25 November 2012

Amber's Advocate


A Perfect Fit

     Amber stared at the stick in her trembling hands, her heart in her mouth, her mouth as dry as sawdust.  She blinked and stared back at the two prominent stripes on the pregnancy test... she was pregnant.  Pregnant.  How could this be?  Of course, she knew about the birds and the bees... she knew how women got pregnant, a giggle suddenly erupting from her lips and shook her head in disbelief.  She couldn't believe it, her legs wobbled and she sat down on the toilet seat, stick in one hand whilst the other clasped her head.  
      "What's that?" Cade said leaning against the door frame. Her kind wonderful Cade- the man who had rescued her seven months ago and who had persuaded her to move into his apartment as soon as they got back to London.  Worry now etched his face.  He strode over to her and took her face in his hands, "What's the matter Amber?  Is something wrong?" He whispered, his hands caressing her face as if that would somehow magically produce an answer. 
       "I'm pregnant Cade, I'm pregnant," Amber whispered. 
       Cade closed his eyes and Amber's heart sank, he didn't want it... he didn't want the baby.  The tears, she was trying to fight back, now prickling her eyes.  She squeezed her eyes shut, before they could escape. 
       "That's the best news I've heard since you said you would move in with me Amber, the best news.  I'm going to be a dad... hey hey..." he lifted her chin to look at her shut eyes, misinterpreting her feelings, "I won't do anything to hurt you... I would never do anything to you or our baby, I love you... you have to believe me Amber." 
         Amber laughed and shook her head, "No, I wasn't thinking that at all... I just didn't know whether you wanted a baby at all." 
          "Oh honey, I want as many babies with you as possible... I love you so much, you are the best thing in my life..." he got up, kissed her and said, "Stay here one moment, okay?  I'll be two secs." 
        Amber looked up in confusion, but the feeling didn't last as Cade was back and this time on bended knees, a velvet box in his hands, "What are you doing?" 
          Cade laughed, "Not the kind of thing a guy wants to hear when he's about to propose to his beautiful girlfriend but hey, there's a first for everything." 
           "You're going to propose?" Amber said in shock. 
           "I had this monologue planned but I can't remember it, sometimes I forget things when you're staring at me like that but you have to know Amber, that I will do everything in my power to make you the happiest woman that ever lived.  To me, you're my everything and please be my wife. I want to take care of you and  our child you're carrying. Say yes." 
           "No," Amber said. 
           Cade shook his head, "I understand, it's too early to ask." 
           Amber giggled and leaned forward and kissed him, "No silly... what I meant to say was yes... yes I'll marry you... of course..." 
           Cade exhaled and kissed her. 
           "Can I see the ring?" Amber asked. 
           Cade smiled and opened the velvet box to reveal the most exquisite ring Amber had ever seen, a cluster of diamonds and rubies with a nestled diamond in the middle.  Cade smiled to himself, as he heard Amber exhaled. He slipped the ring onto her finger, a perfect fit.  She was his perfect fit. 

03 October 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Nineteen


     "You really ought to have waited for back up," Detective Chase stood out of the way,  as Cade was being examined by nurse in one of the stalls.  In his struggle to get to Amber, he had incurred lacerations, scrapes and cuts- but neither bothered him, his main goal he accomplished - he'd gotten to her.

      "Y'know how I feel about waiting," Cade responded, "Not when her life was hanging in the balance."

      "I could have had you arrested Cade for trespassing, for breaking and entering, for interfering... " Detective Chase counted on his fingers.

     "Have me arrested then, I don't really care.  As long as she's safe and in protective custody... I don't give two fucks about me," Cade winced, as the nurse appalled cream to his cuts.

     "In other circumstances I probably would, but you saved my life... I'll see to it that no charges are put against you. You know, we could really use someone like you on the force," Detective Chase replied, "You've got instinct, which is important and hard to find..."

     "If I need a new perspective, I'll let you know," Cade replied, "What say you of Rick?"

     "The bullet you put in him, pierced a lung... his condition is critical but he's stable but who knows,  I'm not God, but one less evil person on this earth the better. I have two of my best men on either side of his door, in case some ass hole decides they want to come and rescue the bastard, you never know the crazies here. I'm not taking my chances with having him let out," Detective Chase said, the bite in his words obvious.

     Cade winced as the nurse bandaged his forearm; when the blade of Stan's knife cut through him whilst he tried to get to an unconscious Amber.  He couldn't forget the blood pooling around her like she was adrift in a bloody red sea. Her blood, not theirs.  That made him angry.  Her face had been ashen and lifeless. And he remembered the gut wrenching feeling, the knots in his stomach when he saw her.  He didn't want to feel that again.  The paramedics who had gotten there had said, if she had waited a few minutes longer, she would surely not have made it.  The nurse dismissed him and he limped to the floor and made his way to the hall.  Detective Chase followed as they walked into the corridor of the hospital.

