Superman: Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4)(11)

“This the guy who saved you?” Lex asked, nudging Bryan. He clearly owned the car. He seemed totally at home behind the wheel of such an expensive-looking vehicle.

“This is him.” Bryan turned to Clark. “What’s your last name again?”

“Kent. Clark Kent.”

Bryan nodded. “That’s right. Clark Kent, I’d like you to meet my buddy Lex Luthor.” He tapped the driver on the arm. “Lex, meet Clark.”

Lex hit the gas.

The three of them were thrown back into their seats as the car accelerated at an insane rate. Bryan spun around wide-eyed and looked at Clark. “You ever felt that kind of power?” he shouted over the wind whipping through his open window.

“It’s pretty fast,” Clark said, marveling at the quiet engine. He’d reached speeds like this on foot, but never as the passenger in a car. It felt strange to relinquish control.

Lex took his foot off the gas and let the car slowly decelerate. “The library, you said?”

“If it’s cool,” Clark told him.

Lex motioned toward Bryan. “You save this guy’s life, you earn a free ride.”

“Thanks,” Clark said. “But I didn’t actually save anyone.”

“I already told you,” Bryan said to Lex. “Guy refuses to take credit.”

Lex glanced at Clark in the rearview again. “So what happened?”

Clark knew he had to set the record straight before any rumors got started. “I was just working the farm with my dad, and…we both saw the helicopter coming down, so we took off.” He tapped Bryan on the shoulder. “Is everyone okay?”

Bryan nodded. “Didn’t even have to keep that sling on my arm.”

Clark sat back, relieved. “I guess we were all pretty lucky.”

“Luck. Yeah, that’s probably it.” Lex accelerated around a rumbling big rig. “Kind of like you got lucky on the football field during your freshman year, right? From what I read, you scored thirty-three touchdowns in six games? I guess you’re, like, blessed with luck.”

Clark was shocked that some fancy-car-driving rich dude could quote his football stats.

Bryan turned to face Clark. “Jesus, is that true?”

Clark shrugged. “I guess I didn’t like getting tackled. So I ran. Fast as I could. Anyway, it was only freshman football.”

“Why aren’t you still playing? The team was bad this year, right? And aren’t they usually pretty good?”

“Yeah.” Clark tapped his backpack. “But I’m better off hitting the books. That whole concussion thing’s pretty scary.”

Bryan turned back to Lex. “How’d you know his stats?”

Lex grinned. “There’s this new thing out there called the internet, Bry. You should try it sometime.”

Bryan grinned. “Dude, you must have a lot of time on your hands if you’re browsing freshman football stats from two years ago.”

Lex cracked a smile but never took his eyes off the road. “Eh, I Google everyone. When you told me what Clark did, of course I looked him up.”

Bryan looked over his shoulder at Clark and rolled his eyes. “That’s not creepy at all. Anyway, Clark, you gotta be pretty strong to punch it into the end zone that many times. What was your secret? Just lifting weights every day? Shoveling cow shit on the farm?”

Clark shrugged. He knew Bryan was just messing around, but he’d never really loved farm jokes. At least from outsiders, that is. Actual farm kids could make as many country-bumpkin jokes as they wanted. That’s just how it worked. “I went to the gym a few times, I guess,” Clark said. “But mostly it’s my mom’s home cooking. She’s all about meat and potatoes.”

“I need to change my diet,” Bryan said, squeezing his right bicep through his shirt. “Tuna tartare isn’t doing me any favors.”

Truth was, Clark had stopped lifting back in ninth grade. Once he realized it wasn’t necessary. Back then he was fairly thin, too. But his strength had always far exceeded his appearance.

Bryan started messing with the touch screen on the dash. When he found a hip-hop song on the satellite radio, he turned it up.

Lex immediately turned it back down. “When we’re in your plane, we can listen to that stuff. But when we’re in my ride, it’s all about hard-core.” He switched stations, and a thrashing rock song came on. He turned the volume low enough so that they could still talk. “You know this guy doesn’t even have a driver’s license, right?” Lex said, glancing at Clark in the rearview.

“Most people don’t drive in Metropolis,” Bryan said.

“I drive,” Lex said.

“Yeah, so you can show off your car.” Bryan turned to Clark. “Normal people take the subway. Or call a car. Or walk. Also, I have a pilot’s license.”

Clark had heard that Bryan was at a fancy boarding school in Metropolis before finishing the year at Smallville High. Rumor had it that Bryan’s brother, Corey, had graduated from a school in Switzerland, where their dad had gone, too. “So how come you left Metropolis?” Clark asked. It was the question many people had been asking since Bryan showed up so late in the school year. Once they found out who he was.

Bryan was quiet for several seconds, his face serious.

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