DIRTY LAUNDRY by Heidi Cullinan
In hindsight it had been a dumb idea to come to the laundromat this late on a Friday night. All he’d thought about was that it would be horribly busy on Saturday morning, so out he’d trekked in below-freezing temperatures to take advantage of what had to be the least popu- lated time to wash his clothes. He’d been right. Except he’d forgotten to factor in the part where a one hundred-fifty pound weakling of a grad student in geek glasses and why-yes-I’m-gay feminine mannerisms might as well hang a KICK ME sign around his neck as far as bored frat boys were concerned.
And big, buff, bend-you-over-the-dryer cowboys.
To be fair, the cowboy hadn’t so much as glanced at Adam twice. And Adam would know because he’d done a lot of glancing at the cowboy. He tried not to, because if the cowboy had been watching, Adam probably would have given off the wrong signals. “Scared to death” had to be telegraphed loud and clear, but “turned on unreasonably” had to be broadcast at a pretty in- tense frequency too. Because, fuck. Cowboy was cut.
Not handsome. Not in the let-me-jack-to-you cowboy porn mag way, at any rate. He wasn’t ugly, but he didn’t have a marble jaw or anything. He was pretty scruffy, to tell the truth. But muscles? Fuck. Yeah. Normally Adam did not go for muscles. He wasn’t really going for them now, either, because muscles scared him. Muscles could hurt him. Muscles had hurt him. Muscles stood good odds of hurting him again.
Cowboy’s guns were so big Adam wasn’t sure he could span them with his hands. But Cowboy himself looked pretty mellow. Aside from getting up to shift clothes from a washer to a dryer, he just read the papers other people had left strewn about the booths and tables. He’d ad- justed himself once too.
Adam had to follow suit after seeing that, but otherwise Cowboy and his guns didn’t seem to give a damn whether Adam was there or not. So Adam relaxed as much as he could and hurried about his business of turning dirty laundry into clean, and nothing more eventful hap- pened than he ran out of quarters and had to go next door to the coffee shop and get change. And
a latte, even though the caffeine wouldn’t do anything to help his rabbit nerves. He used the toilet there too, because God knew he’d die before using the one at the laundromat.
When Adam returned, Cowboy was gone, and six frat boys occupied the laundromat in his stead.
They were none of them older than twenty-two, and that was probably pushing it. They acted twelve. Three of them were definitely drunk and two were possibly high as well. They weren’t as big as Cowboy, but they were bigger than Adam.
Unlike Cowboy, they noticed Adam right away, and they didn’t ignore him.
“You don’t have to be such a victim,” Brad would have complained. “If you act like a scared rabbit, they’ll treat you like one. Ignore them and act like you don’t give a damn about them. Better yet, don’t give a damn about them. If you keep painting a fucking target on yourself, looking like you expect to be harassed, you will be.”
Adam had tried, he really had. Many times. He wasn’t sure if he was just too old to learn, if the bullying had started when he was too young, or if he really was just stupid. Sometimes he thought it was because he truly was a rabbit. As if in the male evolutionary ladder he occupied that bottom rung where he had to survive by constant vigilance and the ability to hop the fuck out of there at a moment’s notice.
If he didn’t have a load of towels in a washer, he’d have put all his clothes, dry or crazy wet, into baskets and left. Because he knew from vast experience that it was better to run before anything happened, and everything about his situation right now screamed something would happen, no question.
In fact, it had already begun. They were leaning on the table where he’d left his basket of folded socks and underwear, and one of the drunk-high boys was giggling at Adam’s bright blue briefs which, like so much of him, screamed GAY. The boy looked up and made eye contact with Adam. Adam froze at the door of his dryer, trying not to look scared to death, which likely meant his terror was only amplified.
With an evil grin, the boy murmured something to the others. As his buddies turned their wicked, stoned-out gazes to Adam, the instigator pulled out the briefs and began tossing them in the air.
Adam would have crawled into the dryer with his damp clothes if he hadn’t thought they’d turn it on and barricade him inside.
They had his blue briefs, his club shirt, and his Ten Reasons You Shouldn’t Bug an Ento- mologist tee. They spoke to Adam in theory, but Adam knew better than to answer. He knew they were actually trying to out-macho each other, stepping on Adam to prove they were bigger and badder than the rest. They weren’t hurting him, and they might not if he played his part in the game well. If he was lucky he’d just lose a pair of underwear and a few of his favorite shirts.
