13 June 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Thirteen


Amber plodded into the vast living room to see Cade behind the stove in the kitchen.  In the light she could take in the vastness of his place.  Something she didn't give a moment's thought when she arrived here last night.  The kitchen was small but not tiny, there was enough room for two people to maneuver without touching elbows, with all the basic amenities; an oven, a stove, a sink and a small fridge.  Through the sliding windows,  she could see a portion of decking and beyond that a footpath straight to the beach. 

"You can take a look around if you like?" he offered as he skillfully fried the eggs and the bacon. 

Amber nodded and walked towards the fire place, there were at least twenty or so picture frames.  She picked one up to see a young Cade struggling with a surf board on the sand. Smiling she put it back down.  There were a collection of photos ranging from family snaps, surfing pics, Sandy as a puppy, candid photographs and stolen moments.  It was a collection that brought out a longing in Amber, a longing she blinked away because wanting that and getting it were two different things.  She passed a small glass cabinet and saw a couple of awards, peering down she looked at each of them.  Awards for surfing, writing and journalism.  She turned back to look at him and caught him staring at her. 

"You caught me," he quipped, his hands in surrender before he turned his attention back to the cooking.

Amber smiled, opened up the sliding door and stepped out.  Taking a deep breathe she looked around, a stretch of beach before her.  It was a beautiful morning and the sun was out.  She could really get used to this, this easy way of life.  What on earth was she thinking?  Could she really be thinking this?  She couldn't afford to put all her eggs in one basket but in truth, she liked spending time with him.  It was easy, unforced and there was a gentle way about him, she hadn't had before in any relationship.

Cade zipped past her, heading towards the garden table and setting down two plates of cooked food and quickly disappeared inside and reappeared with hot chocolate, juice and some bread, butter and jam, "Come on, let's eat, I'm sure you're starving.  I am."  He pulled the chair out for her and then sat down and they tucked in.   

They ate in silence for a while, it wasn't an uncomfortable silence, it was Cade who spoke up first, "Don't do it Amber."

"Do what?" she looked up from her eggs and bacon into his eyes. 

"Think too much," Cade smiled, picking up his coffee and drinking it. 

"How did... you know?" she asked bewildered.  Was she that transparent.

"I just have to look at you to know, that's all," Cade grinned.

"Yes, you've been looking a lot haven't you?" Amber smiled secretly.

"I can't help it, I'm drawn to you.  You're a beautiful woman Amber," Cade replied.

Amber rolled her eyes.

"It's true, I wouldn't say otherwise.  Don't you think you're beautiful?" Cade leaned forward on his elbows.

"Not especially... I feel more broken then beautiful.  What you see is on the surface, beneath it, I'm nothing," Amber said sadly.

"What a bastard!" Cade said through clenched teeth.

Amber raised her eyebrows up to him, "Why'd you say that?"

"That prick who's done this to you, he's broken your soul... if I ever meet the bastard, I'm going to give him a taste of his own medicine,"  Cade bit back, "You deserve the world Amber."

Amber closed her eyes and then opened them, "So, what's the agenda for today?"

Cade looked at Amber and then shook his head, he would let it slide for now, "As it's a beautifully warm day, I was thinking of showing you how to surf."

"Surf? You're kidding right?" Amber said. 

"Trust me, you'll have fun!" Cade smiled thoughtfully, he couldn't wait to teach her how to surf.  The day, could only get better.


Cade was a perv!  He had been stealing glances at the woman who was wearing a wet suit, he didn't care for colour but the stream line effect she was having on his groin only certified to say that she was hot, rocking it.  They'd been in the water for four hours now, though it felt more like fifteen minutes.  He'd taught her how to spot a good wave and how to steer towards it and high tail out of there before jumping onto the board and riding the wave.  She was a natural and picked it up, like she was an old adage at it.  Her infectious laugh made him join in, especially when she fell into the water countless times.  He appreciated a woman who laughed at herself. 

They were both floating in the water, a few metres away from the shore, just hanging out. 

"What do you think about when it's just you, here?" Amber asked curiously, "I can't really think here, the view is too beautiful to think about anything but."

"A lot of things," Cade was vague, but he didn't want to say too much.

"Like what things?"  Amber asked.

