A/N: Took a while to bang this out. Was a bit lost on how to start it and what I wanted to happen during this chapter. It was a two-day effort when I can usually write one chapter in one sitting. Anywho, it turned out longer than previous chapters as it bounces back and forth between what's going on with Phil, Doug and Alan, as well as what's going on with Stu, Sam and Tracy. ENJOY, my pretties.
After leaving the cathedral, the three guys, including Doug but not Stu this time, walked across the plaza to take a seat at one of the small, empty tables on the terrace outside a small restaurant of sorts called Cafeteria Pizzeria Estruch. Phil immediately leaned forward, placing his head in his hands as Doug and Alan continued inside to get some coffee for all three of them, difficult as it would be as neither knew Spanish or Catalan. Phil dropped his right hand to the table, staring at the back of it at a smudged stamp. He couldn't make out what it had said or pictured, just that it was now a smudge of ink upon his skin. He turned his attention to the left, to the cathedral they had woken up in, still trying to contemplate how they got there, or in Barcelona at all. As he knitted his brow together, Doug came sauntering back outside to the table with two cups of coffee in his hands and wearing an exasperated expression that was clearly directed toward Alan.
"No, Alan, I'm positive," Doug commented, finishing some conversation he must've been having with his brother-in-law.
Phil glanced at the pair, taking the extra coffee that was offered to him by his shorter friend. "What are you positive about?"
"Alan thinks bullfighting is Spain's national sport," Doug replied, sitting down.
"I'm pretty sure it is," Alan insisted.
"And I'm pretty sure soccer is the national sport."
Phil looked over his coffee cup at Alan, gesturing slightly. "Bullfighting isn't actually a sport," he informed.
"It's not?" Alan narrowed his eyes. "Are you positive?"
Doug met Phil's gaze and flashed him a look that said, See what I mean? Phil just smirked faintly in return. "I've one hundred percent positive."
This seemed to appease Alan who sat back in the chair he had taken across the table from Phil and to the right of Doug. "Well, as long as you're one hundred percent." However accepting of this Alan seemed, the tone in his voice still expressed a certain amount of doubt. "Maybe, if we have time, we can take in a bullfight while we're here. I've always wanted to see one."
"There won't be time. We have to figure out where Stu and the girls are and get back to Ibiza somehow. Phil and Sam have a lot to do before their wedding tomorrow. We don't want them rushing at the very last minute like Stu and I had to." Doug took a sip from his coffee and then set it down.
"You're right, Doug. Hopefully third time is a charm."
"Fourth time," Phil interjected. "Sam's sister's wedding was the third."
Alan shrugged. "That doesn't technically count. None of our wolf pack was getting married. So this time is the third."
"So," Doug began, looking at Phil. "I'm new to this whole hangover scavenger hunt for people thing. What happens now?"
Phil looked at Alan then set his coffee down. He sat back in his chair and stretched out slightly to reach his hands down into his pockets. "First we check our pockets for clues. Wallets, cell phones...there could be something that pinpoints us in a certain direction."
Alan was already on it. He had the contents of his pockets dumped onto the table. They included his cell phone, pager, passport, wallet, some euro coins and banknotes, a used Band-Aid. Doug pulled both his and Stu's cell phones out, set them on the table and then grabbed for his wallet, looking through it for anything out of the ordinary.
"I have a receipt in here for some place called Flores Navarro." Doug showed the receipt to Phil.
"What time is stamped on there?" Phil didn't bother looking up at it as he was too busy looking through his own shit.
"Uh..." Doug brought the receipt back up to his face to scan his eyes over it for a time. "3:52 AM."
Phil pulled out a receipt of his own and raised his brow. "I have a receipt from there, too. From...3:54."
"What the hell is Flores Navarro?" Doug wondered.
Phil shrugged. "Fuck if I know. Let's grab a taxi and go find out."
"Two million euros!" Stu whined under his breath at Sam and Tracy.
