Amber's strange experience turns deadly.
I arrived at the library and ran up the steps. Bella spotted me and opened the door. "You're a minute late!"
"Sorry, I overslept."
"Another late night?"
"Yes," Amber studied Bella. "What's wrong?"
"There's a creepy man here who keeps staring at me!" Bella nibbled on her lower lip.
"Where!" Amber looked around expecting to catch a glimpse of him.
"He's gone, but I'll let you know when I see him."
"When you do see him, pleas..."
"I know, I'll clue you in." Bella led the way to the true crime section. "Which book are you looking for again?"
"It's called Structured Negotiations, by Lainey Feingold." Amber said. "If you want to browse for your own book…"
"I already found one." Bella showed her book to Amber.
“Good one!” I checked the titles for the book I wanted... "Ahh, here it is!" I opened the book ... "What the…?" A piece of paper fell out, and thinking it was a bookmark, I picked it up, and notice my name sprawled on it. "If you are reading this, you have been chosen."
"Chosen? Chosen for what?" I stared at the note, then looked up at Bella.
“How would anyone know you’d pick that book?”
“I know! How would they know I’d even be here?” Being a lawyer, you're use to a lot of things, but this was personal! Was I being watched? Crossing my arms, I glanced around the library, but no one looked suspicious.
Feeling a presence behind me, I spun around to see a man staring at me. His cold eyes looked me up and down.
"What do you want?" Puzzled, I narrowed my eyes.
"If you ever want to see your friend again, you'll do as you're told."
"What?” I looked behind me, expecting to see Bella, but she was nowhere in sight. “What did you do to her?" A warning note sounded in my voice.
"I know you're the lawyer working on the Paul Anderson case. We want the jury to find him not guilty."
"No way!" I glared him "He's going down for murdering those innocent twin girls."
"If you ever want to see your best friend again, you'll do as you're told." He grabbed my arm and dragged me out the back door of the library. There was a car waiting which he shoved me into. I wondered where they were taking me and found out – The mansion that housed Harry Anderson, the defendant's father.
They discussed the case, how it was going to go down, which made me squirm. I never discussed any of my cases with anybody, it was against the rules. I sat quietly as they picked apart my case.
I listened to all their special rules on the case and nodded my agreement. These people didn't mess around, a dangerous group of men! They dropped me off at my car and drove away. I slumped against the hood wondering if Bella was okay.
"We'll keep in touch, just follow our instructions." They shouted these parting words. I waved a weak hand and got in my car. I felt torn but knew what I had to do.
When Monday came around, my head spun as I took my seat. Harry Anderson sat right behind me, and I could feel his eyes burrowing into my back. Remembering his parting words if I didn't obey, I got up to do my closing argument.
I watched the jurors file out, trying to read their faces. I had a feeling, but I didn't want to jinx my luck. Two hours later the verdict came back guilty, and I was surrounded by the twins loving family. They thanked me for giving them justice, and I knew then I did the right thing. If I'm going down, I'm going down fighting!
After the courthouse cleared, I knocked on Judge Andrews door. I told him everything that happened to me, and he told me not to worry, he’d take care of things. I walked out of the court house feeling better about myself, but worried about Bella.
The sky grew dark, matching my mood. I arrived home, and just as I walked in the door, my phone rang. It was Bella.
"Amber, I'm alright, but there's a man wh..." A deep voice came on the line, giving some strange instructions.
After he was done spouting his orders, I rolled my eyes. "I don't have a red umbrella, will a blue one do?"
"You’ll find a red umbrella in the front seat of your car."
I didn't ask him how it got there, and I didn't want to know. I placed my phone on the hall table and walked into my bedroom. "A bikini? What does he have up his sleeve now?” I mumbled.
I dressed quickly in my black bikini, and high heel sandals as instructed and walked out into the garage. When I opened my car door, there was the red umbrella waiting for me. Wondering what they had planned for Belle and me, I drove over to the meeting place, an abandoned train station. Half way there, the wind picked up, lightning lit up the sky, and thunder crashed. Rain pelted my windshield as I drove slowly, trying to see the street ahead.
I parked my car, wishing I was home, relaxing after winning my case. I sighed, got out, and grabbed the red umbrella. I started walking towards my doom, never felt so silly in my life! I needed to see if Belle was okay. I was completely soaked by the time I reached the entrance to the train station. The only part dry was my hair.
A man met me at the door and guided me to where Anderson and a group of men gathered. I spotted an Arab, dressed in a robe and loose, white pants. I wondered what he was doing here.
Harry Anderson walked up to me, looking me up and down, pleased I obeyed his orders. "Good news, Amber. We're not going to kill you after all, which would be such a waste! So, I decided to sell you to Prince Omar here, he's extremely appreciative on what he sees."
"So, Harry, you're going to add human trafficking to your endless list of crimes, along with bribing a lawyer." I glared at him. "How much are you selling us for?"
"A million dollars for you, and a million for your friend. I might as well make some money out of this deal. I lost my son, you're going to lose your freedom."
Great, I'm going to become a slave to an Arab! I bit my lip, not sure what to do. The Arab shoved his suitcase full of money at Harry, he seemed impatient about getting the deal over with. Harry took the suitcase and opened it and began to count the money.
Wow, what a miser! I didn’t need to wonder what the Arab had in mind for Belle and me, so sat staring into space.
“Did I just hear a police siren?” My brow furrowed, and Belle grabbed my hand.
“It’s police sirens!” Belle squeezed my hand so tight, making me wince. I didn’t care, we were saved.
A man in the back of the train station used a blowhorn, "Give it up Anderson, you're surrounded!"
I glanced over at Harry, who looked ready to run, but thought better of it. The Arab didn't look happy but waited quietly in his seat. He looked over at me, seemed displeased about the whole mess. I knew he would get off by pleading diplomatic immunity.
Abruptly, Harry turned, and aimed his gun at me. Before I could react, Bella did a karate kick, and his gun when flying across the room. Another kick to the groin sent Harry to the floor in a fetal position.
"That's what you get for taking naked pictures of me, you pervert!" Bella stormed back to stand beside me.
“Good moves, Bella! Those Karate lessons are paying off." I hugged her.
Judge Andrews walked over to me and put his raincoat around me. "Thank God you're both okay. When we saw what was going on, we had to wait until the money exchanged hands."
"Thank you, Sir, but how did you know where I was?" My brow furrowed as I looked up at him.
"I had two police cars watch your place, and when this guy snuck into your garage, they grabbed him. He told us everything. My guys then followed you to the abandoned train station. I arrived soon after and heard everything that was going on."
"Whew, that's a relief! The way this meet was going, I gave up hope, thinking I’d rather be dead then go with that Arab."
"Not on my watch! I told you I would take care of everything." Judge Andrews smiled. "You’re a valuable asset to our community, we need all the good lawyer's we can get!"
"Thank you, Judge! I appreciate it. Do you need Belle and I for questioning, or can we go home?"
"Sure, all we need is a written report tomorrow morning from both of you."
“We can do that. See you tomorrow, Sir.” Belle and I leaned on each other as we made our way towards the exit sign.