Full Summary: Emma McHale has her share of problems, an unrequited crush being front and center. When she goes on a trip to Spain with her friends, another problem arises. She almost drowns, but is saved by a hunky, shirtless, Spanish tv star who's falling for her.


Blame It On Barcelona
Chapter One: Surprise, Surprise


I never understood the draw to Starbucks. Maybe it's just me, but I like ordering my coffee with names that I actually understand. Seriously? It's a large, just call it a large. Goodness.

That was what was on my mind as I waited impatiently for my friends to show up. I sighed and leaned forward on one of the too-tall tables situated beside a window. The chair I was on was also too-tall and I was afraid of falling out of it. I was already tall enough - I was the tallest girl in my group of friends - and I guess the extra height kind of made me paranoid.

So I clung to that chair like it was the last lifeboat on the Titanic, venturing my hands away from the base of it to grab my fork and take a bite of some pastry that had only been two dollars and was the cheapest thing on the Starbucks "menu."

After I shoved the last of it into my mouth, I swallowed and looked out the window, seeing nothing really. It was early in the morning, no one was on the streets. I was fighting the temptation to fall over on the table and take a nap.

I had gotten a call from my friend, Sara, last night. She said she had a big surprise for all of us and that we had to meet at Starbucks today, which was really way too early for my taste, and then she would tell us. I didn't see why she had to wait to tell us here, but…yeah. Sara had weird ways. She was practically OCD, something we constantly teased her about. Strange how someone as organized as her could be friends with someone like me - I was like the Grouch from Sesame Street in the flesh. Not with the mean attitude, but with the general messiness.

So here I was, sitting like some kind of moron who got stood up at Starbucks - like anyone would take a date to a Starbucks, especially not this early in the morning - waiting for my friends to arrive.

I was about to give up when I saw Tess enter the room. I sighed with relief. If I wanted to see anyone so early in the morning, it was Tess.

Tess Harrison was one of my closest friends. She was basically the definition of "punk rock chick." The people at school obviously stereotyped her into that label, but it was one she cherished. Her spiky black hair was cut just above her shoulders and spiked in all directions and there was several streaks of purple dye in the raven locks. Her skin was pale, but in a good way, not in that sickly way, you know? Her blue eyes were wide with excitement when she saw me.

"Emma!" She chirped, waving the hand that wasn't attached to the boy's beside her.

"Morning, Tess, Mason!" I smiled back, waving them over to my table.

Here's the interesting part. Anyone would think that Tess's boyfriend would be someone just like her - punk, dark, edgy. But that wasn't the case.

Put it this way. If Tess was a walking billboard for Hot Topic (right now she wore a band t-shirt for 'All Time Low' along with a baggy pair of black pants), then Mason McCarthy was a poster child for Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister and all those kind of stores.

Mason raised his large hand to pull the chair out for Tess to sit down. Long blonde hair hung in his eyes and slightly over the collar of his shirt. A kind pair of hazel eyes were just beneath the fringe of his hair. He was tall, but also very muscular. Mason was the star linebacker, after all. The deep orange material of his shirt stretched over his back as he bent over to pick up something she had dropped, proving my point.

"Morning, Emma," He grinned over at me, eyes sparkling. "This sucks, huh?"

"Major suckage." I replied, rolling my eyes.

Mason laughed at me, running a hand through his curls, before sitting down himself, right beside Tess, who had taken a seat in front of me.

"What do you think Sara wanted?" Tess asked, quirking a perfectly sculpted black brow.

I shrugged, tossing a loose strand of brown hair over my shoulder. "I really don't know." I said truthfully, looking into her piercing blue eyes. "Whatever it is - "

"Hello, everyone!" Sara's voice chimed through the whole Starbucks, causing several people to look at her. No surprise there. Everyone looked at Sara no matter where she went, or what she did.

Her long, blonde hair was always perfectly done, waving down her back gently. Almost to her waist. Yeah, I don't know how she does it. I personally couldn't stand having my hair that long - my own dark brown locks just reached past my shoulders. Her crystalline blue eyes were clear, like the sky, while Tess's eyes were more like a dark ocean. Mine, however, were a shade of green.

Sara Barber was pretty much every boy's adolescent fantasy - blonde haired, blue eyed, and curvy in all the right places.

I was doing okay with seeing her, I mean, Sara was one of my best friends, after all. But then I glanced to what her hand was holding.

A large, tanned, slender hand was twined with hers. And I knew - oh, I knew - whose hand that belonged too. I knew it all too well.

