|Something More than Nothing
Author: blueheronz PM
Cameron resigns for a third time, only the outcome is different than what was portrayed in "Human Error." In this story I attempt to address and redeem the out-of-character behavior Cameron displayed at the end of S3. House & Cameron.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - A. Cameron & G. House - Words: 5,951 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 5 - Published: 04-16-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4201456
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: This story is dedicated to AThousandSmiles on her birthday, but I hope all of you will enjoy it. Thanks to my beta, Sharp2799. Additional thanks to Tiflissa and Housencam for valuable insights and concrit on earlier drafts. Comments are appreciated. I like feedback!
Allison Cameron did not classify herself as accident-prone. On the contrary, from the time she was a child, she'd personified grace, at least whenever she was on a stage dancing or once she'd laced up her Nikes for a run.
Beginning at age five she'd lived in leotards, tutus, and slippers as she learned ballet at a dance studio in Winnetka. Seeing her perform a grand jete in La Slyphide, her instructor had clapped at the way her body hovered like a hummingbird, and the audience had breathed a collective sigh when her feet floated back down to the stage.
In college, her track coach had once described her as having the elegance of a gazelle. It wasn't the most original compliment she'd ever received, but Coach Elliot was a strictly meat and potatoes kind of guy, and he'd meant well.
She'd put her ballet slippers away long ago, and running was now merely a habit.
But her colleagues still perceived her as a woman who had her own special way. The loss of her husband had left her with a poise that came from the inside out.
Today was different. Grace eluded her. Even walking was a chore.
It was resignation day.
Since she'd made the decision to quit, she'd felt as if she had vertigo. Her lithe, nimble body now moved in a kind of stupor, and she felt like a clumsy oaf.
Crawling out of bed that morning had been like extracting a fly from a jar of molasses. A heaviness weighed her body down, and everything she saw around her seemed to be from a distance.
To compensate, she had donned a pleated wool skirt in red and green plaid that fell a bit below mid-thigh and a snug black turtleneck. As she shimmied into the skirt, she thought of House. Spots of color appeared high on her cheeks as the fabric slid over her bare skin like fingertips. She waited until she'd buttoned the side panel of the skirt before bending over and pulling on a tiny pair of lacy black panties. The ensemble was as close to Catholic schoolgirl as she got, and it showed off the muscle tone of her lean, shapely legs. A pair of black spiky heels gave her an inch or two and upped her confidence.
As her slim fingers skimmed her computer keyboard – the gist of her resignation letter memorized from the first two times she'd written it – her mind multitasked. Images from her three years under House's peculiar tutelage appeared with the frequency of television commercials, only she couldn't quell them with a remote.
His eyes flicking over hers when she'd told him, "Happy Birthday." His mouth close to her ear, breath warm against it, as he pointed out Gravedigger at the Monster Truck rally. The look on his face when he had turned to her and promised, "I'm not going to crush you." His warm hand squeezing her shoulder in the hospital chapel after she'd euthanized her first patient. "I'm proud of you," he'd assured her in his gravelly voice: words she had always hoped to hear from him. The way his inscrutable eyes scanned hers as she brought her hands up to hold and caress his face. And the flood of warmth when their mouths touched, pressed, opened, explored. That had been the highlight of her last resignation. What could she expect this time?
A series of Lucille Ball-like pratfalls were the by-products of her latest attempt to resign her fellowship.
First she sustained a paper cut while folding her letter and slipping it into an envelope for House, and then she slammed her elbow against the copy machine. To top it all off, she broke the heel of her Via Spigas on her way to drop her resignation in House's office, sprawling on the floor of the hallway. The envelope skittered across the shiny surface. As her chin hit linoleum, her skull resonated from the impact, and she bit her tongue.
The iron tang of blood filled her mouth and her face puckered in disgust.
"Ugh," she uttered. It was an understatement, but she could hardly scream obscenities in the quiet passages of Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Although, come to think of it, House had opened the door to such behavior with his frequent outbursts.
Pain radiated from her tender tongue, and the ache in her head rivaled the ache in her heart. The heartache was her own fault, the way she saw it. Might as well kick myself while I'm down, she thought, and her relationship with Chase flashed before her eyes like a near death experience.
