SM owns it, Dollybigmomma rocks it, I just write it
This is a one-shot. Bang you're done! It's short, silly and sweet, and I hope you like it!
THE GIFT EXCHANGE
I couldn't believe we were actually being requested to participate in something like this. It was crazy!
In a fit of insanity, the wife of the VP of Cullen, Inc. decided we all needed to have a gift exchange. But it was not Christmas you say? See, here was where it got good. She didn't want to offend anyone's religious beliefs, but she wanted everyone to get a present, so what were we celebrating?
Yes, everyone's at the same time, so all one thousand employees in this building would be doing a gift exchange. How on earth could this possibly be you ask? Surely, I didn't know all one thousand employees and could get them a nice gift that meant something. No, I didn't know jack beyond the third floor, and the only reason I knew that much was due to the fact that the mail room always mixed up our mail, because there were two John Smiths in the building. Well, technically, there were four in the whole building, but only two that I knew, because the mail got mixed up.
You'd probably think I was being ridiculous, complaining about this gift thing, but it really had gotten out of hand. They wanted me to fill out a form about myself, and I was finding it depressing. Not to mention the limit was fifty dollars. Not so bad you say? You heard me wrong then. See, the gift had to cost at least fifty dollars. I was just a lowly receptionist, struggling to make ends meet on my twelve dollars an hour! I brought my lunch in a brown paper bag for heaven sakes, and now they wanted me to spend my hard-earned cash that would have supplied me with a month of bag lunches on a stranger I had never met and would probably never meet again! Just freakin' wonderful!
I looked at the form, and as I was filling it out, I got even more depressed. The damn thing was like a dating company survey. Was I married? Was I gay with a significant other? Was I straight with a significant other? Couldn't they just ask if I was bringing anyone to the party? Oh, look, that was question four, and the answer was still no. Yes, very depressing. Why was this so important? Ah, there was the disclaimer. They didn't want to match a single with a married, worried about the sexual implications. Nice. So, I just wrote yes, I was straight and single with no boyfriend whatsoever, and then I added a frowning little face with the tongue sticking out. Yeah, I knew I was mature.
Maybe that was my problem, I wasn't interesting.
A real life, oh, and a stapler that freaking worked! I wrote that just to be obnoxious.
I turned in my form, and two days later, the VP's wife, Mrs. Alice Whitlock herself, came waltzing in like she owned the place. Okay, she kind of did, or her daddy did as least. "Is there an Isabella Swan present?" she asked to the floor of cubicles behind me.
I sat quietly, hoping no one ratted me out. Of course, damn Newton did. "She's right behind you."
The little woman spun on her six inch heels with grace I had never known. "Ms. Swan," she started, as she brandished my birthday form, "You seem to have misinterpreted what the form was for. See here in interests? You didn't put anything. Surely you have interests? How are they supposed to know what to get you?"
"I asked for a stapler," I said lamely with a shrug.
She eyed the gray one on my desk. "But you have one."
I picked it up and took a few forms I needed to staple anyway. I pounded the bastard into submission, and it made it through half of the four pages, leaving a wonky crinkled staple.
"Why don't you just use paperclips?"
"Because they get lost or slip off and pages get mixed up!" I threw my hands in the air, appalled. "My job is to keep order, and you're not letting me with that demon stapler!" I pointed huffing, and I realized I'd just lost it in front of the boss's wife and my whole floor. Yup, I was so fired.
I was surprised when she just said, "So, you like order?"
I just shrugged.
"Bella, do you organize your books by date published or alphabetically?" She was glancing at the book I'd brought from home to read on my lunch break, because no one talked to me, the lowly receptionist, except for creepy Newton.
"Which collection?" I asked, wondering where she was going with this, but she just smiled.
"You have a collection?"
"I have books I read and books I collect."
"The books you read," she stated.
"Alphabetical by author then series, my untouchables are by publish date."
Her face lit up, and she quickly wrote books and organizing in my interest field. I hadn't written those, because they sounded really lame, and seeing it on paper just proved that yes, I, Bella Swan, was lame.
"Do you have any pets?" she asked me carefully.
"NO!" I snapped. "That would be blasphemy, to have an animal around my first additions! They leave hair and dander and smell!"
