Tempting Fate
Part 1

Spoilers: Vortex, minor bits.
Summary: Lex is suffering through one of the darkest moments of his life, when Lana pays him a visit. Will a mistake from the past, turn into something more?
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Smallville related.
Author's notes: This takes place in the summer after Tempest/Vortex. Also, I want to give a big, fat, thank you to my girl Debs! Who is the bestest beta reader in the world, and who helped with all those tricky parts‚Äďanything sexual related ;)

He stood in silence, cutting a solitary figure in the storm lit sky. His body trembled with the effort to maintain his stillness while gusts of wind slammed into him, his long black jacket flapping wildly around him. His hands were shoved deep in his pockets as he hopped onto the rooftop's ledge. He looked out over endless space in front of him with empty eyes

He wasn't afraid. He wasn't even worried. In fact, he felt nothing. He was Lex Luthor after all, a man who would not, could not - and apparently should not - die. No, if Clark Kent didn't find a way to appear and save his life, whatever powerful force inhabiting the heavens would. No, if that was one thing Lex could be sure of, he would live to see another day.

He turned sharply, not even moving out of place. He lips turned up into a smirking triumph. Pathetic, not even the forces of nature could touch him. He was invincible. Lex glanced down into the darkness in front of him. So bleak, empty, just like him.

"I dare you!" He screamed out suddenly, his voice swept away by the wind. His smirk had faded, as his features hardened into a scowl. His desperate challenge remained unheard. The gods refusing to heed him, as the rain continued to pound down on the city.

His eyes fell on his hands, ice cold and stiff. He rubbed them slowly, and for a second he felt like Lady Macbeth. Nixon. Roger Nixon's blood was on hands. Staining them. Even if he hadn't touched Roger. His blood still remained on his hands. It had been truly done to save Jonathan. Although he couldn't deny to himself, that the reason he hadn't called out a warning to Nixon, was he was trying to save his own ass.

Then, there was his father. The man who would rather be dead than blind and dependent on others. And it was his fault, or at least so his father believed. Lex couldn't shake the memory of holding his father's hand in that colourful hospital room in Smallville and hearing the words. "I'm...blind. You should have let me...die." Which was worse? The guilt that he'd considered letting his father die, or the guilt that he'd gone ahead with the operation that failed to restore his eyesight? His father had the use of his legs again, but not his eyes.

Lex grimaced. God, his past. It was always there, always would be. Haunting him at every turn. The things he'd done. The things his father had done. His mother's death, and the Pam fallout. Always there. Always. Now he had more to add to the pile. One more thing to be ashamed of. And Lex Luthor was not easily shamed. He'd done many things that most would be ashamed of but he'd never batted an eye. In fact he'd enjoyed his conquests, perhaps too much..

Emotions. He normally kept them well concealed. Even from himself. Now they swirled dangerously close to the surface. So different from the nothingness he'd felt for months after the tornado. Yes, there had been bouts of guilt, and a couple drunken nights alone in that bloody Scottish castle, probably due to the Luthor equivalent of guilt but nothing like this moment. Nothing like the guilt that was eating his insides, and the bitter taste rising from the back of his throat. Making him want to scream, and cuss, and curse the world for making it so easy to fuck up. Making him want to vomit until his body was to weak to hold him on this goddamned ledge.

Maybe his wish had been considered and mercy was granted to him because a strong wind blew rain into his eyes, blurring his vision and disorienting him. It caused him to momentarily lose his footing.

His heart jumped, and exultation rushed through him before his body righted itself and he was cheated again. He laughed mockingly; it was so typical.

A voice calling his name cut into his thoughts suddenly, just barely reaching his ears over the howling of the wind. He turned slowly in the direction of the voice, disinterest in every line of his body. Miss Davies, his personal assistant stood at the door, her usually immaculately styled blond hair undone and blowing in the wind, her glasses had been removed. "Mr. Luthor!" She cried again, the fear growing steadily in her eyes.

Lex gave a grunt of acknowledgment and stepped down out onto solid cement. This was one time Lex was not going to get his way, and he felt a spark of fury as his life's lessons passed through his mind. Luthor's always get their way. That's what his father had always lectured, from the time he was no more than a small boy, up until the their last visit. Luthor's do not fail! they always get their way, no matter what!...His father would have laughed at his weakness, which only infuriated Lex more.

