Banner By: Kyra_and_Co
Chapter Two: I'm In Here
“When you try your best but you don't succeed. When you get what you want but not what you need. When you feel so tired but you can't sleep. When you lose something you cannot replace, Tears stream down your face and I promise you I will learn from my mistakes.” –Coldplay
Oliver tightened his grip on the phone, his face pulled into a scowl as he spoke to his acquisitions manager. “I don’t care what it takes Tim, I want that building. I heard from reputable sources that it’s going back on the market this week, something about faulty paperwork.”
The man on the other end of the line sighed and shook his head as he leaned forward at his desk and addressed his boss. “It’s not that simple Oliver, there’s a lot of red tape around this and at least two other companies are going after the building. It’s in a prime location…”
His voice trailed off and Oliver glared at the empty seat in front of him. It had been two days since Chloe came to stay with him and he was pretty sure he logged more hours in the office the past two days then in the past month.
It was weird having her in his space and the fact that she wasn’t exactly jumping out of her skin to be there made it worse. Normally Oliver had to practically shove women out of his apartment, but in Chloe’s case pulling teeth without Novocain would have been easier.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and leaned forward elbows hitting his desk as he tried to keep his temper in check while speaking to the man who had worked for his Father’s company for over ten years. It wasn’t him he was frustrated with. “Look Tim I understand this will be difficult, but I’m asking you to please do whatever it takes to get this building…okay?”
There was a short silence over the phone before Tim let out a small breath and nodded even though Oliver couldn’t see it. “I will do everything in my power to acquire the property you desire…” He smiled slightly and some of the tension fell from his shoulders. “Thank you.”
“Not a problem Oliver.” They said their goodbyes and he quickly hung up the phone and took a sip of water from the glass beside him as he leaned back in his chair wishing the glass was filled with something much stronger. He glanced at the clock and noticed it was going on five a clock.
His assistant had been staying late with him the past two days, which was yet another thing for him to feel guilty for. He buzzed her on the intercom and seconds later her voice was floating through the speaker of his phone. “Yes Mr. Queen?”
“Can you bring in the file on Luthor Corp for me please?” He heard some shuffling on her end before she spoke. “Of course.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Thank you.” He pushed the button shutting the intercom off and relaxed back into his seat.
It was getting late, but he couldn’t bring himself to head home yet. He wanted to talk to Chloe about his plan, he knew she was getting impatient with him, but right now with the atmosphere at home hiding out at his office just seemed like a better plan.
The sound of his door being opened knocked him out of his thoughts as Annabeth made her way into the room, a large manila folder in her hands. She gave him a small smile and placed it on his desk in front of him. “There you go…and you have a call on line, it’s Doctor Hamilton he said it’s important.”
Oliver straightened up and frowned. “Did he say what it was about?” She shook her head. “No, he’s on line one.” Oliver pursed his lips and nodded. “Thank you for the files and Annabeth it’s late, you should head out. Thank you for staying late the past two nights.”
She hesitated briefly before nodding. “Have a good night Mr. Queen.” He gave her a tight smile. “You do the same.” When she was out of the room he lifted the phone quickly to his ear and pushed the ‘line one’ button.
“Emil, is everything alright?” He could hear the worry in the younger man’s voice and when he spoke his voice was soothing as he reassured his employer. “Everything is fine. I was calling because I got Chloe’s blood work back and it seems she’s a bit anemic, not uncommon in pregnancy, so I prescribed some iron supplements and called it into the pharmacy near you. I tried to get in touch with Chloe but she wasn’t answering her cell phone. Is she by any chance with you?”
A hint of uncertainty coiled low in his stomach. Why wouldn’t Chloe be answering her phone? He stood immediately and started getting his stuff together. “No she isn’t. She should be at the penthouse, I’m still at work…listen I’m gonna head home make sure everything is fine. I’ll pick up the medicine on my way. Anything else I should know?”
Emil could hear him moving around his office and he shook his head out of habit. “Just that she needs to start eating better. More food and it should be foods rich in folic acid, iron and protein. Real food…has she been eating right?”
