Genevieve was sweet and innocent when she married Australian, Colin Atkinson. But when Genevieve discovered that Colin was a mob boss, she became cold and distant. Their twin sons, Cane and Caleb were an accident, and while Colin adored them, Genevieve barely paid them any attention. But when their daughter, Samantha was born, Genevieve became the doting mother, determined to keep them away from the mob influence which Colin was instilling in their sons.
Thirty-one-year-old Ethan Cane Ashby showed up in Genoa City from Australia in January 2007, claiming to be Phillip Chancellor III, the son of Jill Abbott and Katherine Chancellor's deceased husband, Phillip II. Young Phillip had died in a car accident at the age of 19. When Phillip's coffin was exhumed, the body found inside was Phillip's, and a DNA test proved that Cane was indeed Jill's son. Jill and Cane bonded, and Katherine Chancellor treated him as a grandson. Cane fell in love with and married Lily Winters, and together they had twins Charlie and Matilda.
It was eventually disclosed that Cane was not Phillip, but Phillip was alive and living in Australia, and had sent his friend Cane the blood sample to pass the DNA test. Phillip returned to Genoa City to explain that he had faked his death and had run away to Australia where he owned a bar. Feeling guilty about the way he had abandoned his family, Phillip had sent Cane, who needed a family, to take his place. Cane told Lily, that the “cattle mafia” in Australia had stolen his friend’s herd one by one, bankrupting him. Cane had become a marked man when he identified the rustlers to the authorities, which is why he had to leave Australia.
In mid-October 2010, one of the Australian cattle rustlers, Blake Joseph, had turned up in Genoa City looking for Cane. Blake threatened Cane that if he turned him in to the police, Blake would expose the fact that Cane had been one of the cattle rustlers, but had turned on the gang to save himself. Blake offered to leave Cane and his family alone for five million dollars, which he was sure that Katherine and Jill could provide. Then Cane was invited to dinner by Jill, to meet a new man in her life who was also Australian. Cane was shocked when the man turned out to be his own father, Colin Atkinson, freshly released from prison. When the two men were alone, Colin said that he would forgive Cane for 'ratting him out' as the mob boss and sending him to prison, if Cane would come back and take his rightful place in the family organized crime business in Australia. Colin reminded Cane that he came from a wealthy family, not poor and parentless as he claimed, then showed him a photo of his younger sister Samantha. Cane reminded Colin that he had ruined her life and that she had been murdered because of him. Colin threatened Cane that he would use Cane’s secrets to persuade him to return, saying that Katherine Chancellor should know that Cane was embezzling money to pay off Blake, and Jill that he was Colin’s son. Cane refused and told him to stay away from Jill and his family. But like Blake had ingratiated himself to Lily, Colin got close to Jill and they became lovers that same evening.
Cane saw things coming to a head and confessed to Lily that Blake was sent from Australia to blackmail him about his past, and that Cane had been part of an organized crime family involved in illegal activities. Cane explained that when the organization had caused the death of his sister Samantha it made him decide to turn on them, and then he met Phillip Chancellor who gave him the opportunity to escape to Genoa City and start over. Lily did not take it well and kicked Cane out.
Colin ordered Blake to go home to Brisbane, but asked him for one last favor before he left; to keep Cane from interrupting his wedding to Jill. Before Blake left for the church, he got a text message from someone called “Rippley” tipping him that Colin was not to be trusted and was setting him up.
As Jill and Colin said their vows, Cane walked up the steps of the church, followed by Blake. Lily walked out the front door and saw them fighting. Blake turned the gun on Lily to stop Cane, but Cane jumped Blake to protect his family. The gun went off shooting Cane in the chest, and Blake fell down the steps, breaking his neck and dying as he landed. Lily slipped on the ice, and the twin’s carriage went careening down the steps, but Neil arrived in time to catch it and save the twins. Cane lay on the steps bleeding as Jill and Colin walked out of the church married. Lily and Jill cradled Cane’s body and begged him to hold on as Neil called 9-1-1. Colin looked dazed as he watched his son dying. Lily told Cane she forgave him and loved him, and Cane breathed his last breath telling Lily that he loved her. The paramedics arrived, but they could not revive Cane.
