"You know, I think I’m going to enjoy making this bust," Garcia told Taggert as they approached the Spencer house. "A couple of years ago, I had this lady, dead to rights, so to speak. We had her charged with doing the city a favor and taking out Damian Smith. Not that he didn’t deserve it, you understand, but that sort of thing is still frowned on by the city fathers."
"So what happened?" Taggert asked, curious.
"Your old friend, Justus Ward, intervened. Man, you never heard such a spiel that he gave. It was no time until the jury was convinced that Laura Spencer was all things good and pure, and that there was no way that she could have done the guy. She walked, but I’m still not convinced that there wasn’t some sneaky maneuvering going on. Somebody got bought that day. Justus Ward was a councilman, a squeaky clean sort of guy who suddenly bailed out and went to work for his grandfather, Edward Quartermaine. I never could pin it on anybody else, so it’s officially unsolved."
"Interesting. Now, Justus is working for Jason Morgan, and Laura is estranged from her husband who is shacking up with Lucy Coe What-ever-her-name-is. These people are worse than cats."
Garcia rang the bell, and when Laura answered, he smiled. "Mrs. Spencer? You have the right to remain silent....."
"You’re where?" Luke shouted into the phone. "Jail? For what? $%^$%^&$!!!"
Lucy listened carefully, clearly concerned. "What’s up?"
"Yeah, I’ll be there. Where’s Lulu?"
Luke slammed the phone down and cursed long and hard. "If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Laura’s gone and gotten herself arrested for arranging the hit on Kat."
"You heard me. That idiot Garcia has arrested Laura again. Can you go get Lulu from the babysitter?"
"The cops busted her again?" Lucky was disgusted. "Man, this is getting real old."
Lucky looked at Nikolas who was dumbfounded at the news as it was relayed to them by Bobbie. "Stefan is en-route to the police station to do what he can."
"You aren’t serious, are you?" Nikolas asked, finally. "They can’t really believe that Laura would have anybody killed."
Bobbie wondered what to tell the boys about the note. "Stefan has been called in as the killer apparently believed that the order had originated with him only to find out that the order had come from Laura alone."
"What??" Nikolas was shocked. "This is insane. Uncle—that is Stefan wouldn’t have done such a thing."
"Neither would your mother," Bobbie told them.
Suddenly, Nikolas turned to Lucky as his words had finally registered. "You said that ‘the cops busted her again?’ I don’t understand. What do you mean, ‘again’?"
Lucky shook his head. "I keep forgetting that you don’t know our family history. A couple of years ago a guy named Damian Smith, the son of a mobster who had been trying to kill Luke---long story, I’ll fill you in later—was trying to burn down Ward House because he wanted the property. Mom was inside with Lulu and some other kids. Anyhow, somebody got in and whacked Damian over the head with a bat. I mean, the guy deserved it, but Mom, that is, Laura, didn’t do it. But, she got busted and there was a trial and everything. Justus Ward got her off, but it was a near thing."
"So who did it?"
"I don’t know. It was unsolved, I guess. Anyhow, a bunch of other stuff came out..."
"Lucky, you don’t need to go into all of that. It’s ancient history," Bobbie said. "This will all be cleared up soon."
"I want to know it all," Nikolas said, his expression grim. "Everything."
Lucky shook his head in disgust again. "You’re really gonna like this, Nikolas," he began. "See, she’s offed a couple of other people in the past....."
"Laura’s in the slammer?" Felicia asked as she took Lulu from Lucy. The little dark-haired child was upset, tears falling from her eyes.
"Slammer, hoosegow, jail. Yeah. Laura’s in the lockup."
"I don’t understand."
"It’s a long story, but we may need your help."
"Luke and me. We."
Felicia looked askance. "Are you saying what I think you’re saying?"
"More or less. Probably less, but yes. That’s what I’m saying. But, Laura is still in the picture she’s their mother and you know how oh—look, Felicia—just don’t ask me any questions about what is going on—at least not in that category."
