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In Windermere

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"Come on, slow poke," Paul's Scottish voice roared. The little horn on their classic red topless Triumph sounded waspish and annoyed, repeatedly pressed by the perpetrator, who was basking in the sound of its honk. "Can you hear that? Hurry up!"

"If you blow that hooter again, I'll stick it up your--" David then laughed, pointing at Paul, who was laughing too, mouth agape. He scuttled down the road, leaving a row of shops in his wake. It was raining slightly; as it was Windermere, this was hardly surprising. And the drizzle felt icy.

They were shopping for antiques in the Lake District. Whatever next? It was, after all, the name of the game - to buy bits and bats all over the country and try to make a profit at auction. But, for every large, luxurious and modern, well-heated antiques centre, there were ten tiny 'Aladdin's cave' type shops, nooks and crannies chock full of collectables, with the bloody temperature of a cave to boot.

"It's freezing," David approached the car, blowing hot air into his hands. He held them out for Paul to grab, "Just feel my hands."

"God, they are cold," came a shocked reply.

"Aah, but cold hands - warm heart," he said, and Paul winked back at him as if to say 'I bet'. "Get out then - I'm driving the next bit," the bald man told him.

"Is that right?" Paul asked, his accent heavy.

"It's the only way you can put your arm round me while we're driving, to keep me warm."

Laidlaw shot a glance at Harper which said 'come off it', but received a pleading look in return. Soon he was undoing the latch on the car door, with a clunk, and pacing round to the other side of the car, getting into the passenger side. He held out his arms and nodded towards the empty seat, watching the other expert get in.

"Thank you. You're sweet," David smiled, expecting Paul's arm duly wrapped around him. But, instead, what he got was Paul mounting him, one leg over his lap as he straddled him - and his chest - white-shirt clad and framed by a beige jacket, thrust so close to his face that he could even smell the Scot's zesty, strong-scented aftershave. "Christ, mate - you're a fast mover!" he yelled in surprise.

"I'm-- I'm trying to reach the road map," he explained, flustered and stuttering.