- Pub. Date:
They kissed only once—and it was electric, like the air before a storm. But Corinthe, a Fate from another world, and Lucas, a teenage boy from California, broke the rules of the universe, and learned too late that their love would have consequences. In the dizzying aftermath, Luc refuses to accept his destiny—not if it means a life without Corinthe. As a fire rages through the Crossroads that connect worlds, Luc must find a way to turn back time and save Corinthe.
Meanwhile, Luc’s party-loving younger sister, Jasmine, starts to realize that things are not as they seem when time begins stuttering, sending her everyday life in San Francisco spinning into chaos. She’s thrown into the path of Ford, a troubled soul with a secret past, who helps her unravel the mysterious threads that connect them all.
Two breathtaking romances interweave across time in this story of what lies on the other side of Fate, as both Jas and Luc discover the incredible lengths they will go to for love.
Have you read FATES?
“Bross takes myth and makes it into brilliance, crafting a story the reader will never want to end.” —Carrie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of the Need series
“A divine debut we are all fated to read!” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
“Close your eyes. Tell me what you see.”
Luc scowled and crossed his arms. “How can we see anything with our eyes closed?”
Jasmine slipped her hand into her mother’s and squeezed her eyes shut dutifully. It wasn’t often that Mom took them out of the house anymore, and the trip to the Botanical Garden had been so spur-of-the-moment, so unexpected, that Mom had even forgotten to put Jasmine’s shoes on. Jasmine was halfway to the car in socks before Luc had run after her, holding a pair of sneakers.
“Good girl.” A soft hand rested on top of Jasmine’s head, and fingers stroked her long dark hair. “Now take a deep breath. What do you see?”
Jasmine inhaled a breath as big as her lungs would allow. A color came to her. Yellow. “Lemon?” she asked hesitantly.
“Yes. And what else?”
Luc snorted but Jasmine ignored him. He was going to ruin it. It felt so good to have Mom close, to feel her delicate fingers running through her hair again. She wanted to make her happy more than anything in the world.
“Strawberry,” she said. “I see a strawberry.”
Mom crouched down beside her. “That’s good. What else?”
Jasmine took another deep breath and concentrated with every ounce of her being. She squeezed her eyes so tight, she saw little bursts of color. Bursts like fat fists. Fat fists like bright blooms. The heady aroma wrapped around Jasmine, filling her lungs, her veins with the throbbing scent.
“What do you see, Jas?” her mother prompted.
“I see . . . the flowers Daddy brought you for your birthday, only . . . brighter.”
Her mother’s delighted laughter sounded like music. “You can open your eyes now.”
She did, feeling a rush of triumph. She had done it. She had made her mom laugh.
But when she opened her eyes, her mom was gone. Luc was gone. She was alone in a lush forest where the trees seemed to be whispering to each other. If she listened hard enough, she could make out what they said, except for an annoying whine coming from overhead.
“Mom?” The sharp bite of panic put an edge in her voice.
An ache started in her stomach, like she hadn’t eaten for a week, and she doubled over from the pain.
Blood pounded in her ears, drowning out all other sounds.
Then a voice called to her out of the fog. Luc? She tried calling out, but her mouth wouldn’t form words.
The whining returned, louder and filled with rage. It filled her head, pushed to get out until she thought her body would explode. In a moment of clarity, she knew what was happening.
She was dying.
“Jas, I’m coming. . . .” It was Luc.
But before he reached her, she fell.
Jasmine jolted awake, gasping for air. It took her a second to recognize that she was in her own bed, her own room. The heavy perfume that had haunted her dream clung to her sheets and her hair.
Outside her window, the sun had begun to rise, and the sky was alight with streaks of red and orange. Cracks in the plaster ceiling revealed intricate patterns, spidering outward into a twisted mass, like tree limbs in winter. Someone had made coffee and the aroma made her feel nauseated.
Jasmine sat up slowly, waiting for the usual fuzzy-headedness that followed getting high, but there was none. In fact, things were sharper than they’d ever been.
Except for her memory. Her memory was a blank. Had she partied too hard?
Carefully, she pushed the blanket aside and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her muscles ached as she stretched her arms overhead. Jas waited for the room to tilt, for the bile to rise in her throat. But it didn’t happen. She scanned her desk for her phone, but it was nowhere in sight. The clock on her nightstand read 8:42 a.m.
What the hell had happened? How had she ended up back in bed? What had she taken last night? She was hangover-free, at least. She felt clear, alert.
So why couldn’t she remember?
