"Where were you last night?" Gabriella cooed gently, sipping a Diet Coke on the patio. She stretched her legs and yawned. Her large (different) pair of sunglasses shaded her eyes from the hot California sun.

"Hmm?" Sharpay muttered, her own sunglasses covering her own orbs. She lay next to Gabriella on an outdoor armchair, for once, relaxing.

"You know what I mean, I didn't see you at our bash at all."

"You were probably..." Sharpay thought about saying 'You were probably too wasted to even notice,' but she refrained from saying it. "You just must have missed me that's all."

But Gabriella defiantly shook her head. "No, I would have seen you Shar, you can't hide from a party that well, no matter how much you don't like them. Honestly, I don't know why you came along with us on this trip anyway, you knew it would be all partying non-stop."

Sharpay found the perfect opportunity to change the subject. "Well, yeah, but I wanted to get away from Michigan for a while, I mean, I haven't had a nice vacation in a while, I'm a senior in college..."

Gabriella shook her head, not understanding where Sharpay was coming from. Sharpay didn't mind though. Preferably, she would rather not talk to Gabriella about her evening out with that dreamy Troy Bolton. Gabriella was her best friend, but that didn't necessarily mean she was obliged to tell her what had happened. It wasn't really her business, but it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

So why was she making it a big deal?

Sharpay thought back to earlier the other day when Gabriella had practically thrown herself at him. That wasn't it, was it? Did she just want him all to herself? No, she wasn't that kind of person. So why did she feel so protective?

Silence fell for a good fifteen minutes. Sharpay glanced over at Gabriella who seemed to have fallen in some sort of sleep. She sat up and stretched. The beach looked picture perfect as though it came out of a movie. Her eyes scanned the horizon and some how ended up gazing toward that damn boat.

Her mind drifted once again to the previous night. It seemed like a dream of some sort. Never had Sharpay thought that something like that would happen on a vacation. It was, again like a movie. The whole experience seemed too movie like, too perfect, too cliché. Nothing like that ever happened in real life.

Never.

"Hey Shar," a startling voice interrupted her thoughts suddenly. She jumped slightly from her relaxed, sitting position. Sharpay glanced up just to meet the hard, yet charming eyes of a one Derek Phillips.

"Oh God Derek, you scared the shit out of me," she replied, readjusting herself in her chair, taking her eyes off of him. He moved in front of her, blocking the sun from view.

"Where were you last night?" he asked.

Sharpay barely glanced his way. "Not here."

"Well, I know that, but where were ya? I missed ya, ya know," he said, trying to act smooth. A grin spread across his tanned face. Sharpay continued to ignore him. "C'mon Shar, I've been trying to get you to go out with me for ages, can you at least give me some sort of chance?"

"Derek..." Sharpay sighed. Damn him. She glanced at him quickly, his hard, strikingly green eyes dancing with anticipation. He was charming, good looking, yes, but he was obnoxious, cocky. "Derek, I'm too tired to talk about this right now..."

"Shar, Shar, Shar, you know we'd make the most absolute perfect couple, not to mention, hottest couple ever, we'd be like some A-list celeb couple. You know."

"No, I don't really know."

Sharpay noticed a runner run by down by the shore. She took a second glance, as Derek continued to ramble on, only to notice who that particular shirtless runner was with that particular recognizable dog running beside him. Troy seemed to be completely focused on his sport, the familiar white Apple ear phones wedged into his ears. She heard Gabriella stir next beside her.

"Oh, hey Derek, when did you get here?" she asked, yawning.

"I'm just trying once again to get Shar here to go out with me," he replied, not answering her question at all. Gabriella frowned at Sharpay, who was now staring into space. She playfully hit her on her bare arm.

"What?"

"Shar! Derek is trying to talk to you, you should listen," she scolded her friend. Sharpay sighed and turned to Derek, who was now accompanied by his sidekick, Miles Stone.

"Derek, you're a..." Sharpay couldn't think of the adjective to use to describe him. "...you're charming, you really are, but like I've said in the past, I'm just not interested in you. Okay?"

Derek didn't say much getting up. He grunted something inaudible to Miles who nodded as they trudged dejected back inside. Gabriella glared at her best friend through her sunglasses. Sharpay just shrugged. She was really getting tired of this. Derek and his stupid, continual, annoying attempts every other day. Were all guys just that stupid? Did they just not understand the meaning of a rejection? Could they really not comprehend something so stupid and miniscule?

Obviously so.


Troy had woken up that morning feel positively chipper. Perseus had greeted him at his door, happily wagging his tail. He had put on some running shoes, decided the weather was nice enough to run without a shirt, collected up his iPhone and started down the beach. It was a morning ritual, or at least he had tried to make it a daily ritual. He wasn't in need of exercise, it was more of just a maintenance type thing.

