With Hands to Hold

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16

Another waiter came back not too long later with their food.

Apparently, Vincent’s usual was a full English breakfast, with extra toast and a stack of waffles. Along with a coffee and a glass of orange juice. Of course cooking for the man, Spiraea knew that he could eat a lot, but this seemed like too much. Or was she just not feeding him enough, she worried.

Her own plate, was also massive. Even though it was just a couple waffles, they were huge! Not to mention drenched in what smelled like butterscotch syrup, fresh strawberries and a large helping of whipped cream. She doubted that she would be able to finish it all, but it did smell delicious.

They tucked in, and she was glad that Vincent decided for them to come here. As much as she loved cooking, it was nice to take a break and try something new.

“This is amazing!” She admitted, taking another bite of waffle. “Thank you for bringing me here.”

“It was my pleasure! My parent used to bring us here every Saturday as a kid, its sort of a family tradition.” Vincent took a gulp of coffee. He paused, watching her over the rim of his mug as he decided whether or not he should push his luck or not. ‘Or not’ seemed to lose, as he opened his mouth again. “I think it would be a nice tradition to carry on, when we have pups of our own.”

He held back a laugh as she shoved a strawberry into her mouth, some syrup smudging her cheek lightly. His words registering, as she chewed then finally stopped, looking up at him with wide eyes. “What?”

“You have a little something,” He gestured to his own face but her shock didn't go away. He reached over to wipe the syrup with his thumb, holding back his reaction when she tensed at their contact. He probably overstepped a little bit, but on the bright side, at least she hadn’t started to cry.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you or make you uncomfortable, but I want you to know that I want a future with you. You may not be ready right now, or for a while yet, and that’s okay. I just want you to know where we stand, and what I want.”

Spiraea swallowed, retreating to her thoughts. She had never thought about her future before- part of her still felt as though this was unreal. She had only ever been focused on getting through the day, and living to the next. Now that she didn’t have to do that, she had no idea what she wanted.

She looked up to see Vincent looking at her, slightly worried. He was wondering if he was right to have said what he did; he didn’t regret it because he did feel it was necessary to talk about where they were going, but had he pushed her too soon?

She squeezed his hand to comfort him, and to let him know that she was okay. There was something inside her that did fear them moving forward but she also knew that the rest of her would only be content for so long with what they had now.

“I never had to think about this before, and I don’t know what I want.” She told him honestly, not that she had to. Although she didn’t know what she wanted just yet, she couldn’t deny that there was some part of her that didn’t mind the sound of having a family with Vincent somewhere in the (far) future.

Vincent wanted to be okay with her answer, he knew that it’s exactly what he expected to hear, but his wolf was becoming more and more restless with all the uncertainty. He was pacing in the confines of his mind, itching to come out, to growl, to rage- anything. He had denied himself so much for this girl and his wolf was getting antsy from being trapped so long.

He cleared his throat, trying to mask his frustration, that he knew was not just his. Turning back to Spiraea with a half forced smile. “That’s okay little one, I know. We have all the time in the world.”

They went back to eating, though this time quietly. Spiraea was more lost in her thoughts about their future, and Vincent no longer felt like talking. He didn’t want to show his wolfs frustration so it was probably better for him not to talk at all.

Spiraea noticed his quiet, but said nothing. She knew they were both people who didn’t like extensive chatter, and honestly she was thankful for the quiet. The girl managed to finish one and a half of the waffles on her plate which Vincent was proud of. The portions were huge since wolves tended to eat a lot, so she had managed to eat more that she usually did. She was progressing more every day, and he could literally see the changes in her.

After breakfast they took a short walk through the pack, Vincent held her hand and showed her around. She walked past stalls, and shops, a bakery that smelled heavenly. Vincent also took her to the pack house and the nursery where all the pups and wolves who no longer had parents were taken care of, as well as pack members who were busy during the day.

It was a slight bribe on his part to convince her about a family, not that he really had to unbeknownst to him. The girl actually had a lot of fun, meeting new people and playing with the cute babies.

She was a caring person and loved looking after others, part of her felt called to the wolves in the pack house and even more connected nursery. It was like school- not that she remembered much of her schooling years.

They decided to walk back home soon after, it was drawing closer to the late afternoon and Spiraea was worried about cooking dinner.

They walked close beside each other, though not holding hands. Vincent was a little bit distracted for a while with his phone, his eyebrows furrowed slightly as he typed into his phone.

“Everything okay?” Spiraea asked breaking the silence between them.

“Yeah,” Vincent cleared his throat in discomfort. He didn’t want to lie to her, but he also didn’t want to frighten her with the truth. “It’s just Fletcher, he has some information he wants to catch me up on. We should be having a meeting with Jaxon later on in the week to discuss things.”

“Oh, alright.” Spiraea hadn’t seen the men in question for a while now, and she quite liked them and wanted to see them again. She also wanted somewhat to know more about Vincents work, she knew what he was and did, but none of the specifics. “Maybe they can come for dinner?”

“Is that something you want?” Vincent asked somewhat surprised. He was glad to have her interest and to have her integrating with the pack, but he also wanted to keep her away from any conflict.

“Sure,” Spiraea brushed him off. She liked Fletcher, and Jaxon meant that she’d probably get to see Marianne too. “Business is more nice with dinner, no?”

“I guess you’re right,” Vincent chuckled. She had a point. “I’ll arrange for them to come over later this week. Dr Analise wants to see you tomorrow so you have to rest tonight.”

“I’m pretty tired now anyway,” Spiraea leaned her head against his arm as they walked.

As soon as they got back to the cabin they shared, Spiraea began dinner. She made a easy chicken pelau which Vincent thoroughly enjoyed.

