TITLE: The Socialite
GENRE: Contemporary women's fiction
Soft music purred at a steady rhythm all around her, and with each beat that vibrated the floor of Salon de Ning, atop The Peninsula New York, her heart throbbed with rampant anticipation. Perched on a brown leather barstool, she waited.
For her latest indiscretion to arrive.
Disgrace. Elena Bancroft repeated the word, only in her head the shrill bite of her grandmother's voice replaced her own. The bartender's gaze lingered at her side--mere inches away from her left breast--where the cut of her dress revealed the first two lowercase letters of the word disgrace, etched in an elegant black script. Unabashed, the guy had been staring there since he'd handed over her drink order, and she'd satisfied his curiosity about her tattoo less than thirty seconds ago.
Although, apparently, he wasn't satisfied just yet.
"So why choose it for a tat? What does it mean?" he asked her.
"It means Iâ've done a lot of--really bad things," she told him. "Where I'm from, it sort of defines me." She took a long sip of vodka and dry vermouth, then shrugged. "Or so I've been told."
"I've seen my share of strange tats from behind the bar, miss. And, well, pardon me for saying this, but--I've never seen something like that made permanent." He continued ogling the black script as a young boy might gape at the naked women in his very first issue of Playboy.