A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE PERFECT SECRETARY

This was supposed to be a short story honoring the 99th birthday of the Wonderful Barbara Hale. As happens so often it became more than that. I have taken ideas and situations from the Perry Mason books, television series, and movies cobbled them together with a lot of poetic license. ESG claims he wrote no romance in his books but I believe he is wrong, but I am grateful he left us so many ideas of what could be expanded with Fan Fiction. Even Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale believed there was so much more to Perry and Della's relationship and they should know. Happy Birthday Barbie!

Thanks so much to my BETA Andrea who makes me a better writer and my stories even more enhanced.

CHAPTER ONE: CARE AND FEEDING OF THE BOSS OR WHEN YOU NEED A HANDS ON APPROACH TO SOOTHE THE BOSS

Perry Mason had rotator cuff surgery six weeks before and his arm was in a sling. He was almost through with therapy but still had the sling for a little extra protection. He was feeling stiff and sore and he had his jacket off and was having Della massage his back and shoulder as she had been shown.

He was definitely feeling better because he was very playful as she rubbed the knots in his neck and shoulder. He let her know he couldn't wait until he had full use of his arm. They would go dancing and he would hold her in his arms once again.

No one knew that he never hired a nurse to tend to his needs but that Della had taken over those duties. In the beginning she slept on the sofa so as not to disturb him. As he got better she had moved into the bedroom and he held her close on his good side.

"These massages are really making a difference," he said.

'"I think you just like being pampered," she teased.

He grinned at her as he acknowledged, "I will admit that it's probably the person who's doing the massaging that's also making me feel so much better."

"I still think you tried to get back to work too soon and you're still trying to do everything you did before the surgery."

He grimaced as she hit a tender spot and tried to explain, "I got so bored having to be at home or all I could do was go to therapy. Also you had to drive me everywhere and I'm sure you had other things you wanted to do."

"Perry Mason," she began, "from what I've heard from the doctors and the nurses you were not the most cooperative of patients either."

He growled, "that one nurse acted like Attila the Hun."

"The word is you gave her a run for her money."

He raised his eyebrows. "She tried to tell me what to do. There is only one woman who can get away with that."

Della laughed, "you have gotten better over the years at taking orders."

Perry took her hand and kissed the fingers. "It's because of the fringe benefits I get when I do what I am told."

"Sometimes," she reminded him. "When you get involved in a case you have a one track mind."

He relaxed as she moved further down his back. "After the case is over there are rewards for both of us you have to admit."

"And there will be rewards for you if you continue to do your therapy. The doctor said if everything goes as it is now you can resume near normal activity."

Pulling on her arm he told her, "I told you I am just fine now and I can prove it."

"Oh really," she said as she ran her fingertips down his side.

When he jumped and groaned he said, "No fair!"

"I was just trying to make my point. You need a little more time to recuperate. I'm not going anywhere I will be right here to help you celebrate."

"Promise?" he asked hopefully.

She looked at him as she crossed her arms, "where else would I be?"

"I miss you. I even miss the ringing phones, hectic pace, and clients who lie to me."

Della ran her fingers through his wavy hair. "I know darling, but I promise it will be worth the wait."

He grinned at her and those dimples were devastating. It made her want to give into his passion but it wouldn't be worth losing all the progress they had made. "Go change your clothes and get some rest that is the best therapy now."

Grumbling all the way to the bedroom Della promised herself that once he was completely healed she would let him know how much she had missed him too.

They watched the beautiful sunset over Carmel Bay. The reds and golds were rapidly fading into a warm tropical evening. She squeezed his hand and he looked at her lovingly as he remarked, "this has been a wonderful interlude but I'll be glad to get back to Los Angeles."

"I know," she said sympathetically, "but taking this time off has made you physically stronger for all the work that faces us when we get back. It has made me happy that you were willing to take a week off instead of just a weekend."

He leaned over and kissed her quickly as he said, "you deserved the time off for all the nursing you did."

Della laughed as she remembered all the complaining he did while his recovery was going on. She still understood after all this time that he was someone who didn't like to be still for very long. The fact that he had had to endure a longer recuperation then necessary had frustrated him. She knew that he would be hitting the office the next day like the stormy petrel that he had always been.

Perry was grinning as he commented, "I can see the wheels moving in your head already as you're anticipating all we have to catch up on at the office. Don't think you're going to get me to do anymore mail for a while because you had me trapped at home and I had to answer all of those letters because I couldn't escape."

