Blackmailed Chapter 2


Martha Kent sat at the kitchen table and stared out the window at the beautiful sunny sky. Using the palm of her hand she scrubbed at the tears which seemed to streak down her face of their own accord. She could hear the deep cadence of Jonathon's voice even though he was all the way up in Lex's room. Unfortunately the farmhouse had rather thin walls, and she knew that she would be able to hear almost all that was about to happen. And another set of tears rolled down her face at that thought.

Just a few minutes before, Jonathon had sent Lex up to his room to wait for his punishment. Martha had been heartsick watching him go and knowing what awaited him. But she knew that today's reprimand would be about the fact that Lex didn't come to them when he found himself in trouble. If he had, they could have helped him find a solution long before it had gotten out of hand.

Trust was a touchy issue with Lex, and while she knew that he could trust them with anything, she wondered if he knew that yet. He was so afraid of being cast out of their life, that he continued to make bad decisions about important things. Like drinking and driving which had been the main attraction of the ferocious spanking Jon had given him just yesterday. She knew that her husband was right in the way he was handling Lex, but that didn't make it any easier.

She put on water for and made a pot of tea just to have something to keep herself busy with as Jonathon continued to lecture Lex. Just as she was sitting down with the cup in her hand, she heard the sound of a knock on the screen door. Puzzled as to who it was, she stood up and walked over and opened the screen.

"James how are you?" she asked, surprised to see Lex's butler at their door. "Please come in."

"I'm sorry Mrs. Kent, I didn't mean to interrupt your day, I just brought Master Lex's car back. Isn't he going back to college tomorrow?"

"Well yes he is, but I don't think Jonathon is going to allow him to take his car. As a matter of fact, he's planning on taking Lex back to school. But please sit down and visit. Jonathon will be down in just a moment or two. He mentioned to me that he wanted to show you the farm the next time you came out."

James smiled and pulled out a chair and sat down. Martha got a teacup for him and poured tea for them both. Just as she handed the cup and saucer to James, she heard the sound of the first swat Jonathon gave to Lex. Her hand shook as she put the cup down. The sounds continued, and Martha was fighting tears. James looked towards the stairway and asked, "Master Lex I presume?"

Martha just nodded.

"If it would be a better time, I could come back later."

Martha tried to get a hold of herself. "No James, now is just fine. Why don't we take our tea and go out on the porch and enjoy the sunshine."

James smiled at his gracious hostess. "Excellent idea Mrs. Kent."

She turned to smile at him as they walked through the living room. "And please just Martha."

As they sat down, the sounds of Lex being punished could still be heard, but they were somewhat muffled. Martha struggled with her emotions. "You know Martha, in England spanking is just what parents do. It's the way children are reared, and with a lad as headstrong as Master Lex…."

Martha smiled "he really is so stubborn."

The smile froze on her face as she could hear the worst of the punishment, and Lex clearly crying out. James put his hand over hers to console her. "The lad will be fine; in fact I think that if Mr. Luthor had taken an interest and a firm hand in the boy years ago, things might have been different. But then Mr. Luthor is not the man that your husband is, and never will be. Master Lex is lucky to have Mr. Kent helping him keep on the right path, even at this late date."

Martha exhaled a sigh of relief as the upstairs bedroom was once again quiet, and she knew that Jonathon was comforting the boy as he always did after the punishment.

James didn't miss the obvious sigh and stared intently at his hostess. "And I might also add, that the lad is lucky to have someone who loves him as much as you do as well I think. It is clear that you dislike his being punished almost as much as he does."

Martha turned to him and smiled. "Well it looks like you've got me there. I adore Lex, and while I know that this was necessary, it still is never easy for me. Usually I go and hide out in the barn until Jonathon is finished."

She blushed slightly as she said this and James chuckled. It wasn't long before they both heard the farmer coming down the stairs. He went first into the kitchen looking for his wife. "Sweetheart where are you?"

She smiled and responded. "I'm out here."

Soon Jonathon opened the screen, stepped onto the porch, and was surprised to find that they had company, but pleased none the less. "James how nice to see you again."

Martha looked imploringly at her husband. "Lex…?" she questioned.

"Is just fine other than the obvious." He looked apologetically towards their guest "I'm sorry if you heard any part of that, I didn't realize that we had company otherwise..."

"Please don't apologize Mr. Kent, knowing that someone is taking such good care of Master Lex has actually lifted my spirits a bit. And truth be told, the young mans attitude has been in need of a serious comeuppance for some time now."

"Please just call me Jonathon, and if you're finished with your cup of tea perhaps you might like to see the farm." James nodded that he would and suddenly Clark came out of the barn.

"Dad I already finished all the chores that you asked me to do, and I cleaned out the loft and I was wondering if Lex…" Clark stopped his run on sentence when he saw that they had company and nodded a hello in his direction.

"Hello again Master Clark, how are you today?" Clark looked first at Jonathon and then in the direction of Lex's room.

"I'm fine sir."

He then turned his attention back towards his father. "So Dad can I go up and talk to Lex now."

Jonathon shook his head no and James didn't fail to notice the disappointment on young Clark's face. "Maybe later son, right now is just not a good time."

Clark looked crestfallen "Okay if you say so."

Jonathon lifted Clark's chin up so that he was looking into his eyes. "I do say so."

Jonathon gave Clark a quick hug, and motioned for James to follow him. "Those two seem to have a rather strong bond. I noticed it yesterday when they were at the mansion. They almost seem like brothers."

Jonathon nodded his head in agreement. "It's just the damnedest thing I've ever seen. We expected Clark to be jealous or resentful when Lex came to stay with us. But if anything he is more protective of Lex than we are."

The farmer gave James a thorough tour of the property, and spent a while talking about the difficulties of farm life. Jonathon found James to be quite astute about farming and just things in general. It actually relieved his mind somewhat that when Lex was at the mansion, this man would be keeping an eye on him both in the future, as well as in the past. As if he knew what the farmer was thinking James turned to him.

"I don't want to alarm you but I need to make sure that you understand a bit about the elder Luthor. It isn't my intention to speak badly of the man, but I feel as if I owe it to Master Lex to make sure that you understand what his father is like. And before you ask anything else, I want you to know that I stay because of the boy. Mr. Luthor is not around much, if at all, and Master Lex needs some consistency in his life."

Jonathon nodded his head in encouragement hoping that the butler would continue. "I have asked myself many times if I think that the man loves his son at all. And I still don't know the answer to that question. He belittles the boy and attempts to humiliate him at every turn. There is never a kind or loving word spoken from father to son, and there never was. I am unsure why he hates his own son so but it is definite that he does." Jonathon shook his head in disbelief that anyone would treat their own child like this.

Looking towards James he could tell that the worst was about to come, and he tried to strengthen himself for it. "And although I have never seen it, I am positive that the lad is abused whenever it pleases Mr. Luthor. And I'm not talking about a well deserved smack-bottom like he just got from you either. Several of the maids have actually witnessed it on more than one occasion."

Jonathon was fairly sure that his blood pressure was rapidly approaching stroke range, and he fought to calm himself as James continued. "The most recent episode involved Mr. Luthor having Master Lex by the neck and banging his head against the wall. I was not a witness, but I do know that the next day the plaster had to be repaired. Often when Mr. Luthor is home the lad is sporting black eyes and split lips, and I'm damn sure it is no coincidence."

