Happily Ever After

Hearts Beating

Author's note: Hi everyone! How are all of you? Well…I am both saddened and happy to present you guys chapter twenty…the final chapter of 'A Cinderella Story'. I can not tell you guys how much fun I had writing this story for you guys. It has been an honor to be the author of this story. Please, make me happy and review this final chapter so I can go to bed thinking that I had accomplished writing a good story. I would also like to thank cj10824 for giving me an idea for this final chapter.

Chapter Summary: It is the first month of summer. Ryan final debuts his commercial, everyone has good news to share and Sharpay finally apologizes to Gabriella. What happens when it is Gabriella's last night working at the club and she is told that a man is coming to the club to propose his girlfriend? Will Gabriella end up living happily ever after?


It had been a month since I told Troy I couldn't be with him. The last few weeks of school were torturous. Sure, everyone was nicer to me and they all apologized to me, but I still hated going to school. I hated having to see Troy everyday. He sure didn't look like a basketball winner who should've been proud of himself that he won the championship on the last minute of the game. He looked really lost and confused. Every time we walked by each other in the halls, it was obvious that we both tried not to look at each other or stare at each other. When we walked past each other, I always turned back to watch him walk away and I had a feeling that after I looked back at him, he looked back at me. Even in drama class, I always stared at him and I always caught him staring at me. But still, we never talked to each other; we just longed for each other.

There was that part of me that wanted to talk to him but I also didn't want to talk to him. I knew that he felt the same way. There were many times I saw him attempting to walk up and talk to me about our situation, but then I always saw him refrain with regret and walk in the other direction. I wanted to talk to him so I could tell him that I regretted the mistake I made in letting him go and not listening to my heart. I just wanted to go up to him and tell him that I really did love him. But I didn't want to talk to him as well. I had made up my mind and I had to stick to it, no matter how painful it was. I knew that it was making me cry at night, but I also had to move on with my life and stay strong. He was just one guy and I was just one girl.

Derby decided that it was time to clean up her act and be there at the club more. She also gave up cosmetic surgery and decided now that natural beauty was much better for her. And she couldn't be more right; her natural beauty was better than before when she had all that work done. Derby also said she wanted to make up on lost time and she and I have been spending a lot of time together and talking to each other about everything that was on our minds. I felt like I had her back in my life.

When she found out that she almost failed her courses, Derby made Sharpay get a job at the club as a waitress and she also had to be a janitor on the weekends. Derby told her that it was a dirty job, but someone had to do it. Sharpay became very angry when she found out that she had to work there all summer and wasn't allowed to go on family trips; especially when she found out that we were going to Europe for two weeks. But Derby told her that she has to be responsible and take consequences for her unfair actions.

Shawna finally sent Vera Wang those pictures of me wearing the light blue dress, the black sequined dress and the white dress that Shawna made. Shawna didn't have hope that Vera Wang would reply, but she did. Shawna will start working as an intern with Vera Wang in September. Taylor and Chad both got accepted into Princeton. They are both thrilled, and the three of us made an official promise that we would form a study group and hang out as much as we could between classes. Ms. Darbus recommended Kelsi to this music program at UCLA and she and Ryan are both going to attend UCLA. Even though he is attending UCLA, Ryan is also lined up to star in all of these big time movies with celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. I couldn't be any more proud of all my friends. I knew that they would achieve their dreams and I knew that they are going to strive.

I smiled to myself as I put my raven hair in a ponytail and got into my boxers and my white tank top. Shawna, Taylor, Chad, Kelsi, Ryan and I were having a party and we were going to watch the debut of Ryan's new commercial. He had bee very tight-lipped about what the commercial was endorsing and we were all anxious to find out what the commercial was for. Ryan also gave us a hint saying that three 'hot' celebrities were starring in the commercial with him and they all got him some recognition from all these agencies that want to cast him in these movies. I smiled at myself in the mirror one last time before I ran down the stairs and I saw that they were all sitting on the couch eating popcorn. I smiled as I jumped in between Taylor and Ryan.

"Hey has it come on yet?" I asked as I put a handful of popcorn into my mouth. Kelsi looked over at me and she shook her head.

"It's going to be on in a minute." Kelsi assured me with a smile. Shawna smiled happily and she ruffled Ryan's hair with her hand.

"Oh Ryan, I'm so proud of you! You will still remember me when you're famous right?" Shawna asked, running a hand through his hair smiling. Ryan nodded with a smile and blushed. He was still getting used to everyone complimenting him and telling that he is an amazing actor.

"Of course I will Shawna." Ryan said with a smile. Chad looked at Ryan and he grinned.

