Oliver nods, grinning charmingly down at the little old woman in pearls and satin who has hold of his hand.
She apparently remembers him being “knee high to a grasshopper,” but he has no idea who she is. He makes agreeable noises and generic small talk for a moment more, and then she pats his knuckles and lets him go, watery brown eyes twinkling behind large glasses.
Oliver bids her a wonderful evening, and then makes his—sedate, poised—escape through the milling crowds bedecked in finery. He cuts through to the outskirts, circling around the large ballroom towards the exit where Diggle is posted in his classic suit, feet shoulder-width apart, hands clasped in front of him, and an amused smirk on his lips.
Oliver sidles up to him with an aggrieved sigh, reaching up to loosen his tie as he nods and tosses a bright smile at the wife of a QC board member across the room. “How long have we been here?”
His voice colored by laughter at his friend and employer’s expense, Diggle answers, “About an hour. Can’t cut and run for at least two more.”
Oliver presses his lips together and exhales sharply from his nose, resisting the urge to run his hand over his freshly-trimmed hair. “I miss the days of making a late appearance, cutting a fatass check, and getting the hell out of dodge.”
Digg nods, smirking at him sidelong. “Well, you’re respectable now, Mr. Queen. That’s the price you pay.”
Oliver grumbles unintelligibly under his breath about the uses for respectability, fingers rubbing against one another as his hunger idly chews at him.
He really should have hit a couple of blood bags before this interminable fundraising gala began. He had forgotten to feed most of yesterday, and then had kept needing to put if off today.
Suddenly, Oliver blinks at a realization. “Wait, where’s Felicity? I thought you both said you were coming.”
John snorts. “She’s around. You’ll see her.” Oliver cuts him a sideways glance at the layered meaning enriching his tone on that second sentence, but Diggle continues, “Don’t worry, neither of us is bailing on your promised moral support. We’re both here in case you need hand-holding.”
Oliver shifts to give him an unamused stare, but Digg just continues smirking beatifically out at the crowd.
Unperturbed by Oliver’s annoyance, Diggle nods to the left. “There’s our girl. Looks like she could use some backup herself.”
Oliver follows John’s eyeline across the sea of wealthy elbow-rubbers to spot their partner near the open bar. She’s wearing the same gold mini dress from the ill-fated auction the Dodger had hit, though this time her hair is up in an elegant twist at the crown of her head, a loosely curled lock fetchingly framing one side of her face.
Oliver feels his head tilt appreciatively and involuntarily steps forward, mirroring his exact reaction at the unexpected sight of her the first time he saw that dress—and all of her long, smooth golden legs.
She looks dipped in sunlight in that dress, though her thin strappy heels are bright scarlet, giving her three and a half extra inches of height and accentuating the excellent curve of her calves, her thighs, her ass.
Shaking his head minutely, Oliver drags his eyes from their appraisal of Felicity’s figure and realizes he’s not the only one appreciating her particular loveliness tonight.
There’s a tall, trimly fit Asian man with hair cropped close at the back and sides, the longer hair on top slicked back, crowding into Felicity’s personal space—ignoring the way her cherry-red lips purse in a stiffly polite smile and she leans slightly away from him.
A searing flash of irritation and hostility slam Oliver like a brick to the head, and his upper lip skins back from fangs as a ragged growl hums low in his throat.
"Oliver, man, you okay?"
Diggle’s concerned voice snaps Oliver back to himself and he turns away, eyes squeezing shut and pinching the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. Inhaling deeply, he wrestles down his thirst-induced temper and says tightly, “Yeah. I’m good.”
Digg puts his head to one side and stares at Oliver dubiously. “Right.”
Oliver glances at him, a warning look not to push the subject, then cuts his gaze across the crowd again to see Felicity delicately peeling the tall man’s hand off her waist. A hot spike of hostility stabs Oliver through the chest and he smothers it.
Pushing his breath out through his teeth, he says to John, “I better go help her out before she has to deck the guy right here in the ballroom.”
Digg makes an agreeable sound, but Oliver is already leaving him behind, cutting through the crowd with quick, purposeful strides.
He comes up behind Felicity’s admirer moments later and, smoothing his hands down his suit jacket to keep from wrapping them around the thinner man’s neck, he clears his throat and puts on a friendly smile. “Felicity! There you are, I’ve been looking everywhere.”
Both Felicity and the other man turn to look at him, Felicity with a relieved smile, the dark-haired guy’s mouth twitching in irritation.
Oliver just grins wider and thrusts a hand towards him. “Hi, Oliver Queen. Felicity’s escort for the evening.” He ignores the raised eyebrows over his opponent’s shoulder and the way Felicity incredulously mouths at him “escort?”
