Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Chapter 22: Reconnaissance

“Lex?” Jonathon called out loudly as he punched the call button outside the gates to Lex’s home. When Lex or one of his staff didn’t immediately respond, Jonathon turned anxiously to Martha and asked “Are we making the right decision?”

Inside the castle, Lex who had been about to respond paused to listen to the Kent’s who were apparently unaware that the intercom was picking up their quieter conversational voices. He was almost torn between answering and eavesdropping… but the morning’s revelations convinced him to stay quiet until he knew if there was more information he could ferret out.

“Jonathon, what choice do we have? Even if Clark weren’t sick, every teenager needs someone to confide in… someone who can truly understand what they are going through. For Clark, that’s Lex.”

“But… Lionel… if he found out and who’s to say he doesn’t already have Lex bugged…” Listening on the other end, Lex was suddenly struck by a twinge of guilty relief… first to know that their primary concern was not about him but his father and, second, to realize that he was doing just exactly what they were afraid his father would do.

Before he could push the response button to let them know he was on the other end, he was again caught up in their conversation… this time unintentionally when Martha answered.

“I know, Jonathon, but so do Lex and Clark. They understand better than anyone else could the kind of harm that Lionel can do. But, you can’t protect Clark forever, my love, and denying him friends and confidants could hurt him far more than anything that Lionel or even his father could ever do.”

Without thinking, Lex slapped the console in triumph. He was right: they knew who Clark’s father was; and whoever it was, they were afraid of Clark being hurt by him. It wasn’t Lionel; but, maybe a close second, if it’s Edge. Despite what Jonathon said in the hospital about Clark’s father caring for him, it was clear they didn’t trust him.

Punching the console quickly to cover any sound they may have heard, Lex answered, “Hello?”

Jonathon jumped in his seat, startled by Lex’s voice, half wondering if Lex had overheard anything as he answered, “Hi, Lex, can we come up?”

Hearing the tentative suspicion in Jonathon’s voice, Lex decided to lay a little cover, asking again “Hello? Who is it?” –putting a touch of impatience in his voice this time.

“Lex,” Jonathon punched the call button again raising his voice, “It’s Jonathon and Martha Kent, can we come up?”

“Oh, Hi, Mr. Kent. Just one second.” Satisfied that Jonathon didn’t suspect his eavesdropping, Lex pressed the button to open the gates and went down to meet them.

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