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:
And so it was Alex met Drusilla. She was quite the prettiest little girl he had ever seen, like a finely made porcelain faced doll come to life. She had pale skin, delicate features, long slender hands, almond shaped brown eyes and her black hair fell in waves and curls passed her shoulders. She was followed into the room by a flustered looking young woman dressed as a nanny, who made many apologies about letting the child get away from her, her excuses were dismissed and she was prevailed upon to sit and gather herself.
Drusilla stood four square in front of Alex and demanded to know if he was to be her new Tutor, as nanny Tara had said. Alex said that he hoped that he was. She looked him up and down with a critical eye and, perhaps because of his youth, or perhaps because he was a man, or perhaps because the voices in her head told her so, she decided to give him a chance. She asked his name and started a debate between them. He was, she decided, too young to be called Mr Harris, wrinkled her nose up at Alexander as she felt it too long and formal, Alex on the other hand was too short and informal. She vexed over the matter for a time and her face brightened, she consulted her doll and agreement seemed to be reached.
"I shall call you Xander." The little girl pronounced.
Alex glanced a the two ladies, Mrs Summers nodded slightly.
He nodded. "Very well Miss Drusilla, I should be very pleased if you would care to address me by that name."
Alex and Drusilla spent the morning touring the house and gardens getting to know one another. When he showed a genuine interest in her doll, Gracie by name and declared her to be 'Very beautiful, but not as beautiful as her Mistress', Drusilla's heart was captured. Alex quickly ascertained that the child was not the hellion she was portrayed but was bright, lonely, imaginative and suffered greatly by being a child constantly surrounded by well meaning, doting adults and constantly trying to emulate them. She was indeed a child attempting to be an adult, failing and in her frustration giving way to temper, rather than suffering from any genuine malady of disposition. She was however very spoilt, a mistress in the art of manipulation and petulant when she didn't get her own way.
He kept his lessons short, punctuated them with things Drusilla enjoyed doing, showed a genuine, non patronizing interest in her dolls and imaginary life. Discipline was consistent and non compromising, as was praise and he included her favorite dolls in lessons and by the end of one month there was an improvement in both her learning and general behavior.
She quickly formed a fond attachment to her Tutor and he to her, the entire Household breathed a sigh of relief.
So it was Alex's life fell into an easy pattern. Life at Thornfield was comfortable and pleasant if rather dull. Alex's days were spent teaching and amusing Drusilla, occupying his own time walking the extensive grounds, reading, painting and being taught to fish in the lake by Daniel. Evenings were spent in his room writing his weekly letters to Wes and Fred, reading or keeping Mrs Summers company in the smart, small, drawing room, chatting, exchanging stories and general chit chat. The nanny, whose name was Tara (but was generally referred to a 'nanny') would sometimes join them for an hour when Drusilla was asleep and they would play cards. Mrs Summers was an expert storyteller and her tales of the supernatural fascinated Alex and often sent him to bed disquieted.
It seemed there were a great many mysterious tales about Thornfield itself and the surrounding district. The most vivid centered on the gloomy lane that led up to the turn off to the house. It was said to be haunted at certain times of year by a huge, ghostly hound that would suddenly appear and fall upon the unwary traveler and that it was often in the company of a rider on a large, black horse. Many riders told of their horses bolting in the lane and of carts and carriages that would go out of control. Nevertheless, once each week Alex walked the lane into Millcote to post his letter. Daniel often offered to drive him and even to teach him to drive the dog cart and the portly pony, but Alex refused such a great responsibility and insisted that he found enjoyment in the trek.
They were enjoying a quiet evening in the drawing room, Mrs Summers completing one of her tales, nanny engaged in some embroidery and Alex listening intently, when the quiet of the house was shattered by thumps, bangs and raucous laughter. Alex jumped to his feet. "My goodness, what is that?" Mrs Summers and nanny glanced at each other. "Do sit down Mr Harris and don't concern yourself." Mrs Summers commanded. "Nanny you'd best check Drusilla is not disturbed." nanny hurried off. Mrs Summers rang the bell and surprisingly it was Daniel who answered not Willow as was the custom. "Daniel, be so kind as to ask Mr Finn to attend me directly." Daniel nodded. "Right away Missus." Alex blinked, despite being icy calm Mrs Summers seemed definitely annoyed and who was Mr Finn?
There was a knock on the door and at Mrs Summers command a man entered Alex had never seen before. He was tall, much taller than Alex and of powerful build, his brown hair was rather unkempt and his clothes of reasonable quality but definitely those of a laboring type. She fixed him with a stern eye. "There is too much noise Mr Finn! You disturb the quiet of the house. "
"Begging your pardon Ma'am," he glanced at Alex. "I meant no disturbance."
"Are you sober Sir?"
"As a judge." Finn swayed a little, indicating to Alex that he was not.
"You'd better be or The Master shall hear of it and he'll not be pleased!" Mrs Summers snapped.
Finn looked distinctly unimpressed at the mention of The Master.
"Have a care to your sobriety Sir, you know your orders."
"Aye Ma'am, that I do." Finn nodded. "Will that be all Ma'am?"
"Let me not have reason to summon you again!"
"You will not Ma'am, be assured." Finn nodded.
Mrs Summers nodded back and the man turned on his heel and left the room. Alex looked perplexed and she glanced at him. "That was Riley Finn the Master employs him to do the heavy work around the place that Daniel can't manage. He tends the carriages, tack and so on, helps in the stable, chops wood and does any heavy shifting in the house."
"I haven't seen him before," Alex commented.
"That is not surprising. The Master has him squirreled away in his own apartments, he comes and goes more or less as he pleases and he fends largely for himself." Alex glanced at the door. "He is a man of intemperate spirit, "she continued. "if you see him about the place, you'd do well to avoid him Mr Harris." Alex nodded.