With Hands to Hold

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“Excuse me,” the girl mumbled trying to hide her oncoming tears. Though it was no use, they had all seen it.

She pushed herself away from the table, walking out the kitchen and up the stairs. She stepped into the bathroom, closing the door as quietly as she could before heaving out a sigh. She felt stupid and embarrassed for crying, then leaving and she didn’t think that she could could go back down and face them all.

She took a deep steadying breath, allowing the remainder of her tears to fall. She turned on the tap, hoping to mask the sound of her erratic breathing as she tried to regain her composure. She had a way of letting her thoughts control her emotions; whenever she felt herself losing control, she couldn’t help but to cry. She had never been in a position where she could do anything with her emotions so in her frustration she could only cry. She wished Marianne was with her.

A soft knock on the door had her holding her breath in suspense. She didn’t dare move, she had no idea what to do- she couldn’t stay in the bathroom for the whole night, but she now also afraid to go back downstairs. Another short knock came, this time followed by Vincent’s voice.

“Little one, open the door.” His tone was gentle, open and inviting. She knew that she would be comforted by him- her hand paused on the doorknob, what if he thought she was immature or foolish too?

“Spiraea, please.” He begged, actually begged. Any notion of him being mad or embarrassed by her dulled slightly, she could hear the concern in his voice- her heart literally ached at the sound.

She bit her lip, gently unlocking the door, she didn’t make a move to open it. Not that Vincent even waited, he swung the door open and enveloped the girl in a warm embrace. His lips pressed against her forehead, whilst his arms rubbed her back soothingly.

“I’m sorry,” the man murmured against her skin. “I should have told her to stop, I know that you aren’t ready for any responsibilities yet and I want you to know that none of us expect you to jump right into things either. Remember what I told you before?”

Spiraea simply looked up at him, her mind completely blank. Her brows furrowed with the confusion. Vincent couldn’t help but to caress her face with his palm, brushing his thumb over the wrinkle in her brow.

“We do everything together.”

The girl nodded, finally calming down. She let the warmth of his touch ease and soothe her mind. Her worries were still very much prevalent but she figured that they should talk about it another time- preferably when they didn’t have house guests.

“I’m sorry,” Spiraea suddenly whimpered. “Your family must think I’m el bobo.”

“El bobo?” Vincent chuckled, not completely understanding. He had an inkling, but he wanted to cheer the girl up instead of letting her feel insecure. “No baby, they don’t you’re silly."

“Promise?” It was childish, and she knew that she shouldn’t believe any promises but she trusted Vincent. She could- would- gladly believe any promise he gave her.

His irises sparked for a split moment, as his eyes took on a distant look. Then he blinked and looked down at the small girl, tilting her chin up to look at him. A wide smile that made him look younger took over his features, it almost made her smile too.

“Yes, I promise. In fact I just asked them. None of them think that you are being silly. We understand, I more than anyone and I would never put you into a situation that you couldn’t handle.” His thumbs brushed her cheeks, a new electricity fiercely sparking between them as their eyes met in a heated stare.

He leaned down, resting his forehead against hers. He didn’t miss the way she closed her eyes, or how her lips parted as she sucked in a sharp breath. Anticipation; she shivered with it.

He wanted to kiss her right then and there, by the goddess he had wanted to for so long. But he had always held himself back before, and he would now too. It was her decision, if ever she wanted to pursue a deeper intimacy.

After everything he guessed that she had been through, he would not take away such an important choice.

Spiraea wanted him to put his lips against hers, she wanted to know what they felt like. She wanted him closer to her than he had ever been before. She wanted to know what he tasted like, and if he was as gentle in his kisses like he was being with her now.

She was tempted to find out, though the sound of conversation from the kitchen reminded her of their guests. She stayed wrapped in his embrace a while longer, calming down. It was comforting that he could take away her worries and insecurities with a mere touch. She was no longer afraid of the way he affected her, in fact the girl revelled in it.

“Are you ready to go back downstairs? My parents might start to think you’ve had you way with me.” He winked cheekily, causing the girl to blush. She had never thought it remotely possible that she could ever do such a thing. She had never been allowed such power, she had no idea that she even could have control.

She nodded, her olive cheeks giving off a slight tinge of pink at her embarrassment. She was nervous to go back into the kitchen, but after hearing Vincent assure her, she felt a little more sure about herself. Her hand in his as he led her was another comfort, the sparks that ignited under her skin making her discomfort feel further away.

As soon as she stepped into the room, Emilia was out of her seat and apologising fervently. “I’m so sorry Spiraea, I didn’t mean to frighten or overwhelm you.”

“Enough of that now cara mia,” Sean was quick to soothe his mate. He turned to his son’s mate with a warm encouraging smile, it almost seemed ill placed on his otherwise harsh face if not for his kind eyes. “You are a capable young lady, of that I have no doubt. You will find your place when you are meant to. I apologise also, but I know that in time you will grow to fit the roles you must.”

“Thank you,” the girl blushed. The nerves she had felt before had subsided after realising Vincent’s family were nothing close to judgemental. She sat back down in her seat, with a small smile, though she kept her eye contact to a minimum. She still hadn’t worked up enough courage to look them in the eye.

