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:
It was the second week in September, two months since Alex arrived at Thornfield. Drusilla's lessons were completed for the day and she was safely occupied pressing wild flowers that she and Alex had collected. The weather was still glorious, although the days were shorter they continued bright and warm and the nights balmy, though there was a cold turn just before dawn. It was late in the afternoon and Alex decided to walk into Millcote and post his letter. The outward journey was quickly accomplished and he stopped to pass the time of day with several people in the village, where he was now a familiar figure. During his time in the village a fog rolled in across the fields, so that by the time he turned for home, hopped across the stepping stones at the Ford and turned into the lane it was quite thick, gray and gloomy.
Alex hesitated at the entrance to the lane, swirling fog filled it and it was difficult to see more than a few feet ahead. The memory of Mrs Summers ghostly hound and rider came unwelcome into his mind and he peered ahead but there was no help for it, that way lay home and so he squared his shoulders and hurried along.
Even on the brightest, sunniest of days the lane was hardly welcoming. It was narrow, thick undergrowth, trees, hedges and bushes encroached from the sides and tree branches, still heavily leaved, arched overhead so that it was always gloomy and in the fog, positively eerie. Every leaf rustle made Alex start and peer ahead, when he fancied he heard a noise behind him he spun round, but there was nothing to be seen. He steadied his nerves, chided himself for such a fanciful mind and walked on.
He hardly heard the great hound until it was almost on him. The cracking of a twig made him turn and there it was looming at him out of the fog, the biggest, fiercest looking dog he had ever seen, he let out a sharp cry and staggered back into bushes. The dog never broke it's stride but gave him a puzzled glance as it loped passed and continued up the lane. Alex blinked and then felt incredibly foolish, it was no ghost dog but a flesh and blood animal, though what it was doing running loose in the lane was anybody's guess. He extracted himself from the abused bush and moved to the center of the lane and straightened his clothes, drew several deep breaths whilst his heart slowed and prepared to walk on. He was so relieved to have escaped the jaws of the hound that he didn't hear the thunder of galloping hooves until the black horse was almost on him.
Alex, the rider and horse must have seen each other at the same time. Alex had time to raise his arm in defense, a look of terror on his face, the rider saw him and threw all his weight backward in the saddle and heaved on the reins, such was his strength that the horse's head was pulled up and the animal thrown back on it's haunches, it bellowed as it's hind legs buckled underneath it and it crashed onto it's hind quarters, tossing the rider into the undergrowth with a painful yelp. Alex staggered backward and watched the scene unfold before him with horror. The horse seemed stunned by the fall and for a second or two remained still, not so the rider, he struggled into a sitting position and glared at Alex. "Bloody Hell!" He cursed. The sound of the voice startled Alex out of his stupor and he rushed to aid the stricken rider. The man waved him away and gave him a sharp command. "You dolt! Grab his head before he runs off!" Alex had not the slightest experience with horses but only hesitated a moment and taking the gentleman's instruction literally, seized the unfortunate creature's head with a firm grasp upon one of it's ears. The horse, already unsettled by it's fall took Alex's assault on it's person as life threatening, snorted angrily, tossed it's head and struggled to it's feet. The gentleman gaped as Alex was tossed off and staggered back several feet. "You idiot!" He roared. "I meant the reins, not his bloody ears!" Alex gave the gentleman a look which clearly indicated that he had not made his instruction clear. The gentleman was unimpressed and gestured with his riding crop. "The reins man! Catch hold of the reins before he bolts!" Alex dashed in and grasped hold of the reins triumphantly, the horse which appeared somewhat bewildered allowed itself to be held, the rider gave a sigh of relief.
"Right, you," he gestured with the crop. "walk him up and down in front of me." Alex blinked, the rider rolled his eyes. "God's teeth man, it's an easy enough instruction. Walk the beast slowly passed me so that I can ascertain if you have crippled the animal as well as me!" Alex opened his mouth to protest that it was hardly his fault, thought better of it and led the horse passed the rider several times. On the forth pass the man seemed satisfied. "He's sound enough, no thanks to you. Whatever possessed you man, to stand in the middle of the lane? Did you arise this morning and decide to murder some innocent rider?" This was too much. Alex scowled. "Sir, if I may respectfully venture an opinion, you were riding too fast, especially in the fog." The rider's face darkened. "Do you dare to put the blame on me then?" He growled. Alex hesitated. "No Sir, but if you had been..."
