I do not own Twilight. Or Furbies. Drat!
This was written for Sweetheart Geranium as part of the 2012 Secret Santa Fic Exchange.
Likes: Meeting for the first time; Edward x Bella; AH
Dislikes: Jacob being the bad guy; shy and insecure Bella; overly possessive Edward
Hope this makes you smile, Sweetheart Geranium! Merry Christmas!
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Bella hated shopping…abhorred it. You know what else she hated? Her boss: Michael-I'm-too-lazy-slash-important-to-Christmas-shop-for-my-kid-Newton. Nothing short of her job security would have her out at midnight on Black Friday ready to do battle for a Furby; not just any Furby, but the most elusive of Furbies, the teal Furby.
"What two-year old knows the difference between blue and teal," Bella muttered as she stood in a line of fellow teeth-chattering bargain hunters. Her hands were wrapped around a large salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks as she tried to ward off the misty chill.
It had taken almost an hour to drive from her friend's apartment in Port Angeles, where she had spent Thanksgiving, to the nearest Toys R Us in Silverdale. Bella couldn't remember the last time she was this tired. She was quite fond of her pillow and the time she spent with it.
Her attention was diverted by a disturbance near the front of the line. A hapless employee had stepped out through the store's exit and was calling for everyone's attention. Bella couldn't understand anything that was being said, but she wasn't too concerned. She knew that there were plenty of hot electronics for sale and figured that most of the shoppers who arrived before her were more interested in the latest gaming system than the annoying furry toy.
Boy was she wrong.
When the line surged forward, Bella found herself being pushed along by the eager shoppers behind her. Her hot chocolate slipped from her hand, fell to the ground, and popped open spilling across the sidewalk.
Bella was continuously chivvied forward by the crowd behind her. She concentrated on maintaining her upright position. She had no doubt that should she fall, she'd be trampled under the Uggs of the rabid shoppers behind her.
Finally, she was through the entrance and the crowd around her eased. Her eyes darted left and right under the harsh fluorescent glare of the lights above. There were no young children in her family, so she had had no need to visit a Toys R Us in many years.
Board games…ride on toys…costumes…books…. What? No sign for annoying, talking, furry toys?
Paying no heed to the crowd around her, Bella quickened her pace, searching the aisle signs for anything that would lead her to the Furbies.
Before her an open space appeared. In the middle of the space was a large, freestanding, oval-shaped display with four tiers of shelves. Shoppers were approaching the stand from all directions, pushing through the merchandise, grabbing their prizes and scurrying away. A large sign above the table proclaimed "The Year's Hottest Toy!" in giant purple and yellow letters. Bella's eyes widened as she realized she'd found what she was looking for.
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Idiots. He was surrounded by idiots. Of course, he was out here, too, so what did that make him?
He hadn't been home for Christmas in three years. After graduating Northwestern he had chosen to stay in Chicago to pursue his career. Of course, being low man on the totem pole meant that he didn't get to choose when he could take vacation. He was left with the weeks and days no one else wanted.
Time off around the holidays usually went to the guys with young families. He was assured by coworkers that his time would come. No one seemed to care that he had a baby sister at home or that he hadn't spent Christmas with her since she was two.
This year all that finally changed. One of the senior guys was carrying over his vacation to next year so he could spend a month in Italy. Another guy had gotten a divorce and wouldn't be seeing his kids until New Years. And, finally, Edward wasn't the low man anymore. Two new guys were hired in his department this year.
Edward tilted his head back and drained the last of his coffee. He held onto the empty cup, knowing that if he stepped out of line to toss it in the trash, he'd lose his spot.
Edward loved his little sister, Alice. She was a surprise, to be sure, but he doted on her as did his mom and dad. Missing the last three Christmases was harder on him than it was on her. Sure, sure, he saw her at least three times a year, but the holidays had been such a wonderful time when he was little, he was sorry that he couldn't spend them all with her.
Never again, he vowed. With substantial experience at WB Games under his belt, he knew that he'd be an asset to companies in Washington like PopCap or BigFish. While he'd probably have to live near or in Seattle, he'd be able to come home for holidays and weekends easily.
Up ahead a guy stepped out of the store and started talking about following the arrows that were taped to the floor. He explained that Wii Us were only being given to folks who had them on preorder. He explained some typographical error in the flyer that caused some people around Edward to grumble. Yeah, yeah, yeah, none of this mattered. All Edward wanted to do was get in, grab a Furby, and get out.
