Banner By: Kyra_And_Co
Chapter Ten: The Truth in The Lie
‘A Night in The Dark’
Mia took a deep breath, adjusted her earpiece before taking Carter’s offered arm and walking down the staircase into the main room. Bruce glanced around the room and caught sight of Oliver’s protégé making her way into through the archway with Carter.
He turned to his left and spotted Dinah and AC at the bar. They had gotten there a little over thirty minutes ago. His eyes once again wondered around the room taking stock of the people there. Bruce had chosen a large hall figuring it would be easier to keep track of all the exits rather than having a hotel where there was a larger margin of error.
He lifted his champagne to his mouth taking a small sip as he offered a smile to someone who waved in his direction. Sometimes being the poster boy for womanizing and debauchery wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. But currently, he was happy he’d never gotten married…he didn’t know what he’d do if he was in the same position as the men they were trying to help.
He knew how much Chloe meant to Oliver…the entire team did and the fact that he was letting this plan come to head even though he knew these men were after her now…it just went to show how much faith he had in this team he’d built.
Bruce sighed and shifted catching Carter’s eye. The older man gave a discreet nod and he tilted his head back in reply. Everyone seemed to be in place. He touched his com lightly making sure it was on. “Hawkman and Speedy just arrived, they’re in position.”
Victor sat in a large truck behind the hall, a small array of computers surrounding him tapped into the security cameras in the hall and zoomed in on the feed spotting Dinah and AC and then Mia and Carter on a different monitor.
“I see them. J’onn is keeping eyes out from above and Impulse is zooming around the building checking windows, doors, and casing the surrounding area for the third time and Star Girl ran out to go give J’onn some information, but when she gets back she be monitoring the people coming into the event. Chloe and Oliver should be here soon until then…we keep doing what we’re doing.”
Bruce cleared his throat as he made in way down from what would have been the VIP section had this been a club and once again brought his champagne to his lips as he spoke. “Got it. I’m initiating radio silence…over and out Cyborg.”
He pressed his earpiece and moved swiftly into the crowd of people putting on his fake smile as he made himself blend, talking to guests, but never letting his guard down as he stayed alert and on the lookout for anyone who might look or act suspicious.
Chloe leaned back against the plush leather of the limo, her head facing the window studying the Gotham skyline as they drove towards Bruce’s fundraiser. Oliver’s hand was resting against her thigh, his thumb caressing her lightly as he scrolled through his phone with his other hand.
She let out a small sigh and Oliver glanced over at her. “You okay Sidekick?” She turned her head in his direction and smiled, “Yeah…I’m good.” She paused and then shifted turning her whole body in his direction, a hint of worry in her voice.
“This is going to work right? I mean our plan is solid? Cause this might be our only chance to find out where Lana is…it’s been over two weeks and they haven’t made any more contact with Lex…I just…I’m worried about her.”
Oliver swallowed hard, not used to Chloe showing her vulnerable side to anyone and a part of him was touched that she felt comfortable enough with him to shed some light on her fears. He reached out cupping her cheek and spoke, voice determined. “Yes, this is going to work…I promise. We’ll keep you safe and we’ll find Lana.”
Chloe made a face as her hand came out to straighten his tie, “I’m not worried about me…I’m worried about Lana and Crystal and Maria…I know I don’t know the other girls well, but none of them deserve this…we need to end it.”
Her voice was stern and he nodded placing a kiss against her forehead before pulling back and looking her in the eyes. “I know you aren’t worried about you…that’s why I am…and like I said before…we’ve got the team on it…we aren’t leaving there tonight without figuring out where they are keeping Lana and the other two women. Okay?”
She studied his face and let out a long breath as she leaned into his touch, voice soft. “Okay.” He grinned and leaned forward capturing her lips with his. She slid her hand down gripping his waist and deepened the kiss. Oliver groaned and Chloe grinned before sucking his bottom lip into her mouth.
When they broke apart he leaned his forehead against hers and let out a ragged breath, voice low when he spoke to her, hands stroking her sides. “Do you have any idea the effect you have on me?” She arched an eyebrow and moved closer to him. “The same effect you have on me?”
