Chapter Two
Approval


It was now Day Three of Quil's agonizing torture.

All weekend long he had to listen to Claire talking about how cute Derek was and how funny Derek was and how smart Derek was and how strong Derek was and how great Derek's smile was. It was a never ending, migraine inducing torture.

Quil loved to hear Claire talk so animatedly. He loved to hear her just talk at all, but it was becoming unbearable to have to sit and listen to her go on and on about some stupid, two foot tall first grader.

Jacob and Embry had thought it was hilarious of course.

"You're jealous of a first grader!" Jacob had pointed out, grinning.

"I am not jealous!" Quil retorted. "I'm protective. This little deviant only wants one thing-"

"And what's that? Claire's Disneyland pencil? They're six, Quil. Nothing's going to happen. First grade relationships' life spans are only about three days."

"It's been three days!"

"What are you going to do when she goes to high school?" Embry asked. Quil narrowed his eyes at his tanned friend and shot him a glare. Quil didn't even want to think about high school boys. They were grabby, pushy and horny. Well, at least he was.

"Shut up. Just shut. Up."

"Great comeback, Quil. Really, I can't pick myself up off the floor."

He really needed new friends.

XXXXX

Quil sat in his beat up truck with his arms folded across his thick chest and scowled at two little children chatting by a flagpole.

Claire was holding onto the straps of her backpacks and was giggling obscenely at something funny Derek had said. It couldn't have been that funny. He was six, for crying out loud!

Quil used to be the funniest person Claire knew. And now- now, Derek was. It just wasn't right and he'd do anything to fix it.

"Would you stop glaring daggers at the kid?" Jacob asked, interrupting his thoughts.

"I'm not."

"Really? Then what are you doing?"

"Why did you even come?"

"Moral support?" Jacob suggested, with a grin.

"I came to mock you," Embry said from the back seat.

"Oh, look!" Jacob shouted. "They're holding hands!"

"What?" Quil cried out, whipping his head around.

It was true. Claire's pale, delicate hand was linked with a foreign one. Quil painstakingly noticed she had a little bounce in her step as she made her way to his truck. As the two came closer, Derek reached to open the door for Claire and Quil resisted the urge to hit the automatic lock button.

"Hi!" Claire shouted as the door opened. She held her hand up and Embry smacked his much larger one against it. "What are you guys doing here?"

"We wanted to come see our favorite little first grader of course."

Claire smiled and jumped into the car.

"Bye Claire," Derek said with a wave.

Claire smiled back. "Bye! I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

The little dark haired boy nodded and shut the door after her.

"Aw," Embry cooed. "What a little gentleman."

"I know!" Claire squealed. "All of my friends are so jealous."

Ha! Quil thought. He could use that.

"Jealous that you're spending so much time with him, huh?"

"No," Claire said, dragging out the 'o'. "They're jealous that I have an awesome boyfriend and they don't."

"You don't want to take pride in that, Claire," Quil told her. "Then you won't have any friends."

"What are you talking about?" Claire asked, throwing her hands up in the air. "My friends love Derek. They think he's so cool."

Quil grimaced.

"They do?"

"Yep. We all eat lunch together and my best friend Kate has class with Derek. They're Plant Partners."

"Plant Partners?" Jake asked.

"Yeah. Every two kids have a plant and we have to take care of it and watch it grow and make sure it doesn't die."

"Oh, I remember that!" Jake exclaimed. "Quil killed it."

"I did not!" Quil yelled.

"Yes you did. I was sick with the flu for three days- just three! I come back and it's dead. You killed Bob."

"Bob?" Embry asked as leaned forward to look at Jacob. "You didn't seriously name the plant Bob, did you?"

"No," Quil told him. "He just randomly came up with that one day in junior high while he was throwing it in my face."

"Just because I didn't call it Bob back then doesn't mean that it wasn't named Bob."

"That doesn't make any sense, Jake," Claire spoke.

"You tell him, Claire Bear," Embry egged.

"It's a plant. Not an animal or a person. So it can't have a name."

"You're right, Claire," Quil told her, quickly changing the subject. "But let's get back to the topic at hand."

"What topic?"

"Your friends liking Dan."

"Derek," Jake corrected.

"What about it?" Claire asked.

"Are you sure they like him?" Quil asked.

Was it wrong to wish that every person Claire spent time with hated Derek? He didn't think so.

"Of course they like him! They love him!"

Fan-freaking-tastic.

The little brat was not only cootie free but had Claire's friends approval. Quil really hoped he thought of something fast, because he didn't think he could live with himself if he had to accidentally run a six year old down.


A/N: Thanks so much for all the awesome feedback! Very appreciated everyone!