Author's Note: I haven't written an HSM story for a while and I miss it. I especially miss Zanessa. My heart is still very broken.
Summary: She was Cinderella. He was the prince. But she didn't leave a glass slipper behind. She left her heart.
This night is sparkling, don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home
I'll spend forever wondering if you knew
I was enchanted to meet you
- Taylor Swift 'Enchanted'
She sat uncomfortably in her chair, the stuffiness of the room nearly suffocating her. She was never one to agree to go to formal events, especially ones where the people were complete strangers, but she had promised her mother she would come. She barely saw her mother, now that she was about to turn twenty-one and was constantly travelling the world. She hoped that her constant travels would make her less shy, but it didn't. It got worse. She feared looking into the eyes of these familiar strangers, in fear that she would have to have a conversation with them.
"Gabriella, sit up straight." Lenora Montez reminded her daughter. Gabriella did as she was told and she forced a smile. Dinner was officially over, but everyone was still sitting down, not even trying to escape. And Gabriella had been forced to have mindless discussions with familiar strangers for long enough.
"I'll be right back mother; I just need some air." Gabriella whispered to her mom, rising from her seat and then walking past the dance floor, the open bar and she finally got onto the balcony that was open to the stars in the sky.
She was happy with her life. Gabriella had nothing to complain about. She had the budding career, the loving mother, the supportive best friends and she even had the golden doodle puppy she has wanted ever since she was a kid. She had everything she could ever ask for. But she didn't have him. Not since she walked away from him three years ago and he did nothing to stop her. As she made a wish upon a falling star, she came to the realization that she was no longer alone on the balcony. It was probably someone having a smoke break.
"Ella? Is that you?" A familiar velvety voice asked. Gabriella knew that voice anywhere. She looked to make sure she wasn't losing her mind. And her assessment was right.
It was Troy.
The Troy she always loved and missed.
The one she lost three years ago.
"What are you doing here?" She asked in shock. Troy chuckled as he fumbled with his tie.
"My parents seem to think that these galas are considered to be family bonding time. You look beautiful." Troy said, his sapphire eyes gazing at her, taking every inch of her in. She blushed and smiled.
"Thank you. How've you been since...?" Gabriella didn't finish her sentence for two reasons. The first being that she didn't want to be reminded of the day their love died. The second being that Troy had walked over and silenced her by pressing a finger against her lip. He then brushed a hair behind her ear.
"I don't really want to talk small talk right now."
"Troy we can't pretend that nothing happened between us. We do need to talk about this."
"And we will. But tonight is beautiful. And it is sparkling in there. And I've wanted you for so long that I don't care about what happened three years ago. I only care that you're here with me tonight. Fate is the only thing capable of giving us a second chance and we need to take it before its too late." Troy powerfully told Gabriella, not realizing that he had taken hold of both her hands. Gabriella involuntarily started blushing.
"You're just how I remembered, Troy." Gabriella said loud enough for him to hear. He smiled and ran a hand through her luscious raven locks. He wanted to kiss her. He wanted to carry her home with him and go back to the way they were.
But then loud, harmonious and beautiful music started playing.
"Can I have this dance?" Troy asked cheekily, but he was being serious. Gabriella smiled and she nodded her head, slipping her hand into his awaiting one.
Troy kissed her hand and he led her back into the gala and onto the dance floor. Troy placed a hand on her waist and had Gabriella's hand in his other. Gabriella's other hand was delicately placed on Troy's shoulder. They slowly danced to the rhythm of the music, their eyes locked with one another's. Gabriella paid attention to all Troy's littlest details. The way his sapphire eyes glittered. The firm grip he held on her waist. The way his eyes were searching hers the same way she was doing with him. Troy noticed.
"What are you thinking about?" He asked, his voice soft.
"I'm thinking about who we were three years ago. Trying to figure out just how much we have changed."
"We didn't change. We stayed the same. The only thing that changed was our minds."
"Have you changed your mind about me?" Gabriella asked, looking him in the eye.
Troy said nothing. Although she didn't show it, Gabriella was worried about this silence. He only stared into her chocolate eyes. Gabriella could sense Troy getting closer and closer to her face. And she felt herself meeting him halfway. They were only a breath away. They were so close, but yet they were so far as well. Troy's head was tilting, getting prepared to kiss Gabriella's satin lips. And Gabriella closed her eyes, patiently waiting. This was the moment she waited for and now it was here.
"Gabriella! We have to go now honey." Lenora called to her daughter, already wearing her coat. When she saw that her daughter was with Troy, Lenora smiled in understanding and she turned her back, allowing her daughter to say goodbye to Troy for a second time.
Troy shared the same look of panic that Gabriella had in her eyes. He clutched to her desperately. She returned the same desperate grasp.
"Gabby no…" Troy tried to say, but Gabriella silenced him when she pressed a manicured finger over his lips.
"Please. Don't make this harder for me."
"Harder? We are seeing each other again."
"No. I don't even know you anymore. You could be in l…" Gabriella stopped in the middle of her sentence. What if Troy was in love with someone else? What if there was someone waiting on him back at his house? Why did she think that he was waiting on her all of these years?
"Gabriella?" Troy asked, his voice a whisper.
