Layla woke early in the morning ready for work. She slipped into a pair of leggings and a loose tee shirt before heading out to the training grounds.
A middle aged man was setting up the field and Layla approached him, “Trainer Carson?”
“Yes?” He said loudly as he straightened himself.
“Hi,” Layla smiled as she offered her hand, “I’m Layla Whitten, your new apprentice.”
He looked at her sideways skeptically, “I don’t think so.”
“Did Alpha Thomas not speak to you?” Layla asked.
“He did, but he told me I was receiving a new trainer apprentice with previous experience, not a pup.”
Layla took a deep breath, “I have been training under Lead Trainer Mitch for the last three months and was trained as a fighter before that.”
“We’ll see,” he squinted at Layla before finishing set up. Warriors began to enter the field and Carson gathered them for announcements and the schedule for the morning.
“...oh and we have a new trainer apprentice. Layla Whitten has joined us from Black Ridge.”
The warriors eyed Layla before turning their attention back to Carson. He finished giving the plan for the morning and then everyone spread out for warmups. Carson led the warm up and Layla participated, knowing she would have to prove herself on the field today.
“Okay everyone. Break up into sparring partners. Haven! Front and center!”
A small female walked forward. She was pretty and seemed to be the same age as Layla.
“Haven, you will be sparring with Layla this morning. Let’s see what she’s got.”
Layla smiled, “It’s nice to meet you.”
“Same.” Haven smiled before stepping into her stance.
Layla took her down easily. She helped Haven up with a smile and Carson scowled before yelling another name. “Tucker!”
A tall warrior walked up, “Yes Coach?”
“I want you to spar with our new apprentice.”
“But she’s so tiny..” he mumbled as he looked Layla up and down.
Layla smiled sweetly, “Then I guess you have nothing to worry about.”
Tucker shrugged before lunging forward in a surprise attack. Layla recovered quickly and once again took her opponent down with moderate ease.
“Next?” Layla said sarcastically to Carson.
Carson furrowed his brow before a smirk spread across his face, “James!”
Layla turned around to see the most massive man she had ever seen. The shock in her face was evident. “Sorry about this little wolf,” James smiled before taking an aggressive stance.
Layla smirked, this would be fun. After circling each other for a few moments, James stepped toward her, swinging his massive fists. Layla dodged him and gave a good blow to his side, knocking the air out of him. They each landed a few hits before realizing they were equally matched. James’ eyes darkened and Layla smiled at the challenge. By then the whole field was watching the new trainer take on their biggest warrior. As they both shifted, Layla lunged forward, attacking her opponent. They wrestled and bit at each other for a while before Layla managed to get his leg in her mouth. She bit down and he yelped before shifting back, showing he tapped out.
Layla shifted back and smiled at her little victory. Everyone clapped in awe at the little wolf who had bested one of their best warriors. Carson smiled, “Well then, I guess you will do.”
Layla smiled before helping James to a bench and wrapped his ankle that was bleeding slightly. “I’m sorry about this.” She said as she cleaned his wound.
“Don’t be, you gave a good fight. I haven’t seen Coach that impressed by anyone in a long time.” James said with a smile.
“Why do you call him Coach?” Layla asked curiously.
“Well for a long time he was the football coach at the human high school. I guess it just transferred over to the warriors. Plus it’s better than calling him Lead Trainer all day.” James smirked.
Layla laughed, “That’s true.”
“Why don’t you come and have breakfast with us today? Get to know some of the warriors.” James asked, wanting to know the new girl a bit better.
“Thanks, I’d like that,” Layla replied with a smile.
After training ended the warriors all walked up to the pack house for breakfast. James introduced Layla to everyone as they sat down to eat.
“So what made you move here?” James asked.
Layla hesitated, she knew the question would come up but she didn’t know how to answer it. “Things in my old pack got complicated.”
James nodded, “I get it. Complicated gets real messy.”
Layla smiled in agreement, “It really does.”
“So no mate then?” James asked curiously.
“That’s the complicated part, but the short answer is no.”
James nodded, “I was rejected by my mate too.”
Layla looked at James in shock. So far the giant next to her was nothing but kind. He was handsome for sure, with dark hair and dark eyes that seemed to see into your soul. His muscles bulged and she guessed he could be at least six and a half feet tall.
“I’m sorry to hear that James, you seem kind. She’s missing out.” Layla smiled.
James shrugged, “It is what it is. So where did you learn to fight like that?”
Layla smiled, “My first pack. We were in a war so all able bodied wolves were taught to fight. Then I became a trainer’s apprentice and began working with the warriors.”
“Awesome, well Coach, I’m glad to have you on board.” James smirked.
Layla laughed, “We’ll see if you still feel that way tomorrow. The workout is going to be killer.”
“Nah,” James winked, “I have an in with the new trainer.”
Layla blushed and her mind wandered to what would have happened if James had been her mate instead of Hunter.