Oliver paused thinking back to the past two days. He had no clue what Chloe did while he wasn’t there, but when he did get home he hadn’t seen her eat much, then again it was late. “I don’t know…look I’ll take care of it…I’ll make sure she gets what she needs. Let me go…I’ll talk to you later.”
“Oliver--” But the rest of his sentence was cut off when the younger man hung up the phone, tossed the Luthor Corp files into a briefcase, and shrugged on his jacket before walking around his desk and out of his office. As he made his way into the elevator he couldn’t help kicking himself.
He’d been trying his best to be there for Chloe give her what she needed, take care of Jimmy’s baby and apparently his best just wasn’t good enough. He had gotten what he wanted, her moving into the penthouse and then because the apartment was too uncomfortable for him he spent all his time at work to avoid her.
He was already letting her down…letting Jimmy down…but not anymore. He’d made a promise to himself he would be there, that he would take care of them and he would no matter how difficult it was, he’d learn from the mistakes he made and do better starting with getting her medicine and going food shopping to get the kinds of things she needed before heading home.
Chloe sat at the kitchen island newspaper spread out on the marble slab, pen in hand as she went through the ‘help wanted’ section of the Daily Planet. She frowned as she crossed out yet another job listing. She let out a frustrated sigh as she took a sip of the water next to her.
Most of the jobs listed required extended schooling like Bachelor’s degrees, Masters Degrees etcetera. Something Chloe didn’t actually possess at this point in time. She had always meant to go back and finish school, she hadn’t been too many credits shy of graduating, but then life got in the way or more accurately alien plots to destroy the world got in the way.
It aggravated her to no end that this is where her life ended up. She was pregnant at twenty-two, widowed, no college diploma, no real family or place to call home and living with a man who was so disgusted with her that he would rather spend twelve hours out of the day at work then be in the same apartment with her.
She groaned slightly rubbed a hand over her face and shifted on the chair slightly reaching for her resume that was next to the newspaper. She glanced over it, noting the only two jobs on there were from the Daily Planet and her stint at Queen Industries as a consultant.
She could kiss the reference from the Daily Planet goodbye, but she was pretty sure Oliver would vouch for her work ethic which would most likely be better than anything she got from the Planet anyway. Her eyes drifted toward the clock on the stove, the numbers glaring back at her.
It was after six and Oliver still wasn’t home from work. Last night he hadn’t gotten in until well after eight and then he’d gone on patrol for two hours. The night before he was even later. He didn’t call during the day, didn’t check in and he had barely spoken to her since she got there.
He had told her he had some kind of plan and yet she’d been there two days and he still hadn’t divulged it to her. It was bordering on ridiculous and she was severely close to saying forget it all and just heading back to her place. The sound of the elevator knocked her out of her thoughts and she blinked in surprise.
Was Oliver actually home before the sun went down? She spun the chair around and leaned over slightly so she could see into the hallway. When the door opened she frowned, the doorman from downstairs standing there with several bags in his hand.
She opened her mouth, but then closed it as he stepped out of the elevator followed by Oliver. They made their way down the hallway and into the kitchen. Chloe jumped slightly as Oliver plopped the arm load of bags on the counter and Brian followed his lead.
He glanced at Chloe and tipped his head in her direction. “Good evening Miss Sullivan, how are you?” She smiled at the doorman and Oliver noticed that the smile she gave him was genuine…not forced like the ones she’d been sending his way for days.
“I’m doing well, how about you Brian? How are your wife and children?” He beamed at her and Oliver’s lip quirked at the corner slightly. Only Chloe would take the time to get to know his doorman. “They're doing very well, thanks for asking.” She nodded and Oliver pulled out two twenties and held them out to him.
“Thanks again Brian for helping me up with the bags.” He waved his hand. “No, I couldn’t Mr. Queen…” He motioned for him to take the money. “Please…I insist.” He hesitated for another minute before takingthe money and nodding his thanks. “You two kids have a good night.”