The beach had been relatively empty. Oddly empty for nine thirty in the morning in California. A few of those oversized seagulls were picking up loose litter from the sand, but other than that there was a human soul present. He couldn't help but take a sneaking glance up at that towering beach house. It seemed pretty lifeless, something that didn't surprise him though. He had happened to notice Sharpay lounging on an outdoor armchair with that one flirty friend of hers. She hadn't seemed to have noticed him right away, but later on, when she was accompanied by two other guys, he had noticed her watching him even though he hadn't let on to it.

Now, an hour later, Troy walked up the street back toward the beach, Perseus sniffing around a few feet in front of him.

He felt his iPhone vibrate on his arm, signaling an incoming call. Glancing ever so slightly at it, he picked up, only to be greeted by the smiling face of his 26 year old sister, Kate.

"Yes Katie?" he answered, jokingly emphasizing the last syllable of her name.

"Don't call me that," she said, the annoyance quite evident in her voice. "Hi to you too little brother. How have you been? Oh, I've been real swell, thanks for asking!"

Troy rolled his eyes. He called to Perseus who was getting to far ahead. "How are you Katie kins?"

"Aren't you cute...?"

"What's up sister? What is it that you could possibly need from me?"

"Is it a crime to call your own flesh and blood to have a nice chat with them?" she asked, acting as though appalled by such an assumption.

"Since when do you call me to have just a chat?" Troy questioned. He saw the beach just up ahead.

"Fine, I see you aren't in any particular mood to be friendly. I just wanted to let you know, I'm going to be in town next week."

"What? Really?"

"Yep."

"Like you're going to be here?"

"Yes."

"Here in LA? California?"

"Yes! Is it so hard for you to comprehend that, yes, I will be in town next week and yes you will see me, little bro."

He laughed. "Oh darn. You staying in a hotel, or do you think you can stay with me?"

"Are you sure there would be enough room on your little boat for the two of us?"

"Oh, it wasn't an invitation...you can't stay with me."

"Shut up, no, I have a hotel that I'm staying in. But don't worry I'll come visit you. What would it be without seeing my one of my favorite little brothers?" Troy sighed. Kate really loved emphasizing that he was her little brother. Yeah, sure he was, but still, she said it basically every time she could muster.

"I'd be crying for days," Troy replied sarcastically. "You aren't bringing anyone with you this time are you?"

"No, not this time."

Most of the time that Kate had visited during holidays or such, she had usually brought a guy with her, most of the time, a different one. However, the past few years she had had the same one, Jared Chase, who seemed like a pretty decent guy.

"What about that Jared guy, you know from Christmas?"

"He's vacationing with his family in Tahiti."

"So you guys are still together?"

"Yep," she said in such a matter of fact way that it seemed like it was no big deal.

"You guys seem to be getting pretty serious then?"

"No, no, no, we aren't getting serious..."

"It sounds like you are."

"No, we aren't."

"Seems like it, you've been together for two years, almost three I think."

"We have definitely not been together for three years."

"Admit it Katie kins, you lovvvvveeee him," he teased, in a high pitched voice, sounding like a high school girl.

"Troy, knock it off, or I'll knock the wind out of you."

"You're so scary darling."

"You sound so gay Troy, huh? What about you, where's your sexy, hot girlfriend? Huh? It was when I was about your age right now that I got together with Jared and look where we are now."

"Yeah, getting serious."

"Whatever, you're just covering up the fact that you don't have a sexy hot girlfriend, like my sexy hot guyfriend."

"Guyfriend? Don't you mean fianceé?"

"You just think you are so funny Troy, you're a new born comedian, you really are," she said. "No really, you keep ignoring the fact I keep asking you about your love life."

"What does my love life mean to you? Why is it that important?" Troy was now half way down the beach and found a nice, sandy spot, where he took a seat, Perseus laying down peacefully next to him.

"I'm just interested in you little brother, that's all, I'm just looking out for you, I want you to be happy," she explained, sincerity breaking through slightly.

Troy ran some sand through his coarse hand and looked across the water. "Well, if you must know, there is someone."

"Oooh! Who is she? What's her name? Where'd you meet her? Is she from school? Is she hot? Is she smart? Shallow? Selfish? Vain?"

"Hey, calm down with the grilling okay? Why do you care so much?"

"Because, I can usually tell if she is girlfriend material or not, I don't want you to get hurt Troy, that's all, because I care."

"I don't know..." He looked over his shoulder slightly, catching sight of the house. It was too far away to see anyone really. "She's nice, I just met her, so it's hard to tell."

"What's hard to tell?"

"If it will go anywhere or anything."

"Well if you don't even know if it is going to go anywhere then it's obviously not worth it."

"You can't say that, I want to get to know her."