"Hey Ryan, how about you give me fifty percent of your paycheck for this commercial so I can buy a car." Chad joked with a wink. Ryan chuckled and he shook his head.

"If you need money for a car, get a job." Ryan told him jokingly. Taylor turned back and hushed us.

"It's on now!" Taylor informed us all. Almost immediately, we all stopped talking and we paid attention to the television screen and we saw Ryan's face on the television screen, holding a bottle of axe cologne...

"Are you a man who can not get rid of you body odor? Have you tried all the cologne you could grab and still can't get rid of the stench? Well search no more! Axe is the cologne for you! Axe has been proven to not only dissolve the disgusting odor of sweat, but it has also been proven to turn on the ladies of any kind! It will attract blondes of any type. Observe!" Ryan said to the camera as he sprayed himself with the axe and then Hayden Panettiere came running towards him on the screen.

"Oh baby, you smell so good. You are so cute." Hayden flirtatiously said to Ryan as she wrapped her arms around his neck. Ryan smiled at her and then looked back at the camera.

"It will also attract brunettes." Ryan quickly said, spraying himself once more. In a heart beat, Michelle Trachtenberg came running on and she grabbed the other side of Ryan.

"Hey hot stuff. Why don't we go to my place and get it on?" Michelle asked and gave Ryan an over exaggerated smile. Ryan smiled once more and looked back at the camera.

"And it even works on pregnant women!" Ryan exclaimed, giving one more spray of the axe and a very pregnant Jessica Alba came running out and she wrapped her arms around Ryan's neck.

"Hey hot stuff! If you come home with me, you can be my baby's daddy!" Jessica told him, smiling flirtatiously. Ryan smiled and turned to the camera one last time.

"For all you men, who want these hot women on your arm, buy axe now at a store near you!"

As soon as the commercial finished, Taylor turned the television off and we all turned to look at Ryan. We all stared at him in silence and he became very fidgety. We all knew that Ryan gets really nervous when people just stare at him and don't tell him how it went. He was twiddling his fingers and having a hard time trying to sit down still. He nervously looked at me and bit his lip. The silent treatment was killing him.

"So…how was it?" Ryan nervously asked. I let a smile creep across my face.

"I've never been so proud of you in my whole life Ryan. It was amazing!" I told Ryan, never quite realizing how talented Ryan really was until that moment. Taylor nodded in agreement, a wide smile on her face.

"Ryan, that was incredible!" Taylor complimented.

"Ryan, do you know how lucky you were to meet Jessica Alba, Hayden Panettiere and Michelle Trachenberg! They are A-list actresses!" Shawna exclaimed. Chad nudged Ryan with a smile.

"Dude, why wouldn't you get us their autographs? Oh, you were awesome and that's cool." Chad told Ryan with a smile. Kelsi smiled at her boyfriend and she wrapped her arms around his neck.

"Ryan, you really were amazing. You didn't even have to wear the axe to attract this brunette." Kelsi told him with a wink. Ryan smiled at Kelsi and he kissed her gently.

"Thanks everyone. I'm glad that I didn't disappoint you guys." Ryan said, looking at us all.

"Ryan, are you kidding me?! You would never disappoint us. You're going to achieve great things Ryan." I told Ryan, they truth spitting out of my voice. Ryan stared at me for what seemed like hours and didn't say anything. Finally, he smiled and put a hand on my knee.

"Thanks Gabriella. I know that you're going to blow everybody at Princeton away. I know it." Ryan told me with care in his voice. I smiled back at him. Maybe I was going to be okay. I didn't have to have a boyfriend to prove that I'm okay. I had my friends and Ryan. And that would be enough for me.

An hour and a half later…

I stood in the entrance of my front door and I waved goodbye to everyone. Taylor, Chad and Shawna waved goodbye to me from their car and drove off. Kelsi waved goodbye when her mom's car pulled up in my driveway and when Ryan's dad came to pick Ryan up, he gave me a hug and thanked me for watching his commercial. I smiled and told him that I was glad to have watched it. He then smiled and walked into his dad's car and they drove away. I watched his car drive away until it was a little spec in the distance. I smiled to myself and I closed the door, feeling very proud of Ryan.

I was about to go into the kitchen and get something to eat, but then I heard something upstairs in my room fall. I stopped in my steps. What was that? I decided that maybe I left something on the edge of my desk and it fell. That wouldn't be the first time it happened to me. Shrugging it off, I walked into my kitchen and I grabbed a tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a spoon and I walked up my stairs and I waltzed into my bedroom.

