“Love Her Like A Brother” [Rated PG-13]

Lex walked into his father’s office at Luthor Corp and said, I wasn’t sure why you called me here today. I brought the latest production reports from the plant, we are well on our way to being as profitable as you would like.”

Lionel said, “Nothing could be as profitable as I would like. But what I called you for has nothing to do with our Smallville plant. It has to do with bringing an end to something I should have put a stop to immediately.” Lionel threw an 8X10” photo onto the side of his desk nearest where Lex was sitting.

Lex picked it up and looked at it. It showed Lex lying on a rock with his head under the skirt of a woman standing next to the rock.

Lex said, “This isn’t the best angle for me.”

Lionel said, “I took you at your word that you were keeping your hands off the girl. I hadn’t considered what you could do without using your hands.”

Lex said, “I could say a lot about this but I will limit myself to three statements; one, the picture is not what it seems to be; two, it’s none of your business, and three, stay away from her and keep your people away from her too.”

Lionel sighed, “There’s a very good reason why I can’t drop this Lex. I had hoped to spare you, but…”

“Dad, if you want to talk business, fine. If not, I’m leaving.”

Lionel said, “I arranged the adoption of Clara Kent. I know her parents.”

Lex said, “Her parents are dead.”

Lionel said, “I’m glad to say that they are not…though her mother is currently in a mental institution and will probably stay there the rest of her life.”

Lex said, “Spare me your lies.”

Lionel said, “You have to stop seeing her Lex.”

“Why?” Lex asked, “Just because you claim that her mother is in an asylum? Even if it were true, that doesn’t mean that Clara has any kind of mental problem.”

Lionel said, “I wish that were true but it isn’t. Clara is like her mother in many ways … but I still love Clara despite her problems.”

Lex said, “You love her? Why would you love Clara?”

Lionel answered, “Because she’s my daughter.”

Lex paused a few seconds, “Bullshit.”

Lionel said, “It’s true. I didn’t want to confess this to you because I know you loved your mother and hate to think of me cheating on her. She wasn’t an easy woman to live with. In a moment of weakness, I had an affair … with someone every bit as beautiful … and every bit as crazy as Clara. When she became pregnant, her instability became apparent. I hired a woman to raise Lucille for me. Lucille is Clara’s birth name.”

Lex said, “Good try, Dad. So how did she happen to show up in Smallville the day of the meteor shower when we were there? It’s too convenient.”

Lionel answered, “The woman I hired ran off with Clara. I got a tip that she was in Smallville. I made an excuse to go to Smallville … presumably to discuss the deal to buy the plant from the Ross brothers. I was actually going to get my daughter. Then the meteor shower hit. The woman was leaving town with Clara when the car she was driving struck a hole in the road made by a meteor. The car flipped over and woman was killed instantly. Clara survived and was found by the Kents. They wanted to adopt her … and I thought that they would do a good job raising her. The arrangement also meant that she would still be close to me. So I arranged the adoption. I never imagined that you would want to seduce your half-sister.”

Lex said, “Explain her accent.”

Lionel answered, “The woman I hired was foreign. She raised the child as her own. But the main reason for the way she talks is that Clara imagines that she is from some fantasy place. Her accent is an affectation. Something she created and holds onto.”

Lex said, “I expect you have proof of what you’re telling me.”

Lionel said, “Of course.” He threw a birth certificate in front of Lex.

Lex picked it up and smiled. He said, “Dad, I am certainly glad you brought this to my attention before Clara and I went too far. Do you plan to bring her into the family business soon?”

Lionel said, “She is clearly not suited for it. She is happy where she is. I have people to watch over her and make sure that she is well taken care of.”

Lex said, “Well, now that I know that Clara is my half-sister, I am going to have to get together with her and make some decisions.”

Lionel asked, “Like what?”

Lex said, “We’ll have to decide which half of her is my sister so I know which half of her to treat like my sister … and which half I am free to treat as I might any other woman.”

