A/N: For the sake of the story, I'm going to screw with some ages. Even though Rachel is fifteen, Cuddy and House are around 45 and 52. If TPTB can mess with ages (Cuddy's 38 end of season 5, 43 beginning of season 7 :/) Enjoy!


Cuddy poked Rachel's back as the light of the early evening filtered through the curtains. Rachel had just got back from the pool where she had a summer job as a lifeguard. This was her second summer, and the white letters of 'lifeguard' stood out against the red of her bathing suit. The teenager whipped round as she felt the pad of a finger hit her shoulder. "Mom," Rachel hissed, "what are you doing?"

"Ssh," Cuddy whispered. "Honey, get up. We're leaving."

"What? Why?" Rachel implored.

"Because..." Cuddy glanced around, as if looking for someone. "Honey, he hit me."

"What?" Rachel said, anger lacing her tone. "He hit you?"

"He's done it before, but it was only a little tap. Like, if you were messing around and misjudged the distance. But, this time," Cuddy rubbed the red mark on her cheek, "he meant it. He was trying to hurt me."

"He's been hitting you?" Rachel repeated, shocked. "Mom! Why didn't you tell me?"

"You didn't need to know," Cuddy explained. "It was nothing."

"I live with him!" Rachel countered. "I have a right to know if he's slapping you around!"

"Don't talk like that," Cuddy chastised. "Look, I'm done. I've done physical violence before and I'm not getting trapped in that spiral again. We're leaving."

Rachel widened her eyes. "Now?"

Cuddy nodded, as if still trying to convince herself. "Right this second."

Rachel stared for a second. This wasn't her mother. But she only had to look at the determination in her eyes to see that her mom wasn't kidding around. They were about to pack up and leave.

"Okay," Rachel said slowly. "Let me grab a jacket."

Cuddy kissed her daughter's forehead. "I don't deserve you," she muttered, pulling Rachel close. "Don't bring anything," she warned. "We're driving."

"Driving where, mom?" Rachel asked, as her mother exited the room.

"To see an old friend," Cuddy called back, and Rachel heard her running downstairs and opening the front door.

Rachel grabbed a pair of shorts out of the wardrobe and shimmied them on. As she ran down to join Cuddy, she thought about who they were leaving. She'd always hated Lucas. She was aware of some small history between him and her mother, but still, she'd never quite warmed up to him, not in the three years they'd been dating.

She swore that her mom didn't even love him. She said she did, but Rachel remained unconvinced. If that was love, then Rachel wasn't sure that she wanted to look for it.

He'd been hitting her.

Rachel stood in the lobby, looking at the living room. She saw a note on the counter, covered by the engagement ring her mother had been wearing for the past two years, having refused to start planning the wedding.

Rachel glanced at the message Cuddy had hurriedly scrawled. Don't follow us.

Rachel ran out over the porch, slamming the door as hard she could before sliding into the seat beside Cuddy.


They drove in silence for a while, Rachel hanging her feet out of the car window, letting the warm summer air tickle her toes.

Cuddy had her hands gripped tightly on the wheel, knuckles white against the plastic covering. The radio was blaring some song, but Rachel knew her mother wasn't hearing it.

"Where are we going?" Rachel asked.

"I told you; to see a friend of mine," Cuddy repeated.

"But, where?" Rachel persisted, letting her dark locks out of their ponytail and into the wind. "You know where you're going, right?"

"Of course I know," Cuddy sighed. "I just need to find a payphone," she murmured, scouring the side of the road with her eyes.

"Don't you have yours?" Rachel asked, shocked. On the best of days, her mother was still surgically attached to the mobile device.

"Left it," Cuddy shrugged.

"But what if something happens at work?" Rachel continued. "What if they need you? They won't be able -"

"Honey, over the last decade I must've spent more time in that place than out of it," Cuddy cut in smoothly. "I just need a break."