He loved anything she cooked, but more so when it was a part of her culture. It was like experiencing a new and different part of her.

After dinner Vincent washed up, and Spiraea helped him clean all the kitchen surfaces and put away the clean dishes.

Spiraea showered first, putting on some clean, new pyjamas. She picked out a light, grey t-shirt and a matching pair of shorts that had panda bears on them. They were one of many new sets of pyjamas that she had bought on her shopping trip the previous day.

Vincent went into the bathroom as she came out. The girl decided to brush her hair out, and braided it into two boxer braids.

It took her a few minutes to do the braids, she had to undo them a couple times before she got them neatly. She stroked her finished braids a few times, tilting her head to the side.

“Yo soy bella.” She whispered into the room.

She hadn’t heard the shower stop, or saw Vincent as he stopped to watch her. He leaned against the doorframe, his towel around his neck as he dried his hair off.

“Si, muy bellissimo,” he dropped his towel in the hamper before walking up to her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

She turned to him a blush on her cheeks, embarrassed at both his compliment and getting caught talking to her reflection. Vincent hardly minded though, he leaned down capturing her lips with his.

“You look very cute in pyjamas too.” He spoke against her lips, kissing her once more. His hands on her waist flexed lightly, as if forcing himself not to let them wander anywhere they shouldn’t.

She pulled away with a small smile, though it quickly turned to a yawn. Vincent chuckled at the way her nose wrinkled when she yawned.

“Alright bedtime.” He wanted to pick her up, but he had a feeling she might be uncomfortable with such an unexpected, intimate touch. Besides she was very happy to climb into bed herself.

He turned off the lights, and they cuddled up together under the warmth of the covers. The girl instinctively curled into him, her leg going over his hip whilst his fingers stroked her bare thigh in a languid pattern.

It didn’t take them very long to fall asleep.


The girls appointment wasn’t until noon the next day, but Spiraea still woke up early.

She wasn’t too nervous, considering she felt a lot better than when she had first went to the clinic. And after finding out that Dr Analise was related to Ellis’ mate, she felt somewhat more relaxed.

She also knew that Vincent would be with her, so it didn’t matter what happened.

Spiraea got up and took a shower and getting dressed. She put on a pair of plaid trousers and a soft grey sweater, that she paired with some black shoes. The girl re-did her braids before going downstairs.

She made breakfast, putting some coffee on before frying some sausages and sautéed mushrooms. Vincent came downstairs freshly showered and changed just as she finished scrambling some eggs.

He looked handsome, he had put on a pair of dark jeans, a blue button up and a grey sweater.

“Good morning,” he smiled coming over to her spot being the stove.

She poured him a mug of coffee, and pecked him on the lips. “Good morning.”

He sat down at the counter, watching her dish up their breakfast. The scent alone was enough to make his mouth water. They ate in silence, before Vincent cleared away their dishes.

It drew closer to noon, so they set off, walking at a leisurely pace to the clinic.

They arrived 10 minutes early, though Dr Analise saw them right away. It seemed the pack clinic was quite sparse, especially when wolves had enhanced healing abilities. The only people who really needed healers were pregnant wolves, or wolves with mortal wounds.

Analise led the girl into a small room that smelled strongly of disinfectant. Spiraea sat on the medical bed as Analise sat in her desk chair before going through her computer for a minute. Vincent stood close by, both concerned and wanting to comfort his mate if she needed it.

“It’s nice to see you again Luna Spiraea, you’re looking a lot better.” Analise smiled looking over Spiraea’s form. “Last time you were here you gave us all quite a worry. I’ve had time to process your tests, if you remember we did quite a few.”

Spiraea bit her lip, she didn’t like her last visit very much. Just thinking about it was nerve wracking, she hoped that it wouldn’t be like that again.

“Well,” Analise looked at her computer screen. “My biggest concern was that you could have some kind of organ failure because of how underweight you were, but your results have come back okay. I want to do a couple other physical exams on you today, is that okay?”

“Can Vincent stay?” The girl asked quietly.

“He can if you want him to, yes.” Analise smiled encouragingly.

First she did a general exam, she asked a lot of questions about her breathing, if things hurt, and if she was still getting tired.

Spiraea also had her height and weight measured, like she had when she first arrived. Overall the girl had put on 10 pounds in weight, but she was still slightly underweight than what she should’ve been for her height and age.

“Okay that’s the first bit done.” Analise took recorded her information on her computer before looking back to Spiraea. “Here’s where things might get a little bit more uncomfortable for you, but I want you to know that we don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to, okay?”

Spiraea nodded, a new surge of nervousness filling her. She didn’t like the sound of the Doctor’s words.

“I know that you experienced a lot of stress and abuse before you came here, and that can have a lot of serious consequences. I need to ask you some more personal questions, is that okay?”

“You want to know about what happened?” Spiraea whispered in fright. She hadn’t spoken about her time in Damien's pack to anyone and she wasn’t sure if she could.

“Only what’s relevant, and only what you want to share.” Analise stressed, she knew that this was a hard subject for the girl but it was important for her well being and needed to be addressed.

“I um,” She looked over at Vincent with unease.

“What is it little one? Do you want me to leave?” Vincent asked softly. He didn’t want her to be uncomfortable, and if that meant that he had to leave then he would, he trusted she would speak to him when she felt comfortable to, and he would wait until that time came.

Spiraea felt guilty, but nodded nonetheless. She felt horrible, but a part of her wasn’t ready for Vincent to know how much she was actually ruined.

“It’s okay little one, I’ll wait outside.” The man gave her a small smile before leaving the room, the door shutting with a soft click being him.

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