Places

Author's Note: Hi everyone…just another story that needs some reviews…I'm leaving for a month next Saturday for my cottage so I would appreciate some reviews as a going away present.

Summary: He would always admire new places, but none could ever compare to the place he always yearned to be; with her.


Twenty-four year old Gabriella Montez awoke from her bed almost at the crack of dawn on that hot June morning. She didn't expect to see her boyfriend, Troy Bolton still asleep next to her. He had been struggling to sleep since both his parents died in a fatal car accident the month before. He spent much of the night tossing and turning or he would stay up all night, alternating from going for walks or sitting on the porch outside. Gabriella was relieved to see that he was getting some rest. He seemed so content, with his arm loosely hung around her waist and the side of his head gently pressed into the soft white pillow.

Gently, Gabriella slipped out from Troy's arm and she tiptoed out of their bedroom and into the hallway of their house. In their will, Troy's parents left Troy their grand estate home and a large sum of money for their one and only son. She had been living with Troy beforehand and she moved into Troy's parents' house, which helped ease the pain of losing Troy's parents. As Gabriella walked out into the hall, their four month old Siberian husky puppy Luke came to greet her happily. Gabriella rubbed his stomach and promised to give him his breakfast in five minutes.

As the little puppy ran off in the opposite direction of the hall, Gabriella walked over to the large window frame that overlooked the sun coming up over the lush trees. It certainly was beautiful this early in the morning. As she stared at the sun as it slowly crept up into the sky, a strong and broad arm suddenly wrapped itself around her shoulders while the other one was wrapped around her torso. It was Troy; he was very much awake now. Wearing nothing but his boxers, he had Gabriella's back pressed up against him and he was quick to lovingly kiss her cheek.

"Good morning beautiful." Troy muttered into her ear as he pressed a kiss on her temple, inhaling the sweet smell of her shampoo. She smelt like strawberries.

"Good morning. You sleep well?" Gabriella asked. Troy sighed as he rested his head on top of her shoulder, staring outside.

"I slept better than I have the last few nights. It was one of the best sleeps I've had. It still took a while to fall asleep, unfortunately." Troy admitted in a quiet voice. It was obvious he missed both his parents. Gabriella would have pressed the moment onward, trying to encourage him to talk about his parents without feeling shame, but they were both so content watching the sky, she couldn't bring herself to ruin the moment.

"It will get better, Troy. I promise." Gabriella assured him as she rested her manicured hands on his broad arms that had engulfed her. Troy mumbled out an incoherent reply before he and Gabriella stood there in silence, watching the sun slowly rise into the sky. It was so beautiful.

In the silence, Troy kissed Gabriella's cheek and then trailed kisses down her neck and all the way down to her shoulder and then kissed upwards. His hands began to tug and pull at the white silk material of her nightgown, hoping to maneuver it with plenty of success. He knew just how to get her in all the right places. Gabriella closed her eyes and she rolled her head back onto his shoulder and he was quick to capture her lips with his own. His tongue was quick to explore her mouth and she moaned with satisfaction. He smiled when they parted lips.

"We should get out of here and leave." Troy said just above a whisper. Gabriella stifled a laugh.

"Where would we go?"

"Anywhere; I can't stay in this place anymore. I want to travel with you. I need new scenery in my life." Troy quickly explained as he held her close to his broad. Troy constantly talked about travelling or needing to see new places. Especially with is parents gone, Troy wanted to go places that reminded him of them or were places for him to find peace.

"What places do you have in mind?"

"I'll talk to you about that at dinner. It's something that I can't talk about now. But for right now, there are some things I'd like to do with you." Troy whispered into her ear, sending shivers down Gabriella's back.

"What kind of things?" She asked seductively. She knew that Troy had a dirty mind, but she couldn't say that it was a deal breaker for her. He grinned as he brushed his cheek along hers.

"I'll show you tonight." Troy whispered huskily, capturing her lips with his once more. They each held on for several moments before Gabriella turned in his arms and she wrapped her arms around his neck while Troy's arms slithered around her petite waist. The moment intensified when Gabriella wrapped her slender legs around Troy's waist and he held a tighter grip on her. Troy grinned as he observed how close they had become in a matter of minutes.