"Y'know things... life,"  Cade replied, seeing a wave and decided to conquer it.

Amber followed suit.  Amber pretty much washed out before she could actually mount the surf board. She dragged the surf board behind her,  dumping it on the sand, she grabbed her towel and watched Cade who was still out in the water.  She was about to sit down when she saw two men in wet suits approach.  Both quite tall but not as tall as Cade, one had a reckless untidy beard that needed shaving and the other was a typical looking surfer - they both wolf whistled when they approached her.

"You're pretty good on the board, haven't seen you around here before," the bearded surfer commented.

"Because I'm not from around here," Amber replied blandly. Picking up the surf board and stabbing it into the sand like Cade had shown her earlier.

"Ah, an American.  How long have you surfed?" the blue eyed blonde surfer asked. 

"About four hours," Amber said, clutching her towel.  She saw their eyes dipping low.

"Shit, no way! You're awesome and that wet suit..." the blonde whistled as he cupped imaginary bosoms in his hands, "Shame you have to take it off, I'd like to know what you look like underneath."

"Trust me, there won't be an opportunity in this lifetime for that!" Amber bit back. 

The other surfer punched his mate and howled, "You got told!"

"I like a feisty woman," ignoring his mate and centring his gaze on her, "Hard to find a woman who can use her mouth for other then giving a man..."

Amber wanted to slam her fist against his jaw but she heard Cade approaching from behind her, "A Toad and the Ass hole."

Amber looked up at him confused.

"Why don't you piss off Braiden... we saw her first!" the blond surfer exclaimed.

"I'm not some piece of property," Amber wanted to yell, but she settled for civilised.

"Your maturity levels still haven't fluctuated from the last time, eh Cormack?" Cade said not bothering with the two, he turned towards Amber, "You ready to go sweetheart?" 

Amber nodded, picking up her surf board and towel she followed Cade. 

"So, who is she to you?" Cormack yelled to them. 

Before Cade could respond, Amber yelled back, "His girlfriend... you ass hole." 

They reached the truck in silence, Cade put Amber's loaned surf board in the truck, followed by his.  He lent her his prized board, one he used to win a multitude of competitions back in his hey-day of surfing competitions.  And he turned to her,  "So you're my girlfriend are you?" He said, leaning against the truck, unzipping his wet suit to reveal a hairless chest and an emerging six pack.  Amber had to steer her gaze from him.

"I said it, didn't I?" Amber smiled. 

"You did, yes... may I have your permission then?" Cade held her gaze with his.

"Permission for what?" Amber looked at him,

He stepped forward and tucked a loose strand of damp hair behind her ear, "To kiss you."

"I'm not stopping you," Amber stood motionless.

Cade touched his lips to hers and coaxing them apart slowly, he kissed her. 

07 June 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Twelve


"I'm sorry about Gideon, he's always been a bit impulsive with the ladies," Cade excused, "I don't think his brain cells relay with his mouth most of the time," he turned towards Amber who seemed fascinated with the sand then what was beside her, him.  He stopped abruptly and watched as Amber carried on walking. "Amber."  He said a lot louder. 

She stopped and turned towards him, "Sorry, what?"

Cade marched towards her,  he could feel her flinch beneath his touch, "Amber, is everything okay?"

She looked up at him, "I'm fine, why wouldn't I be?" He wasn't convinced.  She was avoiding eye contact with him.

"You shocked us all, especially Gideon.  I just wanted to make sure you were okay... y'know, no one is going to hurt you, not on my watch.  I just want you to know that, that you're in safe hands with me."

"Thanks Cade," Amber managed to smile.   She was about to utter something when she was pushed back towards the sand.  She swiped her feet like a fan across the sand, forcing the attacker to fall on their bum in the sand.  Amber hoisted herself to her feet and glared down at Lucy,  "What is your problem?!"

"You fucking bitch! Who the hell do you think you are?!  Keep your fucking paws to yourself!" Lucy yelled as she scrubbed the sand from her clothes.   

"My hands have been to myself but why I need to justify myself to you is anyone's guess," Amber replied steely.

"Lucy that's enough!" Cade's voice was rising.

Lucy looked from Amber to Cade, her eyes widening.