He slid his hand into her lose curls as she placed a kiss on his neck as her hand traveled to his belt hesitantly. He pushed her back gently and she gave him a look of confusion. He grinned at her. “I appreciate the gesture, but we don’t have enough time…besides you aren’t that girl Chloe.”
She tensed slightly and pulled away from him, her heart sinking slightly at his rejection. When he saw her turn away from him he frowned and gripped her chin lightly to moving her head back to face him. “Don’t do that…don’t block me out.”
She whacked his hand away and glared slightly, “I’m not.” He sighed and pursed his lips before speaking. “I’ve had tons of meaningless sex…” When her glare deepened he scratched the back of his head sheepishly as he continued.
“And a lot of those meaningless times were in limos. You aren’t that girl Chloe…and I’m glad. We could have sex right now…but…I don’t want to taint what we have by making it seem like you’re everyone else…because you’re not. You’re so much more…”
Her face softened slightly when she took in the honesty in his words. She reached up caressing his cheek lightly and shrugged. “I never used to be that girl…but when I’m with you…sometimes I feel like I could be. You make me feel…” She paused looking for the right words, but falling short.
“You make me feel alive. Sex in a limo…sex in a bed…sex anywhere with us could never be meaningless Ollie…because it’s you and me. I’ve never been particularly adventurous…and I think I’ve had more creative sex in the past day then I’ve ever had in my life…”
He chuckled as he turned his head and kissed her palm, green eyes meeting brown as she kept talking. “But don’t cross things off the possibilities list just because you think I’m better than that…Okay?” Oliver glanced down at the woman by his side and wondered how in the world he’d gotten so damn lucky. He smiled, a warm look in his eyes, voice soft as he brushed a finger against her lips. “Okay.”
Chloe seemed marginally satisfied with that answer as she shifted so she was leaning against his chest. Oliver wrapped and arm around her dropping a kiss on the top of her head as they got comfortable a peaceful silence settling between them as the limo made its way to Bruce’s fundraiser.
Mia stood towards the side of the room watching people mill about. Oliver and Chloe had arrived about twenty minutes ago and were currently talking with a couple that seemed to be kissing Oliver’s ass like there was no tomorrow.
She snorted to herself at the ridiculousness of the people in Oliver’s circle and wondered for a minute how he managed not to turn out like the rest of them. Sure he had more money than most people in that room and he had the whole playboy billionaire reputation, but Oliver was more than that.
Thos stories written about him, the act he put on…is just that, an act. He was probably one of the most down to earth people Mia had ever met. Who else would take in a teenage runaway, and help clean up her life? Not anyone she knew aside from Oliver…and his band of merry men.
She had tried to stifle her excitement when Oliver had decided to let her be a part of the mission. She’d gotten on his case in the past because she wasn’t an official member of the team and he’d told her that once she graduated high school, they’d talk about it.
So, when he hadn’t denied her helping with the case she’d been pleasantly surprised. Mia reached up to her ear pressing the com and it buzzed to life in her ear. “Two more people have initiated contact with Arrow and Tower. They just moved toward the bar, blue dress, navy blue suit.”
Victor pressed a few buttons directing the camera to scan the crowd until he found the people Mia was talking about. He zoomed in on their faces a sent a screen cap to the computer Courtney was sitting by. She pulled the photo up and ran in through the facial recognition software.
Victor pressed a few more buttons as he spoke. “Targets found initiating facial recognition sequence. We’ll check them out and get back to you.” Mia turned slightly and caught sight of a well dressed man with in a gray suit with dark hair and blue eyes staring at her. He raised his glass and smiled in her direction an unreadable expression in his eyes that caused a slight chill to run up her spine.
She returned the smile before looking away from him as she raised her hand to her ear again. “Sounds good, do me a favor check out the guy in the corner to my right. Grey suit, dark hair, blue eyes.” Victor panned the camera across the room and frowned as he spoke into the microphone. “There’s no one there fitting that description Speedy…”
Mia gazed around the room brows furrowed when she no longer saw the man there. She paused something clenching in her stomach. She felt nervous and she wasn’t sure why. She hesitated before speaking softly into her com.
