The Australian-born Ethan Lovett arrived in Port Charles on January 30, 2009, and attempted to rob the Haunted Star. Luke pointed a gun at Ethan's head, and Ethan asked Luke if he was a gambling man. Luke saw a lot of himself in the young con and offered Ethan a job, which Ethan declined. Later, after Tracy bailed Ethan and Luke out of jail, she invited Ethan to work at the Haunted Star, and he accepted.
As Ethan and Luke got to know each other, Luke learned that Ethan knew Holly Sutton. Luke became convinced Ethan's arrival in Port Charles was not a coincidence. Later, Ethan admitted he was adopted and his adoptive parents were killed in an accident when he was 15. He claimed he'd been on his own ever since.
Ethan continued to con and charm the residents of Port Charles and began a brief flirtation with Lulu Spencer. When the question of Ethan's true paternity arose, Luke and Tracy both surmised Ethan was Luke's son. After a series of DNA tests and lies, Holly Sutton confirmed that Luke was, in fact, Ethan's father and she his mother. Holly admitted she gave Ethan up for adoption because she knew she could not raise Ethan alone, and did not want to interfere in Luke's life with Laura and Lucky.
Ethan began to adjust to his newfound family, but Lucky did not trust him because he was a grifter. Lulu tried to bridge the gap, but it took some time before Lucky began to warm to his long-lost brother.
It soon became clear that Ethan was helping Rebecca Shaw with her con against the Quartermaines and Nikolas Cassadine. Unbeknownst to anyone in Port Charles, the couple also shared an intimate relationship. Though Ethan truly cared about Rebecca, that did not stop him from blackmailing her when she considered ending the con because she was truly falling for Nikolas.
After Luke had been missing for quite some time, Ethan received a text message stating that Luke was in trouble. Lulu received the same message and the siblings set off for Greece to rescue their father. Mischa, Helena's nurse, met them and they learned that Mikkos' illegitimate son, Valentin, was holding both Luke and Helena hostage. All escaped unharmed and returned to Port Charles. Upon their return, Ethan told Luke that the DNA test confirmed that Luke was his father. Luke never had any doubt his young protégé was his biological son.
A short time later, Ethan befriended Kristina Davis. After a heated discussion between Kristina and her brother, Michael, about her boyfriend, Kiefer, Ethan intervened on Kristina's behalf. The young teen developed a crush on Ethan and Kiefer grew jealous of Kristina's friendship with the young con. Ethan came to Kristina's defense more than once. As an excuse to see Ethan, Kristina asked him to teach her to play poker and he graciously agreed to help the insecure teen.
In an attempt to bring down Sonny Corinthos, Johnny Zacchara enlisted Ethan's help. Luke advised his adventure-seeking son not to get involved with the mob. Johnny was persistent, and Ethan helped him lure away Bernie's assistant, blonde bombshell Jennifer Biles. After the plan to rob and burn down Sonny's office was thwarted, Ethan asked Jennifer for another date, and she accepted.
Ethan later regretted befriending Kristina because she had more on her mind than just a game of cards. Kristina set a plan in action to gain Ethan's attention. She cancelled Ethan's date with Jennifer and stood Kiefer up. Her plan backfired when Ethan was not happy to see her at the Haunted Star; he grabbed her arm and told her to leave.
Ethan realized he'd lost his temper with Kristina and went to her home to clear the air. He found Kristina badly beaten on the living room floor. Ethan took her to General Hospital where she falsely named Ethan as her assailant. Ethan was promptly arrested, and he claimed he was innocent. Ethan was more concerned about Sonny's reaction than the law's and feared for his life.
Kristina, not wanting to face a trial based on a lie, begged her mother to drop the charges against Ethan, and Alexis complied. Jason, aware Kristina had lied before, concluded Ethan was not her attacker, because the evidence proved otherwise. Luke believed his son was telling the truth and went to Sonny on Ethan's behalf. Sonny thought there was no reason his daughter would lie about her assailant and put a hit out on Ethan as retribution.
Kiefer, Kristina's true assailant, became angry with her when he learned she had dropped the charges against Ethan and beat her again. Alexis returned home, as Kiefer was leaving, and found her daughter badly beaten. As Alexis rushed Kristina to General Hospital, she inadvertently hit Kiefer with her car. He later died from his injuries. Kristina admitted that Kiefer, not Ethan, had been responsible for her beatings. Ethan's troubles continued to mount when Lucky discovered a dent on the front of Ethan's car. Ethan quickly became a suspect regarding Kiefer's hit-and-run.
However, the dent was from a minor accident he'd had with Maya Ward. Later, Alexis confessed she was responsible for hitting Kiefer. Ethan was relieved he was not longer a suspect but grew angry because he was continually accused of crimes he did not commit.
