Stefan Cassadine looked at the woman with whom he'd shared the most profound intimacies, and wondered why he had just made love to her. Or, could one call what they'd done love? One minute she'd confessed that Nikolas, the boy he'd reared to near manhood, wasn't his son, followed by the shocker that the son of his mortal enemy, Luke Spencer, Lucky, was his son, and now this! What was it about this woman that made her able to reach inside him and bring forth his demons?

Laura smiled, opened her eyes, and stretched. "Stefan?" Then, looking around her, she frowned, her expression changing to fear and then, once again, the tears began. "What have I done?" She whispered.

"What you did before," Stefan answered, curtly. He stood up and quickly dressed. "Get your clothes on, Laura."

Nervously dressing, the tears still trickling down her face, Laura sniffed. "You can't tell Luke about this. Please, Stefan."

"You don't want me to tell him that his wife betrayed him yet again? Or is it that you don't want me to tell him that Lucky is my son?" There was a thinly disguised undercurrent of rage in Stefan's carefully modulated tones. "I have a question, Laura, one that I neglected to ask earlier." He turned her to face him, his eyes boring into hers. "Who is Nikolas' father?"

Laura just smiled enigmatically at him. "Lulu's father."

"Look at this," Garcia commented to Taggert as he lifted the medallion from Kat's lifeless fingers. "Look familiar to you?"

"Looks like one of those Cassadine things," Taggert answered as he looked around the scene of the crime. "But she was shacked up with Stefan Cassadine, so it stands to reason that she might have one. You know how those guys are. Always wanting to brand what's theirs. Maybe it was a 'no trespassing' sign, or something."

"Most men use a wedding ring," Garcia pointed out, as Luke and Lucy watched with interest.

"Cassadines aren't like most people," Luke told them. "Kat was just beginning to appreciate that."

"Oh?" Garcia paused, as Kat's body was lifted to the stretcher and removed from the area. He spoke briefly to the attendant. "We'll want a complete autopsy as soon as possible." He jotted that down in his notebook before turning back to Luke. "You want to expand on that?"

Taggert took Lucy aside, and asked, "Miss Coe or whatever your name is at present, good to see you out of the hospital. Fine day for taking a walk in the park."

"I was just sitting on the bench," Lucy mentioned. "Not walking. That is, I wasn't walking until I saw Luke and I wanted to talk with him."

"So you saw him coming from the scene of the crime?"

"No," Lucy corrected quickly. "Luke walked past me-and I followed him."

"He didn't stop to chat?"

Lucy looked at Taggert and quickly surmised where he was going with this line of thinking. "He didn't see me," she told him.

"He walked past you and didn't see you?"

Taggert let that sink in with Lucy as Garcia continued questioning Luke about Kathryn Bell.

"So you think that Ms. Bell might not have been happy with Stefan Cassadine?"

"How could anybody be happy with Count Vlad? Living in a mausoleum can't be that much fun."

"But she wasn't living in the main house, was she?"

"I don't know about their living arrangements. That was between them."

"But not long ago you were trying to get Ms. Bell to name Stefan as the person who shot her on Spoon lsland."

"And if she'd done so, done the right and honest thing, she might still be alive," Luke said, bitterly. "I told her what he was, but she wouldn't listen."

"And what did you tell her?"

"That the Cassadines aren't to be trusted, that they use, abuse, and then discard people. She probably found out that he didn't need her anymore now that he has destroyed the evidence that linked him to her shooting. It would just be her word against his, and with odds like that, a Cassadine always wins."

At that moment, there was a brief scuffle as Lucky Spencer pushed past the law enforcement officers who had cordoned off the area. "You can't go there, kid," one shouted, but Lucky ignored them, heading towards Luke.

"We've gotta talk, Dad," he said, his expression as grim as his voice. "Now."

"Not now, son," Luke told him. "In a few minutes. We've just had some bad news here."

As if noticing the marks where Kat's body had been for the first time, Lucky asked, "What's going on here?"

"Kathryn Bell has been murdered, son. I found her body and called the police." He steered the boy away from the police officers. "Somebody garroted her, Lucky. Only a few minutes ago, apparently."

"But Nik had just been talking with her," Lucky whispered, when suddenly all that Nik had said returned. "We've gotta talk, Dad, and this isn't the place."

"You said that Nik talked with her? A little while ago?"

"He said that she was leaving town."

"She didn't mention that to me earlier," Luke mused. "When was this?"

"Not more than an hour ago," Lucky told him. "Maybe less." He looked up at the man he'd always considered his father, the man about whom he'd just heard some particularly horrible things. "Was Kat....you know...like Lizzie?"

"I don't know," Luke told him. "But I don't think so."

Garcia joined them, having just concluded an enlightening phone call about Kat's whereabouts in the last hour or so of her life. "Spencer, we'd like to talk with you down at the station."

"What for? I told you all I knew. Hell, I called you when I found her."

