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Fic6
Title: Fireplace Encounter
Rating: PG-13
Date: 07/23/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: Jitters
Stat: 426 words; 2,611 characters
Summary: Standard conversation between Lex and Lionel.
Notes: Why did I let you talk me into this Tani? Why? Oh, wait, that's right, I'm masochistic that's why. -_-;

*****

Lex stared morosely into his crystal of scotch. Feet propped up against the leather ottoman, he sank deeper into the leather easy chair. Closing his eyes, Lex squeezed the bridge of his nose, attempting to rid himself of the memory of Clark's artless look of innocence when Lex questioned him on his amazing feat of "adrenalin". A pretty boy who told pretty lies, sweet mouth that spouted honeyed gainsays. Only eyes belied that guileless face.

The crystal shattered against the wall of the fireplace, spray of alcohol causing the flames to flicker and dance wildly.

"Temper." His father's voice drifted over the back of the chair, fomenting his aggravation.

"Hello, dad." Lex greeted the reprobate with less than his usual enthusiasm. He rose to pour another finger of scotch as his father lowered himself into the couch beside him.

"You should know by now that your excessive drinking is less-than-salubrious to your health," Lionel admonished.

Lex threw back the drink and glared at his father. "Did you drive three hours from Metropolis into the heartland of Nowhere, Kansas just to reprimand your prodigal son or was there some other reason for this unexpected and most unpleasant visit?" He addressed his father bitingly.

"Your perfunctory attitude is an act easily seen through, Lex. I thought I have taught you better than being ruled by your emotions as such." Lionel replied sharply, volleying his reproach back to his son.

"I've long ago given up hope in acquiring your approbation, father." Lex delivered his line smoothly, barring the bitterness from bleeding into his response. "Now, why are you here?"

"I heard you've appropriated yourself a 'friend' here in Smallville," Lionel answered. "This Clark, is he legal?"

"It may shock you to hear this," Lex sneered, his aplomb fading with each successive derision, "but I do not attempt to mount everything on two legs, or according to some calumny, four."

Lionel's hearty laugh reverberated across the empty hallways of the castle. "Luthors don't have friends, Lex. We make useful acquaintances. Now tell me, what is his use?"

"As hard as the concept may be for you to comprehend, dad, father, Lionel," the syllables skipped across the tension between the two men, "companionship is reward enough in of itself."

"Companionship," Lionel spat, "is a sentimentality perpetuated by the likes of Hallmark, it's reward clearly defined by the rising stock points." Rising regally, he turned to leave, entering into the tortuous hallways. "Drop the boy, Lex. He's nothing but trouble."

Lex stared after his father's deliquescing figure, knuckles white around his glass.

Vocab Words:

gainsay

artless

salubrious

belie

foment

perfunctory

appropriate (v)

prodigal (adj)

approbation

reprobate

Title: Comfort Food
Rating: G
Date: 07/25/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: Drone
Stat: 452 words; 2146 characters
Summary: Lex and his comfort food. Some brain power involved.
Complaint: Ah, Lex character study. Why did I write this? Oh, that's right, because the GRE is evil. I can't believe I actually wrote this tripe. Tani...kill me.

*****

Lex sighed as he dug out a spoonful of macaroni and cheese from the large lavender bowl that nestled comfortably in his lap. The velvety texture of melted cheese lulled him into a soporific stupor. The events of the day had called upon him to resort to drastic measures, that was to enter the cavernous, stainless steeled alcove which passed as a kitchen and make, from scratch, his only comfort food. It was also the only dish that he knew how to make, microwave dinners notwithstanding.

Taking another bite, Lex chewed morosely, contemplating the conundrum that is Clark. For one who had such an ingenuous belief in "Truth, Justice, and that 'other stuff'," Clark held more secrets than the files secured in the military data bank at the Pentagon. Lex can aver to this. He has checked. A local boy hero who was always at the right place at the right time, waltz past top of the line security to enter Lex's medieval abode, walk away unscathed after colliding into a Porche at sixty miles per hour, and he still manages to find time to stalk, and secretly lust after, the town's fairy princess. Lex was stunned that the town could over look the mountainous intrigues that defined Clark. Smallville indeed.