As soon as I walked into my bedroom, I knew that something wasn't right. My room seemed like it was in perfect order, but there was also something that was wrong with it. I didn't feel that same uneasiness when Ryan snuck up on me at work or when Troy was standing behind me at the pool. It didn't feel like anyone was there. It felt like something of mine was missing. I placed my spoon and my tub of ice cream on my night table and I looked around my room, seeing if anything was missing. After searching, my eyes widened when I saw the floor beside my bed. It was my memory box.

I fell to the floor and I looked through the box. I put my most valued things in this box. I had to make sure that nothing was stolen. I pulled out my father's watches, awards I had won, special photos and I thought that everything was in place…but I was wrong. I realized that my mother's unpublished story was missing. When I saw that it wasn't in my box, I began to go frantic. Did someone come in my room and steal my mother's story? Why would they steal it? Why would it even be important to them? I frantically searched for it and I fell to the floor with tears in my eyes. Someone stole my mother's story…something that was important to my mother before she died. I stayed up for many hours crying and wondering to myself, why would someone be so cruel and steal her story?

At the club…

It was a hot Friday night. I still remember it clearly. It was my last day working at Lava Springs. Derby said that she wanted me to have a job closer to Princeton and she wanted it to be a job that I would actually enjoy. I told her that it was a sweet idea, but I also told her that I would come back and visit Lava Springs and spend the day there. Derby laughed at the suggestion and she said that she would make me an honorary member. I was about to leave the house, but then I got a last minute call from Shawna telling me I had to dress fancy.

Shawna told me that a man was going to propose to his girlfriend and he requested that all workers were formerly dressed. Shawna didn't explain why the man wanted us all dressed all fancy, but I agreed to. Like a fairy godmother, Shawna had another beautiful dress for me. She came over and she got me all dolled up for it. The dress was a beautiful snow white color with a wide silver bow around the bodice. The dress was strapless and beautiful. The dress was tight in the bodice and then it flowed down just above my kneecap. When I saw myself in the mirror wearing that dress, I doubted that that was me for a moment. I looked abnormally beautiful. Shawna made my hair wavy with beautiful curls and she put my hair in a classy up-do with a few curls left hanging. And to touch it off, I wore black closed-toe heels and my mother's locket. Finally, after about an hour and a half, I was ready and I left for the club.

I stood the lobby of the club and I saw how nice everyone looked. Maybe this guy was lying when he said he was coming and just wanted an excuse for us all to dress up adequately. I looked at the clock and saw that it was eight o'clock. I sighed to myself and I walked into the kitchen to sneak a drink of pink lemonade. I was really feeling desiccated. I wasn't doing anything that would make me parched, but I was. As soon as I walked into the kitchen, I saw that no one was there…except Sharpay. She wasn't dressed in anything formal; she was still wearing her crummy work uniform. She looked like she trying…I mean struggling…to wash the dishes. To my shock, I felt bad watching her struggle to wash the dishes. It was such a simple thing to do but it was so hard for her.

"Sharpay…what are you doing?" I asked Sharpay. Sharpay spun around and I saw how messy her face and her hair were. She looked terrible. She didn't look like that diva who wore designers and got a manicure everyday in high school.

"I'm trying to wash these dishes." Sharpay coldly told me. I bit my lip and raised my eyebrows.

"Then why are you making it look like such a struggle?" I asked her, knowing that I could clean all those dishes in a minute. Sharpay bit her lip gloss-less lip and she pointed at them all.

"They are all so grimy and I can't get them spotless. Even when I use this stupid sponge!" Sharpay exclaimed, making herself sound hopeless. I sighed. I didn't want to feel bad for her. She was reason why things turned out so bad for Troy and I. She didn't deserve my help. But of course, God had to make me kind and caring.

"Here, let me help you." I kindly offered as I took her side and I picked up a sponge and a plate that was stained in ketchup and melted cheese.

"You just have to scrub hard but smoothly. Like this." I said as I showed her and the ketchup and cheese immediately came off. Sharpay watched and was almost stunned.

"You make it look so easy!" Sharpay exclaimed, like she had never seen a human being wash dishes.

"Let's just say that this isn't the first time I've ever washed dishes before. Now you try." I told her, handing her the sponge. Sharpay nodded her head as she grabbed the sponge and a plate and she began to wash off the leftover food from another plate. When she was doing so well, she suddenly stopped and sighed. She looked back at me and there was something in her eyes that showed something I had never seen before; remorseful eyes.

"Gabriella…I'm so sorry." Sharpay told me, her voice going quiet on her. I looked at her and raised my eyebrows. She must have been scamming me; she would never apologize to anyone.

