Chapter 3

Sunday 14th June, 2009

It's been nearly nine weeks since I met Ennis. It's weird; I've never missed anyone so much before and I'm still not sure why I feel like this now.

I enjoyed meeting him and we had a lot of fun during those few days we had. I'll never forget the way we met, bumping into each other like that. It'll make an interesting story when someone asks us how it happened; that's for sure.

He looked so good in that uniform, all crisp and white. I swear that I almost felt electricity run through me when his eyes met mine. It was like all those romance novels that Lureen likes to read; when there's a moment where you start thinking all kinds of things about someone you've only just met.

Speaking of which, I've decided to tell Lureen about Ennis sometime. I know she'll be happy about me finally meeting someone. I know my parents will be happy too, but they'll worry as well. A long-distance relationship is notoriously hard to keep going and they'll wonder how I can deal with it. I know it won't be easy all the time, or maybe any of the time. Even now, I find it hard to see his number in my phone and know that we're miles apart.

Still, I'm sure of what I want. I loved the letter he sent me and I'll be writing one back soon. Just been so busy lately with work, but I text him when we can talk and he knows I'm thinking of him. I loved how romantic the letter was and I really like this side of him; shows that there's so much more to him than just a sailor. He's sweet and thoughtful, and I know it gets to him that he can't talk about me.

He told me about the guys he works with and they sound horrible, but I know he can cope. He can text me whenever it gets to him and he does. I like being there for him. I've only spent three days with him, give or take, and already I feel close to him. It's really strange but I don't feel weird about it. I like him a hell of a lot and I know he likes me. Told me as much in his letter, which I'm keeping for as long as I live.

I can't wait until he comes back; he was all nervous over the phone about us sleeping together. It was really sweet and I had to reassure him that I wanted to. I really do and I'm looking forward to it. I don't care how little I know him; I want to be with him in that way.

I need to get lunch ready soon, so I'll leave this here. I'll probably call my parents too. I just can't wait to see him again, even though the time passes so slowly. I'll wait for him, no matter how long it takes.

Jack put his pen down and closed his journal, thinking. After giving Ennis the journal he wasn't using, he'd then had the idea that it was a good thing to get his thoughts down onto paper and had bought one for himself. It had been a good idea and he liked being able to get his thoughts out like this.

He wondered when Ennis would reach Egypt and couldn't wait to see him photos that he knew Ennis would send. It would help him to cope with the time apart if he knew what Ennis was up to.

At night, he would go out onto his balcony and look out in the direction of the sea, thinking about Ennis and what he was doing at that very moment. Maybe he was in his bunk thinking or writing in his own journal, or maybe he was talking to the quieter guys on the ship. He'd spoken well enough of them and Jack hoped that he stuck with them rather than the other guys.

I like him so much, Jack thought to himself, sighing as he looked around his apartment. I think...I think I might love him. That's crazy...I hardly know him but I feel like I've known him for years. I don't get it but I don't even care anymore. All I know is what I'm feeling right now.

Jack got up and went to retrieve his phone, scrolling through the texts that Ennis had sent him over the last few months. He'd signed all of them with three kisses, which made Jack smile every time he saw them. He loved a little romance and was certain that Ennis had quite a romantic streak which would make him feel like the only guy in the universe. He grinned to himself as he thought of Ennis in his smart uniform; he definitely had a thing for that and wondered if he could persuade Ennis to wear it for him one night. He had always liked men in uniform and now he had one of his own.

He went over to the kitchen and started preparing lunch for himself, thinking about how he was going to tell his parents about him seeing Ennis. He knew that they would approve of him seeing someone so trustworthy, but his mother in particular would worry about him missing Ennis so much when they were apart. He would just have to try and reassure them that he could deal with it. He knew he could as long as he was sure that Ennis intended to be with him as much as he could when they were together. He needed that constant contact and needed to know how Ennis felt about him.

Jack had decided on one thing; when they had consummated their relationship upon Ennis's return he would tell Ennis that he loved him. It would be the perfect time, when they were in bed and cooling down from what he knew would be something amazing. He just couldn't wait.


After lunch, Jack decided to call his parents and tell them about him seeing someone. He knew that they would be happy for him. As long as he could prove to them that everything would be okay, they would be fine with it and that made him even happier. Maybe if they were in the city during Ennis's next visit, he could meet them. That was something to think about and he knew they would get on well enough. He felt sure that Ennis could impress them.

