Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  But apparently it was Tilly’s turn to lose her collective shit. She was crying so hard she was shaking and still talking nonsense, something about their deal and how she’d messed everything up.

  “It’s okay,” Quinn told her, stroking her back, pressing a kiss to her temple. “You’re safe, and the rest will fall into place. It’s going to be okay.”

  Tilly managed to subside into hiccups. “How?” she asked soggily. “How will it fall into place? I’ve ruined your car and your life. You’ll un-sign the papers and go back to L.A.”

  Quinn pulled back just enough to look into Tilly’s face. “Is that what you think? That I’d just walk away from you?” But she could see by Tilly’s expression that she truly feared exactly that.

  And why wouldn’t she? Her dad had walked away. Her mom had left her too, albeit very unwillingly . . . So why shouldn’t Quinn? “Tilly,” she said quietly but with utter steel, as she meant every single word. “I would never leave you. You’re my sister. You’re stuck with me, okay? Through thick and thin. That’s what family means.”

  Tilly stared at her, eyes searching so desperately that Quinn could scarcely breathe. “You really want to stay?”


  “With me.”


  “In Wildstone.”

  Quinn laughed. “Yes! Especially now that I know you’ve got cleaning skills.” She looked around. “You’ve been holding out on me.”

  “You’re choosing Wildstone over L.A.,” Tilly repeated, refusing to be drawn into a good mood.

  Quinn let her smile fade. “I’m choosing you.”


  “No buts. It’s you and me,” Quinn said. “It’s also your choice. If you wanted to go to L.A., we’d do that. We’d live in my condo or figure something else out. But if you want to stay here, that’s fine too. And actually . . .” She met Tilly’s gaze. “So do I.”

  “For reals?”

  “For reals,” Quinn said with a smile.

  “What if you change your mind?”

  “I won’t.”

  “Dad did.”

  “His loss,” Quinn said quietly. “But neither of us is built that way. We don’t walk away from those we love. Ever. And I do love you, Tilly.”

  Tilly eyes spilled over again, but this time Quinn was pretty sure it was relief, not worry or anxiety.

  “I have something for you,” Tilly whispered.

  “A promise to never scare me again?” Quinn asked.

  Tilly grimaced. “I can work on that, but no.”

  “A promise to make me coffee every morning?”

  “A box of your baby clothes,” Tilly said. “My mom—our mom—made them for you.” She gestured to the small chest. “I found it a while ago, which was mean and selfish of me. I’m sorry about that too.”

  Quinn opened the chest and gasped softly. “These are mine?”

  “Handmade,” Tilly said. “She was excited about being pregnant with you. Happy. I don’t know what happened or why that changed, but she was really young.” She met Quinn’s gaze. “I mean if it was me, I wouldn’t be grown up enough to be able to keep a baby, you know?”

  Quinn nodded.

  “I thought you’d want to know that she did want you.”

  Quinn’s eyes shimmered brilliantly and she nodded. “Thanks,” she whispered. “You’re a good sister.”

  Tilly chewed on her lower lip, her gaze saying she hadn’t been a good sister and she knew it. “I wanted to end our trial period a long time ago,” she burst out with. “I just didn’t know how.”

  Sometimes it was the big things. Death. Love. Life. But sometimes it was the small things. A hug. A few words. Quinn set aside the chest of clothes and smiled. “Took you long enough.”

  Tilly let out a low laugh. “We’re not going to have to hug again, are we?”

  “Yes,” Quinn said and hauled her in.

  Her face smushed into Quinn’s shoulder, she asked, “Are we going to have to hug a lot?”

  “Yes. Deal with it,” Quinn said and Tilly smiled against her neck and knew everything was going to work out. Messily, no doubt, but they’d be okay.

  Far more okay than she could’ve hoped for.

  MICK WAS KNEE-DEEP in negotiations with the owner of the Wild West B & B when he got a call from Tom. Mick stepped outside to take it, knowing it wasn’t going to be anything good. Colin had sent him the evidence he’d alluded to in their phone call. A full accounting of expenses Tom had incurred in the past year—which didn’t come close to matching up with his salary. The discrepancy was more than a million dollars.

  He could give it to the county prosecutor’s office and Tom’s fate would be in their hands.

  “Heard you and your girlfriend had an exciting night,” Tom said.

  “What do you want, Tom?”

  “I want what I’ve always wanted. You to go the fuck away and stay away. You were a shitty influence on Boomer all those years ago and you still are. He was doing fine until you came back and now he’s in rehab for fuck’s sake.”

  It took everything Mick had to not refute that statement but he did because Tom didn’t understood Boomer and never would.

  Boomer deserved better.

  “I know that you think you’ve got something on me,” Tom said. “You’re wrong.”

  “If that was true,” Mick said, “you wouldn’t be calling.”

  “Fine. Then let me spell things out for you. If you don’t drop this vendetta against me, you’re going to be sorry.”

  “Am I?” Mick asked, squatting to rub Coop’s belly.

  “You will be when I have Quinn deemed an unfit guardian, and then have Tilly taken away from her and put in foster care.”

  Mick rose to his feet. “Try proving Quinn unfit. She’s an amazing guardian.”

  “Let me remind you that not once but twice now, Tilly’s run away. She’s driven without a license, crashed a car, and damaged county property—while under Quinn’s care. And I’m sure if I think real hard, I can come up with even more charges. I’ve got a lot of influence and pull in this county and you damn well know it.”

  “What I know,” Mick said evenly, “is that you’ve been taking kickbacks instead of providing jobs to this town. That’s on you and no one else.”

  “Even if you manage to prove that and take me down, facts are facts. The girl’s been acting out while under Quinn’s care. On top of everything else, there’s also evidence she’s been shoplifting.”

  “Bullshit,” Mick said. “Where and when?”

  “Let’s just say that if there isn’t evidence of it yet, there will be,” the slimy bastard said. “So stand down, or I take you and yours down with me. Oh, and one more thing. You’re going to stand up at the next town meeting and announce that you’ve reconsidered your position and you’re backing me and my projects one hundred percent.”

  Mick wanted to reach through the phone and punch his smug face. Because now he was faced with either letting his old friends and neighbors down, or watching Quinn be publicly deemed unfit and lose Tilly.

  Neither of which he could let happen.

  QUINN KNEW SOMETHING was wrong when she got a call from Cliff that afternoon. “What’s up?” she asked, immediately moving down the hall to peek into Tilly’s room.

  When she saw the teenager sprawled out on her bed, lost in her own world with headphones on, she took a deep breath.

  No one had run away, stolen the car, crashed the car . . .

  “I just had an odd phone call,” Cliff said. “I was questioned about you and Tilly by someone at the county.”


  “About the legality of your taking guardianship of Tilly,” Cliff said. “Something doesn’t feel right to me. I’m going to look into it, but I wanted to warn you that I think something’s up.”

  Her stomach tightened. She’d had just about all the drama she could take. “Like what?”

  “I don’t know. I’ll call you back tom