"Several of the staff over the years have tried to report it to the authorities, but with Mr. Luthor's connections, the only thing that happens is that they find themselves unemployed with no references and no ability to help the young lad at all then." The farmer took a deep breath fighting to keep his temper down, as what he wanted to do was find that Luthor bastard and pound on his face for a while and see just how he liked it.

"I can see that you are upset, and I want you to know that my intention was not that. You and Martha have so well loved this lad that I wanted you to understand just what his past has been like. And although the abuse hasn't happened recently, if Mr. Luthor finds out about your arrangement, he will try to hurt the boy. He wouldn't be above hurting you, but Master Lex will be his primary target. He will understand that if he manipulates Master Lex, he is back in control. I just want you to be prepared –in case."

"Thank you for that James. I realize that I am not this boy's father, but I love him as if I were, and I do try to protect him as much as I can. Martha and I will watch over him carefully to try and make sure that his father doesn't manipulate him over this – or anything else for that matter."

James nodded his head in agreement. "You are doing the right thing, and once the boy understands about how a real father behaves, he will see his own father for what he is."

Jonathon could not resist adding, "You mean a cruel, hateful, vindictive, sick bastard?"

They both heard the sharp intake of breath at the same time and turned to see Martha- face ashen staring at them both. "Oh my God Jonathon!"

The farmer reached his distressed wife in three strides, and took her into his arms. "How could he deliberately hurt him Jon- what kind of human being doesn't even have any kindness for their own son?"

Jonathon just shook his head wondering the answers to those questions himself. Martha heard Clark calling her name as he walked into the barn. She hurriedly wiped her tears on her sleeve and looked towards both Jonathon and James. "Clark doesn't need to know any of this right now."

Two heads nodded in agreement at her statement. "Hey Mom, I was looking all over for you. Can Pete come over tonight cause his parents have to go to some big charity dinner or something? He just called and asked, and he hasn't been over all week. And Lex has got homework from school that he has to do cause he told me about it. Is that okay?"

Martha smiled at her son and told him that of course it would be all right. He gave her a quick hug before he remembered that they had company and then he blushed. Any other time both of Clarks parents would have smiled at that, but they were simply too worried about Lex this time.

For once Clark didn't seem to pick up on their distress, and he walked out of the barn humming a happy tune. Martha exhaled a sigh of relief upon knowing that at least one of her boys was content. She turned back towards their guest. "Thank you for all that you have done for Lex. We appreciate it more than words can say. And thank you for confirming what we had always thought about Lionel."

She looked towards her husband this time. "All that we can do is to try and get Lex to open up to us about this. Maybe if he talks about it, that will help him to exorcise some of the demons. And as long as he understands just how much we love him…."

Martha stopped as her eyes welled with tears, both for what Lex had suffered at the hands of his father, and for the understanding of why Lex thought himself unlovable.

Jonathon placed a re-assuring hand on his wife's shoulder and squeezed. "Well I really must be getting back to the mansion. If Master Lex isn't going to need his car, shall I take it back then?"

"I think that would be a really good idea James. Will it cause a lot of suspicion if he doesn't take it back to college?"

James smiled at them both "Not if I park it in the far corner of the garage and put the cover on it. No one will even know that it's there."

They agreed that this would be the best plan of action, and the Kent's walked James back out to Lex's car. "Thank you again James for all that you've done for Lex. Please come to dinner some evening we would enjoy having you. And if you ever need us please don't hesitate to call."

Jonathon shook the butler's hand firmly.

"And thank you so much for sending those delicious crab cakes for me too. I have already eaten four of them. That was such a thoughtful thing for you to do." Jonathon and James exchanged an amused smile at Martha's comments and Jonathon couldn't resist teasing her.

"You would never guess by her petite figure that she can almost out eat Clark." He earned himself a smack on the arm for his trouble. James couldn't refuse to give in to the urge to smile broadly as he got into the car. They said their good byes, waved their guest off, and walked arm in arm back to the kitchen.

Once back in the kitchen, Jonathon sat down at the kitchen table and pulled Martha onto his lap, where once again she broke down in tears. "This is just so horrible. How will we be able to help him understand how wrong his father is?"

Jonathon thought about what she had just asked him for a moment. "Well as I see it nothing really has changed. We keep being there for him. When he needs someone to love him, and when he needs a good kick in the pants. Same as before."

She nodded her agreement and relaxed against Jonathon's broad shoulder. They sat that way for a while, and neither one of them heard Clark open the screen door and enter.
"Oh yuck! That is just gross."

Jonathon responded to his son's comments by grabbing his wife and planting a large and noisy kiss on her lips. Clark looked even more disgusted, and taking a soda from the refrigerator he turned towards the door. "That's it I'm outta here, and whatever you do don't do that stuff when Pete gets here." As he walked down the back steps he wasn't surprised to hear both of his parents laughing.


Lex stood at the window looking out at the barn and wondered what Clark was doing now. He absentmindedly rubbed his sore butt, surprised that there was anything left back there. He had just been on the receiving end of his second spanking in as many days. And while yesterdays had been with the belt, and had been something he swore to God he would never do anything to earn again, the one he had just gotten hadn't been any fun either.

And as always he felt ashamed that at his advanced age he was still being put over the farmer's knee. And he hadn't counted on the fact that after yesterday's session with the belt his butt still hadn't recovered. So although the spanking today had not been as hard and had just been with Pop's hand, it didn't take more than a few swats to re-ignite the fire in his behind.

His face burned as brightly as his butt as he thought about all that he had done to earn himself two hard spankings and another one on the schedule for tomorrow. He knew that he had royally fucked up this time. And as much as he didn't want to admit it, he actually felt lucky that this was all happening. He had been sure that when the Kents had found out what he had done that they would have thrown him out of their lives for good.

He continued looking out the window and for the first time noticed his car parked out by the barn. Before he had time to think any more about it, he saw Pop and James walk into the barn. At least he thought it was James, as he had never actually seen him dressed in anything other than a butler's uniform. He wondered with no small amount of embarrassment if he had been here while Pop was busy smacking his butt.

Before he had any time to ponder that further, his thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the door. He opened it to find Mom standing in the hall with a very worried look on her face. "Are you okay sweetheart?"

He tried to be brave but failed miserably and a tear rolled down his face. He found himself being pulled into a warm and forgiving hug.

Mom continued to hold him while he cried again. He couldn't believe what a little girl he was turning into with all the crying and emotions lately. As a Luthor he had always been taught that emotions were a weakness that other could easily exploit. But after the last two days, he indulged himself. And here in this house he felt safe. He knew that unlike Lionel, Mom and Pop would never ridicule or humiliate him for having emotions.

Finally he pulled away and she wiped the tears off of his face. "We love you Lex."

He couldn't resist a smile, and a snide comment. "Yea well Pop certainly has an unusual way of showing it."

She shook her finger in his face, "Young man, you know that you deserved it, all of it and also what's to come."

She said the words, but he could tell that in her heart she felt almost as bad as he did. He sadly nodded his head in agreement, "Yes ma'am." And then as a second thought he asked, "Is James here?"

Martha told him that the butler had stopped by for a visit. "He brought your car back so that you would have it to drive back to school tomorrow."

Lex knew that Pop wasn't about to allow him to use his car, as he had just told him again after he had finished blistering his ass a little while ago. "I guess he will just have to drive it back to the mansion."

