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 regarded Xander solemnly for some moments in silence and he felt disquieted by the silent scrutiny and squirmed a little . Abruptly and with a small snort Rochester stood, lent on his cane and without a word crossed to where Drusilla was occupied. He spent a minute or two appraising her efforts before declaring them to be 'promising', nodding to Xander and walking towards the house.
Xander was dismayed by his Master's sudden departure and without a word to him, he had spoken rashly and without thought, he'd been forward almost to the point of insolence and despite his promise not to be so, he had vexed his Master. It was in his mind to go after the gentleman and ask his pardon but he could not leave his pupil, so he was forced to endure where he was with a growing disquiet. Returning to the pages of his book was impossible and he gazed in the direction of the house long after Rochester had disappeared.
Drusilla demanded his attention with the painting of a fairy from her detailed description, for it is well known that the Fae Folk do not show themselves to adults, and so the time passed. At a little after four thirty Daniel and Miss Mclay came from the house, the one to take charge of Drusilla and Miss Edith and the other to collect the easel and materials they had brought with them. Xander once more was in charge of the rug, pencils and brushes and in addition Drusilla's painting. Daniel seeing Xander's pale face and tight expression asked if he was unwell and Xander assured him he was well, save for a slight headache, no doubt caused by being in the sun, Daniel looked unconvinced.
Once inside the house Xander fought an internal battle between disturbing The Master and asking his pardon or retreating to his room. In the end there was no choice, Willow informed him The Master had come straight in from the garden and requested that Mrs Summers attend him in his study as soon as convenient, he had an urgent matter to address that would not wait. Instruction was issued that they not be disturbed except in an emergency.
Xander went to his room.
There was some little time before dinner and Xander sought to occupy himself and relieve his mind of it's turmoil. He shifted things around in his room, then shifted them back again, he attempted to read but couldn't settle to it, no matter how he tried his rash words kept going through his head. The more he thought about it, the more perplexed he became, what had he said that Mr Rochester had taken such offence? The Master had bid him speak freely and had promised not to be offended or vexed and clearly he was both and what was worse he liked Mr Rochester and he found that the last thing he wanted to do was cause him to be angered. He crossed to the window, it had grown quite dark but the moon was not yet risen, he sat at the window seat and gazed into the gloom. He had no idea how long he sat there lost in thought and was drawn abruptly from his reverie by the sound of the bell for dinner. Hastily he washed his hands and changed his jacket and made his way to the small dining room.
Despite his unquiet spirit, Xander's heart beat a little faster and butterflies flitted around in his stomach at the thought of sitting close to Rochester once more; he was therefore surprised and disappointed to find Mrs Summers in her usual place at the head of the table. Xander hesitated in sitting and Mrs Summers looked at him. "Is there something amiss Mr Harris?" Xander shook his head and sat down. "Forgive me, a slight headache is all," he apologized.
She frowned. "Headache? That's what comes of being out of doors too long." Mrs Summers nodded knowingly. "After dinner you shall join me in the drawing room for a quiet evening and Willow will bring you one of my headache powders. I swear by them." She patted his hand. Xander nodded. "Yes, yes thank you." Drusilla and Miss Mclay joined them along with the ever present Miss Edith and the meal began.
After several minutes spent discussing the merits of the weather and the imprudence of being out of doors too much, Xander could contain himself no longer. "Is The Master not to join us?" He blurted.
Mrs Summers blinked at him and then she and Miss Mclay glanced at each other, she furrowed her brow slightly. "The Master is taking dinner in his rooms, he often does when he is in residence, I think sometimes he does not always take kindly to the chatter of women, though he means no unkindness by it."
Xander squirmed a little. "Forgive me, I thought perhaps... He mentioned in the garden that his ankle was giving him some pain and I thought..."
Mrs Summers nodded seemingly satisfied by his concern for The Master. "He made no mention of it to me. I expect he wants to spend a quiet evening before he leaves for the Hall tomorrow evening or Saturday morning, he was unclear which," she shrugged, "and him being The Master he will make up his own mind and we will fit in with it."
Xander grunted and chased his food round his plate. "How long will he be gone?" He tried to ask casually. Mrs Summers looked taken aback. "My Mr Harris, but you're in a curious mood tonight," she commented dryly. Xander realized that he was drawing attention to himself by his questions and ducked his head. A look of concern flickered across her face. "The party is from Saturday morning until Monday evening and the Master will return here, with his guests mid morning on Tuesday."
A piece of meat skittered across Xander's plate and Mrs Summer's raised an eyebrow, Drusilla giggled.
Mrs Summers expression turned decidedly sour. "Apparently so, we are to expect eight in total, three ladies and five gentlemen. They are The Master's friends from London and Lord Lindsey of course. It was arranged when Lord Ethan was here and they will remain until Friday. I would have appreciated more notice but 'tis The Master's decision." Xander made what he hoped was a sympathetic noise and not a strangled one. "The Master offered to send for Mr Richards and the servants from the London house, but I said we shall manage and so we shall. There is no need of Mr Richards I said and there is not." She glared at Xander.
"Mr Richards?" He ventured.
"The Master's London Butler, he has charge of the main London house, but not here. I'll have no truck with his pompous ways, coming here as if he runs the place." Her manner was becoming more heated. "He may have charge of the London house but I am Housekeeper here and stand in the stead of a Mistress and he would do well to remember it!" Xander nodded. "Absolutely, quite so," he hastily agreed.
Mrs Summers fanned herself with her napkin.