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: So this scene came to me and was kind of waiting to be posted, but Robert and Violet had to discuss more of the stories first. Poor Violet, though. She’s so confused.

Tears in the Night

Violet opened the door to her room, trying to stay quiet as she moved, knowing that she would wake her aunt if she was not careful, cursing the extra weight she carried for how heavy it made her footsteps. She used to sneak all about the house when she was younger, getting into mischief when she was to be sleeping, making her mother laugh and her aunt scowl, but then Beatrice became a lighter and lighter sleeper, always listening for the smallest of noises, and now, with Violet so far gone with child, she could not hope to go unnoticed for long.

She crossed into her mother’s room, latching the door behind her. A few more paces would get her close to the bed, and that was where she must be unless she wanted Beatrice in here as well, and she did not.

“Violet?” Her mother asked, sitting up in her bed. She gestured for her to sit on the edge of the bed, and Violet did, not sure what else she might do now.

“Oh, Mother,” Violet whispered, her hand on her stomach as she tried not to cry. She did not want Beatrice to hear her, did not want to let her aunt see her wretched state, not again. She knew she’d been a fool about Winston. She did not need her aunt to tell her that again. She also did not want to know what her aunt would say about this, about the thoughts that had plagued her ever since Robbie left. “I’m so frightened…”

Her mother rose, moving her so that she might put her arms around her. “I figured as much by the way you came in here, as you have always done when you needed me, but by what, my dear? I thought everything was going quite well. Mr. Winston seems to have found a few ways to go about finding the blackguard who did this to you, and you have not had any trouble with the baby since… Well, let us not discuss that. I also thought that the two of you were getting along rather well. I think he may yet change his mind about—”

“I think everything I loved—or thought I loved—about Winston was Robbie.”

“Well,” her mother said, combing back some of her hair. “Perhaps that is a good thing. The likeable parts belong to the better man—”

“Mother, if they are all Robbie, then how am I supposed to… Am I already in love with him, then? Was it him and not Winston that I loved? And if I am not in love with Robbie now, how am I supposed to avoid being so? What could make it so that I do not? I don’t think there is anything, and I don’t… I can’t do this again. My mistakes the first time have already cost me too much. I cannot allow it to happen twice.”

“Oh, sweetheart,” her mother said, pulling her close. “My poor beautiful darling. You are not—You should never have had to suffer this way, and I wish that I could give anything, do something to make it stop. I had hoped that perhaps… Well, it was foolish of me to think that your growing affection for him would help with the pain caused by the other, but it almost seemed to be working. I saw you smiling again, so many pretty smiles, so happy…”

“I thought I was. I was. Until I heard him say that those stories were his and not Winston’s, I was. Now I am so confused. I did not think that there would be any reason why I would mistake one of them for the other, but I keep thinking that I… That since the things I loved about Winston belonged to Robbie that I am in love with him, that I was all along. I don’t… It’s not… Oh, please, make it stop.”

Her mother ran her hand along Violet’s back. “Shh. It’s all right. Even if you are, it will be all right. You don’t have to agonize over this. Don’t hurt yourself for no reason. You are allowed to feel and allowed to be confused. Yes, it would seem like this would mean that you have feelings for… Robbie, but that does not mean that you are terrible, nor are they wrong if you have them. He has shown himself to be an honorable young man, one trying to do the right thing in this very complicated circumstance. True, some opinions differ on what that right thing is, and he doesn’t agree with them, but that does not make him a bad man. He seems worthy of some esteem, at least. Does that mean that you are in love with him? Not necessarily. You may not feel what you think you do now. You are understandably confused after hearing him claim the stories you thought belonged to someone else, the things that you thought made the man you loved the man you loved, but that does not mean that you love Robbie. You might not.”

“I hate being so confused.”

“I know, sweetheart, but you will find a way through it. Your feelings for Winston became clear eventually, and the same will happen with Robbie. Now, though, it is time to rest.”

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