For El, A sequel to Fate

This is a one shot, a sequel to a previous work entitled Fate, as requested by many but meant as a gift, a birthday present, for my friend, El. Knowing she would hunt me down and beat me senseless with a dumpling if there were any angst in a story dedicated to her, this is pure fluff. I hope you all enjoy it, especially you, El, and make sure you all send her birthday greetings and best wishes on August 11th

It was as if they were of one mind; words were superfluous. As they got resituated in her car, their eyes connected and they both knew what was next, they both knew that her theory on wedding contacts would not be tested. This was right; this was where they were supposed to be.

Sitting back in her seat, face glowing, content, Marissa let her mind reflect over the recent events which had transpired between them, relaxing for the four hour car ride ahead of them. As she replayed the moments over again in her mind, her hand that was joined with Ryan's caressed his skin softly, enjoying the feeling of him so near, his body touching hers.

Marissa came to in her office cradled in Ryan's arms as he sat on the floor with her, gently pushing her hair, rhythmically in a soothing pattern, back off of her face, speaking softly to her as he urged her to wake up. His voice tender, loving, she felt as if she were in heaven. Five minutes ago she believed she would never see him again, and now, here he was. Fate had worked in their favor again.

Torn between not wanting to break the spell binding stare they were engaged in and needing to talk to him, they sat their in silence for several seconds. It seemed as if she really hadn't talked to anyone the entire month she was away from him. Nothing after her weekend with Ryan had been satisfying. Her desire to share with him won out. Softly, she cooed, "Hey."

Smiling at her, he returned her greeting, eliciting a large, genuine smile from the shocked woman in his arms. "Hey."

"What do you say we get out of here," she asked. It did not matter that she was supposed to be working. Ryan was there, and she was going to take advantage of every moment they had together.

Without a word, he stood up and lifted her with him, situating their bodies so she was tucked into the crook of his arm. Holding her tightly, Marissa's head on his shoulder, her eyes closed out of bliss while a small smile played on her plump, kissable lips, they walked out of her office together completely oblivious to anyone else in the world.

Unfortunately, this did not last for long, and as Amanda, Marissa's secretary's, voice rang out obnoxiously in the small reception room of the office, Marissa was forced to open her eyes and deal with the real world one last time that day.

"I'm going home for the day, Amanda, and I won't be in the rest of the week. You can do whatever you want, come into work and do nothing but still get paid or take it off, I don't care," Marissa dismissed without a second's thought. "See you next week." And with that, Ryan and Marissa left the clueless receptionist standing their, mouth agape, pure shock written plainly over her nosey, pinched face.

As they approached the lift, Marissa turned to Ryan and told him, "my car is in the parking garage," her voice ringing with anticipation.

Their ride to the garage was silent as well. If it was even possible, he pulled her to his body even closer, as if he was afraid if he let go of her she would disappear. They could not talk yet; their minds void of thought and just focused on the physical ache they felt for each other, the need they had to reaffirm their connection, their passion, their intimacy.

As Ryan got in the driver's side of the car, Marissa climbed into the other, surprising him when she was already scrambling over the console onto his lap before he even had time to put the keys in the ignition.

"What are you doing," he managed to stutter out as he felt his breath catch as her silky smooth hands ran down his sides and around to the front of his pants, already unclasping them.

"I don't want to wait," she giggled out excitedly, her laughter only growing in proportion at the sight of Ryan's flabbergasted eyes. "I have tinted windows," she dismissed, grinding her body into his teasingly, "and besides, it's the middle of the morning, everyone's working; no one will see us."

Ryan did not need convincing after that. Taking the initiative and deciding that he wanted to savor her, he slowly started to unbutton the blouse she was wearing. With every tiny sliver of new skin revealed, he tenderly ran his fingers over it, tickling her slightly, and then leaning in and kissing it, his lips so light they were like feathers dancing across her body.

When the final button had been undone, Ryan removed her shirt, discarding it without second thought with no idea of where it went, before removing her bra as well, leaving her naked from the waist up. Returning the favor to him, she tugged at the bottom of his shirt to let him know he needed to raise his arms.