The first time, she was high and it wasn't like she hadn't tried to call House first. Her fingers shaking, she'd punched House's home number on speed dial while pacing the cramped quarters of her nondescript apartment. She tried to slow her thoughts and think in terms like his fingertips slipping across the tips of my breasts but her mind sped on, producing X-Rated images: House pushing her up against a couch, and the feel of his hands on the inside of her thighs, pulling her legs apart as he thrust into her from behind. Like an obsessive compulsive, she'd tried his number ten times but never left a message. Each time she hung up, she'd handpick a four-letter word and bang her head against the wall until finally restlessness and desire overcame her and she called Chase. And the sex had been good. It had happened so fast but her eyes remained shut throughout as she pictured her boss turning her against the couch and making her kneel for better access.
That was the first time and it was never going to happen again. Except that House began to withdraw from her somehow. Cameron couldn't pinpoint exactly when, but she had a guess.
When she had come over and found him in his townhouse with blood running from self-inflicted cuts, he had let her in. She'd kneeled to clean, disinfect, and bandage up the damage. She'd seen firsthand how much pain he was in, and how vulnerable he was, how alone.
After that, once he was off the hook with Tritter, the walls had gone up. He'd shut her out.
And instead of doing what she usually did and bravely confronting House, she'd acted like an adolescent, seducing Chase for sport and screwing him because he was easy that way: Easy on the eyes, easy on the brain, and easy to forget.
Sometimes the physical and emotional distance from House broke her, and within her chest something shattered like glass hitting pavement, and she deflated.
With Chase, she had the upper hand. She called the shots. She was the dominatrix. But the recipient of pain was herself, not Robert.
Earlier today, after he'd been fired, she had gone to his place, and after kissing him, and touching his face, she'd told him the truth.
"You're not House."
The smile had faded from his attractive features and the light had dimmed from his intelligent eyes.
"Thank God for that," he'd said. "I always knew you weren't over him."
As she turned to walk back to her car, she had whispered, "Me, too."
Awkwardly, Cameron got to her feet, kicking off the offending shoe and limping over to pluck the envelope off the floor.
"Cameron, wait up."
A sigh escaped her as she recognized Wilson's voice, but she slowed her steps and waited for the oncologist.
"We need to talk," he said, and then did a double take as he surveyed her face. "Um, you're … bleeding?"
A small smile formed on her face. "I can see why Cuddy made you head of oncology. Okay … fix me up."
Wilson led her into an examining room. Shining a light into her eyes and checking her pupils, he asked the usual questions.
"No, no dizziness. The pain is cutaneous," she reported, dutifully.
Only when I think about leaving this place, leaving House, she thought grimly.
"Might have a shiner, judging from where your head hit the floor."
She smiled. "Could be worse."
And then he asked this:
"Have you been … crying? Your eyes are puffy and red. Is the pain that bad?"
You don't know the half of it. She lowered her head and looked down at her stocking feet.
Wilson scrutinized her. "This is about House."
If given a series of Rorschach tests, every picture would be about House when it came to Wilson, Cameron thought. Although in this case he was right.
The oncologist sat down next to her on the bed. "Love … hurts. When I look back at my marriages, my wives, know what I think about? Their names. How simple and pretty they were. First there was Abby. She wore sundresses and strappy sandals, or she went bare. Bare naked, bare feet, free and easy. That was Abby. There was a radiance to her. How could you go wrong with someone like that? And then when that didn't work out, I met Bonnie." Wilson paused, brushing a lock of brown hair from his forehead. "Actually, I … met Bonnie. That's why Abby didn't work out. There's something … hopeful about the name Bonnie, don't you think? I could have done so little and she still would have loved me. But … something got in the way. Well, Julie. Women named Julie are the kind that stand by you, even when you're trying to run an oncology wing and micromanage your best friend's troubled life. Or so I thought."
"Had a crush on Joe Perry in high school," Cameron finally said. When Wilson's brows furrowed, she added, "Guitarist for Aerosmith. Remember the rock ballad 'Love Hurts?' Kind of says it all."
Wilson exhaled heavily as he stood and reached for the gauze and the antiseptic. "What's harder? Telling a patient she has terminal cancer or watching your best friend self-destruct?"
Cameron was quiet as Wilson cleaned the scrape on her chin. She winced as he brushed against her elbow. The question was rhetorical.
"Do you want to … talk about House?"
What could she say? That she had fallen in love with an anomaly? That her body sang out with desire like some line in a Walt Whitman poem? That she needed to feel him inside her, not later, but sooner?
Once upon a time she'd believed that love was a choice. You picked whom you loved, and then it was a matter of show and tell. You showed your love through actions as simple as washing the dishes or massaging his neck after a long day at work.
