Here we have compiled the entire story of daytime's most celebrated lovers, Luke and Laura and present it as a souvenir book for you to keep and cherish. Relive Luke and Laura's greatest adventures, their intimate passion, their ever-deepening love, as we take a last lingering look at two of the most fascinating characters ever invented for a soap.
CHAPTER ONE: LOVE FROM DISCO TO DINER
Bruised, battered, his frizy hair spraying out in all directions, his once immaculate suit looking like a left-over from an old Somerset Maugham degenerate-in-the tropics story, he ushered his blonde, teen-aged princess into the scruffy motel room. In one hand he carried a bottle of cheap wine, in the other, a bag of hamburgers-to-go. "Well," said Laura dryly, surveying the awful room, "You said you'd find us a cheap motel." Luke smiled with the air of a fox set among the chickens. His dream was about to come true. What had started as the worst day of his life was about to become the best. And what a day it had been. Moments before Luke was to marry Jennifer Smith, the mob boss's daughter, Laura's outraged husband, Scott Baldwin, stormed aboard the Smith yacht, accused Luke of raping his wife and, fists hammering, sent Luke flying over the side into the murkey waters of the Port Charles harbor. When Luke surfaced, the first thing he heard was Smith ordering a henchman to kill Luke Spencer if he should turn up alive. Then by some miracle, his golden dream girl Laura found him, pulled him from the water, and together they fled the marina, the menace of Mr. Smith and the fury of her husband. A lack of funds had brought them to this sleazy motel. "There's only one bed," Laura observed apprehensively. With his swollen eye he gave her an insinuating wink. "Will you please get your mind off sex?" she protested. "I am not sleeping in the same bedwith you." "Who asked you to?" he huffed, the dream slipping from his grasp. When she suggested he sleep in the bathtub she had seen a man do it in a movie once his cool deserted him completely. "Sugar Ray Baldwin tried to kill me today, Mr. Smith will kill me if he finds me alive, and you tell me I can't sleep in our bed?" "My bed," Laura corrected, calmly handing him a blanket and a pillow and pointing to the bathroom door. Luke spent the rest of the night trying everything in his considerable repeitoire; he was by turns pathetic, wheedling, romantic, enraged, provocative and finally, wearily abject. "Please, please, can't we sleep in the same bed?" he begged, his voice worn with fatique. "I promise I won't touch you. I'm so weak and tired I couldn't even if I wanted to..." Her blue eyes considered him, then she shook her head. Instantly his drooping body straightened and he was off on another tirade. When day finally dawned, both were bleary-eyed and in moods that would make the Incredible Hulk seem benign. Actually, by the time they had reached that motel, Laura knew Lucas Lorenzo Spencer pretty well. She knew about his poverty striken childhood, about his gentle mother who had died when he was ten and the drunken father who deserted the dame day. She knew about sister Bobbie and Aunt Ruby. And although she didn't yet fathom the depth of his longings, she knew he had a dream to be clean and free of the mob, to be rich and respectable, and to have her for his own. When Luke Spencer first arrived on the scene in Pt. Charles in the late fall of 1978, he was a cheap, cynical, street-wise hood, on the fringes of the mob and unimpressed with his exhooker sister's newly acquired airs as a registered nurse. He knew where Barbara Jean Spencer came from, because he came from there, too: Elm Street, the slum, the gutter. He was impatient and ambitious and intended to move up in the world through the mob. Bobbie hired him to break up the romance between her ex-lover, Scotty Baldwin and young Laura Webber, a teenager on probation. Luke was willing enough until one night he saw the object of his dirty tricks, and from then on, he fastened on Laura with a hopeless, obsessive love, a love that caused him considerable pain when he had to watch her marry her "prince" decent, square young lawyer-to-be Scott. Meanwhile, Luke was given a comfortable job as manager of the Campus Disco, a mob-owned legit front. However, when Laura came to work there as a waitress, Luke's dissatisfactions made him a brooding, meloncholy man, apt to clear his desk with his fists when his frustration got the best of him. Riddled with insecurities, he was a cocky kid one moment, Smith's boot-licking flunky the next. He loved flashy clothes, but took compliments suspiciously ("Handsome is as handsome buys", he once told Ruby when she commented on his good looks.) He was as serious as a snake on the dance floor and as shy as a school boy with Laura. He even enrolled in college just to be near her because she was taking classes. Then came the night the mob had his back to the wall. As a test of his loyalty