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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7. Moving in with Tom

 

 *Amber*

 Once again I had to remind myself that Clay was much worse of than me. At least I didn't need help to get out of bed, my stitches had come out long ago and the wounds had almost healed. Clay still had both his eyes covered and the wound at his side opened again with the slightest movement.

 Compared to Ben who was long, lean and muscular, Clay was more compact. He didn't have the same physics as Ben and Tom, well even KC was outgrowing him.

 "The Shadows, The Eagles and The Stars". I summed up, sitting leaded up against the headboard next to Clay. "With Ben, Tom and Kress as the leaders and You, Drew and Zac as second in command". I counted on my fingers even though it wasn't necessary.

 "And the tattoos ?" Clay asked. He was laying on his back with his hands folded on his chest.

 "The pierced S on the right arm for The Shadows". That one was easy. I was reminded about it all the time, because everyone else in the apartment, except Hope had it. "An Eagle om the left forearm for The Eagles". I had seen Tom's arm, but it had taken some time before I realised what it was. "Stars on the neck for The Stars". Ben had the stars as well.

 "Those are our allies". Clay confirmed. "They are friends and if you ever get in trouble, any of them can be expected to help you. Who are your enemies ?" 

 "The Zombies, Zombie obviously is their leader and The Suns with Sunny as their leader". I said right away. We had been through this the day before and as always Clay checked if I remembered what he told me. "Zombies has a tattoo on left arm and The Suns a sun og the right forearm". I said, and then I asked. "Why are their gangs named after themselves ?"

 "Because Zombies has aspirations of grandeur". Clay explained. "And with Sunny, it is more him who are named after the gang".

 "Who calls their kid Zombie by the way ?"

 "It's not his given name. Only few people uses their real names here. And it's an unwritten rule that you never ask people about their real name or their past". He told me.

 "So you don't know each others past ?" I really wanted to know Ben's past. "Did you all choose to leave your home to come life here ?"

 "I came here to stop the sale of drugs". He moved a bit. "I heard rumours that this was a good place to buy those things. I met Kattie and now I am the one dealing those drugs. I got to involved to leave again".

 "Didn't you like the live youmhad before ?" I asked him confused.

 "It was okay I guess. I just found something else here. Something more". He made a motion that looked like a shrug. "There is a freedom to this place that you don't find anywhere else. We don't need to know who is the president and if we want to colour our hair we can do so whitout wondering what others would think about it".

 

 The apartment had seven rooms. The living-room, four bedrooms, the kitchen and one bathroom. It took less than five minutes to walk through it all.

 I started to notice the things that annoyed me. The worn out walls with different kinds of old wallpapers, the living-room with spots of different paint, like it had been used to cover up spots on the wall. The furniture made by old pallets and beer crates, uncovered light bulps hanging from the ceiling. Weapons were laying around, and well it just lacked everything that would make it a home and not just the headquarters of a gang.  I wondered if the other members apartments looked the same or if they were more homely.

 The door that was used as the main door wasn't really a door at all. It had once been a window out to a fire escape and then someone had cut it out bigger and put in a door. It was a good thing we were this far south, because no one had sealed around the door and most of the little windows in it was broken. On a windy day I was guessing the living-room would get rather chilly.

 This evening I was home alone with Clay and Hope. I didn't know were the three others were and I never asked. Hope was sitting on the floor with an old sketch book and a couple of colouring pencils. That was her way of relaxing; disappearing into her own world of drawings and fantasy. Sometimes I wished I could follow her.

 Clay was on the couch, propped up on pillows to make it somewhat comfortable for him. I was sitting in the armchair Ben normally used . I had found an old history book. It was really boring but I hoped it could spark some kid of memories.

 Hope was up even before the door opened and Clay had clearly heard someone coming too. The KC stumbled in the door and even I could see something was wrong, even if I hadn't heard his footsteps on the fire ladder. They others had and it showed how in tune they were to their surroundings, even when they seemed to relax.

 "The cobs got Ben". KC said huffing for air. I was wondering how far he had ran. To me it would have been more than enough just running up the stairs, but I could hardly compare my fitness level to KC's.

 "For what ?" Clay seemed to relax again and Hope sat down in the other chair. No one really seemed worried. No one except me.

 "He was busted for dealing". KC sighed resignedly. "I fucked up and Ben stepped in, taking the fall".

 "We send Kattie down there as soon as she is back". Clay said calmly.

 "There is something more". KC glanced at me, before turning his attention back to Clay. "Zombie has found out about Amber's existence".

