Mr. and Mrs. Defender

A/N: This is my first work of fiction, except fan fiction, and I'll tell you now, it's going to be long. I obviously own these characters; otherwise instead of an A/N, you would see a disclaimer. The only thing I don't own is the title. I heard it on an episode of Matlock. When David calls Kenzie 'Princess' and 'Lysa' later in the story, he is calling her by her middle name, Alysa, which means 'princess' in Greek. Thoughts are in italic.

Chapter 1

"Kenzie, can you come in here for a second, please?"

Hearing this, Mackenzie Alysa Grayston, A.K.A Kenzie, sighed, rolled her eyes, and rose from her desk. She walked over to a nearby wall and pushed a button on an intercom. "Coming, Cassie." Five minutes later, she walked into Cassidy A.K.A. Cassie, Winterbourne's office. "Yes, my friend?"

Cassie looked at the woman she had known since she was in diapers. She sighed as she remembered their childhood days. Kenzie had been raised by a widowed father. Her mother died when she was six and ½ months old. Meanwhile, Cassie had been raised by both mother and father until her father was killed in a car accident when she was three. There was talk that they would marry, and make Cassie and Kenzie stepsisters, but it never happened.

Instead, Kenzie's father married a beautiful woman named Isabelle when Kenzie was six. Isabelle had two daughters, aged twelve and six months, from an earlier marriage. Veronica, the twelve year old, loved Kenzie from the start. They shared a room until Kenzie was twelve. Then Veronica moved out of the house and into her own. For two years, Kenzie and her then six year old stepsister, Jordan, shared a room.

On Kenzie's 16th birthday, her half-sister, Esperanza Isabelle Grayston, or Anza, was born. After that it was Anza, Anza, and more Anza. Both she and Jordan were sent to live with Veronica. She moved out of Veronica's house, to a house in the same school district, when she turned eighteen. Jordan was finishing seventh grade when Kenzie moved out. She gave Jordan the option of living with her instead of Veronica. She agreed, but there was one condition, she had to live with Veronica for the duration of the current school year. It was agreed. She would move in with Kenzie the summer between seventh and eighth grade.

Meanwhile, Anza had grown into a pretty young girl of two. Her life, on the other hand, was anything but. Her mother had given birth to twin girls, Maggie and Zoe. She felt like Kenzie and Jordan felt when she was born. She felt ignored, so she went to her mother and begged to be allowed to live with Kenzie or Veronica. Her mother said no, she was only two.

Six years later, she was sitting in a courtroom next to Kenzie and her current boyfriend, Hector, plus their lawyer. Her mother and father were giving Kenzie full custody of her. Anza didn't like Hector very much. She thought he was sneaking around and cheating on Kenzie, so living with him was going to be ten years of hell. Jordan, Veronica, and Cassie loathed him, as well. They only tolerated him because Kenzie was crazy about him. Secretly, they all thought he was abusing her, because she had bruises after the many fights that they've had.

Jordan, now eighteen, was a freshman in college. She lived in an off-campus apartment with her best friend, Alex Lechery, who was also a freshman. They looked like twins. Both had long chestnut brown hair and piercing cornflower blue eyes. They were both dating members of two of the school's many sports teams/clubs/organizations. Alex was dating Toby, the captain of the basketball and baseball teams while Jordan was dating Logan, the captain of the soccer and track teams. Both were sophomores and had promised to wait for the girls to graduate before, if they were still together, they would marry. Cassie had known the girls forever and loved them to death. Plus, she would do anything and everything in her power to protect Kenzie and the girls from any kind of harm.

She had been woken up two weeks ago at eleven-thirty by Anza's phone call. Kenzie needs you was all that she said. She quickly dressed and kissed her still slumbering husband on the cheek. Then she walked down the back stairs from the second floor to the kitchen to get to the garage. She was startled by her two dogs, Clara and Annabelle, barking. Both were Labrador Retrievers. Shushing them, she walked to the garage.

Climbing into her 2003 Mercedes Grand Prix, she threw it into motion. She drove for about 20 minutes, and then pulled into Kenzie's driveway. She got out of the car and hurried up the walk. Reaching the door, she rang the doorbell. Anza answered and pulled her inside without a word.

