Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters that you recognize.

This is my first fanfic, so I need feedback! Like it? Hate it? Read and Review, please!

If you are a QuilxClaire fan, I've also started a companion piece called "Taking off the Training Wheels." It overlaps with this story, but it is made to stand on its own. Check that out, too.

An old but well-maintained Lincoln pulled up next to Jacob Black as he leaned against his old truck in the parking lot of the Quileute Tribal School. He recognized Tommy Davies, the Executive Director of the school, leaning out the driver's side window. He was a squat man with square, wire-rimmed glasses, and a friendly smile. His long, graying hair was held back in a ponytail and he wore clean, sturdy jeans and a blazer.

"Jacob Black," Tommy said, climbing out of the car. "Just the man I've been wanting to see. Where've you been hiding?"

"Hey Tommy," Jacob said, shaking his outstretched hand. "I was away. Just got back to the rez' last night. What can I do for you?"

"I need your approval on our newest teacher before she can start work." The Quileute Nation was a part of the American Indian Reservation Project, a program that brought student teachers to underprivileged schools on American Indian reservations. It was the official policy in La Push that every member of the council of elders approved everyone who came to work in their schools. Tommy took his job seriously and hand-picked his staff, so the council had never vetoed anyone he'd hired yet, but protocol had to be followed and no one could start work without the official OK from the Quileute Chief.

"Oh, of course," Jacob said casually. "When can I meet with her?"

"She's actually here now," Tommy said, gesturing toward the car, "if you've got some time."

"Sure," Jacob shrugged, following him around to the other side of the car.

Tommy opened the passenger's side door, and Jacob watched as a set of long, tan legs emerged from the car. A tall, slender woman stepped out and Jacob's world stopped. He couldn't see anything but the golden hair that fell in soft waves past her shoulder blades and the gray blue eyes that smiled back at him. Her scent was altogether sweet, musky and tangy, and it was the most alluring thing he had ever smelled. The only thing in the world that mattered was the movement of her full, curvaceous lips as she spoke. The light but husky music of her voice. Her delicate hand extended gracefully toward him and hovered in the air. Her stared at her long, thin fingers and perfectly manicured fingernails.

He was brought out of his reverie by the worried look on her face. What was wrong?

"Umm, hi?" she said nervously, waving the previously outstretched hand in front of his face.

Jake realized with embarrassment that he had been standing there stupidly while she was trying to talk to him. "Oh," he said, shaking his head to snap himself out of it, "sorry. Hi." He shook her hand and was once against distracted. Distracted by the softness of her skin and the heat that he felt when she squeezed his hand in a surprisingly firm handshake. Ever since that first time he had phased, he had never felt heat in anyone's touch.

He struggled to dominate his thoughts. Concentrate, he chided himself. "It's nice to meet you," he said aloud. "I'm Jake."

"Yeah, he said," she replied with a little laugh, inclining her head toward Tommy. "It's nice to meet you, too."

Jake closed his eyes in frustration. Obviously this was something else that had been said while he had been distracted. "Sorry," he said again.

She laughed again, a little more confidently than before, but still nervous. She knew that she had to impress him if she wanted to get this job. "Sierra," she said, recognizing that he had missed her name when Tommy had introduced them before. "I was just saying, I just started the Masters in Teaching program at the University of Washington. In undergrad I was a double major in biology and sociology with a concentration in American In—"

"What?" Jacob cut her off. Confusion colored his face.

"For the school?" Sierra said. "So I can work?"

"Oh!" Jake exclaimed. "Nah, you're good," he said, waving it off. "I trust Tommy's opinion, and you seem fine to me…You did go through all of this with Tommy, right?"

"Yeah." The tension drained from Sierra's body as she realized that she did not have to prove herself again. She had been so nervous to meet him and was extremely relieved to find that he was so laid back – a bit goofy even.

"So you're fine," he said with a casual shrug.

"Wow," Sierra said with a friendly smile, "rigorous screening process, huh?"

"Yeah," Jake laughed. "That's why you get paid so much, you know."

Sierra raised her eyebrows humorously.

"Hey," Jake said, "has anyone showed you around the reservation yet?"

Sierra shook her head.

"I was about to show her the school," Tommy said, "and then the reservation."

"Well, how long will the tour of the school be?" Jake asked. "I'll take her around the rez." He looked at Sierra. "If you want, I mean."

Sierra looked up at the huge, muscular, tanned man standing before her. He was so beautiful, and his smile made her feel warm inside. "Sure," she said. The anxiety of being in a brand new place surrounded by strangers was beginning to ease already. "That'd be nice."

"Perfect," Tommy said. "It won't take long to show her around the school. And then I can get some paperwork done. Thanks, Jacob. See you around." The two men shook hands again, and Tommy turned and walked into the school. Jake watched as Sierra followed him.