 Clay straightened up and I could see he tried to figure out how to react to this news. Efter having waited for an order KC spoke up instead. "I am taking one of the bikes and go looking for Kattie". He said grabbing the keys from the bowl in the bookcase next to the door. "Hope make sure no enemies get in here". He threw a gun to her. "Even if it means breaking the rules".

 "Just an advice. Start by looking for Kattie at Tom's place or in his bed". Clay said emotionless.

 

 Hope was standing in the middle of the room with the gun ready in her hand. Clay was so quiet on the couch that I wondered if he had fallen asleep. I was still in the armchair, listening after the smallest sound. This time I heard the steps on the stairs, just as Hope turned towards the door, with the gun raised.

 But luckily it was just Kattie and KC coming through the door. Even though Hope had remained cool enough she seemed relieved when she realised that she didn't have to shoot.

 "Put it down". Kattie said nodding to Hope. Then she looked at Clay. "I am going to the police station right away". She told him. "Tom has agreed to have Amber at his place until Ben is back on the streets".

 "Does he think that we can't protect her ?" Clay sounded slightly offended.

 "You can't see and you hardly can't move". Kattie pointed out. "KC and I are doing the work of four people and Hope is still only a kid in training. So no honestly, I don't think we can protect her".

 "I am not a kid". There was nothing childish in the way Hope said it. She was just stating the obvious and her voice was calm. "Let me help you with work. I can easily do that along with my training".

 "You can handle the laundry". Kattie answered. "I won't have you out on the streets selling. Not yet. You can help KC taking inventory tomorrow". Then she turned towards me. "KC is driving you to Tom's place right away.

 It wasn't before I was on my way down the stairs in a pair of Kattie's shoes that were way to big for me, that I realised they expected me to get up behind KC on a motorbike. Kattie had already turned the other bike on, before I slowly walked closer to the one KC sat on.

 "Come on Amber". KC said impatiently. "I happen to be very good at this".

 "You might be, but I am not". I mumbled.

 "You have to learn it at some point". Kattie said. "Just you wait, when you are done with your training you wont be able to wait to get to do it yourself".

 "I highly doubt it". I said closing my eyes and taking a deep breath before getting up behind KC, putting my arms tightly around his waist.

 "Hold on". I could practically hear the smile in his voice, when he turned the gas handle and we flew forward.

 Deep down I knew it wasn't going as fast as it felt to me, but to me it was still way to fast. I hid my head against KC's back and focused on the feeling of his muscles working when he navigated the heavy machine through the streets. That and my breathing or I feared I was going to throw up.

 "You need to lear how to relax". KC sighed as we stopped and he had to pry me of him. "It is a lot easier driving when the passangers isn't stif as a board".

 "Well excuse me that I was about to shit myself from fear of dying". I said acidly and pulled myself together enough to dismount. KC grabbed my elbow to support me, which was good, because I hadn't realised how dizzy I was before I almost tumbled into him.

 "Oh first time I hear sarcasm from you". KC said grinning. "Maybe we can actually turn you into someone usable". He winked at me.

 

Tom's headquarters was in an old abandoned school. It was clear to see from the way it was build. Around the area was a high wall with only one gate. We were now walking through that gate after two guards had nodded at KC.

 "Chark, Tom's predecessor understood the importance of having a place that was easily defended against enemies". KC explained to me, when we walked over the playground. "I think The Eagle's are the ones who have the best headquarters and the safest. You are going to love it here".

 Maybe I would. But there would be one think missing. Ben would be missing.

 Tom waited for us right inside the door, where another two guards had let us through. KC said his goodbyes right away and I was left with Tom. At least I had met Tom a couple of times, so it wasn't like being left with a total stranger.

 "As it is getting late we are going to wait with the tour for tomorrow". Tom said politely as he lead me down a long hallway. He looked like he had been on his way to bed. Wearing only a white undershirt with his pants. His body were long and lean and I couldn't help noticing how impressive his biceps were.

 "Because it is you, you will get my room as your own as long as you are staying here. The girls in the sleeping hall can be a bit much in the long run". Tom opened the door, there was a king size bed and two bunk beds. "You can sleep were you want".

 "There are room enough for both of us in here". I mumbled, feeling myself blush badly. I was trying to be nice, and not just take his room.

 Tom smiled. "Without a doubt, but Ben would most likely kill me. There is a toilet and bath right on the other side of the halland if you need something there is alway someone at the office at the end of the hall. If I am not there I am in Drews room right next door". He pointed to the next door, winking at me. "Because he has a lot of room too, and no one gets their knickers in a twist about me sharing a room with him".

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