A Contest

One lap, after the other. The chilling waters cooling against his heated skin as thoughts of his one true love raced through his mind. He pushed one hand in front of him, pushing it down hard through the water and making the same motion with his other hand, feeling his muscles tighten and then release. His arms ached with fatigue but he found himself unable to break free from his routine. With every stroke of his arm, he told himself he was forgetting a little bit about his interactions with Whitney. Finally, when his breath caught in his chest so hard it made him heave with the struggle to regulate it, he slowed himself and swam towards the side of the pool, hoisting himself with his strong arms onto the side. Fox reached for the burgundy towel to his left and then turned, poising to dry off his soaked body. Fox's eyes came into contact with another scantily clad male and Fox rolled his eyes, pressing the soft towel against his skin.

"You look as if you pushed yourself too hard. "Ethan quipped, moving towards Fox and taking a seat on the bench beside the pool. Fox shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly and took a seat beside Ethan, raising his shoulders up to rest on the high back of the bench.

"Keeps me busy. "

"You seem to be doing a lot of that lately. "Ethan surveyed with a rising of his eyebrows. "Burying yourself in your work. Something on your mind? "

"Love. "

"... As in the kind you share with a woman? "

"No Ethan. "Fox said sarcastically, with a roll of his dark brown eyes. "I'm actually in a fulfilling sexual relationship with my missus, Sven. Very good sex. Best I've ever had. "

Ethan cringed for a moment, obviously not catching the sarcastic tone of Fox's voice. When it finally did set in, Ethan leaned back in a way similar to Fox and grinned. "No, Honestly. "

"Yes. As in love with a woman, Ethan. As in, I am in love with a woman. "

Ethan was perturbed to say the least and his face purveyed these emotions perfectly. Fox rolled his eyes again. "T-Theresa? "

Fox sighed. "No, not Theresa. "

"Who? "

"Why do you care, half brother? If I'm in love with a woman other than Theresa, you're all for it, but I chase after your little Latino Mama and I'm trash? "

"No Fox. That's not it. It'-... "

"Whatever. You want to know whom I love? "Fox inquired, raising his hands in the air. Ethan nodded. "I love Whitney Russell but unfortunately, do to my last name, she doesn't feel quite the same. "

"Whitney? "Ethan echoed. "As in, Theresa's best friend. "

"Yes. Do you know another? "

Ethan ignored Fox's sarcasm and leaned forward, resting his elbow on his knee and his chin in his palm as he contemplated what Fox had just told him. Why had Fox been with Theresa if he had love Whitney all along? Why had Fox spent so much time with Theresa when he would rather be pursuing Whitney? It really wasn't Fox's style to fall in love with someone. He was more than blow n' go type of guy. As Ethan continued to contemplate these thoughts, the door to their left opened and Theresa slipped inside, hands rested on either sides of the small of her back, eyes watchful as she took in the scene in front of her.

"Is this a brotherly meeting? "She asked, interrupting the serene silence that had settled over the two half-brothers. "Or can anyone join? "

Fox grinned as he saw his former bed bunny accomplice enter the poolroom. He shifted over and made a spot in between him and Ethan and patted it welcomingly. Theresa grinned and slowly moved forward, casting a waning glance in Ethan's direction, whom she noted, looked very weary of her presence. Theresa slowly eased herself down onto the bench, with the assistance of Fox's hands on her arm. She smiled thankfully and crossed her ankles, placing her palms face down on her knees.

"So what are we talking about? "She inquired. Ethan stiffened some more and Fox rolled his eyes, leaning back and folding his hands behind his head, resting his head upon his palms.

"Actually, My love... Love. "Fox said with a charming smile. "You are the ultimate hopeless romantic... "Fox implied, casting a glance in Ethan's direction. Theresa pressed her lips in a stern line and Ethan shifted uncomfortably. "Any advice? "

"I'm the last person that you need romantic advice from. "Theresa stated simply, turning to face Fox with her back to Ethan, head inclined backwards towards Ethan pointedly.

"Aw, c'mon Theresa. "Fox ventured. "What makes true love? I at least deserve to know. "Theresa sighed and tapped her fingernails on the insides of her thighs for a moment before looking back up and catching Fox's eyes.

"The kiss. "

"A kiss? "Ethan replied suddenly and Theresa turned to face him, eyebrows raised.

"Yes, Ethan, the kiss. The kiss purveys all emotion. You can tell how somebody feels simply by the way they kiss you. If you can purvey your passion and lust in the movements of your lips, if you can make the receiver of the kiss writhe and respond to the passion you are emanating, than you know that's true love. "

Both Fox and Ethan raised their eyebrows simultaneously, turning towards Theresa with dark eyes clouded. Theresa looked at both of them wearily and waited for someone to speak, deeply perturbed by the sudden deafening silence.

"And which of us is the –uh... "Ethan began.

And Fox finished, "... best kisser? "

Theresa's eyes widened in surprise and she shrugged her shoulders, trying to avoid the question outwardly while mulling over the possible answers in her mind. Who was the better kisser? Fox grinned at Theresa, charming as ever awaiting her answer.

"C'mon Resa. " He said playfully, caressing her silken tresses momentarily with his palm. Theresa fought back a shiver and pressed her mouth into a firm line, attempting to shield the moan that found it's way onto her lips. For a fleeting moment, she realized just how much she had missed his hands in her hair, on her body.

"I think the answer is obvious. "Ethan said smugly, the smallest of arrogant smirks tugging at his lips. Fox sneered rolling his eyes and crossing his arms over his muscular chest.

"Yes half-brother. I do believe it is. "

"Maybe to you two. " Theresa said quickly, shifting forwards in her seat in an attempt to squash all the testosterone-fueled daggers flying between Fox and Ethan. "But not to me. "

"Oh? "Ethan inquired, raising his eyebrows his Fox. For a moment, a look passed in between them and Theresa found herself weary as Fox nodded in apparent agreement.

" Yes. "She said shakily as Ethan pulled her towards him, wrapping his arms around her waist and enveloping her in a kiss. Theresa felt her mouth gape in shock and she shuddered in his arms, feeling uncomfortable and impassionate with his clammy arms wrapped around her. Theresa allowed him to kiss her for a short while until he pulled away breathless, chest heaving. Theresa grimaced and Fox, seeing the reaction to the kiss on her face, grinned brilliantly.

"You look a little green, Resa. "Fox replied lovingly as she turned to face him. His hands slowly traced up her arm to her neck and into her hair, softly cupping her chin and pulling her towards him, pressing his supple lips down hard upon her own. Theresa found herself blown away, breathless with a need fueled only by the undulating heat that was radiating from Fox's mouth. She felt his darkened eyes on her as he deepened the kiss, gently lashing his tongue out of his mouth and tracing the contours of her lips with it. Theresa moaned from somewhere back in her throat as Fox pulled away, hands still intertwined in her hair. Her eyes caught his and a spark shot it's way down their spines. Intensity radiated from Fox's fingertips and Fox found himself on the brink of an epiphany, ready to delve into the depths of it but unable to find his way.

"The kiss, huh? " Fox spoke, raising his lips up against his forehead and speaking into her honeyed skin.

"Yes. "Theresa breathed.

"How about that? " Fox replied, a mischievous grin upon his face as he moved towards her again, pulling her gently on his lap and dancing his lips against hers. Fox felt Theresa's hands on his naked back, tracing intricate patters onto his flesh with the tips of her nails and he hit epiphany.

Forget Whitney. Fox thought, deepening the kiss. This is where it's at.

They heard the door slam as Ethan left the room, obviously infuriated.

Against each other's lips, the two newly reunited lovers grinned.