He didn’t want to think about being unlucky.
“You wear this freaky blue shit, huh?” They snickered un unison and one of them bumped Adam’s shoulder. “What color you wearing right now?”
Adam pushed his glasses higher up his nose and hunkered deeper over an ad circular. “We’re talking to you, fag,” one of them said.
When Adam continued to ignore them, they took his glasses. Right off his face. “Please.” Adam tried to take them back, then stopped himself, knowing that would only
make it worse. It was time for him to beg. “Please give me my glasses back.” “Show us your underwear first, freak.”
The nervous flutter in the pit of Adam’s stomach turned into sick fear. “Please,” he whis- pered.
But his fear was only fueling them now, and they were laughing, laughing, laughing. “Strip, faggot.” Someone shoved at his shoulder again. And Adam realized with a sick heart that he would very soon be stripping.
He only hoped that was where it ended.
“What the fuck is going on?”
Adam startled, but so did the frat boys. One of them swore, and all of them staggered back, parting from their circle around Adam’s table, allowing him to see the newcomer.
It was Cowboy.
None of Adam’s fantasies had ever involved a muscle-bound and cowboy-hat wearing avenging angel, but he was pretty sure some were being spawned in advance right now.
Half of it was the walk. Cowboy redefined the word saunter, covering the distance be- tween the side door to the laundromat and Adam’s table with a slow, steady gait that made his hips roll enticingly in his beaten-up jeans and was punctuated by the clip, clop of his equally- worn cowboy boots. The closer he got the more he slowed down, giving the frat boys plenty of time to take him in. Best yet, Cowboy didn’t look pissed. He looked irritated.
And somehow he looked extra big, though that might have been Adam’s libido swelling. The frat boys had recovered, mostly. “We’re just messing around, old man,” one of them
Cowboy said nothing, just stared back at the boys. His gaze lingered on the one holding
The one holding Adam’s glasses took a step back.
One of the drunk-high boys, though, had apparently decided six frat boys out-ranked even Cowboy’s muscle, because he tossed his hair back out of his eyes and fixed his adversary with an insolent leer. “Did we pick on your boyfriend, honey? We’re sorry.”
Some of the frat boys giggled. Some of them shrank a little.
Adam felt something bounce against his hand, and when he looked down he saw his glasses lying beside him on the bench.
When he lifted his gaze again, Cowboy stood one beefy arm’s length away from the ring- leader. His expression up to that point had remained cool, but as Adam watched, the man’s face split into a nasty grin. The five others shrank back into the corner, whispering various panicked expletives under their breath. The ringleader tried to keep his cool, but even from the side Adam could see it cracking.
The laundromat went silent as Cowboy ran a thick, gnarly finger down the frat boy’s chest.
“Don’t be jealous. You want my cock, little boy, all you gotta do is bend over.” The frat boy sputtered, swore, and swung.
The cowboy blocked, grabbed Frat Boy’s nuts, and grinned. “Tell your fuck buddies to give the man his clothes back.”
Frat Boy swore, then cried out in pain as Cowboy’s grip tightened. “Fuck—do it,” he cried, and seconds later Adam’s clothes came sailing over his shoulder to land on the table top.
Cowboy jerked his head in a curt nod of approval. “Good boy. Now all of you apolo- gize.” Frat Boy cried out again, blood draining from his face. “And just so it’s clear, you’re get- ting this one shot to do it without your pants in a long, hot cycle in the washer and your dipshit asses waiting outside until they’re done.”
Adam kept rigid, his head spinning as one by one the frat boys came up to him and mur- mured terrified apologies before speeding like a bullet out the door. The ringleader was last, making his apology on his knees before the table, his hair held tight in Cowboy’s grip. Then he
beat it out of there as well, leaving Adam, frozen in place with his mouth gaping open, alone with his rescuer.
Cowboy tipped his hat, turned around, and walked away.
Outside of a lingering flicker of irritation in his jaw, Cowboy gave no clue he’d just routed six men and saved Adam’s pathetic little hide. He simply went to his dryer, pulled over an empty cart, and began folding his clothes. He made no eye contact with Adam, not until Adam got his spinning psyche under control and was able to walk up to Cowboy, nervous hands tan- gling in front of his belly. As Adam shoved down the last of his panic, Cowboy stopped folding and waited patiently for Adam to speak.
