A/N: Chapter 4! Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments. I've read them all :D
This chapter is another long one. I hope you guys like it!
"Stefan?" Again he was lost in thought. Sighing, she tried again, "Stefan?" The whole week she'd been drawing him out of his thoughts, only to have him smile at her and kiss her worries away. He stood perfectly still, with his back to her, staring out the window of her—Oliver's office. His hands were buried in the pockets of his dress pants and the sleeves of his dress shirt were rolled up. If she hadn't been worried about him, she would have silently admired how hot he looked. She went to stand behind him, resting her chin on his shoulder. "Stefan?"
"Hmm?" He leaned his head to the side, so that his head rested lightly on hers.
"Is something wrong? You've been doing this…staring off into the distance thing this whole week. I mean its kind of sexy, but it also worries me."
He turned to face her, smiling slyly. "Sexy huh?"
She laughed. "Not the point. I'm asking you what's wrong."
He leaned in and she shook her head, placing her index finger against his lips. "Don't you dare kiss me! You've been doing that all week."
"That's because I happen to think my girlfriend is the most beautiful and sexy woman in the world," he mumbled against her finger.
She pressed her lips together to keep from smiling. "That's not what I meant and you know it. Every time I asked you that question this week, you've distracted me with your lips."
"Are you complaining?" He placed his hands on her hips, tracing circles into the fabric of her dress with his thumbs.
She removed her finger from his lips and pressed her lips against his. "No. I'm not complaining, but I am getting answers."
He pressed his lips against hers once more. "There are no answers to give. Everything is fine. I've just been really stressed with this whole hacker thing. I thought for sure we'd have discovered whom it was by now."
She smiled, placing her hands against his chest. "I'll try again when you're gone next week."
"Why can't you come again?" He asked, pouting.
"Because you'll be gone a whole week and in that time Oliver will probably forget how to turn on the computer, how to open the Internet browser, and how to breathe." Stefan shook his head and chuckled. "No, but really. We're finishing the Stellmoor deal next week."
Felicity rolled her eyes, stepping out of his embrace. "Stefan we've talked about this…in fact we've had this discussion every day this week. I can't go. I want to, but the Stellmoor deal is important and—"
"And I need her here," Oliver said, walking smoothly up to them.
Oliver's expression was hard, his ice-blue eyes were steel and when she glanced at Stefan, she saw that his expression mirrored Oliver's. "What the heck is going on?" Felicity asked, throwing her hands up in exasperation.
Stefan looked at her. He blinked once and his expression softened. He smiled and took a step closer to her. "Nothing. I'll see you after work," he cupped her cheek and placed a quick kiss on her forehead before stepping around her and heading for the elevator. "Mr. Queen," he said as he passed Oliver.
As soon as the elevator doors had closed, Oliver turned and headed towards his office, but Felicity was angry and he wasn't getting away that easy. "Oliver what the heck is your problem? You—you constantly glare at my boyfriend, whom you said you liked. You said, and I quote: 'He seems like a good guy Felicity. I think he's good for you.' What the heck happened to that? I know he hasn't done anything to you and I know that he doesn't have a problem with you, so it's you who has the problem with him!"
Oliver pretended to be occupied with the paperwork in front of him. "I don't have a problem with him."
"Then I would appreciate it if you didn't glare at him." She slammed her hand down on the table to get him to look up at her. She winced and looked down at her red hand. "Ow. Not the best idea."
He looked at her in amusement for a moment before leaning back in his chair. "Sorry... I'm just stressed and protective of you, so I'm bunching those two things together and taking it out on Stefan whenever I see him." Felicity retained her angry expression. She always forgave him too quickly. Well, not today! He stood, and embraced her, but she kept her arms crossed, not hugging him in return. He laughed, resting his chin on the crown of her head. "I'm really sorry...," he said in a low voice.
Why? Why? Why? Why did he have to use that low, breathy voice? It always made her crack and this time was no different. Felicity's anger melted away in seconds and she returned his hug.
"I'll apologize to Stefan right now if you want," he said, pulling back to look at her.
