Part 6

Lex stood staring at his closet, wondering what to wear.

He had not seen Clark for since the Friday night, when he had been persuaded to attend dinner at the Kent Farmhouse. Clark had always been a somewhat calming influence on Lex, soothing his more extreme emotions (apart from his libido). So it was rare that he did not at least speak to Clark more or less every day now. But he was Lex Luthor, he felt embarrassed enough that he was nervous about the meal without ringing Clark to ask him what he should wear!

Lex took a deep breath, and exhaled slowly, trying to clear his head.

It was only a meal with his best friend's parents – ok, so Clark's father had always hated him with a fiery passion and this somewhat abrupt turnaround made Lex want to go looking under beds for the pod this Jonathon came in, but still. A meal with a friend. Lex could handle that.

He could probably handle it a lot better if the friend wasn't Clark: the boy with whom he had fallen so quickly and unexplainably, unequivocally in love.

What he needed was an outfit that was too smart as to seem snobbish and intimidating, but not too casual as to seem like he did not respect the family enough to dress for dinner. Also, nothing too expensive – Jonathon may be (according to Clark) at least warming to the idea of Lex as Clark's friend, but Lex's wealth would most certainly remain a point of contention.

In spite of all this, Lex still wanted to look his best…to look…sexy. Lex would take any chance he could with Clark, and that meant, first of all, finding out how Clark felt about him.

In the end he pulled out a pair of soft, comfortable slacks, tailored perfectly to his legs, and emphasising the roundness of his perfect ass. He teamed these with a form-fitting turtleneck sweater in a pale azure-blue – exactly the same shade as his eyes.

His one concession to expense was his shoes, and he slipped on his favourite French suede and picked up his leather jacket, before leaving the room.

Upon descending the stairs, he walked down to his office to pick up the keys to his Mercedes – one of his less ostentatious cars, and to collect the roses he requested be picked from his mother's rose garden. Stuffing the keys in his jacket pocket, he carefully picked up the beautifully arranged flowers and left the mansion, getting into the car all ready and waiting for him outside the front door.

Lex had driven slowly and carefully up the driveway, striving to make a good impression. Upon leaving the car, Lex straightened up and brushed down his trousers, taking a moment to ensure he looked presentable, before walking around to the passenger side and picking up the bouquet. Cradling the roses in one arm, Lex rapped precisely on the front door. Lex was unable to stop a slight smile from appearing when he heard Clark cry 'Lex!', followed by the thumping of large feet lolloping to open the door.

Clark flung the door open with a beaming smile, which froze on his face at the sight before him. Clark was in love with his best friend, so he acknowledged the fact that he found him attractive, but until that moment, Clark would never had considered associating Lex with the word 'beautiful'. But the sweater emphasised not only the perfection and hidden strength of Lex's body, but also the magnificence of his eyes. Clark watched Lex's eyes crinkle as he smiled at his best friend, waking him out of his momentary reverie with his greeting.

Blinking, Clark blushed as he realised he had been staring, and started to babble and tease in an attempt to hide his embarrassment, as he stepped aside to let Lex in.

"Hi Lex! I'm so glad you came! Oh Roses! Are those for me? You shouldn't have!"

Walking into the farmhouse, Lex flung a wry grin at his friend's teasing. However, looking down at the flowers, he counted (oddly enough) 7 roses. So, he deftly manoeuvred one out of the bouquet and brandished it at Clark: "Here you go kind sir, as a small token of gratitude for your hospitality."

It was during that moment that the elder Kent's walked in.

Embarrassed at being caught doing something as sentimental, Lex quickly turned to Martha and held out the roses. "These are for you Mrs Kent. Thank you for inviting me into your home."

Martha smiled softly at her son's friend. "Thank you Lex, they're beautiful. Yellow roses, quite fitting I guess. And it's Martha."

Lex next turned to Jonathon, who held out his hand. "Evening Lex."

Accepting the hand before him, Lex replied; "Thank you for inviting me Mr Kent."

Martha spoke before an awkward pause could develop. "These really are beautiful roses Lex, and yellow ones too, quite fitting. I'll just go put them in some water and then we can start dinner."

The three men followed Martha into the kitchen and the two Kent men sat at the table, Lex unsure where exactly to sit.

Clark could see the wheels turning in Lex's mind, and tugged him towards the seat beside Clark as he asked, "Why are yellow roses fitting?"

Martha smiled at her son as she ran her fingers over the flowers, arranging them carefully. "Yellow roses are a symbol of friendship Clark."

"Yes Mrs- Martha, I chose them for that very reason. In spite of everything, I know I have Clark's friendship. However, I would much like to be considered a friend to the entire Kent family. I have the utmost respect for yourself and Mr Kent, and would much like one day to be classed as a friend."

Clark could see how embarrassed Lex was at this show of sentimentality, and dearly wished he could take his hand, or embrace him. But without revealing his true feelings – to Lex and to his parents, Clark could do neither. So he sat beside his best friend, and stoked his fingers gently of the soft petals of a rose he knew he would never throw away.

However, Martha had no such compunction, and walked over to Lex (who was still standing) and wrapped her arms around him. "You already are Lex. You have shown yourself to be a true friend to our son, and I trust Clark's judgement. You are welcome here any time."

Clark watched Lex stiffen at the initial touch, before relaxing into the embrace. Somewhat envious of the fact that his mother could show emotion that he could not, Clark nevertheless wanted Lex to have this moment, a mother's embrace is something Lex had not received in far too long. But as soon as they stepped apart, Clark smiled at his mother and said, "Thank you Mom, that means a lot, but can we eat now? I'm, staaaaaaarving!"