Post Pre-Trial, Los Angeles County Courthouse

During and after the preliminary trial, Perry Mason disabused the City of Los Angeles, indeed the state of California, of any erroneous ideas they may have had about Della's guilt, her reputation and him sacrificing his career for his secretary.

The D.A.'s "open and shut" case had turned out to be a classic frame; difficult to get dismissed but extremely satisfying when he did.

Pelted with questions as usual, Perry had Paul move an exhausted Della through the crowd and into the "car" ahead of him, as he could move a lot faster. As was tradition, Perry just smiled, not saying anything. Later, from a conference room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Perry Mason would make a single statement on Della's behalf: a detailed accounting of the disbursement of Miss Street's entire inheritance from Mr. Gordon, all to children's charities and all in his name.

"Jeez, are you sure, Della?" Paul had laughed. "Dad always said he was generous but the old man can't have paid you that well."

"Paul, if I were broke I wouldn't have kept that money. I know Arthur meant well, he was always very good to me but…"

Perry looked sideways at her.

"Not that good, dear," Della pursed her lips and patted his arm.

"Well, your Godson could use a backer…"

"You will have plenty of work as long as you behave," said his Godfather. "We are re-opening the practice. Besides, your Godmother is already a very wealthy woman. Arthur Gordon didn't have to worry. Della is my sole beneficiary—and has been since '52. Whether I'm here or not she will always be well cared for."

Perry turned behind him to see her pretty face. Shocked, Della looked at him, her lower lashes flooded. When she was finally able to speak again she put her hand on his shoulder and stated quietly and very firmly, "The only things I want from you Mr. Mason," she paused as her voice gave way. "The only things I've ever wanted from you, you have to be around to give me. Do you understand, Counselor?"

"I do," Perry Mason whispered, then kissed her hand.

Paul watched the road as the two most important people in his life finally found each other. His dad would never have believed that it had taken them so long. Choking back tears himself he kept his eyes straight and asked, "So…uh... when you think…we'll be up and running?"

"After I take this young lady away for a while to recover and make up for some lost years. Can you handle things until we get back?"

Overcome Paul just nodded. "Where are you going anyway?"

"You're the detective…you figure it out," Mason smirked and they all laughed.

After finishing a late lunch that turned into an early dinner, the three piled back into Paul's Jeep.

"This thing isn't so bad after all," admired Perry, of course he had had champagne, two bourbons, two glasses of cabernet and a cognac as Della pointed out.

Perry smirked and cocked his head, "Young lady… after last week if I were you…"

"A gentleman never reminds a lady of her transgressions," Della flipped her curls in mock petulance.

"Miss Street you are, as ever, absolutely correct. My apologies for being a lout." Teasing, Perry reached for her hand to give it a courtly kiss but when they looked in each other's eyes the giggling stopped. Perry played with her fingers, kissing them gently.

"Eh hem, not in front of the K-I-D," interrupted Paul, leering at Perry. "Where to Mom and Dad, nearest hotel?"

Della laughed and smiled sweetly at him from the back of the Jeep.

"Don't ever call me that, Junior," said Perry in a strained voice that made both Della and Paul laugh.

"Home," said Della her voice deep, her eyes searching Perry's with a carnal warmth. "That is unless you do need to go to the hotel first?"

"No," Perry noticed his voice was already cracking. "Home is fine. I can get the rest of my things tomorrow."

Paul smirked and Perry shot his Godson a dirty look. After they bid him goodbye, with the promise of dinner the following night, Paul watched as Perry escorted Della up the walk, holding her arm, then took her key and let them in the door. With a light beep-beep he drove off, feeling like he needed to call the young lady he had been seeing.

"Well, we did it…again," Perry said loosening his tie and setting his briefcase down.

There was none of his normal playful bravado and she noticed.

"You usually enjoy this moment much more, Counselor; second thoughts about getting me free?"

"You terrified me," Perry perched on the arm of an antique leather club chair suddenly looking so drained it scared Della a bit.

Della walked over to him, finished taking off his tie and threw it over her shoulder. Running her fingers through the salt and pepper hair she kissed his forehead.

"Now I've wanted to do that since it was jet black," Della put her hands on her hips.

"There was more black before your call came I can tell you," Perry shook his head.

"Funny… I was never worried; not for one moment." Della seemed a little bemused about this, herself.

"You weren't, were you?" his smile lit up the room.

"I knew, too."

"What?"

