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.
Link to previous chapters HERE
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:
Tuesday night dragged by and Alex tossed and turned and barely slept at all. In the morning, he washed and dressed and at 6.30am Ruth, one of the maids brought him a breakfast tray, but he left it untouched.
With time on his hands he thought, not for the first time, about the wisdom of what he was doing.
Fernmoor was some 45 miles distant and Millcote, the village nearest where Thornfield was situated, some six or seven miles or so beyond that. The distance didn't bother him that much or indeed the knowledge that his employer was a lady and his pupil a little girl, but all was unknown. He'd gone from the shelter of his home to Gateshead and then to Lowood, Wes was right, he knew little of the world or his part in it. The only two people he truly cared about in all the world and cared for him, would be left behind, and he would be alone and thrown upon the kindness or otherwise of strangers. However, when he thought of it, had it not always been so? He didn't know his aunt or cousins when he went to Gateshead, and he certainly didn't know what lay in wait for him at Lowood . He resolved therefore, to put his best foot forward and have only positive thoughts.
He spent time looking out of his window at the heath, for in it's time Lowood had once been a quite fine, country house surrounded by rough, wild, heath and bleak moorland. As he had promised, he wrote to his aunt informing her that he had left and that he had obtained employment at Thornfield Hall. The letter was brief, informative and contained no personal information, endearments or enquiry as to the well being of his aunt or cousins, even so, it took several hours before he was satisfied with it; he read for much of the rest of the day or sat lost in memories of his past at Lowood. A supper tray was provided promptly at 7.00pm and this time Alex felt hungry enough to eat the tripe, onions, bread and cheese provided and drink the watered down ale.
His meal finished, he began the job of packing his meagre belongings into the same carpet bag as he had used as a child. It all fitted comfortably and he realized sadly just how little in the world he possessed. He sighed hoping that Mrs. Summers would not be offended by his poor attire and resolved to spend all his first month's salary upon decent clothing, an extravagance but one he hoped would be appreciated. He placed his precious coach ticket safely in the jacket pocket of his best suit, checking not for the first time that it really did say he had an inside seat and wondering at his new employer's generosity. He left out his toiletries and razor for use in the morning and by 9.30pm was in bed, to spend his last night ever at Lowood.
Surprisingly he slept well, but not late and was awake with the dawn, shaved, washed and packed away the last of his things. His greatest sadness at this time was in being forbidden to say farewell to the boys and the few teachers with whom he had formed a tentative attachment. He decided to forego breakfast and slipped quietly and unnoticed from Lowood long before all but the downstairs servants were awake. It was a bright morning, Alex did up the buttons on the jacket of his best suit, checked once again that the ticket was safe, grasped the handle of his bag firmly and walked down the broken steps. From his rooms high in the school Mr. Giles watched him impassively and noted that the young man never looked back.
By the time he reached the market town it was just coming to life. Alex made his way to the coach house and secured a seat on the bench outside, his carpet bag at his feet and watched the world go by. Time dragged and the day warmed up. People passing wished him a cheery 'G'dday', and he replied the same and somewhere amidst the passage of time he must have dozed because he was wakened by a firm shake of the shoulder and a kindly, "Come on Alex, wake up old chap." he blinked awake to find Wes's face peering down a him. He smiled. "Wes, you came." Wes looked taken aback. "Did you for one moment doubt that we would?" There was the rustle of skirts and Alex stood and was firmly embraced around the neck by a small, slender, pretty girl with gentle eyes and a soft expression. She hugged him tight. "You shall not go, I absolutely forbid it," she said firmly. Alex hugged her just as tightly. "Dearest Fred, I fear I must, my time at Lowood is at last over, and I must make my way in the world." She held him at arms length, her small hands gripping his shoulders. "And who says you must leave us? You can come and stay with us, we have ample room, and you can seek employment locally."
"Fred," he sighed. "the people here about's cannot afford to hire a tutor and the only school is Lowood, and you would not condemn me to remain there."
"But this Thornfield," she protested, "it is so far away and what of the lady who owns it? What do we know of her or her provenance? Suppose it is a dreadful ruin of a place and the people mean and unkind?"
Alex snorted. "It could hardly be worse than Lowood, and it is only fifty miles, if anything goes amiss I can always return." Fred remained unconvinced and turned to her brother. "Wes, you are the man, tell him he must abandon this folly and come live with us!"
"Alex knows we think of him as a brother, and that he has a home with us anytime he wishes to avail himself of it." Wes sighed. "I have talked to him at length and fear dear sister he is resolved upon this course of action and as a young man on the threshold of life, I think we should be glad for him and wish him good luck and God's protection."
Alex looked at his friend gratefully.
"Men!" Fred scowled. "Not a brain between the lot of you."
Alex hugged her. "Be happy for me sweet girl and do not judge me harshly?" He entreated.
Fred sighed and returned the hug. "I could never find it in my heart to judge you harshly Alex, you are as dear to me as my own brother and I shall miss you quite dreadfully." Her face crumpled and she sobbed, pulling out a dainty handkerchief and burying her face in it. Alex glanced at Wes and swallowed hard. "Please Fred, don't upset yourself so." She mumbled an incoherent reply and both men ushered her to a seat on the bench and then sat, Wes with his arm around her shoulders and Alex holding her hand.
In time, her sobs grew less, and she collected herself somewhat. They talked quietly of times past and what might come. Wes took the letter bound for Alex's aunt, but refused the penny Alex offered in postage and promised he would see it posted that very day. Alex was prevailed upon to promise to return to them immediately anything seemed amiss, or he was unhappy, and he was welcome at their hearth anytime.
Just before nine, the coach was rolled out, the horses harnessed and luggage placed on the roof, Alex proffered his ticket and was bidden to take a seat inside the coach. His traveling companions were to be a small family consisting of the mother, father and a son of about six or seven years, they seemed good people and passed the time of day with him as they took their seats. Alex lent out of the window and kissed a newly sobbing Fred goodbye and shook hands vigorously with Wes. Amid entreaties to write immediately upon his arrival and weekly thereafter, with proclamations of love and prayers to God for his safety and good health, the coach pulled out and gathered speed.
Alex lent out of the window waving to his two friends, until the distance was great enough that he could no longer see them.