"You are wrong Mr. Perry Mason," she laughed. "I was hoping that when we got back Jackson would have thought of some juicy new mystery in which to get you involved."

Perry looked out on the horizon and rubbed his hands together, "now that would be a wonderful welcome back present."

"Just don't forget that I'm going to be right there at your side making sure that you don't overdo it the first few days. I'm sure even though Paul will complain when he is running around like usual that he missed you. He checked in every day to see when we were coming back and if we were really staying for a whole week."

"He didn't miss me, what he missed was stealing your food and writing up those big expense accounts."

Della got up and took his coffee cup into the cottage. From the kitchen she said, "it was sure nice of Charlie to loan us this cottage for the week. Not only is it beautiful here but it's so relaxing."

Perry had walked up behind her without her realizing it and pulled her into his arms. "Since we're leaving early in the morning I think we should get some rest now and take advantage of this peace and quiet while we can."

She laughed as she reminded him, "that has been your reason for getting me into the bedroom all this week."

"I will remind you Miss Street that I am recovering from major surgery and we have to make up for lost time. When we get back to town we will have to be more discreet."

Moving closer to him she put her hands on his chest while he kissed her behind her ear, the place that drove her crazy. She knew exactly where he planned to go with these moves and she quickly moved her hand down to his side and ran her fingernails down the side of his shirt.

He jumped and pulled her hand away. She moved towards the bedroom laughing as she said , "so maybe you're not as well as you thought or maybe you're just ticklish."

Pulling her into the room and kissing her all the way over to the bed he declared, "we will see who is ticklish and who is not."

Her eyes sparkled as she commented demurely, "you know Jackson said we might have a very interesting case waiting. You might want to rest up."

"Oh this is not going to get you out of your punishment young lady."

Della grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him closer to her. "just what is it you have in mind?"

Perry looked deep into her beautiful hazel eyes . "Well….I….Ugh thought I would make love to a beautiful woman."

"Oh did you have anyone in mind?"

"I was thinking of a sassy attractive brunette who thinks she knows everything."

She laughed, "Oh her! Are you sure you can handle such hot stuff?"

He caressed her face and touched her lips with his. After a soul scorching few minutes of plundering her mouth he said, "I would say that was a start."

Drawing his lips to hers again and rubbing against him sensuously she said breathlessly. "I think it is a good beginning."

As they settled on the bed Perry raised up on his elbow and began unbuttoning her blouse. He was surprised to see she had no bra on. Her firm round breasts took his breath away. "If I had known what you were hiding from me I would have had you in here sooner."

"I believe you are the man who said good things are worth waiting for."

Busily running his hands over the tips he said dreamily, "oh did I say that?"

Pushing up his golf shirt Della pressed against his bare skin.

"Ah that feels good." he sighed.

She ran her fingertips down his side and he jumped. As she tried to do it again he grabbed her hand. "Be a good girl," He knew exactly where she was ticklish.

"You know turnabout is fair play Miss Street."

Peeerrreee," she squealed as he put his lips on her neck. He blew gently on the spot where his tongue had licked her skin and she began to squirm. His mouth moved slowly down to her chest. Della was gasping for air as she moaned and laughed.

Della rolled away from him and said, "you know what they say about payback counselor."

Looking down into those mischievous hazel eyes he asked, "so you haven't learned your lesson?"

"Oh I don't know, but I will be on my guard from now on Mister."

He ran his hand down a long shapely leg. "This is our last night here I can think of things I would rather be doing than tickling."

Suddenly he realized Della was not reacting and he felt a wetness on his arm. He looked at her beautiful face and saw the tears coursing down her face. What had he done?

"Baby, what is wrong?

Rubbing the tears from her face and whispered, "Perry please hold me, just hold me."

Perry gathered her into his arms and pressed his lips against her forehead. For a while he cradled her against his broad chest until her crying subsided. Finally he asked, 'Darling are you ready to talk?"

She gulped as she relaxed against him. She began slowly. "When we were rolling around here on the bed I thought we might roll off. I had a sudden flashback to when you hurt yourself."

"I'm fine sweetheart. I'm just fine."

Della touched his face. "When I got the call you were being taken to the hospital I could barely breathe. If I hadn't been at the office and able to get a taxi I don't know if I could have driven myself to the hospital."

He felt her quivering. "Why didn't you call Paul?

