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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37. Saving Tom

 

 *Amber*

 I was walking home from the school with Zac. As the others had more things to do before they could go home. Zac and me had been in the ring against each other for the first time since the fight night. We had both healed from our injuries and we both felt like we needed the training and to get some pent up energy out. We just had a normal training fight, keeping control and not fighting like our lives depended on it.

 The fight ended in a tie and even though I didn't feel like I was holding back, neither of us was in any way wounded like the last time.

 It had gotten early dark and I could feel the tension roll of Zac in waves. He had a knife ready in his hand and the other protectively resting against my back. Sometimes I would have one of the motorbikes, but tonight Ben and Kattie had them.

 I understood why he was nervous. Several of our strongest members had mysteriously vanished these last couple of days and it was only a matter of time before they would strike against someone in the leader group. My own hand rested on my gun.

 The attack came out of nowhere. We were passing between some abandoned apartment buildings, when we were suddenly surrounded. At least twenty guns were pointed at us and the nearest were closing in with knives.

 The gun was in my hand before I even realised it myself and Zac turned to position us back to back, giving us a better overview.

 "Kan you reach your phone ?" Zac whispered, but before I had a chance to answer him, I had to dodge a bullet, flying right over my head.

 "Put down your weapons and keep your hands above your head". The nearest one yelled. He walked slowly closer with a knife in his hand.

 I felt Zac placing a knife in my hand. When I closed my hand around it, he threw his gun full speed into the face of the nearest man and attacked.

 I did the same. I dodged a couple of bullets and threw myself at the nearest man, eliminating him in no time with an elbow to his jaw, then moved on to the next.

 I felt the bullet grace my arm, but I ignored the pain and managed to stab my knife through the bicep of my new opponent.

 It was the first time I felt the knife go into flesh, tendons and muscles. The first time i felt how it was to really harm another person. I couldn't make myself pull it back out. So I let go of it and took a step back, forgetting that I was still in the line of fire and took a bullet in the shoulder. I felt it go in and get lodged in the bone.

 The pain was so intense that I feel to my knees.

 "We surrender". Zac yelled, falling to his knees beside me. "Are you okay ?"

 I nodded and cradled my shoulder. It was a flat out lie. The pain was unbearable.

 "So the princess is out for a midnight stroll with only a single bodyguard". Clay stepped out from the shadows. He came from a side alley and hadn't participated in the fight himself, he had waited for it to be over to take the credit.

 "You are a coward". I hissed and fought to get up on my feet. Zac grabbed my hand. "You would never stand a chance in a fair fight with me". Zac pulled gently on my hand, wanting me to stop talking.

 "This is the underworld. Nothing is fair princess". Clay said in an attempt to copy Zombie's emotionless tone of voice. "I am guessing that you are not going to come quietly ?" He looked at us. "Unfortunately Zombie prefers you to be alive. Luckily unconscious is alive too".

 "We are going to come quietly". Zac answered. His voice sounded calm, but his long fingers lacing with mine, showed me that he was far from calm. He was nervous as hell and I could easily follow him.

 "Your weapons and phones please". Clay held out his hand towards us. As if he would be able to carry all our weapons in one hand. Zac threw his weapons one by one in front of Clay. Even the weapons he carried well concealed. I followed his example as the last thing we dropped our phones. Our last possibility to call for help.

 Clay didn't take any chances and let two of Zombies men pat us down, when we had been cleared, Clay stepped forward, holding his hand out to me. "Your bra please. Remember I know of Tom's little gift".

 "Forget it". I was not going to take of my clothes in front of him. "You can have the knives and that's it". I stuck my hand up under my shirt and broke of the the knifes off. Our eyes bore into each others when I placed them in his hand.

 "When Ben is dead you will belong to me". Clays smile was way to confident. "And then I will make you suffer, before I let you die slowly".

 "I will never belong to you". I hissed angrily.

 "We will see".

 

 Zac didn't let go of my hand while we walked. We had several guns pointed at us and we had no possibility to flee. Not with out an almost certain possibility of ending with a bullet in our backs. My shoulder already hurt enough from the last bullet that hit me.

 "If I distract them, you run for help". I whispered to Zac.

"I am not leaving you behind". His hand squeezed mine.

 "It is useless if we both end up at Zombie's and someone has to inform the others". There was no reason for discussing it. "You can't save me from inside Zombie's walls".

 "No talking". Clay yelled at us. I didn't say anything else, but just looked straight ahead.

 Zac let go of my hand and I knew that it meant he was ready. I waited for us to reach a place were Zac could get out of shooting range fast and then I stumbled and fell forward. I made sure I pulled two guard with me. Instantly three others were upon me.

