tagRomanceCharlie and Clyde

Charlie and Clyde

byCat5©

Chapter 1

The tech chat room was busy when it suddenly appeared, "DB ex crash cash end. Charlie."

Now to many people that ad meant absolutely nothing, but to me it was pretty clear that Charlie was desperate for a database geek who would work on a crash project for no money until the job was done.

I didn't like the cash at the end, since I was broke. In fact, I had been evicted from my studio apartment a few days earlier and had been freeloading on a friend's couch. However, database management is my thing, and a crash project meant that the end was near, so it was worth a try.

I had interviewed for two jobs in the real world during the past week. Neither company asked me back—I didn't know if it was my string tie or the absence of socks that did me in, but nevertheless, I was still unemployed.

I thought, "What the hell," and typed "Charlie, phone num pls."

Instantly, "282-2468."

Since I was at my friend's place, a phone was available. I dialed the number and it was answered on the first ring.

A soft female voice answered, "Hello."

"Is Charlie around?"

"I'm Charlie," said the female.

"I'm Clyde."

There was a pause and then she blurted, "I'm desperate. If you're a good DB, I need you now."

Her voice did sound desperate, but it was a nice sounding voice, and I wasn't very busy anyway. "Tell me how to get to your place and I'll come over and talk."

"8920 Western; apartment 309. There isn't an elevator."

"Charlie, I'll be there in an hour. By the way, I'm really good in DB."

Fifty minutes later I walked up the stairs of a sixty-year-old building that showed every one of those years and knocked on the door of 309.

She opened the door; she looked like shit.

She was wearing a baggy sweatshirt and pants with worn flip-flops for shoes. Her hair was a dirty blond that hadn't been washed in a day or so. But it was her sunken eyes—an equal mixture of blue and red—that told me she hadn't slept in a while. She might be pretty. She was about five-foot-eight or so, but with the baggy clothes it was hard to say anything else about her body.

"You look like you have a deadline, Charlie."

"How would you know?"

"I've been there...many times."

She mumbled something and then raised her voice, "Come in and let's talk."

She led me into a very large but old studio apartment. Everything was in one room including the bed. I guessed that the only other door in the room probably led to the bathroom. Against one wall was the work area—two tower computers tied to one printer sitting on a pair of old tables that were strewn with paper. In the middle of the room was a ratty couch. The tiny kitchen area had the basic appliances. On another wall was a big bed that hadn't been made.

She led me over to the couch and I sat down as she wheeled over one of the work chairs. She sat down facing me.

"Cliff," she began...

"My name's Clyde," I interrupted.

She blushed briefly and said, "How did you ever get the name Clyde?"

I grinned, "The normal way—my parents named me."

She blushed again.

She tried again. "Tell me about yourself."

"I was born and named Clyde. My parents were hippies. I went to school and was bored. Finally I went to State U and took computer science. I knew more than the instructors, but they had good equipment so I put up with them. I graduated two years ago and never found a regular job, but I spend a lot of time helping people. I'm part of an informal computer underground; when a rush job comes out, if I like it, I do it."

"Why don't you get a regular job?"

"No one will hire me."

"Why?"

"My theory is that it is a combination of my string tie and no socks."

"Clyde, string ties went out forty years ago."

I shrugged, "I like them. Maybe they'll make a comeback.

"Look Charlie, trust me, I'm great in database and you look like shit, and you also look desperate, so where are we?"

For a second I thought she was going to cry, but then she sucked it up and stared at me.

"My ex-boyfriend and I graduated last year with majors in computer science. We wanted to start our own company so we created a LLC, rented this place by the month, and started looking for jobs.

"We got a few small, patch jobs at first and then this project came up. The company wanted a major change to their main system that had to be more efficient and run faster than their old system. The database is huge and takes forever to manipulate it the way they want.

"We underbid the job and said $30,000, and that we would do it in three weeks. We should have said two months and $60,000, but this was our first big job so we closed our eyes and took it. We got ten percent up front and we get the balance when we successfully benchmark the new system.

"We should have asked for one-third up front, but again, we really wanted the job."

I interrupted, "So far you've told me a story that I've heard many times. It's the nature of the industry."