Jack loved his parents very much, but they couldn't expect him to pick someone that it would be easy to be with just because they might worry. It was his choice and one day he might even move somewhere with Ennis. They had to trust that he knew what he was doing.

He picked up his phone and sighed to himself, knowing that he should do this before they tried to set him up with someone because they didn't know. He selected the house number and put it on loudspeaker, setting it down on the coffee table.

"Jack?"

"Hey, Mom. How are you guys?"

"We're good, honey. Your dad's just upstairs. You wanna talk to him?"

"I need to talk to both of you," he told her. "Got some news for you that I think you'll like."

"Really?" she asked, sounding intrigued. "You've got a promotion?"

"Not quite," he replied. "My dad there yet?"

"Yep, he's here. John, Jack's on the phone and he says he's got news. Come over here."

"Hey, son. What's going on?"

"Hi, Dad. Well, the thing is...a couple of months ago I started seeing someone."

"Really? That's great, honey! Who is he? Anyone we know?"

"No, it's not," he told her, taking a deep breath and wondering about their reaction. "Um...you might not agree with it right away, but I hope you come around."

"Who is he, Jack?" his mother asked curiously. He bit his lip for a moment before replying.

"He's a sailor. I met him in the city when he was on shore leave back in April."

"Oh...that's interesting. What's his name?"

"Ennis Del Mar. He was rounding the corner on the street and we literally bumped into each other. He apologised for it right away and I could see he was new in town so I gave him a tour."

"That was a very nice thing of you, Jack. So...I take it he's gone now?"

"Yep. He only had three days here but...I enjoyed every minute of it. He says they're off to Alexandria next. He wrote me a letter and we text now and then."

"That sounds good. So why did you say we might not agree with it?" asked his mother.

"Well...it's a long-distance thing. And I miss him a whole lot now, so...I just had it in my head that you might think it's not good for me to be alone and missing him so much."

"Oh, Jack...you're twenty-six. We know that you're capable of making your own choices, and that includes any that turn out to be a mistake. If you're sure about Ennis then that's just it."

"I am," he replied surely. "And I know this isn't a mistake. We haven't...spent the night together yet. We're waiting until next time."

"That's a smart decision," his father agreed "No point in rushing too much. It's a damn shame you can't see him more often. You sure you'll be okay?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I'm just concentrating on work right now and trying not to think about it too much. As long as I keep busy, I'll be okay."

"Good. And if you ever want to see us over the weekend, you're always welcome."

Jack smiled. "I'll keep that in mind. Maybe one day I can bring him to visit you, like if he gets longer than a few days. Might be a couple of weeks one time, right?"

"Yeah, probably. We're happy for you, Jack. Honestly. And if you're sure about this man then we wish you all the best. So he sent you a letter?"

"Yep. I've kept it. I think he's got this romantic side...and I really like it. I know he'll be good to me so you don't have to worry about that. I'll be fine, I promise." He liked how his parents loved him enough to worry, but he didn't need them to.

"We're glad to hear it, son. How's your friend Lureen?"

"She's doing great. I'm thinking about telling her about Ennis too. I know she'll want to know all the details because she always does, but...that's okay. I can't wait to see him again, you know."

"Hang in there, Jack. It'll be fine. Just keep thinking about your man and keep focused. Keep yourself busy so that you don't go crazy with missing him, alright? You'll be okay, honey."

Jack smiled. "Thanks, you guys. I'm glad you're okay with it. Didn't know what I'd do if you weren't."

"You're an adult, Jack. We know that and we're glad you can take care of yourself. We will always be here if you need us, but otherwise we can leave you to it. Anything else you wanna get off your chest?"

"No, I don't think so. I'll talk to you soon, okay?"

"Sure. We love you, Jack. And give our best to Ennis when you talk to him."

"I will. Love you too, bye." He clicked off and leaned back on the sofa, smiling to himself. That had gone a lot better than he could have hoped for and he knew that Ennis would be happy with it.

He sat there for a while, eventually switching on the TV for something to do. He still missed Ennis and would continue to do so until October, but at least the time was passing and he kept himself distracted. He liked how Ennis had dreamed of him and wondered when he would dream of Ennis too. He was looking forward to it now.


June 30th, 2009

On Tuesday, Jack was almost ready to go on his lunch break. He sometimes had lunch with his friend Lureen Newsome, whom he had known since high school. She had always been a good friend to him and he knew that she would be supportive of his relationship with Ennis, which was a plus. He wondered if she might have any advice for him regarding the long time he and Ennis were spending apart.

