Sorry sorry sorry sorry! I've been on holiday, had some exams, lost my story plan... trust me the list of excuses is endless! I haven't even thought about my story for so long that now I think I'll actually have to read it all again just to remember what I was on about!
Thanks to everyone who voted and I'll try and get everything in the story... however, I reserve the right to miss a few bits out!
Locked Up – Chapter 11
Gabriella could've sworn that her heart stopped beating. Her shaking hands gripped onto the letter, purely for the reassurance that it wasn't a dream. She knew how these things worked. A serious trial would only ever get called back up without appeal if they had found substantial evidence against the charge.
The moment she thought this, her mind started buzzing with the possibilities of what the evidence could be. Then she began to wonder whether she would be allowed back into the prison to see him.
She knew that this news was too big not to let her mother in on it, so she picked up the phone and dialled her mobile number. After a tense few moments, a familiar voice rang through, "Maria Montez."
"Mom it's me, I have big news."
"Big enough to call me at work? I'm in a very important meeting right now, if this is about last night can you just save it 'til tonight?"
"No chance. Troy's case is gonna be retrialed."
The eerie silence made Gabriella nervous, then she heard the reply she was dreading. "At least think about what I said last night."
"Mom, when are you going to understand? I love him, and nothing you can say will change that. Just because you were stupid enough to let a psychopath fall in love with you doesn't mean that you should stop me from ever loving anyone."
"How dare you." Gabriella could hear the restrained anger in her voice. "After everything... After Kyle... you honestly think that I'm taking my stupid, and very much regretted, decisions out on you?"
Gabriella felt a pang of guilt then she remembered what her mother had said the night before. "Yeah, I really do. You never seemed to like Troy. You always said that I shouldn't like a guy in prison. Even when you knew he was innocent, you insisted that he would ruin my life! You just don't have the guts to admit that Harry was the one who put him there."
"You know that this is all because of Kyle. This had nothing to do with Harry."
Gabriella scoffed, she never knew that she would choose anyone over her mother, but this was different...
"This has everything to do with him. He got jealous and you paid the consequences."
"He loves me, Gabi." Maria's voice began to falter.
"Yeah well he has a funny way of showing it." She knew that she'd hit a weakness. "So did he plan it or was he just making it up as he went along?"
Gabriella knew that she was crossing the line, she had never spoken to her mother like this before, but it seemed to be her chance to let out her frustration.
"He didn't know what Kyle was capable of..."
"Are you sure? You never know, maybe one day he woke up and thought to himself, "I'm gonna do something different today. Maybe I'll make sure that the love of my life and our daughter spend their lives unknowingly the targets of a jealous pyromaniac". Do you think that's what happened?"
Her sarcastic remark was met by complete silence, until Gabriella heard a click shortly followed by the monotonous dial tone. It had been a long time since Gabriella had ever felt this guilty before. She knew that she had offended her mother in more ways than she thought herself capable of.
Feeling her sudden loss of appetite, she threw her plate into the sink and perched onto one of the bar stools. As she rested her chin on her hand, she watched the food she had so readily discarded. One of the things she often thought about was how so many people in the world had nothing, and yet she was willing to throw so much away without a thought. As the pancake began to slide onto the dirty dishes below, Gabriella came up with an idea.
She knew that there was virtually no evidence that could possibly help Troy. So she assumed it had to be bad news. Pulling her hair up into a bun, she knew what she had to do.
Troy was pacing up and down his cell. It had only been a few hours since he had been told that he was being retrialed, and it still hadn't sunk in. The cold concrete beneath his feet had made his toes go numb, and the lack of feeling was working its way up to his ankles.
Just as he was beginning to contemplate how long it would take for his entire body to freeze, he heard the deep rumble of a prison guard's voice. He couldn't make out what was being said, but he was sure that he could hear Harry's voice replying.
Troy strained to hear the conversation, and froze to the spot, as if not moving would help him to hear better.
But once he heard the metal door close, he knew that the conversation was no longer his to listen in to.
Looking around, he could feel himself going light headed. He only understood parts of what the guard had told him, but he had yet to figure out what had been meant.
Despite spending a great deal of his life in prison, Harry still didn't understand all of the technical legal terms. But this he understood perfectly. He knew what was going on. He knew that he was free. He just didn't understand who was able to pull it off.
However, as the guard pulled him around the corner, he saw exactly who it was. She was sitting at a table in one of the interrogation rooms. The door was wide open, and Harry could see that she was the only one in there.
Just as he was about to shout out her name, the door was slammed shut and he received a sharp thump on one of his shoulder blades as a sign to keep walking.
As he went through the system of being checked, then finger printed, then having his photo taken, he began to think. After everything he had put her through, she helped him. She saved him. A gruff voice explained that he was "Free to go" as he was escorted out of the front gate.
As Harry stood in the empty car park, he began to contemplate how on earth he was ever going to repay her.
Gabriella sat in the cold, empty room. One police officer was standing in the corner, torturing her by loading up the tape recorder as slowly as possible. One satisfied that the recorder could serve it's purpose to the best of it's extent, he turned around and began to take slow, casual steps over to the table.
