Author's Note: This chapter was a challenge for me and I hope I did the subject matter justice. Things are really starting to come to a head as we round out to our last few chapters of this story. (Approximately 5 more and an Epilogue…)

Thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter. As you know, I have become horrible at replying to them and for that I apologize. Please know that I still appreciate and cherish each and every one of your thoughts :)

Motivation/inspiration while writing the back half of this chapter came from the song Closer by Kings of Leon. So if you really want to get into the feel of it I suggest looking it up on YouTube and having a listen. You won't regret it.


Chapter 16: Give Me Your Love, I Promise to Keep It Safe

That night in his apartment is one of the longest and hardest he's ever had to endure. Oliver lays restless on his bed; unable to focus on anything other than the fact that he may have just lost one of the most important aspects of his life. His best friend, his mother, Felicity… it's all hanging on a thread spun by the fates; precarious at best and doomed at its worst.

Tommy's reaction was… not altogether surprising given his brotherly affection for Felicity. However, Oliver had hoped that Tommy would have at least heard him and Felicity out, tried to see things through their perspective. He isn't sure what he will do if his best friend never comes around to it. His relationship with Felicity is permanent as far as Oliver is concerned. The only one who could put a stop to it is Felicity herself. He's too far-gone to let anything or anyone else prevent them from being together. That also includes his mother.

Moira had been her usual calm and collected self when she realized what she walked in on earlier that evening and there is absolutely no way for Oliver to know what is going through her mind right now. For all he knows, she could be devising her own ways of keeping them apart. But his mother has always concerned herself with one thing in particular and that is the happiness of her children. Maybe if Oliver could just get her to see how important Felicity is to him and how happy they make each other then she would at least be willing to accept the relationship.

His phone lights up on the bedside table, signaling that someone's calling him. Oliver quickly scrambles for it. Nearly falling off the king-sized bed in the process.




Her name escapes him in a sigh, uncoiling the heavy knot that has been weighing down in the pit of his stomach since the moment Tommy walked in on them. It's the same affect she had on him in the diner early today when panic had paralyzed his being.

"Are you… did you make it home? I guess that's kind of a stupid question. Why wouldn't you make it home? It's not like you were injured or anything. I … I don't know. I don't know why I called. I just thought... We're okay, right? This doesn't change anything between us?"

Relief floods Oliver's veins at her question. He takes a moment to release the breath he's been unconsciously holding in and is about to respond when Felicity cuts him off.

"I understand if you need some time to, uh, process. It's totally reasonable for you to want some space, take a break. Tommy's your best friend and Moira's, well, your mother. But I want you to know that this doesn't change anything for me. I still lo – "


Her name rolls off his tongue with ease, firm to grab her attention yet soft with the gentle fondness and adoration he feels for her.

"Right. Sorry, babbling."

"No, it's not that. I could listen to you talk for hours. What I couldn't do was allow you to go on with the notion that this in anyway changes how I feel about you."

There's silence on the other end of the line as Felicity processes his words. Then she lets out a relieved sigh, mirroring his from earlier and loud enough to be heard on Oliver's end.

"Oh thank God. Because I know I said I would understand if you needed time, and it's true I would, but I was still going to be really pissed."

A huff of laughter escapes Oliver and his eyes meet the ceiling in a silent thank you to whoever allowed such a precious thing to be his.

"Felicity, there's not a force on this Earth that could keep me away from you."

"Good… So, what are we going to do about tonight?"

That's the million-dollar question. What are they going to do? What happens next?

"I don't know."

Neither of them does. The future is a black abyss of uncertainty and fleeting permanence. They can't predict how the people in their lives will react. They can't control others' actions. The only thing they can do is hold on to what they have and hope that it's enough.

"Oliver, I can't come in between you and Tommy or you and you're family. I couldn't live with myself if I did that."

"They're your family too, Felicity, in every way that matters. They'll understand in time."

"What if they don't?"

They have to. Oliver doesn't care very much either way if Robert approves or not. Considering his sidepiece at Queen Consolidated his father really doesn't have any room to talk. But his mother and Tommy are a different story.

"Then we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."


The conversation is as good as over but neither of them wants to end the call, to sever this small connection between them. So instead they sit in silence, the only sound between them being their even breaths. It takes less than a minute for their inhales and exhales to match up, the syncopation soothing Oliver as he sinks back into his bed.

"You know we're the cheesy couple in the Nicholas Sparks movie, right?"

"Nicholas who?"

"Oh come on, Oliver. You must have had a girlfriend down the line who made you suffer through The Notebook."

The name rings absolutely zero bells in Oliver's head even though it's clearly something of common knowledge if Felicity's tone is anything to go by. At his silence, she presses on, trying to jog his memory.

"You know, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling? Poor guy meets rich girl but her parents disapprove and eventually separate them until they meet again years down the road when she's engaged to another man? Terribly cheesy and dramatic but it makes you cry anyway?"

"Can't say I've heard of… Wait, is that the one where the girl for some reason decides that she's a bird and the guy goes along with it?"

