05 November 2005

Story: No Pain, No Game

Part of the Terrence/Brianna series.  The trip to Mexico is ending and the girls go back home.

No Pain, No game
by Breanna Carter

"Told you that it wasn't any good to lie," Alex scolded us Friday afternoon after practice.

"Stop rubbing it in," I whined, lying down in the grass and drinking some water. I'd just ran two miles, and here Alex was fussing at me. "I know it was a bad idea, but it's too late now."

"What'd he do anyway?"

I blushed. "Nothing," I lied.

"Ah, mentirosa," he said, shaking his head at me.

"I am not a liar!" I claimed, propping myself up on my elbows. "Okay, maybe I am," I admitted after catching his gaze. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Well, obviously he didn't do anything too terrible because you're still here." He paused. "Ah... he hit you?" he asked.

My face must have been as red as a firetruck... "Something like that."

"Why are you blushing?"

"I'm not!!" I squealed and rolled over on my stomach to hide my face.

He chuckled and rolled me back over, kissing me on the cheek. Gah, I was turning into what I *hated*! Stupid love.

That night we had a soccer game against the school from Ireland. Alex had told us prior to the actual game that it'd be an easy win, and like always, he was right. They were no match for us. Because we kick ass.

After going back to Lizbeth's house to shower and change, Mr. Hernandez told us it would be okay to go out since it was Friday night, and we told him the truth this time, that we were going with Alex and Raoul and we'd be back by two, and would probably only go to the Kumbala bar and perhaps a couple of clubs.

The rest of the week seemed to breeze past us. After having a partyful weekend with a couple of games mixed in, we spent the weekdays after practicing our asses off. We'd made it past the first few elimination rounds and the teams were getting better and better. Not only that, but they were tougher, as in, they'd do nearly anything to win! It was stressful practicing all the time, and sometimes we wanted to give up, but we had enough people pumping us up to where we didn't quit. We couldn't quit. Not with our team. We had too much positive reinforcement to quit.

It was the Wednesday night before we'd leave and we were up in one of the final games. By Friday, we'd know who the champions were, and Saturday morning we were leaving. We were playing against a Columbian team, who had been doing really well. In fact, so well that they'd won all of their games. Of course this scared the hell out of us... but we were still confident.

We were doing pretty well, keeping the ball pretty much in the middle of the field, our defense blocking them from scoring. The problem was that their defense was just as good as ours, so we were kept from scoring as well. It was the third quarter before anyone scored anything and unfortuantely, it was them. Then they scored again. Our hopes were down, but we kept the peptalking up... Then, as if we hadn't had enough bad luck already, someone unintentionally slammed into Ana, causing her to plummet to the ground. There was only a couple of seconds left in the game, so she shook it off saying that she was fine, though most of us doubted it because she wasn't standing right. It didn't take long, however, to prove that she wasn't okay. She collapsed as the buzzer went off announcing the end of the game.

Now, I'm a fairly nice person when it comes to winning games. Yeah, I get pissed when we lose, but I'll at least say good job to everyone, including the other team. I was so worried about Ana, though, that it was the only thing on my mind.

"Ana?!?" I yelled, dropping to my knees. "Ana? Are you okay?"

"No," she whined, and I could see the tears forming. "It hurts."

"Just take it easy, babe. You're okay, you're okay," I assured her.

My teammates started to gather around me. "My leg.. it hurts. Oh Bri... it hurts... I can't see..."

"Calm down, Ana... you're okay," I promised her. My voice was starting to panic as I told Coach we needed an ambulance. They hauled my friend off of the field on a stretcher and I was close by, trying not to cry.

"Bri? What happened?" Alex asked.

"I don't know," I wailed. "She's hurt.."

Alex began talking to the ambulance man in rapid Spanish, so much that it confused me. I didn't care though. I was only caring about Ana.

"Bri... she'll be okay. I'll be up there soon, okay?"

I nodded, plopping down on a seat in the ambulance. I buried my head in my hands.

"I'm okay," Ana assured me, seeing that I was the one going crazy. "I'm going to be okay, Bri. You're scaring me."

"Sorry. I can't help it. I'm worried... and dammit, we'll NEVER be able to win without you!"

"Gah, I'm glad you're concerned about me!" she said sarcastically, mustering up a grin.

I grinned back.

"I think it's broken... but that's it. I'll be better soon."

I nodded. "You'll be okay," I assured us both, holding her hand to help ease the pain.

She was right when she said it was broken... the doc agreed and showed her the xray explaining it to us in broken English. He was a really nice guy. Coach and the rest of the team was at the hospital waiting for us when we got there, as was Mr. Hernandez and Lizbeth. When we all found out that Ana was okay, people started leaving and wishing her well. The doc wanted to keep her overnight to make sure that everything else was okay.

"I'm going to stay with you, Ana," I announced.

"Please do.. I don't want to be left up here alone... I'd go crazy cause I can't understand anything anyone says!"

"Haha... No sabes Espanol?"

"Talk to me in English, dammit!"

"No hablo Ingles."

"Shut up," she said, throwing a pillow at me.

I giggled and threw it back.

Mr. Hernandez and Lizbeth came in seconds later. "Your coach said that you were planning on staying with Ana tonight?" he asked.

"Yes. Is that okay?"

"That's fine," he said, and smiled, patting Ana on the shoulder. "Do you girls need anything? We'll bring you some clothes tomorrow when we pick you up."

"I'm fine," Ana told him.

"Me, too. Thanks so much for everything. You guys are the best."

They both smiled and Lizbeth hugged me, then Ana. Mr. Hernandez squeezed Ana's shoulder. "We're out of here then." He looked at Lizbeth. "Como se dice? Get well soon?"

Lizbeth smiled and nodded. "Yeah. Get well soon, Ana. We'll see you tomorrow."

We said our byes to our host family and watched the Spanish MTV for a little while because it was about the only thing we could stand. We talked for what seemed like the longest time... talked about everything, like we always do. Mostly about Mexico, though. About how I loved it and Alex was so much fun to be with and she liked Raoul and if she lived in Mexico she'd definitely hook up with him. Then she expressed her hatred for the Spanish language and we talked about the difference in women's roles in Mexico and America. I was about to mention how much I loved the Spanish music when there was a slight knock on the door and it swung open, Alex and Raoul appearing.

"Aye, she is alive!" Alex said, kissing her on the cheek and handing her a card. He plopped down next to me, throwing his arm over my shoulder.

Raoul leaned over and gave Ana a kiss as well, handing her some flowers and a stuffed animal. "I figured you'd need something to snuggle with since we couldn't go out tonight."

She giggled. "Thanks," she told them both, opening up the card.

"It's in Spanish... I thought you'd appreciate it," Alex told her.

She rolled her eyes at him and opened the card. "So what does it say?"

He handed her a dictionary and laughed. She threw it at him. "Gah, I'm in so much pain and you're not nice to me," she said.

"Do you want me to kick his ass for you?" Raoul asked.

"Si!" she said, sticking her tongue out at Alex.

"So how are you feeling anyway?" Alex asked.

"Great until you got here," she teased.

They joked around for the rest of the evening, Raoul taking up for her and the boys goofing off. A couple of times the nurse came in to tell us to settle down, but I don't think she cared much. Raoul and Alex were too cute for anyone to be too angry with.

"Do you need anything, Ana?" Raoul asked her. He was sitting at the foot of her bed, hands entwined in hers.

"I think I'll be okay," she answered.

He said something to Alex in Spanish to which Alex replied back in Spanish.

Ana just sighed heavily. "What have I told you about speaking in ENGLISH."

Alex just kept talking in Spanish. "Just kidding!" he told her. "Geeze, lighten up."

I snuggled closer to Alex.

"What the hell are you watching anyway? MTV? Fuck MTV."

"Hey! I happen to like it," I said.

"You would," he said, smiling at me and kissing my forehead.

"Besides, what else are we going to watch?" Ana asked.

"If you'd learn Spanish, you wouldn't have any problems."

She sighed. "Bri! Next year we BETTER go to a damn English-speaking country!"

I nodded. "That's right."

Alex and Raoul must have stayed until after midnight because both Ana and I were drifting off to sleep. It'd been an extra long day to begin with, and having a broken leg just added to the stress. For both of us, even if it was only her with the broken leg. The boys must have noticed this because they announced their departure, much to our sadness.

"We'll see you tomorrow, okay? You need your sleep, team captain, and Spanish-speaker."

"Shut UP," Ana said sleepily, yawning. Raoul stood up and kissed Ana passionately, as did Alex for me. Then Raoul gave me a hug and Alex one for Ana.

"Que te mejores pronto," he told her.

"Blah blah blah blah blah..." she answered.

"Get well soon," Raoul translated.

Alex giggled and waved goodbye, then they disappeared and each of us fell asleep to the sound of Spanish music with thoughts of hott Latinos prancing in our minds.

As promised, Ana got out of the hospital the next day. Unfortuantely, she wouldn't be able to play on the team for a while and she was a great asset. We didn't do too badly, though. Thursday we lost our game, though we won on Friday. We ended up placing third, which was the coolest thing ever because it was out of the whole *world*! To celebrate our victories, Coach took us out to a nice dinner on Friday night and most of us decided to make our last night Mexico very memorable. All of the seniors and a couple of juniors decided that we wanted to go out and party and our families were okay with it, as long as some guys went with us. Of course Alex and Raoul went, but so did some other guys. We partied so hard... Most of the girls got drunk, even though it was against the rules, and we ended up staying out until after 3. Mr. Hernandez had told us to stay out as long as we'd like, just to let him know when we got home.

When I say we stayed out til 3, I actually mean we clubbed until about then. The other girls went home afterwards because most of them could barely walk, but the four of us didn't. We walked around downtown for a little while, carrying on a conversation, more serious than usual, and then broke away from Ana and Raoul for a while, promising to meet at the car in about fifteen minutes.

"Brianna.. I've had a lot of fun with you being here."

A smile spread across my face. "I've had fun being here with you."

Gah we were so cheesy. "Do you know where you're going to University yet?"

"Anywhere that'll accept me and give me scholarships."

"I've already applied at the University of Guanajuato and got accepted... and I'm sort of obligated to go at least for my first year. I want to go to America... Quiero estar contigo."

That meant I want to be with you... And that was totally not what I was expecting. "I don't know enough Spanish to go to school in Mexico, or I'd go with you."

"I'm going to give you my address tomorrow, and I want you to give me yours, too. We're going to keep in touch, okay? I want to know how things are going at home, and at school. I want to talk to you after you leave. I like the way I feel when I'm around you."

I must have been blushing like crazy. "Me too."

"So promise me you'll keep in touch? And when you get the internet you'll email me?"

"Promise," I said.

He embraced me tightly and we kept walking, hand in hand. By the time we made it back to the car, Ana was already there with Raoul.

"Took ya long enough," Ana said, playfully glaring at Alex.

"Shut up," he answered. "You're just jealous 'cause you didn't get to spend the time with me."

"You wish."

He unlocked the doors and I scooted in next to Ana instead of sitting in the front. At that time I wished that I spoke a different language that the guys couldn't understand because I wanted to tell her everything! My heart was racing.

"I have something to tell you when we get home!" I whispered.

The guys were talking in Spanish.

"He likes you a lot?!?" she whispered back.

I nodded.

"STOP talking about us in Spanish, dammit! You could at least wait til we're out of the car!"

They laughed at her and began talking obnoxiously loud in Spanish, just to annoy her. They weren't talking about us, though. I could tell. I don't know what they were saying, but I'd be able to tell if they were talking about us...

The next day we woke up fairly early and were tired as hell from being up all night. It was our last day in Mexico. It seemed so weird, getting up and throwing all of our stuff back into our suitcases, listening to the babies cry when they wanted something and couldn't express themselves in any other way, or listening to Lizbeth and Brandon get in a fight. I'd finally gotten semi-used to eating Mexican food and as I sat at the table for breakfast, I found it hard to believe that it was the last morning I'd be spending in this country with this familiy.

Mrs. Hernandez asked us something in Spanish, but no one was around to translate so she said it in simplier form. "Quieres ir a tu casa?"

"Eh, a little," I answered, holding up my fingers to show her how much I was ready to go home. Truth was, I wanted to stay with the Hernandez family longer and I wanted to hang out with Alex, but I was getting sort of homesick.. I missed Terrence and missed school (surprisingly enough!) and I missed everyone around me talking in the same language as me. But I loved Mexico and definitely planned on going back.

Mr. Hernandez helped us throw our suitcases in the trunk and sped off to the school in which the awards ceremony would be held. Apparently they were holding something for us at the host school as well, so neither Mr. Hernandez or Lizbeth stayed for the awards ceremony, just dropped us off. We met up with the rest of our school, everyone still asking Ana how she felt and everyone congratulating everyone else for their hard work.

The awards ceremony was in Spanish for the most part, which was confusing as hell. Luckily, Pedro and Benito were around to help translate... well, Pedro translated. Benito didn't say much of anything, just kept a smirk on his face the whole time.

"They're to third place," Pedro told Coach.

"Team captain and Anastasia... I want you two to get the trophy!" Coach told us.

Ana's eyes got wide. "Me? Why me?"

"Because I said so. Now get ready!"