"Why don't you save everyone the trouble and leave us be.  Your presence is obviously making people uncomfortable. Again, there is no future for us... I don't know how many times, ways,  I have to say it but I've moved on Lucy and you have to, too," Cade said gently. 

Lucy scowled, "Fine, if that's how you feel.  I hope she's worth it."  She stomped off in a huff, leaving Cade and Amber standing in front of each other, bewildered by what just happened.

Cade turned towards Amber to see her staring at him peculiarly, "What?" he asked curiously.

"Nothing," Amber said shaking her head, "I'm sorry things turned out sour between the two of you."

"Don't be sorry, I'm not," Cade smiled, "However mean that sounds, it's not meant to be.  We were on two different pages before she decided to cheat on me with one of my friends.  It was the kick up the backside I needed to end it with her, it was a couple of months ago.  I've moved on since then.  It's all water under the bridge."

"And what have you moved on to?"  Amber asked curiously.  Why did she suddenly want... need... him to... and then he surprised her. 

"You," he said simply.

"Me?" Amber halted and turned towards him, "Me?"

"Yes, you," Cade smiled back, he felt her flinch underneath his touch when he touched her arms, "I don't want you to feel scared or pressured... I just want you to be honest with me.  I know you're only looking to get past one day at a time, I understand that..."

"What is it you're asking of me Cade?" Amber looked tentatively at him.

"I'm more then happy to live each day as it comes, as long as you're the one I get to share each day with Amber," Cade whispered.

"Cade there's so much you still don't know about me, about my past.  I have so much baggage, I'd feel like that would be a constant block between us," Amber reasoned as they continued to walk, "I'm not easy, that didn't come out right.  I'm just not your normal relationship person.  I've been hurt before, both physically as well as mentally.  I'm a broken person Cade.  I don't trust easily... even coming down here was a big decision."

"And do you regret that decision?" Cade asked.

"No, I've had a whale of time," Amber said.

"Isn't that a good enough reason to maybe try this out... whatever this is...?  I really like you Amber, more then you will know, that might sound juvenile to you, but that's how I feel.  I don't think it would be appropriate to tell you how much this very minute but I do.  Look, I don't want to force this upon you... like I said, I think you could do without the stress, pressure of it all.  Think about it, let me know," Cade half smiled. 


Cade was an idiot.

Shortly after his confession, things got awkward and Amber asked to leave.  He dropped her off at Camelot Castle and watched her disappear up in the lift.  When he returned home, he was greeted by Sandy his golden retriever who was as hyper as a pogo stick.  He didn't fancy staying at home, grabbing her leash, he decided to take her out for a walk.  Maybe the walk would allow him to mull things over before he faced another day in paradise.


Amber was a coward.

A coward with a capital 'C'.  She ran when things got tough and she ran because this was new to her- the confession had definitely put a spanner into the works.  The works being her complicated, sad life.  Her battered and abused life.  Her therapist had told her to take each day as it came, but if anything was worth the risk, to face it head on. Life was about making mistakes and learning from them.  Was Cade a risk worth taking? 
She'd been pacing up and down her bedroom, going through the motions.  She had to admit, he was a breathe of fresh air- she hadn't thought about Dan at all in the last two days that she was here, another five and she was willing to be optimistic.  She didn't want to consult Millie on this, Millie wasn't exactly forthcoming when it came to her romantic prospects but her friend was just looking out for her- like any best friend would.  No, this decision had to be made herself.  Amber changed into jeans and a jumper, put on sensible shoes and strolled out the hotel room.  She didn't know what she was going to do, but she had an inkling.  For the first time in a long time, she was going to throw caution to the winds. 

The reception desk wasn't willing to divulge confidential information on the Brown-Evans, so she decided on a walk along the beach instead.  It was dark outside and quite windy, all she could hear was the waves rolling in and joining the shore.  The sound comforting, reassuring. She should have tied her hair up, if she'd known the wind was going to be this bad.  She wondered what it would be like to live here.  She'd always lived in cities, populated cities.  Cornwall was scenic, beautiful and it's town's people friendly.  There was a real sense of community here, give or take a few individuals. 