They nodded as he made his way towards the elevator and waved before the doors slid shut behind him leaving Oliver and Chloe alone. Silence quickly enveloped the room and Chloe moved back over to her previously vacated seat and plopped down in it.
She pursed her lips before clearing her throat and glancing in Oliver’s direction. “You’re home early tonight…” She let the sentence trail off and he scratched the back of his neck in a nervous gesture. “Yeah…I…things were slow. Emil called me…he tried calling, but said you didn’t pick up…”
He hesitated briefly swallowing hard as he continued. “Is everything okay?” Chloe watched him closely and noticed how he wouldn’t meet her eyes as he started to unpack the groceries. “I was sick the first two times he called…it’s hard to answer the phone when your praying to the porcelain goddess and when I called him back there was no answer. Why?”
Suddenly panic shot through her pondering all the reasons Emil would be calling her. Her heart beat quickened as she spoke lightly, but Oliver could detect the hint of worry in her voice. “Is everything okay? Is it…the baby?” His hands stopped and he finally looked up at her and shook his head.
“Relax…stress isn’t good for the baby and no. There isn’t anything wrong with the baby, though Emil did mention that your blood results came back and you’re slightly anemic.” Dread filled her chest and he could already see the storm brewing.
He reached out and placed a hand over hers, ignoring her wince at his touch as he spoke. “Chloe…take a deep breath and stop freaking out. He said it’s very common. He called in a prescription for you and I picked it up on my way home. He also said you need to start taking better care of yourself. More iron and protein and some kind of folic arsenic or something.”
Chloe’s lip twitched at the corner as she met his eyes. “Folic acid you mean?” He frowned. “What did I say?” She shook her head a short laugh coming from her lips. “Folic arsenic…if you’re planning to off me I’m sure there are more humane ways.”
Oliver gave her a horrified look as he shook his head frantically. “No, Chloe no of course I’m not trying to…I didn’t mean…” His voice trailed off at her arched eyebrow and it was only then that he realized she was joking with him. He swallowed heavily and gave her half a smile.
“You were joking…” She pursed her lips and shrugged. “Yeah…I guess it wasn’t really a good joke.” He shuffled his feet slightly. “No it was I’m just…not used to you joking.” And just like that the silence invaded the room again. They stayed there across from each other until Chloe once again broke the silence.
“What’s with all the bags?” He gave her a tight smile glad to have something else to focus on and he started pulling things out again. “I went food shopping. I figured it was about time you started eating real food. I got a whole bunch of fruits and vegetables…there's chicken and steak…salad…ice cream.”
He frowned. “I guess ice cream isn’t really healthy but I like it…I’m sure you do too, though I wasn’t really sure what kind to get so I got a few didn’t flavors…” She watched him focusing on the bags in front of him and something tugged slightly at her heart as she realized he’d gone out shopping for her.
Oliver glanced at Chloe out of the corner of his eye and she looked lost in thought. He wasn’t really sure what the look on her face meant and when he saw her shift and wince his brows furrowed and he spoke. “What’s wrong?” His question startled her, confusion covering her face. “What do you mean?”
He pointed at her. “You winced…are you hurt?” Her body stilled and she sat up straight feeling slightly self conscious at the way he was studying her. “I’m fine…my back just hurts a little…that all.” He rolled the empty bags up and tossed them aside as he spoke.
“Can I do anything to help?” She frowned wrapping her arms around herself slightly and shook her head, voice stern. “No. I’m fine.” He sighed. “Right…okay then.” He continued putting things away and she reached forward towards the prescription bag and pushing it over toward her.
She pulled out the bottle of pills and looked them over. “So I need to take these once a day and it will fix the problem?” Oliver shrugged and he tossed the meat in the freezer. “I don’t know…Emil seems to think so, but that also means you need to eat. What have you had so far today?”
He turned crossing his arms over his chest as he raised an eyebrow at her. In seconds Chloe did a one eighty, it was like Oliver could practically see her building Fort Knox between them. Her body went on the defensive her tone icy when she spoke. “What are you my Father? I ate okay…why does it matter what it was?”
