TCOT Romantic Rogue – epilogue – a Valentine's Tale
Characters: PM, DS, PD, a mélange from the books and t.v. portrayals.
Rating: R – adult situations
This episode aired originally on Feb. 14, 1959, so I use that date as the date at the end of the episode, which is where this story starts. Characters owned by CBS/ESG or someone else, not me. Just for fun, not for money. Viva Perry!
Sitting around the office drinking coffee and watching Paul Drake scarf down donuts wasn't exactly the romantic setting Della Street had envisioned for Valentine's Day. Helen Harvey's case had monopolized so much of the last several weeks that she and Perry had had little time to do much of anything; even go to dinner alone. It seemed that Paul Drake was always hanging around, too. He was good at that – hanging around, taking up space, drinking coffee, eating whatever food there was, and kibitzing with Perry. Tonight it seemed to be more of the same. 'Oh, brother, is three a crowd,' she thought as she watched Paul chomp into a donut.
"Poor Mr. West," Della said in response to Perry's explanation of Harry West's murder of his wife.
"Why 'poor Mr. West?'" Paul Drake interjected, looking over at Della.
"Because he said he owed money all over," Della replied, her tone sympathetic to the man's plight.
"He also owned two acres in Encino…you know what they're worth."
"Well, he didn't dare sell that."
"Hardly," added Perry Mason, then he took a sip of his coffee.
"Well," Paul turned back to his donut, "I still say you're lucky that option bit paid off."
"How can you say that Paul?" Della placed the coffee pot on the trivet. "That was skill. Now, if Perry had been lucky," she cast her eyes over at him, "he would have found uranium." She took a sip of her coffee and Perry chuckled. Paul Drake shook his head at Della's fairly lame joke and wolfed down the rest of his donut.
Perry reached for a donut and then thought better of it. He was sure that Della thought he forgot today was Valentine's Day, but he hadn't and had made a dinner reservation at Della's favorite restaurant, The Garden.
Della noticed that Perry decided against a donut. That was unusual for him, especially since it was one with icing and sprinkles. "No donut?" she asked.
"Nah." He moved into the chair he'd been resting against. "I was planning to take you out for dinner."
"Dinner? Why are you feeding me donuts if we're going out for dinner?" Drake said.
"I'm not taking you to dinner. I told you before, you're not my type, Paul," Perry said. He placed his hand gently on Della's arm.
Paul slurped down the rest of his coffee. "You know, you used to be fun, now you never take me anywhere," he joked.
"Shouldn't have married me then." Perry answered with a laugh.
"I know you love birds want to be alone." Drake stood and walked toward the back door of Perry's office. "Imagine, you remembering Valentine's Day," he said as he exited.
Perry waited for the door to click shut. "I remembered," he said to Della.
"I wasn't sure you had," Della answered. "And, I admit that the prospect of sitting here watching Paul gobble down a bunch of donuts isn't a very romantic one."
"No, it's not."
"Yes, let's go."
Dinner at The Garden was relaxed and easy. The bottle of wine that Perry ordered was a fitting compliment to their meals and mellowed their moods enough that they both decided to pass on a cup of coffee. The drive to Della's apartment was made in a comfortable silence; both lost in their own thoughts. Perry's mind was on the small Valentine's Day gift he had for Della.
Once at her apartment, Della retreated briefly to her bedroom to change out of her office clothes. She returned to find Perry comfortably resting on the couch, his suit jacket on the back of it. She sat next to him, her legs curled under her. "Thank you for dinner, it was lovely."
"You're welcome. I'm glad Paul made himself scare. I was worried that he might not get the hint." Perry said in tone that was not merely seductive, but sensual.
Della felt his gaze burn over her as he spoke and she began to feel her insides turn all liquidy. She sat on the couch as nonchalantly as possible, given the growing tension between them.
"I have a little something for you," Perry said, retrieving a box from the pocket of his jacket and handing it to her.
"What's this?" she asked coyly.
Della untied the single red ribbon that encircled the box and removed the lid. There were three glass bottles inside, each tied with a pastel colored ribbon. She took them out and examined them. "Massage oils. Why Perry, how delightful. How did you know?"
"I may not be a detective, but there's not much about you that escapes me these days," he said.