Neil took a sobbing Lily into the church to talk. Jill and Colin went home to the Chancellor estate covered in blood, and told Kay, Murphy, and Billy that Cane was dead. Billy went to console Lily, and promised her that he would write an article on Cane’s heroism. While Kay and Jill hugged and commiserated about their loss, Colin went to the morgue to identify the body. Colin apologized to his son, saying that because of himself, both his son and his daughter had been gunned down in the street. Colin promised Cane that his children would be spared from his destructive life.
Cane's funeral was held on his and Lily's beloved Valentine's Day. Phillip, Kay, and Jill made touching speeches, and mourners placed a rose on his coffin as they left. Lily kept seeing and talking with Cane at his funeral, then again at home where she made peace with him, making sure that he knew that she still loved him despite all the lies. While everyone else thought that Lily was going crazy, Traci understood and had a conversation with Lily about coping with the loss of someone you love. Cane continued to haunt Lily, but began to creep her out rather than the peace that his presence had originally given her.
Increasingly concerned about her visions of her dead husband Cane, and after she began finding mementoes he seemed to be leaving for her, Lily consulted a psychiatrist and a psychic. Cane showed himself to Lily at his grave. He told her that he was not alive, but although he didn't understand it himself, he knew that he would be with Lily forever. Lily was able to touch and feel Cane, but he fled when he heard Colin and Jill approach. Lily began going to the cemetery more often to see Cane. Later when Cane showed up at Lily's apartment, Colin could not see him, yet Lily and the twins could. Cane told Lily, that he couldn't explain it.
The next day, Colin met Cane in the park calling Cane "Caleb", who was Cane's evil twin, and Colin admitted that he had planned the gunning down of Cane on the church steps. They discussed their plan to convince everyone that Lily was insane, so that they could return to Australia with the twins. The next time Cane and Lily met, Cane got amorous with Lily, and she pushed him away. Lily decided she needed to start living in reality to be there for her kids, and checked herself into Fairview sanitarium.
Meanwhile "Caleb" met with his mother, Genevieve, who reminded him that she was in charge, as she recalled witnessing Caleb shoot at Cane years ago, but Samantha had been killed instead. Genevieve revealed that Caleb, after drugging Cane, had taken his place and showed up at the church. But Colin had arranged for Cane to be gunned down, not realizing that Caleb was the one who was killed on the church steps. Genevieve had found Cane, and he let everyone believe that Cane was dead, and began working with Genevieve plotting to have Colin be arrested for kidnapping the twins to finally get some justice for Samantha.
After bidding Jill a passionate farewell telling her he was leaving town on business, Colin managed to convince Neil to allow him and Jill to take the twins for the night, but instead he took them to the McMillan estate where a plane was to pick up him, "Caleb", and the twins to leave for Australia. Jill got suspicious and followed him to the estate. Meanwhile Neil found the note that Cane had left for Lily the night of his "death" which admitted that Colin was his father and that he had a twin named Caleb. Neil called Jill and explained, and she told him where she was and that Colin had the twins on an airstrip. Stalling for time while Neil called the police, Jill confronted Colin. Cane walked up, and Jill pretended to faint at the sight of him. Jill listened to them talk of their plan, then accused Colin of using her, before she ran off into the woods.
Colin was lured into the mansion by music that he recognized, where he found Samantha's urn on the mantel and a chalk outline on the floor covered in photos of her. Colin called out, and Genevieve appeared telling him that she was there for revenge and justice. She shoved him during their argument, and Colin fell over the balcony. Jill arrived and tried to rescue Colin who was holding on to the edge by his hands. As Genevieve told Jill that she was Colin's wife, Colin lost his grip and fell. The police and an ambulance arrived, and they took Colin to the hospital.