He fought blindly against the wind until his fingers brushed against the rough wall. The young woman tried to scream something into his ear, he took her elbow firmly and dragged her into the building. The door closed loudly, the noise echoing in the stairwell but the ensuing silence was soothing to his ringing ears."Now, Miss. Davies. What can I do for you?" Unsurprisingly, his voice came out smooth and steady.

She let out a slow breath of relief and her shoulders seemed to relaxed. She took out her black framed glasses and slipped them on. Ignoring her wet and bedraggled state, she tried for an air of professionalism. "I sorry to bother you , but a Miss. Lang is here to see you. She insisted she knew you personally and wants to see you right away."

The smirk came back full force. So, Lana Lang was here to see him. He hadn't expected her to search him out so soon.

Of course there were many things about Lana he hadn't expected. He could have easily claimed that Lana was a young women like any other, except, there was a part of her hidden deep within her-that longed for something darker, and far more exciting than her perfect cheerleader life could ever offer.

He had to admit, If it hadn't been for the Nichodemis flower he might have not been able to describe her in such a way. He also had to admit, when she had smeared whipped cream across his lips, when her fingers had grazed his ear, when she had whispered how she wanted him to teach her:; he had felt it, a sharp, almost painful sting of arousal.

Lex nodded slowly, his confidence having fully found it's way back to him. He shoved his hands in pockets as he replied."Show her into my office and tell her I will be with her shortly."

Lana sat quietly, her heart doing nervous flutters every time she wondered what she was doing in Metropolis. In a Luthorcorp building. At Lex's place of work.

She hadn't planned to, really. She had come to Metropolis for a riding competition and Nell had gone out with some old friends, leaving her alone at their hotel. She had laid on the queen-size bed, clicking channels randomly on the TV until her mind had wandered to the one memory she had been trying to avoid. That evening with Lex at the Talon.

Next thing she knew, she was in a taxi and heading for the LuthorCorp offices in the middle of the city. She didn't know what she'd been thinking because it had already crept past seven-thirty at night, and no sane man would be at work at such an hour. Yet something in her gut told her he'd be there.

Lana smiled at the thought of how flustered and annoyed Lex's secretary had been to see her at this late hour, but had still consented to notify him of Lana's presence in his office. As she waited anxiously for the women's return, Lana's mind returned (for what seemed to be the hundredth time) to the memory of that evening with Lex.

It had been a long day at the Talon and Lana had been closing up the coffee shop by herself. Lex had come in late to go over the sales figures and had sat down to enjoy a quick cappuccino or darker - she never got his order correct - before heading back to the castle. Somehow, although for the life of her Lana couldn't remember how, they had started an actual conversation. One that didn't involve numbers, nor Nell, Clark, or Whitney for that matter. Admittedly, Lana was enjoying it so much at the time, that she had actually slowed the cleaning process so she could prolong their conversation.

Then Lex finally brought up the dreaded Clark/Whitney topic and he started interrogating her about her relationship with Whitney.

"Why do you stay with Whitney? He's not even around anymore."

Lana's hand froze on the counter."Yes but we're committed to making it work." She answered quickly, keeping her eyes down.

"You know Lana..." He grinned at her before he blew on his hot drink."There are other guys in this town who are available now-"

"That again?" Lana blurted out before she could stop herself."Give it up Lex."

Lex's lips only widened."Do you not appreciate my advice Lana?"

Lana felt her cheeks warm."Not at all...boss."

"The shop's closed." He answered smoothly."And even if it wasn't, we share in a partnership Lana."

Lana only shook her head and started stacking dishes. For a long moment there was nothing more than the clanking of the cutlery, and Lana's footsteps on the floor. Lex watched her, his eyes had lost their amusement and had been replaced with an intense stare as they followed her movements. Lana tried to ignore him as she worked even faster at her task."You never answered my question, Lana." Came Lex's voice. She jumped, startled.

"A..about what?" She stammered, unable to look him in the eye. All these questions, with his unblinking stare, were making her uneasy.

"Why do you stay with Whitney?"

Lana blinked in shock at the audacity of his question. Her eyes fell back to the floor. Truth be told, Lana was with Whitney purely because that was what had been expected of her. Sure it had been exciting at first, experiencing all the new things that came with being with the opposite sex. But after a while it became boring, and she had for the most part lost her interest. She never had the desire to go past hand holding or closed mouthed kisses. She never knew why or bothered to question it. She did care for Whitney, and that had always been enough. At least until Clark had come along... "Because I care for him." She answered softly.