"Oh for what? For being cruel to me all those years when I have been nothing but kind to you? Or are you sorry for what you did to Troy and me?" I viciously asked, not letting her sudden kind action get the best of me. There was a lot of anger that I still had towards Sharpay and I just wanted to get it out.

"For both! Gabriella, I know you won't believe this, especially coming from me but I'm…I'm just so insecure. I was jealous of you." Sharpay told me. And she was right about that; I didn't believe her.

"Are you kidding me Sharpay?" I asked. Sharpay shook her head, not showing any indication that she was lying to me.

"No…I'm not. I wish I was but I'm not. I'm envious of you. You have the perfect figure, the perfect personality…and you were obviously more beautiful than I am. Don't try and deny it, because I heard people commenting about it. And because I was lacking so much confidence, I just thought that if I turned everyone against you that I would feel good about myself." Sharpay explained, the truth coming out of her voice.

"Did you feel good about it?" I asked.

"Yeah I did…but then I noticed that everyone began to get annoyed with me. They all looked like they thought I was an idiot. Especially Troy. God, the way he looked at me…I hated it. It hurt. It hurt so much. He looked at me like…like he just couldn't wait until I was gone and out of his life. And the week after the dance I just noticed that you and Troy were becoming really close and he looked happier than he ever did with me. And I just saw that way he looked into your eyes. It was like no way he ever looked in my eyes." Sharpay began to explain, but then she stopped talking, unsure of whether to tell me the rest.

"Keep talking; I'm all ears Sharpay." I told Sharpay, hinting that I wanted her to keep telling me why she did what she did. Sharpay sighed and she continued to tell her story.

"I began to kind of question your relationship with him, so when you were at work, I hacked into your computer and I looked into that chat room…I thought it was like MSN and that you would have told Taylor or Kelsi anything about you and Troy…but then I got that email that Troy sent you. I was going to reply back to his email and tell him that it was you, but…" Sharpay said, but then her voice died down again.

"But what?!" I asked; getting annoyed that she wasn't finishing her sentences.

"But…I just…I just wanted to make you suffer more; I wanted you to be publicly humiliated." Sharpay explained, regret clearly expressing itself.

"But why did you do all that Sharpay? Was it because you were jealous? Was it to get back at me? What was it?" I asked Sharpay, wondering if her motives that night were the motives that I thought she had all along. Sharpay bit her lip and she shook her head, struggling to keep contact with my eyes.

"I thought that I wanted everyone to turn against you…but I guess I just wanted Troy to look at you the same way he looked at me, just so you knew what it felt like. But I guess I also just did it because no one has ever told me no. I always got what I wanted and I wanted Troy to be mine and I wanted you to be left out. But it just backfired on me. I ended up admitting that I used him…and ruining my favorite dress." Sharpay told me, her voice saddened when she remembered that night at the club. I raised my eyebrows and crossed my arms across my chest.

"Why did you use him? I mean, how long were you pretending? He cared about you when you guys first started dating. He bought you flowers, jewelry…how could you have played him like that? Why did you do it?" I asked, still bothered that she would use Troy. Sharpay turned red with embarrassment and she shrugged her shoulders, like the thought had never come to her.

"I don't know. I mean, yeah I did like him but I knew it wasn't serious. We never knew each other. I know that I was cruel to use him but I just needed to use him. I thought that if I could get him to like me then…maybe I would get other guys to notice me too. Someone like…you know…that really cute guy that bakes the cookies at all the bake sales and is also on the basketball team with Troy and Chad. Zeke is his name right?" Sharpay asked, almost blushing at the name. My eyes widened with unexpected shock. Sharpay liked Zeke Baylor?! I never thought that was humanly possible!

"You like Zeke?!" I exclaimed in absolute shock. Sharpay nodded her head, her cheeks blushing.

"Yeah I really do. He's so attractive and he makes the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet. Sometimes he makes them with vanilla chocolate chips and caramel chunks. And you know the best part…I think he likes me too!" Sharpay said, almost excited. I stifled out a laugh. It was actually scaring me that she was talking to me like I was her best friend. But then again, I might have been the only person that has listened to her since graduating. Everyone kind of turned their backs on her after that night at the club.

"That's always a bonus!" I told her and soon found that we were both laughing like two best friends laughing about their crush bumping into them. I never thought that I would say this, but I enjoyed feeling so close to Sharpay. It felt like I had another part of me when she was there laughing with me. After what seemed like eternity, Sharpay's laughs died down and she looked back at me, her serious eyes returning.

