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didn't seem to notice him at first, but after a time, he did. He looked up at Alex and at first no words passed between them.

And then, in a voice so soft that Alex could barely hear it, Leo said, "Want a drink, Alex?"

Alex made no attempt to hide his incredulity. "You're offering to buy me a drink?"

"No, I was talking to the Alex behind you," said Leo, and for a moment the remark-and the man-bore a passing resemblance to his old self. But then he looked up and said, in that same hushed voice, "Yes, I'm offering to buy you a drink. It's the least I can do. And what was it you always said? I always do the least I can do."

Slowly Alex sat across from him. "I ... didn't mean anything by that," he said.

"Of course you did," Leo replied, and naturally he was correct. "You meant exactly what you said. And you were right. You were right about... everything," and he lowered his head. "You were right," he said once more. "And I've... wasted my life."

"Not yet." Alex leaned forward. "Sheila, she'd... she'd like to come to see you."

Leo looked up at him with undisguised amazement. "She... would?" Then his face darkened. "You're joking with me. This is a joke."

"No! Not a joke, I swear! She's been married and divorced twice since you broke up. You ask me, she never really got over you."

"I don't believe it," Leo said skeptically, but the truth was clear on his face: he wanted to believe it. Wanted to believe it with all his heart.

"It's true," Alex said firmly. "Tell you what: you get me a scotch and soda, I'll call Sheila. Believe it or not, she's not too far from here. She's on a colony maybe a day or two away at most."

"Sheila is?" Leo clearly couldn't believe it. "Sheila hated to travel. She swore she'd live and die on Earth."

"That was many years
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