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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38. Zombie's evil games

 

 *Tom*

  In hindsight I was naive to think that Zombie would take me in exchange for Amber. Had I used my brain and not ran of the minute I heard, I would have realised that she was the one he could use to pressure Ben, not me. I had panicked and the only thing I could think of was to save her.

 The moment I felt the needle puncture the skin on my neck, I knew I had lost. Instead of saving Amber, I had just managed to put myself in an equally hopeless situation. I didn't even know if she was still alive.

 The poison quickly started working on my body and I felt my consciousness slip away. I fought like crazy. I knew I was going to die, but I needed to know if she was still alive. The burning thought in my mind was to see her one last time. Not Kattie, whom I do truly love and choosen to spend my life with, but Amber who I was willing to give my life for. What the hell is wrong with me ?

 I heard her voice before I saw her. Her face were blurry, but I could see how worried she was. Worried about me. At that moment I realised that my wish to see her one last time was the most selfish thing I had ever done, because it meant that she would have to watch me die. There was so much that I wanted to say to her, but I didn't. Words would just make everything worse for her.

 Instead I closed my eyes, for once in my life giving up. I let the poisen consume me.

 The only thing I was still capable of was hearing. I could clearly hear Zombie and Amber talk. Hear him try to turn Amber against Ben. Even when the cramps bagan and I in panic grabbed a hold of Ambers shirt, not to loose my hold on her, I could still hear them talking. I heard Amber beg for the antidote and offer him anything in return.

 When I lost my hearing, I truly panicked. I had no control over my body and I knew that it was over. Ambers efforts to safe me had been just as futile as my attemp to save her.

 But then my eyes opened by themselves. My body slowly relaxed and I looked into Amber's face. Her krystal blue eyes so filled with concern and relief at the same time, the tears made them look like diamonds.

 Zombie knew us better than we knew ourselves. Everything I had been denying to myself, I hadn't been able to hide from him.

 

 Amber and I was lead down into the basement and chained to each end of the room. She got the mattress and the blanket, I got nothing, but that was how it should be.

 "How are you feeling ?" She didn't look at me. Her gaze rested on the floor in front of her feet. I would give anything to know what she was thinking and feeling right now. If she regretted what she had done.

 "Better". I told her. "Thank you. I owe you my life".

 "I only kissed him". She mumbled. "It wasn't that bad". Her voice sounded stiff and unatural. She tried way to hard to sound like she didn't care.

 "Anyways..". I wanted so much to break the awkward feeling that suddenly was between us, but I didn't know how to.

 "What do you think is going to happen now ?" She looked at me, her eyes nervous. "Do you think Ben is going to misunderstand our intentions ?"

 "I truly hope he wont". I answered. "But Zombie is gambling with feelings here. And that can be a very dangerous thing to do".

 "Then we just have to make sure we don't give him any more ammunition". Amber said with a hard voice. "No matter what you have to pick Kattie over me and I have to choose Ben before you". She hesitated, like she wanted to say something else.

 "I don't know if I..".

 "You just have to". She cut me of. "Kattie is your girlfriend, she is the one you should be willing to sacrifice yourself for, not me". She sounded slightly panicked. "Tom...". Her voice was begging me. "I need you as a friend.. I need you.. I can't handle those other feelings getting between us".

 "You are my friend". I quickly answered. "That is never going to change".

 "Good". She said softly. "I love Ben and I always will".

 I nodded. That was how it was supposed to be. How it should be. "Our alliance will make it through this. No matter what Zombie has planned for us". Well at least I hoped so.

 

The silence was almost like a thunderous sound in the end. I felt like I was choking in the small enclosed room. The humidity slowly sneaked in on me and I could feel it to my bones. Amber had pulled the blanket around her a long time ago. I tried closing my eyes and close of for the cold that way, but even when I dosed of, I could still feel it.

 When the door finally opened I was both feeling reliefed and scared. I feared what would happen, but I was happy we didn't have to wait any longer.

 Zombie stepped in together with Alec and Sam.