And you said it. "I love you." You said it often, like the irresistible refrain of a pop song.
If the man you loved was terminal, you changed his feeding tube, and swabbed his throat with the little pink sponges on a stick at the end. And when he died, you threw dirt on the grave, turned, and walked away.
You kept walking.
She had chosen to love her husband; she had chosen to be with him in spite of his cancer. It didn't make their love less real.
With House, she'd had no choice. They had happened.
Between them there was a question mark, and a dynamic that insinuated this: I could touch you but if I did you might combust. And when they had kissed, his hands had run over her ribs with a firm possessive touch and the kiss had deepened to fever pitch. If she hadn't been so frantic that she was going to lose him to cancer, lose him, she wouldn't have been able to stop the kissing and whatever would have followed.
In his eyes she saw truth, pain, bravado, humor, and (yes), a heart that beat, a humanity that gripped her and held fast. He was flesh and bone and blood; he was a ghost in a wishing well.
"I'm … complicated," he'd once said.
She ached for House until her entire being felt like a bruise, yearned for him to let her in, but the words and tune that looped through her memory track were from Paul Simon: "I am a rock; I am an island."
House stood alone, the "me" in team.
What could she tell Wilson that he didn't already know about the heartache that came with loving House? A House who, in so many ways remained remote: an island; a rock. Closed up. Locked. How many words were there, after all, to describe a pain in the heart? Cameron had learned a few: squeeze, wrench, smart, tear, stab, prick, sting, shoot, twinge, twist.
House had taught her that physical pain could be managed with drugs. She had learned on her own about the ravages of psychological and emotional pain. It would be masochism to stay with him, especially without Foreman and Chase as buffers.
"Might sound like I'm crying wolf," she finally said to Wilson, once he'd checked the cut on her tongue. "But I'm resigning."
Wilson folded his arms across his white lab coat. "You do know that he still … likes you," he presented the words to her like a consolation prize on a game show.
"'He likes me,'" she repeated bitterly. "When I was exposed to the HIV virus, he was oblivious."
"He … didn't hold your hand. But without him, you never would have gotten tested."
"According to Nurse Brenda, he's been 'hitting' some honey haired nature girl who came into the clinic."
"Her name actually is 'Honey,' can you believe it? Look, Cameron. He slept with her. Once. Why only once? That's what I asked him. She was beautiful. Willowy." Wilson shook his head ruefully. "He said that it got too … personal. Translation? She wanted to kiss him on the mouth, is my guess."
"Honey? I bet he got a lot of mileage out of her name when the two of you did the play by play."
Cameron stood up and walked over to the sink, filling one of the little plastic cups with water and taking a sip. Wilson fiddled with his tie.
"To be fair, you've been riding Chase as if he was the black stallion … except, of course, that he's white," Wilson pointed out.
She sat back down on the edge of the bed, and Wilson took a seat on the doctor's stool.
"Like you said: Love hurts. And pain makes you crazy, unless you find a way to manage it," she said by way of an explanation.
Wilson nodded sagely, as was his way. "And that applies to House. The pain drives him to do that which is unorthodox. He's not going to bring you a box of candy like Forrest Gump. But did you ever think that he was trying to capture your attention with his antics? Inducing a migraine and treating it with acid? Faking cancer? The way he's been flirting with Cuddy? Spiking my coffee with speed? If that's not attention-seeking behavior, I don't know what is. Cameron, he wants us. He needs us. And on some level, he cares."
She remembered what she had said to Wilson and Cuddy, when they refused to tell House that he'd cured the quadriplegic: "Why does he have to be like other people?" She'd argued. Nothing had changed. She still stood by his right to be himself, no matter how hurtful it was to her.
But somehow she had to cope with her feelings. And the only way she knew how to address the wounds that came from loving an anomaly was to leave.
She had no delusions that House would come after her this time.
As she turned to leave the examining room, resignation letter in hand, Wilson added one more thing.
"Don't forget this. House did something for you that no self-respecting man of the new millennium would do: He bought you a corsage."
In the hallway, she paused, feeling suddenly out of place without her lab coat and hospital I.D. tag.
"That for me?"
Cameron nearly took another spill on the shiny hospital floor as House spoke from right behind her.
She turned to face him, the envelope in one hand and her shoes dangling from the other. He was wearing her favorite shirt, the soft black button-down minus the usual hip rock 'n' roll doc tee. She looked at the hollow of his throat. It seemed like the safest place for her eyes to be.
