She could hear him 2 bedroom house for rentchuckling softly. Sometimes he was odious. In fact, most of the time he wasodious. It was awful for a man to know what women really thought about and talked about. Itmade a girl feel positively undressed. And no man ever learned such things from good womeneither. She was indignant that he had read her mind. She liked to believe herself a thing of mysteryto men, but she knew Rhett thought her as transparent as glass.
“Speaking of such matters,” he continued, “have you a protector or chaperon in the house? Theadmirable Mrs. Merriwether or Mrs. Meade? They always look at me as if they knew I was herefor no good purpose.”
“Mrs. Meade usually comes over at night,” answered Scarlett, glad to change the subject “Butshe couldn’t tonight Phil, her boy, is home.”
“What luck,” he said softly, “to find you alone.”
Something in his voice made her heart beat pleasantly faster and she felt her face flush. She hadheard that note in men’s voices often enough to know that it presaged a declaration of love. Oh,what fun! If he would just say he loved her, how she would torment him and get even with him forall the sarcastic remarks he had flung at her these  past three years. She would lead him a chase thatwould make up for even that awful humiliation of the day he witnessed her slapping Ashley. Andthen she’d tell him sweetly she could only be a sister to him and retire with the full honors of war.
She laughed nervously in pleasant anticipation.
“Don’t giggle,” he said, and taking her hand, he turned it over and pressed his lips into the palm.
Something vital, electric, leaped from him to her at the touch of his warm mouth, something thatcaressed her whole body thrillingly. His lips traveled to her wrist and she knew he must feel theleap of her pulse as her heart quickened and she tried to draw back her hand. She had not bargainedon this—thisthat made her want to run her hands through hishair, to feel his lips upon her mouth.
She wasn’t in love with him, she told herself confusedly. She was in love with Ashley. But howto explain this feeling that made her hands shake and the pit of her stomach grow cold?
He laughed softly.
“Don’t pull away! I won’t hurt you!”
“Hurt me? I’m not afraid of you, Rhett Butler, or of any man in shoe leather!” she cried, furiousthat her voice shook as well as her hands.
“An admirable sentiment, but do lower your voice. Mrs. Wilkes might hear you. And praycompose Wedding Experts yourself.” He sounded as though delighted at her flurry.
“Scarlett, you do like me, don’t you?”