She raised her eyebrows, looking at him skeptically. "Wow… Oliver Queen offering to apologize to someone? Are you feeling well?" She pressed her palm against his forehead to check for a fever.
He rolled his eyes, let go of her and returned to his desk chair. Shaking her head, she turned to walk out of the office. She couldn't wait to tell Stefan that she had been right. Oliver's attitude had had nothing to do with her. It was childish, but she was already practicing her smug smile for when she talked to Stefan later.
"Yeah?" She turned to face Oliver.
"He's right. You don't really need to be here. Go with him." He was looking at her with a small apologetic smile and she had the urge to hug him. Instead she simply smiled and left the office without a word.
She returned three minutes later with a large mug of steaming coffee. "Thank you," she said softly as she set it down on his desk.
Oliver all but growled in frustration. He had a meeting right after lunch and he had no idea where the documents for it were. Felicity had insisted that he appoint a temporary EA while she was away, but Oliver had grown to accustomed to his best friend as his EA. He was sure he would have felt uncomfortable with anyone else around him all day. Wrenching open the same drawer for the fourth time, he rummaged through it, knowing all too well that the documents were not in there.
He knew how to access them electronically of course, Felicity had made sure to show him how to do it in case he misplaced the hard copies, but some of those papers needed to be signed by the CEO of Stellmoor International. He needed the hard copies. Sighing in defeat he sat back heavily in his chair. He could print them, but that would take ages. Even if he skipped lunch he wouldn't be able to print all of the documents before the meeting.
Oliver smiled, turning to look at his raven-haired best friend. Tommy stood at the doorway of his office, hands shoved in his pockets, looking at him amusedly. "You have no idea."
Tommy chuckled, walking slowly over to him. "Missing your favorite blond?"
Oliver nodded, shooting him a warning look in the process. Tommy, much like Raisa, and more recently his sister, had not made it a secret that he thought Felicity was possibly 'the one' for him. Knowing that he loved Laurel and considering that they were now dating again, Tommy hadn't brought that theory up in a while, but Oliver needed to make sure that he didn't do it again.
It made no sense really. What was the big deal if Tommy insinuated he felt more towards Felicity than friendship? He would just deny it and remind him that he was with Laurel. Still, with the addition of his sister to the loop of: 'she's more than just your friend, isn't she,' Oliver had become increasingly defensive on the subject. Whenever he asked himself exactly why that was, he would argue that it was because he didn't want any of them to bring it up accidentally when either Felicity, or Laurel, were present. He also made the valid argument that he wanted people to think of him and Laurel like they sometimes thought of him and Felicity. Laurel was, after all, the love of his life.
"And where is your favorite blond?" Tommy asked, unfazed by the warning look Oliver had sent his way.
"She's out of town at some tech conference in New York. The heads of the IT departments of the Fortune 500 companies are all invited to attend. Basically, they get a preview of all of the brand new technological equipment that will come out later in the year. That gives them time to pitch the apparent need for these new pieces of metal to their CEO's."
Tommy did a fake little wince. "Don't ever let Felicity hear you referring to cutting edge technology as: 'pieces of metal,'" he said seriously.
Oliver chuckled, "Never."
Tommy sat down in the chair in front of his desk, grinning widely. "So I don't remember Licity being the head of the IT department," he said casually.
Oliver set his jaw, running a hand over his face. "No. She went with Stefan."
"Right," Tommy said, grin widening, "her boyfriend."
Oliver glared at him, "What are you trying to do Tommy?"
"What?" Tommy asked innocently, shrugging his shoulders.
"I thought we went over this. She's just a friend and I'm in love with Laurel. I thought you were supportive of my relationship."
Tommy drew his eyebrows together in confusion and Oliver realized that Tommy hadn't been insinuating anything. He'd simply been trying to get the latest on his blond friend and her boyfriend. Crap.
"I am supportive. Unless…Is there something you need to tell me?" Tommy asked, suddenly serious.
