Banner By: Kyra_And_Co
Chapter Six: The Billionaire and His Wife
‘In the Light of the Morning’
Chloe shifted, a light beeping sound breaking into her subconscious, as she groaned and buried her head into her pillow. The bed shifted as a large hand slid up and down her back before settling right above the curve of her ass.
Her heartbeat sped up as her body tensed slightly, her eyes popping open, as her small hand gripped onto bare flesh. “Calm down…it’s just me.” Oliver’s voice was slightly sleep addled and he raised the arm that wasn’t around her to cover his mouth when he yawned.
She lifted her head, their eyes meeting and gave him a sheepish look, “Sorry…I didn’t realize.” Her voice trailed off and he shrugged. “Not a big deal…I’m pretty sure I was the one who commandeered you over to my side of the bed.”
He smirked as she glanced around them realizing he was right. Their bodies were entangled taking up the left half of his queen sized bed. “Oh…” He glanced down at her ruffled blonde hair and he had the sudden urge to run his fingers through it.
His hand tightened on her body when she tried to move away from him and he arched an eyebrow at her, voice quiet. “Am I making you uncomfortable?” She hesitated before shaking her head. It wasn’t that she was uncomfortable…it was more the opposite. She was too comfortable. “No…”
Oliver scrunched his nose and pulled her against his body, “Good…then let’s just hang out in bed for a little while longer…I mean if you don’t mind. I just…I had the best night’s sleep last night and I’m not ready to be up yet.”
Chloe chuckled and the tension ebbed out of her body as she rested her head against his chest. “I suppose we can do that…you’re awfully warm...and not a horrible pillow.” She shifted her head up slightly so she could see his face as she spoke. “No wonder the ladies like you.”
She waggled her eyebrows and a sly smirk slid onto his face, “I hate to burst that bubble of yours…but that’s not why they like me Sidekick…though I suppose if they stay long enough it doesn’t hurt my case.” Chloe slapped his chest playfully.
He gave a one armed shrug, “I’m only telling the truth, if that makes me a pervert then so be it.” She rolled her eyes when the beeping sounded again. She frowned, “What is that?” Oliver groaned and rolled over Chloe slightly grabbing the extra com from the night table and then resting back against the bed. “It’s the guys.”
He put it in his ear and powered it up before making himself comfortable again while he made a face at Chloe causing her to grin. “May we help you?” Bart’s voice came through the communicator loud and clear and entirely too awake for Oliver’s liking.
Oliver shook his head, “Bart why are you waking us up?” Over in Watchtower Bart stood leaning forward towards the monitors eyes squinting. “Stop cuddling with Chloelicious…I saw her first I’ve got dibs…what’s she wearing under there?”
Oliver lifted his head slightly and glared over at the camera. “Cut it out Bart who’s on surveillance duty with you?” The younger man snorted in his ear before plopping down in one of the chairs as he looked at his hands. “Victor should be back in a bit. He was grabbin' some grub on his way in this morning. I did some recon last night on the info Lois dug up about the other husbands.”
Oliver ran a hand over his face and sighed. It looked like he wouldn’t be spending anymore time in bed this morning. “Look give me an hour to shower and get ready and then I’ll head into Watchtower for an update.”
Bart lifted his feet and placed them on the computer consol as he scrunched his nose at the video feed on screen. “What about Chloelicious?” Oliver shook his head. “She’s got a tight schedule today.” Chloe’s brows furrowed as she looked up at Oliver, chin resting on his chest. “I do?” He nodded.
She opened her mouth to say something when her cell phone rang. She turned away from him and reached out for her phone answering it on the third ring. “Hello?”
There was amusement in the voice that spoke and Chloe pursed her lips, her body tensing. “Good morning Lex…to what do I owe the early morning phone call?” Oliver stopped talking to Bart when he heard Chloe on the phone. He shifted and gave her a questioning look. She waved her hand for him to be quiet.
“I was wondering if you were free for lunch today. I’d like to discuss what I found out from Jean Paul Deverox and John Caffrey.”
Chloe inched up in bed slightly, blanket still covering her body as she leaned against the headboard. “You met with them?”
