"Thank you for coming on such short notice," Laura greeted Alexis Davis who cautiously entered Laura's home. "I realize that you probably don't make house calls, but it was essential that I see you."

"Why me?" Alexis asked, frankly curious to know what it was that Laura Spencer could possibly have to say to her.

"Because things have spiraled out of my control. I had thought to bring you in later, but given my present circumstances, and our connection, the time has arrived to tell you what I know, and to ask your assistance."

At that, Alexis laughed. "Me? You are asking my help in dealing, I assume, with the Cassadines? I'm not exactly on speaking terms with them."

"I know better," Laura countered. "I know that Helena has you jumping at her every command."

Alexis' eyes narrowed, and she asked, "Did Helena send you?"

"Hardly. She and I are sworn enemies. Mortal enemies, if you catch my drift. I know what she did to your mother and why, which should make us sisters in the war against her."

"You are waging a war on her?" Alexis was stunned at Laura's audacity.

"And I intend to win. But, I do need your help, and you, of all people, should be willing to give it."

"How do you know that I won't turn on you? You know that Helena has marked me for death if I oppose her. I don't want to end up like my mother."

Laura eyed Alexis shrewdly. "Nor do I, and I'd also bet that you aren't the kind of woman who would enjoy living under these conditions. It's demeaning, isn't it? Having to do what she says, when she says it, always knowing that she has your life in her hands, hands that are already red with the blood of your mother." Laura read the anger that flashed briefly in Alexis' eyes and continued. "Did you know that they are now stained with the blood of your brother, as well?"

"I have no brother. Stefan has thrown me out."

"I wasn't referring to him, though he hasn't treated you much better. How does it feel, Alexis, to be tossed out like so much garbage?" Laura read the resentment in her eyes, and continued. "I was referring to your full brother. You had one, though you never knew it. I only discovered the truth about the relationship recently, myself."

"A brother?" Alexis was startled. "All this time there was someone? All this time I had a family?"

"And you still do, though your brother was murdered, I believe, at Helena's command." Laura's eyes gleamed with anticipation. "I'm going to trust you, Alexis. I'm going to put the lives of my children in your hands, and ask you to stand guardian should anything happen to me."

"Tell me about my brother," Alexis ordered. "I need to know."

"Stefan treated him like he treated you, like he treats anybody not a Cassadine-- with condescension and disdain. He regarded him as no more than an employee, certainly never even a friend. He gave him orders and paid him. You remember Reece?"

Alexis eyes widened in recognition, and shock, her mouth moving to form the name. "Reece?"

"Reece was your full brother, Alexis. Reece was also the father of Nikolas and Lesley Lu. He was the only person on the Cassadine Island to treat me as something other than a brood cow, a means of continuing their line. The supreme irony of that is that you, Nikolas and Lulu are the last of the Cassadines, Alexis. The true Cassadines." She smiled at the other woman's shock. "Why, you ask, did I say the last? Because Stefan is not a Cassadine, and at long last, I can prove it."

"Gotcha!" Jerry Jacks grinned as he pulled the ear-piece from his ear. "So that's what the little minx has been hiding all this time. Hey Jax! Listen closely. We need to verify some information ASAP! We've got a chance to take over Cassadine INC if we move fast enough, and since they control a good chunk of ELQ....."

Both brothers smiled like the hungry predators that they were.....

"Here's what I just learned......"

Something tells me that Luke isn't a happy camper," Lucy observed as Luke left his bar. "Maybe you should have been a little more diplomatic, Scotty."

"Never been my strong suit," he grinned. "I've owed him for years, and it felt really good to get the chance to pay it back, but I must say, I never expected to be the one to clear his name of rape. You know, I always knew that Laura was a little bit troubled-she had a lot of problems when she was a kid-back before and after we were married. I loved her, Lucy, as much as I could love anybody at that time, but not like I loved Dominique. There was a sort of fragility about her, and yet she was strong. There was something in her eyes from time to time that was a little bit scary."

Scotty shook his head and continued. "I tried to help her, to be what she needed, but it's like she was hungry for something-starved for it, but I couldn't give it to her. I don't know what it was, only that I never had it to give. We broke up-but we weren't divorced, when the rape, or whatever the hell it was, happened. It's old history, but she had to have Luke, and apparently she got him, poor guy. All things considered, I got off light. I just had my heart ripped out and stomped on."

"You think that she's unbalanced?" Lucy was concerned. "Like a little nuts or something?"

"Look-she was fooling around with an older man before we got married-some guy who was trying to get to her mother through her. Anyhow, he put the moves on Laura, and she was too naïve to realize what was going on until he told her the truth. They argued, and she pushed him. He hit his head, and died. Lesley Webber found her daughter leaving the scene, hysterical, and then she found David Hamilton, dead. Basically, she covered for Laura who had a lapse of memory. Very convenient, if you ask me now, knowing what I know about the non-rape, but then, we thought that Laura was emotionally disturbed. Lesley was jailed, and eventually, Laura remembered what had happened, and Lesley was freed. Laura got treatment and probation. It was after that that we got married. It was a mess back then, but finally things sort of evened out. Luke and Laura seemed to have something special, something like few people ever experience. Hell, I was envious, but life goes on."

"So it would appear. One thing for sure, I wouldn't want to be in Laura's shoes tonight," Lucy commented. "All those years when I thought she had it all...she was hiding all of this." As they both walked out of the bar, she asked, "Kind of puts a new perspective on everything, doesn't it?"

Stefan stared at the papers in his hand, shock and disbelief on his face. Could it be? He raised questioning eyes to Alexis who smirked back at him. "Kind of puts a new perspective on everything, doesn't it?"

"Where did you get these documents?"

"That's for me to know, and you to sweat," she answered. "You know, I sort of like that American expression. It's fitting."

"They are forgeries."

"In your dreams. I like that one, too." She looked around Windemere, and commented. "Though I won't throw you out like you did me. I was thinking that you have been an excellent estate manager." She raised her voice. "Helena, if you're listening in, you're too late!" Her delighted laughter rang out as her eyes twinkled with purpose. "Get ready, you old hag! Your reign is over!"

"Old hag?" Helena seethed, her face enough to frighten grown men as well as small children as she guessed at Alexis' news. "Natasha, you foolish child. I've withstood far more than you've ever dreamed about, and won over much more formidable adversaries." She looked at the picture in her hand, the young lover that she'd cherished years ago. "I've come too far to allow the puny machinations of two women to stop me. Jean-Pierre? I have a job for you."

"Laura?" Luke asked, strolling into the house as if all was still well. "I'm home."

Laura came out of the kitchen, her eyes bright with pleasure. "Luke!" She started towards him, and then stopped. She saw something in his eyes that frightened her, and she paused, then turned to run as she saw him head towards her.

"Oh, no you don't," he whispered harshly into her ear, as he held her closely. "You're not running out on me tonight, Laura. It's over and the running is through."