"Tell me this isn't true" Troy held her by the arms, blinking his eyes roughly to send the tears that were threatening to roll from it away, "Tell me it isn't true Brie, please"

"Troy" she whined, "Let go, please"

"Gabriella, no" Troy shook his head, pushing her lightly on the couch, bending down in front of her, "We are getting married, please don't do this"

"I'm sorry, Troy"

"Gabriella, I love you" Troy pleaded, "We can work this out, baby."

Spiders and Adam Bolton. Those were the only two things that could make him speechless for a long time. The first one made him lose his words because, for a very curious and embarrassing reason, his body seemed to freeze and his brain to stop every time he saw the tiny animal. Troy was completely and immensely afraid of spiders since he was a little boy and still, after 26 years of existence, couldn't get over his fear of it.

The second reason was his big brother and the most irritating person Troy had ever met in his entire life so far. Adam Bolton still acted like the cocky jock he was during high school, but he was already 30 years old. One of the things that would impress Troy the most was the fact that even though his brother was very much an adult now, with a kid, wife and the dog too, he still acted impressively immature. For a very long time in his life, Troy tried to defend his point of view to his brother, mostly because he couldn't understand why someone would prefer staying home saturday night reading a book than going out to get chicks. One day he simple began to ignore Adam and he lost his voice whenever he was around. Why trying to be heard by someone that surely didn't want to listen?

Like said, there weren't many things that would make him speechless. It was always spiders and Adam Bolton. But now Gabriella Montez, the only person that he considered worth anything for a huge time in his life was back. The only girl he really truly loved was standing in front of him, in the middle of the night, four years after the last time he saw her. The only fucking thing in his life that he couldn't get over, the last chapter of a book he once wanted so much to fill. It was the most important chapter of the book called his life and yet, it didn't have a happy ending.

"Troy don't beg, please" she sighed, stroking his cheek, "Baby, you'll always have a special place in my heart, but I'm in love with Ben"

"You don't know what you're talking about" Troy snapped, standing up and getting as far from her as he could, "We're getting married, we have a future together, Gabriella"

"I'm sorry"

"Please…don't go... don't leave me"

Troy had convinced himself that he was not good enough for Gabriella. He preferred blaming himself for making her leave than think that it could be her own fault, that she was a bitch because she left him for another guy like his best friend Chad used to say. For a long time, he was angry as hell, mostly when he tried to contact her and she kept saying that he should stop calling and forget her. Nothing hurt him more than hearing her saying that he needed to move on because she had moved on already. That was the last time Troy called her. He wasn't worth her love.

Now, as she looked at him with pleading eyes, her bottom lip between her teeth, he couldn't help but feel so damn angry again. Not only because he lost her, but because he was fucking alone, at age 26 without any dreams to dream about, mostly because she was the main character of his illusions for a long time. Gabriella was there again, looking as beautiful as ever, a huge diamond ring on her ring. She was Mrs. Someone and he hated it. He hated that being what he always wanted to be, the great Dr. Bolton, the best surgeon in Albuquerque at such young age wasn't worth anything without her to feel proud of his work. He detested the fact that she was not Mrs. Bolton. He hated that pursuing his dream made him lose what he loved the most.

Troy closed his eyes; his hand was still holding the doorknob tightly, so tightly that his knuckles were already white with the pressure. He breathed the air in and out of his lungs deeply before reopening his eyes to look at her, "Are you lost?"

"I didn't know you still lived here" she said softly, "I hoped, but I was not sure"

"What are you doing here?" Troy asked again, his voice as cold as an iceberg made Gabriella shudder. She had to bit the inside of her cheek to stop the silly smile on her face as she noticed he still looked as handsome as ever. Troy still had that boyish face, but his hair that he used spiked up when they dated was falling in his eyes; he had facial hair growing, as if he hadn't shaved for a couple of days. It was lazily sexy, but it wasn't time for compliments and she needed to remember that. That was not why she was there.

Troy flicked his hair out of his eyes and his expression hardened as he gazed at her wedding ring. She automatically felt terrible because of it. "Can I come in?"

"I'm busy"

Gabriella lifted a single eyebrow, looking at him upside down. Troy was only dressed in his basketball shorts, sweat rolling down the sides of his face and his muscular chest. She knew he loved to work out while he was home; he used to train boxing in his balcony three times a week, she remembered him being the neighborhood attraction as he dressed off his shirt to begin his exercises. She missed the old days with Troy Bolton. How he made her laugh and how his arms felt around her. It felt so good, yet so wrong when she woke up alone in bed.