 "I fell, I just fell". I yelled holding my arms up to protect my face. My shoulder screamed in pain as they pulled me to my feet. This time they didn't let go of me again.

 "Idiots". Clay screamed. "Zac is gone, go get him for Gods sake". Clay was searing with anger. He stepped all up in my face. "I should kill you right now and say it was an accident". He growled.

 My only answer was putting my full weight on the two men holding me, and thereby my injured shoulder, kicking Clay in his balls as hard as I could. Shortly after I felt a blow to my head and everything went black.

 

 Already before I opened my eyes I had localised the pain. So I was alive. Death couldn't possibly hurt this much.

 As Zombie was possibly the first thing I would see when I opened my eyes, I waited. That was something I wasn't in a hurry to do.

 Instead I focused on the pain. The left side of my head. I was quite sure that both my ear and eye had taken some of the blow. So it hadn't been a hand hitting me. The bullet wound in my right shoulder hurt a lot less now, they same could be said by the area that had been graced by another bullet. A couple of ribs on my left side seemed to have taken some blows and my knee was burning.

 I was laying on something soft and I felt warm enough under a blanket, but the air was cool and there was an uncomfortable humidity in the air.

 I had to pull myself together before I could open my eyes. I could feel that they left one was swollen, when I got them up.

 I was in a room with concrete walls and I was alone. It wasn't before I sat up, that I realised my wrist were tied together with a long chain, it was fastened to the wall. It didn't stop from sitting up, but I couldn't stand up. Carefully I touched my shoulder. Someone had removed the bullet and sown it up, just like I had stitches by the left ear. How lang had I been unconscious ?

 As suspected Zombie was the first person I saw. He showed up with a tray of food and an extra blanket over his arm.

 "How does your head feel ?" He acted friendly while he put down the tray within my reach. "That was a hard blow you took there". His hands felt the side of my head, but I pushed him away.

 "Don't touch me". I kept my voice indifferent.

 "I understand that you hate me". Zombie said looking at me. "Clay had orders to bring you to me unharmed. I never wanted him to hurt you".

 "No". I looked up at him. "I am guessing that you want to do that yourself ?"

 "Actually yes". Zombie said with a calm smile. "But first you are going to help me break up your alliance. Brick by brick I am going to play The Shadows, The Eagles and The Stars against each other. And what better way than to use the brick binding them all together ?" Zombie gently placed his hand on my cheek. "Rest up princess, you are going to need all your strength".

 I refused to touch my food after he had left. Instead I pushed the tray so far away that I couldn't reach it and started waiting demonstratively.

 I had no feeling of time. It could have been twenty minutes or it could have been four hours, when the door opened and Christopher stepped inside.

 "I honestly thought they would protect you better". He said camly.

 "And I thought that you had nothing to do with the underworld any longer". I answered him obstinately.

 "I changed my mind". He answered me. "You know keep your friends close, but your enemy closer, yada yada yada".

 "So Zombie is your enemy or how am I to understand that ?"

 "The underworld is my enemy". Christopher corrected me. "Someone had to take on the hard job infiltrating it, finding your weaknesses".

 "Does Zombie know this ?" I asked angrily. "That you are only here to find out how to kill him ?"

 "Of course not. He thinks that I am here to find out how to kill you". Christopher smiled. "You are my wife after all, if you remember. You owe my a wedding night by the way".

 "I owe you nothing". I hissed with all the contempt I could muster. "Nothing".

 "I have to admit that I am quite curious to see how fragile Ben and Tom's friendship really is. And what about your and Kattie's ? Is that strong enough that Zombie can't break it ?" Christopher pulled a key from his pocket and unlocked me and pulled me to my feet with no regards to my injuries. "Zombie demands your company".

 I was lead up a lot of stairs and down a long hallway, then Christopher knocked three times on a door, entering, when Zombie asked him to.

 "Good, remove her chains and leave us alone". Zombie looked up from his desk. My eyes was scanning the room, finding just about the last person I expected to see, Tom.

 He was slumped against the wall under the window, he looked to be hardly conscious and he tried to stop a bleeding from his jaw.

 As soon as Christopher removed the chain I flew through the room, throwing myself down next to Tom. "Tom !" I gently lifted his head and tried getting eye contact. It was like he relaxed when he saw me. "Say something Tom". I begged him.

 "You are alive". His voice was a weak whisper. "Good". He closed his eyes.

 "Tom ? Stay with me Tom". I desperately tried to find the reason for him being almost unconscious. He had no other visible injuries than the one on his jaw, and it didn't bleed that much.

 "Come on, let him be. Then you and me can have a little chat". Zombie's sleek voice sounded.

