Sorry for the long delay! WARNINGS BEWARE. Some M stuff is included. Just skip the last part if it's not you're sort of bag. Please, please, please comment. I live for it ! -

Edited Thanks for the heads up Lor !

"She thinks I'm a sex addict."

Rhett ran his finger along the thick piping of the plush, yellow armchair. He sat closer to Dilcey than her usually did. It felt different, being this close. Almost as if she was able to see deeper into his soul the closer she was in proximity. He walked in and settled into the creamy plushiness immediately; purposely avoiding the leather couch he usually occupied with Scarlett.

"Do you think you are?" Dilcey asked.

"Think I'm what?"

"A sex addict."

He shook his head no. Of course, he enjoyed sex, but he wasn't a sex addict.

He began to regret coming to see Dilcey on his own. The soothing sound of her voice was lulling him into a feeling of security. More than the fear of revealing too much to her, he was terrified of having to reveal it to himself. During their joint sessions with her, it was usually Scarlett who did most of the talking. Who knows what truths she would pull out of him while he was here on his own. " I don't know why I did what I did. I know that sounds like bullshit, Dilcey, but it's the truth."

Dilcey's placid face slightly nodded in understanding. " How old were you when your father kicked you out of the house, Rhett ?"

"Fourteen. Why?"

"Tell me about it."

"I don't see what that has to do with anything, Dilcey. I want my wife back. I want my family back. Why waste time on something that happened so long ago and is totally unrelated?"

"Which one of us is the professional, Rhett ?" Typically, she asked Scarlett this several times throughout their sessions.

Rhett took a deep breath and sat back into his chair. "What do you want to know?"

"Were you close to your father?"

Close to him ? Rhett hated him. Kin Butler was a hard man. Hard in business, hard on his wife, and hardest on his oldest son. " No, I wasn't close to my father at all."

"What happened on the day he threw you out?"

Rhett splayed his large, brown fingers out; inspecting the wrinkled and age spotted hands that were identical to his father's. Rhett didn't want to do this. He only started to coming to these independent sessions with Dilcey as a sort of " show" for Scarlett. A way to prove to her that he was actively trying to seek help. He did not want to drudge up old demons that were best kept hidden.

"He was hurting my mother and I tried to stop him." Rhett Butler had witnessed horrific tragedies in his sixty years on earth. He had dismissed many of them as a part of living. Everyone has their own struggles, right? But other than seeing his wife's broken body lying at the foot of the stairs, witnessing his father beating his mother was the most reprehensible sight he could not forget.

" How? How did you try to stop him?"

"I hit him with a hockey stick ." Rhett could remember the loud crack the solid wood made as it broke across his father's back. "It was the first time I ever stood up to him. He was stunned a little I think and stopped hitting my mother and turned his attention towards me. He beat the living hell out of me. He said I was dead to him and that I was no longer welcome in his house. He threw me out with the clothes on my back and nothing else. "

"What did your mother do when all this was happening?"

Rhett shrugged his broad shoulders. "What could she do? He would have killed her if she stepped in and tried to stop him."

" Did she try to reason with him once he calmed down? Did she try and make sure you were alright? You were a child living on the streets of South Carolina. She never once tried to make contact with you ? To check on you? See if you had food or shelter?"

Rhett's eyes were fixed downward as he answered. "I don't know. I tried a couple of times to talk to her - In secret , you know? When he wasn't around kind of stuff. She still wouldn't see me. I guess she was just too afraid."

Dilcey wrote something in her blue journal. " What did you do once you realized that she wouldn't help you?"

"I became very good at stealing what I needed. One night, I stole a lady's purse and found almost five hundred dollars in it. I bought a bus ticket to New Orleans, figuring that a thief without family, money, or a decent education could make it in a city like that. When I got there, I found the city ripe for the taking. The tourists were easy targets for a young, clean – cut kid like me. I made friends with the other punks in the quarter and they became my new family. After a few months, I met Belle. She was a back-alley prostitute back then and no stranger to life in the streets of the city. We hustled every poor sap we could. Belle would distract them while I lifted their wallets. We made a great team. She shared everything she had with me. She never left me. She loved me, and I knew I could always count on her."

