Chapter 10: Laid Bare

When they were safe in the car and well on their way to the apartment, Oliver felt conflicted. Was he going to tell her about Peter after all that she had been through tonight? Yes, it was something to she had to know about, because he was obviously after her.

Bella had watched him silently as he seemed to find a way to break his silence and as amusing as it was, it also grated on her nerves especially after learning of his other activities. “Whatever it is, just fucking tell me already because I’m sure it can’t be any worse than what happened in there,” she pointed out as she looked back at the club, dreading that they would have to deal with that mess come morning.

Oliver took a deep breath and nodded. “I want to talk to you about those storms at the house,” he said as he took a turn and had to break for the traffic light. “As that’s actually the only place they’re occurring.”

“That’s impossible,” she commented. “Storms can’t be that isolated.”

“Impossible? Not as impossible as being bulletproof.”

Sucking in a breath, she was frozen in her seat as the point was received much harder than he probably intended for it to be. Her fists clenched so tightly on her lap that her knuckles turned a ghastly shade of white despite the tan that lingered in her skin from her last business trip down south. All she was able to think of was that someone else besides her father, and now Oliver, was aware of her fear of storms because of the incapacitating effect they had on her.

“The guy is a metahuman, he possess a rare gene that was activated during the explosion of the particle accelerator in Central City a while back and he’s capable of causing localised storms, even accurately landing a bolt, wherever he wants it to land,” Oliver started to explain. “The Arrow was checking your place out earlier to see if he could find the guy and nearly found him but realized that you needed me, so I came to you. The plan is, that tomorrow, Roy’s going to his house to see if he’s there and find out who’s paying him to torture you like this.”

Shaking her head as she worked to make sense of what he said, Bella glared at him even though she knew it wasn’t his fault. “All these storms that’s been happening since I’ve moved here have been just to fuck with my head? They aren’t real?”

“They are real. They’re just man made and not naturally occurring,” Oliver placed his free hand on her fists and gently squeezed them. “We’re going to get him and whomever he’s working for, I promise.”

“Well this just fucking sucks. This asshole knows where I live and that property is huge,” she pointed out. “Staying away for a few nights works out for now, especially while my dad is away, but what about when he comes home. Because I can guaranfuckingtee that even though I’m an adult, that won’t fly as long as I don’t have an actual place of my own.”

“Bella, I just told you, we’re going to get him. I promise. And until we do, you can stay at my place if you want.” He squeezed her fists again before letting go of her to put the car in the right gear as the traffic light turned green. Once he had shifted up again, he placed his hand back. “And whomever hired him, is going to pay. Deeply.”

Bella struggled to relax her hands but she did enough so that she could thread her fingers in with his as she let her head fall back against the car seat. She tried not to think of all the bad going on in her life in that moment and focus on the good. She had her family, and now, as it seems, a boyfriend that she was about to spend the night by when her eyes popped open. “I have nothing to sleep in at your place…”

“That’s okay,” he smirked. “I have shirts you can wear, or you can choose not to wear anything at all… and I can ask my doorman to get you a fresh set of brand new clothes to wear in the morning.”

“I thought we agreed it was too soon,” she teased.

“Just because one of us will be naked doesn’t automatically mean sex,” he grinned.

She let out a laugh. “I agree, trust me. But anything naked in Laurel’s book means sex but – I could care less about her opinion right now,” she sniffed as she eyed him.

“Well, we agreed that we’d stop trying to fight ourselves and see what’ll happen so, who knows?” Oliver smiled as he shrugged. Crap. No no no, brussel sprouts, blood and gore… He turned round a corner and after a few minutes, they’d reached the building. He drove into the underground parking garage and parked the car. He once again helped her out and they were greeted by the doorman at the elevator.

“Good evening, Mr. Queen, so good to see you again,” he said with a nod.

“Thank you,” Oliver smiled. “Do you think you could have a set of clothes ready for Miss Swan tomorrow?”

“Of course sir,” the man nodded politely and then nodded to Bella. “Good to see you, Miss Swan.”

