Excerpt for Ice Cold Damage by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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By Stephanie Joy


It’s not like she was born unlucky or cursed in that matter. No. It’s just the fact that she found it hard to trust anyone.

Sian never had a real relationship, even with her own family. She was the distant kid, who just sat at the back and observed.


She was finally on her own, her own apartment and everything in it belonged to her. Though her parents did  pay for the apartment when she first moved in, but now she would pay for it herself. Sian couldn’t believe she had gotten a job. It wasn't like it was her dream job, but if it meant staying in her own house, she wouldn't object.

That night, too excited to sleep, she stood infront of the closet wondering what kind of clothes she would wear. She had never once worn anything official, though she did try once. Wearing official clothes made her feel like she's on a leash but this time it was necessary. Her secretarial job at the law firm was beginning tomorrow and for once, Sian had two types of emotion running through her. Scared and happy. Scared because she has never worn high heels in her entire life and tomorrow would be the first time and happy well, because tomorrow is a new day full of new things. She looked at the five pairs of heels she had ,studying them slowly and carefully.

She thought carefully on which would impress her new employers.

“Black,” she said, taking the black heels and putting them on. She walked around her bedroom as if it were a runway and losing her balance.

“I’m going with the sneakers.” She said through the intercom and sat on her bed

Sian was talking to her brother Geoffrey on the phone.

“I know…am not stupid………. Geoffrey, I’m not going to walk in the office with sneakers in my official clothes… I’ll change them when I when I get into the building.”

“How was I supposed to know that people did not wear sneakers to work…………… Don’t worry. I won’t  screw  it up………….. O.K……….  Fine. Give Chris a good night kiss for me and tell Sarah good night……….  Love you big brother.”

She took her alarm clock which she had bought  the previous day and set the timer at 6:30 am.  Waking up at 6:30 am would give her enough time to prepare herself adequately and not rush in anything. It was already 11:15pm and she needed to sleep. Before getting into covers, Sian took the Bible which was beside her bed and said a short prayer which ended with; “please let everything work out  tomorrow.”

Geoffrey, Sian’s brother was married to Sara and they had one child ,Chris. He was the most adorable baby boy she knew. His birth was a great joy to the entire family…especially for sian. Before he was born, she had been struggling to get out of a dark place. Her family had been helping her but it did not work. The birth of her nephew was like a second chance for her. God’s gift to her. Not just in a new nephew…but also in a new faith.

Chris was just a miracle in his own kind of way. He helped her to appreciate her family even more. She started to trust her brother more.

Sarah, Geoffrey’s wife was as cool as she could get. She was such a great mother to Chris and everyone just loved her. She had always accepted Sian as her sister in law. Sian on the other-hand had not been so accepting of Sarah at first but with the birth of Chris…everything changed. Her eyes were opened and she saw how awesome her sister in law was.

Sian had undergone a change of attitude and she had changed for the better. Her old lifestyle of rudeness and bitterness was now behind her and there was no going back. She had a new life now. And tomorrow, she was starting a new job.


The alarm sounded three times before Sian finally woke up only to switch it off. She cursed at the day for coming so early and not letting her sleep as much as she would have liked to.

Only 5 more minutes and then I’ll be up, she chanted that little lie we all tell ourselves.

The five minutes turned into an hour. Old habits die hard. She loved her beauty sleep. Finally waking  up with a start…she threw the blankets aside and jumped out of bed in panic.

‘No…no...no…, this can’t be happening to me… not on my first day!’

Taking off her nightgown she ran into the bathroom. There was no time to spare. A quick cold shower…a few minutes in front of the mirror; that was all she could afford.

It’s not as if she was late or anything. She was supposed to be at work at 9.00 am. And since she got up at 7.30 am, she thought she was late because she wanted to be there at 8.30am. Make a first good impression to the so called Boss.

She dressed in a white sleeveless silk top , a high waist black skirt which did not dare to touch her knee. She put on her makeup perfectly and touched her lips with a shiny pink lip stick. As far as the makeup was concerned…it was picture perfect. As she put on her high heels, she had to keep in mind the fact that her best shoes were sneakers. These heels…she would have to adapt. After taking a few steps toward the door, she understood what she had to do. She took off the beautiful heels; put them in her handbag , quickly put on her sneakers and rushed out into the street.