 "We are ready for you". Zombie seemed oddly excited, like it was a real treat. "Your friends have gotten an up-date of what have happened so far, just so everyone can keep up". He clapped his hands happily. "So I got Christopher, Clay and Shine placed right behind Ben, Kattie and Zac, the second rescue team. They each hold a syringe. Two of them holds saline, the last one is filled with the poison Tom had the honour of sampling this morning. First part of this game have the two of you doing exactly as I tell you to do. If not your friends will feel a little prick and one of them will soon be writhing in pain and cramps. And this time there won't be any antidote to buy".

 I looked at Amber. The horror was pained on her face. The same intense fear that I felt eating me up from inside right now.

 "Of course the three in there don't know about the game. That would be cheating. Alec is going to take you Amber through the left door, and Sam is going to take Tom through the right. As soon as they remove your chains I want you two to run to each other and I want you to kiss each other. And I want to see all those delicious feelings that you are trying so hard to deny. If I am not happy, well you know what will happen". Zombie sent us a expectant smile.

 They were going to see Amber and me step through the door, throw ourselves into each others arms and kiss each other. They wouldn't know what had went ahead we wouldn't have a chance to explain. I really hoped me and Ben's fragile friendship could stand having her placed between us. And I hoped me and Kattie could survive this.

 "When I am satisfied, you will stand perfectly still, while you are tied back up. We can't have you defending yourself. After that I will tell you how the next part of the game works".

 Amber didn't say anything. She let Alec lead her to the door. Knowing that there was nothing I could so, I let Sam lead me to the other door.

 I couldn't make myself look at Ben or Kattie. Instead I kept my eyes on the floor, while being acutely aware about where Amber stood.

 "Let them go". Zombie commanded.

 I had no choice. As soon as the chains dropped, I stepped over to Amber, let my arms pull her into me and kissed her.

 I kissed her in a way I had never even dared dream to do, with a way to real passion, that I didn't know were came from. It was so easy to forget everything around us. To forget why we were doing this and who was watching.

 I let my hand slide up her back, pressing her closer to me. She had one hand firmly around my neck and the other one had made it's own patch of bare skin on my lower back. My skin was burning were her hands were touching it.

 "Is that really everything you got ?" Zombie hissed.

 I wanted so much to turn around and knock him right out of his shoes. Right now I actually didn't care about the other three, only Amber existed. But instead I grabbed her, and lifted her as I turned, pressing her into the wall. She folded her legs around me, her hands sliding up my back, pulling my shirt with them. 

 "Let the control go". I whispered to her, we need to make Zombie stop this. I let my lips caress her neck and her cheek, before returning to her mouth. "Surrender". I mumbled against her lips.

 Her arms tightened around me, pulling me closer. My hands ran up her back, making her top slide up. Her stomach slowly getting exposed, and as mine already was, we were suddenly skin against skin, just giving more possibility for her fire to reach me.

 Zombie had been right. All these feelings I had tried to deny, came tumbling out now. Forbidden feelings, felings that could cost us both everything.

 "Thanks. You can stop". Zombie mused.

 For a short moment I stopped, letting my forehead rest against hers, as we looked into each other's eyes. Her gaze was so filled with conflicting feelings and tears started running down her cheeks. "I am so sorry". I whispered, before I let go of her and took a step back, not looking at anyone.

 Sam pulled me to the middle of the room and pulled my hands over my head, attaching them to a rope there. Amber was tied up in the same way about three feet from me. She wasn't looking at anyone either.

 "See that was very interesting". Zombie smiled excitedly. "Or what do you say Ben ?"

 "Get to the point will you". Ben's voice was shaking slightly with anger and I had no doubt it was directed towards me. I had over stepped a very clear boundary in our friendship and there was nothing I could do to take it back.

 "Amber". Zombie turned towards her. "Tell me who should throw away their syringe. Christopher or Shine ?"

 "Shine". Her voice was a mere whisper. I had to look at them to see what was happening. Amber had chosen to save Zac instead of Ben and I couldn't figure out why she had made that choice.