I realized I was not looking all that stable in her eyes, but she just kept smiling. "I understand. I know who'd be just perfect for you for the gift exchange." She handed me a paper, and it was sparsely filled out, mostly done in her handwriting, except where it said wish list. He had written, 'A fucking filing cabinet without hanging files that fall and get lost in the back of the damn drawer!'
I saw that and smiled.
"I know how to fix this," I said pointing to his complaint, and her eyes lit up.
"We're having lunch!" she said and yanked me from my chair.
We ended up at a way pretentious restaurant, and I knew I couldn't even afford the water here, but I ordered a glass and got wild and asked for some lemon slices.
"Are you on a diet, Isabella? You're thin as a bone; you have to get more than water. It's my treat," she said.
I let out a sigh of relief and ordered a huge steak, because I was freaking starving!
"So, this problem you noticed on Mr. Masen's form, you can fix it?" she asked, as she took a bite of her salad.
"Yeah, I fixed my filing cabinets, and well, my dad's baseball card collection. That was just a mess."
"Really, so you like to organize for fun then?" she pushed.
I shrugged. "I like to organize, but if I had friends, I'd go out like a normal person, too." I blushed, because I realized I'd sounded pathetic just then. "Sorry. I'm okay with my life. I just haven't gotten out since I moved here."
"Really? Where are you from?" she asked excitedly.
"Arizona, but my dad is in Forks, Washington, about a three hour drive south of here. I moved here to be closer to him, but there's just no work in Forks. Heck, I was lucky to get a job in Seattle."
"That's true; the economy has been a little nuts lately. We're lucky Cullen, Inc. is so well managed."
"Yeah, I don't mind working there. It's kind of nice, actually, and there are good benefits."
Alice smiled like I'd just complimented her personally. I would guess in a way I had.
Alice turned out to be pretty cool and wanted to hang out sometime. I talked her into helping me with this Masen guy's present. I looked up where a used office furniture store was and made plans to go there after work. I was suddenly excited for the gift exchange, because I could organize something. I knew I was helping someone, and that made me happy.
I was lucky and found a four-drawer sideways hanging file cabinet. It was in perfect condition and a nice clean black. I paid extra to have it delivered to my office, because it wouldn't fit in my apartment. And even if it did, how was I supposed to get it back here?
I found a nice granite laminate and some sturdy grey fabric material and sat after hours at work, making a very large laminate accordion-like inset that fit inside the drawers. It was perfect for filing, because you could deem a whole section for just one file.
I hadn't realized how late I was staying, when I heard Alice coming down the hall. I smiled, as I heard her complaining about a demon stapler. What surprised me was she walked in with a gorgeous guy on her arm.
I looked at them stunned, like I had been caught doing something naughty, but after a moment, Alice looked at the accordion-like mass I was almost finished with for the last drawer. "I thought you said you'd let me help!" she complained.
The guy with her was eyeing the filing cabinet suspiciously.
"I didn't want to bug you. You're busy, or so I thought, and I work faster alone. I'm almost done. I'll still show you how to do it," I offered, as the guy strode over to the cabinet I was working on and pulled open a drawer I had already finished. He was pushing the file holders around and looking at the dark material in the sides of it. He seems to be getting excited over my creation, and I was starting to feel protective. "Hey, it's not polite to stick your fingers in a lady's files without asking."
He jumped back, like he had just noticed me standing there. I gave him a scowl, and Alice was laughing. I didn't know why, until I ran my words over in my head and realized what I said could be misconstrued as sexual. I blushed scarlet. "I didn't mean…" I stuttered, "I was just…"
"Oh, Brother, put the poor girl out of her misery!" Alice was folded in half, laughing harder now. I didn't find this the least bit funny and was considering revoking her friend card.
"Sorry," the guy mumbled.
I just nodded thanks in relief. He didn't seem to have mistaken my words for anything other than face value, because he had removed his fingers from my files.
"I thought we were going to do this at your place?" Alice asked, as she came around my desk, looking at my filing cabinet.
"We were, but once I bought the cabinet, I realized there'd be no way to move it around, so I had it delivered here. I figured once I found out where Edward Masen's office was, I'd have someone with a dolly move it there after the gift exchange."
"Edward Masen?" the guy asked and looked a little excited again.
