Adult story: Homeless – CHAPTER 8
We were up early, as usual, and dressed—me in a suit and tie, Jennie in casual clothes. We walked Lady over to the park and returned to the Plaza for breakfast. It was 9:45 when we left the restaurant and walked to the concierge. There was a woman waiting there for us. “Margo,” I asked.
“Yes, you must be Doug and this is obviously Jennie. I’m pleased to meet you.”
“Jennie, Margo is a professional shopper. She will accompany you and help you select appropriate clothes. Just remember, Margo, that we live in North Carolina where their idea of formal is wearing socks with your sneakers.”
“What’s my limit?”
“Please don’t go over fifty thousand without letting me know. That’s the limit on Jennie’s card.” I reached into my pocket, retrieving a platinum Master Card with Jennie’s name on it and an envelope for Margo’s services. Jennie signed the card then turned to kiss me. “You’ll have a limo for the day. Have fun. Think of me often.” I kissed Jennie again, petted Lady and watched as they strode to the door. I could just hear Margo telling Jennie that she had a perfect body for clothes. “I’ll bet you’re a perfect size six,” was the last thing I heard. I watched them enter the limo as the doorman summoned a cab. I was on my way to Wall Street.
I was offered coffee in the executive conference room, but I declined. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust these crooks, but I had no reason to either. They wanted something that only I could provide and for that they’d pay. Everyone rose when the CEO strode confidently into the room—everyone except me. I actually reclined in my chair until I was almost horizontal. “Dr. Preston…I’m William Chambers, the CEO, how are you this morning?”
A tall reedy man with hollow cheeks followed and spoke before I had the chance to reply. “Morning, I’m Erik Stoehl, Executive Vice President for Technology.”
“I’m okay, but truthfully I’d rather be with my wife. What’s on your mind?”
“We have your program on our network. What is the maximum number of users the program can possibly handle at the same time? Do you know?”
“When I designed the program I envisioned it for a single user—one program, one user. I can understand why you’d want it on your network where you’d have complete control over it—where it could never be stolen or misused. How many users will depend on your servers plus what I program it to accept. How many users do you want?”
“Can it handle 20,000?”
“It can, but it would be slow as shit flowing uphill. You’d be better off with ten or twenty programs running simultaneously. I could rig them to work together…to ‘cooperate’ for lack of a better term.”
“Couldn’t we do that? We have programmers on staff, you know.”
“Knock yourselves out,” I said, getting to my feet. “Give me a call when they’ve completely fucked it up then I’ll be able to charge you ten times as much.”
“What will you charge us for this?”
“Not much…only fifty million.”
“Fine, but you need to check our contract before anyone touches it.”
“You have a license to use, not permission to make any changes. I still own the copyright. The program will log any attempts to change it and forward them to my email. They’ll make great evidence for the lawsuit which will cost you billions. Worse, it will let the cat out of the bag. Everyone will know how you managed to average returns of three percent over the past year when everyone else was lucky to break even. Then you’ll have other programmers working their asses off for your competitors and every night before they go to bed they’ll be on their knees praying to God to thank me for the millions they’ll be making. Meanwhile, you’ll be stuck in litigation and—the worst possible scenario—the program will shut itself off and your programmers will only make things worse because it will, about two weeks later, erase itself from your servers.
“You paid me 1.5 billion for this program. How much have you made over the past year using it? How many clients have you…um…acquired… from your competitors because you’ve been able to put together the best results in the industry? You didn’t pay me all that money because I’m an idiot. I’ll gladly do the work for you once I’m back in North Carolina.”
“Don’t you have to be here to do it? Our servers are here in this building.”
I couldn’t resist smirking as I pulled my laptop from my case. My fingers moved at the speed of light as I successfully hacked into their system. The CEO blanched when I turned the screen to him. “Your security is fairly typical. Luckily, my program has three multi-level firewalls that will keep even the most talented hackers out. But, since I wrote them, I can get in whenever I want. I’m here with my new bride and I’d like some quality time with her. I’ll start on it Tuesday afternoon. It will take you longer than that to get the contract together and for my attorney to review it. I anticipate a month or less. Any questions?”
“How the hell did we wind up doing business with someone like you?”
“You came to my house…remember? You bought my business. I didn’t ask you to; you practically insisted, but I’m not angry. If not for you I would never have met my wife. Incidentally, you made more than fifteen billion using the program last year and you’ll make so much next year you’ll think the fifty million you’re going to pay me is chicken feed.”
“I’m Fred Hutchinson, the chief programmer here. May I ask how you plan to accomplish this?” In contrast to his boss Fred was short and squat, a bad combination at best, made all the worse by his almost totally bald head.
“Yes you may.”
“But? How are you going to do it?”
