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:
After lunch, Xander walked beside Rochester to the stable block at the side of the house. There was a large , rectangular, cobbled yard and another beyond that. Stables were set on three sides, it was a fine day and most were empty; the horses' grazing in the sunshine in the lush, fenced paddock at the rear of the stables. Xander rarely went to the stables, occasionally he would go to see Drusilla off on her hack or when she returned. The horses were mainly the large Cleveland Bay carriage horses or tall, slender Hunters with their clipped coats, quite frankly he was nervous about their size and imposing demeanor. The exceptions of course were Bucket and the fat Shetland pony, that not surprisingly went by the name of Mr. Tubby. There were extensive and mysterious out buildings which Xander knew housed several carts and at least two carriages, tack of all kinds and large bales of hay, straw, sacks of oats and bran.
As they approached his footsteps faltered and Xander looked nervously about him, Rochester glanced at him. "Are you quite well Xander?"
"I don't think horses like me much." He repeated his earlier statement.
Rochester laughed and slapped him lightly on the back, his hand lingering. "I promise I won't let them eat you." Finn was busy saddling Bucket and Mr. Tubby and nodded as they walked by, Rochester returned the nod and steered Xander toward the paddock fence. The horses looked up and Rochester's black gelding pricked his ears at the sight of his Master and began to walk toward them. Rochester turned to Xander. "Wait here a moment, I must speak to Finn." Without another word Xander was abandoned and watched, a worried expression on his face, as Rochester engaged Finn in conversation.
Finn seemed pleased enough to see The Master, he smiled and nodded several times, then as they talked, he frowned and Rochester made several gestures as if emphasizing a point, both men glanced at Xander and Finn nodded. They continued to converse, Finn shook his head and their voices were raised though Xander was unable to hear what was said. To his surprise Rochester placed a hand on the taller man's shoulder and moved closer, Finn's shoulder's slumped, and he nodded a couple of times. Rochester slapped him once on the back and then turned, walking back to Xander, he looked thoughtful. Behind him Finn watched a moment and then carried on with his work.
Rochester's gelding had reached the fence and seeing Xander with his back turned leaned over and nuzzled him, Xander shrieked and grabbed at a startled Rochester, the horse blinked and pricked his ears. Rochester grinned and grasped Xander by the arms and chuckled.
"He tried to eat me!" Xander accused, Rochester laughed and maneuvered Xander around so that he was stood in front of him facing the fence. "Poor Midnight, what's he accusing you of boy?" The horse moved his ears at the mention of his name and leaned further over the fence, unconsciously Xander shrank back against Rochester, who snaked a left arm loosely around his waist, the horse snorted softly and Rochester pulled Xander against his chest.
Xander's heart rate leapt and he tensed, Rochester felt the tension and instead of loosening his hold, tightened it slightly, waiting to see what Xander would do, if he pulled away or became alarmed, he would release the boy at once, but he hoped that wouldn't be the case.
Xander didn't move as he felt his Master's muscled chest against his back and strong arm around his waist, he felt safe and he liked it. "Hold out your right hand, flat as you can." Rochester's warm breath puffed against his ear, and he shivered a little and then did as he was told and Rochester placed a carrot in his palm. He grasped his wrist and held the hand out towards the horse, at the same time he nuzzled Xander's hair. Xander was distracted between the horse and Rochester. "He's not as fierce as he looks." Rochester purred in his ear, his beard scraped gently against Xander's cheek. The horse took the carrot from Xander's hand, its muzzle felt like velvet, and it's breath damp and warm, he relaxed against Rochester and smiled nervously.
There was the steady clop of hooves and Mr. Henderson's gray cob entered the yard and Henderson drew to a halt. The moment was broken and Rochester sighed, loosening his hold and stepping back. Henderson swung down from the saddle and seeing Rochester, took off his bowler hat and extended his hand. "Mr. Rochester, Sir, good to see you." Rochester took his hand and shook it warmly. "Good to see you Jacob, are you and the family well?"
"We are Sir, thank you for asking and you Sir?"
Xander nodded to Mr . Henderson. "Well now Jacob, you know Mr. Harris?" Rochester asked.
"I do Sir, the young man is Tutor to Miss Drusilla," his eye twitched. "he comes by now and again when she goes for a hack." Rochester nodded. "Would you be surprised to learn Jacob, that Mr. Harris has never sat on a horse?"
"What, never?" His eyebrows rose."Never," Rochester confirmed. "Well Bless My Soul, that's a rum do and no mistake." They both looked at Xander, he shuffled a little. "I'm guessing Sir, you'd like him taught to ride?"
"That's my plan." Rochester nodded. "I'd like you to sort out a mount for him, something genuine with a good temperament."
Mr Henderson put his hat on. "Well now, step forward if you please Mr.Harris and let's get a look at you." Xander stepped forward and both men scrutinized him. Mr. Henderson took on an air of concentration and walked around him. "He's slim enough that one of the Highland Ponies could carry him without a problem," he shook his head. "but young man's too long in the leg, needs something with a bit of height to it."
Rochester nodded in agreement and stroked his beard. "My thoughts exactly. If we've nothing suitable at the stud, you can buy something in."
Henderson shook his head. "I think we can manage without. I bought in a nice chestnut, pretty creature thought he would do as a light Hunter if one of your friends was of a mind to hunt, Sir." Rochester nodded.
Xander looked alarmed. "Hunter? Aren't they big?"
Henderson chuckled. "Aye Sir, Hunter's tend to have a bit of height to them, but he's not as tall as Midnight there." Xander glanced at the tall, black horse. "How tall?" Rochester asked.
"Fifteen hands, or there about, light boned, four white stockings and a white blaze."
"Genuine, good temperament?"
"An honest worker, sound and sweet tempered as they come. Eight years old, so not silly."
Xander frowned. "Gelding?"
Rochester and Henderson glanced at each other, Rochester gave a slow, mischievous smile. "Had his bollocks off," he explained. It took Xander a moment to comprehend what Rochester meant, the color slowly drained from his face, Rochester's mouth twitched.
Henderson looked concerned. "It's all right Mr. Harris, he don't miss 'em none."