"I guess he will." Martha gave him another hug as if to lessen the impact of his punishment. And actually it did- a little. "Are you ready to come down and join us yet?"

Lex shook his head no. "In a little while, I just need some time to think about all of this."

Martha gave him her unwavering look "Okay, just as long as you don't use the time to brood."

Lex smiled at just how well she knew him. "I promise."

Lex stayed at the window rubbing his sore behind and nursing what small shred was left of his pride for the next hour. He looked down to see Mom and Pop walk James back out to his car. The butler climbed behind the wheel of Lex's vehicle and with a smile and a wave drove off. Putting the curtain back into place he, walked back over to the bed stopping long enough to pick up the latest textbook he was studying for school. He stretched out on the bed on his stomach and began to read. With all the trouble he had gotten into lately, the last thing he needed now was for his grades to fall.

He must have fallen asleep, as the next thing that he knew Mom was calling his name. It wasn't easy to maneuver himself into a standing position without ever rolling onto his back, but he did. He couldn't believe how sore his butt still felt. But it did, and with a worry he gave a serious thought to what tomorrows spanking was going to feel like. He wished there was some way out of it, but he knew that he could depend on Pop to always keep his promises. And for some reason there was a lot of comfort in that.

Once again he heard Mom call him, "Lex, phone."

Going down into the kitchen he found her holding the phone away from her body as if it were something toxic. He looked at her with a questioning expression and she told him that it was his father. In his distraction Lex took the phone and sat down hard on the oak chair in the kitchen before he realized just what he was doing. The phone almost hit the floor as he leapt back to his feet with a clearly pained expression on his face.

If the phone call had been anyone else Martha might have paid more attention to Lex's discomfort, but she didn't. He put the phone receiver to his ear and said, "Hello."

"Well son I'm glad that I finally found you. I tried your condo and the Florida condo as well. Being this is a holiday weekend, I thought that maybe you had gone away for a little relaxation. But apparently that wasn't the case."

Even though Lionel seemed to be genuinely concerned, Lex knew better. "But I guess you're more interested in playing house with Martha, Jonathon, and Clark."

Lex felt his hackles rise at his fathers even speaking their names. "What did you want?"

He heard his father chuckle, "Now Lex didn't your pretend mother teach you any manners?"

Lex bit his tongue to keep from saying what he really wanted to say. "Please get to the point Dad."

"Well son since you said please, and I am in a particularly generous mood today, I will. This morning I had a visit from a friend of yours. Well I don't know if you could say a friend actually, it was more like- an enemy. He told me that he had unsuccessfully tried to blackmail you, and he also told me why. I must say you really are a chip off the old block, and nice touch with the girl."

Lex felt sick to his stomach upon hearing this, and thought he might actually throw up.
"The thing that he thought would be of the most interest to me was the saga of your relationship with those salt of the earth Kents."

Lex felt real fear grab him, and he held his breath waiting for Lionel to continue. "But much to his surprise and ultimate dismay, I told him that I was well aware of that situation already."

Lex knew to the core of his being that while Lionel was making this sound like nothing, he would be a fool to believe that his father actually felt that way. "What do you think you're aware of Dad?"

He knew from years of dealing with his manipulative father that the best defense is a good offense.

Again the elder Luthor chuckled, "The whole arrangement Lex- Mommy, Daddy and Little Brother Clark. Running home on weekends and holidays so that you can play happy family with them. It has been a source of constant amusement for me."

Again Lex tried to diffuse the situation in order to keep things safe at the Kent house. "I still don't understand Dad?"

He could actually feel the anger radiating off of his father through the phone line. "Don't play me the fool Alexander; I've known since day one how much time you spend living down on the farm."

Realization dawned on Lex, "You've had me followed for all this time?"

"Followed is such a broad term son, I just like to know who you're spending your time with"

Now Lex found himself in a real panic. "So your little friend really didn't tell me anything that I didn't already know. I could care who you sleep with, and how many one night stands you have. You're a man, an immature man, but a man none the less. And a Luthor to boot – of course you're going to do your share of using women. That's what God put them on this earth for actually."

Lex felt even sicker and did sit down in the chair then, ignoring the pain that action caused and still Lionel continued. "I had the security guard escort your school chum out of the building Lex. And I told him if he ever threatened what belonged to me again that he would find out what a real enemy was."

Lex didn't fail to miss the underlying context of that sentence. "You see son, people always think that blackmail is so simple, but if it's done correctly it's actually quite challenging."

Lex continued to listen, knowing that they were about to get to the real meat of it. "I know that you have some unnatural attachment to the Kents. And I also know that sooner or later your true colors will show, and they will send you packing. Just accept it Lex, it's inevitable, you're a Luthor through and through. They won't want you then Lex, and isn't it a shame how you just can't seem to find a parent to love you – so sad really."

Lex was so engrossed in the conversation that he was unaware of Jonathon coming into the kitchen. He also hadn't noticed that Martha had gone hunting for her husband as soon as the boy had begun talking to his father. Lex wanted with all he had in him to tell his father that he was wrong, but he knew that he wasn't. "When that time comes they will break your fragile little heart Lex. I'll still be here though, because even if you are a huge disappointment and a loser, and you are, blood is still thicker than water."

Lex flinched as if he had been physically struck upon hearing his father tell him yet again that he was a disappointment and a loser. He had heard it said many times over the years but it still stung. "Okay dad, I'll remember that."

He heard Lionel chuckle as he hung up the phone clearly pleased with himself and the way that he had handled his problem son once again. He sat there for a moment just holding the phone and then he felt Jonathon's hand on his shoulder. "What is it son?"

He looked to the man he thought the world of and wanted to weep. "You must have me confused with Clark; he's the one that is your son- not me."

Lex was so preoccupied with his own pain that he didn't see the anguished look that passed between Jonathon and Martha.

"Talk to us Lex please!" This time it was Mom who was begging to be let into his thoughts, but he just shook his head no. He knew, and he supposed that he had always known, that this was just too good to be true. But even given that, he was still surprised that his father didn't feel the least bit threatened about the situation. He just didn't care. Lex knew that it shouldn't have surprised him that Lionel felt that way, but it still did. Just as much as it hurt to know that he wasn't worth loving and never had been.

Jonathon took his hand off of the boy's shoulder and sat down at the table across from him. He reached over and took the telephone receiver out of his hand, and gave it to Martha to hang up. Lex felt him place his hand underneath his trembling chin and lift it up so that they were eye to eye. "Come on now son, don't pull away from us, talk to me and tell me what he said. We can face this together."

Lex shook his head as if to shake off the request. "I'll need my car so that I can just go. It would be better for all of us if I just left before it gets any worse and you actually ask me to leave. We all know that it will happen eventually, I am a Luthor you know. Through and through according to dear old dad. And a loser, let's not forget that part either. You don't really want me here. And if you do now, you won't later."

Martha stepped into the discussion now, and both of the males in the room knew that she was angry. "That is just honest to God bullshit Lex. We love you, and nothing so far has changed that, and nothing to come will either."

Lex just shook his head unwilling to be comforted or convinced. Now he noticed Jonathon looking at him with a resolute look on his face, but he was in too much pain to care. He couldn't figure out why he didn't see it before. It would end exactly as his father had predicted, and he would be heartbroken. As a matter of fact, he also knew that walking out of this relationship would be the hardest thing that he would ever have to do. But do it he must, otherwise it would just be that much harder down the road. "I need James to bring my car back."

