Cristian grew up in the harsh Llanview neighborhood of Angel Square and as a teenager was under pressure to join a gang. But he resisted, not wanting to follow in the footsteps of older brother Antonio, a gang leader who had ended up in jail years earlier. Cristian did vow revenge on the Arrows when they stabbed and nearly killed his best friend, Eddie, but Antonio returned to Llanview and brought peace between the rival gangs. The gangs join to form one group called "Esperanza" (Hope).
Cristian and Jessica Buchanan started seeing each other, despite objections from Jessica's father Clint Buchanan and Cristian's mother Carlotta. After Luna Moody was killed at the community center, Cristian designed a beautiful angel statue in her memory, which was placed in the middle of Angel Square. When Cristian and Jessica were caught sneaking up to Viki's cabin in the woods, they were forbidden to see each other. They were allowed to go to the prom, but Jessica got drunk and after seeing him dancing with her friend, Lorna, broke up with him. Later, they grew closer again, especially after Cristian saved her from a warehouse fire, but then did not see each other for months. Cristian had to create a painting, a nude, so that he could get a scholarship to an art school in New York. He found the model he wanted to paint, Roseanne, Téa Delgado's cousin, but Jessica was not very happy about the situation.
Meanwhile, Jess and Will Rappaport (Jessica's new step brother), grew closer. The closeness between Roseanne and Cris worried Jessica, especially when she saw them kissing at the Buchanan lodge. To get her mind off of Cris, Jess and Will went back to the lodge, got drunk and wound up having sex. Jess ended up pregnant and was rushed to the hospital after a car accident with Will, Cris and Roseanne. When her family found out Jessica was pregnant, Cris lied and said he was the father. He then asked Jess to marry him and said they would raise the baby together. Neither parent would give them permission so they decided to go elope. At the ceremony Jess decided she couldn't go through with it and they returned to Llanview.
Jessica's mother Viki Buchanan decided to throw Cristian and Jess an engagement party, where Will and Cris fought. Jessica ran out and realized she was going into labor when she got hit by a car. Jess lost the baby and went into a coma. When she awoke, she had a little memory of Will but had no idea who Cristian was. Heartbroken, Cristian turned to Roseanne and they decided to move to New York together, where Cris had an art scholarship. Jess regained her memory, but it was too late. She and Will ended up together. To keep Will away from Jess, Asa Buchanan had Cristian's scholarship revoked so he would move back and be with Jess. Roseanne and Will were worried that their relationships were in trouble, so Will gave Roseanne the money to cover Cris's art school expenses. But Cris was still very much in love with Jess, so he decided that he needed one last time with her to talk. She told him she loved Will and he then asked Roseanne to marry him. Roseanne was worried Cristian would find out what she and Will had done to keep him and Jessica apart so she had the wedding moved up to the next day.
When Jess found out what they had done, she flew to N.Y. to stop the wedding. Roseanne locked her in the closet and left for the church. Jess escaped but was too late, they had just said 'I do'. Will arrived at the church also and he and Jess told Cristian what they had done and Cristian walked out on Roseanne. Later, Cris went to see Jess and she told him she wanted nothing to do with him. Cristian went to a bar to drown his sorrows. Will showed up to do the same, but Cris and he started to argue and Antonio had to break up the fight. Cris told his brother how he had nothing to live for. Antonio told him his artistic talent was a gift he should cherish. But Cristian told Antonio he was done with art.
Cristian and Roseanne got an annulment and Cris started growing closer to Jessica again. When Asa framed Will for embezzling a large sum of money, Cris helped Jessica get proof: Asa's confession on tape. They got on the train to Statesville to give Bo Buchanan the proof, but the train crashed and they ended up going on the run with Will. Along the way, they ran into Todd Manning, who tricked Cristian and Jessica into going back to Llanview, claiming that Viki was dying. Cris learned that Todd had also tricked Will into breaking up with Jess so she'd leave him, but he didn't tell Jessica. He and Jessica got engaged, but when she found out Cris hadn't told her the truth, she left him and went to see Will in Ireland. Cristian became despondent, getting into trouble and not caring about what happened to him. He hurt his hand when he stole Todd's car after he'd been drinking and crashed it (R.J. had tampered with the car, but Cris didn't know that). No longer able to do artwork, Cristian became the manager/bartender of Break Bar and made extra money by selling fake ID's. What R.J. didn't know was that Cristian had decided to secretly collect information about R.J.'s illegal activities.
