Being Amber

Without any memory of her past and not knowing why people react to her as they do, Amber has to learn to survive in the hard underworld of the City, among gangs and the unwanted citizens.
Her appearent resemblance with Ben's dead girlfriend, places her in the middle of a war that easily can cost her and others their lives.
In her quest to find her identity Amber has to learn to tell friend from foe, see behind the lies and decide if Ben's past matters at all.
When Ben asks Tom to train Amber he gets pulled into the war happening around him, far more than he wants to be.
Tom's alliance with Ben hangs in a thin tread when he not only falls in love with Amber but also starts a relationship with Kattie, who already has a boyfriend in Clay, Ben's second in command.
Will Amber ever find out who she really is ?
And how Will they get through the war ?

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41. No war without losses

 

 *Amber*

 I had to see Drew. Not because I had any special relationship with him, but because he was the first victim of the war I knew, the first who had a name pinned on him. Two of Tom's older members was washing him when I stepped into the room. Ben had gone directly to the commando room when they returned and I didn't know were the others went. I hadn't told anyone what I was going to do.

 "Amber". One of the members saw me. "Is there anything we can do for you ?"

 "I had to see him". I answered and looked at Drews closed eyes. His face looked so cold and fragile. Like he would break if I touched him.

 While I was standing there more bodies were brought in. I held my breath and tried not to look at their faces. I didn't have need to name more of the victims of the war. Not now.

 I felt nauseous and ran out of the room. In the hallways I stopped, leaning on the wall. Two of Kress' men came carrying a wounded man, they took him directly to the hospital. More wounded followed.

 Over the radio I heard how Penny and Mike backed up Zac. It was a very fustrating way to follow a war and when Penny announced she had been wounded, I pulled the earpiece out and let myself slide down the wall.

 The hallway was now silent, but I could still hear the voices from the hospital room. I could hear the panic and I could smell the blood.

 "Amber". KC slid down to sit beside me. "Are you okay ?" He placed his hand on my knee and looked at me with compassion.

 "People die". I whispered. "I can't.. ".

 "The others have pulled back again. Right now we are all safe". KC told me. "Ben wants a meeting in the commando room. The rest is on the computers".

 "Is there anyway to stop this ?" I asked, letting KC help me to my feet. "I am ready to do anything to stop this".

 "Only by killing Zombie". KC put an arm around my waist and supported me on our way to the commando room.

 

 Kattie was sitting in Tom's lap, her head resting against his shoulder. Ben was standing in front of the computer screens, were Zac, Kress, Mike and Lucas was on a screen each from the prison.

 "Are you okay ?" Ben looked at me, and I could see he realised that I was crying. "Are you ?" I bit the inside of my lip to keep it from shivering.

 "Come". Ben pulled me into him and I buried my face into his chest. I ignored the eyes I could feel resting om me and just let his warmth give me the safety I needed. 

 Ben allowed himself to spend two minutes on comforting me, before returning to his duty as the war leader. Instead Tom reached out and pulled me into his side, one arm around me, the other one still around Kattie.

 Kattie's hand found mine. "It is going to be okay". She promised me. But her smile didn't reach her eyes.

 "How is Penny ?" Ben asked.

"Her leg is broken". Kress answered. "We don't know how badly yet".

 "I will personally take care of it". Zac promised.

 "Very well. You are saying that Zombie didn't show up in your battle either. That means he has to show up in the next one". Ben had started pacing again. "And so do I".

 My grip on Katties hand tightened. I didn't want Ben out there. I didn't want any of them out there.

 "Lucas take a group with you and check out the harbour. Let us know if anyone leaves the area". Ben said.

 "What about Sonny ?" Kress asked.

 "Zombie is forced to be there at the next battle, so I really don't care about Sonny". Ben said.

 "But he could fall us in the back during the next attack". Kress pointed out. "We have to keep an eye on both places".

 "Very well Kress, take a team with you and go keep an eye on Sonny". Ben answered and looked at him through the screen. Kress didn't exactly look happy about it, but he didn't say anything.