"Um, yeah, he's who I got for the exchange. I saw he complained about his hanging files, and he's right, the person who invented them was an idiot, just a glutton for punishment," I said sounding a little like my granny and quickly shut my mouth, blushing again. This guy was really cute, and I didn't want to sound like a granny, even if I was wearing granny panties. Don't hate, they had tummy control.
He was quiet, but was looking at me funny. I looked to Alice to see if she could help me out, but she was just smiling like the cat that got the cream.
"Bella collects books," she stated like it was interesting, and I wanted to hide. "Edward collects music."
"Edward?" I asked and looked back at the guy. "You're Edward?" I gulped, feeling stupid. "Feel free to finger your files then," I said, and Alice started with the laughing again. I blushed deep red, Edward smiled, and I was suddenly kind of okay with her laughing at me.
He ignored the giggle monster on the other side of my desk and turned back to the file drawers. He really liked them. He actually was looking excited. "Do I have to wait until the party to use them?" he asked me.
I said no, and Alice said yes at the same time.
I snapped, "Organization waits for no one!" at her and I heard Edward smash his hand in the drawer of the filing cabinet. He was looking up at me in shock.
"Or maybe, I mean, if you want to wait, but if you didn't, I could always get you a little something to open at the party," I blushed scarlet.
"See, Edward? I knew you'd get along, she even knows your motto," Alice chimed in.
I felt like an idiot. I shouldn't have yelled that out at her like a superhero. I was no superhero come to save Edward with my filing cabinet.
"If you bring something for him to open at the party, you can let him have the cabinet early," Alice conceded.
Edward actually fist pumped and yelled yes.
He was sent off to find a dolly to move it, and I quickly got back to work finishing the last drawer for him.
When he came back, he was winded and excited. Alice and I helped him get it all set up in his office and moved over all his files. What else was I going to do on a Friday night?
I noticed behind his desk was a poster that read 'Organization waits for no one!' and I felt a little less stupid about shouting it out at Alice in front of him.
Alice got this insane idea and insisted we all go to Edward's apartment, so he could buy us some dinner. It was going on one o'clock in the morning, and I was a little surprised that time had flown by without me noticing. Alice, I found, did not take no for an answer, and so I ended up in her car heading to Edward's, following his silver Volvo.
I was stunned when we got to Edward's place. He had a huge wall of vinyl records, followed by one of beta tapes, and then cassette tapes, and then CDs.
"Musician then album or release date?" I asked.
"Release date," he said, and I was impressed he knew what I was talking about. "Year or decade, or do you go as far as month?"
"I don't have enough for month or year. I go by decade, but hopefully someday, I can go by year at least."
"It's beautiful," I said in awe of his organization skills. There was something amazing about symmetry that just caught my eye.
Alice cleared her throat. "Food's here." She was smirking when she said it, and I wondered what the heck was with her.
After dinner, I was dead tired. The fact that Edward had opened three bottles of wine, as we discussed the many uses of sticky notes, none of them for organizing mind you, left me feeling a little tipsy.
I headed to the bathroom, and when I opened his linen closet for a hand towel, I screamed, "OH, MY GOD!"
Edward and Alice came running in. Well, Alice ran in, and Edward stumbled in behind her.
"What?" he asked looking around.
"Your tri-fold! It's amazing. You have washcloths, hand towels and bath towels, all on separate shelves, and you tri-fold!"
"Are you making fun of my tri-fold?" he asked offended.
"NO!" I gasped. "It's beautiful. I swear I do the same, but so few people take the time, because it's more time consuming to tri-fold, but it looks so pretty."
"Look, there's only one way to settle this," Alice interrupted. "We go to Bella's and look at her linen closet."
"Yes!" Edward shouted a little drunkenly. "I want to see her closest!"
"Closets," Alice corrects him, and he frowned at her.
"That's what I said," Edward slurred.
We all piled into Alice's car because she was the only one sober. We ended up at my place a few minutes later, and just as we stumbled into the apartment, Alice got a text and had to leave. Edward and I pressed forward, and I flung my linen closet open with a flourish. "See, tri-fold," I said like I'd just won a gold medal.
"Have my babies," Edward said and pushed me back against the closet shelves, squishing my towels, but I didn't care, he tri-folded.
"Okay," I gasped out, and then we were kissing. I hadn't kissed anyone for over a year, but I didn't ever remember it being this hot. They didn't tri-fold, either, though.
