In 1992, Brenda arrived in Port Charles to live with her sister, Julia, after dropping out of boarding school. Julia threatened to withhold Brenda's trust fund, so Brenda agreed to finish school. Later, Brenda decided to move in with her crush, Jagger Cates; however, things didn't work out because Jagger was in love with Karen Wexler. After Julia left town, Brenda moved in with the Quartermaines.
In 1993, Brenda met and became instantly attracted to mobster, Sonny Corinthos. She helped Sonny after he was shot while breaking Frank Smith out of jail. Brenda refused to believe that Sonny was a mobster, so she agreed to wear a wire to prove that everyone was wrong about Sonny. Lily Rivera got wind of what Brenda was up to, so she told Sonny. Sonny promptly broke things off with Brenda and then married Lily. Eventually, Brenda managed to get Sonny to admit that they belonged together. Sonny was set to runaway with Brenda when Lily announced that she was pregnant. Brenda realized that Sonny couldn't leave his child behind, so she walked away from him.
Jasper "Jax" Jacks had been in love with Brenda, so when he found her standing in the rain, he whisked her out of town to get married on his yacht. As Brenda and Jax sipped on champagne, Lily was killed in a car explosion. Lily's father had ordered a bomb to be planted in Sonny's car because he felt that Sonny had betrayed Lily with Brenda. Brenda and Jax returned to Port Charles to have a wedding ceremony surrounded by friends and family, but Sonny had a surprise for Jax. Sonny had tracked down Jax's legal wife, Miranda.
Months later, Brenda was kidnapped and used as bait to lure Sonny to rescue her. Sonny managed to find Brenda, but an explosion sealed the star-crossed lovers in a cave. Brenda and Sonny refused to die without declaring their undying love for each other. After they made love, Jax rescued them. Brenda decided to tell Jax that she had slept with Sonny.
After Brenda and Sonny reunited, Brenda was framed for the murder of Dr. Pierce Dorman. Unbeknownst to Sonny and Brenda, Lily's father was behind the set up. In time, Sonny killed Hernando Rivera and cleared Brenda of all charges. Once things settled down, Sonny asked Brenda to marry him. Brenda accepted the proposal under the condition that she and Sonny leave town never to return. Brenda also expected Sonny to put the mob life behind him.
On their wedding day Sonny realized that Brenda would never be safe with him, so he sent Jason to the church to tell her that he had left town without her. Brenda was completely crushed. She took her anger out on Jason by hurling insults at him whenever they ran into each other. Things changed when Brenda and Jason were forced to work together to stay alive after a plane crash.
Brenda decided to move in with Jax, as a platonic friend, until she could put her life back together. Jax sent for Julia, and after years of bitterness, the sisters managed to patch up their differences. Brenda's happiness was short-lived; she suffered a nervous breakdown after Sonny left town for good. Distraught by her true love's betrayal, she had paranoid delusions that he was out to get her. Her condition deteriorated, so Jax and Julia had Brenda temporarily institutionalized. Eventually, Brenda pulled herself together and realized that Jax, not Sonny, was her true love. Sonny briefly returned in the spring of 1998, but he quickly realized that Brenda had moved on.
That same year, Brenda's estranged mother showed up in Port Charles. Veronica suffered from a terminal hereditary mental illness, which caused suicidal tendencies. Brenda decided to be tested to see if she had inherited this illness, but tragedy struck before Brenda could learn the results of the test. Veronica, in a fit of madness, drove Brenda and herself over a cliff. Jax watched in horror as the car plunged into the ocean. After an extensive search, both women were presumed dead.
In August 2000, Stefan lured Jax out of town by hiring a Brenda look-alike to make it appear that Brenda was alive. Jax returned to Port Charles in 2001, with news that Brenda had not been found. Jax had finally accepted that Brenda was dead, but in September 2002, Brenda returned to Port Charles. Ruthless arms dealer, Luis Alcazar, had fished Brenda out of the water after the crash and then nursed her back to health on his yacht. Luis had managed to keep Brenda by his side by allowing her to believe that she had inherited her mother's mental illness.
Luis promised to care for Brenda when her health began to decline, but he realized that Brenda would never forget her past in Port Charles and the men that she had loved. Luis decided to murder Sonny and Jax, so he heavily sedated Brenda to keep her hidden on his yacht while he slipped into Port Charles. Luis' plot began to unravel when Brenda slowly emerged from her drugged haze. She overheard Luis discuss his plans to kill Sonny and Jax, so she made a daring escape. Brenda fired a flare gun in her room, which caused the yacht to explode.
