FIRST SIGHT #1 ROYAL MAGES SERIES

Young, French, and working in the USA, Danielle Laurant has it all—including the love of heartthrob Marick Young.
However, there’s something sinister brewing underneath their love.
Secrets can make or break any relationship—but especially when it’s one that goes against the grain of otherworldly laws.

Marick is the prince of warlocks and his father refuses to allow his son to love a human girl and Marick refuses to let her go.
Marick introduces Danielle to a world she didn’t know existed. But she needs to end their relationship or force him to lose his crown. And if it isn’t done soon, it won’t matter anyway. She’ll be put to death.

In this exciting, fast paced, introduction to the Royal Mages series by USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin Ping, prepare for a forbidden romance like no other.

FIRST CHAPTER

Have you ever loved someone so much that they become the air you breathe?

I’m not talking about just being in love, I’m talking about real love, and then everything changes as the truth about who that person really is gets revealed.

You still love them, but now you are afraid because you don’t understand the things that are happening around you. You don’t understand his world and you wish that you had never discovered a thing about it. You wish you could just go back to all the secrets and the “trust me” answers rather than to know the truth. 

You don’t understand why you never could see it: all the signs were there, hidden.

Well, I can tell you this, the saying “the truth shall set you free” it isn’t entirely correct in my situation. The truth was the opposite. It came with shackles and worries about if we were really going to have a future, because it was forbidden for him to love me, a human. 

My name is Danielle Laurant. I’m twenty-four years old and about to become a mother. It doesn’t matter what decision I make since it isn’t mine to make. I’m not even sure if I am going to be able to hold my babies in my arms.

You see, they belong in his world, and it doesn’t matter that they are half-breeds. His people will never let me raise them, if that is their choice. But let me take you back to a year ago and maybe you will understand why all of this is so difficult. Why I would die for Marick Young.

A YEAR AGO

“Danny.” I heard Marick’s voice softly in my ear. “Sweetheart, you need to wake up.”

I opened my eyes and found his beautiful chiseled face, with his beach blond hair tinged with golden highlights reaching his shoulders, and green eyes staring lovingly at me. His beard tickled when he kissed my neck and I laughed.

He chuckled. “I would give anything to wake up to that laugh every day,” he said and touched my face softly.

He’d been saying things like that lately. It was like something bad was about to happen that would tear us apart. But what? He was Marick Young, a loner I met more than six months ago. He had told me that he had been disowned by his father.

He had been different when I first met him. Closed off, mean, and walls as big as the Empire State building around him, but somehow my kindness and his curiosity helped break those walls. Now the walls were protecting a kind and beautiful man. A man who I loved so much.

It took me a while to realize how much he loved me, but just as his curiosity about me in the beginning broke down his walls, my curiosity to figure out who Marick Young was made me fall in love with him. No, I crashed in love with him.

I touched his face softly and just stared at him. “What’s going on? Why do you keep saying things like that?” I asked.

His eyes shifted to the wall as a sad smile lingered on his lips. 

Tears welled up in his eyes. A look I’d never seen before tugged down at the corners of his lips. A slight frown formed between the furrow of his brows.

He was afraid. 

“Marick, talk to me. What is going on?” I asked and pushed myself up in bed.

He looked at me and wiped his face hard. “Danny, I have to make a decision and I’m scared,” he said.

“What decision?”

“One about you,” he said simply. 

My throat closed up. I couldn’t breathe.

“What about me?”

“Us, actually,” he said, got up and paced slowly to my window.

“Marick, what are you talking about?”

“My father wants me to come back, Danny.”

“Love, that is perfect, why are you so …”

“Because I can’t take you with me. It’s not perfect, it’s the opposite of perfect.”

I didn’t understand one bit. I shook my head.

“I wasn’t supposed to fall in love.” He touched his face. “The past few months I’ve tried to figure out what to do, but nothing I can think of is fair to you. I don’t know what to do.”

“I don’t understand. Why can’t you take me with you and why weren’t you supposed to fall in love?”

“He wants me to assume my position in the family. Kinda like taking over a family business. But I can’t.”

“So he phoned you?”

He shook his head. “Well actually I knew it from the beginning and I knew that this time would come. That’s why I tried so hard not to get sucked into your world.”

“You knew it from the beginning?”

“Danielle, I tried; it was hard. I know it was stupid of me, okay. But I never felt about anyone the way I feel about you. I love you, very much. There’s no easy way out of this.”

“Out of this?” I felt like crying. “So, you have already made up your mind? Fine, just leave, leave me. That’s it.”

“Danny, you think this is easy for me. It’s not. I will always love you, always want you, always ache for you.”

“Then fight his ridiculous demand, Marick. Don’t leave.”

“He can’t be fought. If there was a single ounce of hope, sweetheart, I would fight it, but there is none.”

“So what? This is it?”

