With Hands to Hold

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Spiraea woke with an excited start on the morning of the ceremony. She felt cold without Vincent beside her, as she had tossed and turned the whole night but the realisation of what the day would bring was enough to shake her out of her groggy mood.

The night before, Vincent had gone back home to their cabin along with Sean, Ellis and Max. Spiraea missed the cabin, it had been nearly three weeks since she had been home. It made her giddy to think the next time she was there, she and Vincent would be married in the eyes of the pack.

Emilia had explained that it was part of the tradition of the ceremony that the couple spent the night apart, it was only due to special circumstances that Vincent and Spiraea had been living together before being joined in the eyes of the pack first. So, Spiraea stayed with Emilia and Larissa.

It still very early, just after six in the morning, but the girl could still hear the audible hustle and bustle of people downstairs. She pulled on a pair of warm slippers with the intention of investigating, they padded quietly against the wooden floorboards as she walked downstairs and into the kitchen where the sound originated.

Emilia was in the kitchen, preparing a huge breakfast, whilst Larissa sat babbling with her breakfast all over her face. Then there was Marianne, who sat nursing a mug of coffee- that is until she saw Spiraea. Once the two saw each other, Marianne let out a squeal of excitement before running over to her friend to engulf her in a massive hug.

“Oh God! You’re getting married!” Marianne squealed, she pulled away her eyes misting with tears as she looked over the woman before her. Things had changed so much, Spiraea had changed so much. “I’m so happy for you.”

“I’m happy too,” Spiraea whispered sincerely. “I almost can’t believe it.”

“Believe it girl!” Marianne hugged her once more.

“Alright you two, today is going to be a busy day. Breakfast is a must!” Emilia broke up the display with a warm smile to them both. She put down two plates at the table for the two girls complete with scrambled eggs, sausages, toast and some sautéed mushrooms.

“Mama D’Leau will be here later to help with your dress, I’ll pick up your bouquet and Marianne will do your hair...” Emilia read off the list she had made earlier.

“Thank you,” Spiraea nodded with a smile. She had expected the day to be full of chaos, but so far it had been utterly calm. All she could think about was Vincent, she wondered if he was awake, and what he was doing. She wondered if he was thinking of her, if he was just as excited for the ceremony as she was.

She could hardly wait for the rest of the day, she was so ready to be his, for him to be hers, in every way possible. It was long overdue.

The house was chaos. Vincent had woken to Max’s fussing some time around six, he had picked him up and tried rocking him to calm him down but it didn’t help. Sean and Ellis had also woken once the fussing turned to full blown wailing. The pup had a set of powerful lungs on him for sure.

After rummaging around the kitchen, the three men realised that all the baby bottles were at Emilia’s or the pack nursery. Max hadn’t even been back to that cabin since before Vincent had taken his trip; they were unprepared. Sean decided to go to the nursery to get some supplies from Kate, whilst Ellis and Vincent stayed with Vincent.

Ellis was able to calm Max, and had carefully fed him water and a mashed banana. With Max content in his uncles arms, that left Vincent to prepare breakfast- which simply put was a complete disaster. He suddenly wished he had Spiraea with him, she would have a heart attack if she saw her precious kitchen in its current state.

It had always touched Vincent that she was perfectly tailored for him, as he was for her. All the things that he struggled with or needed support for, were things that she was good at or things that she could support him with. Where she was fragile, he was strong. They truly complimented each other like two halves to a whole- and today they really would become one.

He couldn’t wait to see her, to be with her, and with their family in their home. It was the start of a new chapter for them, and they deserved it too. Vincent could hardly believe how much things had changed, the amount of work that they both had to put in to get to where they were.

The breakfast that Vincent made, was not edible. So they settled for toast and some coffee. Sean returned after 20 minutes with a fresh diaper bag, and a warm bottle of milk for Max. The baby finally stopped fussing after being fed, and the three men could finally take a breather.

Vincent had a feeling the rest of the day would be just as chaotic, but he still couldn’t help but be excited. If he had to endure chaos to be with Spiraea, then he would do so happily. The day could not pass fast enough, all he wanted was to have his mate in arms where he could hold and kiss her. Only this time, it would be as his wife.

The idea was riveting, and it only made him more excited. It was long overdue.

Emilia left to collect the flowers as promised, whilst Spiraea started to get ready. Marianne watched Larissa as Spiraea took a bath. After forty minutes, she emerged from the steaming bathroom wrapped in a silk robe, glowing and smelling like pomegranates and flowers.

