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:
Soon after Rochester and the Housekeeper left, Miss Mclay brought down Drusilla and she and Xander withdrew to the quiet sanctuary of the school room. It seemed that if anyone but the parties involved and Mrs Summers were aware of the night's drama, they were unconcerned, for it was not mentioned which Xander found strange. Willow and Daniel at least must have been informed to go about the task of putting right The Master's room, however he did not dwell on it and turned to the task of teaching his pupil.
The morning's lessons did not progress well. Drusilla was sullen and uncooperative and appeared to have little interest in doing anything, even her favorite tasks and both of them got progressively more cross and frustrated with each other. It was most unusual for them to have cross words and it was something Xander found particularly difficult to deal with, he liked Drusilla a great deal and sympathized with many of his young charge's problems. At length, Xander seeing where they were headed for a clash, called a halt and they sat by the window and looked out. The day was bright with a light wind and they watched the gardener's potter about. It was some time before Drusilla was prompted to speak, as Xander suspected she did not want Papa William to go away and seemed only a little cheered at the prospect of visitors to Thornfield. Xander had to admit to himself, he felt much the same way. He explained that The Master would be gone only a matter of three days and the party at Thornfield would be over by the Friday of next week, it was then she stunned him with her information.
"When his friends leave for London Papa William is likely to go with them."
Xander's heart plummeted, it took him a moment to collect himself. "What makes you say that Drusilla?"
She gave him a knowing look. "He never stays long at Thornfield and he'll want to go with Lord Liindsey."
Xander frowned. "He has made no mention of returning to London."
Drusilla swiveled around to face him. "He never does, he just goes. I heard Mrs Summers tell Willow that's what would likely happen."
Xander's jaw dropped and his mind raced. Of course it was true, Mrs Summers had said as much, The Master was an active man, easily bored and seldom stayed long at Thornfield and was want to come and go without notice. He was such a fool letting himself get attached to the company of a man whose lifestyle was such that his visits to Thornfield were both short and infrequent. There was no reason to suppose that, that would change.
Suddenly, Xander felt as depressed as Drusilla.
As if on cue nanny appeared to take Drusilla for her pre lunch rest, and as she stepped into the room, Rochester appeared and followed her in. In a display of affection Drusilla grasped him with both arms around his waist and pressed her cheek against his stomach. "I love you Papa William." Rochester's eyebrows rose and in an uncharacteristic display of fondness, he tentatively stroked her hair, Xander smiled.
"Go with nanny now," Rochester said gently. "and I'll see you at lunch." Nanny took Drusilla's hand, and they left, Miss Edith in tow.
Xander crossed to his desk and moved around some books, Rochester watched a moment and then stood looking out of the window, hands clasped behind his back. "I saw your look at breakfast, you find it odd that I asked you not to approach Mr. Finn?"
Xander shrugged. "Mrs Summers said more or less the same thing."
Rochester nodded and turned to face him. "I feel I owe you more of an explanation. He's an admirable man in most ways, shifts for himself, works hard and a house like this needs such a fellow, but he sometimes over indulges in hard liquor. At such times, though Mrs Summers and the other ladies, even the child, have little trouble dealing with him, he is apt to be somewhat quick tempered and belligerent toward his other males in the house." He fixed Xander with a steady gaze. "No doubt you wonder at my employing such a man when there are many others could do the job?" He began to pace slowly. Xander's eyes tracked him. "If I thought for a moment that anyone here was in danger from him, he would be dismissed without pause." He glanced at Xander. "The fact is his family and mine have a distant, tentative connection, and I feel obliged to give him honest employment." Xander nodded. "I do not want to come and find you with a black eye from having approached him at the wrong moment." Xander nodded. "And I doubt you would want to be the cause of his dismissal?"
"Oh, no Sir." Xander quickly confirmed.
Rochester nodded. "So you see 'tis best you avoid him and limit the risk of a confrontation."
"Quite so Sir." Xander agreed, he looked at his Master and took his courage in both hands. "May I ask Sir, are you to return to London soon?"
Rochester looked surprised. "I am not accustomed to have my movements questioned."
Xander blushed. "My apology Sir, it is just that Miss Drusilla has been somewhat withdrawn and depressed this morning and when I drew her out as to the cause she expressed an opinion it was so," he stared at the floor.
Rochester sighed."The fact is I may have to return to London to conclude a business matter, and if I am to spend most of my future time at Thornfield, as I am now disposed to do, then several matters will have to be transferred here."
Xander looked up sharply, The Master was disposed to stay at Thornfield? His heart leapt.
"The truth is," Rochester continued, "I am jaded with the City, and I find much at Thornfield that now interests me." He gave a slow smile. "So yes, I shall be returning to London sometime, but not for long and I don't envisage leaving Thornfield within the near future".
Xander let out the breath he was holding.
Rochester stepped closer. "I sent the gardener's boy, Toby, to Mr. Henderson this morning and asked him to call a little early for Drusilla's hack, we shall adjourn to the stable after lunch and speak to him. He will want to look you over." Xander looked puzzled. "With a few to finding you a suitable mount." Rochester prompted. Xander's face cleared and he nodded.
"You need an experienced mount Xander, something to take you gently along and show you how it's done, nothing too wild for your first time."
Rochester gave a dark chuckle, Xander cast him a quizzical glance and smiled innocently.