"Maybe I can just give you a preview right now." Troy mumbled against Gabriella's lips.

"No talking." Gabriella silenced him with her lips, hanging onto him as he led them back into their bedroom, hoping for a 'preview' of the events that Troy promised would come that night.


By noon, Gabriella was in the kitchen making lunch for Troy and herself. She was busy making mango salad, steamed rice and freshly squeezed lemonade. Troy was having a shower, as he had just been called in to work because there was an emergency that he had to take care of. But he would be home long enough to have lunch with Gabriella. And Troy assured Gabriella that he would only be an hour at most.

As Gabriella was setting up the table and putting fresh dog food into Luke's dog bowl, she heard Troy's cell phone vibrate, indicating that he had received a text message from someone. Troy and Gabriella were at a stage in their relationship where they trusted each other enough to check each other's text messages. Gabriella grabbed his cell phone and she read the message. Where r u? I need u now – Chad. It sounded urgent.

"Troy, you got a text message." Gabriella hollered. Within seconds, Troy was in the kitchen, dressed and ready to go.

"Oh yeah? From who?"

"Chad. He said he needs you now."

"I guess this issue is worse than I thought." Troy mumbled as he walked over to the table and he used his fork to put a mouthful of mango salad in his mouth.

"Well if it's important, maybe you should go now. I can just put away whatever's left of lunch and save it for you when you come home."

"You don't mind?" Troy asked. Gabriella shook her head. Troy smiled as he pressed a kiss on her forehead.

"I love you. I'll be home in an hour and a half, at least. Be ready to leave at four o'clock. I'll call you when I'm on my way home." Troy quickly said as he walked out of the kitchen and then out of the house.

Gabriella quietly ate her lunch by herself and when she was satisfied, she put away the leftovers, knowing Troy would want to have some when he came home. After washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen, Gabriella decided she would take Luke for a twenty minute walk. By the time they came back, Gabriella made the decision that she should start getting ready for dinner with Troy.

She had a quick shower and blow-dried her hair. When her hair was dry, she slipped into her undergarments and began to apply her make-up and straighten her hair. As she straightened her hair, Troy entered the house. He quickly greeted Luke and he swiftly gave Gabriella a kiss on the cheek before he began to get ready. Gabriella noticed that he was anxious and antsy. It must've had something to do with the crisis at work.

"Was everything okay at work?" Gabriella asked from the bathroom. She could hear Troy sighing deeply as he was rummaging through his drawer for clothes.

"Uh, yeah everything's fine. Just leave it to Chad to make a big deal over a little issue at work. Nothing too big, I promise." Troy said, his voice too anxious to sound convincing. But Gabriella wouldn't push it; she planned on having a good time.

They both dressed speedily. She wore a short leopard print dress, open-toe pumps and a black cropped jacket over her dress. He wore a black shirt, blue jeans and a leather jacket to match his leather boots. Troy took Gabriella's hand in his as he escorted her out of the house, his hands noticeably covered with sweat. But Gabriella still said nothing as they drove to the restaurant.


It was a quiet but sweet dinner that night at their favorite restaurant. Gabriella ordered a salad and Troy ordered pasta and they exchanged a few words to each other. But they were mostly quiet; Gabriella knew that there was something on Troy's mind. And he was going to tell her eventually. He always did. It had something to do with something he needed. He needed something new. But Gabriella dreaded that he may need someone new.

Troy quietly paid the bill and he ushered Gabriella out of the restaurant, into the twilight sky. They hopped into Troy's car and they, again, were in a silence as they drove down the empty road. Gabriella noticed that they were driving down an unfamiliar road. It wasn't anywhere near their house.

"Where are we going?" Gabriella finally asked when Troy made a left turn. Troy didn't answer; he stopped the car and he walked out of it, walking over to Gabriella's side and opened the car door for her. Once she was out, she got a clearer view of where they were.

They arrived at a Japanese inspired garden. The garden was decorated with trees with red leaves and blossoms, and a bridge that crossed over water that resembled glass. And on the lamp posts, there were white Christmas lights to guide them on the stone path. Troy interlaced Gabriella's hand with his as he led her into the garden. Gabriella was in awe as they crossed over the bridge.