“Thank you,” Adam managed at last.
Cowboy acknowledged him with a jerk of his head. “Not a problem.” He resumed folding his clothes.
Adam stood beside his cart, watching. The need to keep talking to the stranger burned inside him, but the man wasn’t making it easy. And yet Adam couldn’t walk away. When Cow- boy stopped folding again and leveled that cool hazel gaze at him, Adam shoved his fear down hard and stuck out his hand. “I’m Adam Ellery.”
Cowboy nodded again and accepted Adam’s hand, closing it in his warm, rough grip. “Denver Rogers.”
Their hands lingered a moment, then fell apart. The touch had bolstered Adam, though, and instead of fighting for the ability to speak, he tried to sort out what he should say. All he could think of was how no one had ever rescued him before, but he didn’t want to seem pathetic.
Asking personal questions felt too brash just yet. Offering to buy the man something to drink seemed appropriate, so he gestured toward the coffee shop. “Can I get you something to drink? As a thank you?”
Denver stopped folding and searched Adam’s face. Eventually he shook his head.
This time Adam was glad the man had turned away, because he was blushing in mortifi- cation. Rescued and then rejected. Well, what do you expect? You’re gay as a parade. He rescued you out of pity, not as a come-on.
Adam murmured another thanks under his breath and wandered off in search of more of his laundry, gathering up the basket the frat boys had been messing with and adding it to his stash at his table by the door. On the way past his remaining washer, he saw it had finished, so his next move was to switch it to a dryer.
Something perverse and obstinate made him use the one next to Denver. It also encour- aged his mouth to flap again.
“Do you live around here?”
It was easier to talk when he was busy with clothes, he found, and something about it seemed to make Denver answer easier as well.
“Few streets over. Just moved in.”
“Me too.” Adam caught Denver’s gaze and smiled. “The Park Place apartments across the highway.” He gestured wryly to the laundromat. “This is my first time without facilities on site. Well, we have them, but I found out today they’re never working and that when they do they eat your clothes. So here I am.” Denver nodded and went back to his clothes. Adam kept talking.
“I’m a grad student at the university. Entomology. Bugs. I want to learn more about pollinators. I
started with bees, but now I’m kind of branching out into pollinators in general. It’s fascinating stuff, really. You wouldn’t believe how much the world would change without them. No food, no flowers, and wow, I should really stop talking.”
He’d blushed scarlet by the end of his babble, but Denver glanced up at the end and gave him a reassuring but slightly sly grin. “You’re fine.”
“Not as fine as you,” Adam said before he could stop himself. Then he melted into the wall, half-falling into his dryer as he realized what he’d just done. “Oh God.” He held up a hand and shook his head even before Denver looked up at him in surprise. “I’m sorry. Really. I just—”
His voice died as Denver came around his dryer door and stood in front of Adam. Denver’s hard gaze made Adam want to run screaming and spread his legs at the same
time. He was half in the dryer and trapped between Denver’s door, his own, and Denver himself. Three million pounds of hot, beefy cowboy bore down on him, not saying anything, not glaring, not really, just…looking. Adam looked back, unable at this point to direct his reaction. The world fell away until the only things left were his small body, Denver’s huge one, and the damp towels underneath his ass. Denver didn’t move, neither advancing nor retreating, just staring at Adam. Measuring? Waiting? Adam couldn’t tell. Something told Adam, though, that the next move was his.
Fear kicked up at the idea, but it was dual-headed: fear of rejection, either in anger or dis- interest—and fear of waiting too long and missing out on bringing that big body closer.
Quit acting like you’re afraid of the world all the damn time.
That had been what Brad had said to Adam on his way out the door.
The worst part was, it was true. Adam was always afraid. Afraid of what people knew about him just by looking at him. Afraid of what they might find out. Afraid of what they thought of him, what they might do to him—in general, Adam was afraid. Of everything.
He was still afraid of Cowboy, even now. But for the first time in a long, long time, desire was keeping pace with fear. It wouldn’t take but a little shove to put it in the lead.
Remembering the way Cowboy had handled the frat boys, reminding himself how Cow- boy hadn’t asked for anything for that service, realizing that Cowboy was waiting for Adam to give full permission even now, Adam drew in a slow, silent breath. Then he let it out, shifted his weight back further into the dryer, and pushed his knees open.
