clark traced the flower along his lips. One last brush along his cheek, and he drew it down his jaw. He tilted his head as he traced the petals slowly down the side of his throat. He lingered at his pulse point, and then continued on. He started brushing the flower against his bare chest. Shivering again, the illicit feeling of doing something vaguely wicked, thus sexy, he kept touching his skin with the flower. He brought the flower towards the left of his chest, where a human heart would lay.

He felt a momentary pang, wondering where his heart lay. But he pushed it aside, concentrating on love. Absorbing love. Drawing love. He touched his heart-spot, and he called out, "I feel love."

Feeling a surge of something inside him, he brushed the petals against his nipples. He shuddered. He did it again and again, moaning as his nipples pebbled. Tracing his way down, he brushed past his ribs to his belly button. He swirled it over his belly button, and then he pressed the flower to the center of his stomach. Cupping a palm over the head of the rose, he said, "I nourish love."

He held the flower there for several moments before lifting his palm. He started to lift the flower up, but then paused. Looking down at his now completely hard erection, he gulped. He stared, unsure. Not really believing himself, he started to lower the flower. Clark gasped as the petals brushed along his cock.

The feeling was unbelievable. Soft. Light. A tease and an incredible turn on. He whimpered, throwing his head back and caressing his erection with the rose over and over. Clark was trembling when he finally drew the rose away.

He held out the rose in front of him, and he leaned forward to look into the mirror on the ground. With a shaking voice, he gazed at his reflection as he chanted, "Love is before me. Love is behind me. Love is beside me. Love is above me. Love is below me. Love is within me. Love flows from me. Love comes to me. I am love."

He held the stem of the rose with both hands, and with one deft move broke off the stem so that only three or four inches remained. He bit his lip, and then let out a soft giggle. Reaching up impulsively, he tucked the flower behind his right ear.

Clark decided he'd take it out later, once he got dressed. He needed to carry the flower with him for the next few days. He'd already decided to tuck it into his notebook during the day, so he could have it with him throughout school. At home, he'd try keeping it in his pocket or maybe pinning it to his t-shirt. He could just wear flannel shirts for the next week. They were bulky enough that no one would notice the lump underneath.

Bending down, still on his knees, he picked up the mirror. He kept eye contact with his reflection as he kept the mirror even with his face as he stood. The brunette repeated softly, "Love is before me. Love is behind me. Love is beside me. Love is above me. Love is below me. Love is within me. Love flows from me. Love comes to me. I am love."

He smiled at his rose-wearing self, and he started to turn his head towards the bonfire. He wondered who the spell would bring to him. As he moved, he saw something flicker at the edge of the mirror. Puzzled, he shifted slightly and froze, gasping, "Holy shit."

The pale face of Lex Luthor stared back at him from between the trees.

Clark couldn't move. He couldn't think. He'd just performed a love spell, and Lex had appeared. It couldn't mean...unless...could it be a vision? Maybe the spell had conjured an image of his true love?

That wasn't what was supposed to happen. But he couldn't believe Lex was actually behind him. The seventeen-year-old, suddenly feeling like a very extremely naked boy, would NOT believe Lex was behind him. So he turned his head around and, to his eternal embarrassment, shrieked, "Holy shit!"

Clapping his right hand over his mouth, he whirled back around. Lex. That was Lex. Lex was behind him.

He was naked.

The hand over his mouth flew back to cover his bare butt, and the mirror was lowered in a quick movement to cover his groin. He was mortified to realize that the stupid thing wasn't wilting at all. Even worse, he was pretty sure he was getting harder, which wasn't fair and was vaguely disturbing.

He stood there, stationary as any statue, hoping that maybe he was wrong. He could have seen wrong. Absolutely. Maybe. Possibly. Clark reminded himself that nothing was impossible. He just wasn't sure which was more impossible. Lex Luthor being behind him and seeing him naked, or Clark Kent seeing Lex Luthors that really weren't there.

He was praying for the latter. Better his vision going or having a hallucination than the alternative.

"Clark? Would it be completely redundant to ask what you're doing here?"

Oh, Lord. Now he was hearing things. His hallucination was talking to him. He sent a quick prayer up to any listening deity. Please let his hallucination be talking to him.

"Clark?"

Clark whimpered. He let the mirror drop from his left hand, and he quickly added his left hand to his right. Shielding his butt as much as he could, he asked tentatively, dread a lead ball in his stomach, "Lex?"

"Yes?"

"You're really there?"

"Are you really naked on my lawn behind my castle in the moonlight performing some sort of pagan ritual?"

Clark whimpered again.

"I'll take that as a yes. So, yes, Clark. I'm really here. And I've had a most...educational experience. Not to mention visually stimulating."

"Oh God," Clark moaned. He bit his lip, clenching his eyes closed. If he didn't see Lex, maybe Lex really wouldn't be there. Several moments passed, the only sound the crackling fire and the rustle of leaves. Clark was just thinking that someone up there was finally giving him a break, when Lex ruined it.

"Are you going to invite me down?"

"Jeez! Lex!" Clark screeched. Wincing, he lowered his voice. "I mean, Jeez, Lex. You've got to be kidding me."

"Not really."

"Not really?" the teenager echoed incredulously.

"It is my land, after all. Aside from that, I thought your mother raised you to be a polite host."

"Polite host?"

"Good manners are key in establishing relationships and forming positive first impressions."

"Good manners?"

"Are you okay, Clark?" A hint of concern sounded from Lex, though Clark scowled at the hidden laughter that wasn't so hidden from him. "I hate to point out the obvious, but you're parroting everything I say."

"Parroting...I am not!" At Lex's muffled chuckle, he scowled harder. Darn it. Lex was playing with him! "Fine. I am. Was. Whatever. God, do you have to be so...you! A normal person would have asked me if I was fine. If maybe I was mugged and had all my clothes stolen, or maybe if I'd hit my head and was experiencing memory problems."

"I've never claimed to be normal," Lex said haughtily. Pausing a beat, the smooth voice continued in a curious tone. "Memory problems? As in, 'I don't remember that my clothes are ten feet behind me'? Or memory problems like, 'I was mugged, but my mugger folded my clothes and placed them in a pile ten feet behind me, conveniently leaving all my other possessions laid out on my flannel shirt to the left of me.' Or are these memory problems actual memory disorders? After all, I don't want you to think I don't care."

"You're so not funny, Lex."

"Invite me in, Clark."

Shoulders hunching down, he kept his hands over his butt. Not that he was under the delusion that it helped that much, but it was something. As long as he didn't turn around, he was good. Or at least better.

Unless Lex moved.

Green eyes flew open in a panic.

The teenager sighed in relief. No sign of Lex in front of him. He wondered if he could just walk backward. Maybe he'd stumbled over his clothes?

"Um, Lex?"

"Yes?"

"If I start walking backward, would you tell me if I start getting close to my clothes?"

Lex paused, and then said softly, "Invite me in."

Huh? "You didn't answer my question. I mean, even just a 'hotter' or 'colder' would help."

"No."

No? "No? No, you didn't answer my question? Or no, you won't tell me when I get close to my clothes?"

"No," Lex repeated. "Now invite me in."

"Lex..." What could he say? Deciding on the obvious, Clark said self-consciously, "Um...I'm sort of naked, Lex."