     "She's in Intensive Care, room eight if that's where you're heading? I have three officers standing outside your room.  They won't give you grief, rest assured - they know who you are but they'll shoot to kill if anyone so much as tries to get to her," Detective Chase said, as if reading his mind, "I'll be in to check on her later to get her statement."

     "So what happens to Rick?" Cade paused mid-step.

     "It looks like he'll be thrown in jail indefinitely without parole. I'm working with a couple of my officers to understand how he managed to get out and it's much bigger then we imagined. I definitely have a hunch on some big wigs being involved.  Just so you know Cade, Rick's going to prison and he'll rot there, you have my word and his accomplice too. Take care of yourself and I'll be in to see her later," Detective Chase said walking the opposite direction.

      Cade entered the Intensive Care Wing of the hospital and noticed immediately the three security officers to room eight.  She was protected.  One person on either side of the door and one facing him head on.  He limped towards her door and wasn't stopped by the security guards, they obviously knew him and even stepped out of the way as he turned the handle of the door and limped  like Chase had said.   There were bouquets of flowers everywhere, an up lighter was in the corner of the room, spreading a warm glow.  Amber was lying in the bed, her eyes closed. She had been stripped to hospital scrubs, a blue dress shirt, her hair like flames around her face.  Her arm was linked to an IV and she was motionless.  The colour of her skin, not as ashen the last time he saw it. There was evidence of colour there, that he was glad.  He took a seat next to her bed and clasped her hand in his, it was lukewarm to the touch.  He'd almost lost her.  He wouldn't know what he would have done if he had lost her, that, he didn't want to think about.
       Holding her hand and knowing she was going to make it, was reassuring.  There was hope at the  end of the long black tunnel.  They'd gone through hell in the time they'd known each other, the bad times outnumbered the good but he was staying, there was no way anyone or anything was going to get rid of him. No way.  He could focus on the good times they shared already and work on having more- that's what you did when you loved someone, you were willing to take the risk, throwing caution to the wind.  He'd waited so long for a person like her, when some men may be put off by her baggage and her state of mind, it had motivated him to help her, push her in the right direction, the direction to heal, how could he just abandon her when she needed him the most.  Love could do that to you and boy, did he love her.  He loved her more then he loved himself.  Today, he was prepared to be arrested, for her safety and knowing she would never have to look over her shoulder because the son of a bitch was going to rot in prison.  His phone vibrated in his pocket and he reluctantly let go of Amber's hand and edged towards the window sill. 

     "Cade, it's Millie... I'll be there in a couple of hours... have you got any news? What's the update?" A frantic Millie said down the phone.

     "She's fine Millie, she's good," Cade replied, he didn't want to worry her best friend and he didn't want to hear a hysterical female on the other end, especially one who would no doubt start crying. 

     "Any news on Rick?" Millie asked viciously.

     "I put a bullet in him, he's under police surveillance in the hospital... frankly I don't know of his situation but I should have put another bullet in him when I got a chance," Cade said angrily.

     "The main thing is that Amber is okay, just focus on that Cade, she needs you and I'll be there as soon as I can," Millie said.

     The whisper from behind him, broke his thoughts... Amber was waking up. 

     "Mills, I've got to go she's waking up," Cade said, "I'll see you later."

     Cade put the phone back into his pocket and strode over to Amber and as their gazes met she looked at him in horror.

     "What happened to you?" she said in disgust.

     "I'll explain later, how are you feeling?" Cade sat by her bed.

     "Like an elephant's sitting on my head... is... has... Rick... is he dead?" she asked.

     "No, but he could have been... he's not going to hurt you... not anymore. I won't let him.  When I saw you Amber, it's like I died... I won't let any fucker get near you, I won't," Cade said as an oath.

     Amber touched the top of his head, "I know you won't... I believe you... I don't want to even give him a moments thought, not even a second... I've lived far too much of my life in the past and I want so much to live in the here and now, you know?  Life's too short... I love you Cade.  It's taken me a while to realise it but it's true, I love you... not because you've been so patient and kind and accommodating towards me but because you have been the first person who hasn't walked around me on egg shells, who hasn't treated me like I was broken and needed fixing and because you're just you. You know what you have to do now right?"

    "Get you out of here?" Cade replied jokily.

    "Soon, once this elephant's vacated my head," Amber grinned.

     "So, what do I have to do?" Cade asked.

    "You gonna tell me how much you love me yet?" Amber teased.

     Cade couldn't help himself, he leaned forward and kissed her.


06 September 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Eighteen


     Amber did not feel safe. 