Heat sparked in the back of Denver’s gaze, and his mouth lifted up at the corner into a slow, crooked smile.
When the cowboy’s big hand rested on Adam’s knee, the touch went straight to his cock, and his lips parted on a gasp. His other knee lifted slightly, eager for the other hand as his mind spun erotic scenarios faster than the speed of light. But the hand never came. Instead Denver stepped back and examined Adam critically again.
“This you being grateful, or are you really wanting to play?”
Play. The word seemed ridiculous and balls-achingly erotic at once. The thought of it dis- tracted Adam almost too long before he realized he was supposed to speak. What did Denver want to hear? That he was grateful? He was. Was that what this was about, though?
Just the memory of that hand on his knee made him hard. Adam nodded, then realized he needed to give clarification. “Play,” he whispered. Then forced himself to add, “Except I don’t know really what you mean. It just sounds…good.”
That half-smile came back, making Adam want to whimper. “It means I’m going to tell you what to do and you’re going to do it.” The smile dipped a little. “Not because you’re grateful I chased away the idiots. Not because you’re afraid of me. But because it makes you hot and be- cause I’m promising you I’ll make you come so hard you won’t be able to stand.”
Adam was pretty sure he couldn’t stand now. “Th-that last one.”
Denver smiled, wide and full and full of promise. He stepped back and nodded to Adam’s dryer. “Finish loading your stuff. Then you’re going to see to mine.”
Adam really couldn’t tell if there was innuendo in that last part or not, but he didn’t really care. He was fairly certain even folding Denver’s underwear would be erotic.
Denver really did have Adam fold his underwear, which was plain old tidy whiteys. That part was dull as toast. What had the back of Adam’s teeth aching was that Denver had Adam’s pants undone and his hands deep inside Adam’s briefs—red and white striped—the whole time.
Adam was still having a hard time with the idea that they were going to “play” in the laundromat. He’d assumed, he hadn’t thought naively, that they’d quick finish up their work here and move on to one of their respective apartments. Nowhere in his agenda had he seen himself doing all the work while Denver felt him up.
Not that being felt up was bad. But they were in public. Which was hot. But weird, and felt a little dangerous.
Which, Adam was surprised to discover, only made the situation that much sexier.
The only fly in the ointment at all was that even turned on, Adam was still nervous. He was hard, yes, and he was enjoying himself, yes, but he still worried. What if someone came in? What if they called the police? What if he was arrested and he ended up playing fold-the- underwear with someone who wasn’t Denver? What if his advisor found out? Did public sex do something to his teaching assistantship?
“Turn your head off,” Denver drawled. He sounded amused. Patient and amused. “Unless
I’m doing something you don’t like?”
God, no. “I just—I don’t want to get caught.”
The hands on Adam’s hips tightened briefly. “You’re already caught.” Was he ever. “I mean, I don’t want to be arrested.”
“Cops don’t usually patrol laundromats.” Denver’s hand slid over Adam’s ass and his fingers dipped into his crack. “I got you, baby. You just do what you’re told and stay relaxed. I’ll make sure you have a good time.” He chuckled and a finger pressed up against Adam’s opening. “And that you don’t get arrested.”
Denver’s words didn’t do half as much for Adam as that finger did, especially once it dis- appeared and came back cold and slippery with lube. Adam wondered briefly where the hell that had come from, and then he moaned and fell forward onto the folded laundry as Denver pushed inside.
“That’s right.” The finger breaching Adam pushed deeper, and Adam moaned again. “This is all you have to do. Don’t worry about who’s watching. I’m watching. I’m watching my finger go into your ass, watching you spread open for me. You gonna take my cock next, sweet
thing? You gonna moan all over my folded clothes while I fuck you?” The finger fucked Adam gently but insistently. “Right here on the table where everyone can see?”
Adam whimpered and lifted his ass higher so Denver’s finger could fuck him deeper. Denver laughed low and wicked and pushed in with a second digit. “That’s right. That’s
The two fingers stretched Adam deliciously and set fire racing across his gland. “I’m messing up your laundry,” he rasped, then groaned and arched his back as Denver twisted his fingers and fucked deep at the same time.
“You’re going to make my laundry dirty, baby. You’re going to come all over it.”
