She wasn't sure how much time had passed, or how long House had been torturing her; the haze of pleasure glazed everything over, and her body was in the slow cycle of arousal once more, nudging upwards again as the heat of House's tongue deliberately circled her tight little button.

The muscles of her inner thighs ached, as did her wrists, but the rest of her sizzled, and Cuddy was sure her skin held a sheen of perspiration from her shins to her hairline. She licked her dry lips and groaned again. Around her wrists, the sash had tightened during her struggles, and now she could feel her fingers beginning to tingle from the loss of blood flow—nothing major yet, but one more sensation to meld with all the others moving in quicksilver jolts through her body.

"I hate you . . . " she rasped, her voice a croon. House lifted his head to let his cheek stubble scrape against the inside of her damp knee. That brought a shiver, and he turned, letting his hot tongue lick in the delicate crease there. Instantly Cuddy quivered.

"If by 'hate' you mean adore and lust for me down to the core of your squirmy little in-heat status, then I'd have to agree," House rolled out, his voice thick with satisfaction. Hearing it, Cuddy drew in a deep breath; House was as focused in the moment as she was.

Maybe even more so.

All the muscles of her stomach tightened, and her hips angled up, seeking more, the hot, wet bloom between her legs like some exotic orchid now, slick and alive in the dim light. It was difficult to think, and Cuddy gave up trying, letting her body simply react and respond, the rush of sensation carrying her away like an ocean wave.

So good. So good to give up trying to hold up and be responsible. So good to stop thinking and worrying and brooding. So good to feel like a small, tender animal, tormented with sweetness and teased with darkness. Cuddy wriggled her hips and swallowed, not knowing quite where time began and ended. House was good at this, almost TOO good at dandling her right on the edge. She'd always suspected he'd be a master at this, but to have proof; to be living from moment to pulsing moment in this liquid pleasure was more than gratifying—

It was fast becoming addictive.

She licked her lips. "Want you—"

"Soon," House purred, and licked again; one long wet flick of tongue to sensitized skin. The damp heat of his breath tickled, and Cuddy felt a crazed pulse begin throbbing between her hips, a longing building fast and hard.

"No! Now, God, please, I need you now!" she begged in a voice she didn't recognize at all. Part of her was shocked—she had never begged, ever. Certainly not in bed . . . but that was before House, when sex was simply about getting an itch scratched, and not this sweet, strange full body and soul submergence. Ashamed and aching, she turned her face, eyes closed.

Christ, what was happening to her?

She felt the hot prickle of tears behind her closed lids, not sure if shame or desire caused them. Cuddy was aware of the slow shift of House's weight, and she hope he wouldn't see her face or her tears—that would be more humiliation than she could take at the moment.

"How much do you need me, Lisa? How much do you want me?" came House's voice. It sounded so distant and at the same time so ragged that she risked opening her eyes. The tears left her vision blurry, but in the dim light she made out House sitting on the edge of the mattress near her hip, torso turned to her, his chest bare, and his thin, stubbled cheeks slick with her wetness.

"Want . . . " she echoed in a husky voice. "You."

House shifted, his smile caught between adoration and triumph. Carefully he shifted, stretching out on top of Cuddy, allowing his weight to pin her down and ignoring his aching thigh. The press of his long muscled body on hers made both of them sigh, and Cuddy rocked her hips eagerly. "Yessss, wantttt—"

"You'll get," he grunted back, and Cuddy felt his mouth on the side of her neck, his face sliding down to let his teeth nip at her exposed collarbone. The bite was small, but the pleasurable jolt tensed all her muscles, and she moaned out loud.

"Yesss—" she cried softly, absorbing the thrill. The pain was good, from the scrape of his whiskers to the nip that would leave a mark. Dimly she knew it would show tomorrow unless she wore a collar, but that was a fleeting and minor consideration here in the heated darkness of her bedroom.

"More?" House demanded, nose in her ear. Cuddy squealed breathlessly, the deep tickle running down her spine. House smelled like her—musky and sweet—and his weigh was grounding her perfectly. He had his weight on his forearms so she could breathe, but just enough.

"Morre—" she agreed throatily. House looked down in her eyes, his gaze inescapable. Bending, he lightly licked her lips, tracing his tongue around them with erotic delicacy, and ending with a nip at one corner of her chuffed little pout.

"Cuddy uncoiled . . . Lisa ligatured. I've always wanted you just like this—" he whispered. "Under me."

She heard the gloat in his tone; the full purr of a male tiger recumbent on pinned prey.

