Chloe sat in the small booth of the Italian restaurant, binder open a few loose papers scattered around her. She glanced at her watch noting that Cynthia must be running a little late. She caught the waiter’s attention and ordered some water with lemon before turning the page in the binder in front of her.
She’d spent the last couple of weeks meeting with Cynthia going over some of the final details for the fundraiser. When Chloe had first met the young woman, she hadn’t liked her, but over the last couple of weeks she’d grown to tolerate her because she seemed to be trying to help her with whatever she could.
Chloe still wasn’t crazy about the way she acted around Oliver, but she chalked it up to being territorial of her man. She sighed and rubbed the back of her neck.
She’d been feeling slightly under the weather the past few days and between the influx of Watchtower duties, planning the fundraiser, and making sure Oliver and Mia had dinner when she wasn’t around, Chloe was exhausted.
She’d tried calling Lois the other day, but according to Clark she was away on assignment and wouldn’t be back for a few days. He’d been happy to hear from her though and even offered to stop by for a visit, but she’d told him to wait for Lois. That they’d plan something together.
He seemed disappointed, but had let the topic drop for the most part. The waiter brought over her water and she gave him a small smile thanking him before taking a sip. She and Mia needed to go dress shopping soon to get something for the fundraiser, something she knew the teenage girl was excited about.
Chloe had just glanced up from her water when she saw Cynthia wave as she made her way over to the table quickly.
Cynthia flashed Chloe a smile as she took her seat, "Sorry I'm late. Daddy wanted me to meet with him and Oliver to give me a new guest list you'll have to revise and send out invitations for."
She set the papers down between them, "Did you order yet? I'm famished, this place is great, one of Oliver's fav's." Cynthia waved her hand, "Oh but I'm sure you already knew that."
Chloe gave her a tight smile as she took the papers and glanced over them, "He mentioned that this morning when I said we were coming here. And no, I didn't want to order without you...this is a lot of people. What's the count up to now?"
Her eyes lifted to Cynthia before she turned towards the waiter and gave him a small smile causing him to immediately move in their direction.
Cynthia took a sip of her water, "I think it just went from one-hundred and fifty to one-hundred and seventy-five." She shrugged, "But that’s what happens when Oliver throws something together under the Queen name...If I were you I'd expect the guest list to only keep rising."
Cynthia batted her eyelashes with a small smile on her lips as the waiter approached them, "Hi, I'll have a Caesar salad, no dressing please." The waiter frowned, "So just a salad then?" Cynthia nodded, "Oh, and no cheese!"
He looked towards Chloe and the expression on her face was slightly exasperated as she shifted her eyes from Cynthia who was rustling through her purse to the waiter. "I'll have the penne pasta with grilled chicken in tomato basil sauce please."
He nodded and smiled. "Not a problem." He moved away from the table and Chloe made a few notes on the list before sliding the binder towards Cynthia.
She was hoping to have a quick lunch with the red head because she promised Mia she'd stop home before going back to Watchtower to help her get ready for her date with the neighbor’s son, who Chloe was still convinced was too old for her. Cynthia glanced down at the binder Chloe had slid between them, "Oh, what's this?”
Chloe cleared her throat, “I’ve been putting everything we’ve been discussing the past few weeks together so all the information is in one place so when I need to refer back to something it’s all right there. I’ll show you.”
Chloe spent the next fifteen minutes going through the binder, showing Cynthia the different sections that listed everything from room sizes to allergies that certain guests had. It was extremely detailed and organized.
She was motioning to the last page when their waiter put their food down in front of them. Chloe smiled her thanks as he glanced between them. “Can I get you ladies anything else?”
Chloe looked towards Cynthia who ignored him and shook her head. “No thank you.” He left them and she glanced towards the red head poking at her salad trying to contain a sigh. “I’ll make sure I order the rest of the invitations when I go back to work this afternoon.”
Cynthia's grin widened, "Chloe, you are so... Organized." She bobbed her head in a short nod before picking up her fork, "Oliver was right, you can manage this easily. I bet you don't even need me." Her fork grasped a piece of lettuce as she took slow small bites from her plate.
Chloe paused, not used to getting compliments from the other woman, "Um thanks..." She glanced at her food pulling some of the chicken and pasta into her mouth. Maybe today wouldn't be as horrible as she originally thought.
She'd finish her food, go home help Mia, and head back to Watchtower to check on the mission that Canary and Impulse were currently on. She was partway through her pasta when she paused her stomach suddenly feeling queasy.
She put her fork down, leaning back in her chair as her face paled slightly and she swallowed the moisture in her throat with a frown. Cynthia froze, her fork inches from her mouth as she regarded the other woman, "Chloe, are you alright? You look a little pale."
Chloe hesitated her hand going to her stomach and rubbing it lightly. “I…I’m not feeling great…must be the food…maybe the chicken didn’t agree with me.”
Cynthia's hand flew to her mouth as it dropped open in shock, "Oh my god! Are you pregnant?"
Several heads turned their way at Cynthia's loud exclamation. Chloe's eyes widened as she shushed the other woman. "No! God no...keep your voice down. I am not pregnant...I'm on the pill." Chloe shook her head moving her napkin from her lap onto the table as she pushed her plate of food away, the smell making her nausea worse.