"I knew that it would be you who came. I knew that you'd step down from the bench for me, even if it had been something you loved, which we both know…it was not."

"No, Della. It wasn't. And don't ask because I'll never know why I did it," Perry shook his head. "But it would have been me even if I had loved the job. You're too precious to me."

Perry pulled her hand down, turning it over, stroking her delicate fingers before bringing it to his lips to place the softest kiss Della had ever experienced in the center of her palm. With a sharp intake of breath Della positioned herself between his legs and drew his head to her.

"I am sorry for the publicity, baby; I'm sorry for what they did to you. I never could protect you from any of that, could I?"

"How could you? No, the crime was, our shared crime was, that we ever pandered to them in the first place."

"It cost us dearly, young lady."

"It did at that," Della held tight to him as she admitted it, a slight sob in her small chest. "So…what next Counselor?"

Perry wrapped his arms around her waist enjoying total contentment, "Miss Street, have you any experience setting up a law office?"

"A little…yes, yes," playing along Della rolled her eyes, nodding. "Take us about two weeks I'd say; maybe less. Have you seen my garage, by the way?"

"Now there is a non-sequitor."

"I'd say that there are about 3 dozen packing boxes in there, recently arrived from San Francisco."

"Forgot to mention that…" Perry bit his lip, stroking her hip.

"Funny. It made me feel secure when they arrived."

They both chuckled. "But it is a good thing we have appointments to look office spaces downtown. Staff resumes await you, too, replete with my notes from their telephone pre-interviews, of course. Oh, guess what?" Perry started to scowl. The "guess what?" game never turned out well.

"Gertie wants to come back."

"Oh, dear God. Why? I thought that she married a pot of money. Well… how is she?" Perry was resigned to their mutual loyalty.

"Divorced, and it pains me to say this, flightier than she was."

"Della that is simply not possible." Perry's face was stone.

Laughing she said, "Golly I've missed that face. I'm afraid that it is possible, my darling. But she'll be fine and it will be nice continuity for our old clients and, yes, I have the announcement ready to go out to the entire Rolodex.

Also, let's see… I've scheduled the entire office to be taken out of storage as soon as we sign a lease and I have started the process for re-instating all of our licenses, insurances and the payroll. Hired the cleaning crew, applied as intern sponsor at UCLA and UCS Law and and arranged to get our records out of storage."

Perry just stared at her.

"What? You were going to need a job, right?" Della shrugged her shoulders and Perry grabbed her and pulled her down on his lap into a bear hug.

"Decided enough is enough, huh? Going to fix the old man."

"Yup!" Della was giggling almost uncontrollably now.

"Pretty efficient, Miss Street."

"I told you long ago that I was a handy girl to have around the office."

"Mmmm..." as Perry started nuzzling her neck he realized he was the happiest he had ever been.

"I didn't mean our jobs."

"Well, I did…" Perry looked away, his champagne glass hiding his mischievous smile.

Della's eyes narrowed, the creases around them gathering with her smile. "I need a lot more than Crepes Suzette these days, Counselor."

Perry put his lips against her ear, kissing her softly, "You will never know how much I missed you when we were apart. There isn't even a word to describe it."

Della tipped her chin up to kiss her boss. "Mm hmm?" she hummed. "In case I haven't mentioned it, I love this beard. I also happen to love you still… more.

"I love you, too. I always have."

"So you say," she chided, winking at him and pushing herself off his lap against his chest. "Well… why don't you meet me in my room… say in 45 minutes?"

"Defense has to present his case, huh? Forty-five minutes?" Perry checked the time on his beautiful pocket watch. "I think I can arrange that."

Della reached down to hold the hand holding the watch.

"This was extravagant young lady, far too extravagant," he held her to him with his other arm.

"You spoiled me over the years. And it wasn't about the money it was about finding…"

"The perfect gift," he smiled; they were finishing each other's sentences as if no time had passed at all. "Seneca was a wise man."

Della put her forehead against his then let her lips travel down to his, kissing him long and slow. When she finished her cheeks were glowing pink, her voice taxed and skipping syllables.

"You can freshen up in 'your' room. By the way, it did not escape my notice that you have been leaving more and more of your things in there with each visit."

"It did not escape my notice that you have turned it into a very handsome and masculine room. I was hoping that it was no accident… and that it was for me."

"Oh, I'll never tell, Counselor." Della Street swung her blazer over her shoulder and started down the hall to her room, hips swaying rhythmically under the tight fabric of her skirt, legs impossibly sexy in her high heels.