Marianne then helped Spiraea with her hair, attempting to tame her wild curls into a half up half down style. She then fashioned a garland of Moon flowers and her namesake flowers, that fit delicately over the crown of her head perfectly. They decided it was best if she left her face bare, considering she had never worn makeup before and even though she had a few spots and acne scars, Vincent had never once made her feel anything less than beautiful so she didn’t feel like she needed or wanted to wear any.

It wasn’t too long after that Mama D’Leau arrived with a large box between her frail hands.

Mama D’Leau rested the large box she carried onto the bed in the bedroom Spiraea had been using. The older woman gestured her forward to open the box; Spiraea couldn’t help the feeling of anticipation that overtook her. For a moment her heart completely stopped, and she second guessed her decision to take her first ever look at her dress today.

True she had designed the dress with Mama D’Leau, but every fitting she had made sure to be blindfolded so she couldn’t see the dress until it was completely finished. Mama D’Leau in great Caribbean fashion had completed the dress with all its details the night before. It only made Spiraea more nervous.

The lid came off, and she pulled the soft chiffon and silk from its confines. Tears springing to her eyes as she took in the beautiful dress. It was everything she dreamed of and more; thanks to Mama D’Leau, she would look beautiful.

“Yuh like the dress I hope?” The older woman raised a brow, inspecting her Luna’s reaction.

Spiraea couldn’t speak past the lump forming in her throat; she had promised herself earlier that she would not cry today. She felt as though she had spent too much time crying in her lifetime, it was time for her to finally be happy. No more tears.

She nodded, a huge smile stretching her lips as she dammed back her tears. Mama D’Leau gave her a knowing look before patting her back gently in comfort. “Come now, it’s time for you to get ready.”

The older woman helped Spiraea to slip into the rustling fabric, it fit her perfectly. The bodice and underskirt were a blood red silk, overlaid with chiffon and decorated with applique flowers and rhinestones. It had long, sheer sleeves that cuffed at her wrist, as well as a small belt that made her waist look smaller.

A bubble of nervousness filled her gut, her fingers and toes tingling with all the jitters. Mama D’Leau guided her to turn in the long gown to face the mirror, the girls eyes firmly shut. Then after a mental countdown, Spiraea managed to summon the courage to open her eyes.

She couldn’t believe her eyes, was that really her staring back at her in the mirror? She ran her hands appreciatively, taking in a sharp intake of breath as she watched her reflection, utterly mesmerised. It was beautiful; she was beautiful.

A small chuckle escaped her, though she knew not the reason, and her eyes stung with unshed tears. She had never felt this beautiful before. She wondered what Vincent would think of her dress.

She turned to Mama D’Leau with tears in her eyes, before she could even register her actions she flung her arms around the woman breaking down into quiet sobs.

“Thank you so much,” She managed to gasp between her tears. Mama D’Leau didn’t bother to reply, she simply stroked the girls hair in silent comfort.

There was a motherly comfort about it, and though Spiraea hadn't allowed herself to ponder it before she still felt a pang of loss for her own mother. The woman who had held together the happiness and love in their family, and her life. She had wanted to hate her mother after she died; it was her death that started her fathers drug habit, her death had led to Spiraea being sold into slavery and suffering. But Spiraea could never manage any such resentment, not to the only person that had ever loved her, and not to the only person who had brought her to find love again; if her mother's death was responsible for all the ill that came her way, then surely it was responsible for the good too. Without the life she lived, she would not have been standing where she was- she knew that she would take it all over again just to end up exactly where she was. The peace, the healing and happiness, the love... it was all worth it.

She felt almost as if, through Mama D'Leau, her mother was there too.

It took Spiraea a few moments to calm down, though once Marianne and Emilia saw her it was like the waterfall had started all over again. Marianne couldn’t stop gushing about how gorgeous she looked, and how much she had grown, and how proud she was.

Emilia had pulled her into a warm hug and kissed her forehead, pulling away to inspect her properly. Her eyes filled with tears, voice wavering as she spoke to the woman before her.

“You are so radiant, and my son is a lucky man. Thank you for making him happy, for being everything he needs by just being you. I am so lucky to call you part of my famiglia and my pack. The Moon Goddess couldn’t have chosen anyone better for us.”

That was all it took for Spiraea to start bawling all over again, but she wasn’t sad. Far from it. She was so overjoyed that she felt that she would burst; the day was hardly over yet, perhaps she really would burst from all the happiness.

Vincent stared at the clothes on the hanger in front of him, they had been laid out for the last few days just waiting for him to put them on.

The ceremony was due to begin in the next hour, he was certain that the guest were already arriving in the clearing.

He cast a quick glance over to Max, dressed in his little red shirt and black slacks. It had been a wrestle to try to get the kid dressed, it seemed as though the baby hated the fancy garb. He had put up such a fight that it had exhausted him, and he was now sleeping soundly in the middle of his parents King sized bed.

