Title: The Announcement
Summary: One year ago Oliver Queen and Chloe Sullivan's romance ended, but when Oliver finds out that Chloe is about to marry someone else he realizes that he has to find a way to win her back before she ends up married to the wrong man
Characters: Chloe Sullivan, Oliver Queen, Lois Lane, Clark Kent, and several original characters
Rating: this chapter T
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
First off, thank you so much to everyone who has read and taken the time to leave me feedback on this story. Knowing people enjoy reading what I write really helps motivate me, so I appreciate it!
A/N Okay so some people expressed some uncertainty about Chloe and Oliver getting together before she'd actually ended things with Jake. That issue will be addressed in the beginning of this chapter.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter 15 - conclusion
She woke up slowly reveling at the feel of the warm toned arms wrapped tightly around her. These were the right arms, not the arms that she had become accustomed to simply settling for over the past year.
This was where she belonged… she knew that now, honestly a part of her had always known she'd just fought it, pretended that she could be happy with someone who was all wrong for her.
Chloe shifted slightly nuzzling into his neck and breathing in the smell of him. A mixture of expensive aftershave and leather, a scent that was pure Ollie.
She'd missed this, even more then she had realized, if that was even possible. As she looked toward the window she noticed the small sliver of morning light through the crack in the curtains.
She sighed heavily and slid her legs off his body, moved from under his arm and off the bed. Quickly glancing around the room Chloe picked up her discarded clothes and got dressed. As she bent over to slip on her heels she noticed her discarded engagement ring just under the edge of the bed. Pinching the band between her pointer finger and her thumb she stared down at it. She'd worn it on her finger for months now and each time she had looked down at it, she was hit with the reminder that it just didn't suit her.
"Having second thoughts?"
She jerked her head to the side and watched as Oliver pushed himself back into a sitting position against the headboard. His eyes never leaving her hand where she held the ring.
"Not for the reasons you're obviously thinking," she crossed the room and sat down on the edge of the bed her body turned toward him. "What we did last night was a…"
He held up his hand to silence her, "if the last word to that statement is going to be 'mistake' I don't want to hear it."
"Part of it was a mistake," Chloe admitted softly. She shifted until she was sitting beside him, her position mirroring his. "Ollie the memory of last night, as amazing as it was will always be partially tainted by the fact that I was still technically engaged, and I was angry and also kind of drunk…"
She stopped suddenly when she felt his warm hand cover hers.
"So where does that leave us?" He asked his voice thick with a mixture of held back emotions.
"Well for starters, I have to go back to my apartment and officially end my engagement."
She turned toward him and shrugged slightly, "we start again… maybe a little more slowly this time… we could date?"
For a moment she felt nervous that he would hate the idea, but those fears were quickly pushed aside when she saw a small smile twitch at the corners of his lips.
"Yeah," she continued more relaxed now that she realized he wasn't completely opposed to the idea, "you know coffees… lunches… dinners."
"Trips to Paris?" He offered.
"Not for at least a few months Ollie,' she answered with a small laugh.
"And how long will I have to wait before I can see you for one of these coffee/lunch/dinner dates?"
"Just a week or so," she assured him, "I have a lot to do… canceling a wedding isn't easy you know."
"Never had to cancel one myself, but I'll take your word for it."
She smiled at him one last time and stood from the bed, "we'll talk soon," she leaned down and kissed him softly. As she turned away she felt his hand grab hers.
Chloe turned around as Oliver reached behind him and opened his bedside table. When he turned back to her he placed the jade bracelet she had only recently taken off for the first time in over a year in her hand, "Oliver I can't…"
He picked it up from her still open hand and slipped it onto her wrist just a gently as he had the first time, "Chloe, no matter what we are to each other, however we decide to define 'us' this belongs to you… please take it."
She looked down at her wrist and smiled, "I really missed it… for so long it was all I had to remember what we were to each other…Thank you."
