Zander worked at a local rave club and sold drugs to young kids for mobster Joseph Sorel. One night Emily Quartermaine attended the club and was drugged. She woke up in a hotel room with a dead man next to her. Lucky saved her and hid the body. Then they worked together with Nikolas and Elizabeth to try to solve the case on their own. Lucky and Nikolas were able to find out that the dead guy's name was Ted and he was an undercover cop who was trying to help Emily. They believed that Zander was responsible for Ted's death because he had been in the room that night, but Zander had actually prevented Sorel's men from killing Emily as well. They decided to plant Ted's body in the trunk of Zander's car at the next rave and then call the police. On the night of the rave, everything was going as planned until the police showed up. Zander got scared and grabbed a frightened Emily at gunpoint and drove away.
While on the run, Zander and Emily fell in love. Jason tracked them down and Emily pleaded with him not to kill Zander. She told her brother that Zander didn't kill the cop and that Sorel was behind it. Jason let him go but told him not to come back. But Zander did come back to Port Charles to see Emily because he couldn't stay away from her. He wanted her to run away with him but she knew she couldn't leave her family. Instead, she convinced him to turn himself into the cops since he hadn't actually killed anyone. He agreed to it but Nikolas and Lucky saw them talking in the park and attacked Zander. Despite Emily's protests, they called the cops and Zander went to jail. Emily was able to get Alexis Davis to be Zander's lawyer and she got him a deal so he could be released. When Sorel tried to kill him, Emily convinced Sonny Corinthos to protect Zander until he could testify against Sorel. Near Christmas time, Zander, Sonny, Emily, and Alexis were leaving the police station when two of Sorel's men, dressed as cops, opened fire on the group. Sonny and Zander were shot and put in the hospital, but each made a full recovery.
Emily's family hated Zander and tried everything to keep the two apart. When they shipped her off to boarding school, Zander went after her and they came back to Port Charles to live together. So Edward faked an assault on himself and claimed Zander was responsible. Zander was arrested and Emily broke up with him as part of deal with Edward to get the charges against Zander dropped. Everyone eventually found out what Edward did and Zander was released. She moved in with Zander above Kelly's against her family's wishes.
Lucky and Nikolas arranged for Zander to be able to take Emily to her prom in style and the two made love that night for the first time. But Sorel wouldn't leave them alone. He had some of his men try to kill them and they knew they had to leave town together. Skye, jealous of the attention Emily got from their father, offered to "help" Zander and Emily get out of town. She gave them some money to catch a bus headed out of Port Charles. Once they got to the station, there was one of Sorel's men waiting for them. The bus crashed into a train and Emily was temporarily paralyzed. After another attempt was made by Sorel to kill them, Zander begged Emily's parents to send her away to rehab and not tell him where they were sending her in order to keep her safe.
Zander tried to rescue Carly and Alexis when Sorel took them hostage, but ended up getting shot. He was one of the many suspects when Sorel was found murdered in his hospital bed, but he was actually innocent. Zander then went to work for Sonny at his warehouse and did some side jobs for him. When Sonny had AJ kidnapped and held at his warehouse, he persuaded Zander to go in and have AJ sign off his rights to Michael. When AJ got free he called and told Emily that Zander had held him down and poured alcohol down his throat for Sonny. Emily again believed AJ and blew Zander off. Estranged from Carly, Sonny asked Zander to watch over Carly without telling her he was doing so. They became good friends in the process. When Emily told Zander that she had started dating someone else, Zander took it very hard and became self-destructive. He kissed Carly in revenge but she told him they were still friends. She wasn't too happy to learn that he'd befriended her on Sonny's request. But Zander made her believe that he truly liked spending time with her and she warmed to the idea. She didn't realize that he had begun to have real feelings for her. They nearly shared a night of passion but Zander realized that Carly was trying to make Sonny jealous. So he pushed Carly away. She left distraught and Zander blamed himself when Carly turned up missing after her car plunged into the lake.
When Carly was discovered alive and well, she went back to Sonny. Sonny then fired Zander when he accused Jason of putting the moves on Carly. Zander decided he was through with the Corinthos family and sold the information he had on Sonny as revenge. When Sonny found out, he had Jason beat him up. Elizabeth found Zander and took care of him. They began to grow close and an attraction between them developed. When Elizabeth was kidnapped by Rosco and put in a crypt, Zander attempted to rescue her but got thrown in next to her. In their attempt to escape, they broke a gas line and passed out. When Jason came to rescue them, the crypt blew up and Zander suffered some injuries. Zander and Elizabeth eventually became lovers, but she was torn between him and Jason. Although she picked Zander, Zander continued to fight with and go after Jason.