"Believe me," Lex said in that self-deprecating voice he used sometimes, "I noticed."

That voice usually made Clark want to hug Lex. Right now? Not so much hugging, maybe possibly shaking if he wasn't naked, and then a strong lecture on what you should do when you come across your naked best friends.

Granted, it had never happened to Clark before. More is the pity. Well, if it was a Lex Luthor shaped best friend. A Chloe shaped best friend might be interesting, if mortally awkward on both sides. A Pete shaped best friend made Clark want to shudder in a very, very bad way.

A Horrible Thought occurred to Clark. "Uh, how long have you been watching?"

Silence. Not a sound. And then Lex asked quietly, "How long do you want me to have been watching?"

"Thirty seconds before I saw you?" Clark asked hopefully.

Lex didn't say anything.

Heart sinking, Clark asked hesitatingly, "The truth?"

"The truth?" Lex repeated. He chuckled bitterly. "The Kent version of the truth? Or the Luthor version?"

Clark winced, pain stabbing at his heart. Because he'd done that to Lex. Or at least helped. Lionel may play games with Lex, but it was Clark who hurt Lex the most with lies and half-truths. It was this power to hurt Lex, which seemed unique to Clark, that gave the brunette hope that Lex might someday love him, even as it made him want to curl up and die. Because he did abuse that power, and he did it with complete sanctity from his parents.

"I'm sorry." Clark didn't know what to say to that. Lex wasn't the one who should be apologizing. A branch snapped, cracking in the fire. "I'm not angry. Or I am, but...not as much as I was."

Oh, no. Lex did hate him.

"Which answers your question."

"Which one?" Clark whispered. He wasn't surprised when Lex heard him.

"When I appeared. From the beginning. I was on my balcony when I saw the fire start. It only took me five or ten minutes to get here."

Huge, rushing waves of horror descended on Clark.

"I heard it all. Alien. Apologies. Lo...lies. If it makes you feel better, I had it figured out. I mean, I didn't know for sure. But I was as sure as I could get without proof."

"I'm sorry," Clark breathed out. He started praying that Lex would accept. That Lex would understand. That Lex wouldn't hate him.

"I heard," Lex said sarcastically. He paused. "No, I'm sorry. That was beneath me. I did hear you. And I've always known that, too. I know it hurts you to lie, as much as it hurts me to be lied to."

"I'm sorry," Clark repeated, helplessly. "I didn't..."

I didn't want to. Which wasn't completely true.

Clark corrected himself. He said simply, "I was scared."

"I don't hate you," Lex said suddenly. "I heard that as well. I never hated you, Clark. At least...not much. I don't think I could hate you. Not permanently."

Clark's heart clenched. Just knowing Lex had hated him sometimes, or a little, or maybe partially, made him hurt inside. But it also felt like some huge weight was lifting, knowing that Lex knew the truth. Lex knew the truth and didn't hate him.

He knew the truth because he'd seen Clark performing a pagan ritual on Lex's lawn behind Lex's castle in the moonlight. Naked. Lex's words came back to him, and he wanted to curl up and die. Once he got his clothes.

"Lex---"

"Do you have any idea how incredibly beautiful you are? Standing there, the moonlight casting a silver sheen on you from one side. The firelight dancing gold on you from the other."

"---I'm sorry about trespassing and..." Clark blinked. Turned Lex's words over in his mind. Blinked again. And mentally repeated what he just heard. He was either hallucinating again---which he hadn't actually done the first time---or Lex had just called him beautiful. "Beautiful?"

Lex snorted. "You look like a Greek God. Probably better. Believe me. Beautiful."

Oh. Clark felt a flush start creeping up his neck and into his face. He really didn't want to know if it went anywhere else.

"And the rose?" Lex asked in lilting tease. "If I hadn't been hard from the moment I saw you---by the way, neat trick with those candles---then I would have gotten hard the first time you brushed it across your cheek. I've seen professionals who couldn't put together half as much sensuality as you did during that little show."

Hard? Lex was hard? For him? Right now? Clark was pretty sure his brain was melting. Which was why the last part of what Lex said hit him so late. He sputtered, "Show?"

Oh, God. He really was going to die now. He remembered what he'd done, where he'd put the rose, and he was completely and utterly mortified. Shamed. Humiliated. He wanted to ball up on the ground, but he wasn't sure if he'd end up showing less of himself or more. So he stood there like an idiot covering his butt with his hands as his secret crush watched him make a fool of himself.

"Show," Lex said with relish. "Oh, I know it wasn't meant to be. Which made it all the more...delicious. You'd never be so...uninhibited. Graceful. Sensual. I know men, and women, who'd pay a king's ransom to have seen you in that moment."

"I think I want to die," Clark said faintly.

"Not before you invite me in," Lex said calmly. "Besides, don't worry. No one will ever see it but me. No one."

Clark's eyes widened at Lex's hard I'm-master-of-the-universe voice. He knew he had issues when his cock gave a hard jerk, heat flooding down to his groin and making him want to groan in pain. He really needed to jerk off, but there was no way he was putting on any more 'shows' for Lex.

Oh, no. Images of jerking off in front of Lex, knowing he was watching, made him hurt even more. He definitely, definitely had issues. Rose issues. Naked in the moonlight issues. Exhibitionism issues. Voyeurism issues, if he was honest with himself, cringing as he thought of how often he spied, er, watched Lex.

Clark swallowed. "No one?"

Lex laughed.

Moaning, Clark almost pulled his right hand away so he could at least touch his dick. He quickly remembered the assets currently almost on display to Lex.

"No one," Lex repeated darkly, a hint of menace to his voice.

Add danger issues. Clark wondered if he'd always been this kinky, or if something rubbed off on him once he met Lex. He noted fainting that thinking of Lex and rubbing in the same sentence wasn't such a good idea.

"Invite me in," Lex said enticingly.

"I..."

"Do you want to hear about what I wanted to do when I saw you?" God, yes. Clark felt his pulse jump. "Everywhere that rose touched..."

Yes?

"Everywhere that rose touched...I wanted to touch with my hands. Run my fingers along your face. Your eyes, your lips, your neck. Run my palms all over your chest, play with your nipples. Touch your ribs, your stomach, and then stroke your cock. It's beautiful, too. Just hold it, squeeze lightly. And then start to move my hand. Up. Down. Feeling you throb in my hand."

Oh. Clark closed his eyes. He was definitely throbbing.

"Then..."

Then?

"I wanted to use my mouth. Put it everywhere you'd stroked those rose petals. Those beautiful cheeks. Your perfect lips. Lick. Suck. Nibble my way along your jaw, down your throat. And your chest...a work of art. I'd have to spend at least thirty minutes making sure I tasted every single inch of skin. Would you like it if I sucked at your nipples, Clark? Bit lightly? Or maybe not so lightly?"

"Uh..." Yes?

"And your stomach? Cupping the rose? I'm not sure why, but that was so damn hot. So I'd have to nibble all along those perfect abs. Find out if you have a sensitive belly button. Would you like it if I thrust my tongue in there? Or maybe you'd like it if I started mouthing along your six-pack, making my way down...lower. I'd have to taste everything."

Lower? As in... Clark stammered, "Ev-everything?"