"No need to thank me, it's been yours for a long time," he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it softly, "be careful, you can't be sure how he'll react."
"I'm not worried Ollie, Jake's only power is through his lies and manipulations."
"Still… promise me you'll keep your phone handy."
"I promise," she stepped away from the bed and turned toward the door, "I'll call you soon," she said with a glance over her shoulder.
She walked down the stairs and climbed onto the elevator.
Twenty minutes later Chloe stepped off of another elevator this one in the building with the apartment that she had spent the last six months living in with Jacob Winston.
After only a few steps she looked up and saw a familiar figure leaning against the wall beside her front door.
"Clark." She stepped beside him and began to rummage around inside her purse looking for her keys, "I'm guessing Ollie called you?"
"Did you really think he would let you go in there without some kind of back up?" He asked smiling lightly.
She turned to him her jaw firm, "You'll stay out here, and only come in if I call out for help?"
He held up his hand in front of him in a silent surrender, "I promise."
"Good." She turned the key in the lock and pushed open the door before stepping inside and closing it behind her.
The apartment was silent. She glanced down the hall for signs that Jake was still in the bedroom getting ready for work but saw none.
"I'm in here." He called out from the direction of the kitchen and Chloe was certain from the cold barely held together tone in his voice that he knew where she had been the night before. She just wasn't sure if that meant he'd just assumed or if he still had someone tailing and keeping tabs on her, but she was willing to bet it was the latter.
She walked into the room and stared at him. Jake sat on a stool pushed up against the island counter. In front of him was a cup of coffee and in front of the seat beside him was another.
"You wanna sit down." His words were that of a question but his tone and eyes showed it was his attempt at an order.
Chloe crossed the room, lifted the cup from the counter at took a sip but continued to stand. As the far to sweet liquid touched her tongue a strange thought crossed her mind, Oliver never would have put this much sugar in her coffee. She forced the thought away. It really wasn't the time to focus on all the ways someone else was better suited for her.
"Where were you all night?" He asked glaring at her.
Chloe studied him for a moment, the way he was acting; he wasn't just assuming that she was with Oliver. He knew for sure she was which meant there was a pretty decent chance that he still had someone following her.
"Please don't insult my intelligence by pretending you don't already know," she bit out, she should feel guilty, but she couldn't seem to force that emotion. How could she? The man in front of her had done to much to her to deserve it. "You've been having me followed for who knows exactly how long.
"Yes, I have," he ground out through clenched teeth, "how did you even find out?"
Chloe slammed her mug to the counter and narrowed her eyes, "did you really think that I wouldn't believe my cousin when she told me the truth about you?" she crossed her arms over her chest and continued to glare at him, "What gives you the right to invade my privacy?"
"What gives me the right?" he shouted. He stormed across the room until he was standing only inches from her and then yanked her left arm away from her right by the wrist. "This gives me the…" He stopped immediately when he saw her ring finger bare.
"Where the hell is your ring?" he demanded.
She pulled her wrist from his grasp and reached inside the pocket of her pants. She pulled the ring out and slammed it to the counter right beside her mug. She didn't say a word just continued to glare at him.
Jake nodded a look of understanding finally flittering across his face as he reached down and picked up her discarded ring, "Okay lets just think this through… you made a mistake, and so did I, but that's no reason to call off the wedding. We'll just forget all this happened and start fresh."
"Yes… I really don't believe that anything that we've done to each other means that we have to give up on us."
Chloe leaned back against the counter and eyes him for several seconds, not sure what to make of his willingness to forgive and forget so easily. She ran her hands over her face, "I can't marry you." she said softly.
Jake's face instantly hardened, "Because of him?" He snapped the bitterness returning to his voice.
"Yes." she admitted, "I'm sorry if this hurts you but…"
"You really are a fool, you know that? Don't you realize that the only reason he wants you now is because he thinks he can't have you."
"That's not true." She said firmly.
