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Shack of the Sinclairs

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Danny peered eagerly through the window. The drive had felt long (longer than long, his tush would say), even though it was only in places like England--or, now, Scotland--that three hours counted as long. Around here, you could cross entire continents in three hours.

By now the road had gone very narrow and winding, with Brett handling the wheel expertly up hill and down dale (whatever a dale was). The sun was setting, and the whole sweep of countryside glowed like a gem. A perfect wilderness for their getaway.

"Look!" he said, pressing his nose against the glass. "What a lake!" The water was gray and moody, ringed with thick, dramatic woods.

"What a loghshhch," Brett replied, taking a very tight corner. Or at least that's what it sounded like.

Danny turned to him and patted him on the back. "Frog in your throat?"

"Loch," Brett said crisply.

"Ohhhh, lock. Like the Lock Ness monster," Danny said sweetly, just for the pleasure of watching Brett's nose wrinkle. "Listen, your Lordship, are we there yet?"


Danny rubbed his hands. He could practically feel the heat of a crackling campfire on his palms.

"Now, Daniel," Brett said uncertainly, "I hope you meant it when you said you didn't need anything elaborate for your vacation."

"You kiddin'? Course I meant it!" Campfire, blankets, nothing but woods and loghshhch around for miles...

"What I mean to say is, this place is rather isolated. In the family for generations, of course, but I can't say we've visited as often as we might."

He really did sound nervous, the poor dope. "Hey." Danny put one hand around the back of Brett's neck and rubbed. "I love it already. Especially if we can get outta your car soon, 'cause this seat is no place for a gentleman." He wriggled uncomfortably.

"Well..." Brett steered around one last narrow curve, coasting up and over a hill, and gestured tentatively through the windshield. "Here it is. The Sinclair Shack."

Danny blinked, and rubbed his eyes, and blinked again. The Sinclair Shack. It stood serenely in the sunset, probably just big enough to hold them... and their luggage... and all of their relatives, and the entire Barnum and Bailey circus. With elephants. The giraffes too, considering the upper floors.

"Uh..." Danny said.

Brett braked the car and looked at him, stricken. "You don't like it."


"I wanted it to be a surprise," Brett said.

"Yeah, you got that right." Danny looked up at the turrets. Turrets. Holy toledo. "You sure it's just for us? I mean, it's not a hotel or a convention center for the Shriners or anything?"

"Just us," said Brett, shyly.


Ah ha.

Danny slipped his arm around Brett, moving close. "Ehhh, so I can see the kitchen without a telescope," he said low, right into Brett's ear. "Who cares."

"You're...sure?" Brett managed hoarsely. He shivered under Danny's touch.

"Oh yeah." Danny nipped at his ear. "Come on, Mayfair. Let's rough it."