30 April 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Seven


"Say what? Abercombie asked you out? How did that happen?" Millie leaned against the kitchen counter, clutching a cup of coffee, the following morning, "You're not considering going out with him are you?  You really ought to take your time Amber and you can't forget what he said to you that night with Fitch, which brought on that massive panic attack... is this even sensible?"

"She's not a kid Mills," Liam spoke upon entering the kitchen in just grey sweats, clutching an iPad. He kissed his wife, "I say, go for it, what have you got to lose? You don't owe him but he's obviously made an impression on you, otherwise why would you be passing it through Mills."

"That's true, I never considered it like that," Amber replied, "I don't know yet."

"Do it! He may actually be good for you... obviously you'll never know that, if you're just lying around here doing nothing," Liam joked.

"Liam, you're really not helping the situation," Millie glared at him.

"I'm not out to help the situation, I'm here to help Amber.  She obviously wants in but is to scared to make that leap.," Liam looks seriously at Amber, "I say, you should go for it.  What have you got to lose? Either way, you'll find out whether he's worth it or not." 


Cade sat on the bench around the corner from where Amber lived with Millie and Liam in the town house in Chelsea.  If he leaned forward, he could just about see it.  He'd been sitting here for twenty minutes, phone in hand and he was casually dressed.  If casual was his worn jeans, leather jacket and a checkered shirt, he'd go so far as to say he was casual smart.  He didn't want to come across as a complete lazy tosser by wearing sweat pants on the first day, but hey, he'd like to make a good impression.  He even wore his smart trainers, they'd be doing a lot of walking today and he wanted to be comfortable.

The sky was the bluest he'd seen in a long time, he was always indoors working, to really appreciate the sky, the sun. Today was going to be a day of firsts, in a long time.  He was going to appreciate the city, which he hadn't in a while.  And the even better, he was going to enjoy figuring out Amber.

He looked at his watch, she was five minutes late.  He hoped she was coming, otherwise it would be a very lonely day.


"Damn! I'm late," exclaimed Amber as she flicked the eyeliner brush and applied some blusher.

"What's the big deal, you said you weren't bothered about this," Millie chipped in.

"I'm not," Amber replied, "But sometimes it pays to make an effort and I don't exactly want to turn up looking haggard."

"You don't look haggard,"  Millie said, whilst sitting on the bed watching Amber, "Whatever gave you that impression?"

"I don't know... I'm not exactly what you call 'beautiful' am I?" Amber said, looking at herself in the mirror.

"Beautiful is not conventional... and you are not conventional.   You look much prettier without all that slap, y'know," Millie objected.

"Slap being the make up right? I really ought to get used to you Brits and your slang words," Amber said, getting a facial wipe and clearing off the make up.  She applied sunscreen and put on a bit of tint, a stroke of bronzer and some clear lip gloss and hoped for the best. 

"Y'know slap is better when it doesn't look like slap... like how you've done it now," Millie observed.

"Do I look okay?" Amber spun around.

Millie smiled, "You look great.  You're nervous aren't you?"

"Can you tell?" Amber frowned.

"This is a big step and I'm going to be a supportive friend... I should have been at the beginning.  I just don't want you..."

Amber put her hands up, "I don't want to think about it anymore... I just want to get on with my life. Wish me luck!"

"Good luck," Millie called out after her, as she ran out of the house.
The sunlight was blinding as she skipped down the stairs and towards the park.  It was warm and maybe she had overcompensated with the layers she'd worn.  She couldn't help herself, she was always cold, no matter the weather.  She took off her jeans jacket and strode over to the park, where she had arranged with Cade she would meet him.  The park was a buzz with activity, families were scattered around playing all sorts of throw-and-catch games.  Amber looked at the bench beside the entrance and noticed a couple kissing, they were sucking each others faces... wasn't that where Cade said he would be waiting, to meet her?  She peered closer at the man and realised it wasn't Cade and she breathed a sigh of relief.  She edged closer into the centre of the park and eyed the faces, none of them vaguely resembling Cade. 