    Safe was a word she didn't use lightly, she felt safe when she was in London.  (Even though London was as unfamiliar to her as the British sense of humour).   She felt safe when she was behind Fort-Knox; the town house she shared with Millie and Liam.   She was safe when she was with Cade, he had somehow implemented himself into her life without her even realising.  She did not feel safe- not right now.  She should have stayed at the hotel, why didn't she? It had been a stupid argument, pointless.  Her anxiety and nerves had been riding on her, hence her snapping at him.  He was only trying to help her cope... she knew now, she had to have a little bit of faith.   Now she was roaming around the block of a concrete jungle she used to know,  her feet having taken her away from 'safe'...

Stupid feet.  

      What the hell was wrong with her?  She made the decision to head back, it was dark and it was late and she was tired.  She could feel the jet lag creeping up on her.  She had been walking for an hour, an hour of feeling destitute... even though that hour had felt like the longest hour of her life.   She hailed a yellow taxi and got in.  Sinking back into the leather, she closed her eyes and exhaled.  When she opened her eyes to look outside, she noticed The Waldorf blur passed and immediately she felt the unease... where the hell were they going?

     "You just passed the hotel... excuse me?" Amber said, leaning forward, her arm resting on the driver's seat, "Did you hear me? Hello?"

     She tapped him on the shoulder but he didn't even acknowledge her.  She looked at the profile of the man sitting in the driver's seat, he was bald, had a pasty complexion and looked like he'd had scoffed too many burgers and fries that no matter how much exercise he did, it wouldn't be shift the extra tyres he was carrying  He also didn't look like the ID displayed on the dashboard.  Shit! Amber reached for the door to open it but they were locked, she tried the window but the glass wouldn't go down.  She yelled and screamed, she might as well not have a voice.  He ignored her. 

     Amber felt a pin prick in her arm and she looked down to see she'd been stabbed with something- her vision became cloudy immediately, "Wh...wha...what di...did... y..y...you give me?" She slumped forward, hitting her head on the seat in front of her.  She heard the sound of laughing as she blacked out.


    Amber screamed awake, hoping to God that she wasn't living and breathing through what she considered to be one of the worst nightmares ever.  She'd been stabbed repeatedly and whenever she came back to life, the faceless attacker would continue to hack at her before she died.  Amber closed her eyes, forcing at will the bile rising in her throat, back down. She felt disorientated, dizzy and hungover.  Her mind was scattered like jigsaw puzzles, she was trying to piece things together. She tried to move, but she found out all too soon that she couldn't.  And that was when a light switched on- flooding the space she was in with light.  She blinked, adjusting her sight to the overpowering brightness.  Her feet were braced together with cable ties, as were her arms to the arm rests of her chair, she couldn't move, even if she tried... God, she was scared... she wasn't prepared for this... but she wasn't prepared for that voice either...

    "Amber... Amber... Amber... "

    "R... Ri...Rick," she stammered, "Is that you?"

    He came towards her from out of the darkness and planted a kiss square on her lips.   She tried to squirm, tried to move her face away from his.   He was having none of it, his dry callused fingers dug into her face and yanked it towards him.  He pried her lips open with his tongue- but she bit into his.  He yelled, letting go of her as he tasted his blood in his mouth and the throbbing pain with it.  He back handed her and her face flipped to the side like a switch.

    "You deserved that, you fucking cunt!" she said through clenched teeth, her face unmoved.  

    "Still got your bite, I see," Rick spat the blood, "Watch your mouth."

     "You lost all power over me a long time ago... so piss off!" Amber shouted.

     "Don't test me..." Rick began.

     "Or what? You'll slap me, kick me, punch me... go on then... take your best shot, you pathetic little man!" Amber laughed sarcastically.

    Rick didn't notice the change in Amber until she used her mouth... there was so much venom and hate in her tone, it was almost as if witnessing her for the second time, the first time being when he first met her in the bar and she was a feisty little thing.  She was even feistier now.  When they'd started going out, she'd become less feisty and more subdued, more soft and she'd somehow changed. 

    "This is how it is, right Rick?  You love exercising your power over women... you enjoy being the bigger person, the one that rules the roost... you like speaking with your fists rather then your mouth and you like leaving carnage in your wake... I should know." 

    "Shut you're fucking hole!" Rick yelled.

    "Can't take the truth can you... hurts doesn't it? Your father was just the same..."

    Rick lashed out, punching her in her gut,  "You don't know anything about my father!" Rick shouted.

   "You're right, I know nothing about him... but I knew he hit you... and you passed that onto your unborn child... I lost my child because you killed it... you're a murderer... a killer!" Amber spat.

   Rick was about to throw another punch but he stopped midway, "What?!"