Pulling her into him, Ryan let his head dip down to her shoulder, kissing it gently and then moving his lips up to her neck to suck on it and then to nibble on her ear. As his lips assaulted her body sending her senses into overdrive, he felt her growing anxious. Lacing her hands through his hair, she tugged his mouth up to hers, finally melding his tongue with her own in a never ending, breathless kiss. Kissing her though only satisfied him for a moment; he needed more.

Slipping his hands underneath her skirt, Ryan moved his fingers mischievously up her thighs, stroking her supple skin and tantalizing her body as his fingers continued to edge their way closer to her center. Finding her panties, he moved his hands over top of them caressing her tenderly through the fabric, her desire and need evident to the touch.

Sitting up on her knees while wrapping her arms around his neck and sliding up against him, letting her breasts rest right in front of his mouth, she invited him to remove her underwear, the last restraint preventing them from taking each other to levels of ecstasy they could only invoke in each other.

Prolonging the moment, savoring the feeling and sight of her, Ryan moved his hands down her legs as slowly as possible, stopping briefly for her to lift each knee individually so he could finish removing her lingerie, tossing it aside just as he did the shirt and bra, not caring where it went. Unzipping her skirt, even though it was unnecessary, he wanted her completely naked in his arms, he merely slid it up her body instead of worrying about removing it correctly as she smirked at him and started to pull his pants lower and lower, removing his boxers with them. Lifting himself off of the seat while still holding onto her, she pushed them down completely and he kicked off his shoes, removing his socks with his feet. If they were going to do this, they might as well do it right.

Now completely naked, the both of them, Marissa began her assault on his lips again, taking them with her own over and over again, the kisses gaining in intensity with each one. Wanting more of her, Ryan took her by the hips and yanked her up against him, sliding one of his hands between her thighs and stroking her teasingly, heightening her desire to even higher levels while his mouth sought out one of her breasts. Kissing around her areola first, he increased his attention upon it by nipping at her nipple and sucking on it hungrily, causing Marissa to moan out in pleasure.

Surprising him, Marissa pulled his hand away from her core and moved it up onto her unoccupied breast while lowering herself onto him and throwing her head back in rapture, mouth open, the pleasure she was experiencing making her forget herself and her inhibitions. Looking up from her and moving both of his hands to her hips to guide their motions, the sight of Marissa moving with him, joining his body in perfect symmetry, their slow and sensual pace the dance of lovers, took his breath away. She was exquisite, and in that moment he realized she was, somehow, by fate, all his.

Neither knew how long they made love or how long they sat tangled in each others arms, their sweaty bodies sticking together in an enchantingly possessive way, bonding them together as if symbolizing that they would never let go, but as the sexual satisfaction started to fade, it was replaced with a contentment neither Ryan nor Marissa had ever felt before. With Ryan still inside of her, a perfect fit, she smiled at him and kissed his swollen, slightly bruised lips before leaning down and whispering in his ear.

"I think I'm in love with you, Ryan Atwood."

Tangling one of his hands in her hair and dropping the other to caress the small of her back and hold her to him, he brought her face back to his and stared deeply into her eyes, speaking. "I know I'm in love with you Marissa Cooper."

She kissed him again, her hands cupping his jaw before pulling back and letting their foreheads rest together. As she talked, her index fingers gently traced the outline of his facial features, capturing them in her memory forever. "Do you really want to do this?"

Nodding his head as he answered her, his voice rang out with utter sincerity, "more than I've ever wanted to do anything in my life." Taking her lips in one more leisurely, lingering kiss before pulling back and peppering her forehead, eyelids, and finally her nose with soft caresses from his lips as well, he repositioned them so that she was in her seat before finding her blouse and panties and putting them back on her, hooking only one button so that he could glimpse the sight of her perfect body whenever he could steal a glance away from the road. Sliding his own pants and shirt back on, making Marissa pout in an adorable way as she watched his muscular body the entire time, he started up the car, took her hand in his, kissed it tenderly, and then pulled out of the parking garage, heading east towards their future, together, and letting fate guide them.

