I know hate doesnt even begin to brush the surface....I know.....

Stella POV

"So Mac, which pocket do you want me to shoot the 8-ball in? Upper left? Middle...hmm possibly the upper right?" I urged on, letting a small smile linger on the corners of my mouth. It felt great holding this small power over him, getting responses that I'm pretty sure no one would have been able to get out of him.

"Just shoot the ball already," he said sighing and shaking his head in disbelief. He let his hand fall to his chin, rubbing it in typical Mac style before looking up and giving a facetious glare.

Inwardly, I could see that it didn't matter who won, it was technically the same "prize", sort to speak, but my ever so small detail grasping of a mind conjured one detail. A small grin threatening to surface and well on the verge too. Maybe all of his days in the Marines began to wear off because right before I snickered and turned back giving him a wide smile and placing the 8 ball into its respectable place, I could see that the grin surfaced.

He looked on and sighed, rubbing his temple with his free hand and look defeated. I couldn't help but feel satisfied and let a sigh do the talking for me as I walked back and challenged him with an inane stare.

"Looks like I won Taylor," I said pouting my lips playfully.

"Looks like it," he said seeming marginally uneasy, giving me the impression that he wasn't all too comfortable with this deal. It was perfectly fine by me; I'd rather hold the bragging rights then let Mac do something that he'd regret later. I didn't want to throw that vibe onto him anyways. I walked over to him and let my hand linger onto his shoulder, giving a reassuring squeeze. He looked...listless, actually, a look I'd never seen before. I couldn't quite distinguish it at all.

"You know Mac, its fine-" I started, a small part of me becoming a bit sad, "we don't have to do this-" I continued but was halted by Mac's lips on mine. He took my face into his hands, his fingertips brushing by ever so delicately. A signal of inward alarm surfaced but I pushed it back down. It was Mac, a friend who had been there for me regardless of the situation, a person I trusted with not only my professional career but personal as well. I couldn't resist as I tilted my head to access his lips better, feeling them soft and sensual on mine, his beginning stubble tickling part of my face. Before I had a chance to push it beyond the point of no return he separated, ending it with a small 'pop'. I stood there dumb founded at the current moment, my lips tingly and slightly swollen to the touch.

"That was um..." I began but was left speechless. Yea, actually speechless. Hard to believe? Well believe it. The fact that he had actually kissed me was a little too surreal for my mind to conjure a proper response. I was left stuttering and mouth gaping.

"Really, really, really, good," was the only thing that I was able to muster after a couple of seconds. He looked away a bit shyly but returned to his casual Mac...ness.

"We should get back; Danny and Lindsay are probably breaking their necks trying to find us."

"Yea your right."

I didn't notice that Mac had begun to head into the direction of the table, leaving me with my hand tracing my lips in sheer amazement. "You coming?" I heard his voice float through one ear and out the other, realization dawning on me almost at once.

"Yea, yea," I conceded with a wave of a hand, "I'll be right there."

He smiled at me mischievously and tilted his head in their direction. I got up and robotically made my way towards him.

This is going to be one hell of a time...

Regular POV

"You should have seen it! They were all like..." Lindsay began to make grunting noises that Flack could only hope to distinguish were moans and groans. He huffed a laugh at the fellow bunch of people sitting alongside the bar and tables. Looking at Hawkes, who held an equally amused grin, he looked back at the phone and grinned.

"No, just playing. It was, wow...just wow. Sooooo very...Mac and Stella."

"Classy?" Hawkes chimed in as if it were the only answer in the world. Flack nodded with a grin at his friend, conceding the exact same word.

"Exactly!" came Lindsay's excited screech.

"Hey, hey, hey" Flack soothed, "calm down. I know we're all excited here but let's keep our cool, don't wanna rush inta anythin'...just yet," he added with a definitive smile. They could hear Lindsay smile on the other side of the line, surely having one of the best times in her life. There was a distinct harsh whisper of Danny's voice telling her to hide the phone, but Flack and Hawkes couldn't quite make it out. They glanced at one another and furrowed their brows, interested in what was happening.

