Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  “We figured it all out. I’m the one with the biggest dental problems. But I can’t afford a dentist, see? So I’ll get free dental.” He beamed. “Win-win.”

  The others nodded in unison again. “And if Joe kicks the bucket before his time’s up,” Big Hank said, “I’ll offer to finish it up for him. My lease is coming up next year and they’re going to raise the rent on me anyway.”

  Mick craned his neck and looked at Quinn, seeming just as amused/horrified/touched as he was. She moved to his side and slipped her hand in his.

  “I’m honored,” Mick said. “But there’s no way I’m letting any of you go to jail for me. And how did you even know what was going on anyway?”

  “Shoot, you’ve been gone from Wildstone too long if you don’t know how this works,” Joe said with a snort. “Lou’s niece’s boyfriend’s sister works in the city offices. The city manager yelled at her last week for spilling his coffee and made her cry. She’s the one that bugged the office using the spy kit. Plus, he slept with the county recorder’s wife—her sister. That’s what everyone’s saying anyway.”

  “Well, then it must be true,” Mick said with a straight face.

  Joe nodded. “The bastard is done.”

  “I appreciate that,” Mick said. “But none of you are going to jail for me. We’re going to give the justice system a chance to handle this.”

  “Can we go downtown and beat him up?” Joe asked.

  “If we stop for doughnuts first,” Lou said. “What,” he said defensively at Hank’s long look. “I’m hungry.”

  “Revenge, then food,” Joe said. “You in, Mick?”

  Mick looked at Quinn. “I don’t need revenge.” He looked at Quinn. “And if you’ll all excuse me, I’ve got something much better to do anyway. I’ve got a hot date with the woman of my dreams.”

  And then, to the hoots and hollering of their audience, he hooked an arm low on Quinn’s hips, his other hand coming up to slide into her hair to hold her head where he wanted her as he kissed the thoughts right out of her head. When he pulled back, he smiled into her undoubtedly dazed face as someone rode down the hallway on a bike.

  Someone with a cast on one arm. “Nice ‘talk,’” Tilly said.

  “You rode over here with only one good arm?” Quinn asked, horrified. “What’s wrong?”

  “Nothing. I made dinner, but you left your phone, so I couldn’t call you. I thought you didn’t need a man.”

  “She doesn’t,” Mick said. “Truth is, I need her. In fact, I need your sister like I’ve never needed anyone or anything in my whole life. And,” he went on, smiling into Quinn’s face as he reached out and hooked an arm around Tilly’s neck and dragged her into the hug too. “I’m pretty fond of her nosy, know-it-all sister too.”

  Tilly snorted but she also melted a little, Quinn could tell. She felt her eyes burn even as she laughed and held tight to the two most important people in her life. “I love you both,” she said fiercely. “So much.”

  Tilly sighed with dramatic flair. “You promised no more hugs.”

  “Didn’t promise no more kisses,” Quinn said and kissed her face all over while Tilly squirmed and yelled, “Ew!” Quinn kissed Mick’s face too and that also grossed out Tilly.

  “Right in front of me?” she asked.

  Quinn smiled up at Mick. “We’re a team.”

  “A team,” Mick said. “Tilly?”


  “You okay with me loving your sister and making her mine, since I’m already hers?”

  “Seriously. You two have a problem.”

  “Yes or no, Tilly,” Mick said, eyes locked on Quinn.

  Tilly blew out a sigh, but she couldn’t quite hide her pleasure at being asked. “Sure,” she finally said. “But you should know, she hugs way too much.”

  Mick smiled into Quinn’s eyes. “A team,” he said, repeating her words. “We’re in it together, always.”

  “Always,” she whispered back. She didn’t hear Beth’s voice in her head, and hadn’t since her sister had said good-bye, but she felt a warm peace settle over her as the last piece of her heart clicked back into place.


  Six Months Later

  Quinn found one of Mick’s shirts in her laundry and it made her smile. He hadn’t left it for her to do. She’d stolen it.

  On the nights he was in San Francisco, Quinn slept in it. It should’ve felt like a silly, juvenile thing to do, but wearing it gave her comfort.

  When she’d washed and folded the laundry, she opened the drawer in her dresser that she’d designated as his. She wasn’t even sure how it had happened, but it made her smile as she crouched down and scooted a pair of his basketball shorts aside to make room for the shirt and . . .

  Exposed a little black box.

  A jewelry box.

  She stared at it, whispered, “Oh my God,” and then shut the drawer like she’d seen a bomb. A ticking bomb.

  “Did you say something?” Tilly asked, passing by on the way to her bedroom. She had blue streaks in her hair, like the ones Quinn had worn when she’d first gotten to Wildstone—courtesy of Lena, of course.

  “Nope,” Quinn said, shaking her head. “Didn’t say anything. Not one little thing. Nothing. Nada. Zip . . .”

  Tilly narrowed her eyes and stepped into the room. “Try it again without looking guilty as hell.”

  Quinn pointed at the drawer. “I found a box. A little box. A little black box.”

  Brows up, Tilly came into the room. The past six months had been good for all of them. Tom Nichols was in jail for collusion and an assortment of other charges that would keep him in a cell for five to seven years. Dylan’s mom had been able to make charges against his dad stick and he was also currently sitting out the next few years in jail, making license plates for the state of California. This meant that Dylan didn’t have to work for the guy digging ditches. He was still working at the café—which was more popular than ever—and talking about trying for a scholarship at a local tech college when he graduated.

  Tilly was doing better than Quinn could have asked for. Her grades had held firm, and she had her eye on a liberal arts school in San Francisco. She was quicker to smile and laugh these days, for which Quinn was grateful. She was also driving, legally, and giving Quinn gray hair.

  Which Lena helped her hide with highlights—not blue.

  Tilly moved to Quinn’s side and crouched down in front of the drawer. “Show me.”

  Quinn opened the drawer, where together they stared at the box.

  “It could be a bracelet or something,” Tilly said.

  “You think?”


  Quinn sat on the floor because her knees were weak. “Well, since I’m already sitting . . .” She reached for the box.

  “Figured you wouldn’t be able to help yourself,” Mick said from behind them.

  With a gasp, Quinn jerked around and tilted her head back to stare up at him, the damning evidence in her hand.

  “Go ahead,” he said. “Try it on. You know you want to.”

  “She really does,” Tilly said.

  Quinn shot her a look and then turned back to Mick.

  He kneeled in front of her, took the box from her hand, and removed the ring.

  A beautiful, sparkling diamond ring.

  “Wow,” Tilly whispered reverently.

  Quinn turned her head and looked at her sister.

  “Just saying,” Tilly said.

  Tossing the box to her bed, Mick took Quinn’s hand in hers and pulled it to his chest, over his heart. “I fell for you that very first day when you demanded I come into your room at the B and B.”

  “I didn’t do that,” Quinn said to Tilly.

  “She did,” Mick said. “She wanted me to get the bug out of her tub.”

  Tilly laughed. “That, I believe.”

  Mick looked at Quinn again. “And then I tasted your crappy pancakes and I fell for you, hook, line, and sinker.”