A/N: Sorry it took me over a year to update this! I've been incredibly busy, but luckily for you guys, I found the inspiration to work on this story again. So please, enjoy this because I wrote it with all of you guys in mind :D And NO, this is NOT by any means the final chapter/end of the story!! So, without any further ado, the drum roll please… this is the moment we've all been waiting for…

Chapter Twenty-Five: Fields of Gold

"You'll remember me when the west wind moves / Among the fields of barley / You can tell the sun in his jealous sky / When we walked in fields of gold." –Sting "Fields of Gold"

THE CANDLE LIGHTS GLOWED with perpetual beauty, casting shadows across the walls of Alejandro's apartment, and yet simultaneously illuminating the dark spaces. Serena hovered over the small round table that she had covered with a cloth printed with blue and white Japanese irises. She had to admit that Alejandro had exquisite taste when it came to patterns. Even the plates he had picked out were extraordinarily beautiful, with delicately painted roses. It was something that she could imagine herself picking out.

She lit the last white tapered candle on the table, excited that Alejandro would soon be back home with a bouquet of flowers to place in the crystal vase.


Serena smiled to herself. The word sounded so . . . perfect.

She sat down on her side of the table, and gazed into the flickering flame, mesmerized by the only light source in the whole apartment.

The door unlatched and Alejandro stumbled in with a bag of groceries, including frozen foods and TV dinners, as well as a dozen red and white tulips.

"That was tricky," he muttered under his breath.

Before he even received the chance to set down his bag or car keys, Serena had already pounced on him, wrapping her legs around his waist and caressing his lips with her own, soft and luscious—both of their mouths upon each other's.

"Someone's happy to see me," Alejandro noted with a raised brow.

Serena nibbled playfully on his lower lip and returned, "That's the Understatement of the Year."

He set her slowly back onto the ground and handed her the bouquet. "Something beautiful for the most beautiful person in my life." He absolutely adored the way her eyes glittered with anticipation.

She removed the flowers from his hold and held them in her own loving arms. "They are beautiful," she said as she breathed in the fragrant aroma.

"Like I said," Alejandro quipped and shut the door behind them.

"You were gone too long," Serena moaned behind him as he placed the groceries on the kitchen counter.

"What are you going to do about it?" he challenged her, his own eyes glaring with the intensity of renewed passion.

She moved her body against him, in the dim light of the room, and her hands traveled down the back of his jeans. Her eyes had become hazy with lust. "When it happens, you're going to regret asking me that," she promised him.

"I hope so," he answered back and pressed his lips hard against hers.

Taking a step back, he glanced around the room, and at the illumination of the two white candles Serena had managed to dig out of his bathroom somewhere.

"Wow," he observed, and it was all he could say. "So what's for dinner?"

Serena took him by the hand and led him over to the table, where she had placed the bouquet in the vase and set the plates ahead of time. "My favorite," she said, "well, my favorite thing that you ever made for me."

Alejandro laughed heartily. "Beef stroganoff it is then."

Even if their lives depended on it, they were unable to extract their roaming hands from each other's bodies. Her fingers running through his dark brown hair that had grown to unruly lengths. His hands cupping her breasts, grabbing more and more handfuls of her.

They weren't sure when it happened, but at some point, they had found their way to his sumptuous bed, where they melted into each other's embraces.

Their panting intensified, hot breath blowing upon the other's skin, at the neck, the collarbone, and down to the navel. Sweat trickled off of his forehead, as he plunged into her moist depths with his tongue and finger, at the same instant.

She moaned and sighed, her body writhing underneath his. Her legs buckled, her thighs rising up, only to fall down again. It was torture. Pure torture.

The pressure of his shaft expanding inside the confines of his jeans was also cruelly unendurable. He wanted her to touch him there, to burn him with the sensation of her pleasurable hands.

As if she could read his mind, she undressed him, so that he kneeled upon her, bowed in his masculine nudity. She clawed her fingers into the skin of his shoulders, as she brought him down to her side, and then she explored him.

His ears. She pecked at his lobes with her wet tongue. His neck. She licked him in a sinful yearning. His chest. She tasted his skin, the heat of which nearly seared her tongue.

And then she took him in, in all his breadth, into her mouth. He could barely contain himself, but he knew that he wanted to last as long as it was humanly possible. He wanted to savor the delicious moment, the image of his only love's eyes transfixed on him. It was just about the sexiest thing he had ever seen.