Dilcey made a "mmm-hmm" sound to indicate her understanding. "Then what happened?"

"Belle was my savior- my best friend even, but I knew I wanted more out of life than the one I was living with her. I called my grandfather in Washington and he agreed to send me to school to finish my education. He hated my father more than I did and paid for me to go to a military boarding school in Virginia and then straight on to West Point. No one in my family would even speak to me. For years, every phone call I made was rejected and all my mail was returned unopened. Even my grandfather wouldn't truly acknowledge me; he never visited or invited me to spend my holidays and summers in Washington with him. He only sent money to pay the tuition and some pocket money. I was shocked when I found out that he left me everything when he died. Belle was a dancer in the quarter by then. She stood out amongst the other dancers with her fire-red hair and was making good money. We decided to pool our assets and open the first elite gentlemen's club in the Vieux Carre. I was the silent partner and financier and she ran the day to day stuff." Rhett smiled as he thought about those exciting days with Belle. Dilcey remained silent as he continued.

"I could tell she wanted me to marry her. But I couldn't. Call it arrogance or elitist, but I couldn't see her as my wife. So , I stayed in school determined to be proper gentleman and make my mother proud. And then, when I was thrown out of West Point for fighting in the middle of my senior year, I said a big "fuck you" to the Army and joined the Navy. I traveled all over the world and went home to Belle when I was on leave. It was all so fun and exciting. Once the Gulf War started, right before I shipped out for my first tour during Desert Storm, I tried to contact my mother again. I was scared I would die never hearing her voice again. She still wouldn't take my call. Wouldn't even let me talk to my little sister. " Rhett shook his head in defeat. " Belle came to see me ship off. She told me that she loved me and that I better come back safe to her if I knew what was good for me."

He smiled." I seem to surround myself with volatile women even then, you see."

Dilcey let out a little laugh at that.

"I moved up in the ranks quickly during the Gulf War. I was fearless. There wasn't anything I wouldn't do , no mission too dangerous. I made it to Captain in no time. I had all my pay sent back to Belle and she invested it in all kinds of things, playing in the stock market and international trade, making a lot of money. She's really smart, you know. Years later, when it came time to re-enlist, I decided it was time from the Navy. I starting investing more- opened my investment firm. I made my first ten million that first year. Belle came and tacked a dollar bill to my office wall. To remind me where it all began, she said. She had a baby by then, a boy – Taz, my now son-in-law. I knew he wasn't mine, but I loved spending time with him; bringing him little presents, teaching him about horses and taking care of him. I honestly thought about marrying her and adopting Taz. We'd be the perfect couple when you thought about it : the gambler and the prostitute turned madam."

"Why didn't you?" Dilcey asked as she held her pen steady on the paper in the journal.

" I was going to. Bought the ring and everything." Rhett took in a deep breath and leaned back in the chair.

"But..." Dilcey encouraged.

"I invested in a business venture with an old shipmate who lived in Atlanta – Frank Kennedy. I was going to get things off the ground with him and then ask Belle to marry me as soon as I returned to Louisiana. He had asked Sue to marry him and invited me to their engagement party that weekend. I went and then I met… "

"Scarlett"

"Yes." He closed his eyes remembering how he watched her ascend the staircase with her friend. So utterly beautiful. "From that moment on, I was a goner. She took my breath away. I loved her from the moment I laid eyes on her. I practically stalked her. I had to have her. I tried to be her friend at first then tried to convince her to be my mistress. You can imagine her reaction to that suggestion. She said she wanted nothing to do with me- slapped me right across the face. She must have called me every name in the book. She threatened to have me arrested, said she had a gun- and knew how to use it, that she would castrate me and put my balls on her office desk as a decoration…."

"And Belle? Where was she throughout your budding romance with Scarlett ?"

"Belle was still there. I told her that I couldn't marry her, that it wouldn't be right- but would always take care of her and Taz. She told me that she understood how I could be captivated by Scarlett, but that it would never work in the long run. Every time I was refused by Scarlett, and that was a lot, Belle was there in an instant. Salving my wounds, telling me she loved me and would never leave me. Then, things starting falling into place. My father died, and my mother began answering my letters – taking my calls. Scarlett filed for a divorce from Frank. She had another baby by then– Ella; and I adored her. I pretended that she and Wade were mine even. We started sleeping together and I knew my life would never be complete without her and convinced her to marry me."

