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Chapter 1

It was midafternoon when Tommy Merlyn knocked on Oliver's bedroom door. “What are you doing sitting there brooding?”

“Didn't you hear? That's what I do best.” Oliver sat up on the bed.

Tommy shook his head. “Sounds like Laurel has been on your ass again.”

“She wants to move in together. I'm not thrilled about it.” Oliver said.

“That’s a huge step for the two of you. You need to really think about it. Why don't we take off for a while? Maybe go to Vegas and have some fun.” Tommy sat on the bed. “You can deal with Laurel when we get back. What do you say?”

“I say gas up the jet and let's go.” Oliver grinned. He needed a little fun and he needed to think.

Tommy laughed. “That was easier than I thought.”

Oliver laughed. “You know me, Tommy. I'm always ready for a good time.”

“Meet me in an hour at the airport where Dad keeps his jet. Bring lots of cash. Gambling will help you think. Scientific fact!” Tommy got up and headed for the door. He looked back and grinned. “Maybe you'll meet your future wife and Laurel won't get you as a roommate.”

Oliver grinned. “You know what they say. Anything can happen in Vegas. I'd better pack. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Tommy waved as he headed out the door.

Oliver needed to get away and think more than Tommy could ever guess, Laurel was pushing for them to move in and he just wasn’t ready.

Hell! He wasn’t even faithful to Laurel. Didn’t she know how many times he had cheated on her? She had to know. She wasn’t an idiot. Moving in together wasn’t going to make him settle down. Laurel had to be smart enough to know that.


Oliver was packed and heading out when he heard someone call his name. He was at the bottom of the stairs when he looked around. He came face to face with his dad.

“Oliver? Where are you going?” Robert Queen asked. He must have come from the den because he had files in his hand.

“I'm going to Vegas with Tommy for a week or two.” Oliver said.

“Have fun and stay out of trouble.” Robert nodded. “Don't lose too much money. You don't want to bankrupt the family.”

“Got it. See you soon.” Oliver waved as he went out the door.

Robert sighed as the door shut. “Those two are going to get in trouble I can just feel it.”

Moira came out of the front sitting room. “Robert, where was Oliver headed off to?”

“Vegas. He and Tommy are going to have some fun.” Robert sighed. “Has he said anything to you about why he’s in such a mood?”

“Laurel has been trying to get him to move in with her.” Moira said. “I don’t think he wants to. He is going to have to settle down someday. He might as well do it now.” 

“That will never work. He isn’t ready to settle down. If he moves in with her, it will be a disaster for both of them.” Robert said. “He and Tommy haven’t finished sowing their wild oats.”

“Do you men ever finish sowing your wild oats?” Moira gave Robert a pointed look.

Robert looked guilty. “Moira, he’s young. Let him have his fun and get it out of his system so he can find a nice girl and settle down when he’s ready.”

“Laurel is a nice girl. But I suppose as long as he is settles down soon it won’t matter who his ‘nice girl’ is. I just think she is the best choice. ” Moira looked at the door before going back into the sitting room.  

Robert groaned and went back to his den. He knew this wasn’t the last he would hear of this from Moira.   

Tommy walked up with his bag on his shoulder to Oliver. Oliver was leaning against the wall of the hanger for the Merlyn’s jet at the airport.

“That was fast. You must really want to get away from Laurel.” Tommy teased.

“It’s not just Laurel but she is a big part of it.” Oliver said. “Tommy, have you ever felt like you needed to be do something drastic to get out of a rut?  I need to make a big change in my life. I’m in a really big rut.”

“Well, I like my life the way it is.” Tommy said. “Let’s get in the air. Maybe your restlessness will disappear once we put some distance between us and from Starling City.”

“I don’t think it can get any worse.” Oliver said as he picked up his duffle bag and followed Tommy to the plane.

Oliver spent most of the trip staring out the window and nursing a scotch.

Tommy was starting to get worried. He had never seen his best friend in life in such a dark place before. It didn’t bode well for Oliver. Tommy knew from experience that Oliver got himself in trouble when he was like this.


Felicity looked up as the door to her bedroom burst open. She sighed and looked back down at the laptop in front of her on the bed. “What do you want, Ginger?”  

Mari Ann Reynolds had been Felicity’s best friend since kindergarten. Most people called her ‘Ginger’ because she looked like the actress that had been on Gilligan’s Island.  She even had the beauty mark.

“Come on Felicity. We have two weeks before we have to go back to school.” Ginger bounced on Felicity's bed. “Lose the Goth and let's go party with some high rollers.”

Felicity sat on the bed and looked at her best friend who was looking expectantly at her. “I’m really not in the mood for fun.”

“You need fun. You have been stuck in this room since you came home for break. You need to see what’s going on in the rest of the world.” Ginger said.

“That was just yesterday and how do you know what I’ve been doing? You just got home too.” Felicity countered.

“Your mom called me.” Ginger said. “She thought you should get out of here. She’s worried about you. You can’t mourn Cooper forever. You are going to have to move on.”

“You don’t understand. He took the blame for me and now he’s dead.” Felicity sighed. She wiped a tear from her eye and looked down at the laptop. “It’s my fault.”  