"You know he was out of town. All I could think about was getting to you. They said you were unconscious."

"Sweetheart I could not have known that that woman who came in here for help would have told her husband that she was having an affair with me after I told her I couldn't help her with her problem. He was a professional wrestler and he knocked me down before I got a chance to even talk to him. I hit my head and hurt my shoulder when I went down."

She gulped as she tried to tell him, "you take too many chances. there's too many women after you whether you pursue them or not."

Perry tried to keep the smile off his face is he replied, "is it the chances I take that, or is it the women that bother you the most."

"Both," she admitted.

"Have I ever given you any reason to feel like I was interested in anyone but you?"

"No." she said in a small voice. "I don't know sometimes I just feel like I'm the adult, you're the child, and I'm trying to keep you out of trouble."

"Well," he said, "do you feel the need to punish me?"

Della was trying hard not to smile. He was doing it again charming her out of her fears for his safety. "you might enjoy that too much."

"Well do you want me to stay in the office, let Paul do all the investigating, and then walk into court with the facts that he's collected?"

She shook her head. "of course not because it would drive you crazy and then it would drive me crazy."

"Just admit it you love being out on the firing line with us as much as we enjoy doing the investigating. It's when things go wrong that you go all maternal on me."

Sitting up she ran her hand along his jaw line and asked, "what am I to do with you Mr. Mason?"

"Lay back down there and let me give you a massage that will relax you." he reached into the bedside table and pulled out the lavender oil. "now all you have to do is take off your top."

CHAPTER TWO: COMING TO THE RESCUE OR WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO SAVE THE BOSS FROM PREDATORY FEMALES

Della Street walked through the door and waited for Perry Mason to finish a phone call with Judge Caldwell. "Yes, Charlie we can meet for dinner before the Lawyers Association meeting tomorrow night. Great, let's meet at the club."

He looked up and smiled at Della. "Do you have plans for tomorrow night?"

"Since you have the meeting Claudia and I are going swimming then out to dinner."

"That sounds good. Did you need something special other than wanting to see me?"

She grinned. "Don't get too inflated an ego counselor. I need you to sign these letters that have to go out this morning."

"Can't you sign them for me?"

Della put her hands on her hips and just looked at him.

Before he could say anymore there was a knock on the office door. "Come in Gertie," he called.

She walked in and said, "I hope I'm not interrupting but a very attractive woman is here to see you."

He frowned. "Who is she?"

"She didn't want to give me her name. I told her she would have to talk to Miss Street."

Perry looked at Della his eyes twinkling they knew that Gertie tended to exaggerate. "What did she say to that?"

"Well, that she would prefer to see Mr. Mason personally. It would seem that anyone else is beneath her notice."

"What does she look like Gertie?" Della asked.

The blonde thought for a minute, "well she has dark black hair and green eyes. They are cold eyes, a very good figure and she knows it, beautiful clothes, her hair and make-up is perfect, sleek I would call it, and in fact she reminds me of a cat."

"Ordinarily I would not see her but your description intrigues me."

"It would," Della remarked.

Gertie sighed. "I finally at least got a name and address because I said you would not see her without that information. It is Ione Bedford."

Looking at his secretary he asked. "why does that name ring a bell?"

It took a moment then Della informed him, "that is the diamond woman. You know the ones that were lost by your client, Virginia and her aunt."

"Well I guess we should see her. Is that all Gertie?"

"Just one thing Mr. Mason, she lives in the same apartment house where Della lives."

He looked at Della. "Do you know anyone by that name?"

She shook her head. "I don't know everyone especially those who live up on the fifth floor."

"That's it, That's it," Gertie was excited, "the number was 510."

Mason thought for a moment. "Gertie go out and tell her I'm with a client and I'll be with her in just a couple minutes."

When the receptionist had left his office he said, "Della there's something strange about this whole situation. Here's what I'd like you to do get your coat and purse and your notebook. I want you to be my client and then I want you to try and strike up a conversation with this woman at your apartment house. See if you can gain her confidence and find out just what her game is."

"I could do that. What will you be doing in the meantime?"

"I'll be trying to talk to our client. Now I will escort you out and just follow my lead." He got up and walked over to her and put his hand on her arm. "Let's go."

When they got into the reception room Mason told Mrs. Bedford, "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting."

He turned to Della and said, "I well be in touch with you soon, Miss Street. Make an appointment for next week."