Sadly, Clark's mysterious, but nonetheless enjoyable, appearance at his castle today was cut short by the appearance of his father. Lex supposed that three months really was overdue for the bimonthly visit, the sole purpose of which was to give Lionel the chance to disparage his son. Sensing tension between parent and offspring, Clark had made a hasty retreat, leaving Lex to face down the elder Luthor's bombastic speech of the many horrors of Lex's iconoclastic business ethics and the grandiose strut of unmitigated fury alone. Lex often wondered if his father was more upset over the fact that his son was a refractory manager in the family business or the fact that he was unable to raise the tractable heir that he wanted. Knowing his father, it was most likely the inability to make his progeny into another craven drone to do his bidding that has Lionel notably vexed.

The last spoonful shoveled away, Lex shook himself from his stupor and deposited the ceramic in the wonder of technology known as the dishwasher. Shedding his clothes as he went upstairs to his room, knowing the servants would clear the garments by morning, Lex yawned deeply. When the sun rise in a few hours, Lex will return to the world filled with deceit and manipulations, but for the wee hours of the night, he will indulge himself in the silken sheets and dream of thick, creamy bowls of macaroni and cheese.

Vocab Words:

conundrum

disparage

iconoclastic

aver

craven

refractory

ingenuous

tractable

strut (n)

soporific

Title: Exile
Rating: R
Date: 07/26/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: Drone
Stat: 345 words; 2005 characters
Summary: Lex is exiled for defying his father.
Complaint: I cannot believe I typed this crap out under pressure. Stupid crap. Our lives suck.

*****

"I most certainly will not follow your orders!" Lex shouted into his father's placid face.

Lionel remained unmoved in the face of Lex's outburst. With aplomb, he settled himself comfortably into one of the many leather office seats and stared at his refractory son.

"Lex," he addressed the raving young man before him, "You should be well aware that acquiring the Hardwick Enterprise is an exigency. As the sole heir to Luthor Corp, I had expected you would jump into this assignment with solicitous fervor."

"You. Are. Asking. Me. To. Sleep. With. The. Enemy." Lex delineated the situation with carefully enunciated words. "I will not whore myself out for you."

"Oh ho, I am not asking you to sleep with Victoria Hardwick, son." Lionel repudiated with a chuckle. "I am ordering you to be much more entertaining than that in bed."

Lex groaned in frustration. His father's specious arguments were going to be the death of him, assuming he doesn't die at the hands of Victoria first. His notoriety from the rebellious days had left him enough of an obstacle in the corporate world without needing to add the stigma of his father's officious plots at hostile takeovers.

"You will have to hold your attempts at appropriating the Hardwick Enterprise in abeyance," Lex informed his father coldly.

"An experienced chef knows that to create a masterpiece, one must not stint on the spices simply because it may be unpalatable for the plebeian masses."

Lex gawked at his father, unsure what to make of this desultory subject. Unsettled, he stood back and waited for his father to continue.

"I am not going to cater to your antediluvian sense of morality and risk the welfare of Luthor Corp." Lionel informed him with a cold smile. "I suggest you either accept your assignment now or prepare for exile."

Cringing at his father's horrid analogy, Lex conceded to being truly fucked. Biting the bullet, he made his decision. He would rather be the fool than a craven stooge of Satan.

"In that case, I shall go pack my suitcases."

Vocab Words:

officious

abeyance

specious

solicitous

stigma

repudiate

stint (v)

delineate

exigency

desultory

Title: Letter to a Reprobate
Rating: G
Date: 07/27/03
Fandom: None, original writing
Spoilers: None
State: 360 words; 2116 characters
Summary: A letter.
Notes: I'm very pissed, can you tell?

*****

Addressed to a certain craven reprobate:

Your desultory logic and alacrity at applying it to social relationships is, in short, abhorrent. Your further insistence in your refusal to retract certain statements made under the influence of said logic is an open invitation for the recipient of the statements - me - to proscribe myself from further contact with you, in hopes of ridding myself of unwanted harassment.

However, you fail to heed to my fair warning about the tenuous situation in which our contact finds itself. The end result was unsatisfactory by your standards, which led to your pestering of me for days on end. Therefore you have made it an exigency that I address the situation in a rather vituperative manner, seeing as a more mild response has no efficacy in halting the unsolicited attention. Should I mention details in anachronistic manner, it is because that I am under great aggravation from your previous attempt at communication. Allow me to apprise you that had the welter of unmitigated anger not been clouding my judgment, I highly doubt this note would even exist.

