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 took a sip of beer and recommenced his story. "As might be expected Jesse's death left me both disconsolate and depressed and for a time I wished it had been myself or that at least I died too."
William made a small noise of consolation.
"However life went on around me and although for a time I felt alienated from it, I at last accepted my loss and resolved to pass the rest of my time at Lowood distracted by learning. When I was twelve I received the letter from Bessie of which I spoke and was very surprised to learn I had an uncle and that he might contact me. When no contact was made, I resolved that the gentleman never having made my acquaintance had thought better of doing so " William looked thoughtful. "It strikes me as odd that having learned of the death of his brother, your father, and in having traveled to Gateshead with the intention of meeting you, that he should then forego making any kind of contact."
Xander shrugged. "I regret that I cannot shed further light upon the matter." William nodded. "Life at Lowood," Xander continued. "went on much as always, then just before my fourteenth Birthday I had the happy fortune to make the acquaintance of Miss Winnifred and Mr Wesley Wyndham-Pryce."
"How so? They were not connected to Lowood?"
"No Si......William, they were the children of the local doctor and his good wife, both much renowned in the district for their benevolence and good works amongst the poor and less fortunate. It was a habit of the school that the boys having reached fourteen they be walked each Sunday to attend services in the Parish Church, the younger boys having services at the school. After services Mr Giles and the other Masters would engage in gossip with the people of the Town and we were left for an hour or so to our own devices. It so happened that on one such Sunday Miss Pryce engaged me in conversation."
"Was she about your age?" William asked curiously.
"She is about one year older."
"And her brother?"
"Three years my senior."
William frowned a little. "So you were fourteen or thereabouts and he was seventeen?" Xander nodded and William's face darkened a little.
"It was at Winnifred's insistence that I met her brother. We found that happily we three had many interests in common and soon became good friends." William raised an eyebrow. "Interests?"
"Reading, walking, painting and so forth."
"You saw them together or separately?" Rochester asked quickly.
Xander looked confused. "Both, sometimes Winnifred, sometimes Wes but mostly together."
"And what of their parents?"
"I met Doctor and Mrs Wyndham-Pryce several times."
"And you remain friends?"
"Yes, at the age of sixteen the boys are allowed three hours per week to do as they please. They are expected to develop such interests and pursuits as may be followed in adult life. I chose to meet with my friends either in the town or the Pryce home."
"Their parents didn't mind?"
"Mrs Wyndham-Pryce passed on two years ago. The good Doctor now resides in Chelmsford with his elderly sister, Wes and Fred, for so Miss Pryce likes to be called, remain at Lowood where they carry on their parents good work."
"I notice when you speak of Miss Pryce there is a tone in your voice and look in your eye which prompts me to be bold." William paused. "Am I to expect that you will leave Thornfield at some not too distant time to marry Miss Pryce?"
"What?" Xander blinked owlishly at such an outrageous suggestion. "Marry, Miss Pryce, me?" William nodded, he simply had to know if he had a rival for the boy's affections. "No," Xander shook his head. "I love Fred dearly and Wes too." William's eyebrow rose. "But as the dear sister and brother I never had, they are the kindest, most thoughtful and generous of people, they are to me in every particular as a family." William relaxed noticeably. "Tell me, they were happy to see you employed a Thornfield?"
Xander thought a moment, he did not wish to imply that there might be anything untoward in coming to work at Thornfield and yet to come without any form of concern might seem to boarder on the reckless and a lack of caring amongst his friends, which was simply untrue. "They were unhappy at my advertising for employment and expressed concern that I was to go amongst strangers."
"Why so?" William prompted.
Xander looked a little uncomfortable. "They would have preferred to know the manner, disposition and provenance of the people to whom I went." William grunted a little then he shrugged. "I suppose were I they, I would have been concerned much the same way." Xander relaxed. "Continue your story."
"There is not much more. From the age of sixteen to my eighteenth Birthday I worked as an assistant teacher at the school."
William snorted. "A cheap form of labor no doubt."
"I was paid three shillings a month." William nodded. "Near my Birthday I placed an advert in the Northern Post Newspaper offering my services as a tutor and Mrs Summers replied. We corresponded and she was satisfied by my qualifications and accomplishments and she offered me the position and I happily accepted and came here."
Rochester sighed. "You were relieved to leave Lowood no doubt."
"Very," Xander confirmed, "my only regret has been and still is, that I left Fred and Wes behind," he added quickly.
There was a lengthy pause whilst William seemed to mull over what he had been told, Xander sipped his beer. At length William shifted a little. "So, we are at the present time. How do you find Thornfield?"
Xander smiled. "It is a large, beautiful and gracious house, the architecture is very fine and the furnishings elegant and comfortable."
"Damn me man," William stopped him. "I don't mean the architecture and the furniture, I mean life. I would know how you find life here."
Xander ducked his head and mumbled. "I did not understand your meaning."
William sighed and softened his tone, he knew well that he was inclined to speak too forcefully and impatiently at times. " I would know how you like it here, are you happy Xander?"
Xander lifted his head, it was kind of Mr Rochester indeed to ask if he was happy. "I am happy, the people here have been most kind and solicitous, from the Household to the day staff all have made me welcome."
"Your work is rewarding?"
"Yes. Drusilla is both a challenging and rewarding pupil."
"Your hours are not too long? You have time to follow your own pursuits and so forth?"
"I have ample time to myself, I have to admit my pursuits are few and simple."
"Mrs Summers ventured the opinion that being a young man you might find life here a little dull, boring?" William probed.
"I found it strange at first to come from a place where I barely had any time to myself," Xander confirmed, "and was surrounded by many people, but no I am not bored or find life dull."
William nodded. "Good," he gave a gentle smile, "that is very good."