In April 2009, Krystal Carey paid an out-of-the-blue visit to Marissa Tasker, the daughter of long-time family friends. She had recently learned that Marissa's parents had both been killed in an accident on their way home from church. Marissa's dad had fallen asleep at the wheel. Marissa was working in a seedy massage parlor, but the young woman denied that she was engaged in any sort of illegal activity. Almost on cue, the police showed up and raided the parlor, arresting Krystal and Marissa on the spot.
Marissa decided to take Krystal up on her offer to go to college. Krystal ponied up the entire tuition costs so that Marissa could attend law school at Pine Valley University. When she needed a place to stay, Marissa asked David Hayward if Marissa could stay with him and Krystal at Wildwind. Krystal became increasingly uneasy with Marissa's closeness to David. A short time later, it was revealed why Krystal was so concerned: Marissa was her daughter, the fraternal twin sister of Babe Carey -- and David's daughter.
Krystal had sold Marissa at birth. The news shocked Marissa, and David was furious that Krystal allowed him to grieve for Babe, while his one living child was living in the same house. Marissa was interested in developing a relationship with her father. She continued to live with David after Krystal moved out. In time, Marissa forgave Krystal, but David did not.
Krystal and many other Pine Valley residents warned Marissa not to trust David, but she did not listen, and championed David when he was accused of Stuart Chandler's murder. Marissa was thrilled to be part of David's life, even when he was obsessed with Amanda Martin's baby. Marissa asked him to leave Amanda alone, but he did not comply. Amanda swore David was not the father of her son, which caused Marissa to wonder why David was obsessed with the possibility of a new baby when he could be focused on getting to know his actual daughter instead.
The baby Amanda was carrying was believed to be David's. According to Amanda and her husband, Jake Martin, the child died at birth. Marissa helped David grieve the loss of the child. The baby, named Trevor, had survived, and David was awarded full custody, but he was out to punish Jake and Amanda. David required Amanda to live with him if she wanted to have any contact with her son. Marissa was hurt by David's focus on his new child, but she agreed to stay at Wildwind to keep an eye on David.
During David's fight for Trevor, Marissa began a friendship with J.R. Chandler, which disappointed David. There were years of hatred between David and J.R., which stemmed from J.R.'s marriage to Babe, and each man warned Marissa not to trust the other. Still, Marissa enjoyed her time with J.R. and her nephew, Little Adam. Initially, their conversations were about Babe, but they began to discuss other things and found excuses to see each other.
Marissa was thrilled when J.R. made a move beyond friendship and kissed her. Afterward, he admitted he saw glimpses of Babe when he was with Marissa, and that had prompted the kiss. Marissa was disappointed, but they continued their friendship. She also began to work for Liza Colby. Liza represented Kendall Slater for the murder of Stuart Chandler and needed a legal assistant. Marissa was shot in the chest when Marion, Stuart's widow, took a shot at Kendall in the courtroom but hit Marissa instead.
Marissa was rushed to the hospital and David insisted on saving his daughter. However, David froze during the operation. Jake Martin stepped in and saved Marissa. As Marissa recovered, both J.R. and his cousin Scott Chandler showed up to visit. David noted Scott's interest in Marissa and urged Scott to pursue Marissa. With David's encouragement, Scott made a move and kissed Marissa, but she explained that she only cared about him as a friend. Scott acknowledged Marissa was smitten with J.R. but agreed to friendship. When J.R. visited her, she forgave him for thinking of Babe and gave him another chance.
Marissa's interest in J.R. quickly became concern. J.R. was an alcoholic and seemed to be drinking again. Marissa tried to convince J.R. to remain sober, and she continued to be with him. She never saw him drink and defended him to his father Adam. J.R. appreciated Marissa's faith in him, and he took Marissa to a cabin in the woods. There, he revealed that the noticeable change in him that others had assumed was a return to alcohol abuse was really a rare form of cancer. Marissa appreciated J.R.'s trust in telling her his secret. J.R. hid the cancer to protect Little Adam. The knowledge of J.R.'s illness would cause David to go after custody of Little Adam again, and J.R. was not strong enough to fight cancer and David. Marissa vowed to support J.R. and assisted him in hiding his illness.
The dance floor at Fusion heated up for a charity dance-a-thon when J.R. and Marissa were partners. They admitted they were falling in love with one another, and made love on the Fusion rooftop. They continued to be lovers as J.R.'s cancer prognosis remained bleak. J.R. realized they had not known each other for long, but he proposed. Marissa accepted, and they eloped.
Tad Martin, J.R.'s stepfather, officiated the wedding ceremony. J.R. and Marissa married at Tad's house, with Krystal and Little Adam present. Krystal was wary of J.R.'s feelings. She questioned how he could lose Babe and fall for Marissa in a year, but Krystal realized J.R.'s love was real. Little Adam was pleased to have Marissa become his stepmother. The newlyweds honeymooned at the same cabin they had bonded at, and J.R. carried Marissa over the threshold of the doctor's office as he went for chemotherapy.