Cynthia's mouth promptly closed at Chloe's discretion and she leaned in, "Okay, but have you been taking the pill every day? I know I have to check three times a day because I can never remember if I took mine..."
Chloe chuckled lightly, "I'm the same way...I have a timer that goes off on my phone...I haven't missed any. I'll show you." Chloe dug around in her bag pulling out her pills and waving them at Cynthia, before opening the pack and motioning toward the pills without looking at them, "See all up to date."
Cynthia squinted her eyes before sitting back against the booth, "Except those are aspirin. Look you can clearly tell," she dug through her own purse, pulling out her pack of birth control with the same brand, discretely between them under the table.
Chloe's heartbeat quickened when she glanced down at her birth control. Her eyes widening as she realized Cynthia was right. "I...that doesn't make any sense." She was trying not to panic, but several days were missing...and she was trying to frantically calculate in her head when she was due for her next period.
Cynthia pursed her lips, "...Has Oliver been pressuring you to have children? Or has he mentioned it at all?"
Chloe froze, her head slowly turning towards the other woman, voice steady. "I hope you're not...Oliver would never do that. He isn't that type of man."
Cynthia sat up straighter, her shoulders stiffening uncomfortably, "Of course not, you're absolutely right. I just meant, being the sole Queen heir, it's a lot of pressure, and I know my father mentioned how Oliver wanted to leave the company to your children in the future, I just--" She smiled, "I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation for it."
Chloe closed the case tossing it back in her purse before grabbing the binder and putting it in her bag, "I'm sorry to rush out on you, but I've got a ton of things to do today." Chloe reached into her wallet and pulled out several twenties leaving them on the table.
"Lunch is on me. Thanks again for meeting up with me. I'm sure I'll see you soon. Have a good day Cynthia." Chloe pushed away from the table and stood giving her a strained smile before making her way out of the restaurant.
Cynthia smirked as Chloe booked it out of the restaurant fast. Her father had been right, children definitely seemed to scare Chloe. So much in fact, the red head had to wonder how deep the trust between Oliver and his wife really went. She waved the waiter over, smiling cheerfully, "A bottle of champagne please? I feel like celebrating."
Chloe sat in her car in the driveway, date book open on her lap, as she stared out the windshield. She was five days late. How had she not realized it? Ever since they made up at Watchtower four weeks ago things between her and Oliver had been better than they had in a long time.
He’d been more affectionate lately and come to think of it, she was pretty sure they’d had more sex in the past three weeks then they did since moving to Star City. She sucked in a deep breath as she pulled out her birth control, shaky hands lifting the cover as she stared at the aspirin.
Tears filled her eyes. She trusted Oliver…he had been so amazing and understanding with everything and they were finally on the same page…but how many people had access to her birth control? He wanted kids…he didn’t try to hide that…
But if it wasn’t him and she accused him of doing something so…conniving…betraying her trust in such a way…Chloe knew it was something they wouldn’t be able to find their way back from. She needed to handle this carefully…talk to Oliver, no accusations.
But first she needed to know if she was…her mind went blank at the thought. She couldn’t even think it let alone say it. What would she do if she was? She had told Oliver weeks ago when they first moved into the house that if it happened…she wouldn’t be upset…because a baby would be a part of them.
Chloe hadn’t meant like this though. She wasn’t ready to be a Mother and she certainly wasn’t ready if someone else had taken the choice out of her hands. Would Oliver forgive her for not wanting their baby if it came down to that?
She squeezed her eyes shut, stomach doing somersaults as she took several deep breaths attempting to calm her nerves. Right now she needed to go inside and help Mia. When she was done she’d run to the drug store on the way to Watchtower and then when Oliver got home tonight she’d talk to him.
Chloe opened her eyes, pushed the car door open, and made her way towards the front door. She slipped her key into the lock and opened the door gently stepping into the foyer. She took a deep breath, swallowing hard.
Trust…she needed to trust him. She loved Oliver and she knew he loved her…he wouldn’t do this to her she needed to believe that. Because if she was wrong…then this marriage was over and Chloe wasn’t sure she’d be able to handle that.
The sound of Mia’s angry voice brought her from her thoughts. Chloe frowned as she unbuttoned her jacket and made her way into the kitchen. She froze as Mia stood glaring at Oliver who Chloe did not expect to be home.
“You can’t tell me who I can and can’t date. I’m not a little kid Oliver and we weren’t doing anything worse than what I’ve already done…except I was doing this for fun, not money!”
Chloe winced, her voice breaking the tension in the room, “What’s going on here?”
Oliver frowned at Mia, "I'm sorry, but I don't think if he's moving this fast with you that he respects you at all!" He turned to see his wife standing under the archway to their kitchen, "I caught that guy and Mia getting freaky on the couch when no one was home."
His gaze flickered back to Mia, "And I really, really wish I hadn't." Chloe was torn between laughing at the look horror mixed with anger on Oliver’s face and turning around and walking back out the way she came. She sighed. “Mia…why don’t you go upstairs while I talk to Oliver…”
Mia opened her mouth to argue when she saw Chloe’s eyebrow raised in her direction. She let out a grunt and moved passed them making sure to avoid all contact with Oliver clearly signaling she was still completely angry with him for ruining her fun.
As she moved up the stairs she grumbled loud enough for him to hear, “You know I don’t cock-block your fun…common decency says I should get the same respect.”
