Chapter seventeen.

Oliver – waiting.

I made my back to the hospital in the morning only to be told that Chloe was gone. Gone without permission or help. Where had she gone? I checked my voice mail then and found her message. I couldn't believe that Tess had told her, yet another betrayal from the woman I had used to consider trustworthy. I wondered where Chloe had gone to and if she really would be back. A deep sadness took hold of me. I wasn't falling apart because to the best of my knowledge Chloe was safe - this time. I decided that I would have to give Chloe the space she so desperately craved and needed. I buried myself in the Justice League. Finally finishing projects that I had started before Chloe's "death". It felt good to be doing the work I loved again. But there was something missing - a small blond woman whom I loved to have working at my side. I hoped it wouldn't be too long before she came back to me. I vaguely heard that Tess had been released on bail and although it bothered me I ignored it. She was dead to me. I was waiting for the center of my universe to return.

Chloe – Justice.

I spent each day thinking about Oliver, it was a forgone conclusion in my mind that I couldn't live without him, but now I realized that he was part of me in such a way that I could never be free from him. And I didn't want to be. I had come here, to Star city, Oliver's hometown – to find myself again. It was working. I had rented a small cottage on a private property; it was on the edge of the city, lots of space and green. It still hurt that Oliver had been having a 'thing' with Tess in my absence, but in all fairness he had thought I was dead. I found I couldn't summon enough anger anymore. It simply didn't matter to me. What Oliver and I had together transcended time and space and meaningless sex with deceitful ex-girlfriends. I was finally ready to go home to Oliver. I smiled to myself softly as I walked through the twilight towards the cottage. I went for a walk every evening before dinner; it calmed me and made thinking clearly easy. I reached the door and unlocked it, humming under my breath happily. I walked in and switched on the light. Suddenly I knew I wasn't alone. Some sixth sense told me I had unwelcome company. I turned slowly to face my visitor. I felt no surprise that it was Tess. She sat in an armchair, calmly watching me, a sarcastic smirk on her face.

"Chloe. I was wondering how long you would be." She said her voice deceptively soft.

"Why am I not surprised to see you, Tess? What do you want?" I asked as I casually placed my jacket on the peg by the door.

"I want what I have always wanted, Chloe. You – out of the way, for good this time."

And with that she leveled a gun at my face. I forced myself not to react at all. I merely quirked an eyebrow in her direction.

"You obviously didn't get enough of your accommodation at the precinct, Tess. How did you get out?" I sounded bored and equally sarcastic.

"Oh Chloe, please! Do you honestly think they will sentence any one with the Luthor name to a life term? Seriously? I could do anything and still be out in a week. Only this time I'm going to rectify my earlier mistake of leaving you alive. This time there will be nothing for Oliver to find."

I suppressed a shiver as it ran down my spine. She was seriously crazy.

"Sorry to disappoint you Tess, I knew you would find me - eventually… in fact I was counting on it."

Tess raised her brows at me in disbelief.

"Really? I think your bluffing. If you were so prepared for my coming after you why am I the one pointing a gun at your head?" She laughed mirthlessly.

I fought to stay calm as I walked slowly towards her; I saw that I had caught her off guard because she stood up uncertainly.

"Stay where you are Chloe." She ordered in a firm voice.

"There is one thing Oliver always said I caused him to do, Tess. Can you guess what it is?"

With that I crouched down quickly and drew the small revolver I had kept for the last week in my boot out, I then aimed and fired before Tess even had a chance to pull the trigger of her weapon. I watched as a dark red stain appeared on the left side of her chest, it spread rapidly until the front of her white shirt was completely crimson. She fell then, crumpling onto the floor slowly, her eyes wide in shock. I rose out of my crouch and walked over to her.

"The answer is - he always underestimated me, Tess. You just made the same mistake."

Her mouth formed words I couldn't hear. I bent towards her lips to hear what she said.

"You won." She whispered.

I nodded without humor.

"Yes I did, Tess." I replied. "Now we are finally even."

