I owe a HUGE THANK YOU to Diane for staying up late and working her superb magic editing skills, to Nora for giving me the plotline to the story and for some awesome mayhem moments as only she can give and to Rachel for those extra set of eyes and, as always, to all of them for their support and encouragement…Ladies, you are the BEST!

TCOT Unexpected Corps Chapter 1

The sun had just risen and was throwing out warm, glowing rays, the first sign of what promised to be an absolutely glorious day. The big man opened the door to her apartment and walked through, then closed it softly behind him. He proceeded through the foyer, into the neat living room and dining room with their subtle colors and tasteful furnishings and walked into the bright, sun-filled kitchen. Opening the top right cabinet over the sink he found the vase, took it down, and quietly arranged eleven red roses, leaving the twelfth one out. After filling the vase with water and placing it on the dining room table, he walked into the bedroom, holding the single rose. As he stood at the foot of the bed watching the woman sleep, he felt as he always did whenever he looked at her: heart pounding fiercely, pulse racing, lungs momentarily paralyzed. When he could breathe again, he tiptoed around to the side of the bed and quietly sat down next to her peaceful form. Starting at her forehead, he very tenderly brushed the rose down her face and onto her lips where he left just a hint of a kiss.

The beautiful woman stirred slightly, mumbling something incoherent. Seconds later, as a smile played at the corners of her mouth, she opened her eyes and gazed up at the man who she loved with her whole being.

"Mmmm…..good morning Counselor. What a wonderful way to wake up."

Good morning my beauty. How did you sleep?

"Alright-I guess."

Perry Mason eyed Della Street quizzically. "Just alright? I thought you'd say something more than just alright…..especially since you fell asleep in my arms. Now I'm worried I might be losing my touch"

Della turned slightly and pulled herself up and onto Perry's lap. Giving him her most brilliant smile, she answered him in a playful tone. "Weeelllll, you know, if you had stayed longer you might have been able to help me achieve a better phrase than just 'all right.' But, since you left to go and play poker with Paul and the rest of those characters you call friends, I think just 'all right' is most appropriate, don't you?"

"Are you going to throw that card game in my face? You did tell me to go. As a matter of fact, your exact words were-and I quote "Why don't you go darling? We've worked so hard these past few weeks you deserve a night to unwind. Being with the guys will be good for you and I won't feel guilty. I am so exhausted that all I am going to do is take a quick shower and crawl into bed. Then, if I also remember, to prove that little fact to me you yawned. You were so adorable but so loud, I thought Mrs. Cooper from next door was going to call and complain."

Della pouted a bit but there was a teasing gleam in her eye. "It's true, I was exhausted and I did sleep OK but you know I always sleep better when you hold me."

"I did hold you. I held you until you fell asleep and then I left."

"Yes, but I woke up and you were gone, so technically….."

"Oh so now you're going to argue with me on a technicality?"

"I'm just stating a fact Mr. Mason. You should be used to that. After all, you're the one who's always dealing with facts. I mean, before you make any objections or ask for a postponement or ask for a ruling from the judge, you make sure you have your facts in order. You know how you always object when Mr. Burger cross examines your witnesses with something that you think is detrimental to the case. You interrupt and say, "Objection your honor, the District Attorney is calling for a conclusion…..or you say it's immaterial or irrelevant."

"You're legal knowledge is showing my dear."

"Oh honestly Perry….."

"Della, my darling, beautiful girl, you are the love and the light of my life but sometimes I don't understand what goes on in that mind of yours."

Della's warm hazel eyes locked onto Perry's deep blue ones. Snuggling even closer, her voice took on a sultry, seductive tone.

"I know a way you could make it up to me."

"Oh you do, do you now?"

"Yeeessss, I most certainly do."

"Can you tell me or are you going to keep me in suspense?"

"Actions speak louder than words Counselor." Della unceremoniously pushed Perry back onto the bed and turned her body so that she was lying on top of him, long slender legs wrapping around her handsome man suggestively. In the next few moments clothes were divested, hands roamed with urgent, heated caresses, and Della's luscious lips were swollen from passionately hungry kisses. Perry buried his head in her luxurious chestnut curls, breathing in the familiar fragrance, becoming intoxicated from the scent. In the quiet of Della's bedroom, with the warmth of the beautiful spring day blowing gently in through the open window, the lovers slipped into their own private, intimate world. Della happily and ecstatically gave herself over to Perry, becoming deliciously incoherent. Perry happily allowed Della to work her magic, leaving him dazed and speechless himself. Much later, sated and spent, they lay quietly enjoying the afterglow of their desire, falling asleep wrapped in each other's arms.