Chloe shook her head at Mia’s parting words as she stomped up the stairs. She turned to Oliver ignoring everything she was feeling at the moment and focusing on the problem at hand.
She pursed her lips, “What exactly was she doing…I mean were they…you know?” Chloe paused even though she knew Mia’s history for some reason she had issues with thinking she was doing what her and Oliver did on that couch….
Oliver wrinkled his nose, "I've definitely seen more of the neighbor boy than I would have ever liked..." His skin nearly turned green, "And that goes for Mia as well."
He shook his head and pinched his nose trying to get the image out of his head, "I just wanted to come home and surprise you, and..." His stomach turned, "Got a surprise myself."
She nodded, “That doesn’t seem like a good surprise to come home to. Look I’m gonna go talk to Mia…why don’t you grab some food or attempt to wash those images away with Clorox...” Her lip twitched at the corner as she tried not to laugh.
Had it been her walking in on them she probably would have been just as appalled maybe even more so, but just imagining what Oliver’s reaction must have been was enough to have her holding back a grin. She started to move towards the stairs Oliver loosening his tie and following behind her to go to their room.
“So…where’s the neighbor boy?”
Oliver grimaced, "Ah... That might actually be the reason why she's so mad at me..." He cleared his throat, "Needless to say, he might be afraid to come over again."
They made it to the top of the steps and she smirked, “Well personally if he’s still alive then I’m quite proud of your will power…but I might be holding your arrows hostage for the next day or so…just in case…I’ll be right back.”
Chloe made her way down the opposite end of the hallway and knocked on Mia’s door. There was a loud shout from inside the room. “Go away Oliver…I’m disowning you.”
Chloe bit her lip to keep from chuckling. “It’s Chloe, Mia…can I come in?”
She could hear footsteps before the door was pulled open, a sour looking Mia standing there. Chloe gave her a small smile. “Hey.”
Mia sighed and moved back into her room, plopping on the bed as Chloe followed her in shutting the door behind her. “Listen I know you’re mad at Oliver…”
“Mad? No…mad doesn’t begin to describe what I am. He threw Nate out…literally. It wasn’t bad enough that he yelled, but he completely embarrassed me. I like this guy and now he’s never going to talk to me again.”
Chloe sighed at Mia’s disheartened look and she nudged the younger girl causing her to look up. “Mia…Oliver cares about you…he just…wants you to think about what you do before you do it.”
She patted the younger girls hand, “You’re seventeen and while you’ve been through a lot more than most girls your age…the best part about being in this family is you finally have a chance to be your age. Oliver just doesn’t want you rushing into anything. You deserve better than some summer fling.”
Chloe shrugged, “I won’t bug you about it anymore, but think about going easy on him okay? He’s going through this…crazy overprotective phase,“ she smirked at Mia, “and we’re his girls…I can’t imagine walking in on that was fun for him.”
Mia laughed and nodded, “I guess…I just don’t like being treated like a kid…I can make my own decisions.”
“I know…just make sure they’re the right one’s Mia. If you like this guy get to know him before things get serious.”
Mia looked at her hands. “I’ll think about what you said.”
Chloe pursed her lips and inclined her head. “Okay…I’m gonna go check on Oliver…you good here?”
Mia gave Chloe a small smile. “Yea…” Chloe stood and headed for the door when Mia called out to her, “Chloe…” she turned to face the teenager.
She smiled, “Any time.” She made her way out of the room shutting the door behind her while releasing a loud puff of air before going to find Oliver. When she made it into their bedroom He was pacing. She raised an eyebrow. “What are you doing?”
Oliver glanced up at Chloe, "Trying to keep myself from calling the guys and making our neighbor disappear..." He stopped pacing, finally standing still, "How mad is she?"
Chloe leaned against the doorframe a good distance between them, which she planned on maintaining until she left to go to Watchtower. “Pretty mad…but I think I managed to do some damage control…but since it seems their umm dates been cancelled I’ve gotta head back to Watchtower.”
She cleared her throat, “Bart and Dinah are in the middle of a mission…and I’ve gotta run to the store real quick. Dinner’s in the oven, Mia will turn it on, I’ll be home later.” She smiled and gave him a wave, “Love you.”
She turned hoping to be able to make it out of the house without incident, but she should have known that wouldn’t happen. She felt his hand curl around her arm and she swallowed hard as her earlier nausea returned. She turned to face him eyebrow raised, “Yeah?”
"You're just going to run off before you've even kissed me?" He raised an eyebrow at her before wrapping his arms around her, "Victor's covering opps for Watchtower..." He slipped the sleeve on her shoulder down a few inches before dropping a kiss on her skin.
"I couldn't stop thinking about you today, so I gave him a call and asked him to fill in." One of his hands flattened its palm on her lower back, as the other slid down to cup the curve of her ass, "I'm thinking about turning that cellar into a home base for Watchtower..."
He nuzzled his nose against hers before moving to nudge the crook of her neck, "I miss you, and want you home more often."
She swallowed hard, letting out a nervous chuckle, “Wow…you did all that huh…You know I don’t like having other people run mission unless it’s unavoidable…even if it is Victor. And the cellar is creepy…I’m still not convinced there aren’t trolls down there.”