"Hmmmm," Lex hummed. He enunciated slowly, like he was tasting the words, "Everything. Nibble. Suck. Lick. Have you ever had a blow job, Clark? I could promise you the best one you've ever had. And if you haven't? I'll promise that once you've been in my mouth, you'll never want to leave."

The teenager whimpered. He started inching his right hand to his front.

"I know tricks most whores don't." Lex paused. There was a trace of bitterness in his voice as he added, his voice still as hypnotically sexy as ever, "If you don't think about how I know, I assure you, you'll come harder than you've ever come in your life. I'd swallow you down. You'll love fucking my mouth, Clark."

Clark's hand froze near his hip. His erection started to soften for the first time that night, and he felt his insides just deflate. The spell Lex had been weaving, whether Lexian or Luthor magic in design, loosened its hold around Clark and fell in tatters at his bare feet.

"Lex---"

"And my hands? When I had you in my mouth, I'd---"

"Lex!" Raising his voice, Clark cut Lex off. "Stop it! Just stop it."

A long pause, and then Lex said coolly, "Something wrong?"

The brunette wanted to turn his head. Look at Lex. See into his eyes. His gorgeous blue eyes, the ones Clark knew would be as smooth and reflective as a mirror right now. Not letting anyone in, not even Clark. He felt a flash of burning anger towards every person who ever hurt Lex. Who made him feel worthless. Unworthy. It hurt something deep inside him to acknowledge he'd have to include himself among that number.

But not anymore.

"No." Clark spoke gently. "No, nothing's wrong. I...I don't need that, Lex."

Several moments passed before Lex asked, voice glacial, "Sex?"

Clark wasn't fooled. Lex was coldest when he was feeling his most vulnerable.

Just like he was his angriest when he was the quietest. A Lex throwing a temper tantrum was a good thing. It meant Lex wasn't at his most deadly, still open-minded enough to be reasoned with once the dust settled. Lex truly angry was like a SMART missile. Focused, on course, and no way to stop it.

Clark knew a cold Lex had to be treated with kid gloves. Not because he was so dangerous, but because he'd been raised to believe vulnerability equated to weakness. In Lex's world, that might even be true. But it meant in Clark's world, Lex wanted to be secretly hugged even as he'd bite the hand that dared to touch him. So it was a delicate balancing act of being concerned without showing concern.

"I know you heard me," Clark said, swallowing his embarrassment. His uncertainty. His big whopping insecurity. Lex needed him. Lex was hurting, and Clark had hurt Lex too often. The teenager said softly, "I love you. I've loved you for a long time. I don't know how you feel about me, but...I don't need sex from you, Lex. I just need you."

Silence.

Clark waited, holding his breath. After a few minutes, he had to start breathing again. But he held still, not even covering his right butt cheek, not wanting to upset the balancing act taking place behind him.

"I do."

Clark sighed. He swallowed, and he tried to smile. "I know."

"I...I'm not saying it very well, am I?"

"It's okay."

"No, it's not." Clark felt hope bloom in his heart. In a strained voice, Lex said, "You deserve more. You deserve...the truth. Truth for truth, Clark?"

The teenager began smiling.

"I love you," Lex declared in an agonized voice.

It made Clark want to laugh, even as it made him want to hug Lex forever. He knew Lex hadn't sounded that way when he'd said the same to Helen. He'd sounded like he was closing a deal for a business contract. This...Lex sounded like he was being tortured. Slowly. And he still didn't want to talk. Because Lex actually meant it.

"For a long time," Lex echoed Clark's declaration. "And...I don't need sex from you either."

Full smile. Clark was sure he would be lighting up the clearing if a bonfire hadn't been burning merrily beside him. He really felt like roasting marshmallows. Maybe S'mores. He wondered if Lex had ever had S'mores.

Clark's smile nearly was swallowed, along with his tongue, when Lex continued in a voice that made the hairs on his neck stand on end. "I don't need sex from you...but I'd like sex with you."

It wasn't the I'm-the-master-of-the-universe voice. It was a new one. A I'm-the-master-in-the-bedroom-don't-you-want-to-roll-over-and-beg voice. Clark had the strange urge to get down on his knees and do just that. Tongue out, panting, begging Lex to make him roll over.

Erection bobbing as merrily as the fire was burning, Clark added dominance issues to his list.

"There's so many kinds of sex, Clark," Lex purred. "We'd start out small. Making out. Necking. Making you come in your jeans. Making you come...just from the sound of my voice. Would you like that, Clark? I could call you. Every night before you go to bed. I'll never touch you. I'll just talk to you, tell you all the things I want to do to that magnificent body of yours, and then I'll tell you to come. And you will. After awhile, just hearing my voice will make you hard. You'll hear me say your name, and you'll want to escape to the nearest bathroom so you can jerk off."

Clark was pretty sure he was already there. He swallowed hard, imagining having Lex call him every night. Every. Night. His hand started inching away from his hip.

"Have you had phone sex? Is that too placid for you?"

Placid? He was pretty sure he was about to burst a blood vessel just imagining those 'good night' calls.

"We could start out with hand jobs. I'm very good with my hands." Clark nodded. He could believe that. He could hear the smile in Lex's voice as the older boy continued, "Frottage is the next step, of course. There's hundreds of possibilities there."

Hundreds?

"Thrusting my thigh between your legs, I'd want to see you ride me. Thrust and grind until you finally came all over me, gasping my name. Or you'd gasp my name if I wasn't fucking your mouth with my tongue. Would you like that, Clark? Me taking your mouth that way while you rode me, squeezed around my thigh. Mine. You could be as wild as you wanted. I'd like to see you wild."

Wild? He could practically feel Lex between him right now. Clark sighed as he unobtrusively got his hand in front of his body. He dived for his cock, squeezing hard. He barely held back a moan.

"Do you like surprises? I'd hate to go into too much detail. Especially when blow jobs are next. I wasn't exaggerating. I'm very good with my hands...but my mouth? I'm a fucking god with my mouth. I'd swallow your cock. Mouth your balls. Bite all along the inside of your thighs. And your ass? Oh, Clark. You haven't lived until you've had my mouth on your ass. In your ass."

Biting his lip, Clark tried to keep his movement subtle. Just with his wrist. He pulled down on his cock, eyes nearly rolling back with the sheer bliss of finally getting some relief. Some pressure.

"Some people don't like that. Until they meet me. One night with my mouth, Clark, and you'd beg me to fuck your ass with my tongue. I'd make you get on your hands and knees. You wouldn't be able to touch yourself. I wouldn't let you rub that hard, thick cock of yours against anything. And then I'd start biting your ass. Nibbling. Sucking. Circling that little hole. Thrusting in. Just eating you. By the time I was done, you'd come from just my tongue inside you."

Ohhhhh. Clark stroked himself again, concentrating on small movements. Not too much arm. Pictured Lex's description in his head. He swallowed. He added ass issues. Before tonight? He would have thought that was gross. Now he wanted to get on his hands and knees. Right now. Find out for himself.

Well, if he could get over the whole naked in front of Lex thing first.

"Clark, are you jerking off?"

The teenager froze.

"In front of me?" Lex sounded amused. "I'd never have thought you capable."

Swallowing rapidly, Clark squeaked, "No?" Clearing his throat desperately, he added more strongly, "No. Just...standing here. Naked. You know. Like before."

Lex chuckled. "Really?"