Bella nodded as she went over to the counter to write down her sizes for the man so that she didn’t have to have anything ridiculously uncomfortable for when she would have to deal with hordes of vultures when it was time to leave. “Thank you,” she smiled before returning to Oliver’s side as they proceeded to the elevator.

In the privacy of the small area, something broke inside her almost as soon as the doors closed on them. Turning to him, she grabbed a fistful of his shirt and yanked him down to her level, her other hand snaking behind his neck as she pressed her lips to his hungrily.

Oliver was surprised as he stumbled into the kiss, putting his arms around her and pulled her closer as he answered the kiss, attempting to hit the button for his floor before he could lose any more common sense as it poured into the woman in his arms. Pressing her back against the wall, he matched her fierceness and desire, his hands slid down her back and under her rear to lift her just enough to position himself between her legs as he expressed just how far he was already in his desire. How much he wanted this. He could not help but to grind against her more, he wanted so much more. He wanted her.

She released a growl when she felt him press against her, the friction feeling unbelievable and completely unsatisfied in the moment making her raise her leg against him to try to seek out more. Breaking the kiss briefly only for oxygen, she whimpered as his hands had skimmed the skin along her back under her shirt, setting her on fire.

He started to kiss her neck and moved one of his hands to the front of her body and back again. The feeling of her skin against his ignited his blood, he wanted more, but he knew there were cameras in the elevator and he didn’t want them to feature on the morning news. He lifted her up and kissed her passionately as the doors opened and he walked out of the elevator with her, fumbling for his keys in his pocket with one hand as she held on to him.

Moving her lips over his jaw and leaving a hot, wet trail of kisses, Bella dragged her teeth along the skin of his neck as she panted and kissed wherever she could until she reached the collar of his shirt. Her legs wound tightly around his waist, but the sexual creature in her continued to crave more. “Oliver,” she moaned into him, her voice muffled as she pressed her face into his shoulder with need.

He managed to get them inside the apartment and closed the door, locking it, before using the nearest wall to continue what was started in the elevator. “Tell me what you need,” he said huskily as he started to open her jeans with one hand and started to nuzzle her neck.

A shudder ran through her body as she felt herself succumb to him. “Fuck,” she hissed as her hips pushed forward insistently at his motion and turned her head to his. She pulled his face back to hers with a grin. “Exactly what you’re doing,” she smirked playfully, covering the hand he was using on her pants to take an edge off but it only increased her desire more as her eyes darkened significantly on him.

“You need to lose those pants if I’m going to continue what I’m doing,” he breathed as he looked into her eyes, her beautiful, dark eyes. “If you allow me, of course.”

She couldn’t help but think that they both needed to lose a lot more than just her pants as she leaned back against the wall. Bella ran her hands over his chest, up to his shoulders and behind his neck to bring him to meet her lips again in a slow and sensual kiss. As she broke it off, she moved her lips over to his ear, allowing them to brush over the outside as she spoke. “Do your worst,” she challenged as she let her nails drag across his scalp as they buried into his hair.

Groaning, he decided that he needed more space. Bella’s touch was driving him insane, it felt so good to be touched the way she was touching him. She was setting every nerve ending of his body on fire and he still needed more. He backed the both of them away from the wall and stumbled backwards into his bedroom as he claimed her mouth with his.

Bella couldn’t help but let out an uncharacteristic giggle at both of their eagerness despite their earlier agreement that the event coming was much too soon for them. Her hands slipped back down, unable to decide where exactly they wanted to be on his body, to pull at his shirt. “Off,” she demanded as she pushed the newly offending material up while her fingers trailed along the edge of his pants as they crossed the threshold into his room.

When he felt the edge of the bed against his shins, he turned around and laid her down on the bed, briefly letting go of her to take off his shirt and climbed back on to join her himself. He pushed the shirt on her to get it off and then did what he had wanted to do all evening after seeing her for the first time in that original one of hers; unbutton it to reveal her glorious flesh to him. Before he undid the first button, he rode up the shirt a little and placed a kiss on her stomach, loving the taste of her as a little voice in his head scolded him. Ignoring it, he decided tonight was not a night to take it slow and that shirt had to go. Oliver took the bottom ends of her shirt in his hands and ripped the shirt open, revealing that she wasn’t wearing a bra. “So many possibilities,” he said huskily as he moved to take her breast into his mouth and sucked on her nipple.