The cab ride to the city took thirty five minutes and when she got to the office; the clock was standing at 8.45am.  she had enough time to take the elevator up to the fifth floor and settle at her desk before the clock struck 9.00. Her companion in the elevator was a young man dressed in neat grey suit carrying a black briefcase. He looked like a lawyer…could he be her boss? Sian had never seen her boss but she knew he was the best lawyer around.

The elevator buttons indicated that he was going to the fourth floor. she was going to the fifth. The thought that he could be her boss was cancelled. She noticed that he kept looking at her legs. He must have been wondering why she was wearing sneakers with such a neat outfit. Whatever he thought, he kept to himself. She  hastily removed her high heels from her handbag. Before the stranger stepped out of the elevator on the fourth floor, Sian had already changed her shoes. The sneakers were safely inside her handbag. The elevator companion looked at Sian with an interesting sparkle  in his eyes. He studied her transformed look.

He had been silent all along but now he spoke.


Sian turned her attention to the stranger. She smiled slightly; fully aware of the show she had just put on for the guy. He was probably wondering why she had worn sneakers in the first place. Sian knew her reason. She just smiled.

The bell rang and the elevator stopped at the fourth floor. The man did not get out. The doors closed and the elevator proceeded to the fifth floor. The two stepped out. The man knew his way around and he walked away from the elevator quickly into an open office on the right side of the elevator. Sian prayed that she would be going in the opposite direction.

“You are Sian, right?” A  soft woman voice asked.

She  had a name tag with the name Martha on. She was older than Sian. Had a warm smile…a smile that everyone notices. 

“Sian?” She asked softly extending her hand to the new-comer.

“Yes…. I am.”

Sian took in the outstretched hand.

“Well sian, welcome to the Infinity law firm. I’m Martha, as you can see on the label."

“Thank you,” sian responded.

“Follow me,” Martha said leading the way into the office. “The boss would like to see you right away. After that I’ll show you your desk.”

Sian looked at her wrist watch. It was 3 minutes to 9.00. she quickly straightened out her skirt, pushed her hair out of her face and knocked on the door she’d been directed to by Martha. She was a bit nervous but this was expected. After all…it was her first day at her very first job.

Sian opened the door. Before she saw the man behind the desk, she saw the name engraved on a plaque which sat on the large wooden desk. Forrest keita. The sound of that name made one wonder why they didn’t have such a cool name.

Forest had his back facing sian.

“Good morning sir,” sian addressed her boss.


The man behind the desk swiveled his chair around without looking up and started paging through some files on his desk.

“I hear that you’re my new secretary. Are you sure you won’t let me down?” He asked politely.

“I am dedicating myself to do my very best for you sir,” Sian said. 

Forrest hadn’t heard her voice as they rode together in the elevator. She hadn’t said a single word. He couldn’t blame her though. He himself had spoken out of shock at the transformation he had seen when the girl had removed her sneakers and exchanged them for a sophisticated pair of high heels. The change had been a dramatic one. And her voice…it was soft but that was probably due to the fact that she was a bit nervous.

She had not raised her eyes to look at him; she had fixed her gaze on the plaque on his desk. She wasn’t even aware that she was talking to the guy who had ridden in the same elevator with her.

“I need the work in these files arranged in an orderly manner by 12.30am.” forrest said.

Sian looked at the large pile of files on the desk.

“The red file; you can begin with that one.”

It was as if he sensed her dismay as she tried to figure out where to start. As she reached out to pick up the red file, forrest pushed back his chair and stood up. Sian lifted up her eyes to look at her boss. She saw the suit and thought it was similar to what the man in the elevator was wearing. She had not really looked at his face so she had not noted his features.

Forest moved away from his desk and walked towards sian.

“Don’t make it a habit to change your shoes in the elevator,”he said.

“You don’t want to embarrass yourself ?” He added.

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