Layla walked into her room that evening to find all of her things gone. She frowned as she walked around the bedroom, wondering where all of her things went. She let out a sigh when she realized what had happened. She walked into Jace’s bedroom to find him sitting relaxed on his bed scrolling through his phone.
“Jace, where are all of my things?” Layla asked with irritation in her voice.
Jace didn’t even look up at her, “I took the liberty of having your things moved in here. Thought it would be more convenient.”
“No, convenient would be in MY room, where I sleep,” Layla sassed at him.
Jace shook his head and stood from the bed. He walked to Layla, being careful not to stand to close to her and her amazing scent. “I told you, you’re staying in here until we find Hunter.”
“No, you just said I was staying with you the night he broke in.”
Jace nodded, “And what will happen when he breaks in again?”
Layla frowned, “Fine.” Layla walked to the closet and changed into her pajamas before laying down in the bed. She placed a line of pillows between herself and Jace and rolled over with her back facing him, making Jace chuckle. “You really think if I wanted to take advantage of you a couple of pillows would stop me?”
Layla smirked, “No, but I know you won’t try anything if you want to keep all of your boy parts.”
Jace’s eyes widened, “Goodnight.”
“Good night.” Layla replied quietly. It took her a long time to fall asleep. Jace was so close. His scent was filling her senses and keeping her awake. Hours later she rolled over and faced him, seeing part of his face over the wall of pillows.
“Jace?” Layla whispered.
“Hmm,” Jace grumbled.
“Are you awake?” Layla whispered again.
“I am now...” Jace muttered as he looked up over the pillows. “What?”
“I can’t sleep...” Layla said with a frown.
“So?” Jace asked a bit sarcastically.
“So I don’t know... talk to me or something,” Layla replied.
Jace rolled his eyes, “Lay, go to sleep.”
“I can’t, you smell...” Layla trailed off as she realized what she was saying.
Jace sat up, “I smell?” He raised his armpits to his nose, “No I don’t!”
Layla looked away, obviously uncomfortable. “Oh.. okay.”
Jace narrowed his eyes at her, “Do you mean my...”
Layla’s eyes widened, “Just forget I said anything.” She rolled over and closed her eyes, hoping he would just go back to sleep and she could just stew in her embarrassment.
Jace was quiet for a moment before lying back down, his arm and face resting on Layla’s pillow wall. He spoke quietly, “What do I smell like?”
Layla hesitated for a moment before rolling over and looking up at the ceiling, “Cinnamon... and vanilla.”
Jace rolled onto his back and face the ceiling as well, “Interesting..”
Layla looked at Jace curiously, “Why is that interesting?”
“Well Ryann always said I smelled like Pine.”
“Maybe your smell changes for the mate you’re trying to attract?” Layla shrugged.
“Maybe...” Jace replied.
“What do I smell like?”
Jace smiled, “Orange blossoms.”
“Really?” Layla looked at Jace curiously.
“Yep,” he replied.
“Do you mind if I ask what Ryann smelled like?” Layla asked quietly.
Jace let out a long breath and she could see the sadness in his eyes, “Strawberries.”
Layla smiled, “I miss her.”
Jace stirred. “Every day,” he whispered before rolling over and going to sleep.
Layla rolled over, her mind now calm and happy as she drifted to sleep.
Jace woke in the morning cuddling Layla’s wall of pillows and he chuckled to himself. If Layla had seen him she would have thrown out a big ‘I told you so.’
Jace looked over the pillows to see Layla sleeping peacefully. He exhaled and got out of bed, heading to the shower. As he stood in the warm water he dealt with his internal struggle.
Every cell in Jace’s body was telling him to love her and hold her and forgive the past. But his mind wouldn’t let him. Layla was his best friend and had disappeared without a trace. She didn’t even say goodbye. She never reached out or tried to contact him, she never came back when Ryann was killed and he needed her most. He had needed Layla and she wasn’t there.
He turned off the shower and dried off, his mind still deep in thought. After getting ready for the day he walked into the room to see Layla still sleeping, probably making up for her lack of sleep last night. He walked to the bed as he rolled up the sleeves of his button down shirt and looked at his old friend. A small smile spread on his face as watched her until he shook the thoughts away and made his way downstairs, resisting the urge to kiss her.
Layla woke up to find herself alone in the room. She hopped out of bed and after showering and dressing for the day she made her way downstairs. She had slept longer than usual and breakfast was almost over. She was surprised Jace hadn't woken her up.
"You finally decided to grace us with your presence hmm?" Jace hollered as he walked in from the pack offices. Layla rolled her eyes at him, "Maybe you should try sleeping in once in a while, you might find you enjoy it."
Jace smirked, "Someone has to run the pack."
Layla turned away, "I'm sure Parker wouldn't mind being in charge for one morning."
Jace shrugged before sitting across from Layla, "Maybe. “
Layla looked up at Jace with a smile and for a moment she saw her friend stare back at her. Jace broke eye contact and began talking about that evening’s pack meeting, once again maintaining his distance.