"Then you do think it will go somewhere."

"Sure I guess."

"Well I am proud of you little brother, will I be able to meet her when I visit?"

He shrugged even though she wouldn't be able to see him. "I guess if you want to."

"Of course I do, I want to meet my future sister in law!"

"Now let's not get ahead of ourselves."

"Okay well I gotta go Troy! I'll talk to you again soon before I stop by."

"Yeah bye sis." Troy hung up. He leaned back on his hands and stared at the morning sun.

Kathryn Bolton. His sarcastic, somewhat comical, yet caring sister. She was only three years older than he was, but she usually acted as though she was ten years older. With the passing of his mother, she had really seemed to step it up better, even though she had still been in college and still a young adult to take care of herself. Although at times she could be obnoxious and nosy, Troy appreciated her and was truly happy she actually did care.

Troy stood up and brushed any sand that had rested on him off. Perseus had already started in the direction home. However, before he could even get two yards, a voice and footsteps made him stop.

"You're running eagerly toward me with a lit up face, something must be great," he said as he turned around and came face to face with Sharpay.

"Hey," she said, somewhat breathlessly. Her hair was slightly disheveled with the slight breeze and ocean mist floating in the air. She wore light makeup, letting the naturalness of her piercing brown eyes slice through to him. She looked...hot.

"What's up with you? You seem as though you have something extremely important to tell me," Troy remarked, giving her another once over. He felt as though his eyes refused to take their gaze away from him.

"Nothing, I just wanted to catch up to you before you left," she replied in between breaths.

"You sound like you just came back from running a marathon."

"Well, I was taking a morning jog, and I was going to head in, but then I saw your lonesome little self on the beach."

"So naturally you just had to come over and talk to me first."

She smiled. "Yeah, sure."

"Really what's up?"

She glanced almost shyly at the ground, shifting her bare feet into the smooth sand. "Well I was just wondering if I had to cry myself to sleep tonight."

"Well, that would be pointless to do that. You'd have puffy eyes in the morning."

Sharpay laughed. "No, I was wondering if I'm going to be enchanted by your charming personality tonight at our cookout."

Oh yeah, that. In all honestly, once she had invited him that previous night, he had shoved it way to the back of his brain. "Oh right, did you invite me to that?"

This time she gave him a look. One that did not appreciate that bought of sarcasm. "Sorry, sorry, yeah, I know what you're talking about."

"Aren't you cute?" He shrugged. "Well, I don't want to sound pushy or anything, but do you know...? If you're going to be there or not...for the purposes of food and stuff, we have to prepare for who's going to be there and what not. It's not good if we run out of stuff or forget something or something like that, I mean that's happened before and such, it just isn't pretty and everything, you know?"

Troy stared at her for a moment. "Take a breath."

She blushed. "Sorry, I tend to ramble sometimes, usually when I'm nervous."

He raised and eyebrow. "So I make you nervous?"

"No, no, no, you don't make me nervous at all," she answered quickly shaking her head and pushing some more sand away with her foot. "So...?"

"Oh, right, you want an answer. Well, I'd have to check my schedule, you see, I'm a pretty busy guy." She gave him a look. He almost thought there was a sense of pleading, almost begging in her eyes. "Okay, looks like I'm free. You can count on me there."

Her face lit up almost instantly. "Great! I...I'll see you later tonight then."

He smiled at her. "Right, but I should let you know, I eat for about five people."

She rolled her eyes. "Thanks for letting me know."

"And I prefer regular Coke, over diet, it just doesn't have that coke-esque taste to it, you know?"

"Righttttt..."

"And I am allergic to nuts, so nothing with nuts or nut products or byproducts of nuts in it please."

"So high maintenance," she said, walking backwards.

"I'm kidding, I'm not actually allergic to nuts, but I was telling you the truth about the Coke thing," he said, now almost shouting as she became farther away.

"Okay, I'll keep that all in mind."

"I'm sure, don't miss me too much."

She was faced away from him now. "Of course not."

He smiled as he finished watching her nicely toned figure disappear. Perseus had been patiently waiting, again, back in his lying position in the warm sun soaked sand. Troy never thought it would happen. Never in a million years, Troy Bolton would have thought anything or anyone would ever have enough charm to make him go to a party or in this case a "cookout." That is until now. Fuck.


A/N: Okay, so it's been a month. Where has time gone? I swear, I had no idea it had been that long since I last updated this story...I feel bad, in all honestly I do. I hate it when people update so sparsely and here I am a month later, I'll be surprised if you there are any readers left at all. I really hope there are. Please let me know if there are anyone else still interested and reading by leaving a review, even if it is a quick one. I had a pretty good group of readers but now since its been forever, I have no clue. REVIEW PLEASE.

I promise I will try my hardest to write everyday and repost as soon as possible!