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:
If anyone asked Xander if he remembered going back to his room, or climbing into bed, he would have been able to answer with complete honesty that he did not. He kept touching his lips, had Mr Rochester really kissed him? Even the thought of it set his heart pounding and produced a feeling in his genitals which was almost alarming and unusual , if he didn't feel so deliriously happy he'd worry about it, perhaps in the morning.
He awoke to a sharp rapping on his door and Willow's urgent voice. "Sir, Mr Harris, Sir are you alright?" He sat up groggily and cleared his throat. "Yes, yes Willow 'I'm fine."
"Thank goodness," she sound relieved. "it's nearly seven thirty and Master sent me to check you were alright, they're holding breakfast for you."
"Oh my!" Xander leapt out of bed. "I overslept, please convey my apologies and I'll be down right away."
"Master thought that would be it, he said not to rush yourself."
Xander hopped around on one foot trying to pull on his trousers and not really listening. "I'll be but a moment!"
"I'll tell them all is well Sir." There was the rustle of petticoats as Willow departed.
Xander practically ran into the dining room, Mrs Summers started in alarm. "Pray Mr Harris, calm yourself, there's no need for all the rushing around."
Xander muttered his apologies. Rochester looked up from a letter he was reading and smiled. "We will make allowances for the hero of the hour." Xander blushed as he sat down. There was no sign of Miss Mclay or Drusilla, Rochester followed his gaze. "I've sent them off to amuse themselves for an hour, so there is no need to hurry your breakfast, try the mackerel it's very good," he returned to reading. Xander noticed a letter by his plate, clearly from Lowood and the Pryce's, he picked it up. Rochester glanced at him. "From your friends?"
"Yes Sir," Xander confirmed and Rochester nodded. "The post was delivered this morning instead of yesterday, it seems there was rather a lot of it."
That was unusual, the boy came out from Milcote with the post each Thursday, usually bringing only Xander's letter, occasionally a letter for the nanny from her sisters or mother in London and about once a month a letter for the Housekeeper from her son in Tumbridge Wells, but there were several letters by Rochester's plate. Xander put the letter in his pocket, Rochester raised an eyebrow. "Not reading it?" Xander ducked his head. "Mr Wyndam Pryce writes long and informative correspondence Sir, reading it requires time and concentration." He helped himself to a very little mackerel and some tea.
"Quite right too," Mrs Summers commented. "your letter can wait, your breakfast cannot." She cast a disapproving eye at Rochester who completely ignored her.
Rochester sipped his tea. "None the worse for the night's activities I hope Mr Harris?"
"Not at all Sir, I hope you are well also."
"In fine form." Rochester smiled.
"Well, it's a blessing Mr Harris smelt the smoke and awoke from his slumbers, I dread to contemplate on what might have occurred," Mrs Summers nodded.
"Oh I wasn't asleep, well not really." Xander confessed.
They looked at him. "Is the room not to your liking?" She asked.
"Is the bed uncomfortable?" Questioned Rochester.
"What? Oh no, no the room," Xander rushed to answer, "the bed is wonderful," he assured them. "I seldom sleep well the first night in a new room."
They nodded in unison.
" I was looking out the window and I must have dozed and my elbow slipped and jarred me awake." He informed them.
Mrs Summers tutted.
"One strange thing, it was very late and I clearly saw Mr Finn cross from the North Tower toward the house." Xander saw Rochester and Mrs Summers exchange glances.
"You are acquainted with Mr Finn?" Rochester asked sharply. "Under what circumstance?"
Before Xander could answer Mrs Summers spoke. "Mr Finn was a mite rowdy one evening and I called him to the drawing room to chide him, Mr Harris was there."
"Have you spoken with the gentleman?" Rochester asked.
"No Sir, not before or since that evening, though I've seen him about at a distance."
Rochester grunted. "You will oblige me Mr Harris by avoiding contact with him." Xander frowned and nodded. "He is a good, stout fellow, but likes to keep his own company and is not always as sober in his habits as one would always wish. There is no harm in him, I would not suffer him in my employment if I thought there was. Any of the ladies might easily command him, but he is apt to be somewhat belligerent towards his own sex and I would rather not have to dismiss him for giving you a bloody nose." Xander's eyes went round, seeing that his warning was heeded Rochester smiled a little. "Continue your tale Mr Harris."
"Anyway," Xander continued his story. "I was crossing to the bed when I heard footsteps in the hall."
"Mercy me!" Mrs Summers clutched her chest.
"And a light passed under my door." Rochester glanced at the Housekeeper. "You were half asleep Mr Harris, are you sure you didn't imagine it?"
Xander shook his head. "I don't think so, because then I smelt smoke and saw a wisp of it appear under the connecting door. The rest you know."
"Well," Rochester folded his letter. " it is known that sometimes Willow sleep walks, it is possible it was she, is it not Mrs Summers?"
She frowned. "That's true enough Sir, why her mother used to lock her room door when she was a child, but I don't recall her sleepwalking in the last ten years or more."
Rochester nodded. "Well, whatever the circumstance, it was fortunate you were awake Mr Harris."
Mrs Summers nodded in agreement.
Willow bustled in. "Beg pardon Sir, Missus, Mrs Meakin is arrived and says she's ready to talk menus and such when you wish."
Rochester nodded and looked at Mrs Summers. "Best do that right away I think." She nodded in agreement.
"Direct the good Mrs Meakin to my study in five minutes or so, please Willow." Rochester instructed.
Willow curtsied. "Very good Sir." Rochester turned to his Housekeeper. "Will you step along to my study Ma'am?"
"My pleasure Sir," Mrs Summers inclined her head slightly. Rochester stood aside and allowed her to precede him, he turned to Xander. "Enjoy your breakfast Mr Harris, no doubt I shall see you later." Xander nodded.
Rochester gave a small smile and followed the Housekeeper.