"Gabriella, I don't expect you to forgive me, but I want you to know that…I am sorry. I would go back and change my actions if I could. I wish I wasn't so self-centered and spoiled, but I'm trying to fix that; for you and everybody else. I understand if you don't want to believe me; just know that I really am sorry about what I did." Sharpay told me, truly sounding sorry. I looked back into her eyes and I smiled. There was something in her eyes that showed she wasn't faking or acting. These really were her words; they weren't from a script. I smiled and put a hand on her shoulder.

"I forgive you Sharpay." I slowly but effectively told her. Sharpay smiled vividly and she did something that she never did in her whole life; she hugged me. And I was hugging her back. And I smiled as I held her.

"I'm glad that you changed Sharpay." I whispered to her as I held her. I heard Sharpay stifle out a laugh and she nodded her head.

"Me too." she whispered back. For what seemed like hours, we just stood there in the kitchen, just hugging like real sisters do.

Twenty minutes later…

Sharpay sighed with satisfactory when she saw herself in the mirror. She initially wasn't supposed to be let off work, but I decided that I wanted her to not work. I wanted to be fair and kind. Luckily, Shawna had a few extra dresses in the back of her car that
Sharpay could wear. The first two dresses didn't flatter Sharpay at all until she tried on the last dress. The dress was hot pink and had barely-there spaghetti straps. The dress hugged her curves completely and it ended a little bit below her knee cap. She wore gold open-toe shoes and her once messy blonde hair was straightened and her golden hair showed off her beautiful tanned complexion. She had cleaned her face so her face wasn't dirty and she touched up on her makeup. She smiled when she turned to me. She truly looked beautiful. But not just on the outside; her inside beauty shone more than her outside beauty.

"So this dress is okay?" Sharpay asked me with a soft smile. I smiled and I nodded my head.

"Sharpay, it looks better than okay." I told her, genuineness coming out of my voice. She smiled and nodded her head.

"Thanks Gabriella…I'll meet you outside in the lobby. I have to go find Kelsi and ask her something about this guy." Sharpay told me as she began to walk out of the change room and left me there all by myself. I sighed to myself after standing in there, not knowing what to do for those five minutes so then I walked out, trying to find Ryan.

I walked into the lobby and I found that no one was there. That was very odd. Why was no one there in the lobby? I looked around to make sure that I really was alone. I shrugged my shoulders and I just walked through the empty lobby and I heard someone's voice calling my name. The voice sounded very faint. I was shocked that I could hear it. I followed the faint voice and then I saw Ryan walking through the halls calling my name.

"Gabriella! There you are I've been looking for you everywhere." Ryan told me as he paced up to me. Ryan wore a black tuxedo and one of his fancy black hats with barely there gray pin stripes.

"Ryan, you look so handsome." I told him when he was standing right in front of me. Ryan blushed and he smiled sweetly.

"You look beautiful Gabriella. Anyway, listen my mom really needs you. That guy is coming soon with his girlfriend and mom wants you to go outside and make sure that everything is in order and everything looks romantic enough for this guy and his soon-to-be fiancée." Ryan informed me. I looked at him and raised my eyebrows.

"No disrespect, but why do I have to? I mean, couldn't the people who set it up be able to tell if it is romantic enough?" I asked, wondering why Ryan wanted only me to check it out.

"Well I figured that because you're the most romantic person and you're an idealist, I thought that you could tell us the improvements and what looks great." Ryan explained to me. I nodded my head. Maybe that's where everyone was; they were all setting up. I nodded my head with a weak smile.

"Okay I'll check it out." I told Ryan with a smile. Ryan nodded his head and smiled in return.

"Great. Well, I'll see you out there in a minute. Just go out to the golf course and check it out." Ryan said as he quickly walked past me, leaving me alone in the lobby again.

I shrugged my shoulders and I walked out into the golf course and my eyes widened at what I saw. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. There was a table set for two right in the middle of the golf course and over a hundred lanterns providing light against the twinkling dazzling dark sky. Beautiful mauve orchids were also decorating the premise of the table. Orchids were my favorite kind of flowers; it was ironic that they were there. I slowly walked down towards the table and I saw that there was food already on the table. I looked at the meal a little closely and I raised my eyebrows in shock. The meal was garlic bread, roast beef and ceaser salad; that was my favorite meal. I looked beside the plate full of food and my eyes widened. I saw a chocolate bar and a can of coke; like the ones that Troy gave me in detention.

