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:
The road was good but the coach itself uncomfortable. By the end of the first hour Alex's bottom felt bruised and by the end of the second thankfully numb. The child grew fractious and his parent's tempers progressively shorter and Alex began to wonder if an outside seat might not have been a better option. The coach made its first, brief, comfort stop at noon and whilst the horses were changed, they were provided with a lunch of cheese, bread and ale and then ushered onboard again. The next three hours seemed to drag by and Alex was thankful when they rolled into the coach yard, and he could stretch his aching legs, as the horses were once again changed. He noted that the team was increased from four to six animals and the driver informed him that they would be covering as much ground as possible on the next stage before nightfall.
The coach did indeed seem to fly along, unfortunately this did nothing to improve the comfort of the journey and Alex found his legs, back and shoulders aching from being jostled about. The countryside had changed several times, and they passed from a cultivated area into one in which there seemed to be more moorland and herds of cattle and fields of grain gave way to flocks of unruly looking sheep grazing among purple and white heather. This stage was longer and it was past seven when they rolled into the coach yard for their final stop before Millcote.
Supper was served, pork pie, brawn and a meaty soup, Alex was starving and ate heartily. When they climbed aboard the coach for the last time darkness was falling and the lanterns had been lit. Alex would have been quite content to spend the night at an inn and travel on the next day, but it was not to be. Progress in the dark would be slower but the driver assured him the road was good, the coach and horses sound, and that they should arrive in Millcote around nine thirty. Alex only hoped transport to Thornfield Hall was there to meet him.
They rolled into the small village of Millcote shortly after ten. The coach stopped at the village cross, Alex disembarked and the driver handed down his bag. His fellow passengers bid him farewell and the coach rumbled off to their final destination some twelve miles further on. Alex looked around, there was no sign of life, no lights that he could see. Was he to remain where he was, or seek help? Since Mrs Summers had secured his ticket it was to be presumed that she knew where the coach stopped, and the approximate time of arrival and he had been assured that he would be met and transport provided. If he wandered too far then he might miss whoever was sent for him, on the other hand, what if they had been and gone? Worse, what if they presumed he wasn't coming? Doubts began to fill his mind, and he stretched and paced in an attempt to quiet a rising feeling of panic. After some twenty minutes, he heard the distant clop of hooves and the rumble of wheels. Lanterns danced into view and they heralded the arrival of a two wheeled dog cart pulled by a portly, gray pony.
The driver was a youngish, short, red haired man wearing a red kerchief, white shirt with rolled up sleeves, an open brown waistcoat and rough brown trousers. The cart pulled up and he jumped down. "Begging your pardon Sir, are you Mr. Harris the Tutor bound for Thornfiled Hall?" Alex nodded. "I am." The young man smiled. "My apologies for the late arrival Sir, I'm Daniel, Daniel Osbourne, I works at the Hall with my Missus, Willow and have been sent to fetch you. I would have been here sooner but the pony there, Jilly, she decided she wasn't going through the Ford for love or money, so I had to come round by the bridge. Have you been waiting long Sir?"
"No, not at all." Alex smiled in relief. "The coach was late arriving."
"Well, that's lucky then." Daniel grasped the bag. "Is this all your luggage Sir?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Well there's handy, I'll just pop it in the cart." Daniel put the bag on the floor. "Well in you get then Sir, just step up and take a seat. There's a rug for your legs, though it's not a cold night." When Alex hesitated Daniel offered his hand and Alex clambered into the cart and sat down. " 'tis a bit tricky getting in when you're strange to it." Daniel hopped into the driver's seat. "You make yourself comfortable Sir, and we'll soon be at the Hall."
They turned and Daniel clicked his tongue and the pony broke into a steady trot. "Is it far to Thornfield?" Alex asked. "No Sir," Daniel shook his head. " sharp right out of the village and along the road for about a quarter of a mile then through the Ford and turn left about a quarter mile after that, and you're in the lane. Follow the lane about a mile and a half and you'll see the Hall on your left, step off the lane and follow the drive up to the Hall. About two miles all told. 'Course if you've got a stubborn creature like Jilly as won't go through the Ford then you have to go two miles upstream and use the bridge, that adds about three mile."
"Do you think she'll go back through the Ford?" Alex asked anxiously.
"No doubt to it," Daniel chuckled, "she's going home to her bed see, she's stubborn not stupid."
Sure enough Jilly splashed her way happily through the Ford, and soon they were rumbling along the lane. It was quite narrow and trees formed an arch overhead and bushes and shrubs grew thickly on each side. After a while, Daniel bid him look to the left and Alex had his first view of Thornfield caught in the soft, silvery glow of the moon. It was much bigger than he imagined and seemed to have three distinct storey's and some sort of square tower, he would have made out more but the clouds shrouded the moon and the house was lost from sight.
They turned off the lane and started the up the sweeping drive, through neatly kept lawns and pulled up at the wide flight of steps, which led to the tall, ornate, oak doors with stone pillars on each side. Daniel helped him down from the cart and lifted out his bag. "You are to go up to the main door and knock. The Household is asleep but Mrs Summers is waiting up to make your acquaintance and see you settled in." Alex's eyes widened. "She is?" He wondered at an employer showing such a solicitous concern. "Just knock lightly and she'll hear you Sir. I has to see to the pony, so I'll bid you goodnight and will probably see you in the morning." Daniel nodded and Alex smiled. "Goodnight Mr. Osbourne and thank you."
"Lord love you Sir, Mr. Osbourne is my father, you calls me Daniel," he said as he led the pony and cart around the side of the house.