02: C’est La Vie

~o.O.o~

If there was one thing that was certain about their relationship that Bella knew wouldn’t end anytime soon, it was their sexual desire for one another. It didn’t take much for her to want him in any way, any place. Even finding him making them breakfast in the morning was enough to set her off. It helped that he was standing at the counter in nothing else but his boxers, leaving little for her mind to have to remember what they had shared only hours before.

Sneaking up behind him, she pressed her lips to his back as her hands snaked into the front of his shorts, smiling as his breath hitched. “Turn the stove off,” she said firmly, her hunger for something other than food overpowering everything else in that moment.

“Yes ma’am,” Oliver said before he did as she told him to and moved the pan to a colder place on the stove before turning around. She was wearing a sheer – pink – babydoll with a matching robe and his mouth watered. Swallowing hard, he managed to find his voice. “I thought you didn’t like pink?” It came out as nothing but a murmur as he put his hands around her and kissed her passionately before she could get in a word.

She moaned as she returned his kiss hungrily, her nails leaving trails over the back of his shoulders.”I don’t, but I thought it was cute,” Bella finally was able to answer, pressing herself against him. “And I take it you like it?”

“I do,” he said as he tugged on her robe to pull her even closer. “But you know…” he started to kiss her neck and discarded her robe for easier access to her skin.

Her eyes rolled back in her head as she shrugged the fabric off of herself. “Fuck, Oliver… ” she breathed out.

“You can fuck Oliver in a minute,” he muttered as he pulled down one of the straps of her babydoll and playfully bit her shoulder.

She immediately grinned at his sudden foul mouth. It turned her on even more as she moaned, attempting to push his shorts off his hips. “Oliver…”

“What?” He asked huskily as he decided that getting into her panties was a better idea and slipped a hand in to press the palm of his hand against her heat. “No!” Oliver whined as his phone started to beep.

“Leave it,” Bella growled as she tugged on his boxers.

“It’s work…” Oliver said, eyeing his phone that was laying on the counter. “If I don’t take this…”

“They’re so glad that I don’t own a stake in your company,” Bella said as she withdrew her hands from him and got his hand out of her panties. “Take it, I’ll finish making those pancakes.”

“Sorry,” He apologized as he grabbed the phone and answered it.

She rolled her eyes as she pulled her robe back on as she went to pull out the rest of the things they needed for breakfast. Listening idly for a break to catch his attention, she held up cartons of blueberries and strawberries for him to choose silently, but his lack of attention made her frown with concern. Setting them aside, she made her way back over to him as she ran her hand over his arm as he listened to whoever was speaking, unsure of what the problem was.

Oliver hung up and went straight for the tap to wash his hands. “Sorry about that,” he said as he dried his hands and looked at her. “One member of my great new team is being a bit fussy about some things.”

“Is everything alright?” Bella asked. “You know if there are problems, I’m more than willing to do what I can to help…”

“Yeah, it’s fine, nothing worth calling over, really. Keller is a little bit funny and particular in her ways and McKay is not doing what he’s told so they call me,” Oliver shrugged. “They could have called their group leader Coleman about this but eh.”

Bella scowled, not only because she didn’t know who these people were, but also for the fact that the call interrupted a very pleasant morning and she could not help but wonder why these people would call the man on the weekend and so early. “I see,” she murmured as she nodded slowly, trying to keep the suspicion out of her voice. “We can get back to breakfast then.”

“Yes,” he smiled widely as he pulled her back towards him. “Where were we?”

She gave him a stiff, but indulgent smile as the mood had been lost with her in that phone call. “We were going to defile our breakfast area but now I’m afraid I’m actually hungry for food,” she said as she traced his tattoo with her fingertip. “Perhaps next time, you can remind your staff to call their actual supervisors first. Now you have someone to take your frustration out on Monday morning.”

Oliver sighed as he leaned against the counter. “Well, I could always bring you and let you have a go at them…” he mused.

“They won’t come out alive.”

“It’d teach them a lesson for sure,” Oliver grinned and softly kissed her. “Anything I can do for you to make this up to you?”

“Nope,” Bella said as she let her lips pop out the word. Grabbing a berry from the tray she set aside, she smirked back at him. “I’m feeling strawberries in my pancakes this morning,” she commented before letting her lips wrap around the flesh of the fruit to take a bite.