Suddenly, before I could think anything, a big bright florescent light flashed before me. I spun my head around and I saw a large stage right by the table. I didn't even notice it because it was hidden too well in the dark. I felt my eyes slowly widen at who was on the stage. It was Troy standing in front of a microphone, looking very smart in his pinstriped tuxedo. I saw Taylor and Sharpay standing behind him with their microphones and I saw Kelsi at her piano. I saw Ryan holding an acoustic guitar, Chad also holding an acoustic guitar and Shawna sat at her drum set. I couldn't even get any words out of my throat. I wanted to run away when I saw Troy, but it was like my feet were glued to the ground. I just stared as Troy adjusted the microphone and he made eye contact that began to make me go weak in the knees.

"This song is called 'I love you'. I wrote it just for you Gabriella; I hope that you like it." Troy told me in the microphone. I wanted to say something back to him about what an idiot he was being, but it felt like there was a bump in my throat that wouldn't come out. I just stood there and I watched Troy as the music began to play. Only hearing the instrumental music for a few moments, Troy finally began to sing into the microphone.

"Gabriella, how's it going?

I know that you've been hurt and heartbroken

But I can prove that I won't make those mistakes ever again

I will hold you close and protect you from harm

I can be that man that you always dreamed of…

I dream about you at night and I dream of you when I'm awake

I know you said that you didn't think that I was the right guy

I think its time that you listened to your heart and realize…

That I love you

I remember when I was such a fool (such a fool)

I didn't even see what was right in front of my eyes (my eyes)

But then when I looked into your beautiful eyes

You were the only one that could make me smile

You made me the man I am today

And I can never go back to who I was before

I dream about you at night and I dream of you when I'm awake

I know you said that you didn't think that I was the right guy

I think its time that you listened to your heart and realize…

That I love you

I can't go on without you…I can't stop dreaming of you

I only think about holding you face in my hands

I just want you to open your heart up to me

So we can both know that we didn't miss out on each other

Oh, so we don't miss out on each other…

Gabriella, how's it going?

I know that you've been hurt and heartbroken

But I'm going to make it okay…yeah…

I dream about you at night and I dream of you when I'm awake

I know you said that you didn't think that I was the right guy

I think its time that you listened to your heart and realize…

That I dream about you at night and I dream of you when I'm awake

I know you said that you didn't think that I was the right guy

I think its time that you listened to your heart and realize

That I love you

I love you

I love you

I love you

I love you

Tell me that you love me…because I love you…"

Troy slowly stepped back from the microphone and just stared back into my eyes. That was the most beautiful song I had ever heard. I stared at Troy, admiration clearly showing in my eyes. I couldn't believe that Troy wrote a song for me. It was the most beautiful and touching song I had ever heard. I thought I was going to sob. As I was trying my hardest not to break down crying, Troy stepped down from the stage and began to walk towards me. Once again, I just wanted to run away, but it felt like my feet were glued to the ground. I couldn't even move. When he was finally standing right in front of me, I saw a little glow in his eyes that I had never seen before.

"So…did you like the song?" Troy asked, a little nervous to hear my response. I smiled softly and I nodded my head.

"I loved it Troy." I told him, just above a whisper so only he could hear me. Troy smiled happily. He hoped for that answer. He slowly extended out a hand and he took hold of my hand and they were intertwined with each other. Before Troy could do or say anything else, we heard Taylor, Shawna, Sharpay, Ryan, Kelsi and Chad loudly cheering us on. Troy began to blush and he turned back to them all.

"You know, I'm sure that you all can find something to do in the club." Troy told them, hinting that he wanted them all to leave. They all took the gesture and they all waved goodbye and made a few 'you go girl' comments. I smiled and blushed. This was more than just a fairy tale; it was a dream come true. When we were all alone, Troy and I just stared into each other's eyes, admiring the loveliness of each other's eyes. After what seemed like years, I finally spoke.

"Troy…why did you set all this up for me?" I asked, wondering if he did this just to win me back. I hoped it was because of that…I just needed to hear those words. Troy let a smile creep across his face and he pushed a stray curl behind my ear.

"Because you deserve it." Troy told me. I stared at him a little harder. Was that supposed to mean anything?

"Why? Why do I deserve this Troy?" I asked him, wanting to hear words of love come out from his mouth.

"I just told you; you deserve it." Troy said again, not really helping me. I was beginning to get frustrated with Troy. Did he have to ruin this perfect moment for me? If that was his goal, he was doing a great job at it.

"Well that's nice…now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and find out why I deserve this so much since you don't want to tell me." I said as I began to turn and walk away. Before I could even walk two feet away, Troy grabbed my shoulder and turned me to him. He stared into my eyes and I stared back. I felt a connection with Troy as he soothingly ran a hand down my arm.

"I have something for you Gabriella." Troy told me as he went into his pockets and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He began to unfold it and he handed it to me. I looked at him in confusion.