Chloe placed a quick kiss on his lips before moving out of his arms. She glanced around the room eyes settling on the clock. She pointed, “And look at the time…I’m sure you have to get back to the office and there’s all this stuff I have to go over from my lunch with Cynthia…now’s not a good time.”
She didn’t want to fight with Oliver, but his libido had been ridiculous lately and now with the whole birth control thing…she was wondering if maybe there had been a reason for that. A lump formed in her throat stomach turning.
No…she promised no accusations…Oliver would not do this…but that didn’t explain his behavior lately…or who switched out her birth control with aspirin. Speaking of which she needed to call Emil to get a new prescription.
Oliver shook his head, oblivious to her peculiar behavior, "Nope...I took off the rest of the day for you. And Cynthia swears you're practically done with everything, she called you a natural."
He moved closer to her and smiled sheepishly, "So I'll go apologize to the neighbor, because I had hoped with Mia's date tonight, we could--"
He reached over and brushed her hair behind her ear, "Maybe try that strawberry thing on the table you had planned a few weeks ago." Bending down he swept in to kiss her lips, "You know... Before we decided to go skinny-dipping?"
She let him kiss her and decided to try a different tactic since he’d practically planned out the rest of her day for her. “I’m actually not feeling great…and I still need to run to the store. Now’s not a great time Ollie.”
Nodding, he took a step back, "No, that's perfect. I still have to apologize to Nathan and Mia." When Chloe's face didn't soften, he grew concerned, placing his hand on her forehead, "Are you alright? Do you want me to go out and pick something up for you so you can rest here?"
He pulled his hand back from her slowly, "Hmm, you don't feel warm..." She pursed her lips, “No I’m fine thank you I appreciate the offer…I can go myself though…I just…not today okay Oliver. I’m not in the mood.”
She leaned over and placed a kiss on his cheek. “I’ll be back in a little bit okay?” He leaned down, placing a small kiss to her temple, "Hurry back. I'll go apologize."
She nodded and watched him go. She let out a long breath when he was gone and walked down the stairs and out the front door to her car. Chloe got in, started the car and dialed Emil’s number on her phone.
She was going to need a birth control prescription and he was the only doctor who would give her one without an explanation as to what happened to the ones she had.
Mia was sitting in the kitchen glaring at Oliver over her bowl of cereal as he sighed and rolled his eyes. She wasn’t really too mad at him anymore. He had apologized to her and Nathan, but she enjoyed making him squirm.
“Where’s Chloe? I thought she came home already.”
He opened his mouth to answer when his cell phone rang. "Hold on," he glanced down at his phone, the scrolling name across the screen disappointing him slightly when it wasn't his wife's. Flipping his phone open, he placed the phone to his ear, "Hey Cynthia, what can I help you with?"
Cynthia shifted at her desk and smirk on her face as she put on her happiest voice, “Oh my god Oliver! I just called to say congratulations! I can’t believe you guys are pregnant already! That’s wonderful news! I knew when Chloe got sick at lunch today it had to be more than just bad chicken. That wife of yours sure knows how to keep things to herself!”
Cynthia leaned back in her chair as she pursed her lips, “I bet you’re so excited.”
Oliver shook his head, and furrowed his eyebrows, "What?"
He couldn't make sense of what she was saying. "I'm sorry Cynthia, can you slow down?" He chuckled nervously, "I don't understand what you're saying... It almost sounded like you said Chloe was pregnant." He ignored the way Mia's eyes nearly fell out of her head at his words.
Cynthia paused, “Oh…did you not know…I just assumed I mean there’s a photo of her buying a pregnancy test…it went online not long ago…I just thought you knew. Oh god Oliver I’m so sorry…after lunch I just assumed she spoke to you…Please don’t tell her I said anything…I should go…again I’m so sorry. I’ll talk to you later Oliver.”
The line went dead and Mia watched Oliver stare at his phone. She dropped her spoon in her cereal not bothering to care about the slight splash it made. “Pregnant? As is a baby? Is there gonna be a baby?”
The sound of the front door opening drew their attention as they both turned their heads in the direction of the hallway. Oliver's mouth hung open in shock.
He lifted a finger in Mia's direction, "Don't--" He inhaled, his lungs reaching for a deep breath, "Don't say anything...Tabloids print false things all the time, just--" He lowered his voice, "Let me talk to her, and see if it's true first."
She held up a hand, nodded, and motioned towards the backyard. “I’m gonna go run on the treadmill for a little bit…give you guys a chance to talk.” She hopped off the chair, grabbed her iPod from the counter and jogged out the back door right as Chloe made her way into the kitchen.
She paused seeing Oliver standing behind the island. She licked her lips. She should talk to Oliver…while they were both around. She gave him half a smile, “Hey…what are you doing? Where’s Mia?”
Oliver swallowed nervously, "Working out." An uncomfortable laugh escaped him, "Probably working off all that frustration towards me still."
She nodded, “Yeah…I guess that makes sense.” She stood there for a minute trying to find the courage to say something to him, but she still wasn’t sure how to go about it without sounding like she was accusing him of something.
The plastic bag was small and towards her side where she was holding it out of his line of vision. “Well I’m gonna head upstairs…you know to rest.” She turned around and headed for the stairs as she tried to figure out what to say.
"Still not feeling well?" He called after her, following her to the staircase, "Should I call Emil? What's wrong exactly?"
