Spiraea wanted to take Marianne’s advice, in fact she had planned to talk to him that evening. She had readied herself as much as she could, ready to spill her guts as soon as she stepped through the door, only Vincent wasn’t there when she got home.
She was filled with worry for a moment, though remembering the meeting he had she calmed. His meeting was probably just running late. She figured that she would just wait until he came back to talk to him. In the meantime, she would just do something else.
The girl busied herself making dinner, she made curry crab and dumplings chuckling as she though of Vincent trying to eat it. After seeing Mama D’Leau and Papa Bois had her craving a taste of her heritage, it was the first time in a long time that she had missed her real family, or what she could remember of them.
Her mother had been from Trinidad and Tobago, but her father was Dominican republic. She grew up in the Dominican Republic until her mother died and her father decided he didn’t want her anymore. She swallowed a lump at the thought.
After cooking, she cleaned the kitchen, and the living room. She took a shower, changed and even tidied their bedroom. She was so nervous that she could hardly stop moving.
She sat by the kitchen counter waiting, the clock on the kitchen wall ticking tauntingly. She almost gave up, but as she stood to go upstairs, Vincent stepped through the door looking haggardly. His clothes were a mess, and had sweat on his brow and matting his hair.
And just like that, her need to talk to him, the conversation she needed to have left her mind. For a second, she even forgot that she was mad at him- she was just relieved that he was back, and that he was okay.
“Sorry I’m late, the meeting ran late and then we had an issue to deal with. I was running the borders with my warriors.” He moved to hug her, though she pushed him away before he could reach her.
“You’re all dirty and sweaty.” She laughed at his pout, taking a step back. Her head nodded over to the stove where dinner was ready. “I cooked.”
A large grin took over his features, and his eyes filled with that look. The one he only got when he looked at her, the one that made her heart race. “I love you.”
And just like that, she remembered her upset. She tried to hide it, but she couldn’t help but let her smile fall just a little. Vincent noticed but said nothing, instead he went to take a shower before enjoying dinner with his mate.
The following days followed a similar pattern. Vincent had noticed the girls sudden distance, though said nothing. He wanted her to talk to him because she wanted to, not because he had coaxed it out of her. Nonetheless he was growing increasingly frustrated at the situation; the last thing he wanted to do was to explode on her so he busied himself making final arrangements before he left with her to go to the upcoming wedding.
He had arranged that Fletcher would be in charge with his father when they left. They made security measures for the pack; Vincent knew the pack would be no weaker with him gone, but he still wanted to make sure his people would be well looked after.
If he had any spare time at the end of the day he would take a run before going back home to Spiraea. He had to calm his wolf before dealing with the tension that had grown between him and his woman like a malignant tumour.
Spiraea felt Vincents withdrawal from her, and she knew it was her own fault. She knew she was pushing him away, it was her fault, and it was hurting them both that she couldn't just talk to him like she was supposed to. She visited ‘Forest Fittings and Things’ everyday as well as the taking care of the babies in the Pack Nursery.
She found out that Papa Bois was quite the craftsman, and had made jewellery and shoes to match the dress that his wife had made for her. He had also made a matching necklace, earrings and bracelet made with green stones and white pearls on a golden chain. The shoes, dark green ballet flats, with ribbon around the ankles.
But the dress... The dress took her breath away. It was a real demonstration of Mama D’Leau’s skill, it was just what the girl had wanted.
It fit her in all the right places, flattering her figure. The colour looked great against her darker complexion and she look the the right amount of good that she didn’t have to worry about out shining the bride.
It all took her breath away. She was overwhelmed with absolute joy and gratitude, she almost burst into tears.
Ellis had helped her to take it all home after his shift in the hospital, she had asked him after bumping into him in the pack nursery a few hours earlier. He stayed for a little while before having to pick up Larissa.
When Vincent came home, they packed their bags since they were leaving the next morning.
Seeing Vincent visibly agitated made the girl want to talk, but what if he directed his anger at her? She didn’t want to hurt him, and she didn’t want him to hurt her either.
It was an evil game she played in her mind, but she couldn’t bring herself to speak. She wanted to tell him everything: about meeting Mama D’Leau and Papa Bois, about how excited she was for the wedding, how she felt about him...
Though for some reason she couldn’t.
She really did feel silly, she knew that Marianne was probably right— it was probably a misunderstanding. But what if it wasn’t?
What if her fear was true? What if he only loved her because he was supposed to? Because destiny dictated that he was supposed to? What if the only reason that things were they way they were, was because he felt obligated for them to be?
She didn’t want to know the answer.
The next morning, Vincent and Spiraea packed their things into the back of the car. Fletcher, Sean, Emilia, Jaxon and Marianne had come to see them off.
Fletcher and Jaxon were both serious, any playfulness hidden now that they were dealing with the responsibility of the pack.
Vincent spoke to them for a moment, clapping each man on the shoulder lightly with a nod. He also said a brief goodbye to his parents before going over to wait by the car whilst Spiraea said her own goodbyes.
Marianne wrapped her arms around Spiraea's smaller frame, squeezing her tightly. She whispered to the girl: “You haven’t spoken to him yet have you?”
The girl shook her head, grateful that Vincent was further away and probably couldn’t hear their hushed conversation.
“Talk to him Raya. I promise that whatever he has to say won’t be as scary as the things you think he’ll say.” Marianne pulled back with a meaningful look, before she gave the girl an encouraging smile and walked back over to Jaxon.
