I do not own thecharacters. Margaret Mitchel does. This is my own fanfic...

"You don't want to change your mind about what I said last month? There's nothing like danger and death to give an added fillip. Be patriotic, Scarlett. Think how you would be sending a soldier to his death with beautiful memories."

He was kissing her now and his mustache tickled her mouth, kissing her with slow, hot lips that were so leisurely as though he had the whole night before him. Charles had never kissed her like this. Never had the kisses of the Tarleton and Calvert boys
made her go hot and cold and shaky like this. He bent her body backward and his lips traveled down her throat to where the cameo fastened her basque.

"Sweet," he whispered. "Sweet."

She saw the wagon dimly in the dark and heard the treble piping of Wade's voice.

"Muvver! Wade fwightened!"

Into her swaying, darkened mind, cold sanity came back with a rush and she remembered what she had forgotten for the moment — that she was frightened too, and Rhett was leaving her, leaving her. The thought of the reason charged at her furious mind –
he is going to die. Just like Charles, the Monroes, Alex and the Tarleton tweens. Something broke.

She pulled back. For a second she shut her eyes. Than with realization and powers she never knew she had she drew a hard breath and with a voice not her own she reached the wagon to her child

"Honey, why you are the bravest little boy that every lived in Georgia. Lay down and hold Aunt Melly's hand. There, there brave child. We shall soon be on our way home - to Tara."

The toddler lay down

She turned to Rhett who was observing her with attentiveness she had only now noticed –

"no", she looked him in the eye and whispered determined "no"

He pulled back.

"Rhett, I shall never be a mistress, not even to you. Not even if you are damned to die in a ditch in Virginia or burn in Atlanta because of your folly notions of honor and pride. Oh, how I hate the Cause! I don't want to be patriotic! It's so silly.
It killed all my friends. And now you? I hate you for leaving me here at this darkness. Oh, I know, my words mean nothing because you are a cad. You say you love me, and yet you will go, like they all did, and …"

Having said that she reached his face with her hands and held his face and held her tongue as if reaching for a word she had missed. She reached for his lips and kissed them without being invited to do so. Unlike his kisses that were manifestation of
self-constraint, her were frantic.

His hands were roaming in her hair as she pulled back again and with a slow motion she pulled him farther away.

"I shall never be a mistress Rhett Butler. Never utter that word in my presence again. Have me as your equal."

Scarlett hardly remembered the following.

In the months to come all she would recall was a blur of heat and tenderness so very different to the setting of hard ground and the thunders of bombs coming from the glowing Atlanta.

When they stood for a second she thought he'd laugh or say something horrid that would mortify her. He took her palm and pressed it to his cheek, muttering words that her agonized ears could not grasp.

He turned away and walked back toward the wagon. She saw him stand beside it, heard him speak and his voice was courteous and respectful as it always was when he spoke to Melanie.

"Mrs. Wilkes?"

Prissy's frightened voice made answer from the wagon.

"Gawdlmighty, Cap'n Butler! Miss Melly done fainted away back yonder."

"She's not dead? Is she breathing?"

"Yassuh, she breathin'."

"Then she's probably better off as she is. If she were conscious, I doubt if she could live through all the pain. Take good care of her, Prissy. Here's a shinplaster for you. Try not to be a bigger fool than you are."

"Yassuh. Thankee suh."

"Good-by, Scarlett."

She swallowed hard

"Captain Butler" -

Pulling her shoulders and her chin up as she served him with her palm. She saw the surprise spread in his eyes for a brink of a second.

He took it for the only farewell kiss that she would give -

"Milady"

There was no mock in his voice as he uttered his farewell salute.

She watched his big figure becoming smaller until she could not envision them in the darkness –

"Be safe ".

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