She sighed, "It's important. Please"

He turned around, letting the door opened, signaling she could get inside. Troy grabbed a blue towel from his couch and dried the sweat from his face and chest before dressing in a white plain t-shirt. He sat down, observing Gabriella with distant eyes. "What do you want?"

She sat down on the opposite couch of him and they locked eyes for the first time in years. Gabriella breathed deeply through her mouth before parting slightly her lips to speak, "It's Ben, he's very sick Troy"

"And why should I worry about it?" he snapped coldly, feeling his stomach tie in knots when she pronounced the name of the guy she ran away with.

"Troy" Gabriella insisted, cracking on her knuckles nervously and biting on her lip, "He has a heart condition. He needs surgery"

He looked away and stretched his shoulders. Troy reached for his towel again, wiping his sweaty hands with it. Was he mean if he really didn't care if the guy was sick or not? of course not, he was the reason he lost her in the first place.

Briefly, he scowled, unsure of what to do. "I still don't see what that has to do with me, Gabriella"

The way he pronounced her name was enough to make her dizzy and the bile rise in the back of her throat. Troy said it with such disgust she found not only embarrassment boiling inside, but anger too. She knew she had fucked up everything with him when she went out with Ben, but he could at least try to pretend she was special to him somehow, not only the bitch she was for leaving him. Gabriella breathed through her nose, she needed to calm the fuck down.

"Troy," she tried again, "He can die and you're the best surgeon in town—"

"Don't" he growled, maybe too loud in the silent house. Gabriella jumped back on the couch, feeling slightly afraid of his hard tone. "Don't you fucking dare to continue what you want to ask"

"You're the best doctor I know!" she protested firmly. "Please--"


Gabriella's mouth dropped open in shock; she ran one hand across her face, trying to recompose herself; she already knew it wouldn't be easy to convince Troy to operate her husband after everything that happened between them. Her fingers clenched tightly on top of her knees and when she spoke again she was breathing unevenly, "You're the only one I trust to save him"

His anger deepened and Troy reddened to fury, he turned his head to glare at Gabriella fiercely, "Get the fuck out of my house"

"No" she cried out easily, "You once said you'd always be there for me, I need you now more than ever"

The intensity of his cool blue eyes on her was enough to warn her she should leave before it was too late. Troy always had a problem to control his temper and Gabriella didn't want to be the one to push him to his limit. She wouldn't do it if she found it wasn't necessary. She wouldn't show up on his door after four long years without contact and hope he'd receive her with open arms. Gabriella still remembered how she involuntary hurt him and she still felt like shit because of it, but if she went to the hotel without a solution to her problem, she'd lose Ben. Troy was the best and she knew he'd be the only one capable of saving her husband. It was necessary, she was sure of it.

Troy's eyes shifted from her to the ceiling as he leaned against the couch, seeming completely defeated. He slowly shook his head, running one hand through his hair in frustration. "We both made promises that we didn't keep, Gabriella"

"I know" she said softly, nodding her head, "I know that"

"Why should I help you?" he took in a large breath, rubbing the palms of his hands on his tired eyes. He looked at her again and for a moment his eyes softened a bit and she saw her old Troy in him. "Can you give me a fucking reason I should help you?"

The answer came easily to Gabriella and she opened her mouth to reply it with security, "Because you are better than me. You always were"

Troy stood up, heading to the door. He opened it, signaling it was time for her to go. She reluctantly stood up as the silence came over them, knowing she had done her best to convince him. As she walked near him, her eyes caught the old picture frame she had bought on their second anniversary placed beside his television. The photo was still the same and they looked completely in love as they smiled to the camera, her face rested on his shoulder and his arm wrapped around her tiny waist.

Gabriella's arm brushed against his as she passed through the door, suddenly feeling as her wedding ring weighted more than a ton. Her heart accelerated when he held her forearm gently, making her stop immediately.

"I'll do it"

Her eyes became teary and an involuntary smile formed on her beautiful lips. Before she could process her question, her brain had worked and the words slipped from her tongue relatively fast. "Why?"

"Because you asked me" he said softly, letting his fingertips linger on her skin for a second before pulling his hand back to the safety of his own body, "Because I fucking care about you so much that even after four years I'll still do anything to see a smile on your face"

Gabriella stood on her tiptoes to wrap her arms around him, "Thank you" she whispered, "I knew you'd help me"

Troy couldn't help but frown at her and her actions, "you knew it?"

"yeah... I had faith in you"