He snatched the letter of resignation from her hand, lobbing a knowing look at the envelope and the shattered heel of her shoe before turning his full attention to her. Dark, puffy color was forming around her left eye.
"Have you taken up boxing? My money's on Hilary Swank. I'll give you a hundred bucks to go a round with Cuddy. If you can get her to wear mouth guards, I'll double your money."
With a clinical nonchalance, he eyeballed the bandages, his gaze traveling over her body. He took stock of her, looking for other wounds.
There were plenty she kept out of his line of sight.
"Wilson already examined me," she said.
"But did he get in all the nooks and crannies? Hold still."
House looked at her mussed up hair and the shells of her ears and after a moment's hesitation, he tilted her chin where it was starting to bruise.
With an ice pack, the swelling would go down. With time, it would heal. She'd be as good as new. But how good was that? He had never believed that Cancer Man, which is what he privately called her dead husband, was the sole progenitor of the damage done to Cameron.
When she didn't flinch at his touch or turn her face away, he narrowed his eyes in diagnostic mode.
"You're stoic. But if the eyes are the pathway to the soul, then … ouch. You're in pain."
It occurred to her to stab him with the heel of her Via Spiga, the sharp, pointy heel that was still intact. With House there was always a double standard. No one was allowed to psychoanalyze him, but he could peel the average Joe like an onion and examine all the tender places hidden therein. What did he get out of it? She wondered. On some level, he cared. Didn't he? Or was it solely the thrill of being right that got him off? His father must have been a piece of work, she thought, not for the first time. How small could a grown man make a little boy feel? She shook her head at the meanderings of her mind and vowed to cancel her subscription to Psychology Today as soon as she got home.
"Then it's a good thing you didn't hire me because of my sunny disposition," she said with that smug little tilt to her head that reminded him of a robin.
The corners of his mouth twitched with the beginnings of a smile at her remark, but then he remembered himself. There had been a time when a good comeback line from Cameron had the power to warm him, like rubbing cold hands together over a hearth, especially when her words were accompanied by an exchanged look. Holding his eyes with hers, she didn't need to speak to convey the fact that she 'got' him – that where others failed to see through his exterior, she alone intrinsically understood.
With the bandage on her chin and the lump on her head, her hair mussed in an appealing chaos that the kids these days called bed head; she looked younger than she was. Without the heels she normally favored, she barely reached his clavicle, and because she had foregone a lab coat, she looked more like a civilian than a fellow doctor.
For a second or two, he allowed himself to imagine what it would have been like if he had met her at a Stones concert, or at the jogging park near the hospital he sometimes hobbled over to when he felt like punishing himself. If he had met her as simply a woman who showed up at the same bar on the same night on one of the rare occasions he left the womb of his townhouse to hear some piano blues. If he had met her at a paintball game: diagnosticians versus immunologists.
House forced himself back into the present.
"Come on." He started walking and she scurried to keep up with his long unsteady gait in her stocking feet, slipping about the shiny floor like an ice skater with weak ankles.
In his office, he motioned for her to follow him over to his desk. There he studied the stack of unopened mail, patient files, his oversized tennis ball, and a paperweight before sweeping the mess onto the floor with his cane.
He patted the clean space on his desk and she slowly walked over and maneuvered her ass up on the furniture, trying to keep her legs primly together on the slippery surface.
House sank into his Aeron chair and put one leg up next to her thigh. From his breast pocket he pulled a pair of reading glasses and put them on.
She caught her breath as he lowered his head only to fix her with a look from over the lenses before returning to the page.
Taking her letter in his hand, he scanned it. "I hereby resign … there is no subspecialty that does not benefit from expertise in diagnostics … cases involving symptoms as diverse as … Dr. House should win a Nobel Prize … great stuff."
Looking at her, House folded the letter and laid it on his desk. Picking up the oversized red and gray ball, he wound up the pitch and it hurtled against the office wall, nearly hitting her ear.
"Okay. So that's it, then. The two weeks notice isn't necessary, not unless you want to come in without the lab coat and in something more comfortable – and by that I mean skimpier. Less is more, I always say."
He watched her for a reaction. Sure that he had more arrows in his quill, she waited quietly.
"You're waiting for me to ask you to stay. To offer you more money or a better parking space. To play that ball game. But that's not what you want." He held her gaze. "What you want is what you always wanted. A date. Dinner. You and me. We both know it wouldn't stop with the food and the awkward small talk."