"Yes! That's it!"

Oliver can almost see the victorious fist pump Felicity is no doubt doing right now. The thought makes him smile into the receiver.

"Yeah, some tried, but I never got past that scene."

"What do you mean you – you know what, I don't want to know."

A chuckle escapes him as Felicity makes a fake gagging noise on the other end of the phone. Warmth floods his chest, creeping its way further up his throat until it bubbles over his lips, unable to be kept at bay.

"I love you."

There's a sharp gasp on the other line as Oliver's eyes widen, jaw hanging open in shock. He hadn't meant to say that out loud. Hell, he hadn't even meant to think that. It just slipped out and now it's there in the open, impossible to erase, permanent marker on a whiteboard.

"Oliver, I – "

A muffled voice interrupts Felicity from whatever she was about to say. She answers back and Oliver assumes that she's covered the receiver because he's unable to make out exactly what is being said.

"I have to go, but this conversation isn't over. I'll talk to you later."

Oliver barely gets out a strangled 'bye' before the line clicks in disconnect. He sits in stunned silence, paralyzed by the confession he just made. The notion itself isn't what has him so shocked, falling in love with Felicity Smoak is something Oliver had accepted as unavoidable, rather it's the fact that he blurted it out so suddenly. And while on the phone with her no less.

Sighing heavily, Oliver brings a hand up to cover his face, eyes screwing shut at his own stupidity.

"Well, fuck."


By an unspoken agreement, Oliver and Felicity don't interact at Queen Consolidated the following morning. It's a Friday and things are pretty quiet, most of the workers having left early after finishing up this week's workload. If the gala hadn't been last night Oliver probably wouldn't have even come in today.

He's reading through his third or fourth investment proposal when the office phone on the corner of his desk rings.


"Hi, Mr. Queen. Mrs. Queen is here to see you for lunch."

Oliver tenses at the mention of his mother but tries to keep his voice as calm and relaxed as possible when he answers.

"Tell her I'll be right out."

Shuffling his things together, Oliver grabs his cellphone and wallet from his desk, pocketing them both before properly shutting down his computer the way Felicity showed him. (She had been livid the other day when he'd simply held down the button to turn the monitor off.) Then he leaves his office, locking the door behind him, and makes his way down the hall to where his mother is waiting for him.

Moira is all pleasant smiles and calm exterior as per usual. However, Oliver knows that beneath the façade lies a cool, cunning woman; one whose bad side he does not ever want to be on.

His mother reaches out an arm to greet Oliver in a gesture that he is extremely familiar with. Out of habit he leans down to place a quick peck against her cheek. The action, however, is stiff and robotic in manor, nothing like the sign of affection it's meant to be.

"Hi darling. I thought you and I could take a walk to that little French café on the corner for lunch. We haven't had a chance to talk recently and I'd like to catch up."

The meaning behind her words is clear. She's here to talk about Felicity.

"Yeah that sounds great. Barry, if anyone calls wishing to speak to me directly, please take a message and have them call back after two o'clock."

"Of course, Mr. Queen. Enjoy your lunch."

The two make small talk as they ride the elevator down to the lobby and exit the building. Their discussion remains monotonous and commonplace, mainly sticking to Applied Sciences and the weather. During this time, Oliver tries to get a read on Moira. However, she has no visible tells, which given his training is extremely unusual and equally frustrating.

As they make their way down the sidewalk, a light breeze stirs the air around them. It's an overcast day; temperatures lower than normal and the smell of impending rain hanging low in the air. It's gloomy and foreboding and a perfect reflection of what Oliver fears to be his impending doom.

"How long?"

He doesn't need her to elaborate on the question.

"About three weeks. After she turned eighteen."

"I see... And you two never did anything before then?"

Moira doesn't turn to meet his gaze as she addresses him, opting to remain facing forward, stoic expression firmly in place.


"So, it's technically all been legal then?"


His mother hums noncommittally as they continue on down the busy sidewalk, men and women in business suits passing by completely oblivious to Oliver's inner turmoil.

"I can't say this is altogether shocking. I know Felicity had a little bit of a crush on you when she was younger. It was rather adorable actually. However, I thought maybe she had grown out of it and that you two were growing closer as friends with that elephant no longer in the room. But then the looks started and the little touches and I had my suspicions."

Oliver does his best to control his reaction even though internally he's doing his finest impersonation of a gaping fish.

"You... You knew?"

"I didn't know. I suspected. But... Is this a cry for attention? Do you feel like you need to make up for the escapades you missed these past few years? Some unusual manifestation of posttraumatic stress? Because if so, Felicity is not the girl to be doing this with."

"No! What? Mom, this isn't a... a fling. What's going on between me and Felicity is the furthest thing from that I promise you."

Considering what he blurted out to Felicity over the phone last night, a fling is pretty much the exact opposite of what their relationship is.