  Amber broke down in hysterical sobs, she had never told him he could have been a father... nor that she was pregnant... but she had lost her unborn child to his savage intent.  The tears wouldn't stop pouring down her face.  He yanked her face towards his and the look in his eyes weren't savage, violence or anything, they were blank.

   "What did you just say?" his voice was quiet, she had barely heard him.

   "I was pregnant with your kid but you killed it... and I wished you had killed me too..." Amber said, the bile rising in her throat.

    Rick staggered back, as if she had landed a punch to his gut, "You're making that shit up?"

   "I wish I was... I wish I was," Amber said, her head hanging down. 

    A door opened somewhere and foot steps echoed, "What the fuck did you do? I thought we'd agreed you wouldn't touch her! Fuck!"

   There was no reply. 

    "Rick, what the fuck is wrong with you?! Have you even called her boyfriend yet? Rick, what the fuck?!" The man became impatient, "Do I have to do everything myself?"


   "I don't believe in coincidences," the New York police detective said to Cade, "I wondered why it never appeared on our radar that he'd been discharged from prison... usually we're the first to know these things... especially as this story was strewn across the media like it was gossip.  Our officers are looking into that."

    "I want to know..." Cade didn't get to finish his sentence as his mobile rang, "It's Amber's phone," he said to the detective. 

    "Let's put a tracer on it," the detective whispered.

    "Amber baby, is that you?"

    "Bring me two million in paper in two large sacks, the destination will be sent by text.  Don't involve the police and you'll get your darling girl back," the voice was a demand.

    "How do I know this isn't some kind of joke?" Cade said. 

    There was a long pause and then Amber came on the phone, "Cade... Cade... don't give Stan the money, don't give him..." And then he heard her scream and a crash and the phone went dead.

    "If they fucking hurt her, I'm going to kill them!"

    His phone beeped and he looked at the text message, "Where the hell are The Docks?"

   The detective was already throwing commands at his team and there was a sudden urgency and buzz in the room, "Let's go... Cade you'll have to stay here."

   "Hell no, I'm not staying here... I'm coming with you,"  Cade responded.

    "It's advisable you stay here for your safety," the detective said.

    "If it was your woman?" Cade responded.

    "Let's get you a bullet proof vest," the detective said and ushered them all out of the room. 

28 August 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Seventeen

When the shit hits the fan, it hits

    Cade strolled to the front desk where they were greeted by the check in clerk.  He peered over his shoulder to see Amber taking in the grandeur of the lobby, of the Waldorf Astoria.  For a native New Yorker, she sure looked at the place as if seeing it for the very first time.  The lobby was opulent, boasting of Italian marble, the overhead expanse of a chandelier and subtle lighting gave the area an intimate feel. 
    "It's so dark in here... I wonder what it looks like during the day," Amber whispered, as she nervously played with her charm bracelet.

    "We'll find out in a couple of hours," Cade looked at his watch, "Would you like to go to your room?"

    She nodded and they made their way to the lift, "So what kind of room do we have?"

    "A luxury suite, you have your own bedroom, as do I, and we have joint facilities I think. We're on the forty second floor," Cade said stealing a glance at Amber.

   "What? But that's the penthouse area," Amber said, her mouth wide open.

   "One of them..." Cade replied.

   "I don't understand, how does your magazine afford luxury like this?  Don't get me wrong, it's great that you write and all... but it's not like a big publication, it's tiny in comparison to Vogue or GQ or... I mean, I hardly knew of it's existence until I met you," Amber said confused.

   "That's why I'm here in New York to expand the magazines horizon.  Besides, we don't exactly want to be Vogue a fashion magazine... or GQ... of course, I'd be lying, we want the sales side of things just not be known for being a fashion mag or lifestyle... the magazine's demographic is aimed towards the more accomplished, informative man.  The man who wants to know what the hell is going on around the world, not just what's outside his front door or on the street," Cade replied. 

   "That's all good and dandy and I appreciate the education Cade, but your magazine isn't with the big wigs yet... so how the hell did it afford this? The Waldorf Astoria?" Amber said stepping onto the corridor of the forty second floor.

    "It can't..." Cade said, putting his key into the door and the door opened.  Amber stepped in and her mouth dropped open.

    She turned around and looked at him, "So... what? You used your own money to stay here?"

    Cade stood by the landing, he watched Amber as she stood in the middle of their suite's foyer, her hands on her hips, waiting for a reply.

   "You used your own money to stay here... whatever for?" she asked in disbelief.

   "For you, for us," Cade simply said.

    "For me? I don't understand," Amber said, "For us?"

