Alan looked around the room to see if there was anyone else he didn't know. Satisfied that he had a good sense of the players, he moved over to a table where Ridley was sitting by herself, looking at her phone.
"You running in the morning?" he asked.
"Of course. Don't even thinking of skipping just because of a reception."
"I wasn't," he said with a smile. "You haven't seemed very engaged tonight," he continued, changing the topic.
"You're all freshers," she said dryly. "There's nothing of any interest to the lot of you."
"Well aren't you just a ball of sunshine," he responded with a chuckle. "Since we're all so uninteresting, I don't suppose you're ready to head out yet."
"You thinking of turning in?" she responded. "It won't help you with tomorrow's run, but it couldn't hurt you."
Alan thought he detected the hint of a smile.
"I'm going to make you eat that smirk sometime in the next month," he answered. "Want to head out?"
It was a lovely, cool night in the Peterhouse grounds. Alan wasn't quite sure where Ridley lived, but she seemed to be headed in the same direction as he was.
"Is your room in this direction?" he finally asked.
"What do you think?" she answered, and seemed about to say more when the sound of something whizzed by. Then there was another of the same.
"Get down," she said, pushing him to the ground.
"Were those bullets?" he muttered when they spotted a couple figures in black moving quickly toward them from the side...