For the 'people's palace' celebration challenge, prompt: 'Jennsen/Cara, lawyer AU'

Summary: Cara is intrigued when Jennsen walks into her office, both by the legal case and its implications, but by Jennsen herself.


Cara Mason had three secrets.

The first was that she loved sparring with ADA Amnell, and would take on any case that she knew Kahlan would be prosecuting. She and Kahlan were fairly well matched in their legal prowess, though they were opposites in so many ways.

Kahlan was a wonder with words, and Cara enjoyed watching her pace around the courtroom as she instructed the jury during her opening and closing statements. Kahlan favoured long white blouses and short black skirts and long black boots, and wore her luxurious hair pinned up severely.

Cara preferred to use her wit to unsettle the witnesses. She'd been told she had a piercing stare that few could withstand. Cara wore her fair hair short and loved red suits and tight blouses and high heels.

Cara fantasised about doing bad things to Amnell.

Cara was also fairly certain that Amnell wore matching lingerie under her business attire.

Cara's second secret was that she wore no underwear at all.

It gave her a thrill to parade in front of the judges - old but shrewd Zorander, wily Rahl, and the young idealistic Cypher - and know they were ignorant of this particular fact.

The day had started out like any other for Cara - reading the paper, signing documents, checking her email. Then Cara's secretary, Dahlia, ushered in a frightened young woman. Pale skinned, with a cascade of red locks about her shoulders, Jennsen Lynn was in need of a good lawyer.

"You have to help me," Jennsen begged, clutching a tissue in one fist. "My father is trying to steal my organic farm out from under me. I thought he was dead, only he isn't, and he's mixed up with some terrible people."

"I eat terrible people for breakfast," Cara said calmly. Jennsen had a sprinkling of freckles and made no attempt to cover them; it was rumoured Amnell had freckles too, under her flawless foundation, but Cara had never had the opportunity to discover the truth of it for herself.

"No, you don't understand, my father says I'm related to Justice Rahl."

Cara sat back in her leather chair and steepled her fingers. This could be very interesting. It wasn't the first time Rahl had been named as being involved in some shady business, but witnesses tended to conveniently disappear before any investigation got underway.

"I'm not afraid of Rahl," Cara said.

"Then you'll help me?" Jennsen asked eagerly.

"Yes."

Jennsen dug into her purse and pulled out some oft-read letters, the papers worn and tattered in places. "I found these in the attic. I think they're important." She ferreted around some more and pulled out a pair of steel rimmed glasses which she slipped onto her nose.

"'My dearest Tara'," Jennsen read, explaining, "that's my mother. 'I am writing to tell you -'"

Cara was barely listening. She would read the letters for herself later, and have Dahlia make copies of them. It wasn't a lack of interest however that was stopping her from concentrating; it was the glasses. Because that was the other secret, her secret kink.

Maybe it wasn't such a weird or terrible kink, but Cara kept it secret because it was bad enough when Zorander slipped on his half moon spectacles when the bailiff passed him the jury's verdict and she could barely keep from squirming in her seat. If word got out about her kryptonite, Amnell would buy plain glass spectacles for show just to excite and unnerve her, and it was hard enough to ignore Amnell's ample bosom and shapely thighs without further distraction being thrown into the mix. And here was this delicious redhead wearing such elegant eyewear...

Gorgeous, sexy, bespectacled, and a damsel in distress. Jennsen couldn't have been more of a honeytrap if she were trying - and it occurred to Cara that it might indeed be a trap, and she'd have to run background on her new client before getting too deeply involved in the case. It was too late however to prevent herself from falling too deeply into, if not love, then lust.

Jennsen placed the letters on Cara's desk. "So, you see the problem."

"Yes," Cara lied automatically. In her experience clients never told the whole truth upfront anyway, and it was up to her and Dahlia to figure out what was actually going on.

Jennsen leant forward, so that Cara was treated to a view of her cleavage. When she peered over the rims of her glasses Cara's heart skipped a beat.

"About your fee," Jennsen said hesitantly.

Cara beamed at her. "Oh, don't worry," she said. "I'm sure we can work something out."