“I did.” Lex leaned back in his office chair, the interest in her voice not lost on him.
She bit her lip. Her first instinct was to say yes and meet up with him wanting to know more about what was going on, but she remembered Oliver’s words and that gave her pause. “Can you hold on one second Lex, I just need to run it by Oliver…”
The humor was back in his voice when he spoke again, “Oh by all means yes, inform your husband.” Chloe rolled her eyes as she glanced at Oliver. “It’s Lex…he wants to know if I’m free for lunch…I know you said something about a busy day…I wasn’t sure.”
Oliver frowned, “See if he can make it a late lunch…around two-ish. I’ve got a meeting at twelve-thirty.” Chloe cleared her throat as s he started to speak, “Oliver said--” Lex cut her off as he glanced at his computer screen, the fact that Oliver had invited himself along not lost on him.
“Yes Chloe, I heard him. Two is fine. I’ll bring my information and if you have anything new I’d appreciate you bringing that information as well.”
She nodded even though he couldn’t see her, “We will…where should we meet you?” She could hear him shuffling papers on his end before she heard someone call his name. Lex glanced up at his secretary and mumbled one second before turning his attention back to Chloe. “There’s a small Italian restaurant near the Luthor Corp building…I believe Oliver knows the one.”
Oliver watched as she picked at the blanket and spoke, “Okay we’ll meet you there at two.” They said their goodbyes and he clicked the com on again, talking quietly to Bart. “Change of plans, Chloe and I are meeting with Lex today, so instead of me coming by Watchtower this morning, we’ll both stop by after our meeting with Lex.”
Bart tossed a cheeto into his mouth, crunching on it loudly and wiping his cheese covered hand on his pants before answering Oliver. “Sure thing bossman, I’ll let Vic know. Team meeting?” Oliver pushed the covers off of him before heading to the dresser, getting a shirt and pulling it over his head. “Yeah if you can get the team there that would be good.”
He turned, faced the camera, and waved. “We’ll talk to you later.” He rolled his eyes as Bart told him to tell Chloe he said good morning. He shut the com off and tossed it on the dresser before glancing towards the bed. Chloe was about to get up when Oliver shook his head. “Wait a second.”
He moved back to the dresser, grabbed a t-shirt from the draw, and put it over the camera. Chloe arched an eyebrow and Oliver shrugged. “Bart’s at the camera…” Chloe smirked as she pushed the covers off and stood up, a hint of teasing to her voice.
“Aww what’s the matter Oliver don’t want the guys to see your wife in her PJ’s?” He grinned and shrugged. “I’m all territorial that way…so…do you want to shower first and I’ll take second? Or we could conserve water and shower together.”
He waggled his eyebrows at her, but she just tossed a pillow in his direction. “Cut it out…what did I tell you about keeping a lid on the Queen charm? Save it for someone it’ll actually work on.” Oliver tilted his head slightly, “Are you telling me that my charm is completely useless on you?”
She nodded, “That’s what I’m saying…now tell me, why is my day so busy today?” He watched her for a couple of seconds before letting the topic of his charm drop and focusing on the mission.
“I was thinking that’s it’s possible the kidnappers knew Crystal and Maria’s day to day schedules. So I figured you could hang out at some of the places they went while I’m at work. That way you can sort of get accustomed to things and possibly gather some information at the same time.”
Chloe inclined her head, face serious. “That sounds like a good plan.” He leaned against the dresser, “I thought you might think so…You’ve got Yoga at 9:30, a deep tissue full body massage at 10:15, a facial at 11:15 and then a manicure and pedicure appointment. I scheduled everything with the same women who worked on Crystal and Maria…”
Chloe’s mouth dropped open, an incredulous look on her face. “You’re sending me to a spa?” He nodded folding his arms across his chest gently. “Yeah…if it’s any consolation I made the appointment for two, so if you can wrangle Lois out of work you can take her with you.”
Chloe pouted. “And yoga really? Can’t I just skip it?” Oliver grinned and walked over to her placing his hands on her shoulders and nudging her towards the bathroom. “Aww come on Sidekick it’ll be fun…plus I got you some awesome work-out clothes for your trip.”
