TCOT Paper Bullets

A few days ago, there were some comments posted about this episode and the "look" Della gives Perry at the end. Since this has always been one of my favorite episodes and since it's election time, I decided to write this little MM.

Of course, the characters are not mine. I am only borrowing them for a little while and promise to return them safe and sound.

With thanks as always to my awesome and fearless editor Diane who not only takes time to proof and make valuable suggestions but who always encourages me and has faith in me even when I don't have it in myself.

Story synopsis

Jason Foster, a local small town politician is running against incumbent Randolph Cartwell for a state senate seat. As honest as Foster is, Cartwell is just the opposite. Unfortunately for Jason, Cartwell is running a dirty campaign and has an "edge" in the form of Foster's rebellious younger sister Susan, who is dating Cartwell's son David against her brother's wishes. Little does she know she's being used as a pawn in the campaign by Harry Mardig, a political boss.

David is murdered and Jason's wife Margaret is accused of the crime. Jason asks his friend Perry to defend her so once again he, Della and Paul work together to solve the case. Perry is somewhat baffled by Margaret's unwillingness to cooperate until he discovers that she thinks her husband is the killer.

But leave it to Perry and Company to discover the real culprit. It actually is Randolph's brother Edgarton.

Margaret is freed, Jason of course wins the election, and the family is reunited. The following is the last scene in of the episode. Perry, Della and Paul are sitting around election headquarters having a conversation in the midst of all the hubbub and excitement.

Paul—"Perry, there's one thing I don't get. Exactly what was Harry Mardig's pitch?"

Perry—"Through Susan, he thought he could either force Jason Foster to accept the race track or cause him to lose the election thusly leaving Senator Cartwell with Edgarton's fait accompli."

At that moment there is a loud cheer and the newly elected Senator and his family emerge from his inner office smiling and ecstatic.

Jason Foster—"I just received a phone call from Senator Cartwell conceding defeat." {loud cheers and applause} "I'd like to say this: This is as much your victory as it is mine." {pauses and looks in Perry's direction} "There is someone else…."

Della—{leans in to Perry and speaks softly } "You"

Perry—"A good man is worth fighting for."

Della turns and gazes at Perry with a look that could only be described as something between complete love and adoration and pure, unbridled lust. She nods her head, smiles knowingly and in a barely audible voice says "Yeah."

End of scene. My story picks up from here.

Hours later, the balloons had deflated, the confetti had been swept up, the huge chalk board wiped clean, and the food either eaten or given away. Senator Foster and his family had long since gone home to celebrate privately and get some much needed rest, his staff following suit en mass. Before leaving, Jason had made it a point to have a short conversation with Perry, thanking him profusely once again for everything he had done. He had, he said, something else to ask him but it could wait until later that day. Good byes were said and Perry found himself in the mammoth room alone except for two waiters from the catering service, since Paul had disappeared with a leggy redheaded staffer hours ago. Spilling out the dregs of cold coffee down the sink and throwing the Styrofoam cup in the trash, Perry went in search of the woman who stood by him, worked with him, shared a bed with him, and knew him better than he knew himself. The woman who, from the moment he first saw her had taken over the running of his office and definitely had taken over his life—and it was all for the good. The light and love of his life, she meant more to him than any person in the world, and with her everything was sharper, brighter, more defined. She was his warmth and heart, an exquisitely beautiful, smart, funny, alluring, intriguing woman whom he sincerely believed elevated his 'humanness' and made him a better man. She made him realize that to breathe was a gift, but when he looked at her he often forgot to. The fact that she was intuitive, could and did work with him for hours and days and weeks on end and never complained was also a gift. The fact that she was funny and charming and that wherever she went and whoever she met was as captivated by her as Perry himself made him extremely proud. But by far the best gift, the most precious gift, was the lady herself – for she had given Perry Mason what no other woman before her had. She had given him her heart.

Mason was not an old fool, nor a naïve kid. He had "traveled about" so to speak, and had enjoyed the company of other women before her. Models, starlets, and debutantes had once lined up to be seen on his arm. There was even a journalist and the professor from that snooty Eastern women's college who had been in L.A. for a conference…and then there had been Laura. Perry shuddered at the thought of her. Yes, he had certainly sown his wild oats and tasted the party life, but eventually had discovered it wasn't for him. That realization had coincided with the day Della walked into his office to interview for the position of his confidential secretary. He had taken her hand in polite greeting and immediately nothing in his life satisfied him. That voice, those eyes, that smile…one look and everything changed.

