I had this one hidden in the drawer, and today I decided to leave it here, in 2012. It's short, it's steamy, it's just fluff, and nothing but fluff. No storyline, no insights.

I just like them happy.

Have a nice New Years Eve everyone of you, and I wish you all the best of the best for 2013.

Home for dinner

Just before Amy Hastings left Ken Malansky forever, something happened.

Denver, December 31st, 1989

Mason had totally forgotten Della had given Amy Hastings the keys to their home to take a shower there. Amy had needed to freshen herself up before she would fly to New York today, to be reunited with her family for New Year's Eve. Finally, after the last case, Amy too had admitted the relationship with Ken Malansky was not going to work, and so she had decided to leave. After she had taken a shower.

Without thought he had opened the front door, and had cursed extensively because he could not find the notebook in which he had scribbled the remarks he needed for the last courtsession of this year. Somehow, the idea that the notebook was still on the small table on Della's bedside, had made sense.

And so, again without another thought, he had barged his large frame into their bedroom, and now as a result of his actions, he was face to face with the former lover of his apprentice, while she was leaving the adjoining bathroom, wearing nothing more than a towel.

Very slowly blowing out a breath, he held his gaze steady and safely on her shock widened eyes, in his periphere sight he registered the image of her hands on her breasts, the towel not totally covering the woman she was, yet enough. Both becoming more and more aware of the uneasiness of this situation, the first shock subsiding, she averted her eyes as he closed his. He leaned back against the wall.

Inhaling, his eyes still closed, his feet glued to the floor, his frame unable to move, and the brilliant brain unable to stop thirty year old images from reigning as they took over the sight that had been in front of his eyes for just seconds. The memory it was evoking, was a souvenir, that he had carried with him from 1959 until now. The mental view on a younger Della Street, her glooming, almond shaped hazel eyes half shut and directed at him by the reflection of his bathroom mirror, the steam of the hot shower she was about to take already condensing against it. His thoughts and actions steered by physical reflexes he could not and did not want to control at that moment in time. Della who swallowed and parted her lips slightly. Her heaving chest. The feeling of his quickening pulse, as it relaxed him in a strange way and smoothed the sorrow of an appalling trial that had gone on and on for a whole, long, dreadful day. It was perfectly clear that he had to reach out for her to show her how much he loved her, and meet his own fierce needs along the way.

Still frozen to the spot now, his mind's eye caught him and travelled back in time again, his photographic mind able to replay the events of that specific time and place. L.A. . 1959. He witnessed his absolute awe taking in her beauty as if it was for the first time, he saw the way he kicked off his shoes, reached out to smooth away the towel Della had clutched to her bare skin, made it fall to the warming bathroom floor tiles, made his hands follow the way the towel had taken, and had his lips and tongue trail his hands until he was on his knees in front of her, touching, tasting. The hot water of the shower steamed more moist fog, filling the bathroom. Della's hands were in his hair, cherishing his forehead against the damp warm skin of her groin, as she moved backwards into the streams of flowing water, her moaning sighs embracing him, until her naked wet flesh did that just moments afterwards, as he rose alongside her in the shower, allowing her arms to curl around his neck, her fingers underneath his collar. The hot water was dripping from her curly hair over her heated cheeks to her luscious mouth, where he drank it from her, his tongue becoming more moist and hot with every next kiss he tore from her lips. His soaking wet clothes could not be taken off, not fast enough, he smiled as his eyes closed at the desperate grasps of her strong fingers, unable to complete the deliriously difficult task, the clothes were too wet, but he succeeded to remove them himself somehow, before he took her in his arms and lifted her against his wanting body, seizing her, turning towards his bedroom, laying her down on his bed, not gently and not losing touch with her lips, and then he took her, wet bodies fusing ferociously, forgetting about the drag of the day, the slowness, that had made the trial last too damn long, because now he was here, in her arms, and this pace and this rythm was his, passionate, fierce bringing on complete and perfect sequential ecstasy. He heard the echo of how he had screamed her name after hearing his own.

