"After I gave birth, I wanted to name the boy Lorenzo, after Luke's middle name. But Stavros and Helena insisted on naming him Nikolas. After the christening, Nicole came up to me and said that she liked the name Lorenzo. We became good friends as the only non-Cassadine women on the island. I told her stories of Luke and me on the run from the Port Charles mob and she told me how she and Stefan had met. When Nikolas was about eight or nine months old, Nicole came to me with exciting news. She was pregnant. Stefan was ecstatic. Helena showed up soon after with a newspaper proclaiming Luke dead from an avalanche. I was heart-broken and Stavros was happy. Helena forced me to marry Stavros later that day. A few months later, when Nicole was getting quite along in her pregnancy, Stavros suddenly left. Helena came and told me to leave the island. She handed me a newspaper, the Port Charles Herald, the headline read 'Luke Spencer Elected Mayor of Port Charles'. I felt sick. When I left, Nicole was holding Nikolas, promising to care for him until I returned. I planned to return with Luke to take my child, you, and your mother back to Port Charles.
"Stavros found out what his mother had done and sent one of his henchmen after me. Actually, I think he found out that Stefan was the only Cassadine with any potential for fathering my child. Then Stavros came after me. Luke tried to save me, but Stavros tied him to the bed and tried to rape me at knife point. Somehow, Luke got free and knocked Stavros out with the bedpost. We then fled the Mayor's Mansion. Stavros, groggy and trying to pursue us, fell down the stairs to his death. I knew Helena would blame me for the death of Stavros. I knew I couldn't return to take Nikolas or Nicole or you. A few years later I received a letter from Nicole."
"She begged me to return and take you and Nikolas away. Helena hated Nicole now because of her friendship with me and the fact that she named you after me. You see, Stefan had called me 'Lasha' for some reason. I couldn't write her back because Helena would certainly notice my handwriting. I couldn't go to her because I had Lucky, who was too young not to have me near him and because of the tragedy that happened once. I had tried to see Nikolas, but Helena met me at the airport and told me that my mother had been in a car accident. She had ordered my mother's death.
"A few months later, Nicole wrote to me again. This time, she said that on October 25th, she would steal a boat and take you and Nikolas to the shore of Greece and asked me to meet her there. I hurried to Greece, but I walked up and down that shore all night and you never arrived.
"Weeks later, Nicole wrote me once more, saying that only you had managed to escape and Helena was worse than ever. She said she put your birth certificate and other documents that I would need to raise you in there along with a message, but that she didn't know if you arrived safely. I never heard from her again." Laura closed her glazed over eyes tightly, as if to shut out the pain when she opened her eyes again the strange far away look was gone. Lasha paused for a moment before speaking.
"I-I had a dream. On the plane." Laura looked at her. "I was about five. I was running. I heard a voice yelling at me 'Lasha! Run for the boat! I'll catch up!'. I replied 'Nikky! Where's my mama?!'. A woman yelled 'I'm right behind you, Lasha! Hurry!' I was in the boat and someone started the motor, but when I turned around I was alone and I could see a two taller figures and a small one standing on the shore. That's when I woke up. Lucky said maybe Nikky was my mother, but-" Laura cut Lasha off.
"Nikky was probably Nikolas. He must have been seven or eight. The two tall figures must have been Nicole and Stefan. If it was Helena, you would have only seen one tall figure. Stefan probably knew that you would be safer away from Helena." Laura concluded. "Lasha. You cannot tell Luke or Lucky the truth about Nikolas. It would kill them."
"Well, for one thing, Luke and Stefan hate one another. And Lucky hates Nikolas."
"Stefan - my father- he's alive?"
"He lives in Port Charles, on Spoon Island, but he's changed. He is almost as cruel as Stavros now. Helena is even crueller than before, although I never thought that possible. That's why you had to leave without going anywhere near Stefan's home in Port Charles."
"Why? I don't understand."
"Helena would kill you for threatening Nikolas' chances for becoming heir of the Cassadines. Stefan would get custody and make you live on Cassadine Island or Wyndemere. You must never, ever tell anyone that Stefan is your father."
Suddenly the door slammed shut. Laura and Lasha froze in fear of who might walk in. It was Lucky. His face was white. He pointed at Lasha.
"She's a Cassadine?" Lucky stared at his mother. Laura sighed, knowing how badly Lucky would take this.
"Yes, Lucky. Her father is Stefan." Laura began, but Lasha interrupted.
"Lucky, please don't tell anyone," Lasha pleaded, the fear apparent as her eyes filled with tears. But Lucky refused to look at her.
"Lucky, don't breathe a word of this to anyone. I mean it."
"Fine." He turned and left. Laura looked at Lasha's crushed face for a few seconds before making a decision.
"Lasha? Do you know the Peters' phone number?"
Laura sat between a saddened Lasha and a sullen Lucky on the flight back to Port Charles. Lulu had fallen asleep next to her brother. Laura turned to Lasha and decided to quiz her on her new information.
"Okay, what's your name?"
"Lana Nancy James." Lasha snapped into attention.
"October 25th, 1982" She said smoothly.
"Why are you living with us?"
"You met my parents, Anna and Lance James in Switzerland. They tragically died a few months after you arrived and you took me in. Since you are returning to Port Charles, I am coming too, but I do not want to talk about my parents because it's still painful for me." Lasha looked down, amazingly convincing in her mourning expression. Her ability for automatic emotion change and deception reminded Laura of Helena Cassadine. Laura shook her head slightly, as though to clear those thoughts.
