With Hands to Hold

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When Vincent came to pick up the Spiraea, she was sat in a rocking chair, cradling little Max. The baby had woken up fussy, and hadn’t stopped crying — not only that but his crying had set off a couple other pups before Spiraea had managed to get away into a quiet room.

After Vincent had left, and her mini crash course with Kate, things went relatively easy for her. She really was naturally gifted when it came to caring for others. Once 6pm struck the clock, most of the working wolves came by to take their pups home for the evening so things eased up a lot.

After all the parents had come by, there were only three babies left in the nursery. Kate explained they were all orphans. The first baby was a little girl name Dahlia, who was just over six months old, her mother had died giving birth to her and her father was unable to deal with the loss of his mate and ended up dying from broken heart syndrome.

The second was a baby boy called Leon who had been placed in the care of the pack Mothers by his parents. They were both warriors and did not have time to look after the child on their own, they visited him every day and was still a part of his life.

And finally there was Max; his story was the most heart-breaking of all. Max was only 3 months old, his mother had been an ex warrior for the pack. After being attacked and assaulted by rogues she fell into a deep depression; she hadn’t known that she was pregnant when she decided to end things. Max though, like his mother had once been, was a fighter, and even though he was born a few weeks premature, his werewolf genes and relentless will to survive allowed him to catch up with the other babies in the nursery.

Kate was impressed by her Luna; she seemed genuinely interested and invested not only in the pups but in the way the Nursery worked. Even though it was her first day she had already began to suggest improvements to make the work both easier and more effective.

The girl stayed particularly close to Max, and Kate suspected that she always would. What she didn’t know, was that Spiraea felt a connection to the small pup for so many different reasons. His dead mother, his hard start in life, just how difficult he could be to handle- they were things related to and wanted to help with.

When the clock reached quarter to seven, it was time to get the babies ready for bed. With help from Kate she managed to bathe, change and feed them before putting them down for the night which is where Vincent found her.

He watched her quietly, leaning against the door frame of the nursery as she gently rocked Max off to sleep. She looked serene, and completely in her element. So much so that the man couldn’t help but think that her infertility was a cruel joke on the Goddesses part.

Spiraea caught Vincent watching her as she got up, shooting him a shy smile as she walked back over to Max’s crib and laid him down carefully on his back. Vincent came over to her, wrapping his arms around her waist from behind before leaving a lingering kiss to her neck.

His lips pulled into a small smirk as the girl gasped breathlessly and her pulse quickened in her veins. He was growing increasingly aware of his need to pursue more with her; there was plenty that they needed to talk about but for now he would savour the moment.

“It’s time for us to go home little one,” His thumbs rubbing soothing circles against the material of her shirt as he spoke against the skin of her neck. The girl giggled as his breath tickled her, raising her shoulder to deny him access to her skin.

“Okay let me tell Kate I’m leaving.” Spiraea replied with a quiet yawn. She was utterly exhausted from her day; who knew looking after babies were to tiring. Nonetheless, the girl felt good, accomplished, as if she had done work that had meaning to it.

After a short goodnight, and a wave goodbye to Kate, both Vincent and Spiraea began the walk home. They walked at a leisurely pace, though once the wind picked up and the girl got colder they began to hurry.

As soon as they got back to the cabin, Spiraea made some dinner whilst Vincent took a shower. She threw together a quick and simple tuna pasta salad and also made some garlic bread. Vincent didn’t take too long, entering the kitchen right as Spiraea dished everything up.

They sat together at the kitchen counter eating in a comfortable quiet. On the few occasions they spoke to each other, it was to ask short, sweet, simple questions like: ‘how was your day?’. When both their plates were clear, Vincent cleaned up as usual and Spiraea went to take her own shower.

It no longer bothered her how well rehearsed around each other they were, they had a system that worked for them and she was comfortable within it. She liked how easy it was to be with him, how she didn’t feel as though she had to speak. She liked how he made her feel, especially when he kissed her. Sometimes she wished that he would keep kissing her until the earth fell apart.