Due to certain troublesome situations, you have attempted to enervate your already abstemious diet. Whilst I had tried to offer some consolation as your friend, my efforts had been left in abeyance at best and disparaged at worst. To aggravate the situation further, you have personally insulted me by not even performing the most perfunctory acts of friendship. May I remind you that it was not I who had first aver to dissolution in any further contact. You persisted in your own obstinate ways, despite my delineation of the finality of such actions.

I hope that I have no need to compile a compendium for the entirety of your offenses, as I have made clear in my previous exchanges. As you have requested, I have dissipated any further attempts at communication and I require of you only to honor your own request. Do not attempt to relate to me in the future in any way. Also, disabuse yourself of the absurd notion that you have the perquisite to demand me of anything.

Sincerely,
A most disgruntled receiver of attention

Vocab Words:

proscribe

apprise

welter

anachronism

alacrity

efficacy

enervate

abstemious

vituperative

compedium

Title: Late Night Call
Rating: PG
Date: 07/28/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: None
Stat: 455 words; 2671 characters
Summary: Lex calls Clark at night.
Notes: I hate life, I hate GREs, I hate Telebears... Tani kill me.

*****

Lex was drunk.

Clark should have realized this when the phone trilled at two thirty in the morning and, when he picked it up, was greeted with, "Clark, my father is an unmitigated bombastic bastard." He was well acquainted enough with the alcohol roughened timbre to be able to pick it out from amongst a roomful of New Year's Eve cacophony, but his sleep-fuzzy mind couldn't process the information fast enough. Instead of agreeing with alacrity about Lionel's truculence towards his son, he could only manage, "Lex?"

"Tell me Clark, does living in penury stunt the growth of your brain cells," Lex hic-ed ebulliently, "or is the art of fatuous questionings endemic to the Kent clan? Because I can assure you that I was not trying to dissemble my identity at any time."

Clark concentrated hard to follow Lex's slurred comments. He pondered at the evidence before him. Lex was calling him in the middle of the night, talking like a thesaurus, and was currently making jollies of both his and Clark's family. Finally, the pieces clicked into place.

"Lex. You're drunk."

Clark could hear a dull thud from the other end, followed by what sounded like rustling of papers. Or it could be clapping of very unsteady hands.

"Congratulations! Your attenuated public education serves you well at last!" Lex giggled hysterically.

"Why are you drunk and why are you calling me?" Clark chose to ignore the insult, instead concerned himself over Lex's lack of stolid demeanor that he usually possessed.

"Because my father's a bombastic bastard," Lex answered.

"You said that already," Clark pointed out. Then, when he received no reply, he sighed and asked, "All right, why is he a bombastic bastard?" There were thousands of different answers that he could have anticipated, but none could have given his invulnerable heart a heart attack as the answer Lex spilled.

"Because...because he wants me to live an ascetic life in deference to him and be deprived of pretty farmboys to play with."

Clark could hear the petulant pouting from over the line, but restrained himself from commenting. Although he couldn't understand the first part of the explanation, the meaning of the last part had him choking on his own saliva, so not much restraint was required after all.

Before Clark could form a coherent response, Lex's voice intruded into the silence. "It's late and all good little farmboys should be in bed. I'm sorry, goodnight Clark." Then a wet sound that could only be Lex kissing the mouthpiece of the receiver or the air before it traveled over the phone lines. Blissfully the line clicked silent. Clark groaned into his pillow. His next meeting with Lex was going to be very interesting indeed.

Vocab Words:

penury

dissemble

ascetic

fatuous

bombastic

deference

endemic

truculence

attenuate

stolid

Title: Autopsy
Rating: G
Date: 07/29/03
Fandom: X-files
Spoilers: Dead Alive, Bad Blood
State: 354 words; 2192 characters
Summary: Scully doing an autopsy.
Notes: Do you realize how numb fingers can get when you don't have any circulation because you've been walking for hours carrying five grocery bags from some stupid supermarket that's 3 miles from home and the stupid bus won't come on time and the wind keeps blowing your face? Oh, yes and I still hate the GREs.

