Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing these characters to play with. Hopefully the amazing ESG won't mind too much…
A/N: I actually had this idea a long time ago, but I never wrote it. Now that it's summer and I'm stuck on my other PM stories, I thought I'd give this little fic a shot. Also, I'm not sure if Perry Mason ever defended someone in a secretarial pool…if he did, I don't remember her name, so I'm not going to use a name. Sorry! Enjoy!
Della smiled at Perry. "Well, you did it again."
"It wasn't that hard," Perry told his lovely secretary. "She wasn't guilty."
Della nodded. "She didn't seem like the type to kill someone."
Perry turned to look at Della. "Didn't you work in a secretarial pool once?"
Della suddenly became very interested in the carpet in Perry's apartment. She shrugged. "Before I came to work for you."
"How did you feel about it?" Perry asked.
"Well, obviously if I really liked it, I probably wouldn't have left," Della said. "It wasn't a horrible job, but I definitely wanted something else."
Perry pulled her toward him. "I will never be sorry you looked for something else."
Della smiled with her head against his shoulder. "Neither will I."
"Did you ever have the problems that our client did?" Perry questioned. He was honestly curious. He knew that, in blunt terms, one of the bosses was sexually harassing his client. He fervently hoped that Della never had any of these problems, but he just had to know!
Della sighed. "I think everyone did."
The lawyer squeezed his left hand into a fist and tensed. She was being evasive, but he got the point.
Della rolled her eyes and lifted her head. "Perry, there's no need to get so upset."
"No reason?" Perry inquired through gritted teeth. "You were sexually harassed by an idiotic man. I have no tolerance for men like that."
Perry cut her off with a heated kiss. "I just hate that you had to go through something like that."
"I appreciate that greatly," Della told him truthfully. She could and would handle her own affairs, but she didn't really find his protectiveness overbearing. Sometimes she rather enjoyed it. "It doesn't really matter now though. I can take care of myself and I got out of the situation." She playfully batted her eyelashes. "And found a wonderful, caring man in the process. A man who would never treat anyone, much less me, like that."
Perry kissed her again, gently this time. "You got that right."
Della gently laid her head back on his shoulder. "See. No need to get upset."
Perry slowly stroked his fingers up and down her arm. "If I'm not going to get angry…will you at least tell me what happened?"
Della sighed and thought about his question for a minute. She didn't want to have to tell him what she went through when she worked in the pool. She knew that regardless of what he said he would be incredibly upset. She also didn't really want to relive those years. If she hadn't found the job with him she probably would've had to go back to her family in the Midwest and admit that she had failed. That thought made a small shiver snake down her spine.
Perry felt the shiver and pressed a soft kiss into her hair. "Only if you feel ready to tell me."
"There is nothing you can do about what happened to me way back when," Della said, in her best secretarial tone. "So there is absolutely no reason to be angry or upset about what I am going to say."
"I'm not going to like this, am I?" Perry asked, more as a rhetorical question than anything else. Della's words made the answer obvious to him.
She lifted her head from his shoulder swiftly. "Does that mean you don't want to hear about it?"
Perry chuckled while pushing her head back onto his shoulder. "Not a chance."
Della sighed, half exasperation, but half amusement as well. He was anything if not persistent. "Oh, okay."
"Della, Mr. Baker wants to see you again," Felicity told her.
Della slowly raised her eyes from her typewriter. "Does he want me to take more dictation?"
Felicity shrugged. "I guess. He didn't tell me what he wanted with you; he just wanted me to tell you to come to his office."
Della bit her lip. "Couldn't you find out what he wants? I'm awfully busy."
Felicity looked at her best friend with sad eyes. "You know how angry he gets when we don't follow his directions."
Della nodded. "I know." She had plenty of experience with his anger, but it was usually because she wouldn't give him extra benefits. He never wanted her for just dictation.
"I'm sorry, Della," Felicity apologized. "I tried to tell him you were busy, and I told him I could do whatever he needed, but I'm just not as pretty as you."
Della sighed. "It's alright."
"It's not alright. It's just not fair," Felicity pointed out. "He shouldn't be treating you like this."
Della shrugged. "No, he shouldn't, but there's nothing we can do about it anyway."
"Look for another job," Felicity said. "I know you'll have no trouble getting another one, you're a great secretary. That's why everyone else in the pool thinks Mr. Baker gives you all his work."
Della shook her head. "Lissy, you aren't that naïve. Everyone knows what's going on, but no one is willing to talk about it."
Felicity nodded. "I know. You've just got to find another job!"
Della smiled at her sweet friend. "I'll try."
Della took a deep breath and began to walk toward Mr. Baker's office. She fervently hoped he just wanted her to take some dictation, though she knew all her hopes were in vain.
She knocked on Mr. Baker's door and walked in. "Hello, Mr. Baker."
