The rest of the night wasn’t without nightmares for either of them. Thankfully Felicity only woke to vague feelings of dread and not the horrible images she’d had before. Oliver slept soundly beside her, his arm tightening around her waist as she wrapped one leg around his and pressed her nose into his chest letting his presence lull her back to sleep.
Oliver’s dreams were more restless. He woke her by calling her name, head turning back and forth as he mumbled ‘no’ over and over again. Felicity pushed herself up on her good arm and leaned over him, using her fingers to smooth the lines of tension across his brow. Finally he’d blinked open his eyes and almost seemed to drink her in, like he didn’t believe she was there with him.
“I’m here, I’m safe,” she whispered as he ghosted calloused pads over her cheek, tracing the bruises so gently she barely felt his touch. It took her telling him twice more and placing a kiss on his lips before he cupped the back of her head and drew her down, tucking her beneath his chin. She lay awake until she felt his breath even out and then fell back asleep herself.
When she woke again, weak early morning light was beginning to fill the room. She was still curled against Oliver’s side, neither of them seeming to have moved and she didn’t know if it had been from need or exhaustion.
She could tell from the steady rise and fall of his chest under her cheek that he was still asleep and she stayed where she was, not wanting to risk waking him. The covers were around their waists, leaving his chest bare and she couldn’t help flexing her fingers ever so slightly on the warm flesh.
Her mind began to tumble, as the realization that she was back and she was safe and their lives would need to return to normal, resonated with her.
Casting now wide eyes around the room she couldn’t help but wish they could stay there forever and never leave. Just her and Oliver in their own tiny world. The idea was tempting but she knew it could never happen as much as she might like it to.
Her fingers had begun to draw small swirls and circles over the broad planes of his chest, lazily tracing the defined muscles and scars. She tilted her head down minutely and saw bruises and scrapes she hadn’t noticed the night before.
His ribs were a mottled mass of purples and blues that she knew had to hurt. She’d also been around long enough to know he hadn’t received those marks from sparring with Digg. Which meant he’d been putting the hood on and going out.
A long exhale passed her lips. He shouldn’t have been doing that. She didn’t know exactly how bad things had been while she’d been missing but she’d seen enough from Oliver and Digg to know it hadn’t been good.
Her fingers were now following the outline of the bruising, gently tracking the uneven pattern up and down his ribcage as she tried not to think about what could have happened to him.
“I didn’t have a choice, you know,”
She stilled as she heard him, chest rumbling beneath her ear, his voice gravelly with sleep.
“I had to get out and do something,”
She opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off, “I know, it wasn’t smart but I had to. I was…drowning, being able to focus on that helped.”
“I’m sorry, ” she began but he wrapped her tighter and tilted her chin up to look at him,
“Don’t. Stop apologizing,” his eyes were dark and far too intense for so early in the morning,
Without looking away she reached up and grasped his hand, bringing it to her lips to brush a kiss over his knuckles. “Okay,”
They stared at each other for a long moment before he slipped his hand from hers and let it run carefully over her forehead, the soft caress making her shut her eyes and rest her chin on his chest. “How are you?”
She let out a sigh and shifted back some, causing his hand to fall away from her face, “I'm…” she didn’t know what to say, she felt more present than she had the night before, more aware, but she still didn’t feel right. It was as if her brain and her body hadn’t quite reconnected yet. “I’m here,” she settled with that, knowing it was far less than what he was asking,
Oliver didn’t reply, not with words at least. He looked at her with that fervently deep stare that made her feel like he was seeing into her very soul. Speaking wasn’t necessary, they could say everything that needed to be said without uttering a sound.
Knowing he understood she moved closer, allowing his fingers to resume their soft glide across her cheek and behind her ear, rubbing slow circles into her scalp.
“If you do that I’m going to fall back asleep,” she said as her lids shut and her head came back to lay against his chest.
“You could do that. You probably should do that.” he kept up the same steady pace that had her in danger of drifting off again,
“What time is it?” she asked easily, sinking into him further with an almost content sigh.
He shifted beneath her and she cracked open one eye to see him reaching for his phone. “Where’s my phone? Do I still have one? I don’t suppose you ordered me a new one…” she trailed off as he went stiff, tension filling him.