David was not pleased to hear that Marissa and J.R. had married and pushed Marissa away, until David announced he was terminally ill. He told Marissa he wanted to use whatever time he had left to get to know her. David also admitted he knew J.R. had cancer and promised he would not use J.R.'s illness to get custody of Little Adam. Some questioned the validity of David's illness, but Marissa believed in her father.
David's illness was genetic, so without David's knowledge, Little Adam, Marissa, and Amanda's son Trevor had tests done. The tests revealed no one had inherited the illness, and the tests also revealed that Trevor was not David's son. David had known he was not Trevor's father, and had hidden the truth and faked the illness to receive sympathy from Amanda. These lies crushed Marissa, and she broke ties with her father.
Instead, Marissa focused on her husband and stepson. J.R. needed a bone marrow transplant, and the odds of finding a match in time were not in his favor. J.R. made plans for the event of his death. He asked Marissa to officially adopt Little Adam, and she did. Annie, the wife of J.R.'s father, was a match and agreed to save J.R.'s life. Annie was several years younger than Adam and had a history of mental instability. J.R. was obsessed from getting Annie away from his father, even after she saved his life. Marissa pleaded with J.R. to ignore Annie and allow Adam to deal with her. J.R. did not agree.
On a business trip to Washington D.C., J.R. and Annie slept together. Adam eventually learned of Annie's infidelity and filed for divorce. Marissa did not know who Annie had slept with, but assumed it was Scott. Marissa was supportive of Annie and reached out to her when Adam left town with another woman. That sympathy changed when Marissa learned Annie had slept with Marissa's husband.
Marissa left J.R. and moved in with Krystal. J.R. claimed he wanted to work through his one mistake. Marissa moved back to the Chandler mansion, but not into J.R.'s bed. Annie taunted Marissa and continually threw the affair in Marissa's face. Marissa turned to David for advice in dealing with Annie. Much to Marissa's disbelief, Scott and J.R. hired Annie to work at Chandler Enterprises. Marissa did not understand why Scott and J.R. kept her around. J.R. had assumed Marissa would work with him when she received her law degree. Instead, she went to work for Caleb Cortlandt, an enemy of the Chandlers. Her marriage seemed to be getting back on track when Scott and Annie became engaged, until Marissa misinterpreted a moment between J.R. and Annie. Although Annie and J.R. had continued their affair secretly, the moment Marissa witnessed had been about business. Marissa told Scott what she thought she had seen and they engaged in revenge sex. Scott confessed what had happened to Annie, and they still married.
Marissa decided to divorce J.R. In the midst of her marriage crumbling, Marissa received a voicemail from David, which she deleted. He said he missed her and wanted to reconnect. Shortly after, she learned David had been murdered at a party hosted by Caleb. She had deleted the final words from her father and had missed her opportunity to know him. She and J.R. softened their anger for a moment to tell Little Adam about David's death, but their anger with one another quickly returned. Marissa decided to sue for full custody of Little Adam when J.R. said that Marissa was not his real mother. She was granted temporary custody until J.R. bribed a judge.
Although J.R. had temporary custody, he knew Marissa had the upper hand in the custody battle. J.R. continued his affair with Annie in secret but plotted to remind Marissa why she had once loved him. His goal was joint custody. Marissa believed J.R.'s actions and words. They began to spend a little time together as a family. Marissa was still suspicious that J.R. was involved with Annie beyond working together, although he swore otherwise. The more time J.R. spent reminding Marissa of their good times, the more he questioned which woman was in his heart: Annie or Marissa. The growing connection between Marissa and J.R. was noticeable to Annie. She began to have hallucinations about Marissa and J.R. reuniting. During a hallucination, she knocked Marissa unconscious. Annie made it look like a burglar had broken in to the Chandler mansion. Marissa was fine, but J.R. was concerned for her safety. J.R. cancelled a trip out of town with Annie so he could take care of Marissa, which only made Annie more desperate. Marissa, J.R., and Little Adam became even closer as a family. Annie regretted not getting Marissa out of J.R.'s life sooner. She convinced Marissa to go into the attic inside the Chandler mansion. The women argued, and Annie locked Marissa inside.
The door knocked Marissa unconscious. Annie broke a pipe to release deadly gas fumes. Marissa fought her way to consciousness and tried to fix the gas leak. She passed out, but J.R. rescued her. He realized Annie had been behind both attacks on Marissa and made arrangements for Annie to go to Oak Haven. Annie went on the run, but she was found and committed.
As Marissa worked to forgive J.R., she also worked to forgive her father. David was alive. He had faked his death to exact revenge on Ryan Lavery. David's wife, Greenlee, loved Ryan instead of him. Marissa could not believe her father had allowed her to mourn his death so soon after she had lost her adoptive parents. Then Kendall Slater shot David and he went into a coma. When he awoke, Marissa decided to show David a better way of living. She became his lawyer and allowed him back into her life on her terms.
Marissa's client list began to grow. She helped Scott get released from prison after Scott was jailed for stealing Palmer Cortlandt's nanotechnology, and she became Bianca Montgomery's attorney in Bianca's custody battle with her ex-partner, Reese. J.R. helped Marissa win her first case by giving Reese a design job at Chandler that would keep her too busy to be the sole parent to the children. Marissa and Bianca became friends, and Bianca provided Marissa with advice in regards to her relationship with J.R.