"Not when your boyfriend wants equal time playing in bed and working, and the work he does somehow never quite works right.

"We had a huge fight a week ago. He walked out. I changed the locks and I'm trying to finish all the work. We only have five more days."

"Where does the project stand?" I asked.

I have most of the programming done with one major problem that I can't break through. The real problem is my ex thought he was a DB god. It turns out he didn't know shit. His data manipulation doesn't work fast. In fact, it doesn't work slow—it doesn't work. So even if I get over the programming problem, I'm still screwed without fast access to the data."

"What's in it for me?"

"The ten percent has been spent. If we do the job, the split is sixty-forty. You'll get forty percent of the $27,000 if we deliver."

I changed subjects. "How did you get the name Charlie?"

I caught her by surprise and she stared at me. Finally, "My dad wanted a boy. So Charlene became Charlie. The boy he wanted was supposed to take over the family business when he retired. Just before I graduated I asked him if he would take me into the business. His answer was that 'Women can't do the job.' "

"That must have pissed you off."

"I haven't talked to him since I graduated. I'm not stupid. I know part of the reason I started this company was to show him he was wrong."

I stared at her; she stared at me.

Finally I asked, "Do you have the database documentation, and do you have a test file for testing?"

"Yes."

"Okay. Let's go to work."

She gave me the database material and went back to work on her programming. For four hours I studied what the company had given her. It really was a cluster. They had made modification after modification and created a monster database. It was no wonder they wanted it faster—pencil and paper might beat it the way the system was currently configured.

During those four hours I heard every obscene word in the book; it was obvious that Charlie wasn't solving her programming problem.

Finally at one point she yelled, "SHIT, damn it to hell, you stupid shit!"

I looked at her. It was obvious that she was shot. Every additional hour she worked would produce nothing. The adrenaline rush had long ago left her, and she was physically and mentally exhausted.

I stood up and walked behind her. She was staring at the monitor, but not seeing anything. I gently touched each shoulder and started to massage her neck and shoulders. She was startled but quickly sighed and let me do it. For ten minutes I gently massaged her shoulders and finally she placed her hands on top of the keyboard and put her face on her hands. Minutes later I could hear her rhythmic breathing as she slept.

I gently rubbed her shoulders and back for ten more minutes. She was in deep sleep—obviously exhausted after probably forty-eight hours without sleep.

I swung the chair around and pulled her to her feet saying, "Come on Charlie, it's time to sleep."

She mumbled, "Huh," but didn't wake up.

I pulled her body into mine briefly and felt her breasts. Obviously there was something behind that sweatshirt. I braced myself and put my arms under her knees as I lifted her. She moaned, but didn't wake up.

I carried her to the bed and gently laid her down and pulled a sheet over her, but did nothing with her clothes. I knew it wouldn't matter.

She started snoring softly.

For the next eight hours I studied the documentation trying to determine the best way to attack the mess they had given Charlie.

I got tired and slept two hours on the couch.

Two hours after I got up I heard Charlie moving on the bed. Suddenly she yelled, "What the fuck!"

"Good morning, Charlie."

"Why didn't you wake me?"

"Because you were toast and weren't doing anything productive."

"I just lost another day," she whined.

"Charlie," I asked, "Will you do me a favor?"

"What?" she asked, exasperated.

"Go take a long, hot shower. Wash your hair and brush your teeth."

She glared at me, "Are you saying I stink?"

I just looked at her.

She turned and headed for the bathroom as she mumbled, "Damn men think they know it all, and they order and we're supposed to obey. The next thing you know he'll be ordering me to strip. What bullshit."

Twenty minutes later she came out of the bathroom wearing the same sweat outfit, but obviously refreshed. She had brushed her hair to a gloss.

She looked at me and said, "I'm sometimes...can I make you some coffee?"

"I'd love some coffee, Charlie."

When the coffee was done we relaxed and enjoyed it.

"Do you know I slept twelve hours?" she asked.

"You were exhausted."

"I remember you squeezing my shoulders, but that's all. How did I get to the bed?"

"I carried you."

She blushed and then said, "Thank you, Clyde."

We went back to work. Two hours later I heard Charlie yell, "Shit...I can't believe it."

