Harry and Amy - Cover

Harry and Amy

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 6

Standing in the center of the hotel room, Amy managed to keep her balance and looked around at her surroundings. She was standing in what had been the living room of the best suite of a major hotel. It wasn’t recognizable as such any more. The room had been transformed into a machine shop and laboratory. The couch and chairs had been pushed against the sides of the room. Worktables had been added. One table was loaded with machining equipment. Another table was loaded with electronics. A third table was loaded with tools.

Amy tried to take a step, stumbled, and then fell to her knees. The kneepads cushioned her fall so she wasn’t injured. None the less, she was frustrated at having ended up in the same position for the hundredth time. Concentrating on what she was doing, she rose to a standing position. She was getting good at that after all of the practice she had gotten. If only she could figure out how to walk with the new braces.

Losing a bit of her cool, she said, “I’m never going to be able to walk with these stupid things.”

“Maybe you need to learn how to crawl before you walk,” suggested Peter.

He knew the sensors were working correctly and the actuators were functioning properly. They might need a little tweaking to get them tuned properly, but they were close enough for her to walk.

Angry, Amy stepped forward and dropped to her knees once again. When her anger was about to overwhelm Amy, Laura, with a wink, said, “You know, Bill is going to love that move, but I imagine you’re going to get tired of giving blowjobs.”

The comment was so unexpected that Amy burst out laughing uncontrollably. Her anger and frustration dissipated. It amazed her how Laura always found the right thing to say when she was reaching her breaking point.

Catching her breath, she said, “I doubt he’ll be able to perform a thousand times a day.”

Catherine laughed at the retort and knew Laura had said the right thing. Laura was a firm believer in the old adage that laughter was often the best medicine.

She said, “You know. I think Peter has a point about learning to crawl first.”

Nodding, Laura realized the problem was that Amy was sending the wrong commands to her muscles. She was trying to move as if she were wearing her old braces. Rather than trying to move her legs forward, she was trying to swing her legs around. It was the swing that caused her to lose balance.

She said, “Your muscles have learned patterns appropriate for your old braces. You’re swinging your legs out rather than moving them in a normal walk. That’s okay when you’re wearing your old braces and using your crutches, but you aren’t wearing them now.”

Amy gave in and tried to crawl. She found that with each slide forward, her knees were getting further apart. She stopped and adjusted herself so that her knees were closer together.

She realized what she was doing and said, “You’re right.”

For the next four hours, Amy crawled around the room like an infant. At first, she kept finding her knees would become spread in an obscene manner. With practice, she slowly achieved a normal crawl. As she made a circuit around the room, she thought about crawling under the dining room table to give Bill a blowjob. She recalled when she had wanted to give him a blowjob and had been unable to get into position. Now she was concerned that she’d never get out of that position!

“I think that is enough, for now,” said Laura seeing that Amy was tired.

“Thanks,” said Amy realizing only at that moment just how tired she had become. She crawled over to a chair and climbed into it. Settling into the seat, she crossed her legs without thinking about it.

After a few seconds, she looked down and saw what she had done. She hadn’t been able to cross her legs without lifting them into position since the day that her life had changed. She’d never been able to do it while wearing her old braces.

Overcome with emotion, she said, “I crossed my legs.”

Not understanding the significance of the act, Peter shrugged and said, “Okay.”

“You don’t understand. I haven’t been able to cross my legs since my knees blew out.”

Amy stared at where her legs crossed. As she thought about it, she realized that she was going to be able to act in a more feminine manner. If she’d master these new braces, she’d be able to walk across a room, sit down, and cross her legs like a normal person.

Catherine understood and said, “Your life is about to undergo a major change.”

Amy worked up the courage to ask the question that had been bothering her. She didn’t feel that it was right for her to be the one chosen for the honor of receiving these braces. There were others more deserving.

Looking at Laura, she asked, “Why me?”

“Even angels occasionally require a minor miracle,” answered Laura making reference to Amy’s nickname that had been bestowed upon her by the homeless she had helped. Laura took a seat on the couch beside Amy and held her hand.

Sitting down on a chair by the table on which the jeweler’s lathe sat, Catherine said, “You help others without asking for anything in return. We kind of identify with that sentiment.”

“I haven’t done anything special.”

Laura laughed and then said, “Ed Biggers told me that you did lots of things that were special.”


“You remember Ed Biggers. Cowboy in a black robe who’s stuck with telling the truth all of the time. He can’t even tell a tall tale. That must be torture for a cowboy,” Catherine said and grinned as she waited for Amy to give a nod of recognition.

