"Why can't we ride our bikes? My bike is over in our garage. I saw you riding yours up and down the street. You were going really fast."
Quinn stopped in his tracks. "That's why I can't ride my bike. My mom got mad because she says I was riding too fast. But I wasn't."
"Yes you were," Anna corrected. "Really, really fast."
Yeah, girls were dumb. "Look, do you want to see the jungle gym or not?" he snapped.
"I guess." She quietly followed him up the driveway and watched as he put the bike away in the garage and then as he dragged his feet on the way out. "Are you sad 'cause you can't ride your bike anymore?"
"Well...yeah," he said sarcastically. "What's the point in riding a bike if you can't go fast? Now I'm in trouble and I can't ride my bike and my mom will probably stay mad and not let me have any of the cookies she baked today. That's gonna be my punishment."
"What kind of cookies?" Anna asked, her head tilting slightly as she studied him.
"Oatmeal raisin. They're my favorite."
"Oh. We made chocolate chip cookies today. We were going to bring some over but my mom said she wanted to bake a cake for you guys instead."
Quinn's head popped up. "Chocolate chip is my second favorite cookie."
A small smile played across Anna's lips. She looked around as if making sure they were alone before stepping in close and whispering, "We could sneak over to my house and you can have some. You know, since you're going to be punished and not get to have any from your mom."
Maybe girls weren't so dumb. "Really? Won't your mom get mad you went home without her?"
Anna shook her head. "It's only right next door, and we'll be superfast. She won't even know I'm gone. If you want, we can even grab some juice boxes. Then we'll eat out on the jungle gym, okay?"
"But..." Why was he arguing this? Free cookies! "Won't she notice some cookies are missing?"
"Nah, she made, like, a hundred of them. We'll just take a couple each."
For a moment, Quinn wasn't so sure it was a good idea. His mom was already mad at him for racing his bike up and down the street. She'd probably be even madder if she caught him sneaking a snack when he wasn't supposed to.
"C'mon," Anna said excitedly. "I'll race you!"
And in that moment, Quinn Shaughnessy decided girls weren't dumb at all. Especially Anna Hannigan.
One look at the massive beach house had Quinn Shaughnessy shaking his head. Why this wedding couldn't just be a normal event—at a hotel—he couldn't understand. It would be easier. It would be more practical.
And it would mean there was a bar on the premises for him to go to and get away from his family for a little while and maybe pick up an attractive woman.
Not that he didn't love his family—he did. But three days with everyone back under one roof was a little more togetherness than he was in the mood for. No matter what the occasion.
Ever since moving out of the family home at eighteen and going to college, Quinn had never looked back. There were the occasional trips home for school breaks, when he was forced to go home and share a room with one of his brothers, but for the most part, he found excuses to stay other places. He enjoyed his space, his freedom, and he'd never felt the need to make excuses about it.
Being one of six kids in a four-bedroom house growing up had been less than a dream. When he went to college—even though he shared a room there with one other guy—living in the dorm felt different. No one was looking over his shoulder or trying to get him into trouble or trying to tell him what to do.
It was like nirvana.