He heard Thea shouting from the kitchen as he walked in.
"I know your playboy days are over and it’s been a while since you were in a relationship but this is never something women dig"
"Thea, what are you talking about?" He exasperated. Noone seemed willing to let his mistakes go easily. He cornered the island and saw what she is violently pointing
"Oh don’t even go there. this is all that spawn of the devil you left here"
"Bob? And how many times I told you; Stop calling him those horrible names" she bent over and took the said devil into her arms. "Look at his face he is so cute!"
"Then why did you leave him here? Take him. He loves you and he hates me"
"I’m sure you started it first" she kissed the cat’s nose.
"Can you stop whatever you are doing"
"You know I can’t take him to mansion mom would kill me and him and can you please explain how it is Bob’s fault that you have a box filled with women’s underwear on your kitchen floor?"
Like he sensed what is coming, the cat jumped from her arms and made a run towards the living room.
"SEE? He knows what he did"
"Oh my god. This is gonna be fun"
"Yeah, that’s what I thought at first. Your little devil one day came running from the laundry room in the basement through the door with panties and just left it in the corner. I thought that’s funny. It stopped being funny after a month Thea! He didn’t stop doing it so I just leave that box over there that I don’t have to deal with them"
In the meantime, Thea was all over the box holding a bra in her hand
"Wow, these are some fancy expensive bras. You gotta find the owner, they might be important to her" she wiggled her eyebrows.
"Shut up and stop touching stranger’s underwear. That's.. weird"
"Says the guy who stores them in the kitchen"
"Just let it go okay or you are getting your precious Bob back"
"Gee calm down. Okay" she rolled her eyes.
It’s not that he hasn’t thought about them. After a month he started to pay attention to the variety of underwear he brought. One day it was lacy thongs other was hipsters with wonder woman on them. None of them seem to be the same except for really sexy black ones. Not that he thought about stranger’s underwear nor he is a pervert. It was all Bob's fault. After 3 months that cat brought home enough underwear to fill half of the box and surface of his bed which he learned one-morning thanks to Tommy who dumped the box on him while he is sleeping.
"Whatthefuck?!!" He jumped from the bed to see Tommy holding the box grinning.
"I had to see it with my own eyes. Hey, don’t you think it’s weird that I haven’t been to your place before?"
"To quote your own words, Tommy, it’s because if you wanted to feel confined you would spend a holiday with Malcolm"
"Okay, it’s not that bad. Especially according to your collection here, you seem to have lots of fun" He smirked.
"I’m gonna kill Thea or better I’m gonna take this cat to the mansion and let my mom do it"
"Wait are you serious? I thought it was some pg13 version of the real story that you told Thea"
"No Tommy you know that I’m not that person anymore and I have never been THIS creepy person" he gestures the mess on his duvet now. "Please put them back in the box"
"Aren’t you at least gonna try to find the lady?" He waved him a black lacy bra.
"Why? You didn’t believe me why would she? I don’t want to know as the pervert with underwear fetish in this building okay. I actually like living here"
"But she must be wondering where did they go?"
"Or they. They could belong to different people"
"Nah these are the same size. Trust me I’m a lingerie guy" he winked.
"Way too much information for this time of the day"
"I suggest you listen to Thea then. She is right there is someone’s paycheck here" with those words he picked the box and headed to the kitchen.
"OH MY GOD!"
Someone was yelling. In his kitchen. At 1 a.m and when the hell did he fall asleep on his couch? Wait someone was in his house. He stumbled off the couch and ran to kitchen grabbing a baseball bat on his way. That when he saw her bat raised over his shoulder. A petite blonde with messy hair in gym shorts and a t-shirt was standing in his kitchen next to the cat. After couple seconds he was able to remember the reason he came to the kitchen.
"What the hell are you doing in my house?"
"What the hell are you doing with my underwear?" She asked one hand at her hip looking at him angrily.
Shit. He should have listened to Thea and Tommy and put a note in the laundry room. How was he gonna explain this now? He dropped the bat and looked at Bob. He just meowed and started rubbing himself on her legs. That fucker really knew what he was doing.
"Okay you are not gonna believe this probably and you have every right but I will tell anyway"
"Did you train your cat to steal my underwear or not?"
"Wait that’s all yours?"
