Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Eleven: Heartbeats
“I can't wait to tomorrow. This feeling has swallowed me whole, and know that I've lost control.
This heart that I've followed has left me so hollow. That was then, this is now, yeah you have changed everything.” –Lifehouse
Oliver pulled up to the curb, putting the car in park and killing the engine, but not moving from the driver’s seat. It had been three weeks since Chloe was attacked and two weeks since she finally got her hormones under control thankfully. For a while there Oliver wasn’t sure how long he could keep say no to the woman who kept throwing herself at him half naked.
He shook his head at the memory. At least they’d have a few good stories to tell out of it later on. While Chloe spent most of her time the past couple weeks following the paper trail and searching for the missing warehouse, he had spent his time getting the penthouse baby proofed and dealing with his company and the press.
His publicist had issued a statement saying that the woman in his life was expecting and though the child was not his biologically they would be raising the baby together and no interviews on the matter would be granted at this time. She had told them that should they have any follow-up questions to send them directly to the PR department who would be handling the matter from this point on.
Jenny was seriously a god send. Once people heard that coupled with his statement asking press to back off due to the attack that had recently occurred surprisingly the media had responded in kind and actually started calming down.
Oliver’s hands tightened their grip on the wheel knuckles turning slightly white as he took a deep breath attempting to bring forth the courage to get out of the car. He glanced out the window eyes taking in the grass littered with different size stones.
He hadn’t been here in close to four months…since the day they buried Jimmy. He swallowed hard, pulled the keys from the ignition and got out of the car, shutting the door quietly behind him. His steps were measured as he followed the small cement blocks to the edge of the road before carefully stepping onto the grass, retracing the steps that he had promised himself he’d never take again.
Even though he’d only been to the gravesite the one time, he knew exactly where it was. It was seared into his memory…a day that he’d never forget. Three more steps forward, two to the right…last tombstone in the third row.
His feet came to a halt as he lifted his head glancing at the tombstone in front of him. The words carved on it made him swallow heavily. He straightened his back as he slid his hands into his pockets taking a deep breath before speaking.
“Hey Jimmy…its Oliver…I bet you didn’t think you’d be seeing me here anytime soon.” He let out a short laugh as he ran a hand through his hair. He shuffled his feet and looked down as he continued speaking. “Look…I’m here because I want to apologize. I know it’s too little too late and my apology now can’t bring you back…but I messed up and I need to take responsibility for my actions.”
He pursed his lips, brows furrowing as he slipped his hand back in his pocket. “You know…Chloe’s pregnant…almost twenty-four weeks along now…I’ve been taking care of her and the baby…it’s a girl by the way…healthy…strong. You’d be so proud of Chloe if you were here…she’s doing amazing. She’s going to make a really great Mother.”
He took a deep breath and glanced around at the empty cemetery. The sun shone bright a light breeze blowing by bringing with it the smell of honeysuckle and rain. “You’re probably wondering what my real reason for being here is…you were never a stupid guy…” He paused for a second before powering through what he needed to get off his chest.
“I’m falling in love with Chloe…or at least I think its love. I’m not really sure. I know that the kind of relationship I have with her…I’ve never had with anyone else in my life. At this point, she knows everything about me and I know practically everything about her.”
He bent down noticing a small rock on the ground and picked it up turning it over in his hands as he stood. “I’m not here to try and rub anything in your face…to be honest everything I have now…I owe to you. I’m not trying to replace you…I never could. You’ll always be a part of Chloe’s life. You gave her a daughter…and you gave me a family.”
Oliver glanced at the sky and let out a puff of air as he shook his head. “I don’t know if you can hear me or if I’m wasting my breath, but before I can tell Chloe how I feel…before I can take that next step with her I…I need to let go of that last piece of guilt I’ve been holding onto all this time.”
He glanced down again before looking directly at the name on carved into the stone. “I’m sorry for my part in your death. Those last few weeks…I did so many things wrong, made so many bad decisions a lot of which shaped everything that went down. I’m far from perfect, but I’ve changed a lot since the last time you saw me…I’m a better person because of what’s happened and I own that to you.”
