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:
The morning wore on and Drusilla was prevailed upon along with Miss Edith, to engage in a little handwriting practice and rote learning of the Kings and Queens of Great Britain. Xander was, himself somewhat distracted and Drusilla was not above taking advantage of the situation. It occurred to Xander that he had begun to look forward to his encounters with Mr Rochester, that he found unexpected pleasure in his Master's company even though he tended towards being a little wary, not yet knowing the gentleman well, his moods and so forth. He was therefore greatly looking forward to lunch, not merely at the thought of a delicious meal (in truth he didn't eat a great deal, a matter upon which he had been gently chided by Mrs Summers and Willow both), but that Mr Rochester would in all likelihood be present. He was at a loss to understand his feelings. He liked Mrs Summers and Miss Mclay, even Willow and Daniel and of course Drusilla but the expectation of meeting them did not cause butterflies in his stomach or the quickening of his heart as did Mr Rochester.
It was all disturbing and perplexing.
As the time neared for nanny to collect Drusilla for her rest before lunch, Xander was aware of two things. Lord Ethan's carriage was still there and in all likelihood he was to remain for lunch, which might mean that he and Mr Rochester would dine in the Master's rooms, a thought which filled him with unexpected disappointment. Secondly the house was filled with a heady, spicy, exotic aroma which Xander had not encountered before, it was not unpleasant but it was pungent and certainly foreign.
Promptly at twelve thirty Miss Mclay appeared and took charge of Drusilla and Miss Edith and took them to rest. Xander walked to the window and noted with some slight irritation the carriage remained. He turned back and began to tidy up the school room, he had promised the afternoon's activities, weather permitting, would occur in the garden to take advantage of the last warm days of Summer, Drusilla had been delighted.
He heard a commotion in the hall and the opening of the door, heard Mr Rochester's voice, though not clearly and crossed to the window. Lord Ethan was climbing into his carriage, the door held by his driver. Rochester was in attendance, smiling and nodding and Mrs Summers stood to one side. Ethan looked toward the school room and spying Xander gave a brief nod and smile which Xander felt duty bound to return. Rochester turned and saw him, he did not look displeased but raised an eyebrow and Xander ducked away from the window and continued tidying the room. The steady clop of trotting hooves and the crunch of gravel told him the carriage had departed. He continued to put things away and gather up his own reading matter and then he looked up and started. Rochester was stood in the doorway leaning gently on his cane, watching him with keen pale, blue eyes.
"I'm sorry Sir, I had no idea you were there." Xander apologized. Rochester stepped into the room. "No need for apologies Xander it is I who startled you and caught you unawares." He looked around the room. "This evokes memories of my own education." He laid his right hand almost reverently on the Teacher's Desk. "My Tutor was a remarkable man, I remember many happy hours in his company, especially at this desk," he gave a wry smile. Xander nodded.
"It hasn't changed much, though the child's desk is new." Rochester continued walking over to the window. "This room suits you?"
"Yes Sir." Xander answered quickly.
"That book in your hand I seem to recognize it from the library. Keats if I'm not mistaken?" Rochester turned.
"Yes Sir, Mrs Summers said I might take what volumes I cared to read," he hurriedly explained. "Of course, take what you will," Rochester made a dismissive gesture with his hand. "you enjoy Keats?"
"Yes Sir, very much." Xander confirmed. Rochester nodded. "I'm a Lord Byron man myself. 'Mad, bad and dangerous to know.' " He raised an eyebrow and gave a wicked smile.
"Sir?" Xander frowned.
"Lady Caroline's opinion of Lord Byron," Rochester paused, "have you read any Byron?"
"I don't believe so Sir." Rochester sighed a little. "No, I don't suppose you have." He looked thoughtful. "Allow me to lend you a copy of his work and when you've read some, if you've a mind we can discuss it."
Xander felt a warmth suffuse him at the thought of evenings spent discussing poetry with Mr Rochester. "I would like that Sir."
Rochester studied him for a moment. "What did you think of Lord Ethan?" He asked. Xander was slightly taken aback. "I am not really acquainted with the gentleman Sir, but he seemed very personable."
"Personable?" Rochester nodded. "Yes, I suppose he is. I've known him some years, since I was seventeen or thereabout. I count him one of my few close friends."
Xander nodded. "He has property in the district?"
Rochester chuckled. "No, he doesn't really care for the country, he owns property extensively in London. He is here for the party and Howard Hall and knowing I was in residence decided to call." Rochester moved toward the door. "Lunch smells delicious have you ever eaten curry?"
"No Sir." Xander shook his head.
"It's not to everyone's taste," Rochester continued. "I have yet to find a lady who really enjoys it. I acquired a taste for it during a very brief stay in India. I eat it regularly in London, when I'm here less often. Mrs Summers complains it stinks out the house." He chuckled. "I insist you try some. Do you like hot, spicy things Xander?"
"I cannot say Sir," Xander frowned hoping Mr Rochester would not count his lack of experience in such matters against him, "I'm not acquainted with such food."
"Then you shall allow me to guide you." Rochester smiled. "My palate is such that I like hot, spicy food, " his eyes twinkled with amusement. "but I have had a variety prepared. The mildest is the chicken and then the vegetable, the mutton is quite hot and the beef is very hot and spicy, I love it. Have you ever eaten rice?"
Xander shook his head. "Then I must begin your education Xander. You will humor me by trying it and a little of the milder curry." It wasn't a question.
"Suppose I don't care for it Sir?" Xander protested.
"If you don't try things and experiment a little Xander, then how will you expand your horizons?"