The man on the speaker blurted out something in Spanish then announced our school's name, from the USA and everyone burst out in applause, at least we did. I walked towards the stage, Ana hopping along behind me since she was on crutches. We graciously accepted the trophy and held it high, then waltzed back down to our seats. Everyone hovered around us to catch a glimpse of the trophy, or to touch it, or take pictures of it. We were so excited that we didn't even listen to the first two places...

We rode the bus back to our host school, singing the Spanish song that Pedro had taught us the first time we'd ever stepped on the bus. We were so excited and dancing and it was awesome. Even the hung-over girls were looking like they felt better!

Back at the school they were waiting for us in the gym. I had the strange deja vu feeling. It was so familiar to the first time we'd been to the school... our team so excited, everyone chattering about Mexico... except this time it'd be our last time to see everyone, instead of our first. I sucked in a deep breath and tried not to think about it. I was actually really sad about leaving!!

There was a fiesta going on inside the gym. Salsa music blared from the speakers and everyone was wearing a sombrero and there was loads of food. We mingled for a little while, thanking our families and talking to everyone else. Shellie's host family was around, Francesca and all of her kids. Mr. Hernandez and Lizbeth were there, but the rest of the family had stayed home because of something with Mrs. Hernandez's parents. Alex and Raoul were there... and I somehow got to spend a minute alone with Alex.

"Here ya go," Alex said, handing me a shoebox. "Put it in your soccer bag and don't open it til you're on the plane! Promise?"

I sighed. "Why?!?"

"Because, I want you to open it on the plane. Promise?"

"Fine, I promise."

He hugged me tightly. "I'll be expecting a letter from you within the next month, got it?"

"Geeze, you sure are demanding."

He smiled.

From there, the soccer coach announced that we got third place and congratulated us, then everyone clapped and hooted for us. He then thanked us for the trip and our Coach thanked them for having us, and then told us it was time to get ready and get on the bus... our plane would leave in two hours.

I had to bite my lip to keep from tearing up. I hugged Alex again, still holding the shoebox. I then followed Mr. Hernandez and Lizbeth out to the car and got our luggage, hugging my host family one final time before telling them "adios."

The bus was still pumped up on our trip to the airport, but I just stared out the window, gazing at the city I probably wouldn't see again for a long time -- the experience I'd never forget. Pedro passed around a sheet of paper for us to write our email addresses on, but since I didn't have one, I told Ana to put hers and she could keep me up to date. Then we arrived at the airport. The men helped us get our luggage out of the bus then waved goodbye. I couldn't help it... I had to hug them both... they'd been a part of my experience as much as everything else, and I felt close to them.

"Aye, adios senorita. Keep speaking Spanish," Pedro told me while I was in his hug.

"I will. Adios, Pedro."

I then hugged Benito. "Adios," he told me, because I think that's all he thought he could say that I'd understand.. and it probably was.

"Adios."

Adios... the word to describe that whole day... a day of goodbyes..

On the plane I couldn't wait to see what it was that Alex had given me. Luckily I had a seat next to Ana and Shellie this time, so I wasn't sharing my stuff with a random Mexican man that I didn't know. I opened up the shoebox and was greeted with a couple of cds and pictures... and one letter.

Brianna,
I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the last two weeks that I've been able to spend with you. You told me that you loved Alex Ubago and La Oreja de Van Gogh, so I figured I'd make you a cd... And another time you said that you wanted to know what some of the lyrics were... well, I won't translate every song for you, but I'll give you this much.
There's an Alex Ubago song called "Aunque No Te Pueda Ver"... it was one of those that you liked... This lyric is for you: "Si te sientes sola hablame que te estare escuchando aunque no te pueda ver." It's one of my favorite lyrics ever... in English it'd probably best be translated as if you feel alone just talk to me... I'll be listening even though I can't see you. Another lyric is by Tiziano Ferro... porque la vida duele, duele demasiado aqui sin ti. Because life hurts, it hurts so much here without you. That's all I'm giving you. Your homework assignment is to figure out some of the rest of the lyrics on your own.
I'll miss you while you're gone... hell, I'm already missing you and you're not even gone yet... well, by the time you're reading this you'll already be gone. Anyway, I'm going to come see you in America. Soon, I promise. I plan on getting a job over the summer and saving up before I go to college, and then maybe getting a job in Guanajuato. Please write me.
Hope you like the pictures! They weren't all from when you were here, but some of them I thought could sum up your vacation..
Love,
Alex

"What's it say, what's it say!" Ana was yelling in my ear.

I grinned and showed it to her, and looked through the pictures while she and Shellie read it. The first picture I saw was one of Alex and me that we'd taken only a couple of days before, and right under it, one of Raoul and Ana. Then one of the four of us, and a couple of goof off pictures. They were totally adorable. He also had a picture of the Kumbala bar and the Mexico City skyline and a picture of La Oreja de Van Gogh that he'd printed off of his computer. Just a random thing to remind me of him, I guess. There was also a few pictures of him, a picture of his car, a picture of his house... a picture of the sunset. It was all really cool and I'd barely had the chance to look through them before Ana was bugging me again to see what they were. I didn't mind, though.. I'd have been the same way if it was her and Raoul.

"Wow... guess Alex really liked you," Ana said. "Raoul just gave me his email address."

I smiled.

"Must be love," Shellie said.

"Ewwww!" I answered, still in my anti-love stage. "Definitely not."

She was going to say something but instead of listening I put one of the cds in my portable cd player and listened to it instead.

*****

Terrence and Ashton were soooooo excited to see us back. I thought Terrence was going to cry, which is pretty amusing seeing how he's supposed to be a tough guy and stuff. He must have hugged me for a good ten minutes!

"Terrence, if you don't loosen up, I'm going to suffocate and never make it home."

"Oh, right," he said, letting go. "I missed you!!"

"So I noticed," I teased, waiting for my luggage.

"I want to hear all about your trip."

"I've already told you all about it," I answered. "Remember? We talked like... every night."

"I'm sure there's more for you to tell!"

There was probably plenty more to tell, like staying out all night and lying to Mr. Hernandez about where we were going... but Terrence was NOT going to find out about that. All that mattered was that we were okay and didn't get into any *real* trouble.

"I want Wendy's," I told him when we got in the car. "I haven't had good food in two weeks."

"What do you want from Wendy's?" he asked.

"A chicken sandwich. I'm soooo hungry." And I was.. my stomach was growling!

Lucky me, he pulled in the drive thru at Wendy's and ordered my chicken sandwich. I couldn't look at the menu because everything looked so good!! It was also sooo weird being around non-Mexicans and listening to everyone speak English! You don't realize stuff until after you've been away from it for so long!

I told him about my trip, about Alex, and about the Kumbala Bar, even though he didn't approve of bars. I did, however, promise him that we didn't drink and that the boys didn't drink and it was basically just a place for the locals to hang out and listen to music... like the venue downtown. And it was... mostly.

When we got home I passed out on my bed while watching tv in English. I missed little things so much! Terrence woke me up from my nap to get me up to eat porkchops for dinner... and mashed potatoes, and corn... mmmm I missed southern American food sooooo much!!

I was halfway through my meal with Ana called.

"Hey, can I call you back?" I asked.

"Bri, Ashton wants you to come over ASAP..."

"Why? What happened?"

She paused for a moment and I could hear her moving. Then she said softly, as if she didn't want Ashton to hear, "he found my fake ID... and he knew you got it for me, don't ask me how cause I didn't tell him!"

"How'd he find it? I thought you were going to get rid of it?"

"I was going to! I'd forgotten about it, cause we didn't even use it. He asked if I had any advil and I told him it was in my purse and as he dug through my purse he found it. He's not happy.."

"Shit, okay. I'll be over there when I finish eating. Tonya's over here so I'm sure Terrence won't mind."

We hung up the phone and I went back to the table.

"You've been around Ana for two weeks and you're still not sick of each other?"

"You can't be talking," I told him. "How long have you and Tonya been together?"

He rolled his eyes at me.

"And anyway, I really wanna go to Ana's house... I'm going through Ashton withdrawals."

"Yeah yeah, whatever. It's Saturday night anyway... just come back home at a decent hour."

"You know I will," I told him, finishing up my food and helping myself to seconds. I love American food. I waved goodbye and grabbed the cd that Alex had made me. There'd be no way I'd be parting with that damn cd for weeks... I loved it too much! It just sucked that I didn't know any of the words.

I made it to Ana's house waay too soon. I wanted desperately to listen to the cd some more or to at least hang out in my car because I knew Ashton would be livid with me.

We were almost past the point of knocking on each other's doors, especially when we knew the other was coming over, but I knocked anyway. I guess to prolong getting fussed at.

"Come in!" Ashton yelled from inside.

I cleared my throat and pushed the door open. Ashton and Ana were sitting on the couch in front of the tv, each of them glancing up as I came inside.

"Ah, very nice to see you, Brianna," Ashton said.

"And you, too. Missed ya tons while I was in Mexico!!"

"Have a seat," he answered, ignoring my statement.

I gulped and gave Ana a pathetic look, then plopped down next to her.

"I want the truth out of both of you," Ashton began. "And if I find out that you're lying, I promise the reprecussions will not be good, do you understand?"

We both nodded.

He held up the ID. "Explain this ID to me, Brianna."

"Uhmm... well, we figured that there wouldn't be any way to get into any clubs in Mexico without both of us being eighteen, so I decided to have my friend make an ID for Ana... so we could go clubbing together... but we were only going to go for my birthday!"

He sat the ID down and sat down on the coffee table in front of us, staring deep into my eyes. "Did you drink?"

I shook my head. "No... neither of.."

He cut me off, staring deep into Ana's eyes and asking her the same question... "Did *you* drink?"

She shook her head.

"Did you sneak out of the house?" he asked us both.

We shook our heads again.

"Did you lie about where you were going?"

We sort of paused there, both of us looking at each other.

"I take that as a yes. Elaborate, Anastasia."

"Erm... well, uh," she stammered. "We sort of told our host family that we had late soccer practices and.."

"And then we got caught and were punished, so the lying only lasted a couple of days and we felt really bad about it!" I interjected.

"Oh? You were punished?"

I nodded. "Mr. Hernandez spanked us... because he said he could call you and Terrence or could tell Coach and then told us that he'd spank his daughter, so we asked if he'd spank us because we figured that it'd be better than getting sent back home or better than getting yelled at twice, or even more... and we felt soooo bad about it!" I told him in one breath.

"I see." He paused. "Does Terrence know about this?"

I shook my head. "Please don't tell him."

"I'm not because I know you were planning on telling him anyway."

"Ashton... really? Do I have to?"

He didn't answer, just kept on with his lecture. "Fake IDs are not something to mess around with. It's the same thing as fraud... which is completely and totally illegal. If you would have gotten caught with this you could be in jail, young ladies, do you hear me?"

We nodded.

"And it'd be a hell of a time trying to get you out of a Mexican prision, I'll tell you that much. Now, Anastasia... go to your room... I'll be in there shortly to discuss this with you further. I need to talk to Bri for a couple of minutes."

Ana nodded then hobbled off without her crutches. I shivered and glanced up at Ashton. "Please, Ashton... either spank me or don't make me tell Terrence... I don't deserve three spankings for the same thing.."

"Firstly, you're not going to get spanked for the same thing. The lying thing is over, though I really ought to tear your ass up for that because I think that you and I and Terrence have all had plenty of discussions about lying. But nonetheless, it's over and you straightened up, right?"

I nodded.

"I'm going to spank you for getting that fake ID for Ana. It's against the law and another form of deceit. You girls are going to learn to stop being so damn dishonest."

"But Ashton... we didn't even use it."

"But if they'd have asked for it, you would have, wouldn't you?"

I bit my lower lip. "I guess you're right... but we just wanted to have fun and we weren't going to use it once we got back home... just for the trip!"

"I don't care. It's still dishonest and illegal, and you're still getting spanked for it. Oh, and while I'm at it... how come you didn't talk to Terrence after you promised me you would?"

I turned away. "I don't know."

He grabbed my chin and turned my head towards him. "I don't appreciate that, Brianna. I really don't."

I looked deep into his eyes. "I know."

"I trust you to tell Terrence what happened in Mexico, because I assure you that he will find out, and I can guarantee that he'd rather you tell him than me, understood?"

I nodded.

He stood up and grabbed my hand, standing me up as well. "Believe me, Brianna.. this spanking is nothing compared to what would happen if you were to get caught with a damn fake ID."

"I know."

He sat down on the couch and tugged at my jeans, then gently placed me over his lap. I clutched onto the couch cushions for dear life, gritting my teeth and closing my eyes to await the first smack. Of course, before it was delivered, Ashton pulled my panties down and rested his hand on my bum.

"You understand why I'm spanking you, then?" he asked.

"Yes," I whined.

"And why is that?"

Damn, the anticipation was eating me alive.. there I was, lying over his lap bare from the waist down and he was trying to carry on a conversation like we were at dinner or something! Gah! "Because I got that ID for Ana and it's illegal and dishonest and I promised you that I'd talk to Terrence and I didn't."

