"You're kidding," Bobbie remarked as she looked at Laura who managed to look like an avenging angel in spite of the fact that she, too, was dripping water all over the floor. "You really think that your sons have any interest in seeing you?"
"Bring my sons to me at once," Laura ordered, openly ignoring Bobbie.
"You are rather imperious this evening, Laura," Stefan observed, silkily. "Very Lady of the Manorish."
"Very tired of Cassadine, that is, pseudo-Cassadine stalling," Laura tossed back. With a smug look that told him that she was going to force him to ask about his father outright, she dodged that particular issue. "Yes, Stefan, I am aware of your background. Your mother is, how can we delicately phrase this..."
"You are in no position to criticize anybody's mother," Stefan pointed out. "Least of all mine. Your morals are no better than hers."
"At least I don't kill my men when I'm finished with them," Laura countered. "Else you would be dead."
Bobbie's eyes widened at that remark, and she watched in horror, as Stefan's demeanor suddenly became icily calm. "You presume a great deal, Laura."
"Do I? Your entire family presumed a great deal when they kidnapped me to use as mother to their next generation."
"That is not the same tale that Stavros told. He said that you asked to be rescued from Luke Spencer, that your life with him was not worth living."
"You didn't believe him then," Laura shot back. "And you've seen the things that your family has done to me and mine since. How dare you expect me to lend any credence at all to a Cassadine lie? I had thought that you were different, that you could be trusted, but it appears that even a pseudo-Cassadine must defend the family version of the truth. Is that the price of wearing the name?"
"You would know about prices, Laura," Stefan sneered while Bobbie stood by silently.
"You said 'pseudo-Cassadine'," Bobbie injected. "What did you mean by that?"
"Ask Helena," Laura taunted. "Ask her which one of her young lovers sired you."
"My father was Mikkos," Stefan announced, and Bobbie made no reference to Alexis' remarks, understanding that Stefan was trying to goad Laura into revealing whatever information she held. "Mikkos Cassadine. Do you think that because your own paternity was in doubt-make no mistake about that, regardless of what Lesley told you-she had her doubts-that all children must have cause to doubt their parents? Mine might not be the most noble, or the most decent, but Mikkos was my father, and I can prove it."
That jab struck pay-dirt, and for a few seconds, Laura paused. Then, she smiled. "Good try, Stefan. But, I'm not the inexperienced girl you met on the island all those years ago. I won't tell you what you want to know-I'd sooner take that to my grave and leave you wondering. It's enough right now that you know that I know, and that I've made no secret of it, should anything happen to me. I'm not alone in this, like I had been for the longest time."
"Alexis is working with you."
"She is. No more second hand names, Stefan. No more taking orders and dancing to your tunes. No more looking over my shoulder in fear that a Cassadine wannabe would try to end my life to protect what they've held dear. It has taken me many years, Stefan--many, but now I'm done groveling forever. Do you hear me? No more phony tears, no more hiding my feelings because I was afraid that someone would guess my secret, and no more wishing that I'd married a man with the guts to do what needed to be done."
"How many men is that?" Stefan asked. "Baldwin wasn't enough for you, so you tricked Luke into marrying you. Yes, we know all about the fake rape, and how you manipulated Luke into supporting you. You didn't officially dump Baldwin until you had Luke secured with your story. Guilt delivered him into your hands. Then, when Spencer couldn't deliver for you, you saw my brother, Stavros, and cast him as some sort of a hero in order to escape Spencer. Wealth was, no doubt, a motivating factor in your choice of him. You have an uncanny ability to see what a man wishes to believe about himself, or what he fears most, and use it to further your own interests."
"And what do you think that I saw in you? No, don't answer. You wouldn't want to reveal too much in front of Bobbie, would you? Not that it would make much difference. She's seen you promise the future, then dump her like yesterday's garbage when Kathryn Bell came along. You let her think that it was because she betrayed you for some wild idea of Luke's, but we both know the truth. You had to have Kathryn, though you feared that she was no more than a substitute for me. And then, sadly, she died, though neither at my hand, nor at my order."
Bobbie was speechless at the side of Laura that was being revealed, at the venom that was falling freely from her lips. "Laura!"
Laura turned to Bobbie, and gave her a pitying smile. "And, you're back. You never learn, do you? You think that Stefan can protect you from his mother, don't you? You really think that he gives a damn about you? You saw what he did to Alexis, how he threw her out. He threw you out, Bobbie. But let me guess. You're here so as to protect the children, right? Guess again, Bobbie. Stefan's whole world is about to come tumbling down around him, and all that he's worked for, his entire life, as it were, is about to go to someone else."
"Just say it, Laura," Bobbie spat, disgusted with the woman her brother had been so unfortunate as to marry. "Say what you came to say and leave. There's no point in hurting people unless that's the real reason that you came."