Marissa moved back in to the Chandler mansion in order to avoid answering questions about Tad's marriage to Cara Castillo. A federal immigration officer suspected Tad had married Cara to prevent her deportation and as long as Marissa lived under the same roof, she could be questioned regarding the validity of Tad's marriage and did not feel comfortable lying to protect Tad and his wife. Bianca inquired if the move meant Marissa planned to reconcile with J.R. Although Marissa explained that it did not she and J.R. introduced Bianca to a woman from Chandler Enterprises and they all went on a double date. No romantic connection formed between Bianca and her date. Marissa was surprised when Bianca's date told Marissa she believed Bianca was in love with someone else.
Both Marissa and J.R. supported Bianca and her daughter Miranda when AJ reported that Miranda was teased at school because her mother was a lesbian. The friends dealt with the situation together and Bianca also shared with Marissa her concerns over Erica's strange behaviors and Kendall's involvement with Ricky Torres. Marissa realized Bianca had reason to be concerned about her sister Kendall when Ricky locked both Bianca and Marissa in a closet at the Yacht Club. Ricky had tied up Bianca because he believed she was out to destroy his relationship with her sister and Marissa caught Ricky in the act of taking Bianca so he tied her up as well.
While the two women were tied together in the closet Bianca experienced flashbacks of her rape by Michael Cambias. Marissa calmed Bianca down and the women managed to escape. Marissa allowed J.R. to care for her after the ordeal and she appreciated seeing the sweet side of J.R. once again. Bianca and Marissa also leaned on one another and agreed they had made a great team. Marissa confessed to her friend that she could be falling in love with J.R. again. J.R. expertly wooed Marissa exactly how he was coached by Bianca. She instructed J.R. on what to do in order to win Marissa back and it was working. J.R. and Marissa were close to reconciling and almost made love until Marissa pulled back and explained she was not ready. She wanted to believe the J.R. of late was who he truly was but she was not ready to trust it quite yet. J.R. responded by accusing Marissa of having feelings for Scott which confirmed her suspicions that he had not fully changed.
Marissa accompanied Bianca on a spa trip in order to have space from J.R. but turned to him after Bianca shared that she was in love with her. Marissa left the spa and went into J.R.'s bed. He believed their night together meant they were reunited and suggested he and Marissa consider having a child. In the days that followed, Marissa's mind was on Bianca and she second guessed her decision to be with J.R. She was even more confused when she realized Bianca had been helping J.R. win her back. When Marissa confronted Bianca, she explained she knew Marissa was straight and she only wanted her to be happy.
Marissa shocked even herself when she declared her love for Bianca and kissed her. Marissa admitted she had felt something for Bianca for quite some time but had tried to ignore it. She insisted she was serious about Bianca and told Scott, AJ, her mother, and J.R. how she felt. Everyone was supportive of Marissa's relationship with Bianca with the exception of J.R. He accused Bianca of manipulating him and turned to alcohol.
When AJ witnessed his father drinking he did not want to be near him, which further enraged J.R. Marissa and Bianca encountered J.R. at the park and he was intoxicated again. The women took his keys but he sneaked Bianca's keys away from her and drove her car into a tree. Marissa filed a restraining order that banned J.R. from seeing his son until he was sober and she was granted temporary custody of AJ. Amidst the chaos with J.R., Bianca and Marissa found time to focus on their relationship and spent the night together.
After Marissa's night with Bianca, she received the news that J.R. had tried to bribe the judge overseeing the custody case and he granted full custody to Marissa. That news prompted Marissa to look for a home she could share with AJ. Bianca was also looking at real estate and the women each picked out the same house. They admitted they had each been drawn to that house because it had enough room for both of them and their children and they decided to move in together.
J.R. had a negative reaction to Marissa's news about moving in with Bianca and he maintained that his son would not be raised by two lesbians. He had arranged for Marissa's first night in bed with Bianca to be secretly taped and she showed the tape to Marissa. He threatened to make the video public if she did not turn over custody of their son. Marissa was worried about what J.R. would do with the video and she felt horrible Bianca was pulled into her mess. Bianca stood by Marissa and they agreed to stand up to J.R. The women visited J.R. and told him he could share the video with the world if he wanted to but AJ would know the truth that J.R. was behind it.
J.R. handed the video over to Marissa but he continued to threaten her and he repeatedly violated the restraining order. He showed up at a party Marissa and Bianca attended at Zach and Kendall's home and tried to kidnap AJ. The adults foiled J.R.'s attempt and they were relieved when they heard that J.R. had made plans to leave town for awhile.
Marissa and Bianca received a text message that they believed to be from Scott which invited them to a party at the Chandler mansion. The party was to welcome home Stuart Chandler who had been presumed dead until he was revealed to be alive as a part of David Hayward's Project Orpheus. They attended the party and enjoyed celebrating life in Pine Valley as a shot rang out.