"Mr. Queen," the other man responds, long fingers wrapping around Oliver’s own. It’s the same hand Felicity had plucked off of her waist, and for a moment, Oliver’s squeezes too tightly. Wincing, the smaller man continues in a cool, brusque tone. "Eric Kwan. Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Felicity and I were just discussing what a lovely evening your family has put together here."
Kwan looks at Felicity over his shoulder, extricating his fingers from Oliver’s and just missing the eyeroll Felicity exchanges for a pleasant smile. “Though she didn’t tell me she was accompanying our host for the evening.”
Oliver grins broadly, sidestepping around Kwan to settle a hand on the small of Felicity’s back—startling at the warmth of her skin. He hadn’t noticed this dress being backless last time. He abandons Kwan’s stare for half a second to assure himself it is indeed the same dress; it certainly appears to be.
Dragging his momentarily diverted attention back to Eric, he dips his head in deferral. “Technically, I’m not the host. Just the bankroller.”
"Right, of course," Kwan murmurs, his eyes already on Felicity again, his gaze assessing her from head to toe like a hungry shark. "Now, Miss Smoak, didn’t you say you would do me the honor of a dance?"
Felicity stiffens beneath Oliver’s palm, his fingers flexing against her spine in response. “Actually—”
"Actually, I’m afraid I’ll be needing her," Oliver interrupts, drawing Kwan’s eyes—and thinly-veiled hostility. It makes Oliver bristle, the urge to get violent bubbling up under his skin. Can’t this guy take a hint? Felicity has made it quite clear she wants nothing to do with him.
Oliver closes his lips in a terse smile, feeling a fanged snarl threaten. “You see, she’s been very patient while I made the rounds, but I’ve neglected her terribly.” He glances down at Felicity, trying to school his face into something fond and empty-headed and feeling his failure. “I believe I owe you a glass of wine.”
Felicity’s eyes regard him curiously, warily, but she raises an eyebrow, playing along. “At this point you practically owe me a bottle, again. But what are friends for?”
Oliver knows she is just trying to avoid rumors about their close association, but he grinds his molars at her distinction about their friendship—not least because of the way Kwan’s eyes light up, like he scents bloodied prey.
"Perhaps after you two have… touched base," Kwan’s lips twitch in a smirk at the demeaning phrase, "I could steal you away for a few songs?"
Oliver’s jaw squares and nostrils flare and he pulls Felicity slowly more into his side. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible,” he bites off, his smile small and hard.
Kwan raises an imperious eyebrow, staring Oliver resolutely down. “Surely you don’t mean to monopolize her all night, Mr. Queen. The lovely lady deserves to be properly paid attention to.”
Oliver’s upper lip twitches—his fangs sliding down and pushing at it, and beside him, Felicity’s eyes widen. She places a quelling hand on his chest as she gently disentangles from his hold and steps slightly in front of him.
"Whoa, hey." Her tone is devoid of amusement, dripping with irritation. "The lovely lady can speak for herself.” She turns and pins Kwan with a hard stare. “And has been speaking for herself for the past twenty minutes, Mr. Kwan. I’ll try being blunt. No. I don’t want to dance with you.” She hooks her hand around Oliver’s elbow in a tight grip. “And if you’ll excuse us, my friend owes me a drink.”
She hauls on Oliver’s arm and pulls him away, leaving a flabbergasted Eric Kwan blinking in their wake.
Oliver trails behind Felicity, grumbling dire threats under his breath, rolling his head on his shoulders and trying to get his temper—and his bloodthirst—back under control. He isn’t succeeding, and when he realizes Felicity is pulling him down a hallway off the main ballroom, he knows she can tell.
Furtively glancing around them, Felicity pushes open a door and finds a darkened conference room, lit by the moon through the large windows in one wall, and pushes him inside.
Closing the door behind them, she turns to pin him with a hard look. “What is happening with you? Are you losing it?”
Oliver loosens his tie, feeling altogether too warm, and runs a hand over his bristly hair. He would have thought getting away from the crowds and the irritating Mr. Kwan would make it easier for him tobreathe. But here, in a dark room alone with Felicity, his nose filling up with the scent of her skin and hair and rushing veins, he knows he’s a fool.
"I just need a minute," he protests, angling his body away from her to try and hide his strained control, and lifts a warning hand. "That guy was just a prick, I just need a second."
Felicity scoffs lightly and ignores his raised hand, stepping closer and to the side to look up into his face curiously. “Yes, he was absolutely a prick, but you still don’t usually go around baring the sharp and pointies at civilians.”
Oliver screws his face up incredulously. “Sharp and—” He huffs, shakes his head. “I didn’t flash him any fang, Felicity.”
She raises her eyebrows challengingly. “Maybe not, but it was close. I half expected the band to strike up a strings rendition of ‘Show Me Your Teeth’ by Lady Gaga any second.”