That was the last thing I remembered clearly, when I woke up the next morning with a heavy arm over me. I looked over to see Edward still sleeping, and I just lay and watched him breathing. He looked so beautiful for a man. I wanted to run my fingers through his hair.
He started to stir, and I panicked. I decide to close my eyes and pretend to sleep. I felt him grip my waist and pull me against him moaning, and I was not sure if he was awake yet. I squirmed back against him and felt him there. All thoughts of him being asleep went out the window when I felt his hand, and he maneuvered my hips and legs, spooning me. He must not have been a shorty, because he slid in easily, and I groaned in response, pushing back as he pushed forward. I turned my head, and his face was in my neck, kissing me as he grabbed at my breast. It seemed he could multitask quite well, using both hands and his mouth at the same time. Yeah, he must have studied for this final.
"I knew you were awake," he whispered in my ear.
I couldn't talk when he was attacking me like this.
"I was awake before you. I saw your bathroom. Do you know how hot it is to see medicine organized by expiration date?" He thrust extra hard. "Fuck, baby, I nearly came in my pants. I never thought I'd be able to handle being in a relationship with a woman. Everyone always thinks I'm being anal or difficult." He thrust deeper with each of his last words. "But you, you know I'm just organized," he said and pinched my clit. I came hard, and he followed.
He rolled me onto my back and attacked my mouth. We were kissing like mad. "You should see my clothes closet," I egged him on.
He groaned and attacked my body more. "Please, please show me your closet," he begged, as he pulled me from my bed. He opened the door and saw that everything was all organized by season and color. He put my hands on the bar and took me again. "Marry me," he growled as I came, and I started screaming yes, but I wasn't sure if I'd just accepted a real marriage proposal, or he was just exaggerating. Did Edward exaggerate? He asked me to have his babies, and we had sex.
HOLY SHIT! WE HAD SEX! I realized suddenly that we had not used any form of protection at all this whole time. My birth control had run out a month after I had moved here, and I'd never gotten a refill because I wasn't seeing anyone, and really, who wanted to get a pelvic exam.
I guess if he really wanted to have babies, that would mean he didn't exaggerate, and so we were really engaged. If he didn't want to have babies, that meant he just tended to yell things like that when he was horny. I really shouldn't have sex with men before I knew them that well.
But he tri-folded and organized like a champ. It was beautiful! I defended.
I realized I had no idea how to bring up this whole "were you exaggerating or not" conversation, so I decided to just not say anything at all. He complimented me on my spice rack and promised to show me his. He wanted to have lunch tomorrow. I agreed, because I did want to get to know him better. There was more to this man than organizing, right?
We ended up having a picnic in the park, listening to a local band. It was perfect. We saw kids running and playing, and he asked me if I wanted to have kids one day. "Yeah, I guess," I said and he smiled.
Of course, now that he'd asked me, I realized that his "have my babies" request was an exaggeration. So I assumed the proposal was as well.
I was guessing he thought since I was so organized that so was my birth control.
We ended up spending the night at his place that night. Yeah, we had sex again, and no, we didn't use anything, because supposedly, I was on birth control! Just shit!
I finally figured out what to do three days and lots of unsafe sex later. I made an appointment to get on birth control again. I was going to get the shot. It would be effective immediately, just like I liked it, and so I could forget about the little almost-fib of not being on birth control, when he'd thought I was on birth control.
The night of the gift exchange, I gave him a vinyl jazz record I knew he didn't have. He loved it. Of course, he made me wait until the very end of the party. He had been torturing me by not telling me about my gift at all, and I was going nuts. It had better be one hell of a stapler!
I opened the gift, and everyone was watching at his and Alice's insistence. It was an electric stapler. I squealed and hugged him. He laughed and told me to open the box. I did, and there was a little black box inside. He opened it, flashing me a gorgeous ring. "I asked Isabella to marry me the other night, and she said yes!" he shouted excitedly. I was floored. Then he wrapped his arms around me. "We're going to try for a baby right away," he said smiling at Alice. "That maternity plan is definitely going to get used if I have anything to say about it."
He kissed me, and my panic and worry disappeared. I ended up smiling like the idiot I was, laughing at myself silently. I guess I wasn't going on birth control after all. And obviously, Edward didn't exaggerate.