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 ?


19. The club and the idiot



 We went to the night club to celebrate our victory. It was the first time I went to the club that The Shadows owned and it was nothing like I had imagined. Why I had imagined something small, dark and closed I don't know. Maybe because it was build by Ben, who didn't exactly look like he knew anything about decorating if you looked at his home. And well I might just connect the underworld with darkness.

 The club, which ironically was named 'The Club', was placed right on one of Catrista's most famous tourist beaches. And close to the wood that keept the underworld seperated from the rest of town. It made it easy for us to get back and forth without having to go through the city.

 There were big windows out towards the beach, which made it look like you were partying right on the beach. The rooms were big and airy and there was two floors, half of the top floor was outside on a deck. Both levels had their own bars and toilets. Nothing had been spared.

 Two doormen was doing a body search before people were let in and got payment from everyone, not able to show of a tattoo from the underworld. When we arrived there was a huge line to get inside.

 "Turists". Clay sighed as we parked the motorbikes. I had luckily gotten a lot better with the bikes. Especially if I could have my arms around Ben as he drove.

 "Hey hey, they are the ones we make our money off". Ben pointed out and lead us all towards the door. Kattie pulled back to walk beside me. Letting the guys take the lead.

 "All members of the five gangs comes in for free". She told me. "Leaders and seconds in comand are guaranteed acces. So we always has a buffer of 15 spaces when we admit people, and we always have 30 spots reserved for members of The Shadows.

 "It seems very popular". I said, watching as one of the doormen patted down a young female tourist, before sending her inside.

 Kattie made a face I couldn't quite read. "Those young girls coming here on holiday, they.. well they seems to find our men alluring and a bit dangerous.. I tell you sometimes it is like being there with a rock star". She rolled her eyes and nudged me, pointing to the line which held a lot of young women. Most of them were very obviously eyeing Ben and Clay like they were pieces of meat.

 "So do they.. does the men you know.. go with these girls ?". I couldn't help asking, as we followed Ben and Clay past the line and doormen, walking right inside. 

 Kattie smiled at the doormen, then she looked at me. "Well, yeah.. sometimes.. some more than others of course. Makes them feel like real men I guess". She said rolling her eyes.

 Indside was already filled with people, even though the club had just opened. Kattie grabbed my hand pulling me along through the guests and upstairs, were there was a bit more open. Ben and Clay was already sitting at a table just of the stairs, that was a bit more private than the rest.

 "So we can bring in weapons ?" I said as I noticed Ben had a gun stuck in his back pocket.

 "As long as we are not flashing them". Ben answered, pulling me down on the sofa seat next to him. "That applies to all the leaders, the ones we know can handle it".

 Shortly after KC and Lucas showed up. No one seemed to care that they weren't old enough to be in a club. I was sure the underworld saw things like that differently. And should the police show up they probably had a solution. I better stop worrying so much about rules if I wanted to fit in.

 Zac and Kress showed up, while KC and Kattie was up getting drinks for everyone. I ended up pressed in between Ben and Kress, which made me a little uneasy, as I was sure Kress hated me.

 When Kattie and KC came back with the drinks, Kattie flopped down on Lucas lap, to leave the last seat to KC. I was surprised to see Clay act totally indifferent to the fact that his girlfriend just sat in someone elses lap.

 "Cheers for a brilliant game". Kress lifted his glass. "And cheers for having Ben back in shape". He slapped Ben on the arm teasingly, which ment he reached over me like I didn't exist. "I hear you are back in the ring too".

 "Yeah I lost to Drew". Ben said with a shrug. "That made me realise that I had to get back on track and back in training".

 "Well I happen to think that it was something different that got you back on track". Kress' eyes found me. "Like some little pretty thing with blue eyes".

 I blushed and looked at the table. It didn't make it better that Ben looked at me with warm inviting eyes and his hand landed on my thigh. "It could very well be that she made me open my eyes". He said thoughtfully and rubbed his jaw. "A punch to the jaw, a knee in my balls and telling me that Tom could look at her without having bad memories definitely worked".

 "You did that ?" Zac asked, looking at me with surprise. "Did you really hit Ben ? Well then you are okay in my book". He started laughing.

 "Well I actually deserved it". Ben said, sending me a small smile. "Alone the fact that I went to her while high made me deserve it".

 "You told me it would have been better if I had never come here". I reminded him. "The same day that Zac had given me my first lesson in hand to hand combat. It was a stupid day challenging me".

 "Well a better day than now I bet". Zac pointed out. "You and me should take a turn in the ring one of these days". He sent me an approving nod. I smiled at him, taking a sip of the beer Kattie had brought me. "Let me know when you have time".

 "We should have you started on working too". Ben said. "As part of my leader group you should be able to do every single job and assignment in The Shadows".

 "So you can do laundry Ben ?" Zac said with one eyebrow raised, suppressing a chuckle. "Uh and cook too ?"

 "What do you think ?" Kattie said scornfully. "As the leader he of course only has to take on the fun assignments. But I actually think he burned some pasta once".

 "Are you any better ?" Ben was looking at Kattie with a teasing grin. "I remember something about you and some rice and a pot that never was the same again".

 "I never told anyone I could cook, that is why I love our cheap community kitchen". Kattie said, before turning back to KC and Lucas and talking to them.


 Later I ended up actually having a very good talk with Zac at the bar, as we both waited for our drinks. "I have to admit that I am more than impressed to see a woman figth like you did today". He said.

 "But you wouldn't have been impressed if I was a guy ?" The two beers I had managed to get through this far gave me a bit more courage. And I couldn't help answering back. "That is an insult hidden as a compliment, you know that right ?"

