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    Mercury in Retrograde—Chapter 2

    Chapter 2


    The day could not have been more perfect for the party if Tina had ordered it up herself. The sky was a brilliant blue that would soon be swirling into a mixture of purples and oranges as dusk fell. She shook her head in appreciation at the thought. She could never seem to get enough of those East Hampton sunsets. She’d slipped upstairs to shower and change after an afternoon of beach volleyball with her friends in which her team won every game they played, no matter who her partner happened to be at any given moment. The elite prep school she’d attended in upstate New York happened to have one of the best volleyball teams in the state, and she happened to have been their star player.

    It felt good to win. Damn good.

    Stepping out of the shower, she selected a simple white cocktail dress with three-quarter sleeves for the party. The neckline was a little lower than she usually sported, but they were at the beach after all, and she didn’t mind showing off the tan she’d just snagged. Subtle strappy black heels completed her look, which she could always take off and carry if she ventured off the deck and into the sand.

    ”Well, how do I look?” she asked Elvis, who had followed her to her room. He whined quietly when she scratched his ears, which surely meant he approved. A little bit of fruit-punch lip gloss later and she descended the stairs to the crisscrossing movements of the wait staff readying the space for her guests.

    ”Anything I can do, Marcus?” she asked the chef, who was her father’s favorite.

    Marcus kissed her cheek and placed a glass in her hand. ”We have it all under control, my darling. Get ready to greet your guests.”

    That she could do. 

    One of the many requirements of carrying the Kennard name was knowing how to play hostess, and Tina happened to rock in that department. Promptly at six, she got to do just that as guests trickled in. Most of them were friends from the city who’d steal any chance to break free of the cement jungle when a Hamptons invitation presented itself. Tina could identify. The city had a way of swallowing you up if you weren’t careful, as much as she loved it with all her heart.

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