“Well, if that’s the case, let’s call the cops.” Carla’s brother wished that he could wring William’s neck. After messing with his sister, he had the audacity to suggest calling the police! He’d rather go to jail than take responsibility for his actions!
“William, all these years, and I’ve misjudged you,” He seethed, “Always prim and proper, but who would have thought you’d do something like this behind our backs? My sister gave you her heart.”
“Bro, we can’t call the cops.” Carla clutched her brother’s hand, her eyes rimmed with red as she pleaded,
“Don’t call the police. I was the one who liked him, I seduced him. Please, don’t call the police on him.”
Her brother was livid. He raised his hand as if to strike her, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so.
“Have you lost your mind? A young lady like you, taken advantage of, and you still want to protect him?”
Carla’s tears flowed freely as she started to look for any help she could manage, “Granny, please help me, I really like him. Please don’t call the police.”
Grace gripped her cane, her knuckles whitening against the wood. Her face was a mask of disgust as she retorted, “He doesn’t like you. The Salter family raised you, taught you to respect and love yourself, and look at what you’re doing. You’re willing to throw away your dignity for a man. Do you have any idea how the tabloids will spin this come tomorrow?”
Grace was immensely disappointed in her. What kind of spell had William cast on Carla that she would protect him even after what he’d done to her?
Isaac stepped into the crowd, and immediately Carla clung to him like a lifeline, “Cousin, please help me out of this situation.”
Isaac stared at Carla, his gaze as dark as a moonless night, “Do you really want to marry him?”
She faltered before finally whispering, “Yes.”
Isaac nodded, then turned to William and told him to follow him, “You, come with me,
William was injured, barely able to stand, let alone resist as Isaac dragged him outside. He ended up on the ground after a punch from Isaac.
“William, I’m sorry for you, but Carla genuinely cared for you. How could you do this to her?”
“Isaac…” Carla shrieked, but her brother held her back.
William was on the ground, a cut on his lip bleeding profusely. He wiped it away as he tried to explain, “Believe it or not, I didn’t mean for this to happen. We…”
“So, you’re saying someone plotted against you and forced you to take advantage of her?”
William’s explanation died in his throat as he realized that to everyone present there, he was a rapist. No one cared about his intentions or his injuries at all. Nobody even asked for his side of the story.
Isaac, thinking William’s silence was due to guilt, continued, “don’t care who’s right or wrong here. My sister’s reputation is tarnished because of you. You need to take responsibility for your actions. Either you marry her, or you go to jail. The Dillion family will also face the consequences of your actions.”
“William, please agree to marry her,” Mrs. Dillion pleaded; her eyes became teary, “Carla truly loves you. Please, as a mother, I beg you to accept this marriage proposal.”
“Yes, William. I’ve always taught you to be a responsible man. Carla is a good girl, you should agree to this.” Timothy sided with his wife. He thought that William had just gotten drunk and made a mistake.
William looked around at all the familiar faces. The Dillion family and the Salter family had been close for years, and everyone present had been close to him at some point.
His best friend of over twenty years, the victim who claimed to love him… even his own parents didn’t trust him and just wanted him to take responsibility, even if it meant trading his freedom for it.
He felt a sting in his eyes, a pain in his heart that even the throbbing pain from his lip couldn’t mask.
He took a deep breath. So be it.
He had no other choice but to accept.
He picked himself up off the ground, stood tall, and met Timothy’s gaze as he said, “Alright, I agree to the marriage.”
“Is someone trying to frame you?”