The employee stepped aside and people started shuffling forward. Edward was the sixth person in line and was confident he'd make Alice's wishes come true when he secured a teal Furby tonight.
Despite being the sixth person in the store, Edward was quickly lost. The last time he was in Toys R Us was when he was looking to buy a new Mongoose when he was twelve. He wandered through the doll section for a few minutes, until the crowd started thickening and Edward realized that it was unlike that the Furbies would be near the Barbies and something called Monster High. Creepy little things they were.
Moving quickly, Edward scanned the aisles until he saw a large display stand full of Furbies. Sprinting to the display, Edward pushed aside the pink, black, and yellow Furbies before finally coming across one that was teal. Well, it was blue…bluish…bluish green? Another Furby in the blue family caught his eye. He pulled the two critters closer together to compare. Then another one, this one more greenish blue appeared…shoved through from the other side of the display.
Sighing, Edward lined up the three Furbies and stared at them. Ugh! Why was this so hard? Edward would walk across broken glass and through a ring of fire for his sister, but this shopping trip was going to be the death of him.
While he sat there contemplating buying all three just to play it safe, a tiny hand pushed through the mob around the table and snatched the bluish green Furby from Edward's line up. Or was it the greenish blue? No matter. Without conscious thought, Edward's hand shot out and grasped the thieving hand by the wrist. He held on tight, while gathering the other two boxes in his free hand.
Tugging the now struggling wrist though the mob surrounding the Furby table, Edward made his way out of the thick of things, dragging the would-be Furby thief with him.
"Let go! Let go of me!" a voice called through the din of the piped in holiday music and the roar of the crowd.
"Not yet, thief," Edward replied. Finally reaching a clear spot, he turned and faced his struggling captive.
Before him stood a tiny little thing. Her hair was pulled up, but had been blown by the frigid wind outside, so it fell in wisps around her face. Her cheeks were pink from the cold, but otherwise her skin was pale. Her eyes were huge and the color of hot chocolate. She had a bright red scarf around her neck. A black down vest and long sleeved white shirt topped tight black jeans and red Converse.
Damn she was cute. Too bad she was a thief.
"That's mine," he explained without preamble.
"No," the girl stated matter-of-factly while shaking her head at him. "It's mine." She tugged back on her arm, trying to pull it from Edward's grasp. Inwardly, he grinned at her feistiness.
"I need that Furby."
"I need it," she retorted. "That's why I have it in my hand." She waved the box around to demonstrate her point.
"You have it in your hand because you stole it from me."
She snorted. "I didn't steal it from you. I was reaching for it when someone shoved me from behind. I ended up pushing it through the opening in the shelf, when I meant to grab it. I need this Furby," she replied obstinately, jutting out her lip is an adorable pout.
Edward narrowed his eyes at her and shook his head to ward off the attraction he was feeling.
"I need it," he insisted.
"You have two other ones right there," she argued, pointing to the boxes in his hands.
"Yes, but I need a teal one."
An unidentifiable expression came over the girl's face. "You have a teal one," she explained, pointing to the greenish blue…or the bluish green, Edward really didn't know. He released her arm and looked at her suspiciously. She wrapped her arms protectively around the boxed Furby she held.
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Bella could tell that she had the handsome stranger before her doubting himself. She held the teal Furby in her arms a little tighter. The ones he had were a baby blue and aqua, but like most guys, he couldn't tell the difference between aqua and teal.
She rubbed her wrist where he had released her. It didn't hurt, but there was a tingle where his flesh had touched hers.
"This one's teal?" he asked, shoving the aqua Furby forward.
"Yes," Bella replied maintaining eye contact. Her conscience twinged. He has plenty of time to find a teal Furby once he realizes this one isn't the right color.
"Okay, well…thanks." He returned the baby blue Furby to the now decimated stand and turned to face her once more.
"Um, I'm Edward, by the way," he introduced himself awkwardly.
"Bella," she replied.
"It…it was nice, um…shopping with you, Bella. Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, Edward."
With that, the handsome stranger…Edward, turned and walked away. Bella's mouth twisted with frustration at the lengths she had to go to secure the stupid Furby for her boss.
The next week Bella walked into Mike Newton's office and put the Furby on the table near the door. Mike was on the phone, but nodded to Bella when he saw the toy. That was the extent of his gratitude.
