Okay this is the last chapter, this is it, done, even if no one likes it because I am already 15 pages into my new story and I need to focus on that. I love you all for commenting and I hope you'll look at the next story. I honestly don't write for the reviews, I write because I love Gone With The Wind and I was the kid that could never accept "and they lived happily ever after" I always said "yeah and then what?" I'm glad to share my work with others who want to ask and then what.
'Thank God that's finally over,' thought Scarlett as she picked up Bess to lay her in her cot. She was deeply relieved to be back on the steamship that would take them back to Europe. Of all the places in the world to visit Charleston would never be high on her list of must visit destinations.
Rhett's sister despised her, which was fine because so far as Scarlett was concerned the feeling was more than mutual. Rosemary had made it obvious from the moment they arrived that she heartily disapproved of Rhett bringing Scarlett and her child back to Charleston. She'd heard them arguing one afternoon when she had come home early from Sally Brewton's at home afternoon. His sister had actually dropped all pretenses at ladylike dislike and had resorted to name-calling.
Of course Miss Eleanor tried her best to make Scarlett feel welcome and Sally had launched a massive love me, love my dog assault on the doyennes of Charleston society. Rhett had felt it best not to mention that she now had a title and Scarlett agreed. She just wanted to let Miss Eleanor spend time with Bess and leave. It wasn't that she wanted to flee with her tail tucked between her legs; it was just that she no longer had the patience for the false facades everyone wore in Charleston, indeed in the south as a whole. She also missed being the darling of the royal family and the encouragement to speak her mind no matter how outlandish the statement. After all Bertie had to hold his tongue on many occasions but how could he be held accountable for his French mistress's comments?
Then there was Rhett's brother, Ross. Scarlett had never told Rhett how Ross had thrust his tongue into her mouth the first time they'd been introduced. His words "Where did my brother find a fast piece of baggage like you," still lurked at the back of her mind. Of course Miss Eleanor made excuses for Ross's behavior saying that Ross had been in a deep decline since the death of his wife Elizabeth. Scarlett had wanted to holler "then what was his excuse when Elizabeth was still alive?"
Last night she had felt Rhett's body stiffen with frustration as they lay together in his bed at his mother's home. She'd know that he'd hoped their visit would go well so that she might be convinced to spend months at a time in Charleston. He hadn't said as much but she knew just the same.
Breakfast had been beyond uncomfortable, Scarlett thought as she stroked Bess's curly hair. Rosemary hadn't come downstairs at all and Ross had effectively been banned from the house, which was fine by Scarlett. Miss Eleanor had been angry and disappointed by Ross and Rosemary's treatment of Scarlett. As far as she was concerned whatever had happened between Scarlett and Rhett was just that, between Scarlett and Rhett. If they could see past the pain and hurt and love one another then no one else had the right to judge or in Rosemary's case interfere.
Scarlett fingered the locket around her neck. Miss Eleanor had given it to her just as they'd left the house. One half was an empty oval and the other was a small portrait of Rhett as a toddler. As soon as they reached England she was going to have a portrait done of Bess and place that in the lockets empty half.
Finally they were returning to England. They had Osborne house and from there they could travel anywhere. She wanted to visit Notre Madame du Cimetière de Lis in Paris. It was the cemetery where Ella was buried and she knew that Rhett would want to pay his respects and she wanted to make sure the grave was well tended and resplendent with flowers. She had paid a great deal to have the grave with tended and she wanted to make sure that was being done.
Bess had finally dozed off and Scarlett smiled at her beautiful daughter. Her face was gentle, the hard edge that had lurked about her face had been replaced, worn away by the love she felt for her daughter. The love she felt for Rhett had finished the transformation. She finally had everything she had ever wanted, even if she hadn't always known what it was she wanted.
Rhett opened the cabin's door and stepped in smiling faintly. Scarlett had let her hair down from the pins that had been holding it in an upsweep, now it cascaded down her back loose and slightly curling. She has leaning over the cot tucking blankets around Bess and the light streamed in from the porthole. It looked as though they could have just stepped from a Da Vinci painting of the mother and child.
The noise from the door opening caught Scarlett's attention and she glanced up to meet Rhett's longing gaze with a smile of her own. "Shh," she cautioned as she stepped away from Bess's cot. Together they went into the stateroom that connected to the cabin. During the day they were going to use the cabin as a place for Bess to nap so they could be together and not bother their daughter.