Jasmine slipped on a pair of jeans that were slung over the chair. She looked at herself in the mirror on the back of her closet door. Her hair was a wild dark mess splayed out in a million directions, but her skin looked oddly glowing, as though she were standing in a patch of sunlight.
She shook her head. It was as if a curtain had been pulled over her memory. She could catch only glimpses, snippets of images, when the curtain fluttered.
She was meeting him at the marina, but why?
Jasmine grabbed her favorite threadbare black sweater on her way out of the room. It was June in San Francisco and she was freezing. Maybe she’d been sick. Fever or flu or something. It would explain the whacked-out dreams she’d had.
Jasmine walked into the kitchen and found Luc sitting at their tiny table, absently looking out the window. There was an untouched piece of toast in front of him. Coffee was brewing, but it barely masked the scent of stale cigarette smoke.
“Hey,” she said. He looked up, relief evident on his face.
“How are you feeling?” He pulled out the chair next to him and motioned for her to sit.
Uh-oh. Luc was in serious mode. His eyes were bloodshot and there were dark circles beneath them. It reminded her too much of when she’d woken up in the hospital after her overdose.
Oh God, had it happened again? Why couldn’t she remember anything? Everything was a haze, and her last clear recollection was of Friday night. She’d gone to meet T.J. to break it off with him.
“Am I in trouble?” Her voice was hoarse, like it hadn’t been used in awhile.
“What? No. Not at all.” He shifted in the cracked plastic chair and looked at her. “I’m just . . . glad you’re okay.”
“What happened last night? I went to the marina, but after that . . .”
Luc shook his head. It put her on edge when he was quiet like this--like there was bad news he was trying to break to her. Like when he had to explain to her that their mom had died.
Wait. Had someone died?
Jasmine looked around the apartment. Dad wasn’t on the couch, where he could usually be found sleeping off a hangover. Dread pooled in her stomach.
“Dad?” The word squeezed out through her tight throat. “Did something happen to Dad?”
“No, he’s okay,” Luc said. “He checked into some residential detox program.”
“He decided he wanted to get sober,” Luc said, poking at the toast. “After you came home he said he wanted to get sober for us.”
Jas couldn’t understand how casually her brother was treating the news. Their dad was not the kind of man who asked for help, who admitted to an addiction.
“Which hospital? I need to see this for myself.” She stood up and immediately felt dizzy, like the floor was dropping out from under her. She placed a hand on the table to steady herself.
“Whoa,” Luc said, standing to ease her back into the chair. “We’re not going anywhere. Not yet, at least. The roads are still a mess and you’ve been gone for two days--”
“Two days? It’s Saturday,” she interrupted. “What are you talking about? And why are the roads a mess?”
“Jas, it’s Sunday,” Luc said. “And there was an earthquake . . .”
“That’s impossible,” she insisted. Nothing felt familiar. The single bulb over their heads flickered; she felt a sting of pain as if the light shot straight through her brain. This was worse than a hangover, she was sure. She rubbed her throbbing temple and tried to focus.
Why couldn’t she remember what had happened after the marina? If she went to see T.J., it was possible she took something--but she hadn’t wanted to take anything after the overdose. Not ever again.
“What happened to me, Luc? It wasn’t drugs again, was it?” She had to be sure.
“No.” He scrubbed his fingers through his hair, exhaled deeply. “I found you at the rotunda. There was this woman, Miranda . . .” He cut himself off. “You know what? It’s not really important. The important thing is that you’re home and that you’re careful from now on.”
“How can I be careful if I don’t know what happened?”
“Jas, so much has happened in the last couple of days.” He closed his eyes and took a ragged breath in. “Can we talk about this later?”
The last thing she wanted to do was talk about it later. He was keeping something from her and she wanted answers--now. But she could tell that Luc was upset. He’d done so much for her over the years, taken care of her when their dad hadn’t. If he needed time, she would give it to him.
“Fine,” she said as she leaned back in the chair. “But I need to get out of this apartment.”
Luc had been more overprotective than ever, and it had taken a whole lot of convincing for him to stay home. He looked exhausted anyway, and Jasmine needed to be alone to think. She walked to the end of the street, where a large dump truck sat rumbling. Jasmine could smell the diesel in the air as men in yellow hardhats moved around the street, patching gaps in the sidewalk. A lamppost sagged close to the ground, and the fence of a parking lot bowed out toward the street.