Gabriel Marceau was pacing on the patio outside the penthouse suite. They still had no idea where they were, other than they were in said penthouse suite, at some hotel that was situated on some hilly terrain judging by the view of some city below and a large body of water beyond that.
"Two million!" Stu repeated. "That's, like, almost three million in American dollars!"
Sam rolled her eyes. "Stu, you freaking out like a little girl isn't going to help our situation any. It's just going to give you an ulcer and make all of us more miserable."
Stu frowned. "I can't help it. I've never been taken hostage before and threatened with death. This is new to me."
"Well, you're not the only one so quit your bitching," Sam snipped.
"I can't believe any of this is happening," Tracy muttered, her dark eyes pained with worry. "I feel like this is happening to someone else."
Sam craned her neck to peer at Gabriel who seemed to be talking to someone on his cell phone while one of the goons from before was watching the three closely with his eyes only. They were talking low enough where their voices weren't that audible to the goon. "We need to figure a way out of here."
"And how do you propose we do that when we're tied to chairs?" Stu demanded.
"My legs aren't. That's gotta count for something," she replied, to which Stu continued to frown. "I can ask to go to the bathroom and then grab something from inside to bash that thug's head in."
Tracy gave a subtle look over her shoulder at the guy. Her back was to the patio door where he was standing. "I don't think the Hulk can be taken down by any kind of household appliance you might find in the bathroom."
"Then I'll have to get creative." Biting her lip, Sam turned toward the goon. "Hey, Schwarzenegger," she called out, referencing his body-building physique. "I have to pee."
The goon just stared at her. "Qu'avez-vous dit?"
"Fuck," Sam groaned. "I don't speak French."
Tracy smirked. "I do. I took it all through high school and college." Tracy turned her head toward the goon as much as she could. "Excusez-moi, monsieur. Mon ami a besoin d'utiliser la salle de bain."
"Ce n'est pas mon problème."
Stu leaned forward, glancing at Tracy. "What did he say?"
"I told him Sam has to use the bathroom and he said it's not his problem," Tracy sighed. "What an asshole."
"He's bad guy with a neck the size of Texas. Of course he's an asshole."
"Tell him if he doesn't let me go to the bathroom, I'm going to piss all over the floor and he's going to have to clean it up," Sam remarked.
Tracy and Stu couldn't help but smirk at Sam's bluntness. "Okay," Tracy spoke. "Monsieur, s'il vous plaît. Si vous ne laissez pas mon amie d'aller aux toilettes, elle va se faire pipi et que vous aurez à le nettoyer."
The goon made a face. Slowly, he stepped away from the patio door and walked toward the trio. He stepped behind Sam's chair and began to mess with the ties binding her arms together behind it. He looked over at Tracy as he did this with a stern face. "Ne pas essayer quelque chose de drôle ou je vais pression de son cou."
Tracy pursed her lips together and nodded obediently. "He said he'll break your neck if we try anything funny."
"I take it he doesn't mean funny as in hilarious," Sam quipped despite the tenseness of the situation. As soon as her arms were unbound, the goon grabbed her right arm and pulled her up to her feet forcing her to walk ahead of him toward the bathroom.
"Be careful," Stu whispered to her.
"I can't promise that."
The goon led her into through the bedroom to the bathroom. He turned the light on for her and then pointed a thick finger at her. "Faîtes vite."
"Yeah, I still don't speak French, dickwad," she remarked as he shut the door in her face. Sam turned and looked around the bathroom, immediately trying to figure out what she could possibly use that was at her disposal.
"...and she was wearing a short, black dress...um...black-o," Phil was saying, pissed he couldn't communicate in Spanish. He was busy trying to describe what Sam looked like the night before to the worker at Flores Navarro which turned out to be a florist shop that was open 24/7. "Auburn hair...about this tall..." he held his hand up to his shoulder.