He came back back to his senses slowly. He had not moved at all.

This was not Della Street.

And this was not 1959.

He sighed. Never would he be able to kneel down in front of Della like that again, never would he be able to lift her up like that again, his knees not letting him, his age now counting in respects he mostly ignored. But the memories could be kept alive, and so that was what he did.

His hands clutched into fists, he exhaled now, willing away the images, walking away from the scene that had caused him to daydream in the dim light coming out of his own bath room in his own home, but with another woman in it.

Eyes still closed, he shook his head, and turned. His hands sought for the door, and when he had found it, the door knob.

" I'm sorry, Amy, I forgot … " He offered, still not watching her, while he heard her hastily grabbing clothes, hurrying back into the bathroom, and closing the door behind her.

" I'm sorry myself, Mr. Mason … I should have left already … I'm late for my flight … " Her voice sounded muffled through the bathroom door.

Now that she was in the bathroom, he quickly scanned the room for his notebook, found it, grasped it and left, leaving her and the embarassment behind, because he had a trial to attend to. This would be dealt with later, if necessary. Storing the memory away again safely in 1959, he hurried to the frontdoor.

He would never see Amy Hastings again.

Ken would.

####

The trial had been somewhat slow, but he had managed to be back at the office at four. Not many people worked at December 31st, they usually also closed the office, but since they had decided to spend New Year's Eve with just the two of them, they also had decided to work that day.

He leaned his head in both hands, elbows on the desk, when she came into his office.

" Something wrong ? " In spite of what the question suggested, she didn't sound worried.

" I had an encounter just before court today … "

" Uh-uh. " She pressed her lips together. " Quite an encounter … "

" You know about it? "

She gave her head a tilt. " Well, it's my bedroom too … and my bathroom ... "

" Oh. "

She grinned. " Ken told me when he returned the keys to me. Amy told him, when he brought her to the airport. She was not in shock like you. " Her fragile shoulders now shaking, her hand unsuccesfully hiding her laughter from him.

" You think it's funny … "

She cocked her eyebrow. " Uh. It is funny. "

" Maybe … " He looked at her sideways and communicated without words. The blue blue stare dreamed its way into her softening eyes. Somehow, his thoughts and feelings reached her, overwhelmed her, as she gasped without sound. She had fallen into these ice blue depths so many times before, and again, kept on falling, falling, falling, until his low voice gently caught her. " I was reminded of one of the few times I took a shower, without removing my clothes first. "

" Oh ... " was all she could say.

" I ruined a suit, crawling into the shower like that with you. " As soft as it was, his voice had sunk another octave. His eyes smiled at the flush he had caused on her cheeks.

" We slept on the couch that night, remember … " Her voice was soft.

" Yes, I remember that. The bed was too damp. "

She chuckled. " And we went to my appartment the night afterwards. "

He smiled at the memory, and nodded.

" I totally forgot that Amy was in our house. " He sighed and watched her thoughtfully, as she stood next to him at his desk. " I'm sorry. "

" Oh. " She shook her head, as if to say he shouldn't worry. She really didn't care. Then slowly her hand curled around his neck, and continued its way to his shoulder, to stroke it gently. She planted a light kiss on his cheek. " I just hope you enjoyed the view. " He frowned at her, before she continued in a saucy way, her voice caressing his ear. " We all know how hunger develops during the day … And then you come home for dinner … " He heard she added a mischievous hint, but it was one he couldn't and didn't figure out exactly, because his mind was already taken over by the contents of the casefile she had put in front of him.

Yet, the words softly seeped through his working mind. The full notion of what she had said, hit him a few minutes after she had left him behind his desk. He smiled as his body reacted again, on memories, and in anticipation.

He sighed, and rubbed his face, relishing in the woman that was Della Street. Would she ever truly know how much he loved her? Would she ever be fully aware? How was it that she understood how his hunger could be triggered by another woman's curves, only and solely because they fiercely reminded him of what gloriousness he had indeed to come home to ?