Daniel Cooper. My heart gave a pathetic little leap as I saw him walk into the small, overly priced coffee shop. His brown hair was curly, and it slightly bounced as he walked alongside Sara. Kind brown eyes looked at me, then at Tess and Mason. He was tall, and had an athlete's body, much like Mason, except more lean and slender. He was taller than Mason, therefore being the tallest one in our little group.

I inhaled shakily, hating myself for it. I felt eyes on me and turned to see Tess smiling at me gently. I smiled back.

Yeah, I loved the guy. Terribly.

Tess knew, Mason knew. But Sara and Daniel himself were completely oblivious to the fact. And I planned to keep it that way.

Mason shot me a grin and said, "Yeesh, do they think they're in an add for Calvin Klein?"

I laughed before looking back at the two, who had paused, looking into each others eyes like they were…well, in a Calvin Klein ad.

Tess scoffed, "Oh, you would know what a Calvin Klein ad looks like."

Mason shoved her gently and laughed, "Yeah, actually."

"You're such a metro-sexual."

My laugh was loud and free, laughing along with the couple. Mason took on this look like a hurt puppy and it made me and Tess laugh harder.

While we were laughing, Sara and Daniel had gotten enough of looking at each other to come and pull up a table to connect with ours. The small, window-side tables provided little room for big groups like ours.

"So!" Sara announced happily, bouncing into the chair. Daniel took a good look at her "bouncing" and I died a little inside. Oh, wow, that sounded emo.

Emo-ness aside, Daniel took his seat beside Sara and grinned boyishly as he said hello to me. My heart did that stupid little fluttering thing it did every time he smiled at me. I was starting to hate that feeling.

"We're high school graduates, right?" Sara said, grinning with a set of white teeth.

"Uh…duh." I piped up. "Did you make me get up at eight in the morning to tell me that?"

Mason laughed, while Sara looked a little put-off at my smart-assed comment.

"Emma, should I mention that I invited you out of love?" Sara said snootily, looking at me with contempt in her blue eyes.

"Invited me where?"

"Uh, here!"

"Right."

"Anyway," Sara picked up again. Daniel turned to me and twirled his index finger around his ear like a 'crazy' symbol. I giggled, but when Sara glared at me, I shut up. "My parents are rich, and - "

"We know this already too, Sara." Tess said whilst yawning.

"Let me tell my story!"

Daniel put a hand on Sara's and grinned, "It's alright, babe, we'll be quiet now."

She planted a kiss on his suntanned cheek, "Thanks."

Ugh. I think I'm going to be sick. I thought, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. Yeah, Sara is a good person…when she wants to be. She's been my friend forever. And, well, even though she is conceited, she's a good person. I seemed to have to remind myself that even more these days because…well, she's dating Daniel…

"My parents thought it would only be appropriate for us high school graduates to go on a trip! To celebrate graduating and just have fun before college."

I blinked and looked at Tess. She was gazing skeptically at her black nails, picking off some of the polish before looking up at me with a curious gaze. Mason broke the silence by saying, "A trip? Where are we going?"

"Guess." Sara urged.

"Wal-Mart." I joked, grinning widely at Daniel, who grinned back with equal intensity.

Sara rolled her eyes playfully at me. "Uh, no."

"Aw, I was looking forward to Wal-Mart!" Tess joked before barking out a laugh. "I've never been there!"

"O-M-G." Sara said, flipping a long strand of perfectly styled blonde hair behind her shoulder, "Daniel, you tell them."

Daniel looked at Sara as if he were a love struck puppy. "It's on another continent…it's where there are bullfighters and other languages and different food…a magical place where all your dreams come true - "

"Spain! We're going to Spain." Sara interrupted in a frustrated way, "Barcelona to be exact."

My hands dropped from my lap to hang limply by my sides. My heart thudded unevenly, hammering away in my chest like it were made of lead. Spain? Spain? We're going to Spain? My eyebrows knitted together in thought as I wondered how I would pay for this…

"Don't worry, Emma," Sara said, smiling at me, showing the warmth that she always had, but sometimes refused to show, "My parents took care of all the expenses. They've given us money - in Spanish currency, of course - and they've paid for us to stay in one of the fanciest hotels there. So don't worry about money, Em."

I blinked, feeling somewhat stunned still, and said, "Thanks…thank you, Sara."

"No prob. We're all friends, so we have to do something together before we go off to college!"

Tess smiled over at me, "Of course."

I nodded, feeling a grin spread over my face. "When do we leave?"

