Riley Petry sat at her desk, waggling her pencil back and forth as she starred at the math test that sat in front of her.
She knew she did a practice problem exactly like this one the night before. But for the life of her she couldn't remember how she had solved it. Was she supposed to square the five? Or take the square root of something else?
Her eyes squinted, as if that would miraculously help her mind remember the complex problem.
Chair legs grated across the floor as another one of her classmates completed the exam and went to pass it in. Their calculus teacher, Ms. Neeman, looked between her and Alex Hurst as they became the only students left.
Riley glanced at the clock. Ten more minutes till her time was up.
She could just write down a random number and hope for the best, but 'Show your work' was bolded and underlined in the directions, the words taking away her hope of escape whilst provided a little bit of hope.
If she just wrote something correct down, she wouldn't lose full credit. In that regard, she liked her math teacher.
Ms. Neeman was a nice enough lady. She taught well but was a stickler when it came to walking into class late.
That was the only way Riley had ever received an after-school detention.
She refocused back on the problem at hand.
It was the last question she had to answer. The fact that it had been the third question on the entire test mocked her. It was supposed to be easy.
She groaned as Alex stood up and went to turn in his exam.
Last. She was always the last one.
Fuck it. She thought angrily in her head, writing a twenty-seven below the work she had already done and circling it.
Her chair squeaked slightly as she stood up, it was one of the reasons she didn't like her assigned seat in class, and she made her way to the front. Her teacher looked up, not surprised at all that it had taken her this long.
Sympathy laced her voice, "How'd you do?"
Riley shrugged, "I had to guess on a couple."
"You know, I think it would really help if you got a tutor for this class." Her eyes drifted down to her grade book, "If you don't get at A's on the next two exams, I'm afraid you'll have to repeat the course."
Awesome. Just amazing news. There were only two exams left in the entire year.
Riley's shoulders fell, "I'll think about it." She hated asking for help, from anyone, for anything. Just the thought of it made anxiety bloom in her head.
As she walked out the door, she saw Madison Cartwright leaning against some lockers on the other end of the hall, no doubt waiting for Riley to finish her exam. A large, hopeful smile appeared on Maddy's face when she caught sight of her lifelong best friend.
"How'd it go?" She echoed Ms. Neeman's question. Riley's frown was all she needed to see for her to put an arm around Riley's shoulders once she was close enough. She pulled her into her side in a half hug. "You'll figure it out." Her words of encouragement were appreciated, but Maddy knew how much her best friend struggled in the class.
She wished again that she had chosen the same subject as Riley this year, but she had chosen geometry instead.
The girls started to make their way towards their lockers. Those were at least close together this year.
"She said I need to ace these last two exams or I'll have to repeat the course." Her words were mumbled in embarrassment. "I'm no good at math. I just can't wrap my head around it."
"A lot of people have trouble with it."
"Hey," A thought suddenly dawned on her as the bell rang, "How'd you get out of class early. You don't have an exam in anything today."
Maddy shrugged, "It was gym," she reminded Riley, "Mr. Johnson let us out early once everyone finished running laps." Students started to crowd the hallway as they came out of their classrooms, everyone heading to their locker to swap out books before heading to lunch. "But don't change the subject, I think you should get some extra help."
Maddy leaned against the locker next to Riley's as the latter tossed her chemistry book into her locker and grabbed her lunch bag. She closed the locker with a huff, turning the dial a little bit, "I can figure it out on my own."
"Your grades tell a different story."
Riley gave Maddy a light push, "You're not a stellar student either." She shot back, waving to their other friends as they neared their regular lunch table.
"Maddy's not a stellar student?" Sarcasm dripped off every word that left Nick Opal's mouth. "I'm shocked."
Taylor Bynes jumped at the chance to join in making fun of Maddy, "It's really news to all of us, maybe they'll announce it over the intercom."
Riley let out a laugh, taking her seat at the end of the table next to Taylor. Maddy glared at the three of them, thoroughly unamused.
