A/N: This is my co-winning entry in vjgm's Trust in Advertising Crackfic contest. (If you are not reading Trust in Advertising STOP and go read it immediately!! It is one of the best fics out there!) ETA: Unfortunately vjgm has pulled Trust in Advertising. The good news is, you really don't have to have read TiA to enjoy this O/S.
Born of the thought, "In a Crackfic world, what is the wackiest product Edward and Bella might have to create a campaign for?" It only took two seconds to come up with the product–clearly I have been completely corrupted by my immersion/obsession in Twilight FanFic, particularly smutty FanFic! :) As I was writing it I continually kept thinking..."I can't believe I'm writing about..." well...umm...just go ahead and read it for yourself, I won't spoil the "surprise."
Stephenie Meyer and vjgm own everything related to this fic...I wish I could say I own the product but well, only in my imagination. :( (Yep, sorry ladies, it's not real!)
Bella sat at her desk going through the Black file. Now that she had accepted the promotion from Esme, working on the Jacob Black account was going to be one of her first assignments with Edward and although she had learned a lot about his company from working on the initial presentation with Edward, she wanted to go through the file more thoroughly. Familiarize herself with the company's history, the campaigns they had done in the past, Masen's previous interactions with the company–anything and everything, no matter how little or how big. She was going to prove that she was worthy of this new position, which meant she always had to be prepared, always had to be thinking ahead.
It was the perfect time to go through the file because Edward was still in his weekly Monday morning meeting with Emmett in Esme's office, which meant Bella had some peace and quiet for a while. The three Masen executives met every Monday morning to go over the current status of client projects going through the agency, what was ahead for the week, and anything else in general they needed to discuss. The meeting could last anywhere from an hour to almost lunchtime, depending on what was going on that week.
Bella's desk phone started ringing. She reached over to answer it while still keeping her eyes glued to the current document she was reading.
"Edward Cullen's office, how may I help you?"
"Bella, good morning, how are you doing?"
Bella smiled. It was Laurent, Esme's assistant. "I'm doing great so far, Laurent because my boss is in your boss's office. How are things on your end?"
Laurent let out a hearty chuckle at her comment. "They're still in there and I've heard no yelling so things are good! Actually I'm calling at Mrs. Cullen's request. She would like you to join them in the meeting for a few minutes."
Bella's eyes got big. Shit she thought. Wonder what that's about? Wait–calm down Bella, it's probably just to discuss the details of my new promotion.
"Um…okay. Tell her I'll be right there."
Bella hung up and just sat there for a second. Then she took a deep breath in and let it out, grabbed a notepad and pen and headed down to the other end of the floor.
When she got to Esme's office, Laurent gave her a big smile.
"Hey Bella! You can go right in, they're waiting on you."
Bella knocked on the door and then went ahead and opened it, poking her head in first to make sure it was okay. Esme was leaning against the front of her desk and as soon as she saw it was Bella, she motioned her to come in.
"Bella, please come in. Thank you for joining us."
There were three plush office chairs positioned facing Esme's desk, and Emmett and Edward were sitting in two of them with their laptops and notepads on their laps. It looked like they were just wrapping up the meeting.
"Hey there Bella!" Emmett gave her a big grin.
"Hello Emmett," she smiled at him gratefully, as she took the empty seat next to Edward.
Edward just gave her a quick nod to acknowledge her presence, and continued writing whatever notes he was making on his notepad.
Bella settled herself in her chair, smoothed her skirt and looked up at Esme, who was looking back at her.
"Alright, well Bella, I've asked you to join us because I have a small quick project that I think Edward will gladly be able to use your help on. I know you have barely gotten your toes wet with the new promotion but this project is on a tight deadline that requires jumping in with both feet and running with it. I have no doubt you'll be able to handle it,"
Esme was still smiling warmly at her.
"Great! I'm ready." Bella said enthusiastically.
"Well, like I said this is a quick little project–in and out, not much to it. It is not for one of our clients, it is more of a favor for a dear friend of mine, my old college roommate, though we will be getting paid for our work."
"Maggie?" Edward spoke up.