She spun around and glared at him as she stood in the doorway of the bathroom, “You planned this…didn’t you?” He gave her an innocent look. “What? Me? No…I wouldn’t do that…while you’re showering I’ll make us some breakfast.”
She grumbled as she shut the bathroom door in his face. Her voice echoed loudly from the other side of the door as she called out to him. “Don’t forget the coffee!” He winced, like he’d ever be stupid enough to forget the coffee. Who did she think she was talking to an amateur?
Oliver was holding the phone to his ear as it rang while tilting his head and checking the progress on the coffee. God forbid it wasn’t done when she came out of the bedroom, he honestly feared for his life. The phone rang for the third time and Clark finally picked up.
“Hey Oliver, how’s it going?”
He grinned into the phone as he pulled out two mugs from the cabinet before yanking the slightly burnt toast out and slapping it onto a plate. “Can’t complain…listen I’m sending Chloe on recon mission, but she’s not exactly happy about it and I thought you might be able to convince Lois to go with her.”
Clark frowned slightly as he made his way up the stairs and into the bullpen a box of donuts in hand. “I don’t know…Lois gets into enough trouble on her own…I’m not sure I want to toss her into whatever you have Chloe doing which by the way…should be Dinah…”
Oliver rolled his eyes at his friend’s words. Dinah wouldn’t have been nearly as convincing as he and Chloe and now he could see why. Their close friendship made the chemistry between them seem natural. Over the years they’d fallen into an easy mixture of snarky banter and flirting.
It worked for them, and though Oliver had more recently wondered if perhaps their flirting could possible lead to more, he’d never approached the subject with Chloe out of fear that she’d reject him and that would effectively ruin their friendship.
He cleared his throat and shook himself from his thoughts. “Yes well as it is, the team agreed Chloe would be a more believable option…but that’s not why I called. It’s nothing too dangerous. I’m sending Chloe to a spa…the same one’s that the victims went to. I’m hoping maybe she can gather some intel from the women who worked on the wives who were kidnapped before Lana…who by the way also went there.”
Clark made it to his desk and put the box in front of Lois who grinned up at him. “My hero.” He smiled and told Oliver to hold on as he put his hand against the phone. “Oliver’s sending Chloe to a spa this morning to do a little digging…any chance you’d be willing to go with her?”
Lois perked up tilting her head to the side, “Are you kidding? Digging up dirt and a free trip to what I’m sure is a five start spa…sounds like my kind of mission. Tell the billionaire boy wonder I’m in.” Clark chuckled and shook his head as he addressed Oliver.
“Lois says it’s a go.” Oliver smirked; he knew it wouldn’t be hard to convince Lois, it was Chloe who was always giving him a hard time about shelling out tons of money for her. “Great, tell Lois I’ll have Chloe swing by with the car at around nine. Make sure she has work-out clothes. They are starting the day with yoga.”
Clark cast amused eyes on his girlfriend, “Yoga huh?” Lois opened the box of donuts and pulled out the glaze one as she snorted. “It figures he’d pick yoga, how long has he wanted to get my cousin in the downward facing dog position?”
Clark winced and he could hear Oliver chuckle in his ear as he overheard Lois’s words. “Lo’ really not a mental imagine I needed.” Oliver smirked as the coffee beeped and he pulled out the pot as he poured some into a cup for Chloe, a hint of humor in his voice. “Might not be a mental image you needed, but it’s one that will fill my morning with smiles.”
Chloe took that moment to make her way into the kitchen, dressed in black spandex yoga pants, with a deep green waistband and a matching green and black spandex top that ended right at the waist of her pants. “What will fill your morning with smiles?”
Oliver glanced over his shoulder, eyes taking in her spandex clad body as he tried not to lick his lips at how sexy she looked in regular workout clothes. Suddenly he was wishing he wasn’t stuck in meetings all day and that he’d signed them up for the couple’s yoga class…there was always later in the week…His thoughts trailed off at Clark’s voice in his ear.
“Hello.” Oliver shook his head, “Gotta go Clark, I’ll talk to you later, tell Lois to be ready.” He didn’t wait for his friend to respond before he clicked the phone off and tossed it on the counter. He went to the fridge as Chloe plopped down on one of the stools, dropping the gym bag on the floor by her chair.