"Oh!" came Lindsay's abrupt switch of tone, "Mac and Stella are coming back! I'll um..." there was some shuffling on the other side of the line, a small "Shh" and then a click followed by dead silence. Flack tapped his phone and checked to see if the call had been dropped but nothing of that sort had happened. He pressed the phone to his ear and lifted it the same way a doctor would to an X-Ray. With a deep frown he set it down, arching an eyebrow at Hawkes equally quizzical expression.

"A little too excited?" Hawkes added.

Flack nodded placing the phone down in its original placing. "I believe so."

"Are you gentlemen ready to order?" a waitress said approaching then with a smile.

"Yes" Hawkes said, "I'll have a Reuben, no pickles."

"Make that two" Flack interrupted, "with a root beer."

"You sir?"

"Um, lemonade would be fine, thank you."

"Sure'll do. Menus?"

They handed them off and returned to their conversation.

"So Mac and Stella?" Hawkes began.

"Made for each other-" the phone began to buzz, vibrating against the table, "Lindsay" Flack said once he checked the screen.


Lindsay sighed dramatically. "Sorry, anyways, Danny is saying that Mac and Stella are currently being occupied. The Giants are losing pretty badly already and it's merely halftime aaaaaaand...well, the fact that their losing pretty much explains everything. That and if Mac or Stella see me talking to you guys they might try and well, turn into CSI's on us and we all know that that can't happen."

"Alright, lates Linds."

"Bye," Hawkes added. Flack clipped his cell phone shut and set it aside.

"The game is a foot." Hawkes chimed.

"Ooooh, quiet."

"They were speechless." Lindsay said sliding into the chair next to Danny. He grabbed some chips from the bowl and managed to steal a glance towards Mac and Stella.

"Well I would be if wha' happened happened."


He grabbed a bowl and dipped his chips into it. "Damn! This is good wha' is it?"

"3 different cheeses. Artichoke. Spinach. It's amazing."

"I know! What's it called?"

"Together At Last."

"Ha...you got that right."

They continued to watch the game, ever so often subtly glancing at Stella and Mac. They would smile at each other, Mac's hand lingering near hers in an attempt to take hold of it. Stella noticed it and placed her hand beneath his just as Lindsay caught sight of it and grabbed on to Danny's arm, digging her nails into his flesh to prove her point. Danny scowled and scrunched up his face in innocent hurt.

"You're hurting me," he raspily managed.

"Oooh, suck it Messer."

Danny closed his eyes and bit his tongue silently counting to 10 and popping his eyes open at the sudden release of her grasp. He glanced down and watched as the small half moons stood in a row, blood already starting to form at the base of them. He knew he'd have some indentations for awhile and some minor bruising but shook it off and settled for a subtle glare.

"Come on Messer, let us watch the show."

"I believe you owe me some money sir," Stella said standing in front of Danny with her arms across her chest. One hand slid into an open palm, moving it in a 'pay up buddy' motion. Danny scowled and huffed, digging into his wallet for the said money.

"Do I have to pay you Mac?" Lindsay said innocently, taking out money from her wallet.

Mac shook his head and declined with a wave of the hand. "Its fine Lindsay, you don't have to do that."

"Why do I have to then?" Danny crowed.

"Because you have a big mouth Messer," Stella interjected.

He looked up and glared at her momentarily, slapping the loose change into her hand.

"Ah, I like the way that looks. Thank you Danny."

"Bye Mac," Danny said, adding "Stella," with a bow.

She laughed and shook her head. "You're a dork Danny."

He pointed at her. "Yea but a cool one."

"Good night everyone." Lindsay said getting into her car and driving off. Danny did the same, watching Stella and Mac stand there trying to figure out what to do next. He smirked at the hopeful and meaningful glances that were being shared between them but shrugged and gave him a reassuring grin. "Of course it'll work out," he said readjusting his rear view mirror, "I know it will."

"Ah Mac, I've had...wow I can't even begin to wonder back at how long it's been since I last had a good time like this. "

"A beautiful person like you deserves to be treated just as equally."


