Depth of Meaning
An ATC scene for TCOT Restless Romeo (immediately after the Black Pearl scene)
DISCLAIMER: I still do not own any rights to Perry Mason, Della Street, or any of the franchise based on the characters and writings of Erle Stanley Gardner. However, no infringement is intended and no profit is expected from my meager offerings.
Della Street allowed herself to relax back into Perry's embrace, luxuriating in the feeling of being cherished. She didn't bother to look around; the courtroom was quiet, deserted. Everyone had moved on to the next big story, leaving the great man and his secretary to gather their things. Closing her eyes, she let the feel of his arms and the support of his strong chest infuse her with the warmth of his love.
It wasn't the gift that fueled the feeling of being cherished. Oh, without doubt, the pearls were exquisite and outrageously costly. She knew well what this single necklace must have cost and this was the reason she had made a point to never mention to him how taken she was with the extraordinary beauty of the black pearls.
Of course, Della knew that Perry could afford such gifts, it wasn't that. There was very little that she and Perry did not share, but old habits lingered. Perception could be so powerful and she was ever diligent to never let her own behavior give rise to speculation about the dynamics of their relationship. In the early years, she had been concerned, never wanting to cause Perry to wonder about her own motives. Then also, as now, she wanted in no way to lend substance to anything that might lead to questions about Perry's ethics or morals or judgment. Public perception was even trickier in these days of faster and faster communication and instant photos and privacy was an even greater luxury than black pearls. Old habits lingered, and Della strove to keep some of her more frivolous desires to herself.
No, it wasn't the gift alone that told Della Street she was cherished. It was the great lengths to which Perry must have gone to ferret out her secret desire. This was no last minute gift, but a gift which had required determination and time and much thought. Sherlock Holmes could take a lesson, she thought. It was knowing that she had been the focus of all this, that Perry had been so intent on pleasing her, that told her how very special she was to him.
Old habits lingered and Della felt the familiar tingle of added pleasure at being so close, so intimate with Perry in public. Yes, the courtroom was deserted, but years of control did not yield easily. Della sighed and smiled, naturally turning to accommodate Perry's nuzzling, a throaty chuckle expressing her pleasure before she turned to face her wonderful man.
"Perry," she started, then stopped, unable to find words that would fit her emotions. Her eyes glistened as she searched his to be sure he understood. Finding her control, she dropped her voice and said, "You do spoil me, Counselor." Her smile held the memories of so many things between them.
"I try. You don't make it easy." He gently chastised. "I wish you would let me truly spoil you." His hands tightened on her arms before his right hand moved, his fingers gently lifting the necklace. His thumb slid smoothly down the dark orbs as his fingers brushed her skin. Della felt the shiver of anticipation; her eyes never left his face as his moved from the pearls to her eyes, then back to the pearls.
"There is something you may not know about these rare beads," his rich voice was quiet, private, not his courtroom voice, but warm and personal, meant for only her.
She couldn't resist. "You mean that they "grew up" around the islands in the South Pacific, your favorite place in the world aside from the courtroom; especially when it turns cold and rainy in the fall?" Her voice took on a seductive quality that belied the teasing of her words.
His deep blue eyes locked onto hers and he responded to the seduction in her voice, leaving the teasing intent of her words for later.
"According to Polynesian legend, the black pearl was given to man by a god who came to Earth on a rainbow. To this day, they are said to be a gift of romance and a sign of eternal love," Della was lost in the depth of his eyes and the feel of his touch as his fingers caressed her cheek. "That is how I knew. There is no one else to whom I would offer such a gift."
Slowly, with purpose, Perry leaned in and captured Della's lips in a warm, familiar kiss; a kiss that spoke of years of intimacy and passion, of the expectation of romance, and the promise of eternal love. Her response was unhesitating and full and her desire for true privacy rose.
Leaning back from his kiss, she answered, "And there is no one else from whom I would want or accept such a gift." The look that passed between them was rich with understanding and emotion. With a final caress, her palm over his heart, Della turned and lifted her briefcase. "I'll bring the car around."
Watching her walk from the courtroom, Perry was startled by a voice close behind him. "Anytime you care to make that official, I'll be glad to oblige."
He turned to find Judge Nachman smiling at him, a twinkle in her eye. Clearly she had returned to the courtroom a few moments earlier.
Perry's wistful expression turned into a rueful smile. "Andrea, I've been telling her the same thing for more than thirty years." He returned his gaze in the direction Della had walked. "But I haven't given up hoping." With a nod to the judge, he lifted his own briefcase and walked from the courtroom with just one destination in mind.