Vincent still hadn’t taken his seat yet, he could sense the girls lingering discomfort. He wanted to ease her mood, perhaps a little bit of sugar might help her relax a little bit. He looked over the company with an amused smile. “Dessert anyone?”

Vincent served everyone a slice of the lemon meringue pie with some vanilla bean ice cream. Larissa being too young indulged in her small scoop of ice cream, happily shrieking and making a mess. Ellis was doting on her, admonishing her in a cooing voice that only made her happier. That man was wrapped around that little girls finger.

Vincent also served the jug of Sangria that the girl had made. It was quite strong, the human girl’s nose wrinkled at the taste when she tasted it. She went to get up to make it weaker, but Vincent assured her that it was fine. To the werewolves, it was perfect. It was strong enough that they could enjoy it before their lightning fast metabolism burned away the alcohol from their system.

“Would you like some, little one?” Vincent offered to pour he a glass of the beverage. However Spiraea declined, she wasn’t a drinker. She only had sips here and there for tasting purposes, but she had vowed not to drink. She had seen what alcohol could turn people into and she wanted to stay far away from it.

“This is amazing Spiraea! I think I’m going to have to come by every week for more!” Emilia hummed in appreciation as she took another bite.

“Vincent helped a lot, he said it was your favourite.” The girl heated under the other woman’s praise. Her embarrassment from before had completely left her, and she had begun to engage more in the conversations at the table.

Emilia was impressed with the lemon meringue pie, it was one of the best she had ever had. It surprised her to know that Vincent had helped to create the beautiful masterpiece. The boy had always been disastrous in the kitchen, but his mate, the girl was beyond talented with her culinary skill.

She wasn’t the only one impressed. Sean was taken aback too, it reminded him of when his own mother would make the treat. In fact, it was where Emilia had gotten her love for the dessert. It wasn’t very often that a man of his age and stature was surprised. But this girl more and more seemed to show that she had hidden qualities- even though it was simply dinner, he had no doubt that the principle applied to much more of her life too.

Sean was a good judge of character, in fact most Alphas were- they had to be. It hadn’t escaped any of their attention the amount of effort that the girl had put into the evening, no doubt wanting to impress the family. She was a hard worker, dedicated and it was obvious that whatever she did, she wanted to do it well.

Once she gained more confidence, and learned what it meant to be a leader she would bloom into a fine Luna. She had been worried about being around a family of Alphas, but she had nothing to worry about. She would come to learn her own power, one that was already visible to everyone else right there at that table.

Later that evening, Spiraea sat herself up on the bed that they shared as Vincent moved around the room getting ready for bed. She watched as he dried his hair with his towel before throwing on a loose t-shirt and sleep pants over his boxers.

She couldn’t help but enjoy the show, though the realisation made her embarrassed and uncomfortable with her desire.

She distracted herself by curling up under the duvet, letting herself think about how the evening had gone. She hardly even noticed as he turned off the light and got into bed beside her. “Your family was really nice, I like them.”

“They really loved you too, you did so well little one.” Vincent complimented her as he sidled beside her to kiss her forehead tenderly. “I’m so proud of you, baby.”

Spiraea blushed, snuggling herself backwards into Vincent’s warm embrace. She enjoyed the feel of his arms around her, it made her feel safe and warm. She found herself sneaking her own fingers up to meet his where they wrapped around her, though before she could intertwine their fingers he pulled away at the sound of his phone pinging with a notification.

He turned over checking his phone letting out a little chuckle. “My mama says she’d like to take you shopping some time, I told her that I’ve been meaning to take you for a while. I figured she would know more about the whole clothes thing so I invited her along if it’s okay?”

“I would like that, thank you.” Spiraea turned over to face him, the palm of her hand resting lightly on his chest. Underneath it she could feel his heartbeat banging against his ribcage, it spiked a little as she leaned closer.

The girl bit her lip, her own heart pounding faster in her chest. She had a light fluttery feeling in her stomach, almost akin to happiness as she realised that his heart rate sped up for her. It was also puzzling for her, she didn’t know why, but she couldn’t bring herself to care.

She leaned ever closer. Her intention was to brush her lips against his cheek in a ghost of a kiss, but at the last moment Vincent turned to look at her.

Vincent froze as her lips touched his, letting her take control. They were soft, warm and slightly chapped as he had imagined, with the lingering taste of mint from when she had brushed her teeth not too long ago. The girls lips were light and unsure as they coaxed his lips, and he responded with just as much care and curiousness.

When he sensed her lingering doubt, he took control. He kissed her top lip then her bottom lip, sucking and nibbling each lip with playful tenderness. His tongue cautiously sought refuge in the cavern of her mouth, allowing her to be just as explorative.

It was the first time she had ever kissed someone. Like really kissed someone, without being forced or hurt in some way- it was strange and unexpected. She liked it.

She pulled away with a shy smile, burying her face into his chest. He chuckled at her shyness rubbing her back soothingly. She snuggled into him letting out a small yawn as her tiredness caught up with her.

“Go to sleep little one,” Vincent pressed another small kiss against her head. He didn’t even get a response as the soothing sound of his heartbeat had already lulled the girl to sleep.

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