- Text Size +
Chapter 1: Desperate Measures

You have to start out this story not with Nick, and not with Stacey, but with a girl named Beth. The villain of our story, if you will. Not that she’s bad by any means, just na´ve. She was a rich girl, from Beverly Hills. She was cute, bubbly, and completely carefree because she always got everything she ever wanted. She was spoiled, and very selfish. It takes a girl like Beth to start this story, because only a girl like Beth would visit Madame Rue.

Madame Rue was a gypsy. A true gypsy, one of the last of her kind, a dying breed. She spent her childhood traveling the roads of Southern Europe on foot, earning her meals through fortune telling and mystical potions. But later in life she found herself in the land of opportunity, and set up shop in none other than Hollywood, California. The shady part mind you, where the drug dealers linger in the alleys and the hookers strut proudly on the corners. But Madame Rue didn’t mind. Drug dealers and hookers tend to be a desperate crowd, and the desperate were Madame Rue’s main clientele.

That’s where Beth comes into the story. The Paris Hilton wannabe had everything her maniacal little heart desired. Everything except the one thing she desired more than anything else on the planet – the love and affection of one Nick Carter.

Beth was as star struck as you can get when it came to the baby-faced blonde of the World renown pop sensation; The Backstreet Boys. You could even say she was obsessed. After years of listening to his songs, reading articles, watching videos and interviews, and tracking his every move, she was desperate to win him over. Well, one night she was finally going to get her chance.

Beth spent enough time in the elite circles that made up LA’s nightlife scene, that she finally met a friend of a friend who knew Nick Carter, and landed herself on the VIP list for club Element where he was having a small private get together.

Now, most people would be thrilled for the opportunity to meet the one they want, and would spend that chance trying to see if they were really meant for each other, but not Beth. When you’re as greedy and desperate and obsessed as Beth, fate becomes a dirty word and you have to do whatever necessary to take nature out of the equation. That’s what makes Beth the villain, and that’s why the night before the party she was spotted wading through a crowd of hookers with a can of mace in her hand, hoping to seal her fate with the love of her life.

A friend of a friend – not the same friend of a friend that knew Nick Carter, but another friend of a friend – told her about this crazy old woman with a golden tooth that could give her a fool-proof solution to her problem. That was all Beth needed to hear, and the next thing she knew she was in Madame Rue’s shop looking at a variety of so-called love potions.

“Something I can help you with, dear?”

Beth was nervous. There was something very unsettling to her about the old woman. But there often is when your in the midst of true greatness, and that’s what Madame Rue was – true greatness. She didn’t just read palms and conjure spells for a price; she practiced magic with the belief that it could change a person’s life.

Beth eyed the mysterious woman cautiously and then pointed to a row of bottles on a shelf labeled love potions. “Do these really work?”

“So its love you’re looking for, is it?”

“I’ve already found it, I just need him to see it as well.”

Madame Rue studied the skeptic for a moment and then smiled. “Love potions can be tricky. That’s why there are so many. Love, believe it or not, can be the most powerful force in the universe. It’s not to be taken lightly. In the wrong hands, a love potion can destroy people.”

Beth was not impressed with the theatrics of Madame Rue’s speech, and the warning went in one ear and straight out the other. “And what about the right love potion?”

“The right love potion? Well, love can be the cure for any problem. Love can move mountains. I’ve seen it done. Match the right potion to the right people and there can be no stopping the happily ever after.”

Happily ever after with Nick Carter? Beth liked the sound of that. “So which one of these is the one I need?”

Madame Rue laughed at the clueless girl and suspected she really had no idea what love was all about. “I’m afraid it’s not that simple my dear,” she laughed. “Before I can match a potion to a person, I need to know what’s in their heart, and the heart of the one they seek. You’ll have to let me take a look inside your soul.”

Madame Rue pulled back a red velvet curtain to a small room. Beth looked at the crystal ball on the small table and chuckled. “You mean like a psychic reading?”

“Just a glimpse into the future to see true love’s first encounter.”

Beth didn’t believe, nor did she see the importance of choosing the right potion. To Beth, love was love. She’d never really experienced it. She didn’t understand that love came in many different forms, but she wanted the potion so she gave in to the old gypsy woman’s request.

She sat down across the table from Madame Rue and had to stifle a giggle as the old woman called out the mystic powers of her crystal ball. “There we are,” the woman said with delight. “A party, and dancing.”

“How did you know that?”

“Oh, now I see,” Madame Rue continued, ignoring Beth’s confusion.

“What?” Beth asked wondering if she’d said anything to the woman about the club. “What do you see?”

“He’s handsome.”

“He’s perfect,” Beth sighed.