She stood under the water for a moment after she had finished washing off the soap. She caught herself thinking about how much things had changed, how much she had changed because of Vincent. He had been more than kind, he had looked after her, he had even told her that he loved her.

She hadn’t said it back to him; she couldn’t. In fact she didn’t even know whether he could truly love her if he didn’t know her past. Time after time, he had picked up her shattered pieces, but was that love? She wanted his love, all of it, but she could never have it if she first didn’t give him all of her.

It frightened her to think that she wanted to be open and vulnerable in front of Vincent, but then again, it wouldn’t be the first time. Of course there was still a lingering doubt in her mind, doubt about whether he really wanted her, whether she could ever really be enough. She doubted her worth, and whether she was even worthy of his love.

She sighed, turning off the shower as stepping into the foggy bathroom. She took a moment to change and brush her teeth, before staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Her eyes filled with resolve as she recalled every single action, every word that Vincent had ever offered her.

She wanted to tell him everything, but she was still afraid that it would change things.

Vincent was lying in bed when the girl finally emerged from the bathroom. He had a few papers in his hands, though once he saw Spiraea emerge from the bathroom, he immediately put it all away.

“Ready for bed, little one?” He beckoned her over with a sweet smile and his index finger.

Spiraea nodded, “Looking after babies is really exhausting.”

She climbed into bed cuddling up to the man’s side, as he reached back to turn off the lamp. He then wrapped his arms around the smaller girl pulling her into him, fingers trailing against her shoulder.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it though, it looked like you had a good day.” He kissed her forehead.

“I know you didn’t want to hear us talk about Damien,” the girl visibly winced at the mention of her ex tormentor. “but, we discussed a few other things too— I want to introduce you to the pack properly.”

Spiraea’s heart spiked at the nervousness of having to stand in front of an entire pack of wolves. She trusted Vincent and she knew that she had already met quite a few members of pack but the idea still made her giddy and not in a good way.

“You have nothing to be afraid of baby, my pack will love you.” Vincent tried to soothe her anxiety, it worked, barely. “The pack is quite small, so you don’t have to worry about too many eyes on you.”

“I trust you.” Spiraea nuzzled her head into her mates chest affectionately.

Vincent’s heart swelled with joy. He had already told her that he was in love with her, and whilst he hadn’t expected her to answer it had still hurt him to think that she felt nothing for him. Her willingness to admit her trust for him, if felt almost as good as if she had confessed her love for him.

“We’ll make the announcement in a couple days. Is that okay?”

“Mhmm.” The girl murmured quietly into the darkness as her tiredness took over. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight little one,” Vincent kissed her hair once again. Only this time she hadn’t heard him because she was already asleep.

When Vincent woke up the next morning, the place beside him was empty and the shower was running. After a few short minutes the water stopped, leaving Vincent to listen to the shuffles and murmurs of the girl behind the closed door.

Spiraea was startled slightly to see Vincent awake. She knew that once she left his side, his sleep didn’t last much longer but she had always managed to get breakfast finished before he really got up.

Vincent sat up, leaning back against the headboard as he watched her. He couldn’t help but want her, everything within him wanted her. It wasn’t just a want, it was a need. And it wasn’t helping that all he could think about was her gorgeous legs and those tiny underwear.

He held up his index finger, motioning for her to come closer. His eyes devoured her figure completely appreciating the sight of his half dressed mate.

The girl blushed pulling down the hem of her black camisole to cover the pair of white boy shorts she had put on. She obliged him nonetheless, letting out a surprised shriek when he pulled her down to straddle him.

“Vincent?” The girl whispered into the quiet room. Sunlight pouring through the dark coloured curtains to their left. “What are you doing?”

“Saying good morning,” he murmured with a cheeky smile before burying his face into her neck. The girl gasped, holding back a sound halfway between a whine and a moan as he began to kiss, nip and suck at the sensitive skin there. “Good morning baby.”

Spiraea could hardly think. All she could do was think about how good it felt— between the sparks and his skilful mouth she was overwhelmed with the pleasure.

