"When do you turn eighteen?" Hunter asked as he, Jace, and Layla each laid on a limb hanging out over the river.
"Not until the end of September, you?"
"We turn eighteen beginning of next month," Jace replied as he tossed a twig into the water.
"Big Alphas-to-be turning eighteen? It's going to be a massive party isn't it?" Layla teased.
Hunter laughed, "Oh yeah. The entire pack is invited plus all of the surrounding packs."
Jace shook his head, "Like pigs to slaughter."
Layla sat up and looked at Jace, "So you equate finding a mate to dying?"
"I'm mourning the death of my single life," Jace said dramatically.
Hunter shook his head with a smile, "What if your mate is super hot?"
Jace shrugged, "Dude! What if she's super ugly?!"
Layla laughed and stood up on the tree limb she had been lying on, "Then I guess you better pray that she has a REALLY good personality." She jumped into the water, poking her head back out of the water with a smile.
"You coming in you sissies? Or are you still whining about the possibilities of your future mate?" Layla called out from below them.
Hunter and Jace turned to each other with an evil grin before dropping from their tree limbs into the water, splashing Layla in the process.
"Hey!!" She yelled, wiping the water from her face. "Careful, maybe I'm your mate. You better be nice or I'll make your life hell!" Layla teased.
Jace laughed, "Oh gosh, anything but that! It would be like mating my sister!" He pretended to vomit and Layla splashed him.
Hunter smiled quietly. He hoped she was his mate. He didn't know what he would do if she wasn't. He was falling for her hard. She was absolutely incredible and besides Jace she was his best friend. The last month of hanging out every day had made the three of them almost inseparable.
"You okay Hunt?" Layla asked when she noticed how quiet he had been. She knew he put a lot of stock in mates. Layla swam toward Hunter and gave him a reassuring smile, "You know we are teasing right? I'm sure your mate is going to be amazing."
Hunter smiled, "I know." He looked down the river to the deep part that had the rope swing. "Last one to the swing buys dinner!"
"Dinner is free you idiot," Jace hollered as he began to swim toward the swing.
The three of them swam hard to the tree that held the rope swing. When they made it to the tree Jace picked up Layla and threw her back in the water before climbing up to the swing, "You lose!"
Layla wiped her face, "You little cheat! Come down here and I'll show the both of you what happens when you mess with me!"
The brothers laughed, "We could take you with our eyes closed," Hunter smiled.
"I'm sorry, but who almost kicked Jace's butt a month ago?" Layla smirked.
Jace growled before swinging out above the water and dropping with a cannonball right next to Layla. Hunter followed and the two of them grabbed Layla and threw her into the water again.
After spending hours at the river the three of them made their way back to the pack house to change for dinner.
"Layla!" Leanne called out to her daughter as they walked back into the house.
"Hey mom, I'm just heading up to change, I'll be down for dinner in a minute."
"Actually, you will be heading out with me right now."
Layla scoffed, "But mom I'm soaking wet and in my bathing suit."
Layla's father Rick walked up to join them and wrapped his arms around his mate, "Did you tell her?"
"I was trying to.." Leanne replied.
Rick looked up to Layla with a smile, "Our house is done! We moved everything over this afternoon while you were at the river!"
Layla jumped with a squeal, "Really?!"
"Really! Let's go!" Leanne smiled as she ushered her daughter out the door.
Layla looked back to her friends with a smile and a wave as she walked to her new home with her parents.
It was a small brick house with a comfortable front porch and a yellow door. "It's perfect!" Layla sighed as she looked at their home.
"I thought you would like the yellow door," Rick grinned.
"It's awesome, lets go inside!" Layla jumped excitedly.
When they entered she was surprised how nice it was. There were hardwood floors throughout the house with a staircase leading up to the bedrooms as they walked through the front door. To the left was the family room and behind that was the dining room and kitchen. Everything was bright and airy. She walked upstairs to her room. They had painted it a lavender color and had put dark purple velvet curtains on the large windows. Her bed was covered in crisp white bedding that had grey embroidered accents.
"Oh my gosh," she whispered. Layla's eyes filled with tears.
"Welcome home sweetheart," her parents said as they embraced her in a tight hug.