Laura’s goodbye with Stefan before her “death”

[Laura gets into Stefan’s car.]

Stefan: “I was afraid you’d changed your mind.”

Laura: “It took me a while to come up with a plausible story for Lucky to tell Luke. Plus, this is halfway across town.”

Stefan: “Well, there’s less chance of anyone recognizing us here. Are you sure you weren’t followed?”

Laura: [Nods.] “I’m sure. Now, will you please tell me what this is all about because if you don’t I’m going to turn right around, get back in my car, and go home.”

Stefan: “Don’t go. I’ll tell you what you want to know. Now, when I asked you about the game Timoria, you described a woman sitting in the window of an old house. Do you have any idea who that woman is?

Laura: “My mother?”

Stefan: “That is precisely what Helena wants you to believe.”

[They are on the road.]

Stefan: “You told me the game was called Timoria. My mother never believed you paid enough. She always insisted you owed atonement.”

Laura: “But what has this got to do with my mother? She’s already dead. Unless you’re saying that she’s not.”

Stefan: “Helena knows that you are under my protection. She has no access to you, your children, or even your miserable husband. But she could still use your mother against you if you believed she was alive.”

Laura: “Then she’s not. Tell me! You tell me right now or I will never forgive you! Is my mother alive or dead?”

Stefan: “I was given the order to kill your mother.”

Laura: “You?”

Stefan: “Helena was testing my mettle. My -- my loyalty.”

Laura: “You confide in me about how much you love me, then you tell me that you killed my mother? Stop the car.” [She undoes her seatbelt.]

Stefan: “No, no.”

Laura: “Stop the car!”

Stefan: “Lasha, listen. No, listen to me.”

Laura: “No. Never again! Stop the car!”

Stefan: “No, Lasha.” [Laura moves to open the car door.] “Stop! No, don’t do this!”

Laura: “Stop the car!”

Stefan: [He does.] “So you loathe me now, is that it?”

Laura: “Yes.”

Stefan: “Well, good. Somewhere, Helena is satisfied. You know she gave me the task of killing your mother so that I could never go to you, so that you’d never trust me.”

Laura: “Don’t you dare paint yourself as a victim. You killed an innocent woman.”

Stefan: “Would you have chosen differently?”

Laura: “Oh, of course I would!”

Stefan: “Then do it! Do it right now! You have five seconds and don’t let me see the decision cross your face. You refuse to kill Lesley Webber and you will be exiled, probably killed. You’ll certainly never see Nikolas again. An innocent child will be raised by a monster to be a monster. Choose, right now!”

Laura: “I can’t.”

Stefan: “Well, I did. And I would do it again. Your mother’s life was insignificant compared to Nikolas’. When Helena gave her order, I never blinked. I knew better than to give anything away.”

[Flashback with young Stefan and Helena.]

Laura: “You killed my mother for Nikolas?”

Stefan: “She meant nothing to me. But she was your mother. And you would have wanted me to save her.”

Laura: “Since when do my wants and needs matter to your family? I didn’t want to be kidnapped. I didn’t want to marry Stavros.”

Stefan: “Did you want your son?”

Laura: “Every day of his life. From the moment that he grew inside me to when I left him on that island and every endless year that we were separated after that, but like everything else he carried no weight compared to what Helena wanted and the House of Cassadine demanded -- vengeance, retribution, death after death after death.”

Stefan: “She enjoyed telling you the way your mother died.”

Laura: “She savored it.”

Laura: “I already knew that my mother was dead. I cried all the way on the flight from Amsterdam. So much so that it was very hard to see. That’s why I didn’t notice Helena until she was right in front of me in the airport in Athens. And I froze. And she smiled, the terrible, gloating smile. And she said--”

Stefan: “‘A life for a life. As you took my son, so I took your mother.’ And you said, ‘No.’ Your voice was soft and broken. And then she went on to say that it was your fault because you tried to see your son. And she because you deprived Nikolas of his mother, it was only right you’d be deprived of yours. And then you screamed over and over again.”

Laura: “She told you.”

Stefan: “She taped it. I had to listen to your agony, unaffected, while she told you the details of the accident. Then she said you fell to your knees sobbing as she walked away.”

Laura: “No, I don’t remember that. I don’t remember anything until I got off the plane in Cairo and I saw Luke. He asked me what was wrong. I said I was upset about my mother. He said he understood. But he didn’t. No one could. I can’t believe I’m sitting next to the man who did it.”