to the Organization, Luke was assigned to kill Senatorial candidate Mitch Williams on election night. He couldn't face it, knowing he was doomed to die whether or not he fulfulled the contract. Sobbing, desperate, he returned from the meeting with Smith to find Laura alone in the disco, waiting for Scott to pick her up. Luke drew her into a gesture of sympathy for his despair, a last dance, a gentle embrace, and it was only when his passion got out of control that she panicked and began to fight him but it was too late. It was sex without consent and distraught and disheveled in the park assumed it was rape. She was taken to General Hospital. Luke was a basket case, full of remorse over what he had done to the girl he loved. He took flowers to her at the hospital, expecting to have them thrown in his face and was amazed to find Laura pretending nothing had happened. He even advised her to name him but she could not. Instead, she decided to return to work to allay any suspicion. Few people had been able to penetrate Laura's passive self absorption, but she was frightened and confused by the feelings Luke had arroused. To name him would expose her own guilt. On election night, Luke was determined to say a last goodbye to Laura before meeting his destiny, and that determination saved him. Sensing his every word was a cry for help, Laura threw his car keys away, causing him to miss the appointment And Luke's partner Roy Delucca, rushed to fill in and was killed instead. The rape had affected them all, but particularly Scotty, who seemed pantingly curious about the details, discussing the event with friends all over town. He badgered Laura for the truth, took her emotional temperature every five mintues, until she was driven to Luke, the one person who didn't treat her like a feeble-minded child. He expected nothing. His love was without conditions. Though she heaped scorn upon him, they found they could talk to each other as they had never been able to talk to others. A strange bond was formed. Luke knew in his head Laura belonged to Scott, but his heart rejected it. "It's like another man has my woman," he cried, half in sorrow, half in outrage. When Laura ran to Luke to tell him the good news, that she was not pregnant from the rape, his grief bewildered her. He was too volatile, too unpredicatble for her, and she resolved to shut him out and to honor her obligations by keeping up the fiction of a happy marriage, although she had begun to find Scotty's concerned company less than tolerable. Two incidents hampered this resolve: Laura overhead a meeting between Luke and Smith and learned about the Organization, and Luke, trying to protect Laura from Smith's icy-eyed threats, found himself manuevered into an engagement to Smith's eager young daughter Jennifer, who wanted him even if daddy had to buy him. Suddenly it seemed as if Luke was responsible for everyone's safety Laura's, Bobbie's, Ruby's, and even Scotty's, because Scotty had been hired by the respectable-appearing Smith to do legal work. Trying to keep Laura's naivete from exposing them all, Luke picked up on something Laura could be made jealous of Jennifer Smith. His humble, apologetic manner faded and he began making attempts to provoke Laura into revealing her true feelings. The sexual tension zapped between them. "There's a reason for all this anger, yours and mine both," he growled during a nasty set-to with her, "and it's frustration!" Frustration became a way of life. He stalked the disco like a trapped animal, swallowing booze and cursing his fate, but the marriage to Jennifer seemed in evitable. His fast approaching wedding date brought out the worst in Laura as well; she grew frantic and insisted she was going to tell Scotty the whole story, including the part about the Organization. Cornered, Luke knew he had to stop her and he decided the only way was to get her alone on Jennifer's sailboat and prove to her once and for all that she was in love with him. On a sunny afternoon he brought Laura aboard and slithered into the cabin after her, calculating his chances. After a tense start, he got her into his arms, arrousing them both and with hot kisses and murmurs of "Tell me you want me, tell me, tell me, tell me..." When she whispered, "Yes," he nearly passed out from pleasure, but recovered enough to make his point. "Now tell Scott that night in the disco was really rape!" His victory was hollow; she admitted she wanted him, agreed not to tell, but remained steadfast in her marriage to Scott. Sadly, they agreed to stay apart a great strain on them both. When Luke's wedding day dawned, all either could think of was the other, like two moony adolescents. Laura wrote Luke a farewell letter a letter that fell into Scott's hands. Whimpering in the face of Scott's rage, she could not explain with out defending Luke and that sent Scott straight to the wedding site, Smith's yacht, to kill Luke. Luke, meanwhile, had failed