The attorney was brought out of his thoughts by the sound of soft music and the alluring scent of his favorite perfume. A smile played over his mouth as he followed the trail of both across the enormous room back to what had been Foster's private office. Reaching the door, he found it to be slightly ajar and pushed it open the rest of the way. He was so surprised by what he saw he couldn't speak. The room was dark, save for candles in glass vessels and a few hurricane lamps scattered around the office. Sinatra was on the stereo and the shades were completely drawn. Perry blinked hard to make sure he wasn't dreaming because despite the beauty of the room, there on the deep brown leather couch, under a thick, soft, fluffy throw sat the most beautiful thing of all.

Della Street had removed her rose colored two piece raw silk suit with a large bow in front and moderately scooped neckline, which she had bought purposely for the election night festivities, and had paired with brown alligator pumps and a matching clutch. She wore the string of blushing pearls Perry had given her, followed later of course by the matching bracelet and stud earrings. She had changed at the office and when she emerged from his private bathroom, Perry couldn't take his eyes off her. Perry simply couldn't get over the fact that she had worked all day and looked as beautiful and put together as she had that morning. He stared at her like a goofy teenager until she walked over to him and with a light touch of her hand on his cheek and a gentle kiss, reminded him they would be late if they didn't leave that minute. Perry came out of his reverie, grabbed their coats, turned out the lights and locked the doors, and together they walked down the hall to pick up Paul Drake and drive to Foster's headquarters.

However at that moment, the "well put together and demure" Miss Della Street was anything but. True, she was gorgeous and ethereal in a light pink silk and lace slip, but that seemed to be the only item of clothing she wore aside from a pair of silk stockings. Perry didn't move…he couldn't. And he had to tell himself sternly to breathe. Della smiled, then laughed her throaty laugh, and in that voice like smooth, expensive brandy that drove Perry to distraction said "I've been waiting for you, Counselor. What took you so long?"

"I….I…was...I was just thinking about some things," he stammered. "Or maybe I should say someone."The attorney's voice seemed to rise an octave on that last word and he moved only when Della held out her hand to him. Finally reaching her, he seemed to come back to himself and slowly and gently pulled her up into his embrace.

"Della, my God, look at you….look at how beautiful you are…But how…why did…?"

"Shhhh…" Delicate, well manicured fingers found their way to Mason's lips. "I wanted to surprise you, darling. You worked so hard on this case because Jason is your friend…our friend…and I thought we could do a little private celebrating of our own. And you know, you were right."

"I was? What about"

"When Jason was thanking everyone and then he started to thank you. You said, and I quote, "A good man is worth fighting for"...Aaaaand since you are the best man I know and you are definitely worth fighting for, I thought I should show you what I mean. I wanted to be alone with you so badly, but it took forever for everyone to leave. So, when Margaret invited us to stay at their house tonight, I thanked her and said we wanted to be alone for a while. Not only did she say she understood, she even gave me a key. When I told her we would be late – very, very, very late, or maybe we wouldn't make it at all, she laughed and said whatever we decided was fine with her. I have plans for us, Mr. Mason."

Della slowly began to divest Perry of his clothing as he stood silently before her, a willing victim of her seduction. She undid the royal blue tie…the one she had bought him because she said it brought out his blue eyes, the one he wore at least twice a week. As she unbuttoned the crisp white shirt she paused after every button to place soft, warm lips on his chest, which only made him forget to breathe again. She removed the charcoal grey suit jacket, running her hands seductively up and down his arms, reaching behind his neck and lightly caressing his hairline, and Perry felt himself begin to perspire. With what appeared to be a life of their own, her hands then traveled to his belt, which was swiftly unbuckled and deftly unzipped, and his trousers dispatched carelessly to the floor at his feet. Finally, she knelt and untied the laces of his impeccably shined black leather shoes, removed them and his black argyle socks and helped him step out of his pants. Perry could do nothing, hell, he didn't want to do anything, as Della methodically undressed him. The only words that emerged from his lips were raspy with desire, "Plans, huh?"

