Re: Dietre A./Hugh C.: On the patio
Dietre’s smile faded. In his eyes there was a visible retreat, a shrinking back into himself that was somehow physical too despite the fact he lifted his head to sit up straighter. Hugh’s words had hit him heavily though the man might not have meant for there to be so much weight behind them. For Dietre, it was a dump truck of snow. He felt cold as his gaze drifted away, unfocused.
He wet his lip with a nervous swipe of his tongue, looking out at the lake now. “I know…” His voice was a little thick. Husky. And he kept his expression as stoic as he could manage, the usual blank mask he wore for strangers. Hugh might be saying one thing, but Dietre heard another.
The old fashioned was raised to his lips and Dietre drank down half before setting it down again with a wince and a sigh. His throat burned a little, but he could blame it on the drink now, rather than anything else. “...I couldn’t get in the way of anything like that,” he murmured at length. There was nothing in his tone that suggested he was trying to convince Hugh of anything. He wasn’t trying to make a case for himself. He sounded more like he was softly reassuring the man, telling him it was alright, that he understood.
The truth was he would have let Hugh walk all over him if he wanted. He really wouldn't have gotten in the way. Hugh could have whatever he wanted, do whatever he wanted. But Dietre didn’t have it in him to fight for something he knew he didn’t have a chance of obtaining. This was it for him. Better to find out sooner than later. Even so, he didn’t let go of Hugh’s hand.
Dietre stared out at the lake for a moment longer, then turned to Hugh with a small smile, though he didn’t really look at him directly. “I think you’d like the Claire de Lune by Debussy, so we should listen to that later too.”