"Then what is it? Felicity is so young and brilliant, not that you aren't, and she has her whole life ahead of her still. You've already been through college, four of them I might add. You were enlisted, darling, and currently have a job in a well off company. The two of you are at completely different points in your lives. I'm trying my best to understand but you can see why I have my concerns."

Agitation worms its way into Oliver's gut, causing his muscles to tense. He hates that this is almost everyone's initial reaction, like it's so hard to believe that he could truly care for Felicity. All they see is the age gap and draw their own conclusions.

"I've thought about it, more than you'll ever know. Initially I thought it was just attraction, something I could shake off once I got used to being near her again. So I started hanging around, talking with her about random things to get to know who she is now. And the more I did, the more I realized how amazing of a person she's grown up to be. It wasn't just some perverse attraction it was…"

Oliver trails off for a second, attempting to collect himself by taking a slow inhale. The fingers of his right hand rub together, his trigger finger reaction. The thought reminds him of the time Felicity had brought it up, a casual observance that spoke volumes to him. It brings a small smile to his face, one that remains as he utters his next words.

"I'm in love with her."

That finally puts a halt to Moira's even paced strides. She turns to carefully consider her son, the words he just spoke clearly something she had not expected. Her gaze softens, a small bit of what appears to be sympathy shining through her eyes, his eyes.

"Sweetheart... You're a grown man and Felicity is a legal consenting adult. It's not my place to tell you what you can and cannot do. If you really do love her and you're not just screwing around, I'm not going to take any actions against it. Though I can't promise you others will show you the same courtesy."

It's an unspoken implication, but they both know who Moira is referring to with the term 'others'.

"Which is why Felicity and I decided to keep it a secret for the time being."

"You could both benefit from owning a dictionary, darling."

They've just reached the café now as the conversation draws near an end. It certainly hasn't gone in the direction Oliver suspected it would. He's not a fool. He knows Moira is still less than thrilled by this, not yet willing to give her full support. But the fact that she hasn't forbid him and Felicity from seeing each other or disowned him can be considered a win in his book.

"Before we put this conversation to rest, you should know that I have chosen not to tell your father. That responsibility lies on you and I pray he finds out in a more favorable way than I did. Until that time comes I will hold my tongue and have convinced Tommy to do the same."

How she managed that Oliver will never know, but he's learned over the years not to question his mother's methodology. Instead he simply thanks her as a small weight is lifted off his shoulders.

"You're my son, Oliver. I want you to be happy. Now, let's sit down and have a bite to eat, shall we? I'm famished."


Rain beats down heavily on the roof of Oliver's top floor apartment. Even if one wall of his living area weren't made entirely of windows, the dull roar of water droplets pelting the building would be enough to indicate the rain's intensity. It's not his favorite kind of weather to say the least. But luckily it hasn't started thunder storming yet so he's able to drown out the noise with the sound of his fists beating against the punching bag he installed earlier today.

His thoughts have been a whirlwind all day with everything that has happened in these past twenty-four hours. Tommy knows. Bertinelli is using Felicity as a threat. His mother knows. Felicity is going to tell her mother's lawyer what she found anyway. Moira doesn't completely disapprove of their relationship. He's in love with Felicity Smoak.

The buzzing of the intercom system pulls Oliver from his thoughts. Strange, he's not expecting anyone this evening. Striding over to the little white box in the wall, he presses the call button to answer.


"Hey, Scotty, care to beam me up?"

He would recognize that voice anywhere but he's a little bit confused as to why she's not coming in through the garage with Digg. Oliver had given him a permanent pass for the private residence parking so they could come and go as needed and without fanfare. Unless…

"Felicity, where's Diggle?"

"It's possible that I maybe, sort of had Thea cover for me a little bit while I snuck out."


Disapproval colors his tone as Oliver prepares to remind her of the very real danger she is in.

"I know, I know. It's dangerous and stupid but I needed to see you. Now could you please let me in? I had to park the Mini down the block and circle around back so no one would track me - See? Digg's training hard at work – but I forgot an umbrella and now I'm soaking wet because I had to trek through a torrential downpour. Also, this little airlock room is freezing and the longer I stand here waiting the closer I get to a cold or pneumonia or the plague."

Oliver chuckles at Felicity's babbling, not bothering to interrupt her while he punches in the code to let her in. There's a faint buzz from the other end, signaling that the door has been unlocked and efficiently putting an end to her rant.

"Well we wouldn't want you to catch the plague now would we? See you in a minute."

As Felicity makes her way up to his apartment, Oliver goes to his room in search of a t-shirt and sweatpants for her to change into. She's bound to be uncomfortable in sopping wet clothing and all jokes aside she really could come down with something if she doesn't change out of them. Plus, he really loves the way Felicity looks in his too-big-for-her clothes. The picture she sent him only a few nights ago comes to mind and Oliver's pretty sure she doesn't mind it either.

"Hello? Oliver? You should know I'm dripping all over your new hardwood floors right now."

