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 he watched Lord Lindsey depart Xander returned to his letter and was surprised to find not only how much he'd written but that a great portion was taken up with a vivid and detailed description of Mr Rochester. He left off thinking that the remainder would be best completed later that evening. He looked out of the window and saw Drusilla, Mr Henderson and Miss Edith making their way back to the house and so decided to go downstairs and see how the afternoon hack had transpired. Pilot accompanied him to the door and along the corridor as far as his master's room, where he lay down outside the door with a much heartfelt sigh.
As was normal after such excursions, Miss Drusilla was returned via the kitchen door, where she was met by her nanny and Willow. Miss Edith was untied from her seat upon the Shetland pony and safely delivered into the arms of her adoring owner. Xander arrived just as Drusilla was thanking Mr Henderson. "Thank you Mr Henderson for your kind attendance upon myself and Miss Edith. We both greatly enjoyed the hack and your company." The bright eyes and rosy cheeks of the child bore testimony to her enjoyment of the excursion, Mr Henderson by contrast looked both frazzled and haunted. He touched his hat and mumbled something incomprehensible. Daniel took charge of the ponies and Mr Henderson mounted his cob and rode away. Willow remarked as how she had never been aware of Mr Henderson's nervous tic before.
It never failed to astound Xander how grown up Drusilla looked in her riding outfit. Normally a mass of silk, lace and ribbons she was encompassed in a habit of rich, dark, red velvet, a lace collar showed at the neck and her ribbons replaced with a dainty riding bonnet, she looked for all the world like a miniature adult. It made Xander rather sad.
As it was an hour or so before dinner it was deemed that Drusilla would rest, change and come down to eat. That being decided she left with her nanny proclaiming that a riding habit must be secured with all possible haste for Miss Edith so that she might be 'turned out like a lady.'
Xander was once again left to his own devices.
He wandered into the drawing room and finding it unoccupied, took up the window seat and allowed his mind to drift. He found that he was anxious for the time to pass, dinner to be accomplished and to once again find himself in the company of his employer.
Time dragged, but passed as time will and the bell sounded to summon him to dinner, the bell it seemed was only used when the Master was 'at home'. Dinner was an elaborate affair at all times and took anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours or more to accomplish. You were expected to eat slowly, savour your food, consume polite amounts of wine or Claret or both and engage in the general conversation. Drusilla invariably left the table after just an hour and would play quietly with her dolls in view of her nanny and then when Miss Mclay finished eating, would retire to the nursery for warm milk and bedtime stories. Xander wasn't hungry and kept listening for the striking of the clock in the drawing room signaling a proper amount of time had passed and he might safely excuse himself and attend the Master. He engaged little in the conversation and at all times gave the impression of distraction.
His salvation came after only half an hour. Daniel poked his head in the dining room. "Begging your pardon ladies and gentleman. The Master says if Mr Harris has done eating can he attend him in his rooms at his earliest convenience." Mrs Summers frowned. "See what I mean Mr Harris about him being inclined toward thoughtlessness, just because he's finished eating he assumes you have." Mrs Summers chided. Xander was already placing his folded napkin by his plate. "Be so kind Daniel as to inform The Master that Mr Harris has not finished eating and will attend him directly he does so," she continued. Xander stood. "Please Ma'am I find that I have little appetite and have eaten sufficient and therefore will attend The Master immediately," he said firmly. She blinked at him. "Why Sir, are you unwell?" Concern flickered across her face. "No Mrs Summers I am quite well," he edged away from the table.
"Well, I'm sure you know your own mind best Mr Harris." Xander inclined his head. "My apologies ladies, may I wish you a good meal." As he left Mrs Summers, Willow and Miss Mclay exchanged looks, Drusilla smiled to herself.
In the hall, Daniel nodded at him. "The master said as to not to bother to knock but to go straight in Mr Harris." Xander thanked him and had to check himself so as not to run up the stairs with unseemly haste.
Despite the instruction he hesitated at the door and straightened his clothes. Just as he put his hand on the handle an amused voice came from inside the room. "Damn me man, do you intend to stand out there all night?" Xander opened the door and stepped into the room, where he was greeted by Pilot and shut the door behind him.
The room was set out as before. William seated in his chair by the fire, but this time there was no footstool, his left foot rested on the hearth and a smart walking cane lay beside the chair. "Come in, come in," William gestured with his hand. "There's a jug of ale on the sideboard and a glass, help yourself and come take your seat, I already have my drink." He held up a crystal glass filled with Madeira. Xander found the jug of ale and poured himself half a glass and made his way to the chair.
"Have you had a good day?" Xander opened his mouth to answer, but Rochester continued. "I've had a damnable day, a steady stream of tenants and farm managers." He cast an eye over Xander as he sat. "Don't misunderstand me, good, honest, hard working, estimable men all and welcome here, but damn me a body needs some distraction." He paused and Xander jumped in. "I have had a good day, though Drusilla was a great deal distracted, thank you Si...." William raised his eyebrow. "William," Xander corrected, Rocheser smiled a little.
"I suppose you blame me for that hmmmm?"
"Not at all, she was excited by your visitors and kept leaving her seat to see who it was." William nodded. "Then no doubt you know about my visit from Lord Lindsey?" Xander hesitated, if he denied it no doubt William would find it strange Drusilla did not comment on it and if he said yes, would it seem too forward? He decided on honesty. "Only in so far as Drusilla mentioned it."
"He is a friend of mine from London, I must confess I thought I had left him there but it seems he is visiting his cousin at Howard Hall. Do you know the Hall?"
"By name only, I believe it is a fortified house some five miles distant?"
William nodded. "A good deal smaller than Thornfield but a great building in it's day, now sadly in some need of refurbishment. He came to invite me to a party there over the weekend and possibly extending into next week. I was disinclined to go, but a number of my friends from London will be there. My absence would no doubt be commented on and good manners dictate I attend, at least for a couple of days." William scrutinized the boy to see if his projected absence evoked any response, he was pleased to note it did.
Xander's heart sank a little and his eyes flickered, Mr Rochester had only just arrived and he was just getting acquainted and yet the thought of his absence was dispiriting. He mentally shook himself, what on earth was wrong with him? "I am sure you will enjoy the company of your friends," he said with forced cheerfulness. Rochester shrugged. "Perhaps, at any rate I intend to be absent two days, three at most."
Rochester settled himself back into his chair. "Enough of today for now. I am disposed to hear the rest of your tale, so if it pleases you pray continue. I believe you left off at the untimely death of your friend, Jesse. What happened next?"