She gasped out as she held his held to her, her eyes rolling back in her head. Her breathing had grown heavy and until that moment, she was barely able to stay still beneath him. Even then, she was anxious and had a strong desire to be a more active participant, but she allowed him the control for the moment. Her thighs hugged at his sides, stretching out around his body. The feel of his skin against hers made her thoughts erratic and her body lit like it was on fire. “Ol-Oliver…” she moaned as she held tightly.

He hummed around her breast before releasing it and moved to the other as he started to strip her off her jeans. When her jeans were finally gone, he released her other breast as well and ran his hand up her leg as he took a moment to observe her. Her smooth skin warm to his touch and she was mindblowingly beautiful. His arousal was painfully present in his pants, begging for a release as he moved and started to plunder her mouth again. Bella was in control of that department, if she was ready, then she would say something. Right now, the strain was all that kept him in control, even though the need to finish was still rapidly growing.

She met his kiss with equal hunger and could feel him as he struggled to keep himself off of her. Grinning against his mouth, Bella pushed him back as she raised her hips so that she could roll them on the bed to gain back the control she thrived on. Hovering over him now, she pinned him to the bed at the shoulders with a smirk. “My turn,” she said as she leaned down to begin leaving a hot trail to a very needing bulge that her body was now intentionally brushing over with every movement she made.

“Jeez, Bella,” he groaned as he could feel her all over him, the sensation of her lips on his skin and her grinding over his bulge was almost too much. Why was she in control? Right, because he let her. Next time, he wasn’t going to be so willing to relinquish control because he liked being in control.

Bella looked up at him through her lashes as she reached his waistband with grin. Her hand rubbed over him just to see his reaction before she began to undo his belt and zipper, herself eager to pull everything off. Grunting as it had gotten stuck, she tugged a little more roughly than she really needed to, she was finally able to grip his clothing at his waist to pull everything down together. By the time she finished getting the last of the clothes off from his legs, she turned back to see him standing at attention and raised an eyebrow appreciatively.

Nudging his legs open for her, she kneeled on the bed as her fingers trailed back up his legs as she made her way back to her new target. Her hand moved along the inside of his thigh, right up to his cock as she ran a single finger along his length while she continued watching him.

Oliver shivered, he could just come right there and then by the way she looked at him and teased him. When she touched his cock, he bucked his hips and groaned. “Oh, you’re such a tease.”

“Of course I am!” she replied as she continued to run her fingers along him, gently stroking him to ease some of the strain he was feeling. “Now – I want you to tell me what you want.”

“I don’t want you to stop doing what you’re doing, that’s for sure,” he breathed as his head fell back onto the bed, her fingers were magical. “Or you know… I could get you ready for me and…”

“Oh I’m ready,” Bella grinned, but instead of giving into what he was hinting for, she shimmied back and leaned over as she took a firmer grip on him. Licking her lips, she slowly ran her tongue up the side of his cock until she reached the head where she could begin to take him fully into her mouth with a satisfying moan.

“Oh fuck…” Oliver moaned as he buried his hands in her hair as he could feel how she was sucking and licking his cock with a finesse that made him nearly buck his hips into her face. He took a deep breath and let out another, trying to calm himself down.

She pressed her tongue flat as she pulled him slowly out of her mouth. Her eyes remained focused on him as he glistened in the moonlight from her saliva, eagerly going in for more. Each time she had taken him in fully, Bella released a low, deeply satisfied moan.

Oliver growled as he sat up when she had once again released his cock and lifted her up, planting her on the bed next to him and got to his knees. He kissed her hard and caressed her inner thigh when she had been freed from her underwear after he tossed it across the room. He slowly moved his hand closer and closer towards her center, his movement being the opposite of the kiss. Oliver broke off the kiss for air and sat on his knees, one of her legs between his and he licked his lips. “Now, there are two options… one… I will do the same you’ve just done… two… I’ll take you right now.” He said with a growl.