She was like some starving beast, ravenous to devour him. She couldn't seem to get enough, as her juices seemed to drip down her thighs. Performing this act, an act she considered very sacred, to the only man she had truly ever loved, it was indescribable. To please him in ways he could have never imagined. She moved back and forth, licking up and down, putting him sometimes all the way into her throat. But always, she did this very slowly. To make him suffer her teasing.

It was unbearable.

Suddenly, the torture stopped. Alejandro opened his smokey brown eyes to see Serena leaning her petite body over to his nightstand, her only free hand (the other held his rock hard cock captive) rummaging through his drawer. She pulled out a condom and he chuckled just softly. Even in the middle of all this heat, he was impressed that Serena still had the forethought of protection in mind.

She very generously decided to tear open the packet and sheath him herself. He moaned, surprised at how good it felt to have her hand, even with the lubricated condom, sliding down his dick.

And just when he thought she had done to him all she could, she surprised him by straddling his thighs and then guiding his hard member into herself. They gasped together, stunned at the hot penetration.

She shifted her weight and rocked him back and forth, feeling him grow thicker inside of her. He grasped her sharp hipbones for support, and when that wasn't enough, he reached for the rosy knobs of her perked nipples. He liked the dry contact with his coarse skin; he could tell from the hungry look in Serena's eyes that she felt the same. He moved his finger into her mouth, where she licked it, like how she licked his member earlier. He then slathered her nipples all over with her own saliva. It turned him on like a light bulb.

Serena started moving faster, thrusting her lover's cock deep inside of her. It felt so good that she could only satiate herself by growing faster and deeper each time. She howled like a cat in heat.

"You're gonna make me cum, Serena," he murmured in between shallow breaths. He never knew she could move like this.

"All the better to eat you with," she said and smiled devilishly.

He could feel the pleasure mounting inside of him, boiling his veins white-hot.

Serena loved the control. She could decide how much she wanted of him, and right now, she wanted all of him—and then some. She accelerated, pumping him faster and harder. She licked her lips, driving him wild.

As they reached the summit of their passions together, they clung onto each other for dear life. They were riding the surge of ultimate pleasure, coming down faster than they could breathe… And then, every burning sensation in their bodies exploded into an internal heat wave, searing them all over.

The night breeze cooled the sweat-sheen from their bodies as they lay close together, eyes heavy with the need for sleep. Alejandro looked down at Serena, whose head lay on his chest, her eyelids shut. He tucked a wisp of her hair behind her ear and then leaned down towards her angelic face. He kissed her swollen lips.

The motion stirred her to wakefulness. "Alejandro…?"

"I'm right here, mi amor," he assured her, squeezing her body in a small hug.

Serena slowly opened her eyelids, and she could see the slightest glimmer of Alejandro. "You've always been there, haven't you?" She laughed softly. "I've got Latin fever."

He laughed along with her. "You think you need to see a doctor?"

"Only if the doctor's as cute as you are."

He squeezed her hand and nibbled at her earlobe.

"Alejandro, have I told you about the nightmare I had?" It had been such a large part of her life since he had been gone, a naturally rewinding dream with characters who promised that someday it would end, but it never did.

He shook his head, the motion vibrating against her. "No, you haven't talked about anything like that." He looked down at her. Her eyes appeared to be glancing off into the shadowed corner of his bedroom, but he knew that she wasn't looking there really. She was looking farther, somewhere he could never reach unless he had gone through exactly what she had gone through.

"It started a week, maybe less, after you left. It scared me at first, and then, when I dreamt it again, a month later, it scared me even more. Before I even knew it, I started to dream it more and more often. Everything … was always the same."

Making love in the office inside of his old house. The silver ring and broken clasp on the necklace. Lily with the tarot card of the two lovers. Aurora. Falling from the cliff. Alejandro again. Descending the desert path only to open the door back to his house. And the dialogue, so familiar.

"What happened, love?"

"I told you that I hated you, and you said you felt the same way. In fact, your exact words were, 'We all make mistakes, Serena. You're just my worst one.' God, it hurts to say it. I don't think I could ever really say it to you in real life. It's too hurtful."

He caressed her shoulders, trying to find a way to comfort her from the demons of her mind. "My dream self sucks." He hoped it would lighten the mood a little.

"Yeah, and in the dream, Lily would come up to me, holding the tarot card of the two lovers, and she would say, 'Someday the dream will end. It's only a matter of when.' And then we were at my funeral, and you were talking to me, not me in the coffin—though you did earlier—but to my actual dream self. You harped on me some more, told me I was an 'amateur' in bed and that I wasn't 'born' with skills, I guess."

