Okay, so this is from my Throwdown novel, ELEMENTAL HUNGER. (Throwdown novel is a technical term, just so you know.)
See, there's this girl--her name is Gabby. And she can control fire. But see, in her world, only boys can control fire, so she's a genetic abnormality. So she got blamed for this fire that killed a bunch of people. So she ran away and assumed the male identity of Gabe. Then she met Adam--who can control air--and he figured out that she's a girl. But now they've teamed up with Josh--who is Unmanifested--and he doesn't know Gabby's a girl. And they're on their way to the bathing pool.
Yeah, I still need to write the query. If someone asks me what my novel is about, this is the spiel they get. Well, not really, but this is enough to get you to this part of the story.
Secretly, I was glad Adam had come. Josh didn’t seem stupid, and there was plenty he’d notice at the pool that would blow my cover.
After ten minutes, Josh stopped. He pointed down a well-worn trail. “Down there, a couple hundred feet. You can wash the clothes you’re wearing and change into your dry ones.” He looked at me, then Adam. “Do you have dry clothes?”
“Adam has some,” I said. “I’ve got some tops—um, shirts—but no jeans.”
“I can loan you some of mine,” Josh said. “I’ll be—”
“No, it’s okay,” I said. “They’re not that dirty.” When I looked at my jeans, I cringed. Not only were they crusty with dirt and mud and snow, bloodstains trailed down one leg. The right pant leg was ripped and burned from where the fire had exploded out.
“You’ll need shoes, too,” Josh said. “I can’t wait to hear the story of how you lost that one.” He grinned at my bare right foot, and then at me. “C’mon, Adam. We’ll be back in a couple of minutes, Gabe.” He walked off, Adam right behind him.
I watched them go, my mind racing. Twenty minutes. Ten there, ten back. I had no clean pants. Panic built up at the back of my throat.
A breeze wafted over my face. “Just go, I’ll help you,” it whispered, sounding very much like Adam.
I took a deep breath and walked down the trail. Steps had been cut into the slope, reinforced with branches and rocks. At the foot of the staircase lay a pool of clear water. Brown and white stones littered the bottom, and a slight ripple disturbed the surface.
I plunged both hands into the pool, finding it like liquid ice. My breath came in ragged gasps as I forced the fire into the water.
A mist arose as the hot water steamed in the frigid February air. Perfect cover. I undressed quickly, tossing my clothes into the pool. The hot water unknotted my muscles as the steam cleared my head. I only allowed myself a short minute of relief. Then I scrubbed my skin and my clothes with the soap Josh had given me. It smelled faintly of ashes and pine needles—a soft, soothing smell. I wrung my clothes out and laid them on some nearby rocks to dry. Just as I was rinsing my hair, I heard Adam talking much too loud.
“…take them down. Gabe sorta has a temper…don’t want to interrupt him. You stay here.”
I smiled. His last three words sounded like a command. My smile vanished as I remembered how clear the water was.
“Stop!” I cried out. The scuffling of Adam’s steps stopped.
“Gabe?” Josh called.
I groaned inwardly. “I’m fine,” I called back. “Just gimme a minute. Adam,” I added as an afterthought.
I got out of the pool and wrapped the towel around myself. “Okay,” I whispered and Adam immediately started down the steps again. He appeared only a few seconds later. He kept his eyes on mine, holding the clean pair of pants in front of him like a shield. It might have been funny if I wasn’t naked beneath the thin towel.
And tease...out. Did you see the shield part? Yeah, that comes from my writing rut. Oh well. I like it here.
One more thing: It's my boy kidlet's birthday! He's 11. Only two more years until the teen years. *shudders*