Habits, Phobias and Fetishes
     by Rusty

“Our tree house is gonna be the best one in the whole world. Isn’t Uncle Gavin?”  Jason beamed at Gavin as he hammered a nail into a discarded board. 

“Yeah, it’s gonna be big!  Katie’s gonna be really mad cause she won’t be allowed to climb up there with us.” Nathan scrunched up his face and thought about that a second. He didn’t know if that should make him feel bad or......afraid. Katie could be a terrier! That’s what all the grownups said anyway. 

Gavin laughed at that understatement. Katie wasn’t going to be happy about that at all. She could be a terror! “Well, she’s not as big as you are yet. She has to realize that she can’t do everything you guys do. You don’t have to feel bad about that.”

“The tree house is just for us boys! She can play with her dumb, old Barbie dolls. We aren’t afraid of her.....are we?”  Christopher asked the twins, not quite sure of the answer. Katie was his cousin and he loved her; but he didn’t understand how the twins could stand having her around all of the time. And she was a..... GIRL!

“The tree house is for everyone, Chris.  Katie is too little to climb up there yet; but when she’s older it’ll be just as much hers.” Gavin stopped his own nail pounding and ruffled Chris’s hair. "Okay?”

Chris hadn’t thought of that. “We won’t hurt her feelings, Uncle Gavin.”

“I know you wouldn’t.”  Gavin smiled at him.  He knew that Katie could drive the boy’s nuts; but they were all protective of her and wouldn’t want her to feel left out.  Gavin knew what THAT felt like.  He was feeling left out and the tree house wasn’t even finished yet!

The platform of the tree house was already braced in the tree and the Ryan brothers were framing the house with the wood leftover from building the new shed. Of course, they had ended up buying more wood and supplies.  They figured since they were going to build it, they might as well build it right. Gavin had drawn up the plans for it himself.   

“Hey, Gav, pass up a box of nails.”  Patrick yelled down from the huge limbs he was standing on.

Jack called down from the platform.  “Send up the framing-square too, Gav!”

Gavin squinted up into the tree and grumbled.  “Would anyone like anything else while I’m at it?”

Sean laughed.  “Yeah, a beer would be great.”

“I’ll take a Coke!”  Daniel called down

“Yeah, anything you guys want. That’s what I’m good for!”  Gavin grumbled some more and stomped to the supplies and rummaged through the boxes looking for the nails and tools.  He grabbed a few drinks from the cooler and went back over to the base of the tree and stuffed it all in the laundry basket that was attached to one end of a rope. The other end hung over a limb at the top of the tree; making it easier to send up the things they needed.  He yanked on that rope.

“Thanks Gav.”  Daniel called down and pulled on the rope until the basket was in reach.

“You know, it doesn’t seem fair that I get stuck down here doing grunt work and you guys get to have all the fun.”  Gavin complained as he grabbed his own hammer and finished pounding the nail into the board he was working on.

Patrick grinned at Jack.  “I’d trade places with him in a second. I don’t know why he’s complaining.”

“I’ll tell you why I’m complaining. I’ve done nothing but gopher for you guys since we started this project.”  Gavin glared up at all four Ryan brothers. “Why don’t we switch places for awhile?”

“Gav, you can’t work up here and you know it.  You don’t like heights.”  Jack said as patiently as possible, but after saying that same thing every ten minutes since they started working; it was becoming almost impossible to keep the edge out of his voice or his palms from itching.

Gavin glared at Jack specifically.  “Jack, it’s only ten feet off the ground.  This tree house is for kids for crying out loud. It’s not like I’m THAT much of a wimp.”

“I never said you were a wimp.” Jack sent Gavin a tight smile.  His brothers didn’t realize that Gavin was serious in his complaints or that he was publicly pushing Jack in a very private disagreement, knowing that he wouldn’t cause a scene. Gavin didn’t seem to realize that they would have to go home...sometime.  “But you know that if you came up here, you’d freeze and not be able to move or panic and fall. It’s dangerous with all the tools that are up here. We’d have to call 911 for one reason or the other.” 

“Right! I’m such a wimp you’d have to call 911 to get me out of a tree that a five-year old can climb.”  Gavin started to cross his arms and complain a little more, but he saw Jack’s LOOK and bit his tongue.  He tied the board he’d been pounding on to the rope and yanked on it. HARD!

