I stood, leaning against a wall for support, my face pallid and drained of what little energy I had left from the events that happened these couple of days. Lord Well was lying unconscious, or rather lifeless, at the base of the stairs as servants rushed to aid him. A maid brought a piece of clothe with her to stop the bleeding, but to no avail for the marble floor kept tainting with the crimson blood.
"A doctor, send for a doctor!" Sam yelled, pacing frantically in a circle around the dead body of Lord Well. I saw Isabelle rushed into the room, curious because of the commotion caused, the moment she saw blood she was dizzied and her knees buckled. I rushed to hold her fragile body before hitting the floor and turned her face to me, examining her pale complexion.
"William, is this happening?" she whispered.
"Yes, my dearest friend," I responded and carried her numb body to rest her in the couch. "I... I have to see Rose. She... she needs me..." I left her side and walked guiltily toward Sam. I hadn't wished for his death, I just wanted to be happy with Rose with no one interfering. I prayed for Lord Well to wake up, I couldn't stand to watch Rose tear-strained face and broken heart. It was a heart-breaking sight, I was ready to suffer further in my life.
I caught Sam's arm and spun him to face me, "Sam, Sam, calm down, help is being sent, I have to see Rose, where is she?"
Sam stuttered in his reply and stared blankly at me, "It's your fault," he murmured, "you murdered him to get Rose for your own!"
"Don't be stupid," I snarled impatiently, "it was clearly an accident. Please, tell me where's Rose. I have to see if she's okay... I..." My hand closed around him arm and he flinched because of the pain. He reached inside his pocket and produced a silver key. He handed the key to me.
"In her room, we changed the lock," Sam spoke softly. I nodded and thanked him, leaving him behind to look for my Rose.
I walked the stairs to her room, avoiding where his blood had splattered the carpeted stairs. I half sprinted down the hall toward her room and inserted the key. I pushed opened the door and gloom settled in my heart. I saw Rose sitting on her window sill with her forehead pressed against the glass. Tears flowed from her eyes and into her lap, her hair was disheveled and her shoulders were shaking as she sobbed. I gulped and for some instant was unable to move.
Finally I gathered strength and walked inside the room, closing the door behind me. I walked up to her without uttering a word or issuing a sound, and stood behind her. She felt my presence, for she leaned on my chest and I wrapped my arms protectively around her. She buried her face in my chest and whispered my name.
My heart tightened and I scooped her in my arms. I sat on the windowsill and cradled her against my body, feeling her numb warmth. "Rose," I replied, pushing her hair away from her tear-strained face. I kissed her cheek, where her tears were leaving a trail. "Here I am Rose, here I will be forever with you..."
"I... I didn't want to..." she shook her head and fresh tears streamed down her pretty face, "it's all my fault... I wanted... I wanted to see you one last time... he... he took my arm... he was going to lock me again and prevent me from seeing you... he..."
"Hush, my dear," I pressed my lips against hers to silence her, "cry, let your heart dry out the tears before you talk... your broken voice makes my heart ache..."
"...he called you a monster..." she continued, ignoring my words. She seemed in her own little world.
My heart wrench in guilt and desperation. I had to tell her the truth, but, was this a good moment? Yes, I had to, Rose couldn't live among lies and sorrow. "Rose, your father is right," I said softly, "I am a monster and I don't deserve you, during all these years that I've known you, I tried to force myself into believing I did deserve you... but I know I don't."
She looked up at me confounded, "what are you talking about?"
"My father had an affair with a mistress and I was introduced into his household as a bastard son, Wilson, his own son, always taunted me and teased me for being the way I was," I said, "he left the house before I did, in search for a wife, he heard about you and the manor and he wished to marry you... The successful brother, everybody thought well of him and all the ladies desired him. I always lived in his shadow. Before he left, he told me I was a loser destined to fail in life. I couldn't take it anymore. I escaped from home and went after him... I... caught up to him and he..."
"He is dead...?" Rose voice was quavering, "he is dead, isn't he?"
"I couldn't bear him having his way again, not with you... you were suppose to meet him on the night of my arrival... I took his place... that was the secret your father used to threatened me out of the manor... out of your life..." my voice was but a mere whisper as I waited for Rose's reply on the subject. Her expression was unreadable but pain was clear.