Lost and Found Sisters Read online

  “Teenagers are a whole different species,” Brock said.


  “And it’s your call, but I’m game.”

  “Game as in . . .”

  “Anything that gets you back to the land of the living, back into a relationship.”

  “You’re game,” she repeated, stunned. “To get back into a relationship.”

  “Yes,” he said. “But fair warning in the interest of honesty, I’ve been sowing my oats. You’d need to give me a minute to clear my deck.” He paused. “Or two. Tops.”

  She waited for the pain of his sexual escapades to hit, but before it could, he went on. “Look, babe,” he said, voice more serious now. “Honestly? I’ve been hoping for something to come along and snap you out of it.”

  “Hoping,” she said carefully. “While screwing everything that moves?”

  “Well, not everything. And my point is that I’m here for you, whatever you want. Just come back.”

  To L.A. Where her life was.

  It was a reasonable suggestion. But Tilly was here and Quinn didn’t see her up and moving to L.A. in the middle of a school year.

  “What if I stayed here awhile?” she asked. She couldn’t even believe the question popped out of her mouth.

  On Brock’s part, there was such a long silence that she pulled the phone away from her ear and looked to make sure they were still connected. “Hello?”

  “I’m here,” he said. “How long is awhile?”

  “I don’t know.” She shook her head, completely overwhelmed.

  “Quinn,” he said slowly, “our thing, you and me . . . it never involved leaving L.A.”

  Even though she knew this, her heart did a little squeeze. “First of all, I never said I was leaving L.A. And second of all . . . so I’m the One for you, but only if I agree to stay in L.A., on your terms?”

  “I love you, Quinn. But I love my job too. It’s very important to me. You know that.”

  She did. And she knew something else too. “I don’t think this is going to work,” she whispered.

  There was a loaded silence. “So you’re staying in Wildstone.”

  “No. No,” she said again, softer. “But that’s not what I’m talking about. I don’t like the ultimatum from you.”

  “That,” he said. “Or you’re looking for excuses, as you have been for two years.”

  She inhaled a long shuddery breath, looking for calm. And didn’t find any. “I’m sorry if you feel like you’ve been waiting on me, but we never agreed to that. You know I’ve had a problem with emotions and feelings.”

  “Two years,” he repeated.

  “Stop. You have not been waiting around, pining for me, for that long. You’ve been . . . sowing your wild oats!”


  “No.” She knew that voice of his, that overly calm, reasonable tone, and she wasn’t having any of it. “Maybe I need to sow mine. You ever think of that?”

  He was silent for a beat, processing. Thinking.

  Which she suddenly resented. “I’ve got to go.”

  “Don’t do anything hasty, babe.”

  “Hello, have you met me?” she asked. “It took me a year to decide which condo I wanted to buy!”

  “Uh-huh,” he agreed. “And only an hour after receiving shocking news to jump into your car and drive three hours north of here without telling anyone.”

  She shook her head. “You’re not understanding what’s going on up here.”

  “Come home and tell me about it.” There was a beep in her ear. “Shit,” he said. “A call just came in that I have to take,” he said, apology heavy in his voice. “We’ll get back to this, okay?”


  “Don’t get pissy, like you don’t care or feel anything, since it’s clear you’re back to doing both.”

  “I gotta go too,” she said. “Bad connection.” And she turned off the Jetpak and let the crappy Internet cut out on them.

  But not before Chef Wade’s text came through: no worries, Marcel’s covering for you.

  Not exactly music to her ears . . .

  Chapter 8

  Things that annoy me:

  1. Feelings

  2. People

  3. Basically everything, I have no idea why I started a list . . .

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

  Fifteen minutes later Quinn was at the Whiskey River for a badly needed drink. She didn’t imbibe much. First, she was a lightweight. And second, normally she preferred to eat her calories.

  But her shitty week called for alcohol. Her gaze fell to the flyer on the bar touting the “Bartender’s Special,” so she ordered one of those.

  “After the day you’ve had, good choice,” the good-looking bartender said with a wink.

  She resisted covering the large red bee sting she knew still stood out in the middle of her forehead and turned to take in the crowd.

  The music was surprisingly good and she sat there absorbing the easy laughter and sounds of conversation around her. By the time the door opened and in walked no other than Mick Hennessey, maintenance guy, mind reader, and incredible Levi’s filler, she was relaxed.

  Or so she thought. Because from across the large room, Mick’s gaze met hers and she stilled from the inside out, if that made any sense at all. It was the oddest thing.

  The bartender greeted Mick with some complicated handshake followed by a back-slapping guy hug. “Beginning to look like you’re sticking,” the bartender said.

  “No,” Mick said. “Hell no.”

  The bartender grinned. “Ah, come on, man. You know you’ve missed us.”

  “Again, hell no.”

  “Take it back and first round’s on me.”

  Mick slapped some bills on the bar and the bartender sighed dramatically. Mick’s gaze locked on Quinn as he headed her way.

  “Sticking?” she asked, admittedly curious about him.

  He shrugged. “Long story.”


  “Yeah. And it’s one I don’t want to tell any more than you want someone to ask you about that sting on your forehead.”

  Touché. She lifted her drink in a silent toast.

  He touched his beer bottle to her glass and said, “When I walked in, you were staring into the bottom of your drink like you were searching for the answers to the mysteries of the universe.”

  “There should be a warehouse where you could buy the answers,” she said. “Preferably in Hawaii, ’cause that’d be nicer than, say, Toledo, you know?”

  He studied her and then slowly nodded. “I do know. I also know that you could use some food.”

  What she could use was a night of wild, passionate, up-against-the-wall sex with a man who’d make her forget her upside-down life, but she managed to keep that thought to herself.

  “Let’s move to a table,” he said, standing, looking . . . hell. Hot as sin and just as irresistible.

  She bit her lower lip. “You should probably know something about me.”

  “I’m all ears.”

  “I’m not doing the whole guy thing right now.”

  “How about pizza?” he asked, cocking his head with a smile. “Are you doing the pizza thing?”

  Dammit. The way to her heart was pizza. And maybe also that incredible smile he was sporting. “Sure,” she said. Stupid alcohol . . .

  He picked up his drink and hers, and gestured with a head nod to an empty table. The waitress came over with another round. “Bartender’s Special,” she said. “On the house. Tonight’s a Red-Headed Slut. Boomer, he’s the bartender, he said he could make you a Wallbanger if you’d rather. Or a Sex on the Beach.” She shrugged when Quinn just stared at her. “It’s Drink-a-Kink Night. Boomer takes his theme nights seriously. We’ve also got Angel’s Tits and Slippery Nipples. Oh! And Bend-Over Shirleys, though I can’t remember what’s in those.”

  Mick craned his neck and looked at Boomer, behind the bar, who winked and gave hi