Banner by miss_morrygan
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!
He couldn't tear his eyes away from her, "Wow. You look… wow."
The woman sitting on her knees in front of Chloe looked up suddenly and quickly rose to her feet, "well hello," she said with a smile before walking over to him and holding out her hand, "I'm Gertrude Heinz."
"Hi," he said accepting her hand, "I'm…"
"The groom I assume," she turned toward Chloe and smiled, "You know they say its bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her dress before the wedding." she teased.
"I think Chloe and I have already overcome all the bad luck that could possibly come our way." He told the other woman, not bothering to correct her assumption that he was the man marrying Chloe.
She smiled at him then turned on her heel, "I'll just give you two a minute." She made her way toward the back but stopped in front of Chloe and leaned forward, "well now I can see why you put up with the horrid mother in law, he definitely looks like he's worth the trouble."
Oliver bit back a chuckle at the words the older woman seemed to think he couldn't hear as he watched her leave the room.
He took a step toward Chloe who still hadn't said a word to him, "You really do look incredible," he tried to fight the turning in his stomach as the image of her standing beside Jacob Winston in that dress… saying I do… having him slip the ring on her finger before kissing her passionately as they are announced man and wife. He forced the thoughts away when she finally spoke.
"What are you doing here? Did Lois set this up?" She asked glancing toward the Talon.
"Lois had no idea I was coming to Smallville today."
"Well then why don't you answer my other question…? What are you doing here Oliver?"
"I needed to see you… to explain about the other night."
Chloe stepped from the platform and stalked toward him, "how can you possibly explain away what happened Oliver, you hit my fiancée."
"If you would just take a minute to listen you would…"
"I really doubt that."
She stood in front of him her hands placed firmly on her hips and his mind began to drift again, only this time it was him standing beside her at the end of the isle, him slipping the ring onto her finger…
Suddenly she snapped her fingers in front of his face, "Oliver, are you even listening to me?" she demanded her voice practically a shriek.
"Of course I am," he said shaking away the thoughts.
"Then please explain to me why you're standing there with that stupid grin on your face while I try my hardest to tell you the way things need to be."
"I'm sorry, but if you would just…"
"What listen to more excuses?"
"Chloe, you really need to stop and listen to what I have to tell you…"
"No! You need to leave Oliver… now!" Chloe quickly turned away from him tears streaming down her face and darted across the shop into the dressing area and pulling the curtain shut behind her.
Oliver stared at the closed curtain for a moment before turning and leaving the shop. That had gone worse then he even thought possible. He stalked across the street trying to keep his temper in control, he knew that he'd hurt Chloe, but she wasn't even giving him a chance to explain, as he opened his car door and went to crawl in Lois roughly grabbed his arm.
"What happened?" she asked anxiously.
"It didn't go well," he explained vaguely.
"What do you mean, 'it didn't go well' what the hell does that even mean?"
"That Chloe needs more time."
"So now you're throwing in the towel?"
"Not even close," he promised. "But right now she needs some time to cool down, maybe then she'll actually listen to reason."
"But what about Jake… what we both know he's been doing, spying on her, keeping tabs on her."
"It's just a few days Lois."
"Well maybe you can stand to wait a few days to tell her the truth about everything, but I can't."
"Lois maybe you should give her…" He didn't get a chance to finish when Lois waved him off and stormed away from him back toward the small dress shop. Oliver climbed in his car. He revved the engine and pulled out putting as much space between him and Smallville as possible.
Chloe leaned against the mirror of the small dressing area and slowly slid to the floor. She pulled her knees up to her chest as the beautiful gown she wore fanned out around her.
She sat there for several minutes trying to stop the flood of emotions that overcame her. Oliver showing up like he did threw her for a loop. He wasn't supposed to be there, wasn't supposed to come around her at all. Yet there he had been standing in front of her his eyes warm and his smile broad. The very sight of him had the same effect on her it always did. Weak knees and accelerated heart rate, a physical response reserved for only Oliver.
She placed her hands over her face and leaned down against her knees. Her whole life was spiraling out of control; she'd chased him away as fast as she could but still his presence was affecting her… she couldn't stop it.
Suddenly the curtain was yanked open and Chloe looked up to find Lois standing in front of her.
"Are you okay?" she asked, her eyes wide with concern.
"No, I need to get out if this dress… now, can you help me?"
"Sure," Lois said reaching out her hand and pulling Chloe up. Chloe turned around and Lois pulled the zipper dawn and when Chloe stepped out of it she slung in over her arm and left her cousin to change back into her regular clothes.
A few minutes later Chloe walked out of the small room and smiled sadly at the women in front of her, "I'm not sure when I'll need to schedule those fitting appointments, Gertrude."
"Its fine dear, are you okay?" she placed a gentle hand on Chloe's shoulder.
Chloe nodded then looked at Lois, "but I could really use a drink, you up for it Lo? Girls night in Metropolis?"
"Sure." Lois answered slowly.
"Great, I'm just gonna head back to my apartment and change. I'll meet you at The Ace of Clubs at about eight."
She turned and gave Gertrude a hug, "thanks for everything, and again I'm really sorry I have to take off like this," she said against the woman's ear.
"It's fine Chloe." She released her from the hug and stepped back, "be careful out there tonight, okay?"
Chloe stood outside her bedroom closet slipping into a pair of heels when she heard the apartment door slam.
She walked from the bedroom her purse in hand and searched the common rooms until she found Jake standing in the middle of the dining room, "what's the matter?"
Jake looked her up and down, "why are you dressed like that?"
"I'm going out with Lois… girl's night."