And if feltgood to be pinned, she sighed. There were only a few people she'd ever considered giving in to; a handful of people in the course of a lifetime who had enough force of will for her to acknowledge their right.

The only one at Princeton-Plainsboro was House.

From the beginning, Cuddy had known he was more than what he seemed, from his arrogance to his infuriating brilliance; from his careless sensuality to his bleak and cruel jibes. House knew her buttons, and she made it a point to learn his so to keep the balance of power as best she could around the man. It hadn't been easy or fun most of the time, but it HAD been a worthy challenge.

And the heat had begun in those first clashes, those quick and withering battle of wits. Cuddy found herself aroused by House's cutting remarks and merciless blue-eyed glares. She'd used what she could of psychology, seeking strategies of power, lowering her voice, all to no visible effect. House wasn't intimidated by her authority or impressed with her position.

But he was interested in her; that much Cuddy knew. Deep inside, under the words and outer posturing, Cuddy could sense the attraction within him. Sometimes it showed in the cocking of his head, or the stare that was as blatant as a caress. If House knew what he was showing he either didn't care or didn't think Cuddy would believe it, but she did.

Purely animal reaction; male to female, a matter of pheromones, hormones and biology, the preferences genetically encoded after eons.

It was that added element that drove her to distraction around the man, and left her weak after her shouting matches with him. Trying to ignore the biology while keeping up an intellectual front was a hell of a juggling act, and it hadn't taken Cuddy long to realize exactly how to break the status quo of the stalemate.

Do the one thing he'd never expect of her—give in without giving in. Make him think he'd won, when in reality, Cuddy knew she had led him into this moment in slow, carefully planned steps. It was risky as hell, but oh God, worth it because right now House was lying on her naked stomach, sucking on her collarbones and making her spine melt.

"Greggg—" came her growl, hot and slow, "Pleeeassse---" and to add urgency, she slowly undulated her hips against his, shifting them in a slow rolling motion.

He smothered a grunt against her shoulder and reached down between them, his hand fumbling with his shorts impatiently and getting them down enough for her to feel the hard suede of his heavy cock against her thigh, the heat of it making her moan in anticipation.

"Now—" he managed in a harsh whisper, and Cuddy shifted, her legs sliding around his hips as he braced one hand on her mattress and used the other to grip himself. "Now—"


Exquisite. The pain and pleasure were swirling now, in a weird yin and yang through his system, alternating in hot pangs as he rocked forward and pushed slickly into Lisa. His head arched up and he groaned, deeply, his entire frame tense and raw with pleasure.

It was maddening to go slow; to hold back when his entire body wanted nothing more than to go forward in lustful berserker plowing, taking Lisa hard, making her take him and cry out in doing so. The intensity left him throbbing, and the wrap of her legs around his hips felt insanely sweet.

House pulled back, and surged forward again, controlling his panting, gliding on the edge of orgasm, but restraining enough to savor the delicious power of the moment. This was true desire fulfilled; this mastery of the woman under him. His past times spent on hookers never ever approached this intensity; they were infrequent conveniences chosen for their availability, distractions with dark hair to help along a fantasy or two.

Nowhere near as dangerous and wild as the real thing under him now in the dark, her hellcat growls making his balls tighten. House stroked again, settling into a slow, strong rhythm to torment both himself and Cuddy, a leisurely pace that teased all the more.

Cuddy squirmed, her sleek and surprisingly strong legs tightening around his waist now, her heels drumming on his ass in frustration as she tried to urge him to speed up. Her glare was both sultry and furious and House loved it. He chuckled, and rasped out, "I could always stop---"

The reply to this was a stream of husky curses and renewed struggles as Cuddy tugged harder on her bound hands, head whipping back and forth on the pillow in an emphatic 'NO.' House pushed deeper, growling a little himself at the unbelievable searing snugness of Cuddy's velvet quim.

So good, so moltenly perfect in this dream-like space between moments, this slick slide of him into her, primal and right. House dropped his mouth on hers, urging her tongue to tease his, caressing it with his own. For long moments, they rocked together, locked in achingly erotic syncopation.

Then his hips quickened, and the hot, unstoppable surge of weightless, beautiful heat surged down his spine, driving him deeper as House gave in to the pleasure vibrating through his muscles in hard shudders. Little splinters of pain gave it another layer of sensation, and he pulled his mouth from hers to groan against her damp shoulder. Under him, Cuddy tensed, her eager legs clutching him as her hips thrust up and her own orgasm rippled through her. House felt it in the clench of her stomach and quim; unmistakable and intimately beautiful. He sucked in uneven breaths savoring the little milking squeezes around his cock.