He sent a glare in her direction and pointed to her abdomen. “Because you’re pregnant Chloe. You can’t just get by on coffee and muffins or whatever it is you eat. I’m assuming by now you’ve obviously decided to keep this baby, which means you need to focus your energy on making sure you’re healthy. You can get indignant with me if you want, but you’ll eat if I have to shove the food down your throat.”
He turned abruptly, cursing himself for losing his temper yet again with the blonde behind him. He gripped the counter in front of him and closed his eyes while taking a couple of deep breaths. He needed to keep his eyes on the prize and stop focusing so much on how uncomfortable things were.
If he wanted things to work he needed to talk to her and not yell so much. When he turned around to apologize she was no longer there and he blinked glancing around the kitchen wondering where she could have gone. He walked around the counter and moved down the hall when he heard the sound of heaving coming from the bathroom.
He quickened his pace and found Chloe kneeling over the toilet as her body shaking slightly as she gripped the bowl tightly in both hands as she lost whatever she had eaten earlier. He moved next to her slowly and pulled her hair back gently patting her back unsure of what to do.
Chloe let out a small sob as she spoke between heavy breaths. “Just go…I don’t…go away…” Her body heaved forward again violently and Oliver winced turning away as he swallowed hard and spoke, voice low, but determined. “I’m not going anywhere…just…let it go I’m sure it will be over soon.”
Ten minutes later when there was nothing left in Chloe’s stomach and she was pale and pasty she shifted and his hand fell away from her hair as she plopped on the bathroom floor and leaned against the cool tub. Oliver sat across from her and pulled off a few pieces of toilet paper handing it to her.
She took it with a mumbled thank you and wiped her mouth before tossing it and closing her eyes taking deep, long breaths. He studied her quietly a hint of pain on his face at what she was going through. “Does that happen a lot?” She didn’t open her eyes and her voice was hoarse when she responded. “At few times a day…three or four maybe.”
He felt his chest tighten. Oliver hadn’t even thought that while he was barricading himself in the office that she was here getting sick all alone. The whole point of him bringing her there in the first place was so he could help her and instead he just moved her from one lonely tower to the next.
He ran a hand through his hair and shook his head. “I’m sorry Chloe…I didn’t realize it was that bad…we can go to Emil…I’m sure he could give you something…” Her eyes fluttered open and she shook her head. “It’s morning sickness…it happens with everyone. It’s not something you can fix.”
He frowned. “Still I should have been here.” Chloe made a face and shrugged. “It doesn’t matter…it’s not your responsibility to be here. I’m a big girl…I can take care of myself.” He leaned his head back against the wall as he let out an exasperated sigh.
“I’m getting so sick of hearing that. Could you stop being so damn independent for once and look around you. You’re drowning Chloe and you can’t even see it. I don’t care if you can do it alone. You’re not going to. So if your puking you guts out at two am I’ll be there holding your hair while you unload. Get over it.”
She tilted her head to the side and studied him as he picked at his pants not making a move to get off the floor. She shook her head and let out a slightly bitter chuckle. “I don’t get you…why are you doing this. You can’t even stand to be around me Oliver…I make you miserable…why are you trying so hard to help me? You said it yourself…I’m a murderer…it’s my fault Jimmy is lying six feet under…I don’t deserve your help…” Her voice faltered before her eyes teared up and she whispered. “I don’t deserve anyone’s help.”
Shock crossed his face as he glanced at the woman across from him a hint of understanding finally sinking in. “Is that what you think?” She shrugged but didn’t meet his eyes as she spoke. “It’s what you think.” He shook his head and pushed his hands against the floor moving slightly closer to her.
“Look at me…Chloe look at me.” She let out a puff of air and straightened her head until she was looking into brown eyes. He spoke slowly and carefully. “I was angry at you. The day I the funeral…I was mad and when you snapped at me…” he paused taking a deep breath and powering on.
