He shifted her to one knee and

she only put out her tongue at him and ordered another pastry, thick with chocolate andstuffed with meringue.
What fun it was to be able to spend as much money as you liked and not count pennies and feelthat you should save them to pay taxes or buy mules. What fun to be with people who were gayand rich and not genteelly poor like Atlanta people. What fun to wear rustling brocade dresses thatshowedyourwaist and all your neck and arms and more than a little of your breast and know thatmen were admiring you. And what fun to eat all you wanted without having censori christian louboutin outlet ous people sayyou weren’t ladylike. And what fun to drink all the champagne you pleased. The first time shedrank too much, she was embarrassed when she awoke the next-morning with a splitting headacheand an awful memory of singing “Bonnie Blue Flag” all the way back to the hotel, through thestreets of New Orleans, in an open carriage. christian louboutin uk She had never seen a lady even tipsy, and the onlydrunken woman she had ever seen had been that Watling creature on the day when Atlanta fell. Shehardly knew how to face Rhett, so great was her humiliation, but the affair seemed only to amusehim. Everything she did seemed to amuse him, as though she were a gamboling kitten.
It was exciting to go out with him for he was so handsome. Some christian louboutin wedding shoes how she had never given hislooks a thought before, and in Atlanta everyone had been too preoccupied with his shortcomings ever to talk about his appearance. But here in New Orleans she could see how the eyes of otherwomen followed him and how they fluttered when he bent over their hands. The realizat cheap christian louboutin ion thatother women were attracted by her husband, and perhaps envied her, made her suddenly proud tobe seen by his side.
“Why, we’re a handsome people,” thought Scarlett with pleasure.
Yes, as Rhett had prophesied, marriage could be a lot of fun. Not only was it fun but she waslearning many things. That was odd in itself, because Scarlett had thought life could teach her nomore. No christian louboutin sale w she felt like a child, every day on the brink of a new discovery.
First, she learned t cheap louboutins hat marriage with Rhett was a far different matter from marriage with eitherCharles or Frank. They had respected her and been afraid of her temper. They had begged forfavors and if it pleased her, she had bestowed them. Rhett did not fear her and, she often thought,did not respect her very much either. What he wanted to do, he did, and if she did not like it, helaughed at her. She did not love him but he was undoubtedly an exciting person to live with. Themost exciting thing about him was that even in his outbursts of passion which were flavoredsometimes with cruelty, sometimes with irritating amusement, he seemed always to be holdinghimself under restraint, always riding his emotio christian louboutin bridal ns with a curb bit.
“I guess that’s because he isn’t really in love with me,” she thought and was content enoughwith the state of affairs. “I should hate for him to ever turn completely loose in any way.” But stillthe thought of the possibility teased her curiosity in an exciting way.
Living with Rhett, she learned many new things about him, and she had thought she knew himso well. She learned that his voice could be as silky as a cat’s fur one moment and crisp andcrackling with oaths the next. He could tell, with apparent sincerity and approval, stories ofcourage and honor and virtue and love in the odd places he had been, and follow them with ribaldstories of coldest cynicism. She knew no man should tell such sto christian louboutin ries to his wife but they wereentertaining and they appealed to something coarse and earthy in her. He could be an ardent,almost a tender, lover for a brief while, and almost immediately a mocking devil who ripped the lidfrom her gunpowder temper, fired it and enjoyed the explosion. She learned that his complimentswere always two edged and his tenderest expressions open to suspicion. In fact, in those two weeksin New Orleans, she learned everything about him except what he really was.
Some mornings he dismissed the maid and brought her the breakfast tray himself and fed her asthough she were a child, took the hairb rush from her hand and brushed her long dark hair until itsnapped and crackled. Yet other mornings she was torn rudely out of deep slumber when hesnatched all the bed covers from her and tickled her bare feet. Sometimes he listened withdignified interest to details of her businesses, nodding approval at her sagacity, and at other timeshe called her somewhat dubious tradings scavenging, highway robbery and extortion. He took herto plays and annoyed her by whispering that God probably didn’t approve of such amusements,and to churches and, sotto voice, retailed funny obscenities and then reproved her for laughing. Heencouraged her to speak her mind, to be flippant and daring. She picked up from him the gift ofstinging words and sardonic phrases and learned to relish using them for the power they gave herover other people. But she did not possess his sense of humor which tempered his malice, nor hissmile that jeered at himself even while he was jeering others.
He made her play and she had almost forgotten how. Life had been so serious and so bitter. Heknew how to play and swept her along with him. But he never played like a boy; he was a man andno matter what he did, she could never forget it. She could not look down on him from the heightsof womanly superiority, smiling as wome jimmy choo n have always smiled at the antics of men who are boysat heart.
This annoyed her a little, whenever she thought of it. It would be pleasant to feel superior toRhett. All the other men she had known she could dismiss with a half-contemptuous “What achild!” Her father, the Tarleton twins with their love of teasing and their elaborate practical jokes,the hairy little Fontaines with their childish rages, Charles, Frank, all the men who had paid courtto her during the war—everyone, in fact except Ashley. Only Ashley and Rhett eluded herunderstanding and her control for they were both adults, and the elements of boyishness werelacking in them.
She did not understand Rhett, nor did she trouble to understand him, though there were thingsabout him which occasionally puzzled her. There was the way he looked at her sometimes, whenhe thought she was unaware. Turning quickly she christian louboutin shoe sale frequently caught him watching her, an alerteager, waiting look in his eyes.
“Why do you look at me like that?” she once asked irritably. “Like a cat at a mouse hole!”
