Summary: Gabriella and Troy met on night at Club 67, and naturally feel an attraction towards each other. But what Gabriella doesn't know, is that Troy is one of the most feared Mob Bosses in New York. After becoming a target to his enemies, will Troy be able to save Gabriella, or will he lose her?
Million Dollar Man
Chapter One: Club 67
Who ever told you that college was going to be the happiest years of your life, lied, and needs to be punched. Nothing about this was fun. I thought coming to New York, to attend NYU, was going to be a good thing. But, already, on my first night – New York showed me that we weren't going to get along. Not even including that I was out here alone, NYU placed me in a room with a neurotic bitch. Lauren Schimberg was the campus slut, and I got a play by play through the thin walls of my dorm room. But that wasn't even the worse of it.
Everything was expensive. I had to take up two jobs to just to help pay for the rent of the dorm room. During the school days, I worked at the NYU bookstore in the main building. But on the weekends, something the helped calm me, I sung at Club 67. It was what I looked to most about the weekends. While most of my classmates were doing keg stands, and one night sex orgies, I was working. Not that going out was my kind of thing. I was twenty-two and barely drank, smoked or went out. I haven't even had a boyfriend since sophomore year of high school. I wasn't exactly your typical college student.
At the moment I was standing in my backstage dressing room, waiting for Ernie to come and get me. My hair was down, and curled, my make-up nice and smoky. My fingers ran over the beaded embroidery of my black dress, which stuck to me like second skin. My curves were more pronounced with the shaping for the dress, and the plunge of the front made my small bust look slightly bigger. A knock sounded from the door, and I turned to see the pianist, Ernie, standing in the door way.
His dark skin contrasted well with the all white tux as he stood before me. Ernie's pearly whites beaming toward me with his wide smile. Even at fifty-three, Ernie looked as handsome as he did thirty years ago. He was the sweetest man I've ever met, and was like a father too me.
"You ready, baby girl?" He asked - his voice thick from the cigarettes he smoked over the years.
"Ready as I'll ever be." I paused "Are we full tonight?"
"It's a Friday night, you know it"
I took one more sip of my sparkling water, before walking out behind Ernie. My heels clicked loudly against the dark wood floors of the hallway backstage, as we neared, I could hear the sounds of the people out there. Loud chatter and glasses clinking together. A calming wave came over me, and the nervous from before were gone. No matter what, singing here at Club 67 was the only thing to truly calm me. Ernie took his place, with the band, behind his piano. Take place center stage, I grasped the microphone, and the curtain started to slowly rise.
Behind me, the band began to play, starting with Million Dollar Man by Lana Del Rey. At Club, we usually only play jazz and ole' school R&B, but sometimes Aaron, the owner, allowed newer songs. The crowd to seemed to disappear as I did my set. At Club 67 I only sang five songs a night, but was paid five a song, and then half per drink I got after. It was crazy how many people would pay for drinks for me. It was both flattering and shocking.
I bowed graciously before leaving the stage, leaving Ernie and the bad to wrap up for the night. As I walked toward the stairs, I saw Aaron standing there with a smile on his pale face. When he smiled, that was a good thing. Means I got more tips, and he was satisfied.
"Beautiful as ever, Gabriella" He praised
"Thanks," I stepped down
Walking past him quickly, I headed toward the bar. Right away I saw my good friend Taylor serving drinks to customers. Taylor was another good friend I've made here at Club 67. Her long black hair was pressed straight, and pulled back from her face. Walking to an empty bar stool, I took a seat, and let out a deep sigh. Looking up over the clock behind the bar, I saw that it was nearing midnight. I closed my eyes, and rested my head in my hands.
Opening my eyes slowly, I saw Taylor smiling before me, preparing a drink. Her deep brown eyes held sympathy. I nodded my head, and tried to fight back the yawn that was threatening to come up. But I lost.
"Well, you get to go home soon" She encouraged
"True, that is, if Lauren isn't home."
"She still giving you a hard time?"
"As always. It's been over a year now; you'd think she would learn. But nope, she lives to just piss me off and make me hate her more and more."
"Patience, Gabi, pretty soon – you'll be able to get that apartment" Taylor spoke as she placed a dry martini in front of me.
"Thank you." I smiled
"Don't thank me." She pointed behind me "Thank that gentleman over there."
I gave her a confused looked, before turning in my seat. Following her line of direction, I saw a gentleman sitting by himself, in a booth. He wore a simply all black suit, along with a black dress shirt. The steel grey being the only sense of color in his whole outfit. But what made my heart stop, if only for a moment, was the grey blue eyes staring back at me. A small smile tugged on the corners of my lips, before I turned back to Taylor.
"Oh, my god. He's cute" She smiled
"Cute doesn't define him. He's hot, handsome, and fuckable. Anything but cute"
"Fine, whatever. You should walk over there and talk to him"
"And say what?"
"Thank you, for one, then – who knows?"