He leaned back, staring at the doorway where she would appear if he called for her. Or where he would stand if he had a question for her. Or if he wanted to watch her. Or if he just needed more of her attention. Or needed her nearness. As he had done so this morning, before leaving the office.

" I need a hand. "

" No, you don't. " She watched him, and shook her head.

" Yes, I do. A double windsor, please. " He held the silk tie, carefully folded to be handed over into her lithe fingers.

She rolled her eyes, sighed, but she stood up and smoothed her demure knee length skirt, quickly sliding her slender feet into her heels, because she'd be too small to complete her task without these few inches of artifcial height.

She was used to the way his eyes were glued to her hands like this, yet the very nearness of him, his quiet motionlessness had always and still made it hard to concentrate on the complicated twists of this knot. She used to close her eyes, and moved her hands, feeling the silk of his tie mold in the way she wanted it to. Like she could mold him.

From the way her breathing sounded, he knew her eyes were closed. She was probably, no, she was the only woman on earth who could do this without watching. Her delicate hands landed on his heaving chest when she was done.

" A double windsor … " it was a whisper.

" Thank you … " it was a whisper too.

He closed his hands over hers on his chest, they both didn't move for some lingering moments. The sweet smell of her drove him out of his skin, out of place and time, he should lift her chin, lift her lips up to his, to kiss her hard, to make her feel what he was feeling. But reality kicked them around now. He had to leave for court. So in stead, he leaned his face down next to hers, and brushed her cheeks with his own, softly moaning, leaning downwards to her collarbone and back upwards, until his lips touched her ear. " Della … " he groaned.

" Go now. I'll be here when you come back."

And she had been here when he came back. Had taken the tie off again, at his request.

Unable to concentrate any longer, he cleared his desk now and stood up.

" Della … ? " He had decided to close the office for today, and was about to tell her that, but she was working too concentrated to hear him. He leaned back against the doorframe of his office, arms crossed in front of his chest, and watched her working behind her desk, marveling at all of her, the solid way of dealing with the documents in front of her, her serious face, her fluttering lashes, a frown, a single nod, a single head shake, her calm breathing. Every single inch of her familiair, yet still leaving him in absolute awe.

She noticed his gentle desirous and wistful gaze long after he had begun his admiration, taking in every curve of her perfectness, staring at her beauty, watching her move, falling deeply in love with her again and more with every breath she was taking. His sight became misty. He swallowed hard. This year would end tonight, another year would start tomorrow. And she would be there all the time, as she had been all the time. She was all the time. She was his home.

He took in her glittering eyes, directed at his now.

" You broke the rules … " she whispered.

He shook his head, not understanding what she meant.

" You just made love to me in the office without locking the doors first. "

He closed his eyes and nodded. That was exactly what he had done, without moving. She swallowed again, looking into his eyes, as he walked up to her desk, and took the phone. He pushed the number, and held the receiver to his ear. His eyes were never leaving hers as he spoke to their messageservice. He probably politely thanked the cheerful woman on the other side for taking over their phone calls for today. The woman probably wished him a wonderful new year's eve and a happy new year, before he laid the receiver back in its cradle. He didn't hear it.

" We're going home ... " ... for dinner.

The softening hazel eyes checked the wall clock, while she reached for her purse. They looked at his, when he locked the outer door to the office and reached for the small of her back. She closed her eyes when he reached out for a curl that wanted to be stroked behind her ear, as they stood in the elevator.

He started to undress her with his eyes on their way home in the car, still did so while turning the key in the lock of the front door, opening it, closing it, leaning his back against it, and when she approached slowly, he caressed her still gloved hands to his chest, before he divested her of them slowly. Kissing the creamy disposed skin and the rings he had put there a long time ago.

" I love you so deeply, Della Street ... "

" Show me ... "

The squinted eyes, the slightly parted lips, her soft cheeks, the warmth that came from them. Her oh so soft moans, as he lowered his lips to her neck, they were only meant for him, only caused and heard by him. Warm hands, moist, silkiness.