And then Gabriella did the unthinkable; she kissed Troy's cheek and she ran. She ran whilst ignoring Troy's constant shouts for her name. And then she was out of the gala, in her mother's car, with a blush as red as the lipstick stain she branded on Troy's suntanned cheek.
She was Cinderella. He was the prince. But she didn't leave a glass slipper behind. She left her heart. But she took with her the words that she couldn't say.
The makeup dripped down her face like the tears she shed when she first entered her room. Troy did not leave her mind. She couldn't get those mesmerizing eyes out of her head as she put on her pajamas, cuddled her puppy Luther and as she stood in her bathroom, washing away the makeup that concealed her face. How could she let Troy get away again?
Gabriella awoke out of her daze when she heard Luther beginning to bark. He probably had to pee again. Quickly drying off her face, Gabriella walked out of her bathroom and into her bedroom, expecting to see Luther barking at the balcony to be let out. But she didn't see that. Instead, she saw the balcony door wide open, Luther curled up on her bed…beside Troy. He was still wearing the tuxedo he wore earlier that evening. They made eye contact and Gabriella's legs turned to jelly.
Troy smiled as he got up off the bed and he slowly made his way over to Gabriella. She involuntarily blushed when she stood just before her. She almost wished that she still had her makeup on and was wearing something nicer than a t-shirt and pajama shorts. She finally dared to make eye contact with Troy. Bronze mixed with sapphire. Troy boldly lifted a hand and cupped Gabriella's cheek. She closed her eyes when Troy began to caress her cheek.
"I never should've let you walk away; I should've been at your door. But I'm here now and I'm not letting you walk away again. I was never in love with someone else. I never had anyone waiting on me. Gabriella…I am so in love with you."
"…And then the beautiful princess admitted that she was in love with the prince and they kissed. Two years later, the prince and the princess got married and they made two beautiful babies and they lived happily ever after. The end." A twenty-eight year old Troy told his four year old son and two year old daughter, as they sat on Gabriella's lap in their master bedroom, Luther sleeping at the bottom of the bed. Xavier James, their eldest son was a replica of his father, with brown hair and blue eyes. Ella-Grace, the youngest, also had brown hair, but she had her mother's brown eyes. Gabriella clapped along with her two children.
"I love that story daddy!" Xavier cheered as he continued to clap with his little sister.
"Me too." Gabriella said, looking her husband in the eye. He returned the smile.
"Okay well that was your bedtime story for the night. Time for bed." Troy said, taking Ella-Grace from Gabriella into his arms. Both children let out a disappointing 'aw no' as they were carried to their bedrooms.
Gabriella took Xavier into his bedroom and she kissed him good night, promising that she would make him blueberry pancakes for breakfast in the morning. Troy took his typically chattering daughter into her nursery and he placed her in her crib. He ran a hand through her hair before he kissed her plump cheeks.
"Good night princess. I'll see you in the morning." Troy whispered, heading for the door.
"Daddy!" Ella-Grace called out in alarm. Troy was quick to turn around, thinking that something happened to his daughter. He saw her standing in her crib, smiling a small-toothed smile at her daddy.
"You and mama's story are enchanting!" Ella-Grace gleefully said, collapsing into a fit of laughter before she began to fall asleep.
Troy smiled, thinking through his daughter's use of the word. Enchanting. Yeah, that was how he would best describe his and Gabriella's story. Saying a final good night to his daughter, he shut the light and the door and he went into his bedroom. Gabriella was already on the bed waiting for him. She smiled when he took his usual spot on the bed beside her. He instantly wrapped her up in his arms.
"That story never gets old." Gabriella said, looking up at her husband. Troy gave her shoulders a squeeze.
"The kids love it too. Especially Ella-Grace; she just told me that our story was enchanting."
"She must've overheard me saying it to Xavier when I told him how I felt during the story the other night."
"You felt enchanted?" Troy was looking at his wife now. Gabriella smiled with a gentle nod.
"From the moment I met you." Gabriella said in a whisper, saying the secret she wanted the whole world to know. Troy smiled as he lifted both of his hands to cup Gabriella's cheeks into his hands. He stroked both of her cheeks.
"I love you Gabriella."
"I love you too, Troy." And with that said, Troy pulled himself into Gabriella's face and he captured her lips with his. Gabriella reciprocated Troy's gesture and Troy straddled Gabriella. Gabriella quickly wrapped her slender legs around Troy's waist. Just as the kiss was about to deepen, Troy pulled back chuckling. Gabriella raised her eyebrows in confusion.
"What are you laughing at?" Gabriella asked, offended that Troy would pull back in the midst of an intimate moment. Troy shook his head as he ran his hand down Gabriella's face continuously.
"We left out a key part of our story."
"Which part?" Gabriella asked in confusion. Troy grinned as he pressed a kiss on his wife's lips.
"We didn't tell them how we created such beautiful babies." Troy huskily whispered. Gabriella rolled her eyes good heartedly as she pulled Troy in closer to her body.
"That is for the adult version of the story."
"Then lets tell that one then." Troy huskily whispered once more, silencing Gabriella's oncoming giggles with a hungry kiss. They quickly got passionate with one another.
That night was exactly how it had been when they first met. And it could only be described with one word: enchanting.
I miss Zac and Vanessa so much. Please review if you're still a true believer in true love!