Twilight character names belong to Stephenie Meyer. I own Animate Me.
Thanks to Team Toonward! Editor Azucena, Prereaders BtwntheStacks, LemonMartinis, Squally and Beta Ms. Kathy
I'm still swimming in a happy sea of Toonward love. You guys were incredibly generous and loving with your comments on the final chapter, and each review is a sparkly thing tucked away in my treasure box. You make me feel like I'm sitting on that pile of gold coins and jewels on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, and it's better than I even imagined.
Thank you so much
Animate Me / Fandom4Texas Outtake / Three Men Talking Woo
"We must stoke the furnace of love, must we not?" ~Pepe le Pew
"How do you turn this thing on anyway?" I ask, flipping the small digital voice recorder over and over in my hands.
Carlisle takes it, examines it for a moment, and then a couple of taps and the red light comes on.
That's my Dad. He's a genius with anything mechanical.
I clear my throat. "Okay, it's August eighteenth and we are here …"
"Son, you should state our names," Dad interrupts.
"Okay, the Cullen men-Carlisle, Emmett, and me, Edward, are here to discuss ideas for the proposed book project, on how to woo a girl…well actually, how to woo a woman."
"Are you sure we want to record this conversation?" Emmett asks, pulling his hand through his hair as he stares at the contraption. "It'll probably get graphic at times."
"Well, Bella's editor friend can't make it out here from New York until next month, and she didn't want to wait. I'm also guessing that she thinks we may be more relaxed without her here. So this is a start to see what we come up with."
"A brainstorming session, if you will. They can be very effective," insists Carlisle.
"Exactly," I agree. "She insisted that the best thing while we throw ideas around is to not over-think things and just be candid. They can edit anything they need to later."
"Oh she'll be editing all right," booms Emmett, smiling.
I put my hand over the microphone. "Bella says this editor, Claire, can turn anything into a best seller, and she thinks she can really do something with this idea."
"Undoubtedly," Carlisle agrees. "Sadly, the masses often need to be spoon fed the obvious. Clearly it's just basic logic. The better you treat your woman, the better you will be treated. This is not rocket science."
I nod and shrug, moving my hand off the recorder.
"Oh, and before I forget…Claire asked, if it gets published, would we be willing to do appearances?"
"You mean at bookstores, or are we talking porn shops?" Emmett asks.
"Of course, bookstores! What are you thinking?" I fire back, pushing his huge shoulder.
"Wait, I think I'm onto something here," Emmett offers. "What if you packaged this book as part of a gift set? There could be a bottle of massage oil, a vibrator, and some handcuffs packaged with it. We could build a website and the men will come….get it? Come?"
I slap my hands over my face and growl in frustration. "Emmett! It's like your brain is between your legs. Can you just be serious for a few minutes? Is that too much to ask?"
"Besides, you are completely missing the point here, Em." Carlisle insists. "Have I taught you nothing? You cannot go through life thinking with your penis."
Emmett grins, looking like a little kid.
"Besides, this isn't a sex manual!" I clarify.
"Well maybe it should be," says Emmett.
"Sex, that's your answer for everything, isn't it?" I reply, rolling my eyes.
"…and is there a problem with that?"
"Let's just move on," I say firmly.
Just great. We haven't even started the book and we've already veered off course with an X-rated product line, a porn shop public appearance strategy, and an on-line marketing plan geared toward pent-up men.
"We need to re-focus here. So the subject is how to woo a woman," I state into the machine.
"Do you mean woo-woo?" asks Emmett.
"No, just one woo," I clarify. "Woo woo is what Daffy Duck says. Woo singular is how to attract and romance a lady."
"Or the ladies, if you're plural and ambitious," says Emmett.
"That's testosterone-fueled bravado," Carlisle scoffs. "Us Cullen men are definitely one women men. We intentionally pick the most beautiful, bright, and interesting women, so there would be no impetus to stray."
I nod my head agreeing.
"Yeah, I was kidding," shudders Emmett. "Can you imagine what Rose would do with me if I wasn't faithful? Yikes!"
"I think we need to refocus again," Carlisle suggests, trying to help me.
"All right, so how this all came about is when I was pursuing Bella, Dad suggested that I would need to 'woo' her. Not really understanding the concept, I looked it up on the internet and discovered this archaic list of rules to woo a woman. The fascinating thing is that even though it was terribly outdated, many basic things were still true."
"Like what?" asks Emmett.
"Like, that you should show interest in what she's interested in."