California Pacific Medical Center was in walking distance, but she moved slowly, still recovering from the headache. She wondered about her dad’s sudden change of heart. Why check himself into a program now? She could barely remember that warm, caring father--the one who threw her up in the air and called her his princess. Maybe deep down, she had always hoped he’d come back.
Jasmine passed a small café and could almost smell the roasted beans and buttery pastries. Her stomach churned, but she couldn’t be sure if it was the smell of food or her own nerves. What if her dad wasn’t really there? Or worse, what if he was sicker than Luc had suggested?
A deep pain returned to her temples, and Jasmine rubbed at the spots with her fingers. The light and noise drove tiny knives into her skull. The sounds of construction surrounded her--men drilling into the concrete and dump trucks collecting debris. It was too much. Every sound built on another until it reached a crescendo.
Jas walked faster, and she caught her breath when the hospital entrance came into sight. She had been brought here when she overdosed, and hoped to never come back. And now, here she was.
She needed to sit down for a minute, to tune everything out.
The doors whooshed open and Jasmine walked to the reception desk, leaning on it as she regained her senses. The smell of chemicals made her stomach flip.
“Are you okay?” the woman at the desk asked. She looked concerned.
“Yes--yes, of course,” Jasmine stammered. “I’m here to see a patient. Jack Simmons?”
The woman nodded, then tapped on her keyboard. Jasmine looked around and realized how chaotic it was. Nurses and doctors hurried up and down the hallways, and the waiting room was overrun with people. A man was being treated in the hallway, a nurse in green scrubs wrapping a white bandage around his head. A doctor in a lab coat pushed along a woman in a wheelchair, barely missing Jasmine’s foot.
Jas swallowed uncomfortably.
“Room one twenty-nine,” the woman behind the desk said. “Down the hall, take the first right, and then push through the double doors and take a left.”
“Thank you,” Jasmine said. She willed her feet to move down the hallway. The deeper she went into the hospital, the stronger the smell of disinfectant was. It clawed at her throat, and she had to cover her mouth and put her head down.
The gray tiles under her feet didn’t change as she walked, so she turned left and started to count them. When she got to twenty-two, she looked up and saw that she was only steps away from the room number the woman at the front desk had given her.
Jasmine stood at the doorway. A soft beep-beep came from a machine at her father’s bedside. The overwhelming scent of antiseptic filled her lungs.
This was a mistake. She turned and almost ran into a nurse.
“Hello. Are you a relative?” the nurse asked.
“His daughter,” Jasmine managed to get out around her constricted throat. “Is he okay?”
“He’s suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal. It’s a good thing he checked himself into our detoxification program when he did.”
“And how long will he be here?” She avoided looking in her father’s direction. He looked small and sickly against the white sheets of the hospital bed.
“He’ll need to meet with a mental-health professional. Then he’ll begin a weeklong inpatient stay.” The woman placed her tray down and checked his monitor. “He was given a sedative to help with the withdrawal symptoms for now, but you can say hello if you’d like.”
“No, no, it’s fine,” Jas said, backing away from the bed.
“But there are no visitors allowed during the program. . . .”
“You said it was a week long?” Jas asked. “I can wait until he’s out.” She’d gone a week without seeing her dad before. At least he was here instead of passed out at O’Rourke’s pub. She didn’t want to say hello; she wanted to run away as fast as possible. The lights overhead made dots dance in her vision, and the sickly-sweet scent of hand sanitizer coated her tongue. She needed to get out, now.
She turned and ran.
At the end of the hall, she saw a bright red Exit sign and focused on it.
The doors exploded open under her hands.
Outside, she hesitated for just a second before turning left and running faster. Her only thought was to put distance between herself and the hospital as quickly as possible. She ran down Sacramento, turned right onto Fillmore, and then left, where a tilted sign indicated she was now on Clay Street.
She slowed to a walk, amazed that she didn’t even feel winded. Luc always made fun of her for being a sloth, just because she didn’t see the point of running up and down a field and kicking a ball into a net. And it was true she did fake illnesses a lot to get out of gym class. One time she’d even claimed she was coming down with whooping cough.
Since when could she run so fast?
She felt strangely alive, buzzing. Beneath the squealing of tires and occasional blaring of alarms and car horns, it was as though the air itself was speaking to her. She felt connected to everything--to the people lighting a fire in the alleyway as she passed by, to an old lady walking across the street, to the old lady’s small dog. She could feel them, could feel what they were feeling. Hunger. Loneliness. Curiosity. She could suddenly sense all of it around her, as though the whole world’s volume had been turned up.