Round One

by Hope

For Tham and LaT's "Rub It 'Til It Breaks" Challenge.

Ignoring the laughter in Lex's voice, Helen backed away from the punching bag and eyed it again. Each breath permeated with humidity and the scent of sweat and leather, she wound up and threw another wild punch. It landed with a sharp, uncontrolled snap. She had no problem hitting the bag, or hitting it hard, but she had an unfortunate tendency to step in with each blow, and after three good strikes, she ended up with a face full of canvas and no room to punch.

"Close personal friend of yours?" Lex shot her a crooked near-smile around the bag. His eyes drifted down the line of her throat, bronzed skin gleaming with sweat. Her grey hoodie unzippered to the top of her t-shirt, he could just barely make out the KROW logo, black on slowly darkening red- worn and thin, clinging to her skin- she'd look fantastic wearing that and nothing else.

Tapping the underside of his chin to drag his gaze back where it belonged, she arched a brow at him. "I'm up here."

Unashamed, Lex shrugged. "I'm fully aware of that."

Answering that with a snort, she tried to blow a loose tendril of hair from her face. It stuck fast to her damp skin, and she finally resorted to batting it away with the side of her boxing glove. Narrowing her dark eyes, she took a long step back and swung. Two staccato strikes and she was out of room again. She tilted her head to glare at Lex. "You're moving it!"

To reply, Lex merely glanced up at the chains holding the bag in place. It would take serious hardware and possibly a scaffold to move it anywhere.

"Smug and cryptic. Whoever told you that was cute..." She cut herself off, throwing another punch. "They lied."

"Wouldn't be the first time," Lex said, letting go and walking around to catch the sleeve of her hoodie with one crooked finger. With a gentle tug, he pulled until she stood a reasonable distance from the bag, then stepped on the toes of her shoes. When her eyes flashed up, he greeted them with a cool, reasonable smile. "You want to hit it, Helen. Not dance with it."

"Jealous?" Before he could answer, she lunged forward with another punch. Stuck in place, she flailed on the follow through, saved from meeting the floor with her face when Lex steadied her with a hand against her waist.

"Not really." Dipping his head to hide a smile, he tightened his grip and slipped behind her. His other hand fell, resting on her hip, straightening her to face the bag. Their long bodies matched, curve for flat, fitting neatly in an unintentional embrace. She softened, leaning back into him and he tightened with the heat passing easily through her sweats to spread on his skin.

Glancing back at him, Helen flashed her tongue against her lips, a different kind of flush darkening her skin. She started to say something, then turned her attention back to the bag. Steadying her breath, she threw a tentative punch. Leather slapped canvas, a sharp thick sound that disguised her soft "Oh." She could get used to the Newtonian side effects of leaning into the punch while being held back.

She leaned into another, barely noticing the impact, focused instead on the vermiculate slide of her body against his. He hid toned muscle beneath his clothes, a lean whip shape that hardened all over when she rubbed against it. He didn't smell expensive right now; damp with sweat and out of his usual up-and-down suits, he'd fallen so far from his usual immaculate state that it would have been a shame not to take advantage. "How was that?"

Lex smoothed his hands along her waist, clasping them onto the curve of her hip. He made little shifts, tapping the inside of her foot with his to part her legs a bit, squaring her hips with a firm touch- deliberate adjustments to spread her evenly against him. Voice silky low, he murmured behind her ear, "I think you can do better."

His breath skimmed along her neck, even with intentional control, but she made it waver with another punch. The impact vibrated through her, ripples that flowed from her skin to his. She felt his fingers dig into her hips, and the curve of a burgeoning erection pressing against her ass. A stinging flush crept across her skin, a nipples hardening against an unforgiving sports bra, a dull ache rising with slick heat between her legs.

Before he could smooth the tell-tale thinness out of his breath, she punched again, as hard as she could. Her shoulder burned with the force, and he got harder, so she punched with the opposite to balance it out. Blood pounding in her ears, she leaned into him when he deliberately rolled his hips- that had nothing to do with her form or control; not a whole hell of a lot to do with his, either. Taking a long, deep breath, she painted her back against him, swaying her hips to grind into him. "Maybe you should put some ice on that."

