Title: A Conflict of Interest
Word Count: 2280
Prompt: “Chloe and Oliver adjust to their new life at Star City and Chloe adjusts to life as reporter in a town where her husband is the Green Arrow.” from Chlavis333
Chloe stared at her new editor confusion on her face. “I’m sorry sir…you want me to do what?” Randall Murray leaned back in his seat fingering the pen in his hand as he glanced at his newest full-time staff reporter.
“Oliver Queen is back in town and we want the first exclusive interview on his return. A tell all tale…I want to know about how he plans to reacquire Luthor Corp and I want you to walk us through a typical night in the life of Green Arrow, Star City’s resident billionaire turned vigilante.”
She opened and closed her mouth not exactly sure what to say to him. He arched an eyebrow in her direction and she shifted in her seat as she cleared her throat. “Sir…not to undermine your authority or decisions in anyway, but that’s sort of big for my first assignment, not to mention a conflict of interest.”
Randall pursed his lips, brows furrowing. “What conflict of interest?” Chloe sucked in a deep breath weighing her options. She and Oliver had only been in Star City for a week and news of their marriage hadn’t exactly hit the main stream just yet.
If she told her editor she was married to the Oliver Queen she had no illusions that things would stay the same. People would look at her differently. Chloe had really hoped to make a name for herself before her dirty little secret was outted, but it looked like that wasn’t going to happen.
“Earth to Sullivan…I’m talking to you. Look if this assignment is too much for you and you can’t cut it then maybe I was wrong and the Star City Register isn’t for you.” Chloe quickly shook her head and leaned forward. “No!” She winced at the tone of her voice.
She’d been waiting for this moment ever since she got word back that she was hired, she wasn’t going to let this mess up her fresh start at Journalism. “Sorry Mr. Murray what I meant was…the article might be a conflict of interest because…well…”
Her voice trailed off as she tried to figure out how to lie her way out of this, but she was coming up blank and for Chloe that was hard to do. Her editor rolled his eyes and motioned for her to speak. “Spit it out already Sullivan.”
She met the older man’s eyes and the words tumbled quickly from her mouth. “The article might be a conflict of interest because Oliver Queen is my husband…” Randall gaped at the young woman in front of him trying to figure out if she was delusional or telling the truth.
Judging by her fidgeting and the nervous look on her face he’d say she was telling the truth. He leaned back in his seat a calm expression on his face as a large grin broke out onto his lips. Chloe groaned internally her stomach sinking lightly. Somehow she had a feeling whatever Randall Murray was thinking she wasn’t going to like.
Chloe sat in the leather chair legs crossed, yellow legal pad on her knees, recorder sitting on the desk in front of her, hand poised over her pad waiting rather impatiently for the answer to her current question. Oliver leaned back in his seat amusement clear on his face as his eyes trailed over her professional appearance.
She was wearing a black pencil skirt that hugged her curves in all the right places with an emerald green silk shirt and a black suit jacket over it. He licked his lips as his eyes caught a brief flash of cleavage when she shifted.
He cleared his throat and glanced to his left where the camera man stood in the corner smirk on his lips as he watched the billionaire check out the petite blonde in front of him. “I’m sorry can you repeat the question Miss Sullivan?”
She glanced up and frowned at him. “Of course…I asked what brought you back to Star City and now that you’re back how do you plan on keeping Queen Industries afloat with the news that Lionel Luthor is attempting to buy out your shares to the company?”
Oliver paused, a startled expression on his face before it turned to one of amusement. He arched an eyebrow in her direction. “Have you been snooping through my private business files Sidekick?” Chloe let out a frustrated sigh as she glared at her husband. “Really? I’m trying to conduct an interview here Ollie…can you please try to take this seriously?”
He pursed his lips as he took in her flushed face and angry eyes. He grinned and leaned forward while speaking. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re hot when you’re angry?” The cameraman who was recording the entire exchange chuckled and Chloe sent a glare his way. “Shut it George…” She turned back to Oliver. “That’s it. I’m done.”
Chloe stood up quickly and started packing up her things. Oliver let out a small breath and followed suit walking around the desk and stopping her movements. She glanced up and he brushed a piece of hair out of her face. “I’m sorry …I’ll behave.”
She studied his face and her shoulders slumped. “Will you really? Because this is a big deal Ollie…I need to get this interview done. I know it’s weird…but I thought you’d rather have me asking these questions then someone else who might put an unfair spin on your answers…I want to make a good impression…it’s really important to me.”
He could see the pleading in her face and he nodded, removing his arms from her and taking a seat in the black chair in front of his desk. He motioned for her to sit. “I promise…I’ll treat you just like anyone else.” She gave him a small grin. “Yeah?”
He smiled and nodded. Five minutes later they were resituated in front of his desk with George off to the side filming the interview for the live segment later than night. Chloe took it from the top eyes on Oliver as she spoke.
“So Mr. Queen, can you tell us what brought you back to Star City?” She watched as his demeanor shifted slightly and he gave her a flirty smile, but not the one she was used to. This one was more tempered…and less real.
“Well, Miss Sullivan I’d love to divulge to you some kind of outlandish secret, but the truth is I came back for personal reasons, which I’m sure will be disclosed to the public at a later date.” She arched an eyebrow giving him a smile of her own. “Is that all I can get out of you about your sudden return?”
