Title: Lies Become Unraveled

Author: Jourdana Standish

Synopsis: Ezra discovers that everything he has ever known is nothing more than a lie. How does he cope with finding out the truth about himself when a woman from his mother's past forces her to reveal the truth?

Author's Notes: This suddenly came to me and is a nice break up of the major h/c/angst of "These Five Words". I intend on working on them simultaneously. Feedback is appreciated.

--

Josiah did say once that fate was a capricious beast, Nathan Jackson thought to himself as he leaned against the post as he saw one personal coach and the stage roll into town. There was a feeling in the pit of his belly that something was about to change, only he had no idea what it could be. Lifting his cup, he sipped at the coffee inside before moving to take a seat. He took quick note of Ezra Standish walking down the boardwalk towards the stage, while Mary Travis exited her business and made her way to the coach with a bright smile on her face.

"Looks like Ezra's Ma got here," Vin Tanner said as he took the seat beside Nathan. "Who's that talkin' to Mary?"

Nathan focused his attention away from their friend to focus on the dark haired woman in vibrant, rich colors who was embracing Mary after stepping out of the coach. "No idea," he said. He could tell by the clothes she wore that whoever she was, she had money. His attention was drawn back to Ezra as he moved to the other side of the stage, most likely to begin gathering his mother's belongings.

The older woman embracing Mary pulled back, her eyes taking in the town before they landed on Maude. Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a small O.

"Maude?" she questioned. Vin and Nathan could hear the softly accented voice and the two glanced at each other before looking back at them in time to see Maude turn and stare, then pale.

"Maude, it IS you," the woman said. She smiled and started towards the other woman before she paused as Ezra's voice came from the other side of the stage.

"Mother, is this all of your things?" he questioned before moving around the back of the stage. He looked at the other woman before smiling and tipping his hat to Mary.

"God... it can't be," the woman whispered. She looked at Maude, disbelief forming on her face. "Maude..."

"I'm feeling faint," Maude said, her southern accent wavering some as she spoke. "Ezra, I need to get to the hotel, I'll meet you there." Before her son could comment, she was hurrying away.

"Maude," the woman said, lifting her skirts to follow. "Maude!"

Mary frowned deeply, exchanging a look with Ezra. She turned and followed. "Aunt Elizabeth?" she questioned as she hurried after her aunt.

"I've got the bags, Mr. Standish," the stage driver said. "We'll handle it."

"You have my appreciation gentlemen," Ezra said. Setting the bags down, he headed off after his mother as well.

Nathan and Vin, having watched from where they sat, exchanged glances again. The town had been quiet enough that the conversation had drifted down to them easily. There was obvious confusion on both their faces.

"Mary's aunt knows Ezra's Ma?" Vin asked. Nathan simply shrugged.

--

"Maude," Elizabeth Ashford-Lambros called again. "Maude, what did you do?"

"I have no idea what you are referring to or who you are," Maude said, her chin lifted as she strode to the hotel.

"Don't you dare pretend you do not know me, Maude McMathers," Elizabeth said. "You stop this instant and talk to me."

"I will do no such thing," Maude said.

"He looks just like him," Elizabeth said. Those words stopped Maude in her tracks. Slowly she started to turn and looked at Elizabeth. She saw Mary and Ezra hurrying towards the pair, mirrored confusion on their faces. She knew a time would come when it would all begin to unravel. She had denied it as long as she could every time she came to town and saw Mary.

"Leave this be, Elizabeth," Maude said. "Please."

"No," Elizabeth said. "What did you do, Maude?"

"I did nothing wrong," Maude said, her chin lifting.

"Then why does he have his name? Why does he look like Patrick?" Elizabeth asked.

"Mother?" Ezra questioned as he and Mary got closer. "What's going on?"

Maude Standish was a great many things, did a great many things and had accomplished a great many things in her life, but no one would have ever taken her for a coward. Till now. Rather than answering her son, she snatched the key for her room and hurried up the steps before anyone could say anything further.

"This seems to be become a habit," Ezra murmured before he rushed past Elizabeth and Mary, taking the steps two at a time. He wasn't fast enough, getting to Maude's door just as it slammed in his face.

"Mother, let me in," he said. No response was forthcoming. "Mother!"

"Ezra," Mary called up to him. "Something is obviously wrong... perhaps talk to her later?"

"I doubt even then," he murmured before nodding down to the blonde. He walked the length it took to get to the steps before moving down them. His eyes narrowed slightly at the woman that had upset his mother.

"Normally I am much more of a refined gentleman to newcomers, particularly those of the female variety but who the hell are you and why did you upset my mother?" Ezra demanded.

"Ezra," Mary said, reaching out to touch his arm. "This is my aunt, Elizabeth Lambros. She's visiting from Greece."

Ezra glanced at Mary. "You're Greek?" he questioned.

"No, I'm Scottish and British by lineage," Mary said, smiling. "Aunt Elizabeth is my father's sister. She is married to Thios Leonidas."

"My husband and I primarily live in Greece," Elizabeth said. "But we have a home in Scotland. I enjoy traveling and decided it was time to see my niece again." She tilted her head.

Ezra inclined his head. "I am Ezra Standish," he said. "I am one of the gentlemen in charge of protecting this delightful municipality."

"Oh yes," Elizabeth said. "Mary mentioned the seven men who protected the town. It's a pleasure to meet one of you. Tell me, Mr. Standish. Is your father joining your mother later?"

The lines around Ezra's eyes tightened as Mary looked at her aunt, shocked. "Aunt Elizabeth," Mary said. "That's not a kind question."

"It's quite all right, Mary," Ezra said. He gave Elizabeth a tight smile. "I never knew my father, Mrs. Lambros. Mother told me he left us before I was born."

"Oh... I did not mean to bring up such painful memories," Elizabeth said. Her mind was already calculating. She knew this man was not who he thought he was.

"Quite all right," Ezra said. "If you ladies will excuse me." He touched the brim of his hat before striding past them.

Once he was out of view, Mary turned her gaze to her aunt. She hissed at her in a low voice. "Why would you say something like that to him?"

"His father did not run out on him," Elizabeth said, leveling a dark gaze on her niece. "And Maude Standish is not Ezra's mother."

"What are you talking about?" Mary asked, frowning.

"My darling, Ezra is your brother. The brother we once thought dead."