“Did I do something wrong?” Spiraea murmured, as she fidgeted in the hallway once Vincent had closed the door. She realised it was the first time she had really crossed the boundary between his work, and their relationship; now that she thought about it, she didn’t know if she had done the right thing in bringing Orion. She just wanted to help.
“Not at all baby,” Vincent assured her with a kiss to her forehead. “But, those two definitely need a minute to talk about this.”
“How do you know?”
“Because it’s what I would want if that was us.” He answered simply, nuzzling his face into her neck. There was a glint in his eyes as he pulled back to look at the girl mischievously, a dangerous growl to his words as he spoke. “Though I want something else right now...”
“Orion what are you doing?” Seth stood, going over to the woman, immediately on high alert. His mind worried that perhaps something had happened, or that she was hurt or needed protecting. He would never forgive himself if something were to happen whilst he wasn’t around. His arms wrapped around her waist pulling her in closer practically instinctively. “I thought you were out with the girls is everything okay?”
“Everything is fine,” She assured the man, her own hands cupping his face to allow the flow of sparks between them.
She watched as he visibly relaxed; he took a deep breath everything loosened. There was something about it that was nice to see, maybe it was because she had watched him for so long, spending most of his days on high alert and now he was in a place where he could breathe. It was miniscule, something most people took for granted every day, and yet it brought Orion the greatest joy to see.
“What’s going on? What are you doing here?” He asked, though this time it was more in confusion.
“Well I was talking to Spiraea, about being a Luna and I guess I realised that if I’m going to be a good one then... I need to be by your side. Through it all.”
His eyebrows turned upwards, almost in surprise; he was still trying to figure out how to tell her that she would be leading the pack with him, though he supposed he didn’t have to anymore. It warmed his heart to think how much she cared for a pack that she didn’t know, how much she wanted to do right by him, and how willing she was to just stay. It was reassuring; Seth felt incredibly lucky.
“I want you by my side.” He smiled, a dimple poking through on his cheek. His thumb stroked her cheek gently, brushing down her round cheek to her lips.
Her lips parted gently, and she couldn’t help but to sigh against his touch; there was something about the feeling of his hands on her that made her feel alive. Orion couldn’t tell who had started leaning in first, but all of a sudden they were like magnets, completely drawn to one another.
His lips brushed hers, caressing them with his own, and Orion could do nothing but lost in him. The way he smelled, the way he tasted, the way he felt- utterly consumed by him. It never failed to amaze her how gentle he could be, especially when he had spent so much time living in a way that made him seem quite the opposite; though if she thought about it, Orion didn’t mind the alternative much either.
How long had his lips been on hers? minutes, hours, years? Orion couldn’t tell, it felt like ages and she didn’t have any complaints. When he touched her like that, she might as well have been taken off to some other planet- time didn’t matter, not as long as he was touching her, kissing her.
He pulled back first, resting his forehead against hers, nuzzling his head against hers gently. He would never get used to this closeness he feared, but perhaps that was a good thing, it would mean he would never take her for granted again.
The door opened gently, and Vincent stepped in; his cheeks were flushed, and hair looked like he had run his hands through it quite a few times. Orion wondered what he had spoken to Spiraea about that had gotten him so riled up, meanwhile, Seth wished he could open a window to chase away the pungent scent of sex that was following Vincent.
Neither male said a word. Vincent, thankfully, opened a window before sitting back down at his desk and clearing his throat. “I take it you are both on the same page now, good.”
Orion was slightly confused at his turn of expression but said nothing, instead she followed Seth as he took her hand and pulled her to sit on the arm of the chair that he was seated on. Although she had nothing to prove, she wanted to do her absolute best and show Seth, herself and anyone else who dared to question that her place was by Seth’s side.
“Alright, over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be mentoring you both in how to keep a pack functioning. I’ll show you what needs to be done, but it’s really up you both to figure out how to do it and how you share the responsibility.” Vincent told them both, the stoniness in his features hardening as he went into his Alpha-mode. His gaze on them was hard, both Seth and Orion could see his raw dedication to his pack; neither of them could doubt how seriously he took his job. “I really want to stress to you, that the solutions that I’ve put in place in my pack, may not work in yours. Not all packs run the same- there’s not only one way, and I’ve often found that different is good.”
“What exactly do we have to do?” Orion felt rather silly for asking the question, for the first time she realised that she had blindly taken on a responsibility that she knew nothing about.
“It’s quite simple really,” Vincent assured her. “All of your actions, all your decisions should all lead to one goal: the betterment of your pack.”
“But not everyone has the same idea of what it means to be better.” Orion asked confused.