She thanked him and bowed slightly to the other woman. Perry invited Mrs. Bedford into his office.

Ione Bedford was everything that Gertie had described and more. As she approached him she held out her hand and she held his hand longer than necessary. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Della raise her eyebrows.

He allowed her to precede him into the office and she managed to lean invitingly into him. She seemed annoyed that he showed no interest, but that didn't stop her from sitting down in the big client chair and arranging her skirts so he had a good view of her long legs.

When that did not work she said to him, "I hope you don't mind if I unbutton my jacket, I seem to be so warm today."

"Not at all." He was not surprised to see a diaphanous blouse.

"What seems to be the problem Mrs. Bedford?"

She purred, "why Mr. Mason, I've heard you are the best at solving ANY problems I may have."

"Why don't you explain just what you came to consult me about, and I'll see what steps must be taken.

Later that Evening

Perry Mason had spent that afternoon and early evening looking for his client to no avail. He went to telephone the Drake Detective Agency and ask for messages. The receptionist told him that his secretary had called and was with the party that he had requested she meet. She had asked that he meet her at the Green Room of the Maxine Hotel.

It was actually some time before he was able to get to the hotel. He wanted it to appear as if he accidentally ran into them there. The first thing he noticed was Della and Ione Bedford, drinking with three unknown men.

Trying to act surprised he commented, "Good Evening, I didn't know you ladies knew each other?"

Ione informed him, "we met in our apartment elevator. We decided to have dinner together and get to know each other. Miss Street told me she was going out to celebrate her birthday and we ended up here."

They invited him to join them but the other men did not seem pleased. He ordered a drink and sat back to watch how the other men would react. One of them asked Ione to dance and she went off happily. As they were coming back and the other men were glaring at Mason. Della said, "I think I am ready to leave I'll call the waiter for the bill."

The remaining men excused themselves quickly as Della opened her purse and exclaimed, "Oh no I must have left my change purse at home."

Perry stood and held out his arms and she stepped into them. Getting up Della swayed slightly. He took hold of her arm and as they walked to the dance floor he asked her, "how much of this is an act? "

As she went to speak she hiccupped and started to giggle. Her words were slightly slurred as she answered, "I would say about fifty percent, well maybe seventy five percent."

Once they were on the dance floor he asked, "what is this all about? How did you meet her so fast"?

"She looked for me," she said dreamily pillowing her head on his broad chest.

"Did she say why?"

Della smiled as she looked up into his blue eyes, "She wanted to know how long I had known you, were you married, had someone special in your life, and she hinted to find out if I might be interested in you.?"

He grinned, "and what did you tell her?

Della closed her eyes and sighed, "I said you had been handling an estate for me."

"Did she ask you any questions about the estate?"

Leaning her head on his chest again she explained, "no she is only interested in you."

He leaned down and whispered in her ear, "how did you feel about that?"

She looked up at him again and asked, "do you mean did I want to scratch her eyes out? No, I trust you. However, I don't trust her."

As the music stopped he walked her back to their table. Ione pouted as they sat down. "Mr. Mason, should I be jealous?

"Why would that be Mrs. Bedford?"

"Call me Ione, Perry. Why you are dancing so close to Della. I think I deserve a turn."

When the music began again he stood and bowed to her and they went out onto the dance floor. Della had to work hard not to laugh knowing how well Perry Mason did not like women who came on to him so strongly. Oh he was always a gentleman but little did these ladies realize he would never be interested in them."

Mrs. Bedford did not look happy when they came back to the table but nothing more was said. When she suggested that they have another drink Della declined. "I think I have celebrated my birthday quite enough this evening."

"Can I escort you ladies home?"

It was obvious that the lady was not happy when she told them that she had been invited to go and sit with some other gentleman. "you can escort Miss Street home if you like but I'm going to stay here a while longer."

Standing up once again he asked Della if she would be ready to go or if she would be staying also. She replied, "I think that I've had quite enough partying. If you wouldn't mind Mr. Mason I don't think I should drive anywhere."

Mrs. Bedford said cattily, "you could take a taxi dear and Mr. Mason could entertain me."

"As tempting as that sounds Mrs.…Ione I just stopped in for a nightcap. I have an early meeting in the morning some other time."

She came close to him and said seductively, "I look forward to it counselor. I think I'll join my friend."

Della stood and slightly swayed as she watched the woman walk away. "I look forward to it counselor," she said sarcastically slightly slurring her words.

