This request arrived as they all did, in the morning's mail. During the short three months that Della Street had been Perry Mason's confidential secretary, she had grown accustomed to the requests that came in nearly every day, in all shapes and sizes. Some typed, some hand written, all asking for something from the famed criminal attorney. Some requests were easy; an autograph on a copy of a newspaper photo, innumerable speaking engagement offers, she even recalled getting one that asked for a lock of Perry's hair. But, this one was different. It intrigued Della.
Grabbing the unusual request along with the other mail, Della opened the door to her handsome employer's office, just as he was hanging up the phone.
"That's great, Paul. Thanks for the information and let me know when you have more to report." As Perry hung up the phone, his startling blue eyes were drawn to his lovely secretary who stood in the doorway. He couldn't help but notice how the stylish black and white checked skirt and black sweater set hugged her attractive figure.
Smiling, Perry said, "You look like the cat that ate the canary, Della. What has you so amused?"
"Oh, just a little item in the morning mail that you might find interesting," she grinned as she closed the door and crossed the room to his desk.
At this, Perry chuckled a little. Since Della started working for him, he'd received several "scented" missives from various women. And, amazingly, Della was always able to identify the perfumes. Generally, it was the newest fragrance that all the women were rushing to buy. Not Della though. She had a signature scent that she typically wore. Perry hadn't learned the name of it yet, but it was one of the things that drew him to his lovely assistant. Regardless of what woman was wearing the scent, it never failed to stir him and conjure up images of the elegant and alluring Della Street.
"Okay, what's the name of the perfume this time," Perry queried, the corners of his mouth turning up in a grin.
It was Della's turn to smile. "No scent, but an interesting request. The California Bar Association is holding a fundraiser and they're going to auction off dates with eligible bachelors."
"And this involves me how?"
Laughing, Della stated, "Silly, they want you to be one of the eligible bachelors." As she spoke, she laid the letter on the desk in front of Perry.
At that, Perry harrumphed, as only he could. Della had come to adore that sound and figured out long ago that while it meant the lawyer thought the idea was corny, something about it held some interest for him.
"Eligible bachelor?! What a ridiculous idea!"
"Don't sell yourself short," she replied, placing her hand on his shoulder. "I'm sure there are any number of women who would be delighted to pay well for a date with you," Della assured him.
"How would it work?" The attorney was mildly flattered as he read the sheet of paper she had placed in front of him.
"Based on what I've read," she said, "the California Bar Association gathers a handful of single lawyers and women bid. High bid wins a date with the attorney. And all the money raised goes to benefit California orphanages. It sounds as if it might be fun."
"Fun … ha!" At Della's statement, Perry felt a pit begin to form in his stomach. Was she seriously suggesting that he go out with a woman who had paid for a date with him? Since he'd met the charming woman who now stood next to his desk, he'd grown increasingly fond of her. In fact, truth be told, he was simply waiting for the right time to admit his intentions. After working with her for just a few weeks, the unflappable attorney had come to realize that he'd met his match. Perry wasn't a stranger to intimate relationships with women, but once he'd hired the fascinating Della Street, they'd all come to a screeching halt. For the first time ever, Perry Mason had met a woman with whom he desired a lasting relationship. And, although the idea frightened him a little, Perry understood that he probably even loved the long-legged beauty. He had been hoping she felt the same way and that they'd eventually declare their feelings for one another. Yet, here she was suggesting he participate in an eligible bachelor auction!
"Oh, come on, Perry! It might be fun! You might meet that one special woman. You never know …" Della was smiling as she spoke. Already, she'd begun hatching an elaborate plan in that brilliant mind of hers.
When Della started working for Perry, it didn't take her long to recognize that the man with the imposing stature had captured her heart. When he looked at her with those piercing blue eyes, her heart started beating faster and she felt weak in the knees. Yes, she knew he was the right man for her, she just had to figure out how to convince him. This might be the perfect opportunity!