OK, here's my addition to the ficathon. I'm not a huge fan of it, so it'll probably come down once they tell me it's OK to pull it. If you do like it, PLEASE REVIEW! Much love, Cat
Want in my fic:
1) Scarlett to lose her temper
2) An object thrown
3) Scarlett/Belle smack-down
1) Bonnie dead
2) Passive-Aggressive silence
3) Scarlett to lose her personality
She sucked in a slow, almost silent breath through her teeth which despite it's covert nature marked a thick tension that vibrated through every fiber of her being and the barely leashed anger coursing through her veins. "What are you doing here?" Scarlett managed to bite out cordially though her teeth were almost bared in a feral smile as she did so, pearly white as they clicked together ominously, warning of the danger of provoking such a creature.
Belle was not wise enough to take the hint that was proffered by these subtle signs, or else she had ceased to care about the danger of incurring Scarlett's wrath. In fact, she had reached that point, having decided to stage a final campaign to win Rhett away from Scarlett, to gain for herself the life she had always wanted with him and to gain for him the freedom that he so deserved from his shrew of a wife. "I was invited."
It was a lie of course, but Scarlett was not to know that.
Her gaze sharpened and she slipped her hands behind her back, apparently in a sign of relaxation though to Belle it communicated a show of power and propriety over the house in which they stood, and to Scarlett it was a way to hide her suppression of her anger and she dug her small, perfectly shaped fingernails into the palms of her hands. She hated this harpy, this succubus with a fiery passion that if she had her way would have burned her to a crisp the very day she had passed her when she left Rhett in that jail cell. Instead of granting her the response she knew her adversary expected, she lifted her chin and simply said, "He wouldn't."
Belle smiled an evil, taunting little smile. "And yet he did."
As she opened her mouth to respond, Scarlett was distracted by the small hand tugging at the side of her dress. "Mama, who is she?"
Scarlett took a deep breath before responding. "She isn't a very nice lady, poppet. Do you remember the part of town we passed in the carriage that I wouldn't let papa tell you about?" Bonnie nodded. "She lives there. And owns an establishment there." Bonnie's eyes widened, for despite Scarlett's wishes, Rhett had no desire to hide knowledge, especially from his darling little girl and had told her enough about that part of town for Bonnie to realize what Belle Watling did and what kind of woman she was. "Now, run along while Mama talks to her and I'll be there in a moment, sweetpea."
Bonnie ran off down the hallway, a doll clutched in her hand, only stopping once to take another look at the stranger in her garishly bright dress, with her distinctively colored hair and sweet face despite the sad look in her eyes through the anger. Let it never be said that children are not remarkably perceptive.
As soon as Bonnie left the room, Belle swung her attention back to Scarlett. "You don't want him," she said accusatorily. "He's a wonderful man, yet you refuse to let him love you. He could be what you need, why can't you see that?" Realizing that this way not the way to get through to Scarlett Belle changed tactics. "If you can't appreciate him, then set him free so he can find someone who will. I'm not saying it necessarily has to be me, though I won't deny that I sometimes wish that he felt that way about me, the way he feels about you, but I just want him to be happy. I mistakenly thought you could make him happy but how could you? You are vain and spoiled and selfish and so wrapped up in your own little world that you don't have the time, the energy, or the capacity to look beyond yourself and love anyone else. I doubt if you even love that little girl of yours," Belle finished, her warm heart balking at the words she was forcing herself to say but comforted by the fact that if her plan worked, all would be as it should be.
That final attack was the turning point for Scarlett. The rest had been no different from what she had heard all of her life and with her desire for attention had in a way craved, but to question her love for Bonnie? Belle had gone too far. "Take it back," Scarlett warned menacingly.
"What?" taunted Belle. "That you are a cold, frigid viper who is unable to love and so crushes all the hope and love and life out of those around you who try to offer your their love?"
Angry, confused, and unwilling to confront the possible truth of Belle's words, Scarlett lashed out, reaching blindly for the other woman's striking red curls.
Used to having to defend herself after her difficult life, and still having to be able to stand her ground in a fight if one of the girls at the brothel became jealous or catty or one of her gentleman clients was a little too rowdy, Belle easily sidestepped Scarlett's attacked and launched into one of her own, neatly tearing Scarlett's sleeve.
Enraged, Scarlett lunged again, but by bracing herself, Belle let her opponent take most of the impact when they tumbled to the ground.
"Who are you fighting for?" asked Belle as she grappled with Scarlett, resisting her instincts to actually fight back as she had no real desire to hurt Scarlett.
"I'm fighting for my daughter," replied Scarlett, breathing harshly as she struggled to get out of Belle's hold.
"She doesn't need you to fight for her," maintained Belle.
"I love her," Scarlett insisted.
"Because she is my daughter," Scarlett said, thinking the answer obvious.
"That isn't why you love someone," said Belle, her voice laced with pity which only seemed to enrage Scarlett further.
"She is a part of me, an extension of my life."
"Then you really are as vain as I thought. Besides, you cannot love a child born out of a loveless union," said Belle quietly.
"Of course you can." Scarlett attempted to beat Belle over the head with her free hand, but Belle easily caught it and moved it to a much safer place behind her back.
"Do you love your other children?" asked Belle.
"Of course I do."
"You do a poor job of showing it."
"Bonnie is different, special, but I love all my children."
Belle's eyes gleamed for a moment. She proceeded cautiously. "What makes her different?"
"She just is," Scarlett said, giving up and twisting to the side, throwing all of her body weight into the effort so that Belle fell ungracefully over her and ended up in a pile of skirts.
"Why?" asked Belle as she righted herself.
"Because," said Scarlett flying at her again from behind.
"Why?" repeated Belle, rearing back to try and dislodge Scarlett from her back.
"Because she is Rhett's!"
"So you are fighting for him," said Belle softly, pausing.
"Yes!" Scarlett cried, losing her balance as Belle suddenly moved forward quickly.
"Then I will leave, but take this day as a lesson for if you don't learn to treat him well, I will return," said Belle, looming over Scarlett, exiting through the massive front doors before she allowed herself to indulge in a bright smile of happiness for the future.
Scarlett sat on the floor in shock, not sure of what had just happened. Still frustrated, now confused, she threw the vase on the table at the wall in an attempt to release her left over pent up anger.
"Still throwing things I see," drawled Rhett as he walked through the doorway, casually examining the shards of porcelain scattered across the floor. "You haven't changed a bit since the day I met you, have you, my dear?" he teased.
She turned, an odd look in her eyes. "But I have," she said softly. She ran to him and threw herself into his arms.
Reflexively he caught her close and adjusted her so she was locked in his embrace. "Well this is a pleasant surprise," he said huskily.
They stared into each other's eyes for a long moment until his lips descended on hers and he thrilled her once more as he bent her over his arm and ravished her mouth. Reveling in the feeling of his arms around her, making her feel at once secure and powerless, she allowed his lips to trail down her throat as he bent slightly and lifted her into his arms and carried her up the stairs to their bedchamber.