The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5)(6)

A gremlin.

Tilly’s gremlin.

“Excuse me,” she said, shielding her eyes, clearly not able to see them any more clearly than she could see them. “I’m looking for Dylan Scott.”

Ric and Penn simultaneously elbowed Dylan in the sides, like maybe he was unaware of his own name. Shaking his head at them, he stepped forward out of the shadow.

The rat—er, her dog, starting yipping at the sight of him. With a sigh, he crouched down to the thing and looked him in the eyes. “Are we going to do this every time?”

“Arf, arf, ARF!”

Yep, they were. He held out his fist. The pup sniffed it and seemed to accept this as a peace offering. Relieved at the silence, Dylan rose to his feet and looked at Tilly.

Who was suddenly looking very slightly less hostile, he thought. But that might have been wishful thinking. “Hey,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

“I looked up Wildstone Air Tours and got this address. I wanted to talk to you.” Her eyes slid to the two men just behind him and she lowered her voice. “Business only.”

“Got it,” he said, willing to take whatever he could get. For now.

Penn came up to Dylan’s side, slinging an arm around his neck. “We were hoping our boy here had a woman tucked away in his hometown. But business is even better.”

At the “woman tucked away in his hometown” Tilly narrowed her eyes at Dylan.

Shaking his head at Penn, he spoke directly to Tilly. “This idiot is actually one of my partners. Penn.” He pointed to Ric. “And Ric here is another partner, and our CFO.” He looked at the guys. “This is Tilly Adams.”

Both guys went brows up at the sound of her name. They’d been together long enough for them to know the whole story, but thankfully Penn kept his trap shut. They each shook Tilly’s hand.

“If this guy gives you any trouble though,” Penn told her, “you be sure to let me know.”

She laughed but got serious when they left. She’d changed out of her teacher clothes for a lightweight, loose halter top over cropped jeans that fit her like a glove. She’d added a pair of wedge sandals, giving her a few extra inches on her five two frame, something he knew she did when she felt she needed extra confidence.

That she felt that with him was his own damn fault.

“Give me a tour?” she asked.

“Sure.” He led her around the hangar, showing her their pride and joy, their fleet of two helicopters that both he and Penn would fly as often as they could, a Bell 206 and an AStar 350.

“Wow,” Tilly whispered reverently, running a hand along the body of the Bell. “You really fly these?”


“It’s amazing, Dylan.” She turned from the chopper to face him, her eyes searching his. He wondered what she saw when she looked at him like that, and knew at least part of her couldn’t help but see him as that sixteen-year-old kid who climbed in her window bleeding and hurting at night after his dad had beat on him.

He hated that to the very depths of his soul.

“You did it,” she murmured. “You got out and made something of yourself.”

It was a reminder that at one time she’d known him better than anyone else ever had. “It’s not like I became an astronaut.”

Something shuttered in her eyes at that. “Yeah, well, life happens, right? Shit happens.”

He stepped toward her but she shook her head. It wasn’t Leo’s low growl that stopped him but Tilly’s expression. “I just came by to tell you that I’d give your branding a shot,” she said and pulled a card from her purse with her name and contact information. “Send me what you need. Specs. Ideas. Inspirations. Whatever you’ve got. I’ll get back to you within a week.”


She shook her head. “Business only,” she said, repeating her earlier words, and then was gone.

Chapter 3

Mondays should be optional.

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

Ten years prior:

When Dylan missed class for the third day in a row, Tilly went to his mom’s house first. When the woman answered the door, she told Tilly that Dylan had just left.

Tilly’s gaze strayed to his mom’s fat lip.

“Not Dylan’s doing,” she told Tilly softly, tears in her voice.

Which meant that Dylan’s dad had been here and there’d been another fight. She froze, remembering what Dylan had promised the last time—that he’d kill the guy if he laid another finger on his mom.

Panic nearly choked her.

Ten minutes later she was on a bus heading toward Dylan’s dad’s house, the address written on a piece of paper clutched in her hand. Half an hour later, she stood in front of a small ranch house. It was run-down, but there was a lot of acreage. She could smell cattle and hear mooing off in the distance.

The house wasn’t close to any others, which didn’t feel like a good thing. Yelling was coming from inside, and then the sounds of something crashing and breaking, and she ran to the front door.

It was locked.

Heart racing, she pounded on it. “Dylan!”

No answer. But she could still hear shouting inside, so she hurried around the side of the house to the back. There was a patio and a slider, which slid right open under her hand. She stepped into a living room, lit only by the spill of lights from a bedroom down the hall, from which the sounds of a fight drew her.

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