Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  He blew out a sigh. “I want to mean it, does that count?”

  She shook her head in temper and whipped around, heading to her bedroom.

  “Where are you going?”

  “For pants!”

  “Don’t do that on my account.”



  “Shut up.” She shoved herself into a pair of jeans and moved back to the living room.

  “So who is he?” he asked.

  “None of your business.”

  “Come on,” he said. “I’ve got eyes in my head. He’s someone to you.”

  “More than a wild oat,” she agreed, and that it was true no longer surprised her. “He’s an engineer from the Bay Area. He doesn’t live here either, his mom does. He’s helping her remodel her house and then he’s out.”

  Brock took this in. “So . . . you’ve once again got yourself an out clause? Nicely done, Q.”

  Not a can of worms she intended to open, not with him. “Why are you here, Brock? The truth.”

  He ran a hand over his head and gave her a sheepish grin. “I came because your mom pleaded with me to talk some sense into you, but somehow when you opened the door and I saw your wild oat standing behind you with that bite mark on his neck, I talked myself into fighting for you instead.”

  Oh dear God. She’d left a bite mark on Mick? “You’re not the fighting type.”

  “Yeah, the urge was temporary,” Brock admitted. “I mean when the guy opened the door minus his shirt and with you in it, the first thing I felt was jealous.”

  “So that’s why you kissed me.”

  He nodded. “But then you didn’t respond to it and I felt . . .”

  She raised a brow.


  She smacked him in the chest and he let out an “oof” and caught her hand in his as he flashed her a grin, which slowly faded. “I know I’ve hurt you. I was an ass to not hold on to you harder.”

  “Not all your fault,” she said. “Not nearly.”

  “No hard feelings?”

  “Never,” she said and walked into his arms. They hugged hard and Quinn spent a moment grieving for what would never be: having Beth alive to grow old with, having Brock as her “maybe,” and . . . a life in L.A.

  Because she got it now, 100 percent. She hadn’t spoken to Tilly about leaving Wildstone for L.A. because . . .

  She didn’t want to go.

  She wanted this life.

  She wanted Tilly in this life.

  And she also wanted Mick.

  “About effing time,” Beth said, laughter in her voice.

  Quinn looked behind her but there was no Beth. Except for in her own head.

  Brock pulled back, his face full of affection and regret. “I do love you, Quinn.”

  “I know,” she said. “I love you too.”

  In what was actually the most tender moment they’d ever had, he leaned in and kissed her softly. “Want to go get something to eat?”

  “I know you just drove three hours to get here,” she said. “But I have something I really need to do.”

  Brock gave her a small smile. “A half-naked, pissed-off dude in a truck?”


  Twenty minutes later, Quinn located Mick standing in his dad’s garage, hands on his hips. When he was tired, he wore the look he had now. Wary, as if maybe he couldn’t count on his normal sharp instincts to function well enough on autopilot.

  Although she wouldn’t tell him so, she liked him best this way, a little worn and weary, a little rough around the edges. He was so different from any man she’d ever met. “Hey,” she said.

  He glanced over at her and didn’t say a word. Nor did he give away any of his thoughts, though she figured he was angry. He’d found shoes and a shirt, and appeared to be getting ready to paint.

  “I’m sorry about earlier,” she said, coming into the garage. “I didn’t know he was coming, or that he’d say he was my fiancé. He thought he was being funny.”

  “Did he.”

  Quinn moved to his side and met his gaze. Definitely angry. “I’m sorry,” she said again. “I could’ve handled that better. It’s just that Brock and I go way back, we’ve been friends forever.”

  “Friends. And lovers,” he said. “He’s the one you broke up with after . . .”

  “. . . Beth’s death.” She nodded. “Yeah. That’s him. But we aren’t sleeping together.”

  “That kiss said otherwise.”

  She sighed. “He did that to piss you off. It didn’t mean anything. We broke up years ago.”

  “Two,” he said. “And you’re missing my point. You were with him until your world caved in, and then you two fell apart. Not because you fell out of love, but because you felt you couldn’t love.”

  “No,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re reading this wrong. My relationship with him has no bearing on the one between you and me.”

  He nodded. “Yeah, see, I’m not sure you understand what constitutes a relationship. You’re either in or you’re out with someone, Quinn. I thought after the other night on the bluffs . . .” He shook his head. “Never mind.”

  “Look,” she said, starting to panic that she was messing this up. “Whatever you think you saw between me and Brock, you’re wrong.”

  “Maybe. Or maybe I was wrong about what’s happening between us.” And with that, he began to paint, dipping the roller brush into the tray, carefully and methodically painting the wall in front of him, his broad shoulders stretching taut the seams of his T-shirt.

  Quinn watched his effortless movements for a long moment but he didn’t look at her again. She found her temper at that. No, he wasn’t wrong about what had been happening between them, but she didn’t know what she was doing. She needed help because she was . . . lost. But hell no would she ask, so she spun on a heel and walked away.

  And he let her.

  Chapter 30

  Anyone who doesn’t agree that leggings are pants can physically fight me. I’ll win because I have a full range of motion due to the fact that I’m wearing leggings as pants.

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

  Mick stood in his dad’s garage, heart thudding dully, unable to think straight. Okay, yes, it had been sheer, stupid bruised ego that had let her walk away. The truth was that Quinn had been up front about her inability to love him. If his feelings had started to change—which, given the sharp pain in his chest, they had—that was all on him.

  Not her.

  As was the fact that he’d let those feelings take root, deep root. He’d dropped his walls. Been a long time since he’d let that happen. And that made him an idiot. He set down the paint roller and stood there, Coop at his feet, both of them staring at the wall he hadn’t yet covered, the one with the damn white outlines of the still-missing tools.

  Mick’s dad had been controlling as hell, and as a result, Mick had made it a point to never tell people what to do with their lives, including their love lives.

  So he hadn’t been about to start with Quinn. She was a big girl. She either wanted him for keeps or she didn’t.

  And hell.

  She clearly didn’t.

  Which was undoubtedly for the best and meant that she was smarter than he was. His life was far from here and far from her. It had also been a long time since he’d had anything more than casual, and he wasn’t about to start with a woman he couldn’t see when he wanted to see her. In his experience, absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder. Absence made people do stupid things.

  Like cheat.

  “There you are,” his mom said, stepping into the garage. Coop gave a low, excited “wuff.”

  “I heard you drive up,” she said while simultaneously hugging Coop, “but then you vanished.” She beamed up at Mick. “I’m so happy about what you’re doing in Wildstone.”

  “Mom.” He took her hands, which were fluttering around in excitement. “It’s not what you thi