“It made me even angrier and I wanted to hurt you…so I said what I said because I knew it would hurt. I was an ass…and with everything that had happened…I lashed out at you, but I swear that isn’t what I think. Chloe you aren’t are murderer.”
He could see the tears building in her eyes, but she didn’t interrupt him so he continued. “I don’t agree with all the decisions you made…and I think you could have gone about things differently…come to me or the team instead of trying to take everything on yourself…but I also believe that you did what you thought you had too…Jimmy’s death was a horrible accident…but it was just that…an accident. It wasn’t your fault.”
The words felt sour on his tongue, but they were the truth. Jimmy’s death wasn’t her fault it was his. He had known she was still upset by his words, but he hadn’t thought it was because she believed them. She sniffled slightly before speaking softly. “It was…I brought him into this life Oliver…I lied to him…Jimmy was a great guy…and I destroyed him.”
She caught his gaze as a tear streamed down her cheek. “Don’t you get it? I loved Jimmy…but I knew…I knew it wasn’t the forever kind of love and instead of leaving him after the wedding I stuck around because I felt like I owed him at least that much and because of that…he’s dead.”
Oliver sucked in a harsh breath. That he hadn’t known and he wasn’t exactly sure what to do with the information. No wonder she felt bad. He had never thought the mousy photographer was Chloe’s type especially after coming off liking a guy like Clark Kent, but it was never really his place to judge.
He tried to figure out another approach to get his point across, his mind quickly calculating the situation and
using the first thing that came to mind. “Maybe Jimmy wasn’t the one for you…maybe it wasn’t that kind of forever love for you, but he sacrificed his life to save you…in my experience a man doesn’t do that for just anyone.”
He paused to make sure she was listening and when he was satisfied that she was he continued. “I’m pretty sure Jimmy was the kind of guy who would have done what he did whether you were in love with him or not, because he was in love with you. He gave you a second chance at life…” Oliver motioned toward her stomach.
“He gave you a part of him…something that you’ll always be able to remember him by. How do you think he’d feel if you saw you wasting that opportunity? Taking the blame for something I’m 100 percent positive he wouldn’t blame you for…”
Chloe sat there in a state of semi-shock at Oliver’s words. Was he right? Was she wasting an opportunity at starting over? Guilt was still heavy in her chest, but his words surprisingly helped dull the ache and when he pushed himself off the floor, brushing off his pants and looking down on her she swallowed heavily.
Oliver stared at the blond on his floor and shrugged when she said nothing. “The way I look at it you have two options. You can wallow here in my bathroom on the cold tile floor and feel bad about something that was out of your control until you ruin what you do have left…”
He gave her a hesitant smile while continuing to speak. “Or you can take my hand, come back in the kitchen with me eat some dinner. Let me fix what I can Chloe…I…” He licked his lips to moisten them thinking he needed to do this. He needed to fix her it was the only way, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell her that so instead he just said, “I can help.”
Chloe stared at the man in front of her, pulse beating quickly as fear filled her. She didn’t trust Oliver…not yet anyway, but if she didn’t at least try to let him help her…then she’d never know if maybe just maybe the man before her offering her a way out really could help.
He waited for what felt like forever before she extended her hand to him and he held the surprise in his gaze back as his hand closed over hers and he helped her up from the floor. When she was standing upright their eyes met and she spoke softly. “Thank you.”
He nodded. “Sure.” Oliver motioned towards the kitchen and she followed him into hallway towards the kitchen. She took her seat back at the counter as he turned to the fridge keeping himself busy as the weight of his words settled around him, the word murderer slamming around in the back of his head.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before pushing it aside and looking over all the food he had just put away. “I can grill up some chicken…think you can handle making a salad?”
She nodded. “Yeah, I can do that.” He got everything out and put the stuff for the salad in front of her including a medium sized bowl and spoons to toss it with. He got out his small grilling pan and started working on the chicken while she made the salad.
They worked in silence each lost in their own thoughts and twenty-five minutes later they were sitting across from each other plates full of chicken salad and some brown rice. Oliver had poured her half a glass of milk and grabbed water for himself.