“Alright,” he chuckled as he poured some strawberries into the batter and flopped it into the pan. “Anything else you’d like? Maybe add some chocolate in there as well?”

“Nope,” she repeated as she moved away from him to grab herself a cup of coffee, rolling her eyes as her hand tightened in irritation around the handle of the pot. She knew she couldn’t go work out at the club and she was hoping to get something set up inside the house soon when he was working, but hadn’t gotten around to it. “Did you have anything planned for today?”

“No, not during the day at least,” Oliver said as he flipped her pancake. “Thought I’d help you do the laundry and stuff, if you’d like.”

Bella nodded as she gulped down the rest of her coffee. “Sounds great. I’m going to go jump in the shower and change real quick. I’ll be right back,” she said, needing to get away from him, craving some space since his phone call as she continued to feel unsettled by it. She didn’t give him any opportunity to stop her as she slipped out of the room in her haste, returning to her room as she collected what she needed for her shower.

He sighed as he put her pancake on her plate and started making his own. He wasn’t quite sure what had happened just now, since his phone call. She was stand-offish, cool, and that wasn’t right. Sure, it was the weekend, but he had a deal with the team that whenever they needed him that they could call him. For it to be something as minor as this, yeah, maybe they handled it wrong but he was their boss. And they were working on a Saturday. Which was stupid.

She tried not to think much as she dried her hair and dressed, eyeing her reflection in the mirror. The last several months had been dramatically different compared to the previous years and she had never felt so alive. She couldn’t understand the feelings that the seemingly innocent call from his work stirred inside her. Bella knew that she shouldn’t be jealous and that Oliver had done nothing to disprove his loyalty to her, but the sudden fear that someone else might hold his attention caught her by surprise and she wasn’t sure how to deal with it. So she did the only thing she could. Controlled her panic and ran.

After he was done with the pancakes, he decided to call Diggle. He had a better understanding of women than he did and he wouldn’t tell anyone. It was still early morning, but he knew that Diggle was probably going to be at Verdant, listening to police scanners while sipping coffee; his pregnant girlfriend had made it a bit hard on him to stay at home sometimes due to her mood swings. It was amusing, really. Big guy fighting bad guys all the time but scared of his girlfriend. Oliver grabbed his phone and dialed Diggle’s number.

You calling in sick?” Diggle’s voice sounded on the other end of the phone.

“No. I don’t think so. I might be running a little bit late because I said I’d help Bella a little…” Oliver said stupefied as he took a sip of his coffee. “Can I ask you something?”

Sure?”

“Something personal?”

How personal?”

Oliver sighed as he took a bite of his pancake. “Women,” he eventually admitted, which was followed by laughter from Diggle. “What? I screwed up in the past, Dig, I don’t want to screw up what Bella and I have because… it’s just right, you know… I don’t want to hurt her.”

Alright, shoot.”

“We were having some fun and then I got a call from the office and then her behaviour changed. No more fun times and it’s currently me and the pancakes.”

It was quiet on the other line for a moment before Diggle came back. “I think I need a little more information Oliver. Without telling me what you were actually doing, because I don’t need that visual again. What happened after the call? What did you say to her?”

“She asked if something was wrong and I said that it was nothing, just someone of the team calling me because they’re tired of someone else’s antics, because that’s what happened. Maybe it was wrong of them to call me instead of their supervisor but they must have reasons.” Oliver scratched his head. “I honestly don’t know what happened.”

Diggle was quiet for a minute again before replying with a long sigh. “Yeah, you screwed up man. Felicity said she’s being insecure. A strange woman she never met calling her man on his day off? Don’t misunderstand. Bella trusts you, but you have to admit with the way your relationship started off with her own cousin all over you, she has some issues of other women coming in on her territory. She’s had to chase off enough of them at the club, remember? Have you even told her how you feel about her yet?”

Oliver was quiet for a moment as he thought of the words Diggle just had spoken and didn’t quite like it that Felicity was listening in. “Isn’t it clear how I feel about her? She’s my girlfriend, I spend nearly every night with her and she’s my partner…”

He really is an idiot,” Felicity’s voice could be heard over the line, although muffled from it’s distance before Diggle’s came stronger. “Women Oliver. No one will ever get the handbook right on them. Especially that one you’re with. She lives to change the rules all the time. I imagine a little reassurance doesn’t hurt. Don’t you ever wonder if she feels the same way? Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever heard her say the words…at least around us.”

