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Chapter 46

Scarlett was awoken the next morning by a pearly sliver of light seeping through the room's thick, blue velvet curtains and casting a beam upon her down filled pillow. She blinked as the early morning light roused her to consciousness and rolled over and stared at the still sleeping Rhett. It was almost surreal to see him lying in bed next to her. She noticed his usually well-groomed hair, hung down lazily over his forehead in silken strands. She found herself drawn to the disheveled appearance of his dark locks, tousled during their rapturous evening of passion. She gazed wistfully at him some more, drinking in the essence of his arousing manliness, before she cursed herself. She pondered regretfully about all the years she'd lost of extraordinary lovemaking simply because she was fantasizing about a half specimen of a man like Ashley.

A few moments later, Rhett stirred and slowly opened his eyes. "Still worried that I'm a dried up old prude?" he asked as he focused on Scarlett with an amorous expression in his eyes and softly traced the outlines of her curvaceous, milky torso with his fingertips.

"Not at all, my husband. Not at all," she murmured sensuously as she moved in closer to give him a deep, lingering kiss, hoping he would take the hint that she wanted more.

After they shared another intimate encounter, they lovingly snuggled with each another and fell off into a light slumber. This time it was Rhett who woke first. Before he roused Scarlett, he took a few private moments to gaze upon her ravishing beauty. While he had been acquainted with a bevy of attractive women before he'd encountered Scarlett, it was her unique concoction of sultriness and innocence that had made him crave her from the very second he spotted her at Twelve Oaks. He recalled all those years of yearning for her and practically running to her house right after Frank's funeral so he could capture her for his very own through a marriage proposal. The stormy marriage that followed had been a very long heartbreaking episode, but at last a rainbow was starting to stretch across the horizon and the love he had been seeking from for her so long was coming to fruition.

After gazing at her adoringly for a while, he wanted her company again so he playfully tickled the soles of her feet to rouse her.

"Great balls of fire, Rhett!" Scarlett yelled out with a start before she fell into a fit of giggles.

"Good morning my precious queen. Are you ready to hear where I am taking you on your second honeymoon?"

Scarlett's eyes opened wide and glistened like two polished green apples in anticipation as she answered, "Oh, yes, Rhett do tell me where you're taking us!" she pleaded excitedly like a child begging to tear the wrapping off her birthday present.

He took her ivory hands into his and softly kissed each of them before he answered. "My dear, since you are my queen, how would you feel about spending your second honeymoon in the quaint city of Paris, France?"

"Rhett!" Scarlett exclaimed with joy and shock. "Do you mean it? I never thought I'd be going to Paris! That would be a dream come true!"

"My dear, that is all I ever wanted to do was to make your dreams come true. Please don't deny me that pleasure this time around!"

"Oh, Rhett," Scarlett responded with a tinge of guilt, "I don't know why I was such a fool!" she lamented.

"There'll be no more of that," he replied as he cupped her chin gently and turned her face towards him so he could speak directly into her eyes. "Through our separation, I believe we've both come a long way in discovering the reasons a marriage that should have been a bottomless well of happiness instead plunged into an abyss of nightmares."

"Oh, Rhett! You are so good to me!" Scarlett declared with authentic gratefulness. She finally cherished the abundance of gifts Rhett had given her since those early days when he would come to visit her during the war. Gone were the days when she would just use his love as a means of grabbing selfish treasures. "Well, let's go tell the others the news and after that can we leave on our journey right away?" she begged.

Rhett let out a deep laugh and hugged Scarlett close to him. "Of, course my dear. I can't wait to get started either."