"Layla, the warriors from Blue Moon are driving up!" Jace hollered from the bottom of the stairs.
"I'm coming!" Layla yelled back as she hopped down the stairs.
Layla stood beside Jace and they both walked outside to greet their guests. Two vans pulled up and as the doors opened fifteen warriors from Blue Moon Pack poured out. They all looked up with a smile, "COACH!"
Layla squealed as she jogged down the steps and ran into a massive group hug. "It's so good to see you guys!"
After repeated hugs and questions about everyone's wellbeing and families, Layla introduced Jace and they all headed inside.
Jace looked at the group sideways for a moment before speaking, "I thought there was supposed to be twenty of you?"
One of the warriors stepped up, "Yes Alpha, a carful of us had to stay behind on business. They should be here before dinner."
Jace nodded, "That's fine." He turned to his Beta and slapped his shoulder, "My Beta, Parker, will take you guys to your living quarters. We have a few empty houses down the path that you can use so you don't have to stay in the pack house. It will be a little more comfortable for an extended stay."
"Thank you, Alpha," one of the warriors replied. They were led out of the house and Jace turned to Layla who still had a bright smile on her face. "Happy to see them?"
Layla nodded, "Yes, and excited to run them ragged again tomorrow!"
Jace laughed, "You're cruel."
"They will all thank me when they don't die in battle," Layla shrugged.
The rest of the day was quiet as everyone silently prepared for Parker's surprise party. Jace tried to keep him busy as Grace and Layla finished up the preparations in the dining hall. At dinner time Jace and Parker walked in to find the whole kitchen and dining hall decorated in bright colors and lights.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!" the group of pack members and visiting warriors yelled as they saw Parker.
Parker smiled brightly, "Whaaaat?!" He hugged Grace tightly, "How did you do this?"
Grace and Layla smiled, "We have our ways."
"You all are awesome!" Parker hollered as he looked at the buffet of food and the massive birthday cake. Everyone was eating and enjoying themselves when group of wolves walked in through the front door and into the dining hall.
"Is this Black Ridge?" James hollered, "I heard the Luna here is a trouble maker."
Jace jumped a little as Layla screamed and ran to her friend, jumping up into his arms and wrapping her legs around his waist, making Jace scowl at the interaction. "James!!!"
"Hey Layla," he smiled as he set her down, "Sorry I'm late, Alpha had me doing some stuff around the pack before I left."
Layla grinned brightly, "Why didn't you tell me you were coming?"
"And ruin the surprise?" James laughed.
Jace stepped forward, looking up at the massive man that had held his Luna so intimately, "James? Nice to meet you, I'm Alpha Jace."
"Pleased to meet you Alpha, I'm happy to be able to come help with your situation. Layla told me a bit about Hunter and I'd love to take care of him."
Jace couldn't help but like him, he was friendly. Jace smiled, "Get in line man."
Layla pushed them all forward, "Please, come and eat. We are having a bit of a party for our Beta. Grab a plate."
Layla and Jace returned to their seats and the new arrivals grabbed plates and joined them.
"So how do you know Layla?" Jace asked as James sat across from them.
James laughed, "She kicked my butt."
Jace grinned at the mental picture of Layla beating up this seven-foot-tall giant of a man. "She did, did she?"
"First day at the pack and Layla walks up to Coach Carson, claiming to be his new trainer's apprentice. Carson is an ornery devil and decided the best way to see if she was fit to be a trainer was to make her fight. He started her with a new female warrior and Layla laid her flat in seconds. Layla moved her way up through a few other good fighters before Carson handed her off to me. You should have seen the look on her face when she saw me, like she invited the challenge. She got me out in just a few minutes."
Everyone laughed, knowing just how much of a boss their Luna was. "She's a damn good fighter," James smiled.
Layla blushed, "Awww stop it you guys."
Jace watched for the rest of the evening as she talked with her friends. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen her so lively and bright. Back when he, Layla, and Hunter were best friends and spent all of their time together. Before the mess with the Alpha challenge and Hunter going off the rails.
Jace laid in bed relaxing after the busy day as Layla walked out of the bathroom. "Hey, why did those guys call you coach?"
Layla chuckled, "It's what they call the trainers at Blue Moon."
"Oh," Jace said with a nod. He watched as Layla finished getting ready for bed and made her way over to him. "Was James the guy you were going to make your mate?" Jace asked quietly.
Layla looked up at him surprised and he could tell she was trying to decide if she wanted to answer. "Yes, he was," Layla replied softly.
"I can see why, you two seem close," Jace said as Layla crawled into bed.
"We were roommates and best friends while I lived at Blue Moon. I still text him once in a while to see how he's doing and catch up." Layla replied.
Jace frowned, "You never texted me."
Layla looked up at Jace with confusion, "What?"
"You never texted me.. when you left. You just left without a word and I never heard from you again," Jace spoke with sadness.
Layla took Jace's hand, "I'm sorry. I knew if I contacted you, you would want me to come home. And I knew if you asked, I would." Layla smirked, "Or you would find some way to track my phone."
Jace chuckled, "Probably."
Layla laid down on her pillow and closed her eyes. Jace sat against the headboard and watched Layla as she tried to go to sleep. After a while Jace heard her breathing slow and he could tell she was sleep. "I didn't like the way he held you..." Jace whispered, wanting to hold her that way too.