I don't owe the characters of Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler and the characters in Gone With the Wind but I do owe this story-well part of it.
(A/N This story takes place after Rhett returns with Bonnie, Wade and Ella haven't been born, sorry)
When Scarlett opened the door to the house that Rhett had built her years ago, the first thing to catch her eyes was luggage trunks, next was her daughter, screaming "Mother" and throwing herself into her mothers open arms.
"Darling Bonnie, I've missed you so very much!"
"I missed you mother, next time you will come too, please," Bonnie's eyes looked imploring into her mother's emerald green eyes.
"Of course, I will sweetheart" Scarlett kept her eyes on her daughter, not daring to look at Rhett. She had missed him very much, more then she had missed anybody in her life, but he had hurt her deathly before he left with Bonnie. Now she didn't know what to expect from him.
He couldn't care, after all he had went from their lovemaking to that creature - Belle. "How would you survive without your beloved- business my pet?" Rhett's eyes were cold, his expression careless.
"What would you know of love Rhett except for the one that can be bought," Scarlett passed him still with Bonnie in her arms, she wouldn't tell him, not when he was so mean to her. It would be her secret, her gift alone.
"Let's unpack you baby."
For the first time in Bonnie's life Scarlett stayed and listened to her happy telling of her grandmother and Charleston.
"I sailed with daddy in a boat and we seed doll fines mother," Bonnie's eyes sparkled from the memories.
"Dolphins, do you mean dolphins? "
Bonnie nodded her head energetic, she enjoyed her mother's rare attention. Scarlett had missed her daughter and she had felt terrible alone for the three months her daughter and husband had been gone.
That night supper was served in a tense atmosphere, Scarlett and Rhett avoided each other and both only addressed their daughter, Rhett had stayed out of Scarlett's sight since his return. What he had been doing she didn't know or wanted to know. In return Scarlett retired after dinner with a quick goodnight to Bonnie, she was tired these days but knew that sleep wouldn't come easy.
Her usually nightcaps was not an option anymore, but giving them up would be worth it in the end.
Rhett stayed until his precious daughter slept, then he went for some gambling and someone to talk to. For more then three months now he hadn't been able to enjoy the company of a woman. The night spent with Scarlett had effected his body, so it wouldn't function in that regard anymore.
"Damn her, even when I'm far away from her, she hunts me. Damn that day, I lay eyes on Scarlett O'Hara." Rhett was in a sullen mood when he reached Belle's.
Belle cast one look at him and went for a bottle of his favourite whiskey.
Scarlett had finally fallen asleep only to be awoken from Bonnie's cry, waiting a minute to see if the child would stop and allow her to go back to sleep, but she didn't stop and no one other then herself seemed to hear Bonnie. Sighing deeply.
"Is it impossible to get any sleep in this house, what does it help with servants if they disappear, when they are needed."
Reluctant, she left her warm bed to go to her daughter. Bonnie was crying badly from a nightmare, she wouldn't calm down so Scarlett saw no other solution then to take her daughter with her to her own room. Beside, she didn't like to be in Rhett's room, it held memories of that night.
Bonnie snuggled close to her mother and fell asleep, strangely Scarlett enjoyed the feeling of her daughter so close to her. She found peace in her daughter's heavy breathing and fell soundly asleep.
Rhett decided to go come that night; he had no reason to stay at Belle's. Quietly he entered his room, not wanting to wake up his daughter. Kneeling at the small bed to place a gentle kiss on Bonnie's forehead his heart skipped at beat, the bed was empty. His daughter was not sleeping soundly in her bed.
"What the hell."
Anger was rushing through his body "What has that heartless woman done to my daughter." Without thinking Rhett went straight to Scarlett's room and violently slammed her door open. What he saw was a unbelievable sight, there in bed with his wife was his daughter snuggled closely to her mother.
"What the hell, am I not needed anymore?. Why are all the women in my life rejecting me" Rhett mumbled.
"Maybe because you are a cad Rhett, the lowest one," Scarlett's voice startled him. "Go back to bed. Bonnie had a nightmare, she will stay here tonight."
"You can have her one night Scarlett, tomorrow your newfound mother instincts will be gone anyway. A cat is a better mother then you are my pet."
Only her sleeping daughter kept Scarlett from screaming her anger at him "How dared he comparing her to an animal. She was Scarlett O'Hara - Butler".
Rhett spent a lonely night.
The next couple of weeks were spent in the same cold atmosphere, Rhett and Scarlett was only in the same room if Bonnie was there as well. The little girl sensed something had changed and grew quieter. Scarlett was tired most of these days and made it a habit to return home to have lunch with Bonnie followed by a nap, often in the company of her daughter. Rhett never noticed Scarlett's fatigue; he stayed in the bank during lunchtime knowing Scarlett was home. Scarlett was pleased, he helped her this way and he had no suspicion of her secret.
A benefit from her tiredness was that she bonded with Bonnie; the girl was not just a daddy's girl anymore. Scarlett valued this, her new weapon against Rhett but somehow she enjoyed her daughter's company more than the hurt it gave Rhett. More time passed without improving the tense situation at the Butler's.
Scarlett gained weight, her appetite was also growing.
"Are you expecting shortness in food supplies my pet" Rhett mocked her one day at supper, he was amazed how much Scarlett was eating.
Scarlett glared at Rhett "Women actually eat Rhett, we are not little birds"
"Indeed not, birds can be domesticated"
"What would you know Rhett always being around loose women?" Scarlett snapped at her husband.
"May I be excused" Bonnie's little voice broke the heated argument,
"Of course sweetheart" Scarlett answered, she was to follow her daughter's example and leave the table.
"Don't go yet Mrs. Butler" Rhett's eyes stared emotionless at her, it was more a command than a request..
"What do you want Rhett"
"Tell me how your dear Mr. Ashley is or I'm I not worthy speaking his name?"
Scarlett stared blankly at Rhett " Ashley is- Ashley is- fine, I think. I don't…"
Scarlett stopped, when had she last spoken to Ashley? she couldn't remember.
"Why haven't I thought of Ashley for hours-days. I do love him"
Scarlett was confused, her emotions didn't go unnoticed by Rhett, who was confused of her statement.
"Pray do continue my pet" for the first time in months Scarlett peered into her husband's eyes but without really seeing.
"Well, I don't know. Why wouldn't he be fine"
"Why don't you know about your beloved whereabouts Mrs. Butler?" he spotted her. "How you do run on Rhett. It's none of your business"
"I make it my business where my wife is concerned."
"Spare me the wife part, you couldn't care less as long as you have your mistress. You made that plain some time ago. Goodnight Mr. Butler"
It was when Scarlett left the room he saw her plump frame "What's going on here" he wondered.