Perry immediately put his arm around her and grinned. "I better get you home before there is a cat fight.

"As I said I trust you, I don't trust her."

As they passed the table Ione had moved to she gave Della a look of pure venom as she said mockingly, "you two behave yourselves now."

"If looks could kill I would be dead right now," she giggled as he led her to the car.

Perry grinned, "You would make a beautiful corpse."

"Thank you, I think. Of course you know Burger would try to blame you."

"Get in. You need a good night's sleep."

Once he got behind the wheel Della asked, "are you upset with me getting rather inebriated at the hotel."

He looked at her fondly. "It was rather nice seeing my very proper secretary getting somewhat improper in public."

I would never want to embarrass you," she explained as she moved over closer and snuggled against him.

"Darling you could never do that."

As he began driving Della began sliding her fingertips in designs across his thigh. He jumped, "DELLA!"

She laughed, "does that bother you?"

"You know it does. I almost hit that car."

Reaching up she put her lips against his neck and began to nibble.

He pulled into the curb. "How much have you had to drink young lady?"

"Not that much," she said innocently.

He sighed, "I can see I cannot take you to your apartment. I will have to take you home with me."

"Alright," she agreed eagerly.

When he pulled into his parking lot Della pulled his head down to her and their lips clung together. "Take me upstairs Perry."

"Oh baby that is exactly what I had in mind."

Once they were in the elevator she could not keep her hands off him. Perry Mason could not help but smile at his secretary's actions. He had never seen her this affectionate in public.

The lawyer kept his arm around her waist as he led her down to his apartment. He said, "Della, I need to get my key so I have to let you go for a minute."

"Okay but just for a minute," she said grinning.

He barely got the door closed when she was running her hands down his chest. "I love you Perry Mason."

He kissed her nose. "I love you too. Why don't you sit down for a minute and I'll get us some coffee."

"Okay," she said as she wandered around the apartment.

When he didn't return quickly she sneaked into his kitchen and slid her arms around his waist from behind. Della pressed her body tightly into his. "You were taking too long counselor."

Twisting around and wrapping her in his embrace he asked her, "what did you have in mind?"

"I'm lonely, I need to be close to you." Standing on her tip toes she touched her lips to his and began to nibble.

Let me turn off the stove and I'll be right with you."

She took his hand. "I'll wait with you."

Perry looked down into her beautiful face. "Come sit down sweetheart. Let me get the coffee."

"I'll miss you," she said in a sing-song voice.

He grinned this was a different woman than the one who ran his office. "I will be right back."

Before he could get back to her she was behind him with her fingers running up and down his sides. "Della!"

"Peerreee don't you want me touching you?" there were tears in her eyes.

He turned and wiped the tears with his finger. "Sweetheart, just give me a minute." He gave up trying to fix coffee and led her back into the living room.

"Will you stay with me now?"

He nodded, "if that is what you want."

As they sat down on the sofa she curled up at his side. Taking his hand she played with his fingers and said, "I didn't want you to be with that woman."

"I wasn't with her or going to be with her."

"She wanted to be with you. She said she did. Once she figured you were not interested in me she could go after you."

He pulled her onto his lap. She immediately began loosening his tie and took it off. "That's nice," she said as she then proceeded to unbutton his shirt.

Taking hold of her hands Perry said, "Della Street I do not want to be with any other woman than you."

As she slipped her hands into his shirt she murmured, "Even when I have had too much to drink?"

You are even more delightful," he said laughing. "Baby, I am constantly learning amazing things about you."

Della leaned against him and spoke as she nibbled his jaw. "You smell good."

"You feel good."

"Perry, would you like to make love to me?"

He ran his hands down her arms, took her hands in his, and kissed them, "are you sure that's what you want Young Lady?"

"I am not that inebriated. I know what I want."

He smiled, "I suggest then that we move into a more comfortable place."

"You haven't kissed me yet."

Perry looked into her beautiful hazel eyes. He put his hands gently on each side of her face and lowered his lips to hers. Della threw her arms around his neck. Her excitement was evident as their passion increased.

Skillfully he slipped his tongue between her lips and his ministrations brought forth moans of desire from his lovely secretary. His desire increased as her hands moved down over his shoulders and then down his sides until she was caressing bare skin.

The lawyer, breathing heavily said, "Della….ah….Della I don't want to take advantage of you my love. Are you sure you are feeling alright?"

