Under the New Mexico sunset laid the young couple. The hammock swung slightly as they both laid back looking up at the pinks and purples painting the sky. "It's beautiful." Gabriella said adoringly, not taking her eyes off the sky.
"Yeah it is." Troy whispered, his gaze not on the sunset above but the gorgeous girl who laid next to him.
He grabbed her waist and pulled her towards him. She smiled, laying her head on his chest as his arm wrapped around her waist. She grabbed his other hand and intertwined their fingers before looking up at her boyfriend of 16 months.
The smile on his face turned to a frown as he heard her soft sigh. "What's up Brie?" He asked softly as he caressed her cheek.
She leant into his touch before replying. "Nothing really, I was just thinking about how we got here and everything that's happened, I just hate hiding, I know why we have to but this rivalry is stupid."
Troy and Gabriella were not supposed to be together or have any kind of contact. Troy was known as the king of East High and the captain of the East High basketball team: the Wildcats.
Gabriella went to West High and was the co-captain of the cheerleading squad and captain of the scholastic decathlon team. At West High, they followed a strict code, the number one rule: no association with the Wildcats. According to these rules, Gabriella should be dating Zayn Young, the vice-captain of the basketball team below Zeke Baylor (the captain) who was dating Sharpay Evans, Gabriella's co-captain and best friend at West High.
Troy sighed hearing her statement. "I know it sucks Brie but I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know Wildcat, I know no one gets hurt this way. If Sharpay hadn't got me on the stupid squad then it wouldn't matter. I could be invisible, do the decathlon and no one would care."
"That might be true but you love to dance Brie, and cheer is the closest thing you have to that at West, and it gets you to all the games. You're my good luck charm Baby and even though you aren't cheering for me, I don't know, I just need you there. Plus I don't object to seeing your routines in that uniform."
She playfully gasped. "So my only use is to help you win and for you to look at me?" She pouted; Troy laughed and pulled her closer.
"Of course not but I can't complain about seeing my gorgeous girlfriend in her uniform."
She blushed at the compliment. "Whatever you say Wildcat but you know I'm always cheering for you." At his confused look, she continued. "I know I'm supposed to have school spirit and all, but you know I hate it there, besides how could I not, I love you."
He gave her a chaste kiss. "I love you too Brie."
After some silence Gabriella spoke again. "Are you nervous for tomorrow?"
"Yeah I mean it's the championships and my Dad's expecting a lot from me. Plus I'm sure Zayn'll start something."
Gabriella nodded. "Yeah I really hate that guy, he's an arrogant jerk and he makes me uncomfortable."
"Did he try something today?"
She sighed, "sorta, it's just the way he talks to me and touches me, I don't like it."
"If he takes it too far tomorrow, I will step in Brie, I hope you know that."
"I know and I wouldn't be mad. I have a feeling the truth is gonna come out sooner than we think."
He pulled her body fully on his, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting their foreheads together. "I love you Brie."
"I love you too Troy." She looked up and noticed the nervous expression on his face. "Troy, what's wrong?"
"I... um, I kinda."
She cupped his cheek. "What is it Baby? I've never seen you this nervous before."
"Please don't get mad." He whispered.
She looked on confused as he moved her off his lap and took off his shirt, turning his back to her. Her mouth dropped as she saw the black ink that spelt her name Brie on the right side of his upper back. Her shock quickly changed to awe as her fingers gently traced the english font writing. "Troy, this is... wow, why did you get this?"
"Because I love you Brie, you are my everything, I know it's only been 16 months but I know you're the one I'm meant to be with. I know the hiding sucks but this is a way to show you I am yours." She had tears in her eyes from his speech. "Do... do you like it?"
Gabriella gave him a passionate kiss before responding. "I love it Troy, I love you."
He quickly kissed her. "I love you too Baby. I... uh have something for you, turn around." She did as he asked and felt the cold silver of the T on her chest as he fastened the necklace. "I thought that I could give you something to wear, I mean I know I can't give you a ring because that'll raise questions but I thought -"'
She interrupted Troy with a kiss. "I love it, of course I'll wear it Wildcat, it'll be my way of showing the world that I'm yours."