He was busy filling a shelf up when she came over to him. "Hey. The place is empty now...you wanna go for lunch when you're done?"

"Yeah, won't be a minute. Where d'you wanna go?"

"What about that place a few streets away, where Wendy works?"

"Sure."

Lureen looked at him closely. "Are you okay? You seem distracted."

Jack sighed. "Well...there's something I've wanted to tell you for a while. Been waiting to get my thoughts together."

She raised her eyebrows. "Don't tell me you're actually straight and you've got a crush on me."

He grinned. "No, nothing like that. If I were straight you'd be just my type, if it helps."

"Not really. So what is it?"

Jack sighed and turned to her. "Come on. I'll tell you on the way." She nodded and he led her out of the store. They walked down the street and she nudged him.

"So?" she prompted, and he sighed.

"The thing is...I started seeing someone a couple of months ago." Her eyes widened.

"How? I've never seen you with anyone recently. You've never said..."

"Well...he was only here for a few days and now he's gone again." He looked at her meaningfully.

"He's...a sailor?" she asked, and he nodded. "Wow. How come you didn't say before?"

"Because I was missing him and...I thought that if I talked about him it would be even worse. But I can do it now. His name's Ennis Del Mar."

"Right. So when was this?"

"April. He's off to Alexandria now with the others. Won't be back until October."

"Oh Jack..." she sighed, linking her arm through his as they walked. "I bet that's not easy to cope with..."

"Not really. But he sent me a letter and we talk now and then. I know he's thinking of me."

She smiled. "Did you two...you know?" He shook his head.

"We talked about it, and we agreed to wait until next time. He said he didn't want to take advantage of me, since we'd just met. He's a real gentleman."

"He sounds great, Jack. Have you told your parents?" By now they were close to the café and he was growing hungry.

"Yep. I called them a couple of weeks ago to tell them. They're actually pretty supportive even though I'm spending such a long time without him. They probably know I'm pining for him but they said it's entirely up to me. I think they're okay with it."

"Maybe he could meet them one day," she suggested. "And me too. I'd love to meet him."

"Yeah, maybe he could if we get the time," he agreed. "But if he's just here for three days again...we might want to spend most of it alone."

"And in your bedroom," she replied slyly, grinning. He rolled his eyes and they reached the small café where he and Ennis had had lunch. It felt like so long ago. "So how exactly did you meet him?"

"Well, I was heading here when I literally bumped into him. He rounded the corner and nearly knocked me over."

"Romantic," she replied, looking amused.

"Well, I offered to show him around. We came here for lunch, and I showed him the city. The next day he spent time at my apartment and we ended up kissing." He shrugged. "We agreed to put off doing anything else until next time. The next day he came over before he had to leave and I gave him a journal for him to write into."

"That's actually a lovely story," she told him, smiling. "So I bet you're missing him a lot now, huh?"

"Yeah," he sighed, looking over the menu. "But talking to him over the phone helps a bit. He's not got it easy on that ship...a lot of bigots on there, from what he's told me..."

She sighed. "Well, that's pretty much a given in a place like that. Guys want to be macho, especially straight guys. A lot of them think that making fun of gay men makes them look tough. Just the way it is with guys like that."

"I know, but he shouldn't have to deal with that. He's a good man, Lureen...and I hope that he doesn't have to deal with it too often. He told me that there's quieter guys on the ship that he can talk to, so that's good."

Lureen smiled. "Yeah, it is. And I'm happy for you, Jack. If you're sure about him then that's all there is to it. Jack...do you love him?"

He thought for a moment, considering the time he had spent with Ennis and how they had talked over the phone. "Well...I think I do, actually. I know it's completely crazy but...I honestly think I do." Their orders were taken by Wendy, who was as friendly as ever.

She reached over and took his hand. "My parents dated for six months before they knew they wanted to be together for the rest of their lives. It might be crazy, but...maybe it's right."

"Yeah," he agreed, seeing the sense she was making. "And who's to say that it won't work just because of the little time we spend together? He won't be on that ship forever, right? He said he'll leave it one day...and then maybe he'll stay with me."

"I'm sure he will, Jack. If you love him, then maybe he loves you too. And that's what you need to hold on to when you're alone. Okay?"

Jack nodded and they were soon served with their food; he certainly had a lot to think about.