"You and Luke." Felicia shook her head. "Mac isn’t going to believe this. What did Kevin have to say about this?"
"He went to Paris," Lucy told her friend. "He wasn’t all that thrilled, especially after I married Rex."
"Understandable. Lucy, you want to tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Is there such a thing as client/private investigator privilege?"
Stefan regarded Luke warily as they both approached Port Charles Police Station from different directions.
"Cassadine," Luke observed. It wasn’t exactly a greeting, merely an acknowledgement of Stefan’s existence. "What are you doing here? Oh, I forgot. You had her last so that makes her your responsibility."
"Don’t be crude, Spencer. I am here at the request of the police officers. It seems that one of my men has died and there is some question as to his involvement in the death of Kathryn."
"One of your men did Kat? You move quickly, I’ll give you that, but hey, I’m not surprised. You moved my sister out in one night. Still, you really didn’t need to arrange a hit. Kat was leaving your sorry a$$ behind."
Luke was surprised at the sudden pain that was reflected on the face of his old adversary.
"Think what you will, Luke, but I gave no orders to kill Kathryn, nor would I have done so."
"Apparently your man thought so," Garcia said, as he met the men on the sidewalk. "Come on in. We need to talk."
Luke and Stefan followed Garcia into headquarters where they were invited into an office.
"What the hell is going on?" Luke asked. "Why’d you arrest Laura?"
"Hard evidence implicating her," Taggert answered. "A handwritten note by the deceased killer."
"Who was he?" Stefan asked.
"Reece," Garcia answered. At Stefan’s stunned look, he asked, "Name ring a bell?"
"Bad choice of words," Luke pointed out.
"Shut up, Spencer," Taggert told him. "You’ll get your turn."
Stefan spoke. "May I see the note?"
Garcia handed a photocopy to him. "The original is being tested for fingerprints and like that. We’re going to need a copy of his handwriting. Can you supply one?"
"Yes," Stefan nodded. "Though this does appear to be his. He worked for me for several years."
"He was your paid assassin?" Taggert asked. "You rich guys don’t like doing your own dirty work?"
"He wasn’t an assassin," Stefan said. "He was a consultant."
"That’s rich guy talk for trouble-shooters. You know-muscle," Luke supplied, helpfully. "Us ordinary guys take care of our own problems." He grinned at Stefan’s discomfort. "It’s easier that way. Nobody leaving incriminating notes. Fewer lies to tell."
"You would know about that," Stefan shot back. Regaining his temper, he turned to Garcia and Taggert who were enjoying the exchange. "As I was saying, Reece was not a killer. It is impossible that he would have killed Kathryn."
"Even if he thought you had given the order?"
"He was loyal to me, but as I said, I am not in the habit of giving orders to kill."
Luke smiled again. "You’ve got to listen carefully to Cassadines. Note: he didn’t say that he’d never given orders to kill, just that he wasn’t in the habit of doing so."
"Put a lid on it, Spencer," Garcia said.
"Look, Cassadine," Taggert injected. "Your guy did himself because he believed that he’d done the wrong thing, and that you’d be angry. Laura gave the orders."
"The hell she did," Luke scoffed. "Laura didn’t kill anybody and you know it."
Garcia smiled back at him. "We’ve been here before, Luke. Remember? Damian Smith. This time, we’re going to nail her. We’ve got hard evidence and we can make it stick. We’ve got two dead bodies, Luke. Kathryn is dead, and now this guy, Reece. She may have a face like an angel, Luke, but I wouldn’t bank on a halo or wings."
"She didn’t kill Damian. She was acquitted."
"That means that we didn’t have enough evidence. She was there, and Damian died." Garcia looked at Luke, and asked, "Why do I have the feeling that you have been withholding evidence from us? Do we have an obstruction of justice case coming on?"
"Gentlemen." Dara Jenson entered the office, a quizzical expression on her face. "I’ve just received a bit of interesting information from Kathryn’s attorney. He was going through her private papers and found this letter from Damian Smith. Luke, did you know that Damian had been blackmailing Laura?"