Sean laughed, not noticing the power struggle being waged. Everyone knew that Gavin liked to complain.  “You know, instead of complaining you could join us up here, Gav!  No one is making you stay down there. Remember when you got stuck on the roof a few years back?   If you get stuck, we’ll get you down.”

Daniel laughed, leaning his elbows on a limb. “We won’t leave you up here, Gav. You can count on us to help you.”

“Knock it off, guys.”  Jack grumbled at his brothers as he pulled on the rope, hoisting the board that Gavin had tied to it.  “Thanks, Gav. There are too many of us up here as it is.  If you weren’t down there, we’d be up and down the ladder all day.”

“Yeah, aren’t I lucky!”  Gavin grumbled at Jack’s condescending tone. He rested his hands on the rungs of the ladder and sent Jack a look that said, “Dare me?”

Jack wasn’t one to gamble when it came to Gavin and he’d never provoke him into a power struggle either.  The LOOK he gave Gavin made if very clear that he had better NOT dare if he knew what was good for him.

That LOOK was all it took. Gavin let go of the ladder and backed away from it. Complaining was one thing; but Gavin knew that flaunting the rules in public and taunting Jack about them knowing he wouldn’t do anything about it, right then,  wasn’t something that was tolerated. And it usually ended up with Gavin being killed TWICE when they got home and ALONE! There wouldn’t be anyone around to call 911 then!  He just didn’t understand it!  Jack had a major problem with him being stuck up in a tree or...falling out of one; but he sure as heck didn’t have any problems with KILLING Gavin himself.

Jack didn’t make any sense at all sometimes!

Nathan pulled on Gavin’s shirt. “Don’tcha like being down here with us, Uncle Gavin?”

“Yeah, we’re having fun!”  Jason pulled on the other side of Gavin shirt. The boys thought of Gavin as one of them and they always like hanging out with him

Michael and Chris were busy hammering nails in bits of discarded wood and yelled their agreement.  “This is SO much fun!  We’ll play up there after the tree house is done.”

Gavin sent one last pout up at Jack and then he pasted a smile on his face before looking down at the boys.   He normally loved playing with the kids, it was something he enjoyed. Gavin hoped that he and Jack would have one or two of their own one day. But today was different! This time it wasn’t HIS choice!  Jack was treating him just like a kid.  If he didn’t start putting his foot down now, Gavin figured he would find himself sitting at the kids table at Thanksgiving, his legs too long to fit under it and Jack would be ordering him to stop playing with his food and eat.

“Time to eat, boys!” Mary Ryan called out from the back door of the house. “Come on in and get cleaned up.”

“We’re on our way!”  Jack called back and turned to grin at Patrick. “You know she’s going to go on and on about how dangerous this tree house is all through dinner.”

Patrick laughed. “Maybe Da calmed her down some.  We had a tree house in this very tree when we were kids.  I don’t remember her having a problem with it then.”

“Maybe she likes the grandkids better than she did us.”  Sean laughed as he started for the ladder.  “Well, at least a little better than she liked the three of you.  She always did like me best.”

Patrick snorted. “That’s because you cried all the time. You never did let us kill you quietly.

”Yeah,” Daniel agreed; as he climbed down the ladder after Patrick.  “You always were a mama’s boy.”

Jack grinned at Patrick and Daniel and nodded his head towards Sean. “Let’s kill him now and when he starts squealing like a girl, we’ll see if she stops us again.”

Sean took off for the house; his three brothers ran after him and the kids trailed after them all.  Watching their Dads and Uncles wrestle was always a lot of fun.  Sean was already squealing like a girl before he made it to the backdoor.

Gavin started to chase after them but he noticed Sean’s wallet had fallen on the ground beside the ladder and stopped to pick it up. He looked up at the tree and silently measured how far the platform actually was from the ground. Being afraid of heights was a pain in the ass and it was high time he took control of it.   People got over phobias everyday and they never got over them if they weren’t willing to try. It just took a little determination. He’d read about stuff like that.  You had to start somewhere and it didn’t look all that high to begin with!
How come the tree house didn’t look that far up when he had been standing on the ground looking up, instead of up here looking..... down?

