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:
Xander did not take to his bed until near midnight and slept poorly. He found himself disposed to wake up on the hour, disturbed by images of Mr Rochester which seemed to alternate between reenactment of his terrible fall and the sight of him smiling, presumably at him. The second image was accompanied by feelings that Xander could neither place nor put a name to and were by that fact, disturbing.
Rochester by contrast slept peacefully, though this was due more to the administering of a good dose of Laudanum to ease his aching ankle, than to quietness of spirit.
Xander was ready to go down to breakfast long before seven o'clock and exited his room as the mantle clock struck dead on that hour. The small dining room was, as he expected empty except for Mrs Summers, Drusilla taking breakfast with her Guardian and Miss Mclay required to be in attendance. After the customary salutations and enquiries as to enjoyment of sleep and health, they commenced eating; Mrs Summers nibbled daintily at her customary omelette and Xander availed himself of a little Liver Toast and both partook of the India Tea. After a while Mrs Summers glanced at him and made casual enquiry as to how his meeting with The Master went and Xander was soon fully occupied telling her each particular, she listened totally enthralled. When he'd finished she said that she hoped he had 'stood his ground' and Xander confirmed that he believed he had, though he assured her he had been both polite and courteous.
She nodded sagely.
When he casually mentioned that Mr Rochester had requested his presence a second evening, Mrs Summers almost dropped her fork and gaped at him. "Mercy me!" She exclaimed in such a fashion that Xander was quite alarmed. "Why Mrs Summers whatever is a amiss?"
"The Master that's what. Why he never so much as passed more than the time of day with the Governesses," she blinked at him. "He suffered their reports as to Miss Drusilla with decided ill grace and at other times was disposed to avoid their presence altogether and would go to such lengths as to border on the comical. Mind," she said leaning forward in a conspiratorial manner. "he did venture in an off guarded moment to confide that they were both particularly sour faced creatures." Xander's lips twitched into a smile and she giggled. She sat back. "He particularly took a dislike to Drusilla's last Governess, Miss Post. She was obtained through recommendation of one of The Master's gentlemen friends and was a particularly austere and serious minded sort of person." She paused. "She and Miss Drusilla," she sighed heavily, "they did not get on at all and she said some harsh things about the child. Before she left she advised The Master that Drusilla would benefit greatly from the strict regime of a boarding school, she even went so far as to recommend one." She shook her head and then smiled at him. "You must have impressed him young man, which can only be to your advantage."
Lessons were due to begin promptly at eight thirty and continued to ten thirty with a break for milk and macaroons with nanny and then resume until twelve thirty, half an hour's rest and then lunch. Nine o'clock came and went without sign of Drusilla and Mrs Summers ventured the opinion that The Master was no respecter of schedules and that Miss Drusilla would be very hard to settle whilst he was at Thornfield. Xander was prevailed upon to join her in the drawing room where she went through the household accounts and he sat by the window and read. The tenth hour was struck and a few minutes later a pink cheeked and bright eyed Drusilla arrived clutching Miss Edith and followed by a tense and disheveled nanny. Mrs Summers at once bid Miss Mclay sit and gather herself and Xander caught up a chatty Drusilla and they withdrew to the school room.
Morning lessons were what Xander termed 'Formal' Subjects. English Grammar, Prose and Poetry, Geography, History and French Grammar, Prose and Poetry, Basic Arithmetic, Recitation, a little Botany and Zoology. If the subjects were 'formal' the lessons were not. Drusilla possessed a short concentration span meaning that breaks and frequent changes in subject were needed to hold her attention, some subjects had to be abandoned entirely if she was of a mind not to do them. Today they spent a good ten minutes finding just the right spot for Miss Edith to participate and then she was disinclined to settle until Xander was forced to get quite cross and they both sulked.
The rest of the morning was punctuated by a steady stream of visitors, some on horseback, some not. At the sound of each visitor Drusilla would leave her seat to rush to the window and see who it was and so Xander learnt the names of Mr Rochester's tenants. These were followed by the Managers of 'The Big Farm', 'The Little Farm', 'Meadow Farm', 'Mill Farm' and 'Sunnyfield Stud' all it seemed owned by Mr Rochester and managed by these gentlemen in his absence. As they were leaving for lunch (Drusilla having forgone her rest period) there was another visitor, altogether different and unexpected.
A young man arrived, in dress much more like Mr Rochester and wearing a tall, black hat. His horse was a fine boned, bay thoroughbred with a black mane and tail. He was in age perhaps in his middle twenties, slender, shorter in stature than Mr Rochester but not as short as Daniel and decidedly handsome. Mrs Summers herself went out to greet him and Daniel took his horse. When Drusilla saw him she scowled. "Oh merde, it's him!"
"Drusilla!" Xander admonished and then added, "Who is he?"
"Lord Lindsey, Papa William's friend."
"He lives near here?" Xander asked, he hoped in a casual, off hand manner.
"No," Drusilla sighed, "he has apartments in London but comes to stay with his cousin Mr O'Conner at Howard Hall three or four times a year."
Xander nodded, he knew Howard Hall to be a fortified house some five miles distant. "He visits Mr Rochester when he is here?"
She climbed down from the window. "Sometimes but mostly they are friends in London." Xander nodded, he smiled. "And you do not like him?" Drusilla gathered up Miss Edith. "No, nor does Mrs Summers or Nanny or Willow and Daniel says for a gentleman of breeding he has no manners." Xander shook his head. "I'm sure it was in jest." Drusilla scowled. "He found Papa my last Governess, Miss post, they tried to persuade Papa William to send me away to school."