 "So how does that feel Ben ?" Zombies voice was gleefull. "First she kisses me, then she kisses Tom, or what you wan't to call that and now she chooses Zac over you ? Are you sure she is really yours ?"

 "I have complete fait in her". Ben answered. His voice still strained by anger, but now it was directed at Zombie. "I know she has her reasons".

 "And what about you Zac ? If you hadn't run like a coward, you would have been the one in Tom's place. Do you regret now ?"

 "Yes. But not for the reasons you think". Zac answered. "I know very well who is gonna suffer most after this". His eyes rested on me and I could see compassion in them. Zac knows me better than anyone. If I was suffering, he would be the only one who knew.

 "And I know who suffers now". Zombie answered. "Switch Tom and Kattie". He watched as Clay brutally untied Kattie and shortly after walked up behind me. Clay hated me more than anyone else, and I had no doubt that he wouldn't hesitate a second to kill me if he got the chance.

 When he had Kattie and Amber next to each other, both of them hardly able to reach the floor, Zombie turned to me. "One of the girls will be writhing in pain the next five minutes". He said gleefully. "You get to choose who will be spared". He pulled out a knife, pointing it at me.

 I hated being forced to do this. Hated that one of them would be in a lot of pain, that I couldn't protect her from and that I would be the one who had chosen. Kattie was the only one looking at me. Amber had her eyes on the floor in front of her.

 "Kattie. Spare Kattie". I couldn't bare causing her anymore pain than I had already done, my entire being was burning to get to her, to try and explain and any other choice would have lost me everything.

 I held my eyes closed and my face down. I tried to keep out the sound of Amber mumbling. I could almost feel how she was biting her lip not to put voice to the pain she felt. I knew she was trying to spare me. Spare us. Us who was forced to witness this.

 Her mumbles turned into moans and soon to gasps, before she had to give in and scream. I didn't see what Zombie was doing to her, but I could literally feel her pain.

 The following silence was almost as bad. I had to pull together all my strength to raise my head and look at Amber.

 He clothes was torn and several places the blood ran down her body. I was impressed that she was still standing.

 "Well princess. Time for another fun choice". Zombie gently caressed Ambers cheek with his knife. She didn't react to his touch at all. Christopher and Clay still holds a syringe each and there is 33 percentage possibility that each of them holds the poisen. Do you want to safe Tom or Ben ?"

 Amber didn't answer. She didn't react at all. Only the fact that she was still standing on her toes gave away that she was still conscious.

 "Maybe we should bring out the syringes and make it all a bit more exciting. Guys !"My head was pulled harshly back by the hair and a syringe pressed against the side of my neck. I had no doubt that Clay was going to enjoy sticking it in me. "Who's life do you dare bet with, who will get a little prick ?"

 Of course it would be me. I had put her through pain and now she had to let me take that risk. At least the chance that it was saline was bigger.

 "Ben". Ambers voice was a weak whisper. "I am saving Tom". My head snapped towards her, when Clay let the syringe fall. Then I looked at Ben, just as Christopher pushed the needle against his neck and pushed down the piston. I waited. And waited. She shouldn't have done that. She should have spared him. Only when I was sure that nothing happened, I could relax a bit.

 "You got lucky there princess". Zombie sent Ben a gleefull smile. "Do you also have a good excuse for her risking your life and sparing Tom ?"

 "Amber has a good sixth sense". Ben said dryly. "I completely trust her judgement". He didn't look at me but I knew that he was lying. It did bother him and by God it should. Why had she done that ? "Yada yada, if you say so. Ben ?! Amber or Kattie ?"

 "Amber or Kattie what ?" Ben asked. "When you say it like that I have no idea who I really chooses".

 Zombie turned to Alec and nodded at him. Alec went to the back of the room and returned with a tattoo machine.

 "Then I chooses for you and I choose them both". Zombie smiled evily. "Give both of them a Z right behind their right ear". He nodded to Alec.

 Neither Amber nor Kattie moved a muscle while Alec gave them the tattoo. Ben's eyes were ablaze with anger. Zombie could do a lot of damage with tattoos.

