The sheer din of the place left her with a headache. Which was odd, because it never used to bother her. The Angry Dragon was one of her most favourite places in the world, had always made her feel relaxed and safe from life's troubles. But the last month. . . .
It was Andrew's fault of course, Beckett thought. He had ruined things by asking her for more. I'm not ready for more, she insisted to herself. And yet. . . . This place wasn't the same anymore because he wasn't here. It didn't even seem like the Angry Dragon without him. They'd met here, they'd got to know each other here, celebrated life's joys, big and small, and commiserated on life's ups and downs—all the important stuff. And now, he'd changed all that, damn him. With one stupid question.
And he didn't have a clue what he'd done wrong. Never mind that she was not inclined to tell him—that was beside the point. She didn't want to get serious—what was his problem with that? Weren't most guys delighted to find they were off the hook when it came to commitment? Not Andrew. She smiled in spite of herself. He was an endearing man, and special in so many ways. Why had he spoiled it all?
Beckett groaned when she saw Colin headed her way with a purposeful look and a pint in each hand. Now here was someone who truly couldn't take no for an answer. Why was he so focused on her, when she'd never shown the slightest interest? He seemed to think she was a "project" of some sort, a conquest he could not resist. Andrew had never been that way. . . .
"Here you go!" Colin winked rakishly at her, a move she had seen him perfect many a night in the pub. Sorry, mate—not buying what you're selling. She smiled in self-defense.
"Thanks, Colin." She reached into her pocket and brought out a ten-pound note, which she plunked down on the table between them before taking the glass. Making her position perfectly clear. "Just what I wanted—and the next one is on me."
"Oh, no, Becky—I'm buying you a drink!"
Her smiled became a bit more fixed. "No, you're not. I've told you how I feel about that before. Colin. Now take the money and drink up. And don't call me Becky." She gave him a warning look over the edge of her glass.
"Aww, come on. It's my name for you!" He gave her what he obviously considered his most winning smile. Beckett simply stared at him.
"Not something you get to decide. Now, if you don't want to be told to bugger off, behave yourself and drink your beer."
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