The very thought pushed Adam into overdrive, and he shut his eyes, giving up all pre- tense of folding laundry so he could grip the edge of the table. When Denver pushed more clothes underneath Adam’s ass to lift it higher, Adam pushed his thighs against the side of the table to raise himself up, going higher and higher as Denver thrust more laundry beneath him until the cowboy had Adam right where he wanted him.
“Nice ass you got here, boy.” Denver palmed Adam’s left cheek as his fingers continued to plunge inside Adam. “Real nice.” He slapped the cheek a few times, and Adam twitched, then shuddered. Denver laughed, a wicked sound. “Yeah. You like this. You like this more than you even want to admit. Ass in the air in a laundromat, finger fucked by a guy you just met. Humping my laundry.” Another slap, another groan from Adam. “There you go, boy. Make noise. I like to hear noise. I know you want my cock in your ass, right here on this table, but it ain’t happening until you make more noise.” This time the slap stung, doing straight to Adam’s cock. “Come on. Let me here it.”
The heat from the dryers was nothing to that coming off Adam’s face. Part of his brain was screaming, and another huge chunk of it was frozen in shock. What was he doing? What in the world was he thinking, letting a stranger—a big, muscle-bound stranger—finger fuck him and spank him and tell him to make more noise, and in public? This was insane. This was crazy.
This was so freaking hot Adam was nearly melting from it.
But what he loved more than anything else, more than the shame of the exposure and the rough way Denver told him what to do, was the way it was exactly like Denver had promised: nothing else mattered.
No fear. When was the last time he hadn’t felt any fear? Any at all? He was afraid even when he was asleep—his dreams were nothing but anxiety nightmares. He was on such powerful anti-anxiety meds he had to have sleep medication because they had him so wired, and even with that he was still afraid. He’d lost every boyfriend he’d ever had to fear. He had to see a psy- chologist twice a week just to manage the burden of school.
But right now, in this laundromat, Adam felt no fear. None.
The only emotion he knew outside of being turned on beyond his wildest dreams was be- ing so overwhelmed with relief that he wanted to cry.
Denver’s free hand ran down Adam’s back, finding his spine through his shirt. “Let go, Adam. I told you: you’re safe. Turn off your head and let go, because I’ve got you.”
Adam drew in a slow, shaky breath. He held it for a moment. Exhaling so hard he went boneless, Adam let go.
Everything was gone now, everything but sensation. People may have come into the laundromat; Adam wouldn’t know. All he knew was Denver and what Denver told him to do. Make noise: Adam made noise, grunting and moaning and sighing and eventually babbling about how good Denver made him feel. Relax, Denver told him as a third finger entered him. It hurt, but Denver went slow, stretching him. Adam focused on the sensation, letting the pain turn into a burn, letting Denver take him wherever it was Denver wanted to go.
When Denver finally thrust inside him, Adam sighed out loud, a long, staccato exclama- tion as his cowboy claimed him. Thick as a post, cowboy was, his cock as beefy as the rest of him. Adam focused on how it felt inside him, sliding inside his channel, nudging against his prostate though not quite stimulating it. Whimpering, he tried to thrust back, but Denver clamped a hand on the back of his neck and held him in place, forcing Adam to take his cock at Denver’s pace and none other.
Adam found he liked that hand on the back of his neck almost as much as he liked the fat cock inside him, so much so that when Denver took it away he cried out again, and when that didn’t bring the hand back, he whispered, “Please.”
The big hand came back, thumb stroking the edge of Adam’s hairline, fingernails ghost- ing over Adam’s skin. Then the grip was back, pushing him down, pinning him to the table.
Adam relaxed and let go again.
That was all there was, Adam holding still beneath Denver’s hand as he plunged in and out of Adam’s body. At some point he went deep enough to scrape Adam’s prostate after all, but even then Adam didn’t move, only moaned and gasped and held absolutely still while his cow-
boy used him. Denver took his time, thrusting, rolling his hips, slapping at Adam’s ass, squeezing it so hard Adam cried out.
Adam never wanted it to end.
At some point Denver took Adam’s cock in his hand and stroked it in time to his own thrusts, urging Adam toward his release. Adam did as he was told, following that electric feel, letting Denver send him there, tipping himself over the edge when Denver told him to. He shud- dered and spent against the clothes beneath him, then lay still and shuddering in aftershocks as Denver pulled out, tied off the condom, and shot all over Adam’s back.