He felt tears streak down his face as he said this but seemed unable to make them stop. And he cursed himself for even that. Jonathon stood up and walked over to Lex and put an arm around his shoulder. "Please son for the last time, tell me what he said to you."

Lex knew that it wouldn't do any good and it wouldn't change anything, so in a flat voice he told them both what his father had said. Martha and Jonathon stood looking at each other filled with fury at what an uncaring bastard Lionel Luthor really was. "He doesn't think that our relationship is a threat to him, because he doesn't care. And he knows that I'm just a lost cause."

Lex said it with little emotion, but the truth was that he could feel the hysteria just under the surface struggling to be let out, and he struggled as hard to keep it down. "Lex you are not a lost cause. Do you understand me?"

He could tell that Jonathon was very serious and spoke in a very calm and low voice, but he just shook his head no. He didn't even see Jonathon move, but the next thing that he knew he was pulled out of his chair and pushed so that he was leaning across the table, and felt two scorching swats land on his already well punished behind. He struggled to get up, but the farmer was holding him in this position with a forearm across his lower back. "I will repeat it Lex, you are not a lost cause or a loser or a disappointment. Are we clear on that?"

Even through his pain he knew that he didn't want any more swats, but he just couldn't give Pop the answer that he wanted and shook his head no. The result was instantaneous and hard. Four more swats landed on his aching behind, which was quickly becoming a serious problem. "Again Alexander, you are not a loser. Say it son."

He felt tears rolling down his face but he refused to give into them. He turned and looked at Pop and defiantly told him no. He received four more hard swats as his answer, and felt something in his chest give way.

He reached behind him to try and rub out the stinging feeling of Pop's hand on his behind. It hurt so badly that he just couldn't hold out any more. He laid his face on the table and sobbed. When Lionel struck him he only felt the pain. There was never any emotion associated with it, so it never felt as if Lionel ever really got inside. But Pop knew just how to make him open up, and this was a painful thing for him. He wanted to be good enough to be loved, he just was afraid that he wasn't. But he knew that he didn't have the strength to fight Pop or his hard hand anymore.

Within just a moment he felt Pop lift the restraining arm off of his lower back, and although he was now free to move, he couldn't seem to make himself. He continued to sob as hard as he ever had, just filled with pain and anguish. Through a fog he heard Pop calling his name, and then felt strong arms pull him to a standing position. Then he felt himself being propelled into the living room, and felt the farmer push him down to sit on the couch. Pop then sat down on one side of him, and Mom on the other.

Lex continued to be overcome with his feelings of grief and loss, and it felt as if all the pain inside was spilling out with each great sob. He felt Pop pull him to his chest, and Mom was hugging his back. He didn't know why they both were trying to comfort him, but he was aware that it made the pain less. And yet again his behind felt as if it were on fire from the series of swats Pop had administered, and all the recent spankings. In fact it felt as if every part of him hurt.

"We've got you son, it will be all right." And again he shook his head no because he knew that it would never be all right again, but he continued to hold onto the farmer tightly.

"Enough already Alexander, you can't change the way we feel about you." Hearing this only increased the sobbing. And after what to everyone seemed too long a time Lex finally felt as if he had some control again. For a little while longer Pop continued to rub his back and tell him that everything would be all right which he wanted to believe with all his heart but didn't.

He lifted his head off of Jonathon's chest and said simply "I'm sorry." And the truth was that he meant it with all his heart and would have given anything to be the kind of son that they deserved instead of who he was. Again Pop waved a warning finger in his face and he knew by the look on the farmers face that he was deadly serious.

"You have nothing to be sorry for son. Lex, if you tell me again that you are not my son, I swear I'm gonna sit you down at the kitchen table with a pad of paper and a pen and make you write five hundred times: 'I will not ever again say the words "I am not your son" in the Kent household.'"

Lex still felt miserable but he couldn't resist the obvious. "Well that will never work because I'm not going to ever be able to sit down again."

Jonathon smiled in fact he beamed at the return of Lex's sarcastic sense of humor. "Do you get my point Lex?"

Lex nodded at this knowing that no matter what Lionel had said that Jonathon Kent did have some paternal feelings towards him and if nothing else that eased the ache in his heart. The ache in his behind was a whole different matter however.

"You are not going anywhere Lex. This is your home now and you are a part of our family. I couldn't care less what Lionel Luthor has told you. The man is not worthy of being your father. And while he may pretend to not care I think that that too is a lie."

Martha nodded in agreement to what Jonathon had just said. "He is simply being spiteful and not admitting that it bothers him that we have a relationship. Otherwise why would he have bothered to have you followed in the first place?"

The logic of Mom's statement didn't escape Lex's quick mind as she continued. "He can't understand any of this and so he is simply trying everything he knows to get you to make the choice to just walk away from us."

Again Lex realized that there seemed to be a lot of truth in that statement to. "There have been many times in the last two years that you have gotten your self in deep right Lex? And what always happened? Did we throw you out, scorn you or abuse you because you had made a mistake?"

Lex was again overcome with emotion and simply shook his head no as he didn't trust himself to speak. "No of course we didn't. You did however receive punishments which we hope helped you to see the mistakes you had made and gave you an incentive to not make the same mistakes again."

Lex continued to listen to Pop knowing that he was going somewhere with this line of thinking. "And how did we punish you son?"

'Oh shit', Lex thought, 'He's going to make me say it'. Then he said, "You took away my car and grounded me?"

Jonathon nodded and asked Lex what else. Lex used his usual technique of hiding behind humor and sarcasm. "You know….with the whole ceremonial lighting of a fire on my ass and all that."

Jonathon struggled to not break out in an ear to ear grin and just barely managed to continue looking stern. "Lex…"

"Look could I just retain some shred of my dignity and not actually say it."

Jonathon shook his head no. Feeling even more miserable than before Lex answered the question. "Okay you spank me. When I screw up big enough you spank me and it hurts like holy hell and I always cry like a girl and then you forgive me. And for some strange reason then even though I'm usually standing up at this point I always feel better. I feel like I've paid the price for my sins and that you guys still love me anyway."

Lex felt Jonathon's arm around his shoulder again and Mom reached over and held his hand. He wondered to himself what exactly the deal was with what he had just said. Was he some kind of demented sicko that he actually felt better after Pop had blistered his butt? "You feel better because you have paid the price for your mistakes and we do still love you anyway and we always will."

"And you feel better because you always know just what to expect in this house. There are no surprises here. No days when someone is going to hurt you either emotionally or physically just because they feel like it. Or because they have their own set of issues that have nothing to do with you."

Lex felt something squeeze his chest again because he knew just what Pop was talking about. "Like my father?"

Jonathon suddenly looked grim and Lex realized that the farmer really didn't want to talk about the elder Luthor. "It seems to me that the way he treats you, and hurts you is just a game to him son. I won't tell you to not have feelings about him or your relationship but if you understand that the problem is his it should help you deal with him."

Lex felt his eyes fill with tears as he thought this over. For the entirety of his life he had thought that every problem that he had with his father was due to some failing on his part. If only he could be a better student, leader, son, athlete…fill in the blank. His father always told him that if he could just do things as he was told everything would be perfect. If only Lex could figure out and then do what would make his father happy then it wouldn't be necessary to slap him or knock his head against the wall or whatever Lionel felt like doing at the time to prove his point. He had heard these things so many times over the years that they were ingrained in him. It never occurred to him that maybe the problem wasn't him.

