Lance glances through the glass at the son of a bitch, wondering how the hell he managed to slip past him. Hell, they even paid him. All this time, he was right under their noses and no one knew what he was capable of.
Well, that’s not fair. Lance knew. Lance hated him from the start. While the others were complacent with his wild shenanigans and obvious lies, Lance was the one stalling this at every turn. His superiors reprimanded him, his partner ignored him, but now the truth is finally out.
But Lance never could have imagined that Oliver Queen was a killer.
Charlatan, yes. That much was obvious from the start; the only special ability Queen ever had was juggling multiple women at once. He destroyed Laurel when his relationship with Sara came to light, then things hit a snag with Sara when it was revealed he had another woman on the string. And none of that explains how the hell Felicity Smoak, Queen’s favorite partner in crime, fits in with everything.
Sighing, Lance walks into the interrogation room with a sudden sense of weariness. While Queen is in handcuffs, he doesn’t seem to understand the gravity of his situation; he throws that smart-ass smile at Lance from the moment he walks in.
“You look pretty happy for a guy accused of murder,” Lance growls at him in greeting.
To his surprise, Queen only rolls his eyes. “Detective, come on. You know me. Dead bodies freak me out. I’m not a big fan of blood, either.” He crosses his arms. “I had to call Felicity to kill a spider for me last week.”
“So you’re afraid of spiders, but you’re still accused of murder,” the detective retorts.
He sighs as though Lance is the difficult one. “Lancelot, you and I both know I’m not a serial killer,” he replies. “Unless it involves milk and the cereal with the little marshmallows in it. Then I’m your guy.” He flashes that damned grin again. “But only if there’s a prize at the bottom.”
“People are dead,” Lance spits, sitting down at the table across from him.
Nodding solemnly, Queen replies, “Yes, I know. And while you’re interviewing me instead of a real suspect, Lancelot, more people are going to be dead.” He tilts his head to the side. “Your best investigator is currently in handcuffs.” He winks as he holds up his hands. “It’s not my first time in handcuffs, but usually it’s a lot more fun.”
Taking a deep breath, Lance glares across the table at him. “Adrian Chase went on a murder spree this week, Queen. People can’t sleep at night. John is afraid for his daughter and his wife.” Typically playing the sympathy card with murderers doesn’t work, but Quentin has seen Oliver with Sarah. A sociopath doesn’t understand love, but there’s no question that the man loves his goddaughter. “All I need is a confession, Oliver.”
Queen drops a hand on the case file laid across the table before looking up at Quentin. “Now correct me if I’m wrong,” he starts slowly, “but you caught Adrian Chase. I gave you the intel to find him, and he committed suicide in front of the cops.”
“There was evidence he was working with a partner,” Lance growls.
With wide eyes that speak of false innocence, Queen answers, “I’m sorry, Detective, but I’m confused. His eyes turn upward as he flicks his index finger around, as if he’s trying to solve a complex math problem in his head. “I led you to the killer. You got the guy after I found him. But there’s an accomplice, and now I have to find him, too?” Spreading his hands out, he asks, “I don’t mean to be rude, but when do you start kicking in on this partnership?”
Slamming his palm down on the table, Lance shouts, “Do you think this is funny? If you stand trial for this, you could face the death penalty! I know you’re smart enough to understand the gravity of this situation, but you need to start taking this seriously!”
“I haven’t taken anything seriously since 2007, Lancelot,” Queen replies with a scoff, his smirk still firmly in place. “You’re right, though—this is very serious.” He leans across the table. “For the killer. I know you don’t like me, but I’ve never killed anyone in my life. If I ever decide to go on a killing spree, I’m not going to start with innocent people. I’d go after the bad guys you can’t put away.”
“Not helping your case, Queen,” Lance notes.
“You don’t have a case,” the kid retorts. “You have a little evidence that’s been mishandled or you have someone actively trying to frame me for this.” He chuckles. “Look, Detective, if I was a killer, I wouldn’t let you hold me in custody and accuse me of being a homicidal maniac.” A shrug as he casually adds, “I would have picked my handcuffs, walked right out that door and disappeared.”
Lance opens the file he’s gathered in the last few hours, throwing down the arrest paperwork he discovered. “You have a record, Oliver.”
“I stole a car,” Queen corrects with a roll of his eyes. “I was seventeen and tried as an adult.”