He landed a smack, hard and on the center of my bottom. I winced in pain. "That's right," he told me, and smacked me again and again, then concentrated on my sit spots for a little while and my upper thighs. I was kicking and trying to keep my hands in front of me so I wouldn't try to cover. But it was hurting like hell!! He was spanking sooo hard and scolding me, but I was concentrating so much on the pain that I couldn't even hear what he was saying... or I heard it, but it didn't register, I just answered in the way I figured would be best to answer.

"Puhleeezeeee Ashtonnnnn!!" I begged, nearly to tears. "I'm sorrrry!!!"

"I'm glad to hear that," he answered, but didn't let up on the spaking.

"Ashtonnnn no moreee, I've learned my OWW lessonnnn..."

He didn't answer. Instead, he spanked more, even harder, all over my throbbing bottom. His hands felt like steel! Like in that song... Daddy's hands... soft and calm when I was crying, Daddy's hands... hard as steel when I'd done wrong. Ouch!!

He stopped spanking and lifted me up. "Get the hairbrush. It's in the bathroom, probably in the cabinet. And quickly," he added with a quick smack.

I scurried to the restroom and opened the cabinet, wiping the tears out of my eyes and catching a glimpse of my burning backside before returning to Ashton, wooden hairbrush in hands. I quivered. "Pleaseee Ashton... don't use that on me..."

He pulled me back over his lap. "Too late, kiddo... should've thought about all of this before the fact, right?"

I nodded, burying my head in my hands and sobbing as instantly as he gave me that first smack with the hairbrush. Before a minute was up, I was squirming and bawling and trying to dodge smacks, which only earned a firmer grip on me... My pleas were useless because I could barely breathe I was crying and gasping so much.

After what felt like hours, but was really only a couple of minutes, Ashton sat the brush down and rubbed my back, letting me sob for a little while before scooping me up in his arms and cradling me like a small child. He rocked me back and forth, snuggling with me... it was so nice to be snuggled by him.. So nice, in fact, that I was almost confused as to who I'd rather be with.. Ashton or Alex... or even Cole... too many damn boys...

After a while, I was able to pull my pants back up and Ashton hugged me, walking me to the door. "Don't forget to tell Terrence... I'll be calling him to make sure you did."

I nodded. "See you later, Ash."

"Later, Bri," He said and smiled. That gorgeous smile.

I walked uncomfortably to my car and then sat down on my aching bottom... Now I had to go home and tell Terrence and who knows what he'd do... Hopefully he wouldn't take my car away again... but I didn't exactly want to be spanked again either. Dammit...

Tonya was gone when I got home... I guess Terrence could see my tear-streaked face because he immediately asked, "What's wrong?"

I sat down on the couch, patting a spot next to me for him to sit. "Terrence... Ashton spanked me."

"Uhoh... what for?"

"Because I got Ana a fake ID so she could get into the bars with me in Mexico." He opened his mouth to say something, but I interrupted. "But we didn't use the ID and I promise promise promise that we didn't drink... we just wanted to go dancing for my birthday and Ashton already explained how dangerous it was and he spanked me for it." I paused to take a breath. "And we sort of lied to our host family and told them that we were practicing when we really weren't, but Mr. Hernandez found out and spanked us for that because we suggested he do that instead of telling you or Coach because we didn't want to be yelled at more than once about it because we honestly learned our lesson and didn't lie anymore the rest of the trip." I paused as if telling him it was okay for him to talk now.

"That sure was a mouth full, Brianna."

I nodded solemnly.

"I won't spank you again for either of these things, but I want you to know that I'm disappointed."

"I know," I said.

"I trust you're not irresponsible enough to do any of those things again?"

"Definitely not."

"Good. Go on to bed... I'll see you in the morning."

"Night, Terrence."

"Night, Bri," he said, kissing my forehead and hugging me tightly. "I missed you while you were gone!"

"I missed you, too!"

Story: Viva Mexico, Part II

Part of the Terrence/Bri Series.  Brianna continues her adventure in Mexico.  Things are getting hot and heavy with the girls and their Latin Lovers.  Er, this would be a great place for a pun, but I'll resist.  Spanking in this one :)

Viva Mexico
Part II
by Breanna Carter

Lizbeth was too cute for her own good. She was fourteen years old and a freshman at St. Rosa, a private Catholic school. Anastasia, Lizbeth and I talked as we changed and rested for a little bit. She told us of the summer she spent with her dad in America and how she found cute boys, American and Mexican both, and made loads of friends, including an American girl named Katrina who taught her new words in English and still wrote her letters. She said that after she came back home from her summer in America, she wanted her dad back home so badly, and he came back that Christmas to stay for good. He'd made enough money in America to support them for a while and finally got back on good terms with his dad, Lizbeth's grandpa, and got a good job, then a nice house and twin boys. Now he was sending his kids to the best schools in Mexico City and saving up so one day the whole family could take a trip to America.

"Sounds like your family has been through a lot," I said.

She nodded. "So I haven't found out anything about you guys yet! Tell me to shut up so you can talk for a little while!"

Ana laughed and told about her family, how she came from wealth and had always lived in wealth and went to crappy private schools all of her life, then her parents divorced so now she was living with her older brother and father, who was never home. Then I told the contrast of that story, being that my parents died when I was young and I, too, lived with my older brother would couldn't afford the private schools, but I got lucky and ended up being suspended from the public schools so ended up in the private school that gave me a scholarship. How different the three of us were...

"Was the flight here long?" she asked.

"Nah, wasn't too bad," Ana told her.

We lay around for a little while, all three of us piled up on the bottom bunk, which was a double bed while the top was a twin. Before they had moved to this house, Lizbeth and Brandon had shared a room, but Lizbeth didn't want to give up the bed. Which was probably a good thing, so Ana and I had a place to sleep.

Sometime around five, Lizbeth's father came home and came in to give his daughter a hug and tell us hello. He was attractive, for an older guy. And Lizbeth looked just like him, with the big brown eyes and certain facial features. They were too cute together.

"Papa!" she began then spat out a sentence in Spanish that caused Ana to give me another one of those exasperated looks.

"Next year if we go out of country, we better to go to England or Australia!" she muttered.

I giggled and watched Lizbeth beg to her father, and her father finally give in to whatever it was she was begging for. She yelped with joy and hugged him tightly. "My dad said we could go to Juanita's house! She just lives right down the street and she's hosting a family, too."

"Cool! She goes to school with you?"

"Yep! I can't remember who's staying at her house, though. Someone who's in the same grade as her and likes dogs... That's all I remember from the sheet thing."

I smiled and shoved myself off of the bed. I grabbed my hoodie, then threw Ana her jacket after pulling mine over my head. "Juanita's house," Lizbeth said, "is only a couple of blocks away. I promised dad we'd be home by six-thirty, though, so we could have dinner. He said that you have to meet up with the soccer team again at eight, for the boys soccer game, and that we'll take you down there, cause we're going to stay and watch it, too. He also said that since it's a Friday night you might want to hang out with some of your soccer friends in the city for a little while and that it'd be fine... just as long as you were with a group of people and came home at a decent hour, and let him know what you're doing."

Ana glanced at me, a grin spreading across her face. We were thinking along the same lines, it seemed. "Sounds like a good idea to me," I said.

Lizbeth said goodbye to her mother and Brandon, then the babies, and Ana and I just waved, saying "adios" because that's the only thing we could think to say.

It was actually quite chilly outside. Surprised me, because I thought Mexico was pure desert and hot all year around.

Walking into Juanita's house was like a completely different atomsphere than Lizbeth's. It was more of a teenager environment than where we were. Mexican rap blared through the house from one room and softer Spanish music blared from another. Juanita's mom greeted Lizbeth in the doorway then saw us.

"Ohh, hello," she said, giving us both a hug and kissing us on the cheek. "I'm Francisca, and my English is no good."

"Sounds fine to me," I said, smiling.

"Aww, thank you." She had the most adorable accent.

A younger girl came running through the house, crying and blubbering to her mother in Spanish. Francisca hugged her little girl and began shouting something in Spanish. Moments later, Juanita, Shellie, and another freshman, Amanda, who I wasn't such good friends with due to a situation involving stealing that I'd rather not think about, came into the living room. Juanita was ecstatic to see her friend and they hugged tightly. Then Juanita hugged Ana and me, which was cute. I liked her family.

"I'm Juanita," she said.

"I'm Brianna.."

"And I'm Anastasia."

Juanita motioned for us to follow her and I punched Shellie playfully in the shoulder. She just glared at me. "How's it goin', kiddo? Liking it so far?"

"It's different, I'll say that much."

Shellie was an only child, so I could imagine that it was different.

"Do you want to meet my crazy family?" Juanita asked.

"Of course! The only fun family is a crazy family," I said. Yes, I know it was corny, but I was in a corny mood.

As we walked through the house, the rap music and other Spanish music got louder. There were three doors right next to each other, one decorated with a poster of some rapper guy named Daddy Yankee, along with other rappers, some who were American, some who weren't. There was also a sticker on his door that said "No Hispanic, No Latino, Soy Mexicano!" The next door was less vivacious with a few faery stickers on it and a picture of a band called La Oreja de Van Gogh along with a tiny bicycle license plate thing from Texas that read "Juanita" (Lizbeth told us later that she'd bought it for her friend). And the last door also had a poster of La Oreja de Van Gogh on it, along with another band called La Ley, and some other music stuff. It was quite an interesting contrast.

She opened door number one, the source of the blaring rap music. Her brother sat inside, the one that seemed to be about Shellie's age, playing his play station. He started yelling at his sister in Spanish, to which Juanita yelled back. She put her hair behind her ear. "That's my brother, Tomas."

Ana and I waved at him and he paused his game to wave back and came to the doorway. "Hola, como estas?" he asked, shaking our hands.

"Muy bueno!" Ana said and I couldn't help but laugh.

Tomas laughed, too. He was about to say something until his mother came up with the youngest girl on one hip, her hand on the other, fussing at her son. I couldn't tell quite what she was saying, but heard the words "baja le" (if that's how you spell it) which means "turn it down"... so I guess she was referring to his music. Not to mention that after she fussed, he went into his room and turned it down.

"Baja le pinche cabron!" he yelled, banging on the door across the hall, with all of the non-rappers plastered on it.

The door swung open and it was him, the gorgeous boy I'd seen earlier. I almost wanted to faint! "Que quieres?"

"Sierra la pinche puerta. No quiero ver su cara fea."

I giggled.

They stopped fighting for a minute to stare at me. "Intiendes?"

He was asking me if I understood what they were saying, and yes, I understood perfectly well! Tomas told his sexy brother to turn down the music, his brother asked what he wanted, then Tomas told him to shut the fucking door because he didn't want to see his ugly face. It was quite amusing. "Si!" I answered.

"Ahh, pinche Americanas," the brother teased, turning around to shut off his music. "Hola, I'm Alejandro, but you can call me Alex." He shook my hand, then Ana's.

"I'm Ana."

I just stared into his deep brown eyes, admiring his dark hair, dark eyes, and dark skin. His hair was sort of long, covering his eyebrows and sometimes getting down in his eyes. He had the perfect body, too... the body of a Latino soccer player. I was glad to see that it was his room without the rappers on the door.

"Ah, the Spanish speaker doesn't have a name," he said after I'd been staring at him for quite some time.

I blushed. "Sorry, I'm Brianna... but you can call me Bri," I mocked.

"Bri the Spanish speaker... I kinda like it."

"I don't know much Spanish, just the bad words," I told him.

"That's the first thing anyone ever learns of another language."

For a while we all piled up in Alex's room because Tomas's room was much dirtier, and Juanita's was smaller (she said she got the smaller room in exchange for not having to be near the younger siblings). Alex's room was amazing. You could tell he was a soccer player because he had trophies and metals everywhere, along with team pictures, even way back when he was a kid. There were also different bands around, with a very suggestive picture of the lead singer from that La Oreja de Van Gogh band that he seemed to like. I admit, she was pretty... and obviously his favorite singer, because she was everywhere. Or maybe it was just cause he thought she was hott. He also had the lyric sheets from cd cases on his walls. Some of the bands, he explained, were from Spain, while others were old school Mexican bands. And even more were just modern rock bands in Mexico. Music was one of his favorite things.

In the little time we were together, I found out three important things: he was a senior at St. Rosa's, he was going out after the soccer game, and he did not have a girlfriend. Not only that, but he also asked Ana and me if we wanted to go downtown with him after the game. He said he had a friend that Ana would like, giving me the hope that he wanted me for himself. Shellie mostly hung out next to Tomas, which I could tell she liked, and Amanda talked to Juanita and Lizbeth. It was cool that it happened like that... but why wouldn't it have? Shellie was more of a tomboy, Amanda was more girly girl, and Ana and I were older... so we went towards the people we felt most comfortable around.

At six, Francisca came in to tell the kids that dinner was ready and we all dispersed. We gave everyone hugs, because that's just what we did, and Alex and Juanita walked us to the door.

"You really should think about coming with us tonight," Alex told Ana and me.

"Yeah, we'll think about it," I teased, knowing that I'd definitely go.

We walked back to Lizbeth's house through the cold air, talking about Juanita's family.

"Alejandro is a cool kid. He's really popular at school. He's the star soccer player and really smart. He's going to University in Guanajuato."