The worker just shrugged apologetically; not because they couldn't recall what Sam looked like, but because they had no idea what Phil was trying to say. Letting out a frustrated sigh, Phil walked up to the next worker he could find, and older woman, and grabbing a hold of her arm as gently as possible.
"Excuse me, do you speak English?"
She nodded and smiled. "Yes, how can I help you?"
"Oh, thank God," he exclaimed, turning toward Doug and gesturing. "Doug, I found one who speaks English." Turning back to the woman, he clapped his hands together. "Yes, you can help me. My friends and I were here very early this morning, around four. We have receipts from buying something here. Flowers, I take it. We need to know if there was anyone else with us."
"Let me check with Esperanza. Her shift started at three this morning and she is here for another hour. She will be able to help you, I am sure."
"Does she speak English, too?"
The woman shook her head. "Only a little, but I will still translate for you."
"Gracias," Doug commented, having walked up and heard the back and forth between Phil and the woman. "I know that much at least," he said to Phil, specifically.
"De nada," the woman smiled. She led the way over to an aisle of sorts where there were all different varieties of flowers in gray, plastic holders. "Esperanza," she called out to a woman who looked to be in her late twenties or early thirties.
Esperanza was petite and graceful with every move she made, her hair was like black satin and her skin was richly tanned. When she turned to face the older woman and the three men, her warm chocolate eyes immediately brightened as she smiled with full lips. "Hola, Phil, Doug," she greeted in a very feminine voice, pronouncing their names as Feel and Dog with her accent.
"Wait, so, you remember us?" Phil questioned, gesturing between himself and Doug.
Esperanza bit her bottom lip and looked to the older woman. "Lo sentimos, qué es lo que quiere saber?"
"Te acuerdas de ellos?" the older woman asked.
"Oh," she looked at Phil and nodded. "Yes."
"Was there another man and two women with us early this morning?" Doug asked.
Once again, the older woman translated. "Había dos mujeres y un hombre con ellos esta mañana?"
"Dos de cada," Esperanza answered to the woman, but at Phil and Doug she said, struggling with her English, "Two women...two men."
Doug crinkled his nose. "Two men? Who else was with us?" he looked at Phil.
Pulling out his cell phone, Phil brought up a picture of Sam and showed it to Esperanza. "Her?" he pointed to the picture. Esperanza nodded, so he located another picture of himself, Doug and Stu, pointing to Stu. "Him?" Again, Esperanza nodded.
Doing the same, Doug showed Esperanza a picture of Tracy on his phone and she confirmed it.
"Yes. Su mujer y su amigo Stu."
The older woman translated, "Your women and friend Stu."
"Y su otro amigo," Esperanza continued.
"What?" Phil muttered. "Amigo means friend, right?"
The older woman nodded. "She said you had another friend with you."
"What did he look like?"
"Esperanza, qué hizo el otro aspecto tiene?"
"Pequeño, el chino."
"Small and Chinese," the older woman informed Phil and Doug who looked between each other.
Doug didn't seem to grasp the significance, but Phil did. "Chow?" Phil questioned.
"What about Chow?" Alan asked, finally finding the others and holding an array of flowers in his hand he must've just purchased.
When Esperanza saw him, her face lit up like a kid at Christmas. She hurried up to him and threw her arms around his neck and gave him a hug and kissed both sides of his face. "Alan!" she exclaimed, happily, pronouncing his name as Ah-lan.
Doug and Phil exchanged a look between each other, amused and confused by the greeting Alan received. "Esperanza here says Mr. Chow was with us when we were here about four this morning," Phil said.
Alan was busy staring at the pretty Spanish lady hugging and kissing him. He looked awkward, not sure how to react, so he just stared wide-eyed at her and pulled two purple carnations from the bunch in his hands and handed them to her. She looked down at them and took them graciously, pressing them up against her ample chest.
"Thank you, Alan. You sweet."
He couldn't help it. He smiled. "You have nice hair."
Esperanza looked to the older woman, who translated, and when she heard the translation, she smiled and touched her free hand to several strands of her dark hair.