Brushing the paperwork aside, Lance retorts in a dry voice, “Oh, you were seventeen? Well, that makes it okay, then.”
“It doesn’t,” Oliver replies with the shake of his head. “But it’s a far cry from murder.” He crosses his arms, shifting back further into his chair. Distancing body language if Lance has ever seen it. Finally the kid sighs. “I stole a Maserati. It was my dad’s Maserati. I was seventeen and tried as an adult for the crime.” Leaning in, he admits, “I did it to impress a girl.”
Rolling his eyes, Lance deadpans, “Of course you did.”
After throwing a glance to the one-way glass, Oliver leans across the table. “Look, she was hot, she was interested, and I was batting zero for high school.” Lance frowns as the kid whispers, “The class clown does not get laid.”
When all Queen gets is a look, the kid caves, sinking back into his chair with a tortured sigh. “There were extenuating circumstances. My dad paid money to make sure I was tried as an adult,” Queen replies, leaning back in his chair. “He thought it would get me to turn my life around—or some other bad parenting nonsense.” Lance stares at the kid; there’s something new in his voice. Something angry and bitter that he’s never seen before. “After getting me off on a whole host of juvenile offenses, he wanted to teach me a lesson.”
“Did it work?” Lance asks.
This time when Queen smiles, there’s no humor in it. “If the lesson was that I wanted nothing to do with my father, sure.” Something dark crosses his expression. “Before you start to accuse me of his death, that was the last time I saw him. I walked out of the house that night and didn’t come back until Mom called me about the yacht going down a month later.” He makes a face. “I hate boats.”
Because the opening is there, Lance asks, “What were you doing three nights ago, Oliver?” While he knows Queen isn’t going to say he was committing homicide, he also knows a flimsy alibi can be torn apart.
After a thoughtful expression crosses his face, Oliver admits, “I was probably doing the same thing you were doing, Detective: not solving crime.” After a flicker of frustration crosses his expression, he motions toward the door. “Lancelot, this guy is out there somewhere. He thinks he got away with this—and he might just, if you stay here and ask me useless questions.”
When Lance doesn’t respond, the kid runs his hands through his hair. “He shot at a group of innocent people,” Oliver says this time, deflating as though all the fight has been sucked out of him. “He fired into a board meeting at Queen Consolidated where my mother was.”
With weight, he adds, “Felicity was grazed by an arrow.” His hands ball into fists. “I know you think I’m a horrible person—and I might be—but Smoak has been my best friend ever since we were locked in the library together at the end of sophomore year. She’s stood by me through everything since.” Tapping the table, Oliver declares, “Even if I was a killer, I’d never let my partner-in-death shoot into a crowd if there was even a chance she could be hurt.” He frowns. “Unless you believe I was the one who shot at her, in which case you’re an even worse detective than I thought.”
Though Lance has taken a lot of shit from the kid in the last few months, he has to admit he’s never heard the kid quite so scathing. Good. People have a tendency to make bad decisions when they get emotional. “Would you be willing to take a polygraph to that effect?” the detective asks.
“I’m up for anything that would get you to look at actual suspects,” Oliver replies.
“I’ll have them set up for a poly, then,” Lance replies, trying to keep the smirk off his face. It doesn’t matter if Queen is innocent or not; one way or another, the kid stops being his problem tonight. There’s a knock at the interview room door—a persistent one. Lance doesn’t have to be psychic—or pretend to be—to know who it is. “John, you can let her in,” he calls. To Queen, he adds, “We start in thirty minutes.”
There’s a sound of heels across the floor, and the next thing Quentin knows a blonde whirlwind has her arms wrapped around Queen. He makes a soft oof sound before declaring, “Smoak, you’re choking me.”
She releases him a second later, and Queen rises to his feet, inspecting her left arm. “How are you feeling?” he asks, poking at the bandage there. For the first time tonight, Lance actually believes something the kid said: no way would he have hurt Felicity Smoak.
“Like some asshole grazed me with an arrow,” she replies without missing a beat. As he studies it a moment longer, she swats his hand away. “It’s a flesh wound, Oliver,” Felicity says this time, rolling her eyes at her partner’s behavior. “It needed a few stitches, but the doctor promised I’d live.”
When she turns, it’s to level a glare at Lance, and he swallows hard. While she might be sixty-five inches tall and weigh a buck twenty soaking wet, he has no doubt she’s capable of carrying a grudge—and burning his world down to satisfy it. “Does he have to be in handcuffs, Detective?” she demands.