"How did Belle take this?"

Rhett smoothed his mustache with his thumb and forefinger." Belle … Belle was….crushed. But she never left me. She was always there when I needed her."

Dilcey crossed her arms and pursed her lips together. " I see."

"What? You see what ?", Rhett asked her, suddenly irritated at what he perceived to be her sanctimonious attitude.

"You were abused and left homeless by your father at a very young age. The one person you thought you could count on, no matter what – the one who was supposed to love you completely, ignored you when you needed her the most. And when you were alone and scared, you were rescued by Belle. She was the one constant in your life, your family. When your mother left you out there on the streets alone - a cruel act of abandonment …."

"My mother is not cruel !"

"Rhett, I'm sorry, but leaving your teenaged son out on the streets, alone, homeless, and with no way of making it in the world, is worse than cruel. It's malicious. Refusing to see or speak to him each time he reaches out is emotional abuse. Shutting him out from his family, from any financial support is criminal. I ask you, Rhett; you've called Scarlett cruel on a number of occasions, as I recall. But you defend your mother against the same accusations. Do you think Scarlett would ever do something like this to any of your children? Say, when Wade gets engaged to a New Yorker? Or when Ella runs off and marries Belle's son? How about when Bonnie is caught with drugs? Your wife is someone you classify as being heartless and cruel. Would she turn a blind eye to her children's pleas for help?"

Rhett shook his head. "No, she'd never do that."

"You do have a fear of abandonment, Rhett – as we've discussed. When this fear surfaces and you're scared you'll be left again, you seek refuge in Belle or in women like her because it feels safe. It's what you know; your definition of comfort and real love. But your fears of abandonment aren't rooted in your relationship with Scarlett, or even with your father."

"They are, Dilcey. They've both broken me in more ways than one. My father beat me. He almost killed me. My wife was in love with someone else for half of our marriage. She still sees him every day. Calls him one of her best friends ! Tell me, who else could be the cause of what I feel, if not them?"

Dilcey placed the blue journal on the table beside her. She sat back and folded her hands in her lap. "I think it's time to be honest about your relationship with your mother."

STW

Scarlett shielded her eyes from the hot Georgia sun as she looked out at the massive heaps of lumber that had just been delivered. Her foreman, Johnny, was fast but not always precise. An order of this magnitude , and from the state no less, had to be done correctly. He had protested against her increased involvement, reminding her that she agreed to no questions and no interference in the way he got things done. She recounted with a new agreement, stating that no questions and no interference from her would also mean no paycheck.

" Is that the last of it ?", she called out to Johnny as he stood checking off items on his clipboard. He nodded. She could feel beads of sweat rolling down her spine. It was an unusually hot day considering they were in the month of November and she cursed her decision to wear silk.

"Why, hello there !" a voice called out to her from a distance.

Richard Fenton strode up to her wearing a yellow hard hat. Tufts of his blonde hair stuck out from underneath. His blue oxford shirt was rolled up to his elbows and open enough at the top to show the top of his smooth sternum. She felt butterflies floating around in her stomach as he walked closer. It unnerved her to feel an intense physical attraction for him. It almost was like the intense reaction she had that summer when Ashley turned from her playmate to the foremost object of her desire.

She smiled at Richard and felt her lashes flutter a bit. Damn it, Scarlett O'Hara - you whore, she thought. She had flirted so much throughout her life, that it was almost as if it were now a natural physical reaction. Something she had no control over. Sort of like sneezing or coughing.

"I didn't think I'd find you here." His posh accent drove her crazy with lust. She could listen to him read her the phone book.

"Oh. I just came to check that the lumber was delivered on time. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service." More eyelash fluttering. This time accompanied by a dimpled smile.

"Well then, as a customer, I am highly satisfied".

He smelled delicious. A mix of the sweet smell of the cedar wood and musky aftershave. She breathed in large amounts of it until she felt dizzy. Very dizzy. Shit ! , she thought. When was the last time she ate? She did not want to pass out here.