“Oh, I thought you were asking if you could ask how I was going to do it. You certainly can ask, but I’m not going to answer. Even if you knew how you still couldn’t because of the safeguards I’ve build into the program. You’d have to enter the security code the first time and the chances of doing that correctly are roughly one in ten to the eighteenth power. That’s one in a billion billion and since there’s no identifiable place to enter it you’d have to guess. It’s an impossible task. I did this to protect both of us—to protect my proprietary rights and to protect you from unauthorized entry to the code. Even I can’t remember the password so I have it programmed into my server at home where it’s interwoven into thousands of lines of code in dozens of programs. I’ll write the patch at home, enter the program, upload all of the other programs as well as the coordinating software and then watch as you test it. I don’t foresee any problems, but one never knows.” They didn’t like the scenario, but what could they do? I’d much prefer to spend all my time with Jennie and they would have to pay for my inconvenience.
Their attorney met with me for another three hours to hammer out the details. By working through lunch we were finished by 2:30 and I caught a cab back to the Plaza. I changed my clothes and went down to the lobby to wait for my bride.
She made an entrance that would have made a Hollywood star jealous. In she walked with her service dog and three bellmen, each of which was carrying about a dozen large shopping bags. I rose as Jennie ran into my arms. “I take it you had a good time.”
“Good? Oh Doug, it was marvelous. We began at Macy’s. That store is so big! Then we went to Bergdorf-Goodman. What clothes they had! We stopped for lunch and then we went to some fancy boutiques. That’s where I got this purse. Like it?” I did; it was very stylish and looked great on Jennie’s shoulder.
“Did you hear Margo tell me she thought I was a perfect size six? She was right. Everything I tried on fit me perfectly. I had a hard time choosing.” I stopped her for a moment and turned to the bellmen. Handing each a ten-spot I asked them to take the bags up to 1027. “Isn’t the suite locked, Doug?”
“Of course, but they have master keys. Let’s go in for a snack then we can go up and dress. We
have tickets for the theater tonight. We’re going to see “Hamilton.”
“Oh Doug, Margo told me all about it. I can’t wait. I have the perfect outfit. I think you’ll love it.”
“Let’s get up to our room; we have early dinner reservations at Davio’s. I think you’ll like it. The menu is extensive and the food is great.” I took Jennie’s hand as we walked to the elevator.
“How was your meeting?”
“Good; we’re going to get fifty million from it. They want my program to be available to handle 20,000 brokers at a time.”
“Can you actually do that?”
“Sure…I didn’t tell them, but I kind of assumed it was something they’d want eventually. I’ve been working on it for months. I’d have completed it weeks ago, but I had this little distraction.”
“I’m glad.” She had a look of total love in her eyes as she said it.
I thought she would have kissed me, but we were sharing the elevator with an elderly woman. “Oh, go ahead and kiss her. You obviously want to.” I did, but I was uncomfortable until we exited on the tenth floor.
The floor of our sitting room was covered with the more than thirty bags filled with Jennie’s new clothes. She rifled through them quickly until she found one from some boutique Margo had found for her. The dress she pulled out was gorgeous. I could see it was made of raw silk dyed to a dark navy blue. It was a simple sleeveless sheath with a long slit almost reaching her hip on the left side. Next was a short jacket, what I later learned was called a “bolero.” From another bag she pulled a blue bra and high cut bikini panties. My contribution was the scissors to cut the tags.
We showered quickly—no fooling around—and dressed in our bedroom. I wore my grey suit with a white button-down shirt and a cranberry paisley tie. Once I was dressed I opened the safe and removed much of Jennie’s jewelry. She selected a pair of diamond and sapphire bangle earrings and a bracelet with two rows of diamonds around a single row of sapphires. Around her neck she wore a matching necklace. She was absolutely stunning.
Jennie remained in the lobby while I took Lady across the street to the park. Ten minutes later we were back and two minutes after that the three of us climbed into the limo, Lady on the floor between us. “Davio’s,” I told the driver. He commented that it was a good choice. I agreed, having eaten there several times when I worked out on Long Island and had business here in the city.
I told the driver to have dinner on us while he waited. I knew he could be served quickly in the bar. Jennie and I were shown to a table in the dining room. We began by splitting an appetizer of American Kobe beef meatballs followed by a salad with baby iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomatoes in an herb buttermilk dressing. We skipped the pasta course, but did opt for the lobster bisque before our entrée of pan seared scallops, creamy corn, and potatoes. We had dined extremely well and, once again, not a word was said about Lady.
Our driver David was waiting when we walked out onto the sidewalk. “Thanks for the dinner, Dr. Preston. I really appreciate it.” He held the door and closed it behind me. A minute later we were on our way south toward the theater.
Parent Post: Homeless – by senorlongo
- Homeless - CHAPTER 2
- Homeless - CHAPTER 3
- Homeless - CHAPTER 4
- Homeless - CHAPTER 5
- Homeless - CHAPTER 6
- Homeless - CHAPTER 7
- Homeless - CHAPTER 8
- Homeless - CHAPTER 9 - 10
- Homeless - CHAPTER 11
- Homeless - CHAPTER 12
- Homeless - CHAPTER 13
- Homeless - CHAPTER 14
- Homeless - CHAPTER 15
- Homeless - CHAPTER 16
- Homeless - CHAPTER 17
- Homeless - CHAPTER 18
- Homeless - CHAPTER Epilog