"You can't just leave," Rachel pointed out.

"That's why I need to find a phone," Cuddy answered. "To call Wilson. He'll handle things until we get back."

Rachel sank back in her seat. "This isn't like you," she muttered, though not maliciously.

"Sometimes," Cuddy started, but then paused. "Sometimes you just can't deny everything anymore," she said cryptically, pulling over as she saw a phone.

Leaving Rachel in the car, Cuddy made a quick call to Wilson. She didn't give him time to reply, just told him to take care of things for a while and then hung up.

She pushed another stack of quarters into the machine, preparing herself to hear a voice she'd hadn't heard in years. The number was still - and Cuddy wasn't sure if this was fortunate or crazy - imprinted in her memory.

"Hello?" A gruff voiced answered.

"It's Cuddy," she said briskly. "House, I need your help."

"Long time," he drawled, alerted to the identity of the caller, "to go without speaking to someone and then demand something from them."

"You don't know what I need yet," she pointed out, glancing to Rachel in the front seat. She was staring.

"But I can infer from the word 'your' that you'll need me to do something. And, gee, I'm not sure if I want to help the woman who drove me out of state," House continued, his voice gleeful.

"You left. I didn't drive you out," she said through gritted teeth.

"Let's pretend that's true. So," he said conversationally, "what do you need?"

She hesitated. "Somewhere to go," she said finally. There was a silence on the other end of the line before House's voice came back.

"And what do I get in return?"

Cuddy thought. "You get to know that I've taken Rachel and we are about to drive all the way across the country with almost no money, no clean clothes and no idea of what we're doing, a plan I only decided on about an hour ago. Rachel also had no idea about any of this, except that we're driving somewhere. I'm abandoning the hospital to Wilson, and I haven't got any means of communication with me. You get to know that now. Give me a place to go, and when we get there, you get to know why." She smirked into the handset. "Turn me away now, and this puzzle will drive you crazy."

House leaned back in his chair. "You're a wild card," he mused aloud. "And so far, I've never quite been able to figure you out."

"Is that a yes?" She hoped.

"Hate to deny myself the chance to try," he finished his earlier thought. "Fine."

"Thank you," she admitted, relaxing a little. "You still in California?"

"Naturally," he replied. "Sun, sea and sluts. Why would I leave?"

"You don't live near the sea," she reminded.

"Fine. Sun and sluts. Two out of three, excellent. And no sand in my crotch." He paused. "I'm still in Apple Valley," he continued. "I know you know where to find me."

"We'll be there..." Cuddy calculated, "in a few days?"

"Don't race," he suggested. "Tell you what, take the scenic route. I'll guide you."

Cuddy frowned. "You'll have no means of contacting me," she pointed out.

"People these days seem to forget the power of the written word," he said, seemingly to himself but for Cuddy's ears as well. "Go to Michigan. There's only one post office that you could consider going to. There'll be something waiting for you," he promised. Then, he hung up.

Cuddy, in a daze, stumbled back to the car. Rachel stared at her. "Mom?"

"We're going to Michigan," she revealed to Rachel. "And picking up a letter. I think," she added as an afterthought.

"Michigan," Rachel repeated. "What is there in Michigan?"

"Not sure," Cuddy replied. "But I guess we're going to find out."


The pair sped along the motorway, music blaring and stomachs rumbling. They'd been driving all day, the air con doing little to keep them cool, and Cuddy pulled over to a small roadside motel. "Sweet dreams," she said to Rachel, who looked equally confused.

After getting themselves a room for one night, Cuddy paying for a room with a fifty in her back pocket, they raided the vending machine for as many sugary snacks as they could carry with the change. Setting themselves up on one of the two beds, sharing sweets, Rachel turned to her mother. "You said that you'd seen violence before," she said quietly. "What did you mean?"

Cuddy stilled. "You don't need to hear it," she stroked Rachel's hair back from her face. "It was a long time ago."

