Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  She wished she had half his calm. “Yes, she is going to kill me. And if for some reason she doesn’t, she’s going to run to L.A. even faster now, without looking back.”

  “You stole her car, Tee. You crashed it into a tree and demolished both. I’m not sure what the hell you were thinking, but you must’ve known you were pretty much saying fuck you when you took her car without permission, not to mention without a driver’s license.”

  Is that what she’d been doing? Trying to push Quinn away before Quinn did it first? Yes. Yes, okay, fine, that’s exactly what she’d been doing, which made her . . . a child.

  Her head was killing her from the cut above her eyebrow, but they said she didn’t have a concussion, just a broken arm.

  The ER nurse had called her lucky. Tilly laughed bleakly at the thought of being lucky. She hadn’t been lucky a single day of her godforsaken life.

  Except maybe the day Quinn had come into it . . .

  The thought made her want to cry. Luckily she never cried. At least not that she’d admit to. “How did you get so smart?” she asked Dylan.

  “The smartest girl I know taught me.”

  She snorted. “Maybe she’s not really all that.”

  “She is.”

  She blew out a sigh. “I don’t know why I did it. I wanted to stop hurting. I wanted to be somewhere I’m wanted—”

  “Tee,” Dylan whispered, voice pained.

  She shook her head, unable to say anything else.

  “From what you’ve told me, you’re like her, you know,” Dylan said. “Quinn. You’re both stubborn. Single-minded.” He paused and smiled. “And always sure you’re right . . .”

  “I don’t know why I called you.”

  “. . . beautiful.”

  She met his warm gaze.

  “Courageous,” he whispered.

  Her throat got tighter.

  “Cares about other people like no one else I know,” he went on and paused. “I think you got scared because you’re afraid to believe in love.”

  “Well, look who’s talking,” she managed.

  Holding eye contact, he set a hand on either side of her hips and leaned in. “You’ve been sweet and kind and patient with me, Tilly.”

  She couldn’t tear her eyes from his, so deep and dark and full of the haunting, hollow experiences he’d had in his life, none of which had anything to do with sweet and kind and patient. “It’s easy to be those things with you,” she said. “I love you, Dylan.”

  He closed his eyes briefly, as though both pained and moved, and then he looked at her again. “I know you do. And I’m even starting to believe it. I love you too, Tilly.”

  Completely melted, she lifted her one good arm and set her hand on his biceps. “Dylan—”

  “So maybe you can try to be as kind and sweet and patient with Quinn,” he said. “Because she’s going to barrel in here any second now, frightened, freaked, and half out of her mind.”

  “How do you know?”

  “Because that’s how I felt when you called me.”

  Guilt swamped Tilly. Guilt and remorse, because she hadn’t even called Quinn herself, she’d let the cop do it.

  They were still staring at each other when Quinn came running into the room looking just like Dylan had said—frightened, freaked, and half out of her mind.

  “Oh my God,” Quinn said, tears in her voice as she rushed to the bed.

  Dylan backed away, making room for her. She cupped Tilly’s face, staring at the butterfly bandage over her eye, taking in the cast on her arm. “Oh my God.”

  “You already said that,” Tilly said.

  Chuck had come in behind Quinn. Probably he’d given her a ride.

  Tilly met Chuck’s gaze and he gave her a very small, relieved smile.

  Quinn expelled a breath of air like she’d been holding her breath for too long. And then to Tilly’s horror, Quinn’s eyes filled with tears.

  “No,” Tilly said. “No, no, no . . . there’s no crying allowed in the hospital. It’s a rule, I swear it!”

  “Are you okay?” Quinn demanded.

  “Yeah.” She swallowed hard. “I’m sorry about your car.”

  “Forget the car,” Quinn said and hugged her tight.

  So tight she couldn’t draw in air. “Um, you’re squeezing me pretty tight—”

  Quinn’s arms tightened even more.

  “Okay,” Tilly squeaked out and patted Quinn awkwardly on the back. “Okay, but I. Can’t. Breathe—”

  “I was worried sick about you!”

  Over Quinn’s shoulder, Tilly met Dylan’s gaze, the one that said I told you so. She tried to sigh but couldn’t draw a breath. “No, really, I don’t need any air or anything—”

  “Do you have any idea what could have happened?” Quinn demanded, voice quivering. “You could’ve—” When she broke off, clearly unable to speak, the reality of the situation hit Tilly.

  Quinn had lost Beth in a car accident. The loss had devastated her, and now Tilly’s stupidity and selfishness had brought back all the pain and horror and shock.

  She was the biggest jerk on the planet, and knowing it, wrapped her arms around Quinn and returned the hug. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry for . . .” Well, everything. But before she could say it, a nurse bustled in, doing her nurse thing.

  After checking Tilly for what felt like the thousandth time, she said, “I’m getting your release papers ready. We’ve got some paperwork to go over.”

  It was an hour and a half before they actually got to leave. Then they spent another half an hour at the pharmacy.

  The car ride home was tense.

  Quinn had said very little after hugging Tilly tight enough to crack her ribs. She was vibrating with tension and emotions though, and Tilly wished she’d just let them loose but had no idea how to make that happen.

  Chuck dropped them off at the house, where they found Mick waiting for them on the porch. Mick hugged both Quinn and Tilly, and they went inside, Mick moving to the kitchen to give them some privacy.

  Quinn stood in the living room and tossed her purse to the coffee table before putting her hands on her hips and staring down at her shoes.

  Tilly stood there uncertainly. She wanted to sneak away to her bedroom, pull the covers over her head, and wait for her mom to come bring her hot chocolate.

  But that wasn’t going to happen.

  Quinn finally seemed to find her words. “Running away is never the answer, Tilly.”

  Tilly was smart enough to know that already, but she wasn’t smart enough to keep her mouth shut. “You ran away from L.A. and your parents.”

  Quinn gaped at her like a fish for a moment. “I didn’t run away! I ran to something. To someone, as a matter of fact. A someone who doesn’t seem to give a shit.”

  Tilly’s stomach hit her toes. “I—”

  “Oh, no. You had your chance to speak and you chose to open a can of worms, so let’s do this,” Quinn said. Actually, yelled. She was totally yelling. And also crying, which made Tilly feel like the biggest asshat on the planet.

  “Maybe you don’t realize it,” Tilly said. “But you’re talking in all caps.”

  “Do you think this has been easy for me?” Quinn pressed a hand to her own chest. Or at least that’s what Tilly thought she said, but Quinn was an open-mouthed crier and it was getting harder and harder to understand her.

  “I know nothing about raising someone! But I’m trying, okay? And I get that I fail a lot, but I’m not going anywhere. You hear me, Tilly? I get that I’m not Carolyn, not even close, but you know what? I’m willing to try for second best because sometimes that’s just how life works. But you have to meet me halfway.”

  Tilly opened her mouth but Quinn jabbed a finger at her and kept talking. “I never got to ask Carolyn questions, and I have questions, Tilly. I mean, did she also have one foot that was half a size bigger than the other? Or get murderous urges during PMS? And how about love, huh? Did she suck at