Lionel stared at Lex for a few moments before saying, “Lex, you are joking, of course. You can’t be seen with her at all. If anyone ever found out that she’s your sister ….”

Lex interrupted, “I guess if that happened you would have to change this birth certificate back to the way it was the last time that I saw a copy of it. “Lucille Luthor” will have to be changed back to “Lucas Luthor” and the gender will need to be changed back to male. Thanks, Dad. It’s been years since you told me a bedtime story. I had forgotten just how well you can tell one.”

Lionel paused then said, “Bravo Lex! Well played. You can’t blame me for trying can you?”

Lex said, “Yes, Dad. Yes, I can. This was an especially stupid ploy on your part. I can’t believe that you wasted our time with this. The last time you told me to stop seeing Clara, you suggested that I pay her for a sexual encounter, treat her like a cheap hooker and then leave her for you so that you could continue what I had started. Maybe I am being naïve in giving you the benefit of the doubt when I .assume that you wouldn’t even suggest such a thing in jest if she was your own daughter.”

Lionel said, “I did it Lex, because I am desperate. She’s not right for you, son. She’ll destroy you.”

Lex said, “She saved me … physically, spiritually, emotionally. You know, I wonder if you tried this hard to discourage Julian from shacking up in Tibet with his love interest … that ski instructor … what was his name?”

Lionel said, “I only have one son … you”

Lex said, “I count three that I know of. I know you cut Julian off, but I didn’t realize that you would disavow Lucas after I shared the fact that I know he exists. He seemed nice enough the few times I’ve met him. He’s not as good a poker player as he thinks he is … you could probably teach him a thing or two about bluffing and keeping a poker face.”

Lionel said, “Lucas has issues, and he will never be my heir. And neither will you unless you straighten up. And I’m NOT bluffing when it comes to Clara Kent. I will give you some more time to come to your senses about her and choose someone suitable, but if you don’t I may have to step in to protect you from yourself … like I’ve done in the past.”

Lex said, “I am happy that we have finally learned to work together as businessmen. Believe it or not, it is Clara’s influence that makes me even think that it’s worth giving you and me a chance to be together in any way. But DON’T mess with my personal life. I’ll stay out of your personal life and you stay out of mine … and maybe I’ll even let you visit your grandchildren some day. But don’t you EVER come anywhere near Clara without my permission or without me being there. And keep your men away from her too! You’ve been warned.”

Lionel said, “I don’t for a second believe that Clara Kent wants anything less than to drive a wedge between us and get at your money. I tell you time and time again how much I love you and how proud I am of you. The way you stepped up that day and kept your mother from … well … You showed me the kind of man you would be someday. Here is something that you won’t believe Lex but I swear by all that is Holy that it’s true: All I really want is for you to be happy. I married your mother because I loved her blindly and look where that led us. Then I repeated that mistake with Lucas’s mother. I know from hard experience where the path you are taking with that farm girl will lead. I want to spare you that kind of pain.”

Lex said, “Dad, for the first time in my life, I AM happy. I never even knew what that was before. What you want is control over me. Clara is empowering me to be a man that can never follow your path. That’s why you don’t like her. AND I think that, deep inside, you know that I’m happy … happy in a way you have never been … and you’re jealous. I have something you could never buy.”

Lionel said, “You are deceiving yourself if you don’t think that I could flash some cash and have that little girl in my bed tonight.”

Lex said, “Get anywhere near her and you’re dead! And I will swear by all that is Holy that I will personally kill you if you harm her in ANY way – BUT, unlike you Dad, there are actually things that I hold Holy and lines I WILL NOT cross. I believe this meeting is over. Don’t call me again unless it’s about business!”

Lex stormed out of Lionel’s office. Lionel said, “No Lex. This isn’t over. This won’t be over until you learn that no one is who they appear to be … not even sweet, innocent, naïve-looking Clara Kent.”

The End