"Uh huh."

"I think someone's lying to me," Lex said in light voice.

"You do?" Clark winced. Maybe he should have joined the drama club instead of the school newspaper.

"I do," Lex murmured.

Clark squeezed his cock hard, telling itself to behave. Granted, Lex murmuring sounded like every wet dream he'd ever had wrapped up into one. But he was not going to jerk off in front of Lex. Even if his back was to Lex.

It wasn't like he'd been jerking off. He'd been...relieving some pressure.

"Invite me into your circle," Lex murmured. Another squeeze by Clark. Control. He had control. "I promise you won't regret it."

"I...I think it would be better if I got dressed. Would you turn around?"

Lex laughed.

Clark sighed.

"I think you were jerking off. I also think you'd enjoy it a lot more if I took care of that for you."

"For...for me?"

Voice nonchalant and musing, Lex asked, "Have you ever been ravaged?"

"Ravaged?" Clark echoed, mouth going dry.

"Ravaged," Lex said slowly, caressing each syllable before it left his mouth. "Invite me in, Clark. I promise I'll show you why being ravaged by a Luthor can be a world-shattering event."

Clark gulped. "You realize a sacred circle is supposed to keep out evil?"

"I'm outside the circle, aren't I?" Lex pointed out in amusement. Waiting a beat, he added in a silky voice, "Are you saying I'm evil, Clark?"

The brunette shivered. Every time Lex said his name, it was like he was really saying 'sex'. Or maybe he just sounded like sex. It was possible. Lex already looked like sex. A walking fantasy, and it was really unfair for someone to be that irresistible.

"Clark?"

"Oh God, yes," Clark breathed out. "You're so evil."

"Does that mean you're going to invite me in?"

"Absolutely." Clark shook his head. "I mean, not. Absolutely not."

Clark could hear the smirk in Lex voice as he said, "You sound a little indecisive."

"No," Clark said emphatically. "I'm completely decisive. Completely."

"Have you ever had a blow job? You never said."

"I...no." The teenager debated nervously to himself. Torn, he asked tentatively, "I thought you said we'd start with making out."

"Hmmmm...I suppose I'd have to make an exception."

"Exception?" He wasn't sure what he thought about this. Was an exception good? Or bad? On one hand, it meant Lex was offering to suck him off tonight. But it also meant according to Lex's plan, he wouldn't get anything below the neck for who knew how long. At least that's what he thought Lex meant by necking.

Clark blinked. Now that he thought about it, the hot phone sex was two or three steps after the necking. He frowned.

Wait a minute! Was he seriously thinking about jumping into bed with Lex? Before they'd even gone on a first date? They hadn't even kissed. What was he thinking!

Shaking his head, Clark realized he was being completely stupid. He shouldn't even be debating this. Lex was evil. Temptation. Lex was temptation incarnate. Luckily for Lex, he was undergoing a spiritual experimentation stage, and his current experimentation in paganism meant he didn't believe in the devil. Which fit in well with discounting his dad's theories about the Luthors being the devil's spawn or the root of all evil.

Wincing as he let go of cock, he moved his hand back to shielding his butt. He started to take baby steps back. The last thing he wanted was to stumble and trip. Flat on his back, dick hard and erect, he was pretty sure he'd die as Lex laughed his butt off at him.

"You're not really going to get dressed?"

Hearing the incredulity and disbelief under the droll voice, Clark felt a smile tug at his lips.

"Let's not be hasty, Clark."

Clark continued walking backwards.

"It's because you're shy." Lex was irritatingly uncanny sometimes. Like psychic. Or maybe just a really good guesser. Either way, irritating. "You don't have to be shy with me."

Clark snorted. He wondered if he'd gone ten feet.

"You'll never get over your shyness if you don't work at it."

"By being naked in front of other people?" He didn't bother to hide the sarcasm.

"No," Lex snapped, practically growling. "Just me. No other people involved."

Possessive. Maybe even jealous. Clark started to smirk. Lex was jealous of him? Possessive of him?

Lex had to go and ruin it by adding, "Unless you want. I suppose I could make an allowance for a threesome. But it would have to be with someone you'd trust, of course. Since you're so shy. Perhaps Mr. Ross?"

"What?" Clark whirled around, mortified. Images of naked Pete and naked Lex danced in his head. He wanted to scrub out his brain. Repeatedly. He stared at Lex.

Lex was looking at Clark with a hungry, piercing gaze. Or rather, not at Clark. But down at Clark. Following Lex's gaze, Clark yelped. He threw his hands in front of his erection, spinning around. Which left him with twitching hands that didn't know where to go.

Cover the cock that was currently rock hard, yet which Clark was horrified had been nearly devoured by blue eyes? Or the bare rear that was currently being presented to said blue eyes?

Feeling like he was exposing himself even more, he reluctantly moved his hands back to his rear.

"Clark..."

The devil. Lex was the devil. Maybe he needed to do some more experimenting. Didn't Chloe used to think he was Amish? Maybe he'd look them up on the web next.

"Clark, don't be shy," Lex cajoled.

Red. His cheeks had to be red. Clark was almost sure that other than all the blood that refused to leave his dick, all the rest of his blood had to be in his face.

"Clark?"

The teenager started biting his lower lip again.

"Clark."

"...yes?"

"Take five steps back, and then two to the right."

Five steps back...Clark's mind boggled. Relief swirled through, along with threads of hurt. "You...you want me to get dressed?"

"I'm sorry." Contrition practically radiated against Clark's back. Lex continued solemnly, "I meant what I said: I don't need sex from you. I didn't mean to tease you so badly. I'd never embarrass you. Much."

"I wasn't...you were teasing me?" Clark was practically drooping. That worked to relieve the pressure, in a really disappointing way. Lex hadn't wanted him at all? Just wanted to tease him?

"Yes."

Oh.

"I apologize. I was trying to talk you into letting me give you a blow job. I don't want to force you into something you're not ready for."

"But I..." Want it? Make up your mind, Clark Kent.

"Get dressed, Clark."

Everything was drooping now. Clark felt like his shoulders were dragging on the ground. "Okay."

Following Lex's directions, Clark found his duffle bag and clothes. He practically dived into his boxers. He pulled on his socks less quickly, and he hesitated over his t-shirt. Clark felt like he was moving in slow motion as he slid on his jeans and sweatshirt. He was just finished tying his tennis shoes back on when Lex spoke.

"Invite me in, Clark."

Head shooting up, Clark looked at Lex uncertainly. Lex was staring at him.

Clark stood up. Going over to the altar, he picked up his book. He fumbled through it, trying to find out how to open a circle without releasing it. He was just thumbing for the index, when Lex called out.

"Pick up your athame."

Looking up, he stared at Lex. As always, the older boy looked perfectly calm and in control. Suave, smart, and cool. It was another irritating trait Clark forgot about when he was head over lust with Lex. Lex knew about everything. No one should be that smart. Not unless Clark was that smart.

Suppressing a sigh, he did as he was told. He didn't even bring his book. Picking up the knife, he trotted over to Lex.

"Stop."

Clark did, looking at Lex in confusion.

"You're going to step out of your circle." Lex had a polite, disinterested smile on his face. He said in his lecture tone, "A big no-no. Not until you release your circle."