Before Lance can answer, Queen distracts her. “Hey, it’s fine,” he assures her. “Lancelot is just doing his job.” He levels a warning look at Quentin. “Aren’t you, Lancelot?” The message is subtle, but Quentin hears it: This better not be a personal vendetta.
He doesn’t wait for an answer, instead focusing on Felicity’s collar. Lance’s eyes widen when he pulls it toward her shoulder, exposing a splotch of dark bruising. “When I was shot, I fell,” she explains before he can ask. “There was mass panic. Someone stepped on me.” Queen’s expression can only be described as horror, but she cups his face with her palms. “I’m fine, Oliver,” she insists with a smile. “Don’t worry your pretty little head about me.”
In response, he slips his arms around her neck in some awkward semblance of a hug. It doesn’t look like she minds too much because she only hugs him back. “It’s what I do, Smoak,” is Queen’s reply. “Without you, I’m homeless and living off my consultant fees.” He pulls away before adding, “They don’t even give me dental. And who would appreciate my hair?”
Felicity laughs, a bright and bubbly sound that feels strange following the gravity of the situation. It’s one of the reasons Lance likes her: cheerful to the very end. “I’m sure you’d find someone, Oliver,” she replies. “I’m a blonde IT expert with bad judgment in friends and relationships. I’m not exactly irreplaceable.”
“Maybe,” Queen replies, “but you are to me.”
Trying to suppress his smile as Queen fidgets in his seat, Lance sits down across the table next to the polygraph technician. The machine is older and still has a paper readout, instead of being computerized, but Quentin thinks that might be for the best. No one is going to hijack the results—especially not a certain blonde genius with a background in technology.
No one will be saving Oliver Queen this time.
When the polygraph analyst nods, Lance asks the kid, “Is your name Oliver Queen?”
Queen offers a sarcastic grin in reply. “After all this time, you still don’t know my name, Detective?” he retorts. There’s a laugh in the back, poorly contained with a cough.
Lance turns in his chair to level a look at the woman standing beside his partner. “Miss Smoak, you are only present for this out professional courtesy,” he snaps at her. “If you can’t stay quiet, then I’ll have to have you removed.” She crosses her arms and mimes zipping her mouth shut before winking at her best friend.
This is why he hates consultants.
He turns back to Queen just in time to watch him blow a kiss to Felicity. Before the situation can get any more out of hand, Lance explains, “The questions are required to calibrate the machine.” This time he says more forcefully, “Is your name Oliver Queen?”
“Yes.” The polygraph machine records small peaks and valleys—no signs of deception.
“Were you born in Starling City on May 16, 1985?” Lance asks this time.
“Is your hair blue?” he tries this time.
“Yes,” Queen answers with a smirk, and the polygraph needle goes wild. When Lance glares at him, he adds, “I’m kidding, Lancelot. Has anyone told you that you have no sense of humor?” His head tilts to the side. “Adrian Chase had a better sense of humor than you, and he was a homicidal maniac.” When Quentin only offers a look, the kid sighs. “No, my hair isn’t blue. Satisfied?” The needle goes back to its normal pace.
“Have you ever killed anyone?” Lance asks, trying to move on.
“Only in video games,” Queen replies, grinning. “So no.” The needle on the polygraph continues its slow pace.
“Were you assisting Adrian Chase in any way?” Quentin tries this time.
“No.” The needle doesn’t waver. Queen sighs. “Look, Lancelot, I know what this is about,” he starts. “You hate me because of what I did to your daughters. I understand that.” He holds up his hands. “But what you have to understand is I’m not that guy anymore.”
He leans forward, motioning behind Lance. “I already told you: Felicity is the proof I wasn’t working with him. I wouldn’t be part of any plan where she could potentially get hurt. She’s my girl. We’re like Scully and Mulder, Sherlock and Watson, Han and Chewy. She’s the Batman to my Robin. I’m the Pinky to her Brain. We’re Butch and Sundance—except we don’t die in a hail of bullets at the end.” He points to her. “I need her, Lance. She is the best thing in my life and I love her, okay?”
The polygraph needle just clicks away at a slow, steady pace.
Lance watches Felicity lean in to better see the polygraph, and her face lights up. “You forgot Cheech and Chong,” is all she says. “We’re like Cheech and Chong, but with less drug usage.” She motions to herself with a wink. “Well, for me, anyway.”