Brenda swam to shore and then convinced a stranger to call Sonny. Brenda arranged for Sonny to meet her at the church where she had once planned to marry him. Sonny was reluctant to go because he hadn't realized that Brenda was waiting for him. As time passed, Brenda began to fear that Sonny wouldn't show. She stepped out into the rain and then stopped short when her eyes immediately connected with Sonny's.
Brenda started to walk towards Sonny, but a hail of bullets suddenly ripped through him. Jason arrived on the scene to find Brenda crouched over Sonny's wounded body. Sonny instructed Jason to take Brenda to a safe house. At the safe house, Brenda was distraught as she blamed herself for Sonny's death. She didn't realize that Sonny was very much alive and in the next room.
Brenda refused to let Jax suffer the same fate as Sonny, so she made several attempts to escape. Eventually she succeeded. Brenda raced to Jax's side only to find him at the church with Skye. Brenda watched as Jax married Skye, but waited until Jax's wedding night to contact him. She explained her reasons for staying away and then warned Jax of Luis' plans. At Jax's suggestion, Brenda hid in her former cottage near the woods.
Luis recalled Brenda mentioning the cottage, so he tracked her down and then shot Jax. Sonny arrived as Brenda tried to shield a wounded Jax from Luis murderous intent. Sonny shot Luis, saved Jax, and then explained to Brenda that he had faked his death in order to lure Luis out into the open. Meanwhile, Jax had been paralyzed from the bullet, so he turned to Brenda for support.
Brenda promised Skye that she wouldn't interfere with Skye's marriage to Jax, but the tragedy drew Jax and Brenda together. Skye eventually learned that Luis had lied to Brenda about the illness. At the same time, Luis, who had avoided jail for shooting Jax, convinced Skye to help him kidnap Brenda. Skye agreed. Luis spirited Brenda out of town on a jet, but Sonny was able to sneak aboard.
The plane crashed, and the three found themselves stranded in the jungle. Jason and Carly rescued Sonny and Brenda, but not before Sonny and Luis attempted to kill each other. Jax discovered Luis's lie and confronted Skye. Unable to forgive Skye for hiding the truth about Brenda's illness, Jax left her in search for Brenda. Jax reunited with Brenda and then explained that she hadn't inherited Veronica's illness.
Seeing Jax and Brenda together sent a drunken Skye into Luis's bed. On that same night, Sonny had ordered Jason to kill Luis. Brenda decided to talk to Luis, in an effort to keep Jax safe. Luis and Brenda fought bitterly. After cutting Luis with a knife, Brenda fled the hotel room and then bumped into Jason. Jason left with Brenda before he could carry out Sonny's orders. Shortly afterwards, word spread through Port Charles that Luis had been murdered.
Scotty quickly zeroed in on Jason and Brenda as the prime suspects. Skye happily served as Scotty's prime witness, pinning the murder on Brenda. Jax thwarted Skye's plans by confessing to the murder, but the charges against him were dropped. Brenda and Jason decided to face their murder charges as husband and wife, so that they couldn't testify against each other. After they got married, Jason and Brenda went on trial.
Brenda decided to undergo hypnosis in a desperate to find out what had really happened to Luis. She recalled seeing Ric Lansing in the hall outside of Luis's suite, but Ric had denied any involvement in the murder. Brenda feared that there might be incriminating evidence on Luis' sunken yacht, so she went diving to search the yacht. Later, Gia and Nikolas found an unconscious Brenda in the icy water. In the emergency room, Brenda gave Jax a key to a safety deposit box. Brenda was dismayed when the police managed to seize the contents of the safety deposit box.
Things looked bleak for Brenda when the safety deposit box yielded a videotape of Brenda stabbing Luis. Brenda tried to persuade Jason to flee the country with her, so that he wouldn't be convicted of the murder with her. Jason chose to stay because he was unable to leave his new love, Courtney. A short time later, Brenda and Jason were found guilty of murder, but the ruling was quickly overturned when it was revealed that their attorney, Alexis Davis, had killed Luis in self-defense during a struggle.
Brenda and Jason traveled out of the country to have their marriage annulled; however, at the last minute, Brenda changed her mind. Brenda explained that she felt pressured to marry Jax, so she asked Jason to file for an annulment in the States because it would take longer. Jason agreed, which made Sonny question Jason's commitment to Courtney. After the annulment was finalized, Jax and Brenda decided to get married. The night before the wedding, Brenda ran into Sonny on the docks.
