Layla woke in the morning with a long, cleansing breath only to be overwhelmed by Jace's scent. Layla opened her eyes wide as she realized what had taken place the night before. She turned her head to the side slowly and let out a small gasp as she saw the shirtless man beside her in bed. Layla climbed out of bed silently and went back to her room to shower and change. She walked out of her room just as Jace left his. Layla looked away awkwardly and walked down the hall.
"Did you really leave the room to shower?" Jace teased as he walked behind her.
Layla turned around, "Well I was kind of forced out of my room last night. All of my clothes are in there, where else am I going to change?"
Jace shrugged, "I guess that makes sense."
"Mhm," Layla mumbled. When they reached the stairs she turned to Jace, "I still haven't forgiven you for keeping me hostage last night."
Jace shook his head with a smile, "You were not a hostage. A hostage is what you would be if Hunter got a hold of you though. Really you should be thanking me."
Layla grumbled, "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I've been doing it for a while now."
Jace laughed, "Says the girl that needed help changing a lightbulb."
Layla raised her nose at Jace before walking off with a bit of sass. She had forgotten how insufferable Jace used to be.
After breakfast Jace and Layla went their separate ways. Jace spent the entire day in a meeting about upping border security and having shifting patrols combing the forest for a possible hideout they might have missed before.
Layla spent the day with Tasha planning the Christmas formal. Since it was October, they only had a little under two months to get everything planned and sorted. They had already decided on a theme and how they would decorate. They talked about food options with the head cook, looked through books of possible flower arrangements, and even considered hiring one of the pack members to take pictures. It would be glamorous and fun.
Layla was excited and decided to end the day on a high note. She walked down the path that led away from the pack house and down to her parent's home. She tapped on the door and Leanne opened the door with a long embrace.
"How are things up at the pack house hun?" Layla's mother asked as they sat on the couch and sipped at some iced tea.
"It's busy. Jace is still a jerk. But I've had my own little breakthrough. I don't feel as bad anymore about the past. I let a lot of stuff go and I feel ten times lighter." Layla explained.
Leanne smiled, "Good. Nothing that happened was your fault. Jace knows that, he just wants to be able to blame someone he can actually see."
Layla lowered her head, "Speaking of Hunter..."
Leanne frowned, "Did he show up again?"
Layla nodded, "He left a note in my room."
Layla's mother looked at her in confusion, "Your room? You mean you aren't in the same room as your mate?"
Layla took a deep breath, "We are only mates in formal settings. He doesn't want me and has made it very clear."
Leanne shook her head, "You should reject him then, give yourself a chance to find a bit of happiness."
Layla lowered her face, "I want to try. I want to see if I can break through the massive wall he's put up. I want to see if I can get my friend back. After that, if I can't, then I'll think about it. It's not like he's marked me."
Leanne scowled, "That boy is an idiot."
Layla laughed but was cut short when her mother spoke again, "So Hunter?"
"Hunter left a note in my room, making it clear he's watching me. I don't think he knows I'm Jace's Luna, which I think is good for all parties concerned. I'm afraid of what he would do if he found out." Layla said as worry began to spread in her voice. "So for now we are actually in the same room. Jace made me stay with him last night. We'll see how long that lasts."
Leanne winked, "He won't last long. The mate pull is something carnal. It won't be too long before he is begging for you to love him."
"Yeah right!" Layla laughed.
They spent the rest of the day together and Layla didn't realize how late it had become until her father walked through the door at eight.
"Crap, it's getting late. I should go." Layla said as she hugged her parents and walked to the door. They sent her off with hugs and words of love as she made her way back to the pack house.
"LAYLA!" Jace yelled as she walked into the house.
"I'm right here, what?" Layla said, confused and mildly irritated that he was already yelling at her after only being home for half a second.
"Where the hell were you?!" Jace said as he stomped toward Layla.
Layla looked at him in confusion, "I was at my parents. What is wrong?"
"What's wrong is that you decided to disappear for hours without telling me. I was calling and texting and looking everywhere!" Jace yelled.
Layla shook her head and looked down at her phone. The ringer was turned off and she sighed, "I'm sorry, my phone was turned down. I didn't hear it."
Layla could see the fire in Jace's eyes, "You will ALWAYS tell me where you are, do you understand me?"
Layla scoffed, "Jace I don't need to ask your permission to leave the house like some pup. I'm sorry you were worried but I was just down the road at my parent's house, there's no need to yell at me."
Jace glared at her, "Worried?! Yeah Layla, I was worried. Worried Hunter had gotten to you. I was worried you had run off again and disappeared without a trace. I was worried you had gotten it in your head that if you dealt with Hunter everything would be okay and you were dead somewhere in the forest."
Layla looked down as a stray tear fell from her eye, "I'm sorry."
"Go upstairs Layla." Jace yelled, pointing to the stairs.
Layla walked up the stairs and into her room by habit. She laid on the bed as silent tears fell. She felt bad for worrying Jace.
Jace walked up the stairs and entered his room, expecting to see Layla. He let out a huff when he saw she wasn't there. He walked out into the hall and went to open her door, but was stopped when he heard her. It was quiet, but he could hear her sniffs. She was crying. Jace sighed, knowing he had upset her with is yelling. He decided it would be best to leave her alone. Jace sat down on the floor, resting his back on the wall next to her door. He would give her her privacy, but he needed to know she was safe even if it meant sitting out there all night.