Aurora Point was, quite possibly, the most exclusive retirement community in the world. It offered a mix of residential opportunities for the discriminating few who preferred to ease themselves of the responsibilities of estate management in their golden years. There were assisted-living homes for the more independent, a group residence in a historic nineteenth-century mansion for those for whom a communal arrangement was more suitable, and the finest hospital facilities available for those who needed them. There was not a stage of retirement to which it could not cater.

Of course, there were some things even the Point could not provide, such as the love of family. Not everyone was as lucky as their resident Lionel Luthor. The stroke he'd had at age sixty had left him alert, but weak and unable to speak or take care of himself. His son, who had placed him there, visited every Sunday afternoon, taking his father out in his wheelchair for a walk among the gorgeously-landscaped lawns and woods of the Point's thousand acres. All the nurses, to whom Lex was unfailingly polite and appreciative, remarked on how attentive he was to his father, how regular his visits were. "Some people in his position would say they were too busy--but not him!" the charge nurse would sigh to one of the others, admiring Lex's black suit as he strolled away. "Rich and kind...that's not a combination you see every day." The other nurse, used to being patronized and ordered around by other residents' family members, nodded knowingly.

When the two Luthors were out in the serenity of the woods, Lex would always speak to his father, even though Lionel couldn't answer him directly. His tone was invariably gentle and calm, and he stopped often to scrutinize Lionel's face for a response.

"I closed up the house in Metropolis, Dad. It was such a waste of money to keep it heated. It's not fitting for a Luthor to be living in a pretentious, hideous pile like that, anyway. I sold off the furnishings, too. I know you were awfully proud of them, but, just between you and me, they were terribly arriviste, you know? Victoria didn't say anything, but I could tell she was suffering."

"I was shocked to find out that Dominic had been embezzling from the company for twenty years. I can't imagine how you never spotted it, Dad. But then it seems like most of your senior staff were engaged in questionable activities of one kind or another. You were a little too trusting, I guess. Shame about Dominic's family--after he's done paying restitution, I can't imagine what they'll live on."

"I decided to go ahead and launch that soybean program. I know you always thought it was too risky, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh? LexCorp had to shut down that waste-treatment facility that you built to free up the revenue stream, but I never thought that was going anywhere. No offense."

"Louis and Lily are doing splendidly. Louis just became junior national champion in epee, and Lily is a Westinghouse finalist. I'd bring them to see you--sometimes I don't feel that they know you as well as you would like--but it's such a long trip, and I don't want to take them away from their studies. I know you understand."

The visits were never very long--perhaps only a half hour or so--and Lex's schedule, of course, did not allow for lingering. But the nurses knew that Lionel appreciated his visits. He always came back with trembling hands and tears in his eyes. In fact, he was so moved by his son's devotion, sometimes he even wept before Lex came. The nurses found that very touching indeed.

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