"I know," griped Clark. One eyebrow arch had Clark looking at the candle and the boundary he'd been about to unknowingly walk over. Which wasn't his fault. Who could blame him when he was walking towards someone who looked like Lex?

"Lift the knife. Visualize cutting a door into the wall. Mimic the arch or doorway with the knife. Say, 'Spirit of Fire, open a door to he who would harm none.' Then ask me, 'How do you enter?'."

Sighing heavily, letting Lex know just how much he had to put up with him, Clark did as he was told. Finished with his doorway, he said half-heartedly, "Spirit of Fire, open a door to he who would harm none."

"You're going to have to say it as if you mean it," Lex chided. "The elemental guardians are just that: guardians. If you really believe, you called them to guard you. You have to mean it for them to step down."

Giving a Lex weird look, he couldn't help feeling a little glow from Lex's lecture tone. He started over again with the doorway. He should have known better. When had Lex ever laughed at him? No matter what he said, what problems he needed to talk about, Lex always took him seriously.

Even this.

He didn't know anyone else who wouldn't have laughed at him, made fun of him, or thought he'd needed serious psychological help if they'd found him tonight. Even Chloe would have giggled before listening to him seriously.

"Spirit of Fire, open a door to he who would harm none." Looking at Lex in approval, he beamed at the nod he received. He asked Lex, "How do you enter?" Realizing Lex never told him what came next, he looked at his friend curiously.

A slow smirk slid across Lex's face. Savoring each word, he stared directly into Clark's eyes, "In perfect love and perfect trust."

Wow. Melted. He wasn't sure what melted, but he knew something inside of him melted. Since his brain went earlier, maybe his spine?

Realizing Lex was waiting, Clark shook his head. Possibly to shake his brains back into something that resembled a mind. "What now?"

The smirk grew dangerously sexy. "You lean forward and kiss me."

The teenager blinked. Kiss? Brows drawing down, he looked at Lex skeptically. "You made that up."

"No, I didn't. Though I did forget to add, you pull me through after you kiss me. Then you close the circle. Or I can."

Moving his gaze up and down Lex, he didn't see any telltale twitching or tapping. Not that Lex necessarily would, but it was a good excuse to check out Lex. Bald head. Incredible body. Fancy leather shoes, probably from Italy. Black slacks, possibly tailored and definitely clinging to Lex's body in the right places. Dark grey sweater that looked incredibly soft, like it was made to make people want to start rubbing against Lex. Full body rubs. Faint circles...the faint circles under Lex's eyes made Clark stop thinking about rubbing and more about hugging.

That impulse was a common one around Lex. He knew better, though. No one touched Lex. Other than Lionel, and Lex usually had eye-spasms when Lionel did it. It wasn't a pretty sight, and the few times Clark had witnessed it, it had left Lex remaining so still afterwards that Clark had practically sensed the older boy's desire to twitch madly in an attempt to flee his own skin.

Deciding that it didn't matter if Lex was making it up, Clark stepped closer. He leaned down, bussing Lex on the lips. Hands swiftly grabbed him by the butt and pulled. Yelping, he was jerked forward and a tongue slipped between his open lips.

Oh, God. Clark nearly fell over. Lex hadn't been exaggerating. Not that he had that much experience for comparison. Chloe. Tina. Lana. Jessie. Kyla. Not a huge rooster as far as kissing, but none of the girls had anything on Lex.

Once he'd been in Lex's mouth, he'd never want to leave. He was pretty sure Lex hadn't meant kissing, but the same principle applied. Did that make Lex a kissing god or a sex god? He sincerely hoped he'd have the opportunity to find out firsthand.

Feeling as if every bit of his mouth was being explored, claimed, and marked Clark enthusiastically kissed Lex back. They dueled with their tongues, tiny flickers in just the right spots making Clark's knees wobble. When Lex drew back, Clark started to follow. He froze, whimpering, as Lex began nibbling on his lip. Nibble, nibble. Lick, lick. More tongue. Clark was in kissing nirvana.

One nipping bite later, Lex was staring at a pole-axed Clark. He smirked. "Now pull me in."

Blinking, Clark processed those words. For some reason, images of 'pull' made his brain freeze. Luckily, there was no melting. Finally shaking himself hard, at least mentally, he took Lex's hand and pulled him into the circle.

Lex picked up Clark's right hand. Raising it, he took the knife from Clark. Surprising Clark, Lex turned his hand over, leaned in, and kissed the middle of his palm tenderly. Closing Clark's fingers around his palm, as if holding the kiss so it wouldn't get away, Lex pressed another kiss to the closed knuckles.

Lifting his fist slowly to his chest, feeling incredibly ridiculous and extraordinarily cherished, Clark felt sparkles of something inside of him as he put his hand over his heart-spot. If he didn't have a heart there before, he had a metaphorical one now. Watching Lex in stunned awe, green eyes filled with love, Clark was silent as Lex moved to close the circle. After a few gestures and mumbled words, the young Luthor walked over to the altar and set the knife back where Clark had originally gotten it. Clark followed along after him as if a string were attached from his clutched fist to Lex.

"I might have forgotten one other thing," Lex said casually as he stood up from setting the knife down.

"What?" Clark asked absently. He wished Lex would bend back over. He'd always liked playing pool with Lex. There was something about those expensive designer label pants the older boy wore. The way they hugged Lex's assets. Especially when he was bending over. Definitely worth every penny.

"Usually you just kiss the other person on the cheek."

Of course, the same could be said for his sweaters. And his suits. And those long-sleeved shirts he wore. The formal and informal kind. There was something about how his clothes hid everything, while giving out these teasing hints. It drove Clark absolutely crazy. No wonder he'd been so bedazzled he'd practically forgotten Lana's existence.

"I liked my version better."

Not that he forgot Lana, exactly. But he did...wait. What? Cheek?

Lex crowded into Clark, slipping his arms around Clark's waist. He hooked his fingers into the back pockets, making Clark feel torn between the simultaneous urges of leaning back into Lex's hands or scooting forward in bashfulness. Which would practically mold him to Lex's chest.

A win-win situation. Except for the whole bashful-shy thing. Funnily enough, it would make him want to scoot back. Only Lex's hands would still be in his pockets. So then he'd be back in the same situation, only his butt would definitely be cupped by Luthor palms by that time and he'd be much closer to Lex. So he'd have to decide whether to...wait...wait a second!

Clark stared at Lex in a mixture of amazed respect and trepidation. Lex really was evil! An evil genius. And while he'd been torn between how to react, Lex had already leaned in. Clark didn't have time to think any more since Lex was kissing him again.

A few licks and nibbles had Clark eagerly opening his mouth, inviting Lex in. It seemed to be a reoccurring theme tonight. He'd already learned it led to good things. Very good things. So he shivered as Lex stroked and caressed his mouth, making his poor brains melt all over again in lust.

Lex was so warm. Moist. And somehow hard and soft at the same time. His mouth was perfect, big enough to practically swallow Clark alive. It was a feeling Clark liked. The seventeen-year-old moaned, left arm slipping around Lex's back and touching the sweater that was actually softer than it looked. His right hand was held between their chests, and Lex's hands were squeezing his butt.

"Ohhhhh." Clark leaned his forehead against Lex's temple. His knees were definitely shaking.