While working for Roy DiLucca against Sonny, Zander got involved with the new mobster in town: Luiz Alcazar. Zander snuck onto Alcazar's yacht to try to figure out the identity of the mystery woman on board. He was caught, beaten, and tossed overboard to drown. He managed to survive, but he had amnesia and couldn't remember much of anything. Elizabeth took care of him while Jason protected both of them from Alcazar's men. When Zander regained his memory, he hid it from Elizabeth at first and began making an attempt to turn his life around. He gave a statement to the cops about what happened on the boat and went to work for Ned at ELQ.
But he soon resorted to his old habits by agreeing to help Ned go after Sonny. His past also caught up with him when he discovered his estranged father had come to Port Charles. He had flashbacks of his brother's death and immediately went back to using drugs to ease his pain. When Zander wound up in jail for trashing Jake's bar, he had to agree to see a therapist in order to stay out of prison. But the therapist turned out to be his estranged father, Cameron Lewis. They traded insults regarding old wounds before Cameron stormed off. Zander shared with his new best friend Gia that several years earlier, Zander's older brother had been killed in a hunting accident, and Cameron blamed Zander.
When Zander nearly died of a drug overdose, Gia rushed to his side and tried to get his father see the damage he had done to Zander. Cameron began to realize the consequences of his judgment and hostility. But it would be some time before father and son could deal with each other civilly. Gia continued to help Zander get his life back on track, much to the outrage of her fiancé Nikolas. Desperate to hang on to Gia, Nikolas tried to bribe Zander to get out of town. But Zander refused. He grew closer to Gia after she broke up with Nikolas as they both supported Alexis during her murder trial and subsequent custody battle after the judge ordered Kristina into the custody of Ned. When AJ torched the gate house in a plan to get baby Kristina into Edward's custody, Zander saved Ned from the fire and asked Cameron to help Alexis deal with her situation.
Soon after, Emily returned to Port Charles, and Zander's arms. They ended up covering for Cameron and Alexis when Kristina was kidnapped first by Skye and AJ, then by Alexis. On the anniversary of Peter's death, Cameron revealed that Peter committed suicide and that Zander wasn't responsible for his brother's death. When Zander asked why Cameron never tried to find him and tell him, Cameron told him that he thought Zander would be better off away from Cameron. Zander helped Emily return the baby to the Quartermaines.
When Zander caught Emily injecting herself with something, he convinced her to get help. But he didn't realize that she was really taking alternative medication for breast cancer. He promised to help her through "rehab." But Emily convinced Zander to give her some space during which Zander got beat up by a drug dealer. Gia found him and even covered for him when drugs were found in his jacket. Zander was confused when Emily was sprung from "rehab" after only a few days. She picked a fight with him and called Gia to make sure that Zander didn't do anything stupid in anger. Later they made up and spent a lot of time together. When a drug dealer that Zander had harassed for selling to kids confronted Zander with a gun, a struggle ensued and Zander got shot. Later the guy turned up dead and Scott tried to pin the murder on Zander. But Emily had Nikolas bail Zander out.
Suddenly, Emily dumped Zander and claimed to be in love with Nikolas. Zander was blindsided, and found comfort in Gia's arms. Gia knew the truth about Emily but Emily pushed her to develop a relationship with Zander. But when Zander found out Emily had breast cancer and had lied to him due to her misguided need to "protect" him from watching her die, he rushed to her side. Zander and Nikolas were both in love with her by this point, but aside from the occasional bar fight, they managed to remain civil as she fought for her life. Certain she was going to die, Emily married Zander at her hospital bedside. But she recovered and they moved into Nikolas' old cottage. They tried hard to be happy and even watched over baby Kristina for Zander's father. But what Zander did not want to face was that Emily was truly in love with Nikolas, and had only married him out of guilt.
But Zander did come face to face with this fact when Nikolas' new wife Lydia showed him pictures of Nikolas and Emily making out in the cottage. Enraged, Zander attacked Nikolas who was already in the hospital for another reason. Afterwards, Zander demanded that Emily make a choice: Nikolas or Zander. Although she chose Zander at first, Emily could not ignore her feelings for Nikolas. Zander realized this and broke it off before she could leave him. But after some encouragement from Gia, Zander decided to try to fight for Emily. On Halloween night, Zander found Emily in the arms of Nikolas, making love at the cottage. Devastated, Zander met up with Elizabeth, who had had a fight with her estranged husband Ric. They fell into bed together for one night of passion. Zander didn't have any regrets the next morning, but Elizabeth did. After getting drunk and stumbling across Faith doing business on the docks, Zander began working for Faith in mob-related dealings. Faith had made an enemy out of Nikolas and had Zander put a bomb on Nikolas' new freighter. But when Zander found out that Emily was on board, he ran to rescue her. The bomb blew up and Zander was hospitalized. But his injuries didn't prevent him from threatening to kill Jason. Elizabeth tried to convince Zander to give up his career as a criminal, but Zander refused. Zander finalized his divorce to Emily with few words but later shed tears over the loss of Emily. Elizabeth repeatedly tried to tell Zander about their baby, but each time Zander cut her off before she could get the words out. Seeing Zander's attitude, Elizabeth was reluctant to tell Zander that he was going to be a father.