"I don't mean to interrupt this Hallmark moment, but why the fuck was Chow with us last night?" Phil cut into the banter with an eye roll.
"Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you," Alan began, finding it hard to stop smiling at the fact that some pretty female actually seemed interested in him. "I felt bad that Chow didn't get to come to Stu's wedding as my plus one because he got arrested. After we got back from New York I got back in contact with him more frequently and last week I asked him to be my plus one again. He was supposed to arrive tonight, actually." Alan looked directly at Phil and shrugged. "I guess he got in early."
Phil held up his hand, ignoring the moon eyes Esperanza had for Alan which had Doug looking honestly perplexed. "Let me get this straight: you invited Chow to my wedding and didn't tell me?"
Alan shrugged. "I didn't think you would care. You're not paying for it."
"Alan, that's beside the point. You should've at least asked me. It's the polite thing to do."
"I'm sorry, Phil," Alan pouted. "Chow was so happy to be invited. He even said he was going to get you something nice for your wedding because he didn't forget how you returned his wife's ring."
Phil's slightly aggravated stare softened. "What was he going to get me?"
"I don't know."
"Okay, well...we know Stu and the girls were with us when we left here at four. That shortens the gap of time when we lost them," Doug cut in, steering the conversation back in the right direction. "We probably only had about another hour or two before we ended up at the cathedral without them."
"But where did we go after here?" Phil wondered. "Unless we can figure that out, we're fucked."
"Hey, what's the United States' calling code?"
Phil and Doug turned to see Alan typing something into his phone and so was Esperanza.
"What are you two crazy kids doing?" Doug asked, not able to help but smirk for at the interaction.
"Exchanging our phone numbers," Alan replied. "Spanish numbers are weird."
Phil furrowed his brow. "How do you expect to talk to each other, Alan? She's not fluent in English and you don't know Spanish?"
"I know how to order from Taco Bell just fine."
Phil wasn't going to bother arguing that one. "We need to find out where we went next. Esperanza, did we say where we were going after here?"
The older woman touched Esperanza's arm to get her attention and then translated, "Te dijeron que iban después de aquí?"
Esperanza shrugged. "No sé exactamente dónde se fue el siguiente, pero usted dijo que quería ir de fiesta un poco más."
"She said she does not know exactly where it was next, but you said you wanted to party some more."
Alan chuckled. "We like to party a lot."
"Are there any bars or nightclubs nearby?" Doug asked.
"There is Sala Bikini, Elephant Club..." the older woman rattled off.
Doug nudged Phil's arm. "I think we should try both of those next."
"Alright. Let's get out of here and find another taxi." Phil nodded to the older woman and Esperanza. "Thanks for the help."
"You are welcome," the older woman commented.
"Alan," Phil called as him and he and Doug began toward the exit. The tubby man was straggling, distracted by Esperanza. "Time to go, buddy. We have more important shit to do than you ogling Esperanza."
Alan immediately frowned and kicked his foot at the floor as if he were kicking up dirt. "The one time a lady seems to like me and I can't even try to have a conversation with her." He folded his arms childishly and stomped forward. "I never get to do what I want."
"I already have a five year old, Alan. I don't need another one." Phil looked back and glared, leading the way out to the street.
"Au revoir, Esperanza," Alan said to her before he was completely out of her sight, pronouncing the goodbye as 'or revoyeur'.
"Alan, that's French," Doug commented.
"I thought Esperanza was a Spanish name."
"It is. Au revoir is French for goodbye. Adios is goodbye in Spanish."
"Well, France isn't that far from Spain. Just over some mountains right? Don't you think Esperanza knows some French?"
"Who honestly gives a fuck, Alan? She barely knows any English and England is above France."
Alan scowled at Phil. "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the altar this morning."
Phil just stopped and stared, hands on his hips. "I swear, I will smack you."
"That's not very nice."
"No, but it'll make me feel better."
"It'll hurt, and not just my skin but also my feelings."
