Disclaimer I do not own High School Musical or any of its characters.
A/N: Thanks again to everyone who has been so supportive of me in all of my stories. I really appreciate it. Hopefully you will enjoy this one as much as you have the others. Enjoy…
Chapter One - Albuquerque
The front door slammed shut as Tomas Montez left the house for the second time that night. Gabriella Montez stumbled from the floor of the front hall to the kitchen. She managed to put together an ice pack to put on her sore skin that would no doubt be forming bruises very soon. While having one ice filled hand pressed against her left shoulder she found band aids for the cuts that had formed all down her other arm. As pain panged continuously throughout her body she placed the band aids gently on her cuts, wincing as they touched her raw skin.
Just then she heard the kitchen door creak open and two faces peer round. The two faces belonged to her 10 year old twin brother and sister, Lucas and Lily.
"Gabi!" Lily cried softly, "Are you alright?" The pair came walking over to examine their older sister.
"Don't worry about me, I'm fine." Gabriella assured them. Lucas touched her forearm gently, causing her in wince in pain.
"He hurt you again, didn't he?" Lucas whispered. Gabriella nodded her head slowly.
"Gabi," Lily whispered breathlessly, "I'm scared." Gabriella watched as both Lily and Lucas's faces read not only fear but pain. She knew they had been crying, both their eyes were red and slightly puffy.
"Don't worry daddy went out, he won't hurt you tonight" she tried to assure them.
"But he'll come back" Lucas whispered. Gabriella closed her eyes tightly. She couldn't do this anymore. Every night, since her mother had left them about 6 years ago, when her father came home, sometimes drunk, he would beat his children. Gabriella tried to protect her younger siblings, as it was almost more painful to listen to their cries of pain than to feel the physical pain herself. Now Gabriella was older she couldn't watch their suffering or feel her own suffering any longer.
"We're going to run away…" Gabriella whispered. She'd been thinking about doing so for a while now. Actually, she'd done more than think about it, she'd found an apartment for them, withdrawn all the money from her bank account and since it was summer, she'd gotten her transcript from her high school and worked everything out for her siblings. "…tonight."
Lily and Lucas looked up at her with so many emotions that it was hard to keep track of all of them. They looked absolutely petrified and yet at the same time they looked so hopeful.
"How?" Lily stammered.
"I've been planning on it for a while, everything is all worked out. We just have to pack and run" Gabriella explained softly.
"Ok" Lucas and Lily agreed together. "What do we do?"
"Grab a suitcase each from the hall closet and pack only the really important things. Make sure you bring your clothes first, then some of your favorite things, but only what fits in the suitcase. Understood?" Gabriella explained. The pair nodded. "Now, I want to get out of here as fast as possible, so pack quickly."
Half an hour later, Lily and Lucas stood at the front door with their suitcases next to them. Gabriella came walking quickly out of their father's office with their passports in hand.
"Ok, you pair have everything?" Gabriella asked.
"Now listen very carefully. I might have to tell some lies while we're getting to our new home, but I need you two to go along with whatever I say. Ok?" Lucas and Lily nodded quickly.
"Thank you. Come on let's go, we have to catch the bus" Gabriella said, opening the front door.
"Gabi?" Lucas asked, "Where are we going?"
"Albuquerque, New Mexico."
It had been a little less than a month since Gabriella, Lucas and Lily had run away from their father in Connecticut. They lived in a very small apartment near the town center. Gabriella worked as a waitress in The Albuquerque Diner and as a sales assistant in Borders Books. Working two jobs was the only way she could afford to pay the rent and buy the things they all needed.
Since Gabriella was only sixteen, she was not legally allowed to be the guardian of her brother and sister. If the police found out about it surely they would send Gabriella and her siblings back to their father. So the three of them thought it was best that they lay low. The twins spent most of their day inside the apartment playing. Occasionally they would come with Gabriella to work, but they were content to stay home. However today was the first day of school, so their secret keeping skills would be put to the test.
Since the schools were within walking distance of their apartment Gabriella had walked her siblings to their elementary school. She had managed to enroll both her siblings and herself over the phone so she hadn't needed to prove she was over 18. Luckily all the schools in Albuquerque started at 8 o'clock, so she didn't need to worry about being late to her school.
When the trio arrived at the front of East Elementary School Gabriella turned to her brother and sister,
"Ok, this is it. Now you two be good" she said, Lucas and Lily nodded. "And don't forget to have a bit fun" she added, smiling. Lucas and Lily grinned as they hugged their big sister tightly.
"You'll be ok at your school right Gabi?" Lily asked.
"I'll be fine Lily. Now come on, go ahead" Gabriella watched and waved as Lucas and Lily walked together into their new school. Once she saw that the pair had made it safely inside Gabriella turned and walked down the street a little bit until she came to East High.
As she entered the large brick building she didn't feel quite so confident in the answer she had given to Lily just a few minutes ago. The mass of people felt even more intimidating than her old school. She'd always been the quiet, shy, freaky math girl, so it was more than likely that, that was what she was going to become at this school.
Once she managed to find the main office, the secretary handed her schedule and a small map before waving Gabriella on her way. She studied the map as she made her way down the hallway, looking for her homeroom classroom.
Not really paying attention she began to walk up a flight of stairs to the second floor. Suddenly a piece of paper came in contact with the sole of her shoe causing her to slip backwards. She closed her eyes, preparing for a painful contact with the floor. She knew the fall would be twice as painful for her as it would be for any normal person, because of the number of bruises that still remained on her body, forever scarring her.
However instead of a hard, cold, tiled floor she felt a pair of strong arms wrap around her waist, catching her before she hit the ground. Slowly she opened her eyes to find out who her savior was and her brown eyes came in contact with the bluest eyes she'd ever seen in her life. The boy carefully pulled her up before he bent down quickly to pick the papers she had dropped. When he came back upright he studied her for a few moments as if he was trying to read her mind.
"Are you alright?" he asked kindly, handing her back her papers.
"I'm fine. Thank you though" Gabriella responded softly.
"You're very welcome" he smiled proudly.
"I should probably go. I have to find my class" Gabriella whispered before she started to turn to continue walking up the stairs.
"Wait" the boy said, causing Gabriella to turn around.
"I don't recognize you. Are you new here?" he asked. Gabriella nodded.
"Well then, I should introduce myself, shouldn't I?" he smiled. "Troy Bolton" he said holding out his hand.
"Gabriella Montez" she said softly shaking his hand. Troy seemed to smile a little but more as he heard Gabriella's name. Gabriella tried to ignore the spark she felt between her and Troy.
A/N: First chapter!! Whoo!! Haha. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it! I have no idea when I'll be putting the next chapter up, because I'm on vacation visiting my family and I don't think my other grandma has internet, so….that proves to be a problem, but I'll try to put it up whenever I get a chance. But I do have one question for my lovely readers,
Should I put little recaps of the last chapter at the beginning of each new chapter or just leave them out? I just wanted to know if you guys thought they got in the way, or if they were helpful.
Thanks so much for reading. Please Review!