There was only one logical explanation. Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome!  He must suffer from that syndrome.  Well, Gavin didn’t really remember what all that syndrome included; but he did remember that it was some kind of ....syndrome where you couldn’t gage the distance of things, like depth perception!  He’d read about stuff like that! He wished he’d remembered reading about that syndrome BEFORE he’d remembered reading about how to get over your phobias.    It was probably impossible for a person with depth perception problems to overcome a phobia about heights!  He really needed to correlate his reading material a little better.

Because it was a LONG way down!

Gavin was afraid to move.  If he moved, even slightly he was going to fall.  And it really was a LONG way down. Arms were wrapped tightly around a fat limb; his fingers and hands burned from the cuts and scrapes that raking them over the bark had caused.  He would probably bleed to death, if he didn’t fall and break his neck first.  It felt like he’d been stuck up here forever.  He wished someone would call 911.  He really could use their help right about now.

“Hey, Uncle Gavin! What are you doing up there?”  Nathan shaded his eyes with his hand and squinted.  “We’re ‘posed to eat!”

Gavin couldn’t really talk; he just squeaked out a soft little “help”!

Jason and Nathan looked at each other and shrugged.  “We’ll go get Uncle Jack!”

Someone REALLY needed to call 911 right about now!

A few minutes later the whole Ryan clan ran out the back door, across the yard and stopped at the foot of the tree. Everyone was talking and calling out to Gavin, which Jack knew was only making him more nervous.  Jack waved his hand out as a signal for everyone to be quiet and started climbing the ladder.

“Gav, just keep calm and don’t move. I’m coming buddy.” Jack spoke in a quiet, calm voice, not wanting to startle him.  “I’ll walk you down.  We’ve done this before; it’ll be okay.”

Jack coaxed Gavin’s arms loose from his death grip around the tree and slowly inched him towards the ladder; whispering reassuring words in his ear as he guided him down and safely on the ground.  Gavin always forgot what a rush that feeling caused. Having both feet planted firmly on the ground was one of the best feelings in the world! 

Mary fussed over him; the kids were jumping up and down and around him.  Patrick, Daniel, Sean and Big John all teased him good naturedly so Gavin wouldn’t feel foolish. 

Jack didn’t have a whole lot to say.

Which said a whole lot in itself! 

Someone REALLY needed to call 911 ....NOW!

The whole clan headed back towards the house. Jack gently grabbed one of Gavin’s hands and looked it over as they walked. “We’ll need to get your hands cleaned up.”

“They’re okay.”  Gavin muttered under his breath; slightly embarrassed even though he was among family and knew he had nothing to be embarrassed about. 

Jack gave Gavin a LOOK and held the door opened, motioning for him to go in ahead of him.  Gavin slipped inside the door a little warily before Jack gave into the temptation and whacked him senseless....in front of everybody! 

“My sauce!” Mary ran to the stove and started to stir the spaghetti sauce that she’d left bubbling there. “Gavin, run some cold water over your hands.”

Gavin didn’t figure washing his hands in the sink was a option.  He’d have to walk past Jack again to get there and with the way Jack kept LOOKING at him; Gavin decided it might be best to stick close to Mary Ryan. Even the Jack Ryan’s of the world could be overcome by temptation; if it was tempting enough.   Jack looked ready to kill him. 

“My hands are fine.  It’s not a big deal.”  Gavin held his palms up and shrugged. “I wasn’t going to ...OW!”

Mary Ryan shook the spaghetti sauce covered wooden spoon at Gavin; the one she had apparently just whacked him with, and stuck her other hand on her hip.  “Gavin Michael McCourt, tell me what it was you were thinking about?  You had no business up in that tree and ye know it!”

“I.....I.”  Gavin stammered as rubbed the spot where that wooden spoon had landed and was surprised to find a wet spot there.  He KNEW he had been scared...but...GOD!  He looked at his hands and wrinkled his nose in disgust and not so little.... relief when he saw it was only the spaghetti sauce from the spoon.  He’d heard stories about Mary Ryan’s temper. He’d only seen it a time or two, himself; but it always surprised him. And because he’d always felt as if he were a real member of this Whack-Happy family, he had learned to respect it as well.

Mary shook the spoon again.  “Stick your hands under that water, like I said!  And I better not catch you up in that tree again!”

Patrick, Sean, Daniel and even Jack all covered their mouths with their hands to hide their grins. The look on Gavin’s face was priceless. 

“Gav, I’d do what she says if I were you.”  Sean choked out.  “You know how she is when she gets her Irish up.”