He felt Pop rubbing his neck again and talking to him. "C'mon son talk to me, tell me what you think about this. I'm sorry to have to talk about your father but I don't think I can make you understand that how much we love you until you start to understand why he is the way that he is with you."

Now Mom was leaning in and stroking his face and he saw the tears spilling down her cheeks as well. "I always thought he hurt me because I deserved it. And I always thought that as soon as you saw that side of me that you wouldn't want me here anymore either. In fact maybe you don't now." Lex felt the hysteria bubbling beneath the surface again.

Jonathon lifted his chin so that they were eye to eye again. Lex was surprised to see both tears there as well as fierce determination. "Did you want to go back over to the table again Lex? I told you no more of that kind of talk but if you need a reminder…"

Lex felt the sobs so near the surface and the thought of going back for some additional swats almost made him loose it and he shook his head no.

"Now this may surprise you but we already have a pretty good idea of who you are. And while the future may bring a lot of changes the one thing that will never change is our love for you."

Lex wanted with all he had to hold onto that but he just couldn't. "But I'm still not your real son like Clark is."

He saw the set of Pop's jaw and figured there was definitely a trip back over to the table in his near future. Pop started to say something but Martha silenced him. "Alexander you know that Clark was adopted correct?"

Lex nodded his head in agreement. "Do you think that we would throw him out of our lives if he made a mistake? Do you really think that this is any different? The only difference is that we have had longer with him than with you. We don't expect either of you to be perfect and we are perfectly willing to deal with things when you make mistakes. We love you Lex and we will just continue to try to prove it to you and maybe eventually you will understand."

The fierceness of her statement made Lex feel humbled. He had always been so afraid that this was a situation that would eventually end. The fact that they were as committed to him as they were to Clark just amazed him. He didn't realize that he was sobbing until he felt Pop pulling him into another hug. And for once in his life he didn't fight the feelings that he was experiencing he just let go. He knew that if he had these two parents in his life that standing beside him that he could deal with both his father and his past and whatever was in his future.

They sat on the couch for a while and Lex eventually got himself back together. He was exhausted from the crying and the earlier punishment and the emotions of confessing to someone how Lionel had always abused him. Mom told him to go back up and take a nap before dinner and despite the urge to be defiant it did sound like a good idea. And despite the exhaustion he actually felt so relieved about everything. He felt safe and he couldn't remember when he had last felt that way.

"Listen to Mom and go on up to bed for a little while son. "

Lex stood up and shook his head to indicate that he would because he was becoming more tired by the minute- but he couldn't resist asking one more time. "But all's forgiven right?"

Jonathon also stood up and pulled him into a hug. "You bet for today any way. You and I still have an appointment tomorrow for the 'ceremonial lighting of a fire' and all again."

Lex couldn't stop the curse word that slipped out. He realized that he had really screwed up with this whole thing but he sure was getting tired of having his behind pay the price for his rotten decisions and next time he sure as hell was going to make better choices. He smiled to himself and suddenly understood that maybe that had been the whole point of the process. He kissed Mom and gave Pop one more quick hug and climbed the stairs to his room. Climbing into bed on his stomach he closed his eyes and fell asleep thinking about how this family thing was actually genuine.


Jonathon lay in bed next to his sleeping wife and thought about Lex as he had for most of the long night. He finally decided to just get up and get dressed before he woke Martha with his constant movement. He had spent the night tossing and turning and thinking about the last few days. Lex was going back to school later this afternoon and Jonathon wished that he and Martha had more time with the boy. He was worried that even after all that had happened in the last three days that Lex still didn't understand.

Lex often came home for the weekend or for holidays and the time always flew by and this time was no exception. The circumstances however were completely different. The boy had managed to get himself into some serious trouble. And Jonathon and Martha had spent the better part of three days trying to sort it all out- both with love and discipline.
He looked to his sound asleep and beautiful wife and wished that all of this were easier for her to deal with. She loved Lex as much as if she had given birth to him and when he hurt so did she. And the farmer realized that was true for him as well.

In his capacity as Lex's sort of adopted father there had been times when he needed to be harsh with the boy and the past few days definitely qualified as that. He had already spanked him twice and given him an additional round of hard swats yesterday. Lex had become so upset by Lionel's phone call that he had actually scared Jonathon. And thanks to his father's manipulation he had reverted to his old attitude of "I'm worthless and you don't really love me because I'm a Luthor."

And the worst of it was that last night they had gotten Lex to admit that his father had physically abused him. He and Martha had always known that this was the case but even still hearing Lex say it was like a knife in their hearts. He wanted nothing more than to hunt down Lionel Luthor and let him have the experience of someone beating on him for a while. But he knew that he couldn't help Lex from a jail cell so he fought to get his temper in check about the situation.

They honestly loved this kid and refused to give up on him just because of who his father was. That kind of thinking and the emotional pain that the boy had been in after the call from his father was what had resulted in the extra swats given. He had known that he needed to do something to bring Lex out of it. The depth of his pain had them both worried. While they knew how much he meant to them they must always make sure that he knew it too. Because apparently Lionel Luthor had spent a great amount of time trying to convince Lex that he was unlovable and Lex apparently had believed that.

The farmer dressed much as he always did thinking with unhappiness that he had promised Lex another spanking today. Well at least he could get the chores done before then and maybe if Lex got a good nights rest it might help the situation. He wished that there was some way out of it but he knew that like with Clark he needed to keep his promises even if it was something like punishment.

He quietly left their bedroom and gently closed the door being careful not to wake Martha. He opened the door to Clark's bedroom and just looked at his sleeping son again overcome with the love that he had for him. He then padded down the hall carrying his boots so that everyone else could continue to rest. He thought about going in to check on Lex but he knew that the boy was a light sleeper especially when he was upset and he didn't want to disturb him because he desperately needed to sleep.

He tiptoed into the kitchen and was surprised to see Lex sitting at the kitchen table fully dressed. "What are you doing up son?"

He didn't fail to miss the way Lex's chin quivered when he called him son. That had been a problem for them yesterday. "I couldn't sleep so I thought that I would just get up. How about you, why are you awake?"

Jonathon smiled at Lex and said "Pretty much same reason as you I guess."

Lex looked like he really wanted to say something but then didn't. "Is there something on your mind Lex?"

The boy just nodded as if there was but he still didn't say it and so Jonathon waited knowing that in his own time Lex would come out with it, and he did. "I know that you said that I had one more coming this afternoon, and I wondered if I could just have it now and get it over with."

Jonathon noticed that Lex just said one more, because they both knew exactly what he was talking about. Jonathon paused trying to find a way to express his thoughts about the situation. "I thought it might be better if we waited until this afternoon son, because your behind has had a serious dose the last few days. I thought if we waited, it might not hurt quite as much. While you do still deserve to be punished, I don't want it to be any worse than it has to be."

Lex looked to him with what could almost be called a smile on his face. "Any suffering you're saving my butt is offset by the agony of knowing it's coming and having to wait. If it's all right with you I think that I would just like it now please."

Jonathon couldn't believe either how courageous or stupid this young man was. It was as if he were asking to open his birthday present early instead of getting his butt paddled. But the farmer also knew that Lex's demeanor did not often reflect what was really going on in that brilliant mind of his.