"That's all?"

Her head snapped up, her eyes wide with confusion."What do you mean?"

"I don't doubt you care for him but do you ever feel the need to be with him? In other words, do you miss him enough that you wish he would come back?"

Lana's tongue froze. Finally, she spluttered out."I miss him."

"Have you ever felt passion for Whitney?" He asked bluntly. There was a slight edge to his voice that she didn't quite understand. Before she could answer, he stood up. The fragile chair grinding against the slick floor.

Lana instantly took a step back. "Of course I have."

"Don't lie." And he came swiftly around the counter. "You've never felt passion for Whitney, you've never felt passion at all." He stopped a foot from her and Lana had to fight the urge back up. She suddenly felt uneasy without the safely of the counter separating them.

"You're wrong." Was all she could say, because in reality he spoke the truth.

"Am I." He asked, even though it wasn't a question.

Lana felt her heart do flip flops and she shook her head."Lex, please...you're my bos-"

"Does this make you uncomfortable, Lana?" He asked, a smirk turning his lips.

Lana gulped."No, I-yes. I don't understand why you're asking me this." She shoved some hair behind her ears."Is this about Clark?" Then she shook her head and said. "Forget it, I'm done here. I'm going home." Lex's eyes narrowed and he came forward, catching her arm as she reached for the jelly doughnut she had been planning on taking home for a snack. His grip was firm enough to hold onto her when she tried to pull back. Lana couldn't look at him. Her eyes strayed to his fingers on her wrist. Long, elegant fingers that felt like they were burning her skin."Do you think I'd feel passion with Clark?"


And Lana suddenly felt like crying."Then why are you...?" She took a sharp breath to hold back her tears. "Do you think...think that I can't? I mean that I'm..."

"Lana." Her name was spoken sharply and her eyes flew up to meet his."Shut up." She barely had time to react before he closed the space between them and pressed his lips against hers. For a second, it seemed like her heart stopped. She held herself stiffly for a moment in shock before the pleasant feeling of his lips moving on hers caused tingles to course through her body.

As quick as it had started it was over. Lex pulled back, his eyes blazing. Lana stared back at him for not more than a second before she did the one thing she never thought possible. She grabbed onto him and pulled his mouth back to hers. It was so unexpected that Lex lost his footing and they went toppling back.

Lana fumbled for the counter top ledge before hauling herself up to sit on top of it. Her legs parted to wrap around Lex's waist as he stepped between them, his hands grasping her shoulders to steady her. His left hand strayed to her leg, his palm running up her thigh, causing scorching heat to burn her skin through the fabric.

His hand continued to travel upwards. His touch both soothing and inflaming at the same time. Lana felt an electric jolt when he hesitated at her hips. Instead of doing what Lana expected, his hand crept up and under her shirt. The featherlight caress of his fingers on her abdomen was almost a tickle. His hand slid over the lacy underside of her bra, fingers brushing her exposed cleavage. She tensed, just slightly. Enough so that Lex seemed to realize what he was doing and who he was doing it with.

Then again, Lex always seemed to know what he was doing, so maybe he just didn't want to force her into doing anything she didn't want to do.

Lana closed her eyes, feeling a little adrift. Her body was clamoring for more, and her own brazen behavior had shocked her, making it difficult to think. Lex gently extricated himself from her embrace and stepped back, calmly adjusting his jacket. He smiled softly, with kiss-swollen lips, at her bewildered expression before turning and slipping out the back door.

Two weeks had passed since that night, two. And Lana hadn't been able to push it out of her mind. No matter how hard she tried. It should have helped that Lex had been called away to Metropolis, a couple days after it happened. She had only talked to him once, and it been quick and about the prices of their cappuccinos. Of course, the whole time Lana had been staring at her feet but from what she could tell by the tone of his voice. It had been nothing but professional, well...except for abandonment of any warmth he usually spoke to her with.

Somehow, even though that bothered her. She seemed to understand and accept it. It had been a mistake. His or hers, both of theirs? She wasn't sure. So why was she here in the waiting room for Lexcorp? Again, she wasn't sure. She sure didn't know what to expect from Lex when he saw her either. She was well aware that Lex might even refuse to see her. Part of her hoped he would.