"Hey! I've heard of that before!" I said, not being able to quite put my finger on where I'd actually heard it before.

Ana gave me a weird look, but Lizbeth kept on. "I think he likes you, Bri. Alejandro doesn't talk to girls much because he's so picky. He's a musician, too, did I tell you that? Girls literally flaunt over him, but he doesn't give them a chance. Says he doesn't want the typical Mexican girl, that he's looking for something different."

At that moment, all thoughts of Cole evaporated from my mind. Alex was a gorgeous Latino, a soccer player and musician, and to top it off, he was intelligent! And of course, he spoke the sexy Spanish language... my type of guy!

Dinner was interesting, once again. I tried to eat it, I promise, but to me, it was gross. I'd take little bites then drink some of my coke. I was eating so slowly that they must have known I hated the food, but my stomach was growling. Just not growling enough for me to want to eat that stuff.

"No hungry?" Mrs. Hernandez asked me.

I shook my head. "Too tired, I guess."

She nodded.

When Ana and Lizbeth finished eating, I decided that'd be the time I'd finish, too. I followed Lizbeth's lead to her the living room to watch some Spanish tv for a little while.

Ana nervously said, "Lizbeth? Is it okay if I have a shower?"

"Ohh, sure it is! Let me show you where the stuff is." She put the remote control on the couch and led my friend towards the back of the house where I heard them chattering for a little while and finally coming back in the living room. "What do you want to watch?"

"Anything is fine," I told her. "It's not like I'll be able to understand it anyway."

"Ohh, we have MTV. Do you like that?"

"Sure!"

There were music videos on and some of them I actually liked. And that was the first time I saw that band I'd been subject to all day -- La Oreja de Van Gogh. I recognized the girl immediately because she'd been plastered all over Alex's walls, then saw the band name flash across the screen. Unfortuantely, my Spanish wasn't advanced enough to actually understand what they were saying, but I loved the music! And no, it wasn't because Alex liked them... I would have loved them anyway! There were a couple of other people that I enjoyed, too, but I couldn't remember their names to save my life.

I took a shower when Ana got out and when I finished, the two girls were going through their cds. Lizbeth wanted to hear all of Ana's and Ana wanted to hear some band that she got to see perform in Madrid while she was there. Lizbeth was excited to see some of the bands that she recognized from her summer in America, which I thought was totally adorable. I just watched them on the bed, digging through music, and dried my hair, then finding a cute outfit in my suitcase to wear. I decided to straighten my hair instead of wearing it in a ponytail to see if that'd catch Alex's attention.

Mr. Hernandez knocked on the door and opened it, asking if we were ready to head off. Of course we were! I was excited to get to hang out with Alex and the rest of my English-speaking friends. It was weird being the minority!

The soccer game was quite amazing.. As you probably have guessed, I've never been in that type of atmosphere before. I mean, aside from being the minority in race and language, these Latinos really got into the game, more so than Americans get into football! Okay, so about the same. When a team scored a goal, everyone in the stands howled (if they were going for the team that made the goal..). It was so awesome. Not to mention Alex really was the star of the team. He was always on the field and almost as good as me :)

We'd sat next to Juanita and her family, so when the game was over, we were among the first to swarm Alex in praise. Except me, of course. I brushed him off jokingly.

"So? Did you like the game?" he asked me.

"I've been to better," I replied.

He grinned at me, pushing the hair out of his eyes. "Guess you're ready for some fun stuff, then?"

"Of course!"

"So you're going to go out with my friend and me?"

"I thought you said 'fun stuff'?"

He laughed. "Fine, if you don't wanna go..." he began and gave me an adorable puppy face.

"Aww, you're too cute, Alex. Of course I'll go with you!"

Thus spawned mine and Alex's relationship. Mr. Hernandez and family didn't mind us hanging out with some of the soccer team (which was really Alex and his friend, as opposed to the girls from school that we'd said we were going with..) for the evening, since it was Friday and our first day in Mexico. He didn't want Lizbeth going with us, though, since she was so young. She didn't mine, and told us that plenty of times, even more so after Ana and I claimed that we felt bad for leaving her at home while we went out. She came to the pont of begging us to go, because she knew that I had a thing for Alex and thought that it'd be cool for us to find guys. Also, she'd said, what's the point of going to another country if you can't go out and party?

So we took her advice and went for it. We went home with Alex, who had his own car. Shellie and Tomas rode with us, too, so they were smushed in the back with Ana while I sat in the front seat next to the hottie. Alex took a shower when he got home and came out looking tres gorgeous with some jeans and a collared shirt on. I felt sort of under dressed and wished I could go back and take another shower and dress in something magnificant!

He grabbed the keys. "Ready?"

"You know it," Ana and I replied, waving goodbye to Juanita and her family. None of them had wanted to go out with us, either, because of their age. Shellie wasn't really a party girl, and Amanda wouldn't have minded, except there wouldn't have been much for her to do and if Juanita wasn't going, she wasn't either.

"So have you ever heard any Spanish music before? We could listen to American rock if you want."

"No, Spanish is fine," I answered, looking back at Ana who nodded in agreement.

"Oookay," he said, digging through his cd case. "What are you in the mood for? Salsa, pop, rap, hard rock.. Spain or Mexico?"

I glanced at Ana. She shrugged.

"Uhmmm... Anything pretty," I said.

He eyed me and rolled his eyes. "Okay, we'll listen to Alex Ubago until we pick up Raoul.. then we'll listen to some old school Mexican music."

"Raoul?" Ana said.

"Yeah, that's my friend. You'll like him, I think. He's on the soccer team. You might have seen him. He plays defense."

"Don't remember. Raoul is a sexy name, though."

Alex smiled. Wow, he had a beautiful smile.

He popped in the Alex Ubago cd and I immediately fell in love with him, too. "This is sooo pretty!" I said. "Just wish I knew what he was saying."

"Ah, one day, I'll tell you."

"Why not today?" I pouted.

He didn't answer, but pulled into a driveway and honked his horn twice, taking the cd out and putting in a burned cd. "This is some old school Mexican music."

"This is El Chico's music.." I said, looking at Ana.

Ana laughed. "You're right about that one!"

Alex didn't even ask. Raoul came jogging out to the car in a long sleeved button-up shirt and jeans, his hair as long as Alex's.

"Que pasa?" he said to Alex when he got in the car, then extended his hand to Ana. "I'm Raoul."

"Ana," she answered, taking his hand.

"Nice to meet you."

He then did the same for me. It was totally adorable and I had to admit, he was good-looking, too. Of course, now that I think about it, most of the guys I'd seen were good-looking! Maybe I just have a thing for Latinos.

Raoul and Alex talked to each other in Spanish for a good two minutes until Ana interrupted them. "Hey, you both know English, so speak in it!" she said aggravatedly.

Raoul laughed then looked her straight in the eyes and said, "No speak Ingles!"

She glared at him and he giggled, so she shoved him aside. "Gahh!! I HATE boys!"

They did start speaking in English after that (unless they wanted to tease Ana more). I was still in awe by this whole situation, and even though I was sort of tired, I wasn't going to let that effect me too much.

"We're going to party tomorrow for your birthday, right?" Alex asked me.

"Oh? Tomorrow's your birthday?"

"Feliz Navidad!" Ana yelped out of nowhere.

"Ana... that's Merry Christmas," I pointed out.

She sighed. "Same thing."

I giggled a little and said, "Yeah, tomorrow's my birthday. You guys have anywhere good to take me?"

They started talking in Spanish again, and Ana looked at me hopelessly. "Tonight we're going to go to the Kumbala bar," Alex said. "And tomorrow we'll catch the clubs. Kumbala is more of a music place.. it'll get you to appreciate the Mexican culture more... and it's not as crazy as some of the clubs. They kick the crazy drunks out early."

The traffic in the city was terrible, much like Dallas traffic. Cars were bumper to bumper and people were honking at each other and cutting each other off. It made me so nervous that I had to cover my eyes. Alex told us not to worry, that we'd be there soon enough.

Once we finally got parked, it felt like we had to walk a mile to get to this mysterious bar. I was tired enough as it was, and it was getting late... I didn't feel like walking. I remember how ecstatic I was, though, when I saw the red neon light that said "Kumbala Bar." I literally jumped up and down, pointing the sign out to my friends.

The light inside was dim and a band played on stage, people were scattered about, sitting at little tables throughout the room. The four of us sat at the bar where Alex talked to the bartender and introduced Ana and me, ordering himself a corona and asking if we wanted anything. Raoul got a Corona, too, but Ana and I declined the drinks. It made me a little nervous that the boys were drinking, and I wasn't quite sure what we'd do if they started being all crazy on us, but I didn't have to worry much, because they only drank one a piece.

It was a mellow night. All we did was sit at the bar and listen to the music, didn't even talk so much because the music was that good. I don't know how long it took for Alex to finally throw his arm over my shoulder and pull me closer to him. It was nice, being close to him, except I knew I was in Mexico and I knew it couldn't last forever... but it was nice while it was lasting. And his cologne smelled so good.. and the music was so beautiful that I wished I was fluent in Spanish.

At one point in time, I had the strange urge to glance at my watch and noticed that it was after one. I remembered the traffic and how far away we'd parked, then pointed out the time to the guys. They spoke to each other in Spanish for a second, then muttered something to the bartender, then asked me to wait ten more minutes. I was getting a funny feeling about this, and soon found out why: Alex and Raoul had told the bartender that it was my birthday, and within minutes he was announcing it over a microphone to the audience and everyone was staring at me.

"Stand up, stand up!" Alex was saying, then practically pushed me off my barstool. He then stood up, lifting me up from my legs, and standing me on the bar.

"Alex! Stop! Put me down!" I protested, but it was too late because I was already standing on the bar and everyone was cheering and clapping. I blushed profusely and gave Ana a pathetic look. I knew she was thinking that she was glad it wasn't her. The band then played a song for me, the happy birthday song, though at the time I didn't know it. Then Alex helped me off of the bar. I could have killed him.

When we left the bar, I told him that I'd never speak to him again, but he knew I was lying, because within minutes, we were carrying on a conversation like normal. It was hard to believe that this was the first time I'd met him and I already felt the way I did about him... maybe I was in love, or maybe it was just lust. Either way, I was still upset when he dropped us off in front of the Hernandez's doorway.

Mr. Hernandez wasn't too upset, just told us to be home earlier the next time. We apologized and he said "no problem" because we didn't know, then sent us to bed. Lizbeth was dead asleep and we didn't want to wake her, so we just slept in our jeans and whispered til we both drifted off.

*****

The next day we woke up a little after nine. Lizbeth hadn't been intending to wake us up as she crawled down the ladder of her bunk bed, but she'd jumped off the last step and it scared the hell out of me.

"Oh! Sorry!"

"It's okay," I assured her.

"How was your night last night?" she asked, sitting on the bed.

Ana opened her eyes at this time, stretching out and rolling over. "It was fun. I had a good time. Did you, Ana?"

"Mmmmhmmmm," she groaned.

"We went to this place called the Kumbala Bar."

"Ahh.. the place with music?"

I nodded. "It's popular?"

"Papa talks about it a lot. There's a song written about it. Old song. Bar's been around forever. Happy birthday, by the way!"

That wouldn't be the last time I heard that phrase over the course of the day. We had a soccer practice at one and the whole team made a special effort to tell me happy birthday and play pranks on me. Coach tried to get us to focus, but we were still excited about being somewhere other than boring America, so it was pretty hard. She knew us well enough, though, to know that we'd focus when it was time. Our first game wasn't until Monday. We still had plenty of practice before then.

We got to finally meet back up with Benito and Pedro. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits, which I thought was awesome. I was, as Terrence had warned, half-starved, but the tour bus was taking us through the city, so hopefully we could find an American fast food restuarant somewhere around!

The day was quite uneventful. After practicing and touring the city all day, we got back to Lizbeth's house around seven and went down to Juanita's. Mr. Hernandez had said once again that it'd be fine for us to stay out all night, but our curfew was two, and no later. And we had to be with a group of people. We were all for those rules... they were better than Terrence's and Ashton's! So, after celebrating my birthday all day, I got to celebrate it even more with Alex and Raoul, back in the city. The younger girls all sat out again, which was no surprise. Alex told me later that girls in Mexico don't usually stay out past ten... most of the girls you see at the clubs and bars are either tourists are prostitutes, because it just wasn't the way things were done in Mexico. I thought it was kind of sexist, but didn't point that out. Now was not the time to be a sociologist.

Clubbing was fun, though neither Ana nor I had the chance to show off our IDs because no one asked for them. Like Alex had said, there weren't many females downtown anyway, so they'd have probably let us in if we were fourteen. Alex and I danced together, and so did Raoul and Ana, and we even switched partners a couple of times. Alex did as he had the night before and drank one Corona, and Raoul drank one, too, but that's it. I was tempted to try it, since it was my birthday, but I'd never liked the taste of beer anyway, and I'd promised Terrence no drinking.

Like promised, Ana and I made it home by two and Mr. Hernandez was waiting up for us like he'd been the night before.