Oliver’s brows pull together and he gives her a “what the fuck” expression. She rolls her eyes and waves her hand. “Nevermind. Doesn’t matter. What does matter is you almost ripping out a guy’s throat because he insisted on dancing with me.”
Oliver scowls. “What, I should have left you two alone? He was putting his hands on you, and you wanted me to ignore that?” Felicity blinks at him, lips parting, and he wants to snatch the words out of the air as fast as they roll out of his mouth. “Or maybe I misunderstood and you were enjoying him pawing at you?”
Felicity glares at him and steps into his space, jabbing him in the chest with one french-tipped finger. “Oliver, you are being ridiculous. Are you even okay to be here?” She narrows her eyes at him, and his gaze plunges to the floor, jaw flexing, looking hunted and like a scolded child. “When was the last time you fed?”
His eyes shoot up to the ceiling, throat flexing, and she makes an “aha!” sound.
"Oliver! When was the last time you fed?" She tugs on his lapels, demanding he look at her.
He does, oddly startled by how much closer she is in her heels. “I don’t know? I’ve been busy.” She purses her lips, and he sighs. “Maybe… thirty-some hours?”
Felicity’s brows pull together, and Oliver suddenly realizes her eyeliner is winged, making her eyes seem larger, more at a slant, accentuating the lines of her cheekbones. “Shit, Oliver. Since you’ve fed—at all? Like, no donor, no bag?”
It’s his turn to look at her like she’s being stupid. She knows damn well she’s his only live donor, and it’s been—hell, almost two weeks since he’s had his mouth on her.
Just the thought makes the hunger roar up in him—more than one hunger, with the memory of her skin under his tongue and her hips under his hands, that little noise she makes in the back of her throat when he sucks deep.
He shudders, can feel his fangs again under his lip, and by the way she blinks up at him, he’d guess his pupils have blown wide as he stares at her.
She swallows, and it draws his gaze to her neck. “Okay, um. That’s. Not good, Oliver. You hate these things, you really should have made sure you were well-fed beforehand.”
Her fingers are still loosely pinching his lapels, and she glances over at the door, licking her lips. Looking strangely guilty, she returns her attention to his face. “You can’t leave yet, and there’s no point in going all the way to Verdant to get you a bloodbag, bringing it back here, and then trying to get you an excuse to go hide and have a snack.”
Filthy images assault the backs of his eyes as she says “have a snack”, and he licks his lips, swallowing hard. She tracks the movement with her eyes.
Nibbling at her red, red lip, she breathes, “Well… I’m here. And now’s probably the only moment you’ll be able to steal away…” Her eyes look up into his, offering, pleading not to put it in so many words.
Biting hard against a groan rising up his throat, Oliver swallows and rasps. “Felicity—can I—please? Would you mind…”
She holds his gaze and slowly shakes her head. “No, it’s—it’s fine.”
Oliver almost bites his lip, remembers his fangs at the last second. Tearing away from Felicity’s eyes, he looks around the room—there’s a tall, polished mahogany table right in the center, and if he has Felicity sit there she’ll be at the perfect height.
His hands are on her waist before the thought can travel to his mouth, and she squeaks in surprise as he lifts her, her hands sliding up from his chest to clutch at his shoulders. Her ass hits the tabletop and she slides a little on the smooth surface, her knees automatically rising up and clamping around Oliver’s hips to stop the motion.
Oliver sucks in air so hard it feels like it’s punching his lungs, and his eyes drop down. Her dress is so goddamn short, and that tiny slit at the top of her left thigh just lets it ride even higher. It looks more like a tanktop than a dress in this position, and Oliver can guiltily admit to himself how incredibly turned on he is in this moment.
"Um." Oliver’s eyes return to Felicity’s face, and she’s biting her lip again, her own gaze taking in her legs, bare from the very tops of her thighs and bracketing Oliver’s hips.
He can see himself so clearly, slipping his palm under her smooth, soft thigh and hauling her leg up around his waist, pulling her in close and rocking into her.
In a moment of weakness, or insanity—or possibly clarity—he does.
He is so hard and she is so hot against him, the friction so good. He groans, she gasps, and he drops his forehead against her shoulder.
He sucks in fast, heavy breaths—all he can smell is her, all he wants is her, her blood, her mouth, her small, pert breasts under his hands and her slick heat sheathing him to the hilt—and hisses them out between his teeth. “Fuck. Felicity—I’m sorry. I don’t know—I can’t—I just…”
One of the hands on his shoulders slides up the back of his neck, and he breaks out in gooseflesh as her fingernails scrape through the short hairs along his scalp.
He’s close enough her ragged breathing is driving the skin of his jaw to insane sensitivity.
His head jerks up. That was not what he was expecting to hear.