 As soon as the screens was turned of, Ben turned towards the people in the room. "Tom can you go get an overview over the dead and injured ? KC and Kattie please go see if they need help at the hospital".

 When they had all left, he looked at me. He reached for my hand, lacing our fingers together and I let him lead me out of the room.

 "You have taken of your radio ?" He said. I had on purpose left it in the commando room.

 "I don't want to follow another battle on the sideline". I answered without looking at him. "Ben, at least twenty people was killed in that battle and who knows how many in the other battle".

 "I know". He said and stopped. "It isn't that I am void of any feelings that I ignore this. But if I let it get to me I wouldn't be able to go on". He pulled me into him, running a hand through my hair. "You understand why this is necessary rigth ?"

 I nodded. I did understand that him and Zombie needed to settle this for good, but it didn't make it less painful to see people die.

 "When you are going out in the next battle I want to go with you". I begged him. "Don't let me sit here alone with the fear of loosing you".

 "I can't take you with me". He answered. "If I am going to stay fully concentrated on the task ahead of me, I need to be there 100 percent. I couldn't do that if you are out there with me. I need to know that you are safe". He gently kissed my cheek, my forehead and lastly my mouth.

 I let him lift me into his arm and carry me to Tom's room. He continued kissing me, as he laid me down on the bed, hovering over me.

 "I love you". He smiled at me and brushed a lock of hair from my face. "I hope you know that".

 "I love you too". I pulled him down on me, kissing him. A greedy kiss filled with all the motions I harbour for him and the fear gnawing inside me.

 He suddenly pulled away, pressing a hand to the ear he had his earpiece in.

 "Mike and Zac, take two groups each. Everyone at the school meet me in the command room". Ben was back to being a leader, a man at war and I was pushed to a second place for his attention.

 "What is happening ?" I asked. Ben had already stepped away from the bed.

 "Zombie has left his base". Ben answered. "You don't have to come, you can stay here".

 I got up. "I am not leaving your side before you walk out through that gate". The fear was building like an avalanche and I didn't want to let him go before I absolutely had to.

 

 The tears was streaming down my cheeks when I watched Ben and KC lead four groups out the gate. Ben's last glance had feel on Tom and I could swear that they had sent each other a appreciatively nood.

 "Let's go back inside". Tom placed a hand on my shoulder.

 "I am staying right here". Going inside wouldn't help. I had to stay right here until Ben returned.

 "Just go". Kattie gently put her hand on Tom's chest and gave him a light nod. "I'll stay here with her. Go do what you need to do".

 "Call for me if you need me". Tom said, giving Kattie a soft kiss and me a peck on the forehead before leaving.

 "Come, let's go sit down". Kattie walked over to sit on one of the swings. A moment later I followed her and sat down next to her.

 "How can you stand listening to it ?" I asked her, she was still wearing her earpiece.

 "I can't". She answered. "But I can't stand not listening even less". She kicked her feet into the ground below her. "I am so relieved that he didn't send Tom out again, but at the same time I know that Tom could be the one making the difference, ending this war".

 "And what about you ? He haven't send you out at all yet". I asked her.

 "Tom don't want me out there". Kattie answered. "And how could I blame him that ? How could Ben blame him when he feel the same way about you ?"

 "I can't help thinking what I would do if he isn't coming back". I answered her. "If I never get to see him alive again".

 "He will come back". Kattie looked at me. "You have to believe that".

 We sat in silence. There wasn't anymore to say and as the night and darkness descended on us, my fear and worries grew. Our silence wasn't brooken before Kattie jumped up, a hand to her ear.

 "What ?" My heart jumped into my throat.

 "A group of Zombie's men got past them. They are headed this way". Kattie looked at me. She was silent when she got a message on her radio. "Tom needs us in the commando room ASAP". She nodded to me and we ran into the school.

 As soon as we stepped into the commando room, Tom handed me my radio. "Hope has set up our own frequency here, so we won't get interrupted by the other battle. Kress is on his way with his group and Zac is trying to get his group together and get here too".

 "What do we do ?" Kattie asked.

