When Cat Thomas decided to wait until marriage to have sex, she never thought it would take this long. Now, at 27, she feels like she is the only virgin left in River Pointe, New York. And finding ‘The One’ has gotten harder as she’s gotten older, especially since she’s dated pretty much all the single guys left in her home town, only to have them go running when they find out she’s still a virgin.
Ryder Hawkins wants what every good parent wants – to take care of his little girl. After a rocky relationship with her mother, Ryder moved to River Pointe hoping to find a peaceful life for them, one far from his ex, not that she cares. But Ryder will always wonder if he’s enough for his little girl, especially since she’s seven going on seventeen.
When Cat meets Ryder, she blows him off. Expecting him to be like every other man, she doesn’t have time to be rejected again. Nor does she have the desire. But Ryder won’t give up. There’s something about Cat that he knows is different, and he wants to know what it is. And he won’t stop until he finds out everything about her.
Will Cat ever let Ryder in? Is he the one man who can make her forget her vow? Or will she make him wait for it?
Excerpt from Wait For It
“So, who’s the new guy?” Cat asked with a nod toward the hot guy on the other side of the pool. She didn’t turn around to look at him, but she could feel his gaze on her back.
Lizzy turned and waved. “That’s Ryder Hawkins. He’s Kylie’s dad. You know, Kylie that Sam’s been hanging around with lately. They just moved here from Florida and the girls hit it off. They’re practically inseparable. I’ve met Ryder a few times. He seems like a good guy and Kylie is as sweet as they come.”
“Where is Mrs. Hawkins?”
“Ooh, I see. You think he’s hot.”
“Have you seen the man? How could I not?”
“Oh, yeah, but I’m not allowed to look. And there is no Mrs. Hawkins. He’s single. Would you like me to introduce you?”
Cat smiled at Lizzy but shook her head. “You and I both know there’s no point.”
“Why the heck not?” Lizzy asked incredulously.
“Oh, please Lizzy, look at the guy. Not only is he gorgeous, but he’s obviously experienced. I mean it’s impossible to find someone without more experience than me, but he has a kid. He’s probably been married which means he’ll expect sex all the time. And he has that look about him. He’s confident and sexy, but he’ll be just like all the others, probably even worse since he hasn’t known me forever.”
Lizzy shook her head and said, “Cat, you need some confidence. You are an amazing person. Any man would be lucky to have you.”
“That may be true Lizzy, but as soon as they learn my secret they run. Far and fast. And Ryder won’t be any different. It’s not worth getting involved with someone so close to Sam to have the same inevitable end result. I can’t do that to her.”
“Sam, are you kidding me? You’re going to use my kid as your excuse to not date?”
“It’s not an excuse, Lizzy. If I date Ryder and get close to Kylie then she will tell Sam. Sam will see us together and start to think of us as a couple. When it ends, like it always does, it could get weird around Sam and Kylie, especially if Kylie comes over here when I’m around. She might stop hanging around with Sam if she wants to avoid me and it’ll ruin their friendship. It’s not fair to Sam.”
“Wow, you’re even more messed up than I thought you were,” Lizzy said. “Cat, not every guy is a jerk. You need to give someone a chance. You’re not happy.”
“Yeah, Lizzy, I know. But I don’t need a man to be happy.”
“No, you don’t. But you want one in your life. You want someone to share your life with, to have a family, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Yeah, well, I need to push that dream aside. It’s not going to happen.”
“You never know, Cat. Crap, Aaron is bringing out the cake. I need to get the girls out of the pool so they can sing and eat cake. Then people will start to leave I’m sure. Are you going to hang around after to go through all Sam’s loot?”
“Yeah, I’m hanging around. I don’t have anything to do tonight, of course, so I’ll be here. Maybe I can drink your wine and sleep on your super comfortable couch.”
Lizzy stood up laughing and headed over to where Aaron was setting the cake. Cat watched as they talked for a minute then Aaron went back inside and Lizzy called the girls to get out of the pool. Groans erupted from the ten girls in the pool. Lizzy promised they could get back in the pool after they ate cake and the girls started climbing out.
Aaron returned a moment later with a lighter and quickly illuminated the seven candles on Sam’s purple princess cake. Everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and Lizzy cut the cake with the efficiency of an experienced slicer. All those years volunteering with the PTO bake sales had paid off.
Cat accepted her purple cake and ate in silence, avoiding the moms by ducking into the house to hit the bathroom. She was just not in the mood for anymore of their crap. Valerie was enough.
Cat walked back into the yard with her eyes on her phone. She was waiting for a message from her weekend manager about how the lunch shift had gone. The restaurant should have be in a lull waiting for dinner so she was wondering why Kathy hadn’t called. Cat ran straight into something solid. She felt strong hands steady her before she toppled over in her heels. She knew without looking that she ran straight into the hot guy.