Cristian met the beautiful Jen Rappaport while she was under suspicion for her uncle Colin MacIver's murder. The two began to fall in love, much to the chagrin of Lindsay Rappaport, Jen's mother. Lindsay made it clear that Cris was not one of her favorites for her daughter, but Jen and Cris didn't care what she thought. Finally, Lindsay hired someone to set up a porno website of Cristian, which she made sure Jen saw. Also Shawna, a girl at the University, hid in Cris's room and forcibly kissed him. Jen ran out before Cris could shove Shawna off him. Cris was heartbroken and tried telling Jen it was all a lie, but she refused to believe him.
When the truth came out that Lindsay had set up the website, Jen left her mother and moved in with Cris. The two had a wonderful relationship until R.J. found out that Cris was trying to collect evidence against him. R.J. hired a semi-maniacal hit man named Keith Shaeffer to "scare" Cristian out of town. When Cris stood firm, Keith went after Jen. Cris broke up with Jen to protect her, but Jen thought he didn't love her anymore. It ended in a showdown when Keith was about to attack Jen and Cristian saved her. The two reunited, but not for long.
When Cris was away, Jen had slept with Al Holden, and Lindsay changed the pregnancy results on Jen's test so she thought she was pregnant. Cristian confronted Al at the quarry and the two got into a fight, which resulted in Cris punching Al over the edge of a cliff. Al became paralyzed from the waist down, and Jen decided to stay with him until he was well. Cris and Jen still loved each other, but Al faked his paralysis to force Jen to stay with him. Later, in 2003, Cris found love again with Natalie Buchanan.
Unfortunately, things would take a tragic turn with the arrival of John McBain. An FBI agent, posing as a billiard scout for Flynn Laurence, McBain used Natalie and Cris to get the goods on the crime lord. The way to do that was use Natalie's new found skills as a billiards champion. Unfortunately, Natalie defied John's orders to throw the game for Flynn and as a result she was kidnapped by Flynn. Although Cris and John were able to rescue Natalie, Cris appeared to lose his life in the attempt.
A year later, Cristian was revealed to be alive and well, being held captive and brainwashed. He returned to Llanview and Natalie, but was a different man than the one Natalie had known and loved. He and Natalie had begun to renew their relationship, but it was marred by sudden violent outbursts that Cristian seemed to have no control over. Eventually it was revealed that Cristian was an imposter and had murdered Tico Santi. Cristian was sentenced to life in prison, and it was then that John McBain received the DNA results that proved that he really was Cristian. Cristian asked John to keep it quiet, because he didn't want to continue to torture Natalie with the knowledge of what he had done, and John agreed to keep his secret.
Cristian settled into life at Statesville, but things turned sticky after Carlo Hesser was also convicted and put into a cell not far from Cristian's. Soon Cristian began to have flashbacks of his brainwashing. Before long, Cristian remembered everything, and learned that Carlo Hesser was the one who had held him hostage and made him kill Tico Santi. In the Statesville riots, Cristian saved John McBain's life on more than one occasion, and Evangeline Williamson was successful in having Cristian's conviction overturned and getting him released from jail.
Cristian soon learned that life on the outside was not as he had left it. Natalie was furious with him for lying to her and letting her believe he was dead, and dropped the bomb on him that she had successfully filed for a no contest divorce and they were no longer legally married. Lindsay Rappaport warned him that his paintings were no longer as marketable since he faked his death, and he had trouble finding a job. His only friend was proving to be Evangeline Williamson. He turned to a boxing career, ignoring the injuries to his hand that could have caused him his career, and focused on rebuilding his life. After Evangeline was blinded during a tornado, Cristian was determined to help her, and in the process the two began falling in love. Todd Manning, who was indebted to Evangeline for helping prove his innocence when he was charged with murdering Margaret Cochran, hired an eye specialist to help Evangeline regain her sight. Evangeline cared for Todd but was in love with Cris. Todd, however, was attracted to Evangeline and wanted to ruin her relationship with Cris. Todd learned that Cris' manager Vincent Jones was planning to sabotage Cris' upcoming boxing match and did nothing to prevent it. When Evangeline discovered the truth, she ended her friendship with Todd but eventually forgave Todd and renewed her friendship with him, much to Cris' chagrin. Cris continued to warn Evangeline of Todd's intentions, but she insisted they were just friends.
