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Kimberly Loth Books

Chasm of Eternity

Chasm of Eternity

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Liv lands right in the middle of a goddess boot camp.

And she can’t remember who she is.

When Gabe shows up promising answers, Liv must decide. Trust a Jinn or trust the goddesses?

Liv chooses wrong.


Synopsis

Liv lands right in the middle of a goddess boot camp.

And she can’t remember who she is.

When Gabe shows up promising answers, Liv must decide. Trust a Jinn or trust the goddesses?

Liv chooses wrong.

First Chapter

I stood in the middle of several tall trees. The ground around me was littered with dead leaves. The silence was disconcerting. I had no idea where I was. Or even who I was for that matter. 

Confusion clouded my thoughts. I was deep in the woods with no memory as to how I arrived there or what I was doing five minutes ago. Or even five seconds ago. I spun in circles. I was utterly alone. 

I took a deep breath. I’d learned what to do if I got lost—find a stream and follow it. No. That wasn’t right. That was the wrong thing to do. I was supposed to stay put. 

Okay. I could do that. 

I sat down on the cool ground and leaned against a tree, trying to remember… anything. My mind was blank. 

Soft footsteps crunched the leaves behind me. I swiveled my head around. 

A girl stood there. She had and ethereal beauty, like an elf. She stood tall and willowy in a flowing gown that covered her feet. 

She held out her hand. “Liv, we’ve been looking for you.”

I took her hand, and she led me through the woods. I moved silently, not sure where we were going. She called me Liv. That sounded right, like it was my name. But how could I not know my name? 

The girl moved fluidly. Her hair was swept up in a fancy knot like she was going to a dance instead of search for a missing girl in the woods. She ducked around another tree and pulled me along with her. I gasped. 

Out of nowhere an enormous castle appeared. I’d stepped into a fairy tale. Maybe this was a dream. The castle was three, maybe four stories tall, with steep turrets that looked like they disappeared into the sky. 

The girl in front of me turned around and smiled. “Are you coming?”

“What? Oh, yeah.” I continued to gape at the building. We climbed up a set of steep stairs, and I had to concentrate on each stair so I didn’t fall. The girl held up her dress as she climbed. She wore no shoes. How weird. 

We approached the front door, it opened, and we stepped into an opulent entryway with ancient artwork and expensive carpets. No one else was around. The girl headed up another set of stone steps, and I hurried to catch up with her. The second story hall was just as extravagant as the entryway. A plush red carpet lined the hall, and statues of naked women were situated along the whole path. 

We stopped in front of a polished wooden door, and the girl knocked. Anxiety flooded my stomach. Something wasn’t right. 

“Come in,” a voice called. 

“Wait here,” the girl said and entered the room. She had a look of trepidation on her face. 

I studied the statue next to me. It was gorgeous, and it looked old, like it belonged in a Greek temple or something. 

I leaned against the wall across from the office, suddenly tired. I stood there for what felt like an hour but was probably only ten or fifteen minutes. The door cracked open, and the girl from the forest slipped out. 

Her face had lost its color, and her hands were trembling. 

“You can go in now,” she said in a shaky voice. I nodded, scared. What was I getting into? As I slid past her, she hissed under her breath. “Make sure you bow.”

Before I could ask anything more, she was gone, and the door shut behind me. The room was dark, and I moved farther in, my own hands now shaking. Bookshelves lined the walls next to me, and a woman sat behind a desk. She took beauty to a whole new level. She stood and approached me. 

I stared up at the formidable woman. She was tall, at least six feet, with long raven hair and eyes so dark they were almost black. Her skin was deathly pale, but it worked on her. She wore a silk dress that somehow hugged her curves in the best possible way. The scariest thing about her was her six-inch heels. I couldn’t figure out why a woman who was already so tall would wear such shoes—unless she planned on stabbing someone with them. Considering the deep red color, perhaps she did. 

I bowed a little, not trusting myself to speak. 

“Please sit down,” she said, her fingers revealing inch-long, blood-red nails. I sat and finally dared to look up at her. 