"Yes, Mr. Mason, plans," she affirmed with a sultry smile. "There...all done. Now why don't you come over here with me?"

An obedient Perry let Della lead him over to the couch. As big and as strong as he was, Della had no trouble pushing him down onto the throw. She then sat down on his lap and began a series of light nipping kisses starting from his forehead and working her way down his face, over his eyelids and across to his cheeks. Her journey continued as she tenderly trailed her lips down over his jaw line to his chin, throat and neck, pausing briefly to playfully slap his hands away from her upper thigh as he attempted to release her stockings from a scandalous lace garter belt. Holding onto his shoulders, she moved even closer and then lowered those delicious full lips onto the broad expanse of his powerful chest. Finished there, she retraced her pattern, this time stopping at his mouth where she ever so lightly brushed his lips with her tongue. As she heard Perry gasp and felt him shudder she teased his mouth opened and gained entry, deepening the kiss with such searing force that all the lovers cared about was the taste, touch, smell, and feel of one another. They became so lost in their love that nothing else mattered.

Della finally broke the kiss, breathless herself as she pulled away. Very slowly and seductively she removed her slip. Her gaze, locked onto her handsome attorney's eyes was smoky and seductive, her voice almost a whisper.

"I think, Mr. Mason, you are entirely too overdressed for the rest of my plans." Before Perry could speak, she had removed the last of his garments – his boxers. She then repositioned herself by straddling her small, lithe body over Perry's massive frame and wrapped incredibly long legs around him. The famous lawyer was helpless in his lover's embrace, reduced to mere putty in her hands – and he couldn't have cared less as this beautiful, wonderful woman made sure no part of her handsome man went untouched, leaving him completely and utterly satisfied and contented.

Time seemed to stand still as the stunning brunette lay atop the man she loved allowing them both a chance to catch their breath. Perry spoke first, his voice soft, his arms gently but protectively holding Della.

"My God baby, where in the world...?"

"I have a lot more surprises planned for you Counselor. All you have to do is stick around."

"Oh I intend to, believe me. As a matter of fact, I have my own ways of surprising you."

"You already do surprise me, sweetheart. All the jewelry and the vacations and the special out-of-the-way places you take me to make sure we have time to ourselves, even when we stay home. Not to mention the way you take care of me. I'm completely spoiled."

"My pleasure baby, it's all my pleasure. I love taking care of you and I love spoiling you but….that wasn't exactly what I was talking about."

Della raised her head up from her favorite spot on his chest—right over his heart and met his gaze with her own.

"It wasn't?"

"Noooo, Miss Street, it was not."

"Care to share?"

"Oh I think I could do better than that. Why just tell you when I can show you."

"Show me what?"

"This." Perry lowered his face to Della's and began to kiss her lips so softly that Della wasn't even sure she felt it. He took her in his strong arms, and in one swift turn, moved Della so that she lay under him, her body already trembling just at the thought of his touch and what he was about to do to her. For one brief minute Perry's mesmerizing blue eyes looked into Della's spectacular hazel ones and it was as if they were looking into one another's souls. And then skin to skin, their already heated bodies once again sank into their own private world. Slowly, oh so slowly Perry began his exploration of Della's body…teasing…tantalizing her with his mouth and hands leaving her pretty much incoherent and withering in sheer ecstasy. She moaned and gasped and called out his name as he carefully took his time making sure to give her every pleasure...everything she desired…and more.

Much later, they lay together quietly, Della in the safety of Perry's loving embrace. He wiped damp hair away from her face and gently, tenderly, rubbed her arms up and down while leaving soft kisses in her hair and on her forehead, eyelids and lips. Della shivered and he covered her with an extra throw that had been left on top of the couch. She snuggled up in his arms as close as she could, running her hand over his broad chest and reaching up to kiss his lips. As she sighed deeply Perry gently ran his fingers over her own kiss swollen lips.

"Are you okay baby?"

"Magic."

"Magic?"

"Yes, darling, magic. That is what my life with you is like."

"Della…"

"I want to tell you something, Perry. I've wanted to tell you ever since that day we drove down to San Diego for that conference and on the way back we stopped for dinner at that little Mexican restaurant."

