"Good afternoon, gentlemen, Ms. Coe," greeted Garcia who was right behind Scotty Baldwin. He suggested hopefully, "Perhaps Taggert and I are interrupting something?"
"No, as a matter of fact, I've been expecting you," Luke answered, annoyance obvious in his tone. "Just out of curiosity, how many people knew that you had a warrant out for me?"
At that, Garcia looked slightly irritated that his visit came as no surprise. "Aside from the woman who swore it out, your loving wife Laura, only Tag, me and the judge. How'd you know?"
Luke was astounded. "Laura is having me arrested? For what?"
"Spousal abuse," Taggert smirked, shaking his head. "You know, Luke, I'd have never thought of you as the sort of guy who knocked his old lady around."
"Why that..." Lucy began, but with the sharpened instincts of a man determined to right a few wrongs, Scotty stepped into the breach.
"Luke, don't say anything." Scotty turned to the officers. "Gentlemen, my client and I need a few minutes alone. Lucy, if you'll keep the officers entertained......"
Luke was silent as Scotty ushered him into the office adjoining the bar, closing the door behind them. He tossed his briefcase onto the desk, pushing aside the clutter. "Shut up, Luke. Damn! I can't believe that I'm going to be the one to do this, but what the hell! I guess there's a certain irony at work here." He laughed in spite of the circumstances and continued. "You saved my a$$ once upon a time, though you don't know it. You took Laura away from me. Well, I always thought you did, but maybe I'm giving you too much credit." He brightened at that thought. "Maybe she just thought that you were dumber than I was."
Luke was baffled. "You're the last guy I want as my attorney, Baldwin. You think that I...what'd you say? I'm not following you too clearly at the moment."
Scotty just smiled. "That's your trouble, Spencer. You always wanted to see things your way instead of how it really was, and damn, but I'm enjoying this. I've always wanted to have the upper hand with you, Luke, and this is my big chance. Let me savor it for a little while."
Luke shook his head disgustedly, and remarked, "Seems like almost everybody has the upper hand with me lately. And now, this!"
"It's a set-up, Luke," Scotty told him bluntly. "Like the one that bagged you years ago, only this time, we're on to her. I'd say that Laura set you up with this arrest, Luke. What'd you do to her?"
"I walked out on her. What do you mean 'like the one that bagged' me years ago?"
"I'm talking about the rape, Luke. The one you didn't commit."
"What?" Luke looked at Scotty, this time completely mystified. "I know I'm not drunk, Baldwin, but I don't seem to be hearing clearly either. You want to run that by me one more time?"
Scotty grinned and answered, "We've only got a few minutes before Dumb and Dumber out there want to drag your sorry a$$ back to the station for further harassment, so here goes. Laura was married to me, but she wanted out. I couldn't give her whatever the hell it was that she wanted, which, by the way seemed to be about everything, and she wasn't interested in waiting around to see if things got better. You were the great romantic figure for her back then, but she couldn't seem to land you. She was spending our way into bankruptcy court with her extravagant habits, and that last bit about buying me law books was both how she justified getting a job at your club and her safety net. You see, she needed a way back to me if her scheme to bag you fell through. You didn't think that your club was the only place in Port Charles to work, did you? She knew that you wanted her-she told me that later."
"The bottom line is that you think that you raped Laura that night at the disco, and until a little while ago, I thought the same thing. All these years, I've hated your guts, Spencer, when I should have been thanking my lucky stars that I escaped, that she turned her eyes on another sucker."
This was too much for Luke who sat down abruptly in his chair. "What do you mean, I didn't rape Laura?"
"Lucy came to me yesterday with her suspicions-call it psychic instincts, or whatever, and so I called in a few favors. I managed to get my hands on old records, things that you probably never looked at-like her hospital records from that night. I mean, why would you want to? You thought that you knew who did it, and you probably didn't want to see it in black and white.
"Anyway, I cross-checked that information with your own medical records and you weren't the perp. Whoever raped Laura had different blood type than yours. Laura had blood and skin bits under her nails from scratching whoever raped her, and there is, of course, the DNA material which would have to be tested by modern testing materials, but she swore that the blood material came from the rapist. Assuming that she told the truth about that, whoever raped her that night Luke, it wasn't you. It would have been simple to prove all those years ago, but you never even asked. You bought your own guilt and she let you believe it."
"I didn't have any scratches," Luke said softly. "But I don' t recall the actual rape."
"Apparently Laura was counting on that. My guess is that you rejected her that night, or maybe you just passed out and that pi$$ed her off, but she allowed, no, she led you to believe all these years that you raped her. Hell, she led all of us to believe that. And, sucker that you were, you fell for those baby blues and her never-ending supply of tears. Off hand I'd say that she milked it for all it was worth over the years, since she never bothered to tell you the truth. And, she let Lucky believe it, too."
Luke was numb. "I didn't do it?"
"Hell, no, you didn't do it. It so happens that there was another rapist operating close to the club years ago, before and after you were here, and in checking the samples from his victims-same blood type, could have been the same guy. He was never caught. You were out of town during some of his attacks. And, it's entirely possible that more rapes occurred because Laura used what happened to her to get what she wanted from you. She's a manipulator, Luke, and neither of us realized just how much of one she is."
"I didn't do it." This time, his words were given with a sense of dismay, of disillusionment. "I didn't rape Laura."
"Nope. All this time you thought that she was the victim, but I'd say that she ****ed you over pretty well, given what Lucy has told me about what's going on." He shrugged. "And I don't think that she's through yet."
"Oh no, she's through, all right," Luke growled, as the full extent of Laura's manipulation began to sink into his mind. "I'll see to that."
There was a knock at the door, and it opened to reveal Garcia. "Luke? Forget the arrest. Some idiot left the intercom open, and we heard everything. Lucy here told us that you were with her last night at the time that Laura swore you were slapping her around, and that will make this arrest more trouble than it's worth." He gave Luke a sympathetic look, and shook his head. "Hell hath no fury and like that."
As Taggert and Garcia left, exchanging knowing comments about women and their wiles, Lucy came to stand beside Luke who was obviously still stunned at these most recent revelations, his feelings threatening to erupt in violence. His eyes were wild with emotion, his fists clinched, his anger evident.
"Let it go, Luke," Lucy told him softly, trying to pierce his outrage with reason. "She's not worth any more of your time."
Luke met her gaze with his, but it was a much harder, a furious Luke Spencer who looked back. "My whole life, Lucy. I built my whole life around her. I gave her everything I ever had. I'd have walked through hell for her. Well, she's not going to get away with this."
With that, he stormed from the bar, slamming the door behind himself.