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:
Xander put his Master's strange words and demeanor down to the fact that perhaps he had drank a little too much, though he appeared quite sober.
"So you have never attended a Music Hall, Theatrical Performance or Magic Lantern show?" William asked, Xander shook his head and William frowned.
"They were not considered things we needed knowledge of." Xander explained.
"Didn't your friends take you?"
"Lowood is a small Market Town it is not possessed of any of those things."
"What about an Exhibition, Museum or Art Gallery?"
"No." Xander shook his head. "Though I would dearly love to. I have heard Museums are magical places full of historical artifacts and inventions and the preserved and mounted remains of wondrous beasts from far away places," his eyes shone with excitement as he spoke.
William nodded. "But I think you would find more enjoyment in London Zoological Gardens, they have a marvelous collection of live creatures including reptiles and an Aquarium." Xander's eyes went round. "And there are many Art Galleries in the City exhibiting famous paintings and sculptures from around the World," William concluded.
"Oh, I would dearly love to see them," Xander sighed.
"And so you shall." William was determined to show them all to the boy. Xander frowned. "Drusilla is approaching an age when she should be seen in London Society." William explained. " I will take her to London for a Season and Miss Mclay and yourself will attend us. By day we will visit Museums, Art Galleries and such and in the evening you and I will attend the Music Hall, Magic Lantern Shows and Theatre. I would take you to the Ballet and Opera but don't care for them overmuch, so only attend when good manners dictate I must."
Xander gaped. "Me? Is that quite proper what with your being a gentleman?" Rochester smiled. "Xander, I am a gentleman and may therefore choose my companion as I please, within the bounds of propriety and good taste. Besides, I want to be there when you see the Greek statues," he chuckled.
The rest of the evening passed quickly, Xander could hardly believe what Mr Rochester had suggested, that he was to go to London and be allowed to go about with The Master. It was a miraculous turn of events and filled his mind with a kaleidoscope of possibilities, all of which centered on Mr Rochester.
He simply had to tell Wes and Fred of his good fortune.
Rochester was ecstatic, he would conclude his distasteful business with Lindsey and O'Conner and then concentrate on showing Xander the time of his young life. The boy would love what he had planned, Museums, Exhibitions, Zoological Gardens and Art Galleries by day; Music Hall, Theatre, Phantasmagoria, perhaps even one of his Clubs and his bed by night. The boy was the blank pages of a book upon which he would write.
He felt alarmingly like an excited schoolboy.
Soon after Xander took his leave and having bid his Master goodnight adjourned to pass the first night in his new accommodation. Xander changed into his nightshirt and sat at the writing bureau pen in hand and added to his letter, skimming over his talks with Mr Rochester and going into detail about what The Master had planned for him in the future.
The Pryce's would be thrilled that he had found such a kind and generous employer.
When he raised his head Xander was shocked to see that the clock on the mantle showed almost 12.30 and he laid down his pen. He cocked his head and listened but could hear no sound that might indicate The Master was still awake. He stretched and looked at the elegant four poster, he was tired but his mind was too unquiet to allow slumber. The moonlight filtered in through the window and Xander stood and crossed to the window seat and sat down resting his elbows on the sill and looked out through the clear, square panes. The fire still glowed in the hearth behind the guard and the room was pleasantly warm. The moon cast cold shadows over the lawn and the square of the North Tower was silhouetted against the pale, eerie, full disc. As he watched, a fox emerged from the shrubs and sniffed about the lawn and started up a mouse. He watched as they twisted and turned chasing in a life and death struggle, the mouse was too nimble and the disappointed fox trotted on his way. The last thing he remembered was the soft chime of the clock marking the hour.
Sometime later the fire was out and Xander's elbow slipped from the sill and he jerked awake. He blinked and looked out of the window, there was the clear form of Mr Finn crossing the lawn from the direction of the North Tower. Xander rubbed his eyes to make sure he was not mistaken, but it was definitely he. The clock showed that it was almost 2.30am and he shivered in the cool of the room. He stood to cross to his bed and froze, somewhere in the hall he could hear a soft footfall. His heart raced, logic told him it was Mrs Summers or perhaps Miss Mclay or even Master but his heart pounded and he held his breath as the glow of a lamp showed briefly under his door and was gone. All was still, he sniffed there was the distinct smell of smoke. He looked about his room, the fire was out and the lamp safe. He sniffed again, the smell got stronger closer to the bed and then he was horrified to see a gray wisp of smoke appear under the connecting door.
The smoke was from Mr Rochester's room!
Xander grasped the door handle and turned it, of course the door held firm. Without a pause he dashed from his room and knocked on Mr Rochester's door. "Sir! Sir!" Pilot gave a single bark and Xander turned the handle, the door opened and the rushed into the drawing room. A door stood ajar and Xander could smell the smoke issue from there. Without thinking he burst into Rochester's bedchamber and recoiled.
The room was dominated by a huge, dark oak four poster bed with heavy, dark red velvet drapes. Rochester was laid sprawled, still dressed and apparently asleep on his back. One arm hung over the side of the bed and Pilot licked his hand. One set of curtains at the window were ablaze, the widow was open and the lamp on the sill, overturned. Flames licked up the heavy fabric and the paint on the wooden, window frame bubbled and boiled. Blazing cloth fell onto the carpet and it smoldered, Xander darted forward and grasped Rochester's shoulder and shook him. "Sir! Sir, wake up the room's ablaze!" He shook harder.
Rochester started awake and closed a tight hand on Xander's wrist, then recognizing the boy, eased his grip. Xander's frantic face and urgent words filtered into his groggy mind and he looked about and assessed the situation. He vaulted from the bed and Pilot ran, he brushed past Xander and used both hands to tear down the curtain and began to stamp out the flames with his booted feet. Xander looked around for a way to help, as his feet were bare. He spied the large, porcelain, water jug and grasped it, it was full. Without hesitation Xander stepped up and tossed the water in the direction of the nearly extinguished fire and his Master, it cascaded over Mr Rochester soaking him. Xander stood and watched in horror as water dripped from Rochester's soaked hair, his shirt, almost translucent, clung to his muscled chest and torso.
Slowly Rochester turned towards Xander as water dripped off his nose.