"Are you sure you want it to happen now Lex? I won't go any easier than I would this afternoon. It would be better if you just went back to bed and we dealt with this after while." Jonathon looked to the boy and saw tears in his eyes and he realized that his earlier thoughts were true. While Lex appeared calm and collected on the outside, he was clearly anything but that on the inside.

Jonathon realized that it would probably be better for them both if they just went ahead and did what Lex had asked. He put his hand on the boy's shoulder and gave him an encouraging squeeze. "C'mon let's go out to the barn and just get it done."

Lex nodded his head and stood up and followed the farmer out to the barn, stopping only when they had reached the furthest corner from the house.

Throwing a blanket on a bale of hay Jonathon sat down and looked at Lex who suddenly looked very young. His usual devil may care demeanor was noticeably absent. He saw that Lex was standing a far distance away and he motioned for him to come closer. Lex obeyed but looked like he really didn't want to. But that was something that Jonathon completely understood because he really didn't want to do this anymore than Lex wanted him to.

"This punishment today is for lying to us and sneaking out to meet the blackmailers on your own. You could have been hurt or even killed and we wouldn't have known a thing about it. And then you directly lied to my face when you told me where you were going. Add to that the detail that you and Clark went back to the mansion with the express plan to clean up before you came back here to lie to us some more."

Lex was looking down at the floor and Jonathon knew that he must know just how deep he was in this time.

"And finally the fact that you made up some story about talking Clark into helping you when we were at the mansion in an attempt to keep him out of trouble. Do you have anything to add to all this Lex?" Lex sorrowfully shook his head that he did not.

"Well then that just leaves us with one thing left to do then."

He again looked up at Lex who was standing within reach now. "Pants down this time Lex."

He saw Lex's eyes fill with tears but yet the boy obeyed without question. He grasped Lex's upper arm and guided him over his lap. Jonathon wished that he could explain to the trembling boy the reason for his request. Since he had been on the receiving end of so many spankings in the last three days Jonathon wanted to be sure that he wasn't going to be physically damaging Lex- just warming things up slightly.

He gently lowered the boy's boxers and was pleased to see no evidence of his previous punishments. He felt Lex tremble again and not really wanting to prolong it for the boy he raised his hand and brought it down on the intended target. He swatted first one side and then the other as he always did and he knew that as soon as he started that Lex was crying. But the boy held still and took his punishment.

The farmer continued to administer swats that if he were being honest with himself he knew were not overly hard. But he also knew that Lex had been in this same position several times in the last few days and even with the easier swats his behind still had to be hurting. He forced himself to continue until he got to fifteen and then he gave Lex five stinging smacks that he knew must have hurt like hell on the kid's well punished behind. Lex put his head down and sobbed.

"It's okay buddy that's all. It's all done now. You took that like a champ."

He rubbed the boy's back and just let him cry for a few minutes before easing up his boxers and standing him up. Standing up himself he wrapped the anguished boy in a tight hug. And Lex held on and hugged back until he had stopped crying. Jonathon finally pushed Lex away from him and looked into his face. "Don't you ever lie to me again. I didn't like doing that but I would again, and I will again, the next time. Got it?"

"Yes sir."

Jonathon looked into the boy's face and saw dark circles under his eyes and knew that he was just worn out from all the things that had gone on for the last few days. "Now what I want you to do now is to go back up and go back to bed for a while."

He was surprised to hear Lex tell him no. "After all the action your behind has gotten in the last forty eight hours you really want to tell me no?"

Lex sent a weak smile in his direction. "This is my last day and if it's all right with you I would like to help you with the chores so that we could spend some time and…."

Jonathon smiled when he realized where Lex was going with this. He put his hand on Lex's shoulder and started walking them both towards the house. "That sounds good but first let me get some breakfast into you otherwise Martha will take a strip off of my hide for sure."

Lex looked like he was fighting a smile. "Well that will be nice for a change of pace rather than you taking a strip off of mine."

Jonathon didn't fight the huge smile that came as a result of Lex's comment.

After putting a pillow on Lex's chair the farmer prepared them a simple breakfast of leftover ham and scrambled some eggs. Lex put the coffee on but Jonathon insisted that he have a glass of milk and some juice too. Martha had made some sweet rolls last night and those completed their meal. After they finished and cleaned up the kitchen they went back out to the barn to start the daily chores.

They spent most of the time while working talking about everything that had been going on in Lex's real life away from them. And then they talked for a while about the farm and finally Jonathon hated to do it but he brought up the subject of Lionel Luthor.
"Lex what happens when you go back to the condo and Lionel calls again?"

Lex stopped mucking out the stall and rested his head on the handle of the shovel. "I'll deal with it the best that I can. But I won't let him hurt me anymore he has already done far too much of that. If I try and remember that you guys really do love me it will be easier to just let what he says roll off of my back and stay out of trouble."

Jonathon was proud of Lex's response but still had to continue. "And you know that if you do get into anymore trouble I will be here to keep giving you reminders of what is what."

Lex lifted his head off of the handle of the shovel and grinned. "And we both know just how much I love those reminders."

As if to prove his point Lex reached back and rubbed his still sore behind. Jonathon reached over and patted his shoulder. "Good then maybe you'll save me the trouble and follow the rules for once!"

"What else have you learned from this Lex?"

Lex as usual didn't want to answer and re- hash the whole thing and so he remained quiet. "Lex I need an answer now."

Lex sighed and Jonathon took the shovel away from him and set it down knowing that while this conversation might seem casual it was anything but. And if truth were to be told Lex's answers would tell the farmer just how effectively he had dealt with Lex's bad behavior and if he was done dealing with it.

"I won't ever drink and drive again as long as I live." Jonathon could tell by the way Lex had said that and by the fact that he had suddenly gotten tears in his eyes that he was telling the truth.

"And…."

"And I won't drink either until I'm of legal age. And since I won't be drinking and driving I certainly won't be drinking and driving with any passengers. And I will try and tell you and Mom the truth all the time- no matter how many reminders it gets me."

Jonathon nodded his head thinking so far, so good... "And how about the female gender?"

Lex's face got red and trying to avoid this conversation he fell back on being sarcastic. "Do you mean as a whole or individually?"

Jonathon grabbed his arm and turning him sideways landed a light swat on his behind. "Lex you know just what I mean."

Lex rubbed his once again abused behind and looked at the farmer. "Well since I'm not drinking anymore I won't be picking them up in bars for one."

Jonathon grabbed Lex's arm again and held his hand out as if to swat him again.

"Okay, okay I get it. I'll be much more careful about who I date if I ever get over the humiliation of the whole talk with Mom thing and actually date again."

Lex looked as if he hoped that got him off of the hook but of course Jonathon was not about to leave it at that. "And what will happen if you do start to get involved with a girl son?"

Lex looked horrified to be re-visiting this topic. "Look I got the message from Mom and Clark okay?"

Jonathon shook his head. "No, not okay I told you back at the mansion that we were going to discuss what it means to have a sexual relationship with someone and we are going to discuss it."

Jonathon walked them both back over to the bale of hay where he had earlier punished Lex. He saw Lex's eyes get wide at where they were going. "No Pop please we can talk about it!"

Jonathon squeezed the boys shoulder in a re-assuring gesture. "Relax Lex I just want to sit down and talk with you."

