Mel Hayes met Dorian Lord in Washington, D.C., while she was there on a business trip. A drunken Mel literally fell over Dorian when they met in a hotel bar. The sparks between them were instantaneous, and their feelings for one another continued to grow. Dorian convinced Mel to take a job as a news reporter at The Banner. Looking for a fresh start, he moved to Llanview, and in a drunken stupor, bought a houseboat on Llantano River.
Mel's wife had died in a plane crash 18 months earlier, devastating him. His addiction to alcohol caused a large rift between him and his family, who tried unsuccessfully to intervene.
Mel forced Dorian to face her past in Canton, Ohio, after which Dorian broke up with him. Her near-death experience after being shot changed her mind and she proposed to Mel, who accepted. They were married in a quickly put together ceremony at The Banner. Their happiness ended less than a year later, though, when Mel was killed in a plane crash.
Mel appeared to Dorian as a ghost in July 2008 (One Life to Live's 40th Anniversary episodes) as Dorian grappled with whether or not to try to save Viki's life after a car crash. Subsequently, later that year and in 2009, a young woman named "Mel", whom Dorian came to believe was either "her" Mel in another form or someone sent by him, appeared in various guises whenever Dorian behaved less than ethically.
Mel reappeared to Dorian on January 2010, as the newly elected Mayor Lord gave in to Mitch Laurence's threats and fired Bo Buchanan as police commissioner. He also returned the following month to convince Dorian to stop Charlie Banks from going through with his plan to kill Mitch.