She leaned against her desk and smiled, revealing bright white teeth. Her smile did nothing to soften her face or to make her appear friendly in the least. Everything about her screamed predator, and I was her prey. 

I wore navy blue Chucks, skinny jeans, and a green t-shirt. I felt incredibly underdressed. Both of the women I ran into seemed to be dressed for a fancy event, and yet, here we were just sitting in an office that looked like it belonged in a university somewhere. 

I swallowed. I should’ve asked the girl a few questions before she left me with this woman. 

“Olivia, it is a pleasure to meet you, though this is rather unorthodox. My name is Goddess Lianna. Would you care to tell me how you came to find us?” The scary woman smiled again, and my brain raced to find an answer. It was blank. Goddess? If that were true, she could turn me to dust with a single glare. 

I ran my hand along the polished wood of my chair. “How do you know my name?” I asked in a soft voice. 

She called me Olivia. That too felt right. But that girl called me Liv. 

“Mia told me, but what is your last name?” Lianna asked. Her lips twitched in annoyance. I was still trying to put the pieces together. Mia. That must’ve been the girl in the woods. Nerves pricked at my skin. 

“Last name?” I had one of those, but I couldn’t remember it at the moment. What the hell was wrong with me?

“I…I…don’t know.” 

The woman creased her eyebrows. “You don’t know?”

I shook my head. Also, I most certainly did not tell Mia my name. She already knew it, but she called me Liv, not Olivia. I hung onto that memory because everything before it was blank. 

Perhaps, I should’ve been wary of Mia, but I was so confused that I didn’t even think to not go with her. I swallowed. I made a mistake. I should’ve stayed in the woods. This woman was going to devour me. 

“Is there anything else that seems foggy, like you can’t remember?”

Finally, a question I could answer. “I don’t know how I got into the woods, I don’t know where I live, and I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

She stared at me for another long moment. “Give me your hand,” she commanded.

I held out my sweaty hand. This was her domain. 

Her hands were surprisingly warm. She closed her eyes and hummed under her breath. Suddenly she dropped my hand and blinked her dark eyes open. They were haunted. 

“What is it?” I asked and then felt stupid. How could holding my hand tell her anything? Yeah. I was hallucinating. Or dreaming. I would wake up and laugh about this with… with… a friend. I had friends. Maybe. Family? My mind was completely blank. 

She frowned and somehow looked even more intimidating. “You have a powerful curse laid upon you. One which I cannot undo. I’m a third-generation goddess, which means the goddess who put this curse on you was at least a second. Perhaps a first, but one of those hasn’t ever been seen around here. So, tell me, what can you remember? Anything at all about your past?”

My past? Who the hell cared? She was talking about goddesses and curses and things that weren’t real. This was insane. Maybe I got into an accident or something and went crazy. 

 “A goddess?” I finally muttered, not looking at her. Instead I stared at the star patterns in the wooden floor. My head spun. What was going on? 

“Yes, a goddess. You are one as well.”

I sniffed. Definitely a dream. This was so frustrating. I literally had no memories. Nothing that would give me any indication of who I was or who I knew. Yet, I knew that I should have people in my memory. 

She crossed her arms and drummed her lethal nails on her surprisingly muscular bicep, not that gorgeous women couldn’t be buff. Despite her fancy clothes and austere demeanor, the woman could probably kick a grown man’s ass. I gulped, taking care how I responded. 

Okay, focus, Liv. I was just told I was a goddess. My imagination was running wild. I wanted to wake up and remember my loved ones. It felt wrong to not have memories of anyone. 

 “Yeah, right,” I finally said, meeting her piercing dark eyes. Which was stupid. She narrowed her eyes and sneered. For the first time I considered that maybe this was real, and if so, this woman was going to murder me. Her eyes were hungry, like I had something she desperately wanted. 

“I can assure you that you are one. I’ll prove it to you later, but first we need to figure out who you are. A spell like that could only mean one thing. You’re in danger. Let’s see what you know. Do you remember your mother?”

I faltered, searching for a name or face. Nothing came. But I knew one thing without a doubt. “She’s dead.” 

“How long ago did she die?”

“Seven years.” Holy hell, how did I know that but not her name? This was so bizarre. Now I wanted Lianna to continue to grill me so I could figure out what else I knew. 

