Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  But then Quinn gave him a shove in his chest much in the same way Lena did with Boomer. In fact, Lena pushed Boomer toward his truck. “Go,” she said.

  “I’ll go when you go.”

  She blew out a breath and climbed into his truck—leaving her car—and gave Boomer a “get the hell in here too” look.

  Boomer got behind the wheel and peeled out, not looking back.

  Mick’s mom brought Mick and Quinn inside. She introduced herself to Quinn and then went straight to her liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle that looked identical to the one on the table, with the exception that this one was full. She handed it to Quinn.

  “What’s this?” she asked.

  “My secret recipe.”

  “Pretty color,” Quinn said, holding the bottle up to the light and admiring it.

  Mick, still pissed off, found a rough laugh. “Don’t let the color fool you. It’s moonshine.”

  “For the rough days,” his mom said.

  “For every day then,” Quinn said.

  Chapter 24

  I’ve learned that you can’t make everyone happy, you’re not a bowl of ice cream.

  —from “The Mixed-Up Files of Tilly Adams’s Journal”

  After the “thing” and Mick’s and Boomer’s fight, Quinn went back to the café to help close up for the day. Dylan was there, and he’d turned out to be a diligent and hard worker, helping Greta and Trinee like he’d been there forever. She already couldn’t remember what they’d done without him.

  She was in the kitchen making a shopping list when there was yet another knock at the back door. What now? she thought and turned to look.

  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said.

  Lena lifted a basket. “I’ve got something for Greta.”

  “Let me repeat,” Quinn said. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

  “Actually,” Lena said. “I rarely kid.”

  Greta came into the kitchen and gestured Lena in, excitedly peering into the basket. “Is that what I think it is?”

  “My homemade honey-ginger tea for your sister,” Lena said. “You said it helped her asthma, so I brewed up some more for you to send to her.”

  “Brewed in your caldron, you mean?” Quinn asked politely.

  Dylan, from where he stood at the sink doing dishes, snorted, but when Quinn looked at him, he was head down, concentrating on his task.

  Greta took in Lena and Quinn with narrowed eyes. “If I leave the two of you alone in the kitchen, you’re not going to have a fistfight like your boys did, right?”

  Lena grinned. “I don’t know. It’s been a long time since I had a good fight.”

  Quinn rolled her eyes. “We’ll be fine,” she told Greta.

  When they were alone, Lena’s smile fell from her face. “So. About before.”

  “You mean when you tried to cajole Mick back to you by getting his mom involved?” Quinn asked. “Romantic, by the way.”

  “Hey, romantic is long, slow walks down every aisle at Target.” Lena put her hands on her hips. “Now are you going to back off Mick or not?”


  “I’m going to be honest with you,” Lena said. “You’re a real pain in my ass.”

  “I’m not going to exchange blows with you in the dirt,” Quinn said.

  Lena’s mouth quirked. “Good, because your skinny ass would lose.”

  Quinn sighed. “So where do we go from here?”

  “Well, we start with you giving him up.”

  Quinn laughed, but sobered when she realized Lena was serious. “He’s not mine to give up, Lena.”

  Lena looked happy at that, and Quinn shook her head. “Look, I don’t know what you think’s going on between him and me, and I’m not going to discuss it with you, but Mick’s a big boy. You can’t manipulate him into wanting you.”

  “I don’t have to,” Lena said. “He just needs to be reminded of how good it was back then, before I messed it up.”

  Quinn set down her pad of paper. It was that or smack herself in the head with it. Repeatedly. “Everyone makes mistakes, Lena.”


  “Sometimes all that’s left to do is learn from them and move on.”

  Lena looked at her for a long minute. “You’re talking about Boomer.”

  “I saw how he looked at you,” Quinn said. “I think he loves you. And I saw how you looked at him when he stood up after the fight. You were worried about him. He’s important to you.”

  Lena’s smug smile slipped. “Mick’s important to me too, always has been. And not that this is any of your business but I recently figured something out . . . I need him.”


  “Because when I was with him . . . that was the last time my life worked.”

  Before Quinn could figure out a response to that, Lena was gone.

  “There’s a big difference between want and need,” she muttered to herself, picking her pad and pen back up. “I mean, I want a bikini body, but I need chicken nuggets.”

  THE NEXT MORNING was a wash and repeat of the morning before, meaning Quinn woke up and got Tilly moving. Not an easy prospect, the girl liked her sleep, a lot.

  She dropped Tilly off at school. Well, correction, she dropped Tilly off at the corner of the school, where she walked in because, oh yeah, she was embarrassed to be seen with Quinn.

  After a shift at the café that was just as crazy as any other but thankfully minus the fire department, Quinn was back at the house. She was in the middle of stocking the fridge so they wouldn’t have to continue to eat PB and J and crackers when her phone rang.

  She’d already spoken to Chef Wade, her parents, and Brock. None of those phone calls had been easy since she’d had to admit that she had no idea how long she was going to be here in Wildstone. She’d also spoken to Skye, who’d made plans to drive up on her next day off to visit.

  But the call wasn’t from her parents, Brock, or Skye.

  It was Cliff.

  “What now?” Quinn answered with her heart in her throat. Tilly was still at school, at least as far as she knew.

  “Just calling to see how it’s going,” he said.

  “Would you believe that I have absolutely no idea?” She cocked her head, because wait a minute . . . she could hear the chickens. They were making noise, a lot of noise, much more than usual. And how weird was it that she could tell it was different from their regular clucking? She moved to the back door and peered out.

  There was a cat ogling the hens. She could see the poor thing looked scrawny as hell, but that didn’t mean she wanted it to feast on the hens.

  “Just remember that Tilly doesn’t deal well with authority,” Cliff said.

  “Gee, Cliff, that’s brand-new information.”

  He chuckled. “Just be clear with your expectations and give her guidelines.”

  “I hear you,” Quinn said, stepping out onto the porch. “But I’m not a miracle worker.”

  “If you need anything, you know where to find me,” he said.

  “Okay, but I’ve got a question—what if I’m the one who needs guidelines?” she asked but Cliff was already gone.

  She shoved the phone into her pocket and crouched down. “Here, kitty kitty,” she said and held out a hand to the cat eyeing the hens.

  It was brown. Or maybe just dirty. Its fur stuck up in clumps, like it was too much for it to keep up with.

  She—Quinn thought the cat seemed like a she—craned her neck and gave Quinn a level look through one good eye. Her other was at half-mast, giving her a somewhat inebriated expression that showed no fear but a lot of attitude.

  “Don’t tell me,” she said. “You’re fifteen too.”

  The ragamuffin cat dismissed her and turned back to the hens, who were still squawking like mad.

  “Zip it,” Quinn told the chickens. “If you’d just shut the hell up, I’d get her out of here.”

  The cat sat, tucking her tail around her body like she was a quee