“But if she didn’t feel the same way, she would have dumped my ass already, wouldn’t she?”

Oliver, Bella doesn’t think the same way as everyone else. Remember how she functioned as an adult before coming here and she’s still dealing with the Cullens. Can you blame her if she’s afraid of admitting her feelings? Hell, she might not even realize it, but I know she’s all in with you. You need to talk to her!” Felicity snapped as she had seemed to have stolen the phone. “So pull on your big boy pants and go after her and don’t come to the Arrowcave until you’ve resolved this.” Felicity then hung up, leaving Oliver to stare at the phone, dumbstruck.

He thought it was incredibly silly of Felicity to say such a thing, that he needed to talk to Bella about his feelings for her because he wasn’t quite sure if he could even begin to explain. Not to mention, it felt high school-ish. He walked up the stairs and went to Bella’s bedroom, but she wasn’t there yet. He got dressed and sat down on the bed, waiting for her like someone waiting on the school principal or at the doctor’s office. He felt stupid.

~o.O.o~

Bella walked out of her bathroom as she finished pulling an over-sized sweater over her head, stopping short at seeing Oliver waiting for her. Looking around for a moment she raised an eyebrow at him. “I said I was coming right back down,” she greeted with a hesitant smile, her fingers toying with the hem of the sweater.

“I know, but I wanted to come up,” He held out his hand for her with a smile on his face. “What is it with you and making things look incredibly sexy?”

She shrugged as she moved over to him slowly, resting her arms over his shoulders. “Maybe you’re just a sucker for my closet.”

“Maybe,” he smiled at her as he pulled her into his lap. “We need to talk, you and I.”

Her eyes flashed up to his as she stiffened in his hold, not sure she was liking where this was going. “Oliver. Is this really necessary? There’s a lot that we have to do today before we head to the club to suit up for our rounds tonight.”

“According to how you’ve just stiffened up by the mention of us talking… yes. This is really necessary,” he said as he put his arms around her, making sure she couldn’t leave. “I don’t know where to begin, to be honest.”

“Then don’t. When you know then we can revisit this later,” she said quickly, trying to get up only to be held back, making her glare at him in warning.

“No, we’re going to talk about this now because you want to run away from me and I don’t want you to do that,” Oliver said as he looked at her. “You need to know that I’d do anything for you, Bella. I’m not the man I used to be, I don’t want to hurt you and… being with you has been a huge thing for me, you know…”

Bella’s eyes grew large as she stared at him, blinking for a moment. “What? After last night and this morning you want to pull this shit now?” she hissed at him, shoving him back to force him to let her go. After her realization in the bathroom, she couldn’t handle what she was hearing. “Let go.”

“Bella, don’t do this,” he gently took her arm to keep her with him. “I don’t want you to go, I don’t want to let you go and I want to stay with you. You, and no one else.”

If she was capable, the smoke that could be coming from her nostrils as she would be breathing fire at his words as she stared at him would have lit him on fire. “Why would you say something like that? After you got caught with some random chick calling you? Get your hands off of me Queen.”

“If you want to meet Elizabeth, you can but that’s not the point. Bella, she’s work. She’s nothing to me but a cog in the wheel that’s my company. There are hundreds of women that work at QC, and men. I don’t get jealous of the men you worked with at your company,” he tried to reason with her, but was met only with a raised eyebrow.

“Steve?”

“Yes. And Derek and any other guy you’ve worked with.” Oliver said as he looked at her. “I’m not jealous because I trust you. I’d break all of their bones if they’d do something to hurt you or upset you, but I’m not jealous.”

“Of course I would tell them I’m taken! I would knock them on their ass and remind them that I’m with you and that I’m happily in love with you and they had no hope!” she snapped as she pushed herself free him his hold finally, pacing the floor as she shook with her anger.

Oliver was fed up with her wanting to run all the time. “Every woman I work with knows that I belong to you, Bella. If you need a refresher, it’s been all over the news that you and I are together. There’s no need for you to be jealous because you’re all I want!” he said as he got to his feet. “And I love you too!” He’d surprised himself with that last bit.

She glanced back at him, nervous, excited, and embarrassed, but still very much fighting the rage she was feeling moments before. “You what?” she asked, her voice softer for the first time since he tried to force this talk on her, not sure she heard him right.