Less than twelve hours later, with a giggling and blissfully happy Marissa in his arms as he stood outside of their hotel door, Ryan leaned down, his lips grazing hers as he spoke, and whispered softly so only she could hear, "I love you." Pushing the door open, they moved across the threshold as husband and wife.

Four Years Later

Walking into their house after a day at her gallery, developing, framing, and displaying her latest photographs as she prepared the space for her manager and the new work week approaching the next day, Marissa Atwood called out for her husband and two year old daughter. "Ryan, are you two in here?" Putting her bags and keys down on the kitchen counter, Marissa looked around, spotting fresh flowers arranged for her on the table, and called out again when her husband did not answer her. "Baby, Mommy's home, where are you?" Still no answer, she made her way through their house checking every room and growing even more disappointed each time she found one empty.

She loved just being able to focus on her photography now, but because it also gave her the ability to stay home every day with her family on their vineyard, she hated Sundays when she had to go into town and work away from them. Not deterred, she continued her search outside, first in the garden where the swing set, sand box, and pool were and then out by the barns where the wine was stored and their horses lived.

Ryan may have given up Texas for her, but he insisted that they have horses at their new home. After the one ride they had shared, she did not object. The last night of their honeymoon after their impromptu Vegas nuptials, Ryan and Marissa had stayed up all night, talking, laughing, and making love as they made plans for their future.

Although they agreed they should settle in California, Ryan insisted that Marissa finally pursue her art on a full time basis, and she persisted that, eventually, when they had kids, she did not want to raise them in LA. Combining their dreams, wishes, and fantasies for their life together, they had settled on Napa, a vineyard, and an art gallery; four years later, it was all a reality.

Entering the horse barn, Marissa, at first, noticed an empty bag of carrots and laughed out loud to herself. If nothing else proved her suspicions, this did. Their daughter loved feeding the horses carrots, finding it to be the funniest thing in the world, and Ryan, just as he could not deny her mother, always let her do as she wished. Continuing by the stalls, she noticed that Coco, the pony Ryan had insisted they buy for their daughter when they found out Marissa was having a baby girl, and her saddle were missing.

Finishing her way through the barn, Marissa emerged back into the twilight as the sun was just dipping down below the rolling hills of their estate to see her husband and daughter making their way towards her at a slow gait. Ryan, ever the protective parent, never let the pony go faster than a trot when he had their daughter with him.

Marissa just stood there and watched them, Ryan smiling and laughing at something their daughter said as she waved vigorously at her Mom, calling out to her every few seconds. Finally they reached the stalls. Ryan, first, handed the little girl to his wife, before getting down off the pony as well and then leaned in and kissed Marissa, letting his lips linger longer than they normally did when their daughter was watching. Marissa wasn't the only one to miss her partner on Sundays.

"Hey you," he greeted his wife as he pulled away. "How was the gallery?"

"Lonely," she frowned, hugging her daughter close to her as they followed Ryan and Coco into the barn as Ryan unsaddled the pony, gave her water, and eventually led her back to her stall. "I hate spending the whole day away from you two."

As their eyes met, sapphire on aquamarine, no words were necessary as Ryan communicated that he felt the same way. They held each others gaze for a moment before Marissa broke it to turn and speak with her squirming daughter. "I saw the beautiful flowers you and Daddy picked me today. Thank you." Leaning in, the two girls shared an Eskimo kiss, making their daughter giggle and Marissa beam out of pure delight at the sound of the little girl's joyous mirth.

As they made their way into the house to prepare dinner together, Ryan wrapped his arm around Marissa's waist and drew her into his body, letting her lean her head on his shoulder as was their habit, one they had formed so easily many years before.

After a meal the couple cooked together while their two year old daughter played in the kitchen practically underneath their feet, the little, perfect family decided to go swimming. Marissa took their daughter up to change when she went put her own suit on as well while Ryan cleaned up the kitchen, putting the dishes in the dishwasher and packing up the leftovers.

He changed quickly when he was done and went outside to find them already in the pool, sitting in the shallow end on the steps, their daughter standing in front of Marissa and splashing her legs while bubbling over with her incessant ramblings, talking the utter nonsense of a two year old most of the time that only a mother could understand. Just as it always happened, the sight of his wife, her slight bump showing on her otherwise flawless body in her bikini, with his daughter took Ryan's breath away, and he, as always, thanked fate for making Marissa his destiny.