Spiraea turned back to Vincent before she could read any of the expressions of the other people there, no doubt they had heard Marianne even though she was whispering. Werewolf hearing was a very inconveniencing trait in moments as such...
Vincent opened the door for her, and she got in with a small smile. The quietness around her resounded until he got in on the driver side. The engine started, the entire car rumbling to life with a small growl.
Then they left. It was just Spiraea, Vincent, and the 4 hours between them and Adams pack.
An hour or so into the drive, the tension between the two was thick. It was so much like the first time they had taken this journey, and it drove the man insane to think that not much had changed between them. However untrue that statement was.
Vincent wanted to bridge the distance between them, both emotional an physical, so he reached his hand over to rest on the girls thigh. The girl flinched in surprise, she hadn’t expected his touch, nonetheless it was enough to set him off.
“That’s it. I’ve had enough of this.” Vincent spoke harshly, his voice cutting through the silence like a hammer crushing a peanut. For a moment Spiraea thought he meant her, that he was done with her. She wanted to whimper but her throat had suddenly gone dry. “Something has been bothering you for the last few days, so what is it?”
“I-I- um, ” Spiraea tried to talk but stare was so fierce and directed right on her that she thought she’d just shrivel away under it.
“Well? What is it?” He raised his brows, the frustration leaking into his voice. “Now, little one.”
“I’m mad at you.” Spiraea told him quietly, she waited for him to lash out at her. To tell her she was being ridiculous, or to tell her she had no right to even be angry. But he surprised her when he chuckled, he was still frustrated beyond belief but at least he had gotten her to talk.
“And why are you mad at me baby?” His voice softened, as he turned his eyes back to the road to make a turn. As soon as he could, his eyes were back on her, watching her face as she worked through her emotions.
“You said you love me because I’m your soulmate.”
There was a short silence between them, as the man tried to work out exactly where the problem was. He didn’t think that he had said anything wrong, it was the truth. But she was hurting, his woman was hurting, because of him so perhaps he had done something wrong.
“Yes!” The frustration built within her. It was the first time that she had ever done anything close to shout, but she couldn’t help it. Her eyes welled up with salty tears, as she felt everything. Why didn’t he understand why it was such a big deal to her. “I don’t want you to love me because fate told you to. I don’t want you to feel like you were forced, or trapped into being with me. I’ve seen how that ends. I just want you to love me the way I love you.”
Her voice trailed off in a quiet whisper. She couldn’t help but feel upset with herself, the last thing she wanted was to confess the way she felt through her anger. She wanted it to be sweet, to be perfect.
Vincent couldn’t even stop to feel happy that she had told him that she loved him. He wanted to, he wanted to stop the car, to pull her in his arms and kiss her until they were both gasping for breath. But she was hurting, so instead he took a deep breath and spoke with as much sincerity as he could pour into his voice.
“Spiraea, I don’t feel forced to be with you I never did, and I never will. I love you, because of you not because of fate.” His eyes bore into her own, brown to green. They were desperate, trying to make her see the truth.
“You’re only saying that because you can’t think any differently. If you didn’t have a mate bond pulling you to me, if you had a choice you never would’ve picked a broken, dirty, human like me.” Spiraea looked away, refusing to look at him.
His eyes were hypnotic, his tone was soft; she hadn’t expected him to be so gentle. Perhaps it would’ve made things easier if he had lashed out, hurt her. It would’ve made her anger just. It would have been okay to close herself off.
She loved the way he made her feel, she loved him, but she wasn’t sure the good was worth it- if he was to hurt her, it wouldn’t just hurt her, it would end her.
“Spiraea, I would choose you. In every life, I would find you and I would choose you.”
The amount of sincerity in his voice was enough to make the first tear fall. Spiraea’s heart ached, not because of him this time but because of her own silliness. Marianne had been right, she had let herself, let him, hurt over something so small. She hated that she had waited so long to say something.
“Maybe I should have explained soulmates to you properly. I just thought that being around Wolves you would know more than a regular human. A soul mate is not simply someone you’re destined to love- finding your soulmate, is to find someone that you’re so compatible with, that something inside you unconsciously knows that you could never live without that person. The only thing destined about soulmates, is that you have one, not who they are.”
“Baby, you’re mine, because I chose you. My soul chose yours, and yours chose me. Fate didn’t force me to love you, it just helped me to find you.”
His hand cupped her cheek gently, brushing away her tears with a gentle thumb before brushing her bottom lip. His index finger tipped her chin up to look into his eyes as he spoke. “I do love you because you’re you. I love you because you’re strong, and smart and beautiful inside and out. I love you because you’re talented, because of your curly hair and tanned skin. I love you because you’re mine.”
Spiraea gasped, her heart racing in her chest. Why had she doubted him? Why did she keep testing him like this? When would she learn that he wasn’t like the other men she had met, that he loved her and wasn’t going anywhere?
When would she realise that this man was hers?
“I’m sorry! I’m so sorry,” She wept softly. “I love you Vincent.”
She sniffled looking back over to him with a small, teary smile. But her eyes, they were so full of love, it was enough to have Vincent drowning in her all over again. He couldn’t stop himself from pulling her face to his, kissing her right there- devouring her like a starving man tasting heaven.
He pulled back with a grin so wide, nothing could ruin this for him. His hand reached over to rest on the girls thigh, squeezing the flesh there in gentle reassurance.
“I love you too, little one.”