"I do have a question for you though. Some of the wood looks a little different than I was expecting. It's smooth to the touch and a little green in color."

She smiled, gathered her bearings, and explained the milling process to him. "Yes, it's a higher quality softwood. Its meant to be mostly free of knots and other defects. It's stronger and dried to a specific temperature to keep out moisture and withstand the elements."

"Impressive. Tell me, how is it that you know so much about lumber?"

She shrugged one of her shoulders, unaware of the sexiness of the gesture. "I know business. And lumber is the product that I just so happen to produce in my business. So, I know lumber. If we made electrical outlets or boots, I'd know them."

She cursed herself for being so honest with him. She should have given him the response she always gave to her clients: I do this because I feel passionate about producing high quality lumber that everyone can afford. But she was tired of lying and pretending to be something she was not.

"I was just about to head out and get some dinner. " He tasted the American word for the evening meal on his tongue. "Care to join me?"

Say no, say no, say no , she told herself.

"I'd love to."

She followed him to a sushi restaurant that she'd never seen before. Rhett wasn't a big fan of Japanese cuisine , so her experiences eating hibachi or sushi were limited to sporadic solo ventures. She surveyed her surroundings before placing her napkin in her lap. She half expected Rhett to rush in with accusations of infidelity on her part. Demanding to know why she was having dinner with another man. Either that, or India – or some other nosey bitch like her- sticking their nose in her business.

"Welcome back !" Their waiter, a balding man with a face full of wrinkles, said as he handed them menus and chopsticks. " Going exotic this time? Much improved if I may say so myself ", he said as he looked at Scarlett and winked in Richard's direction.

"You've eaten here before?" she asked while wiping her hands with the warm towel placed before her.

"Only once. I was on a first date. With a blonde. He was my waiter then too. He must think we're on a date."

"Were just friends" he told the jovial waiter.

She felt a pang of jealously at the thought of Richard on a date. She knew this was ridiculous and she had no right to feel this way, but still, she seethed inwardly at the fact that Richard was dating. She imagined some tawdry, big breasted blonde – ridiculously young and moronic.

"First and only date. I'm beginning to think finding love in one of those on-line dating sites might be a better option than what I've been doing."

"Oh" she said in her best attempt to appear nonchalant. "Are the women in Atlanta not to your liking?", she asked coquettishly while biting the tip of her straw in her water glass as she slowly sipped the liquid into her mouth. She noticed how Richard's eyes were focused on her mouth and made of show of stopping the flow of water from her straw with her tongue. He lifted his gaze from her mouth to her eyes. The low lighting made them sparkle a mossy green. "No, I like the women of Atlanta very much."

They ordered Miso soup, fried dumplings, spring rolls, two orders of crunchy rolls and something called the dragon's blood roll. She had never had miso and was apprehensive about the clear liquid that had been set before her. She found it to be delicious; and even with the bits of white tofu floating within, she began gulping it down in very unlady-like slurps. She couldn't remember the last time she had a proper meal and was reminded again of Gordon's admonishment at her lack of care for herself. She was going to eat everything on her plate and didn't care how it made her look.

She felt at ease with Richard. It was a sense of comfortableness that she craved now- more than ever. He made her laugh in the way that Rhett had done during the early days of their friendship. Their conversation flowed freely and had none of those awkward moments of silence that one often felt when conversing with someone new. They talked about their sons – how they were liking Kindergarten, crazy things they heard about dating websites, the beauty of amazon prime, how growing up in England was different than growing up in America, and their shared interest of one-liners from slap-stick comedies from years past.

"Dong, where is my automobile ?" she laughed.

"No, no, no. How about this one: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking!", he shot back.

"Looks like the I picked the wrong week to quit drinking." Scarlett knew the scenes in Airplane by heart too. Rhett hated the film and would tell her that her brain was melting each time she watched it.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit taking amphetamines !" Richard cantered.

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue!" she said as they both erupted into laughter. She snorted a little laugh as she grabbed at her left ribs. "Ow. My side hurts from laughing so much."

"I won't show you my truffle shuffle then."

She threw her head back in laughter again. People were staring at them, but she didn't care.

"Now you have to show me."