The sun was shining, causing flickering light beams on the lake, making her squint in the daylight.  And then she noticed him.  He was helping out a little boy and they were both crouched down by the edge.  Cade had a branch in one hand, whilst the other was shielding the little boy from falling into the pond.  Something tugged at her and she couldn't help but watch.  Cade managed to move the football towards them and the football bounced in the water and into the boys hands.  She could clearly see the delight written all over the little boy's face and then watched as the mother of the little boy, thanked Cade profusely.  Amber turned on her heel and went back to their arranged meeting spot, thankfully the couple had disappeared and she took a seat, patiently waiting for him to come back.

08 April 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Six


Amber stared at the ceiling, she was accustomed to looking at ceilings especially as she'd stared at the same one numerous times before, when her posture obviously couldn't take the force anymore and she'd stumble and hit the floor.  She remembered having the breathe stolen from her and the numbness sinking into her nerve endings.  She exhaled, blinking back the images as well as the emotions welling up inside her. 

"Up you get." The strong arms of her Krav Maga instructor as he set her on her feet and carried on explaining ways to defend and deter danger. 

Amber listened intently, she wanted to soak up as much information as humanly possible.  She was afraid but she was tired of playing the 'afraid' card.  If Rick was released on parole, she wanted to be ready.  If he wanted to play dirty, so could she.  She was the only woman in the class and was always picked to do demonstrations, usually she found herself on the floor most times but in order for her to learn, she would have to start from rock bottom... the floor.  The session was over, she grabbed her bags and scurried out of the class.  She badly needed a pick me up, a fruity drink to calm her beating heart and a couple of minutes to gain back her breathe.  Heading to the smoothie bar, she chose a strawberry and mango shake and sat down by the window.  Staring out into the street, watching the every day people going about their day to day lives and then she heard her name.  She heard it again and spun around to see Cade in sweats and an a hoodie which revealed a glimpse of his hairless chest.  He had his gym bag in his hand and his hair was damp from what she gathered must have been a shower.

"Funny seeing you here," he smiled warmly looking towards the empty seat, waiting for an invitation. 

He was met with silence.

"I'm sorry... did you want to...?"  Amber whispered.

"Never thought you'd ask," he grinned as he took the seat in front of her, "What did you go on?"

"Go on?" Amber replied, her mind not with her, as usual.

"The gym equipment.  What did you use?"  he asked.

"I don't really use the machines here,"  Amber replied.

"Oh, then you must have been at one of the classes then... let me guess... you're a Zumba girl.  I can't say I'm a Zumba girl myself but hey, there's a first and last time for everything," he quipped. He was rewarded with a giggle and he smiled, "Y'know you look beautiful when your eyes light up like that."

Amber smiled a shy thanks, "What did you do here?"

"Apart from trying to get fit and getting rid of my gut... not much else.  Are you waiting on another class? Or are you good to talk?" Cade replied. 

"I've just finished my class and just having a breather before I head off home, you?" Amber asked lightly.

"Not sure, I've got a couple of days off, so I'm trying to decide what to do with my time.  Any recommendations?"  Cade asked, trying to gage conversation.  He hadn't wanted to do much with his time off, but having seen Amber from across the room, an idea struck him.  He was intrigued.  There was something intriguing about her- he didn't know whether it was because she didn't disclose what she did, that made him want to peel the layers.  From where he was sitting, she definitely had a body, even if it was dressed in layers of sweats.  

"I'm sure there are galleries and museums to amuse you," Amber replied getting up.

Cade watched as she prepared to leave, collecting her things and dumping her smoothie into the bin. he stayed sitting, "Can I take you to lunch tomorrow?"

Amber stopped and turned around, "Lunch?"

"Dinner is too pretentious, lunch is easy going... no pressure, so what do you say?" Cade said, still seated.

"Is this a date?" Amber asked.

"Just lunch with a mate, not unless you want it to be... it's on your terms... but I'd like the company, for lunch tomorrow," he stood up and walked towards her, "What do you say?"