She inwardly scoffed at his blatant display of bravado, as he leaned forward towards her, resting his palms squarely on the metal table top.
He didn't say anything, he just kept deadly silent and watched her reaction to his attempted intimidation.
However, his plan didn't seem to work. Gabriella was secretly thinking about the events that had taken place earlier that morning.
Gabriella pounded down the stairs began to wrestle with her shoes just to get them on her feet. Her attempt at multi tasking was failing miserably when she realised that she had one arm in the wrong sleeve of her jacket. As she hopelessly began to search for the remaining sleeve, the front door flung open to reveal a red-faced Maria standing in the doorway.
Shaking the jacket onto the floor, Gabriella waited for her mother to make the first move.
Maria continued to stand, breathlessly in silence, until eventually she spoke. "I... have never felt... so unbelievably..."
Gabriella braced herself as her mother struggled to come to terms with what she wanted to say.
"So... guilty. Never. In all my life."
The young daughter let go of a breath she never even knew she was holding, as her mother rushed over and scooped her up in an embrace.
Gabriella was desperately trying to understand why her mother had forgiven her, when she realised that Maria, despite her guilt, was lecturing about Troy again.
"... and you never know what's happened in prison. You don't know what he's done. He says he was framed..."
She swiftly cut her mother off before she could continue. Except this time, she decided that shouting was not the answer.
"Mum, I love Troy. He is my everything. Because of him, I have risked my life, my health, and possibly my sanity."One tear began to make its way down her tanned cheek. "Because of him my entire life has been turned upside down. But to be honest I think that maybe it has been upside down all along, and he just made it all fall into place. The man you love is in prison. Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, mine is too?"
Maria's reply of silence was taken as a sign to leave. Picking up her jacket, Gabriella made her way out of the front door, her bank card gripped in her hand.
As her attention was brought back to where she was, Gabriella felt as though this was it. This was her. A young girl, destined for a life of hectic meddling, and 15000 poorer. The money that she had spent her whole life saving, was now gone, and she knew that there was now nothing she could do about it.
A few weeks ago, Gabriella knew that she would've dreaded the thought of her life savings being non-existent. But she had always said that she was saving for when she needed it. She knew that it was unlikely that there would be a better time for the money to be spent, than knowing she could get her father out of prison.
However, that issue was now to be forgotten. She had more important things on her mind.
"Why did you do it?"
"Do what?" Gabriella knew what he meant. But she dreaded to think what the consequences of her actions would be. She wanted Troy free, no matter what she had to do.
"Why did you confess to the attempted murder of Harry West?"
Troy sat in his chair, nervously wringing the hems of his jacket. He felt unusual without his prison uniform, and rather confused in his circumstances. Since hearing Harry being taken from his cell, Troy had himself been dragged from the confines of his own and forced to change into a plain, yet smart, suit.
Troy was broken out of his thoughts when everyone in the courtroom stood up. His heart stopped when he saw why they had all risen. A familiar young girl, also smartly dressed, was led in through the same door that he came from. This only meant one thing. She had come from the prison.
As Troy began to conjure up the many reasons why Gabriella would be at his retrial, he heard one of the worst possibilities echoing through the courtroom.
"Gabriella Montez, confessed to the charges made against Troy Bolton."
Troy began to shake and a lump slowly began to build up in his throat. He watched as the lawyers began to endlessly interrogate her. She seemed to have a whole script made up in her head. She gave a convincing motive, a lack of alibi, everything.
He knew why she was doing this; she wanted to get him free. The jury looked as thought they already thought her guilty, and looking around, Troy saw that nearly everyone in the courtroom seemed to feel the same.
The Judge began to get uneasy as one of lawyers seemed especially passionate at 'proving' Gabriella guilty, and eventually he was taken from the room. However, there was another lawyer that had yet to contribute to the case. He had been standing out of sight, and was waiting to see if anyone was willing to help the young girl that sat before them.
Troy didn't understand. Everything was going too quickly. Everyone was talking too fast. Then before he could stop himself he stood up, "NO!"
The whole courtroom went silent as they waited for another outburst. A few guards desperately tried to restrain him but he kept his ground, "SHE'S DONE NOTHING WRONG. I'M INNOCENT, SHE JUST WANTS ME TO BE LET OUT!"
Bored sighs broke out. No one was listening to him. He was just another inmate trying to recreate a courtroom drama, and they weren't having any of it.
By now, the trial seemed to be strongly against Gabriella. Troy watched as she calmly answered everything the jury, lawyers, or judge could ever need to know.
Gabriella remained completely emotionless. She showed no expression, but Troy knew that inside she was dying. A single tear escaped and splashed onto his suit, but he couldn't contain it anymore. Just when the guards thought they would have to use weapons to calm him down, Troy collapsed.
His entire figure went limp, and the young man was left in a heap on the floor. The only indication of life was the heavy sobs which jerked through his entire frame.
Just as the judge was about to charge Gabriella as 'guilty', a loud noise disturbed the trial. An unknown lawyer clambered over the hoards of attorneys, ignoring their muffled groans at how dirty he was making their suits.