"No." Oliver cleared his throat, knowing that he had messed up. He didn't even know how he'd missed Tommy's true intentions. One mention of Felicity's boyfriend and he'd gone overboard, defending his relationship with Laurel. He didn't understand it, but there was no way that he could explain that to Tommy. Whatever he said now, would just be taken the wrong way. Wrenching open the bottom drawer of his desk, he began to rummage through it. "I really need to find some documents for my next meeting."
"Well that's why I'm here. You weren't picking up your phone so Felicity called me. She said she'd called you a bunch of times to remind you where she put the papers." Tommy stood, walking out of his office and over to Felicity's desk. He opened the middle drawer and returned, a large stack of documents in hand.
Oliver sighed in relief. "Why didn't you just give them to me in the first place?"
Tommy handed them over. He looked at Oliver curiously, as if seeing him for the first time. "I just wanted a moment to gloat about how you couldn't function without Felicity…"
"Well," Oliver said, looking through the papers, "I'd like to argue with you, but I think you're right. It's only day one without her and already I've managed to forget where the important documents were."
He looked up at Tommy, who still donned the same confused and slightly suspicious expression. He sighed, "Look Tommy, I thought you were going down the: 'Felicity is the one for you,' road again. My sister's been doing it lately. Every time I walk into my house, she asks me how Felicity's doing with one of those sly smiles. It's just getting on my nerves because I'm in a relationship with Laurel. Felicity is my friend—my best friend. That's all there is to it."
Tommy nodded, smiling again. "Okay. I'll leave you to your work…We'll hang out this weekend.
Oliver nodded, smiling. "How about Wednesday we grab a couple of drinks too?" He asked, anticipating that he would really need a couple of drinks by then.
Tommy shook his head. "No. No offense, but if this is day one without Felicity…I do not want to see what day three looks like. This weekend."
"So how was work dear?" Moira asked as she reached for the rice.
"Good," he replied with an exhausted sigh. "The Stellmoor deal is done. We're in business."
It had been an excruciating three days of seemingly endless meetings. It had been made even more stressful by the fact that Felicity hadn't been there. He'd spoken to her briefly once, but that was it. She was usually what held him together during those long meetings and he'd had to face them alone. Finally, the deal was done. He felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.
"Good," his father said with a smile. "You're going to dinner with the CEO tomorrow right? Charles Peterson?"
"Yes. To close everything off nicely."
"Mind if I tag along. I may no longer run the company, but I am interested in our newest business partner," Robert said.
Oliver looked at him in exasperation, much as he'd done when he was younger and his father had wanted to have a serious conversation. "Why didn't you offer to come out of retirement while I was in day-long meetings?"
Robert, Moira, Laurel, and Thea all laughed. "Because I didn't particularly want to attend day-long meetings," Robert replied with a huge grin.
For a moment they were silent, the only sounds were those of their forks and knives occasionally hitting the plates. "Day three without Felicity huh?" Thea said suddenly. "How's that working out for you Ollie?"
Oliver looked pointedly at his sister. He knew what she was insinuating. Reminding himself that nobody else knew, he smiled at her. "It's not easy, but I'll manage." In truth, it had been absolute hell. Felicity was always a step ahead, knowing which documents he needed, what meetings he had, and what notes were important to take so that he could review them later on. The worst of the week was over however, so he was sure that he could manage the rest of it.
Moira laughed lightly. "Guess you really don't know what you have until it's gone. I suggest you let her know just how much you appreciate what she does for you at the office when she gets back."
"I'll make sure to do that," he said, nodding curtly at his mother in affirmation. "Laurel how was your day?" He asked, needing to change the subject before Thea could say anything else.
"Tiring, but good. I had lots of paperwork to get through. They haven't assigned me a case yet, which is kind of annoying. I really want to do my job you know, and I am good in the courtroom."
"I'm sure you'll get your first case soon," Oliver assured her, smiling encouragingly.
Thankfully, his parents spent the rest of the dinner asking Laurel about what she'd been up to all these years and Thea did not say any more. After dinner they moved to the living room and while his parents spoke to Laurel he took a moment to talk to Thea. "Thea can I speak to you for a moment?"
