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Published:December 17th, 2006 09:30 EST
Excerpt from Chic Lit Book-in-Progress

Excerpt from Chic Lit Book-in-Progress

By Alex Alex

The chilly November frost seemed to trickle down Alexandra`s nose as she stood outside peering over the deserted landscape. She sighed, pushing back the brow of her hat with a hand swallowed by thick wool. It had been unusually cold in Aspen this year, leaving the slopes covered in ice. Her breath wracked the air in front of her face, disturbing her view of the towering pine trees isolated by impenetrable snow. The snow drifts, plentiful as they were, had been thus far unrecognizable to Alex, she reminded herself as she gently eased weight off of her right foot. The swelling had diminished some since her blunder into a rather deep mountain of snow the other day, but it had meant sacrificing the last bit of skiing time available before the ice had settled in last night. She had finally managed to escape from the office, hoping to squeeze in the solitary freedom on the slopes that had so often revitalized her before the busy Christmas season. Unfortunately, it seemed this time she had spent hours packing, hours flying, and hours icing her bruised foot only to sit confined to a cabin with various other strangers. The only thing more distressing than that was the thought of the idle chitchat she was going to have to endure from fellow lodgers who were just as stir-crazy-bored as she. It was going to be a long couple of weeks.

So as not to allow any heat to escape, Alex shifted her coat awkwardly over her body, holding a coffee mug to her nose. Growing up in New York City, she had developed this habit as a little girl with hot cocoa, as a means for warmth on those cold winter mornings when her mother had refused to turn the heat up any higher. As she approached adulthood, the gesture had thus become more one of comfort then anything else. Besides, the chills rising from the snow was more than her small cup of coffee could compete with. In previous years, and under other circumstances, the view from this porch had once sent an aching thrill to her body, urging it to go sailing down these mountains. During her divorce with David, this cabin had been a retreat of sorts; a place to escape the string of phone calls from gossip-hungry friends inquiring how she was doing. Now, however, it only was an irritating reminder of the area`s surrounding impedances, as well as her own. Turning her back to Aspen`s imperial mountains, she shuffled lamely back inside.

The soft glow of lamplights muffled the shadows of visitors seated at the bar, huddling close to one another as if in an attempt to intimacy. With as much of a lackadaisical attitude as she could handle at the moment, Alexandra carefully tossed herself into an overstuffed chair closest to the wall.

Son of a b*tch, " she muttered, stifling a wince as her stiff ankle swung and hit the coffee table leg in front of her. Her mug tipped in her grip and the hot, brownish liquid released itself all over her pant leg. Bloody hell, she thought. This had been one of those days where she especially needed the happy caffeine to unravel her thoughts. Her New York officemates would never dream of a day that could function without coffee. While Alexandra didn`t plan on doing any work today, an easy grin from her could quickly become a forced grimace without her morning cup. Hopelessly swiping at the surefire stain to her jeans, Alex glanced around aimlessly.

People came and went throughout the lounge in twos and threes, striding effortlessly past Alexandra despite their various enshrouds of wool, down, and Gore-Tex. No one had seemed to notice her swears of malcontent; in fact, no one seemed to notice her at all. As the Editor-in-Chief of Poseur fashion magazine, she rarely found herself in a situation where the room didn`t turn in attention at her entrance, where someone wasn`t pining for her opinion, her approval. Rarely did she ever have to clean up her own coffee, much less make it.