Wouldn't hurt. Grabbing my drink, I got down from the bar stool and walked toward the unknown gentleman. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I neared his table. Something told me to stay away from this guy, but something else told me to keep walking toward them. Once I got closer to him, he looked up toward me. A smile, friendly, on his lip and his steel blue eyes looking back up to me.
"Hi," I spoke shyly "Thank you for the drink"
"No problem at all. See it as a thank you for entertaining us all tonight" He smiled "Please, sit with me?"
Tucking the back of my dress beneath me, I took a seat next to the unknown gentleman. His smiled toward me, his dark brown hair sweeping in front of his beautiful eyes. I found myself blushing from under his gaze.
"I'm Troy, Troy Bolton." He spoke, sticking his hand out toward me to shake.
"So tell me, Gabriella, what brought you here to sing at Club 67."
"Work. I've got to make a living and earning to keep up with New York." I smiled "What about you?"
"I own it."
My smile faltered a little, and I knew my eyes were bugging out. He owned this place. This was basically my boss. Holy shit. I had the hots for my boss. Rising my martini to my lips, I took a few drinks, before setting it down on the table once more.
"I didn't know…"
"Don't worry, Gabriella, I'm more of a ghost owner." Troy paused "So, tell me about yourself."
"What would you like to know?"
"Um…" I paused, and fidgeted with my bracelet "I'm a senior at NYU. I work here, and at the campus bookstore. What about you, Mr. Bolton?"
"Well, I own this club and many others. But imports are my main work."
I nodded my head "I'm not going to lie, sounds boring"
Troy laughed "It is, but it was my father's business. Now it's mine."
I watched as his hand moved up, and removed some hair from my face. The tips of his fingers lightly touched my cheek, sending a slight shock through my body. Another flutter erupted in my stomach, and I could feel myself blushing again.
"Well, then, I think that pretty cool. Keeping the family business." I whispered
"You know, Gabriella, I really don't wanna talk about my business. Not with someone as beautiful as you. I talk about that most of my days." He moved closer to me "Why don't you tell me a little more about yourself, Gabriella."
For the rest of the night, I answered any question he asked me. What my major was. Why I chose NYU. Questions about my family, but nothing too deep and personal. I asked question also, but he never would answer them directly. It both annoyed and intrigued me. The two of us stayed in the booth till it was closing time. From across the room, at the bar, I could see Taylor watching us. She has a smile on her face, and was wiping down the bar.
"Its seems to be closing time," Troy spoke, looking around the club "Which is too bad, because I don't want to leave this conversation yet,"
I ducked my head, and a small smile graced my lips "Well, I'll be here again next Friday. Every Friday, actually."
"Then so will I. Join me after your set?"
"Of course, how can I say no?"
Troy walked with me back to my dressing room, so that I could grab my jacket. It was a little weird, seeing as I never let anyone back here, except for Ernie. It wasn't nothing much. It was a small room, the whole left wall was a mirror and counter. It held my make-up and accessories. Across from it was my couch and coffee table. Photos of my family, and some fans, hung on the wall behind them.
"Wow, this place is amazing." Troy spoke softly.
He walked inside, and headed toward the wall photo. Heading over to my counter, I took of all of my jewels.
"Its nothing much. Just a dress room."
"Its your second home." Troy declared "I can tell, just by the small things around the room."
"You are one observant man, Troy Bolton."
"So I've been told." He chuckled
Walking over to my closet, I grabbed both my purse and my jacket. I pulled it over my dress, and followed behind Troy out of my dressing room, and back toward the front of the club. I waved goodbye to Taylor and Ernie as I passed them on my way out. Troy and I were both welcomed to the cold New York air, as we walked out of Club 67.
"I had a wonderful time tonight, Troy. It was nice to just…have a conversation with someone." I spoke
"I did too." Troy paused "Is there anywhere I can take you?"
"No, I'm going to take a cab home. But thank you for the offer."
Troy hesitated for a moment, like he was going to protest, but let it go. I stepped out toward the street, and hailed down a cab. Troy walked forward and opened the door for me. I whispered a soft thank you, before getting inside. But Troy stayed at the door, leaning in toward me.
"You get her home safely, please" Troy spoke to the cabby, then looked to me "I hope to see you again on Friday."
"I'll be here." I smiled "Good night, Troy."
"Good night, Gabriella."
Troy took a few steps back and closed the door of the cab. As we pulled away from the curb, I couldn't help but look back. He wasn't there, when I looked, but I couldn't wait to see him again. It was weird, I've only know Troy Bolton for no more then a handful of hours, and I already had a huge crush on him. But there was also a feeling that I didn't like – it was telling me that he was dangerous, but I didn't care. I wanted to know more about him, and was planning on doing so.
Charlie's Note: Ok, this is my second HSM story, and its been forever long since I've written one. This song is inspired by Million Dollar Man by Lana Del Rey, and I have many tricks up my sleeve. Love to hear all of your thoughts! Thank you :)