Well, my friends, this is my first journey into a Troyella story! If you've read any of my other stories you know I'm a Zanessa fan. (Keep the Zanessa love flowing! :) ) But I haven't ventured into this area. I like having the parents involved in my stories. That's where this one comes from. We know what happened with the kids in HSM, but what did their parents witness along the journey?

I own nothing HSM related other than DVD's, CD's, books, magazines and trinkets. I own nothing related to the characters, actors who portrayed them, or the awesome production crew who brought this generation-changing phenomena into our lives. Hope you enjoy reading, and that you'll review. Your reviews & PM's just feed my addiction! -adc



Maria Montez was devoted to her daughter. Gabriella was the name that she and her husband Manuel had chosen to give their baby girl. It was the female form of Gabriel, an angel of the Lord. And as they began raising their baby girl together they felt God's strength around them.

But when Manuel was killed in a plane crash, Maria and Gabriella's world crashed too. Gabriella was eleven, a vulnerable age for a young girl. For six months after his death Maria and Gabriella clung to each other and shut out the rest of the world.

On Gabriella's twelfth birthday her mother swore the young lady was channeling her father. Gabriella climbed out of bed that morning and entered her mother's bedroom. She sat on the side of Maria's bed and took her mother's hand in hers. "Mama, it's time we move on." She looked at her mother very seriously with no tears in her eyes.

Maria was a professional woman. Her law degree coupled with her Hispanic background offered her a world of possibilities. But, in the area of business mediation it meant that she would be forced to move quite often. She had given up that mobile profession when Gabriella had started school. Now, as she watched her daughter's expressions, she knew it was time to enter it again.

"Briella" Maria mirrored the girl's serious face. "To move forward I have to work again. That means much time for you alone at home and we will be moving almost constantly. I can't promise you stability. I can't promise you lasting friendships. I can't even promise you that I'll be home for dinner each night."

Gabriella watched her mother's face turn away from her with the revelations of what the career would do to their life. "Mama, it's what you are good at. Daddy knew that and he was proud of you. He is proud of you. But he doesn't want either of us to just sit around and dwell on the fact that he's gone. He will always be in our hearts. But it's time for us to move on."

The next few years were very hard on Gabriella and Maria. It didn't take Mrs. Montez long to re-connect with her career. She didn't want to be on the very top rung of the ladder because she still needed time with her daughter. That kept them from finding a solid home. It forced them to move every year, sometimes more than once a year, until Gabriella was 16.

The moves never hurt Gabriella. She was always able to drown herself in her schoolwork, and she purposefully held back from making good friends. She had many acquaintances, especially those on the scholastic teams that she joined. But she never considered any of them real friends.

So she was quite surprised when her mother informed her that the move to Albuquerque, New Mexico would be one where she could make friends. They would be staying here until Gabriella finished high school and made her way to Stanford University. Standing in the center of the East High School hallways Gabriella had never been more terrified. It had been years since she attempted to make friends. She wasn't sure if she remembered how.

Maria encouraged her daughter to climb the steps and make her way to the new homeroom class. Gabriella turned, nearly begging her mother to change her mind about this particular move. Instead Maria smiled and urged her daughter to go. Something inside Maria knew this move held potential. Not just for her career, but also for her daughter's future.

----------

When Gabriella arrived home that afternoon her mother noticed something different about her already. The beautiful young woman made her way into the kitchen of their new house with a dreamy look in her eyes. It took Maria just a few moments to recognize that look. It was the same one she, herself, had worn when she first met Manuel. Her daughter had a crush.

"Briella," Her mother touched her arm to make sure she had her daughter's attention. "What's his name?"

Suddenly Gabriella blushed and the dreamy look snapped from her eyes. "What? What's whose name?"

Her mother smiled at her. "The boy that you have a crush on. You've only been at the school one day. Do you know his name?"

Gabriella swallowed hard and looked at her mother. They had vowed long ago never to lie to one another. She couldn't start now. The teenager laughed under her breath just once and looked back at her mom. "You're not going to believe this Mama."

Maria smiled. "Try me Mija."

"Remember the boy I told you about on New Year's Day, at the lodge in Colorado? The one that I was forced to sing karaoke with at that teen party on New Year's Eve?" Gabriella stared at her hands that were placed in front of her on the kitchen counter.

Maria nodded curiously. "Was that Todd, or Thomas?" her voice trailed off before Gabriella interrupted her.

"Troy. Mama. His name was Troy." Gabriella showed her mother a shy smile.

"Troy, that's right. Now I remember." Maria smiled gently back at her blushing daughter.

"He goes to this school Mom. He lives here in Albuquerque and goes to this very school!" Gabriella tried to mask her excitement but her mother could see right through it.

"Did he recognize you?" Maria asked curiously. If this wasn't fate for her daughter then she was unsure of the true meaning of the word.

Gabriella nodded. "We, um, both got in trouble during homeroom for having our cell phones out." She watched as Maria's curious face became worried. "He still had my number and picture in his phone, so he dialed the number to see if it was actually me. My phone rang. And we got detention along with half the class who pulled out their cell phones when mine rang."