Cassie entered, following Anza toward Kenzie's bedroom. They reached the door and Cassie gasped, "Kenzie! What's wrong, sweetie?" All the while, she raced forward to sit on her bed.

Kenzie couldn't stop sobbing. Cassie heard, "Hector…other woman…fiancée…sex…kicked him out… Cassie, he cheated on me! He cheated on me and then asked the girl to marry him!"

"Kenzie, sweetie… I'm so sorry!"

Kenzie decided that now was as good a time as any to bring Cassie out of her daze. "Cass…hello? I'm still here."

"Oh. Sorry, Kenzie. Anyway, we have a board meeting with another firm in two weeks."

"Will you stop worrying? They'll never take us over."

"Kenzie, that's not what I'm worried about. The firm in question is closing next month, and they're dividing their lawyers between the best firms in the city. If they're impressed with us, we'll get their best lawyers."

"Ohhh. That's never happened."

"Yes, it did, Kenz, about four months ago, just before you graduated from law school. The firm in question just didn't think we were strong enough at the time."

"Cassie, we're the strongest law firm in the city of Chicago!"

"We are now. But, we weren't four months ago. I think we're stronger now than ever before because you chose to join us instead of the other firm." She gave Kenzie an affectionate smile, much like one would give a younger sister.

"Thanks, Cassie." She checked her watch. "Crap. Cass, I gotta go. I promised Veronica I'd pick up Anza ten minutes ago." In the summer, Anza sometimes spent her weekends with Veronica.

Cassie smiled, "Go. The board meeting is in two weeks. I want you to come to the reception. You don't have to be at the meeting itself, but I do want you to introduce yourself to the two new lawyers that will hopefully joining our firm. I don't care how you get here, and I don't care if you have to get Veronica to watch Anza, I want you here. Got it?"

"Yes, ma'am! I'll be back in twenty!" After picking Anza up from Veronica's, Kenzie usually dropped her off for a couple hours at the YMCA day program until she got off work. Anza loved it. She actually looked forward to the YMCA day camp that Kenzie, Jordan, Veronica, and Cassie had all attended before her.

"Okay, Kenzie. I'm watching the clock. You have twenty minutes. Ready, set, GO!"

Kenzie raced down the hall to the elevators. When she reached the bottom floor, she peeled out of the elevator and into the parking garage. She then checked her watch. A minute and a half. She then found her amethyst PT Cruiser that her parents bought her for her 21st birthday. She had actually had one that they bought her when she turned sixteen, but it was stolen just before her 21st birthday. Her parents surprised her by giving her that and a five and ½ carat amethyst necklace as a graduation present. She had worn this necklace everyday as a token of her parents' love for her. They just won her trust back when she turned eighteen. She climbed into it and threw it into gear. Peeling out of the parking garage, she turned right and headed the two miles to Veronica's home.

Five minutes later

Kenzie pulled into the driveway of her older sister's, well stepsister's, she thought with a grin, breathtaking Victorian-style home that she shared with her husband of three years, James Kendall, and their adopted twin girls, Jessica, A.K.A. Jessie, and Madeline, A.K.A Maddie. Both were six months old. There was also Hayley, or Hayley, James's three year old daughter from his first marriage.

When James's ex-wife, Luisa, or Lu, delivered the baby girl six weeks after the finalization of their divorce, he had demanded custody of the child in view of the fact that Luisa was declared legally insane and he feared for the baby girl's, whom he had named Hayley, safety. He had received full custody and Lu was prohibited from seeing her. In fact, after the papers for transfer of custody were signed, the nurses wheeled a breast pump into the room and Hayley was wheeled back to the nursery until her father and his girlfriend could pick her up.

Once James came, he came into Lu's room and picked up the bottles with her breast milk in them. James and Veronica were engaged six weeks later. They were wedded when Hayley was five months old. She has never known another mother. Veronica adopted her when she returned from her honeymoon.

Grinning, she pulled into the driveway and honked, "Anza! Let's go, sweetie! I have to get back to work!"

A minute later, Anza came out. Putting her stuff in the back seat, she cried, "Hey, Kenzie! I missed you!" and she gave Kenzie a kiss on the cheek.