He noted faintly when Lex slipped his left hand out of Clark's back jean pocket. Raising his hand, Lex brushed his fingers along Clark's temple. Down his cheek and slowly trailed the jaw line. Clark shivered as he remembered Lex's descriptions of what he would do. Or was that what he'd wanted to do? The difference seemed minute at the moment.

Fingers moved back up teasingly along his cheek, and they plucked the rose from Clark's hair. Slowly tracing the flower where his fingers had just been. When Clark moved his head back in alarm, the rose followed, tracing over and over his lips. The smell of the flower overwhelmed Clark, and he found himself closing his eyes as the petals were traced over his face.

When the flower was making its way down his throat, Clark remembered the spell. Eyes flying open, he stared at Lex in horror.

What if sitting by Air had been a mistake? What if even thinking of Lex while calling to one of the elements had altered the energy of the circle? Affected the spell? What if Lex didn't really want this?

All thoughts of whether he believed in magic or not flew out of his head. This wasn't some silly teenager equivalent of jump roping 'Cinderella Dressed In Yellow'. He'd performed a love circle. On a Sabbat. A holy day for many pagans and neo-pagans. Mere seconds after finishing the spell, he'd seen Lex in his mirror. Drawn to his mirror? Drawn to Clark?

A warm hand was clutching Clark's face.

Lex gripped his chin in his right hand, his grasp firm, while his left hand was rubbing circles in the center of his back. The rose was tucked back in his hair. Lex was murmuring, "Breathe, Clark. Don't faint on me. Just breathe."

Suddenly aware of his surroundings, he took a gasping breath.

"Don't do that!" Lex chided gently, still rubbing Clark's back. Seeing that Clark was fine, he moved his hand to cup Clark's cheek. "Do you realize what a ridiculous creature you are?"

"Ridiculous?" Clark echoed. "Creature?"

Before he even had a chance to feel hurt, Lex was pulling Clark's head down and bussing his lips lightly. "Yes. Creature. The most enchanting, beautiful creature ever born. A veritable siren. Possibly an angel. A creature so magnificently put together that you had me coming in my pants for years, and I'll kill you if you ever tell anyone that. A radiant, luminescent being filled with so much goodness that---"

"Oh..." Enchanting? Beautiful? Clark was pretty sure he was blushing. He asked anyway. "Really?"

Lex snorted softly. "Yes, really. But that doesn't stop you from being the silliest, most ridiculous..."

A pout started pulling at Clark's lip.

"...most gorgeous thing I've ever seen," Lex finished, shaking his head in exasperation.

Clark wondered if Lex had gone insane. Maybe the incense near the altar had made his mind loopy. Though it was actually being blown away from them, otherwise Clark would be sneezing like crazy. So maybe it was the spell after all?

"Your eyes. Your thoughts practically trip over themselves as they spill out," Lex said, answering Clark's silent question. "It wasn't the spell, idiot. Believe me, I've been crazy about you for a long time. Too long. Why do you think I was going to marry Helen?"

The brunette gaped at Lex. Fifteen seconds later, he was several feet away and radiating hurt. As well as fury and jealousy. "Marry?!"

Lex just lifted one eyebrow.

"Marry!"

"Clark, you were barely sixteen. Do you know what would have happened to me if I would've so much as looked at you cross-eyed?"

"Married!" He glared. Clark was pretty sure Lex had done more than look at him cross-eyed. It's just that he'd never been sure. And there had been all those women, one after another, each more beautiful than the last. Like some kind of twisted, evil fairy tale that was all about letting Clark know he was the country bumpkin. Outclassed. Outwitted. Out-beautied.

"She was beautiful enough. Intelligent enough. She was a doctor; her father was a renowned doctor in his field. The right background and breeding, combined with superior genes. It didn't hurt that I actually liked talking to her, and I thought her company refreshing. She seemed...genuine."

Genuine? Genuine!

"But she wasn't silly? Or ridiculous?" Clark's tone got more biting, as impossible as that seemed. "And I suppose I'm not genuine?"

"You were sixteen." He was completely unapologetically. "I seem to remember a fated fairy tale romance with Lana, ending in a white wedding and little Kents all lined up to work on the farm. I needed something to distract me."

Clark frowned.

"Not that I have to explain myself," Lex said archly. "But...I thought if you ever decided life with Lana was...bland...it would behoove me to get my affairs in order. An heir to secure my inheritance, along with assuring the Luthors continued to wreck havoc into future generations. She was a temporary distraction, one who could provide me---"

"With babies," Clark finished darkly.

For the first time, he resented being a guy. Not that he wanted to be a girl. But if he was a girl, he could give Lex babies. Again, not that he wanted to have babies. But Lex seemed to want them, and that meant someone else's womb being involved at some point, in some way, in the future.

"With babies." Lex's lips tugged down in a faint grimace. "This can't be a surprise to you. You know what my life's like. The expectations. The requirements."

"And a teenage lover isn't among them." His whole body felt like it was being dragged down to the ground. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. "Neither is a male lover. Or even a male boyfriend."

"Luthors can do whatever, and whomever, they please." Clark's eyes widened comically. Lex's voice had gotten all dark again, edgy and dangerous. Possessive. Certain parts of him perked up. "I'll adjust my plans. I just fit a little Alexander in when I saw an opportunity present itself. Now new opportunities are becoming available."

"And when other opportunities show up?" Clark asked hesitatingly. "Other Helens? Other...babies?"

The faint grimace turned into a frown. "I'll decide then."

Oh.

"I'd never let you go," Lex promised, sincerity in his eyes. "You'll never be my whore. Or some lover I set up on the side while I marry someone else."

Clark's heart sank. He hadn't even thought of that.

"I'd marry you today," Lex said, walking slowly towards Clark. "If I could, I'd get down on my knee right now. I've always gone after whatever I wanted. Why do you think I married Desiree after knowing her a few weeks? Believe me, it wasn't all pheromones. I was planning to propose to Helen by spring. Marry her by the end of the summer."

"But..."

"You're seventeen." Blue eyes were soft as Lex stepped close enough to wrap his arms around Clark. "I love you. You're the only one I've ever loved. Despite declarations otherwise to Desiree or Helen. I wouldn't lie to you about this."

He leaned into Lex, wrapping his arms around him.

"We'll figure it out," murmured Lex. "You're still young. You might decide you want something different---"

"And you won't!"

"And I might." Clark slumped. "But I highly doubt it. I can't imagine ever not wanting you. Not wanting to wake up beside you. Or share my day with you. Or ask you about yours."

"I...really?"

"I don't want you for sex. I can get sex anywhere. This is much more, much deeper than that. Legends, Clark. I promised you legends."

The brunette sighed. He leaned into Lex, taking advantage of Lex's touchy-feely mood. Hugging him gently, he reminded himself not to squeeze too hard. It was like the newborn calves. He had to be gentle. Soft touches.

"I don't know what we'll do about kids," Lex said honestly. "I think that's something that can wait. We've barely kissed. And I have yet to give you a blow job."

Blow job? "Has anyone told you that you have a one-track mind?"

"Baby, you haven't seen me one-tracked before."

Clark choked, then burst out laughing. "You're such a geek. You like to pretend you're all cool, but inside you're so geeky you'd be in the chess club if you went to Smallville High."

"I studied chess with masters!"

Clark grinned. Lex sounded affronted. Possibly even horrified.