"Alan," Doug spoke, trying to defuse the growing tension between his best friend and brother-in-law. "Phil's just worried about Sam right now and they're getting married tomorrow. He's a little stressed, okay?"
"Aren't you worried about Tracy?"
"Of course I am. She's my wife, the mother of my children and your sister."
"What about Stu? Are you worried about him?"
"Alan, please, just stop talking," Phil seethed, clenching his teeth as he looked up and down the road for any sign of a taxi.
"Yes, we're worried about Stu, too," Doug insisted.
"What about Chow? He's probably lost. Are you wor—"
Alan teetered back on the balls of his feet, blindsided by the palm of Phil's hand suddenly making harsh contact with the side of his face. "Ow, Phil!"
"No more talking," was all Phil said as he waved down an approaching taxi.
A series of knocks fell upon the bathroom door. "Que faites-vous là-dedans?" Gabriel's goon was standing outside the door and grabbed for the knob, trying to turn it to open it, but it was locked. "Déverrouillez cette porte et sortir. Maintenant!"
The door unlocked and Sam peered out a little. "Sorry." One hand was behind her back, the other patted her stomach. "Upset stomach." When the goon stepped back and gestured for her to come out, she hesitated. She pointed for him to lead the way. "You first."
The second he looked forward, not knowing why exactly she had pointed in front of them because he could not understand a word she said, Sam lifted the hand that was behind her back. She was holding onto a ceramic tissue box cover and brought it crashing up against the side of the goon's head with as much force as she could muster. He stumbled over to the side, dropping to his knees as his face hit the corner of the bed's mattress. Letting the ceramic tissue box cover slip from her hands, Sam took off in a sprint out of the bedroom to find Stu and Tracy looking at her with wide eyes.
"What was that thud? Where's the big bad guy?" Stu questioned, looking nervously in the direction of the bedroom and then toward the patio where Gabriel and the second goon could no longer be seen from where they were inside.
Sam was immediately behind Stu's chair, untying his binds. "I hit him on the head with a ceramic tissue box cover. He dropped like a bag of bricks but I don't know how long it'll keep him down. In case you didn't notice, he's built Ford tough."
As soon as she had Stu's arms undone, she let him finish by untying his own legs and then she scurried over to Tracy and began to work on untying the brunette's arms. Stu had his legs free and stumbled at first when he stood up. His legs had fallen asleep a bit from sitting in that position for God knows how long. However, he was quickly back on his feet and knelt down to work on untying Tracy's feet while Sam finished with her arms. Once Tracy was freed, she joined the other two and they stood together.
"Come on!" Sam cried out, gesturing for them to follow her toward the penthouse suite's front door. She unlatched the lock and swung the door open, just as Gabriel came walking into the living room from the patio!
"Hey!" he shouted angrily after them.
Stu turned around in time to see the Frenchman pull a gun out of his jacket and aim it at the threesome. Stu yelped and pushed the girls forward out the door. "He's got a gun, he's got fucking gun!"
Literally seconds after they were out of the penthouse, two shots were fired, but lodged in the wall beside the door. Stu and the girls ran up the elevators and pressed the down button repeatedly in anxious fear.
"Oh, God...this elevator isn't going to get here soon enough!" Tracy exclaimed, looking around. "The stairs!" she pointed at a door a few feet away.
They ran to the stairs door and pushed it open, tearing off down the flights of stairs as fast as they could, which wasn't as easy for the girls as it was for Stu because they were both in heels from the night before. They gripped the metal railing as they swung around each curve in the stairwell, stopped momentarily when they heard the same door they'd ran through about two flights up bang open. A few moments later, shots were fired down the center of the stairwell, with one bullett ricocheting and hitting the wall behind them.
Stu and the girls screamed but continued running. Gabriel and what sounded like both goons — the one Sam hit must've come to as quickly as she suspected he would — were shouting after them and shooting some more. This time the next scream heard was more of a cry of pain. Sam stumbled forward down the last couple of steps to the landing they were coming upon. She skidded onto her knees and Stu was right there beside her, picking her up.