Lily arrived with Daniel, and Neil held her back as Cane jumped the pilot before he could take off with the twins in the plane. The pilot dropped his cigarette which ignited leaking gasoline, but Cane subdued the pilot and drove the stroller into the woods just in time. Cane convinced Lily that he was her husband with things that only he would know. Finally Lily believed him, but feeling betrayed she refused to forgive him. Colin was quickly freed when he was given diplomatic immunity, but both he and Cane were continually rebuffed by Jill, Katherine, and Lily as they told him to get out of their lives. Lily then had a restraining order served against Colin. Cane went back to work bartending at Jimmy's Bar. After repeated efforts by Cane to get Lily to forgive him, Lily told Cane that she was filing for divorce.
Months went by with Colin doing his best to woo Jill back, and Genevieve her best to stop it from happening. Finally Colin told Genevieve that he was filing for divorce, and she reacted violently, smashing everything in sight at her mansion. After Colin told Jill about the impending divorce, she succumbed to his advances. Genevieve found out and in turn succumbed to Jack's. The two pairs of lovers and former lovers continually crossed paths, always with the women seething at each other. Then Jack chose Genevieve as the new Jabot Cosmetics director of marketing. Meanwhile Katherine chose Jill for the same position. When the two met at the office for their first day, there were fireworks between them. Jack and Katherine compromised and made them co-directors sharing an office. Colin dropped by while Genevieve was out, so Jill and Colin christened the office by having sex on Genevieve's desk.
After Jill arranged for Genevieve to go on a month long business trip in Jill's place, Genevieve locked Colin in her wine cellar. Trapped alone without even his cell phone to call for help, Colin found an electrical panel and managed to set off the alarm. The alarm company called Gloria since she was their last contact as the realtor. Gloria found Colin, but she let the door slam behind her, locking herself inside with Colin; and being underground, her cell phone got no service. Colin and Gloria found a secret room that appeared to have been a speakeasy. Then after Gloria passed out drunk sampling the wine, Colin found a vault containing a book that listed all his bank accounts. Later a note was slipped though the door that said that Genevieve had trapped him there while she was emptying out his bank accounts.
Paul discovered that Colin had not used his airline ticket. Cane guessed that Genevieve had trapped Colin in the wine cellar, he took Jill there, and they let Colin and Gloria out. As Colin checked his drained bank accounts, Cane met with Ronan about getting evidence against Colin to get him sent back to prison. Cane went back to the cellar, found the vault and blew it open, finding the bank records which he turned over to Ronan. Ronan turned Colin's books over to the FBI to try to decipher their code. Meanwhile Colin discovered that Genevieve had been transferring money from his secret bank accounts. Jill asked Colin to move back in with her at the Chancellor estate. The first call on the FBI wiretap of Colin's phone, overheard him putting a hit on Genevieve and Gloria. Colin arranged for the women to be at Genevieve's mansion later in the day, but they were not there when Lily arrived. Cane rescued Lily just as the mansion exploded.
Ronan and Chance met them outside. Chance had been reassigned by the state department to work with Ronan on the case due to Colin's drug trade in the Middle East. Cane admitted that he had been working with them too, attempting to get Colin put back into prison. Meanwhile Jill, after overhearing Colin's suspicious phone call and being warned by Cane, coaxed Colin to bed and handcuffed him, then called the police. Hard as it was to admit to herself that Colin was a conman who continually lied to her, Jill told Colin that she loved him but realized that helping to trap him for the police was the right thing to do. Ronan arrived at Colin's suite and arrested Colin for money laundering, drug trafficking, and suspicion of murder. Colin's diplomatic immunity no longer got him off since they had discovered that his ambassadorship was phony. Genevieve turned over Colin's books, and Colin was deported. Lily called Cane her hero, and they reunited. Colin was incarcerated in Barwick Prison in Australia.
A mere sixteen months later, Genevieve received a call from Colin saying that he was now free and living it up somewhere thanks to her.
Nearly two years since Colin had left Genoa City, Jill received a call from an antique dealer who told her that the music box she had inherited from Katherine Chancellor had been one of a set owned by a famous person. Jill was excited as she walked out the front door with the music box, but was chloroformed and dragged away. She later woke up handcuffed to a bed, hearing the music box playing, and recognized her captor as he entered the door. A text was sent from Jill's phone to let everyone know that she had gone out of town.