Smiling sweetly, Thea stood from the armchair and followed him out of the room. "I was wondering when you would want to have this talk. I would have cornered you sooner, but you've been avoiding me."
Oliver refrained from rolling his eyes. "I have not been avoiding you Speedy. I'm actually busy…CEO remember? What are you doing Speedy?"
He watched Thea's eyes widen and her lower lip push out. "What do you mean?"
Oliver was getting tired of this. "Thea. Stop it and stop it now. Felicity and I are just friends and yeah okay, I stared at her when we went swimming. So what? My friend happens to be good looking. It doesn't mean anything."
Thea smiled widely. "So you admit she's beautiful?"
"Thea," he said sternly. But her smile never wavered and finally he sighed, and walked back into the living room. There was just no talking to his sister when she had her mind set on something.
Oliver closed his eyes, throwing his head back as he drowned the last of his scotch. The music pounded, the lights flashed in all different directions, and there was barely an empty corner in the club. Requesting a glass of vodka, he drank it all in: the music, the lights, and the people. All of the stress and tension had melted away since yesterday. He'd spent the entire night at the Verdant with Tommy yesterday and he was doing it again.
A soft hand sliding up his forearm drew him out of his daze. Taking a sip of his vodka, he smiled down at Laurel. She hadn't changed much, she was still the beautiful girl from his high school years, but tonight she looked exactly like she had all those years ago. Her hair was down, hanging just beyond her shoulders. She wore a tight-fitting black dress that accentuated every curve and a pair of red heels. The only thing missing, he thought absently, as he leaned in to press his lips against hers, was a bright shade of lipstick.
He threw his hands around her waist, pulling her flush against him as his lips assaulted hers. The taste of alcohol coated her lips, or where those his lips? He wasn't sure. His tongue brushed her bottom lip, and her lips parted, allowing him entrance. Her fingers trailed through his hair. Some part of him mused that the kiss felt different. His mind argued that he should have felt tingles of electricity shoot through him. Something was missing.
She gently caught his bottom lip between her teeth. He groaned, knowing that she couldn't hear it. He wondered if something had been missing all along. He tasted the alcohol once more and he was reminded that he'd had a couple of drinks. Nothing was missing, he told himself. His alcohol-singed mind was simply messing with his thoughts.
His hand trailed down her hip to her thigh and his fingers traced the hem of her delightfully short dress. He needed to get out of there right now. He needed to have her all to himself. Breaking the kiss, he placed his lips close to her earlobe. "Let's get out of here."
She giggled, playing with the buttons of his shirt. "What about Tommy?"
"He's managing the club…we probably won't see him for another hour and I can't wait that long."
She pressed her lips just at the corner of his. "Let's go."
He untangled himself from her, turning back to the bar where he had placed his vodka. He drowned the rest of it, just as his phone vibrated in his pocket. His throat burned and he enjoyed the sensation. His head buzzed slightly and he dug his phone out of his pocket.
I just wanted to let you know that I'm at home. I'm not feeling too well though…so I won't be coming in tomorrow, but I'll call. I promise I'll be in on Tuesday. 3
Love, your genius best friend."
Even in his buzzed state, it took him three seconds to dial her number. He could barely hear the ringing, but he smiled when he heard her voice. It took him a moment to realize that he'd gotten her voicemail and he slammed his finger on the screen to end the call.
"Ollie?" Laurel screamed over the pounding music. "Is something wrong?" Oliver shook his head slowly, turning and making his way up the stairs to the office.
It was much quieter in the office. "I just want to make sure Felicity's okay," Oliver said to Laurel as she closed the office door. He redialed her number again, again, and again. Each time he heard her cheerful voicemail, he became more and more frustrated. His mind was starting to formulate images of her looking pale, curled up on the bed or sofa, or sitting limply on her bathroom floor. And when those images had all fleshed out, he imagined her collapsing after sending him the text, hitting her head and passing out.
"Maybe she's sleeping it off," Laurel said after he'd tried the fifth time.
