Layla sat in her room for a while, feeling better now that she’d had some release. She had been holding so much. Now she was determined to get on with her life, to stop feeling sad and guilty and sorry for herself.
Layla’s door opened to see Jace walk in. To say she was surprised would be an understatement. He hadn’t chosen to be near her any more than he needed to.
“What’s up?” Layla managed to get out.
“I just...”Jace paused not knowing what to say, “It’s time for dinner.”
Layla smiled and walked to the door, “I’ll see you down there then.” She walked past him and it just about knocked him out. He had almost forgotten what it was like being pulled in by a mate’s scent. She smelled of orange blossom and it was intoxicating.
Layla walked down to the kitchen and talked lightly with the cooks and a few random pack members. She felt lighter than she had in a while and it wasn’t unnoticed.
“You seem happy today,” Tasha whispered as they sat down at a table.
“I’m just doing better. Less heavy.” Layla said as she ate her food.
“I’m glad.” Tasha said, “You were always so sunny when you moved here.”
“Well I’m trying to be again. The last two years haven’t exactly been easy.” Layla said quietly.
“No, they haven’t.” Tasha looked down with sadness in her eyes. Layla could tell she was struggling a lot with what had happened with Hunter and everything he had done. She loved her son but hated what had happened.
Jace joined them at the table and began eating his food quietly. Layla gave him a smile when he looked up, only to be ignored. Layla took a deep breathe, “So is the pack doing anything for Christmas?”
Tasha looked up in surprise, “Oh. Well we used to have a big Christmas formal but we haven’t done that in several years.”
Layla frowned, “That sounds amazing! I didn’t get to go to one before..”
“Before you left?” Jace scowled.
“Yes,” Layla glared at him sarcastically, “Before I left.” Layla turned back to Tasha, “Would you like to help me plan it? We’re only two months out and I will take a bit of planning.”
Tasha smiled brightly, “I’d love to!!”
Jace shook his head, “We don’t need to have a Christmas formal.”
Layla knotted her brow and stared at him with frustration, “Jace Beckett, as Alpha and Luna we have the responsibility to keep up the morale and unity of the pack as well as caring for them physically. You know that. We’re doing the party.” Layla spoke forcefully and with determination and Jace knew it was a fight he was going to lose.
“Fine,” Jace replied. “But don’t expect any special help from me. This is all you.”
Layla grinned, “Good, you have horrible taste anyway.”
Jace mumbled as he turned back to his plate and finished his meal.
As the evening ended Layla walked up to her room, excited for the planning meeting she had tomorrow with Tasha. As she walked into the room she felt a cold breeze. The window was open. Layla stared at it curiously, not remembering ever leaving it open. She walked forward hesitantly as the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Something wasn't right but she couldn't place it. She walked over to the window and closed it, shrugging off the feeling as her eyes caught something on the bed. She leaned down and picked up the note, her eyes widening as she read it.
Welcome back my Luna, I missed you
Layla couldn't breathe. She ran as fast as she could out of her room and burst into Jace's bedroom.
"Hey! Do you mind?!" Jace snapped as he sat up on his bed. He was about to yell at her when he saw the look on her face. It was pure, unaltered terror. Suddenly Jace was alert, his senses on overdrive.
Jace stood from the bed with a frown, "Layla, what's wrong?"
"I.. he.." Layla stammered. Jace stepped forward with confusion on his face as he noticed the paper in her hand. Layla reached up and handed him the note, her face still just as pale and scared.
Jace drew a deep breath as he read the note. "Where was this?"
"On my bed.." Layla whispered.
"He was in the house?!" Jace stormed past Layla and into her room. He walked to the bed and then the window. Hunter's scent was faint, it had been a while since he had been there. It would be hard to track his scent. Jace turned back to see Layla standing at the door, her arms crossed in front of her as she tightly gripped her arms. He could see her knuckles turning white from how hard she was squeezing.
He walked to Layla, "You're staying in my room from now on."
His voice seemed to break her from the trance she was in, "No, that's not necessary. I'll just-"
Jace shook his head, "This isn't up for debate Layla. Somehow he keeps getting into this room. I don't know how but he is. You WILL stay in my room where I can keep an eye on you."
Layla took a long, deep breath, "I'm not sleeping with you Jace."
Jace let out a small chuckle, "I wasn't planning on sleeping with you either Layla."
"Good," Layla stood in thought for a moment, "Fine. I'll stay with you."
Jace walked Layla to his room and she sat on the couch. "Can I have a pillow and blanket or do I have to sleep in the cold?" Layla huffed quietly.
Jace rolled his eyes at her, "Layla, get in the bed."
"No." Layla fired back quickly, clearly over her shock.
"Layla, I'm not doing this. I'm tired. Get in the damn bed," Jace said, his voice becoming louder.
"Jace I'm not sleeping in that bed with you," Layla shot back.
Jace let out a long breath before walking to Layla and picking her up, throwing her over his shoulder. "Jace! Put me down! I swear I'll bite your frickin' ear off!" Layla yelled.
Jace threw her onto the bed and glared at her as he stood above her. "Now do I need to tuck you in like the little pup you're acting like or will you go to sleep?"
Layla scowled at him with fury in her eyes which only entertained Jace more. "You're a jerk," she whispered.
Jace shrugged, "I could have just let you stay in that room. You would have stayed up all night by yourself hoping Hunter wouldn't come back."
"Almost better than being stuck in here with you!" Layla shot back.
Jace laid down on his side of the bed, "Go to sleep, Layla."