She had initially been leaning on her elbows as she watched him, grinning at the display he provided for her. Her eyes drank him in as she let herself collapse flat onto her back, her trapped leg raising enough to press against him. “What the fuck do you think I’m going to say?” she laughed, arms stretching above her head. “And to save time for the record – I’m on the shot.”

“Well, that’s good,” Oliver said as he reached for his nightstand to fumble out a foil package and ripped it open. “Still gonna use this, though,” he smiled at her as he unrolled it over his cock while he looked at her, every single inch of her body was simply perfect, she had some muscle tone, she had the right curves and he was ready to plunge himself in. “Has it been long since your last time or?” He didn’t want to end up hurting her, that was the last thing he wanted to do.

“I’m fine,” Bella replied as she shifted under him. “I may not hook up regularly but I get my needs met when I need to. Now I believe you had some very wicked plans for me…”

Oliver grinned as he kissed her again, as he moved his hand towards her pussy to get some of her fluids on the condom. Yes, he knew those things were lubricated, but he felt it worked better when extra moisturized. He brushed his fingers over her lips below, sending an involuntary shudder through her body, before slicking up the condom. He broke off the kiss to reposition himself and slowly pushed himself inside of her while one of his hands was on her breast playing with her nipple.

Letting out a breath as he slowly filled her, Bella felt him stretching her body in gloriously delicious ways as she adjusted to the intrusion. While she hadn’t lied that she was and would be fine, it had been a while since she was last with someone so she felt more than a little tight. “Holy fuck!” she cursed as she threw her head to the side when the discomfort faded to absolute agony of pleasure.

Fuck she was tight, why did she give him the go-ahead? Well, maybe because she was fine, of course she was fine, she was fucking Bella Swan and she was his. Grinning to himself, he paused when he was fully in, giving her some time to get used to him being inside of her and she felt glorious around him.

She let her legs relax the best they could around his, wrapping over them as she held onto his body until he was ready to continue. Her hands ran over his back, finding more scarring that caused a flicker of a reaction in her eyes but said nothing as she pulled him in for a kiss, pushing it deeper.

Oliver started to move inside of her, gently at first, deep, long strokes before he broke off the kiss and buried his face in her neck, inhaling her scent. She smelled addictive, like some sort of opioid he could get very used to. She was overwhelming his senses, he wanted to live in this little bubble they were creating because despite the obvious need for release, it felt as if there nothing existed outside of it. Just nothing else to think about but to fuck her brains out. He licked along the deep vein in her neck as he started to move faster. “You feel so good,” he grunted. He was already there, but he didn’t want to come too soon, she had to go first, then he’d follow.

“Yes,” she breathed out, her fingers pressing into his shoulders but often as the pressure slowly built inside her, her nails scratched down his arm, digging deeper to break the skin. When he thrust in, grinding himself deep into her, she wanted to almost scream out but instead clenched tighter, digging her sharp fingers into his flesh more.

She surprised him when she dug her nails into him, it was a welcoming kind of pain, barely registering in his head, but it was there, and he nearly came. “Careful,” he growled. “Don’t want to come too soon.”

Grinning, Bella used the moment of weakness to her advantage as she rolled them back over. She made herself comfortable over him, throwing her hair over her shoulder as she rested her hands on his chest for leverage and began to ride his cock the way her body was demanding a need for. “You may enjoy control as much as I do, but I always get what I want,” she whispered to him as she leaned forward to brush her lips across his.

“Fuck me,” he breathed as he bucked his hips into her. Bella really was a force to be reckoned with and funny enough, he didn’t mind. He liked it when someone dared to stand up to him or take the lead, it made things all the more fun.

“Oh I am, now I plan on making you come until you can’t breathe,” she warned with a grin, her teeth nipping at his jaw as she sat up to continue riding him harder. He’d already admitted to being dangerously close to the edge, so she reached down to help herself along as she ground his cock into her. “Fuck, fuck…” she muttered.

The way she was moving caused her breasts to bounce, tempting him to reach out and touch them. Oh fuck it, he thought as he reached for her breast to cup it and rub his thumb over her nipple. It seemed like she was trying to speed herself along because he was already so close, so why not help her along? “Tell me what you need,” he breathed.