“My Irish IS up!” Mary Ryan pointed her spoon at her boys. “I knew that treehouse was a mistake to begin with.  Someone is going to fall out of it, just ye’ wait and see.”

“Ah Mary, calm down now darlin’.” Big John wrapped his big arms around her waist and nuzzled her neck. “Our boys had a tree house when they were young and not a one of them ever fell out of it.”

“Luck, that’s all it was. Pure luck!”  Mary tried not to laugh, but she couldn’t help it. She slapped at Big John’s hands and squirmed out of his embrace.  “And you won’t get around me John Ryan, you won’t.”

Big John winked at her.  “I know. I know.  A tyrant; that’s what ye’ are, Mary Ryan.”

Mary turned and glared at Gavin again. “I thought I told you to wash those hands.”

“I’m washing! I’m washing.” Gavin turned quickly around towards the sink. Jack moved to stand beside him, turned on the water and held Gavin’s hands under the spray.  Gavin peered at Jack out of the corner of his eye. 

Jack cocked a brow at him, but didn’t say a word.  He didn’t have to.

Where was 911 when you needed them?!  Being stuck in that tree didn’t seem like such a bad place to be as far as he was concerned.  The Ryan’s were all a Whack-Happy bunch; every last one of them!  And Jack Ryan was the Whackiest of them all!  A little groan made his way from the back of his throat.  He was SO dead.

Mary stood at the stove and watched as Jack gently washed the scrapes on Gavin’s hands.  She smiled at the love and care she witnessed between the two men.  There was a peace in knowing that your children had found their soul mates and she’d known from the moment she’d met Gavin McCourt that her eldest son had found his.  For that alone he would’ve held a very special place in her heart. It hadn’t taken long for him to find a special place there all on his own. She couldn’t have loved him more had she given birth to him herself.

And because she loved him like a son, she had no qualms about ordering him about as if he were.  “After you’re finished washing your hands, I want you to go upstairs and get an old pair of Sean’s jeans out of the dresser.  You have spaghetti sauce all over the backside of those you’re wearing and you aren’t sitting on my kitchen cushions without changing!”

“Yes ma’am.” Gavin smiled at Mary Ryan.  She might be Whack-Happy; but he loved this tiny, tyrant of a woman.  He grinned when he heard Sean choke back another laugh.  Patrick and Daniel didn’t try to hide theirs; they just burst out laughing. He swallowed his own laughter when he caught another look at Jack out of the corner of his eye. Then he swallowed again. 

Jack didn’t look happy at all.  Well, maybe Whack-Happy!

He was SO dead!

Gavin pulled his car in the garage and groaned when all too soon, Jack pulled his  SUV in beside him. They both had errands to run this morning and had decided on driving to the Ryan’s separately. There was a part of Gavin that was extremely grateful about that and another part of him wished they could’ve driven home together.  Gavin figured Jack had plenty of things to say to him and if they would’ve been in the same car they would’ve already had the discussion over with.   They could just get right to the..... KILLING part!

Jack was STILL going to KILL him; only now he’d have to wait until AFTER they talked. 

He groaned again and headed for the door.  He guessed it didn’t really matter. Killed was...KILLED and dead was just....SO DEAD!

Martha darted through her doggy door and pranced around the Little Guy’s feet. He squatted down on the door stoop and rubbed her neck.  When the Big Guy got out of his SUV, Martha ran over to him’ squirming and dancing around his legs. After being alone all day she was excited to see her guys.  She could barely stop herself from jumping up on them; but she was learning and she had learned pretty fast that the Big Guy didn’t like that.

Gavin swallowed past the lump in his throat as he walked through the door; his eyes darted around the kitchen, already looking for an escape.  He slowly started to walk towards the hall in hopes of evading what he knew was coming.  “You know, Martha’s been alone all day.  I think I’ll take her for a w.....”

Jack grabbed the back of Gavin’s shirt, pulling him to a stop. “Don’t even try, Gav.”

Gavin groaned.  He turned around and flopped on his barstool.  “Jack, I know you’re mad. I know I shouldn’t have climbed the tree.  But it was just a tree!  I really thought it would be okay. If I’m ever going to get over this phobia, I have to at least try! ”

“Gavin, if you want to work on getting over your phobia, I’d be happy to help you.”  Jack crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the counter.  “We can start out with a step stool and work our way up!”

