Waylaid by Ruth J. Hartman
Addy Lafollette has a plan. College. Veterinary school. Then way down the road, marriage and kids. Her plan doesn’t include getting involved with someone before she even leaves for college. But gorgeous Graham throws a glitch in her well thought out life. Graham Stewart is content to float through life working on his uncle’s farm, hanging with friends, and pitching for the local softball team. He’s never had a reason to get serious about much. Until Addy. Life becomes a quest to convince her to stay in town, with him, when all Addy wants is to leave for college to implement her plan. Can Addy find a way to be with Graham without giving up her dreams?
How does a girl choose between her dream and true love?
I tensed, not really wanting to hear her answer, so afraid it might not include me. Us.
Addy raised one shoulder in a shrug. “The plan was always to go to college, meet someone there, and get… married after graduation. But you, Mr. Stewart have ruined that.”
“I have?” Something inside me leaped for joy. Did that mean she’d changed her mind about going away to college? Was she not going to leave me after all?
“So… when I go to college…”
She was still going? My heart sank so low I thought it might not stop.
“It will be harder to leave than I… thought.”
I rubbed her back, making slow circles below her shoulder blades. “Addy, going away to college. It’s that important to you?”
“It really is. Is that so hard to understand?”
“I just never saw the point, I guess. I tried a few classes when I got out of high school but didn’t have anything I really wanted to go into. I mainly went to play sports.”
She pulled away just enough to peer up at me. “That’s where we’re different, I guess. There’s this need inside of me to keep learning. Keep growing.”
“Uh-huh.” I wished she’d stop pointing out our differences. My heart only wanted us to be together. Do everything together. Not be apart.
“I’ve just always had this vision of me being a vet, you know? Haven’t you ever wanted something so bad it almost hurt?”
I nodded. You. You’re what I want. The only thing I want.
“So college is the only way to make my dream come true.”
“Which… is coming up soon, right?” My voice had a raspy sound that made me feel too vulnerable.
Addy pulled away and looked at me. “About ten weeks.”
“Wow… that fast?”
“Yeah.” She touched my cheek then ran her finger down the side of my neck, giving me chills.
“So then, you’re upset because…”
She shook her head.
“Addy, you can tell me anything.”
“I’m upset because…” Her voice lowered to a whisper. I leaned closer to hear. “Graham, I don’t want to leave you.” Fresh tears coursed down her cheeks.
I pulled her close again and tucked her head beneath my chin. “Shh. It’s okay.”
“No it’s not.” The last word came out as a sob.
“It will be. We’ll work it out.”
“What’s to work out?”
I sighed. “I don’t know.” There had to be something. Anything!
“You’re upset too, aren’t you?” Her arms went around my back and she gave a light squeeze.
“Yeah.” I swallowed, the movement bumping her cheek. “I… I don’t want you to… I’m going to miss…”
She gazed up at me, pulled her hands from behind me and placed them on either side of my face. “Graham, I—”
I kissed her, very lightly at first. Then it was like something took hold of me. A desperation. All of my senses were on high alert and I couldn’t get enough of her. She grabbed my shirt front and tugged me down on top of her.
Ruth J. Hartman spends her days herding cats, and her nights spinning sweet romantic tales that make you smile, giggle or laugh out loud. She, her husband, and their three cats, love to spend time curled up in their recliners watching old Cary Grant movies. Well, the cats, Maxwell, Roxy and Remmie, sit in the people's recliners. Not that the cats couldn't get their own furniture. They just choose to shed on someone else's. You know how selfish those little furry creatures can be.
Ruth, a left-handed, cat-herding, Jeep-driving, farmhouse-dwelling romance writer uses her goofy sense of humor as she writes tales of lovable, klutzy women and the men who adore them. Ruth's husband and best friend, Garry, reads her manuscripts, rolls his eyes at her weird story ideas, and loves her in spite of her penchant for insisting all of her books have at least one cat in them. Or twelve. But hey, who's counting?
Ruth J Hartman