Once Rhett closed the door she wrapped her arms around his neck and fitted her body into the curves and hollows of his body. "Did you see Rosemary?"
He didn't bother to deny it. "Yes, I asked her if she'd come aboard to say good bye if not you then at least to her niece."
"I see," Scarlett replied, "and she said?"
"Nothing I could repeat in front of a lady."
"How about in front of me?"
He bent forward and kissed her neck softly "Are you insinuating that my wife is not a lady."
"I've heard that ladies have seldom held any charm for you."
He rubbed lazy circles on her back with his fingertips. "You're a cruel wench to use my own words against me."
"And you aren't as clever as you like to think, now without changing the subject again what did you sister say?"
He rested his chin on her hair and held her a little tighter. "She said that I was a pigheaded fool and that when you hurt me again then I'll regret tossing aside her good advice."
Scarlett smiled even though Rhett couldn't see her expression. "Ah, she trotted out 'and then you'll be sorry, that was one of Mammy's favorite tunes."
"Mammy was a remarkably intelligent woman," Rhett comment smiling.
Scarlett tilted her head back so she could look up at her husband. "She use to hum it about you."
Rhett laughed recognizing Scarlett's teasing as good-natured "As I said a wise woman your Mammy."
"She wouldn't come see Bess?"
"Rosemary's a Butler and unfortunately once we get an idea into our heads to dislodge it requires a Herculean effort. I can't change her mind and frankly I am not going to concern myself. Perhaps one day she'll come around when she sees how happy you make me. And you do," he lowered his lips to hers and caught her close; Scarlett wrapped her arms even tighter around his neck. He swept her into his arms and carried her to the bed. He kissed her at the highest point of her cheekbones; he nuzzled her neck gently tickling it with his just trimmed moustache. Her light moans of pleasure filled their stateroom as her head fell back to give him even more access to the fine white column of her throat.
"My God you make me so happy that I wonder how I could have thought I could be happy without you," he whispered in her ear causing her to squirm with pleasure at his nearness.
"You couldn't have been," she replied smugly.
He laughed heartily before kissing her again and again until she was breathless.
As the ship left Charleston Harbor Scarlett slept, wrapped in Rhett's arms. The last rays of afternoon sun fell across the bed while their daughter slept soundly in the next room. Rhett for the second time in two days stared up at a ceiling while contemplating the events of the last three months. He was no longer frustrated with his sister's actions, if Rosemary couldn't accept his happiness then that was her choice. Everything that she held against Scarlett was in the past and there was nothing in the past that he wished to dwell on. He had all that he needed in the here and now. His wife and daughter loved him and finally after so many years of searching for the peace that always just eluded him he'd found it.
Rhett laughed softly so as not to disturb Scarlett, he had found peace in the one place he would never have thought to look for it, with Scarlett O'Hara.
Scarlett opened her eyes and reached up to cup his cheek. "What are you laughing at?" she asked sleepily.
He covered her hand with his and slid it over his face slightly so he could kiss her fingertips. "I was laughing at how foolish I was to look for peace and serenity when what I was looking for was my own wife."
She smiled up at him. "I had to become who I am now without doing it to please anyone but myself. However," she kissed his mouth gently, "I love you so very much, even if you're foolish sometimes," she said her lips curved in a teasing smile.
He smiled widely his teeth white and even in his tanned handsome face. "I'm so pleased to know I have your goodwill." He lowered his lips to hers and gently probed her mouth with his tongue as he ran his hand down her rib cage till it rested gently on her hip. She whispered against his lips as he kissed her again and again, "I love you Mr. Butler."
He kissed her earlobe and then nipped it gently with his teeth "I love you too Mrs. Butler, and I will for the rest of my life." He began to unbutton her traveling gown's bodice and as each inch of flesh became exposed he covered it in searing kisses till she cried his name as loudly as she dared. Overcoming the shyness that she'd always had toward undressing him she reached up and began to unbutton Rhett's shirt even as he struggled out of his tailored suit jacket. Finally they were both undressed and amid the discarded clothes that now littered the bed they made love, bathed in the last golden rays of the setting sun.
Butler gave me the biggest laugh
In the Danish Language the word Slut translates to The End
Finally my tale is at an end or slut as the case may be