in his attempt to blackmail Smith into letting him out of the Organization. Smith coldly reminded Luke of his choices: marry Jennifer or die. Scott arrived minutes before the ceremony, slammed Luke into the flowerladen altar and subsiquently overboard. Luke was assumed dead but Laura, frantically hoping to stop Scotty, arrived at the dock in time to pull Luke from the water. Together they stole a little black book the Organization's bible from Smith's office and, full of plans to break the book's code and destroy the mob, they holed up in that sleazy motel. Cut off from those citizens of Pt. Charles who might judge them, they fell into an easy intimacy. Like a love-struck kid showing off for his girl, Luke devised little fantasies to take Laura's mind off the danger they faced. In a matter of days the news that Luke was alive was all over the papers and he was sure Smith would hire a hit man and come after them. They had to leave town, but first they needed clothes and disguises. When they invaded a department store in search of these, Luke went into a French hair stylist act (in the beauty salon) that was one part Charles Boyer, nine parts Pepe LePew. Laura stood by in appalled delight as he lightfingered a black wig for her to wear. Locked in the store overnight, they decided to have one glorious night of it; they dressed up in formal garb, opened champagne and danced all over the store. Enthralled with romance, Laura seemed ready to make love, but over indulgence in champagne caused her to pass out in the middle of a passionate kiss. Unfortunately by morning she had had second thoughts about breaking her marriage vows. Finding the store's night watchman dead with a bullet wound, caused them to flee in a panic, taking the first bus to a tiny farm community called Beechers Corners. There they found jobs (as cook and waitress in a diner) and a room at a farmhouse owned by a nice couple named the Whittakers. Luke explained that he and Laura were a newly married couple, Lloyd and Lucy Johnson, who were just traveling around, looking for a place to settle. In their country bedroom, alone together, Laura insisted Luke sleep on the chaise while she took the bed. She had him string a blanket between them something else she had "seen in an old movie." Luke was proving to be petty, impulsive, bossy, absurdly jealous, wildly romantic and nearly irresistable to her, but she did resist even his least subtle provocations ("I am sleeping in the buff and if you have to get up in the middle of the night, be sure and peek, Baby I got nothing to hide!") She knew she loved him, had even admitted it to him, but she was still concerned with becoming what Scotty had called her: a tramp. They befriended the dishwasher at the diner, a lonely young man named Hutch who appeared to be as uncomplicated and friendly as a puppy. Luke, with the suspicion born of years on the street, was skeptical. "He's too smooth, he reminds me of me," he said, trying to explain his uneasiness. When Hutch helped them evade Pt. Charles police Captain Bert Ramsey when he arrived seeking them, Luke and Laura ran from Beechers Corners, taking the guitar-toting Hutch with them as their ally. By the time they found jobs in Fair Oaks, the town where Luke hoped to find a mysterious mob figure called the Left-Handed Boy, Laura could only cling to him adoringly, trusting him to find a way out of danger. Then, in one catastrophic night, Luke learned their female employer at the tavern, Sally, was really a hitman named Max, and their trusted buddy Hutch was also a hitman who had tagged along thinking they would lead him to a cache of gold. Hutch took Laura hostage as barter, and Luke, having found the gold in a public statue, turned as grim and chilling as in his old days with the mob, plotting with Sally/Max to "put that dude in a drawer." A dawn shootout left Max dead, Hutch badly wounded, and Luke and Laura roaring back to Beechers Corners on a "borrowed" motorcycle, their mission accomplished and the decoded black book in the mail to Pt. Charles authorities. Joyously they celebrated their triumph with a rapturous night of love-making. Luke even allowed himself to wonder what Laura's doctor mother would think of him as a son-in-law. Neither of them had been very realistic about the future; Luke dreamed of ticker tape parades and Laura put off thinking at all because she dreaded the scandal that awaited her at home. Happily they teased, pledged love, make promises and Luke failed to pick up on Laura's fears. He played out their fantasy to the last, exchanging mock wedding vows with her over a cigar band ring and assuring her they could face anything together. That proved false as soon as they entered the Pt. Charles police station. Paralyzed with shock, Laura could not bear up under the nasty insinuations of the press and the questioning looks of her family and she asked for Scott.
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