Amber watched the moon's reflection on the water, shimmering like a thousand crystals and in the distance she could hear the sounds of a dog barking, she put it down to her rampant imagination.  At times she would lose herself in it, because it was where she felt least threatened.  The mind was an interesting thing and she knew above everyone else, it was a definitely complex organ.   Her phone started ringing and she took it from the pocket of her jeans,

"Hello?" she said into the mouth piece.  She could hear heavy breathing down the phone, "Hello? Is there anyone there?"  The caller on the other end hung up. 

Amber froze, clutching the phone in her hand.  Her heartbeat accelerating.  She knew she shouldn't jump to conclusions but she could only think the worst.  It had to be him.  Who else was it? She scrolled to the phone log, wanting to locate a number but it was withheld.  All of a sudden she was at a sprint, running back to the hotel, she could feel the tears streaming down her face.  Every scenario running through her head, what if he got an early release for good behaviour?  What if he got parole?  Her lawyer said he wouldn't be out in this lifetime... what if?  She suddenly felt cold, numb and she was shivering in her shoes.  Clearing her eyes of tears, she collided with someone and almost stifled a scream when she saw Cade standing in front of her.  She had to get away, she bypassed him but his hold on her was unflinching.


Cade looked down into her eyes and saw her falling apart in front of him. 

Her face was stricken with tears, her eyes puffy and red and she was literally shivering in his hands.  He doubted it was from the cold but he felt like she was about to have an epileptic fit by the way she was convulsing in front of him.  She tried to move away from him but his steely grip on her prevented her from moving from him.

"Amber?" he whispered softly, "What's wrong?"

She was stunned into silence and all he could do was take her in his arms and hold her, he could feel the tears cascading down her face as she sobbed her eyes out.  Eventually, he ushered her back towards Camelot Castle but she was reluctant to be there on her own. 

"Please Cade, please don't leave me alone... please," she pleaded with him. 

Something tugged at his heart strings, could he deny this woman this one thing, of safety and security.  He'd sworn already he would do everything in his care to make sure she felt that way and there was no way in hell, he was going back on his word. 

"You better come with me then," he said and whistled to Sandy to follow. 

Cade put the key in the lock and opened the door, the censor lights came on immediately cloaking them in light and he could clearly see how distraught she was.  He walked from the door into the spacious living room and ushered her to the couch where she sat stiffly and wrapped a cashmere blanket around her.  Sandy bounded in and lept onto the couch beside her, waggling her tail, her tongue lolling out as it inspected the new tenant.  In silence he rushed over and made her a hot chocolate,  she didn't drink brandy so prising her with some to keep her warm was out of the question.   He handed her the mug and she took it slowly and took a sip.  The sound of a phone ringing brought her back and she put the mug down on the coffee table and took the phone out and looked stunned at the screen.

Cade took the phone from her and answered the withheld number, there was silence on the other end.  He hung up and set it on the coffee table.  Immediately it started ringing again and he picked it up again.  Again he hung up and diverted it to voice mail.  He sat on the coffee table facing her, cupping her face in his hand, "You're safe here Amber, with me.  I won't let nothing or no one hurt you, I promise," Cade said.  It was a big gesture but he was prepared to go that far with her.  Why couldn't she see it?

"You shouldn't make promises like that Braiden," she tried to smile despite how exhausted she looked.

"It's a promise I'm willing to make Amber," Cade said solemnly, "I wish you could understand that."

"This is why I don't want to be with you because you're going to get involved," Amber replied, the threat of tears ready to fall, "I can't have that."

"How do you feel about me, honestly?" Cade asked.  He had to know, the question was killing him.

"I haven't been this happy in a long time... but it's not enough," Amber apologised.

"It's enough for now," Cade said as he leaned forward and kissed her forehead, "It's enough for now."

01 June 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Eleven

The Beach Party of All Parties

"Oh it's so nice that Cade has finally brought a girl home to meet us," Clara Brown-Evans flicked her blonde thick hair back, "At one point, I thought he was gay but it's good to see that he has exceptional taste."

"Cade and I... we're not a couple... we're just friends," Amber replied, drinking her hot chocolate.

"Why ever would you say that?  You obviously came down here for a reason no?  I never really thought red heads were his thing but up until a few minutes ago, I thought two eggs and a sausage was his thing.  I'm so glad you're here.  What have you got planned for the next few days?"