With effort she could feel pouring off of him he settled back on the pillows, “I have your phone. It wasn’t damaged in the wreck,”
She couldn’t say what it was that tripped her memory but suddenly she was struggling to sit up as she looked at him in mortified shock. “Oh my god! My parents! Oliver…are they here? Have you seen them? Are they at a hotel? They’re not at my apartment are they? How could I have forgotten about them….my mom….oh god…”
Felicity had half pushed the covers away and was trying to leave the bed, her momentary feeling of peace completely forgotten when Oliver sat up and wrapped an arm around her to hold her in place.
“Felicity, wait! There’s something you need to know!”
It was his tone that made her freeze. He was about to tell her something unexpected, something that she didn’t know if she wanted to hear, she could feel it in her bones.
She had one foot pressed into the floor, the other still curled under her as she sat, pulled against him on the side of the bed, waiting for him to tell her.
“They don’t know. They never knew.”
“What do you mean?” her voice sounded hollow even to her, as a shiver of apprehension made its way down her spine,
He shifted closer, his arm tightening before he spoke as if he was afraid she was going to try and run again. “The F.B.I…they were afraid he was going to escalate the bombings.” he held himself like an iron pillar behind her, his tone carefully controlled, “The roadside bomb and your abduction were kept out of the press.”
Her stomach dropped at the news, and she shook her head in disbelief, “No…that…But you said my parents didn’t know…how?”
His head bowed, coming to rest against the back of her hair and she could feel his heavy exhales as he tried to find the words to explain to her what had happened. “They were deliberately not told. The F.B.I was concerned if he had contact with his parents or if they were helping them-”
“Oh god!” she exclaimed, hand coming up to cover her mouth in horror, “If my parents knew I was missing then…”
“They didn’t want to risk information being exchanged,”
“Your parents had no idea he took you. They never knew you were gone.”
“No…that can’t be.” it didn’t make sense, “My mother…there’s no way she would have gone all this time without talking to me. Not with him being here. She would have known something was wrong.” Oliver had to be mistaken because none of this was adding up.
A strangled noise came from his throat and he loosened his hold some, pulling back until she wasn’t pressed so tight against his chest. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I sent her messages…texts. I sent them from your phone telling her you were busy with work…” he trailed off as she turned to stare at him in shock and surprise, unable to hide the look of betrayal she knew was on her face.
“Oliver-” she breathed out, tears filling the bottoms of her eyes,
“I didn’t have a choice,” he said quietly, gaze cast on the floor,
For a second she couldn’t breathe, “Of course you had a choice! You made her think I was fine when I was being drugged and held by a psychopath!
His head whipped up and she could see how much he had fought himself over it. She could see how it had torn at him. "And what if he had been getting help from his parents? If yours were receiving updates from the F.B.I on your status the risk was too high.”
She slid off the bed and stood, looking at him in confusion and hurt, “My parents knowing that I had been kidnapped came down to a risk assessment?” she asked bitterly,
“Don’t belittle this! It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I did it to help keep you safe!”
She heard him rise when she turned away, needing a moment to try and calm her thoughts and her emotions. She could feel him behind her, but he didn’t try and touch her and she wasn’t sure if she was glad about that or not.
When a dark thought crossed her mind she couldn’t help the gasp that accompanied it, her arms wrapping around her own waist in support, “Oh my god, he was right. No one was looking for me,”
He had her turned in his arms so fast her hair whipped in her face, “That is not true! We were looking for you! We never stopped! That is all we did. For seven damn days that is all we did so do not say that no one was looking for you!” he looked as if he was ready to break down or just break something and she realized he’d taken her words wrong. She’d meant the news, and the media, not him, never him.
Her hands reached forward to lay against his chest, “I know, I’m sorry, I didn't…”
He crushed her to him, holding her so tight her lungs were constricted but she didn’t care. “It was all a mess, Felicity. I’m sorry they didn’t know. I’m sorry I’m the one that lied to them, but I’d do it again,”
Her mind was starting to become muddled and the feelings of panic were trying to reemerge. With a deep shuddering exhale she clung to him tighter and pushed those thoughts away to deal with later. As she rested against him a small part of her was grateful her parents didn’t know. They hadn’t spent the past week wondering if she was going to come home alive or not.
Gradually the almost desperate lock he had on her began to ease until one of his hands was dragging over her hair, trying to smooth down what she knew must have been a mass of wild curls.