"Mom, I've dropped everything and jumped in a car to drive to Michigan, of all places, and who knows where on from there. I'm trusting you when you say that you've got a 'friend' for us to stay with, and when you say you know what you're doing. The least you can do is tell me why," she finished.

Cuddy nodded. "I forget you're so grown up," she murmured. She looked Rachel right in the eye before saying slowly but surely, "it was my dad."

"Nothing too bad, but, when you're seven..." She tailed off. "Nana always said that he loved me too much. And, even at seven, I didn't believe her. It wasn't anything dramatic, like I lost my childhood, but it was enough to make me instantly run from anything that even I couldn't pretend was soft enough to be an accident."

"Sometimes I don't think he even thought he was doing anything wrong," she continued. "It was a different time, a different attitude. My father just didn't... think."

Rachel just looked at her. "I'm sorry, mommy," she said slowly, resting her head on the groove where Cuddy's neck met her shoulder. "It's not fair," she said sadly.

"Gave me a fighting spirit though," Cuddy smiled, trying to uplift her daughter. "God, I doubt you'll remember this, but, when you were about four, I was seeing a guy called Daniel. Took me ages to let him even sleep over, but quickly he was practically living with us. Anyway, one night I got home late, and I saw him sneaking out of your room. Sure, it could've been him calming you down from a bad dream but I'd spoken to Marina just twenty minutes ago and you'd been fine. Anyway, you were always a good sleeper. I went a little mental, though first I asked him what he'd been doing. He said that Marina had asked him to put a pile of clean clothes in your room earlier and he'd left his phone in there. I checked, no phone. So I went crazy. I was so convinced that he'd been, I don't know, doing things to you. Screaming, shouting, broke a rib and two teeth and I told him to get out. That someone else could get his things. It wasn't until two weeks after he'd been long gone that I discovered his phone down the side of your dresser. Up until that point, I'd been too afraid to ask you about it. Then, I did. You smiled, and said that Daniel had never been in your room and that I was silly." Cuddy kissed Rachel's forehead. "I would kill a man for you, know that?"

"I do now," Rachel replied, impressed. "Go mom."

"I hate violence, I was brought up with it, but should there ever be a time when it's warranted, I know how to use it," Cuddy continued. "There's one good thing."

Rachel drank the last of the coke from the can. "Mom," she sat up straight, "I'd follow you, anywhere, in a heartbeat. Know why?"

"Why?" Cuddy asked, feeling a rush of love hit her, watching the animation in her daughter's eyes.

"Because, even before hearing that story, I knew that no matter what, you'd protect me. Can't help but feel nervous that we're leaving everything on a mystery trip, but if someone would look after me, I know it'd be you." Rachel smiled, getting into the other bed and pulling the blankets up.

"That's what moms are for, sweetie," Cuddy yawned.

Rachel waited until she thought Cuddy was asleep. She watched the moonlight trace the contours of her mother's face. It had never bothered her that they didn't look alike. It had never bothered her that they weren't related. They were still mother and daughter, through and through, regardless of DNA. Rachel felt comforted, knowing that their relationship wasn't one her mother was biologically bound to. No, she'd been chosen.

And that just made Rachel love her mother even more.


As the sun rose the next morning, Cuddy woke. Years of setting her alarm to before sunrise had given her a body clock that ran like clockwork. Five thirty, every morning. She got out of the uncomfortable mattress and stretched, glancing at her reflection in the dirtied mirror.

She was wearing his shirt.

It had been the only thing she'd grabbed before they'd left, out of the bottom drawer. Baby blue and comfortably washed, even though it had lost its smell, it reminded her of him. Shrugging the shorts from yesterday back on, Cuddy brushed a hand through her curls. Tracing the developing bruise, she sneered.

Why she'd gone back to him she'd never know. It wasn't like it'd been a rebound from House, no, she'd hadn't got back with Lucas until Rachel was twelve. It had been a calculated decision.

