Della knew she would get in trouble working for him. She had that feeling when she walked through the door to apply for a job he hadn't advertised but wished to fill. She knew when he flashed her a dimple smile, siding with her over a remark from his investigator friend, making her blush from deep within. She took a liking to his manners, started teasing him early on, taking him up on his invitation to almost always speak her mind. She fell in love when he let her sleep on the office couch long after he had returned from following a lead too early in the morning, when he told her she looked gorgeous although her eyes were puffy and her outfit was creased, when his hand first touched her upper arm in a gentle squeeze. She was nervous when his lips finally brushed against hers, when he nibbled at her trembling mouth while she was mumbling a don't and swallowed the stop. She couldn't believe the bliss and the joy he made her feel, the tenderness of his kiss such a contrast to his fierceness in court. His mouth begged her to love him, making it hard for her to break away while his eyes caressed her all over, reflecting barely controlled desire, reminding her of the vulnerability of the situation. Della knew she was risking her reputation when she allowed him to pull her onto his lap, when his hands dropped below her waist, bringing her to the verge of scandal as he sought her skin while his tongue undid their lip-lock innocence. But Perry Mason never pushed her to bed him, never violated her chastity beyond an ardent kiss. At the office, she could trust him to be a gentleman with the privilege to blur her boundaries while deep inside she craved nothing more than to please him like a wife.

"Let's go home, Della." Perry Mason rubbed his tired eyes after a long day at the office.

Della Street stifled a yawn and stretched her limbs, unaware of his admiration for her flexibility she so naturally displayed to him. She was tired to the bones and happy to hear that he wished to call it a night.

"It's already pushing midnight," the attorney groaned and watched how his secretary opened her drawer in his desk to put her notes away.

"Then we better hurry," Della remarked with a playful smile. "Or I'll turn into a pumpkin before you know it."

Mason laughed. "I bet you'd be delicious," he teased and pulled her towards him for a rejuvenating kiss.

"Wouldn't you want to know?" Della smirked, then blushed.

"Indeed I would," Perry said, unwilling to hide how much he enjoyed seeing her embarrassed for her wicked tongue.

"Come on," he continued and placed soft kisses onto her crimson cheeks. "I'll take you home."

Della nodded, anticipation tingling in her chest when she pulled away from him and waited for him to throw his coat loosely onto his shoulders, making room for her to hide away in his arms. Feeling warm and safe, she nestled her head against his heaving chest while he stopped to open the backdoor and switch off the lights.

"Now Miss Street," the attorney whispered onto her head, burying his lips in her hair. "Aren't we affectionate tonight?"

"I'm tired. I get cold when I'm tired," Della replied innocently and welcomed his arm dropping from her shoulders to her waist.

"So we better keep you warm," Perry Mason accepted her invitation, unsure how safe a ground he was walking on at this time of night.

"I'd like that,"his secretary purred, reluctant to part from him until they would reach the elevator to look respectable.

"How's this for starters?" Mason asked tenderly when he wrapped his coat around her lonely shoulders.

"It's a poor substitute," Della Street admitted, getting comfortable in his coat, then smiled. "But it smells good."

"That will have to do for a while," Perry replied with a smug grin. "How about a little detour on our way home?"

Della shook her head and squeezed his hand as he locked the door. "Not tonight," she said in a sizzling voice.

"Filet Mignon, Lyonnaise potatoes?" The lawyer tried to win her over. "Aren't you hungry?"

"Not for food," Della thought and gave him a seductive look. "Just take me home."

"All right," Perry Mason said quietly, unsure if by touching her he would break the spell of an enticing night.

When they reached her apartment house fifteen minutes later, Mason parked his car and looked at Della who had snuggled up against him for the short distance drive. He seemed to wait for her to detach herself from him, his body language unusually uptight, his eyes intense.

"Won't you come up?" Della finally asked in a shy little voice.

Perry moved his hand lovingly over her shoulders to her upper arm over the slim line of her waist down to her hip.

"I shouldn't," he answered truthfully. "I'd stay."

Della tilted her head to look at him. "I wouldn't mind."

"Maybe not now, but tomorrow," the attorney answered quietly.

"Not if you only hold me for a while," the secretary whispered as she moved her fingers over his chest in a soft caress.

"I'm not sure I can do that, Della," Perry Mason answered honestly, his eyes tender and warm. Then he lifted her head enough to capture her mouth with his, doubling her desire for more of him.

"I'll see you in the morning," Mason said in a trembling voice, his appetite for her now evident to them both.

Della looked deep into his eyes and placed a kiss onto his neck so soft it sent shivers down his spine.

"I was hoping this was a door to door service, counselor," she teased, then parted from him and slid out of the car on two elegant feet.

Perry hesitated for a moment, then followed her lead. Together, they walked into Della's building, passed the night clerk without raising suspicion and entered the elevator without speaking a word. On their ride up to Della's floor, Perry gently brushed his hand against hers, unable to look into her eyes. When they finally reached her apartment door, he observed how Della was fishing for her keys, her face a mask of grace and quiet while her hands were shaking from agitation.

When she opened her door, he waited for his secretary to bid him in with a nervous smile. Then he closed the door behind him, pressed his back against the rough wood and held out his hand to pull Della towards him. She eased into his embrace without hiding her coy intentions and met his mouth for a lingering kiss. When she broke away to catch her breath, she held out her hand to hold him at bay, her face flushed and glowing. Then she met his gaze with her darkened pair of brown, dropped his coat to the floor and stepped out of her shoes in what felt like slow motion.

"There's no turning back from this," she whispered, her voice trembling from desire and bashfulness.

"If you want me to leave, baby, say so now," Perry replied, low and calm. Then he closed the gap between them and pulled her into another kiss, gentle and soft until his tongue captured hers to arouse her all over, increasing her wish to make love to him.

Della knew she may come to regret this step, that eventually she would have to walk away. But right now his hands inflamed her skin as he unwrapped her from her proper clothes, landing improperly on the living room floor. And although her gut told her to be careful to cross this line, the way he treated her to find satisfaction undid all the doubts and remains of self-restraint.

"I want you so much," Perry groaned as he lifted her up into his arms, overwhelmed by her whispered confession of love.