She shook her head, “I already spoke with Emil…” she paused and closed her eyes briefly. She probably shouldn’t have said that. Now when she did tell him what was going on he was going to think she had talked to other people about it before him.
She turned to face him and spoke quietly, “Look Ollie I need you to give me a little time to myself okay? And then I’ll come back down here and we can talk.”
Oliver's frown deepened, "Sure...I'll just be in my study if you need me." He agreed, wanting to see for himself if the pictures were real. She watched him turn and she felt her chest tighten. The look on his face alone said he wasn’t happy and she didn’t want to fight with him.
She bit her lip and then sighed. “Wait…just okay. Come with me…but if I let you come with me then you need to promise not to say a word until I’m finished talking. Can you do that?”
He barely heard her over the pounding of his heartbeat in his chest with the echo of its rhythm in his ears, but he found himself nodding to her terms, "Okay, I promise."
She nodded and headed upstairs with him trailing behind her. They got to their room and she shut the door and motioned for him to sit down. She put the bag on the dresser next to her purse and started to pace, her heartbeat slamming against her chest.
“Okay…let’s start from the beginning so that I don’t leave anything out. I want you to remember that I love you and nothing I’m saying right now is me…accusing you of anything. It’s just me laying out facts and being honest with you hoping we can come up with an explanation together…okay?”
There was a hint of fear on her face as she spoke begging for him to understand what she was saying. His eyebrows drew back in shock, she wasn't accusing him? That hadn't been the opening discussion he had intended. "Okay...Chloe, I'm really confused."
She nodded, “I know.” She took a deep breath, moved to her purse and pulled out her birth control. She held it tightly in her hand as she spoke. “I was out to lunch with Cynthia…and while we were eating I got sick…and she made this wild statement about me being...pregnant.”
It didn’t go unnoticed by Oliver how she practically had to spit the word out through clenched teeth. She started moving again, hands gesturing as she spoke. “And of course I told her that was ridiculous…that I’m on the pill…and so I showed her.”
Chloe paused in front of him and handed him the birth control pills. She motioned for him to open them and when he did she spoke quietly. “These are not birth control pills…they’re aspirin Ollie…”
Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips as she spoke, “Someone replaced my birth control with aspirin…and…I’m five days late…”
Oliver frowned as he stared at the pack she had given him, "Who would switch your birth control?" He shook his head and stood up from the bed, "And, not that I'm blaming you, Chloe...But five days late? It could just be due to all the stress you're under for the fundraiser." He held out her birth control pack, "You would have noticed when you went to take it that it wasn't your pill, right?"
Her jaw tensed at his lack of freaking out over what was happening and Cynthia's words about him bringing up wanting children floated through her head briefly. No Oliver would not do that to her.
Her voice came out angrier than she intended, "Yes I have been busy and no I wouldn't notice Oliver. I don't sit there and study my pills. The alarm goes off and I pop one in while I multi-task. It never occurred to me I might have to check to make sure they were real."
She motioned to the pills, "I took one earlier and didn't realize...who knows how long I’ve been taking aspirin."
She threw her hands in the air as she visibly panicked. "I'm always regular...why aren't you freaking out? Why are you just standing there?"
He tossed her pills onto the bed and reached out to place her arms at her side before pulling her to him, "Calm down, just... Breathe." Oliver tried to instruct her, "You bought a test right? Let's not freak out until we know for sure."
Chloe closed her eyes and sucked in a few deep breaths trying to calm her nerves down. When she opened her eyes they were glassy, her voice a whisper as she leaned into him hands gripping his shirt, "I don't want to take it...I don't want to know."
Oliver flinched, and tried to keep himself from physically pulling away from Chloe. "We can call Emil, have him do a blood test..." He sucked in another breath of air, "He could not say anything if you're not, or he could call and tell us right away if you are and we'll--" Oliver held his breath for several seconds, "Get through it together..."
She shook her head and pulled away from him. "No...I don't want anyone else knowing about this until we know what's going on...god who would do that? I always have my pills on me...I just I don't get it. It doesn't make any sense."
She needed to take the test, as much as she didn't want to know, she had to know. Chloe walked to the dresser and grabbed the bag as she mumbled something about being right out. The sound of the bathroom door shutting behind her echoed through her whole body. It sounded loud and finite, signaling that the next few moments could change her life forever.
How could this be happening? She wasn’t ready to be a Mother…she’d barely gotten used to being a wife. She was trying but she and Oliver still weren’t in a place where they were ready for a baby.
Maybe eventually, but not now while there were still so many issues with the media and his company and their attempt to settle into married life. You don’t bring a baby into that…they were having a hard enough time adjusting with just them and Mia.
She pulled the box out with shaky hands and went about taking the test. Chloe followed the directions to a 'T' and placed the stick on the counter when she was done. She washed her hands and moved away from the counter staring at the small piece of plastic.
She felt like she was seconds away from emptying everything in her stomach. She couldn't wait in there with the test staring her right in the eyes. She pulled open the door, walked out, and sat on the bed.
She was pale, quiet, and just stared at the cell phone in her hands. They stayed like that, in tense silence for three whole minutes. Chloe glanced over at Oliver and she could see the tension in his shoulders.
"It should be done now...do you think...can you look?"
