OK, the first edition of this story was way too large so I had to break it up into three sections. ******************************************************* With just two weeks to go, I was one of the happiest mother fuckers in 29 Palms. Two weeks before I was out of the military for good! Not that I didn't enjoy what I have accomplished serving with Uncle Sams Misguided Children but I wasn't a lifer for the military and I knew that going in. I just wanted to do my four years, get my Veterans benefits and head off to college. All in two mother fucking, glorious weeks! But until that time, I still had duties to perform. Working in the intelligence section (S-2) means that new arrivals to the battalion had to come through my office to get checked in. Be they enlisted or officer. "Excuse me, Corporal," said a voice from the door. "I need to check in." Glancing up from the stack of paper work on my desk, review reports of our mission in Somalia, I noticed a brand new Captain walking towards me. It's a good thing that I can keep a poker face because this man was a walking wet dream. 5'10, black hair, blue eyes, dressed in fatigues that looked like they were molded onto his body. If you ever saw the commercials for the Marines where the actor had to run through fire and slay a dragon before being transformed into a Marine, you'd have a close idea at what I was looking at. Physically, this man was the epitome of what a Marine should look like. Naturally, I hated him right away. Not hate as in hate but hate as in I'd never have a body like that. I'm not muscular. I'm lean. I've got a runners body. In fact, I'm one of the fast runners in the battalion. I'm no slouch when it comes to long distance either. I can run for hours. Where as his uniform seemed to be molded onto his body, my uniform would never do anything but look oversized on me. And I'm his same God damned height, too! Sometimes life just isn't fair. "I've got you checked in, Sir," I said as I handed him back his paperwork. "Lieutenant Michaels will be back in a few minutes and he can take you to the Colonel to complete your welcome aboard tour." "Thanks, Corporal," Captain Walters said as he took the file back from me. Was it my imagination or did his fingers caress mine as he took his file back? He then walked over to a chair to wait for the Lieutenant. The problem with the military fatigues is that the jacket rides pretty low so it never shows a good ass but the view of his back: WOOF! V-shaped. I still hated him. "Hey, Kline," said my friend Corporal Williams as he poked his head through the door, "I'm not going to be able to make our run on Sunday. I've got to head into Palm Springs this weekend to meet up with family." "No problem, Williams," I said, "Is everything ok?" "Just the normal family politics," he said smiling. "You still going to go on the run?" "Yes," I said. "Why wouldn't I?" "Range 314 is pretty far to go by yourself, Kline," Williams said. "Make sure you at least let the Duty Officer know where you're going." "Yes, Father," I grinned back at him. "Have a good weekend." "You, too." And with that Williams smiling face was gone. Williams is a fun guy and a great runner. Some days he is able to beat me and other days, I beat him. We're pretty equal in running. "Where is range 314?" I had totally spaced that the Captain was still in the room with. Talk about a brain fart! "It's about 15 miles from here, Sir." "Not too bad for a day's run, Corporal." He said. He was sitting with his legs spread apart. I'm liking the view, but hating his body! Well, not really, but you know what I mean! "Actually, Sir," I said with a smile, "it's 30." "What?" "It's 15 miles each way." I sat there and watched gleefully as that registered on his handsome, chiseled face. "Really?" "Really." I've been running since I was five years old. The physical fitness test for the Marines consists of three separate phases. Eighty sit ups in two minutes or less, twenty pull ups and a three mile run in under 45 minutes. My best run time was sixteen minutes 48 seconds. When I don't push myself, I average about nineteen minutes for the three miles. Like I said, I'm a running machine. "What do you do for water?" he asked. "There are water buffalo along the way, Sir. I just bring two canteens and fill up when I need to." "What will you do if something happens to you?" he asked. "I'm not too worried, Sir," I said. "I'll inform the Duty and give him an idea of when I'll be back. It's not the first time I've done the run. It was going to be Williams first time." "Do you want company?" He asked. "Makes no difference to me, Sir. Running with someone is just as fun as running alone." Then, as I looked into his face, I saw something. A challenge? Amazement? Longing? Or was I just wishing? "You're more than welcome to come along, Sir. But, I have to be truthful with you, it's not an easy run." "That's good, Corporal," he grinned at me. "I like things that are...challenging." At that point Lieutenant Michaels came into the room. I introduced him to Captain Walters and then the two of then left the office to go and see the Colonel.