He approached her and stood toe to toe with her, keeping his hands to his side. Oliver looked down on her and took a deep breath, calming himself down. “I love you too,” he said again, probably a bit embarrassed because it took him a while to get the nerve to say it and that only annoyance got it out of him.

“How long?” she asked, curious but it was quickly obvious that she was settling down. “Because I think I, um, only just realized it just now…” she admitted, gesturing towards the bathroom where she had been getting ready in only minutes before.

“I don’t know…” he admitted and then thought for a moment. The results were shocking but, then again, he wasn’t really good at sharing his feelings properly. “Probably a couple of months or so…”

Bella was still seemingly in a state of shock as she stared up at him. The admission clearly would change some dynamic between them, as it had before they could actually say the words and they felt them, even if it were the dark side of the emotion. “Cue awkward moment,” she murmured, shifting uncomfortably with a shy smile ghosting her lips.

“Nothing awkward…” he said softly as he gently put his hands on her cheeks and kissed her lips. “Just two idiots in a relationship.”

She couldn’t help but to let out a laugh as she leaned into him, taking a deep breath. “I think that’s exactly how Alfred would describe us if he witnessed this.”

“We should make a specialized greeting card for Christmas just for him. ‘With love, two idiots in a relationship’.” His hands moved to her back and smiled at her. “I’m not going anywhere, ever. You’re stuck with me for life.”

Sighing, Bella’s head dropped to his shoulder. “Ollie, that just took a lot out of me. Let’s not get into anything heavier than the L word, please? You can’t see the future to make promises like that.”

“Okay,” he said as he lifted her up and put her down on the bed before he snuggled up to her. “Let’s nap.”

She shoved him in the shoulder once he was settled next to her. “We just got out of bed,” she pointed out.

“So?” He grinned. “We work two or three jobs, we’re allowed to stay in bed as long as we want.”

“And just how long do you think you can keep up that nap ruse? I know you Oliver,” Bella smirked as she moved to lay half on top of him as she let her fingers trace the skin along his shirt collar. “You’re as insatiable as I am.”

“It’s a shame it’s your rest day, really…” he teased as his hand found a way underneath her sweater and onto her back. “I could have said that this could be a lesson on self-restraint for the both of us but yeah… not going to happen.”

“Call it celebratory?” she suggested as she slowly succumbed under his touch, her eyes drifting closed as she reveled in his attention.

He hummed in agreement and kissed her as he rolled the both of them over so that she was on the bottom and he had easy access to everything. “I could do with some celebratory breakfast…” Oliver said huskily as his hand found its way between her legs.

Her body shook as she opened her legs to wrap around his body as she pulled his face to hers as she claimed his mouth hungrily. Her other hand wrapped around his neck to hold to her as she rolled her hips against his in her growing desire. Moaning, she bit down on his lip with a grin, “A feast…”

“Best meal ever,” he rolled up her sweater and caressed her stomach before making his way up to her breasts. He was about to kiss her neck when his phone rang. Again. “What the…”

“If you pick it up, I’ll kill you.”

Oliver held up the phone and showed Bella who was calling.

“Fine,” Bella said, pushing Oliver off of her as he took the call.

Oliver sighed as he flopped on his back and answered the phone. “Detective…”

Captain.”

“What can I do for you?”

My people got into trouble during a raid, I was wondering if you and your people could help us out.”

Oliver rubbed his face. He hated going out during the day, it was a lot harder to conceal his and Bella’s identity than during the night. “Are your people trapped somewhere?”

They’re safe, for now, but they have no way out.”

Bella looked at the time, unsure about the overall safety considering the time of day as well. Sitting up as she straightened her clothes, she looked at Oliver and shrugged.

“Hold on,” Oliver said as he covered his phone. “What do you think?”

“It’s risky,” she whispered. “Just how secure are his people? Can they hold out until the sun starts to set? We can station ourselves closer to keep an eye on things until its safer for us but only move in if necessary. Who were they trying to raid?”

“I agree,” Oliver said with a nod. “He usually only calls when he needs help like now. Can’t we send your guys or something? We’ll go there to keep an eye out, but your guys do the work?”

She thought about it for a moment and nodded. “It’s an option. I’ll call Derek to see who has – shit. He’s with Dad in London. I don’t know what’s going on as much since I left,” she said shaking her head as she reached for her phone. “Let me call Steve. He’ll have a few people together within an hour.”