He gave a short nod and headed into the bathroom. Holding his breath, he reached for the box, reading the instructions before glancing down at the stick on the bathroom counter. Oliver exhaled slowly, trying to get a grip on the different emotions running through him. Walking back into the bedroom, he met her eyes for a quick moment before looking away, "You're not pregnant." He whispered softly, "It's negative."
A wave of relief flowed through her, the vice grip that had been clenching around her chest finally releasing it's hold letting her breathe again. A rush of air left her mouth and she was finally able to relax her body.
"Oh thank god...I mean can you imagine? What would we have done?"
She shook her head and stood up moving towards the bathroom and tossing everything in the garbage.
"I should call and make an appointment with Emil just to be safe...I already called for a new set of birth control pills they should be ready tomorrow...though it'll take a little bit to kick back in since I've obviously been off them for a few days."
Chloe turned catching the look on his face and froze, uncertainty running through her.
"Ollie...what's wrong? This is good news...right?"
He nodded a few times, his tongue darting out to lick his lips as his eyes started to sting, "Yeah...I just have to--" He paused swallowed hard before heading for the door, "Chloe, I have to be alone for a little while."
Chloe's panic was back and she darted around him placing herself between him and the door before using her hand to lock it, her eyes never leaving his.
"I'm not letting you leave until you tell me what the hell is going on Oliver...I practically had a heart attack...but I didn't shut you out. I came home and..."
She paused trying to figure out a better way to approach him, but she couldn't. "What about honesty huh? What happened to that?"
He shook his head as he tried to get around her, "You want honesty? Fine. I honestly need to be alone for a moment."
She looked at him, anger and hurt in her eyes as she moved out of his way.
"You know what...fine. Do whatever you want just remember when this becomes just another one of those stupid issues that seem to keep popping up between us...for once I wasn't the one who ran away."
She turned away from him and walked over to the dresser a sinking feeling settling in her stomach as she opened a draw to pull out a change of clothes.
"I don't want to fight with you, I'm not going to fight with you, Chloe." He inhaled sharply, grasping onto the doorknob tightly, "I just need to deal with my issues and..." He glanced back at her with a softened gaze as his eyes continued to water, "I can't do that being here right now."
She shook her head, but didn't turn, her voice low. "I don't want to fight either, I just want you to talk to me. You're upset and I'm trying to understand why, but I don't read minds and you won't clue me in"
She spun on her heels slowly, taking in the sad look in his eyes. "I've been trying to be more open with my feelings...I've been coming to you with my problems...things that bother me or I'm unsure about...instead of running from them like you asked me too."
She motioned to him as her shoulders slumped and she leaned against the dresser. "And yet here you are...still not talking to me. I don't like seeing you upset...but I can't do anything about it unless I know why your upset."
She bit her lip and sighed, "If you don't want to talk to me...that's fine. It doesn't matter. I'm going to change, then I'm going downstairs, and I'm gonna check in with Victor to see how the mission went before I warm up dinner."
She turned back towards the dresser, grabbed a tank top and a pair of yoga pants out of the drawer before moving into the bathroom and shutting the door quietly behind her. Chloe leaned against the inside of the bathroom door taking a minute to let everything sink in.
Whenever she thought things between her and Oliver where finally starting to settle down and they were falling into a routine, something happened that would tear apart any semblance of normalcy that they’d managed to create.
At this point she was tired of it. She was tired of the press dictating how she behaved. She was tired of his board of directors that she’d been walking on eggshells around, she was tired of the person she’d become, and most of all she was tired of fighting with Oliver.
They never fought before they got married. The biggest argument they’d ever had was when she’d made the mistake of taking money without asking and even that wasn’t a fight. It had been a misunderstanding. She hated what their relationship had become and she was determined to fix it.
So from this point on she was done trying to make everything perfect. Things would never be perfect…that was a reality, but things had never been perfect and she was okay with that. She didn’t need perfect…she needed the man she fell in love with.
Chloe pulled off her work clothes tossing on the black pants and the red tank top before pushing open the door and stepping into the room only to stop in her tracks at the sight of Oliver on the floor leaning against their bedroom door.
She tossed her work clothes in the hamper and took a step forward, tilting her head to the side, confusion on her face. “Ollie…”
He sat there with his legs bent out in front of him as he rested his arms over his knees. He needed space to think, and he had meant that...But he was scared if he left that room, he'd be throwing away something he and Chloe had been working so hard for.
He wanted to have children with her; blond kids, a girl or two with Chloe's beautiful features, maybe a son with her eyes. He had imagined it all, and though she hadn't wanted it at the moment, with a marriage they were still learning their way around...he had been sure, she had made him feel like it was a possibility someday.
He knew that wasn't possible now, he had seen the look in her eyes, the look that went from fear to pure and utter relief. He heard her exit the bathroom, but he didn't look up just yet. He had to come to grips with the fact that he could either have children or he could have Chloe.
She called his name, drawing him from his thoughts and Oliver lifted his gaze to the ceiling, swallowing the lump that threatened to take over his throat, "I haven't had a family in over two decades..." He blinked rapidly to try and keep himself from letting the tears that had welled in his eyes fall, "I wanted that again...More than anything."
He licked his dry lips and lowered his eyes to his hands, "And I wanted that with you." He inhaled deeply, "But you made it perfectly clear you don't want that." His jaw locked, as if trying to stop him from voicing his decision, "I only wanted that with you, Chloe... So if I have to choose..."