Bella took his hand and brought it up to her mouth to suck on his fingers as she eyed him before releasing it. “Touch me,” she said simply, guiding him back down over the front of her body to where both of them were joined. “Help me.”

He took her arm and pulled her towards him as he sat up a little and kissed her hard before he bucked his hips into her. He put his other hand on her back to give her some support as he fully rose to meet her. Oliver broke off the kiss for much needed air and put his head against her shoulder. “Fuck, Bella… you’re so tight, feels so good…” He murmured, his brain feeling like mush and his cock ready to explode.

Despite their position, Bella rocked her hips the best she could, testing the change only to find that it was certainly enough to reach the finish line. As she felt his fingers press harder over his clit, Bella turned her face to his shoulder as she could feel herself coming. “Oliver…” she moaned, but it was so low, she wasn’t even sure she said anything herself. She had intended to warn him that she was on the brink of her orgasm as her eyes fluttered shut but one thrust from him and the blinding stars that flooded her as she had her face pressed to him to muffle the screamer in her, bit down on the flesh of his shoulder near the base of his neck. Letting go only when she was able to recognize the taste of copper and iron on her lips, she pulled back in a daze, wiping her lips in confusion before falling back onto the bed breathless. “Fuck. Me.”

He could feel her tighten around her and felt how her body released the tension not a second later and allowed her orgasm to take him over the edge with her. It was almost as if his own climax came from his toes and shot right through his body like a bolt of lightning – maybe a poor choice of words seeing as Bella was scared of that, but it felt like just that. When she bit down on him, he was surprised from the way she bit him, almost as if she was muffling something. For which he was glad; he wasn’t sure if his neighbors would appreciate screams coming out of his apartment.

Oliver whined when she removed herself after they both had ridden out their climax and fell back onto the bed to catch his breath. “That was… wow.” His brain had obvious problems stringing words together.

Bella couldn’t help but laugh at his loss of vocabulary because she wasn’t much better. As she was coming down from their high, she shivered from the night air as her body was still slightly damp from the sweat of their activities. “That’s one way of putting it,” she responded eventually, one of her hands searching absently for his to pull herself up.

He was amused when he lifted his head and saw that she was looking for something and just held out his hand to pull her up to lay down next to him. He discarded the condom into the waste bucket next to the bed and pulled the covers over them. “We should do this more often,” he said with a smile on his face and a sparkle of mischief in his eyes.

She was quiet for a minute, as if she had to seriously debate what he said or intended to reject it. “I agree. We should. Although – you may not like what I’m about to say, but I need to say it anyway. As much as I believe that you have changed, and I wouldn’t be here right now if I thought otherwise, with your history, I don’t play around. If you plan on going out and working that reputation that you earned yourself by your own actions, then tell me before you do and we can call this arrangement off. I won’t have any hard feelings then and we can remain friends.”

He turned on his side and propped his head on his hand as he looked at her with an amused look on his face. “I have changed, Bella. I am a one woman kind of man. I haven’t been in the past, but I am now. I’m all yours, if you want to have me.”

She stared into his eyes in the darkness, having had enough light from the moon shining in through the window over them. Reaching over, she ran her hand over his face as she leaned in and kiss his lips slowly. When she pulled away, she nodded. “I do want you. God knows I do, and I don’t know why and that frustrates the hell out of me. But if you fuck up…there is no where on this Earth you can hide from me Oliver Queen,” she warned, but with a slight smile to soften her serious threat.

“I know that,” he grinned and softly kissed her. “And I won’t fuck up, I promise.” He planted a kiss on top of her head and put his arms around her. “You do realize that we’re going to get a lot of shit from your cousins and our friends, right?”

“Just don’t say anything to my cousin,” Bella shrugged as she settled down on the bed in his arms. “I’ll deal with her. She’s still on my shit list since she expected me to say something to her about my little quirk when she had her own secret with you. I know she’s going to demand all sort of answers about it that I don’t even know the answers to myself.”

“Well, with your permission, we can draw some blood from you and have Felicity look at your DNA and figure things out… like… where did it come from?” He ran his finger up and down her arm, loving the feeling of her nestled in his arms. It was a lot different than the other night, seeing as they were now both awake – for now – and their skin was touching each other. It just felt right, somehow. He had never had that before.