Jake snorted, "please, he's Oliver Queen… I think his reputation speaks for itself, or are you forgetting about all the women he fucked as soon as he was rid of you the first time."
Her chest felt suddenly heavy, she knew Oliver really loved her and that as long as they were together he had never betrayed her or what they had, but just hearing Jake bring up those women sparked that hidden insecurity that she would never be enough for Oliver.
A smirk began to play on Jake's lips as he realized his words had gotten to her and he continued, "you and I are getting married in less then two months." He held up her ring, "put this back on and we can just forget about all this."
"Forget about it?" she asked.
"Yes, what happened last night, it's forgotten, no one ever needs to know."
Suddenly everything fell into place. Jake being so willing to forgive and forget had nothing to do with the way he felt about her and everything to do with his worry about people finding out that his pending marriage had fallen apart. Once again he was worried about causing embarrassment to the Winston family.
Chloe shook her head and pushed his hand away, "I said I can't marry you and I meant it, and please don't pretend that this entire act here is about us, because we both know it's not… I love Oliver and I can't marry someone else, he's it for me." She pushed past him and walked toward the bedroom. Once inside she went to the closet and pulled out a large duffel bag, she chuckled slightly at the sudden memory of Jake mocking her bag and informing her that she really needed to… "acquire a proper luggage set before their honeymoon" he'd really been horrible all along she'd just been too stupid or stubborn or both to realize it.
"Do you really think I'll allow you humiliate me this way," Jake demanded suddenly standing in the doorway of the room.
Chloe stormed across the room to her dresser and pulled open the top drawer, "I really don't care if this is embarrassing to you, I'm leaving and nothing you can say or do will stop me," she studied the contents trying to determine if there was too much for her to scoop up in her arms. Quickly deciding there was she yanked the drawer from the dresser and carried it back toward the bed. She dumped it into her bag and tossed it on the bed before doing exactly the same with the rest of the drawers
When the dresser was empty she moved onto the closet and pulled down several dresses and pairs of heels. Once she was finally finished packing she picked up her, filled to the seams, bag slung it over her shoulder then headed to the door. Jake still stood there his face hard and his arms crossed against his chest as he leaned into the door frame.
"Let me through," she insisted sharply.
He stepped aside without another word and Chloe swiftly lugged her things toward the front door. Halfway there Jake's voice stopped her, "I'll make you regret this," she turned and stared at him, "by the time my family and I are done, you won't be able to go anywhere with that man you say you love so much, without being insulted and gossiped about. The woman in mine and Oliver's world love to gossip, and I'll make sure they all see you as nothing more then his convenient piece of ass. You'll be a joke! I just hope you remember how much you claim to know he loves you once Oliver Queen throws your ass to the curb."
Chloe adjusted her grip on her bag causing a small clinking noise against the small metal buckle used to adjust the length of the strap. She looked down her eyes locked on the jade bracelet, and a smile broke out across her lips. Oliver did love her and no matter how hard Jake tried to convince her otherwise she knew the truth.
Her confidence rising she glared at him, "Oliver will never hurt me again," she said without a doubt in her mind," she then took several steps back toward him. "And before you think about trashing my name you might want to consider how your little social circle works. I think we both know that when it comes to those you associate with… money talks, and given Oliver's financial standing I'd say most would worry about staying on his good graces a lot more then yours… besides I'd really hate to have to let it slip during girl talk with the ladies at your club about your less then adequate skills in the bedroom. As you mentioned before the women in your world love to gossip."
He stared at her his eyes wide and his jaw hanging open.
"Nothing else to say?" she smiled brightly at him, "I didn't think so." she turned on her heel and continued down the hallway, "I'll be sending someone for the rest of my things." she called over her shoulder.
She stepped out of the apartment and found Clark still waiting for her, just like she knew he would be. He quickly rushed to her side and pulled the bag from her shoulder.
"You did good in there," he said softly wrapping his arm around her shoulder and leading her toward the elevator.