"What? Too mushy?"

"No, just perfect. Really, perfect."

Mac smirked and looked down at the ground, scuffing his shoe against the pavement.


Mac looked up. "Hmm?"

"You wanna come up?"

"I thought there was a no male policy listed for your apartment."

"Oh that's still in effect, but I think I could make an exception for you Taylor."

Mac laughed and smiled. "Alright, sounds good."

They headed up, and entered her apartment. Once inside, Mac looked around and whistled. Things had noticeably shifted between her apartment. A fair number of plants lay scattered throughout the area, a livelier color of furniture lay nestled between an even livelier wall color as scenery pictures of the New York skyline and setting sun sat in frames on the counter and end tables.

"Has it been this long since I've last been here?"

Stella sighed reminiscently. "The last time you were here-"

"I'm sorry, that was inappropriate."

"No, no, no. You're right. It has been long. The last time you were here was when Frankie attacked me. I knew that if I kept everything the same the memories would come flooding back and I couldn't deal with any of that at the time. I had to make a change."

"Stella, I could leave if this is making you uncomfortable."

"No Mac, if I invited you up here it's because I wanted you to. I trust you."

"You don't know how much that means to me Stell."

"Mac I trust you with my professional life as well as my personal."


"Alright. Now, let us not get to mushy on each other. We have coffee to drink."

He laughed and headed to the kitchen helping Stella with the location of the cups and coffee. Once made, they headed toward the living room were conversation stood light and friendly, never once brushing with the flawed past, and sticking to the optimistic present that lay ahead.

"Are you done?"


The cups were discarded in the sink leisurely. Stella cussed as a sharp sound of breaking glass sounded. Mac rushed over and watched as Stella scrunched up her face in an uncomfortable manner, popping her finger to her mouth.

"It's just a cut Mac, don't worry about it."

"You got any band-aids? Neosporin?"

"Mac it's just a small cut. You don't gotta worry bout it-"

"Lemme worry about that hmm?"

She smiled and gave in. "Ha, alright as you say Doctor."

Mac made his way to the bathroom and looked into the cabinet overlooking the sink. He grabbed a Q-tip, some Neosporin, and a small band-aid.

"May I?"

She lifted her hand as Mac laced it with his momentarily. He cleaned it with peroxide registering a small intake of the breath, lightly draped it with Neosporin and finally placed the band-aid on her slender finger.

"You know once you're outta the lab you could really make ends meat putting band-aids on people Mac."

He smiled. "Thanks."

She wanted to withdraw her hand but never in her life did she feel any more secure then she did with anyone at that moment, standing in the doorway with her hand entwined with his. He lifted it and placed a small kiss to her finger. Something hit her and she found herself in Macs arms, similar to the scene that had occurred hours earlier. Their tongue dueled marginally for dominance as Mac couldn't help but pull back.


"I want this, as much as you want it. Let it happen Mac."

He nodded and continued kissing her. He let his tongue run its way past her lips and meet her own, swishing back and forth, running past the walls of her mouth in a slow manner. Carefully and methodically, they made it to Stella's' bedroom, being careful as to not bump anything, their lips never once leaving each others. Clothes were discarded as breathing turned erratic, hands roaming in uncharted territory. Mac gently laid Stella down, a stifled moan awarded from his hands running past the valley of her breast, down her taunt stomach and into her awaiting entrance. He slipped in two fingers, watching the way she arched her back, gripping at the sheets as panting now over took as the only sound in the room. Stella breathed out harshly as Mac moved slowly within her, his fingers curling at precise moments, running his free hand past the inside of her legs, as if to etch the memory into place.

"Mac," Stella breathed. She gulped at the air like a fish out of water and rolled herself to watch him continue his rhythmic patterns. He kissed the inside of her thighs and strategically placed himself above her, watching the way her eyes delved into him, watching his every movement, her lips swollen from past kisses.