Ethan happened to be at General Hospital, talking with Maya, when Kristina arrived, screaming that Michael was fighting with Mr. Bauer. Ethan, Lucky and Maya stopped the scuffle but, knowing that Mr. Bauer was persecuting the Davis family because of the death of his son, stated that Mr. Bauer had tripped, and that Michael had assisted him.
Soon thereafter Mr. Bauer returned with a gun and opened fire, hitting Ethan and Police Commissioner, Mac Scorpio. Dr. Webber arrived and tended to Ethan, while Kristina became hysterical and was led away by Carly and Michael. Olivia Falconeri happened by and was enlisted by Steven to help keep pressure on Ethan's wound because Maya froze. While he recovered, Maya began to appreciate his constant flirting.
Ethan and Maya found common ground when they worked together to reunite Tracy and Luke. Ethan suggested that Luke should fake a heart attack to gain Tracy's sympathy. Maya helped Luke and Ethan make the arrangements. When Tracy allowed Luke to move back in to the Quartermaine mansion, they considered their scheme a success. Tracy knew Luke faked his heart attack but she still agreed to marry him in Las Vegas. Ethan and Maya joined Tracy and Luke in Las Vegas to witness their marriage.
Luke, Tracy, May a, and Ethan consumed a large quantity of alcohol in Las Vegas the night Luke and Tracy were to be married. Tracy and Luke struggled with their vows, so Maya and Ethan spoke on their behalf. When everyone awoke the next morning, they realized the justice of the peace had married Maya and Ethan instead of Luke and Tracy. While Luke and Tracy searched for an attorney to annul the marriage, Maya and Ethan hit the casino. Maya won a sizeable amount and she and Ethan celebrated her luck by consummating their marriage.
Initially, Maya was concerned she would not be able to annul the marriage since she had slept with Ethan. Her worries were erased when she and Ethan learned their marriage could still be annulled since neither had been sober during the exchange of vows. Since the marriage could be annulled later, Ethan and Maya decided to enjoy the benefits of marriage a little while longer. They returned to Port Charles as a married couple.
Edward Quartermaine had a surprising reaction to the news of Ethan and Maya's marriage. He offered them one million dollars to remain married for one year. Edward saw promise in Ethan and believed he could potentially be the next generation of ELQ. Ethan jumped at the money and he persuaded Maya to accept Edward's offer.
The newlyweds continued to get to know one another and planned to move in together. Ethan realized Maya was not ready to move in with him after she failed to send a check to secure the deposit on an apartment. Although Maya was hesitant to admit it, she had grown attached to Edward and was not ready to leave him. Instead, Ethan moved in to the Quartermaine mansion so Maya would not have to choose between Edward and Ethan.
Ethan accompanied Kristina to her father's wedding to Brenda Barrett when Maya had to work. Chaos erupted at the wedding when a limousine exploded and the bride was kidnapped. Ethan escorted Kristina and her sister Molly home and distracted them with card shark tricks. Kristina remained in awe of Ethan and declared she planned to marry Ethan one day. He reminded Kristina that he was married and ignored her crush on him.
Ethan's focus quickly changed to his family when Lucky's son Jake was killed by a car. Luke was the driver of the car. Luke began to self-destruct following Jake's death and he refused to admit his drinking may have been a factor in the accident. Lucky and Ethan drugged Luke and held an Intervention for him. Everyone in attendance, including Ethan, agreed to cut Luke out of their lives until Luke received treatment. Ethan was unable to turn to Maya for support during this time because she had returned to Philadelphia to care for a sick family member. Ethan was frustrated and did not know if or when Maya would ever return.
Kristina noticed Ethan was upset over Maya and his father. She offered Ethan some herbal supplements Lisa Niles had given her to help her deal with stress. Ethan immediately recognized that the herbal supplements were actually narcotics. Ethan helped Kristina break her dependency on the pills, unaware his concern had refueled Kristina's crush on him.
Ethan remained in low spirits and decided to surprise Maya with a visit. The surprise was on him when he walked in on Maya in bed with another man. Maya admitted she had fallen in love with someone else and would not be returning to Port Charles. Ethan headed to the Dominican Republic to obtain a divorce. He was shocked when Kristina joined him on the plane. She explained she was there to navigate Ethan through the divorce process.
Kristina's parents, Sonny and Alexis, mistakenly believed Ethan and Kristina had run off to be married. Sonny and Alexis showed up in the Dominican Republic and warned Ethan to stay away from Kristina. He insisted they were only friends and he refused to end his friendship with Kristina, despite Sonny's threats. Kristina took Ethan's stance against her father as a sign he was interested in her, although he maintained she was too young for him.
