Chapter 8: The Way You Love Me

Two weeks later, Rachel and Ross were walking down the beach after sunset. Ross was carrying a month-old Ryan in one arm while his free hand held Rachel's hand. Rachel had gotten her figure back and was very proud of her achievement. They hadn't talked much about going back to New York, and Ross was sure that he was going to have a lot of catching up at work at school to do as soon as he got back. He wasn't going to try to rush Rachel into going back to New York.

As they walked, Rachel looked out at the ocean as the moonlight shimmered on it. A cool breeze blew over the family as the tide washed in, and the water lapped at their feet.

"This is such a beautiful night," Rachel whispered as Ross wrapped his free arm around her. He caressed her arm gently and she sighed.

"It is," Ross said with a nod. He looked down at his sleeping son. "What do you think, Ryan?" Ross and Rachel laughed gently as their son continued to sleep.

"He's so perfect. I could just stare at him all day."

"I know," Ross agreed. "You think we'll have more of these one day?"

"I hope so. Being a mom is the best thing that I've ever done. I couldn't imagine my life without our son or you."

"You'll never have to know a life like that again, Rach. I swear to you, I'll always be here for you." Rachel walked over to sit in the dry sand. Ross sat down beside her and he put the baby boy in his lap.

"I've made a decision," Rachel began.

"Okay," Ross replied, shifting worriedly.

"I'll come back to New York with you."

"You will? Rachel, I don't want to pressure you."

"I've kept you from your work and school for too long. You need to be back there. I don't think I'll ever have to see Todd again. I'm ready. I've got you and Ryan. I've got Monica and your parents. Hell, I've even got my parents. I can do this."

"Are you sure, sweetie?"

"I'm very sure."

"Rach," Ross said with an excited smile. "You know I moved into your apartment. I was paying the rent and everything."

"Are you serious?" Rachel asked.

"Yeah. I didn't want to let you of you. We don't have to stay there though. We can go somewhere else if the memories are too hard."

"As long as you're there, Ross, I'll stay anywhere. I'll even stay there." Ross leaned over to kiss Rachel softly.

"When do you want to go?" he asked.

"We can leave whenever."

"How about tomorrow? Monica is really eager to see you."

"Well, I'll have to pack."

"I'll help you," Ross replied. He stood up and helped Rachel to her feet. Finally, they headed off toward Rachel's apartment with the baby. They were moving on from a horrible chapter in Rachel's life, and it was time to start their life as a family.

The next morning, the movers had been called and they had packed up the large things that needed moved. The only things left were a few boxes and bags that could go in the trunk of the car.

Rachel was holding Ryan in her arms as Ross took Rachel's key to the super of her building. She was leaning against the car and Ryan was sleeping with his head on his mommy's shoulder.

"Come on, Ross," Rachel whispered nervously. A few moments later, Ross left the building and walked over to greet the love of his life and his son. He kissed Rachel's cheek and kissed the top of Ryan's fuzzy little head.

"Are you ready?" Ross asked.

"I'm as ready as I'll ever be," Rachel whispered.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm alright. I'm gonna be fine." She kissed him softly and loaded Ryan into his car seat in the back of the car. A few minutes later, they were all on the long road home. Ross turned on the radio for some light music while Rachel rested her head on the headrest of the seat.

"You know what?" Rachel asked.

"Hmm?" Ross responded.

"I think we're going to be just fine, you know? We're going to have . . . to have a wonderful life. We'll get through everything now that we've finally found each other. I feel like we can do anything."

"We can, Rach. Once we get back to New York, you'll find out that it's much easier to get back into the swing of things. It's going to be great to see our friends and family again."

"Yeah," Rachel said with a smile. "I know I can do this because I have you. I love you, Ross."

"I love you. I always will." Rachel smiled and she realized that life was going to be better now. She was ready to live life to the fullest with her new family. Her new family was her calm after the storm.

THE END