He pushed his fork around his salad tossing some dressing on it before pulling a forkful into his mouth. Chloe on the other hand started on the chicken. She cut a small piece off and popped it into her mouth a hint of surprise coloring her features at how moist and flavorful the food was. “This chicken is really good.”
A ghost of a smile touched his lips. “You sound surprised.” She shrugged pulling off another piece and all but shoving it into her mouth, not realized how hungry she actually was. “I didn’t know you could cook.” He nodded. “Well, there’s a lot you don’t know about me.”
She paused her fork going down and moving her food around her plate as she mumbled ‘that seems to be going around a lot lately.’ He froze with the fork halfway to his mouth and his face softened slightly. “I wasn’t…I didn’t mean anything by it.” She waved him off while looking at her food. “It’s fine.”
He swore to himself and let out a short breath. It seemed like just when things were finally settling down he seemed to ruin it with his big mouth. He cut off a piece of chicken as his eyes wondered over the island catching sight of the open newspaper with a bunch of scribble marks on it.
He pointed towards it with his fork chewing and swallowing before speaking. “What’s that?” Chloe glanced in the direction he pointed to and she was glad to have a change in subject matter. She cleared her throat before speaking. “I was job hunting…”
Her arched an eyebrow at her finally looking in her direction. “Job hunting…why?” She gave him a strange look as she pointed to her stomach with her fork. “Umm because I’m having a baby and I’m pretty sure my baby would like to have a place to live and food to feed it and all that stuff…”
Oliver put his fork down and scratched the back of his head. “Maybe it’s about time I shared my plan with you?” Chloe pulled another piece of chicken into her mouth and arched an eyebrow at him. “You mean you actually have one because I was beginning to think you were lying.”
Oliver scoffed sending a slight glare her way. “I take offense to that, not only do I have a plan, but it’s well thought out.” She motioned for him to continue as she ate the last piece of chicken on her plate and frowned her stomach grumbling slightly.
Oliver paused and looked at her plate. “More?” She glanced up and bit her lip. “Is there more?” He nodded, took her plate and moved back over towards the stove putting another piece of chicken on it before bringing it back to her. She nodded her thanks as he started to speak.
“That building that Jimmy bought…I was thinking we could maybe renovate it. It would really be a perfect place for a command center…for Watchtower…” His voice trailed off and her body tensed at her old code name her eyes darting up to his questioning ones. She put the fork down and shook her head.
“No.” He frowned. “Chloe hear me out…” She shook her head. “No, I don’t want to hear you out Oliver. What’s the point?” He let out a frustrated sigh before speaking. “The point is…we need a command center. A place where we can put the database and link up the computers to a network…keep an eye on the city. You can have final approval on all the renovations and we came make the top level into an apartment of sorts for you and the baby.”
Her lips pressed into a thin line her appetite officially gone as he continued speaking. “It could be our base of operations. You can run the place and since it would be in a more full time manner I would obviously put you on the payroll, because you’d be under your own division of Queen Industries…”
His voice trailed off when the expression on her face didn’t change. He made a face. “What?” Her voice was slightly hardened when she spoke eyes holding steady to his. “No Oliver…First off you fired me did you forget that? You threw me off the team--”
He cut her off glaring. “You chose to leave…Watchtower was a job…when you broke protocol you forfeited your job…that was a consequence of your own making. I’m offering you a second chance at it, because when you were focused and you didn’t run off doing things on your own…you were the best at what you did.”
She returned his glare. “What’s the point anyway Oliver? There is no more team. If you haven’t noticed they all took off…your team has officially disbanded itself…it’s over.” He frowned and motioned around them. “So what, you just give up? You’re right the team is gone, and now that Clark’s taken off to parts unknown we’re just going leave Metropolis to the criminals?”
She sighed and he shook his head. “Someone needs to look out for this city Chloe…and I can’t very well lead myself around the city…no one knows these streets better than you plus…you haven’t heard the best part yet.”