Vincents hands left her waist, instead he rested them on her knees that rested on either side of his waist, craving further skin on skin contact.

Spiraea could feel his hands steadily creeping up her legs, to her thighs, brushing her ass. He finally stopped his path at her hips, right over the waistband of her boy shorts, under her cami.

His thumbs hooked the waistband, though he made no move to do anything further. Nonetheless the girl froze, dark thoughts crept in and sent her reeling. Her hands gripped his wrists in alarm, nails digging into his flesh painfully.

Vincent pulled away immediately, looking at her with a sudden alarm. “I’m sorry, did I hurt you? Force you?”

He pulled his hands back completely, disgusted at even the thought that he had touched her in any way that she didn’t not want. Spiraea felt a slight ping at his withdrawal, coldness washed over all the places he had previously touched her.

She wanted him to touch her again, kiss her. She wanted him to make her his, in all the ways she knew that he wanted to. But there was a large part of her that was still afraid.

“You didn’t hurt me. I know you never would.” She shook her head, taking his hands in hers with a sad smile. “I don’t want you upset because I, um, como se dice...”

Vincent cupped her cheek gently, his thumb caressing her skin as she tried to think. He found it absolutely adorable when her eyebrows furrows in though, and beyond sexy when she spoke in Spanish.

“Sucia,” she spoke though realising that he didn’t understand, she tried again. “Usada.”

Dirty. Used.

Vincent couldn’t help but balk. He knew that she often doubted her worth, but he didn’t know how badly she really saw herself. The most hurtful part for him was that he didn’t see her in that way at all. To him she was beautiful, everything. It hurt him that she thought she was less than she really was, perhaps one day she would see herself the way he saw her. The way everyone else saw her.

“You’re not used. You’re not broken or dirty.” He tries to keep the anger out of his voice, but his tone was still hard.

Spiraea looked down, not liking the distaste that was growing on her face, part of he thought it was at her even though he said differently. She knew that he could not really love her once he knew how damaged she was. Her eyes stung as tears gathered there, she tried to move from his lap but he wouldn’t let her.

“Spiraea you are beautiful, and so much more than what you think.” He tried to convince her, guiding her face up to look back at him.

She didn’t believe him, she didn’t know if she wanted to. She surely couldn’t face him so she didn’t. She looked away, shutting her eyes when her heart threatened to give in.

“Please baby, look at me.” He tried to coax her gently, but she refused to be pulled into him.

She shook her head almost violently, a few stray tears leaking from her eyes.

“I don’t, can’t. If you knew the things they did to me. They starved me, beat me,” more tears came like a waterfall, her voice cracking and wavering with each word. Soon they were barely intelligible behind her sobbing. “Vincent I was raped, every day for years. You can’t tell me that you want someone like me.”

Vincent pulled her into his neck letting her cry out her pain. It sent a whole new wave of pain and anger through him to hear her voice everything. He had assumed the worst of her past, but to hear it out loud, from her, broke him.

He continued to stroke her curls, and her back gently until she had calmed down a little. He took the time to think about his response and to calm his own feelings— the urge he had to destroy Damien and his pack had returned tenfold.

When her sobs had turned into quiet sniffles he pulled back and looked her straight in the eyes. His gaze was deep and invading, but still reassuring. Spiraea sat motionless, almost trapped under his stare as their eyes remained locked in an unflinching battle.

“You’re right about one thing, I don’t want someone like you. I want you. Nothing about your past makes me want you or love you less.” His palms frames her face sending warmth and tingles through her whole body. “I told you before that I love you, and I do. I will do whatever it takes to prove to you that I’m all in, forever and always.”

“Vincent, you can’t say things like that.” Spiraea tried to stop him, hearing such words hurt her heart. She wanted so badly to believe him, part of her did, but she knew that werewolf or not he couldn’t guarantee their future.

“Yes I can, because I mean it.” His hands coasted down her arms before settling on her waist.

“Let me mark you.”

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