"I'm going to check on her," he said, pecking Laurel on the forehead before heading for the door.
Her hand resting on his forearm stopped him. "Oliver I'm sure she's fine. You'll call her tomorrow."
A surge of annoyance passed through him. He was wasting time. He should have left as soon as he'd received the text. "I'm going to check on her," he repeated, quickly wrenching open the door and making his way down the stairs before she could say another word.
He wasn't exactly wasted, but he knew that he wasn't supposed to be driving. His pre-college self would not even have acknowledged the fact that he wasn't supposed to be driving. Now however, the disapproving expression of favorite IT expert flashed in his mind and he hesitated for one second before he got into the car—only a second because his imagination began working on overdrive again.
He drove recklessly, passing through a few red lights, going about 95 mph. He finally arrived at her house, skidding to a stop. He all but jumped out of the car, some part of him marveling at how he'd made it to her house unscathed. Stumbling slightly, he knocked on her door, jamming his finger on the bell button.
The door opened moments later to reveal a weary-eyed, pajama-clad, Felicity. She wore long, purple, pajama pants with a heart print on them. Her top was loose fitting and had a large cartoon Panda on it. Her hair was in a loose ponytail and her glasses were slightly askew. Her fist came up to her face and she rubbed her eyes sleepily. He couldn't help but think that she looked adorable…and kind of sexy…
"Felicity!" Oliver exclaimed a little too loudly, relieved at seeing her.
"Oliver?" She asked, confused. She yawned, "What are you doing here?"
He took a moment to think about the question, the alcohol clouding his mind. "You texted me that you were sick…and you didn't pick up…"
She didn't respond. Instead, she rubbed her eyes again and stepped aside to let him in. He stumbled slightly, falling heavily on the couch. "You're drunk," she commented as she sat down beside him. There was disappointment laced in her voice and he cringed, waiting for the oncoming rant. It didn't come.
"I was at the Verdant…had a few drinks."
"And you drove," she stated dryly.
"You said you were sick," he said in his defense. "Are you okay?" He narrowed his eyes, searching for any signs that she had fallen, or hurt herself.
She nodded meekly. "I just have a massive headache and threw up twice. Airline food dose not agree with me apparently— even if it is first class airline food." She pushed up her glasses, standing. "You want me to make you some coffee?"
He laughed, grabbing her arm and pulling her back down on the couch. "I came here to take care of you, not the other way around."
She shrugged, resting her head on his shoulder. He placed a kiss on the top of her head, allowing his eyes to close for a moment. The last of his worries drifted away. She was okay. She hadn't fallen and hit her head. She wasn't feeling well, but it would pass. Suddenly, she stood and his eyes shot open. Before his eyes could focus, she'd disappeared into her room and moments later he heard the sound of her throwing up again. He stood, stumbling once or twice on his way to her room.
"Felicity?" He said worriedly, as he spotted her hugging the toilet.
"I'm okay," she said weakly. She stood on shaky legs, and he banded an arm around her waist to keep her steady. She made her way to the sink, gripping the edges until her knuckles turned white. Her breathing returned to normal and she grabbed her toothbrush and toothpaste.
He left her to brush her teeth once he was sure that she could stand on her own and sat down to wait for her on her bed. She emerged shortly after and attempted a small smile. He smiled at her reassuringly, wanting more than anything to just hold her until it had passed.
"Oliver. I'm really tired…how about we sleep?" She asked, throwing the covers aside and climbing in. He nodded, haphazardly removing his suit jacket, his shoes, his dress shirt, and his pants. "Keep the boxers!" Felicity exclaimed, wide-eyed.
His only reply was a chuckle as he climbed in beside her. He wrapped an arm around her, drawing her close to him and she rested her head on his chest. "I love you, you know," he said, placing another kiss on top of her head. It had nothing to do with the alcohol. One measly week had reminded him just how much he relied on her—just how much she meant to him.
"I know," she said softly. "I love you too…"
A/N: I hope you guys liked this chapter. As always, leave a comment :)