With Hands to Hold

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Spiraea had woken up earlier than usual, she had tossed an turned for most of the night so that when the sun rose in the morning she was exhausted. She was still more than prepared to get up, but Vincent, who had also been kept awake by her restlessness had other plans. He wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him.

“Go to sleep.” He mumbled gruffly, kissing the top of her hair. He nuzzled against her lightly before going back to sleep. Even in his unconscious state his body naturally sought to comfort his girl, his fingers brushing a lazy trail against the skin of her hip where the shirt she had borrowed from Vincent had ridden up.

It was another thing that had become a normal part of her routine- wearing Vincent’s clothes. She hadn’t owned many possessions of her own when she came from Damien’s pack, may of which were in poor condition. With all the commotion with her health that had recently taken place, Vincent hadn’t had an opportunity to buy her new clothes like he had previously promised.

After seeing her in his clothes, he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted her to get her own clothes. There was something about seeing her in his shirts that pleased the most primal parts of him, his scent would linger on her skin and it made his beast howl in approval from the confines of his mind. Everything about it was sexy to him.

His fingers sent those amazing shock waves through her entire body, and whilst she was slowly getting used to the feeling it never got old. Every time was like the first time he touched her, and she liked that he could calm her, or make her feel good, just from one simple touch.

His fingers continued to stroke a gentle pattern against her skin, the girl sighing in tired content at the connection. It was one of those things that he didn’t think about doing, but it sent flutters off in the girls stomach. She took a deep inhale of his scent, the smell of newly fallen rain was a comfort to her so she found herself curling in closer to his warmth and falling back to sleep.

When the couple woke again, it was mid morning, the clock on Vincent’s bedside table reading 10:45am. Spiraea had never slept in so much, but after feeling so refreshed from sleeping beside her mate she couldn’t find it within herself to feel too guilty.

However, as much as she was enjoying laying beside Vincent she also knew that she could no longer sleep in. Her mind was once more busy with the anxiety of having Vincent’s family over for dinner. So she got up and prepared herself for the day.

Once Spiraea got out of bed, Vincent found no more pleasure in laying around and he too got up. They busied themselves, taking showers, getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair- the whole routine was strangely comfortable, the couple moving around each other like they had been doing it for years.

The whole thing struck Spiraea as strange- their routines always did- but she couldn’t place a reason as to why. She didn’t let the thought trouble her for very long, her main concern was focusing on how the evening would go down. A few of her worries were about meeting Vincent’s family- she wondered if they would like her, or perhaps if they would be upset that she was a human. She knew that some werewolves saw humans as lower species and to be mated to one was an abomination- it was that belief that had encouraged her mistreatment in Damien’s pack.

But her biggest concern was on the food. She was proud of her cooking and wanted to give her very best. It was obvious to her that this was important to Vincent, and she wanted to make him happy. So, the girl spent a lot of time thinking about food.

Namely the menu she would be preparing for Vincent’s family. She was no longer sure if she was worried because they were all werewolves, or because she wanted them to like her, but nonetheless she wanted the evening to go perfectly.

She had gotten much better at writing in the past few weeks, and had tried to practice as much as she could. Whilst she sat down to breakfast with Vincent, she decided to write down all the things she wanted to make. She would have to check if she had written her words correctly, and each time the Alpha assured her that she had, she would blush with the praise before turning back to the pad and a paper with a thoughtful expression. Vincent was so proud of her, and he was glad to get a sneak a peek at what she was planning in her brilliant mind. He had absolutely no doubt it would be amazing.

She figured that a pasticho would be a safe choice, it was easy to make and absolutely delicious. She one of the only memories of her mother was watching her in the kitchen, dancing to Carib-Hispanic rhythms as she cooked. If she thought hard enough she could even remember the smells of the Italian-Venezuelan fusion food.

She also wanted to make fresh bread- ever since she had baked break a week ago, she had made an effort to make more freshly baked goods as often as possible. Vincent enjoyed having fresh, home cooked food so often, and Spiraea loved being able to do something that she enjoyed.

She had yet to decide on dessert so instead she decided to ask Vincent what she should make. She figured that if she did, then she couldn’t really go wrong- as long as he was happy, she would be too.

“Dessert?” The girl looked to the man with a questioning look.

He was already looking at her, her question sparking a hunger in his eyes. They glistened with a spark of mischief as his lips turned up into a wolfish grin. The girl had nowhere to go when he put an arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him as much as he could.