He smirked, “At this juncture in time yes…all though if you’d like to discuss it over dinner I wouldn’t object.” Amusement sparkled in Chloe’s eyes as she glanced briefly at her paper dismissing his flirtation completely. “Moving on… how do you plan on keeping Queen Industries afloat with the news that Lionel Luthor is attempting to buy out your shares to the company?”
Oliver’s body tensed, but Chloe was almost positive no one on screen would notice. He pursed his lips collecting his thoughts before speaking. “My business partner, Tess Mercer is currently executing a well thought out counter attack on both our behalf’s that should have Lionel Luthor no longer being a factor in either Luthor Corp or Queen Industries.”
Chloe arched an eyebrow. “Meaning?” Oliver tilted his head to the side as he spoke. “Meaning when the news is announced by our PR team you’ll understand what I’m talking about.” Chloe’s chest clenched slightly at his words, but she pushed it aside.
She knew once they went home tonight he’d tell her exactly what he was talking about, but the fact that she didn’t know already had her thinking that maybe she was already immersing herself too much into her job, if she didn’t know what was going on in her husband’s life.
“Fair enough…tell me Mr. Queen…what’s it like being the Green Arrow? And can you walk me through a typical night in the life of Star City’s favorite hero?” The smile was back on his lips as he chuckled lightly. “It’s the parading around in leather that you want to know about isn’t it? You want to know if it chafes?”
She smiled slightly and arched an eyebrow at him. Oliver leaned forward and shrugged. “There’s nothing really too special about it…as I’ve said before I’m not the only one out there doing this…I have a team of people working with me and an amazing support system.”
Chloe’s face softened as she shifted in her seat. “Does your team have a name?” Oliver gave her a thoughtful look before a grin broke out on his lips. “Yeah…The Justice League.” She asked him several more questions about his patrols and things of that nature and as the interview wound down she bit her lip.
The last few questions she had for him all revolved around his personal life, which she was obviously a part of. She cleared her throat and gave him a small grin as she spoke. “Just a few more questions Mr. Queen and we’ll be all done with you.”
He chuckled lightly and waved her off. “Take your time…” She paused for a second before tilting her head to the side and speaking. “In the first interview you gave when coming out as Green Arrow…you mentioned you lost someone you loved…and that propelled you into revealing your identity…”
Oliver swallowed heavily and nodded trying not to let his mind wander back to that time especially now that he had Chloe back and they were married. “That’s right.” She re-crossed her legs trying to keep her voice as neutral as possible when she spoke. “Well inquiring minds want to know if your plan worked…is Oliver Queen still single or did this mystery woman make her way back to him?”
Silence filled the room for several minutes her heart slamming against her chest and the tension built between them. George’s mouth hung open as he moved the camera slowly between the two people sitting across from each other, capturing every expression on film.
Oliver studied her face before choosing his words carefully when he spoke. “No, me revealing my identity do not bring her back…I thought it would, but it wasn’t until later that I realized it had been a mistake.” He saw her face fall slightly and he tilted his head down catching her eyes as he smiled lightly.
“Don’t look so sad Miss Sullivan…I said me revealing my identity didn’t bring her back…I didn’t say she wasn’t back at all. It took some time, but yes the woman I mentioned in my first interview found her way back to me…just like I knew she would deep down…”
He glanced into directly into the camera a flirty smile on his lips as he broke the tension in the room. “So sorry ladies…Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow, which ever your prefer is off the market and surprisingly very happily married…”
He caught Chloe’s surprised gaze, smirk on his lips as he continued to speak amusement on his face at her startled expression. “Bet you didn’t see that one coming…” Announcing their marriage in an interview? No she sure as hell hadn’t.
Chloe paused the video as she glanced at Randall eyebrow raised. “Well?” He looked from the frozen image on the screen to the blonde powerhouse standing near the TV. He grinned. “We’ll run it tonight once it’s been through editing.”
She nodded and straightened before addressing him voice stern, but not disrespectful. “Now Mr. Murray…I’ve already spoken with George about this, but I’d like to make it clear that I am very serious about my job. I was a reporter before I met Oliver and I plan to make this city my home…and expand my career on my own merits.”
She pursed her lips before placing a folder on his desk. Randall arched an eyebrow and lifted the folder opening it and looking over things before glancing up at her gaping slightly. “Is this…a gag order?” Chloe let out a breath before speaking. “No…maybe…look I’m not ready for people to know I’m married to the City’s hero…”
She paused letting him take that in before continuing. “I want to make a name for myself in this business for myself before people start looking at me differently and before you say anything…you know they will. I just need a little time and I have to make sure neither of you say anything about what you know until I’m ready to let the information out.”
She stood there nervously waiting to hear what he was going to say, all kind of horrible scenarios running through her head where he yelled and told her to get out of his office before firing her. When all he did was shake his head, grab a pen and sign the papers she blinked.
He handed them back to her and she took them slightly startled by the turn of events. She nodded and started getting her things together before making her way towards the door. Her hand reached for the knob and right as she was turning it his voice broke the silence in the room and she froze.
“Miss Sullivan…” She glanced over her shoulder. “Yeah chief?” He smirked at her. “Nicely played.” Chloe smiled and made her way out of the office pride filling her chest as she walked into the bullpen. Looks like things would be working out just fine after all, and to think she had thought she’d lost her touch.
Just Out of Reach