With Hands to Hold

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Spiraea stayed at the medical centre for a few more days under the watchful eye of Dr Analise and Vincent.

She had begun to keep down her meals, and had regained some colour to her features. Even after a mere five days she looked much better, though it didn’t come without trials.

She had been frightened of the IV needles, and had to drink water every hour to keep her fluids up. The evenings were also a struggle as she couldn’t sleep without Vincent beside her.

The first night, after Marianne, Jaxon and Fletcher had left, she had been exhausted from all the social interaction and had fallen asleep. Vincent seeing her peaceful had decided to head home to their cabin to shower and pack a small bag for her. However he hadn’t been gone more than 20 minutes before he had received a frantic call from Dr Analise explaining that Spiraea had woken up and panicked when he wasn’t around.

After that, he made sure to stay by her side, holding her hand, even as she slept, so as to offer her physical comfort from their bond.

In the end Marianne and Jaxon had offered to pack bags for them both just so that they could have fresh clothes every day.

The days passed quickly, and Vincent was pleased with the girls progress. He had even managed to use their time together to explain more about the pack and how it worked.

He told her about his position as an Alpha as well as the roles of Beta and Gamma. He even briefly told her about what the Luna does, but made it clear that he didn’t expect anything from her until she was ready.

Spiraea had been somewhat overwhelmed by the entire thing. She found it strange to be relearning all the things she thought she had known. It was a difficult experience to realise that not all packs were like Damien's.

When they weren’t interacting with each other, they were content with the silence. Vincent had plenty of work to get on with, and Spiraea enjoyed watching him as he worked.

She would catch herself focusing intently on the way his brow would furrow, or how he bit his lip when he thought, or how he would rub his chin in frustration. Every time she would gaze at him, he would find her staring at him, pinning her under a dark, intense stare.

It was so very domestic, and they both seemed to love it. Spiraea loved to hear him speak, the way he would command those he spoke with on the phone. Vincent loved the simplicity of having her beside him, whether it was just feeling her staring at him, having his hand on her in some way or just breathing in her beautiful fragrance.

The only thing that would make things absolutely perfect would be, to be in the confines of their own home. Both Vincent and Spiraea were more than ready to get away from the medical centre.

The small girl was tired of doing nothing all the time, whilst the Alpha. was sure that the constant scent of disinfectant had burned away the hairs from his nostrils.

Dr Analise had already informed them that Spiraea would be discharged that evening, but they had to wait for a few more test results and further instructions before they could leave.

Both Spiraea and Vincent were somewhat relieved when Doctor Analise came back and gave the girl the all clear. She gave her a fluid target for each day to battle her dehydration as well as a meal plan to make sure she was eating enough. With time she would be back to a healthy weight and Dr Analise would be able to do further tests to make sure that she had no underlying health issues.

Vincent left with their over night bags slung over his shoulder, his hand on the small of the girls back guiding her out the door. The girl trembled lightly, whether at the man’s touch or the light chill of the air she wasn’t entirely sure. It wasn’t particularly cold, but she was delicate; Vincent as vigilant as ever feared for her health. He tucked her under his arm, closer to the heat of his own body. He was internally berating himself for not thinking of having a warmer jacket that he could offer her.

With how high his body temperature ran naturally, it was almost as if he was a radiator on a winter evening. The small girl cuddled closer to him as they walked, enjoying the warmth and comfort from the man beside her. She couldn’t wait to get back to the cabin, in the short time that she had spent in Vincents pack, especially after having to spend time in the packs medical centre, she had come to feel the safest in the small house they shared together.

The walk back home took a little longer than what it would’ve normally taken Vincent. They had to stop several times for Spiraea to rest, but neither of them minded- the fresh air of the outdoors was refreshing and being in each others presence was calming.

The first thing that they did was collapse in a heap of cuddles on the sofa, simply enjoying being back in the comfort of their own space. Spiraea took a deep breath, the scent of fresh pine as well as Vincents own alluring scent sending her straight into a relaxed state

It was only then, on the soft cushions that moulded against her side, that Spiraea released how uncomfortable her hospital bed had been.

Vincent hadn’t slept much either - for the past five days he can been confined to a small leather seat at the girls bedside. His neck and back ached sorely from his decision not to move unless he really needed to.