“There was that pot brownie in college,” Oliver points out.
Felicity replies, “It would have been fun, too, but you were so high you forgot I was allergic to nuts.”
“I’m still sorry about that,” he replies. Turning to Lance, Oliver asks, “Can I get out of this deathtrap now?”
“One more question,” Lance answers with a grin. He’s been waiting for this one all night.
Queen shrugs before sinking down in his chair. “If it will make you happy, Lancelot,” he answers sarcastically, with a roll of his eyes.
“I think it will,” Quentin replies honestly. With a smirk of satisfaction, he asks, “Are you psychic?”
The kid’s eyes go round as saucers. “Excuse me?” he demands after a heartbeat of a pause.
“Are you, Oliver Queen, psychic?” Lance repeats.
The room is quiet for a moment as Oliver does nothing but stare down at the machine, quietly ticking away. He glances up at John for help, but even Diggle—who seems to like him—can’t save Queen now. “I think you have to answer that one, Oliver,” Felicity says quietly.
Closing his eyes, Oliver takes a deep breath through his nose. After releasing it, he answers firmly: “Yes.”
Lance looks at the polygraph, then at the technician for clarification. “I have to analyze it,” the man answers slowly, “but just eyeballing it, Mr. Queen is telling the truth.”
By the time he finishes, Quentin is already shaking his head. He knows this kid, and he isn’t all-seeing. “Hold it,” he insists before Queen can pull his wires loose. “You’re psychic?”
“Yes,” Queen answers again, more firmly this time. Still no signs of deception.
“A person of psychic ability?”
“With the ability to see into the future?”
Winking, Queen replies, “I’m so psychic I can’t even stand it.” He grins. “I know it’s hard to believe, Lancelot, but I have the gift, okay? I am psychic.” He stares down at the polygraph machine. “Hey, I wonder if it works in Spanish.” Before Lance can stop it, Queen starts rattling off a slur of words in what sounds like broken Spanish.
“You just said you were legless, Oliver,” Felicity remarks with a roll of her eyes.
“You’re legless,” he retorts.
Motioning to her thighs, Felicity answers, “No, I’m not.”
“No, you’re not,” Oliver agrees with a nod. “You have legs. You have fantastic legs.” His head tilts to the side. “Speaking of, I had an idea about our Halloween costumes this year. How do you feel about the Green Arrow and Black Canary?”
Rolling her eyes, Felicity answers, “I’m not wearing a leather cat suit and fishnets just to fulfill some sort horny fantasy you’ve had about me, Oliver.”
“You used to be fun, Smoak,” he accuses.
Lance flattens his hand on the table, trying to gain control of this situation again. “Then how do you explain the picture we have of you with Chase?”
“I told you that isn’t me,” Oliver insists. “I met Chase when you did. I would have remembered him. The guy makes a lasting impression with that special brand of crazy.” He rolls his eyes. “I don’t know who that was in the picture. Other than a guy with similar hair and no clue how to style it.”
“I think that makes him free to go, Quentin,” John says with weight. Oliver holds out his arms, clinking the handcuffs together for emphasis of that thought.
Before Quentin can do much more than sigh, Queen reaches across the desk for the pen on the table. After bending the metal pocket clip out of place, he twists it into the locking mechanism, and the handcuffs pop open.
As Lance gapes at the handcuffs on the table, Queen winks before pulling loose the polygraph wires. “I told you I can pick a set of handcuffs,” he declares with a grin. Leaning across the table, he asks, “Want to know a secret, Detective? I don’t lie. I’m not very good at it.”
Queen walks across the room, throwing an arm over Felicity’s shoulders. As they walk toward the door, he asks, “Want to go find a real suspect for this murder case?”
Felicity answers, “Can we stop for celebratory ice cream first?”
Oliver grins. “Like I could say no to you, Smoak.”
Eighteen-year-old Oliver Queen slams the door on his way into the Smoak household, plopping down on the worn sofa. His house may be more opulent, but this actually feels like home. When things get bad, when the shit hits the fan, Felicity’s is the only place where things make sense.
“Smoak, I’m changing my name and moving to Australia,” he declares to his best friend. He doesn’t know where she is, but it’s summer vacation, so Felicity Smoak is here somewhere. She’s always home in the summer.
“Can I convince you to try New Zealand instead?” she answers from what sounds like the kitchen. “If you go to Australia, I can’t come visit you. They have kangaroos there, Oliver. I hate kangaroos.”