Oliver nodded and took his hand off the phone. “How secure are your guys, detective?”

They’re not in immediate danger, but time is of the essence as they believe this group is up to something. They have state of the art machinery and know how to use it. There are booby traps in the building, some of them disarmed by my men but if I send in more… they could die.”

Oliver nodded. Better send in the people who didn’t have a family to come home to, although Lance should have known better. “We can be there in an hour and we’ll bring in some specialists. Send me the address.” Oliver disconnected the phone and looked at Bella. “Steve can’t know that he’s dealing with us out there, that’s the only thing I want.”

“He won’t know that we’ll be there, but he isn’t stupid Oliver,” she murmured as she looked at him. “He’s been giving me questioning looks since the last time I called him for back up.”

“I know he’s not stupid, but as long as we can pretend that he doesn’t know anything then it’s fine with me.”

“Pretending is only going to get you so far,” she smiled. “One day it’ll bite you in the ass. Look, I understand your hesitation. I get it. Believe me. But of everyone in that company, he is probably the only one I would even suggest telling if push came to shove. Even though I never told him about myself, he knows I’m different and he hasn’t said anything if that counts for anything. He’s seen me get shot. We just never discussed it.”

“I just need to get to know him better, sorry,” Oliver said as he got off the bed. “I’ll get the bike ready for us to swing by the basement first.”

Bella grinned as she shoved her phone in her pocket. “Great. It’s a good thing you said you need to get to know him because you’ll have plenty of chances. I hired him as an extra bouncer off the books on Friday nights,” she said as she walked passed him, patting his cheek in the process.

“Of course you did,” he shook his head in amusement and made his way downstairs. “We should get you a bike of your own one of these days, what do you think?”

“Sounds great. If we get this shit finished quickly, then we can take a trip past the dealership. Maybe something black or a deep purple-red to match my hair when I’m on duty?” she smirked as she twisted her strands around her finger.

He stuck out his tongue to her and handed her her helmet. “We’ll call Felicity and Diggle on the way.”

“I think you just want to see me with some hot machinery between my legs,” she teased as she settled in behind him. “No worries. I’m game.”

“No, it’s just easier to maneuver when we’re all on separate bikes, Roy has his own, I have mine… you should have one too,” he said with a shrug as he secured his helmet. “Although maybe it’s better if you don’t get your own bike. Seeing as you’re a bit trigger happy.”

“I promised I would aim only for kneecaps! Do you want it in writing and notarized?” Bella questioned as she pinched the skin on his stomach.

“It’s harder to aim for the kneecaps when they’re obscured on a bike or when you’re going fast on the bike, trust me.” Oliver laughed as he started the bike and sped off.

“Fine. Any available joint or extremity. No vital organs…”

“You can get your own bike… only for recreational purposes, how’s that?”

“No. Not fair.”

“Fine. You’ll get one on a trial basis when we’re out.”

Bella smiled into her helmet as she held onto him, sensing her triumph but knowing that if she celebrated it, he would only back peddle faster than anything. “Maybe a BMW,” she mused aloud to herself.

“Not too bulky,” Oliver reminded her as he turned a corner and ordered his built in headset to call Felicity.

Did you work things out?”

“Yes. I’ve sent you a text message, do you have eyes on that building?”

Yes.”

“Keep them there, we’re on our way to gear up and head out.”

Did you say it?”

Oliver growled and disconnected.

Bella was confused about the conversation. “What was that about? Say what?”

“Nothing,” Oliver sighed. “I uh… needed some help with the women’s handbook earlier so I called Diggle.”

“Diggle…is not a woman,” she pointed out. “I assume Robin was being nosey on your conversation? Shall I kick her ass?”

“Nah, it all worked out.” Oliver said as he turned a corner.

“And if I still want to kick someone’s ass? Who do I see for that? Because that’s twice this morning we were interrupted,” Bella reminded him. “I’m beginning to see a pattern. It’s not looking pretty either.”

“You can kick Roy’s ass. If all fails, blame Roy,” He responded. “And yes, it seems like the universe is against us having some fun, but we will beat the universe to a pulp.”