Lex didn't look as if he believed what he had been told but sat down very gently anyway.

"Lex it's natural that you are interested in the opposite sex. Hormones at your age play a big role in your life. Hell if I were being honest I would have to admit that hormones are always going to be a factor in your life. But you have to understand that sex should be about more than just hormones. It should be about the feelings that two people share and their desire to express their affection for each other. An intimate relationship with someone that you love and who loves you can be the most gratifying experience in the world. You can't have that experience by just picking up a stranger in a bar."

Jonathon looked to Lex and noticed that he had his head in his hands again. "Look I know that it isn't ever comfortable to talk about things like sex, but I want you to know that you can always come to me and I will do my best to help you. Understand?"

Lex nodded his understanding. "Good now lets talk about protection."

Lex actually groaned out loud at this statement. "Pop please I know about that and just because I was drunk and didn't use a condom one time doesn't mean I would ever do that again. I had sex education in high school I know all that stuff and I promise not to ever be that stupid again. The last thing in the world that I want is to get someone pregnant."

Jonathon let that issue rest for the time being but made himself a promise to address it again later on when Lex resumed dating. They sat quietly side by side for a few minutes with Lex trying to overcome his embarrassment about the topic of their discussion.

"Could I ask you something then Pop?"

Jonathon told him that of course he could. "How will I know if I'm in love or it's just an attraction?"

The farmer chuckled at his sweet question. "You will just know son with every fiber in your being. When I met your Mom for the first time it felt as if the missing piece of me just snapped into place. I knew that I never wanted to spend a day without her and I haven't."

Lex smiled and looked as if he knew that he would never find that kind of love but Jonathon knew better. Underneath all the hurt and pain Lex was a kind and loving person and some girl some day was going to be very lucky to get him. "Could I ask you something else?"

Jonathon again nodded that he could. "When I start dating again would it be okay if I brought someone here to meet you and Mom and Clark?"

Jonathon fought his own tears at this request. "Lex this is your home and we are your family, I fully expect you to bring girls home to meet us. And when you do fall in love she will become a part of our family as well. And when the two of you become parents, that child will be our grandchild as much as Clark's children will."

Lex smiled broadly at Pop's portrayal of the future. "Well if I actually listened to your earlier advice about protection there won't be any children."

The farmer laughed at Lex and his sharp sense of humor. "There will be, wise guy when you and the love of your life are ready for them- God willing."

Jonathon got quiet as he thought about he and Martha's struggle to have a child and all the hardships that they had endured. And then Clark had come into their lives and everything had changed. And then Lex had come into their lives and again everything had changed. Jonathon felt so lucky to have both of these fine young men to call him Dad.

He looked over at Lex who was no longer smiling and if he didn't know better he would have thought that the boy was going to cry. "Lex?"

He turned his face toward Jonathon and there were tears in is eyes. "I'll be a terrible father just like Lionel is."

Jonathon went from feeling emotional to just being angry. "That is ridiculous Lex you will be a great father. You are damn smart and funny and kind and your son will be lucky to have you."

Lex just shook his head to indicate that he didn't believe that. "Do you remember what happened here this morning?"

Lex's eyes widened not sure where Pop was going with this line of thinking. "Well that attitude of being down on your self could very easily land you back in that same position again. Understand me son?"

Lex looked like he had known that was coming. "Yes sir and one thing for sure when I do become a dad I'm not spanking my kids ever."

Jonathon laughed out loud at this comment and looked over to a now smiling Lex. "You will if they are as stubborn and hard headed as you are. Although stubborn isn't necessarily a bad quality either."

He threw his arm around Lex's shoulders and gave him a small hug. "So do you have any more questions or things we need to discuss involving sex?"

Lex looked mortified again. "No I think you've covered it all."

Clark interrupted their discussion by yelling into the barn that Mom had lunch ready. They both stood up at the same time and Lex looked towards the farmer. "Is everything all right then, I mean is that all?"

Jonathon thought about the question long and hard. "We forgive you Lex and you have been punished for everything that you did. The only other thing is that you will not be allowed to drive your car for the rest of the semester. And that punishment is because you got behind the wheel drunk."

Lex didn't look too happy with this answer. "But I thought that the first time you know… was for that."

Jonathon chuckled to himself about the fact that the boy wouldn't say the word spanking. "Yes it was, and along with that came not being able to drive your car for a while. After a month without it you will appreciate it and being able to drive much more."

Lex looked down at the ground. "There is no way I am going to talk you out of this is there?"

Jonathon nodded his head "No there isn't – unless you want to exchange being grounded from driving for a few more spankings."

Lex looked at him as if he had lost his mind. "No thanks I'll just learn to get by without a car for a while."

Jonathon clapped him on the shoulder. "I thought so."

They walked together into the house and Lex was touched to see all of his favorite foods on the kitchen table. Martha walked over to the boy and wrapped him in a hug, which of course brought tears to his eyes again which he tried to hide because he knew that Clark was watching.

"Is everything all right now with you and Dad?"

Lex shook his head yes and told her that all of his punishment was done now. She got him in an even tighter hug and told him that she loved him. Jonathon was watching the two of them with tears in his own eyes. He looked towards Clark who he could see was having a difficult time waiting to start eating lunch and he smiled.

"C'mon you two lets eat- poor Clark is starving it's been at least two hours since breakfast." Clark rolled his eyes at his father's attempt at humor.

They all sat down and as soon as they started eating the telephone rang. Martha got up and answered it and had a short conversation, which consisted mainly of her agreeing with the person on the phone. She sat back down at the table with a cat that ate the canary expression and looked at Clark and then Jonathon and nodded. Lex was intrigued by her behavior but he remained quiet and continued to eat.

Clark began to squirm in his chair as if he were five instead of a teen. "Dad let me tell him please…"

He was begging Jonathon and when he didn't respond turned to his mother. "Mom let me tell him okay?"

He gave her the sad look that she never seemed to be able to resist and when she hesitated he began to beg her. "Oh please let me tell him."

Martha looked to her husband who was having a hard time not laughing at Clark's antics.

"I don't know Clark maybe we should just wait." Jonathon managed to deliver that line with a straight face but Martha knew that Clark was close to jumping up and down with sheer excitement.

"Jon, just let him do it for heavens sake the boy is going to get indigestion from all the bouncing he's doing."

Jonathon couldn't help it and he did laugh then. "Go ahead Clark."

Lex turned to look at Clark wondering what exactly was going on. "Dad borrowed James car which isn't a truck."

Lex didn't understand what the hell Clark was talking about. "What?"

Clark smiled broadly. "If it isn't a truck then we all can ride in it when Dad takes you home. And Mom says we can even go to the Chinese restaurant around the corner that she likes so much for dinner."

Lex was so pleased at this news that for a moment he didn't say anything and Clark misunderstood his silence and thought that he wasn't happy. "Lex its okay if we all come back with you isn't it? You don't want to do something else do you?"

Lex couldn't bear the sad look on Clark's face and looked to Mom and Pop. "That would be the best thing ever Clark."

Lex turned to look at Mom and Pop who were both smiling at him. The prospect of having a fun afternoon and evening after all the hard things that they had recently been through was wonderful.

Jonathon turned a serious glance at both Clark and Lex. "Both of you make sure that all the homework is done before we go. Then we can spend the whole evening in Metropolis, and just do family stuff."

