After Darling lead out, I went into the tank. While in there, he said to Tiny B (who was watching), “tell Randy to fold so his children can go to college.” Having played with him enough, this added support to me feeling that he really liked his hand. That, combined with how he played it pre-flop made me narrow his hands to two possibilities: aces or ace-king. Ace-king was obviously far more likely on paper, but even then, I was drawing to a chop wherein he likely had a back-door flush draw of some sort. Plus, yes, somewhat Shanian, but I just couldn’t get aces out my head. The anonymous commenter said it best, I’m just egomaniacal enough to assume that Darling assumes I’m the great player that he can get away with playing aces that way against. Of some consequence, too, was a hand like this that I actually played against Shane two weeks earlier. Shane had the aces.
Finally, after a long tank, I folded. Darling proudly showed K♣Q♣ for a flopped nut flush draw. We rabbit hunted it, and he didn’t get there (though, I still maintain he would have had I called.)
I talked with Darling the next day about the hand, and he said two things of note: (1) he did almost push pre-flop because, in his words, “I just knew I was going to make a flush”; and (2) once the flop came out, he was certain he was going to make the flush. So, at least I read the strength of what he THOUGHT he had on the flop correctly.
In hindsight, I made the mistake I often make: giving my opponent too much credit for playing their hands in a way that makes any sense. Of course, I still should have called. Go batfaces.