Chapter 3

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The Summer Sail Away was not just any party. It was an all-out, all weekend, all of society swank that put other bashes—Hamptons and otherwise—to shame.

Now I had been to plenty of society functions before. Growing up, my neighbors had been Getty and Kennedy cousins, for Good&Plenty’s sake. But nothing had prepared me for the extravaganza that awaited me in Jawbreaker’s mansion.

She hosted over 200 guests. And provided a guest room for anyone who didn’t already have a residence somewhere between Westhampton and East Hampton.

That was where the trouble began.

Jawbreaker’s butler showed us to our room—singular, of course, since we were so very in love—and dumped our luggage on the double bed. Again singular.

“If we weren’t intimate before,” Phelps boasted, “we will be now.”

Counting to ten in all seven languages at my disposal, I managed to keep from telling him to shove it. But it was a near thing.

“We will just have to deal with this later.” I yanked my suitcase to the edge and unzipped it. Sixteen layers of carefully folded weekend wear bounced up like towels in a Downy commercial. “Right now we have to get ready for dinner.”

At the top of one pile was my gunmetal-gray halter dress that I adore because the swishy matte jersey accentuates my less-than-generous curves. It ties behind the neck so I could adjust the height of the v-neck depending on my courage level. Tonight it was going to be tied up tight.

I grabbed the matching pair of strappy sandals—the ones with the dangly Swarovski crystals that made them sparkle when I walked.

Phelps meandered over to the window, drawing open the ivory jacquard drapes in a manly survey of the new environment.

“Wow, you must really rate.”

I tried to turn off my hearing, I really did. But that didn’t stop him.

“Who’d you piss off to get this view?”

Succumbing to curiosity of the purely idle sort, I looked up to follow his gaze out the window. At a brick wall.

My shoulders slumped and I dropped the dream dress back onto the pile. “My boss,” I replied, darn tired of trying so hard for zero results. “If you hadn’t already guessed, she hates me.”

I braced myself for the smart-ass comment.

He crossed the room to my side and placed his hand gently on my shoulder. “She’s just jealous.” Then, before I had a chance to even consider a response, he added, “So get yourself gussied up so we can give ‘em all something to really be jealous about.”

And pinched my ass.

“Why you—” I turned to slap him—an instinctual response I had never had to use before—but he was already halfway out the door.

“Find me downstairs when you’re ready.”

My sandal hit the solid wood door with a thunk.

“Aaargh!” I screamed to no one in particular. Which was good, because no one else was in the room.

Because Phelps was on the loose with Jawbreakers and KYs to contend with.

I donned the dress and shoes and touched up my makeup with a little smoky gray shadow and extra blush—and consumed the remains of a package of cherry Nibs that I found hiding in a pocket in my suitcase—and was out the door in a record twelve minutes and thirty-two seconds.


Downstairs I found Phelps surrounded by all three KYs in the great room. 

The room was a marvel of architectural and decoration styles. Elegant beams graced the high ceilings but had been painted white to diminish their presence. In fact, the entire room had been painted stark white, beautiful wooden floor to beautiful beamed cathedral ceiling.

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