Some dialog taken from the book. Sadly I own nothing.
Scarlett didn't have a clear memory of leaving the mill that day. She could recall the victorious glint in India's eyes and the malicious stare of Archie's. The last thing she could remember with any kind of clarity was Ashley quickly propelling her through the doors of the office. Now, Scarlett found herself lying in bed; nervously picking at the edge of her fine silk sheets.
"Oh, of all the days to be caught, why did it have to be today?" she thought to herself.
"Why couldn't it have been one the days when we were actually guilty?" she thought to herself miserably.
She wondered if Rhett knew. Had India or Archie been brave enough to tell him about what they had thought they had witnessed today? Scarlett relaxed as she dismissed the idea. Surely, if Rhett had heard he would have come home right away; yelling at her for ruining Bonnie's chances.
When she heard Rhett's light tread in the hallway, she tensed once more but as he bypassed her door she relaxed again. Perhaps there was some truth in the old adage that the husband was the last to know. Now, the only question was how to get out of going to the party without arousing Rhett's suspicion too much.
There was a swift knock on her door. Scarlett picked up one of her magazines laying close to her bed. She opened it up, hoping that she would come across as relaxed and unconcerned.
"Come in," she said, despising the slight quiver she heard in her voice.
"Am I actually being invited into the sanctuary?" His voice sounded normal, casual. She had to fight to keep the smile off of her face. Now, she was certain that he hadn't heard about the incident at the mill today. He walked into the room and shut the door behind himself.
"You aren't dressed for Melly's party." His voice was smooth; almost too smooth.
"Yes, I've decided not to attend, Rhett. Please give my apologies to Melly." Rhett raised an eyebrow.
"You've decided not to attend? Well, why the sudden change in heart? I'm sure you have been looking forward to this event for some time." Scarlett wondered if she was imagining the bitter tone creeping into his voice. Scarlett began to panic. She felt as if Rhett was trying to trap her even though his words and demeanor gave nothing away.
"Um, yes I was looking forward to it. But I no longer have any desire to attend." She wanted to sound confident but she could hear the uneasy quiver still in her voice.
The way Rhett was watching her, Scarlett could tell her did not believe her. And the longer he watched her with cool detachment, she got the sinking feeling that maybe he knew about this afternoon after all.
"And when have you ever passed on the chance to bask in the glory that is Ashley Wilkes?" His tone was so cold and bitter, Scarlett was taken aback.
"Oh, Um, Oh," was all Scarlett was able to mutter. She was at a loss for words. She couldn't explain her sudden disinterest. She couldn't tolerate his mocking, not today.
"I should have just told him I was sick," she thought to herself. But the ever darkening look on his face led her to believe that he wouldn't have accepted excuse either.
"What a cowardly, little bitch you are," he said with barely contained rage. And all the hope that he did not know about this afternoon died with that one cold sentence.
"You are going to that reception even if I have to drag you there every step of the way. Even if it is only so Miss Melanie can publically order you to leave her house." Rhett roughly grabbed her by the hands and pulled her from the bed. He left her standing in the middle of the room as he stalked off to her closet.
Scarlett looked with disappointment at the dress that Rhett had selected for the party tonight. It was a new dress; it was a deep crimson with feathers on the shoulders and gemstones scattered about the dress. It was low cut and form fitting. Before today, Scarlett would have been happy to wear that dress; in fact she might have picked it out herself. She would have worn it hoping for the chance that Ashley would have bestowed one of his lingering, lazy smiles on her. But now, after this dismal afternoon she didn't want to waste such a beautiful gown on what was sure to be a boring, drab little party. Scarlett couldn't stop the hysterical bubble of laughter that escaped from her lips. She just couldn't believe that today of all days was the day she caught in a compromising position with Ashley.
"And what pray tell is so amusing, my pet? I could certainly use a dose of humor this fine evening," he asked in a flat tone.
"It's nothing, Rhett. Let me ring for Mammy, so I can finish dressing for the party," she said in a tone that she hoped came across as dismissive.
"Ring for Mammy? So that you can barricade yourself in here for the rest of the night? No, I will lace you tonight." He went behind Scarlett and gave her laces a hard yank. Scarlett tried not to but she couldn't stop the loud gasp that escaped from her.
"Hurts doesn't it. Pity it's not around your neck. So, I ask again; what amused you so just moments ago, Scarlett?" She knew there was no hope that he would let the subject drop. She took a deep breath. How much could she tell him to get him to drop the subject without having to tell him everything?
