Marine Jake – Jeff B.
Chapter 1: Meeting Jake
I'd arrived in Berlin about a week ago and had been playing tourist the entire time. I love Germany, and especially the sights of its capital city. I was in Germany on business, but I arrived a week ahead of time so I could spend some time in my favorite city.
I got to Berlin Central Station about thirty minutes ahead of my scheduled departure time. I was headed for Sindelfingen, just outside of Stuttgart, in southern Germany. I had reserved a first-class seat and was just waiting for the departure to be called. While I was sitting in the waiting area I spotted a really cute, young man carrying a small duffel bag, standing at the ticket counter. He seemed rather frustrated about something, and I could hear him speaking in English trying to get his point across to the agent.
After about five minutes of conversation with the agent he grabbed his duffle bag and turned away from the agent. His face was adorable, but was also showing incredible stress and frustration. He just kind of stood there not knowing which way to turn. My curiosity piqued, I got up and walked over to him.
"Are you OK? You look really worried."
"No, I'm not OK. I have to be back on base by tonight and I can't find my fucking ticket. I tried telling the agent that I had already purchased the ticket, and even tried to get him to search for it on the computer, but he couldn't find any record of it. I figured my return trip was taken care of so I didn't save enough money to buy a ticket. I'm so screwed if I don't make it back on time"
"Which branch of the military are you in?"
"U.S. Marine Corps"
"Well Marine, as a grateful American citizen let me buy you a new ticket. Where are you headed?"
"Sindelfingen ..." He said kind of in a daze. Then he looked at me. "I can't let you do that; you don't even know me."
"I know you're a United States Marine, you're serving our country and I'd be honored to help you. Besides, what are your choices right now? Follow me."
I walked around him and headed up to the ticket agent. The Marine just stood behind me, looking dumbfounded; I thought it was kind of cute. I spoke to the agent in German telling him I needed a first class ticket on the 1030 train to Sindelfingen. I also told him what compartment I was in and asked him to issue the ticket to the same compartment. I handed the agent my credit card and waited for him to do the transaction. After typing a few things on his computer, the agent looked up at me and asked what name the ticket was to be issued in. I turned to my new friend and asked him in English.
"Jacob Harrison." He replied.
The agent nodded and went about issuing the ticket and processing my card. I signed for it, thanked him, took the ticket and handed it to Jacob.
"There you go, with my pleasure and thanks for your service."
"Thank you, Sir. I don't know what to say..."
"You just said it. No more is necessary"
He took that opportunity to look at the ticket and noticed there was a compartment assigned to him. He just looked at me with confusion.
"What is this compartment number? My ticket up here just had a train number on it."
"It's a first class ticket, so they assign a compartment. It's much more comfortable and private; usually only two or three people each. I did have him put you in my compartment, but if that's unacceptable to you I can have him change it."
"First class!? Holy crap! Sorry, Sir..."
He looked embarrassed and turned just a shade of pink. I wanted to hug him but decided that hugging a Marine in a crowded train station probably wouldn't be a good idea.
"Don't worry about it, Jacob, I've said far worse. By the way, my name is Mike Adler, nice to meet you," I stuck out my hand. He took my hand and shook it firmly and eagerly.
"Nice to meet you too, Sir. I guess I should formally introduce myself. I'm Lance Corporal Jacob Harrison, USMC, from Norfolk, Nebraska." He is still pumping my hand.
"Well, Lance Corporal Jacob, it is a pleasure to meet you. They just announced our train, so if you're ready let's head out to the platform."
I grabbed my briefcase and laptop bag while he grabbed his duffle bag and we walked to the platform. I had checked my suitcase in so I wasn't bogged down with heavy luggage.
We arrived at the train and were shown to our compartment by the staff member standing outside the coach. I asked Jacob if it would be all right if I sat facing forward because I get really car sick if I'm riding backwards. He chuckled and said of course I could. We stored our gear and sat facing each other while waiting for the train to depart. After about ten more minutes they announced "Board" in German, and I felt the train start to move about a minute later. I was pleased that they hadn't assigned anyone else to our compartment.
Jacob. What can I say about him? Wow! He is just so irresistibly handsome. He actually looks like he's about sixteen, but I'm assuming over eighteen since that's what it takes to get in the military. He stands about five feet, eleven inches, weighs about 170 pounds and has light brown hair and deep, brown eyes. He's in great physical condition, with well defined biceps and neck, and a chiseled face that artist's dream of molding into clay. He also has an incredible ass that is well outlined in his snug Levi's. And yes, I also took note of an impressive looking package on the front side of those Levi's. His skin is lightly tanned, at least his face and arms, the only parts I can see at the moment. Then there are his lips. Oh hell, books have been written about the seductions that lips like his could perform. I needed to behave myself. This could either be the best train ride ever or the longest.
