Blue-lipped and shivering, Zach glanced at the mirror. This was not good… he was in terrible shape. A mechanical glint flickered in his eye, as he calculated how many hours of practice he needed to train… Eight hours a day. Where was he going to find those? He supposed he could wake up one hour early and ditch sixth period to train after school…
His train of thought crashed to a halt when the towel around his waist was suddenly yanked off. Scrambling to cover his naked body, Zach looked up to glare at the smirking redhead who held the towel in one of his arched hands.
“Give it back, Gentry.”
“I like you better without it.”
Zach sighed and held out his hand, “Give it.”
Gentry sighed and tossed it back to him, “You did good job today, Zach. You’re a good swimmer, no one doubts it. I just had more practice.”
Zach gave him a disinterested look, then started to prepare his clothes, “You’re the last person to give anyone good sportsmanship.”
He pulled on a t-shirt, then reached for his sweater and pulled that over his head.
“In fact, Gentry, you can save it and stuff it up your ass--- because I don’t need it. I had plenty of practice in Estonia, and I’m a damn good swimmer. In fact, I’m so good you had to cheat me out of my position. But I will beat you, Gentry, because I deserve that spot on the Senior team.”
That was like Zach. Blunt, and to the point. No room for error, just crude facts. What could he answer to that? The redhead thought for a moment, turning around to give Zach his privacy--- but sneaking a peek anyway.
“Who cares if you deserve it?” Gentry asked, leaning his side against the sink, “Why do you want it?”
“I want it because I deserve it.”
“You deserve to be on a team that doesn’t want you?”
“It will look good on my resume.” Zach pulled on a second shirt, “But I don’t have to explain anything to you, because you’re not my god. In fact, you’re just in my way.”
He tossed the towel into his bag and pulled on his pants, then pulled one final t-shirt over his frame.
But just as Zach moved to leave, Gentry cornered him, “If you don’t like a team, you shouldn’t be with them.”
“You’re one to talk.” Zach shoved him, “I know what I want, so stop messing with my head.”
“Ok. I’d rather mess with you in other ways.” The redhead pulled him close, smiling inwardly as he heard the younger boy take a shaky breath. Zach opened his mouth to speak, but Gentry put a finger to it, then cupped his jaw and leaned into a kiss. He wondered if Zach felt it too… felt the knot in his stomach tighten as a tense nervousness took hold. He testily slipped his tongue into the other boy’s mouth, tasting his salt and smelling his fear… his hesitation.
Zach curled his hand into a dark fist and turned away, breaking the kiss, “Stop messing with me. I already gave up trying to like you, don’t make me hate you.” His voice was low, a growl coming from the back of his throat.
“So you have levels for this, Zach? Like a gauge?” Gentry kissed him again, burying his colorless fingers in Zach’s thick, dark hair,“It’s not that simple. You don’t have to like me to like this. And you like this, right?”
He licked licked over the tender flesh of Zach’s neck, catching a drop of cold water as it traced a slick path over the quivering flesh.
“No.” Zach murmured, as he firmly pushed Gentry away, “we can’t just fuck and forget everything else.”
“Why not?” Gentry’s dark eyes regarded Zach’s face searchingly, and he added, “I’m not
trying to bribe you with this, if that’s what’s eating you.”
“You don’t have to try. It comes naturally.” Zach thought to himself. He narrowed his eyes, cocked his head and gave Gentry a firm look,
“We’re rivals now.” He said, “Get used to it.”