He’d just started thinking that maybe he should stop staring at Kelvin, and perhaps think about scoping out a pretty girl at the party, when he was caught off guard by someone walking right up and plastering herself to his side. “Uh —” He began, startled. He was about to gently tell her that she had the wrong person, he was definitely not her boyfriend, but he could feel her shaking, and her eyes were wide, and Jeremy wasn’t stupid and oblivious enough to miss the leer on the guy’s face as he followed hot on her trail. He brought his free hand up to settle around her waist, hoping that he wasn’t misinterpreting the situation. “Hey, are you okay?” he asked, eyebrows knitting together in concern. “Um, babe?” Hopefully his uncertainty sounded more like worry for her well-being, rather than a bad attempt at acting. (Hey, Jeremy wasn’t so bad at acting. He was hiding a lot from most people.)
His gaze moved up to the guy, and he raised his eyebrows in a challenge. He might have been gay (too fucking gay), but he knew how straight dudes acted when it came to their girlfriends. There was something weird, and possessive, and hypermasculine about it. He puffed up his chest. “Dude, there a problem?” He raised his voice a little, the challenge clear. Jeremy wasn’t drunk enough (or violent enough) to start going around starting fights for real, but the bravado would hopefully be enough to scare this creep off. The other guys were starting to notice the situation as well, turning their heads to see what was going on. He was just glad that none of them were particularly close friends, close enough to know that it was all a ruse. Hopefully none of them would call his bluff, too. He tightened his hold around Dusty’s waist. He only knew her very vaguely, from parties and classes and things like that, but she looked like she needed help.