One night when Todd was distraught over learning that his son with Margaret was dead, Evangeline attempted to comfort him and they shared a passionate kiss. Consumed with guilt, Evangeline admitted to Cris that she kissed Todd. Because he had warned Evangeline countless times, Cris could not forgive her and ended the relationship. Evangeline was devastated by Cris' reaction and grew even closer to Todd. One night Evangeline, Todd, Blair, and Cris all ended up at the same ski lodge. Cris became enraged when he found Evangeline and Todd in the same room. Cris told Blair what he had witnessed. In an attempt to hurt the ones they loved, Cris and Blair had sex that night. In a nearby room, Evangeline and Todd shared a bed, and innocently held each other the entire night. When Evangeline learned of Cris' indiscretion with Blair, she was angry and hurt. Although she was still in love with Cristian, Evangeline felt she could never forgive him. At the same time, Evangeline feared she was pregnant with Cristian's child. Cris vowed to stand by her, but they discovered Evangeline was not pregnant after all.
Meanwhile, there had been a rash of hate crimes perpetrated by a white supremacists group called One Pure People. While Evangeline and Cris were discussing their relationship in his loft, they were suddenly overcome by a violent gas. Cris suffered minor injuries but Evangeline lapsed into a coma. Still reeling from his loss, Cristian's life was turned upside down again when he, Blair and Rex Balsom stumbled upon wayward Buchanan heiress Sarah Roberts during their search for Blair's ex-husband Todd in Chicago. Sarah's boyfriend, Hunter Atwood, had been hired by Miles Laurence to abduct Todd, and Sarah tipped Cristian and Blair to his location. As Blair continued to fight to save Todd, Rex and a reluctant Cristian were charged with protecting the spoiled Sarah from Hunter. Cristian allowed Sarah to temporarily become his roommate in his loft. They kissed and Sarah admitted to Cristian her feelings for him, but Cristian said he was still in love with Evangeline. Cristian visited Evangeline in Maryland, where Evangeline's mother had taken her. He tearfully declared his love for her and asked an unconscious Evangeline if he should wait for her or move on with his life. He asked for a sign. When Evangeline moved her arm, he took that as a sign that he needed to move on.
Cristian decided it was time to start living again and asked Sarah out on a date. They began dating and were getting along fine when Sarah's long-absent mother, Tina Lord Roberts, suddenly turned up in Llanview. Tina was on the run, having escaped a shoot-out in which Police Commissioner Lee Ramsey was killed by people looking for the missing Crown Jewels of Mendorra, which Tina had in her possession. Tina found refuge with Sarah and Cristian, who was upset at Tina for having abandoned Sarah years earlier. Cristian brought his brother Antonio in on the activities, but soon Talia and Sarah went missing. It turned out they had been abducted by the U.S. Ambassador to Mendorra, Jonas Chamberlain, who wanted to exchange the girls for the jewels.
Cristian, Antonio and Tina agreed to accompany Jonas back to Mendorra in order to exchange the women for the Crown Jewels. But while in Mendorra, it was discovered that the man plotting the kidnapping was none other than Carlo Hesser, who had brainwashed Cristian years earlier and had escaped from Statesville with Lee Ramsey's help. Carlo wanted revenge against the Vegas and Tina and at the same time wanted to rekindle his relationship with his own estranged daughter, who turned out to be Talia. Carlo and his minions dragged Cristian, Sarah and Tina to the river above the treacherous Hohenstein Falls, where a horrified Tina watched as Carlo tied Sarah to a raft and sent her and Cristian over the falls, deliberately echoing Tina's own nearly-fatal plunge over the Iguazu Falls in 1987. Carlo then set out to behead Cain and Tina for treason. But Cristian, who managed to survive the plunge, returned to the palace and saved Tina and Cain. Carlo stopped them all on their way out of the palace, and Talia agreed to stay behind and marry Jonas if he would let her friends go. Carlo acquiesced, and they headed to a plane to return to Llanview. Just before takeoff, Cristian spied someone outside in the distance and dashed from the plane, only to return with Sarah, who it turned out had also survived the falls.