"Mac...please..." she pleaded. He swallowed and slowly placed himself at her entrance, pushing into her as both arched their backs simultaneously. Mac kissed Stella's neck, continuing his thrusts, Stella's panting near his ear, words of encouragement toppling from both their mouths, moments of bliss shared between them from mere stares and tugs for more. She raked her hands down his back receiving small grunts from him. Ecstasy began to build in the pit of both their stomachs, Macs' thrusting becoming a bit more frantic, Stella eagerly meeting his every move, moving to a symphony of matched movements. She grabbed onto his shoulders as if the thought of him were to waft away, only to hear her name be whispered into her very own ear. She felt the hot milky fluid enter her as fear dissipated knowing that the risk had been taken equally. Simultaneous heavy breaths came out of them as Mac rolled them over, his hand running through her hair.

Mac held Stella in his arms, hers lightly draping his bicep as her head lay against his chest.



"This may be completely inappropriate...how did you deal with it? We tell victim families to console and confide within one another, to trust and accept the reality that a family member has died, or that we've found them at a scene but is in critical condition due to an attack."

"I felt that I had no one at the time. I had no family to run to, no one to discuss what had happened, I felt more alone then I had ever felt in my life. There was support from everyone on the team, sure, but it wasn't the same. Later on I realized that I didn't need blood relatives to feel like part of a family, I had you guys, and most important of all, I had you Mac."

"You've always been special to me Stell."

"I better be!" Stella said, registering a small chuckle from Mac. "No, I mean what I'm trying to say is that I-"

"Stell don't say it. Words can't begin to describe it, I have, I've always have."

With a small tear surfacing, Stella clung on to Mac. With a last sigh and smile, they both fell asleep into a deep slumber.

"Danny, what's up with the O'Neill case?"

"Dusted, processed, AFISed, CODISed, done. We got tha creep," he said slapping his hands together to get rid of imaginary dust.

Mac nodded. "Good job Danny."

"Yea... So...how was it after Montana and I left?"

Mac looked up from his case file and gave away nothing. "What are you talking about?"

"Nothing happened?"

"Ummm....I don't know what would happen Messer," Mac said heading over to his office where Stella awaited for him.

Danny was motioned over to the table where Sheldon, Lindsay and Flack equally awaited.

"Anythin?" Flack asked.

"Naah didn't even cave in."

"Well-" Hawkes began.

"Please. Those two are love struck. It just oozes from them, and if you guys can't see the obvious that is umm pretty obvious you guys are complete dorks." Lindsay said, not looking up from swabbing a broken glass for DNA.

"Damn..." Danny said.

Flack hopped from his stool and headed out. "Let it go."


"Again, let it go Danno. If you ask me only they know what happened, no way Mac is cracking."

"Yea your right." he said defeated.

"If you ask me," Hawkes began, "Lindsay's right."

"Thank you Hawkes."

"Something happened and we aint finding out anytime soon."

"So what happened there?"

Mac walked over to his desk and sat down, smiling. "Their tryna pry, it's adorable. Danny keeps waiting for me to say something but I'm not budging."

"Oooooh, your evil."

"Ha, well, they could try and find out all they want nothing is going to be said."

"Your right about one thing." Stella fished into her leather jacket and placed a piece of paper on his desk.

He arched an eyebrow at her and reached for it. "No, no, wait for it. When I get to the elevator, that's when you could read it. I'll know if you did before hand."

He nodded and watched her go. She looked back and smiled and blew him a subtle kiss. He eyed the piece of paper and grabbed at it when he heard the elevator click. A simple drawn eye lay next to a heart, a single upper cased 'U' and after that Stella's scrawling with the simple words of "I'll be waiting."

He smiled and placed the piece of paper in his pocket, grabbed at his coat and rushed out to the hall. "Stop that elevator!"

And so that is the conclusion. Sorry about the immense wait, I know that was a ridiculous amount of waiting there. But for all those that stayed loyal, I really do appreciate it all. Thank you for all those people that had this thing on alert and all of those that gave your input into this whether it was a "I loved it!" or a full page analysis. Haha. Really thank you!