“He and I worked together for a little while, but I don’t remember doing anything special while he was here.”

Laura said, “One night he asked you to join him for dinner and you turned him down with a lie. When he asked if he had upset you, you told him no and that was the truth. Well, that got his attention so he followed you. You’d never guess what he discovered. His little helper was out helping the homeless by bringing them food and clothes.”

“He followed me?” Amy didn’t know what to think of that.

“Of course, he did. He was investigating some stock manipulation crimes and wanted to know that you weren’t being used by some unscrupulous individual.”

“He suspected me?” asked Amy shocked at the suggestion.

“Not for a minute. He suspected everyone around you, particularly anyone who he hadn’t met,” answered Peter from his seat at the table with electronics. Absently, he played with a couple of resistors that were on the table.

“How do you know that?”

“He told Harry and Harry told us,” answered Laura.

Although she knew it was a stupid question, she asked, “Why would he tell Harry?”

Laura answered, “Ed tried to find out what he could about your knees. He had hoped that his wife would be able to correct the problem. Eventually it was discovered that your problem was congenital, and there was nothing she could do for you. So Ed decided to let Harry help you out with your mission.”

Amy had heard that part of the story before from Harry. Curious, she asked, “Do you guys talk about people like me very much?”

Although the question wasn’t very specific, Peter understood what she was asking. He answered, “Ed likes to rescue women from bad situations. He was quite disappointed when he discovered that he couldn’t do more for you. You’ve been a special case for a while.”

“Oh,” replied Amy.

It wasn’t a comfortable feeling knowing that you were a subject of conversation among the most powerful people in the country. She stood up and started to pace across the room trying to make sense of what they had told her. She wondered what kinds of things they knew about her. She stopped and looked at Catherine to ask a question. Catherine, Laura, and Peter were watching Amy with broad smiles on their faces wondering how long it would take her to realize that she was walking without the aid of crutches. Amy looked from one person to the next curious about the expressions on their face.



Amy turned and took a step towards the couch she had abandoned. At that moment, she realized why they were looking at her.

She screamed, “I’m walking!”

Black George watched the man walking towards the shed. He knew he should recognize him, but he couldn’t make out enough details to distinguish him from others who visited there. It didn’t matter, who ever it was, he’d offer him a bunk and, after a little work, a hot meal. He went back into the shed to check on the big pot of chili that was slowly cooking.

“Black George?” asked Bill hoping he had the name correct.

The black man turned and looked at Bill standing at the door. Close up, he was able to see enough features to recall the identity of his visitor. “Dapper Dandy! I’ll be. What are you doing here?”

“I’m looking for Amy,” answered Bill wondering what it would take to get rid of that nickname. After a moment of reflection, he decided that he’d have to do something pretty awful and he’d not want the nickname that would result.

“Druids took her.” George turned back to face the stove.

Bill grabbed Black George by the arm and tried to turn the man to face him. Despite his failure to budge the man, he asked, “Who took her?”

Black George looked down at the hand on his arm and then at Bill. Getting the message that it would be best to unhand the man, Bill released his arm.

Frowning, Black George answered, “The Druids. You know - the guys in the robes. They took her to perform some experiments on her.”

Concern for his girlfriend overcame his reason. Angry, he shouted, “You let them take her to be the subject of some mad science experiment? What is wrong with you? Where in the hell can I find these Druids?”

A throat clearing from behind him got Bill’s attention. He turned to find himself facing a black robed Druid. She looked at him carefully and then said, “You won’t find us in hell. We tend to avoid it as much as possible.”

Black George chuckled at her line about hell. He’d been about to shake hands with Bill and welcome him to hell. He decided that her line was better. He listened on the conversation knowing that he’d have a good story to tell around the fire tonight.

Bill stared at the Druid for several seconds and then repeated his question. “Where’s Amy?”

“She’s busy and will be unable to see you until Friday night, Bill.”

“I want to see her right now!”

He didn’t notice that she knew his name. He was more concerned for Amy. The previous Monday he had called and she’d been very distracted. That was the last he’d heard from her. His calls to her house on Tuesday went unanswered. He had tried again on Wednesday with the same result. Thursday he’d called her office and left a message with some young woman who had answered the phone. Amy never called him back. Friday had been more of the same.

“You can’t see her, right now. She’s busy. However, I’ve brought someone here to keep you distracted until Friday. I’d like to introduce you to your new intern, Sydney,” answered Kristie while pointing to a young woman wearing a blue robe. She was 5’4” and built like a cheerleader with long blond hair that reached the middle of her back. Her eyes twinkled with amusement at the exchange.