She felt him speak before she heard him, the rumble vibrating deep in his chest where her head still lay. “He took you to that diner, didn’t he? To try and re-live the day of the accident. That’s where you made the phone call from.”
Her spine stiffened and his hand paused for a second before it resumed it’s comforting motion. With a suddenly dry mouth she tried to speak, “Yeah-”
“You don’t have to tell me if you’re not ready. I just…if you were there and you got to a phone why wouldn’t you have run?” She understood his need to know, to understand what she had experienced, but he was hitting directly on some of her worst memories.
Her eyes shut tight she turned her face into his chest, unconsciously attempting to avoid her thoughts. “There was a woman…he threatened to kill her if I wasn’t back from the bathroom in five minutes. He had the gun and she had a little girl with her and…” a sob caught in her throat as he took a sharp breath, hand threading through her hair to cup the back of her head, “I didn’t know what I was going to do when I left the table, but I knew it was my only chance. I knew he was going to take me back to that motel and…” he was shushing her now but once she’d begun talking she couldn’t seem to stop.
“The waitress was in the bathroom. Her name was Debbie, I’ll never forget it. She let me use her phone. Oh god, Oliver hearing your voice…all I had wanted for so long was to hear your voice and then I knew I had to hang up. I knew I had to hang up and wash my face and go back out there like nothing had happened or he was going to kill that innocent woman. He’d already killed Monroe because of me and I couldn’t let him do it again.” she talked faster and faster, the pitch of her voice rising until she couldn’t speak any more.
“Okay, okay,” Oliver murmured softly into her hair, moving them backwards until he could sit on the bed and draw her up on his lap.
“I wanted to run. So badly. You have to know that. Knowing you were coming…it’s what kept me going, it’s why I fought so hard. I couldn’t let you find me in that room too late. I couldn’t do that to you,”
His grip was vise like and the noise that came from him was pained and tortured, “I know why you didn’t run. I understand. I’m just sorry we didn’t figure it out sooner.” she could feel his adam’s apple bob against her forehead more than once as he fought for control.
For a long while he just held her and she let him. Her tears dried, his heartbeat slowed under her ear as they tried to find a calm together.
A low buzz from Oliver’s phone had her lifting her head as he turned to see who it was. Without a word he reached over and tapped out a response she couldn’t see. “Do you want to lay back down?” he asked quietly after he’d brought his hand back and let it lay loose over her thigh.
She nodded once and he didn’t say another word as he shifted back and laid them down. Like the night before he was wrapped around her from behind, except this time she turned so she could face him, tucking her nose into his skin so close that when she looked up all she could see was the rest of his chest and shoulder.
One hand slipped back into her hair and began to gently massage her scalp as her eyes slid shut, her breath evening out.
She hadn’t intended on falling asleep but when there was a knock on the door she jumped, eyes flying open as Oliver pressed up on one elbow, “Hey, it’s okay, it’s just Digg.” he said quickly dropping a kiss to her temple, “Just stay here I’ll be right back,”
Rolling to her back she winced as her arm rubbed against the mattress. Oliver tugged on a pair of pants before he made his way to the door, turning back to look at her before he opened it. Digg stood on the other side holding a large tray which Oliver took from him immediately.
Felicity scooted upwards, slightly self-conscious at being seen laying in bed even if it was only Digg as they approached the bed. Oliver placed the tray at the foot and then both of them stood there looking down at her.
“How you feeling? Get any rest?” Digg asked, hands in his pockets in a relaxed pose that looked a little too forced,
She pushed her messy hair out of her face, her eyes cutting quickly to Oliver and then back to Digg, “Yeah, some.”
He gave her an understanding smile like he knew the little sleep she’d had wasn’t as restful as it should have been. “Glad to see you looking like you again,” he said with a nod to her hair and she couldn’t help touching it again.
“Thank you,” but she wasn’t thanking him for the comment, rather for the effort he’d gone through to ensure she had more than enough selections to choose from and having the foresight to know it was something she would need to have fixed as soon as possible.
Digg just gave her a soft look that said everything she needed to know. Then he shifted his feet and looked between the two of them again, “Look, I know you probably don’t want to hear this, either of you, but Agent Jackson is going to be here within the hour.”