He leans back from her just slightly, looking hesitantly into her face. Her eyes are wide and dark, her lips wet and parted, and while she looks… stunned, surprised, confused, what she doesn’t look is repulsed, angry, or afraid.
Her fingernails scratch back down from the crown of his head to his nape, and his lashes flutter closed, teeth locking tight on another groan. She draws his head down, and when the tip of her nose brushes his, he opens his eyes, and all he can see are hers.
She lifts the thigh he is holding still around his waist just a little higher and presses the heel of her foot against his ass. He swears, his hips jerking against her again, rubbing against the core of her—and Jesus Christ, if he’s not mistaken, she’s wet.
He growls and his fangs actually pulse.
"Oliver," Felicity murmurs, voice low and throaty. Her hand on the back of his neck applies pressure again, and he realizes she is guiding him to her neck.
He shudders and gives up on control.
She makes a small, whimpering sound as he licks a long stripe over her artery, positions his fangs, and bites down, slow and hard. She cries out a little, and he takes hold of her other thigh, dragging them both up his waist as he rocks forward against her again.
He sets up an easy rhythm, sucking and lapping at her vein and grinding between her legs in time. She keeps up. As he drinks, her hands skim down his shoulders and back, taking firm hold of his ass and squeezing, encouraging him to meet her harder, faster, more.
He is throbbing in his slacks, getting perilously close, and then he pulls free of her neck. She yelps a little at the sudden detachment, and he laves the wound attentively, absolutely nothing utilitarian about the way he licks and tastes her.
He could drink from her so much longer, but it’s not what he wants right now. It’s not what she needs.
Felicity breathes his name against his ear, and his hips rock helplessly with her one more time before he eases slightly back.
"No," she moans petulantly, and he can’t help the smug, fierce grin that overtakes his face. Her eyes are closed, cheeks flushed despite the bloodloss.
His hands slide up her thighs to her waist, pinching at the textured fabric of her dress and bunching it higher. “No?” He asks, teasing. “Are you sure?”
He slides a hand down her stomach, breath hissing as his fingertips encounter thin, lacy fabric over the hot contours of her sex. “God, you’re wet,” he groans.
She startles him with a little growl of her own. Her eyes shoot open and she glares at him, fingernails biting into his ass. “Then do something about it, Oliver Queen. Or are you all talk—”
He crashes his mouth to hers, swallowing the rest of the taunt as he slips his tongue past her parted lips and properly tastes her mouth for the first time. Between their bodies, he pulls aside the lace of her panties and explores her slick folds, grinning as she gasps against his lips.
He circles her clit, then presses his thumb to the little bud, his fingers slipping down and spreading her, tracing her entrance, teasing.
She pulls away from his mouth with a frustrated huff and looks him in the eye. “Oliver, now.”
He grins, pressing another kiss to her mouth, then nips gently at her lower lip just as he eases one finger inside of her. Her mouth hangs open, eyes squeezing shut as she pushes her thighs wider, trying to get him deeper.
He works his finger in and out, stretching her, feeling her get wetter with each motion. He adds a second finger, biting at his own lip as her head drops back, a breathy, throaty sigh escaping her. “More.” She lifts her head back up, suddenly hesitant, shy, uncertain. “Oliver…”
He licks his lips, instantly nervous himself, even as he pushes his fingers into her again, curls, presses his thumb to her clit. Her eyelashes flutter, but she regains eye contact. “Yes, Felicity?”
She leans forward and presses a hard kiss to his mouth, arching her back to rub her breasts against his chest—he is suddenly very much reminded that her dress is backless, and that she isn’t wearing a bra.
"I want you. All of you. Now, please.”
Oliver jerks awake with wide eyes and sweat-damp skin, his heart pounding in his chest. His fist is closed around his dick, and it takes him a moment to realize why he is alone.
Groaning, he bangs his head back against the pillows, glaring up into the darkness at the ceiling.
A dream. It was a dream.
A dream built on a memory—everything had happened exactly the same, up until just after he had sat Felicity on the conference room table.
He had certainly imagined pulling her legs around his waist, letting slip his control and really feeling her. But as always, he’d swallowed the urge and behaved rationally instead.
It’s bad enough how he relies on Felicity to slake his bloodlust. It’s utterly unthinkable to impose that more basic lust on her as well.
And now his subconscious is taunting him with what he might have had, what he so badly wants and can’t allow.
“Fuck,” he hisses through gritted teeth.
He’s so ragingly turned on now, can practically still taste Felicity’s blood, her mouth, can feel the ghost of her around his fingers. His blood boils, breathing ragged, lungs like a bellows.
Oliver swears viciously in Russian, takes himself firmly in hand, closes his eyes, and finishes off to the sweet dream of his name on Felicity’s tongue.