Shaken from his musings, Oliver jogs too the main living area to greet Felicity. A lopsided grin tugs at the corner of his mouth, threatening to give away his amusement at the sight before him. She wasn't kidding when she said she was soaking wet and dripping on his floor. A small puddle has already begun to collect at her feet, rainwater dripping from her dirty blonde curls as Felicity tries in vain to wipe away the droplets on her glasses with her drenched shirt.


The blonde startles at the sound of Oliver's voice, glasses falling to the ground as her hands come up to cover her heart.

"Jesus, Oliver! Warn a girl next time before you go all ninja on her!"

He takes a few steps closer, bending down to retrieve Felicity's glasses before offering them to her along with the change of clothes.

"Sorry." He's not. "Here, you can put these on while we throw your clothes in the dryer. The towels in my bathroom are clean for you to dry yourself off with."

Felicity happily accepts the dry clothing, bouncing up on the balls of her feet to place an affectionate peck against his cheek.

"My hero."

Oliver takes a moment to watch her slip and slide down the hall towards his room, bright yellow sneakers squeaking as she goes, before making his way into the kitchen. It's later than he suspected and hunger has begun to make its presence known, gnawing at his stomach. Has Felicity eaten yet?… Just incase she hasn't Oliver pulls out enough sandwich ingredients for two before begin to put his own together.

A minute or so later, he's vaguely aware of the sounds of bare feet padding across hardwood floor. Knowing it's just Felicity coming towards him, Oliver remains focused on his task at hand; slicing up a juicy red tomato. He's about to ask Felicity what she wants on her sandwich when a loud bang floods his ears. Flashes of gunshots and screaming and blood overcome him and Oliver reacts on instinct, reaching for the nearest weapon he can find; the knife that just fell from his grip. Whirling around, his eyes seek out Felicity standing a foot away from him. She holds herself stock-still, eyes wide and hands slightly raised by her sides. It all happens in a matter of seconds but for Oliver it feels like an eternity.

"Oliver. Oliver, it's okay."

There's another cracking sound and Oliver's grip tightens, adrenaline masking the sting he feels in his hand at the action.

"Hey, listen to me. It's just thunder. Everyone is okay. It's just thunder."

Realization washes over him and his hold on the knife loosens. Pain finally registers with him as it clatters to the tile floor of the kitchen. A warm liquid tickles the palm of his hand and glancing down Oliver sees deep red blossoming from his palm.

"You're hurt!"

Turning away, Oliver cradles his injured hand so as not to get blood on the floor as he moves to rinse it off in the sink.

"It's fine. Could you go into my bathroom and grab the first aid kit from underneath the sink, please?"

"Yeah. Sure."

Turning the faucet to cold, Oliver allows the water to run for a few seconds before immersing his hand beneath the steady stream. Dark red mixes with clear blue and swirls in the basin before washing down the drain. As the concentration of blood to water becomes less, he reaches for the soap to rinse the wound. The sting it causes allows Oliver to center himself so that by the time Felicity returns his breathing is back to normal. He turns off the faucet and dries his hand, pressing a towel against it to further stop the bleeding, before moving to accept the first aid kit from her.

"Here, let me do it."

Felicity gently takes a hold of Oliver's wrist to bring his hand closer, examining the shallow cut in his palm with the utmost concern. Once she seems satisfied that the blood flow has been decently staunched, she opens the kit and pulls out a tube of Neosporin. Small, careful fingers begin to lightly massage the cream over his wound. Felicity's gaze is intent on the task at hand while Oliver's is glued to her face. He's perfectly capable of taking care of himself; after all he's the one with military training. But letting someone else take care of him is a comfort he rarely had these past five years and having Felicity be the one to do this brings with it a calming clarity.

He wants her to know everything.

"Her name was Shado."

For her part, Felicity barely pauses in her wound tending. Barely.

"We were friends, she and I. And Slade. The three of us were all in the same unit, Digg's unit, from Day One. They both kicked my entitled ass. They didn't care who I was before enlisting or about my last name and it was exactly what I needed to start over, reinvent myself."

Oliver pauses for breath, reliving the first time Slade called him kid… the day Shado out shot everyone in their unit, including him… their first mission together in which Slade saved him from a landmine… the first time he learned what Shado tasted like…

"Shado and I grew close. She was an amazing woman. Strong, smart, patient, independent… I owe a lot of who I am today to her. Her and Slade weren't just my peers, but people I looked up to and respected. They were the best mentors I could have had, aside from Digg."

He takes a second to survey Felicity's reaction to this piece of information. She's not the petty jealous type, but he knows that talking about a past lover isn't always taken well. However, she continues on unfazed. Her only response is to ask him one simple question.


Oliver swallows hard, bracing himself against the barrage of horrific images that flash through his mind. Felicity must feel his reaction because she finally pauses in her ministrations to gaze up at him, gently placing a comforting hand just above his elbow.

"Hey, you don't have to talk about it if you're not ready. I understand."

"No, I – " His voice is coarse with emotion and Oliver takes a second to clear his throat before continuing. "I'm ready. I want to tell you. It's just the first time I've really talked about it with anyone who wasn't there."