Stefan: “You’re not.”

Laura: “You just said that--”

Stefan: “I said I was given the order… to kill her. And it would’ve been prudent to do so. But there’s no prudence in my love for you, Lasha. There never was.”

Laura: [Shaky breath.] Okay. You win. You win, whatever this game is that you’re playing with me. I’m begging you, tell me, is my mother alive or dead?”

Stefan: “Yes, she -- she’s alive.”

Laura: [Breath caught.] “Oh. No. Oh, God. Oh, God!” [Sobs.]

Stefan: “I -- I knew what I was risking -- Nikolas’ soul, possibly his sanity. But I knew how much you loved your mother. I couldn’t kill her. I was supposed to arrange for a car accident. I had planned to go to your mother and tell her that if I didn’t stage her death, Helena would surely kill her, but I never got the chance.”

Laura: “Well, then the accident did happen?”

Stefan: “Yes. I was following her that day. When I saw her car go out of control, I realized that Helena had not trusted me with the task. She’d obviously sent someone to tamper with the car. She was on her way off the cliff. I forced her to swerve into the hillside. And when I found her, she was unconscious. I had only a few moments to decide, but then I -- I injected her as I had planned.”

Laura: “With what?”

Stefan: “A drug that simulates death, sometimes causes it. Now, the accident was reported, her body was taken to General Hospital. After she was identified, she was replaced by another woman’s body and revived.”

Laura: “Oh, my God. Oh, my God. All those years.” [Sobs.] “She’s alive. She’s alive. Oh, my God.”

[They’re back on the road.]

Laura: “Do you swear that I’m going to see her tonight?”

Stefan: “I should warn you, she may not recognize you. She’s never fully recovered from the accident.”

Laura: “The accident or what you injected her with?”

Stefan: “I’m not sure. But there was no choice.”

Laura: “My God. What have you done to her?”

Stefan: “Lasha, I saved her life and I risked mine to keep her safe. For six and a half years, I paid for her care and visited her in secret. I raised and protected Nikolas from that demon. And bided my time.”

Laura: “Waiting for what?”

Stefan: “On Nikolas’ 7th birthday, between nighttime and daybreak, all of Helena’s minions were gone from the Island. Nikolas’ inheritance came under my control. It wasn’t a bloodless coup, but it was effective. And from that day until this your mother has received the finest care money could buy. Specialists from all corners of the world. Maybe, her daughter can reach her now where no one else could.”

Laura: “Why are you doing all of this?”

Stefan: “It’s… my final act of devotion. Further tokens of esteem would be inappropriate given my current change in circumstances. [He shows her his wedding band.]

Laura: [Softly.] “You’re married?”

Stefan: “Yes. Yesterday, to Barbara Spencer. Which makes us in-laws, back where we started.”

Laura: “That’s insane, you don’t love her!”

Stefan: “What I love, I cannot have.”

Laura: “Then what, you married her just for revenge?”

Stefan: “Do you think I would?”

Laura: “In a heartbeat.”

Stefan: “You underestimate me. No matter. Your expectations are no longer my concern. Once you’re reunited with your mother, I’ll be free. And so will you.”

[They’ve arrived at the house. They get out of the car.]

Laura: “She’s up there?”

Stefan: “Yes. In the tower room.”

Laura: “The window is the same as the one in the game.”

Stefan: “Which is why we have to hurry. I had no idea Helena was able to leave the island, much less engineer a computer game.”

Laura: “How could she if you have all the power now?”

Stefan: “Well, obviously she still has her greatest strength -- the ability to cause pain. She’ll never control Nikolas or the family again, but she can still torture you. Now I can stop her as soon as your mother is safe.”

Laura: “Why didn’t you tell me the truth before?”

Stefan: “I wanted to give her to you as a wedding gift. I suppose in a way I have. Go to her, Lasha. I’ll wait here. And whatever you find, I did the best I could.”

Laura: [She looks up at the window, then back at him. She moves to Stefan and kisses him.] Thank you.

[Laura goes into the house. Some seconds later, it blows up. Stefan is knocked down by the force of the explosion. He gets up.]

Stefan: “Oh, God. Lasha?” [Another explosion. Stefan is knocked down again. He gets up.] “No! Lasha! LASHA!”