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:
Rochester leaned back on the bench and observed Drusilla closely for several minutes, Xander waited patiently. At length his Master stirred and spoke. "Tell me Xander, do you think the child is like me?" Xander followed Rochester's gaze to where Drusilla sat, absorbed in her painting.
"In what particular Sir?"
Rochester looked irritated. "How many particulars are there?" He snapped, Xander stiffened at his tone. "Many Sir, looks, disposition, intelligence, sense of humor, manners..."
Rochester held up his hand. "Forgive my tone," his manner was conciliatory, "the question was badly put." Xander nodded. "Looks then," he continued, "is the child like me in looks?" He asked.
Xander observed the child, he wasn't sure what his Master wanted but decided to be truthful was always the wisest course of action. "No Sir, you tend towards being fair whereas Drusilla's hair is black, your hair falls in waves and light curls, I believe without the nightly application of rags, Drusilla's hair would be almost straight, your skin, though somewhat tanned, is I believe naturally pale, her's tends towards a darker tone. Your eyes are pale blue, her's are brown and facially there is in my opinion, no feature which you have in common. In build you are more alike, both slender and lightly boned, though you are by virtue of age and sex, tightly muscled, you both have hands which tend towards the artistic, long with slender fingers." He finished hoping he had not been too bold.
Rochester nodded. "So you would agree we do not look much alike?"
"Yes Sir." He wanted to say that perhaps she resembled her mother, but the truth was Xander had not the slightest reason to assume why Drusilla should look like his employer, Rochester's relationship, if any, to his Ward was unknown to him.
Rochester gave a barking, somewhat bitter, laugh. "She greatly resembles her mother, yes indeed she takes after her more than me at any rate." Xander looked perplexed, what was his Master hinting at? That he was the child's father? Rochester studied him and after a moment he spoke. "Tell me is there any way you think the child is like me?" Xander shook his head. "Sir I don't know you well enough.."
"Nonsense," Rochester cut him off. "you know me well enough to venture an opinion as I could venture one on you, if asked. Speak plainly Xander I'll not be offended or vexed," he encouraged.
Xander thought for a moment, he wanted to be truthful, but feared greatly that he would speak out of turn and despite Mr Rochester's promise not to be vexed he would inadvertently cause him to be so. He spoke with some hesitation. "You are both quick witted, intelligent, I have the feeling Drusilla sees and understands more than we give her credit for, she is vexed by things that do not interest her, her attention span is short, she gets bored easily."
Rochester gave an amused chuckle. "Are you saying I do not apply myself?"
"No Sir," Xander answered quickly. "I, I... ," Rochester gazed at him as he collected his wits, "merely that I have observed you like variety in your tasks." Rochester nodded. "That's true enough."
"I have observed also that both of you change moods quickly and for little apparent reason." As soon as it was said, Xander became alarmed that he had spoken so rashly, but it was said and could not be unsaid, he steeled himself for his Master's displeasure.
Rochester raised an eyebrow. "Are you suggesting I'm a moody bugger?"
"Your moods change quickly and I cannot at times see reason for it." Xander swallowed hard, would Mr Rochester keep his promise and not be vexed?
Rochester gave a slow smile. "I am moody, it is one of my faults, that and wanting my own way and sometimes being too forceful in getting it." He paused a moment. "In that I will agree to be like the child, you see Xander I am not afraid to admit my faults."
Xander breathed deeply. "Yes Sir."
"Is that enough to link the child with me then?" He questioned.
"Sir?" Xander's frown deepened.
"Would you believe her my child?" Rochester asked abruptly.
Xander looked quickly at Drusilla. "Yours?" He was somewhat taken aback. "In truth Sir I had not thought on it."
Rochester grunted. "I cannot tell you Drusilla's provenance without a little of my own history, though I will not dwell upon it."
Xander nodded. "As you wish Sir."
Rochester began. "I am my father's second son, born to him and my mother late in life. I had a brother some fifteen years my senior named Rowland. He was more to me as another adult than a sibling. My mother died as I have said shortly after my birth. My father was a cold and distant man to whom displays of affection were seen as an unnecessary indulgence, but he was not intentionally unkind. To those who knew her, I most resembled my mother in looks and disposition, whereas my brother was a mirror image of our father. From an early age it was made clear to me that my brother would inherit everything, though as I said my father was neither unkind nor ungenerous. He settled a large trust fund upon me and several lucrative investments were made on my behalf, enough to let me live as a gentleman and maintain such property and family as I had a mind to." He paused and drew a deep breath.
"I was raised by a kind and doting nanny and had two tutors, the second was perhaps most influential in shaping my life." he gave a curious smile. "When I was seventeen it was judged that I would do better living in one of our London houses and I was delighted to move there. And so it was as a wealthy, young man, from a good family, with no responsibilities and no-one to please but myself, I was let loose in London." He smiled broadly.
"You were younger than me, I should have been terrified." Xander commented.
"I loved it, reveled in it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself." His face reflected obvious pleasure in the remembrance. "When I was nineteen my father died. I returned to Thornfield for the funeral and spoke to my brother for the last time, though I did not know it. We parted on good terms, more or less agreeing to each go our own way. I returned to London and my life continued much as before. In my twenties I began to travel, Europe mainly and then further afield. In my twenty third year I was for a time resident in Paris, where I met Drusilla's Mother." He paused to see if Xander was listening, he was, intently.
"She was called Cordelia, a beautiful, vivacious and ultimately faithless creature; an actress by profession and for several months we were almost inseparable. I developed a passion for her that bordered on obsession. Have you ever felt like that Xander?" He asked curiously.
"No Sir," Xander shook his head. "never."
A sadness crossed Rochester's face. "No, of course not." He sighed. "You are young yet and please God one day you will." He continued. "Marriage was out of the question for various reasons, we both knew it and it was never mentioned. I set her up in some fashionable apartments and was of the habit to call on her whenever the mood took me. So it was one afternoon I chanced to call upon her unannounced and found her in the arms of another man."