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 sat miserably alone in the small dining room and chased his food around his plate with his fork. Willow had insisted he ate even though he assured her he had absolutely no appetite. That the rider in the lane was Mr Rochester and his employer there was little doubt, nor that he had, had some small part in causing the dreadful accident which left Mr Rochester injured. Further he groaned at having had the audacity to suggest that the accident was caused, at least in part, by Mr Rochester's reckless riding. He would be dismissed, his employment terminated, his home lost and he would be cast out, possibly this very night. He hoped that Mr Rochester would have the good grace to at least allow him to make travel arrangements that would see him safely delivered to Wes and Fred.
The house continued to be busy and more noisy than usual. He caught the sound of Doctor Walsh's voice and that of Mr Finn who seemed to have been prevailed on to shift furniture with Daniel and make The Master more comfortable. After a time the house fell quiet and he resolved to make his way to his room, or perhaps the drawing room and was just leaving the table when the door opened and Mrs Summers entered, she seemed more composed and smiled. "Good Mr Harris you're still here. If you have finished eating The Master bids you attend him in his rooms at your earliest convenience." The color drained from his face. "Me?"
"Yes Mr Harris, you," she observed his pale pallor. "why are you unwell? You have taken quite pale, the doctor has but just left, shall we summon him back?" Alex's stomach churned. "Forgive me Ma'am I am quite well, thank you. I will attend The Master immediately." She nodded. "Follow me then, I will see you safely delivered to his rooms."
Mrs Summers led the way and Alex followed, much as a man going to the gallows might.
As they mounted the stairs she spoke in quiet tones. "I have spoken of you to The Master, only in regard to you having settled in and the improvement in Miss Drusilla's behavior and disposition to her lessons," she added quickly. "He seemed pleased and anxious to make your acquaintance in person."
Alex swallowed hard and nodded. At the top of the stairs she drew him to a stop and dropped her voice lower. "The Master is not an unkind man, though his manner may be brusque and he is much accustomed to having his own way. Many find him cold and aloof but I have to say that he has always treated myself and the other servants with kindness and respect, even though he is inclined to be inconsiderate and thoughtless as most gentleman of his position are want to be. Do not let him overwhelm you with the force of his personality, he admires most those who express their opinions with honesty and courtesy, though that is not to say he likes to be crossed or contradicted." Alex nodded. "Stick up for yourself young man, answer his questions honestly and with courtesy, don't be afraid to venture your opinion if he asks for it and you will do well." Alex nodded as they stopped at the door but one along from his own. Mrs Summers smiled and patted him on the shoulder. "I'll leave you now, knock and enter at his bidding."
With a nod and a smile she abandoned Alex to his fate.
Alex straightened his clothes, squared his shoulders and took a deep breath and rapped smartly on the door. Several moments past and then there was a sharp, "Enter." Alex entered the room and closed the door behind him.
The room was set out as an elegant drawing room, even to a piano standing in one corner. A low fire blazed in a large hearth and two high backed and winged leather chairs were drawn to it, one set at each side. A gentleman reclined comfortably in the left chair his left leg stretched before him and the foot resting on a footstool. A huge boar hound, gun metal gray with a white flash on it's chest and striking amber eyes lay close by, gnawing contentedly on a large bone. Rochester turned his head and regarded Alex impassively. "See Pilot, my would be assassin comes." The dog raised it's head, thumped it's tail on the floor and returned to gnawing. Alex ducked his head, Rochester waited and Alex squirmed.
"Do you intend to wait there by the door all evening Mr Harris, or actually step into the room?" Rochester asked. Alex started and took a couple of steps forward. "Come Mr Harris stand by me in the light and let me get a good look at you." Alex moved to stand in front of Rochester, the man raked his eyes over him. Aware of the scrutiny Alex crossed his arms instinctively over his chest. "Drop your arms to your side." Rochester instructed, though not unkindly, Alex frowned but did as he was told.
Rochester took in the young man he'd been unable to get a proper look at in the lane. He was perhaps an inch or two taller than he and with good, broad shoulders, a little too thin maybe, with long legs, he had the slightly gangly appearance of youth, but would muscle up into manhood. He had attractive shaggy, black hair and his face had a sweet innocence that he was sure wasn't just youth. The eyes were pleasingly large and brown, the chin strong, the lips looked soft and inviting, the nose not too large and straight. He was pleased that his original estimation that the boy was quite a beauty, had been correct. "Turn around slowly," he instructed. Alex's frown deepened but the did as he was bid. Rochester's mouth twitched as Alex turned, fortune had indeed smiled on him in delivering this young man into his hands and he resolved to spend a great deal more time at Thornfield.
Alex faced his employer once more, Rochester smiled. "See the sideboard yonder and the decanter and glasses?"
Alex turned his head. "Yes Sir."
"Be a good fellow and bring me a glass of Madeira and take one for yourself, if you have a mind." Alex walked to the sideboard and did as he was bid. Pale, blue eyes tracked him and noted that he moved pleasingly enough. Alex returned with one beautiful, crystal glass and offered it to his employer. Rochester grasped it with slender fingers and looked up at him. "Thank you, you have not taken one yourself?"
"No Sir, if it pleases you I drink only a little wine with meals and an occasional glass of beer."
"It neither pleases nor displeases me. You are a man of sober disposition," he nodded. "that is to be expected in one who has charge of the young perhaps. Your good health Sir." Rochester took a sip and placed his glass on a small, round table, set next to his chair.
"Thank you, and to your good health Sir." Alex returned.
Rochester regarded him. "I find myself in some little pain this evening having sprained my ankle and would be distracted from it. The idle chatter of the good Mrs Summers and the prattle of a child simply will not do, so it falls to you to be that distraction." Alex's eyes widened. "Me Sir?"
Rochester raised an eyebrow. "The task displeases you?"
"Not at all Sir, but I do not think myself amusing company."
"I will be the judge of that." Rochester assured him. "Come Mr Harris, take a seat opposite me and make yourself comfortable. Mrs Summers has told me but bare bones about you and I find myself disposed to know more of the young man who seems to have wrought quite a change in my Ward."
"Thank you Sir." Alex sat although stiffly in the comfortable chair. "Where would you like me to begin Sir?"
"At the beginning, is that not where most stories start?"