"Well, I win that category. Do you know how many goddamn superhero movies I've gone to since we started dating? Do you think I give a flying fuck about Iron Man? Hell no, but if I take her, I score big points and I like that payoff…oh yes, I do."
"That's what we would categorize as gaining a high dividend on your return with a minimal investment," Carlisle says, nodding firmly.
"Have you sat through those movies? It's not always so minimal."
"Well I've sat through every single film version of the entire Jane Austen library, and the Bronte sisters' stories, so I have known my own suffering," Dad reminds him.
"How did you woo Mom initially?" I ask Carlisle.
"Well, I must admit that it took a bit to convince her of my charm."
"Really?" I ask, smiling as I imagine it.
"Yes. She had to polish me up a bit. I mean, I wore my lab coat on our first date."
Emmett and I both snicker, but then I remember that I was wearing a bow-tie and pocket protector the first time I met Bella.
"Yet she agreed to a second date," I point out.
"She said I was a phenomenal kisser." He grins. "The launching pad all came down to chemistry, but I secured her heart long-term with romance."
"How did you know what to do?" I ask, still surprised at this side of him.
"I didn't know…not at all. As a matter of fact, I had blown it with girls much less special than your mom by being stupid…forgetting dates when I was working on an exciting project…using discount coupons at restaurants while on dinner dates…insisting on only watching documentaries and refusing to see romantic comedies with them…that sort of thing."
"It's a good thing you're good-looking," suggests Emmett.
"There is no doubt that physical attractiveness is an asset, but there has to be substance beyond the façade. So when Esme agreed to go out with me again, I threw myself into research, reading every kind of dating self-help book and manual regarding interactions with women. It just confirmed what I had already theorized: they are a complicated species."
"I'll say," I agree. "What was your approach at that point?"
"I created flow charts to track not just the timing of our dates, but her reactions to them-both what she seemed to like and what she didn't. I also scheduled not just our dates on my calendar, but every gesture….what days I would bring her flowers, or write a letter. I had to find a balance so she was never overwhelmed, yet always feeling cherished."
"Are you serious?" Emmett asks, shocked. "That's a helluva lot of work."
Carlisle nods firmly.
"It's important that you are constantly changing things up so there is not a predictable pattern. Breakfast in bed on a Tuesday, Thursday I would recite a poem on her answering machine that reminded me of her. Then I'd surprise her on a Saturday and whisk her off to Olvera Street or to the Norton Simon Museum…the type of things she would particularly enjoy."
"I'm impressed," I admit. "So that's why we had babysitters sometimes on the weekends growing up."
He nods, smiling. "And the wooing continues to this day. I went to her favorite bakery this morning and purchased the croissants she loves for breakfast."
"It sounds like you've done all the work," Emmett responds.
"Au contraire, mon fils, I inspire her. She spoils me every day still."
"Wow, do you still do flow charts?" I ask. My head has been far too lost in the clouds to keep track of anything on this roller coaster ride with Bella.
"Oh no…not for years," he responds. "Now it comes naturally. But I do have quarterly check-ins with myself to make sure I'm not getting off track."
"Check-ins?" I question. "What does that accomplish?"
"It's like scheduling tune-ups for your car. How's it running? Does it need an oil change? You have to mix things up sometimes. For instance, I follow a blog that gives reviews and suggestions for romantic restaurants. I take your Mom out for a special date at least every other week, and at least once a month it's some place new I've found on the blog."
I elbow Emmett. "You should get that blog and try that." He nods, agreeing.
"Your mom also loves beautiful lingerie, so I pick out special things for her, but I give them to her at unexpected times…not just the usual anniversary or Valentine's Day."
"Yes, unexpected! The woo list talked about that," I eagerly add.
"For example, last week she offhandedly mentioned feeling old and tired, so I picked out a beautiful corset, panties, and stockings at La Perla and left them for her with a love note. The manager at the store knows your mom's sizes.
"In the love note I told Esme that she would always be the same sexy, young beauty that I fell in love with all those years ago."
"Time out!" Emmett calls out, making the T-shape with his hands. "We don't need to hear any more about Mom in a corset."
Carlisle gets a dreamy look on his face. "She's a magnificent woman, your mother is. That was a particularly fulfilling night."
I'm a bit woozy, but I have to admit that my Dad really has this romance thing figured out. Emmett and I would be wise to learn his teachings. We are the young grasshoppers for our dad, the Kung Woo Master.
"I really think, Edward, that the book should have three parts: part one: The Woo part two: Maintaining the Woo, and the third: Bedroom Wooing."