“The only one I want distracting me is Amy,” said Bill insulted by the suggestion that he take up with the young woman. His voice took on a low threatening tone when he said, “If you’ve hurt Amy, I’ll hunt down and kill every single one of you.”

Kristie studied Bill for several seconds. He was strong willed and a good man. His concern for Amy was pure.

She replied, “You would do that. I find it rather touching that you’d sacrifice yourself that way for love.”

“I don’t think he’s ready to be my mentor,” said Sydney surprised by the suggestion that he thought she was being offered as some sort of sexual diversion. She didn’t expect her practicum to start with this kind of scene.

“He’s worried about Amy. I suppose there’s only one thing to do.”

“Right. Take me to Amy.”

“We’ll have to stop by a jeweler’s to pick up a ring so that he can propose to her on Friday night.”

It was not what he was expecting to hear. “Huh?”

“A man who’s that much in love with a woman is eventually going to propose to her. Might as well make it sooner, rather than later,” said Kristie as she took him by the arm. She sighed and then said, “I’m sure there’s a jeweler near here who’s open on Saturday.”

Bill stumbled as she led him away from the homeless hotel and to his car. Sydney followed them after waving farewell to Black George. The black man shook his head and returned to his work of preparing dinner. After thinking about it for a minute, he looked up and stared out the door of the shack.

In a quiet voice that conveyed immense sadness, he said, “We’re gonna loose Amy. Dapper Dandy is gonna steal her from us.”

The Friday night crowd was quiet as they watched Amy walk around the fire pit at the Homeless Hotel. Gone were the clunky metal braces and the arm crutches. A spider web of some black plastic material that hugged her legs had replaced them.

Amy paused and asked, “What do you think?”

For nearly half a minute no one answered her. Finally, the California Kid, in a resigned voice, said, “We’re happy you can walk real good now.”

The reaction was not what she had expected. Curious why they weren’t happy she could walk, she asked, “What’s the matter?”

None of the men answered her. They all stared into the fire as if there was something very interesting going on within the flames. The air was filled with a sullen, almost bitter, feel. She looked around getting angry that they were not happy for her.

Putting her hands on her hips, she shouted, “What’s the matter?”

It was Bad News who finally answered her. He’d gotten that nickname because he was usually the only one who had the heart to deliver bad news.

Staring woodenly at the fire, he said, “Now that you can walk, Dapper Dandy is gonna marry you and take you from us. We’s happy you can walk, but losing you is almost more than we can take.”

A voice came out from the dark surprising everyone. “You’re right. I’m gonna marry her if she’ll have me.”

Amy spun to see who spoke. Off balance, she fell to the ground. A dozen hands reached out to pick her up. It was Black George who led her back to her chair. As Amy sat down, Bill approached and dropped to one knee.

Holding out a ring, he asked, “Will you marry me?”

Amy stared at the ring in shock. The men, their worst fears being realized, stared at the fire hunched over as if in pain. She couldn’t believe that he was asking her to marry him. Despite knowing there would be problems, there was only one answer that she could give. Hand trembling, she reached out to touch the simple gold band.

Softly, she said, “Yes.”

There was a pained groan from the men around the fire. Leaning forward, Bill kissed her. She returned the kiss with passion even as tears of happiness gathered in her eyes. For the moment, they were only aware of each other.

When they broke off the kiss, Bill stood and faced the circle of unhappy men. Not one man looked at him. Their happiness for Amy conflicted with their feelings of loss. More than one man entertained thoughts that weren’t exactly legal or gentle. If it wouldn’t have hurt Amy, they’d have beat him where he stood.

In a voice that carried around the fire, Bill said, “I’ve been working this week to move my business to Chicago. Amy won’t have to leave or give up her life here. I imagine that she’ll be here long after you guys have found homes.”

The past week had been busy for Bill. His intern, Sydney, had worked out a scheme in which he separated the manufacturing part of his business from sales and administration. The sales and administration teams were going to move to a new location in the outskirts of Chicago while manufacturing was going to stay where it was. The move would allow him to expand his manufacturing facilities into the freed up area. It meant that he was going to have to travel rather frequently between the two sites, but the plan she had laid out was sound and would improve his ability to grow the business.

The California Kid looked up at Bill once he realized what the man had said. Tears streaked his face forming little light tracks that contrasted with the ever-present thin layer of dirt.

In a voice that cracked, he asked, “Why would you do that?”

Understanding for the first time just how fragile some of the people who stayed at the Homeless Hotel were, Bill answered, “She loves this place as much as I love her. There’s no way I could take her away from here and live with myself.”

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