Sighing, Bella held onto him as he took another turn. She didn’t say anything else on the way to the club, having turned over to her thoughts about that morning and how something so minor could change them. While on the outside they were still very much the same, she did feel different with him. When the club finally came within eyesight, she couldn’t help but be relieved because, then she could find something new to drive the frustration and pent up anger that hadn’t had a proper release from the day, out.

He parked the bike and took off his helmet. “I think we should bring Roy along too, just in case,” Oliver said as he walked into the club. “What do you think?”

“Great idea. I can hit him over the head with my bo-staff if he gets in the way,” she smirked as she winked at him. “You know he’s always welcome. He’s gotten better with his training on the rifles, you know.”

“And I still don’t like the idea of him and rifles,” Oliver nodded. “But he’s progressed very well over the last few months, at least there weren’t any slip ups.”

“You need to have a little bit more confidence in us. It’ll help us with our performance too you know,” she said, irritated with his constant negative attitude on things. They all busted their asses just as hard as he him, and it was getting on her nerves.

“I have all the confidence in the world in you two, otherwise I wouldn’t bring you along.” Oliver said as he opened the door to the basement and walked down the stairs. “Roy, suit up, you’re coming with.”

“Okay,” Roy said with a nod and headed to his suit.

“I don’t like the idea of you guys going out during the day,” Diggle said as he was leaning against Felicity’s desk.

Bella went straight to her display with her uniform, taking it down as she began to change. “Neither do we but it’s for family. I called Steve and he’s going in himself with some people from the security firm. We’re just going to stay back and watch in case they need us as a last resort. Uncle Q called specifically for our kind of help though, so it has us worried.”

“Do you want me to come with?” Diggle asked as he watched the three people change.

“No,” Oliver said as he looked at Felicity. “What can you tell us about the situation?”

“Detec- Captain Lance’s people seem to be stuck in a corridor that either they’ve obstructed themselves or the ceiling came down. I can’t really see what’s going on other than a flash of a weapon sometimes when the security camera’s outside are aimed properly,” Felicity said and sighed. “And I don’t like this either.”

“Yeah well, we all don’t like it but we’re going to do it anyway,” Oliver said as he checked his gear. “Keep your eyes on the building and keep us in the loop, okay?”

“Roger,” she replied as she continued to flip through the available camera feeds. “Be careful out there. I’ll widen the area to pull in extra cameras once you let me know where you’re taking point so that I can keep an eye from here if there is anyone coming.”

“Good,” Oliver looked at Roy and Bella. “Ready?”

She nodded as she pulled two handguns out of the drawer and slid them into her boots, along with an extra ammunition clip each, and secured her bo-staff to her back. “Yep, let’s party,” she said as she pulled her hood over her wig and moved to join the boys.

They went by bike, as it was easier to get to the building and hide the bike, and upon approach, Oliver was already looking for a great vantage point. He didn’t want to be seen by the people gathered around the building and certainly not by the trigger happy cops. Luckily, there was a building with a flat roof next to the building being sieged and there was a good hiding spot for the bikes as well behind some dumpsters. “We’re going up.”

As Bella took off her helmet, she looked around the area and up, grimacing. “Just how do you expect me to get up there? There’s no fire escape Bruce,” she commented. “I’m still having trouble with your rope exercise.”

“Just hang on to me,” Oliver smiled as he put his helmet down and got one of his arrows out. Roy did the same as they shot an arrow into the roof. “Winches, they rock, no need for rope climbing, that’s just to get some muscles to work out,” he grinned as he grabbed her by the waist, making sure that he held her tightly and she was holding on to him and then clicked a button to hoist themselves up to the roof, with him occasionally pushing himself off against the wall so they wouldn’t smack into the concrete.

“Hmm, you know, maybe you should come over tonight with some of these toys and your uniform,” she teased as she nipped at his jaw before turning away to go survey their view from the roof, staying low as she looked around. Pulling her bag around from her shoulder, she pulled out her standard sniper rifle she brought along and pulled out the scope from the case. “There are two guards on the other roof but they don’t seem concerned. They are sitting on the other side of the wall, smoking and having a grand ol’ time with themselves.”

“Friendlies?” Oliver asked as he looked at the windows, he could see some movement in the darkness in the other building. “Because we could take them out if they’re not.”

“Doubtful. They are probably just keeping an eye out, weaklings of the group. They should be easy to take down with minimal effort. No bullets unless you are willing to let me try these new darts for the rifle that Alfred and Robin made up?” she asked, holding up the case with an eager eye.

