One year later
Alpha Thomas’s son was turning eighteen today and they were having a large party, just like the one thrown for the twins on their eighteenth birthday. Packs from all over were arriving for the party. As Layla stood in front of the mirror she frowned. She didn’t want to go tonight, but as one of the warrior trainers her attendance was mandatory.
“Damn girl!” James hollered as he walked into her room.
Layla curtsied with a smirk, “Thank you!”
James walked to Layla and wrapped his arm around her shoulder, “Can we skip this party tonight? I’m exhausted.”
Layla laughed, “You want to explain to Alpha Thomas?”
James’ eyes widened, “Nope.” He walked to the living room and slumped on the couch. In the last year they had become good friends and roommates. He moved into the second bedroom and Layla enjoyed having him around.
“You’re not coming home with anyone tonight right?” Layla hollered from the bedroom.
“Not planning on it, why?” James replied as he scrolled through his phone.
Layla walked out holding her heels in her hand, “Because I don’t want to be woken up at midnight again to the sounds of primal James getting it on.”
James laughed with a shrug, “That only happened twice!”
“I still would like some warning,” Layla said as she slipped into her heels.
James smirked, “What can I say? They see a seven foot tall dude and want a ride!”
“Gross..” Layla shook her head as she walked into the kitchen.
The party was extravagant and crowded. Blue Moon pack had a lot of money and apparently they spent it all tonight. The large ballroom had been transformed into the ultimate formal event. Layla looked at the room in awe before making her way to find her table.
“Hey Coach.” Layla said as she sat beside her trainer.
“Layla. You look nice,” Carson grumbled.
“Thank you, you clean up pretty nice as well. No Linda tonight?” Layla asked.
“She’s here somewhere..” Carson said as he looked around the room for his mate.
“Well you want to dance?” Layla asked with a smirk.
Carson scowled, “Do I look like the type of wolf that dances?”
Layla laughed, “Carson you look like the type that dances with only one woman.” She winked at Linda who was standing behind him.
“Oh! Are you asking me to dance?!” Linda chimed.
Carson turned around in surprise before looking back at Layla with a smirk, “Of course sweetheart.”
Layla laughed as Linda made a face as they walked to the dance floor.
James joined her at the table and they spent the evening talking and laughing. Neither had an interest to even attempt finding another mate. Second chance mates were rare and Layla wasn’t going to even think about hoping. She had already decided that if neither of them met another mate in a few years that she would just choose James as her chosen mate.
Layla looked up to see her old Trainer Mitch standing at her table.
“Mitch?!” Layla smiled brightly before standing and hugging him tightly. “What are you doing here?”
“Still haven’t found myself a mate, so Alpha said I should come.” He smiled, “How have you been? What are you doing here?”
“Well actually I live here,” Layla shrugged, “Ryann transferred me over the day we were attacked by Hunter.”
Layla hadn’t said his name in a long time. Suddenly her past rushed to the front of her mind and she thought of her friends. And Jace. She looked around, “Is Jace?”
“I don’t think he’s coming. He has barely left the pack house in a year.” Mitch said sadly.
“What? Why?” Layla asked curiously. It wasn’t like Jace to withdraw.
“You don’t know?” Mitch looked at her with a knotted brow.
“Know what, Mitch?” Layla asked. She was starting to get worried.
“A year ago Ryann was killed. Hunter snuck onto the pack grounds and attacked her when she was by herself,” Mitch said quietly.
Layla gasped loudly, “No.. no she can’t be.. when I left they were supposed to be safe.. they..”
Layla began to hyperventilate. She needed to get out of here, out of this party. Layla sprinted to the door of the ballroom and outside of the pack house. She sat on the front porch and attempted to calm her breathing before she vomited off the side of the porch from the shock. Layla cried into her hands as she mourned her friend. She was sad that Jace had gone through it alone, angry at Alpha Thomas for not telling her, and most of all angry at Hunter.
Layla jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see James, the sadness in his eyes was heavy.
“I’m so sorry Layla, let’s get you home.” He said quietly.
James picked Layla up and carried her back to their place. He laid her in her bed and closed the door to her room, knowing she needed time to mourn her friend.
The next morning Layla woke with a heaviness in her heart. She walked out to the kitchen to find herself alone. James was probably at training. Layla knew she would be in trouble for not showing up this morning but she didn’t care.
Layla took a exceptionally long shower before getting dressed and heading up to the pack house for breakfast. At the last moment she turned down the hall toward the Alpha’s office. She tapped on the door before walking in, ready for some answers.
“Layla, good morning. What can I do for you?” Alpha Thomas smiled.
Layla’s face darkened, “Did you know about the death of Luna Ryann?”
Thomas looked her in the eye, “Of course, her father is my Beta.”
“And neither of you thought to tell me my friend was dead?” She asked.
Thomas frowned, displeased at her tone, “We considered it but thought it would be best not to tell you, considering the circumstances of why you came to Blue Moon in the first place.”
Layla turned toward the door, “I had the right to know, to mourn my friend...”
“I’m sorry Layla. We made a choice we thought was best for you and your new life.”
Layla walked out of the office and toward the kitchen, feeling worse than when she entered.
“Layla, you’re up! And walking!” James teased.
“Mhm,” Layla replied as she grabbed a plate.
“Layla I’m really sorry about your friend,” James said softly.
“Thanks. I just wish I had known, I would have gone back...” Layla said quietly.
“Well I told Carson why you weren’t there this morning, I’m pretty sure he understood. He told me to tell you that you can have tomorrow off too if you need.” James said.
“I think I’ll be okay. Thanks though,” Layla gave a small smile before sitting down at the table.
She was halfway through her breakfast when she stopped eating. Layla’s eyes widened as she caught the scent. It overwhelmed her and her heart raced as she realized what it meant. She had a second chance mate and he was here. She was afraid to turn around. She closed her eyes and took in the scent again. It smelled of cinnamon and vanilla. She looked up to James who stared at her in shock, he knew what that look meant.
“Mate...” she heard whispered behind her and she turned around to see who accompanied that smell.
Layla’s eyes were huge as she looked on in shock and disbelief. “Jace?”