She feels Troy's hand give her a soft squeeze as they ring the doorbell. Gabriella gives him a soft smile as she looks down at her outfit, making sure it was perfect. She was wearing dark but faded jeans with a white loose cami with a gold belt that went around her stomach. She had on a long gold necklace with two pendants. She was wearing a black open sweater over this and she looks up at Troy who was wearing a blue long sleeved knit shirt with jeans. The door opens and Nate smiles as he opens it further. "Hey guys, happy New Year!"
"Thanks! You too." Gabriella says and gives him a hug. Troy and he shake hands and he leads them further into the house. His house was huge and covered in wood. His backyard had woods in at the edge of the house. "Your house is beautiful." She says and he smiles at her.
"Thanks. Do you guys want something to drink?" Both Troy and she shake their heads and the doorbell rings again. "Ok… I'll catch up with you guys later." Troy leads Gabriella into the house and she hears the music playing in a different room. She knew this wasn't going to be a crazy party like the prehomecoming one, but she thought she remembered Mandy saying about twenty five people would be there. They down the stairs and find that was the source of the music. She sees the gang all standing in a corner as they wave the two of them over. Everyone else at the party says hi to Troy and herself as they walk over.
"Bought time you guys showed up. What were you doing? Making out in your car?" Chad jokes and Taylor slaps his arm.
"Chad!" But Gabriella feels herself blush as her eyes connect with Troy's. That's exactly what they were doing. "I'm so happy you guys decided to come." Taylor says.
"We figured that we would bring in the New Year with everyone." Troy responds and let's go of Gabriella's hand. He wraps his arms around Gabriella's waist in the back and she couldn't help but smile.
"So we heard the news Troy." Zeke says and Jason nods. "The doctor said that you could take that off in three weeks." Gabriella looks down to see Troy lifting up his hand that had the black splint on it as he looks at it in front of Gabriella's body.
"Well… if everything's going the way it is now." Troy responds and then puts his hand back to where it belonged on Gabriella's waist. "Hopefully I'll be back in the game a week before the play offs start." He informs them.
"Good. But for now… I'm starving." Chad says as the guys all agree.
"You're always hungry." Gabriella says and Chad shrugs.
"We're guys Gabi." Troy responds and Gabriella rolls her eyes.
"So is that all you do?" She asks. "Eat food… play basketball? And…"
Troy smiles at her. "Think about how gorgeous you are."
"Suck up." She says their joke and Troy smirks at her.
"Hey, if it gets me on your good side." He repeats his line and Chad rolls his eyes.
"Come on, I want to eat!"
Troy turns to Gabriella around in his arms and kisses her forehead. "I'm gonna go with them. You want anything?" She shakes her head and he kisses her cheek. "I'll be back." He informs her and then leaves with the other four guys.
"You guys are adorable." Chloe says and Gabriella rolls her eyes.
"You're one to talk." She responds and nods at Ryan. Chloe blushes and shrugs.
"Yeah, I'm so happy. Ryan's just… he's great." Chloe says and Sharpay rolls her eyes.
"Well, what do you expect? He's an Evans!" She states and Taylor sighs.
Gabriella looks over at Troy who was standing with a bunch of guys. She couldn't help but stare at how perfect he looked when he laughed, or how perfectly formed his smile was. To make everything simple, she knew Troy was perfect. And she was so luck to have him. "Gabs… hello… honey wake up!" She sees Taylor's hand waving in front of her face as she tears her eyes away from her boyfriend and looks back at her friends.
"Sorry…" She says and smiles. "Let's go mingle."
The girls talk with a bunch of the other girls who were invited, such as Shannon and Mandy. Gabriella looks at the clock and suddenly realizes an hour had gone by since she arrived. Although she loved her friends, she really wanted to be with Troy right now. "So… I say we start a round of karaoke huh?" Mandy says and gets out the karaoke machine. She stops the music and all of the guys look over to where the girls were sitting on the couch. They make their way back over and Gabriella feels Troy's hands rest on her shoulders. She looks up behind her to see him leaning over the couch staring down at her. "Sharpay, Ryan… show us what you got!"
The Evans twins, just like the other night, get up and sing a song. Gabriella laughs as they dance around also, but when they were finished, they get a round of applause. "Alright, who's next?" Nate asks and Troy leans over and grabs Gabriella's hand over the couch.
"We'll go!" He volunteers and everyone cheers for the two. Gabriella's mouth forms a smile. It was like a flash back to last year when about this time, both of them were forced to go up and sing at the ski lodge. Troy walks around the couch, still holding her hand and leads them up in front of everyone who cheers again.