"Is that your professional opinion?" He hooked his fingers in her sweats' loose fabric, pulling it slowly, just hard enough to put pressure on her clit. With a slow, snaking grasp, he slid his free hand up her belly and across her ribs, coming to rest beneath her breast to pin her in place.

Helen leaned her head back against his shoulder, lashes falling half closed. "You don't want my professional opinion," she said, stretching in a long, sinuous glide, a slight turn in it to get the sweats exactly where she wanted them, and to get a good, even stroke against his cock. It made a hard, hot streak against her, and she only had to raise her hip, or flex her shoulders to tease against it. "I don't fool around with my patients."

"An admirable display of your ethics." Brushing his face against her messy ponytail, Lex splayed his fingers to graze along the underside of her breast, still steadily pulling the sweats tighter before letting the slack go to start again. When he shifted, he could taste her neck, salt with a hint of soap and sweetness beneath, and he trailed lazily along her hairline until coming to rest just behind her ear. When he lapped there, she melted, her quiet whimpers filling adrift in the cavernous expanse of the gym. He tamped down a victorious smile, teasing again with half-pulls on her sweats, matching that with flickers of tongue until she shook and remembered to lean into him. Following her sway, he met her with rolling hips.

She reached back to touch him, but her grip just slid awaythe boxing glove a sudden, heavy impediment. Tension jittered under her skin, she bent her knees, sliding down his chest in a long, hard glide as she cursed and caught the glove's laces between her teeth. The hot imprint of his hand seared over her breast, fingers splaying as she straightened, and she groaned at the tug of damp cotton grating against her clit; action, reaction, making the need to free her hand all the more urgent. Laces creaking as she bit at them, she finally loosened them enough to shake the glove off. It hit the floor with a thump, and she reached behind to catch his shoulder for leverage. Easy to slide against him now, she could dip and bend, rolling and rubbing against his cock, his sweats twisting to complicate the caress. Good motion, when she moved to grind against him, his fingers pulled taut fabric to stroke her; third law of motion- physics had always been good to her.

The air took on a sharper scent, not just sweat now, but sex, too. Musky and raw, with a defining current of need, there wasn't anything pretty or graceful in the way they moved. Helen clung to Lex's shoulder, turning her face against her own as she rose and sank against him. Lex kept his grip tight, holding her steady as he worked a knee between hers, pulling her back to ride his thigh as he buried his face in her hair to breathe her in. Desperate, rough motion, occasional failings of balance, they coiled in tight, hard thrusts and pulls, until Lex jolted and a sudden, startled, "Fuck."

A low, rolling laugh caught in Helen's throat. She could feel the heat spreading against her ass, and every one of his startled jerks reverberated through her. Smoothing her hand along his shoulder, she stroked the naked curve of his head and glanced back at him. "You owe me."

Catching her mouth at a careless angle, Lex parted her lips with his tongue, sharing the taste of sweat with her. Letting go of her pants, he slipped his fingers to rub through them; direct and deliberate, curling over her clit, then swirling until she dug her fingers into the back of his neck and gasped into his mouth. He didn't stop until she shoved his hand away with her remaining boxing glove. "I think we're even now."

She turned in his arms, dropping her forehead against his collarbone and plucking at the back of his sweatshirt as she caught her breath. Voice still thin, it rolled with a rasping burr as she kissed the dip of his throat. "We need a shower."

"Is that the majestic we, Helen?" Smug again, Lex smiled against her temple, but his grin faded when she pulled away.

Grabbing a nearby towel, she let her gaze sweep over his face, considering the question with a faintly knitted brow. He looked good like this: sweaty and rumpled, his clothing stained and his expression caught between confident and tentative. Scrubbing the sweat off her face, she took a step back as she draped the towel around her neck, and finally answered with her own smug and cryptic smile.

"I guess you'll just have to show me to the shower to find out."

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