"I don't mind if you go out, just as long as you're safe and in at a decent hour. On school nights I'd rather you not go out unless it's for soccer practice. Your coach did say something about maybe having a few late practices, and that's fine. I'm going to stay up until you girls get in, and I have to work throughout the week, so I don't want you coming in too late," Mr. Hernandez told is that night.

"Oh, don't worry. We won't be coming in late during the week. We'll be totally devoted to practice."

He smiled. "Buenas noches," he told us.

"Goodnight," we said back, which was quite amusing to me, since we both said it in English.

"Hey, Ana," I whispered when we were in bed later that night. "I really like Alex, and you like Raoul, huh?"

"Yeah," she whispered back.

"And we're in Mexico and probably never coming back, so we should spend as much time with them as we want, right?"

"I don't like where you're going with this, Bri."

"I'm just saying... this is a once in a lifetime thing, and Mr. Hernandez said that we could stay out as long as it was with soccer. What if we just *told* him that we were practicing, and really went out with Alex and Raoul?"

"And what if he found out?"

"He won't... and what if he did? What's he going to do? Probably just yell at us in Spanish or something. They couldn't send us home for that, could they?"

Ana sighed. "I dunno, Bri. I really like Raoul... so I guess we could try it and see what happens. But remember Terrence said you'd lose your car?"

"They won't send us home. We haven't had the tournament yet... they need us. The worse they would do is put us in a different host family, or make us stay in the hotel with the chaperones.. and I doubt they'd do that."

"I'll think about it."

I smiled. This trip was FANTASTIC!

*****

Ana thought about my idea and we did just as I'd planned: told Mr. Hernandez that we were staying out late for soccer. We also assured him that it'd be fine if he went to sleep before we got there, and he reluctantly agreed after our first night of coming in at midnight. We weren't really clubbing with Alex and Raoul, we were just hanging out, mostly going to the Kumbala bar and sitting around, just talking. It was so cool getting to hang out with him. Not only was he gorgeous, he was sweet and adorable, and made me laugh. I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather spend my evenings with... except maybe Ashton...

We were doing really well in the soccer tournament so far. We'd beaten an Italian team and British team, tied with the Brazillian team, and lost to the German team (they were bitches anyway!). It was Thursday night and we were exhausted, ready for our break from soccer. Of course, we didn't tell Mr. Hernandez that it was our break from soccer... we told him that we'd be having a practice that evening and after practice we were going out as a team to celebrate our victories. Like every other night, he agreed and told us to be careful.

Alex picked us up around five to take us out to dinner at a fancy Italian restuarant (finally! Something besides Mexican food!). He and Raoul were dressed nicely, like always, and Ana and I were in our soccer clothes since we'd told everyone, including Lizbeth, that we were having an extra practice. The boys made fun of us in Spanish, like they had every other day that week, and we glared at them. Ana and I sat in the back, pulling our jeans out of our soccer bags and slipping our shorts off to put them on. We had worn our nice shirts under the t-shirts that we would have worn to soccer, so we just took our T-shirts off and shoved them in the bag. I took my hair out of a ponytail and brushed it out.

"You know, Mr. Hernandez wouldn't be happy if he knew what you two were doing?"

"You told us that yesterday, Alex," Ana said. "And the day before, and the day before... obviously we're not too worried or we'd stop doing it?"

He shrugged. "Things are different here than in America. You gotta respect your father... My father told us all that there would be things that we did that he didn't approve of, but we would have to tell him, because lying is the most disrespectful thing you can do."

"Ah well, he's not our father," I pointed out.

"It's still the same."

I tried not to let his goody-goodyness get to me, but there was a growing pit of nervousness in my stomach. I looked at Ana, biting my lower lip and she noticed my nervousness, too. But we didn't do anything to change it... just went to the Italian restuarant and walked around the city for a little while, watching the sun fall. At ten, we went to the Kumbala bar.

The bartender greeted us like he had every night, using the little English he knew ("Hi, how are you?"). The music was blaring like always and we took our usual spot, and Alex slipped his arm around me again. There were couples dancing on the floor.. we'd tried that one night and dancing just wasn't my thing. But it was fun and I couldn't help but think about how much I'd miss these nights when I got back in America... The door opened and there was a slight breeze, to which Alex pulled me closer, looking into my eyes and caressing my face. I fell into his arms, a kiss being planted on my lips. Ah, the kiss... it was so beautiful and passionate... I could feel the hearts bursting like balloons next to me -- like on cartoons. I was in love!!

It was a little after midnight when we pulled up into the driveway of Mr. Hernandez's house. Ana and I had been frantically trying to make it look like we'd been practicing soccer the whole time... I pulled my hair back in a messy ponytail and put all of my soccer gear back on. We ran from the car to the house, and it wasn't dark like it usually was. We weren't really that nervous because we knew that Mr. Hernandez would rather stay up to make sure we got in okay, he just usually fell asleep before it happened. Maybe tonight he couldn't sleep?

Ana was in front of me and swung open the door, then stopped dead in her tracks, causing me to run into her. I peered over her head and saw that Mr. Hernandez was questioning Lizbeth, and they'd stopped talking when we came in.

"Come in, girls," Mr. Hernandez said, then babbled in Spanish for Lizbeth to go to bed.

Ana crept slowly across the floor and I closed the door, locking it.

"How did practice go?" he asked, smirking.

"Went fine," I lied. "Did you have a good evening?"

"Oh, it could have been much better, if Juanita and her host family hadn't come over here. Did you know that they knew nothing about the practice tonight?"

Ana gave me an unsure look. "Oh? I was wondering why Shellie and Amanda didn't come to practice."

"I guess I should call your coach and let her know that they forgot.."

"That won't be necessary. I'll just tell her tomorrow."

Mr. Hernandez inched closer to us and I gulped. He was getting angry... "The thing is, the girls said that they hadn't had practice all week, and then told me that they thought I knew you were going out with those boys..."

"Which boys?" Ana asked.

"The boys who've been picking you up and bringing you home every night."

The two of us were at a loss for words.

Mr. Hernandez wasn't. "So I expect the two of you to tell me the truth, because if I feel like you're still lying to me, I'll pick up the phone and call your Coach right now, and I'm sure she wouldn't be happy to know what you've been doing."

I looked at Ana and she looked at me. We were both defeated and knew it. Now it was just one of our turns to fess up, and I guessed it should be me, since the bright idea was mine to begin with.

"Okay, Mr. Hernandez... we've been hanging out with Juanita's brother and his friend every night instead of practicing. We didn't think you'd let us go out with them because you told us once that we could only go out during the weekdays for practice."

"You're right, I woudn't have let you go out with them. But it doesn't matter. That doesn't give you any right to lie to me. That is disrespectful, Brianna," he told me, pointing his finger at me angrily. "I do not tolerate my children to be disrespectful and I'll be damned if I'm going to let the two of you."

I hung my head shamefully. "I'm sorry, sir. We just wanted to have a good time," I said.

"I don't care. I thought you girls were more responsible than that. I've told you both that Mexico City is dangerous. What if something had happened to you out there? No one would have known where you were."

He paused for a few minutes letting the lesson sink in.

"Brianna, Anastasia, look at me," he ordered. I lifted my head and met his brown eyes. "Your brothers wouldn't approve of this behavior, would they?" We shook our heads. "And how would the deal with this? I don't know how things are done in America... but I know how they're done here." He paused again, but neither Ana nor I spoke. "So what should I do? Tell your coach? Call your brothers and tell them? Keep you from going anywhere without Lizbeth or me for the rest of the time I'm here?" He paused again. "I can tell you this much: if it were Lizbeth, I'd be taking my belt off to her, and she knows it."

I didn't know about Ana, but a spanking from Mr. Hernandez sounded like the best out of all the punishments. I mean, of course it'd hurt, but we'd already been scolded once, and didn't need the extra scolding from our brothers or Coach, and I'd really want to see Alex the rest of the week. "Wh-what if you... spanked us?" I asked him, turning to Ana who nodded as well.

He shook his head. "Isn't that considered abuse in America?"

Ana shrugged. "That's what our brothers do... and that's what they'd do if they found out what we did... and I don't know about Bri, but I'd rather go ahead and get it over with and not get in trouble again when we get home."

I nodded.

"You're serious, then? I didn't know Americans were spanked."

We both nodded again.

"Then I'm even more disappointed in you girls. I thought they let you get away with anything over there. I know the girl that I used to work with got away with anything." He paused. "Okay, then, both of you may bend over and place your hands on the couch."

I gulped and looked at Ana, who gave me a sympathetic look. I returned the look as we placed our hands on the couch, sticking our bottoms in the air. "How many times have we been in this position with each other?" Ana whispered.

"Too many!" I answered.

I listened as Mr. Hernandez unbuckled his belt and slid it through the loops. I couldn't help but shiver a little, so Ana grabbed my hand. I knew there wasn't much of a reason to be scared, because for one, we had our pants up so it couldn't be nearly as bad as it'd be if it were Terrence or Ashton, and Ana was there which made it less scary. Of course... I was a little scared for other reasons, like the fact that Mr. Hernandez was a strong guy, maybe even more so than Terrence or Ashton... and he was older, and Mexican... and as a general rule, that'd mean he'd spank harder.

We would soon find out, I learned, as he folded the belt over and lifted it high in the air, crashing it over my bottom. I grunted, wishing that I was still in my jeans instead of my soccer shorts!! He then smacked Ana once and she grunted as well, tightening her grip on my hand.

"Are you girls going to behave?" he asked, slapping the belt down on my bottom again.

"Yesss sirr!" we howled, and he smacked Ana.

He started out with a slow pace, though his smacks were still hard, and eventually worked up to spanking us sharply and quickly. I had my forehead pressed into the couch cushion and was trying not to cry, and almost forgot that Ana was there next to me.

"I will not tolerate any lying or disrespect, do you understand?"

"Yessssss."

He kept up the spanking for what seemed like hours and it didn't take too long for me to be bawling like a baby. It was because the spanking hurt like hell, and I felt bad for getting Ana into trouble, and I felt bad for lying to a nice man like Mr. Hernandez.. and Alex had warned me not to do it, but I did it anyway. How could I be so stupid?

When he stopped, my head was sunk into the cushion and I was crying nonstop. Ana let go of my hand and wiped the tears out of her eyes, then helped me up. My hands flew to my bum and tried to rub the sting out, though it didn't work...

"Girls, I'm disappointed in the two of you for doing such a thing... I don't want you lying to me ever again, okay?"

We nodded.

"You can go out with these boys, but I don't want you going to bars during the week and I want you home by ten, got it?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good," he said and hugged us both tightly. "Now, go to bed. You have to get up early in the morning."

I smiled weakly and kept the embrace for a couple of minutes, then let go.

"You're sweet girls, you know that?"

I blushed a little and told him goodnight, then walked with Ana to the bedroom. Lizbeth was awake when we got in there and apologized for her fathers actions, but we told her it was fine, cause we got spanked all the time.

"You do?" she asked, curiously and sat up in her bed. "Katrina never got spanked! She said that parents didn't like to do it because it was abusive or something."

We nodded. "Lucky Katrina."

"I mean, she did get spanked by Papa a couple of times... like for drinking or letting me stay out too late or something.."

I lay down on the bed, Ana easing herself next to me. "Oh yeah?" I said.

"What'd you do tonight anyway?"

"Went to the bar with Alex and Raoul..."

"Oohhh, lucky! They're hott."

I smiled. "Yep, they are." And after that, we drifted into a deep sleep.

Story: Viva Mexico, Part I

Part of the Terrence/Brianna series.  Bri's soccer team takes a trip to Mexico for a soccer tournament.  (At the time of writing this story, my knowledge of Mexico and Spanish wasn't necessarily the best.  Therefore, please excuse any errors in either of these areas.  I promise that my knowledge is greater now.)

Viva Mexico
Part I
by Breanna Carter

"Have you started packing yet?" was the first thing Ana asked when I answered my cell phone on a Friday afternoon, only a few minutes after Ashton had dropped me off at home.

"Ana... we have a week left..."

"That's right! Only a week... which means this time next week, we'll be on an airplane to Mexico!! And then the next day is your eighteenth birthday! And we're going to party it up with some good-looking Latinos."

I smiled. "Anyway, why did you ask? Have you started packing?"

"Of COURSE!" she said, as if it would be a sin to not have started packing yet. "I've got three pairs of jeans and some cute shirts, and was going to get some shampoo and a new toothbrush from Wal-mart, but Ashton won't take me, dammit. Wish Dad would hurry up and get me a fucking car."

I giggled. "Well, don't fret. It's still a week away."

"How come you're not excited? You've never even been out of the country before! You should be bouncing off the walls more than me... and plus, you'll be 18... so you can get into the bars in Mexico!"

"I know, I know.. and anyway, I guess I've had a lot on my mind, and Mrs. Meachum still hasn't signed my damn slip yet. I mean, I know she will because the soccer girls would slash her tires if she didn't... but it's still making me nervous. And Terrence and Tonya have been driving me crazy with their wedding plans and talking about me wearing a dress and all that crazy shit."

"I'm glad that you're getting along with them now. For a long time you hated her."

"Yeah... actually, it wasn't a long time, just after I found out they were going to get married. I'm a bitch, what can I say?"