Oliver turned and placed the cup of steaming coffee in front of her and the sour expression on her face immediately dissipated as she let out a light moan tugging the cup gently toward her. “Oh god this smells delicious.”
Oliver watched as she brought the cup to her lips, her eyes fluttering closed as she took the first sip, a look of pleasure covering her face and he wondered if her face would hold the same expression when she was in the throes of passion.
Chloe’s eyes flickered open and she grinned at him, “Thanks…so what were you saying about Lois?” He pushed himself back so he was leaning against the counter by the coffee maker. “She’s gonna go with you today. If you leave in ten minutes you should be able to get to the planet in time to pick her up.”
He walked around the counter and pushed a credit card and ID her way. She frowned, “Oliver…I can’t take that.” He rolled his eyes, “Chloe for all intensive purposes we’re married. It will look weird if you’re paying for things with your own card.”
She hesitated before lifting the credit card and the new driver’s license. She glanced down and Chloe A. Queen was scrawled across both things and she couldn’t help but think it was weird that the name Chloe Queen didn’t sound as off as it should.
She cleared her throat and gave him a bright grin, “Well…I guess I should go then.” He nodded and pushed a travel mug her way. “I should have just put it in there…I wasn’t thinking.” Chloe shrugged as she transferred the coffee into the travel mug.
She glanced around and arched an eyebrow at him as she pulled her gym bag over her shoulder. “Keys?” Oliver grinned. “You don’t need them today. My driver is going to take you to the planet to get Lois and then he’ll take you guys to the spa. It’s out of city limits…I know you don’t like being carted around…but humor me.”
Chloe frowned, “I’ve been humoring you a lot lately.” He chuckled, “I humor you all the time Sidekick…work with me here. I’ll call you as soon as my meeting ends. He’ll drop Lois off and then take you to the restaurant. And then we’ll head to Watchtower after we meet with Lex.”
Chloe frowned, “I don’t think I like this reversal in roles here. Usually I plan out your day and tell you what to do…I’m pretty sure I liked it better that way.” Oliver smirked, “Of course you do…control freak. Now get going or you and Lois are going to be late.”
Chloe sighed and nodded. She opened her mouth unsure of what to say when Oliver leaned down and pressed a kiss to her cheek. He gave her a warm smile, voice soft. “Have a good day.” She swallowed hard and nodded. “You too.”
She walked to the elevator and got in. He watched her until the doors slid shut blocking her from view. He turned towards the small camera on the side of the wall hidden by a picture frame and pointed as he spoke, not sure if they could hear him, but knowing they’d get the message. “Follow her.” The last thing he needed was something happening to Chloe and Lois while he couldn’t get to them.
Knowing everything was going smoothly so far he headed to the shower, his mind drifting to what exactly Chloe might look like doing the downward facing dog pose and as soon as the image entered his mind he knew he’d be taking a cold shower this morning.
Bruce glanced at his computer screen as yet another data analysis came back blank. Something wasn’t right, it was as if all three items requested by the kidnappers didn’t exist, which would mean the technology was so new that the papers hadn’t even been filed with the patent office yet.
But if that was the case, how had the kidnappers found out about it? And what were they doing that they needed this technology so badly? He sighed and pushed the conference button on his phone, buzzing his secretary. “Yes, Mr. Wayne?
“Can you get a hold of Oliver Queen for me? Tell him it’s urgent and when you have him on the line patch him through.”
“Yes sir.” He pushed the button off and glanced at his computer with a frown. He needed to find out what these pieces of equipment did without alerting Jean Paul Deverox, John Caffrey that he knew what was really going on.
He pursed his lips. There was no way he could get to Metropolis without being spotted…maybe if he passed the information over to Chloe, she’d be able to set up a snatch and grab. Possibly have Bart get into the house and procure the blueprints of the prototype of each project.
He was sure that they’d be under lock and key in their houses. He took out his cell phone and scrolled through his phonebook until he saw Chloe’s name. He pressed send and waited for her to pick up, but to his surprise the call went straight to voicemail.
