Letting Go - Chapter 8

Felicity Smoak has never been very self-assured. It had to do with her low self-esteem and her pretty pathetic self-image that were bi-products of her almost genius IQ and her verbal diarrhea that hadn’t made her very popular in school. It made her completely unpopular in fact, with no friends to speak of, with everybody shunning her like she had the ebola, with the hot guys only making friendly with her in secret and until she helped them get the grades that kept them in the team...

Well, that had all changed when Walter Steele had come to her for help while he’d still been running Queen Consolidated. And it had changed some more when Oliver Queen had trusted her with his secret and she’d been made an integral part of Team Arrow as she lovingly called their little threesome.

Not that she, Oliver and John were a threesome or had ever indulged in one...Or ever will...Oh, her ‘diarrhea’ wasn’t limited only to the verbal plane, sometimes she went mental as well. The diarrhea, not Felicity herself.

Although she was starting to turn herself a little crazy right now, laying in wait for Laurel Lance outside the DA’s office, thinking too much—as usual—hoping against hope the woman would forgo her lunch for the day, so she could go back to Oliver and report her failure. Unfortunately the guy would only send her on the same mission the next day. And the next. And she’d do it.

Because that was what she did. She was a fixer. And she was a sucker for romance. And Oliver had romance written all over his gorgeous face—and gorgeous body¬—every time he only thought of Laurel. And he thought of her a lot. Lately, ever since he’s found out she knew his secret, even more than usual.

Felicity knew that was normal. Oliver thinking of Laurel, that is. Laurel Lance had been the one thing Oliver had wanted more than death on that hellish spit of land in the North China Sea. It had been her picture that had provided comfort and solace in the lonely days and nights. It had been—probably, Felicity wasn’t sure, since the man never talked about it—the thought of Laurel that had carried him through torture, pain and whatever else he’s suffered on the island and wherever else he’d been in the five years he’d been ‘dead’.

So it was perfectly normal, perfectly natural, that he wanted another chance with the woman he loved. Probably loved more than anything else. He’d blown it, of course, by not trusting said woman, by not telling said woman the truth, but he had been trying to protect her, protect everybody he held dear from the truth and from possible repercussions. Not that he’d succeeded, because in the time he’s been back Laurel Lance had been attacked in her own home, almost killed in a prison riot, held at gunpoint—by her own father, though the man was trying to trap the vigilante—,almost killed by a crumbling building, kidnapped and almost turned into a full-sized doll by a lunatic...

A piss-poor job indeed.

Yet the woman wasn’t pissed off at Oliver because of that. She was pissed off because he didn’t tell her the truth, because he didn’t trust her...And Felicity could understand her, could sympathize, could understand. She’d probably be pissed off as well.

And since Laurel was pissed off, she’d decided she didn’t want anything to do with Oliver anymore. She ignored his calls, ignored him if they happened to meet—which was quite often lately—, she was keeping her windows tightly closed and her curtains drawn so the Arrow couldn’t sneak inside her apartment...And Felicity knew it drove him nuts.

But he was stubborn and he was determined and that was the reason Felicity was standing outside the DA’s office, waiting for Laurel to show up. So she could talk to her, try to change her mind. At least a little. Try to determine what the woman was truly feeling, thinking, so she could report back to Oliver and he’d be able to refine his plan. So he’d finally get off her back, finally stop moping—not that he did that in her presence, she just knew he was moping when he was alone—and get the girl.

Because he deserved it. And she deserved it as well. Laurel, that is. Felicity thought Laurel and Oliver both deserved a second chance and this one was perfect. There were no more lies between them—at least she hoped there weren’t, but one never knew with Oliver—they just needed to...God, Felicity had no idea what the two had to do—talk? kiss? fight? make babies?—she just knew they needed to do something to get over this hurdle.

Right now she only knew she had to find a way to get Laurel Lance alone and try to talk to her. She had no idea what she’d say. She’d wing it. A situation at last, where her verbal diarrhea might come in handy.

Λ

The moment she stepped outside, Laurel knew she should’ve skipped lunch. Or maybe ordered takeout. She wasn’t in the mood to deal with Oliver Queen—thinking about him was a different matter, because she simply couldn’t stop thinking about him, the man was persistent even when he wasn’t around—or his emissaries. And she had known he’d send Felicity Smoak to talk to her. Call it female intuition, call it intimate knowledge of Oliver Queen...Whatever.

She’d known Felicity was bound to show up somewhere one of these days. The man was relentless when he wanted to be. He’d been like that when he mounted the first offensive of her heart all those years ago and the time spent on the island hadn’t mellowed him down. It only made him sharper, more stubborn, and more determined.

Good for her those five years had honed her moves as well. Because as much as he was determined to get back into her good graces, get back under her skin—if he only knew he’d always been there—, get back into her heart—he’d never left there either, not that she’d tell him that—seduce her again as only he knew how, she was as equally determined not to let him. Not this time.

“Hello, Felicity,” she greeted with an insincere smile as the girl approached her. “My internet router is working just fine.”

“Hello, Laurel,” Felicity replied, smiling as she remembered the excuse she and Oliver had given Laurel when the two had first met. “Going to lunch?”

Laurel sighed seeing the part-dogged, part-sheepish expression on Felicity’s face. Oliver had chosen well. This one would keep him on his toes. “As a matter of fact, I am.”

“Can I join you?”

“Can I stop you?”

Felicity shook her head. “Nope. I’m a woman on a mission.”

Laurel nodded. “Look, I get it. The man is a pain when he wants something. He’s also as fickle as they come. He’ll soon set his sights on something else. You just have to wait him out.”

Felicity set her chin. “I thought you knew him.”

Laurel nodded. “I do.”

“Then you’re deluding yourself by thinking he’ll let this go. Let you go.”

Laurel shrugged. “A girl can hope.” She looked at Felicity as they took the shortcut to Big Belly Burger. “You should know all about that.”

Felicity blushed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Laurel lightly bumped Felicity shoulder with hers. “Right. It’ll be our secret.”

“I really don’t know what you’re talking about,” Felicity insisted. “What hope? I mean...You don’t think I...feel something for...You know.”

The girl had pretty much admitted to her crush on Oliver, but Laurel didn’t have the heart to call her on it. Or the inclination. Because something was wrong. She could feel it. Something was off. “Felicity,” she warned, knowing the girl had no self-defense training. “Get against the wall, call 911.”

“What? Why?”

“You really should learn to listen to others, Felicity,” a female voice sneered from behind them, following a slight thump of someone landing softly on their feet after a drop from higher ground.

Laurel pivoted on her heel to see a tall man curl a muscled arm around Felicity’s throat and press a gun to her temple, while a dark-haired woman looked on.

Helena Bertinelli turned to look at Laurel with a smug expression, a twisted curl to her lips. “If you want her to live, you’ll come with me without a fuss.”

Inside her head, Laurel let out a string of curses that would’ve made a sailor proud, but nodded calmly. She wouldn’t do anything to compromise Felicity’s safety. She wanted to do something, though. God, how she wanted to.

Helena cocked her head. “What a polite girl you are, Laurel.” Her eyes ran down Laurel’s form. “Just so perfect. In every way. No wonder Oliver is in love with you.”

Laurel knew that no matter what Helena Bertinelli wanted, she’d use Oliver’s feelings for Felicity and her to get it. And Laurel decided she’d fail.


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