"Yes, Edward, Maggie. Her company has a brand new product they are planning to unveil at her industry's trade show the end of next month. It is a very innovative new product and she is expecting to have much success with it. What she wasn't planning on was a competitor who is reportedly developing a similar product. The rumors she has heard are that this company is also planning to unveil their product at the same trade show. From what little information she has been able to obtain about the other product, she still believes hers is far superior, however she knows her competitor will be throwing lots of money and glitz behind their presentation and she still fears her company's product will be overshadowed. She understands that this is not a typical type of product launch for us, and it is also business-to-business marketing, which is not our specialty, of course, but she has asked for Masen's help in creating something memorable for her product."
"What is the product?" Edward asked.
Esme walked around to the back of her desk and lifted a small cardboard box from the floor behind it. She reached in and took something out, setting it on the desk.
Bella looked up from taking notes and her eyes got as wide as saucers. She started to feel her cheeks getting hot. No way…
Edward was already sputtering next to her. "Mother!!" He intoned sharply. "Is that what I think it is?"
"If you think it is a female vibrator, then yes, my son, you would be correct." Esme was completely cool and unflappable, as if it was a normal, every day occurrence to have a sex toy sitting on her desk.
Bella was still in shock herself but watching the reaction of the two men in the room was just priceless. Emmett was snickering and trying valiantly to keep from breaking out into the giggles. Knowing his line of thinking she was sure he also had about a million comments and one-liners he was holding in as well. Edward's face was beet red and he was quite agitated.
"I thought you always said Maggie was in the import/export business?" Edward finally spit out.
"Well, yes that was just an easier explanation to give you kids. Once you got old enough to understand, it just never came up I guess. Alice knows though–Maggie usually sends something special to her for Christmas every year. Maggie has owned "Maggie's Toy Closet" for almost 20 years now. She doesn't hide what her company manufactures but she doesn't go around flaunting it either."
Esme picked up a pile of report folders from the desk and started passing them out to Emmett, Edward and Bella.
"Anyway, the new product is the Earthquake 2000. All research, specs, demographic information, et cetera that you'll need is in these reports, including information on the competition's product. Also Maggie's contact information is in there, in case you have any more questions. Remember we are marketing to sex toy vendors here, not to the actual consumer."
Edward was raking his hand through his hair so hard Bella thought he might rip the hairs right out. "Mother, is this really the type of project we want Masen to be known for? We have a certain reputation…our clients have reputations!"
Esme rolled her eyes. "Edward I've already explained this–it's a one-shot deal, a favor for Maggie. And after the number of clients we seem to be losing lately," she looked pointedly at Edward when she said this. "We will not be turning away any paying projects right now. But we are also not issuing any PR releases or shouting to the world that Masen is now marketing sex toys! All we're talking about is a trade show directory ad, maybe some pre-show direct mail and some booth graphics. It's not that much."
The look Esme was giving Edward clearly stated that this was the end of any and all discussion on the matter. Bella wasn't sure if it was a look perfected of a mother to her child or of a CEO to her employee, but either way it was quite effective. Edward clenched his jaw shut and sat there, his face still burning a nice shade of red.
Bella was biting her lip trying to not laugh out loud at how uncomfortable he was with the whole situation.
Esme turned and reached into the cardboard box. "Maggie sent over a whole box of samples. I'm going to pass some of them out to some of our more discreet female employees, as sort of a focus group, to get their honest opinions and reactions to the product. I'll have them call or e-mail you Bella with their feedback. You might even develop a short list of questions to ask them." She turned back around and held a small box out to Bella. "And of course one for you too, dear."
Edward's eyes got really wide and dark and his color turned from red to purple as he started fidgeting with his collar.
Bella cheeks felt hot herself but she couldn't not accept it. She meekly stood up to take it from Esme when a thought hit her.
"Um, actually may I have two? I know my friend Rose would love to try one too."
That got Emmett's attention. It was his turn for his eyes to bug out. "Rose?" he sputtered.
Bella smirked. "Yeah she loves this stuff, she's got a whole drawer full of toys." Rose would probably kill her dead if she ever found out Bella had just spilled the beans to Emmett about her toy drawer, but frankly it was worth it to see his reaction. Now his face was turning a slew of shades from red to purple to green and back to red, and he was shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
Esme reached in and pulled another box out to hand to Bella. "Sure, the more the merrier. Just make sure she doesn't tell anyone about it or where she got it. And here Edward, one for you too," Esme turned and tossed a box at Edward.
He was so flustered he barely caught it. "For me?" he asked incredulously.