"That's true," Garcia nodded. "But you neglected to tell us that you and the deceased had just had an argument at your club, complete with yelling and breaking glass in the back. She left, and a few minutes later, you left, too, apparently extremely angry. A few minutes later, you're both in the park, and she's dead. A coincidence? Maybe."

"Wait just a minute," Lucy injected, coming to stand beside Luke. "He didn't kill her."

"And how do you know that, Miss Coe?" Garcia asked, as Taggert stood smirking nearby. "Were you with him?"

"As a matter of fact, I was." Lucy lied without so much as batting an eyelash. "I never let him out of my sight. He couldn't have killed Ms. Bell without my having seen it."

"Then perhaps you should come along, too," Garcia told her. "We'll have a few questions for you, as well."

Luke turned to Lucky. "Don't worry, son. This is just a formality. Makes the boys in blue look like they're doing their jobs. After all, we wouldn't want the citizens of Port Charles to think that they're in danger from a murderer while I'm down at the station having my civil rights trampled on." With great irritation, Luke said to Garcia. "Look, I didn't kill Kat Bell and you're wasting time, valuable time, questioning me while the real killer is still out there."

"We're not wasting time, Spencer. We've got our people fanned out all over the park, gathering evidence. There will be people, no doubt, who can corroborate your stories."

Luke turned to Lucky, and was disturbed by the odd play of emotions in his eyes. There was something bothering Lucky, something bad enough to make him almost blasé about Kat's killing. Again, he met the boy's eyes, and this time he feared the worst. "Lucky?"

"Dad, I need to know a few things, and I need to know them right away."

Turning to Garcia, Luke asked, "Can I meet you down at the station in a little while? I need to talk with Lucky."

"I'll give you a few minutes right now," Garcia told him.

"This is private, Dad," Lucky told him. "Very private."

"Then we'll talk later. That okay with you?"

Seeing no way out at the moment, and being loath to speak about so private a problem publicly, Lucky nodded. "Tonight."

Stefan stared at the phone in his hand as if it was a snake. "Dead? She's dead?" He listened intently as the bad news was relayed to him. "This can't be. She was just..." And then he realized that he'd given Kathryn no thought at all since he'd seen Laura's face yesterday. Appalled at his lapse of judgement, at his betrayal of all he'd promised Kathryn, Stefan sat the phone aside, and fell heavily into his desk chair.

Suddenly, he reached out and took a dark crystal paperweight, and with a roar of both anger and anguish, flung it against the fireplace. "Nooooo!"

Lucky walked alone on the docks, his heart heavy, feeling more alone than he'd ever felt in his life. As the darkness gathered both within and without, he wondered where to turn, whom to trust. Asking Luke for the truth was nothing more than an exercise in futility, he realized. Bobbie had given him his answer earlier, and he knew that Luke could offer nothing beyond a lame excuse. There was no excuse for rape, he knew. He thought of the pain in Lizzie's eyes, the shock, the horror, the disbelief that anybody could treat her so. He projected ahead, thinking of Lulu, wondering how he'd feel if someone hurt her, and with a howl of rage, drove his fist into a wall.

"That doesn't help, does it?" came a woman's voice. Helena Cassadine emerged from the shadows, moving silently across the docks. Coming to stand beside him, she asked, "Did you break anything?"

"I doubt it," Lucky muttered, looking at the woman. There was something about her, something somehow familiar, yet foreign. "Do I know you?"

"We've never been introduced," she told him. "But I've only recently learned that I have a grandson about your age, and seeing you in pain made me wonder how he will feel when he finds out the truth about his family." At Lucky's curious glance, she nodded. "It's a sad story, but he's been lied to all his life, as have I."

"So what are you going to do about it?" Lucky asked, finding it oddly relaxing to talk about somebody else's problems rather than his own. "Are you going to tell him yourself? What about his parents?"

"His mother, poor woman, has been so abused during her childhood that it warped her outlook, though for a long time, nobody realized how much. Outwardly, she appeared normal, but inwardly, she was growing more and more unhealthy. I won't go into details, but the end result was that she began to confuse fear with love, and love with fear. I don't know if she'll ever be completely normal, but to tell the truth, my prime concern is for my grandson."

"What's his name?"

"That's where this gets even more complicated," Helena said, gently. "He has thought all his life that he was one man's son, and it will come as a shock to find out that he's been mislead. In fact, I rather expect that he thinks that his whole life has been a lie. It isn't my place to tell him the truth, that things are both a great deal worse than he's been told, yet a great deal better. He's been told that the man he thinks is his father is a common rapist and a liar when the truth is something very different. That man, while not his father, is as much a victim of abuse as the boy's mother was, though at whose hands the boy won't be prepared to understand. The boy's real father is my son, a man of unquestioned integrity, yet a man who has been denied the love of his son, who has unselfishly cared for the son of another, and who has been vilified in my grandson's eyes."

Lucky looked up at the woman who was smiling at him, her eyes alight with a grandmother's longing. Nervously, he backed away, while she smiled. "Lucky?" she whispered. "I'm your grandmother. I'm Helena Cassadine."