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He wasn't invited. He wasn't even supposed to be here. He'd told his mom he'd be working on the farm, but instead he'd given in to his burning curiosity. He wasn't really sure why he'd bothered. Once he'd gotten past security without being detected, he'd slipped into one of the darkened rooms. No guests had come this way and it was too far from the party to actually see anybody, though five minutes after he'd arrived, Clark had caught a brief glimpse of Lex.

Clark had watched from his hiding place as Lex gave orders on what time the caterers were to serve the hors d'oeuvres. He'd stayed long enough to see Lana hook her arm through Lex's arm and yank him back to the party. That had been when Clark decided it was time to go, only he hadn't gone. He'd found the farthest room in the mansion from the festivities and sat down under the massive oak desk on the floor, focusing his thoughts on anything but what was probably happening between his ex-girlfriend and ex-best friend.

The creak of a floorboard brought Clark out of his trance. He froze in place at the realization that somebody had entered the room without his noticing. Where Clark sat, he was sure to be well-hidden from anyone who entered the room as long as they didn't walk around the desk. The lights were raised slowly, but not bright enough to chase the shadows from the room.

"It was good of you to come," Clark heard Lex say. He wasn't alone. Clark's heart hammered in his chest. If Lex were with Lana, and Clark were about to bear witness to their secret rendezvous, he would run screaming from the room. But the responding voice wasn't female.

"I couldn't pass up the chance to see you again," a deep voice replied. It sounded as if they were standing right in front of the desk under which Clark was hiding. A rustle of fabric and creak of leather echoed in the room. Even Clark could hear the insincerity in the other man's tone. Lex was sure to spot it as well.

"No matter -- your donation was rather generous. The city and I both thank you," Lex said shortly. The clink of glass could be heard. It sounded as though drinks were being poured. Clark had briefly taken note of a bar in the far corner. Luckily, it was all the way on the other side of the room.

Clark held his breath as again the wooden floor creaked under soft strides. The other man speaking with Lex had paced across the room to where Clark could now see his legs. They were clad in black leather pants and he could see a long black cape. This surprised him until he remembered that Lex was throwing a costume ball.

The stranger spun around and paced out of Clark's line of sight without looking down. If he had even just glanced his way, he might have spotted Clark tucked in his hiding spot. Briefly, Clark thought he probably should have changed out of his white t-shirt before he'd come over.

"I need to be getting back to my guests," Lex finally said. The room rang with the sound of footsteps headed for the door.

"I noticed how busy you are," the other man responded in a teasing tone. There was only one person Lex could have been busy with and Clark did not want to hear details. He prayed silently that the two men would leave the room and give him a chance to escape.

There was a short pause and the man paced to the window, his leather-clad legs coming into Clark's line of sight. Clark held his breath as the man once again walked out of sight without catching a glimpse of Clark.

"I trust you can find your own entertainment," Lex finally said. A sliver of light cut the room as the door opened and Clark heard somebody leave. The room fell silent again but Clark heard the occasional whisper of fabric.

"You're not in costume," a deep voice suddenly said. Clark was so startled by the sudden voice so near that he banged his head on the underside of the desk. Maybe if he didn't look up, the man would go away or, better, not notice Clark was there. Unfortunately, there was no getting around the fact that he'd been caught.

Clark peeked up through long bangs at the dark eyes staring at him. Somehow the man had managed to creep up to the desk undetected. It was too dark in the room to see who he was. As Clark slowly slid out from under the cramped space, he realized that the mask would have made identification difficult anyway.

"I guess I'd better call security," the man said as Clark straightened up.

Clark's eyes went wide and he reached for the man's arm, but the man dodged his grip.

"No," he whispered as though somebody might hear, "I was just leaving."

The man stood almost as tall as Clark. He was dressed from head to foot in black leather, complete with leather gauntlets and a pirate hat. Even the sash that sat jauntily on his hips was made of leather. For a moment Clark thought he would just distract the man and speed out of the room before he could react, but something made him stop. He knew those eyes. He was sure he'd seen them before.