She rolled her eyes. “Please enlighten me…” He gave her a cocky look, half his mouth quirked into a smirk. “This Watchtower wouldn’t be like the room you had in Isis. It would be equipped with top of the line equipment and programs including all the new software from Queen Industries…it will all go to you first…equipment you can use to help you find out what happened to Lois.”
Chloe’s head jerked up her eyes widening at the thought of being able to find her cousin. She had been searching as much as she could and putting up flyers, but there was only so much she could do with the resources available to her.
Oliver was offering her a way to find Lois and in exchange all she had to do was take on the mantle of Watchtower again. She sat there for a long moment thinking things over weighing the consequences of opening that box of worms again until it hit her that the last time she truly felt like herself was back when she was working at Isis and guiding the team on missions around the world.
Having a purpose, helping people, it had made her happy once, maybe it could make her happy again. Maybe becoming Watchtower again would fill the void that was inside of her and finally guide her home. Oliver studied the expressions crossing her face as he waited for her answer.
He knew it wasn’t right to dangle the Lois card over her, but he knew it would work plain and simple. He needed her to say yes. He needed her to be Watchtower and keep him in line so he didn’t fall off the edge and it would insure that she stayed at his place at least until the repairs were done on Watchtower.
Oliver knew manipulating her most likely wasn’t the right way to go about things, but in the end if it got him what he wanted and it kept her healthy and safe he was willing to risk the consequences…if it got him to the point where he could sleep without nightmares…or finally find some kind of semblance of peace he’d buy her, her own goddamned island…anything to make the ache in his chest leave.
He was pulled from his thoughts by her voice. “Okay…I’m in, but on one condition.” He nodded, “Name it.” She pursed her lips brows furrowing slightly. “We remodel together…it’s my place so like you said before I get the final say and I want to reserve the right to cut down on hours if I find a real job.”
He frowned. “Being Watchtower is a real job…” She sighed and shook her head. “No it’s not Oliver…and we both know it…I want a real job I don’t want to have to depend on you for everything.” He hesitated. “What kind of a job maybe I can--”
She cut him off. “No…I don’t want you to give me a job…I want to earn one it just might take some time…most places want you to have a degree in something and with everything that’s gone on in the past year and a half I had to leave Met U….so it’s complicated.”
He gave her a thoughtful look and motioned for her to listen. “How about this…While we’re working on getting Watchtower up and running…why don’t you re-enroll at Met U…take whatever credits you need to graduate and then when you have your degree…you can submit your resume into Queen Industries…ah ah don’t cut me off. If you don’t get a job in the company on your own merits and you want to pursue other avenues…fine…no harm no foul.”
Chloe swallowed hard voice low when she spoke. “And what if I don’t want to work at Queen Industries?” He sighed, “Then you get the job you do want and continue on at Watchtower when you can…this isn’t an ultimatum merely suggestions. What you decide to do with them is your choice.”
He lifted his plate from the counter and headed towards the sink physically and emotionally exhausted from there constant back and forth arguments. He was doing everything he could think of to make things easier on her and even though she blamed herself for Jimmy’s death Oliver was still pretty sure a part of her blamed him too, or she wouldn’t always be questioning his motives.
She watched him turn on the water and start to wash the dishes slowly and she gnawed on her bottom lip. He looked tired and she felt a tinge of guilt for giving him such a hard time. She took a deep breath and lifted her plate before walking over to him.
He glanced at her and she motioned to the plate in his hands. “I’ll get the dishes.” He shook his head. “It’s fine…I’ve got it." She reached forward gently prying the dish from his hands. “You cooked…why don’t you…” she paused not sure what it was he actually did, “do whatever it is you do. It’s late and I don’t know about you but I’m tired. We can finish this conversation tomorrow.”
He stood there for a couple of seconds before nodding and wiping his hands off on the towel. He moved past her and stopped briefly when he entered the hallway calling over his shoulder. “Goodnight Chloe.” She watched him make his way towards his bedroom as she spoke softly eyes not leaving his back until he closed his bedroom door behind him. “Goodnight Oliver…”
Chapter Four: Breath