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Perry slipped out of bed, careful not to disturb Della's even breathing, and walked softly into the kitchen to put coffee on to perk and make breakfast. In no time, he had bread toasted, bacon perfectly crisp, and eggs scrambled to a light and fluffy perfection. He was just about to wake Della when she appeared, wearing a silky turquoise robe and a sleepy smile. She walked over to Perry and leaned into him, laying her head on his chest.

Perry placed his hand under her chin and brought her face up to his. He moved an errant curl away from her face and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "Good morning, sleepyhead."

Della yawned impressively. "Something smells absolutely delicious, Counselor."

"It's just plain old bacon and eggs, baby. Nothing special."

"The fact that you cooked breakfast is what makes plain old bacon and eggs special, darling. And, since I don't want you to worry, let me just say that you haven't lost your touch."

"That's a load off my mind. And may I say you look beautiful this morning, Miss Street. I love when you first wake up and your hair is all tousled and you still have that drowsy look about you."

I'm glad I can accommodate." Della turned and looked out the window then turned back and gave Perry a dazzling smile. "It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day."

"Yes, it does. Now if you will sit down, we'll have breakfast and I will tell you what we're going to do today."

"I know exactly what we're going to do. You have three in office meetings with clients, there are eight letters, two briefs, and four contracts that require your signature, as well as a few phone calls that you have to return….and then there's the mail. It's Friday, soooooo, if we're lucky there won't be a lot and if you can get through everything and we don't have any emergencies or anyone that needs your help, maybe we can get through at a decent hour and…"

The attorney placed two fingers on his secretary's lips with a chuckle. "Miss Street, while the day you laid out would be exciting and fulfilling, you'll be happy to know that I can do better. Yesterday while you were filing papers at court, I had Gertie reschedule those appointments. I signed all those contracts and returned those phone calls. As for the mail, it will keep until we get back."

Della's expression was one of delighted surprise. "And just where are we going Mr. Mason?"

"We, my dear Della are taking a long weekend and flying up to Lake Tahoe this afternoon. I made the reservations yesterday. I didn't think I'd be able to get one but I got lucky. We're staying at the North Shore, which is the California side of the lake. It's a little more peaceful than the South side but we still can go over there one night for dinner and a show if you like. Wait until you see it. It's beyond beautiful. You've heard me mention it before. It's a great place to go fishing and they have so many other things …..What?"

"I can't believe you did this! It's been like a revolving door in the office with one client nearly bumping into the other. I didn't think we had time for even a quiet evening at home let alone for a long weekend."

Perry put his arms around Della, drawing her close. He cupped her cheek with his hand and spoke in a gentle voice. "Della, don't you know by now that you are the single most important thing in my life? Ever since that day four years ago when you walked into my office and turned my world upside down, nothing has been the same. It's been better – everything's better because of you. You were the one I was waiting for but never even knew it. In case I haven't told you lately, I love you. I love you from the top of those beautiful curls to the tip of those perfectly polished toes. I know we work hard and it always seems that when we finish one case we start another within minutes, not to mention the day-to-day operation of the office and everything that entails. You never complain and do everything I ask of you and more. That's one of the reasons I want to take you away. I just want to spend some time alone with the woman I love. I want to take care of you and spoil you for the rest of your life…...the rest of our lives. It's that simple. Just like the bacon and eggs."

Della's breathtaking eyes sparkled with happiness. Her voice was soft…..her answer pure and honest

"I love you too, Counselor. You are the most wonderful, amazing man in the world. I don't know what I did to deserve you but I am the luckiest girl."

Perry chuckled as he started to lead Della over to the table. "Why don't we eat before everything gets cold and…if you're a good girl, I might just answer that question."

"What time is our flight?"

"Two o'clock. It's only nine-thirty so we have plenty of time."

Della snaked her arms around Perry's neck and pulled his face down to hers. She brushed her lips against his with tantalizing coyness. When she spoke her voice held a loving warmth that washed over Perry like smooth liqueur.

"You bet we do, darling. You know, suddenly I'm not hungry at all….for food that is."