He glanced around, hoping to see someone else who needed a partner. The only singles he noticed were in his own cabin group.
A few feet away, one of the younger Blumes whined, "It's not fair. I was supposed to go with Dad."
"Oh, shut up," the other son muttered. "I won the draw fair and square."
The first one wasn't finished. He cast a narrow-eyed glare around him and crossed his arms. "Well, I'm not getting stuck with that little fag."
Clay sucked in a breath. That little fag. Me. The other man couldn't be referring to anyone else. Heat flooded his face. What was he doing? He'd dyed his hair back to his natural color and dressed as plainly as he could. He'd tried to act like everyone else. All for nothing. He was still a fem little fag. A fem little fag that tried too hard, and cared too much, and everyone knew it. Tears of humiliation prickled behind his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. He would not show his hurt in front of all these judgmental people.
Whichever Blume had spoken turned to Trent and offered an ingratiating grin. "Hey, man, want to be my partner?"
The stare Trent leveled at the man could have frozen a volcano. He crossed his muscular arms over his chest and shook his head. "No. I'd rather have the little fag than the big asshole."
Clay's mouth fell open. Trent had defended him. Sort of. But why? The man didn't even like him. He'd acted like Clay had the plague the couple of times he'd tried to speak to him. Before Clay could turn the thought over in his mind enough times to make sense of it, Trent was standing beside Clay.
He didn't smile. His gray eyes remained narrowed and glacial, although that could have been directed at Blume. "Partners?"