The agitation that was always present whenever the thought of someone knowing of that part of her made her uneasy. Especially when it was one that she didn’t quite know or trust and found mildly irritating. “And she can be trusted not to tell anyone?” she confirmed, her fingers tracing the tattoo on his chest to distract herself.

“Felicity might come across as whimsical, but she’s a great girl with an even bigger heart and yes, she can be trusted.” He placed a kiss on her shoulder. “I want to help you figure this thing out with you, maybe to understand it better or test its limitations for you.”

“I know I can cover other people but only if I have skin to skin contact. That’s why I had to pull your hood off of you. I couldn’t see any other area where I can get to any fast enough from behind you before he fired,” she explained quietly in the darkness, as she begun to feel the weight of everything take hold. “It was happening so fast, I didn’t care if the Arrow would be pissed or not for my forcing the situation. I was just looking to protect a person who only intended to do good.”

“I was thinking about rolling out of the way as I usually do but didn’t, because you were there.” Oliver replied casually.

“You didn’t know just how much I was able to withstand as well.”

“Yeah, exactly,” he said with a nod and then yawned. “We’d better get some sleep, no doubt the police are going to want to talk to us tomorrow and then the press… ”

She let out out groan at knowing what they still had to deal with and was not looking forward to it. “You’re right. Shit. Where’s my phone? I need to send Derek a message and let him know that he’ll need to handle the office since I won’t be in again,” she complained as she sat up in the bed, looking around.

“That can wait until tomorrow morning,” Oliver snickered as he pulled her back down. “Relax.”

“If he’s going to have take over those duties then he needs to be in the office for 0600,” she pointed out. “Do you really want to get out of bed then to send a message for me?”

Oliver groaned as he sat up and helped her look for her pants and found them on the floor at the end of the bed.

“Nice view,” she commented from the bed as she sat there, grinning at his nudity on display for her. “I may have to make this a regular visit if this is the kind of show I can expect to get.”

He wiggled his ass while he happily fished up her pants from the floor and retrieved her phone. “What are you thinking about of doing to me then?” He said, holding on to the phone as he sat back on his butt.

She held out her hand for the device with a scowl. “That’s for me to know and you to find out Mr. Queen. However, I just may be willing to let you make me your bitch one night and follow all your rules,” she smirked as she got onto her hands and knees on the bed as she pouted for him to give up the phone.

Oliver swallowed hard at that remark, feeling his blood starting to rush through his body again and handed her the phone without saying anything.

Grinning as she took the phone from him, she patted his head. “Good puppy,” she praised him as she dialed up her executive, filling him in on the details of the evening in case he received any calls and on how to divert any questions until she could handle it herself in the morning. By the time she was done, she turned the phone off and set it on the end table, and looked back to find Oliver staring at her. “Yes?”

“You’re a control freak,” Oliver pointed out.

“So are you. We’re a match made in hell,” she elaborated.

“But it burns so nice,” Oliver mused as he pulled her back to lay down again and once again put the covers over them.

All she could remember after that was laughing until she fell asleep. It was possibly the most sound sleep she had in months as she remained curled up to his side most of the night.


Oliver woke up the next morning when he could hear someone at the door. He quietly slipped out of bed and pulled on his boxers before opening the door. He was glad he had locked it because he was greeted by Diggle who was holding up the clothes that the doorman had gotten for Bella and two mugs of coffee in a cup holder. “Thanks,” he said as he took the clothes and gratefully took the coffee as well, blocking Diggle’s view of the bedroom as he nodded towards the living room.

He followed his boss into the other room, scratching at his jaw as he glanced back at the door curiously. Waiting until the man closed the second set of doors, separating the rooms, he could barely suppress the grin that wanted to break through. “Shall I learn Miss Swan’s regular coffee order as well?” he asked, having not anticipated the overnight guest when he got stopped for their usual order. He had assumed that the man took her home from the club considering the press coverage of the robbery attempt on the club.