Maria noticed the somewhat pained look on her daughter's face. She let Gabriella's story run through her mind a couple of times. There were so many parts of it that just didn't sound like her daughter. Maria was having a very hard time comprehending.

"So you're telling me…" the mother finally started, "that on your first day at a new school – where I've arranged for you to spend the next eighteen months of your life – you met a boy that you like…you had your cell phone ON in that school…said boy called you on that phone…and you had to spend time in detention?"

Maria stopped there and watched as Gabriella nodded and chewed on her bottom lip. "Who are you and where is my Briella?" Maria asked jokingly. Gabriella shrugged her shoulders.

She had never been in trouble at school. She was adamant about turning off the cell phone that held only her mother's number, her grandparents' numbers and since New Year's Eve, the number of a boy named Troy. It was a lot for Gabriella to take in as well.

"Does he like you too?" Maria continued the conversation.

Gabriella blushed again. She shook her head. This was something else she had stayed away from during her teen years. Boyfriends, crushes, even calling a boy 'cute' out loud were thoughts that rarely entered her mind. And she had never admitted to her mother that a boy may have liked her. Never.

"I, I think maybe he will be a friend." Gabriella answered her mom. "I don't know anything about him, other than he has a really nice voice and seems to be nice. But I get the feeling he's pretty popular. He's on the basketball team."

"An athlete too. Wow." Maria added as she watched her daughter. She smiled softly as she watched the dreamy haze form again in Gabriella's eyes.

Maria believed in 'love at first sight'. She had glimpsed it in Gabi's eyes on New Year's Day when the teen had admitted to her that she met someone at the party the previous night. And now that same boy was somehow here in this town. Her heart danced at the thought of that potential love for her little girl. Yes, this had to be fate.

----------

Within that first week in Albuquerque Maria noticed a few different items in Gabi's school bag. Besides the normal textbooks, there was information about the scholastic decathlon, a flyer stating something about auditions for a play, and most surprising, a musical score.

She didn't want to press her daughter. They continued to have dinner together and Gabriella continued to talk to her mother about school and classes. She mentioned a girl named Taylor nearly begging her to be on the scholastic team. Somehow Taylor had learned of Gabriella's penchant for science and math. Now Taylor was determined to have Gabriella on their team. Gabi insisted to her mother, and to Taylor, that it was far too soon for her to consider that.

Maria nodded as Gabriella told her the story of Taylor practically begging her to be on the team. The plea had come during detention that day while working on sets for the school musicale. Maria stopped Gabriella's story, mid-sentence, with a question. "Was this the detention for the cell phone issue?"

Gabriella's eyes grew wide. Her breath slowed as she calmly tried to figure out what to say to her mother. Three days. She had been at this school three days. Two out of those three days she had gotten detention, courtesy of Troy.

"Briella? Are you going to answer me?" It was a tone Maria had not used with her daughter in years. Not since they day they vowed never to lie to each other.

Still Gabriella sat silently. She glanced at her hands. Those same hands had held Troy's today as they talked on the rooftop of the school. His hands had grabbed hers and quickly tried to lead her to class when the warning bell rang. And his hand had squeezed hers when he left her at the classroom door, knowing they were both late. 'Sorry,' Troy had said as he left her in the hallway. 'Guess I'll see you in detention again.' They had both laughed.

"Brie?" Maria's tone was more forceful now.

"No, Mom. This was a different detention. I was late for class. I got turned around in the halls and went to the wrong room. By the time I found the right one, I was late." Well, it was at least half true. After the 'late for class' part of the fib, Gabriella looked away from her mother.

Maria leaned her head back knowing her daughter was lying. She reached out and touched her daughter's face, bringing it around to look at her own. When she again met Gabriella's eyes she spoke. "You haven't lied to me since before your father died. Briella, don't start now."

Gabi took a deep breath. "Troy was showing me where he went at the school for some privacy." She started. Gabriella decided to change her wording when she saw her mother's raised eyebrows. "…when he needs to think about things. The Garden Club has this amazing area on the rooftop. It's beautiful, and he likes to go there just to get away from all the craziness during his free period sometimes."

Maria nodded. "Continue."

"We, um, well, Monday, we sat and listened to some of the auditions for the school's musical. I'm not sure what came over me Mama, but I told the drama teacher that I wanted to audition."

Maria's eyes now grew wide. "For a musical? Gabriella, you've never mentioned being interested in singing or dancing before. The church choir…you fainted just from a solo at church."

Gabriella nodded. "I know. That's what I told Troy on New Year's Eve." She said excitedly. "I don't know why, but when she asked if anyone else wanted to try out I sat there. We snuck out the back of the auditorium. Then something pulled me back in and this voice inside me just spoke up and told her I wanted to audition."

Maria sat, mildly in awe. Her daughter was quite shy. Put her in an academic situation, with math problems and science formulas in front of her and Gabriella excelled. But drama and theatrical performances were not her forté.