"What?" I asked.

"It's so obvious. I should have seen the problem two days ago. I know what the main programming hitch is and the fix is easy. I just didn't see it."

"Lack of sleep, maybe?"

She looked at me and said, "Maybe."

For the rest of the day we worked on the system. Our meals were hot pizza and then cold pizza. At one point I walked to the couch, took off my shoes and grabbed the pillow. Eight hours later I woke up. Charlie insisted I take a shower. It felt great even though the same clothes went back on.

We tested the system. Charlie's programming worked great, but the database inquiry system she was using was super slow. It was a major problem.

I knew I could convert the database to a friendly format, but the system required a massive amount of manipulation and that caused a big slowdown.

I finally told Charlie, "I know a guy who was testing his system for his graduate degree. If it works, it would be perfect for us. Should I call him?"

"We only have two days left Clyde."

I dialed his number and he answered.

"Hey Knucklehead," I said, "How's it hanging?"

"Clyde, right?" "I'm doing great."

"Did your fancy database invention ever work?"

"Yea, it's great, but I'm looking for Beta sites."

"Give it to me free for my customer, and I'll test it live. If it works, I'll promote it."

He laughed, "Does that mean you have a real job?"

I answered, "Don't give me any shit, you turkey."

"Give me your email address, Clyde, and I'll download the program to you."

We got the program. It took fours hours to convert the file to match what Knucklehead's program expected and then we did the first test. It worked!

For the next two days we tested the system every way possible. Charlie's programming didn't crash, and Knucklehead's database inquiry worked every time.

Finally the day to present the system came. Charlie insisted that I come so I went to the apartment where I was freeloading and cleaned myself up. I put on a shirt that was almost clean and had my favorite string tie around my neck.

I went back to Charlie's and knocked on the door. The door opened and when Charlie saw me, she winced—the string tie again I thought.

But I saw Charlie and was flabbergasted. She was wearing a pants suit. The blouse was matching and the top two buttons were open showing her bare chest. Where the skin ended, two prominent peaks pushed against the fabric—she had breasts—very big breasts that caught me by surprise.

"You're staring," she giggled.

"You're beautiful," I blurted.

Her face turned a deep red.

When we entered the customer's building, Charlie took over. I was overwhelmed and somewhat intimidated by the size and splendor of the building. Our contact met us and escorted us into his office. He asked, "Are you ready to benchmark?"

Charlie grinned and bluffed, "We've been ready for a week. Let's do it."

Two hours later our programs were in their computer and the test data was ready. Their data processing manager said that our system was ready for the benchmark. He was going to give us data that the current system ran for thirty minutes. He would check our results with theirs, and also time how fast our system worked.

The test started and I could see that Charlie was nervous. Their manager had just said that at least our programs hadn't frozen his system when the completion bell rang. Our system had taken ten minutes against the thirty-minute bar. We had beaten the shit out of them!

For two days they tested the crap out of our system and it worked perfectly. On the third day the manager-in-charge gave Charlie a check for $27,000. He was embarrassed.

"I knew you desperately wanted the job and I screwed you to the wall. You delivered on time perfectly. I'm a little embarrassed, but a deal is a deal. What I'll guarantee you is that I'll recommend you to people in the industry to try to make up for being so tough."

As we walked out of the building with our check Charlie stopped me and said, "We did it, Clyde.

"Let's go to my bank and deposit it so that I can give you a check for your share."

I hesitated and then asked, "Could you give it to me in cash?"

Charlie looked surprised. "Why do you want it in cash?"

I was embarrassed and then muttered, "I don't have a bank account."

"Not even a savings account?"

"No accounts at all. I never had enough money to worry about it. I just carry cash around."

Charlie was quiet for a few moments and then said, "Clyde, you're going to my bank and I'll write you a check for what I owe you. Then you'll open a savings account and put in the money you don't need right now. And then we'll get you an ATM card so you can withdraw your money when you need it."

I was embarrassed, but I knew she was right. I nodded agreement and we drove to her bank. After the bank stuff was done we walked to a nearby restaurant to get a sandwich.

When we finished eating, Charlie looked at me and shyly asked, "What do you think about us taking a long weekend vacation at the ocean?"