Cristina, Sarah and Antonio soon returned to Mendorra with a plan to free Talia by drugging Carlo and Jonas and staging them in bed together, just as Talia lead a team of reporters to "discover" the scene on live television. With a protesting Carlo and Jonas arrested for fraud, Talia and the others left Mendorra. While awaiting for a connecting flight from New York City to Llanview, Cristian was kidnapped and awoke to find himself a prisoner on a cargo ship, with Carlo there gloating. Posing as his dead twin brother Mortimer Bern, Carlo delivered Cristian to Plato prison in Colombia, passing him off to the authorities as "the worst criminal in all of Colombia." Unknown to Cristian, he had been exchanged for another prisoner, Ray Montez, who was himself headed to Llanview so he could claim his niece Langston Wilde in an attempt by Clint Buchanan to wrest control of Buchanan Enterprises from Dorian Lord.
While in prison, Cristian was visited by Ray's wife, Vanessa Montez. Vanessa told Cristian that Ray was in jail for murdering his first wife. She paid off the prison guards to release Cristian, in exchange for Cristian's promise to help Vanessa and her step-daughter, Lola, gain safe passage from Columbia to Llanview, where they would be safe from Ray. Just before departing, Cristian managed to call Sarah and tell her that he was alive. Antonio and Talia traced the call to Columbia, and they and Sarah booked a flight to Columbia so they could locate Cristian. Cristian, meanwhile, was on his way to Llanview with Vanessa and Lola. They arrived at the airport and were greeted by a stunned Sarah, Antonio and Talia. Vanessa, meanwhile, was stunned herself to come face to face with Ray Montez, who was at the airport awaiting his own flight back to Columbia with his niece Langston. After John McBain thwarted an attempt by a hit man hired by Dorian to shoot Ray, Vanessa grabbed the gun and shot Ray in the chest. Vanessa was charged with attempted murder. Cristian agreed to look after Lola while Vanessa waited her day in court. The judge allowed Vanessa to post bond after Cristian promised to make sure she didn't leave town before her trial. Cristian told Vanessa that she and Lola could both stay in his loft, much to the chagrin of Sarah. Ray, meanwhile, was released from the hospital and returned to the Columbia prison.
As Vanessa was facing an immigration hearing, Vega family friend Téa Delgado returned to town and told Vanessa her best shot at avoiding deportation was to marry an American. Vanessa immediately asked Cristian to marry her, but he politely refused because he was dating Sarah. Vanessa said she understood, although Lola was upset. On the day of Vanessa's hearing, a note was slipped under the door of Cristian's loft threatening Vanessa's life. Assuming the note was from Ray or someone else hired by him, Cristian decided his only choice was to marry Vanessa. He stood up in court and declared that Vanessa was to be his wife, as a despondent Sarah stood by helpless. Cristian and Vanessa were married, but at first it was only a marriage of convenience. But Sarah could tell that Cristian felt more for her than he was letting on and soon broke up with him. When Sarah saw Cristian and Vanessa at a New Year's Eve party, looking every bit the married couple, she called immigration officials and reported their fraud marriage before angrily leaving town. Cristian and Vanessa promptly consummated their marriage.
Cristian was shocked to return home day and find Ray Montez there in his loft, brandishing a knife while a trembling Vanessa lay in their bed. A fight ensued, then Téa and Lola showed up and pleaded with Ray to calm down. Cristian soon learned that Téa had been representing Ray all along, seeking to prove that Vanessa had framed him for his wife's murder. Vanessa denied murdering Lola's mother but admitted to Cristian and everyone else that she had framed Ray in order to get his money. Vanessa soon was deported to Columbia, and Ray was exonerated of all charges.
Cristian was devastated at Vanessa's betrayal, and angry at Téa for lying to him. He went to see a comatose Evangeline Williamson in Maryland, telling her that he would always love her and was waiting for her to get better. Evangeline's sister Layla overheard the conversation and berated Cristian for being a player. Cristian and Layla soon found themselves running into each other often and always getting into shouting matches. Cristian accused Layla of being half the woman her sister was and of driving men away, and Layla reacted bitterly at him in return, fearful he may be right.
