Unfastening his chain from where it was wrapped twice around his waist, Troy left it where he'd been sitting and rose. He gave Pretty-boy Peter a mocking little bow as he walked past, his pace just conservative enough to show everyone that, while he didn't outright fear Sreejoen, he did respect her immensely. Once up on the mat, he bowed to her as well.
"Peter's secretly grateful," he said quietly, though in the otherwise silent training area he knew it would carry. "That's as much as he's gotten in months."
"Oh?" Sreejoen cocked an eyebrow. "You think you're a better man than him?"
"Hey, at least I've gotten some recently," Troy grinned. "I think Peter's best kiss came from his mommy."
Lee thought about that for a moment, and laughed, showing perfect teeth.
Distracted, Troy never saw that kick coming. It blurred out of nowhere, a low and fast snap kick that slammed into his abdomen and doubled him over, the breath whooshing out of his lungs. Even as he went to one knee, though, Troy's body cut his startled mind out of the loop and brought both hands up to parry her attempt to catch his head and throw him. She drew back, then as he started to rise attacked again. Her hands were everywhere, stinging spearhands that forced him to rely on his guard, struggling to rise through the barrage. Every ounce of him howled with the instinct to rush her, to use his superior weight to bring her down. But he told himself grimly that that was just what she wanted, for him to go for the clinch, so she could manhandle him as easily as she had Peter. Instead he grimly made it to his full height, backpedaling in circles and allowing his guard to slip back into a more comfortable angle.
He made the decision to begin to fight back--and then it was over.
The ceiling... he could see Elvis in the texture. Or was that the Virgin Mary?
What seemed like forever later, he sat up and mumbled, "What did I do wrong?"
"You looked," Sreejoen told him, not moving to help him up. "As soon as you quit looking me in the eyes and started looking for targets you allowed my previous strategy to dictate your response. So I swept you. You might have bounced a few times."
Oh. That explained his headache. And the Virgin Elvis.
Clambering back to his feet, he headed back to his chain and slumped down, winded from his fall. Honestly, he didn't think he'd done all that bad. Against any street thug, he would have completely recovered from the ambush and regained control of the fight. Of course, he'd been suckered in the first place... The chain clinked reassuringly, and Troy looked up in time to watch the next poor fool.