Chapter 20

Cameron drove home. She found House stretched out in front of her door. His cane lay next to his leg, his cell phone in his hand.

"Waiting for an important phone call?" she asked.

House could have sworn she was sashaying towards him. He enjoyed the movement. "I was waiting for you," he said quietly. Standing up, he looked at her with a saddened face. He was disappointed that he had screwed things up so badly, that he hurt her. "I'm not with Stacy," he emphasized, hitting his cane on the floor.

She gave him a small smile, crossing her arms across her stomach. "I know," Cameron said. "Cuddy told me what happened."

House noticed that his corsage had been torn off. Looking down, he asked, "So are we still good?"

There was a spark in her eyes. He had seen her confident and forceful, but it had come to a fever pitch. "That depends."

House gulped. "On?"

Cameron stepped closer to him. "On what you say in the next two minutes."

He rubbed the back of his neck with his palm. House inched nearer to her. There seemed to be static in the air, crackling between them. He finally said, "You make it hurt less."

Her head snapped back in surprise. She knew she wouldn't expect the right answer, but she certainly didn't see that as even in the ballpark. Damn! she thought. Now I'm using sports metaphors. "I make your leg hurt less? You mean I'm your new Vicodin?" she asked almost angrily. Cameron didn't want to be a substitute for anything—not Stacy, and certainly not pills.

He shook his head. "No. Everything hurts less when you are around. Life hurts less."

House took her hand in his. "It's true that I love Stacy. But in the same way you will always love your husband." He took a deep breath. House never expected to say this to Cameron and he couldn't believe he was now.

"I love you, Allison."

Tears stung her eyes for the second time that night. "Time's up," she whispered, reaching to meet his lips.

House pulled her towards the door. She already had the key in her hand and was putting it in the lock. She opened the door, grabbed him by his jacket, and rushed him inside.

The kiss was passionate and frenzied. Both were out of breath when she broke her lips away. Cameron looked into his face. Tears made his blue eyes shine even more.

She smiled as she said, "I love you, too, Greg." They chuckled at the use of their names as they reached for each other. Cameron kissed him again.

"Please tell me you were a cheerleader in high school," was the last thing heard from the hallway as Cameron shut the door, laughing, leaving them alone together for the rest of the weekend.