"Two Sam Adams."
"Coming right up."
Mike poured the two beers and passed them over. Ben grabbed one for himself and slipped the other over to sit beside Duke's mostly empty one. Duke still didn't look up, but he did mumble out a low, "Thank you," before draining the first glass and lifting up the second.
"I tried to call you."
"I ignored it."
"I noticed." Ben chanced a quick look over at Duke. From the door, he hadn't been able to see the other man's expression, and while he had a pretty good idea what he was dealing with, he'd take any extra clues he could get.
There weren't many. But then again, after all these years, it wasn't like Ben needed much. Sure enough, in the lines around those cool blue eyes and the tilt of his lips, Ben could see that Duke was just as upset as he'd expected him to be.
Ben already knew most of the story. After all, Danielle had been the one to call him, her voice near-hysterical as she'd relayed the story of Duke walking in on her with another man. Of Duke storming out and refusing to answer his phone.
Wanting to hear it all from Duke, though, Ben didn't go into any of that. Instead, he just asked, "So how are you?"
"How do I look?"
Ben sized him up again before answering. "Wrecked."
Duke nodded stiffly but hid the waver of his mouth with his glass. "That's about right." The two men sat in silence for a few minutes, each drinking quietly until Duke dropped his fist against the bar. "It's just all... bullshit is what it is."
"Relationships. Life. The whole damned thing." For the first time all night, Duke looked up and turned his head, his shining eyes finding Ben's and locking them inside his gaze. "She fucking cheated on me. With this random pick-up. Tried to tell me it didn't mean anything, but who does that?"