"Clark Kent," the man said as he reached up for the mask and tore it from his head. He did know the man. It was Bruce Wayne, whom Clark had met during the first year that Lex had moved into the mansion. Clark remembered that day well. It had been the first time Clark had realized that what he felt for Lex went beyond friendship.

Bruce was a few years older than Clark, and though Clark knew he was taller than Bruce right now, he seemed to tower over Clark. His eyes trailed over Clark's worn jeans and white t-shirt finally to fall on Clark's face. Clark sat on the edge of the desk, able to relax now that he knew he wasn't in danger of being handed over to security or Lex. Either would not have been a desirable option.

"How have you been?" Bruce said as he seemed to relax infinitesimally, setting the mask down on the top of the desk. He leaned against the desk, less than a foot away from Clark, though there was plenty of space.

"Okay, I guess," Clark whispered. He gulped, and stared into deep, dark eyes, hypnotized by the light glistening in their depths.

"Why aren't you at the party?" Bruce finally asked.

Clark sighed and looked away, unable to stare into those penetrating eyes.

"Lex and I aren't exactly on speaking terms," he mumbled, the words almost catching in his throat. Clark's gaze followed the path of the glass as Bruce lifted it to his mouth and sipped. They sat so close together that Clark could detect the strong scent of alcohol on Bruce's breath. He stared intently as Bruce licked his lips.

"Things really have changed since the last time I was in town," Bruce said, setting the glass down. He yanked the gauntlets off and set them aside. His fingers gently brushed across Clark's hand sending an electric thrill up Clark's arm.

"What do you mean?" Clark asked, licking his dry lips. Their eyes locked and Bruce leaned in closer. Clark should have moved away but he didn't. He sat absolutely still, not flinching at Bruce's proximity.

"The last time I was here, Lex was determined to have..." Bruce broke off what he was about to say and cocked his head as though he'd heard a noise. When Clark tuned in with his hearing, there weren't any sounds close by. "It doesn't matter now. What's new, Clark?"

"My dad died," Clark blurted, feeling foolish as soon as the words were spoken. With everything that Clark could have said, why had he chosen that particular event? If he were truthful with himself, Clark knew why. Even after everything that had happened with Zod and Lex and Lana, his father's death was what he regretted most. It was what haunted him late at night. That still didn't explain why Clark would mention it to a virtual stranger. After all, he had Chloe and his mother and sometimes when she wasn't being stubborn, Clark could even say he had Lois in whom to confide.

Bruce rested his hand on Clark's shoulder and squeezed. "I'm sorry to hear that," he said gently. Clark could see by his expression even in the dim light that Bruce truly was sorry.

"What was Lex determined to have?" Clark asked after a moment of uncomfortable silence.

Clark turned his head, his chin brushing over the coarse hairs on the back of Bruce's hand. Before Clark knew what was happening, Bruce had brushed a thumb across Clark's mouth. His lips parted, whereupon Bruce leaned in close until their mouths touched. Clark could taste the alcohol that Bruce had been drinking on his tongue and his lips as they kissed. When they broke apart, Bruce licked his own moistened lips, caressing Clark's cheek.

"This," Bruce breathed. He stroked Clark's hair and gazed into his eyes.

Clark should have stopped what was happening, but he was tired of the loneliness of the last few months and weary of always doing the right thing. For so long, he'd known who he'd really wanted, but Clark had been too much of a coward to make his feelings known, and now it was too late. Lex was with Lana and Bruce wanted him. He wasn't making heavy demands and he wasn't asking questions that Clark couldn't answer. Being here with Bruce felt easy and uncomplicated. It didn't hurt that Bruce was stunningly gorgeous.

Clark nearly lunged at Bruce, kissing him hard and putting up no resistance when Bruce pulled Clark closer. He slipped a hand around Bruce's thick body. It felt so different from being with Lana. She'd been tiny compared to Bruce. Bruce was solid with rippling muscles.