Esme narrowed her eyes at him. "Well you'll need one for photography. Once I pass some of these out I'll send whatever is left down to you too. It comes in different colors so you might want to include all of the options in the photographs." She turned back to the box. "Oh and one for me too!" She smiled gleefully as she pulled another box out and set it on her desk.
"MOTHER!!" Bella had to physically put her hand over her mouth to hide her laughter. Edward looked like he was about to go through the ceiling.
Esme sighed and put her hand on her hip and stared Edward down. "Edward stop being such a prude. Maggie's toys have provided your father and I much mutual enjoyment over the years, I am sure her latest invention will be no different." Edward gulped loudly and started pulling on his hair again.
Esme then clapped her hands together and looked at each of them, effectively closing the conversation with her body language. "Okay, as I said this is on a tight deadline, we've got a little under two months to come up with something AND get it produced in time for the trade show, so…let's say we meet back here in my office Thursday or Friday and Bella and Edward you can show me what you've come up with by then. Bella, check with Laurent on your way out and pick a time that fits your and Edward's schedules. I'd like to have something strong to share with Maggie as soon as possible," Esme made a shooing motion with her hands and walked around to the chair behind her desk. "Now go on, all of you get out of here and get to work."
Edward quickly grabbed all of his stuff and bolted out of the room. Emmett was next and Bella gathered her notepad and boxes and was on her way out as well, when Esme touched her on the arm to stop her. Bella turned back to look at her.
"And Bella…if you have any issues in working with Edward on this one, don't hesitate to come to me, even if it's to bounce ideas off of someone. As I suspected, Edward's a little uncomfortable with this project."
Bella cracked a smile, "Yeah I kind of noticed that…thank you Esme for the offer, I will keep it in mind."
Esme winked at her as she walked out.
By the time Bella got back to her desk, Edward's door was shut, and she didn't know whether to try and go in and talk to him, or just let him be. He had a presentation after lunch that was probably going to take up most of the afternoon, so he was probably practicing and getting ready for that. She decided to just let him cool down. She sat the boxes and the information for the project on the back corner of her desk and just stared at them for a couple of minutes. Then she decided to check her e-mail for any messages she had received while she had been away from her desk. And she checked phone messages. And then she straightened up the other papers and files on her desk. Basically she busied herself with anything and everything BUT the new project. Edward finally poked his head out of his office looking for her. His facial color had returned to normal and his demeanor was all business. He asked for copies of some documents for his afternoon presentation as well as her help in changing a couple minor things. They worked together easily, professionally, neither one mentioning "The" project.
After lunch, Bella got back to her desk and went through the routine of checking e-mails and phone messages again. Edward was already gone to his presentation and had left her no other instructions for anything to work on while he was gone. She looked over to see "The" project info still on the corner of her desk, taunting her. Like Edward, she wasn't totally comfortable with the whole idea of creating a marketing campaign for a sex toy either, but it was an assignment. It was her job and it had to be done. She sighed and pulled over the report Esme had given them and opened the cover and started reading.
Bella turned off the bathroom light and headed into the bedroom. It had been a quiet afternoon at work, with Edward being gone. She had read all the research and development information on the vibrator, demographic and target audience information, history of the company, she'd even checked out their website, and then went on to do research on sales and marketing of sex toys…she probably had went overboard but she was just trying anything and everything to find an angle for this project. She still wasn't coming up with anything unique.
Rose had been excited when Bella gave her the vibrator to test out. Bella chuckled as she remembered how her eyes had gleamed with a little too much anticipation as she promised to give it a thorough workout. Bella on the other hand, had never really been into using a vibrator…Rose had given her one once and bugged her incessantly till she finally tried it. The buzzing noise was too distracting, and she had eventually buried it in a drawer somewhere.
Right now Bella sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the box in her hands. It had 8 vibration speeds, 8 rotation speeds, 5 buttons, it promised to stimulate everything possible…hell it probably slices and dices too. Bella laughed out loud at that last thought. Good Lord! She never ever imagined when she was looking for a job in advertising that it would involve research like this!
Ten minutes later Bella lay spent, sweaty, and her thigh muscles felt so rubbery, she didn't think she could stand up if she had to. She swore her lady parts were still vibrating.