 "The fight could have gone both ways". Zac said. "You have no idea how new it is for me to end in that kind of fight. So far Tom is the only one that can give me that feeling in a fight".

 "Now I know you are exaggerating. There are a lot here much better than me. Ben..".

 "Well I haven't fought Ben in years". Zac cut me of. "I have heard he is back training, but he will have to step up several levels if he wants to make me feel that I might possibly loose a fight". 

"But he did beat me".

 "Well you can't hardly breathe when Ben touches you". He smiled overbearingly. "I wouldn't be surprised if he won that fight because you fainted from lack of oxygen".

 So Zac had noticed. He had seen how I responded to Ben. He was the first to say anything, but it had to mean that others had seen it too. Did Ben know ?

 "Relax now". Zac rested his hand gently on my forearm. "It is perfectly okay to be in love".

 "Not if it isn't requited". I sighed. "I am not her, I will never be her".

 "Do you think he don't love you too ?" Zac apparently couldn't stop himself from laughing. "He gave up drugs for you. He has started training again because of you. Well of course you never saw him at his worst, but after you came into his life he has stepped up to be a leader again. Of course you are not her. You are so much more than she was".

 "Then why doesn't he show it ?" I made a frustrated motion with my hand and almost hit a tourist, that was standing behind me. "Why hasn't he kissed me ?"

 "Give him some time Amber. It is still new for him to realise that his life goes on without her. And while you are waiting for him to wake up, enjoy your freedom to do whatever you want, with whomever you want". He winked at me.

 "If that was an attempt to get in my knickers it wasn't a very good try". I couldn't help laughing. "You know I don't just go with anyone".

 "To bad". He didn't really seem upset about it though. "Even if I am not exactly anyone". He pointed out. "But hey it probably would be a bad idea for me to risk ruining the alliance with Ben for one night of pleasure. Even if that night was with you".

 "But it can't be". I said very clearly. "But I am sure some of these young tourist girls would adore your attempts of a pick up line". I nodded towards a couple of barely legal girls behind him. They were clearly tourist and already eyeing Zac whispering to each other.

 "They usually do". Zac winked at me before he turned around and started chatting up the girls. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but it made them giggle. When he turned back towards me his smile was way to smug. "I am sorry to leave your joyful company. But I have promised these two pretty little things a private tour of the city. And they are going to give me a private tour of their hotel room". He emptied his glass and got up. "What do you say, you and me in the ring tomorrow evening ?"

 I didn't have time to answer him before he had left with the two girls. I rolled my eyes after him, but couldn't help laughing.


 During the night someone got the bright idea that me and KC would be great bartenders. The idea was possibly my own, in an attempt to prove to Ben and Lucas that I could make drinks that tasted much better than the beer they served.

 It really fast turned in to some kind of competition and even though I wasn't exactly sober, I actually quickly got a hang of it.

 The tourist started leaving and so did the others. When they started closing down the last bar, me and KC apparently was the only ones left.

 "Want to walk home together ?" KC looked at me. "We seem to be the last ones going in that direction". I looked around confused. I was pretty sure Ben was still here somewhere, he wouldn't leave without saying goodbye would he ?

Then I saw him in one of the booths , he was leaned against the wall and young blond girl straddled on his lap. She was laughing at something he said, whipping her long hair over her shoulder, then she pressed herself against him and let him kiss her.

 I balled up my hands and had to stop myself from running over there and pull the skank away from him. I felt like something tried to push out of me and the jealousy turned to nausea.

 "Amber". KC's hand on my shoulder brought me back to reality. "Lets just leave". His eyes told me that he knew very well what happened inside me right now.

 "I should have left with Zac". I hissed, not taking my eyes of Ben and the blonde. "If he can, so can I".

 "You are not like that". KC pulled gently at my arm. "Lets just get home".

 "I am finding somewhere else to sleep". I put down the glass I had in my hand.

 "Amber, it is four am. Were exactly are you planning to go to ?" KC asked me before I could leave the bar.

 I hadn't really thought that far. Who knew where Zac was by now, and did I want to go there ? And my only alternative was doing the same as last time, run to Tom, but did I want to get him mixed into this ?

 "He deserves to be worried about me". I said lowly. Did he just expect me to sit and wait for him to be ready while he had his fun with others ?

 "He is worried about you all the time". KC pointed out. "If you want to smack him silly before we leave, it is totally fine with me. But I am not letting you do something dangerous or something you will regret".

 Hitting him most definitely would help. It would help with the big knot in my chest. My legs were already moving towards him before I made my decision. "But I am not talking to him". I said out loud to myself.

 "Amber ?" Ben flew up so fast when he spotted me, that the blonde would have fallen to the floor, if he hadn't instinctively caught her. "Fuck.. I though you left a long time ago".

 "I have been in the bar all night". I hissed at him. So much for not talking. "Which you would know if you had any interest in me what so ever". I regretted drinking. The alcohol messed up my self-control and even if I fought with everything I got, I couldn't hold back the tears.

 "Amber.. I..". He let go of the blonde and stepped towards me.

 "Forget it !" I backed away from him. "Sorry I misread your feelings. But good to know. It's fine, I am fine. I can find someone else".


 "Forget it". I cut him of again, anger burning through me. "I am sorry I interrupted. I am leaving now. Just continue". I turned around and ran.

 I heard someone running after me, but I didn't look back. I just kept running through the woods, following the trails leading back to the underworld. When I reached the apartment I realised it was KC following me. A part of me had hoped and feared it was Ben.

 I didn't say anything to KC. I just went directly to my room and threw myself on the bed with my clothes on. I pressed the pillow over my head, hoping to keep everything out. But the thoughts and feelings inside, those I couldn't keep out.

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