Spiraea's eyes fluttered shut, her body naturally curving towards Vincents warmth, seeking the sparks that undoubtedly gave her comfort. She wouldn’t admit it, but something about his presence made her feel centred, and it was a feeling she was growing to enjoy.

There was no doubt in her mind that she would be unable to go back to living a life without him, in fact she wasn’t sure if she really wanted to. So far, all he had done was treat her well and made sure she was looked after.

To think such a way frightened her because there was still a large part of her that was uncertain. She was afraid that she would end up hurt, but part of her felt that to be without him would hurt more. It was confusing so she tried not to dwell on it too much, or too often.

His fingers brushed her forearm in the lightest of touches, it’s languid continuous trail sending her in a deeper state of relaxation. The sparks were soothing, and being so close to Vincent were ebbing all the aches she felt from her exhaustion. That was all she needed to give in to her tiredness and drift off into a healing sleep.

Vincent watched her intently as she slowly fell asleep cuddled against him, the sight was enough to make a small smile tug at his lips though it didn’t last long as her brows furrowed. Even in her semi conscious state her confliction was clear.

Vincent wondered what she was thinking about, if she was thinking about him. The thought was pleasing, although at the furrow of her brows he decided perhaps it wasn’t. He never wanted to be the reason she felt upset or conflicted.

He couldn’t help running a finger against her forehead, smoothing out her worry lines before running the pads of his fingers down to her cheek. His thumb stroked the soft skin there, caressing her with a tenderness foreign to him. It pleased him when she sighed and nuzzled into his touch, all signs of worry fading from her features. He decided that he didn’t like to seeing her troubled.

He listened to the rhythmic sounds of her breathing like a personal lullaby, sending him to his own realm of dreams.

It took roughly two weeks for them to fall back into a regular routine. It was strange, because once they had it was so comfortable it felt to them almost as if they had been in tune with one another for much longer.

They had started back sleeping in the same bed together- after the five days at the hospital Vincent had said no more. Even Spiraea couldn’t deny how rested she felt when they slept together.

Every morning, Spiraea would wake up earlier than Vincent and carefully slide out of the warm sheets, so as not to disturb him. He always noticed, but for her benefit kept an appearance of sleep. Besides he always fell right back to sleep at the sound of her walking around - he liked sleeping an extra hour or so, preferring to start the day once the sun was already in the sky.

She was an early bird, always had been, she had been taught as a young girl that one must rise with the sun to make the most if the day and it was something she had never unlearned.

Then she’d go back to her room (because Vincent still refused to step a foot over the threshold), pick out her outfit for the day and get ready. After a quick shower and change, she would go downstairs and make breakfast.

The smell of coffee and her cooking was the best scent for Vincent to wake up to, save hers beside him. He would plod down to the kitchen, still in his pyjamas and help to dish up whatever Spiraea had made that morning.

After breakfast, he would get ready for the day and spent the rest of his day attending to his work in the living room. Sometimes Spiraea would sit with him and he told her about everything that was going on.

It shocked her greatly when he asked her for her opinions- the fact that he thought her opinion mattered was enough to make her flustered. At first she used to reply meekly with a small “I don’t know,” but once she realised that he wasn’t going to judge her for what she said, she allowed herself to speak more freely.

Vincent was proud of her, and loved to her her talk. He was realising that she was slowly becoming used to the idea of speaking freely, though there were times when he would have to remind her that she didn’t have to ask permission to talk.

A few days, she had tried reading, though she never tried for too long. She was getting back into the habit of reading and speaking and she found it difficult. Vincent was worried that she would never be able to learn properly, but she seemed to be doing well.

After a few hours they would eat lunch together. Spiraea would do some cleaning and then eventually have to rest from all the exertion. She had increased her meal sizes slightly and had more energy but she was still worn out very easily.

During his time Vincent would go back to work, or if he was finished would have time for leisure. Most times he would exercise, run in his beast form or read.

He had once tried preparing dinner for Spiraea, but the girl had been upset at the sight when she woke, though she never said a word of it. He found that she enjoyed cooking and being in the kitchen so he left all things to her.

That evening she had tried her hands at making beef and potato stew, she had even baked fresh bread to go with it. She served up a couple plates before going into the living room where the man was always sat.

“Dinner is ready,” she blushed as he looked up at her and took in her features. He always looked at her with eyes so deep and intimate that she had to turn away.