So had accepting his proposal, for the second time. She shook her head. A part of the story she'd left out so far was how, after the punch, she slapped him round the face, punched him in the gut and kicked him in the balls before growling as he left, muttering "crazy bitch," under his breath.

If she had her way, she'd never see him again. However, being a private investigator (and not a horrible one at that) Cuddy knew that he'd find them. That's why she'd left all her cards, her phone, and was toying with the idea of swapping the car.

She wasn't running permanently. At least, she hadn't decided that yet. She wasn't afraid, she just knew that when she went back to New Jersey, there'd be questions, quests for answers and just stress.

She wanted a week, maybe two, where none of it mattered.

Then why, she chuckled inwardly at her own thought, was she choosing to spend it with House? She'd promised him an explanation of her impromptu trip when they got there, but she knew he'd never leave her alone until she recounted every passing moment since they'd last seen each other.

Which was, God, a year after the break up. When House had, without warning, divorced Dominika, resigned and moved to Apple Valley, California. She had no idea what he was doing now - she wasn't even sure Wilson knew, but if he did, they'd never discussed it. Cuddy had to close the diagnostics department. She didn't know for sure, but she thought that in the long run that had saved her money. Contrary to House's belief, most of the donations she received were not due to his department.

Cuddy couldn't deny that she missed him. Not just his presence as a boyfriend, but as a doctor, as a friend. It had been too long, she thought wistfully. And every time she thought of him, she'd ask herself the same question: did I make a mistake?

She hadn't really loved since him. Lust, fine. The want for love, of course. But that unbridled passion, that heat, she'd never recreated that with anyone.

That's what she was looking for. The moments, the feelings that House gave her, she needed. She needed the clarity he had to tell her what to do. She was stuck. Her job, that she once loved, no longer excited her. Her boyfriend, to use Rachel's language, was "slapping her around." Something, anything, had to change.

Looking at her daughter, hair mussed around her face, Cuddy wondered if she was doing the right thing. Dragging your child along for your mid-life crisis would certainly not be recommended in any parenting handbook. Rachel deserved more than what Cuddy was offering at home - she wanted to give her daughter experience. A time that she would remember as something unlike she'd ever seen, and she'd know her mother was a different person. She wanted to know her daughter.

Picking her way to the bedside, she stroked Rachel's forehead. "Time to go," she whispered.

"It's sleep time," Rachel muttered. "Go away."

"Honey, I want to miss the traffic," Cuddy cooed. "We can pick up some breakfast on the way."

"I hate you," she whined, but kicked the covers off. She was still in her bathing suit and she hooked her shorts off the carpet with her toe. "I can't believe the only things I have with me are these," she frowned.

"You look cute," Cuddy smiled. "And responsible. My daughter, the lifeguard."

"Not as impressive as it sounds. Mainly involves me watching three olds flail in the shallow end," Rachel shrugged. She looked in the mirror. "One day, and I already look a tramp."

"Ssh," Cuddy scoffed. "You look beautiful. I'm the one who challenges Medusa on a bad hair day."

Rachel was about to counter that, but she stopped when she noticed her mother's attire. "We're leaving him," she said slowly, "and you're wearing his shirt?"

Cuddy sighed. "It's not like that," she promised. She couldn't reveal it was House's - she wasn't ready to have that conversation yet.

"I never liked him," Rachel said, gaze steely. "Creepy eyes."

"He wasn't that bad," Cuddy tried to salvage, but since a part of her agreed she couldn't put much feeling into it.

"He was," Rachel replied. "Even you know that."

"Love does crazy things to a person," Cuddy murmured, opening the door and walking out to the car.

"Give me a break mom," Rachel said. "You didn't love him that much, if at all."

"I didn't say loving Lucas made me crazy," Cuddy smiled, turning on the ignition. "I said love. And I've loved more than one person in my life."