"I am alright enough to know that I love you and want to be with you in every way. Make love to me Perry Mason."

He moved her off his lap, stood up, and pulled her to her feet. She still wasn't very steady on her feet. He flipped her over her shoulder. She laughed all the way to the bedroom where he proceeded to lay her on the bed.

Della held her arms out to him. Perry undressed her kissing his way down her satiny body until she begged him to join her. "Just a minute Baby, let me get out of these clothes. He kissed her quickly once more as he slipped off the bed.

The attorney stripped quickly and said, "Just a minute Sweetheart."

She made a sound as he turned around and approached the bed. He looked at her dark curls and thought again how beautiful a woman his secretary was. To his surprise she was also sound asleep.

Perry smiled and realized she had been more intoxicated than he realized. He tenderly covered her and took a pillow to the living room to spend the night. When she awakened in the morning he was sure she would feel the effects of her "birthday party."

CHAPTER THREE: OVERTIME OR WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO EARN REWARDS

Della Street walked into Perry Mason's office and he was still pacing a hole in the carpet. He just looked up as she entered but didn't stop his walking. She slipped onto the desk and watched him anxiously.

He threw words over his shoulder but they didn't really make sense. She wanted to tell him to sit down and talk to her but she knew not until he had worked out something substantial in his mind.

Finally he said, "Della, I am not making any progress on this Homan investigation. How can this man be a big shot in Hollywood and no one knows anything about him. The gossip mongers are all over the place.

"Perry I have been thinking I met an executive assistant for Hedda Hopper at a that symposium last year. We have met several times for dinner and after a few drinks I have heard some very juicy things."

The lawyer snapped his fingers, "do you think that she'd be willing to meet you this evening?"

"We've been trying to get together for the past month or so but both of us have been so busy. I could give her a call and see if she's doing anything tonight."

"What is her name?"

"Sheila McCarthy and she has had her job for about five or six years."

He asked, "Can you try and get her to meet you today?"

Heading toward her office Della said, "I think I can. If you give this girl a good dinner and a few cocktails you wouldn't believe what you will hear."

"In that case take her to the best restaurant. By the way use the company credit card this is business."

She smiled and said, "Yes boss."

Della had talked with her friend and they were meeting for cocktails. It seems her friend had a date but could meet for appetizers.

After she left Paul Drake had come down with a report that they just could not seem to get people to talk about this movie producer. "It is hard to believe that he isn't in some kind of relationship. By the way where is Della?"

Mason seems distracted as he replied, "she is meeting with a friend who works for Hedda Hopper."

"Well I hope she has better luck then we have had, " Paul observed.

"Me, too, me too"

Paul got up and told him to let him know if they needed any more help.

The attorney tried to study a law review magazine but it didn't hold his interest. The longer Della was gone the more nervous he became.

When he heard footsteps running down the hall he went to his door of his private office and opened the door. The look on her face made him open his arms to her. The minute she was in his arms she started sobbing.

"Peeerrrrrreeee, I'm so sorry," She was speaking rapidly.

"Sweetheart what is wrong?" he wanted to know.

"Sheila suspected why I had called her," she answered. "So she was prepared to eat appetizers and drink."

"I….ah….I…tried to slow down but she kept ordering these…..these jello shots. I never heard of them before. I thought…jello…ugh….I'm sorry I'm crying!"

Trying not to laugh because he knew she was really upset he led her to the sofa. He put his arm around her. "Take your time. Just tell me what happened."

"Weeelll…" she said leaning against his chest. "Those things….well they sneak ….up on you."

"It would seem that they do," he agreed.

"Well," she gulped. "So we had to wait a long time to order. Oh Perry, I'm messing up your shirt." She tried to wipe it off with her hand.

"Della, it will be fine. Just tell me if she told you anything about Holman."

'WELL!," she began, "it took a lot of those jello shots to get her talking about him and La De Da he is somethin' sorry something."

Perry asked patiently, "Della take your time and tell me what she said. …Della?"

He realized she was sleeping. "Baby, are you alright?"

"Huh, OH NO! Sweetheart did I fall asleep?"

"Della look at me." She looked up into his beautiful blue eyes. He leaned down and kissed her lips. At first it was gently then passionately. By the time they parted they were both breathing heavily.

The lawyer cleared his throat, "I think I better get you some coffee. I was planning to take you to dinner but maybe we should eat at my place."