An encouraging smile graces Felicity lips as she nods in understanding.


One more moment, Oliver gives himself one more moment to drown in the memories before pulling it together. He wants to do this. He needs to do this.

"We were out on a standard patrol of a nearby town. It wasn't supposed to… The people there weren't bad people. We had an amicable relationship with them. It was just a standard patrol, a routine sweep, something we had done so many times before. But I guess that's what happens when you get used to things. They change to show you that nothing is permanent and life is ever changing and evolving and out of your control… We were ambushed. They separated us and took Shado. I tried to get to her but Slade held me back, said we were no use to her dead. Then the bomb went off and when we came to they were gone and so was she."

Felicity's breath catches in her throat and she reaches for the sterile gauze to distract herself. Oliver knows that if he stops now to dwell on the events he will spiral. So he plows forward, determined to tell her everything.

"I found out where they were keeping her, a bunker a couple of miles outside of town. I informed Diggle but he wasn't as invested as I was. I wanted to charge in, weapons drawn and bring her back. He warned me to wait for the unit to come up with a strategy. I should have listened to him. Maybe if I had Shado wouldn't be… She wouldn't be dead."

Tears prick at the back of Oliver's eyes as he barely whispers the words, not realizing until now just how responsible he felt for her death.

"But I didn't listen. I told Slade that I was sneaking out of camp to go get her and he insisted on coming with me, refusing to let me go into battle alone. So we left a few nights later and infiltrated the bunker. We found Shado without a hitch, taking out the two guys guarding her room with ease. They weren't trained like us, just guys with guns who knew how to shoot without hurting themselves. I should have known it was too easy to be true. They were ready for us."

Felicity secures the gauze in place, gently smoothing it over with her hand. For some reason the gesture pushes him over the edge, hot tears slowly making their way down his face.

"I heard the shot. We were running through the halls and I heard it. I heard her screams. I heard her body fall to the ground behind me. I can still hear it now, sometimes. She told me to run, to save myself and get far away from there. But how was I supposed to just leave her and Slade behind? I couldn't. Felicity, I watched her bleed out in front of me while she screamed at me to leave her, while the life faded from her eyes."

He can hear Felicity crying softly; the small sniffles and deep breaths she's using to try and subdue it.

"I didn't know Slade died until later. Turns out I had been shot too and lost consciousness as the unit came storming in. They had to sedate me the first time I woke up. The second time Digg was the only one there. He told me what happened, like I didn't already know, and then he gave me the notice. We were all going home. But it wasn't really all of us, just some of us, the ones lucky enough to make it back. I didn't see it that way. How could I be considered lucky when two of the best people I had ever known were dead because of me?"

His gaze comes back to focus on Felicity's as he reaches up to cup her cheek, thumb gently rubbing away her tears. She leans into his hand before drawing Oliver's injured palm up to place a soft kiss over the gauze. His chest tightens at the sympathy and care he finds in her gaze.

And for the first time, Oliver acknowledges how lucky he is to have survived, to be given the chance to live and to love the way he does with Felicity.

"I'm starting to understand it now."


Tugging her forward, Oliver places a lingering kiss on Felicity's forehead before pulling her flush against him. Her arms link around his waist as his come around her back, one hand reaching to cradle the back of her head, fingers weaving into the golden tresses of her hair. They stay in that embrace for God only knows how long, taking and giving comfort to one another as needed. Felicity's breath is warm against his neck as she burrows further into him, a sigh of contentment slipping past her lips and coaxing Oliver to release a deep breath of his own.

"I love you, Felicity."

The blonde stiffens in his arms for just a moment before leaning back to look at him. Bright blue-grey eyes meet his and Oliver is stunned for a moment by the tenderness he finds in them, every bit of love and affection he feels reflected back to him in her gaze. Felicity adjusts her hold so that her fingers link together behind his neck, drawing him in close to where their lips just brush against each other's as she whispers into his mouth.

"I love you, too."

Pure, unadulterated joy bubbles up inside of Oliver and spills through every fiber of his being. It's like he's been struggling under water, gasping for air and suddenly he's breeched the surface. The guilt he has felt for so long becomes almost nonexistent because for once he's told someone everything. Relief and freedom flood his veins as Oliver closes the minute space between them and presses a deep kiss against Felicity's lips, every ounce of love and awe he feels for this woman poured into it.

"Say it again?"

Felicity laughs against his mouth even as her hold around his neck tightens, hauling her body closer still.

"I love you, Oliver Queen."

"And I love you, Felicity Smoak."

He presses another kiss against her mouth before tracing a path across her cheek and down her jaw, strong hands gripping tightly at her petite waist. There's a slight twinge in his injured hand but Oliver doesn't care.

"I love you."

He doesn't stop there, continuing further down the pale column of her neck to suck on her pulse point. Felicity gasps above him, pushing her body further into his as her fingers card through his hair.

"I love you."