"Miss Lang." Lana was brought out of her thoughts by the smartly dressed secretary from earlier with her hair undone and soaking wet. She looked like she had just gone outside in the stormy weather. Lana tried to smile politely but stopped when the women gave her a weary look. "You may wait in his office, he will be down shortly." She immediately started for Lex's office, not turning to see if Lana was following her.

Inside the office, Lana sat in one of the expensive-looking leather chairs in total discomfort. The office was formal and decorated tastefully with two large windows overlooking the city. Lana nervously drummed her fingers on the arm of the chair before catching herself and clasping her hands together in her lap. Finally, she got up and wandered over to the windows. Outside the wind was blowing a gale, even through the thick glass she could hear the steady howling, and the rain beat against the windows.

The lights of the city beyond the window were blurred by the water that streamed in small rivers down the glass and Lana ran her fingers over it. Her fingers drawing four straight lines.

"Waiting long?"

Lana immediately backed away from the window as her heart jumped into her throat."No, no." She answered quickly. She walked swiftly back to her chair but didn't sit.

Lex continued to stand in front of her. His appearance as rumpled as his assistant's. He was soaked to the bone, with water dripping off his skin and clothing into the oriental rug on the floor in front of his desk. He took no notice of this and stripped off his jacket, circling around Lana to his desk.

He sat down, the leather making a squeaking sound as his wet-clothed body slid against it. Lana only stared at him with wide eyes. He gave her a half-smile and leaned back in his chair. Lana couldn't help but notice that the white shirt he wore had become see through from the water, and she could clearly see his chest. Lana felt her heart jump and she bit her lower lip.

"So Lana..." He smirked, making her wonder if he had seen her "check him out".'What brings you to my office at such an...unusual hour."

"Well..." She paused."I just wanted to clear a few things up, about the Talon..." She sat down hurriedly, her words trailing off.

He raised his eyebrow skeptically."There's something wrong with the Talon? Why didn't you just call and leave a message?"

"I mean... I just thought I'm here, you're here... right? I'm in town for a-"

"Riding competition."

"Um...yes. How did you know that?"

"Well, I know we have one here every year and I know that you've entered and won the event in the last couple of years. So naturally I figured you'd find a way to go this year...Talon or not." He leaned forward on his desk. "So tell me, what are your real reasons for coming here? To my office." He clarified.

"Who says there's other reasons?" She snapped back.

Lana shrank back when his eyes narrowed and darkened. "Fine then," he said sharply. 'What is the problem with the Talon? It's getting late and I do have more important things to worry about right now." She was on her feet in less than a second. She turned her face away as the heat rose to her cheeks."Why don't you just admit the real reasons why you're here? He continued, impatiently. "You were the last person I expected to to play games."

"...You're the one playing games Lex. As if you don't know what this is about."

"Then set it straight."

"Fine." She took a deep breath, and muttered out quickly. "It was a mistake, and I want things back to the way they were." It was silent behind her."Okay?" She whispered.

She heard him stand."You, Lana Lang, are a liar and a coward."

Lana felt a sharp sting at his words."I am not."

"That's not really what you want."

She turned back to face him but her eyes moved past him to stare out the window. "Yes it is Lex. This is stupid and we both know it. I just want to be able to come back to work when you return and not feel like I have to.."

"Hide?" He finished, his voice cold.


"You know Lana..." He started, wiping the water dripping down his face. "Do you remember long ago, when I said you were more interesting than some girl who goes out with the quarterback?"

Now Lana stared at him, her face twisted of confusion."Yes, I think so. It was in the stable, the first...official time I met you."

He nodded."Perhaps I was wrong." He turned away from her. "There's nothing more to discuss."

Lana stared at his back a moment and held her ground, fighting the urge to run from the room. "No." Lex's only reaction was the slight tightening of his jaw. "There is more to discuss. If I'm your partner as you put it that night, then you shouldn't be dismissing me so easily."

He laughed coldly, causing Lana's blood to turn to ice. "You really think that is of any importance right this moment? My father is blind and counting on me to make sure our business doesn't fall behind the competition. Do you really think I have time to worry about something so trivial as an insignificant little coffee shop in Smallville?"

Then why did you agree to see me?" She countered, and she could feel the tears starting to form beneath her lashes.