She watched as Gabriella smiled and continued the story. "Mrs. Darbus told me I was too late and that the only auditions still open were for the pairs anyway, so I was out of luck. Then Troy stepped in and said he would sing with me."

Maria's awe turned to shock and then the strings in her heart felt a familiar tugging. That 'love at first sight' line came into her head again. "So the two of you auditioned together?"

Gabriella sighed. "Not exactly. Ms. Darbus told us we were still too late to audition and then walked out. The pianist was still up on the stage and she tripped and dropped all her music. We went to the stage to check on her and Troy helped her get up and helped pick her music up."

There it was again, Maria thought. The dreamy look in her daughter's eyes. And the way his name floated off her tongue just gave her heart a jolt. She wondered if Gabriella had any clue what was happening in her life at the moment.

"The pianist is also the composer of the show. And the music is amazing, Mom. You would not believe what this girl can do. So when she got up she laid out this music on the piano and started playing it for me and Troy. We stood there and sang it while she was playing. Apparently the drama teacher was still within ear- shot because after we sang she came in and told us we had a callback for the auditions. Troy and I were both just stunned." Gabriella admitted.

Maria was stunned as well. "Are you going to try out? Really? And what does this have to do with getting detention? Briella, don't try to throw me off subject, you know we'll get back to it eventually."

"I'm getting there Mama, I'm getting there. So that was Monday. Yesterday was pretty normal, I guess. Today Troy put a note in my locker asking me to come meet him on the rooftop during lunch. So I went." Gabriella's voice sounded quite shy as she realized what she was saying.

"We just sat on a bench up there and talked for a few minutes. I asked Troy if he really wanted to do the callbacks and he said he does." She stopped there for a minute just letting things sink in. Maria's voice called her back to reality.

"Where does detention fit into this?" Her mother asked.

"We were talking longer than I thought. The bell rang for class to start and we were still up on the roof. We both got detention for being late to class." Gabriella pouted at the fact.

Maria smiled and laughed at herself silently. She was certainly relieved at this reason for her daughter getting in trouble. Maria's mind had already wandered to some sort of scenario that included her daughter kissing this Troy fellow and getting caught in a public display of affection.

"Are you mad?" Gabriella now had to bring her mother back to reality.

"No, Sweetheart." Maria answered honestly. "But I'm wondering if it's time for me to meet this boy who keeps getting you into detention. If he already has this hold over you then he and I need to have a strong chat about the future."

"Mom!" Gabriella blushed. Then her voice softened again and she smiled at her mother. "I have a feeling you will meet him…sometime soon."

----------

On this particular Wednesday evening Troy had come straight from basketball practice to the half court that made up the majority of his family's back yard. His dad was angry with him and Troy knew he couldn't avoid Jack Bolton's wrath for long. He hoped a strong workout at home, coupled with the hour of free throws he had done at school would ease the elder Bolton's temper.

When Jack Bolton appeared at the back door of their home Troy was lost in a number of thoughts. The sweat was dripping from him as he ran up and down the court taking shots at the hoop from every angle. Jack watched for a minute until his wife, Troy's mom, Lucille placed her soft hand on Jack's shoulder.

"What's wrong?" Lucille asked. She knew her husband was mad and Troy hadn't even come inside the house when he finally did return from school.

"Troy got detention again today. That's twice in the last three days." Jack huffed.

"Is it pressure from the championships? Are the guys putting extra pressure on him?" Lucille's concern was for her son's well-being.

"No." Jack stopped and looked at her. "It's a girl."

Lucille's eyes widened and a hint of a smile formed on her face. "Really?"

Jack's look did not mirror his wife's. He was less than enthused to think that his basketball-captain son had found a romantic interest two weeks prior to the championship game. "Please don't encourage him right now." He pouted.

Lucille dropped her smile to give her husband a 'what do you know?' kind of look. "Did you ever think that maybe this is what he needs right now Jack? Maybe if he can get his mind on something other than basketball for even a few minutes then he can relax and play better."

"I'm afraid he's going to relax too much. Or, he's gonna get so much other 'pressure' built up that everything will explode on him and us." Jack turned to his wife and raised his eyebrows.

"Jack, Troy's been interested in girls before. He's a responsible kid. You're going to have to trust him." Lucille rubbed a gentle hand down her husband's back. "Who is she anyway?" Lucille smiled again.

"Luce…" Jack whined. "You're not going to get involved right now and push this issue, are you? Can't I just try to get him through next week's game and then we can all sit and have a nice talk about our son's love-life."

"Ah, now I see the problem." Lucille nodded. "You don't know the girl do you? You don't even know her name and it's absolutely killing you." She grinned as her husband scrunched his eyebrows and glared at her.

"I do so know her name. It's Grace or Genelle or Gaston…or something with a G, I know." Jack stated.

The basketball dribbling halted on the court drawing the parents' attention to their son. Troy looked at his dad pointedly. "It's Gabriella. And you were formally introduced this afternoon, if you had cared to listen."


Let me know what you think! :) -adc