 "What have you done to him ?" I got up, staring accusatory at Zombie. "What have you given him ?"

 "Well A little bit of this and a dash of that". Zombie shrugged. "You know, he came charging here all alone, trying to save you. Even took out 15 of my men before we got him. You must mean quite a lot to him. He gave his live for you".

 I glared at Zombie and he continued. "At least Ben was a bit smarter when he showed up. He came with back-up. Which of course didn't matter in the end".

 "You can't play us against each other". I told him angrily. "We all know were we got each other".

 "So Ben knows that you are lacing fingers with Zac ?" I didn't answer him. Zombie clearly didn't know that Zac is my brother. Christopher hadn't told him and it could end up being usefull. "And what about you throwing yourself at Tom that way ? Deeply worried about his health ? And well who knows what else I will get against you in the next couple of hours".

"He is my friend. Of course I am worried about his health". How could he read more into that ?

 "But what will Ben and Kattie say when they hear Tom sacrificed himself for you ? He offered himself up in exchange for you princess". Zombie's eyes was serious. I couldn't tell him, because I didn't have an answer.

 "We have no desires to play your games Zombie". I bent down to feel for Tom's pulse just in case. It was way to slow and weak. "Please get to it".

 "Has Ben ever told you that we are brothers ? We had the same ambitions and the same dreams. We were infamous in the whole neighbourhood". I tried blocking Zombie's words out, focusing on Tom. His breathing was changing. "We had the same foster mother. She had been there for me since I was born, our parents was scared of me because I looked different. She took Ben in when our parents died when he was six. From that day we were inseparable".

 Tom's hand made a fast motion and grabbed the hem of my shirt. I gently cupped his cheek with my hand. His breathing was way to fast now and his pulse was sky rocketing with it.

 "Well until Ben killed our mother and burned down the house". Zombie's voice was ice cold. I tried to ignore it. Tried not to react. Zombie couldn't play me and Ben against each other. I couldn't react. "So Ben never told you that story ?"

 "Is his pulse supposed to be this high ?" I asked panicked. "He is burning. Zombie, please you can't let him die". I turn to Zombie. "Do something".

 "You mean like giving him the antidote ?" Zombie held up a syringe with a yellow liquid in it. "Nah, I think I am just going to stand her and watch him die from his horrible cramps".

 "Giv it to me". I desperately tried to get it, but of course Zombie moved it out of my reach. "Name your price". I was absolutely desperate, my voice breaking. "I'll give you anything".

 "Really ?" Zombie stepped over to me, his hand sliding under my chin. "So anything ?" His eyes said everything.

 I closed my eyes, knowing what would come even before his lips was pressed to mine. "If you really want the antidote, then prove it". He whispered against my lips and grabbed my hair.

 I did it.

 For Tom's sake I kissed Zombie.

  I hated every second. I hated that he had made me do it without force and I hated knowing that Ben would hate it. Both me kissing Zombie and the fact that I did it to save Tom.

 It wasn't that Zombie was a bad kisser. He didn't have bad breath or tasted bad. He smelled fresh and his kiss had a sweet taste of vanilla. If it hadn't been for the fact that the man would love to kill both me and everyone I cared about, I might even have been able to get used to kissing him. His lips was soft against mine, softer than Ben's and there was an entirely different kind of longing and desire to his kiss. But it didn't light a fire in me, I didn't long for more, but still, it felt nice enough.

 Like in battle, I closed down for everything else. Every thought about why I did this and why I hated him, I tried to push those out of me head. I repaid his covetous and greedy kiss. I didn't even protest when his hand slipped to my lover back, to press me closer to him.

 A jolt from Tom brought me back to reality. I pulled away from Zombie instantly and fel to my knees next to Tom. His whole body was shaking.

 "Please give him the antidote". I didn't look at Zombie. I hated having to beg like this, and he didn't need to see me cry. It was enough that he could hear it in my voice. "I will do anything you ask of me. No matter what".

 "See that was what I wanted to hear". Zombie said, before he stuck the needle in Tom's neck and pushed down the piston.

 Tom tremors got worse for a couple of seconds, then they stopped. He was covered in sweat, his eyes opened and I saw pure fear in them. But his breathing was evening out and his pulse falling to a steady level.

 "Amber". His voice was almost inaudiable. His hand slowly coming up to rest against my cheek. He seemed so fragile right now.

 "I am right here". I told him and placed my hand on top of his. Tears were streaming down my cheeks.

 "You shouldn't have done it". His voice was quickly gaining more strength. "You shouldn't have kissed him for my sake".

 "I would do much more than that to save you". I squeezed his hand softly. "Ben will understand".

 "But you gave away your weakness". Tom mumbled, before he tiredly closed his eyes again.

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