Nikolas drags Murty into the hallway, leaving Lucky and Liz crying on the floor.

"I didn’t do this," Murty says. "What more do you want from me?"

Nikolas releases Murty. "I need your word."

Murty arches an eyebrow. "My word? 20 minutes ago, my word was dirt, but now you want it? What for?"

Nikolas glances quickly at Lucky and Elizabeth before turning to Murty. "I need your word that you will not go to the police."

Murty starts to laugh, from shock. "Elizabeth Webber pulls a knife on me, Lucky Spencer threatens to kill me and you forcibly restrain me. Tell me again why I shouldn’t go to the cops?"

"We made a mistake," Nikolas states plainly. "Elizabeth believed that you were her attacker, and we did all that we could to help her prove it. The recorder that you confiscated—Lucky gave her that to record incriminating comments that you might make. The knife was a gift from Lucky to help Liz fend you off should you attempt to attack her again."

"I didn’t attack her in the first place!"

"We know that now, but Elizabeth believed that you were her attacker. Lucky was always on guard outside the classroom in case Liz got in trouble."

"This explains everything," Murty says, shaking his head. "Why Lucky was always so protective of Liz around me, why she overreacted when I mentioned the possibility that she had a crush, and why she always seemed so tense around me." He turns to Nikolas. "That girl needs therapy."

"That girl was brutally raped. She believed you did it. Don’t you understand?," Nikolas states. "She needed someone to hate, and you were it. She believed that she was acting in self defense against her attacker when she pulled that knife. I’m begging you to take her state of mind and what happened her into consideration." Nikolas leans in, intensely looking at Murty. "I don’t think you want to go to the police about tonight."

Murty looks at Nikolas, internally debating what to do. He is a Cassadine, Murty thinks. His uncle’s accused of murder…. "Fine," he states. "I will not go to the police about Elizabeth and Lucky’s actions. Or yours, for that matter. But I do not want a repeat of this evening. I’m sorry that Elizabeth was hurt, but I had nothing to do with it. I want all three of you to remember that."

Nikolas nods. "Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Murty." Murty stalks off, wanting to get as far away from this Cassadine kid as possible.

Nik smiles to himself, victorious. He reenters the classroom, spotting Liz and Lucky still seated on the floor. Lucky is stroking Elizabeth’s hair with one hand, while holding her close to him with the other, whispering reassurances in her ear. Nik watches the scene for a moment, before quietly exiting the room.

Lucky slowly lifts Elizabeth’s head, looking into her eyes. "I’m so sorry, honey."

Elizabeth blinks back her tears. "Mr. Baldwin said that he came to the meeting early… and he stayed late… He was missing his wife and was afraid he would take a drink. M-Mr. Baldwin stayed with him to make sure he didn’t fall off the wagon," she sobs. "It wasn’t him, Lucky."

"Elizabeth, I don’t know what to say… to make this easier for you," Lucky says softly.

"Who do I hate now, Lucky?," she asks, her eyes searching his face. "I’ve hated Murty so long, blaming him for my rape, but he wasn’t guilty. I hated the wrong man all these months and I don’t know what to do now. I just don’t know. I needed Murty. He was a place to focus all of my hate and my rage. I don’t have that anymore. I don’t have that. I thought tonight would free me but all it’s done is lock me up even more."

"We can still find the guy who did this," Lucky says.

Elizabeth shakes her head. "How? All the signs pointed to Murty and he had an airtight alibi. I don’t even know where to begin." She sighs, falling back into Lucky’s arms. "I wanted to get him for us," she cries.

"For us?"

"I don’t want to get scared if you get too close. I don’t want to pull back when you’re kissing me. I don’t want you to feel like you’re stuck with me."

Lucky’s eyes grow wide. "Stuck? Where would you ever get that crazy idea?" Liz stares back at him, silent. "I don’t feel stuck, or trapped when I’m with you. I feel complete. It hurts," he continues, "when you pull away from me. I’ll admit that. It hurts because I don’t know how to make it better for you. And I want to make it better…"

"I know that you do," Elizabeth replies. "And that kills me. You’re so patient, and I’ve become so reliant on you to make it better for me. I wanted to get him to make it better for you, for once."

"Just stay by my side," Lucky says. "I’m better when you’re with me." He slowly leans in, giving Elizabeth a gentle kiss. "I love you."

Elizabeth smiles. "I know I don’t make it easy. I love you too."

"Loving you…" Lucky whispers in her ear, "is the easiest thing I do." He takes her hand in his, and they slowly stand up. He gently wipes away her tears with his thumb. "You’re so beautiful."

Liz snorts. "I bet, with red rimmed eyes, and mascara running down my face."

"Beautiful," he insists. "Come on. We’d better get you home."

"I don’t want to go home. I—I don’t want to see Gram right now. Can I stay at the boxcar tonight?," Liz asks hopefully.

"Yeah," Lucky smiles.

"Wait—What about Nikolas?"

"What about him? What, you want Cassaslime to stay at the boxcar, too?"

"Would you mind? We need to find out what happened with him and Murty, and he really did help us out tonight," Liz says.

Lucky considers it for a moment. "I don’t like it, but, he can stay—if you want. Don’t think this means I like him or anything."

"We wouldn’t make that mistake, now would we," Nikolas pipes up, walking into the room. He removes the listening device from the desk.

"Nikolas, would you stay with Lucky and me tonight at his boxcar?," Liz asks.

Nik glances at Lucky, who glares at him. He turns back to Liz. "I’d like that."

Lucky rolls his eyes. "Fine. Let’s get going then." He reaches for Liz’s hand. They walk out of the room, Nikolas following behind them.

To be continued...