"What is this?" I asked.

"Just read it." Troy told me. I nodded my head and I read the letter that was placed in my hands and I raised my eyebrows when I read it. It was a letter asking for my permission to publish a book.

"Troy, what is this? I never wrote a book. I'm not a story writing type of person." I told Troy, trying to give him back the letter. But he didn't take it. He just shook his head and grinned.

"You're right. You didn't…but your mom did." Troy told me, grinning from ear to ear. I blinked in surprise. How did Troy know about that?

"How do you know about my mom's book? And I can't publish it anyway; someone broke into my room and stole it." I told Troy, remembering the true sadness I felt when I discovered that someone stole it. Troy grinned again and nodded his head.

"I broke in and got it. Ryan gave me the key to your balcony and I got it. My dad knows a few publishers and Chad told me that you wanted to publish it. It was like your goal in life. So I just decided to make it happen." Troy told me, acting like he knew about what was important in my life.

I felt myself shaking. I couldn't believe Troy did that for me. I should've been mad that he broke into my room and took my mother's book without telling me, but I couldn't. I thought that it was the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. To my shock, I placed the letter on the dinner table and I hugged Troy. I expected him to be stunned and not hug me back until a few moments later, but he hugged me as soon as I hugged him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and I pulled him close to me. I just wanted to feel him against me. I needed to smell the sweet scent of his cologne. I had wanted him ever since I let him go that night by the pool. After what seemed like generations, we slowly let go of each other. I looked back into his sapphire eyes and I felt my heart beginning to beat vigorously. There was so much that I had to say.

"Troy…I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have let go of you like that. You did everything that no one had ever done for me and I was so cruel. I'm so sorry Troy. I was idiot." I told Troy, feeling tears well up in my eyes from remembering that heartbreaking night. Troy smiled warmly and lovingly and he just began to play with one of my loose curls.

"I won't lie, you were being an idiot." Troy said with a playful.

"Oh well that's lovely!" I said, feeling myself laugh and he did as well. Troy's laughs began to die down and he just stared deeply into my eyes.

"But…I understand why you did it. Of course, I didn't agree that you left me out in the cold like that, but you were brave enough to tell me how you felt." Troy said, trying to sound strong and brave.

"But Troy, listen to what I have to say! I lied abut how I felt. I wasn't being straightforward about how I felt about you." I told Troy, being as honest as I ever could be. Troy smiled softly and stared deeper into my eyes.

"Why weren't you honest about your feelings then?" Troy asked. I bit my lip and I stared into his eyes.

"Because I didn't know if you were being truthful about your feelings either." I told him, finally admitting the truth to him.

Troy didn't reply back; he just stared into my eyes. He didn't say a word. Suddenly, he smiled lovingly and he took hold of my hand and he placed my hand over his heart. I didn't understand what he was doing. I didn't know why he was forcing my hand over his heart but my hand remained there. As my hand was placed over his heart, I noticed that his heart was thumping strongly and powerfully. I looked into his sapphire eyes and implied that I wanted an explanation. Troy just smiled back at me and didn't let go of my hand that was placed over his heart.

"Do you feel that?" Troy asked; referring to his heart beat. I nodded my head, paying attention to the rhythmic pattern his heart beat was making.

"I can feel it." I informed him.

"My heart has never beaten like this before. My heart started beating like this when I'm with you. My heart never beats like this with other girls. It was because I knew I didn't love them and I never felt that connection. I love you; my heart beats like this because it knows that you're the one for me." Troy affectionately said. I smiled, completely love struck. That was almost like the conversation we had the night of the dance in the gazebo when Troy asked me if I thought I was in love with him. I took his other hand I placed his hand over my own beating heart. I lovingly gazed into his perfect blue eyes.

"Can you feel my heart beating? It hasn't been beating since the last time I was with you. I know that I can say that I don't love you, but when my heart is beating like this, I know that I can't deny how much I love you. Needless to say…I can't hate you Troy. I can only love you." I told Troy, not even believing how in love I was with him. Its amazing that someone could love one person that much.

"I guess when our hearts start to beat, that means we both love each right?" Troy asked. I let a single tear of love and joy streak down my cheek. How stupid was I to let go of him in the first place?!

"I always did love you Troy. I don't know why I lost sight of that." I told Troy, just above a whisper so I wouldn't let anymore tears fall from my eyes. Troy chuckled lightly and he wiped away the tear with his rugged and gentle thumb. Feeling his thumb brush against my cheek made me feel a tingle throughout my body like never before. Troy must have noticed because he cupped both of my cheeks into his hands and caressed both my cheeks.