Ethan witnessed Anthony Zacchara threatening Kristina and he stepped in to protect her. Kristina took Ethan's protectiveness as proof he did care about her romantically. Ethan brashly stated that regardless of their age difference, she was too spoiled and naïve for him. To make the message clear, Ethan pretended he was interested in someone closer to his own age and with a more similar background. He made an arrangement with Kristina's brother Michael and his girlfriend Abby. They decided Ethan would pretend to pursue Abby in hopes of pushing Kristina away.
Kristina saw through Ethan's flirtation with Abby but he still kept his distance from Kristina. He flirted instead with Luke's former flame Skye Quartermaine and he helped protect her from Anthony Zacchara. Kristina was jealous of the time Ethan spent with Skye, however, when Kristina underwent spinal surgery Ethan visited her at the hospital and he agreed to be her date to her older sister's wedding. Kristina made a full recovery and left Port Charles to attend college. Ethan wished her well and told her to enjoy meeting boys her own age. Kristina promised to give the new opportunities college presented a chance but claimed Ethan would remain in her heart.
With Skye and Kristina out of town, Ethan turned is focus to the mysterious happenings at Spoon Island. Since Nikolas was no longer residing at Wyndemere, Ethan expected the house to be empty. He explored and discovered a portrait of Laura had been slashed at the neck along with wet footprints in the sand. He was caught off-guard when Helena Cassadine sneaked up behind him and knocked him out. Helena left after she was unable to find what she was searching for but warned Ethan that danger lurked. Ethan sensed that someone else was hidden in the tunnels of the castle and was perplexed when the portrait of Laura had shed tears.
Ethan was intrigued by the love story between Luke and Laura as well as the history of the Cassadine family. He questioned Alexis and Molly about their family history and asked to take on the position as the groundskeeper at Wyndemere. Alexis agreed to hire Ethan and Molly provided him with books about the family. Ethan spent more time at Spoon Island and his hunch that someone else was present was proven correct. A mysterious woman dressed in white allowed Ethan a few glimpses of her but she refused to talk. Ethan gained her trust by leaving her food and he communicated with her through notes.
On New Year's Eve, Ethan asked the woman to meet him at Kelly's and she agreed. They shared a kiss before she disappeared again. Ethan learned her name was Cassandra when she was visited at Wyndemere by her psychiatrist, Ewen Keenan. He revealed that he had been treating her because she was unable to remember any of her past. Ethan continued to get to know Cassandra and they slept together. Ewen arrived shortly after and warned the couple against physical intimacy. Ethan accused the doctor of having interests in Cassandra that were beyond professional and was angered when Ewen announced that he was moving in to Wyndemere.
Both Cassandra and Ethan agreed that Ewen was interfering in their relationship and the couple ignored Ewen's advice that they not pursue a relationship. Ethan and Cassandra continued to spend time together and their feelings deepened until Helena appeared and forced Cassandra to admit her real name was Irina Cassadine and that she was Helena's daughter. Helena brought Luke in and revealed that she and her daughter had planned for Luke to lose his son like she had lost her son Stavros. Helena had intended for Irina to make Lucky fall in love with Irina but since Lucky had left town, they used Ethan instead. Then Helena handed Irina a gun and instructed her to kill Ethan.
Irina claimed she loved Ethan and fired the gun at Helena instead. The gun contained blanks and Helena realized her daughter had turned on her and she ordered her associates to kill Irina. Ethan was devastated by the sudden death of Irina but the threat against his life was not over. Helena held a gun on Ethan and told Luke he was about to witness the death of his son. At that time, Ethan's mother Holly Sutton arrived and told Helena that Ethan's father was not Luke. Holly explained that she had wanted Luke back in her life so she lied about Ethan's paternity and that his real father was Robert Scorpio. Helena freed Ethan and disappeared after she took hair from Luke and Ethan so she could run a DNA test.
In the aftermath of losing "Cassandra" and Holly's claim, Luke and Ethan questioned if Holly had told the truth. She confessed that Luke was Ethan's father but she had lied to protect him. They realized Helena would soon discover the truth and come after Ethan again. Ethan wanted to go after Helena but Luke and Holly convinced him to go into hiding instead. Luke also asked him to pretend that Robert Scorpio was his father and sent him out of town. Luke provided Ethan with passports, cash, and a list of connections to help him on his journey and the two exchanged a heartfelt goodbye.
Luke and Ethan were reunited briefly about a year later when Luke chased down Helena after Lulu had been kidnapped. Luke and his former wife Laura found Ethan bound and gagged in Helena's clutches. Luke freed Ethan and they worked together with Laura to outmaneuver Helena. After Helena was shot and believed to be dead, Ethan took off to act as a decoy for Helena's lackeys while Luke and Laura continued their search for Lulu.