   "I can tell, you miss New York, I can tell by the way you talk about it... I can tell by the spark in your eyes, then by the way they water because it's too painful.  Because the way things ended here... it's not a place you want to go to revisit... but I want to change all that.  I want to show you that it doesn't have to be this way... that sometimes good can come out of the really bad stuff," Cade pleaded.  He remained standing, he wasn't going to pity her.  She wouldn't want that. 

   "So, you're my advocate?" Amber looked straight at him.

   "If you want to label it, yes... but foremost..."

   "You lied to me..." she rushed past him.  He grasped the sides of her arms.

   "I swear to you, I didn't... not intentionally... I just want things to be..."

   Amber shoved him away, "I trusted you... I trusted you and you deceived me! Why couldn't you just tell me you wanted me to come..."

   "Because I knew you wouldn't... it's too hard for you... God Amber, if you only knew what it's like to see someone you deeply care about, upset, hurting... a hurt you can't get to because you don't understand or you don't know where to start."

    "You won't know then, will you," Amber yelled and flew out the door.

    Cade cursed and ran after her.  She was standing at the lift, fuming, "Where are you going?"

   "Anywhere but here," she snapped back.

   "Can we go in and talk about this?" Cade asked softly.

   "What's the point, you assumed what you think I needed when you lied your way to get me here... do you have any idea what it feels like to know in this very city, that the person I used to love, tried to kill me... that he's lying in a cell in this city just waiting, biding his time... to seek his revenge.  I didn't want to come here, ever again!  I didn't want to come here... knowing I'm closer now to him then ever... but I came back here because you wanted me to and because I thought... maybe, however minuscule the possibility was... that there would be one guy out there... one guy, who would be different... but you're all the same... all of you."

    "Amber please, let's talk about this inside," Cade asked.

    "No, I'm going home... back to London... where it's safe," Amber said.

    "You can't run for ever Amber... you can't, it's not the way to live your life," Cade whispered.

    "It's my life Cade, IT'S MY LIFE!" she yelled back. 

    "I'm not telling you to live your life the way I want it... I just wanted to help you..." Cade offered. 

    "I'm tired of people trying to dictate to me how I should live my life... I'm not a child..." Amber said, pressing the button for the lift.

     "Please come inside and we can talk about this.  I'm not telling you, I'm giving you a choice Amber."

     "Then if this is the choice you're giving me... you'll understand... leave me alone," Amber stepped into the lift and the doors closed in his face.

     Cade stood by the lift, the adrenaline coursing through his veins.  He slapped his hand against the wall and stormed back into the suite.  The sound of his phone, brought him back to reality with a thud.  He searched through his hand carry and retrieved the phone, before it stopped ringing.  He looked at his call log, it was a UK number.  He called it back.

     The voice of a distressed woman came on the line and he recognised the voice immediately "Is she there?"

     "Millie, what's wrong?" Cade said urgently. 

     "Where is she Cade? Where's Amber?" 

     "She's just popped out," he lied, "Now, tell me what's wrong?"

    "Rick's out of prison... he got out... not even on parole... he got out,"  Cade didn't have to ask twice.  He ran out of the suite and ran into the lift, seeing the lift there waiting... without Amber.  He suddenly felt cold. 

17 August 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Sixteen

Progress... Plans...

A Week Later...

    The man opposite him pushed the manila envelope towards him.

    "What's this?" Rick responded, picking it up and staring into it.

    "You wanted to know, so I got you something... open it up and you'll find out," the stocky man said, leaning back in his chair.

    Rick opened the envelope and caught sight of the bitch laughing hand in hand with a man he didn't know.  The photos were black and white, reminding him of stake outs he'd seen in an episode of CSI:New York the other night in the communal hall of this dank miserable shit hole of a prison.  Ironic.  He looked at the next photo and they she was kissing him, leaning into him and his hands were in her hair. 

    "Your point? Or did you just give this to me to fucking piss me off?" Rick slated.

    "Attitude... don't forget your place now Rick.  You forget who's on the inside and who's not," the stocky man pointed out.

    "What do you want Stan?" Rick said through clenched teeth, if he wasn't incarcerated in this place, his face would meet his fist. 

     "Your little girlfriend's snapped up a right gold mine.  He's an heir to an obscene amount of money... obscene... more then you and I will ever see in a life time," Stan grinned with malice, "So, I'm cutting you a deal... but that depends on what you're willing to pay me."

    "I want her to pay but I can't do that because I'm stuck in this fucking hell hole... I want to watch her die by my hand and my hand only..." Rick tried to contain his fury.

    "That can be arranged... these cells, this establishment is as corrupt as the lawyers of this city, the government and every police officer. When you wave a little green in their faces, they're like putty in your hands.  You can do what the hell you like with them, because they've sold their soul to the fucking devil himself.  Even the Senator of this state is as corrupt as they come and I know. I know.  I can promise you, I can get you out of this place in a couple of days before she gets to live the American Dream again," Stan said smugly.