Everyone knew she wasn't the best in school either. Of the four of them, Nick was probably the smartest.
The four ate lunch together every day at school. Always grabbing the same table in the middle of the cafeteria.
A year ago, it had just been Maddy and Riley who ate together every day. But then Maddy and Nick were paired up for an English project and ended up always using lunch as time to brainstorm. Taylor always tagged along wherever Nick went, plus it gave Riley someone else to talk too while the other pair worked. The project had ended a couple months later, but the lunch arrangement stayed the same.
The table's placement wasn't random. Maddy had wanted a clear view of the entrance to the cafeteria for one reason, and one reason only.
"Oh, there they are!" Riley and Taylor didn't even need to turn around to know that the 'La Push Boys', as they had been dubbed, had just entered the room. "Aw, Jared's not here."
"They're never all here." Nick reminded her. The boys didn't like the group, Riley understood why. They were all massive and made completely of muscle. She wasn't going to lie, she found a couple of them attractive, but she didn't obsess over them like Maddy did.
Deep laughter carried over from the boys to their table, making Riley glance over. She watched as Jacob Black clapped Seth Clearwater on the shoulder.
Her next class was with Jacob and it was her favorite. Not because Jacob Black was in it, but because it was history. What she lacked in math skills she more than made up for in history class. Even if Jacob tried to talk to her (he hadn't, and she doubted he ever would) she probably wouldn't answer because she was focusing so hard on what Mr. Terran was saying.
They did sit next to each other though. He fell asleep during class. A lot.
She wasn't sure how he was still passing since he'd missed two weeks of class almost a month ago. Some kids said he had caught mono, but normal people didn't come back from mono having grown at least four inches and gained about fifteen pounds of muscle.
Half the time Riley couldn't even tell you which boy they were looking at. They all looked so similar. Not that everyone on the reservation didn't look a little like each other, the majority of kids in school were at least a quarter Quileute.
Riley was only half, though that was more than any of her other close friends. Taylor was the next closest to her; he had the jet-black hair and dark eyes, though his skin was a little lighter. Nick had dark hair but soft blue eyes. And then there was Maddy with her blonde hair and brown eyes.
Her mother was only quarter Quileute and her father was from Chicago. The family had always stayed in La Push though, loving the area too much to leave.
The blonde sighed, turning back to her sandwich and taking a bite, "How's work been?" her question was directed at Riley.
Taylor and Nick had already moved on to a conversation about a sports game they had watched on TV the night before.
"Good!" She had just started the job a week ago working at the La Push museum. "We don't get many visitors, but I've learned a lot from Sue."
That was how she recognized Seth Clearwater. His picture was framed and sitting on the desk that she shared with his mother at work. It was of a younger Seth, before his massive growth spurt and bodybuilder metamorphosis.
Leah's picture was right beside his. Riley looked behind herself as she thought of that, noticing that she wasn't in school today either.
"So, you just hang out with Sue Clearwater when no one's there?"
"I help organize everything." Riley explained, "Plus the displays need to be cleaned every couple days. I'm trying to design a new board to put up that will have a couple of the legends printed on it too. The printing company is just being annoying about it." She starred down at her hand, suddenly somber, "I think she just likes having company. She clearly misses Harry."
Harry Clearwater had passed away from a sudden heart attack almost three weeks ago
Maddy glanced over to the group again, "Seth and Leah seem to be handling it pretty well."
Nick raised his eyebrows up, "They were back at school like three days later." His tone was suspicious, which Riley didn't understand.
"I'm sure they're just trying to keep a normal routine." She defended, "It helps to keep busy."
"That's what I did after my mom died." Taylor's mother had died in a car accident when he was thirteen. "It really helps take your mind of things." Riley wrapped an arm around Taylor's waist for a second, resting her head on his shoulder for comfort before pulling away. He gave her a soft smile in return.
Their conversation drifted to lighter topics. Mostly about plans for the fast-approaching summer.
