The Stolen Name

- A Serialized Novel -

A man learns that his name has been used by someone else and sets out to find the man who stole his name and help those whom the imposter betrayed.

Author’s Note: Having Violet stuck in her bed is kind of problematic, but there’s still stuff going on around her, I suppose.

Everyone’s temper is a bit short, too.

Cramped and Confined

“Would you bring me some pen and paper?” Violet asked, trying to adjust her position on the bed. She could not seem to find a good position to sit to alleviate the pain in her back, and she would much rather not be in her bed at all, not that she was certain that she had the strength to walk around. Still, she had come to despise this place over the course of her pregnancy, and she needed a distraction if she couldn’t leave.

Her aunt shook her head, making no attempt to rise from her chair. The knitting she’d brought with her would appear to be more important than her niece’s wishes, but Violet was not so foolish as to think that her actions were done out of preoccupation. She knew her aunt. She knew how much Beatrice disapproved of all the choices she’d made, and since Violet was still making the same choices, her aunt was still annoyed, perhaps even angry.

“You are supposed to be resting.”

Violet sighed. “Do not scowl at me so, Aunt Beatrice. I did not… I have already been punished, do you not think so? I did not ask for Mr. Winston’s harsh words, nor am I feeling… well, but I do not need further censure. The discomfort in my back is plenty.”

Her aunt’s fingers moved her needles in quick progression, her mood showing in her stitches. “Then rest.”

“Beatrice, let her be.” Violet’s mother came over her side with the pen and paper, handing it to her. Violet smiled at her mother, who sat on the edge of the bed. She let out a breath, reaching out to touch her hand. “So he is leaving, is he?”

Her mother understood. Violet was not surprised. “He said that it would be necessary to get his father to go. That, and he feels that he had upset me too much. It should be a relief, I suppose, to have him go. It should help with my confusion, should make it easier for me to know what is real and what is not, shouldn’t it?”

Her mother touched her cheek. “Oh, yes, I imagine that it will, and yet it will not be easy.”

Violet closed her eyes. “Why should I miss him already? He is still a stranger to me.”

Beatrice snorted. “Hardly.”

“You are bitter, but you need not treat your niece this way. Violet did not do wrong, and it is unfair of you to treat her that way. You cannot fault her for hesitating before a second marriage. I do not recall you encouraging me to have one, and I was a widow.”

Beatrice grunted. “Your circumstances were different. A widow is not the same. You were unmarried by circumstance. She is unmarried by choice.”

Violet glared at her aunt. “You cannot force the man to marry me, and had someone not taken his name, there would be no need of it. I would be married now if Winston had not lied when he signed those papers. It might even be argued that I am married to that man regardless of his name.”

“I sincerely hope not,” her mother said. She patted Violet’s hand, reminding her of the pen. “Write to him if you like. If you can help him find the man who deceived you, then you should.”

“You do not think it is foolish to try and remain in communication with him, do you?” Violet turned over to her aunt. “Do not say it. I know what you think.”

“Do you? Perhaps he will realize what a fool he is and do the honorable thing yet. You need to remind him of what that truly is.”

“Oh, if only I could sin and get pregnant and convince him to marry me to save my honor,” Violet said, getting a look from her mother as well as her aunt for that mockery. She smiled. Beatrice rose in a huff, taking her knitting with her as she departed.

“You should not provoke your aunt that way.”

“I hate how everyone tells me that I should marry him. I don’t know how I feel, so why should I be pressured into marrying him? It’s… He doesn’t want me, and I do not know that it would ever be wise to push a man who is not ready for marriage into it, no matter how I might feel about him.”

“He seems to be a very decent man.”

Violet sighed. “We both thought Winston was a decent man. He was not.”

“We may have been fooled, yes, but still, I do not think writing to Robbie can be harmful. You may help him, and he may come to feel differently than he does now. I do not think that he does not care at all, or he would not have thought he should go to spare you pain.”

“I know, but do not hope for too much. He is not going to fix everything that Winston did wrong even if he marries me.”

“As long as he makes you happy and takes good care of the child, the rest will not matter.”

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