    "Hold on a second, is she coming here?" Rick stammered, in shock.

    "Your little witch is travelling to the US... the land of the fucking free with her boyfriend... and then we can truly play our cards right.  Forget about the state lottery... we'll be rich!" Stan said rubbing his fingers together. 

    "So, what do you propose?" Rick said, leaning forward.  Licking his lips in anticipation.


    "Are you sure about this? I mean really sure? Sure as sure can be?" Millie said leaning against the door jamb of Amber's room.

    "At the beginning I was a little apprehensive, y'know with the state of affairs... the issues... but I'm tired of being scared... I just want to face it.  What's the least that could happen?  He's in prison, there's no way he's coming out.  I'll be safe, I can protect myself," Amber resigned herself to say, "I'll be fine."

   "Only if you're sure?" Millie smiled.

   "I'm sure, besides I really miss New York... it's home, even if there are things I don't want to think about there... I just want to get on with it," Amber replied.

   "Wow! I never thought I'd actually see the day... but this is pretty awesome," Millie said striding up to Amber and hugging her.

   "What are you talking about?" Amber said, drawing away from her friend.

   "You're in love with him?" Millie stated the obvious.

   "I'm not in lo-"

   "Love does a many great things... I should know... wow..." Millie said jumping up down, "I tried to deny it, but you do... you've got courage, determination... and the fact you're going back to New York, says it all.  You're willing to be with him, despite that.  It's gotta be love."

    "No, it's courage... now get off... I've gotta go give Shadow a bath," Amber walked away.

   "I know you're trying to evade my question, but I know you..." Millie said pointedly.

   "Like I said, I gotta go give Shadow a batch," Amber said, making a quick exit.  If she couldn't figure it out, could other people?

16 August 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Fifteen


     Amber woke up abruptly to a ceiling that was unfamiliar to her.  When she turned her head, her eyes clasped on Cade who was reading in an arm chair opposite the couch she was luxiously sprawled out on.  Covering her eyes she groaned and spoke up,
     "Shit! So much for dinner."
     "You're in luck," Cade smiled, putting the book to the side and grinning, "I burnt it.  I didn't have the heart to start over, so we'll order in, instead.  Are you hungry?"
     "Starving.  How long was I out?"
     Cade looked at his wrist watch, "Oh a couple of hours."
     "And what's a couple of hours?" Amber asked, as she stretched.
     "I'd say, about six hours..." Cade smiled.
     "This is just too weird, I haven't slept like that in such a long time, it's so strange.  Even with medication, I never drift off like that," Amber said, shaking her head.
     "Well, what can I say? It must be the cosiness of my place.  What do you fancy to eat? Pizza or Chinese?" Cade said to a stand.
     "You pick... can I use your bathroom please?" Amber asked.
     Cade pointed her in the right direction and she shut the door firmly behind her.

   An hour later, they were sitting on the floor, having spooned various culinary Chinese offerings from the local Chinese takeaway.
    "So... I've got to go to New York for a couple of days in two weeks," Cade began, "And as you're a native, I was hoping you would join me.  What do you say?"
    Amber almost choked on the prawn she was half way through munching, "You can't be serious."
    "I'm deadly serious... you said you were missing the buzz, I'm going over there to meet some clients for work, why don't you come and join me? It'll be fun.  Besides, I'll be staying at The Waldorf and god that sounds amazing."
    "I promised myself I'd never go back there," Amber said, more to herself then to Cade.
    Cade put down his plate and then took the bowl from Amber's hands, "If it's too soon, I'm sorry... I'm crazy about you and the thought of not seeing you for five days is unbearable.  Shit! I'm not coming across right, a complete and utter needy git.  I just thought, as you're from there you'd be my tour guide and you'd show me around your old haunts y'know and we can make new memories.  Crap! That didn't come out right either."
    Amber was shocked to speechless.
   "Say something, anything..." Cade prompted.
   "Can I think about it?" Amber managed to say.
   "Of course," Cade replied and kissed her softly on the lips.