"I guess that does make sense," I agree.
"The woo must be full circle. Too many men do it only in the beginning of the relationship and once they settle in, they forget its value. They don't realize that there is an art to romance and keeping the fires of passion burning."
"Yes, Woo…the art of romance," I insist. "That's the point of all of this. I think it could have a real impact…I could even do a testimonial because just the most basic ideas of the woo changed my life."
"We're going to turn shit upside down," Emmett says dramatically. "This is going to be a romance revolution."
"Good tagline, Emmett…catchy," Carlisle agrees, nodding.
"I do think men have forgotten how to romance a woman and therein lies the potential market for this book," I point out. "Bella said there's a desperate need for it. She actually thinks the target group is married women who will buy it for their husbands."
"Oh yeah? And how are you going to get these husbands to read it, hold a gun to their head?" Emmett scoffs, but then he gets an idea that only Emmett could suggest.
"Actually, why don't we name a chapter Attention Men: How To Get A Blow Job From Your Wife Twice A Week and you can bet they'll read it. Put one of those teaser stickers with that on the front of the book."
Even Carlisle is speechless, his eyes wide.
"…and we're back in the porn shop," I say, defeated.
"What did I tell you, Bro," Emmett teases. "Sex sells!"
"Yes, yes…you've made your point, but no to your brilliant chapter idea. You know, instead, why don't you tell us Emmett: how did you woo Rose?"
"Are you fucking kidding me? She wooed me. She hit me over the head with her club and dragged me to her cave."
Carlisle nods vigorously. "It's a common misconception that the man always does the wooing. There are plenty of women with elevated testosterone levels who will bring a man to his knees."
"With Rose, I've had to invest in knee pads," Emmett agrees.
Hopefully he means metaphorically, I think to myself.
"But remember how things had started to cool off, and then you turned on the woo, and…" I prompt.
"Things are hotter than ever, Bro. The fancy restaurant you suggested, the flowers, dressing nice…but you know what sealed the deal?" he asks.
"That whispering in her ear shit, about how she is the only one I would ever want. You nailed that to the wall. She was melting butter in my hands after that."
I grin widely. "See, that list is right. They do like whispering in the ear."
"Of course, it's multi-functional. The ear is an erogenous zone, and you can seduce them with your woo words when you whisper," Dad confirms.
"What are the woo words?" asks Emmett.
"They must be carefully selected with the woman in mind. An example is a man likes to hear about how big he is, but you can never call a woman big in any regard."
"You got that right," agrees Emmett.
"The words themselves are unremarkable, it's really how you put them together. Another example is you can whisper, 'You turn me on, baby.' That's flat, prosaic and uninspired. Or you can whisper, 'When I see you standing there, my love, I realize that you have no idea what you do to me. All I want is to take you to bed and show you how much I want you.'"
"Whoa," Emmett exclaims, impressed.
I'm scribbling furiously on my pad, capturing my thoughts that won't make it on the tape. That kind of talk is so not-Carlisle. "That doesn't sound like you at all, Dad," I point out. "How'd you learn to talk like that?"
"I know, it's still unnatural for me, but anything can be achieved if you focus and work hard enough. I actually read some of your mother's smutty romance novels and flagged, then periodically practiced the most impressive lines. They're full of that kind of talk."
"Brilliant," I say, impressed. "I should read some of those."
"They're great insight into the psyche of women and what they want from a man."
"Cause chicks write them." Emmett smirks.
"Precisely. Who better to inform you as to the deepest desires of women."
"Yeah, it sure wouldn't work if you wrote it," I point out to Emmett.
"Yeah, I'm more like, 'Baby, if you get me a beer and watch this game with me, I'll go down on you later.'" Emmett grins.
"I hope you're kidding. That isn't even funny, Emmett." Dad scowls.
Carlisle turns to me. "So tell us, Son, how did you woo Bella? Because apparently your technique was quite effective."
I set my pencil down and think for a moment.
"I guess what it comes down to is that every day I try to think of something to make her feel special. Like I always do little drawings for her on her Starbucks cups."
"Very nice," acknowledges Carlisle. "That's unique to your special abilities…it can be your trademark, as it were."
"She's saved every one of them," I say proudly.
"She's saved dirty paper cups?" asks Emmett.
"Well, she washes them out."
"You're missing the point Emmett. She's emotionally moved by the gesture," Dad tells him.
"Who cares about being emotionally moved. Has she ever done the dirty with you after you gave her one?"
