"Voluptuous?" Doyle said airily as they drove past a stray hooker. "That what you call 'er then? Sounds better than "fat", but you desperate or something?

She's got to be over your own personal threshold of what's acceptable... she must be well over fifty."

"True," Bodie sighed. "And no, not desperate. Too tired. Just testing your vocabulary."

"Lovely," Doyle muttered. "All I want to test at the moment is my bed. On my own. Know what voluptuary means then, if you're showing off?"

"Certainly do, my lad," Bodie said nonchalantly.

"Yeah?" Doyle shot back. "Even if you do quote poetry just to show off now and then, I'm not convinced. That's a clue, by the way."

"Poetry's no worse than those daft, arty films you pretend to like," Bodie said firmly. "And I'm tempted to think you've been reading dictionaries at night instead of more interesting activities involving all the senses and sheer gratification thereof. Mostly of a sexual nature. A voluptuary is a sensualist. Myself personified."

"That's rich," Doyle said, allowing himself a yawn. "I am universally known to be about as sensual as it gets."

"Question of opinion," Bodie smiled disarmingly. "I mean anybody who can eat liver paste hardly deserves to be called anything but a philistine, in my humble opinion."

"Philistine my backside. Better tell Joe's Caff to forget the sarnies and tea and offer its more discerning clients a little foie gras with crackers and a decent Sauternes then," Doyle sniffed. "Not that you'd recognise either."

"Sauternes," Bodie mused. "Nothing like a decent glass of Pouilly Fumé."

"Idiot," Doyle chided, grining. "Pouilly Fumé isn't Sauternes."

"I know that," Bodie sniffed. "Just testing you. Pouilly Fumé - not to be confused with Pouilly Fouissé - is nice stuff. Sauternes is too sweet."

"This from the guy who stuffs his mouth with crappy supermarket Swiss rolls? And it's supposed to be sweet. That's the point."

Bodie rolled his eyes.

"Still don't like it," he said. "Bad as liver paste."

"Question of taste," Doyle said. "Not saying I'd turn my nose up at the more refined things in life, mind. Some nice fresh asparagus. Oysters. Champagne. Soft music. Girl wearing silk underwear..."

"Now you're talking," Bodie grinned. "Or even better girl whose silk underwear is slowly being removed. Along with one's nice cashmere sweater. Can't argue with you there."

"Even if she's voluptuous?"

Doyle glanced over at his partner and then looked at himself. Examined the three-day growth of beard, sniffed faintly, and sighed deeply.

"Right now, not sure how many women would really go for two sweaty, smelly men wearing clothes they've slept in and too bloody tired to do more than crash out for 24 hours solid. Which I will once I've eaten something. I'm starving."

"You're not the only one," Bodie chuckled. "Shall we pass up on the asparagus and wine tonight then, Raymond? And the liver paste for that matter? Even voluptuous women?"

The car slowed down, and Doyle grinned delightedly as he saw the bright yellow sign of one of Bodie's favourite haunts. .

"Postpone it, you mean. And it's your turn to pay."

Bodie didn't argue, probably too anxious to gratify some of his senses.

"Double chips," Doyle said, winding down the window. "Plenty of vinegar. Just don't buy those battered sausages."

"Very sensual, battered sausages," Bodie shot back. "There's an off-licence over there. Go and get a couple of cans of Pouilly Newcastle Brown, there's a good lad."

Five minutes later, the smell of haddock wafting through the Capri, Bodie heaved a contented sigh and sneaked a casual hand towards Doyle's few remaining chips.

"Very nice, this."

"Too much and you'll get voluptuous," Doyle said, smacking the fingers away. "Well... more voluptuous."

"Nah," Bodie said contentedly. "Just give me plenty of exercise involving silk underwear."


"You never did prove you knew what that meant," Bodie said.

"No," Doyle smirked. "I didn't, did I?"

-- THE END --

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