Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  Quinn went to work, shocked by the sheer number of people who showed up for breakfast. “Where do all these people come from every day?” she asked in amazement to a running-harried Trinee.

  “Truckers, ranchers, surfers, tourists,” she said, picking up her table’s food. “We get ’em all.”

  It amazed Quinn. The place was run on a shoestring budget with antiquated equipment and—in her opinion—an antiquated menu, and yet it was widely beloved.

  And then there was the other thing. She’d never worked harder in any kitchen than she had in this one on the few times she’d been cooking here, but . . . it was something she’d never expected—satisfying.

  There was a knock at the back door and Quinn turned to see Dylan standing there. “Hey,” she said. “What’s up? Tilly okay?”

  “Yeah,” he said, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Or I think so. I haven’t seen her today. I have one less class than she does.”

  “Okay,” Quinn said and paused. “Are you hungry? Do you need breakfast?”

  Dylan’s eyes moved hungrily to the range. “I’m here to start work,” he said, surprising her.

  “Um . . . what?”

  His gaze slid to hers. “Tilly told me I start work today. The busboy position. It’s still open?”

  Quinn blinked as she realized she’d once again been bamboozled by a far-too-sharp fifteen-year-old. If only the girl used her powers for good . . . “I thought the job was for Tilly.”

  “I’ve bussed before, I’ve got experience.”

  Trinee shoved her head in from the dining room and yelled, “I need some damn help out here, the crowd’s getting restless and I can’t do it all by my damn self.”

  Quinn turned to Dylan. “It’s an insane asylum. Why would you want to work here?”

  He looked at the stove and then met her gaze again. “I’ve always been pretty passionate about not starving to death.”

  Her heart squeezed hard. Dammit. She was so used to not feeling a single thing. And now here she was feeling . . . everything. All the damn time. Before she knew it, she’d probably be crying at tampon commercials. “Welcome aboard,” she said, and insisted he eat a large plate of food she made up for him before he went to work.

  He inhaled every bite and that tugged at her heart too.

  When the crowd finally thinned several hours later, she stepped out into the dining room and to her surprise, the patrons applauded.

  Okay, so it was mostly the geriatric crowd: Lou, Hank, and Big Hank, but still. Laughing, she took a bow.

  “Hey, nice job,” Lou called out. “You didn’t get stung by a bee, beaten up by a chicken, or need an ambulance or fire truck today.”

  She took another bow and when she straightened, caught sight of the tall, handsome man walking into the place, hair wind tousled, dark lenses covering his eyes.


  Her silly heart skipped a damn beat as he pushed the glasses to the top of his head and sought out her gaze. “Thought you could use a lift.”

  “A lift?” she asked.

  His mouth was solemn and serious, but there was something much lighter and amused in his gaze. “Yeah. To the thing,” he said meaningfully.

  Her entire body quivered in anticipation. “Oh, that’s right,” she said, untying her apron. “The thing. Give me a sec.”

  She whirled and rushed into the kitchen, tossing her apron aside.

  Greta and Trinee stood there side by side, brows up. “The thing?” Greta asked. “What is this thing?”

  Quinn tried to be cool, but let’s face it, she’d never been cool a day in her life. Worse, she couldn’t control her sudden smile. “Oh, it’s just a thing.”

  Trinee gave Gerta a knowing glance. “Uh-huh. When you and I go to a”—she used air quotes—“‘thing,’ I smile like that too.”

  FIVE MINUTES LATER, Mick had Quinn in his car, heading up the highway along the coast. He had a million other things he should be doing, but he didn’t care. He had the windows down, the ocean breeze blowing in, stirring Quinn’s hair, teasing him with the scent of her shampoo.

  “I’ve never seen you drive anything but a truck,” she said.

  “The truck’s my dad’s. I usually drive it in Wildstone when I’m working at the house because it’s more convenient for hauling materials. And also because Coop likes it better than this.”

  Quinn looked at the dog in the rearview mirror. “He doesn’t seem to be having a problem enjoying himself.”

  And true enough, Coop had his entire head out the window, eyes and jowls flattened back by the wind, making him look like an alien.

  Quinn laughed, and Mick discovered he liked the sound of that almost as much as he liked the scent of her hair. But he knew what he liked even more than both of those things, and that was the taste of her.

  To that end, he pulled off the highway and drove them along a private road up the bluffs and stopped facing the ocean.

  “Wow,” Quinn said, sounding awed. “What a gorgeous view. Where are we?”

  “This property used to be a small, local family-run winery. It’s thirty acres of dust crop now, with several run-down buildings.”

  “They went bankrupt?”

  “They were headed that way,” he said. “They started some renovations that the city objected to and they got their permits rescinded. But they were already tens of thousands of dollars into the renovations. They were going to have to declare bankruptcy.”

  “How awful for them.”

  “Yeah. Then the vultures descended with ridiculously low-ball offers.”

  She stared at him. “And you . . . did something. To help . . . Yeah,” she said, studying him, cocking her head to do it too.

  It was pretty fucking sexy. And cute. “I bought the place.”

  “Not for an undercut price,” she said, sounding so sure of him that it did something to his gut.

  “I always pay fair market value,” he said. “Only part of the reason that the city manager isn’t happy with me.”

  “Why would he care?”

  “He’s the main vulture.” Colin had called him with the news. It seemed that Wildstone’s city manager might be taking kickbacks from outside builders and businesses—at the expense of the locals. “He likes to use his position and power to learn which properties are in trouble, and then he does his best to make it worse for them, and when they’re at rock bottom he comes in and buys for pennies on the dollar.”

  “Isn’t that illegal?”

  “If he’s caught at it.”

  “So you’re going to run a winery,” she said, looking at him like he was some kind of hero instead of just a solid businessman.

  “No,” he said. “I’m going to fund the renovations and then the original owners are going to lease it back and run it.” Without the heavy mortgage and the second and third loans they’d had out on the place, which had been running them into the ground. They were good people who’d run into bad times, but the bottom line was that the property was a good investment for him, one of several he’d made over the past year.

  “You know them?” Quinn asked.

  “Everyone knows everyone out here, at least loosely.”

  “Hmm,” she said and kept watching him.


  “I think it’s cute that you bought this land to keep a local winery intact.”

  “And because it’s a win-win for me,” he repeated.

  “I still think it’s pretty damn sweet of you.” She paused. “Or are you one of those guys who think sweet threatens his . . .” She gestured to his crotch.

  He grinned. “I’m willing to go with sweet if that turns you on.”

  Her gaze dropped to his mouth as she licked her own lips. “Is this where we get to the . . . thing?”

  In answer, he scooted his seat back as far as it would go and hauled her over the console and into his lap so that she was straddling him.

  Coop gave one happy bark, excited at the possibility of a wrestle sessio