 "Should I go on Ben ?" Zombie raised one eyebrow looking at Ben. "Or are you ready to choose now ? Amber or Kattie ?"

 "Kattie". I could hear the insecurity in Ben's voice.

 "Tom or Zac ?" Was Zombie's next question.

 "Tom". Ben had no idea what he had just chosen us for. He had made a choice he had been forced to make.

 "Tom you are hereby free to untie Kattie and take her with you. You can leave". Zombie said.

 I fumbled with Kattie's rope as I untied her. My hands were shaking and I was fearing for the others lives. Feared what would happen when we had left.

 "Sorry". I looked at Amber.

 "Just go". She whispered tiredly.

 

 As soon as we were outside Kattie pulled her arm away from me and stomped angrily of towards my car. I tried grabbing her arm. "Kattie, wait. Please let me explain".

 "Don't you even start with me, and don't touch me". She hissed angrily at me. "It doesn't matter, we were never more than a fling right ? Who needs love ? Love is for fools".

 I grabbed her shoulder, turning her around to face me. "Kattie you need to listen to me. We need to talk this through".

 "I don't need to do anything. Get your hands of me or I am going to break your fingers". She hissed at me, but I could see tears threatening in her eyes.

 I took a deep breath, I only have one chance to do this, one chance to save it or I am going to loose the most important thing in my life. "Don't do this baby. At least let me explain".

 I gasp when her hand slapped my face, fuck that hurt. "Don't you dare baby me. And don't come here playing all charming, thinking that you can explain this away, I was there Tom".

 "Dammit Kattie". She tried moving away, but I caged her in between my arms and the car. "I am not letting you run this time. You can't keep ignoring your feelings, good or bad. We are going to talk, even if it's going to be the death of me".

 "That could easily be arranged you know". She was grinding her teeth, and I lean into her, knowing that I risk getting much more than a slap. I ghost my lips along her jaw. "You really want me dead ? Kat, baby. Please let me explain".

 She whimpers slightly then crosses her arms on her chest. "You got two minutes, so you better make it really good, and you better drop the act".

 I take a deep breath, I can do this, I have to do this. I need to bear it all, to open my heart with the very possible chance that she will stomp on it. "You know Zombie, he loves to play on feelings, other peoples feelings, he wanted to rip our alliance apart".

 "Yeah I got that". She said. "He saw me coming here as a weapon he could use against Ben, I..". She cut me of. "Yes what was that about ? Running here head over heals alone to save her ?"

 "I panicked, I knew Ben would do exactly what he did and feared that Zombie had some plan. I thought I might be able to talk Zombie into exchanging me with her, but of course he didn't. I acted without thinking and it nearly cost me my life". I admit.

 She bites her lip, looking at me. "You offered up your life for her and you didn't even tell me goodbye. I almost lost you and you didn't even say goodbye". She smacks her hand into my chest.

 I grabbed her arm, to stop her from hitting me. "I am sorry baby. But you know I would have done the same for you. And we both know you would have done the same for Ben". She avoided my eyes, I grabbed her chin, gently forcing her to look at me. "Don't lie to me Kat, because I am truthful with you". She nodded slowly.

 "Tell me one thing Tom, do you love her ? Do you want to be with her ? Or is it just a physical thing ?" She is looking at me, hope in her eyes.

 I am struggling with the right words. "Honestly neither. I.. I don't really know what my feelings are, but no I don't want to be with her, she is with Ben. But it isn't just physical, I wont lie to you. But I do love you and I want to be with you and only you".

 "I don't know if I can trust you Tom, I am not sure I can go around always fearing if I am enough for you". She closes her eyes, and I am about to panic. I can't loose her, I wouldn't know what to do and I literally fall to my knees not caring that Zombie's guards can see us. "Please baby, don't ... don't give up on me. I know I am a screw up, I know I am an idiot. But.. but I can't loose you. I can't promise I will never make a mistake, but I promise I will do everything I can not to, I will never hurt you on purpose and I will always be honest".

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