   Cade drove Amber home an hour later, she had left her bowl to the side after he had robbed her of it, after he asked her to go to New York with him. Silence had enveloped the conversation and even when he tried to make conversation with her afterwards, it was like she wasn't even there.  Well, her mind definitely wasn't.  Even if she was sitting right beside him.  When she asked him to take her home, his heart squeezed.  What a dumb ass he was and now standing on the pavement as the door shut, he felt like a sore loser.  He knew there were still things that traumatised her and one of those things was in New York.  He'd been so excited by the trip, knowing she was a native there, he couldn't resist.  And that temptation and the 'ask' had been a major ASK.  He felt like an arse. The look on her face had said everything, she was scared shit less and he wanted to console her but she had closed off.  Untouchable.  
   He eventually got into his car and drove away from the pavement.  He couldn't help himself, he was like a teenager and a crazy hormonal one at that.  He just couldn't seem to shake how hard he was falling for her and how ridiculously fast.  With his past girlfriends, it had taken him a long time to fall in love with them, it had taken him a year but with Amber, with it being only a matter of months... holy crap, he was crazy about her.  They hadn't even made love yet and he felt this about her.  Not that making love, having sex was a major thing for him because being with her and having her beside him was all that mattered.  He pulled up off the road to calm his beating heart, he never got this emotional.  He was a man for god sake- this was stupid. 
    He sat motionless in his car and decided to park up, he took out his mobile phone and dialled his friend Vince.  He needed to talk to someone and Vince had life experience.

19 July 2012

Amber's Advocate

Chapter Fourteen


     "I can't believe you persuaded me to put this drivel on," Cade grinned as he stole a glance at his girlfriend who was currently singing to N'Sync in the car.

      "Y'know you secretly love them... everyone does, they're my guilty pleasure," Amber smiled.

      "Next thing you'll be telling me is you're Miley Cyrus' number one fan!" Cade quipped, then saw the seriousness written all over Amber's face, "You gotta be kidding me?  Miley?!"

Amber held the serious face for as long as she could and then laughed, "You're so gullible Cade... eeurgh, I have standards you know!"

      "I would never have guessed," Cade said, edging the car forward slowly. He was rewarded with a smack on his arm.  And as if reading her mind, he leaned forward and kissed her.  She kissed him back and then there was a barrage of honking behind them,
      "Give a guy a break-" he whispered and sped down the motor way. 

They got to London a few hours later, Cade pulled up near the pavement and helped her with her hand carry as they both got out of the car.  The weather was warm and sunny. Cade set her bag by the stairs of the town house and peered down at her.  God, she was beautiful he thought. 
       "Thank you for such an amazing time Braiden," Amber smiled cheekily
       He touched her nose with the tip of his finger, "You really ought to stop calling me that, but I'll let you off on this occasion if you do me one thing?"
        "And what's the thing?" Amber asked amused.
        "That you give me a kiss and have dinner with me tonight," Cade said as he leaned forward.
        "That's two things Cade, my, you're getting very greedy now," Amber giggled.
        "I only feel greedy, when it comes to you," Cade replied, giving her a quick peck on the lips, "Let me know how you feel about dinner tonight, I know it's been a pretty crazy couple of days. I've gotta get to work right now to do something but I'll call you later."
         And with that, he disappeared into his car.

Amber walked through the door and immediately froze, she squinted at the sound of barking and as if someone flicked a switch, the dog stopped barking.  
       "So you found Shadow then?" Millie smiled from the lounge.
       "Shadow?" Amber asked as she sat beside Millie, the dog now sitting at their feet, "He's a bit too white to be called Shadow, no?"
       "Yeah, that's what I liked about him.  He looks all soft and cuddly, but he's apparently got a fierce bite," Millie put her laptop to the side, "Listen Amber, don't be alarmed okay, the last thing I want to do is worry you..."
       "Millie, I'm a big girl... I can handle it, just tell me what's going on."
       "There have been a few attempted break-in's, nothing too serious but y'know with Liam being away, he didn't want to take any precautions with us, so that's why Shadow will be a permanent fixture here.  He's a trained specialist."
      "Oh, so this dog knows how to wield a gun and protect us then?" Amber said, feeling vulnerable.
      "No, he can't do that but he has been trained to the highest level. He knows who our friends are, from our foes.  He's a trained security guard dog. I'll have to teach you the commands, they're very straight forward... I think there is a sheet lying around somewhere.  So enough about me, dish..." 
      Amber smiled to herself.
      "Stop being so coy, tell me!" Millie said, pinching her.
      "Oww!" Amber yelped as she caressed her pinched arm, "Okay, okay, I'll tell you!"
      "Don't leave anything out... I want the details!" Millie said clapping her hands in excitement. 