April began in a few short days and finals were early June. It was going to be the first summer that all of them were either going to be working or gone.
They had been heartbroken when Taylor told them all he was going to spend the summer in San Francisco with his uncle. Experiencing life outside of La Push was important, but something Riley had never done much of.
Riley didn't get it. How was Jacob Black asleep while Mr. Hines was talking about the Civil War. The Civil War!
One of the most interesting periods of their country's history! So many incredible acts of heroism and speeches were given. Families were pinned against one another to fight for what they really believed in. There was so much detail that the book gave and she loved every word of it.
And he was asleep. Dead asleep.
She glanced away from her color-coded notes (each color was a different major battle) to look at Jacob. Riley just hoped he didn't start snoring. His occasional twitch was already distracting.
"Now, does anyone remember when and where Antietam was fought?"
Riley's hand shot up in the air, their teacher nodded at her, "Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 17th in 1862. Though it's called the Battle of Antietam since it took place around Antietam Creek."
Hines beamed at her, "At least I know one of you did the required reading last night."
A boy a couple seats behind her scoffed under his breath, just loud enough for her to hear, "Nerd." Riley's shoulders hunched over at the word.
The lesson continued uninterrupted for about ten more minutes. Three things happened in succession then.
First: Jacob Black woke up and his head snapped to the side to look out the window.
Second: Riley jumped in her seat at his sudden movement that she just caught out of the corner of her eye.
Third: loud, deep barking was just outside the classroom window. Two giant paws hitting the classroom window gave off a loud thud.
Her classmates all laughed and pointed at the giant German Shepherd who starred into the classroom, his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. Some took out their phones to take pictures.
"Holy shit," Their teacher swore, "Here I'll call the office."
Riley steeled herself before standing up, "Mr. Hines." Her voice cracked and she could feel everyone's eyes turn on her. The dog outside started barking again.
"He's, uh, my dog." The Shepherd kept barking, his tail wagging faster at the sight of his owner. "Pippen!" the barking ceased, but the dog pawed at the window.
Jacob Black smirked in his seat.
Hines slowly put the phone down, "Well, he's not allowed inside."
"I can get him to go wait somewhere else, may I be excused?"
The older man shrugged, "Just take your bag with you, then you won't be late for your next class."
Riley threw her pens into her pencil case and shoved that and her notebook into her backpack and all but sprinted out of class.
Pippen still stood by window; his head cocked to the side as he watched his owner leave the room.
Jake kept his eyes on the dog as class resumed. He could hear his soft whining through the closed window.
"Come here!" Jacob was the only one who could here Riley Petry hiss the command to the dog. He bounded out of sight and over to her, his tail wagging furiously. "Jesus Christ why are you here!?" She sounded completely exasperated, "School's not out for another hour, you know that!" Jacob covered his smirk with his fist as he looked back up front.
Outside, Riley snapped her fingers and began to walk towards the front of the school. The long-haired shepherd was by her side instantly, his eyes vigilantly watching her every move. She glanced towards the school and saw students starring at her from inside.
Most were actually pointing her out to others. "Look what you've done!" Pippen just barked once at her, hopping up in the air slightly.
She walked him over to a tree in the front yard of the school. "Lay down," She pointed to the ground, the dog laying down instantly. "Good boy," She scratched his head, "Stay" His head dropped to rest on top of his paws, the tip of his tail still wagging.
Riley laughed at him. She did love him dearly, but sometimes he was just too attached to her.
She turned and started back towards the school building, halfway there she paused, glancing towards the tree. Pippen hadn't moved. He would stay until she returned.
"Love you, bye." With that she jogged back to the building, the bell ringing just as she passed back through the front doors.
A/N: Here's my first real attempt at a Twilight story. It stuck in my head the other day. It's mostly for me to write for fun. I never read the books religiously so things may be slightly AU. Some of that is on purpose (mostly the boys ages). Let me know what you think! It really helps to encourage me to keep going!