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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26. Tom owning up to his feelings

 

 *Tom*

 I was sitting in my office that evening when Penny showed up, walking in like she owned the place. "Hi there handsome. So did you get the princess back to Ben ?" 

 "Yeah, thanks for telling me were she was". I turn my chair to face her. Penny had found me and told me that Amber was at the cemetary. "So you are back ?"

 She walked over, straddling my lap, her hands around my neck. "Yeah, at least for a little while". 

 "Well always good to see you kiddo". I said teasingly, she hated when I called her that. She grabbed my hair, glaring into my eyes. "I told you not to call me that". Then she kisses me hard and wanting.

 It was tempting, to just give into her, but this time I can't. I have to much on my mind already and the possibility of way to much drama if Penny is staying for a while this time is to high. It just isn't worth it. I gently peel her of me. "Sorry Penny, happy to see you back, but I just can't".

 "I can't say I am not dissapointed". She stood up, sending me a grin. "So you gone and fallen in love or something ?"

 "I just.. well I kind of have something going on with Kattie and then there is... but hey don't go around saying that, she is still with Clay... I just can't have more distraction right now". I didn't know what else to say.

 She looked at me for a moment, then she started giggling and clamped a hand over her mouth. "Oh lord.. be careful Tom, you are really playing with fire here handsome, you might end up badly burned".

 "I know.. belive me I know". Penny had always been a smart girl and one of the few that could see right through me. 

 She shook her head and leaned down, giving me a quick chaste kiss. "Watch out and don't go do anything stupid okay ?"

 "I promise, if you promise not to disappear again with at least a goodbye". I said, giving her hand a squeeze. She nodded and gave me a teasing wink before walking out of my office. I sank back in my chair with a sigh, had I really just said no to Penny, well that was a first.

 

 The next day I gave Amber the ring that showed she was under my personal protection. Ben, Kattie, KC and Hope already had one, so it was natural to give one to Amber, as she had decided to stay after hearing the truth.

 Amber let me put it on the middle finger on her right hand. Why it had ended out being that finger, I didn't really know. Chark had always put it on that finger, so I had just kind of continued that. It just seemed like the natural thing to do.

 "Thank you Tom". Amber let go of Ben and stepped forward to softly kiss my cheek. It made me stiffen up for a second. "Thank you for always being there".

 "Always". What else could I say ? Ben took her hand and studied the ring. Then he looked up,at me, one eyebrow raised. "Really Tom ? That ring ?" His voice had an edge of accusation to it.

 "Well someone has to wear it ?" I shrugged. Amber was starring at the ring, her brows furrowed.

 "But her ring ? It should have been burried with her". Ben had let go of Ambers hand, stepping half a step in front of her. Like he suddenly had to protect her from me.

 "Like you bury your bracelets ? Those are very expensive you know. You felt she could carry the name, I think she can carry the ring".

 "Stop a minute here". Amber stepped in between us, gently putting a hand on Ben's chest. I could almost see the energy flowing between them. How could Zombie think that he could come between them ? "How can you see this was her ring ? What makes it different from the one Ben wears ?"

 "This does..". Ben pulled of the ring and showed her the small cut it had. He was standing so close to her that I felt in the way. "Amber got the crazy idea to block a knife Sam threw at her with it".

 "So did it work ?" Amber took the ring from his hand, and put it back on her finger.

 "The knife changed it path and ended up in her thigh instead". The seemed completely in their own world and I was completely forgotten. I didn't like the knot growing in my chest from getting ignored by her.

 "I don't have any other rings free currently". I interrupted them. Itnwas a downright lie. I had a whole drawer full of them. But it just felt like the right thing to let this ring become hers.

 "It's okay, I have no problem wearing her ring". Ambers movements was hesitant as she reached out to softly place her hand against Ben's cheek. Like she was testimg how he would react to her touch. He gently snaked his arm around her waist. I had no doubt I was watching a very meaningful moment between them, but why did it hurt then ?

 "We got to go. A certain young lady has decided she want's to learn how to drive the motorbike herself". Ben turned his attention to me, but his arm was still around her. "See you later Tom".

 I didn't look after them as they left. It couldn't bother me that they had something special together. I couldn't have those kinds of feelings for her, for anyone.

