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 a moments pause, in which Xander found himself under William's somewhat watchful gaze, Rochester leaned over to the table set beside his chair and took from it a piece of paper Xander recognized, it was the list of his qualifications and accomplishments that he had sent to Mrs Summers. His heart sank, it appeared that Mr Rochester was going to find him lacking in some particular after all. William scanned the paper.
"You recognize this, Xander?" He showed him the paper.
"Yes," he affirmed. "It is the list of my qualifications and accomplishments I sent to Mrs Summers."
"Indeed," William nodded. "I was interested to know them and so she let me have it."
Xander smiled weakly.
"You have the usual qualifications, English Language, Literature, Rhetoric, Geography, History, Arithmetic, Botany, Zoology and so on. I was interested to see you list in your accomplishments that you speak French fluently and with a good accent."
Xander nodded. "We were fortunate in having a French National as our Master, Monsieur Peridot from the Ardennes region I believe."
*"Et il a été un bon professeur?"
"Oui qu'il était très bonne bien qu'il a parlé un peu rapidement."
"Un peu plus parlées qu'écrits ou lire."
"Sa mère vécu pendant un temps à Paris, Drusilla est né et a passé les 18 premiers mois de sa vie, avant de venir à Thornfield quand sa mère est morte."
"Je ne savais pas qu'elle est né à l'étranger."
"Oui, je vais vous dire plus à ce sujet à l'avenir."
"Si elle serait veuillez vous de le faire."
. "Vous parlez français très bien par la voie, et avec un bon accent que vous avez dit."
William nodded. "You also say that you sketch well and have a talent for painting, especially watercolors, is that accurate?"
"Yes," Xander shifted a little uncomfortably, he hoped Mr Rochester did not think the statement too bold, "it is one way in which I like to spend whatever personal time I have, though it is others who have found merit in my work, not I."
"Come now, I abhor boasting," William smiled, " but it is as equally abhorrent to effect false modesty. If you have a God given talent why not be proud of it?" He lent forward a little. "Is your work good, Xander?"
Xander ducked his head. "I believe it is," he said quietly.
"Have you painted much since you've been here?"
"It would please me greatly to see it." William dropped his voice to almost a seductive tone. "Will you show me your paintings Xander?"
Xander looked up to notice a certain warmth in William's pale eyes. "Yes of course." For a few moments they gazed at each other until Xander dropped his eyes and William lent back in his chair. The boy was sweetly submissive but he had met William's gaze for a length of time showing, to William's delight, that he had some spirit and would not be easily intimidated. "Not this evening though," William continued. "tomorrow perhaps or some time hence, there is no hurry it's not as if you are going to run off." He raised an eyebrow. "So you will show me your portfolio?"
Xander glanced up and nodded.
William continued to scrutinize the paper. "Ah, here. You have written that you play the piano forte but a little and not well and sing not at all. Is that accurate?"
Xander's heart sank. Command of the piano and or a good singing voice wasn't so important in a gentleman, but in a lady it was considered almost essential. He and Drusilla hated the lessons, made little progress and both usually ended up cross and frustrated.
"I am afraid it is an accurate estimation of my lack of aptitude with the instrument," Xander confessed.
William grunted and nodded toward the piano in the corner. "Go to the piano yonder and play me something."
Xander looked aghast and blinked at William.
William waited a few moments and then said quietly but firmly. "I would hear you play Xander. Go to the piano, there you will find a number of pieces of sheet music. Choose something that pleases you and play it so that I may judge the accuracy of your statement."
Xander turned his head and looked at the dreaded instrument and then back at William whose face remained impassive.
Xander set his glass carefully in the hearth, stood, fiddled nervously with his clothes and then crossed to the piano, pale, blue eyes tracked him and any amusement was hidden under carefully schooled features. He found as William had said, a great number of pieces of sheet music. He chose something that was both reasonably familiar and not too arduous to play, set the music on the stand and sat down. William leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.
There were three false starts which made William wince before the tinkling notes of **'Early One Morning' issued from the piano. Wiliam was hidden from view by the wings of the chair so Xander did not see him smile, had he made a wager on which piece of music Xander was likely to choose, this would have been his choice. The words ran through his head as Xander played and William winced several times more at the discordant notes and when Xander finished he waved him back to his chair.
Xander was certain his performance would be found to be lacking on several points and once again he saw himself dismissed in favor of a Governess who could play beautifully and teach Drusilla to do the same, though he doubted the Angel Gabriel himself could improve Drusilla's voice.
William looked at him. "You were right," he said solemnly. "you do not play very well." He waited a second and smiled. "But it is of little consequence. Drusilla's last Governess, Miss Post was an admirable artist of the instrument. She said of Drusilla, amongst other things, that she was ill equipped and disposed to learn any instrument and sang like a croaking frog." He chuckled. "It makes no odds, her dowry and prospects will make her much sort after as a wife and any future husband will, I am sure, be prepared to overlook her lack of musical talent."
Xander scowled. It seemed Mr Rochester had put him through the ordeal for little more than his own amusement.
*"And he was a satisfactory teacher?"
"Yes he was very good although he spoke a little fast."
"Does Drusilla show any aptitude for the language?"
"A little, more spoken than written or read."
"Her mother lived for a time in Paris, Drusilla was born and spent the first eighteen months of her life there, before coming to Thornfield when her mother died."
"I did not know she was born abroad."
"Yes, I'll tell you more about it at some future time."
"If it would please you to do so."
"It would. You speak French very well by the way and with a good accent as you said."
** Yes, this is the song used by the First to trigger Spike, no that is NOT why it is used here. William ponders on the words, Xander is the 'innocent heart' and William has been a 'love 'em and leave 'em ' lover. Will this be the case with Xander?