"I haven't really thought about it, I mean, I don't really know what's here,"  Amber said, looking around the high ceiling hall where a modern bar was positioned. 

"Maybe we could have a party whilst you're here in honour of you and Cade"  Clara thought, "That would be fun."

Amber hated parties, especially if she was the focal point, to divert her away from that idea she asked what came into her head, "Smith from the train station mentioned that Cade's name is Braiden."

Clara giggled, "Oh yes, my son's name is Braiden Cade Brown-Evans, he was named after his grand father Braiden Matthew Evans, he was of noble blood but that doesn't count for much here anymore, he had an illustrious affair with the daughter of a wealthy property tycoon. That tycoon wasn't best pleased as Braiden had a bit of a reputation already, being a bit of a flamboyant playboy but Braiden wasn't that fussed about him and got his daughter pregnant... it made quite headline news here... that's how we ended up inheriting Camelot Castle. So Amber, tell me more about you? I'd like to know about the girl that has captured my son's heart," Clara smiled.

"I don't think there's much to tell really," Amber didn't want to talk about herself.

"Come dear, you're with family..." Clara insisted.

"I lived in New York and moved to London a few months ago," Amber ventured.

"And what did you do in New York?" Clara asked taking another sip of her cocktail.

"I worked in fashion... it's something I fell into but it's not really my thing," Amber took a hearty sip of her hot chocolate.

"And why did you move to London?" Clara asked.

Amber paused, her heart beat accelerated.  She couldn't exactly say she moved to put distance between her and her convict ex-boyfriend after he battered and left her for dead, that kind of home truth just didn't sit well with any one, "A change of pace, I've always wanted to come to London, it's a great place."

"So, you're on a mini vacation then?" Clara asked.

"Not exactly, but we'll see how it goes," Amber replied, "Could you tell me where the toilets are?"

"Of course, just straight down the hall and first door to your right," Clara smiled and Amber left the room.

"Oh good you're here," Cade ran into the hall. 

"Darling, she's divine... a real gem. I completely approve," Clara stood up and kissed her son on the cheek.

"Surely, it's too early to be drinking mum?" Cade said, looking around the hall, "Where is she?"

"What concern is it of yours?"  Clara asked. 

On cue, Amber walked into the great hall and as she approached Cade, Clara jumped up and kissed her on the cheek, "Amber, look who's here? My little snuggles..."

"Mum... really, must you do this?" Cade said rolling his eyes. 

Clara smiled cheekily and diverted her attention back to Amber, completely ignoring her son, "You can see he is embarrassed by his mother but you needn't worry, we will be the best of friends.  I shall let you two lovebirds be... I'm going to go see your father."  And with that, she left the great hall.

Cade turned towards Amber and smiled apologetically, "I'm so sorry about that."

"She seems nice...don't worry about it Braiden," Amber teased.

Cade rolled his eyes skyward, "Let me guess, she told you about my first name, how much I detest it and the whole scandal with my grand father?"  Amber nodded, "It never ceases to amaze me that all this stuff happened a century ago and it still manages to do the rounds..." 

"It's not so bad Cade..." Amber smiled.

"Yeah, except you're name isn't Braiden Cade Brown-Evans, is it?" he quipped, "Are you hungry?"

"I am... but I really need to find a hotel..." Amber said.

"Look no further, you can stay here," Cade smiled.

"Here? I can't stay here, it's much too opulent and I-" Amber said looking around the room.

"I don't want to hear about it, come on, let's sort out your room, get you settled and I can go about showing you Cornwall," Cade smiled.


"Oh wow, this is amazing..." Amber said in complete awe.  She walked over to the windows and peered out, "That view is amazing... how beautiful is that ocean... what ocean is that?" She spun around and watched as Cade set her luggage by the wardrobe.

"That would be the Atlantic ocean... it's much more amazing up close.  Are you hungry?  Do you want to eat?"

"I'm starving.  How much is the room Cade, I'd like to pay for it," Amber asked, walking towards Cade.

"I invited you here and you came, so I will take care of it.  I just want you to enjoy yourself... be yourself, okay?" Cade smiled, "So, what is it you fancy to eat today?"

"You're the tour guide, surprise me," Amber smiled. 