Hell her whole body still felt like it was vibrating. Even she had to admit it was one powerful and talented piece of electronics. The buzzing nose didn't seem to bother her but she thought that was more because something else was distracting her from the noise. When she had closed her eyes all she could see was Edward…Edward kissing her, touching her skin…Edward inside her, Edward making her feel every last vibration. Her cheeks got hot. She looked over at the bizarre toy on her night stand. It may be an amazing piece of equipment but she couldn't honestly say her "happy glow" was solely based on its skills alone.
The next morning Bella was rushing around her kitchen organizing her briefcase, a piece of toast in her mouth, just about to leave for the office when her front door slammed open. Rosalie stood there in her pjs and robe, her hair all askew, her hand still slapped against the open door.
"Holy Mother of GOD Bella!!!"
Bella leaned against the counter; hand on her hip, while sipping her coffee. She smirked wickedly at Rose. "Yes, Rose?"
Rose shut the door and stepped further into the kitchen. She raised her other arm and Bella saw she was gripping the vibrator in her hand.
"This…this…" Rose was now holding it up in the air like it was the Holy Grail. "This vibrator is…is…"
"Well, it's apparently rendered you speechless so I'm assuming you liked it?"
"Holy fucking shit, Bella!!! This thing is fucking AMAZING! I think it hit places I didn't even know were there!" She sat down on one of Bella's kitchen stools and just stared at the toy in her hand in rapt wonder.
Bella whipped out a notepad and pen and started mock writing. "Rose – two thumbs up." She chuckled as she put them back in her briefcase.
"You must thank Esme for me… wait! No! This deserves a handwritten thank-you note!
I never thought I'd say this but I think it's time to get rid of the toy drawer!"
Bella stopped in her tracks and stared at Rose. "You're going to get rid of all of your toys? Why Rosalie Hale, I never thought I'd see the day when you decided to settle down and become a one toy-woman. I'm so proud!"
Rose rolled her eyes at Bella's sarcasm. "Oh ha ha, very funny Bella! Seriously, this thing does everything. There's no need for anything else anymore, heck there's really no need for a man anymore! I hate to throw my babies out though…can you donate sex toys to someplace like Goodwill?"
Now it was Bella's turn to roll her eyes. "Oh yes, Rose I'm sure there are many needy, down-on-their-luck women out there who desperately need a vibrator! Besides a used-sex toy is kind of gross Rose."
"Oh come on Bella I wasn't really serious!"
Bella opened her front door and started to step outside. "Oh, well then were you serious about not needing a man anymore? Cause I'm sure Emmett will be very disappointed to hear that. Actually I think he will be just as disappointed to hear that you got rid of your toy drawer. I really have to go now, Rose, I'm going to be late. I'll see you later tonight." Bella quickly closed the door behind her, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
1…2…3... Bella counted off in her head as she started down the hallway.
"Wait a … WHAT???" Yep, there it was–Bella could hear Rose through the thin walls.
Rose threw open Bella's door and bounded into the hallway, screeching after Bella as she kept walking away.
"ISABELLA MARIE SWAN YOU GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!! How does Emmett know about my toy drawer??! Bella!…BEL-LA!"
Bella made it to the elevators before practically doubling over in laughter. Rose would kill her later but that had just been too much fun. She just hoped she didn't come home tonight and find her stuff all over the sidewalk–evicted because Rose had just awakened all of their neighbors in the entire building, screeching about sex toys.
The office was still pretty quiet as Edward unlocked his door and sat his briefcase down on his desk. He had tossed and turned and got very little sleep last night, and finally had just decided to get up and head in to work early. He sat down and leaned his elbows on the desk, raking his fingers through his hair. He'd had trouble sleeping because every time he closed his eyes all he could see in his mind was Bella, in her bed…trying out that damn vibrator. Her hands gripping the vibrator…touching herself with it…her head thrown back, biting her lip…her soft creamy thighs clenching around…
Edward growled in frustration and rubbed his hands roughly over his eyes. Stop it Edward! Thoughts like those were only going to make this whole process worse. Today he was going to have to sit down with Bella in the same room, and they were going to have to work together to come up with a marketing plan for this "thing"…what was its name again? He opened one of his desk drawers and pulled the box out. The Earthquake 2000. Good Lord, what kind of cheesy name was that? Damn his mother…
He knew his mother wanted Bella to help with this, but maybe…if he worked on some ideas and came up with some good ones before Bella and he got together, then they wouldn't have to spend much time working together on this project. Yes that was the solution! Energized, Edward sat up straight and fired up his laptop and opened his notepad to a clean sheet of paper.