"Maybe. When you're ready."

Richard grabbed a chopsticks and used them to thwart Scarlett's attempts to take the last dumpling.

"You're going to have to fight me for it" he told her.

"Be careful", she said in a silky voice. "I fight dirty."

"Do you now?".

Their poorly disguised sexual banter was interrupted when the waiter appeared with rectangular plates balanced on his open palms. " Dragon's blood and crunchy rolls?"

They moved back to allow their plates to be set down before them. Scarlett watched as Richard placed a roll in is mouth. "Wow. That's hot." He said as he blew out a puff of breath and reached for his water.

"Yeah, I figured it would be - seeing as it is named dragon's blood. That's why I stuck to something I knew." She shifting the roll in her mouth to the side as she spoke in her best Valley girl accent, " Do you want one of mine "?

She moved a roll toward him before noticing that he didn't reach to grab it with his chopsticks but rather leaned forward with his mouth slightly open. She felt the blush rising in her cheeks as she placed the sushi into his mouth with her own chopsticks. He made a mmmm sound as he savored the sticky rice covered in tempura flakes.

" Okay, here's a serious question for you", he said, licking the last bits of the golden flakes that had stuck to the corner of his mouth.

She wondered if he felt the tension between them or noticed her flushed face. She could feel her pulse quickening in anticipation at what he was about to ask her. Would it be: Can I kiss you? Come home with me? Do you want me as much as I want you?

"You are stuck on a deserted island. What is the one luxury item you have with you?"

"Can it be anything?"

"Yes. Anything. But only one."

She thought for a moment. One thing? Could she even pinpoint one singular item she couldn't live without?

When she thought about it, the saddest thing during her twenty yearlong marriage to Rhett wasn't all the times he cheated or even the loss of their baby. It was, that in those years, Scarlett forgot who she was. Little by little, her own sense of self was whittled away to nothing. When Rhett asked her to marry him, she had told him that she did not love him and that she didn't want to ever get married again. Married life with Frank had been THAT terrible. He seemed unfazed by her honest declaration and told her that he did not love her either, but that marrying him would be fun. He wore her down -begging, pleading, and even threatening her until she said yes.

And it was fun. At first. He denied her nothing in those early days and spoiled her with the most beautiful clothes and expensive jewelry imaginable- any frivolous request was granted. He told her that she could be honest with him; that he'd always be there to protect her. He made her laugh constantly and told her the most risqué tales that made her both embarrassed and thrilled. She felt safe and for the first time in her life, she shared her dreams, her fears, how she felt so lost when her mother died, her reasons for her hatred of Frank, the details of her childhood, how she found out that Gerald wasn't her biological father. But when she was honest to him about Ashley, saying that her feelings for him were complicated, he would fly off the handle and berate her, calling her the worst names and damn her cheating soul to hell. He'd leave for days at a time in a fit of anger and then would suddenly appear out of nowhere with roses; sweeping her up in his arms and carrying her to their bedroom where he would make passionate love to her for hours as if nothing had ever happened.

He'd say the meanest things to her – provoke her anger only to laugh at her, as if it were fun for him or some type of foreplay; silencing her venomous retort by raining kisses down the length of her body. It was confusing to her - how he would show how much he cared in the little things he did ; especially when she was pregnant with Bonnie. She was furious when she found out and told him that she didn't want any more children and that this was his fault for convincing her to use the withdrawal method as birth control. He laughed at her and sat there, saying that no one put a gun to her head and forced her to agree to it and told her that if she didn't want the baby she should just give it to Melanie since she was the only real mother figure to Wade and Ella anyway. It was during those nine months that things were changing between them. She felt that their marriage was shifting (in a good way) and that she was possibly falling in love with her husband. He was so wonderful to her and so good to Wade and Ella.

She gathered the nerve to ask him one night if the reason he was so good to them was because he loved her. She was leaning against his chest as he rubbed the taut skin on her swollen belly with cocoa butter. He was silent for a moment .

Instead of answering her, he asked the same question to her. "Do you love me ?"

She turned her head to look at his face. For some reason she felt as though she were going to cry. The only man who had ever told her that he loved her, one that she really believed to be true to his word, was her father. Not Ashley, or Charlie, and certainly not Frank. If Rhett loved her – truly and completely loved her in that delicate way between a man and a woman, he'd be the first.