"Okay, come with me!" Cade smiled, "I have the perfect place."


Amber exhaled a long sigh and patted her belly,  "Oh my God.  I don't think I've eaten this much since I was...thanks."  She said, swallowing a bitter pill and taking a sip of her orange juice.  Wanting to put the thought of pregnancy out of her mind.  She was in a Waterfront Cafe by the beach, having eaten a beast of a feast with Cade Brown-Evans... or Braiden as everyone seemed to know him by here.  Since setting foot on the shores of Cornwall, everyone had been absolutely friendly, really accommodating- and she was finding herself being sucked into the whole village camaraderie. 

"What are you thinking?" Cade asked, dumping the last of the crab shells into the bowl. 


"Of course," Cade wiped his hands on the provided napkin.

"How easy this place is," Amber observed, "How friendly, accommodating and charming everyone is... how easy it is to just fall in love with this place... I can see why it's a great place to come back home to."

"It's always going to be here if ever you want to come back," Cade smiled, "Would you like dessert?"

"Please,"  Amber replied, "So what have you got planned for the rest of the days you're here?"

"Originally I'd planned to stay here for four days but I've extended to the end of the week.  I'd only planned on surfing... but as you're here... what would you like to do?"

"Oh no... please don't change your plans because of me..."  Amber began but Cade put his hand up to silence her.

"I can teach you to surf if you like Amber... or we can go down to Newquay, there's the Blue Reef Aquarium or the Seal Sanctuary, I know you love animals, if that's your thing.  Otherwise, there's always The Eden Project..." Cade paused, "What?"

"What's The Eden Project?"  Amber asks, taking a look at the dessert menu handed to her by the waitress. 

"From the out set, it looks like a massive golf ball but it's a massive green house with living creatures, their habitats.  It varies from season to season, right now the climate is like that of a rain forest.  It has it's educational purposes but it's fun, if you're interested in architecture or you're a horticulturalist.  We should do that tomorrow, it's a short drive from here, maybe afterwards grab a bite to eat and discover what else tickles your fancy, it's up to you.  I really don't mind at all.  Let me know what you want to do tomorrow," Cade smiled, "What do you have planned tonight?"

"If we were in London, y'know I would be at the coffee shop.  What are you thinking?" Amber asked, her curiosity roused. 

"There's a beach barbecue tonight, you're more then welcome to come?" Cade offered.

"That sounds great."  Amber asked. 

"I'll pick you up at around seven thirty, that okay with you?"  Cade asked. 



Cade pulled up outside Camelot Castle, thankfully the sun was still shining.  He'd decided on wearing his ripped jeans and a blue and white stripped polo t-shirt for tonight.  He was looking forward to catching up with the guys as it had been too long since he'd seen them all.  As he strolled into the castle, at that moment he saw her stroll out of the lift.  Her red hair was loose and raking down her back as she sported every man's fantasy 'Daisy Duke' denim shorts... and Jessica Simpson sprung to mind, wiggling her bottom and wearing cowboy boots.  Amber teamed up her shorts with a long sleeveless cardigan and a brown top.  On her feet she wore sandals and she'd accessorised with gold bangles.  She spotted him straight away and greeted him with a shy kiss on the cheek.

"Hi Cade," she smiled tentatively, "How are you?"

"I'm good, you look beautiful," he complimented, "Did you manage to get some rest?"

"As a matter of fact I did, I feel very rested but I'm starving," she replied.

"Come on, let's get going," ushering her towards the exit.

"Fuck Cade, you fuck off to London and you come back with a bird like that... how'd you manage that?" Gideon said over a beer.  He was tall but not as tall as Cade.  A group of them were sprawled on the beach beside a bonfire.  Amber was seated on a deck chair talking to one of the other guys girlfriends. 

"She's a right beauty mate," Owen chipped in, "Really nice too."

"No, seriously Cade how'd you manage to snap her?" Josh said, another of Cade's good friends.

Cade took a sip of beer and looked up to see Lucy.

"Hi Cade," she was standing in front of him wearing a short skirt and a t-shirt.  She'd cut her hair short like a pixie and she was smiling down at him, "Could I have a word?"

He nodded and followed her further down the beach.