"I laughed because we were caught today when we weren't really guilty of anything. It was just two old friends comforting each other. It wasn't like the other times when we actually were guilty of something."
Rhett gave her laces another savage yank. Scarlett was proud that only a small grunt escaped her instead of the scream that she really wanted.
"The times you WEREguilty?" his voice was dangerously low and Scarlett felt a tingle of fear rundown her spine.
"Nothing has happened in years. There was the time he was home from the war. I kissed him in Aunt Pitty's parlor. God's nightgown, Rhett! Uncle Peter, Aunt Pitty, Melanie anyone could have walked in on us!" Scarlett couldn't stop another bubble of laughter from coming up. "I even begged him to take me to war with him." Scarlett shook her head, it all seemed so ridiculous now.
"Or, why couldn't we have been caught the day before I came to you for the tax money? There were so many people for me to take care of and I was so tired. I just wanted him to take me away from everything. I'm not entirely sure who kissed who that day, but there was a house full of people and anyone of them could have stumbled upon us. No, it had to be today. It had to be today. Today, when I finally realized…" Scarlett nearly gasped. She had just revealed more than she had meant to. If he wouldn't let small bubble of laughter pass unnoticed, she had slim hopes that he would let this slip of the tongue pass. Scarlett cleared her throat.
"Rhett, you'll need to finish lacing me if we have any hopes of getting to this party on time."
"Today when you realized what exactly, Scarlett?" The tone of his voice had changed yet again. It sounded curious and if Scarlett had a little bit of intuition she might have detected a note of hope in his voice.
"Nothing, Rhett. It's not important."
"Perhaps, it is important to me, my pet." Scarlett jumped slightly; his voice was suddenly right next to her ear.
"Today, when I realized I no longer love Ashley." Suddenly, Scarlett found herself being spun around. She squared her shoulders as she prepared herself for his mocking, biting words. But, she instead as she looked at him she was surprised to see a flame burning brightly in his eyes.
Before she had a chance to analyze the look in his eyes, she found herself wrapped up in his arms. And as his lips descended on hers, all she could think was "THIS".
THIS warm, electric and dizzying feeling was what she had been hoping to feel today in Ashley's arms. THIS was a feeling that she had not let herself admit to missing for the past two years. THIS was a feeling that she was never going to let go of again.
She felt her feet leave the floor momentarily. Then she felt herself being lowered back onto the bed. How had it escaped her all these years that only Rhett's kisses left her feeling breathless; feeling faint? Neither of Ashley's kisses had made her feel this way.
Just as suddenly as Rhett's lips were on hers they left again. She let out a small groan of disappointment. She heard Rhett let out a small chuckle. He kissed the tip of her nose.
"We have to go to this party tonight, Scarlett. If we don't go you will never be able to hold your head up in town. And I have been working hard to ensure Bonnie's place in society."
Scarlett stared at him incredulously. While she had been thinking about how amazing his kisses were and provoked feelings in her that no one else ever had he had been thinking about the party and Bonnie's place in society?! Then a somber thought came to Scarlett's mind. Rhett had probably sharing passionate, breathless kisses with multiple women these past two years. He had made no secret that he had no problem seeking comfort elsewhere. Scarlett's thoughts were written clearly on her face. Rhett tenderly stroked her cheek.
"This is where I would prefer to be, but I want the world for Bonnie. You can understand that, can't you, Scarlett?" She nodded her head even though she really wanted to say no.
"Maybe we can just be a little late then," she said as she grabbed his jacket lapels and brought his mouth back down to hers. Their ardor flashed quickly again. Rhett let out a groan of reluctance as he broke off the kiss again. He rolled off of her and helped her back to her feet.
"I fear that we are already quite late as it is, my pet." He turned her around so he could work on her laces again. But, as he was aggressive and angry before he was tender and gentle this time. He paused often to lavish her neck and shoulders with kisses. Scarlett couldn't help but melt into his embrace.
"Hmm," he answered distractedly as he tenderly nipped at her neck.
"Maybe I ought to ring for Mammy, or I fear we will never leave this bedroom tonight." He chuckled lightly.
"You might be right about that, my pet."