" I…. I don't know what I feel, Rhett. I'm so confused."

His face became hard as he let out a rumble of laughter in his chest. He moved his hands away from her distended belly. " No, my pet. I don't love you. It's just that I've invested quite a bit of money in you and I'd hate to lose it."

She then realized, after Bonnie was born and during the nightmare of years that followed, that the only method of cultivating a harmonious life with her husband was to be whatever it was that he wanted her to be in that moment. He called her ignorant, so she secretly took online courses in history and science. He made fun of her taste in clothes and architecture, so she hired a personal shopper and an interior designer. He called her a bad mother, so she tried her hardest to relate to her children; especially Ella – who tried her patience more than her brother and sister combined. And then when he left her- broken, alone, and despondent after her baby and best friend died, despite all the changes to her person she had tried to make, the remaining confidence she had in who she was had vanished. She begged him to stay; something she said she would never do for any man. She pleaded with him to give their life together a second chance, declared her love to him while literally clinging to his feet. And all her told her as he walked out of their front door, was that he didn't want a second chance with her and that he didn't give a damn about what she did with the remainder of her life as long as it didn't involve him.

The one thing she wanted, more than anything, was to go back and change things, to find herself again. To right so many of her wrongs.

"A Tardis. I'd bring a Tardis."

Richard put down his chopsticks in awe. "That is the most brilliant answer ever."

STW

She drove home feeling a little lightheaded – happy even. She had thoroughly enjoyed her dinner with Richard. He'd insisted that he pay for the meal. "Even thought this isn't a date", he'd said to her with a wink. He walked her out to her car and then lingered a little before saying goodbye. Scarlett kissed him on his cheek and thanked him for a wonderful evening. In that single second, when her lips touched his face, she felt a tingling sensation go down her spine. Could she honestly be falling for this guy? Was this for real? No, she assured herself. She was just riding the wave of receiving admiration from a handsome, virile male after being deceived by her husband. Typically story: wife of cheating husband looks for hot guys as some sort of revenge- was all that it was.

But, one thing was for sure. She was enjoying the hell out of it.

She could hear the high pitched squeals of Gerry as soon as she walked in the door of her house. " Mommy, Grand-père is ticklin' me to death!"

She smiled as she walked toward her father and son. "Let me get some tickles in there too, Phillipe!" Gerry's face was red with silent laughter. " 'Nough! 'nough! ", he yelled. Scarlett pulled her son into her arms and squeezed him in a tight hug. Rhett must have dropped the kids off while she was gone. Thank God.

"I missed you, Tootsie. Did you have fun with Daddy?"

"Yes." He said as he wiggled out of her embrace. He emptied out the contents of his pockets onto the plush foot cushion near the fireplace for his grandfather to see. A grandpa who actually talked and walked was an exciting novelty to him. Scarlett moved to sit next to Cat who was seated on the sofa at the far side of the room. Cat picked at her cuticles as she rocked slightly back and forth- clearly upset.

"Hi, Kitty Cat. I missed you. Shake hands?"

"Cat doesn't want to do that anymore. Cat won't go back."

" Cat ", Scarlett began to speak but was cut off by Cat's raised voice and increased rocking. " Cat does not want to go back!"

"Okay. We'll figure something out". Scarlett said while running her finger tips along Cat's arm. It had to be something serious that happened. Cat speaking in third person was never a good sign. When she began to settle down, Scarlett asked her if she wanted to go brush the mane of her horse. Cat nodded without looking at her mother and stared forward. Aggie, their oldest mare, had undoubtably become Cat's horse. The two were inseparable. The sudden changes happening at home were completely overwhelming to her and Aggie seemed to be the one who helped Cat the best.

Scarlett called out to Lou; their long-time, disgruntled nanny, and asked her to walk Cat to the stables.

Lou glared at Phillipe as she walked past him. It was no secret that she hated him. She called him "Scheisse" (Shit) instead of by his name and told Scarlett that she thought that she was mad for letting him stay here. "Biological father , or not" , she'd said.