"I'll never forget that day…or that night."

"Neither will I. That's the night everything changed for me."

"You mean for us."

"Yes, for us. The night we admitted how we felt…"

"Yeah, I couldn't wait to get out of there and get you home."

"As I recall, Counselor we didn't make it home…at least not for a few hours. It's almost like what happened tonight."

They both smiled and laughed lightly at the memory.

"So, are you going to tell me now?"

"Uh huh. But you have to promise me something."

"I'm very good at keeping promises, Miss Street." Perry tapped the tip of her nose.

"Perry, I'm serious."

"So am I darling." The attorney looked at his secretary who suddenly seemed to be day dreaming.

I'm sorry honey. You know you can tell me anything at any time." Perry's voice was soft, gentle, encouraging. "Go ahead and tell me. I'm listening."

Della turned her body and using Perry as leverage sat up. Perry sat up as well and Della crawled up onto his lap again. Perry cradled her against him and waited for Della to speak.

"Perry, when I was young...only sixteen, my parents allowed me to start dating. I dated a couple of boys from school and then I met my friend Susan's cousin. Eddie was eighteen and had just started college. We would date when he came home on breaks and during the summer. I fell and fell hard and then..."

Perry realized that whatever Della was about to tell him had been an unpleasant experience for her. "Go on baby, what happened?"

Della sighed. "He found someone who was older, more mature, a girl already in college. At first I thought I was fine, but I must have had a delayed reaction or something because the day after it happened I came home from school and went to my room. I was a mess, crying and carrying on, completely devastated. My mom came in and sat down on my bed. For a while she didn't say anything. She just held me and let me cry it out. Then she handed me a tissue and told me to wipe my eyes. She said I was beautiful and smart and the world wouldn't end because Eddie wasn't meant for me, and that I would date a lot of boys…men…and that I would know."

"Know what, Del?"

"When the man was meant for me. I would meet a man and he would be different from all the others. His voice would be different…it would be like music. His touch would make me feel something I had never felt before, and when he held me it would be the most incredible feeling in the world…and his eyes…his eyes would look at me with unconditional love, a forever love. He would be big and strong and take care of me always. Everything about him would be magical. Our love would be magical. She told me something else too."

"What did she tell you?"

"She said that I should wait, that I shouldn't be impatient because it would be...he would be worth the wait. Because…a good man is worth waiting for…worth fighting for." Della looked at Perry with tears pricking the corners of her eyes. He tenderly wiped one away with his thumb as it slid down her cheek. "My mother was right. I dated after Eddie and I broke up and of course I dated after I graduated high school and went to business school. When I moved to L.A., I met lawyers and accountants and even doctors, but none of them had what Mom said I would find. There was no magic. Then came that wonderful day when I walked into your office for my interview. You took my hand and smiled at me and my life was never the same. I heard your voice and it was like music to my ears. I couldn't believe it. It was you. You were the one. There was magic that day and it's been magical ever since."

Perry smiled as he gently moved a wisp of hair away from Della's face. He was quiet for a time, absorbing everything she was telling him. He knew without a doubt that she loved him, but knowing that it was he who fulfilled her mother's words was deeply humbling. "I'll have to thank your mother the next time I see her. I always knew she was a very wise woman. Her daughter is just like her."

"I love you, Perry Mason. I love you so much. You're everything to me…my whole world. I don't know what I would do without you."

"That, my sweet beautiful girl will never happen. Do you know how much I treasure you? How precious you are to me?" Warm lips tasting of champagne and chocolate met and mingled, letting the other know the depth of their feelings.

"Now how about snuggling down with me and getting a little sleep hmmm…?"

"Okay but we have to get dressed and leave soon. It's getting..." Della's voice was getting drowsy and she was having a hard time keeping her eyes open.

"We have time. Go to sleep, baby. No one expects us back at the house until later anyway." Mason kissed the top of Della's soft curls, her forehead and eyelids. Before he could kiss her lips, she was already asleep, safe and secure and peaceful in his arms. Perry looked down at her and smiled. He closed his eyes and fell asleep himself, thankful as always for the beautiful woman in his embrace and the "magic" she brought to him every day of his life.