"I have one piece of evidence."
As the man spoke, Gabriella vaguely recognised his voice. It was someone she'd seen, but not really noticed. Someone she'd heard, but not really listened to. Then she cast her thoughts back and recalled where she knew him from.
Without warning, the man leapt up from his chair, drawing his gun. "WHO GOES THERE?!"
Seeing Gabriella, the man put his gun back into his holster. "So you're the daughter?"
"Yes I am. Would you mind telling me what you're doing in our house."
"Gladly, your little escapade made your mother pass out."
Looking at her mother for reassurance, Gabriella's eyes widened, "You're kidding me?"
"Nope, she put down the phone down and shot up, then she just collapsed. I volunteered to stay on guard just in case."
"You were fast asleep..." Gabriella held in a giggle.
"No I wasn't!"
Maria quickly joined in. "Yes, you were! I could hear you snoring!"
Taking the teasing to heart, the man quickly defended himself, "I'll have you know," Gabriella let out a small laugh at him as he hitched up his trousers and raised his voice, "that I am one of the most diligent officers on my team! I would gladly have taken a bullet for your mother's safety, a safety which need not have been protected, had her daughter been by her side!"
Gabriella was confused. She knew that he was the police officer who had waited with her mother, but she had no idea what he was doing in the courtroom... as a lawyer.
"Your Honour, I have substantial evidence which could prove that both Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton are innocent of attempted murder."
The judge's look of disbelief was reflected on the jury's, the lawyer's and pretty much everyone else in the room. However, the young couple were both secretly rejoicing at the hope that they could be free.
"When said crime was committed, a blood sample was found near the can of petrol placed near Mr. Bolton. I say 'placed' because I believe he was in fact framed. The blood sample was taken and processed, however, the sample found at the scene of the crime, and the sample given by Mr. Bolton did not match. Therefore being rendered inconclusive. Even though this young man," the lawyers gestured towards Troy, "was found at the scene of the crime, it was never backed up by substantial evidence."
The judge interrupted, "He was found on the street, in front of a burning house, with a petrol can in his hand!"
The lawyer retaliated, "He was unconscious! I know you're all saying that he passed out from the fumes or adrenaline rush, but forensics even showed that he suffered from a blunt trauma to the head! What more evidence do you need to show that there was someone else?!"
Annoyed at his successful argument, the judge simply replied, "Regardless, what is this 'new' evidence."
"Well," he began proudly, "I just so happen to have this."
The man pulled out a small container which held a pad of cotton wool, completely drenched in what seemed to be blood.
"This is a blood sample from the real arsonist. A certain Kyle Peterson. I can confirm that this will match with the sample taken from the scene of the crime and from the body recently found."
Troy and Gabriella's eyes met across the court room and they shared a smile. Whoever this man was, Troy knew that he owed him his life.
The entire courtroom was sat in a state of shock. No one spoke, no one even breathed. This man, this unknown lawyer, had solved a murder case that had been going on for years. The judge wasn't so quick to believe. "How, may I ask, were you capable of retrieving this blood sample."
"I have my ways." Gabriella was taken aback when he winked in her direction. She knew what he had done; he had lied to get the sample. He had lied to gain access to the evidence that they needed.
"In fact, the answer to your problem was right in front of you. Or rather, was shot dead by one of your officers. You just weren't diligent enough to put 2 and 2 together. You played a guessing game which has potentially ruined two innocent people's lives."
Everyone was in awe at the man, and a breath of relief was let out as the hammer slammed down and the judge announced his verdict.
"Troy Bolton, charged of attempted murder and arson – Not guilty."
Gabriella failed to hold in her emotion, she burst into tears. They weren't tears of sadness though, they were tears of incredible joy.
"Gabriella Montez, charged of attempted murder and arson – Not guilty."
The entire courtroom burst into life, and Troy began to desperately run towards a sobbing Gabriella, but she was quickly ushered out of the room. However, he felt complete relief when he noticed that she had been taken out of the main door, which led outside.
Troy struggled to contain his excitement. He had been taken back to prison before he could be released. Once the paperwork had been signed, he was led out to the main lobby. His belongings were returned and his fingerprints taken again. Once he had signed out, a familiar face took his arm.
He looked down at Max, the prison guard who had helped him so much. "Goodbye, Troy."
The officer held out his hand for Troy to shake, but was taken aback when it was refused. Instead he found himself wrapped in a hug, and he could feel Troy's tears soaking through onto his shoulder. "Thankyou Max. Thankyou so much."
Max could only nod and pat Troy on the back. He took him out into the rain and declared proudly, "Mr Bolton, you're free to go."
Troy turned and walked out into the car park, he laughed out loud as the rain soaked through his matted hair.
Then before he had the chance to take in what was happening, he heard the voice and the words that he had been waiting for since the day he picked up the phone.
IT'S ALL OVER!
Please please please keep reviewing! It makes me so happy to know that people are reading and enjoying my story. Hope you enjoyed it and stay tuned for an author's note that I'll be posting tomorrow in regards to anymore stories.