Oliver immediately stiffened, shoulders going back, hands fisting at his side, “Why?” he growled,
“Not sure, but I assume it’s to follow up on some things.” he said easily, as if he had an idea of why Jackson was coming back but he didn’t want to worry her.
Felicity felt her stomach twist at the idea of having to talk to the agent again. Memories of the day before in the back of the ambulance, alone as she found out Nate had had her for far longer than she’d thought slammed into the forefront of her mind bringing with it a swift relapse of panic that had her trying to push the covers back in an instant.
It was Digg’s large hand on her shoulder that stopped her. As she stared at him mutely with wide eyes he knelt in front of her and held her gaze.
“Hey, I know this isn’t easy,” he began calmly, “But it’s part of the process and believe it or not it’ll help.”
Slowly she felt the panic recede and she tucked a few stray curls behind her ear with a shaking hand as she nodded. She knew he was right but it didn’t mean she wanted to do it.
He gave her a squeeze and stood, turning to Oliver who was only a foot away, “Thea’s been asking…about both of you.”
Felicity wiped another hand over her head and pulled the tail down on her shirt, suddenly all too aware that she was going to be seen by someone other than Oliver and Digg sooner than she would have liked.
“I’ll…we’ll see her when we come down.” Oliver said quickly, and Digg dipped his chin,
“Alright, I’ll let her know.”
She raised her eyes to see the two men exchanging looks. It wasn’t anything new. They’d always been able to have those silent exchanges but right then she knew it was about her and it sent a flare of anger through her. She didn’t want to feel managed or coddled. She was grateful for the concern and the care but there was a fine line between taking care of someone and treating them like they no longer had any agency in their own life. Nate had taken the control away from her for too long and she now felt strong enough to grab it back and not let go.
Through dulled ears she heard Digg say goodbye, the muted click of the door shutting letting her know she was alone with Oliver again.
Normally hearing him use that soft, low quality that seemed to be for her alone sent a thrill through her, but just then it sounded patronizing and she couldn’t help letting out a soft huff of irritation as he approached the tray and lifted the lid.
There was soup and tea and fruit. Nothing heavy. But it was obviously food you would give to a sick person and she was tired of feeling like that.
“I’m not hungry,” she said almost petulantly, mentally cringing at her tone but also not willing to do anything to change it.
“You have to eat-”
“No!” he cut her off, a sharp tone to his voice that he hadn’t used with her since she’d been back. He straightened with an exhale and rubbed a hand over the back of his neck, “You have to eat,” he sounded calmer, but the strain was evident.
Taking her time she lifted her chin to see him standing stone faced with the lid still in his hand, a deep furrow between his brow and a fight in his eyes.
“Soup? Soup and fruit?”
He opened his mouth to reply but she stopped him, “I’m not an invalid, or a child.” she bit out, eyes flashing to meet his, “Are you going to spoon feed me?” She hadn’t meant to sound so bitter and it was obviously a side of her Oliver had never seen before if the half-shocked, half-hurt look on his face was any indication.
Logically she knew she needed to eat. She knew she’d lost weight. But all her associations with food were tainted by Nate. The thought of eating made acid rise in her throat.
“Felicity,” he said warningly but she paid it no heed,
“Why can’t I have real food if you’re going to insist I eat?” she countered, finally pushing off the bed, putting space between not only her and the food, but her and Oliver. The selection on the tray was doing nothing but reinforcing her feelings of weakness and being helpless. “Double deluxe from Big Belly, that’s my usual, I didn’t think I was gone so long you’d forget.”
Everything froze between them as all the air seemed to be sucked from the room.
He blanched, face going slack and she immediately clapped both hands over her mouth in horror.
There wasn’t a single sound other than the blood rushing in her head. Her eyes filled with tears as she watched him go through every emotion, a constantly flickering wave that ended with him dropping the lid and backing up a step head tilted to the side in stricken confusion. He blinked once and when he opened his eyes there was a mask that had dropped into place.
She was moving before she even knew it, erasing the few steps between them, apologies already tripping past her lips as she almost crashed into his chest and reached up to touch his face.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped out, “I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t have…”
He drew back, just a hair but it was enough for her heart to go cold. Her hands froze, hovering alongside his jaw not knowing whether she should touch him or not.