"Make yourself useful at least," the man cut him off. " tie the reins to that bush and then come over here and help me rise." At that moment the dog appeared and went to the fallen man who shooed him away with a curt, "Down Pilot!" The great beast lay down. Alex tied the reins to the bush and warily approached the man, who was clearly of uncertain disposition. The man looked at him and sighed. "Come on man, I will not bite. Stand by my left side and bend down." Alex did as he was bid and the man threw his left arm over Alex shoulders. "Put your arm under mine and around me, then on the count of three lift me up." Pilot whined, Alex held his breath. "One, two, three." By some miracle the man gained his feet, though putting any weight on his left foot was out of the question and he stood on his right foot leaning on Alex. "Now help me to my horse." By walking slowly and with the man hopping along they reached the horse. The rider grasped the front and rear of the saddle. "I cannot use my left leg to mount so you will have to boost me into the saddle." Alex didn't like the sound of that at all.
"Grasp me around the left thigh with both arms, put your right shoulder under my arse and boost me up into the saddle." The rider instructed.
Alex was stunned. He was already more intimately acquainted with this gentleman's person than he had ever been with anyone else's, including Wesley and although it was obvious the gentleman possessed a lean and tightly muscled body, Alex was hesitant to become more acquainted with it. He looked around for help, there was only the dog, perhaps they could send it for help? "Sir, I really do not think....."
"That does not surprise me. Damn it man, just do as you're told!"
"Suppose I boost you too hard and you fall over the other side?"
The man stared at him. "I have got hold of the ruddy saddle, what do you imagine? That I shall sail over his back and take the saddle with me, or pull the beast off it's feet?"
The man raised an eyebrow, Alex grasped him round a slender thigh with both arms, put his shoulder under the man's arse and prayed. Alex boosted, the man rose into the air, threw his right leg over the horse and landed in the saddle, Alex nearly collapsed in relief. "Pass me up the reins." Alex untied the horse and gave the man the reins. Once in the saddle he seemed calmer and his pale, blue eyes raked over Alex. "Apart from the fright, are you injured?"
"No Sir." Alex shook his head.
"Well at least one of us is unscathed." He looked at the dog. "On Pilot." The dog rose and began to lope up the lane. He looked at Alex. "What are you doing in this lane anyway? It only leads to Thornfield Hall and a farm or two beyond."
"I live at Thornfield." Alex replied. The man's eyes narrowed. "I am acquainted with the Hall, I do not recall you there."
"I took up a post as Tutor to the little girl who lives there, about two months ago." The man nodded and turned his horse to ride up the lane. "I will bid you good day, no doubt we will meet again." Without more ado he slapped the horse with the crop and the animal broke into a canter and disappeared into the fog. Alex watched them go, the whole experience bordered on the surreal. He took a few moments to gather his wits and then continued walking. After five minutes or so the man's words came back to him, the lane led to the Hall and a couple of farms beyond. The man had the dress and manners of a gentleman and didn't look like a farmer, he must have been bound for the Hall then? No doubt an acquaintance Mrs Summers?
When he entered the Hall he found all in turmoil. Mrs Summers looking anxious and ringing her hands. Willow racing up the stairs with fresh linen, Miss Mclay leading a weeping Drusilla to the nursery. Mrs Summers called after Willow. "Has Daniel left to fetch Doctor Walsh?"
"He left directly he helped The Master to his rooms, Missus, they're probably on their way back." Mrs Summers nodded and caught sight of Alex. "Oh Mr Harris, I'm afraid you will have to dine alone tonight, all is turmoil, it is dreadful."
"Mrs Summers may I help? What is amiss?" He asked anxiously.
"It is The Master, Mr Rochester, he has arrived unannounced, but that is not what is dreadful, though it is both inconvenient and inconsiderate. He has had an accident in the lane. Some idiot stepped in front of his horse and in attempting to avoid riding them down, The Master reined back his horse so severely, the creature lost it's footing and fell, unseating him."
Alex felt the blood drain from his face. "Is Mr Rochester badly hurt?"
"He has injured his ankle, Daniel thinks it may be broken and has gone immediately for Doctor Walsh."
Alex nodded dumbly.