"I missed you too, Anza. Now, we have to hurry. I told Aunt Cassie that I'd be back at work in…" She checked the clock, "Fifteen minutes. So, I need you to cooperate with me, please. You need to get out when I stop the car at day camp. You can give me a kiss, but that's it. I can't wait with you, but I know that Jenna will." All the while she had been talking; she had been navigating in the direction of the day camp. "So, how was your weekend with Veronica?"

"It was so much fun! Jessie and Maddie are getting bigger everyday. They'll probably start crawling soon. And Hayley is reaching that dreaded stage…PT."

"Oh, lord. God help Veronica and James when they try to get Hayley potty trained. My lovely niece, HayleyRose Kendall, will fight tooth and nail to keep from being potty trained. My other nieces, Jessica Aaliyah Kendall and Madeline Juliana Kendall, will be crawling, maybe even teething, soon. Veronica and James will have their hands full. I don't envy them."

Grinning, Anza replied, "Neither do I!"

Laughing together, Kenzie and Anza continued on their way to the day camp. Two and ½ minutes later, she pulled in. "Go on, Anza. Jenna's right there. I have your stuff, and I'll drop it off at the house before I come pick you up, which should be about five. I'll call if I'm running late. Bye! I love you! See you later! You be good!" With that, she honked as she drove away.

Jenna, who was Anza's best friend at day camp, had never seen or heard of Kenzie, because she had never been around. "Who was that who just dropped you off, Anza?"

Anza smiled, "That was my half-sister, Kenzie, Jenna. I've lived with her for about nine months now. She's the greatest."

"If you live with her, are you an orphan?"

Shaking her head, Anza replied, "No, I'm not an orphan. My mom and dad are still alive. They gave custody of me to Kenzie because I was miserable at home. I have two sisters, Maggie and Zoe, who are two years younger than I am. They'll be seven next month. Then I have three half-sisters: Kenzie, who's twenty-five, Veronica, who's thirty-one, and Jordan, who's nineteen. Jordan and Veronica are my half-sisters by my mom, Isabelle, who is Kenzie's stepmother, while Kenzie is my half-sister by my dad, Chris, who is Jordan and Veronica's stepfather. They are exactly six years apart. Veronica is six years older than Kenzie, while Jordan is six years younger. Kenzie and I have a very special connection. We were born on the same day, February 15, exactly sixteen years apart. I spend the weekends with Veronica in the summer, plus her husband, James, who is my half-brother-in-law, her stepdaughter and two adopted daughters, Hayley, Jessica, and Madeline, who are my nieces."

"Wow. I never knew you had such a complicated family, Anza."

"It's not really that complicated, Jen. I've lived with Kenzie for nine months, right?" Jenna nodded. "Well, in three months, when I turn nine and ½, Kenzie will petition the court to formally adopt me, and make it all legal. My mom and dad still have most of their parental rights. What the adoption will do is terminate the parental rights they do have and make Kenzie my mother. I will still see my parents at certain times of the year, such as Christmas and my birthday, but they cannot demand to see me all year-round."

"Wow, Anza. I've never known someone who was adopted before. That's really cool."

"Thanks." The huge camp bell rang. "Let's get inside before we get into trouble."

Meanwhile

Kenzie was singing along to the new CD she had bought herself two weeks ago. She pulled into the parking garage and parked. She walked to the elevator, grinning. Pasting a big smile on her face, she walked into Cassie's office, exactly seventeen minutes after she left. "Hey, Cassie. What's my time?"

"Seventeen minutes, Kenzie. You're good."

Kenzie tossed a familiar grin Cassie's way. "I know I'm good. And I never once went over the speed limit."

"Are you serious? Mackenzie Alysa Grayston, are you lying to me?" Cassie looked Kenzie directly in the eye. Her back was ramrod straight.

"No, I am not lying to you, Cassidy Serena Winterbourne. Why would I? I've never lied to you before."

Cassie shook her head, "I have no idea why you would lie to me. You are right that you've never lied to me before. Except once, in high school. You remember that?"

"Yes, I do remember that. I told you that the guy you liked was going to ask me to the Winter Ball. You didn't talk to me for weeks. Who did he end up taking?"