Several more weeks passed and Bella forgot the deceit she had perpetrated. The handsome stranger, however, played a prominent part in several of her naughtier dreams. Christmas came and went and Bella enjoyed a few extra days off with her family the week between Christmas and New Year's.
When things returned to normal after the holidays were over, Bella was working in one of the design studios with the team working on the company's newest franchise release. As usual, these group meetings were filled with as much silliness as they were brainstorming and hard work. They were in the business of creating games and upper management knew that you had to let creative types foil wrap a colleague's desk or string together a thousand paper clips from time to time if you expected them to infuse fun into their video offerings.
At this moment, Bella and Angela had taken refuge behind a large potted plant to reload their marshmallow shooters while Ben and Erik held a whispered conversation on how to retrieve as many of the spent marshmallows as possible without getting hit.
Bella had just stood up to take a shot at Erik, who had crawled out from under the table to gather up ammunition, when the door to the design studio swung open and startled her. The sweet missile went wide of its target and hit the tall man who had entered the room right in the center of his chest.
All four employees lowered their weapons and stood to look at the men who had entered the room. Bella's eyes widened and she shuffled to the side, trying to put the plant between her and the men who had entered the room.
Mike scowled at his team before turning to apologize.
"Ed, I'm sorry. It seems my team hasn't come down from their holiday high."
"That's quite alright, Mike," the tall man assured him.
"Yes, well, this is Ben, Erik, Angela, and…."
"Bella," Ed supplied.
Mike looked surprised. "You know Bella?"
"We've met," he explained. "I believe it was during Bella's last little prank, wasn't it?"
Bella shuffled forward, her face flamed. "Um, yeah." She laughed nervously.
"Yes, well, these are the people you'll be working with on a day to day basis. You'll find we're usually more professional than this, but still a casual group. If you have any questions, I'm sure one of them can help you. And, my door's always open if you need anything."
With that Mike nodded and left.
Edward stared at an abashed Bella as the atmosphere in the design studio got tense.
"Um...," Angela started.
"Yeah…," Ben agreed.
"We have to do that…thing, you know, out there," Erik added, gesturing vaguely towards the door.
"Right!" Angela and Ben agreed in tandem. The three friends scurried for the door leaving Bella and Edward alone.
Edward took a slow step towards Bella causing her eyes to dart around seeking an escape route.
"So, Bella, that was teal, was it?"
"Yes?" she replied as innocently as she could
"Mm-hm. It wasn't say…aqua?"
"And what color were you searching for on black Friday? You never did say."
"Um, I don't remember…it was for a friend."
Edward took another step. "Mine was for my baby sister."
Bella looked down guiltily, a grimace on her face. She had managed to ease her conscience with the thought that he had plenty of time to realize he had the wrong color. Now she wasn't so sure.
"Was she disappointed?" Bella whispered. Even with her head bowed she could see he was coming closer.
"Actually, no," he said. Bella's head snapped up. "My mother saw the toy before I wrapped it. I was able to pick up the right color a week later. I was lucky. You, not so much."
Bella squeaked as Edward gently backed her against the studio wall. He placed his forearm on the wall over Bella's head and leaned in close, barely grazing her body with his.
"Why am I not lucky?" Bella asked, raising her eyes to meet his.
"I dreamt of taking revenge on the beautiful girl who lied to me that night."
"Revenge?" Bella whispered
"Yes, I thought of a dozen ways to take my indignation out on her…body," he replied in a low, menacing voice.
Bella swallowed hard. "What are you going to do to me?"
"Oh, Bella, nothing you're not going to enjoy."
Bella's eyes fluttered shut as Edward lowered his head. He barely brushed his lips across hers until he heard a small sound deep in her throat. Encouraged, Edward pressed forward, kissing her softly, but with obvious intent. Bella's mouth moved perfectly with his, until he licked lightly and she opened, allowing his tongue to sweep into her mouth.
Edward's hand moved down the wall, until he could bury his fingers in Bella's hair. Bella's hands slid up Edward's arms until they came to rest at his neck. They continued kissing against the wall until Edward finally broke the contact by sliding his head to the side and resting his forehead on Bella's shoulder.
Bella cleared her throat. "Well, you certainly got back at me."
Edward chuckled. "I'd like to get back at you some more. Maybe tonight? At dinner? I haven't been in town long, but there's a little Italian place a few blocks from here…."
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea," Bella agreed. "I'm not sure you've really taught me my lesson yet."
"Oh, I'm really going to enjoy teaching it to you," Edward said with a smile.