“You weregone too long,” he ground out, the rawness making her feel like she’d been punched in the gut. He wouldn’t meet her eyes, and she knew her words had been like a knife to him.
“I know. I know. I’m sorry,” she repeated, the guilt at what she’d said more than she could bear.
When he captured her face in his hands she gasped and let out a trembling breath, knowing she didn’t deserve it. Calloused thumbs brushed tears off her cheeks and then one hand slid back into her hair and tugged her forward.
She muttered more apologies until he was shushing her, fingers rubbing circles into her scalp.
The rumble from his chest let her know he was speaking before she heard the words. “When I got back from the island I couldn’t eat foods I had been able to eat before. I’d spent five years surviving on whatever I hunted or could find,” she tried to pull back but he held her in place with her head tucked under his chin, “My first night back my mother had all my favorite foods prepared and I ate them because I knew she needed me too. She needed things to be normal again. But I was sick all night because of it.” he stroked a hand over her head and slid it down to tilt her chin up, looking at her now with nothing but love and concern. “I asked for the soup and the tea because you’ve lost weight and I know you haven’t been eating. I didn’t want to overwhelm your system. I don’t think you’re an invalid. I think you’re the strongest person I know.”
Guilt flooded her as the anger she’d felt vanished in an instant. He hadn’t been coddling her, he’d been trying to take care of her and instead of being grateful she’d attacked him.
“I’m sorry!” she said desperately into his chest where the skin was slick from her tears, “I…with my parents not knowing and having to talk to Jackson again and Thea wants to see us and I know she’s just worried but it’s all-”
“I know, I know,” he crooned, holding her impossibly close until she took a deep, shuddering breath and lifted her head.
Felicity planted her hands on his chest and pushed back before she wiped over her still watery eyes, “I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m…I’m not normally like this, you know I’m not.”
His took her wrists and tugged down gently until she had no choice but to drop her hands and look up, “There’s no playbook here, but we’ll figure it out, okay?”
She gave him a grateful smile as he lowered his head and brushed his lips over hers, that small act doing more to help calm and center her than anything else could have.
Their fingers tangled together and she gave herself a long moment to be still. Oliver’s chin rested on her head, some of the tension releasing from his body as he relaxed just the tiniest bit against her.
“You ready to eat now?”
“Yeah, I’ll try something,” she agreed and this time his relieved exhale was strong enough to drop his shoulders for a second.
She turned in his arms and made her way back to the bed, carefully climbing onto the mattress to avoid spilling the tea and soup. Oliver hung back, not offering help which she appreciated.
“You’re not hungry?” she asked as she picked up the soup and a spoon, feeling a bit strange eating it when it was technically breakfast, but it at least had some small bits of pasta and vegetables in it and wasn’t strictly broth, that would have been one step too far she thought.
“I’ll get something when we go down,” he said with a noncommittal shrug that had her raising an eyebrow,
“I promise!” he exclaimed, hands held up in mock surrender. That earned him a cock of her head which made him smile almost wistfully and turn away for a moment.
He tried not to watch her as she slowly sipped the soup, but his eyes kept darting back to her as he paced off excess energy throughout the room.
The soup was good, but as soon as it hit her empty stomach it began to make her feel queasy and strangely full. After half the bowl she knew she couldn’t eat any more without risking getting sick.
She put it back on the tray and didn’t look at Oliver as he turned sharply. His gaze was hot and unrelenting, making her skin prickle. It wasn’t until she’d poured some cream into the tea and took a few drinks that he looked away. But her stomach still churned and soon enough she was putting the cup back and scooting away from the tray, one hand laying across her middle.
“It’s okay,” he said and came immediately to cover the food and move it to the table. “Start slow,”
“Yeah,” she said quietly, shoving loose hair out of her face, again feeling self conscious for some reason.
Oliver approached her slowly until he sank onto the bed next to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, tugging him into his side, “You don’t have to do this,” he said heavily,
She smiled into his skin, raising a hand to lay on his leg. Always the hero. Always trying to save her.