We were pulling out of the station in Berlin, Jacob was looking out of the window watching the city go by and I was watching Jacob. I had to stop this or I was going to get busted.
"So Lance Corporal Jacob, how long have you been in the Marines, and how long have you been stationed in Germany?"
I had broken him out of his reverie but he recovered quickly.
"Sir, I've been in the Marines for two years and in-country for four months."
"I'll make you a deal. You quit calling me sir and I'll quit calling you Lance Corporal Jacob. I know you address everyone as sir and ma'am in the Corps, but it makes me feel old." I said, chuckling.
He smiled. "Sorry Sir. Oh shit!" He and I both laughed. "Sorry, again. That's a deal. I go by Jake."
"Jake, I go by Mike." I smiled at him and he smiled back and nodded.
"So Mike, do you live in Sindelfingen or are you just here on vacation?"
"I'm here on business actually. I did spend a week in Berlin playing tourist, but I guess I have to bite the bullet and do some work now. I live in Colorado, so we're actually neighbors of sorts."
Jake broke into a big grin. "Really!? That's cool; meeting someone from almost back home when I'm 4,000 miles away. I miss being home and I miss my family, but I love Germany; it's great here. I have eight more months here and then I don't know where I'll end up. I'm really hoping they keep me here my remaining time in the Corps. My parents were so excited that I wasn't going to the war zone, and I have to admit I was kind of relieved myself."
"Well I'm glad you didn't go too. Yes, we needed to do it, but it's time to bring our boys back home. So did you always want to join the Marines or were you prompted by the war?"
"I've always wanted to join the Corps. My grandfather was a Marine, and two of my uncles. My dad wasn't able to serve because of health issues, and then we lost him five years ago." He got a little misty eyed at that last statement.
"I'm really sorry for your loss, Jake. You have my condolences. I'm glad you carried on the family tradition and joined up. We need brave men like you to keep us safe."
Jake smiled a little. "Thank you."
"So I take it you were in Berlin on leave?"
"Yes. I've watched and read everything I could about the war in Europe and I really wanted to see Berlin, and where it all kind of started. I figured I'd never have a better chance now that I was here in Germany. I wish I'd had more than five days; I could spend a year just seeing all the places I've read about. I had a blast, but I also learned some new things and also had a few moving experiences that damn near brought me to tears."
"Me too, Jake, me too. I've come here several times over the years doing the exact same thing. It's like a calling or something. To find out the secrets, I guess, about the war. To see the battlefields, to try to get some understanding of why and how it all happened, and to try to understand how 20 million people died during that time. It can be overwhelming if you let it consume you." I looked deeply in his eyes.
"I know what you mean. Every time I went to a new place and learned something new, I had to learn even more. I felt like I was on a mission."
"Well, did you get to have any fun while you were on leave? Grab a beer and a Fräulein maybe?" I grinned at him.
He smiled, but looked just a slight bit embarrassed. "No, I didn't really give myself time to do any of that."
"No worries. Sometimes it's more important to complete the `mission' and get some of your questions answered."
"True." He kind of drifted off into his own thoughts.
I decided to just look out the window for a little while and leave him with his thoughts and memories of his week in Berlin. We had six hours together on the train so it wasn't really necessary to hear his life story in the first twenty minutes. I figured about an hour had passed with both of us in our own thoughts when I started getting very thirsty.
"Hey, Jake, would you like something to drink? I'm starting to feel like I swallowed a pair of long underwear and I need fluid."
He actually laughed out loud. Cute laugh, too. "Wow, I haven't heard that expression in a while. My grandfather uses it. That's funny. Yeah, I'll take something to drink, but you don't have to buy it. I did save enough money for a couple of Cokes for the ride back to base."
"Keep your money, Jake; the Marines doesn't pay that well. You have to save up for your next trip to Berlin. What's your poison?"
"Well, actually a coffee sounds kind of good right now."
"Coffee it is, then. You want a cappuccino, a latte or just a plain ole cup of Joe?"
"Joe will do fine, thanks." He said smiling.
Wow, was there innuendo there, or am I just being a dirty old man?
"Joe it is. I'll be back as soon as I can."