Clark squeezed his eyes shut tightly, willing the thoughts from his mind. It wasn't right to make that comparison, not after everything that had happened. He had to pay attention to this, to Bruce, because right now Bruce was tilting Clark's head so he could expose Clark's neck. It wasn't just a kiss. Bruce licked up the length of Clark's throat and nipped his earlobe, breathing heavily into the shell of his ear.

"I can appreciate this," Bruce said between nibbles, "Much more than Lex ever could."

Sensations Clark had never imagined coursed through his entire body. He shut his eyes at the feel of heat behind them. Bruce unbuttoned Clark's jeans and lowered his zipper, yanking the pants down to expose Clark's boxers. He kissed Clark hard, plunging his tongue between Clark's lips.

"I..." Clark tried to speak, but his head swam from the headiness of Bruce's touch and kiss. He became lost in the moment.

"You're gorgeous, Clark," Bruce mumbled against Clark's throat. "Have you ever done this?" he added, momentarily startling Clark out of the moment.

"Yes, yes," Clark whimpered, pulling Bruce in close and kissing his tempting hot mouth. It startled Clark when Bruce slid his hand down into his boxers and cupped his erection. Bruce broke the kiss and fell to his knees, wrapping his mouth around the head of Clark's cotton covered cock.

Cool air hit bare flesh as Bruce tugged Clark's boxers down enough to expose his cock, and moments later, Bruce's wet mouth was engulfing him. Clark bit his tongue to prevent from crying out as he was swallowed. He fell back the few inches to the desk, the feel of wood against his bare ass. Clark dropped his chin to his chest and closed his eyes, allowing the sensation of what Bruce was doing to wash over him completely. His body felt so alive. Clark opened his eyes just enough to look down at Bruce.

Bruce had wrapped his hand around the base of Clark's cock and held it steady as he licked the head over and over, then sucked it all in. Clark's mouth fell open at the sight of his cock disappearing into Bruce's mouth. He reached down with both hands and gripped the edge of the desk.

He'd lied to Bruce. Nobody, not even Lana when they'd been dating, had ever done anything like this to Clark, and right now he never wanted this to end. Way too soon, Clark could feel his orgasm build. The combination of the feel of Bruce's hot mouth and seeing Bruce eagerly deep-throat him was too much for Clark. He stifled his screams as he shot down Bruce's throat. Every muscle in his body relaxed as Bruce licked him clean and stood, pulling Clark's boxers up.

Dazed and completely incoherent, Clark barely realized it when light from an opening door fell across the room. Bruce quickly spun Clark, placing himself between Clark and the doorway with his back to Clark, seemingly ready to protect Clark's identity.

"Bruce, you're still in here." It was Lex.

Clark scrambled to do up his zipper.

"I managed to find my own entertainment," Bruce said, much too jovially. For a heart-stopping moment, Clark was sure Bruce would step aside to reveal him to Lex, but that never happened because Lex had walked into the room and when Clark looked up, they were staring at each other.

Lex froze and his eyes went cold.

Bruce was there with his hand on Clark's arm, pulling him to the door.

"We're leaving now," Bruce said forcefully, though whether it was for Clark's benefit or for Lex's, Clark wasn't sure. He was sure of one thing. He needed to get away from here quickly.

Clark lowered his eyes as he rushed past Lex, his face hot with shame.

"How did you get in?" Lex asked coldly. "Or should I even bother to ask?"

Bruce didn't stop and Clark didn't want him to. He should have rushed out of there. He could have used his speed, but he was too numb. Then Clark looked up and stilled, feeling the color drain from his face.

Nobody said a word and as the seconds ticked on, Clark wished he'd run when he'd had the chance. His gaze followed Lex as he crossed the room.

Clark stood silently gazing into Lex's cold uncaring eyes, then ducked his head and followed Bruce out the door. This time he didn't look back.