"Hurting people? Like Stefan? You are assuming that he has feeling-which I can tell you that he has only in the context of his Cassadine identity. Aside from that, his feelings are nothing more than instinct, which is understandable given that he's had to learn to survive in a world where his very existence was a constant reminder to Helena that he had survived when the child of her heart had been killed by the man whose love she never enjoyed. Don't tell me that you didn't know about that, Stefan? That Helena had a daughter that Mikkos murdered? Why do you think that she had Kristin killed? Why do you think she hated Alexis-she knew that her own daughter was dead!! Where do you think that Helena learned to be ruthless? From the very man who had professed his undying love for her, the man who expected his wife to live by a code he preached but didn't practice, a man who demanded her loyalty but laughed when she expected his."
Laura looked from Stefan to Bobbie and back to Stefan again. "Yes, Stefan, you aren't Mikkos' son but Helena kept you because she knew that one day, you might be useful. One fine day she could toss your paternity in Mikkos' face."
"Lies," Stefan swore. "All lies. You have told enough lies, destroyed enough lives, Laura. I should have known what you were when you abandoned your infant son to my care, but I chose to have faith in you, to believe that you would return to him, to me."
"You actually thought that I'd step back into that trap? I dared not return, even for my son. Helena knew that I had part of the proof to expose her lies for what they were, but that it was a standoff. The Cassadines had my son, and I had some of her secrets. Nikolas would survive, as would I. She never dreamed that I would return to challenge her authority, especially since I made no move when she was ill. But I wasn't ready then. And you, Stefan, what would you have done had you known that I was working to destroy you? All these years, Stefan, what would you have done had you known the truth?"
"Lucky?" Luke approached the boy in the hallway, some distance from the room in which he'd confronted Stefan and Bobbie, unaware that Laura had arrived and was wreaking her own brand of havoc in Windemere. He'd been anxious to speak with Lucky before Laura had the chance to further play her evil games with his mind.
Lucky turned at the sound of the familiar voice, his heart aching as he realized that once upon a time, he'd have felt warmth. Worse yet, he still felt something. Loss. Anger. Deep pain. He turned away. "Just leave. Okay? I have nothing to say to you."
"Lucky, I have to talk with you. This is about your mother and me-about...what drove you away. Things aren't what they seemed."
"Lucas, go down to your mother and Stefan," Lucky told him. "I've got to settle a few things with your Uncle Luke."
"Do I hafta go?" Lucas asked. At Lucky's nod, he headed off.
"Okay, say what you came to say and then get lost." Lucky stared contemptuously at the man he'd grown up calling 'Dad'.
Luke looked at Lucky. "Okay. I just wanted to tell you that in spite of what we both thought, I didn't rape your mother."
Lucky asked skeptically, "You want to run that by me one more time?"
"Lucky, I told you that I was drunk that night-and it appears-and it can be proved, that I wasn't the rapist. Your mother was raped, but not by me. She apparently had some misguided idea that she could blame it on me-for a whole host of reasons that don't make a lot of sense. Hell, maybe she was emotionally disturbed after what happened-I don't know, but she hung it on me, and I was dumb enough to buy into her story." He shook his head and continued. "I spoke with her this evening-I guess you could say that we had it out, and she confessed the truth." He looked away, then back. "All these years, Lucky. All these years she let me believe that I'd done that to her....."
"Like she let us believe that I was your son." Lucky looked at Luke, feeling some of the pain lessen. Their eyes, met, and Lucky's voice became a little rough with emotion. "Why'd she do it? I thought she loved you, loved me. Why'd she force us to live lies?"
"Like I said, none of her answers made sense to me."
"How'd you find out?"
"Lucy figured it out, and Scotty managed to prove it."
Luke looked at Lucky's curious expression, and nodded as he recalled the brightness of Lucy's smile, and the surprising heat of her kiss. "Yeah, Lucy."
"That does it. I'm outta here!" Lucy scrambled to her feet, done with cowering in the boathouse on Spoon Island. "At least the Quartermaines have a well built boathouse. Their door wouldn't blow away in a thunderstorm, not like this piece of junk." She peered into the night, the wind howling past, the rain pelting down with astonishing force. "On second thought..."
The next crash of thunder changed her mind, as the roof of the boathouse was torn from the now dilapidated shelter. "That tears it," she muttered, dashing towards the house. Once more the wind shrieked as it ripped a branch from a nearby tree and cast it at her feet. Holding back a scream of fear, she raced towards the house, running towards the light from its windows.
Tripping over an exposed tree root, Lucy stumbled and fell down an embankment just as bolt of lightning speared a tree close to the path, sending it crashing towards the house.
"Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh," she cried, as she watched the lights of Windemere flicker and then go completely out.