With Hands to Hold

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Spiraea felt empty, though she didn’t understand why. She had never particularly thought wanted to have children, she never had a reason to want that kind of future before. Now, whether she wanted it or not, she would never have it.

She felt disappointed with herself, she felt as though she had disappointed Vincent too. After Vincent had expressed his desire for a future family, her fate just felt like another kick to the stomach.

She had betrayed him, she couldn’t give him what he wanted. It frightened her to think that he might no longer want her. Would he, could he choose that he no longer wanted her? If he did, what would happen to her then?

Her heart squeezed thinking about him leaving her, she couldn’t stand the thought. She liked him, she wanted to stay near him.

She curled deeper into the warm fur of Vincents beast; they had spent the night on the floor wrapped around each other.

The beast in question shifted lightly, feeling the girls every moment. Even in his sleep he was attuned to her; he could tell she was awake. Not wanting to startle the small girl, he continued to snore. With each deep breath, his body rose and fell moving in sync with Spiraea’s own breathing.

Now that she was awake, she felt disgusting. Like if she were a disease, or had betrayed Vincent all in one. Her heart pounded painfully against her ribcage as she thought of facing Vincent.

She pulled away from the massive furry wolf beside her, on her mind she convinced herself it was because she needed space, to have time to just take a shower. Despite her rationalisation, she still felt guilty, because she knew a large part of her didn’t want to be near him.

She rose to her feet with the intention of heading upstairs, only pausing to give the wolf one last glance longing glance from the doorway.

Once her footsteps receded, Vincent as his wolf, yawned and stretched tiredly. Sleeping on the floor wasn’t really comfortable, but he had been with her so it didn’t matter.

Even with all the pain and loss that he felt, that they may never have a future, a part of him was happy too. They had taken a huge leap in their relationship when she accepted his beast — it made him want to gather her in his arms and kiss her long and romantic, like it was their first and last all rolled into one.

He had expected her to be startled, frightened and mistrustful of the beast. Considering all the abuse she had experienced, it was warranted. Except she wasn’t, she ran straight into him and embraced him— wolf or not she wanted his comfort.

He stretched his front paws out, the his hind legs as he did a wolfish downward dog yoga pose before standing to his full height.

His senses were so much more heightened in this state. He could hear the sound of the shower running in the upstairs bathroom, and in this state it wasn’t enough to cover the sound of the girls soft sobs and whimpers.

He trotted up the stairs, sitting himself in front of the closed bedroom door. His tail thumped against the floor in a nervous rhythm whilst the beginning of a whine built up in his throat.

The sound of the shower stopped, so did the sobs, instead it was replaced by shuffling and sniffling.

Spiraea flicked through the wardrobe numbly, her mind an empty fog. She could neither feel nor think, she simply felt the weight of emptiness within.

Flashes of all times in her life that she wasn’t good enough plagued her, and now she had another memory to add to the collection.

She settled on a plain black t-shirt and a pair of jogging bottoms. Perhaps cooking something would make her feel better, so with that thought she decided that she would occupy herself with making breakfast.

It startled the girl to find Vincents magnificent beast sat waiting outside the door. His eyes looked sad, or was that her imagination, she couldn’t quite tell.

He stood and took a step closer, with the intention of nuzzling her face and neck in comfort. At his full height, the beast stood taller than her, his large wolf head a few inches above her head.

The girl, still caught up in her emotions, didn’t want to be near him. She stepped away from his touch before he could reach her.

If he touched her, he would make her feel better. She didn’t deserve to feel better because she was good for nothing.

The wolf whined, hurt by her rejection. He knew she was hurting, he was too, but she wasn’t letting him help either of them. He wanted her to understand that he was in no way disappointed, angry or any less in love with her.

And he was— in love. That strange squishy feeling that he couldn’t place, that had squeezed his heart, it was love. Love for her. It had only intensified after seeing her in pain. He loved her for who she was, not what she could give him; he loved her all the same, if not more than he had before.

He had no intention of telling her how deeply he really felt for her, the last thing he wanted to do was scare her. Nonetheless, he wanted her to know that he cared for her deeply, and he wasn’t leaving her— ever.

Vincent walked past the girl into the room, he walked over to the closet trying to get some clothes while in his beast form.

Spiraea took the opportunity to slide through the door. She went into the kitchen, looking in the fridge to find some ingredients to make breakfast.

Less that a couple minutes later Vincent came back. He was still a wolf, which made Spiraea wonder why he hadn’t changed back, though the basket locked in his jaw have her a hint.

The cute wood-weaved basked had some of Vincent clothes, messily stashed inside. The wolf dropped the basket at her feet barking at some of the fruit and pastries that were laid out on the counter.

