Letting Go - Chapter 30

Laurel woke up with a pounding headache. Stars swam in front of her eyes as she pried her eyelids open. It took some effort. It felt like they were glued shut. She tried moving her head, but quickly changed her mind as a blinding pain shot through her brain and down her spine.

What was wrong with her?

And where was she? The surface beneath her was hard and cold. Did she pass out on the street? Probably not, someone would’ve found her. Wouldn’t they? Did she fall off her bed? Oliver would’ve picked her up. Maybe he wasn’t home yet. Or maybe he couldn’t come home.

The thought of the reasons why Oliver couldn’t make it home, overcame the pain, and she finally opened her eyes. She frowned. She definitely wasn’t home. The ceiling, wherever she was, was rather high, but there was something metallic between her and the ceiling. So where was she? She distinctly remembered getting home from the office. She’d made it safely up the stairs and into her foyer...

Blank.

She didn’t remember anything else. Where was she and how long has she been wherever she was? And what the hell happened?

Think, Laurel. You made it home last night. If it was even last night. You made it home. You got into the apartment. Then what? Think, damn it.

She frowned and closed her eyes as pain zinged through her brain. She’d unlocked her door, stepped in, closed the door behind her...Then what? The pain was diminishing. She’d locked the door and then felt something. Behind her. She’d turned, but only got a glimpse of black-clad figure before everything had gotten blank. She didn’t remember feeling pain, they must’ve used some sort of drug.

The sort of drug wasn’t important at the moment. Getting up, getting her bearings, and getting the hell out of dodge took precedence on anything. She knew very well who’s taken her, and it didn’t take a genius to realize why she was still alive. The League hoped to get two birds with one stone—kill Laurel Lance and bag her sister in the process. She’d be damned if she let them.

Fighting nausea she turned her head and noticed the metal thing wasn’t just above her, but on her left as well. And her right. She was in a cage! No wonder she wasn’t bound. The pain and lethargy in her limbs coupled with the cage put to rest any immediate escape plans.

“Shit,” she hissed as she finally succeeded in turning onto her side and then onto her stomach. “Oh, shit.” She curled her knees under her, and slowly lifted herself on her forearms.

She was hot and sweaty as she finally sat on her heels, her hands on her thighs. She gulped down the bile that threatened to rise. The pounding in her head also hasn’t abated. It was stronger, even. One slow look around confirmed the fact she was indeed in a cage. And the entrance to it looked to be from above. Good luck in getting out without help. She could try climbing, but she knew she’d never make it. Not anytime soon. Not until she was back to normal.

Now what?

She had no other option but to wait. Wait for help to arrive or wait to get killed. Either way, she was stuck in this damn cage like an animal.

Λ

Oliver cursed and slammed his phone down on the metal table. Where the hell was Sara?! She’s picked a fucking great time to be unreachable. He turned when he heard Diggle enter the Arrowcave. “Anything?”

Diggle shook his head. “She’s not home and her mother doesn’t know where she is. I didn’t want to push, she might’ve spooked.”

Oliver ran his hand down his face. The only person who could actually help him find the League of Assassins has been MIA for hours. Bachman and his obscure contacts were working double time, but he doubted they’d be successful. Felicity also wasn’t having any luck with finding the League. At this point, he knew Sara was the only one who could find them. Where the hell was she?!

“Oliver,” Diggle intruded. “I don’t want to be the harbinger of bad news, but it might already be too late.”

He felt Felicity’s gaze and knew that if he looked at her, her eyes would convey the same message as Diggle’s. Laurel was probably already dead. They’ve been hired to kill her, not kidnap her. But there was still hope. There was no body. The League has taken her to God knew where, leaving her necklace behind as a calling card. There was no body. Not yet. So there was still hope. There was still time. That was his lifeline at the moment, the only thing he could think about. She was still alive. She was safe, somewhere, for the time being.

It was that thought that kept him going, really. He was going on 24 hours without sleep, running on fumes, but he didn’t care. Laurel was all that was important right now. He’s developed tunnel vision in the past few hours. His only focus was Laurel. His only goal was finding her, saving her, getting her back.

Getting her back. He almost laughed at the irony. Getting her back has been his main goal for the past two years. Some might’ve called him pathetic, bordering on obsession, when he’s been wooing her, trying anything and everything to get back into her orbit, into her life, before. Even Diggle and Felicity had looked at him with pity when he’d sent her bouquet after bouquet, dedicated songs, sent gifts, and texts and e-mails. The only one who didn’t look at him with pity and condescension had been Sara. She’d been the only one to understand.

It hadn’t been just love that drove him to Laurel, it had also been self-preservation. She’s been a constant in his life for more than half of it. She—her picture—had been the only constant on that island. He needed her. But it was deeper than that. She kept the demons at bay. He’s been suffering from PTSD since the island—he didn’t need the shrink he’s been seeing to confirm that diagnosis, he knew it—and the only time he wasn’t feeling like going over the edge, the only time his burden seemed lighter, was when she was close. Even looking at her across the room eased the pressure, the constant pain. He loved her, more than anything else in the world, she was his salvation. In more ways than one. The night he’d gone to her apartment, before Tommy died, had been the first in a year that he’d slept without nightmares, without waking in a cold sweat, a cry for help lodged in his throat. He’d had to leave her that night, and the nightmares returned full force. The pain returned.

And he’d realized she was the key. The key to everything. His heart. His sanity. His life.

There have been no nightmares since she’s taken him back. There have been no constant clawing in his brain, no voices screaming at him, reproaching him. He’s found peace with her, has found normality. He refused to go back to the limbo. No matter how pathetic it sounded, he didn’t want to live without her. He couldn’t live without her. And the only way to retain whatever shred of sanity he still possessed was to think positive, believe she was still alive. That he would find her and save her. That’s what kept him going.

“She’s still alive,” he said forcefully. “Don’t look at me like that,” he reprimanded both of them. “She has to be.”

He grabbed his phone to call Sara again, when she sauntered through the door like she had no care in the world. The expression on her face, in her eyes, told otherwise.

“I know where they are,” she said and Oliver could finally breathe again.

“Where were you?!” he demanded.

Her eyes were guarded as she replied, “It doesn’t matter now. We have to get Laurel.”

“You think she’s alive?” Felicity asked softly.

Sara nodded. “Yes. For now. She’s bait.”

“They want you as well.”

“Two birds with one stone.” Her eyes were hard. “But I’m not going back,” she said with determination.

Oliver put his hands on her shoulders. “You won’t. Laurel would kill me if I let them take you.”

Her smile was sad as she nodded. “Let’s go get her.”


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