She looked at him unbelievably.
"Okay, okay listen. I did not train this cat for anything and you can see that in the way he looks at me. He kept bringing those and that’s why I left a box. He just didn’t stop and I’m not uncomfortable as you are probably but this is not fun for me either. But I’m sorry; I should have found you like my sister told me to"
"This is weird. How many people know that you are hoarding my clean underwear besides your sister? Not that I think that’s weirder than hoarding dirty underwear but still one thinks a pervert would do so and now I sound disgusting. Sorry. My mouth. No filter." She winced. "This is still weird though and do you always go around shirtless?"
"What?" Did she just…? He smiled. Who was this woman and how did she manage to leave him speechless.
“What I’m saying is that your door was open which is not safe at all and I followed your cat here since he stole my laundry. I was trying to catch him for weeks !”
“So you know that I am not some pervert collecting your…” He just looked at the floor. He just couldn’t say underwear in front of a woman. That was a first.
“Yes. Look I know you still might find it weird but I swear –“
“What’s your name?”
“You don’t know who I am?”
“Should I? Are you that famous as an underwear-stealing pervert?” She snorted and raised an eyebrow.
“Uhm no... it’s just... Oliver Queen. That’s my name.”
“Oh. Okay. I’m just gonna go”
“What?” She just picked the box and started walking swiftly to the door.
“Oh, and we are not done about this” she raised the box and left.
What the hell just happened was all he could think right that moment.
Exactly 15 minutes later she was at his doorstep with a ponytail, glasses and a sweatshirt this time.
“Oh, you put on a shirt! I mean hi!”
“Hey” he tried to stifle a laugh.
“Sorry for the way I left but... Can I come in? it is weirder like this. I mean I have already been to your place and you had my underwear for months. I would say we are not strangers” she just stepped in and walked towards in the middle of living room and started looking around.
“So?” he asked. Because he really wanted to solve this mystery and wanted to stop pacing around, thinking about what she would do.
“Oh yes. I’m sorry I left like that it’s just I realized you might be my boss. Not like my boss but still… I asked you your name because I was gonna do a background search to check if you are a real stalker or something. Then I learned from the internet, you probably don’t need to be a stalker to get women’s attention and you might even have stalkers, by the way, there are some weird blogs about you.” She widened her eyes.
“I’ m not that person anymore”
“Oh. Okay that’s a bit too intimate of a confession even for our eccentric relationship but good for you and I already know that paparazzi are really sad about your hermit lifestyle”
“Okay, I assume we are okay and you no longer think I trained my cat to steal your underwear” He smiled.
“Oh yes. Totally and I don’t want to be on bad terms with the first neighbor I met “
“Haven’t you been living here for months?” He frowned trying to do the math.
“Yeah, but my work hours are a bitch sometimes. This reminds me I should be sleeping now. So, goodnight” she went out to hallway without waiting for his reply and he did something he didn’t think he would do if you asked him 30min ago:
“Wait, do you want to get a coffee sometime?”
She stopped in her tracks and didn’t move for a second before she did.
“I did not say those for a pity date and we are good, don’t worry. You don’t have to-”
“I want to. If you want to of course”
“You mean like a date?”
She squinted her eyes and thought for a while with a crinkle between her brows and looked adorable if you asked him. He never cared this much about asking someone out before and he was praying she would say yes.
“I mean you already saw my underwear. not on me but still crosses out some worries in that department right? Feel free to shut me up before I kill everyone from second-hand embarrassment”
“I think it’s quite refreshing”
“Ha! Don’t make me change my mind” she raised a finger.
“Okay, tomorrow at 1?”
“Wow that’s quick”
“if that’s not okay for you- I didn’t mean to”
“No, it's fine. It’s just people usually do that stupid 3 days thing which is so redundant if you ask me if you want someone, you want them that’s simple”
“Right. My point exactly”
“Okay, then I will be here tomorrow to take you out” She blushed and flashed another smile.
“And I will be here”
“Good” she started walking back towards the stairs. “I’m gonna turn my back now because I’m not that good walking backward and don’t want to embarrass myself anymore tonight.”
“Okay,” He chuckled and waited for her to leave his floor before closing the door.”
So that happened he murmured himself feeling as giddy as he hadn’t felt god knows in how many years.