Oliver lifted his brown eyes to hold with her emerald gaze, "Then I pick you... I just wanted a moment to myself to let those other dreams go..." The depth of pain in his eyes broke her heart and in that moment she realized what her reaction had done to him.
Oliver wanted kids. And apparently he hadn’t been completely honest with her in the beginning when he said it didn’t have to be now. He was there…he was at that place. Oliver was ready to be a father. She should have realized it, but the only thing she had been able to focus on at that moment was relief.
Chloe swallowed hard and took a hesitant step forward before crouching down and sitting on the floor in front of him. She bit her lower lip, gathering her thoughts before speaking, voice gentle as she kept his gaze.
“Oliver I love you…and someday it’s very possible that you and I will have a baby or two with my eyes and your dimples…but that day is not today. We can’t even get through a few weeks without fighting or miscommunicating about something.”
She reached for his hand hoping he wouldn’t pull away from her, “I’m not even one hundred percent comfortable being a wife yet…I can’t add Mother to that role. I just don’t have the ability to handle all this change at once.”
She glanced down and took a calming breath before looking back up at him as her fingers played with his, “When we first moved here…and we had that conversation in the kitchen when you said things don’t always go as planned, I meant what I said…if it happened by chance I would probably freak out a little, but I wouldn’t hate the idea.”
She motioned towards the bathroom eyebrow raised, “But that isn’t what this was. Someone intentionally messed with my birth control…that isn’t something happening by chance…that’s the decision being taken out of my hands and I’m not okay with that.”
Chloe was trying to keep her tears at bay because she was tired of crying, but having Oliver think that he needed to choose between having a family or being with her…it made her feel awful. The thought of him giving up something he wanted so bad just to be with her, made her insides tighten in an unpleasant way. She never wanted him to make that kind of sacrifice…he shouldn’t have to.
She squeezed his hand lightly. “You can’t want to start a family that way Ollie…because honestly with everything going on right now if we added a baby to the mix…I feel like I would resent that child and I don’t ever want to resent something that's a part of us.”
His eyes were averted from her and she moved forward onto her knees gripping his cheeks so he couldn’t look away from her. Tears prickled at the corner of her eyes as she spoke voice steady, but whispered. “I promise you…we will have family…we’ll have babies and a dog and whatever else you want…But not now.”
A single tear slid down her cheek as she studied his face, “Can you handle that Oliver? I can’t promise you today but I can promise you someday…is that good enough? Because as much as I love you I can’t force myself to be ready for something I’m not ready for, but I don’t want to lose you…”
Her voice trailed off as she tried to figure out what was going through his head. Oliver shook his head, "No I didn't want to bring a child in this way..."
He held her eyes with his own and let out a shaky breath, "But we would have been okay, Chloe...You said it yourself, we're a team." He glanced at the wall out of the corner of his eyes, "But I saw your reaction...And even you have to admit you might never be ready..."
He tilted his head, giving her a small smile, "And that’s okay now...You don't have to promise me anything." Leaning back, he rested his head against the door, closing his eyes tightly for a minute before opening them again. "We need to figure out how someone managed to switch your pills."
She frowned moving back to sit on her butt ignoring his words about her birth control pills as she looked down at her hands and then back up at him, voice soft.
“I’ve thought about it too you know…I think it was close to a year after we started this." She motioned between them before continuing, "You surprised me with lunch at Watchtower and we went on a picnic…do you remember that day? We were in the park and we were sitting there you were being a pervert, which for you isn’t unusual…”
She paused and gave him a weak smile, “And I was eating some kind of fruit…you were in the middle of telling me exactly what’d you’d be doing to me if the park wasn’t filled with people when a plastic ball landed in the middle of our lunch.”
This time her smile widened at the memory, “I was ready to yell at the idiot who couldn’t aim a ball when I turned around and saw it was a little girl. When I looked back at you, your shirt was covered in wine, but you had this silly grin on your face as you spoke to her and tossed her the ball and I caught myself thinking god…he’s going to make an amazing father someday…”
Chloe swallowed hard, “I can see it to Oliver…the family we can have. It was never about not being able to see it…it was about being worried to bring them into the life we live because I don’t want to leave them alone in this world…but that’s my issue and I’m sure with time it’ll fade…I will be ready one day…and I promise you’ll be the first person who knows when I am.”
His lips slanted into a half smile, "I'd kiss you right now if it wouldn't lead to baby-making..." Reaching out for her hand, he took it in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Now back to the pill switch... Could it have happened when you were waiting to pick up the pills?"
She grinned lifting his hand and placing a kiss against it, “Yeah…you’re gonna be cut off from sex for a little while…but there’s always other things we can do…and I don’t know about the pills. I mean it’s possible. But I was alone when I picked them up I think…I mean Mia was with me but she was loading up on sugar…”
He ignored her comment about their new sex schedule, "I meant behind the counter..."
Chloe frowned, “I guess that’s possible, but why would the pharmacist do that? It doesn’t make any sense…He’s got no motive.”
Oliver shook his head, "Bribery? I don't know..." He shrugged his shoulders before wincing, "Um... Before you got home, an article went online, with a picture of you at the store buying a... Test."
