“Nice of you to finally join us!”Hunter hollered as Jace and Ryann walked into the kitchen at lunch time.
Layla smacked him on the arm, “You hush.”
Ryann laughed, “I like her..”
Layla stood and walked over to Jace and Ryan, giving Jace a big hug, “I’m so happy for you.” She let go and faced Ryann, “And for you! I’m Layla.”
Ryann smiled at Layla brightly, “Nice to meet you, I’m Ryann.”
The girls walked into the dining room to talk as Jace walked up to his brother, “Hey,” he smiled as he slapped his brother’s back.
“I saw the mark, congrats man,” Hunter smiled.
“Thanks! Your time is coming,” Jace smiled, “Let’s join the girls before Layla corrupts my mate.”
Hunter laughed, “Imagine the stories she’s telling her!”
Jace paled, “I was a jerk...”
“Yeah you were,” Hunter replied. He wasn’t going to tell his brother how much it irritated him that he got a mate right off the bat after all the messing around he had done. Hunter had been faithful to his future mate, only to have to wait longer.
The boys walked into the dining hall to find the girls crying from laughing so hard.
“What’s so funny?” Hunter asked curiously.
“Layla was just telling me the funniest story about winning a bet..” Ryann looked at Jace with a smirk.
“You didn’t..” Jace shook his head.
“Oh I did,” Layla laughed, “Payback for you being such a jerk before.”
“Ryann let’s go for a run before Layla gets any more bright ideas about telling stories,”Jace said as he bent down and kissed her cheek.
Ryann stood and followed Jace outside. As they reached the edge of the forest Jace turned to Ryann with a smile, “I’m glad I found you. I wasn’t sure before, I wasn’t sure I wanted a mate, but you definitely changed my mind.”
Ryann cupped his cheek with her hand, “Jace, thank you for being honest with me. I’m glad we found each other too.”
Jace shivered, “Okay, let’s get running before I lose it and take you right here and now.”
Ryann smiled, “And what would be wrong with that?”
Jace stared at her frozen in shock and desire as she stripped down and shifted. Her tan colored wolf was beautiful and he wondered how he had been lucky enough to find a mate like her. Even after one day he could feel himself falling for her, that mate pull was no joke.
After running for a few hours they headed back to the pack house, smiling and dirty as they walked through the back door.
“There you are!” Luna Tasha hollered.
“Hey mom, we went for a run, what’s up?”
Tasha shrugged, “Your dad and I just wanted to get to know our new daughter!”
Ryann smiled as she was pulled in for a tight hug. She missed her home and family back at her old pack, but Jace’s family had been so welcoming and loving. It helped a lot.
“Where’s Hunter?” Jace asked, looking around the dining room.
“He’s having a chat with dad, he’ll be out in a minute,” Tasha replied.
Jace nodded before placing his hand on the small of Ryann’s back and walking to the dining hall.
“Lay!” Jace hollered as they entered.
“Hey!” Layla smiled, “Have a nice run?”
“It was amazing,” Ryann replied with a grin, smiling up at Jace.
They stopped when Hunter walked in, his expression dark as he made his way through the dining hall and to the backyard.
Jace followed him with his eyes, “Uhhh.. I’ll be right back,” he said with worry. He kissed Ryann before jogging out back.
“Hunt, what’s wrong?” Jace asked.
“Leave me alone J, I need a minute,” Hunter replied, his breathing heavy as he attempted to contain his wolf.
“Hunter.. tell me what’s wrong..” Jace said as he stepped closer.
“It’s dad.. he said..” Hunter trailed off as he shook his head.
“What did dad say?” Jace asked.
“He said if I don’t find my mate that he’ll make you Alpha, no challenge required.” Hunter growled.
Jace shook his head, “You know he’s just trying to protect the pack. You’ll find your mate and everything will be fine.”
“I hope so. If you’re going to be Alpha I want it to be because I put up a damn good fight,” Hunter said as he began to calm down.
Jace hugged his brother, “Good.”
The brothers walked back inside and sat beside the girls.
“What are we talking about?”
Ryann smiled, “Layla’s birthday next week.”
Jace and Hunter straightened as their faces paled slightly. They had completely forgotten.
Ryann scowled, “You forgot?”
Jace shook his head, “No.. we just..”
“We forgot,” Hunter replied with a sheepish grin.
Layla shook her head, “You are ridiculous. I expect to be completely spoiled now.”
Hunter laughed, “Who said you weren’t going to be spoiled to begin with?”
Layla squinted her eyes at him, “You apparently. Can’t exactly spoil me if you don’t remember to begin with.”
Jace shrugged, “Well I guess you’ll never know.”
At the end of the day Jace, Ryann, and Hunter walked upstairs to the alpha quarters.
“We should probably figure something out..” Jace said quietly.
“I can’t believe we forgot!” Hunter said, running his hand through his hair.
“You two are horrible,” Ryann laughed. “You should probably head out tomorrow and find something to get her.”
“Probably..” they both said.
As they laid in bed Ryann turned to Jace, “Did you date her?”
Jace knotted his brow, “Who?”
Jace shook his head, “Never. Layla is my best friend and more like a sister than anything. Honestly, you should thank her. When we first met I was a jerk. She told me off more times than I can count and showed me I can be a good person and needed to be in order to be a good future Alpha, or Beta. Whatever happens I’m good with it.”
Ryann smiled, “So she made sure you were ready for me?”
“I guess so..” Jace whispered as he kissed his mate gently.