Laura gets a visit from Nikolas

[In North Carolina.]

Nikolas: [Picks up Lulu.] "Hey! Look at you. Oh, I missed you so much. Look how big you are."

[Laura comes out of the house looking for Lulu.]

Laura: " Lesley Lu?" [She sees...] "Nikolas!"

[Laura comes out again after having taken Lulu inside the house.]

Laura: "She can't wait to tell her grandma that you're here."

Nikolas: "It's been so long since I've seen her. I can't even believe she remembers me."

Laura: "Oh, yes. She asks about you all the time. She looks at a photo that I have of you, and she says, 'That's Nikki.'"

Nikolas: "Yeah. She was so beautiful when she was a little baby, I -- how's grandmother?"

Laura: "Much better. Come, sit down. She -- she goes to a voluntary program here. It's a local clinic, and she comes home every night. In fact, why don't you stay for dinner? She would love to see you."

Nikolas: "I -- I can't. I have to get back to Port Charles."

Laura: "Stefan doesn't know you're here, does he? Something is troubling you. What is it?"

Nikolas: "Was my uncle in love with you while you were married to my father?"

Laura: "Where is this coming from?"

Nikolas: "Just tell me the truth. Was he in love with you, yes or no?"

Laura: "I -- You know, it's just not that simple."

Nikolas: "I knew you would avoid the question. I knew you would."

Laura: "No, I'm not. I'm not. I'm just -- I'm trying to remember back that far. It was a long time ago. Well, you that when I was married to your father, I thought that Luke was dead, and that was a very difficult time for me. And all the while, I had to deal with Helena, who hated me because I had been married to the ma who killed her husband. I -- I honestly think that she would have killed me if she had a chance."

Nikolas: "OK, but what does all that have to do with whether or not my uncle was in love with you?"

Laura: "Well, Stefan, in spite of his upbringing, had a compassionate nature, which made Helena hold him in contempt. She wanted him to be hard and ruthless like his brother, but instead, he felt sympathy for me, and he made those feelings known, which only made Helena angrier at both of us. And her anger became sort of a bond between us."

Nikolas: "Was he in love with you?"

Laura: "No, no. What he felt was sympathy, not love."

Nikolas: "Yeah, that's what he told me, too. And I can't tell if he's telling the truth, and I never know when you are."

Laura: "I'm sorry. I -- I am so sorry that I allowed you to believe that I was dead. I have regretted that ever since."

Nikolas: "You regretted leaving me as a little boy, but that didn't stop you, did it? No. You've got regret down to a fine art, you do."

Laura: "Nikolas, please, tell me what's bothering you? What's stirring all this up? It must be something really important for you to come all the way down here just to talk to me."

Nikolas: "It doesn't matter. I shouldn't have come here."

[Nikolas gets up and starts to leave; Laura grabs his arm.]

Laura: "No. Don't go. Please don't go."

Nikolas: "Just tell my grandmother I said hello, please." [Nikolas leaves.]

[Laura sits outside alone. She has the invitation for the Bacchanalia and Stefan's note in her hand. She reads the note.]

Stefan's voice: "As you can see, I'm giving Nikolas the mother he deserves and has needed for so long. Do what you will."