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:
After Alex told of Jesse's death, there was a pause, during which there was the slamming of a door down the hallway and the running of small, quick feet. A look of irritation crossed Rochester's face. "Damn me, Drusilla!" Pilot hearing the child's name grasped his bone firmly and made a hasty retreat under the table, achieving some measure of protection as the door was flung open. Drusilla ran in, white nightgown flying and her black hair a mass of rags used to improve it's curl. She barreled directly for her Guardian with a happy cry of, "Papa William."
Alex saw Rochester steel himself for the onslaught of his Ward and moved to prevent it. He intercepted her half way, grasped her round the waist, lifted her into the air and spun her round. "Got you!" He laughed, both Drusilla and Rochester looked equally perplexed, her small hands grasped his shoulders and she regarded him sternly. "Xander put me down at once, I wish to kiss Papa William." Rochester looked amused by the child's use of what he took to be a pet name for her Tutor. Alex set her on her feet at once, but retained hold on her. "Miss Drusilla, your Guardian has hurt his ankle quite badly and if you jump on his knee, you will cause him considerable pain." Drusilla glanced at Mr Rochester and then looked at Alex. She put her hands on her hips and regarded him seriously. "I know, silly, nanny told me." Alex nodded. "So we have to be gentle with him. " Rochester's eyebrows rose. "Perhaps if he leans over the chair arm, you can embrace him around the neck?" Alex glanced at Mr Rochester who gave a slight nod and lent over the arm. Drusilla slipped her slender arms around her Guardian's neck and hugged him and showered his cheek with kisses.
He suffered her attentions with good grace for a time and then he extracted her hold and drew back.
"Enough child, stand back and let me look at you." Rochester instructed. Drusilla stood back, swaying gently in place and regarding her Guardian coquettishly from under her lashes. Rochester grunted. "You grow more like your mother each time I see you, she'll be a heart breaker will she not Mr Harris?" Alex started a little at his name. "Quite so Sir." Rochester regarded her a moment longer, there was an air of quiet expectation in the room, at length he smiled a little. "Your present is on the table child, be careful how you unpack it." Drusilla gave a squeal of delight and Pilot retreated further into what he perceived as safety. She rushed to the table and for the first time Alex noticed the open, wooden box overflowing with straw. With deft, practiced hands, Drusilla delved and came up with a large, porcelain faced doll, the beauty of the craftsmanship and the exquisite nature of it's clothes and hair bore testimony to it's expense. Drusilla squealed with delight and held it to her. Alex sighed and thoughtlessly muttered. "Just what she needs another doll." Rochester caught the remark and scowled. Alex was all smiles as Drusilla turned and held out the doll. "Look Xander, is she not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?" Alex nodded. "She is very handsome, but the little girl who owns her is more beautiful." Drusilla giggled.
"What are you going to call her child?" Rochester asked. A deep look of concentration crossed Drusilla's face as she vexed over the question. "I think I shall call her Miss Edith." Alex nodded. "That is a very grand and proper name, do you not agree Sir?"
"It suits the toy well enough."
At that moment Miss Mclay rushed through the open door looking distressed, she curtsied to Mr Rochester. "Begging your pardon Sir, Miss Drusilla was abed and I had retired for the night. I didn't know she was awake until I heard the door go." Rochester dismissed her concern with a gesture of his hand. "No harm done nanny, Mr Harris was here and prevented any mishap but take her now, the hour grows late." Drusilla pouted and looked about to protest but her Guardian cut her off. "If you go now with nanny Tara and sleep until morning, you may eat breakfast with me." Drusilla ran to his chair and embraced him around the neck with one arm, Miss Edith clutched in the other, then she turned and held up her arm as an indication she wanted Alex to bend down, he did so and she repeated the exercise and then took her nanny by the hand. At the door she paused. "Goodnight Papa William, goodnight Xander."
When she was gone and the door closed Rochester gestured for Alex to return to his seat. Alex sat down, Rochester regarded him. "You do not approve of presents Mr Harris?"
"Sir?" Alex looked puzzled.
"Just what she needs another doll." Rochester repeated his words.
Alex looked flustered. "I'm sorry Sir, I spoke out of turn and without thinking. I meant only that she has so many already."
"So you think presents generally a good thing?"
"I believe them to be so."
"You believe them so? Why you speak as if you have no experience of them."
"I have not, at least none that I can recall."
Rochester blinked. "You have never had a present?"
"None that I remember, except the small homemade Christmas and Birthday gifts from Fred and Wes."
Rochester snorted. "My Ward seems to have a certain level of affection for you."
"Yes Sir." Alex's eyes suddenly widened. "I hope you do not find it inappropriate Sir."
"Drusilla is a contrary child, she loathed her two Governesses's and they almost termed her the Devil's Spawn," his lips twitched. "she made their lives unbearable, though I cannot say I blamed her. They looked permanently as if they were sucking lemons and were harridan's both. I was as relieved as she to see them gone. So no, I do not find it inappropriate that she has a general affection for you, if you are not made uncomfortable by it?"
"No Sir, not at all." Xander assured him.
Rochester shifted a little in the chair. "That name she called you, Xander," he rolled it on his tongue as if testing it. "it is unusual, how did you come by it?"
Alex smiled. "It was on the day I arrived, we were discussing what she might call me. She decided I was too young to be Mr Harris and my Christian name Alexander, too long, by the same token Alex was too short. She decided Xander was just right and has addressed me so ever since."
"And you do not mind?"
"No Sir." Alex shook his head.
Rochester looked thoughtful. "Xander," he said slowly. "I deem that she is right, it suits you and I like it. It would please me in times when we are in private or perhaps only with the child present, to address you by the same name. Would you object?"
Alex blinked, to be addressed with such familiarity by his employer must be viewed as a great compliment. "Not at all, if it pleases you."
Rochester nodded. "By the same token you must call me William or Will if you prefer, but only in private mind. At other times you may address me as Mr Rochester, Sir or Master, I am not particular as to which you use."
Alex gaped. "Sir I cannot!"
"And pray why not? Does my name confound or displease you?"
"No Sir not at all, but you are my employer and good manners, convention and etiquette forbid such familiarity, even in private."
"Xander, I am Master here and as you pointed out your employer. In moments when we are alone such as this, or when we are in the company of only the child, I wish you to call me Will or William." He Paused. "Would it cause you any hurt or distress to do so?"
"No Sir... But..."
"Then it is settled Xander." The mantle clock struck the tenth hour, Rochester sighed. "It grows late and I confess to being somewhat weary." He studied Xander and moment. "You look tired also and it is time we were both to bed." Xander nodded. "I have enjoyed your tale and would hear the rest. Are you disposed to joining me here tomorrow evening after dinner and finishing it?" William asked.
"Yes of course."
William nodded. " At your earliest convenience after dinner then. Now to your bed, on your way be so kind as to pop your head into the kitchen and ask Daniel to attend me." Xander nodded. "Yes of course Si..." William raised his brow. Xander ducked his head. "William." Rochester's mouth twitched. Xander stood, bowed a little and crossed to the door, he rested his hand on the handle. "Good night William I hope you rest easy and you feel better in the morning."
"Thank you. Good night Xander," Rochester smiled.