When Layla's roommate, Talia Sahid, was found murdered by a serial killer, Cristian broke the news to Layla. Layla was devastated, but Cristian helped her get through her grief. In the process, their icy relationship began to thaw. When Layla reluctantly decided to move back to her parents' home in Maryland because she was out of work and couldn't find roommates, Cristian suggested that he move in with her so she could stay in Llanview. Layla was hesitant but agreed. They put out an ad for a third roommate and the only person to answer the ad was Oliver Fish, a police officer who had tried to date Layla briefly in the past. Layla wasn't interested in having Fish move in, but she changed her mind after he proved himself as a handyman and after Cristian said he thought it was a good idea. When Layla accepted Fish's request for a date, Cristian got protective of Layla and told Fish he would have to deal with Cristian if he disappointed Layla. While Layla and Fish were on another date at Capricorn, bartender Cristian began sparring with Layla. An observant Blair told Cristian that he was jealous and should ask Layla out himself.
At the diner one day, Kyle Lewis overheard Cristian talking on the phone with Layla about her dating Oliver, and Kyle told Cristian that Layla was going to get hurt. Kyle told Cristian that Oliver wasn't the man he was making himself out to be and said Cristian should warn Layla not to date Fish. But when Cristian told Oliver what Kyle had said, Fish said Kyle was just jealous because he wanted Layla for himself. When Cristian went to Kyle's room at the Angel Square Hotel, he saw a note slipped under the door addressed to Kyle and read it. The note was from Fish, who asked Kyle to back off and said that he wasn't the guy he knew in college anymore. When Kyle appeared, Cristian admitted to reading the letter but Kyle refused to give Cristian any information, saying that what happened between him and Fish was between them. Pressed further, Kyle told Cristian that Fish was with someone in college but broke it off because he cared more about what people thought. Cristian warned Layla that something had gone down between Kyle and Fish while they were in college, but Layla told Cristian to mind his own business.
In August, Cristian oversaw Kyle and Oliver kissing behind the ally of the Buenos Dias Café. Cristian confronted Fish, who claimed that Kyle had been stalking him. Cristian could tell Fish was lying and told him to come clean to Layla, or he would be forced to. Fish made several attempts to tell Layla the truth but chickened out, going so far as to have sex with Layla. After learning that Fish and Layla had sex, Cristian lashed out at Fish for not telling Layla the truth, but Fish denied being gay, saying he had only experimented with Kyle in college. Cristian ran into Kyle and Oliver sharing a tender moment at the gym, but Kyle told Cristian that Fish was in love with Layla and was just trying to let Kyle down easy. Layla and Cristian both were duped into leaving their apartment one night so Stacy, desperate to conceive a child she could pass off as Rex's, could attempt to make the moves on Oliver. When Layla and Cristian arrived home they found Stacy kissing Oliver, but Fish explained that Stacy threw herself on him, and Layla believed him.
After figuring out that Oliver and Kyle had been lovers in college during a chance encounter with Kyle's new boyfriend, Nick Chavez, Layla went to Cristian with what she had learned. Cristian finally confessed that he had seen Oliver and Fish kissing but kept quiet because he didn't want Layla to get hurt. Under intense questioning, Fish admitted to Layla that he and Kyle were together in college but denied he was gay, forcing Layla to order him out of the house. The next morning, after having a drunken one-night stand with Stacy, Fish returned to the apartment and admitted to Layla and Cristian that he was gay. Fish volunteered to move out, but Cristian and Layla sympathized with him and asked him to stay. Fish explained to Layla and Cristian how his parents would never accept that he's gay, especially his retired cop father. When his dad called to say that he and Fish's mother were on their way to Llanview to meet his girlfriend, Layla encouraged Fish to come out to his parents. Cristian even bought him a "how to" book about coming out to your parents. When Fish's parents arrived a day ahead of schedule, Cristian took them to the apartment and they were surprised to learn that Fish's girlfriend was black. As Fish prepared to tell his parents the truth, his father discovered the book by accident and assumed that Cristian was gay. He excoriated Cristian for leading a gay lifestyle and told Fish that he would need to move out of the apartment, which prompted Fish to reveal the truth to his parents. Layla and Cristian stood by helpless as Fish's parents turned their back on their son and walked out of his life.
