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:
Mrs Summers made no more reference to the move throughout the rest of breakfast, in fact she said very little but frequently glanced surreptitiously between The Master and Xander. Mr Rochester revealed his plans to spend the morning entrenched in his study, where he was expecting to receive a number of visitors and that they be shown directly there. He was not to be disturbed for anything less than an emergency. Mr Rochester stood at length and grasped the cane, he wished Xander and ladies a pleasant morning and requested that Willow bring a pot of India Tea to his study (he drank this in the mornings in preference to coffee which was the normal beverage), as soon as could be accomplished and excused himself.
It was somewhat strange and irksome to Xander that he spoke not one word to Drusilla.
Soon after Xander took charge of Drusilla and they withdrew to the school room accompanied by the now ever present Miss Edith.
Willow made the tea as instructed but was intercepted by Mrs Summers. The Housekeeper took the engraved silver tray from her, indicating that she would deliver it to The Master herself, as she wished to spend a moment speaking to him on urgent household matters. Willow thought nothing of it and returned to her duties in the kitchen.
Mrs Summers looked around as she stood outside The Master's study, the day staff which generally consisted of the maids Rosie, Rowena and Mary were occupied elsewhere, she knocked and entered on Mr Rochester's instruction. Papers were spread over the large, oak desk and Mr Rochester looked up and cleared space for the tray, registering no surprise that it was brought by the Housekeeper, he'd been expecting her.
Joyce Summers set the tray down with slightly more force than was necessary and her thin lips and somewhat sour expression almost made Rochester smile. She hovered, Rochester looked up. "Was there something else Mrs Summers?" He asked politely.
"Begging your pardon Sir, there is," her tone was somewhat stiff and formal.
Rochester nodded. "Take a seat Joyce and tell me what, from your expression, is bothering you." He gestured to a pair of comfortable wooden and tapestry chairs drawn close to the desk. She took a seat, sitting stiff and straight and fiddling nervously with her dress. "I've been with the Rochester family a good many years now, as my mother and her mother before her." She started nervously.
Rochester nodded. "The ladies of your line have served the Rochester's faithfully in the capacity of Housekeeper for several generations, I know this and value your service," he confirmed.
"Thank you kindly Sir, we have always found the Rochester gentlemen to be the best of Masters."
"And I hope you find no fault with me?"
"No indeed Sir, except perhaps a little thoughtlessness as may be sometimes found in gentlemen," she chided mildly.
Rochester settled back into his chair with a chuckle. "I accept your estimation of my shortcomings. What then troubles you? Speak plainly Joyce we have known each other some years and I value your counsel."
She drew a deep breath. "Normally Sir I would not speak of it. Lord knows you're an unattached gentleman and may do romantically as he pleases, you have no-one to please in the matter but yourself and it isn't really my place...."
"Speak plainly Joyce, voice your concerns that I might address them." He cut her off.
"Mr Harris," she said. Rochester tensed.
Drusilla was little better disposed toward her lessons than she had been the day before and at the arrival of each new visitor went to the window to see who it was. The first three were once again tenants of Mr Rochester and stayed but a short time. Then the visitors changed. Instead of coming on horse or foot, they came by small, smart carriages. These were well suited, older gentlemen who wore tall, dark hats and carried canes. They were invariably greeted by Mrs Summers and ushered quickly inside the house. Drusilla informed Xander that these were Papa William's 'agents' and had come to see him on grown up matters of importance. Xander assumed these gentlemen handled The Masters affairs of commerce, investments, property and so forth and they tended to stay longer.
The morning dragged and French Grammar was not going at all well with both Xander and Drusilla becoming vexed. Thankfully it was disrupted by the arrival of a very smart carriage pulled by two matching grays and the driver wore red and gold livery. The gentleman who got out was slightly taller than Mr Rochester though of the same slender, though less muscular build. He had short, dark, brown hair swept straight back with flashes of gray at the sides and carried his hat rather than wore it. His dark suit was very fashionable. In age, Xander placed him as mid forties and Drusilla was much excited by his arrival. "Lord Ethan!" She cried and rushed from the room before Xander could stop her. Mrs Summers was greeting the gentleman in the hall and having his hat and cane taken by Daniel, their conversation was cut short by Drusilla who ran forward. "Ethan! Ethan!" The gentleman turned and smiled broadly. "Little Miss Drusilla!" He bowed and took her hand kissing it, Mrs Summers stood to one side smiling.
*""Tu es ravissante, ma cherie."
"Merci votre seignerie vous êtes trop aimable." Drusilla curtsied.
Xander hurried out of the school room in pursuit of his charge and gained the hall at almost the same time as Mr Rochester, who ignored him. Rochester held out his hand. "Ethan, good of you to come and pay a visit" They shook hands warmly.
Ethan noticed the cane. "My pleasure Rochester wouldn't miss it for the world. Goodness man, what have you done to yourself?" Concern colored the gentleman's voice.
Rochester smiled. "Took a spill from my horse, sprained my ankle." He looked at Drusilla. "Shouldn't the child be at her lessons?" She pouted and Xander dashed forward to take her.
Ethan's dark eyes looked him up and down. "A moment Rochester, aren't you going to introduce me to this young man?"
"Ah, this is Mr Harris, the child's Tutor." Rochester explained.
Ethan smiled and held out his hand. "Lord Ethan Rayne young man, have you a first name, Mr Harris?"
Xander tentatively shook hands. "Alexander Sir, Alexander Harris."
Ethan held his hand longer than was strictly necessary and smiled. "Almost makes me wish I had a Ward in need of a Tutor," he laughed and Xander pulled back his hand, strangely embarrassed.
Rochester slung his arm around the older man's shoulders. "Now Ethan, don't tease." He looked at Xander. "Mr Harris, take the child back to her lessons," he instructed.
"Of course Sir." Xander grasped Drusilla's hand and took her back to the school room, behind him the two men walked to Rochester's study, they stepped in and Rochester dropped his arm and closed the door. Ethan sat down. "Damn me Rochester, where did you find him? He's a pretty one and no mistake."
Rochester raised an eyebrow as he poured two glasses of Madeira . "He's out of bounds Ethan, " he sat behind his desk and offered Ethan the glass, "he's going to be mine to pluck."
Ethan never lost his smile. "Of course old chap, wouldn't dream of stepping on your toes."
* "You look enchanting my dear."
"Thank you my Lord, you are most kind."