He took a step forward placing a hand on the tombstone, voice lowering slightly. “I’ll take care of Chloe for you…and I promise to take care of your daughter like she was my own. I’ll make sure she knows who are you and knows that you’re the person who brought this family together…Chloe saved my life so thank you Jimmy…”
He took a breath and opened his mouth when the sound of his cell phone broke through the silence surrounding him. He glanced around before lifting the phone from his pocket and answering on the second ring. “Hello?”
Chloe shifted the phone to rest between her shoulder and ear as she spoke. “Hey…you left early this morning.” A smile broke out on his face. “Yeah sorry about that I had an early meeting and then a ton a crap to do at work, but I’m just about finished. I know it’s slightly passed lunch time, but what do you say I bring you home a sub?”
Chloe smiled as she glanced up at the computer screen ‘address found’ flashing across the screen. “I’m gonna have to take a rain check on that Romeo because firstly I’m not home…I’m at Watchtower.” He frowned giving one more glance at the grave before nodding his head in that direction and slowly turning around heading back towards his car.
“Why are you at Watchtower? I thought we agreed that you’d used the laptop at the apartment instead of going all the way across town.” She rolled her eyes slightly as he lectured her. “We did, which was fine…until earlier today when I found the location of the third warehouse.”
He pulled open his car door open, got in and shut it behind him before pulling his keys out and starting the car. “You found the warehouse?” She could hear a hint of awe in his voice and she grinned. “I sure did…not only that I finally got a hit from the facial recognition software on the guys who attacked us.”
Oliver blinked as he pulled away from the curb drove a few feet and turned onto the main road. “You did all that in a few hours?” He could hear the grin in her voice as she snorted. “Please…its’ taken way longer than that and you know it. I’ll fill you in when you get here.”
He smiled as he came to a red light. “Sounds good…nice work Sidekick.” She leaned against the main frame and her face softened. “Thanks hero…any chance you want to stop and get me a toffee bar on the way here?” He chuckled lightly. “Sure…I’ll be there soon.”
She said goodbye and he ended the call tossing his phone in the passenger side seat. At some point he was going to have to tell her that he went to Jimmy’s grave, but for now he’d pick up her candy bar and head to Watchtower so she could brief him on the plan because now doubt his girl had one.
Chloe was separating the information when Oliver pushed the double doors open and made his way into the room. He spotted her bending over the computers and he shook his head. “Hey Goldilocks what did I tell you about bringing the chair over to the monitors so you weren’t putting stress on your back?”
She glanced over her shoulder, curls bouncing slightly as she sent him a grin. “That I should do that?” He nodded as he stopped in front of her holding a small paper bag. “Exactly.” She turned reaching for the bag, but he pulled it back shaking his head.
“Where’s my hello?” She rolled her eyes, but leaned up slightly as he bent down with a grin placing a kiss against her lips. She deepened it slightly molding their lips together before breaking away and taking a deep breath. He pressed two more short kisses against her lips before holding out he bag to her as he spoke.
“Hmm if that’s how I’m going to get greeted every time I buy you toffee bars I think I’ll buy you one every day.” She slapped his chest lightly before pulling it out and handing him the bag. She unwrapped the candy bar halfway and took a bite.
“Mmm oh god this hit the spot.” He watched her, amusement dancing in his eyes as she turned towards the screen, pressed a few buttons bringing up two profiles and pointing. “Meet Tommy Lee and Adam Knight. Both inmates at Belle Reeve…which is why I couldn’t find them outside the system. Their files are locked…here’s the real kicker.”
She enlarged the photos and pointed. “I know them…this guy right here,” she pointed to Tommy, “he held Clark’s parents and Lana hostage a couple of years back…we thought he was still in Belle Reeve but apparently he was transported to a private facility, it doesn’t say where. I didn’t realize it at first because he’s bigger and he never used to have that Panther tattoo.”
Oliver frowned. “And the other guy?” She smiled and touched the screens enlarging the other file. “This guy was a friend of Lana’s sort of. She met him at physical therapy in the hospital when she broke her leg. Only thing was he had this really rare liver disease…he was in one of the old 33.1 labs…we thought he died when he didn’t get the serum he needed…but apparently not.”