“Oh, my dear silly girl, perfection is a different potion, and even harder to achieve than true love.”

“Well he’s perfect to me.”

Madame Rue smiled at the stars in Beth’s eyes and finally understood where the girl was coming from. “Fame and fortune follow this man, I see.”

“Yes, but that’s not why I love him.”

“His looks, his voice, his charming personality and secret vulnerability. Yes dear, I see where your heart lies, and I think I know what can help you. You’re looking for passion – a love that in one night can alter your reality and leave you a changed woman. This man could get inside you and make you feel as if the earth has stopped spinning.”

Beth could practically feel Nick’s sexual touch as Madame Rue spoke of their meeting. Her heart began to race, and she eagerly nodded – agreeing to the passionate encounter. She started to stand, anxious to find out which of the pretty bottles on the shelf would be hers, but then something happened that neither woman expected. The crystal ball showed Madame Rue something she’d never come across in all her years as a gypsy. “The chance encounter that could change his life,” she gasped.

“That’s right!” Beth said with excitement, “How did you know?”

Beth was intrigued by the sudden excitement Madame Rue displayed. She could only assume Madame Rue had seen the love that Beth knew she would have with Nick, should they get the chance.

Madame Rue looked up at Beth with a new sparkle in her eye. “My dear, this is very important. Do you truly love this man?”

“So much it hurts every time I think of him.”

“Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make him happy?”

“I would do anything,” Beth assured the woman. “Nick Carter deserves only the best.”

“Then follow me.”

Beth was so excited she could hardly stand it. This woman told her things that she couldn’t have known unless she’d really seen them in that sparkly little ball. Beth was now a believer, and in just 24 hours all of her dreams would come true. She happily followed Madame Rue into a room in the back of the store.

“The potion we’re looking for I don’t keep on the shelf, it’s far to dangerous,” the old woman explained as she began mixing up a new potion right there in the sink.

“Dangerous?”

“This potion cannot fall into the wrong hands, it is not for everyone. It only works on two people who were destined to realign the stars together. The love of all loves. I call it Love Potion Number Nine, and it’s the most powerful potion I know of.”

“Now you’re speaking my language, Granny.”

Madame Rue gave Beth a knowing smile, then plucked several roses from a vase and began dropping petals in the mixture. “A red one for passion,” she said. “Yellow for friendship, pink for romance, and orange for joy. All very important in obtaining true love.”

The old gypsy could hardly contain her excitement as she returned the roses to their vase, each short a single petal. She then went to her fridge and pulled out the most beautiful rose Beth had ever seen. It had perfect stem length, and crisp petals on a perfect blossom.

“The white rose,” Madame Rue explained, “has great power. One petal for each of the others because for each type of love you have, you must balance it with pure eternal, spiritual love. Then, you add one more to offset the balance ever so slightly and make it unconditional. Nine petals in all.”

Beth watched the woman’s eyes glaze over as she chanted an old Gaelic spell. As the last word left her tongue, a cloud of smoke filled the room with a bang and suddenly a small bottle sat on the counter that had not been there before. Madame Rue gave Beth a satisfied look and carefully placed the bottle in her hand.

“So, what now?” Beth asked taking a close look at the clear liquid. “I just drink this and Nick and I live happily ever after?”

“Not quite,” the gypsy laughed. “The reason that true spiritual love is so strong is that it cannot be forced on two people. It must already exist between them. Even magic cannot control it.”

Madame Rue smiled when Beth looked confused. “The potion works for exactly nine days. It strips you of everything but your soul. It takes away fear, doubt, reason, and everything else that can get in the way of love. It allows the other person to truly see that you are what they need. What happens after the nine days, only fate can decide. You see Beth, magic does not solve problems as you might think, people will always have their agency. All magic does is give them a little push in the right direction.”

Beth listened to the old gypsy tale and then purchased the potion. She was sure that she was everything Nick Carter could ever need, and nine days was more than enough time to convince him of it.

Madame Rue slipped the tiny bottle into a small blue velvet pouch and handed it to Beth with a word of caution. “You have only one chance to get it right. You splash it on yourself and the first person to touch you is the one who will see you.”

“First person that touches me. Got it.”

Beth started to walk away, but Madame Rue put a firm hand on her arm. “Once the magic has been used,” she warned, “it cannot be reversed. The spell will take effect and there is no stopping it.”

Beth nodded slowly, finally taking in the severity of the instructions. “Thank you Madame Rue.”

“You’re welcome my dear, and good luck.”

The old gypsy woman smiled with great satisfaction as she watched Beth leave. She knew, for she had seen it, that great things would come from this potion. She only wished she could be there to witness the scene unfold, for a love like this comes along only once in a lifetime.