*****

Scully cursed voraciously under her breath about a certain tall, spooky, obdurate malingerer, who informed her, an hour prior, that she was scheduled for an autopsy in forty-five minutes. Wishing her sharp instruments could connect with the Oxford-educated erudite instead, she jabbed the metal blade into the dessicated corpse. She was thankful that at least this time, the corpse was mummified instead of bloated from seawater.

Pulling the scalpel across the sternum of the unfortunate victim, Scully completed the Y-incision with a veracious cut. Grabbing the two flaps of skin, she pulled with stolid force, and wretched open the chest cavity. As she studied the organs inside, she related the recondite findings into the recorder, adding desultory sarcastic comments under her breath. Suddenly, she was jerked unceremoniously from her concentration by a cacophony of banging metal doors. Lifting her head, Scully glared at the intruder with truculence.

"Hey, Scully, guess wha-," Mulder stopped short and choked on his words as he met the flashing ice-blue eyes. "Is, uh, everything all right?"

"Just peachy," was Scully's laconic response.

"Great," Mulder enthused; the barely concealed sarcasm flew over his head. "Our flight's in thirty minutes, so clean up."

Scully stared slack-jawed at her capricious partner. He couldn't be expecting her to just drop everything and fly to Arkansas with him could he? However, a glance at the alacritous face informed her that he was indeed expecting so. Anger weltered behind her cool demeanor and she snapped her jaws closed. Pinning Mulder with an ominous look, she gritted, "You better have a cogent reason for our sudden departure, because I'm not going to just leave in the middle of an autopsy you assigned me only this morning, just so you can follow up some tenuous lead."

"Trust me, Scully," Mulder pleaded. Then at her acquiescing nod, he bounded out of the room, tossing over his shoulder, "I'll give you the more tortuous explanation on the way." With another round of metallic banging, Mulder disappeared into the corridors.

Viciously tossing aside the scalpel, Scully wondered when she had became so tractable and began to clean up the mess.

Vocab Words:

malingerer

cogent

laconic

veracious

erudite

recondite

capricious

tortuous

dessicate

obdurate

Title: Catullus' Poem 76
Rating: PG-13
Date: 07/30/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: Hothead
Stat: 214 words; 1290 characters.
Summary: Die Superman Die! And how Lex would respond.
Notes: I don't know Latin. I don't know the first thing about the Superman myth beyond Lex and Superman hate each other. I'm just trying to pass the GREs with a decent grade, okay? I was going to go for a silly mood, but really, how humorous can you possibly get when you're stuck with both elegy and eulogy? Huh? Damn...now I'm getting maudlin. Where's my chocolate? Oh, and this is what...post-slash? Because have you seen the show? No one who stares at Clark the way Lex does can possibly want to stay "just friends"...

*****

    "Nam quaecumque homines bene cuiquam aut dicere possunt
    aut facere, haec a te dictaque factaque sunt.
    Omnia quae ingratae perierunt credita menti.
    Quare iam te cur amplius excrucies?"
    (1)

Lex's lips curved into a sorrowful smile as he stood before the grave. Only he would quote Catullus for Superman's elegy (2). The irony lost, no doubt, on the many spectators, who had expected Metropolis' multibillionaire to give a perfunctory eulogy, praising the Last Son of Krypton's probity and countless good deeds. Perhaps a disingenuous speech, typed up by his secretary, or even one of the first year interns. But these members of the plebian masses were not privy to the esoteric memories under the Kansas blue sky in a field of corn. A memory filled with complaisant alacrity from a gentle farm boy trying to soothe his irascible moods after a visit from a disparaging father. These woolgathering masses had only seen a phlegmatic hero, ignorant to the precipitate teenager that had lurked beneath; the capricious teen that had defied his father and joined the football team to win the favor of a girl. Nor were they connoisseurs in the delights of rural naivety, knowing only the worldly wisdom of a stolid messiah.

While Metropolis mourned the loss of Superman, Lex mourned for his beloved boy.

*****

(1)Translation:
"For whatever man can either say or do well
for anyone, this has been said and done by you:
having been entrusted to an ungrateful heart, all that perished.
Therefore, why do you now suffer more?"
(Source: http://aphrodite.jaze.net/~catullus/text2/e76.htm)

(2)Catullus' poem 76 (from which snippet is quoted) is written in elegiac couplets, otherwise known as an "elegy". Yes, it's a pathetic pun, shut up.