They lay there, quiet and dazed as the heat radiated off of their bodies; sweat and semen trickling down limbs and onto the damp sheets below them. House closed his eyes, drifting in the sweet darkness for a while, and nearly succumbing to sleep. It would be too easy, to tempting to drop off, his head on Lisa's shoulder, his softening prick still within her. The blessed rush of endorphins was numbing his thigh, and the pillowy sweetness of Cuddy's bare skin had him relaxed now.

But House reluctantly shifted, rolling to the left of her, favoring his thigh and looked down at Cuddy, trying to gauge her state.

She lay quiet on the mattress, her hands still bound above her head, her hair tangled in a wild cascade on the pillow. A few tendrils clung damply to her forehead and cheeks. Her eyes were closed, and she was smiling.

It was an amazing smile, lush and glistening, her lips curving up in satisfied smugness, and House knew it should have irritated him, but somehow it didn't; he claimed full credit for that sex kitten smile of hers.

"Stop looking like a creamy canary," he whispered gruffly, reaching up to untie the knots in the sash. Cuddy gave a happy little moan.

"What if I don't?" she replied, slurring her words a little.

House tugged harder, working his fingers into the sash. "Then I'll spank you. Hard," he added when she laughed, her giggles more felt than heard.

"First you have to catch me," came her taunt. House managed to free her wrists and she flexed them a little, then let them flop on the pillow, as boneless as the rest of her. House pushed her hip with his, and she shifted over slowly, giving him more room to stretch out.

He gave a little whine. "Wet spot. Ew."

"Your mess—" Cuddy murmured sleepily.

House reached over and pulled her against his side. "At least half this genetic filth is yours, Miss Peach Ass. If I'd known you were a gusher as well as a screamer, I'd have brought rubber sheets."

He felt odd—hollow and quiet, but not empty. It was like melancholy but without the depression and self-loathing. House took a minute to consider the state of affairs. Cuddy was nestled against his right side, one leg over his in a slightly possessive drape, her cheek against his shoulder. She felt good there.

House remembered that Stacy had always preferred to have him spoon around her after sex. That had been fine before the infarction and hellishly hard afterward, when any pressure against his thigh had him biting back screams. Stacey had trouble coping, and eventually solved the problem by getting up after sex, leaving him alone.

Practical, but not . . . comforting. That rather summed up Stacy precisely Post-Infarction. House thought. Then he felt vaguely guilty for thinking of her at all in a moment like this, and turned to look at Cuddy.

She was looking at him, eyes locked on his, her expression slightly troubled, and House wondered what she was thinking, but wasn't sure he wanted to ask. The endorphins were ebbing away now, and he needed Vicodin and sleep, in that order if possible.

"Meds?" Cuddy asked, and he nodded. She slipped away off the other side of the mattress and groaned as she got to her feet, making her way around it to reach for his pants on the floor, fishing the amber bottle out of the pocket.

Cuddy dumped a few out on her palm and leaned over the mattress to give them to him; House tugged, bringing her hand up to his mouth and licked them off her palm. He didn't let her thin wrist go, and Cuddy waited until he'd swallowed the pills before trying to pull away.

House shook his head. "Come here."

"House—" she shot a glance over her shoulder to the bathroom and he sighed.

"We'll clean up later . . . a little sticky afterglow is the mark of great sex." The minute the words left his mouth he blinked, watching her smile curve upwards again.

"Great, huh?" she preened, running her free hand through her tangled hair.

"I did all the work," he shot back, but his tone lacked any boastful sulkiness. He tugged on her wrist again, and this time Cuddy moved to straddle him. House slid his hands up her back, stroking her bare spine and making her lie on him. "Ohh, cowgirl . . . this could be fun."

"Shhhh. . . " Cuddy countered softly, shifting back to his right side and settling in again. "Sleep."

"Sleep," House agreed, feeling her settle down against his side. The warmth and pliant weight of her body felt wonderful against his ribs

Hookers of course never did that; all business and no cuddle.

He rubbed her wrist. "Sore?"

"Yes. Go to sleep," Cuddy murmured, a little sternly now. House gave a little growl and slid his right arm around her, then closed his eyes, letting himself drift off, second by second into that quiet darkness of sleep.

Before he completely slid under, he turned his head and nipped Cuddy's nose.