Author's Note: Spoilers for Hunting and No Reason ahead. Enjoy!
The memory of her touch sizzled on his skin, burning its way deep into the folds of his psyche, stinging when he moved and snapping him back to that moment so long ago just as he thought he was moving on.
He had never been pushed against a wall like that before; cornered, captured, unable to run or even think before her lips closed over his slowly and with a sensuality he had never thought she could exude. She had been so uninhibited, so wild and untamed. Her kiss had been hot and it stimulated him from head to toe and everywhere in between. His skin had tingled as she pressed her body close to his, melting with him against the wall. He had wanted to fight; he knew that what he was doing was desperately, unforgivably wrong, but even as he tried to push her away his skin screamed out, begging for more of her. The door was close and he could easily overpower her, but in the fog of fire and lips and skin he knew he couldn't have run if he'd wanted to.
He'd fled from her apartment when it was over. He had been afraid, fearful of facing her as she fell from her high and floated halfway between passion and purgatory as the reality of what she had done came racing toward her. He had known she would be filled with resentment; toward herself mostly, but directed at him; and he hadn't wanted the overwhelming feeling that he had taken advantage of her to be the last thing he felt that night. They could both face each other in the morning, he'd thought, when he could think things through and present himself to her as if she had not just done exactly what every man who looked at her dreamed she would.
There had been others since her; flirtations and flings which meant nothing in hindsight though at the time he'd tried to believe each woman could be his new obsession. Chase and Cameron had agreed that their one night would be the only night and it was the right decision to make. They were colleagues, first and foremost, in a department where the slightest indiscretion was fodder for ridicule, and attempting to have a relationship under the watchful eye of Dr. House was akin to trying to run an ice cream stand on the face of an active volcano: it just didn't make any sense. Attempting to hide it from him would prove just as fruitless. They hadn't even kept their last tryst under wraps for fifteen hours. And then there was the matter of House himself. Chase had always suspected that House's affections toward Cameron ran much deeper than simple tolerance or appreciation of the fact that she was, by definition, a beautiful woman. Chase often wondered if House's resentment towards him in recent years wasn't, on some level, in retaliation for the affair. To incur more of House's wrath by pursuing Cameron was, to say the least, not likely to be on Chase's list of resolutions any time soon. Though she would be worth it.
And then there was Cameron herself, who would have hated Chase for months had he not caught her in the locker room the next morning. She had felt like a fool, that much was clear, and wanted to present herself as if none of it affected her so as not to appear as a fool to the rest of the world. She had portrayed herself as so aloof, yet somehow simultaneously bitter, and Chase had done what he could to alleviate her nervousness by circumventing any awkwardness between them. He had salvaged their friendship, and their working relationship, by absolving her of her sins, and that was the best he could hope for.
But he still wanted to push her up against a wall sometimes; to trap her like she had trapped him and show her that not all passion came from a pill.
He would catch himself thinking of her and her touch, of her skin in the moonlight and the way his heart leaped and his stomach clenched when he had been with her. He would go for weeks at a time without falling victim to the memory of her but these respite periods were even worse than when he thought of her every day, for they would break with vivid ferociousness and he would find himself waking in the middle of the night sticky and drenched with sweat, with no hope of sleep and wanting nothing but to be back at the door of her apartment, feeling the world spin as she descended upon him.
Sometimes he caught himself thinking of her during the day, in the midst of a differential when her skin would flush with frustration as she argued with Foreman or House, or when she leaned over a microscope with that furrowed face of focus which shut out the rest of the world to her. He would shake his head and sigh, sometimes disappearing into the other room until that dry, parched feeling in his throat would slip away.
If he could find any consolation, it was in the fact that she clearly had no idea what moments he was reliving in his head. She seemed to have discovered new outlets for her frustrations, and new ways to experience life without allowing it to pass her by. Since the shooting she had changed; she appeared to have grown into the woman she had wanted to be when she sprang on him. Life was funny that way. You could chase a life all you wanted, but in the end, it happened when it felt good and ready.
Such was Chase's philosophy regarding Cameron. He was not a hopeless romantic caught up in her inherent soul or anything quite so trivial. He could not even claim to be in love with her. He wanted her, plain and simple, wanted her in a way he wanted nothing else. But he would not create a world in which she wanted him in return. If it was meant to be, it would happen. It certainly had before.
To be continued ...