Warnings: Set in 1850s, HAU/Historical Romance, M/M sex, angst, a little humor, OOC, varying chapter lengths. Vague, brief references to: underage sex (consensual), het sex, BDSM (mild), Sub/Dom, prostitution. Original characters.
Pairing: 100% S/X (With brief, vague mentions of heterosexual/homosexual relationships with others .)
Ubeta'd All freerange boo, boos are mine and should be left unmolested
Status COMPLETED. Posted daily.
Comments: Comment if you want to, though it would be nice to know someone is reading it and will encourage a sequel.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, everything belongs to someone who is not me. I write for fun not profit.
Additional Warning:This is a LONG, SLOW moving fic. Feelings/relationships develop gradually. Sexual situations happen throughout. I have tried to be historically accurate but I do not profess to be a historian, I have knowingly messed with some dates. At this time Homosexuality carried the Death Penalty, here it is viewed as a mere eccentricity.
Note 1: Although Sunnydale character names have been used they are NOT in their Sunnydale persona's. William Rochester= A version of Spike NOT human William as in BTVS.
Note 2: My heartfelt thanks go out to my dear friend Bmblbee, for pre-reading the story and her encouragement. *Hugs*
Summary: Alexander Harris is orphaned at the age of six. He is sent to live with his wealthy but uncaring aunt Anya Jenkins in Gateshead and his three cruel cousins. Aged eight he is sent away to Lowood School For Boys and endures life there for ten miserable years, eight as a student and two as an assistant teacher. At last aged eighteen he is free to leave and secures employment at Thornfield as Tutor to the bright, temperamental and eccentric Drusilla and meets The Master of Thornfield, the handsome, aloof, passionate, possibly dangerous and mysterious William Rochester.
Rating: NC17 Overall
Rating: NC17 Overall
Love, Love changes everything:
Alex hurried along the street of the busy market town in the general direction of the tea rooms. It was so wonderful to spend some time away from the oppression of the hated Lowood School and there was a spring in his step and a smile on his face knowing that in two days he would leave it behind forever. He was cast upon the sea of life, not as a shipwrecked mariner but with a chartered course, secure employment and a bright future.
Horse's hooves rang off the cobbled street and a farmer ushered along a flock of geese headed for market. Normally, Alex would have taken it all in, but today he was too excited, the letters burnt a hole in his second, best, jacket pocket, and he was simply bursting to tell Wesley and Winnifred his glorious news. As he crossed the street he caught sight of Wesley sat at a small table in the window of Mrs Ambleforth's Tea Rooms, the brown haired young man looked up adjusting his spectacles, saw Alex, and they exchanged a cheery wave. By the time Alex entered the cool and pleasant interior of the establishment his tea was being served and a plate of cream cakes awaited consumption.
Wesley stood and embraced his young friend warmly. "Alex, my dear friend you look flushed, are you quite well?"
"I am quite well Wesley, thank you for your concern." They sat. "But what of you? And where is Fred? She's not ill I hope?" Concern showed in Alex's face. Wesley sipped his tea. "No dear chap, not at all we are both in robust health and fine spirits." Wes assured him. "She sends her heartfelt apologies and love, she regrets not being here but one of the farmer's wives has the fever, and she is gone to tend to her and her children, you know how she is."
"I do indeed," Alex nodded. "never was there a kinder creature in all the world."
"Amen to that." Wes agreed. "But tell me Alex what has you so flushed and bright eyed?"
"I have great news!" Alex blurted excitedly.
"News? What? Lord be praised you've heard from your aunt or cousins perhaps?" Alex snorted. "Wes, I've not heard from my aunt or cousins in ten years, I do not think I will do so ever again."
"But you are eighteen, your time at Lowood is done, I thought perhaps.."
"I am sure they have forgotten my existence, much as I have forgotten their's."
"Alex! They are your family." Wes remonstrated. "You and dear Fred are the nearest I have to family, and I am thankful for it." Alex smiled. Wes nodded. "And we are thankful also, dear friend. But tell me then, what has you in such a turmoil?"