He stood from his place walking into the kitchen, sitting at the place she had set for him. The heavenly scent of the food in front of him sent his stomach into a frenzy, he couldn’t wait to dig in.

Still he waited for her to sit beside him, and watched as she prayed quietly. Only when she had taken the first bite did he dare to touch his own plate.

He moaned at the flavours in his mouth, sending a silent prayer to the moon Goddess that his mate was an amazing chef. “Thank you little one, its amazing, as always.”

The girl ripened with a blush at his compliment, her features shy with her embarrassment. He chuckled lowly, though internally he had to remind himself to look away, lest he start to think about how far down that blush of hers went.

They ate quietly. Spiraea's mind was focused on Vincent, wondering if he liked the stew. Or perhaps he didn’t and was too kind to say? Had she put too much salt?

She wondered about what he was thinking about, if he was thinking of her. She suddenly pushed the thought away, because it didn’t matter did it, what could he ever possibly think about her?

Little did she know he was thinking about her, not only her but their future together. It hadn’t escaped his notice that she was becoming comfortable with him, and she was finally settling in.

He wanted nothing more than to have a deeper level of intimacy with her- how he craved to hold her and kiss her. He wanted more than stolen caresses as she slept but he also knew that he she wasn’t ready for such things.

He had vowed that he would not seek anything from her unless she herself asked or initiated it first. It didn’t take a genius to see she wore her past heavily, and he didn’t want her to think that he would be another trauma for her.

Yet still he wanted to grow with her, for them to make progress in their relationship together. Perhaps that was why he cut through the quiet with a careful, tender voice.

“I want to talk to you about something.” Vincent reached for her hand on the counter beside his and stroked her knuckles gently as he spoke. “You’ve been doing so good lately. I’m so proud of you baby.”

The girl blushed under his praise once more, her skin heating up uncomfortably. She found it odd that she liked his praises, and she wanted him to say thing like it more often.

“I was thinking, maybe you would be up to meeting my family. They’ve been very eager to meet you,” Vincent spoke. He was never one to beat around the bush, getting straight to the point.

Spiraea's eyes widened, almost comically so, as she realised what he said. His parent, he wanted her to meet his parents.

She had never dated before, with her history she never exactly got an opportunity to, but she figured that meeting parents was quite a big deal. The idea alone was unnerving, so many doubts assaulted her at once leaving her utterly distressed.

He could sense the growing feelings of fear and apprehension within her as her face twisted with worry. The sight alone twisted his stomach. He was quick to placate her: “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But I do think it will be good for you to integrate with more of the pack.”

Spiraea was suddenly absolutely terrified- be the only human in a room full of werewolves. Not just any werewolves, a room full of Alpha descended Werewolves.

It was her worst nightmare come true- especially after her time at Damien's pack, she wasn’t sure she could do it.

“Al- Vincent, I don’t know.” She finally managed to squeak out, her voice breathless and quiet between them. “It’s just... A lot.”

The girl felt terrible for not being able to fit an explanation in her mouth. She could see the disappointment on his features, though he tried to hide it.

And he did, considerably well, but Spiraea had grown up learning to observe the smallest of things - the power of observation could be the difference between a beating, or worse.

Her own heart fell at his sadness, she didn’t like seeing him upset. She wanted to make him happy but she was also afraid.

“It’s fine little one, don’t worry. Perhaps another time.” Vincent smiled reassuringly, though in his mind he worried.

He worried for his mate and his family, he worried for his pack- he didn’t know how much longer he could keep them separated before people began demanding to see his mate. She was their Luna and they had a right to meet her.

He got up and began to clear away their used dishes as well as put away the left overs.

Spiraea sat and watched him work. She thought of all he had done for her, and all that she could never repay. She thought if his goodness before, how he constantly put her first. He hadn't hurt her, nor would he put her in harms way.

She suddenly felt guilty.

If Vincent had known her inner turmoil he would have told her that she didn’t need to feel any such way, but rational or not, her feelings were her own.

She got up to go to him and took his hand in her own. She looked at him with emerald green doe eyes, speaking with the deepest sincerity she could muster.

“I am afraid. I trusted you before and you’ve not given me reason to doubt you.” She wet her lips with her tongue as nerves coiled in her stomach as she spoke. With a deep breath she made her final decision: “If you think its best then I will meet your family.”

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