Chapter Twenty

"Well, Uncle?" asks Nikolas as he stands in front of Laura's portrait. "What's wrong with my mother?"

Stefan's eyes are shadowed and he answers. "Nikolas, you are aware that we are the sum total of our experiences and our genetic makeup."

"Yes, Uncle. But what does this have to do with my mother?"

"Your mother's nature is gentle, loving, yet she will fight fiercely for those she loves."

Nikolas's expression changes as he observes, "She didn't fight for me."

"There are different ways of waging war," Stefan reminds him. "Laura's problem is that when she loves, she loves completely. If she was like most women, she could give a part of her heart and hold something back, something in reserve. But, she doesn't. She gives all she has, and it appears that the cost may have been too great. The very strength of her love may well be her undoing."

"I don't understand."

"Your mother loves both of her families," Stefan tells him cryptically. "And these families are opposing forces. Laura is, quite simply, in the middle, being pulled both ways, and this is tearing her apart, breaking her heart. She can no longer live with the choices she has had to make, yet her heart is so great that she can do nothing else. But, Nikolas, her heart wars with her mind, threatening to destroy what little peace she has."

"And that is why she is hospitalized?"

"It is. There are events about which you have no knowledge, Nikolas," Stefan tells him. "Dark things better forgotten, ties to a past in which passions from both sides nearly destroyed her. Yet, she lives and loves. But, the past prefaces the present and portends what will be."

"And what is that?" Nikolas asks, sensing the foreboding undertone in Stefan's voice. "Tell me, Uncle. What will be?"

Stefan's eyes are bleak, but he answers, "What must be, Nikolas." Hmmmm

"We have a problem." Garcia tells Mac as he brings in a report.

Mac is pouring yet another cup of coffee. It's been a long night, and promises to be an even longer day. "Only one? That's a change."

"Make that another problem. It appears that Carly Roberts died a few years ago in a car accident."

"That's a problem, all right. So whose body do we have?" "

Don't know yet," Garcia answers, accepting a mug of coffee from Mac. "We've faxed her prints down to Florida along with photos-she got the name Carly Roberts from there, so we're guessing that she has ties there. At the least, it's a place to start."

"I agree," Mac nods. "I wonder if Tony has any idea that she's not who she said she was."

"Something tells me that Tony wasn't all that interested in her name," Garcia suggests. "I'm on my way to Ruby's to check out Carly's. or whomever's room. Think I'll ask around there and see if anybody there knows anything about her. You realize that both Carly and Gina had rooms there."

Mac pauses, and says, "I wonder if there is any connection?? Maybe the killer saw both of them there?"

"Could be. Or, maybe since they both worked in connection with GH at some point, maybe that's the connection."

Mac and Garcia shrug. "Connections, we've got," Garcia says. "But what do they mean?"

"Do they mean anything?" Mac wonders. "A lot of people would like us to hang this whole thing on Kevin, but we can't even find him. And, if it isn't Kevin, and I don't think it is, then who the hell is killing blondes and why? What's going on here that is escaping our attention?" Hmmmmmm

It's morning, and Lucky walks towards the diner, noting that it seems strange somehow. Alien. Same as he feels. Nothing is the same. He finds himself looking at everybody though jaundiced eyes. What secrets were they hiding?? He suppressed a sob, forcing back the tears he'd once have cried, trying to forget the tears he'd cried last night in the privacy of his room. He found himself thinking of Ruby, wondering what she knew. As he looked around, he saw a yellow tape across the door. A police ribbon. "What the??" he starts, hurrying towards it. "What's this?"

"It's a police ribbon," comes an all too familiar voice.

Whirling around, Lucky sees Nikolas, and automatically his fists clinch. "Why?"

"Why is the door locked, or why am I here?"


"There was another murder, Carly Roberts, and she lived here, too. Same as Gina Williams." Nikolas steps forward, and as he does, he sees the pain on Lucky's face. To his own amazement, he feels a surge of sympathy, so he says, "I'm sorry. I know that you liked Gina. She was special."

It is too much for Lucky to take, seeing Nikolas, hearing him mention Gina and once again, Lucky hurls himself towards Nikolas.

This time, however, the situation is different and in seconds, Nikolas has Lucy's arms held behind his back, effectively restraining him. On impulse, Nikolas whispers in Lucky's ear, "Relax, little brother. I won't harm you. I think that we're on the same side here."

"Same side? A Spencer and a Cassadine?" Lucky struggles, but Nikolas holds him fast. "No," Lucky spits out, enraged at his situation.

"Listen to me," Nikolas demands. "We cannot change our past, and we didn't choose our fathers. I know that you have cause to hate mine-and me because of him."

"I do," Lucky snarls.

"But," Nikolas continues, "we share a mother and a sister, and we both liked Gina."


"So I suggest that we turn our anger towards her killer, not against something we can't change."


"Because our mother is in the hospital-in pain-mental anguish because of things over which we, you and I, originally had no control. But now we do, and I for one wish to have no part in causing her further pain."

At this pronouncement, Lucky nods and Nikolas releases him. The brothers face each other and Lucky, searching deep inside himself, says, "I'm sorry you were hurt the other day. I uh....."

"I understand. I was wrong to go into your house, but I wanted to see my sister. Our sister."

"And you knew that I wouldn't let you in." Nikolas nods, and Lucky shakes his head. "Man, I hate this!! Nothing is how it was...I..."

"I think I understand," Nikolas says again. "I've learned things about my family, things I never knew before, too."

"How'd you know?"

"I saw your face. I for one wish to set aside our differences."

"For this case only," Lucky says, hedging his bets. "You are a Cassadine."

"And you are a Spencer."

Impulsively, Nikolas extends his hand, and somewhat reluctantly, Lucky takes it.

"A temporary, limited truce," he qualifies.

"I'll go beyond that," Nikolas promises. "I swear that I will not harm you, that I will protect you."

Not to be outdone, Lucky, their hands still clasped, says, "In that case, I swear the same. I won't hurt you, and I'll watch your back." He grins, and we see a flash of the old Lucky as he adds, "I can always hate you later."

Briefly, the sun breaks through the early morning fog as both brothers smile, their hands clasped in peace. Hmmmmmm

Stay tuned!! Is Stefan going to reveal family secrets to Nikolas?? Are there more that we know nothing about? (Bet on it!!) Has Stefan correctly guessed the source of Laura's problems?? Is Garcia soon to discover the truth about Bobbie's daughter?? Will Lucky and Nikolas manage to keep their truce?? Where will everybody in Port Charles eat??? Hmmmmmm