Mia’s Heart Excerpts:
When we’re finished eating, Quinn walks me out. We pass through the dining room
and I see that my mother is gone. She left her dirty dishes, though. Obviously carrying
them to the kitchen would be unseemly. I’m really starting to hate that word. I should
make a list of the words I’m starting to hate.
I can add more later. Right now, I’m preoccupied with Quinn. And his bulging
biceps, long fingers and mischievous grin. I stare up at him and smile.
“Do you and Reece get along okay now?” I ask him as we turn onto the staircase
leading to the bedrooms. He looks surprised.
“Of course. Why do you ask?”
“Gavin told me about you and Reece’s history. So I just wondered,” I shrug. I’m
trying to act nonchalant. I hope it’s coming across that way. In an effort to enhance the
act, I make a point of examining the portraits of Giliberti ancestors as we walk past
them. Their eyes seem to stare into my back. It’s sort of creepy.
“Why are you so interested?” Quinn raises an eyebrow.
So, I fail.
Apparently I wasn’t so nonchalant.
“I don’t know,” I shrug again. “Just curious. I guess I find everything interesting
nowadays. Everything seems new.”
Quinn smiles, a real and sincere smile. It’s salt of the earth. Whatever that means.
“I guess that’s one benefit to amnesia,” he tells me, as he lightly guides my elbow
around the landing. “You get to start over. If you want,” he adds.
I look at him. “Should I? Start over, I mean. Was the old me something I should
And cocks his head.
And he is oh-so-sexy.
“No,” he says firmly. “Old Mia was someone who hated the pressure of worrying
about what everyone thought. So you hid who you really were. Maybe the new you
won’t be so concerned with it.”
I stare at him.
“I thought you didn’t know me that well,” I point out uncertainly. He shrugs.
“It wasn’t difficult to see,” he answers as we resume the climb on the stairs. “Just
worry about being who you really are. If you never remember who you were, that’s
fine. You’re still you regardless.”
“That’s very profound,” I murmur.
And it is. I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to remember who I was, that I
forgot that I’m still me either way. I’m just a me without memories. Interesting. It’s so
simple that it’s genius.
We stop in front of my bedroom.
There is an awkward pause. But maybe it’s only awkward to me. Quinn always
seems casual. Always relaxed.
He smiles at me now.
“I’m glad you’re here,” he tells me. “I was getting lonely here all by myself.”
“Well, Dante and Reece will be here tomorrow. So, you’ll have even more people to
keep you company,” I remind him.
“True,” he acknowledges. “But I’m most happy about you.”
I startle and stare into his chocolate brown eyes. “Really?” I whisper.
He nods. “Really.”
“You don’t hide what you’re feeling much, do you?” I observe. Quinn’s eyes
sparkle in response.
“I don’t see the point in it,” he admits. “I don’t like games. I don’t like playing
them because I hate to lose.”
“So you’re a sore loser , then?” I ask with a laugh.
But he’s shaking his head. “Nope. I’m not a sore loser. Because I never lose in the
He dips his head like an old-fashioned cowboy, like something that belongs in a
razor commercial or a cologne ad. And then he continues down the hall to his bedroom
and I fight the urge to chase after him.
But I don’t and so I’m left standing in shock in the hallway alone.
He doesn’t lose.
What is he trying to win?
I have a feeling that I am going to be the one who loses—hours of sleep tonight—
trying to ponder that question.