Brenda told Sonny that she had forgiven him for standing her up at the altar. As Brenda and Sonny shared one last goodbye kiss, Carly spotted them. Carly immediately ran to tell Jax about the kiss. Jax waited until he and Brenda were about to exchange vows in front of friends and loved ones before he called off the wedding. Jax refused to marry Brenda because he believed that she would eventually cheat on him with Sonny.
Brenda left the wedding, hurt and broken-hearted. She waited for Jason outside his penthouse, where she ran into Sonny. Sonny explained that Carly had told Jax about the kiss. Brenda decided to leave Port Charles. As Brenda packed her things, Jax showed up to offer Brenda money to leave and never return. Jax insisted that he no longer loved her and that the woman he had fallen in love with had drowned with Veronica. Brenda refused to take Jax's money.
After Jax left, Jason comforted Brenda and then drove her to the airport. Brenda insisted that Jason deserved to be happy, so she encouraged him to work things out with Courtney. After Brenda left Port Charles, she moved to Europe where she focused on her career. In time, she started dating again. Around 2007, Brenda became involved with a man named Aleksander Janacek. She quickly ended things when she learned that Aleksander was the son of an international crime lord known as the Balkan.
Aleksander began to stalk Brenda, so she flew to New York City to get away from him. In New York City, a young police officer by the name of Dante Falconeri was assigned to protect her. One night, while on a walk, Aleksander approached Brenda. Aleksander tried to force Brenda to leave with him, but Dante stepped in. A brief, but violent, struggle ensued.
Brenda picked up a gun that had fallen to the ground and then shot Aleksander as Aleksander tried to strangle Dante to death. Aleksander died moments later. Brenda was horrified by what she had done, so Dante agreed to dump the body and not report it to the police. Shortly afterwards, Brenda left town to do humanitarian work for the Alliance to Save Exploited Children. However, her troubles were far from behind her because the Balkan was determined to get some answers from her about Aleksander's sudden disappearance.
In 2010, Robin reunited with Brenda during a trip to Africa. After Robin returned from the trip, she gave Brenda's phone number to Sonny. Sonny was facing legal troubles and had started dating a federal prosecutor, so he hesitated to reach out to Brenda. However, Sonny couldn't stop thinking about her, so he decided to fly to Rome, where Brenda was living. Sonny waited in the courtyard of the hotel where Brenda was staying at to catch a glimpse of her. Just as their eyes connected, the Balkan's men made a move to kidnap Brenda.
Sonny managed to foil the kidnappers and then whisked Brenda away. Brenda and Sonny talked about their lives since they had last seen each other. Sonny was open to rekindling things with Brenda, but she made it clear that she had moved on. Brenda revealed that she had been dating a famous actor by the name of Murphy Sinclair. Sonny was disappointed, but respected Brenda's decision.
After Sonny returned to Port Charles, Brenda's friend Suzanne decided to call Jason. There had been several attempts made to disfigure and harm Brenda, so Suzanne hoped that Jason could help keep Brenda safe. Jason flew to Rome to protect Brenda, but it soon became clear that the Balkan would not stop. After the Balkan's men nearly killed Brenda with an overdose of heroin, Jason insisted that Brenda return to Port Charles with him.
Jason believed that he could provide better protection for Brenda in a place that he was familiar with. Brenda reluctantly agreed to go, but she made it clear that she expected Jason to keep Sonny away from her. Brenda feared having Sonny breaking her heart again. Brenda ended her engagement to Murphy and then returned to Port Charles. Spinelli, Jason's roommate, was immediately smitten with the beautiful supermodel living under their roof.
Brenda quickly reconnected with several friends, including Robin. Despite Brenda's best intentions, she couldn't stay away from Sonny. Sonny didn't make it easy because he actively pursued Brenda. Brenda was stunned when she dropped by to visit Sonny and was introduced to his firstborn son; Dante Falconeri. Brenda and Dante silently agreed to keep quiet about their connection.
Sonny and Brenda grew closer, much to Carly's annoyance. Carly also felt threatened by Brenda because Jax was determined to help protect Brenda from the threat of the Balkan. Jax arranged for the police department to guard Brenda. Dante grumbled when he was assigned the task, which made Carly suspicious. Carly sensed that Brenda and Dante were hiding something, so she manipulated Spinelli to dig into Brenda and Dante's past.
Spinelli uncovered proof that Brenda and Dante had known each other in 2007 and that one of the police officer who had worked with Dante had suspected Dante and Brenda of having an affair. As Spinelli dug deeper into their past, he learned that Brenda had a baby and that Dante had signed over all rights to the child. He shared the information with Carly.