“That would explain why you were never brought here. Most girls come when they are around twelve, before magic manifests, though you don’t fully come into your powers until seventeen. Do you remember her name?”

My eyes pricked with tears. I should be able to remember my own mother’s name. 

She didn’t hesitate at all. “Anything else about your family or where you lived?” Her tone was brisk and rough. 

“I have a brother, but I can’t remember his name either.” My mind had officially betrayed me. I clenched my teeth to tamp down a scream. Nothing about this was okay. 

She nodded. “Very well. We’ll need to get your training started right away. You are very far behind, and an untrained goddess is a danger to herself and those around her. Your powers could come bursting out when you least expect it. I’m surprised you haven’t already done something drastic. Though maybe you did, and you don’t remember.”

My throat grew tight. None of this made sense.

“Okay,” I finally said because I didn’t know what else to say. 

“You’ll have to start with the beginners, but we’ll get you extra lessons so you can catch up. Perhaps within a year, you’ll be able to join your peers.”

“Excuse me? My peers?” Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. This was nuts. 

“Yes, the girls who are your age. We have one other girl who just showed up a few months ago, way too late as well, but she’s already a divine. I’ll put you in a room with her. She’ll be more understanding about your plight than the others.”

“What’s a divine?”

“One step on the way to becoming a goddess. There are seven. Once you become a goddett, then you can test to join us as a full goddess.”

My mind raced. So many empty thoughts. It was time to focus on the here and now. “So what exactly is this place?”

“It's a sanctuary for people like us.”

“You mean goddesses.”

“Yes.”

“How am I a goddess?”

“Well, you’re not a full-blooded goddess. None of us are. Unless you count first generation, but there are only a half-dozen of those, and most of them have been alive for so long they don’t care what happens in the world anymore. They live eccentric, extravagant lives. Every once in a while a second-generation will visit us. Our patron goddess is Natalia. She comes from time to time, and we feel very fortunate when she does.” 

I filed that information away for later. Right now, I wanted to know more about me. 

“My mother was a goddess?”

“Yes. The bloodline only passes along the female genes.”

“What does it mean that I’m a goddess? Like what can I do?” If this was a dream, I planned on fully embracing it because I was obviously not waking up for a while. 

Her smile widened, and for the first time since I entered the room, she almost appeared friendly. “Anything you want. Travel great distances in a blink of an eye, summon forth riches you couldn’t even dream of, and the men, darling, the men will do whatever we want them to.”

“But I’ve never been able to do any of this before.” I was certain, but I wasn’t sure how. 

“That is because you haven’t been trained. It comes with time. Don’t worry.”

I thought through what I knew. It wasn’t much. “Can I have my memories back?”

“Oh, dear, I wish it was that simple. A very powerful goddess cursed you. Only one who is more powerful than she can remove it.”

I sat back and crossed my arms. What good was being a goddess if I couldn’t do anything about my one and only issue? I thought over the past several hours for any clue as to who I was. The girl who found me, it was like she was waiting in the woods. She knew. She had to. 

“I want to talk to Mia.”

“Why?”

“Because she’s the one who found me. She might have answers about where I came from.

“Maybe. But she’s a goddett and has already been sent out on a hunting mission. She won’t be back for some time.”

“A hunting mission? What do you hunt?” I kind of thought goddesses sat around on their asses all day and let people wait on them. At least that’s what I would do if I was all-powerful. I was slightly disappointed that we actually had to do things. Where was the fun in that? 

“Jinn. Or genies.”

I snorted. “Aren’t genies supposed to grant three wishes or something?”

My sole knowledge of genies came from Aladdin.

 She scowled. “I hate to break it to you, but genies are not friendly blue critters who burst out of a lamp willing to help. They are monsters.”

Genies? Yep. I’d officially gone nuts. A sick feeling settled in my stomach. I was a goddess, and monsters existed. I had to find out who I was and how I got here. 

Lianna might want to start my training, but I was going to do everything I could to get my memories back. If this sanctuary was filled with magical goddesses, then surely, one of them would be able to help me. 

                                

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