With Hands to Hold

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Two more weeks passed before Vincent was finally ready to start his search.

Alpha Sebastian had sent over a multitude of information, in a lot greater detail than Vincent initially expected. Sebastian had narrowed down the search area to roughly ten square miles of forested terrain.

With this information Vincent was certain that it would take less than a week to search the whole area. He had spent most of the two weeks that had gone by planning every detail of the quest. From the pack members he would take with him, the routes they would take and their search methods.

He had given little thought to how he would convince this Alpha, if he found him, to help him out. He wasn’t even entirely sure this Alpha was even a cognizant wolf; for all he knew this mystery Alpha was dead— or worse yet, a rogue.

Vincent finished up his final briefing with his team before going home to pack a bag for the trip. Spiraea had also taken the day off helping in the nursery to pack her own things for her stay at his families home.

When he got back he could smell something delicious from the kitchen, a small groan leaving his lips at the inviting scent. He followed it, fining Spiraea swaying her hips gently to her own musical humming whilst she stirred the pot on the stove.

He reached her in seconds, his arms wrapping around her tightly; it was almost as if he were trying to fill himself with her touch before he had to go. He inhaled her soft scent, laying his forehead on her shoulder with a groan.

How could he really leave her behind? What if something happened whilst he was away? Even if nothing happened, he still wanted her, needed her. She was his— his to protect, to love... How could he do that if he wasn’t by her side?

Spiraea turned in his arms, practically feeling his confliction. She was conflicted too— in the last couple weeks she had barely seen her mate. He would come home when she was in bed, they would have sex and cuddle. Spiraea always fell asleep straight away (no matter how much she tried not to), and he would be gone in the mornings before Spiraea woke up.

His absence made Spiraea feel as if he had already left on his trip. She was grateful at least for his touch whilst they slept, but soon she would be without that too. She wasn’t sure she would be able to cope.

Spiraea finished cooking dinner quickly. They sat down together to eat, the atmosphere sombre. Though Vincent had promised not to take long, Spiraea wondered if this could be their last meal together.

She didn’t mean for her thoughts to be morbid, but she couldn’t help it. For the last two weeks everything had just felt wrong— she wanted this to be over.

After dinner they cleaned up in their practiced routine before both heading to pack their bags. The room was silent, the air around them hung practically charged with electricity.

Vincent eyed every move Spiraea made as she packed away some of her clothes into a small suitcase. His eyes barely even focused on his own packing. The animal in him was charging forward, not wanting to be without his mate, demanding that he have her, that he keep her. He didn’t want to let her out of his sight.

He followed her as she moved to the bathroom, lingering like a shadow as she started the shower and undressed. Spiraea felt her entire body heat up under his gaze, there was just something semi-erotic about watching him, watch her.

His eyes followed her every move, drinking in her features with hunger and urgency. She shivered as his eyes went from her bright eyes, dark curls resting on her shoulders, plump lips and slender neck trailing lower. He didn’t stop, taking in every inch of her olive skin with predatory interest.

Spiraea could sense it, see it in his features how focused he was. It was as if every fibre of his being was honed, primed and ready to live this moment so intensely that he never forgot a second of it. She wasn’t sure if that frightened or excited her.

When he watched her that way, the girl almost felt like it was the first time he was seeing her all over again. With his eyes locked on her like that, she felt like a rabbit waiting for the wolf to pounce.

Spiraea felt as though she had been standing there like a statue, for eons. Perfectly patient as his eyes took in her shapely form— down her breasts, stomach, hips and finally her legs down to her toes.

Then within the blink of an eye he was on her, kissing, sucking and biting in a desperate frenzy. Spiraea moaned, her mouth responding instantly to his, inviting him to take as much as he wanted. He pulled back only to shed his own clothes, before he was back on her— a predictor devouring its prey.

Vincents arms gripped onto her legs, hoisting her up onto his waist; the action causing her to brush against his stiff manhood. He stepped into the shower, his mouth meeting hers once again, his fervour growing ever fiercer.

Spiraea could do nothing but gasp, the cold tiles of the shower wall hitting her back as Vincent continued his assault. The steaming water fogging the space between them, her hair sticking to her skin as it rained down on them.

His lips took hers again, this time slowing down so that he could revel in the taste of her. The water from the shower mixing with the taste of her own sweet lips. Goddess he couldn’t believe that he would really be leaving her for a week.

Slow and sweet he took her against the shower wall, then again on the bathroom counter and thrice more times across their bed.

