I know some of you are still waiting for Mrs. Robertson and I promise you'll get more chapters very soon (when my old pc where the files are stored is working again). But so far I want to share my new story with you. I had the idea for it when I watched a scene with Perry and Della from the movie "The lethal lesson". It's a little darker than TCOT Returning Relative and takes place in 1990 and 1950. I decided to start the story with the end (well, almost end ;-) ) Enjoy and please remember I'm a Perry/Della shipper by heart.

In case no one has noticed it by now: I'm not E.S. Gardner and I did not create his characters. I just play with him and hope to return them unharmed. I make no money from this - not that I would get any.

Thanks to Molly, my fabulous beta!

The Case of the Seductive Defendant

Prolog - Los Angeles, February 1990

The moment he walked into the house he smelled the gunpowder. He heard the stertorous sound of someone who tried to breath but couldn't because the blood was rising in his lungs. Then he saw the two bodies, lying on the floor. He saw the pool of blood spreading underneath the body of the man who was fighting his final battle. Then he saw her next to him and another puddle of blood, maybe hers, maybe also his. She did not move; her face was turned to the floor.

"Ken, quick! Call the ambulance!" Mason barked and bent down. He took her wrist, felt a weak pulse and yelled again at Ken to hurry. He damned himself. He had come too late. When he had finally understood what was going on, it had been too late. He swallowed, as he held her lifeless hand and prayed she would return the pressure, letting him know she was fighting to stay.

"It's over."

The voice came out of the background and it wasn't Ken Malansky who was talking to him. He startled. She was still here. Had she wanted to watch them die? He heard how she placed her index finger around the trigger, pointing the gun at him.

"You're right, it's over," Mason said and turned. He was surprised to see the woman was crying. From what he had found out about her, he had believed she had no tears left for anyone. She was still beautiful. A woman who could have had anything, if she had just tried to live instead of cultivating her hatred.

Ken stared at them, but didn't move, trying to evaluate the situation.

"Why now?" Perry asked, although he didn't care much about the why at this moment. He just wanted to buy time.

"It's the final act," she explained. "Everybody is getting what he," she pointed with her head at Della. "Or she, deserves."

"Della is hardly responsible for any of this," he corrected her angrily. He had never felt the wish to kill someone before, but right now, knowing that this woman had wanted to take from him the one person he loved most, he felt a fury that he could hardly keep in check.

"That's your version of the story. If it weren't for her, he would have been mine a long time ago."

"You know that's not true… you knew it was impossible back then."

"I was as much a woman as she was. But that doesn't matter anymore, right?" she laughed. A bitter and shallow laugh that made him frown. "It's over. I guess that makes both of us losers, Mr. Mason. I could take you with me as well… but I guess… it's too late for you."

He made a wide step forward when she aimed the gun at her head, but before he was able to hit her arm with his walking stick he heard the sound of the gun as she pulled the trigger. He saw the blood, felt it on his face, and heard how her lifeless body dropped onto the floor.

One second later he heard Ken talking to someone at the phone.