His grin froze as a hand edged down between them, squeezing his cock. His rapidly-getting-hard cock.

"No pressure," Lex whispered. "But the offer was honest. You don't have to be naked. No shyness to get in the way with all those clothes covering you up. I can just unzip, and a little untucking..."

"I..." Don't know what to say. Yes. Maybe. I don't know?

"It's okay to say, no. I won't stop wanting you."

A little line of tension inside Clark eased.

"No more teasing." Lex leaned back to look into Clark's face with a serious expression. "I'll do whatever you want. Just say 'yes', and I'll take care of everything. One 'no', and I'll stop. Immediately."

"I..." The thought of Lex. Lex touching him. Lex sucking him. Clark blew out a shuddering breath. "Y-yes."

Lex closed his eyes briefly, his face blank. When he opened them, he gave Clark an encouraging smile. Dropping down to his knees gracefully, he set his hands firmly on Clark's hips.

"It's simple. It's like driving. Green light is go, red light is stop." That had Clark looking at Lex in confusion. Was Lex comparing him to a car? "I'm the driver. You control the traffic light. 'Yes' is green. 'No' is red. If I hear a red light, I'll stop whatever I'm doing. No pressure or teasing to make you want more."

Clark took that in. After a few moments, he said quietly, "Yes."

Lex sent Clark a wicked grin, briefly squeezing Clark's hips. Then those slender fingers were unbuttoning his jeans and lowering his zipper. Clark swallowed hard, but didn't say anything. He was nervous. Criminey, was he nervous! But he'd had wet dreams about being blown. And since Lex...this was like one of his private fantasies. A guy would have to be an idiot to turn this down.

Thank God, Lex had kissed him first. He didn't want to think about accepting blow jobs from people he hadn't even kissed.

"If you go off early it's okay," Lex said in a smooth voice, pulling Clark's jeans open. He started to pull Clark's boxers down slightly. "It happens to a lot of guys. Especially their first time. Even their first dozen times."

"I won't..." Clark shut up. It was humiliating, but he couldn't say he wouldn't. Jessie. Heck, even Kyla. He'd creamed his pants both times.

"It's okay." Leaning in, Lex put his face to Clark's groin and smelled.

Oh, shit. That was hot. That was really hot.

Reaching into his boxers, Lex touched his dick. Pulling him out carefully, the bald boy held him in his hands. Not too much pressure, but that made sense with what Lex had just said. Clark watched, entranced, as Lex took the tip in his mouth. His knees did more than wobble as Lex tongued his slit, lightly sucking on him.

"That's okay. Grab onto me," Lex murmured. "Hold onto my head. Or my shoulders. Whatever feels good. I want to make you feel good."

"Lex, I..." A horrible thought hit him. What if he made Lex sick? "Lex, no."

Hands immediately dropped Clark.

"I mean...you know...what I am. What if...what if I make you sick? I don't know anything. About me. I was sent here as a baby. I don't even know what I am. I...I'd die if I made you sick."

It was quiet for several moments. Clark could almost image he could hear the world rotating on its axis. Finally, Lex spoke. But first he smiled up at Clark. A genuine, wide smile.

"Whatever you want," repeated Lex. His voice was very firm. "But I'm willing to. You've had to figure out by now that I'm a mutant, too. I don't get sick. And the few times I've been...incapacitated, I've recovered. Completely. Perfect health and no scars."

Clark was almost distracted by the remark about scars. What kind of 'incapacitation' involved scars? But like an idiot, his mind going around in little circles, he parroted, "Mutant?"

Lex slowly leaned forward, setting his forehead on Clark's hip. He was trembling. Clark thought he heard something that sounded suspiciously like muffled laughter and something about 'ridiculous'. He let it slide for the larger issue.

"Mutant?"

He didn't even bother to hide it. The jerk laughed. When it finally died down, Lex said musingly, "You know what you asked earlier?"

"What?" Clark knew he sounded testy, but he didn't care. It hadn't been a dumb question. How was he supposed to know these things if no one told him!

"Helen? No, she wasn't silly. Or ridiculous." Before Clark has a chance to jump back and glare, Lex flicked his tongue out at Clark. Licking his cock like a lollipop. "I like you silly. Ridiculous. Completely oblivious. I don't know why, but for some reason it makes you even more sexy. God, when you act stupid, you're so damn adorable I just want to jump you."

Sexy? Him, sexy? He didn't...stupid? Stupid! He never acted stupid!

"Yes or no, Clark," Lex murmured.

Freezing, the brunette looked down at the young man kneeling so calmly. Next to his hard cock. Which was surprising close to Lex's lips.

"I'll take my chances, but I highly doubt I'll get sick."

Clark hesitated.

"I refuse to believe anything about you would hurt me." Sincerity rang in Lex's voice. "Don't you feel it? This thing between us? I can't believe we'd find each other, and then not be able to be together."

"Destiny," Clark breathed out softly. He made up his mind. "Yes, Lex. Yes."

It felt like a dream. Lex reached up again, holding Clark's cock in his left hand. Using his lips and tongue, he started to slowly mouth Clark. Just a few moments of this unbearably hot pressure, and a quick move had Lex taking him in his mouth.

It was better than anything he'd imagined. Better than Lex's words. And Lex was a sex god, and yes, Clark was never leaving his mouth. Hot, moist warmth enveloped him. A few tongue undulations and some humming had Clark coming with a yell. Jerking, his hands flew to Lex's shoulders. He felt himself spilling into Lex, and it was the most incredible feeling as Lex swallowed it. All of it. Like Lex wanted some part of him inside him.

It was so, so hot.

Like all of Lex's other predictions, Clark came harder than he ever had before. When he was done, he was holding onto Lex, half-slumped over him. At least he hadn't come until after he'd been in Lex's mouth. Not much after, but still after.

"Come on," Lex said, urging him up. Clark half-heartedly tried to get his legs to work. He started moaning as Lex started licking at his softened cock. When he was finished, he tucked Clark back in, pulled up his boxers, and zipped up his jeans. Buttoning them, he patted Clark's hips with his hands, and then tugged down. "Come here."

He practically collapsed. In a heap on the grass, he let Lex arrange them until they were curled around each other. Lex rested his head against Clark's shoulder. Clark thought it was nice. No, more than nice.

"When do you have to go home?"

"Home?"

"The place where you sleep, eat, and feed cows on a daily basis."

"Funny," Clark sniped back, not really meaning it. He was feeling too good. "Do I have to go home?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

"Seventeen, Clark. Not much older than sixteen."

"Almost eighteen!"

"You just turned seventeen in May."

Clark hated Lex's reasonable voice. "I'm a junior." He wasn't sulking.

"If you added, 'in college', I might actually feel better. But since you can't, let's pretend you didn't say that."

"I'm sor-,...does it really bother you?"

Lex sighed. Patting Clark's stomach, he said, "No. Not really. I'm just very aware of the consequences."

"I won't tell."

"I don't want you to have to lie."

"I...I don't mind."

"This wasn't such a big deal from your side of things." A thread of amusement rang in Lex's tired voice. "Don't worry. I have entire law firms at my beck and call."

"My side?"

"When I was your age, I didn't care how old anyone was. I had few qualms about anything. In fact, this one time...never mind."

"This one time?"