I got up and left the compartment to find where I could lay my hands on some coffee. I found a lounge two carriages down from where we were and ordered a coffee for Jake and a cappuccino for myself. When I returned with the coffee I found Jake sitting at a forty-five degree angle in the corner of the seat with his right foot on the floor and his left on the seat, basically with his legs spread open at a really appealing angle. I damn near dropped the coffee. I handed Jake his coffee and then sat back down across from him.
"Thank you, Mike. I hope it's OK that I took my shoes off. I promise my feet don't smell; I just took a shower an hour and half ago." He looked to me for approval.
"Make yourself comfortable, Jake. This is it for the next five hours or so, you may as well be as comfortable as possible. And, you're welcome."
He smiled back at me and nodded. "I guess you're right, huh? So, is it OK if I ask you what kind of business you have in Sindelfingen? You buying a new Mercedes and picking it up from the plant?" He chuckled.
"You can ask anything you like; and no, I'm not picking up a new Mercedes. I already have four from that plant. I'm here about investing in a company that is on the verge of bankruptcy. They've had crappy management over the past three years and they've run the company into the ground. I have other business interests that rely on that company, and I also don't want the people that work there to lose their jobs. If they accept my offer I can install my own management people and see if we can save some jobs."
"Wow! So I guess you do earn a little more than a Marine. That's nice that you want to save those people's jobs. Yes, you also have your own self interests, but you care about the people too; I admire that. Four Mercedes, huh; isn't that a few too many?" He pauses for a minute, looking really worried. "I'm so sorry about that last comment; it's none of my business. Please forgive me."
I smiled at him. "Don't worry about it. And you're right, it's probably a few too many. Three of them are kind of collector's cars for me and one is my daily driver, though I drive the other three quite a bit too. I have a thing for S-Class Benz's, but only the ones where the engineer's were in charge of the company. All of the newer ones are nothing but toys built by accountants with a design from Kia."
He laughed. "Yeah, an $80,000 Kia; I'd like to see that."
"Look out the window; there's one going down the autobahn." I grin at him.
He looked out, saw a newer E-Class and started laughing. "That's funny. But it's not a Kia; I saw the star on the truck lid."
"OK, it's only a $45,000 Kia. It wasn't an S-Class." I smiled at him.
"You're funny. I'd still take one. I have a 1998 Chevy with over 180k miles on it; let me drive the Kia with the star on the trunk. Fuck, let me drive the new Kia, it'd be an improvement." He was smiling and his eyes were laughing, and I was entranced.
"How old are you, Jake?" I asked him shyly.
"I'm twenty; how old are you?"
"I'm forty. Act twelve, look sixty, but just plain old forty." I smiled at him.
"You don't look anywhere near sixty; not even forty. But, yeah, I can see you acting twelve sometimes."
"Gee thanks." I smiled.
"You're welcome." He smiled back at me.
He was still smiling as he went back to looking out of the window. I decided to do a little work on the proposal and pulled out my laptop. He looked over and smiled at me again.
"I'm terribly sorry if I'm being rude, and I won't be long, but I need to add a couple of things to my proposal while I'm thinking of them."
"Mike, don't worry about it. I know you have work to do. You're not here to entertain me."
"I just feel bad dropping our conversation. I've been having a hell of a good time talking to you. Like I said, I'll just be a couple of minutes."
"Please don't feel bad, Mike; I completely understand. We'll talk some more when you get caught up. Don't sweat the small stuff." He smiled at me again. I smiled back and then opened my laptop.
It only took about fifteen minutes to finish my proposal and I was back in the zone with Jake. We basically spent the remaining four and half hours of the train ride talking, laughing and smiling at each other. I got to know several things about him, and I shared more with him than I had with anyone in a long, long time. We were comfortable with each other and I found him incredibly easy to talk with.
We were about fifteen minutes out from our station when the announcement came over the P.A. telling us just that. We both started getting our things together and put shoes back on. I'd taken mine off not long after he had. I started getting kind of melancholy, thinking I may never see this young man again. I'd grown attached to him in the last six hours. I think he noticed my face and how quiet I'd become.
"Mike, are you OK? You're not gonna throw up, are you?" He smiled.
"No, Jake, no puking this time. No, I'm fine. Just a little sad is all. It's possible I may never see you again and it just made me sad. I've never enjoyed a train ride more than this one with you."
My statement wiped the smile right off his face. Now I felt bad. He looked at me and tried to comment but nothing came out.
"I'm sorry, Jake. I didn't mean to bring you down. It just popped into my head all of a sudden that this was ending."