 

 Sunday morning I got the usual delivery of medicin. Contrary to the weapon deliveries, that was shipped in, the medicine had to be picked up quite far outside the city. I could get anyone to do it, but I decided to go myself and I asked Zac to go with me.

 I needed a change of scenery and I neede to confide in someone, someone that wouldn't rat me out to Ben. Someone who might even understand me a bit.

 "She is far out of our reach Tom". Zac said after I told him about those feelings I feared so much. "She won't only cost you the alliance with Ben, she will cost you your life. Don't even think about going there".

 "Don't you think I know that". I looked at him. "I dream about her at night Zac. I don't know how to stop it".

 "She is totally unobtainable, that has a tendency to make things more attractive. Maybe if you stop being so fixated on her being of limits and just accept that she is a close friend ?" Zac said.

 "I have tried everything". I sighed.

 "Find someone else to keep you occupied". Zac suggested.

 "As I said, I have tried everything". I was looking straight ahead. "Kattie helps, while she is there. But then she disappears home to Clay and well, then Amber is back in play".

 "Oh God, seriously you have to pull yourself together man. Both girls are totally of limits and can cost you everything. Still you apparently have one of them. You can't strive for both. You are already risking everything by messing around with Kattie".

 "Her relationship with Clay is nothing but an act". I pointed out. "And Ben has given his accept as long as we keep it a secret".

 "And still you have to accept that she goes back to his bed after ? The man that is trying to play Ben against you by accusing you of.. wait of exactly what you dream of doing. You are walking a very thin line, living on the edge here". Zac put his feet up in the front window.

 "Yeah that part I am trying really hard to ignore". Of course I knew she went back to him, that she sleeps next to him at night, but I tried to convince myself that it stopped there. That she weren't kissing him or sleeping with him.

 "That really bothers you ?" Zac looked at me like something just clicked in his head. "You love her ? You love Kattie ?"

 "Stop". I begged him. Before he got on a roll. "I don't need another reason to hate Clay. And I don't do love. Love is a distraction. It just messes up things ..".

 "Yada yada yada the game, sex is a weapon. God I've heard this from mom forever. Tom you are not mom, love isn't a scam to lure you into a trap". Zac rooled his eyes. "Tell me one thing". He took his feet down from the window and turned in his seat to look intensely at me. "If you could walk into the apartment and got the choice between pulling Amber from Ben's bed or Kattie from Clay's bed, who would you choose ?"

 I didn't answer him. The choise wasn't easy. Amber wanted to be with Ben, while Kattie wanted to get away from Clay.

 And then I realised that it was both easy and clear. Because the only one that wanted me to pull her from the bed was Kattie and I knew she even wished I was the one to do it. If Kattie wants me and I want her, then there is no reason to waste energy on Amber.

 "Take Kattie". Zac begged me. "Let Clay rot and let him leave The Shadows. And Ben will trust you, because he knows that you will stay away from Amber, so Clay wont be successful with his accusations".

 "I should talk to you more often". I told him.

 "You really should". Zac leaned back again, looking mighty smug. "Think about it if you started sleeping with a Noble. I mean no matter how much Amber she is, that blood is still running through her veins and she has their genes. What if those genes is designed to eliminate us ?"

 "Strike it, I am not going to speak to you at all". I shook my head, sometimes Zac's humour was so bad it made my toes curl.

 "Clay can end up being a big problem". My hands grabbed the steering-wheel harder. "There is no doubt he would love to se Amber dead and I fear he could harm Kattie as well. I don't think Ben takes this seriously enough".

"I have never liked him". Zac admitted. "Yeah he stopped Ben from taking advantage of Kattie when he came, but that was all he ever did. He still held them both down so he could lead in their name".

 "We need to keep an extra eye on him. Who knows how farbhe is willing to go to take back the power". I was tapping my food nervously.

 "Ben is aware of it. He wont let Amber alone with him". Zac reassured me. "And she is quite extraordinary in the ring. Clay has never even been in the ring. She can take him out if needed".

 "Yeah but Clay is still pretty apt with both a knife and a gun and contrary to you and me, Amber sleeps very deeply". I couldn't shake this feeling that something bad was about to happen.

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