"What song do you want?" Mandy asks who was working the karaoke machine and Gabriella watches curiously as Troy hands her something that she didn't notice before.
"Just put it in the actual CD player." He says and Mandy follows his orders. Gabriella looks up at him with a smile on her face.
A familiar piano starts and Gabriella feels her stomach flip. She knew he must have burned a CD for himself when he burned her one for homecoming. Troy beams at her and then lifts the microphone up with his good hand while he held her's with his splinted hand.
Living in my own world… didn't understand
That anything can happen, when you take a chance
She feels the familiar butterflies in her stomach. Even though she could hear Troy's voice on the CD, their microphones were turned up so loud that you could barely here it. She opens her mouth and begins to sing.
I never believed in, what I couldn't see.
I've never opened my heart (oh)
To all the possibilities
"I know, that something has changed…" As soon as their voices sing together, Gabriella could almost see the sparks coming out. Her mind flashes back to exactly one year ago when fate forced them on that stage together. It was fated that they would end up together that night. It was also fated that Gabriella went to East High. They were perfect for each other. Suddenly, before she knew it, the song goes by. She doesn't know how, but some how, she winded up with Troy's hand resting on her waist and the arm that wasn't holding her microphone was around his neck. He leans his forehead onto hers. "The start of something new…." They finish and Troy kisses her lips lightly.
The cheers break them apart as they look out and beam. "Ok, who ever can top that has my complete respect." Nate says and everyone looks around to find that no one would dare attempt at it after Gabriella and Troy just gave that incredible performance. Troy leads her out of where you would sing as Chad and Zeke and Jason all stand up.
"We can beat that!" Chad says as Taylor groans. Gabriela feels Troy's arms slip around her waist from behind as all the guys cheer for them.
"What?" She asks as Taylor puts her head in her hands.
"I can't watch!"
Chad grabs his own microphone as Zeke and Jason share the other one. "This is all for you man!" Chad points to Troy who cheers for them again. Suddenly, Zeke and Jason start beat boxing and Chad moves to their music. "It's New Year's Eve and we're all hanging out…" He begins and Taylor closes her eyes.
"I can't listen to this." Taylor complains as Chad goes on with his rap about New Year's Eve. Gabriella and Troy were laughing their heads off along with the rest of the crowd.
Finally, after two minutes, Chad drops the microphone and yells. "WORD!" Everyone continues clapping and cheering as the three guys return back to where the gang was standing. "So…" Chad starts and wraps his arm around Taylor. "Did you guys love it?"
Gabriella couldn't keep a straight face. She busts out laughing along with everyone else. "Um… why don't you let Troy, Gabriella, Shar and I keep with the singing." Ryan says as he tightens his grip around Chloe.
Everyone laughs again. "Zeke, honey, a glass of iced tea would be fabulous." Sharpay says and Zeke walks away. "Make sure he NEVER does that again." She threatens and everyone rolls their eyes, giggling.
Someone turns the TV on and everyone suddenly becomes fixed on it. She looks at the clock to see that it was 11:14. Gabriella feels Troy kiss her neck. She turns around and gives him a soft smile. His head jerks backwards, hinting that he wanted to leave the basement.
"Come on." Troy says. Gabriella nods as Troy slowly backs up, bringing her with him. Everyone else was too focused on their own conversations and the TV to notice the couple leave. They finally reach the stairs and quietly walk up. Troy grabs her hand and leads her to the stairs leading to the top story and they look around. He opens a door and finds a guest bedroom. Another door was closed and Gabriella figures someone had already made their way up here without anyone else knowing. Although her intentions with Troy were different.
Troy leads her inside and then shuts the door behind him. "So…" He says and Gabriella giggles.
"So…" She repeats and wraps her arms around Troy's neck. He rests his on her hips and smiles down at her.
"We're finally alone now…" He whispers against her lips and Gabriella smiles. They had already talked about leaving the rest of the party before they got into the house. Troy wasn't expecting anything from her. They just wanted to be together alone on the anniversary of them meeting.
"And… Mr. Bolton… what is it you have in mind that you want us to do?" She asks playfully and he sighs.
"Well, Miss. Montez, I have something in mind." He whispers against her lips and then presses them against his own. They back up slowly and Gabriela feels her legs hit the bed. Troy slowly leans over and she feels herself lay down on the bed. He backs her up so her head was resting on a pillow as his tongue grazes her bottom lip. She opens her mouth to him and their tongues play tag. They kiss for a while and Gabriella couldn't help but think of only Troy. Gabriella runs her fingers through his gorgeous chestnut brown hair and then breaks the kiss to take a breath of air.
"I'm… the… luckiest guy… on earth." Troy whispers in between kisses in her neck.