“Yeah, go for it,” Oliver said with a nod.

Loading up the first dart in the gun after she pieced it together and set it up, Bella lined up her first shot and pulled the trigger. Quickly loading the second dart, she shot the second guy before he could move for the radio that was sitting outside of their reach. “Done. It’s a small dose though. I would recommend checking them first if we head in to see how deep the dart got them because a full dose will only last about two hours max.”

“We’ll get over there if we have to,” Oliver said as he kept looking at the building. “Great shot, Bella.”

“Of course. It’s what I do best,” she scoffed as she looked at him, giving him a wink at his compliment. “Chuck is, very surprisingly, a good shot too. A natural even. If we have to go in, let him stay up here to hit anyone with the darts so that I can protect you and whoever else might need it. In this case, I’ll be of more use down there.”

“Yeah yeah,” Oliver said with a nod. “What’s that? Three floors up, second window on the left. Can you see what’s happening there?”

Peering into the scope, she looked at the area he indicated. Keeping an eye on the building, she pulled her phone out of her back pocket and held it out in a random direction. “Shit. This just got a lot more complicated. Call Steve on my phone and warn him there are civilians in the building still. Appears they locked themselves into a storage room of some sort.”

Oliver took Bella’s phone and hesitantly dialed Steve’s number before putting it on speaker so Bella could talk to him herself.

Kinda busy here, boss,” Steve’s voice sounded from the phone after a ringing a couple of times.

“There are civilians in the building. Third floor towards the front of the building. Secured for now but be careful. If you need additional help – let us know,” she said as she shifted the scope to move over the other windows. “Where are you?”

Copy that. First floor cleared, just about to head up the stairs on the south side.”

She moved to locate him, and searched from her position for additional threats. “I don’t get it. Everyone was supposed to have been here an hour ago. We saw gun fire on security feeds. There are already two lookouts on the roof incapacitated for the moment. Where is everyone?”

We took down two unfriendlies on the first floor. There’s a massive amount of offices they could be hiding in. I’m not sure what they’re doing in here. This is the headquarters of a chain of supermarkets. It’s madness.”

“Maybe they have a beef with the chain owner and decided to go overboard,” Oliver muttered as he kept looking at the building, but it looked like that most of the offices on this side were empty. “I’ve seen weirder things.”

Bella was tempted to look over at him for his comment but refrained. “I don’t want to know. Something doesn’t feel right about this Oliver,” she muttered. “Doesn’t this feel wrong to you?”

“It’s too quiet,” Oliver said with a nod. “We need to get in there to see for ourselves.”

Hey, I found Starling City’s finest. I’ll have them escorted down. The trip from here is only going to get more interesting seeing as they’ve boobytrapped the place.” Steve’s voice sounded.

“What kind of obstacles have you come across so far?” Bella questioned curiously.

None as these fine people already got rid of some but the one I’m staring at now involves electricity, so if you could get someone to shut down the power to the building that would just be grand.”

She looked over to Oliver at that, knowing that the power company can take hours to respond for a request like that. While she knew she was incapable of being harmed in most ways, depending on the way these traps were rigged, she didn’t know if she would be as immune.

“On it,” Oliver said as he tapped his earpiece. “Felicity, where does the power enter the building?”

West side, there’s a small building that also holds the back up generator.”

“Thanks.”

Hey, Ollie? Why would the headquarters of a supermarket chain have a back up generator?”

“Why don’t you find that out?” Oliver said before muting Felicity and looked at Roy. “You stay here,” he said with a nod and then looked at Bella. “Are you coming? We’re going to the west side and take out the power.”

Handing off the rifle to Roy, she grinned. “Ammo is in the bag, tranquilizers in the box. You know those have to be hand loaded one by one. Sucks but whatever. Let’s go kick some ass,” she said as she pulled her hood back up over her head, joining Oliver.

He walked to the far right of the roof and realized that jumping down wasn’t an option and decided to shoot one of his rope arrows into the roof they were on. He grinned at Bella as he reversed the winch on his bow before he put his arm around her waist. “Hold on really tight. Don’t let go of me.”

“Never,” Bella smiled as she held onto him tightly, the movement and tone of her voice implying everything to him.

“Going down,” Oliver grinned as he hopped off the roof with Bella hanging on tightly.