Anastasia giggled. "Well, at least you're over that now. And anyway, get to packin'. I'm going to pester Ashton into taking me to Walmart... need anything?"

"Nahh, I'm good," I said, smiling. "See ya later!"

We hung up the phone and I sighed, reading more of the stupid book I had to read for English class. I'd made a deal with my English teacher, Mrs. Meachum, that I'd be a perfect angel so long as she'd sign that damn slip so I could go to Mexico. Coach was more than willing to give her the extra time to sign it, just so I could go, but not after the team had to practically beg Mrs. Meachum to consider me going. I'd done well so far... turned in all of my homework, kept my smartass comments to a minimum, and she said as long as I finished my reasearch paper and had it in on Monday, she'd sign it. So I was reading a book on John Locke, a boring British philosopher. That was when Cole called me.

"Hey, Bri," he said and I could tell he was smiling.

"What do you want?" I teased.

"Ah, well, you told me today at school that you had plans to do nothing for the night, so I was wondering if I could swing by and save you from your boredom."

"Who says I'm bored?" I asked, throwing down the book on John Locke.

"Aww, come on, let your prince save you from despair without all the questions!"

I giggled. "Okay, Prince... you may save me... but I have to talk to the King first and make sure it's okay with him, and put on some shoes or something."

"Ahh, okay, well ask your majesty and call me back?"

"I might."

"Okay, see you in an hour then?"

"Sure thing."

I gave Terrence a quick call then hopped in the shower to get ready. Truthfully, nothing serious was going on between Cole and me, nor would it get that way. But this could still be considered a date, so I was going to look hott.

I called him back after I was all clean, my hair up in a towell. "Yeah, your highness said it was fine, as long as you have me home by midnight."

"Awww... okay. When do you want me to pick you up?"

"As soon as you want. What? You think I'm going to get all decked out or something?"

"Fine. I'll see you in twenty."

"Later!" I yelped, throwing the phone down to dry my hair. I put on something cute and straightened my hair, just in time to hear Cole ringing the doorbell.

"I thought you weren't getting 'all decked out'?"

"I didn't... I'm naturally this beautiful," I said, putting my license in my back pocket.

"Ohhhh.. well, you look nice."

"Thanks!" I answered. He led me to his car. It was a totally hott BMW... have I mentioned that the kids at my school are super rich? He even opened the door for me!

We didn't do much, just caught a movie (yes, he paid), rode around a little, then a goodnight kiss I totally wasn't expecting. Made it home by eleven and called Ana who was as ecstatic as always.

"Did you get to go to Walmart?"

"Yeah! Got a toothbrush, toothpaste, spiffy shampoo, then loads of junk food. Got your stuff, too!"

"What stuff?" I asked, hauling a big suitcase out of my closet.

"Toiletries!"

"Oh, Ana!" I began, about to bitch her out, but she cut me off.

"Where were you tonight anyway?"

"Don't change the subject!"

"You don't change the subject! Did you go out with Cole?"

"Maybe."

"Did he kiss you??"

"Maybe."

"Bri! Oh my gosh... that's so awesome!!!"

"And anyway, why'd you buy me stuff?"

"I didn't, Ashton did."

I opened the suitcase and threw some stuff inside, dropping the subject. The stuff was already bought, so why pursue it further? I'd just have to pay her back somehow. "Mexico is going to kick ass!" I concluded, much to her agreement, soon thereafter, conking out on my bed, with only a couple of pairs of jeans in the suitcase that was in the middle of the floor.

"Briiiii!! Wake up!!" I heard and groaned, noticing that it was Tonya's voice. I wasn't groaning at Tonya, per se, just the fact that she was waking me up.

"Whatttt?" I muttered.

"Your cell phone has been ringing all morning. Won't you get up and answer it already? It's a boy."

"How do you know??" I said, waking up and about to be enraged if she'd answered my phone.

"Cause he called the house a minute ago and said he'd been trying to call your cell and was just making sure you were okay."

"Oh, okay," I mumbled, then lay back down. "Who was it?"

"Cole."

I smiled a little, giggling.

"Oh? Is he your new boyfriend?"

"Nahh, we're just sort of talking. We went out last night. Terrence didn't tell you?"

She sat down next to me on my bed. "He told me you were going out with some guy, but I didn't get any details. So now it's your job to provide them!" she teased.

I rolled my eyes. "He's just a guy that I go to school with. He's a junior... totally adorable. Has a GREAT car!"

"Oooo! That's really awesome!"

She was about to say something else but my cell phone began blaring some outrageous classical tune. I glanced at the caller ID and it was Cole. I showed it to Tonya then answered.

"You must sleep like a rock," he said.

"Hello to you, too."

"I've been calling all morning."

"So I noticed."

"And you didn't even bother to call me back?" he said, not angry, just picking on me.

"Don't start with me."

"Anyway, they're having this all-day concert thing downtown and there's this band that I really want to see who plays at two, so I was wondering if you wanted to go with me."

I glanced at Tonya, smiling and rolling my eyes. "How come you didn't tell me this last night?"

"Didn't find out about it til today. So do you wanna go or not? Cause if not, I'll call the other hundreds of girls lined up at my doorway who are all dying to go out with me."

"Well, I guess I'll cancel my other five dates to go out with you, prince charming."

"Awesome. Pick you up in an hour?"

"Oh? You gotta get all beautiful for me?"

"Of course!"

"Okay, see ya!!" I hung up the phone and bounced on my bed, squealing. "Ahem, I hope Terrence doesn't mind."

"I'm sure he won't... I'll just tell him that I said you could go," Tonya told me, giving me a hug.

"Better get ready!" I ran to the shower, and was ready thirty minutes later, baggy jeans, T-shirt and my soccer jacket, my hair in pigtail braids with a fuzzy beanie (or ski cap, for those of you who don't know teenager lingo). I was totally casual-adorable, everyone had to admit it.

"Another big date?" Terrence asked.

"You're so corny, Terrence," I answered. "It's not a date... we're just hanging out."

"Ohhh, excuse me. Who is this kid anyway? You don't talk about him much."

"He's a FRIEND of mine... his name is Cole, he drives a BMW... no corny comments around him!"

"Would I do something like that?"

I gave him "the look" and sat down on the couch with my cat, watching tv for a little while til Cole came around. He met Terrence, and I'll admit, I'm proud of my brother for not embarrassing me, then we headed off to this concert thing. One thing about Cole that was better than most guys at my school, we actually liked the same type of music, for the most part. Like Jayna would have hated anything I listened to, and while Cole and I didn't listen to the same bands, we would probably still *like* the same bands... if that makes sense. Anyway, the concert was pretty cool... and it wasn't too cold outside, so that made it even better. Ana had called sometime between three and four and said that she was going to see if Blake wanted to meet us out there for a double date, and I thought that'd be cool, except her and Blake were loads closer than Cole and I were.

It started to get dark around 6:30, when Cole bought us a hotdog and some drinks, and some cotton candy to share. It was quite adorable, to say the least. We sat on the ground in front of the stage where bands were changing. The main band was coming on about eight and we'd decided that we'd stay to see them since it was like $15 a piece to get in. Neither of us had heard of them, but they were supposedly a big emo band that most people had heard of... might as well stay.

It was nearing seven when I felt my phone vibrate. We were halfway through our bag of cotton candy and the band was almost set up on stage. I glanced at my phone and noticed it was Ana.

"Just a sec," I told Cole, interrupting him mid-sentence. "Hello?"

"Bri," I heard Ana say, then sniffle.

"Ana?? What happened?" I asked.

"I need you to come over," she gasped. She was either crying, very close to it, or had just finished.

"Sure, okay. Right now? Can Cole come?"

"Ask Terrence if you can drive. I need to hang out... without boys... pleaseee ask him if you can have your car."

"If I can't can Tonya come pick you up? Then we'll come back to my house and watch movies or something?"

"That's fine... pleaseee hurry, Bri."

"Okay, I'll be there as soon as I can.. promise."

"Thanks..."

I glanced at Cole who had a hand full of cotton candy. I couldn't help but smile. "Ana needs me... something happened. Do you mind taking me home?"

"Not at all," he answered, not sounding slightly agitated, which surprised me, since 90% of the guys I know would have been pissed that I was ditching them for a friend. I'd never put guys before my girl, though.

He sped back to my house and I thanked him once again for understanding, giving him a big hug and kiss... so maybe we were a *little* more than just friends... but we definitely weren't an item... yet. I ran inside the house and interrupted Terrence and Tonya's conversation about the wedding (they talked about it all the time anyway!)

"Terrence! I need my car."

He raised his eyebrows. "You sure are demanding."

"Really, Terrence... I need it. Ana needs me. I promise I'll be good, I won't speed, I won't drink and drive, I'll be an angel. Pleaseeee let me have my car... just for tonight... then you can have it again til I'm 90 and can't drive anyway."

He must have noted the panic in my voice because he nodded. "Okay, you can have it tonight, but be careful, Brianna, okay?" he said. He gave me that look, deep into my eyes, enough to make my stomach churn and I knew he meant business.

"I promise I will, Terrence."

He dug through a drawer in the dining room and threw me my keys. "Don't be out too late, and call me and let me know what's up."

"Okay," I said, smiling and hugging him tightly. "See you tonight."

I ran out the door and drove a mile under the speed limit to Anastasia's house. I gave a quick knock on the door, then pushed it open. Ana was lying on the couch, box of tissues at her side, watching "Titanic."

"Ana?" I asked and walked towards the couch, dropping the keys on the floor and kneeling down in front of her on the floor. "What happened?"

"Guys are ASSHOLES!."

"Yeah, they are. Was it Blake?"

She nodded.

"What'd he do?"

"Sleeping... with... Jayna," she murmured, the burst into tears.

"That dirty motherfucker," I began, then went to call him every name I could think of. "I'll kill him!"

"Noooo, don't kill him."

"How'd you find out?"

"His sister called me... said I needed to come see something... walked in on them... he swore it was the first time, and Jayna looked at me like I was the devil and laughed in my face."

"I'll kill that bitch..."

"I'm okay.." I gave her a look that I didn't buy it. "Really, Bri, I am. I just want to sit here and watch Titanic... forever..."

"Oooookay... we're not watching stupid Titanic," I told her, taking the remote control and turning the tv off. "You're not going to sit here and mope. We're going to go driving around... come on."

I grabbed her wrist and dragged her off of the couch, tissues dropping to the floor. "I don't wanna," she whined.

"I don't care." I handed her a pair of shoes and ordered her to put them on and she complied, glaring at me the whole time. Then I dragged her outside. "Terrence finally gave me my car back and we're going to waste the gas in it since he paid for it."

She smiled slightly at that statement. "I didn't know he'd break my heart."

"Ah, well, most guy are heartbreakers anyway. Steph's boyfriend broke her heart, too... and then I got my ass beat later that night for being out past curfew and taking Terrence's car..." I rubbed my bum thinking about it. "But I didn't steal anything this time and we have hours til curfew... so we're going out."

I unlocked the doors. "I'm so stupid."

"No you're not!" I assured her and hopped inside, changing the cd to bitchy girl music... the best thing for a broken heart. Within a few minutes she was dancing and singing along with me and we got on the topic of Mexico.

"Okay... here's the thing," I began, turning the music down a little. "I'll be eighteen... my eighteenth birthday is on a Saturday night... a week from today. Anyway... I'm going to party with YOU dammit... and I don't know about the clubs in Mexico, but I know the drinking age isn't 21... the U.S. is the only stupid country with that drinking age. So you're going out with me, and I'm getting you a fake ID."

She stared at me, then laughed. "You want Ashton to kill us, don't you?"

"Nahhh... we won't die. We'll be in Mexico.. no one will know... we'll be miles away from Ashton. He'll never find out..."

"Famous last words. But we're not drinking, okay?"

"Nooo... not drinking, but we are going out and dancing. I want to have a Mexican 18th birthday."

"And we'll have one hell of a night. Hopefully our host family will be ultraspiffy."

"And if they're not, we'll just sneak out... and if they find out, we'll beg them not to tell coach. 'Por favorrrrr! No habla con mi...' What's the word for teacher in Spanish?"

She giggled. "No idea..."

"Eh, oh well. I'm sure with our adorable American girl charm we can convince them not to tell."

"If you say so, Bri. But if we get caught, I'm blaming you!"

"That's fine.. I'm a senior! What are they going to do? Send me home?"

She shrugged.

"So anyway... Steph can hook me up with a fake ID... are you in for it?"

"Of course I am."

"But after we get back you have to get rid of it so Ashton doesn't find it. Deal?"

"Deal."

We drove around a little more and even drove by Jayna and Blake's houses, flipping them off (or their houses...). Then I drove her back by her house.

"Keep packing and it'll cheer ya up," I told her.

She hugged me tightly. "Thanks for being here for me."

"No problem."

"Sorry for breaking up your date with Cole... was going to call you back and tell you not to worry about it... but I really needed some company."

"It wasn't a date and even if it was, I'd break up any date to help ya feel better."

"Thanks," she smiled. "See you later."

"Later."

I watched her go inside, then wave back at me and disappear behind the front door. I was very tempted to call Cole on my ride home but wasn't sure if Terrence would consider that wreckless driving and decided against it. I called him after I explained the situation to my brother, Tonya having been gone for a few minutes.