"'Then that make me the luckiest girl." She says as he kisses his way back up to her lips and connects them again.
"I love you." He whispers and she smiles up, staring into his brilliant blue eyes that were made for her.
"I love you too." She whispers back and their lips connect again.
She could feel Troy smile into their kiss as his hands run down her waist and back up again. She begins to trace the muscles on his back; something she knew drove him crazy. He moans a little and breaks their kiss apart again to slowly go after her neck again. He bites softly on her sensitive spot and she lets out a small yelp. "Troy…"
He looks up at her and smiles, then goes after her neck once again. Gabriella turns her head sideways to give him better access and looks at the alarm clock that was on the nightstand. 11:56. "Gabi." He moans and then traces his spot and looks at her.
"Troy…" She says and nods at the clock. He looks over and smirks. He kisses her lips lightly and then pulls himself off her. He holds out his hand and she takes it. They walk over to the huge window that they realize was a balcony. Troy opens the door for her and steps outside. The wind was cool so Gabriella crosses her arms and pulls her sweater closer to her body. Troy wraps his arms around her and kisses her forehead, instantly warming her up.
"Can you believe it's been a year?" He asks her as they stare out into the open sky and the woods surrounding Nate's backyard.
"No… it feels like just yesterday. But it's been the best year of my life." She says and looks up into his crystal blue eyes that were twinkling like the stars above them.
"Mine too." He says and kisses her forehead. "I can't believe I actually got on without you."
Suddenly, a huge sound blares in the distance. Troy and Gabriella look up. Fireworks were erupting and they hear cheers as they look below to see everyone at the party run outside. "Happy New Year." Troy whispers as he leans down and gives her a tender kiss. She removes her arms from his torso and wraps them around his neck. They continue the kiss for about a minute and then finally pull apart for breath.
"Happy New Year." She whispers back and they look out into the yard once again. She could see Taylor and Chad still kissing along with Sharpay and Zeke and Ryan and Chloe. Kelsi and Jason were in a hug Gabriella felt tears build up in her eyes as she realizes that Troy was everything she could ask for. She sniffs and Troy brings her head up to look at her.
"What is it?" He asks and wipes away a tear that was slipping down her face.
"Nothing." She responds. "Everything's perfect."
Troy raises his eyebrow. "Then why are you crying?"
Gabriella feels more tears slip down her face. She laughs a little as Troy wipes her eyes. "Because everything's perfect." She whispers.
"You're perfect." He whispers and she feels her head shake.
"I'm not perfect." She responds.
He smiles at her and kisses her forehead again. "Yes you are." Gabriella looks out into to the sky to watch another firework light up. She looks down again to see everyone hugging other people, probably wishing them a happy new year. But she didn't want to be with them. She wouldn't want to be with anyone besides the one who had his arms wrapped around her. "You know… I achieved my goal." Troy says randomly and Gabriella looks up at him.
He smiles down at her. "On the very first day of school… I told Chad I had only one goal this year." He stops and looks down at her.
"And what was that?" She asks although she already knew the answer.
Troy leans down and kisses her again. "To get you back."
Her eyes well up in tears again as he pulls her into a hug. Everything she ever wanted was in her arms. They had been through so much in the past year. From the musical, to prom, to fighting to stay together during Lava Springs, to breaking up, to Bridget and Nate, to homecoming and to this moment. They had gotten through so much so far. "Well you got your goal." She whispers back through tears as he brings her forward again and kisses her lips.
"You mean the world to me." He says and Gabriella couldn't help but feel even more tears slip down her face. "I love you."
She didn't know what the future brought for them. She didn't know if they would be together this time next year, or if college would break them apart. She had no idea if they would get married, have beautiful children, grow old and die together. How could she? But did it matter? She wasn't worried about the future. Tomorrow didn't matter to her. The only thing that mattered was that Troy Alexander Bolton was staring at her like he was seeing her for the very first time. He had love in his eyes and that was all Gabriella ever needed.
"I love you too." Gabriella whispers back as Troy's lips come down and connect with hers. She closes her eyes and just lives the moment in right now. The fireworks were booming in the background but neither of them noticed. After everything they had been through, their tears, their suffering, everything, this moment made up for it.
Everything was perfect.
Author's Note: I really hope you guys liked this chapter and yes, it is the last. I just wanted to say thank you so much for reading this story. I really hope you guys liked the ending. This was so much fun to write and you guys made it. I won't be making a sequal to this, but I'm writing a new story called Time Changes Everything. It should be up shortly and I really hope you guys check it out. It's gonna be "M", but I hope that doesn't stop anyone from reading it. Once again, I hope you guys liked this story because I loved writing it! Thanks so much!