Vincent's suit was similar to the one Max wore, black slacks and a silk red shirt, only Vincent had a dark blazer to match. A small arrangement of a single Moonflower, and Spiraea Vanhouttei to decorate his lapel.

He took a quick shower, neatened his beard and styles his hair before finally putting on his suit. It was cool against his skin, the dark red shirt complimenting his olive skin. His feet stayed bare, as would Spiraea’s, since it as another part of the tradition.

He gave himself a once over in the mirror, heaving in a breath. He was nervous, and each moment he spent away from his mate, the nerves only grew. His eyes caught the flowers in his reflection, so he bent his head down, gently burying his nose in the soft flowers and inhaling the sweet scent; it smelled just like his mate, it calmed him instantly.

He wasn’t nervous for the ceremony, he was more than ready. He was nervous without her, he needed her and he couldn’t wait to have her.

The two had agreed, that although it wasn’t a traditional part of the ceremony, that they would see each other before the actual ceremony began. It would give them a short moment to just breathe before the chaos began.

Vincent picked up the open ring box, from the dresser. In it displayed his handy work; flecks of gold, and tiny baby blue forget-me-nots encased in resin to make a delicate ring.

He had to attempt it three times before it came out the way he wanted it to. It was all worth it because the ring was stunning, and more importantly, perfect for Spiraea.

He took the ring out of its confines, placing it into his pocket delicately.

From downstairs, his father shouted up to him that it was time to go. The man carefully picked up the sleeping Max before heading off downstairs, ready to see his mate.

Vincent shifted from one foot to the other impatiently. He always had been an impatient man, and probably always would be; not even Spiraea could completely rid him of that.

Sean had taken Max earlier, they were probably already at the clearing waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Fletcher waited a short distance away, far enough to give the couple some privacy when Spiraea finally arrived, but close enough that he could approach if needed.

Spiraea bit her lip as Vincents back came into view. The material of her dress rustling around her quietly as she walked; she didn’t doubt that he already knew she was there.

She took slow steady steps forward until she stood an arms length away. She sucked in a quiet breath, her heart pounding against her ribcage as she reached out to him. Her fingertips just barely brushed his arm, sparks igniting through her whole body as Vincent took her fingers in his.

He turned swiftly, his eyes taking in her form. For the first time in his life, Vincent was truly, utterly speechless. He always knew she was stunning, but this-

His eyes raked over the soft billowing material of her dress with appreciation. It hugged her form well, accenting her small waist and slender neck. Goddess above, he couldn’t help but wonder, how did he ever get so lucky. He registered the burning of his eyelids as his eyes pricked with tears, sending another prayer to the Goddess that he would love this woman so fiercely for as long as he drew breath and beyond if she would let him.

Spiraea saw nothing but love when in his eyes when he looked at her, and she hoped that he could see the same in hers. She let out a small chuckle in an attempt to stop her own tears, caressing his stubbled cheek and wiping away the tears as they fell.

“You look handsome,” She smiled. Her hands ran down to his shoulders, arms, then his chest resting over the silk material there. She felt his heart beating in his chest, banging just as fast as hers; she would never get tired of knowing that she affected him this way.

“You little one,” He lay his forehead against hers with a breathy laugh, “are the most divine being I have ever seen.”

Fletcher came behind the two, clearing his throat gently to catch both their attention. Neither Spiraea or Vincent could bring themselves to turn away, their eyes locked, foreheads touching, lips an inch apart.

“Alright lovebirds, it’s time to get this show on the road.”

Spiraea had asked Fletcher to escort her; he was someone she really enjoyed being around, they had become good friends, and she could see how important he was to Vincent. Since Werewolves didn’t have ‘best men’ it was her small way to include him in their ceremony. The man was honoured, and accepted wholeheartedly, after making a joke about getting Spiraea down the aisle in one piece.

“I can’t wait.” Vincent smiled, pulling away from Spiraea, lingering a moment longer. He pressed a kiss to her forehead before finally stepping away and walking away from the small clearing.

Then he was gone, and Spiraea felt her heart start to race. This was it, it was really happening.

“Last chance to run for the hills Luna,” Fletcher joked. He knew deeply that there was no chance of him having to deal with a run-away bride, but he couldn’t help teasing nonetheless.

He was glad that his Alpha and best friend had finally found the love of his life, even better that it turned out to be someone as strong, and amazing as Spiraea. It secretly made him excited to find his own mate- the love they shared was something he wouldn’t mind having for himself.

“Not a chance!”

“Well then, let’s get you married.”

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