Kill me now, Lord. "Honestly, Jasper, you should've seen her face. It was priceless." As if having to experience the moment once wasn't enough for my pitiful life, I was now stuck having to relive what had happened at work today while Alice was explaining the ever so funny situation to her fiancé and another one of my closets friends. Jasper chuckled and shook his head, as was usual for him when Alice shared embarrassing moments of mine.

Right about now I was wishing I had skipped out on drinks tonight. It was tradition since our days in college together that every Monday night Alice, Jasper and I would go out for drinks. It was our way of making Monday's worthwhile, because let's face it––everyone wants to murder Monday. That being true, I still wished I had stayed home. I preferred to be with my cat right now, anyway. Bailey wouldn't laugh at me. She was a good girl; a good loyal girl, unlike these two.

I sneered as they both laughed at me, and glanced around for the waiter. If I was going to sit around all night listening to them make fun of my antics like they always did, I needed to switch my beer for some Crown Royal, the good, hard stuff. "Go ahead guys, laugh it up."

Alice looked at me with a fake pout. "Oh Bella, don't be so upset." The pout was then replaced with fiery eyes. "It's your own damn fault anyway! You need to just tell the man how you feel. Fuck, you're damn sexy! He'd be crazy not to like you!" She scooted closer to me in the booth and grabbed me by the collar. "Just screw the man already!" I shrunk back in fear.

"Okay… so, no more liquor for you…," I said slowly. She scoffed, giving me an exasperated look. "Please, Bella, I'm not drunk. I'm just tired of you trying your best to avoid someone you obviously like. I mean, I could understand you doing so if office dating was against policy, but it isn't, so I don't understand why you're doing this." Maybe she has a point…

No! No thinking clearly for you, missy.

Right! Thank you, brain.

No problemo, Amiga!

Who knew my brain was bilingual?

"Are you going to explain?" Huh?

"Huh?"

"Are you going to explain why you keep avoiding Edward like the plague? I mean, it was understandable a year ago with the whole 'Bye Studward' thing but it's time to get over the I-embarrassed-myself-in-front-of-a-hot-guy attitude."

"That's not it, Alice. I'm over the whole Studward thing." Liar! "I just don't think Edward has any interest in me. Let's face it––he's gorgeous! He can have any woman he wants so what makes you think he would choose me?" Alice was about to answer, but Jasper chose now to put his psychology degree to good use.

"I think that the fact that you're insecure is apart of it, but really Bella, you aren't that insecure to think you have less of a chance with him than any other woman. I think you avoid Edward because you're afraid of giving yourself a chance at happiness."

"I'm not one of your patients, Jasper. Plus, you're way off." Liar, again!

Shut up, brain!

You're only being hostile because you know I'm right!

"I think Jasper is right, Bella. Maybe you're just afraid to be happy." I rolled my eyes at the two of them. "Thanks Oprah and Dr. Phil, but I think it's just the mortification of the Studward incident that's keeping me from 'happiness,' not fear." Jasper took a sip of his drink and eyed me with that look. The kind that says, 'Sure, Bella… Or maybe you're just that good at lying to yourself.'

I shook the thought from my head. "I promise I'll act on my feelings soon, guys."

"Yeah, right," Alice said.

"Really, I will, Ali. I promise." I wasn't entirely sure I would follow through with this promise, but who said she had to know that?

/

Being in a meeting right now was quite frankly the last thing I wanted to be doing, considering the fact that when I was told about this meeting I was on my way to lunch, but the fact that Edward was in said meeting as well just made it so much better. The board of directors had brought all the people on my floor together today in order to come up with a way to market our newest product––Pioneer light beer. We were promised that as soon as the advertisement was figured out, we would be free to go out and eat, but I was hungry now. While everyone was busy talking about marketing ideas, I was admiring Edward, trying to keep my mind off of my hunger. In your face, Alice! I can so admit to admiring Edward!

He was just so dreamy. I watched as he ran his long fingers repeatedly through his hair as he listened to our coworkers' ideas and I sighed inwardly. His hair just looked so soft and silky. I knew for sure that it would feel like heaven if I ran my own fingers through his hair; say while we were kissing…definitely with tongue. Or maybe while he was above me on my bed, while we were going at each other like wild animals. Or maybe even in a supply closet at work. You know, whatever was convenient. He'd be gentle at first and then he'd show me how much of a bad girl I was, slamming me into the wall while he pounded into me, over and over again, our slick skin gliding together while we called out each others names. Sigh.

"Miss Swan?" Don't be so formal, Edward.

"Bella?" Yes! Call my name again!

A quick and sharp nudge of the elbow to my ribs from Alice, and I was back again, away from Edwards roaming hands. I hated Alice. "Bella?" I turned at the sound of my name to see that Edward had been trying to get my attention. "Oh, um, yes?"

