#4-Not So Subtle Standoff

Felicity had discovered the ring about a week after they'd moved into the loft. She'd been rushing through the living room already late for work when she'd bent down to fix the strap on her shoe and froze. Right there, pressed against the side of the glass bowl was a ring, and everything in her told her exactly what kind of ring it was.

She hadn't touched it, merely gone on to work like nothing had happened and she waited. For days and then weeks and then months she waited. But Oliver never said a word and the ring was still there.

She'd find herself going days without thinking about it, and then suddenly be struck by the memory. There was a multi-carat engagement ring just hanging out in a bowl of glass beads in their living room and Oliver didn't seem very inclined to do anything about it.

Every conceivable scenario and reason for why it was still there played out in her head. She went days where she convinced herself the ring wasn't even from Oliver, that maybe Thea had left it there before she'd moved, but Felicity eventually recognized that Thea Queen would never leave something that expensive sitting in a bowl of beads, however, her sometimes dense brother most definitely would.

It was a rare night off when it all came to a head. Darhk's men had been quiet, there were no campaign events to attend, and Palmer Tech didn't need her immediate attention. Oliver had cooked, something they both admitted to missing and then it was wine and a movie on the couch with the fireplace flickering beneath.

Felicity sighed in contentment, only half paying attention to what was on the screen. She was more interested in reveling in the feel of Oliver's arms around as she curled into him. He reached over her to grab his glass and when he did she could see the ring staring back at her through the bowl.

An idea formed, one that had her biting her lip to hide her smile and hoping Oliver didn't notice. She'd been patient. For months she'd been patient. But if Oliver wasn't going to make a move then maybe it was time to help him along.

She shifted back some, lifting her head as she reached for her own glass, taking a long sip of the flavorful red blend before putting it back on the table and very slowly and very deliberately pushing the wine glass until it clinked against the bowl, right next to where the ring sat.

Oliver's bicep twitched against her upper arm and she felt him pause before he cleared his throat and sat his glass back down, once again blocking the ring from her view.

This time she smirked, turning on her side as Oliver shifted behind her, his now free hand cupping her hip through the lightweight pajama pants she wore.

They played the same game two more times, and each time she sat the glass down just a little harder, making just a little louder of a clink and Oliver matched her, always putting his wine back in a way that blocked the ring.

She knew he knew what she was doing. The movie was forgotten as they both silently went all in.

When his fingers began to trace along the edge of her waistband she tried to ignore him. He wasn't going to get out of this one with sex. Though the thought was extremely tempting. However, she didn't see why she couldn't have both. Drive Oliver crazy over the ring and still get him to do that thing with his hips that usually left her seeing stars.

Felicity let out a long exaggerated sigh, dramatically moving around on the couch until she waved a hand towards the table, "I can't see the screen from this angle." she mock pouted, doubly glad Oliver couldn't see her face because it was impossible to hide her grin.

Only the barest of hesitations betrayed him before he moved the glasses aside and pushed the bowl a few inches to the left.

"Better?" he asked nonchalantly, hand now creeping beneath her top, fingertips just brushing the underside of her breasts and it was her turn to react, the breath catching in her throat as her skin tingled from his touch.

Oliver intended on playing dirty, but she wasn't going to allow him to distract her from her mission.

She lay as still as possible, something that became increasingly more difficult as his light teasing touches grew more and more bold. One more quick glance at the ring that had seemed to take up permanent residence in a bowl of glass beads and she knew it was time to go for broke.

"There's something in the bowl. It's catching the light and shining right into my eyes-"

Oliver groaned, rolling to his back as his hand slipped out from underneath her shirt. "I knew you saw it."

She twisted to her side, chin propped on his chest as he stared at the ceiling, the hand that had been teasing her now pinching the bridge of his nose in defeat.

"What's sad is that we haven't had a night off in three months to lay here and have you suddenly realize how ridiculously obvious a hiding place that was." she said with a tilt of her head as she stared up at him, "Oliver...I saw it right after we moved in. I've known it was there the entire time."

Slowly his hand dropped, his head dipping to stare down at her, an inscrutable look on his face. "You knew. All this time?"

Her shoulders lifted in a slow shrug, suddenly wondering if she'd gone too far, if she'd been wrong, if that wasn't an engagement ring or there was a reason he'd left it here all this time.

"And you never said anything?"

"Well...I thought…" a hot flush crept up her throat and across her cheeks, and before she could finish she pushed up on one elbow needing to sit up and center herself.

But Oliver wasn't going to let her go. In a move so quick she almost didn't know if was happening he had them flipped, her back settled against the pillows as he now hovered over her, trapping her between his arms.

"You thought right." he said quickly. "You deserve the perfect proposal, and I didn't want to screw it up."

Any bad thought she'd had was immediately erased as she stared up at him, looking hopeful and a little anxious.

Eyes locked she was certain she didn't breathe as Oliver reached behind him without dropping his gaze.

Felicity didn't blink as she heard him searching in the bowl, the glass beads rattling against each other until suddenly it was silent and the ring she'd only seen through the distortion of the glass bowl was being held before her.

Still not blinking, still not breathing but with her heart suddenly pounding so hard in her chest she could feel it in her ears she waited as he silently lifted her left hand and slid the ring into place.

"This is perfect." she whispered, the love she felt from him and for him flooding her senses and the smile that bloomed across his face making her feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

It wouldn't be until hours later as they lay tired but happy in their bed that she began laughing, and when Oliver finally pried out of her what had set her off he joined her.

After the months of wondering, with bad hiding places, and interrupted desserts, and delays for the perfect plan she'd realized that Oliver had never actually asked her to marry him, and she had never actually said yes.