Spiraea was worn right out, she could hardly even move in her euphoric delirium. Even so, she held Vincent tighter than she ever had before. Part of her wished that she could pause this moment, and live in it forever, but she knew that time waited for nobody. Perhaps it would have been a perfect evening if she didn’t feel the impending sadness of knowing that come sunrise he would be leaving.

The sun peeked through the curtains much too soon. Neither Spiraea or Vincent had gotten any rest, both wanting to make the most of the last night they would spend together for a short while.

Vincent had admitted to her in the haven of their dark room that he knew it would be torture for them both. He had also told her that mates were not meant to be apart for so long, and none ever had been. Neither knew what would happen if they were to be apart so long, it was frightening.

However Spiraea was also proud of her mate that he was willing to do whatever it took to protect his pack, even if he had to suffer for it. And if it meant keeping him and his people happy, then Spiraea would gladly suffer through it too.

Early that morning, they both got out of bed took showers and changed into fresh clothing. Spiraea made them a quick breakfast of oatmeal with fresh fruit, with coffee for Vincent and green tea for herself, which they ate quietly.

Their bags they had packed were waiting by the door, Vincent picked them both up before walking Spiraea over to his parents house. He made sure to keep close to his mate, holding onto her hand as they walked. He wanted to pull her in even closer when he noticed the slight tremble of her lips— he couldn’t tell if it was from the nippy morning air or the pain of having to part but either way he didn’t care.

Both Emilia and Sean were waiting outside the house when they arrived, a sombre quiet between them. It was almost like there was something unspoken hanging above them all, as if knowing how painful this would be.

The closer Spiraea got, the further her heart sank. It was another step closer to saying goodbye— she knew it wasn’t forever, but her heart didn’t seem to understand that. From her history, all the goodbyes (both good and bad, not that there were any good) had always been permanent.

Emilia took Spiraea’s bag from her son with a sympathetic smile and that was the straw that broke the camels back. Spiraea whirled around to face her mate, tears stinging her eyes as she held onto him tightly.

She wanted to bawl her eyes out, she wanted to plead with him not to go, but she knew that she couldn’t. She knew how important this was for him—for their pack— she would not stand in the way of him doing what was right.

“Don’t take too long. Come back to me soon.” She managed to get out, her voice wavering as her eyes prickled with unshed tears. She was determined to let them fall, so she looked up to blink them away before turning back to him with what she hoped was a greater resolve.

Vincent gritted his teeth, his jaw aching at how hard he had clenched it. Seeing her like this was breaking his resolve; he wanted to take her in his arms, carry her back home and ravage her like he had the night before. But he knew he couldn’t, this was as much for their future as it was for his packs.

“I’ll be back before you know it.” He bent down to giver her a lingering kiss to her lips. “I love you.”

She smiled, damming back any of her traitorous tears from falling. Nothing but sincerity in her as her hands framed his face and she whispered against his lips. “I know. Te amo.”

Then she pulled away, forcing herself to stand by Emilia. Spiraea was grateful when the woman in question wrapped her arms around her in a warm, motherly hug. It was both comforting and stopped her from going back over to Vincent.

“Don’t you worry about us, Spiraea and I will have plenty to do planning the ceremony! We’ll have fun, don’t you worry.” She smiled brightly at Vincent, who still with an unsure expression went over to his father.

Sean would be in charge of the pack while Vincent was away with his team, they had agreed to go over everything at the pack house before Vincent left. The two men nodded to the women before walking off in the direction of the pack house, Vincents eyes lingering unsurely on his mate as he pulled himself away.

Emilia turned Spiraea to her, wiping away her tears. It was still rather strange for Spiraea to have such a motherly presence, it made a part of her miss her own mother. However she was mostly just glad that had gotten another chance for the kind of bonding that she had missed out on with her own family.

“I’m meant what I said, we’re going to have fun. Don’t you worry, we’ll be just fine.” She rubbed Spiraea’s back gently, trying to hold back her own emotions.

She could see without a doubt how hard it had been for her son and his mate to part, she could see how much they loved each other. It was moving even for her, and it made her just a little bit glad knowing that her son had found the kind of love she shared with her own husband.

“Now then, why don’t we get you settled in then we can start talking about that ceremony!”

Spiraea couldn’t help but smile at the woman’s obvious attempt to divert her attention, she knew that she was simply trying to help as best as she could. It warmed her heart to know and to feel so a part of Vincents family. Soon they would be her family too.

“Okay.” She nodded gently. Though her heart ached at the growing distance between her and her mate, she chose to try to focus on the good things in front of her. “Thank you, Emilia.”

“You don’t need to thank me dear, you’re family.”

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