They returned to work after their break, and when Lureen went to the stock room Jack started thinking about what she had said. She had always been a smart girl and he was glad to have a friend like her that he could talk to. She was his best friend at the moment, but that might change as he spent more time with Ennis. But he would always have a soft spot for her, feeling more like a big brother than a friend.

So what if he and Ennis hadn't spent much time together yet? That didn't mean that he couldn't love Ennis. His own parents had had a very good relationship so far and they were an inspiration to him; maybe one day he and Ennis could have what they did; that appealed to him a lot and he wanted something like that. Ennis was a very dependable man and he knew that.

He served a customer and felt a buzz in his pocket; Ennis had texted him and he grinned at the thought. He loved talking to Ennis and hoped to hear his voice soon.

How are you? I'm having lunch xxx

Jack smiled at the three kisses; they said a lot as far as he was concerned. He appreciated how Ennis texted him so often, for it helped them through the lonely times they spent apart. It was all he had right now and he wanted to make the most of it.

I'm good. Just had lunch, told Lureen. She's great with it xxx

He put his phone back in his pocket just as Lureen came back over. She was smirking. "You texting your sailor?" she asked, giving him a knowing look.

He smiled back at her. "Maybe. He asked how I was. I said that I told you about him." Another text came through and he looked at his screen. "See?" he asked, holding it out to her. She peered at it curiously.

Good xxx

Lureen smiled. "He sounds like a sweetheart, Jack. I'm really happy for you." He nodded.

"I know it won't be easy, being without him for so long, but...I can cope as long as I've got this to keep me going."

She nodded. "Good. I was thinking...I know what you guys are gonna get up to when he comes back. But I was wondering...what then? Surely you guys are moving forward, so does that mean you'll be going on dates and stuff?"

"I don't know...maybe," he replied, sticking price labels onto books. "But we'd have to be careful about it. There's a lot of guys on that ship and they could see us together. That'd be the end of his time on there. I really don't want that."

"I know you don't. I guess that until he leaves the service you'll have to be discreet about it, huh?" She felt sorry for him; she knew how it felt to meet someone and want to show them off to everybody out of sheer pride. Jack was bound to feel like that.

"Pretty much. But it shouldn't be that way. I mean, some states have made same-sex marriage legal, and it's no longer classed as a mental disorder. So why the hell can't soldiers be open about who they are?"

"I don't know," Lureen admitted. "You'd think they'd have more important things to worry about, especially if they go to war." Jack nearly flinched when she said that word.

"God...I don't even wanna think about that, Lu. What if something happens and he has to go and fight? He could be..." Jack gulped, not wanting to think about it. She laid a hand on his arm.

"Jack...I'm sure he'll be fine. There's no guarantee of that."

"Yeah, but it makes me nervous. I...I don't wanna be without him, Lureen. It's fine now while nothing's going on and he's safe, but..."

"Jack, don't do this to yourself. It won't do you any good to start worrying over something that hasn't even happened. I know there's fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the Navy's not really involved with that, right?"

"No, I guess not," he admitted. "He was smart to choose the Navy, then."

"That's right. All you have to remember is that he wants to see you again when he come back. He wants to be with you...in that way," she reminded him, winking. Jack smiled back and watched her head off to stock some shelves, thinking about Ennis and what he might be doing right now. He had no idea exactly where they were, but he wondered what Egypt was like and if Ennis would get some good photos.

He wondered what their first time together might be like. Who would be on top? What position would they use? Did they need to use protection? Neither of them had had full sex with a man before but he'd been with girls. Still, they had probably been clean. He and Ennis would need to talk about that before it happened.

How would it happen? Would he just pounce on Ennis as soon he walked in, or would Ennis take over? He liked the notion of just being grabbed and kissed hard before being led to the bedroom. Jack knew he wouldn't be scared if Ennis just took over like that; he trusted Ennis to make him feel comfortable before they did anything. He really was very considerate.

Still, he couldn't help but wonder how it might feel. Ennis was a very strong man as far as he could tell, and he liked the idea of being with someone like that; someone who could make his toes curl but who was also sweet and thoughtful. He knew that Ennis would tend to his needs as well as his own.

Jack had never daydreamed about anybody before, so this was new to him. But he liked thinking about Ennis while he was working; it certainly distracted him from his loneliness and gave him something to look forward to.


That night, Jack was lying in his bed and thinking about Ennis, as usual. He was doing a lot of that lately but he didn't care; he loved thinking about his friend and what might be in store for them. He was sure that they would have sex, but he didn't know what might happen afterwards.