"I was asking if you had any input on how we should market the product. You know, since you had such a great idea last meeting." I looked around the table to see everyone looking at me. Please, God, don't let me have moaned or anything.

"Oh, um, the beer. Right." Say something smart. You had this all planned out already! Just say what you thought about how to market it, and for the love of all that's holy, do not say um.

"Um." Idiot! "I was thinking that you know, since a lot of men drink beer, we could possibly put a very attractive girl in the commercial. Because you know, guys like hot girls and well, I think they would like seeing a hot girl next to a cold beer." There… at least I didn't sound like a complete idiot.

Carlisle Cullen, president of C&M and father of Edward cleared his throat. "Not that I don't think that isn't a good way to market the product, but what makes you think that having a girl in the commercial with the beer would be get more people to buy it, opposed to maybe having the beer as a stand alone?"

Once again everyone gave me their attention. Damn. I hate the spotlight… "Well I was just thinking that the majority of the products that are sold successfully today are marketed with sex. I think it would be a good idea to market the beer with sex because it's obvious that sex is a good selling point." I knew I was blushing with the fire of a thousand suns. I looked down at the product file, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. "I mean, who doesn't like sex. It feels great," I finished off quietly.

I heard Edward let out a huge laugh and I looked up at him. "Who doesn't like sex indeed, Miss Swan? I agree with you. It feels freaking amazing." He winked at me and back down to the file was where my eyes were. Some people at the table chuckled at my obvious embarrassment, but Carlisle ignored them, still shooting questions out of his ass it seemed.

"And what do you propose we do about the female population? We want to try and sell to as many people, meaning both genders need to be included in the marketing process."

"Well, there are females that like girls as well. I mean, lets face it. There are a lot of lesbians now-a-days." I heard a throat being cleared and looked in the direction it came from to see Linda, the office les looking at me with what was a cross between a glare and… well nothing. She was full on glaring. I had to fix this quick. Linda wasn't at all a lipstick les. She was the epitome of butch and looked like she could snap me in half with minimal strength.

"Not that there's anything wrong with that. I love gay people!" Another laugh came from Edward's direction. What the hell was so funny to him about me potentially getting the crud beat out of me for being mistaken for a homophobe? Note to self: send Linda a nice gift basket.

"Well," Carlisle said, "I think we've gotten enough done for today. We found a possible way to market our new product and we established that Miss Swan likes the gays." And, cue scarlet blush… "You're all free to go."

At those words, I jumped up from my chair and shoved the files back into my briefcase, tidiness be damned. I mumbled a quick reminder to Alice to meet me at the restaurant and I was out the door. I never stalled at the end of meetings; it just gave me that much more of a chance to start a conversation with Edward and say something that I would rather be kept inside my head until the day I die.

I made a quick stop to my office, dropping off my briefcase and picking up the mail that had been left there and was on my way to the elevators. Quick exit plus no blush inducing conversations equals a happy Bella. The doors opened and I stepped inside, pressing the button for the main level. "Hold the elevator, please!" Great heavens, why do you hate me!

I pressed the door close button frantically, thanking everything holy on this planet that the doors closed shut right before Edward got a chance to get on. "Shit!" I heard him curse. Well now I felt bad. As you should… "Sorry!" I called as the elevator started descending.

I sifted through my mail as I waited for the elevator to stop. Boring, unimportant, oh this looks interesting. An envelope that was marked Open Immediately caught my attention and so I did just what it said to do. The card inside read the following.

C&M Advertisements holds its annual Dinner and Auction for the Cure of Cancer. It's a special event in which each and every C&M employee must attend. Formal wear is required. Dinner will be $250 a plate. Open bar. Art work will be auctioned off, along with C&M employees and guests who choose to be auctioned off for a date to the highest bidder. Once again, attendance is mandatory for all C&M employees. We look forward to a night of fun, and the chance to get closer to a cure. Thank you.

Although the 250 dollars for a plate threw me off a bit, the sound of an open bar piqued my interest. Free liquor was always a good thing in my books. Also, when Alice got wind of the formal wear that was required, she would most definitely make sure we spent a whole day shopping for new dresses and then got a full day of pampering at a spa so we could look our best. I was dreading the shopping, but the idea of a spa day sounded great. All this avoiding Edward business was really taking a toll on me.

Thanks so much for the story alerts and favorites. I'm glad to see that this story is catching some peoples interest. A huge shout out to Ecxe, who was my first and only reviewer so far. You rock majorly! I really wish I would've gotten some more reviews and this seems to work with my other story so, here goes. A preview to the next chapter in exchange for a review. Sound good? Good.

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