Alex sipped his tea. "Do you remember when last we spoke, I mentioned my plan to advertise for a teaching position in the newspaper?" Wes nodded, choosing a cream cake. "I do indeed, I also remember Fred, and I cautioned you against it." He peered at Alex over his spectacles. "No doubt you went ahead and did so anyway?"
"Well yes. Wes I have no connections, you and Fred know of no-one who needs a tutor, and I simply have to get away from Lowood, as soon as I can, what else am I to do?"
Wes frowned. "I understand your predicament, but advertising, who knows what kind of person you might fall in with. At least at Lowood you know what to expect, and now you are an assistant teacher, it must be better."
"I have spent ten miserable years there, and though I now teach it is still the same miserable, oppressive place. I feel for the boys there, but I can do little to bring cheer into their lives so long as Rupert Giles has charge of the place. He is mentally abusive and teaches them nothing but the way of abstinence, poverty and privation while he lives the life of a gentleman off their tuition fees."
Wes nodded. "A sad state of affairs indeed." He sighed. "Tell me your news then."
"A little over six weeks ago I received this letter in reply to my advert." He fished the letter out of his pocket and handed it to Wes. It was neatly folded though the creases bore testimony to it having been well read. Wes unfolded it carefully and began to read.
Wednesday 21st June 1850
To Mr. A. Harris Esq.
I read the particulars of your advertisement for employment in the Post Newspaper. If your circumstances remain the same and your qualifications and accomplishments suitable, I find myself in a position to offer you employment here at Thornfield, as Tutor to an eight year old girl.
If this position is of interest to you, please forward details of your qualifications and accomplishments at your earliest convenience.
Mrs. J. Summers
Wesley carefully folded the letter. "So you had a reply from a lady, is it not somewhat unusual to have a male tutor for a girl child?" He handed the letter back. Alex shrugged. "I don't know, I suppose it is, but I don't mind if she doesn't."
"I take it, you replied?"
"I did," Alex grinned. "and three weeks ago received this reply." He handed over a second, equally creased and folded letter. Wes opened it.
Tuesday 15th July 1850
Dear Mr. Harris,
Thank you for your prompt reply. I have studied your list of qualifications and accomplishments and find them to be most satisfactory. I am disposed therefore to offer you the post of Tutor here at Thornfield. Circumstances are such that I would like you to take up the position at the earliest opportunity.
Your salary will be three Guineas per calendar month. If this is agreeable to you, please write accepting the position, and I will then make arrangements for your prompt transportation from Lowood to Thornfield.
Mrs J. Summers
Wes looked up. "I take it, you accepted the position?" He folded the letter and handed it back. Alex grinned. "I did, I leave for Millcote on the 9.00am coach on Thursday."
They walked from the teashop to the banks of the slow moving river and lay in the grass and gazed at the clouds. "Is there nothing I can say to make you reconsider Alex?"
"Nothing Wes, this is a wonderful opportunity for me and one that I must take." Wes sighed. "But what do you know of this place Thornfield or Mrs Summers? Is she a lady of good character?"
"Alex chuckled. "Wes I don't know and the only way I will find out is if I accept the position, really dear friend, you worry too much." Wes scowled. "And you don't worry enough. You know nothing of the world or the dangers in it, who knows what ill might befall you?"
"I am eighteen Wes, it is time I learnt something of the world. Be happy for me, please," Alex entreated. Wes sat up. "I am happy for you," he assured him. "if it works out it is a great opportunity, it is just that Fred and I worry about you and God knows we will miss you."
"My one regret," Alex sat up, "in all this is leaving you and Fred behind."
"Then promise me this, you will write to us every week and keep nothing from us." Alex nodded. "And as a favor to me, write to your aunt and tell her where you will be." Alex shook his head. "It will do no good, but as a favor to you, I promise I will do it."