"When you're older, Clark. Much, much older."

"Leeeex, come on. I'm almost eighteen."

Another stomach pat, and Lex cuddled in closer. "This is nice. Let's stay like this for a while. Then we'll release your circle, clean up, and I'll drive you home."

"But---"

Lex started chuckling. "A love spell? Where did you come up with that?"

"What?! It worked, didn't it?"

Lex laughed, but he turned his head and kissed Clark's shoulder.

Somewhat mollified, the brunette muttered, "Chloe. And me. We'd...you know. Researched and stuff. Talked. And we agreed..." Clark trailed off. What could he say? We agreed to get naked, celebrate a pagan holiday, and cast a love spell?

He shouldn't have worried. Lex said it for him. The jerk. A big, fat jerk.

"You agreed to trespass, strip naked, perform pagan ceremonies, and cast love spells?"

"No," Clark muttered. Not exactly. There was no trespassing requirement.

"Should I get up and look for Chloe? Is she over on the south lawn, perhaps? Maybe the cherry orchards?"

"No! Don't even think it."

"But she is out there. Naked. Love spell. All the rest."

Reluctantly, Clark admitted, "Yeah. If she goes through with it. But not on your property."

'I think,' he silently added. It wasn't like he knew. The whole point was to do it so the other person didn't know where. Otherwise they'd be paranoid that the other would show up with a video camera and a bowl of popcorn.

Lex laughed again. "The youth of Smallville obviously dip in deeper waters than I ever expected."

Deeper waters? Clark frowned. Was that a good thing?

It wasn't like he was even in the water. This was another metaphor, wasn't it? He hated when Lex talked in metaphors and similes. Using obscure literature or history references that no one but some boring, ancient professor-type would know. How was he expected to know half of what Lex was talking about?

He was really starting to work himself up, thinking about the time Lex had started talking about how Clark's high school life was like life in the savannah. The savannah? Like Lex had ever lived in Africa. He'd started going on and on about highly structured social systems, eco-this, blah-that. Clark had had to sit there and listen for over an hour, not understanding half of what Lex said. He'd caught something about him being a gazelle, but it hadn't made any sense. But he'd just nodded because it was nice watching Lex's mouth move. Plus, Lex had a tendency to pace when he lectured, which stretched his pants across his ass, so there was plenty of action there.

What did he need to know about the savannah? He'd watched the Lion King. Hadn't everyone? The circle of life. Yeah, he got it.

The rest? Not so much. What did the savannah...Clark trailed off. It just hit him. He'd had sex. Outside. Where anyone could have seen him.

Technically, he'd also been the one naked, outside, where anyone could have seen him. Yet, he'd had sex. Kind of. Well, maybe not really, but it was sort of sex. And he'd had it outside, where anyone could have seen him.

He was disturbed at how hot he found that idea. Outdoor issues. Great! He was some pervert. He had to be.

"Lex, do you think I'm a pervert?"

Stunned silence. Or Clark liked to think it was stunned silence. Instead of Lex thinking how weird he was being. "Lex?"

"No, Clark," Lex said carefully. "I don't think you're a pervert. I don't think the waters of Smallville run deep enough for anything approaching perversion from most of the general populace."

"Really?"

Another pause. "Well...you don't know anyone who participates in bestiality, do you?"

Bestiality? "Bestia-,...ewwww! You mean like with..."

"Dogs. Sheep. One of the many cows that are conveniently standing around all over the place. Possibly a pig, though I'm not sure about the logistics on that one."

"That is so disgusting!"

Lex pursed his lips. "I'll admit I've never cared for the idea. But you're hardly one to cast stones, Clark."

"Huh? What?" Clark jerked his head around, trying to glare at Lex. He might have even screeched in outrage, he was so offended. "Are you saying I'd like doing it with cows?"

Lex did think he was a pervert!

"Clark," Lex said slowly. Patiently. "You're from another planetary system. Well, unless there are underground cities on Mars, and you're some sort of baby-exchange Martian. Like the Sidhe and their tradition with changlings, which is...never mind. Regardless, you're an entirely different species. I'm not saying it's wrong, or even perverted, but we did just engage in interspecies mating."

Interspecies mating? "Are you comparing me to a cow?"

Lex sighed. Loudly and in emphasis. "You are not a cow. I'm just pointing out, as disturbing as you find cow-human relations, some people might find human...well, Clark-Lex relations to be equally disturbing."

Clark-Lex relations? That depressed Clark. He couldn't tell Lex what species he was. Clark paused. Underground cities in Mars? Baby swapping? Where did Lex get this stuff?

"In addition," Lex prattled on, not even noticing Clark's depression. Clark was a little offended by that, too. "I am a mutant. There are some who would find the idea of engaging in sexual congress with a mutated human to be distasteful, if not abhorrent."

Sexual...Clark rolled his eyes, not even going there. "You realize real people don't talk like that."

Lex, instead of patting Clark's stomach, started rubbing it. The teenager froze, not sure what to think of this other than 'weird', and within a few minutes relaxed into a puddle of Clark-whatever. As long as he wasn't a Clark-cow. That felt really good.

"You're not a pervert," Lex said firmly. "I have no idea where you get these ideas. If it's Chloe, don't pay attention to her. She's hardly one to talk, considering she talked you into performing a love spell without your clothes on in public."

Actually, it had been Clark's idea. He'd said it jokingly, but they'd both been excited as they'd looked for different spells. And it wasn't like he was in public. Most people were afraid to go on the Luthors' land. Something lame about Luthor cooties, probably. Or that whole 'root of all evil' thing, but Clark blithely dismissed that thought.

"Do you think Chloe's spell worked?" Stomach rubbing continued despite Lex's external musings. "Maybe she's doing the same thing we are right now?"

Getting her stomach rubbed by a bald twenty-three-year-old business mogul? Clark wisely kept this question to himself. Instead he cautiously said, "I doubt it."

"Why not? There's plenty of young bachelors in town. What about the Quarterback? Isn't he available?"

Whitney?!? Clark's mind went off-line. Whitney and Chloe?

Chloe and Whitney?

He remembered her touching the yellow roses. That matcher her hair. Her blonde hair. Like Whitney's blonde hair.

Clark shook his head. Nah. No way! Completely impossible. Wouldn't happen in a million years.

He started planning how he'd interrogate her tomorrow about what really happened when she'd performed her ceremony.

END


NOTE III: This was written for the "Kinky Characters" challenge, but it's admittedly lacking a lot of kink. It mentions a lot of kink. It teased Clark with the idea of a variety of kinks. But the raciest it got was outdoor sex, which isn't all that racy compared to bondage, orgies, and discipline. But it did include the Autumn Equinox, which was the thrust of the story, so I hope "Petals of Love" still fits the spirit of the challenge.

NOTE IV: The whole banter of Clark thinking Lex is evil...an evil genius...is hardly original. I do think it's been used multiple times because it's true to Clark's character, it puts a teasing light to Lex's "rift destiny", and puts a hilarious spin on Jonathan's "Lex is evil" rants. Thus it's a fun concept to play with. I'd give credit if I knew who first wrote this type of banter, but I've seen it in multiple places. I'd even list those fics as recs, but I can't remember where I've read it. Consider this my disclaimer of non-originality. Please, dear unknown author, I didn't steal your idea.