Sighing, he rises to his feet, plodding into the kitchen. “Fine, New Zealand it is,” he answers. “I just had another fight with Laurel and—” He stops short, taking in the mess of wires and parts sprawled across the kitchen table. “Donna is going to murder you if you took apart her blender again.”
Only then does Smoak look up at him, pushing her purple, wire-framed glasses up on her nose. Her brown hair was probably pulled up in a messy bun at some point, but now it’s sort of a sad ponytail with strands pulling loose around her face. There’s a smattering of freckles across her nose, and when she grins at him, she flashes a set of hot pink braces. At fourteen, she’s adorable, but in a few years, she’s going to turn heads—and no amount of braces or social awkwardness is going to cover that up.
Most of his friends don’t get why he sticks around. Tommy only refers to her as jailbait, and he and Laurel have argued more than once about Felicity Smoak. Tommy thinks she’s awkward and nerdy and some sort of pet project for him. Laurel doesn’t like him spending all his time with Felicity. All they see is the awkward, brilliant girl who skipped four grades, but he sees the only real thing in his life. Smoak sticks around because she wants to. She doesn’t care about his money or his fame.
In a sea of phony people, it’s a nice change.
“This isn’t my mom’s blender,” she replies with a roll of her eyes. She takes the nearby screwdriver and uses it to motion to her device. “I’ve been bored and there was a CSI marathon on TV today. It inspired me.” She tilts her head to the side, twisting her fingers. “I kinda, sorta made a polygraph machine.”
“Felicity Smoak, you little genius,” Oliver declares. “I hope your girlfriend realizes you’re this clever.”
“I don’t—” She stops short, eyebrows furrowing. Her mouth opens several times, but nothing comes out. That telltale blush spreads across her cheeks before she finally she decides on, “What makes you think I have a girlfriend?”
“Smoak, it’s like you don’t know me at all,” Oliver replies, falling into a kitchen chair. “Deduction is kind of what I do, remember?” He’s never told anyone about his observational skill and photographic memory but her, and she accepted it without question. “I saw you with Sara last week. Holding hands and the little kisses?” He crosses his arms. “I knew you two were together as soon as I saw it. You’ve been trying to tell me for two months, haven’t you?” When she looks away, he nods to himself. “I figured you didn’t know how to tell me, so I thought I’d tell you.”
He motions to himself. “I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you could say it to me, but I’m glad for you, Felicity. This is 2004—you don’t have to stay in the closet. Especially not to me. I’m not an asshole, you know.” He winks. “I can appreciate wanting to get freaky with a girl. Girls are great.”
She rounds the table, leaning against it as she stares down at him. “It kind of turns out that I like guys, too. I, um, I’m bisexual.” She lifts a shoulder. “I’ve been trying to work up the courage to say something. First to you, then my mom.” She crosses her arms over her chest. “I didn’t know how you’d react.”
While he might not be the best friend in the world, Oliver knows this is something he has to make right. If he doesn’t handle this well, it could be the end of their friendship. “Hey,” he insists in a gentle tone, “I like you because you’re you, Felicity. It doesn’t make a difference to me if you’re interested in men, women, or no one at all. You’re Felicity Smoak, and you’re my badass, genius best friend. And I am always here for you.”
Because she still looks doubtful, Oliver rises from the chair to kiss her forehead. Like always, it brings a smile to her face. From there, he throws an arm over her shoulder and asks, “So are you going to tell me about your lie detector or not?”
“Polygraph,” Smoak corrects, slipping out of his grasp. Her eyes light up with the idea. “Calling it a lie detector is, well, a lie.” She motions to her laptop in the middle of the mess. “I did some extensive research on the subject. It’s a little disappointing, honestly. A polygraph can only detect signs of deception. It can’t tell them you’re lying, or why there’s deception in your voice.” She motions to it. “Emotion influences the reading. Like sadness or stress or just being horny.” She grins. “So if we were doing a lie test on you and Laurel was your interviewer, it would probably tell me you were lying on every question.”
“Probably,” Oliver agrees, sharing her smile.
“Want to give it a shot?” she asks, pointing to it.
Grinning, Oliver answers, “Smoak, I thought you’d never ask.”
