Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. Everything is fiction!

AN: I hope you enjoy!

We said Always

Chapter 1

Gabriella and Troy tried to make it work when they left for college, but following the majority, their relationship could not withstand the distance. The love was still there, but the know how had escaped. Troy and Gabriella had left East high knowing that their futures looked bright, yet what matter most at that moment seemed so uncertain. Gabriella had been offered a scholarship to Columbia and Troy to Duke. Everyone told them that it would never work when they set off, but they were determined to prove them wrong. The love they shared was special, yes it was young, but it was real and full of passion.

7 years ago…

Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque New Mexico

Troy and Gabriella stood wrapped in each other's arms with their bags packed to the max. Neither wanted to let go, because letting go led to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months of possibly not being together. They knew nothing of what college would bring and at that moment that was the furthest thought from their minds

Gabriella had tears streaming down her face, "I don't want you to go, I don't want to go"

Troy squeezed her tighter and rested his chin on top her head, fighting every urge in his body not to break down. He couldn't imagine being over 500 miles away from her, not being able to see her every day, kiss that ever so enticing freckle on her collar bone, feel the touch of her skin as it slid against his. He loved her with everything inside him. He knew his future had her in it no matter how far away they were.

"Ella, this is only the beginning. We are starting the rest of our lives and I know my life will always have you in it. Always."

Gabriella freed herself from Troy's strong arms and looked up into his alluring blue eyes. His eyes were what made her melt. Every time they caught her eye her heart skipped a beat. She loved Troy more than words could describe. Every time they kiss, touched, talked, made love, she felt her heart grow. Leaving him was going to be one of the hardest things she had ever done. She knew the odds were against them, but you can't break true love.

"Always?" Gabriella said her voice full of hope and need.

Troy smiled down at her and then kissed her gently on the lips"Always."

Present Day

Gabriella walked out of Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. It had been a long and gruesome day, nothing she wasn't use to. It came with the territory of being low on the totem pole and a fourth year medical student. Gabriella was studying to be a pediatrician at Columbia University, college of Physicians and Surgeons. She had lost two babies today which bummed her to the max, but whenever she had bad days like this, she told herself that it would be worth one day and that she had a great future head of her.

Gabriella laughed, "Yeah, future, the future you ALWAYS wanted," she said sarcastically aloud to know one in particular.

She made her way to the parking garage to find she had no recollection of where she parked it. After a few minutes of wondering around she stumbled across her white Acura RL. "Oh thank god, "she said aloud. It was like she had found a pot of gold. All she wanted to do was get something to eat and fall asleep in her bed for days. Searching for her car much longer would have hindered that. She unlocked the door climbed in, wrinkled scrubs and all. Next task, find something to eat.

Troy had just joined a small firm located in the heart of New York City. After graduating from Duke in the top of his class he had been accepted to Cornell Law School along with many others, but Cornell seemed to fit him best. After receiving his law degree he interviewed numerous places all over the United States but like Law School something told him New York was where he was suppose to be. Bruke/Strain was known for their generosity with pro-bono work and Troy appreciated that. It seemed like the right place for him. He was doing well his first year out, making decent money as well as helping those less fortunate.

Troy left court feeling great about himself; He had just helped a young woman put her scrum of a husband away who had been abusing their 5 year old daughter. His life was right on track, his future looked bright.

Troy shook his head at these thoughts, "Great Future," he said sarcastically with a hint of sadness.

Troy snapped out of it. He was hungry and wanted a beer. He got into his black Infinity G35 and sped off. It was time to celebrate not dwell on what should have been.

Gabriella walked into her favorite sandwich shop. They had the best chicken salad known to man, plus she loved that it was only a few block away from her house.

"Hi Mrs. Gabriella, how are you today?" Raul the owner asked as he greeted her

"I'm okay, it was a long day. How are you?"

"Good, Good, I can't complain, so what can I get for you, Chicken salad and large coffee?"

Gabriella laughed, "You know me to well,"

Gabriella took a seat on the big plush couch against the wall and pulled out her notes on genetic disorders. She knew it would be a while; Raul and his staff weren't known for their speed.

Troy walked into Ortega's and took a seat at the bar.

"Hey Tony, Is Zeke in today?" he asked the bartender.

"Yeah, he's in the back"

"Thanks man," Troy said as he made his way back to Zeke's office.

Zeke had gone to culinary school here in New York and shortly after completing he decided to open up this small little restaurant called, Ortega's. Well, what Zeke didn't know was that he would be blessed by God a month after opening. One of the top food critiques had come in to dine and fell in love with Zeke's food. The critique did a write up about Ortega's in The New York Timesand ever since then Zeke has been beyond busy. He ended up open two other Ortega's around New York. This one, being the first, was his baby.

Troy knocked on the door, "Zeke, you in there?"

"Yeah, come on in."

"How's it going, Troy? You haven't been in here," Zeke looked down at his watch," in over a month," he said sounding astonished that it had been that long.

"I had a gruesome case that monopolized a great deal of my time, but it ended today and I won, so here I am."

"Well, let's go get the superstar a drink," Zeke said as he patted Troy on the back and lead him back into the restaurant

Troy laughed, he hadn't been called superstar since high school when he played for the wildcats. He smiled at this thought.

"That's a grin I haven't seen on your face in a while, at least not since…."

"High school," Troy said taking the words out Zeke's mouth.

"Those were the days, weren't they," Zeke asked as he got him and Troy a beer

Troy sighed, "Sure were," he said as he took a long sip of his beer.

Gabriella had finally received her food as well as successful read through her notes five times. She put on her coat, grabbed her sack and walked out into the brisk cold of New York City.

As she made the walk to her apartment she took in city around her. She had never really had the chance to admire and explore it. Her past 6 and half years in the city had been consumed with studying, and more studying. If it hadn't been for the occasional call from Sharpay and Ryan she would have become a recluse, only coming out to go to school and to the hospital.

Sharpay and Ryan had come to New York to study drama at NYU. They both now performed in off Broadway shows, and soon hoped to jump into the mainstream.

She spoke with them once or twice a week and for that she was grateful, it made her feel less like she had lost everything when she left Albuquerque.

Gabriella lost in thought hadn't seen the person walking towards her. She soon found herself falling backwards. She waited and waited for her body to come in contact with the cold wet ground but it never came.

"Are you alright," her savior asked and yes he was her savior, only God knows what she would have landed in.

Gabriella shook her head and opened her eyes; uh yeah I'm fi….."

Gabriella felt her heart begin to race and her mouth become dry. Maybe she had hit the ground and she was in an unconscious state. Yeah, that had to be it; because there was no way in hell the eyes she stared into were actually real.

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