Rachel accepted that, but couldn't keep her mouth shut for long. "Do you think you can honestly, truly, love more than one person? I don't mean family, or children. I mean love. Do you believe that it can happen more than once?"

Cuddy thought. "I think," she started, "that you will love more than one person, but they'll always be someone who you love most."

"What if you choose the wrong person?" Rachel asked.

"Then you chase them," Cuddy told her, without hesitation. "If you're sure."

Rachel nodded. She fiddled with the radio dial and opened the window, even the morning air burning her face it whipped past.

Cuddy continued to drive, watching as they went further and further away from New Jersey. The scenery began to change. Cuddy had lied to Rachel - she did know what there was in Michigan. Just as she knew that House was right; there was only one post box she'd think to go to.

"House," she said aloud, catching Rachel's attention. "His name is House."

"Who's name?"

"My friend," she revealed. "The one we're going to see." There was a tense silence a few minutes longer as Rachel thought about it.

"House," she tried it out for size. "Funny."

"Surname," Cuddy elaborated. "Gregory," she continued in bursts, seeming unable to string more than a few words coherently in a sentence. She realised it was because she was nervous.

With her and Rachel practically speaking in monosyllables, Cuddy couldn't help but feel like their relationship was regressing. She deliberated in her head for another moment before saying, "are you happy?"

Rachel pulled her face back from the open window. "Sure," she said, confused. "I guess."

Cuddy gripped the steering wheel tightly. "Could I do more?" She asked. "For you. Is there anything you want, or need, or -"

"Mom, stop," Rachel shushed. "You're freaking out."

"I'm not, I'm -"

"It's okay," Rachel smiled. "You've abandoned everything to come on a road trip with me and visit the mysterious House. It's okay if you freak."

"I'm not freaking," she said adamantly, speeding up as they turned onto an emptier highway. "I'm serious."

"Then, sure, I'm very happy," Rachel replied. "Happy as a clam."

"You mean that?" Cuddy asked, and Rachel realised from the change in tone that this was a serious question. That she was searching for a real answer.

"Yes," Rachel replied, with as much sincerity as she could muster. "Mom, you know I am. There is nothing in my life that I could not be happy about."

"Lucky you, being fifteen," Cuddy smirked. "Not a care in the world."

"Not a care? Mom, are you kidding? You're the lucky one. You've handled everything, you know that you've achieved something. You've been to college and got a job and become, like, hospital royalty. I've got to worry about grades and admissions essays and all that stuff. You've done it," Rachel said.

"But I don't have my whole life ahead of me," Cuddy countered. "You can be anything. I've got to deal with the choices I made."

"You're not dying," Rachel scoffed. "You have plenty of time to make new choices."

"If only it were that easy," Cuddy muttered, and the drive continued in silence.


"Mom," Rachel whined as they crossed the border into Michigan state, "I'm about to die."

"Oh hush," Cuddy scoffed. "Nearly there."

"Of hunger," Rachel groaned, flipping over so her head was in the foothold of the seat and her feet were draped over the headrest. "Seriously, that no money plan may have had a flaw."

"We've got a couple dollars left," Cuddy told her. "We can stop, and I'll selflessly let you buy something to eat. I'll starve." She winked. "Honey, I know what I'm doing. Give me another hour and we'll be having a full three course meal."

"Oh yeah?" Rachel challenged. "How're you going to manage that?"

Cuddy smiled. "Another old friend," she replied cryptically.

"I'm hearing a lot about all of these so called 'friends' but really, I have yet to meet one. Mom, if you're just kidding and we're heading into nothingness, I promise, I will kill you." Rachel warned.

Cuddy smirked and kept driving, no roadside bathroom breaks until they'd reached her old university campus. "Ta-da," she said to Rachel, who was looking in awe.

"Your college?" Rachel said in disbelief. "Seriously?"

