Chapter 1

Vanessa opened her eyes slowly to the darkened room. She could feel Zac's arm wrapped loosely around her waist and his breathing hitting her neck. In and out…in and out.

This was a strange thing for 22 year old Vanessa Anne Hudgens, waking up in the middle of the night like this.

After all, she had slept like a log ever since she could remember, only waking up in few occasions during the years. But tonight, right now… she needed some water! Desperately!

She moved Zac's arm away from her body and quickly got off the bed. He turned around carelessly and continued snoring softly; but she knew he would want to hold her body again in a few minutes, and would wake up if he couldn't find her there.

That was something she had learned during their first months of sleeping together. And if he did it out of habit before, it had become a ritual ever since they got married.

"Married" —she thought, and smiled widely. Even after a whole year, sometimes it still seemed hard to believe that she had actually gotten married to her high school sweetheart.

The day had been February 1st, 2009. And it had been everything she had ever dreamed of…and much more.

They had moved into a big two story house soon after; a house he thought was way too big for just the two of them, but with a view that convinced them both to buy it, big or not. The house was beautiful and yet simple, with soft lines and colors of beige and a very subtle pink.

It had a wonderful front yard and a gorgeous backyard…and inside it was specious and cozy (and still with a few boxes left unpacked).

Vanessa shivered a little as her small feet touched the uncarpeted floor in the big master bathroom. She closed the door and turned on the lights; the sudden brightness hurt her eyes, but the dryness in her throat was much worse.

She made her way to the marble counter and opened the cold water faucet on one of the steel sinks. Taking a small glass that Zac always left next to his toothbrush, she filled it up and drank the precious 

liquid as fast as she could manage.

Finally satisfying her thirst, she closed the water and breathed deeply. Looking at her image in the mirror, she noticed a slight sweat on her frown.

Clad in a small white wife-beater and her favorite boy-cut briefs panties, her curly hair up in a messy bun. She looked beautiful…and no older than when she had filmed High School Musical 3, about two years ago.

Those three movies and her two albums had made her a star, made her known and loved worldwide, led her to a prolific career in the business and — most importantly — had given her the love of her life, and the best friends anyone could ever wish for.

Now, she had a steady job in a popular TV show, she'd filmed a movie that would be released that spring…and her better half was doing even better than she was.
She couldn't help but wonder what would happen when they all found out…

"Wait!" —She said to herself loudly. "You don't know yet if there is anything for them to find out!"

She frowned and then shook her head. —"Oh god…now I'm even talking to myself". She knew why she hadn't slept well. She was nervous, she was anxious…and most of all, she was feeling insecure.

Vanessa knelt down in front of the large counters under the sink and opened them. She moved over a few boxes filled with personal items on the lower shelve… behind the forest of body lotions, hair products and a traveling cosmetic case, she found what she was looking for.

Taking out a little ziplock bag, containing the three small sticks, she held it tightly in her hands and looked down at it for what seemed like the twentieth time since yesterday.

"These are the best" —her best friend Ashley had said. But if they were…did that mean that this was no longer just a suspicion, but her undeniable truth?

She and Zac had never discussed something like this… of course it could happen to anybody, but they simply had never brought it up.

"Vanessa?" —she heard the inevitable calling of her sleepy husband from the bed. He was up and probably wondering what she was doing in the bathroom, or maybe why she had woken up at all.


"I'm coming babe". She placed the bag quickly back in its hidden spot, restoring all the things she had moved as well, and closed the counters.

A few minutes later, she was back in bed and cuddling in his warm, welcoming arms.

He asked if something was wrong, which she denied, and then explained to him that she was merely thirsty. He laughed softly.

"That's weird. I don't think you've ever woken up because you needed a drink before"

"Well, there's always a first time Zac" —She replayed dismissively. "Now go back to sleep honey, it's already three in the morning and you have to get up at six for that interview"

Vanessa kissed his cheek lovingly. And he went back to sleep easily.

He was so sweet, always worrying about her, always making sure she was alright before anything else. He still looked at her like it was the first time he ever truly saw her…He loved her, and she loved him right back. He treasured and adored her in every way possible, and all he ever really asked in return was that she slept in his arms every night.

Neither one could manage to sleep well when the other wasn't right there, nor they ever felt complete if they weren't together. So deep was their relationship, so strong was their bond…and so powerful was their love.
And that, above anything else, is why she hated lying to him…