She stood, smoothing her skirt. It was rare that she got to look down on him but the effect was always the same. Her heart rate increased, her nipples hardened, and the blood pounded between her legs. She wanted to crawl onto his lap, wrap her legs around him, and open his mouth with her tongue.
"You've been punishing me for Chase."
He cleared his throat. "Punishment's got to fit the crime. If I were punishing you for doing the nasty with the nasty, I'd haul you onto my lap, hike up your skirt, and spank you. Might be fun."
The image fixated in her mind and her eyes moved down to study his hand resting against the hard muscles of his good thigh.
"Know that I don't care what you … do with him. If the two of you want to memorize The Complete Idiot's Guide to Tantric Sex on your own time, that's fine with me. But you need to do your job. When you put a patient in jeopardy because you're baptizing the beds of the sleeping lab with your love juice, you've gone too far. Thought you'd fooled me? I know everything. When it comes to omniscience, I make The Great I Am look like an amateur. You've been irritable, unprofessional, immature, and come to think of it, you don't seem happy. Resign; don't resign. But don't make this about me. It should be about medicine."
She sat back down on the desk, heart pounding and cheeks flushed. Why did he always have to be right? Her professionalism as a doctor had always been a source of pride to her, and she had always deeply cared about the people she treated. She had let her anger at House – her unspent feelings for the man – cloud her own judgment. Unbidden came a memory of Chase, fully erect and on the bed in the sleep lab and she pulled down her panties. A few rooms down, their patient called out for help, but they were oblivious. And with Foreman she'd acted nonchalant, as if it didn't matter. Thinking about her behavior made her feel cringe. Why hadn't he fired her?
She sighed. "I let my personal feelings get in the way of good medicine," she admitted quietly. "Do you still want to spank me?"
"Sheer will power is the only thing holding me back. That and the fact that I have to pee. So let's finish this."
House took the letter and forcefully ripped it into confetti. "You're staying. You leave, and I'm stuck trying to convince you to come back."
At his words, she smiled. "You wouldn't come after me anyway. That would be admitting that you need me. According to you, what I need is to be with someone who's damaged."
"Since then I've changed my mind. Now I just think you're an idiot. Why Chase?" His voice remained neutral.
"Thought you didn't care."
"I don't. But I am curious. It's like scratching an itch that's just out of reach."
"You said this should be about the medicine, not about you. Cuddy offered me a better job. My three years are up. Either you hire me on as a full-ranking member of your department or I'm taking a supervisory job in the ER. While you're deliberating, I'm going to go slam Jell-O shots. It's something I do once in a while. You coming?"
She shifted on the desk and her wool skirt rode up her thigh. House licked his lips. Her use of the word "coming" fueled his imagination.
"I'd hire you as my secretary if you promise to … oh, never mind. You're avoiding the question. Why Chase?"
A line from a poet her husband used to like loomed in her mind: The things you learn you may not want to know.
"He's everything you're not. He's vapid and easy and uncomplicated. He may be an idiot to you, but he has a good heart. All his limbs are intact." The words cut her up like a razor blade as she spoke but she couldn't stop now. "Hell, House, he used to date a dominatrix. Guy's got some moves. The real question is why did I wait so long?" She folded her hands on her lap, feeling the blood pounding everywhere. "Now you know."
She stood up, shaky, and found herself dangerously close to him. The warmth of his body enveloped her.
He became still. She watched as he swallowed, his Adam's apple moving discernibly. His eyes fixed on her face, studying it like the clue to a Will Shortz crossword puzzle. The blue burned. With what, she could only guess. The blue of his eyes was like the blue caged within the orangey red of a flame. What went through his mind? Scorn? Disgust? Hatred? Envy? Lust? Or did he understand why she lied to him?
He felt something more than nothing. It rose up in him. The smell of her was faintly feminine in a way he'd never been able to put his finger on. It wasn't perfume or shampoo but an essence that drifted around whenever she was in the same room. Her hip brushed his thigh; he felt instant warmth where they touched. Anger and desire and hatred and love, like combustive chemicals at odds with each other, bubbled within him as if in some laboratory vial.
Slowly he got to his feet, towering over her.
"Take Cuddy's offer. But beware. The pendulum of her swinging breasts can be hypnotic."
His tone was so innocuous that when he slammed his fist down on the desk, she jumped. He threw his cane into the glass wall of the office partition where it bounced off and landed on the bloodstained carpet.
