Out in the Open

A/N: I do not own these characters but I do like to pull them out and play with them every once in a while. Don't worry, I'll put them back.

The back of her head slammed into the interior side of her front door. The assault didn't stop and her moans were ignored. Eventually she slid down the door and landed on the floor.

"You know there are other kinds of sex besides fast and hard," Stella whispered against Mac's neck.

"Mmm, I've heard similar rumors. I'm willing to give it a try if you are." Mac stood up and offered Stella his hand. She took it and wrapped her arm around his neck, more for support than anything else. She unconsciously rubbed against him and within seconds was hoisted up on his shoulder. She giggled, "Mac, put me down!"

"Hush, woman," he teased with a light swat on her backside. "If you're going to play with fire, you're going to get burned. Isn't that the line?" He laid her carefully on the bed then stood back up to study his prey. He placed one knee on the bed in between her legs and leaned forward placing nips on sensitive areas of her body followed by a soothing brush of his tongue. He placed both of his hands on top of hers and intertwined their fingers. It didn't take much effort to turn her over and pull her on top of him. "Now I've got you where I want you."

Stella traced her index finger in a curved line over his chest. "Where is that?"

"Here, where I can feel you," he raised his hips to emphasize his words and pushed her hips down hard, "and here where I can see you." His fingers trailed up her waist and brushed the underside of her breasts, "and touch you."


"Hey, Stella, wait up!" Adam called down the hall of the lab.

Stella turned and smiled at the lab tech. "What's up?"

"You look really nice today," he blushed as he spoke.

"I've worn this hundreds of times." Stella looked down at her purple sweater and black slacks.

"You just have a happy glow about you."

"Is that why you stopped me?" she asked doubtfully.

"No, I, uh, heard, you were transferring to another shift and I wondered if you knew which one. I'd been thinking about changing too."

"Where did you hear that?"

"What? Oh! That you were moving to another shift? " Adam shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know, around." Adam realized something was wrong. "Was it a secret? I won't tell anyone else."

"Don't worry about it, Adam." Stella walked off without answering Adam's original question.


Stella leaned against the sink in the ladies' locker room and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Had she read this entire situation with Mac wrong? At first, she was so thrilled by the fact that he seemed to be as attracted to her as she was to him that she failed to notice that their relationship was purely sexual. Three months later, they were still going strong, very strong. She knew her feelings were more than physical attraction and the love she felt for Mac was real, though unrequited.

Sure, she had considered that this "relationship" for lack of a better word might be short term, but not in a million years would she have guessed that he would just move her off of his team when he wanted to break it off.

She looked at her face again, steeled her resolve and pushed hard on the door.


Mac knew by her stride that there was a problem. He watched her storm down the hall, turn into his office, place her hands on her hips and strike her "ready to do battle" pose.

"Is there something you wanted to tell me?" she asked, her voice a fine line between neutral and strained.

"Not that I'm aware of, why?" Mac answered cautiously.

"Really? I heard that I'm moving shifts. Since I'm pretty sure I would have remembered requesting that myself, I have to assume it was you."

"Stella—" Mac started.

"If you don't want to be with me anymore all you had to do is come tell me."

"Stella—" Mac tried again.

"I know you could have your pick of anyone in the lab and I know you will probably never want a real long-term relationship. I knew that when I started this, this, whatever you want to call it with you! But, dammit, Mac! When did you turn into the same jerk that hits on me in bars and looks down my shirt instead of looking into my eyes?"

"If you would let me say something—"

"Like what? How you've grown tired of our games and couldn't be man enough to tell me face to face. Or, maybe you just don't like having sex with me?"

Mac remained silent this time.

"Well, aren't you going to say something?" Stella prodded.

"Are you sure you're done?"

Stella nodded.

"Good, it's my turn to talk. Please sit down."

She acquiesced and sat on the edge of the leather sofa that lined the glass wall in Mac's office.

"I'll take the charges in order of their accusation. I would appreciate if the court would allow me a full explanation before the rebuttal begins."

Stella smiled, despite the raw state of her exposed emotions.

"First, I did not arrange to have your shift changed. I did talk to the commissioner of detectives about changing shifts in general, but I will explain that in more detail further into my testimony."

"Secondly, I do not want to end our relationship. I do not want any other woman in this lab or any place else, only you. In fact, I do want a long term relationship, if possible, a permanent one."

Stella's head shot up and she gasped, but the shock of what he had said left her speechless so he continued.

Mac squatted down just in front of her and whispered. "I do not like having sex with you, but I am completely and totally addicted to making love with you."

"Stella, our lives have been meshed for years. We are each other's partner, sounding board, emergency contact, nursemaid, and drinking buddy. You are my best friend, Stella. I need you in my life. Now we've added another layer, the icing on the cake. You sharing your body with me is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I can't guarantee we won't ever have a hiccup now and again, but I would never, ever willingly let you go. I love you, Stella. And just for the record, if you wouldn't wear such low cut shirts, you would get better eye contact from the opposite sex."

Stella smiled at his attempt to tease her, but returned to the topic at hand. "What did you mean about changing shifts?"

"The department regulations won't allow two people married to each other to be on the same shift. I thought you might go for a 12-8 shift, still as second command over the lab. We would still get to see each other and you would get to sleep later."

"You want to marry me?" Stella whispered.

"Yes! Has the court reached a verdict?" Mac returned.

Stella stood up and launched her arms around his neck in apology. "Yes, the court finds Stella Bonasera guilty of jumping to conclusions, not trusting her best friend and almost screwing up the most incredible thing that has ever happened to her. The court sentences the defendant to a long, happy life with Mac Taylor and asks that he dole out appropriate punishment as he sees fit."

"Is that a yes?"

"Yes! Of course, yes!"

"Thank God!" He pulled her forward for a kiss. "You do love me, right?"

"I do! I was so miserable thinking you were only with me for the sex."

"Well, the sex is pretty incredible," Mac affirmed.

"Extraordinarily incredible."

"But not even close to as incredible as the friendship. I'm sorry I didn't talk to you about the shifts."

"I'm sorry I didn't wait and talk to you about this out of the lab. I know we need to keep our affair out of the office."

"Our relationship should probably be kept low key, except for today. Come on."

Mac grabbed her hand and pulled her out in to the middle of the lab. "Can I have everyone's attention?" he called in the voice he normally reserved for crowd control.

Once everyone that was there was staring at them, Mac continued. "I want everyone to know that I am in love with this woman." Applause came from all directions. Mac put his arm around Stella's shoulder and pulled her close. "I love her and she loves me."

Stella hugged his waist and buried her face in shoulder. "I can't believe you're doing this."

"And she has agreed to marry me," Mac continued, followed by more applause. "Now that everyone knows the facts, get back to work!"

"That wasn't necessary, Mac."

"Yes it was. Rumors can be dangerous. I want everyone to know what is going on. Stella, I am aware that I'm not very good at expressing myself and sharing my emotions. It has always been a point of contention with the women in my life. I don't want my lack of communication to come across as a lack of emotion. I love you Stella Bonasera."

"I love you too, Mac Taylor." She kissed him on the cheek, "I guess I should get back to work too."

"Yeah, I hear the boss is a real hardass," Mac teased.

"He is," Stella returned, "and I wouldn't have it any other way." She glanced down at Mac's backside, winked, and sauntered toward her own office.

The End