"He ended up taking me. And the guy you liked ended up taking…"

"Rachelle McRae. The bitchy slut of a narcissistic drama queen. She's the most narcissistic asshole Varsity Cheerleader Lincoln Academy ever saw."

"Rachelle? Wow. Last I heard of her she was in jail for solicitation and prostitution. You never liked her, did you?"

"I loved her, Cass. We practically were best friends. Of course, I never liked her. I loathed her sluttish ass. She flirted like crazy with every boy under the sun. Including our boyfriends for a short time. Remember that?"

"Yes, clearly. She was the annoying little bitch that sat in the back of the room. Acted like a little holier-than-thou ass. She was one of our best friends. When did that change?"

"When we entered seventh grade, Cassie. I don't know what happened, but when we got out for the summer after sixth grade, the three of us were best friends. When we came back to start seventh grade after summer vacation, she was changed. I think it was that cheerleading camp her mom sent her to for the last two weeks of summer vacation, because at the beginning of the summer, we were giggling and spending the nights at each other's houses. But, when she came back from cheerleading camp, it all stopped. She hung around with the cheerleaders, tried out for and won a sought-after spot on the JV basketball squad, and stopped hanging around with us. The next year, she tried out again, and this time, won a spot on the Varsity basketball and football teams."

"I remember that very well, Kenzie. I saw that she hurt you when she stopped hanging around with us. But, that was years ago. Now, you've got a whole new set of much better friends who love and respect you. It's time to forget about Rachelle McRae."

"Thanks, Cassie. You're the best friend a girl ever had."

"You're welcome, Kenzie. I love you like the little sister I never had."

Tossing a grin at Cassie, Kenzie turned and said, "Thanks." as she headed back to work.

"You're welcome. Now, go!" Cassie pointed out the door. Kenzie promptly took the hint and headed back to her desk.

Two weeks later

It was the day of the board meeting. Kenzie had dropped Anza off at camp, as she usually did. Then it was off to work. She pulled into the parking garage and headed for the elevator. She stepped into the bullpen, which was empty because Cassie had told everybody to not come in until noon. Kenzie sat down at her desk and looked through her files. She was swamped with the usual: Breaking & Entering, armed assault, assault, battery, and assault with a deadly weapon. She was a competent defense lawyer, but even she wasn't sure if she could get all these guys off with just a slap on the wrist. Especially the assaults.

The assault with a deadly weapon was probably going to be the hardest, and she was grateful she didn't have to appear in court for that one for at least another month. The B&E was just a sixteen year old kid trying to get his girlfriend back into her house before her dad woke up because they had fallen asleep and the next thing they knew it was three in the morning. The kid was most likely going to get a lecture from the judge about being responsible for his actions.

She smiled as she remembered being sweet sixteen. How could she forget? That was the year Anza was born. Cassie and some other girls were at her house for a surprise sleepover, when Isabelle walked in and said that her water had broken. She loved her stepmother with all her heart, but she had been ready to kill her at that moment. A week and ½ later, she was rewarded with another sleepover. The next morning, Veronica woke her and Jordan quickly. Jordan was only ten at the time, and didn't understand what was going on.

Veronica was seething. She was twenty-two, and had to raise her sixteen year old stepsister and ten year old sister, all because her stepfather didn't think her mother could handle a newborn, a ten year old, and a sixteen year old by herself while he was at work! She loved them to death, but the truth is, Kenzie had the paperwork to get her license.

Shaking her head, Kenzie sighed and got back to work. The reception wasn't for hours yet, so she hoped that she could at least get some work done. She had called Cassie on her cell and told her to text her when the meeting was done. She smiled and turned back to her work.

Two hours later

Kenzie looked up when she heard her cell phone ring. She picked it up and looked at it. Cassie had text messaged her. The meeting was over. The text message read: Kenzie, meeting over. Meet in conference room in 15 4 reception.Kenzie put her work aside and walked down the hall to the conference room. She waited until she saw Cassie enter, and entered behind her. She walked two feet before she stopped next to Cassie and stared, her jaw hitting the floor. For standing just across the room from her was the most gorgeous man in the world.