Layla woke in the morning feeling a bit low. She thought about how worried Jace had been last night. She had scared him and she knew she needed to apologize. She got up from her bed and walked to the door. As she opened it, she saw Jace sitting crumpled on the floor, his head bobbing as he dozed off. Layla sighed.
Jace's eyes fluttered open and he looked up to see Layla standing above him. He gave an uncomfortable cough as he stood up, "Hey, I just-"
Layla placed her hand on Jace's arm sending shocks through her, "I'm sorry Jace. I didn't know I would worry you, I definitely didn't mean to. I'll try and be more considerate."
Jace looked at her hand on his arm, feeling the warm tingles running up his arm as she touched his skin. Jace looked up to Layla's eyes and he inhaled sharply. He stepped forward, forcing Layla's back against the door. Jace's face was inches from hers as he spoke, leaning against his hands that were placed on the door, "I'm sorry I yelled at you."
Layla gave a small smile before meeting Jace's eyes, "Were you out here all night?"
"Yes. I heard you crying and figured you needed space. But I wasn't about to let you be alone in there. I wouldn't be able to ever forgive myself if something happened to you too. Ryann was..." Jace trailed off, unable to continue.
Layla looked up at Jace with appreciation before knotting her brow slightly, "Jace, I'm not Ryann."
Jace stepped back, "That's not what I'm saying, I just.."
Layla sighed, "Jace. I'm not going anywhere. You don't have to worry about me."
Jace sighed, "You are still not staying in that room. Or I'll be out here every night. You really want to make the Alpha die from exhaustion?"
Layla pushed Jace away and walked down the hall, "I didn't tell you to sit there. Just admit you still love me and don't want me hurt." Layla teased. She knew she was pushing her luck but thought it was worth a try.
Jace shrugged, "Eh. I just know I'd never hear the end of it from my mom if I let something happen to you."
"It's true. She likes me more than she likes you." Layla replied with a smirk.
Jace shook his head with a smile and waved her off as he made his way to the pack offices. Layla smiled at the playful banter they had just had. She missed talking to Jace like that.
"I don't understand how hard it is to find him," Jace groaned in frustration as his patrol once again came back empty.
One of the lead warriors stepped forward, "Alpha, I'm sorry. But he knows these lands so well, it's hard to get any sort of trace on him."
Jace shook his head, "No need to apologize, I know how good he is. Thank you."
After dismissing his men, Jace had the sudden urge to go find Layla. He shook the thought out of his head, only to have it return a few moments later when he couldn't concentrate on his work.
Jace mumbled before getting out of his seat and walking out of the office. He found her sitting in the dining hall talking to his mother. He walked over to find them laughing, "What's so funny?" He asked curiously.
Layla gasped for breath between laughs, "Nothing."
Tasha chuckled, "Something about Layla being my favorite."
Jace rolled his eyes, they were laughing about him. He should have known.
"I'm going back to work," Jace mumbled as he turned to walk back to his office.
"Wait!" Layla hollered, "Come sit with us."
Jace hesitated for a moment before taking a seat, "What's up?"
"I have a few things to go over with you and get your okay," Layla smiled. Tasha took that as her cue to leave and stood up from the table with a wave. Layla nodded at her as she continued speaking to Jace.
"So we have the date, decorations, and set up all planned. I need you to look this over and sign the food purchase list." Layla said as she handed Jace a piece of paper.
Jace looked over the paper skeptically, "This is a lot of food Layla."
Layla laughed, "Have you met our pack? And it only looks like a lot of food on paper. It's only enough to feed everyone, nothing more."
Jace nodded, "Okay. What about the kids?"
Layla nodded, " We have a section set apart in the back of the ball room that will have games and crafts to entertain them. The Seniors have agreed to watch them in shifts so they can enjoy the party too."
Jace looked at the paper again, "So you aren't feeding the kids?"
Layla pointed to a few items at the bottom of the order list, "This is all for the kids. I promise we won't let them starve." She laughed.
Jace smiled, "Well it all looks good to me. I'm surprised you got it all planned in two days."
Layla laughed, "We'll see. Something always comes up that we will need to handle."
Jace shrugged as he signed the papers, "Good job, anyway."
"Thank you," Layla smiled as she stared into Jace's eyes.
Jace faltered for a moment, "What?" He said as he looked away.
"Nothing, you're just being nice. I miss nice Jace." Layla grinned brightly.
Jace shook his head, "Don't read into it Layla, I told you we aren't friends. There's a difference between being friends and just being professional."
Layla shook her head, "You can say whatever you want, I'm still taking it as a win." She nudged his arm, sending warmth through Jace's body. He stiffened and got up before she could unravel him any more. As Jace walked away he turned back to see Layla tucking her hair behind her ear as she looked down at her papers again and a small smile spread across his lips.