"Hey. Is everything all right, Jay?" Jason's anger is instant; he stares down at Hoyt's sweet hand on his shoulder and shrugs it off. "Tell me, Hoyt? Were you on the football team?" Hoyt hears the danger in his voice, but not the why, because the why doesn't matter. Jason grabs him roughly, even as he realizes he's fucking this up too, but too full of energy and fear and confusion, too full of salvation, to focus: "Were you on the football team?" he asks again, and pushes Hoyt down, in the dirt. Hoyt Fortenberry, who outweighs him by thirty pounds and six inches; Hoyt Fortenberry whom he knows would never hurt him, never raise a hand to protect himself. "Then you do not call me Jay. You got that?"
The only person better at being a man, meaning fucking, were the vampires he watched fucking Maudette, the vampires he imagined fucking Dawn. And then they were the vampires he imagined fucking, no matter how much it terrified him; the vampires he pretended to be, fucking Maudette and then Dawn, killing Maudette and Dawn and Amy. He's just like a little boy, trying on these costumes and taking them off again. And yesterday he brought the whole thing full circle: he fucked Amy in front of a vampire. A fat faggot one. See now? See who the man is now?
Men don't fear, don't cry, don't hear the laughter of the leaves; you can't bring that part of Amy World back to the road crew, because the world turns on you, so there you go in the other direction, reminding sweet Hoyt who the real man, the Varsity man, is here. ("You're not the first vain-ass, body-conscious ex-jock to overdo the V," she said.) The second something opens you up, the second you say those words you never say, the real world turns on you; reminds you of what men do and are and say. Rene who's getting married like a grownup, Rene on whom women and children depend; Lafayette who looks at you like a child and tells you when you can have your medicine. And sweet gigantic Hoyt Fortenberry: too caring, too soft, to willing to apologize for the roughness of the world. Disgusting, weak Hoyt, who would never understand that it's not being protected and loved, but needing to be protected and loved that's the issue, that wanting to be protected makes him feel as helpless as he used to be, before he became a man. It's kind of you to try to take it on for him, but if he lets you, for even a second, he'd be so mad at you he'd never be able to look at you again. Hoyt shoves him off, as gently as he can, and stands up, disgusted. They wander away from each other, and Hoyt, whose feelings are still hurt, looks at the ground at Jason's feet, and apologizes for whatever it was, just like with Tara last week. Hoyt doesn't even need to know what he did, he just needs to make it okay. "I'm... Yeah, I'm sorry." And Jason slides down that tree, to the ground, and it's just a tree again. And he's just a man.