"Right… just Lois then?"
Chloe rolled her eyes, "yes just Lois, and Oliver won't be there if that's what you're implying. That would kind of defeat the purpose of a girl's night, don't you think?"
"Well before you go out we need to talk."
"What about?" She asked sliding into the chair beside the dining room table.
"I spoke to my mother just now."
"She told me that you and Lois were very rude to her today, wouldn't listen to any of her suggestions on dresses or anything."
"Really? Well before you start to attack me maybe you should ask for my side of the story."
"What possible reason could you have for justifiably treating my mother like her opinion doesn't matter?"
"Jake, you're mother was horrible today, completely rude to Gertrude, and kept trying to get me to agree to go to a shop in Metropolis, all I did was let her know that wasn't going to happen."
"And what about Lois?"
"Lois was as polite to your mother as she was to Lois."
"What the hell does that mean?"
Chloe did her best to slow her breathing as her anger toward the man in front of her began to build. "Honestly that you're mother is a stuck up snob who acts like everyone she meets is beneath her."
"That's because most people are."
His words made her last bit of restrain snap. She jumped from her seat her hands clenched firmly at her sides. "Are you kidding me? How do you figure that?"
Jake sighed heavily and continued to glare at her, "Chloe, your issues with my mother aside you need to start to realize that if you're going to marry into my family there are certain… expectations that you'll need to meet."
"Yes. We're not like other families, and there is a certain way you will need to act. We have an image to uphold."
Chloe chuckled humorlessly, "You know what, then maybe I don't need to be a part of your condescending, ostentatious family."
Chloe grabbed her purse from the table top and stormed away from him, without another word, making sure to slam the front door as hard as she could when she left just because she could.
Several hours later Chloe sat across from Lois in the Ace of Clubs, several empty glasses already littering the table in front of them. Chloe still hadn't said anything about what had happened with Oliver or her fight with Jake but she knew she had to eventually so she looked up at Lois and plunged forward.
"I can't marry him." she admitted softly.
"How did I let this happen Lois? How did I go from being with the love of my life and living in Star City to being back here about to marry someone who I don't even think I like all that much.."
Chloe's head shot up her eyes wide.
"Oliver hurt you Chloe, and I think it was just one time too many. You couldn't put yourself out there again, so you went with someone you thought was safe… someone who wouldn't have the power to hurt you."
"I'm a horrible person… no matter how big of a jerk he turned out to be he doesn't deserve what I did… I used him."
"You are not a horrible person Chloe."
"You have to say that you're my cousin, it's mandatory you side with me."
"Honestly, I feel like I haven't been a very good cousin or friend to you… all my schemes and set ups to try and get you to see the truth, that wasn't what you needed from me."
Chloe reached across the table and placed her hand over Lois's, "you were just trying to help I know that now."
"I went about it the wrong way, though."
"I just wish I hadn't been so stubborn, now I'm going to end up hurting someone who doesn't deserve it." She cleared her throat and took a sip from her glass, "Jake may be a jackass but he did trust me and look what I've done."
"He doesn't trust you, he never did,' Lois mumbled in a very low voice but Chloe still heard it.
"What do you mean?" Chloe asked her eyebrows raised.
"There's something I need to tell you… the reason Oliver did what he did the other night."
"Lois I can't…"
"No you need to hear this, you just said you should have listened to me sooner and I really need you to do that now."
"Okay fine, tell me what happened?"
"Jake hasn't been as understanding and trusting as you think… Chloe he's been spying on you… keeping tabs on where you go. He even knew about the trip you took to Star City right after the two of you met."
Chloe felt her heart speed up, "how do you know that?"
"He told me, right before he provoked Oliver… the things he said to him… about the two of you… he knew what he was doing Chloe, he wanted Oliver to lash out like that."
Chloe shook her head in disbelief, "why would he want Oliver to punch him in the face Lois?"
"Chloe come on? You already know the answer to that… stop pretending you don't."
Of course she did. Jake thought that if Oliver lashed out at him like that she would freak out and defend him, and that had been exactly what she did and not just that night, she did it today too when all Oliver was trying to do was tell her the truth.
Chloe lifted her glass and downed what was left, "I have to go Lois."
"I just have to do something; can you have Clark pick you up?"
"I'm serious Lo, call him as soon as you're done with your drink."
"I will, I will." she promised rolling her eyes.
"Good, I'll talk to you tomorrow."
Chloe left the club her mind going a mile a minute. All this time she had been feeling guilty over what Oliver's return had done to her. Her desire to go to him… to be with him rather then the man she was marrying, but none of that mattered now Jake never had trusted her. He spied on her for who knows how long.
As she stepped out onto the street she raised her hand to hail a cab. She was going to go back to her apartment and give Jake back his ring… tell him that the marriage was off, and she would move out as soon as possible. But when she finally managed to find a cab she found herself giving the driver not the address to her apartment, but instead directing his towards the clock tower.
Oliver plopped down on his couch still dressed in full Arrow garb. After his encounter with Chloe earlier he had returned home and immediately suited up to go on patrol. He'd needed to get out there and find something else to focus on, anything to give Chloe the time she seemed to need, and it had worked… for awhile.
But now that he was back in his apartment without any outside distractions everything that had happened with Chloe was flashing through his mind, and not just the things that happened since his return from Star City, but all the time before that.
The way things had happened between them was wrong, and now he was starting to worry that no matter what he did that he might never get the chance to make it up to her.
The sound on the elevator door opening pulled him from his thought. When he looked up he found Chloe standing in front of him.
A/N - 2 MORE TO GO!
Read Chapter 14 HERE!