His frown deepened. Since the day he met Chloe Sullivan a year ago after saving her from a mugging when she was in Gotham running a mission for Dinah, he hadn’t known a day to go by where she shut her phone off. Ever. It just wasn’t something she did.
Something about always being around if her boys needed her. So he found it odd that with everything going on she’d choose to turn it off now. When he heard the beep Bruce left a quick message telling her to call him back when she had a chance.
He had just put his phone away when his secretary’s voice came through the speaker on his office phone. “I have Mr. Queen on the line, I’m patching him through.”
Bruce sat up slightly and cleared his throat, “Thanks Barb.” He lifted the phone to his ear, voice light as he addressed Oliver, “How’s married life treating you?” Oliver grinned as he signed the paper his secretary held in front of him.
“Married life is good. What can I do you for Bruce?” He signed two more papers before she made her way out of his office shutting the door behind her. Oliver shifted and leaned back in his seat before glancing at the clock. It was going on eleven thirty and he wondered how Chloe’s day was going so far.
“Have you talked to Chloe by chance today? I tried getting in touch with her a little while ago and her phone was off.” Oliver nodded even though Bruce couldn’t see it as he twirled a pen in his hands. “Yeah, I know. She went to Crescent Lodge with Lois and they don’t allow cell phone usage…messes with the Chi or something who knows.”
Amusement filled Bruce’s eyes as he leaned back putting his feet up on his desk and smirked. “You sent Chloe into the hub of the rich socialite trophy wives? And without the use of her trustee phone? I’m sure she appreciates it.”
Oliver chuckled lightly, “I sent her in with Lois they’ll be fine. Maria Caffrey, Crystal Deverox, and Lana all went there. So I sent Chloe in to do a little recon and see if she and Lois could connect anything from the spa to the kidnappers.”
Bruce pursed his lips at his friend’s words wondering how he sounded so calm. From his experience or at least what he learned from working with the team for the past six months was that Oliver didn’t do well when it came to sticking their resident Sidekick into hairy situations. As a matter of fact he usually avoided it like the plague.
“And yet you sound fairly calm sending Tower and Lane in with radio silence.” Oliver smirked. “That’s because I’ve got Bart and J’onn patrolling the grounds and Dinah inside posing as someone who works there. Don’t worry Bruce, I’ve covered my bases. So what’s up? I doubt you called to talk about the whereabouts of my wife.”
Bruce arched an eyebrow at Oliver’s statement. He seemed to be taking this whole marriage thing a little too well. He wondered if maybe this little undercover mission had been the best idea. With the complicated relationship that Chloe and Oliver had the potential for fall out was great.
“I called because I finished running the search on the items requested and I’ve come up blank each time. I’m almost positive these are prototypes…and that the paperwork hasn’t even been filed with the patent office yet. Meaning--”
Oliver cut him off as he leaned forward and pressed a few buttons on his computer logging on to his secured server so he could link up with Victor at Watchtower. “Meaning that the kidnappers or at least one of them, have most likely been involved in all the projects or know someone close to all three men.”
“Exactly.” Oliver sent Victor a ping through the computer as he spoke to Bruce, “So what are you thinking?”
“Your basic snatch and grab.” Oliver sent the information over to Victor before telling him they’d talk more about it when he and Chloe stopped by later before logging off. “That can be arranged. We’re having a meeting later, probably around three or four.”
“I’ve got a prior engagement, send me a briefing.”
“Will do. I’ll talk to you later.” Bruce said his goodbyes and hung up the phone before standing and grabbing his jacket. He was meeting with an event planner for lunch to start planning the charity event that Oliver and Chloe asked him to throw. Except this time the fundraiser would be swarming with Justice League and Justice Society members. They weren’t about to take any chances with Chloe’s life…she was too important to them.
Lois let out a content sigh as she glanced over at her cousin. She smirked as Chloe fixed her hair before nodding towards the door. “I’m good to go.” Lois gave her a once over taking in her black dress pants and red satin blouse. “I’ll bet you are.”