He couldn't let himself get caught up too much in the future; he had to take each day as it came and focus on what was happening right now. He wanted Ennis here, in his bed and making love to him like there was no tomorrow. He wanted to feel Ennis inside him and be held as they kissed, with love running through his veins like blood. He wanted Ennis to whisper in his ear and tell him that he loved him.

I need him, Jack thought, shifting slightly when the images in his head made his groin stir. I want him, right here...the next few months are gonna feel like forever until he's here.

Jack sighed and curled up, hoping that he could get some sleep and try not to lie awake all night with missing Ennis. He had to try and keep himself sane even though he missed his friend so much.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and rolled over, his eyes meeting the soft brown ones that he'd missed so much. "Ennis," he sighed, smiling in his half-sleepy state. "I missed you..."

"Shh," Ennis shushed him gently, placing a finger on his lips. "Don't say anything, bud." He slid on top of Jack and brought their lips together; Jack immediately became aware that they were both naked. "I want you," Ennis breathed in his ear. Jack shivered.

"I'm all yours. Take me...please..." He lifted his hips to emphasise his need and Ennis stroked his lower stomach, making him buck and whimper slightly. "Ennis..."

"Just relax," Ennis instructed him, caressing his face. He had the lube in his hand and was smoothing it over himself, watching Jack's face. Jack was biting his lip in anticipation and watching him with hungry eyes. It was crystal clear to Ennis that Jack wanted him inside his body, and he was more than happy to do this. He wanted to make love to Jack, all night long if he could.

He lifted Jack's legs and guided them around his waist, feeling Jack tremble with arousal. He was starting to leak and Ennis took hold of him for a moment, gently teasing out a bead and drawing a groan from Jack.

"Ennis...fuck me, please!" he moaned, his head pushing into the pillow. Ennis smirked and in one smooth stroke, pushed himself into Jack.

White lights popped in front of Jack's eyes and he felt the pain shoot through him. "Oh God," he groaned, trying to get used to it. He'd never done this before but he was very much looking forward to it; he wanted Ennis to do this with every fibre of his being.

Ennis waited until he was ready, looking down at Jack lovingly. "Tell me when you're ready," he said softly, stroking Jack's arm soothingly. Jack had the quilt bunched into his fists as he slowly felt the pain lessen. Now the pleasure was starting to form as he felt this strong, dependable man deep inside him.

"I'm ready," he gasped out, nodding at Ennis. His lover moved slowly at first, enough to tease Jack into wanting more. Ennis was no longer touching him so his erection was slightly painful. He needed to come, and soon, or he felt as if his other head would explode. "Oh...you feel so good..."

"So you do," Ennis replied, nuzzling his neck. He loved the moans that were coming from Jack's mouth and wanted to hear more, but he knew that Jack wouldn't take much more teasing. It wasn't fair to prolong it, not when he was so painfully hard.

Ennis changed his angle and found the sweet spot, pushing at it repeatedly and growling in Jack's ear as he felt his orgasm come crashing down on him. He came deep inside Jack with a yell and felt Jack shoot at his stomach, crying out with pain and relief.

He collapsed onto Jack and breathed heavily. "I love you, Jack..."

Jack smiled and wrapped his arms around him, kissing Ennis's cheek. "I love you too, Ennis." He'd never felt this happy before, and he loved the warmth radiating from his lover, who had fallen asleep on top of him.

Jack woke with a start, his arms folded around nothing but air and his stomach covered in sticky fluid. He blushed even though he was alone and sat up, shaking his head to clear it. That had been his first ever dream of Ennis in that context and he had obviously enjoyed it. He got up and headed for the bathroom to clean himself up, staggering as he walked. He felt as if he really had been fucked hard, and he could swear that Ennis really had been there even though he was hundreds of miles away.

In the bathroom, he cleaned himself up and looked at his reflection in the mirror. He still couldn't quite believe the dream he'd just had and he couldn't wait to tell Ennis about it. He wondered if Ennis would feel nervous about being on top; in his dream Jack had been the one in control. Jack wasn't sure, but he figured that a day would come when they had both taken that position. He smiled to himself at the sheer thought of having sex with Ennis anyway, and he knew that it would be very enjoyable.

When he was done, he went back into his room and curled up in bed again, feeling more satisfied now and ready to sleep. Ennis was in his dreams again, but they were dreams of a life together after all of this was done with, and he felt happy to be with the man he loved.