Nosing away the fabric of his oversized t-shirt, Oliver places openmouthed kisses along the newly exposed skin of her shoulder as he mumbles against her.

"I love you."

Felicity tugs at his hair, urging Oliver's mouth back to hers in a desperate, desire-driven kiss. His hands roam over her sides and the small of her back, coming forward to rest on her hips. Squeezing to signal his intent, Oliver lifts Felicity off the floor as she hops up, legs wrapping around his waist as her ankles lock together over his backside. Sparks of heat wrack his body as the action presses her center against his rapidly hardening length. He groans lowly before rejoining their mouths in a hungry kiss.

Keeping one arm tightly wrapped around Felicity's waist, Oliver stretches the other out behind her, taking one step and then another until he feels the cool steel of the refrigerator against his fingertips. When her back meets the smooth metallic surface, the sound of clinking glasses joins their melody of pants and groans. Neither of them pays it any mind, too wrapped up in the emotional overload and physical sensations to care.

In a maneuver so perfectly timed it's like clockwork, Oliver coaxes Felicity's mouth open with his tongue just as her hands slip beneath his t-shirt to trace the rigid muscles of his abdomen. She whimpers against his mouth as his tongue sweeps through hers and slides the palms of her hands up to his chest, dragging his cotton shirt up with them. Oliver's skin burns where Felicity touches him, fanning the flames of desire deep within his core. A grunt of protest leaves his mouth as she breaks off the kiss.

"Shirt. Off. Now."

She doesn't have to tell him twice. Within seconds the article of clothing is gone, carelessly thrown over Oliver's shoulder and onto the kitchen floor. Felicity's hands explore his exposed chest and abdomen before sliding around his back. Oliver tries to retain some semblance of control over the situation but it's near impossible to do with the feel of Felicity lips pressed against his neck, shoulders, collarbone, chest… He hisses when her nails dig into the muscle of his lower back as she simultaneously swivels her hips against his.


There's a clanking noise, louder than the last, as Oliver pushes her back into the refrigerator and for a second he's concerned that something might be broken in there. The thought is fleeting though as Felicity's teeth scrape against the shell of his ear, sending a deep shiver down his spine.

"Oliver, take me to bed."

Leaning back, he searches her face for any sign of hesitancy and finds none. But this is a big step for her and them. He needs to be sure she's ready to take it.

"You sure?"

Felicity reaches down to grab the hem of her, his shirt and pulls it over her head, revealing that she has nothing on underneath. Oliver's throat goes dry at the sight of her bare chest, rose-colored peaks tight with arousal and just within his reach.

"Yeah, I'm sure. Want to ask me again? I still have some clothes I can shed to convince you."

"No, I'll be doing that from here on out."

Felicity raises an eyebrow at that, teasing smirk coming into play across her face.

"Oh really?"

Instead of responding right away, Oliver ducks down to pepper kisses along Felicity's chest before taking one of her hardened peaks in his mouth. Her hands fly to the back of his head to secure him there as she arches further into him. A strangled gasp passes through her lips when Oliver lightly scrapes his teeth over her nipple. He takes his time worshipping Felicity's chest with his mouth and then fingers until she's writhing against him. Oliver pulls back to blow cold air across her sensitive peak and watches as it tightens further, causing Felicity to release a wanton moan.


Wrapping both arms around her lower back, Oliver hoist Felicity higher up his waist as he steps away from the refrigerator and turns them in the general direction of the master bedroom. He tries to stay focused on getting them to their destination but with Felicity pressing her bare chest against his and sucking at the sensitive area behind his ear it takes twice as long as it should.

Once they finally reach the bedroom, after a few pit stops along the way, Oliver stops them at the edge of the bed. His heart beats at a pace that can't possibly be healthy and he can feel Felicity's doing the same from where they're pressed against each other. Heavy panting fills the room as they breathe each other in, processing what's about to happen.

Felicity unhooks her legs from behind his back and lets them dangle until Oliver lowers her to the ground. Her hands drag slowly over his shoulders while his keep hold of her waist, neither of them making a move to put any distance between them. His breath catches in his throat when Felicity pushes up on the balls of her feet to place a tender kiss over the scar on his left pectoral, a bullet that nicked his heart and almost put him six feet under.

Wrapping one arm tightly around her waist, Oliver hauls Felicity to him and lowers them to the bed, using his free hand to brace himself on the mattress. The fluidity and speed of the movement cause Felicity to squeak in surprise. His chest rumbles with silent laughter as he leans down to burry his face in her neck.

"Damn ninja skills."

Huffs of laughter leave Oliver as his lips travel down her neck, collarbone, the valley between her breasts… He places gentle kisses against the soft skin of her stomach, feeling the muscles there jump and contract under his ministrations. His fingers tease the area just beneath the elastic band of the sweatpants she has on. Felicity lifts her hips off the bed in silent invitation and Oliver is quick to accept it, sliding the loose material down her legs and throwing the pants onto the bedroom floor.

