Tameron’s hands were hot. He juggled the pink sparks, tossing them from one hand to the other, faster and faster and faster until they blurred into a cyclone. He shut his eyes tight, the sparks blinding him, and he concentrated on his hands and the heat and ignored the oohs and aahs, but not quite, because there were thirteen oohs and fifteen aahs, which meant that he would make a fair amount of pesos today. He could use the money to buy a new pair of shoes, because his soles had turned black and no matter how many times he scrubbed them, he could not get his boots to shine again, and there was no longer a lake to wash himself, and over the past few months the river had slackened to a steady trickle because the draught had not let up and…
Ooh. Aah. Aaaaaaaaaaah.
Tameron opened his eyes, squinting, and saw a young boy yelling as he batted pink sparks out of his dirty hair, his mother close behind shaking him vigorously, shaking the sparks off of him. Tameron quickly clasped his hands over his mouth, and promptly screamed as his thick lips burned and blistered. The crowd started hissing and a few even stooped down to Tameron’s feet and snatched back their pesos. Tameron’s eyes widened as he watched his earnings slip away, and he sprung to the ground to gather the rest of his coins, jamming them into a small leather pouch full of bright pink powder, when he saw two perfectly shaped legs only inches from his face, so close that he could see the hairs threatening to sprout from beneath the skin.
“Fix the lake.”
Tameron looked up to see those harsh brown eyes. He gasped, and tried to shout in protest, but his lips ached and his tongue fought with his teeth and he could not get out the words, so he dumbly crouched there lusting over slender Ana’s legs.
“I need to swim across.”
Tameron furiously shook his head.
“My stupid sister won’t stop crying about her wedding, so if you don’t do it for me, do it for her.”
Tameron continued to shake his head.
Ana took a step closer, her ankles nearly kissing Tameron’s cheeks. She lifted her skirt and bent her knees and listened to Tameron pant and sputter. Then she quickly stepped away and placed her legs so close together that her thighs touched.
“I expect it to be clear by midnight.”