"Seriously," Cuddy smiled. "Trust me, after four years here, I have a few old friends." She got out of the car, beckoning Rachel to come with her. Rachel scrambled out, looking around with wide eyes.

"Can't believe that you were a freshman once," she shook her head.

Cuddy smiled at her daughter's reaction. As she walked back onto campus she checked everything that had changed, and everything that was still the same. It was a blend of past and present mashed into one - and Cuddy remembered talking, laughing, loving in all these places, with people who were long gone. She smiled.

She took them inside and asked someone where Professor Lamb was - hoping to herself that he was still teaching - and had been delighted when they'd directed her to his office.

Rachel was still following, standing quietly as her mother navigated the corridors from memory - only messing up twice. It wasn't until they were outside his door that Rachel noticed her mother tucking her shirt back into her shorts, smartening herself up.

"I've only got a bathing suit and these tiny shorts," she hissed. "What's he going to think of me?"

Cuddy rolled her eyes. "You look perfect, sweetheart. Stop fussing," she added. "He'll be interested in what you have to say, not what you look like."

As Rachel shook her head Cuddy turned around and knocked on the door. There was a fumbling inside before an elderly man answered, eyes brightening when he saw his visitors. "Lisa!" He crowed, sweeping her up with ease.

"Professor Lamb," she smiled back into his shoulder.

He ushered them into his office, and for the next half hour he talked with Cuddy almost non-stop, asking about her life now, since college, talking about his. He asked about Rachel, talked to Rachel, and it wasn't until Rachel's stomach growled loud enough that they could all hear that he stopped.

"Girl," he turned to her, "you sound like you could use some lunch."

Cuddy tried not to laugh at the sigh of relief from Rachel. "I so could," she said breathlessly. "Like you wouldn't believe."


Just fifteen minutes later they were seated at a small restaurant not far from the campus, Rachel scouring the menu but Cuddy quite relaxed, sipping water.

She'd suggested easting in the cafeteria, but Lamb had been shocked and appalled and told them no, they would eat proper food.

As the meal progressed, food arrived and the talk continued. It was until they were finishing up their main courses that Lamb asked the one question Cuddy had hoped he wouldn't. "So, what's brought you to Michigan. I assume it's not me."

Cuddy glanced at Rachel. "We're visiting a friend of mine," she smiled, picking up her glass. "Across the country. We're driving."

"Good God that's brave," Lamb raised his eyebrows. "In this heat? You must be crazy."

"Not crazy," Cuddy smiled. "Motivated."

"By what?" He asked, taking a bite of steak. "Or is it a secret?"

"Something like that," she murmured.


After lunch had ended, goodbyes had been said and Rachel had admitted that Cuddy had been right, they'd gotten a good lunch, they began to traipse back to the car. They were going to drive on - though Cuddy hadn't the faintest idea where - immediately, and look for cheap motel to stay in again.

Later on at lunch Lamb had been alerted to their predicament and had offered them a few hundred dollars. Cuddy had declined, but he'd managed to slip them into her pocket - no idea how - and leave before she noticed. Although she hadn't wanted to take his money, she couldn't deny that she felt a little safer with some cash in her pocket.

Rachel collapsed in her seat. "Just think," she smiled. "We have enough money to get a bottle of water or two."

"Lucky us," Cuddy muttered absentmindedly. "Wait here," she commanded, leaving her daughter, surprised, in the car as she ran down the street.

She entered the post office some five minutes later, thanking whoever was listening for it still being open. She smiled at the employee behind the desk. "Do you have anything for Lisa Cuddy?" She asked, her heart starting to race when he didn't immediately confirm that he did.

He checked for another minute or two, Cuddy bouncing on her heels. "Aah, here," he said, pulling a thin envelope out of a pile. "Arrived this morning," he told her, handing it over.

"Thank you," she said breathlessly, barreling out of the post office and settling herself outside in the afternoon heat. She sat outside on a stone step and slit the letter open with her nail. As she pulled the paper out she saw his thick handwriting all over the page. She swallowed, and started to read.

