Chapter 28: The Preparation

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Jeremiah was quite impressed with my plan to turn Gotham mad in love. His eyes were filled with pride and desire as I uncovered the darkest thoughts in my head, and I knew that if I were in the proper physical condition, he would have taken me against the wall of his study. And despite the pain, I would have allowed it. J promised that he would assist me in carrying out my first crime once we accomplished the heist on Gotham Bank. I was elated that he was being supportive, especially given how strict he had been before about his rules. I felt that we were moving in a better direction in our relationship, one of respect and mutual trust in one another's abilities. Although, I had to admit that I was nervous for the days to come... I remembered Jeremiah's meeting with the Riddler all too well. The bank was anticipating this attack, and so was Batman. Despite my undying confidence in my husband's abilities, I couldn't help but worry about the possibility that it may fall through and the love of my life might be ripped from me once again. I tried not to think about it, but the night before our planned attack on Gotham I found my anxiety at an all time high. The Fun House was crowded with people, a mixture of the Riddler's men and Jeremiah's. Everyone was rushing around, making last minute adjustments to the plan in order to ensure perfection. I was getting overwhelmed as I sat in one of the work chairs in the main room, watching the commotion around me. It was well past midnight, and all I wanted to do was go to sleep but I was too consumed with discomfort over the whole situation. My job for tomorrow was to stay in the Fun House and help his followers who were dealing with the surveillance of the Bank. I hated the idea of being so far from Jeremiah, I would be helpless and forced to watch all the action. I dreaded the possibility that I would have to witness my husband's murder for the second time, and I preferred not to relive that pain. I tried talking to him earlier that day but I was met with strong opposition and little room for negotiation. I knew it was pointless trying to argue with him, so I decided that I would have to be more creative if I wanted to come with him. I didn't like displeasing him, but this was a matter of his safety, and I was tried of him placing my well being above his. It was my turn to make the tough decision. I watched Jeremiah as he obsessed over every detail of the heist, and I knew that he needed a break. "J?..." I called to him tentatively, just as he finished yelling at one of his men to count the ammunition again. He sighed, running his hand through his dark hair in frustration. "Yes, Harley?" He responded, using my alias as we were surrounded by people. "You should rest, you've done everything that you can..." I reassured him, standing up and moving towards him. He shook his head, a brief chuckle escaping his mouth at my attempt to diffuse him. "Please?" I asked in my sweetest voice, placing my hands on his shoulders and gently massaging the tension from his body. He closed his eyes, leaning into my touch eagerly. I  pressed a kiss right under his ear before whispering. "Come to bed, Jeremiah." I said softly and I knew that it would be hard for him to resist me. "Fine." He grumbled and I couldn't help my smile of satisfaction. I grabbed his hand as he uttered a string of orders to his men, and then I gently tugged him back towards the elevator. As soon as we reached the bedroom, Jeremiah plopped down on the bed and almost instantly passed out. He had put so much time and effort in making tomorrow a success, he was in dire need of rest. I crawled in after him, snuggling up to him as my own exhaustion took over. As I drifted to sleep, soaking up the feeling of being in his arms, I confirmed my decision. I would protect my husband, no matter the cost.
...
The next morning I woke to the sound of Jeremiah getting changed. I peaked an eye open to see that he was dawning his signature purple suit, equip with a blue tie and dark green pants. Today was the big day... I quickly got out of bed and put on a pair of dark red pants with navy diamond patches and a black corset. I slung the same leather jacket I had worn the week before over my shoulders. I did my makeup, dawning my typical dark eyes and red lipstick. I looked at my tangled mess of blonde hair and I debated over how I planned to manage it. I thought of what a Harlequin would look like, a jester of sorts. I wanted to mimic that theme in my new image, so I pulled my hair into pig tails. Jeremiah had already gone upstairs to prepare everyone to set his plan in motion, and I debated in my head how I planned to join him. I refused to sit on the sidelines, despite Jeremiah's disapproval and the possibility of my demise. I couldn't leave his side, I felt just as protective over him as he was over me. I had made my choice, and I would deal with the repercussions later. I went upstairs, seeing Jeremiah order rounds of soldiers into vans and send them to the bank as the robbery began. Meanwhile, the computer crew was ensuring that the alarm system on the bank was disabled and had everything set to turn all the power off upon the arrival of the men. Once everything was in order, Jeremiah was loading guns into the holster underneath his blazer as his immediate team armored up. Only the best out of his men were given the task of protecting him, but I still wasn't satisfied. It was now or never. I quickly joined the line of soldiers gathering weapons, putting a knife in my boot, and two guns in my jacket. I hoped to blend in with the crowd, but Jeremiah quickly took notice of me. "What the fuck are you doing?" He said firmly and I took a deep breath to gather my courage. Before I knew it, I pulled out one of my guns, clocked it and had it pointed it at him. Suddenly all of his men turned their weapons towards me to defend their boss. I mustered up the strength for what I was about to do. "You have two options... Either you let me come with you, or you try to make me stay here and I kill anyone who stands in my way. Either way I'm going, so make your choice." I hissed, determined to keep him safe. I knew that I was making a bold move, calling him out in front of all his men. I was breaking at least two of his rules, but I figured his anger was worth it if it meant he was alive. Jeremiah narrowed his eyes at me, and then held his hand up for his men to lower their weapons. "Harley... Put down your gun, now." He said his voice dangerously low. I stared dead into his eyes, the defiance within me growing with my obsession to keep him safe. "No." I responded and he glared at me. I could see his hand curl into a fist and I smirked. We both knew that I would find a way to get out if he attempted to trap me here. He had learned from experience on multiple occasions. Jeremiah's eyes scanned the room before he laughed momentarily and his smile dropped as he shot a murderous look my way. "Fine. You can come." He growled as if it pained him to say it. I walked up to him, knowing he wouldn't try anything in front of all these people and I pressed a taunting kiss to his cheek. "Thanks baby!" I exclaimed and then moved to walk to the van but he grabbed my arm roughly. "Don't push it." He warned, and I giggled as he let go of me. I supposed I would have fun while it lasted, because I would have hell to pay once we returned. Jeremiah's personal team then got in the back of the van, and I realized that instead of seats there were handles attached to the ceiling for us to hang on to. There weren't enough for all of us, since I was not supposed to come, so I figured I would just tag along with my pissed off husband. Jeremiah got on, gesturing for me to join him as he had made the same realization himself. I quickly went to him and his hand wrapped around my waist and pulled me to him harshly as he held on to the handle with his other hand. I squeaked in response, my hand clutching to his blazer to further stabilize myself. We rode over in silence, the sound of the engine filling the cramped space. As we approached the scene the sound of police sirens and helicopters grew louder and louder. I felt Jeremiah tense beside me, holding me closer to him protectively. "You don't leave my side, understand?" He said tightly in my ear and I nodded in agreement. I felt my anxiety building as the car stopped. I understood why he wouldn't want me here, not just for my protection, but also the fact that I had no experience in crime. I refused to be dead weight however, and I would just have to learn on my feet. I was there to protect my husband after all, and I would kill anyone who attempted to take him away from me.

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Hey guys! I hope you like this week's update! I'm really working on developing the dynamic between Lilly and Jeremiah to become more like Harley and the Joker. As the story progresses, their character traits will become more prominent and there will be specific reasons why those traits develop. Just a sneak peek into my thought process... Anyways, let me know what you guys think! 💋

-m

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