The sight that greets Oliver as he looks back up at Felicity is mesmerizing. She's laid completely bare for him, having forgone her underwear as well apparently. Damp curls fan out behind her head like a golden halo as she gives him a hooded smile, cheeks flushed with arousal and lips swollen from his kisses. She's the most beautiful sight Oliver has ever seen.

He leans back down to crash his lips against hers, one hand threading through the strands of hair at the base of her neck to angle her head and deepen the kiss. Oliver's lower body settles in the cradle of Felicity's hips, rocking his still clothed erection against her heated center. Even through the material of his cargos he can feel how wet she is. Oliver groans, deep and guttural, against her mouth as their hips pick up a pleasure-driven rhythm. Felicity answers him with a desperate moan of her own, legs coming up to wrap around his waist and pull her further against him.

"Oliver, condom."

He, however, has something else in mind.

Shifting his weight to one side, Oliver reaches back to grab onto her calf, unwrapping her leg from around his waist and lowering it to the bed. Then he moves a hand in between them to drag a finger across her glistening slit. The sensation causes Felicity's hips to jerk and pulls a high-pitched shout from her mouth.

"Not yet, baby. You first."

Oliver slides one finger, then two inside of Felicity only to withdraw both of them to lightly rub over her clit, using his other hand to brace her hips against the bed as they surge towards him in search of friction. His thumb begins to draw lazy circles over the bundle of nerves while he leans back down to kiss a path across her stomach, hipbone to hipbone, pausing to suck at the sensitive skin where her tattoo resides.

"Ah, Oliver, please!"

Felicity's hands grab at the comforter beneath her, twisting and pulling in an effort to keep her hips still. Oliver looks up to find her head thrown back, eyes screwed shut and mouth hanging open in pleasure. His cock twitches at the sight and he presses down harder on her clit, determined to get her off before he's inside her.

"Oh, God! I'm close."

Sliding two fingers into her core, Oliver fucks her with his fingers, changing the angle of his hand so that the heel of it rubs against her clit. As the volume of Felicity's pleasure-filled exclamations increases, so does the speed of his fingers working her over. She shifts her hips in search of that one thing that will push her over the edge.

"Ah, ah ah! Oliver!"

"That's right. Let go, Felicity. I've got you."

Her orgasm wracks through her in an unintelligible jumble of shouts and moans. Not once does Oliver stop the movement of his hand, helping Felicity ride out the waves of pleasure until her body calms.

The look on her face is happy and sated, small smile in place that Oliver takes great pride in putting there. He shifts back over Felicity's body so that he's just barely hovering over her on his elbows. Her hands come up to lock behind his neck and pull him in for a slow, hungry kiss.

The slow part doesn't last long as tongues begin to explore and hands wander. Her palms smooth along the plains of his back, never faltering when they come in contact with one of his many scars. She treats every inch of him as if it flows smoothly and seamlessly into the next and he couldn't be more thankful for it, for her.

Oliver can tell by the way Felicity begins to shift against him that her body is working itself up to go again. Her hands trace a path down to his defined torso to cup him through his pants. The pressure provides very little relief, only furthering Oliver's need to fill her completely. Then her hand is gone and he nearly whimpers at the loss of contact.

"Someone's eager."

Felicity laughs beneath him even as her hands hastily undo his belt buckle and unzip his pants.

"Says the girl who stripped in my kitchen earlier."

"You needed the encouragement because of your stupid old man morals."

Oliver aids Felicity in sliding his pants and boxer briefs off behind him, belt clinking with finality as it hits the floor. This is real. This is happening.

Before Oliver can comment on it, Felicity reaches a hand up to cup his jaw and pulls his mouth back to hers. Her arm wraps around his shoulders as his cradles her lower back and they push towards each other, desperate to get closer and closer still. His hardened cock brushes against her core, causing them to gasp against each other.

"Condom. Now."

There's no room for argument in Felicity's command, which is fine because Oliver has none. He reaches for his wallet on the bedside table and flips it open, fingers slipping into the pocket in which he keeps a condom or two.

It's empty.


Felicity stills beneath him, eyeing Oliver suspiciously as he rifles through the different pockets of his wallet. His actions grow more frantic as he comes up empty-handed each time.

"Do not tell me that you don't have a condom right now, Oliver."

"I don't…"

He trails off, absolutely stunned and honestly close to tears. He's painfully hard and ready and of course he doesn't have a condom.

"Felicity, I'm sorry I don't – "

"Side zipper pocket of my purse."

The instruction takes a second to register in Oliver's mind and then he's hurriedly reaching for the bag she must have placed on the bedside table when changing out of her wet clothes earlier this evening. When he finds it, Oliver pulls out the foil packet to display it victoriously until he realizes that Felicity had a condom in her purse, more than one actually. The confusion must show on his face because Felicity quickly comments on it.

"Oh please, Oliver. Have you met you? I went out and bought a box the day we decided to pursue this."

That's… a lot hotter than it probably should be and Oliver can't help but laugh because it's so practical and so Felicity. He tears the packet open before pinching the tip of the condom and rolling the rest over his length, shuddering at the sensation.