"As a matter of fact, she has." I feel myself blushing. "She showed her appreciation once on the couch in her office…rather spectacularly, I must say."
Hot," responds Emmett, with genuine appreciation.
"Couches can be conducive to very arousing sex, especially when you're well endowed like we are," Carlisle points out.
I sit there calmly realizing that I'm becoming immune to the shock of all this graphic sex talk, even though it's with my father and brother.
"Oh, here we go…technical sex talk from Professor Cullen!" Emmet smirks.
Dad ignores Emmett and presses on with his point while drawing a picture. It's rather amusing seeing him draw a stick figure with a massive arousal sitting on the edge of an 'L' shape that must signify a couch.
He gestures with his pencil over the drawing. "Well, it's simple, on a couch it is easy for both the man and women to control lifting her up and down over a large penis, while manipulating her clitoris, thus maximizing both of their pleasure."
"Oh, Jesus, are we done yet?" gasps Emmett.
"All you've talked about is sex, Em. So why do you suddenly have an issue?" I ask.
"It's skeevy hearing your dad talk about sex with our extra large members."
"This appears to be a good time, Edward, to suggest that we have diagrams in this book. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, the sexual relations side of wooing should be in the back due to sequential accuracy. You must woo a woman emotionally before you begin to woo her physically."
"Diagrams?" I ask.
Carlisle flips to the next page of his pad, and starts sketching out the female anatomy. The side view interior construction of the vagina and outlying areas appears to be his focus.
"See, men need to understand the basic anatomy of a women's body and the corresponding responses. We need to diagram the A spot and the G spot," he notes the areas with his pencil on the drawing. "And of course every man should be intimately familiar with the clitoris."
Emmett nods his head in agreement.
He makes a sweeping gesture on the pad, and then adds his clit-rendering in carefully. I get the impression he's drawn this diagram before.
"After all, the clitoris is an erogenous zone on a woman and has the densest concentration of nerve endings of any part of the skin. You master her clitoris, and you'll be greatly rewarded."
"What about the tongue?" asks Emmett. "I thought that was the most sensitive part of the body."
"The tongue is formidable, certainly," agrees Carlisle. "The combination of the tongue on the clitoris is optimal for the female. Every man needs to understand and embrace this fact."
"Because their women will be begging for the tongue on their clitoris," Emmett chimes in.
"You are so fucking crude." I sigh, rolling my eyes at Emmett.
"What?" he asks, scowling at me.
"Crude? …Perhaps. But take heed my sons, take heed," Carlisle says authoritatively. "Some very modern women value their man's erotic skills almost as high as what type of provider he is. After all, many women have their own careers; they aren't as dependent on men anymore. The men must find other value. Being eager and skilled at oral sex is such a plus."
"I definitely like it best when she begs you for it," Emmett says, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms over his chest. He looks so pleased with himself.
It appears great oral abilities were passed down from Dad to both Em and me.
"When the woman aggressively encourages erotic liaisons that's undoubtedly exciting," Dad says, acknowledging Emmett's boasting, "but when a relationship settles, life can get in the way of the passion."
"I'm not sure I want to hear about this part," Em groans.
"But it's how you handle this challenge that determines if your relationship will have lasting power. You must be sensitive to her signals. They are often abundant, yet men ignore them."
"So we need to be stealth like a detective, looking for clues?" I ask.
"I know, clues like the dirty look you get if you push her head down too hard when she's going down on you. They hate that gagging thing," Emmett offers.
"Oh, for God's sake Emmett," I grumble.
"Emmett, we're talking about more subtle signs than gagging," Dad scolds with a straight face. "For example, what do you do if she's too exhausted for sex?"
"Let her sleep," I offer.
"Well, that is one choice, yes. But there's also a chance that she's had a hard day and would appreciate your care and affection. In these cases, the lead-in is key."
"Lead-in?" I ask.
"Yes. Due to their complicated multi-tasking, women are often much more tired at night than we are. But we want the sex. We need the sex. It's engrained in our DNA. At times like these, you need to inspire them. Start by soothing her with a back rub or foot rub over a glass of wine."
"I love foot rubs," Emmett says happily. "I should have thought about that. I bet Rose would love that."
"There you go," Dad agrees. "Next you could encourage them to read one of their smutty romance novels…even better, have them read it to you. Then when they start to relax, let the strokes get more suggestive. I like to make soft circles with my fingertips along Esme's inner thighs just above the knee."
Emmett is looking squeamish again.
"You have to go slow with all of this, take your time. But if she's responding as you've hoped, you can whisper in her ear…"
"Yeah, whisper in her ear!" I concur.
