The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5)(11)

“But you didn’t.”

“Only because I knew it should come from him, not me. I knew he’d want to tell you he was back himself.”

Tilly laughed in disbelief. And hurt. And anger. “And what about what I would want? Or doesn’t that matter?”


“No, Quinn. No. I’m your sister. You know what he did to me, you know how I felt after he deserted me.”

Quinn bit her lower lip.


“He never deserted you. He went away to give you the chance for a good life.”

Tilly stared at her. “Are you kidding me? You know this how?” When Quinn opened her mouth, Tilly put up her hand to stop her from speaking. “No, never mind. Don’t talk. I don’t want to hear you talk right now.”


She turned and got in her car. As she pulled out of the driveway, she caught sight of her sister standing on the sidewalk looking ten years pregnant, her arms wrapped around herself, and Tilly had to squash a flash of guilt to maintain her righteous anger.

She drove around for a bit, unsettled. Unhappy. Seeing Dylan, talking to him, had brought back a bunch of feelings from when she’d been a silly kid with silly hopes and dreams.

She’d been so naive.

Did he see her that way too?

She finally ended up at Mason’s place. They didn’t hang out as much as they used to but he was still a good friend. He lived in an apartment complex filled with mostly college students and shared a three bedroom with four other guys. He answered the door with a smile on his face, which faded quickly. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she said. “Everything.”

“I’ve got a good way to solve your pain.” He waggled a brow. “Naked, of course.”

“We no longer soothe our collective pain,” she said. “We agreed about a year ago to stop doing that.”

“You agreed,” Mason said. “I’m just respecting your wishes.”

It was true. She hadn’t been with anyone in a long time. But though Mason was very attractive, she wasn’t feeling men right now.

Liar, a little voice inside her whispered. You’re feeling Dylan.

“The bar,” Mason said, reading her expression, taking her rejection good-naturedly, which was one reason he was such a good friend. “We’re going to the bar.”

“I’m broke.”

“My treat,” he said.

“You’re broke too.”

“There’s always money for a beer.” He put her into his car and off they went.

The Whiskey River Bar and Grill was the only game in town for nightlife. Which meant it was packed. Tilly was surprised to see that they’d even cleared some tables and put up a makeshift dance floor, which was rocking tonight.

“It’s the owner’s birthday,” Mason said. “Boomer wanted a dance party. Want to dance?”

Tilly heard him, but her gaze was caught and held by someone at the other end of the bar.


He was with Ric and Penn, but he broke away from them and came toward her until they stood toe to toe. “Sorry,” she said to Mason. “I can’t dance. I have to yell at someone.”

Mason divided a look between them, lifted his hands, and backed away, but not before muttering “good luck” to Dylan beneath his breath.

Dylan didn’t take his dark, serious eyes off Tilly.

“You talked to my sister,” she said. “You didn’t talk to me, but you talked to Quinn.” Having heard enough, she turned to leave, but Boomer took the mic.

“Everyone on the dance floor,” he said. “I want to dance with my wife and have you all with us.”

Tilly turned to leave but Dylan reached out and snagged her hand, moving slow enough that she could have easily evaded him if she wanted to. But apparently she didn’t want that because she let him wrap his warm fingers in hers and lead her to the dance floor, when he pulled her into his leanly muscled body. She opened her mouth to say something, not really even sure what that might be, but he put a finger to her lips.

“I can’t go back and change things,” he said. “And to be honest, I’m not sure I would. I didn’t have a single say about my life back then, no control, no power, nothing, Tee. I was helpless, and . . .” He shook his head and pulled her in even closer so that she could no longer see his face. “I hated that most of all. Hated too that you saw me that way.”

She flashed back to those long-ago nights when he’d crawl in her bedroom window bloody and bruised, and felt her heart clutch hard. “I wanted to kill him for you,” she said fiercely. “I wanted to kill him with my bare hands.”

A long exhale escaped him and he pulled her in closer. “I didn’t think I was capable of love back then, and I wasn’t. Not until you. I loved you, God I loved you, but I had nothing to offer you.”

“Don’t you get it?” she asked, tilting her head up to his. “I didn’t need you to offer me anything but you.”

“Tee.” His voice was low, husky, and he kissed her. It started out sweet and gentle but didn’t stay that way for long. By the time they broke free, they’d generated enough heat to raise the temperature of the entire room. Time seemed to stand still as they stared into each other’s eyes. Tilly didn’t breathe, and was pretty sure he didn’t either.

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