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Alicia by Michelle Miller can be found as one of the Amazon Original Stories (AOS) in a collection titled The Fairer Sex. This is Book Three of an eight-book series. All can be read one at a time for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription or the collection can be purchased as a set (not for free). All the short stories emphasize “short.” Alicia, the third story in the series is only twenty pages. Grab a mug of your favorite brew. Not a large mug, you won’t be able to finish it before you finish the story.
Alicia worked for a private bank, L. Cecil. One client of the bank, billionaire David Merced had chosen Alicia as his personal banker. The Merced contract was lucrative financially and had other benefits. She attended specially organized bank events for their wealthiest clients, where she had met David. They had a pleasant social, platonic relationship even though she didn’t like David’s sometimes cruel behavior in his business acquisitions practice. Out of the blue, David offers Alice a million dollars to sleep with him. This offer comes on page one of this short story. The entire rest of the story can be characterized in one word, anticipation.
Will she, or won’t she? For either answer, there is the further question, why? Alicia does not want to be an investment banker. She wants to live in Paris and practice her art. She loves drawing. But drawing doesn’t pay off the student loan, high commissions do. David just points out that she is wasting her time. David will deposit one million dollars in a Cayman Islands bank if Alicia agrees. And if Alicia does not agree, will David take his money to another bank? Alicia will not like herself if she agrees. Any subsequent success in the world of Art will be tainted. On the other hand, she may lose her job if she doesn’t agree.
There is anticipation as readers join her thoughts as they progress to a decision. Once the decision is made, there is the anticipation of all possible consequences. This is my fourth short story I have read by Michelle Miller. I will read more but up to now, this is the best.
I give this short story five Amazon stars. And … it is completely safe to read at work (during your fifteen-minute break).