Seth sat beside his mate with his arm around her waist. He couldn’t help the small twitch at the corner of his mouth at her questions- it took him back to a time when he was younger, perhaps not much older than 10 and having a very similar conversation with his own parents.
“Exactly little star, that’s why Vincent said not all packs are run the same way.” Seth spoke, brushing his hand over her arms. “It’s an Alpha’s to make sure that whatever ‘better’ they hope to achieve, is also what will make their people better.”
“Seth is correct. Not every pack has the same needs; Alpha Killian for example is seeking trade with the human town of Willsden Brooke, because his pack needs a sustainable source of income. Alpha Adam’s pack needed a Luna to balance out their miserable Alpha, and my pack needs stability from this conflict.” Vincent counted off a few examples, his gaze softening as he looked over to the couple in front of him. He couldn’t help but feel so thankful as he thought about how everything had just seemed to come together. “Fate has a way of tying into our needs, everything else seems to fall into place when you’re searching for the right thing.”
“I suppose my uncles idea of better was more land.” Seth mused thoughtfully, there was a level of detachment in his tone that Orion had never heard in him before. It was slightly chilling, though she couldn’t say why.
“Exactly, but bigger does not always mean better- especially when it comes to a pack.” Vincent linked his hands together, his elbows on his desk as he leaned forward to inspect them both. His gaze was curious, though there was a glint there- one that reminded Orion that he wasn’t entirely human. “You’ve heard already the state you pack is current in... So, what exactly is it that your pack needs right now?”
Seth felt the weight of Vincents gaze on him, he knew not to let the friendliness there distract him from what this really was. A test.
The first thing that came to his mind, was the image off his parent- happy and in love. The force of the memory was almost enough to make him choke; his mother was laughing and his father pouting. He didn’t remember what it was really about, but he knew that in all the memories he had of them- they were always happy, even when they were working.
“Stability. Leaders who can look after the happiness and interests of their people.”
Vincent turned his gaze to Orion, who was only half startled at having been put on the spot. She shook her head- she wanted this, and now it was time for her to focus. She thought about what Vincent and Seth had said, for a moment her mind went back to that moment that Seth found her- shaking, scared and alone. She thought about what she had needed then, and what Seth had given her since.
“A purpose and direction for pack, something that unifies the pack not just with itself but the surrounding packs too.”
Vincent leaned back, a small smile playing on his lips. He didn’t say a word but in the back of him mind he thought that perhaps this ‘training’ wouldn’t take so long after all. He could see, clear as day, that Seth had not forgotten the most important part of being an Alpha. Both Seth and Orion already knew what it meant to place the needs of others before their own. He supposed they already had 17 years of practice.
The ret of the afternoon, Vincent took to showing them how he filed his paperwork and what it actually entailed. Seth had hated every moment; he had never really been organized. But Vincent made it clear the importance of having a system to make sure the needs of the pack were being met; Seth couldn’t argue there.
After helping Vincent sort through file after mind numbing file, he let the couple go and encouraged them to get plenty of rest. He hadn’t said what he had in store for them, but if it was anything like their incredibly exciting file journey Seth had a feeling that he would not enjoy it.
The two went back to their room, eating dinner and then taking it in turns to shower. Seth went first since Orion insisted she needed to rest her tummy first; he took 7 minutes to scrub and rinse, putting on a pair of boxers and a t-shirt once he was finished. Orion went afterwards, she didn’t take as long because as much as she enjoyed the rain room, she was utterly exhausted.
Seth had left her a pair of underwear and a night dress since she had forgotten to bring any into the bathroom herself. She changed, grabbing the brush and moisturiser to look after her hair. She sat herself on the edge of the bed, freeing her curls from the hair bands that held them back.
Seth watched her intently as she sectioned her hair, brushing and oiling the first section, then the next. He moved quietly sliding behind her quietly until she was seated in his lap comfortably, they fit like two pieces of a puzzle. He liked the feeling, of her there like that. His larger hands closed around hers, taking the brush from hers.
“Let me?” He murmured, his tone quiet but still that stern one he seemed to wear always.
Orion allowed him control, relaxing under his gentle touch. He brushed her hair, moisturising each section with a loving tenderness that he didn’t realise he possessed. Once he was finished, his fingers massaged her scalp gently; Orion practically sighed at the feeling, the tingles and soft pressure of Seth’s fingers was especially welcomed after such a taxing day. Seth brushed her hair back into a bunch, tying it with the hair bands that she had placed on the bed.
“Alright little st-” Seth began but was cut off by the soft snores of the woman in his lap. He chuckled gently, putting her hair products on the night stand table before placing her in bed under the covers.
He switched off the light, climbing in beside her. She snuggled into him unconsciously, his arms wrapping around her a fraction tighter as he kissed her forehead.
“I love you, my beautiful constellation.”