Chloe rolled her eyes as they made their way out of the locker room and down the hallway towards the front desk. Chloe scowled, “Cut it out Lo’.” The brunette rolled her eyes before hoisting her bag a little higher on her shoulders. “Oh com on cuz…we just spent the last few hours being pampered…how could you possibly not have enjoyed it?”
Chloe sighed. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy it as a matter of fact she had, but she didn’t want Oliver to feel like he needed to spend all this money just to make the mission work. His excuse this morning about doing recon at the spa had seemed legit enough, but once she was there the only thing she’d come away with was random gossip.
Nothing that would actually help them find Lana. Plus upon getting there with Lois she was practically accosted by other women looking to meet and befriend the newly married Mrs. Queen. It was weird and sort of strange how they’d all practically bowed to her every whim.
She wondered if this was what it was like for Lana when she went there. Chloe smiled at the woman at the front counter as they paused to pay. “Hello, I was told to come here to settle my balance?” The young brunette smiled up at her, eyes widening slightly.
“Oh hello there Mrs. Queen! Actually your husband has already paid for the visit and since you didn’t have lunch in our dining area today there are just a couple of charges for some drinks.” Chloe nodded and pulled out the card Oliver had given her before handing it over.
Lois watched closely as Chloe signed the slip of paper before motioning for Lois to follow her. As they walked out of the spa Oliver’s driver was already waiting with the door open. Lois leaned into Chloe, voice low as she spoke, “How does he do that? I swear he’s like psychic for something.”
Chloe chuckled as they slid into the limo and waited for the driver to move around and start it. Lois arched an eyebrow at her cousin, grin on her lips. “So…Mrs. Queen since when do you have your very own black card?”
Chloe studied Lois for a minute before looking away from her and out the window. “Since this morning.” It was clear that the petite blonde sitting next to her was attempting to avoid this conversation at all cost, but Lois wasn’t prepared to let it go.
Oliver and Chloe had spent the last six months or so flirting and dancing around each other and she found it hard to believe that there were no feelings between them. Lois glanced down at her nails, voice coy, “So…any other perks that come along with being Mrs. Queen?”
Chloe rolled her eyes at her cousin’s blatant attempt to find out more about her and Oliver’s current situation. “Now’s really not a good time to talk about this Lo’…” Her voice trailed off as she motioned toward the driver and. Lois clucked her tongue, “Excuses.”
They’d been driving for a good fifteen minutes when Chloe motioned to the window, “Oh look we’re at the Daily Planet already…looks like this is your stop.” Lois gave her an amused look as she grabbed her bag. “Mmm this conversation isn’t over little cuz…just momentarily paused.”
Chloe waved and gave her a cheeky grin, “Bye Lois.” The brunette sighed and made her way out of the limo telling Chloe to give her a call later when she was home. She slammed the door shut and the limo pulled away from the Planet and headed back down the road.
“Mrs. Queen?” Chloe glanced up eyebrow raised, “Yes Daniel?”
“There’s a bit of unexpected traffic ahead I wasn’t sure if maybe you wanted to call Mr. Queen and let him know.” She nodded, pulling out her cell phone. “Thank you, I think I will just so he doesn’t worry.”
As she pulled out her cell phone, pressing the speed dial for his number her ring caught the sunlight from her open window making it shine lightly and the thought occurred to her suddenly that the ring on her finger didn’t look as out of place as it should.
Oliver hung up the phone and shifted in his seat before glancing over at Lex. Chloe was running late for lunch; their driver was stuck in some kind of traffic about ten minutes away which left him and Lex to entertain themselves while they waited.
He cleared his throat as he fiddled with his napkin, “That was Chloe…our driver hit some traffic she’s running a few minutes late.”
Lex arched an eyebrow at the man in front of him, his voice low, but there was a hint of humor in his eyes as he spoke. “Since when are you and Chloe an ‘our’? Only married for a day and it looks like someone is already believing the lie.”
Oliver glared at the man across from his as he leaned towards Lex. “Now isn’t the place to discuss this…remember Lex, Chloe and I are doing this to help you. So if I were you I wouldn’t piss us off.” Lex shrugged as he leaned back in his seat.