“No its not. He decided to kill himself. That’s on him not on you.” Ginger said. “Come on. Let’s get all dressed up and find some high rollers to party with.”

“That’s easier said than done.” Felicity said. “I don't have anything non-Goth. Wait! You make fun of high rollers all the time. Why do you suddenly want to party with one of them?”

“Because we are going to be adults soon and I want to do one crazy thing before I die.” Ginger pushed her long red hair off her shoulders. “You need to do it too. All you do is study. I bet your studying now. Let me see the laptop.”

“No.” Felicity moved her lap top out of Mari Ann's reach. “I'm working on a personal project.”

“Please tell me it has nothing to do with Cooper. You need to put him behind you. He’s dead. You’re not.” Ginger squinted her green eyes at Felicity. “You’re lucky he didn’t get you in trouble, you know. He could have. Be happy for that at least.”

Felicity shrugged and looked at the laptop on the bed. She closed it. “Okay! Fine! Let's do this but I still have nothing to wear. Everything I have is black.”

“You could wear one of your Mom's dresses.” Ginger suggested. “She’s got a lot of cool dresses.”

“Ugh No.” Felicity made a disgusted look. “They wouldn't fit anyway. She has those boobs. I don’t have those boobs. No one has those boobs.”

Ginger laughed. “Right. Let's go to my place and we find something for you. Just bring your I.D. so we can get in all the good places.”

“You mean the fake one that Mom gave me?” Felicity said with a grin. “Why don’t I just bring both? You know, just in case we get arrested.”

“Good idea.” Ginger laughed. She grabbed Felicity by the hand and pulled her off the bed and out the door.

“Ginger, we aren’t going to get arrested, right?” Felicity asked as Ginger dragged her through the apartment to the front door.

“I have no idea. Wouldn’t that be cool?” Mari Ann laughed. “God! I hope I take a good mug shot.”  

“No. That would not be ‘cool’ at all. I’m up for fun but not getting arrested.” Felicity said as she grabbed her purse by the front door. 


Ginger drove them back to her apartment and started to go through her closet full of dresses. Most of them were from consignment stores. There was nothing that Ginger liked better than a designer label at a bargain price.  

Ginger finally found a dress in her closet that Felicity didn’t completely object to. The blue low cut short skirted dress fit Felicity perfectly.

“There! Now let me do your hair and makeup.” Ginger said. “I will get you back to normal in no time.”

“What is wrong with my hair and makeup?” Felicity asked. “And what do you mean ‘back to normal’? I’m normal.”

“You’re a genius zombie.” Ginger said seriously. “Is that even a thing? Well, it should be. That is what you are. You’re all Goth and scary smart. Genius zombie! I’m calling it a thing.”

“It’s not a thing.” Felicity sighed. “Zombies eat brains. They don’t have them. If they did, they wouldn’t eat brains. They would be vegetarians. Cause eating brains is just … EW!”

Ginger looked exasperated at Felicity. “Seriously? You’ve actually thought about that, didn’t you? Why am I surprised?”

Felicity wrinkled her nose and shrugged. “Well … Maybe once.”

“Oh my God, Felicity!” Ginger rolled her eyes. “Go wash your face and we can get started on your makeup.”

Felicity got off the bed. “You are not going to make me look like a hooker, are you?”

“Of course not! I’m just going to make you not look like a genius zombie. You know … normal.” Ginger called out after her.

“Still not a thing!” Felicity said from the bathroom.

“Oh yes it is and you’re the queen.” Ginger said to herself.


Thirty minutes later, Ginger and Felicity were in the ladies room of the Grand checking their makeup before going out into the lounge.

Felicity looked in the ladies room mirror at the tight blue dress. “This dress makes my butt look huge. Why did I let you talk me into this?”

Ginger rolled her eyes. “You look great. Let's get out of here and find some high rollers.”

“Fine! For the record, I still think this is a bad idea.” Felicity said as she swiped the tinted cherry lip gloss over her lips.

Ginger pulled her by the hand out of the ladies room.

“Oh!” Ginger ran right into Tommy Merlyn. “Sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going.”

Tommy looked the sultry red head and grinned. “You can run into me anytime you want. What's your name?”

Ginger smiled. “I'm Ginger and this is....”

“Honey. You can call me ‘Honey’.” Felicity said.

Tommy smiled at the brunette but his eyes went back to Ginger 's cleavage. “I'm Tommy and this is Oliver.”

Oliver Queen smiled at Felicity. “We were just going for a drink. Would you like to join us?”

Ginger looked at Tommy then at Oliver. She looped her arm around Tommy's. “We would love to. Where are you from?”

“Starling City.” Tommy answered. “Are you from here?”

“Yeah. We grew up here but we have both been away for a while. We could show you two around.” Ginger started to walk Tommy to the bar.

Felicity smiled shyly at Oliver when he offered her his arm.

Oliver leaned over and whispered. “You're very pretty, Honey.”

“Thanks.” Felicity blushed. “Is your friend always that obvious?”

“Yeah. Is yours?” Oliver grinned.