She squeaked in embarrassment; if he were any other man she may have been afraid. But he wasn’t any other man. He was the one man who had treated her with kindness- like a person, he was the man who ignited fireworks under her skin when her held her. He was her soulmate whom she had finally learnt to accept.

“Something tells me that you would taste very... sweet.” He nipped her earlobe playfully, the girl blushing at his advance.

Ever since their heart to heart the day before, he had become a lot more tactile with her. He would find any excuse to touch her, or to leave ghost kisses against her skin. She would never admit it, but her favourite was when she was laying beside him and he kissed her shoulder blade as she fell asleep. It was intimate but not in the way that intimacy had previously been forced on her.

“Vincent,” She whined, still playful but far more stressed. “I’m serious.”

“Okay, okay,” He laughed, kissing her forehead to placate her. “My mama loves lemon meringue pie. Have you ever made it before?”

She shook her head no, suddenly a lot more worried. Perhaps she should do the dessert first, just in case she made it wrong and had to start again. His mother would be pleasantly surprised if she could do it right, how hard could it be?

“Don’t worry little one, I’ll help you with dessert. I’m well versed in making lemon meringue pie.”

Spiraea and Vincent spent all day in the kitchen. She taught him how to make a pasticho and he taught her how to make lemon meringue pie. The two had a lot of fun, it was also a good learning curve with helping them communicate.

Vincent was extremely proud of himself for teaching his mate something new. He had deliberately chosen lemon meringue pie just so that he would be able to help her in the kitchen- plus he hadn’t lied, it was his mother’s favourite treat.

Spiraea couldn’t deny that she did enjoy Vincents company in the kitchen, even whilst he was ‘teaching’ her, he still made it very obvious that she was still very much in charge. The kitchen was hear domain. Usually she was a neat, organised chef, but with Vincent around that did not hold up, at all. Nonetheless, she still loved the time that she spent with her mate even if they had somehow had managed to get half the kitchen all over each other.

In all fairness, Spiraea had tried to be neat, but all bets were off when Vincent decided to flick, yes intentionally flick, lemon curd on her face. During the time that they had spent together, she had forgotten all about her nerves about the night ahead. Though considering the mess, it was a good thing that they had a few hours left over that they could get ready before their guests arrive.

She made sure to take an extra long shower, though whether it was because she was trying to make a good impression, or because she was prolonging having to get ready she wasn’t entirely sure.

Vincent helped her choose an outfit, he picked out a grey kimono styled knitted jumper. It was long enough to be a dress, but she much preferred to cover as much skin as possible so she paired with black leggings and leather ankle boots.

Vincent also put in significant effort with his own appearance-it was obvious that he cared about his family. He donned a pair of dark trousers and a light blue shirt, the sleeves of which he rolled the sleeves up to his elbows.

Spiraea had just finished brushing her hair back into a neat bun when there was a knock on the door. She heaved out a heavy sigh, taking in her appearance in the floor length mirror.

She fidgeted with the hem of the jumper-dress, her nerves returning full force. She gnawed her lip in discomfort, though before she could spiral into a pit of anxious thoughts Vincent came behind her.

His arms wrapped around her waist, a beautifully dashing smile gazed back at her in the mirror. His thumb brushed the front of her stomach as he looked over her reflection in awe and appreciation.

“You look absolutely stunning,” He murmured. His lips grazed her temple, kissing her lightly as if to ease her worries. “Don’t worry baby, you’ll do great. They’re going to love you and I’ll be right by your side the whole time.”

Vincent took her hand in his, pressing another soft kiss against the back of her hand. Their fingers interlocked, fitting perfectly with each other, small sparks tingling in both their palms. It was a huge comfort for Spiraea, with Vincent by her side she didn’t feel like the weak victim she had always been. She felt strong with him.

“Are you ready?” The man asked, looking down at the small girl with a soft look. She was beautiful, but small and somewhat unsure; she would be perfectly fine once she came out of her shell but she needed reassurance first. And he would be there to provide it every step of the way.

The truth was, the girl wasn’t ready. Not at all, bust she didn’t suppose that she could ever prepare herself enough. She was afraid, but time was up, she couldn’t stall any longer; the only thing she could do was to get the whole thing over and done with.

She sighed, steadying her breathing. Although she was afraid, she steeled her face with a mask of bravado. The girl nodded, her hand squeezing his in thanks for his comfort.

The time had finally come. The family was coming to dinner.

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