Her brows furrowed and she shook her head. “The thing is it doesn’t make any sense. Why kidnap Tess? Why stab you? I mean I guess if he’s looking for that serum again it makes sense he’d try to go through Luthor Corp since they are the people who created the original formula, but there are less public ways to go about it.”
He nodded as he moved next to her, his hand falling to her lower back rubbing it lightly as he squinted at the screen attempting to figure out the connection. “Were you ever able to get anything off Tess’s laptop?” Chloe made a face and pressed the buttons on her hand held computer. “Not much. A list of addresses that corresponded with old 33.1 labs, but they’re all shut down. The ones that you and the team took down a while back.”
He paused his movements on her back and like out a light ‘huh’ before glancing over the information. “That is weird…okay let’s push that to the side for now…let’s talk warehouse.” She nodded and pressed a few more buttons in front of her bringing up the address and floor plans for the warehouse. She pointed and spoke.
“Here we go…look at this, the facility is less than an hour from the mansion…which means this is most likely where Tess is being kept…if she’s still alive.” Oliver pursed his lips and nodded. “Do we have a plan?” Chloe snorted and gave him a look. “I’m sorry have you met me?” He held up his hand in mock surrender as she brought up the blueprints of the facility.
“I’m going to walk you through the facility so you can get Tess out and you’re going to bring her back here.” He arched an eyebrow at her. “I am?” She inclined her head and met his eyes. “You are…I know she’s not the most trustworthy person, but I might need her help depending on if she knows who’s behind this…plus my sources say she was the last person to see Lois…”
Her voice trailed off and he rubbed her back gently. “Okay not a big deal I'll bring her back here…any word on the rest of the team?” She frowned slightly. “Well I’ve been able to track them and they’re all back in Star City…but I still haven’t heard from Bart and Dinah.”
He shrugged. “We can’t force them to respond…keep the team on standby for the worst case scenario.” She gave him a cheeky grin. “Already on it.” He smiled. “Oh I forgot to ask how everything went with the school.” Chloe scrunched her nose. “They weren’t happy but after speaking with Emil and you, thanks by the way, they agreed to let me finish up my entire remaining course work through the internet.”
He grinned. “That’s great…I’m proud of you Chloe.” She gave him a small grin. “Thanks…it’s getting late though it’s going to take you a while to get out by Smallville so I think you should head out soon.” He glanced at the clock and sighed. “I hate to admit it, but you’re right…I’m gonna go gear up you know I’ve gotta say…we make a pretty good team.”
She smirked. “We sorta do.” He winked at her and leaned down placing a quick kiss on her lips before moving towards the back where they had put his extra suit and equipment. It was time to get Tess back and figure out what the hell was going on.
Oliver grunted as he slowed his bike down and pulled to a stop several yards from the warehouse. It had taken him a little over an hour to get to the outskirts of Smallville on his bike. He shut it off and rolled it to the side of the road bringing it into a cluster of bushes.
Once it was properly concealed he checked his gear and then opened the side pocket on his uniform to grab his com. He put it in his ear and pressed the button on the side. “Arrow to Tower, do you read me?” Chloe grinned as she watched his green dot appear on the screen while placing her headset in. “Loud and clear Arrow.”
She pressed a few buttons glancing at the movement on the schematics before speaking. “Okay, there are three entrances, I want you to head to the one of the west side of the warehouse. Straight ahead and then once you got to the door go around to the left side and find the other door.”
“On it.” Oliver ran across the empty field in the cloak of darkness making sure to keep to a crouch until he got to the door. He glanced inside noticing two guards before moving quickly in front of the windows to the left. He ran around the concrete building and made his way to the doors on the side.
He paused in front of them and Chloe’s voice was suddenly in his ear. “I’m hacking into the system now do you see the small box on the right side of the door?” He glanced around and when he spotted it spoke. “Yea, there’s a red light on it.”
She nodded as she sat in the seat in front of the console. “When it turns green you’re going to open the door go straight down the hallway and at the end turn right. I count two heat signatures down that hallway…” Her voice trailed off and he heard the silent be careful that wasn’t spoke.
Seconds later the light turned green and he pulled open the door and made his way down the hallway while pulling out his compound bow. He pulled his gas arrow out, loaded the bow and made the way to the corner. He shifted so he was on the opposite wall and raised the bow.