Gavin squirmed on the stool. “I know you’d help. But I really didn’t think I’d panic. You wouldn’t even discuss it.”

“You always panic!”  Jack’s eyes narrowed.  “And we DID discuss it. Over and over again. You just didn’t like the outcome.  Do you remember what my answer was?”

“You said....no.”

Jack nodded his head. “That’s right.  Did you think I said that because I didn’t want you to have fun or so you’d feel left out?”


Martha stopped prancing. She plopped her butt on the floor, eyes shifting back and forth from the Big Guy to the Little Guy.  She had a feeling the Little Guy was in trouble again.    The Big Guy was crossing his arms and the Little Guy was squirming.  She knew all the signs and those were always the first clues.  She wondered what the Little Guy had done this time. He could be SO confusing sometimes. She whimpered a little. 

“And what does ‘no’ mean when I say it?”


“You’re grounded for two weeks.” 

“Two weeks...!”  Gavin groaned. “Chris’s party is next Saturday?”

Martha whimpered again.  She wished the Little Guy would learn to keep his mouth shut. 

“And you’re well aware that you don’t get to check your calendar for a convenient time to be grounded Gavin.”  Jack cocked a brow. 

Gavin opened his mouth, but stopped mid-complaint when he remembered back to how he’d acted all day. He decided that being grounded was more than fair. He had subtly defied Jack in front of an audience all day and ended up blatantly defying him by climbing that tree.  He was lucky he wasn’t getting spanked. Okay, so he probably deserved it; and he did have those ugly, guilt butterflies...... but he wasn’t crazy and he sure wasn’t going to admit that out loud!

“I know.”  Gavin pushed himself up from the stool, hoping to stop any further discussion that might jog Jack’s memory about the rest of the day.  “I’m sorry.”

When Gavin turned around and inched his way towards the hall, Jack grabbed the back of his shirt again, pulling him to a stop.

“Oh no, buddy.”  Jack shook his head. “We’re not anywhere near finished here.”

Jack plopped Gavin back on the stool and crossed his arms again.

Martha whimpered again.

Gavin groaned again.

It was a damned shame that Jack didn’t have any memory lapses

“You publicly played a game today with something that has always been very private between us. And if you think you’ll ever get away with flaunting our rules in my face when you think I can’t or won’t do something about it, you’re going to learn ...really fast, that you’re mistaken.”  Jack pointed a finger at Gavin. “You can’t change the rules of how we do this when it suits you, Gav.  Knowing that I would never disrespect you by embarrassing you in public, doesn’t give you license to disrespect me.”

“I’m sorry!”  Gavin’s eyes filled with tears; those damned guilt butterflies were flapping away in his stomach. “I didn’t mean to do that. I won’t do that again, I promise!”

“I know you won’t, buddy.” Jack pointed a thumb over his shoulder, pointing it to the basement door.  “I’m going to make sure that you don’t.  Why don’t you go dig out that paddle and then find yourself a corner.  I’ll be down in a minute.”

Gavin’s eyes widened. “But...I said I’m sorry.”


Gavin moved.  He jumped up off the barstool and sprinted towards the basement door.  He didn’t stomp or complain as he ran down those stairs.  He wasn’t pushing his luck any more today!

Jack watched Gavin until he disappeared down the stairs. The fact that he didn’t stomp and complain didn’t surprise Jack much at all.  Gavin was feeling guilty about the way he’d acted today and God help them all if Jack didn’t call him on it.  And since Jack knew that he was already feeling guilty, he decided not to leave Gavin down there too long to think about things.  At times like this, it was usually after he was spanked that Gavin did his best thinking anyway.

Martha’s eyes followed the Big Guy as he walked about the kitchen, filling her bowls with food and water.  She hadn’t moved from her spot on the floor and she didn’t budge when the Big Guy sat the bowls on the floor.  She whimpered when she saw him head for the basement. 

Funny things went on in that basement! The most awful sounds came from down there at times.  Well, sometimes those sounds came from other rooms too. Especially when the Big Guy was mad about something; and when he was mad he could be downright whack-happy! Those awful sounds usually meant the Little Guy had done something ...confusing.  He could be SO confusing sometimes.