Adam lay there, ass bare and sore, shirt covered in spunk, as Denver’s belt buckle clinked. He kept still as Denver’s footfalls moved around the table to the bathroom and back again. He didn’t move even when a damp, warm washcloth moved over his backside and be- tween his legs, cleaning him up.
When Denver pulled him back to his feet, however, he faltered. Not just because his legs didn’t seem to want to bear him up, but because as Denver tugged Adam’s pants back into place, the real world came back with them. Adam realized what he had just done, how he had behaved. What he had let a stranger do to him. He realized how much he had exposed himself in ways that had nothing at all to do with being fucked in public, of how far he had strayed from safe with Denver.
He realized how big the hole was going to be inside him if it never happened again. “Hands up,” Denver murmured, and like a child, Adam lifted his arms, letting Denver
strip the semen-stained shirt off his body. When Denver came back with his Top Ten T-shirt, Adam lifted his hands without being told and let himself be dressed.
When Denver looked down at him, searching Adam’s face, Adam stared back up at him, unable to do anything but beg Denver silently not to let this be the end of their encounter.
Denver stared at Adam a long, long time. Eventually he nodded at the table full of man- gled, semen-soaked clothes. “You messed up my laundry, boy.”
There was a sharpness, an edge to Denver’s tone that tempted Adam to be afraid. He wouldn’t let himself take the bait. “I’m sorry, sir.” Adam dipped his head. “I’ll wash them for you again if you like.”
“I’m out of quarters, and I’m tired of this place for tonight.” He caught Adam’s chin and lifted it. Adam met his eyes, heart pounding, but still he wasn’t afraid.
“Yes, sir,” he said.
His cowboy’s head dipped in a curt jerk of approval. “We’ll come back tomorrow night. You’ll wash them then.”
“Yes, sir,” Adam said again, breathless this time with excitement.
Denver’s thumb traced the line of Adam’s jaw. “You’ll be wearing a plug while you do it. And you’ll sit on my lap between loads.”
Adam had never worn a plug. He was suddenly eager to try. “Yes, sir.”
“We’re going to find a better laundromat too.” Denver glanced around the room in dis- taste. “This place is a dive.”
“Whatever you say,” Adam said.
This time when Denver studied him, Adam was ready. He held still long enough for Den- ver to read him, to verify that he still wasn’t afraid. Then Adam leaned forward, pressed his lips to Denver’s, and kissed him.
It was a soft, sweet kiss. Denver faltered at first, and Adam reached up with one hand to stroke his face.
“It’s okay,” he whispered. “I got you.”
Denver chuckled and nuzzled him back, but even so, the kiss was still a little shy. Adam didn’t mind. Some things took time.
He pressed his body into Denver’s and nuzzled his neck. “Will you come home with me?”
“I gotta get up early in the morning,” Denver replied, but it wasn’t a rejection, just a warning.
“We can go to your place if you’d rather,” Adam suggested, and let his body go softer against Denver’s own.
Denver’s arms came around Adam and pulled him close, trapping him in their strength as a great, beefy hand closed over Adam’s ass. “Your place is fine.”
“I’ll get my lab work done while you’re gone, so we can go to the laundromat later,” Adam promised.
But this made Denver tense, made his grip turn tentative. He pulled back and looked away.
“I ain’t—” He pursed his lips and shook his head. “You’re a grad student. I didn’t even finish high school.”
Adam shut his eyes and ran his hands down Denver’s shirt, over his thick, wide pecs. “Please.” He brushed his thumbs over the cowboy’s nipples. “I’ll wear your plug all day, if you want. While you’re gone.”
Adam held his breath, waiting, hoping, ready to beg again if he had to. But Denver only laughed, pulled him in close again, and nipped at his shoulder. “Then maybe it had better be my place after all.”
Behind him, Adam’s dryer dinged, signaling it was finished. Adam smiled, safe in the knowledge that as far as he and Denver were concerned, things were just getting started. “Your place it is,” Adam replied.
Kissing Denver on the cheek, Adam slipped out of his arms and went to put the last of his clothes in his basket, ass burning, dick humming, and heart soaring with the prospect of what the future might bring.
And he wasn’t afraid. Not at all. Not at all.