"Stop sulking, Lana. You're acting like a petulant child. I told you I don't have time for this now. Are we finished here?" He said, directing a pointed look towards the door

"No!" She cried back, scrubbing her eyes with the back of her hand. "You're not making any sense, Lex. This isn't making any sense! I don't understand what you-" she broke off as she noticed her hand gripping Lex's sleeve. How had that happened?

"Don't pretend." The words coming from the back of this throat, low and no longer soft and no longer Lex. He was staring at her fingers, still clasping his wet shirt. Lana forced herself to let go before backing away quickly. Her face flaming red, her reversed movement stopping when the backs of her knees bumped against the chair she'd occupied earlier.

"Lex." She pleaded with him, as Lex stood still behind his desk, his expression schooled into a mask of calm indifference."This isn't..." She tried again, "This isn't..." she broke off again.

She froze as he stalked up to her, toe to toe with her, getting in her face."Isn't what?" his voice a challenge in itself.

Lana squirmed away."Fair..." She finished lamely.

"Then tell me what you want." He told her coldly.

"I want to forget everything!"

Don't lie to me!" He spat at her. "Just tell me what you want." He told her slowly, his eyes boring into hers. His piercing expression making her feel naked and exposed.

"I told you already." She shook her head, trying to shake his gaze.

"Get out." Lana mouth gaped in shock. "Leave now." He repeated.

"I..." and Lana lowered her head in defeat."Fine..."

"Oh and Lana?" She slowly lifted her head and turned back to look at him. He leaned forward and whispered a warning into her ear."Don't ever lie to me again. I don't fraternize with liars."

Lana whirled around abruptly. Confused, and more than a little humiliated, she hurried to the door. She needed to get away-from Lex and the whole situation. Her fingers had just closed around the handle, when she heard his footsteps behind her. She had no time to react before his hands were on her shoulders, yanking her around to face him. She gasped as he forcefully drove his lips against hers. She instantly tried to shove him back.

He seemed to take that as a challenge because he gripped her arms firmly, pressing her back against the door. In a matter of seconds, her hands had gone from trying to push him away, to clutching tightly onto his wet shirt. She moaned against his lips, when he pulled away and stepped back.

"I think you should leave now, Miss Lang." He said, his breathing was ragged, and his eyes shifted, avoiding her gaze.

Lana stood there, dumbfounded. She couldn't for the life of her understand what had just happened. He'd just been preaching about what a coward she was and he...he... The longer she stood there, with Lex clearly waiting for her to leave, the more confused she became. She finally looked over at Lex, who had his hands shoved in his pockets with a solemn expression on his face. "You say I'm a coward." She asked him softly."...What about you?"

He turned back to her, his surprise showing clearly in his eyes. It was gone as quick as it came. The look in her own eyes drew him in until he stood inches from her. His breathing heavy as Lana stepped forward to meet him. As he dragged her up against him, she ignored the fact that water seeping into her own clothes, and clung tighter to him, her fingers digging into the back of his neck.

Lex made an incoherent sound and shuddered against her. His fingers slid through her hair and down over one cheek, as his other hand slid slowly under her shirt. Surprising herself, she didn't flinch this time. Allowed his fingers to glide up her stomach, and curl against the underside of one breast. Lightly at first, and then with more daring. Lana gasped as an intense heat flowed through her.

"Don't stop." She cried when his lips left hers, marking a path down her throat. "Just don't stop." She whimpered. He muttered something unintelligible and bit into her neck. Eyes closed, Lana arched into him.

Lex raised his head to level with hers, until their eyes met. "What do you want?" He asked again.

She didn't hesitate to answer."This...you...now."

Lex smirked with satisfaction."Good." He stepped back. "Good." He repeated. He left her standing there as he went to his desk. Lana stared at his back, dazed. For the second time he'd stopped, without her even telling him too.


He ignored her and leaned down and buzzed his speaker. "Miss. Davies? I'm leaving now, please close up."

"Yes, ." He let go of the button and walked to the closet. He pulled out a waterproof jacket and slipped it on. Lana raised her eyebrows but said nothing. "Come on." He said, shutting the closet door."Let's get out of here."

He walked over to her as Lana nodded."What about Nell?"

"Phones here." He said it in a way, that made Lana think he was aware that Nell didn't know where she was.

"Never mind." She answered quickly.

He gave her a half-smile and opened the door. He waited for her to step out, before closing the door behind them.