Oliver noticed the tension in the other man’s body, the hint of dark circles under his eyes and he felt the slightest ping in his heart for the callus man in front of him. There wasn’t anyone in the world he hated more than Lex Luthor, but over the past few weeks working with Chloe, Lana and Lex to put together their benefit…well he’d seen another side of the man who wrecked havoc on the world around them.
It was clear as day that Lex was completely and utterly in love with Lana. Not much else would have put them in the same room after all they’d been through. Lex might not know it, but he’d tried to kill everyone on his team at least once, Chloe more than that and yet here they were.
A waiter came over and they order drinks, one for Chloe as well before he moved away to place their orders into the bar. “I wasn’t trying to get you angry…simply stating a fact. I don’t remember Chloe being a part of the original plan…and with the way you feel about her maybe letting her be involved in this capacity wasn’t a wise decision.”
Oliver had an unusually good poker face but at Lex’s words a startled expression crossed his face as his eyes shot up meeting Lex’s. His voice was steady, but held a hint of uncertainty as he spoke. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
He gave Oliver a bitter smile that didn’t quiet reach his eyes, “Trust me Oliver…I know the look of a man in love. It’s an uncanny feeling when you find that one person in the world who not only accepts you for who you are, but is equal to the person you strive to become. Someone willing to take the journey with you…and it’s a terrifying thought knowing that person can be ripped from your life in seconds…”
Oliver swallowed hard, a ripple of fear tearing through his body suddenly at the thought of Chloe being taken from him. He opened his mouth to respond when Chloe made her way over to the table placing a hand on his shoulder lightly as she sat down, her cheeks flushed, voice slightly winded.
“Sorry I’m late…there was traffic and it was at a standstill so I just told Daniel to drop me off down the block and I walked the rest of the way.” She gave Oliver a cheeky grin until she noticed the look on his face. She frowned and glanced between them before settling her eyes on Oliver.
She opened her mouth, but before she could say anything Oliver’s lips were on hers, his hand automatically coming up to cup her cheek. Surprise filled her face, but she returned the kiss. When he pulled back letting out a ragged breath and mating their foreheads together she rubbed her hand up and down his arm trying to get him to release the tension there unsure of what had caused it.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded and gave her a small smile that didn’t reach his eyes before moving back and bringing her hand to his lips, voice soft. “Yeah, I just…missed you.” Confusion settled on her face not at all convinced by his words. The fact that his hand didn’t release hers just convincing her further that Oliver was far from okay.
She turned her eyes on Lex who shrugged and slid a manila folder towards them. “This is the information I was able to find during my meeting with Jean Paul and John. It isn’t much, but it’s something.” Chloe reached forward gripping the folder as their waiter came back with drinks.
They took a couple of minutes to order food before the waiter left again and Chloe’s eyes scanned the materiel inside the folder, Oliver’s hand on the back of her chair. She nodded before looking up and giving Lex a tight smile. “Thank you…this is good information.”
She caught sight of Oliver skimming it over her shoulder and when he leaned forward, his voice dropping lower she listened closely to his words. “We were actually able to find out that everything the kidnappers have requested from people are prototypes. The projects are still in the developmental stages, which means one or more of the kidnappers needs to be working with these projects directly to know about them.”
Lex tensed opening and closing his mouth as his brows furrowed. “Are you sure?” Oliver nodded. “Yeah, how else would they know about projects that haven’t even been sent to the patent office yet?” He pursed his lips and glanced between Chloe and Oliver. “How did you find this out?”
Oliver opened his mouth, but Chloe placed a hand on his arm as she cut him off before he could speak. “Lois has been looking into some information I gave her, but aside from that any avenues we go through to procure information to help us get Lana back isn’t really any of your concern. We might be allies in this fight, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten everything you’ve done before this. You don’t get full disclosure…sorry that ship sailed long ago.”
Oliver glanced at Chloe out of the corner of his eye and he couldn’t help the pride that filled him at her words. Lana might be her best friend and so she’d go to any lengths to help her, but she was still looking out for their team.
