The Strongest Steel - Prologue

“Oliver!”

Oliver Queen snapped awake, sitting up in his bed. Sweat was making his T-shirt stick to his body and he counted to ten between each breath to bring his heart-rate back to normal.

He’d had the dream again. No matter how tired he was, no matter how hard he tried not to remember, not to think about it, the dream was always the same. The same for the last three years. Every time he closed his eyes, even just to recharge, the dream would come to haunt him.

“Oliver!”

He swung his feet off his bed and ran to the open window. He searched the shadows frantically, but of course, there was no one there. No one has called his name. It was just his imagination, like always. It was his guilt that didn’t let him rest, that made him hear that voice, those cries for help. It was the pain.

Never acceptance. He wouldn’t accept it. Never. Because accepting it would make it real. And the dreams would stop. He didn’t want the dreams to stop. He deserved them. He deserved the punishment they brought. He deserved the guilt.

Because he’d been too late.

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