I looked at her.

She violently blushed, "Separate rooms, Clyde...not sex. Just to relax."

I blushed. Sex is not my thing. I'm a virgin. The closest I've come to sex is looking at the nude sites on the Internet. Staring at naked females on the monitor has been my main sexual stimulation, which usually resulted in masturbation.

"Sure, Charlie, I think that's a great idea."

Charlie had an old car and the next morning we drove for three hours and reached the ocean. Charlie checked us into the hotel with her credit card. I had the cash from our project, but obviously didn't have a credit card. Our rooms were on different floors.

The next few days were fantastic. We ate at good restaurants, walked on the beach for hours and talked. Charlie insisted I buy a swimming suit, and on the second day we played in the ocean. I was pasty white with no suntan at all. Charlie wore a modest bikini; her stomach and chest were as white as mine.

In her swimming suit it was easy to see that she had a terrific figure. Her legs were long and thin with a small ass and flat stomach. Her beautiful breasts were like magnets. I got hard every time I looked at Charlie because inevitably my eyes always locked on her breasts. I know she knew I was staring, but she never mentioned it.

When we came out of the water she picked up a tube of sunscreen and coated her front. Then she handed the tube to me and asked, "Put some on my back, please."

I thought my suit would tear open I was so hard when I rubbed the lotion on her back and thighs. I had never touched a girl's body like that before, and it was overwhelming me. Then she did the same for me. Her hands rubbing lotion on my skin was so sensual that at one point I know I moaned. She giggled.

We were having dinner on our last night before we returned to the city. We talked during the dinner and then sank into a comfortable silence when the food was taken away and we waited for the check.

Charlie asked, "What are you going to do now, Clyde?"

"I don't know. Probably the same things—wait for jobs to pop up and do the ones I like."

"Why don't we become business partners?"

I was stunned. Sure I had dreamed that maybe we would work on another project together, but she had real class and I had a string tie and no socks.

I stammered, "Charlie, you can do better."

"Clyde, you're a DB genius."

"But I can't sell worth shit and I have no class. Charlie, I can't even get a credit card."

Charlie grinned, "But I can sell, the company is already set up, and you know where to go if we need a specialty item."

A thought struck me and I blurted out, "We just finished a project under your company name. Isn't your ex-boyfriend a fifty percent owner?"

Charlie's face turned white. "Oh shit!

"As soon as we get back I have to start another LLC with you as a fifty percent owner. And I better talk to a lawyer whether my ex can claim any money from the project.

"You will be my partner, Clyde?"

She looked at me waiting for an answer. Her face was so beautiful and the look so hopeful, I had no choice.

"Yes, Charlie, if you really want me."

She grabbed my hand and squeezed it hard. Her face was beaming as she said, "Hi, partner."

"One thing, Charlie," I said. "When we get back I have to take some time to find a place to crash. My friend left me a note that I've used his couch long enough."

I could see she was thinking about something. Thirty seconds later she blushed and said, "I have an idea, and don't laugh at me. When we get a big project we will usually be in crash mode—just like the project we finished. We'll sleep when we're exhausted.

"What do you think about getting a two-bedroom apartment with a large living room? We could use the living room as the office, maybe use it as a tax write off, and when we have to crash, our bedrooms are right there."

She was blushing and that caused me to blush.

"I never had a woman as a roommate, Charlie."

"You never had a woman as a business partner, either," she countered.

I thought for a moment and stammered, "Let's see if we can find the right two-bedroom place for us when we get back."

I walked her to her room and we decided what time we would meet the next morning. She stood in front of her door looking at me. I desperately wanted to kiss her but was afraid of what she would think.

I touched her arm and said, "Thanks for a great vacation weekend, Charlie. It was fun."

I turned and walked away. I masturbated furiously that night thinking of what might have been.

I met Charlie the next morning for breakfast. We checked out and drove back to town. We had three hours to talk about where we wanted to look for the apartment, and how we were going to find new business.

We stopped at my friend's place so that I could pick up my stuff. Five minutes later I came down with two full brown-paper bags and my laptop.

"That's it?" asked Charlie.

I blushed and she knew the answer.

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