He looked at the ground.

“Speak to me! Is this it, Marick?” Tears rolled down my cheeks.

“There is another way, but I can’t ask you to do that.”

“What? Just tell me.”

“We can try hiding from my father.”

“Hiding?”

“Danielle, it’s me leaving, or giving up everything we have to be together.”

I couldn’t imagine my life without Marick. I loved him too much. I had worked so hard to peel away his layers, but I knew—it was evident now—that I still didn’t know who he really was.

“I know it’s not fair to you, but it’s the only way I can think of.”

“Run away? Marick, everything we have is in New York.”

“Danielle, in the next few days my father is going to come and get me, that much I know. We can stay here and enjoy our last few days together. Then you will see me get dragged back while you are left behind. Or we can leave now and be together. He will have to find me, which will take time. More than he expects, because he can’t find me the way he used to.”

I guessed he was talking about his credit cards. 

“He can’t trace me as easily as he used to.”

“Give everything up?” I asked as if that was the hardest thing for me to do. “Is that the only way?”

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but those are the only two options. I should’ve told you sooner, but the thought of losing you, to imagine not having you in my life…”

I grabbed his face and just kissed his lips. His kisses were still making me slightly dizzy; they were addictive. Everything about this man was addictive. Our kisses came to a halt. “I’ll go pack.”

He just looked at me. “Are you serious?”

“Marick, I trust you. I don’t understand this, but I trust you. And I don’t want to lose you. If giving everything up is the only way to be with you, then so be it.”

He kissed me hard again and then he helped me pack my bags. 

I left a note for Diane, my roommate. I told her that I was leaving with Marick, and wouldn’t be back. I would call her when I could and try to explain everything then.

When we got downstairs, I discovered Marick had sold his bike. He’d saved so hard for it, worked at the docks and did some construction on the side, but now he’d sold it and got a truck.

I jumped into the passenger’s seat and we took off. For the first half-hour we were silent, but then I needed some answers. I was giving up everything for him, so I deserved some answers. 

“Why is our love complicated?”

He sighed. “I don’t know how to explain it, Danielle.”

“Try.”

“I can’t. Just take my word for it. Where I am from, if I go back, I have to give you up.”

“So what, he disowns you? Marick, that doesn’t make any sense.”

“I know it doesn’t. You don’t know my father. He is set in his ways, and he won’t even listen to me. His order was simple: learn, that’s it. I should’ve stayed away from you. Then none of this would’ve happened. You would still be happy….”

“Don’t say that. My life would’ve been incomplete if I didn’t meet you.”

“Don’t.” He spoke softly.

I touched his face. “I know you will explain everything to me when you can. Just don’t say things like how I would have been happier if I had never met you. You’ve changed my entire life. I love you, Marick. Life without you would have been dull and boring.”

He grabbed my hand and kissed it. 

“I wish I could offer you everything, anything other than just a crappy life, hiding from my father.”

“It won’t be a crappy life. I know it.”

He let go of my hand and I rested my head against the window. 

A part of me didn’t want to leave. I wanted him to fight, even if he thought it was hopeless. When his father saw how much we loved each other, surely he would change his mind. But Marick didn’t believe our love would be enough. I had to make him see that it was.

If love wasn’t worth fighting for then nothing was.

I wanted him to fight for me the way I would fight for him. But I knew it was going to take time for him to change his mind. Marick was not the type of man to act on a whim. 

He needed time before making decisions.

What kind of family business did his father run that was so hard for him to take over, and what kind of business wouldn’t allow him to love me? 

None of it was making any sense.

My mind went back to when we first met.

He was a dishwasher at the hotel I worked at. I had gotten a transfer from the hotel in Paris, which was close to where I had lived and had grown up, to the one here in New York. I wanted to see the world. Marick was quiet, didn’t want anything to do with anyone, and I finally understood now. He was never supposed to fall in love; he’d just confessed it this morning. It was still a big shock to me.

He was guarded. Couldn’t figure out the ropes in New York so I helped him out. As I did, he started to let down some of those walls a little. Then he started following me in secret and protecting me. First there was the bus that almost ran me over, then a creep at a food cart late one night. I knew someone was watching over me after that, but I didn’t know it was Marick. Then I finally found out one night. He told me, he admitted, he felt a connection that he shouldn’t feel toward me. He said he just wanted to keep me safe and meant no harm. 

It was so weird then, and made no sense, but everything was finally falling into place now. 

He’d tried to keep his distance because he didn’t want this to happen. He didn’t want it to lead to the situation we were in.

But once the door was open, it was inevitable that we’d fall for each other, and we’d been inseparable ever since.

I always thought that he was broken, that he came from a broken family that wasn’t filled with love, that wasn’t filled with care. That he just needed someone to show him the kind of love he needed, the kind of love all humans deserve. I’d never thought in a million years that he was fighting against it all.