Roughly, he grasped her hips and pushed her up against the hard wood of his desk so she could feel his angry erection throbbing against her.
"You fucked Chase. Why?" He asked again, his voice raised like a weapon.
She flinched. Her voice was soft in contrast to his. "Does it matter?"
The question seemed to bring him back to his senses and he looked away from her and at the black and white photograph of an impersonal building that was mounted along with some other generic art on his wall.
"It does to me," he admitted finally.
"When you're with hookers, do you come?" she asked abruptly, watching him closely.
House wore his poker face, she noticed, but his hand resting on her hip jerked slightly.
"The question is, how hard do I come. Depends on if it's Heather – she has lips like maraschino cherries – or Holly. Her tongue is an Olympian." His hands fell to his side.
"You're lying. You never remember people's names." She looked up into his face, watching as anger and frustration made way for the quirks of his humor.
His eyes thawed a little.
"I make an exception for hookers. Otherwise it's just too impersonal for an act of love."
He had gone from forceful to sarcastic and funny in a matter of moments.
Against her small frame, his body was hard, but there was some give to it. Cameron moved her hands up and over the defined muscles of his arms until they reached his broad shoulders. She linked her hands behind his neck, pressing her body into his.
All the anger left him as he said philosophically and without apology, "You know what works for me. Why I do what I do. I've got one thing. This." His arm spread out to indicate their location: The office of the Head of Diagnostics at PPTH. "Anything else is …" his voice trailed off.
"A distraction." She finished his thought, raising herself up on her toes and brushing his mouth with her own. "You want to know why I had sex with Chase. It hurt me to be near him because he's not you. But I wanted to feel something, even if it was pain."
She let the words dangle in midair so they'd sink in.
"I've got one thing" she told him, touching his face and trembling. You."
She put out her hand as if to ward off the consequences of what she had to say.
"It's not what I want. It's the way it is. I thought if I became a doctor, I could save people. Now I know that I can diagnose patients and I can treat their disease, but the ones who make it out the front door are just as damaged as when they came in. I want to practice medicine; I need to be a doctor. But you're my one true thing, the thing that gets me up in the morning. Without you, I've got nothing that makes me happy."
House stepped out of their embrace. He looked at her legs, and then down to her feet, encased in nude pantyhose. Her toenails were free of polish. He made her happy?
"I need you. Not because you're damaged, but because you're … you. It doesn't mean I want to sit around and watch you die … the way I did with Tom. Doesn't mean I want to put the pieces back together for you the way Wilson tries so hard to do."
His eyes moved up the puzzle that was Cameron, almost ready to look her in the eye. She was a neat little package in her plaid skirt and turtleneck. The shirt clung to her small, curvy frame. The fine, lovely bones of her face had the power to break him or rebuild him, sometimes both within a matter of moments.
She gripped his face, and forced him to look at her. He was tall enough so that she'd always have to look up to look him in the eye.
"I should go," she said as her hand went to her bandaged chin. It wasn't the only part of her that ached.
"What are you going to do?" he asked.
"I'm taking Cuddy's job offer. What are you going to do?" she countered. "Last time I tried to resign we kissed with tongue. That works for me. Or you could stand there and do nothing. Or you could walk away. It is your go-to plan of inaction."
He remembered a line from a poem Stacy once read aloud to him, when she was in literary mode: Love is even more dangerous than lust or force. It can lead you to do nothing.
"Jell-O shots are a little girly," he said as his hand gently moved the hem of her skirt up and out of the way until he felt the shape of her swollen sex beneath his palm. He made a pass over her clit with the pad of his thumb, and then he pulled her skirt back into place, lowering his head to nibble along her jaw line until he reached her mouth, careful not to hurt her tongue as they kissed.
Her eyes closed and she leaned into him. When he pulled away, she swayed.
"You don't have a problem with us … trying?"
"It's a tough sell. Maybe we should set some ground rules. Chase is off limits. If you need the naughty, you come to me. It's been awhile since I had a steady gig, chick-wise, so, you date me, you 'do' me. As for a first date, I get to pick the activity. It will involve two tickets to the World Wrestling Federation championships. Got a problem with any of that? If so, you're not getting a bite of my cotton candy."
Cameron reached up and slipped off two more buttons from House's shirt. "I had to do that," she said softly to herself, looking at the newly revealed patch of his chest and placing her palm so she could touch the skin.
To House, she gave the only answer she could.
"Sounds like a start."