“You’ll have to ask her that yourself,” Oliver said with a nod as he took a sip of his coffee, eyeing Diggle, who immediately got fidgety, which amused Oliver to no end. “So, tell me, how bad is the damage to Verdant and how bad is the media coverage?”

He shrugged a shoulder for the first question. It wasn’t anything unexpected. “We’ll have to close for a few days, reevaluate the security measures in place. Might be a good idea that we bring in Miss Swan’s company publically for awhile as extra security just to keep people coming through the doors.”

“The guys couldn’t have done anything to prevent this, Diggle.”

“No, but it’s all about image. It shows that you’re doing everything possible to prove you’re providing a safe place. That’s what the press is pushing. Miss Swan isn’t receiving as much heat because there were a couple of reporters that seemed to have found out about her pushing the camera and training issue with the bartenders. But once the investigation report comes out, it’ll be moot anyway. It’s only until then that we have to deal with the collateral damage. Detective Lance said that all the intruders were really looking for was the money that they were hoping would be kept from the re-opening night. They were stupid to think that we didn’t make nightly deposits to the bank after closing,” he continued to explain.

Oliver groaned. Of course he was going to get blamed for this fiasco. “Yeah, fine, whatever,” he muttered as he sat down on the couch.

“Your girlfriend could explain all this to you just as well. I doubt she would be as concerned. I’m sure she is expecting something like this already. What time is she due in at her office? Shall we drop her off on the way to Verdant?”

“Doesn’t Lance want to talk to us even if it’s just for appearances sake?”

“He does,” Diggle said slowly, nodding. “I assumed that he would have contacted her. I only know what has been requested of you right now.”

“Yeah, she turned her phone off after calling her second in command last night,” he said with a nod to the bedroom. “This is the first time in a while that she had a good night’s sleep and didn’t want to be disturbed.”

He raised an eyebrow as he took in the man’s appearance closer. Noting the deep scratches on his shoulders and arms, there was one other mark on him that wasn’t there the night before. Pointing at his friend, he smirked. “You might want to take a shower before you get dressed. You have a bit of dried blood here,” he gestured towards his own collar area. “I’ll go get myself another coffee while you two get yourselves situated.”

“Thank you, we’ll be ready in half an hour,” he watched as Diggle left the apartment and then made his way into the bedroom with fresh coffee. “Good morning,” he said as he kneeled on the bed and made the smell of coffee waft towards her before setting it down on the nightstand. When she didn’t move, he planted a kiss on her cheek and headed into the shower and blinked at the image reflected at him.

He knew that Bella had bit him last night, but for her to actually draw blood? He might had to check for fangs next time, he didn’t know she was a vampire! Grinning, he got out of his boxers and stepped under the shower. The warm water biting as it flowed over his broken skin and he welcomed the feeling. Not that he was a sucker for pain, it was just that he had gotten used to waking up with at least something hurting every single time after a fight.

He trimmed his scruff a little after he was done in the shower and walked back into the bedroom to find underwear and one of his suits to wear.

When Bella woke up, she was initially confused but the memories of the night before came to her rather quickly leaving even her blushing in the bed. She could hear the shower running but remained in the bed. Looking around, she found the coffee that was left on the end table and immediately sat up in the bed to drink it gratefully.

When Oliver came out of the bathroom, her eyes followed him as he moved about as he got ready. He hadn’t appeared to notice her awake which gave her the perfect opportunity to ogle the man shamelessly. As he stood in front of his closet, she slipped out of the bed silently and snuck up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist as she pressed her lips to one of the many scars on his back.

“Good morning, Captain Tightpants,” she grinned.

“Good morning,” he snorted as he turned around and smiled at her. “Did you sleep well?” He softly kissed her lips.

“Splendidly. I am going to take my turn in the shower. Shame you didn’t wait for me – conservation of natural resources and all,” she joked as she reached into the closet and pulled out a dark suit that she enjoyed on him from previous photos. “Did my clothes get delivered?”

“Yes, Diggle brought them up with him,” Oliver said as he turned around and put his suit on the bed before handing her a stack of clothes. “I believe there’s everything you’d need.”

“Great! Get dressed Handsome. I’ll be out shortly. We have a long day ahead of us,” she said.



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