Vocab Words:

probity

precipitate (adj)

eulogy

disingenuous

connoisseur

phlegmatic

elegy

irascible

esoteric

complaisant

Title: Size Matters
Rating: R
Date: 07/31/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: None
Stat: 329 words; 2099 characters.
Summary: OmarG said it best. "Look, I may be of the straight persuasion, but even I buckle under the weight of the Lex Charisma. It's strong and powerful and so wrong, it's right. Oh, Lex. Take me out of this Kansas farmtown before I wilt like a hothouse flower!"
Lament: Oh, god, so behind, so tired, so ready to fall asleep and why the fuck do I have to do laundry at 3:00 in the morning? *dies*

*****

Whoever said size doesn't matter obviously has never met Lex.

Clark came to this conclusion one cozy afternoon, sprawled across Lex's leather couch in the middle of his entertainment room, watching Lex sitting across from him, his bald head occluding the multi-colored light filtering through the mosaic windows. Gesticulating wildly, Lex attempted to explain the opprobrium that had plagued his father's actions.

"…and he's a megalomaniac. Granted, the plebian masses are an augmentation of phronemophobic organisms, it still doesn't excuse…"

Feigning diffidence, Clark allowed Lex continue with his diatribe about the many reasons his father is the devil incarnate, noticing that Little Clark was agreeing with felicitous alacrity. As Lex forged ahead with his garrulous speech, Little Clark became quite happy indeed.

"…his punishments for the recalcitrant isn't ameliorating the situation at the plant, but does he listen? No, of course not! He just expects plasticity from his panphobic drones, I'm surprised they haven't been diagnosed with cyanthropy! Yesterday alone…"

With each long rolling invective word, Little Clark jerked with empathy, rising to the occasion to show unfaltering support for his best friend. Mortified, Clark surreptitiously dragged his backpack over his lap and prayed to the gods that Lex was too busy delineating his father's shortcomings to notice.

"…wonder about my ambivalence towards him. But really, if your father constantly informed you that your 'opinions' were ultracrepidarianisms that he could do without, what would you do? What am I saying? It's probably all just floccinaucinihilipilifications to you…"

He choked on a whimper and shuddered. Clark was most emphatically going to do his laundry for the rest of the week. He gave a fleeting thought to whether he could get away without explaining why he must keep his backpack at crotch level when he exits the room, but quickly gave up the frivolous hope. Resigned, Clark continued to give Lex the expected attention, even as he solidified his recent revelation.

When it comes to Lex and words, bigger is better.

Vocab Words:

invective

garrulous

occlude

opprobrium

felicitous

plasticity

diffidence

recalcitrant

ambivalence

ameliorate

Title: Redemption
Rating: G
Date: 08/01/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: None
Stat: 100 words; 650 characters.
Summary: Lionel's dead, Lex's not guilty.
Note: *snooze* Challenge to self: write only one hundred words. I did it…unfortunately it doesn't make any sense.

*****

Lex gazed at the mendacious businessmen, prevaricating men who spoke only chicanery. He could hardly judge, himself commensurate in dissembling. Was he not at this officious mourning of his father's passing holding his secretary's scripted dirge for the elegy? Disgusted with his inchoate sentimentality, Lex's eyes rested on Clark, dressed in flannel yet in possession of his equanimity amongst the Metropolitan elites. Sensing his scrutiny, Clark weaved his way through the plethora of expensive garments to Lex's side and gently whispered, "Don't feel guilty. You have reason not to mourn him."

Lex smiled thanks at Clark for exculpating his soul.

Vocab Words:

prevaricate

dirge

chicanery

commensurate

equanimity

inchoate

exculpate

officious

mendacious

elegy

Title: Friend or Foe?
Rating: G
Date: 08/02/03
Fandom: X-files
Spoilers: Up to Season 5
State: 308 words; 1752 characters
Summary: Mulder and Skinner fight. Mulder and Scully fight.
Notes: *rips Telebears into a million pieces, beats said pieces into fine powder with a mallet, and shoves said mallet up the Cal administration's ass* Grrr…

*****

"Agent Mulder!" Assistant Director Skinner hollered in his usual manner at the intractable agent. "I suggest you take back your refractory comment and apologize for your effrontery." Mulder glared back at his superior, indignation and righteous anger weltered in a slow boil behind his stormy eyes. "I will not take back my accusations if you're just going to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate the truth! These people are dying and not a single word about the reason from the government. The public has a right to know where they're sending their sons to their deaths and WHY!" The agent hollered back, each word laced with intransigence. Then, with a resounding slam, Mulder stalked off, followed closely by his partner.

