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:
It took Xander a few moments to process what Mr Rochester had said. Of course it was logical that The Mistress of the house would have direct access to The Master's rooms and vice versa and to be truthful Xander wasn't so much disquieted by that fact, as the tiny buzz of excitement and flutter in his stomach the information produced.
That was disquieting.
The thought that Mr Rochester might walk in on him at any time of his own choosing was by turn thrilling and disturbing, not that he would of course, the door would remain firmly locked and each would remain on their own side. Rochester watched closely and with amusement as Xander processed the information. That it did not immediately produce a barrage of questions, even demands to be returned to his former room, he took as a positive sign, along with the slight blush and increase in breathing. He was about to take a step closer to the boy when the swish of skirts heralded the arrival of Mrs Summers trailed by Willow and it was with some irritation he noted their arrival, and excused himself to attend to papers that must be signed in his study.
The move was accomplished in less than half an hour. Xander protested that he could sort himself out, but the ladies insisted on putting away, folding and hanging things themselves on his behalf, men folk not being particular about such things. So it was he found himself transplanted as a young seedling might into a new, ornate and larger flowerbed.
Left alone, Xander surveyed his new room with a certain amount of satisfaction and wondered what Wes and Fred would make of his move and favor with The Master. He shook himself from his reverie and prepared to collect Drusilla from the nursery. The afternoon was bright and quite warm and might profitably be spent following artistic endeavors in the garden. At first he thought he might take his own paints and join his pupil in painting, but decided against it and instead took one of the Lord Byron books Mr Rochester had graciously lent him. He glanced towards the interconnecting door and frowned, he could have sworn there had been a key, but the lock stood empty. He even looked for the object on the floor but there was no sign, prompted by curiosity he tried the handle and found it locked, he immediately felt very foolish. Obviously he had been mistaken and putting it from his mind he made his way to the nursery.
Fifteen minutes later saw the small procession head across the lawn. Drusilla and Miss Edith led, followed by Xander in charge of a large picnic rug and folding, wooden artists chair. He was followed by Daniel who struggled along in the rear with an easel, a large box of watercolor paints, a sketch pad, several pieces of watercolor paper attached to wooden frames, charcoal and pencils which he kept dropping until Xander took them from him. Drusilla scouted several likely locations and then, on Miss Edith's advice, settled on a part of the garden with a pretty bush; where the gentlemen were informed, lived a group of fairies who would be much honored to have Drusilla paint their home.
Everything was set up.
Miss Edith was installed comfortably on the rug where she could view her owner's progress and make helpful comments. Drusilla sat at the easel her things about her and Xander settled himself on a nearby bench to read his book, instruct his pupil and give whatever helpful advice was not forthcoming from Miss Edith. Daniel would return promptly at four thirty and they would adjourn to the house for afternoon tea, a rest and change of clothes for dinner.
Drusilla was soon happily sketching her bush, complete with fairies and Xander lost himself reading about the colorful and somewhat exotic exploits of Lord Byron.
Rochester had watched the procession cross the lawn and after giving them a while to settle, decided that a walk in that direction might do him good. Neither Drusilla nor Xander noticed his approach and it was not until The Master's shadow fell across Xander that he knew he was there, immediately Xander made to stand but Rochester raised his hand and bid him remain seated. Druslla hearing her Guardian's voice gave a happy squeal and started from her seat, Rochester scowled. "Remain where you are child." Drusilla pouted and Rochester glanced at Xander and softened his voice. "I would see your finished painting and how am I to do that if you leave it?" He raised an eyebrow. Drusilla nodded and returned to her task and he sat beside Xander. "Ah, you are reading about the life of Byron," he indicated the book. "How do you find it?" He cocked his head slightly to one side in an interested manner.
"I have only just begun Sir but the book is written in a pleasant style and quite intriguing." Xander ventured. Rochester chuckled. "You might find it a little shocking."
"Shocking?" Xander frowned.
Rochester took a deep breath and stretched his left leg a little."He was accused of many things which would be thought of as crimes and I suppose that at least some of them have a basis in fact. It is said he was seduced by both his Governess and the Lord who rented his mansion before he inherited it." Xander gasped. "He was called depraved, a rake and debaucher of young women and men. He was accused of an incestuous relationship with his sister and deviant, sexual practices," he paused. "eventually he settled and died abroad." Rochester smiled a little at Xander's scandalized expression and wide eyes. "Yet he wrote the most astonishing poetry, perhaps his one redeeming quality."
Xander grunted. "All men might be redeemed."
Rochester gazed at him. "Do you truly believe that?"
Xander nodded. "Of course. It is my belief no man is truly all good and by the same token no man is truly all bad. If that were true then there would be no manner in which we could redeem ourselves in the Lord's eyes, a man with a sinful past can redeem himself with good works in the present and future."
Rochester grunted. "You have youth's simplistic view of life, there are some things it is not so easy to seek redemption for," he paused. "indeed what may appear deviant or a fault in one man's eyes may not appear so in another's, what may be seen as a fault or flaw in the disposition of an individual might be valued by others."
"That is for the individual to decide, each man must choose which path to tread." Xander studied his Master, perhaps he'd drunk too much Claret, but it seemed to him something was bothering Mr Rochester. Rochester looked away and studied Drusilla as if trying to make up his mind, then he spoke without looking at Xander. "I have done things in my past of which I am not proud, but I do not apologize for." Xander's frown deepened. "Sir?"
"Young men are sometimes rash and selfish in their desires," Rochester sighed, "wealth and social status are no bar to it. Yet I have never sought to permanently hurt another."
"I am sure that is true Sir," Xander replied quietly, he couldn't envisage a scenario where this man, who had been so kind to him, would knowingly hurt another. Rochester looked at him. "You hardly know me Xander." He smiled. "I promised did I not to tell you a little of Drusilla's provenance?"
"Only in as much as it pleases you to do so Sir." Xander replied.
"It pleases me to do so Xander, it pleases me very much." Rochester nodded.