But Ric convinced Elizabeth that Zander had the right to know. They told Zander together aboard the Haunted Star and Ric did his best to convince Zander to sign over his parental rights to him. Zander agreed at first but later changed his mind. He used the paternal rights issue to blackmail Ric into framing Nikolas for the murder of Cody McCall. Zander planned to send Nikolas to prison so that he could reunite with Emily. Ric complied at first until it became obvious to too many people what was going on. When Zander physically attacked Nikolas during a visit and then demanded that Nikolas be charged with assault, Ric had Zander arrested instead. Ric then convinces Zander that he could make a jury believe that Zander killed Cody to frame Nikolas. Zander then signs away his paternal rights to keep Ric from convicting him. No longer caring about what happened to him or anyone else, Zander told Faith he would kill Jason during the delivery of a shipment. But the cops showed up as well and a shoot out ensued. One of the cops was shot in the back. When Ric pressed Faith about it, she named Zander as the shooter in exchange for Ric's protection against Sonny and Jason. Unable to prove his innocence, especially when the cop named him as the shooter, Zander went on the run. He convinced Maxie to hide him at her house, and she reluctantly agreed. They shared a tender moment while talking about lost love. He confronted Emily and tried to convince her that he still loved her. But Nikolas came on the scene and Zander threatened to kill Nikolas in front of her. In a scuffle over the gun, Zander got shot in the leg. Maxie snuck Zander into a room in the basement of the Port Charles Hotel and then went to the hospital to get Zander pain medicine for his wound. Cameron caught Maxie stealing the medicine and convinced her to let him help Zander. Zander reluctantly allowed his father to remove the bullet, but made him leave afterwards by pretending to hold Maxie hostage. Nikolas discovered that Zander was hiding in the basement of the hotel and confronted him. He knocked Zander out and locked the door. Then he notified Ric of Zander's location. When the police came to arrest him, a fire exploded from the room he was in. The fire spread through the entire hotel and a body pulled out of the basement was believed to be Zander's. Distraught over his son's death, Cameron walked into the burning hotel. He met Luke and Lucky in the building and saved Lucky from being crushed by a falling beam before being crushed himself.
Emily felt guilty and distraught over Zander's death as well. But she later learned that the body was Scott Baldwin. However, no one knew Zander's whereabouts. A few days later Ric, Elizabeth, Emily, and Nikolas all received letters from Zander courtesy of a lawyer. Each letter accused the person's significant other of killing Zander. The two couples spent the next few weeks trying to figure out who killed Zander. First Nikolas was arrested since he was the last person to see Zander alive and had locked him in the room, leaving Zander no way out of the fire. But the charges were later dropped. Elizabeth finally admitted to confronting Zander before the fire and knocking him out. Unwilling to let Elizabeth pay for Zander's death, they convinced Jason to say that another cop, Capelli, had admitted to killing Zander before dying after a confrontation with Jason. The mystery was finally solved.
Or was it? Not long after Elizabeth's confession, evidence began to surface that Zander might still be alive. Emily saw him everywhere she went, but she figured she was only hallucinating. She went to the cottage she had shared with Zander in order to say goodbye. Instead she found Zander in the flesh. He had knocked out the maintenance guy in the basement of the hotel and accidentally killed him. Zander then seized the opportunity to convince the cops he was dead by starting the fire to burn up the remains. Then he hid out at the guy's apartment. Zander told Emily that he loved her and they should be together. But Emily realized that Zander was mentally unstable. He took her hostage and demanded that she make love to him. If she didn't, he would kill Nikolas. But when Emily agreed only as a business arrangement, Zander couldn't go through with it. When the cops arrived outside after being tipped off by Elizabeth, Emily tried to soothe Zander and convince him to give himself up. She refused to leave without Zander and he finally agreed to walk outside with her. Emily had already informed the cops that Zander was unarmed. However, once outside, Zander pushed Emily away and made a move like he was reaching for a gun. The cops then opened fire and Zander died in Emily's arms.