Cristian was unable to drum up the courage to admit his feelings for Layla, especially after Oliver was turned down by Kyle. He took Layla as his date to Todd and Téa's wedding, but Layla seemed to want nothing more from him than friendship. In October 2009, Cristian impulsively kissed Layla in the kitchen at the Buenos Dias Diner. Although Layla enjoyed the kiss, she told Cristian she couldn't date him because it would be like cheating on her comatose sister Evangeline. Cristian tried to convince Layla that her sister would want them to move on, but Layla was unconvinced. Cristian agreed to move in with his mother after Layla said they couldn't be roommates anymore.
Carlotta urged Cristian to pursue Layla if he wanted a relationship with her, but Cristian didn't want to pressure her. Then Layla showed up at the diner and announced that she didn't want to risk losing out on happiness and wanted to see if they could make it work. Cristian and Layla shared a romantic dinner at her apartment that ended in them making love for the first time. When Layla was hit on by newcomer Robert Ford, she introduced him to her boyfriend Cristian, who befriended Ford and said they could work out together. When Ford needed a place to stay, Cris, Layla and Fish invited him to move in with them.
Cristian and Layla's budding romance soon was put to the ultimate test when Cris' high school sweetheart, Jessica Buchanan, began to make a play for him after suffering memory loss and believing she was still in high school. Cristian went to see Jessica in the hospital and tried to explain to her that he had moved on with his life and was in love with another woman, but Jessica refused to take no for an answer and planted a kiss on him. Jessica then set out to recreate her time with Cristian. She enrolled in high school again just to take Cristian's art appreciation class, and then volunteered to help design sets for the high school play to get close to Cristian. She gave Cristian a box of mementos from their high school romance and it seemed to spark memories within Cristian as well, although he continued to tell Jessica that nothing could happen between them because he was in love with Layla. Layla got increasingly jealous and started to worry that Cristian was starting to have feelings for Jessica again, especially after she discovered that Cristian was holding on to one of the notes he had given Jessica back in high school. Jessica asked Cristian to go to the prom with her, but he told her her was going as a chaperone and was taking Layla with him. On prom night, Jessica stuffed the ballot box so she and Cristian would be named prom king and queen, but Cristian refused to play along and devastated Jessica by publicly professed his love for Layla. Alone outside the gym entrance, Cristian then got down on one knee and proposed to Layla, who was overjoyed and quickly accepted. After telling Carlotta about their engagement, Cristian and Layla then decided they needed to go to Maryland to tell Layla's mother, who they feared would not take the news well.
As expected, Lisa Williamson was not pleased to hear that Layla was engaged to Cristian and accused Cristian of being responsible for putting Evangeline in a coma three years earlier. Layla and Cristian then learned that Evangeline was in the hospital, and a doctor informed them that Evangeline was no longer able to breathe on her own. Layla wondered if Evangeline had prepared a living will in the event something happened to her, and her mother accused her of wanting Evangeline to die. Lisa told Layla she never saw such a document among Evangeline's papers but knew that Evangeline would want to fight to stay alive. When Layla went to the house to search her sister's papers, Cristian visited with Evangeline and admitted that he had never stopped loving her.
Cristian was shocked when Layla told him that Evangeline did have a living will, although it had never been filed, and her mother was about to destroy it when Layla intervened. Cristian and Layla considered hiring a lawyer to fight Lisa's refusal to take Evangeline off life support, but after Lisa spoke to an attorney named Bennett Thompson -- who unbeknownst to her was actually Eli Clarke -- she decided there was nothing more she could do and allowed the machines keeping Evangeline alive to be cut off. Cristian and Layla said their goodbyes to Vange, who quietly passed away.
