*Here it is: the FINAL chapter! Enjoy!*

"What'll it be detective? The usual?" A young woman asks Mac as she approaches his table.

"Please." Mac responds with a nod.

Mac sits alone at his favorite night club. It's a small jazz club he often visits, usually to play bass with the band. But there is no band tonight, just a jukebox playing a few feet away from his table. As he waits for his drink, he replays his fight with Stella over and over again in his head. He just can't figure out why she would say those things to him. He's always been protective of her, and he never meant to doubt her work as a detective. The last thing he would want to do is hurt her, but it seems he did. He wondered why things seemed so different between them recently. And why couldn't he get her out of his mind?

"Here you go detective!" the voice of the young waitress pulls Mac away from his thoughts.

"Thanks Jesse" He smiles.

"Why so glum tonight?" She asks

"Is it that obvious?" Mac laughs.

"Please I could tell the moment you walked in the door. So, what's got ya down? Woman problems?"

"You could say that..." He responds.

"Ahhh" an intrigued Jesse takes a seat next to him. "You wanna talk about it?"

"Oh, its just a stupid thing at work"

"mmmm hmmm. Well, if its a work thing, then why are you still so upset about it? You're off the clock now."

"It's about my partner. And I'm always on the clock for her. But apparently that's my problem." He replies as he swirls his drink around in the glass. The knot he feels in his stomach keeps him from drinking it as he places it back on the table and taps his fingers against the glass.

"Well I think it's sweet, you obviously care about her a lot" Jesse smirks.

"Yeah... I do." Mac sighs.

"Hey" Jesse perks up "Does your partner have long curly hair?"

"Yeah" Mac replies, confused. "How'd you know that?"

"Cuz a woman just walked in with that same heartbroken expression on her face that you have right now" As she points towards the door, revealing Stella who looks around the bar for Mac.

"Stella!?" A surprised Mac suddenly feels nervous as he sits up straight in his chair and clears his throat.

"Good luck detective" Jesse winks at Mac and stands up from the table.

Stella spots Mac and makes her way towards his table. "Is this seat taken?" She asks coyly.

Mac doesn't speak, only gestures for her to sit down. She sits down and they both remain silent for a moment.

"Look, Mac..." Stella begins. "I shouldn't have said those things earlier. I didn't even mean them, I don't know why I said it"

Mac nods his head slightly "Well, maybe you were right. I know I can be protective of you, but it's only because I care about you Stella."

"I know Mac. And I'm lucky to have you" she smiles.

"I just... I just don't know what I would do if something would've happened to you." His voice gets softer now. "I need you Stell."

Stella fights back a tear as she sees a vulnerable Mac, something she wasn't really used to. She wishes she could make him feel better, as he always did for her. "Wanna dance?" This was the first thing she could think of to cheer him up.

"Dance?" Mac asks, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah, you know, people do it sometimes, for fun. You remember what fun is right?" She laughs.

Mac laughs and nods his head as he stands up from his chair and extends his hand to Stella.

They reach the dance floor and turn to face each other. Stella stands a few inches away from him, placing one hand in his, and the other around his neck. Mac places his free hand around her waist and they begin swaying to the music.

"Hey, you're not so bad!" Stella laughs.

"What did you expect?" Mac inquires.

"To be honest, I don't know..." she chuckles.

The song abruptly ends and Mac looks over at the jukebox to find Jesse standing there. She punches a couple buttons and a new song begins. Mac gives her a confused look, and she winks at him.

It starts with a beautiful piano and Mac focuses on Stella again, gripping her hand a little tighter as the lyrics begin:

I Can't fight this feeling any longer,

And yet I'm still afraid to let it go.

What started out as friendship, has grown stronger.

I only wish I had the strength to let it show.

Beginning to feel the emotions of the song, Mac pulls Stella closely against his chest. Stella starts to feel those familiar butterflies in her stomach that she felt the other night when they were at Danny & Lindsay's.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever,

I say there is no reason for my fear.

Cuz I feel so secure when we're together,

You give my life direction, you make everything so clear.

Mac lets go of her hand and places it on her back, as she puts another arm around his neck and rests her head on his chest. She breathes in his intoxicating scent, and it makes her mind fuzzy. He feels an overwhelming closeness to Stella in this moment. His mind racing a mile a minute, as he feels his heart beating faster and faster in his chest.

And even as I wander,

I'm keepin' you in sight.

You're a candle in the window, on a cold darker winter's night.

And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might.

Stella pulls back slightly from Mac, as a tear rolls down her cheek. She tries to understand her feelings, and wonders if he feels any of the emotions she does. "Mac..." she lets out softly.

He wipes the tear from her cheek. "Don't cry Stella" he smiles as he lifts her chin up and leans in to her. He kisses her softly on the lips, only for a moment; then pulls back to look into her beautiful green eyes. Their eyes lock for a brief moment; the look across her face tells him she's hungry for more, and Mac feels he can't hold himself back any longer as he leans into her again. Suddenly they feel like the only two people on the planet as their lips touch and sparks fly as he slips his tongue inside her mouth, tasting her for the first time.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore,

I've forgotten what I started fightin' for.

It's time to bring this ship into the shore,

And throw away yours forever.

Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore.

Years of repressed feelings begin pouring out of them while they remain locked in the passionate kiss, barely coming up for air.

Mac runs his hands through her long curls, as the kiss deepens. He can't believe this moment is finally happening.

Stella feels like she's floating on air as she clutches on to the back of his neck, keeping him as close as possible.

Finally, a whistle from an obnoxious patron of the club pulls them out of their own world and back to reality, as Mac releases her from the kiss. He remains close as he leans his forehead against hers, trying to catch his breath. "So, I guess you're not mad at me anymore huh?" He chuckles.

"Yeah, I think I'm over it" she laughs, as her smile widens.

"You wanna get outta here?" Mac asks with a smirk.

"Yeah!" an anxious Stella replies.

Mac grabs her by the hand and they make their way out of the club.

[As for what happens next, I'll leave that to your imagination. lol]


**Well, I hope you enjoyed my story! I really enjoyed writing it XD**

[BTW, The song is "Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" by REO Speedwagon. All rights belong to their respective owners, and blah blah blah. lol.]