"You okay?" he asked, panic in his voice, as he helped her to her feet as fast as he could.
"I think I got shot!"
Tracy touched Sam's right shoulder, pulling her hand away with blood smeared on her fingertips. "Oh no, they did shoot you. Oh my God! We gotta get out of this stairwell..."
Sam winced and nodded toward the door to the floor they were nearing. "There. We'll head to that floor and maybe catch the elevator the rest of the way down."
And that's what they did. They quietly went through the door and ran into the hallway where they found two elevators waiting. Tracy pressed the down button and they were fortunate that the elevator was only a floor above. It dinged open within seconds and they filed in as quickly as possible with Tracy hitting the button to close the door several times. When the doors closed, they breathed their first sigh of relief and then Tracy pressed the button for the lobby.
With a moment to catch their breaths and gather their thoughts, Stu stepped behind Sam to inspect the gunshot wound she had to her right shoulder blade.
"How bad is it?" Sam asked. "It hurts like a bitch."
Stu frowned. "It's superficial. The bullet only grazed you, but it was a deep graze. We should find a hospital."
Tracy patted her sides. "I don't have my purse. It had my phone, IDs, passport, money..."
Sam looked at Tracy, then down at herself. "I don't either. Stu? Do you have a phone or anything in your pockets?"
Stu dropped his hands from Sam's shoulder, getting some of her blood on his pants as he shoves his hands into his pockets. There was a moment of hope in the girls' eyes as they watched him, only for that hope to disappear when Stu frowned and shook his head.
"I got nothing."
"Fuck. That's the problem with cell phones, I don't remember anyone's phone numbers by heart anymore. Do you?" Sam asked Tracy.
Tracy shook her head. "No. It's just so easy when it's already programmed in. You press a person's name and voilà: phone number dialed."
"I don't even know my own cell number by heart," Stu offered up.
"We're so fucked," Sam whined.
"Well, we could just catch a cab back to the hotel and someone there could pay for it," Tracy commented, biting her bottom lip.
The elevator doors dinged open and the three of them sauntered out, walking fast toward the reception desk of the hotel they were in.
"Excuse me," Stu called out to the desk clerk, a young Spanish woman with a name tag that said Clara on it. "Hola, Clara...we've been attacked by some bad guys in one of your penthouse suites and my friend here was shot. We're gonna need the police called and, uh...what hotel are we in?"
"Qué?" Clara asked.
"Yo estaba tornasolado por un hombre llamado Gabriel Marceau. Llamar a la policía," Sam translated. "Y por favor, díganos dónde estamos ahora."
"Usted está en el Gran Hotel La Florida."
"Where are we?" Stu wondered.
"The Gran Hotel La Florida," Sam replied.
"Okay, but are we still in San Antonio on Ibiza?"
Hearing the name Ibiza caught Clara's ear. She smiled politely and shook her head. "No. No es Ibiza. Barcelona."
Stu just stared, his eyes widening. "Did she just say we're in Barcelona?" Sam nodded. "How the fuck did we get to Barcelona?" he squealed, just as the elevator doors dinged again and out walked Gabriel Marceau and his two goons as casually as possible while eyeing on Stu and the girls.
"That's them! They have guns!" Tracy shouted, pointing at Gabriel.
"Clara doesn't speak English!" Stu screeched.
"Fuck this shit," Sam muttered. "Just run!" She took off first, running toward the hotel's front entrance. Stu grabbed Tracy's hand and pulled her along to catch up with Sam who was surprisingly fast like a freak when she needed to be. Perhaps it was because she was shorter and closer to the ground.
The three of them burst through the front entrance and into the awaiting October morning sunlight. It wasn't horribly hot out, but it was warm. Much like Los Angeles during the fall months. They darted down to the main road and cut through traffic, just running and not looking back to see if Gabriel and his goons were following.