Brenda suspected Carly was set on sabotaging her relationship with Sonny but she had a more pressing concern. She overheard Jason and Sam discussing their plan to lure The Balkan out by having Sam pose as Brenda. Although Brenda disagreed with placing Sam in danger the plan continued without her approval and Dante was assigned to keep her inside the penthouse. Brenda knocked Dante out and showed up at the warehouse. He quickly regained consciousness and joined her at the warehouse. One of the Balkan's men held a gun on Dante and Brenda shot him. Dante covered up the crime and they both had flashbacks of their time together in 2007 when Dante had covered for Brenda when she shot Aleksander Janacek.
The man Brenda killed was Anton Banovic and his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brenda and Dante. Sonny's attorney Diane Miller handed the case over to her new associate Theo Hoffman. Brenda was often uncomfortable in Theo's presence and he pushed her to admit she had also killed Aleksander. Sonny and Jason realized Brenda would fall apart in front of a judge and they instructed Theo to settle the case out of court. He claimed the family was not interested in money and they were determined to seek justice for their son.
Sonny and Brenda took a break from legal strategizing and attended Luke's wedding to Tracy Quartermaine just before Christmas and Sonny proposed to Brenda during the reception. She accepted and asked Sonny's daughter Kristina and his niece Molly to be her bridesmaids. Sonny asked Dante to be his best man, although Dante initially declined until Brenda persuaded him to accept. Brenda and Sonny choose the wedding date of February 18th and Brenda started planning the wedding.
Jason and Dante tried to persuade Sonny and Brenda to postpone their wedding due to the threats from the Balkan. They were convinced the Balkan would use the event to make his move on Brenda but Brenda and Sonny were determined to keep the date. Carly also tried to talk Sonny out of marrying Brenda to no avail. Brenda believed Carly was responsible for sabotaging her wedding after Brenda's wedding dress was shredded and the wedding site mysteriously flooded. Sonny promised to banish Carly from the ceremony and assured Brenda their wedding would take place.
Brenda was surprised to learn that her friend Suzanne had destroyed her dress and flooded the Archer Pavilion. Suzanne confessed she had tried to stop the wedding in order to prevent Brenda from the heartache and danger she would most certainly face as Sonny's wife. Brenda forgave Suzanne and continued her wedding preparations. Brenda was unaware her friend Suzanne was actually the Balkan's wife.
Sonny arranged for two of his guards to prevent Carly from attending the wedding but she still showed up. Carly paid Brenda a private visit before the ceremony and showed Brenda the proof she had obtained that Brenda had been pregnant with Dante's child. Carly threatened Brenda and told her if she did not walk away from Sonny at that very moment she would expose her during the ceremony. Brenda ignored Carly's threat and joined Sonny at the altar.
Brenda interrupted her own wedding and told Sonny the truth about her past with Dante and her pregnancy. She explained that she was pregnant with Alexsander's child and Dante had agreed to be the father on record in order to protect the child from Alexsander's family. She and Dante were never lovers and she miscarried her child late in the pregnancy. Sonny was shocked by her admission and initially felt betrayal but he quickly forgave her and they were married.
After the reception everyone followed Brenda and Sonny outside to see them off on their honeymoon. Brenda entered the limousine first and it exploded. When the paramedics retrieved the passenger Sam was inside and Brenda was missing. She had been kidnapped by Theo Hoffman and he revealed himself as the Balkan. He was also Alexsander's father. He questioned Brenda about his grandchild she had lost and he insisted the child was still alive.
Theo eventually believed that Brenda thought her son was dead and she manipulated one of the Balkan's men into helping her and she temporarily escaped Theo's clutches. Theo found Brenda and injected her with a deadly neurotoxin. Sonny rescued Brenda and she arrived at the hospital in time and made a full recovery. Afterward they honeymooned in Italy.
Sonny and Brenda returned from their honeymoon early when they received the news that Jason's son Jake had died after being hit by a car. Jason's missed opportunity to raise his son combined with Theo's insistence that Brenda's child had not died prompted Brenda to search for her son. Brenda did not have to search at all for her son. Suzanne arrived at Sonny and Brenda's home with a young boy named Lucian and Suzanne introduced him as Brenda's son.