He watched her quietly for a moment before trying to calm her, "Good news is, you're my wife." His lips widened into a full on smile, "So there is no scandal there, we just say...You know, we thought we were expecting, and it was a false alarm..."
His smile vanished as he pursed his lips, "Oh, and... Someone should probably tell Mia that you're not... You know..."
She shook her head, “So when I came home you already knew…great…that’s lovely.” She took a deep breath focusing on releasing the tension in her shoulders. “You know what…I don’t care. Let them say whatever the hell they want. Because I’m tired of letting the media dictate how I feel about things…”
She nodded and stood up holding out a hand to him. He took it as she helped tug him off the floor. “Thank god Lois is away on assignment or I’m sure my phone would be sporting quite a few missed calls by now. And how does Mia know? Did she see the article? Was she upset?”
"No, but one of us should break the news..." He leaned down and kissed her temple, "I could do it while you start dinner...?"
She nodded, “Sounds like a plan…you know what I just realized…it’s before seven o’clock and we’re all home…that never happens.” She chuckled lightly her face softening as she moved closer gripping his waist gently. “We should have a movie night after dinner if you’re up for it…are we okay now? More importantly are you okay?”
His fingers rubbed over her neck, "I'm okay." He brushed his lips across her forehead again, "And we're better than okay." Pulling back, he headed for the door, her hand still in his, "Movie night sounds good...As long as Mia still doesn't plan to go on that date with...Nathan."
Chloe smirked as they headed into the hallway then downstairs towards the kitchen. “I’m hoping you sufficiently scared him away for the time being..” She coughed lightly giving him an innocent look, “Not that I don’t like Nathan…he seems…nice…”
She scrunched her nose as she let go of his hand and started rummaging through the cabinets. “But Mia can do better…she needs someone who will understand her and who will treat her the way she deserves to be treated…Nathan is not that guy…he’s a phase…she’ll get over it eventually. We all go through the hot-guy phase.”
Chloe grinned as she pulled out the salad bowl. Oliver frowned and wrinkled his nose, "Well you better not grow out of your hot-guy phase." Amusement danced in her eyes as she glanced at him. “Who said you were my hot-guy phase?”
He gave her a look and she laughed, “Okay fine…you were my hot guy phase, but you only stuck because you proved to be more than a pretty face…unfortunately Nathan lacks the qualities I love most about you and therefore isn’t good enough for Mia…now go tell her to come in. She can make the salad and I’m putting you to work too.”
She winked at him before turning towards the fridge and pulling a few more things out. He chuckled and shook his head before heading down the hallway to their private gym in the other wing of the house. He stopped just outside the door, spotting Mia hard at work on the treadmill with her headphone-buds in her ear.
Crossing the room slowly so not to scare her, he stood in front of her smiling at her softly as he waited for her to finish up her workout. She held up a finger finishing out her last two minutes before the machine started to slow down and finally stop.
She popped her ear buds out, breathing heavy as she nodded in his direction eyebrow raised as she stepped off the treadmill. “Hey…so what’s the verdict…are we going to have a baby Queen…cause if so I’ll have you know that I’m actually quite good with kids…but you can’t take advantage of that and make me watch her all the time.”
His lips quirked up slightly, "Her? What makes you so sure it'd be a girl?" He shook his head in amusement at her before staring at her seriously, "No it was a false alarm... No baby Queen...yet."
He punched her shoulder playfully, "So you're off babysitting duty, but you are on help-with-dinner duty." Turning around he headed for the door, glancing at her over his shoulder and nodding his head in the direction of the hallway, "Come on."
She grumbled, “I hate dinner duty…I get the salad!” She jogged to catch up with him and smirked, “It’s the easiest thing to make…and since you’re home you can help too.” They made their way back towards the main house as Mia continued talking.
“What do you think our chances of getting cake for dessert are? Think we can make one? You owe me…seriously I’ll forgive you if I get cake.”
They were about to walk into the kitchen and Mia stopped him. Oliver raised an eyebrow and she hesitated voice low, "I'm sorry...I mean...you know I know you wanted a baby. So I'm sorry that there isn't one."
"Thank you," he smiled at her briefly before ducking his head. "But it’s okay. Chloe's not ready... For that." He looped his arm around her shoulders, "Now you go help Chloe with dinner, and I'll do my part by going out and buying a cake."
Oliver pushed her gently in the direction of the kitchen before heading for the front door, "Tell Chloe where I went, and text me what kind of cake you want." Pulling out his keys, he opened the door and grinned, "I'll be back soon...Or maybe by the time dinner is done."
Mia rolled her eyes, “You’re bad dude…” But there was a grin on her face as she made her way into the kitchen. Chloe glanced up and Mia moved to the sink washing her hands, “Okay I’m ready to make the salad.”
Chloe chuckled, “Where’s Ollie?”
Mia shut the water and moved to the table where the bowl and was. “I told him if he got me cake I’d forgive him…so he went out to go get cake, though I think he just didn’t want to help with dinner…oh what kinda cake do we want?”
Chloe furrowed her brows in thought, “Hmm something with chocolate…and maybe coconut…”
Mia nodded her eyes lighting up. “That sounds good…I’ll text him.” Chloe watched as the teenager took out her phone and texted Oliver. The day hadn’t started out great, but she had a feeling it was finally looking up. A nice quiet night at home was exactly what they all needed.