Since Mammy had died and Rhett had moved out, Lou had become her most trusted ally. She took to the role with gusto, relishing the opportunities to give her opinion and rule the house with more force than she had before. She had disagreed with Scarlett's decision to inform the children that Phillipe was their biological grandfather and was adamantly against her allowing him to live in her home while he was in America. Her tyrannical manner had thrown the balance of things off with the staff, causing even sweet Mrs. Fritz to bristle and shout at Lou that she was nothing more than a new version of Hitler.

"Katharina, komm, meine Liebe" , Lou said to Cat in her native, German tongue. Scarlett held on to Cat's hand with both of hers as she rose to follow Lou. "I love you, Kitty Cat."

Cat almost smiled at her. " Ich liebe dich auch, Mama." German. Her home was becoming the United Nations. English, German, Gaelic, French, and even Bonnie's mangled Spanish were spoken here on a daily basis.

"What was that about " , she asked Phillipe once Cat left the room. "Did something happen when Rhett dropped them off?"

Phillipe said no, that everything was fine when he dropped them off. Rhett had come in, shook his hand, and said that it was a pleasure to finally meet him. That the kids came tumbling in, dispersing into various areas of the house. Nothing to warrant any concern.

Scarlett called out for Bonnie who took her own, sweet time to appear; shuffling slowly down the stairs with her eyes glued to her phone. "Did anything happen with Daddy to make your sister so upset ", Scarlett asked upon her descent.

"Hello to you too, mama."

"Hello, sweetheart." She then repeated her question. " Did something happen with Daddy to make your sister so upset?"

Bonnie's faced looked pinched. She debated telling her mother what had happened this weekend. She knew her mother would be livid and that it would escalate into a huge fight between her parents. But she also didn't want Cat to have to suffer each time they visited their dad either. She had to tell her.

"It's the bedsheets. Cat hated them. She said they're itchy and she that she won't sleep on them. She threw a huge fit and starting screaming at Dad. Then she starting tearing the room apart, making Gerry cry and starting hitting herself in the head with her fists. Dad was really pissed and grabbed her by her arm and pushed her in her room and locked her in."

"He what ?!"

"When she calmed down a little, he told her that he wouldn't put up with her ridiculous demands and that she might be able to pull this kind of crap with you, but not with him. And then he…."

"He what ! What did he do, Bonnie !"

"He punished her for the whole weekend."

Without listening to any further details, Scarlett grabbed her keys and barreled through to the garage, calling out to the man who was in the middle of detailing her tires to "Start my car and move out of the way." She peeled out onto the asphalt of the highway, barely stopping for red lights and stop signs. She was in downtown Atlanta in record time. She parked her car in front of Rhett's apartment building, ignoring the bellman's cries of ," Lady, you can't park here!"

"Then FUCKING tow it!" she screamed back at him.

Rhett sat sipping his whiskey and relishing the peaceful silence after spending two whole days with the constant noise that came with his children. A cigar dangled in his hand, billowing the sweet smoke around the room.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

It sounded as though the police were outside his door with a battering ram.

THUMP THUMP THUMP

"What the hell?", he said as he went to open the door. Thank heaven he lived in the penthouse and secluded from the other tenants. If it wasn't already the police out there, they would have surely been called at the sound of banging, had he neighbors.

It wasn't the police out there. It was worse.

"You!"

Scarlett. She must have been out there kicking the door with everything she had in her. He felt his breath catch at the sight of her. He hadn't seen her in almost two weeks and was almost crazy with longing. She was gorgeous : gorgeously infuriated, his favorite type of gorgeous – her cheeks flushed a deep pink, her lips full and red, and her green eyes blazing with fire. Her hair was a wild mess of curls that fell across her shoulders and framed her beautiful porcelain face. He watched as she took in huge gulps of air; her breasts visibly rising and falling each time.