“Maybe I was just seeing things…can you keep a look out just in case though?” Victor pressed a few more buttons zooming out of the feed and nodding even though Mia couldn’t see him. “Sure.” A waiter passed by Mia and she grabbed a glass of champagne while speaking. “Great thanks Cyborg. Initiating radio silence.”
She was just bringing the glass to her lips when a large hand reached out and pried it from her fingers. She looked up at a frowning Carter. “Sorry junior, no alcohol for you.” Another server walked by and he placed it on their tray as they passed.
She rolled her eyes, “Seriously I haven’t the slightest idea how anyone here is supposed to believe we’re together…you’re like twice my age.” Carter smirked at the teenager’s spunk and shrugged. “Half the men here are older than the woman there with. I’m gathering it’s some kind of pattern.”
Mia let out a light chuckle, “Yeah, they’re all arm candy. They latch on to the older men for their money obviously…it’s not rocket science…where’s Chloe going?” Carter’s head whipped around as he watched the blonde attempting to untangle herself from Oliver.
He could see the worry on the other man’s face as he shook his head pulling her back to his side and whispering something in her ear. Carter saw Chloe’s face soften as she brushed a hand against his cheek and pulled him down for a kiss.
He watched as they made their way towards the bar together. When they starting talking with someone there he turned back towards Mia assuming the crisis had been averted. “I guess she wanted a drink.” The teenager nodded before glancing at Carter.
“Yeah, and he must not have wanted her to go alone…he’s worried…” Carter nodded studying Mia before speaking. “I know…he doesn’t need to be though…and neither do you. We’re gonna catch these bastards.” She gave him a small smile. “Thanks Carter.”
He nodded before turning his eyes back to the room in front of him. On the other side of the large hall Dinah pressed her com closing the link between her and Victor. AC nudged her slightly and she arched an eyebrow. “Anything?” She shook her head.
“Nothing so far. All the people that have approached Oliver and Chloe have been legit. Nothing suspicious about them. The night’s almost half over. I’m starting to wonder if maybe they aren’t gonna show at all.” AC sighed. He hoped Dinah was wrong. He knew how disappointed Chloe would be if this didn’t work and they didn’t find Lana.
He placed a hand at the small of Dinah’s back as he guided her towards the dance floor. She arched an eyebrow at him and he shrugged, “We need to blend in more we’ve been standing there for over twenty minutes.” She let him pull her into his arms and they started to dance never once taking their eyes off their surroundings.
Chloe was worried. The event was coming to an in less than an hour and still no one had showed. Maybe they’d been wrong. Maybe all the tips that were sent there way was just someone messing with them. She let out a heavy sigh.
If the kidnappers didn’t show, then she’d have to start all over and attempt to find Lana a different way. The only thing was she had no clue where else to start. Chloe was pulled from her thoughts by one of the servers. “Good evening ma’am can I offer you a glass of champagne?”
She was about to decline when she decided against it and smiled, reaching out and taking a glass. “Thank you.” The man in the gray suit smiled, blue eyes alit as Chloe brought the glass to her lips taking a healthy sip. “You’re welcome…enjoy the rest of your night.”
She nodded and watched as he disappeared into the crowd. A hand on her arm startled her and Oliver chuckled. “Hey there Sidekick you okay? What did I tell you about the champagne?” She laughed lightly. “This is my first glass. I saw Mia a little earlier. I’m gonna go find her real quick and say hello while you finish your conversation.”
Oliver frowned, “Chloe you know I don’t want you leaving my side.” She placed a hand on his chest and motioned toward her left. “Carter is right behind me and Dinah and AC are on the other side of the room. Nothing is going to happen Oliver. It’s just a second. I’ll be right back.”
He opened his mouth, but she was already moving away from him. She let the last bit of champagne slide down her throat before placing on a tray that was passing by her. The dance floor seemed more crowded than it had a minute ago and as she stepped onto it she felt warm bodies surround her.
Chloe blinked her body suddenly feeling very heavy. She took a step forward and faltered slightly. What the hell was going on? She pushed forward and the room starting to spin. All of sudden without any warning the lights flickered off and the music died pitching the entire room into darkness.