As she attaches all the wires, she explains, “The three basic components of a poly seem to be sweat rate, respiration, and heart rate. That’s what mine is based on.” She leans back in a chair next to him as the machine starts to print jagged, green lines on the monitor hooked up to it. “I’m gonna ask you some control questions to start,” Felicity declares. “That supposedly helps calibrate the machine and establish the baseline. Ready?”
He grins. “Give me your worst, Smoak.”
“Is your name Oliver Queen?” she asks in an even tone.
“Yep,” he replies without missing a beat. The little green lines stay the same height.
“Is your birthday May 16th?”
“Yep.” The lines stay small again. Oliver grins; this is gonna be a cakewalk.
“Now I want you to lie to me,” Felicity declares. “I want to see a false positive for the baseline, so I can compare later. Are you in love with Laurel?”
Felicity frowns when the little lines stay the same as he grins triumphantly at her. “One more for the baseline,” she insists. Holding up a red pen, she asks, “Is this pen red?”
Suddenly the little lines shoot up to the top of the scrolling display. Felicity only quirks an eyebrow at him. “Do you want to talk about the whole Laurel thing, or do you want to continue?” she asks quietly.
His expression sours as he realizes what the polygraph just told him. Maybe fooling the damn thing isn’t going to be as easy as he thought—and maybe he just learned more about his current relationship than he meant to. “Let’s keep going,” he insists. “Hit me with another question. I’m going to keep going until I learn how to beat this damn thing.”
Felicity laughs. “Okay, fine.” A smirk crosses her features, and he knows he’s in trouble. “Did you eat my last slice of pie in the fridge?”
“No!” Oliver protests immediately.
“Liar,” she declares when the lines spike again. “Damn it, Oliver, that was the last piece!” Oliver winces; maybe turning Smoak loose on the world with a homemade polygraph wasn’t as great as he originally thought. “Raisa made that for me. What kind of an animal steals the last piece of pie out of someone’s fridge?”
“Smoak, I’m just as helpless when it comes to pie as you are,” he replies, shrugging. With a grin, he adds, “And it was amazing, too.”
Pulling herself up as tall as she can manage—which really isn’t that tall, in the grand scheme of things—she declares, “Oliver Jonas Queen, do not make me tear your digital life apart. I have a basic background in hacking. It wouldn’t be hard.” After poking him in the shoulder as a warning, she asks with a grin, “Is it true that you got drunk and peed on a cop?”
This time he’s smarter about it; he doesn’t just blurt out the answer. The machine monitors breathing and heart rate and perspiration. Those are things he’ll have to control if he wants to beat this thing. Fortunately, he’s practiced conscious control of his autonomic nervous system after he read about Tibetan monks controlling their body temperature. Taking a deep breath, he replies, “No.”
The little green lines stay small and short.
He sticks a finger in her face. “I beat your precious little machine, Smoak,” he declares. “Admit it: I won.”
Rolling her eyes, Smoak replies, “I told you it was flawed to begin with, Oliver. The idea of the lie detector is ages old and yet it’s not a perfect science.” She sighs as she starts unfastening the chest strap. I’m glad you’re happy, but I wish you were less obnoxious about it.”
“Love you, too, Smoak,” he answers with a wink. She turns to stare at the polygraph, smiling as it shows no signs of deception. “And you shouldn’t need a lie detector to realize that.”
Sighing, she pulls the last of the wires free, shutting down her machine. “I feel like I’ve done enough to contribute to your future criminal history,” she declares with a laugh. “Oliver Queen, conqueror of polygraphs. God help us all.” She turns. “Do me a favor and use your powers for good and not evil, okay?”
Scoffing, Oliver replies, “When am I ever gonna need to pass a polygraph?” He tilts his head to the side. “What if I become an undercover cop in the Bratva, and they hook me up to a lie detector? If they ask me if I’m a cop, you just saved my life, Smoak.”
Smoak laughs. “Please, Oliver. You like breaking the rules too much to ever uphold them.” Oliver starts to deny that, but he shrugs as he realizes it’s mostly true. “But if it gets you out of a parking ticket or a menacing charge in the future, I feel like I’ve done my part to save you from yourself.”
Walking to the fridge, Oliver answers, “Have I ever mentioned how glad I am that we had to escape the library together?” She laughs, falling into a kitchen chair as he moves toward the refrigerator. “Hey, want to split a pint of mint chocolate chip and then see if you can beat the polygraph? I’ll teach you.”
Grinning as she leans back in her chair, she replies, “You had me at mint chocolate chip, Oliver.”