Here she was, his beautiful wife, so deliciously furious. He acted without thinking as he cupped the back of her neck and pulled her toward him and kissed her. Immediately, she wrapped her arms around him, tangling her long fingers in is hair as she kissed him back; meeting his tongue with her own. He lifted her into his arms, feeling her trembling legs cling tightly around his waist. He kissed her throat and collar bone as she offered her neck to him. She almost ripped the buttons off her Armani blouse as she peeled the silk fabric away to allow him better access to her breasts; unfastening her lace bra with one hand as he gently grazed her hardened nipples with his teeth and tongue. He balanced her rear on his forearm, cupping the luscious curves of her bottom with one hand as he yanked open his trousers with the other. Kicking the door closed and pressing her forcefully against the cool industrial steel, he lifted her skirt – tearing off her panties, and entered her in one, swift move. They both stilled for a moment, her head had fallen back against the wall as they both relished the familiar sensation of deeply filing each other after so long an absence. He began thrusting into her in reckless, frenzied movements that she desperately tried to keep up with by arching her back and crashing her hips back into him. When her release finally came, it was so intense that she bit down on her bottom lip with such force that she tasted blood. She relaxed her exhausted body against Rhett's chest until he too was at rest, finishing with her name being said through his clenched teeth. Once their breathing returned to a semblance of normalcy , he gently lowered her shaking body to solid ground. He held her in his arms for a while, and then kissed her bruised, swollen lips.

"Get off of me." She pushed herself out of his arms.

Rhett turned toward her, puzzled by her capricious change in attitude. "What? That was amazing, and you know it."

"That was not what I came here for, you animal !", she said while rebuttoning her blouse and adjusting her skirt. Her panties were unsalvageable and would need to be thrown away.

"We were both animals just then." He smiled at her, baring his white teeth. "Why did you come then, if not for that? Admit it, you wanted me."

"You conceited nature never fails to amaze me.

I'm here because you punished Cat for the whole weekend because she had an episode. What the hell, Rhett! She's autistic. This happens sometimes when she gets upset. This is not her fault- and you know this! So, she didn't like the feel of the bedsheets. So what ? Buy some fucking new ones for her bed! "

Rhett locked the door and pulled his trousers up but left his shirt unbuttoned. Scarlett was aghast at the fact that they just had sex with the front door unlocked. She closed her eyes in mortification as she remembered that she was essentially topless in the hallway near they the elevator too. Surely this building had security cameras, and this was all recorded for all to see. Great. Now she had a sex tape out there.

" No, it wasn't just an episode, Scarlett. She tore this whole damn place apart. Look around." He gestured to the ramshackled apartment. There were broken items swept into numerous piles across the wood floor. " The sheets were only part of it. She was off from the moment she got here. She hated everything – the couch, the view, the smell, the food, the lighting. She was totally out of control. She was screaming and breaking things and even started hurting herself. I was so afraid she'd do something like jump off the balcony or run out into traffic, so I locked her in her room until she calmed down. You and I both know how she likes clear-cut rules and explicit directions, so when she asked me why she had to stay in the room , I told her it was because she was punished."

"Then why didn't you call me?"

"And tell you what ? That I can't handle my own children?"

Scarlett placed her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at him as if to call him out. "Well, you obviously cannot."

Rhett brows furrowed. He pointed his finger at his wife as he spoke . "You know what , Scarlett? She plays you like a fool. She knows you'll give her anything when she gets upset, so she acts like this to get her way. She knows mama will just rush right in and save the day. Just like you're doing now."

Scarlett stood motionless. Her mouth was open to speak, but no sound came out.

"What ? You know I'm right, Scarlett."

"No, I'm just wondering if you've always been this ignorant or if this overwhelming stupidity you seem to possess is just a result of your old age."

They both turned at the sound of a key being placed in the door lock. Rhett heard Scarlett gasp as Belle walked in with her arms full of groceries. "Hey babe, can you give me a hand", she asked from behind the brown paper bags.

"Scarlett, this isn't what it looks like ", he said as he saw Scarlett's eyes open wide in shock.

She looked back at him and curled her top lip in disgust. "Why am I not surprised? You make me sick, Rhett Butler. Physically sick."

She turned toward Belle. "I'd give him some time before you need him to get it up again, Belle. He just screwed me right where you're standing not even ten minutes ago."

She crossed her hands over her heart as she spoke," I hereby give you both my blessing for a happy, disease -filled life together. He's all yours, Belle. Please, feel free to enjoy my sloppy seconds - you fat, fucking cunt."