"Oh, I've already okay-ed it with all your parents," Sara smiled, "We leave this weekend."

"Next week?" I said incredulously, "Wow…that's close."

"Yup. And we're staying until about two weeks before college starts."

"Two months in Barcelona…" Mason grinned, hooking his strong arm around Tess. "Sounds perfect."

I grinned before getting up. My mind was whirling - two months in Barcelona, Spain! It was surreal and wonderful and exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Tess looked at me curiously, wondering where I was going, "I'm going to head home."

"Hm? Why?" Sara asked, looping her fingers in the waistband of Daniel's pants.

Well, there was another reason to leave.

"Unlike you, Sara," I said as sweetly as I could muster, "I don't have maids to pack all my stuff."

"Ah, packing early," Sara said in approval, "Taking a page out of Sara's book of responsibility."

"More like Sara's book of insanity." Mason muttered to me and Tess, but the blonde girl heard it all the same.

"Mason!"

"What? What? I was telling the truth. No one likes a liar, Sara." He grinned boyishly, though I could see the edge to his smile.

"Emma, I'll walk with you home," Tess offered, giving me a kind smile, "Hell, I'll help you get your shit together."

"Alright!" I beamed, "Sounds good to me."

"Yeah, 'cause, knowing Emma, all her clothes are either on the floor or piled up on some random thing in her room." Daniel said, once again taking my breath away with his smile. Darn him…

I laughed sarcastically, "Hardy. Har. Har."

"You know you love me."

I froze, my heart kicking into overtime. Of course, Daniel said it as a joke, but to me it was all-too true. I tried not to show that I was affected by those words, but of course, I was about as transparent as a piece of cellophane wrapping if you knew me well enough. And Tess did. So her hand grasped my wrist and she started laughing, "Let's go, Emma. Since we're up so early, we might end up getting my stuff together as well!"

I laughed at her subtle jab at Sara and then smiled, "Bye, everyone. See you…uh…later, I guess?" I started to giggle harder, probably trying to mask my sudden embarrassment. I knew my cheeks were probably blood red right now, after what Daniel had said. I was so hopeless it wasn't even funny.

Tess gave Mason a look with her eyes. They had a kind of way of communicating without really saying anything, and the taller boy automatically knew what her intentions were and why we were leaving at this moment. He gave me a look with his kind, blue eyes and winked. I winked back as Tess steered me away from the group and out the door of the Starbucks.

I sighed in relief as I emerged from the stuffy little place. Tess let go of my wrist and let out a rougher sigh than my previous one, "Thank goodness. I thought I was about to have a damn issue!" She stretched her thin limbs above her head as yawn escaped her lips, "They get on my nerves! All over each other like dogs in heat when you…" She trailed off, noticing that I hadn't said anything yet. "Emma?"

I blinked, looking dazedly back at Tess, "Yeah? Oh…" What she said suddenly registered in my head, "No…it's okay. I mean, they don't know about me liking…yeah. It's okay."

"No, it's not."

"Whatever you say, Tess."

"Hey, I'll come over later today with one of my suitcases…because I know you don't have one big enough. Either that or you've lost it underneath the hazardous waste area that is your room." She nudged me with her elbow.

I smiled, trying to resist the urge to look back and get one last glimpse of Daniel before I had to leave. "Sounds good to me."

I heard footsteps behind us and I turned, seeing the hulking form of Mason following us now, "Why did you have to leave me like that?"

I genuinely laughed, "Wow, Mason, I haven't seen you run that fast since my dog chased you out of my yard."

He smiled at me, but said, "Are they rooming together? Because I feel sorry for whoever gets the room next to them. They better not have thin walls."

My heart sputtered before stopping for a minute, then resuming pace. I hadn't thought of the rooming situation. Great…just great.

"Mason!"

"Oh, sorry, Emma." Mason apologized, I shook it off.

"No need to apologize. You're just telling the truth." I said, somewhat bitterly.

"Barcelona…" Mason changed the subject.

"Barcelona." I said, echoing him.

And, as we walked to my house, I couldn't shake the feeling that something big was going to happen when we went to Barcelona.

As it turns out, I couldn't have been more right.


End Chapter One.

Well, there you go! My first chapter fic of something I've done…with an original idea! It's really something. I'm actually really proud of this and I have so many ideas for this story going through my head. I hope everyone reads and enjoyed this and I hope they review! It would mean a lot! It already means so much when you review a fanfiction but this is an original work and…it would be really cool if people liked something I've done originally.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please review!