Chapter 1

Sitting in the run down diner in the middle of Starling City glancing at my watch, well what do I get for being early. As I glance up to the door way my best friend Laurel Lance walks in and comes over to the table seeing as I have already ordered the drinks knowing she would be late coming from work.

"Hey Rachael, I'm so sorry I was late you know what work can be like. Do you want to do dinner tonight as well seeing as we haven't seen each other in ages; it also means you can catch up with Tommy you two haven't spoken in a while." Laurel said all in one breath as she sat down and the waiter came over with our drinks.

"Yeah Laurel sure dinner sounds good." I say putting my hand up to cover my mouth as I yawned. "If I can last that long."

Laurel laughs as she starts to drink we spend the entire afternoon talking about work hers as a lawyer and mine as a business women/ wannabe political campaigner. We discuss meeting up about dinner this evening deciding to go to Laurel's apartment so that Tommy can just appear whenever without being directly told he is having dinner guests. We hug as we walk outside and turn and walk into two tall men. One of the men's hands shoots out and grabs my elbow as I swayed on the pavement from the force of hitting another person. I hear Laurel mutter at my side and look up to meet the face of the person who stopped me landing on my ass. Oliver Queen. I look and see the person next to him is another man dressed sharply in a black suit. He looks at Oliver and walks over to a car at Oliver's nod. A bodyguard cause that's exactly what he needs.

"Thanks I guess that could have hurt." I say shyly not really knowing how to handle this situation.

"It's alright miss. Hey Laurel how are you?" At this he starts a conversation with Laurel. She looks at me with a confused look on her face confirming what I thought, Oliver didn't recognize me. Laurel starts to laugh which causes Oliver to look confused this time as Tommy runs up behind him. Laurel spotting Tommy stops her conversation with Oliver and goes to kiss Tommy. Tommy comes over and gives me a massive bear hug causing Oliver to become even more confused at the situation.

"Right are you two going to introduce me to your friend or what?" He says. Tommy spins on his heel grabbing Laurel to his chest at the same time.

"Please tell me you are kidding? I know you were on that island for five years but I didn't think it had that big an effect on your memory." Tommy pauses as Oliver stares more intently at me. "Fucking hell" He says more to Laurel and me than Oliver. "He honestly doesn't".

I blush as Oliver gives me a complete look over still staring blankly. I hold out my hand as you would do in a first time meeting someone. "Hi Oliver my name is Rachael Hawke Starling. Does that jog your memory?" I ask laughter lacing my tone. Oliver's looks highly cartoon like his eyes almost popping out of his head in disbelief. Another look at me.

"Well you've changed Rachael. Never thought I wouldn't recognize you but can you blame me it's such a dramatic change." I start to blush and very nearly visible squirm under Oliver's gaze and words. "This look suits you a million times better though. You look beautiful."

I blink a few times before as if coming back to life damn I forgot how he could do that. I smile slightly at Oliver shaking my head. I am not beautiful. I am not even plain standing next to girls like Laurel and the group we used to hang out with I for a lack of a better word am invisible.

"I should know better than to believe anything you say Mr. Queen. You very nearly had me convinced but then you said beautiful" I say slightly sad.

"Rach take that damn compliment." Laurel says from my side loud enough that Oliver and Tommy both laugh. I turn bright red and turn. For a successful business woman and good political campaigner I am cripplingly shy when people start to talk about me. A problem that stems from being a young child and being forced into the public eye due to who my father was.

I turn to face Laurel. "I will see you at dinner tonight but I really need to get back to work." She turns and invites Oliver to the dinner. Oh my god. Why did she have to go and do that? He accepts the invitation. Damn of course I can tell that he is only going cause he is still in love with Laurel but at least it means I will have someone to talk to while Tommy and Laurel go all goo goo eyes on one another. I say good bye to everyone and run down the block to my building, well Starling Industries building, not looking forward to what the rest of my day had in store.