Bella stepped off the elevator onto her floor at Masen. Her phone chirped at her but she didn't even bother to check it, knowing it would be another text message from Rose. She'd been texting her regularly since Bella left the apartment–mostly profanity-laced, the last one simply, "You're dead meat Swan!"
As usual the first person she saw in the morning was Leah. Before she could even say good morning though, she noticed something seemed a little different with Leah today–she seemed a little peppier than usual. About that time, Leah looked up and caught her eye.
"Bella!!" She exclaimed cheerfully as she waved at her to come a little closer. She looked slyly side-to-side to make sure no one could overhear and then she leaned her head closer, across the desk toward Bella, whispering conspiratorially. "Bella! Did you try the vibrator from Esme? Oh my God Bella!"
Bella smirked at her. "So I take it you…um…enjoyed it?"
"Are you kidding me?" she squeaked. "It was unbelievable! I don't think I've ever felt that much…it was just…WOW!" She started fanning herself for emphasis, and then started giggling.
"So on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best?" Bella asked.
"50!" Leah yelled out, without hesitation. Bella just laughed at her as she started walking back to her desk, shaking her head.
When Bella got to her desk she could tell Edward had gotten in early, but his door was shut. She wondered if she should knock on his door and ask about working on Esme's project, but when she did go in to bring him some coffee, he seemed thoroughly engrossed in whatever he was working on and barely grunted a greeting to her. So she decided maybe it was best she leave him alone for a while. She could start working on some ideas on her own for now.
In the meantime Esme was obviously serious about the women in the office being a focus group. She had apparently given out quite a few of the vibrators and the women were taking their "research" seriously. Bella got a ton of e-mails from various female employees in the office with their "reviews." So far it was a resounding success. Some comments made Bella blush with their candor and exuberance.
Edward finally emerged from his office about mid-morning to attend a short meeting in the productions department with Felix. When he came back he stopped at Bella's desk with a very mystified look on his face.
She glanced up at him while continuing to type on her computer. "How'd the meeting go? Did you have to threaten to fire Felix again?"
"No…the meeting went fine." He spoke slowly. Then he perched himself on the edge of her desk and leaned over closer. He seemed to have something private to say and she stopped typing, thinking she'd better give him her full attention.
"Do you know what's going on with some of the female employees around here today? Not that they're not always pleasant and cordial. But today…they're walking around with these big goofy smiles on their faces. Two of Felix's employees were actually giggling and whispering to each other. I've never seen any of Felix's employees giggle about anything! And Leah…Leah was also extraordinarily chipper today–she was bouncing around her desk and humming!" Edward's face was concerned and clearly perplexed.
Bella leaned back in her chair, threw her head back and burst out laughing. Edward's eyebrows just knitted together and he frowned, crossing his arms and waiting for her little fit to be over. When she finally stopped and could breathe again, she looked up at him with tears in her eyes.
"Umm…you do remember that Esme was planning to give out some of the vibrators to some of the ladies in the office, right? Well, they apparently all used them last night and according to the e-mails I've been getting, they really, really, really liked them."
Bella almost started laughing all over again at Edward's reaction. He bolted up off of her desk as if his ass was on fire and his face turned beet red. He started fidgeting, and heading back to his office.
"Oh for…for...for Pete's sake…" She heard him muttering as he ran his fingers through his hair and slammed the door behind him. She laughed out loud, and turned back to her computer.
At lunchtime, Bella decided they had both wasted enough time. She didn't know what Edward was so consumed with in his office but they needed to find some time to get together and hammer something out for this project or they were going to run out of time. This was not only her first real assignment but it was also a personal favor for Esme and she was not going to mess it up. She picked up his favorite burger and fries as a bribe, and headed back to the office.
With the greasy burger bag in one hand and her notepad and folders tucked under her arm, Bella rapped her knuckles on Edward's door. "Edward, it's me" she called out. He yelled out for her to come in.
"I thought maybe you had stayed in so I brought you some lun…ch." Her eyes unbelievably surveyed the room as she stood, shocked, in the doorway. Whatever he was working on was apparently not going well as there were wadded-up balls of paper strewn everywhere–on his desk, on the floor. His office hadn't been this messy since the first week she worked for him.
