Amberle felt a pain in her head and groaned, then turned over to try to get more comfortable. She felt disoriented, so she opened her eyes, trying to remember where she was. She opened her eyes slowly, adjusting to the light, and blinked rapidly, trying to moisten her contacts. Amberle saw two strange, good-looking young men standing a few feet away from the bed, in an unfamiliar bedroom. As they approached the bed, she suddenly remembered what had happened just before she blacked out. She panicked and started to scramble away from them, but ended up against a wall, backed into a corner.
The taller guy, with long, dark, wavy hair, said, "Don't worry, you're safe now. We won't hurt you. Are you feeling okay?" He had stopped about a foot away from the bed and looked at her with a pleading look.
"Bad people can't sound that concerned and reassuring, can they? Or that trustworthy?" Amberle asked herself. She stayed in the corner, but relaxed a bit. Then the door opened again and two more guys came in. They joined the other guy, the one with the earrings and the spiky hair. The tall guy immediately walked over to the phone and made a call. The other guy, shorter and paler, looked at Amberle with concern all over his face. After saying a few words, the tall guy handed the phone to another, saying, "A.J., I got your Mom on the phone."
They guy with the spiky hair said, "Thanks, man." and took the receiver. As A.J. spoke on the phone, the man with the long hair said to Amberle, "Hi. My name is Howie. That's Brian, Kevin, and A.J." Howie pointed to each of the men in order as he introduced them.
Amberle took a deep breath and said, "Where am I?" in a quiet voice. Howie barely heard her, but answered, "At our house." Anticipating her next question, he continued, "Kevin, Brian, and A.J. found you on the side of the road about half an hour outside of the city and brought you here."
Amberle took a deep breath and said, "Where is the blonde man?" They were silent for a moment, unsure if she had recognized them or not.
Brian said, "Do you mean Nick?" Amberle shrugged and said, "I don't know his name. The blonde man with the gun." Howie and Brian both released their breath and relaxed. Howie sat down on the chair and said, "No, we don't know any blonde men with guns. Is he the one that hit you?" Amberle looked down at her hands and arms and whispered, "I think so."
A.J. hung up the phone and turned to face everyone. He looked at Amberle and said, "My mom will be here in about 20 minutes, and she's bringing a doctor to make sure you're okay. Do you need anything? Are you hungry or thirsty?" Amberle looked up and said, "Could I have some water?" "Sure." Howie said, as Kevin, Brian, and A.J. started towards the door. They all stopped at the door and Kevin, who got there first, said, "I'll get it!" as he walked out the door. Howie smiled at Amberle and said, "Kids!" jokingly, shaking his head.
She gave him a tiny smile, just the edges of her lips curling slightly upwards. His eyes lit up when he looked at her face, and he thought to himself 'She's pretty, especially with those eyes.'
"What's your name?" She looked up at Howie and said, "Amberle"
Howie looked down at her, saying, "That's a pretty name."
Just as Amberle said "Thanks", Kevin came in the door with a glass of water. As he approached the bed, Amberle scooted towards them about a foot, but was still more than halfway towards the wall. Kevin sat on the bed and leaned towards her to give her the glass. Her hands and arms were shaking, so she used both hands to take the glass.
"Thank you." she said as she steadied the glass on her knee.
"You're welcome. Do you need me to hold it?" Kevin said, concerned. Amberle slowly lifted the shaking glass to her lips for a sip, then shook her head. No one said anything as Amberle slowly sipped the water.
About 10 minutes later, they heard the sound of a car pulling up. The cars woke Nick up and he got out of bed to see who was there. He came out of his room on the first floor just as Denise and a female doctor came in the door. Kevin and A.J. reached the top of the staircase at the same time.
Kevin said to Denise and the doctor "Go on up. I'll explain everything to Nick." They nodded and followed A.J. down the hall. The first thing Denise saw when she walked in the room were big, terrified blue eyes.
They approached the bed and Denise said, "Hey Hun, are you feeling any better?"
"Mom, this is Amberle."
"Hi Amberle. I'm Denise McLean and this is a doctor I work with at the hospital, Carol Mills."
"Hi." Amberle said softly. Just then, Kevin walked in, followed by Nick. Before she could see any of Nick's face in the light, Amberle screamed in terror and dove for the corner, shaking and crying out " NO! Please, leave me alone, Please!" She huddled against the wall so that her back was turned towards them and repeated her plea to be left alone.