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:
Alex straightened his clothes and grasped hold of his bag and made his way up the wide flight of stone steps to the door. There was an impressive lion's head carved into the oak with a heavy brass ring in it's jaws, he grasped it and rapped lightly in the hope of attracting Mrs Summers attention without rousing those asleep. There was a moment's silence then the sound of heavy bolts being drawn and the door was opened.
Mrs Summers was tall, slender and elegant. She was one of those women who possess a timeless beauty and whose age is difficult to discern. Her light brown hair was elegantly styled upon her head and wisps of gray at the sides showed that she was past youth, though not yet quite descended into middle age. She wore a plain, blue gown, the cuffs of it's long sleeves edged with white lace and a high, white, lace collar at the neck, a bunch of keys hung from her waist and she carried and oil lamp. "Mr Harris?" She smiled. Alex nodded. "Mrs Summers I presume?"
"Yes, yes," she moved aside a little, "step in so that I may close the door." Alex stepped through into a large, marble entrance hall with a sweeping staircase to his left and doors leading off in all directions. Mrs Summers slid the heavy bolts in place whilst speaking in hushed tones. "The hour is late and everyone save ourselves and Daniel in their beds, there is little to be done tonight other than to show you to your room so that you may settle in and rest after your journey." Alex nodded and she moved to regard him. "I am pleased to meet you at last in person Mr Harris." She offered a slim hand and Alex grasped it nervously and shook it.
"Thank you Ma'am, I am most pleased to make your acquaintance and to be here at Thornfield." Alex followed her example and kept his voice low. "Is that all your luggage?" She asked. Alex blushed a little. "I am afraid so, I do not possess much." The lady smiled. "I am sure you will remedy that in time. I hope you enjoy your life here with us."
"I'm sure I will Ma'am." Alex assured her. She nodded. "Come then and I will show you to your room." She started up the stairs, Alex gathered his bag and followed her. "This is a large house Mr Harris, but the Household is small. Most of the rooms are seldom used, we have guests two or three times a year, other than that there is myself and Drusilla your pupil, so there is no need for many servants. There is Miss Mclay the nanny, Daniel Osbourne, whom you met, his wife, Willow and David who works in the stable. They have their quarters here, at the Hall, there are day staff but they do not live in. I hope that you will not find life here too dull."
"I am sure that I will not." Alex assured her.
You will meet everyone tomorrow." Alex nodded. "I look forward to it."
"We are perhaps more informal in our manners than you might expect but we keep a proper distance and respect between the servants and ourselves. I am sure you will agree it is necessary for the correct running of a house such as this." She informed him.
"Yes indeed Ma'am." Alex agreed. They stepped off onto a long hallway, thickly carpeted and the black and gold, flock, papered walls hung with heavy and impressive paintings. "Your room is on this, the second floor, as is mine, the nursery and nanny's quarters. Your room is closest to the Master's set of rooms, the other rooms are guest rooms, there are more on the top floor and the school room is on the ground floor overlooking the front of the house, lawn and gardens."
"It sounds most delightful, I shall enjoy getting myself orientated."
They stopped at a door, Mrs Summers rested her hand on the door handle and turned to him. "Some rooms are locked, we seldom open them except when we have guests. The North Tower is permanently locked. The structure is sound, but the staircase and floors are not and it is most perilous to go there." There was a warning in her voice. Alex nodded vigorously. "I meant only the rooms in use of course," he confirmed. She studied him a moment, seemed satisfied and nodded then opened the door. "This is your room, I hope you find it satisfactory and to your liking"
Alex stepped in, oil lamps had been lit and filled the large room with a cozy glow. It was far bigger and nicely decorated than Alex expected and had a good range of furniture including a writing desk and a large, four posted bed. He tried not to let his jaw drop but from the pleased smile on Mrs Summers face, she guessed his pleasure. "It is a lovely room and I shall be most comfortable here I'm sure," he smiled.
"Very well young man," she nodded, "I shall leave you to settle in, I am sure you are exhausted after the rigors of your journey. Is there anything you require before Daniel goes to his bed?" Alex shook his head. "No, thank you."
"Breakfast is between seven and seven thirty, you will take your meals with myself, Drusilla and nanny, we eat in the small dining room, feel free to make your own way, or shall I will send one of the servants to fetch you?"
The look of shock on Alex's face was clear, he'd never heard of a household where the employer sat down to meals with the Tutor and nanny. A look of concern crossed Mrs Summers face. "Why, Mr Harris you look disquieted, is anything amiss?"
"Forgive me Ma'am I had not thought to be taking my meals in the auspicious company of my employer."
Her brow furrowed and a then she started a little. "Oh dear, forgive me I hope I have not misled you. I have lived at Thornfield most of my adult life and think of it as my home, but I am the Housekeeper and charged with running the house, not the owner. Thornfield, the estate, farms and several other properties and lands belong to the Rochester family, specifically Mr William Rochester. That gentleman is your employer and mine, Drusilla is his Ward. I was requested by Mr Rochester to find the child a suitable Governess or Tutor, I hope this does not effect your disposition to take the post?"
Alex blinked. "What? No, no not at all Mrs Summers, the error is mine and I shall gladly take up the post." She smiled, somewhat relieved. "No harm done then. So, shall I send a servant?"
"To bring you down to breakfast." She prompted.
"Oh, forgive me, yes if you would be so kind."
She nodded and turned to leave. "Will I meet Mr Rochester tomorrow?" Alex asked anxiously. She shook her head. "No Mr Harris, The Master is a man of singular habits. He comes and goes from Thornfield several times a year often without notice of arrival or departure. He lives largely in London and travels abroad extensively. He is absent at present and I don't expect him here for several weeks perhaps months, but he always tries to spend Christmas here, for the child's sake you understand."