This takes place before the 34th floor. I don't own any of the characters. Just hang in there with me. There probably won't be too many more chapters.

Looking at Don's face, Stella realized that she couldn't lie to him. "Yes it's true Don."

"Were you going to tell me?"

"As a matter of fact I was going to tell you today."

"Oh." He sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

"I wasn't even sure that I was going to accept the job in the first place, but after careful consideration last night I decided to accept."

"Did you talk to Mac?"

"He was the first that I told. He seemed to be all right about it, until last night."

"What happened? Did you two fight?"

"No, he showed up at my place drunk."

"Mac Taylor? Drunk?"

"Yeah well that's why I came to the scene for now."

"Well I'm happy for you Stell. Really I am. I just wonder how Mac will fare when you leave."

"I've thought about that too Don and then that makes me question my decision."

"Stella, you deserve to live your life the way you want to and when you leave you will just have to assume that Mac is being looked after."

"By you?"

"Well maybe not me but maybe Lindsey. We all know how Mac can be when he's on a case. We will try to get him to go home and eat and that sort of stuff."

"Mac told me this morning that he doesn't want me to leave and when he said that it just…. hurt."

"That's to be expected you guys have been partners for…. well a long time. You guys are really close so I imagine both of you have gotten used to being there for each other."

As soon as Don said that Mac's car pulled up and they grew silent. Mac got out slowly and walked up to the both of us.

"Is the scene already processed?"

"Yeah, the body has already been taken by the ME so Sid should have it by now. Unless, you want to go over my work?"

Stella knew that Mac trusted her and her skills as a crime scene investigator so she knew that he would go back to the lab.

"No. I trust you Stella."

Don saw Mac's gaze linger on Stella for an extra second and gave her a puzzled look, but she ignored it.

"I'll see you at the lab Stella."

"All right Mac."

We both got in our cars and headed to the lab to face another day. We reached the lab shortly after each other and decided to split the evidence. Stella would take the body and Mac would go process the evidence. She made her way to the morgue to talk to Sid about the victim, Rinalda Martinez, and saw him carefully inspect the wound cavity.

"Hey Sid." Stella walked up beside him and looked at the cavity with him. "Do we have cod?"

"Well this appears to be a bullet hole, but there's no bullet."

"So death is inconclusive?"

"As of right now. I'm running blood work and a tox screen right now."

"Do we at least have time of death?"

"I can say with some certainty that she was killed at approximately at midnight."

Sid looked up at me and that's when Stella decided to tell him. "I took a job in New Orleans." If I was expecting a normal response from Sid then perhaps that would have been a good thing.

Sid smiled at me and then asked. "Is Mac going with you?"

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