All of the citizens were buzzing with excitement at the prospect of Ashley Wilkes's birthday party. An invitation to an event at the Wilkes's home was always very sought after but never more so than tonight's reception. What was going to happen tonight? Would Captain Butler call Ashley Wilkes out? Would Melanie order Scarlett from her home? Would India and Scarlett have some kind of confrontation? Would Melanie Wilkes and Captain Butler stand next to their errant spouses? The rumors of what really happened at the mill this afternoon grew more lascivious with each telling. Had Ashley and Scarlett really been caught in flagrante delicto? Yes, the party at the Wilkes household was most certainly the most sought after invitation that anyone could recall in recent years.
"Scarlett, darling, I'm going to ask you to stop that or we will be causing more than one scandal when we enter Miss Melly's party." She looked at him with confusion in her eyes until her eyes followed his. Her hand was dangerously high on his thigh. Embarrassed, she tried to move her hand quickly to her own lap but Rhett caught her hand before she could. He kissed the palm of hand; then he kissed her wrist. He could feel her pulse drumming through her veins excitedly.
"Hmm.. Still fond of me, I see."
"Yes," she answered breathlessly. He leaned over to capture one of her earlobes between his teeth. Her breath hitched and she let out a quiet moan. She turned her face so that her lips could meet his. Neither of them had noticed when the carriage had come to a stop. It wasn't until Pork knocked on the door that either of them came to their senses.
"Miss Scarlett, Mista Rhett, um…We's here," Pork said with some embarrassment. Rhett and Scarlett looked at each other and couldn't help but laugh. Scarlett looked very flushed. Her breath was ragged. Her eyes were bright and shiny. Rhett who was always impeccably groomed looked positively disheveled.
The party came to a complete stop when the Butlers graced the doorway to the Wilkes household. All of the partygoers waited with baited breath as to what would happen next. Everyone took in the unkempt look of both Scarlett and Rhett and couldn't help but wonder if some kind of altercation had taken place before they arrived.
Melanie rushed to Scarlett's side asking her to help her receive her guest as India was unable to attend the party. Scarlett realized that there would be little hope of escaping Melanie's clutches all night. She knew that there was no way that Melanie would allow her to leave until the last guest was gone.
The guests of Ashley's surprise birthday party left feeling more confused than when the party started. If something untoward had happened at the mill that afternoon, why had Melanie kept Scarlett stuck to her side all night? But if nothing had happed at the mill why had Ashley sat in the corner all night like some guilty child? And where was India? If nothing had happened couldn't Ashley had easily explained that to his sister? But most baffling of all was the behavior of the Butler's themselves. All night long the two could be seen casting glances at each other that were better left for the bedroom. With the heat coming off the two of them it was a wonder that they hadn't reduced the Wilkes house to embers. People were quick to say this must prove that nothing happened; India was just a jealous old maid, but still why was Ashley acting so guilty?
Pork had barely closed the door to their carriage before Scarlett launched herself at Rhett. His lips met hers just as eagerly. Tonight had been more torturous than he had anticipated. He had thought that he would have to endure a night of the old guard whispering about him, his wife and the Wilkes's and they probably had. But he couldn't concentrate on that tonight. All he could think about tonight was what she had said before the party. Granted, she hadn't declared her love for him but at least that wooden headed idiot was out of her heart now. All night her eyes were on him and on him only. At one point he looked at her and she bit her lip and went bright pink. He was dying to know what had been on her mind at that moment. He had wanted to leave the party and finish what they had started in her room and in the carriage beforehand. But, he could tell by the look of determination on Melly's face that Scarlett wasn't going anywhere. And so all night he felt as if he was being tortured as his wife watched him with barely concealed lust all night.
Again, there was a shy knock on the carriage door.
"Miss Scarlett, Mista Rhett; we's home now," Pork said with slight amusement in his voice.
"Thank you, Pork." Rhett untangled himself from Scarlett and escorted her out of the carriage. He held her close to his side as he let them into the house. As soon as the door closed behind them, he swept Scarlett up into his arms. She let out a little squeal of surprise.
"Rhett! Put me down. Anyone might see us!" She was blushing the most becoming shade of pink.
"Darling, Pork is probably already informing every one of our er..earlier activities in the carriage," he stated with amusement in his voice.
"Oh, no Rhett, he wouldn't. Would he?" Rhett had little doubt that he would but he tenderly kissed Scarlett's lips trying to ease some of her embarrassment. She quickly melted again in his embrace and he quickly carried his bride up the darkened staircase…
There will be a part two in the M section hopefully soon.