Title: Unlikely Match

Disclaimer: I do not own CSI:NY, Anthony Zuiker and CBS do.

Author's Note: Thanks to my beta Beth for helping with the characterization of Russ.

Beta'd by: csiny96

Genre: Romance

Rating: T

Chapter 1: How It All Started


July 27, 2012

It was kind of ironic how it all started. She was at Jo and Mac's wedding in late July and as she was walking down the aisle behind Ellie, she felt like someone was watching her, at first she ignored it, however, when she reached her place at the front of the altar she felt a tingly sensation so she turned her head and made eye contact with Jo's ex-husband, Russ Josephson. She'd heard about him a few times and seen his picture. Stella turned her head away and shook her head and thought she was imaging things so after Lindsay had taken her place she turned her head again and made eye contact with Russ but this time he winked at her. Now she was beginning to go dizzy and woozy but managed to straighten out when the music began to play and Jo made her entrance.

Throughout the ceremony Stella discretely turned her head over and saw Russ, this time he smiled. Now Stella knew for sure she wasn't imagining things; it was for real. It was several hours later when Stella was ordering wine for her, Lindsay, and Jo and ordering an orange juice for Ellie when she heard a deep voice talking, using the best pick up line she has heard in a long time, "Hey beautiful. If beauty were sunlight, you'd shine from a million light-years away."

As Stella turned around after the bartender giving the orders, she turned around and was face to face with Russ. Looking deep into his eyes Stella felt her legs suddenly turn to jelly. He was handsome and tall and the best looking guy she had seen in a long time. Once the drinks were given to the right person, Stella and Russ chatted up a storm and it alternated between conversations and flirting. When Mac saw Stella with Russ he was about to go and warn her when he felt Jo pull on his arm. Jo knew how Mac would be protective of his best friend due to her past encounters with men; she would do the same thing, but knew she had to say something in order to calm him down. Jo leaned in close and said, "Mac darling I know you care about Stella and you know how Russ has been but he isn't all bad especially in the beginning, he is the sweetest guy and maybe this time he might be able to learn from his mistakes he made. How about this, if it goes bad then we will intervene."

Jo paused and then saw the sweet angelic smile on Lucy's face and said to Mac, "In the meantime Mac I think someone wants to dance with her godfather."

Mac wasn't sure but decided to take his wife's word for now and when he heard godfather he knew who Jo was talking about and went to see Lucy.

Now that Mac was occupied Jo headed over to where Stella and Russ were standing. With Russ' back toward her, she placed her hand on his shoulder and cleared her throat, "Russ, I'm glad that you made it, and I see that you have met Stella."

Russ and Stella stopped and Russ turned around and gave Jo a quick hug, "Thank you for inviting me, you look beautiful as always and yes I have been chatting with Ms. Bonasera and she is quite an interesting person."

Jo smiled and leaned to whisper into Russ' ear, "Russ if you do decide to date Stella, you better be sure not to hurt her or else you have a lot of people to answer to, and that includes me and Mac Taylor, you got that?"

Russ looked at Jo and he nodded as he got the message loud and clear.

A few hours later the guests after the bridal party and groomsmen had sent Jo and Mac off on their honeymoon by showering them with rice Stella and Russ danced a few times. By now all members of the New York crime lab especially the guys all knew and for now they reserved their opinion for the time being, thanks to Jo. When Russ whispered in to Stella's ear, "Why don't we take it somewhere more comfortable and see where the night takes us?"

That caused shivers to run up and down Stella's spine and she nodded as she couldn't trust her voice. Stella bid everyone on the New York team goodnight and Russ took Stella by the hand and led her out of the ballroom.

When they got to the suite he had gotten, their arms went around each other's bodies, with him bending down a little, and their lips promptly collided. The kisses quickly became hot and steamy whilst engaging in a duel for tongue dominance.

A few minutes later they came apart for air and took the time to get out of the formalwear and once down only to underwear, did they take the time to enjoy the sight in front of them. Russ loved how curvy she was and Stella loved how muscular and pleasing to the eye he was. A short time later they went at it again only this time with more passion infused.

As Russ moved his lips and nipped the soft skin on both sides of her neck and behind her ears, two thoughts went through her mind, although she didn't like most FBI agents there was something different about Russ that she wasn't able to figure out yet. The other was she knew he was different from Frankie, Drew - well Drew only used her to get to Mac - or her friendly and short lived exchange with Brandon the fireman. Suddenly she felt him sweep her off her feet which got her out of her thoughts. As soon as they were on the king sized bed and with the rest of their clothes off and protection on, they were all over each other.

-x-

Early the next morning the sun was weakly shining through the curtains. Stella awoke and felt Russ' strong arms wrapped around her; she smiled and recalled last night's events and their steamy intercourse. Normally Stella would not sleep with a guy right away but something about Russ turned her on. It had been so long since she was in a relationship; maybe he will be the first person she will give a chance to.

As they enjoyed being in each other's arms and exchanging the light kisses, they decided they didn't want this to be a one-night stand and wanted to see if a relationship would work for them or not. They spent the last days of their stay in New York together and exchanged numbers before they boarded the plane and flew home.

They both knew dating long distance takes work but they were committed. Russ knew he had been given a second chance and opportunity. He had his work cut out for him because of how he was after he had split from Jo. For a time before he met Stella he became more of a control freak, hot tempered and irritable, always wanted to have his way and wasn't easy to boss around or work with or told what to do. He only thought highly of himself and felt everyone must look up to him and admire him, as well as see him as the best. He had been raised to think he should be man of the house and women should stay at home to look after their husband and family. Worst of all he has had several one night stands with women who don't have much personality and are often drunk.