" No intruders? " she quiried, playfully, softly, as they reached the bedroom, without switching on lights.

" It's just us now … I like it better that way … " He grinned. " Would you like to take a shower ? "

" No ... " She danced into his arms. The silence of their bedroom was slowly invaded by a rythm of more and more loving lover's sounds, deep moans, gasps, and finally, a sweet cry. His loud growl. A quivering breath. A soft sob.

And then they had fallen asleep, as they did so often after a whispered 'I love you', after he pulled her into his arms, kissing her hair, cherishing her warmth against his cooling skin, relishing in her nearness. He woke up first, his hand slowly dared to smooth over her bottom down to her leg, pausing at the curve, where her thigh took over the soft skin. Soft, still so soft. She inhaled audibly, still asleep, and turned her face to him, her closed eyes a sight that made him feel alive and blissful. It made him realise he had always been a winner, because she was on his side.

The blanket failed to cover her breasts, the skin between them clearly and sultry requested to be touched again. And so he obeyed, kissed it softly before standing up.

It was half past eleven. Time to find champaign. Dinner would be taken care of tomorrow.

The clock in the hall way had ticked the day away into the evening while they had been asleep. This time of day was his favourite, wherever he was. Of course, daybreak brought solutions and possibilities, but evenings brought on nights and dreams, some very vivid, some very real. Some too good to be true.

Time could be a friend, if used correctly.

His weight pressed him to the floor as he picked up the clothes they had left on their way from the frontdoor to the bedroom. The delicate silk, the lace, so very contrasting with the cotton fabric of his own garments, yet so complementing in so many ways, it made him smile softly. Together they were the proverbal hundred percent.

The kitchen tiles were cold to his bare feet, as he checked the fridge, and closed it without finding what he had been looking for. He had forgotten to bring the champaign from the office, so they would have red wine in stead. Taking out the wine glasses, he contemplated which bottle to open. There was wine enough in this house, thankful clients were a seemingly inexhaustible resource of presents, beautiful whiskeys sometimes, but mostly wines. Incredible red wines.

The one he chose now was offered to them by Billy Travis, the unfortunate tennisplayer, and his wife Sara.

He uncorked the bottle and smelled. It was divine. He knew the wine would be even better when consumed a little later, at room temperature, and when it had been given time to breathe.

The label showed the year it was bottled. It was a good wine year.

Was the year he met her a good wine year? Could there be wine that had aged for forty two years ? Could that wine be as good as his life with Della Street, for forty two years now ?

Is that what age does? And does age improve the taste, or does it improve the taster ?

She was awake when he came back to bed, and she had opened the curtains, so they could have a good view on the fireworks, that were announcing themselves already by short, premature but loud cracks throughout the city of Denver.

" It's close to midnight now … "

" We appear to be without champaign tonight … "

" Oh, well. We'll have champaign next year … " she smiled.

Slowly settling himself next to her again in bed, he poured the wine, smelled it again and smiled at himself, thinking the wine was on bedroom temperature now. He set the two glasses on his bedside table. There was something important he had to do first, before toasting her and his life, in that specific order, and their life together in the year that was about to start.

Turning to her, he lifted her chin and kissed her long and deeply, pouring forty two years of fierce love into his kisses " I love you, Della … "

" Oh, Perry … " Knowing her for so long, he could almost taste her voice, hear what she had to say before she even started to speak. He could tell and knew now, she was moved and touched in more ways than one. There was no need for her to say it.

He handed her the large crystal glass with full bodied red wine, at the exact moment the sound of fireworks ushered in the new year, 1990.

Fireworks. Nice.

But he still preferred all the different, surprising colours she had brought into his life, the twinkling sparkle in her eyes, the glowing of her cheeks, the warmth of their bodies, the overwhelming sounds of intense passion and their heated explosions of lust and love.

Unlike fireworks, they required no specific date, were not liable to rules, regulations. Dangerous, maybe. But so much more satisfying, in so many more ways.

Toasting, they smiled into eachother's eyes.

" Happy New Year, baby … "

" Happy New Year … "