"But you can start leaving your things in our bedroom. We'll turn that into a study for you."

"Our bedroom." Perry smiled broadly.

"Oh there's champagne chilling. Why don't you bring it along," she called over her shoulder.

"What if you had been held over for trial? What if we hadn't won?" Perry was almost embarrassed that she still had such confidence in him.

Della looked back again, rolling her eyes and just before she disappeared behind her bedroom door mouthed the words, "Yeah. Right."

In 45 minutes to the second Perry knocked on her door, showered and spruced up in his robe, accompanied by the champagne bucket and two glasses.

"Come in, Counselor…" her voice was husky.

When he walked in she was standing with her hand on the hearth, the fire's golden glow dancing across her lithe figure in a very expensive, shimmering column of silvery pale blue satin. Simply cut with elegant lines, the negligee had a deep décolletage and was a slit well up her right thigh. Freed from the shackles of the corporate world and public opinion, Perry was stunned by the change. Both her hair and make-up were fresher, younger, so like her old self that she could have been 35 again.

All of the love he had been holding in for almost four decades welled up, engulfing him.

"Della, you're… exquisite, my love."

"Thank you, sir," Della offered him her famous smile, demure yet sexually potent.

Perry walked towards her, setting the champagne bucket on a small table between two white boudoir chairs. After filling their glasses he offered her a flute. "Now where does a girl find something like that in this day and age?"

"Counselor, if you knew how long I've had this in my drawer, wrapped in the same tissue paper, tied with the same satin ribbon just waiting for you, well, you would be astounded. I'm frankly surprised it still fits," she chuckled smoothing a hand over her midriff.

Perry put his hand over hers on her belly.

"Della, I've been in love with you since your first day we met and I have never, not for a single day, been in love with another woman."

"Well, at this point, I don't think my case needs pleading, does it?" pursing her lips then opening her smile wide.

"Della, no one's love has been more…" but he choked back the rest of his sentence.

Della moved in to kiss him gently and touch their glasses. "Thank you, Perry, for rescuing me. That armor of yours hasn't dulled one bit." Della, smiling, had her chin turned up to him.

"No, thank you, young lady, for rescuing me," he said, encircling her soft waist with his free hand, pulling her close.

Sipping champagne they spent the next several minutes staring deeply into each other's eyes, getting reacquainted, reminiscing, planning the future, all without ever saying a word. Della ran a hand up his great arm, letting her hand rest on his chest, over his heart. Setting his glass down, Perry stroked her fingers lightly, remembering how her hands used to fascinate him when they worked together. Their impossible loss suddenly overwhelmed him and he gazed into the fire.

"Della, I'm so sorry," he finally spoke so quietly she could barely hear him. "I'm sorry for not declaring my love for you decades ago and I'm sorry for leaving you. I'm just… sorry…" Perry slumped down on the nearby chair.

Putting her glass down, Della held him to her like a small child. Perry buried his head in her belly as she whispered in his ear, "My love, my one and only love. Are you really going to take all of the credit for this mess?"

Della pulled away for a moment to look in his face. "Because that's not like you; you've never been one to take credit."

"But Della…" he protested.

"No, dear, I could have made my feelings clear sooner public be damned. I'm the one who ran away the first time, Perry; not you. Remember that. And then to tell you how I felt when you were already out the door? In a note? Oh, Perry, it's a wonder you ever spoke to me again." Della stated in that assured, matter-of-fact way he so admired.

That was his girl, clear-eyed, sensible and never one to blame. Searching his robe pocket he found her card from eight years ago. Handing it to her he said, "Many days darling girl, this is the only thing that kept me going. Don't ever, ever apologize for this. Please."

Perry stood, wrapping himself around her. They stayed that way for a long while, trying to recapture those lost 37 years.

"You know, Perry," Della started slowly. "I know that we didn't have all that we could have had. But I always knew that I was the one you loved," Della was gripping one of his lapels, emphatic.

The only time I've been unhappy—truly unhappy—is when we were apart," she finished, cuddling against his chest as he stroked her back.

"The last night in the office, when you left…Della, I thought I was going to die…"

"You were there. After you left the first time I thought I felt you come back… I could always feel you when you were near me. You were in the door of the law library."

Perry started laughing, "Della my darling, I'm sorry to include you in this but I really have no choice. We are a couple of idiots."

