Chapter Title: Chapter Three: We Have STOP Meeting Like This!

Author: Merrianna

Note:

Disclaimer: I don't in any way own the series CSI. Those are the sole property of Anthony E. Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment.

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Running The Risk

Seeing you, watching you
Watching me
I hold back my emotions
I keep them veiled in secrecy
I can't let go of this thing we've started
Wasn't looking for love
No conspiracy of the broken hearted
I don't know how far to go
Until I'm gone, gone, gone

Foreigner

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Star fumed the next few hours going from jewelry store to jewelry store finding accessories for the two surveillance devices. Cliff Howard was an ass. He'd prostitute his own grandmother if it would win him a case.

The regular names for attorneys that came to her were too good for the likes of him. He was the worst kind of bottom feeder. It hadn't even been a month into their association when he'd pulled her away from his little entourage. Star had recognized what was coming even before he'd opened his duplicitous mouth.

"Now Star, we can get along very well if you do everything that I say." A damp finger slowly stroked lightly over her exposed forearm traveling upward.

Star tried not to shiver with disgust. "And exactly what does that entail?"

Howard smiled slyly. "I'm sure you know precisely what that's going to entail."

The Greek woman gritted her teeth but gave no outward signs of her resentment. The prick was just like every man in her life, he was looking for some sort of compensation. It wasn't enough that she'd turned her back on the only family she had.

"No, Howard I don't know." Star refused to give in to the young attorney's undeclared demands.

The lingering fingers stop, only to become a punishing grip on her upper arm. Star nearly gave in to the urge to punch the bastard in the face as she muffed the pain filled shriek. All that could be heard was the ragged breathing coming from both adversaries' as they stared at one another. The mafia raised woman repositioned her body managing enough space to step down hard on the man's foot in its well polished shoe. It provided her with great pleasure at the sound of the weasel cursing, stumbling away from her.

Her rage was ill concealed at that moment. "I suggest Cliff that you never touch me like that again or you'll have to explain to your wife future or present why you can't reproduce."

After that there had been significant animosity between them.

Star sighed darkly at the memory. She'd had to endure the touch of many different men but Howard's was at the top of her list of distasteful. She clutched her small purse in a death grip as if that would dispel the some of her aggravation.

The brunette shook her head bring it back to more recent memories and the nagging question of what Howard was after when he'd brought up Mac Taylor. She couldn't seem to remember if they'd gotten any of Frankie's proposal from the party about her trying to seduce the Crime Lab Supervisor. At that point her recollection got fuzzy; she wasn't sure when the listening devices were broken... before or after the artist made his forceful suggestion. Star felt she'd covered for the Lab Supervisor very well though she didn't want to comprehend why.

In all it had taken ten different stores before Star was confident in the four accessories that Frankie would think she'd had a successful shopping trip. She noticed as she walked down the street that she was nearing the police department were all her troubles began. A wicked thought percolated in her brain. 'The man wanted to been in on the 'know'. He had certainly hadn't been shy about threatening her. So she'd keep him in the 'know'.

The green eyed woman boldly strolled down the sidewalk and upon reaching the precinct door thrust it open. She took a moment to let her eyes adjust to the fluorescent lighting before proceeding to what looked like security for the building.

As Star walked up to the busy dispatch desk she could feel several different types of stares. All of which she'd felt before: lust, envy, and censure.

Star eventually got one of the duty cops to acknowledge her presence. The woman was in her late thirties with dirty blonde hair, cool grey eyes, and her name tag read Officer B. Jonnes. "Miss?"

"I have an appointment with Detective Mac Taylor."

The sour faced woman gave her a disbelieving look, "Are you sure that you have the right person?"

"Yes." Peeved, Star rattled off other facts; well the last was made up. "The Detective's name is Mac Taylor of the NYPD Crime Lab. He told me to meet him here so we could go to dinner."

Officer Jonnes appeared unimpressed with Star's knowledge of the Detective but instead of arguing further she pick up the receiver to verify the information.

"Detective Taylor, you have a visitor." The female officer at the dispatch desk glared at her. Star sensed that the woman was hoping to be able to kick her out of the build or that she'd cause a scene so as to have an excuse to arrest her.

Star could hear the timber of his voice but not the words from where she stood. Which brought a tingling down her spine; it distracted her until she was wrenched back to the present, "Your name?"

Star almost panicked but smiled, "Stella Bonasera."

The female cop scowled disapprovingly at her, "Stella Bonasera, she says you have a dinner appointment."

Star was getting irritated with the woman's treatment her. It usually didn't matter to her how people looked down to her but she really wasn't a hooker. She sold her body yeah but it was never on the side of a street and never without protection. Star also liked the way she dressed granted right at that moment it wasn't the best of outfits but she was doing her part to capture the supposed bad guys.

Star decided that she wasn't going to let this under paid lackey keep her from seeing the detective. A stifled gasp could be heard as Star startled the uniformed cop as she leaned across the high dispatch desk, exposing an amble view of her breasts with the low front of her dress, to call into the phone. "Oh, did you forget, Sailor?"

Without hanging up, the woman named Jonnes flushed bright red, shoved Star back from her personal space, "Miss, don't lean on the counter please."

Star could tell that the word 'please' was forced, but she really didn't care. The curly haired woman felt a tremendous amount of satisfaction in pissing off the female cop.

Star relaxed against the side of the desk waiting, all the while tapping long red polished nails on the counter top. It took several minutes before the ding of the elevator echoed down the hallway to them. At the sound of footfalls Star spun around, and the sight of him made her breath hitch. Her heart did a little flip and the rest of her body was flooded once again with a tingling heat.