His hand fell to the small of her back, rubbing circles against it slightly to calm her muscles that had tensed slightly, “Chloe’s right. We agreed to help you, not divulge out deepest, darkest secrets.” Lex looked between them, his lips in a tight line as he gave them a curt nod. “Fair enough I suppose.”
Chloe gave him a friendly smile, but both men could see it was forced, “Good…now let’s see what’s taking them with those appetizers…I’m starving…”
The car ride to Watchtower was made in silence and even when they parked and started to head up Oliver still hadn’t said one word. It wasn’t until they’d gotten out of the elevator and were a few feet from the double doors that she stopped him.
“What’s going on?” He swallowed hard, pulling his best confused face as his brows furrowed, “What do you mean?” Chloe studied his face for a couple of seconds before rolling her eyes. “Mmm nice try…you’ve been weird since I met you at the restaurant did Lex say something?”
Oliver took a step back and put his hands in his pockets as he addressed her, shrugging his shoulders lightly. “He didn’t say anything.” She frowned, “Is it Lana? Did you find something out and--” He cut her off trying to brush aside her fears.
“No Chloe, we haven’t found out anything about Lana yet…everything is the same…nothing’s wrong.” He went to move around her and she stopped him a scowl marring her features. “Since when do we hide things from each other?”
Oliver let out a frustrated sigh. What was he supposed to say? Oh yeah Lex opened my eyes to something that I want to pretend isn’t true because I know you only see me as a friend and couldn’t possibly see me as anything more?
“Oh what I need to tell you every little detail of my life? You know there are still things I like to keep to myself.”
He moved quickly and pushed open the double doors. Victor and Dinah who were in the middle of a video conference with Bruce glanced over at the door. Chloe followed him in hurt on her face as she spoke. “I realize that…but you don’t usually keep them from me…maybe I can help…I--”
Oliver whirled around cutting off her words, his voice hard and several octaves louder than he expected it to come out. “You aren’t really my wife Chloe…I don’t need to tell you anything!” She stopped in her tracks, the expression on her face looking like he’d just slapped her and his anger faltered as he watched tears prickle in the corner of her eyes.
Dinah swallowed hard, Victor winced and Bruce pursed his lips as they watched the scene in front of them unfold. Chloe’s voice was quiet, and Oliver could hear the hurt in it. “You’re right…I’m not, but I thought we were friends…I thought…we could tell each other anything.”
He swallowed hard and reached out for her, but she side stepped his hand, her jaw clenching as she avoided his eyes. “You know what…You can inform the team about what we learned today…I’m going home.”
She turned heading for the door and he called out to her. “Chloe!” She turned frustration clear on her face as she spun back around to face him. “What?!” He hesitated for a second before clearing his throat, “You can’t go home…you need to head back to the penthouse…if you go home…it’ll blow our cover.”
She watched him for a minute silence enveloping the room before she nodded, “Right…” She went to turn again, but he moved toward her grabbing her arm gently. “I’m sorry…I didn’t…please don’t be mad. Can we talk when I get home?”
She shrugged out of his grip and lifted a shoulder. “I don’t know…that’s up to you. I’m not the one who doesn’t seem to want to talk.” He nodded as he brushed a hand down her arm. “You’re right…listen why don’t you head back to the penthouse and relax a little? I’ll pick up Chinese on my way back and then we’ll talk…”
She arched an eyebrow at him, not entirely convinced by his words. “Promise?” Oliver grinned. “Scouts honor.” She snorted, but the tension had ebbed from her body. “You were never a boy scout.” He shrugged and she gave him a small smile. If he was here briefing the team then she could grab a bath while she went over the files Lois had emailed her while they were at lunch.
“Okay…I’ll see you back at the penthouse.” He leaned in and placed a kiss on her cheek before squeezing her arm lightly and she raised amused eyes to his. “You’re awfully affectionate lately Archer.” He gave her a boyish grin, “I’ve always been an affectionate person…you just don’t usually let me get away with it.” He winked.
She rolled her eyes and glanced behind him at Victor and Dinah watching them. She waved at them before turning and heading for the elevator. When she disappeared behind the doors Oliver turned to face his team members with a small smile. “So…who wants to hear how lunch went?
Chapter Eight: The Doctor in Sheep's Clothing