"Mulder!"

At Scully's truculent hiss, Mulder stopped and turned to face his austere partner.

"Just exactly what do you think you're doing?" Scully demanded under her breath, her face flushed from anger, only a shade lighter than her hair. "I don't know what made you think you had a right to throw that little ostentatious tantrum in Skinner's office, but let me remind you that we have somewhat of a paucity of allies at the moment."

"And that man's trustworthiness is in somewhat a state of indigence." Mulder sneered as he turned to the elevator, stabbing viciously at the down button. "But we'd both be understating the situation."

Jerking her partner back by the sleeve, Scully forced the taller agent to face her. "Will you stop being so paranoid? Not everyone is a perfidious bastard."

"No," Mulder agreed easily, "most of them just pay assiduous attention to every move that's made in the basement office and try to make the path to the truth as tortuous as possible."

"Granted Skinner isn't the most veracious person around," Scully continued, ignoring the bitterness that was leaking out of Mulder's comment, "but he's not in a position where he can release the story to the press. He's doing his best to work in the system and you might take a few lessons from him on that!"

"You want me to apologize." Mulder observed with shock.

"Apologize, pacify, propitiate, call it what you want Mulder. Just go back in there and fix this. We don't need any more enemies than we already have." Scully bit out, staring down Mulder until he finally turned with a curse and stormed back into the office.

Straightening under the scrutiny of her peers, Scully sighed gently. Soon, one of them will break under the tension and god help them both if she's the first to lose it.

Vocab Words:

assiduous

ostentatious

austere

indigence

perfidious

intransigence

paucity

effrontery

propitiate

veracious

Title: Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them
Rating: G
Date: 08/03/03
Fandom: Smallville
Spoilers: Hothead, Shimmer
Stat: 388 words; 2194 characters.
Summary: More Lionel and Lex bitching.
Note: If you disagree Lex had greatness thrust upon him, just think of all the fangirls that are drooling after him and the fact that the comic canon dictates he becomes president. Really, not that much choice here…

*****

"Don't attempt to denigrate me any more." Lex stared at the despicable face that currently stared down at him. "I don't need your harangues about my personal life. You haven't been interested in it for twelve years, why take up a sudden interest now?"

"Now, Lex, I understand your ambivalence about being sent into the edges of the Luthor Empire, but it's for your own good." Lionel attempted to sound sympathetic towards his son's plight, only to have a disparate effect. Pausing for emphasis and gaining Lex's attention, Lionel continued his grandiloquent speech. "You've borne the stigma of the billionaire playboy for too long in Metropolis. I'm only trying to help you over come that. The work you do here in Smallville will lead to greatness in the future. Here you will prove yourself to me and the world that you are a worthy heir of Luthor Corp; that you are capable of the responsibility that comes with that power. Your destiny is to be the buttress of a company that will control the welfare of millions of lives, a burden that is heavy and you are not yet prepared for."

"Save your bombastic tirade, father." Lex sneered from leather seating, glaring into the eyes of Satan. "I was too obdurate for you to control and you needed to teach your scion how to heel. So you attenuate my position by sending me to the middle of this cow town and attempted, unsuccessfully I might add, to pull all my connections. What are you afraid of? That I'll beat you at your own game?"

"You're far to tender to beat me." Lionel looked down his nose at his wayward son. "Perhaps you think me harsh, son, but remember that greatness is reserved for those who survive the most heated flames."

Lex chuckled mirthlessly. "After all the castigations I've received? This rural hell will be a walk in the park."

Seeing his son was not taking his lesson seriously, Lionel turned to leave, but not before leaving with one last warning. "Remember Lex: 'Some are born great, some achieve greatness'. You currently are neither."

"No," Lex agreed with a shake of his head and stared out the window, waiting for the sound of his father's steps to fade. Gently he mused, "No, and 'some have greatness thrust upon them.'"

Vocab Words:

castigation

disparate

buttress

grandiloquent

denigrate

harangue

stigma

attenuate

obdurate

ambivalence