"I know what you're saying. I was thinking the same thing but trying not to think of it."
He stopped talking and just looked around the compartment checking to see if he had everything.
"Jake..." He turned and looked at me. "Have you ever heard the expression about never having regrets?" He nodded and looked deep into my eyes. "I used to have a lot of regrets about things I'd done, things I didn't do, chances I'd missed. I promised myself a few years ago that I'd never do that to myself again. Not take chances. Not do the things I wanted. Not do the things I shouldn't do..."
I just looked at him trying to screw up the courage to ask him what I so wanted to ask him. I felt the train slowing down. We were both standing in the compartment looking at each other. I finally managed to start talking again.
"Jake, I don't want to spend the next several years wondering what if. Why didn't I ask? Why didn't I take the chance? I don't want that regret. I don't know how you feel about it; we never really hit on the subject." I paused and stumbled again. "Argh, fuck it, here goes. May I kiss you goodbye?" I finally blurted out.
Jake stood there for a few seconds looking into my eyes. He looked nervous as hell. Then he nodded yes. I didn't smile, even though I wanted to so badly. I walked to him within about eight inches of his face. I reached out with my right hand and touched his cheek, running two fingers up and down slowly for a few seconds. I then reached up with my left hand and held his face in both of my hands. I leaned in closer to his lips, praying he wouldn't pull back. I tilted my head left, he tilted his to his left and our lips finally met. I felt him shudder, or maybe it was me. His lips were so soft and yielding, I felt I could stay here forever and be happy. We held the kiss for about twenty seconds. No tongue, just a soft, tender heartfelt kiss. That kiss spoke volumes in my mind. When we separated I felt drained, happy, weak, excited... I still had his face in my hands and I didn't want to let go. We just stood there staring in each other's eyes. The corner of his lips quivered up into just the faintest of smiles. I almost collapsed I was so relieved.
I smiled back at him and ran two fingers on my right hand along his cheek again. He didn't say a word. He didn't pull away. He just stared at me with a faint smile on his perfect lips.
We felt the train stop and there was a knock on the door. We both jumped about a foot and then laughed. The conductor asked if there were any bags to take. We both said no and he walked away, closing the door behind him. The moment had been broken, but we both just stood there in front of each other. I couldn't stand it any longer. I pulled him into a tight hug and wondered if I could bring myself to let him go. He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed so tight I thought I'd run out of air. We stayed that way for about two minutes, just holding each other, not wanting to let go.
People were walking by in the corridor but neither of us seemed to care about the outside world. We finally released each other, then I put my finger under his chin, gave him a quick kiss and we finally separated. I bent down to the seat, grabbed my briefcase, struggling to open it my hands were shaking so much. I finally got in it, pulled out a business card, found a pen and wrote my cell number, the hotel name I was staying at, the number of the hotel, and then I wrote, "You've captured my heart, please call when you can". I closed the case, turned around and then just stuffed the card in the front pocket of his jeans.
"Never lose that card, Jake; it's good for life."
I smiled at him, then reached down, grabbed my bags and turned around to open the door. I stood to the side and let him out first. I followed right behind him and we got off the train together. We followed the crowd to the terminal, walking side by side, not looking at each other but bumping arms every once in a while. When we reached the terminal there was a man there holding a sign with my name on it. I nodded to him and he walked over to me. I told him in German that I would be a couple of minutes, then handed him my baggage claim check. He nodded and told me that he would be waiting for me out in front of the terminal. I said thank you and turned back to Jake.
"Damn... I don't want to say goodbye."
Jake looked at me like he was about to cry. "Don't say it then. Just say see ya later, OK?"
I nodded. "Do you need a ride to base? I have a car waiting for me; I'll take you wherever you need to go."
"No, Mike, that's OK. There's a base bus that comes here every twenty minutes or so."
I nodded. "OK then." I couldn't do this any longer, it was killing me. "See ya later, Lance Corporal Jacob."
"See ya later, Sir." He said, trying to smile.
I smiled back and then I touched his face one last time, turned and walked towards the front of the building where my driver was waiting. I felt like crying. I felt like running back in there and grabbing him and never letting him go. The driver was holding the door open for me and I just got in quickly and wanted him to close the damn door. The driver got in the front and was just starting to pull away from the curb when I looked out the window and saw Jake coming out of the building. He looked so handsome and so sexy and so sad, it made my heart break all over again. The driver pulled out into traffic and I was convinced I'd never see my Marine again.