      Cade was hunched over his computer in the office, he was still technically on holiday but what was meant to be a twenty minute job had turned out to be a four hour stint.   Maybe the job actually was a twenty minute thing but his mind kept wondering elsewhere.  Elsewhere, was images of Amber in a wet suit, of her curled up on his couch in Cornwall, a blanket they shared on the beach under the stellar sky by camp fire.  She was taking up residence in his head.  No wonder, he felt distracted, not that he was wishing it any other way.  Hell no! He really liked her, which reminded him to give her a call.  He picked up his mobile and called, she picked up on the second ring and he heard the excitement in her voice, which only added to how he was already feeling about her.
        "You calling about dinner, I presume," she asked.
        "Yes and to say hello," he smiled into the receiver, "Have you thought much about joining me for dinner?"
        "As a matter of fact, I have," Amber replied.
        "So, what's the verdict?" Cade asked, "Hey, what's that noise in the background, you got a dog or something?"
        "Yes, that's Shadow... he's been brought in because there have been some attempted break ins here."
        "Break ins... do the police know?" Cade asked, gathering his stuff together.
        "Yes, they do but it's being taken care of... Liam's beefed up security and Shadow has been brought in," Amber's tone had turned down a notch.
        "Are you worried, about the break ins?" Cade tentatively asked.
        "To some degree yes," Amber replied, "So, what time are you picking me up for dinner?"
        "How about seven thirty, that okay with you?"
        "Sounds perfect, see you then Cade," Amber said and hung up. 
         Cade walked into the town house, he was greeted by Millie and a very large white dog.
        "You've got a great house here," he said.
        "Thanks, I think so too.  Millie's going to be a few minutes," Millie said walking ahead, "Would you like anything to drink? You can come into the kitchen if you want?"
        "Thanks," muttered Cade following her past the lounge and into the kitchen.
        "I'm sure Amber's told you about what happened to her and you know as a friend that I worry about her and the company she keeps..."
        "I won't hurt her if that's what you mean," Cade said.
        "That's what they all say, they won't hurt her... but they do in the end..." Millie said.
         Cade was about to respond when Amber strode in, "This is really uncalled for Millie, I told you already, I'm a big girl I can handle myself."
        "I don't want you to be hurt, banged up and bruised," Millie stated, "I can't help but worry about you."
        "I would never hurt her, never hurt her physically or in any other form... I care too much for her to ever risk something as stupid as losing my temper or using my fists, men who use their fists on women are bastards.  And if I ever get a hold of that bastard who hurt you, not only am I going to give him a taste of his medicine, I'm going to kill him!" Cade said, "You have my word."
         Cade watched as Amber stepped back a look of horror on her face, "No Cade, please don't."
         Millie looked at Amber, "Amber calm down, it's going to be okay."
         "I don't want violence anymore... I won't have it... if this is ever going to work out, I don't want to talk about violence or that it has to be the focus of everything... I just want to move on from that point in my life okay? I don't want it to overrule who I am, so the both of you just please stop talking as if I'm some fragile little thing," Amber spoke abruptly.
         Cade and Millie simultaneously murmured, "I'm sorry."
         "Apology accepted," she smiled, "I'd really like it if you two could get along." She hugged Millie and tugged Cade towards the door.

         Cade opened the door to his flat and ushered Amber in, she paused in the hallway to look at the vinyl records on his wall.
          "Why do you have framed vinyl records on your wall?" Amber said peering at them closely.
          "Because I love good music," he offered as he looked at them.
          "I love good music too," Amber replied.
          "N'Sync and Backstreet Boys? I don't think I have any of those up here," he mimicked, "I put them up here because these are first editions, much like you get first edition books... I like first edition vinyl."
          "Hey! Don't knock BSB and N'Sync okay?" Amber giggled, "Besides is this for show off purposes or what?"
          Cade paused recalling a memory, "When I was growing up in Cornwall, my grand mother introduced me to the fifties, sixties and seventies music... you could say that was a big introduction into the music hall of fame.  I loved just sitting in the living room with her, listening to the golden oldies and her talking to me about her life.  This is mostly reminds me of her, when she died she left me her entire collection.  Some of it is worth thousands of pounds but I don't have the heart to sell it off, they're too precious."
         "Oh, I'm sorry... I didn't mean to come across as assuming..." Amber felt an apology bubble to the surface.
         "Don't worry about it, come on, come and see the rest of the flat," Cade ushered her in.
         Cade's flat was nothing like the town house, it was messy, male and somehow strangely comfortable, all under one roof.  He had a flat screen above the mantel piece with a stack of DVDs just below.  A simple iPod speaker stand.  A black couch with several throws in a multitude of colours flung over it, an antique armchair that looked misplaced but fit perfectly with all the modern amenities. 
        "Would you like anything to drink?" Cade asked and noticed Amber shiver, "Why don't you take a seat and I'll make you a hot chocolate."  He put a cashmere blanket around her and disappeared into the kitchen to make her a hot chocolate. 
          Amber could hear the kettle and the sounds of the spoons against the mug.  She closed her eyes for a moment and leaned back.  God, she was dog tired.  He wouldn't mind it if she slept a little.  Closing her eyes and leaned sideways and fell asleep as soon as her head hit the cushion.


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.