 "We defend the wall with all we got". Tom answered. "Hope, give Kattie control of group 7 and 8. Amber takes group 1 and 2". He nodded at me. "The rest to me".

 Hope was quick on the keyboard and shortly after we were all hooked up to the right frequencies.

 "Kattie I want you and your groups right in front of the wall. Amber stay behind the wall in case the get through. Be ready to send out your groups". He said.

 "And you ?" Kattie asked.

 "I am going out to meet them". Tom answered.

 

 I was armed again and now I ended up in the war Ben didn't want me to participate in. The guns at my hips made me feel like I could make a difference. That maybe I could stop the deaths.

 The fight out in front of the wall was much worse and much bigger than expected. There was several holes in the wall and gate where Zombie's men had gotten axes through. But every time I feared they would get through, they luckily didn't.

 "Amber !" Tom sounded strained and out of breath. "We need your group out here. NOW".

 "This is it". I told my group and grabbed my knife tightly. "Open the gate".

 When the gate opened, my group hurried squeezing out before the enemy would get inside. I was in the front and without thinking I stabbed the knive into the first person getting in my way.

 I let go of the knife when I realised what I had done, I had plunged it into his chest and he had instantly collapsed. I fell to my knees next to him and forgot everything about the battle around me. It was very possible that he was one of Zombie's men, but I had taken a life. I had killed a man for just following an order.

 "Are you okay ?" I didn't know the man asking me, but he had The Stars tattoo. He kneeled next to me looking worried. 

 "I killed him". I whispered.

 "Stay down". He squeezed my shoulder. "As long as they believe you to be wounded, they can't touch you. We can do without a leader".

 He was gone before I had time to thank him.

 "Kress is on your frequency now". Hopes voice sounded in my earpiece. "Zac and Lucas will be with you in a minute".

 "What about Ben ?" I had to ask. I had to know.

 "He is trying to stop Zombie from retreating". Hope answered. I didn't answer, instead I fell down on all fours, fighting to breathe. He would put himself right in front of Zombie.

 "Hope, tell him to retreat". Kress' voice sounded. "Let Zombie get away this time". I looked up and realised that Kress stood almost right in front of me.

 "Thank you". I whispered.

 Kress sent me a friendly nod, turned around and collapsed. One of Zombies men was standing 7 feet away with an evil grin on his face.

 It was like everything happened in slow motion. I pulled my other knife, at the same time I got to my feet. I pulled back my arm and followed through. I didn't even plan were to strike and I was already on my knees next to Kress when the knife lodged itself in the mans throat.

 I had killed my second person.

 "Kress". His eyes were still open and they moved like they were searching for something.

 "Princess". He whispered and locked his eyes on mine. "It was an honour knowing you". There was blood pouring from his nose and mouth, his voice was weak.

 "You are not going to die". I said, trying to sound sure. "Tom and Ben can help you. It will be okay". I was squeezing his hand in mine.

 He tried saying something, but only blood came out his mouth. "Kress...". I shook him, but it didn't make him focus.

 "Amber". Suddenly Zac was kneeling next to me. "There is nothing more you can do for him". He gently kissed Kress' forehead and closed his eyes. Then without as much as blinking, he stabbed his knife through his throat and Kress' hand went limp.

 "How...". How could Zac do that ? Just decide that there was nothing to do.

 "He was drowning". Zac explained. "The blood was coming from his lungs. I did the only thing I could do for him. I spared him minutes of fear and pain".

 "We lost Kress". Hope's voice sounded in my earpiece. I ripped it out, throwing it in the mud.. she didn't need to tell me that.

 "Lets get you inside". Zac helped me up and without any difficulty he lifted me into his arms, carrying me.

 "What about Kress ?" I didn't like to leave him.

 "I go get him as soon as I have you safe behind the wall". It didn't take long for him to carry me to the gate, I hadn't got very far from it. Zac got let in immediately and as soon as we were inside, he sat me down and grabbed the nearest person. "Make sure she get something to eat and drink". He ordered . "And stay with her until one of us get there".

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