Brenda immediately fell in love with Lucian and accepted Suzanne's reasons for allowing Brenda to believe her child had died. Suzanne explained that if Theo had known Brenda was pregnant with his grandchild he would have stopped at nothing to raise the child in his own image. The child would have been destined to live a life in organized crime. Only after Suzanne killed Theo did she feel it was safe enough to reunite Brenda with her child.
The arrival of Brenda's son placed a great strain on her marriage to Sonny. He immediately surrounded Brenda and Lucian with guards and increased security. Brenda was uncomfortable raising a child with the constant threat of violence and asked Sonny's children what it was like to have Sonny as a father. Sonny's children explained life with Sonny as a father was never normal but he truly loved them. Brenda was not content with their response and she became more concerned when Sonny's attorney advised against having Sonny legally adopt Lucian.
Brenda's marriage remained rocky and Sonny urged Brenda to seek a DNA test to verify Lucian was her son. Brenda shared the plans for the DNA test with Suzanne and shortly after Lucian was kidnapped. Brenda immediately blamed Sonny's business rivals whereas he suspected Suzanne was the culprit and they disagreed on how to proceed. Brenda turned to Jax and she made a public appeal for the safe return of her son. Sonny and Dante tracked down Suzanne to San Antonio and they asked Carly to go along to reassure Lucian.
In San Antonio, Sonny, Dante, and Carly realized Lucian was a decoy to prevent Brenda from discovering her real son named Alec. They returned to Port Charles with Alec and Brenda was furious Sonny had turned to Carly instead of her. She was further enraged when Alec bonded with Carly and they easily developed a relationship while Brenda struggled to get to know her son. She confessed to Jax she did not feel an immediate connection to Alec the same way she had with Lucian.
Brenda continued to question her future with Sonny and her place in his life. She tried to help Kristina deal with her crush on an older man and Sonny resented Brenda's interference. Sonny also welcomed Carly into their home on a regular basis even though Brenda asked him to keep Carly away. Brenda also questioned the safety of her son in Sonny's world especially after she and Alec discovered a dead woman in Sonny's office. Brenda asked Sonny to leave the mob and was disheartened to learn he was in it for life.
The custody battle between Jax and Carly over their daughter Josslyn once again placed Brenda and Sonny on opposing sides. Sonny supported Carly and Brenda's loyalties remained with Jax and they were both called to testify at the custody hearing. The night before the hearing shots were fired at the limousine Brenda and Alec were in. Sonny explained the shots were only a warning from the Zacchara family and there was never any real danger. Brenda agreed not to involve the police but she did tell the judge about the incident and admitted she and her son had been exposed to violence because of Sonny.
Brenda's testimony and Sonny's outburst of anger tipped the scales in favor of Jax receiving full custody of his daughter. Sonny set up Jax on drug charges and Carly was awarded custody of Josslyn. Brenda refused to raise her son in Sonny's world of violence and she returned to Rome to raise her son. Jax provided transportation for Brenda and her son on his private jet.
Jax continued to visit Brenda and her son in Italy. In April of 2013, Brenda and Jax returned to Port Charles together to attend the Nurse's Ball and they announced their engagement. Brenda sought out Sonny and personally delivered the news of her engagement. While she visited Sonny, Brenda questioned why Sonny had never joined her in Italy to move on with their marriage as she had asked him to do in the letter. Sonny admitted that he never read the letter and Brenda wondered how things might have been different if Sonny had.
Brenda planned to keep her visit with Sonny a secret from Jax but Carly found out about the discussion and shared it with Jax. He was furious with her for seeing Sonny in secret and confronted Brenda regarding her feelings for Sonny. When Brenda was unable to convince Jax that she loved only him, Jax declared their relationship to be over and walked away. Brenda attended the Nurse's Ball alone and promised Carly that despite her interference she and Jax would marry.
After the Nurses Ball, Brenda ran in Sonny and Carly's son Michael. He was intoxicated and lamenting a recent break-up. Brenda and Michael commiserated over their broken hearts and Michael passed out in Brenda's bed. The next morning, Carly stopped by and found Michael. He was unable to recall the events of the evening and Brenda led them to believe that she and Michael had slept together. Brenda was horrified to learn that Sonny believed she had slept with her former step-son and later admitted that Michael had passed out alone. She had allowed Carly and Michael to believe that something more had happened as an act of revenge against Carly.
Once Michael learned the truth regarding what did not happen after the Nurses Ball, Brenda made plans to return to Rome. She ran into Sonny at the airport and professed her love to him. She also asked him to leave Port Charles with her so they could begin their life together. Sonny turned down the offer and explained that the timing wasn't right for them and Brenda left town alone.