“Gods fucking dammit!” With the loud intro music thundering in her ears and the bright lights beckoning her to the stage, the Goddess of Forgetfulness extended her right hand and cringed at her numbing fingertips. “This can’t be good.” And she certainly couldn’t go out there and perform like this. Because the tingling wasn’t some sort of deity carpal tunnel. It was the onset of a much, much bigger problem. The godly doomsday sort.
“Bite me, evil Universe. You can’t have me!” She shook out her hands, straightened her spine, and stomped the nonexistent dust from her white go-go boots like a Spanish bullfighter summoning courage. Twenty thousand well-deserving mortals from Ibiza, Spain awaited her just on the other side of the black curtain. The town needed her. They needed to laugh and dance and lose themselves in the music. Not that they would die if they didn’t, but everyone knew the world thrived on vibes.
And, honey, there are a whole helluva lot of bad vibes sailing around the planet right now. It was her divine duty to help turn this earthly crap-cruise of negativity around. And my humans need to dance.
She lifted her chin and stepped forward—
“Ooph!” she grunted, unexpectedly colliding with something huge and solid. Suddenly, she was falling, her legs tangled with the other person’s.
She landed on her back with a grunt, a very warm body on top of her.
“Get off me!” Forgetty screamed, realizing she was buried beneath a man-shaped mound of muscles wearing an “I heart DJ Whatsherface” T-shirt.
Yes, yes. She was DJ Whatsherface—the world’s most anti-famous DJ, known for her addictive, hypnotically sexual spins as much as she was for everyone being unable to remember her. “Yeah! Let’s go see…that lady. She’s the best. I think?” Or, “I can’t remember her name or what she looks like, but I know I really want to see her and forget her again! Woohoo!”
It’s so weird being me, she thought quickly, taking notice of the offender’s sky-blue eyes, with lavender flecks, boring down on her.
Wow. Her breath jammed into her lungs, which stuck in the inflated position.
“Well, well, well…who do we have here?” he said in a deep melodic voice, not the least bit concerned about having knocked her over or being on top of her.
I will have to vanquish him. But after the show.
“Remove yourself at once, you pesky man-critter,” she snarled, “or I will hit you with something so powerfully vegetative, even your drool will have drool.”
Still on top of her, the man slid his arms to her wrists and pinned her down. His crisp blue irises flickered to full-on lavender and then back again.
Huh? What was that? It must’ve been the stage lights.
“Now, now.” He chuckled wickedly, seeming perfectly at home nestled between her thighs. “No need to be impolite. It was a simple mistake—of which, I forgive you. Just be more careful where you’re walking next time.”
Her mouth fell open.
“What? Cat got your tongue?” His smug smile grew. It was then that she noticed the supple fullness of his lips and his short dark beard that matched the brown roots of his long, dirty blond hair.
Fine. He’s hot. But how dare he not fear me and infer that a cat could best me or my tongue? I am a great and powerful deity. Yay me!
“No, baby,” she purred, preparing to blast him with a dose of her powerful light. “But this pussycat does have a bite.” Three, two, on—
The man jumped off her, getting to his feet and stumbling back. “Gah!” He winced in pain.
Oopsies, she thought sadistically. Humans could not tolerate prolonged contact with a deity unless the human wore black jade to blunt the god’s energy. If a god—say one with a lot of extra time on her hands—focused her thoughts, she could rile up her cells and get them to release a burst of light. Too much would kill a person. But just the right amount?
“Owww…” The man bent his well-built frame, planting his ripped arms on his knees. He had black geometric shapes tattooed on his muscled forearms. She’d seen those symbols before but couldn’t remember where.
Hmmm. Strange. Not like me to forget things. It was she who made others forget—their pain, their anger, their shopping lists.
“What the hell was that?” He panted toward his heavy leather boots.
“It’s you. Fucking off.” A satisfied grin crept over her lips as she sat up, grateful for having worn underwear beneath her short skirt tonight. Normally, she liked to free-cooter it, but it was January.
His head of long silky hair whipped up, and his abnormally handsome face—which she ignored, because…Ick him!—displayed a condescending frown.
“Me-fucking-yow, asshole,” she added.
He brought himself upright, his powerful pecs stretching out the front of his DJ Whatsherface fan T-shirt. His wide shoulders were the perfect size to support his very solid arms, and he looked to be at least seven feet tall like her brothers—not that the gods were really related. They’d all been birthed from cosmic soup for the Universe’s amusement.
“Wrong sound, sweetheart. Try barking.” He turned and started walking away, still not bothering to help her up.
Wait…barking? Barking? I will smite him!
She hopped to her feet. “Hey! Get back here, buddy. I am nobody’s bitch!”
Just before he turned the corner around the black stage curtain, she could swear she saw him chuckling—those broad, strong shoulders shaking.
“What’s so funn…” She looked down at her shirt, remembering her outfit—a hot pink miniskirt and a tight white T-shirt that said “BITCH” on the front. On the back, “Perra Sucia,” or dirty bitch in Spanish.
She crinkled her lips and planted her hands on her sides. The shirt had been funny this morning when she’d put it on, looking for something edgy to wear. Kind of like saying “yeah, I’m a badass” in two languages. Now she just felt stupid.
Because he ruined it. She would find him later and set him straight. Right now, she needed to get on with the show.
She closed her eyes, gathering herself. Get it together, goddess. It’s time to party. She released a soothing breath and opened her heart to the awaiting masses outside. She had a job to do.
Yes, and now you have two. Because that numbing in her fingertips could only mean one thing: Her countdown had begun. If she didn’t find a man—her man—she would turn evil.
And gods help us all. A rogue Forgetty meant an irreversible worldwide amnesia epidemic.