On Monday Layla woke early, nervous for her first day of training with the new pack. She was a pretty decent fighter in her old pack but she didn’t know how she would fare here. They were probably much better trained.
She walked down the hill toward the training grounds in her leggings and sports bra. She had almost made it when she heard Hunter yell from behind her, “Layla!”
Layla stopped and turned to him with a smile. He jogged toward her and threw an arm over her shoulder, “You ready?” Hunter asked.
“I’m a bit nervous, but I enjoy training so it’ll pass,” Layla smiled as they walked down the hill. The training grounds were bustling as they arrived, full of the pack warriors and the teens who were there for training. It was mandatory that pack members age 10-20 train with the pack at least three times a week, but in the summer it was bumped up to daily workouts.
“Alright, gather in, we have a few announcements before we start. First of all, welcome to our newest pack member Layla Whitten. We are excited to see what you’ve got. Second, this summer is going to be a lot of hard work, especially for the Juniors and Seniors. It will be intense workouts and training sessions, especially for our two Alphas-to-be.” The head warrior clapped his hands, “Okay, everyone pair off for warm ups and then sparring. Be sure to pick a partner that is near your skill level.”
Everyone began separating and the lead trainer approached Layla, “I’m not sure what your skill level is like, so I’ll start you off sparring with Hanna here and we will see where to go from there.”
A girl with short, blonde hair stepped forward with a smile, “I’m Hanna.”
“Layla, nice to meet you,” Layla replied with a warm smile.
After warm ups they were ready to begin sparring. Hanna and Layla both took their stances and began when they heard the whistle. Layla quickly had Hanna pinned and helped her up with a smile. The trainer walked up with a smile, “Well I guess we should find you another partner.”
Layla straightened with a smile, proud she had done so well. She ended up going through three more partners, taking down each one with moderate ease.
She was given her fourth sparring partner, a large male wolf who looked all too pleased to have the chance to get his hands on her. She smirked, knowing that even though he was bigger, she was faster. She used it to her advantage and when he overshot her she kicked the back of his knee making him buckle to the ground. She took a right hook to the side of his head, knocking him down quickly. The entire training grounds fell silent as they watched Layla take down the huge guy in front of them.
The trainer walked forward and ran his hands through his hair, “Well Layla, I have to say I’m extremely impressed. You have the makings of a warrior. Do you want to pair up with one of our lower pack warriors and spar with them?”
Layla grinned wide, proud she had been so skilled.
“No.” They turned to see Jace walk up to them, “She’ll spar with me.”
The lead trainer cut it, “Jace I don’t think that’s..”
“I’ll do it,” Layla replied with defiance.
They took their stance as the entire field watched.
“You sure you want to do this?” Jace smirked.
Layla grinned, “I’ll make you a deal, if I last three minutes, you stop being a jerk.”
Jace smiled wide as a darkness in his eyes began to form, “Deal.”
He lunged forward with a swing. Layla blocked his punches before ducking to the side and giving a good blow to his ribs. He backed up a bit winded, “Good shot..” he muttered.
He swept at her legs and she dodged him. They circled each other, trying to find a weakness before Layla lunged forward and attempted to kick Jace in the side. He grabbed her leg and pulled it, smacking her to the ground. He was just inches above her when the thought to kiss her entered his mind. He leaned down but was suddenly flipped over and Layla was above him. He couldn’t let her win and he quickly overpowered her, making her tap out.
“Time!” Jace yelled between heavy breaths.
“Four minutes, fifteen seconds,” the trainer hollered.
Layla smiled and straightened herself. She walked toward Jace and held out her hand, “Thank you for the sparring session Alpha.”
Jace mumbled as he took her hand before walking off to the pack house.
Layla turned when she heard clapping. Hunter approached her, “THAT was awesome. How did you do that?”
Layla shrugged, “I trained every day back home, in my pack I was average. I guess here it’s different because you aren’t in a war.”
Hunter nodded, “No but it’s a good idea to train like we are in one. I’ll have to have my dad talk to the trainers.”
Layla smiled, glad she had helped in some way.
“Let’s head back up to the house for lunch,” Hunter said as he ushered her away from the field.
“The new girl gave Jace a run for his money,” Hunter laughed.
“Really?” Marcus was wide eyed and surprised at the little seventeen year old standing before him. He turned to one of the dining tables and called over to Layla’s parents.
Rick and Leanne walked over and stood next to the Alpha with smiles on their faces. Layla could tell her parents were happier than they had been in a long time.
“Rick, your daughter here seems to be a good fighter,” Alpha Marcus spoke to her father.
Rick nodded his head, “She’s got a lot of fight in her that’s for sure.” He smiled and squeezed her shoulders.
“The lead trainer is thinking of having her train with the warriors,” Hunter added.
Leanne’s eyes widened, “Oh.. no.. she can’t..”
Layla took her mother’s hand and gave her a reassuring smile, “I’m not signing up to be a warrior mom, don’t worry.”
Alpha Marcus looked surprised but understood their hesitation. Layla’s brother had been a warrior and had been killed.
“How about you train with them and see how you do. Maybe you can apprentice under the lead trainer and become one yourself,: Marcus suggested.
Layla’s eyes brightened, “That would be amazing. I would love that, if it’s okay with my parents."
Layla’s father cut in, “It’s fine with us. You can train with the warriors over the summer and then see how it goes.”
Layla scrunched her nose, “Thank you!” She looked at Alpha Marcus and lowered her head, “Thank you Alpha Marcus, I appreciate the confidence.”
Marcus gave her a smile, “If you are able to take Jace down a peg then you’re good in my book.”
Hunter and Layla took their plates and walked to a table where Jace and a few other classmates were sitting.
“Hi Jace,” Layla smiled.
“Layla...” Jace said through gritted teeth.
Layla smiled knowing it was killing him. But he needed to be at least civil.
Hunter sat down with a look of surprise, “Wow Jace, you were almost... nice!”
Jace threw a potato chip at his brother and shook his head. “A deal’s a deal.”
Hunter looked at him confused until Layla spoke up. “I made him a bet that if I lasted three minutes he had to start being nice to me.”
Hunter laughed out loud, “Oooh she got you good!”
Jace shrugged, “I’m nice anyway, so it’s no big deal.”
Layla gave him a funny look, “Ummm.. no you’ve been kind of a jerk.”
Jace gave her his best charming smile, “Why do you care so much?”
Hunter whacked his brother, “Stop being an idiot. I’m embarrassed for you.”
Layla laughed, garnering the attention of both boys. She looked at the both of them with a smile, “How about we agree to just be friends?”
Hunter frowned a bit but nodded, “Deal.”
Jace raised an eyebrow before hooking his arm around Missy, “Deal.”