"…Something like, 'I can't wait to kiss my way up your sweet thighs and run my tongue over you.'"
Holy moly…My dad is a stud.
He clears his throat. "You may want to make sure you say that when she isn't holding her wine glass."
"Fuck, Rose loves it when I tell her I'm going to go down there. She gets wild as a tigress. Jesus, I'm getting worked up just thinking about it."
"Too much information," I scold him.
He suddenly sits up straighter and gives the recorder in the center of the table an evil eye. He reaches over and picks it up. "This thing does know that I've been kidding here. Right?"
"Sure it does, Em," I say with a snarky tone. "See the meter on the side that registers the bullshit radar's findings?"
His fingers tighten over the silver rectangle. "Now that I think of it, I don't think I want this sent to that editor. You know how the media is. They twist the truth to their liking. Humor is frequently misunderstood as truth. I'm not half the asshole sex-obsessed jerk that I sounded like today."
"That's true, but it's not like you're going to be on the cover of Star Magazine or those other exploitive publications, Emmett," Dad explains.
"You never know," he argues. "We could become famous, and I would never, ever want anything to come out that would hurt my Rose."
I watch his face soften, and my heart swells to realize how much he really does love her.
"That time a while back when I thought she was losing interest in me, well, it hit me that I couldn't stand to lose her. She's the perfect woman for me, and I'm crazy in love with her."
Carlisle smiles warmly at him. "So all we're saying is that if you regularly take the time to show her that you feel that way, it will only deepen her love and affection for you."
"Have you come up with any other ideas for wooing Rose?" I ask him.
"I did, actually. She mentioned wanting to go to the New York Comic Con in October. I thought I would take her and then plan some special outings in the city that she'd like."
"Wonderful idea, Emmett," Dad says encouragingly. "Do you know where you're staying?"
"I was thinking of that Gramercy Park Hotel. It's intimate and cool, and almost a straight shot across to the Convention Center."
"Perfect," I say, feeling happy for Emmett and his Rose.
"I think I'll take her for drinks up at Yamashiro's in the Hollywood Hills tonight. It's so clear today; the view should be spectacular. And while we're there, I'll tell her about my plans."
"See, for all of your joking, you really are becoming a woo-er," I tease.
"I'm kind of a junior woo-er at this point. But with practice I hope to work myself up to a master of the woo, like Dad."
"Me too," I chime in. "I'm taking Bella to the Mission Inn in Riverside this weekend. It's that cool old European style hotel that was built around the turn of the century. We have a comic store show near there, and afterwards we're going to have a romantic dinner in the patio just outside our room."
"I think both of you boys are well on your way," Dad says proudly. "It makes me happy to know I raised my sons to understand the importance of appreciating your women and making them happy."
I look at my watch and realize we've already been recording an hour. "So I guess we should wrap this up." I take the recorder back from Emmett and hand it to Dad. He shuts the thing off and sets it back on the table.
"What do you think, Dad? Do you think that there's a book somewhere in all of that we discussed?"
He steeples his fingers together and looks up solemnly, considering all that was said. "You know, Edward, I believe I do. The statistics on failed marriages and unsustained relationships get worse and worse. I think the woo technique, if applied en mass, could turn that trending around and improve the statistics considerably."
"So what is this going to be called again?" Emmett questions.
"How to Woo a Woman?" I offer.
Sounds pedantic. "How about The Magic of the Woo?" Dad offers.
"That's a little Harry Potterish. It really needs it's own distinct branding," I insist.
"Wooing in Ten Easy Steps," Emmett suggests.
"That sounds like a book on dieting, or teaching your kid how to potty train," I argue.
We all sit with our arms folded, looking up, deep in thought.
"I know, I know!" I hold my hand up with my proclamation. Dad turns the recorder back on. "It shall be called, The Book of Woo: Ten Steps to the Romance Revolution!"
Emmett fist pumps the air. "Yes!"
Dad nods his head as he taps the machine off again. "Well boys, I think we've got it!"
I grab the recorder and stand up. "I'm taking this to Bella right now."
The both nod at me in agreement.
"It's time for us to start the revolution!"
I hope you enjoyed that little romp with the Cullen men as they plan the Book of Woo. I'll let you know when their world book tour commences. Meanwhile I'd love to hear from you...
The epilogue will be up in three weeks. Also I'm still intending to do a Bella pov outtake and anything else that Toonward decides to share with me. :-)
Thanks so much for reading...you guys are the best.