She followed him into the kitchenette and leaned against the doorframe watching him make the coffee for a change."

"You know Perry," she giggled, "Holman was quite the Romeo but kept it very sneaky."

"Sneaky?" He asked.

Walking over to him she unbuttoned his jacket and slipped her arms around his waist. "It seems the director has a romantic hideaway. It is very secluded; you know we need something like that."

He kissed her curls and thought this was going to be like pulling teeth. Maybe if he humored her. "It might be an idea but tell me more about his hideaway."

"Well!" her speech was exaggerated, "let me tell you darling, he takes a mystery woman there. She wears sunglasses, a huge raincoat, old lady shoes, and a floppy hat.

"How do they know it is a girlfriend? It could be his mother."

"Mr. Mason, your problem is that you don't read the movie magazines. If you did you would know that it's just Mr. Holman and his brother the parents are no longer alive."

"From what my friend told me," she said as she ran her hands up and down his chest. "The brother is quite the playboy but doesn't know who this woman could be."

Perry thought for a moment, "if they know there is a woman, and as persistent as these columnists are, why haven't they followed him up there?"

Her tone was disgusted, "he is very good at eluding them silly."

The coffee was boiling over and he quickly turned off the heat. "Perry Mason , you made a mess."

He took a deep breath, "Della, my love, how many of those jello shots did you have?"

"Oh not so many. The problem was they tasted so good and Sheila kept encouraging me, and we were laughing, well you know."

Taking paper towels he cleaned up the spilt coffee and then led her back to his office. "I think it is time to take you home."

"Really, we were having fun."

He walked to the back door and said, "stay right here while I make sure the office is closed. He hurried to the reception area and made sure the front door was locked. By the time he got back to his office she was gone.

He ran down the corridor and she was holding the elevator door open. Thank goodness she had waited for him. It wasn't as thrilling to see Della had pushed all the buttons. Perry didn't get a chance to say anything before she announced, "isn't this fun we can kiss while we go up and down."

It didn't happen quite that way. The movement of the elevator made her dizzy and she had to hold on to him for dear life. She began giggling that it was like a roller coaster. He prayed he could get her to the car before she got sick or passed out.

"No more jello shots for you young lady."

Leaning against him she pouted, "but they tasted so good."

As he deposited her into his car he agreed, "I'll bet they did."

He drove past her car in the parking lot and she said they couldn't leave it."

"We can get it tomorrow. Sit back and relax."

They rode in silence for several miles and she asked softly, "are you mad at me?"

Her lips were quivering as he told her, "No, Darling I am not mad at you, but we do need to sober you up a little more."

"Okay," she replied as she ran her fingers through his hair mussing it and kissed his jaw line. When she licked his ear he almost ran off the road.

"Della I am not mad but if you do that again I am going to make you sit in the back seat."

She slid down in the seat and said, "Okay party pooper."

He was so grateful to get her into the elevator at his apartment without meeting anyone.

As soon as the door closed Della took his hand and played with his hand. He looked down at her and had to control his amusement at her behavior. "Let's get you something to eat Miss Street."

"I'm not hungry."

"Perhaps I can fix some coffee for you and then you can tell me about Mr. Holman."

She grinned at him mischievously, "maybe,"

Perry managed to get her into the apartment with no incidents. "Now please sit down there while I get us something to drink and eat."

He got things started and there was no sound from the living room. He peeked into the room and she wasn't there. He hurried to the bedroom and she was lying on his bed. "Della are you awake?"

"Yes," she said hesitantly. "I have a headache."

He turned away so she wouldn't see his smile. "I'm sure you do. Stay right there and I'll get you some aspirin."

Coming back from the bathroom with a glass of water and a couple aspirin he helped her sit up. "Take these and rest for a while I'll be in the living room."

Perry took off her shoes and covered her with a blanket, turned down the lights and shut the door.

After about an hour as Della came into the room looking a little flushed, "are you feeling better?" He asked gently.

She nodded. "Could I get some cold water, my stomach feels upset."

"Sit here on the sofa and I'll get some for you."

She curled up on the sofa. Della loved his apartment. The lights were low, the fire was burning, and Charlie Parker was playing softly on the stereo. It was the perfect setting for a little romance.

When he returned with a glass of water she patted the seat beside her. He handed her the glass and settled next to her. After a few sips she rested her head on his shoulder. "You are so good to me."

"You deserve to be spoiled."