Martha waited until the Big Guy disappeared down the stairs.  She got up and scrambled to the door, nudging it open with her nose. She slowly crept down the first few stairs and stopped when those awful whacking sounds began.  She whimpered a little and her whole body shuddered when she heard the Little Guy start his howling.  She wanted to howl in sympathy and thought about trying to save him. But she knew that the Big Guy would never really hurt him and well....sometimes the Little Guy was just SO confusing.  She really couldn’t blame the Big Guy all that much. 

She just didn’t want to have to LISTEN to it.

She darted back up the stairs; slid on the wood floor though kitchen and raced down the hall towards the family room.  She dove in her bed and covered her ears with her paws.  She had spent half of the first year of her life, either covering her eyes or her ears; because if they weren’t wiggling..... they were whacking!
Her People were just SO strange. 


“Do my feet turn you on?”  Gavin peeked up over the magazine he was reading and blinked at Jack.  He wiggled his own feet in Jack’s lap.

Jack squirmed in response to that wiggle.  “When you do *that* it does.”

“I know that.” Gavin grinned.  “But I mean, my feet in general?”

Jack looked down at the feet in question; trying to separate what they were... from what they were doing.

“Let’s just say that I can *be* turned on by them.”  Jack went back to his own book, when Gavin’s feet stopped wiggling.

Gavin scribbled something in the magazine and read a little more.  After a few minutes he peeked over it again.  “Are you turned on by hair?  Does the color matter to you?”

Jack looked up from his book again.  Gavin’s dirty blonde hair was just at that “needs a haircut” stage; curls drooped over his forehead.  Jack loved when it did that.   

“Yeah, I would say that hair can turn me on.”

Gavin stuck his nose back in his magazine and scribbled some more. After a few more minutes, he peeked up again.  “Do certain clothes turn you on? You know, like certain materials?”

Jack’s forehead wrinkled in confusion.  He looked over at Gavin, sprawled out on the couch, dressed in his holey jeans; rips and tears covered them.  He loved seeing Gavin in those jeans. 

“Well yeah, in a way, I guess.  Depends on who’s wearing them though.”

Gavin went back to scribbling.  He muttered under his breath.  “I KNOW that one doesn’t turn you on.  Thank GOD!”

“What are you reading?”  Jack asked, looking up from his book again.

“It’s a list.” Gavin grinned from behind the magazine.  “Of  ...fetishes.”

“Oh really.”  Jack chuckled.  “What one doesn’t turn me on?”

“You don’t want to know!”  Gavin scrunched his nose up.  “Some of them are pretty disgusting, Jack!”

“I can imagine.”  Jack put his book down on the end table and rubbed Gavin’s feet. “Tell me about some of the interesting ones.”

“Well, there’s the butt fetish.  I put down a *yes* for both of us on that one, on anything having to do with butts. Because, you know; we’re both kind of ‘butt guys’.”

“Yeah, I’d say we were both ‘butt guys’.”

“And the one about sex talk turning a person on.  Well, we do like that.”

“Oh yeah.  Sex talk works for me.”  Jack squirmed in his seat; sex talk definitely turned him on.

“I put down no on a bunch of them.  Like dressing in woman’s clothes, or high heels.”  Gavin grinned up at Jack.  “You don’t DO that behind my back or anything, do you?”

Jack chuckled.  “I’ll never tell.”

“Golden showers?”  Gavin was still grinning from behind the magazine.  “Please *don’t* tell me if you’re secretly into that one. I just don’t wanna know!”

“Okay, I won’t.”  Jack laughed.  “I think we can safely skip over a few of those.”

“Yeah, I did.”  Gavin looked up at Jack.  “I can’t decide on the spanking one.  Does that turn you on?”

Jack stopped laughing, sending Gavin a confused look. “Spanking you doesn’t turn me on, Gav. You know that.” 

“Jack, I KNOW a *real* spanking doesn’t turn you on.  I’m usually over your lap; I think I could TELL if it turned you on.” Gavin rolled his eyes, squirming a little. “And I SURE don’t get turned on by those either. If I wasn’t convinced before; and believe me; I’ve NEVER doubted it; yesterday would’ve done the trick. A real spanking is more like a.... ...phobia!”

“I can understand that, Gavin.”  Jack completely understood that. Yesterday was NOT a good day for phobias.  “I feel kind of the same way about it. I don’t enjoy it either.”

“I know you don’t enjoy...those.”  Gavin wrinkled his nose and shook his head. “Of course, that never stops you from doing it; so it’s not really a phobia where you’re concerned.”

