Separated from his wife Lesley, Dr. Rick Webber left Port Charles with no plans to return early in 1980.
While Laura continued to work with Luke, Scotty was growing closer to the truth about the rape. Luke still loved Laura, but dated Jennifer Smith, Frank’s naive daughter, in an effort to forget his feelings. Laura, for her part, suffered terrible twinges of jealousy whenever she saw Luke and Jennifer together. Luke and Jennifer became engaged.
Rick, desperate to claim his son, resolved to tell Alan the truth about his baby’s parentage. Of course, Alan already knew this piece of highly volatile news! Lesley supported Rick in his actions, and Monica, terrified of losing her child, begged Lesley to stop Rick from going to Alan. Lesley steadfastly refused. With her heart breaking, Lesley went to the court house to file for a divorce so that Rick could eventually be free to marry Monica.
Believing the truth about his son’s paternity was about to come out anyway, Rick went straight to Alan and told him that he and Monica were lovers and that Alan, Jr. was his own son. Alan pretended shock and begged for time to make up his mind regarding what he would do. But Alan knew exactly what he wanted to do! Privately, he vowed that “Rick and Monica will die.”
The day of destiny arrived. Believing that Rick and Monica planned to make love, Alan followed them to their waterfront love nest, with gun in hand. As he walked up the steps, fate intervened in the form of a terrific explosion! The force of the blast (caused by an unforeseen gas line break) knocked Alan off the stairs.
Deep in her soul, Laura Baldwin knew she loved Luke Spencer, but she could never admit that fact to anyone. In her desire to free herself from Luke, Laura wrote a letter of release to Luke — which sounded very much like a love letter! On the day of Jennifer and Luke’s wedding, Scotty found it, and, at last, learned the identity of Laura’s rapist. Calling Laura a “tramp,” Scotty rushed out in search of Luke, only hours before his wedding was to take place on Frank Smith’s yacht.
Luke and Laura set off on an incredible odyssey. Their mission: to decode Smith’s black book and solve the mystery of the left-handed boy, whose existence Luke had learned about by overhearing one of Frank’s private conversations. After a romantic night in Wyndhams Department store, they headed for the town of Fair Oaks, stopping along the way in the farm community of Beechers Corners. Hot on their trail was a hit man, Hutch, who by now had learned that a secret supply of gold bullion was hidden in the hand of the left-handed boy — which was actually a statue. Luke and Laura were going to lead him to it! Hutch arrived in Beechers Corners, and turning on the homespun charm, fooled Luke and Laura into believing he was their friend. Before leaving for Fair Oaks, Hutch committed a crime (that would later come back to haunt him) when he killed Vic Gower and buried him in the Whitaker’s cornfield.
Monica made a startling discovery when she observed that Alan, Jr. bore the same birthmark that Alan had! Tests proved that the baby was indeed Alan’s. Armed with this news, Monica was now even more desperate to free herself from Alan and marry Rick! But Alan learned the secret from the hematologist assigned to the case, and kept the gratifying knowledge secret, waiting for an opportune moment to publicly humiliate Rick and Monica. Alan knew just the occasion — a fund-raising party to be given on the day before Monica’s divorce was to come through. Arranging for almost all of General Hospital to be present, Alan made the stunning announcement that Alan Junior was indeed his son. Reeling from the humiliating revelation, Rick rejected Monica. Monica bowed to the inevitable and moved back into the Quartermaine mansion.
In search of the left-handed boy, Luke, Laura and Hutch moved on to Fair Oaks where they got jobs in a bar run by Miss Sally Armitage, who was actually a member of Frank Smith’s hit squad. Sally was a man in disguise! Luke located a statue which appeared to be a boy — a left-handed boy! He further realized that through the inscription on the statue, he could finally decode Frank Smith’s black book. In a shootout at the statue, Hutch and Sally ended up shooting one another. Laura watched in horror as Luke fell to the ground — from a bullet to the chest! A bullet-proof vest saved his life.
With the black book decoded, Luke had the goods to put Frank Smith behind bars for years to come. Returning to Port Charles by police escort, Luke and Laura stopped at a drugstore outside of town where Luke seized the opportunity to buy a cigar, slip off the band, and slip it on Laura’s finger. In a simple, yet poignant ceremony, they spoke their vows, reaffirming the commitment they had made the night before. Together at last — well, at least for a few more hours.
At Police Headquarters, Laura was not prepared by the onslaught of media who greeted the runaways. In a weak moment, she silently slipped the cigar band off her finger and declared, “I’m still Mrs. Scott Baldwin. Luke was rocked by Laura’s stunning statement! Feeling betrayed and rejected, he refused to speak with the woman he loved. And Laura returned to her apartment to ask Scotty for a divorce — only to discover he had left her!
Torn apart by love and pride, Luke and Laura ran into each other occasionally, but displayed a facade of happiness which kept them from getting together. Just as Luke and Laura were finally settling down, a new arrival — Alexandria Quartermaine– was about to bring new conflict and adventure into their lives.