Cuddy,

As long as you haven't turned into an idiot you shouldn't have had too much trouble finding this letter. It's outside University of Michigan, in case you didn't have time to sight-see. The place we met - a lifetime ago.

I do remember the first time I saw you, you had your hair flowing down your back and going crazy round your face. You were almost buckling under the weight of the textbooks - but I, ever the gentleman, of course didn't help you. It wasn't just how you looked, it was how you moved. The sway of your hips and the way you waited until everyone else had finished tripping through their sentences before speaking. And when you finally did utter even a word, you could be damn sure that everyone was listening.

It was in that moment that I knew I had to know more about you. I would never be satisfied just leaving it there - you were an anomaly. Anomalies bug me. So I asked around and found out where you were going to be. Entering that room, vibrating with the sound of the speaker, I only had one motive. It was a freshman party anyway - if I hadn't had a motive, I wouldn't have been seen dead there.

There was beer pong and drinking and grinding, and even though my head had formulated many ideas of what you'd be doing, the kinds of things you were into... I really had no idea. I ambled around, checking out various freshman, looking for you. I would've asked, but at that point I didn't even know your name. I was basing all this energy, this desire, on a few glimpses and a five second conversation. Call me crazy.

The party hummed with its own life. The walls pulsed, the sweat radiated and the voices carried, but all that was lost as soon as I saw you. You were standing by the pool, drink in hand, laughing with some guy. I sauntered over and I still remember that moment when you first locked eyes with me. You recognised me, of that I'm sure. And even though the only reason I was even at that house that night was you, I played it as casual as I could. Still remember my opening line. "Fancy meeting you here."

I'm still not sure if you believed me. If you did - which I suspect from your reaction - then I knew that I'd have you. Not one to toot my own horn, but, beep beep. Didn't get the reputation as campus stud for no reason. Sure, I was also campus ass and campus heartbreaker, but neither mattered here. As little as I knew about you, I hoped the opposite was true as well and you barely knew me.

You smiled, that toothy smile I only see when I knew you're really proud of something. I still don't know what you were proud of in that moment. I can't remember that conversation from there, something about names and majors and cup sizes. Like I said, it was a long time ago.

The rest of the party is a blur in my mind, mainly as we weren't there for much longer. I had you out of that door and walking to my dorm room in twenty minutes, tops. You may protest now, but I remember. I was, and still am, that good. You weren't smashed off your face, something I was grateful for, but pleasantly buzzed. Enough to make you giggly and open. I opened the door to my room and you'd pulled your dress off within ten seconds.

I'll admit freely now; I was hoping we'd end up doing the dirty. However, watching you offer yourself up so readily was such a turn on, you won't believe. Even then, you were in control. How much of that night you can recall I don't know, but I have most of it imprinted in my memory. The feel of your skin under my fingers, your breasts on my chest, my name on your lips. As we came together I remember losing all my senses, only moving with you, against you, in you. You were anchoring me to that moment, the sound of your climax pulling me to the present.

You slept well. I didn't. I spent the majority of the night watching you, taking you in. Trying to memorise the feel of you. I did my best, though by the time I saw you again - the job interview - the memories were hazy. That interview brought them all back. I don't know if you realised, but during that interview I was so close to coming all over your desk.

Even as an undergrad, essentially a baby, something about you pulled me in. And, you've still got me. When you said "I need your help," I decided that I would most likely do as you asked, regardless. Lucky for me the help you needed was interesting.

I haven't seen you in years, but I remember you as if it were yesterday - the time we said goodbye, unknowingly. I've never quite got over our lack of farewell. I guess we'll have to make up for it now.

Head to Swan, Iowa. You'll know where to look.

House

PS, if you ever ask me about these letters I'll deny writing them, even if you shove them in my face. Just a warning.