"Troy this place is amazing. Where did you find this place?" Gabriella asked once they crossed the bridge and sat on a bench that overlooked the water. Troy smiled sadly.

"My mom and dad used to take me here when I was a little kid. This was where my dad proposed to my mom; I feel connected to them when I'm here. I come here all the time to think. I think about us, life…my parents. I think about how much they loved to travel and it makes me want to leave this place, find someplace else and make a new discovery."

"What is it with you and finding new places to be? You're starting to make me worry that I'll wake up and discover that you've packed up and left for Antarctica, never to return." Gabriella said in a joking tone of voice, but she made sure that Troy knew that she was serious. She was, indeed, curious. Troy smiled as he gave her hand a squeeze.

"You don't have to worry about that. My dad, he used to say to me, he'd always say 'You'll never love a girl more than the thrill of being in a new country or seeing a new place. And if you do, she's got to be one exceptional girl and someone you want to experience new things with.' I'm glad that he was right about the last part." Troy said, his voice going soft as he ran a hand through Gabriella's raven hair.

"I think it would be nice to go to Paris and Japan one day." Gabriella said, her eyes far away and her voice in a daze. But she was shaken out of it when she felt Troy take hold of both her hands. She looked into his eyes and she could see that they were glazed over with love. He looked serious. Seriously in love.

"Places are places, but I'm in love with you. Wherever you are, that is the place I'm meant to be. Ever since I lost my parents, you have been nothing but supportive of me. You were what inspired me to keep going in the real world. You're everything to me. Without you, life wouldn't be worth it anymore. Everything would lose its purpose. Every place I go to doesn't sparkle until you're there beside me. I love you more than I'll ever say and I want to take what we have one step further." Troy romantically told her, having a firm grip on both her hands, as she held back tears of love.

He smoothly slid off the bench and he got down on one knee in front of her, still holding onto her delicate and manicured hands. It was this simple gesture that sent Gabriella into a fit of tears. She knew what was coming. And her heart was racing. She just wanted to hear the words leave Troy's mouth.

"Gabriella Gia Anna Montez…will you marry me?" Troy asked with pure love and devotion in his voice. The tears were free falling down Gabriella's face and she had a smile that was plastered all over her face. Her smile, alone, gave Troy his answer.

"Yes! Yes! YES!" Gabriella cried with glee as she jumped up off the bench and she was instantly wrapped up into the muscular arms of her fiancé. They were quick to passionately kiss one another, proving to the other how much they needed and loved each other. Troy broke off the kiss so he could get out the black velvet box from his pocket. The box opened, and revealed a four karat princess cut diamond ring that was set on a diamond encrusted band. He gently slipped the ring onto her slender and trembling finger.

"It's so beautiful." Gabriella breathlessly said as she watched the diamond glitter like the stars that were starting to appear in the sky.

"You're so beautiful." Troy replied, gently caressing her cheek with the pad of his thumb, as he leaned in for another kiss. And just like the first, this kiss was full of undying passion, with a promise of everlasting love.

This place used to be a special place for Troy to think of his parents, but it was now a place that was special for himself and Gabriella.


At three thirty-two in the morning, Troy Bolton was wide awake. Gabriella had fallen asleep on his chest after they finished 'celebrating' their engagement together. Troy had his arm wrapped around her, while her slender arm was stretched across his bare chest. He lifted his other hand and he gently caressed her cheeks, smiling when Gabriella cuddled closer into his side. He gently picked up her hand and stared at the engagement ring that sparkled on her finger. He kissed her finger just below the extravagant ring.

"I love you so much." Troy gently whispered, knowing that she was asleep and wouldn't hear his declaration of love.

"I love you too." A sleepy Gabriella quietly replied, shocking Troy greatly. But she soon fell back into her slumber as she cuddled into him much more and went back to rhythmically breathing. Troy smiled at her sleeping form and pressed a kiss on her forehead before he closed his eyes, dreaming about the day he would see Gabriella walk down that aisle and declare herself his forever.

He would always admire new places, but none could ever compare to the place he always yearned to be; with her.


The End

Please review! They can be my going away present!

Alanna xo