Chapter   One

August 18th, 1993

Raelene Lopez looked around her with excitement. There were people everywhere, walking around with bags of souvonirs in one hand and holding the hand of a child in the other. This was the place to take somebody to have fun, be with your significant other, or to hang out with friends and family. It was also the place where Raelene's friend, Scott Weinger, was taping some episodes of a TV show was on. Disney World was fun for everyone.

When Scott asked Raelene to come to Disney World with him, she immediately said yes. She's never been to Disney World before. She had hoped to come for her 11th birthday, but her parents couldn't get the time off work. Well, Raelene was still eleven, and even though it wasn't her birthday, she was still excited to be there.

Scott was somewhere nearby, taping a scene, so Raelene walked around to the different stores and bought a few choice things. She wanted to get something for her family and friends, so she was looking for some things to buy. While Raelene was walking around from store to store, she saw a small crowd of people and wondered what they were doing.

Walking toward the crowd, Raelene heard singing. It was really good. The voices blended together in a beautiful harmony. Raelene was kind of a short girl, so she elbowed her way to the front.

Raelene finally reached the front of the crowd and saw five guys singing their hearts out. They all looked fairly young, but the one who caught her attention looked barely older than herself. He was really cute, too, and he seemed like he was in his own world when he was singing.

Just at that moment, the guy Raelene was staring at opened his eyes and looked at her. She saw he had beautiful blue eyes that went perfectly with his soft-looking blond hair. Their eyes met and they stared freely at each other. The guy finally smiled at Raelene and she smiled back. Then the song was over and the crowd began to wonder away.

Raelene walked over to a bench and sat down. She wondered what the guy's name was, how old he was, wondered on everything about him.

"Can I sit with you?" a voice said behind her.

Raelene looked up and saw the guy she was staring at just moments before.

"Um, sure, if you want to," Raelene said.

"I noticed you in the crowd earlier," he continued. "I saw you sitting here by yourself, so I thought I'd come over and say 'hi'."

"I never meant to stare at you," Ralene said in an apologetic tone. "I just liked the way you sounded when you sang."

"It's all right. Not every day I get stared at by a pretty. By the way, my name's Nick Carter," he said, holding out his hand.

"I'm Raelene Lopez, but my friends call me 'Rae'," she said, shaking his hand.

"Why do they call you that?" Nick asked.

"It's my call sign. All the letters of my name put together spell 'Rae'. I'd show you, but I don't have a pen or anything."

"That's all right. You can show me later. So, did you enjoy the show my friends and I put on?"

"Definitely. You guys sounds really good together. You have a good harmony. How long have you been doing this?"

"About the three months."

"That's cool. I could help, but notice the other guys looked a little older than you."

"Yeah. I'm the youngest in the group. I'm thirteen."

"Really? Wow."

"Why? How old are you? About fifteen?"

Raelene started laughing. People always thought she was older than she really was.

"No," she said when she stopped laughing. "I'm twelve, almost, anyway."

Nick was the picture of shock. He thought she was at least thirteen, like him.

"Are you serious? Has anyone ever told you that you look older?"

"All the time. Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them my real age."

"Wow. Where are you from?"

"I'm from California. I'm here with a friend and there he is now."

Raelene got up and walked toward Scott. He came up to her and hugged her.

"There you are, Rae. I've been looking everywhere for you," he said.

"No need to worry. You found me. Are you done taping for today?"

"Yeah. You want to get something to eat?"

"Okay, just give me a minute."

Raelene turned back to Nick, who was sitting on the beach watching them. She walked up to him.

"I have to go. It was nice meeting you, Nick Carter. Do you live around here?"

"No. I live in a little town called Ruskin. It's a few miles away from Tampa. But I come here twice a week to put on a show. Maybe I'll see you sometime later this week."

"Yeah, sure. Why don't I meet you somewhere tomorrow?"

"Alright. How about noon?"

"That's cool. Here my hotel I'm staying at and room number. You could meet me there." Rae handed him a piece of paper.

"Okay. I'll see you then."

"Okay. Bye, Nick."

"Bye, Rae."

Nick watched as Raelene walked away with Scott.


"Who was that?" asked Scott.

"Just someone I met," Rae informed him. "He and four other guys were singing for a crowd of people, so I went and watched."

"What's his name?"

"Nick Carter."

"How old is he?"


"Does he know you only eleven?"

"Yes, but at first he thought I was fifteen. Got the usual reaction when I told him my real age. But he did ask if he could meet with me tomorrow, so I guess he doesn't mind."

"What is it with you and older guys? I noticed all the guys you hang out with are at least two years older than you. Look at me. I'm sixteen and you're eleven...."

"But you're forgetting something. I turn twelve in a couple of months."

"While I turn seventeen thirteen days before that happens."

"If Nick doesn't care, neither do I. I like him. He seems nice."

"I'm warning you right now. You're here for two weeks. Don't start something you can't finish."

"I know that. But what could possibly happen in two weeks?"

"A lot. Trust me."

"I know, a word from the wise."

Rae and Scott started laughing. They stopped at a food stand to get something to eat. Raelene looked back at the bench. Nick was still there, surrounded by his friends. Their gazes met and Raelene waved. Nick and his friends waved back. Then she and Scott went off to ride some rides, leaving Nick and his friends to stare as they walked away.

Chapter Two:
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