A/N: Thank you all so much for your lovely reviews! I am really glad that you all like it! :D I hope this isn't too slow moving, i get carried away with description lol. Enjoy the smacked fluff!


The sun that had hung over New York had sunk out of view, causing darkness to fill the streets and the moon to provide a ghostly light. Stella was sat in her apartment dressed in her most comfortable pyjamas. She had pulled the sleeves, which were fraying at the end, up to the tip of her fingers and was sat on her couch, her knees tucked to her chest. She was blindly watching the glare from the TV, not really paying attention to the movie that was being played. Every DVD that she had picked up had contained either a sloppy romantic story (which is something that Stella really didn't need to watch right now) or lots of blood, guts and gore (which is something she didn't need after a day at work).

She reached for the remote which was balancing on the arm of the couch and switched the TV off. Now extremely bored, she sighed into the silence of the apartment. She pulled her curls down out of the ponytail she had held them in and ran her fingers through them. How was she going to cope with a week of this boredom?

Just as she decided she had nothing else better to do than sleep, a knock sounded from the front door. Stella huffed and pushed herself from the couch, walking over to where the knock had come from. Remembering Mac's comment earlier, about her always putting herself in danger, she placed the chain on the door and opened it, cautiously looking through the crack. Two blue eyes met the green of hers and she smiled at her visitor who was lit up by the moon.

"Nice to see you are using the chain." Mac said from behind the door. Stella grinned.

"Well I thought about the consequences of not using the chain. You could have been a serial killer on a rampage." She heard a soft chuckle issue from his mouth. She loved to hear him laugh.

"Can I come in?" Stella studied what she could see of his face in the dim glow and saw none of the anger that had been present in their earlier argument. She could only see the lines from his laughter and hope in his eyes at being let into the apartment. She was glad, she hated seeing Mac angry. Especially at her.

"Sure." Stella shut the door and quickly scanned the room, checking for anything that may be embarrassing. Certain that she couldn't see anything of that nature, she took off the chain and opened the door.

She had to catch her breath for a second, the sight of that man always made her feel slightly dazed, even after ten years. He was wearing his usual suit, the dress shirt a dark green colour and there was no tie lying underneath his collar. She smiled a little. Mac looked great in green.

He looked at her, a wary eyebrow arched upward.

"What?"

"Nothing." Said Stella, still smiling. "Come in. Do you want a drink or something?"

"Nah, nothing for me thanks." He walked into the apartment, studying it as only a detective would.

They both sat down on her couch and as Stella sat, the breeze created from her movement caused her nose to pick up Mac's scent. She breathed in deeply, not caring what Mac thought she was doing. Damn he smelt good.

After a moment, she gathered her thoughts and turned to look at his face that was looking at the floor. Stella thought he looked nervous. That was different for Mac.

"So what brings you here?" Stella found her voice sounded higher than normal, and a little strained. It seemed Mac wasn't the only one who was nervous. Why was she all of a sudden feeling 16 again?

Mac looked up at her, away from his fingers that were currently fidgeting.

"Why do you think Stel?" Ah, her nickname. She loved hearing it from him.

"Checking that I was being safe and not chasing after murderers?" She offered a smile and Mac returned with a quick laugh.

"Well that and the fact that I hate going to sleep at night knowing that the last conversation we had was an argument." Stella sighed, happy that he was here to make up.

"Same." Mac turned his body to face her and Stella was suddenly aware at how small the couch was and the clothes she was wearing.

"I just came over to apologise. I shouldn't have reacted the way I did, I mean I do things on a whim too like chasing after bad guys without backup. I just get worried about you that's all. I care about you." Stella thought back to Greece when he said those same words and smiled, tears threatening to fill her eyes.

"Thank you Mac. That means a lot. And I am truly sorry for going behind your back again."

"That's alright, as long as you're okay."

The room was silent then for a few moments, only the passing traffic causing sound to drift through the window. Stella was happy that she and Mac had made up but something was still not right. There was still that cloud of tension hanging over their heads. Mac was staring back at his fingers again and Stella had taken to playing with her hair.

She couldn't take the silence anymore, she had to stop this tension between them.

"Mac, what is going on here? Why do things feel different? Ever since Greece, I feel that there is this barrier that seems to stop us from communicating properly to each other. I mean, when do you ever fidget?" Mac quickly stopped looking at his fingers and kept them still. He looked at her, mirroring her confusion in his own face.

"I don't know Stel. I noticed the difference too and the barrier that seems to have been built. What's changed?"

Stella knew exactly what had changed on her half. Since Helenika, she felt that her and Mac's friendship had taken another step and now, whenever his face swam into her view, her heart skipped a beat. She just didn't know if Mac had felt the same change. She looked at him and shook her head, not wanting to explain her complicated feelings.

Mac nodded slowly whist looking at the carpet. "I think I know what it is and better still, I think I know how to break that barrier." Stella looked at him and his eyes had returned to her face. She felt the breath tumble out of her as she looked into them.

"How?" Her voice was barely a whisper as he placed a hand on her cheek, stroking it gently.

"By doing this." Then, in the next moment, her head began to spin as he pressed his lips to hers softly. She returned the kiss after realising what was happening and placed one of her hands on the back of his head, running her fingers through his hair. The other hand was on his back, pulling him closer. She felt him deepen the kiss as he placed his arm around her waist. Shivers went up and down Stella's spine when she felt his touch and she could not believe that she was here, in her apartment, kissing Mac Taylor.

After what felt like several long hours, Mac pulled away from her slowly and placed his forehead on hers. She could feel the warmth of his breath on her face and she couldn't help but smile as she felt the barrier tumble down.

She looked back into his sparkling eyes and saw that he was also smiling. He softly wiped away a stray tear from her cheek. She hadn't even realised she had been crying.

"I love you Stella Bonasera." Stella exhaled deeply, drinking in his words that made her heart soar.

"Oh Mac, I love you too." Mac also exhaled, obviously relieved that she felt the same way. Stella pulled him back towards her and kissed him again, the passion in it was mixed perfectly with the soft touch of his hand in her hair. She felt like they were the only two people in the world, that none of the awful things they saw day after day existed. He eliminated all of the bad things she had ever seen or felt in one touch and she never wanted the moment to end.

She moaned a little when he pulled away from her, upset that he had broke contact. He smiled at her and leaned back so he was lying on the couch and pulled her into his chest. She wrapped her arm around him and closed her eyes, inhaling his perfect scent once again. He softly rubbed her arm and whispered the three words she loved so much into her hair.

And that is how she fell asleep, with a smile on her face, drifting into dreams about the man who was holding her tightly whilst stroking her back softly. The man she loved so much. Mac Taylor.


So far, this is The End :D unless anyone has any ideas on a 3rd chapter :)

Please Review - as always, reviews make me smile - :D