“No.  It’s not a phobia or a fetish for me.”  Jack cocked his brow. “I look at it as a.....responsibility that I take very seriously.”

“Yeah, tell me about it. That’s the very reason I have a phobia about it!  Because you DO take it so seriously. And it’s a really bad habit too!”  Gavin squirmed again and decided he didn’t want to talk about phobias anymore.  “But you like swatting me on the butt sometimes; like when we’re wrestling or I’m passing you in the hall. I know that you do!”

“Well, you have one of those kinds of butts.”  Jack wiggled his eyebrows.  “I think that can be included in the whole “butt guy” thing.”

“Yeah, I like smacking you on the butt sometimes too.”  Gavin scribbled some more. “Football players all must have that ‘butt guy’ fetish.”

After a few more minutes of scribbling, Gavin looked up again, shaking his head.  “Jack, I think all in all, we’re pretty boring.  We hardly have any really cool fetishes.”

“Boring? Us? You’ve gotta be kidding.”  Jack reached over, taking the magazine from Gavin’s hands.  He looked over the list, eyes widening as they skimmed over one or two really bizarre things that even he had never thought about before; and he had a VERY vivid imagination when it came to this type of thing. 

“You know Gav, a fetish is when a person becomes obsessively fixated on a certain thing.  It could be either an object or a body part, or both.”

Gavin looked at Jack, rolling his eyes.  “Yes, Professor Ryan, I know that.”

Jack bit the inside of his cheek.  “Well, what I’m saying is that there are a lot of things that could be considered a fetish to some people that aren’t even ON this list.”

Gavin searched Jack’s face, gazing into those crystal blue eyes, seeing what he always saw when he looked in them; love, commitment, and loyalty; and even at those times when they looked a little less than happy with him, total acceptance.   Yeah, Jack’s eyes weren’t on that list, and Gavin had always been obsessively fixated on them. AND his smile AND his shoulders AND, well..... his butt, but they had already covered that one. AND.......

Jack interrupted Gavin’s list of fetishes by pulling him on his lap.  He brushed the dirty blonde curls off of Gavin’s forehead.   “It’s like ....if a person is attracted to someone with dirty blonde hair, that’s one thing. But if you aren’t able to get....aroused, unless you’re with a person with dirty blonde hair; then you most likely have a fetish.”

Gavin grinned.  “Yes, Professor Ryan. I know that.”

Jack tossed the magazine on the end table and wrapped his arm around Gavin’s waist.  “Or a person could be attracted to, let’s say ....a certain type of grin. But if you can’t get aroused unless you’re with a person that has that certain type of grin; then mostly likely its a fetish.”

Gavin wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck; heat flashed in his green eyes.  “Yeah, like you could be attracted to blue eyes. But if you can’t get aroused unless you’re with a person with blue eyes; then it’s most likely a fetish.”

“Green.” Jack shifted in his seat after catching sight of the heat in Gavin’s green gaze. He nuzzled Gavin’s neck and mumbled between bites.  “They have to be... green. Blue eyes don’t do a thing for me.”

Gavin squirmed on Jack’s lap. “Isn’t it lucky for us then; that..... your eyes are blue and mine are green?”

“Lucky. Yeah, that’s us.”  Jack pushed Gavin back on the couch and leaned over him.

“Yeah, not boring at all.” Gavin wiggled further down in the couch, pulling Jack with him.  “Just....really lucky.”

Martha groaned and jumped to her feet as soon as the wiggling started.  Groaning was about all she COULD do, because growling sure didn’t seem to stop those two.  She thought for sure she had nipped this ‘wiggling in the family room’ habit in the bud, but apparently it hadn’t lasted.   

She stuck her nose in the air and sniffed to show what she thought of their exhibitionism.  Not that THEY noticed!  The house could catch on fire and they wouldn’t notice while they were in the middle of a wiggle! It was a really bad habit and she was sure they weren’t planning on doing a thing about it.  She let out a sigh and headed for her bed. Okay, so maybe wiggling wasn’t all THAT bad. 

She just didn’t want to have to SEE it.

After diving in her bed, she covered her eyes with her paws.  She did have to admit... she much preferred this wiggling business to that whacking business, that’s for sure!

And she had a feeling...her guys felt the same way.

But they were still SO strange!