It took time but now he accepts and respects a woman who works and it made him feel guilty on how he treated Jo when they were married. He now only has eyes only for Stella and showers her with attention. He had also become easier and nicer to work with as his colleagues had noted the change and positive influence Stella was having on him. Most of all he has learned from all his mistakes.

Russ made an effort to change his old ways and over the next several weeks they continued to see each other with Stella flying over to DC to see him and he flew to New Orleans to see Stella. Russ even made time in his schedule to spend more time with Tyler. Because of the changes, Tyler immediately gives his dad his approval and blessing.

By now, Russ had gotten an earful of warnings from the lab team in New Orleans and New York - even Lucy Messer gave her warning, via Lindsay and Danny, that he was not to hurt her 'Awuntie Stella' - it all made his head spin and he took all of them seriously.

They were together for almost a year and a half, he was ready to ask her to marry him and he knew the best time, on Valentine's Day. Since her birthday was five days before the most romantic night of the year, he began making preparations for the day three months in advance.

At this point the team she was leading and the team in New York knew. Russ had talked with Mac ahead of time because Russ respected Stella and Mac's longstanding friendship. When Mac and Jo found out Mac smiled; he had given his approval once he saw how well Russ treated Stella, Jo of course was ecstatic and gave Russ a congratulatory hug.

On Stella's birthday Russ was on his way to surprise her and whisk her away to Vancouver to spend time with her. He had said work kept him from coming but in actuality it was a cover to make sure his surprise didn't get ruined.

Russ had arranged for time off with his boss and cleared it with her boss; now all he had to do now was surprise her. As Russ made his way to the crime lab lobby, with a dozen red roses in hand, he saw Stella come off the elevator. When Stella saw her beloved she had to do a double take, she was down from getting his call saying he wasn't going to be there that weekend and there he was standing in the lobby with a mischievous grin on his handsome face.

Breaking into all smiles Stella ran straight into Russ' open arms, and he said as he held her close, and kissed her and said, "Happy Birthday baby."

Still in shock, Stella asked, "Russ! You are here! I thought you said your boss had cancelled your vacation time."

Russ began his explanation "Well I-" but Stella placed a finger on his lips and she added, "All that matters is that you are here now."

Russ smiled, kissed her again and said, "Stella my love I was thinking we can go on a trip and-"

Stella gave him a funny look, "Seriously Russ now? It is the middle of the day and-"

Russ was about to say something when he and Stella heard a stern female voice saying, "-and I expect you Detective Bonasera to go home and pack your bags and let you beau whisk you for away for a few days, while Shannon takes the lead... and that is an order."

Stella smiled, her boss, Saffi Anderson had taken Stella under wing from the first day she worked at the lab and taught her a lot about what to expect with office politics. She turned to Saffi and said, "Yes ma'am and I will enjoy my trip to the fullest."

Saffi nodded with a smile and then went back to her office. Stella went back to her office, got her stuff and talked with and got reassurance from Shannon Donne, her second in command, that everything would be in control as she left with Russ. Shannon smiled; she knew by the time Stella came back in a week she would be engaged to her hunky boyfriend.

Once she was ready Russ took her to Vancouver; snow hikes as well as wining and dining, sightseeing, and of course shopping. However, he knew the best part was to come, the proposal that would surprise Stella.

As they were bundled up for the cold weather they strolled down the Burrard Dry Dock Pier and enjoyed the views it offered. Russ had his left arm around Stella's waist and kissed her right temple. Stella loved the feeling of Russ' lips on her skin, it always left a tingly sensation. He was remarkable; during the trip he had let her know that he put in a transfer from DC head office to the New Orleans field office because he knew how much she loved her position as the head of the crime lab in New Orleans and how much it meant to her; he has even absorbed a lot of Greek that she had been teaching him.

Suddenly they had come to a stop making Stella wonder what is going on. When she heard him whisper, "Stella mou I have something I want to give you but first I have something to tell you. Stella I never thought after my divorce I would find love again and then I met you at Mac and Jo's wedding. My outlook changed and you have helped me change for the better, even Tyler thinks you are magnificent and now I can't imagine my life without you. Now count to three and then look ahead into the sky."

Suddenly Stella's eyes popped open when she heard the all too familiar speech prelude her mind went into over drive... 'Oh my God! Is he about to do what I think he is about to do?'

She did as she was asked, counted to three and then looked into the night sky and gasped as she read the fireworks message, "Stella, will you marry me?-Russ"

Stella turned around and she noticed Russ was down on one knee and her hands flew to her mouth and let out a covered gasp. Getting out the ring box with the ring he had purchased a month ago, he opened it and asked, "Miss Stella Bonasera, would you do me the honors in becoming my wife, will you marry me?"

When Stella saw the ring, a stunning princess & round diamond engagement ring set in 14k white gold. Now crying tears of joy she bent down gave him a brief kiss on the lips and answered in a shaky but happy voice, "Russ Josephson, I love you so much, yes absolutely yes I will marry you!"

Russ smiled and then taking the ring out of its cushions and taking her left hand in his right hand and with this free hand he slide the ring on and it sat snugly on her finger. He then stood and took her in his arms and began kissing her hard before picking her up and spinning her around causing her to squeal with joy; her search was finally over she had found the one for her.


A/N 2: Thank you for reading the first chapter. As always reviews are appreciated!