There was a flurry of activity as people shouted and made other disgruntled noises. The blackness that surrounded her, bodies shoving made her body fall back, but two hands caught her. “Ollie…something not…I feel…” Before she could finish her sentence a cold voice spoke behind her. “Shhh Mrs. Queen…you’re coming with us.”
Chloe’s body froze an icy chill sliding down her spin as she was dragged through the crowd. She tried to struggle, but her body felt like jello. She could barely see straight as everything around her moved. She tried to cry out but something was shoved into her mouth.
She could feel her body going limp and she felt her dress catch on something, a piece of it tearing off as the man holding her yanked her towards the hallway. The night vision goggles that he’d been given worked perfectly as he zig zagged through the people frantically yelling around the room.
He only had four more minutes before the lights came back on, he needed to get to the basement door quickly. Chloe heard a door being opened as she was hoisted over the man’s shoulders and the last thought she had before passing out was that she should have listened to Oliver.
The minute the lights went off Oliver had panicked He pushed through people even thought he couldn’t see anything trying to remember which way Chloe went. He screamed her name as panic settled in his stomach as he turned on his com.
Victor’s voice crackled to life, “What the hell is going on in there Oliver? All feeds just went off.” His heart pounded in his chest as he raced around the room. “Victor manually turn on everyone else’s coms if they haven’t already linked back up and patch us all together.”
Victor’s hands moved quickly across the keyboard the panic in Oliver’ voice clear as day. Suddenly a bunch of voices were talking into his ear. “Guys quiet...Canary, Aquaman, Hawkman, Speedy what are you twenties?”
Dinah tried to focus her sense as she spoke. “AC and I are together, I think we’re on the dance floor towards the left of the room.” Oliver nodded as he slammed into someone barely pausing to say sorry as he continued into the darkened room.
“Hawkman? Speedy?” Carter’s grip on Mia’s hand tightened as he spoke up. “We’re by the VIP section.” Oliver opened his mouth when Bruce’s voice came through the com. “They’re about to power up I don’t know what happened. I’ve got the security team on standby.”
Seconds later the lights flickered back on and there were a chorus of cheers before Bruce got on the loud speaker and apologized for the inconvenience before directing everyone to make their way to the front entrance so they could grab their favors and be checked to make sure nothing was taken on the way out.
People turned and walked up the stairs and out of the room as Oliver glanced around looking for Chloe. Dinah, AC, Hawkman and Mia all searched the hallways the bathroom and the different alcoves as he headed towards the archway that led to a small hallway where the kitchen was and the back door.
He froze his throat constricting as he caught sight of something on the floor. He heisted for a second before moving forward and squatting down in front of it. Mia, Dinah, AC, and Carter all made their way back into the main room and paused when they saw Oliver squatting near the archway.
He reached his hand down and lifted the roughly ripped cloth off the ground. Oliver stared at the scrap of fabric in his hand, stomach in knots as his heart clenched. He could hear Bruce and his security team milling about around him. He knew his team was there too…their team. He could hear their worried voices calling out to him, but he ignored them.
His hand tightened around the fabric, fingers sliding over it as he choked on a quiet sob catching Bruce’s attention. He stood slowly, his body feeling heavy…dizzy as he glanced around at his friends, swallowing hard. Moisture pooling in his eyes as he struggled to breath.
This couldn’t be happening, not now…not when things were finally heading in the right direction with them, Oliver couldn’t lose her…she was Chloe. He’d promised her she was safe, that they would take care of her…that the team would catch these guys.
And instead they had scooped her up from right underneath their noses. Chloe was gone and Oliver felt like he was suffocating. Lex’s words reverberated through Oliver’s head, taunting him as he reached up a hand and covered his face as he braced himself against the wall.
“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 Queen was in love with Chloe Sullivan…and the thought that he might never get to tell her that made his heart ache in a way that nothing in his life ever had. Seconds. That was literally the amount of time it had taken…for Oliver’s life to fall apart.
Chapter Twelve: The Parts of The Whole