"You're a good friend, Bri," he told me. "There's plenty of people out there who wouldn't have done that... I'm proud of ya."

"Awww," I giggled, blushing. "Thanks, Terrence. Guess I should call Cole and apologize."

Terrence nodded. "And I'm going to bed. See you in the morning."

"Goodnight."

I dialed Cole's number while changing into my pjs and talked to him as I stared at the dark ceiling in my room. He was cool with everything that'd happened... didn't bother him that Ana broke up our semi-date... didn't bother him that I would always put my friends before my guys. He said he'd do the same. That didn't bother me either. I don't know how long we talked... must've been hours before I finally realized it was after midnight.

"Should be getting to bed," he said. "Church in the morning."

"Have fun with that."

"Loads. Goodnight, princess."

"Goodnight, prince," I joked.

I turned my phone off and sighed... Ana's relationship was over, the same time that Cole had begun taking an interest in me... how crazy is that? Oh well... I wasn't looking for a relationship anyway, and I think I hinted around enough to Cole... Guess time will tell.

*****

The week of our Mexico trip was the slowest week EVER! Mrs. Meachum finally signed my slip and everyone clapped for me as I bowed to the class. The rest of my classes went smoothly, but the soccer team was so excited that we barely paid attention and ended up having half the day off on Thursday to pack.

"Ana!" I called, meeting her in the hallway while she chattered to some friends about the trip.

"Hey, Bri!" she giggled. "How excited are you! Tomorrow we're going to Mexico!!"

"I know, I know!! I got the thing I was telling you about.." I told her, referring to the fake ID.

"The thing..?" she began, until she realized what I was talking about. "Ohhh, yay!!!"

We walked in a big group to my car that Terrence had finally given back to me. He told me later that he had been planning to give it back to me on my birthday anyway, so just a week earlier wouldn't hurt.

"Go pack your shit!" I told the rest of the soccer girls and unlocked the doors.

"Of course we are!" they shouted back. We waved goodbye to each other and I sped off, trying not to break any laws on my way to Ana's house. However, the two of us were so excited, I might have let my speed increase above the speed limit a couple of times.... but at least I didn't get pulled over!

I lay on Ana's bed as she finished packing her clothes and handed me the toiletries that they'd bought me.

"What do you think it's going to be like?" I asked, staring at the ceiling.

"You know more about Mexicans than I do," she admitted.

"True... but you know more about foreign countries than I do."

She threw the last of her things in the suitcase then sat on it to zip it up. "I haven't been to *that* many foreign countries!"

"Yeah, right... since I've known you, you've gone to Paris, Madrid, and London. And I've been to... Chicago."

She giggled. "Okay, but none of those were that great anyway."

"Shut up... only a spoiled rich brat would say that!"

She stood up, successfully having zipped up the suitcase. "Now you sound like Ashton!"

"He's a spoiled rich brat, too. And I love it. Wish I was a spoiled rich brat."

"Well, you've got the spoiled and brat part... now ya just need to marry a rich guy.. *coughColecough*."

"Meh, I'm not even thinking about marriage yet," I said as she plopped down beside me, staring at the ceiling as well.

"That's the way to go. Sometimes love isn't that great, though, and it can fool you into thinking you want to get married."

I looked at her. "So you really loved Blake, huh?"

She shrugged. "Maybe... I don't know. I at least felt like I was in love... it was nice while it lasted, I admit it. But I'm over him."

"We'll party in Mexico and find a good-looking Latino for you."

"Except I don't speak Spanish."

"Si, senorita! Si habla Espanol!"

"No, no hablo Espanol."

I laughed. "I'm so excited about tomorrow. I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight."

"Me either... How's things with Tonya, by the way... and the wedding stuff."

"They're okay. I told you that Tonya wants me to be her maid of honor?"

"Yeah... that's awesome... after what you did to her." She was glaring at me.

I glared back. "Hey! You would have done it, too! You don't want anyone taking your brother away."

"I'd be relieved! Ashton won't get off my back about anything lately."

"Yeah, yeah... you know you'd miss him."

"You're right..." she began, then heard the front door slam. "Speak of the devil..."

We heard him jogging up the stairs and he arrived to Ana's room, hands on his hips. "And what are you girls doing home this early?"

"Chill, Ashton... don't get your panties in a twist," I giggled.

"School was let out early so we could pack. Isn't that great?" Ana told him.

"Well, I assume you have everything packed?"

"Of course! Now we just have to get Bri's stuff packed."

"Better hurry... you only have fourteen hours to get everything finished," he said sarcastically.

"I know, I guess I'll speed home.." I joked.

"Speed home and you'll be sitting on a sore bottom the whole way to Mexico tomorrow."

"Oooh, I'm soooo scared."

"Yeah, you better be. Anyway, you should probably get to packing, Bri. Gotta go to bed early so you can get up at the crack of dawn."

"Like I'll be able to sleep anyway..." I giggled.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. But it's best to try. Are you going over there with her?" he asked Ana.

She nodded.

"Okay, well, I gotta work on some psychology homework. Good luck with the packing."

"Psychology homework? Don't you have that class in... two hours?"

"Ooooo! Ashton is a procrastinator!" I said mockingly.

"Actually, if you must know, the homework is finished, I just need to proofread it and add a couple of things."

"Mmmhmmm... sure..."

"Just go home, Bri," he said, punching me playfully in the shoulder.

"I'm leaving!" I assured him, rolling off of the bed and dragging Ana with me. The two of us giggled through the house and yelled goodbye to Ashton then got in the car. "Oh, I forgot to show you," I began, digging in my back pocket and taking out a shiney ID. "Here's your ID."

Ana took it in her hands and read over it. "Haha... yay! I'm older than you are!"

"Yeah, I know. I figured if they asked you for your birthdate, it'd be easier to remember only the year you were born..."

"Very true. It's just going to be weird pretending like I'm older than you. But oh well. I'm so excited!"

From there we went onto my house and chattered about the trip with enthusiam. She helped me pack my suitacse then we lay on my bed and dreamt about what would happen. I figured that our predictions wouldn't come true, but it was nice to think about it.

"Do you think we'll be able to stay out of trouble?" Ana asked.

I laughed out loud. "Yeah, right.."

*****

The loud shrill of my cell phone bellowed through my cold room before the sun rose. I didn't even open my eyes to see who it was calling -- already had a good idea, plus was so tired and delerious, didn't really care.

"Hello?" I muttered.

"BRI! Guess what! We're going to Mexico! Wake up, wake up, wake up!!"

It took a minute for it all to register, then I realized... "Ahhh! It's Friday morning! We're going out of town!!!" I finally opened my eyes and rolled out of bed to jump up an down for a second. "Ana! It's three thirty in the morning! We don't have to be at the airport for two hours!..."

"I know! But I woke up and realized what day it was and was sooo excited that I had to call and wake you up!"

"Otay!" I giggled, turning my light on and searching around the room for the clothes I'd already picked out to wear. "But I can't wake Terrence up yet... because he'd beat my ass."

"Yeah, as would Ashton mine. That's why I called you!"

We giggled for a little while, getting giddier by the moment, until Ana pried me away so she could take a shower. I skipped through the house, undoubtably waking Terrence up, and taking my own shower, singing a song that I'd made up about going to Mexico. I'd never been so happy and excited in my whole life. If it'd been up to me, I would have told everyone in the city what I was doing. Of course, the news had already been covering the fact that we were selected to go on the trip, and when we got back, if we did well, there'd be a good chance that we'd be on the news even more... so essentially, the whole city *would* know what I was doing...

"Would you settle down already?" Terrence asked for the fifth time in the last ten minutes.

"I can'ttttttt," I replied, bouncing in my seat and singing along to the song on the radio as he drove me to the airport.

He shook his head at me, smiling, then turning the radio down. "Do you want something to eat?"

"Nooooo... I want to go to the airport!"

"Chill. We're going to the airport, but we don't have to be there for thirty minutes."

"Sooooo?"

He rolled his eyes at me. "Fine... but you're going to starve for the next two weeks.. you realize that, right?"

I thought about that for a moment, then said, "Okay, we can stop through McDonald's to get one last good American meal before I go, but only because I know you reallllly want to." I was trying not to let him know he was right, even though he knew that I knew he was. I hated Mexican food... so I would starve... and breakfast really didn't sound that bad...

After stopping at the drive thru, I pestered him to speed the whole way to the airport and he actually did, in order to get me to shut up. Then Ana called me to see where we were and I talked to her for a few minutes, much to Terrence's annoyance. After finally hanging up the phone, he started in on the lecture.

"Bri, I know you're excited, and I know you don't want to hear this, but whatever you do, you have to follow the rules, got it?"

"Yes, sir!" I said, saluting him.. taking the "Ana-approach."

He glared in my direction. "I'm serious, Brianna. You're going to behave on this trip because I don't have the money to fly you back home if you get in trouble. And if I *do* have to fly you back home, the money will come from selling your car, got it?"

I gulped. "I got it. Can we stop talking about the depressing stuff, now?"

"Fine, fine," he teased, "I just worry about ya, kiddo. I'm going to miss you while you're gone!"

"Oh, now, don't go getting all mushy on me," I answered dissolving into ecstatic screams when we entered the gate to the airport.

The guard gave me a crazy look to which Terrence replied, "her first trip out of the country."

"I'm excited!" I answered.

The guard smiled and gave us the parking slip thing. Ashton and Ana were standing out by their car when we got to the parking lot, and had saved us a spot right next to them.

"I made Ashton park way out here so you could park next to me!" Ana said and hugged me tightly. We jumped up and down and squealed like crazy, meeting a couple of other girls from the team and giggling with them as well. We sort of walked away, too, letting our brothers get our luggage for us. They didn't mind, though, I don't guess. At least they didn't tell us they did... or if they did, we weren't listening. Who cares? We were so excited that we felt like we were the center of the universe and that everything should revolve around us anyway.

After a few giddy moments with our soccer friends, we all went back to our family and I helped Terrence carry some of my stuff. I let him handle the big suitcase, a rolly one that Tonya had bought for me especially for the trip, and I carried my soccer bag as a carry on, though the only soccer-related thing inside was my soccer ball because it wouldn't fit inside my suitcase. Instead of its usual contents, it held my portable cd player, some cds, school work, and food. Thus, it wasn't nearly as heavy as the suitcase that Terrence was lugging. It was on wheels anyway... and I'd be dealing with it the rest of the trip, so it wouldn't hurt Terrence to carry it for once!

As we made it inside, we met up with Coach and most of the rest of the team. Everyone was in line to get their stuff from the airport people and to give their luggage to them to put on the plane. I really wasn't quite sure what I was doing because I hadn't been on an airplane in so long, so I just let Ana and some of the other girls lead me around because they seemed like they'd flown waay more than I had.

After checking our luggage, we got in a big group again, heading towards the stairs where security sat to check our carry ons. They wouldn't let our families go past the metal detectors with us, so I gave Terrence a big hug, a little nervous, but mostly excited.

"Have a safe trip, and have fun. Be careful, okay, Bri? I'll miss you! And you better call me!"

"Stop being a sap," I told him, though I didn't mind that much, really. It was good to know that he still cared about me. "And I'll be fine."

He smiled, releasing me from the hug. Ana and I switched brothers for a moment and I hugged Ashton tightly, remembering the super crush I had on him and wondering if there'd ever be a chance. One day I'd talk to Ana about that... but at that moment, my mind was only on the trip to Mexico.

We all successfully made it past the metal detectors and x-ray machine, though some people had to walk through more than once or get checked over by the officer. Luckily, I wasn't one of those people. Once on the other side of the gate, my heart was pounding so much from the adrenaline. I looked back on the otherside where the rest of my group was waiting to go through the metal detectors and waved a final time to Terrence, then followed Coach to the gate.

The flight wasn't set to leave until seven, so we had plenty of time to wait. Some of the girls were still in their pjs and carried pillows and blankets, listening to their portable cd players and falling asleep in a corner, making sure we promised to wake them up when it was boarding time. I played cards with Ana, Shellie and another freshman. The other girls just sat around and talked. We all stuck close together, though, anxiously glancing at the clock every so often.

Finally, we heard the words we'd been waiting for all morning: "We are now boarding first class passengers on flight 2893 to Houston, Texas."

Okay, so maybe *those* weren't exactly the words we'd been waiting for... more like waiting for "we are now landing in Mexico City"... but they were still nice to hear! None of us were first class, but we all started standing up and getting our stuff gathered, waking all of the girls who'd fallen asleep. Before the lady even got the chance to call for the next section to board, the team was standing around the gate, craning their necks towards the speaker to listen to whatever seat numbers she'd call next.

I think there was a collective yelp when they called the sections that the soccer team was in. We were almost excited enough to fight each other to get in line faster, but we didn't. We tried to remain civilized.

Lucky me, I had a window seat, and Ana was next to me, Shellie next to her. We couldn't sit still, or be quiet. I tried to listen to the video that explained safety procedures, but we were moving and that made me nervous, so instead of watching the stewardess show us where the exits were, I held onto Ana's hand and closed my eyes.

"Never been on a plane?" Shellie asked.