"Oh thank God, I'm starved."
He stood up from the desk and reached his hand out for the bag. Bella noticed he looked a little tired and haggard. His hair was practically standing straight up, no doubt from all of the running-his-hands-through-it that he did when he was frustrated. Also his sleeves were rolled up, his tie loosened and the top button on his shirt was undone.
She held out the bag for him to take, and then immediately grabbed his trash can and started picking up all the balls of paper.
"Having a rough time are we?" She asked. Edward was too busy devouring his burger to answer her, so she just continued tidying up, stopping when she was next to his desk. The vibrator was sitting on his desk, next to the discarded box it came in. She reached over and picked it up, grinning wickedly. "Why Edward…what were you doing locked in your office all this time?" She asked as she waved the toy around in her hand.
Edward's eyes got dark and he looked at her with this "don't-fuck-with-me" look on his face. "Don't be ridiculous, Bella."
She just chuckled as she sat it back down and bent over to pick up another paper. Suddenly she snapped back up straight and narrowed her eyes at him. "Wait a minute…have you been working on the vibrator campaign?" She gestured sweepingly with her hands. "Is that what all this mess is? I thought we were supposed to work on this project together! Were you planning to ignore that little fact and just come up with something brilliant all on your own?" Her anger was rising and she reached into the trash can and pulled out one of the balls of paper and started to un-crinkle it.
Edward leaned back in his chair and made some sort of snorting noise. "Oh believe me there will be nothing brilliant from me on this one. This one is all yours Bella, in fact I really hope you've come up with something spectacular, cause I don't seem to have a damned clue!"
Bella read some of the options on the crinkled paper in her hand.
The Earthquake 2000: Let it shake you all night long.
The Earthquake 2000: You'll never know what hit you.
The Earthquake 2000: You'll beg for one.
She cringed visibly and then crooked an eyebrow up while peeking over the top of the paper at him.
He laughed bitterly. "See?" He leaned his elbows on his desk and rubbed his hands over his tired eyes. " I love Mom's friend Maggie, but come on…how do you market a sex toy seriously, with a straight face?"
Bella picked up the last two paper wads and then set the trash can down. She flopped down into one of the chairs in front of his desk. Her legs crossed at the knee and her arms resting on the armrests, she smirked at him. "I can't believe the great Edward Cullen is finally stumped…and by a sex toy of all things!"
His only response was a dark scowl.
Bella opened the manila folder she'd brought in with her. "I did a little research, maybe that will help?" She proceeded to reveal some of the facts and figures she'd dug up on the Internet.
Edward just sighed. "Statistics are great Bella but it's still not giving me enough information. For example, why do women buy vibrators?"
Bella just cocked an eyebrow at him. "Isn't that obvious Edward?"
He rolled his eyes. "Okay…so what do women want or expect from their vibrators?"
Again Bella just stared at Edward with the same "do-you-seriously-have-to-ask-that-question?" look on her face she'd had from the last question.
He cursed and rubbed his hand over his face again. "Dammit, you're not helping Bella, I'm trying the best I can here…" He looked at her again. "Okay then tell me what responses you got from the women in the office who were so damn giddy today over the thing."
That she could do. She pulled out the piece of paper from the folder with the girls' responses.
"Sue said it was 'utterly amazing;'
Peggy and Joan in Production said 'Oh My God!' and 'Fanfuckingtastic,' respectively.
Abby in accounting was speechless but got a glazed look in her eye when I asked, and Leah gave it a '50 on a scale from 1 to 10.'
Oh and Rose is planning to write a personal thank you note to Esme and said quote, 'heck, there's no need for a man anymore,' unquote."
That got a smirk out of Edward. "Oh wait until I tell Emmett that."
Bella laughed, "I know! I told her the same thing!"
As she looked down again to the papers in her lap, Edward spoke again quietly.
"I think you missed someone."
She glanced up at him with confusion then back down at the list, quickly checking it over again.
When she looked up at him again his eyes were darker and he was staring at her intently.
"What did you think of it, Bella? You did try it out didn't you?"
Bella's eyes got wide. Shit…Shit, shit, shit! He did NOT just ask me that, she screamed in her head. Her face got so hot she knew it must be as red as a tomato.
