I feel so foolish, I never noticed
You'd act so nervous,
Could you be falling for me?
It took a rumor to make me wonder
Now I'm convinced I'm going under

Bonnie Raitt - Something to Talk About

Mac Taylor paced the lab, awaiting the computer to chime that it had a DNA match. He stroked his slightly stubble chin as he done so – while at the same time making a mental note to shave later. His ocean blue-eyes caught upon Stella Bonasera – his co-worker and close friend. She flashed him her trademark smile before disappearing once again, probably she had to collect some lab results of her own.

The 'ding' of the computer dragged Mac out of his thoughts and he marched his way over towards the machine. A small grin graced his lips as he saw a positive match. "I've got you know you son of a bitch" he muttered before printing off the results and heading back to his office.

It was on the way to his office when he overheard two lab-techs talking. It was only when he heard his own name and Stella's being used in
the conversation, that he slowed his pace and listened especially hard.

The lab tech that seemed to be doing most of the talking looked like he was new to the NYPD crime lab. He must be one of the new recruits; Mac concluded after studying the lab-tech for a couple seconds. He was young – possibly in his mid-to-late twenties, light sandy-coloured hair.

Mac noticed the other lab-tech. She'd worked there for quite a long time – possibly as long as Mac had himself, yet he'd never found himself in a conversation with her. She wore her hair in a tight ponytail that seemed to pull her whole face back, so it looked like she'd had a lot amount of Botox.

"I've heard they started dating a couple years ago – they just don't talk about it" the male lab-tech informed the female.

The female nodded furiously in agreement. "I heard the same. I heard that Detective Taylor proposed to her last year"

The younger lab-tech looked shocked, if only for a moment. "-But she doesn't wear a ring"

The female arched a brow at him. "Does Detective Bonasera really strike you as the kind of woman to wear a ring?" she asked to which the male shook his head. The woman looked up and caught Mac looking to her – almost instantly she turned on her heel and proceeded to leave, the male done the same a few seconds later after Mac had cleared his throat to let him know he was there.

When Mac finally reached his office, he deposited the results on his tidy desk before collapsing into his desk chair and sinking into it. Did people really think that about him and Stella? They were just friends – or, he thought they were. Truth be told she had been acting different around him since Peyton left – again. Had she fallen for him? Had he been so blind as to not see that she had?

Mac sighed deeply as he rubbed his face. Sure, sometimes they'd looked at each other for a moment to long, held onto each other tighter than they should have or spent more time together than was natural for two friends.

Maybe over the years he'd fallen in love with her too. Fallen in love with the way she smiled, the way she laughed or the way that she was always so determined in what she'd chosen to do.

The sound of a soft knocking on his office door made him glance up and see the very woman that was now haunting his thoughts.

"Hey Mac" she smiled walking in after he signalled that she could. "You look rough, you okay?" she asked as her brow furrowed in concern.

Mac managed to let a small smile cross his lips as he looked to her. "I'm fine. Just tired" he explained earning himself an emerald eye-roll from Stella. For a moment he bit his bottom lip, deciding whether or not to tell her about what he'd heard. Bite the bullet; take the chance – he though before looking to her as a grin greeted his lips.

Stella mirrored the same grin back; illuminating her jade-green eyes. "What's got you so happy, Mac?"

Mac relaxed back in his chair as he looked at her. "Oh, just something I heard today"

"Care to share?" she asked taking a seat in a spare chair in his office.

Mac chuckled softly as he folded his arms over each other in front of him. "Okay, here goes..." the male detective started with a grin as his blue eyes locked with her green ones. Maybe we stare just a little too long...