"Ouch," he jested. "I guess my dream self knew what I knew."

Dumbfounded, Serena stared at him. "What?"

"That I didn't deserve you then anymore than I do now."

She sighed, relieved, and lay her head back down on his chest. "Then I see Aurora after my funeral, standing on the edge of a cliff. She says she's sorry for wanting the best for me, and I agree, saying that you did break my heart in the end."

"She said something like that the day that she came to my room. Actually, her exact words were, 'If you love her, you'll leave her.' It'd make a good song title, huh? She said I was being selfish, and basically, that she was only doing what was best for you, and that I should care about doing the same," Alejandro noted, shuddering when he realized Serena had been dreaming this long before she even knew what had transpired between him and Aurora.

"I guess part of me knew that she had something to do with it," Serena admitted. "In the dream, Aurora would tell me that the stars speak the truth, even though earlier in the dream, you say that the stars lie. Then I jump off the cliff, and I fall to the bottom, and even though everything inside my body rattles, I somehow still survive. I find you at the bottom, standing by that damned Jeep of yours—"

"Hey," he started in protest.

She ignored him. "You tell me that you loved me, not love. And I say that I know you did. Then you drop the necklace with the ring in my hand. And you ask me to understand why you had to do this. And I tell you that I'll never understand why, but I'll just believe you. One time, I was actually able to influence the dream. I made it so that I could tell you that I loved you too, and that you needed to understand why I couldn't follow you anymore."

"What happened then?"

"Then, I went down the same hill and found two different doors, and picked one, only to find myself back in your house. You told me everyone's a slave to their own destinies; they just can't see the chains. And then the same playback couplet, 'I knew you were coming.' 'So did I.'"

Alejandro found that he had drawn the covers up to their necks. The nightmarish dream iced his bones. "Lo siento, mi amor. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this alone for six years." He grazed her cheek with the back of his hand.

"Nick was there for me a lot at the beginning," she remembered. "If it hadn't been for him, I probably wouldn't have survived at first."

"I'm in debt to Nick, then," Alejandro replied. "Twice over. For protecting your life, and in yours, saving mine." He kissed the mess that was her tumbled hair. "Marry me."

Serena was awake now. She sat up and brought her face close to Alejandro's.

"You know I've always loved you, Serena. From the first moment that I read your poetry. I didn't know it then exactly, but there was something inside of me that has always wanted to be with you. I sacrificed our love once; I couldn't live if I let you go again. I want to be selfish for the rest of my life, if it means that you'll stay with me. And I know, Serena, that I don't deserve to even ask you to stay with me, after telling you to go in the first place."

He cried. It was quiet, but droplets of anguish over memories long since faded spilled over their love sheets.

He collected his quivering self. "But I know now that I didn't love you enough then, and I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't lost you. And now, I love you more than I have ever known I could love." He paused and chuckled softly. "The heart has a funny way of beating, doesn't it? … Just marry me, Serena." He whispered, "I know I don't deserve you."

She couldn't bring herself to speak. She tried to hold it back, but the tears flooded from her eyes like an apocalypse. She held Alejandro close to her chest.

"My heart beats funny, too," she murmured into his hair, smoothing her hand down his unblemished back. "It always has, you know, when it comes to you."

He pulled back gently and realized he could barely see his love through the blurriness in his eyes. "Yeah, I know that now."

"Alejandro, yes. Yes. Yes, I'll marry you! You didn't even have to ask. I feel like, we've been married forever, but we were separated by distances that we couldn't cross until now." Serena drew a long deep breath to regain control of herself as well. "Let's do it tomorrow. We'll elope, just you and me, no one else in the whole world. What do you say, Alejandro?"

She wiped the hot streaks of drying tears from his cheeks. "Marry me tomorrow."

"You don't want a fancy wedding with your friends and family?" He assumed that's what all women wanted. He had done that with Carly.

She laughed at his unintentional silliness. "I'm old enough now, believe it or not, to know that that kind of stuff doesn't matter. A wedding shouldn't be an 'occasion'; the love between two people is occasion enough."

He seized her by her waist, and drew her in tightly in an embrace. "I'll marry you tomorrow. We'll go wherever you want. And we'll be together, from now on out."

He kissed her passionately, his tongue feeling every part of her tasty mouth. She ran her hands over his back, and tucked him down to the bed with her.