The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5)(10)


“Now, Tilly. Go now.”

“Why?” She gasped and covered her mouth. “Omigod. Did I kill him?”

“No.” He pulled her up to her feet and gave her a little push. “You were never here, got it?”

That night Tilly sat on Quinn and Mick’s kitchen countertop eating ice cream out of the container with a wooden spoon.

Quinn was doing the same with a different carton at the table, but with her other hand she was also eating a pickle.

Tilly shuddered.

“About two weeks ago,” Quinn said, “our TV remote went missing. Finally bought a new one, and guess what I found in the freezer next to the ice cream just now? Our remote!”

Tilly shook her head. “I don’t know what’s more impressive, you losing your mind so thoroughly, or that it’s been two weeks since you ate ice cream.”

Quinn laughed and offered Leo—dozing in her lap—a lick of ice cream.

“Stop spoiling him,” Tilly said.

Leo turned three circles in Quinn’s shrinking lap and managed to make himself comfortable enough to close his eyes.

“Aw,” Quinn said. “This is the best kind of kid to have. He doesn’t talk back.”

“Hey,” her nine-year-old daughter, Natalie, said from where she was sitting on the counter next to Tilly.

Tilly laughed and hugged her adorable niece. “And what if I have a kid someday who’s allergic to dogs and I have to get rid of the kid?” she asked.

Natalie giggled.

Mick was sitting across from Quinn, shaking his head in horror at what his wife was eating. “I thought the combination of pickle and ice cream gives you heartburn?”

“Breathing gives me heartburn,” Quinn said.

“Yeah, Daddy,” Natalie said. “And it gives her gas too.”

Quinn pointed her pickle at her daughter. “That was our little secret.”

Natalie giggled again. “Hard to keep things like farting a secret, Mom. Plus, it was in Target and you tried to make me take the blame for it.”

Mick grinned and pulled Natalie in for a hug. “You know your mom’s going to be mad at me now, right?”

“Because now you know she farts a lot?”

Mick burst out laughing. So did Tilly.

Quinn groaned and covered her face. “You’re all going to be sorry someday when I’m gone and you have no one to laugh at.”

Tilly’s smile went from amused to nostalgic.

“What?” Quinn asked.

Tilly shrugged. “Mom used to say that.”

“Help me up,” Quinn demanded of Mick, who hoisted her out of the chair. She then moved to Tilly at the counter and wrapped her arms around her.

Tilly sighed. When Quinn was pregnant, she got very emotional. And very huggy. There was no fighting it so she hugged her sister back and set her head on her shoulder.

Natalie tapped on Tilly’s shoulder and then crawled into her lap to join the hug. Tilly felt her throat tighten and her eyes burn. She had no idea where she would be without Quinn in her life. And by extension, Mick and Natalie. They were her family, her only family, and they meant everything. Quinn sniffled and Tilly knew she felt the same.

“Can we have pizza now?” Nat asked between them.

Tilly laughed, relieved the emotional moment was over, thwarted by the mention of pizza. “Yes, please.”

After dinner, Quinn walked Tilly out. The night was gloriously clear, nothing but stars glittering like diamonds across a black velvet night.

“So what’s up?” Quinn asked. “You’re . . . off.”

“I’m not.”


Tilly sighed. “It’s no big deal.”

“Then spit it out.”

“I’m suddenly feeling . . .” She tossed up her hands. “This weird sense of disappointment that I’m not some famous artist.” She waited for Quinn to laugh.

But her sister slipped an arm around her waist and didn’t laugh. “You’re feeling dissatisfied with your life.”

Tilly’d had goals for herself. She hadn’t met them. Dylan’d had goals too, and though things hadn’t happened as he’d planned, he’d done something with his life. Something pretty amazing. He’d served his country. He’d seen the world, flying as a pilot for hire. And now he was his own boss. He’d gone from punk-ass kid to soldier to pilot to businessman.

And she . . . well, she dabbled in the arts. “Yeah,” she said to her sister. “I’m dissatisfied. There’s an art fair in San Luis Obispo this weekend and I didn’t get chosen to be in it. It feels worthless, Quinn. I’m a nobody. I’ve done nothing with myself.”

“Stop it. You’re a great teacher.”

“I’ve been teaching for a week and a half,” Tilly said dryly.

Quinn shook her head. “What’s really wrong?”

Tilly sighed again. “Dylan’s in town.”

Quinn expressed no surprise and Tilly froze. “You knew,” she breathed. “You knew and you didn’t tell me?”

“I knew only because I’m a nosy-ass wife. Dylan contacted Mick a few weeks ago looking for an attorney to draw up a partnership agreement for Wildstone Air Tours. I read the email. Trust me, I wanted to tell you—”

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