"That we are Counselor," she laughed loud and long, nodding her head. "That we are."

Della flipped on the stereo and Chet Baker joined them. Perry pulled her close, tucking her curls under his chin, and began to dance. But this was unlike any dance they had ever danced.

Time after time
I tell myself that I'm
So lucky to be loving you

So lucky to be
The one you run to see
In the evening, when the day is through

I only know what I know
The passing years will show
You've kept my love so young, so new

And time after time
You'll hear me say that I'm
So lucky to be loving you

"Miss Street, may I have the pleasure of your company for the rest of our lives?"

"Marriage?"

"Any way that pleases you; as long as you're mine."

"I never needed to be married, Perry. I suppose it might have been nice when we were younger but it's not necessary now. You've got me whether we have a certificate or not, I'm afraid."

"That's all I care about."

"Unless I get pregnant; then of course…" Perry burst out laughing and dipped her as she giggled.

"Incidentally, Miss Street; was that tape supposed to break my heart every… damn… time… I listened to it?" Mr. Mason gave her a knowing glance.

Della lifted her chin, laughing.

"Why didn't we make love that New Year's Eve? How did I let you slip away—how did we let each other slip away that night?"

"When they took those photos…it was 1961 Perry, not 1985. It was so different then. Well look at the press we went through with this, now, in our 60s! They reprinted those damn pictures! And all of the secretaries we encountered in cases over the years; always viewed as opportunistic and cheap if they were involved with their bosses.

If we married… if we married I would have been just another secretary who 'snagged' her wealthy boss and you would have had to leave me at home, which I could never have stood. And how would it have looked to clients if we had married and I had stayed working for you? I'm sure there was an answer but…we would have had to be different people."

"Propriety—we were slaves to it."

Perry took her face between his hands, running a thumb back and forth across her lower lip, running his left hand through her hair and down her neck. As they locked eyes Della could feel the warmth of his breath drawing closer. Grabbing her upper arms, Perry pulled Della closer, making her moan softly.

Sliding his lips across hers he concentrated on the lower lip that had driven him crazy for decades. Gently he parted her lips with his tongue, her head sinking back for him. They opened to one another, Della drawing her tongue over Perry's lips, the top, then the bottom then the top again.

Perry let his fingertips run over the silk covering her breasts now so very visible through her nightgown. Delicately the middle finger on each of Perry's hands slipped her nightgown straps off her shoulders and down her arms, but Della shimmied them back up. Perry looked at her askance and tried again but this time she put her sweet hands gently on his to stop him and she shook her head.

"Why don't you take me to bed now, Counselor? I'll get the lights."

"Della, what is it?"

"Just modest…"

"Modest? Who was that in the pink lingerie last week?"

"Some drunk murder suspect… probably scared, definitely lonely, unable to resist the man she had loved her entire adult life any longer." Della laughed nervously.

Perry pulled her close, kissing her deeply, sliding his fingers under the straps again.

"I'm not 30 anymore, Perry. You missed out my friend," more nervous laughter.

"We will have none of that, Miss Street. And I've got a lot more to worry about than you. I took inventory last week and young lady you are a miracle of preservation." Della started to giggle.

"That's my girl."

"I wouldn't change a thing about you, my love" Della reached out and stroked his cheek.

"Exactly, now stop wasting my time," Perry growled in her neck, making her giggle more.

As Perry slipped the straps down her arms Della, cheeks flushing, leaned into him. With the beautiful gown pooled at her waist she looked even more magnificent exposed than she had looked in her tight sweaters in the 50s and 60s.

"Beautiful girl, my beautiful girl," whispered Perry.

Perry started torturing her a bit with his fingers and mouth. Soon Della's breathing was labored as she squirmed, grasping at him.

Caressing her hips with his large hands he pushed the gown and it dripped down her, shimmering in the candlelight like a waterfall.

Holding her hand as she stepped from the little lagoon of silk, Perry bent over to retrieve the gown, laying it carefully over a chair.

When he had picked her up the week before, having grown so heavy and so stiff with a shattered knee, he thought that he was quite possibly taking both of their lives in his hands. Tonight he was young again and when he swept her up into his arms she felt as light as air. Perry spun her around making her laugh with delight.

"To the bed, Counselor!" Della directed her boss. "Before you either have a heart attack or drop me on my head…or both simultaneously!"

"Simultaneously…hmmm…that certainly gives me an idea!" he growled again, making her chuckle.

