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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21. Zombie’s demands

 

 *Tom*

 A summoning to an acute meeting for the leaders was always taken very seriously, so when Kress asked us all to come with only a few hours warning I was more than curious about what was happening.

 "After Amber arrived I have been keeping an extra eye on her family and what I saw made me take a closer look at the goverment in Catrista". Kress started. "Better pray that her family never finds her". His eyes stopped on Ben.

 "Well get to the point". Ben said impatiently. "We are already very aware that her family haven't excatly been good to her".

 "Her father John Noble is the deputy mayor, which means that together with the mayor Pete Blomquist he holds the power". Kress explained. "As you all know the former mayor of the city decided not to kill even when the country's laws dictate it, that is why they created the underworld. Officially we are not alive. Blomquist and Noble doesn't agree that we should be spared, but they also know that we have grown to strong for them to do anything else than try to keep us a secret. Which starts to get hard as the new president wants to tighten the laws concerning the homeless and the poor and he wants to comb through all the cities to make sure the problems are taken care of and the country are kept healthy". He continued. "If Blomquist and Noble don't try to eliminate us, then the president will".

 "Has anyone considered going into dialogue with Blomquist ?" Clay suggested. "If we all want to keep our existence a secret, shouldn't it be easy to just work together doing it ?"

 "He would love to see us all dead". I wasn't looking at Clay. I had never liked him, now I hated him. But still I felt badly for what I had done. "If we go to him, the risk of him either trying to wipe us out himself or exposing us to the president is much larger".

 "So what do you suggest we do ?" I could feel Clays eyes burning into my side. "Now when you apparently knows everything about how mayors think".

 "That we prepare for war". I said. "Whether it will be against the goverment of Catrista or the president, it will happen".

 "That is utterly ridiculous". Clay was shaking his head. "You always get much further with diplomacy than with war. I actually thought you would be the one to get that".

 "Then by all means go to Blomquist". I finally looked at Clay. "Try and talk reason with him, to reach an agreement if you want to. Lets see if you come back from that meeting alive, my money is on no".

 "And you would just loved if he killed me wouldn't you ?" Clay snarled. "Then you would have me out of the way, and there would be no one here seeing right through you and your little games".

 "Clay !" Ben's voice was cold and warning. "What ever is going on between you and Tom, you need to keep it out of the church and the meeting".

 "Well just because you are okay with Amber running to him at every opportune moment, doesn't mean I have to be okay with Kattie doing the same". Clay was glaring at Ben. "Why can't you see that he his using his charms to fool us all, to play his games. Hadn't it been for me he would already be running The Shadows too. He is slowly taking control of the entire underworld and no one seems to realise".

 "This is a talk to take at home". Ben answered. "And as it seems you have nothing relevant to contribute, I would like you to leave the meeting, now".

 Clay's eyes were shooting daggers at Ben. After a few moments of silence Clay got up from his chair and demonstrative left the room, slamming the door. Ben didn't look affected by this. "Where were we ?"

 "War or diplomacy ?" Zombie said.

 "Tom is right". Zac said. "Blomquist and Noble would never make a deal with us. Sooner or later they will try to eliminate us".

 "What if we just give them Amber ?" Sunny said coldly.

 "No!" They word came simultaneously from me, Ben, Zac and to my big surprise, Zombie. "That can and will never be an option". Ben continued.

 "I am getting my people in on surveillance in the entire city". I promised. "I am making sure we have eyes and ears on everything. That we know everything they do and decide. They are not going to take us by surprise".

 "Can we stand together in this ?" Kress asked. "Zombie and Sunny, are you with us ?"

 "So what you are saying is that your alliance is taking over control and we should follow you ?" Zombies face showed no emotions. "No Kress. I am not giving you that kind of power".

 "If we are to go to war against Catrista or the entire country we need to be at peace amongst ourselves". Kress pointed out. "And to achieve that, one of us has to step up and take the overall responsibility. As the oldest..".

 "So that would be me". It came from Sunny.

 "Seriously ?" Kress was staring at Sunny. "Do you really think you should lead us ?"

 "I was just pointing out that you are not actually the oldest". Sunny answered with a pout.

 "As the oldest gang". Kress looked strictly at Sunny. "I think that The Stars should take the lead here".

 "The Eagles is older". Zombie pointed out. "Not that it really matters, because I am not going to let any of you three be the boss of me. Never ever gonna happen".

 "So you are pointing to yourself as the top leader". Kress commented. "Well maybe it is..".

 "No way that is going to happen". Ben interrupted.

 "I might be able to accept Kress". Zombie mumbled thoughtfully. "But only if I get something I want out of it ?"

 "Name your price". Kress sighed. Zac sent me a worried glance. We both knew Kress would give a lot to gain that power.

 "The princess". Zombie said with a cold smirk. "Give Amber to me. Let her be under my protection and I'll let you be king of the underworld". 

 Ben's breathing was getting heavy and his mouth pressed into a thin line. "Amber is not mine to give away". Kress said and looked at Ben. "What do you say ? Is Amber wort more than an alliance of the entire underworld ?"

 "I am never letting him get his hands on Amber". Ben hissed through gritted teeth. "And I am never making an alliance with Zombie, no matter the reason".

 "Maybe we need to get these civil wars settled before we attempt to unite against bigger enemies". Sunny suggested in his usual indifferent way. "Maybe it is time to end the war we started three years ago".

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