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Enjoy Chapter One of my romance novel with a hint of magic: Arcane. If you like it, there is a button at the end which brings you directly to my Wattpad page, where you can read the first third of the story for free. If you want to go there already, follow this link 

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«We find our way back to each other. Always have, always will»


Chapter One


«Do you know why you are here?» An unfamiliar female voice penetrates the thick fog surrounding my mind. I blink but remain unable to make sense of what I see. My vision is blurry and my brain too numb to catch up.

I want to search for the voice`s owner but I can`t move, my limbs impossibly heavy. In the back of my mind, a warning rings out, telling me to get ahold of myself and become aware of my surroundings, but the voice of caution is too far away to carry any actual importance.

«Can you hear me?» The voice adds, drawing closer.

Yes, I want to answer, but my mouth won’t follow my command. My body seems incapable of working properly, caught in its dreamlike state. Is this a dream? I`ve never experienced anything similar, and it seems impossible for reality to feel like this.

«Malia?» My head jerks at the sound of my name, and my trance is shattered. I blink furiously, awareness rushing back into my body and mind as I look up.

A beautiful woman with wavy dark hair and bright blue eyes is sitting across from me. I study her features, and as some recognition trickles into my mind, my galloping heart stumbles over itself. Instead of the expected paralyzing fear to take hold of me, the sight of this stranger evokes a foreign calmness in me.

With great effort, I force myself to stay cautious and take a look around. We are in a big, bright room, which is just as new to me as she is. There are no windows, fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling being the only source of light.

Again, alarm bells go off in my head as I remember my parent`s old warnings about stranger danger. Still, I can`t quite bring myself to call out to them. Not with the woman on the other side of the desk looking so much like an angel.

«Do you remember what happened?» the woman asks patiently. I want to answer, but the words get stuck in my throat. I shake my head. I have no idea where I am or how I got here. It feels like I was in the car with my parents just a moment ago.

As if reading my mind, the woman slowly keeps talking, «You and your family had an accident. I am really sorry.» Sorry for what? Why would this woman tell me she is sorry, and where are mamma and papà? I take a deep breath and try to find my voice.

«Where are my parents?» The words come out shaky and weak, so different from usual. The strange woman smiles sadly.

«They died in the accident. I am really sorry.»

Died? I fight the cold dread settling in my chest. I don’t need it there, because it’s not true. This woman must be wrong about my parents. We were driving to our favorite café just a second ago. My Papà told us a joke and we were all laughing together. I can almost still hear my Ma’s laugh ringing out and see my father’s warm eyes as they look at me through the rear-view mirror.

My voice is gone again, so I shake my head once more, looking away from the woman and back at my knees. My hands are trembling in my lap, but I can barely feel them. Nothing feels real.

A strong hand gives my shoulder a squeeze and I whirl around in my seat. Another person I have never seen before, a man, is standing behind me like a guardian, staring ahead instead of looking down at me. He`s tall, his face obscured by the blinding lights from above, so I turn my attention back to the woman.

«Where am I?» I barely recognize my voice, usually so loud to be heard over the chaotic Italian conversations of my family. Now, I’m speaking in a broken whisper.

«You are at the Arcane academy. It is a school for young people like you. I am the headmistress, Adira, and this is Kaz, my right hand and your future trainer,» she explains referring to the man behind me. I don’t turn around again, the questions whirring in my mind much more pressing.

«Young people like you» How like me? Orphans? Because that is what I supposedly am now? «Your future trainer» What is he going to train me in? I have never even heard of this school.

I like my current school. The teachers are nice, and I have friends there. Why would I switch to this one? No one told me about this change. I have to speak to my parents. This woman must have me confused with someone.

I don`t say anything, so Adira goes on.

«I am sure you have a lot of questions, but it’s been a long day. We can talk tomorrow.» Long day?

«But I just got up,» I protest. Nothing this woman says adds up.

«It is past midnight. It was a long flight over here.» I furrow my eyebrows and shake my head again. What flight? I have never been on a plane.

«I know this is a lot to take in, but I promise everything will make sense tomorrow. Goodnight, Malia.» Before I can protest any further, the man behind me gently eases me to my feet and leads me out of the room.

«Where am I?» I whisper as we walk.

«Virginia,» Kaz replies, his voice deep and soothing. Virginia, I’ve heard of that. I try to remember where Virginia is located, but my thoughts are all over the place. «You are in the USA,» the man adds as if hearing my thoughts.

The USA. That can’t be true. The last thing I remember is being in Sicily with my family, and now, I’m supposed to be on another continent? How could I possibly forget about a car accident and such a long flight? This must be a dream. My parents will wake me any moment now and everything will be all right.

I pinch my elbow subtly as we move and shut my eyes tightly. When I open them back up, I`m still here, walking through these clean, foreign halls.

«There is a single room prepared for you with clothes you can wear and a bed. I will fetch you in the morning and you can talk to Adira again. She`ll fill you in on why you`re here and tell you what`s necessary about the school. For any further questions that may come up, you can turn to the older student who will show you around later today.” Before I can comprehend even that, Kaz goes on.

“Students here share rooms, but it is best if you calm down alone and get some sleep tonight. You`ll be assigned to your room and meet your roommate tomorrow,» Kaz explains, and all I can do is nod. I am a nine-year-old stranded alone with a grown man in a country I don`t know a single person in. Hang on…

«What date is it?» I ask.

«January 15th.» A ten-year-old, then. Happy birthday to me… There is silence for a moment, but my stomach interrupts it with a loud growl.

«I haven’t had breakfast,» I mumble. I’d normally be embarrassed, but I can’t find it in me to care now. My mind continues to spin, whether it`s due to the lack of food in my stomach or the mess my reality is becoming, I`m not sure.

«Let’s change that, then,» the tall man says warmly before taking a right turn.

I hear voices getting louder as we continue our walk, and we soon reach a room full of kids. Most of them look a lot older than me, although I catch a few exceptions in the short glimpse I allow myself to take.

The chatting dies down as I enter, and my gaze zeroes in on my feet. Kaz gives my shoulder another encouraging squeeze and leads me into an adjoining room. There are no kids, so I look around and I realize we’re in a massive kitchen hosting a single woman wearing an apron.


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