Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Clark/Lex (Clark does not appear in this chapter), Anna Hollander
Genres: Drama, Holiday, Horror, Mystery, Suspense
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: Something wicked lives in McCready’s Marsh.
Chapter Summary: Lex is spooked in Castle Luthor.
Date Of Completion: November 27, 2017
Date Of Posting: October 6, 2018
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC and Warner Brothers do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 814
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.
Never look back.
Sir Edmund Shroppington
“These Old Castles”
Lex sipped his coffee while he listened to Brahms and studied the figures on his laptop. Last night the castle had seemed especially cold after returning from the warm and cheerful Kent farm. His footsteps had echoed in the cavernous halls and there were no welcoming lights for him in the kitchen window.
However, on this brisk morning, light streamed through the diamond-paned windows and Mrs.. Hollander, his excellent cook and housekeeper, was baking blueberry muffins in the kitchen while she hummed a pleasant tune. Usually she had Sundays off but Lex had asked her to work this morning (at time-and-a-half, of course), and she could have all of next Friday off, too. She had happily agreed.
Lex had not given her a reason for asking her to come over this morning and she didn’t ask. She had learned long ago not to ask too many questions in the Luthors’ employ.
If she only knew, Lex mused as he sipped his coffee.
A fire crackled in the hearth as he worked. Last night had unnerved him. Usually he shrugged off the cold and dark of this drafty castle, but it had spooked him last night…
Lex walked up the winding staircase, shadows moving as the wall sconces flickered. A draft whistled down the hall, not an uncommon occurrence here in the castle. He shivered, going up the stairs a little faster. Chiding himself for foolishness, his heart beat rapidly as he took big gulps of air and didn’t look behind him.
He turned off the lights at the top of the stairs and quickly walked down the hall, going into his bedroom and shutting the door behind him. He threw the deadbolt and leaned against the door, his chest heaving.
Get ahold of yourself, Luthor.
He draped his long coat over a chair and began undressing. He tried to calm down by going through his bedtime routine. Unless a big business deal was going down, he had acquired the habit of retiring for the night much earlier than he ever had in Metropolis.
Man, you’re becoming a farmer. Early to bed, early to rise, though I doubt I’m all that much wiser.
He smiled as he brushed his teeth. Clark would appreciate that.
His smile faded as he stared at his reflection in the mirror. Why was he so jittery? The castle was always a little spooky but that had never bothered him before. He rinsed out his mouth.
Maybe I’m getting spooked as it gets closer to Halloween. Or maybe the marsh got to me.
He turned off the bathroom light as he entered his bedroom. He was wearing flannel pajamas, a gag gift from the Kents last Christmas. His usual silk pajamas just didn’t suit him tonight.
Maybe the contrast between the coziness of the Kent house is just too much with this drafty old mausoleum.
He shut off the lamp on his nightstand and stood by the window. Frost glittered on the hard ground as bare tree limbs swayed in the night breeze. He felt a shiver down his spine.
Smallville is a nice place to live, but it sure can give you the creeps sometimes.
Lex climbed into bed and for the first time since he was a kid, pulled the covers up over his head.
“Fresh from the oven, Mr. Luthor.”
Mrs. Hollander cheerfully set a plate with a warm, buttered blueberry muffin in front of Lex, along with a glass of cold apple juice.
“Thank you.” Lex smiled.
“You’re welcome, sir. Would you like me to cook a half-chicken for your lunch today?”
“No, I can make a sandwich later with the chicken already cooked.”
“Very good, sir.”
“When you’re finished in the kitchen, you can go home.”
“Thank you, Mr. Luthor.” Mrs. Hollander was a tall, slightly chunky woman who always dressed in sensible shoes and housedresses, her pale, flaxen hair braided on top of her head. Her light blue eyes looked at Lex with concern. “Are you sure I shouldn’t stay a little longer?”
Lex smiled fondly. “Not necessary, Mrs. Hollander. Thank you for the muffin.”
“More in the kitchen if you want them, sir.” She nodded and left the library.
Lex pulled apart the muffin and knew that he was lucky. Mrs. Hollander was as good a baker as Martha Kent.
He felt better now in the daytime. The castle wasn’t quite as…spooky.
“Jeez, Lex, you’re really losing it,” he muttered.
He drank his juice and ate his muffin and wondered if he was going to hide under the covers again tonight.
“I’d rather have Clark under the covers with me.”
His words echoed in the library, pinging off the stone walls as the fire popping punctuated each word.
“Sunday in Smallville,” he murmured.
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