Back in Llanview, Cristian got a call from Layla asking him to locate a file among Evangeline's papers with information on Bennett Thompson. As soon as Cristian located the file, Eli knocked him out and stole the file, which included a mug shot that linked him to one of his other identities. Cristian and Layla were shocked to learn that Bennett Thompson was Elijah Clarke, and Layla feared they had helped Eli kill her sister to keep her from ever revealing Eli's secret life. Cristian was shocked when he got a letter stating that he had received a grant from Llanview University to teach and display his artwork in a private studio. Layla explained she had filled out the application for Cristian. Layla then got her own special delivery -- a wedding dress made from a sketch she had drawn that Cristian had secretly sent to Adriana, who had managed to get Layla's favorite designer in Paris to create for her. After speaking to Adriana, Layla told Cristian that the designer wanted her to work for him as his first assistant -- but she would have to move to Paris.
Cristian and Layla postponed their wedding plans as Layla moved to Paris, leaving Cristian behind in Llanview. Cristian struggled to remain positive about their separation. He threw himself into his work and new friendship with Gigi, who became Cristian's teaching assistant. When Cristian got invited to go to Paris for an art exhibition, he invited Gigi to come along so he could spend time with Layla. But when he got there, he learned that Layla had to fly to Milan with Adriana to deal with an urgent fashion matter. Despondent, Cristian and Gigi ended up drinking too much and they kissed. Cristian even suggested they have sex, but they stopped themselves before it could go any further. Cristian confided in Blair and playfully propositioned her as well, but Blair shrugged off his advances.
Cristian tried to patch things up with Layla and admitted to her over the phone that he had kissed Gigi. Layla promised to visit Cristian in Llanview over the Christmas holiday but never showed. Cristian grew suspicious of all the time she was spending with her boss, Stefan, and accused her of having an affair. Cristian spent New Year's Eve with Blair and the two ended up playing strip poker and then passing out naked in her bed, although nothing sexual occurred. In January 2011, Cristian flew to Paris and admitted what had happened with Blair. He then apologized for accusing Layla of having an affair, but he was stunned when Layla admitted that she had in fact slept with Stefan. Layla said she was enjoying her life in Paris too much to think of anything else and didn't want to force Cristian to leave behind his career in Llanview. She tearfully told Cristian that they should end their engagement, and Cristian embraced Layla before saying goodbye.
Cristian struck up a friendship with Rama Patel, whose husband Vimal had been sent to Statesville after he doctored DNA tests involving the Buchanans. Cristian took Rama to Stateville one day so she could visit her husband and he ran into Marty Saybrooke, who was there to visit her son Cole. Cristian accidentally knocked a document out of Marty's hands that he realized was the DNA test results for Natalie's baby, which supposedly proved that Brody was the father and not John. Marty explained that she was holding on to the results so she would remember what she had done, but Cristian didn't buy it and told Natalie to be on her guard. Vimal told Cristian to be careful around Rama because she was in a delicate condition. Later, Cristian and Rama were embarrassed when Access Llanview reported that Rama was hanging out with Cristian, who had been voted "Llanview's best arms." Natalie wondered if Rama was pregnant after Cristian repeated what Vimal had told him, but Rama denied that she was pregnant.
Rama and Cristian grew closer and actually kissed at the gym. Later, Cristian felt guilty for coming on to a married woman. Cristian went to Rama to apologize but ended up kissing her again, only to discover that Vimal had been released from jail. When Vimal saw Cristian and Rama kissing, Rama pretended that Cristian had just come onto her and Cristian played along. Shortly thereafter, however, Cristian learned that Rama had been lying to her husband and was pretending to be pregnant. Cristian was angry at being lied to and told Rama that they were through. Rama learned that Vimal's parents were in town and still believed that she was pregnant. Rama told Cristian that she wanted to do right by Vimal, so Cristian outfitted Rama with a water balloon that made her appear pregnant. The plan backfired, however, when the balloon burst in front of Vimal and his parents. Vimal and Rama made up, however, and Rama set out to ensure that Cristian would be happy as well. With Rama's encouragement, Cristian paid a visit to Jessica to see if they could rekindle the sparks they had when they were teenagers. Cristian pulled Jessica into a passionate kiss, but they both agreed that their time had passed. Cristian's life then took a major turn, when he was offered a teaching job in Spain. Cristian was hesitant to leave his mother alone in Llanview, but Carlotta encouraged Cristian to take the job and follow his dream. Cristian bid Llanview goodbye and arrived at the university in Barcelona, where he met a female teacher who reminded him of the teenage Jessica he had fallen in love with.