Weeks later, Jill returned home with Colin and the news that they had remarried. Cane, Lily, Jack, Devon, and Esther had been gathered at the estate with concern that Jill was not responding to messages about her son Billy being in the hospital. They were shocked with the marriage news, and as his son Cane said, "bringing that bastard back into their lives". Although Jill and Colin gushed with claims that they were still in love, viewers saw flashbacks to Colin being the one who kidnapped Jill and had coerced her into marrying him so that he could stay in the country legally, complete with a prenup giving him 50% of everything Jill owned if they divorced. Being practically broke anyway having to finance the estate, Jill went for it to get her freedom. Later after everyone had left Cane accused his father of using Jill once again for some nefarious reason, and punched him in the gut for kidnapping his children years ago. Colin protested that he was legally free from prison, and a changed man thanks to the love of Jill. After seeing her son and consulting an attorney, Jill returned with the news that she was about to annul their marriage and have him deported. Colin told Jill to go ahead, but that without him she would never find the secret to the music box, which Katherine had confided in him as being very valuable.
Jill and Colin attended the Delia Project Valentine's Day benefit. When Lily unveiled the antique snow queen doll which was to be auctioned, the case was empty. But Lily spotted a stranger, Richard Womack, heading for the door with it under his coat. When she grabbed for the doll, it broke, and diamonds showered onto the floor. Womack pulled a gun, and held everyone hostage. Devon triggered a silent alarm, and Paul and the police arrived outside the locked ballroom. Womack made Lily pick up the diamonds from the floor and made Abby collect the cell phones, but Kevin kept his and called Paul so the police could hear what was going on.
Paul phoned Womack, who said no hostages would be released until he got a plane out of town. Jack made Womack a deal to call his private jet if he would let Chelsea go, who had been cut by flying glass. Then Neil, Tyler, Devon, and Cane staged an argument to get the drop on Womack. Tyler knocked out Womack's accomplice with a champagne bottle, whose gun flew across the floor. Paul shut off the ballroom lights just as they scrambled for the gun, but Colin had caught it under his foot. Paul bargained with Womack to let Billy and Victoria go, and the lights would be turned on. Afterward, when Jack's plane was ready, Womack let everyone go but Lily. Cane begged to replace Lily, Lily hit Womack's arm, the gun went off, and Cane was shot. Colin jumped out from where he had been hiding, his gun on Womack, while Lily and Cane escaped. Colin admonished Womack that he had botched their heist, and in trying to shoot Colin's son their partnership was over. Womack was killed as he and Colin struggled over the gun, and Colin pocketed a diamond as the police came in.
Afterward, Jill was impressed with Colin, but still was not ready to trust him. In exchange for a kiss, Colin revealed that Katherine had stuck a note in the music box for Jill to find, but Colin had removed it. Colin gave Jill the note which contained the name Rachel Berenson. Going through boxes in the attic and from the national archives, they were able to piece together that Katherine's father Walter Shepard had been an Army intelligence officer in WWII. They found an old photo, stamped "Piccadilly Photo, London," of a woman with "Rachael" written on the back, and a fond mention in his journal of "R" who translated messages from the enemy.
Colin reminded Jill that they once had a fantastic bond and made real fireworks at one time with their sex life. Jill admitted that she was scared to love him, because she could not trust him.
Colin accused Victor of setting up Cane to take the fall if Victor's drug scheme with Bonaventure were ever discovered. But Cane gave Victor the information that had led him to Bonaventure, hoping it would expose who had set them both up.
Jill eventually succumbed to Colin's charms, and she invited him into her bed again. Afterward, viewers saw Colin on the phone promising someone that he would get them the money for Bonaventure. Jill contacted Chance for help, and he discovered that the Rachael in the photo was not Rachael Berenson, but a Rachael Carlisle. After another romp in the bedroom, Jill was disappointed to catch Colin on the phone promising someone the money he owed them, saying that his wife would lead them to the "old gal's money".