Perry Mason put Della Street gently in their bed, following her under the covers. Finally after nearly four decades, he was in bed with the most precious thing in his life; the most beautiful woman—inside and out—he had ever seen.

Cradling her in his arms, he smiled as he ran the back of his finger across her brow, down the side of her cheek and down to the hollow of her neck where he placed a single kiss.

Perry moved down kissing her lightly in her cleavage, where he was lulled by her even breathing.

After a few minutes… they both woke up.

Della started laughing and Perry joined in. "Oh, Perry! I'm so sorry! I'm exhausted. You know I beat a murder rap today?"

As if to challenge her Perry said, "You're tired? My client was charged with murder-I got her off…"

Della laughed uproariously now. "You did not! You fell asleep on her."

"I object. She fell asleep under me," Perry tousled her curls, tipping her chin up and kissing her deeply between chuckles.

"Perry, dear…"Della met his gaze, their moist, sleepy eyes meeting. "I plan on loving you forever. We have a lifetime now…"

"I guess after 37 years…what's one more day?" They were both giggling now.

"Good-night my love," she whispered sleepily in his ear. "Hey!"

"What?" yawned, Perry.

"Well…" she paused, her voice held a tiny sob. Taking his face in her hands she whispered, "I'll see you in the morning…"

Perry looked at his beautiful girl, understanding instantly, and with sadness, the significance that held for her, for both of them.

"See you in the morning baby," he cooed. Della's soft, throaty chuckle rumbling against him was the last thing he heard as he fell asleep.

Della woke with a start.

From the angle at which the moonlight was streaming in high, through the window it had to be the middle of the night. They must have turned—apparently perfectly in sync—and Perry was now wrapped around her from behind. In fact, he had a bit of a death grip on her, which would have made her giggle had she been able to get enough breath to do it. Perry's massive arms, so strong they could still lift her up, crossed in front of her with one hand on her belly, the other gently under a breast.

Wide awake now she lay there stroking Perry's arms, thinking about the events of this week. They were finally together and Della knew nothing would ever part them again. But she had realized something earth shattering over these last few days that, with the exception of the past eight years, although their relationship was now acknowledged and had been physically enhanced, it wasn't that much different than it had been throughout their life. They had always felt their love because it had always been right there.

An immeasurable peace accompanied this revelation.

Trying to slide out of his adoring grip without waking him was quite a challenge.

"No."

"Dear, you really are going to have to excuse me for a moment," Della laughed.

Perry "harrumphed" but kissed her shoulder and freed her.

Before leaving the bathroom she fixed her hair, reapplied a mist of cologne and brightened her cheeks. Laughing to herself she noticed he had done such a thorough job kissing her that her slightly swollen and quite pink lips didn't need lipstick. Walking around naked in front of him, at 63 still didn't thrill her so she grabbed her short, pale yellow silk robe that had been hanging on the back of the door.

When she came back to bed he was leaning his head on his fist, the wide lapis eyes staring out the window just awaiting her return.

"Della!" Perry was exasperated.

"Oh alright," she laughed resigned. Dropping the shoulders so the robe barely covered her breasts, she dipped her head behind an alabaster shoulder coquettishly, before casting it off behind her.

Perry laughed happily, pulling her back into bed and onto him.

"Have a good nap?"

"Mm hmm," she purred. "And you?"

"Much needed I'm afraid."

Della's thigh brushed Perry not too far from his thigh. "Mm hmm? Wide awake now."

"Indeed, I am, young lady. Indeed, I am."

"Tell me something…" Della pursed her lips and cocked her head towards him.

"Why is it I am not allowed to wear clothes…"

Perry cut her off with a growl. "Miss Street, I may have to institute that as a rule. No clothes for you in the bedroom."

Perry began kissing her neck but she shoved him playfully back into the pillows.

"Back to my point…how come I'm the only one without any clothes on?"

Laughing Perry brought her into him with a hand on the small of her back. Della could feel him against her again and it made her wild. Staring into his eyes she ran her hands down along the silk that lined his hips and back up again. Perry's head fell forward into her, straining so hard against the material now he clasped Della's shoulders and moaned loudly when she slid his pajama bottoms off him.

When Della's wandering hands found him she gasped, then giggled. "Well, I might have suspected as much."

"So to speak."

"So to speak…"

Greedily Della explored him with her soft hands and even softer mouth, fulfilling a decades-long desire. Those delicate hands moved so liberally and so swiftly that it was like being bound in spun sugar there was so much of her sweetness everywhere. For almost 40 years just the thought of Della touching him like this had provoked pleasure but now he thought he might go insane.