Oliver’s hand released the arrow and it embedded itself in the wall between the two men a green gas spilling from it in their direction. There was a slight struggle as they each went for the walkie talkies on their sides, but neither ever made it as they slid to the ground.
Oliver smirked coming out from around the corner and walking down the hallway. “Alright these guys should be out for a good forty-five minutes…what next Tower?” Chloe frowned as she glanced over the floor plan. She could see a heat signature in the room at the end of the hall and it wasn’t moving. She spoke quickly knowing he was waiting.
“Go to the end of the hallway…the door those guys were in front of, I’m pretty sure that’s where Tess is.” Oliver paused slightly confused. “Seriously?” Chloe pressed a few more keys checking things out on all side. “Yeah…looks like…” Oliver made a face but nodded. “Alright I’m heading in…standby.”
Chloe glanced at the screen on her left with a frown. She’d had the news on earlier and everything suddenly got ten times louder. She glanced away and looked back at the main screen watching Oliver’s progress and she checked the area around him for more guards.
The baby moved, kicking hard against her stomach and her frown deepened as she leaned back in the seat and placed a hand over her stomach glancing at all the information surrounding her. Something seemed off. Why go through all the trouble to hide an entire warehouse only to have practically no security on it.
Her eyes traveled over the facts. Luthor Corp purchasing the three warehouses, someone kidnapping Tess and forcing her to sell her shares of Luthor Corp…hired help from Belle Reeve…who had the kind of power to transfer prisoners? She felt like it was staring her in the face, but she just couldn’t grasp it.
The noise on the news grew louder and she grunted, turning away from the main screen towards the left touch screen to mute the news and it hit her sending a wave of fear through her entire body.
Oliver kicked the door down and moved into the room bow at the ready. He saw Tess on the floor hands bound behind her back gag in her mouth. Her eyes widened when she saw him her head moving frantically back and forth.
He walked over to her and spoke his voice distorted. “Everything’s gonna be okay, I’m here to get you out of this place. Give me a second.” Oliver pulled a knife out from his boot and started working on the ropes. Tess was yelling something through the gag and he frowned pausing in his actions to move it out of her mouth.
She took a few deep breaths, her eyes meeting his. “Oliver…you need to get out of here.” He paused startled trying to play it off like he had no clue what she was talking about. He smirked. “I think you’ve got the wrong idea red…”
She cut him off, face serious, a hint of fear beneath her eyes making Oliver realize she was playing. Tess never showed fear…even when there was something to be afraid of. “Stop playing games…I know it’s you under that goddamned emerald suit…you need to get out of here now…”
He shook his head. “I don’t--” Before he could finish his sentence Chloe’s frantic voice came through his com. “Oliver…grab Tess and get the hell out of there now…” He touched his ear, “Tower what--” He was cut off again but this time by both Chloe and Tess speaking at the same time. “It’s Lex!” His eyes widened and he shook his head not willing to believe the man he killed was still alive.
“No…it’s not possible…” Tess caught his eyes as she spoke. “I saw him with my own eyes Oliver…” He reached forward and finished untying her quickly as he grabbed her hand and yanked her up. He spoke quickly. “We need to run.” Chloe was standing up now hands pressed against the console, her eyes turning back to the TV where Lex had just come on the screen.
She paled as he shook hands with someone on stage and when she glanced up at the screen the a large heat signature engulfed the back end and she could hear a loud explosion over the com. Oliver and Tess were knocked to the ground as the building shook and he got back up quickly yanking her with him.
“Come on…quick…” He pulled her towards the open door as Chloe guided him to the nearest exit. The second they made it to the door Tommy Lee blocked their exit smirking. Oliver raised his bow, but before he could shoot anything off Tommy used his meteor ability shooting two electric currents out and knocking both Oliver and Tess out immediately.
The com on Chloe’s end went dead as the entire facility went up in flames. Chloe gripped her stomach as she fell down to her chair everything around her slowing down. In that moment she felt her heart break, the sound of her voice echoing through Watchtower, his name on her lips as sobs wracked her body and tears slid from her eyes…
Chapter Thirteen: Come Home