"So I'm guessing you heard everything?"
"Yeah, I just wanted to make sure if you needed anything I'd hear."
"I know," she said patting him on the chest, "So where's Lo, I know she can't be too far." Chloe pressed the button and the doors opened immediately.
Stepping inside after her Clark smiled, "coffee house on the corner."
Chloe nodded, "I thought so… well lets go meet her."
As she stepped inside the crowded shop Chloe spotted Lois instantly, she walked over to the table and slid into the chair opposite her cousin.
"Where's Clark?" Lois asked looking back toward the door.
"He went to drop my stuff off at the farm, and give us a few minutes to talk."
"Really? Well why don't you tell me what exactly happened last night?"
Chloe told her everything.
She told her about getting in the cab and finding herself giving the driver Ollie's address instead of her own. Talking everything out with him, spending the night with him. Lois had really loved that part smiling brightly and wiggling her eyebrows suggestively as she asked her usual abundance of personal questions.
When Chloe told her about the confrontation with Jake not even an hour before Lois had listened in silence her eyes narrowed and hard as Chloe told her about the man's harsh words about her possible future with Ollie, but Lois hard expression instantly transformed into one of pure delight when Chloe finally reached the end.
"You actually said that to him?" she asked clearly impressed.
"Yes… why is that so shocking?"
"I guess it shouldn't be it's just… Chlo, for the last year you've been so different and hearing that just makes me realize that maybe the old Chloe is coming back."
She nodded in understanding, Lois was right she hadn't been herself lately, and now she could finally feel bits of her old self seeping back through.
"Must be the Lane in you," Lois added lifting her cup to her lips and taking a long generous gulp.
"Must be," Chloe agreed.
Oliver walked into the small shop and glanced around at the customers. His eyes found the pair almost immediately, Chloe's back was to him but Lois caught a glimpse of him right away. He watched in amusement as Lois hopped up from her seat and reached over to give Chloe a quick hug.
He had no idea what excuse the brunette had used but it seemed to work since Chloe hugged her back and waved goodbye.
Lois approached him a knowing smirk on her face, "Morning Ollie," she said patting him on the back as she walked by.
"Bye Lois," he said watching her retreating form as she continued her way through the crowded shop. He started to make his way over to her.
When Clark had called to let him know that Chloe had safely made it away from her confrontation with Jake he had told him that Chloe was having coffee with Lois and where. Then he'd suggested that Oliver might want to come grab a cup too. At first he'd been hesitant, Chloe had said she needed some time to take care canceling all of her wedding plans, and he really wanted to give her that, but when Clark told him that he really thought she would appreciate him coming to check on her he'd caved almost instantly.
As he approached the table Chloe suddenly looked up and smiled, "Well now Lois's sudden departure makes a lot more sense."
"Guess she didn't make the best excuse."
"She rambled off something about a press conference at city hall; guess she forgot it was Sunday." She pointed toward the chair, "aren't you gonna sit down?"
"Wasn't sure if you would want me to… you did say you needed a little time."
"I did, and I do… but I'd like you to sit anyway… if you want."
He sat down and smiled at her, "so how did it go?"
"Well… it wasn't fun, but I'm really glad it's over and done with."
He nodded and smiled, "I am too." He reached out and grabbed her hand. This is how it had started for them the first time. The two of them sitting at a coffee shop and his hand over hers.
He couldn't help but smile when she turned her hand and laced her fingers through his.
It wasn't much... but it was a start, a new beginning for them.
A little over a year ago he had made the biggest mistake of his life and let her walk away from him, he wouldn't do that again.
Oliver finally had his second chance and this time he was going to get things right.
Well it took six months but this story is finally finished! YAY! Hope y'all liked it! I'm not so sure about the ending I know it seems a little abrupt, but I am considering writing a couple of one shot follow ups down the road. I have plans for at least two if not three... I'll write tham as long as there's interest in reading them.