As he looked up to grab his cup of coffee, she walked across his peripheral vision and sat down at one of the tables with her friends. Anna Vidalus, blonde, achingly beautiful and for Matt very literally the girl next door. His cup of coffee was forgotten until he saw Anna turn her head and her friends started laughing as he looked slightly to the left as if he had been staring out at space rather then at her.
It was at this moment that her idiot boyfriend, (an Arts Major) doing the easiest degree needed to satisfy the academic requirements of his sports scholarship, chose to make his entrance as he took the seat next to Anna and gave her a rather indecent kiss much to the approval and cooing of her friends.
Scott Dunn, the afore mentioned idiot boyfriend broke off the deep kiss and while he appeared to blush at finally noticing Anna's friends he turned his head and gloated with a unkind grin toward Matt, who decided to leave at that point and started hurriedly putting his things back into his satchel so he could leave. Scott then turned back to Anna and asked her how her day had been, as Matt hurried past their table towards the parking lot.
Jenna snickered and said, "That guy is so pathetic, you'd think after all these years he'd have given up that idiotic crush." Scott's eyes blazed for a moment and Anna after directing a shut up glare toward Jenna turned back to Scott and with a smile said, "I'm in class the rest of the day, what have you got planned?"
Scott leaned back and said, "Nothing much babe, me and the guys are probably going to hang out, and then head to practise around six this evening. So I won't be able to see you again today, we still on for the weekend?" Anna thought for a moment and then nodded, Scott smiled and with a final smooch got up and nodded to his boys. "Come on lads, let's go."
Scott left Anna and after they got around the corner he said in a soft but menacing tone, "I wanna pay that little soldier boy a visit before he leaves." They continued walking to the side of the building and then slipped down a thoroughfare and over the ring road and into the student carpark where they could see Matt was almost to his car.
Scott turned his head slightly so his voice would project backwards and said, "Last week's game winner boys," and Scott and another mate split off right, while a third moved around to encircle Matt from behind. The remaining two approached in plain sight, and appeared non-threatening.
The two called, "Matt wait up." As they got closer, Matt let his guard down a little as the two approached without Scott, as they said, "We wanted to talk to you about a tutoring gig for the multi-strand science units we have to do this semester. We know you and Scott don't get on, anyone you can recommend? We'd pay you a finders fee of course."
The lie they fed him had some truth in it, and like all good lies sprinkled with the truth, this one provoked a guarded, but accepting reaction. They chatted as the rest of the group moved quietly into position, and as the two reached a compromise on a student that would help them, Matt heard a quiet scuff behind his car. Matt might have been a little on the trusting side, but he knew an ambush when he heard one and his training kicked in.
All Army Under-Grad Officer trainee's did portions of their military training during the University holiday breaks, and luckily for his sake last semester's training was all about ambushes. When ambushed by a force of unknown number, the only option is to turn, punch through the first line of contact and flank the rest of the ambushing force. Leaving the rest scrambling after you, instead of them keeping you in their kill zone.
That's exactly what Matt did, and in this case his first point of contact was the two who had distracted him. He pitched forward like he was going to fall while allowing his knees to fold a little and then at the point of no return explosively lept forward while putting his shoulder behind a power punch at the one on the left's solar plexius.
As he landed from the spring he just managed to get his legs back under him and dodged Alex's grasping hands as he took off to the left, crouch running behind cars as the man who had circled behind him ran just out in front of him he stood up and threw his right arm out at the guy's throat, coat hangering him before he took off running down the carpark.
Matt was moderately fit, fit enough to pass the Army's entrance physical. But he wasn't an athlete who trained five days a week, including sprinting drills and in short order the rest of the pack pulled him down, and dragged him by the shoulders back to his Car where Scott and Alex's brother Ben who was still down and lay gasping for air.
Scott was furious that Matt had nearly gotten away and laid two of his boys out. And as his two friends forced Matt to his knees infront of Scott, he stepped closer and said, "You're going to wish you hadn't done that." He grabbed Matt by the hair and pulled back his fist and with a downward punch drove his fist into Matt's jaw.
Matt looked up again, tasting blood as he said, "Is that all you've got you gutless bastard. Send your fudge-packing friends to do your dirty work." At this Scott hit Matt in the stomach winding him as his mates dropped him onto the pavement and those who could pounded on him with their fists and feet. After they'd satisfied themselves that they'd given him a good kicking Scott knelt down beside Matt and said, "She's my girl, it's about time you accept that."
How long Matt laid there for, he didn't know. His muscles refused to do anything but scream at him in pain, he was too bloodied and bruised to do anything about it though. He phased in and out of conciousness on the hot blue chip parking lot, almost willing himself to die to escape his battered body, until he heard a gasp and looked up, he wondered for a moment if he had died. Anna's blonde hair was highlighted with a corona that looked remarkably like a halo in the rays of the dying sun. That sight was the last image he had before he passed out again.