"Mmm, lemongrass and orange blossom, how invigorating." Della removed the stopper from the next bottle; "Lavender and sea salt….very nice," her own voice was low and wispy. "Chamomile and ylang ylang," she purred. "How absolutely wonderful. Thank you very much." She pressed her lips to his and Perry pulled her to him.
"I hope you'll allow me the pleasure of enjoying these with you?" Perry whispered against her neck as he began to leave soft kisses down her skin.
"Well, they won't be much fun to use alone," Della responded.
"I was hoping you'd say that." Perry smiled at her.
Della was returning the bottles to the box when she saw a little scrap of paper in the bottom. "What's this?" She pulled it out and saw it was written in Perry's handwriting.
"Oh, just a weak attempt at being romantic on Valentine's Day."
Della unfolded the paper and read the words of an Emily Dickinson poem that she knew well. "Oh, Perry, it's very romantic." She collapsed against his chest and snuggled against him as his arms encircled her. Long, slow kisses were shared between them and each felt the heat of passion rise as they feel under the spell cast by this day of love. "I think we should try one of these massage oils."
"I'm not sure I have the wherewithal to do a thorough massage," he said honestly.
Della reached down for one of the vials of liquid, and then led him to the bedroom. She slipped out of her robe and nightgown. Perry gave a soft groan as she did. "You are beautiful."
She handed him the oil, lavender and sea salt, and she lay on the bed. Perry looked down at her back, the fine expanse of her skin was highlighted by the dim light of the bedroom. His hand stroked her body with a feathery touch and she responded with a soft moan of desire. He poured an amount of the oil into his palm, placing the bottle on the bedside table. He rubbed his hands together quickly creating a friction that was eased by the viscosity of the oil. When he placed his palms on her back she pressed up against them and whispered his name with such passion that he was not sure he could continue. He rubbed his hands over her shoulders and down the length of her spine. Her body was sweet and soft under his hands, and he felt himself falling deeper into his own desire for her.
"It's all I have to bring today," he began the words to Dickinson's poem, emotion clear in his voice. "This, and my heart beside." His hands kneaded her back with a gentle rhythm. "This, and my heart and all the fields and all the meadows wide," he whispered leaning his chest against her back. "Be sure you count, should I forget, some one the sum could tell," his voice was a cracked whisper bare with passion and his lips dotted her neck and shoulders. "This, and my heart and all the bees which in the clover dwell." He managed to get the last words out as he turned her in his arms and pressed his body over hers, his desire overwhelming him.
Della's own desire matched his and she aided him in pulling his trousers off. She gasped when he entered her, their dance of love underway. Hip to hip they moved, the mesmerizing feel of the other leading to higher plateaus. Perry's breath was hot and moist on her neck and shoulders as he whispered her name. Della felt her climax in every inch of her body and when he came just after her, she felt the sparks ignite again.
Perry collapsed next to her, his hand pulling her against him. "I love you so."
"And, I love you, Perry."
They lay there cuddling, kissing and talking for a long while. "Would you like your Valentine's Day gift from me?" Della asked.
"I thought I already got it?"
"Well, that was one of them, but you knew about that."
"I would never presume to know. But, I was hoping."
Della kissed him sweetly, "You always know." She ran her hand down his chest, "So do you want you want your present?"
Della slipped out of bed, pulled on Perry's shirt and hurried out to the living room. She came back in a few seconds carrying something in wrapping paper. She sat on the bed next to him. "Now, it's not very romantic, but I know it's something you've wanted."
Perry pulled the wrapping paper off revealing volume one of Chief Justice John Marshall's biography of George Washington. "God, Della, this is terrific," he said carefully opening the book. "This must have cost you a fortune."
"My dear, Mr. Mason, you know enough not to question gifts."
"But, I looked at one of these and I know what it cost." He ran his fingers over the spine of the old book.
"I have connections, so don't worry."
He leaned to her and kissed her. "I love it, thank you. It makes my gift look pretty paltry."
"Not to me. I get you along with your gift and that's priceless." She smiled.
"C'mere you." He pulled her to him in a strong embrace. The night dissolved around them and both were certain they heard the soft flutter of Cupid's wings as they fell into their love again.