He leaned forward with a sly smile on his face. "Your face betrays you, dear lady…did you enjoy it? Was it more satisfying than the real thing?"
Bella's whole body was so hot at this point she thought she just might spontaneously combust. She knew she had to give him an answer or he'd never move on.
"Ah…well…um…I am certainly not an expert in…um…such toys, but it…ah…was satisfactory in…um…doing its job."
So she had tried it out, Edward thought. God she was so damn sexy, all flustered and blushing…it was probably inappropriate to ask her that, but he was dying to know. He wondered whom she fantasized about while using it…Edward immediately made himself stop with such thoughts. They would only distract him further from the task at hand and he was already having enough problems with the project, as it was. Besides she apparently had enjoyed it as much as the other women even though she was trying not to show it.
He sighed and leaned back in his chair, closing his eyes, "Alright, alright I get the picture…women seem to think it's the best thing since sliced bread."
They both just sat there in silence for a while, lost in their own thoughts, trying to come up with something useable for the campaign. Bella's temperature finally returned to normal, and her face to its normal shade of pale. She couldn't believe Edward had actually asked her if she used the vibrator. Bella was mortified that she'd had to answer him. He seemed particularly interested in hearing her answer…but then his tone changed after he heard that she had…um…"enjoyed" it. What did that mean? Was he disappointed that she enjoyed it or was she just imagining it? Stop it Bella! Get your head back on business!
She shook her head to clear her thoughts and looked over at Edward…he was running his hands through his hair again and just staring blankly at the notepad in front of him.
Finally she realized something.
"Edward…maybe we are over-thinking this whole thing?"
He raised an eyebrow in question.
She continued. "Earlier when you were trying to ask about why women buy them–well everyone knows what a vibrator is for and what it does. Instead of trying to cleverly refer to what it does…why not just play off its name?"
He grimaced and rolled his eyes, "The Earthquake?"
"Yes…there are obviously all kinds of metaphors and imagery the name evokes…like…" She rifled through her papers again. "Like how Leah said it was a '50 on a scale of 1-10.' In other words, it was off the charts…like…" Her eyes got animated as she was thinking and she suddenly sat up straighter. "Like…The Earthquake 2000: 10.5 on the Richter Scale."
Edward thought on it for a couple of minutes…"You know…that's not bad…" He sat up straight and got that look in his eye, she could tell the wheels were starting to turn. He waved his finger at her, "I think we can make something out of that…" He started scribbling on his pad.
They worked all afternoon and all day Wednesday, writing the copy and making up the images and other materials for the campaign. Thursday they met with Esme and presented everything. When they were done she sat there with a thoughtful look on her face for a few minutes, perusing every piece carefully before finally breaking into a big smile and clapping her hands together.
"I love it and I'm sure Maggie will too! Great job you two!"
Edward motioned toward Bella. "Bella deserves all the credit on this one, it was her initial idea."
Bella blushed a little, and Esme, beaming with pride leaned closer toward her to whisper, "I knew Edward wouldn't be able to handle this one. Great job Bella!" She put one arm around Bella's shoulders and gave her a little squeeze.
As the door to Esme's office closed behind them they both let out loud sighs of relief at the same time. Hearing themselves they looked at each other and laughed.
"I am glad that project is done," Edward said with great relief in his voice, as they walked back to their offices.
"Yes, that one was…something else." Bella was drained from the past couple of days and she just wanted to go home and soak in a hot bath, with a glass of wine…and maybe play with…her new toy. She got a big grin on her face at the thought. The box did say it could be used underwater.
They reached Bella's desk and she put her folders and papers on her desk and grabbed her purse, getting ready to leave. Edward stopped before entering his office and turned back around to her.
"What do you say we celebrate…go have a well-deserved drink and some dinner?"
"I'd love to, but I already have plans…with…Bill." She smiled mischievously.
Bill?? He knew she'd gone out with Paul a couple of times…but who the hell was Bill? Edward looked at her quizzically, "Bill?"
Bella had already started down the hall and she turned around, continuing to walk backwards as she answered him. "Yes," She winked at Edward with a big smirk on her face. "He's 'off the charts.' " Then she turned around and continued on.
Oh holy hell…thought Edward. "You NAMED it??" he yelled after her.
She just laughed loudly. "See you tomorrow, Edward!"