But his face had changed swiftly and he only laughed. Soon she forgot it and did not puzzle herhead about it any more, or about anything concerning Rhett. He was too unpredictable to botherabout and life was very pleasant—except when she thought of Ashley.
Rhett kept her too busy to think of Ashley often. Ashley was hardly ever in her thoughts duringthe day but at night when she was tired from dancing or her head was spinning from too muchchampagne—then she thought of Ashley. Frequently when she lay drowsily in Rhett’s arms withthe moonlight streaming over die bed, she thought how perfect life would be if it were onlyAshley’s arms which held her so closely, if it were only Ashley who drew her black hair across hisface and wrapped it about his thr christian louboutin black oat.
Once when she was thinking this, she sighed and turned her head toward the window, and after amoment she felt the heavy arm beneath her neck become like iron, and Rhett’s voice spoke in thestillness: “May God damn your cheating little soul to hell for all eternity!”
And, getting up, he put on his shoes and left the room despite her startled protests and questions.
He reappeared the next morning as she was breakfasting in her room, disheveled, quite drunk andin his won’t sarcastic mood, and neither made excuses nor gave an account of his absence.
Scarlett asked no questions and was quite cool to him, as became an injured wife, and when shehad finished the meal, she dressed under his bloodshot gaze and went shopping. He was gonewhen she returned and did not appear again until time for supper.
It was a silent meal and Scarlett’s temper was straining because it was her last supper in NewOrleans and she wanted to do justice to the crawfish. And she could not enjoy it under his gaze.
Nevertheless she ate large one, and drank quantity of champagne. Perhaps it was this combinationthatbrough(a) tbackheroldnightmare(a) that evening, for she awoke, cold with sweat,sobbing brokenly. She was back at Tara again and Tara was desolate. Mother was dead and with her all the strength and wisdom of the world. Nowhere in the world was there anyone to turn to,anyone to rely upon. And something terrifying was pursuing her and she was running, running tillher heart was bursting, running in a thick swimming fog, crying out, blindly seeking that nameless,unknown haven of safety that was somewhere in the mist about her.
Rhett was leaning over her when she woke, and without a word he picked her up in his arms likea child and held her close, his hard muscles comforting, his wordless murmuring soothing, untilher sobbing ceased.
“Oh, Rhett, I was so cold and so hungry and so tired and I couldn’t find it. I ran through the mistand I ran but I couldn’t find it.”
“Find what, honey?”
“I don’t know. I wish I did know.”
“Is it your old dream?”
“Oh, yes!”
He gently placed her on the bed, fumbled in the darkness and lit a candle. In the light his facewith bloodshot eyes and harsh lines was as unreadable as stone. His shirt, opened to the waist,showed a brown chest covered with thick black hair. Scarlett, still shaking with fright, thought howstrong and unyielding that chest was, and she whispered: “Hold me, Rhett.”
“Darling!” he said swiftly, and picking her up he sat down in a large chair, cradling her bodyagainst him.
“Oh, Rhett, it’s awful to be hungry.”
“It must be awful to dream of starvation after a seven-course dinner including that enormouscrawfish.” He smiled but his eyes were kind.
“Oh, Rhett, I just run and run and hunt and I can’t ever find what it is I’m hunting for. It’salways hidden in the mist. I know if I could find it, I’d be safe forever and ever and never be coldor hungry again.”
“Is it a person or a thing you’re hunting?”
“I don’t know. I never thought about it. Rhett, do you think I’ll ever dream that I get there tosafety?”
“No,” he said, smoothing her tumbled hair, “I don’t. Dreams aren’t like that. But I do think thatif you get used to being safe and warm and well fed in your everyday life, you’ll stop dreamingthat dream. And, Scarlett, I’m going to see that you are safe.”
“Rhett, you are so nice.”
“Thanks for the crumbs from your table, Mrs. Dives. Scarlett, I want you to say to yourselfevery morning when you wake up: ‘I can’t ever be hungry again and nothing can ever touch me solong as Rhett is here and the United States government holds out.”
“The United States government?” she questioned, sitting up, startled, tears still on her cheeks.
“The ex-Confederate money has now become an honest woman. I invested most of it in government bonds.”
“God’s nightgown!” cried Scarlett, sitting up in his lap, forgetful of her recent terror. “Do youmean to tell me you’ve loaned your money to the Yankees?”
“At a fair per cent.”
“I don’t care if it’s a hundred percent! You must sell them immediately. The idea of letting theYankees have the use of your money!”
“And what must I do with it?” he questioned with a smile, noting that her eyes were no longerwide with fright.
“Why—why buy property at Five Points. I’ll bet you could buy all of Five Points with themoney you have.”
“Thank you, but I wouldn’t have Five Points. Now that the Carpetbagger government has reallygotten control of Georgia, there’s no telling what may happen, I wouldn’t put anything beyond theswarm of buzzards that’s swooping down on Georgia now from north, east, south and west. I’mplaying along with them, you understand, as a good Scalawag should do, but I don’t trust them.
And I’m not putting my money in real estate. I prefer bonds. You can hide them. You can’t hidereal estate very easily.”
“Do you think—” she began, paling as she thought of the mills and store.
“I don’t know. But don’t look so frightened, Scarlett. Our charming new governor is a goodfriend of mine. It’s just that times are too unc christian louboutin boots ertain now and I don’t want much of my money tiedup in real estate.”
He shifted her to one knee and, leaning back, reached for a cigar and lit it. She sat with her barefeet dangling, watching the play of muscles on his brown chest, her terrors forgotten.
“And while we are on the subject of real estate, Scarlett,” he said, “I am going to build a house.

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