They both smiled and snuggled closer in the hammock.
Gabriella was walking with Sharpay out of school as they ran into Zeke and Zayn.
"So Gabs, coming to the game tonight?" Zayn asked wrapping an arm around her shoulder.
She rolled her eyes and moved his arm off her. "Seriously Zayn what do you think?"
He ignored her statement. "So you're coming with me to the afterparty."
"No I won't be." She heard him growl and saw the door in a couple metres.
"What's with the necklace and why's there a T?"
She turned to Sharpay and Zeke, ignoring Zayn's question. "Bye guys." She hurried out the door.
Gabriella sat on the East High bleachers waiting or her team to arrive. Her mind wandered to her and Troy's relationship, only his parents and her mom knew about them. She was sure East High would take their relationship better than West, but she wasn't sure if it would be by much. She was snapped out of her thoughts by a tap on her shoulder. "Hi?"
"Hi, you're Gabriella right?" She nodded in response. "I'm Kelsi, I go to East High."
"Not to sound rude but if you go to East, why are you talking to me?"
The girl smiled, "no worries, i just wanted to meet the girl who's got my best friend wrapped around her finger." At Gabriella's panicked expression, Kelsi quickly assured her. "It's ok, Troy hasn't told anyone, I'm the only one who know. He explained everything to me and I promise no one will hear it from me. Troy's like my brother and I wanted to meet the girl who has left Troy love struck."
When Kelsi saw that Gabriella was calmer, she stood. "Well your team's coming in so I better leave, I know West can be weird with that stuff. But please don't be mad at Troy, the only reason he told me was because I saw his tattoo through his singlet last night when I went for homework."
"It's ok, if Troy trusts you then so do I, it was nice to finally meet you Kelsi, I've hear so much about you."
"It was nice meeting you too Gabriella."
Gabriella saw her team and they all started warming up.
It was halftime and the game was close: 47-42 East High. Troy turned to the West High bench in time to see Gabriella trying to stop Zayn from touching her. The boy had his hand on her thigh and was surrounding her on her place on the bench. Troy counted to five to stop his rage before he yelled out. "Oi Baylor, get your team under control."
"What are you on about Bolton."
"Your little vice captain is touching your cheerleaders and they don't look happy about it."
Zayn glared at Troy, "Shut it Bolton, get lost."
"You can say or do whatever you want Young but when a girl says no, it means no. I'm over 10 feet away and I can tell she's telling you to stop." The West High coach called the team over.
Gabriella sent him a thankful smile and he discretely gave her a wink before turning back to his team.
While Gabriella was watching the last few minutes, she started thinking. 'Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they knew, Kelsi took it well so I can assume East High won't take it as bad as I think, besides I got accepted for my transfer to East today.'
The announcers voice interrupted her thoughts. "We're down to the last 10 seconds, Baylor passes the ball to Young but it's intercepted by Bolton, Bolton to Danforth, Danforth to Cross, Cross goes for the two pointer, but throws it back to Bolton who scores the three pointer on the buzzer ladies and gentlemen. And the East High Wildcats win their back-to-back championships."
Everything left Gabriella's mind as she head the announcement, everything but her happiness and pride for her boyfriend. For once, she didn't let herself overthink it, she followed her heart. She leapt from her place on the bench and ran over to Troy. He had a shocked expression on his face when he saw her coming.
She ran and jumped into his arms, kissing him. Her arms wrapped around his neck and her legs around his waist, his arms under her thighs to support her as he returned the kiss.
When they pulled away, she hugged him tight from her place in his arms. "Congratulations Wildcat, I'm so proud of you."
"Thanks Brie, I couldn't have done it without you, I love you Baby, so much."
"I love you too Troy, so so much." He leant down and kissed her but it was interrupted by a shout.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?"