"Not in a looooong time. Since my parents were alive. I must've been eight or nine. We went to New York City."

"The flight to NYC will be longer than this one. We'll be in Houston in an hour... and from there it's only two and a half hours to Mexico City. We're going to be fine... Loosen up on your grip a little!" Ana pleaded.

"I can't! I'm scared," I affirmed, loudly, I guess, because a couple of the girls on the soccer team giggled.

I leaned back in my seat, head planted firmly against the rest, eyes still shut. I held onto Ana's hand for dear life, then started making God-awful whining noises, until finally Ana told me I looked like I was having a baby and the plane sped up, pointing its nose to the air and rising above the surface.

I opened my eyes, noticing that nearly everyone around was staring at me, and then giggled. "Okay, that wasn't so bad," I admitted. Ana rolled her eyes at me and I raised the shutter over the window, watching the city below me and wondering if I'd miss it in the next two weeks.

Ana was right when she said the flight wasn't so long. Within an hour we were back on the ground again at the Houston airport. Our moods were elevated when we got off the plane and many of us grabbed a bite to eat then waited in the next gate for the flight out to Mexico City. No one slept through this wait because we were too giddy. There were loads of different ethnicities around, many Mexicans and Latinos from other countries, as well as some Asians and Arabs. Since this was the international airport in Houston, the flights went to all over the world.

"Bri! They're speaking Spanish!" Anastasia told me, tapping me on the shoulder to interrupt my conversation with Shellie.

"Wow.." I answered sarcastically. Unlike Ana, however, I'd been around plenty of Hispanics, seeing that I used to work with them. That's what happens when you have a boss from Texas who's used to hiring only those of Latino descent.

"That's so cool!"

A group of soccer players next to us were practicing their Spanish.

"Como estas?"

"Como te llamo?"

Ana looked at me. "I can speak Spanish, too!" she said, then said "Adonde es el mano?"

I giggled. "Mi mano es aqui," I said, waving my hand around.

She gave me a confused look. "Huh?"

"My hand is right here.."

"And?"

"You asked where my hand was!"

"I did?"

"Yes.." Now I was confused, too. "What were you trying to ask?"

"Where is the bathroom.."

I giggled again. "That's *bano*."

"Oh," she said, blushing. "Oh well... close enough! I can count.." she said, rattling off the numbers as quickly as possible then "hah!"ing in my face.

I clapped for her. "Muy bien!"

She bowed just in time to hear them calling for first class to board the flight. We jumped up and down in giddiness, and waited around with the other girls for our seats. They called out the seats in Spanish and English, finally calling our rows. Unfortuantely, this flight, Shellie and Ana were next to each other and I was stuck on the row in front of them next to a Hispanic man. It was sort of frightening at first, since I was scared of planes anyway, and the rest of my group was behind me, but I was so excited about the trip that I was talkative and before I knew it, I was carrying on a conversation with the man at my side.

We talked most of the trip, ignoring the movie that was playing overhead (in Spanish with English subtitles). He was wearing a business suit and I wanted to know all about him, all about Mexico, and all about his time in America. He didn't seem annoyed in the least (or I could have been blinded to his annoyance..) and just answered my questions with patience. He told me that Mexico City was one of the biggest cities in the world and that I'd probably love it. He told me some of the bars that I'd need to check out and promised to introduce me to his nineteen year old son.

"So you're going for a soccer tournament, you said?"

"Mmmmhmmm," I nodded.

"Very nice. Where are you from?"

"Louisiana."

"Where are you going to university?"

"Somewhere far away! Maybe even in Mexico! Know of any good colleges around there?"

He thought for a moment. "The Universidad de Guanajuato."

"The what?"

He chuckled. "University of Guanajuato. It's northwest of Mexico City. Nice town. Have you taken Spanish before?"

"Um, no."

"They offer Spanish classes."

"FUN! Did you take English classes?"

He nodded. "I went to a private school in the upper class part of Mexico City. My father is a stock broker and mother a doctor. My family came from wealth. I'm one of the lucky ones." He went on to describe the poverty in Mexico and told me to be careful. "Do not walk the streets alone at night. It's very dangerous. Tourists are always in danger, because the locals know that they are ignorant about what happens."

I nodded.

"But you'll have fun. Are you only going to Mexico City?"

"Yeah. We have sooo many soccer games." I pulled out the stapled itenary, equipped with rules and all. "But we are going to get to tour the city some." I showed it to him.

"Sounds like you're going to have a good time." He explained some of the tourist sites we were going to and told me different stories about Mexican history, then about their culture. He was still talking when the pilot turned on the "fasten seatbelt" sign and told is we were about to land. I was nervous about landing and excited about getting into Mexico, I couldn't sit still to save my life. He finished up the last story and smiled, watching me halfway turn around to explain my excitement to Ana and Shellie. As the plane landed, he wished me luck and told me that he enjoyed talking to me.

Everyone on the plane got up at the same time, crowding the aisles and shoving each other around. I was too ecstatic to stand in one place, so I just grabbed my soccer bag and got out of there. The airport was different, mostly because everything was in Spanish with little English subtitles, the complete opposite of how it is in south Texas or California. I read off some of them, testing out my Spanish, though it was hard to not look at the English translation of the signs.

The rest of the soccer girls were finally off the plane and coach rounded us up to take us by customs. I was confused and stayed by Ana so she could help me out by telling me what to do. It wasn't so hard, really. We just went through this big thing where they x-rayed all of our bags, including my huge rolly suitcase that felt like it was getting heavier by the minute. My mouth was dropped and eyes wide open when we finally exited the airport. Mexico City was HUGE and everyone was speaking Spanish and it was so completely and utterly awesome!

"Girls! Listen up!" Coach said, a hush falling over our group. "We must stick together. We're going to get on a bus then head to the school that is hosting the competition. Classes ARE in session, so I expect you girls to be on your best behavior," she said, looking directly at Ana and me. I couldn't help but give a cheesy grin. "All of the other schools will be there, too, so keep the gloating to a minimum. We know we're going to win, but don't let them know that, because we want to surprise them."

We laughed.

"We'll have lunch at one.." she began, glancing at the itinerary.

"Coach... we all have itineraries!" I told her.

"Fine, fine! Let's get on the bus!"

I snuggled up in my jacket, grinning from ear to ear and holding my itinerary. "This is so awesome," I whispered.

The bus was like a brightly painted school bus, and was super big compared to our small soccer team. That was probably a good thing, though, so we could have room for our luggage. A Mexican tourguide stood at the middle of the bus and took our suitcases, lugging them to the back for us. So we sat on the front half of the bus and our luggage stayed on the back half.

"We're having a big meeting with all of the soccer teams at 11, eating at 1, meeting our host school at 3, and going home with the families shortly thereafter. No practice tonight, just getting used to the country," I told Ana when we sat down in our seat. I'd been holding the itinerary in my hands through the whole flight and walk to the bus.

"That's cool! I'm excited! I hope our host family is fun. What if they don't speak English? I don't speak Spanish! I'd never be able to communicate with them!"

"Ana, calm down. It's okay. The man I sat next to on the plane spoke great English, and said he learned it in school. This is a high school.. I'm sure the kids know plenty of English, even if their parents don't."

"Bienvenido a Mexico!" the tourguide said from the front of the bus.

"Gracias!" I answered loudly and the girls giggled.

"De nada," he said, smiling. "Did you girls have a fine trip?"

We chanted, "Yess!"

"Muy bien. Are you ready to get this futbol stuff started?"

"Si, senor!" I said.

"Ahh, that senorita, she knows her Spanish."

I beamed.

"My name is Pedro and I will be your tour guide, and this is Benito, our bus driver."

There was a unamious "Hola!"

Benito waved at us and closed the door to the bus. Pedro stood beside him as the bus took off. He talked about the different places we were passing by and enlightened us on some of the customs, then tested us in our Spanish. He was an adorable little Mexican, probably in his mid thirties, wore a baseball cap and had a mustache. The typical Mexican I was used to at work. Benito was similar, except he wore a cowboy hat and boots.. like a cowboy Mexican. Benito looked a little younger, maybe in his late twenties, and he was cute, but didn't speak a lick of English, it seemed.

We finally pulled up to a school on the more decent side of town. It seemed bigger than our school, with three wings, three gyms, and an auditorium. Benito let us off under a covered area where three other multicolored busses were parked. Students were walking around everywhere, Mexicans as well as students from other countries who were obviously there for the soccer tournament. We filed out of the bus.

"Adios, amigos!" I giggled.

"Adios!" Benito and Pedro said.

"Oooh, I love me some Latinos," I told Ana.

She agreed. "Oh yesss," she added, catching the glimpse of a good-looking Mexican boy wearing a hoodie and baggy jeans.

We walked in a group to the auditorium where various different schools sat. There were banners in different sections that had been made for each school. Some schools were from Italy, others from Ireland and Great Britain, even some from France, Russia, Japan, and India. There were also a lot of schools from Latin and South America. It was so amazingly diverse. There were so many different languages being spoken. It was so cool.

When all the schools had filed into the auditorium, the leader of the whole thing stood up and gave a speech in English, then showed a video that was in Spanish and had every subtitle that you could think of. It was actually quite boring. Shellie and I giggled through the whole thing, mostly at Ana who was concentrating so very hard on the Spanish so she could learn it. That was amusing.

After the stupid gathering thing, we met Pedro and Benito again to take us to have dinner.

"I've never been so happy to see you two!" I told them. Benito smiled, having no idea what I'd said and Pedro offered a reply.

"Well thank you! After a while you'll get sick of me, though."

"Nahhh!" I told him and went back to my seat next to Ana.

The drive to the restuarant, Pedro taught us a song in Spanish that we could all sing and dance to. Ana was really confused and couldn't pronounce any of the words which humored me to no end. Lunch was uneventful. I tried something Mexican, but hated it and only ate a couple of bites. Ana, on the other hand, who was used to eating in foreign countries, ate every last bite on her plate.

"You're going to be shitting all night," I whispered.

She laughed. "So will you."

"I only ate a little!"

"It's Mexican food.. it only takes a little!"

After we ate, Benito drove us to our host school. It was waay smaller than the other school we'd been to, not to mention on the other side of town (I think?). Pedro and Benito as well as some of the boys from the school helped get our luggage out.

I nudged Ana, pointing to a good-looking Latino with a soccer jacket on. "Hey! That's the boy whose host family we should be in."

"Yummm," she said, dragging her suitcase across the ground. "He's delicious! You think his family is hosting?"

"Why else would he be here?"

She shrugged.

The boy led us towards the gym where a crowd of kids and their parents were waiting for us. A couple of the kids seemed excited and I kind of looked at Ana. "Wow... this must be an all ages school."

She nodded.

Everyone smushed inside and the soccer coach from the school clapped his hands together, scolding a couple of the younger kids in Spanish. "I would like to welcome our American students!" There was a burst of applause. "I know that everyone is anxious to meet who they'll be staying with for the next two weeks, so I'll start calling out names and you may leave with your host family."

He began calling off the names, one by one, with the families. Luckily, with the young kids always came older kids, though there didn't seem to be many seniors. He finally came upon Shellie's name and I glared at her, because the good-looking Latino boy was HER host family instead of mine!

"No fair," I pouted.

"Awww," Shellie said. "I'll try and hook you up with him, okay?"

I grinned. She was still totally lucky because he wasn't the only boy in the family: there were two others, both younger than he, one closer to Shellie's age and one probably a little younger, but still cute.

"Brianna Carter and Anastasia..." he began and the two of us stepped forward. "Ah, very well. You'll be staying with the Hernandez family. This is Lizbeth, a freshman soccer player. You'll love her." A family came towards us, one without hott guys, which left me upset. Lizbeth was short with long black hair tied back in a ponytail. She was there with her mother and a younger boy. They were really a cute family.

"Hi!" Lizbeth said, leading us out of the gym. "I'm Lizbeth and toooo excited that you two are staying with me. This is my Mom, and my little brother, Brandon."

Brandon said hi to us, and her mom said "Hola."

"Do you have any other brothers and sisters?" I asked, keeping my fingers crossed that she had an older brother.

"I have younger twin brothers who are two and a half. But they're at home right now with our housekeeper."

"That's cool."

"Mama doesn't speak much English, and Papa's isn't that great, but Papa used to live in America and picked up on some of it then. I went to visit him one summer."

Ana and I nodded in interest as Mrs. Hernandez opened the trunk and helped put our suitcases in there.

"It was a lot of fun. I'm going to go back one day."

"So you play soccer?" Ana asked.

She nodded. "One of you can sit in the front," she said.

I hurriedly chose the backseat because I had this thing about sitting in the front. Ana shot me a glare.

"How old are you?" Lizbeth asked us.

"I'll be eighteen tomorrow, and Ana is sixteen."

"Tomorrow's your birthday?" she asked.

"Sure is."

Lizbeth's mom muttered something in Spanish to her daughter, to which Lizbeth argued for a second then quickly shut her mouth and sunk into the seat, rolling her eyes at her mother. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, nor did Ana, who gave me worried look from the front seat.

"Hey, a friend once told me that they only put up new bridges if one of them breaks. Is that true?"

Lizbeth just giggled.

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