A/N- this is my first attempt at writing for these characters, so any helpful reviews much appreciated.

Of Horses and Men

The smell of manure greeted her nostrils as Detective Stella Bonasera stepped under the crime scene tape and into the dimly lit hallway of a stable, located within Central Park. Several curious equine heads hung over stall doors as Stella came to a halt beside her colleague Detective Mac Taylor outside one of the stalls. The pungent odour was already attached to her clothes and as far as smells went it sure beat burnt flesh but it still...smelled.

"Mac." Stella greeted as she set her kit at her feet, donning gloves and looking around. "Where's our DB?" she asked questioningly, as she pushed her distinctive curly locks off her shoulders. Getting right to the point he thought, Mac smiled as he waved and indicated into the sawdust-laden stall. His partner looked impeccably put together, as if she had not been called in 2 hours early for her shift after putting in a late night. Mac himself had only managed a couple hours rest himself. Stella looked down the aisle way, noting Detective Don Flack was talking to a young woman dressed in overalls and rubber boots, probably the caretaker.

"Meet David Forbes," Mac stated as they entered the stall to find a white male sprawled belly first on the ground. Surveying the scene before her, Stella noted no obvious cause of death. No large blood pool or blood spatter on the surrounding walls. Squatting down, Mac gently turns him on his side causing Stella to lean over his shoulder to look," As you can see, most probable cause of death is strangulation." Large bruises around the man's trachea resembling finger marks were obvious. "He still has his wallet, money and jewellery in place so not a robbery."

"Who found him?" Stella asked, as Mac returned the man to his former position and stood up, walking to the aisle way. He indicated the rattled looking young woman still talking to Flack. "Jenny Logan, the lead stable hand. She heard a commotion among the horses and came down to investigate. She found our vic and called 911," Mac stated, as Flack finished and walked up to the two detectives.

"What's the word?" Stella asks, as he stops in front of them, flapping his notebook on his hand a couple times before shrugging.

"Jenny says once she heard the commotion she came down right away, finding our vic. Her apartment is above the stable but says she was sleeping and did not hear anything until the horses started making a ruckus. Says that the vic owns the horse that was in the stall and comes regularly every three days to ride. She never saw anyone else leaving the premises," the detective states as he rubs his hand through his hair tiredly. Mac notices he looks slightly worse for wear. "The owner that runs this stable is Ron Kilner, he has been notified and will be in-- momentarily," Don states, making quotation marks with his fingers.

"He's obviously concerned," Mac, states shaking his head. He was continually surprised by peoples lack of worry over a dead body discovered within their property. The younger detective simply shakes his head in return- people were a mystery.

"You okay, hard night?" Mac asks, Don simply nods-no words needed. They all had them. Unfortunately, his had run into a 16-hour shift and his bed was beckoning him.

"Yeah, in fact there is another officer coming to take over. Have a good one," Flack states in leaving as he heads out to report off to the other officer.

"Right, so do you think the horse did it?" Stella asks with a slight smile, her lame joke an attempt to negate the fact they were both tired and running on little sleep. Mac returned her small smile.

"Somehow I don't think they will be cooperative," he details, looking to the several horses staring back at them down the aisle.

"Maybe a carrot?" Stella added, before walking back into the crime scene, a chuckle on her lips.