Part 14

Note: This is not the last chapter. Sorry it's been so long to post but I have been busy with school and sick. Thanks to missysammy who said I would be rushing the story with only one chapter left. Which I knew haha but I needed a reminder. So next chapter is the last. Thank you Tudavant, Lulu0814, Tohru 12, Joyce Lakee and violet blossom for your reviews! They are very appreciated and you know I love each one of them. I hope you enjoy and please r&r. This is a short chaper but the next one will be longer. I tried to make Scarlett in character but it was hard...

The next day after Rhett's admission, Scarlett found herself in the Wilkes' parlor waiting for Melanie. She was shaken to her very soul from Rhett's admission. And she had run like a coward early in the morning before the house had awakened. Of course Rhett had left, no doubt to the bank, she didn't want to think of the possibility that he had went to Belle's after he had said he loved her.

She didn't know how she felt about Rhett's love for her. She was shocked and a feeling of hope, excitement and despair rose up in her. Did she dare hope Rhett and her could be happy? She wanted to desperately believe it but she was brought back to the fact that she didn't love Rhett... or at least she didn't think she did.

It was too soon to think about the possibility. She had just lost Bonnie and Ashley. She needed a time to heal and for her wounds to mend. Where was Melanie? Scarlett tapped her foot gently against the hard wood floor and sighed. She needed to speak with Melanie and pour her heart out to her. Melly would understand, she always had.

The door opened and Scarlett quickly rose to her feet and smiled. How wonderful it was to see Melanie! Melanie's face had a gentle smile on her face but her brows were puckered with worry.

"Darling, you're so pale... did anything-"

"No, Melly," Scarlett assured with a smile. "I only wanted a visit and well I can't be at home. Rhett- well it's so hard to explain."

"Please bring us a tray of tea, Pansy," Melanie softly ordered to her servant. The girl gave a cursty and seemed calmed by Melanie's voice. Scarlett knew everyone, servants and people alike loved Melanie. And where once it had caused her envy, Scarlett was glad that she was the closest to Melanie.

Melanie sat down beside her and took Scarlett's cool hand in hers. "Now darling tell me what's the matter."

"I-oh Melly, Rhett says well- that he loves me."

Melanie looked surprised then to Scarlett's horror, burst out laughing. Her face was alight with laughter and she placed a hand over her heart.

"Fiddle-dee-dee! Why are you laughing?"

Melanie's face then had a look of amazement. "You mean you didn't know that Captain Butler loves you surely-oh but, darling why it's evident! The way he dots over you and why how he took us out of Atlanta. The way he loved Bonnie..."

Scarlett's throat caught and she blinked away her tears. Bonnie, somehow she knew that thinking of Bonnie would always hurt. Rhett must be still suffering from the pain. She wanted to run home to him and tell him she did care, but love? She didn't know if she loved him. She was awfully fond of him and at times she almost...

"I don't know, Melly. I just don't know anything anymore. Nothing makes sense since Bonnie died and Rhett... Oh, I don't know how to feel or what to think."

"None of us rarely do darling but I always knew that I loved Ashley as I know Captain Butler loves you so. Be kind to him darling. I know you two can be happy. I'm sure of it! Why, I wish everyone was as happy as Ashley and I..."

Scarlett looked over at Melanie and saw the love shining in her eyes. She patted Melanie's hand. "I don't know about being that happy."

Pansy came in with the tray of tea and after she had left, Melanie poured Scarlett a cup and handed it to her. She gingerly sipped the hot liquid and was grateful for the warmth in her body. She felt cold and chilled to the bones.

"Now darling," Melanie said, "Let me speak and don't interrupt. I never believed any of that gossip about Ashley and you because I know how much Captain Butler loves you and how much you love him."

Oh if only you knew Melly, Scarlett thought sadly. Melanie could never know how long she had chased Ashley. How long she thought she had hated her. But her love Rhett? She tried not to think about it but it was there, looming and looking her in the face. Did she dare let herself entertain these feelings?

"Mama," Beau yelled, pushing the door open, he ran into the parlor with a grin. And then seeing Scarlett he paused on his route to his mother. "Auntie, no one told me you were here."

Scarlett smiled at the small replica of Ashley as he ran over to her. He gave her a big hug. Her arms tightened around the boy and she wished briefly that her children were like this around her. Not afraid of their own shadow or afraid of her. Then she thought of Bonnie and she felt her throat tighten. Forcing a smile on her face she looked at Beau.

"How is my best nephew?"

"I'm your only nephew," he reminded her. "I'm doing good. Can I come over soon and see Wade, Ella and Uncle Rhett? He told me that he would show me his battle scar."

It was evident Beau loved Rhett. His battle scar indeed. An image came to her mind of Rhett swinging his watch in front of Bonnie and her trying to grasp it. Bonnie had been a little over a year and Rhett had shown his scar to Wade. She placed her hand on her temples.

"Darling will you please be an angel and tell your father to tell the cook that Scarlett will be having lunch with us."

"Oh, I couldn't," Scarlett cut in with a tired sigh. "I don't want to over stay my welcome and-"

"Nonsense. Will you do that for me Beau?"

He nodded vigorously and ran off with an excited shout in the halls. Scarlett smiled a ghost of a smile. How resilient children were. Her and Rhett's world had been torn a part but the children were able to laugh and act as if nothing had happened. If only it were that easy...

She didn't realize she was crying until she felt Melanie's arms around her. Then did she let herself cry large gulping sobs. Inside her heart cried, "Oh Rhett what are we going to do? Will life ever be the same again?" Somehow she couldn't imagine ever being happy again.

TBC