"It looks like someone likes it when I stroke their cheeks." Troy said with a wink, not daring to stop caressing my cheeks. I smiled and I nodded my head.

"Don't stop…don't ever stop." I told Troy, being as serious as I could. Troy did what I told him to do; he didn't stop. He just smiled back at me and gazed into my chocolate eyes.

"Gabriella…I can't kiss you." Troy said, shocking me. What did he mean he couldn't kiss me?!

"Why not Troy? I thought we both finalized that we loved each other." I said, hoping that he wasn't rethinking his thoughts about being with me.

"Yeah we did…but we didn't do it the formal way." Troy mischievously told me. I raised my eyebrows. What was he talking about?

"What's the formal way?" I asked him in confusion. Troy smirked and he brought his lips to my ear.

"You're going to find out." Troy whispered. I looked at him as he brought his face out from my ear and he went back to gazing lovingly into my eyes. Like at the pool, I felt him caress my cheeks more affectionately than before.

"I don't know what I would do without you. You made me who I am today. You are the only girl that doesn't see me as Troy Bolton the hot jock. Heck, you don't even get distracted by my abs. You just see me as Troy Bolton; the normal guy. You don't make me feel like I have to pretend to be somebody I'm not. When I'm with you, I can speak to you about anything. I could be locked in a room with you for two years, six months, four hours, three minutes and sixty seconds…and I would still know what to talk to you about. You're the kind of girl that I wish all girls were like. You're beautiful, kind, smart…and you're the kind of person I want to be like. And I can only imagine how much you're going to achieve when we both go to Princeton in September. Gabriella Gia Marie Montez…will you be my girlfriend?" Troy asked; his loving voice and his gentle thumbs caressing my cheeks making me melt. I smiled blissfully. Nothing in the world could've made me happier than I was that moment. The world could have everything; I had Troy. I didn't need anything else.

"I don't know let me think about that." I teased. Troy grinned and raised an eyebrow. He knew that I was teasing him.

"Oh are you thinking now eh?" Troy asked with a smirk. I laughed and I tilted my right cheek into the touch of his rugged hand. I could spend forever with my cheek in his hands.

"Yes Troy…I want to be your girlfriend more than anything in this world." I told Troy, love and devotion clearly expressing itself. Troy smiled happily. He was overjoyed to have heard my answer.

"It's official now. We're a boyfriend and girlfriend. But that can't really be official until we kiss." Troy said with a wink, making it very obvious that he wanted a kiss like the one we had at the pool. I smiled happily and lovingly.

"What are you waiting for Troy? Kiss me." I told him, love still coming out of my voice. Troy didn't hesitate; he moved in and he captured my lips into his.

His right hand remained on my cheek and his other hand traveled down to my waist. My left hand went up to gently cup his cheek and my right hand remained on his shoulder, refusing to let him go. As he caressed my cheek, we both brushed our lips against each others and didn't even bother to let go of each other's lips. We just needed each other's fine taste. As we kissed beneath the stars, I realized that I had my happily ever after. I got my friends, I got into Princeton, I got a stepmother and stepsister who finally learned to accept me, I got a stepbrother who is my best friend…and I got the perfect guy.

Am I still a modern day Cinderella? If you can count that happily ever after as Cinderella than yes, I still am. My life was a Cinderella story, but now, I just want to live out a Gabriella story. I want to say that this is the end…but I guess that this is really just the beginning for Troy and I.

The End

Okay so I am trying my hardest not to break down crying here. This story is now officially finished. For the two months I had been doing this story, I have to say that it was an honor to write this for you all. You guys have made me smile with your reviews, made me come up with great ideas and you guys gave me something to look forward to. Also, I wrote that song that Troy sang. I know that was kind of random, but I just wanted to get that out. Ha-ha anyway, I don't know if I'm going to do a sequel to this story…I don't know what I would make it about.

I would like to thank the following people for reviewing my story. If I forget anyone who reviewed the previous chapters, please tell me in the review and I will add you in. Thank you to:


Pure Vowels


Nothing & everything.










Abigail Ainsworth




East High Wildcat

MUW D'Bellegirl







Line 101


Strawberry. Sparkle



TV l0ver


Disney Princess3


World of Peace









StephiieeBaybiiee-soo gangstah



Baby Angel1214



Riley cryrus





Corbin's Girl


Some Person




















Courtney Weigand






Laugh until you cry.



XxXDrama QueenXxX












Like I said before, if I forgot you, tell me and I will add you in! Thank you all so much! I love you guys.

Love always,

Alanna/ Acting-Singing-Bella