Layla needed to decompress. She woke early in the morning and walked to the training grounds, ready to unwind and punch some people. Layla seemed to hit harder and faster today and halfway through training she was stopped by the lead trainer, “What’s going on in your head Layla?”
“Nothing, why?” Layla asked innocently.
“Because you just about ripped Jason’s head off in that last fight. Chill.” The lead said as he walked away to check on another sparring match.
Layla let out a deep breath and sat down on a bench to take a break. She knew it was all anger from Hunter. After her workout she went up to the apartment to get changed.
“Where were you?” Hunter asked as he walked out of the room already showered and dressed.
Layla kissed him on the cheek before walking past, “Training.” She didn’t mean to be short with him, but she was still angry at Hunter for the way he had been acting.
Hunter grabbed Layla’s arm, “Layla.” He pulled her close and kissed her warmly on the lips as he wrapped his strong arms around her. When he released her she gave him a smile before walking away, not ready to forgive his behavior yet.
That night Layla laid in bed reading a book when Hunter walked in. He changed his clothes and climbed into bed, rolling over so his back was facing Layla.
“How was your day?” Layla asked quietly.
“It was fine.” Hunter replied, being short with her.
“You sound angry again, is everything okay?” Layla asked.
“It’s fine Layla, drop it.” Hunter said a bit louder.
Layla knotted her brow, “Hunter what is wrong?”
Hunter turned around quickly, “Everything! Everything is wrong! I’m so damn tired of having to submit to him all day, every day! It should be us!” Hunter’s eyes began to darken, making Layla scoot away from him. “We should be ruling this pack! Not my man-whore brother and his timid little mate! You and I are stronger and smarter!”
Layla stood from the bed, afraid of how he was talking, “Hunter stop! Stop talking like that! He is Alpha! End of story! Why won’t you let it go?!”
Hunter stood and walked toward her, “BECAUSE I SHOULD BE ALPHA!”
Layla looked into Hunter’s eyes with anger and spoke quietly, “No, you shouldn’t.”
Hunter’s eyes darkened as he let out a growl. Before he knew what he was doing he slapped Layla across the face, making her stumble backward. “You don’t know anything! You’re my mate! You should support me in this! I’ll take this pack back, you’ll see!”
Layla stood tall with defiance, “No, you won’t. Hunter Beckett, I, Layla Whitten, reject you.”
Hunter’s angry composure crumbled for a minute as he took in what she had said before he glared at her with fury, “You don’t reject me! I am an Alpha!”
Layla could feel the hot tears streaming down her cheeks now, “I REJECT YOU.”
Layla ran from the room, sprinting for dear life down the stairs and out of the front door. She ran hard and didn’t stop until she reached her parent’s house. She hesitated at the front door, knowing she failed as a mate. Her parents would be so disappointed. She summoned her courage and tapped on the door.
Leanne Whitten opened the front door to find her daughter with tears streaming down her face and the beginnings of a black eye.
“RICK!!” Leanne yelled as she pulled her daughter into her arms. Layla sobbed in the arms of her mother for a long time before she was able to compose herself enough to talk.
“Sweetheart what happened?” Leanne asked.
“He.. I...” Layla didn’t know where to start.
“Take a breath, and start at the beginning,” Rick said calmly as he took his daughters hand.
“He’s gone mad. Absolutely crazy. Ever since the challenge Hunter has been cold and distant and even after giving him time he was still so upset. Tonight he kept going on and on about how we were meant to rule the pack, not Jace and Ryann. He kept saying he would take the pack back, that he was the true Alpha. When I spoke against it, he slapped me and yelled that I would see, that as his mate I should support him in this. So I... I rejected him.”
Layla looked up at her parents and she could see the anger in their faces, “I know you’re disappointed that I failed as a mate, but I just couldn’t...”
Layla was interrupted when Rick embraced her tightly, “You didn’t fail as a mate, he did. I need to make a call, I’ll be right back.”
A few minutes later he returned and sat beside Layla, “I called Jace. He is going to take Hunter and have a talk with him.”
Layla’s eyes widened, “He’ll kill him!”
Leanne shook her head, “He won’t kill him, he might have to detain him though. What Hunter has done goes beyond disobeying an Alpha, it’s treason.”
Layla frowned, “Can I stay here tonight?”
“Of course hun, you can stay as long as you like,” Leanne replied as she smoothed Layla’s hair with her hand.
That night, sleep eluded Layla as she continued to relive that evening’s events over and over in her mind.
“Thank you for calling me Rick, this will be dealt with,” Jace said into the phone. He couldn’t believe what Rick had said and was having a difficult time keeping it together. He stormed out of his room and upstairs to the Beta apartment.
“HUNTER!!” Jace boomed as he burst in.
Nothing. The apartment was empty. Jace walked through the place and realized some of Hunter’s things were gone. He called his Gamma, “Parker, Hunter is on the run, make sure he doesn’t leave the pack borders.”
“Yes Alpha,” Parker replied before hanging up the phone.
“Jace, what on earth is going on?!” Ryann asked loudly as she walked in.
“Hunter has crossed the line and it seems is now on the run. You stay here, I am going to go out and find him,” Jace said before kissing Ryann on the lips gently.
Jace and the other pack warriors were out all night. There was no sign of Hunter anywhere.
“Did you find him?” Ryann asked sleepily as Jace climbed into bed in the early hours of the morning.
“No..” Jace replied quietly.
Ryann turned to her mate with worry, “What does that mean?”
Jace looked at his mate with sadness in his eyes, “It means Hunter has gone rogue.”