Troy placed Gabriella down in front of him, wrapping both arms around her waist before pulling her back so that her back was against his chest. They were left with an angry Zeke and a livid Zayn.
"Gabriella, what the hell do you think you're doing?" Zayn spat.
"I'm congratulating my boyfriend on winning the championships."
"You're with him?" Zeke asked incredulously.
Troy rolled his eyes. "Yes Baylor, typically the term 'boyfriend' means that she's with and dating me."
"Shut it Bolton." The two West High captains yelled.
"To answer your question, yes Zeke I am going out with Troy." Gabriella spoke quietly as she felt Troy's arms tighten around her.
"Get away from what's mine Bolton." Zayn spat.
Gabriella rolled her eyes. "I am not and have never been yours Zayn."
"You shut it, you belong to me."
Troy was about to respond to him, but Gabriella beat him to it. "I don't belong to anyone but if I did, it would be Troy,"
"Gabs." She heard Sharpay speak from her place beside Zeke, trying to calm the boy down. "Does this have anything to do with that necklace you've been wearing."
Gabriella smiled and instinctively her hand grasped the T around her neck. "Yeah Shar, it's Troy's way of telling everyone I'm his while we had to hide our relationship."
"How long have you been with him?" Zeke asked, notably more calm.
"16 months." Troy responded, kissing the top of her head.
Sharpay spoke up. "Well Gabi, I'm happy for you, who cares about a stupid rule, you can't fall for who a book tells you to." The girl said and Zeke nodded his agreement. Gabriella went and hugged her best friend.
As she was walking back to Troy, Zayn grabbed her arm and pulled it back painfully, causing her to squeak. Troy instantly went into protective mode, stepping forward. "Let go of my girlfriend now." He demanded.
"She belongs to me Bolton, one more step and she gets it." He twisted her arm more causing her to whimper.
Zeke went over to the vice captain and ripped Gabriella's arm from his grip, the girl immediately running into her boyfriend's arms. "That's enough Zayn, just because you didn't get Gabi, doesn't mean you act this way."
"She's a traitor, she deserves to be punished."
Troy's face hardened. "Say or do what you want to me, I don't give a damn Young, but if you do anything to Gabriella, I will -"
He was interrupted by his girlfriend's soft voice. "Troy it's ok, he won't get the chance, I'm starting East High when we go back to school, my transfer got approved this morning." He grinned and kissed her as Zayn stalked off.
Sharpay smiled sadly. "So I guess this is goodbye Gabs."
After she said goodbye to her friends while Troy changed, she turned back to her boyfriend; they still had quite an audience. Troy took her hands in his.
"Brie, I planned to do this when we announced that we were together, little did I know that it would be today. Brie, these last 16 months with you have been amazing. I never thought that I would find a girl that is as sweet, kind, beautiful and perfect as you. You light up my life, you're my good luck charm, my angel, my everything and I love you with all that I am. I know it's fast and there's no rush for our future but I want you to be mine forever and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Troy reached into his jacket pocket for the velvet box and he got down on one knee. "It's been 16 months since I met the love of my life and I've loved every second with you Brie, so..."
He opened the box to reveal a gold solitaire diamond engagement ring. "Gabriella Anne Montez, will you marry me?"
Gabriella had tears welled up as she nodded she whispered. "Yes Troy." Afraid that her voice would break if she spoke any louder.
He slipped the ring onto her finger and stood up to eagerly meet her for a passionate kiss as they heard the crowd cheer. When they broke apart, Troy lifted her up and spun her around. As he brought her back to her feet, he wiped her tears with the pad of his thumb.
"It's beautiful Troy, what you said, the ring, everything, it was perfect and I love you so much."
"You deserve it Brie, you deserve the world and I hope I can give it to you." He took her into his arms and rested their foreheads together. "And for the record, i love you too, so much Baby."
She giggled before whispering. "We're getting married."
Troy smiled. "You've made this the best day of my life Brie."
"Only 'cause you've done the same Wildcat."
They shared one last kiss before celebrating.