Leaning back down he captures Felicity's mouth in a tender kiss, one hand gently cradling the side of her face, fingers massaging soft circles into her scalp. This one is different from their previous kisses this evening. It's slow and deep and says more than any words ever could. It is love in an action.


The word is a whisper against her lips, light as air but carrying all the weight of the world.


"I love you, Felicity. So damn much."

He slides home.

The feeling is incredible, unlike anything else Oliver has ever experienced with any other woman. He knows it's not just because of her no longer existent virginity. It's so much more than the physicality of the act. His forehead presses into hers, eyes shut tightly as he fights the urge to move inside her, giving her time to adjust to his size.


His eyes open to meet Felicity's and relief rushes through him when he sees her smiling at him. Until that moment, he hadn't realized just how scared he was of hurting her.

"You okay?"

Felicity shifts slightly against him, pushing her hips further into his and causing them both to emit unintelligible sounds of pleasure.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm definitely better than okay. Keep moving."

Oliver starts out slowly, pulling out fully before sliding back in and then repeating the action. Felicity moans loudly and against his ear, nails digging into his back as her hips begin to match his rhythm.

"Christ, you feel so good, baby. So good."

Their movements begin to pick up speed, Oliver's hand palming her waist and guiding her pace to match his. It's give and take, push and pull like the tides and it feels just as natural.

Felicity draws a foot up the back of Oliver's leg, hooking one, then another around his waist to pull him deeper inside of her. The new angle causes Felicity to cry out as he fills her completely to hit a spot deep inside of her that sends her reeling. Strangled cries and the sound of skin slapping against skin fill the room as their tempo increases, bodies desperately seeking out their release.

"Fuck! Please. Please!"

Her shouts only serve to egg him on further as Oliver enters Felicity again and this time swivels his hips into her. Her back arches in response, hands desperately twisting in the covers as she cries out. Oliver's own release is fast approaching, the coil in his gut pulling tighter and tighter until he feels like he's about to explode.

"I'm almost there, Felicity. Are you with me?"

"Yes! I'm close, so close! Oliver!"

Oliver grabs one of Felicity's hands; loosening the death grip it has on the covers and dragging it up over her head. He does the same with the other one, intertwining their fingers above her. Her walls begin to tighten around him and Oliver mimics the action by gripping onto her hands tightly, pushing Felicity further into the bed as he thrusts into her while still trying to remain some semblance of control. A voice in the back of his head whispers to be careful, that she has never done this before and Oliver holds onto that to steady him.

"Oliver, I'm gonna… I'm – "

Her walls clench around him and Oliver can feel the vibrations coursing through Felicity's body, calling out for his own to answer in kind.

"Come for me, Felicity."

"Ahhhh! Oliver!"

She tumbles over the edge with a cry of his name and a twist of her hips, the action becoming Oliver's tipping point. He feels the coil inside him snap and releases a shout as his own climax crashes over him. His hips stutter in their rhythm and still as he comes inside of her, Felicity's little moans still sounding in the background as she gently rocks out her own orgasm.

When they're both still, bodies humming with satisfaction, Oliver pulls out. Felicity groans in protest and he gently kisses the sound away, feeling her smile against his mouth. Blue meets blue as Oliver pulls back to look into her eyes, searching for any hint of regret and beyond thankful when he finds none. Placing one more gentle peck on her lips, he moves to leave the bed to which Felicity objects.

"I'll be right back. I just need to take care of this."

Oliver vaguely gestures to his lower body and grins as Felicity blushes lightly.

"Oh, right. Yeah, of course. I'll just be, uhm, here."

He can't resist leaning back down to give her a lingering kiss before heading towards the bathroom.

It's not long before Oliver has slipped on a pair of boxers and is crawling back into bed and underneath the covers where Felicity has already begun to drift off to sleep, redressed in his t-shirt from earlier. The bed sinks as he climbs onto it and the motion causes her to stir, loving smile gracing her lips. He quickly reaches out to wrap and arm around Felicity's small frame and pulls her against his chest. She sighs in contentment, snuggling further into him and placing a hand over his beating heart.

Exhaustion quickly makes itself known as Oliver sinks back into his bed, comforted by Felicity's warmth pressed against his side. His eyes fall shut, sleep making them heavy and impossible to keep open. Maybe tonight there won't be any nightmares.

He drifts off to the beating of Felicity's heart and the sound of her soft voice whispering against his skin.

"I love you."


Author's Note: So there you have it. How many people thought I was going to cock block them again? Hahaha originally they were going to be blocked but for very, very different and significant reasons. But I changed my mind. You're welcome. (Sort of… still not the most confident in my smut sequences.)

Just a little forewarning, I'm moving at the end of this week and school starts Monday so if the next update takes a little longer than usual (not too long I hope, maybe just a few days past the 2 week mark) that would be why.

Leave me all your wonderful thoughts in the comments section. Reading them makes me smile :)

Thank you for reading!

- Bri