With Hands to Hold

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There were cheers and applause throughout the clearing, Fletcher whooped and whistled, especially when Vincent pulled Spiraea in for a kiss. However before things could get too wild, Sean settled things down; the ceremony was not quite finished yet.

“Now, I know this is where a ceremony usually ends, however Luna Spiraea and Alpha Vincent have one more promise to make here before you all.”

Sean turned to Marianne, who held a quiet baby Max in her arms, gesturing her over. The baby looked around in a mix of confusion and intrigue, gurgling happily with outstretched arms as Vincent and Spiraea came into his view.

Marianne stood close-by as Sean continued to speak, reciting vows for Vincent and Spiraea to swear by. The tradition was essential to the pack, each couple, whether their genetic child or not, had to swear by these vows for each child they brought into the pack. Pack meant family, and families have duties to each other.

“This couple has agreed to take in, raise, and love this child as their own. Do you promise to love, provide and nurture this child as long as both you, and he lives?”

“We do.” Spiraea and Vincent’s voices rang out clear, sincere and in sync above everyone in the clearing.

“Do you promise to teach this child, to guide him in right and wrong, to uphold him to the morals, values and traditions of this pack?”

“We do.”

“Most importantly, do you promise to raise him into a strong, capable leader; one that this pack would be proud to call Alpha?”

“We do.”

Emilia brought the ribbon wrapped paper, as well as the pen before opening it before the couple. Vincent signed first, then Spiraea; written proof that they this child was theirs. Sean then pricked each of their thumbs, a single drop of blood falling onto each other at the bottom of the paper.

Vincent and Spiraea did a very good job at distracting Max while Sean pricked his finger. It would’ve scared all the creatures of the forest had the child started with his infamous wailing.

“By blood you are joined, and by oath you are family.” Sean smiled, kissing Max on the forehead. “Welcome to the Russo clan Max.”

This time when the applause, laughter, howling and whistling began, the couple joined in. Spiraea hugged Marianne in thanks, taking her son into her arms before going over to Vincent. The man bent down to claim her lips in a short sweet kiss.

They were officially a family; Vincent was wrong, there was a moment more perfect than before, this was it. Now he was absolutely certain, he would never live a moment more perfect than this; but as he looked over his pack and family, he had a feeling that every day would come very close, and he couldn’t ask for anything more.

The pack celebrated late into the evening, there was food, drink laughter and running. Everyone had come alive in joyous energy. Spiraea and Vincent went round to all the other Alphas who had come to celebrate their big day- they were all lovely.

Spiraea had broken into tears, hugging and thanking Luna Leora for everything she had done. It was a constant thought to her, that had it not been for this woman, her life might have turned out very differently. Leora who was very obviously pregnant, had also burst into tears- between Spiraea’s words and her pregnancy hormones she was a cocktail of emotions.

After greetings, they danced- Spiraea danced with Sean, Ellis, Fletcher and even Max. Vincent danced with his mother, Larissa, Marianne, Kate and had even managed to coax Leora into a dance at one point. After each dance they would look to each other and promise each other the next dance, but it never came.

Things were getting busier and Max was beginning to get fussy as the night drew on later. Spiraea sat down at a table with Max in her lap, he was still fussing and she was trying to calm him down when Vincent came over. He had intended to offer Spiraea a dance, but seeing her tiredness, Max’s fussing and everyone else caught up in the celebrations he decided against it.

He took Max from his wife with a small smile, rocking him gently and whispering soft coos to him. He was probably extremely tired, and with all the commotion of celebration he probably couldn’t fall asleep.

Vincent then took Spiraea’s palm, pulling her up beside him. He pressed a kiss to her lips before whispering in her ear quietly: “Let’s go home.”

Spiraea cast a glance to her pack, to her family, a smile taking over her features. Adam and Leora were dancing together in the middle of the clearing, along with Marianne and Jaxon and Sean and Emilia. Ellis was entertaining Larissa with some kind of game of chase, Fletcher was flirting with some poor girl, the other Alphas were chatting and eating with one another. All in all, everyone was having a good time with the celebrations. The couple would not be missed... not for a while anyway.

The woman turned back to her husband, intertwining their fingers and they began their quiet walk back to the cabin they called home. It was dark, they had only the moon to light their path; the moon flowers that lined the forests came alive, glowing under the pale light of the moon like little candles.

They were content with the silence, Max having finally fallen asleep on Vincents shoulder. As they walked Spiraea listened to the sounds of the night around her, to the sound of their footsteps and to the sound of Max’s quiet breathing as he slept. She felt sat peace.

When they came to the cabin, Spiraea unlocked the door stepping through the doorway with Vincent following behind. He went upstairs to where they had prepared Max’s nursery, he carefully changed him from his tiny suit, into an equally tiny onesie before placing him down in his crib with a warm blanket and a stuffed wolf toy that had once been his.

He peeped into their bedroom to find it empty, he had assumed Spiraea had come upstairs after him but apparently she hadn’t. He walked back downstairs, finding her seated on one of the sofas, her head leaning back with her eyes closed.

Vincent cleared his throat quietly so as not to startle her, he looked over her small frame in her red dress; even tired she was still absolutely beautiful. Her eyes fluttered open to meet his, a small smile pulling at her lips.

“Well, hello Mr Russo.”

“Mmm,” Vincent hummed in approval before going over to kneel in front of her, his hands clasping her hips gently, his head leaning up to demand a kiss. She obliged, kissing him smooth and slow- she kissed his top lip then his bottom one, before her tongue sought refuge in his mouth. He pulled away slightly breathless, nipping at her lips gently. “Hello, Mrs Russo.”

Spiraea chuckled gently, her hand finding Vincents dark hair as he laid his face in her lap. “Is Max asleep?”

Vincent hummed his reply. They sat there a moment longer, until Vincent suddenly pulled back, his hands moving from her hips to his hands. “I never got a chance to dance with my wife.”

Spiraea smiled, allowing him to pull her up and into his arms. Her arms rested comfortably behind his neck as his went around her waist, his forehead pressed to hers as he began to sing gently. He began to sway gently with her, every so often, dipping her or turning them about.

"If I never knew you, if I never felt this love..."

His voice was soft, quiet and remarkably in tune. Spiraea didn’t know that Vincent could sing.

"I would have no inkling of how precious life can be..."

The prospect of marrying someone so soon would be- should be- frightening, however this was not any normal couple. It made Spiraea excited to know that everyday they could grow together, everyday they could find out more about each other; she was lucky to have found a love like this- to have found His love.

"I'm so grateful to you, I'd have lived my whole life through..."

Spiraea didn’t recognise the song, but she felt the words within her as he murmured them to her.

"Lost forever. If I never knew you..."

It made her eyes prick with fresh tears; he always made is seem to her that she had changed his life, but oh... If she never knew Vincent, she didn’t want to think of the things that may have been her reality.

“Thank you, so much.” Spiraea cut off his singing, though he didn’t stop swaying her with him. She pressed her forehead against his chest, listening to the sound of his heart beat as it banged rhythmically against his ribcage. She wiped away her tears, letting the sound sooth her. “Thank you for finding me, for being patient with me, for loving me and marrying me.”

“You don’t ever have to thank me for those things, Little one.” He replied, his lips pressing a kiss to her forehead, his lips lingering there. “Tu sei mio come io sono tuo.”

A smile pulled at Spiraea’s lips as she registered his words, he had said them once before. She could help but agree, her hands behind his neck tracing a small pattern there languidly. “Siempre.”

He was hers, and she was his. Always.

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