“Oh God! Yes and she gets worse with alcohol.” Felicity put her hand over her mouth.

“So does he.” Oliver chuckled. “Just stick with me. I'll protect you.”

Felicity looked up into the bluest eyes she had ever seen. “Uh huh.”

Tommy and Ginger had found a booth in a private corner of the bar. Oliver and Felicity sat down on the other side.

“Champagne?” Tommy said as the server came over. “We will take a bottle of Cristal and keep them coming.”

The server nodded and went to get the champagne.

“What do you do for fun around here?” Oliver asked. “Raves? Clubs?”

“We go to clubs mostly.” Ginger told them. She looked at Felicity. “The police shut down the latest rave circuit. Do you want to go dancing?”

“I don't dance.” Oliver said.

“We could go to a casino. Do you like to gamble?” Felicity asked.

“I do.” Tommy's dimples appeared. “Would you be my good luck charm, Ginger?”

“I would love to blow on your dice.” Ginger said with a seductive smile.

Oliver laughed.

Felicity looked into her glass. “Really? Just his dice?”

Ginger shot her a glare.

Tommy got a mischievous look on his face. “You know, my friend, Oliver is looking for a wife. What do you think Oliver?”

“Tommy. Shut up.” Oliver said. He couldn’t believe Tommy was even going there.

“Come on Ollie. We talked about it. If you find have wife, you don't have to be a roommate.” Tommy grinned.

“But wouldn't that make your wife your roommate?” Felicity asked.

“Don't listen to her. She’s a genius. She goes to MIT.” Ginger was starting to slur her words.

“Beauty and Brains. Sounds like she's your type.” Tommy said. “She’d be the perfect wife for you.”

“It sounds like she's smart enough to not take anything you say seriously.” Oliver filled Felicity's glass again.

“He's hot. You should marry him.” Ginger held out her glass for more champagne.

“Oliver has a girl back home. She is apartment hunting this very minute. She’s been trying to get him to marry her.” Tommy said. “He doesn’t want to and she’s relentless. She’ll wear him down eventually. She can’t marry him, if he’s already married.”

“Tommy’s not going to let it go. What do you say, Honey? Will you marry me?” Oliver leaned over and whispered. “It doesn't have to be legal. We could just do it for fun.”

“Sure why not? But I pick the chapel.” Felicity said as she clinked her glass with his.

“Hey Honey, why don’t we go powder our noses?” Ginger said. She stood up and wobbled a little. She grabbed Felicity by the hand and tugged.

“We’ll be right back.” Felicity got up and went with Ginger into the ladies room.

Ginger shut the door and checked to make sure they were alone. She locked the door. “What the hell, Felicity? Have you lost your mind or are you drunk?”

“You said to marry him and I do need to have some fun.” Felicity looked in the mirror. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were bright. “It doesn’t have to be legal. We can do it just for fun.”

“What are you going to do when he wants a wedding night?” Ginger asked. “Are you going to sleep with him?”

“He is hot.” Felicity shrugged.

“Now I know you’re drunk.” Ginger said. “We can slip out the service entrance now and I can have you home before your mom gets off her shift.”

“You were the one that wanted to do something crazy. So now I want to do something crazy too. Let’s go before they change their minds.” Felicity unlocked the door and walked out.

“This is a bad idea. I just know it.”  Ginger said to herself before she followed Felicity out the door.

At the table, Tommy looked at Oliver with a concerned face. “Man, you did not just ask that girl to marry you. You don’t even know her. She could be an ax murderer.”

“Hell Tommy! You started it. It will be for fun. I’ll show Laurel some pictures and she’ll dump me. Problem solved.” Oliver downed the champagne in his glass. “Come on Tommy, be my best man.”

“I wasn’t being serious. This is going to blow up in your face, Oliver.” Tommy said. “Is there any way I can talk you out of this?”

Oliver shook his head. “Nope.”

“Hi! We’re back.” Felicity slipped back in to her seat.

Ginger glared at Felicity as she sat down. She looked at Tommy. He didn’t look too happy either.  

“So Honey, what chapel do you want to go to?” Oliver asked.

“There’s a little chapel off the Strip. It’s called Rose Chapel. It’s full of roses and there’s an old couple that runs it. He’s a minister and she handles the business.” Felicity looked up at Oliver. “I have always wanted to get married there.”

Ginger choked on her champagne. She looked at Felicity “You’re kidding? But I thought…”

Felicity shrugged. “This may be the only wedding I get. I want to do it at Rose Chapel.”

“Then we should go to Rose Chapel.” Oliver said. He leaned over and kissed her.

It was a soft chaste kiss but it made Felicity tingle everywhere. She reached up and caressed his cheek. “Thanks.”

Ginger nudged Tommy. She whispered. “Are you okay with this?”

“I tried to talk him out of it but it didn’t work. What about you? Are you going along with this?” Tommy asked in a whisper.

“I tried to talk her out of it too but she wouldn’t budge. I guess we should just help them if they aren’t going to change their minds.” Ginger said.        

“I guess so.” Tommy said as he watched Oliver and Felicity stare into each other’s eyes.