They played in the pool long after the sun had set and the fireflies came out to light up the night for them. Simply just being with each other, the family enjoyed every minute of their swim. Eventually though, Ryan and Marissa noticed their daughter becoming sleepy. She would rub her eyes and try to hide her adorably innocent yawns from her parents, but eventually she gave in and let sleep take her over as Ryan carried her up to her room.

As he stood back and watched, Marissa changed her out of her little bathing suit and into a pair of light, airy, summer pajamas. Ryan could never grow tired of watching his wife and child together. To him, it was magical. They both took turns kissing the sleeping girl goodnight, muttering their love for her and their wishes for her to have sweet dreams before carefully shutting her door so as to not wake her up and sneaking back down to the pool to have some time to themselves.

Laying on a raft, their bodies spooned together, Ryan's free hand cupped against Marissa's stomach, the couple spoke of their day, made plans for the next week, month, year, lifetime, and dreamed about what was to come. Just as he noticed his daughter nodding off to sleep, Ryan recognized the same signs in his wife. Paddling their raft to the edge of the pool, he climbed out of it and reached down to lift her up in his arms, cradling her to him closely, savoring the nearness of her body and relishing the feeling of safety that washed over him with her so close.

He merely took her bikini off of her after putting Marissa in their bed, her body and suit already dry as they had been on the raft quite some time after they finished actually swimming, and then stripped himself of his trunks before climbing into bed with her and pulling her into his arms, her head automatically finding its niche on his chest right over his heart, her arms wrapping around him and holding him tightly to her. Within minutes, Ryan had drifted off to sleep as well.

Hours later, Ryan woke up to the feeling of his wife's hands caressing his face softly as she whispered his name loud enough to rouse him but not too loud so that she wouldn't startle him. Opening his eyes he was disappointed to see that she had slipped on a thin, short nightgown, the heat of the July night too stifling to wear anything more.

"Honey, you need to put some boxers on," she told him before climbing out of bed. At first he was confused, but then he heard the faint sound of their daughter's cries and knew that she was upset, probably a nightmare, and that Marissa was going to bring her into their bed with them.

Listening to what she had said, he slipped out of bed and found a pair of light boxers and pulled them on before laying back down to wait for his wife and daughter. They arrived a moment later, Marissa holding their little girl tightly to ease her fears while she got back into bed with her husband.

Mere minutes later, as their daughter snored softly between them, her thumb stuck securely in her mouth, dimples dancing happily across her plump cheeks, Ryan and Marissa stared into each others eyes, both wide awake and enjoying the moment too much to try to go back to sleep. Every few seconds they would both giggle and break their gaze to look at the little girl laying peacefully with them before rejoining their eyes together as they shared their thoughts silently, always communicating perfectly with just a simple look, their knowledge and awareness of the others every idea, dream, and wish astounding even them sometimes.

Breaking the silence, Marissa spoke up as she let one of her hands caress her daughter's blonde, curly locks while the other sought out the hand of her husband's which was not gently stroking her face. "Do you ever think about how all of this was meant to be," she asked him faintly, her voice a delicate melody on the languid breeze floating through the room.

"Everyday," Ryan answered honestly, making her smile and then think, again, for a moment.

"But," she began, hesitant, unsure of exactly how to say what she was pondering, "do you ever think of how everything that happened to us happened for a reason?"

Smiling at her, Ryan pinched her cheek in a playful manner. "As I told you from the beginning, we were fate."

"And everything combined brought us here," she continued for him, loving the fact that they could finish each others thoughts and sentences, "that it was all for her," she finished letting her eyes fall to their daughter.

As she felt Ryan's hand on her face cup her chin and draw her lips towards his, her eyes wandered back up to her husband's as he whispered to her, "for El," knowing exactly what she was trying to express. Kissing her softly, he wrapped one of his arms around her and drew her to his side as she rested her head on his shoulder, and they both eased into sleep again, their family safe and traveling down the path, together, that fate was paving for them, a path of joy, wonder, and love.