“Don’t you remember, Hal? All the girls, all the boys, all the hearts you broke?” William’s voice is soft, delicate, as if speaking to a lover. “And they all still love you in the end, don’t they? None more so than dear old Nick—”
”Stop,” Hal breathes, fingering the domino in his pocket. “Stop it.” His eyes drift to Cutler, who saunters back from the bathroom terribly at ease with himself and takes his place at the table as if nothing is amiss.
There is a beat. A pause. William shrugs his shoulders, says casually, “he remembers,” with a smile, and Cutler looks up, closes his menu, confused.
“Hal? What do you remember?” Their eyes meet; if Cutler sees the tears forming, he doesn’t comment on them.
“The good old days,” William announces wryly, reaching for his wine glass. He smiles again. “The days where Hal could get what he wanted, who he wanted, without any repercussions or consequences. Unfortunately for him, those days are long gone.”
Hal says nothing for a moment and then clears his throat. “Yes,” he says stiffly, “the good old days.”
There is a flash of understanding on Cutler’s face; he glances back at his menu and frowns over the starters. “Oh, I don’t know,” he says lightly, eyes still on the page, “sometimes I miss the good old days as well.”
William’s expression falters, but only for a second. Hal’s grip tightens on the domino; he breathes out slowly and, when Cutler sends him a look of concern, manages a smile.