“Yes I do. And if I do then hopefully I’ll never have to speak to the FBI again and…well, like Digg said…”
He let out a resigned sigh, pressing his lips to her hair, “Yeah,”
She squeezed his thigh and made the first move to stand, “I’m sure I look like a mess,” she said with half a forced laugh, turning to look at him and waving a hand up and down in front of herself, “One of your dress shirts and nothing else is probably not appropriate attire to wear to an interview with the FBI,”
He was quiet for a long beat as she fiddled with a button, and when he spoke she looked up in complete surprise, “You look perfect. If I could I’d make you stay in that and nothing else,” his voice was a low growl, laced with hunger and her hand stilled in front of her, eyes raising to see his darkened pupils.
Before she could say anything else his hands flashed out and snuck under the sides of the shirt, settling against her hips and hauling her between his legs. His mouth found hers, hot and needy, tongue sweeping through her lips without pause.
Felicity’s hands dove into his hair, slipping through the short strands, trying to find something to grasp and he pulled her even closer, thighs closing in on her as his mouth worked hers, tongues sliding, teeth nipping until she couldn’t feel her feet and her breaths were coming in short, staccato pants that left her head spinning.
When they both needed air his lips trailed a path across her jaw and down her neck, his forehead falling forward to rest against her collarbone. She stroked a hand over his head into the fine hairs at the base and rubbed over the tense muscles of his shoulders.
For a few minutes while their breaths evened out she held him, not realizing how much she needed to be the one to give him comfort as well as receive it. He leaned into her, his weight against her giving her strength.
His hands coasted steadily up and down the back of her thighs and over to the small of her back. Not wanting to put their solace to an end she reluctantly drew back, hands sliding up his arms, over his shoulders and in until she held his face. His eyes looked unnaturally bright, making her heart flip.
“I love you, Oliver Queen,” she whispered against his lips, the heavy breath that left him warming her face.
He mirrored her action by raising his hands to her jaw, thumbs stroking over her cheeks as her chest tightened when she saw the look of love cross his face, “I love you,” he replied just as quietly, kissing her long and hard as his fingers worked through her hair.
Foreheads pressed together she couldn’t stop the slow smile that spread across her face and he matched her. “We should get dressed,” she said, eyes darting to the large expanse of empty bed that lay behind him, as a small swirl of need made its way through her belly.
One of his large hands skimmed over her arm and back before sneaking under the edge of the shirt and up, squeezing her ass and making her moan. “We really should,” he agreed, although he didn’t remove his hand.
With a groan she pulled back until his hands were forced to fall away from her, “You really don’t play fair,”
“Never have,” he agreed, rising to join her, hands already reaching for her,
Once again she found herself in Oliver’s massive closet. As soon as they entered her nerves returned with full force as she was reminded of why she was having to get dressed. As Oliver quickly pulled out pants and a new shirt she was stuck staring at her clothes.
She didn’t know how long she’d been silently staring at the rack until he came up behind her, arms banding about her waist from behind as he dropped a kiss to the side of her neck. “What’s wrong?”
Felicity jumped, feeling her pulse accelerate at being caught off guard, “Nothing,” she said quickly and just as quick sighed, leaning back against him, “Sorry, I…I just…I don’t want to talk about it anymore, but I don’t feel like I can move past it yet. It’s too real…it…” she shook her head and lay her hands over his where the rested at her middle. She needed to box it away. She’d seen Oliver do it time and time again. Just turn off his emotions and shove them away because he didn’t have time to deal with them just then.
With a long breath she straightened up and stepped forward, grabbing the first skirt she saw. She could do the same. She could put everything that happened in the motel in a box and push it aside until she could deal with it.
Oliver’s hand landed on her arm, forcing her to drop it as she reached for a blouse. When his fingers caught her chin she had no option but to look at him, “Hey, you okay?” he asked, brows knitted together as he looked at her in worry,
“I'm…I just want to get this over with.”
He stared at her for a long minute and then drew back, “Okay,” he was letting her off the hook, but it wouldn’t’ be forever.
Twenty minutes later they were standing in front of the still closed door. She was dressed, glasses in place, hair wrestled into a fairly respectable ponytail considering Oliver had to be the one to put the tie in since her arm wouldn’t allow her yet.
Her stomach erupted in butterflies, a cool sweat already breaking across her back as she stared at that door like it was the last line of defense between her and the enemy.
Then Oliver’s hand found hers, engulfing it and for a second everything was whisked away.
Felicity blew out a careful breath, adjusted her glasses and squeezed his hand before nodding towards the door.
With no hesitation he reached forward and turned the handle, and she stepped through with Oliver at her side.