"Who's that woman with Cade?" Amber whispered to Cela.  Cela's boyfriend was Josh and they made a good looking couple.  Cela had dark brown thick hair, a button nose and full lips but she had a smashing personality from what Amber could see.  They had only been introduced to each other under an hour ago and already had a lot in common.

"Oh that's Lucy... Cade's on and off girlfriend..." Cela whispered, "She's a bit of a cow though, from what the other guys have said."

"They're off, right?" Amber said, hoping that they were indeed off.

"Yeah, last time I heard they were off... but hey, he's here with you isn't he?  So that's some indication.  I don't know why Cade constantly takes her back knowing she's cheated on him and been a bitch about it too."

"I guess we do stupid things when we're in love," Amber said, more to herself then anyone else, "What's she doing here, if everyone seems to take a dislike to her?"

"She has some hold on him... well I think anyway... I heard some of the guys talking... she uses sexual blackmail as a ploy but you'd call that a slapper right?" Cela said, no holds barred.

"A slapper?" Amber asks, "That's the same thing as a slut, right?"

Cela laughs, "Oh yeah, sorry... I keep forgetting you're not from around here... yup, pretty much. Y'know, if you want to reinstate your territory, you should go up there and introduce yourself to her, what harm could you do?"

"Me and Cade, we're not really... a couple... per say, it's complicated," Amber looked out over the sea.

"Complicated? Life's complicated. Oh look, she's looking over... it's obvious they're talking about us, otherwise why would she be looking daggers at us," Cela smiled, "And I have to say, the way Cade has been watching you tonight, I can't say things are complicated.  They look pretty straight forward to me... he looks pretty awestruck, if you ask me."

"I haven't really thought about another relationship in a long time..."  Amber hesitated.

"Cade's a nice guy... you shouldn't really worry about it.  He's way too good for Lucy, that's for sure," Cela encouraged, "Oh goodie, she's coming over."

Lucy stomped over to where Cela and Amber were sitting, "Oh, so you're the girl who everyone's been harping on about."

Amber looked up from where she was sitting with Cela.  She looked up at Lucy and carried her conversation with Cela.

"Did you not hear me?" Lucy said slightly louder, putting her hands on her hips. 

Amber looked back at Lucy, gave her a point blank stare and carried on talking to Cela.

"I don't like being ignored," Lucy admonished.

Amber stood up and fixed her a cold stare, "And I don't like being spoken to like that.  If you had a fragment of intelligence you would have politely introduced yourself instead of wading in as if you owned the place."

"You don't know me, so don't dare speak to me like that," Lucy almost screamed.

"I'll speak to you however way I endear to.  The fact that you've sauntered your way here, impolitely announcing yourself and being a bit of bitch garners you no respect whatsoever, from me or anyone who's in ear shot distance.  I suggest you turn around and leave me alone," Amber spat at her.

"I have every right to be here as you," Lucy yelled back.

"Be my guest," Amber said, pausing and turning to Cela, "Shall we get out of here?"

Cela jumped up and laughed, "Yeah, let's get out of here."

As Amber and Cela walked away, they were slowly joined by the rest of the crowd, leaving Lucy standing there.

"You're hilarious!" Cela laughed. 

"I don't know her, yet I don't like her.  She seems like such a brat,"  Amber said.

"What did you say to Lucy?" Gideon said, putting his arm around Amber's neck and tugging.   Amber instinctively grabbed his arm around her neck, twisted it behind his back and pushed him to the floor.  Gideon looked up from the sand, eyes wide and full of shock as well as surprise, "What the fuck?!"

Cade was by her side and turned her towards him, "Are you okay baby?"  Searching her face.

"The defence lessons are definitely working," she half heartedly said, looking straight into his eyes.

"Your bird a kung fu expert or what?" Gideon said, bouncing back onto his feet and dusting himself off, "Shit, one minute I was standing and the next I was on the floor... that was crazy."

"Sorry about that... I'm... uhh... you..." Amber stammered.

"Amber's a fitness addict, if there's anything in the gym to get the heart racing she does it... I just have to look at her and my heart races... so it evens out the stakes," Cade humours, wrapping an arm around Amber to reassure her, "Amber, would you like to go for a walk?"

Amber nods and they stroll away from the crowd.