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:
William took in Xander's scowl with much hidden amusement. "You look out of sorts Xander, are you a little put out that I asked you to play?"
Xander checked himself, though a little huff escaped. "It was your prerogative."
"I phrased my request poorly, made it an instruction even a command, I did not mean it harshly," Rochester placated.
Xander softened under what seemed almost an apology and shook his head. "No, I am too sensitive on the matter of my lack of talent."
"I do not wish in any way to appear to treat you as an inferior. That is to say I may be a little masterful at times, even exacting, that is a fault of my nature and upbringing but as regards superiority, I claim only as much as may be due to me by being your senior in age and in advance of you in worldly experience by at least a century." He chuckled. "Does this not give me the right to be a little commanding?"
Xander was more than a little amused by the fact that Mr Rochester seemed to have forgotten he paid him thirty six guineas a year to accept and carry out his orders.
"But you are in no way my inferior." William reiterated.
"I have to beg to differ, you are superior to myself in station." Xander corrected.
William nodded. "That is a happy happenstance of birth only, it could have been that you were I and I yourself, though in nature and disposition we are I think, very different. In intelligence, demeanor, manners, I would place you as my equal." Xander blinked. "In matters of character perhaps even my superior." Xander shook his head, what did Mr Rochester mean? He opened his mouth to speak but Rochester cut him off. "So, leaving the question of superiority out of the equation, will you agree to accept my commands without being hurt or piqued by them , hmm Xander?" He coaxed.
Xander smiled, William frowned a little. "I amuse you?"
"I only wonder at a Master who frets that his paid subordinate should feel hurt or piqued by his commands." William's loins stirred as Xander called him 'Master'. "Paid subordinate!" He huffed. "How so?" He checked himself. "Damn me, I had forgotten your salary." His voice softened. "Well then on the grounds that even a free man might be commanded for a wage, will you allow me occasionally to do so?"
Xander looked up under his long lashes. "Not on that ground, no, but that you had forgotten it and were concerned that someone dependent on you for employment and a roof over their heads, might be hurt by your tone, I am yours to command."
William wanted to howl with delight, the boy had submitted prettily and without a fight. "Well then, that is settled, you will not be offended by my manner or tone and I will endeavor to moderate both."
Xander nodded. The firelight caught Rochester's high cheekbones and shadows danced and drifted across his face, unconsciously Xander stared. William allowed the scrutiny to continue for a while and then decided upon a little gentle fun.
"Do you think me a handsome man?" He asked bluntly.
The question came so suddenly and so out of context that Xander answered with neither pause nor thought. "You are easily one of the most handsome men I have ever seen."
William threw back his head and laughed in delighted amusement. Xander blinked, confused at first and then mortified by the boldness of his answer, his cheeks flushed and he stared at the carpet. William checked his laughing although he still smiled. He took in Xander's embarrassment. The boy found him attractive, well no surprise there, William had little problem in attracting both sexes, but he was charmed by his disarming honesty and that he was embarrassed was perhaps an indication of he depth of his attraction to him. "The carpet grows suddenly interesting?" He asked in amusement.
Xander mumbled an incoherent reply. William lent forward. "I am in no way annoyed Xander, I found your answer in every way pleasing. Will you raise your head, just a little?" Xander raised his head. "There, if my question caused you discomfort I regret it."
"I only meant..." Xander started.
"What? Now you would take back your compliment?" William asked.
"No." Xander shook his head. William smiled and it was his turn to stare. Xander's dark hair flopped over his eyes and he looked at him from under dark lashes, his cheeks still flushed, or perhaps warmed by the heat of the fire. "Captivating." William mumbled, Xander blinked. "Totally captivating."
The moment was shattered by the mantle clock striking ten. Both men started, William moved back. "The hour grows late and I am sure you are tired, I would keep you only a moment more." Xander nodded. "As to the question of your accommodation."
"Accommodation?" Xander frowned.
"Mrs Summers informs me you are in the bedroom one beyond these rooms? Is that accurate?"
"I know that room and deem it unsuitable for your use. It is cramped, the furniture inadequate, the fireplace not large enough, the window too small and if I'm not mistaken it is inclined to be damp."
Xander looked confused. "I think you must be in error, the room is of good size, nicely furnished and I have seen no sign of damp. It is in every way suitable for my needs and I am very comfortable there."
"Xander, you must allow me to be your guide in this. The fault is not Mrs Summers, " he shook his head, "she meant well enough. I would have you moved to another room, one I deem more suitable to your needs and comfort."
Xander was surprised to find it was not so much the prospect of a new room that disquieted him but the thought that it might be over the other side of the house, far away from Mr Rochester. "You are The Master and therefore may accommodate me where you see fit." He acknowledged.
"At least try the new room, if you really dislike it then of course you may return to your present one, but I think you will be pleased with the room I have chosen."
"I'm sure I will find it most pleasing." Xander ducked his head.
"And it's not as if you're moving far." Rochester continued. "Tomorrow I'll have Mrs Summers supervise your move into the room directly next to this, we will be nearer neighbors Xander." He smiled broadly.
Xander's jaw dropped.