Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, except Lacey Steeves. All rights go to DC Comics.
It took me a while to realize that Lex Luthor was a very bad man. I had worked for him for several years, but I hadn't picked up on his sociopath tendencies. Sure, he would scowl when I brought him the wrong coffee, or yell at me when I knocked things over on his desk, but that's normal boss stuff.
He always had Mercy Graves by his side. I always knew there was something off about her. She looked too strong, too steely. And she never laughed; I maybe saw her smile…once.
But, it was that one moment that opened my eyes. And now I can't turn back.
"Lacey, do you have my spreadsheet for the meeting this morning?" Mr. Luthor asked in his usual pleasant tone. He was sitting at his desk going over some files for Lexcorp.
"Yes, I do sir," I replied. I took the spreadsheet out of the front pocket of my briefcase and handed it to him. He smiled thanks and continued with his work. "Sir, would you like another cup of coffee?"
"That would be lovely, thank you," he said, not looking up from his files. He looked a little on edge, but he always did looking at these new files. A while ago he made a deal with "The Reach". I never liked them. They seemed very shady to me, like they'd pull out of a business deal. And now, whenever he looked over his Reach files, he'd either be smiling like a madman or be pounding his clenched fists against the table.
As I walked out of the office, Mercy walked in. She was dressed in her usual dark business jacket, red tie, and annoyingly short skirt. But her light brown hair was a mess today, as if she slept in her clothes, jumped out of bed and literally ran straight to work.
"Good morning," I said politely.
She whizzed past me without a single word. She wasn't the kindest person on Earth, but she wasn't usually this rude.
"Okay, then," I huffed under my breath.
I closed the door behind me, as protocol, and started to walk to the kitchen.
Oh, shoot. I forgot to ask him how much cream he wanted, I thought, back tracking. Mr. Luthor was very predictable about everything but his coffee. Sometimes he wanted it light, sometimes dark, without sugar, with sugar…it was very confusing for a girl.
I knocked on the door to his office, waiting to be summoned in. But no one responded.
I opened the door slightly.
"Mr. Luthor?" I called, but I became silent upon hearing a voice in the room that didn't belong to Mercy or Lex.
It was very calming, reassuring.
"How is the progress, Mr. Luthor?" the voice asked.
"It is coming along…very nicely," Luthor replied. "I suspect we only have a matter of months now."
"Total domination," the voice said. His tone changed from soothing to harsh, like a nail scratching along metal. It became clear to me that his voice was distant, he wasn't in the room, perhaps on the computer.
"Usually I would disagree with something like this, but if it has to do with bringing the despicable Justice League down, I'm all for it," Lex said maliciously.
The Justice League? Is that what this is about? I thought.
"This is bigger than a stupid ban of misfit aliens, this is total power…" the voice unwittingly answered my question.
My heart started racing. Whatever Mr. Luthor was doing it was totally illegal.
"Well I have to go now, my assistant should be coming back soon," Luthor said. The voice didn't respond. It was gone.
I closed the door gently. My hand was disgustingly clammy. I stepped back a few steps from the door, walked back up to the door, and knocked.
God, please let him not realize I was here.
"Come in," Luthor beckoned.
I opened the door, and came in with an exasperated look on my face.
"Mr. Luthor, I ruined your cup of coffee completely! First, I forgot to ask whether or not you wanted cream or sugar. And then, after I made it, the top to the creamer fell off and a whole vat of cream fell into the coffee! So, now it's completely ruined, Sir," I lied. He just stared at me with his still green eyes. It seemed like a moment passed, before he burst into laughter. By the time he laughed, my heart was pounding at the speed of light.
"It's okay Lacey, my meeting is starting soon anyways. They should have coffee and breakfast there, so it isn't necessary," he assured me. Mercy was glaring at me. Did she see through my faulty story? Or did she just not like me? Probably both.
"Alright, thank you, Sir. Is there anything else you need?" I offered.
"No, not a thing. But Lacey, on your way out, make sure you close the door…tightly this time," he said coldly. I wasn't sure if that was a hit against me. Whatever it was, it made the back of my throat close.
"Yes, sir," I croaked, before scuffling out of his office. Chills ran down my spine. The further away I got from his office, the more I realized he knew.