Their frayed, tormented breathing filled the room until he reached down and gently lifted her up towards him.

"Baby, you're going to have to take it easy on me," he panted afraid he wouldn't last much longer.

"Well, you had the chance to explore me last week," she looked at him from his stomach where she had laid her head on her crossed arms, her eyes glittering, hungry.

"It's my turn now, Counselor. I never was the type of girl to just…lay back. You better than anyone know that."

As Della started to move up to meet him, Perry lifted her under the arms then turning her on her back and nestling her in the pillows. Before continuing something occurred to him, it couldn't be true but, just in case he looked quizzically at her, apprehensive. As ever, she knew exactly what he was wondering. Rolling her eyes she shook her head, "No."

Perry laughed at his own ego.

Staring into Della's beautiful eyes, still huge and now sweeter for the laugh lines around them, his heart melted at the complete trust and love they offered. Curling his left arm beneath her body and taking her other hand in his he laid against her gently and kissed her deeply.

"Let me know," he whispered somewhat self-consciously, "If I'm hurting you."

"Now, now, Counselor," she looked him in the eye exactly as he had done earlier. "We will have none of that. I love the way you feel, especially against me and I've waited a long, long time for this."

Perry buried his head in her neck, which he decided was his new favorite place. With that she clutched his back pulling him onto her, adoring the feel of him, the heft of him. Della didn't mind the weight he had acquired in the last eight years. In fact, except for the first few years they knew one another, Perry had always been at the mercy of his weight.

Pressing himself to her she cried out.

Della started to moan but Perry put a finger over her mouth and shook his head. Moving his lips inch-by-inch down and over her body, it was as if he was trying to memorize every bit of skin. By the time he finally reached her lower belly—after a torturous time circling each breast from the base to the tip with his skillful tongue—she thought she might lose her mind.

Her pleasure was involuntarily audible but he put his finger over her lips again and smiled at her.

"Shhhh…."

Throwing the covers off them, Perry watched her gorgeous legs as he parted them with his knee. Hovering over her, he stroked her hip with one hand as he saw all of their years together reflected in her dark eyes. There she was on the first day in her pink suit, at Christmas a few years later in the red satin gown he loved, holding the baby left on their doorstep, at the lake, holding an enormous fish she had just caught, that New Year's night and thousands of nights of dinners and dancing.

"My, God, I love you," Perry said bringing their bodies together, finally. Della slid an arm around his neck and a brought his face to hers with a hand on his cheek. Moving slowly back and forth, their eyes never lost contact.

Stopping to prolong their pleasure, Perry kissed the tears from her cheeks.

"You know, if it makes you feel better, not in many, many years," she whispered in his ear.

It took Perry a moment but then he realized what she meant.

"I'm sorry to say my darling, that it does make me feel better," Perry sighed deeply. "Me, either, by the way."

"Come now…"

But Perry nuzzled her neck again and whispered in a raspy voice, "Not in a very long time, Della. Frankly, not that much in general; certainly not what was reported in the media."

Della stroked his brow, pensive. "I always thought…"

"You can only call a woman by the wrong name so many times before she doesn't want to see you again," Perry said tipping his head the way Della usually did.

"Oh my love…

"I did, however, spend a great deal of time…uh…in the shower, thinking of a certain someone." Perry laughed his cheeks red and moving slightly faster now.

Smiling and equally embarrassed, Della was unable to look at him.

"Mm hmm …" she moaned, her voice falling to the floor it was so low. "Bathtub."

The idea of Della naked in the bathtub back then, thinking about him was almost too much to bear.

In the silence and moonlight, they were alone, oblivious to anything else around them but one another. Their sounds were those of complete intimacy. Della brought one of her long, slender legs up and around him as Perry held her even tighter. When Della's body arched, they both went rigid, his name sounding sonorous in her deep voice just before he silenced her again covering her lips with his own.

They went on for what seemed like an hour this way, the pleasure coming in continual waves. When they were finally finished, neither of them moved.

"I love you, Mr. Mason."

Whispering in her ear he asked one more time, "I love you so very much. Are you sure you don't want to be Mrs. Mason?"

Trying to catch her breath now she managed to ask back, "Haven't I been…all along?"

Perry smiled, "Huh…yes, my darling…yes, you certainly have."