Chapter 708 Jack Was the One Who Framed Me
The silence that ensued felt very long.
Time seemed to pass in a blur before Winona finally came back to her senses. Still, she put on an unperturbed expression as though nothing had happened while she calmly sent Elise back home.
The two women who knew each other well didn’t say a word throughout the journey.
However, Elise couldn’t hold herself back any longer after she got out of the car. Walking to the car window, she said softly to Winona, “Be careful on your way back. You can call me anytime if there is something.”
It was probably because of what Mica had to go through that Elise didn’t dare intervene directly.
“I’m alright,” Winona said with a bitter smile. She swiftly changed the topic by adding, “I might have to take a leave for tomorrow, though.”
“It’s fine. I’ll be heading to Salt Stone City anyway. You can take a rest for as long as you need to, and you will still be paid your salary,” Elise stated with a chuckle.
“Thank you, Elise.”
Winona knew that this was Elise’s way of consoling her after what she had also seen.
Still, she felt too weak to continue forcing a smile.
After an unnatural smile appeared on her pursed lips, she made a U-turn and drove off.
Elise only stood there by the roadside, an uneasy feeling in her chest as she watched the headlights of the car slowly being engulfed by the dark of the night.
Winona had only been driving for a while before she decided to give Craig a call.
“Hello, Winona? What is the matter?” His voice only came from the other end of the call when it was about to reach the voicemail.
She could tell from his unstable breathing that he must have just done some vigorous activity.
“I want to see you,” she stated coldly. “Tonight, in fact. I will be waiting for you at home.”
“Huh? Is this an emergency? I promised my bros I would stay up with them the whole night. I can’t just leav—” he started to give her an excuse, only for her to cut him off mid-sentence.
“I will be waiting for you at home no matter how late it gets.”
She immediately hung up after she said that.
That was when she finally couldn’t hold her emotions in anymore, and tears started falling down her cheeks.
Her tears had already dried up by the time she reached home.
After Winona went inside, she didn’t even turn on the lights before she blankly sat on the sofa without moving a muscle.
It was until the wee hours of the next morning when the sound of the house door being unlocked came from outside.
Craig pushed the door open and came in while yawning, and as he turned on the lights of the living room, he jumped in surprise when he saw Winona sitting there.
“Winona?” His startled expression swiftly recovered into a concerned one. “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you sleeping in the bedroom? It is all my fault. I couldn’t leave because they kept holding onto me.”
He sat beside her as he spoke and just as he was about to reach out to hug her, she quickly evaded him. “Don’t touch me,” she hissed.
Despite that, Craig shamelessly continued to try to inch closer to her. “Okay, okay. I am sorry, Winona. It is my fault. Don’t get angry, alright?”
“Did you not hear me when I said not to touch me?!” She suddenly roared as she jumped up from the sofa, shocking him in the process.
“What is wrong, Winona? Are you okay?”
“Don’t look at me with those eyes.” On top of not sleeping the whole night, Winona was hit by a sudden dizziness when she abruptly stood up. With her hand holding her head, she turned the other way and growled, “You are dirty.”
Hearing that, Craig tugged on the jacket he had on and sniffed. He smelled like he had soaked himself in alcohol and smoke. “Oh, my bad! I will go take a shower, and then I will go to bed with you for a good night’s rest.”
“There’s no need!” Winona stopped him. “There are things that won’t be clean no matter how many times you wash them. Tell me—how long have you been doing this?”
“What do you mean by ‘how long’?” Craig continued to play the part of a loving boyfriend. “Don’t do this, Winona. It hurts me to see you like this.”
She was starting to feel nauseous with every word he spouted. “Just stop. Let’s break up. I have packed up all your stuff and left them at the front door. You can leave my home after you take them with you. Let’s end this peacefully for old time’s sake.”
“What? You want to break up with me? But I don’t want that!” Disappointed, Craig started putting on a pitiful act as his face fell. “I know that I shouldn’t go out and have fun with my friends because I have no income now. I might look like I am not serious about my work, but I only wanted to get my excess energy out of my system so I don’t burden you with my emotions. Regardless, I love you. I will not allow us to break up. You will know that I am not a hopeless case by the time I get back on track again.”
Same meaning, different words. Winona had heard these no less than 10 times now.
She would always end up with hot tears in her eyes whenever Craig spewed his nonsense in the past. Their quarrels would come to a resolution with her wiping away her tears as she envisioned the beautiful future awaiting them. Today, however, his words felt extra piercing on her eardrums.
With her face drained of its color, she scoffed as she turned back and looked at him with eyes full of disdain. “You make it sound like I am the one who is putting pressure on you. Does this mean that I was the one who forced you to go to that rich woman? That I was the one who grabbed you by the head and pressed your lips against hers? Or that I pointed a gun at you and made you get into her bed with her?!”
Craig immediately felt like he had been struck by thunder. “H-How did you know?”
Without waiting for her answer, he blurted out, “It was Jack Griffith, wasn’t it? Was he the one who told you these? How could you believe his words, Winona? It is not like you don’t know how he got me blacklisted in the industry. That man must have had ulterior motives for telling you these lies. You can’t—”
“Enough!” She didn’t give him the chance to finish his words. “It was not Mr. Jack. It was me. I saw you with my own eyes just now! I saw you driving that woman’s luxury car, and you even kissed her without a care on the street. You disgust me, Craig Baker!”
Craig fell silent when he couldn’t find another word to say.
However, the rich woman was only someone he wanted to be with for the moment. Winona, on the other hand, was his gateway to endless opportunities in the future. He couldn’t possibly let go of this coattail he had been riding on.
A loud thud could be heard when he dropped on his knees to the floor. “I admit it was my fault. I won’t do this anymore. I don’t even know why I did it. They were the ones who came to me first. I had no choice… I… Right… I am sure it was Jack Griffith who got those people to frame me. He is trying to ruin me. You have to help me, Winona!”
Looking at how unashamed Craig was behaving, Winona suddenly started wondering if she had been blind in the past. That was the only plausible reason she could have fallen for such a man.
She coldly stared into the air, and not a trace of sympathy could be found on her face or her voice when she spoke again. “It doesn’t matter if anyone is helping or compromising with you. You have to be responsible for your own choices. I will pretend I didn’t see you today. There is nothing more between us from now onward. Leave the house key. You can go after that.”
The expression on Craig’s face froze and his jaw dropped, seemingly in disbelief. “Winona Jennings, are you really going to be so ruthless to me?”
She didn’t give him a reply.
Silence was the best answer.
Craig was still a man no matter what. He couldn’t possibly cry and whine like a woman would. He finally put down the key and with his luggage in tow, he left Winona’s place.
Winona passed out as soon as he had stepped out the door.
Elise gave Winona a call before she got on the plane, only for it to go unanswered.
Alexander, who was beside Elise, reminded her, “Let’s go. It is time for us to board.”
Still worried about her manager, Elise quickly sent Jack a message via WhatsApp.
‘Winona found out about Craig. I can’t get through her phone. I am worried that something happened to her. Please head to her house and make sure that she is alright.’