Hannah Nichols is the mother of the late Ethan Cambias, a child born by a teenage love affair with Zach Slater, then known as Alexander Cambias, Jr. Upon giving birth to Ethan, she gives him up and he is adopted by Stanley and Edith Ramsey. Hannah comes to Pine Valley, but as time goes on she realizes how much she missed when she gave Ethan up for adoption. She sleeps with Josh Madden in her office at Cambias, and starts a short relationship with him. She then makes a pregnancy plea to Zach, saying he owes her, and leaves Pine Valley afterwards. It is later confirmed that Zach did not grant her plea.
After returning to Pine Valley, Hannah starts working on an assignment given to her by Adam Chandler, pointed against Zach's company, but she later regrets doing it. With Adam blackmailing her, Hannah works to get Adam his company back from Zach. She steals the company from Zach while he is preocuppied with getting Kendall Hart Slater's legal affairs in order. She then gives Adam back his company and breaks off any relationship with him.
After hearing about Kendall being given community service for her wrongdoings, Hannah attempts to shoot her while she is partying at Greenlee Smythe's apartment. While her bullet misses Kendall, Ryan Lavery is hit instead. With Zach searching for Hannah, she runs into Sean Montgomery, whom she takes back to her hotel room and sleeps with. She then goes off to the cliffs (the same cliffs where Leo du Pres and Vanessa Bennett died) where Zach meets her. She shares with Zach memories of his father raping her when Zach was off to school. Zach tries to comfort her, but she steps away from him and both slip at the edge of the cliff, now hanging on for life. Zach vows to save her and asks her to hold on to him tightly. Aidan Devane, Kendall, and Greenlee rush to where the two are and try to pull them up to safety. As Zach tells Hannah that he is sorry for the awful things that happened to her and to please believe him, Hannah makes it clear that she does. Zach professes his love to a frantic Kendall to calm her down, and as he does, Hannah tells Zach that it is okay, seemingly realizing how deep his love for Kendall goes. She keeps looking down, surmising the situation. As if sensing that they will both die if they go any longer in their current state, she says that everything is as it should be and lets go, presumably falling to her death. Zach is pulled to safety, distraught over the one woman he could not save.