I got up and called the police on my cell phone. Soon officers were all over the cottage. The gun in Tess's hands corroborated my story of self-defense, so there was no question of my being arrested. I left soon afterwards headed to Metropolis and Oliver's apartment. I felt truly free for the first time in months, as if a huge load had been lifted from my shoulders. Tess dying had set me free from the past and all the hatred I felt had died with her. It was time for the future.

The Happily Ever After.

The light was dim as Oliver entered the room; he was tired and aching after a long day patrolling the streets of Metropolis. He walked into his apartment and didn't bother to switch any lights on. The dim lights from the streets were his only light. He stripped off his shirt and trousers and walked in his boxers over to the drinks cabinet to pour himself a whiskey. As he sloshed the amber liquid into the crystal tumbler a slight noise detracted him. He acted as if he had heard nothing, continuing his ministrations. Finally throwing the scorching liquid down his throat in one gulp. He walked through to his bedroom, quietly watching the shadows for any signs of an intruder. A small splash of color caught his eye, laying across his pillow lay a red scarf. His heart stopped beating and then took off threatening to break out of his chest. Soft as silk and just as cool, a whispering touch slithered around his waist from behind. Small hands caressed his skin and caused it to come alive with a surge of electricity. He shuddered and stood still as his heart as well as his body recognized the intruder. With a sigh he raised his hands to cover the small ones wrapped around his torso. Their fingers entangled and squeezed each other in reassurance. A warm mouth trailed kissed from his shoulder down his back. His muscles tightened reflexively. A deep hunger burned its way through his body. He turned suddenly and faced the small blond intruder, he grabbed her face and dragged it towards his own, their lips met and they kissed wildly. They devoured each other, tongues tangling fiercely. Oliver tangled his hands in her short golden hair, shorter than he remembered it. He hands rediscovered the hard muscles of his shoulders and chest. Their bodies were welded together, no space between them at all. He pulled her down on top of him as he sat on the edge of the bed. Her hips straddled his as her warmth rubbed his achingly aroused flesh. She wore a silk slip, short with a slit up to her hip. His hands found the warm skin of her thighs and stroked his way towards his goal. She shuddered as his fingers found the center of her desire, a low moan sounded in her throat. Oliver pushed the thin spaghetti straps of the slip down her shoulders exposing her small, shapely breasts. Their pink tips hard and begging to be touched. He bent his head and his lips followed his gaze. She threw her head back as his mouth sucked on her nipples. Answering warmth flooded between her legs. She shoved his boxers out of the way impatiently and slid her wetness onto his arousal. They both moaned loudly at the incredible sensation. Warm, wet velvet against steel. They moved together towards a single goal, faster and faster until they both came violently. Kissing deeply all the while, they shakingly came to a standstill. She pulled back finally to look him in the eyes; a small smile played around her sexily curved lips.

"I've missed you Oliver." She said softly, rubbing her thumbs across his lips sensually.

"I've missed you too Chloe." He answered, threading his fingers through her short hair, framing her face. "Are you home for good now?" He asked cautiously.

She nodded as she buried her face against his neck.

"I'm finally where I belong."

Oliver lay backwards on the bed pulling her down besides him.

"And watchtower?" Oliver asked.

Chloe raised her head and looked down at him lovingly.

"Its part of my identity Oliver, of course I will still be watchtower."

Oliver smiled, satisfied.

"And Tess?" he asked again, suddenly serious.

"She's dead Olli. I killed her. She came after me and I defended myself. All the past died with her, I'm finally free from it all."

She smiled at him and he saw all the love she felt for him reflected in her clear green eyes. He digested the information about Tess, quietly. It seemed a fitting end to her sad story. He felt a moments twinge for the "Mercy" he had used to know, even though he knew she had actually died long ago. He had been planning to do away with her himself anyway. Chloe's voice disruped his train of thought.

"We will have more babies Oliver. Many more…"

He widened his eyes in fake horror and she giggled in response. He reached up and pulled her mouth back to his almost roughly, effectively ending the conversation. Soon all that could be heard was the whispering of their lips moving together in perfect unity. The future looked bright simply because they were together. The shadows were gone and they have proven that true love can conquer all. Together they were invincible.