The Good Luck Sister (Wildstone #1.5)(8)

And now he was in Wildstone.

Good thing she was no longer a lost teenager in need of an anchor.

“Thanks again for the logo and branding,” he said quietly. He pulled out a check that matched the invoice she’d attached to the email.

She slipped it into her pocket. “Thanks for the work.”


“I’ve got to go,” she said.

He held her gaze for a long beat, nodded, and then let her be as she’d wanted—alone.

The next day, Dylan got up before dawn, took a long, hard, fast run to try and outpace his demons.

He couldn’t.

For breakfast, he stopped at Caro’s, the café Quinn and Tilly had inherited from their mom. Quinn was in the kitchen, but not cooking. She was sitting huge belly up to a table slicing carrots.

“Still trying to make us all eat healthy?” he asked from the doorway.

She looked up and smiled. “I was hoping you’d come by and say hi. Let me look at you.” Her critical eye swept over him. “You don’t look worse for wear on the outside.” She met his gaze. “I’m assuming all the scars are on the inside?”

“Maybe I don’t have any.”

She snorted. “If that were true, you’d have been back in Wildstone a few years ago instead of taking all those skills Uncle Sam drilled into you to South America to pilot for hire.” She let her smile fade. “I knew you were coming back a few weeks ago when you emailed Mick for an attorney recommendation to write up your new partnership agreement.”

“You didn’t tell Tilly,” he said.

“I didn’t,” she said. “But make no mistake. I’m livid with you. You broke her heart and nearly destroyed her.”

“I had to go,” he said quietly. “We both know she would never have taken her scholarship, she’d have stayed here to be with me. She deserved better, Quinn, far better.”

She stared at him for a long beat and then nodded. “I figured. And I didn’t tell her you were coming back because I didn’t want to mess her all up if it turned out to not be true. I loved and adored you, still do, but my loyalty is with her, always.”

He nodded. “I get that.”

“Do you?” She struggled to her feet. “Dammit,” she said when he had to move forward and help her.

He smiled. “When’s the baby coming?”

“I’m pretty sure she’s a giraffe, not a baby,” she muttered, rubbing her belly. “Three weeks to go still, but you’re not here looking for a trip down memory lane.”

He’d worked here in high school and it’d been more home than anywhere he’d ever been. Here he’d been given food and shelter and comfort, and he’d have worked for free, but Quinn had insisted on paying him. “I don’t know if I ever thanked you for the job,” he started but Quinn shook her head.

“Don’t thank me,” she said on a fond smile. “You worked your ass off for us, and we were lucky to have you.”

A little surprised by the emotion her words—and the memories—brought, he nodded. Quinn squeezed his hand and called out to her chef. “Breakfast special, extra bacon.” She pointed to a chair. “Sit, you can eat and keep me company. When are you going to tell Tilly you’re back?”

He grimaced. “She knows. I’m taking her class. She’s not exactly thrilled.”

Tilly laughed. “Let me guess. You figured it’d be hard to murder you in broad daylight.”

He grimaced again and she shook her head, still smiling. “What you need to do is tell her the truth, Dylan. The whole truth.” She met his gaze and sighed. “Which you’re not going to do.” She tossed up her hands. “Never did meet two more stubborn people.”

Dylan smiled. “Then you should look in the mirror sometime.”

An hour later, he was in the air, taking a local winery CEO and a few of his staff for a flyover of the entire area. They were interested in purchasing more land, but wanted to see it from a bird’s view.

By the time he got back to the airport, the group was eager to book more flights as gifts to their customers for buying incentives. Dylan, Ric, and Penn had mapped out their upcoming month’s flight schedule when his alarm beeped.

He rose. “Gotta go.”

“I don’t see a flight on the schedule,” Penn said.

Ric was watching Dylan’s face. “It’s not a flight. It’s Tilly.”

“It’s class,” Dylan corrected.

“There’s no class on Tuesdays,” Ric said.

“I know, it’s a field trip.”

Penn grinned. “Is that what the kids are calling it these days?”

Dylan ignored them as he headed to the door.


He turned back and Penn’s smile was gone. “Took you long enough.”

“To what?”

“To come back to the land of the living.”

Ric nodded his agreement. “We’re happy for you, man. We were getting worried about you.”

Dylan scrubbed a hand down his face. They’d all been overseas together. They’d all seen and done stuff they didn’t want to think about, much less even discuss. They’d all changed at their very core because of it.

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