Mr. Baker got up from his seat, closed the door and got into Della's personal space. She quickly thrust the contract at him and took a few steps back. "I just finished this today. Did you need me to take some dictation?"
"Not really," Mr. Baker admitted. He got close to her again. "I just wanted to see you. I also thought we could have a drink or two together."
Della backed away again and opened the door. "I have a lot of work to do, Mr. Baker. I have three contracts for Mr. Avery to finish, two briefs for Mr. Parker and one contract for Mr. Stallings. I really don't have time for this today."
"We need to make sure you don't have so much work and can only work for me," Mr. Baker said, smiling evilly. He closed the door again, grabbed her arm and this time he tried to kiss her neck. He landed a kiss before Della struggled and was able to slip away again. "You'd like that, wouldn't you?"
Della took a deep breath and tried to smile, luckily, she was saved from answering because Mr. Baker spoke again. "It will take you about a week to finish all that work, correct?"
Della knew it would only take her two or three days at the most, but she agreed with Mr. Baker.
"In that case, I'll tell all the other people who use the pool not to give you any work and in a week you will start working exclusively for me," Mr. Baker decided. "We really need a drink to celebrate…" Della rushed away while he was turned to the bar. She only hoped this wouldn't cause any anger on his part. Surely he would be happy thinking that she would start working for him and only him. She shivered walking away from the office and saw Felicity looking at her with concern. Della just shook her head. She wasn't dealing with that girl right now, regardless of how sweet she may be. Della already knew Felicity's opinion anyway. "Get a new job!"
"So that's what I did. The next day, I went looking," Della ended. "There was no way I was working exclusively for him!"
Perry kissed her gently on the top of her head. "And after all that, you still felt safe coming to work for me."
Della smiled. "Gloria was incredibly sweet and I could tell you weren't taking advantage of her. Besides, I'd read a lot about you and didn't think you would do anything like that."
Perry chuckled. "Gloria wasn't exactly a spring chicken; I couldn't take advantage of her, but you're right. I wasn't taking advantage of her and I wouldn't. Can I ask you a few questions?"
"Of course," Della agreed.
"Do secretaries in pools normally get so much work?" Perry asked gently resting his head on hers. "Even I don't give you that much work!"
Della laughed. "No, not usually. In fact, most of the secretaries didn't get any work! They would push it off on me and then they would give me some of their paycheck. I usually finished work so fast and it wasn't so bad. If I had a lot of work, I could justify not going to see Mr. Baker so much. Lissy was one of the only secretaries who did her own work all the time."
"Della, why didn't you just get out of there while you could? Before everything got so bad?" Perry asked a pained note in his voice.
Della took her head off his shoulder and looked at him. Her eyes were sad. She hated that he was so disturbed by it, even though he wouldn't say anything, since he promised. "Perry, I was new here. I needed a job. If I didn't have one, I would've had to go back to my family and admit that I'd failed. I wasn't about to do that. Besides, if I'd gone back to my little town in Kansas I would've married a man like that anyway. Either way I was stuck. At least staying here gave me the chance to meet a wonderful man like you."
"Did Mr. Baker never come looking for you?" Perry wondered.
Della shook her head. "No. I don't think he really liked me as a person. He just thought I was the prettiest girl in the pool, or the most naïve. He might've gotten another girl who interested him even more. I hope not though, I don't think I would wish him on my worst enemy."
"You gave me the condensed version, didn't you?" Perry questioned already knowing the answer.
Della looked into his eyes and tried to inject a pleading look into her eyes. "I didn't want to ruin what could be a perfect evening." She hoped the pleading look would make him change the subject.
Perry sighed. "I just wish…"
Della kissed his cheek and interrupted him. "I know what you wish, but there's nothing you can do about it now. There's nothing you can do about any of those men now."
"Actually, there is something I can do," Perry decided.
Della's face suddenly turned wary. "Oh, and what would that be?"
Perry kissed a spot below her ear. "I can spend the rest of the night." A kiss to her jaw. "Showing you." Another kiss to her cheek. "How a man." Perry kissed her nose. "Should treat." He kissed her recently closed eyelids. "His woman." He placed a passionate, hungry kiss on her lips and by this point, Della didn't see any point in objecting. In fact, she was sure she was going to even enjoy what he "could do."
And that is exactly what the lawyer did the rest of the night. It was spend with Perry Mason showing Della Street exactly how a man should treat the woman he loves.
Well, it's over. What did you think? I realize I probably use the name Felicity too much, I used it in one of my previous stories, but I like it. I also realize the secretarial pool thing was a little mild, but we can pretend Della didn't want Perry to get super angry, just like she said. I also also realize that there are probably still some loose ends with the pool thing, but I tried to clear most of them up with Perry's questioning. If there's something else you wanted to know the answer to…I'm sorry I missed it! I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you'll review. Thanks for reading!