Both boys smiled at each other and Jonathon laughed at Martha sitting there beaming. "We can leave about two o'clock and that will get us there at dinner time. Does that sound like a plan?'

Three heads nodded in unison at Jonathon's question. Both boys hastily finished lunch and went off to finish up homework. Lex got as far as the hallway when he stopped and turned. "Thanks for thinking of this, I know after this weekend I probably don't deserve a special extravagance, but I'm so happy that you're all coming home with me for a while."

Jonathon leaned back in his chair and fixed Lex with a long look. "Are you hoping to get swatted again Alexander? We're your family and that's got nothing to do with your behavior and besides we sorted all of that out. Now go and do your homework and finish packing, before I come over there."

He said this in a stern voice but Lex knew that he was teasing and rewarded him with an honest smile and a nod of the head.

It wasn't long after that when Lex heard a car pull up and he saw James get out of a nice looking four door. Pop came around and they shook hands and then Mom came out and gave James a hug, which he returned. Lex was glad that someone in his other life knew how much he was loved and how well he was taken care of here in this house. He quickly walked down the stair and across the sunny yard.

"Hello James." Lex put his hand out to shake hands with the butler and was surprised when James ignored that and hugged him.

"Well I'm glad to see that you have made it through the last few days' young man."

Lex blushed knowing that the butler was talking about all the spankings he had received. "Yes sir, so am I. Thank you for letting Mom and Pop use your car to take me back to school. I am really happy that they are going to do that."

Lex was surprise when James smiled broadly. "Believe it or not Lex, I am delighted that the Kent's have taken you under their wing and obviously love you as much as they do. I am pleased to see that you are happy here, anything I can do to help I will do gladly."

Lex was somewhat embarrassed to feel his eyes fill with tears and he hoped that James hadn't noticed. The butler and Pop began talking about the farm again and before long James bid everyone a goodbye and left.

And all too soon it was time for them to go as well and they packed the car with everyone smiling at the fact that Martha had packed what appeared to be enough food to sustain them for a month. The ride was enjoyable and Clark was amazed that Lex had never played any of the normal car games that kids play. And both Jonathon and Martha chuckled at Lex's fierce competitive nature even when playing something as simple as "I spy." After the tense weekend that they had been through a little bit of silliness was exactly what they all needed.

They arrived at Metropolis and stopped by the grocery store so that Lex could get what he would need for the next few weeks. And then they headed to the condo where Jonathon, Lex and Clark carried in the groceries and Martha put them away. Lex checked his messages and not finding anything important they went out to dinner. In the car Lex asked if instead of going to the Chinese place that Mom liked if they could go to a new Japanese place that he thought Clark would love.

"You pick the place Lex and we will just enjoy."

Jonathon was glad to everyone so happy and relaxed and they did go to the new restaurant. The tables were actually grills with seating on three sides. And although Jonathon didn't ask he knew that Lex must have used his pull to get them a table alone as most diners were sharing tables. But for once he ignored that and just enjoyed his family and this rare evening together. Lex had been completely right and Clark had been entranced at all of the tricks that the chefs could do and Martha said she couldn't remember eating a better meal.

They got back to the condo and Jonathon knew that soon they would have to leave for Smallville. And as he always did when they were separated from Lex he felt like he didn't want to let him go. Not even for a few days. And as always he struggled with that knowing that Lex needed to be able to find his own way, but like all parents it was never easy to allow him to do that.

While Martha was unpacking Lex's things, and Clark was out on the balcony he took a moment to talk to Lex again. "You're all right about everything now Lex?"

Lex turned and looked at him and smiled. "I think so. Please tell me that you didn't save one more trip over your knee as a going away present for me."

Jonathon smiled at Lex and his sarcastic sense of humor. "Not unless you would like another."

Lex vigorously shook his head no. "No thanks, I think this weekend qualified as enough to last for a very long time."

Jonathon hugged the boy "Good, then you understood and accepted all the mistakes that you made. From the blackmail to not coming to us and all the rest. Lying, driving and drinking, and the way that you treated that young woman."

Lex walked over and sat down on the sofa. "I know I really screwed up with everything and I'm so sorry. I realize that even though you and Mom live in Smallville that my life here and my life there are completely connected. Sometimes I want to revert to old Lex- the guy I was before you and Mom and Clark. But I know now that I need to be the new Lex all the time. That guy has a Mom and a Dad and a brother and he knows that they think that he's great and that they love him no matter what. Even if the Dad is a bit of a hard ass."

Jonathon ignored Lex's comment about him, "Yeah and does he know that if he screws up his family will be there for him- always."

Lex smiled and nodded. "Yes he knows that and considering that he has spent the last three nights sleeping on his stomach, he understands just in what way they will be there."

Jonathon smiled at Lex. "Good, then other than you not being allowed to drive your car for the next month I think we're done here. I will bring Clark and come up in two weeks just to make sure that you are doing okay. Does that sound like a plan?"

Their conversation was interrupted by a war hoop in the background. "We get to come back in two weeks? Can we go to that restaurant again? How about a ball game? Or maybe to the movies?"

Both Lex and Jonathon laughed at Clark and his exuberance about coming back. "Gee Clark if I didn't know better I would think that you lived on a farm or something."

Much to their surprise Clark gave Lex a nasty look. "Real hilarious Lex."

Jonathon smiled until his face hurt. "If I didn't know better I would think that the two of you were brothers."

"C'mon Clark let's go into my bedroom and I'll get a couple of video games for you to take home to play until then." Jonathon knew that Lex was trying to smooth things over with Clark and he was proud of his mature attitude. Soon after that they re- packed the car and prepared to leave.

Clark wrapped Lex in a huge hug and told him goodbye and then Martha did the same. As always when they said goodbye she was crying and Lex didn't look to far from it himself. Then the farmer had the boy in another hug and he told him that they loved him. And leaning in he whispered in his ear "We will always be here for you and we are only a phone call away son. And no matter what has happened we are still proud of you." and Jonathon noted that this did make Lex cry.

They managed to get down to the car and the farmer felt like he had left a piece of himself in the condo and Martha cried for the first hour of their trip. Jonathon thought a lot about the last weekend and decided that they had made their point and that Lex was truly sorry and knew all the mistakes that he had made. He looked into the rearview mirror and realized that Clark was asleep, and he gazed fondly at his son. Who would ever have thought that he would have two sons so vastly different but each so filled with talent and promise. Reaching over to hold Martha's hand he told her he loved her and then he silently thanked God for all of his blessings.

Four days later:

Jonathon walked into the kitchen and got a glass of cold water. It was already starting to get warmer outside and farm work was dusty and physical. He saw Martha going out for the mail and once again admired his wife. He was definitely a lucky man. She came back in through the back door and kissed him dust and all.

"Look here is something from Lex." She handed him a manila envelope which had his name written on it.

He opened the envelope and pulled out sheets of paper. On top was a note from Lex.
"Dear Pop, Consider all of my punishment finished. I am now rejoicing that it is all over and vowing to make better choices in the future. I love you and Mom very, very much. Lex"

Jonathon looked confused and lifted the note off of the sheets of legal pad and taking a look at what was written in Lex's neat script laughed. There five hundred times was written 'I will not ever again say the words "I am not your son" in the Kent household.' Chuckling to himself Jonathon was happy that Lex indeed had gotten the message.

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