Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  middle of the room feeling helpless. Feeling horribly out of her depth and out of her comfort zone. Hell, she thought, thinking about how she was still stinging from discovering her parents owned half the restaurant where she worked, she didn’t even know what her comfort zone was anymore.

  “It’s me,” Beth said. Clear as day. “I’m your comfort zone.” She was back on the TV, this time in Quinn’s favorite sandals, eating a bowl of ice cream.

  “Where’ve you been?” Quinn demanded. “I kept waiting for you to come visit when I was home in L.A.”

  Beth just smiled and ate her ice cream.

  “The least you could’ve done was bring some for me.”

  “Maybe next time.” Beth’s mouth was curved, but her eyes were serious. “You’re okay, you know.”

  “Am I? Because I’m talking to my dead sister in the middle of the night.”

  There was a knock at her door and Quinn nearly jumped out of her own skin. She glanced back at Beth, but she was gone. Shaking her head at herself, she looked through the peephole.

  Mick held up a brown bag that smelled amazing. “Food,” he said. “And—”

  And nothing because she yanked the door open and walked right into his arms, never more happy to see anyone in her life.

  “Is this because I brought you food?” he asked, setting the food down and pulling her in close, wrapping her up in his warm, strong grip that felt like her only anchor in a world gone crazy. “Yes,” she said and burrowed in, desperate for comfort, which he offered in spades.

  With a low, wordless murmur of reassurance, he nudged them both inside, kicked the door shut and locked it, all without losing contact. “Who were you talking to?”

  She lifted her head and looked at him. “You heard voices?”

  “Just yours.”

  She sighed. “I was talking to Beth.”

  He gave her a long once-over but didn’t tell her that was ridiculous. “Any word on Tilly?”

  “No. How did you hear?”

  “It’s Wildstone,” he said. “The Twitter account sends out texts from the police scans. It’s almost always about a drunken brawl or a bunch of deer eating someone’s crops. But tonight it was about Tilly.”

  Quinn thought of how in L.A. a missing teen wouldn’t even have caused anyone to blink. Chalk one up on the pro column for Wildstone . . . Then she blinked. “So you saw it and drove down from the Bay Area?”

  He lifted a shoulder. “Thought you might need some help.”

  “You knew I’d come.”

  “Of course.”

  Of course. She let out a low laugh. Seemed he knew her even better than she knew herself.

  “You should eat,” he said, mouth against hers. “You need—”

  “This,” she said. Turned out adrenaline and fear could be its own kind of foreplay, and this was one of those times. “I need you.”

  When he opened his mouth to speak, probably to gently push her away, she put her fingers over his mouth. “It’s my birthday,” she admitted. “Or was until an hour ago. I want you to be my present.”

  Their gazes met. He hadn’t shaved that morning, maybe not the morning before either, and there was a darkness to his gaze that suggested she wasn’t the only one spiraling.

  But he shed his sweatshirt and boots without another word and helped her do the same. Then he stripped the rest of his clothing off, making her realize three things. One, he wasn’t remotely shy about being naked. Two, he had no reason to be. And three, he still took her breath away.

  She must have made some sort of sound of approval because he smiled and then divested her of the rest of her clothing as well. And then he tumbled her to the bed.

  She snuggled in close, trying to climb him like a tree, desperate for the contact. His arms closed hard around her as a groan rumbled up from deep in his throat. “Missed this, Quinn. Missed you.” Then he rolled her to her back and kissed her until she clung to him before working his way down her body, down every single inch, so that by the time he got to her personal favorite inch, she was more than halfway gone. He easily nudged her over, and then after protecting them both with a condom, sank into her, taking her outside herself, to a place where there was nothing but this. Him.


  IN HINDSIGHT, TILLY would’ve said she wasn’t good in an emergency of any sort. She tended to panic first, think later. And in a way, that’s just what she did at Dylan’s dad’s house. She panicked. Didn’t think. And hit the man over the head with her glass soda bottle.

  He went down like a sack of rocks.

  “Dylan,” she said on a sob as her legs finally gave way. “Oh my God.” Her vision wavered.

  When she blinked the cobwebs clear, she was outside, Dylan tugging her down the street. A hundred yards from the house, he finally stopped.

  Trembling all over, she sank to the wild grass. Dylan did too, on his knees in front of her, still bleeding and looking pissed.

  “I told you to stay away,” he said grimly. “I told you I didn’t need you or your help.”

  “But you did need me,” she said and reached out to touch the cut over his eye.

  He flinched away. “How did you get here?”


  “Christ,” he muttered and swiped his arm over his bleeding lip. “You’re going to have to go back the same way, and do it now in case anyone calls the cops.”


  “Now, Tilly. Go now.”

  “Why?” She gasped and covered her mouth. “Omigod. Did I kill him?”

  “No.” He pulled her up to her feet and gave her a little push. “You were never here, got it?”

  “But . . .”

  “No, Tilly, for once in your fucking life, listen. I know you have a crush on me, but I’m wrong for you. All wrong. And I’m always going to be wrong for you.” His gaze was fiercely intense, and scared her.

  She shook her head vehemently. “Dylan—”

  “I’m seeing someone else, Tilly, okay? I’m going to handle this, but you’ve got to go and don’t look back.” He turned her away from him and gave her another push. “You don’t know me and I don’t know you. We’re not friends anymore. And remember, you were never here.”

  Her heart had stopped. Just stopped as his words messed with her head. Seeing someone else . . . They weren’t friends anymore . . .

  Fear and hurt filled her, consumed her. She couldn’t leave him. “I can’t, Dylan. I can’t just leave you to take the blame—” She whirled back to him—but he was gone.

  Having no idea what to do or who to call, she pulled out her phone and stared at it.

  You need anything, anything at all, you call me. Day or night.

  Tilly let out a shaky breath and hoped that Quinn had meant it as she hit her number.

  She didn’t know what she expected to happen. She’d ignored all of Quinn’s calls and texts, not to mention Quinn was still in L.A., a lifetime and a galaxy away from here—

  “Tilly,” Quinn answered, sounding worried and yet somehow relieved at the same time. “Are you all right?”

  Was she? She thought about the one time she’d asked Quinn that and she’d said, “Always.” It had stuck with her, that dogged determination, and even, she could admit, impressed her. “Always,” she tried to say but nothing came out.

  “Tilly?” Quinn’s voice was tight. “You there?”


  “Are you all right?”

  “Always,” Tilly whispered.

  “You don’t sound all right. Talk to me.”

  Where did she start? Her mom had died. She’d had to leave the only home she’d ever known. Dylan, who was supposed to be her best friend, had pushed her out of his life and she had no one left to turn to. A sob escaped and she put her hand over her mouth to keep the next one in.

  “Where are you?” Quinn demanded quietly.

  “Paso Robles,” Tilly said. “I . . . need you.”

  “I’m twenty minutes away, getting into