CHAPTER THREE

Marina stepped into the house. It was done up with weird stuff. There were 2 lava lamps by the door. The doors were replaced by beads. Fabric hung from everywhere. The rooms were hazy from incense. The house was nothing like Marina remembered.

"Come, come, into the House of Dee-gan," Prunella said. She was dressed flamboyantly. She talked with a weird accent. Marina wanted to run. Prunella recognized her first. She grinned, "So, you decided to come see the Great Prunella and her kooky mother? Well, I'm afraid our magic only works on those who believe. Be gone or admit you believe."

"If you can make the man I love fall in love with me, then I'll believe. Right now I'm just willing to give it a chance because I don't know what else to do. I need him to be in love with me. I need him to be mine," Marina said. Prunella shook her head, "If you're only willing to try it, you're not a full believer."

Marina glared, "Look, I came here, didn't I? Just tell me what I have to do. I believe it'll work. I fully, truly, honestly believe your magic works, and I'm sorry I ever doubted you. Just make this work for me," Marina pleaded. Prunella sighed, "Okay, but I'll warn you that the gods know when they're been insulted in the past. Most of them are forgiving, but the Goddess of Love is fickle anyway. Only she can decide how this will truly end, and I fear you're going to be unsuccessful."

Marina shook her head, "This has to work." Prunella nodded, "I know that. But you're desperate, and I doubt you'll understand the part about consequences. There are positive and negative consequences. Positive ones include increased fertility with the soul you're attached to. The negative consequences? Some of them are too barbaric to mention. People have died, Marina, and I don't want you to be one of them. Please, I'm telling you as a former best friend from a generation ago to leave this be. Pursue him on your own. See how it goes."

Marina didn't care. Negative consequences could be dealt with. All she wanted was for James to love her. She just needed him to be less involved with his work. He needed to be more personable. He needed to see the big picture. Those kids could get help without him.

Prunella saw dollar signs. Marina had $200 for the potion. That was triple their worth. Prunella had to follow through. She did the ritual. She chose to make James love Marina. She chose to ignore the consequences.