She looked at him. "You know what you look uncomfortable with your coat and tie on. Why don't you take them off?"

He moved around and she helped him take off the jacket and folded it next to her. He loosened his tie and she undid it and took it in her hands. As he unbuttoned his shirt she told him, "that is much better."

He grinned at her. "Just what do you have in mind young lady?"

"This," she said as she began kissing him. When she reached his lips he took her in his arms and cradled her. As they kisses became more passionate she ran her fingers through his thick wavy hair and he moved his hands to her bottom.

When he pressed her even closer he felt her body responding to his increasing need. He ran his lips across her forehead taking his time with each kiss. Della was relaxing more and more as she felt him sit up straight.

"Della," he said urgently, "did your friend give any reason why Holman wouldn't appear in public with this woman. I wonder if she is married. Do they have any idea how long this has been going on? He must have driven his car up to Fresno and someone must have stolen it there. He could not admit he was there if it was an illicit relationship. We have to find that woman. We need to call Paul and have him start looking. This may be the answer to the whole case."

She pulled away from him with a frown on her face. "what are you talking about. I supposed if we were getting married and just as we were saying the vows you got an idea about a case, you would be running out of the church."

"What?" he asked his mind a hundred miles away.

His secretary took both of his hand in hers. "I thought we were on the same page but obviously we are not." Before he knew what happened her nimble fingers had his wrapped his tie firmly around his wrists.

"Della what the…."

"You listen to me buster. I went out tonight and I drank was too much all for the sake for your client. We were in the middle of a romantic evening and you suddenly think of her?"

"Her life is at stake," he stated.

"Well her life will still be at stake tomorrow. I have told you all I know about the situation and tonight is going to be just for us."

This was definitely a side of his secretary he had never seen before. He began to struggle to get the tie undone but she had done a good job with the knot. Then when she stood before him and slowly began to unbutton her jacket and he saw glimpses of red lace she caught his attention.

Swaying to the music she revealed there was nothing else under her jacket but the red lace bra. He was mesmerized by her lush breast pushing against the thin material. Della was already barefoot and she unzipped her skirt and pulled it down ever so slowly. she moved close enough so he could touch her even with his hands all tide up but nothing more.

She stood before him just wearing the underwear, a Garter belt and nylons. "you can take these off if you are a very good boy and there is no talk of the case until the morning."

Helping him toward the bedroom she said in her most seductive tones, "I kind of like seeing you like this."

Perry was breathing hard when he told her, "I definitely like seeing you like this."

When they got close to the bed he held his hands up for her to untie him. "Oh no not yet you've been a very bad boy."

Della then proceeded to undress him, touching him, and admiring all his assets. She laughed as she said, "this is a Perry Mason the clients will never see."

At this point the lawyer had nothing on his mind but the luscious woman in front of him. He was torn between wanting to take off those nylons and seeing what this woman, he had never seen act like this before, had in mind next.

She was loving this sense of power as she began running her hands over his body lingering on all his most sensitive spots. When she got to her target his ever growing manhood she stopped and caught her breath.

Pushing him on the bed she climbed in after him as he said, "you can take off the handcuffs now."

"Oh but I like you like this," she whispered. "All I want you to think about is me and what I am going to do to you next."

Pressing against him Della began moving various parts of her body against his. Her nails rippled over him sensuously. He was moving so she had access to him completely.

When he was breathing heavily she relented and untied his hands so he could finish undressing her. One stocking after the other was removed as he kissed her knee and then her ankle. Then came the garter belt and those red lace panties.

"I should take you over my knee and spank you," he announced.

"Oh but darling there are so many other things we can do."

Rubbing his hand over her full breasts until the tips stood up hard and firm he moved further down to the areas that would give her even more pleasure.

"If I had known how skillful you were," she said excitedly, "I'd have tied you up sooner."

"Are you saying Young Lady I haven't been skillful before?"

Della laughed, "You are certainly enthusiastic I will say that for you."

"Enthusiastic eh," he repeated. "As I recall this began weeks ago with tickling so I think that will be your punishment for tying up your boss."

He knew just where to start with the bottom of her feet. She began rolling around the bed trying to escape his fingers and suddenly she was on the edge and falling until a pair of strong arms encircled her body.

"I got you Della, I've got you."

Lying with her in his arms he said tenderly just before he kissed her. "Never forget one thing Della Street I ALWAYS have you.

FIN