Star could barely see the momentarily pause he'd taken when he'd spotted her. The green eyed woman wondered what was going on in his mind. If he'd been think about her or how she might have pissed him off. She wasn't going to take into count the way a person reacted physical, because even as unsettled as she was by him, Star had noticed how the man's body had responded to laying on eyes on her.

Star alleviated her own desire by analyzing the hostile man approaching her. At first glance, she noticed how the flat look which had been in the detectives eyes when they first met was gone. In its place where smoldering blue orbs of an emotion Star wasn't to sure what to make of but she felt compiled to see if those eyes would flare into a full scale fire.

Second thing was that he looked more tired than even the first time they'd met. Which brought another emotion, sympathy, that she hadn't felt in sometime, actually not since she was a small girl. The unwelcome reaction left her shaken.

"Ms. Bonasera, I apologize for being late. If you're ready, let's get going." As he ushered her out the front door she could literally feel the anger radiating off of him. She couldn't help the wince at the pressure that he had on her elbow. Then her previous anger, at Cliff Howard returned, was now in the target of Mac Taylor. She may have to take this kind of abuse from Frankie, but she was damn sure not going to tolerate it from man she'd only met twice and had threatened to expose her.

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Danny's words continued to plague Mac all morning long and into the afternoon. Even as he assigned cases and looked over other paperwork of closed cases, the regular bureaucratic memos, and requests that daily went by his desk. His eyes also kept returning to the boxes from the Grezano murder he finally put aside everything and opened the first of the boxes.

When his office phone began to ring, Mac was standing at his desk sifting through evidence. He automatically reached for the receiver, "Taylor."

"Detective Taylor, you have a visitor." Officer Jonnes at the dispatch desk voice sounded anxious.

Surprised, the blue-eyed detective paused and focused fully on the call, "Who is it?"

"Stella Bonasera, She says you have a dinner meeting." The dubiousness was very evident in the police receptionist's voice.

A distance voice came over the line, "Oh, did you forget, Sailor?" Mac grimaced at the remark, he could hear scuffling sounds, and "Miss, don't lean on the counter please."

"I'll be right down." He quick stored the evidence back into the boxes then stored them in a long cabinet which he locked.

As Mac exited the elevator he caught sight of a curly-haired willowy figure in a long trench coat. He strode over to her; at the sound of his footfalls she turned, revealing a tight, slightly see through lace green dress. The investigator paused momentarily in an effort to regain his composure. She's a means to an end; get a hold of your self, Taylor. He could tell that his hesitation hadn't gone unnoticed by the woman; this did nothing to elevate his rising fury.

"Ms. Bonasera, I apologize for being late. If you're ready, let's get going." He gave the officers behind the desk a passing nod on the way by.

Mac ushered Star out the front door with barely controlled anger. He saw the wince that flashed momentarily across her face at the pressure the he had on her elbow. She'd allowed him to practically drag her from the building. Once outside, she voiced her protest of the handling, wrenching her arm away. "Hey, tough guy I know how to walk."

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Mac demanded, unaccountably annoyed with her and himself He could see bruises which were ill concealed on Star's neck and collar bone. Inward he grimaced as he remembered the punishing grip he'd had on her elbow just moments before.

"Well, Sailor, it was the only way to get in touch with you since you hadn't bothered to give me your number." She smiled brightly, stepping up brushing right against Mac's stiff form.

Mac glowered into defiant green eyes. "I wasn't the one who walked away."

Star gazed up at him her slender hand trailed up over his clothed chest to rest alongside his stubble cheek. "I figured you still had my information or you certainly had ways of getting it. You were the one who suggested we have an affair," She leaned in close whispering the last, and then placed a kiss next to Mac's ear.

Mac silently groaned, once again he took hold of her elbow making sure not to add unnecessary strength as he propelled her down the street away from his place of work, to somewhere they wouldn't be over heard. His mind immediately began processing through what was and wasn't said by his companion.

"So where are you taking me?" The low sultry voice asked. Mac ignored the brunette's question and continued to walk down the street. They passed shops, diners and other businesses until dark haired investigator slowed, pulling keys out of his jacket pocket.

They arrived in front of an apartment building it was in a nice part of the city. Mac took a couple of minutes to find the right key letting them both in he quickly moved past her heading towards the elevators.

An uncomfortable silence fall upon the pair as they entered the small transportation, Mac stabbed a forefinger on his desired destination. From the corner of his eye he observed his companion.

The earlier hostility that the pretty brunette showed had eerily vanished. He wondered want had brought it on and the cause as to why it was no longer present.

"So how often do you use this place? Cause, I'm sure you haven't brought me to see the family." Mac was confused by the sound of leeriness in the woman's voice.

The elevator's doors opened before he could comment and she quickly left the confining space. The green eyed woman waited for him as she didn't know their destination. He wondered at her odd behavior but he store it away for when they were in private.

He ushered her down the hall along the left side of the building. The sounds from the occupants of the other apartments where muted by the doors that they passed. Half way down, Mac stopped at a door with brass numbers four-zero-seven. Opening the door he gestured for Star to enter, Mac saw the hesitation not only in her body but plainly expressed on her face before it disappeared behind a cool veneer.

Mac trailed in after bewildered by the persistent inconstancy that made up the woman. She went from anger, to seductive, to timid and finally coolly detach in the matter of several minutes. If anything Mac Taylor didn't like unsolved mysteries and Stella Bonasera Aka Star Berlusano was one that he alas intended to solve.

TBC...