"Very good, Lana," Laura smiled approvingly. "I'm impressed." Lasha half-smiled. Looking past Laura, she caught Lucky's eye. She began to smile, but he looked at her coldly and turned away. Her smile immediately faded and she turned away.
Laura leaned back in her seat, pretending to ignore the sparks flying between Lasha and Lucky. She wondered what kind of son she had raised that a blossoming romance would end because of a family name. Hadn't Lucky ever read Romeo and Juliet ? On second thought, maybe that was good. Laura turned her thoughts to other things and wondered how Luke would take the news of a Cassadine living in their home. Well, she thought to herself as the plane touched down, I guess we'll find out.
Luke sighed as he listened to Laura's reasons for having Lasha live with them. He had wanted Laura home and he had wanted her home now. He told her to call him when she arrived, but, of course, she had walked in the door instead of listening to him. One look at Lucky's annoyed, doleful expression had told him that Lucky knew who Lasha was. Then Laura, after showing Lasha to a room, had begun to tell him why Lasha had to stay here.
"Just one Cassadine, okay? You aren't to be dragging Nikolas in here too." Luke told Laura. Laura bit her lip. Should she tell him or not... Suddenly, she realized that Luke had fathered a kid with someone else when she was presumed dead, so what was so wrong with her protecting his son?
"Luke, there's something you need to know. It's about Nikolas." Laura began.
"What? Did you already tell him to live here?" Luke joked.
"Um. There's no real way to ease into this, so I guess I just have to say it." Laura swallowed and took a deep breath.
"What is it?" Luke looked alarmed.
"Nikolas, he's, well, he's not exactly a Cassadine."
"What does that mean? What is he if he's not a Cassadine?!"
"A Spencer. Nikolas is your son, Luke."
"How the hell did you manage to pull that one over the Addams family?"
"I knew I was pregnant when I arrived. I hated Stavros, but I didn't mind Stefan as much-"
"Good God, you slept with Count Vlad!"
"Would you rather Helena kill my son as soon as he was born? Stefan thinks that Nikolas is his son."
"Wait! I thought that Stavros was Nikolas' father. I did hear it from a reliable source. Not to mention it's what Grandma Grim thinks. What did you do, sleep with the whole clan?"
"Luke!" Laura was appalled at the thought of sleeping with Stavros. "Stefan and I got Stavros drunk until he passed out and we put him in my bed. Helena thinks Nikolas is Stavros' son because it is what Stefan and I made Stavros believe. Nikolas thinks he's Stavros' son too! But I think Stavros found out and that's why he came after me the way he did."
"Hold on. Let me see if I have this clear. You and I conceived Nikolas. You got stuck on Graveyard Isle. To save our son, you slept with Count Vlad. Vlad, who, to save his kid, made his insane brother think that he was the father. And now, Nikolas and the Queen Bee think that Stavros is the proud papa, and Count Vlad thinks he is. Stavros finds out what you and Cousin Stiff pulled, and he comes after you and then falls down the stairs. And now only you know who Nikolas' real father is?"
"Well, I know and Lasha knows, and depending how long Lucky was standing near the room where Lasha and I talked, Lucky might know."
"So who is Lasha? I thought she was Nikolas' cousin."
"No, they aren't even related. Lasha is Stefan and his wife Nicole's child." Laura was relieved that Luke wasn't appalled or angry with her about the news.
"Whoa! Someone actually, voluntarily, married Doctor Death?"
"He was different back then. He changed sometime after I left."
"Whatever happened to Nicole?"
"I hate to think. She tried to escape with Lasha and Nikolas. I assume, because of the few memories Lasha has, that Stefan stopped Nicole and Nikolas, but figured Lasha would be safer away from Helena."
"So the Queen of Hell..." Luke prompted.
"She thinks Lasha is dead. Do you remember, when Lucky was about three, and I went to Europe for a vacation away from the family? I was going to receive Lasha, Nicole, and Nikolas on the shore of Greece. I never saw them."
"So the Peters family somehow intercepted her?"
"Exactly," Laura confirmed
"And why is she living here?"
"Because as you well know, Helena will kill anyone who is Nikolas' way of becoming the Cassadine leader and the Peters' might accidently blab some of this to one of Helena's spies."
"But wait, Nikolas isn't a Cassadine. Oh, this is really messed up."
"I know, but there's nothing we can do now. Helena recovered and all hell will break loose if she finds out, or if Stefan finds out."
"Only one question remains. Should we tell Lucky?"
"I don't know. Wait.... Yes, you tell Lucky. It might take his anger away from Lasha for awhile."
"Lasha? What did she do?"
"Nothing. Lucky overheard us talking and found out she was a Cassadine. He's refused to speak to her ever since."
"They weren't really talking before they left." Luke tried to defend his son. Laura began to smile and looked at him.
"Travelling a lot can have strange effects on people," Laura laughed.
"You don't think they-" Luke's eyes widened, remembering the effects of traveling on him and Laura years ago.
"Oh, no! On a plane, Luke? But I do think that they fell for one another pretty hard," Laura laughed.
"I'll talk to Lucky. I'll tell him the Nikolas thing and how a person's mother can de-Cassadine them."
"How long have I been trying to tell you that?" Laura sighed. "Go upstairs and talk to Lucky." Luke started upstairs before remembering something.
"Why did you name the kid Nikolas anyway?"
"I didn't. Stavros and Helena did. I wanted to name him Lorenzo. I don't know how Nicole got her way with naming Lasha." Luke smiled at his wife before he continued upstairs to talk to his son.
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