“You want me to put food?” Spiraea's voice came, quiet and unsure.

Vincents beast barked again with a nod, his tail wagging in excitement. She followed his request, packing pastries, jam, butter and fruits into the basket. She even put in some juice for good measure.

When the beast was satisfied, he picked up the basket in his mouth again before gently nudging the girl to the back door. She didn’t have much choice but to comply, opening the door and stepping onto the muddy ground behind the cabin.

Vincents beast watched her as he sat patiently. His belly rested on the dry dirt floor whilst gentle eyes encouraged Spiraea to come close.

After a few moments of thought, the girl stepped closer. Them another step, and another until she was close enough to touch him. His head nudged her carefully guiding her to sit on his back.

Spiraea clutched his fur, and Vincent waited until she settled for getting up and starting to lightly trot into the forest. He was careful and aware of her on his back, making sure not to jostle her too much.

He came to a stop merely 5 minutes later, in a small clearing full of wild flowers. Through the middle of the clearing ran a small, shallow creek, deep enough to touch Spiraea's ankles.

Outside the air was fresher, the flower smells filled the air. It was a little bit cold, but the girl hardly took any notice. She was far more awed at the serenity of the scene around her.

She got off the Wolf’s back, her bare feet tickled by the forest floor. She took a step forward, her fingers brushing the petals of some of the higher flowers.

The wolf watched her for a moment, he could feel her peace and he was glad. It was the first time since being at the hospital the previous day that she hadn’t felt lost or empty.

Spiraea stood by the creek, dipping he toe in playfully. It was freezing so she jerked away with a shiver. Then she caught a glimpse of her distorted reflection in the water, watching as the moving water warped and changed her appearance. It wasn’t until she felt sparks igniting on the skin of her arms was she brought back to the present.

Vincent rubbed her shoulders gently, running gentle palms down her arms then coasting them back to her shoulders in a soothing pattern. It was silent between them, save the small sounds of the forest around them.

Vincent broke the silence between them first. “I’m sorry for leaving you yesterday. I never should have done that, I promised we would get through things together.”

She tensed slightly at the memory, though Vincents rubbing helped to soothe her.

“You, just you, exactly as you are is more than enough. I want you as you are. Nothing has changed how I feel and it never will.” His lips brushed the side of her temple in a soft, ghost of a kiss. “Te amo.”

“But what about—” She began to interrupt but Vincent would have none of it. He turned Spiraea around to face him, his hands framing her face.

“It doesn’t matter. I want you because of who you are not what you can give me.” He spoke with heavy sincerity whilst his thumb stroked her cheeks.

Spiraea wasn’t sure what to think. She believed him, but she was also conflicted. She had never been wanted the way he wanted her. She knew she wanted him too.

Vincent hardly expected a reply from her. He had probably said too much, but he was glad to tell her how he felt. He wanted to announce it to his entire pack.

“Thank you, ” She smiled. “I don’t know what else to say.”

The assurance was enough for her for now. She would probably need assurance again but Vincent didn’t mind, he would be there to give her as much assurance as she needed.

“You don’t have to say anything, I just need you to know how I feel.”

Spiraea wrapped her arms around his neck pulling him down to her carefully. Their lips pressed together, slow at first then deeper as if they were consuming each other. It was a bridge, repairing the loss of intimacy between them over the last couple of days. And Goddess knows it was like sweet release for them both.

Vincent and Spiraea spent a few hours in the clearing. They ate breakfast amongst the flowers, kissed and cuddled. Everything was right once again.

Unfortunately their time together was cut short when Vincent received a mind link from Fletcher. Something had come up that needed his urgent attention.

Spiraea stayed with him, travelling to the pack house. Fletcher and Jaxon met them in Vincents office with grim facial expressions.

Though the girl wanted to stay, once she heard Damien's name she lost her nerve. She figured that she would be less uncomfortable milling around the pack house than hearing about that evil man.

The girl found herself wandering downstairs, and through the hallways. She traced the route Vincent had taken her on when he showed her around, through the kitchen, past the school like areas and into the packs nursery.

It was pure fascination, and perhaps a sort of torture to herself, but she couldn't help it. The tiny babies, just born were beautiful and she wanted to be close to them.

One of the babies began bawling. There was nobody about, perhaps there was nearby but not at that moment.

Spiraea moved to the screaming child by pure instinct, cradling it on her arms. She held tight simultaneously rocking it gently and cooing; the tiny bundle in her arms slowly began to calm.

Suddenly a female burst into the room, first frantic then alarmed. Her eyes moved between the human and the pup in shock and awe.

Spiraea was so caught up in the tiny thing that she didn’t notice the other person in the room until she came closer.

“Who are you and what are you doing in here?”

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