The Name

 

“You did what?”

Aeramin grinned. There was a certain satisfaction he got from having his father’s full attention. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. “I said,” he paused for effect, “I changed Lyorri’s name.”

Arancon stared at him a few seconds before blurting, “What? How?”

He shrugged, “I went to the Spire, showed them my papers, showed them her papers, asked for the form, and filled it out. It was really kind of easy.”

“Why?”

Aeramin laughed, “Because I can. There’s nothing you can do about it. I’m her father. For some reason, I can’t sign papers to change that without someone trying to throw themselves in the middle of it and messing things up.”

Arancon glared at him a moment before asking in a flat tone, “What did you change it to?”

“Oh, that’s the best part. I thought you’d never ask.” He watched as his father’s brow raised before answering, “Pumpkinhead.”

Arancon’s brow raised further, “What?”

“You heard me. Pumpkinhead. Lyorri Pumpkinhead.”

“You’re kidding me.”

“I am not.”

“Why the hell would you do that to her?”

Aeramin shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s the hair. I used to be called that, so I thought she should have the name too. I mean, that’s really what this is all about, right? Carrying the name of your family? Well, I was called pumpkinhead a lot when I was young, so I thought that was better than associating her with drunks and whores.”

“Except I’m not a drunk anymore and you’re not a whore. We have overcome what we used to be. Firewind is a perfectly good name.”

“All good in theory, but in practice, the moment someone steps into the Row and asks if they know any Firewinds, they will ask if they want to know about the drunk or the whore. She doesn’t deserve to be associated with that, so I took care of it.”

“Aeramin, Pumpkinhead is not a good name. Everyone will laugh at her.”

Aeramin smiled and nodded, “Good. I’m glad you agree. Now, I don’t want her to grow up as a Pumpkinhead either, so I’ll tell you what to do to stop it. Take your contract, and remove the part about the name. I will take the revised version to Ordinicus and Kestrae and ensure that they agree to you being able to visit and all the other stuff you really didn’t need to worry about in the first place. Then I can sign the papers to give up my parental rights and they can adopt her without you interfering. If you do not agree to do this, she will be a Pumpkinhead, and it will be your fault for being stubborn.”

“You can’t do this.”

“I can, and I am. She is Lyorri Pumpkinhead until I sign the papers allowing Kestrae and Ordinicus to adopt her. Then they can change her name so that she will fit in their family. I am not signing those papers until you sign yours indicating that you won’t interfere with the adoption. Her name is in your hands now. She can be adopted and have the same name as her family, or she can continue living with them and be called Lyorri Pumpkinhead.”

Arancon frowned and twitched an ear. He grumbled, “I’m not happy about this. I’ll have a new contract ready tomorrow afternoon.”

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